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Full text of "The memoirs of Gen. Joseph Gardner Swift, LL.D., U.S.A., first graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, Chief Engineer U.S.A. from 1812-to 1818, 1800-1865 : to which is added a genealogy of the family of Thomas Swift of Dorchester, Mass., 1634"

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VZ i™?,',!7. °'' " = " CHAPEL HILL 


This book must not 
be token from the 
Library building. 

OCT2? rj 

Form No. 471 


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dEN. Joseph Gardner Swift, LL,D„U,S, A, 


United States Military Academy, West Point, 

Chief Engineer U. S. A. from 1812 ro 18 18. 

1800 1865. 

To which is added a Genealogy of tlie Family of 

Member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. 


COI'VKIGHT, 1890, 

Bv Hahkison Eli.brv, 


The genealogy of the descendants of Thomas Swift of Dorchester, 
Massachusetts, which is added to these Memoirs, was written a few years 
ago, during leisure moments, with the intention of confining it to the 
first four generations of the family, and contributing the same to the 
pages of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. It was 
to have been one of a series of genealogies of those families with which 
I am connected by marriage, and which I hoped from time to time to 
complete. But the temptation to all who engage in genealogical work 
to expand has been yielded to, and what was intended to be simply the 
history of the early generations of the family has become what this book 

While corresponding with various members of the family on the subject 
of its history, I found in possession of the sons of the late General Swift, 
of the United States Army, his journal. At my solicitation they permitted 
me to examine it. It proved a very interesting document, and it seemed 
to me that it would be a valuable contribution to history if printed. I 
suggested to them that it be embodied in one book with the genealogy, 
provided I could obtain enough subscribers to warrant it. They expressed 
their willingness,, and also from their family pictures contributed the 
illustrations which adorn the book. 

General Swift was much interested in his family history, having made 
considerable eftort to collect facts concerning his ancestry; and it seems 


particularly appropriate that what is herein printed on the subject should 
appear in connection with his Memoirs. 

While the descendants of Thomas Swift who bear the name have been 
few, those of his contemporary, William Swift of Sandwich, Mass., with 
whom no relationship has as yet been established, have been very 
numerous. They may be found in all parts of the United States. But 
not all who bear the name of Swift in this country are descended from 
these two primitive settlers, for among the immigrants to this country 
during the past half-century will be found those who bear this respectable 

It is but justice to myself to say, that this genealogy was printed before 
the History of Milton, and that the use of my advance sheets was made 
by my permission, in writing the article on the Swift family which 
appears In that work. 



Gen. Joseph Gardner Swift, Frontispiece 

Coat-of-Arms and Family Chair, . (Genealogy) . . opp. page i 

Dr. Foster Swift (Genealogy) . opp. page 23 

Mrs. Dr. Foster Swift, . . . (Genealogy) . opp. page 26 

House of Capt. John Swift, . . (Genealogy) . . page 29 

Gen'l Joseph Gardner Swift, LL. D. 



West Point. July, 1807. 

From very early life I have been in the habit of making memoranda of 
events, and in reference to persons who have in any wise interested me. 
This habit was induced by the example of my father, who leit me often in 
care of his office, and with permission to peruse his diary. My earliest 
essays in this imitation were puerile, but they were kindly received by my 
mother, who taught me early to read, and who, pleased with my essays, 
encouraged my progress. As may be the case with most young people, a 
diary of their time, however impressive to them may have been the event 
when recorded, could afford but little to amuse, and less to interest, grown- 
up folks. I therefore set me down at my alma 7nater to review the records 
of my boyhood. A first impression is to obliterate all that precedes my 
entrance into the army — while indeed there can be but a morsel to glean 
in the seven years of cadet and subalternship in times of peace. 1 find 
myself at this time commandant of a post that had occupied some of the 
pages of our revolutionary history, — a housekeeper also at the head of a 
family of a wife and one son — so to amuse my leisure, and may be gratify 
my son, and may be to gratify a common feeling that " Every man's world 
is important to himself," I conclude to overhaul my files of diaries and to 
collate what might seem useful to show the influences that give a cast to 
a young man's pursuits. 

Of the origin of my family : They were husbandmen frora England, who 
migrated to Massachusetts Bay soon after the first colony landed at Plymouth. 


Tradition lands them at Squantum, in Boston Bay. They were the family 
of Thomas Swift (son of Robert) from Rotherham in Yorkshire, which 
Thomas became a "freeman" 6th May, Anno 1635 ; the year his first son, 
Thomas, was born. He purchased fourteen hundred acres of land in Milton, 
then Dorchester, the eastern part of which tract is elevated and overlooks the 
whole of Boston Harbor, and is situate eio-ht miles from Faneuil Hall, that 
cradle of American independence. This tract became subdivided among- 
the descendants of the said Thomas. His oldest son, Thomas, my ancestor, 
was also the ancestor of the Swifts of Sandwich, and of Colonel Hermon 
Swift of the Revolutionary Army, of Chief Justice Zepheniah Swift, both of 
Connecticut, and also of the Swifts, Senator Swift of Vermont and Generals 
John and Philetus, of New York and other States of the Union.* He, the 
second Thomas, was also the father of Rev. John Swift of Framingham, and 
of Colonel Samuel Swift, a lawyer of Milton, whose oldest son, Samuel, was 
my grandfather, Samuel Swift, a graduate of Cambridge College, 1735, and 
who died in Boston 1775. Colonel Samuel Swift of Milton was also a judge 
of the court, and a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery of Boston, 
of which company also his son, my grandfather, Samuel, was a member. 
The oldest son of this Samuel was my father, Foster Swift, who studied 
medicine in Boston with Dr. Joseph Gardner; in February, 1783, married 
my mother, Deborah Delano, the daughter of Captain Thomas Delano, at 
Nantucket, where 1 was born the last day of the year 1783, during the 
absence of my father in Virginia. He had gone thither with letters to 
General Washington from General Lincoln, for the purpose of settling as a 
physician in the vicinity of his only brother, Jonathan Swift, a merchant of 
Alexandria. My maternal grandfather was a direct descendant from Philip 
de la Noye, a Hugueaot or Protestant emigrant from Leyden to Plymouth. 
The variation in spelling the name is of record in the Plymouth annals, 
omitting the two final letters. 

As was usual at Nantucket dwellings, my grandfather had constructed 
upon his house-top a " walk," with a staff and vane thereon, to indicate the 

* Note. — General Swift is certainly in error here. Gene.ilogical research does not connect, on this 
side of the Atlantic, the Swifts of Sandwich, who descend from William, with the Dorchester family. — //. E. 


course of the wind, and also a mariner's compass and spy glass to observe 
the vessels going and coming upon whaling voyages. In this lucrative 
business Captain Delano had an interest. He had been an early and 
successful voyager to the Brazil Banks, and also a shipmaster in the London 
trade, which latter had enabled him to educate his sons in England. His 
daughter Deborah wrote a fair hand, and kept her father's accounts and 
correspondence. Her father was of a gentle nature and kind to children. 
He often gratified me with views from the "walk," and gave me ideas of the 
use of a spy glass and compass. He was also a sportsman, and occasionally 
took me with him to his farm at "Anaise" [Quaise?] and "Siasconset," near 
the sea side, from whence he brought returns in the "calash" of shoal duck 
and sea bass. He was also one of the proprietors of the sheep folds, and with 
him I have been to the Nantucket sheep washings and shearings, a period 
of much rejoicing in cakes and ale on that island of " primitive people." I 
was too young while residing with my grandparents to 1792, to note the 
peculiarities of the people, but my mother used to say that the simple and 
free visitings among Nantucket families was very unlike any association 
of other places of her residence. It was a confiding intimacy and unre- 
strained hospitality. Their tables were abundant in simple fare. Bread 
formed by baking green corn and from flour made of parched corn, and 
soup from the dried green corn, formed characteristic dishes at their unpre- 
tending tea drinkings, the prominent hour for sociability at Nantucket. My 
mother said that dinner gatherings were unusual, although it was not 
deemed good Nantucket fellowship to evade or decline to participate in a 
meal that might be suitable to the time of day that found a neighbor at 
their houses. Those days of simplicity have given place to fashion^and less 
sincerity — and we may say, less happiness. 

My father returning in bad health from Virginia, had determined to remove 
his family to Apponagansett, near New Bedford, and he there practiced 
medicine. I have a recollection hereabouts in time, 1789, of being tied to 
the pump on board a packet, to prevent my falling overboard. The occasion 
was one of a visit to my father's relations in Boston. It was the period of 
Washington's tour to New England, when, with many other children of 


larger growth, I was on Boston Common " beholding the hero." I have 
retained in memory the real or ideal features of Washington, as then seen, 
to which my mind refers whenever I see his portrait. 

Near my father's residence there were mills on the Apponagansett River, 
and William Russel, the miller, was a " friend of the boys." He once sprang 
into the river and rescued me. I had fallen in from the bridge and cut my 
head against a stone in the bed of the stream, the scar from which is visible 
at this time, 1807. In 1792 my father removed his family to Taunton, a 
beautiful village on a river of that name, situate half way between Boston 
and Newport, and Providence, R. I., and New Bedford. Upon the spot 
where my father built his house was the tomb of Elizabeth Pool, which, with 
its monumental stone, was removed to the public cemetery. This woman 
was a bold adventuress from Taunton in England. She had purchased the 
township of Taunton from the Indians, and the town was incorporated by 
the General Court in 1630. 

I was placed at Mr. Abner Alden's school. He was a good teacher and 
the author of some useful books. My last teacher had been " Master Hart," 
for the benefit of whose school I had been placed near him at a friend of 
my father's, John Smith, Esq., at the head of the Pasquemonset River. 
While my father was on a visit to me there occurred a scene which remains 
vivid in my memory. A negro had run away from Rhode Island, 1791. A 
rumor had reached "the head of the river" that William Anthony had 
apprehended the negro and would pass "the bridge" that night. The 
people were anxious to rescue the negro, and the boys of our school were 
employed In collecting stones at the bridge to intercept Anthony. The 
crowd of men, women and boys remained up until late in the night, when a 
horse's step was heard approaching rapidly. In spite of the missiles, 
Anthony plunged his horse into the crowd, and riding with ability he escaped, 
leaving the negro at the bridge. This instance is a strong Indication of the 
feeling upon slavery. These people were worthy Quakers. 

In the fall of this year, 1792, the small pox being rife in Boston, my 
father sent me thither to the care of his sister Levering, and I passed lightly 
through that disease by the aid of my father's friend, Dr. L. Hayward. In 


Boston I enjoyed the friendly attention of John Gardner, Esq., the author 
of " Helvetius " and other political essays in favor of Jay's treaty with 
England. He was the nephew and heir of Dr. Joseph Gardner of Boston, 
with whom my father studied medicine, and who had promised my father a 
legacy to me, his namesake. The legacy was never received, but Mr. John 
Gardner was my friend, and much contributed to my enjoyments at the 
public exhibitions in Boston. 

In September of the following year, 1793, Miss Sally Cady, a very well 
educated and handsome young lady from Plainfield in Connecticut, opened 
a school on Taunton Green, a beautiful area of sward around which the 
village was situate. At this school, among other branches of instruction 
was taught drawing and declamation. I was a pupil, and proprietor of a 
nice writing desk and chair, a present from my father ; it was quite an 
attractive novelty in the school, and I had the pleasure of having the pretty 
girls of the school exchanging their usual bench for a seat at my desk; 
which desk soon set the fashion that was followed by both girls and boys. 
Miss Cady introduced recitations from Noah Webster's "Third Part," and 
also dialogues between the girls and boys, taken from the works of Hannah 
More and other authors. 

In the year 1794 I had become useful to my father by transcribing 
justice's papers. He was of the quorum, and I was also useful in his drug 
and medicine store, pending his professional rides in the adjacent country. 
Sometimes I accompanied my father in his rides on horseback. It was in 
this year that I commenced my boyish journal in imitation of my father's 
habit, and whose diary I was permitted to read and make extracts from, at 
his writing table. Among my father's books a Dictionary of Arts attracted 
my attention ; a recipe therein to make fireworks induced me to experiment 
with gun powder. It took fire from heedlessness and burned me badly, 
from the effects of which I was unable to use my eyes for several weeks. 
A near neighbor, Mr. Cobb, hearing the concussion, ran to my father's office, 
and covered my blistered face with ink. In this plight I was taken to my 
mother, greatly to her dismay and alarm, in my father's absence ; a scene of 
distress still vivid in my memory. 


When my father's family removed from Dartmouth to Taunton, 1792, the 
Revolution of France was an absorbing theme of discourse, and a song 
among the boys. The village barber shop, Mr. Sider's, was ornamented 
with prints of the battle scene and overthrow of the Bastile, and with 
portraits of warriors and scenes of tumult in Paris. My father's diary had 
several aspirations against the influence that this revolution was exciting 
upon the minds of our countrymen, and especially on those who had a share 
in Shay's Rebellion, with the details of which insurrection he was familiar. 
He described to me the skirmish at Springfield in which General Shepard 
had a narrow escape from death by a shot from one of David Shay's 
followers. My father was also familiar with the scenes of our war of the 
Revolution, in which his father's family had suffered, and to which his father 
had fallen a victim, and died under the confinement inflicted upon him, and 
other prominent citizens of Boston. Among our family friends in Taunton 
was General David Cobb, who had been an aid-dc-camp of Washington. 
I have heard him describe scenes of the war and of suffering at Valley 
Forge, but particularly of his agency in quelling the rebellion of Shay's, 
and of his having dispersed a band that had in 1 786 assembled on Taunton 
Green to prevent the session of the courts of law in Bristol County. The 
band was commanded by one of Shay's lieutenants, one Valentine, of 
Freetown. General Cobb harangued the rebels, and being a judge also of 
the court of pleas, he told the rebels that he would that day sit a judge or 
die a general, and then ordered a field piece to be unlimbered and pointed 
at the rebels with the match lighted. They became panic-struck, and fled 
in dismay at the report of the piece that sent a ball over their heads. This 
Valentine was a noisy babbler to the mechanics and boys who assembled in 
pleasant evenings upon Taunton Green, to whom myself and others used to 
listen. His theme was the French Revolution, urging that our country 
should return the favor of the aid that France had given us in our late war, 
by joining our force to theirs to dethrone tyrants. This eloquence was 
popular with the boys until the rumor reached them of Genet's insulting 
Washington. This touched the patriotic feeling, and affection for the hero. 
The boys even began to ciuestion the propriety of the civic feasts given in 


1 793 in honor of French Hberty. These feastings had become common in 
the country. When I was nearly ten years of age I was placed on the 
festive board to sing the translated French songs then common among the 
boys. I had a fair voice and my love for music was cultivated by a friend 
of my mother's, Mrs. Olive Leonard, who sang sweetly and played also on 
the guitar. Perhaps I owed some of my taste to a strolling Portuguese, 
Emanuel Cuidozo, who habitually visited our village and sung the plaintive 
airs of his native land, accom.panying himself with the lute strung to his 
shoulder. This was a frequent entertainment in summer evenings on the 
Green, for which the boys contributed many " a copper." Emanuel had the 
tact to apply his Portuguese airs to American ballads, describing the battles 
of St. Clair with the Indians in 1791. A young officer. Lieutenant Cobb, 
had been killed in one of these battles. He was a Taunton boy and son of 
the general ; the general was also our member in Congress at Philadelphia. 
He sent my father " Poulson's Daily Advertiser" and documents of 
Congress. These I used to read to my mother, by which means I had 
some vague ideas of the Constitution, and plied my mother with many a 
question about Congress. I remember an expression of force in my father's 
diary for 1791, that " Rhode Island had escaped damnation by adopting the 
Constitution." In his diary for 1794 he noted the resignation of Senator 
Jefferson as a treason to Washington's administration, after having served 
therein as Secretary of State. My father's diary also commented on the 
prominent conduct of ♦ Albert Gallatin in the Pennsylvania Rebellion, the 
whiskey boys' treason. He called the movement a leading act to aid in 
" overthrowing the system and policy of Washington to advance his 
country's glory and peace," etc. 

In the following year, 1795, his diary notices the treachery of Secretary 
Randolph as an event of sad import to the character of American statesmen 
— the chief minister in the Cabinet betraying his trust. This notice was 
soon succeeded by remarks on the vileness of the assault on the integrity of 
Washington, made by a "Calm Observer" in the " Philadelphia Aurora." 
Early in the year 1796 his diary commends Jay's treaty with England, and 
scouts the idea of anti-Federalists who oppose the treaty on an assumption 


that it was virtually a breach of our alliance with France. My father 
denounced the assumption a Jacobinic emanation, and deemed the treaty 
the best that could be obtained while the United States had no navy to 
sustain its rights on the ocean. He rejoiced, therefore, that the Senate 
had adopted the treaty. 

About these days the French cruisers began to capture our merchant 
ships. This, and the impressment of our seamen by the British cruisers, 
placed the country in a double dilemma — our treasury small, our means of 
defence in no condition to go to war with either power. 

These items in my father's diary, and my newspaper readings to my 
mother, had furnished abundant themes for my comments and patriotic 
effusions that occupy several pages in my diary. They may as well be 
omitted here ; they would not aid my son's reflections as well as the few 
extracts from his grandfather's journal. 

1796. Very early in the history of Massachusetts, provision was made by 
law for schools, one to every fifty families. Nay, it was made a penal offence 
to omit their establishment. The same State at a later period endowed 
many academies with lands in Maine. Among the number was one incor- 
porated, 1792, in Taunton. The construction of this academy was begun in 
1 795 and completed in 1 796, in July of which year the building was dedicated 
to the care of Rev. Simeon Dogget, an highly educated graduate of Rhode 
Island College, and of Miss Sally Cady, whom I have previously mentioned. 
In this institution I commenced Latin, Greek and Geometry, with the then 
purpose of entering Harvard University. Among the scholars of the 
academy of whom 1 retain friendly and respectful remembrance were John 
Mason Williams, since a judge on the Massachusetts bench ; Francis Baylis, 
a member of Congress and Charge to Buenos Ayres ; Nicholas Tillinghast ; 
Edward Mitchell of South Carolina, a distinguished physician ; Thomas 
Paine, an officer in the U. S. Navy ; Charles B. King, an artist of City 
Washington; Henry and Charles Cobb; Jona. Ingalls; John Presbury ; 
Charles Richmond, a manufacturer of great enterprise and energy; Appolos 
Cushman ; Philo H. Washburn, a distinguished lawyer in Maine, etc. These 
halcyon days of '96-'97-'98 were of the most delightful character. On 


one occasion John Presbury was in default in composition. I sold him 
mine for cakes, and wrote another for myself; he won the prize and of 
course I was obliged to be mum. On another day my map was not ready, 
and Presbury put in his own for me. Such intercourse it is that makes the 
bonds of school-days strong. 

In the year 1797 I lost a schoolmate and friend, Joseph Leonard, of the 
family that had been iron masters from the first days of the colony. His 
grave was for some time a rendezvous for several ot his mates. He 
possessed fine generous qualities and was an excellent scholar. 

In the year 1798 my cousin, William Roberdeau Swift, from Alexandria 
in Virginia, became a member of my father's family. He introduced the 
game of fine, at our school recesses, and he had a fine graphic talent. 

It was in the same year that political parties became high in their 
disputes, and the respective sides taken by the parents were visible among 
their sons, and the boys had their discussion on the merits of Mr. Adams, 
Mr. Jefferson and Governor Pinkney, and English or French became the 
appelatives of men and boys. Among the laws of Congress was a "Stamp 
Act" which disturbed the people, more from the fact that the name recalled 
to mind one of the causes of the war of 1776 than from any inherent defect 
in the principle upon which the tax was based. My father was an inspector 
of the revenue and collector of the tax under this law. Occasionally it 
became my duty, in my father absence, to deliver these "stamps" for notes, 
bonds, &c., from which the boys called me an aristocrat. 

At this time there resided in Taunton an Eaton scholar, Mr. Charles 
Leonard, the son of the Chief Justice of the island of Bermuda, and of the 
same family that I have before mentioned as iron masters in Raynham and 
Taunton. This gentleman took the fancy to give me lessons in drawing, 
and also upon the German flute, and he made me the present of a box 
of Reeves' water colors. To these he was prompted by observing me at 
work upon a camera obscura, to finish which he had furnished a suitable 
lens, and by which some sketches of Taunton Green and River were made. 
Soon after this my mother's brother, Captain Henry Delano, came from 
England and made us a visit. He had a fine voice, and taught me several 


of Dibden's sea songs. He brought with him his "freedom suit of clothes," 
a common perquisite in England, being made of fine scarlet cloth. He 
gave this suit to me, from which myself, and years after, my brother 
William and my own sons wore several garments. My uncle Henry was 
of a cheerful temper, a sailor and ship-master who had seen many 
vicissitudes. In a cruise to the Levant he had been captured by Algerines, 
and retained in slavery several years, and finally ransomed by his adopted 
country, England, where he had been educated and apprenticed to a 
London merchant. He married a lady of the family of Osborne, and resided 
near the "Bell in Edmondton." In the ensuing winter of 1798, I had an 
escape from drowning. While skating upon the river at the margin of my 
father's garden, in company with my cousin, Wm. R. Swift, and in presence 
of my parents and uncle Henry, I broke through the ice and disappeared, 
while my cousin had turned to another direction. Providentially I rose 
to the surface through the broken ice, and was drawn to the shore by a pole 
extended to me by Mr. Sherman, a Quaker, who, with several others of his 
sect, were near the river side "on the prison limits." They were confined 
by process of law for conscience sake — the Quakers refusing to perform 
militia duty. 

There was at this time residing in Taunton Mr. Benjamin Dearborn, a 
very ingenious machinist and much respected citizen. He had established 
in that town a factory of steel-yard balances. His factory was a very 
interesting place to me, and he not only indulged my visits but he also 
taught me the use of a theodolite, invented by himself, and aided me in the 
construction of a wooden circumferentor, with which I made a survey of 
Taunton Green — the plot and diagram of which is now among my files. 

In these days we became familiar with the name of Talleyrand and the 
French Directory, and of his offering our ambassadors money to form a 
treaty. These, and the accounts of French cruisers capturing our merchant 
ships, tended to encourage the building ships of war, the " Constitution," etc. 
Several of our youths were ripe for becoming midshipmen, and General 
Cobb had many applications to procure warrants for them. Some of these 
applicants succeeded. My mother's views were of a peaceful nature. Her 


family were of the sect of Quakers, or Friends, and lier preference was 
that I should become a physician ; my own inclinations were to become a 
traveler. Readings to my mother had furnished excitement to this pur- 
pose. The appointment of General Washington to the command-in-chief 
of the army had given a serious aspect to the times, and consequently there 
was an increasing amount of subjects for discussion among men, and by 
similar consequence the interest spread among the boys. I listened to the 
conversation between General Cobb and my father on the prospects of 
anti-Federalism — a party that opposed a war. The building of two frigates 
was deemed an untimely threat to France, and the Federalists were 
accused of a purpose to aid England in arresting the march of liberty 
among our allies. The boys generally were disposed to favor both army 
and navy, and we began to form companies in the " Manual Exercise," etc. 

By the summer of 1799 I was prepared to enter Cambridge College. It 
was at this period that there marched into town, and encamped on a 
beautiful site near the margin of Taunton River, the 14th United States 
regiment of infantry, commanded by Colonel Nathan Rice, composed of two 
incomplete battalions of the Provisional Army. My father became the tem- 
porary surgeon of this regiment, whereby, as his messenger, 1 became a 
familiar in the tents of the officers. In a few weeks thereafter Captain 
Amos Stoddard marched a company of United States Artillerists and 
Engineers into camp, on its route to garrison Rhode Island Harbor. This 
officer was an intimate friend of my father's, and had been a student of law 
in our neighbor. Judge Padelford's office, on Taunton Green. It was very 
pleasant to me to find that this officer recognized me as an acquaintance. 
Lieutenants Williams and Steel were his subalterns. In their visits to my 
father's family they indulged me with accounts of the artillery service, and 
asked me if I would like to be a cadet in their corps. Here was a charm 
for a boy. Under its influence I urged my parents to request the aid of 
General Cobb to procure a cadet's warrant. Mr. John Gardner ot Boston, 
whose country residence was near that of President Adams, interested 
himself in this matter. He gave Mr. Adams a sketch of Taunton Green, a 


specimen of my crude pencilling. These gentlemen procured from Mr. 
Adams the promise that the Secretary of War should send me the warrant 
in the ensuing spring of 1800. 

My whole time was now devoted to reading whatever I could find on 
military- subjects. My preceptor, Mr. Dogget, permitted me the use of his 
library, and from the encyclopoedia I transcribed the articles "Gunnerj'," 
"Fortification," "War" and "Pyrotechnics," and copied all the plans, 
including the implements of Sappers and Miners. Lieutenant Steel had 
loaned me the military works of Muller, which I found, in several articles, 
too profound for me. 

At the close of this year of 1799, the death of Washington spread dismay 
throughout the country. 

In Taunton, as in most other towns throughout the Union, there was 
much gathering of the people at the funeral obsequies. The boys of our 
village were permitted to join the procession, and it was my province to 
draw devices for the truncheons of the Marshals, and for the banner borne 
by the scholars of the academy. 

Anno 1800. With the anxiety of a boy I waited upon the post office 
from an early day in the spring of this year, for the result of the promise of 
President Adams. Late in the month of May my eyes were gladdened by 
the sight of the frank of Secretary "McHenry," containing my warrant 
of cadet, dated 12th May, 1800, with orders to report myself for duty 
with Colonel Lewis Tousard, the commandant of engineers in the harbor 
of Newport, R. L My excellent mother soon filled my trunk, and also, 
giving my schoolmates an evening party for my leave-taking, dispatched 
me in less than three weeks, so that on 12th June I presented myself to 
Major Daniel Jackson of the Artillery, at Newport, who commended me 
to Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis Tousard, the engineer of the harbor. This 
veteran gentleman received me with courtesy, invited me to dine, and 
introduced me to Mrs. Tousard, and a hantlsonu; Philadcli)hia lady. Miss 
Gillespie, who appeared young enough to be the daughter of the colonel. 
I was attached to the company of Captain Stoddard, at Voxl Wolcott, and 


received as a member of the officers' mess, renewing my acquaintance with 
Lieutenant Steel, and returning to him the works of Muller previously 
mentioned. Colonel Tousard had been a Captain in Count Rochambeau's 
army; was at the battle of Quaker Hill, 1778, where he lost an arm in a very 
gallant action. This want of a limb, and his fine military aspect gave 
the veteran an heroic appearance; and although one-armed he was a 
good draughtsman, and favored me with some lessons in military plan- 
drawing, and he also bestowed upon me a case of Paris drawing 
instruments. The colonel sent me, in the capacity of aid, in his barge 
to look after and bring him account of the works on the forts at the 
Dumpling Rocks, and at Rose Island, Fort Adams and Fort Wolcott. 
These works were then closing under the immediate care of Lieu- 
tenant Droasy — in fact suspending for want of appropriations — leav- 
mg, among other exposed walls, those of an extensive barrack at 
Fort Hamilton, on Rose Island, in an unfinished condition. Fort 
Wolcott was one of the designs of Colonel Rochefontaine, a very 
small redout of a Cross-Moline form, enclosing a stone magazine, upon 
which is engraved the name of that officer, and Mr. Boss, the United 
States agent, to commemorate the event of its erection, 1794; and on 
the key-stone of the gateway arch at Fort Adams, the names of Colonel 
Tousard and John Adams, the President of the United States, were 
inscribed, for similar information, 1798. A "South Wing Battery," as 
it was called, was constructing at Fort Wolcott, and of earth, and it 
was my duty to superintend the laborers in forming this parapet, 
upon which were mounted six thirty-two pound cannon; in which 
operation I received my first lesson in the use of the "French Gin," 
m proving some brass howitzers that had recently been received from 
the foundry of Mr. Paul Revere, of Boston. 

The change of scene from quiet Taunton Green to military duty upon 
the fortifications of Rhode Island was a charm, and it was some time 
before the novelt>' wore off, and before the reveille found me in bed. The 
circles of Newport were rendered fashionable by the summer residence 
there of several Carolina families, and, though young, I was favored by 


the attentions of some of them, and by those of the resident families, 
the Gibb's, Champlain, Auchmety, Hunter, WTiitehouse, and Mr. Gold 
S. Silliman. 

The period had arrived for the disbandment of the Provisional Army, 
a part of which, with its ranks not half filled, was cantoned at Oxford, 
Massachusetts, including the 14th Regiment before mentioned; the 
military stores from whence were re-stored in the garrison of Newport 
Harbor, in the making returns of which I had my share of employment. 
In this summer arrived General Hamilton, with his suite. Colonel Aaron 
Ogden and Captain Abraham R. Ellery, to inspect the fortifications and 
the troops in the harbor. It was my good fortune to be charged with 
the salute of cannon at Fort Wolcott, and on resuming my position on 
parade was introduced to the general, who, may be in consideration of 
my youth, complimented me on the accuracy of time in the salute, and 
invited me to join the other officers at dinner at "Thomas Townsend's," 
in town. The deportment of the general was a verj' easy and pleasant 
dignity, and I listened with all my ears to his remarks. Among the 
guests at the general's dinner were Captain Perry, United States Navy, 
and his son, Oliver H., who had entered the service as midshipman a few 
months before my becoming a cadet, and with whom a pleasant intimacy 
was formed, and indulged at my own quarters and in the steerage on board 
the frigate General Green. Before and after dinner comments were made 
upon the fact that President Adams had not promoted General Hamilton 
on the death of Washington — some of them not flattering to the justice 
of the President — but the pretensions of other generals, and the settlement 
of prominent difficulties with France, were deemed to be sufficient reasons 
for the omission. 

In the fall of the year I visited my mother at Taunton, and instead of 
finding her in the new, had to witness its destruction by fire on 
the 1 6th of September, during my father's ab.scnce at Nantucket, whither 
he had gone to receive some aid to pay for this Iniilding from the estate of 
my grandfather, who had died in November, 1799, at the age of 68. This 
scene was very sail, but my mother bore it with an equanimity that distin- 


guished her among those who knew her best. As is common in house- 
burnings, suspicions were in this case attached to an incendiary; but it was 
ludicrous to hear a superstitious cant that the fire was a divine retribution 
for disturbing the ashes of Elizabeth Pool — before alluded to as the first 
proprietor of the town, and whose tomb had become the site of my father's 
house. In the month of October I returned to my post at Fort Wolcott. 
The company drill had become an old story, but we were amused with 
some experiments in throwing thirty-two pounder shot, some of which, at 
a small elevation, reached the Dumpling Rocks. At this place Colonel 
Tousard had commenced an oval tower, to form a cross-fire with the 
other forts. Its unfinished caserns were left by Congress exposed to 
decay in common with other masonry at the three other forts. In our 
recreations at the mess table politics, as a topic, were not tolerated, 
although the officers held decided opinions, and were generally Feder- 
alists. During the past seasons of 1800 there had been much irritation 
through the country on the coming elections. President Adams, it 
was said, had abandoned the Federalists, by whom he had been elected, 
and his conduct to his Cabinet was said to be disrespectful to the memory 
of Washington, whose Cabinet Mr. Adams had retained. But Mr. Adams 
was not quiescent under the insults of France, and this course was deemed 
by the Jacobins an offence to gratitude. We had letters of marque and 
some frigates at sea, and the "Insurgent," forty-four, had been captured by 
Commodore Truxton in the " Constellation," thirty-six, while a third embassy 
to France had been instituted. This endangered the election of Mr. 
Adams or General Pinkney, at the same time that the urgency of M. 
Talleyrand, to come to terms so suddenly after insulting our embassy, 
was deemed to promote the elevation of Mr. Jefferson. The convention, 
in the finale, had secured nothing but promises to adjudicate at some 
undefined period for the spoliations committed on the seas. These were 
prolific subjects in all societies, and their discussion created much personal 
animosity. My friend. Captain Stoddard, to whose mind I was wont 
to defer, said that these relations with France were risking the perma- 
nence of Federal measures, while other Federalists held that Mr. Adams' 


course was wise and peaceful. At any rate, these discrepancies were 
confusing the action of the Federal party, and advancing the influence 
of Mr. Jefferson. 

There were portions of the work at Fort Adams, upon the magazine 
and wharf, that were incomplete, and which the artificers of the companies 
of Stoddard and Heniy had been detailed to execute. I was placed on 
duty there under the direction of Lieutenant Droasy, and attached to 
the artillery' company of Captain Henry, and became messmate of Lieu- 
tenant John Knight and Lieutenant John W. Livingston, a native of New 
York, and a gentleman of prudent and systematic habits. Lieutenant 
Knight was of a more errant character. He was from the Eastern Shore 
of Maryland, and married Miss Sally Malbone of Newport, by whose 
introduction I became acquainted with her brother, Edward Malbone, the 
artist, and also Mr. Washington Allston, the intimate associate of Mr. 
Malbone, and a recent graduate of Cambridge College — both of them 
very interesting gentlemen. I found Captain John Henry an Irishman 
of many pretensions, but his wife a pleasant acquaintance. She was 
a daughter of the family of Ruche, or Duche, of Philadelphia. The lady 
was a Swedenborgian, and she observed some peculiar rites of that sect. 

1 80 1. It was not until the lapse of some half dozen of years that the 
essay of Mr. Adams to commend appropriations for defensive work son 
the coast and Niagara frontier was revived. The appropriations for the 
army for the year 1801 were two millions, and for \\-\& fabrication of artns, 
and for repairs of fortifications, six hundred and thirty thousand dollars. 

Early in the winter of this year Major William McRea, of the 2d 
Artillery, had relieved Major Jackson in the command of Newport Harbor. 
Our new commandant was from Virginia. He had been a captain in 
the 3d Sub Legion, under Generals Wayne and Wilkinson. He married 
in Newport a belle, Miss Mary Champlain. The major established his 
quarters at Port Adams, and received me into his mess. The winter 
was very boisterous, and my chief employment was reading. 

At this time the change of the national administration to the presidency 
of Mr. Jefferson had not evinced any material change of measures. Much 


disturbance was exhibited in the newspapers as proceeding from office- 
bidders and office-seekers. Mr. Jefferson was, in the opinion of the latter, 
too tardy in displacements, a measure of doubtful utility generally ; and 
as ejecting subordinates, it is undoubtedly a vicious policy, the office being 
intended for public, and not for personal benefit, save by its incidental 
effects. The official experience of clerks is a species of national property, 
and changing them, save for incapacity, vice, or old age, must produce 
delays and errors in official transactions. 

The 4th of July was this year celebrated at the forts in Newport Harbor 
with a display suitable to the day, and also with some show in town, where 
William Hunter, Esq., was the orator; a gentleman who had been educated 
in England — a Federalist. His oration was deemed by our officers to 
be too florid, but to my apprehension, it was learned and beautiful. Mr. 
Hunter had a small collection of fine paintings at his residence, the work of 
Rosa de Tivoli. These pictures had been presented, in Italy, to the father 
of Mr. Hunter, who had been a surgeon in the British army, and "who had 
rendered important professional aid to some gentlemen of distinction near 
Florence," who had bestowed these pictures on the doctor. These 
specimens of art were placed in the Academy of Fine Arts in the Bowling 
Green, New York. 

In the ensuing month of August I had leave of absence to visit my 
father's family at Taunton, and was accompanied by my brother cadet, 
Lewis Lowdais, the brother of Lieutenant Philip of the ist Artillery. I 
found that since I had been home a brother had been born, who was named 
for two of my mother's Ijrothers, William and Henry. While in Taunton I 
apprehended a deserter from the army, one Seth Robbins, and marched him 
and myself to Newport — thirty-six miles, in twelve hours — and for which 
service the Secretary of War, General Dearborn, had directed the reward of 
ten dollars, to be sent to me by Mr. William Simmons. Robbins made an 
unsuccessful essay to leave me on the road, which made it needful to bind 
both his hands. 

During this summer of 1801 General Dearborn, the Secretary of War, 
had given notice to our little army that President Jefferson had directed the 


establishment of a military school at West Point, for the instruction of cadets, 
under the law of 1 794 and subsequent acts of Congress that authorized the 
appointment of professors of the arts and sciences, and for the purchase of 
apparatus and instruments necessary for the instruction of the artillerists 
and engineers. General Washington had uniformly, and to the close of his 
life, urged the necessity of this school, and had made an effort in 1 794 
to open such a school at West Point, but the officers did not relish the 
discipline of a school — at least it was so said of the younger by several of 
the older officers of the army. 

On the first of October I received a letter from General Dearborn 
directing me to repair to this school. The order found me in the act 
of closing a survey of the forts in Newport Harbor, and in making a 
schedule of the armament, by the order of Major McRea. As soon as 
this duty was accomplished, to wit, on the 7th October, I took my passage 
on board a New York packet "up the Sound" and arrived at the city on 
the 10th. This was my first voyage so far from home. The next morning 
I took a " Whitehall boat" to Governor's Island and presented my letter 
of introduction from Lieutenant Knight to Dr. James Scanlan, the surgeon 
of Fort Jay on that island, who presented me to Captain Cochrane and the 
other officers of the garrison. The doctor proposed an excursion to the 
various points in the beautiful bay, and in the garrison barge the following 
day accompanied me to the old military works on Brooklyn and Gowanus 
Heights, the scene of the first discomfiture of Washington, Anno 1776. 
The doctor was a great admirer of militar)' history, and quite familiar with 
the scenes before us. The courtesy of this gentleman made a strong 
impression on my memory. He was from the eastern shore of Maryland, 
and a relation of Lieutenant Knight of Fort Adams. On the 14th October 
in a Newburg packet I was sailing before a fine breeze up the Hudson. 
The day was clear and the palisades and precipitous walls were a novelty in 
height, as they have been to multitudes of other travelers. From failure 
of wind and tide the vessel came to anchor in Haverstraw Bay, near Stony 
Point, and the master permitted me the use of his boat and an oarsman to 
visit the ground where Wayne and (iibbons had won laurels in the storm of 


that point. The entrance into the highlands was at sunset — an impressive 
scene to one who had never before seen a mountain like the "Dunderbero-." 
We reached West Point at dusk. The name of this place had raised many 
pictures to my imagination of Revolutionary history — the treason of 
Arnold; the fate of Andre. It was a calm October evening; the only 
sound was that of the cow bell. This sound at West Point has no doubt 
left a pleasant remembrance with many a cadet. To this day the sound of 
the cow bell revives the evening of my first landing at West Point. I 
reported myself to the commandant, Lieutenant Osborn, and to Professor 
Baron. Was received by Lieutenant William Wilson and Lieutenant Lewis 
Howard as a member of their "artillery mess." Professor Baron furnished 
me with Dr. Hutton's Mathematics, and gave me a specimen of his mode 
of teaching at the blackboard in the academy. The academic hours were 
four in each morning, from eight o'clock. There were twelve cadets that 
formed, as yet, one class. The lesson to be given was accompanied with a 
lecture from Mr. Baron upon its application. The afternoons of the day 
were variously occupied in some brief military exercises, but much more in 
field sports. Our professor, George Baron, was a north of England man 
from Berwick-on-Tweed, or South Shields. He had been a fellow teacher 
with Charles Hutton of the military academy at Woolwich. Mr. Baron 
was of rude manner but he was an able teacher. He deemed Lieutenant 
Wilson's hospitality to me as too exclusive, and wished me to join a small 
mess of cadets who were not comfortably lodged ; and moreover there was 
as yet no regular cadet mess at the Point. Soon after my stating this 
objection to Mr. Baron, he sent his servant with a verbal order to me on 
this subject of mess. I declined receiving any order from the mouth of a 
servant. In an hour after Mr. Baron appeared at the fence of the yard 
called the old artillery quarters, in which I was conversing with Lieutenant 
Wilson. He said to me, "Do you refuse to obey my orders? " My reply 
was, " No, sir, but I refuse to receive a verbal order by any servant." Mr. 
Baron replied, " You are a mutinous young rascal." I sprang over the 
fence to assault Baron. He fled to the academy, and thither I followed 
him. He bolted the door in my face, and from the window of the upper 


Story, the " long room," he apphed coarse epithets, and to which I retorted. 
At this time Mr. Bradock Havens, the master of the Butter-Milk Falls 
packet " Ranger" was passing, and Mr. Baron desired him to witness my 
language. In less than an hour after Cadet S. Gates called on me with a 
written order to consider myself in arrest. The whole of these things I 
faithfully reported to the Secretary of War. By some influence unknown 
to me General Dearborn condescended to write to me in reply, advising me 
to make some apology to Mr. Baron and avoid dismissal from the army. 
To this considerate attention Lieutenant Wilson counseled my rejoinder, 
stating that the officers of the post deemed Mr. Baron's conduct to me so 
imgentlemanly and irritating that an apology could not be made to him. 
At this juncture a circumstance occurred that suspended action against me, 
and an official report was made to the Secretary of War by the command- 
ant. Lieutenant Osborn, that Mr. Baron had been guilty of a crime. Mr. 
Baron was placed in arrest in the month of November, therefore the 
academic course was suspended, and I was at leisure, and my arrest of no 
further restraint than it held me in readiness for trial. A portion of my 
leisure was employed in exploring the Point more minutely than I had 
done and the hills and redouts in the vicinity. 

West Point Plain is one hundred and ninety feet above the level of the 
Hudson, and forms an area of .seventy acres bounded by the margin of the 
plain overlooking the river on the east and north. The buildings which I 
found on my first arrival at the Point were, at the dock a stone house ; on 
the brow of the hill above the first dwelling is the "White quarters," the 
residence then of the commandant. Lieutenant Osborn, and his beautiful 
wife ; and then the artillery mess of Lieutenants Wilson and Howard. The 
academy is situated on the western margin of the plain, near the base of 
rocks on whose summit, four hundred feet above, stands Fort Putnam. 
Near the academy was an office on the edge of a small hollow, in which 
depression were the remains of a mound that had been formed at the close 
of the Revolution, to celebrate the birth of a Dauphin of France, our great 
ally in those days. To the .south of this relic were the headquarters 
tliat had been the residence of General Knox and the scene of many an 


humble meal partaken by Washington and his companions in arms, at this 
time the residence of Major George Fleming, the military store-keeper. 
Farther south the quarters of Lieutenant J. Wilson and A. Macomb, and 
a small building afterwards used for a laboratory. In front of these was 
the model yard, containing a miniature fortress in wood, used in the lectures 
on fortification, the handiwork of Colonel Rochefontaine and Major Rivardi. 
Around this yard Cadet Armistead and myself planted twelve elm trees. 
To the south and at the base of Fort Putnam Hill also were Rochefontaine's 
quarters, now the residence of the family of Lieutenant Colonel Williams ; 
diagonally from the garden gate of these quarters Rochefontaine had 
constructed a paved foot walk to the barrack on the northeast side of the 
plain, now the cadet's quarters. They are two hundred and forty feet in 
length and were constructed by Major Rivardi, whose quarters were in a 
building at the northern base of the Fort Putnam Hill, by the road leading 
to the German Flats and Washington's Valley. Below the plain at the 
northwest, near the river, were the military stores, two long yellow 
buildings, containing the arms and accoutrements of the army of Burgoyne 
and also numerous brass ordnance surrendered at Saratoga, and especially 
a couple of brass "grasshoppers" taken by General Green in South 
Carolina, and by resolve of Congress presented to that verj' distinguished 
commander — all under the care of Major Fleming, who seemed to view 
them as almost his own property, he having served in the conquest at 
Berries Heights and Saratoga. To the east of these stores was the armory, 
and also the residence of Zebina Kingsley, the armorer, and his exemplary 
wife. To the east was the hospital, under the charge of Dr. Nicholas 
Jones, our surgeon, and brother of Mrs. Lieutenant Osborn. At the 
northeast angle of the plain was Fort Clinton, a dilapidated work of 
Generals Drefortail and Kosciusko, engineers in the Revolutionary War. 
This work was garnished with four twenty-four-pounder cannon, on sea coast 
carriages. The fort also enclosed a long stone magazine filled with powder 
"many years of age." The gloomy portals of these walls might remind 
one of Dante's Inferno. To the west, overlooking the plain and five 
hundred feet of elevation, is F"ort Putnam, a stone casemated castle, having 


on its platform a couple of twenty-four-pounder field pieces of artillery. 
This work was commenced in 1777, and had been repaired at various 
periods and never completed. The tradition was that Arnold had purposed 
to admit British troops from the rear of this castle to overawe the plain 
and works below. A surer plan for the purpose of the traitor could not 
have been devised. On the eastern margin of the plain and sixty feet 
below, there are stone steps leading to a small area whose outward edge is 
of rock, sloping almost vertically to the Hudson. In this area is a small 
basin in which had played a fountain, the whole having been constructed 
by Kosciusko, and was his retreat and called after him, " Kosciusko's 
Garden." Lieutenant Macomb and myself had repaired this garden, and it 
is a favorite resort. 

Some ninety yards south of Rivardi's barracks is a circular depression in 
the plain, on the west margin of which are the ruins of the "old provost." 
Nearly a mile northwest of the Point a ravine leads to a cascade over a 
rock, the water from which winds to the Hudson at the " red house," the 
occasional resting place of Washington, called Washington's Valley, and is 
at the termination of the slope of the Crow's Nest, a mountain of fifteen 
hundred feet in altitude that overlooks the point and river and many miles 
around. Adjoining the south boundary of the plain a road leads down the 
bank of the Hudson to Butter- Milk Falls and to Fort Montgomery. The 
last named is the scene of the defeat of General Clinton, October, 1777. 
The road previously mentioned passed through the farm of Esquire North, 
whose house stood near the south boundary of the plain, a tavern that 
much annoyed the command at West Point by selling rum to the soldiers, 
because of an illegal act of Captain Stelle of the army, who in 1 794 had 
levelled a field piece at North's house and suffered a severe penalty therefor 
in a law suit. Mr. North's victory proved him to be a bad citizen, and his 
.success an evidence of the law's supremacy. 

In the fall of this year, 1801, Lieutenant-Colonel Tousard had established 
his family in the Rochefontaine quarters as "inspector of artillery," and on 
his departure to this duty at various points, Niagara, etc., he requested me 
to escort Madame Tousard to the city. New York, a very pleasant e.xcursion 


— and in the city, with the families of WilHam Denning, Esq., of Beverly, 
near West Point, and that of his son-in-law, Mr. William Henderson, my 
time was very agreeably passed. To the family of Mr. Denning I had been 
introduced by Lieutenant William Wilson, and generally dined there on 
Sundays. This place, Beverly, was the headquarters of General Arnold 
and the scene of his first open act of treason, when he escaped in his barge 
to the Vulture. My lodging room at Beverly had been the chamber of 
Arnold. It was at Mr. Denning's that I first met Aaron Burr, who was 
then a guest at Beverly. The place had been the property of Beverly 
Robinson, who with his family had fled to Nova Scotia in the Revolution, 
and the property had been confiscated under the laws of New York, and 
purchased by Mr. Denning. 

In December I returned to West Point and reported myself to Major 
Jonathan Williams, the inspector of fortifications. Mr. Jefferson had 
required of this gentleman " to repair to West Point and make himself 
thoroughly acquainted with the military school recently there established, 
and to assume the superintendence of the same." Major Williams 
received the cadets at his hospitable board in the " Rivardi quarters," and 
stated to us the course of instruction that he proposed to pursue. Mr. 
Baron's case had first to be examined by a board of officers ; improprieties 
were proved, and by order of the President, Mr. Baron was dismissed with 
unusual marks of disgrace, /. <?., his name was set upon the public buildings 
as a disgraced officer. The court found me "guilty of using disrespectful 
words to my superior officer," but 1 was released and ordered to duty. 

Mr. Jefferson had now been in office nearly a year, and though it was said 
that he was opposed to the existence of the army, still there had been in 
this year, 1801, $230,000 appropriated to repair and keep in order the 
fortifications that had been commenced in 1794 and 1798, and $400,000 for 
the fabrication of arms ; nevertheless I had left the works of Rhode Island 
nearly suspended. 

Politics were not generally discoursed upon at the Point, although the 
political opinion of every person there was well known, and newspapers of 
both parties were taken. My paper was Major Ben Russel's Columbian 
Centinel, of Boston. 


In the ensuing spring the new military law of Congress, of i6th March, 
had remodeled the army, and discharged many a worthy. Among the 
number was the veteran Tousard and Lieuteant Droasy, my instructors 
upon the public works in Newport Harbor. The case of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Tousard occasioned much sorrow at West Point. He was aged, and had 
been crippled in the service of the country; an industrious ofificer, well 
educated at the military school of La Fere in France. By the operation 
of the law some promotions had been made in the new corps of engineers. 

In April the Academy was opened under the Professorate of Captain 
William Amhurst Barron, formerly a captain of artillerists and engineers, 
and transferred to the new corps. He had been a tutor in mathematics in 
the University of Cambridge, of which he was a graduate and classmate of 
John Quincy Adams. He was the son of a surgeon in the army of England, 
who belonged to the medical staff of Lord Amhurst in Canada, and for 
whom Captain Barron was named. He was of a social temper and kind 
nature, and these qualities did not impair his ability as a teacher; he had a 
facility in teaching. In a few weeks thereafter Captain Jared Mansfield, of 
the engineers, became the acting professor of Natural and Experimental 
Philosophy at the academy. This gentleman had a high reputation for 
learning, and was the author of an erudite essay on the Motion of Bodies in 
Free Space. He had been a teacher in Yale College, and was an intimate 
of Mr. Jefferson's. The course of study was Hutton's Mathematics, 
Enfield's Philosophy and Vaubau's Fortification, with practical exercies in 
the fieUl in Surveying. 

In the month of May a letter from Major McRea, the commandant at 
Newport, R. I., requested me to report the survey of the fortifications in 
Newport Harbor that had been made by me under his orders, to Major 
Williams, the inspector, and which I did my best to accomplish. This was 
my first essay, and it was favorably received by the inspector. This report 
occasioned me to examine what had been done by the government. I 
found that the inspectorship of fortifications and employment of two 
engineers had been authorized by Congress in the year 1799, implying 
a new purpose on the part of the government, to improve upon the system 
commenced in 1794, and somewhat enlarged in 1798. In the first years of 


the government under the new Constitution — 1789 and '90 — the whole 
expenditure of the War Department had been $137,000. In the two 
following years the Western Indians, instigated by our own rapacity for land, 
and by the policy of England to retard the progress of the Union, had 
brought on a war in the North-West Territory that resulted at first in the 
defeat of General St. Clair, but ultimatetly in the overthrow of the Indian 
power by General Wayne, by the battle of the Maumee, in 1796. The 
expenditures on these wars from 1791 to 1794, including the purchase of 
arms, had been $923,000. In the year 1794 Congress appropriated $76,000 
for maritime fortifications, and $96,000 for armament, and $131,000 for 
Western defences. This maritime system of defence on the Atlantic border 
embraced the harbors of Portland, Portsmouth, Gloucester, Salem, Marble- 
head, Boston, Newport, New London, New York, Philadelphia, Wilmington, 
Del., Norfolk, Alexandria, Ocracock and Cape Fear, Georgetown, Char- 
leston, .Savannah and .St. Mary's. In selecting sites for these works, 
those where defences had been constructed in the Revolutionary War 
indicated the suitable points. Colonel Rochefontaine, Major Rivardi and 
other officers of the regiment of artillerists and engineers were employed 
in the construction of small redouts. None of sufficient area could 
have been attempted under a fund of $76,000, nor prosecuted usefully 
in the three following years; during which period $94,000 had been 
appropriated among these works, including $20,000 for West Point, 
appropriated in 1796. But early in the year 1798 the aspect of war 
with France had induced Congress to appropriate $310,000 for fortifying 
the Atlantic harbors. 

In the month of June I became security for the payment of a debt of 
$119 by Lieutenant Strong of the army, son of Colonel David Strong, 4th 
Infantry. This affair gave me extreme trouble, my income being meagre. 
Strong left West Point with promise of early payment, but he got into bad 
company, became an inebriate, and soon after committed suicide in prison. 

In July, by transfer, I became a cadet of engineers. The corps, as 
organized by the law of i6th of March, 1802, consisted of Lieutenant 
Colonel Jonathan Williams, a gentleman of much learning and devoted to 



science. He was born in Boston, and had been brought up in his father's 
vocation, a merchant. He had been a man of business in London, married 
the daughter of William Alexander, of the Scottish family of Sterling. 
Mr. Williams had also been the agent of the United States at Paris 
and Nantz under the auspices of Dr. Franklin, his kinsman, and who 
bequeathed to Mr. Williams a part of his library. Mr. Jefferson had said 
that Mr. Williams resembled Dr. Franklin in character and pursuits of 
science. It was at the instance of Mr. Jefferson that Colonel Williams 
was placed at the head of the corps of engineers. The next officer in 
that corps was Major Decius Wadsworth, a graduate of Yale, a good 
mathematician. He had been a captain of the artillerists and engineers. 
Then followed Captain William A. Barron and J. Mansfield, previously 
mentioned, and Lieutenant James Wilson, a highly educated gentleman, 
the son of the Judge of the United States Supreme Court, who had 
distinguished himself in the Constitutional Convention of Pennsylvania, 
and Lieutenant Alexander Macomb, late a cornet of dragoons and 
aid-de-camp to General William North, the adjutant-general of the 
late Provisional Army. Neither Wilson nor Macomb had been cadets. 
The number of cadets at the academy was twelve. Among them were 
Simon Magruder Levy, from a respectable Jew family of Baltimore, and 
formerly a sergeant in Captain Lockwood's company of infantry, and 
thence promoted to cadet for his merit and mathematic attainments. 
He was now twenty-five years of age. Walker Keith Armistead, from 
Virginia, a very amiable young gentleman of eighteen j'ears of age, 
and to whom I was much attached; Henry B.Jackson, son of the major 
of artillery, and John Livingston, a merchant of Norfolk, Va. ; then 
Ambrose Porter, a man of six feet height and abounding in story-telling 
talent; Joseph Proveaux, from Charleston, S. C, a youth of seventeen, 
of generous spirit but passionate, addicted to duelling and much oppo.sed 
to study; two brothers, Samuel and William Gates, the .sons of Captain 
Lemuel Gates of the army — the former a good scholar and very taciturn — 
the latter was the youngest cadet at the Point, very active, a sportsman 
and a general favorite among the cadets; Hannibal Montresor Allen, a 


wild youth of seventeen years, the son of Ethan of Ticonderoga memory; 
Julius Frederick Heileman, a handsome youth of sixteen years, the son of a 
surgeon in our army at Fort Jay, who had belonged to the corps of Colonel 
Baum of the Hessian corps of England, at the battle of Bennington. 

During the summer I was attached to the company of artillery of Captain 
George Izard, as acting lieutenant. In some infantry exercises a private 
soldier, Wm. Goodwin, on the left Hank of the company, had lodged several 
cartridges in his musket before it gave fire. The piece burst, wounded 
Goodwin severely and prostrated me upon the ground, from which I was 
confined to the hospital for several days. My captain was the son of Ralph 
Izard, the United States Senator from South Carolina. Captain Izard had 
been educated at the Military School of Metz, in France ; and at the Experi- 
mental School of Metz, he was esteemed to be an accomplished officer. He 
had a fine collection of books and charts, and very kindly permitted me to 
look into them. He was at this time suffering from a wound received in a 
duel with Mr. Pierre of Philadelphia. The cause was the captain's 
declining to fulfill an engagement with the sister of Mr. Pierre, but without 
the least injury to the honor of the lady. 

During this year there was no new fort commenced in our maritime 
harbors, and the appropriation of $70,500 was not sufficient to keep the 
redouts in repair. 

Early in this summer of 1802 Lieutenant Macomb and myself repaired 
the dilapidated garden of Kosciusko, relaid the stone stairway to the dell, 
and opened the little fountain at the base of "Kosciusko's Rock" in the 
garden ; planted flowers and vines and constructed several seats, which made 
the spot a pleasant resort for a reading party. In the exercises in the field. 
Colonel Williams commenced with the cadets a survey of the country about 
the Point by a series of triangles, to determine the position and altitude of 
the adjacent mountains. It was found that Crow's Nest summit was one 
thousand four hundred and eighty feet above West Point Plain ; the Break 
Neck, one thousand five hundred; Anthony's Nose, below the Point, nine 
hundred; the Sugar Loaf, seven hundred; Fort Putnam, four hundred; and 
the plain itself one hundred and ninety feet above the Hudson. 


On the first of September commenced the first public examination at the 
Military- Academy, conducted by Colonel Williams and Professors Barron 
and Mansfield. The text books were Button's Mathematics. Enfield's 
Philosophy, Vaubau's Fortification and Scheet's Artillery ; using the model 
front of a fort that had been long at the Point, constructed, as the tradition 
ran, by Rivardi and Rochefontaine. 

Cadets J. G. Swift and S. M. Levy were the graduates, and they were 
both commissioned to rank in the order just named from 12th October, 1802. 
On the 1 8th of October Colonel Williams invited me to accompany him to 
Albany, the object being to identify certain estate documents that were to 
be sent to England ; and thither we proceeded on board an Albany sloop, 
(and found our fellow passengers to be Judge Leonard Gansvoort and his 
beautiful niece, Miss Storm of New York). We had a long passage, and 
arrived at Albany on fifth day. At this time the trial between Gouverneur 
and Kemble and a French mercantile house was in progress, and we 
listened to the eloquent arguments of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. 
General Hamilton recognized his acquaintance of Newport two years pre- 
viously, and he invited me to dine with him at his father-in-law's — General 
Philip Schuyler's. After dinner, among the subjects of conversation was the 
canal and improved navigation of the Mohawk, to connect with Lake 
Ontario at Oswego. It was graphically described by General Schuyler, 
who. though suffering with gout, was eloquent on this subject. He 
regretted that the locks were too small, and the Mohawk unmanageable. 
He spoke of the object of the tour of Washington in 1 789 to be, among 
other enquiries, to learn what improvements could be made to connect the 
Hudson and the lakes. He also mentioned Mr. Western, an English 
engineer, who had been over the Mohawk route and was deemed a skillful 
engineer, etc. The conversation of General Schuyler on the Revolution was 
very instructive. General Hamilton .spoke of Washington visiting General 
Webb at Fort Lee, and that General Webb was not there, at which it was said 
that General Washington threw his sword to the earth in a jjassion at the 
absence of Webb, and swore: General Hamilton said it was not so; General 
Washington was much (lis|)leased. and expressed himself in strong terms 


of disapprobation. In the evening an amusing scene occurred at Rannie's 
Exhibition. He placed a card in the hand of General Hamilton, promising 
to turn it into a bank bill. The General joined heartily in the general 
laugh and joke at the failure of the mountebank to redeem his pledge. 
The following day General Hamilton, Colonel Williams and General 
Schuyler discussed the subject of the Military Academy, the colonel giving 
his ideas and purposes to encourage an enlargement of the present plan ; 
General Hamilton approved, and he regretted that the Book of Instruments 
that had been collected at West Point during the administration of Wash- 
ington had been lost, by the burning of the "Old Provost" at the Point, in 
1 794- He said that the fire was by some deemed a design of such officers 
as had been sent to the Point for instruction in the arts and sciences, as 
provided for by law. This building had been of stone, and was situate at the 
edge of a hollow south of the barrack before mentioned ; and the story ran, 
at the Point, that behind the Provost had been the scene of a duel between 
Colonel Rochefontaine and my friend Lieutenant William Wilson ; in fact 
Wilson said so to me, and that but for an accident in backing the pistol 
cock it had been a fatal affair to the colonel — Anno 1793. Colonel 
Williams and myself examined the old octagonal Dutch church, that stood 
at the junction of Market and State Streets, and the old Hall where, in 
1754, a congress had been held, which had been described to him by his 
friend and relative. Dr. Franklin. After purchasing Neetat's General History 
and the Works of Hogarth, from Leavenworth and Whiting, the colonel and 
myself returned to West Point by an Albany sloop; and being becalmed at 
Newburg, walked over Butter Hill and the Crow's Nest, and arrived at 
the Point the first of November. 

On the 1 2th of this month a meeting was assembled in the "long 
room" of the Academy, consisting of Lieutenant-Colonel Williams, Major 
Wadsworth, Professors Barron and Mansfield, Lieutenants Wilson, Macomb, 
Swift and Levy, and Cadet Armistead, for the of forming a Military 
Philosophical Society, to promote military science and history. This 
society soon embraced as members nearly every distinguished gentleman 
in the navy and Union, and .several in Europe. Its funds were invested 
in New York city stock. 


The academ)- was closed in December, and I visited my parents in 
Taunton, and accompanied my mother to visit her mother at New Bedford. 
This visit had several objects. One of them was to receive from my grand- 
mother something left me by her husband, Thomas Delano, who had ever 
distinguished me with marked affection, and who had now been three years 
deceased. I found the estate still unsettled, and returned with hope 
deferred. Among my mother's friends was an elderly lady, Ma'am Wilbur, 
the sister of Dr. Gideon Williams, who had the fancy to teach children 
to read. I had been her pupil. The mode of Mrs. Wilbur was a species of 
musical cadence, spelling each syllable and sounding the same in time, with 
open and clear voice, in the due order, until the whole word and sentence 
was spelled and sounded simultaneously by the whole class — one of the 
best modes of acquiring distinct pronunciation. We all loved her heartily, 
and I presume none of her pupils ever visited Taunton during her life 
without paying their respects to Ma'am Wilbur. 

While at New Bedford my grandmother Delano gave me an account 
of her ancestors, the Swains of Nantucket, who came thither from New- 
buryport when the island was purchased. Her father married Eleanor 
Folger, the sister of Abiah, the mother of Dr. Franklin. Her "father was 
a ship-master, and commanded a whaling vessel in the South -Seas." 

1803. In the month of January I made a jaunt to Milton Hill and 
Boston, and, with my cousin John .Swift of the former place, visited the 
graves of our ancestors in the "old burying ground of Milton," and thence 
to the former residence of Thomas Swift, our immediate ancestor, as before 
mentioned in this diary; where, suspended over the mantel is an emblazonry 
of the arms* of the Swifts of Yorkshire, that had been brought over by our 
ancestor Thomas. In Boston I met ni)' friend Mr. Gardner and Colonel 
Samuel Bradford. To the latter I had a letter of introduction from his 
brother-in-law, Colonel Williams. I also met Colonel Joseph May of 
Boston, who gave me many particulars of the "Mohawk Indians," who had 
destroyed the tea in Boston Harbor — the precursor of the Revolution. 
Colonel May had been a friend of my grandfather, Samuel Swift, who he 
said had been active in promoting that event of destroying the tea. 

• The lame from which Ihc eoat-of-arms in this work is taken. — //. E. 


In the month of February I returned to my father's in Taunton. My 
sister Nancy was now "in company," and one of the most beautiful women 
I ever saw ; my brother WilHam Henr)-, an active and noisy boy not yet in 
jacket and trowsers. My father's house, that had been rebuilt on the ruins 
of the one lost by fire, was a very commodious and pleasant residence. The 
acquaintances of my boyhood received me with much kindness, and my 
father's friends with hospitality. My leave expiring in March, I took a packet 
from "the Ware," the head of navigation on Taunton River, and by Newport 
through Long Island Sound, in which we encountered a north-west gale 
and snow storm, and caught a glimpse of Huntington Light at the moment 
when the main sail split by the wind and weight of snow, in which plicrht 
the packet was driven ashore upon the beach of Long Island. The next 
day the crew succeeded in floating the vessel and we had a quick run to 
New York, and arrived at West Point the day after, just in time to answer 
to my name at the muster roll-call at the close of the month. 

In the month of April by order of the Secretary of War, Colonel Williams, 
as chief engineer, left West Point for Wilmington, North Carolina, and 
Charleston, South Carolina; Major Wadsworth to New London and New- 
port. The repairs of the fortifications had heretofore been conducted under 
the direction of officers of the artillerists and engineers, and this movement 
of the War Department was to commence the action of the new corps of 
engineers. Lieutenant James Wilson had orders to repair Forts Miflin and 
Norfolk, and Lieutenant Macomb the works in New York Harbor and Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire. Congress authorized the enlistment of twenty-one 
men as artificers and aids to the engineer service, and also a teacher of 
French and drawing was authorized at the Militaiy Academy, and $109,000 
appropriated to repair the forts, the arsenals, and the armories of the 
United States. 

The excitement in reference to the cession of Louisiana, and consequent 
prospects of war with Spain, had caused an appropriation of a million and a 
half, and also of $80,000 for the calling out of the militia, and $25,000 for 
western arsenals; looking to Baton Rouge as a point for that purpose in 
case of trouble at New Orleans. 


This spring George Bomford was appointed a cadet. My acquaintance 
with this young gentleman commenced at a country store opposite to West 
Point, in Warren's Valley, where I had gone to kill trout, and where 
Bomford had established himself as a dealer, and from the proximity of 
the marsh he had taken the ague and fever. I invited him to my quarters 
at the Point, where he regained his health ; and on the strength of my 
acquaintance with General Dearborn, in the Baron affair, 1 wrote an appli- 
cation to him for a cadet's warrant for Bomford, and in a short period the 
warrant was received. Bomford was well informed on many subjects, 
ingenious and musical. Soon after his appointment he made good progress 
at his books, and became our principal in the laboratory, in which place 
Bomford and myself had a narrow escape. A rocket had taken fire while in 
the mould and driving, the flame from which reached the floor above, upon 
which, on cartridge paper, was a mass of gun powder. Both of us sprang 
to the window and became jammed for want of space for both, and there 
struggled until the rocket was exhausted. Bomford was born on Long 
Island, the reputed son of a British officer. 

In this month of May Captain George Izard marched his company of 
artillery to Norfolk. There had been some refusal on his part to obey a 
requisition of Colonel Williams for a detachment from his company. To 
avoid future collision this order to march had been given. Soon after this 
event Colonel Williams returned to West Point from North Carolina, 
accompanied by Cadet William McRee from Wilmington. The colonel 
informed the corps of engineers that in consequence of a difference 
between him.self and the Secretary of War on the subject of the rights of 
rank and command, he, the colonel, had resigned his commi-ssion. This 
intelligence was a grief to every one at the Point. The cause of it was the 
unmilitary and needless obscurity in the terms of the law of i6th March, 
1802, in reference to rank and command. 

In the month of June Francis Ue Masson was appointed teacher of 
the I'rcnch Language and Topographical Drawing at the academy, and 
Lieutenant Levy and myself became his pupils in both branches. 

At the celebration of Independence this year, while superintending the 


salute at P'ort Clinton, the concussion produced by a twenty-four pounder 
brought blood from my left ear, and injured permanently my hearing. This 
was occasioned by negligence in position. 

On the 2 1 St of this month of July, the family of our worthy chief left the 
Point, breaking up our principal social circle, and depriving the cadets of 
an important source of instruction. Colonel Williams had been the friend 
and adviser of every one of us. 

In the following month I was summoned as a member of a court martial, 
on the trial of Lieutenant Van Rensselaer of the army, at Fort Jay ; at the 
termination of which, on leave, I visited Colonel Williams at Perth Amboy. 
where, with Lieutenant A. Macomb, was presented our views of an appeal 
to Mr. Jefferson to commend to Congress a modification of the law of 
March, and thus restore the colonel to the corps of engineers. The colonel 
declined any action, but we wrote a suitable letter to the President and took 
our leave of our retired chief, and proceeded to Belleville, N. J., the 
pleasant residence of Macomb's family on the Passaic, and with them made 
an excursion to the falls of that river. On returning to West Point in 
September, we found the academic affairs much deranged by the resig- 
nation of Professor Mansfield, upon whom Mr. Jefferson had conferred the 
surveyor-generalship of Ohio, upon which service Mr. Mansfield entered 
in the fall of this year. His nephew. Cadet J. G. Totten, became an 
assistant in this service. The departure of this family was a serious loss to 
our society. Mrs. Mansfield was a very' intelligent lady, and her conver- 
sation not only agreeable but instructive to the young gentlemen who 
found a welcome at her residence. 

In the month of November a general court martial was convened at 
Frederick Town, in Maryland, and on the 12th of the month with Lieu- 
tenant Charles Wolstoncroft of our army (a native of England, and brother 
of the notorious Mary Wolstoncroft Godwin,) and Lieutenant W. R. Boot, 
also a native of England, and Lieutenant R. W. Osborne, a native of St. 
Croix, and Lieutenant William Hossack (the brother of the doctor of that 
name) and myself, also under orders to attend this court, took the stage 
at Paulus Hook, and, passing a day in Philadelphia at Frances' hotel in 


F'urth street, we arrived in Baltimore at the Indian Queen, and on the 
1 8th found ourselves at the celebrated tavern of Mr. Kimball, in Frederick. 
This court was convened for the trial of Colonel Thomas Butler of the 
army, charged with disobedience of the orders of General Wilkinson, which 
order was for the army to crop the hair of the head, and the whiskers to be 
no lower than the line from the ear to the mouth. The colonel denied the 
power of the general so to deprive a citizen of t!ie United States of that 
which nature had conferred for use and ornament, and the colonel appeared 
at the court with a long queue of hair. The court was also to investigate the 
case of Major George Ingersoll, charged with selling milk in the garrison 
of Fort Jay while commandant of that post; an accusation made by Lieut. 
Wolstoncroft, who was himself charged with shooting the ducks of Major 
Ingersoll while in arrest at the said Fort Jay. For such objects — though 
connected with points of military discipline — officers were summoned from 
the extremities of the Union. While these trials were in progress, and 
pending the recesses of the court, the thirteen members and other attending 
officers enjoyed the hospitality of the Mar)-landers, especially those of 
Roger B. Taney, Esq., a counsellor of distinction, and John Hanson 
Thomas and his father. Dr. Philip Thomas, George Murdock, Capt. William 
Campbell of Monocacy, Richard Pitts, Baker Johnson and Col. McPherson, 
all gentlemen of note and distinguished Federalists. .Such an association 
was the occasion of some slander at Washington City. Among the 
Democrats there it was said that these officers were too familiar with the 
opponents of the Government. The truth was, that every officer in attend- 
ance and of the court were Federalists, save Major James Bruff and Lieut. 
Wolstoncroft, an English gentleman. The president of the court was 
Colonel Henry Burbeck. He had been a pupil of Colonel Gridley, the 
engineer of the American army at Boston in 1 776, wiio said that Washington 
was his model in politics, Lieutenant Colonel Constant Freeman, an officer 
of merit who had been employed on the boundar)- line between the Spanish 
Possessions and the United States, and his lirother. Captain N. Freeman, a 
man of letters, were members, as also was Colonel Jacob Kingsbury, a 
veteran of the Revolutionary War. He had been a sergeant in the Con- 


necticut line at the seige of \'orkto\vn — a fine sample of modest integrity 
and common sense. At our mess table he recounted the scenes before 
" York." He was at the storming of the redout on the right, under Colonel 
Hamilton, October, 1781. Colonel Kingsbury remarked, "I was leading 
my squad through a small gap in the abbatis, and was coming over the 
parapet when something struck me a blow on the head, and my first con- 
sciousness was in finding mjself extended upon the platform inside the 
redout." My former commander, Major William McRea of Virginia, who 
used to amuse us with accounts of General Kno.x, the then Secretary of 
War, his orders and notions for equipping and training the "sub legions" of 
General Wayne's army ; also Captain Stelle of the artillery, formerly com- 
manding at West Point — he was from New Jersey ; Captain McClelland 
from Maryland, and Captain John Saunders, an eccentric gentleman from 
Virginia ; Lieutenant James House from Baltimore, a native of Connecticut, 
a gentleman of much taste and an artist ; also my friend Lieutenant Alex- 
ander Macomb, full of frolic and fun, an accomplished gentleman, and 
Lieutenant E. Beebee of New York. There was also Major Thomas H. 
Gushing, the adjutant and inspector of the army, a gentleman of high 
intelligence and who, under the orders of General Wilkinson prosecuted 
the trial of Colonel Butler. In December the court terminated its proceed- 
ings. No other consequence of an historic character has followed this trial 
save the perpetual knot hole in the coffin that we see in Washington 


Irving's Knickerbocker's History of New York, through which hole still 
protrudes the queue of Colonel Tom Buder as he there lays in his shroud. 
The officers reciprocated the courtesy of Frederick by a ball and supper 
given at .Mrs. Kimball's, arranged with much and peculiar taste by the 
advice of Lieutenant Macomb. 

On 23d December the members of the court and all the other officers 
proceeded to Georgetown and to the war office in Washington, and paid 
their respects to General Dearborn, the Secretary of War. The general 
mvited me to dine at his residence in Georgetown, where I thanked him 
for the trouble he had taken in my affair with Baron at West Point in 1801. 
The secretary said that no injury had resulted to me, although he could not 


approve of the disrespect that I had been excited to show to Mr. Baron. 
On my taking leave, after being presented to Mr. Jefferson, the secretary- 
said that he should require my services in the ensuing spring to repair the 
fort on Cape Fear, North Carolina, and also said that' such work had not 
been previously given to the graduates (three) of the military academy 
because of their youthfulness and inexperience. 

The subject that had mostly engrossed conversation in the past year, of a 
public nature, was Mr. Jefferson's purchase of Louisiana. The general idea 
among thinking men was that the United States, already large enough, 
would be injured by extension, but the people will hardly be restrained from 
migrating beyond the Mississippi. It was therefore wise in Mr. Jefferson 
to settle as far as possible future questions by peaceable purchase, trusting 
to the countr)' to remedy any constitutional defect in what the Federalists 
deemed to be a dangerous precedent. The alteration in the Constitution 
in the mode of electing a President was by the Federalists deemed anything 
but an improvement, nay, that it was a breach in the unity of that almost 
sacred instrument, moreover there must ever be more than two men in the 
countr)' at least equally qualified for the presidential office. The change 
was deemed a strong measure to sustain the power of party that had 
already become proscriptive. 

1804. By leave from the Secretary of War the remainder of the winter 
was passed with my father's only brother, Jonathan Swift, at Alexandria, 
who had there married the daughter Ann of General Daniel Roberdeaii of 
the army of the Revolution and of the Congress of 1778 that formed the 
Confederation. He related to me incidents of his travels in England and 
Ireland in the years 1786-7 and of his visit to the country of our ancestors 
at Rotheram in Yorkshire, and to some distant relatives in Dublin. These 
friends presented him a portrait of Dean Swift and .some relics of that 
personage. In Alexandria, by the introduction of my uncle, I was received 
courteously by Mr. William Fitzhugh of Chatham, Mr. William Herbert, 
Mr. John Potts and his beautiful daughter .Sophia, and also by the Rosins 
of Notley Hall, and Addisons of Oxen Hill in the \icinit)'. In February 
my first visit to Congress was made. The jjrominent topics of discussion 


were the surplus revenue, as to what could be done with it ; and here came 
up incidentally or accidentally, views of improving the country by roads and 
canals. The troubles with the Barbary powers had its share in debate, and 
also a scheme to widen the privileges of naturalization, also the contem- 
plated impeachment of Samuel Chase, a sound judge and honest, though 
of violent temper, and which was deemed more an assault upon the perma- 
nency of the judiciary than from any belief in the malversation of that 
judge. In exploring the unfinished capitol I found the portraits of Louis 
XVI. and Marie Antoinette, that had been presented by that king to 
Congress in 1779. They were fine specimens of art, though not respect- 
fully treated, for they were suspended in a committee - room of the capitol. 
I made in Washington the acquaintance of my fellow boarder, Luther 
Martin, Esquire, and heard from him some of the scenes that occurred in 
the Maryland Convention, of which he was a member at the time of the 
adoption of the Constitution ; and also with General William Eaton, the 
hero of Derne, in Africa, who grave a recital of his efforts in that useless 
expedition. With the other gentlemen of our mess we partook in the cele- 
bration of the birth of Washington, at Georgetown. Had also the honor to 
dine with Mr. Jefferson, and to converse with the Secretar)' of War upon his 
purpose to send me to North Carolina, as before mentioned. Early in March, 
in company with Thomas Cadwallader of Philadelphia, proceeded to Frederick 
Town and passed a day, and thence to Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, where 
Mr. Cadwallader introduced me to the speaker, and we listened to some 
debates in the halls of the state, and then we departed for Philadelphia, where 
we arrived on the 9th. The next day made a jaunt to Germantown to see 
my father's friend, Isaac Roberdeau, the son of General Roberdeau before 
mentioned. Found him and his young family at his father-in-law's. Rev. 
Samuel Blair. Mr. Roberdeau had been employed with Andrew Ellicott in 
laying out the city of Washington. He mentioned the interest that General 
Washington took in this work, and of his frequent visits from Mount Vernon 
on horseback to look at the progress of the work, and also at the plans of 
Major L'Enfent, who had designed a very extensive elevation for the 
capitol. It was his purpose to give the building a front of six hundred 


feet, enclosed in a collonade of the Corinthian order, the columns to be 
one hundred and ten feet in altitude. On my return to the city with 
Lieutenant William Wilson, formerly of West Point, paid our respects to 
the disbanded veteran Tousard, and also to his lady. 

From Philadelphia on my way to West Point, at Elizabeth Town on the 
14th of March, had the pleasure to visit my friend Colonel Williams, who 
resided in that place. He introduced me to Count Reimsowitz, the poet, 
and also the friend of Kosciusko, and found him a very interesting 
narrator of the wrongs of Poland. I also met here James Ricketts, Esq., 
a Jamaica planter. His residence here was a very pleasant and hospitable 
mansion. I also saw Mr. Bellasis (Viscount Bolinbroke,) in retirement 
from England for some scandalous cause. He seemed a morose man. I 


was much better pleased with the Rev. Mr. Kellock, to whom the colonel 
introduced me, and who is an able Presbyterian preacher. From the 
residence of Colonel Williams, and in company with Lieutenant Macomb, 
rode to Belleville, and repeated our visit to Passaic Falls, and also to his 
father, Alexander Macomb, in Broadway, New York. This gentleman had 
been a very extensive merchant in Detroit. He mentioned seeing the noted 
Daniel Boone a prisoner in Detroit, captured by some mistake. The 
governor then was a Colonel Hamilton, who treated Mr. Boone with much 
kindness, and gave him an order on Mr. Macomb for any merchandise that 
Mr. Boone chose to take home to his family in Kentucky. Mr. Boone was 
thankful for the favor, but would only take -a. paper of pins and -d. pound oi 
tea for his wife — a characteristic evidence of the self respect of Boone. 
The last of the month, with six hundred and ninety-two dollars received 
from Lieutenant Charles Wolstoncroft, paymaster, to pay the cadets at the 
academy, arrived at the Point in season to be reported present on the 
monthly rolls. The academy was opened on the first of April, under the 
auspices of Professors Barron and F"rancis De Masson. The latter gen- 
tleman was an emigrant from PVance and St. Domingo ; lie was of the 
Royal School, an highly educated man. His father had been president of 
a provincial parliament; had sufferetl Ijy the Revolution, and also by the 
insurrection of the slaves of St. Domingo. 


Congress had appropriated one hundred and nine thousand dollars for the 
reparation of the forts in the current year, including armories and arsenals. 

At the close of the month of April I received orders from the War 
Department to repair to North Carolina and examine the harbor of Cape 
Fear, and to report a plan of defence therefor, and also to direct the 
execution of a contract with General Benjamin Smith of Belvidere, to 
construct a battery at the site of old Fort Johnson, in Smithville, of a 
material called " tapia." Macomb was sent to Rocky Mount in South 
Carolina, Levy to Fort Jackson, in Georgia, and W. Amistead to Fort 
Nelson, at Norfolk. 

In taking leave of my ahmx mater. Major Wadsworth being the superin- 
tendent, I was much annoyed by my liability for the debt of Lieutenant 
Strong. The paymaster had been authorized to advance me two months' 
pay, Avhich, with the sale of books and my watch, enabled me to discharge 
the debt and relieve my endorser. Major George Fleming — and also to 
retain enough to defray my expenses to Wilmington. The veteran major 
had been very kind to stand between the law and myself. He had been 
an officer of artillery, and was at the surrender of Burgoyne in 1777 ; at the 
present, and for a long time he had been the military store-keeper at West 
Point, and he abounded in reminiscences of the war of '76, and especiall)- 
of Saratoga and Yorktown — at both of which surrenders he had been 
present, a conductor of ordnance. He had been selected by General 
Knoxwhen, Secretary of War, for his present office and station. 

Among my associates left at West Point was Cadet William Gates. He 
was recovering from a wound recently received in the hand by a wooden 
ramrod discharged from a fowling piece. In the absence of our post 
surgeon I had in vain rowed to Peekskill to seek the aid of Doctor Strang. 
He declined the trouble, may be from a fear that he might not easilj' 
recover his fee from the United States, or from the slender means of a 
cadet. By the time of my return Gates' hand had become extremel)- 
swollen. He bore well my essay and successful cutting out of numerous 
splinters, filling the cavity with lint and laudanum from the hospital. The 
hand was saved, and was considered a fortunate result, though it was 


disfigured for want of a more judicious and early surgical treatment. 

On my route to the South had appointed to visit my former chief, Colonel 
Williams, to learn what had been his views of the works needed in the 
harbor of Cape Fear. I found him at his country seat. Mount Pleasant, 
near Philadelphia, on the Schuylkill, in the month of May. The colonel 
introduced me to the family of Mr. Clement Biddle, formerly quartermaster- 
general of Washington's army ; the family an intellectual group living in 
enviable harmony. And I also renewed my acquaintance with Colonel 
Cadwallader. Colonel Williams gave me letters of introduction to Joshua 
Grainger Wright, Esq., General Benjamin Smith and Mr. John Lord — 
gentlemen of Wilmington, North Carolina. The remembrance of the 
disinterested friendship of Colonel Williams forms one of the brightest 
reminiscences of my life. 

I made a visit on my way south at the Indian Queen, in Baltimore, to 
pass a little time with my cousin William Roberdeau Swift, son of Jonathan. 
He was in the counting-house of William Taylor, for whom this cousin, as 
supercargo of the Orozimbo (" India-man,") made a large amount of money. 
William and myself revived the bygone days on Taunton Green, and 
among our schoolmates there. His memory was very minute and 
redundant. At the Indian Queen I was the fellow boarder of General 
Arthur St. Clair, who honored me with his acquaintance, and gave me the 
story of his unfortunate battle with the Indians in Ohio, 1791. An 
impressive dignity distinguished the deportment of this soldier, and 
once president of the congress of the United States. I accompanied the 
veteran to Washington, whither, he went to revive a claim for money 
expended by him in the war of the Revolution, to meet the now pressing 
necessities of age and poverty. 

The last of May I reported myself to General Dearborn, at the war office 
in Washington, who again pre.sented me to Mr. Jefferson, and I met at his 
table the Secretary of State, Mr. Madison, and other public officers. The 
President is remarkable for his urbanity to young men. An observation 
of his is that " Young and not old men are the most instructive associates." 
True, no doubt, in reference to political future purposes. At this (1806) 



dinner, among the subjects of conversation was that of gun boats. The 
President complacently gave me an opportunity to express my thoughts 
thereon, and with, it may be, the vanity and candour of youth, my notions 
were given adversely to the system. This uncourtly opposition to a favorite 
project was received by Mr. Jefferson in a kind manner, and he replied: 
"My young friend, your opinion may be popular, but remember that in 
time our navy may cause us to become as arrogant upon the ocean as ever 
Britain has been. True, the commercial necessities of a maritime people 
make a navy popular, but its success will encourage us to depart from the 
simplicity of our institutions." Mr. Jefferson jocosely asked me, "To which 
of the political creeds do you adhere ?" My reply was, that as yet I had 
done no political act, but that my family were Federalists. Mr. Jefferson 
rejoined: "There are many men of high talent and integrity in that party, 
but it is not the rising power" : a hint that was lost on me, though General 
Dearborn reminded me of it in a short period thereafter. The style of Mr. 
Jefferson's dinners is truly tasteful, and the conversation as free as is con- 
sistent with the respect due to a chief magistrate. 

By leave of General Dearborn I sojourned a few days on my route at 
Alexandria, where, meeting Mrs. Lewis at Mr. Potts', I was invited by that 
lady to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of her deceased connection, General 
Washington. Mrs. Lewis presented me a relic of the general, and gave 
me many anecdotes of his life, and presented me a button from the coat 
that he wore in " Braddock's defeat" in 1755. It was embossed yellow 
metal marked "56th Reg'." I long used this as a letter seal. The Medi- 
terranean squadron, consisting of the frigates Congress, Essex, and other 
vessels, was at this time at anchor in the Potomac opposite Alexandria, 
under orders to coerce Tripoli to justice. The officers of the squadron 
enjoyed the hospitable coutesy of the Alexandrians, and at the adjacent 
seats of Notley Hall and Oxen Hill. On this occasion I made the 
acquaintance of Mr. Tunis Craven at these parties — a remarkably 
handsome man. He was an agent in the navy department. 1 also 
met here Captain John Heth of Richmond, and of the United States 
army. On the 12th June proceeded with him to that capital of Virginia. 


where he introduced me to his relative, Chief Justice Marshall, commonly 
called General Marshall in Richmond. His manner is among the most 
bland, unaffected, and conciliating of any that I have met. Knowing that 
he had been a captain in the Virginia line at' the battle of Monmouth, I 
asked him of the conduct of General Charles Lee on that day. General 
Marshall replied that Lee's conduct on that oppressively hot day was not 
failing in intrepedity, nor in external personal respect to General Wash- 
ington. His vanity had led him into error, and he was too proud to 
acknowledge it. I inquired of the rumor of profane language used on 
that occasion. General Marshall said the rumor was not true, though 
severe language was used — not disrespectful. General Marshall said he 
was an accomplice of Miflin, Gates, Lovel, Rust, Conway and others in the 
celebrated conspiracy, but was not a secret but open foe. Gates left a 
record of his infamy which, with Washington's original scathing letter to 
Gates, I saw in the hands of the worthy John Pintard, secretary of an 
insurance company in Wall Street, New York — who had a view of all 
the MSS. left by Gates. 

In prosecuting my journey to North Carolina 1 had the pleasure to 
accompany General Marshall to Raleigh, where the United States Supreme 
Court was to hold a session. The chief justice is sometimes an "absent 
man." As an instance, he came-on this occasion from home in a dark blue 
silk dress without an overcoat. It gave me pleasure to take from my trunk 
and lend him a new blue cloth cloak, that my father had given me, the 
stage ride being on a chilly morning. On our arrival at High Towers 
Tavern, near the borders of the State, the general made a mint julep for 
our refreshment, the first of those drams that I ever saw. The jaunt to 
Raleigh was to me agreeable and instructive, the affability of the general 
favoring me with many items of the close of Mr. Adams' administration, 
of whom the general spoke in high personal respect; but he disapproved 
of the rupture in the Cabinet to which Mr. Adams had assented, debilitating 
the power of those who had elected him and strengthening the influence of 
Mr. Jefferson's partisans. In taking leave of this gentleman he gave me a 
warm invitation to visit him in Richmond, and which I hope to do. 


Arriving in the middle of June at Fayetteville, I met there Nicholas 
Tillinghast of Taunton Green, my schoolmate. He had come from the 
manufactories in Pawtucket, R. I., as their agent, and we revived the 
memory of our school days. Proceeding by the right bank of the Cape 
Fear River to Negro Head Point ferry, opposite Wilmington, I arrived at 
Mrs. Meek's boarding house in that town on the anniversary of the battle 
of Bunker Hill, and on that day reported myself by letter to my chief. 
Major Wadsworth at West Point, using the day and 1775 as the figurative 
date of my letter by way of friendly memento. After presenting my letter 
of introduction I took the packet for Fort Johnston, and there paid my 
respects to the commandant of the post. Lieutenant John Fergus, an uncle 
of Cadet McRee, and commenced a happy acquaintance with the surgeon 
of the post, John Lightfoot Griffin, and with whom established our quarters 
at Mrs. Ann McDonald's. Here I also met General Benjamin Smith, and 
to the last of the month had conferences with him as to the best mode of 
executing his contract with the war department in the construction of a 
battery on the site of the old Fort Johnston, Smithville. 

Early in July I employed Mr. Wilson Davis, one of the most intelligent 
of the pilots, and with his aid I sounded the entrance over the main bar 
of shifting sand into the harbor of Cape Fear, and also the entrance at the 
new inlet, and then viewed the capacity of the anchorage within, together 
with the relative position of the several points of land near the entrances, 
of which I made a plot, and upon which I based my report of 26th July to 
the Secretary of War. The substance of this report was that the main objects 
to be secured were those that had been set forth by my late chief. Colonel 
Williams, to wit: to cover an anchorage in the harbor and to command its 
entrance by a small enclosed work on Oak Island, and an enclosed battery 
at Federal Point, at the new inlet, and also to complete the battery of 
tapia at the site of old Fort Johnston, the last being contracted for by 
General B. Smith. Pending the decision of the war department upon this 
report, much of the summer was a leisure among agreeable families from 
Wilmington, that passed the warm season in slight frame houses at "The 
Fort," as the village of Smithville is called. Among these was the family 


of Captain James Walker, to whose daughter Louisa and her cousin Eliza 
Younger, I was introduced at a dinner given to Dr. Griffin and myself by 
Captain Walker. There were the families of Mr. John Lord and of the 
founder of the place, Mr. John Potts, and of General Benjamin Smith, who 
was to construct the public work under a contract, and of Captain Callender, 
the surveyor of the port, who had been an officer of the army in the war of 
the Revolution, etc. General Smith became the governor of the State. 
He owned a large extent of jjroperty on Cape Fear River, and was of the 
family of Landgrave Thomas Smith, the colonial governor of South 
Carolina in the preceding centur)'. He had become security for the 
collector of the port of Wilmington, who was a defaulter to the govern- 
ment, and it was to discharge this liability that General Smith had 
contracted to l)uild the "tapia" work at "The Fort." His lady, Mrs. 
Sarah Y>ry Smith, was highly accomplished, and was an hospitable 
friend to Dr. Griffin and myself, and one of the finest characters in the 
country. She was the daughter and heiress of Colonel William Dry, 
the former collector in the colonial time, and was also of the king's council. 
This lady was also a direct descendant from Cromwell's admiral, Robert 
Blake. There was also residing at "The Fort" the family of Benjamin 
Blaney. A native he was of Ro.xbury. near Boston. He had migrated 
to Carolina as a carpenter, and had by industry acquired a competence 
to enable him to dispense aid to the sick and needy and other charities, 
in the performance of which he was an example of usefulness and charity, 
and unostentation. Most of the families at the fort were Federalists, and 
though all deplored the event, they were the more sensibly impressed with 
the news of the death of Alexander Hamilton, who in this month of July 
had been slain in a duel with Colonel Burr, the account of which had been 
written to me by Colonel Williams. The whole Union was in a measure 
moved to grief by this sad event. Colonel Hamilton occupied a large 
space in the public mind. He had been the able leader of Federalism — a 
class of men who may in truth be said to have been actuated by far higher 
motives than those of mere party. 

My advices from West Point were that Major Wadsworth, Captain W. A. 


Barron and Mr. De Masson formed the academic corps ; that Lieutenant 
Wilson was on duty at Fort Miflin, Lieutenant Macomb in South Carolina, 
and Lieutenant Armistead in New York. 

In my excursions on the waters of Cape Fear I was aided by Captain 
Walker, Dr. Griffin and Mr. Blaney, who as sportsmen were familiar with 
the numerous shoals and channels and anchorages thereof, so that the 
returns were not only in game, but also in giving me knowledge of the 
capacity of this harbor, situate as it is on one of the most shallow and 
troublesome coasts to navigators. The anchorage, covered from the ocean 
by Bald Head, or Smith's Island, extending from the main bar to the new 
inlet, and upon which island there is a growth of live oak and palmetto, 
and abounding with fallow deer. 

Intimacy with Mr. Walker furnished me with many items of the war in 
Carolina, with which he was familiar, although not partaking of the battles, 
for he had been a moderate Tory, adverse to taking arms against the 
mother country, in which his friend and brother-in-law, Louis De Rosset, 
had influenced him. Mr. De Rosset was of the king's council. Mr. Walker 
had been the executor of General James Moor, the planner and director of 
the American force at the battle of Moor's Creek, fought by Lillington and 
Shingsley. From the -papers of that officer he had gathered many an 
anecdote of the march of Cornwallis. Mr. Walker had been in the reo-u- 
lating war of 1770, and then commanded a company in the battle of 
Allamance, in the western part of the state. He was cured of much of 
his Toryism by the tyrannical conduct of Major J. H. Craig, the British 
governor at Wilmington, afterwards governor-general of Canada. The 
conduct of this man had been oppressive and needlessly cruel to the people 
of Wilmington, and Capt. Walker had been able to influence some relief 
to those who were in arrest, etc. He with his brother-in-law, John Du Bois, 
had been appointed commissioners to arrange the cartel of prisoners, and 
to negotiate for the families who were to leave Wilmington therein when 
Cornwallis marched to Virginia, thus showing the confidence that both 
Whig and Tory had reposed in those gentlemen. Mr. Walker's family were 
of the settlers called " Retainers," coming from Ireland under the auspices 


of Colonel Sampson, and of his father, Robert Walker. Among the 
families of these "Retainers" were those of the Holmes, Owens, and 
Kernans, etc., now become independent planters and distinguished citizens. 
The father of Capt. Walker, the above Robert, was of the same family with 
that of the Protestant hero, the Rev. George Walker of Londonderry. The 
mother of Capt. Walker was Ann, of the family of Montgomery, of Mount 
Alexander in Ireland, and had made a runaway match with Robert Walker. 
Capt. James Walker married Magdalen M. Du Bois, the daughter of John 
Du Bois and Gabriella De Rosset, his wife. 

In the month of September, in reply to my report of 26th July, I 
received orders from the war department to proceed with so much of the 
work therein contemplated as was embraced by General Smith's contract 
upon the tapia work at the site of old Fort Johnston, that had been there 
constructed by the then colonial Governor Johnston from South Carolina, 
Anno 1740. In clearing away the sand I found much of the tapia walls 
then erected finer in their whole length, on a front of the ordinary half 
bastian flanks and curtain of two hundred and forty feet extent, far superior 
to our contemplated plan for the battery of tapia. 

Soon after this the slaves of General Smith commenced the burning of 
lime in pens, called kilns, formed of sapling pines formed in squares con- 
taining from one thousand to one thousand two hundred bushels of oyster 
shells (alive) collected in scows from the shoals in the harbor — there 
abundant. These pens were filled with alternate layers of shells and 
"light wood" from pitch pine, and thus were burned in about one day — 
very much to the annoyance of the neighborhood by the smoke and vapor 
of burning shellfish, wlien the wind was strong enough to spread the fumes 
of the kilns. In the succeeding month of November I commenced the 
battery by constructing boxes of the dimensions of the parapet, six feet 
high by seven in thickness, into which boxes was poured the tapia compo- 
sition, consisting of ecjual parts of lime, raw shells and sand, and water 
sufficient to form a species of paste, or batter, as the negroes term it. 

At the close of this month of November a large Spanish ship called the 
"Bilboa" was cast away on Cape Fear in a storm. It was alleged by the 


crew, who were brought by pilot Davis to my quarters, that the ship was 
laden with sugar, and that there was much specie in "the run;" that the 
captain and mate had died at sea, and that having no navigator on board 
they had put the ship before the wind and run her on shore near the Cape. 
There were twenty-one in this crew, a villainous looking set of rascals, that 
I had no doubt they were. Lieutenant Fergus detained them in the block- 
house at the fort until the collector sent inspectors to conduct the crew to 
Charleston, where the ship was known to some merchant. These men all had 
more or less of dollars in their red woolen sashes tied around their waists. 
On their arrival in Charleston they were detained .some time, but no proof 
could be found against them, and they went free. The pilots and others 
were for some time after this exploring the remains of the wreck, but there 
was no valuable found among the drift save spars and rigging. 

In the previous month of September Alexander C^Hzance Miller was 
introduced to Mrs. General Smith, Dr. Griffin and myself and others by 
John Bradley. Esquire, of Wilmington. Mr. Miller was an accomplished 
gentleman -especially so in music and drawing. He interested us much 
m his history. He stated to us that he had escaped from France in the 
year 1797 ; was a cadet in the family of De la Marche; had been a mere 
boy in the corps of Conde at the battle of Dusseldorf ; made his escape to 
America from Rotterdam by the aid of the master of the ship. Captain 
Miller, whose name he bore, and arrived in Philadelphia, where he earned 
his bread by teaching the piano and violin, and drawing. He is of remark- 
able personal beauty and elegance of manner, and Dr. Griffin and myself 
became very intimate with him. This friend of mine, Dr. Griffin, was from 
Virginia, near Yorktown. His mother was of the Lightfoot family, and his 
uncle was Cyrus Griffin, the United States district judge. His father and 
mother both died in his infancy, and his cousin Thomas, a member of 
Congress, had procured for him the appointment of surgeon in the army, 
the duties of which office he was now discharging at Fort Johnston. 

1805. In January, by order of General Wilkinson, I relieved Lieutenant 
Fergus in the command of Fort Johnston. There having been a contra- 
riety in opinion at the war department whether the commander of the army. 


had authority to place an engineer ofificer in command of a post and troops, 
except by the especial order of the president. This act of General Wilkin- 
son's was as well a convenience to the service as a test to decide, so far, the 
question of his authority under the law of March, 1802. To which arrange- 
ment the Secretary of War consented, and the function of my command, with 
a detachment of a company of artillery, remained until the following year, 
when, by my request I was relieved from that command. A memorial 
in reference to this question was presented to the President of the United 
States, and a request to have the opinion settled by law in December, 1804, 
by the officers of engineers then for the time at West Point, viz. : Major 
Wadsworth, Captain Barron, Lieutenants Wilson, Macomb and Armistead, 
of which Macomb sent me a transcript. The question was so far settled in 
the following year, 1805, and Colonel Williams was recommissioned then, 
and resumed command of the corps of engineers. 

This winter I became engaged to Miss Walker. The season raif by 
charmingly at "The Barn," Mr. Walker's residence in Wilmington, and 
at Belvidere, the residence of General and Mrs. Smith, and at Fort 
Johnston. This engagement gave, of course, new prospects of life, and as 
is usual, my wishes gave them many agreeable hues. I had stated to Mr. 
and Mrs. Walker that my chief dependence was my profession. Mr. 
Walker .said he could not subdivide his property during his life ; that he 
approved of the marriage, and should do all he could to promote the 
interests of his children. 

In the month of March Colonel Tathem, of Virginia, arrived at the fort, 
bringing a collection of surveying and levelling instruments, and an highly 
finished sextant, to commence by determining the longitude of the fort. 
He presented himself to me, and described his services in Virginia as a 
partizan officer in the Revolutionary war. His demeanor evinced an erratic 
mind; I, however, promoted his wishes, and he commenced to establish the 
elevation of the block-house above the level of tide water, and extended a 
line of levels toward the ponds near Brun.swick. At this juncture Captain 
Coles and party arrived to prosecute a survey of the coast of North 
Carolina by order of the United States navy department, and commenced 


observations to determine the longitude of the light-house on Bald Head. 
This operation disturbed Colonel Tathem, who "boxed his instruments" 
and departed. Probably the colonel had learned at Washington City of the 
purposes of the navy department, and had come to the coast with some 
vague ambition for precedence of knowledge. 

A recent law of Congress having reference to the interdicting the ports 
on our coast to any vessels that had been sailed with predatory purposes, 
had awakened some inquiry about the condition of the fortifications. Con- 
gress added twenty-four thousand dollars to the previous appropriation of 
one hundred and nine thousand, and also sixty thousand dollars for Mr. 
Jefferson's gun boat project. Little, however, was attempted beyond the 
ordinary duty of "garrison fatigues" to dress the parapets of the decaying 
works of defense in the harbors along the coast of the Atlantic. On the 
20th of March I received a package of books that I had left with Lieu- 
tenant Wolstoncroft at Fort Jay, N. Y. They came through J. S. Bee, 
Esquire, of Charleston, S. C. Wolstoncroft had, however, returned my 
Works of Hogarth, contrary to my request. 

In April the Secretary of War sent me a modified contract that had been 
proposed to him by General Smith, for his more convenient discharge of 
the bond of Colonel Reed, to which my reply was that it would delay the 
construction of the tapia walls, and so it proved, for there was a suspension 
of the collection of shells and lime-burning, and the workmen departed 
with their implements, leaving me to await the conclusion of the nego- 
tiation between the War Department and the contractor. 

On 5th May, to test the capacity of the channel-way into the harbor, I 
went to sea over the main bar in the Swedish ship " Louisa," Captain 
Asmus, loaded with ton timber, and drawing eighteen and one-third feet of 
water; thus establishing the facts set forth in my report of 26th July in the 
preceding year to the Secretary of War on that subject — returning to 
the Fort in the revenue cutter that had, at my request, accompanied 
the ship to sea. 

