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Estate of S. H. Cowell 


Some Colonial Homesteads, and Their Stories. 
With 86 illustrations. 8, gilt top . . . $3.00 

More Colonial Homesteads, and Their Stories. 

With 81 illustrations. 8, gilt top . . . $3.00 

Where Ghosts Walk. The Haunts of Fa 
miliar Characters in History and Literature. 
With 33 illustrations. 8, gilt top . . . $2.50 

Literary Hearthstones. Studies of the Home 
Life of Certain Writers and Thinkers. Fully illustrated, 
16, gilt top, each $1.50 

The first issues are : 

Charlotte Bronte. | William Cowper. 

(For Contents, see advts. at end} 


Doughoregan Manor 

Home of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland 

Bv Marion JHarland 





Entered at Stationers Hall, London 

Ube Iknfcfcerbocfcer ipress, TRcw Jgorfc 

Add l 













October, 1899 








(CONCLUDED) ..... 41 
















HOUSES ....... 315 




WARE, . . ... 346 







JOHNSON HALL. (BEGUN IN 1743.) ... 15 


IN 1772.) . 33 

JOSEPH BRANT ..... 43 

From original painting at Van Cortlandl Manor- 




From original painting by Thomas Hudson. Owned 
by E. P. Williams, Esq., of New York. 



From painting in possession of E. P. Williams, Esq., 

of New York. 

From painting in possession of E. P. Williams, Esq., 
of New York. 



viii Illustrations 


ANICE STOCKTON ....... 107 

Frotn original painting in possession of Mrs. McGill. 


MORVEN ......... 131 







SCOTIA. (BUILT IN 1713) 167 

DEBORAH GLEN S CLOCK . . . . .174 






From original painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller, in pos 
session of the Schuyler family. 


" THE FLATTS " 199 




From a painting by Col. Trumbull. 




From original painting by Rembrandt Pcale. 


Illustrations ix 




RIDGELY CREST . . .... 288 




" THE GREEN," IN DOVER ... . 309 



(BUILT, 1728.) . . 323 


MARY VINING . . . 335 

From old Miniature. 








BORN 1778, DIED 1882.) .... 377 

NEW HAMPSHIRE ... . 395 

x Illustrations 



Now.) . . . 399. 

WORTH HALL . ... 403 


From a painting by Gilbert Stuart 

WOODBURY LANGDON, 1775. .... 429 

From a painting by John Singleton Copley 


From a painting by John Singleton Copley. 


More Colonial Homesteads 
and Their Stories 


SOME one of the many delvers in the strata 
of colonial history may beguile the ted 
ium of statistical labours by computing what 
proportion of well-born pioneers were driven 
across the sea by unfortunate love affairs. 
The result would show that a Cupid-m-tears, 
or a spray of Love-lies-bleeding, might be in 
corporated with the arms of several of our 
proudest commonwealths. 

In the year of our Lord 1/38, William John 
son, eldest son of Christopher Johnson, Esq., 
of Warrenton, County Down, Ireland, settled 
in the Mohawk Valley. His was an excel- 

2 More Colonial Homesteads 

lent and ancient family. Sir Peter Warren, 
well known to readers of English naval history, 
was his maternal uncle. Another uncle, Ol 
iver Warren, was a captain in the Royal Navy 
in the reign of Queen Anne and George I. 
Sir Peter Warren owned an extensive tract 
of land on both sides of the Mohawk River 
and a handsome residence in New York City. 
In the latter he lived for a dozen years or 
more after his marriage with a daughter of 
James De Lancey, at one time Lieutenant- 
Governor of New York, and prominent in the 
annals of the troublous times immediately pre 
ceding the American Revolution. 

The dwelling built and occupied by Sir 
Peter, known in our day as No. i Broadway, 
and used for long as the Washington Hotel, 
was made an object of interest to succeeding 
generations by the circumstance that General 
Sir William Howe and Sir Henry Clinton 
used It as headquarters during the earlier 
years of the war. Here were held the confer 
ences between Sir Henry and his young aide, 
Major Andre, in which were arranged the 
details of Andre s mission to Arnold. Under 
the venerable roof he passed the last peaceful 
night he was to know on earth, setting out on 

Johnson Hall 3 

the morrow for his fatal expedition up the 

Sir Peter Warren s nephew, William John 
son, although but twenty-three years of age 
upon his arrival in the New World, had been 
desperately in love with a fair one in his na 
tive land, suffering such grievous torments 
from the cruelty of his enslaver that he for 
swore her, his home, and his country, and 
fled into permanent exile. The distemper had 
abated somewhat, or was a thing apart from 
the workings of an uncommonly cool and sa 
gacious brain, by the time he closed with his 
uncle s offer to become his agent in the man 
agement of his Mohawk estate. He landed 
in New York in the spring of 1738. In the 
autumn he was in the full tide of farm-work, 
timbering, and country-storekeeping. An ad 
vance of .200 per annum was to be made by 
the wealthy Baronet to his young partner for 
the first three years, and paid off afterward 
in installments. Money, and whatever was 
needed to keep up the stock in the " store," were 
sent up the Hudson and Mohawk from New 
York. This city was the quarter-deck from 
which Sir Peter issued his commands to his. 
able first mate. 

4 More Colonial Homesteads 

In 1742, there was much talk between the 
two of skins purchased and shipped down the 
river, and Sir Peter reiterates an admonition 
that the orchard be not neglected, and that 
" fruit-trees of the best kinds " be set out re 
gardless of expense. His far-reaching policy 
included the blossoming of the wilderness and 
a just return to it, although not in kind, of 
the wealth the kinsmen were drawing from it. 
Young Johnson, at this date, "roughed it" as 
if he had been a peasant immigrant, with no 
rich uncle within call. He took his grain to 
mill on horseback, riding upon the sacks fif 
teen miles to Caughnawaga, on the opposite 
side of the river, bringing back bags of corn- 
meal and flour for store, camp, and farm 
hands. In these expeditions he had cast his 
eye upon an eligible site for a saw-mill, also 
across the river, and bought it on his own re 
sponsibility and with his own money. He had 
no intention of building a dwelling-house upon 
it, or so he assured his chief, who, apparently, 
had heard a rumour to that effect. Yet we find 
Johnson, in 1743, clearing ground in the neigh 
bourhood of the saw-mill for a spacious house, 
and hauling to the eligible site so many loads 
of stone, timber, and pearlash as to whet the 

Johnson Hall 5 

curiosity of his white neighbours into the live 
liest wonder and admiration. 

He had done well for himself in the five 
years which had elapsed since he turned his 
back upon his disdainful Dulcinea and the 
green shores of Erin. Sir Peter Warren s 
estate was in the very heart of the Iroquois and 
Mohawk tribes, then, and for many years 
thereafter, the friends in peace, and the allies 
in war, of the English. What Captain John 
Smith had hoped to do and to become in Vir 
ginia, failing by reason of the envy of his col 
leagues, the distrust of the London Company, 
under whose orders he was, and, finally, through 
the accident that crippled and sent him back 
to England, William Johnson did and be 
came in the more northern province. Irish 
wit, the light heart, quickness, and facility of 
adaptation to environment and associates char 
acteristic of his countrymen of the better sort, 
were equipments he brought into the wilder 
ness with him. He joined to these an un 
bending will, resolute ambition, and personal 
bravery that would have made him a leader of 
men anywhere. There were more Dutch than 
English settlers in the valley. In a year s 
time he learned enough of their speech to 

6 More Colonial Homesteads 

bandy jokes with them over mugs of strong 
ale and tobacco-pipes, and to outwit them in 
trading. Within two years he could act as inter 
preter for Dutch boers and English landhold 
ers with the Indians, and in these negotiations 
held the balance of justice with so firm a hand 
that the most wary sachems were imbued with 
belief in his integrity. Here was one pale 
face who would neither cheat them himself, 
nor allow others to cheat them. He improved 
the advantage thus gained so cleverly that be 
fore the first rows of foundation-stones were 
laid for Johnson Hall in 1744, the owner and 
builder had more influence with the tribes than 
any other white man within an area of five 
hundred miles. In the winter s hunting-parties 
for moose and wolves ; in trapping for otter 
and beaver ; about the council fires ; in the 
wild orgies and barbaric feasts followed by 
shooting-matches, races, and dances, in which 
picked young men of the tribes were compet 
itors, Johnson was not a whit behind the 
most notable of hunters and warriors. He 
was with, and of, them. He might outbar 
gain Dutch, Germans, and English. With 
the Indians he was upright and generous to a 
proverb, liked and trusted by all. His was no 

Johnson Hall 7 

ephemeral popularity. Thirty years after 
ward, the eulogium spoken by a Mohawk sa 
chem above the wampum -bound grave of 
the friend of his race the adopted brother of 
his tribe condensed the experience of all 
these years into one mournful sentence : 
" Sir William Johnson never deceived us." 
As the immediate fruit of his policy, or prin 
ciples, his was the first choice of the pelts 
brought into the European settlement by the 
Indians. Had he wished to purchase all, he 
could have secured a monopoly of whatever 
was available to the white traders. He vir 
tually controlled the fish market of the regions 
skirting the river, and had his pick of such 
redskins as could be induced to work in the 
fields in summer, and at logging in winter. 
While he lived in a log-cabin, larger, but 
hardly more comfortable than a wigwam, any 
Iroquois or Mohawk was welcome to a bounti 
ful share of venison, or bear-meat, hominy, and 
whiskey. The host ate with him and they 
smoked together afterward, over the coals or 
out-of-doors, discussing tribal politics, or the 
growing encroachments of the guest s hered 
itary enemies, the Cherokees and Choctaws, 
upon the Iroquois hunting-grounds to the 

8 More Colonial Homesteads 

south of the Valley. When they were sleepy, 
both men rolled themselves up in their blank 
ets on the floor, or stretched themselves 
upon pallets of fox- and bearskin. Disputes 
among the aborigines were referred to the 
wise and friendly white man, and no enterprise 
of note was undertaken without consultation 
with him. 

When growing wealth and a growing family 
led him to build, besides Johnson Hall, a less 
ambitious dwelling, called Johnson Castle, 
some miles farther up the river, the savage 
horde was still free to come and go as will, or 
convenience, impelled them. Parkman says 
that Johnson Hall was " surrounded by cabins 
built for the reception of the Indians, who often 
came in crowds to visit the proprietor, invading 
his dwelling at all unseasonable hours, loiter 
ing in the doorways, spreading their blankets 
in the passages, and infecting the air with the 
fumes of stale tobacco." 

What manner of housewife and woman was 
she who could submit with any show of patience 
to the lawless intrusion of uncouth savages, 
and the attendant nuisances of vermin, filth, 
and evil odours ? 

" Begging for a drink of raw rum, and giving 

Johnson Hall 9 

forth a strong smell, like that of a tame bear, 
as he toasted himself by the fire," thus one 
writer describes a specimen visitor. 

To be consistent with his adoption of Indian 
manners and usages, and to cement his authority 
with his allies, the astute trader-planter should 
have wedded some savage maiden and filled his 
lodge with a dusky race. At a later day the 
policy commended by France s king, urged by 
him upon France s colonists in America, and 
approved by them in theory and practice, 
seemed right and cunning in William Johnson s 
sight, as we shall see. 

In religion, as in morals, he was catholic 
and eclectic, and a law unto himself. The 
fascinated student of his biography cannot 
resist the conviction that, within the stalwart 
body of this educated backwoodsman, lived 
two natures as diverse and distinct, the one 
from the other, as the fabled Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde. There were Dutch and German Re 
formed churches up and down the river one 
of which, " Stone Arabia," retains name and 
place unto this day. Each had its attend 
ance of devout communicants, men and women 
who lived godly and virtuous married lives in 
lonely cabins and sparse settlements in the 

TO More Colonial Homesteads 

clearings they had made in the primeval forest. 
William Johnson was on neighbourly terms 
with them all, doing many a kind and liberal 
turn for them, as occasion offered ; subscribing 
money to build houses of worship, giving 
voluntarily fifty acres for a glebe farm upon 
condition that a parsonage should be built for 
the Lutheran minister, and, the next week, 
making a like gift to the Calvinistic congrega 
tion with a similar proviso. While calling him 
self an Episcopalian, he entertained British 
priests travelling from log-house to camp, in 
ministry upon the few sheep in the wilderness 
that owned allegiance to the Parent Church. 
He enjoyed conversation with the reverend 
fathers ; he fed them with the fat of lambs and of 
beeves, cheered them with his best liquors, 
and pressed them, with friendly violence, to 
tarry for days and nights in an abode that 
reeked with the fumes of raw rum, stale tobacco, 
and the exhalations of unwashed savages. 
While he had not had the university training 
most young men of his birth and class enjoyed 
in Great Britain, his education was far more 
thorough than is generally supposed by those 
familiar with his manner of living, and the 
outlines of his career. He received and read 

Johnson Hall n 

letters written in French and Latin, and made 
descriptive endorsements of the contents upon 
them in the same languages. 

When he cast an eye of favour upon a buxom 
German lass, Catherine Wissenberg by name, 
the daughter of a fellow immigrant, he made his 
courtship brief. Whether his comely presence, 
his reputed wealth, and his nimble wits and 
tongue won the damsel s consent, or whether, 
as was hinted, the negotiation was purely com 
mercial, and her father profited by the result, 
we do not know. It is certain that Catherine 
Wissenberg became the mistress of the stately 
new mansion on the river-slope and sharer of 
the master s fortunes. 

Parkman, in his delightful history of The 
Conspiracy of Pontiac, says that she was a 
Dutch girl whom, in justice to his children, 
Johnson married upon her death-bed. Stone s 
carefully prepared Life and Times of Sir Wil 
liam Johnson strips the alliance of the pictur 
esque element by asserting that the marriage 
was in good and regular form and date, and 
thus recorded in the Johnson Bible. The in 
troduction of this same family Bible lends 
verity to the latter story, and a smack of de 
mure respectability to this important episode 

12 More Colonial Homesteads 

of the singular life that entitles it to a place on? 
the Dr. Jekyll side of the page. 

In birth and social position Mrs. Johnson was- 
her husband s inferior, and, it goes without 
saying, in education also. She was gentle of 
temper, had plenty of good common sense, and 
was sincerely attached to her handsome spouse. 
Three children were the fruit of the marriage : 
John (afterward Sir John), Mary, who, in due 
time, married Guy Johnson, her cousin and the 
son of another pioneer, and Ann, or Nancy, 
who became the wife of Colonel Daniel Claus 
a name that declares his Dutch extraction. 

Mrs. Johnson did not live long to enjoy the 
dignities of the first lady in the Valley. She 
died early in the year 1745. In his will, made 
almost a quarter-century after the beginning of 
his widowerhood, Johnson refers to her as his 
" beloved wife Catherine," and directs that his 
remains shall be laid beside hers. In view of 
the relations which succeeded marital respect 
ability, we are inclined to consider this section 
of his testament as a Jekyllish figure of speech, 
although the tribute to the amiable and dutiful 
matron may have been sincere. 

The threatening aspect of the times in which 
he lived would have distracted his thoughts. 

Johnson Hall 13 

from honest and deep mourning. The political 
heavens were black with portents of storm. To 
quote Parkman : 

" With few and slight exceptions, the numerous tribes 
of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, besides a host of 
domiciliated savages in Canada itself, stood ready, at 
the bidding of the French, to grind their tomahawks and 
turn loose their ravenous war-parties ; while the British 
colonists had too much reason to fear that now those 
tribes which seemed most friendly to their cause, and 
which formed the sole barrier of their unprotected bord 
ers, might, at the first sound of the war-whoop, be found 
in arms against them." 

Even the Mohawks and Iroquois living on the 
confines of Canada were gradually won over 
by the wily French, assisted by the powerful 
influence of the priesthood. 

Johnson, up to this time, had taken little 
active part in the administration of public 
.affairs. He was too busy shipping furs to 
London, and flour to Halifax and the West 
Indies, farming and clearing and lumbering, 
embellishing the extensive grounds of Johnson 
Hall with English shrubbery, setting, in the 
broad front of the mansion, the costly windows 
with " diapered panes," made in, and imported 
from, France expressly for him, and other 
wise forwarding the interests of a fast-rising 

H More Colonial Homesteads 

man in a new country, to mix himself up with 
matters which he thought would right them 
selves without his interference. He would 
seem to have had his first definite indication 
that he might have a serious and imminent in 
terest in the popular tumults, in the autumn 
after Mrs. Johnson s decease. An intimate 
friend, a resident of Albany, wrote to him 
from that place, entreating that he would not 
think of passing the winter at Johnson Hall, 
or, as it was otherwise called, " Fort Johnson." 

"The French have told our Indians that 
they will have you, dead or alive, because you 
are a relation of Captain Warren, their great 
adversary," was the reason given for the 
friendly warning. 

The writer went on to represent that there 
was room in his own home for his menaced 
friend, and as many of his servants as he cared 
to bring. As no mention is made of the 
motherless children, the presumption is that 
they were already in Albany, or some other 
safer asylum than their father s house. John 
son declined the urgent invitation and fortified 
the Hall with what our historian styles the 
barriers of the English frontier. He knew his 
Indians, and they believed in him. Through- 

Johnson Hall 17 

out the winter they lurked and loitered about, 
and in, the house on the hill, apparently as 
lazy and dull as hibernating bears in reality 
alert in every sense for the protection of their 

In the spring his scouts corroborated the 
news from Albany that the French at Crown 
Point meditated an attack upon the nearest 
English settlements. He had his material 
ready when the request came from army head 
quarters that " a few Mohawks whom he knew 
to be trusty " might be sent to reconnoitre the 
Valley. Sixteen picked men were despatched 
upon this errand. Their report of the extent 
of hostile preparations aroused Johnson to the 
consciousness that his living " barrier" might 
be insufficient to protect his property from 
destruction, however well they might play the 
watch-dog for his person. He wrote to Al 
bany, asking that a small force of regular 
soldiery be sent to Johnson Hall. Among 
other valuables that might tempt the enemy, 
he specified eleven thousand bushels of wheat 
ready for the mill. The white settlers all 
about him were fleeing for their lives into 
forts and fortified towns. A troop of thirty 
" regulars" was placed at his disposal, and, 

1 8 More Colonial Homesteads 

reinforced by a considerable body of militia, 
composed the garrison of Johnson Hall, biv 
ouacking in lawn and gardens, and feasting 
at the master s expense. 

Partly to show his unabated confidence in 
the loyalty of his Indian allies, somewhat in 
commoded now by the influx of white warriors, 
partly to strengthen and establish his influence 
with them, he offered himself for adoption into 
the Mohawk tribe. A great council of sachems 
and braves was convened, and with formalities 
many, speeches innumerable, and a confusing 
passing back and forth of wampum belts as 
tangible punctuation points and italic dashes, 
he was made a Mohawk, inside and out, and 
proclaimed a chieftain, with all the rights, pow 
ers, and immunities pertaining to the rank. 
" In this capacity," says Stone, " he assembled 
them at festivals and appointed frequent war- 
dances, by way of exciting them to engage 
actively in the war." He wore blanket, moc 
casins, and feathered head-gear, a garb that 
became him rarely, spoke their dialect, and 
deported himself in all things as if born to the 
honours conferred upon him by his " brothers." 
Many of the chiefs were persuaded by him to 
accept the Governor s invitation to visit him at 

Johnson Hall 19 

Albany for consideration of the best means of 
ensuring the safety of the colony. The younger 
braves were wrought upon by argument and 
flattery to pledge themselves to support the 
English cause in the event of active hostilities 
between the English and French. All but 
three of the Mohawk and Iroquois sachems 
were, by these means, committed to the side 
represented to them by their newly made chief. 

In 1746, Johnson was made contractor for 
the trading-post of Oswego, trammelled in pur 
chase and sale only by the stipulation that " no 
higher charges be made in time of war than it 
had been usual to pay in time of peace." 

He had, that same year, a welcome visitor 
in the person of his brother, Captain Warren 
Johnson, of the Royal Army. He brought 
from Governor Clinton a letter addressed to 
" Colonel William Johnson," enjoining him 
to " keep up the Indians to their promises of 
keeping out scouts to watch the motions of 
the French," and concluding with the pleas 
ant intimation, " I have recommended you to 
his Majesty s favour through the Duke of 

Neither the Governor s favour nor the pro 
mise of royal patronage put money into the new 

20 More Colonial Homesteads 

Colonel s purse. He told the Governor plainly, 
in 1747, that he was "like to be ruined for 
want of blankets, linen, paints, guns, cutlasses, 
etc., ".which were not to be had in Albany, all, 
as will be seen, commodities for his copper- 
coloured allies. The date of the letter is 
March i8th, and a touch of Irish humour 
flashes out in the closing paragraph : 

" We kept St. Patrick s Day yesterday, and 
this day, and drank your health, and that of 
all friends in Albany, with so many other 
healths that I can scarce write." 

In May he renders a curious and blood-curd 
ling report of prisoners and scalps, brought 
to Johnson Hall by a party under command 
of Walter Butler, a name destined to become 
notorious in Revolutionary annals. Butler 
was a mere youth at this date, and, as we can 
but see, taking a novitiate in methods of war 
fare which stamped the family with infamy 
when the loyal subject of King George be 
came, with no change of principle or practice, 
the bloodthirsty Tory. He had been skirmish 
ing in the vicinity of Crown Point, at the head 
of a mixed band of whites and Indians, and 
brought back his prizes to the Colonel and 

Johnson Hall 21 

" I am quite pestered every day," writes 
Johnson to Clinton, "with parties returning 
with prisoners and scalps, and without a penny 
to buy them with, it comes very hard upon me, 
and displeasing to them." 

One speculates, in standing in the central 
hall of the ancient house, in what array the 
scalps were hung against the walls, and if 
the master carried his conformity to Indian 
customs to the length of wearing a fringe of 
them at his girdle. " Pestered " is a darkly 
significant word in this connection and one 


which Mr. Hyde would have snarled out in 
like circumstances. The rest of the letter is 
in the same vein. There is a requisition for 
" blue camlet, red shalloon, good lace, and 
white metal buttons, to make up a parcel of 
coats for Seneca chiefs." Also " thirty good 
castor hats, with scallop lace for them all, 
white lace, if to be had, if not, some yellow 
with it. This, I assure your Excellency, goes 
a great way with them." 

As he is finishing the letter, "another party 
of mine, consisting of only six Mohawks," rend 
ers a tale of seven prisoners and three scalps, 
"which is very good for so small a party." 

The cool complacency of the comment, and 

22 More Colonial Homesteads 

the calm and certain conviction that his news 
will not displease his Excellency , belong to 
that day and generation. Let us thank God 
they are not ours ! 

His house was " full of the Five Nations" 
as he penned this despatch to his superior. 
" Some are going out to-morrow against the 
French. Others go for news which, when 
furnished, I shall let your Excellency know." 

The tenor of each communication shows 
that his fighting-blood was in full flow, and 
that his ways and means were dictated by the 
aroused savage within him. Clinton had given 
him his head in a letter written in April. 

" The council did not think it proper to put 
rewards for scalping or taking poor women or 
children prisoners, in the bill I am going to 
pass," is a crafty phrase of the official docu 
ment. " But the Assembly has assured me 
the money shall be paid when it so happens, 
if the Indians insist upon it." 

In his turn, Governor Clinton assured his 
complaisant Assembly that, 

" whereas it had formerly been difficult to obtain a 
dozen or twenty scouts, Col. Johnson engaged to bring 
a thousand warriors into the field upon any reason 
able notice. Through his influence the chiefs have been 

Johnson Hall 23 

weaned from their intimacy with the French, and many 
distant Indian nations are now courting the friendship of 
the English." 

In the month of February, 1748, Colonel 
Johnson was put in command of the Colonial 
forces under 
arms for the 
defence of the 
English fron 

At one of the 
regimental mil 
itia musters, 
called by our 
training days," 
reviewed by 
the Colonel in 
command, h i s 


attention and 

that of the officers grouped with him wan 
dered from the business of the day to a 
" side-show," as diverting as it was unex 
pected. Hundreds of spectators stood on the 
outskirts of the training-ground, a large pro 
portion being women and children. Conspicu 
ous among the squaws in the inner circle was 

24 More Colonial Homesteads 

Mary, otherwise Molly, Brant, a young half- 
breed, the dashing belle of her dark-skinned 
coterie, and known by sight to most of the 
white officers. Her step-father, in whose 
family she was brought up, figures in Colonel 
Johnson s letters as " Nickus Brant," " Old 
Brant," and " Brant of Canajoharie." John 
son s home, when in Canajoharie, was * at 
Brant s house," and the more than amicable 
relations between the two men were manifested 
in many ways. In 1758, Johnson records, in 
his Diary, the presentation by himself of a 
string of wampum to Brant and Paulus, two 
important sachems of the Mohawks. 

Nobody assumed that Old Nickus was the 
father of Molly and her brother Joseph. They 
took, for common use, the name of their 
mother s husband, Barnet, or Bernard, cor 
rupted by common usage to Brant. The 
mother was a Mohawk squaw. Her girl and boy 
were half-breeds. When J oseph became a war- 
rier of renown under the title of Thayendane 
gea (" Two-sticks-of-wood-bound-together," a 
symbol of strength), an effort was made by 
his tribe to prove him a full-blooded Indian, 
and his father to have been a sachem of the 
Mohawks. It is but fair to state that Joseph 

Johnson Hall 25 

Brant, while signing both Indian and English 
names to letters and treaties, does not seem to 
have attempted to support this claim. If his 
mother confided to him the secret of his parent 
age, he kept it for her, and for himself. Jared 
Sparks than whom we have no better author 
ity upon Revolutionary history believed the 
younger of the half-breed children, Joseph, to 
have been William Johnson s son. Other annal 
ists of less note held the same opinion. The 
hypothesis draws colour and plausibility from 
Johnson s marked partiality for the lad. Al 
though but thirteen years old when the battle 
of Lake George was fought (i 755), he followed 
Colonel Johnson to the field, and had there his 
" baptism of fire," in ruder English, his first 
taste of blood. He was educated at Johnson s 
expense in Moor Charity School, afterward 
Dartmouth College. A fellow student was his 
young nephew, William Johnson, the son of 
Colonel Johnson and Molly Brant. Brant s 
after-life belongs to a later period of our 

Return we to the handsome Indian girl, 
laughing in the front rank of the spectators of 
the parade, brave in bright blanket and flutter 
ing ribbons, and shooting smart sallies from a 

26 More Colonial Homesteads 

ready tongue at such soldiers as accosted her 
in passing. A mounted officer presently rode 
up closer to the lookers-on than any private 
had dared to venture, and leaned from his 
saddle-bow to speak to her. His horse was a 
fine, spirited animal, and Molly praised him 
rapturously, finally begging permission to ride 
him. As gaily the officer bade her mount 
behind him. With one agile spring, the girl 
was upon the crupper, and clasped the rider s 
waist. The mettled horse reared, then dashed 
off at full speed. Round and round the parade- 
ground they flew, the astonished officer able 
to do nothing except keep the saddle and guide 
the frantic beast into the line of the impro 
vised race-course. The blanket had dropped 
from Molly s shoulders as she leaped from 
the ground ; her black hair streamed upon the 
wind ; her shining eyes, white teeth, and 
crimson cheeks transformed the swarthy belle 
into a beauty. Screams of laughter, encourag 
ing huzzas, and clapping of hands followed her 
flight. When the discomfited victim of the 
mad escapade at last regained control of his 
horse and Molly slipped from her perch as 
lightly as she had mounted, the first person to 
salute and congratulate her upon her grace and 

Johnson Hall 27 

dexterity was the Colonel of the regiment, the 
great man of the Valley, and, as he made her 
and the lookers-on to understand, hencefor 
ward her most obedient servant. 