On 3d June Dr. Griffin, Mr. Miller and myself went to Wilmington in the 
revenue cutter, and on Thursday, 6th June, 1805, Miss Walker and myself 


were married at her father's residence, "The Barn," by the Hon. John Hill, 
he using the Episcopal service, and was selected by me for that office 
because of his friendly relations to my father — they having been class- 
mates at Master Lovel's school in Boston in 1775. This resort to a 
magistrate was made in consequence of the low estimate by Mr. Walker 
of the character of the then Rector of St. James, in Wilmington. The 
bride's attendants on this occasion were Eliza Younger, Cecilia Osborne, 
and Maria Swann; mine were Dr. Griffin, Mr. Miller, George Burgwin, in 
lieu of his brother, John Fanning, accidentally absent. 

In the following week Mrs. General .Smith gave an entertainment in 
honor of the marriage, at the town residence of the general. The hilarity 
of this party was temporarily intercepted by a letter and challenge from 
Captain Maurice Moor to General Smith, who called me to his office to 
arrange the affair with the friend of Mr. Moor — Captain Grange. On 22d 
of the month John Fanning Burgwin, Esquire, gave us a wedding fete at 
the Hermitage, in a party of about one hundred persons, that continued for 
two days. On that same day I received my notice of promotion to the rank 
of first lieutenant of engineers, and also advices from Colonel Williams of 
the promotion of others of my brother officers, and of the appointment of 
several cadets at the Military Academy, and that there was some prospect 
of his return to the corps. 

On the anniversary of the battle of Fort Moultrie, in South Carolina, 28th 
June, the meeting of General Smith and Captain Moor took place in South 
Carolina, not far from the .sea side, where stands the Boundary House of the 
two states, the line running through the centre of the hall of entrance, where 
was held a parley with some North Carolina officers sent in pursuit — our 
party occupying the south side of the line in the hall, and thus beyond their 
jurisdiction. Captain Moor was attended now by his cousin. Major Duncan 
Moor; General Smith by my.self and Dr. Andrew Scott, the surgeon of 
both. At the st.'cond fire General Smith received his antagonist's ball in 
his side and fell. The surgeons, Drs. Scott and Griffin, conveyed the 
general to Smithville by water, while I hastened to Belvidere, and, in a chair 
conveyed Mrs. Smith in the night to the Fort, through one of those storms 


of lightning and rain that often rage in Carolina summers. On this 
occasion the lightning destroyed two trees, one on either side of the road, 
apparently at one flash, and for a moment blinding us; but the anxiety of 
the wife was superior to the alarm, and the lady found her husband quite 
cheerful at the Fort, with the ball lodged near the left shoulder blade. The 
party proceeded to Wilmington, where the General recovered after a few 
weeks' confinement. Family rancour between these cousins was the cause 
of the duel. 

The 4th of July was celebrated this year at "The Barn" by Mr. Walker's 
inviting my friends to a dinner given by him for the occasion, and where I 
formed the acquaintance of William Gaston, Esquire, of Newbern, and 
John Haj^ard of Raleigh. In the following week, on 8th, the family 
moved to the summer residence at the Fort, and renewed our fishing and 
other sports of the season. On 12th of the month I was summoned to the 
death-bed of our surgeon. Dr. Griffin, at Wilmington, where he had been 
attending the wound of General Smith. The doctor died of yellow fever, 
and in the act of repeating the death scene of Shakspeare's Julius Caesar. 
In his lucid moments he pronounced his case mortal, and asked to be 
buried in Mrs. General Smith's flower garden at Smithville. This lady had 
been as kindly attentive to both the doctor and myself as if she had been 
our parent. To Mrs. Smith the doctor bequeathed his portrait that had 
been drawn by our friend Mr. Miller. Mrs. Smith adopted a daughter of 
the doctor's, and educated the child until its early death — a daughter 
named Mary Ann. Her remains were placed beside those of her father 
in Mrs. Smith's garden at Smithville. The doctor left me his horse, sword, 
pistols, watch and librar)-. He was a young man of genius and a faithful 
friend. In a few days after this mournful scene in Wilmington I was 
assailed by the same type of fever, and by the care of Dr. De Rosset was 
conveyed to sea air at the Fort, but did not regain my health until the 
following September, when, by authority of the Secretary of War, I 
employed Doctor R. Everett as surgeon for the port at Fort Johnston, 
and by the same authority a hospital was commenced there, which not only 
served for the garrison but also received many a sailor from the European 


ships that carried the ton timber of North Carohna to the dock yards 
of England. 

Before leaving West Point in 1804 I had in casual conversation with 
my brother officers, mentioned my having seen Colonel Burr at Mr. 
Denning's, at Beverly, in 1803, and of his conversation with Mr. Denning 
about the American provinces of Spain — Mexico, Florida, etc. — and that 
probably Mr. Jefferson's purchase of Louisiana might be extended over 
these provinces. By some means, unknown to me, this occasioned a query 
to be put to me from Washington, whether Colonel Burr had at any time 
remarked to me anything in reference to colonizing or other movement 
to the West. My reply was that he had not ; and I said that at my only 
interview with him at Beverly, in 1803, the only remark made to me was of 
the season and weather. In the current summer and fall it was common 
to hear speculations about Colonel Burr and his friends having objects 
in the West — that were known to Mr. Jefferson — reminding me of the 
foregoing facts. 

In November moved from my post quarters to the Bay Street house of 
Captain Walker — that had been prepared for his family residence at the 
Fort — for my winter quarters. In December I received a request from the 
Secretary of War to examine the live oak and other growths on Bald Head 
Island, to ascertain the expense of delivering the timber to the government 
by contract. Lieutenant Botts of the revenue cutter and myself explored 
the whole Island, east and west of "Flora's Blufl," and estimated that there 
were.then standing at least twenty thousand live oak, sixteen thousand cedar 
and twelve thousand palmetto trees; and we found that the expense for 
furnishing live oak by contract would be one dollar per cubic foot delivered 
on board of a United States vessel in Cape Fear River, and reported the 
same to the Secretary of War: palmetto and cedar at half that price. 

1806. This winter, at the Fort, we received . much company from Wil- 
mington and Charleston, S. C. by the packet of Captain McYlhenny, a 
favorite ship-master of that name. We were sometimes obliged to borrow 
bedding from my friend Benjamin Blaney, and sometimes borrowed sheep- 
skins from the public stores, for the gentlemen's beds, while veni.son and 


wild turkeys were abundant from the woods in the vicinity, and my waiter, 
Riley, was an expert gatherer of oysters from the shoals, and we had 
abundance of sweet potatoes and corn bread from the plantations. 

As the spring approached I began to conclude that the tapia contract to 
build the battery would not be fulfilled ; indeed I had letters from Wash- 
ington informing me that General Smith had extended his negotiations with 
the Secretary of War to the Treasury Department, and to secure the "Reed 
bond" had mortgaged rice lands on the Cape Fear river. Thus I was 
left with but slight duty in my small command of troops at the post. I 
wrote the Secretar)' of War for such leave as would allow me to look after 
some domestic affairs up the river a few miles, that might be done consist- 
ently with my responsibility as commandant at the post of the fort. The 
request was granted in a three months' leave under the conditions proposed, 
and thus I left Sergeant Fowler in charge of the troops and public stores. 
Dr. Everett in charge of the hospital, and moved my family to Barnard's 
Creek, on the Cape Fear, four miles below Wilmington, in the month of 
February, 1806. The one-half of this place, including a tract of pine land 
of four thousand acres, Mr. Walker had given to Mrs. Swift. My object 
was to essay in planting and milling. The plan was commenced by 
widening and deepening a canal from the mill pond to a rice mill, and by 
constructing a set of conduits at the tail of the mill-race to run the water 
used on the wheel into the rice field below the mill, extending to the maro-in 
of the river — for the water-culture of rice. I also constructed several 
of Evan's elevators, and brought the rice machine into useful and 
profitable service. 

On 15th May my first child, James Foster, was born at the residence of 
his grandfather Walker, and in walking to see the mother and son, from the 
mills, overheated and injured myself By the middle of June the unhealthy 
residence at the mills had convinced me that rice planting and milling were 
not suitable pursuits for me in that climate. My good servant Erickson, a 
Swede, had died of the fever, and I buried him under the live oaks at the 
margin of the creek. The honest man gave me his silver sleeve-buttons as 
a memento of his regard. This exposure to ill health caused me to return 


to the fort in May, and to move my family tliither tlie last of June, 1806; 
and with the usual monthly report to the War Department I sent an appli- 
cation to be sent to any northern port that might be deemed proper for me, 
and was replied to, that such should be done as soon as the good of the 
service might indicate a station. 

Congress had this year remodeled the Articles of War, and in the 63d 
article provided for the service of engineers in an incongruous and 
invidious form of comparison. The aspect of our affairs with Spain had 
caused a law to call out one hundred thousand of the militia in case of 
need, and appropriated for fortifications one hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars, and two hundred and eighteen thousand dollars for arsenals, arms, 
etc. From the commencement of the government the harbor defences had 
ever been tolerated only by some vague ideas that England — ever hoping 
for some fatal mistake on our part to give them foothold in some part of the 
Union — might come suddenly from Halifax or Bermuda and seize on 
Rhode Island, or some point in Chesapeake Bay, etc., to prevent which, 
the wisdom of Congress had imagined that some one hundred thousand 
dollars a year, expended on these harbors, would "keep the foe at bay." 
This pittance, however, was not found sufficient to afford the nation one 
single fort in complete order for defence, even on the smallest scale. 

On 14th July Lieutenant William Cox, of the United States artillery, 
arrived at Fort Johnston, to relieve me from that command, but found me 
too ill of fever to proceed to make up the returns and receipts of and for 
public property, and so continued until 26th of August, at which time a 
storm swept all the craft in the harbor into the marshes, save the revenue 
cutter. On 28th I received the account of the destruction of my rice crop, 
mill dam and flood gates at Barnard's, from what source I cannot say, but 
from that day I began to recover my health, and by 8th September was able 
to travel to Wilmington, and, with my family, to sojourn at Mr. James W. 
Walker's place at the Sound. On 15th October returned to the fort, and 
took receipts from Lieutenant Cox for all the public property at the fort, 
and transmitted the one part of the duplicates to the war department. 

First of November proceeded to Raleigh, and passed a few days of my 


convalescence there in company with tlie Governor of the State, Evan 
Alexander, Esq., and the Secretary of State, Mr. John Guion. By loth 
of the month had arrived at my uncle Jonathan Swift's, in Alexandria, 
and on 13th at the War office in Washington, where I received from the 
Secretary my commission as captain of engineers. Had the honor to 
dine with President Jefferson. Among the guests were Mr. Madison the 
Secretary of State, and General Tureau the ambassador from France, who, 
in the conversation after dinner gave an interesting account of Bonaparte 
passing the Alps into Italy and overwhelming the Austrians, and was warm 
in an eulogium of the venerable Wurmsur. The Secretary of War said 
that arrangements would be made by Colonel Williams (my beloved chief) 
for giving me a northern station in the ensuing spring. On my return to 
Carolina I passed a few days among my friends in Alexandria, and was 
there assailed by ague and fever, and after the kind nursing of my good 
aunt Swift was enabled to renew my journey on 20th November, and 
reached my family in Wilmington, North Carolina, on 12th December, 
resting on my way at the Bowling Green, Richmond, Fayetteville, and by 
Christmas reported myself to Colonel Williams by letter, that I was fit for 
duty. During my absence Major Bruff, of the army, had written a sarcastic 
letter to his connection in Wilmington, upon such a youth as myself having 
been selected to relieve his brother-in-law. Captain John Fergus, in the 
command of Fort Johnston. I asked the major to explain this imperti- 
nence. He apologized for the error that he had committed, as he called 
it, and we were restored to as much eood humor with each other as need 
be, or, as seemed to me, could be, with his unfortunate temper. He was 
a fault-finder with everybody and everything not influenced by his com- 
placency ; he was, however, a gentleman of some ability, and esteemed to 
be a good administrative officer. 

1807. The holidays and January were passed among my acquaintances 
in and near Wilmington and Fort Johnston, and with an association at the 
head of which was Archibald F. McNeill, Esq., the object of which was to 
raise means to aid the poor of Wilmington. The mode was by representing 
some of the plays of Shakspeare and others of the English drama. The 


price of the tickets was a dollar, and a considerable fund was realized, and 
Mr. McNeill was esteemed (and in reality was) a good Hamlet. Mr. 
McNeill was an accomplished gentleman of the same family as Dr. Daniel 
McNeill of the Scottish emigrants, after the battle of Culloden, among 
whom was Flora McDonald, the friend of Charles Eduard "the Pretender." 
Mr. McNeill's mother was a daughter of Sir James Wright, the colonial 
Governor of Georgia, and he married Miss Quince, an heiress of Wil- 
mington and cousin of Mrs. Swift. Dr. Daniel McNeill is an intimate 
friend of mine. His wife, the beautiful Miss Martha Kingsley, is one of 
the most interesting persons of Wilmington. Among my other intimates 
is our family physician and friend, and cousin of Mrs. Swift, Dr. Armand J. 
De Rosset. He is of an old Huguenot family expelled from France. The 
brothers Louis and John had been early settlers in Carolina, and officers of 
the royal government, and steady supporters of the Episcopal church. Mr. 
George Hooper was also a friend of mine. His family came from Boston 
with his brother William, the member of Congress from North Carolina in 
1776. Mr. George Hooper settled as a merchant in Wilmington and 
married the daughter of the distinguished counsellor, Archibald MacLean, 
and is a gentleman of inborn hospitality and of fine literary taste, and 
writes well and with facility on various subjects. The Hon. John Hill, 
whose family came also from Boston. He was among the prosperous rice 
planters of Cape Fear. His brother William was a member of Congress. 
The family of Swann (formerly Jones) of Virginia, were among the oldest 
and most respectable families of the neighborhood of Wilmington. The 
ancient family of Moor, descended from Governor James Moor of South 
Carolina, were residing on the banks of the Cape Fear. Alfred, recently a 
judge in the United States Supreme Court, and his sons Alfred and Captain 
Maurice, informed me that this family was of that of Drogheda in Ireland, 
and that the rebel, Roger Moor, celebrated as the defender of Irish indepen- 
dence in the century before the last, was of the same family.* The 
family of Ashe was also living here. Colonel Samuel, an accomplished 

•Major Alexander Duncan Moor, the son of the Revolutionary general, James Moor, was of the same family. 


gentleman and son of the governor of that name. They had given 
several officers to the army of the Revolution, such as John Baptist 
and Captain Samuel. 

My groomsmen, John Fanning and George Burgwin, were the sons of 
an opulent merchant of Wilmington. The family came from Bristol in 
England, where these sons were educated. They introduced at their 
residence, the Hermitage, the modern social habits of the English gentry, 
and which the elder people of Wilmington said was not an improvement 
upon the days when the Tories (Dr. Robert Tucker, Francis Cobham and 
Colonel John Fanning) had given the gentry of Cape Fear a sample of 
English manners, as practiced in New York when that was a British 
garrison in the Revolution. Be that as it may, the Hermitage was a 
delightful visiting place. The sister of the Burgwins was a beautiful 
woman, and had also been educated in England, and had married Dr. 
Cletherall of South Carolina. 

I had now been nearly three years a resident of North Carolina, and had 
experienced the kindness and hospitality of many of its good citizens, and 
become attached to them, and had also in a measure become identified with 
their institutions; was a master of a few slaves, and had a little experience 
of their ways and knowledge of their condition. The relation of master 
and slave in that part of North Carolina is of a kindly character in general 
on the part of the masters. But with my essays to operate with this class 
of laborers I could not be reconciled to their perpetual retention in a 
condition forbidding their mental improvement ; and as far as my obser- 
vation extended a sentiment similar to this was entertained by most of the 
educated gentlemen. That which seemed to me the worst consequence of 
slavery was its influence upon the minds and habits of the white children. 
The natural disposition to rule, that is inherent in the human mind, is nour- 
ished in the "young master" and mistress. They become impatient and 
domineering, and vent their angry passions upon the negro children. 
These passions grow and strengthen with the years of both white and 
negro child until both approach their "teens." It is of the nature of 
human qualities that it should be so with both parties. 


[Boston Harbor, 1809. At West Point two years ago I had collated and 
transcribed from my diary to the period of ni)- approaching departure from 
North Carolina, and at the present time — as my public works are drawing 
to a close, and having sent my family by packet to Wilmington under the 
escort of my friend Benjamin Blaney, who had been visiting his relations at 
Roxbury, preparatory' to my own return to Fort Johnston on official duty — 
I proceed to occupy leisure moments in a further collation ol my journals.] 

1807. In the month of P^ebruary I received orders from Colonel 
Williams, who was then at the war office in Washington, to repair to 
West Point early in the ensuing April, and receive the command of that 
post from Captain William A. Barron. 

I negotiated a loan at the Bank of Cape Fear for four hundred dollars, 
and received one hundred and fifty dollars from the United States, and on 
20th March was on board the packet Venus, Captain Oliver, with Mrs. 
Swift's mother and niece Margaret as our companions, and, with Mrs. Swift 
and our son James and servant Nancy, proceeded before a fair wind by the 
New Inlet to sea, and on 28th arrived at Mrs. Tilford's boarding house in 
Courtlandt street, city of New York. The ne.xt day gave Mr. George 
Gibbs two hundred dollars that I had received for him from Carleton 
Walker, Esq., of Wilmington, and on 6th April arrived by a Newburgh 
packet at old West Point, and received the command of the same from 
Captain Barron, who went to the city. Mrs. Swift, mother, and niece, 
took the barge and made a visit to her uncle and Aunt Du Bois at New- 
burgh, where I joined them in a few days thereafter, and found Mr. Du Bois 
(John) an intelligent old gentleman, full of reminiscences of the .scenes 
of the war of 1781 in Carolina, and of the iron rule of Major Craig, 
Governor at Wilmington in those days, and familiar with the events of the 
De Rosset and Du Bois families, then prominent people in North Carolina. 
The former he described as refugees to Holland after the St. Bartholomew's 
massacre, and the latter as refugees to the colonies after the revocation of 
the Edict of Nantes. 

On 14th April received orders from Colonel Williams (he then being, 
with Major Macomb, on duty in Charleston, S. C.,) to serve an arrest on 


Captain Barron, who had recently returned from New York, and who with 
readiness obeyed the order. 

The academy was opened under my superintendence, Professor F. R. 
Hassler being at the head of the mathematical department, and F. De 
Masson the teacher of French and drawing. 

Among the cadets who joined the academy this spring were Sylvanus 
Thayer and Alpheus Roberts, graduates from Dartmouth College, and 
Miles Mason and James Gibson, who were among the most prominent 
in Mr. Hassler's classes. 

By the approbation of the Secretary of War, through Colonel Williams, 
I commenced the formation of a library for the Academy, and employed 
Samuel Campbell, of New York, to import the books, and sent Lieutenant 
George Bumford to New York to aid in this business. In June, while 
in New York, I was enabled to transmit to my friend John Bradley, Esq., 
of Wilmington, two hundred dollars, the one-half of my debt to the bank 
at that place. In this month the family of Colonel Williams arrived at the 
Point, the colonel being employed on the fortifications in New York 
harbor, while, by order of the War Department he was held responsible 
for the superintendence of the Academy, and consequently made, in his 
visits to his family, frequent inspections at the Academy. The colonel had 
become pleased with the perpendicular system of defence of Montalembert, 
and was permitted by the President to apply so much thereof as could 
be in round towers on Governor's Island, etc. 

On 13th June Lieutenant E. D. W^ood and myself proceeded to Fort Jay 
as members of a court martial there, for the trial of Professor William A. 
Barron. The court adjourned on 19th in consequence of the resignation of 
the major, and Lieutenant Wood and myself returned to West Point on 24th, 
where I had the pleasure to find my father, who in my absence had arrived 
on a visit to us. He became amused in walks among the highlands and 
redouts of the Revolution, and in the public stores where were the trophies 
of the war, and also the ponderous chain that had been extended from the 
rocks of the Point to the opposite shore at Constitution Island, to impede 
the passage of Sir Henry Clinton's expedition. In these explorations I was 


his companion, and was inquisitive about the early Hfe of my father, and 
his marriage and travels. Among his details he said that the death of his 
father had occurred under the tyranny of General Gage when he was in his 
sixteenth year, and had been prepared at Mother Lovel's school to enter 
Cambridge College, but being the oldest child it was necessar)- for him 
to remain with his mother, sisters and brother. His father had been an 
active Whig, and his moderate property in Boston had suffered injury 
while the town was a garrison ; that in returning to Boston with the family 
after the evacuation by the British troops they found their residence sadly 
dilapidated, as was also the similar case of many a neighbor; that the 
residence in town and a small country place on Dorchester Point formed 
nearly all the means of support to the family, aided by the needles of his 
mother and sisters ; that his brother Jonathan was apprenticed to Mr. May, 
a merchant, and that himself commenced in 1779 the study of medicine 
with Doctor Joseph Gardner, after the completion of which he had the 
appointment of surgeon in the navy, and in the squadron sent in 1781 to 
Holland, on board the Portsmouth, commanded by that "dare devil" Daniel 
McNeill, when that sloop of war was captured by the Culloden — seventy- 
four guns — commanded by Lord Robert Manners of Rodney's fleet; that 
he had difficulty in dissuading Captain McNeill from firing into the 
Culloden for, as he said, "the honor of the American flag." They were 
carried to the Island of St. Lucia as prisoners of war, where, from having 
been professionally serviceable to Captain Manners he was permitted to 
practice on shore on parole, and there received fees that enabled him to 
assist his fellow prisoners, and where he declined the kind offer of Captain 
Manners to rate him a surgeon in the English navy. Such of his fellow- 
prisoners as could swim executed a daring project long contemplated, in a 
night attempt to get silently into the water and swim and capture a brig 
laying at anchor, and which was effected by twelve of them, expert swim- 
mers, who boarded the brig by the cable, and cutting the same, and 
fastening down the hatches on the small crew (their number being eight,) 
they brought that ves.sel into Chatham Harbor on Cape Cod, with Captain 
Daniel McNeill as their leader, and sold the brig, and all reached their 


homes in safety; that from Boston my father went to Nantucket, with an 
introduction from Dr. Gardner, and then made an essay to estabHsh himself 
in Virginia, where he received the friendly aid of General Washington, to 
whom he had carried a package and introduction from General Benjamin 
Lincoln, and also his business references of General Roberdeau and Colonel 
Hove of Alexandria, but that health failing him he had abandoned the 
project and returned to Nantucket, etc. 

In this month of June the Secretary of War sent me the appointment of 
military agent for the post of West Point. On loth of the following 
month of July I accompanied my father to the city on his return home 
to Taunton. While descending the river we witnessed the fish hawk's 
surrender of his prey to the eagle, in company with John Garnet, Esquire, 
the distinguished mathematician and philosopher of New Brunswick in 
New Jersey, who had been to West Point on a visit to the family of Colonel 
Williams and to Mr. Hassler. The latter gentleman had been sent to West 
Point by Mr. Jefferson, at the instance of Mr. Hassler's countryman and 
friend, Mr. Gallatin. Mr. Hassler was established in the former Rivardi 
quarters. Mr. Hassler had an high repute for scientific attainments, and 
he had brought to West Point an extensive library. He was from the 
Canton of Berne in Switzerland, and had been the attorney-general of that 
canton, and had also been at the head of the great survey of Switzerland. 
The cause that he stated to me of his coming to the United States was the 
conduct of his countrymen in submitting to the interference of France in 
the affairs of Switzerland. He exhibited a curious union of love of science 
and politics ; his standard of excellence in the latter being the republican 
views that he entertained for the government of his native land. One of 
the prominent tones of his mind was a hatred of England. He had been 
unfortunate in his first investments of property in the United States, and 
therefore the professorate at West Point was convenient to him. He was 
an excellent teacher. 

On the arrival of my father and myself at the City Hotel, in New York, 
we found there collections of people in excited conversatian about the 
outrage committed on 2 2d ultimo on the United States frigate Chesapeake. 


Commodore Barron, by the British frigate Leopard, Captain Humphrey; an 
act that added contemptuous insult to injuries of impressment of our seamen 
under an arbitrary rule of 1756. This event excited a war feeling, but Mr. 
Jefferson's wisdom was of a peaceful nature, and he assuaged the public 
fever. Congress sustained his views, and looked to placing our harbors in 
a better condition to resist attack. Appropriations of one hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars for fortifications from Maine to Georgia — not enough 
for any one of the larger harbors ; the law also providing two hundred and 
eighteen thousand dollars for armament and arsenals, and five hundred 
thousand dollars to call out volunteers in case of need; also, fifty thousand 
dollars for the survey of the coast, including the publication of Thomas 
Cole's and Jonathan Price's survey of the coast of North Carolina ; the latter 
gentleman having published an interesting map of the whole of that 
State, one of the best specimens of maps yet published in the Union, 
fully equal to Mr. Madison's map of Virginia, though both have many 
errors in them. 

The general feeling of resentment through the country, that made the 
prospect of war with England popular, may have been induced to a sedative 
condition by a double excitement, one of the consequences of the efforts 
of Mr. Jefferson to bring Colonel Burr to trial for treason. The zeal 
exhibited in this effort, and the rigor pursued toward two of Colonel Burr's 
friends — Bollman and Swartwont — began to give a taste of personal and 
party rancor against Burr. Although the general impression was adverse to 
Burr, his intriguing character was feared, and perhaps a greater importance 
was attached to this propensity than it deserved, for, though Colonel Burr 
may have been full of designs, he executed none of them, save to destroy 
General Hamilton — and this an accident of the duel. It was the great 
position occupied by Hamilton that made Burr the object of public odium. 
The merits of the duel are to be measured by those of giving and 
accepting a challenge. 

I returned to West Point, taking with me by the request of the pay- 
master, Lieutenant N. Pinckney, three thousand five hundred and fifty- 
seven dollars due to the officers, etc., at the Point. 


On the last evening of July a meeting of the United States Military 
Philosophical Society was convened at West Point, in the Academy, at 
which a member, the traveler Lewis Simond, and also Count Mimeenitz 
were present — visitors of Colonel Williams. They made some pertinent 
remarks on military biography, the object before the meeting being some 
MSS. of the life and acts of Kosciusko, Pulaski and De Kalb. Colonel 
Williams also presented a MS. on the Field Exercises of Artiller)-, and 
Professor Hassler read a paper on his views of forming a general map of 
the United States, and stated some points of his correspondence with Mr. 
Gallatin on the subject of a survey of the coast of the United States. Mr. 
Hassler's mind was of a desultory cast, in fact it seemed to be crowded with 
ideas. At the black-board he would occasionally branch off into notions of 
extending the use of the lecture then giving to surveys of the mountains 
of the country, and referring to the map of the United States would point 
out the geographical form that nature had inade of its mountains and 
valleys, and water courses, in a sort of opposition to the artificial boundaries 
of the states. In experiments in the field he gave the cadets clear ideas of 
the use of instruments for measuring angles and lines, and from the summit 
of the Crow's Nest measured angles of depression of objects on the plain 
and river bank by the excess above ninety degrees, using a basin of 
mercury and the reflected image of the pupil of the eye, that being the 
vertex, etc. During the month of September a comet gave him occasion 
to measure its angular relation to Lyra and others of the stars, to determine 
the orbit of the comet, while Mr. Garnet, of New Jersey, was making there 
similar measurements for the same object. 

On 26th October I accompanied Mrs. Swift's mother and niece to New- 
York, and saw them well accommodated on board the packet, and under 
way for Wilmington, N. C. On the last day of the month received from 
the paymaster. Lieutenant Pinckney, two thousand one hundred and ninety- 
four dollars, which, with a /ormer amount received from him, I fully 
disbursed in paying the garrison at West Point, and closed accounts 
with that officer. I also received from Peter Gainsevort, at Albany, one 
thousand four hundred and ninety-one dollars, which sum was also fully 


disbursed in my military agency at the Point, and accounts closed with him. 

On 1 8th of November went with Mr. Hassler over the Highlands on 
foot to Newburgh in a very dry and boisterous day. On reaching New 
Windsor we discovered the dwelling of Mr. Thos. Ellison to be on fire, and 
a remarkable apathy on the part of the people in efforts to extinguish the 
flames, that were in the roof; the ladies of the family in great dismay, and 
at work bringing large quantities of plate and other valuables into the 
street. Mr. Hassler and myself carried water to the roof, and, not without 
scorching ourselves, succeeded in quenching the fire, and also succeeded in 
aiding the ladies to secure and restore their valuables to the house without 
loss to them. The father, Mr. Ellison, seemed an unconcerned spectator of 
the scene. 

On 23d of this month closed the Academy, and on leave embarked my 
family on board a packet that had come to the dock by appointment, and, 
with an early acquaintance from Taunton, Mr. Ingalls, proceeded to New 
York, leaving the command of West Point with Lieutenant E. D. Wood of 
the engineers. The next day we arrived at the city, and visited our Beverly 
friends, the Dennings, and those of the family of George Gibbs, Brooklyn 
Heights. Found that the family of Dr. McNeill had departed for Wil- 
mington, in Carolina. Our packet sailed on 5th December, and passing 
through Long Island Sound and Newport Harbor we ascended Taunton 
River, and arrived at my father's house in that town with Louisa and my son 
James, and our servant. This was the first interview between my father's 
and my own family. I had not been at home since 20th March, 1803 ; 
found a sad vacancy in the family circle which the death of my sister Nancy 
had made, and with pain observed its effects upon the countenance of my 
mother, though my sister had been now two years dead ; my brother 
William Henry absent at school. 

My father's neighbors, who had known me from boyhood, received my 
family with kind attentions, and some half dozen of them, with my early 
friend, Charles Leonard, Esq., and my teacher, the Rev. Simeon Dogget, 
honored my twenty-fourth birthday at a party given by my father, a very 
gratifying scene to me, and which was increased by an invitation from 


Mr. Doggett to partake in an examination of the pupils of the academy, 
where he had prepared me to enter Harvard College, and where I had 
undergone a similar ordeal to that now visited upon the younger brothers 
of my then class mates. 

1808. In the spring of the year past Congress had commenced in earnest 
to unfold its views, and a general improvement of the means of intercourse 
between the widespread States of the Union. Members from those parts 
thereof, which by nature did not admit of many improvements beyond 
those of the rivers in the interior, took objections to any action by the 
United States, on the ground that useful action would be unconstitutional, 
while those members from the more easily improved parts of the Union 
were as earnestly in favor of entering upon a general system of improve- 
ments, under the clause of the constitution that contemplates the promotion 
of commerce between the States. The Cumberland Road was so palpably 
of this tendency that its construction by the United States was authorized. 

The early assembling of Congress in October was in accordanee with the 
feeling of the countr>', that had become more and more hostile to the 
exclusive and arrogant maratime pretensions of England. This feelino- was 
embittered by the gross act of the naval commander of England, in 
assaulting a national ship, the defenceless condition of which (whether 
justifiable on our part or not,) was well known to the British commander; 
the insult, therefore, of "pouring in a broadside" into the Chesapeake 
frigate, thus circumstanced, was an act of weak policy in England, and also 
an act of perfidy made while pretending to desire peace, and while enjoying 
our hospitality. Yet, although the feeling of the country was warlike, and 
the treasury of the nation overflowing, Mr. Jefterson preferred non-inter- 
course to war, for France had also become as arrogant as England. The 
grasping power of Napoleon contemplated to make us subservient to his 
views, and what with orders in the British council and the decrees of Bona- 
parte our commerce with Europe was nearly extinguished. Under these 
pressures, the influence of Mr. Jefferson with Congress was able to induce 
the interdict by a general embargo, an act that lost sight of the predominant 
habits of the North, and by consequence putting a stop to the carrying 


trade from the South. The measure was deemed by Congress to be of a 
peaceful tendency, while in January that body appropriated a miUion for 
fortifying the harbors, and making promotions in the corps of engineers to 
the extent of the law, in order to construct the requisite works in those 
harbors ; also granting two hundred and eighteen thousand dollars for 
magazines of ammunition, three hundred thousand dollars for arms, two 
hundred thousand dollars annually thereafter to arm the militia, and also 
provided for adding five regiments of infantry, one of riflemen, one of 
light artillery and one of dragoons, to the existing army. 

This winter we received the sad account of the sudden illness and death 
of Mrs. Swift's father, Captain Walker, in Wilmington, North Carolina, on 
1 8th January, at the age of sixty-six years. He sent me a message through 
Dr. De Rosset of his hopes that I would approve of his will. I did not, 
however, see the justice by which his son James received the greater 
portion of the estate. This will diminished my prospects of settling my 
family, as was contemplated to be done, near Boston, in accordance with 
arrangements to be made under the orders of my official chief, with whom I 
was exchanging thoughts in reference to his purpose to assign me to duty 
in that quarter. The Secretary of War had directed Colonel Williams to 
divide the Atlantic coast into departments, and to assign the officers of 
engineers to the various harbors where defensive works were to be con- 
structed. On loth March, with my new commission, as major of engineers, 
came the orders of Colonel Williams that assigned me to the Eastern 
Department, comprised of the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and 
Maine, with Lieutenants S. Thayer, P. Willard, and J. G. Totten as my 
assistants, and with orders to correspond directly with the Secretar)- of War 
on the subject of plans of forts, etc. Without surveys it seemed to me 
impracticable to commence the duty assigned to me, beyond repairing the 
already existing redouts. I knew nothing of the capabilities of Boston 
Harbor. Of Newport Harbor I had some clear ideas from my services 
there upon the fortifications in 1801. Upon inquiry' at the War Department 
I learned that there had not been any surveys made by the Department 
since the projections in General Washington's time, made by Rochefontaine 


and Rivardi, and in Mr. Adams' time by Tousard, which last embraced 
repairs upon Castle Williams (thereafter called Fort Independence,) and 
upon an ill-contrived redout at Fort Constitution at the mouth of the 
Piscataqua, New Hampshire, and upon the block-houses and magazines at 
Portland and some minor points, as at Marblehead, etc. 

These works had been commenced by Colonel Rochefontaine, of the 
pontoon train in the Army of France in the Revolution, and at Newport by 
Colonel Tousard, an officer of distinction in the same army. 

The plans of Bureau de Pazzy for the harbors of New York and Boston, 
that had been devised in President Adams' time, were deemed to be far too 
extensive, and expensive, to be embraced by the appropriations. In this 
view the main error may have been in omitting to adopt such of the views 
as were contemplated by those plans that were in fact appropriate to the 
proper sites, and within our means to accomplish. 

It is to be admitted, that whatever may have been the talents of Colonel 
Rochefontaine, he had occupied many good positions with his narrow 
redouts, and also that such works were more commensurate with the views 
of Congress at the time than in accordance with those of the Colonel. My 
replies from the War Department also informed me that plans for "new 
positions" were then maturing at Washington, while my idea was that they 
should be designed on the spot where they were required. 

On 1 6th March, 1808, I proceeded to my duties at Boston, and with 
boats and other instruments e.xplored the harbor, and reported to the 
Secretary of War that George's Island and Long Island Head commanded 
the entrance to the main channels, and that whatever mieht be determined 
upon, those points should be embraced by the works of defence for the 
harbor, knowing that Governor's Island had become the most important 
point in the estimate of the advisers of the Department at Washington. 

In the ensuing month of April made an excursion to the east, and 
selected Naugus Head at Salem, Black Point on the Merrimack, Kittery 
opposite Fort Constitution, New Hampshire, Spring Point and House 
Island at Portland, for new positions for defensive works. I did not 
proceed further east, being advised by the Secretary of War that Colonel 


Moses Porter had been charged with the defenses further east in Maine, 
Henry A. S. Dearborn, Esq., of Portland, Captain Walbach and D. 
Langdon of Portsmouth, Mr. Hartshorn of Salem, Mr. Kittredge at 
Gloucester, Mr. Eustis at Boston, and Captain Lloyd Beale at Newport, 
R. I., had been appointed the agents of fortifications, to all of whom I 
gave requisition for materials to be collected at the respective points. It 
was determined to repair the Rochefontaine work at Marblehead, and at 
Gloucester Point. On commencing the latter I found the salt marsh sod 
firm and compact as it had been laid in the parapets in 1775. 

On my return to Boston made a flying visit to my father's, in Taunton, 
where I found a son born 30th March, both his mother and self doing 
well. I named him Jonathan Williams, in honor of my patron, the chief of 
the corps of engineers. Early in May moved my family from Taunton to 
Fort Independence (Castle Williams,) where my aunt Mary Swift joined 
my family. 

On loth May Lieutenant S. Thayer reported himself for duty at Fort 
Independence. On the same day I received from the War Department 
several plans of a species of Star Fort, contrived at Washington, too small 
for any flank defense, and too complicated for a mere battery, unsuited to 
the position for which they had been devised. The only resort left to me 
was to turn these plans on their centre until they might suit the sites as 
best they might, in Boston, Portland, and other harbors. 

I have now (1809) been nearly two years conducting the constructions 
of these works, and presume these plans to have emanated from some 
Revolutionary worthy near the War Department — probably Col. Burbeck. 
Evidently they were adopted in preference to the plans of us young officers 
who had given our opinion in favor of a more appropriate form and extent. 
We were indeed very young and inexperienced, save our chief and Major 
Wadsworth, opinion in the matter was avoided in consequence of the 
Secretary of War not approving the round towers in New York Harbor. 
It was not unreasonable to doubt the "constructing ability" of young men, 
though they knew far more of the theor)' of defense than any of those who 
were advisers at the War Department; ami it seemed to be forgotten that 


the experience now to be attained by these young men was the only way 
by which they could be improved. 

In the month of June Dr. Eustis, of Boston, was requested by the 
Secretary of War to counsel with me on the subject of a plan to enforce 
the embargo law of December last. At the rooms of the doctor I met 
Mr. Benjamin Austin, and other warm supporters of Mr. Jefferson's views, 
but it was evident that embargo was a severe test of their party views. I 
stated to them that there would be no difficulty in planting a battery that 
would ensure an obedience to the law, and that they would find that political 
sentiment would have no influence with any officer in the harbor. There 
had been meetings of the citizens, and much talk of resisting this embargo 
law, but the battery was constructed under my direction, and vessels were 
brought to anchor under its guns, and no other disagreeable consequence 
than an interruption to some social intercourse in Boston. It was not until 
the middle of the month of June that I was enabled to proceed to New 
Bedford and Plymouth to apply the "Washington Stars," to suit the 
commanding points in those harbors. On my return to Boston Governor 
Sullivan requested me to meet the Council of the State at his rooms, (he 
was ill and lame,) to consult in reference to any calling out of the militia 
to occupy, in case of need, the works that were in progress of construction 
on the coast of the State. This meeting was held on 23d June, and I 
presented to it the maratime condition of the coast, and found Governor 
Sullivan full of intelligence on the subject. On i8th of the following 
month of July the Secretary of War arrived in Boston upon an inspecting 
tour. He consented to examine Long Island Head and George's Island, in 
which excursion I gave him my thoughts upon the inutility of expending 
money upon Governor's Island and the Upper Harbor. His reply was that 
the appropriations did not allow of any change of plan at this time, and that 
an impartial distribution of the amount must be made on the whole frontier 
of the Atlantic. The Secretary directed me to meet him at Portsmouth in 
September, and also at Portland, to which places he would return from a 
visit to his farm, and other private concerns at Kennebeck, that had been 
long neglected. 


On 26th July proceeded by Taunton to Newport, to examine the points 
of defense in that harbor, and recommended to the War Department that 
an enclosed work on the Dumplin Rocks and at Coasters' Harbor would be 
a better expenditure of money than to repair the masonry of Forts Wolcott 
and Adams, and then returned to Boston Harbor to await the decision 
of the Secretary. 

In the first week of August, General Brooks and General David Cobb, 
Governor Gore and J. C. Jones, George Cabot, H. G. Otis, William Tudor, 
Josiah Quincy and James Lloyd, Esquires, and Rev. Jno. T. Kirkland made 
a visit of inspection to the various points in Boston Harbor, by my 
invitation. Received them under a marquee on Governor's Island, and on 
25th of the same month these gentlemen, and others of my Boston friends, 
dined with me under the same marquee pitched on the rampart of Fort 
Independence ; the chief object being to witness some experiments in 
throwing shot and shells, to indicate the range and extent of the fire, etc. 

On 8th September met the Secretary of War on the works at Portland, 
and proceeded thence with him to Portsmouth, and in company with 
Governor Langdon and Captain J. B. Walbach, agent of fortifications, laid 
off a battery at Kittery, to cooperate with the fire of Fort Constitution. 
On 20th September returned with the Secretary to Boston on his way to 
Washington, and mine to New Bedford, with Lieutenant S. Thayer, to the 
fort there. 

Early in October the Secretary of War, in reply to my report on the 
subject of occupying Connanicut and Coasters' Harbor in Narragansett Bay, 
made in July, directed that the repairs on the old works must first be 
finished, which of course was obeyed, and Captain Lloyd Bealc, the 
commandant of the harbor, the agent of fortifications, was instructed 

On loth of this month of October, with a view to arming the new forts, 
and ijy orders from the Secretary of War, I proceeded to the furnaces in 
Taunton, and directed the casting of 24-pounder shot at eighty-two dollars 
per ton. My early friend, Benjamin Dearborn, made the gauges at his 
balance factory in Boston, using a copy of the English tower measure for 


dimensions. On ist November, under similar orders established workshops 
in Boston, for the construction of gun carriages and other military appurte- 
nances for all the forts in my department. These ordnance orders emanated 
from Colonel Burbeck at Washing-ton, and the grun carriages were the 
three-wheeled sea coast carriages, using the same standard of measure. 

On 19th November made an excursion with Dr. Eustis of Boston, to 
Portsmouth, on an inspection tour. On our way we discussed a new 
formation of the army, to include a staff corps instead of detailing company 
officers to that service, and also an enlargement of the Military Academy, 
introducing a school of practice by a corps of sappers and miners. The 
two latter Dr. Eustis did not approve. This gentleman had been a hospital 
surgeon in the Revolutionary War, and had had much intercourse with all 
the departments of the army at that period, and at the present time may 
have had some expectations of going into the War Department under Mr. 
Madison. The doctor had many reminiscences of the war, and among 
them of the manner in which the committee was formed at Newburgh that 
produced the celebrated letters of General Armstrong. It was done by a 
general meeting of the officers and an open election of three to select a 
writer. Colonel Timothy Pickering was a member of that committee of 
three, and they appointed Major John Armstrong to be the composer and 
writer, etc. In reference to the treason of Arnold, his escape from Beverly, 
near West Point, was by the energy of the coxswain of his barge, Corporal 
Levy, who supposed they v.ere going upon an interview with the British ; 
that on their arrival on board the sloop of war Vulture General Arnold 
offered to make Levy a sergeant-major in the British service, with some 
remark on the cause of abandoning the American cause. Levy replied 
that one coat was enough to wear, and said to Dr. Eustis, this reply 
made Arnold look like a dog- with his tail between his legs ; that the 
commander of the Wilture commended Levy for sticking to his country, 
and treated the barge crew with good fare, and allowed them to return 
to West Point. 

In this fall I commenced, by approval of General Dearborn, a water 
battery at my request, on the head of Governor's Island, to command, 


or rather to secure a raking fire in the channel way in two directions, and 
completed the work by Christmas, using large blocks of Quincy granite, and 
without mortar. 

On 8th of the previous October I accompanied my father's eldest sister, 
Elizabeth, to Long Meadow on the Connecticut River, to witness her 
marriage with Colonel Gideon Burt, the service being read by Rev. R. S. B. 

On 28th November removed my family from Fort Independence to 
No. 3 Leveret Street, West Boston, my father and sister Sarah joining 
us soon after. 

1809. On 2d of January commenced an inspection of the shot at the 
Taunton foundries. Found the work novel to the founders, who had much 
difficulty in making the moulds to cast a true sphere, and a solid. The 
shot were improved in a lathe. Also I inspected and proved the carriages, 
rammers, sponges, etc., at the Boston workshops. 

In this month I commenced a well in Fort Warren, on Governor's Island, 
and on 20th had attained a depth of one hundred and thirty-three feet — a 
point forty feet below the level of the sea. Stoned the well sides, and in a 
short time it had forty feet of water in it, by filtration no doubt. 

At the request of J. W. Walker and S. R. Jocelyn of Wilmington, N. C, 
I examined the salt works at Dorchester, and employed Thomas Mayo of 
Cape Cod to proceed to the Sound, near Wilmington, where he constructed 
similar vats for evaporation. The plan was very successful. 

February ist attended, as pall bearer, at the funeral of my friend John 
Gardner's wife, the daughter of Jonathan Jackson, Esq. Mr. Gardner's 
health failed rapidly after this event, antl he declined to death in a few 
months. He was of a warm heart, and a true friend. He had Ixen a 
distinguished I'^ederalist and autlior of "Helvetius" and other arguments 
in defence of the Washington system of conducting the government. 

In the first week of this month I attended, by invitation, several meetings 
of the Massachusetts Legislative Committee on Roads and Bridges, to 
consult on the mode of executing their purpose to build an e.xperimental 
road from Boston to Salem, on the English model. 

March ist the Secretary of War, General Dearborn, resigned, and 


accepted the collectorship of Boston. This was the commencement of 
breakuig up Mr. Jefferson's administration. The officers of the army near 
Boston paid their respects to this indefatigable pubHc servant, and also 
gave him a dinner at the New Exchange. 

During the first fortnight in March the condition of the public works 
permitted my serving as president of a general court martial at the Castle, 
with officers of the newly organized army, and (save Lieutenant-Colonel 
James Miller) they gave me more trouble than they did service to the 
United States. Lieutenant Selleck Osborne Judge-Advocate, a much better 
poet than soldier, very eccentric, and of utter indifference to discipline. 

In March Dr. William Eustis was appointed Secretary of War. He 
invited me to accompany him to the War Office, which I of course accepted, 
and on 23d of the month arrived with him at Patrick Jeffry's on Milton 
Hill, formerly Madam Haley's, thence the next day proceeded to Taunton 
and lodged at my father's, and there met General David Cobb, the former 
aid-de-camp of General Washington, and camp companion of Dr. Eustis; 
thence to Newport, R. L, to inspect the forts in that harbor, and by packet 
to New York ; by stress of weather driven into New London Harbor, and 
there met Colonel David Humphrey of the Revolutionary Army, and also 
formerly aid to Washington and an ambassador to Spain. The three dined 
with George Hallam, Esq. ; thence by land to New Haven in company with 
Colonel Humphrey, who gave us an account of the flocks of Merino sheep 
in Spain, and of his importation of a number with the hope of spreading 
the breed in the United States and improving the manufactories of the 
country. He gave many anecdotes of Washington. At New Haven we 
met Hon. Pierrepont Edwards, and visited the graves of the regicides Goff, 
Whalley and Dixwell — amusingly emendated account of them by Dr. Styles. 

We arrived in New York on the last day of the month, and took lodgings 
at Mrs. Loring's, (the friend of Sir William Howe, who is immortalized by 
Trumbull the poet,) a lady of commanding deportment, who said she 
recognized me from a likeness to her schoolmate in Boston of fifty years 
gone by — Ann Foster, my grandmother. 

The next clay, with Colonel Marinus Willett and others inspected Colonel 


Williams' tower on Governor's Island ; the colonel absent. Colonel Willet 
was communicative of the early scenes of the Revolution, and of his own 
experience ; said that in the expedition on the Mohawk he had never met 
an Indian who could aim and fire a rifle as quick, or run as fast as he could 
himself. He is a fine specimen of the men of '76. On 2d April the 
Secretary of War arrived at Philadelphia, and was waited on by Hon. Pierce 
Butler of South Carolina, on the subject of some military claims. He is a 
gentleman of as much personal formality as any one of the house of 
Ormond can be. We also met the celebrated Dr. Logan — quite a contrast 
in personal deportment. Here Colonel Williams joined the Secretary, and 
exchanged some opinion on the inutiltiy of star forts, etc., and with Colonel 
William Duane, an officer of the new army, inspected Fort Miflin. Thence 
proceeded to Newcastle and to Gadsby's in Baltimore, on 5th April, and 
dined with General Samuel Smith, Madam Jerome Bonaparte and Miss 
Nancy Spear, a female politician and very intelligent lady. On 7th arrived 
at Washington, after inspecting Fort McHenry early in the day. On the 
following day to the War Ofiice, to meet the officers and subordinates of 
that Department, and presented Isaac Roberdeau to the Secretary of 
War, and recommended him to be employed in the engineer department. 
Dined that day with Mr. Madison and the Secretary of the Navy, when the 
conversation turned upon the defences of Chesapeake Bay and of River 
Potomac, which resulted in my examining the site at Warburton, opposite 
Mt. Vernon, as a point for defensive works. My report was that it was too 
far up the Potomac unless the mouth of the Patuxeut be fortified. The 
plan of building at Warburton was pursued, however, and Captain George 
Bumford the engineer thereof. 

Visited my uncle Jonathan Swift and other friends in Alexandria, and on 
my return to the city of Washington dined at Mr. Madison's, and was 
presented by Mr. Madison to Mr. Erskine, the British minister, and 
General Stewart of Maryland. Mr. Madison is a very instructive person in 
conversation, and fond of story telling. He gave us reminiscences of the 
progress of the government after the peace of 1783, and especially of 
scenes in convention in forming the Constitution in 17S7. On 19th April 


I returned to New York, and with my chief, Colonel Williams, examined 
his towers, and I gave him my views of the inefficiency of the star defenses 
of the New England coast, allowing them some moral influence as indicating 
the occupation of many points, and that therefore I should prefer the 
colonel's towers as serving an equal purpose and superadding safety from 
surprise; and a capability to resist attack until the militia of the country 
could be arrayed. Had pleasant meetings of officers at the colonel's 
quarters at Mrs. Wilkinson's, No. 40 Broadway, and made the acquaintance 
there of General Jacob Moreton, distinguished for his hospitality and for 
general intelligence. Thence through the sound to Newport, and to 
Taunton at my father's, where I renewed my acquaintance with my early 
and true friend, Charles Leonard, Esq., of Bermuda, and could but 
regret that so much talent as he possessed should be wasted in a listless 
life. On 27th April moved my father's family to School Street Court, 
Boston, my brother William H. having been sent to school in New Hamp- 
shire, at Charleston, the residence of my uncles Delano and Fitch. 

Early in May reported all the works in my department in good progress, 
Lieutenant J. G. Totten at Portsmouth soon to come from New Haven, 
Lieutenant P. Willard in Rhode Island, and Lieutenant S. Thayer at New 
Bedford; and on ist June the gun carriages were ready to be placed on 
the platforms, and the cannon balls were in process of delivery. The 
appropriations by Congress were, for new works, four hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars, to finish those commenced, seven hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars, and two hundred and nineteen thousand dollars for 
arsenals, magazines and ammunition. While I was in Washington the 
conversation there upon the non-intercourse indicated the continuance of a 
warlike feeling against England. Mr. Madison's opinion was that no faith 
could be placed in the pretensions of either England or France, both of 
whom desired to involve us in the war with their respective antagonists. 
Thus the appropriations looked to an early finishing of the coast defenses. 

The 4th July was quite a distinguished and marked celebration under a 
canopy at the base of Bunker Hill in Charlestown. Among the guests 
were ex-President Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry, Charles 


Gore, Lieutenant-Governor David Cobb, General H. Dearborn and others, 
of whom several had been in the battle on the hill over us ; where were 
recounted many of the events of that day in 1775 on the neighboring 
Breed's Hill, especially from General Dearborn, who commanded a company 
in that battle, and described the manner in which a private in his company 
had singled out Major Pitcairn as he rode at the head of his battalion, and 
"brought the major to the earth over the crupper of his saddle" by an aim 
and shot from a long duck gun, the man remarking: "I wait until that 
officer reaches a small mound in front," and then gave fire. 

On 5th July an express came before day to me from Captain J. B. 
Walbach, with an account of an explosion of an ammunition chest on the 
rampart of Fort Constitution, by which eight persons were killed and others 
wounded, at the salute on 4th. The concussion had shattered the barrack, 
old magazine, etc., requiring my directions for repair, etc., and wishing my 
counsel in other matters. Accordingly I proceeded 7th to Portsmouth, and 
arrived at Fort Constitution in eight hours from Boston. The repairs were 
completed by Captain Walbach in a few days thereafter. On examination 
there was no blame to be attached to any one save the poor corporal who 
was among" the killed, and who had permitted a too close proximity of the 
chest, and the slow match. 

Captain A. Eustis, of the army, accompanied me to the east on a visit of 
inspection of the forts on the 7th, I having attended to witness his marriage 
on 6th to Rebecca Sprague, a beautiful creature, in the Episcopal church 
at Dedham. 

July loth at Portsmouth, at Governor Langdon's met Mr. Ogilvie, a 
remarkable elocutionist and improvisator when under the iniluence of 
opium; Shakspeare, Dryden, and Massinger his favorite authors. 

On 29th July, with my father and Julius H. Walker, and my brother 
William H. and some others who were desirous to see the works in the 
harbor of Boston, went on an inspection of the forts, and the next day 
they and my mother, sisters and other friends attended the baptism of my 
son Jonathan Williams by Rev. John Thornton Kirkland, named for my 


patron, the colonel of that name, and also my father's brother, and The 
Dean, our cousin of many rumors. 

On 5th August the army officers waited on Hon. John O. Adams, to 
take leave on his departure on the embassy to St. Petersburg in the ship 
Horace. He was also saluted by all the forts on his way down the harbor. 

August 8th Colonel Burbeck arrived on ordnance duty to inspect the 
armament of the new forts, especially the three-wheeled carriages that bear 
his name, and appointed to visit the other works at the East. 

Having in contemplation to go to North Carolina after my duties in the 
eastern department are terminated, Mrs. Swift gave a meeting of leave- 
taking to our list of friends in Boston, and on 14th of August, with our sons 
James and Willie, she sailed in brig " Short Staple," Captain Ingersoll, for 
Wilmington, under the escort of my friend Benjamin Blaney. Accompanied 
them to George's Island, and there, meeting the frigate Essex, Captain 
John Smith, coming in, boarded her and sailed up the ship channel by 
Captain Smith's invitation, to see the bearing that the forts would have to a 
ship under way, etc. 

September ist, the Secretary of War and Colonel Burbeck on a tour of 
inspection of the forts in the harbor of Boston ; on which occasion I had 
an opportunity to acknowledge General David Cobb's kindness to nje in 
my early life, by introducing his grandson, David Cobb Hodges to the 
Secretary of War, and requesting for him an appointment in the army. 
The Secretary engaged to see that the wishes of his Revolutionary comrade 
should be accomplished. On this occasion the Secretary handed me a letter 
to him from the governor of North Carolina, urging that the plan of 
defense for Oak Island, on Cape Fear River, should be constructed as I 
had advised in 1804, and I stated to the Secretary that it could be 
executed for the amount then estimated, seventy-five thousand dollars. 

During the summer, in my excusions to the east, and by invitation from 
Nathaniel Bowditch, Esq., made my resting place at his residence in Salem, 
at whi^h times I have found him at breakfast time at work upon the trans- 
lation of La Place's Mechanique Celeste. I brought him and Professor F. R. 


Hassler to the acquaintance of each other, and interchange of their 
respective notes and observations. 

September 5th, in presence of the Secretary of War and Colonel Burbeck, 
at the request of the Secretary of the Navy, laid off upon the ground at 
Charleston Point a magazine for that department, to contain three thousand 
barrels of gun powder, and gave the masons plans and instructions to 
construct the same. Arranged with Mr. Penniman to receive my brother- 
in-law, Julius H. Walker, to complete his preparation to enter Harvard 
College ; have appointed with the president to that effect at the com- 
mencement on 30th August, at which time John F. Burgwin and 
others with me dined with the masters in the old hall — and according 
to ancient usage. 

Cape Fear River, Fort Johnston, North Carolina,' 
January, 1812. 

My last dates were at Boston in the month of September, 1809, soon after 
which time, with the Secretary of War, I went to the eastern part of my 
department upon a tour of inspection of the closing work upon the new 
forts on the coast, and making a call upon the Secretarj^'s army companion 
of the days of '76, Doctor Clement March, at Greenland, we arrived 
at Portsmouth. I proceeded to Fort Constitution, leaving Dr. Eustis to 
pursue his suit with Miss Caroline Langdon, the beautiful and accom- 
plished daughter of Woodbury Langdon, which lady the doctor married. 

The Secretary made his examination of the fort with Captain Walbach 
while I repaired to the works at Portland. The following week he returned 
with me to Boston. On our route the Secretary renewed the conversation 
about my contemplated departure for Cape Fear, and he mentioned another 
petition that he had received from North Carolina for the erection of the 
works that had been planned for Oak Island by me in 1804 as a subject 
that would be embraced in the estimates for 18 10. While the works were 
drawing to a close in Boston Harbor both the present Secretary and 
ex-Secretary Dearborn made excursions to view these forts, and the 


magazines for the Navy Department that were in progress at Charlestown ; 
and with both of these gentlemen, at General Dearborn's residence at 
Brinley Place in Roxbury, we had several meetings on the prospects of 
the country, and with a view to defense of the harbors in case of war. 
By the ist of October the works in the eastern department were closed, 
and on 9th reported my engineer's functions in the department to be also 
terminated, and placed the works in Boston Harbor under the control 
of Captain N. Freeman. 

On 14th October gave orders to Lieutenant S. Thayer to proceed to 
West Point for the winter. My brother-in-law, Julius "H. Walker nearly 
prepared to enter Cambridge College, and a member of my father's 
family in School Street Court, in Boston, and in whose charge I left my 
furniture, when, with my books and baggage on 31st October was on board 
the brig "Short Staple" at sea on my passage to Carolina, and on ist 
November passed near to Nantucket, my native place, not seen before by 
me in nineteen years. The day was clear and my reflections not easily 
described. At night we put into Martha's Vineyard, and in the rest of the 
sail along the coast amused myself by keeping the ship's reckoning, and 
in observations for time, etc., having with me a circle of Borda's belonging 
to the United States. On 6th November we were at the New Inlet of Cape 
Fear, and landed on Federal Point, the proposed site for a work recom- 
mended to the War Department in 1804, in my report made at that 
time. Thence proceeded to Wilmington and found my family in health at 
"The Sound," and remained there until loth November, at which time 
made a temporary residence at Mrs. Swift's mother's, Mrs. Walker, in 
Wilmington, preparatory to going to Fort Johnston. After an absence of 
two-and-a-half years find North Carolina but little changed in aspect of 
country. The best of North Carolina is constituted of warm hearts and an 
early flowering spring. My intimacy with the people of North Carolina, 
and some acquaintance with the interests of the State have grown with me, 
and attached me to both. 

In December, 1809, the Legislature of North Carolina re-ceded the site 
of Fort Johnston to the United States. 


On iith of the month I received orders from the chief engineer consti- 
tuting me the engineer for the State coast. 

1810. In January, previous to my professional excursion to the Harbor 
of Cape Fear, I renewed, at Judge Wright's, Mr. John Lord's, the Hills and 
other families my social relations with increased pleasure. At one of these 
re-unions, a numerous party, Dr. Caldwell, from the University of Chapel 
Hill, exhibited the declininsf condition of that colleo^e, and the whole 
company joined in a subscription to improve the condition of that 
institution, the alma mater of several of the younger persons of the party. 

In the course of this month I visited Fort Johnston with Joshua Pitts, 
General Smith and Mr. John Lord, and examined the boundaries of the 
public land at that place, and the dilapidated condition of the work, and 
reported on the same to the War Department. Lieutenant Robert Roberts 
was in this Board of Examination, and was also the commandant of the 
post. The reply from the department is that no more would be done at 
that post than occasional repairs and the construction of permanent barracks. 
With my friend Blaney visited the grave of our departed companion. Dr. 
Griffin, in the flower garden of Mrs. General Smith. 

In February, at a deer hunt with a party at Major Duncan Moore's, in 
the forks of the north-west and north-east branches of Cape Fear River, 
got up some sixteen fine deer. On this occasion Major Moore offered me 
one hundred acres of rice land on terms so liberal, (if I would settle my 
family in his neighborhood,) that I could not accept them without incurring 
too deep an obligation, but the liberality is not forgotten. 

March iSth, in company with many gentlemen from Wilmington on a 
search for the son of our friend, Samuel R. Jocelyn, on the second day 
the body was found in Holly Shelter Swamp, he having wandered thither 
in a demented state, and was chilled to death lying in some four inches of 
water. His name, Samuel, and recently married to a daughter of Coun- 
sellor Sampson, of the county of that name. 

In April I accompanied John R. London and others to the Sound, on an 
excursion to see its adaptation to salt-making. I gave these gentlemen the 
plan of the works on Cape Cod that I had received from Mr. Thayer of 


that place. No doubt that the ocean water in this shallow sound, not 
being freshened by rivers, and constantly receiving the tide from the sea, 
must afford a good surface for evaporation. 

On 15th of the month I received orders from the War Department to 
construct permanent barracks at Fort Johnston, with funds to defray the 
expenses thereof, and also orders to relieve Lieutenant Roberts in the 
command of that post. 

The appropriations for the military service of the United States contem- 
plated two hundred and eighty-three thousand dollars for fortifications. 
The previous construction of forts had been deemed sufficient to meet 
any maritime aggression. Little, therefore, was to be done beyond 
some repairs and the construction of permanent barracks at the various 
posts in the year 18 10. 

Whatever might be the ultimatum growing out of the relations with 
England and France, all were satisfied, save Congress, that it would be wise 
to prepare for the worst. Due preparation cannot be made by such an 
amount of money. Parties in and out of Congress are more engaged with 
small distinctions in the merits of the question of war than by a just 
estimate of the objects that France and England have in reference to the 
United States. The former can have no maratime views averse to those of 
the United States that cannot be successfully opposed on the ocean ; while 
England has a powerful navy, and claims the persumptuous and prescriptive 
right to rule on the seas, that, the United States can never admit "while the 
stormy winds do blow." 

During the past season I had attended the Masonic Lodge in Wilmington, 
having been admitted to that fraternity while at West Point in the year 1802. 
Observing an abuse of the test for admission, and considering the objects of 
the society, as a secret society, not agreeable to the spirit of our political 
institutions, I ceased to be a member of any Lodge, though having no 
doubt that the conduct of the society had ever been respectful of law, and 
with benevolent purposes. 

I am now preparing my family to go to my post at the fort, increased 
in number by a third son, Alexander Joseph, born in the house of his 


grandmother Walker, 4th March, 18 10; but disappointed in means by the 
will of Mrs. Swift's father, who, though intending to do justice, had so left 
his estate that, instead of receiving five thousand dollars, I was glad to 
compound with the son, James W. Walker, for one thousand two hundred 
dollars, payable in three years. 

April 20th, renewed my official visits to the fort while the commandant is 
preparing his returns to obey the orders of the War Department ; examined 
at the workshops the gun carriages made on Colonel Burbeck's plans, and 
condemned them. They are of pitch pine, but not strong enough to resist 
the concussion of a proof charge of powder. I had reported these facts to 
the War Department, and also that the works at Beaufort, in my command, 
required seven cannon and carriages and a barrack magazine, that would 
call for an expenditure of fifteen thousand dollars. 

May 1st, received the command of Fort Johnston from Lieutenant R. 
Roberts, and gave him receipts for the public stores. The next day, with 
the collector of the port, examined the beach at Bald Head, and the 
encroachments of the sea at that place, and advised the placing of facines 
confined by piles of thirty feet in length, as a protection against the action 
of the waves. 

May 15th, moved my family to the fort, and at housekeeping in the 
" Blaney Place," near the fort. June ist, deposited the United States 
funds in the Bank of Cape Fear, and commenced the collection of materials 
for barracks, etc. 

On 15th June, with the commissioners of the town of Smithville, 
marked out the lines of the United States land, and set red cedar 
posts for landmarks. 

During this month of June was employed with the collector in arranging 
to execute the law of the United States in reference to French and English 
vessels entering our ports. The first armed vessel that came in was the 
British schooner "Eliza," Captain Bradshaw, who landed his guns at 
the battery. 

June 28th, a riot among the pilots and the sailors of European ships, and 
was obliged to place some of the most turbulent in the block-house. This 


occasioned a legal question as to my authority. The necessity was made 
apparent, and the court sustained my conduct, having a constable with me 
whom I had accidentally met on the occasion, and invited to my aid. 

From the great mobility of the sand on the coast the storms had produced 
a variety of changes in the form of the large shoal near the entrance of 
the harbor, called the " Middle Ground." I employed the pilots early, and 
at several times, in the month of July, to sound out and buoy the Oak 
Island channel, and found thereby several changes in the course of the 
channel that had been made since my survey in the year 1804. During 
these operations the pilots employed, (two of them, Davis and Cope,) left 
the survey to board a vessel then coming in. They had some dispute, 
when Cope struck Davis in the bowels with a knife. The citizens of 
Smithville requested me to confine Cope until the civil authority could 
take charge of him. He was thereupon confined in the block-house, which, 
with all the United States works, is situate in the centre, and extending to 
the water front of the town. This occasioned some disturbance about the 
interpolation of military authority, and I was "excused" on the ground that 
I had done the "service due from a citizen." 

The 4th of July this year was celebrated with the usual essays, though on 
a very limited scale. The town honored me with the appointment of orator 
of the day. 

On 3d of August, in the presence of the collector of the port, Robert 
Cochran, Esq., and General Smith, the proprietor of the island of Bald 
Head, and others, Mr. S. Spring, the keeper of the light-house, etc., surveyed 
and marked with a theodolite, ten (10) acres, including the site of the 
light-house, and having reference to the abrasion of the shore of the sea, 
as examined last May, I included a wide sea-beach margin on Bald Head. 

August 9th, with a theodolite, above mentioned, received from Jones of 
London, made observations that proved the magnetic variation at Fort 
Johnston at this time to be fifty-five minutes west from the true meridian. 

The August election of State officers came on this year on 9th of the 
month. I gave the troops a fishing excursion to Oak Island for that day, 
with a view to prevent any question of " interference of troops at the polls," 


in reference to which, as an abuse of the franchise, much had been said, 
but, as far as my experience extended, had never witnessed any such 

On 1 2th August the United States brig "Nautilus," Captain Arthur 
Sinclair, came into port in a storm that had wrecked an English brig on the 
" Middle Ground " shoal. Received the officers at my quarters. 

On 25th September accompanied Captain Sinclair to sea for the purpose 
of examining the "slew" through the Frying Pan Shoal, which we found, 
at a distance of thirteen miles south of the lighthouse, a four-fathom channel 
directly through the Pan, bearing east-by-south. After a cruise of a few 
days the "Nautilus" returned to anchor off Fort Johnston, and finally 
resumed the cruise along the coast on 7th October. 

During the months of October and November the weather was excellent 
for labor, and by ist December had completed the brick barracks and 
-guard-house, and discharged the workmen. Moved the troops into the 
new barracks, much to their comfort. 

December 12th, by order of the vSecretary of War, transported the 
military stores from Wilmington to the block-house at the fort. These 
appurtenances had been in the use of 12th United States Regiment of 
Infantry in 1799, and were stored in Wilmington in 1800. 

Passed our Christmas at the wedding of our fair cousin, Mary Vance, 
■with Mr. James Orme, and with my friends Alexander C. Miller and General 
and Mrs. Smith at Belvidere, and at General Brown's seat at Ashwood, on 
the Cape Fear, and returned to the fort on the last day of 18 10. 

181 1. January 5th, the governor of the State and suite inspected the 
post of Fort Johnston, and was received with military honors. 

Judging from the debates in Congress that a more enlarged plan of 
defensive works would be constructed on the coast, on 17th of this month, 
with my reports to the War Department expressed a hope that I should be 
employed at some other point, as very little could be expected to be done 
on the Cape Fear, and also wrote my chief. Colonel Williams, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Macomb, soon after, on that subject. 

In February I employed Dr. Egbert Haywood Bell as surgeon of the 


post, which was confirmed by the Secretary of War. The doctor is 
distinguished in his profession. The family of which he is a member are 
generally noted for talents; they reside in the upper country of North 
Carolina. During the winter Mrs. Swift's sister Harriet and husband, 
Colonel Osborne, had been members of our family, and in the spring they 
moved to Salsbury, when Mrs. Swift's mother joined our family. Mrs. 
Osborne Is not only amiable but has also an highly cultivated mind, that 
has contributed much to our enjoyment. With Mrs. Osborne we had 
the pleasure to receive as guests the father and daughter. Colonel John 
De Bernler. They were from England ; and from Edward Jones, Esquire, 
I learned that this gentleman, with his brother Henry, had (both) been 
lieutenant-colonels in the army of England, and in command in Canada, 
where they had been suddenly relieved from command, and chagrined by 
the order, they had both sold out their commissions, which act was soon 
succeeded by orders giving both of them more distinguished commands in 
India. The mortification resulting from those occurrences may be imagined. 
In the case of Colonel De B. melancholy was marked on his face. Mr. 
Jones, who gave me this information, is an Irish gentleman, and has filled 
the office of attorney-general of North Carolina with high repute. The 
Colonel Osborne before mentioned is the son of Audly Osborne, Esquire, 
of Iredell County, North Carolina, reputed to be a son of the family of 
Leeds, in England. The colonel is a lawyer of much ability, and who, 
with four of his brothers, had received the first honors of Chapel Hill 

During the months of February and March flocks of pigeons were daily 
passing over the fort, with a sound resepibling a gust of wind. Several 
of these flocks were more than a mile in extent, and vast numbers of 
them were destroyed. Their roost was on Bald Head Island, where they 
found an abundance of acorns, and from whence sportsmen brought many 
thousands of these birds. 

On 1 2th May while at Wilmington dining with George Hooper, Esquire, 
was summoned to the bed of his son-in-law, Mr. James Fleming, who had 
a few moments previous left us at table, and had been thrown against the 



corner of the brick market house in town by an unruly horse. Mr. 
Fleming's brains were forced through the ears by the concussion, and I 
found him breathing with some violence, but he was dead within an hour. 

The 4th July was passed at the seat of General Brown at Ashwood, with 
a purpose to attend the marriage of my friend, Alexander C. Miller, and the 
general's daughter, Miss Mary Brown. The general asked me of the 
orio-in, etc., of Mr. Miller ; my reply was that all that I knew of him had 
been received of him, and to judge from his uniform deportment it left me 
no reason to doubt that he had been highly educated, etc. Before leaving 
the fort, Lieutenant Roberts and myself had set our watches together and 
arranged to have the salute at the fort commenced at noon, and to fire at 
intervals of fifteen seconds. I placed myself alone at the margin of the 
Cape Fear River at Ashwood, sixty miles distant from the fort, in due 
season to listen, and heard the sound of distant cannon, but not at precise 
intervals. The sound was that of a puffing, continuous sort, and I counted 
only fourteen of them. My ear was not more than three inches above the 
surface of the water ; the day was quiet, and the air from the south-west ; 
my position in a direction a little west of north from the fort. In the banks 
of the Cape Fear at this place, some seventy feet below the general surface 
of the country, I found an abundance of shark's teeth and other organic 
remains in the earth, washed by every successive rise of the river. 

I returned to the fort on 6th, and on loth July, having received the long 
expected 24-pounder new cannon, carriages, and six hundred round shot, 
replaced the old guns by mounting the battery with the eight new ones. 

The appropriations this year for fortifications are four hundred and seven 
thousand dollars. These and preceding preparations may show both France 
and England that our endurance of their decrees and orders may find a 
limit. Both nations seem, from our own dissensions, or contempt for us and 
for our form of government, to consider our ability or purpose to sustain a 
war as of small importance to them. Both parties in our country greatly 
mistake their policy ; the Democrats in their evasive palliations of the 
cause of France ; the Federalists by their efforts to prove that the decrees 
and orders are equally insulting and therefore deserving equal resistance. 



They lose sight of the hope of England that we may make some error to 
favor her pretentions, and that her superiority on the ocean gives her power 
to annoy, and they lose sight of the fact that if we ever are to assert our 
rights on the seas, we must commence to do it while England is practicing 
her arrogant power of impressment. 

A letter from my mother informs me of the death of my' grandmother 
Delano, at the residence of her son in the State of New Hampshire, at 
Charlestown, on 3 ist May, at the age of eighty-three years. The letter also 
informs of the disposition of her property, and of the end of my e.xpecta- 
tions of receiving something that had been willed to me by my grandfather 

July I ith received at the fort, Treasurer Haywood and other o-uests from 
Raleigh, who came to look at the ocean, and to be informed of what plan 
of defense might secure the entrance to the most important harbor on 
the coast of North Carolina, in which the Legislature of the State had 
taken a deep interest, and here were several of her prominent members to 
prepare themselves to give that body such account of their observations as 
they could collect. It was very evident that these gentlemen had no respect 
for the moderate use of naval power of England in case we should have a 
war with them. 

In my memorandum of my visit to Ashwood I omitted to state that there 
stands a tree whose bark has been marked, indented in the year 1780, with 
a figure representing the Revolutionary general, Robert Howe. These 
marks had been spread by the growth of the tree, and now exhibits a 
gigantic rude figure of a man in military costume. This is a result of a 
slight engraving on the bark of any tree, especially the beech, but if the 
indentation be deep the growth of the bark covers the work and so 
obliterates the desiofn. 

July 15th sent to Mr. F. R. Hassler, then in England, or going thither, to 
direct the construction of instruments for the United States coast survey, to 
cause a telescope to be made for me with one eye-piece for astronomical 
use, with a power of one hundred and seventy-five. 


July 20th received orders to repair to Fredericktown, Maryland, as a 
member of a general court marshal to be there assembled in September, for 
the trial of General Wilkinson. 

August 1st delivered the command of Fort Johnston to Lieutenant 
Roberts, United States Artillerj', and reported the same to Lieutenant- 
Colonel C. Freeman, commanding at Norfolk, Virginia. On 4th August 
proceeded to Raleigh and Richmond, and passed some days there with 
Major Gibbon, the hero of Stony Point, 1776, and kept my appointment 
with General Marshall in accepting an invitation to visit him while I was 
the guest of the major, and found at the general's a delightful assemblage 
of talent in Mr. Wickham, Colonel Gamble, Colonel Mayo and others, 
that was very tempting to prolong my stay among the hospitalities of 
Richmond. I soon after arrived at my uncle Jonathan Swift's, in Alex- 
andria, and then to call on the Secretary of War in Washington. In 
company with Colonel Williams, Lieutenant-Colonel Macomb, T. C. Smith 
and others, arrived at Fredericktown the last of August. 

On first day of September the general court marshal assembled. General 
Wilkinson came into court with his counsel, Mr. Taney and Mr. Thomas, 
and with eloquent address said to General Gansevoort : " Mr. President, this 
sword (unclasping it from his side) has been the untarnished companion of 
my thigh for forty years, with a resolution never to surrender it dishonorably 
to an enemy, I am now by the order of the government of my country, 
ordered to place it in your hands, etc.," and stepping forward, handed the 
sword to General Gansevoort, who with much simplicity and dign ity, and 
uncommon brevity, replied, " General, I receive your sword. These officers 
are assembled to try you, and will doubtless do you justice. Are you ready. 
General?" "I am," said Wilkinson. "Mr. Advocate, General Walter 
Jones of Virginia, please to proceed with the trial." 

The charges against General Wilkinson were numerous, and extended 
from the year 1789 to 18 10 — treason, conspiracy with Colonel Burr, 
corruption with the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Manuel Gayozo de 
Lemos and Baron Carondelet, disobedience of orders, neglect of duty, etc. 
General Wilkinson waived the act of limitation. The court was several 


days employed in an argument whether the waiver of the accused would 
justify the court in trying for offences charged beyond the limit, etc. The 
court continued on this trial nearly four months. The court acquitted 
General Wilkinson of all the charges. Many very queer transactions of a 
political and mercantile character were exposed, but neither military offence 
nor official or personal corruption, nor any act of treason or conspiracy 
thereto, or with Colonel Burr, were proved. In reference to Colonel Burr, 
no fact of a treasonable character was established against him in his trial 
before Chief-Justice Marshall at Richmond in 1807. It was testified before 
the general court marshal that the expedition of Colonel Burr had for its 
object the conquest of Mexico, in which no doubt General Wilkinson, 
General Jackson and many other prominent men of the United States would 
have been engaged ; in fact, the purpose of such a conquest, to proceed 
from the United States was known to General Hamilton and Colonel 
Pickering, and to William Pitt and others in England. 

During the trial Colonel Williams, Macomb and myself and other officers 
renewed our pleasant intercourse with the social and hospitable residents 
of Fredericktown, and in the course of which many ill-natured and silly 
rumors were circulated of an unbecoming intimacy with the ultra- Federalists 
of that place, on the part of the officers, and especially was it censured that 
General Wilkinson should have been invited to the same parties where 
were found officers who were daily on his trial. 

On 1 6th September Colonel Williams and others observed the comet 
that was brilliantly seen in the north in this season, which observations were 
sent to Mr. Garnet in New Jersey, together with others made upon the 
annular eclipse the next day, 17th. The day was clear and the observations 

October 4th, I received from Colonel Williams an account of the 
barometrical measurement of the height of Catskill Round Top, three 
thousand five hundred and sixty-six feet, and White Hills in New Hamp- 
shire, six thousand two hundred and thirty-four feet, and other minor 
points, by Captain A. Partridge, United States engineers. 

October loth made a report of the ordnance and of the defences that 


had been completed in Smithville, Fort Johnston, to Colonel Burbeck, as 
the chief of artillery, United States. 

November 14th. To Harper's Ferry to examine the workshops of the 
United States arms, and to explore Jefferson's Rock there with Lieutenant- 
Colonel Macomb, and the next day to measure the barometrical height of 
the Colocton Mountain ; broke our instrument ; the view admirable ; counted 
some two hundred and seventeen cultivated fields. These excursions were 
pending adjournments of the court. Among Macomb's and my excursions 
we several times visited Monsieur Payer, or Vaneaudier, an emigrant from 
France, who with his family had erected a chateau, of style similar to such 
buildings in France. They were living in genteel elegance, but maintained 
a species of incognito that no one was allowed to question — a sort of 
nonsense that is very striking and romantic to young people. 

November 17th, Colonel Williams, Lieutenant-Colonel Macomb, Major 
Armistead and myself sent our opinion of the bill for the improvement of 
the corps of engineers to the Secretary of War. It embraced a corps of 
sappers and miners. 

The general court martial brought its proceedings to a close on 24th 
December, and every member signed the same, and they were sent by 
an officer to the Secretary of War at Washington. The members of the 
court soon dispersed, and on 26th December I paid my respects to the 
Secretary of War, Washington, and found myself not as graciously received 
as was the wont of that gentleman, who had favored me with his intimacy. 
I also found in this place of large gossip, especially so in the time of the 
session of Congress, that the acquittal of General Wilkinson was received 
with disappointment by the executive, and it was rumored that some 
charges had been made by an underling of the War Department adverse to 
the impartiality of some of the older officers on the court, but that Mr. 
Madison would not consent to any such mode of impugning the right of 
opinion, and thus the charges were suppressed. 

The sentiment among congressmen was of a conflicting nature on what 
were to be the results of debates upon the orders and decrees of England 
and France. Receiving from the War Department no especial orders for 


duty, I returned to my family, then in Wilmington, North Carolina. I still 
retained my quarters at Fort Johnston, where I found the family of 
Lieutenant Roberts in deep distress, he having died in the previous month 
of November. I had written to the Secretary of War to have his accounts 
settled, in order to pay off his debts and afford some relief to his family, 
and this was accomplished. On my return to North Carolina from Wash- 
ington I was informed that the daughters of my friend Major Gibbon, of 
Richmond, were at their uncle Duvale's, in Washington, and had just 
received the mournful account of the destruction of the theatre in Rich- 
mond on 26th December, in which their brother, Lieutenant Gibbon of the 
navy, had been one among the seventy burned to death in that fire. I waited 
on these ladies, and escorted them to their father's in Richmond, and met a 
scene of distress that cannot easily be described ; and early in January 
reached my family in Wilmington. 

Wilmington, North Carolina, 
February, 18 ij. 

18 1 2. At the close of January arrived at the fort with my family, and 
found there Lieutenant J. Ewing of the United States Artillery, with orders 
to report to me for duty. Received from him a box of public papers, being 
the unsettled accounts of Lieutenant Roberts with the United States, with 
good and imperfect vouchers amounting to fourteen thousand eight hundred 
dollars. Sent these papers to the account office in Washington, claiming as 
balance due on them eight hundred and twenty-eight dollars and twenty- 
seven cents, and one hundred and forty dollars on a recruiting account. 
The auditor replied that the claim cannot be allowed until further vouchers 
be found. 

February ist, gave orders to Lieutenant Ewing to detail a party to work 
daily m the block-house, cleaning the arms, etc., received there in the 
previous year. This was in pursuance of orders received from the War 
Department, together with the appointment of myself as military agent for 
the coast of North Carolina, and was the first intimation in orders of haste, 
in preparation for war ! 


Februar)- 21st, the United States brig" Vixen," commanded by Lieutenant 
Charles Gadsden, arrived at Fort Johnston on public business with me. 

In March I received orders from the Secretary of War that the state of 
public affairs required an inspection of the fortifications on the coast of 
Virginia, the two Carolinas and Georgia, and requiring me to make the 
same as soon as my present duty permitted. 

On 1st April proceeded on this inspection in the packet to Charleston, 
South Carolina, (at the same time escorting the daughter of Colonel 
De Bernier on a visit to her friends in South Carolina. This lady is the wife 
of Harper Harper, Esquire, of Wilmington,) leaving the command of Fort 
Johnston to Lieutenant Ewing. Bad weather delayed my arrival at 
Charleston to 6th April. 

The next day, 7th, inspected Fort Johnson on James Island, and the day 
following, the Palmetto Fort of 1780, now called, for its brave defender 
then, " Fort Moultrie," and heard from General Pinckney the storj- of 
Sergeant Jasper's heroism in that defense and repulse of Admiral Parker. 
By invitation, the day after, met the two Generals Pinckney on the subject 
of the defenseless state of the coast, from the Chesapeake to Tybee. The 
elder general, C. C. Pinckney, commented on the recent laws appropriating 
seven hundred and ninety-six thousand dollars for fortifications, and pro- 
viding for calling out one hundred thousand militia, and the organization 
of a quartermaster-general's department as convincing to him, though not 
in the secret of the cabinet, that war was at hand. 

On I ith examined Castle Pinckney, and on 13th proceeded to Savannah, 
and with Captain William McRee, United States engineer, examined Forts 
Jackson and Tybee on 15th. On i6th returned through the Sound, and on 
17th examined Beaufort, South Carolina; arrived on 20th at Charleston; on 
24th at Fort Johnston, North Carolina, and found letters with Lieutenant 
Ewing from the War Department advising my postponing a visit to the 
fort at Beaufort, North Carolina, imtil after my inspection at Norfolk, in 
Virginia. After inspecting Oak Island and the New Inlet with Lieutenant 
Ewing, I proceeded to Wilmington, on ni)- way to Washington, with A. F. 
McNeill, Esq., as far as Warrenton, where his daughter Mary was at Mr. 


Mordecal's school. Leaving Wilmington on ist May, on 7th arrived at 
Petersburg, and viewed the Appomattox River below the town, also the 
"Punch Bowl of Pocahontas," and by the Isle of Wight county arrived at 
Norfolk on loth. The following day, with Colonel Freeman, the com- 
mandant of the post. Commodore S. Decatur and L. W. Tazuell, Esquire, 
examined the harbor of Norfolk, having reference to the expected war with 
England ; wrote to my chief. Colonel Williams, my views of defending this 
harbor, and by a packet from Norfolk to England wrote F. R. Hassler to 
procure for me one of Troughton's circles of reflection. The following day, 
13th, examined the navy yard and Hospital Point with Lieutenant Thomas 
R. Swift of the United States marines, and found him to be a far-removed 
cousin; consulted also with Captain Evans, of the navy, on Norfolk 
defenses, and found him a very highly informed person, whose opinions 
I respect. 

On 15th proceeded up the bay by packet, to Baltimore, and, after an 
inspection of Fort McHenry on 20th took the stao-e for Washino-ton. A 
fellow-passenger observing me reading a work of Dr. Doddredge expressed 
his good opinion of the book. He was Hon. James Millman, on his way 
to Congress from Philadelphia. That has commenced a pleasant acquaint- 
ance. Arrived in Washington the same day in season to attend the levee 
of Mr. Madison, and to arrange joining the mess of the Hon. Samuel 
Smith of Maryland, Nicholas Gilmore of New Hampshire, and Charles 
Goldsborough of Maryland, at O'Neal's. At breakfast the followino- 
morning the conversation was upon the effect of the embargo law recently 
passed. A majority of the mess, including John Polk, Esq., of Kentucky, 
were adverse to war, but in favor of ample preparations, as for instance, 
the fortifications, the corps of engineers, and the ordnance department. 

On 2 1 St made my report to the War Department upon my inspections in 
Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, and dined with 
the President at a private dinner on 23d, when he expressed the highest 
respect for the patriotism of General Pinckney, and for his eminent ability. 
I commended to the President Major Duncan Moore and A. F. McNeill, 
Esq., as in every way worthy of the attention of the government for military 


service. A regiment was at my command if I so desired. I preferred the 
prospect in my own corps, and mentioned the chief of my corps as in 
every point of view worthy an elevated command in the new organization 
of the army, etc. ; with the Secretary of War, and met there the notorious 
Jacob Lewis, making pretensions to mihtary and naval command combined ; 
a man of many words, and of no consequence. The Secretary gave me 
orders to return to South Carolina and report for duty to General Thomas 
Pinckney via Norfolk. On 26th dined with Hon. William Lowndes and 
Colonel George Izard, my former captain at West Point, and discussed the 
probability of a campaign into Canada, and the mode and route. The 
Colonel was for Quebec, Mr. Lowndes was for not going into Canada at all, 
and my idea was to organize a campaign in Lake Champlain and divide the 
two Canadas, etc. 

On 3d June took leave of the mess at O'Neal's, where I left Mr. Curtis 
and Colonel Lloyd Halsey of Rhode Island, and his daughter, and via 
Baltimore and the Bay arrived at Norfolk on 8th. There gave Colonel 
Freeman a requisition on the War Department for the quartermaster- 
general to supply intrenching tools, etc. From Fort Nelson I sent orders 
to Captain William McRee in Savannah, and Captain John Niex at 
Beaufort, in North Carolina, to prosecute the works at those places with all 
the means in their control. Wrote to Major W. H. Armistead at West Point 
to advise me, through Colonel Williams, of the condition of the Military 
Academy. This was done in consequence of letters from the colonel that 
evinced some disgust at the neglect of the War Department. 

On 1 2th June by Petersburg, and, meeting Mr. Miller at Mr. Mordecai's, 
in Warrenton, arrived at Fort Johnston, Cape Fear, on 19th, having with 
me the amount as exhibited on the auditor's statement of differences, and I 
disbursed the same (one thousand three hundred dollars,) among the 
creditors of Lieutenant Roberts, saving the amount due to Benjamin Blaney 
and myself. Loss of, and imperfect vouchers, and want of books, have 
deprived Lieutenant Roberts' family of much of his claim. 

The day after my arrival at the fort was joined by Captain Dent of the 
United States navy, and employed in arranging to proceeed to South 


Carolina. On 26th June, with orders from both Navy and War Depart- 
ment, Captain Dent and myself proceeded to sea in a whale-boat ; overtaken 
by a gale of wind and driven into Little River through the surf on the bar, 
and thence on horseback to Georgetown, where we met the eccentric 
Colonel Peter Harney in his cottage, formed after the fashion of a 
ship's cabin. He was full of patriotic feeling on reading the declaration of 
war that Captain Dent and myself had received at Fort Johnston, North 
Carolina, and the colonel expedited our journey to Charleston on 29th. 
On the 30th June reported myself to General T. Pinckney, as chief 
engineer of his department of the army. 

July 1st, commenced tours of inspection with General Pinckney, in which 
he associated his brother, C. C. Pinckney, and the governor, Henry 
Middleton, and at my request Captain William McRee. The subject at 
first was the association of the militia under Colonel John Rutledge for 
coast defense, with the Eighteenth Regiment of United States Infantry, 
Colonel William Drayton, and Lieutenant J. Hamilton, adjutant. Several 
of these consultations were held at Mrs. Horry's, the sister of the Generals 
Pinckney ; a lady of extensive knowledge with great simplicity of manner ; 
and I observed that both of her brothers paid great respect to that lady's 
opinion on every public subject discussed in her presence. 

At this time a singular occurrence gave the character of some of our 
newly-appointed officers. By the general's order, I sent an order to 
Colonel Welborn and Colonel Pickens, then at Salsbury, North Carolina. 
These gentlemen acknowledged the receipt of the order, but, from some 
view they had taken, said "they had concluded not to obey the order, and 
to divide the responsibility between them." They were arrested, but on 
explaining restored. 

The last of the month of July made an excursion to Fort Johnston, 
North Carolina, and returned to Fort Moultrie loth August jwith Lieutenant 
Ewing, and also my man Jack and my horses. Since 20th July had been 
performing the combined duties of chief engineer and of aid-de-camp to 
General Pinckney, having in the same period received my promotion to 
lieutenant-colonel of engineers, on the promotion of Lieutenant-Colonel 


Macomb to the command of a regiment of artillery. I found on my table 
at headquarters letters from Washington, advising of the resignation of 
Colonel Williams, but no order signifying my consequent advancement. 
This resignation of Colonel Williams was Induced by the neglect of the 
War Department In selecting general officers for the new army. A subor- 
dinate position of brigadier was mentioned for the colonel — he did not 
choose to accept. I notified the corps of engineers of the great loss we 
had sustained In the retirement of our friend and commander, and accom- 
panied the same with my views of a suitable arrangement of the respective 
officers to various posts of duty, which would be Issued In orders as soon 
as the War Department sent me official notice of the event ; which notice 
was received on 19th August, on which day I notified Captain William 
McRee to report himself to General PInckney on 28th of that month, and 
assume the chief englneership of the southern department, and also orders 
to Lieutenant-Colonel Armistead to report to me In season to meet me in 
Washington before the last of October. 

Was necessarily detained in General PInckney's department, to close up 
the public business in my two departments, until the last of September, 
when I took my leave of General PInckney, in whom I had found a wise 
and discreet commander, a gentleman of moderate and firm mind, and of 
all those qualities that constitute an accomplished gentleman ; and of whom 
it is also said that In character and manner he resembles General 
Washington more than any man at this time living. His brother. Coats- 
worth, a most delightful companion and Intimate with Washington, said 
he was his brother Tom's model. Neither of them credited the story of 
Washington swearing at Lee at Monmouth. 

On 4th October arrived at Fort Johnston, North Carolina, on my route to 
the city of Washington, and there, by appointment, met General Thomas 
Brown of Ashwood, to arrange with him the mode of calling out the militia 
of the State, under the order of the governor, to guard the coast on the 
plan adopted by General PInckney. Reported the result of this Interview 
to the last-named gentleman; occupied a few days in arranging my official 
affairs at the fort, and on 10th October left Lieutenant Ewing In command. 


and, having arranged for my family to move to Wilmington at the close of 
the season, proceeded with my man Jack to Fayetteville on the 14th. The 
next day wrote General Pinckney my views of the mode in which General 
Thomas Brown would, under the governor of the State, execute his plan 
(General Pinckney's) to embody the militia at the coast. In the night at 
nine o'clock proceeded in the stage to the north. At midnight, while cross- 
ing the Cape Fear near Averysborough, our heedless driver discovered that 
the water had risen during the day, and we found the stage floating and the 
horses swimming. Fortunately the stage wheels caught in the branches of 
a tree called a planter. I took off my upper garments and succeeded in 
cutting clear from the harness one of the wheel horses, and with the aid of 
my man Jack and this horse we saved the passengers and United States 
mail and part of the baggage, when the stage swung clear of the planter 
and was swept down the river, drowning the three other horses. The 
distance from the stage to the bank of the river was about twenty yards. 
The passengers arrived at Averysborough about daylight, and there dried, 
their clothing and such baggage as had been saved, and thankful to God 
for deliverance from peril. At this place the succeeding stage from the 
south brought Langdon Cheeves and John Galliard, Esquires, from South 
Carolina, on their way to Congress ; the former a native of Ireland, came a 
boy to Pennsylvania, and by his own powers became a very distinguished 
counsellor, and moved to South Carolina. As a traveling companion, 
sociable and full of wit, he gave us recitations pathetic and ludicrous, 
to make the lumbering way short. This meeting commenced a very agree- 
able acquaintance with him. Mr. Galliard is from an old Huguenot family, 
not brilliant nor strong but of unassuming good sense, a gentleman of bland 
and kind deportment. I found him to be a relative of the wife of Professor 
Hassler of the coast survey. Our party arrived at Washington on 21st 
October. The War and Navy Departments much employed in reference to 
the supplies called for by law, the former department especially in procuring 
the ordnance stores with the one million dollars appropriated therefor, and 
with a very capable officer at the head — Major D. Wadsworth, aided by Cap- 
tain Bumford ; and also in filling vacancies in the thirteen newly appointed 


regiments, and fifty thousand volunteers. In my department, estimates for 
the coming year, in addition to five hundred thousand dollars recently appro- 
priated are needed, to which work I immediately went by examining the 
reports of my late chief, Colonel Williams, and Lieutenant-Colonel Macomb, 
and gave the estimate to the Secretary of War amounting to four hundred 
and ninety-seven thousand dollars, exclusive of any field works which might 
be called for in any campaign, referable to the quartermaster-general 

At the request of General W. H. Harrison, sent an order to Captain E. 
D. Wood to join the general as an aid-de-camp at Cincinnati as well as his 
engineer. From the time of my leaving West Point in November, 1807, 
I had been without account of the progress of the Military Academy 
save the cursory views given in the letters of Colonel Williams and Major 
Armistead, accordingly I wrote to Captain Partridge for a full report thereof. 
My name was now before the United States Senate to fill the vacancy of 
chief engineer. On loth November General Samuel Smith and Governor 
Gilman of the Senate informed me that Dr. Eustis was privy to a plan to 
supercede me in that office, by appointing, under the provisions of the law 
to promote without regard to rank, and that Robert Fulton, the distinguished 
civil engineer, was the candidate that he preferred. This sacrifice of the 
continued intimacy between the doctor and myself may have been just in 
estimating the relative ability of Mr. Fulton and myself, but it met no 
support from Mr. Madison, and both General Smith and Governor Gilman 
state that my nomination passed unanimously 4th December, 1812, ami with 
expressions from senators commending nomination, etc. Whether the dis- 
appointment that the acquittal of General Wilkinson produced had any inllu- 
ence in this matter I have not the means of knowing with certainty, but it is 
certain that from the date of that acquittal the deportment of Dr. Eustis was 
less friendly than previously. Early in December the doctor resigned the 
War Department of his administration, for the foregoing causes. I omit 
remarks upon his official course. The slanders at Washington about an 
undue partiality on the part of four members of the court that tried General 
Wilkinson had been traced to Mr. Simmons of the War Department, and 


referred to parties and feuds in the army that commenced between General 
Wayne and General Wilkinson. In the consultations of the court such 
gossip had very properly no influence. At Washington, however, now, in 
December, 181 2, more rational views of the matter had commenced in the 
cabinet, where all but one said that " if General Wilkinson had been indis- 
creet, the testimony before the court was not of a character to justify a 
verdict of guilty." The war was commenced and it was needful to make 
the best use of our few officers of any experience, and it is observable at 
Washington that as trouble presses, military men have become more 
important than previously in the estimation of members of Congress, to 
judge from their speeches and personal deportment to officers on the floor 
and in the lobbies of the hall. 

In this month of November Commodore Stewart gave a gala on board 
the frigate Constellation, then lying before Washington. The President 
and heads of departments and many others witnessed this exhibition of that 
fine frigate. Many members of Congress had never before seen a " man of 
war." This is a very sensible piece of tact on the part of Stewart to over- 
come the influence of Mr. Gallatin, who was of the opinion in the cabinet 
that our ships should be laid up in safety. Thanks to Stewart, Bainbridge 
and Mr. Madison, such counsel, however patriotic, was neglected, and Hull 
captured the Guerrier, and now on 8th December I had the pleasure to be 
present at a ball given in honor of Hull, where we had a second trophy 
scene. Lieutenant Hamilton in the name of Commodore Decatur laid the 
flag of the Macedonian at the feet of Mrs. Madison. With characteristic 
delicacy this lady said, " raise the flag; such a humiliation is not due to a 
conquered foe." 

At the close of the month received letters from my family informing of 
the birth of my son Thomas Delano, at the residence of his grandmother 
Walker in Wilmington, 23d November, 1S12. 

November 2 2d sent to Major Gibbon and General Marshall at Richmond, 
and to General Pinckney in South Carolina, maps and descriptions of the 
points of opening war on the lakes, etc., etc. 

Wrote to Colonel Williams iSth December of my having orders to return 


to Carolina for the winter, and enclosed his son's (Alex. I.'s) commission in 
the army. On i "th December sent orders to Captain Partridge in reference 
to opening the Militar}- Academy next spring, and with orders to Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Armistead, Major McRee and Major Bumford, Captains Willard, 
J. G. Totten and S. Babcock, Lieutenants Thayer, De Russy, Cutbush, Lewis 
and Findley to be ready to take the field early in the spring, and also sent 
them their commissions. The same evening waited on the President to 
introduce Colonel Wadsv.-orth and to consult on the services of our respec- 
tive departments. A very interesting conversation, Mr. Madison being in 
favor of a total change in militar)- operations for the next campaign. 

Received a present from Colonel Oilman of New Hampshire of a silver 
drinking tube for the wounded. 

December 2 2d wrote Governor Turner of North Carolina on the defenses 
of Cape Fear, at his request, to be laid before the Legislature of that State, 
Proceeded to Wilmington and Fort Johnston, North Carolina, and arrived 
there on 30th December, 1812. 

Before leaving Washington I observed that great difference in opinion 
prevailed among the prominent men there, the President being in favor of 
a change in our plans of operation upon Canada, while others thought the 
Detroit system the preferable direction of attack. A species of apathy that 
it was hoped would be changed for action if General Armstrong accepted 
the War Department. 

Definite orders to the engineer department were deferred for the present, 
and I pursued my way to my family, stopping in Raleigh, North Carolina, 
to confer with the military committee of the Legislature in reference to the 
subject of the coast defences, contained in my late letter to their senator. 
Governor Turner. 


lotli March, 1S14. 

1813. On my arrival in January at the residence of my family in North 
Carolina, and by the approbation of the President of the United States, I 


submitted a memoir to the militan' committee of tlie State, throuo-h their 
chairman, General W. W. Jones, embracing views of the defence of the two 
entrances into Cape Fear Harbor, and a plan of organization of the militia 
to guard the sea coast against predatory assault from Bermuda, etc. In the 
middle of the month went to Ashwood to confer with General Thomas 
Brown upon this plan. I was accompanied by my friend. Dr. Daniel 
McNeill, who visited my companion, Major Alexander C. Miller, to reduce 
an imposthume in his thigh, and succeeded in the operation. 

In the month of February visited the sound, inlets and Smithville anchor- 
age with Lieutenant T. N. Gautiere, United States navy, in reference to the 
cooperation of gunboats for the protection of the coast, etc. 

On I St March the expected orders came from the War Department to 
take charge of the defence of New York Harbor as chief eneineer. On 
2d, with my man Jack, proceeded to Raleigh and on to Fredericksburg, Va., 
where Lieutenant-Colonel Armistead joined and accompanied me to the 
city of Washington, from whence I sent him to conduct the works at 

On 1 2th, consulting with General Armstrong, the successor of Dr. Eustis 
in the War Department, in reference to my future functions in New York 
and at the Military Academy, and upon the application of the four hundred 
and ninety-seven thousand dollars that had been appropriated for fortifica- 
tions on my estimates made last fall ; which, with the twenty new regiments 
of infantry, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for barges for harbor 
protection, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for hulks to obstruct the 
harbor channels at points where the defences were insufficient, ten compa- 
nies of sea fencibles and ten companies of rangers, with also a newly 
organized staff and a commissariat of purchase and supplies, evinced the 
influence of our new secretary and promised vigorous operations. 

On 24th arrived at Baltimore and consulted with General Samuel Smith 
upon militia and other defences of the Petapsco, and we inspected Fort 
McHenry and gave directions for repairs of the same. 

On 26th to Philadelphia, and passed a day with my late chief, Colonel 
Williams, at Mount Pleasant on the Schuylkill, who though retired was 


deeply interested in plans for protecting the Delaware, in reference to 
which, and my own views for New York, I remained a few days for the 
benefit of the counsel of this patriot. April ist at Mrs. Wilkinson's, No. 
40 Broadway, in New York, that had been for years the city quarters of 
Colonel Williams and other engineer officers. 

On 6th April reported myself for duty to General George Izard, the 
commandant of the department, and by an especial order of the President, 
received the command of Staten Island with a brigade composed of Colonel 
Samuel Hawkins and Colonel Alexander Deniston's regiments of infantry, 
the 3 2d and 41st, in addition to my duties as engineer, and also such 
occasional visits to the Military Academy as my duties may permit, and for 
which purpose I required Captain Partridge at West Point to man the 
engineer yacht and send the same to me, which was done, and the yacht 
used for the double purpose of exploring the waters adjacent to New York, 
and making occasional inspections of the Academy at West Point. April 
15th I commenced repairing all the forts in the harbor, and also a system of 
block houses at Utrecht Bay, west end of Long Island, Princess Bay on 
Staten Island, at Sandy Hook and Jamaica Bay, to prevent surprise from 
the English squadron of three " seventy-fours," two frigates and a sloop of 
war then laying off the Hook. Employed Mr. Cropsy of Utrecht, a very 
industrious and intelligent mechanic, to construct these buildings, and also 
Mr. John Tisdale as clerk to the engineer department. He had been simi- 
larly employed by Colonel Williams. To aid this protection we had a fleet 
of gun boats in the Sandy Hook cove. Despatched the yacht with orders 
to Captain Partridge at West Point to call on Colonel Snowden, the military 
store-keeper, with my requisition for the wall pieces in the United States 
stores, which on their receipt were distributed to the several block houses 
before mentioned, each block-house having a guard formed by detachments 
made by General John Swartwout from his brigade of militia quartered at 
Perth Amboy. We had discovered that from the Romilles, seventy-four, a 
nightly intercourse was maintained with spies in the city. I had arranged 
with Cjeneral Swartwout to transport his forces at short notice to the Hook 
or L(Mig Island, having also an understanding with the commander of the 


flotilla of gun boats and barges, Captain Jacob Lewis, to furnish barges, 
relying, however, for efificiency on his second officer. Captain J. B. Cooper, 
in Armand's corps, and who though never a sailor, had been a cavalry office 
at the age of seventeen in the War of Independence ; a man of mind and 
great activity. 

On 25th May reported to the Secretary of War that all these temporary 
defences of New York Harbor were defensible, having cannon mounted 
in all of them, and supplies, etc., etc. Also reported to the Secretary that 
I had ordered Major McRee to the northern frontier as chief engineer there 
and Lieutenant S. Thayer to General Bloomfield for similar duty on the 
Delaware river and bay. I also sent the Secretary my plans for new build- 
ings at West Point, regretting that the appropriations did not permit 
architectural taste, space of rooms and despatch in building being essential 
to the increasing wants of the Academy. 

At the close of the month of May the governor of the State and the 
commandant of the department accompanied me on an inspection of the 
forts in the harbor and of the temporary works before mentioned. These 
various employments had postponed my visit to West Point into June, when 
I went thither in the yacht and inspected the Academy. Among the exper- 
iments, found the magnetic variation to be four degrees and fifteen minutes 
west, and traced on the ground the foundation for the new buildings. 
Finding some impediment to the execution of my orders at the Academy, 
arising from my absence and Captain Partridge's idea of his own responsi- 
bility in my absence, by the permission of the Secretary of War I remodelled 
the functions of the Academic staff, assuming to myself the inspectorship 
of the institution, at the same time providing for the functions of a professor 
of ethics, histor>' and geography combined with the duty of chaplain, that 
had long been wanted at the Academy, and for which the Secretary of War 
permitted me to employ a divine of the Episcopal church. On my return 
to the city I found my son, James Foster, at No. 40 Broadway, brought 
from Wilmington, North Carolina, by my friend John Fanning Burgwin, 
with letters from my wife that the rest of my family would soon come on 
by land also, under escort of my friend Major Alexander C. Miller. 


On the occasion of arranging for the celebration of 4th July on Staten 
Island, General Izard deemed my views as interfering with his command. 
In referring him to the orders of the President and the 63d article of war, I 
also stated that my arrangements were of detail, and that I should adhere to 
them unless he chose to assume the command by his presence on the Island, 
or by general orders, and that it offered me an opportunity to gratify any 
wish he might have in reference to those details, if he would signify the 
wish. No farther discussion or action on this point of command arose 
while General Izard was in command of the department. 

On 17th July Mrs. Swift and my sons William, Alexander and Thomas, 
and my servant Nancy, arrived from North Carolina under the care of Mr. 
Miller, in twenty-one days' travel from Wilmington. They found Julius H. 
Walker, James Foster Swift and myself at housekeeping in Washington 
Street, Brooklyn, in quarters fitted by my friend George Gibbs, and by the 
aid of another friend, Major Fanning C. Tucker, found an e.xcellent school for 
my sons James and Willy, taught by a Welch scholar, Evan Brynon. Soon 
after my family vv'as established in Brooklyn, the Society for Manumitting 
Slaves called (by their deputy, a Quaker gentleman,) in my absence, on 
Mrs. Swift, and informed her and my servants Jack and Nancy, that the two 
latter could not be held in bondage. The servants replied that they wished 
not their interference. I, however, found that the doctrines of these philan- 
thropists had disturbed the quiet of both Jack and Nancy, and I told them 
that I would give them their freedom as soon as they chose to require it. 

The principal object for which I had been on duty in New York Harbor, 
(to repair the forts, and to construct such temporary works as the time 
permitted,) having been accomplished, I wrote the Secretary of War that 
I was ready for duty on the frontier, knowing that an army was to be 
concentrated at Sackett's Harbor for some movement on the St. Lawrence. 

On 9th August I received orders to report myself for duty to General 
Wilkinson as the chief engineer of the 9th military department. On 14th 
General Wilkinson arrived in the city, and the same day I had an 
interview with him, and received instructions in relation to the contem- 
plated campaign. 


On 17th I accompanied him and General Armstrong, the Secretary of 
War, Governor Tompkins and Colonel Gilman of New Hampshire, to 
Albany, landing my brother, William H. Swift, at West Point, a cadet for 
the Academy, and giving him letters to Captain Partridge. At Albany I 
found Major George Bumford industriously and usefully engaged in prepar- 
ing ordnance stores for the Ontario frontier. The transportation of these 
ordnance stores and cannon to the lakes had become an exhorbitant 
expense, frequently in amount exceeding the value. The roads were 
bad, and the Mohawk at so low a stage of water that flat boats could not 
be used ; all indicating the neglect of preparation for war previously to 
its declaration, and also the need of those improvements which the growth 
of the country demanded, and which had been ably presented to Congress 
six years ago, and which also had become in New York the theme of 
conversation among such men as Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Eddy, Gideon 
Hawley, John Swartwout, De Witt Clinton, Elkanah Watson, etc. From 
the first movement of military stores to the lakes, for naval as well as army 
purposes, transportation has been the heaviest item of expense. 

At Albany were at this time assembled numerous army officers eti route for 
Sackett's Harbor. On 25th August the adjutant-general, J. B. Walbach, 
General L. Covington with other officers, including myself, en rotite, for the 
harbor, and arrived there on 31st, and found the army much distressed by 
disease from using bad bread ; one of the great evils that arise from the 
contract system in furnishing supplies for an army, especially bread and 
pork. Renewed my acquaintance with Commodore J. Chauncy, now the 
naval commander on the lakes, and made the acquaintance of Brigadier 
Jacob Brown, a self-taught, active, and highly intelligent officer ; also found 
the marquee of Colonel Alexander Macomb, graced by his accomplished 
and exemplary wife, the only lady in camp, General Brown's family being 
at Brownville. I had left my own family at Brooklyn, having arranged with 
my friend John F. Burgwin to supply Mrs. Swift with money in case of 
interruption in my sending supplies, and commending my family to the 
courtesies of my friend Fanning C. Tucker and his family, and that of his 
father-in-law, Joshua Sands, Esq., and also the family of George Gibbs, 


Esq., all of Brooklyn, and in the city the family of Captain James Farquhar, 
whose hospitable lady and daughters made Green Hill (the " Sailors' Snug 
Harbor" estate left by Captain Randall,) one of the most agreeable circles 
of domestic happiness that I have ever found. 

On 6th September my assistants, Lieutenant James Gadsden and Lieu- 
tenant R. E. De Russy arrived, and commenced a reconnoitre of the waters 
of the bays and the approach to the St. Lawrence. 

General Wilkinson's headquarters was the daily point of assembling the 
staff, and of conference on the duties that were opening the campaign at 
this time. On 5th September General Armstrong was escorted, as 
Secretary of War, into the cantonment, the interview at headquarters 
being too formal for that ease which is desirable for the interchange of 
opinion among chieftains. I was invited by the Secretary of War to 
accompany himself and General Brown, mounted, to the battle ground 
where Colonel Backus fell in the moment of victory, and where General 
Brown won the commission he now wears by his timely arrival in the action 
at the head of a band of militia. A line of our troops extending from the 
block-house at the harbor toward the lake shore, south-east of Horse 
Island, the point where the British troops landed and made the assault, 
General Brown's militia arriving through the woods in the rear of Colonel 
Backus' left flank and thus assailing the enemy on his right flank, which 
caused the halt and precipitate retreat of the enemy, and thus the winning 
of the day by Brown. 

I was now joined by Brevet-Major Totten as my first assistant engineer, 
and, with General R. Swartwout, examined the stores of the quartermaster- 
general's department. At headquarters I observed an inactivity that, as it 
seemed to me, arose from some doubts as to who was in command. General 
Armstrong or General Wilkinson. In my occasional excursions with these 
gentlemen I observed that they did not ride at the same time. In my 
interviews with General Wilkinson his expressions implied a strong dislike 
of the interference of the War Department, and in fact the presence of the 
Secretary did lessen the influence of General Wilkinson. The contem- 
plated junction with Hampton was a subject of discourse, and General 


Wilkinson indulged in a too public expression of his dislike to General 
Hampton, which, on one occasion gave me a fair opportunity of saying to 
General Wilkinson that his remarks tended to revive the feuds and party 
feelings of the army that had been described before the court martial at 
Fredericktown in 181 1. 

Whatever may have been the influence of General Armstrong's presence 
there was no increase in the activity of preparation to move the army, 
which condition of things continued until the 8th October, when a sudden 
council of war was called and I was questioned as to my opinion of 
attacking Kingston. My reply was that I would not attack that place at all 
if the army was ready to move down the St. Lawrence, but if not ready, 
that Kingston might be surprised and the public stores burned in a couple 
of days by one thousand men, if my intelligence was to be relied on, as I 
believed it was. 

On the same day I presented Mr. D. B. Douglass with letters from the 
War Department, informing him that the Secretary of War had acceded to 
my request to appoint him second lieutenant of engineers, and that he 
would repair to West Point for duty at the Military Academy, and by him I 
sent supplies to my family at Brooklyn. 

Up to 19th October heard no more of an assault upon Kingston, on 
which day General Wilkinson directed me, with Brevet-Major Totten, to 
reconnoitre the St. Lawrence river in the vicinity of Prescott, and plan an 
attack upon that post, and to sound the river with a view to a rapid passage 
down the river. On 20th Major Totten and myself were on our way as far 
as Brownsville, leaving my military cloak in the care of Lieutenant Beverly 
Randolph, aid-de-camp to General Lewis, and also some books. On 23d, 
near Oswagatchie, met Colonel Sackett of the United States dragoons at 
the Bend, and with him arranged to be furnished with escort, and thence 
we proceeded to Ogdensburg and Morristown, opposite Brockville, in 
Canada. We here met Arnold Smith, who, with Mr. York of Ogdensburg, 
gave us much assistance. By 31st October I had procured a plan of Fort 
Prescott and sounded the channel of the river, and sent my plan of attack 
to General Wilkinson by express, whose reply was that he should enter the 


river with his force by 3d November. On 4th instructed Colonel Sackett 
and Major Woodford to collect the boats that were near Hamilton for the 
use of the army. 

Our reconnoitering was much annoyed by a party of Glengary Fencibles 
under Ruben Sherwood, a very active and shrewd refugee from Connecticut, 
so that our movements had to be made at early dawn, and our passage from 
place to place effected by night. At the close of this day (4th) Major 
Charles Nourse met me at Ogdensburg with advices from General 
Wilkinson, then at Grenadier Island, the army on the river. On 5th I met 
General Wilkinson in his boat on the river near Morristown, and he deter- 
mined to pass Prescott at night. We were here joined by Colonel W. 
Scott and Colonel E. P. Gaines as volunteers. On 6th the main body of 
the army landed to march through Ogdensburg, and at night General 
Wilkinson directed me to conduct him in his boat past Prescott, which was 
done, the baggage following, the cannonade from the fort commencing as 
soon as our boat was under way. Little damage was sustained by the 
boats owing to the random fire from the fort, and, as I presume, from 
neglect of ranging their guns by daylight. Many of our officers and 
men, particularly the aged, were suffering from disordered bowels from 
the use of bad bread, especially General Wilkinson and General Lewis. 
The former sought relief in the use of opium, and soon after passing 
Prescott it was necessary to land, which was done at Sharp's farm, in 
whose house under the influence of laudanum the general became 
very merry, and sung and repeated stories, the only evil of which was 
that it was not of the dignified deportment to be expected from the com- 
mander-in-chief. At early dawn on 7th we reached the Indian village on 
the American shore, followed on the opposite bank of the river by light 
artillery from Prescott that annoyed our march somewhat. Our force, 
seven thousand rank and file. General Wilkinson here informed me that 
he expected soon to meet General Hampton and his four thousand 
troops. In the evening of 7th we arrived at the Narrows and remained till 
9th, sending Colonel Alexander Macomb in advance, and crossing the 
dragoons from the American shore, our videts informing us that twenty- 


three boats loaded with troops, protected by two gun boats, commanded by 
Captain Mulcaster, were following us at a distance of four miles. The 
evening of 9th we passed the Rapid Platte opposite Hamilton, and put to 
at Williamsburgh near Chrysler's farm. On the morning of the nth 
November detachments were debarked from Boyd's, Swartwout's and 
Covington's brigades to lighten the boats, and to pass the dangers of the 
Long Sault. As these detachments were about to move down the margin 
of the river the enemy was seen advancing in column, their advance guard 
opening a light fire on us. Orders were given to face about and advance on 
the enemy in three columns, outflank them, and capture their artillery, each 
of our columns five hundred men. The enemy retired and formed behind 
a ravine at Chrysler's farm with their right wing forward, as our movement 
was to turn the left flank, their force about one thousand six hundred, their 
right supported by four pieces of artillery aided by eight gun boats in the 
river, that maintained a constant fire, though ill-directed. Our columns 
drove the enemy back across a ravine west of the first, and formed line on 
the brink of the ravine opposite the enemy, our left supported by four pieces 
of artillery and a reserve of one hundred and fifty dragoons. Both lines 
opened a fire on each other, and no attempt was made by our generals to 
charge until Colonel Walbach put the dragoons in motion. They were 
arrested by the fire of grape from the gun boats, killing some eight men 
and wounding many at the head of this charge. Both sides ceased firing 
at the same moment for no apparent cause, as neither side made any 
forward movement to charge further. Our columns, after having every fifth 
man killed or wounded, (one hundred and two of the former and two 
hundred and thirty-eight of the latter,) leaving our dead on the field, 
marched deliberately to our boats, pushed off and descended the river and 
the Long Sault, arriving on the morning of 12th at Barnhard's Bay, and 
were there joined by Colonel Macomb and General Brown of the advance, 
who had had an affair with the enemy at an adjacent bridge. During the 
action of the i ith November my duties were two-fold, that of engineer and 
aid to the commander-in-chief, therefore, being at various points in the 
field with orders, saw ever>' movement and every neglect of movement that 


I have noted. On this same day (12th) Colonel H. Atkinson, General 
Hampton's inspector-general, arrived at Barnhard's Bay with a letter from 
his chief declining a junction of his army at St. Regis. This declension 
put an end to the campaign. Our army left Barnhard's Bay 13th Novem- 
ber, crossed the St. Lawrence and ascended the Salmon River six miles, to 
the French Mills. On 14th we buried with military honors General 
Leonard Covington, who had been mortally wounded on nth November 
at Chrysler's farm. The general died on 12th. He requested me to send 
his sword to his son, and to give his horses to his servant, both of which 
were done. 

After making proper arrangements in my department I received the 
following order in a letter from General Wilkinson : 

"French Mills, 17th November, 1813. 
"Col. Swift: Sir, — You will please to proceed to General Hampton 
with the general order now delivered to you under seal, and having 
delivered it will communicate to me the result, to which you will be pleased 
to add freely and confidentially every observation material to the service 
which you may have made. You will employ an express to bear this 
communication to this place. You will then proceed to Washington, having 
leave to call on your family, and deliver to the Secretary of War the letter 
you have ; and should he encourage it give him a detail of the affair of the 
nth, and also of all our measures and movements. At Washington you 
will be able to learn what may be my destiny. Any communication you 
may make to me on this subject will be gratefully received. I shall also be 
glad to hear from you on your route through the great towns. 
"With unfeigned friendship, 

"Your obliged and faithful 

"James Wilkinson." 

1 proceeded to Plattsburgh with caution, having to evade the vidcts of 
the enemy, and arrived at General Hampton's headquarters on 19th 
November, and on 20th I wrote to General Wilkinson by express, as 
follows : 


" Platts BURGH, 20th November, 1813. 

''Dear Sir: I enclose an official report of my progress. I found 
General Hampton in bed, who said he was ready to obey your orders, with 
an army out of spirits, not more than one thousand six hundred effectives. 
I learn from the general that it was not his intention to disobey any order 
of yours, and that his non-junction was in consequence of the opinion that 
he was required to act upon your letter of 6th ; and from General 
Armstrong's letter to him, which he showed me, there was no intimation of 
joining you above Chataugay. General Hampton pledges his sacred honor 
to me that it was his desire to have formed a junction with you. The last 
letter of General Armstrong to General Hampton has this expression in it: 
'The enemy have been able to overtake General Wilkinson and detain him 
as high up the river as Cornwall ; it is evident that the movement below 
cannot safely be more than a feint.' 

" On passing through Chataugay Four Corners I find all consumed by fire. 
From General Hampton I learn that all below has been burned by the 
English. All your supplies, then, must come from this point, Plattsburgh, 
and unless a force be left here to guard this pass and depot the enemy can 
come upon General Hampton's rear and cut off future supply. I therefore 
think that General Hampton had better remain here. General Hampton is 
of opinion that the enemy cannot get up to you. He gives me a copy of his 
order for the march, (enclosed,) and entreats of you to allow a few days' 
delay. He furnishes relays of express horses to get my letter to you, in 
order that you may be acquainted with the nature of the country through 
which the enemy must march to make an attack on you. The roads are so 
bad on the Chataugay that the English cannot transport their artillery and 
necessary provisions. Captain McDonough Is superior to the enemy on 
this lake in broad water with a working wind, and Inferior under all other 
circumstances. The enemy could be In this place In twelve hours after 
General Hampton moves for Chataugay Four Corners. I am fully of the 
opinion that the government will make the best of our affairs, and I have 
been thinking of the plan, to wit: Sink all the boats In Salmon River, take 
sleds and move .your army and stores to this place, ordering General 


Hampton to build huts for your troops. Make from this an attack over the 
ice upon Isle au Noix, carry it and St. Johns, and determine in the spring 
to transport boats overland fourteen miles and make a descent on Montreal, 
or wait, with the command of these passes till our army be renovated for 
an efficient assault. This plan may be varied. The main reasons that 
influence my mind in this are : the necessity of doing something before 
spring, and of being in the best possible position for action then. General 
Hampton has sent his sick and convalescent into quarters at Burlington, 

The next day I again wrote to General Wilkinson as follows : 

" Pi. ATTS BURGH, 2 1 St November, 1813. 

''Dear General : Yesterday I wrote you a hasty memorandum, wishing 
to get off the express without delay. Though hasty, the more I reflect on 
the plan of your army moving to this place for winter quarters, and more 
especially as a new line of operations — the line that, in the end, must be 
adopted — the more am I impressed with its importance. From the French 
Mills the campaign of 18 14 will be difficult in operation, and may be, if 
the enemy manage well with gun boats, defeated; difficult from the 
distance of army supplies, etc. Suppose in the spring that our usual 
tardy supply of recruits prevent any certain operation against the enemy. 
In such case this position on Lake Champlain would be preferable far 
to French Mills. Hold Sackett's Harbor, Fort George, and Plattsburgh 
with strong garrisons till our army has time to be reformed." 

General Wilkinson's letter to the Secretary of War, mentioned in his 
order to me, is as follows : 

"Headquarters French Mills, 17th November, 18 13. 

To GeneR/\l Armstrong. Dear General : This will be delivered to you 
by Colonel Swift, who took the boldest and most active part in the action 
of iith instant of any individual engaged except Adjutant-General 
Walbach, who is now ill in consequence of his exertions and fatigue. Colonel 


Swift, from his personal observations on the ground, is able to give you 
many details which I deem improper to commit to paper, and for this 
purpose I have directed him to wait on you at Washington after he has 
seen Hampton with the order of which I yesterday transmitted you a copy. 
Your military system requires thorough revision, and your military estab- 
lishment great reform, before we can put to the best advantage the natural 
force and courage of our countrymen. Since the action of nth, British 
officers have acknowledged our dauntless courage, but observed we were 
undisciplined and fought without order, and indeed the scenes of that day 
justify these observations. Give Colonel Swift your confidence, and I 
pledge myself to you that he will not abuse it. God bless you my dear 

" James Wilkinson." 

On the day of the date of my letter to General Wilkinson, 21st Novem- 
ber, after ordering Major William McRee and Captain S. Thayer of the 
engineers, then at Pittsburgh, to meet me in New York as soon as General 
Hampton could spare them, I left Plattsburgh and crossed the lake to 
Vermont and arrived in Albany on 25th, and by invitation at Governor 
Tompkins' as his guest, and where I found General Armstrong, Secretary 
of War, and also General William H. Harrison from our western army. The 
Secretary of War was in his chamber and on perusing the despatches he 
enquired into the condition of the forces, etc. I gave him in detail the 
condition in which I had left them, and of the movements on the St. 
Lawrence. He attributed the result to the negligence of both the generals. 
I gave him the substance of my letters to General Wilkinson from Platts- 
burgh and my reason for changing the course of our error that had been 
existing from the first year of the war, namely, inviting the enemy to the 
west instead of keeping him to the east by our operations on the natural 
line through Lake Champlain, and thereby compelling him to pass to and 
from Upper Canada by the Ottawa River, etc. These views could not have 
been novel in such a mind as General Armstrong's, and when at table the 
conversation was between him and the Governor and General Harrison, and 


it was jocosely remarked that western war did not occasion John Bull to 
bring over veterans, as he would do if the war was pressed to the east, the 
Secretary turned the subject. General Harrison had been a pupil of Gen- 
eral Wayne and though not of equal genius or reading with General 
Armstrong, he had sound military views, and he sustained the point of 
Governor Tompkins' waggery. The latter never spared a joke because it 
was true, save when it might injure feeling. There are few of larger gen- 
erosity of feeling than Governor Tompkins. The power of calling out the 
militia was also a topic at table after dinner, and United States authority 
denied, by all, to make the call save through the action of the governor of 
the State, whose right and duty it would also be to designate the general 
and other officers until the body joined the army of the United States in 
the field. As to the causes of failure of the campaign on the St. Lawrence, 
the sojourn of General Armstrong on the frontier in the autumn had 
excited the jealousy of General Wilkinson. As the event is, both of the 
generals and Secretary would gladly attribute the failure to any other cause 
than their respective errors. The immediate cause of the failure is the 
delay on the river; overtaking our army by the British on i ith November 
ended the campaign. My impression is that a junction of Wilkinson and 
Hampton was not intended, and by consequence an assault on Montreal 
was not purposed after October, if previously. One of the main causes of 
delay is bad bread, and its consequent bad health. Our chiefs were old, 
and from the date of the movement from Sackett's Harbor the two oldest, 
Wilkinson and Lewis, had not a day of sound health until winter. If the 
army had been led by General Brown the end had been better than it is. 

The evening of 25th, agreeably to his request I wrote to General 
Wilkinson my idea of his prospects, ami mentioned my main views of 20th 
and 2 1st on his movements. As I could not with propriety mention the 
Secretary of War's conversation about himself and Hampton, I briefly said 
I found him dissatisfied with both. 

At the same time I wrote Sheriff T. J. Davies on Black Lake that the 
Secretary of War had acceded to my rccjuest to send his son Charl(>s to 
West Point as a cadet. I had given the Secretary an account of the /cal 


that this youth had exhibited in the campaign on the St. Lawrence, and also 
of the service that the father had rendered to the march of the army 
between Ogdensburgh and the rapids below, in foraging, etc. The same 
evening I wrote Mr. Arnold Smith, who had been a very able guide on the 
St. Lawrence, that the Secretary of War offered him the post of assistant 
deputy quartermaster-general. 

I found in Albany a letter from Professor Mansfield at West Point on the 
subject of his going to Ohio, and sent him leave to be from the Academy 
through the vacation of course, and also to loth April, 18 14. 

On 26th my faithful and fearless man Jack arrived from Plattsburgh with 
my horses Scott and Flim Nap ; placed them at livery with a cavalry soldier 
of the Revolutionary War, Mr. Gregory, to await orders for my return to 
the north, in case that my ideas of a campaign should be adopted. 

On 27th November, with General Armstrong and General W. H. Harrison 
and other officers, taking a steamboat to ourselves and stopping at West 
Point to make an inspection, and on 28th found my family all in health at 
Brooklyn, in Washington Street. Thanks be to God ! 

On 30th November General Dearborn, the commander of the depart- 
ment, and General Harrison, dined and passed the evening at my quarters, 
and with my cousin, W^ R. Swift. General Armstrong could not stay to 
dinner. The conversation was upon the mode of conducting the campaign 
of 1 8 14. 

We had that morning inspected the forts on Staten Island and west end 
of Long Island — a British squadron cruising off Sandy Hook. 

On 9th December, with Bishop Hobart consulting on the subject of 
inviting the Rev. Adam Empie to take the chaplaincy of the Military 
Academy, the Secretary of War having in the previous summer given his 
consent to offer that appointment to Mr. Empie, and having learned that he 
(Mr. Empie) had determined to leave Wilmington, North Carolina, I now 
wrote to Mr. Empie that the Bishop highly approved the plan, and that the 
selection of an Episcopalian had been made because, aside from my own 
views, the service of that church was deemed to be the most appropriate 
to the discipline of a military academy. 


December 1 1, the Secretary of War invited me to accompany him to the 
War Office at Washington, and on 15th with Mrs. Armstrong and her 
daughter, Miss Margaret, the journey was commenced. At Princeton, with 
the general, looked over the battle ground where General Mercer fell in the 
Revolution, and to whom the Secretary had been an aid-de-camp on that 
day, the Secretary marking the positions and movements of the American 
and British forces in that conflict. 

We occupied until 24th in looking at the Delaware and Patapsco with 
military views, and in reaching Washington I found Mrs. Armstrong an 
amiable lady, and her daughter handsome and intelligent. The general has 
a fine mind, though personally of very inert habits, abounding in knowledge 
of the past and strong views of the future operations on the frontier. He 
spoke of General Washington in highest terms of respect for his integrity 
and patriotism, but not respectfully of his genius. We discoursed on the 
" Newburgh Letters." The general said that had he been one year older 
he would not have written them ; that they had been a mill-stone hung about 
his neck through his life. He corroborated Dr. Eustis' saying that Colonel 
Pickering was on the committee which appointed him (General Armstrong) 
to write, and that Dr. Townsend had also been on that committee. 

At Washington, on the presentation of my reports and estimates for 
fortifications and the Academy for 1814, I recommended that the chief 
engineer should have his office in the city of Washington. The objection 
was that the station of the corps of engineers was, by law, to be at W^est 
Point. My reply to this was that Congress could remedy that by a very brief 
resolution ; that the necessity was apparent in the fact that the adjutant and 
paymaster-general's departments were established there for easy communi- 
cation with the War Office; and that the functions of both of those offices 
were very simple, while those of the engineer department involved frequent 
elucidations to the Secretary of War upon expensive plans of construction, 
etc. There seemed to me to be an impression that having a military 
staff at Washington would be placing a personal influence there not 
congenial with our institutions. The wise and worthy I'resitlent Madison, 
able to conduct the affairs of the country in times of jicace \ery success- 


fully, found himself oppressed by the disappointments that resulted from 
the imperfect composition of our army, and of operations concocted by 
his inexperienced counsellors, which were evinced by failures of cam- 
paigns. Neither himself nor his congressional intimates, nor his cabinet, 
fancied the proximity of a military staff as advisers in a war that had been 
commenced without preparation, a neglect that had much of its origin in a 
just though misdirected dread of a standing army; which error had also been 
accompanied by an omission of competent provision for the construction 
and keeping in good condition the machinery of war. That is, providing 
and classifying arms and munitions under the care of competent and 
responsible officers to conserve the same, and including in said provision a 
corps of instructed administrative officers with a comparative small number 
of men as a nucleus upon which may be predicated any force that a war 
may make needful. 

The habits of the nation, for more than a quarter of a century previously 
to this war, had been that of peaceful commerce; now disturbed by the 
aggression of foreign powers that had made retaliation necessary, these 
habits in peace had become so moulded by demagogues that the people 
were more influenced by personal objects and small party politics than by 
views for the public good; a course of conduct that had thronged the halls 
of Congress with representatives, a large majority of whom had but slender 
mental endowments. In the progress of the war a better state of things 
was dawning. The pressure of the war had turned quiet and intelligent 
minds of men at home to reflect gravely on the lack of talent in Congress, 
and in the cabinet also. The elections began now to return better informed 
citizens to Congress. The experience of Mr. Madison had been compara- 
tively great, but it had been altogether of a civil character. In appointing 
military officers, resort was had to those who had survived, and who had 
held subordinate offices in the great struggle for independence ; even these 
were too aged for prolonged activity in the field. The subject of change 
in the selection of officers for the army as leaders had become a common 
topic at Washington, and it was admitted that too much favor to party had 
been exercised in making army appointments. Such men as General John 


Brooks in Massachusetts, and Colonel Jonathan Williams of Philadelphia 
were now thought of, as of the youngest on the Revolutionary list who 
were competent to lead. 

West Point, December 31st, 181 6. 

18 14. Januar)'. On 3d of this month, at the request of Governor 
Worthington of Ohio, I gave him a plan to form a military academy in 
that growing State. My view of the use of such institutions in the several 
States is that it is the best mode to interest militia officers to train no larger 
body of militia than a battalion ; that no larger force of militia could be 
usefully assembled, and consequently no higher grade of rank should be 
conferred in the militia than that of major. The duty of a freeman to 
defend his country could be best initiated at such schools. But by no 
means to interfere with the Military Academy at West Point. 

The appropriations for 18 14 were to raise three regiments of riflemen 
and ten companies of rangers, also five hundred thousand dollars for 
floating batteries — contemplating the steam frigate plan of Mr. Fulton — 
and five hundred thousand dollars for fortifications. 

In this month of January, at Washington several highly talented gentle- 
men of Congress, together with some citizens sojourning there, and 
including .some officers of the army, held meeetings to consult upon 
measures to be recommended to the country through the gazettes and by 
correspondence with citizens in all the States of the Union, to commend 
General John Armstrong for the next presidency, under the conviction that 
to carry on the war with success to attain peace the President should be a 
military man. Jeremiah Mason of New Hampshire, then in the Senate, 
was the leader of this plan, and I was myself an humble agent to promote 
the The "Newburgh Letters" were the chief obstacle to our 
essay. But General Armstrong was the strongest mind of the party in 
power, and it had been useless to have wasted our efforts on General 
Pinckney; he had the curse of Federalism attached to his most honored 
name. The subject subsided. It was impracticable from the lowness of 
motive that had to be addressed to a misguided public. Popularity of a 


mean species was needed to sustain a fresh candidate. But the essay had 
one good influence upon the cabinet, to spur it on to make new and 
suitable appointments, and to adopt a plan of campaign that promised 
useful success, namely, by concentrating our forces upon Lower Canada. 

On 20th January my orders sent Colonel Armistead to inspect and repair 
the fortifications south of Maryland, and Major William McRee to Sackett's 
Harbor to construct defences there, taking upon myself the direction of 
the repairs on the Delaware, and thence eastward to Maine. On 28th 
January arrived at headquarters at Brooklyn, and until 24th February 
engaged with General Moses Porter, the officer of ordnance, in com- 
mencing the repairs at Fort Miflin and in New York Harbor. On 24th 
February my father, Dr. Foster Swift, received the appointment of surgeon 
in the army, through the efforts of his former schoolmate in Boston, Hon. 
H. G. Otis. 

On 25th February received my commission from Adjutant John B. 
Walbach, as brevet brigadier-general in the army. Its date, instead of 
14th February should have been nth November, 1813. This omission I 
have attributed to General Armstrong's dislike of my friendly regard for 
General Wilkinson. 

On 28th February to Philadelphia, to meet the committee of defence 
there, my former chief. Colonel Williams, its principal counsellor, and by 
order of the Secretary of War, and with Colonel Williams' advice, formed a 
plan for the Delaware, and to defend the approaches by land. On the 
2d of March proceeded with the committee down the Delaware in the 
revenue cutter to Fort Miflin, and to the Pea Patch, accompanied by the 
veteran Colonel Allen McLean and Commodore Stewart, and selected the 
Pea Patch and a point opposite on the Delaware as sites for works of 
defence, to be occupied at once. Commodore Stewart's views are of a true 
military character, both for land and sea. Reported the result of this 
examination to the War Department on my return to Philadelphia, where, 
in consequence of letters from Washington, on 4th March I wrote Mr. 
Ferdinand R. Hassler, then in London, under cover of Hon. Jonathan 
Russell, and also through Mr. Gallatin, that his long absence from the 


United States was commented upon, and that I hoped he would return to 
the United States to resume the coast survey as soon as possible. Among 
the rumors was one that he was dabbling in politics, and corresponding 
with the enemies of England on the subject of the oppression that his 
native land (Switzerland) was sustaining. Mr. Hassler was conducting the 
construction of mathematical instruments for the survey with Mr. Edward 

On 6th March 1 went to Germantown to consult with Major Roberdeau 
on the topography of the Delaware shore, and there met Mr. Stephen H. 
Long, and examined his successful hydraulic machinery ; gave him my aid 
to enter the corps of engineers as a second lieutenant, and employed him 
to join me at Brooklyn as an assistant engineer. Returned to Delaware 
River, and on 9th of March, after consulting with General Bloomfield on 
the military defences, returned to my family at Brooklyn. On 19th pro- 
ceeded to West Point to examine the cadets and other matters about the 
Academy, that employed me there for one week. On 3d April Mrs. Swift and 
myself were confirmed at St. Ann's by Bishop Hobart, at Brooklyn, L. I. 

On 4th April received from Major John J. Abert a letter, enclosing a pres- 
ent from Robert Carey Jennings, of an original letter of three pages, fool's- 
cap paper, blue, and English make, from General (then Major) Washington 
to Governor Dinwiddle, dated 3d June, 1754, speaking of an expected battle 
with Jumonville, and having a remarkable expression in it as coming from 
Washington to ^. governor, to wit: " If Jumonville behave no better than he 
did last week I shall have little difficulty in driving him to the devil." Which 
letter may not have been copied by General Washington in his then 
position, and which therefore may serve to elucidate the slander cast on 
Wa.shington by the French governor, of cruelty, etc. This letter R. C. 
Jennings received from his father-in-law, the Rev. Neidler Robinson, living 
not far from Peter.sburgh, Va., and who had been a personal friend of 
Washington's. I, for safety, deposited this letter, by the hands of John 
Pintard, in the archives of the Historical Society of New York. Of the 
authenticity of the letter, from the hand-writing, .some orthography 
and its whole aspect, not a doubt existed. 


April 9th, with my cousin William Roberdeau Swift, and my brother-in-law, 
Julius H. Walker, proceeded on a tour of inspection to direct the repair of 
all the fortifications east of New York to Maine. 

April 13th we arrived at Boston ; met there my father at his post as 
United States surgeon, the family residing in Sudbury Street; my mother 
in excellent health. I had not seen my parents for four years and five 
months. The time had been gentle in its effects on my parents. Exam- 
ined the works at the Castle and on Governor's Island, and the waters to 
the lower anchorage. 

April 1 6th, to General Brooks in Medford, to consult about obstructino- 
the channel of Boston Harbor by hulks sunk with care. My cousin W. R. 
Swift was with me, and after dining with the general we were returnino- to 
Boston in our hired chaise, and driving at good speed encountered a 
country wagon and broke its fore axle, capsized our chaise into a hollow, 
which instantly killed our horse. The expense of this drive was one 
hundred and sixty dollars, and we both escaped with very slight contusions. 

April 19th, leaving Mr. Swift and Mr. Walker to visit the alvia mater of 
the latter at Cambridge, I proceeded with Commodore Hull, United States 
navy, to Portsmouth, N. H., and on board the frigate Congress there met 
my cousin John Lovering, a fine scholar, but by dissipation reduced to a 
clerkship on board this vessel ; made arrangements for his discharge, and 
to return to his excellent mother in Boston. Examined the new seventy- 
four on the stocks ; renewed my acquaintance at the Langdon's and 
Sheafe's, and with Commodore Hull examined the harbor to plan means of 
protection against sudden incursion from the British cruisers; gave orders 
for suitable repairs on Fort Constitution, and a covered battery at Kittery 
on the Maine shore. The works at Portland being deemed by General M. 
Porter in as good condition as they could be placed, I went no farther east. 

April 2ist returned to Boston, and on 23d with General John Brooks, T. 
H. Gushing and Colonel Sullivan attended an experiment at the navy 
yard, where one hundred and seventy-five balls of lead, of two ounces 
weight each, were discharged from seven gun barrels hooped together, 
each barrel containing twenty-five balls, and the whole discharged at a 


target two hundred and fifty yards off, the balls penetrating to various 
depths out of sight into the target. Chamber's repeating gun. Three 
days after, with Governor Brooks, General Gushing and Colonel Sullivan I 
inspected the channel-way down the harbor, with a view to planning a 
system of hulks to obstruct the same. Found Colonel George Sullivan an 
active and intelligent aid in this matter, giving the subject his whole time. 

April 27th, with my mother and sister, Sarah Adams, cousin W. R. Swift 
and Mr. Adams, on my way to Rhode Island Harbor. Passed a couple of 
days at Taunton Green, at the academy and other nooks of William R. 
and my boyhood scenes, meeting Dr. Doggett and the Leonards, and 
Crockers, and Tillinghasts, Cobbs and other early friends, greatly to the 
pleasure of my mother, and to all of us. I here finished my plan for so 
sinking the hulks in Boston Harbor as by aid of pumps to float each vessel 
at will, and sent the same to Colonel Sullivan to be laid before the gentle- 
men before mentioned, by the hands of Justice Parker, on the last day of 
April ; the same day saw my mother, etc., off for Boston, and, with W. R. 
Swift left for Newport, R. I. After examining the forts, gave to Captain 
Julian F. Heileman directions for the repair thereof, which occupied me to 
the 3d May, when, with W. R. Swift, proceeded over to Connanicut, and by 
the ferry and road thence to New London, where, with General H. Burbeck 
arranged for the best that could there be done to repel any sudden assault 
of the enemy, then laying off in Gardner's Bay. 

Found Colonel Roswell Lee an excellent volunteer officer, abounding in 
military resources for plans of defence, and an indefatigable and able 
executor of the field works to enclose old Fort Griswold — the key of the 
position. To the work done here I have attributed safety from marauding 
parties, such as succeeded at the mouth of the Connecticut River. 

On 7th May, via Fort Hale in New Haven Harbor, arrived at ni)- head- 
quarters, Brooklyn, where the Rev. Adam Empie reported himself for duty 
at the Military Academy. I found on my desk letters from the War 
Department in reply to my request to be assigned to duty on the lake 
frontier, which in my opinion could now be done, as every arrangement had 
been made to repair and arm the fortifications on the seaboard. My 


request was declined, though General Brown had asked that I might be 
sent to Niagara; the reason assigned — the need of my services on the 
seaboard — may be sufficient, they were not so deemed by me. However, 
General Dearborn proposed examining all the defences of New York 
Harbor, in which I accompanied him. The spirit of the war of '76, and his 
experience therein, gave a zest to the reconnoitre, and interest to the 
opinion of this veteran. We were a week employed in this service, to 17th 
of May. On 20th of which month I accompanied Rev. Mr. Empie to West 
Point, and inducted him to his office, that of chaplain and professor of 
ethics, and also treasurer of the Academy; a novel junction of functions, 
but rendered needful by the want of officers. 

My cousin, William R. Swift, was with me, and with a corps of cadets we 
ascended to the summit of Crows' Nest Hill, and measured its distance 
from Fort Clinton by the sound of its cannon, having with us a time 
chronometer. At one thousand one hundred and forty-two feet the second 
for the passage of sound, the distance is eight thousand two hundred 
and seventy-nine feet. 

On my return to headquarters, Brooklyn, 29th, was called on by Colonel 
Nicholas Fish, formerly the adjutant-general of the United States army, 
who informed me of the apprehension of the citizens of New York, and 
his wish to consult with me on the mode of communication with the 
War Department on measures needful to defending the city. 

This conference resulted in the appointment of a committee of defence by 
the city corporation. At this time a British squadron was cruising off the 
harbor. On loth I met Governor Tompkins and the mayor, De Witt 
Clinton. By their advice funds were furnished by the corporation and 
spies were employed by me to visit the squadron off the Hook, who brought 
me a sketch from the cabins of Sir John B. Warren and Sir Thomas Hardy, 
which, whether real or speculative, contemplated a descent at some point 
on the coast between Rhode Island and Chesapeake Bay, and which I 
reported to General Armstrong at Washington. Upon this I invited the 
governor and mayor to examine with me the East River to Throg's Point, and 
the main channel to sea by Sandy Hook, giving them my opinion that the 


citizens miaht be invited to construct a line of defence in the rear of 


Brooklyn, and another from Hallet's Point in Hell Gate across York Island 
to Mount Alto. These gentlemen approved the idea, and at their instance 
six thousand dollars were placed at my disposal to commence the plan. I 
was at this time joined by Lieutenant James Gadsden as my aid-de-camp. 

General Morg-an Lewis was ordered to relieve General Dearborn in the 
command of the third department at New York. 

On 2 2d June Robert Fulton, Esq., Commodore Decatur, Hon. Oliver 
Wolcott, General Lewis and myself witnessed an experiment made by Mr. 
Fulton at Governor's Island, to show the effect of discharging a cannon 
under water. Mr. Fulton placed a thirty-two pounder five feet below the 
surface of the water, and the muzzle five feet from a target composed of 
oak plank five feet thick, the passage to the vent being secured from damp- 
ness and nealed powder packed in a box leading to the vent, the piece 
charged with twelve pounds of powder and one thirty-two pound shot 
secured with plenty of wadding. On giving fire no sound was produced, 
and no violent action of the water. Numerous air bubbles came to the 
surface. The shot went through the five feet of water and through the 
target, tearing it in many pieces. In the open air on Governor's Island the 
same day, a thirt)'-two pounder cannon was charged with twelve pounds of 
powder and one shot, and fired at a target of the material and dimensions 
just mentioned, at two hundred and fifty yards distance. The shot pene- 
trated four and a half feet, and much shattered the frame of the target. 
This experiment was made to show what could be done by su.spending 
cannon over the side of a ship and running close alongside an enemy's ship. 

The last of this month of June my cousin William R. Swift left us to 
proceed to the South, and I proceeded to West Point to inspect the 
Academy, and my family accompanied me. We returned ist July, when, on 
n;p(irting to the Secretary of War the condition of the Academy, I also 
stated the incipient measures of the corporation of New York, and received 
orders from the Secretary to render every aid in my power to such plan 
of protection as the city might adopt. On 15th sent Lieutenant James 
Gadsden to commence the works of Hallet's Point, a block-house on Mile 


Rock, and a tower in the rear of the Point to cover the right of our line of 
defence. On the same day the mayor and my late chief, Colonel Jonathan 
Williams, Major Fairley, General Morton, (an industrious and most useful 
public officer and patriot,) were, with my father. Dr. Swift and General 
Stevens, assembled at the Point, and there named the position Fort 
Stevens in honor of the general, our companion, a patriot of the Revo- 
lution, and a prominent officer of artillery at Saratoga in 1777; who 
gave the party a dinner at Mt. Napoleon, his country seat, in honor of 
the occasion. 

On 17th July commenced the works on Harlem Heights at Mt. Alto on 
the Hudson, extending thence by McGowan's Pass and the elevated ground 
that overlooks Harlem Flat to Hell Gate. The trenches were opened by a 
detachment of volunteers, citizens from the city, under Major Horn, a 
Revolutionary worthy. This line is taken in preference to an advanced one, 
because money and men are not yet at command. 

On 26th July, with the committee of defence, urging the call upon the citi- 
zens to turn out and occupy Brooklyn Heights. A party of one thousand 
paraded at my quarters on August 6th, and broke ground on Fort Green. 
By 8th of the month the details became regular of citizen volunteers, each 
party working one day from sun to sun, yielding a force ranging from one 
thousand two hundred to two thousand per day, at Brooklyn and Harlem. 

On 29th August Governor Tompkins and the mayor (Mr. Clinton,) with 
the committee of defence, adopted my organization of forces to man the 
works now constructing; General Armstrong assuring that one thousand 
six hundred regular troops would be at our command in a few days. We 
had an encampment of three thousand militia, a gun boat, and sea fencible 
force of five hundred men; Commodore Decatur had seven hundred sailors 
at command, General Morton had one thousand five hundred and General 
Mapes one thousand five hundred enrolled, at one hour's call. The 
exempts of the city enrolled themselves, one thousand five hundred ; two 
corps under Samuel Swartwout and J. B. Murray, Esquires, were also 
formed. The steamboats were put in requisition to bring three thousand 
from Orange and Duchess Counties ; General Jeremiah Johnston, of Long 


Island, had one thousand men under his very prompt and able command ; 
Newark offered three thousand and lower Jersey three thousand. Thus we 
had at call twenty thousand three hundred citizen soldiers. They were 
habitually under arms, and taught the ordinar)' marching and firing. I had 
the temporary office of inspector-general, and visited all these corps and 
examined their arms, flints, and ball cartridges, and established expresses. 
Addressed the citizens at the city hall, and counselled that no citizen should 
leave New York but on urgent necessity. In reference to the sick and 
disabled, caused the "Ten," and other public houses out of the city to be 
put in order with wards, nurses, stores and surgeons. The mode of defence 
was thus arranged in case the enemy landed. It was my part to lead to 
the shore, and Commodore Decatur to cover the flanks. The whole force 
encamped on Harlem Heights and at Brooklyn at any one time did not 
exceed twelve thousand rank and file. My functions in the busy scene 
were various. The committee of defence gave little heed to the regular 
functions of staff officers, and expected from me not only my own profes- 
sional statement to them of the progress upon what they termed my lines 
of defence, but also an account of the progress of the ordnance construc- 
tions, the state of the artillery, the quartermaster-general's department and 
of the hospitals; in accomplishing which the aid of the officers of all depart- 
ments was freely given, all of them estimating justly the exigency of the 
times, and waiving the observance of the ordinary routine of accountability 
to the committee, passed through my hands all the facts that were essential 
to enable the committee to estimate and acquire from the city corporate 
authorities the pecuniary means to execute our plan of defence. I had fine 
health and an excellent saddle horse, to whom the wags gave the name of 
"Flim Nap," after one of the heroes of the Dean, who carried me at half 
speed from and to Harlem and Brooklyn with ease, twice, and sometimes 
three and four times in a day, thus enabling me to forward the working 
parties of citizens. My principal aid-de-camp was Lieutenant James 
Gadsden of the United States engineers, who was of efficient and untiring 
ability. General Jacob Morton and General John Mapes ; the comptroller 
of the city, Thomas R. Mcrcein, and most especially General Nicholas 


Fish, chairman of the committee of defence, and Major Horn were constant 
aids to my labors, and many others of the citizens of both New York and 
Brooklyn ; in the latter, Joshua Sands, Esq., was prominent. My extra aids- 
de-camp were Messrs. James Renwick, John K. Berg^vin, William Proctor, 
and William Kemble — the first and third topographers. Mr. Holland, 
the artist, volunteered his graphic services to avoid duty in the line of 
troops, and gave us more than twenty sketches of various parts of the line 
of works and adjacent scenery. The zeal of the citizens, led on by the 
most respectable gentlemen of the city in daily labor with the pick and 
shovel, had in a few weeks accomplished an incredible amount of work upon 
the lines. To these efforts the eloquence of the city, the patriotic song 
and thrilling story lent their aid and natural influence. Hawkins' sono-s. 
and the apt and facetious sallies of Maxwell were not among the least 
incentives to labor. The display of valor of our navy, and the heroism of 
our troops on the frontier gave vigor to the army of youth and age in our 
trenches, and finally the vandalic folly of Britain in burning the national 
archives at Washington in the month of September, topped the climax of 
feeling that kept our citizens with entrenching tools in their hands until 
the parapets across York and Long Island were bristling with ordnance, 
that gave token of our readiness for defence. This desirable state of our 
armament was attained by the close of the month of November, and the 
lines occupied by the troops fcom the several encampments of Brooklyn 
and Harlem. 

On 27th December I received orders from the War Department to 
proceed in the ensuing January to Baltimore, as a member of a military 
board to revise the present, and form a new system of infantry tactics for 
the United States army. 

In the two years past I have endeavored to promote the interests of the 
Military Academy by selecting the intellectual sons of my most respectable 
acquaintance, and inviting them to apply to the Secretary of War for cadet's 
warrants. Among the number is William McNeill, the son of my friend Dr. 
Daniel McNeill of Wilmington, N. C. ; whom, meeting on my way to 
West Point, and he on his way to commence theological study with Rev. Mr. 


Wyatt of Newtown, L. I., he (William) found my purpose suitable to his 
propensities, and so took him with me to the Point. He has been there 
now several months, and gives evidence of being suited to the place. 

1815. In pursuance of the orders of 27th ultimo I proceeded from head- 
quarters, Brooklyn, to Baltimore on 5th of January, where on 9th the board 
to revise, etc., assembled. Its composition was General W. Scott, Brevet- 
General J. G. Swift, Colonel J. R. Fenwick, Colonel William Gumming and 
Colonel William Drayton, with Captain John M. Glassell as secretary. 
This board continued in sessions until the 25th February, when it completed 
its duties and reported the same to the Secretary of War, by whom I was 
directed to have the plates executed and engraved, and six thousand copies 
of the new book printed at New York. While on this duty at Baltimore I 
received a summons from Judge-Advocate Martin Van Buren, Esq., to 
appear at the trial of General Wilkinson at Troy, N. Y., as a witness. I 
wrote the Secretary of War of my receipt of this order, to know whether 
I was to leave the board in obedience to the summons. No reply was made 
to my letter, and I pursued my duties at the board. I knew that the trial 
had no object of a national character in view. I did not feel inclined to 
recount at that trial the weakness exhibited by Wilkinson at Thorp's House 
on the margin of the St. Lawrence in November, 18 13, because Wilkinson 
was no more in fault than Hampton for the failure of the campaign, and 
because Wilkinson had written to General Armstrong a favorable account 
of my conduct on the field at Chrysler's farm, and because I knew that the 
campaign was in no wise influenced by the scene at Thorp's, and I had so 
stated the facts of the day and night to General Armstrong. Mr. Monroe 
at this time discharged the double duty of minister of war and state. 
Between himself and General Armstrong there did not exist any amicable 
relations. The scenes at Bladensburg and Washington in the last year had 
embittered the feelings of each to the other, and General Armstrong had, 
by resigning the War Department, given strength to his opponents. On 
my way to Baltimore I had met him in Philadelphia, and said to him on 
perusing his memorandum of a letter of resignation, that "in my opinion 
that letter would place a cudgel in the hands of Mr. Madison." 


However, a choice of duties being left to me by the War Department, I 
preferred the duty on the board at Baltimore. It is true that a summons to 
a court martial is imperative, and to neglect the mandate may expose one 
to arrest and trial ; but knowing of the animosity subsisting between the 
parties to this trial at Troy, I had no inclination to appear for or against 
either as a witness, and heard no more of the summons. 

The assembling of the military board at Baltimore had brought thither 
several prominent officers of the army in addition to the board, and to 
those who formed the general staff of the military command of the United 
States district in that city. The probable campaign in the ensuing spring 
was a general theme of conversation among us, in the midst of which, on 
13th of February, came the news of a treaty of peace having been signed at 
Ghent. On the same day arrived the account of the defeat of the British 
army before New Orleans by General Jackson. The consequent illum- 
ination of the city, combining a double celebration of events, in a calm 
night when everything was covered with snow, formed a very impressive 
scene. In the centre of a window in Market Street I observed a bril- 
liant star embracing the whole window, in the centre of which was a 
quotation from Shakspeare's Henry VI.: "Relieved is Orleans from the 
British wolves." 

On 1 7th of the month I was called to Washington to consult with the 
Secretary of War upon a plan to reduce the army to a peace establishment. 
The board had also been called upon to report its opinion on that subject. 
On waiting upon the President I found him greatly improved in health, and 
overjoyed at the conclusion of the war. 

The general idea of Congress seemed to be to reduce the army to a 
standard upon which an army of fifty thousand men might be engrafted, 
which the provisions of the law fell far below the proper scale to sustain. 
The old theme of competency of militia became rife, and Congress provided 
to resume the services of forty thousand thereof in case of need. An 
appropriation of the sums of four hundred thousand dollars, and two 
hundred thousand dollars, was made to carry on the fortifications. An 
extended organization of the Military Academy was proposed, and to that 


effect I recommended that two of our best officers, to wit, Colonel 
INIcRee and Major Thayer, should be sent to Europe to examine the 
works of France, etc., and on the Rhine and low countries, and to form 
a librar)- for the Academy. 

After sending to the various officers of the engineers orders to inspect 
the condition of the works on the fortifications, in order to repair through- 
out the Atlantic ports, I returned on 3d March to my family in Brooklyn, 
with whom the Rev. Mr. Empie had passed the winter, and where Mrs. 
Swift had received the account of the death of her only sister, Harriet, Mrs. 
Osborne, in North Carolina. On my way, at Philadelphia, with my former 
chief. Colonel Williams, and examined the arrangements made to resist any 
land attempts that the British might have made, and gave him a description 
of the works erected around Baltimore for similar purposes; and also gave 
him a sketch of what had been done on York and Long Islands — positions 
well known to him — and the plans had his professional approbation. 

On 7th of March, at Brooklyn, received from the committee of defence 
of the city the proceedings of the corporation in reference to my services 
in the past year. They had requested my portrait, to be executed by the 
executive John Wesley Jarvis, to be placed in the city hall as a memorial; 
and they resolved that I was a benefactor to the city. They also sent to 
Mrs. Swift my half-length portrait, also done by Jarvis, together with forty- 
three pieces of silver, and also presented me a case of silver drawing instru- 
ments, and a very handsome pleasure barge, by which to amuse my family 
and friends in excursions over the bay of New York. 

On 15th of the month I presented to the committee of defence a general 
view of the system of defence, and the plans of all the works that had been 
constructed by citizen labor; the whole comprised in a folio atlas, with my 
report, containing also my acknowledgements of the aid that I had received 
from Lieutenant James Gadsden, my aid-dc-camp. He was of the corps of 
engineers, and grand-son of the patriot General Christopher Gadsden of 
South Carolina; and also acknowledging the services of Messrs. Renwick, 
Proctor, Kemble and others, including the artist Holland. The artist Jarvis, 
before mc;ntioned, is the grantl-son of the great John Wesley, the leader of 


Methodism. Mr. Jarvis has many fine quaHties as an artist, and great 
social ablhty. 

On 1 2th April gave instructions to Colonel McRee and Major Thayer to 
proceed to France as recommended to the Secretary of War and President 
in February last, and those gentlemen sailed from Boston on loth June in 
the United States frigate "Congress." 

On 20th June, returning from an inspecting tour to West Point, I met 
Captain John M. Glassel, the secretary of the board, and arranged with 
him to aid me in consulting the printer and engraver to print the work 
done in Baltimore upon infantry tactics. The work was immediately com- 
menced by Mr. Mercein and others. 

On nth July, in pursuance of orders from the War and Navy Depart- 
ments, proceeded to Newport, R. I., and met Commodores Bainbridge and 
O. H. Perry, the three forming a commission with instructions to explore 
Narragansett Bay and its tributary waters, with a view to the selection of a 
position for a navy depot, which order was laboriously executed, including 
Providence and Taunton Rivers, Fall River and the Watupper Ponds. Our 
report to the department at Washington agreed in opinion that Newport 
Harbor was the most important post for navy refuge on the coast of the 
United States. The report also embraces a system for the defence of the 
depot, including the various approaches by land and water, and also com- 
mending the closing of the passage between Conanicut Island and the main 
land by a dyke of large stone, that might afterwards be removed if found 
desirable to do so. On 24th July the commission returned to my office in 
Brooklyn, and thence forwarded our report to the War and Navy Departments. 

On 15th August I proceeded to an inspection at West Point, and found 
much difficulty in keeping the place furnished with needful supplies, and 
was obliged to incur many debts to sustain the Academy. Returned to the 
city early in September, and in correspondence with the War Department 
found that funds could not be sent from the treasury. By the authority of 
the Secretary of War I attempted to negotiate a loan from the banks of the 
city, which every one of them declined as unsuited to their mode of doino- 
business. In fact they did not like the security — the pledge of the depart- 



ment to pay the loan as soon as Congress supplied the means — a far-off 
event in the opinion of the banks in the then reduced value of treasury notes. 
In this dilemma I met Jacob Barker, who liked the security on the condition 
that I would draw upon him for not more than ten thousand dollars per 
week, and thus in the course of six weeks I received sixty-five thousand 
dollars from him in bank paper, and thereby prevented a disbandment of 
the Military Academy and a suspension of the repairs on the fortifications 
in New York Harbor. Taking the then condition of "public credit" into 
view I deem this act of Mr. Barker to be in a high degree patriotic. 
He is to receive seven per cent, per annum until the loan be paid. 

On 5th September invited to a dinner given to Hon. Mr. Clay, Rufus 
King and Albert Gallatin. 

In October sent my views to the Secretary of War for securing the 
fortifications of the United States from dilapidation pending the scarcity of 
money, and also in case of relief from the pressure, what new works might 
be commenced in 18 16 if the view given met his approbation, and was 
sustained by Congress ; the whole amount contemplated being eight 
hundred and thirty-eight thousand dollars. 

At the close of the month of October my father and mother came from 
Boston, to pass the winter in my family in Washington Street, Brooklyn. 
My sister Sarah and her son Julius also arrived in the month of November, 
leaving her daughter Louisa at nurse in Boston. My sister was confined 
at my house with her daughter Delia. My brother-in-law, Mr. Eli W. 
Adams, and my cousin, William R. Swift, were then establishing themselves 
in business in Baltimore. I gave them letters to Robert Oliver, Esquire, 
who aided them with loans. This course of Air. Oliver was habitual with 
him toward young men of business. Adams and Swift were much bene- 
fitted thereby, and Mr. Oliver, on my thanking him for his volunteer aid in 
this matter, informed me that Adams and Smith had punctually refunded 
the loan. 

On 2 1 St December Lieutenant Gadsden and myself, accompanied by my 
sister Sarah and her children, took a private carriage to Philadelphia, where 
we were joined by Professor F. R. Hassler, and arrived in Baltimore on 


28th. Gadsden, my aid-de-camp, and myself proceeded to Washington, 
and by order of the Secretary of War established the headquarters of the 
corps of engineers in a part of the house of Mrs. King, the widow of 
Nicholas King, long a draughtsman to the War Department; and after 
preparing the reports for commencing the works upon the fortifications I 
sent Lieutenant Gadsden to General Andrew Jackson, who had written me a 
request to select a suitable officer to serve as his aid-de-camp. Having 
entire confidence in the ability and character of Gadsden I thus deprived 
myself of his services, believing that the measure would promote the 
interests of a very deserving man, in a field of larger scope than his aidship 
to me could offer. 

1816. In addition to the ordinary duties of my office in Washino-ton I 
had many communications with the President and Secretary of War during 
the month of January', upon improvements and extension of the Military 
Academy, with a view to inviting to that institution some officers from the 
military schools of France. The question was whether to place these 
officers as professors at the Academy, or to attach them to the corps of 
engineers in a bill about to be prepared by the military committee of 

In February I proceeded down the Potomac with Lieutenant Colonel 
Armistead and Major Roberdeau, to examine Cedar Point as a site for a fort. 
On our return to Washington in the sloop that had been chartered for this 
service, the ice cut the bottom of the vessel so that she sunk on a shoal 
below Alexandria, and we escaped to the shore, with some difficulty, with 
our instruments and papers. 

While in conversation with the President on the subject of this defence 
of the approach to Washington, he expressed an opinion that Captain 
Partridge might be detailed on the duty connected with this contemplated 
work, or on some other duty that would relieve him from West Point. My 
reply to this was that to displace Captain Partridge suddenly, and without 
assigning the cause, could not be just to his official rights. The President 
assented to the correctness of this, but said : Captain Partridge is not 
deemed by the Secretary of War the most suitable officer of engineers for 


duty at the Academy. I called immediately on the Secretary of War and 
stated these circumstances. He said the matter would be considered 
further, and that though he should not interfere with any order in reference 
thereto he would prefer that I should send some officer of engineers to 
relieve Captain Partridge. I then stated to Mr. Crawford that the service 
of superintending at West Point was not desirable to any officer of the 
corps. The subject was deferred until I had made my visit of inspection. 
I then departed for an inspection of Fort McHenry, at Baltimore, where, 
on my arrival, I took lodgings with my brother-in-law Adams, in St. Paul's 
Lane, and after visiting Fort McHenry proceeded to Fort MiBin in the 
Delaware, and thence to my quarters in Brooklyn on the last day of 
February. Early in March found me at West Point with Captain Partridge, 
to whom I was not at liberty to communicate what had passed between Mr. 
Madison, Mr. Crawford and myself. I however said that he had enemies 
at Washington. I was at this time taken ill with ague, and detained at the 
hospitable quarters of Mrs. Mansfield, and was relieved by the extraction 
of my front tooth, and did not reach my family in Brooklyn until early in 
April ; finding there our first daughter, Sarah Delano, born in my absence 
on 30th March. 

On 2 2d April I was apprised by letter from Lieutenant S. H. Long, that 
the purpose of the President was to so conform to the new bill before Con- 
gress, by introducing a skillful engineer from France into the corps of engi- 
neers, and that it was rumored that the plan had received my approbation. 
By the return mail, on 23d April, I wrote to the Hon. Jeremiah Mason, and 
to the Hon. William Lowndes, an inquiry what was the actual purpose of the 
President, for I had received no intimation from the War Department in 
relation to this matter since the conversation before mentioned in January. 
Their replies show, that to expedite the passage of the bill before alluded to 
in January, members of Congress were informed that the bill was in accord- 
ance with my opinions. Without delay I wrote to the Secretary of War 
that the only accordance on my part in this matter was e.xpressed in the 
conversation that I had with him and the President in January. 

On 2d May the Secretary of War wrote me to assign the appropriation, 


eight hundred and thirty-eight thousand dollars, to the different works in 
the United States, "to facilitate operations," etc. 

On the 8th of that month I returned to the Secretary of War my 
opinion on the subject of his letter, designating one hundred and seventy 
thousand dollars for repairs of fortifications and two hundred and three 
thousand dollars for finishing the works that had been commenced, leaving 
four hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars for newly projected works. A 
letter Irom the Secretary of War was now on its way to me, dated on the 
same 8th May, stating that at the close of the late session of Congress the 
President had been authorized to employ General Bernard, or some other 
" skillful engineer," through the agency of Hon. Albert Gallatin, and that 
until the arrival of that engineer the commencement of new works would 
be postponed. (See my files, A.) On 2 ist May I replied to the Secretary of 
War, (see B,) to which he rejoined on i ith June, (as in C,) and to which I 
replied on ist July, (as in D,) which documents I requested my friends, 
Hon. Rufus King and Hon. Oliver Wolcott, to examine and favor me with 
their opinions. Mr. King invited Mr. Wolcott and myself to dine with him 
at Jamaica for the purpose of that examination; both of these gentlenjen 
having been long conversant with governmental affairs, and both of them, 
by their conduct in the late war, not unduly influenced by party politics. 
They gave me the opinion that my views, as expressed in D, were sound 
and just. To this letter D, Mr. Crawford replied as in E; all of which are 
of record in the engineer department at the war office at Washington. 

Pending these discussions the works on the fortifications of the United 
States were in no other way progressing than in the ordinary repairs. 

In July a large meeting in the city to form the American and Foreign 
Bible Society; Joshua Sands and J. G. Swift members from Long Island. 

The French engineer, selected by the Marquis de La Fayette and Mr. 
Gallatin, was General Bernard, who this summer arrived in New York, and 
had his interviews with the Secretary of War and the President, without my 
being informed of the nature of that intercourse. The general, however, 
when he came to the city, was, with his family, received by mine with hospi- 
tality, and by myself and the corps at large was treated with every personal 

144 ^^^ MEMOIRS OF 

respect ; and every facility in my power was offered to him, by a view of 
all our plans and reports, to enable him to acquire a knowledge of the 
military defences of the country, in order that so skillful an engineer — and 
one in whom Napoleon had reposed much confidence — might suggest the 
correction of any error that our young corps of officers might have 

This humiliating act of my country made me very unhappy, added to 
which the War Department made an essay to place me in a position where 
my sentiments might least influence my brother officers of engineers. 
Accordingly on 9th September the Secretary of War wrote me that Captain 
Partridge did not conduct the Military Academy satisfactorily to the Presi- 
dent ; that it was necessary for me to repair to West Point as soon as my 
official duties elsewhere would permit, and there to establish the headquar- 
ters of the corps of engineers, and to assume in person the superintend- 
ence of the Academy, in conformity with the laws that had been in a species 
of abeyance during and since the wai", by reason of my absence in various 
parts of the Union, on duty. In obedience of which order, on i6th Novem- 
ber, I went to West Point, and relieved Captain Partridge, and assumed the 
superintendence, etc., on 25th of that month. 

Soon after this I received from the Secretary of War a letter of 19th 
November, informing me that a board of engineers had been formed by 
order of the President, and that General Bernard had been appointed a 
bricradier-general by brevet, as second in command, and that the general 
had been ordered to report himself to me at West Point, to receive my 
views of his functions on said board. 

On 2d December, General Bernard reported himself to me at the Point, 
and became my guest. At my instance we discussed the propriety of intro- 
ducing foreign officers into the engineer department of any country ; General 
Bernard maintaining that it had been the common practice of France and 
Russia. On my part it was deemed impolitic, at least, to place in the hands 
of any foreign nation a knowledge of all our assailable points of defence, 
and means to occupy them, however high and honorable might be the 
character of the individuals of any foreign nation so employed. This 


argument was maintained in mutual good temper. I said to General 
Bernard that, lest he might misunderstand the principle upon which I 
acted, or be misinformed by rumor or otherwise, I placed in his hands the 
correspondence with the Secretary of War, A, B, C, D, E, before mentioned, 
and advised him to peruse them at his leisure before his return to West 
Point from Rouse's Point, where he was going to meet Lieutenant Colonel 
Totten to inspect the work in progress at that place. I gave him a letter 
of introduction to Lieutenant Colonel Totten, and the general departed on 
6th December. 

My reflections upon the course of the government in this matter are 
that my talents as chief engineer are assumed to be inferior to those of 
General Bernard, which may be a correct opinion, for I have not had the 
experience of that distinguished man ; in reference to which I had stated 
to the government that the benefit of that experience could, with some 
deference to the pride of a corps that had been created at the Military 
Academy, be secured to the country by placing General Bernard at the 
head of an engineer professorship at West Point. To be sure the corps of 
engineers is composed of young men, nevertheless, during the late war 
they had been found respectable in their vocation, and all of the corps who 
had been in the field had been honored by brevets. Whether the forts on 
the Atlantic coast had been judiciously located and constructed, it was a 
fact that all the principal forts had kept the enemy at bay during the late 
war. On the whole I come to the conclusion that it is due to my country', 
and to the corps, that I command, so to cooperate with General Bernard, 
under the law of i6th February last, as to prove to the country that I am 
influenced by a sense of duty and not by mere selfishness. 

On 2 1 St December I wrote to the Secretary of War what had passed 
between General Bernard and myself, and also gave him my opinion that 
in reference to the commission given to General Bernard I doubted the 
power of the President to confer on him the rank expressed, which com- 
mands all inferior in rank to obey him. To this letter I received from the 
Secretary of War his reply of 30th December, which made it evident that 
the executive had purposed to place me in a position to make it difficult to 


interfere with the professional functions of General Bernard as his superior 
officer. This determined me to adopt a mild and steady course of duty as 
chief engineer, to avert the tendency of the course of the executive so far as 
the law would sustain me, and if not successful to resign my commission. My 
purpose was not to retard or impede the public service, and therefore I sent 
to every officer of the corps, on fortification duty, my orders to receive and 
obey any instruction or order for the progress of the ivorks that might 
emanate from General Bernard, as if coming direct from myself. 

The establishing of my family at West Point, to wit, Mrs. Swift, my sons 
James and Williams, and my daughter Sarah, had occasioned me much 
additional expense ; leaving my sons Alexander and Julius with my aunt 
Lucretia Lovering, at housekeeping in my quarters in Washington Street, 
Brooklyn, and taking the Rev. Leverett Bush into my family at the Point as 
a teacher to my sons. He also performed the functions of chaplain to 
the Military Academy, the Rev. Mr. Empie having returned to his former 
residence in Wilmington, N. C. My son Thomas D. was residing with his 
grand-father. Dr. Swift, the United States surgeon on Governor's Island. 
The winter a severe season, the Hudson closed by ice, thus rendering 
intercourse between the divided portions of my family tedious and very 
troublesome. The last day of the year, while a party of cadets were dining 
with me a fire broke out in my quarters, that soon assembled other cadets, 
who in a few minutes removed the furniture and books from the house, and 
on extinguishing the fire replaced the same, so that our dinner party 
enjoyed their feast in the hall where many a social party had assembled in 
the previous days of our then chief. Colonel Williams. These quarters 
were known as "The Colonel's Quarters." 

18 1 7. The new year was ushered in by a salute of twenty-four, eighteen 
and twelve-pounder cannon, in which, from the negligence of the gunner 
in tending the vent, fire was given the cartridge while in the act of "ram- 
ming home," which killed cadet Vincent M. Lowe, a promising youth of 
eighteen years, the only son of a widowed mother. His death was occa- 
sioned by concussion, and without any bruise. The funeral procession was 
one of the most impressive scenes in its march across the plain to the 


burial ground on the extremity of the German Flat, in a gusty snow storm, 
which alternately concealed and exposed the party in its route. 

On 6th closed contracts with John Forsyth, of Newburgh, to construct 
several brick quarters at the Point. On my return from Newburgh found 
"the Hills on fire" by the careless conduct of some boys, my sons James 
and Williams being the principals in the mischief; and which was extin- 
guished with much delay. 

On 7th January Lieutenant-Colonel Totten and General Bernard arrived 
at West Point from Rouse's Point, on Lake Champlain, to consult upon the 
further duties of inspection by the board of engineers. General Bernard 
. returned to me the documents before mentioned, and declined any further 
discussion in reference to their subject ; upon which I informed him that no 
change would be made by me in the course I had determined to pursue, the 
first act of which would be to attach myself to the board of engineers, 
unless forcibly prevented by the executive. In the pursuance of which 
purpose I wrote the Secretary of War that business of importance to the corps 
of engineers would require my presence in Washington as soon as the 
examination then in progress was completed at the Academy. 

On loth January General Bernard and Lieutenant-Colonel Totten left 
West Point to proceed to the Pea Patch in the Delaware River, to discuss a 
plan for a fortress for that place. 

On 13th of the month, with my aid, Lieutenant George Blaney, left 
West Point, and proceeded by land to the city of New York, and visited 
my children in Brooklyn, and my parents and son Thomas on Governor's 
Island, and thence to Washington. Knowing that the administration of 
Mr. Madison would soon expire, I called on him and made known to him 
my views in a request that the functions of the board of engineers should 
be conducted under my orders, and not those of the acting Secretary of 
War, Mr. Graham, who had given instructions to the board, merely sending 
me copies thereof for my government. To this, my proposal, Mr. Madison 
consented, and I was relieved from personal superintendence of the Military 
Academy, and therefore sent my orders to Captain Partridge to resume his 
functions as superintendent; and to give attention to the progress of the 


new Academy and the new brick quarters then constructing, under the 
appropriation by Congress of one hundred and fifteen thousand dollars. 
The library was enlarged, for which, and contingencies, Congress had 
appropriated twenty-two thousand dollars. 

On 4th of March, at the accession to the presidency of Colonel Monroe, 
I went to pay my respects to Mr. and Mrs. Madison, from both of whom I 
had, for eight years, received kind attentions. Mrs. Madison, from respect- 
able humble life had become not only an ornament to her husband's family, 
but also a beneficent dispenser of his bounty. This lady has a generous 
spirit, with bland and courteous manners, rather above the middle size, and 
very expressive blue eyes. Many an asperity of party, and its threatened 
personal consequences, have been averted by Mrs. Madison's timely and 
judicious interposition. Mr. Madison is below the middle stature of man, 
has a quiet, dignified deportment, and the aspect of one who had been long 
experienced in public affairs. His manner is easy and his language refined, 
of social qualities and fond of story-telling. The part he performed in the 
great constitutional convention, and in the convention of Virginia at the 
adoption of that instrument, and his papers in the Federalist, evince great 
wisdom. But one act of his life has marred the purity of his character, 
though that act elevated him to the presidency, namely, his abandonment 
of Federalism and adopting the Utopian democracy of Thomas Jefferson, 
which has so precipitated democratic influence as to give public measures a 
stand too far in advance of the intelligence of the people. 

Mr. Madison's mind and disposition are averse to military pursuits. 
During the war he had conceived no plan for its military conduct, evinced 
little talent in selecting commanders, and was far too exclusive in a party 
sense in those selections. The only exception among the generals was that 
of Thomas Pinckney, the force of whose national character could not easily 
be resisted. 

It is, however, due to Mr. Madison to say that on the urgent views of 
Commodores Stewart and Bainbridge he opposed a major voice in his 
cabinet, and sent the navy to seek the enemy on the ocean. This was done 


adversely to the steady advice of Mr. Gallatin not to expose our little fleet 
to the powerful navy of England. 

On nth March, by appointment with President Monroe, presented my 
views of a suitable position for General Bernard, namely, at the Military 
Academy as a professor of engineering. Mr. Monroe replied that under 
the resolve of i6th February such could not be done until the gentleman 
had examined our defences, but that he had determined that General 
Bernard should not exercise command in any case, and that he considered 
me to be the head of the board of engineers ; therefore I gave the board 
instructions to proceed to the Gulf of Mexico, and there be joined by 
Captain Gadsden, the engineer in that department. On the return of this 
board to my office in Washington I exercised my function of supervision, 
and preferred Captain Gadsden's system of defence of the main passes into 
Louisiana. But the Secretary of War, Mr. Calhoun, who could know but 
little of the science of the subject, rejected Gadsden's plans, which then 
and now are justly suited to the localities for which they are planned, and 
Mr. Calhoun adopted General Bernard's pentagons, that have since been 
found to be inappropriate in a military sense. In fact this error of Mr. 
Calhoun aided to infect members of Congress with an idea that General 
Bernard had a transcendent genius, and therefore he must be consulted 
upon all public works ; as if he had been possessed of intuitive knowledge 
of a subject that could only be acquired by actual residence in our country 
a suitable period of time. 

March 15th, by direction from the President, I surveyed the ruins in the 
capitol — the vandalic ruin of 18 14. In this duty Colonel Bomford and 
myself formed a board. The question to be decided was whether the 
capitol should be rebuilt entire, or the existing walls retained and the 
interior repaired. We commended the latter, and on receiving from Mr. 
Latrobe the requisite plans and elevations for the senate chamber, I took 
them with me to New York, and employed Francis Kain to complete the 
marble colonade and other parts of that chamber, and shipped the same to 
Colonel Lane, the superintendent at Washington. 

On 25th March, Bomford and myself accompanied the President to 


explore the Bresica Quarries on the Potomac, and it was therefore decided 
to use the same for the colonade of the house of representatives. This 
excursion was made on horseback, and on the way back to the city tlie 
President informed me that he purposed making a tour of inspection of 
the fortifications and navy yards in the Union, and that he should require 
my services to aid him in that excursion. I am of course gratified by such 
an evidence of the President's purpose. But I on this occasion, and on 
several others, stated to him that my official relations had been much invaded 
by the resolution of i6th February, and that it would better comport with 
my own wishes and the interests of my family to seek civil life, if the 
President could place me in a suitable office with that view. His reply 
was kind. He said he hoped I would not leave the army, and that at any 
rate I would be patient and await events. I stated to him that I had already 
made some incipient arrangements to improve my fortune, with Gouverneur 
Kemble, to establish a foundry on the Hudson. 

On 4th April arranged with the President to join him in Baltimore early 
in June, to proceed there and elsewhere on his contemplated tour, and after 
making all official dispositions of orders to the officers of the corps for the 
few works, as at Rouse's Point, etc., and small repairs upon the existing 
works pending the action and duty of the board, I proceeded to Philadel- 
phia on 9th and arranged with an old friend of the President, James Gard, 
Esquire, to secure as quiet a sojourn in that city as his official station could 
permit, and on 14th April joined my family at Brooklyn, where Mrs. Swift, 
James, Willy and Sally had two days previously rejoined my aunt Lovering 
and my sons Alexander and Julius in Washington Street, having been 
separated all the winter by the closing of the Hudson. My son Thomas 
still with his grand-father on Governor's Island, in New York Harbor. 

April 2 1 St to West Point, and examined the Academy ; thence with 
Gouverneur Kemble to Captain Philipse, who resided on the opposite bank 
of the river, and proposed to this worthy gentleman (the proprietor of the 
once manor of his name, and whose honor this gentleman maintained with 
steady hospitality,) that he should unite with us in establishing a foundry, 
and to which end we proposed to take about two hundred of his acres on 


Margaret Brook as so much of his share of stock, and to which he assented, 
and agreed that I should survey and plot the tract. Accordingly, with my 
compass, I paced around a tract enclosing full two hundred acres, and to 
which hasty survey Captain Philipse agreed, and set to his hand and seal. 
Mr. Kemble and myself had formed a conditional agreement with the War 
and Navy Departments of the United States to supply the government with 
one-third of their ordnance castings; and subsequently he and myself 
visited the large iron works of Mr. Coleman in Pennsylvania, and the 
Salisbury works in Connecticut, to inform ourselves in iron making; and I 
imported from England through Mr. Hassler, a standard of measure, and 
from Paris the best works on iron and steel making-. 

On 24th April I laid out on the ground the new north and south stone 
barrack that had been planned by Professor C. Crozet, and contracted with 
T. J. Woodruff and John Morse, of the city of New York, to construct that 
building, and returned to Brooklyn early in May. 

On 24th of which month went to Governor's Island, and thence with my 
mother and sister Mary departed for Baltimore ; the latter on a visit to my 
sister, Mrs. Adams and cousin W. R. Swift, in St. Paul's Lane. 

On 1st June the President arrived in Baltimore with his suite, to 
commence a tour of inspection. 





I was in Washington in March and April of this year in company with 
Colonel George Bomford of the ordnance, examining the ruins of the 
capitol in order to its repair, in which we were assisted by Mr. Latrobe, the 
architect. This capitol, and other public and private edifices had been 
destroyed by the British army under command of General Ross and 
Admiral Cockburn in 18 14. 

President Monroe invited me to accompany him in an horseback excur- 
sion to the Bresica Quarries on the Potomac, from which it had been 
proposed to take materials to repair and ornament the hall of representa- 
tives and senate chamber of the capitol. This visit had decided the matter, 
and the material was used for those purposes. During this excursion Mr. 
Monroe mentioned his intention to make the tour of the Union, to examine 
its defences, navy yards, etc., and to see the people. He wished me to 
so arrange my official affairs as to accompany him in the examination, in 
order to do which I proceeded to New York to direct the continuance of 
the fortifications in that harbor, and visited West Point to direct the opera- 
tions of the Military Academy for an inspection of the President, and 
returning to Baltimore on ist June, met Mr. Monroe there, accompanied by 
a son of General Mason, of Georgetown, and Mr. Monroe and suite called 
to see Charles Carrol of Carrolton, the venerable patriot. He and Mr. 


Monroe exchanged several remarks on the scenes of the Revolution. Then, 
with General Samuel Smith and N. G. Harper, etc., visited the battle ground 
of North Point, where, in September, 1814, General Ross lost his life by 
an accidental rifle shot. From the account given by General Striker to Mr. 
Monroe one would suppose both parties had been surprised. Returning, 
we viewed the misplaced lines of Baltimore, that should have occupied the 
passes of North Point, etc. The President passed on to review the militia, 
and to examine Fort McHenry with General Samuel Steritt — (very gentle- 
manly and accomplished in manner) — and also with Colonel Paul Bentalon, 
an officer of the army of Rochambeau, his aspect that of the old French 
politesse of 1780; full of memory of the scenes of Yorktown. 

On 3d June the President went to Head of Elk by steamer, and was there 
received by the Philadelphia and Delaware delegations, and especially by 
Colonel Allen McLean, full of anecdotes of the movements of Washington 
to beleaguer Cornwallis. The colonel had been a distinguished and 
most useful officer, having still the fire of youth in his manner. Also 
General Moses Porter, whose giant person still wore a fresh aspect. He 
had been distinguished as an artillery officer in the discomfiture of Lord 
Sterling on Long Island, August, '76, and who had by merit and long 
service risen from a sergeant. Here also we met Commodores Murray and 
Stewart of the navy, and General Thomas Cadwallader, of Philadelphia — 
the thorough gentleman. At Newcastle we found Captain Babcock, of my 
corps, with all things ready to take barge to the Pea Patch, down the Dela- 
ware; a site which the Hon. Mr. Rodney informed the President had been 
taken up by Chief Justice Booth of Delaware in 1780. A useful position 
to defend the double channels of the river. Thence the President ascended 
the Delaware to the Brandywine, and with Colonel Allen McLean rode over 
the grounds where Washington incurred the censure of some congressmen 
for " extending his wing." Colonel McLean pointed out the ground and 
the need of that extension, a just military movement. 

The party visited Du Pont's powder mills, and General Cadwallader and 
myself tested the drying rooms for four minutes at a temperature of one 
hundred and forty-five degrees Farenheit. We were here joined by the 


venerable Mr. Logan, of Pennsylvania, and passing the rich meadows of the 
Delaware, came by boats to Fort Miflin, that had been well defended by 
Colonel Samuel Smith in the Revolution. From Fort Miflin the party 
proceeded in barges to the mouth of the Schuylkill, at Gray's Ferry, and 
with a large militia escort, and the city committee, to the mansion house of 
Mr. James Head, there meeting the Society of Cincinnati, with addresses 
and reply and entertainment. The next morning — 6tli June — made an 
excursion to Red Bank, where the farmers met the President, some of whom 
were of the assailing party against Count Donop ; and they mentioned that 
the timber felled at that time (In August) had endured many years, proving 
that to be a better felling season than the winter. The next day took a 
horseback ride with several prominent citizens to Germantown and Chew 
House, where General Howe should have conquered our army, and cut off 
their retreat. The interchange of courtesy of the President and the country 
people was very pleasant. He found the arsenal and navy yard in as good 
order as expected ; aided by General C. Irvine and Commodore Stewart in 
the examination. 

At the instance of the President I called on Messrs. Dachkoff, Ten Gate, 
Redemker, Peduson and other foreign officers, to say that it would be more 
convenient to receive them when he was not engaged with his fellow 
citizens. Mr. Monroe observed that for less causes he had been denied 
access to foreign courts when he was minister to England, France, and 

Hon. Pierce Butler, General Cadwallader, Secretary Long, Commodore 
Stewart, Ingersoll, Bache and Todd dined with the President. One would 
have imagined the " blood of the Ormonds" had concentrated in Mr. Butler. 

On 7th June the party was received at the Bridge at Trenton by the 
New Jersey delegation, congratulating Colonel Monroe " on the ground 
where Washington achieved an important turn in our affairs in the winter 
of '76; where Mr. Munroe, the second officer of the vanguard, and Captain 
William Washington, were both wounded in the shoulder." Mr. Monroe 
replied: "I feel sensibly this attention in this place from the citizens of 
Trenton ; on the spot where the hopes of the country were revived by a 


prompt expedition planned by Washington." The press of time prevented 
the President from visiting Commodore Stewart at his farm. Mr. Monroe 
remarking to say to the Commodore: "The country owed him much for 
encouraging Mr. Madison to send our ships to sea in the war with England 
in 18 1 2, against the advice of Mr. Gallatin to keep them in safe harbor. 
The country owed both him and Bainbridge much for their zealous counsel 
before the cabinet on that momentous occasion." I bore this nice message 
to Stewart and dined with him. 

The party made a call on Joseph Bonaparte en route to lunch. Joseph 
seemed an unpretending common sense gentleman, thoughtful face, and 
like his brother's busts. The President and Joseph were old acquaintances. 
Return to Trenton and Princeton, where Mr. Monroe was inducted to the 
Cliosophia, and from my relations to Mr. Monroe I was also inducted, after 
examining the Halls of Nassau. There with Governor Williamson and 
ex-Governor Aaron Ogden to Elizabethtown on the 9th June, and met the 
widow of Neursewitz, the friend of Kosciusko. The lady is the daughter 
of Governor William Livingston, and sister of Mrs. John Gay. At the 
Point took steam to Staten Island, and became the guests of Vice-President 
Tompkins for a part of two days, to rest, and on iith landed at the 
Battery, meeting General Scott, General Morton, and the city authorities; 
then explored the lines of Brooklyn, refreshing with Mrs. Switt, who had 
Joshua Sands, Major Tucker and Mr. March to meet the President; and 
then to the city to encounter numerous entertainments. One at the Philo- 
sophical Society, when Hon. De Witt Clinton made an eloquent address, 
occupying 13th and 14th. The following day the party at West Point, and 
Mr. Monroe met the officials in the garden of Kosciusko, and there he related 
the following story of that Pole : When Kosciusko came from Europe 
wounded he seemed unable to move when applying to Congress, and 
received a grant of land. It was said lameness was assumed to excite 
sympathy among cool-blooded members. Mr. Monroe said it was not 
feigned, but to impress a Russian spy that he was no longer able to wield a 
sword, who was so impressed; and Kosciusko resumed his health lost in a 
Russian prison. Mr. Monroe said Kosciusko had been a faithful friend to 


' the American cause, and that he had recently remitted him several hundred 
dollars to sustain him in his retreat in Switzerland. This sojourn at West 
Point, and the examination of the cadets, was very refreshing after city 
fatigues. It was at this visit determined that Captain Partridge should be 
brought before a court martial in reference to his disagreement with the 
professors. My opinion of the captain was more favorable than Mr. 
Monroe's, but the Chief Magistrate was to be obeyed, and I accordingly 
proposed a substitute in Major Thayer, who was the officer named lo me 
by Mr. Monroe ; and I gave Captain Partridge choice of any duty or leave 
until the court could be convened. He preferred leave, and the matter 
rested for the present. 

On 17th June the party returned to the city to inspect fortifications, 
navy yard, and the steamer " Fulton." At the west end of Lone Island Mr. 
Monroe met Hon. Rufus King, and they witnessed the experiments of 
elongated shell at a target four hundred yards distant, on Robert L. 
Stevens's place. The shells penetrated the target but did not explode. 
On 20th June to Hell Gate and the entrance of the Sound, in reference to 
the location of a navy depot at Barr Island; then by steam to New Haven. 
Visited the colleges and the "Groves of the Judges." Mr. Monroe was 
taken by surprise by a sermon from Rev. Dr. Taylor, an extreme Calvinist, 
much to the chagrin of the Rev. Horace Holly, a high Unitarian. One of 
the most interesting scenes we met at Hartford in the exhibition of the 
deaf and dumb, by Le Clerc and Gallaudet. Mr. Monroe had seen a similar 
exhibition in France. At Middletown the address of the citizens was 
emphatic, and national in every sense. A delegation from Massachusetts 
waited on the President at Hartford to escort him to Springfield, where, on 
arriving 24th June, an exhibition of five hundred school children met the 
President on the parade as a token of their respect for the Chief Magistrate, 
and evidence of adhesion to the Puritan law in favor of town schools. Thence 
Colonel Roswell Lee led the way to the well-arranged armory of the United 
States, of which he was superintendent, and had been my assistant engineer 
in fortifying New London when the British fleet were anchored in Gardner's 
Ba)'. Thence retracing his steps the President descended the left bank of 


the Connecticut River to New London, at the residence of General Jedediah 
Huntington, of Revolutionary times, who addressed the President in touching 
allusion to " the war in their youth, and the happy results we were enjoying 
after surviving a second contest with the power of England." Here the 
party was joined by Commodores O. H. Perry and Bainbridge, and my 
father, the surgeon of the post at Fort Trumbull. Taking the revenue 
cutters at the fort the President visited the Sound and Gardner's Bay, where 
the navy officers explained to the President the importance of an armed 
vessel at Gardner's Bay by a view from the headland of the island. 
Returned up the Thames, and landed at the foot of Fort Griswold. At the 
old fort the President met Mr. Avery and others who had been among the 
defenders of that post when assailed by the British under then Major, now 
General Bloomfield, and explaining the scene that occurred when Colonel 
Ledyard surrendered his sword, and Bloomfield turned it and thrust it 
through Colonel Ledyard's body — a dastardly act — after all resistance had 
ceased ; followed by the cruelty of trundling the wounded down the hill in 
carts, inflicting torture. Mr. Avery had lost an eye in the contest ; the 
remaining one twinkled with rage as he described the scene. Here the 
celebrated Mrs. Baily came forward and recounted her well-remembered 
exploits, vouched for by the surrounding veterans, and of her disrobing her 
flannel to furnish cartridge to the artillery men. 

On the following day the United States brig " Enterprise," attended by 
the cutters, (among them the aged Captain Cahoon, of privateer heroism in 
the Revolution,) took on board the President and suite, and by Gardner's 
Bay on 27th June crossed the Sound to Stonington, which the President 
especially visited to compliment the brave Captain Palmer for his towns- 
men — led by himself — in repelling the assault of the " Ramillies," seventy- 
four. Sir Thomas Hardy. My own interview with Mr. Palmer was inter- 
esting. 1 had succeeded in sending him some cannon and ammunition in 
1 8 14 from New York, by a cunning master of a sloop, which succeeded in 
escaping the enemy. The captain had ornamented the front of his 
with a thirteen-inch shell from the " Ramillies," which had fallen through his 
roof to the cellar, fortunately without exploding, though it had shattered 


mucli in its descent. On the following day the little squadron entered 
Newport Harbor, where most hearty feeling was shown without a shade of 
party. The President had a charming evening with the venerable William 
Ellery at the age of ninety. He remarked: " Ah, Mr. Monroe, we all had 
prospects of the death of rebels, especially such as myself, who had little 
of this world's goods to lose, but Hancock and Charles Carroll had launched 
both character and large estates in the cause." The patriot was reading 
Horace when Mr. Monroe called. He took a seat by Mr. Monroe in an 
excursion to the scene of Quaker Hill in Sullivan's campaign, and seemed 
familiar with the events of the day. 

On 30th we proceeded to Fall River and the Watupper Lakes, as a source 
to serve machinery for a navy depot, and thence crossed Taunton River to 
Mount Hope Bay, refreshing and lodging with Lieutenant-Governor 
Collins and Mr. De Wolf, and thence onward to Providence. Here, Hon. H. 
G. Otis, Colonel Gray, General Blake, Colonel Sumner, Messrs. Thorndike 
and Oliver, (the colonel as aid of Governor Brooks,) came to lead the 
escort. Mr. Otis, in an eloquent address, alluded and compared the visit 
with its only precedent, that of Washington ; accompanying the President 
to Brown University, and on ist July to the manufactories of Pawtucket ; 
meeting there General Dearborn and Justice Story — a rival committee of 

welcome coming expressly from the Democracy, giving me some trouble 

but all that was said : "Gentlemen, be pleased to fall in and form a part of 
the cortege," which arrived at Dedham, and took lodgings opposite the 
residence of the great Fisher Ames. The next day ceremonial consulta- 
tions as to the two committees at an old redout on Roxbury Neck, both 
committees desiring to take charge of the President. I took on myself to say 
to both : " Gentlemen, the care and conduct of this movement has been o-iven 
to me, and I cannot surrender it without the President's order." Pendino- this 
interchange the salute opened from the old redout and the Boston mar- 
shals, and the committee, without further delay, moved on with the cavalcade 
to Boston Common, and the President was received by four thousand boys 
and girls and their instructors ; a scene of courtesy well conducted, that the 
children will remember, and which served to occupy committees and all 


until joined by ex-President Adams, Governor Brooks, Lieutenant-Governor 
David Cobb, Governor Phillips and General James Miller (the modest hero,) 
Rev. Dr. Kirkland, Daniel Webster, Isaac P. Davis and Rev. Dr. Freeman. 
The Governor opened with a word in his peculiar graceful style, followed 
by the address of the authorities in the area of the Exchange, which was 
followed by one of Boston's sumptuous entertainments in rooms orna- 
mented with the works of Boston artists and citizens. The next day the 
President and Governor Brooks, etc., visited the fortifications of the 
harbor. The President was highly gratified by his reception in several 
families of Boston, and especially at Governor Brooks' in Medford, 
and his neighbor cousin. They rode over the scenes of Washington in 
his early command of the army, when Brooks was his youthful attendant. 
The ensuing day was Independence, commencing with a fine breakfast of 
some hundreds at Commodore Bainbridge's, in Roxbury, in this abundant 
season of strawberries and cream. Thence a sojourn to the gardens of 
Colonel T. H. Perkins ; to Waltham, on a visit to Governor Gore ; to the 
United States arsenal, and in the evening a pleasant meeting with the 
Society of Cincinnati. But the distinctive character of the Democracy 
revived, and the committee called for a reply to the separate address. Mr. 
Monroe calmly said: "Gentlemen, I will reply amply to your address, and 
in writing, at my earliest leisure." This was said while the procession was 
moving to the Old South with the Cincinnati, to hear the eloquence of Dr. 
Channing — a happy allusion to the visit of the President, not to a party, 
but to the whole people. Now came on a general meeting at the State 
House, where the influence of fruit and champaigne seemed to quiet for a 
time the ground swell of party. This indicated a fear lest the Chief 
Magistrate should compromise his Democratic duty. Hence to the "Cradle 
of Liberty," Faneuil Hall, and a display of arms. The next day to the 
navy yard and "Independence," seventy-four; entertained by the com- 
mandant, the gallant Hull, and thence to Bunker's Hill, where Governor 
Brooks explained with simple clearness the progress of the day and 
Warren's fall, that lighted a flame through all the colonies. In this scene 
several veterans of the Revolution were received and welcomed by the 


President, and with him enjoyed the tasty Hght dinner and fruits of 
Governor Broolcs, with ex-President Adams and Dr. Osgood. Monday, 
7th, an early ride on Iiorseback with Mr. Monroe to a sitting to the artist, 
Gilbert Stewart, who exhibited his original head of Washington. Thence 
to Harvard, where President Kirkland conferred the honor of LL. D. on 
Mr. Monroe, and then to a review of two thousand militia on Boston 

On 8th the President visited the venerable John Adams at Ouincy. The 
ex-President said to Mr. Monroe: "Sir, I am happy to welcome you and 
your friends, and to acknowledge my high appreciation of the distinction 
which you propose to confer on my son as Secretary of State." But the 
gust of feeling that naturally flowed from the mother was thrilling. It 
overpowered Mr. Monroe, and every one present. His reply was simple : " I 
have but performed an act of justice to high ability and merit." Mr. Adams 
at first mistook me for the son of his brother lawyer, Samuel Swift, and 
poured out his commendation, saying: "I have written to Mr. Wirt my 
opinion of the merits of that Whig, who fell a martyr to the fury of Gage." 
I replied: "It was my grandfather, and you gave me my cadet's warrant 
eighteen years ago," upon which he was pleased to subjoin some civil com- 
mendation. The conversation naturally attracted the attention of the 
whole dinner party ; and it was a scene of deep interest to hear the old 
man scan the days of his life in Congress, when he nominated Washington, 
etc. This closed the Boston reception — one of sleepless fatigue to me, in 
hearing and arranging with delegations and committees. 

On the route east the President stopped to rest at Salem until the loth, 
occupied in correspondence with the departments at Washington. The 
aged Timothy Pickering, and the mathematician, Nathaniel Bowditch, were 
among those who addressed Mr. Monroe, and much display of arches 
and festoons, with throngs of fine children, on whom such pageantry makes 
a long-lasting impression. Here the reply in writing was made to the 
Democratic committee of Boston, in substance saying that it was the 
President's design by this tour to avoid all party distinctions. With similar 
displays of good feeling at Newburyport and Portsmouth, Mr. Monroe was 


met by the authorities at the latter place by Jeremiah Mason, in a powerful 
address of national sentiment, and on the following Monday (14th,) In 
barges to visit the navy yard and forts at the entrance of the harbor, accom- 
panied by the patriot John Langdon, who had built the "America," seventy- 
four, that was a gift to France. The next day the octogenarian, Sewell, 
of York, in Maine, received Mr. Monroe in a fine address of reminiscences 
of their mutual services and anxieties of the war of '76 ; and so on to the 
bridge of Strandwater, Portland, across which was extended twenty arches, 
as insignia of our States, the centre for Louisiana crowned by a living eagle, 
and lined on either wayside by some one thousand five hundred school chil- 
dren with wreaths and scrolls — "Welcome to the chief of our choice " — about 
the most impressive display seen by the President. Here, after a sail in the 
harbor and a visit to the fortifications, the President concluded his eastern 
tour, and determined to cross the country through Vermont, of which I had 
only notified Colonel Totten at Rouse's Point to meet Mr. Monroe at Bur- 
lington. Before separating from Mr. Munroe he expressed his gratification 
with my services, and certainly no man can be easier to associate with in a 
similar capacity than Colonel Monroe. Here it was determined by the 
President that Commodores Bainbridge, O. H. Perry and Evans, with 
Colonel McRee of the engineers, and myself, should proceed to Penobscot 
Bay with the " Lynx," Lieutenant .Stone, and " Enterprise," Lieutenant 
Kearney, and "Prometheus," Wadsworth, which was commenced on 17th 
June for the purpose of examining for a site to locate a navy depot. We 
paid our respects and took leave of the Chief Magistrate. 

During various evening conversations with Mr. Monroe I received from 
him, and noted down at the time, the subjoined facts of his origin and life : 

His progenitors were from Scotland. His immediate ancestor was Captain 
Andrew Monroe, an officer in the army of Charles L, at whose overthrow he 
fled to America, anno 1650, and purchased a tract of land in Westmoreland, 
Virginia, of Lord Barclay, situate on Monroe Creek. The Colonel is the fifth 
in direct descent from Captain Andrew aforesaid. The Colonel was born 
1759, and educat(;d at William and i\Lary College. In 1776 he joined 
Colonel Weeden's regiment in the Virginia line, as a lieutenant. At the 


battle of Trenton he seconded Captain William Washington in carrying the 
artillery of the enemy at the head of the street leading to the bridge, in 
which conflict both were wounded in the shoulder. On recovering from his 
wound in Trenton he entered the family of Lord Stirling as aid-de-camp, 
and in that capacity, and that of major, served in the battles of Brandywine, 
Germantown and Monmouth. General Washington advised him to apply 
to the legislature of Virginia for authority to raise a regiment, but failing 
in his effort to do this, he resigned his colonelcy in 1780, and became a 
student at law in the office of Thomas Jefferson. In the following year sold 
his paternal seven hundred acres in Westmoreland, and with the proceeds 
purchased his, estate in Albemarle called " Atamusquee," or The Lilly, and 
in company with his uncle Jones bought the London farm at Oak Hill, to 
which, on the death of that uncle he became heir, and commenced the 
practice of law in Fredericksburg. He was then elected to the Virginia 
legislature, and became a member of the council. In 1783 he was elected 
to Congress at Annapolis, and was at the session in New York when he and 
Rufus King were married. Mr. King married Miss Alsop and he married 
Miss Kortright. Soon after he made the tour of Lake Champlain, River 
St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, Big Sodus Bay and Niagara, purposing to 
go to Detroit, but his guide being killed by the Indians, he, from advice of 
Colonel De Peyster, abandoned the journey and returned south to Virginia, 
until the adoption of the Federal Constitution, which he opposed. 