No time was lost in preliminaries. Molly 
Brant became, without benefit of clergy or re 
gard to the prejudices of society, the " tribal 
wife " of the adopted Mohawk, and retained 
the position until Johnson s death. Mrs. 
Grant, in her interesting work, An American 
Lady, launders the liaison into conventional 
decency and polish : 

" Becoming a widower in the prime of life, 
he [Johnson] connected himself with an In 
dian maiden, daughter of a sachem, who pos 
sessed an uncommonly agreeable person and 
good understanding." 

Molly and her tribe undoubtedly considered 
the connection as valid as if law had sealed 
and gospel blessed it. It served to rivet the 
already strong bonds by which Johnson held 
them to his and to the English interests. 
While he lived, no word or deed of his tended 
to cast disrespect upon the woman who reigned 
over his mighty establishment of negro and 
Indian servants, German and Dutch tenants. 

After he became a Baronet-General, living 

28 More Colonial Homesteads 

in a style befitting his rank and wealth, Molly 
held her own without apparent effort. 

" Nothing could have better shown how powerful Sir 
William had become," says Harold Frederic, 1 " and how 
much his favour was to be courted, than the fact that 
ladies of quality and strict propriety, who fancied them 
selves very fine folk indeed, the De Lanceys and Phil- 
lipses and the like, would come visiting the widower 
baronet in his Hall, and close their eyes to the presence 
there of Miss Molly and her half-breed children. Sir 
William s neighbours, indeed, overlooked this from their 
love of the man, and their reliance in his sense and 
strength. But the others the aristocrats held their 
tongues from fear of his wrath, and of his influence in 

u He would suffer none of them to markedly avoid or 
affront the Brant squaw, whom, indeed, they had often 
to meet as an associate and an equal." 

Staid British matrons from over the sea, 
copper-sheathed in the proprieties of wedded 
virtue, accepted the hospitalities of Johnson 
Hall upon like terms. Lady Susan O Brian, 
daughter of the Earl of Ilchester, with her 
husband, was entertained for several days by 
Sir William in 1765. The titled dame pro 
nounced " his housekeeper, a well-bred and 
pleasant lady," perfectly aware, all the while,, 
what were her relations to the courtly host,, 

1 In the Valley, by Harold Frederic. 

Johnson Hall 29 

and whose were the children who called him 
" father," and had, apparently, equal rights 
with the acknowledged heir, John Johnson, 
and his sisters. Lord Adam Gordon, a Scotch 
peer, was domesticated at the Hall for a much 
longer time than the O Brians, and when he 
sailed for England took John with him, " to try 
to wear off the rusticity of a country educa 
tion," as the lad s father phrased it. 

With all his outward show of affection for 
his black-browed mistress, and the tribute of 
deference he exacted for her from high and 
low, the other self of this dual-natured poten 
tate set her decidedly aloof, in his thoughts and 
in legal documents, from the station a lawful 
wife would have taken and kept. The will, 
ordaining that he should be buried by his " be 
loved wife Catherine," provides for mourning 
and maintenance for " my housekeeper, Mary 
Brant," and scores a broad line of demarcation 
between " my dearly beloved son, Sir John 
Johnson," and " Peter, my natural son by 
Mary Brant." Also, between his daughters, 
Ann Claus and Mary Johnson, and the child 
ren of " said housekeeper, Mary Brant." 
There was never any blending or confusion of 
boundary lines between the two personalities 

30 More Colonial Homesteads 

in the single body. European and Mohawk, 
aristocrat and savage, each was sharply drawn 
and definite. Neither infringed upon the 
other s rights, and the unities of the queer 
double-action life-drama were never violated. 

In the outer world the signs of the times 
were ominous enough. That the Iroquois re 
mained proof against the blandishments of the 
wily French, backed by the threats of the In 
dian allies of France, throughout the disturb 
ances of 174749, was due entirely to Johnson s 
influence. " Anyone other than he would 
have failed," testifies a contemporary. 

" On one day he is found ordering from London lead 
for the roof of his house ; despatching a load of goods 
to Oswego ; bartering with the Indians for furs, and 
writing to Governor Clinton at length on the encroach 
ments of the French, doing everything with neatness and 
despatch. At the same time he superintended the mil 
itia, attended to the affairs of the Six Nations, and, as 
Ranger of the woods for Albany County, kept a diligent 
watch upon those who were disposed to cut down and 
carry off by stealth the King s timber." 

Envy at his success, joined to animosity 
against Clinton, moved the Assembly at Al 
bany to neglect the payment of the Colony s 
debt to Johnson. They even accused him of 
making out fraudulent bills, and refused to> 

Johnson Hall 3 r 

meet his demand for the return of ^200 ad 
vanced from his private fortune for defence 
of frontiers and treaties with the Indians. 
Stung to the quick of a haughty nature, he 
resigned his position as Superintendent of In 
dian Affairs, at the same time sending word to 
the tribes that his interest in all that concerned 
them would remain unabated. His resolution 
to have nothing more to do with public busi 
ness was opposed strenuously by the Indians. 

" One half of Colonel Johnson belongs to 
your Excellency, the other half to us," was 
the wording of a petition sent by a council of 
braves to the Governor. " We all lived hap 
pily while we were under his management. 
We love him. He is, and has always been, 
our good and trusty friend." 

After the victory of Lake George, Colonel 
Johnson was created a Baronet and received a 
vote of thanks from Parliament, with a gift 
of ^5000. Johnstown was founded by him 
in 1760. He was the active patron of an 
Indian Mission School at Stockbridge, also 
of one established in Albany in 1753, and was 
the father of that at Lebanon which grew into 
Dartmouth College. He built an Episcopal 
church at Schenectady, a Masonic lodge at 

32 More Colonial Homesteads 

Johnson Hall, and, the war being over, had 
leisure to superintend the erection of two 
stately stone houses for his daughters, his gifts 
to them, together with 640 acres of ground 

As years gathered upon him, his desire in 
creased to educate and Christianise the race to 
which " one half of him " belonged by adoption. 
Upon this and other benevolent schemes he 
wrought as one who felt that the time for labour 
was brief. He had cause for the premonition. 
An old wound, received at Lake George, 
troubled him sorely. By the advice of his 
redskin friends, he visited Saratoga, to test 
the curative properties of waters until then un 
known to the whites. When his son John, 
who had been knighted (for his father s sake) 
in England, brought a New York bride home 
to the Hall, she was received by her august 
father-in-law with all the state and cordiality 
due to her position as the wife of his heir and 
the prospective queen of the fair domain. For 
some days the Baronet played again, and for 
the last time, the courtly lord of the manor to 
the throng of guests from other mansions, for 
fifty miles up and down the Mohawk and the 
Hudson, invited to welcome the bridal pair. 

< ^ 

Johnson Hall 35 

Satin-shod feet skimmed the oaken floors ; the 
thick walls echoed all day long and far into 
the night with the clamour of merry voices ; 
there were feasting and dancing and song, 
and much exchange of curtsies and bows and 
fine speeches, and as little apparent concern 
on account of the impending quarrel between 
the mother country and colonies as apprehen 
sion as to the cause of the ashy pallor which 
had supplanted bronze and glow in the mas 
ter s face. 

Attended by a faithful body-servant, he set 
off for New London at the end of a week, in 
the hope of invigoration from the sea-air and 
sea-bathing, leaving the young couple in charge 
of the Hall during his absence. 

Gradually one active duty after another was 
demitted, Sir William spending much time in 
his library, reading books he had, at last, leis 
ure to study, and writing at length to the Gov 
ernor of Virginia of Indian manners, customs, 
traditions, and history. 

True to his pledges to his tribe, he emerged 
from his semi-seclusion in July, 1774, to pre 
side over a congress of six hundred Indians as 
sembled to confer with him upon divers and 
vital affairs, big with fate in the eyes of the Six 

36 More Colonial Homesteads 

Nations. The gathering was in the grounds 
of Johnson Hall ; the delegates were fed from 
the Hall kitchen ; the floors of rooms, halls, 
and porches were covered at night with 
blankets, as was the turf of lawn and grove. 
Sir William occupied the chief seat of honour 
in the conclave of Saturday, July 9. The 
peculiar pallor that betrayed the ravages of 
the mysterious and subtle disease preying 
upon his vitals, and the shrunken outlines of 
the once powerful figure were all the indices 
of failing physical strength his indomitable 
will suffered to be seen. Wrapped in the scarlet 
blanket trimmed with gold lace, dear to the 
barbaric taste of his congeners, he sat bolt up 
right, his features set in stern gravity becom 
ing a sachem, and hearkened patiently to the 
long-drawn-out details of the wrongs the tribes 
had endured at the hands of their nominal 
friends, the English. The boundaries of their 
territories were invaded by squatters ; their 
hunting-grounds were ranged over by lawless 
furriers and trappers ; the venders of fire-water 
brought the deadly thing to the very doors of 
their wigwams. 

The sun was nearing the zenith when the 
tale began. It was not far from the western 

Johnson Hall 37 

hills when the last orator ceased speaking. 
The presiding chief reminded them that the 
day was far spent, and that the morrow would 
be the Sabbath, on which their white brothers 
did no work. On Monday they should have 
their answer from his lips the lips that had 
never lied to them. 

Johnstown was now a village of eighty fam 
ilies, with shops and dwellings built with lumber 
from Johnson s saw-mills, and pearlash from 
his factories. In the centre of the town, named 
for his oldest son, stood the Episcopal church, 
a gift to the parish from the founder of the 
place. We wish we knew whether he sat in 
the Johnson pew that Sunday, or sought recup 
eration for his waning forces in such rest and 
quiet as were attainable in the solitude of his 
library, with six hundred savages encamped 
under the windows. 

He began his oration to them at ten o clock 
Monday morning, standing, uncovered, under 
the July sky. From the preamble, his tone was 
conciliatory ; sometimes it was pleading. He 
assured the malcontents that the outrages they 
resented, and with reason, were not the act of 
the government, but of lawless individuals. He 
promised redress in the name of King and 

38 More Colonial Homesteads 

Governor ; recapitulated past benefits received 
from both of these ; counselled chanty of 
judgment and moderation in action. He had 
never been more eloquent, never more nearly 
sublime than in this, the final union of the 
finest type of Indian and of the upright white 
citizen of the New World. He was the warrior 
in every inch of his lofty stature, quivering 
with energy in the impassioned periods that 
acknowledged the red man s wrongs and main 
tained the red man s rights. He was no less 
the loyal subject of King George in the calm 
recital of what the parent government had 
done for its allies, and solemn pledges for the 

He spoke for two hours. The day was 
fiercely hot. When he would have resumed 
his seat, he staggered and reeled backward. 
His servants rushed forward and carried him 
into the library. An express messenger leaped 
upon his horse and galloped off madly for Sir 
John Johnson, who was at his own home, nine 
miles away, thankful, we make no doubt, to 
escape the assembling of the tribes. The son 
rode a blooded hunter eight miles in fifteen 
minutes, the animal falling dead under him 
three-quarters of a mile from Johnson Hall. 

Johnson Hall 39 

Leaving him in the road, Sir John procured 
another horse and dashed on. His father still 
lay in the library, supported by his trusty 
body-servant. The son fell upon his knees at 
his side, and poured a flood of anguished ques 
tions into the dulled ear. There was no an 
swer, and no token of recognition. In less 
than ten minutes the last breath was drawn. 

" He died of a suffocation," wrote Guy 
Johnson to the Earl of Dartmouth. The re 
port of the sorrowing Council at Albany said, 
" a fit of some kind." He had been subject 
for many months to "a sense of compressure 
and tightness across the stomach," diagnosed 
by his physician as " stoppage of the gall-duct." 
Whatever might have been the malady, he had 
battled with it long and valiantly ; he died 
with his harness on, as sachem and Anglo- 
Saxon should. 

Two thousand whites attended the funeral, 
and " of Indians a great multitude, who be 
haved with the greatest decorum and exhibited 
the most lively marks of a real sorrow." At 
their earnest instance they were allowed to per 
form their own ceremonies over the remains 
when the Christian services were concluded. 
A double belt of wampum was laid upon the 

40 More Colonial Homesteads 

body ; six rows of the same were bound about 
the grave. Each was deposited as the 
" Amen" of a panegyric upon the virtues and 
deeds of the deceased chieftain. The preg 
nant sentence I have already quoted summed 
up the body and soul of the testimony : 
"Sir William Johnson never deceived us." 
Thus lived and thus died, in his sixtieth 
year, the best friend the North American In 
dian has ever had, William Penn not excepted. 



( Concluded ) 

THE progress of Sir William Johnson s 
mortal malady was accelerated by his 
grief at the rupture between the American 
Colonies and the Mother Country. 
Parkman says : 

He stood wavering in an agony of indecision, 
divided between his loyalty to the sovereign who was 
the source of all his honours, and his reluctance to be 
come the agent of a murderous Indian warfare against 
his countrymen and friends. His resolution was never 
taken. He was hurried to his grave by mental distress, 
or, as many believed, by the act of his own hand." 

Dismissing the latter hypothesis with the 
remark that there was nothing in the incidents, 
of the death-scene, as related in our preceding 
chapter, to warrant the suspicion of suicide, 
we cannot gainsay the evidence that the inde- 


42 More Colonial Homesteads 

cision a novelty to him in any circumstances 
was a veritable agony. At one and the 
same time we find him writing letters con 
demnatory of the Stamp Act, and exhorting 
his Indian allies " Whatever may happen, 
you must not be shaken out of your shoes in 
your allegiance to your King." Joseph Brant 
believed that he was following up the task his 
:great patron had laid down at the grave s 
mouth, when he declared that he " joined the 
Royal army purely on account of my fore 
fathers engagements with the King." The 
Rev. Dr. Wheelock, Brant s preceptor at the 
Moor Charity School, was deputed to remon 
strate with him upon his espousal of the Tory 
cause, and received a reply as suave, yet as strin 
gent, as Sir William himself could have framed : 

" I can never forget, dear Sir, your prayers 
and your precepts. You taught me to fear 
God and to honour the King ! " 

Sir John Johnson succeeded to his father s 
title and the bulk of his estates ; Guy Johnson, 
as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Joseph 
Brant was Guy Johnson s secretary. Colonel 
John Butler and his son Walter were among 
the Johnsons nearest neighbours and closest 
friends. In all the disrupted Colonies there 




Johnson Hall 45 

was no hotter bed of toryism than Johnson 
Hall became in less than a year from the 
founder s death. In 1775, Guy Johnson, ac 
companied by his secretary and spokesman, 
made a formal progress from tribe to tribe of 
friendly Indians to confirm them in their 
allegiance to the Crown. Brant, who had, in 
his earlier youth, zealously " endeavoured to 
teach his poor brethren the things of GOD"; 
who had assisted an English divine in the 
preparation of an Indian prayer-book, had 
help translate into the Indian tongue the Acts 
of the Apostles, and a History of the Bible ; 
the humble communicant in the Johnstown 
Episcopal Church, harangued his race upon 
the imperative duty of resisting treason to the 
bloody death, adjuring them by the memory 
of his benefactor and theirs to join the Scotch 
colonists and the tenantry of Johnson Hall 
in the holy purpose of giving the King his 
own again. 

Sir John fortified the stone house, garrisoned 
it with the white reserve, and surrounded it 
with the living " barriers " his father had cast 
about him for protection against the French. 
Then he awaited the results of his determined 

46 More Colonial Homesteads 

On January 19, 1776, the fort was surprised 1 
by a body of rebels still so called under Gen 
eral Schuyler ; the garrison was disarmed and 
disbanded, and Sir John paroled. In May of 
the next year news reached Schuyler s head 
quarters that the paroled man was in corre 
spondence with the British in Canada, sending 
out and receiving spies, accumulating ammun 
ition in and near the Hall, and inciting the 
Mohawks to a massacre of the Valley people. 
An order was issued for his arrest. He heard 
of it in season to escape with a few retainers 
to Canada. Before his flight he buried an 
iron chest containing family plate in the gar 
den, another, filled with money and valuable 
papers, in the cellar, hiding-places known to 
none of those left behind except Lady John 

She was living in Albany with her own re 
latives when Lafayette visited Johnson Hall in 
1778. Once more the outlying slopes about 
the stone house were covered with Indians, 
and the resources of the establishment were 
taxed to the utmost to provide for their enter 
tainment. Five out of the Six Nations were 
represented in the Council attended and 
addressed by the titled Frenchman. 

Johnson Hall 47 

Joseph Brant convened a very different as 
sembly of his countrymen in the neighbour 
hood early in the year 1780. He was then a 
" likely fellow of fierce aspect, tall and rather 
spare," gorgeously arrayed in a short green 
coat, laced round hat, leggings and breeches 
of blue cloth. His moccasins were embroid 
ered with beads, his blue cloth blanket was 
carefully draped so as to make the most of his 
glittering epaulets. His name was now a 
word of terror throughout the land ; his fellow 
marauders were the Butlers and William John 
son (the son of his sister, Mary Brant, and Sir 
William Johnson), Colonel Guy Johnson and 
Colonel Daniel Claus, the husband of Nancy 
Johnson. Molly Brant had lived, since Sir 
William s death, at one of the upper Mohawk 
Castles, with her younger children. Tradition 
describes her as visiting the Hall, once her 
home, when especially daring expeditions were 
under discussion, sitting, as darkly handsome 
and as fierce as a panther, at the council-table, 
and fearlessly putting into words the project 
of devastating the beautiful Valley with fire, 
bullet, and tomahawk. She had secret means 
of communication with her brother wherever 
he was, giving him much valuable information 

4$ More Colonial Homesteads 

as to the weak points in the defences of the 
Americans, and the movements of their forces. 
It was suspected that she was one of the 
few dwellers in the Valley who was not sur 
prised when on the night of May 21, 1780, a 
horde of three hundred whites British and 
Tories and two hundred Indians fell like a 
pack of hell-hounds upon the peaceful neigh 
bourhood in which John Johnson was born 
and brought up. No mercy was shown to 
age, sex, or former friendships. Killing, scalp 
ing, and burning as they went, the invaders 
pushed their murderous way up to the doors 
of Johnson Hall, put the few inmates to flight, 
and occupied the house and grounds. No 
time was to be lost. The blazing houses and 
barns would tell the story of that night s work 
for many miles up and down the river, and Sir 
John had known something of the colonists in 
such circumstances " the rude, unlettered, 
great-souled yeomen of the Mohawk Valley, who 
braved death at Oriskany that Congress and 
the free Colonies might be free." In hot haste 
he unearthed the treasure from cellar and 
garden ; forty knapsacks full of booty were laid 
upon as many soldiers shoulders, and the bloody 
crew departed as swiftly as they had come. 

Johnson Hall 49 

" He might have recovered his plate," says 
Stone, dryly and sorrowfully, "without light 
ing up his path by conflagration of neighbours 
houses, or staining his skirts with innocent 

Sir John s raid upon his homestead and the 
vicinity was followed in less than a month by 
Brant s as sudden descent upon Canajoharie, 
fifteen miles away. All the inhabitants who 
were not killed were carried off prisoners ; 
towns and forts were burned. From the porch 
of Johnson Hall and the fields about Johns 
town, groups of terrified men and women 
watched the rise and flare of the cruel flames 
against the sky, and guessed truly by whose 
orders they were kindled. 

The town, which is, to this day, a memorial 
of the Baronet-General s fondness for his son 
and heir, was better prepared to repel inva 
sion in 1781. Taught wariness by adversity, 
the stout-hearted burghers and boers stood 


ready and undismayed to receive the mixed 
force of four hundred whites and half as many 
Indians, that hurled themselves upon Johns 
town, led by the Butlers, father and son. 

A bloody fight ensued. Instead of making 
Johnson Hall their headquarters as they had 

50 More Colonial Homesteads 

hoped to do, the attacking party was beaten 
back with heavy losses. Walter Butler was 
shot and scalped in the retreat by an Oneida 
chief. His violent dealings had returned upon 
his own head. In connection with this ex 
pedition Brant had said, when upbraided with 
the cruelties committed by the invaders : 

" /do not make war upon women and child 
ren ! I am sorry to say that I have those 
engaged with me who are more savage than 
the savages themselves "- and named the 

The story goes that the Oneida who killed 
Walter Butler had aided the settlers in the 
abortive attempt to save their homes and 
families from the Cherry Valley massacre 
mentioned a while ago. When the wounded 
white captain cried for " quarter," the Oneida 
yelled, " I give you Cherry Valley quarter ! " 
and buried his tomahawk in the wretched 
man s brain. Such was the abhorrence felt by 
the Indian allies of the American forces for 
the slain Tory that his body was left unburied 
where it lay, to be devoured by wild beasts 
and carnivorous birds, on the bank of a stream 
known from that bloody day as " Butler s 

Johnson Hall 51 

The Butler homestead is still standing, a 
few miles from Johnson Hall. 

Sir John Johnson had left behind him, in his 
first hurried flight to Canada, the Family Bible, 
containing the record of his parents marriage. 
As no other documentary proof of it was extant 
the act was culpably careless if he valued his 
birthright as a legitimate son. The book found 
its way to the hands of an Albany citizen, and 
was by him restored to the rightful owner. At 
the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, Sir 
John went to England and remained there for 
some years, returning to Canada in 1785. 
There, in acknowledgment of the services he 
had rendered the Royal cause in the struggle 
with the rebellious Colonies, he was made 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs in America 
and received valuable grants of Canadian lands. 
He died at the age of eighty-eight, in Mon 
treal, in the year 1830. His son and successor 
was Sir Adam Gordon Johnson. Their de 
scendants are numerous, most of them living 
in Canada. 

Other of Sir William Johnson s descendants 
intermarried with prominent New York families. 

Johnson Hall, with the large estate surround 
ing it, being confiscated by the Continental 

52 More Colonial Homesteads 

Government, was sold to James Caldwell, Esq., 
of Albany, for $30,000, " in public securities." 
Within a week, from the day of purchase he 
sold it in his turn, and for hard cash, for $7,000, 
clearing a handsome sum by the operation. 
The place changed hands four times in the ten 
years lying between 1 785 and 1 795. 

In 1807 Mr. Eleazar Wells was married to 
Miss Aken in the drawing-room of Johnson 
Hall. The mansion had been so well cared 
for that the paint and paper of this apartment 
were the same as in Sir William s time and in 
excellent preservation. Mr. Wells became the 
owner of the place in 1829. It is now the 
property of his widowed daughter-in-law, Mrs. 
John E. Wells, and retains the reputation for 
large-hearted hospitality established and main 
tained by the founder. 

Lossing says of it in 1848, "It is the only 
baronial hall in the United States." But for 
the modernisincr touches visible in the bay- 

o J 

windows and the wing at the beholder s right, 
as he faces the ancient building, the main 
body of the Hall is unaltered. It is of wood, 
the massive clapboards laid on to resemble 
stone blocks. The front elevation is forty feet 
in width, and the depth is sixty feet. Two 

Johnson Hall 55 

stone blockhouses, with loopholes under the 
eaves, flanked the mansion as erected by Sir 
William, for nearly a century after his decease. 
That on the right was burned some years ago. 
These "forts" were connected with the man 
sion by tunnelled passages. A central hall, 
fifteen feet wide, cuts the dwelling in two, run 
ning from front to back doors. The broad 
staircase is fine. After the manner of their 
English forbears, the colonists made much of 
stairways, sometimes to the extent of cramping 
living-rooms to give sweep to the ascent, and 
breadth to landings. The mahogany balus 
trades, imported by Sir William Johnson, are 
in place, but the polished rail is hacked, as 
with a hatchet, at intervals of ten or twelve 
inches, all the way down. The tradition, 
which has never been doubted, of the mutila 
tion is that it was done by Brant in 1777, the 
date of Sir John Johnson s precipitate departure 
from the home of his father to escape the con 
sequences of his double dealing with General 
Schuyler, who had paroled him. In view of 
the strong probability that the deserted house 
might be entered, plundered, and fired by some 
wandering band of Indians, the half-breed 
leader left upon the wood hasty hieroglyphics 

56 More Colonial Homesteads 

which they would understand and respect. The 
roof reared by the patron who had filled a 
father s place to him, whether or not he had 
a natural right to the office, must be spared 
for that patron s sake. 

We cannot but view the rude indentations 
reverently. With mute eloquence they awaken 
thoughts of the mark left "upon the lintels 
and the two side-posts " of the houses to be 
spared by the destroying angel on the Pass 
over night. Nothing we have seen in any 
other Colonial homestead appeals more strongly 
to heart and imagination than these tokens of 
love and gratitude, stronger than death, and 
of the authority exercised by the educated 
savage over his fierce followers. 

The rooms are large and lofty and wain 
scoted with native woods, rich with the dyes 
of a hundred and fifty years. The library, in 
which Sir William drew his last breath, is now 
used as a bedroom. 

The late General Thomas Hillhouse was 
wont to say that " Sir William Johnson was 
the greatest Proconsul the English ever had 
in the American Colonies, and that if he had 
lived, the entire course of the Revolution 
might would probably have been changed." 

Johnson Hall 57 

The stamp of his potent personality lingers 
upon the neighbourhood he rescued from the 
wilderness. Tales of a life without parallel in 
the history of our country are circulated in 
Johnstown and Fonda and Caughnawaga, as 
of one who died but yesterday. Some are 
grave ; some are comic ; many are unquestion 
ably myths ; all are interesting. We may dis 
credit the story, seriously retailed by Lossing, 
that Sir William was the father of a hundred 
children. Presumably, although our delightful 
gossip does not state it in so many words, 
ninety-odd were half-breeds. 