Soon after the establishment of the government. General Washington 
nominated him to the embassy to France, from whence he was recalled, as 
it was alleged he exhibited too strong favor to French politics. Mr. Monroe 
stated that the slander commenced thus: Some letters of General Wash- 
ington had been wrecked on the coast of France ; these letters indicated 
Washington's dislike of the French revolution, and Mr. Monroe was accused 
to Washington as. having referred unfavorably to those letters. In the 
pending time Mr. Monroe was searching for the letters, and succeeded In 
learning their fate. This fact he immediately wrote to General Washington, 
but before his letter reached the General, an impression had been made on 
Washington's mind that Monroe had misused his letters, and his recall was 


forwarded before his letter to Washington was received. Indignant at the 
injustice, he did not call on Washington on his return home. When 
Washington had read Monroe's letters he said he was convinced Mr. Monroe 
had done his duty. But Mr. Monroe's dislike of Mr. Jay's treaty with Spain 
about the navigation of the Mississippi seemed to sustain a coolness on the 
part of Washington. Mr. Monroe said his treaty with Mr. Fox for recip- 
rocal commerce was interfered with, by Mr. Jefferson's sending William 
Pinckney of Maryland, which suspended the treaty ; and that the treaty then 
made, was revoked by the omission of Jefferson to send the treaty to the 
Senate. This implication of Mr. Monroe was a sort of second presidential 
frown, and it caused Mr. Monroe to again set forth a defense of his 
embassy. His fellow citizens set their opinion upon his treatment by electing 
him governor of Virginia, which prevented Mr. Monroe from competing the 
presidency with Mr. Madison. "So far from that," said Mr. Monroe, "I 
publicly declined the competition, and also the Department of State." But 
these events in no way disturbed his friendly intimacy with Jefferson. Mr. 
Monroe said that during the presidency of Congress of N. Gorham, that 
gentleman wrote Prince Henry, of Prussia, his fears that America could 
not sustain her independence, and asked the prince if he could be induced 
to accept regal power on the failure of our free institutions. The prince 
replied that he regretted deeply the probability of the failure, and that he 
would do no act to promote such failure, and was too old to commence new 
labors in life. The residue of Colonel Monroe's life is in the history of his 
country. In stature Mr. Monroe is above the ordinary height, well formed, 
though his shoulders are somewhat high, fleshy, but in no wise corpulent, 
his complexion without muddiness, his demeanor grave, his eye blue, 
rather dull unless excited, his features strong, high cheek bone of Scotland, 
nose straight, li]) rather thick, his gait quick and erect, deportment gentle 
and affable, his temper high but good, his judgment sound though slow 
and not quick of perception. Such are my observations of Colonel Monroe 
in an intimacy uninterrupted for ten years. 

The little squadron before mentioned, arrived in Penobscot Bay on i8th 
July, at dark, and made a harbor at Owl's Head, and the next morning 


commenced an examination of the shore, inlets and landings made, having 
our rallying point at Castine. Here I was entertained by Job Nelson and 
Mason Shaw, Esquires, who had known me a boy on Taunton Green ; and 
they were intimate friends of my father. They received me with a warm 
welcome, and recurred to scenes of 1796, etc. 

At the military post here, I found Captain Luther Leonard, of the artillery, 
in command. He had been a distinguished officer in the war of 181 2 in 
the battle of Plattsburgh. Also met my protege. Lieutenant Bonneville, 
on duty at the fort, to whom the celebrated Thomas Paine had bequeathed 
some estate. From the fort we received barges to explore the river and 
narrows to Bucksport. It was soon ascertained that the several anchorages 
were very deep, and from the openness of the bay would require extensive 
fortifications to protect them, and a depot, and that the bay was, as yet, too 
remote from artisans and material for a depot, etc. 

Our party returned to Portland on a similar survey, and then proceeded 
to Portsmouth. Of the Lieutenant Bonneville above mentioned, I had, in 
18 1 4, procured for him a cadet's warrant, and sent him to the Military 
Academy at West Point. The commission found the Piscataqua a very 
rapid tidal river, with many easily defensible localities, and water for any 
machinery easily drawn from Lake Winnepiseogee, but concluded the post 
not to be suitable for a depot, and the same result, from different causes, of 
Salem and Marblehead. In the survey of these two last, we had the 
company and counsel of Nathaniel Bowditch, Esq., who had made minute 
surveys of both harbors, and had often sailed into and out of them when he 
was a ship-master. We found him continuing his scientific translation of 
the great work of La Place, which few ever read and fewer comprehend. 
A gentleman of the most simple habits and most unaffected deportment, 
and very cheerful as a companion is Mr. Bowditch. 

Our squadron proceeded to inspect Boston Harbor, and concluded that 
the present navy yard would be a valuable adjunct for repairs, but not for 
a principal depot. We observed that the seaward side of all the islands in 
this harbor had been long sustaining an abrasion from the action of storms 
and water. The time when these islands had a complete form correspond- 


ing to the slopes of the existing land and pastures, must have been very 

Governor Brooks and the Bostonians were very hospitably attentive to 
this commission. Among the amusements of the day, and which the 
President had also enjoyed, was the reading of Voltaire, and revelations 
by an admirable artist — M. Artiguenave. 

The commission proceeded to Rhode Island, where I was to join them 
over a route of my own by Taunton Green, where, accompanied by my aunt 
Lucretia, we were received with great civility. An invitation to a public 
dinner, which, however flattering, I declined, in consequence of the illness 
of my early instructress, Miss Sally Cady. 

My friend Marcus Morton, who had married my schoolmate, Miss 
Charlotte Hodges, conveyed me in his carriage to the commission, then 
assembling at Fall River on 8th August, and a survey was made of the 
Watuppa Ponds and their outlet, and fall, into Taunton River ; ait ample 
source to drive any desirable extent of depot machinery. Thence we made 
an exploration of Mount Hope Bay. At Newport the commission divided, 
one part to complete the survey of Gardner's Bay, while Colonel McRee 
and myself explored the waters east from Sakonnet to Buzzard's Bay. 
Arriving at the river Pasquemonsett, McRee was astonished to see a miller 
run into the assemblage at the bridge, and in his mealy clothes clasp me in 
his arms, covering my military dress with meal, and excusing his joy to see 
me, whose life he had saved from drowning under the bridge on which we 
stood ; I having fallen in and cut my head on a rock at the bottom, the scar 
of which remained for the twenty-six years that had intervened. There 
were present also the Tuckers and Macombs, friends of my father at that 
period. Hence McRee and I proceeded to Clark's Cove and the Acushnet 
River, and Elizabeth Islands, and rejoined the board at New London, 
exploring the Thames. These surveys had reference to the law of Con- 
gress on the subject of depots, and we agreed to meet at my quarters in 
Brooklyn to complete a report to the Navy Department. On 26th August I 
found my family in health at Brooklyn. Thanks to God. 


On 31st August, 18 1 7, Colonel McRee reported to me that Captain 
Partridge had returned to West Point, and in defiance of my orders, had 
assumed the command over Major Thayer, the alleged purpose being to 
recover the quarters he had occupied, and which Major Thayer declined to 
assign to him. The next day I sent my aid. Lieutenant Blaney, to West Point 
with an order to Captain Partridge to deliver the command of that post to 
Major Thayer without delay, and to consider himself in arrest for disobe- 
dience. A few days previously to this, on 2Sth August, Captain Partridge 
had called and breakfasted with me in Brooklyn, and requested my 
authority to extend his leave so as to allow him to visit West Point for 
study. I declined any such consent, and said to him that such a movement 
would not only contravene the order of the President of the United States 
to me, but would also injure and defeat at once any purpose he might con- 
template of restoration hereafter. The conversation dropped there, and I 
had not a thought that Captain Partridge would act in opposition to such 
purpose on my part. 

On 2d September, Colonel McRee, Professor Mansfield and myself went 
to West Point, where, on meeting Partridge, I said to him that he had placed 
himself beyond the pale of my long-tried friendship to him. At his request 
I extended his arrest to New York, to allow him every facility to prepare 
for trial. I reported the case to the Secretary of War and returned to 
Brooklyn, to meet at my office navy officers on the subject of depots. 
From 20th September to 6th October I was confined to my bedroom with 
fever. While thus confined General Benjamin Smith of Wilmington, North 
Carolina, called on me, and awaited my convalescence. My brother-in-law, 
Juliu^ H. Walker, being my amanuensis, I dictated a letter of introduction 
of General Smith to the Secretary of the Navy, and recommended the 
purchase of Bald Head, North Carolina, because of the extensive growth 
there of live oak and cedar, and thus to enable General Smith to liquidate 


the old bond of Colonel Read, late collector, for whom General Smith had 
become security. 

October 13th Mrs. Swift, with her mother and brother Julius, and my son 
Julius and daughter Sarah left me, and by packet sailed for Wilmington ; 
Mrs. John London and children occupying my house in Washington Street, 
and in lieu of rent boarded my sons Williams and Alexander, and my 
servant and slave Nancy until the ensuing spring. My worthy aunt 
Lovering having returned to Boston, and my son Thomas remaining with 
his grandfather, the United States surgeon on Governor's Island. 

October 20th, the general court martial of thirteen members. General W. 
Scott, president, assembled at West Point for the trial of Captain Partridge. 
I went thither on 24th, with my aid, Lieutenant Blaney, and my son James. 
Hither Commodores Evans and Perry joined me to consult upon and report 
in reference to depots and defences that we had explored from New York 
to Casco Bay inclusive, and we returned together to New York, and there 
met Commodore Bainbridge and Colonel W. McRee, and from thence 
on 30th sent our report to the Secretary of both the Navy and War 

November ist I returned to West Point, and on iith the court martial 
terminated its proceedings. The court sentenced Captain Partridge to be 
dismissed from the army. On 14th November I returned to my office in 
Brooklyn, and commenced to remove the headquarters of the corps to the 
City of Washington. On 17th, my aid, Lieutenant Blaney, proceeded to 
that place with the books, plans, papers and instruments. I followed him 
on 20th, leaving my son James with Rev. Mr. Rudd at Elizabethtown 
school. I arrived at Washington on 25th November, and established the 
office in Pennsylvania Avenue and Eighteenth Street, east side. I called 
on the President in reference to the subject of Captain Partridge, and 
advised a remission of the sentence of the court, provided Captain Partridge 
would resign. The remission was noted in the gazettes. This case of 
Partridge is an incident in the history of the Academy at West Point, in which 
my official conduct was deemed to be a species of favoritism toward the 
captain. From the day I took comniand of the corps in 1812, to the spring 


of 18 13 I had had no opportunity to meet Captain Partridge. 1 then found 
him at the Academy, where he had been placed by Colonel Williams ; an 
appointment that every officer in the corps would be disposed to respect, 
from respect to their chief. I made no hesitation to sustain him, and 
returned to my especial command of Staten Island by order of the President, 
at that time garrisoned by the 3 2d and 41st Regiments of infantry, when 
the harbor was blockaded by the enemy. In the month of August the 
Secretary of War sent me to the frontier as chief engineer to the army of 
General Wilkinson, and from thence to Washington. The following 
year, 18 14, I was engaged in the defences of Long and York Islands. 
The year 18 15 much engaged on the board for depots. So that until 18 16 
it was not in my power to be much at West Point ; and it was early in this 
year, as elsewhere noted, that the first intimation was made to me by the 
President that it would be satisfactory to have Captain Partridge super- 
ceded. I had no idea of doing that; and if I had purposed any such 
measure, there was not an officer in the corps of engineers competent to 
be superintendent who did not dislike that service, and none more than the 
gentleman who so ably succeeded Captain Partridge. 

As soon as I knew that the captain had become unacceptable to the 
executive, it was my duty to seek the first opportunity to place him upon 
other duty; and this was done, as my journal with the President evinces. 
Ultimately I was forced to a conviction that I had misplaced my confidence 
in reference to Partridge, and finally his insane act of disobedience made it 
my duty to arrest him. The sentence of the court caused the captain to 
forget the long-tried confidence that I had reposed in him; he turned his 
pen against me and others, and one of his first acts was to accuse me of 
waste and peculation in the erection of the public buildings at West Point. 
These accusations the President and the Secretary of War deemed to be 
malicious and false, and all proceedings in reference thereto was denied. 
The vouchers, however, of the disbursements at West Point are among my 
files, and they were deemed by the accounting officers of the government 
to be just. I have received them from those officers, and have placed 
them on my files in case any one might be disposed to examine them — and 


this unusual displacement of vouchers was made by the permission of the 
President. The circumstance that induced the Secretary of War to desire 
a superceding of Captain Partridge, was not his want of ability, for he was 
a good teacher of mathematics, and a good infantry and artillery drill officer; 
it was because his aspect was uncouth, a want of what is called genteel 
carriage, and awkwardness of manner that gave a repulsive first impression. 
But Captain Partridge had good qualities as well as good sense. He was 
said to be a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was there deemed a good 
scholar ; and it cannot be denied that many of the youthful officers of the 
army in the war of 18 12 owed much of their success in the field, to the 
patient training which they received from "Old Pewter" — Captain 
Partridge's soubriquet among the cadets. 

December 6th, the President and the Secretary of War commended to 
Congress, then in session, the raising a corps of sappers and miners for the 
corps of engineers. On the same day was discussed and settled to estab- 
lish a bureau of every department of the army at Washington. 

December 7th, Colonel W. McRee joined me at Washington to consult on 
the duties of the board. We agreed in opinion that it was too late to 
explore northern positions. 

On 19th we two proceeded to Baltimore to explore the harbor, and we 
selected Soller's Point for the site of the main work. Our board was here 
joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Armistead, Majors Roberdeau and Kearney, 
and my aid. Lieutenant Blaney. On 26th December we proceeded to 
reconnoitre Annapolis Harbor, and on 29th we went to Norfolk, to meet 
Captains Warrington and Elliot, of the navy, in reference to exploring the 
James and other rivers of the bay, for a depot for the navy, and on 30th 
commenced the survey of Old Point Comfort, and the bay towards 

1818. January 12th, the board of engineers, at the instance of the 
Secretary of War, postponed the examination of the Chesapeake waters 
until I St May, for the purpose of then having llic assistance of General 
Bernard, then employed on liie Mexico Gulf reconnoitre. The board 
having thus far agreed to commend the occupancy of OV\ Point, ami the 


Rip Rap shoal opposite thereto. On 26th January the board met at 
Norfolk, and I reported this result to the War, and Captain Warrington did 
the same to the Navy Department. 

Being thus released from pressing duty, I sent my aid to the office at 
Washington, and, by leave of the Secretary of War, made an excursion to 
North Carolina, with a view to meeting commissioners at Edenton, and to 
inspect the harbor of Cape Fear, and at the same time renew a long- 
suspended intercourse with friends at Wilmington. On 30th January I 
commenced my journey with a pair of horses, and at Edenton, North Car- 
olina, met Messrs. Little and Treadwell, the State commissioners, on the 
subject of improving the navigation of the sound. Compared the maps 
of Morley's date, 1733, with that of Wimble's of 173S, with the recent 
surveys of Cole, etc., and appointed to examine the Old Roanoke Inlet in 
the coming spring, with a view to opening a channel from the Sound to the 
Atlantic. At a dinner given on this occasion I met my neighbor. Captain 
Henry Waring, of Brooklyn, whom I found to be a popular intimate of the 
gentility of Edenton, and who entertained the company with a history of 
his entering the United States navy in '98 as a lieutenant, and compeer of 
the now Commodore Chauncy, whom he then "outranked;" but finding 
that his "trade with North Carolina" was more profitable than his navy 
commission, he resigned its honors to his friend Chauncy, and contented 
himself with accumulating money as a merchant. 

On 5th February crossed the Albemarle Sound to Plymouth, where the 
citizens received me under a salute of cannon, and which I acknowledged 
in a brief speech ; and at Mr. Armistead's met the great farmer of that part 
■of the State, Mr. Collins, who gave me a minute account of the culture of 
the " Scuppernong grape," so famous for its wine. This grape is described 
by Lawson, in his history of Carolina, early in the last century. 

On 7th I proceeded to Newbern, where I met William Gaston, Esquire, 
whose very agreeable acquaintance I had made in the family of my father- 
in-law in Wilmington, 1806, when Gaston practiced in the courts there. At 
dinner I also met my friend John Guion, Esquire, and William Graham, and 
Mr. Donnel, and passed a few hours with John Stanly, Esq., one of the 


brightest minds of the State. On 9th February arrived at Wilmington, 
finding Mrs. Swift and my son and daughter in health. Thanks be 
to God. 

On 2 1st Februar)- the citizens of Wilmington gave me a dinner — a 
flattering token of the remembrance of earlier days. I attempted no 
speech in response to a complimentarj' remark, and gave this toast: — 

" North Carolina and her liberal spirit, as evinced in her carte blanche 
order to Canova for a sculpture of Washington, at an expense limited only 
by the artist's decision." 

February 26th, to Fort Johnson, Oak Island and Bald Head, and reported 
from Smithville my views to the War Department. Visited the grave of 
my friend John Lightfoot Griffin, in the garden that had been the care of 
its owner in 1805, Mrs. Sarah Drj' Smith. I could find no stone in the 
public gravejard to mark the resting place of my early friend Benjamin 
Blaney, the friend also of the poor, and that especially of the sick sailor 
and stranger. 

February 28th to Orton, the plantation of General Smith on the banks 
of the Cape Fear, and passed a day with Mrs. S. D. Smith and himself. 
The pleasures of our reminiscences of that spot, and of Belvldere, were 
clouded by the aspect of the failing fortunes of the general. Mrs. Smith 
presented us at the board, a bottle of the nearly consumed stock of old 
sherry, with which, and blue perch from the adjacent pond, we were used 
to regale in more prosperous days; Mrs. Smith evincing a well-balanced 
serenity, to cheer the gloom of her husband. On ist of March returned to 
Wilmington, and found it a fruitless essay to liquidate the large claims of 
the general's creditors. 

Mrs. Swift and myself renewed our associations with the Lords, Mrs. 
Vance, Mr. Miller and the Browns, Wrights, Toomers, Londons, Hoopers, 
and other of the friends of our more early days. On 7th visited my corres- 
pondent, Alfred Moore, Esq., at Buchoi, and enjoyed a retrospect of our 
deer hunts with Duncan Moore, now laid low, and the Swanns, Hills and 
Burgwins, Richard Eagle, efc. 

The recurrence among friends to the scenes of early life, when visiting. 


form some of the finest enjoyments of mind that can be recounted, and 
probably one among the best of this world's good. 

On nth March, I purchased carriage and horses, and, with my wife, son 
and daughter, and maid Peggy, commenced a jaunt to Norfolk, leaving of 
our family in Wilmington, Mr. J. W. Walker and Julius, and their mother, 
Mrs. Walker — an exemplary parent, and true lady of the old school — and 
her sister, Mrs. Ann Quince, of equal virtues, and our semper cadem 
friend and cousin, and family physician. Dr. A. J. De Rosset. Mrs. Vance 
and daughters Marj' and Jane took the road to Newbern by the Sound 
to Sage's, and to Colonel Shine's by Holly Shelter and Trenton. Detained 
some days by storm in Newbern, entertained by friends there already 
named, and by the Edwards ; employed the rainy hours In reading to Mrs. 
Swift, whose piety enjoyed the " Rise and Progress of Religion in the 
Soul of Man," by Doddridge, more than her less pious husband, who, 
however, found it among the best books he ever perused — thanks be to 
God. We arrived at the hospitable mansion of John Armistead, Esquire, 
In Plymouth, on 2 2d, thence sent my horses and carriage back to Wilming- 
ton to be sold, and crossed the Sound to Edenton in company with a very 
enlightened gentleman. Dr. Norcomb, whose knowledge of the Roanoke 
country, and its liberal planters, gave Mrs. Swift and myself cause to be 
thankful for his conversation in a long: row in a barg-e that landed us 
at Edenton, from whence we took an extra Stage to Norfolk, arriving there 
on 25th, and by packet thence to Baltimore. On 30th at my sister's, Mrs. 
Adams, and on the ist April I to my office in Washington City, accompanied 
by my father. Found good quarters by renting a house in Colonel Cox's row. 
In Georgetown, where on 26th my aid. Lieutenant Blaney, arrived with my 
son James, wounded in the head by a blow received from his inconsiderate 
teacher, Dr. Rudd, in Ellzabethtown ; also my sons William, Alexander 
and Thomas, and with Mrs. Swift, Julius and Sally, and maid Peggy, and my 
faithful man Jack, whose bravery and care In the St. Lawrence campaign of 
18 13 deserves my remembrance, and whose features Jarvis has preserved in 
the portrait that the corporation placed in the City Hall in commemoration 
of the Long Island and Harlem scenes of 1814. My man Jack brought 


with him my well-kept horses "Fox," "Ned," and "Yorick." On 28th my 
friend. Captain John L. Smith, welcomed the family to our new quarters 
in Georgetown. Early in May my brother-in-law Adams and myself, with 
some of my brother officers, commenced to purchase military' land warrants, 
with a view on my part to form some future settlement for my sons in 
Illinois, on some fine tracts, and to re-sell the balance. 

On 26th May, with the engineer of that department, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Armistead, proceeded to Fort McHenry, Baltimore, and laid off a sea wall 
to protect the site from the waves of the bay that had been some time 
abrading the shore ; Armistead commenced the work. The next day 
General Bernard, and Captain Elliot of the navy and myself proceeded to 
Old Point Comfort, and recommenced our examinations that had been 
commenced last winter at Gosport. Colonel Armistead joined the board, 
and we extended our explorations to York River, and from thence 
despatched Lieutenant Smoot of the navy, in the schooner, to meet 
President Monroe up the bay, and to signal the meeting by five discharges 
of cannon. The President and Secretaries of War and Navy having 
determined to see the several positions that the board had surveyed with 
reference to a navy depot and the defence of Chesapeake Bay. Ad interim 
the board proceeded to explore the vicinity of Norfolk and Lynhaven Bay, 
Elizabeth River, etc. At a place called Cormick, on Trading Point, and 
also the settlement of Captain John Smith, of Pocahontas memory, we found 
moss-covered grave stones, one inscribed "Cookings, 1657," another 
"Hodges, 1687." Detailed Major James Kearney and Captain William T. 
Poussin to form a topographical map of these regions, by a compass 

On 30th May the board proceeded by a navy schooner and barges to the 
clay banks on York River ; a point commended to examination for a depot. 

On 2d June we went in several boats up Queen's Creek to Williams- 
burgh, and thence explored Archer's Hope to James River. We visited 
William and Mary, and viewed the fine marble statue of Norbon, Lord 
Botetout, in the college land. Also a couple of large live oak trees 
standing in the corner of the land, the most northerly growth of this tree 


that I have seen. Returned to Yorktown, and traversed the old hnes of 
October, 1781. On passing the redout stormed by St. Simon and Viomenil, 
General Bernard, with quite an imposing air, took off his hat and made a 
profound reverence. While at the redout carried by Colonel Hamilton, we 
laughed at the fact that it was conquered by the loss of half a dozen lives 
in a very rapid movement, while Viomenil, more formal in his march, but 
with success, mastered his redout, leaving some sixty men dead in the 
trenches. We also looked at the old stone church of York, and found the 
tomb of Thomas Nelson, son of Hugo, of Penrith, inscribed "Vitcs bene 
gestae finejn implevity The stone of the church and the old mill of 
limestone taken from the banks of York River. 

On 5th June the approach of the President was signaled by Lieutenant 
Smoot, who, with the Secretary of War, Mr. Calhoun, and of the Navy, Mr. 
Crowninshield, and private secretary, Mr. Samuel L. Gouverneur, joined the 
board at Yorktown, and visited the site of the marquees of Washington and 
Rochambeau on the field of 1781, and the next day looked over the posi- 
tions that the board had surveyed near York, and on 7th sailed to Old Point 
Comfort, and the next day the President and suite made a ceremonial 
entrance at Norfolk, as the commencement of the President's southern tour 
of inspection. He examined the navy yard and forts, and on 9th, with the 
board as part of his suite, took barges to Drummond's Lake via the Dismal 
Swamp Canal ; in which excursion Captain Elliot of the navy amused 
himself and Gouverneur by upsetting the barge of the board in the outlet, 
sending Bernard and McRee to the bottom for a moment. The freak was, 
of course, taken in good part, and we hastened to Parages, on the canal, to 
dry our garments, and to partake of the fine cane-fed beef of the swamp, 
and to mix our brandy with the light juniper-colored water of the outlet — 
deemed especially wholesome. 

On loth the President, etc., visited Elizabeth City on the Pasquotank, 
and also became guests of Mr. Sawyer in the vicinity, whose accomplished 
daughter entertained the party with music on the harp. On 12th the 
President and suite returned to a public dinner given at Norfolk in honor 
of Mr. Monroe. 


On 13th to Hampton and Old Point, examining the topographical maps 
and plans of the board, from whence, a further extension of the tour being 
postponed for a season, (Secretary' Calhoun having gone to South Carolina,) 
the President, on receiving despatches from Washington, returned at once 
with the Secretary- of the Navy and Mr. Gouverneur to that city. 

On 1 8th the board proceeded to St. Mary's River on Potomac, where 
McRee and myself relieved the subalterns, and made in one day a triangu- 
lation of that estuary called a river, and extended the same to the banks of 
the Patuxent at Point Sewell. 

On 2 1 St the board examined the Patuxent, where Bernard met, for the 
first time in his life, the American black snake, a bold fellow of full six feet 
in length, that raised himself over a bush, and, with his brilliant eye, shook 
his forked tongue at the general. 

On 2 1 St the board arrived in Annapolis, and proceeded to examine that 
harbor and the Round Bay. From thence sent orders (24th) to Major J. J. 
Abert and Captain J. Le Conte, to make a topographical survey of Throg's 
Neck and Hell Gate, with a view to the action of the board. 

On 27th we proceeded to Baltimore, and held our meetings at the Indian 
Queen, in Market Street. The whole board in favor of York River as a 
navy depot except Captain L. Warrington, who preferred the present site, 
Gosport, in case that the Horse Shoe Channel should be found 'by the 
engineers to be defensible ; but if the line of defence had to fall back to 
Old Point Comfort, then the whole board would probably select a site for 
the depot on Burrell's Bay, or some other point on James River. The board 
here adjourned, to meet in Washington on 30th September next. 

On my arrival in Baltimore I found my sister Sarah and my brother 
William arrived from New York. I had written Major Thayer to send my 
brother to me, that I might direct him as to his future pursuits. His 
fondness for sport had made him popular among the young cadets at West 
Point, and of course such a standing was accompanied by a low grade in 
the merit roll, which annoyed his father and myself, and gave the superin- 
tendent of the Academy trouble. It had become habitual at the Point in all 
doubtful cases of mischief, to attribute it to my brother, who, among other 


freaks had commenced " messing by himself," as he termed his retiring to a 
lone room with a box of pies that he had purchased of one of the servants 
at that post. 

On 30th June I took WilHam with me to Georgetown, where, after a few days 
I advised him to return to West Point and apply himself to a better course, 
and by study to get ready to meet me there on my next visit of inspection ; 
which he promised to do, and then returned to Governor's Island and to the 
Pomt. He has no lack of capacity, and will succeed if he apply himself to 
his books. 

The months of July and August were busy days in the office on Pennsyl- 
vania Avenue, about one hundred yards west of the war office, in makino- 
contracts for the new works on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic frontiers. 
We had a multitude of proposals from Messrs. Farrar, Goldsborouo-h Mix 
and others. 

During the time I made official arrangements to place the engineer 
department in the hands of a successor, for I had made up my mind to 
seek civil service. I also, early in September, made a visit of inspection to 
West Point, and consulted my friend Thayer in reference to my brother 
William, who I found would not so pursue his studies as to secure him the 
proper grade as graduate, and determined to detach him on some duty that 
would promise improvement, and secure, if practicable, his commission in the 
artillery; for which object I had been also consulting the Secretary of War, 
in reference to examining the western rivers, recently commenced by my 
protege, Captain S. H. Long, who had made a verj^ interesting map of the 
Illinois and its tributaries. 

In this visit to West Point I was accompanied by General John Mason, 
the proprietor of the Georgetown iron works, who came on to see Mr. 
Gouv. Kemble and our rising establishment opposite the Point at Margaret 
Brook. This was on 17th of the month. Frcm thence to the city, where I 
met Mrs. Swift's cousin, Mrs. Mary Orme, who returned with me on 26th 
to my family in Georgetown ; finding there my old friend General B. Smith, 
from Belvidere, on his way to Kentucky, to examine his lands near Hen- 
derson. My brother-in-law, James W. Walker, from Wilmington, had been 


sojourning in my family on his way to seek a new residence on the Lime- 
stone River in Alabama, and to examine some lands in West Tennessee to 
which his father had claims for military service. 

On 30th September the board of engineer and navy officers met at the 
department to finish the plans for Chesapeake Bay, that they might be 
redrawn by the officers engaged in the surveys. 

The President returned to Washington on nth October from his resi- 
dence at Oak Hill, in Loudon, Virginia. On 15th October met him and 
the Secretaries of War and Treasury to consult upon my retiring from the 
army to civil service. I presenteded them my views in reference to General 
Bernard, and said that under the resolution of Congress, i6th February, 
I did not see how the executive could remedy the case. It was concluded 
to confer upon me the surveyorship of New York, the onl)' place that 
would be vacant, and on 23d October Mr. Crawford informed me that I 
might take charge of that office as soon as I had made up my mind to leave 
the corps of engineers. Mr. Secretary of State J. O. Adams gave his 
approval to this measure of my appointment. 

Our friend Mrs. Orme returned home to Wilmington under the escort of 

Mr. . I wrote by her to Julius H. Walker, advising him of all the 

facts that had come to me from Lawyer Shight of Newburg, and from uncle 
John Du Bois of the same town, to wit : That all the children of John 
Du Bois (Mrs. Swift's grandfather,) were entitled to the said grandfather's 
rights in the " Minnesink land," and that under the will of Mrs. Swift's 
mother, Julius H. and Louisa M. Walker (my wife) were entitled to all the 
said lands that had belonged to Isaac Du Bois, the brother of the said 
grandfather John ; which land had descended to the only child (Margaret) 
of the said Isaac and wife of the aforesaid John Du Bois of Newburgh, to 
whom was born one son, Isaac, who, dying before his father and after his 
mother, the said father, John, had conveyed by his will all the rights of said 
Isaac, his father-in-law, to his sister, the aforesaid M. M. Walker, mother of 
said Julius H. and Louisa M. : i. e., all said Dr. Lsaac Du Bois' rights in the 
patent of land called the "Minnesink Patent" aforesaid, which said Dr. 
Du Bois died in October, 1745, and was then seized with his brother, the 
aforesaid grandfather John, (wIvd died December, 1767,) of all the Du Bois 


right to the said " Minnesink lands," they, two brothers, being the only 
heirs and sons of the Rev. Gualthemus Du Bois, deceased in October, 
1 75 1. S&Q family Bible of the aforesaid Louisa M. Swift, Avhere these 
deaths are recorded. 

I employed the latter days of October in removing my family from 
Georgetown to Mrs. Marvin's, number sixty-one in Broadway, where we 
had a comfortable suite of rooms, and in placing my sons James and 
Williams with Mr. Craig at Erasmus Hall in Flatbush, and depositing my 
funds of one thousand five hundred dollars in the United States Bank. 

Early in November, on the 2d, I returned to Baltimore to meet General 
Bernard and Colonel McRee, to pursue the board duty; thence we three 
proceeded to Old Point in the schooner " Hornet," Lieutenant Ramage, 
United States navy, and also to Barnwell's Bay on James River, and Pargan 
Creek in continuance of our former incomplete surveys for a navy depot, 
returning via Baltimore to Georgetown on i ith November, on which day I 
resigned my colonelcy of engineers, reserving all the rights of my brevet 
brigadiership, by understanding with Colonel Monroe (the President) that 
in case of war he would restore me to the line, as one of the rights of the 
brevet rank conferred by the United States. 

In 'reference to my resignation it was said that I should have apprised my 
brother officers, that such of them as may have agreed in opinion with me 
might have united with me in leaving the corps. I avoided this to prevent 
the aspect of concert to interfere with the public service. It may also be 
noted that up to the day of my resignation General Bernard had not in a 
single instance objected to the selection of any site for defensive works, 
that had been occupied by any officer of engineers. He did deem all the 
works too small, and though they had thus far served the purposes for which 
they had been constructed, he was generally correct in that opinion. The 
chief merit of a military engineer is, first, selecting the proper position ; 
next in order is the adopting a suitable plan to the position ; and next, the 
ability to direct workmen to make the enduring walls. 

On 13th November I notified the Secretary of the Treasury of my 
acceptance of the surveyorship, it having been required by the Secretary of 


War that I should complete in the ensuing winter, the duty that had been 
assigned me on the board of engineer and navy officers. 

The next day I proceeded to New York and appointed a very worthy man 
(Samuel Terry) my deputy, and on 19th of the month commenced my 
new official duty. 

On 30th December, having arranged with the collector for my deputy to 
perform all the functions of office in my absence, proceeded to join the 
board of engineers at Washington; to Philadelphia in company with the 
Vice-President, Tompkins, and Commodore Chauncey, where I passed my 
birthday in company with the son-in-law of my former chief, and others 
of the families of Biddle and Cadwallader. 

1 8 19. Early in January arrived at Washington, and arranged an office 
for the engineer board at Hysonimon's in Georgetown, where were 
assembled General Bernard, Colonels McRee and Armistead, (my successor 
in the engineer department,) and Captain Elliot of the navy, and closed 
our work on 24th February, and laid the plans before the Secretary of War. 
On this board McRee and myself found Bernard rather shy in giving his 
reasons for the preference of any part of the plan that was his own ; a glar- 
ing case was that of Sailer's Point, below Baltimore, where Bernard preferred 
a front of much more exposure to enfilade fire than McRee and myself had 
commended. His uniform reply was "Gentlemen, your plan is very good, 
■mais, I prefer my idea." We both said we had a right to his reasons in the 
spirit of his employment. McRee and myself also preferred a smaller 
emicute to the work at Old Point. I had so stated to Mr. Secretary 
Calhoun, bu twe deferred to Bernard's preference and popularity, and yet 
we did not receive his reason for so large an enclosure. The service on 
this board at Georgetown left an impression on the minds of McRee and 
myself that Bernard was not the genius he had been reputed, and that he 
was not candid or frank in his exchange of thought with us. I suppose he 
remembered my letters of objection to his service ; but McRee was not as 
liberal in his views of that gentleman's course on the board. My opinion 
of Bernard is that he is an excellent bureau officer, a cold-hearted man ; not 
in any sense a man of genius. 


The 27th February I returned to my duties at the Custom House, New 
York, where the facetious Major Noah said in his Advocate that I had trans- 
ferred my name from the army register to a hogshead of rum. He did not 
estimate the causes that drove me out of the army. 

I passed the winter, or rather March, in applying myself to becoming 
acquainted with the theory of commerce and its relations to my vocations ; 
purchased the six musty 8-vos. of Anderson, and read on revenue laws. 

On 1st April commenced housekeeping at two hundred and thirteen in 
Duane Street, and made an agreeable associate in my neighbor, Henry 
Cruger, Esq., who had formerly been a member from Bristol in Parliament. 
He gave me a corrected reading of the story of his being on the hustings 
with Edmund Burke, whose declamation so dumbfounded his mercantile 
ideas that he did not presume to follow the speech of that great man by any 
effusions of his own, and said to the audience: "Your Mayor can do no 
more than say ditto to Mr. Burke." Mr. Cruger appeared to be a verj- 
highly informed person, and a thorough gentleman. 

On 15th April my son McRee was born, and named for my friend Colonel 
McRee ; and which son and the daughter Louisa of my friend Thomas 
March, and the son John Ireland of my friend Fanning C. Tucker, were 
baptized at my house in Duane Street, by Rev. H. G. Feltus, on 28th day 
of the following month of June. In the month of May Colonel McRee 
visited me, and to see his namesake, and on 15th of that month he left us 
to seek a farm in Indiana, having resigned his commission in the engineers 
in consequence of the course pursued by the executive, in giving General 
Bernard rank and employment not by any means contemplated by the 
resolution of i6th February. In the month of May I visited the West 
Point foundry', and witnessed the first delivery of ordnance castings to the 
United States agent. On my return loth May placed James, Willy, 
Alexander and Tom at Mr. Pickett's school. In the month of April my 
brother William at Pittsburgh with Major Long, on Yellow Stone expe- 
dition. In the following month of June, by invitation of the Secretarj' of 
War, John Garnet of New Jersey, James Renwick of New York, Richard 
Patterson of Pennsvlvania, Colonel Fenwick, Colonel Totten, Colonel 


Archer and myself formed the board of visitors at the MiHtary Academy, 
and made our report on igth June. 

The 4th of July was celebrated this year with much ixlat by the Society 
of Cincinnati in New York, to which my father and myself were invited, and 
on which occasion it was agreed that my father had a just claim to a mem- 
bership of that society, by reason of his naval services as surgeon on board 
the "Portsmouth" ship of war that was captured by the " Culloden," 
seventy-four, of Rodney's fleet, 17S1. 

On 19th of July the Rev. Thomas C. Brownwell went with me to my 
father's quarters on Governor's Island, and baptized my sister Sarah 
Adams' two daughters, Deborah Delano and Mary Harper, both born there 
in my father's house. 

July 29th, the families of my friends Fanning C. Tucker, Thomas March 
and my own, twenty-six in all, on board the revenue cutter, Captain Cahoon, 
to Oyster Bay, and with Captain George Rogers we passed some pleasant 
weeks at this watering place ; where my son James encountered a hornet's 
nest, and after much battling, with the aid of Captain Rogers, the nest was 
conquered after receiving several severe stings. 

August 2d, on a visit to Captain James Farquhar at Green Hill — "Sailor's 
Snug Harbor." I used his telescope to observe the balloon ascent of M. 
Guilles, and his descent in a parachute to Bushwick on Long Island, 
landing near Newtown. I estimated the height ascended in a brief space 
of time at six thousand feet. The whole time occupied in ascent and 
descent was about three-fourths of one hour. 

Although my functions in the army had ceased, I could not become 
indifferent to the action of the government in reference to fortifying our 
harbors, and other national improvements, and was glad to find that half 
a million of dollars had been appropriated for harbor defence for the 
current year. 

From Oyster Bay I had placed my family to board with Mrs. Ross of 
Jamaica. She is the daughter of the former friend of Colonel Williams 
and myself, Mrs. Wilkinson, at number forty, Broadway — the headquarters 
of our engineers in the city. At Jamaica I was within easy ride of my 


city duties, and early in September established my family on Brooklyn 
Heights at the house of a friend, George Gibbs, Esq., and placed my sons 
James, Williams and Alexander at Mr. Armour's school ; my son Thomas 
with his grandfather, the surgeon at Governor's Island. 

On 4th September the mayor of the city, Mr. Golden, invited me to aid 
the corporation in examining sources of a supply of water for the city. 
Accordingly on this day, accompanied by Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell and 
Robert Macomb, Esq., we proceeded to the Rye Ponds, and by the usual 
mode I determined the flow of water from the upper pond to be two thou- 
sand one hundred and twenty-eight gallons per minute into the lower pond, 
and thence into the Bronx two thousand four hundred and eio-hty-four 
gallons per minute were discharged. I gave Mr. Golden a report of a plan 
to convey this water to the Harlem River, and across the same to a reser- 
voir of deposit on the Heights, deeming them to be far below the point 
where the acqueduct should cross the Bronx not far below the pond ; and 
that as the season was ordinary in its character, calculated that three 
millions of gallons of water might be daily received into said reservoir of 
deposit, at an expense of about two millions of dollars. The amount of 
the estimate was deemed to be too large by the wise men of the corporation, 
and the report soon went to sleep in the pigeon-holes of the mayor's office. 
I neither charged nor received any fee for this service. 

Early in October John and Robert Swartwout, two enterprising o-entlemen 
of the city, consulted me on a plan to bank and ditch the Newark meadows, 
and we explored them, and the meadows near Hackensack bridge and 
Hoboken. Those gendemen offered me an interest in these low lands, and 
I went with them to Philadelphia to consult Langdon Gheeves, Pierce 
Butler, Thomas Gadwallader, Thomas Biddle and Stephen Girard to form a 
company to complete this work, and thereby supply the market of New 
York with beef and a dairy. Those gentlemen were not prepared for the 
enterprise, but took time to consider the matter, and I proceeded no further, 
and thus one of the best plans for public and private utility was suspended 
on 7th October, 18 19. 

On 14th of this month I purchased from George Gibbs the place where 1 


was living with him on the Heights, for ten thousand dollars — sixteen lots, 
forming a square overlooking the East River and the city harbor — and on 
1st November took possession, and commenced housekeeping there with 
my family, and commenced trimming a large grape vine that Mrs. Gibbs had 
transplanted from General Smith's garden in Smithville, North Carolina, 
and I eave the cuttings of the vine to William Prince, the florist and 
gardener at Flushing, who wished to name the grape " The Louisa," for 
my wife, but both she and myself deemed Mrs. Isabella Gibbs entitled 
thereto, and accordingly the vine was named " The Isabella," and I gave the 
cuttings to many of my neighbors in Brooklyn. Thus originated the 
Isabella Grape, 1824. 

November 5th wrote the Secretary of War, J. C. Calhoun, Esq., that 
Robert Tillotson and Colonel Samuel Hawkins had purchased of Roswell 
Hopkins the contract to build forts at Mobile Point, that had been con- 
tracted for while I was chief engineer; and that I had agreed to furnish 
professional advice to execute these works on condition of receiving one- 
fourth of the net profits. 

November 13th my aunt, Lucretia Lovering, became a member of my 
family at Brooklyn. She is of Boston, and my father's favorite sister. 

December 14th, wrote Colonel McRee at Natchez that five hundred 
dollars had been deposited for him in the Bank of New York, and that 
eight hundred dollars had been sent to him from the War Department, the 
proceeds of the sale of his library. 

During the months of November and December much of my time 
had been employed in comparing the weights and measures, and in the 
Revenue Department. My report thereon in my files, and in Congres- 
sional Document. 

In 1820 eight hundred thousand dollars appropriated for United States 

1820. January, Charles Snowden of Philadelphia proposed to sell to me a 
large tract of Schuylkill coal lands, and with Professor Hassler and his large 
carriage, and Mr. Charles Loss, a miner, Mr. Snowden and myself, proceeded 
on 8th January to Orwicksburgh in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and 


found the mines very promising, and in presence of Mr. Hassler and Mr. Loss, 
Mr. Snowden sold me twenty thousand acres of coal land for twenty thousand 
dollars. We returned by Philadelphia, and there met Samuel Miflin and 
Cadwallader Evans, Esq., and consulted on a mode of transporting this 
coal to market b)- improving the canal ; and on our arrival at Elizabethtown, 
New Jersey, met Governor Williamson, who agreed to present to the legis- 
lature of New Jersey my plan of a canal from the Delaware River to New 
York Harbor, to transport anthracite. On arriving in New York, the first 
fire in that city made of this coal was made in my office. The next day 
Snowden declined to execute the sale he had made to me, and made a 
bargain with a new association at two dollars the acre, owing me two 
hundred and sixty dollars, cash lent to him 17th January. 

February ist, Alexander Macomb, Esq., father of the general, mentioned 
to me that while he was a merchant in Detroit in 1778, Captain Bard of the 
8th British infantry captured Daniel Boon of Kentucky, and marched him 
to Detroit, where the governor (Hamilton) treated Boon kindly, and gave 
him liberty to return to his family, and to aid him gave an order on Mr. 
Macomb's store for such supplies as he might require on his march. Boon 
said : " I cannot accept more than is absolutely necessary, and will take but 
twelve shillings for myself, and a pound of tea for my wife." What 
moderation and self respect ! 

In this year, Mr. March, Major Tucker and myself employed Mr. Samuel 
Seabury to teach our boys. He is a well informed young man, the son of 
a clergyman and grand-son of Bishop Seabury. I gave him the range of 
my library, and found him an interesting companion. He was spoken of as 
a suitable assistant in the newly projected theological seminary advocated 
by Bishop Hobart, O. B. Ogden and others, and in which I was a trustee, 
but opposed to the location of such an institution in such associations as 
the city of New York must yield to youth. 

February 6th, an interesting meeting with many, including Captain E. 
Trenchard, United States navy, on the subject of the colonization of free 
colored people in Africa. The captain was on the eve of sailing in the 
United States ship "Cyane" for Africa with the ship "Elizabeth," having 


the first gang of such people set free to commence this great project. 

February 8th. In reply to an enquiry from Hon. John C. Calhoun on 
the subject of our relations with Spain, having reference to the island of 
Cuba, I wrote as may be seen in the Appendix. 

March 7th, attended a large political meeting at Flatbush, Long Island, with 
Lefferts Lefferts, Jeremiah Johnston, Jehiel Jaggar, etc., and addressed the 
meeting on the inexpediency of moving in the presidential question that 
had been commenced by Mr. Crawford's friends in Washington, where the 
Radicals had assailed Mr. Calhoun, charging the war department with mal- 
versation on the part of Mr. Calhoun and General Swift in reference to 
contracts with Elijah Mix, which contracts had been made by me before 
leaving the army, and approved by Mr. Calhoun. 

On 2 2d April I proceeded to Washington, and notified the committee of 
Congress of my readiness to show that the engineer department had done 
its duty in reference to that contract. The committee did not report, and I 
returned to New York, escorting Mrs. Grace Magruder and -Miss Mary 
E. Roberdeau to Brooklyn as guests of Mrs. Swift, and found there my 
worthy mother-in-law, Mrs. M. M. Walker, and my aunts Lucretia and 
Philomela, sisters of my father, on a visit ; the former from Wilmington, 
North Carolina, the two latter from Boston. 

May 1 2th. By direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, commenced a 
chemical examination of the sugars from Cuba and the teas from China, to 
decide on their respective qualities to regulate the duty, and the qualities 
and proper names of all the wines imported, and made my report on the 
same to the treasury department. 

June 7th, as president of the Handel and Haydn Society, with F. C. 
Tucker, Dr. Oakey, B. Armitage and S. Taylor, got up the first oratorio in 
the United States at St. Paul's Church, and raised eleven thousand dollars 
for the Orphan Asylum and rebuilding Zion Church. This was a great 
improvement to the musical taste of our country. 

June 8th, Nathaniel Prime and myself were appointed by the legislature 
of New Jersey to superintend the plan to open the Morris Canal improve- 
ment. This was delayed. 


June loth to 28th, at West Point by invitation of Mr. Secretary Calhoun, 
with Generals Brown and Jessup, Dr. S. L. Mitchell, James Renwick and 
Captain Le Compte, to examine the Military Academy. 

July 1 8th, Rev. Dr. Ireland, Colonel Totten, Mr. March, Major Tucker 
and myself had a fine excursion to the Fire Place, on Long Island, where 
a trout, or more probably a salmon, came up to the mill race of the river, 
and was captured, weighing thirteen pounds. 

August 20th, reported to the Secretary of the Treasury on a plan to 
modify the tariff on wines, sugars and teas ; that a reduction of duty 
would tend to increase the quantum of importation, and consequently the 
revenue; and that in reference to spirits, the proof should be high to insure 
a good quality, and to injure less the public health. It was at this time that 
Major Noah published a diatribe on my " transferring my name from the 
army register to hogsheads of rum and boxes of champagne," in allusion to 
my custom house functions, and in ignorance of the causes that had induced 
me to leave the army, but in reality to assail me as a political friend of 
Mr. Calhoun. 

October 7th, received from the United States Comptroller a deed of 
trust of Bald Head, Mallory and Blue Banks lands on Cape Fear River, 
North Carolina — several thousands of acres — with the directions to have 
the same acknowledged before the mayor of the city, and which was done 
as agent of the United States Treasury, to aid in suing a debt of General 
B. Smith as security for Colonel Read a defaulter, and late collector of the 
port of Wilmington, North Carolina. 

This matter involved many difficulties, and final loss by false records. 

October 17th, my venerable mother-in-law, Mrs. Walker, returned to 
Wilmington to live with her son, Julius H. Walker. 

November ist, commenced our Brooklyn meetings of a Social Club: 
Commodore Evans and Captain Rogers, United States navy, Colonel 
Totten, F. C. Tucker, Thomas March, Thomas J. Chew, J. Jaggar, G. S. 
Wise. My brother William returned on Long's expedition to the Missis- 
sippi, and laid up the steam engine at the mouth of the Cumberland. 

182 1. January 23d, my sister, Mary Roberdeau, married to Lieutenant G. 



W. Whistler, United States army, by Rev. Dr. J. B. Romeyn, giving my 
father great uneasiness, as they were without adequate means of house- 
keeping. However, my mother and m)se]f had a favorable estimate of the 
w^orth and ability of Mr. Whistler. 

In the previous December, and in this month, a political accusation was 
made on the part of Governor De W'itt Clinton, charging me, as surveyor 
of New York, with action under the influence of the general government, 
especially Mr. Monroe, to "oppose State authorities in the elections." 
This was termed the "Green Bag Essay," and was signally defeated by the 
oath of every officer of the department under my official control, as the 
documents of the State at Albany may evince to any reader. In fact 
Governor Clinton admitted to me that the whole had been the result of 
misrepresentation to him, and of which Colonel Ferris Pell was too 
conversant ; and I was glad of this explanation at a dinner party given by 
Consul Bogoot, restoring a pleasant personal relation between Governor 
Clinton and his less important friend ; for friend I had in reality been 
during the canvass, as also had my deputy, Samuel Terry, Esq. 

February 27th, my brother William arrived in Philadelphia on horseback 
from mouth of Cumberland. 

March 2 1st, William McRee passed some days with me discussing the 
cause which had driven both of us from the army ; the very improper 
relation that the government had established between a foreign officer. 
General Bernard, and the corps of engineers. The government made him 
(McRee) surveyor-general of Missouri, and which office he found he could 
not hold consistently with his ideas of propriety and the habits of land 
speculation then prevailing in Missouri. I had a profound respect for 
Colonel McRee ; he had a superior military mind; I named a son for him. 

During this spring a general inspection of the revenue service was made 
by Mr. Edward Jones of the United States treasury ; a gentleman of high 
honor and ability. He found, as had been represented by the three 
branches of the revenue in the United States custom house, that higher 
moral qualities were needed in the subordinate officers, to secure the revenue. 

Three hundred and two thousand dollars appropriated for United States 
fortifications for 1821. 


In the month of June, by invitation of the Secretary of War, I attended 
as a member of the board of visitors the examination of the Military 
Academy, and found great improvement made by the judicious adminis- 
tration of Major Thayer, but not coinciding- in views with a majority of the 
visitors I made a separate report to the War Department, as the United 
States documents exhibit, and my own files contain. Brother William 
mapping in Philadelphia till June, then to my father's at New London. 

In this month I wrote the Hon. Henry Clay my views of the tendency of 
the importation of a foreign officer, and interpolating him into the corps 
of engineers, as may be seen in the Appendix. 

In this summer I became interested in some of the stocks of Wall Street, 
and with Henry Eckford, Esq., the distinguished navy architect, applied to 
the legislature to incorporate a Life and Fire Insurance Company, to be 
connected with the coal speculations in Pennsylvania that had caused Prof. 
Hassler and the miner, Mr. Loss, to explore the anthracite region in 
the year 1820. 

September, brother William to Maine with Major Abert, surveying. 

1822. In the spring of this year with the Rev. Dr. Ireland, Colonel 
Totten, Mr. March and Colonel J. T. Jones, had a successful trouting 
excursion at the Fire Place on Long Island, and for the first time used 
Limerick hooks from Dublin, furnished by Colonel Jones. Totten and 
myself, while busily engaged at the sport, our boat "sprung a leak" and 
sunk from under us, and we were drenched, though our sport was not 
spoiled. Remember Martin Kelly, Sackville Street, Dublin, for Limerick 

The last of April I was summoned to Washington on a revival of the 
allegation of the Radicals of Mr. Calhoun's alleged malversation in the 
(now become celebrated) Rip Rap contracts with Mix, accusing the 
minister and the chief engineer. Swift, of partaking. See the congressional 
documents respecting this infamous calumny, and also my files. 

An attempt was made this season by the economists of the Radicals in 
Congress to reduce the expenses of the government by the diminution of 
the personal force of the custom house, in New York especially. It v>'as 


found on inspection that the only change which true economy would justify 
was to substitute inspectors of ability, and who would not spend their 
time in porter-house politics. 

In this summer I took my family to New London, where my father had 
been some time stationed as surgeon in the army after leaving Fort 
Columbus. With him and Captain Rogers of the navy, Captain Way, 
formerly of the army, and Hon. Lyman and Captain Richard Law, made 
an excursion to the Rocks in Long Island Sound under the lead of 
General William North, formerly adjutant-general United States army ; and 
where the aboriginal mode of cooking blackfish, called " totogue," (taken 
then in large quantities,) between heated flat stones, wdiich made a very 
acceptable feast. 

The legislature of New York had, in the April past, made a law to 
regulate the streets and drainage of the city of New York east of the 
Bowery and north of North Street, appointing Professor Adrain of 
Columbia College, James Renwick, Esq., and myself the commissioners for 
this purpose ; and our essay was to accomplish the same by a minimum of 
expense to the owners of lots consistently with a thorough attainment of a 
healthful result — all of which was spoiled by speculating aldermen. 

James Renwick, Esq., and George McCullock of New Jersey and myself 
explored the country to decide on a route for a canal from Easton, on the 
Delaware River, to New York by the Hopatcong Lake and Rockaway River, 
and the Muconectcong River, and deemed the same suitable for canal and 
inclined planes. This .service was performed while the yellow fever had 
driven the whole population of the lower city to Greenwich, and the custom 
house to rooms in the State's prison. 

While in New Jersey I. met Miles Smith, Esq., of New Brunswick, to 
whom I had given an Isabella grape vine, and visited his residence at Ross 
1 hill to witness its great growth. Upon his farm I found the ruins of an 
old fort of Revolutionary times, an outpost of the British army, and at the 
site of Colonel B. Tarleton's marquee, at a grotto of tree roots, found a 
barrel set in a fine spring of water that had supplied the troops with water, 
still flowing in abundance and purity. 


In the month of July, with General Scott, visited Sunswick, the seat of 
Colonel George Gibbs on Long Island, to compare his Tokay grapes with 
Isabellas that had been furnished in roots from my garden. Both growing 
luxuriantly. Concluded it well to engraft the hardy Isabella on the delicate 
Tokay. We returned to my house at Brooklyn, and found my father and 
aunt Lucretia, and my brother William arrived. The latter had become a 
grave, experienced traveller, from Long's expedition among the Pawnee 
and other Indians, and an expert horseman and rifle shot, having sustained 
Colonel Long's party some weeks with buffalo and venison by his rifle. 
My brother had command of the military guard of the party. 

In December met at Mr. Renwick's Captain Sabine of the English 
engineers, and Captain Chauncy of the navy, and witnessed experiments 
on magnetic intensity, and on the vibrations of Captain Kater's pendulum- 
point of suspension and oscillation, practically, as they are in theor}^ 
convertible points, and gave them the result of my examination of the 
weights and measures as existing in our revenue offices. 

As a member of St. Ann's in my parish in Brooklyn, gave an estimate 
to rebuild that church for twelve thousand dollars. Twelve of us loaned 
each five hundred dollars for the object. One hundred and two pews and 
seventy In the gallery. On the completion and sale every expense was 
covered by the price paid for the pews, and leaving the church free 
from debt. 

Three hundred and seventy thousand dollars appropriated for fortifications 
in the United States in 1822. 

1823. On the death of my neighbor, Rev. John Ireland, myself and 
Robert Bach became his executors, and sold his personal estate for five 
hundred and eighty-two dollars. Sent his library to his step-son, Major 
Tucker, the plate to the children, and the gold watch of Mr. Ireland to his 
namesake, John Ireland Tucker. His real estate were lots near the navy 
yard. With this accomplished gentleman I had enjoyed a very agreeable 
and friendly intercourse for ten years. 

During this winter the Handel and Haydn Society, i. e., a portion thereof, 
to wit : Daniel Oaky, F. C. Tucker, Benjamin Armltage, Clement Moor, 


Rev. J. M. Wainwright, John Delafield, Walter Phelps, John Chesterman, 
C. W. Taylor, with a new list of subscribers, formed the Philharmonic 
Society of the city: Dr. Post, president; J. G. Swift, vice-president; John 
Delafield, secretary and treasurer. At the opening of its meetings the 
president and vice-president made each an address. This society did much 
to improve the public taste in music. 

In June my mother-in-law and grand-daughter Mary Ann, and cousin 
Mary Orme, John O. McNeill and Mrs. S.'s brother-in-law, Edwin Gay 
Osborne, returned to North Carolina. Mr. Osborne, a gentleman of fine 
mind, attempted, by aid of my friend Cadwallader Golden, Esq., to establish 
himself in the city as a counsellor of law, but did not succeed. 

On loth July I went to Washington to confer with Mr. Calhoun and 
Virgil Maxey, Esq.; carried with me for him, and set out in his garden, the 
first Isabella grape of Washington; the next was W. W. Seaton's. The 
plant flourished there exceeding well, and grew forty feet the first year. 

Here it was agreed that I should collect materials and publish a pamphlet 
to promote the election of John C. Calhoun to the presidency, and which 
was publshed by me under the title of "Principles, not Men." Returned 
to New York after having arranged to correspond with Samuel L. Southard, 
New Jersey, George M. Dallas, Pennsylvania, Judge Gibson, John Conrad 
and William Fitzhugh of Virginia, Benjamin Howard of Baltimore, John 
Devereux, William Gaston and William R. Swift of North Carolina, 
George McDuffie of South Carolina, and James Hamilton, Colonel Hayne, 
William R. King and Governor Pickings of Alabama, Henry Le Trevor of 
Louisiana, John H. Eaton of Tennessee, G. M. Bibb Kent and Governor 
Edwards of Missouri, R. B. Taney and General Winder of Maryland. 

Made an excursion to West Point with General Scott and lady, W. W. 
Seaton and lady, Thomas Marsh and lady, Mary Roberdeau and my own 

September i6th, my son Jonathan Williams Swift was appointed a mid- 
shipman in the navy. 

To Morristown to meet Colonel Totten, General Bernard and James 
Renwick, to consult on the interest the United States may have in the 


construction of the Morris Canal with inclined planes, to overcome the rise 
and fall of nine hundred feet. Thence proceeded to examine the copper 
mines at Somerville, as a source of supply to the United States mint; 
thence returned to the route of the canal at Pompton and Passaic Falls. 
At the old hotel of General Goodwin found an album containing a record, 
and some lines on the scene by General (then lieutenant) Macomb and 
family, with Walker Armistead and J. G. Swift, 13th August, 1803. 

November 2d. Died at Wilmington, North Carolina, my friend Archibald 
Fotherlngham McNeill, late Lieutenant-Colonel United States Dragoons, 
and father-in-law of Julius H. Walker. He died in the home where I was 
married, at "The Barn." 

In the month of December I made an inspection of the works on the 
Morris Canal, with my brother commissioner, John Scott, and our engineer, 
Captain Beach; the company having decided to increase the number of 
workinor hands to unite the Hudson and Delaware. 

Five hundred and eight thousand dollars appropriated for fortifications 
in the year 1823. 

1824. February 24th, my son J. W. Swift sailed in the United States 
frigate Cyane for the Mediterranean, with Captain John Orde Creighton. 

In March I purchased from Daniel Griswold one-half the stock of the 
Williamsburgh ferry, and also the one-half of the Jackson Street ferry, 
Brooklyn; and sold out the latter to J. B. Clark at a good profit — some one 
thousand two hundred dollars. 

Went to Albany with Samuel L. Gouverneur and Thomas L. Smith to 
obtain a charter for the Sun Fire Insurance Company, and succeeded. In 
this month also, of April, the legislature appointed Edmund Smith, Thomas 
Hyatt and myself, commissioners to subscribe for the Richmond Turnpike 
stock ; the object being to aid Governor Tompkins to settle his confused 
accounts. My ki>owledge of his heedless mode of business had been, that 
he had in the late war advanced money to me for the United States to 
prosecute the public works, and to sustain the Military Academy. Of the 
integrity of Governor Tompkins I had not a shadow of doubt. 

In this month Mr. Jefferson wrote me of his w-ish to complete the cupola 


of the University of Virginia, and requested me to loan liim my De Lorme 
on such architecture, and I sent the work to him by Colonel B. Peyton ; and 
it was duly returned to my library. 

On 3d June died my dear mother, in fine health. With ni)- father 
she was on a visit to me. She had gone to the city to her sister Elizabeth 
Rowland and niece Nancy (the wife of Captain Bennet), and was seized 
with laryngitis, which Dr. Mott and Dr. Bull pronounced fatal, though an 
essay was made by an incision into the throat below the glottis to permit 
breathing. My father and brother William were present with the Rev. Dr. 
Feltus. She became easy and died calmly, in full trust in the mercy of her 

My father's heartfelt prayer at the foot of my mother's bed was for mercy, 
and her safety in this world, or acceptance in a better, and was a most 
impressive scene. They had lived in undisturbed harmony and love 
together forty-one years. 

The funeral was from my house, and the interment in the cemetery of 
St. Ann's at Brooklyn. Dr. William Swift, United States navy (our cousin,) 
Dr. Prime (another cousin,) Colonel Trumbull, General Gaines, Joshua 
Sands, F. C. Tucker, Thomas March, Samuel L. Gouverneur, Daniel Okey, 
my father and brother, and myself. Rev. Dr. Onderdonk officiating. 

In this month, at the earnest request of his brother James, I took my son 
Alexander to West Point, where, by permission of the Secretary of War, 
and by the kind attention of Colonel Thayer, Alexander was to receive 
tuition from Mr. Davies and Mr. Ross, my two friends. It was the period of 
the examination, to which. General Jarvis, the patroon Van Renssellaer, 
General W. H. Sumner and the Romish Priest Levens, (a very able man), 
and myself, constituted the board of visitors. 

In honor of "independence" this July, the notorious William Cobbet 
gave a dinner to Governor Tompkins at Tammany Hall. Mr. Cobbet's 
toast was disrespectful of his sovereign. I declined drinking the toast; 
Mr. Cobbet asked my reason. I told him not that I had any especial 
respect for his sovereign, but that I did not approve a subject or citizen's 
offering a mark of disrespect to the chief magistrate of his native land in 


SO public a form. The appeal was made to the governor, who said I had 
uttered his own sentiment. The party became uncomfortable and soon 
separated. I never met Mr. Cobbet afterwards. 

In this summer much effort was made to promote the cause of the 
oppressed modern Greeks. The remembrance of the glory of the ancients 
caused many meetings. I was elected to preside at a meeting in their 
favor on Long Island, and liberal gifts were bestowed, and Mr. Clay and 
Mr. Webster made stirring speeches. The signal of their cause was erected 
on the Heights, in my garden, by William Wood, Esq., in the name of the 
ladies of Brooklyn, and several orations were pronounced to aid in 
gathering funds to send a frigate to the aid of Greece as against the Turk. 
A frigate was built by Mr. Eckford called the " Hellenese," etc. 

As a member of a committee of the American Bible Society, of which I 
had been a manager from its institution in 1816, the functions of the 
secretary were presented as deserving remuneration. The person was the 
Rev. Dr. Woodhull, and until further consideration I ureed that one 
hundred dollars be presented to the doctor for past services, and the same 
was adopted. 

In August the Marquis La Fayette arrived in the " Cadmus," Captain 
Frank Allen. At the reception he mistook me for his comrade. Colonel 
Fish, who had not yet arrived. On explaining he said: "The opportunity 
is happy for me to regret my not seeing your son at the Grange with his 
letter." I had given Willy a letter to the Marquis on his going out in the 
" Cyane " with our minister, Mr. Brown. He then asked me to accompany 
him to call on Mrs. Lewis, "Nelly Custis" when he saw her last at Mount 
Vernon with General Washington. The meeting was quite a scene. The 
interview between La Fayette and Van Buskirk was touching. La Fayette 
had met the father in the trenches of Yorktown, and given him a sword for 
his gallantry. This son was a stout Jersey farmer. He held the sword in 
his hand, and with tears in his eyes said : " My father is dead ; he left me 
this sword, and I am come to see you, and to show it to you, and to tell you 
that we all love you ! " There was not a dry eye in the room. 

The next day we had an excursion to the fort of his name at the 


Narrows. The work had been built while I was chief engineer, and I had 
requested the President to name it for La Fajette. While walking the 
gallery he said : "Do you think the cannon at Monmouth were heard in the 
Narrows?" looking over to the Monmouth shore. "O, it was a very hot 
day." I asked him of the conduct of Lee on that day. He said: "Gen- 
eral Lee was a brave man, but of bad management on that day." Early in 
September La Fayette went to West Point, and invited me to accompany 
him. I was glad to do so, and took with me my son Thomas. On the 
way up the Hudson he told me Bernard had said to him I had treated him 
and his family with much kindness, though he knew I was not satisfied with 
his connection with the corps of engineers. La Fayette mentioned his own 
and Mr. Gallatin's agency in selecting Bernard, and said : " Your country 
did not object to my services." My reply was: "O no, general, we are all 
grateful for your devotion to our cause, but the case is very different, and 
our necessities also." I craved his pardon for not agreeing with him on 
this matter. He took my hand in a gracious manner, and hoped I would 
again enter the army. The meeting at West Point was a burst of boyish 
and natural feeling. It entirely overcame La Fayette ; he wept, but ate a 
hearty dinner, and drank Madeira by the tumbler, and a good piece of beef, 
saying: "If I had not had a good stomach the Austrian jail would have 
killed me;" and so we drank to the health of Huger and Bollman. 

On my return to Brooklyn I met my brother-in-law, Julius Walker, and 
his very nice wife, Mary Ann Smith of Beaufort, South Carolina, a very 
excellent lady. Julius was ill, and they returned to Carolina early in 
September on horseback, through upper Virginia and North Carolina, into 
Pendleton in South Carolina. 

In this fall, by correspondence with the members of the United States 
Military Philosophical Society, the funds of that society were given, by my 
advice, to the New York Lyceum of Natural History; a large majority 
consenting, though a few (Colonel Thayer among the number,) thought a 
better use could have been made of the fund — about two thousand dollars. 

In the month of October Mr. Whistler, who hatl, by my recommendation 
to General Porter, been attached as draughtsman to the north-west boun- 


dary commission, -wrote me of the troubles of determining the Hne, and 
Major Joseph Delafield consulted me with the maps, and I pointed to what 
he and myself deemed the true point in the Lake of the Woods. 

In November the Schuylkill Coal Company alloted me an interest at par 
in that company, in some consideration of my services in 1820 in bringing 
that coal into notice. I sold the stock, and after paying the company the 
par value had some one thousand four hundred dollars ; which is all the 
benefit I had from an enterprise which, if Charles Snowden had been true 
to his bargain, had made my family opulent. 

This fall Joshua Sands was elected to Congress. Remembrance of my 
services in King's County during the war, and on Staten Island, and 
through my friend Mr. Pierson, the iron-master of Rockland, Mr. Sands, 
an old Federalist, received the major vote at my poll in that democratic 
district. Mr. Sands told President Adams that but for my exertions he 
could not have been elected. This was a result of actual personal exertion, 
with a few influential friends in each district. 

At the county court in Flatbush in October, commenced by the grand 
jury, the first important mov^ement in the improvement of Brooklyn streets. 
As foreman of the jury I was requested to furnish surveys, which resulted 
in the opening of Firman Street, the initial act of street opening that led 
the way to considerable improvement in that place, and market, etc. 

In Novem.ber my father and his old friend and school-mate. General 
Mattoon, once Adjutant-General of Massachusetts. His object was to get 
his son Dwight Foster sent to West Point. I made an earnest appeal to 
that effect to the Secretary of War. F"rom an early day I had advocated 
sending the sons of the most talented men in the country to that institution, 
as a better plan than selection by congressional districts, that was beginning 
to have sway at Washington. 

In the same month there was submitted to Governor De Witt Clinton 
the plan of the Morris Canal. That gentleman consented to go before the 
New Jersey legislature to give that body his views of the mutual benefit 
thereof to both States, and by his invitation, and at the expense of the 
company, I accompanied Mr. Clinton with my plans, etc. Mr. Clinton 


urged the benefit of extending banking privileges to the canal, and his 
views were adopted by the legislature. 

Seven hundred and six thousand dollars for United States fortifications 
appropriated in 1824. 

1825. In April, as an agent of the Water Company of the city of New 
York, (of which, by the charter of March I was a commissioner,) an 
exploration of the Broux was made, and also of the Croton Rivers for a 
supply of water. The result in reference to the Broux sustained the gauges 
made by me in 18 19, and of the Croton there remained not a doubt of its 
abundance ; but the corporation declined acting upon those data. 

In the summer I placed my son Julius at the school of Mr. Clark at Cow 
Neck, on Long Island, the school in Brooklyn not suiting my views in conse- 
quence of improper associates, and the peculiar disposition to avoid study 
which Julius evinced, though a boy of fine temper and most generous 

Took my family, with Major Tucker, to West Point, where, with General 
Brown and Colonel Thayer an examination of the Academy was made, and 
found to have progressed very usefully under the colonel's care. The 
o-eneral and myself returned to New York with our families and Major 
Tucker's, and were launched in the Ohio, seventy-four, at the navy yard. 
This fine ship had been drafted and constructed by our friend Henry 

In September my wife accompanied me over the route of the Morris 
Canal to Hopatcong Lake ; and witnessed the forging of iron from the 
loup under the hammer, conducted by John Scott and Fay, men of six feet, 
and of great strength and dexterity, wielding the tongs and loup with 
graceful ease. 

At this place, by appointment, I met the other commissioner. Colonel 
Scott, and our engineer. Captain Beach, and arranged with them the 
location of an inclined plane and acqueduct at Dover, near the Tamarack 
Swamj), and returncil to IJrooklyn by Passaic P'alls. 

Had a meeting of the Morris Canal Company, in which I held a large 
interest, and became a director of the Fulton Bank. 


This fall Mr. Eckforcl purchased, through the negotiation of Mr. 
Rathbone, the N^atiojial Advocate, and engaged me to superintend the 
conducting of the same, and for which I employed Mr. Snowden and Mr. 
Casey. It was Mr. Eckford's purpose to advocate the election of John 
Quincy Adams to the presidency. Mr. Eckford recommended me for vice- 
president of the Life and Fire Insurance Company, and thus I became 
interested in the stocks, and induced my father and my brother William to 
invest funds in the Life and Fire. My brother William was married this 
fall to Miss Mary Stuart, the daughter of the British consul at New London. 

I purchased the property on the Seventh Avenue between Thirty-first 
and Thirty-third Streets, (about one hundred lots,) for seven thousand 
and odd dollars; borrowed the amount from the Life and Fire Insurance 
Company, and mortgaged the property to that company as security, and 
commenced a house and warden thereon. 

This winter my sons James and Williams went to the city of Washington, 
the first to procure from President Adams a restoration to West Point, from 
whence he had been dismissed for absence for six hours without leave, and 
for declining to answer a query that would have implicated his class-mate. 
Mr. O. B. Ogden and Mr. Daniel Webster had presented the case, with 
their opinion of its severity of punishment, and Mr. Adams called on Mr. 
Barbour, the Secretary of War, to know why this youth should not be 
restored. Mr. Barbour said that the son of one who had been at the head 
of the Academy was a proper example for discipline. In my opinion the 
stronger cause was that the father was the political friend of Mr. Calhoun. 
Mr. Adams acquiesced in Mr. Barbour's view, but directed that James should 
be employed in the civil engineer department, under William Howard, Esq., 
of Baltimore. My son William was at Washington to be examined for his 
naval position. 

In the spring of this year I had been reelected to the common council of 
Brooklyn, and had presented several plans for the improvement of the 

My friends Isaac Pierson, S. L. Gouverneur, and Mr. N. Prime called on 
me to caution me, in the month of May, in relation to the extent of i\Ir. 


Eckford's ship building liabilities, and that too much use was made of bonds 
of the Life and Fire Insurance Company in purchases for the Brazilian 
frigates building by Mr. Eckford. Without using names I mentioned these 
rumors to Mr. Eckford. He stated to me that all such rumors were 
groundless, and I had an implicit faith in him and his ability. In July a 
note from Mr. Eckford astonished me with an announcement that the Life 
and Fire Insurance Company could not meet the demands for cash on the 
bonds becoming due. The next day I was served with a notice from the 
district attorney, Hugh Maxwell, Esq., that the whole company of the Life 
and Fire Insurance were indicted for a conspiracy to defraud the State. 
The trials progressed ; the great question was whether a company issuing 
bonds, failing to redeem on demand, could be deemed guilty of a conspiracy 
or fraud. The court decided that my trial should be separated from that of 
others, the testimony was brief, and I made all the defence that was made 
in my case by simply addressing the court and jury in these words: "I 
know myself not to have been guilty of any fraud, or of any design to 
defraud, and if this jury can find me guilty on the evidence I shall silently 
submit as a punishment for my credulity." The jury in a few minutes 
returned with a verdict of "not guilty — hwt persecuted T The last the judge 
refused. When the verdict of " not guilty" was alone rendered a cry of 
approbation rang through a crowded audience, and Peter A. Jay, of counsel 
adverse to me, came up to me with tears in his eyes, saying: "General, 
this is a righteous verdict, and I am thankful for your acquittal." But the 
blows of accusation and trial were of course mortifying, and injurious to my 
influence as a man of business ; a severe comment on a poor gentleman's 
essay to become rich in Wall Street. The validity of these indictments 
came before the supreme court, and the whole proceeding, the attorney, 
Maxwell, pronounced illegal. But beyond all doubt the failure of the Life 
and Fire had been occasioned by the losses in the ship-building business of 
Mr. Eckford, and in his speculations in real estate. My confidence in Mr. 
Eckford was high ; I had frequently large sums of money at command of 
his in bank, but I never borrowed a dollar from him. The only charge 
found (jn his books was the purchase money of the National Advocate, which 


had isassed through my hands. On my trial it was proven that I was not 
indebted to the Life and Fire Company. I had placed in Mr. Eckford's 
hands my city property, in trust to secure the purchase money of that 
property. Pending these trials President Adams had assured Joshua Sands, 
Esq., and George Sullivan, Esq., that if my trial acquitted me he should 
renominate me for the office in the customs held by me ; but Mr. Clay's 
friends wanted place, and Mr. Stagg was nominated on the expiration of 
my second four years. Probably the President's interest in me had been 
somewhat blighted by an accidental omission of mine while presiding at 
the " Ayacucho dinner" at the City Hotel. The toast of President Adams 
had been misplaced without my privity. I, however, do not intend to say 
that he purposed me any injustice. He is a man of strong antipathies, and 
of no strong friendship, and, indeed, I never pretended to enjoy his favor. 

In the summer of the current year the Secretary of War had addressed 
to several officers in and out of the army — General Cadwallader and Gen- 
eral Sumner among the latter, and myself also. My views were given on 
the subject of the secretary's address — the militia, of its classification — 
and that no higher militia grade should be conferred than that of chief of 
battalion, and that commissions should be conferred only upon e.xamination 
of the candidate. My letters on these subjects, and others, may be seen in 
the Congressional Reports of '26 and '27. 

$735,000 appropriated for fortifications. 
53,000 wall Boston Harbor. 
100,000 for arsenals. 

$888,000 for 1825. 

Seven hundred and nineteen thousand dollars for fortifications in 1826. 

In this year was made the first appropriation for constructing and 
Improving rivers and harbors. 

1827. The commencement of this year found me with a large family and 
very limited means to support them. I had, by a loan from my brother-in- 
law, Whistler, the fee he had received for services on the boundary commis- 
sion ; invested the amount In the purchase of a small estate in Flatbush, 


and commenced cultivation. But it was not adequate to our support, and I 
turned it over to Mr. Whistler, and he sold it for the full amount of the 
loan, to wit : one thousand five hundred dollars. 

I thought of civil engineering in the West. The estate of Mrs. Swift's 
father was in the hands of her brother James, and by him assumed as a debt 
of over five thousand dollars ; said brother James held his father's lands In 
West Tennessee. I concluded to make a home for my family upon Louisa's 
portion of these lands. In the midst of my purpose our children were 
attacked by measles, and one, a daughter Harriet, had died, and was 
interred in the grave of my mother. Going so far was by some friends 
deemed doubtful — most movements are so — but I could not find success 
in a city whose archives recorded me "its benefactor" in the late war. My 
misfortunes had produced the usual effect, loss of prosperity, loss of influ- 
ence. I had, however, many instances of confidence among my armv 
associates, especially Colonel Thayer, Captain J. L. Smith, General Scott, 
etc.; among the merchants of the city. Fanning Cobham Tucker and 
Daniel Okey, and a touching one from the negroes, who, during my trial 
prayed regularly for my "safe deliverance from the great uncertainties of 
the law." 

Immediate commencement of my journey to Tennessee was delayed 
by a summons to Washington before a committee of Congress, on a revival 
of the assault upon John C. Calhoun, now vice-president, and who had 
vacated the chair pending the investigation of the Rip Rap contract, while 
Mr. Calhoun was Secretary of War and myself chief engineer. The 
details of this political struggle, and its failure, are in the documents of 
Congress, and on my files. 

In February I returned to Brooklyn, and sent my baggage, library, and 
farming tools to my friend, Gilbert Russell of New Orleans, to be shipped 
to Memphis. Early in March my wife, Thomas, Sally, Julius, McRee, 
Josephine and Charlotte, and boy Bill proceeded to Barnum's in Baltimore, 
and thence by jjrivate carriage over the Allegheny mountains to Wheeling, 
and down the Ohio (passing our son James in an ascending boat,) to 
Cincinnati, and thence down the river to the Mississippi, to Memphis, and 


purchased a ton of bacon and six barrels of flour, and with bao-o-aae in 
wagons to Haywood County in Tennessee ; meeting with the Misses 
Wright at Narhota, and at Bohver in the Big Hatchie, thence to the 
hospitable log cabin of Mrs. Swift's nephew, Henry Walker, who allowed 
me the use of a portion of his people until his father settled accounts with 
his aunt Louisa. I placed four hands to felling a tulip tree seven feet in 
diameter, and sixty-six feet to the forks, yielding three cuts of twenty feet 
each. That gave boards for a large log cabin of one room that served for 
bedrooms, library and dining room. But as to the land, I found that I 
could get no secure title, nevertheless planted corn, potatoes and cotton, 
with plenty of stock in the woods feeding on cane grass and the sweet 
pea vine. 

The course of the season developed ill health for my children, though 
Mrs. Swift and myself were well ; and she, with good courage and affection, 
encountered our privations, never dreamed of in earlier days. 

My son James, then civil engineer of the United States on the Hiwassee, 
came to us leading a fine Pacolet colt for my riding. 

I opened a correspondence with General Jackson, at the " Hermitage," 
on the improvements of the rivers of the State, and explored the country on 
horseback to Alabama. On my return the ill health of my children 
determined me to retrace my steps, and seek civil engineering on the 

In November, after the crops were in, I sold my movables, and with my 
family reembarked at Randolph, and by New Orleans (where I met my 
friend Russell, who furnished us with the after cabin of the packet 
"Frances," Captain Ryder,) we returned to New York in thirty days from 
New Orleans, arriving the last of the year. Here we met the intelligence 
of the death of the venerable mother of my wife, and of my brother-in-law, 
Julius H. Walker, and of my own sister Mary, the beautiful wffe of Lieu- 
tenant George W. Whistler. Her remains were placed by me alongside 
those of my mother in Brooklyn. 

In my absence had also died the patriot Rufus King, in 1827. I sought 
his and Mr. Wolcott's advice in reference to my letter to the Secretary of 


War adversely to the interpolation of General Bernard into the corj3s of 
engineers. That letter received the hearty approbation of both Mr. King 
and Mr. VVolcott, at Mr. King's, in Jamaica, Long Island. 

Four hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars appropriated for fortifica- 
tions in 1827. 

182S. After a few da)'s' rest from a sea voyage with our friends Tucker 
and March at Brooklyn, in Januarj', my family was placed at board with 
Captain Chapman, near my father's, in New London ; my sons Tom and Jule 
at the select school, Sally with Miss Allen, myself to New York, the guest 
of my friend S. L. Gouverneur, and opened a correspondence on the 
subject of civil engineering with various parts of the Union. I returned to 
New London in March, and caused sfrave-stones to be inscribed to the 
memory of my father and mother-in-law, James and M. IVL Walker, and 
sent them to our friend Dr. A. J. De Rosset, Wilmington, North Carolina, 
who saw them placed at their respective graves in the cemetery of 
St. James. 

Through my brother-in-law Whistler, and my protege, W. G. McNeill, 1 
was introduced to George Winchester, the president of the Baltimore and 
Susquehanna Railroad Company, and was employed as chief engineer of that 
company, and soon located the route of the road to the Pennsylvania line, 
consulting with that eminent manager, F. Thomas, and .S. H. Long, also with 
Whistler and McNeill (all of the United States army), who were engineers 
of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. Mr. Long I had met in Gcrmantown, 
Pennsylvania, at Major Roberdeau's, and engaged him as my extra aid in 
the year 18 14, and from his merit placed him as instructor of mathematics 
in the Military Academy at W(?st Point — a gentleman of large mechanical 
ingenuity. In the month of July, at the instance of the Baltimore and 
Susquehanna Company, I examined the only railroad then existing in the 
United States, at Quincy, Mass., via New London, taking Mrs. Swift with 
me to sec our good aunt Lucretia, of Boston. We proceeded thence to 
the railroad and measuretl all its parts minutely, thence we called on my 
cousin Fanny .Swift, on Milton Hill, and visited the graves of our ancestors 
in the old Milton cemetery. 


On my return to Baltimore I rented the house of Bishop Eccleston in St. 
Paul's Lane, and moved my family thither in October, and they were kindly 
cared for by my friend Robert Barry in my railroad absences ; my son 
Thomas teaching his younger brothers and sisters at home. He had been 
well instructed by his friend and uncle, G. W. Whistler. 

Seven hundred and seventeen thousand five hundred dollars appropriated 
for fortifications in 1828. 

1829. On 15th January died my friend Colonel Isaac Roberdeau, U.S.T. E. 

In the winter of this year Mr. Winchester and myself before the legisla- 
ture of Pennsylvania, to extend the charter of the Baltimore and Susque- 
hanna to the river; but the cloudy minds of the legislature deemed a road 
of much greater length, to Philadelphia, more patriotic as State policy — 
one of the absurdities of the influence of artificial boundary lines. 

In March with my son Thomas to see President Jackson inaugurated, and 
to offer my services as a civil engineer through my friend Charles Gratiot, 
and General Eaton, the Secretary of War. The general said " President 
Jackson had confidence in my ability," and so gave me charge of the con- 
struction of harbors on Lake Ontario. Mr. Monroe had asked General 
Jackson to reappoint me to the surveyorship of New York, but that place 
was claimed for party, in which I had no claim. While in Washington I 
had prepared an essay on supplying the city of New York with water' from 
the Bronx and Croton Rivers, and sent the same to the corporation through 
George Sullivan, Esq., and referred them to my survey of the Bronx and 
Rye Ponds made in 18 19. 

In April I returned to the Baltimore and Susquehanna railroad, and from 
thence with my friend John L. .Smith, United States engineer, to Philadel- 
phia, and gave Thomas Sully sittings for a portrait for the corps of engineers 
at their request — see files; thence to West Point, and met my friend Major 
Thayer and my son Alexander J. Swift, a cadet. So on to Genessee River, 
and we examined its entrance into Lake Ontario. Major Smith proceeded 
to Ohio to select a site for an armory, taking my brother-in-law Whistler as 
his assistant, much depressed by the loss of his wife my beautiful sister, 


In May I surveyed Big Sodus Bay also, and reported the requisite works 
for both harbors to the engineer department, and fixed my residence at 
Geneva by the advice of my friend Major Rees of that place. Returned to 
Baltimore and closed my relations to and with the Baltimore and Susque- 
hanna railroad, and removed my family to Geneva, arriving on 6th June, and 
taking lodgingsi n Mr. Hemminway's hotel, and then a house on the square, 
belonging to Colonel Bogert, commencing with iron spoons, for we had 
been robbed of all our plate, and many gold and silver remembrances. My 
father came to visit us. My daughter Sally commenced school with Miss 
Jones, Jose with Miss Stone, and Jule and McRee with Mr. Davis. Major 
Rees had purchased the Clark farm of one hundred and forty acres for me 
of R. C. Nicholas, who made some difficulty about the title, but took the 
farm himself. Explored the countr)- about Genessee River and Big Sodus 
Bay for timber and stone for the harbors, and by the last of June had com- 
menced the work at Genessee River (Mr. Wilder my assistant there), and 
on 4th of July commenced the piers at Big Sodus Bay (C. \V. Rees my 
assistant there), and with John Greig, Esq., Alexander Duncan and Captain 
Wickham we celebrated our " independence," assisted by Edwards and 
Dr. Lummis. 

In August my sons James and Alexander were with us at Geneva, and 
my brother William and his wife and son Charles, a year old. My son 
Thomas suddenly ill ; Dr. Cutbush deems the danger to be unequal action 
of the heart and circulation. He died 2d September, the third day after 
the birth of a son whom, for him, we named Thomas. 

In October my son Williams returned from a three years' cruise in the 
Pacific, in the " Brandywine," Commodore Jacob Jones. Willy reached 
home with me in November. I had been summoned to the city in a case 
between S. L. Gouverneur and the Fulton Bank. 

The corporation of Petersburgh, Virginia, invited me to be their engineer 
on a railroad there, but my other prospects prevented acceptance; being in 
that month of November in treaty with Martin Hoffman of New Orleans to 
become the engineer of the Ponchartrain railroad. He had been referred 
to me by Whistler and McNeill. On the suspension of the Lake works 


the Secretary of War consented to my sojourn in New Orleans provided I 
became responsible for the safe-keeping of the United States property at 
Genessee and Sodus. 

On the last of November my son James, having previously taken leave of 
us, proceeded with Dr. Howard to the Wisconsin River. I left Geneva via 
Niagara Falls, Erie, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, arriving 
20th December, and soon explored a route through a red cypress swamp, 
(sinking to my saddle girths, but had sand at bottom,) and gave the com- 
pany a design for their road. While they were cogitating it, and for means 
to execute, I was invited to the legislature of Louisiana to consult on a 
plan to improve a system of leveeing the great river to avoid the evil of 
elevating its bed, as had been long done on the Po, in Italy. Gave them 
my ideas — see the document in my files. Returned to New Orleans, and 
made an agreement with the railroad company to return to New Orleans in 
the following November with mechanics to construct the road. This 
occupied me the months of January and February. 

Seven hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars appropriated for fortifi- 
cations in 1829. 

1830. I had much social intercourse in New Orleans, and very pleasant 
dinner parties at George Eustis', Mr. Linton's, Mr. Henderson's, Isaac 
Preston's, etc., where Hon. H. Clay, the patroon of New York, and 
some foreigners (one who interested me at first, a lineal descendant of 
Montezuma, a Spanish count, but was disappointed on close view,) were 
present. The domestic life in New Orleans is charming among the ladies, 
but the young men are sadly degenerate. 

Leaving the railroad under the care of Lieutenant G. W. Long, "on 
leave" from the army, I left New Orleans, taking my passage in the month 
of February in the Helen McGregor. Accident detained me till the next 
boat and we found the McGregor a wreck at Memphis, and her burnt 
passengers in the hospital there — twenty killed and forty wounded. By 
Wheeling I arrived at Baltimore on 20th March, at Barnum's, and on 
entering the reading-room found the death of my first-born (James) 
recorded. He had been married to Maria Jephson, the charming grand- 


daughter of my friend Captain Farquhar, not three months; had recently 
returned from civil engineer duty with Dr. William Howard on the river 
Wisconsin ; had fallen through the ice, but kept at his duty, from which 
a cold settled on his lungs. 

His brother Willy and his aunt jMary Swift did all they could, and my 
brother W'illiam also, who was there on duty in the general post office. 

I returned home to the distressed mother at Geneva with my son Willy, 
from his examination as midshipman, early in April. We changed the name 
of my son, substituting James for Delano. 

During my absence the War Department had been furnished with accu- 
sations that more material had been paid for at Genessee River than had 
been furnished. The department ordered Major Maurice to examine into 
this accusation. He reported to the department that he found no truth 
whatever in the accusation. The department ordered me to proceed with 
the works; and he also examined the same subject at Sodus Bay, and 
reported the same result. In June my father came to see us from New 
London, his military station as surgeon, and in July Alexander came with 
his widowed sister, Maria Jephson Swift. In August I surveyed Oak 
Orchard Creek for a harbor at its entrance into Lake Ontario. At the 
ensuing session of Congress the committee reported a bill in favor of my 
plan, and Congress appropriated the means. 

In this month I employed George Barclay and William Sentell, and 
carpenters and hewers to go with me in November to construct the 
Pontchartrain railroad. 

I purchased this month the residence of Christopher Campbell and a 
seven acre lot south of the village, for two thousand one hundred dollars, and 
moved into the house on loth September, after recovering from a bilious 
fever taken at Oak Orchard, and was probably, under Providence, saved 
from death by the skill of Dr. Cutbush. 

The United States funds being exhausted on the Lake works, I closed 
them for the season 20th September, and then (leaving Alexander with his 
mother) Willy and I went to West Point and Cold Spring, and to New York, 
where, with my workmen, we embarked for New Orleans, and by the 


"Hole in the Wall" and Tortugas, arrived at New Orleans, on ist Novem- 
ber. Found the city gloomy from yellow fever. 

This fall, Alexander commenced his engineering at Oak Island, in Cape 
Fear, where I had commenced mine twenty-six years previously. Alexan- 
der had commenced his first duty, after graduating at West Point, at New- 
port, R. I., under Colonel Totten, where I had commenced my first duty 
thirt)' years previously. 

Established my quarters at the Darcoutel Convent and also those of my 
workmen, and commenced the construction of the Pontchartrain Railroad. 
Willy returned home in December, my daughter Sally being with Mrs. 
Chew in Brooklyn, to attend Mr. Van Doren's Seminary in that place. In 
the progress of the Ponchartrain Railroad I found that dead shells formed a 
good foundation and hard track. From Tangepaho we transported by 
steam some millions of bushels across the lake for sill foundation and horse 
track. This success gave to New Orleans a fine, hard cover to their streets, 
at my suggestion. 

In the excavation of the vast shell mound of Tangepaho we met the 
skeleton of a human being of large dimensions, and by comparative 
anatomy our surgeon and myself measured the bones; they must have 
been of a being at least nine feet high. I boxed them for the Natural 
Historical Society of New York. Red cypress from the swamp was used 
for cross-sills and stringers. Upon the latter was laid the first T rail 
used in the United States. 

Eight hundred and forty-one thousand dollars for fortifications for the 
year 1830. 

1 83 1. Early in March, Hon. Henry and Mrs. Clay, of Ashland, break- 
fasted with me at Darcoutel. To amuse Mrs. Clay I bloomed the buds of 
the magnolia G. F. by placing the stems in claret bottles of hot water 
on the breakfast table — a process of from twenty to thirty minutes. 

We gave our guests their first ride on a railroad, using a bao-o-ao-e car 
and by aid of six men, whom I had drilled for the purpose, with iron-pointed 
poles, attained a speed of ten miles the hour for a couple of miles. 

In April we opened the road from the Lake to the Mississippi, with the 


governor of the State and General Wade Hampton and other magnates for 
guests, who gave due commendation to President Martin Hoffman for the 
original design, and to my master workmen, George Barclay and William 
Sentell, for the excellent workmanship. The last of April I went to 
Mobile to escort our niece, Julia Osborne, to visit Mrs. Capt. Spatts in New 
Orleans — Julia's school-mate at Mrs. Clitherall's, in Smithville, North 

In the month of May, designed a harbor for the lake end of the railroad, 
and after visiting the battle-ground of Gen. Jackson, Julia and myself 
ascended the Mississippi in the Convoy, Capt. Rudee, j^assing the cut-off 
of Red River Island, that had been a peninsula when I was there in 
December, 1829. Delayed by breaking a shaft in straining through this 
cut, arriving at Laneville 28th May; lost four days; by Wheeling, Wells- 
burgh, Ashtabula, on Lake Erie, to Buffalo, and arriving at home in Geneva 
on 8th June, finding all well, thanks to God. In the past spring, my son 
Willy had re-commenced for me the United States harbors at Genesee and 
Sodus, and had also added to my house five rooms. 

Find my United States affairs under good way at the lakes, and, with 
Major Cook, took a horse-back view of Dr. William Campbell's route of 
a canal from Cayuga Lake to Sodus Bay by the Montezuma Marshes; con- 
cluded it would be better to commence that canal at Clyde, and cut through 
the Sandy Ridge to the north to the Bay. 

Seven hundred and sixteen thousand dollars for fortifications for the year 

In the month of July (20th) Gen. Simon Bernard wrote me a farewell letter 
on his retiring from the service of the United States, and returning to that 
of I'Vance with much knowledge of every means of defence possessed by 
my country. He acknowledged my uniform courtesy to him personally, to 
which I replied as became my position, as may be seen in my files. The cor- 
respondence between the Secretary of War and myself on the policy of 
interpolating into- our engineer .service any foreigner ; and see also the 
records of the engineer department at Washington, 18 16, '17, '18. 

The last of July my son Willy left, ordered to the Mediterranean; my 


friend Thomas J. Chew and I to the head of Seneca Lake, he from his visit 
returning home to Brooklyn. 

In Auo-ust, at the commencement of Geneva College, the faculty and 
board of trustees conferred on me the professorate of "Engineering and 
Statistics," — an empty honor, as also was the membership of the Paris 
Society of Statistics, for which courtesy I returned my thanks to President 
Moreau, of Paris, through General H. A. S. Dearborn, of Boston. See the 
document on file. 

In September, by request of John Greig, Esq., I explored a new route for 
a canal from Clyde to Sodus Bay, with General Adams, Major Cook and 
C. W. Rees as surveyors. Proceeded to New York with my documents and 
printed my report; sent copies to many; October. 

On 23d October, at New York, General Wm. North and myself and 
many others, attended the funeral of our friend Capt. James Farquhar, at 
the age of eighty-nine. 

In November, G. W. Whistler, W. G. McNeill, Claude Crozet and myself 
examining the Marsh near Berg's Ridge, N. J., and the Trap Ridge at 
Hoboken for a tunnel. 

On my return to Geneva, at a public meeting of the citizens in Novem- 
ber, appointed several citizens, including myself, to lay before the State 
legislature a plan for a railroad from Ithaca to Geneva. I explored a route 
and reported to the Secretary of State my opinion in favor of the plan, but 
it remained unacted upon. 

December, I visited Major Van Deventer, at Lindwood ; and at Batavia I 
purchased of David E. Evans, Esq., a farm adjoining Lindwood of two hun- 
dred and thirty acres, for two thousand five hundred dollars. Before return- 
ing home, G. W. Whistler and Anna McNeill were married at her brother 
William's, in Bond Street, on 3d November. 

For the want of funds, the works of the United States on the lake harbors 
had gone into some ruin from storms, — a miserable, short-sighted policy, 
so to commence and so to neglect such works. 

1832. In the month of February I visited Colonel W. Fitzhugh, at Hamp- 
ton, and read the correspondence between General Washington and the 


Colonel's father, Colonel William Fitzhugh, of Rowsley Hall, Maryland, in 
1777, '78, '79, '80 and '81, on several subjects, and the Revolution. My 
daughter-in-law, that was to be, consented to copy for me all these letters, 
which was done, and they are among my papers, and possess interest in 
reference to our financial policy, etc., in those days. 

The last of this month. Dr. Lummis and myself went to New York, 
through immense drifts of snow, through the Beech Woods route to Jersey, 
to explain to capitalists the objects of the Sodus Canal from Cayuga to Lake 
Ontario, using the counting-room of my friend Peter Burtsell, corner Wall 
and Broad Streets, to exhibit the plans, etc. In the following month of 
March, to wit. : 8th, Lieut. J. R. Sands, United States Navy, and myself 
examined the route for a canal to unite the Wallabout and Gowanus Cove, 
New York Harbor. This idea had originated with his father, Joshua Sands, 
Esq. I commended the plan to the board of trustees of Brooklyn. In 
March, resumed correspondence with the North Carolina Railroad Co., of 
Raleigh and Beaufort, through General Montfort Stokes, to become their 

From the conflict of parties in Congress on internal improvements and 
its uncertain results, I visited my friend Col. Totten, at Newport, to consult 
as to my prospects. Returning, visited my father in New London, and 
met Lyman Law and examined the Groton monument that I had designed, 
but it was improved by my nephew, Julius W. Adams. With Mr. Law, 
visited the grave of Uncas, the Mohican Chief. An aged squaw said to us : 
"Take care of the good land you took from my fathers; it is a good land." 

On my return to New York in April, the Harlem Railroad Co. invited me 
to accompany their board and to examine the rock cuttings on the route of 
the Harlem Railroad, i. e., 4th Avenue, which I did, and gave the board my 
thoughts thereon, as to expense, etc. 

I then went to Washington to consult the Secretary of War on the sub- 
ject of going to North Carolina pending the action of Congress on har- 
bors, etc. He advised to wait awhile, and this suspended my accepting Mr. 
Mhoon's invitation from North Carolina. 

In May, on my way home, at Philadelphia, met my friends, the widow and 


daughters of Colonel Roberdeau, pleasantly settled in their own house, the 
result of my efforts, with those of Judge Chase, of Washington, to reclaim 
from one Pierce, who had married Frances Blair, the sister of Mrs. Rober- 
deau, the life-rent leases inherited from their grandfather. Dr. Shippen, in 
that city. 

On arriving in New York, I accepted the chief-engineership of the Har- 
lem Railroad at four thousand four hundred dollars per annum, and in a 
few days had the whole line of work under contract and the rock blasting 
successfully going on. 

In the middle of June, G. W. Whistler and myself went to Little Falls, 
of the Mohawk, and devised a plan for the town and manufactories of that 
place for the " Little Falls Co." 

In July the cholera appeared, and in a few days nearly depopulated the 
city, i. e., drove the people to the country. The disease soon spread among 
the workmen on the Harlem Railroad, and the work was accordingly sus- 

Congress, in this July, appropriated for the lake harbors too late for the 
commencement of any important work. I, however, got them under way, 
and in August, at Rochester, was seized by cholera and sunk to a collapse. 
My cousin, James Watts, hastened to Geneva and brought my dear wife to 
my bed-side. My escape, as the physicians said, was the consequence of 
deep blood-letting that reduced me to an extreme debility. 

In September I was able to travel to New York to recommence the 
Harlem road ; found the rooms beset with pretenders to engineering among 
its members. Informed the board that I could not submit to such super- 
ficial nonsense and delay without compromiting the trust they had reposed 
in me, and resigned my ofifice, and returned to the lake harbors, and by the 
end of October the chill of the season closed all the lake works. 

In December, to New York in consultation with Mr. Radcliffe to proceed 
to the Gulf of Mexico and explore a canal route by the Atrato to the Paci- 
fic; the plan suspended. Before leaving home, Julia Osborne and A. M. 
Frink were married at my house. 

This month of December, my son Willy arrived at Portsmouth, N. H., 


from a cruise in the Mediterranean, and my son Alexander arrived from 
Rhode Island. They came with my daughter Sally, who had been on a 
visit to Mrs. W'm. Kimble in St. John's Square ; leaving me in the city, they 
went to Geneva over the "Beech Woods" route. In this month an asso- 
ciation of twelve hundred young men in the city appointed me their chief 
to offer service to General Jackson, to march in case of any breach of the 
Constitution, to sustain the laws under his command — having allusion to 
Southern nullification, — for which I received the thanks of the President. 

Six hundred and fifty-four thousand dollars for fortifications in 1832. 

1833. In consequence of the illness of the wife of my friend, F. C. 
Tucker, I had delayed my return home. On this New Year's Day, this 
beloved lady died. The interment the second day after was in the cemetery 
of St. Ann's, among her father's family, Joshua Sands, Esq. 

The next day I returned to Geneva, passing by Newburgh. The softness 
of the roads made my travel tedious, and I did not reach Geneva until too 
late to reach the wedding of my son Willy and Belle at her father's, where 
Mrs. Swift, Sally and the boys had gone ; they soon after joined us at 
Geneva, i. e., the last of January. Soon after, placed Jose with Mrs. Record 
— in April — and sent my son Julius to my farm at Newstead, under the 
auspices of Major and Mrs. Van Deventer, and with some purpose, myself, 
to sell out at Geneva and become a farmer in Erie County. 

On 1 ith May attended the funeral, as pall bearer, of Geo. Gallagher, Esq., 
whose sudden death hati left a large family of children in Geneva. 

Congress had appropriated this year funds for the harbors, and by the 
end of April had all the lake works well under way. 