We incline a listening ear to the account of the 
seclusion in which Mary and " Nancy" John 
son were brought up after their mother s death. 
According to this, the two girls were educated 
by the widow of an English officer, a gentle 
woman who had been Mrs. Johnson s intimate 
friend. She lived with her charges apart from 
the rest of the household, training them in the 
few branches of learning studied by young 
ladies of that day, teaching them fine needle 
work of various kinds, one with them in their 
pleasures and pursuits. They are said to have 
dressed after a fashion dictated by their gov 
erness and never altered while they were under 

58 More Colonial Homesteads 

her care ; a sort of pelisse, or loose gown, 
like the modern peignoir, of fine flowered 
chintz, opened in front to show a green silk 
petticoat. Their hair, thick, long, and very 
beautiful, was tied at the back of the head with 
ribbon. We are asked, furthermore, to believe 
that up to the age of sixteen, the sisters had 
seen no women of their own station except 
their governess, and no white man but their 
father, who visited them every day, and took a 
lively interest in their education. When, in 
his judgment, they were ready to leave the 
conventual retreat, he married Mary to her 
cousin, Guy Johnson, Ann to Daniel Claus. 
After their marriages, they acquired the ways 
of the outer world with wonderful rapidity, 
and played their parts as society women 

The tradition, if it be true, ranks itself upon 
the reputable, country-gentleman side of their 
father s dual nature. By no other means could 
he have kept Mary Brant and her brood apart 
from the fair-faced daughters of Catherine 
Wissenberg, or prevented the shadow of early 
equivocal associations from darkening the fame 
of Mesdames Guy Johnson and Daniel Claus. 
He was passing wise in his generation. 

Johnson Hall 59 

If the tale be not authentic, it ought to be. 

Many of the incidents linked into the story 
of Johnson Hall rest upon the valid testimony 
of Mrs. Edwards, a sister of Mr. Eleazar 
Wells. This venerable gentlewoman lived to 
see her eighty-seventh birthday, and preserved 
her excellent memory to the latest day of her 
life. One of these anecdotes is curiously 

On a certain day in the year 1815, or there 
abouts, a party of eight or ten horsemen ap 
peared at the Hall, and demanded permission 
to go into the cellar. None of the men of the 
family were at home, and Mrs. Wells, dread 
ing violence if the visitors were refused, granted 
the singular request, contriving, nevertheless, 
that their proceedings should be watched. In 
a dark corner of the cellar was a well, dug by 
Sir William Johnson to supply the garrison 
with water in the event of a siege, but now 
half filled with stones and earth. The intrud 
ers began at once to tear out the rubbish, 
presently unearthing several boxes, which they 
carried into the upper air and into a field 
back of the house and orchard. In the sight 
of the terrified women watching them from the 
upper windows, they emptied the coffers of 

60 More Colonial Homesteads 

the papers that filled them and " sat on the 
ground a long time," said Mrs. Edwards, 
opening and examining them. At last, they 
made a fire upon the hillside and threw arm 
ful after armful of the papers into it. When 
all were consumed, they remounted their horses,, 
and rode off " towards Canada." 

Sir John Johnson was then alive. The sur 
mise was inevitable that search and destruc 
tion were instigated by him, and for reasons 
we can never know. 

At some period of its history the interesting 
old landmark had rough usage from temporary 
occupants. If the hall-carpet were lifted we 
should see the print of stamping hoofs upon 
the oaken boards beneath, proving that troop 
ers American or Tory stabled their horses 
there, tethering them to the noble staircase 
protected from nominal barbarians by the 
gashes of Brant s hatchet. 

Sir William Johnson was buried in a brick 
vault constructed in his lifetime under the 
chancel of St. John s Church in Johnstown. 
The corner-stone of the building " was laid in 
1772 with Masonic ceremonies, Sir William 
Johnson, Sir John Johnson, John Butler, Daniel 
Claus, Guy Johnson, and General Herkimer 


Johnson Hall 63; 

taking part therein. . . . This church 
contained the first church-organ west of Al 

So writes Mr. James T. Younglove, an ac 
complished antiquarian and a zealous student 
of the stirring history of the Mohawk Valley. 

William Elliott Griffis adds that when the 
church was burned in 1836, and rebuilt (with 
the old stones as far as possible) in 1838, "the 
site was so changed that the grave of Johnson 
was left outside the new building. . . .In 
1862 the rector, Rev. Charles H. Kellogg, 
took measurements, sunk a shaft, and dis 
covered the brick vault." 

The sanctity of the tomb of the loyal subject 
of King George had been invaded long before. 
The leaden case enveloping the solid ma 
hogany coffin was melted down and moulded 
into bullets during the Revolutionary War 
(to be fired at those of his own blood and 
name!). The ring with which he married 
Catherine Wissenberg was found embedded 
in his dust, and is still preserved by the 
Masonic Lodge he established at Johnson 
Hall. After his death the lodge was removed 
to the quarters it now occupies in Johnstown. 
The cradle in which " Mary Brant, house- 

64 More Colonial Homesteads 

keeper," rocked his tawny children, is also 
kept there. 

The poor mortal remains of the fearless 
master among men were reburied in a " hol 
lowed granite block" in the churchyard. No 
other grave is For sixty years school 
boys played and romped and shouted over it, 
and passers in the streets of the now thriving 
town gave as little thought to the unmarked 
mound. Within the past five years the earnest 
efforts of the President of the Johnstown 
Historical Society, Hon. Horace E. Smith, 
have been the means of enkindling new and 
intelligent interest in one whom Dr. Griffis 
calls " the Maker of America." A movement 
is now on foot to erect a suitable monument 
to the pioneer to whom Johnstown owes birth, 
name, and the associations that make it an 
historic shrine. 



The Travels of John Francis, Marquis de 
Chastelleux, in North America, is a rare old 
book from which several quotations were made 
in a former volume of this series. 

In a stately style, somewhat stiffened by the 
English translator, the author one of the forty 
members of the French Academy, and Major- 
General in the French army under the Count 
de Rochambeau describes a " dining-day," as 
it was called in the region, at Maycox, oppos 
ite Westover on the James River. The trav 
elled Marquis had met Mr. David Meade, the 
proprietor of Maycox, and his wife at Williams- 
burg, some weeks earlier than the date of the 
foreigner s sojourn at Westover, and then and 
there had a cordial invitation to visit their 


66 More Colonial Homesteads 

After descanting, in Grandisonian periods, 
upon the " charming situation " of Maycox, he 
informs us that it was " extremely well fitted 
up within." Furthermore, it commanded a 
full view of Westover, " which, with its sur 
rounding appendages, had the appearance of a 
small town." Westover, the seat of the Byrds, 
was still in the prime of prosperity to the casual 
eye, crippled though the family fortunes were 
by the " gaming" propensities of the late 
owner, William Byrd the third. The French 
nobleman saw everything through the couleur 
de rose of gallant appreciation of the many 
charms of the widowed chatelaine, heightened 
by gratitude for the distinguished hospitality 
he had received from her and other James 
River landowners. 

There is, then, an accent of surprise in his 
mention of Mr. Meade s latent discontent with 
the lot cast for him in these pleasant places. 

" The charming situation," he observes, " is capable 
of being made still more beautiful if Mr. Meade pre 
serves his house, and gives some attention to it, for he is 
a philosopher of a very amiable, but singular, turn of 
mind, and such as is particularly uncommon in Virginia, 
since he rarely attends to affairs of interest, and cannot 
prevail upon himself to make his negroes work. He is 
even so disgusted with a culture wherein it is necessary 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 67 

to make use of slaves that he is tempted to sell his pos 
sessions in Virginia and remove to New England." 

Rev. Meade C. Williams, D.D., of St. Louis, 
a descendant of the nascent Abolitionist {pro 
tempore /), records that Mr. (Colonel) David 
Meade spent three ample inherited fortunes 
upon the adornment of Maycox and the home 
stead in Kentucky, to which territory he re 
moved shortly after his threat to solace his 
conscience by seeking an abiding-place in New 

" It will be noted," continues the document 
before me, " that the most conspicuous feature 
of the Meades has been this very lack of ambi 
tion in state affairs, and a love of domestic 

So far, so good, in the branch of an ancient 
and honourable family to which this particular 
planter belonged. The assertion is a decided 
misfit when we attempt to join it to other sec 
tions of the genealogical table. One of the 
ancestors of the disgusted slaveholder and 
amiable philosopher was Thomas Cromwell, a 
pupil of Cardinal Wolsey, who, in bidding a 
long farewell to all his greatness, charged his 
subordinate to " fling away ambition." 

Cromwell rejoins feelingly : 

68 More Colonial Homesteads 

" The king shall have my service, but my prayers 
For ever and for ever shall be yours." 

Wolsey did not doubt the " honest truth " 
of his late follower, and tearful Thomas meant 
sincerely enough when he called " all that have 
not hearts of iron " to bear witness 

" With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord." 

Yet the next act finds 

" Thomas Cromwell 

A man in much esteem with the king and truly 
A worthy friend. . . . The king 
Has made him master of the jewel-house 
And one, already, of the privy council." 

Oliver Cromwell was a nephew of Thomas. 
Whatever other failings were charged upon the 
Lord Protector, he was never accused by con 
temporaries or by posterity with a lack of 
vaulting ambition. 

Running an inquisitive finger down the race- 
line of the Meades, we arrest it at the name 
and history of the first of the family who emi 
grated to America. Andrew Meade, an Irish 
Roman Catholic, crossed the ocean (for rea 
sons we may be able to show presently) late 
in the seventeenth century. 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 69 

" In the year 1745 he deceased, leaving a 
character without a stain, having had the glori 
ous epithet connected with his name, long be 
fore he died, of The Honest. 

It is more than conjectured that his self- 
expatriation followed close upon the accession 
of William and Mary to the throne of Great 
Britain and Ireland. He belonged to a fight 
ing family, and such men were safer in the 
Colonies than at home. 

The element of " tranquility " may have 
been infused into blood hitherto somewhat hot 
and turbulent, by his marriage with an Ameri 
can Quakeress, Mary Latham by name. He 
left the bulk of his Virginia estate to his eldest 
son, David (i), who married, four or five years 
after his father s decease, the daughter of an 
English baronet. At the date of the marriage, 
the father-in-law, Sir Richard Everard, was 
proprietary governor of North Carolina. 

The second David Meade was born in 1 744. 
In accordance with the general custom of well 
born and affluent English colonists, his father 
sent him to England, at a tender age, to get a 
gentleman s education. He got it at Harrow 
School. The Head Master at that time was 
Dr. Thackeray, Archdeacon of Surrey, Chap- 

70 More Colonial Homesteads 

lain to the Prince of Wales, and grandfather to 
the great novelist of that name. 

A story current in the Meade connexion, 
even down to our day, is that the persons and 



characters of David Meade and his younger 
and more brilliant brother, Richard Kidder, 
who joined him in England some years there 
after, going with him from Harrow to a private 
school in Hackney Parish, furnished the sug 
gestion of William Makepeace Thackeray s 
Virginians. It is certain that David, at least, 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 71 

was domesticated for five years in Dr. 
Thackeray s family, greatly endearing himself 
to the Head Master and his "pious, charitable, 
and in every way exemplary lady." Thus 
David Meade described her over half a century 
later. He adds that " he was bound to them 
by ties much stronger than those of nature, in 
somuch that the most affecting event of his 
whole life was his separation from them." 

What more likely than that the sayings and 
doings of the brace of colonists, as handsome 
as they were spirited, were passed down the 
Thackeray generations until they lodged in the 
imagination of the greatest of the clan ? The 
tradition, too pleasing to be lightly discarded, 
is the more plausible for the circumstance that 
Richard Kidder Meade became one of Wash 
ington s aides in the Revolutionary War and 
was, in private life, his intimate friend. 
Thackeray could hardly have overlooked the 
association of the names in his quest for 
material for The Virginians. 

David (2) returned to Virginia in 1761 
after ten years absence. " The forests and 
black population of his native land were novel, 
but not by any means pleasing to him, and 
nothing was less familiar to him than the per- 

72 More Colonial Homesteads 

sons of the individuals of his family." His 
sisters were married ; he had left his brothers, 
Richard Kidder and Everard, at school in 
England, and two younger children born in his 


absence would not be companions for him for 
a long while to come. 

In the ensuing seven years he saw all of 
" life " social and political the New World 
had to offer to the son of a wealthy father, the 
brother-in-law of Richard Randolph of Curies, 
and the near neighbour of the Byrds of West- 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 73 

over. In company with two of the Randolphs 
he visited Philadelphia, was the guest of 
General Gage in New York, sailed up the 
Hudson to Albany, threaded swamps and 
forests to Saratoga and Lake George, was 
hospitably entertained at Ticonderoga and 
Crown Point, and so on to Canada. In Mon 
treal, Captain Daniel Claus, (an old acquaint 
ance to the readers of our chapters upon 
Johnson Hall), 

" son-in-law of Sir William Johnson and deputy-su 
perintendent of Indian affairs, invited them to a congress 
of Indian chiefs from several nations upon the lakes, the 
town being then full of Indians. The Intendant in 
troduced the travellers to each of them individually as 
* Brethren of the Long Knife, who had come from the 
South, almost a thousand miles, to visit Canada. 
The Intendant [Claus], after the ceremony of introducing 
the Long Knives, or Virginians, opened the congress with 
a speech, or talk." 

The tour occupied nearly three months of 
the year 1765. 

In 1768 David (2) Meade married Sarah 
Waters of Williamsburg, and the same year 
offered himself as a candidate for the House 
of Burgesses. He was elected and took his 
seat in May, 1 769, although feebly convalescent 

74 More Colonial Homesteads 

from a recent attack of illness. The session 
was short and stormy. 

Ten days were spent in debates upon the 
:subjects at issue between England and the 
Colonies, and the passage of certain resolutions 
:so offensive to the Governor of Virginia, Lord 
Botetourt, that he drove in vice-regal state to 
the Capitol and dissolved the Assembly in an 
address that had the merits of conciseness and 
comprehensiveness : 

" Gentlemen : I have heard of your re 
solves, and I augur their ill effects. You have 
made it my duty to dissolve you, and you are 
.accordingly dissolved." 

David Meade, " completely cured of his am 
bition," and it would seem, for life, settled 
down at Maycox to the congenial pursuits of 
landscape gardening and horticulture and the 
enjoyment of the domestic felicity which was 
his from the day of his bridal until death 
separated the married lovers. 

The curious and interesting sketch of his life 
written in the third person by himself, which 
has been courteously put at my disposal by his 
great-grandson, Dr. M. C. Williams, is unsatis 
factory only when it deals with his own achieve 
ments and virtues. It is amusing to read that, 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 75 

of the various branches studied by him during 
his ten years of English schooling 

" he did not take enough away to impoverish the 
Academy. He had a very small smattering of everything 
he had attempted to learn, but less of the languages, both 
dead and foreign, than of the sciences and the elegant 
arts. Thus, but ordinarily qualified for the humble walks 
of private life, and without natural talents, or acquired 
knowledge, to move with any credit to himself in public, 
he left England. . . . He was content with the 
very little that was his due the extreme humble merit 
of negative virtues. ... He was a great builder of 
castles in the air ; but conscious, as he was, that he had 
neither figure, face, nor accomplishments to qualify 
him for an epitome of a romance here, he prudently de 
termined to fall in love and marry somewhat after the 
fashion of the people. Nevertheless, he was fastidious 
in the choice of his subject." 

All this is entertaining when we bear in 
mind that David Meade was one of the hand 
somest and most accomplished gentlemen of 
his generation " a day when, in the class to 
which he belonged, culture was at the highest." 
It is tantalising, even vexatious, that he puts 
himself into the background after the brief 
notice of his marriage and the purchase of May- 
cox, and devotes many pages to what he says 
was u a subject much more interesting to the 
writer," the countless virtues, personal endow- 

/6 More Colonial Homesteads 

ments and achievements of his brother, Richard 
Kidder. As has been noted, Richard Kidder 
was on Washington s staff, having raised a 
company in 1776-77, and been unanimously 
elected as its captain. He fought bravely 
throughout the war, meeting with many advent 
ures, having sundry hairbreadth escapes, and 
receiving signal honours from the Commander- 
in-chief and Congress. After the arrest of 
Andre, Richard Kidder Meade was the bearer 
of a letter from Washington to Sir Henry 
Clinton " upon the subject of that accom 
plished officer s case." He died in 1781, "be 
loved by all who were acquainted with him, 
esteemed and respected by his neighbours, and 
every one that had ever heard of his worth." 

The family Annals from which these excerpts 
are made were transcribed in characters so 
minute that the descendant who undertook the 
pious duty of copying them for the press, was 
obliged to hold a magnify ing-glass in one 
hand while writing with the other. The vol 
ume is guarded by a sort of trespass-board 
notice upon the title-page : 

" It is to be noted that these pages are not 
intended for, and never will be exposed to, 
public inspection, and are intended only for 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 77 

the amusement and, peradventure, the edifica 
tion of the House of Meade." 

When these lines were penned, he had lived 
for thirty years in " Chaumiere du Prairie in 
the now State of Kentucky," as he says, " hav 
ing landed with a numerous family from boats 
at Limestone, now Maysville, and permanently 
settled at the headspring of Jessamine Creek, 
a lateral branch of the Kentucky River." 

The formidable flitting was a removal for 
life. The tract of land purchased by his eldest 
son, David (3), whom the father had sent to 
Kentucky " to prospect " some months before 
the hegira of the numerous family, was in the 
very heart of the "blue-grass country," the 
garden-spot of the stalwart young territory, 
old Virginia s favourite daughter. Reports of 
the fertility of unclaimed fields, irrigated by 
clear creeks, of virgin forests and navigable 
rivers, of a climate at once mild and salubri 
ous had reached the Meade dwelling in the 
midst of a civilisation more than a century and 
a half old, and attracted them, as to a promised 
land of beauty and plenty. 

David Meade built a lodge, afterwards en 
larged into a mansion, near the centre of an 
extensive plain, shaded at intervals by clumps 

78 More Colonial Homesteads 

of magnificent sugar-maples, and forthwith fell 
to work to make it what a Meade MS. declares 
it to have been, " the first lordly home in 
Kentucky." Incidentally, he expended upon 
the enterprise one-and-a-half of the three am 
ple fortunes of which he was possessed. 

One hundred acres of arable land, seeded 
down with the famous blue-grass, then shorn 
and rolled into velvety turf, were enclosed by 
a low stone wall, masked by honeysuckles and 
climbing roses. A porter s lodge of rough- 
hewn stone stood at the gate set between solid 
stone pillars. Upon the arch above the gate 
was cut the name the immigrant had bestowed 
upon it, Chaumitre die Prairie. 

The French title gave travelled visitors the 
motif of the living poem embodied in the 
grounds. Le Petit Trianon was evidently an 
abiding memory and suggestion in the de 
signer s thoughts. The serpentine walk and 
the long straight alley, bordered by large trees, 
the benches set at irregular intervals along the 
walks, the pavilion in an embowered nook, the 
waterfall and lake, the artificial island and 
the rustic bridge thrown from it to the shore, 
the Grecian temple, the shaded vistas cool with 
deep green shadows and solemn with silence, 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 79- 

were reminiscences, not of terraced Westover 
and Maycox, but of the half-English lad s con 
tinental travels. Here, at least, he could 
materialise" one of the castles in the air he 
was fond of building. 

Colonel Meade s granddaughter, Mrs. Susan 
Creighton Williams of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 
wrote out, in her seventy-second year, her 
recollections of the holiday-home of her child 
hood. The pen-picture reproduces house and 
pleasure-grounds for us as pencil and brush 
could not. I regret that the bounds set for 
this chapter will not allow me to share all the 
graphic details of the goodly scene with my 
readers. Landscape and atmosphere are Ar 
cadian, not the crude product of a newly made 

" The House," we read, " was what might be called 
a villa, covering a great deal of ground, built in an ir 
regular style, of various materials wood, stone, brick, 
and one mud room, which, by the way> was quite a 
pretty, tasteful spare bedroom. The part composed of 
brick was a large octagon drawing-room. The dining- 
hall was a large, square room, wainscoated with black 
walnut, with very deep window-seats, where we children 
used sometimes to hide ourselves behind the heavy cur 
tains. There was one large, square hall, and numerous 
passageways, lobbies, areas, etc. . . . The bird-cage 

8o More Colonial Homesteads 

walk was one cut through a dense plum thicket, entirely 
excluding the sun. It led to a dell where was a spring 
of the best water, and near by was the mouth of a cave 
which had some little notoriety. . . . Beyond the lawn 
there was a large piece of ground which Mr. Meade al 
ways said ought to have been a sheet of water to make 
his grounds perfect. This was sown in clover that it 
might, as he thought, somewhat resemble water in ap 
pearance. In one of our summer sojourns in Chaumiere, 
when my sister Julia (Mrs. Ball) was about three years 
of age, soon after our arrival the nurse took her out upon 
the lawn, where she shrank back and cried out Oh, river ! 
river ! greatly to our grandfather s delight. He said it 
was the greatest compliment his grounds had ever had." 

The ingenious conceit was characteristic of 
the planter-dreamer and born artist. His 
aesthetic sense demanded the shimmer of water 
at that point of the verdant level, flanked by 
groups of sugar-maples. In the summer sun 
shine the tremulous expanse of silver-lined 
leaves supplied the ripple and gleam required 
"to make his grounds perfect." 

As the " dark and bloody ground " ex 
changed her solitary wilds for cultured fields 
and fast-growing towns, Chaumiere became 
the show-place of the State. Lexington was 
but nine miles distant, and no personage of 
political or social consequence visited the 
lively little place without driving out to the 



La Chaumiere du Prairie 83 

hospitable country-seat of the Meades. There 
were house-parties especially invited, who were 
domiciliated for a week or fortnight at a time, 
making excursions through the beautiful sur 
rounding country, feasting, dancing, gathering 
in the great " stone passage" in the purple 
twilight for tea-drinking and chat, and watch 
ing the shadows steal over the paradise visible 
through front and back doors, while Mrs. 
Meade sat at the pianoforte in the adjoining 
drawing-room. She played with exquisite 
taste and feeling until she was long past three- 
score-and-ten. The octagon drawing-room 
was all draped with satin brocade the walls, 
the windows, and the frames of the four tall 
mirrors reaching from floor to ceiling. 

It saw much and distinguished company 
during the forty years residence and reign of 
the fine old Virginia and Kentucky gentleman. 
Four Presidents of the United States Thomas 
Jefferson, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, and 
Zachary Taylor were entertained here. The 
lady of the manor, "always dressed in black 
satin, to which were added handsome lace and 
embroideries upon occasion," stately and 
beautiful in the standing ruff and high-crowned 
cap of bygone years, had her favourites among 

84 More Colonial Homesteads 

the celebrities. We are surprised to learn that 
she considered General Jackson the most re 
markable man she had ever known, with the 
possible exception of Aaron Burr. She used 
to relate to her listening grandchildren what 
an imposing figure he was, as, sitting tall and 
straight upon his charger, he cantered up the 
avenue to the porch of Chaumiere. Host and 
hostess were waiting there to greet the hero 
of New Orleans. 

Colonel Meade, like his wife, had made no 
change in the fashion of his attire for half a 
century. Coat, short breeches, and the long 
waistcoat reaching to his hips, were of light 
drab cloth. His white or black silk stockings 
were held up by jewelled knee-buckles and 
a similar pair adorned his low shoes. The 
buttons of coat and waistcoat were silver, 
stamped with the Meade crest. The same 
insignia appeared upon the massive silver serv 
ice used upon the table every day whether 
there were company in the house or not. 
Mrs. Meade s piano was the first brought to 
Kentucky. Certain handsome pieces of furni 
ture were heirlooms from English houses 
notably from the Palace of Bath and Wells, 
an inheritance from the Kidder who was once 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 85 

Bishop of that See. Another valued relic was 
a souvenir of the Irish Roman Catholic Meade 
whose services for the Church were recognised 
by the gift of a crucifix of ebony and ivory pre 
sented by the then reigning Pontiff. A gold 
medal dependent from the crucifix bore a Latin 
inscription said to have been composed by 
Charles V., Emperor of Spain and Germany. 
The dining-room buffets bore marvellous treas 
ures of cut-glass and porcelain, in such abund 
ance as to set out tables for one hundred guests, 
once and again. 

That number sat down on Christmas Day, 
1818, to an entertainment which, writes one of 
the guests, 

" in management, in simplicity of style, and without the 
least ostentation, though all the surroundings were pro 
fusely rich surpassed anything of the kind I have ever 
witnessed. . . . The magnificent rooms are furnished 
with taste and consummate art, and there was an exhibi 
tion of surpassing brilliancy produced without any ap 
parent attempt." 

Another guest, a college president, says of a 
visit paid to the Meades earlier in the same 
year : 

" Col. Meade is entirely a man of leisure, never having 
followed any business, and never using his fortune but 

86 More Colonial Homesteads 

in adorning his place and entertaining friends and strang 
ers. No word is ever sent to him that company is com 
ing. To do so offends him. But a dinner at the hour 


of four is always ready for visitors, and servants are 
always in waiting. Twenty of us went one day without 
warning, and were entertained luxuriously on the viands 
of the country. Our drinks consisted of beer and wine. 
He does not allow cigars to be smoked on his premises." 

The fact noted in the last sentence is unex 
pected. The most fastidious gentlemen in 
America were confirmed smokers, and the cul 
tivation and exportation of tobacco contributed 
more largely to the wealth of Virginia and cer 
tain parts of Kentucky and Tennessee than 
any other industry. Of Blairs, Breckinridges, 
Marshalls, Floyds, Scotts, Leighs, Routledges, 
Clays, presidents of universities, and presi 
dents of the United States who were made 
welcome in turn to the lordly homestead, four 
out of five must have been lovers of what 
William Evelyn Byrd has taught us to call 
" the bewitching vegetable." Colonel Meade s 
aversion to the practices of smoking and chew 
ing is referable to the punctilious neatness 
which was first and second nature with him. 
Not a fallen leaf or twig was suffered to litter 
the velvet turf. Every day a company of small 
negroes was detailed for the duty of picking 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 87 

up such leaves and sticks as had fallen during 
the night, and the master often supervised the 

A lineal descendant gives a vivacious ac 
count of some manifestations of Colonel 
Meade s exceeding strictness in the matters of 
order and cleanliness. Among other illustra 
tions we have this pretty picture : 

" The mulberries of that day and place were of a much 
finer quality, much larger, and more fruity than of the 
present. Troops of boarding-school girls from Lexing 
ton would come out to this enchanting place, and when 
they sought mulberries, Colonel Meade would have serv 
ants detailed to shake them from the trees. Out of re 
gard for the white dresses (with blue sashes, perchance 
bless them !) of the maiden of that time, his instruc 
tions were that the berries were to be picked up, com 
mencing at the outer edge of their fall. Treading them 
into the grass was unpardonable. How the old gentle 
man of the old school would flame up with an amiable 
oath when this order was transgressed ! Beneath the 
fruit-trees was as clean and neat as any part of the lawn." 

Yet we read that " kindliness was a feature 
of his exalted nature." A common and beauti 
ful custom of the region was that the negroes, 
for miles around, came to be married in the 
Chaumiere grounds. The master was indig 
nant with the low-bred white who stole into 

88 More Colonial Homesteads 

the gardens or groves by some other way than 
the great gateway that " stood open night and 
day." " Courteous to all, he exacted courtesy 
from others. He had great respect for the 
courteous negro of the old time." 

The negro of any time is an imitative an 
imal. The Meade servants caught their own 
er s tone and bearing with almost ludicrous 
fidelity. Henry Clay was a frequent visitor at 
Chaumiere, and was put upon his mettle with 
all the perfection of his breeding not to be 
outdone in grace and suavity by Dean, the 
chief butler. This high functionary, with his 
five subordinate footmen and the coachman, 
wore drab liveries with silver buttons and 

Such was the parental and judicious care 
exercised over the coloured members of "the 
family," that during the long lifetime of Colo 
nel Meade not one case of fatal illness oc 
curred on the estate. 

David Meade (3) was a school-friend of 
Aaron Burr, and after the latter was put under 
arrest and surveillance for the Blennerhassett 
treason Colonel Meade s influence with the 
state authorities obtained permission for the 
suspected man to spend three weeks at Chau- 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 89 

miere, the Colonel s son pledging himself for 
his safe-keeping. He was accompanied by his 
confederate and dupe, Blennerhassett. The 
two were among the witnesses of the marriage 
of Elizabeth Meade to Judge Creighton of 
Chillicothe, Ohio ; also of the baptism of a 
granddaughter, Elizabeth Massie. This child 
became Mrs. W. L. Thompson of " Sycamore," 
near Louisville, one of the most beautiful of 
Kentucky homes. 

The damask table-cloth used at the wedding 
feast, to which Burr and Blennerhassett sat 
down, is still treasured in the family. 

Another of the granddaughters, Mrs. Anna 
Meade Letcher, has a story of a yet more val 
uable memento of the memorable visit paid to 
Chaumiere by the conspirators : 

" There is in the family a very antique mirror before 
which Aaron Burr sat, and had his hair powdered, and his 
queue arranged to suit his vain and fastidious taste, before 
entering the drawing-room to use all his artful fascina 
tions upon the ladies, whether handsome or homely, young 
or old, bright and entertaining, or dull. He never forgot 
his policy to charm and beguile all who came into his 

Colonel Meade had passed from the home 
he had made an Eden to the fairer Land 

90 More Colonial Homesteads 

whither his devoted wife had preceded him by 
six months of earthly time, when Edward 
Everett paid a visit to Chaumiere. Mrs. 
Letcher s mother, then a young girl, rowed 
him across the miniature lake in her boat, 
" Ellen Douglas." The high-bred gentleman 
paid a graceful compliment to the " Lady of 
the Lake," a sobriquet she retained until her 


" Mr. Everett had just returned from a long 
stay abroad, where he had become quite a 
connoisseur in art," says Mrs. Letcher, " and 
he pronounced the art-collection of Chaumiere, 
though small, equal in merit to any he had 
seen abroad." 

This comprised family portraits by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, Hudson, the Sullys, and other artists 
of international reputation. Some are still 
treasured intelligently and reverently in the 
family connexion. Others passed, after the 
sale of the homestead, into less tender hands. 
An anecdote whispered among the descendants 
of the superb old patrician has to do with the 
atrocious desecration of one historic canvas to 
the ignominy of covering a meal-barrel, until it 
was fairly worn out with much using. 

Colonel Meade was ninety-four years of age 



La Chaumiere du Prairie 93 

when he died. His son David (3) had not 
lived to see his thirtieth year. His father had 
borne the terrible blow to love, pride, and hope 
with fortitude amazing to all but those who 
knew him best. Not even to them did he 
speak of what the death of his noble boy was 
to him. Everything was to have been David s, 
" Chaumiere, paintings, and other works of 
art the magnificent silver plate, the trained 
house-servants and gardeners." When his will 
was opened it was found that he left it with 
his surviving children to divide the property as 
they deemed best. The sole proviso was that 
Chaumiere should be kept as he had made it 
for three years. " Dean " and other favourite 
servants were manumitted by the master s will. 
In a charming letter from Mrs. Letcher, we 
have the rest of the story told in simple, grace 
ful wise, upon which I cannot improve : 

" The daughters had married, and my mother s mother, 
Mrs. Charles Willing Byrd, had died years before, and 
none of the family feeling able to keep up the place, it 
was thought best to sell it. But it seemed to entail 
fatality in one way or another upon those who have 
owned it since. 

The Colonel was a philosopher of philosophers, and as 
my father and mother said, submitted with both dignity 
.and grace to the inevitable. He never was known to 


More Colonial Homesteads 

make complaint, but bore every trial with Spartan courage 
and serenity so the oft-told story that he pronounced a 
curse upon the home should it pass from the family, has. 
no truth for foundation though believed by many of 
the superstitious from that day to this." 

" There have been many ghost stories, but none that 


were horrible, only of pleasant things that the old serv 
ants and housekeeper and the superstitious around 
would see and hear. The housekeeper came from Vir 
ginia with Col. Meade, and was one of the most interest 
ing members of that large household. She lived to be 
nearly a century old, and I remember her when I was a. 
small child. She was devoted to my mother and stayed 
with her ; her name was Betsy Miller, and Col. Meade 

La Chaumiere du Prairie 95 

knew her to be descended from the Stuarts of Scotland 
who came to Virginia after the flight and exile of Charles 
the Second. She and the servants often saw Col. Meade- 
and others of the family who had passed away, strolling 
in the grounds ; in the hedged serpentine walk, which 
wound around the grounds three miles, or rowing on the 
lake, or sitting, reading in a summer-house under bowers 
of honeysuckle and running roses then, at sunset he 
would be seen wending his way up the winding walk to 
the * octagon hall where tea was served in summer. 
These and many other stories I eagerly drank in, in my 
childhood, and often, too, when with Betsy and the serv 
ants who took her to the grounds when she was too 
feeble to go alone, I imagined / saw my grandfather 
and others, as they did. 

" On the day of the sale a large crowd collected to 
hear lovely Chaumiere cried off to a coarse, vulgar 
man. So surprised and indignant was everyone that a. 
murmur of disapproval was heard, and soon after was 
seen in large letters on the pleasure-houses all through 
the grounds Paradise Lost. This so enraged the pur 
chaser that he determined to make these words true. In 
less than a week the beautiful grounds were filled with 
horses, cattle, sheep, and filthy swine. He felled the 
finest trees in the grounds and park, cut down the 
hedges in fine, committed such vandalism as has never 
been heard of in this country. He pulled down some 
of the prettiest rooms in the house, stored grain in others 
and made ruins of all the handsome pleasure-houses and 
bridges through the grounds. He only kept the place 
long enough to destroy it. 

" The next purchaser found Chaumiere but a wreck of 

9 6 

More Colonial Homesteads 

beauty. It seems as if Providence decreed that the glory 
of the beloved beautiful old Chaumiere should depart 
with the name of Meade. : 

All that remained to the " next purchaser " 
aforesaid was the octagon drawing-room given 
in our picture, the hall, and heaps of founda 
tion-stones where 
once arose the most 
lordly part of the 
noble pile. 

Even these have 
been swept away 
within the last quar 
ter-century ; all the 
pleasant places born 
of the brain of the 
founder and matured into beauty by his taste 
and wealth, are laid waste. Small wonder is it 
that the story of the curse pronounced upon 
the place, should it ever pass into alien hands, 
should go hand-in-hand with the marvellous 
tales of departed splendours. 

NOTE. An interesting legend of the Meade family is 
connected with the chained falcons seen in the coat of 
arms given herewith. 

According to this, a pair of these birds, foreign to 
this region, built a nest upon a crag overlooking the sea 


La Chaumiere du Prairie 


in a lonely quarter of the Meade estate. Two boys of 
the house discovered the nest and, to make sure of the 
young birds when they should be hatched, ensnared the 
old ones with light chains. The prize was forgotten for 
some days, and when the thoughtless lads revisited the 
crag, they found the parent birds dead of starvation. 
The callow nestlings were alive, having been nourished 
by father and mother upon blood drained from their 
own hearts. 



IN the parish register of Cookham, Berkshire, 
England, are recorded the births and 
deaths of several generations of Washingtons 
and Balls, the lineal ancestors of the man who 
gave independent being to this nation. From 
the established fact that Augustine Washing 
ton visited England in 1729, to arrange for 
the transfer of British property to which 
he had fallen heir, and the almost certainty 
that he then and there met and married Amer 
ican-born Mary Ball, a sojourner, like him 
self, in the fatherland, some writers assume 
that their son George first saw the light in 
English Berkshire. 

The hypothesis is summarily disposed of by 
our first President s written declaration, 
George, eldest son of Augustine, by the second 

9 8 

Morven 99 

marriage, was born in Westmoreland County 
( Virginia) ye nth Day of February, 173% . 

John Washington, the great-grandfather of 
George, was one of the malcontent loyalists 
who could not breathe in the raw air of the 
Protectorate. In 1657, he sailed, with his 
brother Lawrence, for the still loyal Old Do 
minion, and founded a new family home in 
Westmoreland on the Potomac River. 

One of the unexpected coincidences that 
leap out at us, as from hiding between the 
pages of the history we believed was familiar 
to us long ago, and which have, henceforth, 
the vividness of current events, bringing us 
face to face with old acquaintances, ranging 
side by side people we have never until now 
linked in our thoughts, is that which syn 
chronises John Washington s emigration from 
Great Britain to America with that of Richard 
Stockton. A backward glance along the an 
cestral line of the Stocktons carries the in 
teresting parallel into a yet more venerable 
past. In the Cookham Parish church (per 
haps the same in which Augustine Washington 
was, four centuries thereafter, to espouse the 
blue-eyed Virginia girl) is an age-battered 
stone : 

ioo More Colonial Homesteads 

xrf #je 

at mi* 


Sir Edward s forbears were " anciently Lords 
of the Manor of Stockton, which they held 
under the Barony of Malpas, in the County of 
Cheshire. David de Stockton inherited the 
Manor of Stockton from his father about the 
year 1250, in the reign of King Henry the 
Third." 1 

From the many mu 
ral memorials of the 
race still extant in Eng 
land, I select an old 
Latin epitaph upon a 
brass plate in Malpas 
church, set above the 
dust of " Owen Stock 
ton, Gentleman." A 
clumsy translation runs 
or stumbles after 
this wise : 

a mxrst 



"Q, Stjcrjc^itxrnus f 
mute* xrf 

1 History of the Stockton Family, by John W. Stockton. 

Morven 101 


(the term of his widowerhood), " 0f at* 

rjeptttalfjcw, s#jes rojj 0ffs:p*iix0 
rajj t atftje* tf jeatf , 

" ||je:pa*tin0 f g foatrje Jjef t fejeltitt^ twje as raamj 
tjeavs as tlxjow^lx pjeajcje tuje^je atrxrtit 10 

(the earth). 

44 g 0fetattx tltje ^rv0mtsje^ vcwav^ ttt 

s0tx f wjett*&0im, Ixas jevjejctM tlxts 10 

Four years anterior to the demise of Owen 
Stockton, Gentleman, his grandson Richard, 
"the sonne of John Stockton of the Parish of 
Malpas," was baptised in the Parish church. 

This Richard (I.) was thirty-seven years old 
when John, his father, died in 1643. This 
would make him a man of fifty when, like the 
Washington brothers, he found longer resid 
ence in Cromwell-ridden England unsafe or 
unpleasant, most likely both, and embarked 
with his wife and children for a freer country. 
He landed in New York in 1657 or 1658. 

A portion of the ample fortune he contrived 
to bring away with him was invested in Long 
Island, then in New Jersey, lands. A tract 
over two miles in length and one in width, in 

102 More Colonial Homesteads 

Burlington County, was divided at his death 
between his three sons, Richard, John, and Job. 

Richard (II.) Stockton was a man grown at 
the date of emigration, and so much his own 
master, when his father removed from Long 
Island to Burlington, as to act upon his pre 
ference for a separate residence in another 
part of the State. He lived for a short time at 
Piscataway, settling subsequently upon a tract 
of six thousand acres of farming lands bought 
from William Penn, and nearer the north 
ern part of the to-be State of New Jersey. He 
called the immense plantation " Stony Brook," 
and devoted himself assiduously to redeeming 
it from its native wildness. Collecting around 
him a colony of fellow exiles, he set about 
felling forests, clearing, draining, and cultivat 
ing level reaches of virgin meadows, and erect 
ing comfortable houses for the occupancy of 
European families. 

Until he and his associates broke ground for 
the settlement afterward renamed " Princeton," 
no white man had invaded the wilderness. The 
axe of the explorer had never disturbed the 
brooding stillness of the primeval forest ; not 
a foot of the soil had had any other owner than 
the nomads who called the continent their free- 

Morven 103 

hold. Richard Stockton s active pioneer life 
came to a close in 1 709. 

In the partition of what was, by now, a valu 
able estate, he devised the house he had built 
late in life as a homestead to his fifth and ap 
parently his favourite child, John. This viola 
tion of the laws of primogeniture threw his 
eldest and name-son Richard (III.) out of the 
natural order of succession. We note, further 
more, with unsatisfied curiosity, that the 
slighted Richard received but three hundred 
acres of land, while each of the juniors had 
five hundred. Tradition is silent as to the 
young man s offence, and his deportment under 
what, to one of English birth and prejudices, 
was a more grievous cross than we, with our 
free-and-easy Republican notions, can fully ap 
preciate. With true feminine (and illogical) 
partisanship of the child of " whose nose a 
bridge was made," to borrow a folk-phrase, 
I decline to pass over Richard Desdichado in 
the enumeration of the Stocktons who bore the 
Christian name more or less worthily. What 
ever may have been his deficiencies, mental, 
moral, or spiritual he stands in this humble 
chronicle as Richard III. 

His mother, Mrs. Susannah Stockton, had 

104 More Colonial Homesteads 

" the use of the house and improvements dur 
ing her natural life, with the use of all the 
negro slaves except Daniel," who was be 
queathed to the testator s brother-in-law, 
Philip Phillips. " Each of his sons, as he 
came of age, was to have a slave." 

However warm may be our sympathies with 
Desdichado, we must admit that John Stock 
ton s character and career amply justified his 
father s choice of a successor in the proprietor 
ship of the homestead and all pertaining 
thereto. No early citizen of New Jersey exer 
cised a more marked and wholesome influence 
upon her history then in making. He was, by 
Royal appointment, a Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas ; when the project of founding 
a university of learning within the precincts of 
the State was bruited, he wrought with pen, 
tongue, and fortune to secure the establishment 
of the same at Princeton, eventually succeed 
ing in the effort. As an elder in the infant 
Presbyterian Church of the Colonies, he was 
a power as well as a blessing. 

Each of the eight children who survived him 
was an honour to the father, and to the woman 
who was his partner in every worthy deed. 
In 1729, he had married Miss Abigail Phillips, 

Morven 105 

of whom we have little information u except 
that she was a devoted Presbyterian," says our 
chronicler. Four sons and as many daughters 
lived out her unwritten biography. Presby 
terian Princeton owes more than has been set 
down in her annals to her ministry to him who 
stood confessed in his generation as the best 
friend and ablest counsellor of Church and 

John Stockton s daughter, Hannah, married 
the Honorable Elias Boudinot, a name of dis 
tinction in state and national history : Abigail 
became the wife of Captain Pintard, her sister 
Susannah wedding his brother Louis. Rebecca 
married Rev. William Tennent of Monmouth 
County, a man eminent for piety and eloquence. 
His extraordinary return to life and conscious 
ness after a trance of four days duration, phy 
sicians and friends supposing him to be dead, 
is one of the noteworthy psychological phe 
nomena of the last century. 

To Richard (IV.), eldest son of John, was 
left the Princeton homestead with the surround 
ing plantation. John, the second son, entered 
the Royal Navy, rose rapidly to the rank of 
Captain, with the command of a vessel, and 
died at sea at a comparatively early age. 

io6 More Colonial Homesteads 

The third son, Philip, was ordained to the 
ministry of the Presbyterian Church in 1778, 
and presumably engaged in the active duties of 
his profession in the vicinity of Princeton, as he 
bought "Castle Howard" in that town about 
1785, and made it his permanent residence. 

Next to Richard the Heir, Samuel Witham 
Stockton, the youngest of the four sons, has 
left the most brilliant record. He was gradu 
ated at Nassau Hall in 1767, and in 1774 was 
sent to the Courts of Russia and Austria as 
Secretary of the American Commission. He 
acted as Secretary of the New Jersey Conven 
tion called in 1787 to ratify the Constitution of 
the United States, and in 1 794 was made Secre 
tary of State in New Jersey, He was killed, 
a year afterwards, by a fall from his carriage. 

When Richard, of the fourth generation of 
American Stocktons, came to his New Jersey 
principality in 1757, he was in the very prime 
of early and vigorous manhood. He had been 
admitted to the Bar three years earlier and 
about the same time married Anice Boudinot, 
sister of his brother-in-law, the Honourable 
Elias Boudinot, a double alliance that linked 
two chief families of the future Commonwealth 
together as with hooks of tempered steel. 



Mrs. Stockton was a striking feature in the 
best society of her times. From her French 
ancestors she inherited her brunette beauty 
and the vivacity of speech and manner that 
.made her companionship a continual charm. To 



none of her friends and admirers was she more 
bewitching than to the lover-husband. The 
poetic ardour of a courtship conducted in the 
most approved style of a romantic age, was 

io8 More Colonial Homesteads 

never abated by time and intimate association. 
Their married life was the prettiest of pastorals, 
in the midst of gayeties, and in the thick of 
later storms. As long as they both lived, they 
used in their private correspondence the noms 
de plume assumed when, as lovers, they wrote 
poems dedicated to one another. Mrs. Stock 
ton preferred " Emilia" to her own quaint and 
sweeter appellation, and her Richard was " Lu 
cius." It was a fashion of times more artificial 
than ours when the language of pen and tongue 
was more ornate than our realistic speech. The 
custom, affected and fantastic in the abstract, 
steals a mellowed grace from age and the de 
tails of a life-long love-story. 

The homestead erected by Richard the 
Second was a commodious and highly respect 
able family residence under the management 
of Judge John Stockton. John s son Richard, 
aided by the exquisite taste of his " Emilia," 
made mansion and grounds the most beautiful 
in the State. Until " Emilia " became mistress, 
of the fair domain it was known as " the Stock 
ton Place," sometimes as " Constitution Hill"; 
the name applied to a large tract of rolling land, 
including the homestead grounds. Mrs. Rich 
ard Stockton gave it the name it now bears. 

Morven 109 

Ossian s Poems were just then the rage in 
the English reading-world. Macpherson had 
set Scotch reviewers by the ears, and infuriated 
Dr. Johnston to a bellow of protest by pub 
lishing Temora in 1 763, and a general collec 
tion of the Poems of Ossian in 1765. Both 
compilations are regarded by our matter-of- 
fact book-lovers (who yet profess to under 
stand Browning and Carlyle !) as incoherent 
rubbish of dubious parentage. " Poems " and 
putative author would have been forgotten 
.and clean out of the minds of readers and 
reviewers, fifty years ago, but for half-a-dozen 
phrases that flash like jewels in a dust-heap. 
Ossian, the son and panegyrist of Fingal, King 
of Morven, was not merely read, but quoted, 
by our great-grandmothers. They hung en 
tranced over, and read aloud, in summer noons 
and winter midnights, what went before and 
came after such lines as, 

" The music of Carryl is like the memory of departed 
joys pleasant and mournful to the soul." 

Fingal, " grand, gloomy, and peculiar " 
the, to our taste, highly bombastic hero of Te 
mora and other of the unrhymed translations, 
found signal favour in Anice Stockton s sight. 

no More Colonial Homesteads 

She christened the home of her bridehood 
" Morven," the soft music of the name com 
mending it to her ears, as to ours. She gave, 
personal supervision to the grading of lawns, 
planting of shrubbery and avenues of trees, 
and the laying-out of parterres and " pleas- 
aunces." During her gracious reign Morvea 
gained the reputation for superb hospitality it. 
has never lost. 

Sons and daughters were born to the per 
fectly mated pair, frolicked in the shaded 
pleasure-grounds all day long, said their prayers 
at their mother s knee, and were folded nightly 
under the broad rooftree. They were nurtured, 
according to Presbyterian traditions, in the 
fear of GOD and trained to fear naught else 


but failure in obedience to the law of GOD 
and the law of love to man. Twelve happy,, 
busy years went by, and the first separation 
had to be faced and endured this, too, for 
duty s sake. Public and private business, 
called Mr. Stockton to England. A Presi 
dent, able and learned, was wanted for the 
College of New Jersey ; the subject of paper 
currency in the Colonies was growing from 
gravity into perplexity ; yet more serious 
questions were seething in the minds of embryo 

Morven 1 1 1 

statesmen and incorruptible patriots on this 
side of the Atlantic, and ruffling the tempers 
of officials in the Home Government. 

In 1766, Mr. Stockton sailed for Great 
Britain after a vain endeavour to induce his 
wife to accompany him. Both parents must 
not leave the children, she represented mildly, 
but firmly. As sensibly and heroically she 
forwarded the preparations for his voyage and 
long absence. 

I have had the pleasure of looking over a 
MS. volume of letters, written during the 
separation of sixteen months that tried the 
hopes and spirits of the faithful pair. They 
were copied out carefully, after Richard Stock 
ton s death, by his widow for their daughter, 
Mrs. Field, typewriting being among the 
then-uninvented arts. The priceless archives 
of wedded devotion stronger than time and 
death are now in the possession of Mrs. 
Chancellor McGill of New Jersey, a great- 
granddaughter of Richard and Anice Stock 

Addressing her " in the old, sweet way " as 
" Emilia," the traveller writes of "a charming 
collection of bulbous roots " he is getting to 
gether to send her as soon as the Americaa 

ii2 More Colonial Homesteads 

spring opens. " But I really believe "- - he 
breaks off to say proudly " you have as fine 
tulips and hyacinths in your little garden as 
almost any in England." 

In another letter: " Suppose in the next 
place I inform you that I design a ride to 
Twickenham, the latter end of next month, 
principally to view Mr. Pope s garden and 
grotto, and that I shall take with me a gentle 
man who draws well, to lay down an exact 
plan of the whole." He has high hopes that 
he has prevailed upon Dr. Witherspoon of 
Paisley, Scotland, to accept the Presidency 
of the College ; he has attended the Queen s 
birthnight ball, and describes it in lively terms ; 
he is uneasy over probable political compli 

" Mr. Charles Townsend, the Chancellor of the Ex 
chequer, informed the House last week that he was pre 
paring a scheme to lay before them for raising money 
from the Colonies ; urged the necessity of sending more 
troops there, and the propriety and justice of their sup 
porting them. I exceedingly fear that we shall get 
together by the ears, and GOD only knows what is to 
be the issue. . . . Wherever I can serve my native 
country, I leave no occasion untried. Dear America ! 
thou sweet retreat from greatness and corruption ! In 
thee I choose to live and die ! " 

Morven 113 

These are sentences which forecast darkly 
the coming conflict, full of fate for him 
and his. 

We recognise a familiar name in that of 
Lord Adam Gordon in whose care, it may be 
recollected, Sir William Johnson of Johnson 
Hall sent his son and heir to England " to get 
rid of the rusticity of a home education." 
The Scottish peer would seem to have had 
an especial penchant for American boys. 

" He inquired very particularly after you 
and your dear little boy," writes the absent 
husband, making it evident that Lord Adam 
had been a guest at Morven, as well as at 
Johnson Hall, while in America. 

The fond father bids the mother 

" Kiss my dear, sweet children for me, and give rather 
the hardest squeeze to my only son, if you think it right. 
If not, divide it equally without any partiality. . . . 

" I am entertained with the grandeur and vanity 
of these kingdoms, as you wished me to be, and, as you 
know I am curious, new objects are continually striking 
my attention and engaging my fancy ; but 

1 One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight ; 
Priests, tapers, temples, swim before my sight. 

Let me tell you that all the grandeur and elegance that 
I have yet seen in these kingdoms, in different families, 

ii4 More Colonial Homesteads 

where I have been received with great politeness, serves 
but to increase the pleasure I have, for some years, en 
joyed in your society. I see not a sensible, obliging, 
tender wife, but the image of my dear Emilia is full in 
view. I see not a haughty, imperious dame, but I re 
joice that the partner of my life is so much the opposite. 
But why need I talk so gallantly? You know my ideas 
long ago, as well as you would were I to write a volume 
upon the endearing topic. . . . 

" Here I saw all your Duchesses of Ancaster, Hamil 
ton, etc., so famous for their beauty. But here, I have 
done with this subject ! for I had rather ramble with you 
along the rivulets of Morven or Red Hill, and see the 
rural sports of the chaste little frogs, than again be at a 
birthnight ball." 

After his return to America, and Morven, 
he was appointed to a seat in the Royal Coun 
cil of the Provinces, and to a judgeship in the 
Supreme Court. These and other honours 
made the severance of his allegiance to the 
Crown a terrible wrench for man and public 

The crucial test of loyalty and of conscience 
was applied on the 4th of July, 1776, and sent 
his name down to us as " The Signer." 

His eldest daughter, Julia, was, by now, mar 
ried to Dr. Benjamin Rush, of Philadelphia, 
already eminent in his profession. The two 
affixed their names on the same day to the 

Morven 1 1 7 

Declaration of Independence. Indeed, the 
family connexion presented a united front in 
this crisis of national history. His brothers, 
Philip and Samuel, and their brother-in-law, 
Elias Boudinot, were zealous and consistent 
patriots throughout the war. 

A New Jersey historian is enthusiastic over 
the honour reflected upon Princeton by the 
fact that two of her citizens are upon the im 
mortal roll of honour : 

" Dr. Witherspoon was the acting pastor of the Pres 
byterian Church, and Mr. Stockton a member of it. Dr. 
Witherspoon was president of the College, and Mr. 
Stockton was a trustee and a graduate of the same. 

" What other little town, in our whole country, was so 
honoured as to have had two of her citizens, and such 
distinguished ones as these were, to sign the Declaration 
of Independence ? " 

The cloud, big with fate to two nations, was 
to burst with awful fury and suddenness upon 
Morven. When her master pledged " life, for 
tune, and sacred honour" for his fulfilment of 
the obligations entered into on our first " In 
dependence Day," he virtually signed the for 
feiture of the first two. After the adjournment 
of Congress in Philadelphia he returned to his 
Princeton home, never so fair before as now. 

ii8 More Colonial Homesteads 

In almost twenty years of proprietorship, he 
had brought the interior and the environment 
of the mansion to a degree of luxury and 
beauty impossible in a new country unless 
wealth, taste, and foreign travel combine to 
accumulate pictures and furniture, and to stock 
grounds with exotic trees and plants. The 
line of historic catalpas set out by him along 
the front of the lawn were but saplings then, 
yet were in flower on that memorable July 
day when Richard Stockton alighted from his 
travelling carriage at his own door and told 
his wife what he had done and what might be 
the consequences. 

Catalpas, and the long avenue of elms in 
which we stroll to-day, were leafless when 
news was hurriedly brought to Princeton that 
a body of British soldiers was marching to 
wards the town. Silver was buried in the 
frozen earth ; papers and other portable valu 
ables were huddled into portmanteaux ; the 
horses and roomy chariot were ordered for 
instant flight. 