In May, Wm. Bayard wrote me that, in examining the records of mort- 
gages in the city, he found one from me to Henry Eckford of my estate on 
7th Avenue, and, on calling on the assignees of the Life and Fire Insurance 
Company, found that my debt thereto had not been paid by Mr. Eckford, as 
had been declared at the conspiracy trials. Now, I had mortp-ao-ed and 
conveyed this property to Henry Eckford for the express purpose of paying 
that debt. John B. Thorp wrote me to the same purpose. This information 


determined me to commence suit for the equitable decision of this matter, 
and regain my just rights. 

On 6th June I sent to the editors of the National Intelligencer an obitu- 
ary of the late Colonel William McRee, who had died of cholera at St. 
Louis. (See my files.) Messrs. Gales and Seaton inserted the same. 

I was in this month in correspondence with my friends, Rev. J. M. Wain- 
wright and John Delafield, on a plan for a seminary in the city — a univer- 
sity, — and upon the comparative merits of modern systems of instruction, 
and as to how much of the West Point usage could be introduced into such 
a university. 

My father was with us this summer, and he visited Colonel Fitzhugh and 
attended an ecclesiastical trial of Rev. Mr. Croes, who was convicted but 
deemed to be demented. I did not like the aspect of the bishop's influence 

in the trial. 

In July, Colonel Totten inspected the harbors of Lake Ontario, on com- 
plaints of waste, injustice and an intimation that some otiicr engineer would 
be acceptable to the public. Colonel Totten reported that the works were 
properly constructed and at reasonable prices, and that there was no just 
cause of complaint. My farm at Newstead had been progressing with my 
purchase of teams and implements, and I began to think of selling out at 
Geneva and becoming an active farmer. My friend J. L. Smith dissuaded 
me from this. But I purchased one hundred and twenty acres more land 
of my adjoining neighbor, John Russell, for one thousand three hundred 
dollars. I had taken Mrs. Swift and my son Jim Tom to see our friends 
the Van Deventers this summer, and returned by way of Hampton ; the 
next month of August, Sally and the Carrols from Washington city ; and 
Belle and Willy to Niagara Falls. I left them there and went to Buffalo to 
consult with Mr. Isaac Smith, an ingenious gendeman, on the construction 
of a lio-ht-house for Buffalo, and other piers to secure the harbor. 

Early in September I was in the city with Willis Hall about my chancery 
suit with the Eckford heirs, and purchased the bonds of the Life and Fire 
Company to liquidate my debt and to make the assignees co-operators m 


that suit. This purchase of bonds J. B. Thorpe made for three hundred 
and fifteen dollars. 

Returning to Geneva and to Rochester to explore a route for a railroad 
to Batavia and Attica. 

In October, died my cousin, William Roberdeau Swift, at Gen. Blount's, 
in Washington, North Carolina, my last remaining male relation of my 
family, save my brother and his son, and my own sons. 

In October, General Gratiot, the chief engineer, and myself visited Col. 
Totten and my son Alexander. Alexander and I, in crossing Narragansett 
Bay, were run down by a sloop, carrying away the mast, boom and bowsprit 
of our ferry-boat, breaking the shafts of our carriage, and wounding our 
horse. The sloop towed us to Newport. Repaired and re-crossed, and 
went to see my father at New London. 

In November I returned to the city of New York, and Mr. Gouverneur, 
Mr. Bibby and myself, the only attendants upon a notice of removing the 
remains of the late President Monroe (who had died 4th July previously), to 
the new cemetery — a negligence and indifference of the city, in striking 
contrast to the pomj^ and sycophancy there exhibited in 1817. 

In this month of November died the daughter of Colonel Isaac Rober- 
deau, Mary E., and also Maria, the daughter of Gen. Winfield Scott. I was 
with them at this sad scene. Of Mary Roberdeau's death, Elizabeth Morris 
wrote me an impressive account. She was accomplished and amiable, and 
an entirely natural character, beloved generally, and by the family of John 
Quincy Adams especially. (See my files.) 

In my absence from Geneva was born there my son Foster on 31st of 

In December, Mr. Charles Hoyt, of Brooklyn, proposed my return to 
Brooklyn as a residence, and joining him in purchase of lots there. 1 
agreed to consider his proposal, and returned to Geneva, where the agree- 
able family of R. A. Tucker, formerly chief justice of Newfoundland, had 
taken residence for the winter. Before leaving Brooklyn I had, on 12th 
and 13th November, at 4 a. m., observed a host of meteoric stars, covering 


the whole space of air, and continuing a long while. It was said to be in 
the constellation of Leo. 

Seven hundred and seventy-seven thousand dollars appropriated for 
fortifications in the year 1833. 

1S34. January. The Rochester and Batavia Railroad, not liking my 
terms, employed another engineer, and had commenced that work with- 
out preparing the sill foundations. They soon found their road in swells 
and vales and inequalities of surface, the result of a bad economy to save 
the price of a fair salary in order to have safe advice to follow. A 
comment of similar nature will apply to many States, and especially to 
Pennsylvania — losing vast sums by incompetent engineering. 

I sent my son McRee to Batavia to be prepared for college in Rev. Mr. 
Ernst's seminary. 

At Lyons, with General Adams, preparing a petition to the legislature to 
remodel the Sodus Canal charter, and to induce a more useful subscription 
and support to that important work. 

In reply to a request of Governor Marcy, wrote him a plan for a normal 
school in each senatorial district, and gave a comparative view of ours and 
the Prussian school discipline. 

Early in February observed the defect in vision in my son Willy's eye. 
The doctor deemed it amaurosis, from too much use at sea, and prescribed 
the usual remedy. The course was followed by debility and a depression of 
mental power, unfitting him for full sea-naval service. 

I observed in this month of February that the magnetic variation at 
Geneva was 3° 49' to the West. In this month, at Newstead, planning 
buildings for my farm, and in March took a deed at Buffalo from Russell for 
the one hundred and twenty acres, and at Batavia a deed from D. E. Evans 
for the two hundred and thirty acres. To Black Rock to see General Peter 
B. Porter, to consult about farming. In March, at Geneva, Willy became 
able to do duty and was ordered to the Brandywine at the navy-yard, 
Brooklyn. When on a visit to Mr. Thomas March he relapsed, and the 
Secretary of the Navy excused the Pacific cruise, and, with his brother 


Alexander, we four returned to Geneva, advising Colonel Fitzhugh of 
Willy's case in April. 

George W. Whistler asks my advice about accepting the direction of the 
machine factor)' for steam at Lowell. I reply, "accept, certainly, as a good 
step to improving that machinery for railroads." He did so. 

By the end of April I had the harbors on Lake Ontario under way, 
though on a limited scale, suiting the meagre supply by Congress, and thus 
much delay in these works. 

In May, Colonel Fitzhugh and Elizabeth visited us, and he had heard 
from Dr. Backus that Willy's case was a stroke of the sun in the first cruise 
of the Brandywine in the Pacific, from exposure on duty at the sea-side, 
watering the ship. 

My family and Williamson's and Judge Tucker's — twenty in all — on a 
jaunt to Bluff Point, of Crooked Lake, and to Jemima Wilkinson's farm, 
where Rachel Malen — Jemima's successor — was chief of the fanatical, 
though inoffensive society, save their bad example of pretended spiritual 
rule. My son Alexander returned to duty at Rhode Island in May, and 
Willy and Belle to Hampton — his health improving, though his nervous 
system was shattered in June. In July, my son McRee returned from 
Batavia to enter Geneva College. My father's health failing, and my brother 
William with him at New London, he wrote me, and I replied on the most 
important of all subjects, the future life. 

Independence ' this year at Geneva was respectably celebrated by an 
oration, feast and fire-works. I presided. 

In August I commenced a survey of Rochester, with Mr. Stoddard and 
Mr. Wallace, my surveyors for drainage. At home, commenced a vestibule 
to the front of my house. In September, Mrs. Swift's niece, Mary Ann 
Walker, of North Carolina, with us, and a nice party to Sodus Bay. 

In October I explained to the Rochester council my system for a double 
drainage — the upper for surface water and waste; the und<>r for sinks and 
other offensive impurities ; both to be scoured out periodically by a glut 
from a spring-head south of the town, — the whole to empty at the falls. 


They adopted my jilan, and then ruined it by diminishing the mains so as 
to prevent a man's passage to repair. 

In November, recommended my friend Rev. Adam Empie, the President 
of Wilham and Mary, in Virginia, for the presidency of Columbia College, 
South Carolina. Escorted M. A. Walker, on her way to North Carolina, to 
Brooklyn, and Jose to Mrs. North's school in New London, where I saw for 
the last time our niece, Julia Osborne Frink, on the eve of going to Florida 
to seek relief. 

The last of November I went to West Hills, on Long Island, with F. R. 
Hassler, my brother William, J. Ferguson and Mr. Dahlgren, on the 
coast survey, to observe the great eclipse, giving Mr. Hassler a statement 
of my observation on the meteoric appearance at Major Tucker's, in Brook- 
lyn, on the morning of the 13th November in the east, near the sign 
Leo. I received, ist December, from James Prentiss, an invitation to go 
to Texas, as he reported, by request of Governor Houston, to become a 
member of the executive cabinet, but did not acceed. 1 introduced Mrs. 
O'Sullivan and her son John, to Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Robbins of the United 
States Senate, to promote a claim for relief for losses of her husband, who 
was lost in South America, on the coast of Brazil. William Bayard after- 
ward told me this claim was unfounded in justice. (See my files.) 

Mr. Charles Hoyt renewed his offer to unite in business in Brooklyn, he 
guaranteeing me $3,000 a year for three years. This loth December, 1834, 
I accepted the terms and commenced operations with George Winchester 
to purchase Bolton, and with J. U. Cole to buy the flats' at Hoboken with 
Samuel L. Gouverneur ; the matter deferred. 

My co-executor in the estate of Rev. John Ireland informed me of the 
sale of the navy-yard lots of Mr. Ireland for eight thousand dollars — 
approved by the heirs and also by me. 

December 26th, Captain Cunningham gave me a stone image from ruins 
of a temple fifty miles up the river above Tampico, in Mexico, an Aztec 
God. I deposited the same in the Historical Society of New York by my 
cousin. Dr. Wm. Swift, United States Navy. I wrote to Jared Sparks of an 
original letter of Washington's to Governor Dinwiddle, of date 3d June, 


1754, just before the death of Jumonville, that would go far to explain the 
unjust rumor of harsh and cruel treatment by Washington — a sort of gap 
in the Washington biography. This letter I had deposited with John Pintard, 
Secretary of the New York Historical Society, and it was received by me 
from Needier Robinson by the hands of his son-in-law, R. C. Jennings, of 
Norfolk, Va. 

Eight hundred and seventy thousand five hundred dollars for fortifications 
for the year 1834. 

1835. Returned to Geneva in January via New Milford, Onego and 
Ithaca. Advised General Adams of George Winchester's wish to have the 
Sodus Company's authority to apply to the Legislatures of Pennsylvania and 
Maryland to promote the Susquehanna navigation to Cayuga Lake and 
Lake Ontario. 

February 20th, Sally and I to Albany, laying plan before the Legislature 
to improve the ferries at Brooklyn, in co-operation with Mr. Charles Hoyt. 

In March, at the invitation of Colonel Worth, examined the ordnance 
preparations at the Watervliet Arsenal on prospects of war with France — 
liking to keep up my regard for military affairs. 

To Geneva, and purchased the 50-acre lot there of the Cook estate for 
three thousand five hundred and fifty dollars. 

In April, to Brooklyn with Mr. Hoyt, and took his house on Hicks and 
Remsen Streets, and my daughter Sally commenced furnishing the same. 

Returned to Albany and with Charles Humphrey prepared a memorial to 
the Legislature on the presenting of a sword to Colonel Worth for war 
honors in 1812. 

Returned to New York and employed Richard Morgan to survey Harlem 
River, to further my plan of a navy dock. (See files.) 

In May, received orders and funds- from the War Department U. S., to 
recommence the work of harbors at Genesee River and Sodus Bay, and to 
commence beacon lights at both places. On my arrival at Geneva, found 
Willy packing my furniture for a move. Major Rees takes charge of my 
Geneva property, and on 30th May shipped all things with horses on a canal- 
boat at the Brewery, and with my family of ten by canal to Albany and 


a tow down the river to Brooklyn, and at house-keeping the 6th June, my 
wedding day. Soon after my wife and I went to see my sick father in New 
London, and Jose also sick at Dr. North's. We returned to Brooklyn with 
my brother. 

To Baltimore to examine the dredging at that harbor; to see if the 
machinery would suit the lake harbors. My son Willy, ist July, to Coney 
Island with Belle. In this month of July I agreed with the board of Brook- 
lyn to run out and mark a water front of that city. The last of the month 
Willy with Dr. McDonald. 

August 1 8th, died at New London my venerable father. I could not be 
there in consequence of Willy and my son Foster's illness. Colonel Fitzhugh 
and Elizabeth came to see Willy, and returned to Hampton with Belle. My 
son Julius had gone to China in the ship Sabina. In September my wife 
and Foster and my brother William went to New London, where William 
and I qualified as our father's executors. 

Found Holmes' dredging machine at New London — a simple and effi- 
cient structure — and sent Holmes to Sodus Bay to construct a machine 

In October, General Gratiot and myself to Rochester to inspect the 
works, of which the Secretary of War gave me his favorable opinion, 
maugre the Democratic essays to supercede me in office. 

September 30th, had died the friend of many years, Miss Charlotte 
Farquhar, at Green Hill, in the city. 

In October, revised my water line at Brooklyn and attended the American 
Institute on a committee of inspection of mechanical products. 

November ist, with Major McNeill and Mr. Kirkwood, examining the 
route of the Long Island Railroad. My son McRee, bit with the desire to 
be a civil engineer rather than finish his course at college, became an 
assistant to Mr. Kirkwood. On 5th November the Brooklyn board adopted 
my water line plans. 

November nth, at Utica as vice-president of a convention on internal 
improvements and manufactures; Samuel Beardsley, president. Adjourned 
to meet again, in Albany, in January. 


December i6th and 17th, a great fire in the city, when, by request of the 
mayor, I took charge of blowing up buildings to arrest the fire, and suc- 
ceeded in thus saving millions of property without injury of any adjacent 
buildings, in every instance lifting the structure so as to fall into ruin in 
itself, /. c, a fair "globe of compression." I was aided well by James A. 
Hamilton and Charles King, Lieut. John Nicholas, United States Navy, and 
Samuel Swartwont. For similar service at Quebec, an English officer was 
rewarded with a pension ; I was thanked by the authorities of a city which 
had in 18 14 recorded me as her benefactor. 

No appropriation for fortifications in 1835. 

1836. In January I addressed a memoir to the government on the 
prospects of war and upon organizing a corps of naval engineers; and on 
15th of that month accepted the command of a brigade of Sea Fenci- 
bles, formed by young men of the city, and made a contingent offer of 
service to the President of the United States, and received from the Secre- 
tary of War, Lewis Cass, the President's thanks. (See files.) 

The last of January, by Hartford, Ct., to Albany, before a committee of 
the Legislature, to explain the nature and purposes of a water front for 
Brooklyn, based on the least obstruction of the tide-way. In February, 
Belle joined her sister and brother Genet Smith coming from Hampton, and 
with Major Tucker and myself to Brooklyn and found Willy greatly recovered 
in health. 

March 7th, sent a memoir to the chief engineer on a new organization of 
our army in reference to the reciprocal rights and duties of the government 
and the army, and on promotion by seniority as the only safe rule — first 
established by Charles V. of Spain and Germany, as his civil author, Azalon, 
lays it down in his treatise, The Precursor of Grotius. 

On March 12th I presented the city of New York a plan to rebuild the 
burnt district with fire-proof buildings only. 

On March i6lh, in reply to a letter from General Armstrong, formerly 
Secretary of War, upon his comments on the war of 1812-14, ^''"■1 subse- 
quently upon McRee's advice to Miller about the redoubt carried at 


Niagara, with an account of the council of war at Barnhard's, on the St. 
Lawrence, in November, 18 17, that lost Montreal. 

On March iSth I proposed to Thomas Biddle, of Philadelphia, that the 
United States Bank could enable the Sodus Canal to extend the navigation 
of the Susquehanna to the lakes, taking the stock for its security. 

On March 24th, gave Mr. Richmond a plan, on the survey of McRee, 
for a harbor at the entrance of Sandy Creek, into Lake Ontario. 

Corresponded with Senator Livingston and others upon the tunneling of 
the Hudson at Albany to facilitate the railroading from the east and south. 

April, examined Stewart's system to "Surmount F"riction of Wheels" for 
railroad cars. The plan is fair, but too nice to be applied to the rough 
machinery and imperfect construction of railroads In their several parallel- 
isms, horizontal and vertical. 

On the 19th of April to Albany, where, on the 26th, the law was passed 
by the Legislature amending the charter of the Sodus Canal, upon which Mr. 
Hoyt agreed to furnish twenty-five thousand dollars and his and my quota 
on the work and the town lots. Major John L. Smith, Alexander and 
myself, on 27th April, examined the major's farm of Sandy Pinery, on the 
road eight miles west of Albany. 

On the 1 6th of May the lake harbor works were In good progress, 
Holmes' dredging machine making a fine channel Into Sodus Bay of 
fifteen feet of water. 

The last of May, at Mr. Fellows', in Geneva, examining White Springs 
and Castle Brook, to unite them for water power for the village, and gave 
the plans and estimates therefor without charge for professional services. 

To Ithaca, to consult Charles Humphrey on the improvements south of 
that town to the river Susquehanna; and thence, on the loth June, he and 
Mr. H. and myself to Brooklyn, via Erie Canal. At the Montezuma Lock I 
rescued a boy from drowning. 

June 23d, at Brooklyn my Baltimore friend, Robert Barry, called on me 
with a request from Bishop England to consult on a plan of the Rev. E. M. 
Johnson and myself to remedy the vagrancy of Irish children In Brooklyn, 
that had become very annoying, by promoting Roman Catholic schools. 


The bishop was very earnest in his school commendation, and was en rouie 
to Rome to report to the Pope on his Nuncio's acts in benighted St. 

July 1st, reported to the War Department the successful operation of 
the dredging machine of Mr. Holmes, of New London, in deepening the 
channel at Big Sodus Bay; and also that, in all other respects, the progress 
of the harbors on Lake Ontario were very slow because of the lack of 

On July 7th, to New York, and, with Major McNeill, to consult with Chas. 
H. Hall upon the progress of the New York and Albany Railroad — the 
major as chief engineer, Mr. Allen, the surveyor, as resident engineer, and 
myself as consulting engineer, by occasional visits, etc. 

July 12, Belle, Sally and Willy to Geneva and Hampton; Mr. Hoyt and 
myself with them as far as Canandaigua, where, at Mr. Grig's office, a meet- 
ing of the Sodus Canal Association was held; from whence, on the i6th, 
the association proceeded to the town plot, at the proposed outlet of the 
canal, and there confirmed the route of the canal. 

In reference to which, I purchased a farm at Clyde of William S. De Zeng, 
who, failing in title which he could not execute, lost me two thousand five 
hundred dollars, which sum in justice he is bound to repay to me, I having 
paid him that amount in cash. 

July 19th, from the piers at Genesee river took an open boat and coasted 
to the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek and there made a survey and planned 
a United States harbor for that outlet, and sent the same to the War De- 

July 28th, General Adams and myself descended the Clyde River to 
Cayuga Marshes and Lake, and slept at Colonel Stanley's on the Marsh 
Island, to explore for any improvement in our plan for crossing the Erie 
Canal at Clyde, under the Erie, and found no better route. 

August 6th, at Geneva, opened the Sodus Canal books for subscriptions 
to the stock. 1 lalf was at once subscribed. 

August 8lh, to Rochester and arranged with Daniel Ball for my son 
Julius' interest in llie Shiawassee lands in Michigan, ami mills. This essay 


was an entire failure under the sanguine Mr. Ball, to the loss on our part of 
one thousand dollars, a great part of which was a gift of Alexander to his 
brother Julius. 

From Geneva Sally and myself to Ithaca, with Mr. and Mrs. Charles 
Humphrey; from whence to Brooklyn, having for a companion, Colonel 
John W. Livingston, my superior officer in Rhode Island thirty-six years 
ago. At Ithaca I designed a plan for Alexander Duncan, Esq., to dam the 
Canandaigua Lake in the outlet for mill-seats, and sent it to him. My 
daughter Charlotte, with Mrs. M. P. Lomax, Newport, R. I., at school. 

The month of September, exploring Harlem River in reference to the 
navy depot plan, and for an outfitting and repairing station, both on the 
Hudson and near Hell Gate, by which to render it imperative in war that 
our enemy should support two blockading squadrons. Thus by opening 
Harlem River by a few yards of cutting into the Hudson, and by a canal 
through Randall's Island, at Little Hell Gate, maintain a choice of passage 
to sea by either Sandy Hook or the Sound. 

September 17th, to Lake Ontario and Lake Orchard to complete my plans 
for a United States harbor at that place. Thence to Rose Valley in Wayne 
Co. through the swamp to Clyde, and ran a line on good ground for a 
canal — the severest labor in the field I ever experienced, from Cayuga 
Marshes to Clyde, with Major Cook, a very capital surveyor, and Mr. C. W. 

By the last of October returned to my family in Brooklyn, and re-com- 
menced the Hell Gate survey, and Barn Island — a strong position for 
every species of magazines and for defence against an enemy, and especially 
in case of mobs in the city of New York. 

In November, George W. Whistler came to consult on improvements, 
and he returned to Lowell, Mass., taking my daughter to visit Anna. 

In December, at a meeting at Mr. Wm. Bard's, presented a plan of Chas. 
Butler, Esq., as head of the American Land Company, to establish a town 
at the outlet of Lake Huron, and a canal from Black Creek to that lake, and 
sent William Hopkins to make the surveys, while I should visit the 
Governor of Canada to consult with him on establishing a railroad from 


Toronto to the proposed site for a town, and in reference to other Lake 
Ontario harbors, etc. 

December 20th, received from Colonel Justus Post one thousand one 
hundred and eighty-four dollars, as my share on sales of some lands on 
Coal River, in which he had interested F". R. Hassler and myself. At a 
meeting last December of the Sodus Canal Company, at Clyde, the plan of 
crossing under the Erie Canal there was discussed, and thus to make our 
first lock at the town plot at Sodus Bay. Sodus is an Indian word of the 
Seneca dialect, and signifies a creek with a wide mouth — very graphic of 
Sodus Bay. 

One million seven hundred and seventy thousand dollars for fortifications 
for 1836. 

1837. Between the ist and 15th of January, the canal commissioners at 
Albany debated the subject of crossing the Erie Canal by the Sodus Canal, 
and on the 15th made decision in favor of crossing under the canal at Clyde. 

Immediately wrote instructions to Major Cook and Mr. C. W. Rees to 
bore deep in the north side of the Erie at Clyde, to determine the nature 
of the bed on which to construct the culvert. 

1 8th. Met Fennimore Cooper, and we jaunted to Stockbridge, in 
Massachusetts, thence through New Haven to the city of New York, as 
our easiest route thither from Albany. 

20th. With Commodore Ridgely, United States Navy, upon a process to 
lay before the Navy Department the claims of Captain Samuel Augus to a 
pension, he having been stricken from the navy list by President Adams. 
Query : the constitutional power of the President to dismiss any commis- 
sioned officer whose dismission is not provided for by law in such way. 

26th. Sent my declination as engineer to the Pensacola Railroad 
Company, by reason of engagements with the Sodus Canal Company, and 
reported the .same to President Greig. 

In February the speculations in city lots of Brooklyn by others than 
Charles Hoyt convinced me that he; could not fulfill his engagements with 
me, ami on his agreeing to pay me the balance then due me of two thousand 
dollars when in his power, I concluded to remove my family to Geneva. In 


this month we had the first information of a lung attack on my brother 
William's wife, and as he was deeply engaged on duty, I offered to escort 
Mary to the mild air of Florida, but it was not agreeable to her to leave 

March 7th I was called to Washington to consult on the progress of the 
work on lake harbors. Met there the minister from Texas, Newman Hunt, 
at a dinner party given by him to John C. Calhoun, William C. Preston, 
General Gaines, etc., including myself. The topic was the adoption of 
Texas into the Union as a State. 

The inauguration of Mr. Van Buren had been attended by Mr. John 
Greig, Alexander Duncan, Chas. A. Williamson and myself, and William G. 
McNeill. We had a very pleasant club at O'Neil's. On our return we 
examined the inclined plane of the Morris Canal at Newark, having reference 
to its probable use on the Sodus Canal, which had now begun to lag from 
want of funds, the speculations in land having exhausted large capitals and 
made money very scarce. 

The harbor work under way on the lakes early in April, on the 28th of 
which month I placed my family and furniture on board a canal boat at 
Brooklyn and thence towed by steam to Albany, meeting an accident at 
the overslaugh that had nearly sunk our boat in the night. We escaped 
narrowly, and on May ist entered the Erie Canal, and on 6th arrived at 
the foot of the road near my house at Geneva, on the lake shore. 

On May 23d summoned to the circuit court at Lyons to testify profession- 
ally to the influence and effects of the Clyde mill-dam, nine miles below, in 
producing what is vulgarly called " piling of water" — i. c, the surface of 
the water above the dam becomes a curve of large radius, and so elevates 
the water far up the stream. My experiment to satisfy the jury had been, 
by taking away the slash boards from the Clyde dam after the water had run 
out. I placed graduated stakes at several points on the margin of the river, 
and then replacing the slash boards, noted the surface of the water on the 
stakes after the pond had filled, which marks on the stakes indicated 
ordinates in the canal of the back water, etc. The jury, on the exhibition 
of my diagram, gave verdict against the owners of the dam for surplus 


overflovvage up the river to a point near Lyons — i. e., a line of eight miles. 

In June the United States War Department determined that officers of 
engineers should superintend the construction of harbors when they were 
not on military duty — a ven,' proper decision — under which the harbors of 
Lake Ontario were placed under Lieutenant \V. D. Smith (Fraser). Retain- 
ing my agency at Big Sodus Bay until other officers could be spared. The 
dredging at Sodus had opened a channel of fifteen feet, where, in 1829, 
there had been only eight feet of water. 

Independence was celebrated at Sodus this year by the canal company in 
the Shaker building, the town plot for the new city. 

July 19th, wrote Gerrit Smith, Esq., my plan for the abolition of slavery: 
1st, to obtain the consent of the slave States to sell all the children born of 
slaves at birth, and so to be born free; 2d, Congress to make a sinking 
fund by consent of three-fourths of the States of five million dollars a year, 
which would buy all the children of slaves, born in one year ; 3d, to 
colonize these children when from ten to twelve years old, under the 
auspices of emancipated competent blacks, west of the Rocky Mountains. 

Aug. 4th. To my farm at Newstead to save what the shark Shipherd had 
left. Van Deventer having made him our common tenant. I found no crop, 
and took away my horses and wagon and a harrow, all that was left of many 
things. Met Alanson Palmer at the farm, to whom Van Deventer in his ill 
state of health had sold his farm — a sharper — made some settlement with 
him in Van's name, and advised to retain the land and avoid Palmer. 

In September to Eighteen Mile Creek, below Lockport, on Lake Ontario, 
by order of War Department, to project a harbor for that place, which was 
done, and the plan sanctioned by the Government. 

Thence to Niagara and Toronto, to confer with Governor Sir Prancis 
Head upon a plan of the American Company and the Sodus Canal Company 
to establish a railroad from the West end of Lake Ontario to Sarnia, 
opposite Fort Gratiot, at the outlet of Lake Huron, and from thence west 
to the mouth of Grand River at Lake Michigan. The Governor agreed to 
promote the operation by his influence in Canada. On my return at 
Buffalo in company with Henry McLean, the cousin of Mrs. Swift, who 


introduced me to Mr. Bates, sold him my farm at Newstead for eight thou- 
sand dollars, under mortgage, but he failed to make payment. 

October 8th. From Geneva to Sodus, and found the isthmus that unites 
Point Charles to the main land nearly cut through by storms. Closed up 
the breach with cribs of stone. 

At the request of Major McNeill I went to Alleghany County, taking 
Louisa and Foster to Hampton with my gray horses, and, leaving them 
there, went to Angelica to examine the Alleghany County records, and 
found them very imperfect and much e.xposed to fire. Thence to Captain 
Philip S. Church, Belvidere, from whence I wrote McNeill advice how to 
proceed to save his pine lands, and also to Samuel Glover, his attorney, to 
prevent attempted frauds through the records. 

Early in November, Henry Dwight, Esq., and myself to Albany, and 
there met the obituary of my brother William's wife, from rapid consumption. 
She was a fine woman, the daughter of James Stewart of New London, the 
British Consul, leaving my brother with a son and daughter at the very age 
when they most required a mother's care. 

From Albany to the Waverly in New York, and there delivered the books 
of the Tioga Coal Company to John B. Thorp, having received them from 
Joseph Fellows, Esq., at Geneva. 

December ist, visited Major John L. Smith at Governor's Island, and 
met there General Scott, Colonel Thayer, Delafield, McNeill and Whistler, 
and my brother William. Thence William and I went to Hempstead Harbor 
to see F. R. Hassler, who was in trouble from the calls of the Secretary of 
the United States Treasury to vary his plan of conducting the coast survey, 
greatly retarding the progress of that work, and gave my advice to Hassler 
to remain quiet and not write long letters to the Secretary, who probably 
did not comprehend Mr. Hassler's scientific mode of conducting the work. 

December 19th, by appointment made at Governor's Island, G. W. 
Whistler and myself proceeded to Stonington to meet the Stonington & 
Providence Railroad Company on plans for improvement thereof, and the 
next day to Providence with the company and others to remedy the causes 
of delay. The following day the company returned to Stonington, and on 


our way cut off the head of a horse by the force of the locomotive as the 
horse was standing at night with his head over the rail. On my return to 
New York, stopped at Fort Schuyler to examine that place with Major J. L. 
Smith, and met here William Cutbush, formerly Captain of United States 
engineers, and employed as surveyor. 

No appropriation for forts this year. 

1838. January 20th. Delayed at Brooklyn by the common council, 
who thought my charge for making a water front to their cit)' too high. My 
demand was eighteen hundred dollars, including my visits to Albany to 
explain the matter to the legislative committee. The common council sent 
me a check for twelve hundred dollars, and remained in my debt six hundred 

On January 22d, to Harlem with Major McNeill and Philemon Dickinson, 
Esq., of New Jersey, and with Charles H. Hall it was agreed that to pro- 
mote the navy dock I should draw up a report on the project of the 
Hudson and Harlem River and Little Hell Gate for docks, yards, etc. Took 
my quarters at the Astor House, and finished the report. It was laid before 
the common council of the city, and produced the adoption of the High 
Bridge of the Croton acqueduct to permit the passage of ships-of-the-line, 
etc. (See files.) 

On February 3d, a meeting of American Land Company at William 
Bard's. I gave them an account of my sojourn at Toronto and interview 
with Governor Head, together with my plan for a harbor at the Gratiot 
outlet of Huron, which they adopted, to wit: Messrs. Bard, McBride, Beers, 
Willet, Charles Butler, and Arnault ; R. K. Delafield, Secretary. 

The next day, by aid of Mr. O'Connor, succeeded in settling the affairs 
between the daughters of my late friend, Peter Birdsell, and their brother 
John, by which the girls have the income of rent at the old stand, corner of 
Wall and Broad Streets. 

Febuary 7th. Reported to the United States Navy Commissioner and to 
the United .States Chief Engineer my views of the importance of the Barn 
Island and Little Hell Gate passage, and Harlem ami Hudson River sites 
for United States navy docks and yards, and its offering space and security 


and two passages to the ocean, thereby obliging an enemy to use two guns 
to our one by the necessary blockade off the Hook and Montauk, our two 
passages to sea. 

February 17th. With General Scott and Charles King, Esquire, at the 
Astor, consulting on the necessity of the general's speedy movement in 
return to the frontier to check the secret movements of the sympathizing 
traitors. The general departed that evening with Captain Keys. Quite a 
scene between the captain's wife. Colonel Monroe and myself on the lady's 
objections against her husband's duty. 

February 19th. At John L. Graham's with Long Island Railroad Company 
to treat about my taking charge of that road. The meeting adjourned, etc. 

February 23d. The exchange of lands between Dr. Fitzhugh and the 
Shakers of Sodus delayed by the difficulty in raising funds. John Greig 
and Charles Hoyt, Esq., at my room at the Astor to devise security to Dr. 
Fitzhugh. A meeting of the Sodus Canal Company called for early in 
March. The cold very intense on the 24th, when Mr. Greig and I took 
stage for Albany, Major John L. Smith meeting us with a noble pair of 
blankets, his present to Mrs. Swift, that made us comfortable all the way 


On March ist citizens of Geneva appoint General Whiting, myself and 
others a committee to locate the proper entrance of the Rochester & 
Auburn Railroad into our village. 

March 8th to Canandaigua at the meeting of the Sodus Canal Company at 
President Greig's. "The pecuniary difficulties of the times" suspend the 
whole work, a severe blow to my prospects; but shall make further essays to 
revive the work. 

In April summoned to New York to testify on the subject of my blowing 
up houses with gunpowder in the great fire of December, 1835. The 
owners succeed in recovering from the city in whose cause the blasting was 

Last of April my brother William and myself to see the first of the great 
steamers, the Western, Captain Judkins, a grand movement to promote the 
intercourse and the peace of nations. 


May 1st. The agents of the Illinois Canal called on me, McLaren and 
Hardy, on the subject of connecting a railroad therewith, and we visit the 
Long Island Railroad to show them the process, etc. They propose to me 
to unite with them. I deemed it something of an interference with my 
brother's affairs, and had no more to say to the gentlemen. 

On May 3d I was with General Waddy Thompson, who, as a friend of 
John C. Calhoun invited me to write to Mr. Calhoun on the subject of 
nullification. As an intimate friend I did so, embracing my views of the 
whole subject, and urged on him the setding the matter, as I deemed him 
to hold great influence with the North. But Mr. Calhoun had gone too far 
to attempt such a purpose. With his great mind he could have done much, 
and no doubt did assuage the violence of his compeers. 

This spring I continued the small work doing at Sodus Bay Harbor, and 
finished repairing the breach in the Isthmus of Point Charles. 

On August i5tli Captain Samuel Swift, my cousin, of Geneva, and family, 
moved to the vicinity of Princeton, Bureau County, Illinois, to a farm he 
had there purchased, and left his Geneva property in the care of James H. 
Woods, Esq. 

On the 1 8th my son Alexander made us a few weeks' visit from Cape 
Fear, North Carolina. This fall great confusion upon our frontier among 
the sympathizers on both sides of the line of boundary. 

General Adams trying to keep alive the Sodus Canal by a current of 
water washing out the sandy loam from the Clyde north to the head of 
Sodus Bay. He is an indefatigably industrious man, and will accomplish as 
much as he has means to use therefor. I went to look at the successful 
essay in the month of October, and on my return on November ist to 
Geneva, I found Major John L. Smith, United States Engineer, at my 
house, with instructions from Secretary of War, Mr. Poinsett, for the major 
and myself to examine the condition of the people in the country on the 
shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie, in reference to secret operations of 
"Sympathizers" and the like, to disturb our relations with Canada. At 
Buffalo we conferred with Colonels Bankhead and Crane, United States 
Army, and thence to Erie, in Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, in Ohio. 


Detected several plans that were urged on by misguided men, and by the 
close of November returned to Geneva, and the major made his report to 
the Government, of a confidential nature of course. 

One million eleven thousand dollars for forts in 1838. 

1839. In January Captain W. D. Smith (Fraser) by order of the War 
Department commenced to examine into the disbursements upon the 
United States Harbor at Big Sodus Bay, from the commencement of the 
work in 1829 to the close of 1838, under secret charges from William 
Edwards, one of the contractors, of fraud and waste. This occupied 
Captain Smith eight days from January 15th, and on the 23d he left for other 
duty. A copy of his report was sent to me by order of the Secretary of 
War. The report states that not a single fact sustained any charges — that 
they were totally unfounded. There has been for these ten years a series 
of essays to oust me from office by good Democrats of Wayne and Monroe 

The last of January to Albany with General Adams to call on Governor 
Seward on the subject of State improvements, and especially the revival of 
the Sodus Canal, which the governor approved, and said he would further 
its progress as chief magistrate. A meeting of stockholders was called at 
Brooklyn, at Mr. Hoj't's, March 9th, when it was agreed that I should go to 
Philadelphia to consult with Thomas Biddle and Mr. Dunlap, of the United 
States Bank, which I accordingly did on March 27th, and left my explana- 
tion with them, after a thorough conversation, while I should be absent in 
Washington. When the Secretary of War expressed his satisfaction with 
Captain Smith's examination into the Sodus Bay expenditures, the Secretary 
mformed me it had been determined to give me the general supervision of 
the harbor, and on Lake Ontario, and so far modify the order to employ 
only the engineer officers; accordingly on April 4th Colonel Abert, topo- 
graphical engineer, appointed Captain Canfield to aid me in an inspection 
of all the harbors on Lake Ontario. 

April 5th Colonel Abert and myself to see an old friend, Phineas Lacy, 
at Alexandria. I ride out to see Bruce Walker at the theological seminary, 
and in Alexandria my cousin Mary Harper Swift, Mrs. Summers — Sophia 


Potts that was — mj- early friend in Alexandria thirty odd years ago, at 
Netty Hall, etc. 

April 9th President Van Buren entertains the pacificator. General 
Scott, in allusion to his services in nullifying days in South Carolina, 
border troubles at Navy Island, Niagara, and with Sir John Harvey in 
Maine. The party consisted of the heads of departments, foreign ambassa- 
dors, and three of Scott's friends — Generals Towson, Gibson and myself. 
On the loth the general and myself to Philadelphia, at Nicholas Biddle's, 
etc. I met Thomas Biddle, who informs me the United States Bank 
cannot co-operate with the Sodus Canal Company on the subject deputed 
to me. To New York, and on April 15th with Belle, Willy and Louisa 
march to Geneva. On the 28th to a Sodus meeting at Mr. Greig's, 
Canandaigua, and report the failure of negotiations with the United 
States Bank. 

May 2d. At Rochester piers, and by steam to Oswego, and meet 
Captain Canfield, and commence our inspection, as a board, of all the 
harbors of Lake Ontario, and on the nth I return to Geneva and send 
instructions to the agent, Judson, at Oswego, to commence the permanent 
piers there with Beton, and to Mr. Peters at Mexico Bay, Salmon River, to 
go on with the piers, and the same to Mr. Rees at Genesee River. 

July 4th. Celebrate the day at Geneva. Hon. Gideon Lee recently 
settled among us, with his excellent wife. He presides on that day. 

On the 20th our friends the Marchs, of Brooklyn, come to see us, and 
we take my grays to Hampton and the Wadsworth's, Miss Elizabeth the 
heroine of the valley. We get back to Geneva on August ist. 

On August 13th Colonel Abert arrives at Geneva, and invites me to a 
survey of both lakes with him. The next day we proceed to Oswego, and 
by steamer to Buffalo, and thence to Erie, Pennsylvania, and return from 
inspection of Presque Isle to Buffalo, and meet the Secretary of War and 
Mr. Gouverneur Kemble, at the Falls, and so on to Geneva, the colonel being 
suddenly summoned to Washington on jniblic affairs. On the 26th to 
Clyde to see General Adams about his scouring process on the Sodus Canal, 
and thence by canal to .Syracuse and Oswego, from whence on the 28th 


Colonel Worth and myself to Sacketts Harbor, and explored our scenes 
there of 181 3, and awaited the arrival of President Van Buren and Secretary 
Poinsett, on 29th, and proceed to review and inspection of the troops ; and 
thence to the mouth of Black River and Brownsville, and dined with Mrs. 
General Brown and Major Kirby, and on to VVatertown, where Mr. Fairbanks 
gave the President an account of his extorting a large amount of money from 
Paymaster Edmonson, by threats of drowning him in the lake. The money 
was concealed in a bed, and, on ripping up the same, Mrs. Edmonson com- 
mitted suicide. 

August 30th, to Oswego, where the President in his address, reprimanded 
his political friends who had been sympathizers, a severe and deserved and 
well administered castieation. 

On 31st President inspected the new Beton Harbor work, and Mr. Poin- 
sett pronounced it good, etc. 

On September ist I went to Sodus Bay with Smith, Van Buren to 
Alexander Duncan, a farmer living on the Shaker tract. Mr. Van Buren and 
Poinsett went direct to Genesee River, where the Secretary, with Captain 
Loud of United States Artillery, inspected the decaying wood work of the 
piers, and saw the effect of the negligence of Congress in delay of appro- 
priations. The President then went to Geneva to have a few quiet days 
with his early friend. Judge Sutherland, and to see William K. Strono-'s fine 
farm, the old Robin Rose farm on the lake shore, and then returned to 
Albany and Washington. I accompanied him and the Secretary to Water- 
loo, and he thanked me for the " acceptable service rendered him in the 
harbors and by my personal attentions." 

November 2d. The vestry of Trinity Church at Geneva sent me a 
delegate to the Episcopal convention at Rochester. 

On December 24th I hurried to Hampton to see the last of Colonel 
William Fitzhugh. He died on the 29th, at the age of seventy-nine, a 
worthy and consistent Christian gentleman. I wrote his obituary. He had 
been a cornet of dragoons in the Maryland line, and aid-de-camp to 
General Gist in the Revolution. He had reared a family of twelve 


children, and left them all the means of comfort in this world, and an 
excellent example. 

Three hundred and thirty thousand dollars for forts in 1839. 

1840. Alexander left us on 2d January for Washington, to receive his 
instructions from the War Department to proceed to France to prepare to 
instruct a corps of sappers and miners, and he sailed from New York for 
Havre de Grace on February 12th. 

During the month of February prominent Democrats of Monroe and 
Wayne counties wrote the War Department that I was interfering adversely 
to the interests of the Van Buren party, and requested that some good 
Democrat should be placed in my office. A silly accusation, but without 
any foundation in fact, for during my United States agency I had refrained 
from all political meetings and political action, excepting my free and open 

In the spring an effort was made to keep the Sodus Canal project before 
the public, and General Adams (June ist) and myself went from Clyde to 
Geneva to negotiate with the Shakers for securing their payments for the 
Sodus tract, but without success. Our operations had become impeded by 
the stringency in the money market, and our own wealthy stockholders 
could not see the policy of finishing the work for less than a fourth of a 
million, a work that would open intercourse between Chesapeake Bay and 
Lake Ontario, and yield to the United States Government every means of 
transport of military supplies to protect the country and its lake commerce 
in plaster, salt, iron, coal and lumber. The finishing of the work had 
become simple and cheap. But our capitalist stockholders did not revive 
the work, and the land reverted to Messrs. Greig, Duncan, Butler and 
Fellows. General Adams, however, with respectable perseverance adhered 
to the plan of scouring out the easy sandy loam from Clyde to the head of 
Sodus Bay, and exhausted his private means in the essay. I have devoted 
much time and labor and my means to this work, but shall reap no other 
benefit than the gratification of knowing it will be revived for the benefit of 
others and the country at large. 


In June I went to New York to advance my chancery suit against the 
Eckford estate. My counsel, Messrs. Foote and Davies. 

June 17th consulting with Mr. Canon of Troy upon employment upon 
the Schenectady Railroad, and agreed to return to Troy with my brother 
William on this subject. On 19th Major McNeill and I to Stonington and 
Providence on that railroad business, and thence to Boston to consult with 
Patrick Jackson. On 21st William and I via Worcester to view the well 
conducted asylum there, and thence by Norwich and New York, and with 
the Troy and Schenectady Railroad agent, Mr. Canon, and not liking his 
terms I returned to New York, and William to Springfield. 

June 28th to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, to consult General Scott in 
reference to a reply to Thaddeus Phelps, who, at a Democratic meeting had 
nominated me for the chief magistracy of New York. General Scott said 
that although the nomination was based upon my official relations formerly 
with Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, and my never having been a prominent 
political actor, he thought it would not be consistent with my federal prin- 
ciples to consent to any further proceedings, and by no means suitable to 
my limited pecuniary means, in all which I agreed with him, and wrote Mr. 
Phelps in accordance therewith. 

July 2d Mr. Foot accompanied me to Mr. W. P. Rathbone's, in Hacken- 
sack, New Jersey, and learned from him that my city property on Seventh 
Avenue he knew had been conveyed to Henry Eckford, solely to secure J. 
G. Swift's debt to the Life and Fire, and for no other purpose. Accordingly 
at the next meeting on my case, before Master in Chancery Lansing, the 
testimony of Mr. Rathbone, S. L. Gouverneur, Mr. Hoxie and General 
Bogardus, taken and recorded, and these meetings continued at periods 
until the end of the year, detaining me at my friend Tucker's through the 
illness and to the death of my child in Geneva. Charlotte died there on 
December 31st, at the age of fifteen. 

Seven hundred and eighty thousand dollars for forts in 1840. 
1 84 1. February 8th. At the request of Leffert Lefferts, Esq., at the 
expected disturbance of the United States with France, I gave him my 
views on paper on the means of defending New York, with a plan for 


raising volunteers to occupy the fortifications of the harbor in co-operation 
with troops of the United States. At the instance of General Scott I 
examined " Mr. Carter's ball propeller." It had e.xcited much attention in 
the city. I drew up an argument to show that no centrifugal force created 
by manual strength and applied to cranks and hollow spokes of wheels, 
would propel even a small cannon ball with sufficient velocity to accomplish 
military purposes. 

On February 19th the last examination before Master Lansing. The 
Eckford counsel presented a mortgage of my Seventh Avenue property. 
It was deemed a bar to further action until I could initiate a new case, 
because this mortgage is only part and parcel of the one and same transac- 
tion, namely, to give Henry Eckford a trust of my property to pay my debt. 
He never had given a cent in consideration for this property, and I had 
never been indebted to him for any amount whatever. I am tired of this 
litigation, and shall leave the pursuit of justice to my heirs. 

March loth. To Washington on a visit to Colonel Totten. The officers 
of the army at Washington had united in a petition to General Harrison to 
reinstate me in office, an extremely pleasant evidence of the regard of my 
military associates. (See the document on my files.) With General 
Macomb I waited on President Harrison, who said he had something for me 
to do. This referred to the proposal of Colonel Abert to send me upon a 
visit of inquiry to Canada, having reference to border difficulties. General 
Harrison and General Macomb concurred on the necessity of further 
information of the views of the British Government, and the President 
requested the Secretary of War, Mr. Bell, to arrange with me for this 
expedition, my compensation to be that of Brigadier General commanding, 
and all traveling expenses. 

On March 27th to New York, and on April 3d to Geneva, the first meet- 
ing with my family since the death of my daughter Charlotte. 

On April i6th to New York, and with Major McNeill to Boston. Here 
I consulted with an early fric-nil, Jeremiah Mason, who gave me letters to 
Sir John Caldwell in Canada. With Patrick and Dr. Charles Jackson, and 
my companion (jf the days of fortifying Boston, and other eastern harbors 


in 1800, etc. — Henry A. S. Dearborn — who had excellent views of our rela- 
tions with Canada, and of our means of purchasing the whole province. 
We passed several days together in examining Colonel Thayer's newly 
commenced fort at Georges' Island, and visited Mount Auburn. 

May 1st, on board the steamer Columbia, and in forty hours over a heavy 
swell arrived at Halifax, and found rooms at the Masonic Hall Tavern, and 
passed a week in examining docks, forts, and the canal of Shubenacadie. 
Sir John Harvey invited me to the review of two thousand troops. I 
estimated them at twelve hundred. He introduced me to Lord Falkland, 
the Governor, who invited both to dinner, and had a pleasant discussion on 
the relations of our respective governments. I gave them my ideas, that 
they required our timber and we their trade, and both upon equal terms. I 
met Colonel Smelt of Eighth Foot, who presented me to his lady, a 
daughter of Beverly Robinson. The lady exhibited much American feeling 
and courtesy. The colonel is the reputed son of George III, and is much 
like the portraits of that king. He had been sick. 

He had been wounded severely on the Niagara frontier in 18 14. He 
spoke kindly of his treatment by the Americans. Lady Harvey, a plain 
person, and well-informed, the daughter of Lord Lake, of East India celeb- 
rity. Lady Falkland is very pretty, of a sad countenance, as if she were 
thinking of her mother, Mrs. Jordan, and her father, William the Fourth. 
Sir John Caldwell was one of the guests. I had a letter to him. We dined 
at the mess of the Eighth, Thirty-Seventh and Sixty-Fourth regiments, in 
a room designed by the Duke of Kent, not much of architectural taste. 
Sir John Harvey sent warm messages to his friend. General Scott. They 
had been able pacificators between New Brunswick and Maine. On nth I 
took the coach, and by that beautiful harbor above Halifax, of an extent 
sufficient to moor a fleet of one hundred sail ; came to the margin of a trout 
torrent near the dividing ridge, and descending the road, thence to Windsor, 
through a rough, stunted growth of pine, alder and birch, to the river of 
Windsor. Examined its plaster beds and the bridge across to Falmouth, 
the rise and fall of the tide at its piers varj'ing from forty-five to sixty-five 
feet. I found several of the descendants of the refugees from the United 


States in the war of 1776. Judge Halliburton, whom I had been introduced 
to in Washington by General Scott, the Sam Slick of the romance, and 
some army and navy officers, all very courteous. 

On 14th on the appropriately named steamer, the Maid of the Alist, 
throuo-h much foe in the Basin of Mines, out to clear weather after round- 
ing Cape Blowmedon, to St. John, N. B. Our captain, an officer of the 
navy, honored me with a salute, which made my entrance to the city more 
public than I had expected. On our passage I observed very strong cross 
currents and whirls, and the steering very difficult, arising from the power 
of the tide and the great volume of water that had to pass and repass twice 
a day between headlands on both sides of the Bay of Fundy. 

At St. John I met Charles, son of the consul, James Stewart, Esq., of 
New London, now in England ; Mr. Jewett, whom I used to know, a ship 
carpenter at Smithville, North Carolina, thirty years ago. He was in 
affluence, and he treated me with much civility. Also Mrs. Campbell, the 
sister of "Tom Moore, the Consul," and Mrs. Joshua Sands of Brooklyn. 
At high tide over the falls by steam to Frederickton, on the St. Johns, 
where I was courteously treated by the governor. Sir William Colebrook, 
and by the officers of the Thirty-Seventh Foot. On May 2 2d I returned 
to Boston by the North America, by the Saint Croix and Campo Bello to 
Tremont House, from whence I made my report to the Government at 
Washington. (See my files.) 

On May 24th with P. T. Jackson, Esq., to examine the water power and 
steam machinery at Lowell, over the best railroad as yet constructed in the 
United States. The next day with General H. A. S. Dearborn, discussing 
the views of the policy of acquiring Canada by purchase, showing England 
first the inevitable event of our becoming one government; as we were 
descending the harbor to see our mutual friend. Colonel S. Thayer, and his 
accurate fort of masonry on George's Island. 

26th. Met General Wool at the Tremont, and had some Canadian talk ; 
also G. W. Whistler. We two went to his house in Springfield, and then 
by Worcester, Norwich and New London, to New York. 

June 1st. Arrived at home in Geneva, and found all well, thanks to God. 


On 3d to Buffalo and Niagara, inquiring into the purpose of the o-reat 
assemblage of negroes on the Canada side, as they said, by En^-Hsli 
authority. Saw many fugitives from the South, and much excitement and 
threats of revenge for ills inflicted by slaver)-, etc. 

15th. To Saratoga over the grounds of the battles of Gates and Bur- 
goyne. Met James Stevenson of Albany. Thence to Whitehall, on Lake 
Champlain, to Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and received on board the 
steamer, Mrs. Colonel Churchill of United States Army. To Burlington. 
Bishop Hopkins has a beautiful seat here. The scenery of the distant 
Adirondacks and Green Mountains admirable on one of the clearest days 
of June. 

To St. Johns, passing Isle au Croix, and thence by railroad to Lachine, 
and through the rapids that had half a dozen stout men at the helm, better 
than a wheel, because more controllable; and on 17th had nice rooms at 
Rosco's, in Montreal. Called on Lady Selby, who presented me to several 
of her Canadian friends. That lady is a daughter of the House of Longue- 
vllle. On the following day, invited to a review on the race grounds, and 
had a sham battle of Waterloo. I had a fine horse of Colonel Oldfield's. 
At dinner Madame Selby addressed me very audibly : "General, I hope 
when you take Montreal that you will give my house a safe-guard." This 
badinage drew upon me the eyes of many strangers and army officers. My 
reply was that my hope was that all my visits to Canada might meet the 
gentility and hospitality of peace, such as then surrounded me. My time 
was agreeably filled till 19th, when I went to Quebec and met Sir James 
McDonnell, the hero of Waterloo. He told me the merit of closing the 

gates at Hoguemont was more due to Sergeant than himself. 

General Scott Introduced me to Sir James. In reviewing the troops the 
fine looking men of the Coldstream Guards were conspicuously handsome. 

Cape Drummond and General Wolfe's route and monument, where he 
fell and united with Montcalm in the city, had my respects. 

On 2 1st to the Falls of MontmorencI, stopping at Beauport to see the 
French, still of the aspect of Louis XIV. At the falls I gathered a bouquet 
of wild flowers and gave them to a pretty girl in a garden at Beauport. 


The people thronged about me and invited me to their church. 
Quite a scene. 

To Point Levy and the navy sHps. The whole scene at and from Quebec 
one of the grandest type in nature. 

On 23d ascended the St. Lawrence through the remarkable black rock)- 
gorge of Richelieu, and in Lake St. Peters could only see the tree tops on 
either shore. Made a halt at William Henry, the outlet of the Sorel, and 
at Montreal rejoined Colonel Oldfield of the engineers, and Lieutenant 
Bainbridge, Colonel Campbell, etc., of the army, and again reviewed the 
troops with General Jackson. 

To the mountain, one of the noblest river and forest views probably on 
the globe. 

Examined the Cathedral, and then on 26th up the St. Lawrence to the 
battle ground of November iith, 1813, Chrysler's Field. 

To Prescott and Ogdensburg, and by the Thousand Isles to Kingston 
with Mr. Herbert, son of Lord Clive, and met my Geneseo friend, R. A. 
Tucker, and reviewed the troops and looked at the forts, and passed on to 
Oswego, and met Mr. Henry Fitzhugh, and so home to Geneva, after 
hearing Sir Allan McNab in the Parliament House, Kingston. 

July 19th made my second official report to the government. (See mj- 

July 26th to Niagara and Canada, taking Hortense and Jose to General 
P. B. Porter's, and with General Porter to his battle ground of Chippewa, 
1814. On 31st to Buffalo with Hortense and Jose to Mrs. Van Deventer's. 
To Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit. Lake St. Clair and Canada. 

On August 8th to Buffalo; loth, destruction of steamer Erie. 1 returned 
to Geneva and waited till 19th for Anselm K. Terry, to whom I .sold my 
Newstead farm for seven thousand three hundred and fifty dollars. 

On 31st at old Fort Niagara with Captain W. D. Eraser, United States 

September 1st to old Fort George and Messisauga in Canada, and on 
board the steamer Transit to Toronto ; my fellow passenger Doctor Edward 
Mitchell of South Carolina, my schoolmate at the acadcni)- in Taunton, 


forty-two years ago; our first meeting since those days; he had been a 
lover of my sister Nancy, and much beloved by all of us. We recognized 
each other on the deck of 'the steamer simultaneously. I had the pleasure 
of promoting the enjoyment of the doctor and his family and Mr. Chew of 
the State Department at Washington, through the civility of General 
Clitherow, at the reviews of the English troops, Ninety-third especially, in 
which Captain Neil Buchanan furnished me a fine cavalry horse for the 
reviews. In Toronto was entertained by the family of R. A. Tucker of 
Geneseo memory. Captain B., etc. 

September 5th to Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Geneva. 

On 20th to New York on my way to Washington. At Newark measured 
the machinery and planes of the Morris canal, and sent the results to Captain 
Bainbridge, English engineer, at Montreal, for him and Colonel Oldfield. 

On October 7th to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, and from 
the topographical bureau sent the new map of the United States to Colonel 
Oldfield of the English engineers, with my thanks for the information about 
Canada that he had furnished me at Montreal. 

With General Scott to call on the President to converse on the subject of 
my embassy. Mr. Tyler renewed an acquaintande that had commenced at 
Richmond many years previously, when no one dreamed of his attaining 
the chief magistracy. I found him so full of joy at having brought Mr. 
John C. Spencer into the War Department, that Mr. Tyler could give little 
heed to the subject of buying Canada on General Dearborn's plan, which I 
was endeavoring to explain to him. In fact I was reminded of the remark 
of Colonel Monroe at the door of General Harrison in the previous spring: 
" Harrison will die, and the luckiest man in Virginia will occupy his chair. " 
The levity of Mr. Tyler's manner does his sense no justice. Judge Baldwin 
was with us, and was impressed as I was when Mr. Tyler remarked on Mr. 
Clay that he was vastly inferior to Patrick Henry — an uncalled for and very 
unsuitable remark, even if true. We agreed that Mr. Spencer was a man 
of high attainments and experience in politics, for he had been prominent 
in every party of the Union, etc. To Mr. Spencer, Mr. Tyler referred me 
to commune on my Canadian excursion. 


October i ith attended as member of a meeting of the National Institute, 
where my son Alexander's memoir on the moving sands of the south 
Atlantic shore of France, called the Downs, which he had examined, and 
the mode of arresting their progress by planting willows and grasses, with 
a view of employing similar means on the coast of Carolina. 

October 17th conversed with Mr. John Bell, late Secretaiy of War, on the 
purchase of Canada, and of the purpose of General Harrison in my 
Canadian expedition. Mr. Bell approved of my views, as also did Secretarj- 
Spencer and General Scott and Colonel Abert. 

Mr. Spencer addressed a note of approbation on the termination of ni)- 
service. (See document on my files). 

On November 5th General Scott, Major McNeill and myself to Baltimore. 
At Mr. Sehly's, Baltimore, conversing on the Canadian affairs. Met here 
my friend Doctor Wyatt, with Bishop Chase and Mr. Whitingham. 

On 19th to Brooklyn. 

Four hundred and fifty-five thousand dollars for torts in 1841. 

1842. This winter had much correspondence with Colonel Abert on 
national affairs, and especially upon internal improvements and of my 
conviction that the democratic party had ever opposed them. The next 
day replied to Mr. Germain's proposal to e.xperiment on some eastern road 
witli his railroad car having a parallel motion to adapt itself to any 
curvature. On 12th to Springfield to arrange for this experiment with 
Whistler, ad interim to New York to bring Jose to Springfield, where 
Whistler had just received letters that invited him to Russia. We went to 
Boston to consult with Patrick T. Jackson, and the last of April I e.scorted 
Whistler's men to Providence and Kingston, R. 1. On my return to 
Providence met Alexander Duncan, P2sq., and aided him in conveying 
valuables to Boston to avoid the threatening aspect of affairs in the Dorr 
rebellion, meeting there Colonel Thayer and Julius W. Adams. 

On May 3d I returned to .Springfield to see Whistler on his Russian plan. 

On the same day met Mr. Germain with his car from Catskill, and made 
an experiment on the sixty-feet plane with his car and one of Mr. Winans' 
eight-wheeled cars. By their spontaneous descent on that inclined plane 


both cars accumulating velocity b)- their descent, ran through the depot 
track. Winans' crossed the bridge ; Germain's did not reach the bridge. 
Equal loads in both, proving that a too easy movement of the parallel, to 
adapt the wheels to the curve, had caused them to move from side to side 
too readily, /. e., such an arrangement of motion requires a more perfect 
construction of railway than has yet been accomplished ; also that the spring 
of the lone car of Winans is better suited to the curves of our roads than 
Mr. Germain's. The last may be improved, but thus far Winans' is best. 
1 was present in 1828 at Baltimore when Winans first proposed his car. 
The great fact about facile motion is that the car gear and the rail track 
must correspond in acciu-acy and nicety of construction. 

May 4th Whistler and Debo, Jose and myself to Albany. McRee went 
to Geneva with Jose, and Debo, Whistler and myself to Washington, where 
we arrived on the 7th, meeting Major Bautatz of the Russian service, and 
General Tallmadge, who gave Whistler some points in the character of the 
Emperor Nicholas, in reference to his industry and desire to improve public 
works, that may be useful to Whistler. 

On 8th met the Russian ambassador, Mr. Bodisco, and arranged for 
Whistler's service at twelve thousand dollars a year. Had with Mr. 
Bodisco an interesting conversation on the difficulties of a Russian cam- 
paign across the Indus and the sands to India, and of its inutility, while 
England had the supremacy of naval power. 

May loth with Mr. Tyler and Major McNeill to converse upon my plans 
for a navy dock on the Harlem and Hud.son Rivers. (See my report of 
Januar)', 1838, on my files.) The President too much engrossed in politics 
to be much interested in our subject. General Tallmadge gave the Presi- 
dent some strong remarks on his leaving the measures of the Whigs, who 
had elevated him. The President replied that the Whigs had left him, and 
that he had therefore "chumped" Congress, alluding to a waggoner's mode 
of retarding his wheels. 

On May 15th Whistler and myself to Albany, he to Boston for England 
and Russia, and I home to my family in Geneva. 


June 29th Major Tucker and family with us. Examining the new Trinity- 
church, now up to the floor. 

At the celebration of Independence our families witnessed a sad scene of 
negligence at the fireworks, by which several people were killed and 
wounded by the rockets. 

July 19th to Rochester, and by the steamer to Niagara with Major 
Delafield and family to the Falls. Returning home the last of the month, 
and found our son Alexander, who had arrived from Washington ; his first 
visit home after his return from France. (See his journals.) Also met at 
our house the artist, Daniel Huntington, and the artist Verbryck, a very 
interesting person, as also is his brother Huntington. 

September 8th to New York to attend the wedding, on the 15th instant, 
of my son McRee and Hortense, the daughter of my friend, Thomas I. 
Chew, at 94 Willow Street, Brooklyn, married by Reverend Doctor Cutler 
of St. Ann's. Guests, Colonels Totten and J. Smith, A. J. DeRosset, Mr. 
Dickinson and my son Alexander. On 23d I went to see Alexander and Mr. 
Davies at the Point, and the worthy widow of Colonel Mansfield said to me, 
"You may expect most of your worldly joys in the decline of your days." 

While in New York on September i6th my brother William and I called 
on Life and Fire Insurance Company receivers, Mr. Hoffman and J. T. 
Lawrence, about the notice of July 6th, 1842, in the papers, of a dividend on 
the stock of that company. I held four hundred and seventy-seven shares 
of it, four hundred of which had been transferred to me by Henry Eckford 
while on his trial in 1826, and which four hundred shares after the trial Mr. 
Eckford had required me to re-transfer to him, and which by advice of my 
counsel, George Sullivan, I declined doing. These acts of Mr. Eckford I 
have never understood. I owed him nothing. My mortgage and deed to 
him of my .Seventh Avenue property was to secure my debt to the Life and 
I'ire Company. I le never ])aid that debt, and went to Turkey and died 
there, and his executors never paid it, but on the above receivers 
declining to pay me any dividend, I employed John B. Thorp to buy Life 
and Fire bonds for me to balance the debt therewith, and this he did to 
enable the receivers to join me in my chancery suit against the Eckford 


estate. September 2 2d Reverend Dr. Hawks showed me the memorial of 
the Episcopal Church of St. James, New Hanover, North Carolina, October 
ist, 1759, signed by Lewis John De Rosset, planter and member of His 
Majesty's Counsel and Receiver-General ; William Walker (brother of 
James), Sheriff N. H. John DuBois (uncle), merchant and justice of peace, 
and Moses John De Rosset, M. D. 

One million, three hundred and sixty-six thousand dollars for forts 
in 1842. 

1843. This winter I employed myself lecturing to the Young Men's 
Association, and in preparing papers for my files. 

The spring opened early. Busied myself with new fences and gardening, 
having no professional employ. 

On June 22d Peter Richards, Junior, and my daughter Josephine were 
married by Rev. P. P. Irving, Mr. George Richards attending, and Bishop 
DeLancy and Major Rees, and Mrs. J. W. Woods. Our joy was in some 
degree diminished by the death of our friend and neighbor. Doctor Edward 
Cutbush. The wedding party dispersed, some to the Falls, others to New 
York, etc. 

On 26th Judge Brown Whiting, Mr. DeLeng and myself to the head of 
the lake and to crossing on the Chemung, and thence by railroad to Bloss- 
burgh to examine the coal and iron mines at that place, in reference to 
forming a company to transport these to Geneva and to Lake Ontario at 
Sodus Bay. 

August 15th R. C. Nicholas and myself to the Episcopal convention at 
Auburn, as delegates from Trinity at Geneva. Here was commenced the 
first conventional action of the laity adverse to the theological influence of 
the Oxford tracts, and to their influence in the theological seminary in New 
York. Mr. Nicholas and myself were appointed a committee to see Bishop 
DeLancey, and to say that if the Gospel Messenger published any extracts 
from the Bishop's address in favor of that seminary, the lay members of the 
convention would deny their accuracy. The Bishop said no extract should 
be published, and none was. Those of the laity opposed to the ultra church 


views at this convention, made an essay to sustain tlieir views in a 
new paper to be published in New York. 

September 4th John Delafield came to buy a farm. I aided him to find 
the three hundred and fifty acres on the Rose tract, opposite Geneva. He 
moved his family to it in the middle of October, and soon gave that farm 
the best aspect of any in Western New York. 

October 19th, forwarded to Willy at Buffalo orders from Secretan,- of the 
Navy for him to join the Ohio, seventy-four, at Boston. 

November 2d, Sally and myself to West Point, to see Alexander, and 
thence to Brooklyn. Met Willy on his way home from the Ohio, he having 
been there " surveyed " by a board of surgeons and found unseaworthy by 
reason of the injury received on board the Brandywine. 

December 21st a meeting with some quiet Whig friends at General 
Tallmadge's, where it was agreed that I should proceed to Washington to 
present to Mr. Tyler the views of those gentlemen in reference to the 
contemplated annexation of Texas, and upon the purpose of abandoning 
protective measures. I found at Washington that Mr. Secretary Upshur 
favored our views in these matters, and with him laid the thoughts before 
Mr. Tyler, having reference to the wishes of the men who had nominated 
him at Harrisburg. But Mr. Tyler deemed these views "anti-democratic," 
an open admission of his abandonment of the Whigs. 

Five hundred and eighty-eight thousand dollars for forts in 1843-44. 

1844. 1 continued in Washington the month of January, and early in 
February visited cousin Mary H., the widow of William R. Swift, and lountl 
her at her needle between his and my portraits, by J. W. Jarvis, and the old 
family tankard on the table. These Mary intends for my family. At 
Washington I quartered with General Scott and family. The daughter 
Virginia ill, and had entered the nunnerj' at Georgetown, where the General 
and myself visited her, finding there also, as Lady Abbess, Wilhelmina 
Jones, the daughter of Commander Jacob Jones. The daughter Virginia 
died in this nunnery. 

February 20th, Honorable N. (i. Walker, Washington Hunt, Colonel 
Abert and self and others on board the steamer Princeton, by invitation 


from Captain Stockton, to go below Mount Vernon to experiment with his 
immense gun, throwing a ball of two hundred and twenty pounds, with some 
percussion, two miles at a target. The concussion very sharp and acute in 
sound, that was injuriously stunning. 

February 2 2d. The anniversary of the great namesake for whom the 
city was called, rather insipid, and so, unbecoming. 

My friends in Washington offer me a place in the War Department, the 
chief clerkship, but it did not suit me, and, with thanks, I declined any 
further movement, and on February 27th left for home. In my route was 
overtaken by an express giving the dreadful news of the bursting of the 
gun on board the Princeton, killing Secretary of State, Secretary of War, 
Mr. Maxy and Doctor Gardiner, etc. Colonel Abert and myself had been 
invited to that experiment, and escaped by my hurrying from the office 
purposes of my friends. 

On March ist, with my wife and family, left Brooklyn by steam to 
Bridgeport on the Sound. Saw large flocks of wild geese resting in their 
northern flight, and by the Housatonic to Albany and Geneva. 

On Easter Monday the church elected me again to their vestry. On i ith 
I gave a lecture to the Young Men's Association on the durability of the 
Union. (See my files.) 

On May 8th Cousin Henry Walker and Mr. Chatham on a short visit 
from Baltimore, where he from Arkansas, and James W. Osborne from 
North Carolina, had both been vice-presidents in the Clay convention. 

July 19th Colonel Abert came to see me to converse on the probability 
of re-commencing the lake harbors, and on 21st he returned to West Point. 

On 25th had a visit from Mr. Audubon, the naturalist. He gave me the 
history of the Campinola that corrected the extravagant story of Waterton 
as to the loudness of the tones of the bell bird. I gave Mr. Audubon 
letters to promote the sale of his great work. 

August 8th an interview between the Bishop and Wardens Nicholas and 
Rees, in reference to the notions of church furniture, not otherwise import- 
ant than as indicative of more important purposes in the Oxford party. I 
confess I do not understand Bishop DeLancy's views, though he returns t > 


ancient usage. At the next meeting of our vestry a motion was lost to 
print Bishop Onderdonk's last sermon in Geneva, where the movement 
in Pennsylvania was mentioned in reference to Henr}- Onderdonk, which 
influenced the vote in some degree. 

On October i6th Colonel and Mrs. Totten came to see us. he to inspect 
the harbor of Sodus Bay, with Commodore Morris, and in reference to 
naval purposes. 

November iith I sprained my ankle, and laid up and examined the 
English and American accounts of the various battles of 181 2-14. 

Five hundred and eight thousand dollars for forts in 1844-45. 

1845. Ori 1 2th February went to Brooklyn, and met my son Alexander. 

February 25th Alexander and myself went to Washington, and I 
took my quarters with my brother William H., at the junction of F and 
Twentieth streets, west. Visited the venerable Daniel Carroll and daughters 
at Duddington. Mr. Carroll gave me many anecdotes of Washington, with 
whom he had a close intimacy. The last of the month my friend John L. 
Smith arrived in Washington from an exploration of the Tortugas in the 
Gulf of Mexico. 

March ist Governor Marcy and myself called on Postmaster-General to 
secure the office of postmaster of Geneva to Major James Rees. 

March 4th attended, with General Scott, the inauguration of Mr. Polk as 

March 12th with Colonel Abert on the formation of a board of engineers 
consisting of Colonel Kearny, Major Trumbull and myself, to repair to 
Buffalo to form a plan of a harbor and break-water. The last of the month 
returned on my way to this duty to my residence in Geneva, and on April 
7th the board met at Buffalo. (See report in War Department). On May 
2 1 St returned to Geneva. 

On 27th to Brooklyn, where I wrote Major Whi.stler a caution not to 
write me too plainly of the misdoings of Klein Michel, lest his letters should 
be overhauled and he sent to Siberia. 

On June 3d left Brooklyn and went to my brother William in Washington, 
to remain with his family at F and Twentieth streets, during his absence in 


Illinois on the business of the Barings of London as to the canal and lands. 
The middle of the month with S. J. Gouverneur and daughter Lizzie on 
horseback to Oak Hill in Loudon County, and explored the Blue Ridge and 
valley. Surpassingly beautiful. 

June 27th the obsequies of the late General Jackson celebrated at Wash- 
ington. General Scott and myself had a carriage assigned for us, and at 
the Capitol Mr. Bancroft gave an eloquent eulogy. 

July 4th celebrated at Washington, killing three inexperienced gunners. 

July 5th Mr. Secretary of War Marcy arrived, and I had a long interview 
with him explanatory of the works at Buffalo, and closing my agency therein. 

July 20th Mr. Harbeck called on me with a report of a fire in Broad and 
Exchange Streets, New York, destroying among the many the store of my 
son-in-law, 54 Exchange Place. The insurance nearly covered the loss. 

On August 2d my brother, W. H. Swift and daughter, returned from Illi- 
nois, and the next day accompanied General Scott and myself to New York. 

On 9th to West Point on a visit to my son Alexander, then superintending 
the military academy ^r^ tent, and there met General Scott, who read to me 
his political paper on the presidency; my opinion given to him was, it was 
best for him to command the army. We examined Delafield's fine improve- 
ments and road through the cedars, etc., round the Point. They do 
Delafield much credit. 

At the close of this month the government at last sent Commodore 
Morris, United States Navy, and Colonel Totten, Chief United States 
engineers, to examine Big Sodus Bay. I sent them my views, long since 
formed, on this subject. 

September 8th Mrs. Swift's cousin, Francis B. DuBois, of Tortola, visited 
us. His account of the evils of British emancipation of W^est India slaves, 
though a good object, was made unwisely, and was promotive of laziness 
and other vices. 

This fall I had much corrspondence with Reverend P. P. Irving on the 
petition of the ladies of Trinity for him to return. Our vestry divided on 
this high and low subject. I had recently had a grave conversation with 


Bishop DeLancy on the bad influence of the decision of the ecclesiastic 
trial of Washington Van Zant. 

At the close of this month Mr. DuBois cammenced a suit to recover the 
Minnisink lands that belonged to Dominie Gualthemus DuBois, Mrs. 
Swift's great-grandfather, and I gave Mr. DuBois an order on the consistor)' 
of the Dutch church in the city to deliver the portrait of said Reverend 
Walter to him as next male heir. 

Eight hundred thousand dollars for forts in 1845-46. 

1846. January. At the last meeting of the vestry of Trinity in Geneva 

a majority of voices elected Reverend our pastor, and 

advised him that the call was unanimous. I informed him on his arrival 
that the information was incorrect. He then declined. 

February 2d the vestry elected Reverend John H. Hobart. I voted for 
him and was requested to correspond with him. When he arrived he in- 
formed me that his church views were higher than Mr. Williams'. I 
sent Mr. Hobart a drawing of our parsonage, and he preached his first 
sermon April 19th. 

May 3d my brother William from his Baring agency at Chicago. Con- 
versed with him on the war coming with Mexico, and tendered my services 
to the President, but was not called to serve. 

May 2 2d my son McRee became engineer and superintendent of Weldon 
and Wilmington, North Carolina, Railroad. 

On 12th Mr. Cady and other commissioners examined the vicinity of 
Geneva for a site for an hospital. They fixed on Rochester. I accompanied 
them in the Geneva examination. 

May 26th General W. H. Adams on Sodus Canal at my house. That had 
been sleeping a long while. 

July 8th my friend, Benjamin Armitage of the musical club of New York 
and Brooklyn, visited me at Geneva, and revived memoirs of F. C. Tucker, 
Daniel Okey, Reverend J. M. Wainwright, John Delafield, Joseph Chester- 
man, Ab Taylor, Walter Phelps, etc. 

On July 21st died my friend Thomas J. Chew, at Brooklyn, at the age of 
seventy years, father of Hortense, wife of McRee. 


August 1 6th Colonel Totten's daughter and her intellectual husband, 
Telford, and son, visited us. 

On 19th declined the membership of our Episcopal convention because I 
disapproved our church adopting any of the peculiarities of the Oxford school. 

September 5 th my son Alexander visited us to take leave and march with 
the " sappers and miners " that he had organized to assault Vera Cruz. 

In October I explored Seneca County with John Delafield. He com- 
mences to lecture on agricultural chemistry to the farmers, and, as Mr. John 
Johnson told me, with very great and useful success. 

October 3d Colonel and Mrs. Totten made us a short visit, the colonel 
on an inspecting tour. 

November loth at Newburg, where my son McRee was engineer of the 
New York and Erie branch. Lodged at the old tavern, where I had lodged 
when I was a cadet, forty-five years ago. 

November 19th I visited our friend Major John L. Smith at Governor's 
Island. Examined Vanderlyn's Columbus, and Brown's bust of Ambrose 
Spencer, a good Vespasian. 

November 26th conversed with General Scott and Major J. L. Smith on 
the proposed campaign to Vera Cruz. My age assumed to be the cause of 
my services not being accepted. I suspect my being a New Englander to 
be a stronger influence. At the General's request I promised my attentions 
to his family in his absence, and escorted them to Elizabethtown, Decem- 
ber 1st. 

On 5th we had our first advices of Alexander's arrival with sappers and 
miners and pontooneers at Rio Grande. 

Consultation with United States officers as to a gun-boat system to 
occupy the shoals in the lower harbor of New York, laying up the gun- 
boats, etc. 

December 15th I wrote a memoir of Colonel Jonathan Williams, for 
Doctor Williams of Deerfield, Massachusetts, who is collating facts of that 
numerous family. 

The last of December visit Mrs. General Scott at Elizabethtown, and 
arranged to accompany Mrs. Scott and family to Philadelphia, in Washing- 


ton Square, and made a plan to enlarge the Hampton House at Elizabeth- 
town, and made a contract with Mr. Thompson to execute the plan. 

1847. I passed my New Year's day with a friend of long endurance, 
Thomas Cadwallader, of Philadelphia, who married Miss Biddle ; met James 
Monroe, and conversed upon our prospects in the erroneous war with 
Mexico, and met General Sam. Houston and Mr. Rusk of Texas on the 
same subject, and with Monroe and Colonel George Bomford, (United 
States ordnance) and J. Eakin, Esquire, returned to Brooklyn, stopping at 
Elizabethtown to give directions to Mr. Thompson in reference to extending 
the Hampton House for Mrs. General Scott. 

Wrote a plan for a camp of instruction on Hempstead Plain for a rifle 
brigade, to meet the Mexicans in their defiles. Mr. Poinsett says the 
Mexicans are excellent elements to form an army, from their nomadic life 
and very simple diet, and recklessness of life. Mr. Poinsett was our min- 
ister in Mexico, an observing and accurate gentleman. I wrote and sent to 
the topographical bureau my ideas of occupying the Huas-a-hualeos Pass 
and Tehuantepec, and constructing a railroad to the Pacific on that pass. 

F'ebruary 15th resigned my membership of the vestry of Trinity Church, 

February i6th. Major F. C. Tucker and myself, as guardians of Julia, the 
daughter of Commodore Samuel Evans (United States navy), closed our 
relations in that matter — the beautiful Julia having married Mr. Gettings of 

March 23d, Major Tucker, Mr. March and myself (three of Judge 
Leffert Lefferts' intimates) went uninvited to the funeral of the judge 
at Bedford. He was seventy-three years of age. 

April 3d Mr. Richards, Mr. D. Huntington and myself selected a lot 
in Greenwood — in Twilight Dell — for Mr. Richards' and my family. Deed 
on my files. On .same day my friend Gouverneur Kemble informed me that 
the books and Bird's scale given to me by Professor Hassler (left by me at 
the West Point foundry) had been remounted, and had now become worth 
one thousand dollars ; a delicate acknowledgment of my services in estab- 
lishing West Point foundry, and for which Mr. Kemble sent me his bond at 


seven per cent, interest. My original investment in West Point foundry I 
lost by endorsing for Thomas Shields. 

April 6th, Louisa and myself sat to Mr. Huntington for our portraits 
in one cabinet size. We dined that day with the Kembles, and next day 
with Major M. T. Leslie, United States army. 

April 13th, I disinterred the remains of my mother and sister Mary, and 
my child Harriet, and reinterred them in Twilight Dell in Greenwood ; the 
coffins in good condition, the silver plate on Mary's very bright. 

On 1 8th wrote General Brooks, United States army, New Orleans, of my 
son Alexander's sickness, there arrived from Vera Cruz with the Mexican 
bowel disease. 

On 19th wrote General James Gadsden, my former aid-de-camp, on my 
nephew G. W. Whistler's establishing a steam machine manufactory at 
Charleston, South Carolina. 

On 19th, McRee to Brooklyn ; met Dr. Wood, United States army, who 
informed us of Alexander's being very ill at New Orleans. 1 reported the 
same to Generals Scott and Worth. 

On 29th Mr. Wilson placed stone pillars to sustain my mother's grave 
stone. On the same day I removed the remains of my friend Thomas John 
Chew, Chew's son Lawrence and his cousin Samuel to Mrs. Chew's lot 
in Greenwood. McRee's calls professionally compelled his absence. 

On 30th I examined the record at Major Tucker's, and found that the 
corner stone of St. Ann's, Brooklyn, (which church twelve of us com- 
menced by loan of five hundred dollars each,) was laid March 31, 1824, 
consecrated July 30th, 1825, fifty-seven pews sold for eighteen thousand 
three hundred dollars. 

On 3d May the dreaded intelligence came through Dudley March of the 
death of my son Alexander at New Orleans 24th April, 1847. The next 
day came Colonel Totten's authentic notice thereof. I wrote Captain J. G. 
Bernard, who paid every attention to the temporary interment at New 
Orleans, and to send the remains to my son-in-law, P. Richards, Esq., who 
had that day handed me Alexander's will and stock documents. 

May 14th, McRee and self to West Point, where Professor Weir and 


self went to prove the will before Surrogate Borland, at Montgomery, 
Orange County. 

June loth, sent my record of my wife's claim for seven thousand dollars 
on the estate of her father to James Henry, son of James, the executor. 

June nth, Willy and I to New York to meet the remains of Alexander 
coming from New Orleans; met William Murphy, who came on, Alexander's 
servant, and who reported the death of Alexander as peaceful ; that he 
read much Wilson's Sacra Privita given him by his mother. Placed the 
remains in the receiving vault at Greenwood, and on i6th interred the 
remains in Twilight Dell. Funeral service had been performed at New 
Orleans, as Colonel Bankhead and Captain Barnard informed me. 

On 23d to West Point and met Colonel Totten, Professor Mahan and 
Captain F. A. Smith, who each accepted a silver cup from me in memory of 
their friend Alexander. 

July 4th Alexander's goods arrived. Willy has Mr. Weir's portrait of 
me, after Sulley's at Point, for Alexander. 

July 17th. Extract from Rev. Francis Hawks' manuscripts, of Hanover 
County, North Carolina: "Cape Fear, ist Oct., 1759. Lewis John De 
Rosset, planter and of the king's counsel, and Receiver-General revenue ; 
Wm. Walker, Sheriff N. Hanover, John Du Bois, Esq., Moses John De 
Rosset, M. D., the uncles of Louisa, and her grandfather, etc." 

July 25th wrote to W. W. Seaton (National Intelligencer,) to commend 
to the Secretary of the Navy to cause navy officers to gather potato seed in 
the gorges of the Cordilleras, coast of South America, where Pizarro's 
army had fed on that succulent, as Prescott says. 

August 5th visited Judge Ambrose Spencer at Lyons, and took to him 
.some of Mrs. Gideon Lee's fine old port. The Judge was not in good 

. August I 2th Dr. David Drake of Cincinnati visited us. He gave me his 
thoughts on the Mississippi valley, and of deepening the channel at the 
mouths of that river. They are all on record in his report to the United 
States government. 

Memo. — Of the grave stones sent by me from New London in the year 


1828 to Dr. De Rosset, who had them placed at the graves of Captain 
James Walker, ob. i8th January 1808, ae. sixty-six, and Mrs. M. M. Walker, 
£e. seventy-two, ob. November 1S27. My son's, James Foster, at Washington 
city, was set up by mj- brother W. H. Swift, March, 1S30, where James died 
1 8th March, se. twenty-four years. 

August 26th, the first regatta on Seneca Lake — seventeen boats. 

September 13th, wrote General H. A. S. Dearborn on potato rot. I had 
observed its approach, and advised the Secretary of the Navy to collect 
new seed in South America. 

October 4th, Townsend Harris, Esq., called on me to enquire as to Pro- 
fessor Webster of Geneva College and the Free Academ)-. I gave him my 
opinion of Mr. Webster. I gave my earnest advice to Mr. Harris not to 
lose Mr. Webster as superintendent of that new institution in the city. 

November 15th, my brother, W. H. Swift, arrived from his tour to the 
Illinois Canal. He informed me that he deemed his vocations forbad his 
remaining in the United States Topographical Engineers, and that he should 
resign next spring. Conversed on my becoming a commissioner of light- 
houses, and which office I expected to receive. 

December 6th, wrote Geo. W. Whistler at St. Petersburg, on his son's 
idea of a steam machine shop at Charleston, South Carolina — to move 
Ross Winans in its favor. 

December 25th, Dr. Fitzhugh, Mrs. Tallman, and Mrs. Whitney, Bell 
and Willy at our family Christmas. The year closes with all of us in fair 
health. Thanks to God, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour. 

1848. The new year commences very mildly, but by loth January the 
thermometer gets down to four above zero. 

January 13th, sent to Mr. Rose in Congress, evidence of Mrs. Augu's 
just claim to her pension. 

January 14th, commenced a plan to turn my twenty-one acre lot into a' 
cemetery at Geneva. It will give one thousand five hundred lots, and 
abundant alley way. 

On 15th accepted cousin Samuel Swift's offer of his sixteen-acre lot, 
opposite my twenty-one acre lot, for one thousand six hundred dollars. 


February 5th, attended John Delafield's lectures on agricultural chem- 
istry, to the farmers of Seneca County. 

On 23d applied to the Navy Department for a midshipman's warrant for 
Clarence Delafield. 

On 25th to Rochester with Ellen Williams; and met at James Watts' my 
aunt Elizabeth Delano, who informed me that Zachr. Macy and my grand- 
father, Thomas Delano, owned the Ouaise and Polpi's farms on Nantucket. 

March 9th sent rambo apple cuttings to James H. Watts. 

May 1st, McRee and I to Greenwood, and selected a plan for Mr. West 
to execute for Alexander in Twilight Dell. 

May 6th, Thomas March and I to Spring Brook, L. I., trouting. He and 
I and Willy, on 9th, examine steamer "America." 

May 1 8th, closed my executorship on estate of Rev. John Ireland, with 
Major Tucker. On 19th, with Belle, Willy and Jim Tom to High Bridge, 
and on 2 2d home to Geneva, leaving me in the city, where, with Mrs. 
General Scott I met Governor Marcy at the City Bank. 

May 25th, General Scott's reception in the city, arriving from his Mexican 

June 1st, McRee and myself in the steamer "Thomas Powell" to New- 
buro-, and to examine his railroad route, and went to see the old Nicholl 
place, (Du Bois,) below New Windsor. 

June 5th, to West Point foundry, and on 6th my marriage anniversary. 
Examined, in McRee's possession, Mr. P. P. Hunn's map of the Minnisink 
patent lands, in which Louisa, my wife, has of the Du Bois lands two shares. 

June 7th, home to Geneva; all well, thanks to God. 

June 8th, met Charles A. Williamson and Mr. Eraser from Scotland, of 
the House of Lovat, and with J. H. Woods to Sodus Bay, and explained to 
them the plan of Sodus Canal. 

June 20th, gave Mrs. Ellct the meeting of General Scott with Honorable 
Lady Johnson, at Bath, G. B. .She was a Franks of Philadelphia, and a 
reformed tory. Also the story of Mrs. Bailey's (of Groton, Ct.) noble 
conduct before Fort Gri.swoKl in the war of the Reyolution, and of her 
interview with President Monroe in 181 7. 


July 8th, wrote general Scott on the opposition of Mr. Polk and 
Governor Marcy to his, the general's, prospects for the presidency. 

July 19th, Dudley March on a visit to Willy, on his, Dudley March's, 
way to his western lands. He took two hundred and twenty perch out of 
the lake at Geneva in four hours. 

August I St, my son Foster entered Geneva College.' 

August 7th, Mr. J. H. Woods introduced me to J. H. Wilton, an 
English sprig of nobility. I went with him to visit Mr. John Greig at 
Canandaigua. He is a very accomplished man, but a rascal of uncommon 
ability, and has been often rescued by his family in England from degra- 
dation and want. 

August nth, Mr. Irving and I to a meeting of the Evangelical 
Knowledge Society, much disapproved of by Bishop De Lancy. 

August 22d, wrote Dr. R. H. Wood at Baltimore on General Taylor's 
reputed letter, advising in reference to the presidency that the general 
•should not write anything. On 4th September his reply, that he had sent 
my letter to the general. 

September 8th, Timothy Tounay cleaned out my well, and found two 
small streams of water flowing in at the bottom, one of ordinary, the other 
of sulphur water. I have a slightly charged sulphur spring in my dell. 

September 9th, the first balloon ascension at Geneva. It floated gently 
through the air up the lake, and came down near Ovid, some fourteen 
miles "as the crow flies." 

September 14th, Sally and I to Rochester, where was a meeting of the 
Evangelical Knowledge Society. I advised a published reply to Bishop 
De Lancy's objections. 

October 2d, Chas. A. Williamson returned from an exploration of the 
coast of Lake Superior, and presented me a map of the same. 

Eraser of Lovat has his home in Inverness, Scotland, at " Greysachen," 
i. e.. Glass Water. He deems himself heir to the barony. 

November 7th, all my family who vote gave theirs for General Taylor's 

November 25th, wrote to General Taylor, and recommended to his notice 


General Gadsden of South Carolina, formerly my aid-de-camp, who will 
meet the general in Washington. 

December 2d, Mr. Benjamin, president of the Chemung Railroad, called 
on me to subscribe for shares ; and took five hundred dollars of them. 

December 21st, sent to General Gadsden my publications in the 
Rochester paper in his favor as a member of General Taylor's cabinet, 
and sent them also to my friend Seaton of the National I7itellige7icer. 

1849. February 6th, Mr. Williamson and myself to see Mr. Greig, on 
the wishes of the former to explore the country to California, and agreed to 
promote it with our government. On my return home found Colonel E. 
R. Cook at my house, and gave him an introduction to the Chemung 
Railroad Company, as an able and trustworthy contractor. 

February 26th, Mr. John GreIg and myself to Albany, at Congress Hall. 
We visited Dr. Romeyn Beck to examine the presents of PIo Nono to the 
academy; thence by Housatonic Railroad to the city. Recommended 
General W. G. McNeill to the President, and Mr. W. R. Thompson, son 
of the revolutionary captain of artillery for the office of United States 
store-keeper In New York. Met General Scott, and conversed on his 
relations to and with General Taylor on Mexican affairs, and I advised 
peaceable relations. Met Mr. S. B. Ruggles, and Messrs. GreIg and Duncan 
on the subject of reviving the Sodus Canal to the new administration, as a 
route from Chesapeake Bay to Lake Ontario. 

March 9th, with C. H. Hall exploring Harlem River with Mr. John Randall, 
one of the best surveyors the country had, and with reference to removing 
the navy yard at Brooklyn to Harlem. 

March loth, wrote Chas. A. Williamson that the government would give 
him escort across the country to California with Colonel Sumner. Gave 
John R. Johnson a free right to build the " Ben Loder" .steamer on the 
shore of my sixteen-acre lot, south of my house. 

March i2lh, died my friend Thomas Morris, son of Robert, the revolu- 
tionary financier. He and Mr. GreIg were fellow students of law. 

March 20th, Judge Ogden Edwards, In presence of C. H. Hall and Henry 
Weston, declared In their presence, and said it was his purpose to put on 


record that on the "Life and Fire trials, 1826," his conviction was as judo-e 
that my honor as a man was not impugned by the testimony given in that 
court. See on my files Judge Edwards' letter to that purpose. 

March 26th, wrote to Susan Shipherd and Isabella Croysdale, 1 15 Suffolk 
street, city of New York, about Arthur Plnnel's wife and child, kidnapped 
on their arrival in the city of New York from London. 

April 1st, IVLijor Brown, J. P. Kirkwood and myself on the New York 
and Erie Railroad to Binghampton, at Julius Adams', and next day exam- 
ined viaduct. Cascade Bridge and Susquehanna Bridge, and returned to 
the city on 4th. 

April 5th, before a Master-in-Chancery, Mr. Melville, overhauling my 
memory of Governor Tompkins' affairs, in settling of which, under 
the law of the State, making me a commissioner with Edmund Smith 
and Thomas Hyatt in 1S24 and 1825. The master found my memory 

May 6th, Brother William's wife and I go to Jones in Philadelphia, and 
there meet my brother. In the evening I call on Mr. Helm, an Eno-Hsh- 
man, who corroborates the accuracy of my memory in the Tompkins matter. 
He was a creditor of the governor. Met Hartman Bache, and with brother 
William and wife on to Washington. Sent Charles Williamson his papers 
to move to California with Colonel Sumner. Made an essay to o-et Markoe, 
of the State Department, a charge at some European court. 

April 13th, with General Taylor, and had an intimate conversation with 
him on his mode of administration, especially on his mode of appointing 
officers, and, at his request went to see Mr. Clayton, Secretary of State, in 
reference to the consequences of the e.xercise of the appointing power. 
I urged that it should not be merged in the functions of any minister; that 
such a procedure was unconstitutional, which held the President responsible. 
The President had said that he would be glad to have me in Washington, 
and asked me how the patent office would suit me. I replied that, with 
the extensive acquaintance I had, there was no office in Washington that 
could enable me to support my family there; that although I had some 
income well managed by a prudent and sensible wife, I could not expose 


her to a perpetual necessity of saving, and there that subject ended for the 
time, and I did not revive it. 

April 20th, my brother William and myself dined with the President, 
and after dinner I conversed much with the general on the subject of his 
relations with General Scott, and counselled peace between them. I 
requested the President to have my nephew, Julius Adams, employed as an 
engineer, but nothing resulted therefrom. I saw that the power of 
appointing to office had fallen from the President's hands. I left the city 
to return to my home on 2 2d, and on my arrival at Baltimore found my 
friend Barry's family in distress by the death of his son-in-law. Dr. Julius 
Ducatel. On my arrival in New York 27th April met General Scott, and 
advised him of my conversation with General Taylor in reference to their 
affairs, and my belief that he was desirous of peace between them. 

April 30th, examined the Free Academy with my friend Professor 
Webster, its president. Saw evident results of his good management of 
that institution. 

May 2d on my way home, at McRee's, in Newburg, examined his work 
on that branch of the New York and Erie Railroad. In the cemetery of 
Newburg I found a red sandstone at the grave of Louisa's worth)- aunt, 
Margaret Du Bois, who died in Newburg 21st March, 1S13, a;, sixty- 
seven years eleven months and twenty-nine days. Her husband, uncle 
John Du Bois' grave was alongside, without any memorial stone. They were 
an exemplar)' pair, of conjugal life, of affection and piety. 

May 4th, left my son McRee, and, on board the steamer " Alida" met the 
daughter of General Armstrong, Margaret, the wife of Mr. W. B. Astor, and 
her son-in-law, Mr. Delano, (a far-off cousin of mine whose mother was 
named for mine, Deborah), also Mr. Robert Tillotson, but could not accept 
their invitation to visit them at that time as they landed at Tivoli. Arrived 
at home finding my family in health, thanks to God. 

May iith came the painful intelligence of the death of George W. 
Whistler at St. Petersburg, Russia, on 7th April, in the service of the 
Emperor Nicholas. 

May 2 I St, sent to Richard Derb)- a biography of his father-in-law. Colonel 


George Bomford, United States Ordnance, whom I had brought into the 
army in 1803 — a very valuable officer. 

May 24th, received accounts of the death, by cholera, of my friend 
General Worth on 7th May in Texas, and also of the death by cholera 
of my former friend and neighbor Charles A. Williamson, in Missouri, on 
way to California, on 14th May, and on 29th came the account of the 
death of his wife in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 9th May. 

June 1st, my son James with us, and a family party to Clifton Springs. 
These waters had relieved my son Willy from severe tetanus. 

July 2d, invited to examine the Chemung Railroad with its board of 
directors, and met my friend Benjamin Armitage at Jefferson, and com- 
mended him for treasurer of their board. 

August 2d, met Colonel John Livingston of Newport memory, 1800, and 
at Ithaca Charles Humphrey, whom I had known in Albany as the excellent 
speaker of the State assembly. He had served well in the war of 181 2 as 
captain in the Forty-first Infantry. 

August 4th, with Major Thompson S. Brown, who had accepted the office 
of engineer to succeed G. W. Whistler in Russia. 

August 2 2d, letter from McRee on his first son's birth, and another from 
Mr. Richards of his third son's birth. 

On 22d a call on me to aid to pay the debt of Trinity at Geneva. 
I replied that when those of the congregation who had not subscribed to 
build the church had done their part I would do mine. 

August 25th, in the name of the citizens of Geneva I advised Dr. Wood, 
at Niagara, that they would be happy to welcome President Taylor on his 
route to the East. I offered the President the use of my retired house. 
He accepted it, but was lying ill at the Falls. 

September ist, wrote Williamina Williamson that I had some very inter- 
esting papers of her grandfather, Colonel Charles W , and his 

journal of a travel in Turkey, and of his original oft'er to the Hopes of 
Amsterdam to purchase the soil of the territory of Ohio, etc., and that 
those papers were subject to her disposal. 

September 6th, Dr. Woods writes of the increasing illness of the 


President, and of the need of going east at once by steam and lake, and 
of abandoning any further meetings with his fellow citizens. 

The past summer, as president of the board of health of Geneva, we had 
kept the village pretty clean, and had generally good health. 

September 14th, sent McRee my ideas of an inscription for a cenotaph 
in memor)' of George W. Whistler in Greenwood, on Julius Adams' design, 
now in Twilight Dell. 

October 2d, sent to Colonel Abert my views of constructing a railroad 
from the Mississippi to the Pacific, through Texas and the River Gila, and 
to San Francisco. 

October 14th, Louisa's birthday; Colonel Totten came to see her, and 
to talk about Alexander. 

October 17th, my former deput)- surveyor of the customs, Samuel 
Terry, came to see me and urged his restoration to the custom house, and 
also that of John Morris ; two of the most efficient and honest men in that 
service of the United States. Joseph Grime and Joseph Hoxie joined me 
in this effort — not successful — and got Terry the place of assessor in 
Brooklyn ; and Morris became a merchant. 

November 2d, Sally, James and I to West Point foundr)', and to the 
former residence of Captain Phillipse. 

November 14th, closing meeting of the board of health of Geneva, and 
all accounts settled. 

November i6th, for the fourth timed essayed to have a bridge across the 
ravine at the south boundary of Geneva, to extend in a direct line the main 
street. F'ailcd. 

1850. My thoughts on this New Year in reference to my vocation, that 
has become null b)- the omission of Congress to continue the experimental 
construction of harbors on the lakes, and by which those that remain 
unfinished are rapidly falling to decay. So I must turn to some other 
employment, and accordingly, on the 4th January- I went to Lyons to see 
General Adams about the revival of the Sodus Canal charier. I com- 
menced also to write a History of the Rise and Progress of Internal 
Improvements in the United States, aided by the suggestions of S. B. 


Ruggles, Esq., and commenced thereon with my son McRee, who, and 
family, were with us that day. 

January i8th. The "Ben Loder" steamer commenced operation on our 
lake at Geneva, to the head of the lake ; a very good progress in internal 

February 2d, my son McRee commenced to organize his division of the 
New York and Erie Railroad — Almond to Olean. On 5th he left us, after 
seeing his brother Julius, who had just arrived ill with a typhoid, taken in 
the service of the New York and Erie Railroad at Piermont. He died on 
the 6th — one of the most unselfish of beings. His remains rest beside 
his brother Thomas and sister Charlotte. His bearers his shipmates, and Dr. 
Covin Gray, who was with him at his death ; a kind and benevolent man. 

February 28th, had collected petitions from many towns to revive the 
charter of the Sodus Canal, and sent them to General Adams. 

March 21st, to Albany to aid in the revival of the Sodus Canal charter, 
and before the canal commissioners heard the objections to that canal irom 
Henry Fitzhugh, while so many were petitioning to have that canal route 
opened to the Susquehanna River. The charter was renewed. 

On 30th March, McRee telegraphed me of the sudden death of my friend 
Thomas March, at Brooklyn. Hastened to Brooklyn. 

April I St the funeral; F. C. Tucker and Joshua Sands the chief mourners. 
His two brothers, Charles and Frank were there. 

April 2d, at General W. G. McNeill's, at the marriage of his daughter to 
Mr. Rhodewald. 

April 8th, Messrs. Wainwright, Tucker, Oakey (Wm.,) renewed our 
old club. 

April 27th, employed in gardening and improving my south lots — about 
forty acres. 

Received advices from Samuel Gouverneur of the death of his wife 
Maria, the daughter of President Monroe. Governor Cales called to see 
me, and revived the days of Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison at Washington. 

August 22d, Foster and myself to Danville, and met McRee, and in his 
carriage on to Almond and Belvidere, and revived old times with Captain 


Phillip Church, and on to McRee's residence at Friendship, on the New 
York and Erie Railroad. Examined McRee's bridge at Phillipsburg; to 
Cuba and Olean, and on 2d September to Sonyea at Dr. Dan. Fitzhugh's, 
and so on to Rochester, and home. 

October 8th, Clarence Delafield arrived from McRee's with the distressing 
account of Henry Clark's death, by the accidental discharge of his 
fowling piece. 

October 21st, arrived Rev. Dr. Wyatt from Baltimore. 

Measured my lot, one hundred and fifty-one feet front and three hundred 
feet to the lake ; about an acre and one-eighth. 

November 2d, a law and order meeting at Geneva, self president, Major 
Rees and John Delafield vice-presidents, to sustain the "Compromise" 
against the wild purposes of anti-slavery. The evils of slavery not to be 
reached unconstitutionally. 