An incident related by Mr. J. W. Stockton 
must not be omitted from this part of our 
story. Mrs. Stockton had her husband s un 
bounded confidence. His private, and yet 

Morven 119 

more important public, correspondence passed 
through her hands for approval, for revision, 
and for sealing. She was privy to the fact 
that certain important documents relating to 
public affairs and involving the liberty, if not 
the lives, of those by whom they were written, 
had been deposited in " Whig Hall," Prince 
ton. In the haste, confusion, and alarm of 
the flitting from Morven, the intrepid woman 
recollected the papers, and taking no one into 
her confidence, ran alone through byways to 
the Hall, secured the treasonable correspond 
ence, and with her own hands secreted them 
in the grounds of her home. Some say they 
were buried ; others, that they were hidden in 
a hollow tree. In recognition of these and 
other services rendered to the organisation dur 
ing the Revolution, she was made a member 
of the American Whig Society. " This is the 
only instance in which a lady has been in 
itiated into the mysteries of that literary 

Richard, the eldest son, a lad of twelve, was, 
singularly enough, as it appears to us, left 
behind when the rest of the family quitted 
Morven. u In care of a trustworthy old serv 
ant," is an explanatory phrase not quite satis- 

120 More Colonial Homesteads 

factory to those who know nothing more than 
the bare circumstance that father, mother, and 
the other children sought refuge in the house 
of Mr. John Covenhoven, thirty miles distant, 
in Monmouth County. It may have been 
that the boy s occupation of the home was 
meant to cover some technical point relative 
to the absolute desertion of the premises. 
There was no danger of personal violence to 
him. Cornwallis was with the advancing forces, 
and he was too brave a gentleman to make war 
upon children. One of the dramatic episodes 
of the arrival of the British company at the 
homestead must have been the apparition of 
the always dauntless son of the house where 
they had expected to see no one. Morven 
was Lord Cornwallis s headquarters. He 
occupied it for a month, sleeping in the spa 
cious bedchamber above the drawing-room. In 
leaving, he gave the place over to the wanton 
depredations of his men. The stables were 
emptied of stock and provender ; the wine-cel 
lars were gutted ; the furniture, imported and 
home-made, was hacked into firewood ; books 
and pictures fed the wanton flames. The 
portrait of Mr. Stockton painted by Copley, 
from which our illustration is taken, was left 

Morven 121 

upon the wall, but mutilated. A gash in the 
throat severed the head from the body, signi 
fying the opinion of a humorous trooper as to 
the fate deserved by the rebellious original. 
The injury has been neatly repaired, yet the 



work of the decapitating blade is still visible 
in certain lights. 


Princeton was occupied by the British, 
December 7, 1776. The evicted fugitives 
dream of security with the hospitable Coven- 
hovens was rudely dispelled, a few nights 

J22 More Colonial Homesteads 

afterward, by the violent entrance of a posse 
of armed men into Mr. Stockton s chamber. 
The secret of his hiding-place had been be 
trayed by neighbourhood tories, and a party 
was sent to apprehend him. He was taken to a 
New York jail, thence transferred to a prison- 
ship, and treated like a common felon. 

The Battle of Princeton was fought January 
3, 1777. The British were driven out of the 
town and ejected from the College in which a 
regiment had taken shelter. On the same day 
Congress passed this resolution : 

" Whereas, Congress hath received information that 
Richard Stockton, Esq., of New Jersey, and a member 
of this Congress, hath been made a prisoner, and ignomi- 
niously thrown into a common jail, and there detained. 
. . . Resolved, that General Washington be directed 
to make immediate inquiry into the truth of this report, 
and if he finds reason to believe it well-founded, that he 
send to General Howe, remonstrating against this de 
parture from that humane procedure which has marked 
the conduct of these States to prisoners who have fallen 
into their hands, and to know of General Howe whether 
he chooses this shall be the future rule for treating all 
such on both sides as the fortune of war may place in the 
hands of either party." 

The remonstrance had the effect of releasing 
Mr. Stockton after some needless delays. The 

Morven 123 

tedious weeks of confinement in the middle 
of an unusually inclement winter undermined 
his health. He rejoined his family at Mor 
ven, indomitable in spirit, but shattered in 

The homestead was a yet more pitiable 
wreck. In evacuating it, the soldiery had 
fired both wings, counting upon the destruction 
of the entire building. The conflagration was 
arrested before the main body of the house was 
reached. We see the noble halls and arched 
doorways, the drawing-room, dining-room, and 
the bedchambers above these, as they were 
restored by the owners, grateful to find thus 
much of the original edifice standing. 

The news of the loss of her library was 
carried to Mrs. Stockton in Monmouth. She 
heard it with the fortitude of the patriot, the 
composure of the thoroughbred. 

" I shall not complain if only my Bible and 
Young s Night Thoughts are saved," was her 
remark, recalled wonderingly when, as the 
story runs, these two books were brought to 
her, upon her return to Princeton, as the for 
lorn relics of the treasures which had filled her 

But one of the three chests of valuables 

i24 More Colonial Homesteads 

buried in the woods had escaped the marauders. 
The location of the others was revealed to the 
soldiery by one of the Morven servants, 
not, we are glad to be assured, the faithful 
majordomo who was the custodian of the 
young master left at home. 

Mrs. McGill prizes, as one of her choicest 
heirlooms, a silver coffee-pot, disinterred with 
other plate when the coast was cleared of 
robbers and traitors. On one side is the 
Stockton coat of arms, but without the lion 
rampant that appears in our reproduction of the 
insignia. Instead of the king of beasts we 
have upon the reverse side of the pot the figure 
of a dove. Whether the gentle bird were an 
innovation upon the conventional design, or 
had a right to perch upon the genealogical 
tree, is a mooted question with judges of 
heraldic emblems. Anice Stockton s eyes 
may have glistened tenderly in looking upon 
the symbol of peace restored to heart and 
dwelling by the husband s release and the 
blessedness of once more gathering her child 
ren in the home of their fathers. 

Peace and joy were short-lived. It became 
fatally evident before the ruined wings were 
rebuilt and Morven was refurnished, that the 

Morven 125 

mischief wrought by freezing nights in a fire- 
less cell, wretched fare, and the unspeakable 
horrors of the prison-ship could never be 
remedied. One ailment succeeded another, 
each in evidence of poison the system had not 
strength to expel, until a cancerous affection 
laid the sufferer aside from professional labours 
and social enjoyments. For months prior to 
his decease he never lost the consciousness of 
torturing pain except when under the influence 
of opiates, and had not one hour of natural sleep. 

" Not one soft slumber cheats the vital pain," 

wrote the devoted wife, his constant nurse, in 
the vigil of "December jd, 1780" The im 
promptu scribbled beside the death-pillow 
" cannot "says Mr. J. W. Stockton, " be 
given as a specimen of her poetic abilities," 
yet some stanzas bring scene and sufferers 
vividly to our mental vision. 

" While through the silence of the gloomy night, 

My aching heart reverb rates every moan, 
As, watching by the glimmering taper s light, 
I make each sigh, each mortal pang my own. 

But why should I implore Sleep s friendly aid ? 

O er me, her poppies shed no ease impart ; 
But dreams of dear, departing joys invade 

And rack with fears my sad, prophetic heart. 

i26 More Colonial Homesteads 

And vain is prophecy when death s approach 
Thro years of pain hath sapped a dearer life,, 

And makes me, coward-like, myself reproach 
That e er I knew the tender name of wife. 

Oh ! could I take the fate to him assigned, 
And leave the helpless family their head ! 

How pleased, how peaceful, to my lot resigned,, 
I d quit the nurse s station for the bed ! " 

Richard the Signer died at Morven, February 
28, ij8i is an entry in the family chronicle 
directly beneath the lines from which I have 

His funeral sermon was based upon a text 
selected by the widowed Anice : 

/ have seen an end of all perfection, but Thy 
commandment is exceeding broad. 

The eulogium pronounced by the preacher, 
Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith, Vice-President 
of the College of New Jersey, includes this 
summary of Mr. Stockton s deportment, char 
acter, and attainments. 

" In his private life he was easy and graceful in his. 
manners ; in his conversation affable and entertaining,, 
and master of a smooth and elegant style, even in his or 
dinary discourse. As a man of letters he possessed a. 
superior genius, highly cultivated by long and assiduous- 
application. His researches into the principles of morals, 



and religion were deep and accurate, and his knowledge 
of the laws of his country extensive and profound. He 
was particularly admired for a flowing and persuasive 
eloquence by which he long governed in the Courts of 
New Jersey." 




" The History of Princeton, by John Freling- 
huysen Hageman, Counsellor-at-Law, Prince 
ton, N. J.," diverges from the dusty road of 
historical and statistical details to give us a 
passage which is poetical in spirit and graceful 
in wording : 

" The long row of large, though knotty and gnarled, 
catalpas, still in vigorous life, along the whole front of 
Morven on Stockton Street, having survived the less 
ancient pines which alternated them, were planted by 
him" [Richard (IV.) Stockton]. "This row of catalpas 
in front of Morven can only be viewed as a sacred me 
morial to the Signer of the Declaration. The Fourth 
of July is the great day in Mr. Stockton s calendar, as it 
is in that of our country, and these catalpas, with the 
undeviating certainty of the seasons, put on their pure 
white blooming costume, every Fourth of July. For this 

1 23 

Morven 129 

reason, they have been called, very fitly in this country, 
the Independence Tree. For one hundred years 
[this in 1876] have these trees pronounced their annual 
panegyric upon the memory of the man who planted 

Looking down the leafless vista upon the 
anniversary of her husband s death-day, Anice 
Stockton wrote for her own eyes and her 
children s : 

" To me in vain shall cheerful spring return, 
And tuneful birds salute the purple morn ; 
Autumn in vain present me all her stores, 
Or summer court me with her fragrant bowers ; 
These fragrant bowers were planted by his hand 
And now, neglected and unpruned, must stand. 
Ye stately Elms and lofty Cedars ! Mourn ! 
Slow through your avenues you saw him borne, 
The friend who reared you, never to return." 

Although a handsome and brilliant woman 
under fifty years of age when left a widow, 
Mrs. Stockton gave her peerless husband no 
successor in her heart. For her children s 
sake, she took her place in the society she was 
born to adorn, when the days of nominal 
mourning were over. The hospitable doors of 
Morven had not been closed against the hosts 
of true friends who revered the master s mem 
ory and sympathised in the grief of the smitten 

130 More Colonial Homesteads 

household. Congress met in Princeton in 
1783, with Elias Boudinot, Mrs. Stockton s 
brother, as President. The Fourth of July 
was celebrated with much eclat by the Literary 
Societies of Nassau Hall, and the orators of 
the occasion, together with a number of mem 
bers of Congress, dined at Morven as the 
guests of the President. He was an inmate of 
his sister s house during the session of the 
Chief Court of the United States at Prince 

The fifth Richard Stockton in the direct 
line of natural succession, and the fourth in 
heirship, was now nineteen, and already a man 
in dignity of bearing and mental development. 
His environment was all the most ambitious 
parent could have asked for an ambitious son. 
Washington was a frequent visitor in the house 
of his late friend, and on the most cordial 
terms with the accomplished hostess. 

What is " thought to be the most lively and 
sprightly letter that is known to have been 
written by General Washington," was ad 
dressed to Mrs. Stockton, " Sept. 2, 1783." It 
was in answer to an " Ode to Washington," 
written by her on the announcement of peace. 
The tribute to the hero is in the formal we 

Morven 133 

should say, " stilted " style of a day when 
odes were en rbgle, and verse-making was an 
accomplishment much affected by " society 

" Emilia " had previously congratulated Corn- 
wallis s victor in the columns of the New Jersey 
Gazette, and received an autograph letter of 
thanks, assuring the fair author that 

" This address, from a person of your refined taste 
and elegance of expression, affords a pleasure beyond 
my powers of utterance. I have only to lament that the 
hero of your pastoral is not more deserving of your pen ; 
but the circumstance shall be placed among the happiest 
events of my life." 

In the second ode, sent direct to the subject 
thereof, the fair author asks : 

" Say ! can a woman s voice an audience gain, 
And stop a moment thy triumphal car ? " 

Although sorely tempted to transcribe all 
four pages of the " lively and sprightly " prose 
effusion drawn from the martial soul of the 
recipient of the compliment, I must, perforce, 
content myself and tantalise the reader with 
the opening paragraph and the shorter flight 
into the realm of fanciful gallantry that follows : 

134 More Colonial Homesteads 

" You apply to me, my dear madam, for absolution, as 
though I was your father confessor, and as though you 
had committed a crime, great in itself, yet of the venial 
class. You have reason good, for I find myself strangely 
disposed to be a very indulgent ghostly adviser on this 
occasion, and notwithstanding * you are the most offend 
ing soul alive (that is, if it is a crime to write elegant 
poetry), yet, if you will come and dine with me on 
Thursday, and go through the proper course of peni 
tence which shall be prescribed, I will strive hard to 
assist you in expiating these poetical trespasses on this 
side of purgatory. Nay, more ; if it rests with me to 
direct your future lucubrations, I shall certainly urge 
you to a repetition of the same conduct, on purpose to 
show what an admirable knack you have at confession 
and reformation ; and so, without more hesitation, I 
shall venture to recommend the muse not to be restrained 
by ill-grounded timidity, but to go on and prosper. 

" You see, madam, when once the woman has tempted 
us, and we have tasted the forbidden fruit, there is no 
such thing as checking our appetite, whatever the con 
sequences may be. You will, I daresay, recognise our 
being the genuine descendants of those who are reputed 
to be our great progenitors." 

The charger of our hero s imagination floun 
ders in the unfamiliar field as in a morass. It 
would be unfair to him, and to her who in 
spired the ponderous effusion, not to insert 
the whole of a third letter, to which we turn 
with grateful relief : 

Morven 135 

" Morven, 

" Princeton, N. J. 

" MOUNT VERNON, Feb y i8th, 1784. 

" The intemperate weather, and very great care which 
the Post Riders take of themselves, prevented your let 
ter of the 4th of last month from reaching my hands till 
the zoth of this. I was then in the very act of setting 
off on a visit to my aged Mother, from whence I am 
just returned. These reasons. I beg leave to offer, as 
an apology for my silence until now. 

" It would be a pity indeed, my dear Madam, if the 
Muses should be restrained in you. It is only to be re 
gretted that the hero of your poetical talents is not more 
deserving their lays. I cannot, however, from motives 
of false delicacy (because I happen to be the principal 
character in your Pastoral), withhold my encomiums on 
the performance, for I think the easy, simple, and beau 
tiful strains with which the dialogue is supported, does 
great justice to your genius, and will not only secure 
Lucinda & Aminta from Wits & Critics, but draw from 
them, however unwillingly, their highest plaudits, if 
they can relish the praises that are given as highly as 
they must admire the manner of bestowing them. 

" Mrs. Washington, equally sensible with myself of 
the honour you have done her, joins me in most affec 
tionate compliments to yourself, the young Ladies & 
Gentlemen of your family. With sentiments of esteem, 
regard and respect, 

" I have the honour to be, Dear Madam, 
" Y r Most Obed t Serv t, 



136 More Colonial Homesteads 

When her son Richard (V.) married, Mrs., 
now " Madam," Stockton voluntarily abdicated 
the throne she had graced for more than thirty 
years. Washington s last visit to her was paid 
when she was boarding in a private family in 
Princeton. Her four beautiful daughters were 
married Julia, as we have seen, to Dr. Rush ; 
Susan to Alexander Cuthbert, Esq., a Cana 
dian ; Mary to Rev. Dr. Hunter, a Presbyterian 
clergyman who had served through the Revo 
lutionary War as an army chaplain ; Abigail 
to Robert Field, Esq., of Whitehill, Burlington 
County. The mother s old age was placid and 
honourable to the end. At the time of her 
death, February 6, 1801, she had resided for 
some years with her daughter, Mrs. Field. 

I owe to the kindly courtesy of Mrs. McGill 
the privilege of inserting here a letter written 
by Mrs. Richard Stockton to Mrs. Field, as a 
preface to the volume of MS. letters referred 
to in the preceding chapter. It rounds off 
fitly the story of conjugal love, stronger than 
death : 

January the I2th, JfpJ. 

" You could not, my dear Abby, have made a request 
to me more mourn fuly pleasing, than that of copying for 
you your dear, and ever lamented father s letters. Your 
tender years when he left us, prevented you from form- 

Morven 137 

ing any adequate idea of your loss in such a parent. In 
deed, you must feel it more now, than you could then. 
I am sorry that the ravages of war have left so few of his. 
writings. All of them would be a treasure to his child 
ren, and an improvement to the world. It seems as if 
some kind power, watchful over the happiness of poor 
mortals, had interposed to save a very few of the many 
letters he wrote to me while he was abroad. The 
soldiers straw and dirt from which I carefully collected 
them with my own hand, has indeed so torn and effaced 
them, together with the running hand in which they 
were written, that I do not wonder that you cannot read 
ily read them . . . 

" You will see in those letters, the portrait of your be 
loved Father s character in the domestick point of view, 
which was truly amiable, and tho when he wrote them,, 
they were intended for no eye but mine, yet by them you 
will be better able to judge of his character, as a friend,, 
a husband, and a parent, than by a volume of encomium 
drawn up by the ablest hands. Had I the ability to do 
his talents, his virtues, and his usefulness, justice, they 
should not be buried in silence and forgotten, but tc* 
you, my dear, I will give a few traits of his character, 
as I know you will never sit as a critic on your Mother s, 
attempts to revive in your memory the sweet idea of such 
a Father. Therefore I dedicate this little manuscript 
book to you. 

" He was a most accomplished man, adorned with such 
native ease and dignity of manner as did honour to hu 
man nature. His address was elegant and fascinating ; 
he had all the polish of a Court, in his conversation 
and behaviour. He was a man of genius and learning, 

138 More Colonial Homesteads 

and appeared to understand the theory of the whole cir 
cle of sciences and the practice of a great many of them 
perfectly. He had the most active and penetrating mind, 
with the clearest head, and the most sound judgment I 
ever knew meet in one man, joined to an industry and 
attention in everything that he undertook, that made him 
able to accomplish what he designed, however arduous 
the purpose. He was kind, benevolent, and hospitable, 
ever ready to do good, both in the line of his profession, 
and in the daily occurrences of life. His piety towards 
God, his gratitude for all His mercies, his resignation to 
His will, and his confidence in the atoning merits of his 
blessed Redeemer, completed the whole round of his 
character, and formed him to be the best of husbands, 
the kindest father, brother, master, friend. My earnest 
prayer, day and night, is that you may all tread in his 
footsteps, and enjoy his reward. . . . 

" I have in my possession many letters which he wrote 
to Lord North and other ministers after he returned from 
England respecting this country. The cloud that after 
ward poured in a storm all over this extensive continent 
was gathering thick when he was in England, and he 
laboured as much as he was able then for the sake of 
both countries to avert it. My motive in mentioning 
these letters to you is to elucidate in some degree my 
opinion of his penetration, as you will see that it oper 
ated there almost to prediction. Therefore I wish you 
to read them, and I shall add to what I have written in 
this book copies of the anniversary eulogy which I have 
written to his memory almost every year since his death, 
the return of which I have ever kept as a day of solitude 
and retirement, and shall to the end of my days." 

Morven 139 

Richard (V.) Stockton, surnamed by college- 
mates and townsmen "the Duke," while lack 
ing his father s unfailing courtesy of mien and 
affability to lofty and low, won and held the 
respect of his fellow citizens. " He was a 
gentleman of a lofty sense of honour and the 
sternest integrity," testifies an eminent lawyer 
who studied his profession in Mr. Stockton s 
office. " He had a great abhorrence of every 
thing mean and unworthy." 

From the same authority, (Mr. Samuel J. 
Bayard of Princeton,) we have a characteristic 
.anecdote of " the Duke." When Lafayette 
made the tour of America in 1824-26, the 
master of Morven was appointed by the com 
mittee of reception to act as their mouthpiece 
in welcoming the distinguished visitor to 
Princeton. Mr. Bayard writes : 

" In the morning of the day on which Lafayette was 
to arrive the council assembled to hear Mr. Stockton 
read his address. He commenced by saying * Monsieur 
le Marquis de La Fayette. After he concluded, I sug 
gested timidly that La Fayette had renounced his title in 
the National Assembly and that he would prefer in this 
country to be called General. Mr. Stockton sternly 
said Once a Marquis, always a Marquis ! I shall ad- 
dress him by what was his title before the infamous 
French Revolution. And he did so address him. " 

140 More Colonial Homesteads 

Mr. Stockton was elected twice to Congress, 
once to the Senate, and once to the House, and 
stood for a quarter-century in the front rank of 
American jurists. 

He died at Morven in 1828. 

His eldest son Richard (VI.) who should 
have come after him in the proprietorship of 
the now ancient homestead, removed to Missis 
sippi before his father s death, and continued 
there the practice of law he had begun with 
flattering promise of success in New Jersey. 
He was Attorney General of his adopted 
State when he was killed in a duel with a 
brother judge. 

Morven, with two hundred and seventy acres 
of surrounding land, together with fifteen 
thousand acres in North Carolina and other 
tracts in New Jersey and elsewhere, composed 
the fortune Robert Field Stockton, " the 
Duke s" second son, found waiting for him 
when called to take the place left vacant by his 
father s death. 

He had entered Princeton College in the 
thirteenth year of his age. Mr. Hageman re 
lates that " in his boyhood he was characterised 
for his personal courage, a high sense of 
honour, a hatred of injustice, with unbounded 


generosity and a devoted attachment to his 
friends." Added to these were ambitions that 
seemed audacious in a boy, and a thirst for 
adventure rarely developed in American youths 
born to " expectations." These aspirations 


begat such restlessness in the high-spirited boy 
that he left college before the time for gradua 
tion, and entered the navy, a service then 
mightily stimulated by the prospect of another 
war with Great Britain. Robert Stockton 
received his midshipman s commission in 1811, 
and was sent on board the frigate President, 

i4 2 More Colonial Homesteads 

then preparing for a patrol cruise along the- 
coast threatened by British vessels. In the 
war of 1812, his dauntless courage and keen 
delight in the excitement and danger of battle 
earned for him the nickname of " Fighting 
Bob," a title that stayed by him all his life. 

Ten years, crowded with perils and happen 
ings, elapsed before he was again at Morven. 
His parents were living, and had, besides him 
self, seven other children. The young falcon 
had tried his wings and knew their strength 
and the joys of flight. At twenty-eight he 
had fought under Decatur at Algiers, cruised 
and explored and battled under Bainbridge, 
Rodgers, and Chauncey, and risen to the rank 
of Lieutenant. Philanthropy entered into the 
next project that fired his ardent soul. In 
1821 he sailed for the coast of Africa, com 
manding officer of anew vessel, and, as actuary 
of the American Colonisation Society, com 
missioned to select a location for the colony of 
liberated negroes they purposed to establish 
near the British settlement of Sierra Leone. 
The history of the expedition belittles, in 
stirring incident, hairbreadth escapes, and 
daring enterprise, the most improbable of 
Stevenson s, Hope s, and Weyman s fictions. 

Morven 143 

After his party of three white men and an 
interpreter had forced their way through mo 
rass, jungle, and forest to the village of the 
African chief, " King Peter," they were con 
fronted by a horde of murderous savages, in 
furiated by the rumour that the object of the 
strangers visit was to convict the tribe of 
supplying slavers with prisoners taken in in 
ternecine warfare, and women and children 
stolen from their enemies villages. I extract 
from Hageman s History a partial account of 
the scene given by Doctor Ayres, an eye 
witness : 

" Stockton instantly, with his clear, ringing tone of 
voice, commanded silence. The multitude was hushed 
as if a thunderbolt had fallen among them, and every 
eye was turned upon the speaker. Deliberately drawing 
a pistol from his breast and cocking it, he gave it to Dr. 
Ayres, saying, while he pointed to the mulatto : Shoot 
that villain if he opens his lips again ! Then, with the 
same deliberation, drawing another pistol and levelling 
it at the head of King Peter, and directing him to be 
silent until he heard what was to be said, he proceeded 
to explain the true object of this treaty, and warned the 
king of the consequences of his refusal to execute it, 
threatening the worst punishment of an angry God if he 
should fail to perform his agreement. 

" During this harangue, delivered through an inter 
preter, the whole throng, horror-struck with the danger 

144 More Colonial Homesteads 

of their king and awed by the majesty of an ascendant 
mind, sunk gradually, cowering prostrate to the ground. 
If they had believed Stockton to be an immediate mes 
senger from heaven, they could not have quailed and 
shrunk and humbled themselves to more humiliating 
postures. Like true savages, the transition in their 
minds from ferocity to abject cowardice was sudden 
and involuntary. King Peter was quite as much over 
come with fear as any of the crowd, and Stockton, as 
he perceived the effect of his own intrepidity, pressed 
the yielding mood only with more sternness and vehe 

The territory purchased for the American 
Colonisation Society by Lieutenant Stockton 
is now the Republic of Liberia. 

As the determined opponent of the slave- 
trade, he chased and captured a number of 
slave-ships sailing under false colours ; ferreted 
out more than one nest of pirates, and dragged 
the offenders to justice. He had crowded the 
events and perils of a lifetime into his thirty- 
one years of mortal existence when he seemed 
content to settle down to the peaceful pursuits 
of a country gentleman in the home and town 
his forefathers had founded. For sixteen 
years he had never asked for a furlough, and 
now, while holding himself in readiness to 
respond to the recall to active service, he 

Morven H5 

engaged with characteristic energy in the 
duties that lay nearest his hand. He was 
the President of the Colonisation Society ; 
the importer of blooded racers from Eng 
land ; the eloquent supporter of Andrew Jack 
son s claims to the Presidential chair ; the 
largest shareholder and most active promoter 
of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company, 
making a voyage to England to effect a loan 
in behalf of the scheme. 

Jackson s advocate was not Van Buren s. 
Captain Stockton " stumped " New Jersey for 
" Tippecanoe and Tyler too," in 1840, and, 
when Harrison s death made John Tyler Presi 
dent, was offered and declined the Secretary 
ship of the Navy. " Fighting Bob s " tastes 
did not lie in the direction of state-desks, port 
folios, and audience of office-seekers. 

One of the great honours and the great 
catastrophe of his eventful life came to him 
February 28, 1844. At his earnest request 
the Navy Department authorised him to con 
struct the first steamship-of-war ever success 
fully launched. The marvel was named by 
her gratified inventor The Princeton. The 
trial trip was made down the Potomac. The 
passengers were the President and Cabinet, 

146 More Colonial Homesteads 

many members of Congress and distinguished 
residents of Washington. The two great guns 
were fired amid wild enthusiasm. They were 
still at table when some of the company were 
seized with a desire to have one of the big guns 
fired a second time. The Captain objected, 
smilingly ; " No more guns to-night ! " he said,, 

The request was pressed by the Secretary of 
the Navy, and the Captain fired the gun with 
his own hand. A terrific explosion ensued. 
The iron monster had burst, and five of the 
guests, including the Secretary of State and the 
Secretary of the Navy, were killed instantly. 
Although the court of inquiry absolved Captain 
Stockton from all blame, he carried the awful 
memory of the day all his life, and could never 
allude to it without profound emotion. 