Memo. My orders as chief engineer, 18 14, to Lieutenant D. B. Douglass 
and Lieutenant Horace Story, to report to Major E. D. Wood on the 
Niagara frontier. 

November 13th, to Brooklyn. 

November 15th, the family went to see and hear Jenny Lind at Terp- 
sicore Hall. Mr. Daniel Webster and Jenny exchanged salutes. 

We also attended Mitchell's astronomical lectures in Brooklyn. 

November 25th, gave Malcolm Douglass the resolutions of the Green- 
wood Association, to appropriate two lots to remove the monument to D. 
B., Douglass, who had recently died at Geneva. 

December 14th, wrote the Secretary of State commending Francis B. 
Du Bois for United States consul at St. Thomas. 

December 24th, called with Colonel Murray on Hon. Daniel Webster, at 
the Governor's Room, City Hall, and went with Mr. Webster to his room 
at the Astor House, and had a short conversation with him on the irritable 
state of the southern mind. I said to him that I hoped to see him 
President. His reply was : " General, my first wish is to spread a desire to 
have the laws obeyed, ami as to the rest, the country will decide," etc. 

December 28th, met Mr. Holford, the wealthy Englishman who had made 


a large loan to Arkansas, at Colonel Murray's. I told Mr. Holford that his 
meeting with Henry Walker in Arkansas was intended to support his (Mr. 
Holford's) claim, and not to promote the evil of repudiation. 

The last day of the year, in a snow storm attended the funeral of Maria, 
the wife of my protege William G. McNeill, on my sixty-seventh birth-day. 
She was an excellent wife, mother and friend. 

1 85 1. February loth, had an explanation with Mr. Samuel Swartwont 
about what he deemed a loan to me of five hundred dollars. I considered 
it as a fee for my services in promoting the improvement of the marshes at 
Hoboken. I repaid him the amount at his request, he being in many pecu- 
niary difficulties. 

February 27th, Louisa, Sally and myself to Philadelphia at my brother 
William H. Swift's, and through Mr. Fisher, had a pleasant meeting of my 
old friends Biddle, Cadwallader and others, at the rooms of the Philadelphia, 
Baltimore and Wilmington Railroad Companj^ We examined the college 
of Girard and Laurel Hill, and the grave of my friend Ferdinand Rudolph 
Hassler, and his profile in marble on the stone. At the mint Mr. Dale 
placed in the hands of Mrs. Swift an ingot of gold — six thousand dollars — 
about twenty-five pounds. 

The middle of March we returned to Brooklyn, after having made a run to 
Baltimore, and meeting Richard Rush, Esq., Governor Patterson, Thomas 
Biddle and Governor Edward Gales (at Willy's friend Ingersoll's, of the 
navy,) at dinner. 

March iSth, wrote an obituary of Major James Rees; of the meeting of 
Washington and Robert Morris on the square, head of Market Street, 
Philadelphia, en route with his army for Yorktown, 1781. 

March 25th, to Newark and Belleville to see my grandsons Fitzhugh and 
Joseph G. at Mr. Welles' school; a man of education and talent, but 
deficient in the common sense of life as it exists. The scenes at Belleville 
reminded me of Alexander Macomb and myself there in 1803 — shooting 
and other amusements, visiting Passaic Falls, etc. 

March 26th, with James Whistler, a cadet, son of George by his second 
wife, to West Point foundry, at Gouverneur Kemble's, and next day to 


West Point, and introduced him to my friends there, all of whom, for 
the sake of his father, took an interest in James' success. Had an expla- 
nation from Captain Brewerton, the superintendent, that the omission of 
the name of Colonel Jonathan Williams on Captain Cullum's register^ 
■would be remedied in the next edition by an ample record of facts, etc. 
Returned to Brooklyn. 

On 1st May I received instructions from the Topographical Bureau at 
Washington, to commence to examine the position and condition of light- 
houses on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Michigan. 

May 9th, to New Haven to see my nephew, George W. Whistler, an 
engineer on the New York and New Haven Railroad. Was much grati- 
fied by my reception by his wife, the daughter of Dr. Ducatel. 

May loth, returned to Brooklyn, and with Louisa to Twilight Dell in 
Greenwood the next day. We had an interesting view of the British 
steamer "Pacific" going down the bay for Liverpool. 

On 20th May, Louisa and I returned to Geneva, and thence on 26th May 
I proceeded to Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario, in the execution of my instruc- 
tions, and so on to Buffalo, up the lakes and among the islands and light- 
houses, and so on from Detroit through Lakes St. Clair and Huron to Sagi- 
naw Bay, and to Mackinaw and Sheboyagow in Wisconsin Lake, Michigan, 
and thus employed until August, when I returned to Geneva, and sent from 
thence my report and plans to the Topographical Bureau at Washington. 

My son McRee visited me at Geneva to converse on what had occupied 
our previous thoughts, a sojourn in Europe, and we determined to make the 
voyage, etc. [See my journal of that journey of McRee's and myself, so 
omit record here until our return in May, 1S52.] 

1852. May 9th, my family at church and returned; thanks for the 
reunion in health and safety. 

May loth, I wrote Bishop Hawks of Missouri a request to interest him- 
self for the discharge of an English youth, Thomas Parr, who had left his 
friends and enlisted in the United States army, one of whom came fellow 
passenger with me from England to seek the boy. 

May I ith to Rose Valley and Clyde, in Wayne County, with General W. 


H. Adams, to examine as to what might be done to continue the general's 
"washings" to extend the canal from Clyde to the head of Sodus Bay. 
Did not find any difficulty in the route of the canal, and it seemed strange 
to me that capital should be wanting to complete so easy and cheap a work 
to unite Lake Ontario and Chesapeake Bay, and open up the vast resources 
in that whole line. The mere exchange of gypsum, flour, and fish, for coal, 
iron and lumber, would sustain a fair profit to stockholders. 

Returned to Lyons by a farm owned by an escaped slave from the South, 
and considered what was my duty, under the constitution, in reference to 
breaking up this slave's farm, and concluded to be silent. 

May 30th, with Mr. Greig on Sodus Canal affairs, he holding large 
interests in Wayne County. He was averse from again entering into 
that project. We conversed about his friend Mr. Watson, whom I had seen 
in Edinburgh, Scotland, in reference to the Williamsons' interests in the 
United States, and also upon what both of us had seen on the continent of 

June — , corresponded with the Secretary of War, General Totten, and 
Major W. H. Chase, on the error of introducing a foreign officer of 
engineers into our own corps — General Bernard — who had served several 
years, and became Secretary of War to Louis Philippe of France. 

June 19th, my friend Colonel Thayer arrived and passed a few days with 
us, and then traveled West. 

July 6th, the remains of Henry Clay arrived In the cars from the East, 
en route for Kentucky, escorted by Governor Cass, General Sam Houston, 
etc. Introduced Dr. Fitzhugh to them, and had a brief conversation with 
General Cass in reference to the claims of Colonel Abert to the action of 
Congress, to place him on a par with other useful officers in rank. 

July 14th, I wrote my distant cousin, Edmund L. Swift, of the Tower of 
London, on the prospects in the United States for his wife, a McGregor, 
and an highly educated lady, to establish an extensive seminary in the 
United States, as he was about declining his office of conservator of the 
crown jewels, etc. 

July 15th, wrote to Barrister Guest of the Temple, whom I had met in 


England, and gave him all I could collect of what had been done in the 
United States in reference to codification. He soon after became master 
of laws at Cambridge. 

July 26th, with my son James and nephew Charles Swift to Niagara, to 
celebrate General Scott's honors there. Met Mr. John King and Wash- 
ington Hunt, and Mr. Greeley, the distinguished editor. The celebration 
was a failure. Also met Colonel Andrews of Boston. 

From 29th September to 22d October attending, as witness, the trial of 
Mayor Lawrence and the Pentz, and others, at Newark, New Jersey, in 
reference to the houses that had been blown up by me at the order of the 
mayor at the great fire, December, 1835. 

General Scott, Samuel L. Gouverneur, who had married Miss Lee of 
Petersville, Maryland, in Newark. 

In November I wrote, for Counsellor Davies, a statement of the gun 
powder blasts, and what I deemed unjust to the owners of that property, so 
destroyed, in a strict legal sense, and also stated what I deemed a neglect of 
my services and exposure at that fire of i6th December, 1835, while 
England had knighted a young engineer ofticer for similar services at 
Quebec, in Canada, on a much smaller scale. To determine how much 
powder would shake a house down and not damage neighboring houses, 
was of importance as a service. That had been accomplished at every 
house so blown up at the great fire of i6th December, 1835. 

I returned home to my family in Geneva, where we had assembled at 
Christmas, eight of my family, and two days after McRee escorted his 
mother to Mr. Richards', Brooklyn. 

1853. On New Year's day I arrived at Mr. Richards', Brooklyn, to where 
my wife had preceded me. 

Januarj' 3d, Mr. John C. Adams called on me by previous appointment, 
and I agreed to go to Boston with him to explain to the capitalists there 
the whole system of the Sodus Canal. We arrived in Boston on 4th, at my 
brother William's. I presented the plan to the bankers, Thayer and 
others, but they did not enter with any spirit into the subject. 

Februar)' ist, George W. Whistler and m\-self left Mount Vernon Place 


for New York. I had previously seen President Walker at Cambridge, and 
arranged with him for my son Foster, a graduate of Geneva College, to 
enter Harvard College as a junior. On my return to Brooklyn, met 
William G. McNeill, very ill, on his arrival from England, in the kind care 
of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Camman, where he died on i6th February. I 
wrote an obituary of this distinguished man, and sent it to the secretary of 
the Society of Civil Engineers in London, of which society General McNeill 
died an honorary member. He was a person of much talent, and com- 
manding and winning manner, and was one of the principal pioneers of 
railroad improvements in the United States. 

March i6th, I shipped to Wilmington, North Carolina, a marble slab that 
I had caused to be made in Brooklyn, and wrote my namesake, Swift Miller, 
a request to see this slab carefully erected at the grave of Mrs. Smith in 
"old Brunswick Cemetery, Cape Fear River." The inscription is thus: 
" In Memory of that Excellent Lady, Sarah Rhett Dry Smith, who died 
2 1 St November, 1821, aged 59 years. Also, of her Husband, Benjamin 
Smith of Belvedere, once Governor of North Caiolina, who died January, 
1826, aged 70." The slab was properly erected. 

March 20th, wrote my son Foster at Harvard College, where he had 
entered as a junior, agreeably to the consent of the faculty; and sent him 
afterwards a memoir of my Grandfather Samuel Swift, a graduate of 1735, 
that was requested by some one at Harvard making memoirs of distin- 
guished graduates of old times. 

March 30th, gave Richard S. Tucker my opinion of forty years' duration 
in favor of supplying Brooklyn with the best of water, from the brooks 
east of the bridge that discharge themselves into the Jamaica Bay. 

March 31st, wrote to Colonel Thayer upon the omission of due notice of 
Colonal Jonathan Williams, in the newly published register of West Point, 
by Captain Cullum, to promote a correction of that omission. 

May. Early in this month essayed to retain Gold S. Silliman, Esq., as 
postmaster of Brooklyn ; an excellent officer and worthy gentleman, with 
whom I had maintained friendly relations from the year 1800 at Newport, 
Rhode Island. 


Met General Scott several times this month on the subject of recording 
his campaigns in Mexico. He read to me the first chapter. I deem it 
well done. 

May 23d, kept the seventy-second birthday of my friend F. C. Tucker at 
No. I West Si.xteenth Street. The age is a matter of doubt. He and 
General Scott, Major Robert Anderson, and Colonel James Monroe came 
to see Mr. and Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Swift at Brooklyn, on that day. 

June 8th, Louisa and self visited our friends General Adams' family at 
Lyons, on the death of their daughter Jane in South America, and of their 
sons James and Sibley, all three very intelligent children. A sad 

June 1 6th, died our friend George R. Lewis at New London. 

June 24th, to see my friend John Greig, Esq., Canandaigua; failing in 
health and strength. 

In July I was confined some weeks by jaundice, and expected to depart, 
but by good nursing of my wife and daughter so far revived as to use 
horseback exercise, and to receive the children of my friend Charles A. 
Williamson, deceased, to wit., Wilhelmina and her husband Captain 
Wickham, of Thirty-third Regiment Infantry of the English Army, who was 
seeking a farm to retire upon in the United States. 

August 1st I purchased a pony, and found benefit to my health by 

Ferdinand Hassler visited me to get my memoir of his father, the late 
superintendent of the United States coast survey. Rev. Dr. Judd read to 
me his reply to the high church doctrines about baptism ; a well composed 
view of that subject, adverse to Romanism. 

The month of Septemlaer was noted for ague and fever at Geneva, 
especially in the lower parts of the village and the flats bordering the lake 
on the north, also several cases on the higher lands ; my son Willy one of 
them. The treatment was quinine, and successful. 

October 2 2d, died my friend John Delafield at Oaklands, on the opposite 
side of the lake, aged sixty-seven years, a great loss to the farming interests 
of Seneca County. I directixl tlie interment on 25th in our Geneva cemetery. 


1854. January loth we celebrated Bell and Willy's marriage day, their 
twenty- first anniversary, at Willy's Geneva home. 

January- 30th, Mr. Robert Tillotson arrived, and we discoursed of our 
former days in the city. He described to me the mode of conversion of 
his son to Romanism, under the auspices of Cardinal W^iseman and Mr. 
Newman, and of that son's union with the Oratory at Birmingham, in 
England. So much for the Puseyism of Western New York. 

February 2d, received from the singular William Wood, of Canandaigua, 
a present of a view of the Colosseum of Vespasian at Rome. He said that 
his life had been passed without being able to see it, and that as I had seen 
it he wished me to accept the engraving — an old Amsterdam production. 

Sent to Colonel Thayer a memoir on West Point, and to Mr. Seaton 
of the National Intelligencer, a notice of the United States Military Academy, 
West Point. 

February loth, Mrs. Swift's nephew, James Walker Osborne of North 
Carolina, visited us, and also her cousin John Barrow, grandson of her 
aunt McLean. 

Sent my application to government in favor of Mrs. Commodore Angus' 
claim for her late husband's back pay, etc., to Charles Abert, Esq., at 
Washington, to present to Congress. Wrote Mr. Barrow in London how 
to proceed to gain title to the lots in Dock Street, Wilmington, North 
Carolina, that belonged to Mr. Barrow's mother, Margaret Du Bois 
(McLean), and to Henry McLean, and to Mrs. Margaret McLean 

March 15th, Major Tucker, Anna Beck and myself to R. S. Tucker's, at 
Gowanus, and revived some of "the club" music of other days. 

March 20th, Colonel John Lind Smith, my useful and true friend, began 
to recover from a lonof confinement from a wound in the eroin, received at 
the battle of Cerro Gordo in Me.xico. A doubtful recovery. Dr. Buck. 

April loth, wrote Commodore Morris, United States Navy, advising to 
promote the use of the old ordnance upon Brown's statue of Washington, 
now in progress for Union Square, New York city. 

April 2 2d, visited my friend Charles Hoyt and wife and children at 


Norwalk, in Connecticut. He proposes going to Europe. Of doubtful 

July 15th, my first report to the United States lightliouse board, through 
Colonel Abert, for a tripod iron light on South Shoal of Nantucket — my 
place of birth — probably the finale of my essays in civil engineering. 

July 2 2d, my son Foster arrived at home. He had graduated at Harvard 
College respectably. 

July 25th, David Williamson and wife, the daughter of the iron master 
of Tredegar, in Wales, made us a visit. The son of Charles A. W^illiamson. 

A long drouth this summer, and on 8th and 9th September our first rain 
for three months. The leaves on the trees so dry as to rattle like wood in 
sound when shaken by wind. 

On 1 2th I commenced writing the Secretary of Navy, General Scott and 
Commodore Charles Stewart on the difficulty of forming a retired list for 
the nav)-, unless the plan proposed be greatly modified, to do justice to 
faithful services performed. 

On 22d November Jose's child, Margaret Weston, was born; named for 
Mrs. Cronkhite. 

November 23d I attended a clerical party at Major Tucker's, of five 
bishops, fifty presbyters and deacons and twenty-five laymen. 

1855. At the opening of this year I began a correspondence with several 
military friends on the condition of the country, and especially as to giving 
quiet to the South, where, under cover of opposing the tariff' and abolition 
extravagancies their real object, I suppose to be, to perpetuate and extend 
slavery as a right of the South. As to the tariff, it is a question in which 
the Union has interests as well South as North, and should be equalized 
to meet those interests justly, and probably a direct tax may accomplish 
much toward quiet. As to abolition — an influence growing at the North — 
it is now about one voter to two hundred. But the South seems intent 
upon ruling or breaking up the Union. My letters reviewed Mr. Secretary- 
of-War Davis' plan to subvert the existing army organization under the 
guise of an imperfect staff. My chief correspondent being Colonel Abert, 
Sent some essays to the National Inielligenccr. 


January 6th, my application to Congress through Charles Abert succeeded, 
giving the widow of Captain Angus a pension. That lady sent me a goblet 
and ring of silver in token of her acknowledgements. I replied it was not 
my wish so to tax her income. 

On 31st found the winter oppressively and unusually cold; the temper- 
ature was about as usual. 

April nth, fine weather. Mrs. Delafield (the widow of John of Oak- 
lands) took leave of us, having sold their farm to Mr. Fuller. 

April 25, gave my criticism of Major Douglass' memoirs, especially on 
the war of 181 2 and Military Academy, to President Hale. Copy on 
my files. 

May 23d, my brother and wife and Miss Eliza Howard arrived, and 29th, 
McRee consulted him about going to Iowa. On the same day I wrote Mrs. 
Gratiot on the death of her husband, the general. 

June 1st, Sally designed a celebration of Louisa's and my fiftieth anni- 
versary of our marriage 6th June, on which day twenty-six of the family 
had assembled at Geneva, and we kept up the season for some days. 
Louisa enjoyed this occasion and reunion exceedingly. 

June 14th I was called to Lyons to the funeral of Mrs. Adams, the 
excellent wife of my friend General W. H. Adams. How close together 
our joys and sorrows. 

June 30th, I replied to Daniel Huntington's inquiries as to the belief in 
General Washington's blasphemy, stating my total disbelief in such 
impressions; that I had conversed in my youth with General Alexander 
Hamilton, Lieutenant-Governor Cobb, Colonel Trumbull, Major Baylies 
and General Chief Justice Marshall as to the domestic and social character 
of Washington, all adverse to his having any habit of using oaths, etc. 

July 4th, attended the exhibition of Dr. Reed's school as an examiner, 
at Walnut Hill. 

July 20th, arrived my friends William Kemble and wife and Professor W. 
H. C. Bartlett and wife, from West Point, and on 30th Foster's friend 
Mr. , of Roxbury. 

August 6th, Louisa, for the first time in our married life, made a visit 


abroad without me, going with Foster to see Hortense and family at Avon. 

August 17th, wTOte General Scott on the injurious tendency of Secretary 
Davis' plan to repeal the law of 1802 that limits the detail of a superin- 
tendent of the United States Military Academy to the corps of engineers ; 
injurious in two material facts: extending executive power to defeat the 
purpose of the law of 1S02, namely, by appointing an uneducated person, 
or a personal favorite to that office, making the office thereby a mere 
political or party agent, and annulling the only national institution in the 
Union, save the supreme court. 

August 23d I commenced to execute a design long entertained, to visit 
my native place, Nantucket, and the residence also of my father, neither of 
which had I seen for sixty-three years. Arrived at Brooklyn on 29th, took 
the cars for Springfield and met my brother William and wife at Miss 
Howard's, and my sister and self visited the graves of my aunts Elizabeth 
and Mary Swift, (both had been wives of Colonel Burt of Longmeadow.) 
in which cemeterj^ both with the colonel rest. 

On 29th to Boston, and met at the depot my friend Colonel Thayer, and 
with him to Fort Warren on George's Island, where, in the year 1841, 
General H. A. S. Dearborn and myself had visited him in the early 
construction of that fort. I am much gratified at the scientific aspect of 
the colonel's work. We visited Fort Independence also, and Governor's 
Island, where thirty-eight years ago the colonel commenced his engineering 
career as a lieutenant. 

September 4th Colonel Thayer accompanied me to Taunton, the scene of 
my school day.s, and on to New Bedford, where the Colonel had, in 1808, 
commenced a fort. We visited the scenes of those days, the residence of 
my grandmother Delano, Clark Cove, etc. The colonel w^as summoned 
back to Boston, and I explored the scenes of my childhood in Dartmouth, at 
Russell's Corners and Smith's Mills at the head of Pasquemonsett, where I 
lived at John Smith's, Esq., while at Master Hart's school, and the scene of 
rescuing a slave from the hands of William Anthony in 1791. I explored 
the old Hathaway house near Russell's corners, the residence of my father's 
family until we moved to Taunton, 1792. I took cuttings from the Talman 


sweeting apples that I enjoyed when a child. Returned in my "horse and 
chaise" to New Bedford and visited my cousins Betsy and Nancy, (Mrs. 
Bennett,) at Fair Haven, and on 6th September on board the steamer for 
Nantucket. My companions were Mrs. Brayton, an acquaintance of my 
mother's, a ver}^ aged Quaker lady, and Captain Matthew Crosby and his 
handsome wife, of Siasconset. I recognized Broat Point and Roach's old 
store on landing-, and Delano Corner, Hammet's residence and "Wesco Hill." 
Met my schoolmate Timothy Hussy, and lodged at Captain Stephen Weet's, 
where his daughter, Mrs. Clasby, lived. The captain was in his eighty- 
fourth year, had been a friend of my grandfather Thomas Delano, who had 
lived at the opposite corner, my birthplace, and who died there i8th 
November, 1799, at the age of sixty-seven. At small cost entertained by 
Matthew Crosby with the old Nantucket dish, corn pudding. Met there 
Franklin Folger the chronologist, who gave me the lineage of the Delanos 
and Swains, and how they were the cousins of the Folgers and Coffins. I 
also met the Mitchells, especially Miss Maria the astronomer, and what 
with the excitement and consequent fatigue of examining every corner, I 
became ill, and was carefully nursed by Mrs. Clasby, and visited by Mr. , 
Charles Folger and his sister of Geneva. 

On 17th I left the beloved old island for home. My son James hearing 
of my illness had gone to Nantucket for me, so we passed each other in 
the steamers. He followed me to Brooklyn, where I was joined at Mr. 
Richards' by my daughter Sally. I came from New Bedford to Fall River, 
and thence by the steamer Metropolis to the city, finding Foster waiting 
my arrival. 

On 6th October Mr. Richards accompanied me home, meeting the 
Kembles and Professor Bartlett at Peekskill and Garrisons. We two 
arrived at Geneva the next da}', and found Louisa at her usual place at the 
window of the diningf room watching- our coming-, and receivino- us with her 
habitual cheerfulness. I had been at Brooklyn seized with gout, much to 
the surprise of Gouveneur Kemble, when we met at Peekskill. 

November 4th, Louisa, Sally and I attended the communion. Louisa 
expressed great thankfulness for this reunion. 


November 9th, Louisa had some indisposition from cold supposed to be 
taken in examining the corn in the stable, thought by her to be lumbago. 
On loth she was languid and pale, though we played at domino in the 

November iith, Louisa not well enough to go to church, but earnestly 
wished Sally and myself to go. On 13th McRee arrived, and on 14th 
Louisa growing more 111. In the morning she joined our hands and 
said she was to die, and at six a. m. 15th, this excellent wife and mother 
departed. On the i6th it was deemed needful to inter the body. To the 
end of the year the loneliness of my bedroom, that had so recently been the 
scene of Louisa's early rising and Industry, was essayed to be made 
tolerable by my children's attentions. 

1856. Januar)', occupied much of my time In replying to Mr. Birney's 
" Christians." See my letter book. 

Middle of April, we left Geneva for Brooklyn, and found Jose with an 
excellent portrait of her mother suspended before her bed, the work of the 
artist, Daniel Huntington. This and photographs, and the family piece by 
the same Mr. Huntington, done by request of Alexander, (shades of a good 
wife, mother and friend,) were mournful relics. 

July 19th, I had a unanimous call to preside at a meeting to approve the 
nomination of Colonel Fremont. On taking the chair I announced that I 
was thoroughly In tavor of preventing the extension of slavery Into the 
territories, but not In favor of meddling with slavery in the States where it 
existed ; that under the constitution slaves were a species of property, not 
in the sense that horses and oxen were property ; that slaves had a species 
of franchise through State action, and thus far had claims to personality 
adverse to chattelism. 

July 25th, a letter from the widow of Alden Partridge, of West Point 
memory, to aid in getting his son a cadetship at the Military Academy. 
I wrote to the War Department and to Senator Foot In favor of the 

1857. January ist, Mr. Richards and myself, In pursuance of ancient 
usage, made new year's calls In Brooklyn. 


January 12th, with General Scott in Twelfth Street conversing on the 
condition of slavery, and upon its influence in the relations of North and 
South, and also upon the Secretary of War's interference with the individual 
rights of army officers. 

Mr. Edward Blunt explained to me the use of Trott's longitude chart ; — 
correct in principle, and useful to within four seconds of a degree. Also of the 
American telescope, that it was in all respects equal to the Munich glasses. 

February 9th, Sally and I to Boston, and at Springfield called on the 
worthy Mrs. Carew, the friend of my mother and father. At Boston with 
my brother William and wife at No. 6 Mount Vernon Place. The fami- 
lies of the elder Quincy and his son very desirable visiting places, and 
I enjoyed them, and Dr. James Jackson, and Mr. Guile's and Mr. Elliot's 
(Samuel,) and Judge Warren's, where we met Colonel S. Thayer. The 
Athseneum a charming resort. At Mr. John Savage's, to converse on his 
forthcoming genealogical work ; also the families of Mills. Examined the 
Historical Society documents of Pemberton, Adams, Swift, etc., from 1720 
to 1775. Had the pleasure to listen to Mrs. Kemble's readings of 

March 8th, visited my ancient maiden cousins, Sarah and Mary Swift, at 
Dorchester, the Baker house, and cousin Sally Delano Williams at Roxbury, 
and with Sally and sister Hannah to see our cousins on Milton Hill, and 
the cemetery, where are fifteen graves of the Swift family and a tomb. 
Went to see my cousin Fanny at Mrs. Harris', in Cambridge, and 
Roberdeau at Charlestown. Met Colonel Thomas Aspinwall at the Guiles', 
and Joseph Grafton. 

March i6th, Sally and sister Hannah and myself to New York and 
Brooklyn. Visited several of the clubs there and in the city of New York. 
Useful establishments to promote intelligence and easy intercourse. Mr. 
Richards and Mr. Cronkhite members. 

On 30th March Mr. Huntington commenced my portrait for a member of 
an historical picture. 

April 6th, wrote Dr. Hawks on the promotion of quiet between the North 
and South by his contemplated efforts at the South, in speaking there on 


the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence at MeckHnburg, in 
May, 1776. 

April 14th, wrote Mr. Howe, of Brooklyn, my opinion in favor of Mr. 
Kirkwood's location of the Nassau water works. 

April 1 8th, wrote the venerable Quincy of Boston, and J. G. Wright of 
Wilmington, North Carolina, upon the troubles growing up between the 
North and South, and that non-extension of slavery was an essential 
element of any permanent settlement to quiet, and that Mr. Wright should 
urge this highly indispensable principle at the coming celebration in Meck- 
linburg County on 20th May, to promote quiet. 

May 7th, wrote General Totten and Colonel Abert, United States Army, 
on the newly proposed organization — especially its staff. Commended G. 
B. Shaw to General Totten for an assistant engineer. 

May 23d, died in Paraclepta, Arkansas, Eliza Younger Walker, the cousin 
of Mrs. Swift and wife of James W. Walker. 

June 6th, heard of the death of my friend Thomas Biddle of Philadelphia, 
ae. eighty, and on this, my marriage day, found the turf on the grave of 
Louisa very fresh ; Jose and Sally had placed many flowering plants there. 

June 8th, the steamer "Loder" passed our house with thirty-eight canal 
boats " in tow," and a raft of lumber one-fourth of a mile in length. 

June 17th, wrote the family of the late General J. De B. Walbach my 
readiness to promote adjustment of claims on the United States. Heard 
of the fate of the Ledyards in the steamer on the St. Lawrence. 

September 6th, the worthy Henry Dwight died se. seventy-six, at Geneva. 
My cousins Fanny and Elizabeth Swift of Milton visited us, and brought 
with them, for me, the family arms that had been brought from Rotherham 
in England, 1630, by our ancestor, Thomas Swift of Dorchester, son of 
Robert of Rotherham. 

In October I wrote General Scott my impressions of the vulgar assault 
upon his Mexican services by General Pillow, and of the utter improba- 
bility of making any impression upon the public mind unfavorable to 
General Scott. 

October 12th, wrote to the ordnance department upon a hemispherical 


empty shell opening by a hinge, being placed in the bore of a cannon or 
mortar before the cartridge, and opened by explosion, so as to prevent 

In November I wrote to the canal commissioners that great damage was 
occurring to the banks of Seneca Lake, by the obstructions placed in the 
outlet at Waterloo, in the process of what is commonly called " piling of 
water," /. c. back water, and referring them to the facts on Clyde River, near 
Lyons, for similar effects, and to experiments in France to sustain my 

1858. In February wrote my cousin Fanny Swift, of Milton, for a 
transcript of the inscriptions on the grave stones of the fifteen graves there 
of our family. 

February i8th, my cousin Henry Delano of New Hampshire with us. 
He informed me of the death of his mother, Elizabeth Hamet Delano, on 
3d of this month, se. seventy-eight years. 

April 24th, my grandson Fitzhugh, failing to receive a cadetship, went to 
sea "before the mast " in the ship " Amaranth " for Australia, from New York. 

April 1 2th, Joseph Fellows and myself attended the funeral of John 
Greig, Esq., of Canandaigua, who died on 9th April, ae. seventy-eight, 
leaving a fortune acquired in the United States to his relations in Scotland, 
after ten thousand dollars a year for life to his wife. 

May 8th, a beautiful day. Sally aided me in surveying my forty-acre 
lot south of the town. 

June iith, my cousins, the Pattens, visited us. I gave them my certifi- 
cate of my knowledge of a portrait of Washington by the elder Peale, 
after the "Battle of Princeton," painted by the consent of Washington for 
my uncle Jonathan Swift of Alexandria, where in 1804, and onward, I saw 
it, and my uncle gave me its history as above. 

July 5th, wrote General Scott that the widow of his companion in 
imprisonment in Quebec, Major Van de Venter, wished his aid to secure a 
pension for her husband's just claims. 

July loth, received a present of charts of United States and South 
America from G. W. and Edward Blunt. 


July 14th, in correspondence with the adjutant-general, Samuel Cooper, 
and sent him files of army memoir. 1800 to 18 13. 

August 5th, arrived the report of a successful laying of the cable 
from Newfoundland to Valencia in Ireland, one thousand seven hundred 
miles, greatest depth six thousand feet, and of a message between \"ictoria 
and the President of the United States going by that cable both ways. 

September, the comet, of unusually brilliant aspect in the western sky. 
Query: Is it that which Professor Hassler and Colonel Williams, Mr. 
Garnett and the officers at West Point observed in this month in 1807 ? 

September 26th, wrote General Webb of my purchasing, as United States 
agent, Sandy Hook in 1820, for twenty thousand dollars, and proposing 
that the dispute between New York and New Jersey be settled b)- the 
United States granting a site there for an hospital. Also sent Colonel 
Webb the facts of the Brooklyn water line in 1835 '> that my map and 
report had been secretly taken from the archives of the city of Brooklyn ; 
of the line as adopted by the then common council, and of the infringe- 
ments on that line by lot owners. 

November 3d, visited Twilight Dell in Greenwood. Sally and I attended 
the singing of Picolomini at the Athseneum. 

November 4th, Colonel J. L. Smith and Major W^ H. Chase and wife, 
and adopted child, visited us. We had a conversation on the great 
question of slavery and its tendency. Chase a southern mind on that 
matter; Smith silent. He had made free his si.xteen slaves, and sent them 
to Liberia. 

On 8th November Colonel Smith, Mr. Cropsey and myself take the rail- 
cars at Green Point to Flushing, and thence by carriage to Willet's Point, 
examining the plan for the fort for that site, and then crossed over to the 
cooperating Fort Schuyler. The Colonel and I had some conversation on 
his making a will. He said he had no existing relative on earth to his 
knowledge. He and myself thence to Harlem, and thence by steamer to 
the city. The colonel though cheerful, and as ever, entertaining in his 
remarks, is much reduced in strength of body, and his appetite small. 

November 9th, with J. P. Kirkwood and Captain Green inspecting the 


Nassau water line on Long Island, and on 12th inspecting the beginnino-s 
of the Central Park of the city of New York, and the foundation of the 
large water reservoir therein. 

November 19th, an interesting dinner party at B. D. Silliman's. Professsor 
Leiber, Dr. G. W. Bethune, Daniel Lord, Esq., Mr. Izard and iNIr. Prino-le 
from South Carolina, Mr. Pierrepont, Mr. G. S. Silliman, the father of B. D. 
Silliman. The constitutional aspects of slavery the subject of discourse, 
and the prospects of trouble between the South and the North sections. 
The fact that the North can never submit to an extension of slavery into 
the territories admitted, save by the gentlemen from South Carolina; and 
Mr. Lord, a ver>' clever man, seemed to be of opinion that the constitution 
contemplated support to slavery. 

November 27th, in reply to a letter from P. S. Sanger of Washington, on 
the subject of removing the dead from one cemetery to another, relied on 
him to advise me what had been done with those of my son James Foster 
Swift and the grave stones ; said son having been buried in the cemetery 
north of the President's mansion in March, 1830. Removed to a new 

December. Early in this month INIajor Chase and Captain Barnard 
advised me of the increasing illness of the best friend I ever had. Colonel 
John L. Smith. I wrote Colonel Thayer and General Gadsden of it. 

December 13th, the colonel died very peacefully at Mrs. Ellen Robin- 
son's boarding house, 64 Amity Street, New York City, at the age ot 
about seventy years. A will could not be found, and the assets in the 
Leather Manufacturers' Bank went, with his library and other things at 
Fort Schuyler, into the hands of the city administrator. Buried at West 
Point on i6th. At Christmas we heard of the safe arrival of Mrs. De 
Lancy and the bishop in England. 

1859. Januar)- 4th, wrote the chief engineer of the United States that a 
will of the late Colonel J. L. Smith might be found among the papers of 
the late General James Gadsden, of Charleston, South Carolina, an intimate 
friend of Colonel Smith's, and to whom I knew that Colonel Smith had 
sent money to aid a friend of his mother's. 


In this month I commenced a correspondence with Colonel Delafield and 
Governor Morgan, to induce the Legislature to permit the property of 
Colonel Smith to be expended in constructing and endowing a school at 
West Point, in memory of Colonel Smith. The judiciary committee 
reported adversely. 

January 14th came accounts of Jose's being very ill. Sally went to her. 
The dear child declined rapidly and died on i6th, and was interred in 
Twilight Dell at Greenwood. 

April 19th, wrote Josiah Ouincy my impression of his Life of John Ouincy 
Adams, that Mr. Ouincy had sent me ; that it was an instructive volume, 
and remarkable for what had been omitted as to John Ouincy Adams' early 
and long-continued Federalism, and abandonment of its principles; and 
also upon our prospects nationally; and that the growth of cotton in the 
East Indies, etc., would so depress the value of slaves as to convince the 
South that labor paid for would be more profitable than slave labor. 

April 23d, the most severe snow storm of the year. It moderated soon 
after and swallows appeared 30th, and May opened most gently. 

July 4th, sold my out-lots, about forty acres, to Dr. Reed for three 
thousand dollars. 

July 15th, my brother William and wife passed a week with us, and we 
had pleasant conversations of our respective visits to Europe. William 
bought a fine picture in Italy, — a St. Cecilia. 

September i8th, Mr. Richards and his brother, Dr. Wolcott Richards, go 
to South Hampton, England, in the Arago. 

On 30th I requested the Secretary of the Interior to send me my land 
warrant. McRee had it located in Nebraska on the Rolling Fork of the 
Wolff River, by Mr. Everett. 

October 14th, arrived our new bell for Trinity ; gave twenty-five dollars 
on this birthday of Louisa. 

At Christmas — Willy, Belle, Lizzy, James, Joseph G., Joseph S., Tony, 
Maggy, Sally and m\self. 

i860. As my family had not gone to Brooklyn in the jjast fall, and Mr, 
Richards was in Europe, leaving Tony and Maggy with .Sally and myself to 


pass the winter in Geneva, it gave me plenty of time to reflect on the 
aspects of our country, that were growing in anxiety ; and yet I have hopes 
that events may assuage the evils of meddling with the compromise line of 
36° north latitude. The great object now being, as it appeared to me, to 
impress the South that an essay at secession would be ultimately defeated, 
and that, therefore, going out of the Union would be far more detrimental 
to southern interests than could be brought about by tariffs or abolition 
societies; and that the great desire of the South to maintain political rule 
must be defeated by the natural progress of northern population. In 
furtherance of these views I cooperated with my fellow citizens of Geneva 
of the Whig name, and presided at several of their meetings: commencing 
with a declaration of my creed, namely, not to countenance any interference 
with slavery in the States as protected by the constitution, but to oppose 
every species of extension of slavery into the United States Territories ; 
because if such extension was tolerated slavery would become the basis of 
our government, and the consequence of such a government would be 
laziness of slave-owners and a descending scale of public and private 
morals, and thus a ruin to free institutions, for a free government can only 
be maintained by mental activity and bodily industry. 

Early in the month of March, Mr. Richards' letters from Rome advised us 
of the death of Mr. J. P. Cronkhite in that city, and of his interment in the 
Protestant cemetery there. Mr. Richards and his brother, and the wife of 
Mr. Cronkhite were with her husband at his death. 

On 6th November I voted for electors to elect Abraham Lincoln President, 
not that I deemed Mr. Lincoln to possess equal talents with Edward Everett, 
though Mr. Lincoln's speeches in Illinois adverse to the policy of Mr. 
Douglass evinced a strong common sense; and I deemed the Bell and 
Everett ticket favorable to too great a sacrifice of northern ability to prevent 
disunion. Immediately after voting I proceeded to the cars, and arrived 
the 7th at Brooklyn. On our arrival at the Delavan we received the first 
telegraph reports of Mr. Lincoln's success. 

November 8th, called on General Scott, (with whom was Colonel 
Thomas, the assistant adjutant-general,) in Twelfth Street. Conversation 


at once commenced on the purposes ol the South. The general haei 
written to a host of acquaintance of his in every Southern State his views of 
the destructive consequences of secession. Ke expressed great fear that 
the earnest advice he had given in the past month of October to President 
Buchanan, to arm and furnish every fort at the South, had been totally 

Before 20th November, South Carolina raised the palmetto flag, Virginia 
was summoned to an extra legislative session, and Major Anderson had 
been sent to relieve Colonel Gardner at Fort Moultrie. 

At the meeting of Congress I was astonished by the tone of Mr. 
Buchanan's message, denying power in the executive to avert the action of 

On 14th December Governor Cass resigned the Department of State, a 
position he had filled during all the strange acts of the Secretary of War 
and Secretary of the Treasury, and must have seen some of the purposes 
of these men. 

December 20th, South Carolina essays secession. 

On 26th Major Anderson leaves Moultrie and occupies Sumter, with 
one hundred and eleven men. 

I received several letters from Major \V. H. Chase on the fine prospects 
of the South in forming a new confederacy. I replied in November that it 
would be better to know what they were doing at the South before going to 
extremes, and that he. Chase, being a Boston boy would find that the South 
would not trust him as "one to the manor born." 

1 86 1. January. After various consultations with Major f. G. Barnard 
and others, I selected a syenite from Mr. Edwards' marble factory, (it came 
from Aberdeen, in Scotland, and cost seven hundred and seventy-two 
dollars,) for a monument at West Point to the memory of Colonel John 
Lind Smith. This was done under the decree of the surrogate of New 
York, giving to my discretion one thousand dollars for the purpose, and on 
7th May I had it at West Point set up in the cemetery there, and advised 
Mrs. Elizabeth Gray of Dundee, N. B., of my course in this matter. My 
.grandsons Joseph S. and Huntington accompanied me. We were hos- 


pitably received by Professor \V. H. C. Bartlett, and at Mr. Kemble's 
and Parrot's, at West Point foundry. 

May 1st, I addressed a letter to Jefferson Davis on the strength of being 
his early commander, and urging on him my reasons why he could not 
succeed in breaking up the Union. I sent the letter for the perusal of 
President Lincoln, and to be forwarded by the Postmaster-General, so as to 
avoid the aspect of corresponding with traitors in an improper way. I also 
urged Mr. Davis to use the influence of his position to molify his 
coadjutors, and promote a quiet return to the Union. See my letter book. 

While at West Point I wrote President Lincoln on the character of 
Thayer, Mansfield, Lee and others as capable general officers, especially 
W. H. C. Bartlett, and also upon the importance of having West Point 
under the superintendence of one as nearly like Thayer as might be 
found. See my letter book. 

June 14. Digestion attended with nausea and vertigo. 

\vi the past summer I met at Commodore Craven's in Geneva, Mrs. 
Farquhar of Pottsville, in Pennsylvania — quite a traveler. This lady said 
to me that she had met a cousin of mine at Aix-la-Chapelle who had been 
the conservator of the crown jewels in the tower of London, who p^ave 
to Mrs. Farquhar the circumstances of my meeting this gentleman, Sir 
Edmund Leuthal Swifte, and of the interview between myself and the 
yeoman of the guard who had mistaken me for Sir Edmund, and who had 
pointed out to me the residence of Sir Edmund in Ann Bolen's Tower, 
1851-1852, as is mentioned in my journal of my travels in England, etc. 
Another of the curious coincidences of life in human affairs. 

From the arrival of General Scott from France in December, 1861, I was 
with him frequently in conversation upon the passing events of our 
unhappy rebellion, until — 

1862. April 15th, when he went to his home at Hampton, in Elizabeth- 
town, N. J., where 1 joined him on 17th, and remained most of the time 
until 1st of June, when he went to Cozzens' charming hotel below West 
Point, and I went to visit my friends at the Point and at West Point 
foundr)', at Mr. Parrott's, enjoying theirs, and Gouverneur Kemble's and 


William's hospitality, and at Mr. Parrott's had at dinner a warm discussion 
with the Russian ambassador on the condition of my country ; he sorrowing 
for our downfall, and I denying the need of his sorrow. 

In the course of the summer my son Foster and Miss Alida Fitzhugh 
had fixed on 29th October for their marriage at Geneseo, where both 
families assembled under the hospitality of Mrs. Bachus and Mrs. Brent, 
and Mr. Ayrault, with my late wife's cousin, Rev. John C. Du Bois of St. 
Croix. Both families met at the church, and the marriage was celebrated 
by the Rev. Mr. Ayrault, brother-in-law of the bride, and Rev. Mr. 
Du Bois, cousin of the groom. 

In the year 1S61 my son Foster, in the spring, volunteered as a surgeon 
in the 8th New York Regiment, and proceeded to Annapolis and Wash- 
ington, and on 21st of July was in the battle of Bull Run in Virginia — 
a defeat of both armies. Foster deemed it his duty to remain with the 
wounded in the field and hospital, a prisoner; was sent for by Beauregard 
and parolled, and sent to Richmond, thence to Old Point Comfort and 
thence home, and has not been exchanged until the day of writing 
this, December, 1862. 

1863. I had proposed to comment on the strategy of this war of rebellion 
in my diary, but the gazettes and the monthly journals so abound in knowl- 
edge of what should have been done, and what left undone, that I will refrain 
from remark save recording that I deem the yielding to party what belonged 
to the country (which has distinguished the States of New York and New 
Jersey) as lamentable evidences of want of patriotism. The anomalous 
interview between politicians and the English ambassador being among the 
most prominent of errors. 

1864. We, after casting our votes on 8th November for Mr. Lincoln, 
took the cars on 9th, and arrived at No. 70 Eleventh Street on 10th. 

On 30th December my brother William H. and myself attended the 
funeral of our cousin. Dr. William Swift, United States Navy, at the doctor's 
house No. 1 2 Carroll Place, Brooklyn. The doctor died of heart disease 
at the age of eighty-five years, a worthy man and a good officer. He 
had been while surgeon in the United States Navy our consul at Tunis, 


Africa. He left a competence to his wife, an amiable and intelligent 
woman, and three nice young sons. 

December 31. My son James Thomas gave me my birthday dinner; all 
my family there save Willy's, including two Misses Weston and General 
Scott and General Anderson. A nice party. 

1865. January 4th, attended with General Scott, General Anderson, Mr. 
John Travers and others, as pall-bearers, the funeral of Mrs. Margaret C. 
Kemble, the wife of William Kemble, Esq. This excellent lady died at 
the age of sixty-eight years, forty-two of which she had been intimate in 
my family. Mrs. Kemble combined many qualities of heart and mind that 
made her dear to her family and to a long list of acquaintance. 

January 7th, I wrote to Miss Susan M. Quincy, of Boston, on the death 
of her father, Josiah Quincy, at the age of ninety-three years — a useful and 
valuable citizen in many stations — as member of Congress and president of 
Harvard College, etc. I also mentioned to Miss Quincy that Mrs. 
Sigourney had sent to me, as a memorial, a letter to herself from Mr. 

On 24th January I wrote to the President of the United States on the 
miserable policy of retaliating upon the Confederate prisoners at Beaufort, 
South Carolina; and alluded to a substitute by confiscating rebel land and 
other rebel property, in favor of southern men who had not voluntarily 
aided the rebellion, and also in favor of aid to the slaves of such men ; and 
that the whole subject might be embraced in a war proclamation, to meet 
the Confederate plan of arming their slaves to battle against the Union. 

On 3 1st January I wrote again to President Lincoln on the subject of the 
treasonable talk in this city of New York in favor of southern independ- 
ence, and expressing my hope that the subjects of treason, habeas corptcs, 
State rights, tenure of civil office and executive power might be amended 
in the Constitution before the advent of peace. 


The writer of this journal died at Geneva, western New York, July 23d, 1865, 
and his remains rest in the family plot there, marked by a monument with the 
following inscription : 


Son of Foster and Deborah Swift, 

Born Nantucket, Mass., Dec. 31, 1783. 

Died Geneva, New York, July 23, 1865, 

First Graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, 

West Point. 

Chief Engineer U. S. Army 1812. 

Brevetted Brigadier General 18 14. 

In the "Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States 
Military Academy," by General Cullum, is the following record : 


"I. (Born, Mass.) Joseph G. Swift. (Apd. Mass.) 

''Military History. — Cadet of the United States Military Academy from May 
12, 1800 to October 12, 1802, when he was graduated and promoted in the army to 

Second Lieutenant Corps of Engineers, Oct. 12, 1802. 
Served as superintending engineer of the construction of Fort Johnson, North 
Carolina, 1804-6; at the Military Academy, 1807; as superintending engineer in 
the erection of Governor's 

(First Lieut. Corps of Engineer Jan. 1 1, 1805.) 
(Capt. Corps of Engineers Oct. 30, 1806.) 
Island batteries, Boston Harbor, Mass., and in general supervision of the defences 
of the northeastern coast, 1808-10; 

(Major Corps of Engineers Feb. 23, 1808.) 
as superintending engineer of the fortifications of the Carolina and Georgia harbors, 
1810-12; in the war of 1812-15 with Great Britain, as aid-de-camp to Major- 
General Pinckney, 


(Lieut. -Colonel Corps of Engineers July 6, 18 12.) 

(Colonel and Chief Engineer of the U. S. Army July 31, 1S12.) 

1812; as chief engineer of the army under command of Major-General Wilkinson 

in the campaign of 1813 on the St. Lawrence River, being engaged in the battle of 

Chrysler's Field, Upper Canada, Nov. 11, 1813; and of the forces for the defence 

of the city and harbor of New York (including Brooklyn and Harlem Heights,) 

(Brev. Brig.-General Feb. 19, 1814, for meritorious services.) 

1813-14; as superintending engineer of the construction of the fortifications of 

New York Harbor, 1814-17; in command of the corps of engineers July 31, 1812 

to November 12, 18 18, having charge of the Engineer Bureau at Washington, D. C, 

April 3 to Nov. 12, 1818; and (ex-officio) superintendent of the Military Academy 

July 31, 1812 to July 28, 1818; and its inspector April 7 to Nov. 12, 1818; and as 

member of board of engineers for the Atlantic coast of the Lhiited States April 21, 

181 7 to Nov. 12, 18 1 8. 

Resigned November j2, 18 18." 

Cii'il History. — Surveyor of the United States Revenue for the port of New York, 
1818-27. Member of the board of visitors to the Military Academy 1S22 and 
1824. Chief Engineer of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain Railroad, (the first 
laid with T rail in the United States,) 1830-31. Civil engineer In the service of the 
United States, superintending harbor improvements on the lakes, 1829-45. Aided 
in suppressing Canada border disturbances 1839, and was appointed by the President 
in 1 841 on a mission to the British Provinces with reference to a treaty with Great 
Britain. Member of several scientific and historical societies, and of "La Societe 
Frangaise de Statique Universelle de Paris," 1839. Degree of LL. D. conferred by 
Kenyon College, Gambler, Ohio, 1843. 

Died July 23, 1865, at Geneva, N. Y., aged eighty-two. 

The superintendent of the Military Academy, General Cullum, directed honors to 
be paid to General Swift's memory in the following order : 

"Headquarters U. S. Military Academy, ) 

"West Point, N. Y., July 30, 1865. 

" The first graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, General Joseph G. Swift, 
departed this life at his residence, Geneva, N. Y., on the 23d inst., at the advanced 
age of nearly eighty-two. 

"General Swift was born Dec. 31, 1783, in Nantucket, Mass., was graduated at 
the Military Academy soon after its organization, and was promoted October 12, 


1802, to be Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers, in which branch of service 
he continued through all the successive grades, 'till he became Colonel and Chief 
Engineer of the Army, July 31, 1 812 — during that period being chiefly engaged in 
the construction of fortifications on the Atlantic coast. In the war of 1812-15 ^^''^h 
Great Britain, after serving as aid-de-camp to Major-General Pin'kney, he became in 
1S13 the chief engineer in Wilkinson's campaign on the St. Lawrence, participating 
in the battle of Chrysler's Field, and was subsequently, in 1813-14, chief engineer 
of the forces for the defence of New York, receiving for his meritorious services the 
brevet of Brigadier-General Feb. 19, 18 14. After the war he assumed the direct 
superintendency of the Military Academy, and was its inspector for a brief period 
preceding his resignation November 12, 1S18. Upon leaving the army he, for nine 
years, was surveyor of the U. S. Revenue for the port of New York, and then 
became a distinguished civil engineer, employed by the government for a long period 
in directing harbor improvements on the northern lakes, and aiding in suppressing 
Canada border disturbances, being in 1841 honored by the President with a mission 
to the British Provinces with reference to a treaty of peace with Great Britain. 
'Born at the close of the American Revolution, and dying at the termination of the 
American Rebellion, General Swift lived through the most momentous period of 
history, and was himself a prominent actor in the grand drama of our national 
existence. His military career began with that of the Military Academy, which he 
fostered in its feeble infancy, and he lived to see, in its developed maturity, the sons 
of his cherished alma mater directing the high destinies of his country on victorious 
fields in Canada, Florida, Mexico, and within the wide domain of our southern 
border. He now calmly sleeps, after a long and useful life of more than four score 
years, leaving this world in the blissful consciousness that he and his brother gradu- 
ates of this institution have ably performed their allotted part in subduing the savage 
foe, in conquering foreign enemies, and crushing treason in our midst ; and that he 
has left behind a regenerated fatherland of one people, with but one emblem of 
nationality, sacred to liberty, and the triumph of the best government on earth." The 
personal excellence of General Swift can be only appreciated by those who knew 
and loved him, and they were all whom he met on his long journey of life, for he 
had no enemies but his country's. Amiable and sincere, spotless in integrity, stanch 
in friendship, liberal in charity, General Swift was a model gentleman, a true patriot 
and Christian soldier, worthy of the imitation of all who, like him, would live honored 
and revered, and die universally regretted. 

" As an appropriate tribute of respect from the Military Academy to his memory, 
there will be fired, under the direction of the commandant of cadets, eleven minute 
guns, commencing at meridian to-morrow, and the national flag will be displayed 
at half staff from the same hour until sunset." 

Swift Coat of Arms and Old Chair. 


The Name. 

The origin of family names, though obscured by time, has reference to the 
character, occupation or residence as also to parentage, and family devices or arms 
also indicate these names. Thus the device of "Deer at full speed," and that 
assumed by the Rector of Godrich of a dolphin round an anchor and the motto 
^^Festina Lenter are in point, for in those days a dolphin was called a zv^\{^. — Vide 

Scott's Sivift. 

The name Swift, written by the Saxons Swiff or Swithen, as also Swyfte and 
Swifte, is found in the early annals of England. Sir Frs. Talgrave says in his Rolls 
that, anno eleven hundred and sixty-four (1164) lived Henry Swifte of Tavesham in 
Norfolk, and Walter Swifte of Metar in Berks, and John Swifte of Corford in Suftblk ; 
and anno 1 199 Gilbert and Albreda Swifte (his wife) of Riversdale, had lands allotted 
to them, and William Swift's daughters in Essex, to wit: Amecia and Matilda had 
lands devised to them, and Stephen Swift was a proprietor in Norfolk, and William 
in Essex, and anno 1275 Richard Swift of Cotax in Cambridge, and William of 
Customar and Adam Swift of Norfolk were proprietors, and Adam Swift lived in 
Wakefield in Yorkshire, and John at CoriorA.— Vide 1164. Anno 1280 Arnulph 
Swift was at Costise in Tavesham in Norfolk (see 1 164,) and Henry at Deniston, and 
Erwald Swift in the church, and Walter and Roger lived in North Hampshire, and 
the family in Lancaster held lands under Duke Henry. Anno 1300 Robert Swift 
and Margaret his wife lived at Canterbury on land granted by Edward I. In the 
Parliamentary Writs of Sir F. Palgrave, page 1483, Gilbert Swift of Devizes, in 
Shire of York, was a knight in Parliament 9th September, 1314- Anno 13 17 Robert 
de Swyft, an honorable person, says Palgrave, a licentiate at Wineford in Essex. 
Anno 132 1 John Swift of Leominster in Herts was a knight in Parliament.— 
Palgrave, page 14S3. In 1356 Hugo Swift received a patent of land. Anno 1398, 
in sir Harris Nicholas' Proceedings of the King's Privy Council, page 80, Mr. Swyft is 
secretary to the writ of summons of Richard II. Anno 1399 Roger Swift lived in 
Kent, and inherited a tenth of the lands of Hadels, and anno 1461 another Roger 
Swift also inherited a sixteenth of the same lands. Anno 1408 and 1420 John Swift 
was a land-holder in Norfolk. — F/^^ 1164. Anno 1508 Peter Swift was auditor of 
St. Pauls, London, and Richard, rector in Hereford. Anno 1530 Robert Swyft lived 
at Castle Ward in Notts, and his cousin lived in Lancaster. Anno 1531 John Swyft 
and Ann, his wife, had a lawsuit with Stanly of Mt. Eagle, for Hornby Castle and 


for Capton Manse, and other manors in Lancastershire. Anno 1535, in 36tli Henry 
VIII. Robert Swyft was prior of Shuldham in Norfolk, (vide 1164,) and William 
Swift was prior of Cateby in Lincoln, and anno 1535 Robert Swifte was rector of 
Rotherham in Yorkshire, and his sons Robert and William were auditors. Of this 
family was Thomas Swift our immediate ancestor, who migrated from Rotherham 
anno 1620 to 1629 to Massachusetts Bay, and brought with him the family arms, 
"Or, a Chevron vair Blue and White between Three Black Bucks in full Course." 
This Thomas became a "freeman" of Masssachusetts anno 1635. Of this Roth- 
erham family Dugdale says, was the Dean of St. Patrick's, and also of the same 
was Robert Swift who, anno 1550, was proprietor of Wakefield manor in Yorkshire, 
(vide anno 1280,) and whose son Roger was seized of Rotherwell in the same shire, 
and another son, Robert, became sheriff of the county, and was knighted by 
Elizabeth 1599, and continued sheriff until 15th James I. Anno 1597 and '98 lived 
Garret and Jasper Swift of the same family. My uncle Jonathan Swift informed me 
they migrated to, and died bachelors in, Virginia. Anno 1658 Sir Edward Swift was 
in the army with Monk, and of the council that annoyed Monk in opposing 
Charles II. 

The foregoing is written to show the location and condition of the name; but 
whether before anno 1535 any of them be ancestors of kin of ours I do not assert. 
Yet there must needs have been some consanguinity among so many persons of the 
same name, living at various times in contiguous counties. In the time of Alfred, 
mention is made, in the Saxon Chronicle, of the name as existing in repute and rank. 
When the Normans ruled prenomens became common ; the conquered Saxon, prob- 
ably for safety, adopted Norman christian names. I have not attempted, because I 
have not been in England, to accumulate later facts of the Yorkshire family, some of 
which maybe seen in Walter Scott's Life of Dean Jonathan Swift. Anno 1802 I 
heard my father and his cousin John Swift, of Milton, conversing about the Rev. 
John Swift of Framingham as corresponding with the Dean, or with his cousin Dean 
Swift, and calling themselves cousins. When my uncle Jonathan Swift visited 
England, anno 1786, he visited Rotherham in Yorkshire, and found the family of 
respectable circle at Rotherham, and in other parts of the county, they having the 
tradition that a branch of that family had migrated to Boston in the previous century. 

The foregoing account of the name was made by General Swift. Very interesting 
articles on the English family of Swift are contained in Historic Notices of Rotlicrliavi, 
by John Guest, F. S. A., and South Yorkshire, by Rev. Joseph Hunter. These works 
arc in the Boston Public Library. 

Nui K. — liurUc's General Armory gives the arms of Robert .Swift, Esq., of Rotherham, born 1448. the riV/. 
mercer, eldest son of Rol)ert Swift, Esq., of that place, — or, a chevron vair between three bucks in full coursi- 
proper. Crest, a sinister arm embowed, vested vert, cuffed ar., holding in hand a sheaf of five arrows, or 
feathered ppr., barbed az.; Vicount Carlingford, extinct 1634, grandson of William Swift, who was brother of 
Robert .Swift, Ksq., of Rotherham, bore the same arms and crest. 

Godwin Swift, attorney-Keneral to the Duke of Ormonde, and founder of the family in Ireland, son of the 
Rev, Thomas Swift of Goodrich and liriston Co., Hereford, bore the same arms: Crest a demi-buck ramp., ppr., 
in the mouth a honeysuckle, also ppr. stalked and leaved vert. Motto ; luilinu I.ente. The use of the anchor 
entwined by a dolphin, Hurke says, was an assumption of Godwin Swift as a parody on the name. 



(ITfjomas Stoift, one of the earliest settlers of Dorchester, Mass., according to 
Savage, was son of Robert Swift of Rotherham, Yorkshire, England. As he did not 
qualify this assertion, we may well believe that he derived his information from an 
authentic source. 

He probabl)' came with the first comers, but his name first appears, November 
22, 1634, on the town records, as the grantee of five acres of land. Twenty more 
are recorded January 4, 1635, at the Great Hill between Roxbury and Dorchester; 
one acre of marsh February 18, 1635, near Goodman Munning's at the Point Neck, 
and March 18, of the same year, between three and four acres more. He also 
appears as grantee of four acres of meadow land beyond the Neponset River. 
Beside these grants he became the owner of other lots by purchase.* 

He was admitted freeman of the colony May 6, 1635, was a member of the Rev. 
Mr. Wareham's church in 1636, as was his wife Elizabeth, and was occasionally called 
to serve the town in an official capacity. In 1658 he was a supervisor of the 
highway, from 1659 to 1662 was a fence viewer, and was further distinguished as 
quartermaster of a troop of horse. 

In 1 66 1 -2 the commissioners for ending small causes met at his house, and the 
same year he received from the town one pound as part of the selectmen's expenses, 
and in 1665 three pounds. Probably they had met at his house to transact the 
affairs of the town. From all we can learn he appears to have been a man of 
enterprise, always ready for duty, and holding the respect of his fellow citizens. He 
was a malster by trade, which he seems to have combined with agriculture. His 
labors appear to have been well rewarded, for, beside rearing his family in a comfort- 
able manner, giving his children a common education, and providing for his daughters 
at their marriage, he was enabled to leave to his family a goodly estate for that day, 
and was not unmindful of the church, and his dependents. 

Among the household goods that he brought over was the ancient carved oak 

*Henry Meriheld a;. 65 yrs. and Margaret his wife -x. 65 yrs., Anthony Golifer re. 64 yrs., Ann Spurr 0;. 61 yrs., 
Thomas Tileston x. 76 yrs., all of Dorchester, testifieth that Thomas Swift, late of Dorchester deceased, and 
Thomas Swift his son, of Milton, possessed by tillage and mowing a tract of upland and meadow in Dorchester 
44 years; which is bounded southerly with meadow and upland formerly belonging to the worshipfuU M'. Israel 

Stoughton : the upland being bounded westerly with the highway, northerly with Leads, his land, and 

easterly mth the meadow formerly belonging to M'. John Holman, and partly with the same meadow; and the 
meadow being bounded westerly with the same upland, and northerly with the meadow formerly belonging to M'. 
John Holman, and easterly with a great salt creek or river. 

Henry Meriheld and wife also testifyeth that he. Swift, had two houses upon it and they were tenants. Ann 
Spurr also testifyeth there were two houses. Swift hved in one with his family, myself being one. William 
Sumner a;. 80 yrs., Richard Hall se. 65 yrs., Thomas Holman st. 45 yrs., Timothy Tileston x. 49 yrs., testifyeth 
that he lived on it 36 years and upwards. — Document dated Dec. 23, j6Sj. Suf. Deeds Lib. 13, Fol. 40S. 


chair and the famil)- coat-of-arms, painted in oil on canvas. These precious 
relics of the old Puritan are still in possession of his descendants ; the former 
owned by Miss Elizabeth R. Swift of Milton, the latter by McRee Swift, Esq., 
of New Brunswick, N. J. 

The old arm chair indicates by its st}'le and workmanship that it belonged to the 
period of the emigration, and there is not the shadow of a doubt of the authenticity 
of its descent to the present day. It was inherited by Mr. Samuel Swift of the 
fifth generation from Thomas, whose house is still standing on Milton Hill. By 
some mistake, this valuable relic was sold by auction when Samuel Swift's estate was 
settled, for the paltry sum of eighteen cents. It was bought by Mr. Ezra Glover of 
Quincy, who could not be induced to give it up. At his decease it fell to his son, 
John J. Glover, who possessed a taste for antique furniture, and died leaving a fine 
collection. His furniture was sold by auction, and well advertised, which brought 
together many persons who were disposed to pay a large price for this interesting 
chair. Those desirous of getting it back into the family stated their case, and the 
parties wishing to purchase withdrew their claim, and the administrators, with the 
consent of the heirs, sold it to Miss Elizabeth R. Swift of Milton, in whose possession 
it now remains. Albertypes of the chair and the coat-of-arms have been success- 
fully made for this work. 

Savage says Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Swift, was probably daughter of Bernard 
Capen of Dorchester, which is doubtless correct, for Thomas Swift in his will calls 
John Capen his brother-in-law, and John Capen (who had a grant of an acre of land 
next to Goodman Swift to build a house on,) speaks of his sister Swift in a letter to 
Mary Bass, dated i, 5 mo., 1647, printed in the History of Dorchester, p. 45. The 
Swift graves are also ne.vt to those of Capen. 

Bernard Capon was from Dorchester, England. He was a very prominent citizen, 
serving as representative six times. He died Nov. 8, 1638, and his gravestone 
inscription is thought to be the earliest in New England. See Hist. Gen. Register, 
Vol. XX., p. 246, for an account of the family. 


Joan, perhaps b. in England, d. July 21, 1663; m. Nov. 5, 1657, (as Savage says, should be, without 
doubt, 1647,) John Baker of Boston, smith, by whom she had eight children, six of whom 
proljably d. young, as only two, Thomas and Elizabeth, are named in their father's will, made 
March 26, 1666; proved July, 1666; invt. .^^798.19. Abstract of same in Hist. Gen. RfgisUr, 
Vol. XV., p. 124. He gave son Thomas land in Dorchester that had belonged to his grandfather 
Swift. He m. 2nd, 8, 11, 1663, Thankful, dau. of Lieut. Hopestill Foster of Dorchester, by 
whom he had John, and a posthumous dau. Silence, b. 28, 5, 1666. He was admitted townsman 
of Boston 1642, and his name appears in the Book of Possessions 1648; ar. co. 1644. Hi> 
inventory shows he was a shipowner, and that he lived in good style. 

2. iTtjomas, b. June 17, 1635. 

3. ©bafiiatj, b. July 16, 1638. 

Ei.lZABinil, b. Feb. 26, 1640; d. Jan. 9, 1641-2. 


Ruth, b. Aug. 24, 1643; d. between 1677 and 16S0; m. Oct. 10, l65o, Capt. Wm. Greenough, 
shipwright, of Boston, by whom she had seven children. He d. Aug. 6, 1693, re. 53, (g. s. one 
of the most beautiful in Copp's Hill). Will made Aug. I, 1693; proved Sept. 13, 1693; 'nvt. 
;^i 245.9.4, showing large estate and house furnished in a superior manner. Had 2nd wife 
Elizabeth Rainsford; 3rd wife Sarah Shore of Chelmsford. See N. E. Hisi. Geti. I\eg., Vol. 

Mary, b. Sept. 21, 1645; m. 11, 11, 1663, John White of Boston, joiner; bapt. in Dorchester 15th 
Dec, 1639; d. Aug. 6, 1690, k. about 50: (g. s. Copp's Hill). Will made Apr. 26, 1690; 
proved Oct. 11, 1690; invt. £ioii.-j3,, consisting of dwelling houses and wharf, land at Dor- 
chester, farm at Lynn, household effects showing he lived in the same style as his brother-in-laws. 
Names brother James White, of Dorchester, and son Edward. Was son of Edward White of 
Dorchester, 1635, who was b. 1593; m. Martha King in 1616 at St. Dunstan's church, Cran- 
brooke, Kent, Eng. John and Mary had, i. Mary, b. 8, S, 1663, m. John Robinson. 2. Martha, 
b. July 7. '659, m. Samuel Warkman of R. I., housewright. 3. Sarah, b i6th Aug., 1671, m. 
Capt. Edward Martyn, merchant of Boston, son of Michael Martyn of Boston, mariner. In 
this line is descended Mrs. Harrison EUery. 4. Elizabeth, m. John Welch, mariner. 5. 

Edward, m. Elizabeth ■ ; was cooper of Boston. 6. Susanna, d. June iS, 167S. 7. 

Thankful, b. Jan. 18, 1677, spinster in 1702. 8. John, b. Aug. 12, 16S0. 

Anna, b. Nov. 16, 1647; d. Sept. 13, 16S0, x. 33, (g. s. Copp's Hill) ; ra. Aug. 19, 1664, Obadiah 
Read of Boston, housewright, by whom she had several children, i. Elizabeth, b. Mch. 29, 
1669; m. July 6, 1691, Samuel Durham. 2. Anna, b. Feb. 3, 1672-3; m. Highinbottom. 3. 
James, b. Feb. 29, 1679-S0. Others d. young. By his 2nd wife Elizabeth he had children. He 
d. Feb. 19, 1721-2, £e. 82, (g. 5. Copp's Hill). Will made Jan. 3, 1718; invt. ;^S75; names 
sons Thomas, James, and Obadiah to have 100 acres land in Kittery Co., York; grandson John 
Durram; daus. Sarah Hughes, Anna Highinbottom, Mary Miller, Elizabeth Durrani, Elizabeth, 
dau. of Obadiah; sisters Hannah and Sarah Broughton. 

James, bapt. 10, i, 1649; d. 4, 9, 1657. 

Susanna, b. Feb. 11, 1651-2; d. Mch. 2, 1732, se. 80; m. Apr. 18, 1672, Elder Hopestill Clapp of 
Dorchester. (See Clapp's Genealogy). 

Elizabeth, ; d. 6, 9, 1657. 

The death of Goodman Swift is recorded May 4, 1675, but his grave-stone is 
inscribed May 30, 1675, and that of his wife January 26, 1677-8. These stones, 
still standing side by side in the western corner of the ancient graveyard of Dor- 
chester, at Upham's corner, are of heavy slate well preserved, and bid fair to stand 
the storms and sunshine of two centuries more. The illustrations given, are directly 
from the stones. The inscriptions are also printed on page 166, Vol. Iv. of the N. E. 
Hist, and Gen. Register. 

The graves are covered with two large rough Roxbury pudding stones, placed 
there to protect the bodies from the wolves ; a common custom with the early 
settlers, these rapacious animals being numerous at that period. 


The last will and testam' of me Tho : Swift Sen' of dorchester, made the six and twentieth day of Aprill, 
sixteen hundred seveanty and five. 
First. I Commit mv soule to god that gave it, and my body to a decent buriall in the earth. And for this 
world's goods which god'has gratiously given me, my will is that my just debts be paid and funerall discharged, 
and then my whole estate as now it is, I leave it with my wife for her comfortable livelyhood dureing her natural 
life, if she remaire a widow; but and if she Change her Condition by marrying with another man, then my will is 
that my wife shall have one hundred pounds out of my estate, either in land or goods, which she like be»t, and 


this hundred pounds shall be at her disposall when it shall please god to take her away by death, and for 
the rest of my estate, when this hundred pounds is taken away, my will is that my sonn Tho : shall have live 
pounds as a farther token of my love, beside what he have formerly had. 

Also, I give and bequeath six pounds unto the towne of dorchester toward there maintaining of an alile 
minestry in dorchester, and to be laid out by the selectmen & deacons in Something that may helpe the towne 
in there yearly maintenance. And twenty shiUings I give unto Henry Merrifield, and twenty shillings unto 
Anne, the wife of Rob' Spurr, who were formerly my servants; the remainder of my estate I doe will and 
appointe that my sonn Obediah Swift shall have a double portion with any of his sisters, accounting what they 
have formerly had. and when my wife die or marry, if my sonn Obediah be able & willing, he may purchase the 
land and pay his sisters in other specie, further, my will is that Elizabeth, my deare and loving wife shall be 
Executrix of my whole estate, and my brother-in-Law W'". Sumner, and my brother-in-Law John Capen I 
doe appointe to be Overseeres of my whole estate. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Scale 
y day is; yeare aforesaid. 

the mark of \V. Tho : Swift & a seale. 

Signed, Sealed & Deliv' in presence of us, viz : 
John Cape.n, Sen', 


L' Jn" Capen and Rich'' Smith made oath in Court the 30 July, 1675, that 
they being present subscribed there names as witnesses to this Instrum', which 
Tho : Swift Signed, sealed and published to be his last will and testam', & y' 
when he soe did he was of a sound disposing minde to the best of there 
knowledge, this done as attests. Lib. 6, Fol. 9./, Suf. Wills. 


An inventory of the estate of Tho: Swift of dorchester, who departed this life y' 4th of May, 1675, taken 
and appraised by us whose names are underwritten this iSth day of June, 1675 : 

Imp", wearing apparrell of all Sorts, both linen and woolen, - - - - - 

It : some peses of new Cloath, viz : tecking, ------- 

It : 9 sheetes, 7 pillowbys, table cloath, one duz. and halfe of napkins, towells and a little flax, 
It : one bed and bolster, blankets, pillows, curtaines, vallens, bedstead. 

It: One Cupbord, Chests, truncke, table, Chaires, Cushins and forme, . - - 

In the Chamber. It: One featherbed, bolsters, Rugg, blanktis, . . - . 

It : 3 p' Sheetes, one chest, Rugg and other small things, . . . - . 

Kitchen. It : 10 platters, 2 candlesticks, basons, fruttedishes, porengers, quart potts, bowles, &c., 
It: 2 brass kittles, I Iron pot, I warming pan, I porsnet skillet, brase morter firepan and 

tongs, and other utinsells, -..--.-- 

Malthouse. It : One skreene, hair cloth baggs, measures, and other utensels. 
In the yard & field. It : 5 Cows, one horse, two oxen, two yung cattle, swine. Cart and wheeles, 

plow, chaine, sadle, pillion, bridle, and other utincells, - - - . - 

It: 22 acres and 4 of land on the north of Naponsett, . . - . - 

It : 20 acres land at the 20 acre lots, ..-..-.- 
It: II acres and .1 land in y Cow walke, --.-.-. 

It : the dwelling house, barne, rooms, orchard, gardens, plowing land and pasture 

land on the hill neere the house, about 12 acres, - . . . . 

It : 4' acres of land called pops lott, and aboute two acres in the toune feild, - . - 

It : 6 acres of meadow, ...-..-.- 

It: One muskit and p' of Sidar press, -..-..-- 

the totall sume, errors excepted, is - - - 459 10 03 

Lib. 5, Fol. 2jn, Suf. IVills. Wm. SUMNER, 


Although Thomas Swift made his mark when signing his will, he could write, for 
7). fac-siniUc of his autograph, with others, attached to a petition in 1641, is printed 
in Blake's Annals of Dorchester. 



























































Deacon 9rf)oma33 Stoift, (Thomas^) of Milton, yeoman, b. in Dorchester, Mass., 
June 17, 1635; m. Dec. 9, 1657, Elizabeth, dau. of Robert Vose, of Milton. She 
d. Jan. 26, 1676, and the i6th of the following October he m. Sarah Clapp. She 
was dismissed from the church in Dorchester the 18, 7, 1681, and was admitted to 
full communion at the Milton church Oct. 2, 1681. She may have been a daughter 
of a brother of Roger Clapp. (See Clapp Genealogy, p. 12). 

Thomas, b. July 30, 1659; dead in 1 71 7, when his father, by will, gives a legacy to "Thomas 
Swift, the reputed Son of Son Thomas Swift, deceas'd." 

Elizabeth, b. Aug. 21, 1662; m. Pratt. 

Ebenezer, b. Oct. 21, 1667; d. Nov. 3, 1680. 

William, b. May 5, 1670; killed in 1690 in the expedition against Quebec, Canada, being a mem- 
ber of John Withington's co. of Dorchester. His cousin James, member of same co., was also 
k- 3of)n, b. Mch, 14, 1678-9. 
5. Samiitl, b. Dec. 10, 16S3. 

Deacon Swift received from his father-in-law, in 1659, i()% acres of upland in 
Milton, which was confirmed to him by deed dated Feb. 23, 1663.* This, with 
other lots which he subsequently added by purchase, was the original homestead, 
continued in the family until 1835, when it was sold by his great-grandson Samuel 
Swift. This estate is now owned by Mr. Lewis W. Tappan, Jr., of Milton, a descendant 
of Obadiah, brother of Dea. Thomas Swift. 

He early showed a capacity for public affairs, and in 1662 was chosen to run a 
line between Dorchester and Braintree, and was a supervisor of the highway. In 
1661 he received a bounty of £1 for slaying a wolf 

He evidently settled in Milton about the time of his marriage, and became one of 
the most prosperous and useful citizens, being constantly in office till within a few 
years of his death. 

The town was incorporated in 1662, but the records do not commence until 1669. 
His name appears that year as one appointed to make the rate, and "get help for the 
Sabbath." The same year he was on the grand jury, and also commenced his long 
career of service as a selectman, which reached, almost without an intermission, to 
the year 1700 — a period of about thirty years. During this time he was also called 
to serve in various other capacities; was clerk of the market; appointed in 1700-1 
to oversee the building of the meeting house ; was fence viewer, tything-man, 
assessor, representative to General Court, and in 17 14 moderator — probably the last 
town office which he held. 

*Mch. iS, 1727-S, Jonathan Gulliver a:, about 67 yrs., Stephen Crane about 70 yrs., John Wadsworth about 
55 yrs., Peter White about 67 yrs., all testify that Dea. Thomas Swift of Milton, deceased, and Samuel Swift, his 
■son, for forty years have been in possession of a certain tract of land in Milton. — Suf. Deeds, Lib. 4.2, Fol. jj. 


Beside these numerous offices he was made quartermaster of a troop of horse 
May 5, 1676, as had been his father, and bore the title of Heutenant. He was 
appointed by the General Court to take charge of the Neponset Indians at Brush 
Hill. Major Gookin, in his Indian History says that "Mr. Eliot and himself met 
every other week in the winter of 1676 among the Punkapoag Indians, who were 
brought up from Long Island, and placed near Brush Hill in Milton, under the charge 
of Quartermaster Swift. They came up late from the Island, yet they planted some 
ground procured for them by Major Swift, and they got some corn. Their wives 
and children were there with them." 

The following orders and petitions, from the Mass. Archives, give us some idea of 
his valuable services. 

29, 5, 1675. Coperall Thomas Swift was ordered by the council to take with him Indians, soldiers at Swanzy. 

To the honorable Counsell now sitting in Boston : 

Thes humbly sheweth that wheras I was ordered by the whorshipfuU Mr. Danforth to asoect the Indians 
belonging to punckapoge the latter part of the last summer, and secondly of beinge ordered by the honnerd 
major Guggins, and so from the honnerd Counsell to tacke care of the afuresayd Indians after that they came 
from the island. Thes humbly informeth that the last year I spent a grete deal of time about them, they being 
restraind from Commerse with the Inglish, and our EngUsh beinge so Kedy, many of them, to tacke any 
advantage against them if that they were found out of that Limits, which necesitated me to doe much of ther 
business, beside all other ackomation conceringe them and the good of the Country, Considering how the case 
stood between us & the Indian; which service I hop I did cheerfuly and in some mesure, I hop, to the utmost 
of my power, for which 1 have never reseved any alowance; but I humbly leve it to your honers Consideration. 
as to the ackompt of what time I spent, it was almost impossible fur me to Kepe an ackompt of, considering how 
things have been with us. so I Re»t, holding it my duty to pr.ay for you honner. 

your humbell servant in what I can or may, 


5d. 8m., 76: [• Mass. Archives, Lib. ^0, Fol. Z2j. 

Ordered, that Lieu' Thomas Swift take Speedy care to provide .Sixty or more of the Friend Indians, well 
furnish'' with arms & amunition, to be sent out under a Suitable Comander ag' the comon Enemy. 
Past in the affirmative by the Magistrate. 
Aug. 1690. Jo" Addington, Sec'>'. 

Consented to by the deputiees. Neh. Jewet, p. ored. 

These he furnished at an expense of ;^o.i5.o. — Mass. Archives. 

Not only in secular affairs was he prominent and useful, but the church found in 
him a ready supporter. He was one of the founders of the First Church in Milton, 
signing the covenant April 24, 1678, and Aug. 20, 1682, was ordained deacon. He 
and his wife Elizabeth had been members of the Dorchester church before the 
organization of the Milton church, and there their children were baptized. In 1686 
he gave .^2.5.0 to the support of the minister, being one of the largest subscribers. 

The town records of Dorchester show that he and Ezra Clapp were granted, in 
1 68 1, liberty to catch fish at Neponset, below the mill, and to make a stage there. 

Capt. Roger Clapp of Dorchester, Nov. 9, 1690, makes his cousin Thomas Swift 
one of the overseers of his will. 

Deacon Swift lived to the good old age of 82 years, dying January 26, 1 71 7-1 8. 
His wife died Feb. 4th, 171 7-18, the day after her husband's funeral, as is recorded 
in the journal of her son, the Rev. John Swift of Framingham. Some accounts call 
the Rev. John the son of the first wife, Elizabeth, which is erroneous. 


The gravestones of Mr. and Mrs. Swift — small, beautifully cut stones — are 
standing in the Milton cemetery among a number of stones, fifteen in all, of the 
family. That of Mr. Swift has been printed in the .V. E. H. G. Register. They are 
reproduced for this work by the Albertype process. 


In the Name of God. Amen, the Twenty-first day of September, Anno Domini One Thousand 
Seven Hundred and Seventeen. In the fourth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George over Great 
Brittain, cVc, I, Thomas Swift of Milton, in the County of Sufi'olk within his Majesties province of the Massachu- 
setts Bay, in New England, Yeoman, being in a Competent Measure of bodily health, and of sound mind & 
understanding, praised be almighty God for the same. Knowing the uncertainty of this present Hfe, and being 
desireous to Settle that outward Estate the Lord hath lent me, Doe therefore make & Ordain this my Last 
will and Testament in manner and form following, (That is to say), First and principally I commend my 
Soul into the hands of God, my almighty Creator, hopeing to receive full pardon and remission of all my Sins, 
and Salvation through the alone Merits of Jesus Christ my Redeemer, And my Body to the Earth, to be decently 
Interred according to the discretion of my Ex'% herein after named, in hopes of a Glorious Resurrection into 
Eternall life. And as touching such worldly Estate as the Lord hath lent unto me, my will and meaning is, 
the same shall be Imploy'd and bestowed as hereafter in and by this my will is exprest. hereby revoking, 
renouncing & makeing null and void all wills and Testaments by me formerly made, declareing and appointing 
this to be my last will and Testament, w-herein is contained the same. 

Imp". I will that all my just debts, and Funerall expences, bee well, truly and duely paid, by my son Samuel 
Swift of .Milton afores', Husbandman, one of my Executors hereinafter named. 

Item. I do give and bequeath unto my Loving wife Sarah Swift the use, benefit and improvement of the 
East End of my Dwelling House, from Bottom to top, with the liberty, use and privilidge of y Garden and well, 
and Three Milch Cows maintained Summer and winter, and Yearly the summe of Twelve Pounds Money, 
Quarterly (dureing the Terme of her naturall life,) or in what to her shall be Equivalent to money, and her 
Yearly firewood. I also give and bequeath unto my afore^aid wife Sarah Swift, her Heirs and Assigns forever, 
all my money and Moveable Estate within doors, And all Money, and debts owing or due to me by bill, Bond, 
or otherwise. I also give unto her my Negro Woman to be at her disposall, and the one-half of my Orchard 
dureing her natural life. 

Item. I do hereby give, devise and bequeath unto my Son John Swift, and to his Heirs and Assigns forever. 
All that my whole Tract and parcell of upland, which I have lying in the Six Divisions (so called) within the 
township of Milton afores ', bounded Easterly with the Land of Ephraim Xewton, Westerly with Deacon Sumner's 
Land, Northerly with the Parralel Line, and Southerly with Brantry Line. Also all my Land Lying in the 
Twelve Divisions of Land (so called) in Dorchester afores'. Containing between Three Score and Four score 
Acres. And also all that my Piece of Salt niairsh Meadow Lying in Dorchester afores'', containing Estimation 
Seven Acres, be the same more or Less, w'hich is bounded and Surrounded with Lands of the Late Ebenezer 
Clap, dec', John Daniel, Daniel Allen, and the River. And my mind and will is that my s"* Son John Swift, or 
his Heirs, shall possess all the afores' uplands at my decease, and the Meadow at my s' wife's decease or 
removeall by marriage, (I haveing given my s' Son John Swift considerable before, beside his learning.) And 
if it happens that my s' Son John Swift at any time hereafter be minded to sell and dispose of his aforesaid 
Lands and Meadow, it is my will and desire that his Brother .Samuel Swift may have the first tender thereof, 
made to him for buying them on such reasonable Terms as any other person would give for the same. -Vnd if it 
happen that my s' Son John, with his family, in his Mother's lifetime or afterwards Leaves Framingham, and is 
minded to come & Live in Milton, then in such case for the Accomodation of himself and Family while he shall 
remain in Milton, wether it be for term of his life or shorter, he shall have the Old East End of my dwelling 
House, up and downe from the Cellar to the Top, Liberty tS: use of the old Garden and well, with Ingress, 
Egress and Regress to and from the same for the aforesaid purpose freely, only having his ^lother's Consent 
thereto. I give also to my S'' Son John Three Cows, to be delivered him at my decease. 

Item. I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth Pratt, and all her Children born of her body. 
One Hundred Pounds, to be equally divided between her and them, to be paid them within One Year after my 
decease, by my son Samuel Swift. 

Item. I give and bequeath unto Thomas Swift, the reputed Son of Son Thomas Swift,'^ Ten ShiUings 
besides the Twenty Pounds I have given under my hand to pay him, and what is behind that I promised his 
Mother. And I do hereby C)rdaine and appoint that the afors' Thomas Swift, the reputed son of my s'' Son 
Tho : Swift, shall have no more of ray said Estate. 

Item. I do hereby give, devise, and bequeath unto my s'' Son Samuel Swift, and to his Heirs and Assignes 
forever, all my remaining upland and meadow Lying and being in Milton & Dorchester aforesaid, with all my 
Housing, Edifices, Buildings, Barnes, Yards, Gardens, Orchards appertaining thereto, and Fences Standing 
thereon, he paying my just Debts and Funerall Expences, and what I have herein before given Annually unto his 
Mother, and unto his Sister Ehzabeth Pratt and her Children; and also supplying his Mother with Firewood at 
home at her doore at all time and times when she shall need it, as also an Horse to ride on at her pleasure; as 
also reserving out of the above given and bequeathed premises unto my Son John the privihge of his liveing in 


the Old East End of s'^ Dwelling house in manner as afores''. I also give unto my son Samuel Swift all the rest 
of my whole Stock of Neat Cattle, and all my out door Implements & Utensills of Husbandry, as Carts, Wheels, 
Chains, Ploughs and the like. And I do appoint my Negro Man to be for the Equall use and Service of my 
Son Samuel and my wife while she Continues upon my place, and at her removeal thence by Death or other- 
wise the s'^ Negro Man to be the Sole dispose of my s' Son Samuel; and my Indian Boy Jehu to be at my Son 
Samuel's disposall for the remainder of his time at my decease. And it is my mind and will that my s'^ Son 
Samuel Swift, out of that my Estate given unto him as above said, shall pay unto my aboves' wife the summe of 
Twelve Pounds Pr. .\nnum dureing her naturall life, & all needfuU firewood, and provide and maintaine for her 
Three Cows and a Horse dureing her abode in Milton as aboves'. And shall pay unto his Sister Pratt and her 
Children One Hundred Pounds as abovesaid, and unto Thomas Swift, the reputed Son of Thomas Swift, Ten 
Shillings as aboves'. And my will is that my wive's Three Cows afores'', and all the moveables before given 
unto her which remain at her my s' wife's decease, be for my s"* Son John Swift and his Heirs. 

Lastly. I do hereby constitute and appoint my Two before named Sons, John and Samuel Swift, to be the 
Executors of this my Last Will and Testament. In Testimony whereof I, the said Thomas Swift, have hereunto 
set my hand and Seal the day and Year first above written. , , — ' — , - 

THOMAS SWIFT. i. seal V 

Signed, Sealed, Published & Declared by the s'' Thomas Swift, the '^ — .,— ' ' 

Testator, as and for his Last will and Testament, in pres- 
ence of us. 

Edward Mills, Jun', 
Samuel Kneeland, 
Edward Mills. 
Suffolk, ss. By the Hon'''* Samuil Sewall, Esq., Judge of Probate, etc. 

The aforegoing Will being presented for Probate by John and Samuel Swift, Executors within Named, 
Edward Mills and Samuel Kneeland made Oath that they Saw Thomas Swift, the Subscriber to the aforegoing 
Instrument, Sign, Seal, and heard him publish and Declare the same to be his last Will and Testament. And 
that when he so did he was of Sound Disposing mind and memory according to these Depon"' best Discern- 
ing. And that together with Edward Mills, Jun', (now at Marblehead,) set to their names as witnesses 
thereof in the presence of the said Testator. 

Boston, February 2o'^ 1717. Samuil Sewall. 

John Swift of Framingham, Gent, 
Samuel Swift of Milton, Yeoman, 
Thomas Thatcher of Boston, Brasier, 
James Tilestone of s'' Boston, Carpenter, 

all of the county of Suffolk, gave bonds in the sum of Two thousand dollars for the fullfilment of the will 
Feb. 5, 1718. Lib. 20, Fol. 224. 

Ecb. 3oiju' Stoift, (Thomas'' Tlwmas\) b. in Milton Mar. 14, 167S-9; d. Apr. 24, 
1745 ; m. Dec. i6, 1701, Sarah, (b. Sept, 7, 1671 ; d. Feb. i, 1747, ?e. 73 yrs.) dau. 
of Timothy Tileston of Dorchester. 

Sarah, b. Sept. 16, 1702; dead in 1745; adm. to Church Mar. 24, 172S; m. June 0, 1729, Eben 

Roby of Sudbury. 
Elizabeth, b. Mar. 26, 1704; d. Apr. 12, 1739; adm. to Church Mar. 24, 172S; m. Apr. 15, 

1 731, Rev. James Stone of HoUiston. 
Anne, b. July 5, 1706; d. ; m. Dec. 5, 1733, Rev. Phillips Payson, H. C. 1724; 

settled. at Walpole. Four of their sons were settled ministers: Rev. Phillips Payson, D. 

D., H. C. 1754; ord. at Chelsea 26 Oct., 1757. Rev. Samuel Payson, H. C. 1758; ord. at 

Lunenburg Sept., 1762. Rev. John Payson, H. C. 1764; ord. at Fitchburg 27 Jan., 1768. Rev. 

Scth Payson, D. D., H. C. 1777; ord. Rindge, N. IL, 4 Dec, 17S2, father of Rev. Edward 

Payson, D. D., of Portland, Me., H. C. 1S03. 
Marv, b. Nov. 16, 1 70S; unm. in 1745. 
Martha, b. ; m. Oct. 13, 1740, Major John Farrar of Framingham. She died 

about 1749. 
0. 3oljn, b. Jan. 14, 1713-14. 


Rev. John Swift was the senior minister of the Marlboro' Association of ministers 
at the time of its formation, although the name of Robert Breck stands first on the 
list of members. He graduated at Harvard College in 1697, and was ordained as 
the first minister of Framingham Oct. 8, 1701. His ministry was conducted with 
faithfulness and prudence; and not a notice occurs in all the transactions of the 
town in any degree qualifying the respect and estimation in which he was held. Of 
his ability as a preacher we have ho means of judging. His printed sermons are 
marked with a pure and classical taste. He was free from all affectation of style as 
well as extravagance of zeal, or rashness of opinion. The subject of his ordinary 
discourses, as one may infer from his own diary, were often suggested by passing 
events. Some of these discourses bear marks of extemporaneous composition. 
Thus he notes on one occasion his preaching from the words " The voice of the Lord 
is upon the waters; the God of glory thundereth;" adding, "it being a day of 
thunder." A day of extreme severity suggested the text: "Who can stand before 
his cold?" And a few weeks later, doubtless while the snow drifted through the 
crevices of the ancient and dilapidated meeting-house, the motto of his sermon was 
"a covert from the storm." The halt of a detachment of soldiers in the village 
induced him to discourse from the word " a devout soldier." Mr. Swift preached 
the Election Sermon in 1732 ; also a discourse on the occasion of the death of the 
Rev. Robert Breck of Marlborough in 1731 ; both of which were printed. 

He is spoken of as a wise counsellor and good man of a well cultivated mind, 
and held in great esteem in the churches. His salary was £^0, equal to $233.33 ! to 
which, in the latter part of his ministry on account of the sickness of his wife, an 
additional grant of $10 was added. He is said to have been a correspondent of 
Dean Swift. He died April 24, 1745, in the 4Sth year of his ministry and the 67th 
year of his age. See Hist, of Framingham, and Hist, of the Worcester Association. 

The following letter respecting the division of Framingham is interesting, as 
giving one some idea of the situation of a country minister at that period : 

Framingham June 7, 1731. 

Sir: — 

I hear that the Hon'''* House of Representatives have granted a Division of the Town of Framing- 
ham (which upon 30 years' Experience or more of the capacity of the s'' Town) I fear will prov. subversive to 
the best, especially religious. Interests of the Said Town. 

Such a Division, Sir, would be a great Ease to me in my Official performances were the Town capable of it; 
but by reason of the Town's deficiency in the payment of my dues, and trouble they have given me about my 
Settlement, I have been greatly impoverished. Spent a Considerable part of my paternal estate to Support the 
Ministry in Framingham, as I can easily make to appear. 

Settling in the year 1700, before there was any paper currency in the Governm'. (as I suppose), and having 
had but an inconsiderable allowance for the Change of the Species, I can't suppose my Loss to be much (if any- 
thing) short of 1000/'. The Deficiency of the arrears since the Town had a discharge or receipt in full from 
me, which I know ought to be made good, and am well informed are recoverable in the Law, together with new 
charges which will accrue unavoidably, will be what one -half part of Framingham (notwithstanding their num- 
bers) cannot accomplish without help, in my humble opinion, verte Dominie. In the year 1729 the Hon'''* 
House of Representatives received it for good doctrine. I think, viz", that our Hon'''' Legislature have it in their 
power to make reasonable allowance for the discount upon the paper currency whereby Minist"' small annuityes 
are much diminished, And I depend (under God) upon the Goodness & Justice of his Excellency & the Hon- 


ourable Board that nothing shall be done to my hurt. If there should be any occasion, I pray. Sir, that you 
would communicate these lines, as in your wisdom you Shall See meet, and you will greatly oblige 

\' Obedient & humble Servant, 

To the Hon''"' 

John Willard, Esq', 

Mass. Archives Lib. 1 14, fol. 56. 


[ From the Boston Evening Post of May 13th, 1745.] 

Framinghara, May 8. On the 24th of the last Month died here, after a long and tedious Indisposition, the 
Rev. Mr. John Swift, the first Pastor of the Church in this Place, in the 67th Year of his Age, and the 45th Year 
of his Ministry. As he was a Gentleman of considerable natural Powers, so he acquired a considerable Degree 
of human and useful Learning. He particularly excelled in Rhetoric, and Oratory, and as a Critic in the Greek 
Language. His Piety was sincere and eminent : His Preaching was sound and Evangelical. As a Pastor he 
was diligent, faithful and prudent; and in his Conversation he was sober, grave and profitable; yet aft'able, 
courteous and pleasant. He was a lover of Hospitality, and kept his Heart and his House open to all good People. 
When he received Injuries at any Time, he bore them with singular Discretion and Meekness; and the various 
Trials and Sorrows with which he was exercised, especially the latter part of his Life, gave Occasion for shewing 
forth his Wisdom, Humanity, Patience, and Resignation to the Divine Will. He was had in high Esteem by the 
Association to which he belonged, and respected by all who had any Acquaintance with his real Character and 

The following inscription, from his monument in the Framingham graveyard, is 
printed in the history of that town : 


Qui oblit A. D. 1745, Aprills Qd'" 

/Etatisque anno 67""° 


Dotibus et nativis et acquisitis ornatus ; 

Docendi Artifex, Exemplar Vivendi, 

Felix, dum vixit, 

Mores exhibens secundunn Divinas Regulas, 

Episcopo necessarios 

Commlscens Prudentiam Serpentis, Columbaeque, 

Innocentiam ; 

Commercium cum eo habentlbus, 

In vita Percfiarus, 

Atque gratam sui, etsi moestam, Memorlam 

Post mortem, lis relinquens : 

Qui per varies casus, variaque Rerum Discrimina 

Atque usque ad mortem 

Raram dlscretlonem, Modestiam, Patientiam, 

Voluntatique Supremi Numinis Submissionem 

Spectandam prcebens ; 

Jam tandam in Domino requievit 


Scilicet, Corporis obruti Redemtionem 




Here lies the Reverend John Swift, who died in 1745, April 24th, in the 
67th year of his age. Adorned with gifts both native and acquired; he 
was a master in the art of teaching; a model of living, conforming all his 
acts to the divine laws. To all those with whom he had to do he exhibited 
the wisdom of the serpent and the innocence of the dove. While livino- he 
was very much beloved, and he left at death a grateful though mournful mem- 
ory to his friends. Through many scenes and trials, and even unto death, he 
manifested a rare discretion, modesty, patience and submisson to the Divine Will. 
He at length rests with the Lord, looking for the adoption that is the redemp- 
tion of the body. 

The following Will, dated September, 1743, commences with the usual formula: 

Imp'. My Will is That my just Debts and funeral Charges be duly paid or discharged bv mv Ex- 
ecutor. t= 1 , 

Item. I give and bequeath unto Sarah, my Well beloved Wife (in lieu of Dower &- Thirds) the use & 
Improvement of my House in Framingham, of late years used for mv Studv, as also of the Land and conven- 
iences adjommg, & therewith used distinct from my former; and other improvements, & one Bed and furniture 
(of which my said mfe to have her Choice,) and so much of mv Other Household Goods as shall be Judged 
necessary and convenient in order to her keeping house there, as also the benefit of one Cow, to be kept "for her 
use Winter and Summer, annually during her widowhood, and I further give & bequeath unto my said Wife one 
purse with Some Silver Money therein (Which may be found in the Till of my chest under Some writings) • and 
further, my Will is That my Said Wife he Supplied (out of the Income of mv Real Estate) with whatsoever 
shall be further needful for her comfortable & Decent Support & maintenance during her Widowhood as afore- 
said, and for a Decent funeral after Death. 

Item. I give and bequeath unto my Son John Sunft (Minister of Acton,) whom I likewise Constitute Sole 
Executor of this my Will, my Whole Library, Books and Manuscript, also my Watch and my Negro-man named 
or called Francis. .\lso all my Right & Interest of Lands at a place called or known by the name of Dorchester 
Canada; Which Right of Lands were Derived to me on ace' of my Brother William Swift, who (n-ith many 
others) perished in the first Expedition against Canada; To him, my said son John, and To his heirs and 
assigns forever. 

Item. I give & bequeath unto my Son-in-Law, Ebenezer Robye, Esq., & to his heirs and assi<'ns 
my Negro man named or called Nero, or such sum in Bills of Credit as he shall be valued at by a lust 
appraizer. ' ' 

_ Item. I give and bequeath unto my son-in-Law, M' Philips Payson. (minister of Walpole.) and to his 
heirs t\: assigns, my Negro Named or called Guy. 

Item. My Will is that my other Two Negros, namely. Dido and Esther, serve with my aboves' Wife on her 
Order during her life, and after her Decease with my Daughter Farrar, her heirs or assigns. 

Item. My Will is That all my Housing and Lands in Framingham, Stoughton and Elsewhere \rith 
. all my Personal Estate of what kind, nature or Denomination Soever (other than what is above men- 
tioned & bequeathed) be Divided in five even & Equal parts or shares to and among the rest of my 
Children & Grand Children in Manner following: That is to say, one-fifth part thereof to mv 
Daughter Anne Payson; one-fifth part thereof to my Daughter Mary S"-ift; one-fifth part thereof 
to my Daughter Martha Farrar; And one-fifth part thereof (to be Distributed part & part ahke) 
to and among the Children of my Daughter Sarah Robye, Dec'd; and one-fifth part thereof in like 
manner to and among the Children of my Daughter EUzabeth Stone, Dec'd. To them, their heirs and 
assigns respectively forever. 

r- ^}^"^^ }^^' ^^''^ '^ "^^^^ ™^ Surviving Daughters, together with such as shall be appointed Guardian to mv 
Grand Children, may (if they apprehend it needful or profitable) make Sale of Housing and Lands to them 
bequeathed as afores'\ or any part thereof, during the minority of mv Grand children, or any of them- and 
I accordingly authorize & Impower them so to do, by passing good and authentick Deed or Deeds of 
the same. And I do hereby utterly Revoke, Disannul & make void all other Wills, Bequests or Execut" 


by me in any wise before Named, Willed or bequeathed; Ratifying and confirming this & none other to 
be my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereoft' I have hereunto set my hand & Seal the day cV: date 
within written. 


Signed, Sealed, published & declared by the mthin named John Swift, as his last 
Will & Testament, In the presence of us the Subscribers, who set to our 
names as Witnesses in the said Testator's presence. 

William pike, 
Stephen Ballakd, 
Mary Farrar. 
her X mark. 

This Codicil or Schedule Witnesseth that I, the within Named John Swift, in addition to my Will bearing 
date in the Month of September, 1 745, Do hereby give and bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Swift, in consid- 
eration of her Trouble, and in requital of her Dutiful .i tender care of me under my Weakness, my silver 
Tankard, also my Horse & Shayes over & above what is expressed in my said Will; hereby Ratifying & Confirm- 
ing the said Will, with Codicil, to be my last Will & Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my 
hand & seal this nth day of June, A. D. 1744. , <-'^ , 

JOHN SWIFT. I seal | 

In the presence of 

Joseph Buckminster, Jun., 
Willia.m pike. 
.Stephen Ballard. 

JSeb. Ilo!)n Stot'ft,'' (Jolm,^ Thomas,'' Thomas,^) born in Framingham Jan. 14, 
1713-14; d. Nov. 7, 1776, 3e. 61 yrs. ; m. Nov. 19, 1740, Abigail, (b. July 20, 1717 ; 
d. Mar. 18, 17S2, in the 63d year of her age,) dau. of Jeremiah and Rebecca Adams, 
of Medway. 