We have not room for more than a hasty 
summary of other achievements of this eminent 
scion of a noble race. He took possession of 
California for the United States, and formed 
a provisional government there in 1846, thus 
securing the jurisdiction for his nation before 
the close of the Mexican War. The first 
printing-press and schoolhouse in California 
were his work. He resigned his command in 

Morven 147 

the Navy, May 28, 1850; was United States 
Senator from New Jersey, 1851-53 ; was the 
nominee of the American Party" for the 
Presidency in 1856, a ticket withdrawn, at his 
instance, before election-day. 

In 1 86 1, he wrote to Governor Olden : 

" to consider the best means of preserving our own State 
from aggression. 

"You remember it is only the River Delaware that 
separates New Jersey from the Slave States. If you 
should see fit to call upon me for any aid that I can 
render, it is freely rendered. This is no time to potter 
about past differences of opinion, or to criticise the 
administration of public affairs. I shall hoist the Star- 
Spangled Banner at Morven, the former residence of one 
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, 
that flag, which, when a boy, I nailed to the frigate 

Commodore Stockton drew his last breath 
where he had drawn his first in Morven. He 
saw the July blossoming of the catalpas in 
1866. Catalpas were in the sere, elms, chest 
nuts, and maples in the yellow, leaf when the 
keen eyes closed upon earthly change and 
glory. He died October 7, 1866, in his seventy- 
first year, 

" full of vigour and energy. No infirmity of body had 
given a premonition of his death," writes the historian. 

148 More Colonial Homesteads 

" His health had been preserved by his abstemious hab 
its of life and general care of himself. ... He was 
impulsive, yet self-possessed, generous and noble, with 
a wonderful magnetism over men when he came into 
personal contact with them." 

In 1824, when twenty-nine years old, he 
married a South Carolina belle, Miss Maria 
Potter, daughter of Mr. John Potter, then 
of Charleston, South Carolina, afterwards a 
prominent citizen of Princeton. Commodore 
Stockton survived his excellent wife for sev 
eral years. 

Their sons were Richard (VII.), a lawyer 
of note, and Treasurer of the Delaware and 
Raritan Company ; John Potter Stockton, who 
became Attorney General of the State and an 
active and popular United States Senator; 
General Robert Field Stockton, Comptroller 
of the State of New Jersey all men of rare 
ability, and useful citizens of State and nation. 
Six daughters grew to womanhood : Mrs. 
F. D. Howell, Mrs. Admiral Howell, Mrs. 
W. R. Brown, Mrs. Hopkins, Mrs. W. A. 
Dod, and Miss Maria Stockton. 

Morven lapsed out of the straight line of 
succession at Commodore Stockton s death. 
It remained in the family until it was bought 

Morven 151 

by Rev. Dr. Shields, of Princeton. His 
daughter, the wife of Bayard Stockton, Esq., 
a grandson of Commodore Stockton, is now 
the graceful mistress of the venerable mansion. 
The venerable homestead is therefore restored 
to the lineal succession of the founders. 

Front and back doors of the wide hall stood 
open to let in spring sunshine and airs when 
I visited Morven in the present year. A 
tall Japan apple-tree (Pyrus floribunda) on 
one side of the porch flamed red and clear as 
the bush that burned on Horeb ; other clumps 
of flowering shrubbery, pink, white, and yel 
low, lighted up the grounds laid out one hun 
dred and thirty years ago after the pattern of 
Mr. Pope s at Twickenham. Horse-chestnuts 
still stand in line to indicate the course of 
ancient avenues, and the rugged catalpas, 
defiant of the centuries, mount guard upon 
the outskirts of the lawn. At the left of 
the entrance-hall is the dining-room, where 
Washington and his generals Lafayette and 
Rochambeau and Viscount de Chastellux, 
Cornwallis and his officers, grave and rever 
end seigniors from every land under the sun, 
and nearly every President of the United 
States, have broken bread and quaffed the 

i5 2 More Colonial Homesteads 

generous vintage for which the Morven cellars 
have always been famous. 


A scarf wrought by the deft fingers of the 

o J o . 

present lady of the manor is thrown over a 
sideboard, and bears this legend : 

" Sons of Morven spread the feast, and send the night away 
in song." 

The drawing-room is across the hall, and we 
pass up the staircase to the chamber where 


Cornwallis lay" in archaic phrase during 
the four weeks in which Washington was mak 
ing ready to dislodge him. The carved mantel 
in this room was in place then, and the logs 
blazed merrily below when the Delaware and 
Raritan were frozen over, and the deposed 
master of Mor 
ven was being 
done to his deatli 
in common jail 
and prison-ship. 
The i a n t 


horse-chestnut at 
the rear of the 
house sprang 
from a nut 
planted by one 
of the Pintard 
brothers when 
they were court 
ing the sisters, 
Abigail and Susannah Stockton, more than a 
hundred and fifty years ago. The patriarch 
tree is eleven feet in girth, and upbears his 
crown far above the ridge-pole of the house it 
has shaded for seven generations of human 
life. Upon the circular platform at its root 


154 More Colonial Homesteads 

Commodore Stockton used to arrange dancing- 
parties on moonlight nights, when the branches 
were heavy with blossoms and the summer air 
sweet with their odour. 

"And do no ghosts walk here?" I say in 
credulously, pausing for a long look at the 
portrait of " the Commodore" against the wall in 
the dining-room, his sword suspended under it. 

The hostess, so slight of figure, so girlish in 
the riante face and clear, youthful tones that 
set in the storied spaces of the old colonial 
homestead, she reminds me of nothing so 
much as the poet s "violet by a mossy stone," 
makes laughing reply : 

" None ! That is, none that trouble this 



UPON the 2 ;th day of July, in the year of 
our Lord 1661, a commissioner appointed 
by Peter Stuyvesant, " Director-General and 
Commissary of the Privileged West India 
Company at Fort Orange and the town of 
Beverwyck " (now Albany), countersigned a 
deed of sale from " certain chiefs of the Mo 
hawk country " " unto Sieur Arent Van Cur 
ler of a parcel of land or Great Flat called in 
Indian, Schonowa." In payment for this 
tract, upon which the city of Schenectady 
now stands, the Mohawks received a " certain 
number of cargoes," character and value un 

The "Flats and Islands" thus conveyed 
were neither a wooded wilderness nor a bar 
ren waste, but cleared lands that had been 


156 More Colonial Homesteads 

cultivated for generations by the least barbar 
ous of the aboriginal residents. The Mo 
hawks had five strong 
villages, or castles, be 
tween the mouth of the 
river bearing their name 
and Canajoharie, their 
upper, and great, castle 
in Herkimer County. 
" Schonowa," or Schen- 
ectady Castle, was the 
second sold by them to 


the whites. 

Among the petitioners to the Director-Gen 
eral for permission to negotiate for the tract 
was Alexander Lindsay Glen, a Scotch High 
lander who, like hundreds of other pioneers, 
had tarried in Holland on the way to America 
long enough to identify himself with Dutch 
immigrants. To association with them he 
owed the name by which he was known in the 
early days of his residence in the Colonies, 
"Sander Leendertse Glen." His original in 
tention to settle himself upon a grant of Dela 
ware lands was frustrated by the unfriendliness 
of the Swedes, who were in possession there 
in 1643. He applied for, and received, another 

Scotia 157 

igrant in New Amsterdam (New York) in 1646. 
As a trader in Albany, then Beverwyck, he 
amassed a considerable fortune, 

" owned lands, houses, and cattle at Gravesend, Long 
Island, and in 1658, built a mansion of stone, on the 
north bank of our beautiful river, under protection and 
title of the Mohawks ; for which site and some adjacent 
uplands, with some small islands and all the flats con 
tiguous, he obtained a patent in 1665." l 

That the Highlander was canny in his gen 
eration these facts denote. An anecdote ex 
tracted from another early history is in evidence 
of other Scotch traits. An agent of the West 
India Company attempted to arrest a negro 
slave belonging to " Sander Leendertse Glen." 
Her master resisted the official, and, when 
threatened with imprisonment and confisca 
tion if he persisted in his contumacy, boldly 
declared himself a subject of the Patroon of 
Rensselaerwyck, the determined opponent 
of the West India Company s authority and 

" I cannot serve a new master until I am 
discharged from the one I live under," he 
maintained, sturdily. 

And when the infuriated officer " drew his 

1 Early History of Schenectady, by Hon. John Sanders. 

158 More Colonial Homesteads 

rapier and threatened to run his adversary 
through, Glen fearlessly seized a club to repel 
his assailant, who then prudently retired." 

Loyalty, thrift, and courage were united, in 
the staunch Presbyterian, to blameless integ 
rity that earned the confidence of white and 
savage neighbours. He bought lands from 
the Mohawks and paid for them ; Indians and 
negroes worked together in his broad mead 
ows, and ate from the same board. Beyond 
the stone mansion, to which he gave the name 
of " Scotia," in loving memory of his native 
land, stretched away to the north hundreds of 
miles of woodlands and fertile valleys, un 
claimed by the whites. Between him and the 
bounds of Canada the Indians held everything, 
and were prepared to resist every trespass 
upon their rights. While Alexander Glen 
lived these rights were religiously respected, 
and the foundations laid of an hereditary 
friendship between the residents of Scotia 
and the Mohawks which, as we shall see, bore 
much fruit in after years. 

" Reared in the religious tenets of John 
Knox," the successful freeholder was also a 
valiant churchgoer. Four times a year an Al 
bany dominie visited Schenectady, to adminis- 

Scotia 159 

ter the sacrament of the Lord s Supper and to 
baptise such infants as had helped swell the 
population of the young colony since his last 
services there. There was a Reformed Dutch 
church in Albany, twenty-odd miles away, 
and perhaps a dozen times in the twelve 
month " Sander Leendertse Glen " was in his 
pew in the sacred edifice, having left Scotia 
early Saturday morning to accomplish the 
journey by Saturday night. In 1682, he built, 
at his own expense, " and presented the same 
to the inhabitants of Schenectady as a free 
gift," a frame building, to be used as a church 
on Sundays, as a public hall during the week. 
The first pastor was installed and the building 
was consecrated in 1684. 

Catherine Dongan Glen, the wife of Alex 
ander, died at Scotia in August of the same 
year, and at her husband s request was buried 
in the chancel of the church. One year and 
two months thereafter a grave was opened for 
him at her side. There their remains were 
found after an interment of one hundred and 
sixty-three years, and reverently removed by 
a descendant to the Scotia family burying- 

Of his three sons (he had no daughters). 

160 More Colonial Homesteads 

Jacob Alexander died one month before his 
father s decease, at the age of forty. He had 
lived in Albany many years, and left five chil 
dren, three sons and two daughters. 

Alexander, the second son, was an active 
and influential citizen of Schenectady, the 
captain of a company of Colonial militia, a 
justice of the peace, a mighty hunter, and 
a famous fisherman. He died at the age of 
thirty-eight, childless. 

The homestead and the surrounding planta 
tion were inherited by John Alexander, the 
third and youngest son of Alexander Lindsay 
Glen. As a rule, the colonists married early. 
At nineteen, John Alexander had espoused 
Anna Peek, the daughter of the settler from 
whom Peekskill takes its name, and was now 
the father of six living children. 

The site of the " mansion of stone " on the 
north bank of the Mohawk was nearer the wa 
ter s edge than the present house. Little by 
little, the channel encroached upon grounds 
and foundations for half a century, until the 
lower courses of stone all that remain to 
mark the spot are now under water. When 
John Alexander Glen became, in the thirty- 
seventh year of his age, master of the estate, 



he was the richest man for many miles around. 
The family gift of winning popularity was his 


in large measure. With the Indians and 
French he was " Major Coudre," a nickname 
bestowed for some reason that has not been 
transmitted to us. 

Says his historian-descendant, in mock seri 
ousness : 

" The Mohawks of Scotia s early days were always 
devoted friends of the Dutch, but they were barbarous 
.after all, and the white population was too sparse, weak, 

162 More Colonial Homesteads 

and timid to interfere with the chivalric customs of 
those noble knights of the tomahawk, blunderbuss, bow, 
and arrow." 

In pursuance of the politic tolerance ex 
ercised toward the chivalric customs of the 
soil, the Mohawks had been allowed to re 
tain the right to torture and burn alive such 
prisoners as they willed to hale to a hillock 
within the precincts of the Scotia plantation. 
The spot had been set aside for that purpose 
through untold generations of blood-loving 
warriors. Where their fathers butchered, they 
would slay and burn. Nothing the Glens 
father and sons could say had abated the 
horrible practice. 

When a large body of Mohawks, just re 
turned from an expedition northward, swarmed 
down upon their " reserve " one summer after 
noon, soon after Alexander Glen s death, the 
hubbub of savage rejoicing, distinctly audible 
at the house, was nothing novel or alarming. 
What was to be, would be. If John Glen and 
Anna, his wife, had not seen with their own 
eyes the frightful ceremonies set for the next 
day, they had heard stories of them from their 
babyhood, and comprehended the futility of 
meddling with wild beasts ravening for blood.. 

Scotia 163 

The complexion of the present case was 
changed when a party of the savages brought 
to their house for safe-keeping a French 
Jesuit priest, the destined victim of the mor 
row s sacrifice. 

I quote from a descendant s letter : 

" The reason of their peculiar dislike to priests was 
this : The Mohawks were Protestants after their own 
fashion, because the Dutch were] and this priest, 
with others, had proselyted among them, and caused 
some, as a Catholic party, to remove to Canada. Now, 
these rejoicing, victorious Christians soon announced to 
Mr. Glen and his wife that they intended a special roast 
of their captive on the following morning. So they 
brought the unfortunate priest along for Glen to lock 
up in his cellar until they should want him for their 
pious sacrifice." 

With the blanched face and quivering limbs 
of the doomed man before them, the husband 
and wife were coolly composed. They raised 
no objection to the pious roast aforesaid. As 
a matter of ordinary prudence, they declined 
to take the responsibility of becoming the 
captor s gaolers. They knew the tricks and 
manners of these priests. Wizards they were, 
to a man, and the Jesuits the wiliest wizards 
of all. If the Mohawks, at all times and every- 

164 More Colonial Homesteads 

where their very good friends, insisted upon 
putting the prisoner into their cellar, he must 
be locked up by the Mohawks own hands and 
the key be taken away by them. In Mr. Glen s 
opinion, they would find, in the morning, that 
the magician had slipped out through the key 
hole. This " one thing he proposed with wise 
solemnity, and this just proposition Mrs. Glen 

After the cellar was securely locked and the 
key safe in the keeping of the captors, Mr. 
Glen strolled down to the encampment with 
them, and led the conversation to a journey 
his mules and a trusty negro or two were to 
make to Albany the next day. Scotia was 
out of salt, and there was not enough in Sche- 
nectady to supply the plantation. Team and 
negroes would set out before sunrise. The 
roads were deep with sand, and the noonday 
sun hot. 

The savages listened indifferently. A keg 
of rum had been ordered from Schenectady, 
and they made a night of it. Had the Glens 
been inclined to sleep they could not have 
closed their eyes for the hellish screechings 
and chants that could be heard all the way to 
the town. It was after two o clock when the 

Scotia 165 

Protestant participants in the orgies fell into 
a drunken slumber. By four, a wagon drove 
from the back door of the house, laden with 
what assumed to be empty hogsheads. One, 
in the centre of the load, was open at the bot 
tom, and there were holes bored here and there 
to admit the air. 

When Mr. Glen, awakened by the howls of 
rage and disappointment arising from the cel 
lar, made his appearance next morning, he 
reminded the Indians of his caution : 

" I told you so ! Priests are wizards." 

And they reluctantly replied : " Coudre was 

" Nor," concludes the narrative, "was it ever 
known that any Mohawk of that generation 
discovered the deception. Major Glen was 
always a great favourite with the Mohawks. 
His sayings and doings were ex cathedra! 

The possibility that he had a duplicate key 
to his cellar never occurred to their noble 

The good deed of that summer night was 
repaid with compound interest five years after 
wards. On February 8, 1690, a force of French 
and Indians swooped down upon the town of 
Schenectady and massacred every white per- 

1 66 More Colonial Homesteads 

son who could not escape, with the exception 
of a few old men, women, and children, spared 
through a spasm of compassion on the part of 
the French commandant. 

" When Coudre, who was Mayor of the place and 
lived on the other side of the river, would not surren 
der, and began to put himself on the defensive, with 
his servants and some Indians ... it was resolved 
not to do him any harm in consequence of the good 
treatment the French had formerly experienced at his 
hands. . . . Only two houses were spared in the 
town one belonging to Coudre, and another, whither 
M. de Montigny had been carried when wounded." 

Such is the account of the massacre given 
by a French writer. 

Brave Anna Glen died in December, 1690, 
the year Schenectady was burned. Just six 
months and two days afterward her widower 
married the Widow Kemp, whose first hus 
band, a justice of the peace, had lost his life 
in the massacre. She was a sister of Cap 
tain Alexander Glen s wife, and brought his 
brother, her second husband, a goodly portion. 

The two wives brought him, between them, 
no less than thirteen children, seven of them 
belonging to Anna, six to Deborah Kemp. 

In 1713, Major Glen built a new stone 


(- - 

Scotia 169 

house upon a knoll overlooking the river, and 
but a few hundred yards from the old home, 
which was demolished to supply part of the 
material for the present homestead. The incur 
sion of the current diverted by later changes 
in the banks and bed of the river had made 
Major Glen uneasy as to the permanence of 
the structure, and he needed more room for 
his large family. Thrift may have entered 
into the utilisation of every beam and door 
and balustrade in the erection of the second 
Scotia. Yet he was wealthy enough to spare 
the workmen the pains of the contriving and 
fitting manifest to the curious inspector of the 
dwelling. Doors were re-hinged and hung, 
the grooves of bolt and latch remaining on the 
other side, and a score of other makeshifts, or 
what would have been makeshifts in a poorer 
man, are to be seen throughout the building. 
It is altogether likely that affectionate associa 
tion with the days of his youth and the father 
who had preceded him in the house which was 
the northern vanguard of civilisation, moved 
him to preserve the wood and stone he could 
not feel were insensate. 

He lived in the new house until his death, 
at the age of eighty-three, in 1731. 

i7 More Colonial Homesteads 

Alexander, the third child and eldest son of 
Major John Alexander Glen, became a ship s 
surgeon, and died at sea in 1686; John, sixth 
child and second son, also died before his 
father, and unmarried ; Jacob Alexander, next 
in order of succession, removed to Baltimore 
at an early age and founded there a family. 
" Several of the line became greatly distin 
guished for wealth and legal ability," notably 
Judge Elias Glen and his son, John Glen, 
who, as United States Judge for Maryland, 
" took his seat upon the same bench his father 
had previously occupied." 

Thus it came to pass that Jacob Glen, the 
eighth child of Major John, and the first fruits 
of the second marriage, fell heir to Scotia and 
a large portion of the original estate. This 
fortune he nearly doubled by judicious trad 
ing and investments in the thirty-one years of 
his occupancy of the mansion. He was a per 
sonage of note in the town and neighbour 
hood, a wise agriculturist, a skilful surveyor, 
a member of the Provincial Legislature, and 
-colonel of all the militia west of Albany, a 
regiment at one time 3000 strong. Exercise 
of the proverbial hospitality of the Scotia clan 
proved fatal to himself and wife. Some lately 

Scotia 171 

arrived emigrants, sick, hopeless, and poor, 
were sheltered and fed by the charitable couple 
until they could obtain employment elsewhere. 
Colonel and Mrs. Glen took ship-fever from 
them, and died within three days of one an 
other in August, 1762. 

Their only child, Deborah, pretty and a 
prospective heiress, was the idol of her parents 
and a brilliant figure in what Schenectady by 
now called society. When, at eighteen she 
married John Sanders of Albany, it was a for 
gone conclusion that, as our record phrases it, 
he should "immediately remove to Scotia." 
To "remove" the petted darling from the 
homestead would be to tear the pearl from a 
setting that would be worse than valueless 
without her. 

From the first mention of Deborah (the 
family register spells it without the final Ji) 
Glen in the pages that are more than half- 
filled with italicised lists of the born, married, 
and died, she seizes upon our fancy as a liv 
ing personality might. There is a full-length 
picture of her upstairs in " Grandma s Room," 
to which we shall mount by-and-by. It had 
never much value as a work of art. With 
other paintings that hang in the same room, 

More Colonial Homesteads 

it was once snatched from a burning room, and: 
is darkened by smoke and heat. But we take 
kindly, even lovingly, to the little lady, as we 
see her there. She has a sonsie, shrewd, happy 
Scotch face and a trig figure laced up in a co 
quettish boddice ; she carries her head a trifle 
proudly, as conscious of her dignities and im 
munities from rules that constrained other 
damsels of her rank and age to obedience to 
parents and superiors. A pair of her slippers, 
flowered satin, with high heels and high in 
steps, are brought to us while we look at her. 
We run three fingers into the silken recess of 
the instep and, in imagination, fit them upon 
the tiny feet that in the painting are shod with 
just such another pair. At her side is the pict 
ure of a nice-looking boy, and, facing him on 
the opposite wall, is the portrait of an old man, 
his cheeks sunken and forehead seamed by the 
ploughshare of time and care. Both represent 
one and the same person the John Sanders- 
whom she played with as a child, and married 
when she had grown to womanhood and he 
was a man of twenty-five. 

Life s ironies are oftenest and most aptly 
expressed by these old family portraits and 

Scotia 1 73 

Our dainty Deborah was dauntless as well. 
In the lower hall we stayed to hear a story 
that made us shudder, as she did not for her 
self. She was reading in the library at the 
left of the front door one day, when she heard 
loud wrangling in the hall, and went out to see 
what was the matter. Two Indians, probably 
from the encampment mentioned just now, 
had come to blows. One had pressed his an 
tagonist up to the first landing of the stairs, 
.and the latter, seeing himself worsted, raised 
his tomahawk. The other, unarmed, made a 
flying leap down the stairs and into a closet 
on the right of the hall. The tomahawk fol 
lowed, just missing Deborah s head, and scal 
ing a splinter from the balustrade in hissing 
by. The tradition is that Deborah ordered 
both men from the house, and was obeyed 
without demur from either. 

Mrs. Jacob Glen Sanders, of Albany has a 
clock the handsomest of its kind I ever saw 
which was one of Deborah Glen s bridal 
gifts from her fond father. 

The stately timepiece is in perfect preserva 
tion, and ticks away the seconds " the stuff 
time is made of" with unerring regularity, 
setting the pace for watches and other clocks 

174 More Colonial Homesteads 


with the authority of a 
chronometer. If the rest 
of Deborah s plenishing 
was in keeping, a prin 
cess might have been 
content with the outfit. 

When John Sanders, 
and Deborah, his wife, 
had been married twenty- 
six years, and for three 
years the proprietors of 
Scotia, they bought out 
the interests of John 
Glen of Albany and John 
Glen, Jr., of Schenec- 
tady, in the Glen estate, 
vesting in themselves the 
title to the bulk of the 
family wealth and hon 
ours, and "merging that 
branch of the Glens and 
the Scotia estate into the 
Sanders name." 

Colonel Glen died in 
1782, at the age of sixty- 
eight ; his wife in 1 786^ 
in her sixty-fifth year. 

Scotia 1 75 

Of the five children who survived them, 
John (II.) succeeded to the ownership of 
Scotia; Maria married John Jacob Beekman 
of Albany ; Sarah, her cousin, John Sanders 
Glen of Scotia ; Elsie, Myndart Schuyler Ten 
Eyck of Schenectady ; Margaret, Killian Van 
Rensselaer of Albany. Noble names, all of 
them, and too familiar in the history of the 
Empire State to need such poor commenda 
tion as these pages could give. 

John (II.) Sanders also wedded a " Debora." 
She was his first cousin, being the daughter of 
his uncle, Robert Sanders, of Albany. They 
were married in 1777, and she died in 1793. 
Their children were : Elizabeth, who married 
William Anderson; Barent, died in 1854; 
Robert, died in infancy ; Sarah, married to 
Peter Schuyler Van Rensselaer ; Catherine, 
married to Gerard Beekman ; Robert, died in 
1840; Jacob Glen, father of Jacob Glen San 
ders, Esq., of Albany ; Peter, who died in 
1850. The last named was the grandfather 
of Mr. Charles P. Sanders, the present pro 
prietor of Scotia. 

In 1801, John (II.) Sanders married, as his 
second wife, Albertine Ten Broeck. Their 
eldest son, John (III.), a lawyer of note in 

1 7 6 More Colonial Homesteads 

Schenectady, was the author of the History of 
Schenectady, from which I have drawn largely 
in constructing the framework of this chapter. 

The old house fell to his brother Peter in 
the division of the estate ; at the death of Pe 
ter, to his son Charles, who married Jane L. 
Ten Broeck. Their son, Charles P. Sanders, 
Jr., succeeded in his turn, and now owns the 
homestead. Anna Lee Sanders, his wife, is a 
direct descendant of Deborah Glen through 
Deborah s daughter Maria, the sister of John 
{II.) Sanders. 

The troublous time through which the col 
ony on the beautiful Mohawk fared to stabil 
ity and peace, bore with peculiar severity upon 
Mrs. Sanders s forbears. Two of them, Abram 
de Graff and Captain Daniel Toll, were mur 
dered about three miles north of Scotia by the 
French and Indians in 1748; a third died in 
captivity in Canada in i 746. 

It is given to few other American home 
steads, even to such as have remained in one 
family for two centuries, to contain such a 
wealth of valuable relics of the elder times our 
young nation is just now beginning to appre 
ciate aright. Entering the house from the 
river-side, and by what used to be the front 

Scotia 177 

door, we pass through a quaint, roomy, Dutch 
" stoop," supplied with benches, where succes 
sive generation of Glens and Sanderses were 
wont to sit of warm afternoons, with pipe and 
mug, enjoying the breeze from the water, and 
looking down toward Schenectady. From the 
stoop we view the " killing-ground," the hil 
lock so accursed in the memory of the white 
settlers that it was selected as the slaughter- 
place of the plantation. Every animal butch 
ered here from beeves to chickens was taken 
to that spot to be killed, perhaps with some 
unexpressed notion of the atonement of bloody 
sacrifice for the crimes done there, some 
shadowy idea of washing away human blood 
with the blood of beasts. The custom was 
kept up until the last generation. 

In his old age, John (II.) Sanders would sit 
here in his arm-chair and tell his great-grand 
children how he had himself witnessed the 
burning of the last prisoner who met his death 
thus and there, a Mohegan Indian, whom no 
entreaties on the part of their white " friends " 
could induce the torturers to liberate. 

The stoop is lined with solid wooden shut 
ters, working in grooves so that they can be 
raised or lowered, to exclude sun or rain, or to 

178 More Colonial Homesteads 

admit the air. The massive double " Dutch" 
door was brought from the lower and older 
house ; the library on the left is filled with 
books some modern, more, ancient. Rare old 
editions of German, French, Dutch, and English 
classics make the collector s eyes glisten covet 
ously ; piles of leather-bound ledgers, written 
full in ink that is still black of entries of 
transactions between the masters of the soil 
and other settlers, near and far, are upon 
shelves and tables. There is hardly a name 
of repute common to Albany, Schenectady, or 
New York City that is not to be found there, 
and the sums total at the close of each week 
and month represent, not hundreds, but thous 
ands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands, 
reckoned, of course, in English pounds, shil 
lings, and pence. From a great roll of yellowing 
newspapers of different dates few under a hun 
dred years old Mr. Sanders extracted for us 
one headed "Printing Office, Lansingburgh, 
May 6, 1789" The head-lines, in the same 
type with the rest of the paper, begin in this 
fashion : 

"Sensible of the pleasure that an early pe 
rusal thereof will afford our respectable read 
ers! The article then states that the events 

Scotia 1 79 

to be described occurred in New York, April 
30, one week ago. The extra, hurried through 
the press in such haste that the reverse of the 
sheet is left blank, treats of the inauguration of 
Washington as first President of these United 
States. A copy of his Inaugural Address fol 
lows. On the back of it is written, in a good 
clerkly hand, " King Washington s Speech." 
Lansingburgh and the enterprising editor 
had not yet mastered the nomenclature of a 
republican administration. 

Among the hundreds of autograph letters 
stored in boxes and drawers, is a " due bill " 
written upon a square scrap of paper, so ten 
der and tattered it hardly held together while 
I copied it : 

"The Bearer, Schoyghoowate, a Young Cayouga chief, 
has been upon a Scouting party in Fort Stanwix in the Be 
ginning of July 77, where 5 prisoners and 4 Scalps were 
taken, and has not received any Reward for said Service, 
this is therefore to Certify that I shall see him contented for 
Said Service on my first seeing him again. 

44 Buck Island, Qth July 77. 

44 Superintendent of the Western Expedition." 

It is not agreeable to meet Sir William 
Johnson s son-in-law again when he is about 

i8o More Colonial Homesteads 

such work as this. When I had transferred 
the inscription to my note-book, my scholarly 
Schenectady host, who had escorted me to 
Scotia, laid an impressive finger upon the 
time-stained memorandum : 

" Yet latter-day historians deny that the 
British Government paid a bounty for scalps ! 
Daniel Claus was an officer of the Crown. 

What can be said or thought except that we 
hope the business of contenting the Cayouga 
of the unpronounceable name was a private 
venture on the part of our old acquaintance, 
Nancy Johnson s husband ? 

The drawing-room, and the square hall open 
ing into what is now used as the front door, 
are stocked with a bewildering and bewitching 
array of antique furniture. The Chippendale 
sideboard in the hall is in perfect preservation 
and extremely handsome ; another sideboard 
holds wondrous store of family plate, coffee- 
and tea-pots, tankards, and other drinking-ves- 
sels of fantastic design, a tall cream-jug, grace 
ful in shape and exquisite in finish, massive 
forks and spoons, to make which, other and 
yet older silver was melted down a half-century 
ago, a bit of barbarity akin to the sale by an 
economical housewife, " away back," of a ton 

Scotia 181 

or so of old papers, letters, deeds, and the 
like, " that were cluttering up the garret." A 
waggon-load of " the rubbish " went to the 
paper-mill, and was ground into pulp. 

There are chests upon chests of old manu 
scripts left in the great attic. When Sir John 
Johnson fled to Canada, accompanied by Wal 
ter Butler, many boxes of the Butler papers 
were taken possession of by the American au 
thorities, and stored in Scotia for safe-keeping. 
They are here now, tucked away under the 
eaves, awaiting resurrection at the call of relic- 
hunter or antiquarian. 

To either of these the Scotia attic would be 
an enchanted palace. One end is filled by the 
"smoke-room," where the annual supply of 
bacon, beef, venison, and fish was hung, each 
in its season, and cured by the smoke of hick 
ory and oak chips smouldering in the hollowed 
floor. A valve in the chimney, forming one 
side of the curing-room, allowed the smoke to 
escape when it had done its work. Outside 
of this room is a mass of antiques of all sorts 
and ages. Fire-buckets, foot-stoves, warming- 
pans, two immense turn-spits, still whole, and 
in good working order if they were needed ; 
spinning-wheels of all sizes ; chairs and stools ; 

.i 8.2 More Colonial Homesteads 

candle-sticks, trays, and snuffers ; hair-trunks. 
My eye singled out from these last one about 
a foot long, and perhaps eight inches high, 
lettered with brass nails, " H. T, B." 


" Helen Ten Broeck," Mr. Sanders inter 
preted, as I read the initials aloud. 

I opened it gently. It is well finished, and still 
whole and staunch. Did Helen Ten Broeck 
keep her laces in it ? or, maybe, her love-letters ? 

Scotia 183 

Close by are two cradles, one within the 
other. In one a child s cradle Deborah 
Glen rocked her son (John II.), the hum of 
her flax-wheel (it stands but a few feet away 
now) forming a lulling undercurrent of sound 
to the Scotch song learned from her mother. 
The second cradle is over six feet long, and of 
proportionate width. The stout ribs and bars 
.are of black walnut, and it was constructed 
.according to the orders of the same John 
Sanders in his infirm old age. For months 
before the end came, he would, or could, sleep 
nowhere else, and was rocked to his rest 
nightly. By-and-by he was cradle-ridden, and 
lay thus, swung gently to and fro by his son 
John (HI.) and his negro slaves, until senility 
passed naturally into death. 

"Grandma s Room" is a veritable museum 
of curios. Upon a large round table are rows 
and groups and heaps of crockery, china, and 
cut glass, each piece of which would figure 
anywhere else as bric-a-brac ; the washstand 
on the other side of the room belonged to 
Robert Fulton ; each chair, secretary, stand, 
and picture has a story, mellow with the use 
of a century or two. A triangular silver nut 
meg-grater, " found the other day in a corner 

184 More Colonial Homesteads 

of a drawer," still holds a quarter-nutmeg, left 
after the last toddy or sangaree was mixed in 
tankard or tumbler, a dust of the aromatic 
spice on top, and quaffed by laughing lips that 


have been dust nobody knows how many 

In the adjoining chamber Louis Philippe slept 
for a night when an exiled prince. Over against 
the bed hangs a mourning-piece wrought, stitch 
by stitch, in black silk upon white satin, to the 



memory of Philip Van Rensselaer and Eliza 
beth Elmendorf. A rickety church is in the 
background ; a tomb in the foreground is 


kept perpendicular by the figure of a weeping 
woman who leans with all her might against it. 
A map of the Colonies, made by the Eng 
lish Government, of six sheets of paper pasted 
together ; a picture burnt into glass (a lost 

1 86 More Colonial Homesteads 

art) of the escape of /Eneas from blazing 
Troy ; astonishing shell-work pictures, bear 
ing date of 1 789, adorn other walls. A 
spinet is in one corner ; a pianoforte made in 
England by " Astor," in another. Hours might 
be whiled away in inspection and inventorying, 
and the half remain unseen and unlisted. As 
I left the room reluctantly, I caught sight of 
a pair of embroidered stays, said to have been 
worn by my adopted favourite, Deborah Glen. 
They measure just eighteen inches around. 

Scotia is built of stone and brick, covered 
with concrete. Upon the front outer wall are 
wrought-iron scrolls forming the date of con 

A. D. 1713. 

Attached to the scrolls are anchor-rods fast 
ened deep in the wall and holding it together. 

If the homestead do not stand firm for two 
hundred years more the fault cannot be laid at 
the door of founder or builder. 



The city of Albany was stretched along the banks 
of the Hudson ; one very wide and long street lay 
parallel to the river, the intermediate space between 
it and the shore being occupied by gardens. A small 
but steep hill rose above the centre of the town, on which 
stood a fort, intended (but very ill adapted) for the de 
fense of the place, and of the neighbouring country. 

" The English church, belonging to the episcopal per 
suasion, and in the diocese of the bishop of London, stood 
at the foot of the hill, at the upper end of the street." 

1MAKE the extracts from a curious old 
book seldom found nowadays in private li 
braries. The title in full runs thus : Memoirs of 
an American Lady, witJi Sketches of Manners 
and Scenes in America, as they Existed Pre 
vious to the Revolution, by Mrs. Anne Grant, 
author of Letters from the Mountains, etc. 
From the prefatory Memoir of the author, 

1 88 More Colonial Homesteads 

we gather that she was the daughter of a 
Scotch officer, a resident of the Colonies of 
North America for ten years or thereabouts, 
and that the Memoirs of an American Lady 
were a reminiscence of the childish experi- 


ences of Mrs. Anne Grant " of Laggan," so 
called to distinguish her from another writer 
of the same surname, the author of Roys Wife 
of Aldivalloch. 

The recollections of the young girl were 
deepened and supplemented by the observa- 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 189 

tions of her father and mother. Taken to 
gether, they present an excellent picture of 
the social life and customs of Central New 
York from 1755 to i 768. 1 

She digresses ad libitum ; she moralises in- 
consequently ; she is invariably sentimental, 
.and seldom graphic ; Albert de Quincey says 
she was an " established wit, and received in 
cense from all quarters " ; and a critic of her 
day praised the description given in the rare 
old volume of the breaking up of the ice in 
the upper Hudson as "quite Homeric." Still, 
making allowance for the out-of-date style and 
want of sequence in the narrative, her book is 
delightful and a mine of wealth to the novelist 
.and historian interested in that particular epoch 
of our pre-national existence. 

The setting of her discursory tale of An 
.American Lady is the town of Albany, "a city 
which was, in short, a kind of semi-rural estab 

One of the prettiest scenes she revives for 
us is the coming home of the cows at sunset 
from the common pasture at the end of the 

1 A later edition, revised by General James Grant Wilson and dedi 
cated to Mr. and Mrs. J. V. L. Pruyn, of Albany, \vas published in 

i9 More Colonial Homesteads 

town, each with her tinkling bell, and each 
turning in, of her own motion, at the gate of 
the yard where she belonged, to be milked 
in the open air, while the children waited 
for their supper of brown bread and milk, 
eaten in warm weather upon the front door 

After sundry chapters devoted to the Alba 
nians gentle treatment of their negroes, Re 
flections upon Servitude, Education and Early 
Habits of the Albanians, First Adventures of 
the Indian Traders, Marriages, Amusements, 
Rural Excursions, etc., we are introduced for 
mally in Chapter XII. to Miss Schuyler, who, 
by the way, is miscalled " Catalina." A page 
is given to recapitulation of her heroine s 
charms of mind and person before the author 
is led off from what we had expected to travel 
as a main line, by allusion to Miss Schuyler s 
familiarity with the Indian language and her 
benevolence to her Indian neighbours, into a 
ten-page disquisition upon Detached Indians : 
Progress of Knowledge and Indian Manners. 
By-and-by, when we have gained the goal of our 
research, we will turn back and read these and 
other ten pages with lively interest. Just now 
we push on to Chapter XIV. Eye and atten- 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 191 

tion seize upon the quaintly coy announce 
ment that 

" Miss S." (named plainly a dozen pages back) " had 
the happiness to captivate her cousin Philip, eldest son 
of her uncle, who was ten years older than herself, and 
was in all respects to be accounted a suitable and, in the 
worldly sense, an advantageous match for her." 

The reader of this page who has done me 
the previous honour of perusing Chapter VII. 
of the first volume of Colonial Homesteads, may 
recall, as therein recorded, the story of a cer 
tain Margaritta Van Slichtenhorst who wedded 
another Philip Schuyler, and afterward, as the 
widowed mother of Peter Schuyler (nicknamed 
"Quidor," or " Quidder," by the Indians), 
routed four of Leisler s subordinates and 
" forced them to flee out of the towne," of 
which her son was the rightful mayor. " Miss 
Schuyler," who had the good fortune to en 
snare her cousin Philip s affections, was named 
for her spirited grandmother. Mrs. Grant s 
memory confounds her Christian name with 
that of her younger sister, Catalina. Her hus 
band was the eldest son of Peter (II.) Schuy 
ler and his wife, Maria Rensselaer. 

Of Mrs. Schuyler s father, Johannes, or Col 
onel John Schuyler, we have already heard 

i9 2 More Colonial Homesteads 

several times always favourably. His in 
fluence over the Indians, while not equal to 
that exercised by Sir William Johnson, was 
strong and beneficial. Although but fifteen 
years old at the time of his father s death, he 
resembled him more nearly in character and 
in the career upon which he entered almost 
immediately, than any other of the great 
" Quidor s " children. He was a brave fighter, 
.and the outspoken opponent of Government 
officials whose measures threatened the wel 
fare of the Colonies or the rights of their 
Indian allies. It is pleasant to learn that he 
4 detested the infamous traffic " in scalps car 
ried on by the French and Indians, and, as we 
have seen, not despised by the English. His 
petted daughter Margaritta was fourteen years 
old when Colonel John Schuyler went to Mon 
treal purposely to negotiate the exchange of 
Eunice Williams (see Colonial Homesteads, p. 
418) for two Indian children. His report of 
the ill success of the most Christian enterprise 
opens our hearts still more to him : 

" Being very sorry that I could not prevail 
upon her, I took her by the hand and left 

One of the many genealogical lapses in Mrs. 




Two Schuyler Homesteads 195 

Grant s narrative, which was penned " unas 
sisted by written memorials," is her statement 
that Margaritta Schuyler lost her father at an 
early age, and was brought up by an uncle. 

As Johannes Schuyler survived all his 
brothers and his own sons, dying in 1 747, and 
bequeathing to his daughter " Margaritta, wife 
of Colonel Philip Schuyler, a picture of him 
self and his wife in one frame," we must apply 
to our old friend all the good things the vener 
able chronicler says of the guardian to whom 
" Miss S. owed her cultivated taste for read 
ing " and knowledge of the " best authors in 
history, divinity, and belles-lettres." This be 
comes apparent as we read on and compare 
with other and careful histories of the time 
such sentences as these : 

" His frontier situation made him a kind of barrier 
to the settlement, while the powerful influence that his 
knowledge of nature and of character, his sound judg 
ment and unstained integrity had obtained over both 
parties, made him the bond by which the aborigines were 
united with the colonists." 

This is, undoubtedly, the half-length por 
trait of our dear Colonel John, or Johannes, 
as the Albanians called him : valiant in war 
fare, tender in treaty ; his heart swelling until 

More Colonial Homesteads 

he could not speak, at thought of the news he 
must bear back to his old friend, Parson Wil 
liams, of his sullenly obstinate daughter, yet 
withstanding to the face tyrant governors, and 
detesting with the full force of his ardent na 
ture the infernal barter of scalps for the white 
man s gold and fire-water. 

He it was who gave his daughter in mar 
riage to her cousin Philip in 1719. She was 

eighteen ; her hus 
band, according to 
Mrs. Grant, twenty- 
eight. Other au 
thorities give his 
age as twenty-three, 
as he was born in 

In following the 
lines of Philip 
Schuyler s character 
and deeds, we can 
not avoid tracing, in 

^loSC parallels, his 

history and that of 
only lawful son of 
occupying, as he 



4 <5 


Isaac, the estimable and 
the patriarch Abraham, 
does, an intermediate place between two men 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 197 

of note, Peter Quidor and General Philip 

His kinsman, George W. Schuyler, the au 
thor of Colonial New York, writes : 

" He held a prominent position in the province many 
years. He succeeded his father as commissioner of 
Indian affairs, but not to his influence among the Five 
Nations. They respected him for his high character 
and integrity, but did not defer implicitly to his 

Mrs. Grant testifies to his " mild, benevo 
lent character and excellent understanding, 


which had received more culture than was 
usual in the country." 

" His close intimacy with the De Lanceys 
made him unpopular with Governor Clinton 
and his party." It might be said with more 
exact truthfulness, that he was not in favour 
with the governmental party, for the feeling 
never grew into active hostility. He was ag 
gressive in nothing. 

The home of the happily wedded pair was 
upon " the Flatts," a wide stretch of meadow- 
land and forest, about three miles from Albany. 
It was natural that the Dutch settlers should 
select level ground as building-sites, and, when 
practicable, set their houses near the water. 

198 More Colonial Homesteads 

It may have been as natural, for a contrary 
reason, that the Highland-born child, Anne 
MacVicar, should have treasured, all her life 
long, the memory of what was to her eyes a 
scene of unexampled beauty. " Colonel Schuy- 
ler possessed," she says, " about two miles on 
a stretch of that rich and level champain." 
She grows almost " Homeric " in her ecstasy 
over the mingling of " the wild magnificence 
of nature amidst the smiling scenes produced 
by varied and successful cultivation." Besides 
the Schuyler s mainland plantation they owned 
an island, a mile long and a quarter-mile wide, 
the haunt most delighted in by our author in 
her girlhood. 

" Imagine a little Egypt, yearly overflowed, and of the 
most redundant fertility. It produced, with a slight de 
gree of culture, the most abundant crops of wheat, hay, 
and flax, and was a most valuable fishing-place. The 
background of the landscape was a solemn and inter 
minable forest, varied, here and there, by rising grounds, 
near streams where birch and hickory, maple and pop 
lar, cheered the eye with a lighter green, through the pre 
vailing shade of dusky pines." 

As the heart of the paradise, stood the 
roomy brick house of two stories and an attic, 
that yet the reminiscent annalist admits 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 201 

had no pretension to grandeur, and very 
little to elegance." The " large portico, with 
a few steps leading up to it and floored like a 
room," known to the Dutch as a " stoop," 
which word she seems never to have caught, 
was a pleasing novelty to her. She lingers 
fondly upon the vine-roofed " appendage com 
mon to all houses belonging to persons in easy 
circumstances here." A shelf under the eaves 
was built for the express accommodation of 
the " little birds domesticated there." 

The extension in the rear of the house was 
the refuge of the family in winter when the 
"spacious summer rooms would have been in 
tolerably cold, and the smoke of prodigious 
wood-fires would have sullied the elegantly 
clean furniture." Behind the family residence 
were the servants houses, immense barns, and 

Such was the home over which Margaritta 
Schuyler presided a gracious queen in her 
circle, the best in Albany and in the Province 

for over twenty years, before adversity came 
near enough to her to darken or chasten her 
buoyant spirit. A part of each winter was 
spent in New York, a month or two, in spring" 
and autumn, in the handsome house in Albany 

202 More Colonial Homesteads 

belonging to her husband. Occasionally, the 
home at " The Flatts " was closed for the whole 
winter. She always came back to it gladly. 
The only drawback to her wedded happiness 
was that she had no children of her own, but 
there were nephews and nieces in such abund 
ance in the large family connection that the 
house, if not the great loving heart of the mis 
tress, was always full and gay with young faces 
and merry voices. By the time she was forty 
she was "Aunt Schuyler" to scores of young 
Albanians besides those who had the claim of 
blood-kindred upon her. The Lady Bounti 
ful of the few poor whites and the many 
dusky neighbours w r ho looked to her for help 
and counsel, she shone, a star of the first 
magnitude, in English assemblies, by virtue of 
her perfect breeding and her sunny nature 
and conversational talents. She was, par (Emi 
nence, the leading spirit in the homelier cliques 
of Albany worthies society, as well sketched 
in Florence Wilford s Dominie Frelinghausen 
as early New England coteries in Old Town 

Her Scotch eulogist pays a well-merited 
tribute to Madam Schuyler s grace of adapta 
tion to her environment : 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 203 

" It was one of Aunt Schuyler s many singular merits 
that, after acting for a time a distinguished part in this 
comparatively refined society," that of English officers 
.and New York fashionables, " where few were so much 
-admired and esteemed, she could return to the homely 
good sense and primitive manners of her fellow citizens 
at Albany, free from fastidiousness and disgust." 

The even tenor of a beautiful life was 
broken up by the French and Indian War. 
In 1/47, while Colonel Schuyler was on duty 
as a member of the Provincial Assembly in 
New York City, Madam Schuyler was in peril 
of life and property from marauding bands of 
savages. Cattle were killed and driven away 
from neighbouring farms ; solitary travellers on 
the road between Albany and Schenectady 
were murdered and, of course, scalped, scalps 
being legal tender from the Indians to the 
French Government. By the orders of the ab 
sent master, The Flatts was stockaded to ac- 
commodate a hundred men, and a company of 
British soldiers was stationed there for a few 
weeks. Orders were then sent for their with 
drawal that they might join other troops at 
Greenbush. Madam Schuyler made a per 
sonal appeal to the officers in command to 
leave a guard in her house, and, when this 
was unavailing, petitioned the Council in New 

204 More Colonial Homesteads 

York for protection until she could remove 
her effects to Albany. The Council laid the 
case before Governor Clinton, who "gave an 
evasive reply and left the troops at Green- 
bush." The deserted fort at the Flatts owed 
its safety to the fidelity of the Mohawks at 
tached to the Colonel and his wife by years of 
kindness and mutual good will. 

In 1755, while the expedition to Crown 
Point was organising, a force of three thou 
sand provincials was encamped about Albany, 
most of them on grounds belonging to Colonel 
Schuyler. Within sight of the upper windows 
of The Flatts, Sir William Johnson, in war 
paint and blanket, led his Mohawks in the 
war-dance about the council-fire. An ox 
perhaps from the herds fattened upon the 
Schuyler meadows was roasted whole in the 
open air, and Sir William with his sword hewed 
off the first slice for the feast, or gorge, that 

" I shall be glad if they fight as eagerly as 
they ate their ox and drank their wine ! " was 
the dry comment of a New England spectator. 

In 1758, the house itself was filled with sol 
diers. Companies were encamped upon the 
lawn and in the barns ; their officers were the 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 205 

guests of the widowed mistress of The Flatts. 
Colonel Philip Schuyler had gone to his final 
rest in February of that year. The turmoils 
of wars and threatening of wars granted his 
wife no leisure for mourning. Ticonderoga 
was to be attacked " Taken," said the con 
fident leader of the expedition. The first 
detachment quartered upon the premises, fort 
unately for but one night, was led by Colonel 
Charles Lee. In recalling his subsequent ca 
reer as aide-de-camp to the King of Poland, 
Russian officer and duelist, treasonable pris 
oner in a British camp, insolent and insubor 
dinate runaway at the Battle of Monmouth, 
~we smile grimly at our gentle Mrs. Grant s epi 
gram, " Lee, of frantic celebrity." Unlike the 
rest of the officers, he made no pretense of 
paying for food for his men and horses, but 
foraged, as in an enemy s country, and when 
Madam Schuyler mildly remonstrated with 
him on the spoliation of her property, swore 
violently to her face. 

" Her countenance never altered," the nar 
rative continues, " and she used every argu 
ment to restrain the rage of her domestics and 
the clamour of her neighbours, who were 
treated in the same manner." 

206 More Colonial Homesteads 

The second detachment was commanded by 
the young Lord Howe, " the noblest English 
man that has appeared in my time, and the 
best soldier in the British army," wrote Gen 
eral Wolfe to his father. " A character of 
ancient times," said Pitt to Grenville. " A 
complete model of military virtues." To his 
indignant comments upon Lee s behaviour, 
Madam Schuyler replied, temperately and 
gracefully, that she " could not be captious, 
with her deliverers from the danger so immi 
nent," the advance of the French " on ac 
count of a single instance of irregularity." 
She " only regretted that they should have 
deprived her of her wonted pleasure in freely 
bestowing whatever could advance the service 
or refresh the exhausted troops." 

Hostess and guest grew very fond of one 
another during Lord Howe s brief visit. On 


the morning of his departure, Madam ap 
peared in season for the breakfast eaten in 
the grey of the July dawn, and served him 
with her own hands. " I will not object," 
smiled the young nobleman. " It is hard to 
say when I shall again breakfast with a 

At parting, she kissed him as she might her 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 207 

son, and could not restrain her tears " a 
weakness she did not often give way to." 

The disastrous battle was fought July 8, 
1758. Three days afterward, " Pedrom," 
Colonel Schuyler s brother, like the rest of 
the household, on the feverish alert, saw a 
bare-headed express rider galloping madly 
along the road from the north, and ran down 
the lane leading to the highway, to challenge 
him for news. The messenger shrieked out 
one sentence without pausing : 

11 Lord Howe is killed! " 

" The death of that one man was the ruin 
of fifteen thousand," says a historian. And a 
contemporary, " In Lord Howe the soul of 
General Abercrombie s army seemed to ex 

Madam Schuyler mourned for him with 
bitterness amazing even to those who knew 
her admiration for " his merit and magnanim 
ity." She was aroused from her grief and 
became her majestic, efficient self when trans 
ports, that same evening, brought down the 
river, and to her door, a host of the wounded, 
some dangerously hurt, and among the killed 
the beloved young leader. His body lay in a 
darkened room in the mansion until it was 

208 More Colonial Homesteads 

borne away for burial. The great barn and 
every other outhouse were fitted up as hospi 
tals. Madam Schuyler tore up bed- and 
table-linen for bandages, and scraped lint with 
her young nieces, which they applied under 
the surgeon s directions, while all her servants 
were kept busy cooking and otherwise attend 
ing to the wants of the sufferers. Lee was 
among the wounded, and Madam treated 
him with especial tenderness, not a word or 
a look reminding him of how they had parted. 
" He swore in his vehement manner," our 
chronicler says primly, " that he was sure there 
would be a place reserved for Madam in 
heaven, though no other woman should be 
there, and that he should wish for nothing 
better than to share her final destiny." 

In the year following the Battle of Ticon- 
deroga, Madam Schuyler and the city of Al 
bany sustained a serious loss in the strange 
departure of Dominie Frelinghausen (other 
wise Frelinghuysen) for Holland. The event 
was characteristic of him and of the commun 
ity in which he laboured. The younger mem 
bers of his flock had danced at a ball given by 
the English officers quartered in Albany, and, 
although warned and reprimanded by him, car- 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 209 

ried recalcitrancy to the wicked extent of at 
tending amateur theatricals gotten up by the 
same tempters to worldly dissipations. The 
dominie preached openly and admonished pri 
vately with such vehemence that a graceless 
sinner left upon his door-step one night a walk 
ing-stick, a pair of stout shoes, a loaf of bread, 
and four shillings done up in paper. He in 
terpreted the gift as it was meant to be taken, 
as a token that his work in this cure of souls 
was ended, and that he must betake himself to 
some other field. Cut to the quick of a sensi 
tive nature by the hint and the manner of con 
veying it, he took leave of no one, but sailed 
the next week for Holland, and was lost on 
the voyage. 

Another calamity befell the mistress of The 
Flatts in 1763, in the destruction of her house 
by fire. An officer, riding out from Albany 
to pay his respects to her, found her seated in 
an arm-chair under one of the cherry-trees that 
lined the short lane, unconscious of what the 
horseman had espied from the highway, the 
heavy smoke rising from the roof of the build 
ing behind her. When he called her attention 
to it, she summoned all the servants and, still 
seated, issued her orders with such directness 

210 More Colonial Homesteads 

and composure that nearly all the contents of 
the dwelling were saved, although nothing was 
left of the building except the outer walls. 