1. I. 3ol)n, b. Nov. 18, 1741. 

Mr. Swift was graduated at Harvard College in 1733, and the same year was 
schoolmaster in Framingham. In May, 1738, he received an unanimous invitation 
to settle in the ministry at Acton, and the following 8th of November was ordained 
He first received .^250 as a settlement, and ^^^150 as an annual salary — to be made 
of equal value should the currency depreciate. This sum was altered several times, 
and at last permanently fixed at £'/0 lawful money. 

During the prevalence of the small pox in Acton, in 1775, he was severely 
attacked by the disease, and never able to preach afterwards. 

He was a little above the common height, rather slender, of pleasing address and 
manners ; opposed to excess and extravagance of every kind, and was a gentleman 
of talent, learning and piety, though occasionally facetious, witty and eccentric. 

His sermon, preached at the ordination of the Rev. Joseph Lee of Royalston, 
was published. 


His will, dated October 24, 1775, commences in the usual manner: 

Imprimis. I «-ill that all my just debts and funeral charges be well and truly paid in convenient time after 
my decease. 

Item. I give unto my beloved Wife Abigail Swift my Horse and Chaise and Eighty pounds lawful money, 
together with two-thirds part of all the remainder of my personal estate, money, &c., to be at her disposal 
forever; and likewise the improvement of two-thirds part of all my Real Estate lying in Acton, so long as she 
remains my widow. 

Item. I give unto my only Son, John Swift, all the remainder of my Real and personal Estate lying in 
Acton, not before disposed of. My will is that my said Son John shall come in possession of the whole of my 
Real Estate lying in .\cton, after my wife's marriage or decease. 

I give unto my Grand Children, HoUis and Luther, all my lands in .\shburnham in the County of Worcester, 
in the province aforesaid, to be equally divided between them in quality. My Will is that if either of my said 
Grand Children should die in minority, or when in a single state, the whole of said lands in Ashburnham I give 
to the other surviving grand son. Furthermore, I do hereby constitute and appoint my beloved wife Abigail and 
my son John Swift to be Executors to this my will and testament. 


Signed, sealed, and pronounced to be his last will and testament before 

Edward Sprague, 
Daniel Adams, 
Abel Fisk. 

Dr. 3a{jn5 Stoift, (John* Johit^, Thomas,'' Thomas,^) b. in Acton Nov. 18, 1741 ; 
H. C. 1762 ; physician of Acton; d. Dec. 23, 1781, in his 40th year. He m. Catha- 
rine Davis of Acton, b. May 6, 1748. She had a second husband. Dr. Whitman. 


John Hollis, b. , 176S; d. Sept. iS, 1793, unm, 

William Pitt, b. Mch. 3, 1771; d. Mch 26, 1774. 

Jeremiah Adams, b. , 1772; d. Mch. 31, 1774. 

S. ILutljcr,'' b. April 20, 1 775 ; 

Eutljrr Siriift,5 (Johti,* John,'^ Thomas,'' Thomas,'') b. April 20, 1775 ; d. Dec. 6, 
1857; m. 1798, Hannah Brown, b. May 26, 1777; d. July 25, 1850. 


John Hollis, b. Dec. 12, 1799; d. s. p. Feb. 15, 1S63; m. Jan. 11, 1S22, Hannah H. Pulcifer; b. 

abt. 1799; d. Feb. 29, 1864. 
Catharine, b. Jan. 23, 1S02; d. Feb. 23, 1803. 
Catharine Eliza, b. Aug. 21, 1804; d. Apr. 9, 1S07. 
9. teilliam 13itt, b. Apr. 30, 1S06. 

Caroline, b. June 3, 1809; d. May 22, 1882; unm. 


railliam' I3itt Stoift, (Luther,^ 7ohn= John,* Johu,^ Thomas,-' Thomas,') b. April 
30, 1806; d. Dec. 20, 1857 ; m. Mar. 30, 1835, Abigail, (b. Dec. 1813,) dau. of Asa 

and Mary (Leach) Shaw, of Norton, Mass. She m. a second husband French, 

who died in 1878. She resides in Malboro', Mass. 


William Tcikter, b. April 21, 1S36; d. May 5, 1S3S. 

John, b. April 28, 183S; member of Co. D, 2ist Reg't. Served 3 years in the Union Army. 

Residence, Sioux City; m. in 1S66 Eliza A. Pratt, of Fitchburg. 
Lizzie F., b. Jan. 23, 1S40; m. May 7, i860, Luther F. Read of Westford, b. Feb. i, 1S3S; killed at 

the battle of .\ntietam Sept. 17, 1S62. She next m. Nov. 26, 1870, \Vm. F. Hale of Acton, 

b. Nov. 7, 1840; served nine months in the Union army. Res. Stow. [I am indebted to Mrs. 

Hale for the information concerning the later generations of her branch of the family.] 
Abby, b. Aug. 16, 1841; d. Jan. 9, 184S. 
Geo. Loring, b. Sept. 17, 1S42; d. May 21, 1S76. Served three years in the Union Army, Co. 

F, 13th Reg't; m. Sept. 27, 1864, Mary L. Watson of Fitchburg, b. June 3, 1838. They 

had two children, Sarah Abby and Willie. 
Joseph Albert, b. Dec. 10, 1S43. Served three years in the Union Army; reenlisted in 1S64; 

wounded at the battle of Winchester, Va., Sept. 19, 1S64; d. in hospital Oct. 12, 1S64.* 
Sarah, b. April 2, 1845. 
Lucy W., b. July 28, 1S46; m. Dec. 4, 1867, Joshua W. Carr of Stow, b. May 26, 1844; served 

three years in the Union Army. Residence, Stow, Mass. 
Nathan, b. Mar. 20, 1848. Residence, Marlboro, Mass. 
Isaac, b. Oct. 10, 1849; d. Sept. 28, 1874. 
Annie, b. Sept. 22, 1851; m. Charles Sprinks of .Albany, N. Y., Nov., 1S71. He d. June 14, 1879. 

Residence, 93 Broad Street, Lynn. 
Emma S., b. June 6, 1853. 

William Henry, b. Aug. 4, 1854; m. June 3, 1878, Mary E. Walcott of Stow. Residence, Marl- 
boro, Mass. They had one child, Clarence L. Swift, who d. Oct. 8, 1881, at 9 mos. 21 ds. 

*He wrote home from war as follows : — 

In the Hospital at Winchester, Va., Sept. 26, '64. 
Dear Mothek : — 

I now write you a few more lines to let you know that I am getting along nicely, although the 
ball has not been found yet. I think it has struck some of the cords, but I hope not, for it may give me a stiff 
leg for life; then I should have to be discharged, and I don't want that you know, for 1 like soldiering too well. 
I like it as well as ever. Now do nut worry about me for I have the best of spirits, and care too. This is what - 
I enlisted for, and what I have got; and what I would do again if I were at home. I am glad that George did 
not reenlist, for two is enough. I wish that John had not, for he is so sick of it. 

John Brown bore the colors. He did it well, too; he had his leg broken, but he will not lose it. He and 
I fell near together so we are in the same hospital. Our Acton captain has gone to Harper's Ferry and we shall 
go soon; then you can write to me. 

Write to John and tell him we had a glorious victory. Bully for that ! 

I must close for the present; love to all and don't worry. This is from your loving son, 


He was but a boy when he enHsted, only about seventeen years old, and very small of his age. He was 
told that they would not take him. " Yes they will," he said, " for I have just made my heels three inches 
higher, and they will have to take me." When he reenlisted and came home his sister said to him she was sorry, 
and he replied, " I am not, for what is my life good for if we have not our freedom?" 

The John Brown referred to was his schoolmate. They enlisted together, and he thought a great deal of 
him. Young Swift bled to death from his wounds, and was brought home and buried in Stow. His friend died 
in a few days after. 


ffol. Samuel' Stoift,* (Thomas," Thotnas') of Milton, where he was b. Dec. 10, 
1683; d. Oct. 13, 1747; m. Nov. 6, 1707, Ann, (d. May 19, 1769) dau. of Thomas 
Holman, a prominent cilizen of Milton. 


Thomas, b. Feb. 16, 1709-10; m. Aug. 23, 1739, Elizabeth Crehore, who d. Aug. 23, 17S2, x. 71. 

Had a dau. EUzabeth, b. Jan. 9, 1 741-2. 
Sar.\h, b. Apr. 28, 171 1 ; m. May 19, 1730, John Adams. 
Anna, b. Aug. 28, 1712; m. Aug. 28, 1739, Solomon Kersey, of Hingham. 
Patience, b. Mar. 19, 1714; d. Aug. 12, 1714. 
10. Samuel, b. June 9, 1715. 

Ebenezer, b. Dec. 6, 1716; d. Aug., 1717. 

Patience, b. Feb. 3, 1717-18; m. May 29, 1739, Ebenezer Wadsworth. 

11. ^atfjnnitl, b. Sept. 25, 1719. 

John, b. Jan. 23, 1 720-1; housewright of Milton in 1748; probably d. unm. 
Abigail, bapt. Nov. ii, 1722. 

12. lEbcntjcr, b. May 24, 1724. 

Col. Swift was one of the wealthiest and most influential men of Milton. He 
inherited his father's capacity for public affairs, and we early find him filling such 
offices as constable, tythingman, surveyor of the highways, and so forth. He later 
became a judge of the court of common pleas, colonel of the militia, representative 
to the general court, moderator of the town-meetings, and filled the office of select- 
man almost constantly from 1725 to his death in 1747. In 1727 he was on the com- 
mittee to build the meeting-house, and in 1729-30 one of four who paid the highest 
rate, and had his pew " first in the right hand going up the broad alley." He is 
designated in the town records by the various military titles from ensign to colonel. 

The position he so many years sustained in the town tends to confirm the tradi- 
tion that he was austere and of an arbitrary temper. Our imagination pictures him 
as a man of commanding aspect, with the dignified manner of his time — such a 
man as we see in the portraits of Smybert and Copley. The impress of his character 
is seen in many of his descendants, who have, in addition to ability, been distin- 
guished by many of the social graces of life, a general elegance of bearing, and 
much personal beauty — those gifts which are seldom to be met with save through a 
goodly ancestry. 

The gravestones of Mr. and Mrs. Swift are among the largest and finest in the 
Milton cemetery, and are illustrated in this work. 


In the Name of God Amen, This Third day of May in the Year of our Lord one Thousand 
Seven Hundred Forty & Five. And in the Eighteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the 

* Continued from page seven. The line of Rev. John Svrift, brother of Col. Samuel, being continued 
through three generations by only one son, in order to simpUfy matters I deemed it best to complete that branch 
before taking up the line of Col. Samuel. 


Second, King of Great Britain, &c.— I Samuel Swift of Milton in the County of Suffolk, mthin His Majes- 
ties Pronnce of the Massachusetts Bay in Xew-England, Esq'., being at present in a competent measure of 
bodily Health, and of perfect Mind and Memory, Thanks he given to God therefor: But calling to mind the 
mortality of my Body, and Knowing that it is appointed unto all men once to Dye, do make and ordain this my 
last Will and Testament; That is to say, Principally, and first of all, I Give and Recommend my Soul into 
the Hands of God that gave it; trusting alone for Salvation in Merits and Righteousness of JeSUS Christ 
my only SaWour and Redeemer; And my Body I Recommend to the Earth, to be Buried in decent Christian 
Burial, at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named ; not at all doubting but at the general Resurrection 
of the Dead I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate 
wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life, I Give and dispose of the same in the following manner 
and form. 

Imprimis, I Give and Bequeath unto Ann my well beloved Wife, the use and Improvement of y old or 
Easterly end of my dwelling House, and the Cellar under it : Also the use and Improvement of all my Indoor 
Goods or Moveables Except my Clock, or such other particulars as I shall here after mention in any of my Chil- 
drens Portions : Also the use and Service of my Negro Woman Kate. And also I Give and order her Support 
and Subsistence in all respects, both in Meat & Drink, and also in Fuel and Medicine, and that in a plentiful 
and ample manner both in sickness and Health ; to be found and provided by my Son Ebenezer Swift. And I 
also Give her the use of my old Garden. And I also order my s'' Son Ebenezer to provide her a Horse to Ride 
on when ever she shall have occasion, or think fit to use him. And all this above mentioned I give and provide 
for her so long as she shall remain my Widow and no longer. Also I Give and Bequeath unto her forever, all 
the Money or Cash that I shall leave at my decease, both Silver and Province or Colony Bills, and all the Debts 
that may be due to me at my decease, by Bill, Bond, Book debt, or any other ways whatsoever, and also all my 
Gold Buttons. And in Case she shall Marry again after my decease then I Give her y" Sum of Fifty pounds in 
Province Bills of the old tenor; to be paid her by my Son Ebenezer within one year after her marriage. 

Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my eldest Son Thomas Swift and to his Heirs and assigns forever, 
that part of my Lot of Land in Milton that lyeth upon the Southeasterly side of the Road leading to Stoughton 
between the Lands of John Newton & Benjamin Sumner, and being Bounded Northwesterly by y* said Road, 
and Southeasterly by Braintree old line containing about Seventy Acres of SaU Marsh lying in Dorchester, being 
the piece he now improves, joyning to the marsh of Nathaniel and Ebenezer Houghton : Also my Cedar-swamp 
in Stoughton by Mashapoag Pond, containing about Six acres and one Quarter : And also the one half of my 
Stock of Cattle and Horses according to Quantity and QuaUty, after what I have herein particularly mentioned 
and disposed of are first taken out. And after the decease or Marriage of my Wife, I give him my Negro-woman 
Kate. And also give him the Iron Back that he now improveth. 

Item, I give and Bequeath unto my second Son Samuel Swift, the Sum of Three Hundred pounds in 
Bills of Credit on this Province of the old tenor; to be paid him by my Son Ebenezer Swift, at Five equal yearly 
payments after my decease. And also I Give him my two Canes, that which he hath already in possession, and 
my other Cane which I now use; Also my Silver Hilted Sword; and my Horse-CoU now about Three Years old; 
and two Cows which he shall first choose. 

Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my Third Son Nathanael Swift, and to his Heirs & assigns for ever 
The Ten acres of Land, be it more or less, where he now hves, with the House and Barn standing thereon And 
also my Eight acre piece of Salt-marsh lying in Dorchester, between y Marsh of Mr. Fove and Jeremiah Tucker; 
And also my Woodlot in Milton lying between the Parallel Line (so called), and the Road leading to Stoughton; 
and my Pasture within fence by the Meeting-house in Milton: He paying the Sum of Money hereafter men- 

Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my Fourth Son John Swift and to the Heirs of his own Body lawfully 
begotten, and to their Heirs for ever all my upland lying in Dorchester upon the Southeast side of the lower 
Road leading from Milton to Boston, containing about Twenty acres, be it more or less, and lyeth between Jere- 
miah Smiths orchard and the Land of Joseph Leeds : And Six acres of my piece of Saltmarsh joyning to the 
s'' upland and running from thence down to Neponsit River, the whole of the s'' piece of Marsh containing 
about Twenty acres; the s'' Six acres to be measured off and to Iv next to the Ditch that parts between my s^ 
pieceof Marsh, and the Marsh of Thomas Trott : Also Ten acres of my Wood-lot lying in Milton unfenced on 
the Easterly side of y" Way leading to y Scotch-woods (so called) jovriing to the land already mentioned in my 
Son Nathanaels Portion, and on the land of Colonel Miller, and the land of Ebenezer Wadsworth & Mr. Oxen- 
bridge Thatcher; the s' Ten acres to be measured off and to lye next to the s'' Way to Scotch-woods. And my 
Son Ebenezer is to have liberty to pass & repass across y" said piece unto the other part of y s' Lot. And in 
Case my s'' Son John should die without lawfull Issue of' his Body, then what I have given him as aforesaid, to 
be equally divided among my Four Sons namely Thomas Swift, Samuel Swift, Nathanael Swift and Ebenezer 
Swift, or their Legal Representatives; them their Heirs and assigns for ever. I also give mv s'' Son John all my 
Carpenter & Joyners Tools. 

Item, I Give and Bequeath unto ray Fifth Son Ebenezer Swift, my Clock, & *Coat of Arms, and my 

• Now in possession of McRee Swift, Esq., of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and the same from which the 
Albertype in this work is taken. 


Iron Back in the Kitchen; And also I Give him his Heirs and assigns for ever, all the Residue and Remainder 
of my Estate both Real and Personal wheresoever the same is or may be found, not heretofore or hereafter par- 
ticularly mentioned and Disposed of in this my last Will : He paying the sums of Money heretofore & here- 
after mentioned, and performing what I have enjoyned him to do for his mother as abovementioned. 

Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Sarah AdamS the Sum of One Hundred Pounds in Bdls 
of Credit on this Province of the old tenor, to be paid her by my s'' Son Nathanael Swift at Three Yearly equal 
payments after my decease. And I also give her my Molatto Girl Dinah. 

Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Anna Hearsay the wife of Solomon Hearsay the Sum 
of One Hundred pounds in Bills of Credit of this Province of the old tenor, to be paid at Three equal yearly 
payments next after my Decease, Fifty pounds part thereof to be paid by my s' Son Nathanael Swift, and the 
remaining Hfiy pounds to be paid by my s'' Son Ebenezer Swift and all to be Deposited in the Hands of my s'' 
Son Nathanael bwift and he to have power to demand and receive the same; and he is to Improve it for the 
Relief and benefit of my s'' Daughter Anna & her Children; and to distribute y same at such times and in 
such Quantity and bpecies as he shall judge to be most for her benetit. But in case the s'' .Solomon Hearsay 
should decease before my s' Daughter Anna then all the Remainder of the s" Sum to be paid into her hands, 
having regard (if need be) to the times of payment above mentioned. And in case my s'' Son Nathanael 
should decease before the s' Solomon Hearsay then all the Power care and trust hereby Reposed in my s' Son 
Nathanael to devolve upon my Son Ebenezer Swift. 

Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Patience VVadsworth the Sum of one Hundred 
pounds old tenor, to be paid her by my s'' Son Ebenezer in Province Bills at Three equal yearly payments ne.xt 
after my decease. 

Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my s"" three Daughters, Sarah Adams, Annah Hearsay & Patience Wads- 
worth, after the marriage or decease of my Wife, all my Indoor moveables, not before particularly mentioned 
and disposed of in this my last Will, to be Equally divided among them. 

Item, My Will is that all my arms not before mentioned be distributed as follows. Viz. my long gun to my 
Son Thomas, my little Gun that I had of brother Pratt to my Son Ebenezer, and my Case of Pistols & Holsters 
to my Son Nathanael. 

Item, My Will is, and I do hereby order that all my Just Debts and Funeral Expenses, be discharged and 
paid by my s' Sons Thomas Nathanael and Ebenezer in Equal parts out of their own proper Portions; and to 
be delivered into y« hands of my Executors hereafter mentioned for them to pay when they shall be due. 

And I Exhort all my Children to live in love and peace among themselves, that the God of peace may 
dwell with them. And I desire them all to rest Satisfied and Contented with this my distribution of my Estate; 
wherein my Will is, that if any of my Children shall be discontented and give trouble to any other of my Chil- 
dren or Heirs mentioned, then he, she, or they, being so discontented and giving trouble as aforesaid, shall for- 
feit all I have herein bequeathed to them, and y same shall be equally divided among all those of my Children 
as shall rest Satisfied and Contented with this disposition of my Estate. 

And I do hereby Constitute and appoint my two Sons Thomas Swift and Samuel Swift to be Co-Executors 
of this my last Will and Testament And I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke and disannul all other former 
Wills, Legacies and Bequests, and Executors, by me in any way before named. Willed and Bequeathed; Rati- 
fying and Confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament. 

In Witness whereof I the s'* Samuel Swift have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the Day and year first 
above written. 


-j SEAL I 

Signed, Sealed, Published Pronounced and Declared by y« 
Samuel Swift the Testator to be his last Will and 
Testament, in the presence of us the Subscribers, 

James Blake 
Samuel Blake 
Ruth Blake 

Suffolk ss : Lib. 40, fol. 360. 

The will was proved January 12, 1747, but the following day Ann Swift appeared 
and renounced what was given her by her said husband, and claimed her dower. 
She made her will January 9, 1855 ; proved July 5, 1862; gives five shillings to her 
four sons, Thomas, Samuel, Nathaniel, Ebenezer, and the residue of her estate to her 
three daughters, Sarah Adams, Anna Hearsay and Patience Wadsworth. 



Samucb Stoift, lEsq., (Samuel? Thomas^ Thomas^) of Boston, b. in Milton June 
9, 1715 ; d. Aug. 30, 1775 ; m. in 1738 Eliphal, (b. Feb. 7, 1713,) dau. of Samuel 
and Eliphal Tilley. He m. second, Oct. 5, 1757, Ann, (b. Oct. 3, 1729; d. May 8, 
1788,) dau. of Capt. Hopestill Foster,* of Boston. 


Sarah, rn. Col. Putnam. Their dau., Mrs. Bryant, was living in New London, Ct., in 1S2S, «ith a 

son and a daughter. 
Ann, died s. p. 
Eliphal, died s. p. 

Elizabeth, b. June 23, 1758; m. (pub. Oct. 30, 1776,) John Newhall, of Belchertown, and had a 
son, Samuel S. Newhall. She next m. Col. Jed''. Burt, of Longmeadow. No children. 
13. jFasttr, h. Jan. 20, 1760. 

Mary, b. , 1762; m. Col. Burt as his third wife. 

U. Snnatljan, b. Mar. 27, 1764. 

Lucretia, b. July — , 1767; d. Dec, 1830; m. Sept. 23, 17S7, John Lovering. "A worthy, exem- 
plary wife, mother and kind friend." 
Philomela, b. — — , 1774; m. Elijah Stoddard, and had a son and daughter. 

Mrs. Swift appears from her diary to have been a woman of more than ordinary 
intelligence, and of great piety. 

She commenced to write before her marriage, and continued it, at intervals, for 
many years after. Her compositions, which are of a deeply religious character, are 
mostly in verse, commemorating the death of relatives and friends. She writes, May 
6, 1758, that she was taken into Mr. Byles' church, and of her religious duties, etc. 
She was in the habit of writing out her thoughts on the sermons she heard preached, 
and she often wrote on passing events, as — on the frequenting the tavern Saturday 
nights; on Lisbon being shaken by an earthquake, Nov. i, 1775 ; on the taking of 
Quebec, 1759; on the vanity of the world; on the safe delivery of a child; on the 
repeal of the cruel stamp act, May 20, 1766. She also wrote verses on the death of 
"the universally beloved Capt. Larrabee," and says "this worthy gentleman departed 
this life in the 75th year of his age, lamented by all who knew him." In June, 1775, 
she is at Springfield, and writes: "Here I am in the woods, Boston being so sur- 
rounded by armies that we could not enjoy our home : no school for the children, 

• The Foster family, prominent in the history of Dorchester, commences with Hopestill' and Patience, whose 
son, Capt. Hopestill,' m. Mary, dau. of James Bate, and had, with other children, James,' who m., Oct. 7, 1680, 
second wife, Anna, dau. of Job Lane. .\n engraving of the coat-of-arms on their gravestone may be seen on 
p. 26, vol. I, Heraldic "Journal. Of their numerous children was Capt. Hopestill' of Boston, housewright, (named 
in his father's Will and Suf Deeds, L. 48, F. 76,) who m. Nov. 11, 1724, Sarah .Vllen, who d. Sept. 6, 1772, a; 
70 yrs. 6 mos. He d. Dec. 26, 1772, x 70 yrs. 10 mos. The family IJible of their son HopestilP(brother of .\nn' 
Swift), who m. Susannah Wood, is in possession of their grandson, James' Foster, of Longwood, son of John 
Hancock" Foster, who m. Elizabeth Allen. His brother, David W.' Foster, of Boston, has the manuscript of 
Ann Swift. (For an account of the earlier generation, see Hist, of Dor., p. 1 18, and Savage Gen. Did.) 



and the town forsaken by the ministers — the pillars of the land." About this time 
she wrote the following letter : 

Capt. Handfield, S^ 

Your kindness in undertaking to get a pass for me emboldens me to ask the like favor for my dear husband 
whom I hear is in a very weak state of health. The anxiety of my mind is great about him. A word from you 
would have more weight than all the arguments that he could make use of. 

Could I come to him, this favor 1 would not ask. O, S' I trust in your goodness that you will do what you 
can to forward M' Swift to me and in doing so you will greatly oblige 

Your distressed friend, 
Should be glad if he would bring out two ANN SWIFT, 

trunks which there is clothing in that I 
want very much for myself and children. 

The appeal seems to have failed, for she writes under date Aug. 30, 1775 : "De- 
parted this life, in the 6ist year of his age, my dear husband, Samuel Swift. He 
died in Boston, or in other words, murdered there. He was not allowed to come to 
see me and live with his wife and children in the country. There he gave up the 
ghost — his heart was broken ; the cruel treatment he met with in being a friend to 
his country was more than he could bear, with six fatherless children (in the woods) 
and all my substance in Boston." Mrs. Swift was a woman of delicate health, but 
of much energy. She was living, Nov. 16, 1787, in her own house in Orange Street, 
Boston, when she deeded a small portion of her land to Ebenezer Pope, whose estate 
it joined. 

Mr. Swift was graduated at Harvard College in 1735, studied law with Counsellor 
Gridley and became a barrister and fellow practitioner with John Adams, afterwards 
president of the United States. 

Mr. Swift was a highly esteemed citizen of Boston, and was frequently invited by 
the selectmen to visit the schools with many other distinguished citizens. 

He was one of those fearless and determined men who set the revolutionary ball 
in motion, and early gave up his life to the cause of freedom. 

As a proof of his prominence and the esteem in which he was held, the town 
records of Boston attest. At a town meeting of the freeholders and other inhabi- 
tants of the town of Boston, legally warned, at Faneuil Hall, Monday, April 3, 1775, 
— an adjournment of the March meeting — Mr. Samuel Adams, moderator of the 
meeting, being at the Congress then sitting at Concord, Samuel Swift, Esq., was 
chosen moderator /w tempore. It was, indeed, no small honor to preside at one of 
the famous town meetings in those stirring times, and to take the place of such a 
patriot as Sam Adams. 

Mr. Swift was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery in 1746, and he 
is said by his friend. Colonel May, to have been one of those active in promoting the 
destruction of the tea in Boston Harbor. 

However that may be, he is known to have been an active and influential patriot. 
President John Adams told his distinguished grandson. General Swift, while on a 
visit to his seat in Quincy in 181 7 with President Monroe, that Samuel Swift was a 


good man and a generous lawyer, and was called the widows' friend ; that he was a 
firm Whig whose memory the State ought to perpetuate. The same sentiments Mr. 
Adams expressed in a letter to William Wirt, of Virginia. Mr. Adams also said it 
was owing to the zeal and resolution of Samuel Swift that caused many Bostonians 
to secrete their arms when Gov. Gage offered the town freedom if arms were brought 
in to the arsenal ; and that Mr. Swift presided at a freemason's meeting where it was 
covertly agreed to use the arms concealed, and, in addition, pitchforks and axes, if 
need be, to assail the soldiery on the common ; which scheme was betrayed to Gage, 
causing the imprisonment of Swift and others. This imprisonment brought on dis- 
ease from which he never recovered, and he died August 30, 1775, aged 60 years, as 
President Adams said, "a martyr to freedom's cause." His remains were interred in 
the tomb in the stone chapel ground that had belonged to Samuel Tylly, Esq., the 
father of his first wife. 

He had acquired a competency by his profession, which, excepting a house in 
Boston and a few acres of land in Dorchester, was lost, including bonds, through the 
unfaithfulness of his agent, while Boston was garrisoned. 


In the Name of God Amen I .Samuel Swift of Boston in the county of Suffolk in New England 
Esq' being sensible of what I am about make this my last Will & Testament First recommending my Soul to my 
merciful God hoping in his mercy and in the next place commiting my Body to the Earth to be buried by my 
Executrix hereafter named in the economical manner and as touching the small worldly estate (though enough) 
with which God has intrusted me after my just debts & funeral charges are paid and anything remains; I give & 
bequeath it as follows, viz' To ray daughter Sarah Putnam I Give the sum of five shillings & no more and to my 
daughter Ann Swift I give her the Hke sum of tive shillings and no more they and each of them having had 
already advanced to them their full equal part >& proportion of my small estate To my daughter Eliphal I give 
five shillings; to my daughter Elizabeth I give tive shillings; to my son Foster Swift I give five shillings; to my 
daughter Mary Swift I give live shiUings; to my son Jonathan Swift I give five shillings and to my daughter 
Lucretia Swift I give five shillings to be paid to each of them in three months after my decease Then I Give 
all the remainder of my Estate as well real as personal to my well beloved wife Ann Swift viz', the use and im- 
provement of it during her natural life and with leave also to make ample Sale & disposal of all or any part of 
my personal Estate first used and then if need be of my real Estate for the support of herself and any of her chil- 
dren (always excepting my daughter Sarah I'utnam and Ann Swift) and at her death she is hereby impowered 
by Will or otherwise to dispose of it to my children (not excepted as aforesaid) as she please or if she thinks 
proper to advance any thing to any one of them excepting as aforesaid she shall be at liberty so to do if they 
behave dutifully to her, of which she shall be the sole judge, being fully satisfied that she will do what is just & 
equitable but if my said wife should die without Willing or disposing of what I hereby give her for life & then my 
Will is that what she shall or may leave of my Estate whether real or personal, or both, be equally divided be- 
tween my Children viz which is hereby given equally to them their heirs and assigns forever (excepting to .Sarah 
Putnam and Ann Swift as aforesaid) and I hereby direct and order that no Inventory or Apprizement of any 
part of my Estate be had : In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this twenty-third day of 
August, Anno Domini One Thousand seven hundred & seventy, 


-j SEAL \ 

Sign'd Seal'd publish'd pronounc'd S: 
declared by the s'd Samuel .Swift the 
Test.ator to be his Will & Testam'. in 

presence of us 

(first interlined in one place near the bottoni) 

John Peirce 

TllO.MAS liAYl.KV Juiier 

Joseph Fiei,l) Proved June 24, 1776. 


1 1 

l^affjanicl' Stotft, {Samuel,^ Tliomas'^ Thomas') of Milton, yeoman and gentleman, 
b. September 25, 1719; d. in 1767; m. (pub. Jan. 9, 1741-2) Rebecca Tucker, 
who d. Sept. 6, 1793. The town records show that he filled the offices of constable 
and fence-viewer. Adm. on his estate was granted to Rebecca Swift and Jeremiah 
Tucker, who presented the inventory Feb. 12, 1768; amt. £^2^, 9s., 6d. Josiah 
How appointed guardian of the children. 


Rebecca, b. Dec. 30. 1742; m. James Tucker (pub. Apr. 2, 1763). 

Sarah, b. May 25, 1745; d. 17S1; m. Samuel Henshaw (pub. May 30, 1777); son of Sam'l and 

Waitstill Henshaw, b. at Milton, 1744; grad. H. C. 1773; rem. to Northampton. 
Eliphal, b. Oct. II, 1747; m. John Baker, Jr., of Dorchester (pub. Aug. 15, 1777). 
Patience, bapt. Dec. 3, 1748; d. young. 

Patience, b. Nov. 14, 1749; ra. Sept. iS, 1799, Daniel Newell, of Lynn. 
Mary, b. Dec. 20, 1751; m. Joseph Bennett (pub. July 17, 1773). 
15. ilfattjanirl, b. June 12, 1754. 

Abigail, b. ; m. Ruben Ferry, Sept. 13, 17S1. 

Jonathan, b. ; m. Silence White, who d. in Boston, July 16, 1817, s. p. The 

adm. of her estate shows she was sister of John White, Esq., of Weymouth. 
Elizabeth, b. June 25, 1761 ; m. 17S3, Samuel Babcock. 


lEiKncjtr" Sinift, {Sainiielf Thomas^- Thomas'), of Milton, gentleman, born March 
24, 1724-5 ; d. Jan. 17, 1805, aged 80 yrs. ; m. Judith [b. Jan. 30, 1728-9; d. Apr. 
22, 1784, aged 55 yrs.], dau. of Dea. Nehemiah Clapp [pub. Jan. 17, 1746-7]. He 
served the town as surveyor of highways in 1758, '64, '71, '78. 


Ui. Sotin, b. June 24, 1747. 
17. Samuel, b. May 28, 1749. 
IS. Ebruorr, b. Jan. 15, 1752. 

Lvdia, b. Feb. 14, 1754; d. July 10, 1758. 

Susannah, b. Dec. 31, 1756; m. Wm. Bartlett of Boston (pub. Sept. 9, 17S0). 

Stephen, b. Apr. i, 1761. 

Lydia, b. Mar. 7, 1763; m. Wm. Pierce, (pub. Dec. 9, 1784). 

Ann, b. Aug. 6, 1764; perhaps the same who was called Nancy; m. Samuel Berry of Brookline 
(pub. May 20, 1786). 

Judith, b. ; m. Henry Crane, Jr. (pub. Mar, 20, 1784). 


Sr. Joatcr' Stoift, {Samuel^ Samuel? Thomas^ Thomas^) b. Jan., 1760; d. Aug. 

18, 183s ; m. Feb. 18, 1783, Deborah [b. Sept. 1762 ; d. June 3, 1824], dau. 

of Capt. Thomas and Elizabeth Delano* of Nantucket. She was buried in the 

♦Here followeth some genealogical notes collected and made at Amsterdam in 1852 by Edward Delano, son 
of Warren : r- j j 

Arnulph de Franchemont, proprietor of the estate of this name, took the oath of fealty to Conrad and was 


Episcopal Cemetery of St. Ann's, Brooklyn, N. Y., June 5, 1824. Their portraits, 
painted by Jarvis, in possession of their grandson, McRee Swift, Esq., are repro- 
duced by the Albertype process for this work. 


29. 3osr)3fj ©arSncr, b. Dec. 31, 1783. 

Jonathan, b. 1785; d- young. 

Sarah Delano, b. Feb. 24, 17SS; d. May, 1839; m. December, 1810, Eli, son of James and Delia 
Adams, of Concord, Mass. He d. July i8, 1822. Besides children who died young, they had 
Col. Julius Walker Adams, b. Oct. 18, 1812; m. Dec. 2, 1835, Elizabeth Dennison, of Stoning- 
ton. Conn. He is a distinguished civil engineer, particularly devoted to sanitary science. He 
was partially educated at West Point, and commanded a regiment from Brooklyn, N. Y., in the 
war of the Rebellion. DeUa Woodward Adams, b. Nov. 19, 1815; m. Col. Edward B. White, 
U. S. A., of Charleston, S. C. Mary, b. Nov. 21, 1818; m. James P. Kirkwood, of Edinburgh, 

Deborah Ann, b. 1790; d. Dec. 1805. "A very beautiful woman." 

20. SSailliam l^tnrg, b. Nov. 6, 1800. 

Mary Roberdeau, b. Aug. 8, 1S04; d. Dec. 1827; m. Jan. 23, 1821, George W. Whistler, 

created Count, A. D. 1 139. He married the daughter of the Seigneur Ivoy, and had Conrad the Count and Gov- 
ernor of Liege and Bouillon; he married Ermingarde Walcourt, 1766; their son Hugh married the heir of 
Bavaria. Hallin, the successor to Franchemont, married Agnes, daughter of Guilbert of Ovras, 1225. Walleron 
de Franchemont became Seigneur of de Launoy in 1310, between Selle and Tournay; their son, Hugh de 
Launoy, married Margarethe of Migneul, as appears on the tombstone. Gilbert de Launoy of Wellnolle and 
Beaumont, married Catherine Molembix, and had three sons. Baldwin de Launoy Michelle, Lady of Conray, 
and their descendant, Philip de Launoy, served Charles V, 12th Sept., 1543. He married Margaret, daughter of 
Baldwin of Falaix, and died May 25, 1560. The heir, Philip, died about 1594. The arms of these de Launoys 
are a shield argent with three green lions and three red tongues. On Dec. 7, 1603, was baptized in the 
Walloon church at Leyden, Philip, the son of John and Mary de Lonoye. This Philip migrated to New Ply- 
mouth in November, 1621, and who, it is believed, was the same Philip who came to New Plymouth in the For- 
tune in i62r. He married Dec. 19, 1634, and was about nineteen years of age, and it is thought is undoubtedly 
the same Philip de Lonoye. They wrote their names de Lano, de la Noy and de Launuy. One of them 
married at the Walloon church James de Lano, and is believed to be the brother of Philip, born 1603, and hus- 
band of Mary of Leyden, whom the record says went to New Spain or New Plymouth in 1621. The first gen- 
eration of the de Launoys, or de Lano, or Noy or Noye, known in America, was this Philip, who came to New 
Plymouth in the Fortune, in 1621, of 55 tons, the second vessel that reached the colony, and she was placed on 
the same footing with the Mayflower as to the distribution of land. He married Hester Dewsbury of Duxbury; 
she had three sons, Samuel, Thomas and Jonathan, and a daughter. Jonathan, the youngest son of Philip, was 
born 1648, and he married Mary Warren, daughter of Nathaniel Warren of Plymouth, on Feb. 26, 1677-78. 
Their children were, Jonathan, married Ann Nash June 20th, 1704; Jabez, married his cousin, Mary Delano, 
1710; Sarah; Mary; Nathan; Bethia; Nathaniel, married a Durfee, 1720; Esther; Jethro, married Elizabeth 
Pope Oct. 9, 1727; and Thomas, who married Jane Peckham, April, 1729. 

The aforesaid Jonathan was lieutenant of the colony, military constable, and surveyor, as his father, Philip, 
had been also. His farm was called Nonasketucket, in Dartmouth, now Fair Haven, and he died Dec. 28, 1720, 
and was buried at where the headstone was in 1S50. 

Thomas Delano, who married Jean in April, 1729, had children, Abishai, born July 9, 1731; 
Thomas, born in 1732 and died in November, 1799, married to Elizabeth Swain of Nantucket; Ephraim, born 
Aug. 14, 1733, married to Elizabeth Cushman Nov. 27th, 1760; Gideon, born Sept. 25, 1736, married Patience 
Tabor; Deborah, born June 14, 1739, married . Sherman; Jean, married Pierre Tobey. J. G. Swift re- 
members great-uncle Abishai, who settled in Hampshire County, Mass., and also great-uncle Gideon, on board 
his very neat sloop that coa.stcd between Boston and Carolina. The aforesaid Thomas' wife was born in 1729, 
and was the granddaughter of Peter Folger, and daughter of Shul)art Swain of Nantucket. The aforesaid 
Ephraim, of whom I have heard my mother speak as of one she respected highly, married Elizabeth Cushman. 
Their children were, Thomas, born Oct. 16, 1761, died February, 1782; Deborah, born July 16, 1773, died Feb. 
9, 1851; Warren, born Oct. 28, 1779, married Deborah Church Nov. 6, 180S. Their children, Warren, married 
Catherine Lyman; Franklin if. married Laura Acton; and Edward Delano, this last the collector of this 
memoir, except in reference to my grandfather, Thomas Delano. The sons of the saiil Thomas were Ephraim, 
Henry, Thomas, Abishai and William, and daughters, Elizabeth Howland, Deborah Swift, my mother, and Sally 
Fitch. My grandfather educated his first four sons in England. 

Foster Swift, M. D. 


U. S. A., son of Col.Wm.Whistler, U. S. A., b. in Indiana, cadet at the U. S. Military Academy from 
July 31, 1S14, to July I, 1S19, when he was graduated and promoted to 2d lieutenant corp of 
artillery, July I, 1819; 1st Ueutenant 2d Artillery, Aug. 16, 1829; resigned, Dec. 31, 1833; 
civil engineer in U. S. from 1S42-49; superintending engineer of the St. Petersburgh & Moscow 
R. R., Russia, in the employ of the emperor; died Apr. 7, 1849, aged 48 yrs.; children : i, Geo. 

W. Whistler, b. ; m. dau. of Prof. Ducatel of Baltimore, by whom he had 

Geo. W., now living in Baltimore. His second wife, m. in 1854, was Julia, dau. of Ross W. 
Winans, of Baltimore; 2, Joseph Swift Whistler, d. young; 3, Deborah Delano Whistler, m. 
Seymour Hayden in England, the distinguished surgeon and artist of London, whose etchings 
have obtained such celebrity. 

Dr. Swift was, at his father's death, preparing for college, but that affliction 
made other pursuits necessary. He commenced the study of medicine with Dr. 
Joseph Gardner in 1779, and about 1780 was appointed surgeon on board the Ports- 
mouth, sloop-of-war, Capt. Daniel McNeill, and with a squadron destined for Hol- 
land, met a British fleet — Rodney's — and was captured by the Culloden, seventy-four, 
commanded by Lord Robert Manners, and sent to St. Lucie, where he was kept a pris- 
oner thirteen months, escaping, with twelve others, in 1781. This escape was a re- 
markable event. Dr. Swift, who had prescribed successfully for the illness of the 
commander of the prison-ship, was allowed to visit the sick of the island, and was 
amply compensated by them— a guinea a visit. These fees gave him and his fellow- 
sufferers many comforts, but still they were prisoners. Twelve of them, officers and 
men, with Capt. McNeill at the head, had long been devising a plan of escape. 
They practiced swimming, and then waited for some trader to anchor near by. At 
last a brig partly laden with sugar lay at anchor. Now was their chance, which they 
hastened to improve. Selecting a night light enough to see the brig, the twelve low- 
ered themselves quietly from a port into the water, and swam with a light bundle of 
clothes tied to their backs, to the cable of the vessel. One of their comrades on 
reaching the cable shinned up, and raising his body over the side bow, his indistinct 
form at that hour of the night struck the watch with terror, and they ran below. 
The others, following their leader, hastened to fasten the companion and hatches, cut 
the cable, and put to sea. In eleven days they reached Cape Cod with their pris- 
oners, only eight, the remainder being on shore in St. Lucie at the time of the cap- 
ture. The sale of the brig, a Hull trader, partly laden with sugar and rum, gave 
each of the twelve some hundreds of dollars, and much eclat, at the time " that truly 
tried men's souls." 

Of this imprisonment his mother writes as follows : 

My Dear SUter:- Boston, Sept. 20, ,781. 

I have heard from my son Foster, but oh, how can I tell, or how can you hear? He 
IS oil board a guard-ship at a place where they will not exchange prisoners, and he has written letters to Dr. 
Gardner and Deacon Davis, enough to break, or move a stone to speak, begging that some one would stir in the 
affair, and try to get the Americans released. Their number on board is two hundred and twenty, put down the 
iold at sunset — how can they live? 


1 have copied his letter to me and send you. I fear nothing can be done, as I have not the least encourage- 
ment from either, and there he must he and sicken and die. My heart is too full. Farewell. 

Your sister, ANN SWIFT. 

Your brother Foster tells me that your cousin Hearsay has seen the wharfs, and is quite of the notion of 
taking them, and Cunningham is going to quit them, and he would have you send him word if there is anything 
further you would have him do. 

In November of 1782 Dr. Swift thought of settling professionally on the island 
of Nantucket, by the advice of Dr. Gardner, who gave him letters of introduction ; 
but not finding that place equal to his hopes, he went the next year to Virginia, by 
invitation of his only brother, Jonathan, where he received the friendly aid of Gen. 
Washington, to whom he had carried a package and introduction from Gen. Benjamin 
Lincoln, and succeeded, but lost his health and returned to Nantucket. In 1786 he 
removed with his wife and son to Dartmouth, Mass., where he remained till July, 
1792 ; then took up his residence and the practice of his profession in Taunton. In 
1809 he removed to Boston, and Feb. 18, 18 14, was appointed garrison surgeon. 
He was post surgeon April 24, 1816, assistant surgeon May, 1821, and died at his 
post, New London, Conn. 


Knowing the certainty of death I, Foster Swift, do make this my last Will and Testament. In doing it I 
desire humbly to recommend my Soul to God, hoping for pardon and salvation through the mediation of a 
crucified Redeemer. It is my wish to be buried in a plain pine coffin, simply stained, without any ornament, to 
have plain Gravestones with my name and profession, place of nativity and age, and time of death and no 

After all my debts are paid I dispose of my estate as follows, viz : One-half of my estate, real and per- 
sonal, (excepting what is mentioned below,) I give to my daughter .Sally D. Adams. All the residue of my estate, 
real and personal, I give to my sons Joseph, William, and my grandchildren George, Joseph and Deborah 
Whistler, in equal parts, that is, George, Joseph and Deborah Whistler to have one-third of one-half. If there 
should be any dividend from any source I give the same to my sons Joseph and William. The Watch which I 
have worn belongs to my son Joseph. To him I give my Silver Tankard, and the table spoons marked 1). D. to 
Louisa Adams. To my sisters Mary and Philomela I give Ten Dollars each, my Gold Seal and Watch Chain I 
give to Julius W. Adams. To my early friend Lyman Law, Esq., I give my Gold Ring. 

I hereby appoint my sons Joseph and William executors, and my daughter Sally executrix of this will. 

In testimony of which I have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of February, A. D. 1834. 


< SEAL \ 

Signed, sealed, and declared by the Testator "j 
as his last Will and Testament, in the |- 
presence of us: ) 


JosEi'H Smith, Jr., 


Surgeon in the 

U. S. Army, 

Born in Boston 

20th Jany, 1760, 

Died in New/ London 

18 Aug., 1835. 

Mrs. Foster Swift. 



Jonatj^an* Stoift, {Foster,'^ Samuel,^ Thomas,^ Thomas'), b. in Boston, March 22, 
1764; d. Aug. 22, 1824; m. Sept. 24, 1785, Ann (b. Dec. 3, 1767; d. Jan. 16, 
1833), dau. of Gen. Daniel Roberdeau of the Revolutionary War and the Congress 
of 1778. (See Roberdeau Genealogy). 

Mrs. Swift was present at the inauguration ball in honor of Gen. Washington, 
and during the evening was led out to dance by him. A life-like miniature of her 
on ivory at the age of twenty-two is in possession of her daughter, Mrs. Patten, who 
has also an oil painting at the age of si.xty. 


A son still born Oct. 10, 1 786. 

William Roberdeau, b. Aug. 29, 17S7; d. Oct., 1833; m. Aug. i, 1815, Mary Donaldson (d. 
Apr. 30, 1S70, aged S3), dau. of Edward Harper, of Alexandria; early was in the counting- 
room of Wm. Taylor, and made voyages for this house as supercargo with great success; was 
afterwards established as a merchant in Baltimore with Eli Adams; finally moved to Washing- 
ton, N. C, where he died, s. p. Oct. 1833. 

A son, b. Nov. 12, 1789; d. Nov. 13, 1789. 

Daniel Roberdeau, b. Nov. 9, 1790; • d. unm. Aug., 1825. 

Jonathan, b. Dec. 2, 1792; d. July i, 1793. 

Isaac Bostwick, b. Feb. 2, 1795. 

Ann Selina, b. Feb. 18, 1797; d. July 18, 1798. 

Geo. Washington, b. Feb. 11, 1800; d. unm. Sept. 19, 1819. 

Ann Foster, b. Oct. 11, 1802; m. Jan. 13, 1S29, Jonathan T. Patten, a prosperous wholesale mer- 
chant of New York, where they still reside. For their children, see Roberdeau Genealogy. 

Mary Selina, b. Jan. iS, 1S05; m. Aug. 8, 1S26, Henry Allison, b. in Va. Dec. 23, 1793; d. Dec. 
26, 1871; settled in Missouri, where, at Brownsville, Mrs. A. lives. For children, see Rober- 
deau Genealogy. 

Wm. Taylor, b. Sept. 20, rSo8; d. next day. 

Foster, b. May 20, 1810; d. unm. .Sept., 1825. 

Mr. Swift was for forty years a prominent citizen of Alexandria, Va. He was 
bred to mercantile life by Mr. May of Boston, and early (before 1785), established 
himself in commerce at Alexandria, where he met with success, accumulating a 
fortune. His fine place bore the unique name of Grasshopper Hall, since known as 
Kolros, where he frequently entertained Gen. Washington, with whom he was on 
intimate terms. He had a fine portrait of him painted by Peale, now in possession 
of Jonathan Patten, Esq., of New York. 

Mr. Swift was a Mason, and received his degree in the Washington Lodge, 
Alexandria; initiated and passed Feb. 25, 1785, and raised to a Master Mason Feb. 
24, 1786. 

As a brother Mason Mr. Swift attended the funeral of Gen. Washington, and was 
the one who sprinkled the earth over the body during the services. He was also 
buried with Masonic honors by the lodge. A gentleman of dignified and elegant 
manners, tall, of commanding aspect ; his eyes were blue, and his complexion dark. 


He was an intelligent traveler, visiting England and Ireland in 1786-7, when he 
improved the opportunity of a visit to Rotherham, in Yorkshire, the home of his 
ancestors. Here and elsewhere in the county he found the name respectably 
represented ; some having the tradition that a branch of the family had migrated to 
Boston in the previous century. On visiting Dublin some members of St. Patrick's 
Society thought they traced a resemblance between him and the Dean, and with the 
characteristic poetry of Irish feeling, they gave him a dinner and presented him with 
a portrait of the Dean, with the arms of the Yorkshire family. His valuable papers, 
among which were many letters from Gen. Washington, were all lost at sea soon after 
the death of his son, while being sent to New York. His portrait, which was painted 
abroad, was so injured on the voyage home that he destroyed it. 


i^atl^anitl,' {Nathaniel* Samuel^ Tkomasf Thomas',) of Dorchester, b. in Milton, 
June 12, 1754; d. Nov. 16, 1831 ; m. Sept. 25, 1777, Mary Baker, b. Feb. 7, 1754. 


21. fiatbanicl, b. July 15, 1778. 

22. EJailliam, b. Sept. 11, 1779. 

Mary, b. Mar. 18, 17S1; d. unm. in 1877. 
Sarah, b. Dec. 23, 17S2; d. unm. in 1S77. 

23. Samuel, b. Dec. 2, 1784. 

The daughters, Mary and Sarah, were charming ladies of great intelligence, 
residing till their death in Dorchester. The family tomb is situated in the old 
Dorchester graveyard. 


3Df)n=' SiDift, lEsq. {Ebenczer* Samuel,^ Thomas^ Thomas,') b. in Milton on the 
ancestral farm, June 24, 1747; d. Jan. 14, 1819; m. May 17, 1772, Elizabeth (born 
Jan. 14, 1754; d. Dec. 13, 1825), dau. of William and Hannah (Blake) Babcock 
of Milton. 


Bktsf.y, b. Apr. 27, 1773; d. 1774. 
24. 3ot)n, b. Mar. 12, 1775. 

Wii.i.iAM, b. June 13, 1777; merchant of Milton; adm. to John Swift, Esq., Feb. 7, 1808, d. s.p. 

Elizabeth, b. Jan. 4, 1779; d. June 10, 1805; m. Capt. P. 15. Rogers; children: i, Charles; 2, 
Elizabeth; 3, Judith, m. E. P. Porter of lioston, d. s. p.; 4, John Swift, m. and left four child- 
ren; 5, George 1!., d. leaving a widow and three children; 6, Fanny, m. J. A. Veazie of Boston, 
has three children; 7, Pcnuel, dead. 



Fanny, b. Dec. 30, 1780; d. unm. Mar. 2, 1868. A lady much beloved. She owned the ancient 
coat of arms before mentioned, which she gave in i860 to Gen. Swift, now in possession of 
his son, McRee. 

Charles, b. May 2, 1783; d. single. 

Edward, b. Aug. 15, 1788; d. single. 

Capt. John Swift, as he is frequently called on the Milton record, was one of the 
leading men of the town. He built the house now standing on Adams Street near 
Canton Avenue, Milton Hill, from which the following picture was made, about one 
hundred years ago, on land his wife inherited from her ancestors. 

In business he was a successful manufacturer of gentlemen's and ladies' beaver 
hats, in which he rivalled those imported from the mother country. 

The Milton records during the Revolutionary period of its history, show that he 
was an active and ardent patriot, filling the most important offices with signal ability. 
Before the memorable year of i ']^6, when he was chosen as one of the committee of 
safety and correspondence, he had filled numerous minor offices, as clerk of the 
market, surveyor, and so forth; and in 1781 he was appointed with his brother 
Samuel to raise men for the Continental army, and was also chosen to examine the 
treasurer's accounts and to regulate the schools. No committee during these 
exciting times seemed complete unless his name was attached to it, and all we can 
learn of him stamps him as a determined and resolute man, greatly respected by his 


townsmen. In i8 17 he was a second lieutenant in a company which went to assist in 
quelling Shay's rebellion. 

The following incident, giving us some insight into his character, was given by 
the Rev. Frederick Frothingham, in his two hundredth anniversary discourse : " June 
■ 19, 1796, the church of Milton called the Rev. John Pierce, afterwards the famous 
Dr. Pierce, of Brookline, but the town would not concur. Dr. Pierce used to say in 
his jovial fashion that Mr. John Swift was the cause of his not coming to Milton. 
Being a man of influence, he made such a fuss in the town that the town refused to 
ratify the vote of the church in favor of inviting Mr. Pierce. And the weighty 
ground of Mr. Swift's opposition was, that he did not like Mr. Pierce's step-mother." 

A note to a sermon by John H. Morrison, D. D., of Milton, says : " About sixty 
years ago, I have been told that at a town meeting in Milton, no public measure 
could be carried which was opposed by John Swift, the energetic head of an impor- 
tant family which is now represented by only one male member." 

Squire Swift was a politician of the old Jeffersonian school, and made his influence 
felt both in his town and county. He is said to have been tendered the nomination 
for Congress, but declined. In writing his political squibs, as he called them, he 
signed himself " The Man of Fur." 

Mr. E. J. Baker of Dorchester writes: "His was no negative character. He 
loved his friends and hated his enemies, while he rendered to Ca;sar the things that 
are Ca;sar's, and to God the things that are God's. In the days of my boyhood I 
met him frequently, when he was at the age of threescore years and ten, and my 
remembrance of him is that he was tall and portly, dignified in his person and in his 
gait, and elastic in his step. His hair was very white, with the queue of the former 
generation. He was always social and pleasant in his conversation, and a constant 
attendant at church. His hospitality was bounteous, and shared alike by his neigh- 
bors and transient visitors." 

Administration on his estate was granted to his son John, February 2, 18 19. 
The inventory, amounting to three thousand, seven hundred and forty-six dollars and 
four cents, showed tvvo pews in the Milton meeting house, and about one hundred 
books in the library. His family tomb is near by the graves of his ancestors in the 
Milton cemetery. 


Samuel' Stoift, {Ebenezer' Samuci,' Thomas'^ Thomas'), b. at the paternal mansion, 
Milton Hill, May 28, 1749; d. February i, 1830, aged 81; m. (pub. October 4, 
1782), Abigail (b. May 15, 1759; d. August 16, 1834, aged 76), dau. of William 
and Eunice (Bent) Pierce. 



25. Samuel, b. Sept. 22, 1783. 

Judith, b. July 17, 1785; d. unm. Oct. 23, 1857. 

Lewis, b. Aug. 5, 1787; d. young. 

Andrew, b. Aug. 20, 1789; d. unm. Feb. 19, 1851. 

William, b. July 27, 1791 ; d. s. p. June 8, 1865. 

Ebenezer, b. June 19, 1793; d. June 16, 1827. 

Abigail, b. Dec. 25, 1795; d. unm. July 22, 1838. 

Eunice, b. June 6, 1798; m. Nov. 20, 1823, Josiah Wadsworth. 

George, b. Nov. 29, 1800; d. unm. 

Tho.mas Oliver, b. Apr. 12, 1803; d. unm. June 6, 1837. 

Mr. Swift, like his brother John, was an ardent patriot of the Revolution, and we 
find his name on many of the important committees of those stirring times. In 1781 
he was on the committee of safety and correspondence, also to raise men for the 
Continental army. Besides various other committees to which his name was 
attached, he was surveyor of the highways, constable, and overseer of the poor. 
Mr. Swift by occupation was a farmer, tilling the acres that had been cultivated by 
his ancestors. By his will, dated Sept. 24, 1827, he disposed of an estate of nearly 
six thousand dollars among his children, who, Aug. 25, 1835, sold the property to 
Mr. Thomas Hollis, of Milton. Singular to say, the estate has got back again into 
Swift blood, having been bought by Lewis W. Tappan, Jr., a descendant of 
Obadiah, son of the first Thomas. Mr. Tappan has remodeled the old mansion and 
occupies it as a residence. Mr. Swift was the owner of the Swift chair, pre- 
viously mentioned. 


lEbentjcr' Sinift, (Ebenezer* Samuel,^ Thomas^ Thomas,^) born in Milton Jan. 15, 

1752; d. in Framingham Sept. 3, 1775, ae. 23, (g. s.) ; m. , 1775, Martha 

Rice of Natick. Had one son, Ebenezer*, b. , d. ; m. 

Sept. 7, 1800, Sally Greenwood, by whom he had the following children: 


Martha, b. Nov. 3, 1800. 
Mary, b. May 1, 1S03. 
George, b. May 20, 1805. 
Hiram, b. Feb. 5, 1814. 


General 3a?,t^\f Partner Sfaift, ILIL. ©., (Foster," Samuel* Samuel^ Thomas'^ 
Thomas') b. at Nantucket Dec. 31, 1783; d. July 23, 1865; m. June 6, 1805, 

*By a typographical error the number to which this refers is 29 instead of 19, as it should be. 


Louisa Margaret (b. Oct. 14, 1788; d. Nov. 15, 1855,) dau. of Capt. James 
Walker,* a rice planter of Wilmington, N. C. 

James Foster, b. May 15, 1806; d. March 18, 1830; m. Jan. 2, 1830, Mary F. Jephson of New 
York. Partially educated at West Point; U. S. assistant engineer when he died. 

26. 3onatI)an ajailliamss, b. March 30, 1808. 

Alexander Joseph, b. March 4, i8io; Cadet at the U. S. Military Academy from July i, 1826, to 
July I, 1830, when he was graduated and promoted in the army to Bvt. Second Lieut. Corps 
of Engineers, July I, 1830. Served: as Asst. Engineer in the construction of Ft. Caswell, N. 
C, and improvement of Cape Fear River, N. C, 1830-32, and in the erection of Ft. Adams, 
Newport Harbor, R. L, 1832-35; as Superintending Engineer of the opening of Ocracock 
Inlet, N. C, 1835-39; of the improvement of Cape Fear River of Pamlico Sound, N. C, 
(First Lieut. Corps of Engineers Oct. 31, 1836,) 1S36-39; of the construction of Ft. Caswell, 
N. C, 1836-39, and of improvement of Cose Sound and of New River, N. C, 1838-39; on 
professional duty in Europe at the School of Application (Capt. Corps of Engineers July 7, 
1838,) for the Artillery and Engineers at Metz, France, 1840-41 ; at the Military Academy as 
Instructor of practical military engineering June 30, 1841, to Sept. 12, 1846; Treasurer Dec. 
19, 1845, '° Sept. 12, 1846; Superintending Engineer of the construction of cadets' barracks 
1844-46; and in the war with Mexico 1856-7, in command of Sappers and Miners and 
Pontoniers, being engaged in the siege of Vera Cruz March 9-18, 1S47. Died April 24, 1847, 
at New Orleans. 

Thomas Delano, b. March 23, 1S12; d. Sept 2, 1829. 

Julius Henry, b. Sept. i, 1814; d. Feb. 6, 1S50. 

Sarah Delano, b. March 30, 1816; d. March 22, 1876; m. Oct. 18, 1861, Peter Richards of 
New York. 

27. fHclart, b. April 15, 1819. 

Louisa Josephine, b. April 30, 1821; d. Jan. 16, 1859; m. June 22, 1843, Peter Richards of 
New York. 

Harriet Walker, b. Feb. 3, 1S24; d. Dec. 7, 1S26. 

Charlotte Farquhar, b. April 5, 1826; d. Dec. 31, 1840. 

James Thomas, b. Aug. 30, 1829; m. Nov. 14, 1861, Margaret Weston, only dau. of Judge 
Weston of Sandy Hill, N. Y. Is a successful merchant of New York, and member of the 
Chamber of Commerce. He has made admirable use of his surplus income in charities, par- 
ticularly in founding the Home for Old People of Geneva, N. Y., in memory of his brother 

28. JFoBttr, b. Oct. 31, 1833. 

'Robert Walker, a kinsman probably of the Rev. George Walker, the hero of Londonderry and resident of 
Portaferry, Ireland, m. Ann .Shearer, a dau. of the family of Montgomery of Mt. Alexander, and migrated in 
1738 with many of his retainers, among them the Owens and Kenons, to Wilmington, N. C, where were born, 
Ann, (Quince) 1740; James, 1742; d. Feb. 1808, re. 66 yrs. ; m. Jan. 1770, Magdalene Margaret Dubois, who 
d. Dec. 1827, a-. 72; and had James W., b. Dec. 25, 1770, who, with his family and son Henry migrated 
to Ashtourne, thence to southwest part of Arkansas; Harriet, b. Dec. 10, 1784; Louisa Margaret, b. Oct. 14, 
1788; m. J. G. Swift. Julius Henry, b. Oct. 26, 1793; d. 1827 in Pendleton, S. C. 

Dominc Petrus Dubois of Amsterdam, of a refugee Huguenot family from Rochelle in France, about the 
time of the massacre of St. Bartholomew, was the father of the Rev. Walter Dubois, pastor of the Reformed 
Dutch Church in (Jarden Street, New York, who married Helena Van Baal. He d. Oct. 175 i, :i'. 80. Of their 
children, John, b. 1707, by his second wife Gabriella De Kosset of Wilmington, N. C, had Magdalene Margaret, 
b. Feb. 19, 1765, wife of James Walker. 

1 have a copper plate portraiture of Dom. Petrus Dubois of Amsterdam in my library, and I have placed in 
the consistory of the early Dutch Church of New York, whose pastor is the Rev. Mr. De Witt, a full-sized and 
excellent work of art in oil portrait of Ihe aforesaid Dom. (jualthemus Dubois. 

The De Rossets were a Huguenot family of long existence in F'rance. Two sons, Louis and John, emi- 
grated to Wilmington, N. C. Louis was of llie King's Council, and with his brother, and William Montgomery 
Walker, brother of James Walker, were the founders of St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington. — From J. 
G. Swift's Notts. 


A Memoir of General Swift having been already published, it is unnecessary 
here to give more than a brief reference to his character. 

From his ancestors, who were of the best Puritan type, he inherited a rare combi- 
nation of qualities, that formed a noble manhood. He was not only a brave soldier, 
but a man whose character and influence would have gained him distinction in any 
position of life. He was a staunch supporter of the Episcopal Church. He took 
much interest in agricultural pursuits, was possessed of much musical talent, which 
displayed itself in early childhood, and had a great deal of love for the fine arts. 
Although not what would be called a student, he was well read, possessed a decided 
literary taste, and had a remarkable memory. He was particularly interested in 
historical matters, and gave considerable attention to the genealogy of his own family 
and kindred. He was a careful observer, wrote tersely and with much force. He 
was a staunch supporter of the government during the late civil war, and threw the 
whole weight of his influence against secession. His last recorded utterance was for 
the safe delivery, and future prosperity of his country, just emerging from the horrors 
of a four years civil war. 

He was particularly happy in his domestic relations, and the most charming 
and interesting of companions, pouring out the hoarded stores of long years' close 
observation, silent thought and clear analysis of striking events. 

His dignity and simplicity, courtly politeness and lively sympathies, always 
secured for him the warm regard of old and young. For the latter, he felt a pater- 
nal interest, and was ever a wise counsellor and faithful friend. 

General Swift's portrait was painted several times. Once by Jarvis, by order of 
the city government of New York, to be hung in the City Hall. The Corps of 
Engineers, to show their respect and affection for their chief, requested him to sit to 
Tully, which picture now hangs in the library of the Military Academy at West 
Point — a fit depository of the portrait of its first graduate, second Superintendent, 
and subsequent Inspector. Later in life his portrait was painted by Huntington, and 
from this admirable likeness, and valuable work of art, the plates are furnished for 
this book. 

" A man he seemed of cheerful yesterdays and confident to-morrows ; with a 
face not worldly minded, for it bore so much of nature's impress, gayety and health, 
freedom and hope, but keen withal, and shrewd." 

At the age of eighty-two he passed away, surrounded by his family, full of 
years and honors, with faculties bright, and affections warm to the last ; much 
lamented by the public, and sincerely mourned by a wide circle of friends. 

For the above we are chiefly indebted to a Biogaplncal Sketch of Gen. Swift by 
Gen. G. VV. CuUum, U. S. A., printed in 1877. 


I give to my daughter, Sarah D. Swift Richards, all my Lot and House and Furniture at Mill Point, in fee 
simple. I give to my executors, McRee Swift and Peter Richards, all the remainder of my property of every 


kind in trust to be conveyed to them in five equal shares, to the five following named of my children, to wit : 
Jonathan \V. Swift or heirs, to McRee Swift or heirs, to my son-in-law, Peter Richards (Josie's share,) to James 
Tho'. Swift, and to Foster Swift. I give to Maria Jephson, widow of my son James Foster, Five Hundred 
Dollars, and I give to our faithful family servant Mary Simpson, Five Hundred Dollars, to buy an annuity. 

Done in the City of New York this 20th day of March, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-five, in presence of 
us witnesses, and in presence of each other, and at the request of the Testator. He declaring this to be his 
last will. I '~^~' 1 


WiNFiELD Scott, U. S. Army, City of New York. ^-y' 

John Hamilton, 17 W. 20th St., New York. 

Mem". To my Brother the Family Bible and my Mother's and Father's Portraits for life, and then to my 
oldest male Heir. The Urn belongs to Sally, the Statuette of Napoleon to my son McRee. The Silver Tea Pot 
and Sugar Dish and Basin from the Canteen to Sally. The City Plate and Library divided among my Children 
within two years after my demise. Nearly all the rest of the Pictures belong to Mr. Richards. The Arms to 
the eldest male. Math'l Instruments to McRee. 


Capt. railliam pjenro^ Stoift, 3. ffl., M. S. SI., {Foster': SamucK Samuel^ Thomas^ 

Thomas:) b. at Taunton Nov. 6, iSoo; d. Apr. 7, 1879; m. 1825, 

Mary, dau. of Charles Stuart, British Consul at New London, Ct. She died in Nov. 

1837, leaving two children. His second wife, to whom he was m. Apr. , 1844, 

was Hannah W., dau. of John Howard of Springfield, Mass. She died at her resi- 
dence, No. II West i6th St., New York, Jan. 6, 1884, ze. 63. 

29. Cijarica KE., b. , 1828. 

Mary, b. , 1826; m. George Ironside, merchant, born in England. 

Gen. Geo. W. Cullum, U. S. Army, printed a biographical account of Capt 
Swift, from which the following abstracts are made : 

" It is difficult in fitting phrase to do justice to the beloved memory of such a nobleman of nature as Captain 
Swift, and to portray his gentle, cheerful and buoyant spirit: his refined courtesy and vivacity of manner; his 
sweet serenity of temper, abounding humor and genial conversation; his conscientious candor and ingenuous 
frankness; his lofty honor, without soil or blemish; his devotion to duty as to a shrine of worship; his fulfillment 
of pledges and fidelity to every trust; his judgment in meeting and energy in overcoming obstacles; his patient 
and tireless industry in all pursuits; his modesty in measuring his achievements; his probity and justice under 
every temptation; his cheerful confidence and tranquil courage amid difficulties; his love of home and aflection 
for kindred and friends; and, in fine, render due honor to all the varied virtues harmoniously fused together to 
form this upright officer, who 

" bore, without abuse 
The grand old name of gentleman." 

" In his official relations, one who had known Swift intimately for forty years, says in a letter : ' He carried 
into business the same qualities that distinguished him elsewhere — the instinct of a thorough gentleman, and 
the training of a soldier : sound sense, and a delicacy of feeling that made it impossible for him to look on the 
right or left of the path of duty and honor. I never thought of him as a trader, but always as a trustee; and 
trustworthiness, in every act, thought or opinion, is the word above all others to characterize him. lie was 


naturally conservative and added to these qualities a sense of order, both natural and acquired, which maintained 
every piece of work at all times in as great completeness as it could be. He was tenacious of his opinions, and 
they became a part of himself; and if he once set a black mark against a man, it was not easy to induce him to 
erase it, bat his instincts were so true that he rarely had occasion to change his judgments of men.' 

But Swift's daily contact with the outside crafty world never blunted his sensibilities nor dwarfed his 
intellect. Nature had imbued him with a simplicity of heart, a refined unconsciousness of excellence which had 
not the slightest taint of vanity or tarnish of self-complacency. This gentle, childlike simplicity was one of the 
great charms of his character, and gave a placid repose to his entire hfe. He had a sensibility feelingly respon- 
sive to every fine impulse; a kindness, Uke golden threads running through the tissue of his whole being; and 
a modesty, which was reflected in all his acts, which colored all his surroundings, and heightened all his virtues. 
His modesty forbade his ever dwelling upon his own great achievements or daily acts of benevolence, though 
from others he keenly appreciated generous commendations that were deserved. His heart was always open, 
his counsel ever ready, and his sympathy warmly alive to all modest merit struggling with adversity. This lender 
compassion for the unfortunate was so strong that even his stern moral sense would soften to the evil-doer led 
astray by alluring temptation, his considerate reply to relentless Pharisees being always : " put yourself in the 
poor fellow's place, that is the -only way to judge a man." Though his melting charity of thought commiserated 
wrong, he never swerved a tittle from an open expression and earnest advocacy of right. His candour courted 
the light; rectitude was the pole-star of his intellectual as of .his moral nature; and honor his sacred tie of 
humanity, 'the noble mind's distinguishing perfection.' His sense of justice was so strong and so unselfish that, 
even in matters involving his own interest, no one hesitated to abide by his decisions, for they were strictly 
impartial and based on truth. In his crystal conscience truth entered as a beam of pure white light, without the 
tinge of one deviated ray of duplicity, directing him in the path of duty. Thus duty was not the mere routine 
of business, but a great moral obligation, the mainspring of his transactions. Whatever he did was well done 
and done systematically, for to him order was ' heaven's first law ' in conducting the smallest detail as the greatest 
undertaking; and untiring industry was the prodigious lever of his success. Work, to attain a worthy and 
useful purpose, sweetened his every moment with profit, seasoned all hours with joy, and idle days were canker- 
worms of his happiness. In all his acts practical common sense was conspicuous, and his views were plainly 
presented without the slightest garniture of show, or veiled with any gossamer of conventional phraseology. 
Ever ready at the opportune moment, he struck while the iron was hot, never, however, disdaining through per- 
severance to make the iron hot by striking. He prudently looked well to the past and forward to the future, 
but his habitual caution, which weighed in nice balance truth against error, was not the ' leaden servitor of dull 
delay.' He rarely lost his admirable equipoise amid all the disturbing elements of a jarring world; and his 
sound judgment, though so promptly rendered as to appear an intuition, was always based on ascertained facts, 
sagacious arguments, and mature reflection. His capacity for affairs was incontestable, and such confidence was 
reposed in his skilful management and well-tried fidelity that, till a few years before he died, he held, besides 
his public, no less than twenty-eight private trusts; was the safe custodian of many secrets of sorrow, trial and 
misfortune ; and gave as careful and minute supervision to the interests of his family, relatives, and intimates, as 
to his own. Yet, while accomplishing so much, he never seemed busy. His study, in which most of his work 
was done, was at all hours open to his friends, and no matter how troublesome or complicated his work in hand 
might be, he was always ready to turn from it to offer his hearty, genial welcome to a visitor, or to patiently listen 
to any domestic or business affair brought to him for advice or consideration. But, when his day's work was 
done, his task was over, and he enjoyed his quiet evenings, his friends and his books, when their turn came, 
without a trace of preoccupation. Books he read for recreation as well as for knowledge; but the chief joys of 
his life were his family and friends, particularly his army associates, for whom his heart ever yearned. He was 
especially fond of the Military Academy and its traditions, and toward its graduates he grew more and more 
kindly and sympathetic with every waning year of life. This affection was warmly reciprocated, for he had a 
magnetic influence over all his intimates, and even the casual acquaintance was won by his sincerity, fidelity, 
manly virtues, and capacity of brotherhood. He inspired love and confidence also in those, whatever their 
stations, tranisently employed on the various works under his supervision, for their interests became his; their 
claims upon his sympathy or consideration met with a prompt response; and no worthy subordinate, however 
necessary to him, failed of his influence to be advanced to a more lucrative position. It is therefore not strange 
that Swift was beloved and honored by the whole community with which he associated. For every one he had 
a gentle and kind word, a hearty, cordial greeting, and put all at ease by that urbanity of manner, or high lireed- 


ing which comes from the heart, and is refined into an inexpressible charm by the constant mingling with 
polished society. With the world, both at home and abroad, he had had much intercourse which gave him an 
affable, yet dignified demeanor, not as a garment put on for court occasion, but which was the habitual, graceful 
drapery of life. They who knew him slightly perhaps thought him reserved, but no intimate could approach 
him without catching the merry twinkle of his speaking eyes. His mirth and cheerfulness were the fountain- 
springs, sparkling and bright, of his social life, which diffused refreshing dews of gladness upon all others, and 
to himself gave that happy temperament, rarely clouded by care, which, like the dial, mark only the hours that 

" Swift was indeed the light and strength of his immediate circle, and at his own fireside was most truly 
appreciated, for he was the most devoted of husbands and Ihe tenderest of parents; to the friends he had, and 
their adoption tried, his heart was faithful to the last hour of life; he was the incorruptible citizen whom neither 
power nor pay could swerve; the firm patriot whose whole country was holy ground; the efficient officer ever 
at his post of duty; the able agent punctiliously faithful in the administration of every trust; the soul of honor 
with the courage to execute the commands of conscience; and in his manly bosom lofty sentiments were em- 
bellished by the softer refinements of a most noble nature, which 

" like gold, the more 'tis tried 
The more shall its intrinsic worth proclaim." 

Capt. Swift was appointed a cadet at the U. S. Military Academy April 15, 
1813, when but thirteen years old, entering Aug. 13, 1813, and there was distin- 
guished for a love of fun rather than a devotion to study. In December, 18 18, he* 
was ordered on Major Long's expedition to the Rocky Mountains, which somewhat 
tamed his playfulness. Once, while on a buffalo hunt, he was captured by Pawnee 
Indians, who detained him some months, being kindly treated, and learning their 
habits of life. 

On the return of the expedition in February, 1821, although his class had been 
graduated, he was attached to the end of the class roll, and promoted from July i, 
1 819, as Second Lieutenant Corps of Artillery. 

After the completion of Major Long's map of the expedition he was, till 1826, 
under Colonel Abert of the topographical engineers, on surveys for military 
defenses on the Atlantic coast, and was detailed from 1828-29, on the improvement 
of railroads. 

From 1830 to 1832 he was engaged in the United States Post Office depart- 
ment, in compiling, almost entirely with his own hands, an elaborate post-route map 
of the United States, with books of distance, which were so complete that they have 
been the basis of all since used. During these two years he also assisted in the 
survey of several railroads. 

In the meantime, August 5, 1824, he had been promoted First Lieutenant, ist 
Artillery, and August i, 1832, was attached to the general staff of the army as Brevet 
Captain of Topographical Engineers, and full captain July 7, 1838. 

Captain Swift's attainments were considered so high that, at the request of 
Professor Hasslcr, he was detailed from 1833 to 1843 on the great geodetic survey 
of the Atlantic coast, and at various times had charge of fifteen river and harbor 
improvements along the Atlantic coast, from Portland, Me., to VVestport, Ct. From 


1836 to 1840 was resident superintending engineer of the Massachusetts Western 

In 1840-41 was in Europe, and after his return, in 1843, was a member of the 
board of visitors to the Military Academy. From 1843 till July 31, 1849, when he 
resigned from the army, he was the principal assistant to Colonel Abert, during 
which time he was often detailed on important duties. The principal of these was 
as a commissioner of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, of which, from June 26, 1845, 
to August 16, 1 87 1, he was president of the board of trustees. His was the organ- 
izing brain and directing hand of the board, of this great work from its inception, 
and during which $10,913,765 passed through its hands, faithfully accounting for 
every dollar. The success of the negotiation to secure the loan from Baring Bros., 
to carry on this work was greatly due to the business tact, engineering experience, 
and upright character of Captain Swift ; and they communicated their high appreci- 
ation of the services he had rendered, and their personal regards, and asked him to 
accept an extra year's salary. 

In 1843 he erected the iron beacon still standing at the entrance of Black Rock 
Harbor, Ct., and in 1848 Minot Ledge lighthouse. 

Shortly after resigning his commission he was appointed president of the Phil- 
adelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, which position he filled with great 
acceptance. On his resignation he accepted the presidency of the Massachusetts 
Western railroad, acquitting himself to the entire satisfaction of the company. In 
1853 Harvard College conferred on him the honorary degree of A. M. He became 
prominently identified with other great railroads, and in 1874 went to England for 
the purpose of making favorable financial arrangements with Messrs. Baring & Co. 

Captain Swift, from his first acquaintance with these bankers possessed their entire 
confidence, and to the day of his death was their confidential adviser relating to 
American railroads. 

Captain Swift lived to see nearly four-score years, passing away with love, honor 
and troops of friends. 


Qr. Xatbanicr Stoift, {NathatKiel; Nathaniel' Samttel,^ Thomas'^ Thomas,^) of 

Andover, Mass., physician; b. in Dorchester July 15, 1778; d. Dec. 7, 1840; m. 

Nov. 27, 1803, Sarah, (b. May 22, 1783; d. Sept. 11, 1858, s. 75,) dau. of 

Timothy Abbott of Andover. 


30. i^atfjaniel, b. May 12, 1805. 

31. (Seotgc Baferr, b. July 30, 1S06. 

Sarah Francis, b. Nov. 15, 1807; m. June 19, 1S33, Rev. Jeffries Hall. Children: i, Caroline, 
Li. May 26, 1834; m. Moses Foster of Andover. 2, Edward Percival, b. April 3, 1836. 3, 
Henry Kirke White, b. July 24, 18—. 4, Sarah Frances, b. Jan. 23, 1S41; m. Dr. J. C. 
W. Moore, Concord, N. H. 5, Helen Maria, b. Oct. 23, 1S47, res., Chesterfield, N. H. 
William, b. Dec. 17, 1809; d. Nov. 20, 1S33. 



Catharine, b. July 6, 1S13; m. Aug. 12, 1834, John F. (b. Jan 29, 1810) son of Capt. John and 
Martha (Swan) Trow, of North Andover, Mass. Children: I, Sarah F. Trow, b. Aug. 22, 
1835 ; m. Oct. I, 1856, A. Carter, Jr., manufacturing jeweler, res.. Orange, N. J. 2, George W. 
Trow, b. June 21, 1827; d. Oct. 8, 1S72. 3, Catharine S. Trow, b. Aug. 28, 1842; m. Aug. 
12, 1S63, Dr. James B. Cutter. 4. Martha EUzabeth Trow, b. Sept. 20, 1844; m. Oct. lo, 18S7, 
Hugo Peipers, merchant of New York. 5, John Fowler Trow, Jr., b. May 19, 1850; m. 
April 14, 1880, Cora Munn. 

John F. Trow commenced life as a printer, and at the age of twenty-two established and 
pubUshed the Nashua Herald, at Nashua, N. H. He sold out his interest to the editor, 
and in 1833 left for New York, where, in May of that year he engaged in business under the 
firm name of West & Trow. From 1840 to 1848 he was of the firm of Leavitt, Trow & Co., 
publishers and booksellers, and John F. Trow, printers. In 1848 he commenced the publi- 
cation of Wilson's Business Directory, and in l852of Trow's New York City Directory, which 
pubUcations are still continued. He is president and treasurer of Trow's Printing and Book- 
binding Company, and treasurer of the National Needle Company. Mr. Trow has been an 
elder in the Presbyterian church for thirty-five years. 

32. Samutl, b. Feb. 21, 1815. 

Charles, I b. July 25, 1816; lives in Boston. 

33. Sonatijan, i b. July 25, i8i6. 


Died at .-Vndover, on the 7th instant, after a short illness, Dr. Nathaniel Swift, in the sixty-third year of his 
age. By this providence an affectionate family have been bereft of a kind and tender father, the community of 
a strictly honest and upright citizen, and the church of a sincere and devoted member. 

Dr. Swift was affectionate and kind in his disposition, cheerful and friendly in his social intercourse, and 
prompt to every professional call, without regard to the unseasonableness of the hour, the inclemency of the 
weather, or the poverty of the applicant. 

The poor and the aged have lost in him a friend indeed. It was his special delight to minister to their 
comfort. They experienced his care and attention in sickness, and his counsel and charity in health. At his 
death, those who had experienced the value of his services and kindness gathered around his remains, to shed 
the silent tear, and to speak of his many virtues, and his self-denial for their good. 

He held several important public offices : those of Justice of the Peace and Postmaster, for nearly twenty 
years, and those of Coroner, Notary Public, and Director in the Essex Bank for many years. The duties of 
each he continued to discharge until his decease. 

He had been a member of the church about forty years. His religion was of the heart and not in word 
only. His favorite books were his Bible, with Orton's Exposition, and Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, with Scott's 
Notes; the latter of which he read through in course not less than twenty times. It had been his habit for 
years to rise between four and five o'clock and spend a season in religious reading. The blessing of his paternal 
care and instruction will long be cherished in grateful recollection, and be felt, we trust, when time shall be no 
more. His numerous family of children all became at an early age members of the Church of Christ. One 
most devout and heavenly minded, some years since, entered, we cannot doubt, in his eternal rest. May the 
bereaved widow and children, and the sisters and brothers in this hour of deep affliction find the consolation 
which flows alone from the Christian's life; and be trained, under the discipline of heaven, for a union with the 
departed dead where tears and parting shall be unknown. 

December 26, 1840. 


Dr. iLHiUiam'' Stoift, 53. S. N., (Nathaniel" Nathaniel' Samuel^ Thomas^ Thomas') 
b. in Dorchester Sept. 11, 1779; d. Dec. 27, 1864; m. Dec. 31, 1850, Martha 
Elizabeth, dati. of Luke and Mary (Montague) Phelps, of VVesthampton, Mass. 



William Jonathan, b. March 10, 1S52; grad. at Amherst College 1873; College of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons, N. Y., 1878; Bellevue Hospital, N. Y., 1880; m. June, 13, 1882, 
Marie Aborn, dau. of S. J. Jacobs, of New York. Residence New York. They have 
Lawrence, b. June 8, 1883. 
John Baker, b. Sept. 30, 1S53; grad. Amherst College 1873; Harvard Medical School 1S77; 
m. Oct II, 1S82, Hettie, dau. of Andrew H. Potter, of New Bedford, Mass. Residence! 
Boston. They have John Baker, b. Aug. 12, 1883. 
George Montague, b. Sept. 2, 1856; grad. Amherst College 1S76; College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, N. Y., 1879; Bellevue Hospital, N. Y., 1881; residence. New York. 

Dr. Swift was graduated from Harvard College in 1809, and from the Harvard 
Medical School in 1812. The same year he entered the United States navy as a 
volunteer, and sailed to the coast of Africa on board the " Chesapeake." On her 
return he received from President Madison his commission as a surgeon in the navy. 
He was on board the " Chesapeake " during her engagement in Boston Harbor with 
the British man-o'-war " Shannon," was made prisoner, and with others was sent to 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, from which place he was sent home with the wounded. Dr. 
Swift was with Lawrence when he died, and was presented by him with his belt. In 
18 1 3 he was on the brig " Syren," was again taken prisoner and sent to the Cape of 
Good Hope, where he was kept six months. In 1820 Dr. Swift was on the "Ontario," 
from which vessel he was detached and sent to Tunis as acting United States consul, 
where he remained si.xteen months. In 1827 he was on the frigate "Erie;" 1829 
on the " Constellation," cruising to England, France, and in the Mediterranean. 
From about 1833 to 1836 Dr. Swift was stationed at the Naval Hospital in 
New York. This service was during the cholera epidemic. In 1836 he was on the 
"North Carolina;" was fleet surgeon of the Pacific squadron, and on his return in 
1839 was stationed at New York, Boston and Newport, for different periods. In 
1862, at his own request, he was placed on the retired list, having spent fifty-one 
years in the service of his country. His residence for several years was Brooklyn, 
N. Y., where he died in 1864. Dr. Swift was a gentleman of polished manners, 
extremely methodical, and always avoiding anything like display. He was a great 
reader, very fond of books, and collected a large library. 


Capt. Samuer Siuift, (Nathaniel^ Nathaniel Samuel^ Thomas,^ Thomas') b. in 
Dorchester Dec. 2, 1785; d. March 15, 1862; m. Nov. 3, 1819, Eliza Hester, (b. 
Oct. IS, 1800; d. May i, 1866,) dau. of John Willkings of Wilmington, N. C. 

Mary Wyatt, b. May i, 1823; drowned May 1, 1841. 


Eliza Hester, b. Feb. I, 1825; m. Feb. 4, 1845, Thomas M. Woodruff of Trenton, N. J., 
who died in Chicago Jan. 28, 1880. Children: George, b. Jan. 30, 1846; William Swift, 
b. March 4, 1849; m. in Dixon, 111., July 19, 1879, Ruth Frances Wood. 
George Baker, b. Nov. 21, 1826; d. March 28, 1827. 
34. Samuel, b. May 22, 1S2S. 

Isabella Sarah, b. April 11, 1832; m. Oct. 28, 1852, Robert J. Woodruff, M. D., of Trenton, 
N.J. Children: Mary Jean, b. Aug. 28, 1835; ">• J^i"- ^4. 1880, A. B. Charbonnel of 
Chicago; Isabella Louisa, b. Aug. 6, 1855; d. May 28, 1859; Susan Hester, b. June 
16, 1858. 

Harriet, b. Aug. 19, 1834; died Sept. 22, 1835. 

Harriett, b. July 4, 1836; died Feb. 5, 1880; m. Sept. — 1866, Henry O. Nichols of Dor- 
chester. Children: Grace Swift, b. Nov. 3, 1867; Arthur Topliff, b. July 7, 1869; Carrie 
Frances, b. Oct. 3, 1877. 
35. aailliam, b. July 22, 1839. 

Mary, b. Sept. 4, 1841; m. at Springfield, 111., Feb. 14, 1871, Professor Orestes H. St. John 
of Topeka, Kansas. He is a geologist and paleontologist. No children. 

Charlotte, b. May 27, 1843; m. at Princeton February 22, 1866, to Charles F. Little, M. D. 
Practiced a number of years in Princeton, then removed to Manhattan, Kansas. Children : 
Eliza Ada, b. June 22, 1S67; NelUe Perkins, b. Dec. 15, 1S68; Blanche Alpine, b. 
Dec. 18, 1869; d. Nov. 27, 1878. Jennie Belle, b. Oct. 8, 1871; Frederick Swift, b. 
June 25, 1873. 

Capt. Swift chose as his profession a seafaring life, and in 1806 made his first 
voyage, following the sea as a shipmaster twenty-four years. 

He commanded, with success, the ships of Stephen Girard of Philadelphia, and 
those of Goodhue & Co., and is said to have been the first American to make a 
voyage to the north-west coast. 

He was a man of commanding presence, and possessed much personal beauty. 
A portrait painted in Antwerp is in the possession of his son-in-law, Mr. Nichols, of 
Dorchester. His daughter, Mrs. E. H. Woodruff of Princeton, 111., has a miniature 
of him taken in early life, and his daughter, Mrs. Charlotte Little, has one of her 

In 1836 Capt. Swift left the sea, and removed from Dorchester to Geneva, N. Y., 
and in 1838 he removed to Princeton, 111., where he died. 


Died in Princeton, on Saturday morning the 15th, of Paralysis, Capt. Samuel Swift, in the 78th year of 
his age. 


He was born in Dorche.ster, Massachusetts, and having early in life manifested a predilection for the sea, 
he entered into the service of the Boston and London Shipping Company. He subseciuently commanded some 
of the best merchant ships of New York and Philadelphia, and made in them many long and perilous voyages. 
He live times circumnavigated the glol)C, and from long and active service acquired a high character for pmfes- 
sional skill. He was a man of marked individuality of character; he possessed great determination and 
courage, and displayed a rare and admirable coolness in the presence of danger. Though a great part of his 
life had been spent on the sea in active employment, which does not afford much for the acquisition of knowledge 
unconnected with nautical pursuits, the fund of general information he possessed was large. He well read 
in the English classics, and had an especial admiration of the works of Pope, Addison, Goldsmith and Johnson. 

In all his long and eventful life his probity and honor were never questioned, and it might with truth be 
said of him that he was that " noblest work of God, an honest man." 

March 15, 1862. 



Sai^n^ Stoift, (John' Ebcncser^ Samuel,' Tlionias'^ Thomas' ) b. March 12, 1775 ; d. 
Sept. 26, 1838; m. Elizabeth Parker, b. ; d. Aug. 27, 1863, daughter 

of Capt. Gideon and Elizabeth Hovey Parker, of Ipswich, a meritorious officer of 
the Revolution and correspondent of Washington. 


John McLean, b. Nov. 23, 181S; went to sea; never heard from. 

Elizabeth Rogers, b. Jan. 19, 1820. 

William Parker, b. Dec. 27, 1821; d. June 3, 1875. 

Dean Manning, b. Oct. 23, 1S24; d. Aug. 26, 1859; m. April 30, 1850, Mary Sumner, b. Aug. 

20, 1827, dau. of Lemuel Sumner. She m. 2d, Moses C. Chapman. Had two children who 

died young, Mary Frances and Dean Manning. 
Mary Frances, b. Oct. 12, 182S. 

Mr. Swift followed his father's business, and occupied the family mansion on 
Milton Hill, in which all his children were born. He was a man of standing in the 
community; universally esteemed for his integrity, and filled several important 
ofifices. His only surviving children. Misses Elizabeth R. and Mary F. Swift, 
ladies of refinement and culture, live near by the old homestead. Their charming 
home contains many interesting and valuable relics of the olden time, chief among 
which is the old oak chair before mentioned. They also have a rare and curious 
Venetian mirror of large size, and a fine old book-case which is thought to have 
belonged to Gov. Hutchinson. These ladies are the last of a family prominent in 
Milton's history for two centuries, though representatives still sustain the character 
of the family in other towns. 


Samucr Sinift, (^Samuel' Ebcnczcr* Samuel^ Thomas"' Thomas!) b. Sept. 22, 
1783; d. Jan. II, 1S26; m. Nov. 2, 1806, Polly Cheney, b. in Roxbury ; 

d. May 5, 1828, £e. 42: dau. of Lieut. Thomas and Jane (Foster) Cheney of 


Samuel Foster, b. Oct. 6, 1807; a drummer in the U. S. Army; died in service at Old Point 

Child died in infancy. 

36. SMilliam Augustus, b. Oct. iS, iSn. 

37. ILefajis, b. Jan. 16, 1815. 

Andrew, ; d. in Philadelphia Mar. 22, 1S41. 


Thomas, ; d. young in Roxbury. 

Mr, Swift was a hatter of Roxbury; a man of great humor, of whom many 
anecdotes are told. 



CTommotiorc Jionatijan EJEilliams' Stoift, 5S.. S. N., (^Joseph Gardner , Foster , Samiiel\ 
Samuel^ Tliomas'; Thomas^) b. March 30, 1808, at Taunton, Mass.; d. July 30, 
1877; m. Jan. 10, 1833, Isabella Fitzhugh, youngest child of Col. William Fitzhugh 
of Hampton. Mrs. Swift resides at Geneva, N. Y. 


Fitzhugh, b. March 12, 1S41; d. Dec. 31, i860, at sea. 

Joseph Gardner, b. Feb. 4, 1844; d. March 2, 1871; cadet at the U. S. MiUtary Academy from 

Sept. 1S62 to June iS, 1S66, when he was graduated and promoted in the army to 2 J Artillery. 

Served in garrison at Richmond, Va., Sept. 30, 1S66. 
Ann Elizabeth, b. Oct. 31, 1846; m. Sept. 3, 1S72, Lieut. John Williams Martin, 4th U. S. 

Cavalry. They have WiUiam Swift Martin, b. Feb. 4, 1874; John Throop Martin, b. Jan. 

20th, 1884, d. Jan. 22, 1885. 

Commodore Swift was appointed from North Carolina August 25, 1823 ; went 
to the Mediterranean in 1824; returned in 1826; went to the Pacific in frigate 
"Brandywine" in 1826; returned in 1829; examined in 1820 and promoted in 1831; 
went to the Mediterranean in 1831 ; returned in 1832 ; steamship "Fulton" Atlantic 
coast 1840; special service 1850-5. Commissioned Lieutenant March 3, 1861 ; 
commissioned a Commodore July 16, 1862. 


ffici\E£' S&3ift, (^Joseph Gardner," Foster^' Sanmel* Samuel^ Thomas^ Thomas,^) b. 
April 15, 1819, in New York; m. Sept. 15, 1842, Abby Hortense Chew, daughter 
of Thomas John Chew, U. S. N. For her ancestry see Pedigree of Chew by Rev. L. 
B. Thomas, p. 33. 


Hortense Hallam, b. Aug. 22, 1843; d. April 28, 1848. 

Louisa Walker, b. Aug. 23, 1845. 

Elizabeth Chew, b. July 29, 1847; >"• J""^ "> 1879, George Henry Janeway of New Bruns- 
wick, N. J. 

Alexander Joseph, b. Aug. 20, 1S49; grad. Rutgers College 1868; Polytechnic Institute, 
Troy, 1872. 

Lawrence Chew, b. Feb. 24, 1852; grad. College of Physicians and Surgeons, N. Y., 1878, 
Charity Hospital, N. Y., 1880; m. April 16, 1884, Mabel Bruce, dau. of Col. Joseph M. Griffith 
of Des Moines, Iowa. They have Swift, b. March 16, 1885. 

Thomas Delano, b. Feb. 10, 1854; grad. Rutgers College 1875; College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons, N. Y., 1879; Bellevue Hospital 1881. 

Jonathan Williams, b. March 30, 1856; d. May 2, 1862. 

Josephine Richards, b. Jan. 10, 1859. 

Robert, b. June 16, 1863; d. March 4, 1865. 

Mauy Lewis, b. May 11, 1865. 


Mr. Swift, now retired from active business life, resides at New Brunswick, New 
Jersey. He has been a successful civil engineer, engaged in the construction and 
management of railroads in various States, and later in manufacturing enterprises. 
He inherits much of his father's literary tastes and high-bred courtesy ; and the 
warm interest he has shown in the progress of this work has been of material 
assistance to the compiler. From the family Bible, which belonged to his father, 
the late General Joseph Gardner Swift, he has furnished much data ; and by his 
kind permission the Journal of General Swift has been printed from the original copy 
in his possession. Besides this valuable document, Mr. Swift has inherited the ancient 
oil painting of the family coat-of-arms, and the portraits of his grandparents. Dr. 
and Mrs. Foster Swift, by Jarvis, and has had them photographed for this work. 

In 1852, when Mr. Swift was traveling abroad with his father, General Joseph 
Gardner Swift, and while walking in the grounds of the Tower of London, his 
father was accosted by one of the guards, who expressed surprise at seeing Mr. 
Swift out so early in the day. 

" How do you know me, my man?" said General Swift. 

"Why, sir, I see you constantly." 

The man had mistaken the General for Mr. Swift, the keeper of the crown jewels. 
They found Mr. Swift lived in the enclosure and went to his house, and to their 
astonishment were met by a gentleman of advanced years, the counterpart almost of 
Mr. Swift's grandfather, Dr. Foster Swift — Edmund Lenthal Swift, barrister, K. C. J. 
They lunched and spent several hours with him, and found he was of the Rother- 
ham family of Swifts. This interview is mentioned in Notes and Queries by E. 
L. Swift. 


mi. Sa^iiX-' Si'mxii, (Joseph Gardner^ Foster^ Samuel," Samuel,' Thomas;' Thomas') 
b. at Geneva, N. Y., Oct. 31, 1833; d. May 10, 1875; m. Oct. 29, 1862, Alida 
Carroll, daughter of Dr. D. H. Fitzhugh, and had 

Sarah Delano, b. Feb. 5, 1864. 


Dr. Swift, who is said to have resembled his father more than any of his sons, was graduated at Hobart 
College, Geneva, in 1852. During the last year of his college course he attended lectures in the Medical College 
in Geneva, but was dissuaded from continuing his medical studies after graduation, by his father, who thought 
him too delicate, physically, to endure the arduous labors of a doctor's life. To gratify his father he read law 
reluctantly for eight months, in the office of Judge Kent, in this city, and then, feeling the need of a more 
liberal classical and literary culture than he had obtained at Hobart College, he entered the Junior class at 
Harvard University, and graduated at that institution in the class of 1854, the subject of his inaugural thesis 
being "The Influence of Shakspeare's Plays on the Popular Estimation of Historical Characters." Thus fur- 


nished with the broad foundation of a education and a fine Uterary taste, he resolved to gratify his early 
inclination to study medicine. In the fall of 1854 he became a favorite pupil of Dr. WiUard Parker, and from 
that time until the summer of 1870, when he was prostrated by the disease which finally destroyed him, he gave 
himself with untiring energy and self-sacrificing devotion to the study and practice of his profession. He grad- 
uated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in the class of 1857. He immediately entered Bellevue 
Hospital, and served during two years on the same staff with his attached friend, Dr. Edward B. Dalton. In the 
spring of 1S59 he estabhshed himself in private practice in this city. He hart already p.issed the precarious 
period in the young doctor's course, and had begun to lay the foundation of a brilliant career as a teacher and 
practitioner, when the war broke out, in the spring of 1S61, and animated by a loyalty which, with him, was 
something more than the contagious enthusiasm which pervaded the country at that time, he forsook his prac- 
tice and went as surgeon to the 8th regiment of New York State Militia, in response to the first call for troops 
to defend the capitol. At the battle of Bull Run he and his staff were captured while in the performance of 
their duty, and being almost the only prisoners who were not taken in the act of hasty retreat, they were released 
on parole in the city of Richmond, by Gen. Beauregard, and, after a brief detention, returned on parole to their 
homes. Thus debarred from the privilege of further service in the army, Dr. Swift resumed the practice of his 
profes.sion. In 1S62 he married the daughter of Dr. Fitzhugh, of Living'iton County, who with one child, a 
daughter, survives him. His success from this time was rapid and exceptionally brilliant. He was successively 
appointed physician to St. Luke's, and the Children's Hospital; Assistant Professor of Obstetrics in the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons, and afterwards Clinical Professor of skin diseases in the Bellevue Hospital College, 
and Professor of Obstetrics in the Long Island Medical College. He had thus obtained within the brief period 
of ten years, by his scholarly acquirements, by his ability as a teacher, and by his skill as a practitioner, a claim 
to the first rank in his profession. He had scarcely begun to enjoy the honor and rewards of his well-earned 
position, when, in the summer of 1870, after a season of untiring labor and peculiarly trying experiences, he 
began to exhibit the signs of the pulmonary disease to which he finally succumbed. Conscious as he was of the 
threatening nature of his malady, he worked on for some time, regardless of the affectionate warnings of his 
friends and medical advisers, and only reluctantly yielded to their counsels when he fainted in the Theatre at 
the Bellevue College, in the effort to fulfil an engagement to lecture in the opening session of that institution in 
the fall of 1870. He soon afterwards went to Europe, but returned in the spring of 1871, without material 
improvement in health. The winter of 1S71-72 he passed on the Pacific Coast, in the congenial companionship 
of his friend, Dr. Dalton, whose brief but brilliant career he there saw closed. The following winter he passed 
in the south of France, where, having procured an authorization from the French government, he hoped to 
practice his profession. He returned to this country, however. In the spring of 1873, to visit his family, and his 
disease having made considerable progress, he was induced to remain at home, instead of returning to France 
as he had intended. His experience of the effects of a warm climate upon his disease not having been entirely 
satisfactory, he resolved to try the experiment of spending a winter in the northern part of this State, at Morrisville, 
in Madison County. He was so encouraged by the promising effects of a cold climate, that he purchased a house 
at Morrisville, and determined to abandon, for a time, all hopes of resuming his practice, and devote himself to 
the recovery of his health. In the summer of 1874, however, it became evident to him and to his friends that 
he was fast losing ground in the conflict with his disease, and last fall he decided to try again the effect of a 
warm climate. He went to the Island of Santa Cruz, where he passed a lonely winter, separated from his wife 
and child, and sustained only by the hope, which grew fainter day by day, of arresting the progress of his dis- 
ease. The last weeks of his life were cheered by the presence of a sister who, with her husband and a nephew, 
went to him in the hope of bringing him back to his home to die. This hope was not abandoned until a few 
days before his death, when he began to fail so rapidly that he realized the near approach of death, and met it 
with cheerful resignation, and in the complete assurance of a Christian faith. He died on the loth of May. His 
remains were brought home, and now rest in the family ground at Geneva. Such is the brief record of a life of 
which we all knew the promise and now lament the untimely end. Dr. .Swift's professional career, though too 
lirief to be marked by any work which will perpetuate his name on the scroll of fame, was one that will leave a 
lasting and enviable impression on the memory of all who enjoyed his friendship, or had the privilege of inter- 
course with him as a teacher or physician. He possessed in a high degree the intellectual and moral qualities 
which lit a man for the responsible office of a physician. Love of nature and loyalty to the truth were his pre- 
eminent characteristics. He was imbued with the true scientific spirit, and his professional acquirements, in all 
departments, as far as they went, were free from the chalT of speculation and hypothesis. He hated sham 


wherever he found it, whether it lay in the conceit of those who deceived themselves, or in the dishonest 
practices of those who sought to deceive others. He had all the qualities of a successful teacher, thorough 
honesty, large experience, liberal acquirements, and literary attainments, and there can be no doubt that the 
cause of sound medical education lost one of its ablest and most promising exponents in his early death. As 
a physician, it may be truly said, that few men in our profession possessed or deserved in a larger degree than 
Dr. Swift the confidence and alfection of his patients. His gentle and winning address, his sagacity and skill as 
a clinical observer, his fertility of resources, and above all, his fidelity, commanded the affection, respect and 
absolute trust uf all to whom he ministered. His work was always thorough, and he gave to his cases a thought- 
ful and laborious study, which distinguished him from the routine practitioner. His sense of professional duty 
was so high that he never counted the cost to his health in fultilling it, and there is little question in the minds 
of his friends that he finally fell a victim to his untiring and self-sacrificing labors. This sense of professional 
duty in Dr. Swift was not dictated simply by a sympathetic nature, or by a desire to please or win the confidence of 
his patients, but mainly by a profound conviction of the responsibility he assumed, whenever he was called to 
the bedside of those who trusted themselves to his care. But to all who enjoyed the privilege of Dr. Swift's 
companionship, his remarkable social qualities gave a charm to his character which your memory of him will 
recall better than any words of mine. Who of us can forget his refined and genial presence; his humor, that 
would illumine tears, and the wit whose shafts were never poisoned with malice, but always gleamed with mirth? 
Cultivated beyond most men in our profession in general literature, and devoted to all that was pure and elevat- 
ing in art, his conversation was always entertaining and often brilliant in the originality and keenness of his 
criticism. He was never commonplace, because he never borrowed his convictions from other men unless they 
accorded with his own observation, or had been first subjected to his own enlightened reflection. But with all 
his intellectual gifts and accomplishments. Dr. Swift possessed a kindly and sympathetic nature that was quick 
to share the sorrows as well as the joys of his friends. As in his professional relations there was no self sacrifice 
too great for him to make in the discharge of what he recognized as his duty, so in his closer relations to his 
family and his friends there was a love and a loyalty that knew no bounds. The keenness with which he some- 
times suffered from his sense of his professional responsibility was only exceeded by the painful sympathy with 
which he realized the trials of his friends. To the severe strain which he suffered from both of these causes in 
the last year of his practice, his illness, as I have before suggested, was doubtless largely due, and while we 
cannot but grieve that a man of so great promise is lost so early to our profession, and a friend of 
such genial and noble nature is gone from us in the fullness of his manhood, we have reason to rejoice that we 
were permitted for even a brief period to enjoy the privilege of his friendship, and the precious example of his 
character. — From a sketch by IVm. H. Draper, M. D.. printed in iSjj. 


(fCbartcs' m.. Stoift, (William Hc7iryf Foster': Samiiei: Samuel,^ Thomas^ Thomas^) 
, 182^; m. , Margaret, dau. of John Howard of Springfield, Mass., 

sister o.f his stepmother. Summer residence Pequot Avenue, New London, Ct. 

Mary H. 

Louisa Josephine. 


i^atjjanfcF Sfatft, (Nathaniel^ Nathaniel: Nathaniel: Samuci: Thomas^ Thomas:) 
of Andover, merchant; b. May 12, 1S05 ; d. Sept. 6, 1878; m. Oct. 10, 1832, 



Martha Jane, dau. of Francis Kidder ot Andover. She died Nov. 28, 1843, aged 
30 years. He next married Oct. 13, 1847, Almena Jacobs. 


George Francis, b. Dec. 10, 1S33. 
Martha Elizabeth, b. Feb. 15, 1836. 
Charlotte Harris, b. July 26, 1839. 
Anna Hartwell, b. Sept. 18, 1842. 


[From the Boston Daily Advertiser of Sept^ 20, 1S78.] 

One by one our older citizens and fellow townsmen are passing away. To those who are following next in 
file, the ranks must appear to be rapidly thinning out. But two weeks ago we cast a last sorrowful glance upon 
the bier of our honored and esteemed townsman, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry. 

One week later, to a day, the funeral obsequies were held over the mortal remains of Mr. Swift, a native 
and life- long resident of Andover. The light of a pure and unblemished life has gone out. A kind-hearted, gener- 
ous, useful and esteemed citizen has passed away from our sight. One more is added to the great majority on 
the other side of the chasm between the present life. But the memory of the just is blessed. In this thought 
is the consolation which remains to those nearest and dearest in the relations of life to our departed friend. 

Mr. Swift was born in Danvers May 12, 1805, and was the eldest son of the late Dr. Nathaniel and Sarah 
Abbot Swift. Early in life — almost in his boyhood — he engaged in mercantile pursuits, and upon attaining his 
majority he became a partner in a mercantile firm in Andover. A business tact and shrewdness was mani- 
fested from the earhest stage of his business career. Promptness, straightforwardness and honesty, three 
sterling qualities of the business man, were prominent in his character, and promised from the outset assurance 
of success. And success came readily and naturally; gradually, but not spasmodically — a healthy success. 
By a prudent, sagacious and careful management of his business affairs, he was enabled to retire therefrom with 
a competency for his family before he was fifty years of age. But these qualities, which were so prominently 
manifested in the duties pertaining to his business, were by no means unnoticed or overlooked. His correct 
judgment and capacity for usefulness were very soon called into active exercise in positions which, while bene- 
fitting society, the cause of education, the interest of his native town, and the general welfare of his fellow-men, 
reflected a lasting honor upon his good name and reputation, fie proved himself to be more than a successful 
business man. His instinctive honesty, his unswerving integrity, his forecast, his sound judgment and his correct 
and exquisite taste, were all brought together and made to subserve and round out happily a very useful and hon- 
orable life of official duties. Fur twenty-eight years a working director in the .Andover Bank (State and National,) 
for thirty-six years a trustee of the Andover Savings Bank, and its president for eighteen years — to the date of his 
decease, and for twenty-eight years a trustee of the .Vbbot Academy for young ladies, his advice and counsel 
always commanded the attention and respect of his associates. In 1852 he was elected treasurer of the Abbot 
Academy, and to the permanent life and success of this institution he devoted himself with unwonted ardor, and 
with a strength and vigor indicative of his earnest and unstinted love for the work he had undertaken. From 
the very first he manifested a determination to render the surroundings of the Academy pleasing and attractive, 
to enlarge the area of its domain, to beautify and adorn the same, and all his ardent aspirations to this end 
appear to have been crowned with admirable and womlerful success. 


Br. Gtorsc 15a{ttr' Sinift, (Nathaniel^ Nathaniel^ Nathaniel,' Samuel^ Thomas', 
Thomas') b. July 30, 1806; d. 1872; m. Nov. 8, 1831, Mary Bennett 

Warren, of Framingham, Mass. Dr. Swift was graduated at the Harvard Medical 
School in 1830, and practiced in Manchester, N. H., Lawrence, Mass., and 
New York. 



George Warren. 


Samuel' Sinift, (Nathaniel,'^ Nathaniel^ Nathaniel* Samuel^ Thomas^ Thomas^) 
merchant, b. Feb. 21, 1815; d. Dec. 5, 1851, in Brooklyn, N. Y. ; m. Nov. 16, 1842, 
Mary Phelps, b. in Westhampton, Mass., Dec. 8, 1818. 


Mary, b. July 5, 1S44; d. July 31, 1846. 

Martha Elizabeth, b. Sept. 16, 1S47; ">• ^^'°- '^> 1S69, W. B. Dickerman, banker, of 66 
Broadway, N. Y. 
38. Samntl, b. Aug. 5, 1S49. 


3onatf)an' Stotft, (Nathaniel^ Nathaniel' Nathaniel' Samuel^ Thomas^ Thomas,^) 
of Andover, b. July 25, 1816; m. Oct. 30, 1850, Almena Jacobs of Cherryfield, 
Maine; b. Jan. 6, 1831, Columbia, Me. 


Elizabeth Florence, b. Oct. 25, 1S60; grad. 1881 at the Andover Female Academy. 
Kate Adams, b. March 4, 1869. 


Samncl' Stotft, (Saw^rtf/," Nathaniel,^ Nathaniel,* Samuel,^ Thomas^ Thomas,^) of 
San Francisco, California; b. May 22, 1828; m. Nov. 24, 18 — , Emma Newberry. 


Mary Hester, b. June — , 1866. 

Mr. Swift was brought up on a farm near Princeton, Illinois. His father's inten- 
tion was to give him a collegiate education, but losing his fortune, he moved to Illinois 
at an early day, so that he had no opportunity for an education except what he got 
himself. In 1852 he went to California, crossing the plains with a party of nine young 
men from Princeton with two ox teams ; the one with which he was connected, how- 
ever, had three yoke of oxen and one yoke of cows, which afforded them milk most of 
the way. They were five months in making the trip from Princeton, 111., to Downs- 


ville, Simon Co., Cal. On reaching the sink of the Humboldt River their team was so 
diminished, having lost two oxen and one cow, that they could not attempt to cross 
the fifty-mile desert that there was open before them, with their wagon, as the rest 
of their team was insufficient to make the trip over the desert, and then over the 
Sierra Nevada range of mountains, so they sold what was left of the team, and used 
the wagon for camp-fires for the party, and having given and thrown away every- 
thing else that was portable, except what provisions they could carry and were 
necessary to last them for the remainder of the journey, they started next morning 
early, with their provisons and one quart of water to each man, for which they paid 
one dollar per quart. After some severe hardships they reached California, not hav- 
ing seen a house or other habitation of any white man, after leaving the Missouri 
river, except Fort Laramie and Fort Hall, where some United States troops were 
stationed. In 1857 he made atrip up Frazier river into British Columbia, navigating 
that river in a small boat a distance of two hundred and fifty miles, with an Indian for a 
guide, adding another chapter to his frontier life, which for roughness of experience 
surpassed anything he had previously gone through, being constantly surrounded by 
dangers to life in various ways. In 1859 he returned to California and received a letter 
from his father, requesting him to return home, as he was quite old and decrepit. He 
did so, and remained in Princeton, 111., until 1866, during which time his father and 
mother both died, and he then returned again to California, and has resided the 
most of the time in San Francisco. He joined the Order of F. and A. Masons in 
California in 1855, in Forest Lodge, No. 66, Sierra County ; afterwards joined Bureau 
Lodge, No. 112, in Princeton, then was a member of two different Lodges in San 
Francisco. Is now a member of Portland Lodge, No. 55, Portland, Oregon. While 
in Princeton the last time he joined Princeton Chapter, No. 28, of Royal Arch Ma- 
sons, also Orion Council, No. 8, Royal and Select Masters and Temple Commandcry, 
No. 20, Knights Templar. He is now a member of San Francisco Chapter, No. i, 
Royal Arch Masons, California Council, No. i. Royal and Select Masters and Golden 
Gate Commandery, No. 16, Knights Templar, San Francisco. When leaving San 
Francisco in 1881 to go to Montana, he was Secretary of San Francisco Chapter, and 
Recorder of Golden Gate Commandery, Knights Templar, and was also President of 
the Masonic Veteran Association of the Pacific Coast. Mr. Swift's present address 
is 1 1 12 East Sixteenth Street, Oakland, California. 


HSillinm' Stoift, {Satnuel° Nathaniel^ Nathaniel* Samuel^ Thomas' Thomas,^) 
of Princeton, Illinois, b. July 22, 1839; m. Nov. 6, 1865, at Fiskeleva, 111., to Maria 



Ida Wyatt, b. Feb. 7, 1867. 
Minnie Belle, b. Sept. 22, 186S. 
Samuel Jackson, b. Oct. 15, 1870. 
William Sherman, b. Jan. 28, 1872. 

Mr. Swift was a volunteer during the late civil war in the 93d Illinois Regiment. 


lUSfniam ^lugustus' Sfnift, {Samiielf Samuel,^ Ebenezer* Samuel,' Thomas,^ 

Thomas') b. in Roxbury Oct. 18, 1811 ; m. June 15, 1836, Anna Young, daughter 

of Abigail and Barnabas Atwood, of Brewster, Mass. She was b. Aug. 12, 1811 ; 

d. without issue January 3d, 1744. Mr. Swift married her sister, Mrs. Thankful 

Maker, April loth, 1845. She was b. Sept. 11, 1815. Mr. Swift is a builder now 

residing in Roxbury. 


Anna Augusta, b. June i, 1846. 

William, b. Oct. 31, 1849; book-keeper in the Maverick National Bank, Boston; m. Feb. 22, 
1882, Addie W. Jacobs. 


EtintB' Stoift, {Samuel,^ Samuel,^ Ebenezer^ Samuel^ Thomas? Thomas,^) a 
pianoforte maker residing at 255 Lybrand Street, Philadelphia; b. in Roxbury Jan. 
16, 1815 ; m. Nov. 6, 1844, Maria A. Engelman, b. in Philadelphia Feb. 29, 1824. 

Samuel,' b. Aug. 9, 1845; d. Aug. 7, 1858. 
Andrew,* b. Aug. 4, 1848; d. May 6, 1850. 
William,* b. May 29, 1S52; m. Sept. 15, 1875, Fanny M. Umsted; have Lewis,^ b. Feb. 13, 1879. 


Br. Samtitl' Stnift, (Samuel^ Nathaniel^' Nathaniel,^ Samuel,^ Thomas^ Thomas,') 
b. Aug. 5, 1849; m. April 21, 1875, Lucy, dau. of Judge H. E. Davies of New 
York, by his wife Rebecca Waldo Tappan of Boston. Dr. Swift is a physician of 
Yonkers. He was graduated at the Yale Scientific School in 1868; also at the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, medical department, Columbia College, New 
York, class of 1872. Was mayor of Yonkers, April 1882, to April 1884. 

Martha, b. July 27, 187S. 


Note. — Up to this point in the genealogy, the descendants of Lieut. Thomas' Swift, son of the first 
Thomas', have been followed out. The descendants of his brother Obadiah^ will now be continued from page 4, 
and numbered consecutively after the posterity of Thomas'. 

©baliia]^,* (Thomas^) b. in Dorchester, July i6, 1638; d. Dec. 27, 1690; m. 

March 15, 1660, Rest, (b. , 1639) dau. of Maj. Gen. Humphrey Atherton. 

In a deed dated July i, 1664, conveying one hundred and forty acres of land to 
Gyles and Edward Payson, he and Timothy Mather call themselves administrators 
of their father in-law, Maj. Gen. Humphrey Atherton. He was a blacksmith by 
trade, and in 1672 "Rece an hundred of Iron, for which he made axes and bows for 
Endian gratuetie by Capt. Foster's order." He was fence viewer in 1664, and 
several times afterwards; was constable in 1662, and supervisor in 1674. Savage 
gives him a second wife, Abigail, but I think he is in error, and that she was the 
wife of his son, Obadiah, Jr. Rest Swift and Obadiah Swift returned the inventory 
of Obadiah's estate March 24, 1691-2. A Rest Swift died Nov. 3, 1708, who was 
probably his widow. 


Remember, b. 5, 10 mo., 1661; d. 5, 12 mo., 1661. 

Rest, b. 13, 10 mo., 1662. 

James, b. 
39. ©baSiab, b. 28, 11 mo., 1670. 

HoPESTiLL, b. March II, 1674. 

Elizabeth, b. Sept. 7, 1675; d. Sept. 17, 1675. 

Abigail, b. Jan. 4, 1676; m. Apply. June 12, 1734, James Apply of Norwich, Conn., 

in a deed, calls Sarah Swift, of Dorchester, spinster, his cousin or kinswoman, he being the 
youngest of the two sons, and only heir of .'\bigail Apply, of Preston County, New London, 
deceased, daughter of Obadiah Swift of Dorchester, blacksmith. He deeds to said Sarah all 
his rights in lands in Dorchester and Stoughton which belonged to their grandfather, Obadiah 
Swift, deceased, and great-grandfather, Maj. liumphrey /Vtherton. 

Elizabeth, b. Jan. 4, 1679; d. Nov. 2, 1683. 


©faatiini),' (Obadiah;' Thomas^) b. in Dorchester, 28, 11 mo., 1670; d. Jan. 20, 
1747 ; m. Abigail Blake, last day of December, 1695. She was admitted to full com- 
munion at the Dorchester church, Nov. 7, 1702-3, and d. March 19, 1737-8. He 
was admitted to the church in November, 1696. He was a blacksmith. 



40. SatttES, b. Nov. I, 1696. 

Susanna, b. July 14, 1701; m. Henry Newell of Boston, shipwright, Nov. 22, 1722. 

Jane, b. Dec. 9, 1703; m. James Young Dec. 7, 1727. 

Priscilla. b. Oct. 3, 1706; m. Henry Ledbetter March 30, 1732, eldest son of Increase Ledbetter. 

Sarah, b. ; m. James Leeds June 23, 1737. 

He was one of the grantees in 1737-8 of a right in the new township of Dor- 
chester, Canada, incorporated in 1765 as Ashburnham, derived from the services of 
his brother James, who was killed while a member of Capt. Withington's company 
of Dorchester, in the expedition against Quebec, Canada, in 1690. 


JamcB,* (Obadiah? Obadiah^ Thomas^) b. in Dorchester, Nov. i, 1696; m. 
Silence, dau. of Sherebiah and Silence Butt, April 9, 1718. He was a yeoman of 


^t. Satnes.b. June2l, 1719. 

Susanna, b. March 6, 1720-1; m. Joseph Whiston of Boston, Nov. 24, 1738. 

OBADlAH.b. Jan. 31, 1723-4. 

Ezra, b. Oct. 23, 1726; d. Feb. 9, 1726-7 (grave stone). 

Silence, b. Oct. 21, 1728; m. Desire Hawes, Oct. 6, 1748. 
^2. EIijaf),b. March 9, 1730-31. 

JOAB, b. March 29, 1733; d. May 16, 1745. 

Sherebiah, b. July 2, 1735. 

Abigail, b. Oct. 29, 173S; m. John Purpoon, Oct. 31, 1759. 

Ezra, b. Nov. 15, 1740. 

April 25, 1737, James Swift and wife Silence; Hopestill and Hannah Blake; 
Abigail, widow of John Woodward, husbandman ; Mary Butt, spinster, all of Dor- 
chester ; Hannah, Silence, Abigail and Mary, being children of Silence Butt, deceased, 
late wife of Sherebiah Butt, also deceased ; said Silence Butt was one of the grand- 
children of Henry Merrifield, of Dorchester, deceased. They sell land to Benj'. 
Bird of Dorchester, gentleman, in Dorchester and Stoughton, which belonged to 
their great-grandfather, Henry Merrifield. 


'^^xtA'i' (James ^ Obadiah,' Obadiah,"- Thomas\) b. June 21, 17 19; m. Mary 
Mayer June 11, 1741. He was admitted to the New North Church, Boston, Feb. 
14, 1741-2. He was a shipwright. 



43. SsOTEB.bapt. July 10, 1743. 

44. Sfnrg, bapt. June 22, 1746. 

William, bapt. Nov. 20, 1748; probably d. young. 

William, bapt. Aug. 12, 1750. 

Mary, bapt. Sept. 30, 1753; d. April 9, 1764 (grave stone). 

Silence, bapt. Nov. 30, 1755; probably same pub. to Paul Ingerfield, Dec. 29, 1773. 

Susannah, bapt. Dec. 24, 1758; probably same pub. to Robert Jones, Aug. 28, 1785. 

Abigail, bapt. June 7, 1761. 


ISltjaf),' (James* Obadiah' Obadiah^ Thomas^) b. in Dorchester, March 9, 1730- 
31 ; m. Edee Seward, pub. Nov. 24, 1757. She owned the covenant July 2, 1758 ; d. 
Oct. 12, 1795, ae. 64 years. He was a shipwright, living in Henchman's Lane in 1789. 
He died May 9, 1 803, ae. 73 years. Administration on his estate was granted to 
Jacob Rhodes of Boston, shipwright, May 30, 1803. Ebenezer Rhodes, printer, and 
James White Burditt, bookseller, gave bond. Their gravestones are still standing 
in Copp's Hill burying ground, with those of some of their children. The inventory 
of the estate amounted to $2053, of which $2000 was house and land in Hench- 
man's Lane. 


45. Eltjat), bapt. Aug. 27, 1758. 

Elizabeth, bapt. Aug. 31, 1760; m. July 14, 1779, Capt. James Hutchinson, by whom she had 
Hannah. He died, and she next married David Oliver, a mast and spar maker on Oliver's 
Dock, now Battery March Street and Liberty Square. They had four children: i, David 
Oliver, m. Susan Parkman, both dead; 2, Sally Oliver, m. Wm. Parkman, who d. 1809; 3, 
Harriet, spinster; 4, Edee, spinster. 

Sarah, bapt. Dec. 12, 1762; m. May 23, 1779, Capt. Samuel Makin, of Philadelphia, who d. long 
since. She lived to be 94 years old, a remarkable woman, in the full enjoyment of all her 
faculties. Capt. Makin was sailing master of the Queen of France, a government vessel in the 
war of 1812. He had his leg broken in the service off Boston harbor, was landed in Boston, 
and cared for till well. In 1836 or '40 Mrs. Makin obtained a pension, with back pay, from 
the government. They had five children, now dead, whose children are wealthy citizens of 
Philadelphia, filling honorable positions. 

William, bapt. Sept. 16, 1764; d. April i, 1765 (grave stone). 

Mary, bapt. May 31, 1767; d. young. 

Mary, bapt. Sept. 4, 1768, m. first, March 3, 1793, Francis Sloan; had one son, now dead; m. 

second, Avery, had one dau., dead; m. third, John French, had three children, now 

dead. She d. about 1846, in Boston. 

46. iStnjamin, bapt. Aug. 19, 1770. 


Jamea,' (James," James* Obadiah,' Obadiah* Thomas,^) baptized in Boston, 


July 10, 1743; m. Winifred Davis of Charlestown, Nov. 29, 1764. She owned the 
covenant at the New North Church, Oct. 20, 1765. 


William, b. Oct. 8, 1767. 
Sarah Brigden, b. Sept. ii, 1769. 
Elizabeth Gillam, b. Feb. 28, 1771. 
James, bapt. Mar. 14, J 773. 
WiNNiFRED, bapt. Dec. 15, 1776. 
John, bapt Nov. 7, 1779. 

Mrs. Swift, daughter of Barnabas and Winifred (Brigden) Davis, of Charlestown, 
■was born June 17, 1743. For ancestry see Wyman, p. 281. 


l^tnrg,' (^James^ James^ Obadiahf Obadiah^ Thomas,^) b. in Boston, June 22, 
1746; m. June 14, 1768, Mary Richardson. She owned the covenant at the New 
North Church Nov. 6, 1767. He was a shipwright, and lived in Hull Street. 


Mary, / 

Sarah, bapt. Dec. 16, 1770. 

Peggy Richardson, bapt. March 21, 1773; m. Thomas Adan, Nov. i, 1791, and had John R., 
Esq.; Catherine E. R. m. Henry S. Waldo, merchant. 

Perhaps he is the same Henry Swift who died November, 1789, ae. 44. 


lEUjal)," {Elijah," jfames,^ Obadiah' Obadiah^ Thomas,^) b. in Boston, Aug. 27, 
1758; m. April 22, 1781, Nancy Brown. She owned the covenant at the New 
North Church Dec. 30, 1781. They lived in Lynn Street. He was a shipwright 
and died before Feb. 13, 1804, when Henry Swift, baker, of Boston, was chosen 
guardian of his children, viz: Elijah and Benjamin, more than 14; Elizabeth 
George, Thomas, Catherine, under 14. Children baptized at the New North Church. 


Nancy Lapis, bapt. Jan. 27, 1782; probably d. young. 

Elijah, bapt. Nov. 30, 1783. 

William, bapt. Sept. 25, 1785; probably d. young. 

Benjamin, bapt. Sept. 2, 1787. 

Elizabeth Hudson, bapt. Oct. 25, 1789. 


George W., bapt. Feb. 12, 1792; in 1813 a baker, and same year sells property in Lynn Street^ 

that belonged to his father. 
Katy Richardson, bapt. Nov. 9, 1794; schoolmistress in 1821, when she sells her right in her 

father's estate. 
Thomas, ' ; was of Hancock, N. H., Feb. 4, 1823, when he sells his right in his 

father's estate. 


Btnjamin," {Elijah^ Javies* Obadiah^ Obadiah,^ Thomas^) shipmaster of Bos- 
ton; commanded the ship Hazard in 1805, owned by Thomas H.Perkins. With 
wife Hannah was Hving in Charlestown in 1827. He was b. in Boston, Aug. 19, 
1770; m. Hannah Rhoades, Aug. 6, 1796; merchant in 1831. She was b. Nov. 17, 
1777; dau. of Jacob Rhoades; d. Nov. 28, 1831. He d. March 15, 1858. He 
removed to Pepperill. Children baptized in Boston in 181 1. 


Eliza Rhoades, b. April 14, 1797; d. Oct. 2, 1829; m. April 30, 1821, Abraham Andrews. 

Benjamin, b. March 31, 1800; d. Oct. 2, 1801. 

Hannah, b. Jan. 26, 1803; d. Aug. 27, 1852; m. Oct. 17, 1826, Thomas M. Thompson of 

Charlestown, d. June 27, 1836. Hardware dealer of Boston. 
Caroline, b. April 26, 1806; d. June 8, 1806. 
Caroline, b. March 29, 1807; m. Nov. 14, 1S30, Abraham Andrews, of Charlestown. He d. 

March 7, 1S69. 
Benjamin, b. July 11, 1810; d. Aug. 10, 1S83. 
Sarah Stevens, b. Sept 9, 1812; d. Nov. 16, 1866. 

Mary Burdeti, b. June 21, 1814; m John Farrar, Oct. 20, 1841. He d. Feb. 6, 1849. 
Susan, b. March 27, 1816. 
Abhy, b. Jan. 30, 1818; d. Aug. 24, 1862. 
Ellen Louisa, b. Oct. 13, 1820. , 

William Henry, b. July 25, 1822. 

Capt. Swift was an active and prominent member of the Harvard Church, 
Charlestown, and furnished the lower row of windows in the auditory with "India 
blinds " at his own charge. His pew was No. 33, and he owned pew No. 14. 


J^tnrg,' {He7try' James,'' y antes* Obadiah^ Obadiah^ Thomas') b. in Boston, 
Sept. 7, 1768; m. Nov. 18, 1790, Sarah Brown, b. May 2, 1766; d. July 28, 1799. 
He next m. May 4, 1800, Agnes, dau. of William McKcan, sister of Prof Joseph 
McKean of Plarvard College. She was b. Jan. 13, 1766. 

He was engaged in the bakery business, corner of Charter and Unity Streets, at 
the north end. lie d. Ajiril 3, 1808. The inventory of his estate amounted to 


upwards of ten thousand dollars, but it proved insolvent. His widow possessed 
property in her own right, and bought in the estate, corner of Charter and Unity 
Streets, which is still owned by his descendants. 


Henry, b. Jan i, 1792; d. Oct. 11, 1793. 
hi. I^cnrg, b.July 5, 1793. 

William, b. Sept. 3, 1797; d. Oct 14, 1798. 

Sarah, b. Feb. 7, 1801. 

William Joseph, b. Jan. 29, 1S04; d. Oct ir, 1807. 
^9. 3Dl)n 3amcs, b. April 16, 1S05. 

William Joseph, b. Oct. 19, 1S07; drowned March 16, 1824, on his passage from Gbttenburg, as 
second mate of ship Galena. 


l^enrg,* {Henry' Henry,'' James,' James' Obadiah^ Obadiah,i Thomas,'^) b. July 
5. 1793. in Boston; d. March 13, 1862. He removed early in life to Nantucket, 
where he was established in the hardware business. He was one of the original 
members of the New England Guards. He m. June 5, 1817, Mary, dau. of Zenas 
and Abial Coffin, one of the wealthiest merchants and largest ship-owners of that 
place. Mrs. Swift was b. Feb. 15, 1799; d. July 2, 1827. He m. second, Elizabeth 
dau. of Benjamin and Judith Glover. She d. Feb. 22, 1872. 


Sarah Brown, b. March 25, 1820; d. July 11, 1825. 

Mary Coffin, b. March 24, :822; m. Dec. 5, 1838, Lewis W. Tappan, son of John Tappan, of 

Boston. Their son, Lewis Wm., Jr., b. Feb. 16, 1840, m. Olivia Buckminster, dau. of the 

Rev. Samuel K. Lothrop of Boston. She d. 1878, leaving one daughter, b. Sept. i, 1876. 
Child, b. and d. Sept. i, 1824. 

Sarah Brown, b. Feb. 23, 1826; lives with Mrs. Tappan. 
Henry, b. Dec. 11, 1832; ni. Emma Potter of Concord, N. H., and has Harry, Frank, Maud. 

Residence, Durham Park, Marion Co., Kansas. 
William Joseph, b. May 27, 1835, in Nantucket; m. Oct. 20, 185S, Anna C. Stearns, dau. of 

Marshall Stearns of Brookline, Mass., and has Susan Stearns, b. Jan. 12, 1867; Henry 

Marshall, b. Feb. 16, 1872. 
Margaret, b. March 10, 1838; d. March 18, 1869; m. Oct. 1858, William Stearns, of 

Brookline, Mass. 


Safjn 3anus," {Henry ^ Henry' James' James,' Obadiah^ Obadiah,' Thomas^) 
b. April 16, 1805 ; m. Mary, dau. of Samuel Hitchborn of Boston. Mr. Swift was 
a merchant of Boston. He was a clerk in 1823 with Bradshaw & Parker, on Long 


Wharf; from 1829 to 1840 was of the firm of Parker & Swift; then from 1840 to 
1844, J. J. Swift & Co. He was successful, and accumulated a fortune. 


Agnes McKean. 

Eliza T. 

Mary, b. ; m. J. H. Lombard. 


W. H. 

Frances, b. ; m. Edward Holbrook. 

Lillian Alice. 

Mr. Swift early manifested a lively interest in the extension of the railway system 
of the country, and upon retiring from active mercantile pursuits in 1854, was 
elected a director in the Fitchburg Railroad Company, and on Feb. 8, 1855, was 
chosen its President, which office he held till August 17, 1864, when he voluntarily 
retired from the board, but continued to be consulted by the management upon all 
matters of importance during the remainder of his life. 

Having now no active business to occupy his mind, and being an energetic and 
public-spirited man, he must needs turn his attention to some beneficent enterprise. 
In 1865 and 1866 he took a leading interest in the establishment of the National 
Steamship Company, in the interest of Boston, and for which company the Erie and 
Ontario were built, but from lack of adequate support, and from the unstable condi- 
ton of the times, the scheme was abandoned, and the pioneer vessels sold and taken 
from that port. 

In 1869 he took an active interest in the Caughnawaga Ship Canal, a project for 
uniting the St. Lawrence River with Lake Champlain, thereby uniting the commerce 
of the great lakes with New England, and with others secured a charter from the 
Dominion Parliament, and kept it alive by subsequent legislation for several years, 
but from the lack of general interest in Boston, which was mainly relied upon for 
the means of construction, this great internal improvement was given up. 



Since that portion of the genealogy was printed which relates to Thomas Swift 
and his wife Elizabeth, the founders of the Dorchester family in America, some 
investigations have been made in England with a certain degree of success. Their 
marriage has been found on the parish register of the Church of the Holy Trinity, 
Dorchester, England ; but nothing there indicates that Thomas Swift was born in 
Dorchester, or that the name existed there previous to the date of his marriage. 
It is possible that he was born in an adjoining parish or county, and that, being 
imbued with the religious fervor of the time, had gathered there with others, pre- 
paratory to embarking for the New World. 

Savage says, that Thomas Swift of Dorchester was the son of Robert of Rother- 
ham, Yorkshire. I am inclined to think that this statement is not based on any 
more substantial evidence than family tradition. Such a tradition has existed in 
the family. It is well-known that the handing down of christian names common 
to families was very strictly followed, but in no instance do we find the name of 
Robert, among the children or grandchildren of Thomas, and in fact, I think the 
name has never been borne by any of his descendants. 

But Savage's conjectures as to the parentage of Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Swift, 
have proved to be right. He says, she was probably the daughter of Bernard 
Capen, who was from Dorchester, England. Thomas Swift, in his will, calls John 
Capen, who was son of Bernard, his brother-in-law, and John Capen in a letter to 
Mary Bass, printed in the History of Dorchester, Mass., p. 45, speaks of his sister 
Swift and sister Upsall. 

With this clew, it seemed to me that an examination of the parish registers of 
Dorchester, England, might disclose something in relation to Thomas and Elizabeth 
Swift. Accordingly a search was made, and on the parish register of Holy 


Trinity was found the entry, that " Thomas Svvifte and Elizabeth Capen were 
married i8 Oct., 1630," and "20 Nov., 163 1, Joane, daughter of Thomas Swifte, 
was baptized." These two are the only instances of the appearance of the name 
on the register. 

The next child we find to them recorded is on the Dorchester records in 
America, when, June 17, 1635, the birth of their son Thomas appears. It is 
possible that other children were born, between these two periods, who died 

The same parish register, records the marriage of Nicholas Upsale and Dorothie 
Capen, 17 Jan., 1629. Nicholas Upsale is well known, as one of those who was 
persecuted as a Quaker. An account of him has been printed in the New England 
Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. XXXIV., p. 21. 

A William Rockwell and Susan Capen, were married 14 April, 1624, 
doubtless the same person, who with his wife Susanna, appear in Dorchester, Mass., 
in 1630, when he was made freeman. He was one of the first deacons of the 
Dorchester Church and the history of that town, p. 79, gives the name of his wife 
as Susanna Chapin, doubtless mistaken for Capen. Probably she was another 
daughter of Bernard Capen, for according to the family Bible, he had a child of 
this name. 

There are four parish churches at Dorchester, England, all of about the same 
date, but none possess registers earlier than about 1663-4, except Holy Trinity, 
whose register commences as early as 1 5 59. Its covers are gone, but the entries are 
perfectly legible. A great many Capens appear on it between 1559 and 1652, 
some of which are here appended. The name on the registers seems to have 
finally resolved itself into Galpin. For an account of the Capen family, see vol. II., 
p. 80, and vol. XX., p. 246, of the New England Historical and Genealogical 


Extracts from tJie Church Registers of Holy Trinity, 
Commencing 1559. 

14 April, 1624. 

4 Aug., 1629. 

17 Jan., 1629. 

18 Oct., 1630. 

















































Wm. Rockwell and Susan Capon, Married 

Robert Gifford and Hannah Capon " 

Nicholas Upsale and Dorothie Capen, 

Thomas Swifte and Elizabeth Capen, " 

Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Capen Baptized 

Ruth, daughter of Bernard Capen, " 

Barnard, son of Bernard Capen, 

William, son of Bernard Capen, 

Mary, daughter of Bernard Capen, " 

John, son of Bernard Capen, 

James Capen, Buried 

Margaret, wife of Thomas Capen, 

Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Capen " 

John, son of Barnard Gapen, 

William, son of Thomas Gapen, 

Ruth, daughter of Barnard Galpen, 

Elizabeth, daughter of Barnard Galpen, 

Barnard, son of Barnard Galpen, 

Mary, daughter of Barnard Galpen, 

William, son of Barnard Galpen, 

To 1652. 



Abbott, Timothy 37 

Abbott, Sarah, m. Nathaniel Swift 37 

Abert, Col 37 

Acton, Laura 24 

Adams, Abigail, m. Rev. John Swift 14. '5 

Adams, Daniel 15 

Adams, DeUa 24 

Adams, Delia W.,m. Edward B.White . ... 24 

Adams, EU 27 

Adams, EU, m. Sarah D. Swift 24 

Adams, James 24 

Adams, Jeremiah 14 

Adams, John • 21 

Adams, John, m. Sarah Swift 17 

Adams, Julius W., m. Elizabeth Denison ... 24 

Adams, Louisa 26 

Adams, Mary, m., James P. Kirkwood .... 24 

Adams, Rebecca 14 

Adams, Sally D 26 

Adams, Samuel 21 

Adams, Sarah 19 

Adan, Catherine E. R., m. Henry S. Waldo . . 53 

Adan, Thomas, m. Teggy R. Swift 53 

.\ddington J 8 

Andrews, Abraham, m. Caroline Swift .... 54 

.\ndrews, Abraham, m. Ehza R. Swift .... 54 

Allen, Daniel 9 

Allen, Elizabeth, m. John Hancock Foster . . 20 

Allen, Sarah, m. Capt. Hopestill Foster ... 20 

Allison, Henry, m. Mary E. Swift 27 

Apply, Abigail 5° 

Apply, James 50 

Apply, , m. Abigail Swift 50 

Atherton, Humphrey 50 

.\therton, Rest, m. Obadiah Swift 50 

Atwood, Anna T., m. William A. Swift .... 49 

Avery , m. Mary Sloan 52 

Avery, Mary, m. John French 52 

Babcock, Elizabeth, m. John Swift 28 

Babcock, Samuel, m. Elizabeth Swift .... 23 

Babcock, William 28 

Baker, E. J 3° 

Baker, John, m. EUphal Swift 23 


Baker, John, m. Joan Swift 4 

Baker, John, m. Thankful Foster 4 

Baker, Mary, m. Nathaniel Swift 28 

Ballard, Stephen 14 

Barnabas, Atwood 49 

Bartlett, William, m. Susannah Swift .... 23 

Bass, Mary 4,57 

Bate, James 20 

Bate, Mary, m. Hopestill Foster 20 

Bayley, Thomas 22 

Bennett, Joseph, m. Mary Swift 23 

Bent, Eunice 30 

Berry, Samuel, m. Ann Swift 23 

Bird, Benj 51 

Blake, Abigail, m. Obadiah Swift 50 

Blake, Hannah 28, 5 1 

Blake, Hopestill 51 

Blake, James 19 

Blake, Ruth 19 

Blake, Samuel 19 

Breck, Robert 11 

Brigden, Winifred 53 

Broughton, Hannah 5 

Broughton, Sarah 5 

Brown, John 16 

Brown, Hannah, m. Luther Swift 15 

Brown, Nancy, m. Elijah Swift 53 

Brown, Sarah, m. Henry Swift 54 

Bryant, Mrs 20 

Buckminster, Joseph 14 

Burditt, James W 52 

Burt, Col., m. Mary Swift 20 

Burt, Jed., m. Elizabeth Newhall 20 

Butt, Sherebiah 5 ■ 

Butt, Silence, m. James Swift 51 

Byles, Mr 20 

Capen, Bernard 4. 57. 59 

Capen, EUzabeth 59 

Capen, Elizabeth, ra. Thomas Swift .... 58 

Capen, Dorothy, m. Nicholas Upsale .... 58 

Capen, Hannah, m. Robert Gifford 59 

Capen, John 4, 6, 57, 59 

Capen, Margaret 59 



Capen, Mary 59 

Capen, Ruth 59 

Capen, Susan, m. William Rockwell 5S-9 

Capen, Thomas 59 

Capen, William 59 

Carbonnel, A. B., m. Mary J. Swift 40 

Carr, Joshua W., m. Lucy W. Swift 16 

Carter, A., m. Sarah F. Trow 38 

Chapman, Moses C, m. Mary Swift 41 

Cheney, PoUey, m. Samuel Swift 41 

Cheney, Thomas 4' 

Chew, Abby H., m. McRee Swift 42 

Chew, Thomas John 42 

Church, Deborah 24 

Clap, Ebenezer 9 

Clapp, Ezra 8 

Clapp, Hopestill, m. Susanna Swift 5 

Clapp, Judith, m. Ebenezer Swift 23 

Clapp, Nehemiah 23 

Clapp, Roger " 7> ^ 

Clapp, Sarah, m. Thomas Swift 7 

Coffin, Mary, m. Henry Swift 55 

Coffin, Zenas 55 

Coit, Jonathan 26 

Crane, Henry, m. Judith Swift 23 

Crane, Stephen 7 

Crehore, Elizabeth, m. Thomas Swift 17 

Cullum, Geo. W 33. 34 

Cunningham 26 

Cushman, EUzabeth 24 

Cutter, James B., m. Catharine S. Trow ... 38 

Dalton, Edward B 44 

Danforth, Mr 8 

Daniel, John 9 

Davies, Lucy, m. Samuel Swift 49 

Davies, H. E 49 

Davis, Barnabas 53 

Davis, Catharine, m. Dr. John Swift 15 

Davis, Deacon 25 

Davis, Winifred, m. James Swift 52, 53 

Delano, pedigree 23, 24 

Delano, Deborah 24 

Delano, Dorah, m. Foster Swift 23 

Delano, Elizabeth 23 

Delano, Ephraim 24 

Delano, Franklin H 24 

Delano, Gideon 24 

Delano, Jabez 24 

Delano, Jean 24 

Delano, Jethro 24 

Delano, Jonathan 24 

Delano, Mary 24 

Delano, Nathaniel 24 


Delano, Philip 24 

Delano, Thomas 23, 24 

Delano, Warren 24 

Dennison, EUzabeth, m. Julius W. Adams ... 24 

De Rosset, pedigree 32 

De Rosset, Gabriella 32 

Dewsbury, Hester 24 

Dickerman, W. B., m. Martha E. Swift ... 47 

Draper, W. H 45 

Dubois, pedigree 32 

Dubois, Magdalene M 32 

Dubois, Rev. Walter 32 

Ducatel, , m. George W. Whistler ... 25 

Durfee, , 24 

Durham, Samuel, m. Elizabeth Read 5 

Durram, John 5 

Durram Elizabeth 5 

Dutton, E. F 26 

Eliot, Mr 8 

Ellery, Mrs. Harrison 5 

Engleman, Maria A., m. Lewis Swift .... 49 

Farrar, John, m. Martha Swift 10 

Farrar, John, m. Mary B. Swift 54 

Farrar, Martha 13 

Farrar, Mary 14 

Ferry, Reuben, m. Abigail Swift 23 

Field, Joseph 22 

Fisk, Abel 15 

Fitch, Sally 24 

Fitzhugh, Alida C, m. Foster Swift 43 

Fitzhugh, D. H 43 

Fitzhugh, Isabella, m. Jonathan Swift .... 42 

Fitzhugh, William 42 

Folger, Peter 24 

Foster, pedigree 20 

Foster, Ann, m. Samuel Swift 20 

Foster, Capt 50 

Foster, David W 20 

Foster, Hopestill 4 

Foster, Hopestill, m. Mary Bate 20 

Foster, Hopestill, m. Patience 20 

Foster, Hopestill, Capt., m. Sarah Allen ... 20 

Foster, Hopestill, m. Susannah Wood .... 20 

Foster, James, m. Anna Lane 20 

Foster, Jane 4' 

Foster, John Hancock, m. Elizabeth .Mien. . 20 

Foster, Moses, m. Caroline Hall 37 

Foster, Thankful, m. John Baker 4 

Foye, Mr iS 

Franchemont de, Arnulph 23 

French, , m. Abigail Swift 16 

French, John, m. Mary Avery 52 

Frothingham, Rev. Fred 3° 



Gage, Gov 22 

Gardner, Joseph 25 

Girard, Stephen 40 

Glover, Benjamin 55 

Glover, Elizabeth, m. Henry Swift 55 

Glover, Eira 4 

Glover, John J 4 

Goodhue & Co 40 

Gookin, Major 8 

Greenough, William, m. 1st, Ruth Swift .... 5 

Greenough, William, m. 2d, Elizabeth Rainsford, 5 

Greenough, William, m. 3d, Sarah Shore ... 5 

Greenwood, Sally, m. Ebenezer Swift 31 

Gulliver, Jonathan 7 

Golifor, Anthony 3 

Gridley, Counsellor 21 

Griffith, Joseph M 42 

Griffith, Mabel B., ra. Lawrence C. Swift ... 42 

Hale, Wm. F., m. Lizzie F. Swift 16 

Hall, Caroline, m. Moses Foster 37 

Hall, Rev. Jeffries, m. Sarah F. Abbott .... 37 

Hall, Richard 3 

Hall, Sarah Frances, m. J. C. W. Moore ... 37 

Hamilton, John 34 

Handheld, Capt 21 

Harper, Edward 27 

Harper, Mary D., m. Wm. R. Swift 27 

Hassler, Prof 36 

Hawes, Desire, m. .Silence Swift 51 

Hayden, Seymour, m. Deborah D. Whistler . . 25 

Hearsey, , 26 

Hearsey, Anna 19 

Hersey, Solomon, m. Anna Swift 17 

Henshaw, Samuel, m. Sarah Swift 23 

Henshaw, Samuel 23 

Henshaw, Waitstill 23 

Highinbottom, m. Anna Read 5 

Hitchborn, Mary. m. John J. Swift 55 

Hitchborn, Samuel 55 

Holbvook, Edward, m. Frances Swift 56 

Hollis, Thomas 31 

Holman, Ann, m. Samuel Swift 17 

Holman, John 3 

Holman, Thomas 3> 17 

Houghton, Ebenezer 18 

Houghton, Nathaniel iS 

How, Josiah 23 

Howard, Hannah W., m. WiUiam H. Swift . . 34 

Howard, John 34, 45 

Howard, Margaret, m. Charles W. Swift ... 45 

Howland, Elizabeth 24 

Hughes, .Sarah 5 

Huntington 1,7, 


Hutchinson, Elizabeth, m. David Oliver ... 52 

Hutchinson, Gov 41 

Hutchinson. James, m. Elizabeth Swift .... 52 

Ingerfield, Paul, m. Silence Swift 52 

Ironside, George, m. Mary Swift 34 

Jacobs, Addie W., m. William Swift 49 

Jacobs, Almena, m. Nathaniel Swift 46 

Jacobs, Almena, m. Jonathan Swift 47 

Jacobs, Marie A., m. William J. Swift .... 39 

Jacobs, S. J 39 

Janeway, Geo. H., m. Elizabeth C. Swift ... 42 

Jarvis 33 

Jephson, Mary F., m. James F. Swift 32 

Jewet, N 8 

Jones, Robert, m. Susannah Swift 52 

Kent, Judge 43 

Kenons 32 

Kidder, Francis 46 

Kidder, Martha Jane, m. Nathaniel Swift ... 46 

King, Maria, m. William Swift 48 

King, Martha, m. Edward White 5 

Kirkwood, James P., m. Mary Adams .... 24 

Kneeland, Samuel 10 

Lane, Anna, m. James Foster 20 

Lane, Job, 20 

Larrabee, Capt 20 

Law, Lyman 26 

Leach, Mary 16 

Ledbetter, Increase 51 

Ledbetter, Henry, m. Priscilla Swift 51 

Lee, Rev. Joseph 14 

Leeds, James, m. Sarah Swift 51 

Leeds, Joseph 18 

Little, Charles F., m. Charlotte Swift .... 40 

Lombard, J. H., m. Mary .Swift 56 

Long, Major 36 

Lothrop, Olivia B., m. Lewis W. Tappan, Jr. . 55 

Lothrop, Samuel K 55 

Lovering, John, m. Lucretia Swift 20 

Lyman, Catherine 24 

Maker, Thankful, m. William A. Swift .... 49 

Makin, Samuel, m. Sarah Swift 52 

Manners, Lord Robert 25 

Martin, John W., m. Ann E. Swift 42 

Martyn, Edward, m. Sarah White 5 

Martyn Michael 5 

Mather, Timothy 50 

May, Col 21 

May, Mr 27 

Mayer, Mary, m. James Swift 51 

McKean, Agnes, m. Henry Swift 54 

McKean, Joseph 54 

McKean, William 54 




McNeill, Daniel 25 

Miller, Col 18 

Miller, Mary 5 

Mills, Edward 10 

Merrifield, Henry 3, 6, 5 1 

Monroe, President 21 

Montague, Mary 38 

Moore, J. C. W., m. Sarah F. Hall 37 

Morrison, Rev. John H 30 

Munn, Cora, m. J. F. Trow 38 

Munning, Goodman 3 

Nash, Ann 24 

Newberry, Emma, m. Samuel Swift 47 

Newell, Daniel, m. Patience Swift 23 

Newell, Henry, m. Susanna Swift 51 

Newhall, Elizabeth, m. Col. Jed'h Burt .... 20 

Newhall, John, m. Elizabeth Swift 20 

Newton, Ephraim 9 

Newton, John iS 

Nichols, Henry O., m. Harriet Swift 40 

Oliver, David, m. Elizabeth Hutchinson ... 52 

Oliver, David, m. Susan Parkman 52 

Oliver, Sally, m. William Parkman 52 

Owens 32 

Parker, Elizabeth, m. John Swift 41 

Parker, Elizabeth Hovey 41 

Parker, Gideon 41 

Parker, Willard 44 

Parkman, Susan, ra. David Oliver 52 

Parkman, William, m. Sally Oliver 52 

Patten, Mrs 27 

Patten, Jonathan T., m. Ann Swift 27 

Payson, Anne 13 

Payson, Rev. Edward 10 

Payson, Edward 50 

Payson, Giles, 50 

Payson, Rev. Phillips 10, 13 

Payson, Rev. Phillips, m. Anne Swift 10 

Payson, Rev. Samuel 10 

Payson, Rev. Seth 10 

Peckham, Jane 24 

Peipcr, Hugo, m. Martha E. Trow 38 

Perry, Oliver H 46 

Phelps, Luke 38 

Phelps, Martha E. m. William Swift .... 38 

Phelps, Mary, ni. Samuel Swift 47 

Pierce, Abigail, m. Samuel Swift 30 

Pierce, John 22 

Pierce, Rev. John 30 

Pierce, William 30 

Pierce, William, m. Lydia Swift 23 

Pike, William 14 

Pope, Elizabeth 24 


Pope, Ebenezer 2r 

Porter, E. P., m. Judith Rogers 28 

Potter, Andrew H 39 

Potter, Emma, m. Henry Swift 55 

Potter, Hettie, m. John B. Swift 39 

Pratt, 19 

Pratt, , m. EUzabeth Swift 7 

Pratt, Eliza A., ra. John Swift 16 

Pratt, Elizabeth 9, 10 

Pulcifer, Hannah H., m. John Hollis . ... 15 

Purpoon, John, m. Abigail Swift 51 

Putnam, Col., m. Sarah Swift 20 

Putnam, Sarah 22 

Rainsford, Elizabeth, m. William Greenough . 5 

Read, Anna, m. Highinbottom .... 5 

Read, Elizabeth, m. Samuel Durham 5 

Read, Luther F., m. Lizzie F. Swift 16 

Read, Obadiah, m. Anna Swift 5 

Rhoades, Hannah, m. Benjamin .Swift .... 54 

Rhoades, Jacob 54 

Rhodes, Ebenezer 52 

Rhodes, Jacob 52 

Rice, Martha, m. Ebenezer Swift 31 

Richards, Peter, m. Louisa J. Swift 32 

Richards, Peter 33, 34 

Richards, Peter, m, Sarah D. Swift 32 

Richards, Sarah D. S t,2, 

Richardson, Mary, m. Henry Swift 53 

Roberdeau, Ann, m. Jonathan Swift 27 

Roberdeau, Daniel 27 

Robinson, John, m. Mary White 5 

Roby, Eben, m. Sarah Swift 10 

Robye, Ebenezer 13 

Robye, Sarah 13 

Rockwell, William, m. Susan Capen .... 58, 59 

Rogers, Fanny, m. J. A. Veasie 28 

Rogers, George B., m. 2S 

Rogers, John S., m. 28 

Rogers, Judith, m. E. P. Porter 28 

Rogers, P. B., m. Elizabeth Swift 28 

Scott, Winfield 34 

Sewall, .Samuel 10 

.Seward, Edee, m. Elijah Swift 52 

Shaw, Abigail, m. William Pitt Swift .... 16 

Shearer, ."Vnn 32 

Sherman, 24 

Shore, .Sarah, m. William Greenough .... 5 

Sloan, Francis, m. Mary Swift 52 

Sloan, Mary, m. Avery 52 

Smith, Jeremiah 18 

Smith, Joseph 26 

Smith, Richard 6 

Sprague, Edward 15 




Sprink, Charles, rn. Annie Swift i6 

Spurr, Ann 3> ^ 

Spurr, Robert 6 

Stearns, Marshall 55 

Stearns, Anna C, m. Wm. J. Swift 55 

Stearns, William, m. Margaret Swift 55 

St. John, Orestes H., m. Mary Swift 40 

Stoddard, Elijah, m. Philomela Swift 20 

Stone, Elizabeth 13 

Stone, Rev, James, m. Elizabeth Swift .... 10 

Stoughton, Israel 3 

Stuart, Charles 34 

Stuart, Mary, m. WiUiam H. Swift 34 

Sumner, Benjamin 18 

Sumner, Deacon g 

Sumner, Mary, m. Dean M. .Swift 41 

Sumner, William 3, 6 

Swain, Elizabeth 24 

Swain, Shubart 24 

Swan, Martha 38 

Swift, Abigail 15 

Swift, Abigail, m. Apply 50 

Swift, Abigail, m. French 16 

Swift, Abigail, m. Reuben Ferry 23 

Swift, Abigail, m. John Purpoon 51 

Swift, Alex. J 32 

Swift, Ann 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26 

Swift, Ann, m. Samuel Berry 23 

Swift, Ann E., m. John W. Martin 42 

Swift, Ann Foster, m. Jonathan T. Patten ... 27 

Swift, Anna, m. Obadiah Read 5 

Swift, Anna, m. Solomon Hersey 17 

Swift, Anne, m. PhiUips Payson 10 

Swift, Annie, m. Charles Sprink 16 

Swift, Benjamin, m. Hannah Rhoades ... 54 

Swift, Caroline, m. Abraham Andrews .... 54 

Swift, Catharine, m. Dr. Whitman 15 

Swift, Catharine, m. John F, Trow 38 

Swift, Charles W., m. Margaret Howard ... 45 

Swift, Charlotte, m. Charles ¥. Little 40 

Swift, Dean 11,28 

Swift, Dean M., m. Mary Sumner 41 

Swift, Ebenezer 18, 19 

Swift, Ebenezer, m. Judith Clapp 23 

Swift, Ebenezer, Jr., m. Sally Greenwood ... 31 

Swift, Ebenezer, m. Martha Rice 31 

Swift, Edmund L 43 

Swift, Elijah, m. Nancy Brown 53 

Swift, Elijah, m. Edee Seward 52 

Swift, Eliphal 22 

Swift, Eliphal, m. John Baker 23 

Swift, EHza Hester, m. Thomas M. Woodruff . 40 

Swift, Eliza R., m. Abraham Andrews .... 45 


Swift, Elizabeth 3, 4, 8, 22 

Swift, Elizabeth m. Samuel Babcock 23 

Swift, Elizabeth, m. James Hutchinson .... 52 

Swift, Elizabeth, m. John Newhall 20 

Swift, Elizabeth, m. Pratt 7 

Swift, Elizabeth, m. P. B. Rogers 28 

Swift, Elizabeth, m. Rev. James Stone . . 10 

Swift, Elizabeth C, m. Geo. H. Janeway ... 42 

Swift, Elizabeth R 4, 41 

Swift, Eunice, m. Josiah Wadsworth 31 

Swift, Fanny 29 

Swift, Foster 22, 26, 34, 43 

Swift, Foster, m. Deborah Delano 23 

Swift, Foster, m. Alida C. Fitzhugh 43 

Swift, Frances, m. Edward Holbrook 56 

Swift, General 21,29 

Swift, Geo. B., m. Mary B. Warren 46 

Swift, Geo. L., m. Mary L. Watson 16 

Swift, George M 39 

Swift, Hannah, m. Thomas M.Thompson ... 54 

Swift, Harriet, m. Henry O. Nichols 40 

Swift, Henry, m. Sarah Brown 54 

Swift, Henry, m. Mary Coffin 55 

Swift, Henry, m. Elizabeth Glover 55 

Swift, Henry, m. Agnes McKean 54 

Swift, Henry, m. Emma Potter 55 

Swift, Henry, m. Mary Richardson 53 

Swift, Isabella S., m. Robert J. Woodruff ... 40 

Swift, James Thomas 34 

Swift, James Thomas, m. Margaret Weston . . 32 

Swift, James, m. Silence Butt 51 

Swift, James, m. Winifred Davis 52, 53 

Swift, James, m. Mary .Mayer 51 

Swift, James Foster 34 

Swift, James F., m. Mary F. Jephson 32 

Swift, Jane, m. James Young 51 

Swift, Joane 58 

Swift, Joan, m. John Baker 4 

Swift, John 9, 10, 18 

Swift, Capt. John 29, 30 

S%vift, Rev. John 8,11,12,13,14,15 

Swift, Rev. John, m. Abigial .\dams 14 

Swift, John, m. EUzabeth Babcock 28 

Swift, Dr. John, m. Catharine Davis 15 

Swift, John, m. EHzabeth Parker 41 

Swift, John, m. Eliza A. Pratt 16 

Swift, John, m. Sarah Tileston 10,11 

Swift, John B., m. Hettie Potter 39 

Swift, John Hollis, m. Hannah H. Pulcifer . . 15 

Swift, John J., m. Mary Hitchborn 55 

Swift, Jonathan 22 

Swift, Jonathan, m. Almena Jacobs 47 

Swift, Jonathan, m. Ann Roberdeau 27 




Sivift, Jonathan, m. Silence White 23 

Swift, Jonathan W 34 

Swift, Jonathan W., m. Isabella Fitzhugh ... 42 

Swift, Joseph A 16,32 

Sivift, Gen!. Joseph G 33, 42, 43 

Swift, Joseph Gardner, m. Louisa M. Walker 31, 32 

Swift, Judith, m. Henry Crane 23 

Swift, Lawrence C, m. Mabel B. Griffith ... 42 

Swift, Lewis, m. Maria A. Engleman 49 

Swift, Lizzie F., m. Luther F. Read 16 

Swift, Lizzie F., m. William F. Hale 16 

Swift, Louisa J., m. Peter Richards 32 

Swift, Lucretia, m. John Lovering 20 

Swift, Lucy W., m. Joshua W. Carr 16 

Swift, Luther, m. Hannah Brown 15 

Swift, Lydia, m. William Pierce 23 

Swift, Margaret, m. William Stearns 54 

Swift, Maria J 36 

Swift, Martha, m. John Farrar 17 

Swift, Martha E., m. W. B. Dickernian .... 40 

Swift, Mary 13,14,22,25,26 

Swift, Mary, m. John White 5 

Swift, Mary, m. Col. Burt 28 

Swift, Mary, m. Joseph Bennett 23 

Swift, Mary, m. George Ironside 34 

Swift, Mary, m. Orestes H. St. John 40 

Swift, Mary, m. Moses C. Chapman 41 

Swift, Mary, m. Francis Sloan 52 

Swift, Mary, m. J. H. Lombard 56 

Swift, Mary B., m. John Farrar 54 

Swift, Mary C, m. Lewis W. Tappan 55 

Swift, Mary F 41 

Swift, Mary R., m. George \V. Whistler ... 24 

Swift, Mary S., m. Henry Allison 27 

Swift, McRee 4,18,24,29,33,34 

Swift, McRee, m. Abby H. Chew 42 

Swift, Nathaniel 18, 19 

Swift, Nathaniel, m. Rebecca Tucker 23 

Swift, Nathaniel, m. Mary Baker 28 

Swift, Nathaniel, m. Sarah Abbott 37 

Swift, Nathaniel, m. Martha Jane Kidder . . 45, 46 

Swift, Obadiah 6,31 

Swift, Obadiah, m. Abigail Blake 50 

Swift, Obadiah, m. Rest Atherton 50 

Swift, Patience, m. Ebenezer Wadsworth ... 17 

Swift, Patience, m. Daniel Newell 23 

Swift, Peggy R., m. Thomas Adan 53 

Swift, Philomela 26 

Swift, Philomela, m. Elijah Stoddard 20 

Swift, Priscilla, m. Henry Ledbetter 51 

Swift, Rebecca, m. James Tucker 23 

Swift, Robert 3 

Swift, Ruth, m. William Grcenough 5 


Swift, Samuel 4,7,9,10,18,20,21,22 

Swift, Samuel, m. Ann Holman 17 

Swift, Samuel, m. Ann Foster 20 

Swift, Samuel, m. Eliphal Tilly 20 

Swift, Samuel, m. Abigail Pierce 30 

Swift, Samuel, m. Ehza H. Willkings .... 39 

Swift, Samuel, m. Polly Cheney 41 

Smft, Samuel, m. Emma Newberry 47 

Swift, Samuel, m. Mary Phelps 47 

Swift, Samuel, m. Lucy Davies 49 

Swift, Sarah 9, 28 

Swift, Sarah, m. Eben Roby 10 

Swift, Sarah, m. John Adams 17 

Swift, Sarah, m. Col. Putman 20 

Swift, Sarah, m. Samuel Henshaw 23 

Swift, Sarah, m. James Leeds 51 

Swift, Sarah, m. Samuel Makin 52 

Swift, Sarah D , m. Eli Adams 24 

Swift, Sarah D., m. Peter Richards 32 

Swift, Sarah Frances, m. Rev. Jeffries Hall . . 37 

Swift, Silence, m. Desire Hawes 51 

Swift, Silence, m. Paul Ingerfield 52 

Swifr, Susanna, ni. Hopestill Clapp 5 

Swift, Susannah, m. William Bartlett 23 

Swift, Susanna, m. Henry Newell 51 

Swift, Susanna, m. Joseph Whiston 51 

Swift, Susannah, m. Robert Jones 52 

Swift, Thomas i, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, iS, 31, 57 

Swift, Thoma'^, m. Sarah Clapp 7 

Swift, Thomas, m. Elizabeth Vose 7 

Swift, Thomas, m. Elizabeth Crehore 17 

Swift, Thomas, m. Elizabeth Capen 58 

Swift, Thomas D. 42 

Swift, William 13.26 

Swift, William, m. Martha E. Phelps .... 38 

Swift, William, m. Ruth F. Wood 40 

Swift, William, m. Maria King 48 

Swift, WiUiam, m. Fanny M. Umstead .... 49 

.Swift, William, m. Addie W. Jacobs 49 

Swift, William A., m. .^nna Young Alwood . . 49 

Swift, William J., m. Maria A. Jacobs .... 39 

Swift, William J., m. Anna C. Stearns .... 35 

Swift, WiUiam H., m. Mary E. Walcott .... 16 

Swift, William H , m. Mary Stuart 34 

Swift, W. H., m. Hannah W. Howard .... 34 

Swift, WiUiam P., m. Abigail Shaw 16 

Swift, William R., m. Mary I). Harper .... 27 

Tabor, Patience 24 

Tappan, John 55 

Tappan, Lewis W., m. Mary C. Swift .... 55 

Tappan, Lewis W., Jr 7i 3' 

Tappan, Lewis W., Jr., m. Olivia B. Lothrop . 55 

Tappan, Rebecca Waldo 49 



Thatcher, Oxenbridge 1 8 

Thatcher, Thomas . . • " lo 

Thompson, Thomas M., m. Hannah Swift ... 54 

Tileston, Thomas 3 

Tilestone, James 10 

Tilestone, Sarah, m. Rev. John Swift .... 10 

Tilestone, Timothy 3. 10 

Tilly, Eliphal, m. Samuel Swift 20 

Tilly, Samuel 20, 22 

Tobey, Pierre 24 

Trott, Thomas 18 

Trow, Catharine S., m. James B. Cutter . ... 38 

Trow, John 38 

Trow, John F., m. Catharine Swift 38 

Trow, J. F., m. Cora Munn 38 

Trow, Martha E., m. Hugo Peiper 38 

Trow, Sarah F., m. A. Carter 38 

Tucker, James, m. Rebecca Swift 23 

Tucker, Jeremiah 18, 23 

Tucker, Rebecca, m. Nathaniel Swift 23 

Tully 33 

Umstead, Fanny M., m. William Swift .... 49 

Upsale, Nicholas, m. Dorothy Capen 58 

Van Baal, Helena 32 

Veasie, J. A., m. Fanny Rogers 28 

Vose, Elizabeth, m. Thomas Swift 7 

Wadsworth, Ebenezer 18 

Wadsworth, Ebenezer, m. Patience Swift ... 17 

Wadsworth, John 7 

Wadsworth, Josiah, m. Eunice Swift 31 

Wadsworth, Patience 19 

Waldo, Henry S., ra. Catharine E. R. Adan . . 53 

Walcott, Mary E., m. William Henry Swift . . 16 

Walker, pedigree 32 

Walker, George 32 

Walker, James 32 

Walker, Robert 32 

Wareham, Rev. Mr 3 

Warkman, Samuel, m. Martha White 5 

Warren, Mary 24 

Warren, Mary B., m. Geo. B. Swift 46 

"Warren, Nathaniel 24 


Washington, Gen 27, 28 

Watson, Mary L., m. George L. Swift .... 16 

Welch, John, m. Elizabeth White 5 

Weston, Judge 32 

Weston, Margaret, m. James Thomas Svrift . . 32 

Whistler, Deborah 26 

VVhistler, Deborah D., ra. Seymour Hayden . . 25 

Whistler, Geo 26 

Whistler, George W., m. Mary R. Swift ... 24 

Whistler, George W., m. Ducatel .... 25 

Whistler, George W., m. Julia Winans .... 25 

Whistler, Joseph 26 

Whiston, Joseph, m. Susanna Swift 5 ' 

Whistler, \Vm 25 

White, Edward, m. Martha King 5 

White, Edmond, m. Elizabeth 5 

White, Edward B., m. DeUa Adams 24 

White, Elizabeth, m. John Welch 5 

White, James 5 

White, John 23 

White, John, m. Mary Swift 5 

White, Martha, m. Samuel Warkman .... 5 

White, Mary, m. John Robinson 5 

White, Peter 7 

White, Sarah, m. Edward Martyn 5 

White, Silence, m. Jonathan Swift 23 

Whitman, Dr., m. Catharine Swift 15 

Winkings, John 39 

Willkings, Eliza H., m. Samuel Swift 39 

Winans, Julia, m. George W. Whistler .... 25 

Winans, Ross W 25 

Willard, John 12 

Wirt, William 22 

Wood, Ruth Frances, m. William Swift ... 40 

Wood, Susannah, m. Hopestill Foster .... 20 

Woodward, Abigail 51 

Woodward, John 5' 

Woodruff, Mary J., m. A. B. Carbonnel ... 40 

Woodruff, Robert J., m. Isabella Swift .... 40 

Woodruff, Thomas M., m. Eliza H. Swift ... 40 

Young, James, m. Jane Swift 51 



Abert. 12S, 176, 189, 233, 234, 238, 244, 248, 249, 

250, 264, 269, 273, ?74, 275, 28c 
Adams, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 32, 50, 75, 83, 85, 
130, 140, 142, 151, 160, 161, 173, 174, 17S, 
182, 197, 199, 201, 211, 212, 216, 217, 220, 
224, 226, 232, 233, 234, 236, 244, 252, 261, 
262, 264, 265, 269, 270, 272, 275, 279, 2S4 

Addison 44 

Adrian 190 

Alden 12 

Alexander 34-63 

Allen 34, 195, 204, 224 

Allston 24 

AIsop 163 

Ames 159 

Amhurst, Lord 32 

Anderson 181, 272, 286, 2S9 

Andre 27 

Andrews 270 

Angus 226, 257, 273, 275 

Anthony 12, 276 

Archer 1S2 

Armistead, 29, 34, 37, 53, 56, 98, 102, 104, 106, 108, 
109, 120, 121, 127, 141, 170, 171, 173, 
174, 180, 193 

Armitage j86, 191, 252, 263 

Armour 183 

Armstrong, 79, 108, 109, 113, 114, 115, 119, 120,121, 
122, 123, 124, 126, 127, 131, 133, 136, 222, 

Arnault 230 

Arnold 27, 30, 31, 79 

Artiguenave 166 

Ashe 64 

Asmus 57 

Aspinwall 279 

Astor 262 

Atkinson 118 

Auchmuty 22 

Audubon 249 

Austin 77 


Avery 158 

Ayrault 288 

Azalon 222 

Babcock 108, 154 

Bache 155, 191, 261 

Bachus 288 

Backus 114, 218 

Bainbridge, 107, 139, 148, 156, 158, 160, 162, 168, 
242, 243 

Bailey 158, 258 

Baldwin 243 

Ball 224, 225 

Bancroft 251 

Bankhead 232, 256 

Baptist 65 

Barbour 199 

Barclay 162, 208,210 

Bard 185,225, 230 

Barker 140 

Barnard 61, 62, 256, 283, 286 

Baron 27, 28, 31, 40, 43, 44 

Barron .... 32, 34, 36, 37, 46, 53, 56, 66, 67, 70 

Barrow 273 

Barry 205, 223, 262 

Bartlett 275, 277, 287 

Bates 229 

Baum 35 

Bautatz 245 

Bayard 214, 219 

Baylis 16, 275 

Beach 76, 78, 193, 198 

Beale 76, 78 

Beardsley 221 

Beauregard 288 

Beck 260, 273 

Bee 57 

Beebe 43 

Beers 230 

Bell 92, 23S, 244, 285 

Bellasis 46 

Bennet 194, 277 



Bentalon 154 

Benjamin 260 

Bernard, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 149, 170, 174, 175, 

176, 178, 179, 180, 181, 18S, 192, 196, 204, 

210, 255, 269 

Bethune 283 

Beton 234 

Bibby 216 

Biddle . 48, 180, 183, 223, 233, 234, 254, 267, 280 

Birdsell 230 

Birney 278 

Blair 45-213 

Blake 52, 159 

Blaney, 52, 53, 60, 66, 85, 88, 102, 147, 167, 16S, 

170, 172, 173 

Bloomfield Ill, 128, 158 

Blount 216 

Blunt 279, 281 

Bodisco 245 

Bogardus 237 

Bogoot 188 

Bogert 21, 206 

Bolinbroke 46 

BoUman 70, 196 

Bomford 40, 67, 82, 105, 108, 113, I49, 153, 254, 263 

Bonaparte 63, 82, 156 

Bonneville 165 

Boone 46, 185 

Boot 41 

Booth 154 

Borland 256 

Boss 21 

Botetout 174 

Botts 60 

Bowditch 85, 105, 161, 165 

Boyd . 117 

Braddock 49 

Bradford 38 

Bradley 55< 67 

Bradshaw 90 

Brayton 277 

Brent 288 

Brewerton 268 

Brooks . . 78, 126, 129, 130, 159^ 160, 161, 166, 255 

Brown, 92, 94, 104, 105, 109, 113, 114, 117, 122, 131, 

172, 187, 19s, 198, 235, 253, 261, 263, 273 

Brownwell 183 

Bruff 42, 63 

Brynon 1:2 

Buchanan 243, 285 

Buck 273 

Bull 194 


Burbeck 42, 76, 79, 85, 86, 90, 98, 130 

Burgwin 58,65,86,111,113,135,172 

Burgoyne 47, 241 

Burke 181 

Burr 31, 36, 52, 60, 70, 96, 97 

Burt 80, 276 

Burtsell 212 

Bush 146 

Butler ...... 42, 43, 82, 155, 183, 225, 230, 236 

Cabot 78 

Cadwallader, 45,48, 154, 155, 180, 183, 201, 254, 267 

Cady 13, 16, 166, 252 

Cahoon : 158, 182 

Caldwell 88, 23S, 239 

Cales 265, 267 

Calhoun, 149, 175, 176. 180, 184, 186, 187, 1S9, 192, 
199, 202, 219, 227, 232 

Callender 52 

Camman 271 

Campbell 42, 67, 208, 210, 240, 242 

Canfield 233, 234 

Canon 237 

Canova 172 

Carew 279 

Carondelet 96 

Carroll 153, 159, 215, 250 

Carter 238 

Casey 199 

Cass 222, 269, 286 

Chase 45, 213, 244, 269, 282, 283, 286 

Champlin 22, 24 

Channing 160 

Chauncey 113, 171, iSo, 191 

Chapman 204 

Charles V 222 

Chatham 249 

Cheeves 105, 183 

Chesterman 192, 252 

Chew 187,209,211,243,246,252,255 

Chrystler 117 

Church 229, 266 

Churchill 241 

Clark 193, 19S, 266 

Clasby 277 

Clay . . . .140,189,195,201,207,209,243,269 

Clayton 261 

Cletherall 65, 210 

Clinton .... 30, 67, 113, 131, 133, 156, 188, 197 

Clitherow 243 

Clive, Lord 242 

Cobb, 13, 14,15,16,18,19,78,81,84,85,130, 160,275 




Cobbet 194, 195 

Cobham 65 

Cochrane 26, 91 

Cockburn 153 

Coffin 277 

Colden 1S3, 192 

Colebrook 240 

Coleman 151 

Coles 56, 70, 171, 219 

Collins 159. 171 

Conde 55 

Conrad 192 

Conway 50 

Cook 210, 21 1, 225, 226, 260 

Cooper Ill, 226, 2S2 

Cope 91 

Cornwallis 53, 154 

CoWngton 113, 117, I iS 

Cox 62, 173 

Cozzens 2S7 

Craig 53. 66, 179 

Crane 232 

Craven 49, 2S7 

Crawford 142, 143, 178, 186 

Creighton 193 

Crocker 130 

Croes 215 

Cromwell 52 

Cronkhite 274, 279, 2S5 

Cropsy .110, 2S2 

Crosby 277 

Crowninshield 175 

Croysdale 261 

Crozet 151, 211 

Cruger 181 

Cuidozo 15 

Cullum 268, 271, 290, 291 

Cummings 136 

Cunningham 219 

Curtis 102 

Cushing 43, 129, 130 

Cushraan 16 

Custis 195 

Cutbush 108, 206, 208, 230, 247 

Cutler 246 

Dachkoff icc 

Dahlgren 219 

Dak 267 

Dallas 192 

Dante 29 

Davies 122, 194, 237, 246, 270 


Davis, 51, 55, 91, 160, 206, 274, 276, 287 

Dearborn, 18, 25, 26, 28, 40, 43, 48, 49, 76, 78, 79, 

80, 84, 86, 87, 123, 131, 132, 159, 211, 

239, 240, 243, 257, 276 

Decatur loi, 107, 132, 133, 134 

Delafield, 192, 197, 215, 229, 230, 246, 248, 251, 252, 

253, 258, 266, 272, 275, 284 
Delano, 10, 11, 17, 38, 83, 95, 107, 142, 182, 258, 

262, 276, 277, 281 

Deniston no 

Denning 31, 60, 72 

Dent 102, 103 

Derby 262 

Devereu.\ 102 

De Bernier 93^ 100 

De Kalb 7, 

De Lancy 247, 249, 252, 259, 283 

De Lemos 96 

De Leng 247 

De la Marche cc 

De Masson 40, 46, 53, 67 

De Peyster 163 

De Rosset, 53, 54, 59, 64, 66, 74, 173, 204, 246, 247, 

256, 257 

De Russy 108, 1 14 

DeWoIf jjg 

DeZeng 224 

Dibden jg 

Dickinson 230, 246 

Dinwiddle 128,219 

Dixwell 8 J 

Doddridge loi, 173 

Doggett 16, 20, 72, 73, 130 

Donnel i^i 

Donop icr 

Douglass 115,266,275,285 

Drake 256 

Drayton 103, 136 

Drefortail 29 

Droasy 21, 24, 32 

Drummond 241 

^^y 52 

Dryden 84 

Duane 82 

DuBois, 53, 54, 66, 178, 179, 247, 251, 252, 256, 262, 
266, 273, 288 

Ducatel 262, 268 

Duche 24 

Duncan 206, 225, 227, 235, 236, 244, 260 

Dunlap 233 

Duvale 09 

Dwight 229, 280 




Eagle 172 

Eakin 254 

Eaton 45. 192. 205 

Eccleston 205 

Eckford, 1S9, 195, 198, 199, 200, 201, 214, 215, 237, 
238, 246 

Eddy 113 

Edmonson 235 

Edwards 81, 173, 192, 233, 260, 261, 286 

Ellery 22, 159 

Ellet 258 

Ellicott 45 

Elliot 170, 174, 175, 180,279 

Ellison 72 

Empie 123, 130, 131, 138, 146, 219 

Enfield 32. 3^ 

England 223 

Erickson 61 

Ernst 217 

Erskine 82 

Eustis . . 76, 77, 79, 81, 84, 86, 106. 109, 124, 207 
Evans . . 61, loi, 162, 168, 185, 187, 211, 217, 254 

Everett 59,61,284,285 

Ewing 99, 103, 104 

Fairbanks 235 

Fairley 133 

Falkland 239 

Fanning 65 

Farquhar 114,182,208,211,221,287 

Farrar 177 

Fay 198 

Fellow 223, 229, 236, 281 

Feltus 181, 194 

Fenwick 136, 181 

Fergus 5'. 55- ^3 

Ferguson 219 

Findley loS 

Fish 131, 135, 195 

Fisher 267 

Fitch 83 

Fitzhugh, 44, 192, 211, 212, 215, 218, 221, 231, 235. 
242, 257, 265, 266, 269, 288 

Fleming 29, 47, 93 

Folger 38. 277 

Foote 237, 278 

Forsyth 147 

Foster 61,81, iii, 197 

Fowler 61 

Fox 164 

Frances 41 

Franklin 34. 37. 38 

Franks 258, 259 


Eraser 242, 258, 259 

Freeman 42, 87, 96, loi, 102, 160 

Fremont 278 

Frink 213, 219 

Fuller 275 

Fulton io5, 126, 132 

Gadsden, 100, 114, 132, 134, 138, 140, 141, 149, 255, 
260, 283 

Gage 68, 161 

Gailliard 105 

Gaines 71, 116, 194, 227 

Gales 215 

Gallagher 214 

Gallatin, . . 69, 71, 107, 127, 140, 143, 149, 156, 196 

Gallaudet 157 

Gamble 96 

Gansvoort 36, 71, 96 

Gard 150 

Gardner .... 10, 13, 19, 38, 68, 69, So, 249, 286 

Garnet 69, 71, 97, 181, 2S2 

Gaston 59, 171, 192 

Gates 28, 34, 47, so, C41 

Gautier log 

Gay 156 

Genet 14 

George III 239 

Girard 183 

Germain 244, 245 

Gerry 83 

Getting 254 

Gibbon 26, 96, 99, 107 

Gibbs 22,66,72,112,113,183,184, 191 

Gibson 67, 192, 234 

Gillespie 20 

Gilman 106, 108, 113 

Gilmore loi 

Gist 235 

Glassell 136, 139 

Glover 229 

Gold 22 

Goldsborough loi, 177 

Godwin 41 

Goff 81 

Goodwin 35, 193 

Gookin 174 

Gore 78, 84, 160 

Gorham 164 

Gouverneur, 36, 175, 176, 193, 194, 199, 204, 206, 216, 
219, 237, 251, 265, 270 

Grafton 279 

Graham 147, 171, 231 

Grange 58 

Gratiot 205, 216, 221, 275 



Gray 159, 265,286 

Greeley 270 

Green 22, 29, 2S2 

Gregory 123 

Greig, 206, 211,224,226, 227, 231,234, 236, 259, 260 
269, 272, 281 

Gridley 42 

Griffin 5'. 52, 53. 55- 57. S^, 59- 8S, 172 

Grime 264 

Griswold 193 

Grozet 151 

Glassel 139 

Glover 229 

Guest 269 

Guile 279 

Guilles 182 

Guion 63, 171 

Hale 275 

Haley 8i 

Halsey 102 

Hall . 215, 224, 230, 260 

Hallam 81 

Haliburton 240 

Hamilton, 22, 36, 37, 43, 46, 52, 70, 97, 103, 107 

175, 185,192,222,275 
Hampton . . 114, 115, 116, 118, 119, 120, 122, 210 

Hancock 159 

Hanover 256 

Harbeck 251 

Hardy 131, 158, 232 

Harney 103 

Harper 100, 154, 182 

Harris 257, 279 

Harrison .... io6, 121, 122, 123, 238, 243, 244 

Hart 12, 276 

Hartshorn 76 

Harvey 234, 239 

Hassler, 67, 69, 71, 72, 86, 95, loi, 105, 127, 128, 

140, 151, 184, 185, 189, 219, 226, 229, 254 

267, 272, 282 

Hatfield 273 

Havens 28 

Hawkins no, 135, 184 

Hawley 113 

Hawks 247, 256, 268, 279 

Hayne 192 

Hay ward >2, 59 

Haywood 95 

Head 155, 228, 230 

Heileman 35, 130 

Helm 261 

Hemminway 206 

Henderson, 31, 207 

Henry 24, 243 

Herbert 44, 242 

Heth 49 

Hill 58, 64, 88, 172 

Hobart 123, 128, 185, 252 

Hodges 85, 166, 174 

Hoffman 206, 210, 246 

Hogarth 37, 57 

Holford 266, 267 

Holland 135, 138 

Holly 157 

Holmes 54, 221, 224 

Hooper 64, 93, 172 

Hopes 263 

Hopkins 184, 225, 241 

Horace 156 

Horn 133, 135 

Horry 103 

Hossack 41 

House 43 

Houston 219, 254, 269 

Hove 69 

Howard 27, 28, 192, 199, 207, 208, 275 

Howe 81, 95, 155, 280 

Howland 194 

Hoxie 237, 264 

Hoyt . . 216, 219, 220, 223, 224, 226, 231, 233, 273 

Huger 196 

i Hull 107, 129, 160 

Humphrey 7°, 81, 220, 223, 225, 263 

Hunt 227, 248, 270 

Hunn 258 

Hunter 22, 25 

Huntington . . . 158, 246, 254, 255, 275, 278, 279 

Hussy 277 

Hutton 27, 32, 36 

Hyatt 193, 261 

Ingalls 16, 72 

Ingersoll 42, 85, 155, 267 

Ireland 181, 187, 189, 191, 219, 258 

Irvine . 155 

Izard 35.40, 102, no, 112, 283 

Irving 43,247,251,259 

Jackson, 20, 24, 34, 80, 97, 137, 141, 203, 205, 210, 
214, 237, 238, 240, 242, 244, 251, 279 

Jaggar 186, 187 

Jarvis 138,139,173,194,248 

Jasper 100 



Jay 15, 164, 200 

Jefferson, 15, 17, 23, 24, 25, 31, 32, 34, 41, 44, 45. 

48, 49, 50, 57, 60, 63, 69, 70, 73, 77, 81, 

148, 163, 164, 193, 237, 265 

Jeffrey 81 

Jennings 128, 220 

Jephson 207 

Jessup 1S7 

Jewett 240 

Jocelyn 80, 88 

Johnston ... 42, 54, 133, 186, 223, 253, 258, 260 

Jordan 239 

Jones, 29, 64, 78, 91, 93, 96, 163, 188, 189, 206, 248 

Judd 272 

Judkins 231 

Judson 234 

Jumonville 12S, 220 

Kain 149 

Kater 19' 

Kearney 162,170,174,250 

Kellock <i6 

Kelly 189 

Kemble, 36. 135, 1 38, 150, 151, 177, 234, 254, 255, 

267, 275, 277, 279, 287, 289 

Kent 192 

Kent, Duke of 239 

Kernan 54 

Keys 231 

Kimball 42, 43 

Kimble 214 

King, 16, 140, 141. '43. '57. '63. 192, 203, 204, 222, 

231, 270 

Kingsbury 42, 43 

Kingsley 29, 64 

Kirby 235 

Kirkland 78, 84, 161 

Kirkwood 221,261,280,282 

Kittredgc 76 

Knight 24, 26 

Knox 28, 43, 47 

Kortwright 163 

Kosciusko 29, 30, 35, 46, 71, 156 

Lacy 233 

La Fayette 143, 195, 196 

Lake 239 

Lane 149 

Langdon 7(1, 78, 84, 86, 129, 162 

Lansing 238 

La Place 85, 165 


Latrobe 149, 153 

Law 190, 212 

Lawrence 246, 270 

Leavenworth 37 

Le Clerc 157 

Le Conte 176, 187 

L'Enfent 45 

Le Trevor 192 

Ledyard 158, 280 

Lee . . ..50, 104, 130, 157, 196, 234, 256, 270, 287 

Leeds 93 

Lefferts 186. 237, 254 

Leiber 283 

Leonard I5i 17. 72, '83, 130, 165 

Leslie 255 

Levens 194 

Levy 34, 36, 37i 4°, 47. 79 

Lewis, 49, 102, 108, 111,115,116,122, 132, 195,272 

Lightfoot 55 

Lillington 53 

Lincoln 10, 69, 285, 287, 288, 289 

Lind 266 

Linton 207 

Little 171 

Uvingston 24, 34, 156, 223, 225, 263 

Lloyd 78 

Lockwood 34 

Logan 82, 155 

Lomax 225 

London 88, Ib8, 172 

Long . . 128, 142, 155, 177, 181, 187, 191, 204, 207 

Lord ." 48.52,88,172,283 

Loring 81 

Loss 184. "85, 189 

Loud 235 

Louis XVI 45 

Louis Phillippe 269 

Lovel 5°. 58, 68 

Lovering 12, 129, 146, 168, 184 

Lowdais 25 

Lowe '46 

Lowndes 102, 142 

Lummis 206, 212 

Madison . 48, 63, 70, 79, 82, 83. 98, loi, 106, 107, 

108, 124, 125, 136, 142, 147, 148, 156, 164, 

237. 265 
Macomb, 29, 30, 34. 35. 39. 4" • 43.46,47, 53, 56, 66, 

92, 96, 97, 98, 104, 106, 113, 116, 117, 166, 

183, 185, 193, 238, 267 

Macy 258 

Magruder 186 



Mahan 256 

Malbone 24 

Malen 218 

Manners 68 

Mansfield, 32, 34, 36, 37, 41, 123, 142, 167. 246, 2S7 

Mapes 133, 134 

March, 86, 156, 181, 182, 185, 187, 189, 192, 194, 204, 
217. 234. 254, 255, 258, 259, 265 

Marcy 217, 250,251,258,259 

Marie Antoinette « . . 45 

Markoe 261 

Marshall 50, 96, 97, 107, 275 

Martin 45 

Marvin 179 

Mason 67, 126, 142, 153, 162, 177, 238 

Massinger 84 

Mattoon 197 

Maurice 64, 208 

Maxey 192, 249 

Maxwell 135, 200 

May 38, 68 

Mayo 96, 80 

McBride 230 

McClelland 43 

McClullock 190 

McDonald 51, 64, 221 

McDonnell 24I 

McDonough 119 

McDuffie 192 

McGregor 269 

McHoon 212 

McHenry 20 

McLaren 232 

McLean 64, 127, 154, 22S, 273 

McNab 242 

McNeill, 63, 64, 68, 72, 100, loi, 109, 135, 192, 193, 
204, 206, 211, 221, 224, 227, 229, 230, 237, 
238, 244, 245, 260, 265, 267, 271 

McPherson . 42 

McRea 24, 26, 32, 43 

McRee, 40, 51, 100, 102, 103, 104, 108, iii, 121, 
127, 138, 139, 162, 166, 167, 16S, 170, 175, 
176, 179, 180, iSi, 184, 188, 215. 222, 223 

McYlhenny 60 

Meek 51 

Melville 261 

Mercein 134, 139 

Mercer 124 

Middleton 103 

Michel 250 

Miflin 50, 185 

Miller, 55, 57, 58, 59, 81, 92, 94, 102, 109, iii, 160, 
172, 222, 271 


Millman loi 

Mills 279 

Mimeenitz 71 

Mitchell 16, 1S3, 187, 242, 266, 277 

MLx 177, 186, 189 

Monroe, 136, 148, 149, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157. 159, 
160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 174, 175, 179, 1S8, 
205, 2i6, 231, 237, 243, 254, 258, 265, 272 

Montalembert 67 

Montezuma 207 

Montgomery 54 

Moore .... 13, 53, 58, 64, 88, loi, 172, 191, 240 

Mordecai loi, 102 

Moreau 211 

Morton 83, 133, 134, 156, 166 

Morgan 220, 2S4 

Morley 171 

Morris . . . 113,216,250,251,260,264,267,273 

Morse 151 

Mott 194 

Mulcaster Ii7 

MuUer 20, 21 

Murdock 42 

Murphy 256 

Murray 133, 154, 266, 267 

Napoleon 144 

Nelson 165, 175 

Newman 273 

Nicholas 206, 222, 245, 247, 249, 262 

Niex 102 

Noah 181, 187 

Norbon 174 

Norcomb 173 

North 30,34,190,211,219,221 

Nourse 116 

Oakey 186, 191, 194, 202, 252, 265 

O'Connor 230 

Ogden ••.... 22, 156, 185, 199 

Ogilvie 84 

Oldfield 241, 243 

Oliver 66, 140, 159 

Onderdonk 194. 250 

O'Neal 101, 102 

Orme 92, i77. '78, 192 

Osborne . . 27, 28, 29, 41, 58, 81, 93, 138, 192, 210, 
213. 249, 273 

Osgood i6l 

O'SuUivan 219 

Otis 78, 127, 159 

Owen 54 



Padelford I9 

Paine 16,83, 165 

Palmer 158. 228 

Parker 100, 130 

Parr 268 

Parrot 287, 288 

Partridge, 97, 106, 108, no, in, n3, 141, 142, 144, 

147, 157, 167, 168, 169, 170, 278 

Pattens 281 

Patterson 181, 267 

Payer 9* 

Pazzy 75 

Peal 281 

Peduson '55 

Pell 188 

Pemberton 279 

Penniman 86 

Pentr 270 

Perkins 160 

Perry 22, 139, 158, 162, 168 

Peters 234 

Peyton I94 

Phelps 192, 237, 252 

Phillips 25, 160 

Phillipse 150. '5»i 264 

Pickens 103 

Pickering 79,97,124,161 

Pickett 181 

Pickings 192 

Picolomini 282 

Pierce 213 

Pierre 35 

Pierrepont 283 

Pierson I97i '99 

Pillow 280 

Pinckney, 17, 23,70, 71, 100, loi, 102, 103, 104, 105, 

107, 126, 148, 164, 292 

Pinnels 261^ 

Pintard 5°! «28, 220 

Pitcairn 84 

Pitts 42, 88, 97 

Pizzaro 256 

Poinsett 232, 235, 254 

Polk loi, 250, 259 

Pool 12, 23 

Porter .... 34, 76, 127, 129, 154, 196, 217, 242 

Post 192. 226 

PotU 44, 49, 52, 234 

Poulson 15 

Poussin '74 

Prentiss 2'9 

Presbury '61 '7 


Prescott n6, 256 

Preston 207, 227 

Price 70 

Prime 186, 194, 199 

Prince 184 

Pringle 283 

Proctor 135, 138 

Proveaux 34 

Pulaski 71 

Quince 64, 173 

Quincy 78, 279, 280, 284, 289 

Radcliffe 213 

Randall 114, 260 

Randolph i5i "5 

Rannie 37 

Rathbone 199, 237 

Read 168, 187, 

Record 214 

Redemker 155 

Reed 57. 275, 2S4 

Rees . . 206, 2n, 220, 226, 234, 247, 249, 250, 266 


Reeves 17 

Reimsowitz 46 

Renwick .... 135, 138, 181, 187, 190, 191, 192 

Revere 21 

Rhodewald 265 

Rice 19 

Richards, 247, 254, 255, 263, 270, 272, 277, 278, 279, 

284, 285 

Richmond '6, 223 

Ricketts 46 

Ridgely 226 

Riley • 61 

Rivardi 29, 33, 36, 75 

Robbins 25, 219 

Roberdeau, 44, 45, 69, 82, 128, 141, 170, 186, 192, 

204, 205, 213, 216, 279 

Roberts 67, 88, 89, 90, 94, 96, 99, 102 

Robinson 31. 128,220,239,283 

Rochambeau 21, 154 

Rochefontaine 21, 29, 33, 36, 37, 74, 75 

Rodney '54. '82 

Rogers 182, 187, 190 

Romeyn '88 

Rose 257 

Rosins 44 

Ross 153. '54. '82, 194 

Rudd '68, 173 

Rudee 210 



Ruggles 260, 265 

Rush 267 

Rusk 254 

Russell 12, 31, 127, 202, 203, 215, 217 

Rust 5° 

Rutledge 103 

Ryder 203 

Sabine 191 

Sackett "6 

Sampson 88 

Sands, 113, 135, I43i 'S^. «94. I97. 201, 212, 214, 
240, 265 

Sanger 283 

Saunders 43 

Savage 279 

Sawyer '75 

Scanlan 26 

Schuyler 36, 37 

Scott, 58, 116, 136, 156, 168, 191, 192, 193, 198, 202, 
216, 229, 231, 234, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 
243, 244, 248, 250, 251, 253, 254, 255, 258, 
259, 260, 262, 270, 272, 274, 276, 279, 280, 
281, 285, 287, 289 

Seabury 185 

Seaton 192, 215, 256, 273 

Sehly 244 

Selby 241 

Sentell 208, 210 

Shakspeare 84 

Shay 14 

Sharp 116 

Shaw 165, 280 

Sherwood 116 

Shepard 14 

Sherman 18 

Shields 255 

Shight 178 

Shingsley S3 

Shine I73 

Shipherd 228, 261 

Shippen 213 

Sider 14 

Sigourney 289 

Silliman ... .22,271,283 

Simmons -25, 106 

Simonds 7' 

Sinclair 92 

Smelt 239 

Smoot 174, 175 

Snowden no, 184. 185, 197, 199 

Southard 192 


Spatts 210 

Smith, 12, 47, 48, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 
82, 85, 91, 92, roi, 106, 109, 115, 123, 
'54i '55! 167, 168, 172, 174, 177, 184, 187, 
190, 193, 196, 202, 205, 215, 222, 223, 
228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 235, 246, 
250, 253, 256, 261, 271, 273, 276, 282, 
283, 284, 286 

Spear 82 

Spencer 243, 244, 253, 256 

Sprague 84 

Spring 91 

Stagg 201 

Stanley 171, 224 

St. Clair 33. 48 

Steel 19, 20, 21 

Stelle 30, 43 

Steritt 154 

Sterling 154, 163 

Stevens 133, 157 

Stevenson 241 

Stewart, 107, 127, 148, 154, 155, 156, 161, 199, 223, 
229, 240, 274 

Stockton 249 

Stoddard 19, 20, 23, 24, 2i8 

Stokes 212 

Stone 162, 206 

Storm 36 

Story 159, 266 

Strang 47 

Striker 154 

Strong 33. 47. 235 

St. Simon 17S 

Styles 81 

Sullivan 77, 129, 130, 201, 205, 246 

SuUy 205, 256 

Summers 233 

Summer 159, 194, 201, 260, 261 

Sutherland 235 

Swain 38, 277 

Swann 58, 64, 172 

Swartwout, 70, no, 113, 114,' 11 7, 133, 183, 222, 267 
Swift, 10, 17, 18, 36, 37, 38, 44, 48, 61, 63, 64, 66, 
71, 74, 76, 82, 85, 87, 90, 93, 96, loi, 112, 
n3, 120, 121, 123, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 
132, 133, 136, 138, 140, 143, 146, 150, 151, 
156, 161 

Talleyrand 18, 23 

Tallmadge 245, 248 

Tallman 257 

Taney 42, 96, 192 




Tarleton 19° 

Tathem S^. 57 

Taylor, 48, 157, 186, 192, 252, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263 

Tazuell lOl 

Ten Gate 155 

Telford 253 

Terry 180, 188, 242, 264 

Thayer, 67. 74 76, 78,83,87,88,108,111,121, 

13S, 139. 157< 167. '76, I77i 189. 194. 196, 
198, 202, 205, 229, 239, 240, 244, 269, 270, 

27'. 273. 276, 279 

Thomas 42, 96, 204, 285 

Tompkins, 113, 121, 122, 131, 133, 156, 180, 193, 194 

Thompson 232, 254, 260, 261 

Thorndike 159 

Thorp 214, 216, 229, 246 

Tilford 66 

Tillinghast 16, 130 

Tillotson 1 84, 262, 273 

Tisdale no 

Tivoli de 25 

Todd 155 

Toomer 172 

Totten, 41, 74. S3, :oS, 114, 115, 145, 147, 162, 181, 

187, 1S9, 192, 209, 212, 215, 216, 238, 246, 

250, 251, 253, 256, 264, 269, 2S0 

Tounay 259 

Tonsard 20,21,23,30,32,46,75 

Townsend 22, 124 

Towson 234 

Travers 289 

Treadwell 171 

Trenchard 185 

Trevor 192 

Trott 279 

Troughton 128 

Trumbull 194, 275 

Tucker, 65, 112, 113, 156, 166, 181, 182, 1S6, 187, 

191, 194, 202, 204, 214, 216, 218,219, 222 
■237, 242,243, 246, 252, 254, 255, 258, 265! 

271, 272, 273, 274 

Truxton 23 

Tudor 78 

Turner 108 

Tyler 243, 245, 248 

Upshur 248 

Valentine 14 

Vance 92, 172, 1 73 

Vanbau 36 

Van Buren 136, 227, 234, 235, 236 


Van Buskirk 195 

Van Derventer . . . .211, 214, 215, 228, 242, 281 

Van Doren 209 

Vaneaudier 98 

Van Rensselaer 41, 194 

Van Zant 252 

Verbryck 246 

Viomenil 175 

Voltaire 166 

Wadsworth, 34, 37, 39,47, 51, 52, 56, 76, 105, 108, 
162, 234 

Wainwright 192, 215, 252, 265 

Walbach .... 76, 78, 84. 86, 113, 117, 127, 280 

Walker. 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 62, 66, 74, So, 84, 

S6, 87, 90, 107, 129, 167, 173, 177, 178, 

186, 187, 193, 196, 203, 204, 218, 219, 233, 

247, 248, 249, 256, 257, 267, 271, 2S0 

Wallace 218 

Warren 131, 279 

Waring 171 

Warrington 171 

Washington, 10, n, 12, 14, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 
29,30,36,42,45,48,49, 50, 69, 74, 81, 104, 
124, 128, 154, 155, 159, 160, 162, 163, 170, 
i7'i 172. 175. 176- I95> 211, 219, 220, 250, 
275, 281 

Watson 113,269 

Watts 213, 258 

Way 190 

Wayne 24, 26, 33, 43, 107, 122 

Webb 36, 282 

Webster 13, 160, 195. 199, 257, 262, 266 

Weeden 162 

Weir 255, 256 

Welborn 103 

Welles 267 

Wesley 138 

West 258 

Western 36 

Weston 260, 289 

Whalley 81 

Whistler, iSS, 196, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 211, 
213, 218, 225, 229. 240, 244, 250, 255, 257, 
262, 263, 264, 267, 268, 270 

Whitehouse 22 

Whiting 37, 231, 247 

Whitingham 244 

Whitney 257 

Wickham 96, 206, 272 

Wilbur 38 

Wilder 206 



Willard 74. 83, loS 

Wilkinson, 24, 42, 43, 55, 56, 83, 96, 97, 98, 106, 
107, uo, 112, 114, 115, 116, 118, 119. 120, 
121, 122, 127, 136, 169, 182, 218, 291 

Willet Si, 82, 230 

William IV 

Williams, 16, 19, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 
40, 41, 46, 48, 51, 52, 56, 58, 63, 66, 67, 69, 
71, 74, 82, 83, 84, 92, 96, 97, 98, 101, 102, 
104, 106, 107, 109, no, 126, 127, 138, 146, 
182, 252, 253, 258, 268, 271, 279, 282 
Williamson, 156, 185, 218, 227, 258, 259, 260, 261, 

263, 269, 272, 274 
Wilson, 27, 28, 29, 31, 34, 37, 39, 46, 53. 56. 255 

Wilton 259 

Winans . 244, 245, 257 

Winchester 204, 205, 219, 220 


Winder 192 

Wise 187 

Wiseman 273 

Wyatt 136, 244, 266 

Wolfe 241 

Wolstoncroft 41, 42, 46, 57 

Wood 67, 72, 106, 195, 255. 266, 273 

Woods 232, 247, 25S, 259. 263 

Woodford 116 

WoodhuU 195 

Woodruff 151 

Wool 240 

Wolcott 132, 143. 203, 204 

Worth 220, 235, 255, 263 

Worthington 129 

Wright 48, 64, 88, 172, 203, 280 

Wurmsur 63