As an evidence of the high esteem in which 
Madam Schuyler was held by all classes, we 
are told that in a few days the materials needed 
for the construction of the new house were 
sent to her by various friends, and the Com 
mandant in Albany detailed " some of the 
King s workmen " to assist in the reconstruc 
tion. The new house was almost an exact re 
production of the old, having been built upon 
the original foundations. 

" It stands a few rods from the river-bank, 
facing the east, and has the same aspect as 
when built more than a century ago." 

Margaritta Schuyler was seventy-five years 
of age when the Declaration of Independence 
was signed. Mrs. Grant more than intimates 
that the " war, which everyone, whatever side 
they may have taken at the time, must look 
back on with disgust and horror," was " abhor 
rent to the feelings and principles " of her 
" American Lady." 

" She was, by that time, too venerable as 
well as respectable to be insulted for her prin 
ciples," her eulogist asserts, " for not to esteem 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 213 

Aunt Schuyler was to forfeit all pretensions to 

Her fellow tribesman, Mr. G. W. Schuyler, 
declares that "she was not a Tory in the broad 
sense of the word. She took middle ground, 
and hoped that a way might be found for 

She died, full of years and honours, in 1782, 
almost eighty-two years of age. 

No household word is more pleasantly fa 
miliar than " Aunt Schuyler s " name in the 
old home still tenanted by those of her name 
and blood. We link it with that of Mrs. Anne 
Grant of Laggan as we stroll through the low 
browed, spacious rooms. Upon the footstool 
of the stately gentlewoman, there sits for us 
the eager-eyed child, modulating her Scotch 
accent to harmonise with the softer voice of 
her idolised mentor, " whom she already con 
sidered as her polar star." Each of us has an 
anecdote of one or the other of the pair, oddly 
matched as to age, but friends in heart, and 
destined to be bound together in all of their 
history that is preserved for us. 

The present mistress of The Flatts is the 
widow of Richard Schuyler, Esq. With her 
four young daughters she leads a peaceful, 

214 More Colonial Homesteads 

happy life in the dear old house peopled with 
august shades. Family portraits are upon the 
walls ; wealth of family silver in buffets and on 
tables and sideboards ; fragile treasures of old 
china and glass that may have been used by 
repentant always profane Lee, or graced 
the hasty repast eaten by candle-light, where 
Madam poured out coffee for the gallant 
young soldier who was not to take breakfast 
again with a lady this side of eternity. 

Mrs. Grant is seldom caustic. She must 
have been a genial, as well as a clever, old 
lady. But there is a bite, and a sharp one, 
in this entry in her bewitching Memoirs of 
manifold things and people besides her adored 
Aunt Schuyler. 

" Sir Henry Moore, the last British Governor of New 
York that I remember, came up this summer" (1765) 
" to see Albany, and the ornament of Albany, Aunt 
Schuyler. He brought Lady Moore and his daughter 
with him. They resided for some time at General 
Schuyler s. I call him so by anticipation, for sure I 
am, had any gifted seer foretold then what was to hap 
pen, he would have been ready to answer, Is thy servant 
a dog, that he should do this thing ? " 

General Philip Schuyler was the son of Jo 
hannes (II.) Schuyler and Cornelia Van Cort- 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 215 

landt, and the favourite nephew of his Aunt 
Margaritta. His uncle-in-law, her husband, 
showed his fondness for him by leaving him 
in his will (date of 1 766) a part of the Schuy 
ler estate, consisting of land lying between 
Albany and West Troy. Madam Schuyler 
made him (1782) one of her ten legatees. Be 
sides these and his patrimonial inheritance, he 
was the owner of about ten thousand acres, 
purchased at different times by himself, part 
of this from the estate of Jacob Glen. He 
was, then, a rich man, when he cast his fort 
unes and his sword into the scales on the side 
of American independence. 

What followed is an integral part of the his 
tory of our country. The simple recital of his 
deeds in war and in peace would fill more than 
the space assigned to a whole chapter of this 

Mrs. Grant mentions that he had, prior to 
1765, " built a house near Albany in the Eng 
lish taste, comparatively magnificent." This, 
the Schuyler mansion, was erected in 1760-61. 
It has suffered marvellously few and slight 
changes during the century-and-a-third that 
has brought Albany up to its foundations, and 
so far beyond that it is now in the heart of 

216 More Colonial Homesteads 

our beautiful capital city. Even in adapting 
the interior to the usages and needs of the 


Roman Catholic sisterhood that has con 
verted it into a refuge for orphan children, the 
size and arrangement of the rooms remain as 
they were when Sir Henry and Lady Moore 
were the guests of the then Colonel Philip 
Schuyler, and Madam, his honoured aunt, 
drove in her chariot-and-four from The Flatts 
to dine with them. 

From the great central hall, the lofty ceil 
ings of which must have given a sense of vast- 
ness to Madam Schuyler s eyes, used to her 
raftered, low-pitched rooms, we turn to the 
left into what is now the chapel of the sister 
hood. The attendant kneels, her face towards 
the altar, and crosses herself. She has whis 
pered at the door, that we will " please not 
speak." The caution was not needed. We 
stand with bowed heads and hearts under 
the weight of thoughts that met us upon the 

For here, in 1777, the martial host enter 
tained for days together, as guests, although 
prisoners of war, Burgoyne and his officers, 
the Baroness Riedesel and her children, sent 
thither for safe-keeping, after the Battle of 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 219 

Saratoga. Here met and talked and planned, 
for the public good, such leaders of the Re 
volution as Washington, Lafayette, Benjamin 
Franklin, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Israel 
Putnam, Charles Lee, and Benedict Arnold. 
Hither came a-wooing the most eloquent of 
the ambitious youths of the embryo repub 
lic, Alexander Hamilton. He and Elizabeth 
Schuyler must have paced the lordly rooms 
times without number, and often whispered of 
love in the embrasured windows, before the 
evening when they stood together, where the 
altar is now, to be pronounced man and wife. 
That was in 1 780. The next year there was 
a family party here to celebrate the christen 
ing of Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler, 
the baby daughter of General Schuyler and 
his wife, whose youngest born was her name- 
child. General and Lady Washington were 
sponsors for the wee lady, an honour never 
forgotten by her down to a ripe old age. 

Within our memory, Ex-President Millard 
Fillmore was married here to Mrs. Mclntosh, 
to whom the mansion then belonged. 

None of these things move us to such grave 
meditation as the, to us, central fact of Alex 
ander Hamilton s marriage with the second 

220 More Colonial Homesteads 

daughter of the house, whom his violent tak- 
ing-off left a widow, when his fame was at the 
brightest. Nor do we forget that this bloody 
death of the son-in-law who was as his own 
child, and of whom he was, if possible, more 
proud than fond, broke General Philip Schuy- 
ler s heart. Burr s bullet found a second vic 
tim in him. The duel was fought July n, 
1804. General Schuyler died in November 
of the same year, " never having recovered 
from the shock." 

Mrs. Anne Grant of Laggan (rest her 
charitable soul !) cannot withhold a poetical 
lament from him whom she labels as a " bright 
exception that, after all, only confirms the rule 
of a society coarse and homely, and univer 
sal dulness of the new nation, unrelieved save 
by the phosphoric lightnings of the deistical 
Franklin, the legitimate father of the Ameri 
can "age of calculation." 

" Forgive me, shade of the accomplished 
Hamilton!" she cries, after the philippic 
against his countrymen. " While all that is 
lovely in virtue, all that is honourable in val 
our, and all that is admirable in talent, con 
spire to lament the early setting of that 
western star ! " 

Two Schuyler Homesteads 221 

Above-stairs, we see the chamber in which 
Burgoyne slept during his honourable captiv 
ity, and, gazing into the street below, men 
tally compare the scene with that which 
weaned his English eyes pending his ex 
change and release. 


The handsome reception-room opposite the 
chapel is wainscoted up to the ceiling over 
the high mantel ; there are deep, inviting win 
dow-seats in this and in the dining-hall. What 
were the state bed-chambers are furnished 
with small white cots. The " almost magnifi 
cent " mansion is full of pleasant murmurings 
that make one think of a dove-cote. 

At the foot of the staircase we are con 
fronted with yet another hacked stair-rail. 
The attendant tradition, upheld by a respon 
sible writer in the Magazine of American His 
tory for July, 1884, is of a midnight attack by 
Tories and Indians upon General Schuyler s 
house, with the purpose of securing his person. 
The family, awakened by the noise of their en 
trance, retreated to an upper chamber, from 
the window of which the General fired a pistol 
to alarm the garrison in the town. As Mrs. 
Schuyler reached the room she missed baby 
Catherine, and was, with difficulty, held back 

222 More Colonial Homesteads 

by her husband from rushing down-stairs to 
find her. Margaritta, the third daughter, a 

young woman 
years of age, 
slipped past her 
father and flew 
clown the stair- 
case to the 
cradle on the 
first floor. In 
the dim light she 
was notper- 
c e i v e d by the 
party searching 
the lower part of 
the house, and, 
i n c identally, 
stealing silver 

and other valuables, until she gained the stairs 
on her way back, the baby clasped in her arms. 
Then an Indian hurled a tomahawk at her with 
such good will that it buried itself in the railing. 
The brave girl cried out to the raiders as 
she ran, that her father had gone to arouse 
the town, and escaped with her prize to the 
upper room. The General, taking the cue,. 



Two Schuyler Homesteads 223 

shouted the word of command through the 
open window, and the miscreants fled, bearing 
off as much of the family plate with them as 
they could carry. 

" Why," asks one of us, struggling to keep 
down the rising sense of the ridiculous excited 
by this third mutilated rail, " Why should a 
tomahawk have an especial proclivity for 
balustrades ? " 

Yet, seriously, the reason is plain. The 
staircase, as I have said elsewhere, was a con 
spicuous feature in the colonial homestead, 
and a permanent. Hacked walls and doors 
have been renewed, and broken furniture 
mended, or thrown away. The mute remain 
ing witnesses to barbarities that curdle our 
blood in the telling and the hearing are not 
to be lightly esteemed. They are illustrated 



IN the Maryland Gazette of Thursday, Feb 
ruary 14, 1765, appeared a paragraph, 
which would now figure among society items : 
" Tuesday night, arrived at his father s house 
in Town, Charles Carroll, Jun r Esq. (lately 
from London by way of Virginia) after about 
sixteen years absence from his Native country 
at his studies and on his Travels." 

The Maryland Gazette was published at 
Annapolis, then an inconsiderable town. The 
best house in it (still standing) was the re 
sidence of Charles Carroll, Senior, generally 
known in the American line as " Carroll of 
Annapolis." This gentleman, in letters writ 
ten to his absent son, two and three years be 
fore the date set down above, gives an abstract 
of the family history. The traveller had insti- 

Doughoregan Manor 


tuted inquiries into the pedigree of what he 
knew to be a good old Irish house, and ap 
pealed to his father for assistance : 

" I find by history, as well as by the genealogy," 
wrote the latter, " that the country of Ely O Carroll and 
Dirguill which comprehended 
most of the Kings and Queen s 
countys, were the territories, 
and that they were princes 
thereof. . . . Your grand 
father left Europe and arrived 
in Maryland, October ist, 
1688, with the commission of 
Attorney - General. He, on 
the i9th of February, 1693, 
married Mary Darn all, the 
daughter of Colonel Henry 
Barnall. I was born April 
2nd, 1702. Your mother was the daughter of Clement 
Brooke Esq., of Prince George s County ; you were born, 
September 8th, 1737. This is as much as I can furnish 
towards our pedigree, with the translation I obtained in 

Miss Kate Mason Rowland, in her valuable 
biography of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, sup 
plies us with particulars which were too well 
known to the young student-wanderer to need 
repetition. From these we gather that Charles 
(I.) Carroll was twenty-eight years of age at 


226 More Colonial Homesteads 

the date of his immigration (1688) ; that he 
had been educated, for the most part, in 
France ; after leaving the French university 
he was admitted as a student to the Inner 
Temple in London, in 1685, and, when his 
term there was over, was secretary to Lord 
Powis, one of the ministers of James II. By 
his patron s advice he emigrated to America, 
recommended to Charles Calvert, " the Lord 
Baron of Baltimore." The Irishman landed 
upon our shores at an unlucky time. One 
month later the proprietary government of 
Lord Baltimore was set aside by orders from 
England, and Charles Carroll found his com 
mission as Attorney-General worthless. Loy 
alty to his chief and to his religion wrought 
with his Celtic blood to get him into much 
and various sorts of trouble in the ensuing 
decade. He wrote letters to Baltimore of 
indignant sympathy ; he made hot-headed 
speeches against the leaders of " the Protes 
tant Revolution " ; he sneered at the pettiness 
of the party in power, managing by these and 
other imprudences to get into prison more 
than once, into disfavour with anti-Catholic 
officials, and so to endear himself to the de 
posed, but still wealthy and powerful, Balti- 

Doughoregan Manor 227 

more, that he secured for his partisan in 1699 
a grant to the estates incorporated, finally, un 
der the name of Doughoregan (then spelled 
Doororegan) Manor. Furthermore, a part of 
this grant was coupled with the remark that it 
was purposely assigned as near as possible to 
one of his Lordship s own manors, in order 
that he, Baltimore, might have "the benefit 
of Mr. Carroll s society." 

His grandson-namesake of Carrollton adds 
that his ancestor was, also, made " Lord Balti 
more s Agent, Receiver-General, Keeper of 
the Great Seal, and Register of the Land 
Office. He enjoyed these appointments until 
the year 1717, when the Government and As 
sembly passed Laws depriving the Roman 
Catholics of their remaining privileges." 

Charles (I.) Carroll married twice. His first 
wife died in 1690, leaving no issue. His sec 
ond, Mary Darnall, bore him ten children in 
the first twenty years of their wedded life, half 
of whom died in childhood. Henry, the heir- 
apparent, was educated abroad, and died on 
the homeward voyage, "within about six days 
saile of the Capes of Virginia," in the twenty- 
third year of his age. His brother Charles 
(II.), then but seventeen, had been left at the 

228 More Colonial Homesteads 

Jesuit College of St. Omer s, in French Flan 
ders, when Henry sailed for America. His 
brother Daniel was with him. The father 
wrote to them July 7, 1719, informing them 
of Henry s death of April loth. He exhorted 
them to pray for the repose of their brother s 
soul, saying that ten pounds would be remitted 
to them to be expended in masses for the same 
purpose, and alluded to their mother s design 
of going abroad the next spring with two of 
her daughters. 

The purpose may have been frustrated by 
her husband s ill-health, for he survived his 
eldest son but a year, dying in July, 1720. 

Charles (II.) completed his academic course 
before returning to America. He arrived at 
home in 1723, when he was barely of age. 
During the minority of the heir-apparent, the 
extensive estates accumulated by his father, 
and bequeathed to his children, were managed 
by their guardian-cousin, Mr. James Carroll, 
and the home plantation by Madam Mary 
Carroll, the widow of the first Charles. The 
worthy gentlewoman lived to be the dowager 
of the Annapolis house, her son Charles hav 
ing married his cousin, Elizabeth Brooke, and 
installed her as mistress of his home. Their 

Doughoregan Manor 229 

only child, Charles (III.), was born Septem 
ber 19, 1737. 

That they had no other offspring, instead of 
moving the parents to keep him in their jealous 
sight, made it the more solemnly obligatory 
upon them to deprive themselves of the joy of 
his society in order to give him the education 
demanded by his rank and wealth. He was 
but eleven years old when he was placed at 
St. Omer s. His companions on the voyage 
and in the college were his cousin, John Car 
roll, destined to become Archbishop of Balti 
more, and Robert Brent, a Virginia boy, who 
afterwards married into the Carroll family. 
Six years were passed at St. Omer s, one at 
Rheims in another Jesuit college, an eighth 
year in the College of Louis le Grand, at 
Paris. We read of a visit paid to Charles, 
Jr., in Paris, by his father, just before the lad 
attained his majority. That same year (1757), 
or the next, he was admitted as a student of 
law at the Temple, in London. 

The routine was hereditary, and so much 
the custom with the wealthier colonists that 
this part of our story tells itself. Law was 
the profession, par eminence, for a gentleman s 
son. The necessity, or the binding expediency, 

230 More Colonial Homesteads 

that he should have a nominal profession of 
some sort was already recognised in a country 
where every fortune was still in making, and a 
career was a matter of individual effort, not of 

The correspondence between father and son 
was intimate and voluminous. With just ap 
preciation of the position his successor would 
take in public affairs, Charles Carroll of An 
napolis kept him posted as to the strained 
relations, already apparent, between the Col 
ony and the Home government, and dwelt 
with yet more feeling upon the disabilities of 
Roman Catholics. Miss Rowland sets these 
before us plainly, and refrains, with the admir 
able taste that characterises her work through 
out, from comments that would be superfluous : 

" The discriminating test-oaths, enforced to protect 
the Hanoverian dynasty from the Jacobites, excluded 
Roman Catholics from the Assembly, prevented them 
m>m holding office, denied them the privilege of the 
suffrage. They were not allowed the public exercise of 
their religion. For this reason gentlemen of means had 
their private chapels, and Charles Carroll had one in his 
town house in Annapolis, as well as at Doughoregan 

Mr. Carroll s letters show how the flagrant 

Doughoregan Manor 233 

injustice of all this ground into his haughty 
soul. In a masterly resume (dated 1 760) of the 
causes leading to the oppressive enactments, 
he says: 

" Maryland was granted to Cecilius, Lord Baltimore, 
.a Roman Catholic. All persons believing in Jesus Christ 
were, by the charter, promised the enjoyment, not only 
of religious, but of civil, liberty. . . . All sects contin 
ued in a peaceful enjoyment of these privileges until the 
Revolution, when a mob, encouraged by the example set 
them in England, rebelled against the Lord Baltimore, 
stript him of his government, and his officers of their 
places. Then the crown assumed the government ; the 
Toleration Act, as I may call it, was repealed, and sev 
eral acts to hinder us from a free exercise of our religion 
were passed. . . . 

" To these the Proprietary was not only mean enough 
to assent, but he deprived several Roman Catholics em 
ployed in the management of his private patrimony and 
revenue, of their places. ... At last, in 1756, an 
Act was passed by all the branches of the Legislature 
here to double tax us, and to this law the present Pro 
prietor had the meanness to assent, tho he knew us 
innocent of the calumnies raised against us. 

" From what I have said I leave you to judge 
whether Maryland be a tolerable residence for a Roman 

So active was his discontent that he actu 
ally made overtures to the French king for a 

1 Family Papers, Rev. Thomas Sims Lee. 

234 More Colonial Homesteads 

grant in what is now the State of Arkansas,, 
then a wilderness claimed by France. His in 
tention to remove thither, and there found a 
new home, if not a sort of refuge colony for 
his brethren in the faith, was not relinquished 
for several years. It is interesting in this con 
nection to note that another branch of the 
Carroll family was subsequently established in 
Arkansas, and bore an important part in the 
upbuilding of territory and State. 

Mingled with gossip of neighbourhood and 
family affairs, and explicit directions as to 
his son s homeward passage, are mention of 
Charles III. s crack racer, Nimble, genealogical 
details, and talk of the library the traveller was 
to bring to Maryland with him. Then, in 
1764, we come plump upon a matter more 
serious to both of the correspondents than any 
of the subjects just named. The heir and only 
son was in love, and, judging from the lasting 
impression made upon his imagination, if not 
his heart, by the "Louisa "of his letters the 
" Miss Baker " of the senior s was more deeply 
enamoured than at any other period in his- 

The American father hopes " Miss Baker 
may be endowed with all the good sense and 

Doughoregan Manor 235 

good nature you say she has," gives his con 
sent to the proposed alliance, and plunges 
forthwith into an " exhibit" of his means which 
-are the son s expectations. Said exhibit is to 
be laid before the prospective English father- 
in-law. With " a clear revenue of at least 
^1800 per annum," and upwards of 40,000 
.acres of lands annually increasing in value, 
not to mention Annapolis lots and houses, six 
hundred pounds of family plate, and nearly 
three hundred adult slaves on his various plant 
ations, the handsome young colonist was a 
desirable parti in a day when money was four 
fold more valuable than in ours. The fair one 
who had had the good fortune to attract him 
was not rich in her own right, nor would her 
father be able to endow her amply even 
when, as he promises to do, he had made 
" his daughter s share equal in his estate with 
his son s." 

" Mr. Baker s letter to you speaks him to 
be a man of sense and honour," conceded 
Charles Carroll of Annapolis, and evidently 
considering the matter as good as settled, 
wrote out in due form a proposal for a " set 
tlement and gift " to his son and " for the 
lady s jointure." She must have been hard to 

236 More Colonial Homesteads 

please if these had not suited her ambitions,, 
and singularly cold of heart had she failed to 
approve of her suitor. In the prime of early 
manhood, graceful in person and most fascin 
ating in manner, a scholar, sweet of temper 
and devout of spirit withal, a favourite " in a 
circle of friends of not a little consequence and 
fashion," in what respect or particular was he 
adjudged deficient when weighed in the scales 
of maidenly caprice and paternal reason ? Or, 
was the rupture that ended loverly dreams 
and fatherly negotiations to be accounted for 
by the convenient formula of " fault on both 
sides " ? 

Miss Rowland, more satisfactory upon most 
points than other of our hero s biographers, is 
not a whit more explicit here : 

" He was to bring over thoroughbred horses and a 
gamekeeper, and, doubtless, the newest London fash 
ions in dress and equipage. That he had hoped to 
bring home an English bride to his Maryland Manor is- 
evident. But for some reason his suit failed, and the 
romance came to an untimely end. 

" The estate of Carrollton in Frederick County was to- 
be settled upon him on his return home, and he was- 
to be known henceforward as Charles Carroll of Car 

1 Charles Carroll of Carrollton, by Kate Mason Rowland, p. 68. 

Doughoregan Manor 237 

This rapid summary of the leading events in 
his early life brings us to the pregnant para 
graph in the Annapolis newspaper published 
on St. Valentine s day in the year of Our Lord 


Mistress Elizabeth Brooke Carroll was not 
among those who welcomed her son s return 
to home and country. She had died in 1761, 
after a long and painful illness. That is a 
common tale, too, but none the less pitiful for 
the frequent telling. Among the sorest of the 
privations inseparable from residence in a hemi 
sphere where educational processes and polite 
usages were without form and void, was the 
rending of the tenderest ties of heart and kind 
red. We sigh in futile sympathy with the 
mother whose eyes, strained to watch the 
glimmer upon the horizon of the cruelly vast 
watery highway of the sail that bore her boy 
away from her arms, were to close in their last 
sleep without ever seeing him again. And 
beside him she had no other child ! 

It would loosen the tension of our heart 
strings to be assured that she accompanied her 
husband in the transatlantic journey he made 
in 1751. She was not with him in 1757, for 
Mr. Carroll writes from London to his son in 

238 More Colonial Homesteads 

Paris early in 1758, that a friend newly landed 
in England, " saw your mother ; that she was 
well and in high spirits, having heard of my 
safe arrival." In 1753 the father had directed 
the seventeen-year-old boy to have his likeness 
taken by a "good painter." 

" With your mother I shall be glad to have 
your picture in the compass of 15 inches by 12." 

Were her hungry eyes ever gladdened by the 
.sight of it ? 

A letter from Mrs. Carroll, treasured by the 
son, and after him by his heirs, contains this 
touching clause : 

" You are always at heart my dear Charley, 
.and I have never tired asking your papa ques 
tions about you. I daily pray to God to grant 
you His grace above all things, and to take 
you under His protection." 

Her son s lot in life was distinctly sketched 
for him by circumstance, or so he supposed. 

" Who is so happy as an independent man ? 
and who is more independent than a private 
gentleman possessed of a clear estate, and 
moderate in his desires ? " are queries from 
his pen that savour of the calm aspirations of 
the English country gentlemen. So honest 
was the utterance that he must have aston- 

Doughoregan Manor 239 

ished himself when he sprang into the arena 
of provincial politics as one of the " Assertors 
of British-American Privileges," discarded the 
latest London fashions for homespun woven 
upon his own plantation, and boldly predicted 
the time when America would be superior to 
the rest of the world in arts and sciences and 
in the use of arms. 

" Matrimony is, at present, but little the sub 
ject of my thoughts," he said cynically to a 
confidential English correspondent, when he 
had for eight months sustained the battery of 
matronly and maidenly eyes brought to bear 
upon the " catch " of the Commonwealth. A 
month later he moralised upon the emptiness 
of passion " which exists nowhere but in ro 
mance." He was now in his twenty-ninth 
year, and of the opinion that a man of twenty 
should have enough common sense to marry, 
" if he marries from affection, from esteem, 
and from a sense of merit in his wife." 

On August 26th of the next year (1766) he- 
informs the same correspondent that he was 
to have been married in July to "an amiable 
young lady, but was taken ill with fever in 
June. If I continue thus recruiting, I hope to- 
be married in November." 

240 More Colonial Homesteads 

In September he eulogises the object of his 
present choice to a friend who had known Miss 
Baker : 

" A greater commendation I cannot make of 
the young lady than by pronouncing her no 
ways inferior to Louisa." 

To the aunt of this friend he expatiates 
more at length upon the " united power of 
good sense and beauty " as exemplified in his 
Jiancte, Miss Rachel Cooke, who was also his 
blood relative. It is funny to our notions 
and was apparently not without an element of 
the humorous to the bridegroom expectant 
that he should send the " measure of the lady s 
stays" to his foreign correspondent, "and of 
her skirts and robes." 

" I hope," he pleads, " you will excuse any 
impropriety in my expressions, for I confess 
an utter ignorance of these matters." 

The gown for which measurements were en 
closed, thus ordered, was to be of Brussels 
lace, and ornaments to match were to accom 
pany it. This piece of business done with, 
the writer is free to indulge in pleasurable an 
ticipations or pensive reminiscences. His ma 
tronly correspondent was, evidently, cognisant 
of the (to us) mysterious obstacles that had 

Doughoregan Manor 241 

foiled the like intentions on his part in re 
Miss Baker. There is fruitful matter for ro 
mantic surmise in such passages as these : 

" I assure you I have been more sparing in my reflec 
tions, and. in pronouncing judgment on that amiable 
part of mankind (woman) since the opinion a charitable 
lady of your acquaintance was pleased to form of me 
behind my back, from little inadvertencies. And that 
opinion was delivered seriously and deliberately before 
a sister whom, at that time, I would have given the 
world to entertain better of me." 

This grows interesting, and surmise ripens 
into partial knowledge as we read on in the 
epistle drawn by Miss Rowland from the do 
mestic archives of the Carroll connection : 

" Well, then, since the subject has somehow, unac 
countably [!] led me to the lady, I may mention her 
name. How is Louisa ? There was once more music 
in that name than in the sweetest lines of Pope ; but 
now I can pronounce it as indifferently as Nancy, Bet 
sey, or any other common name. If I ask a few ques 
tions I hope you will not think I am not as indifferent 
as I pretend to be. But I protest it is mere curiosity, or 
mere good-will that prompts me to inquire after her. Is 
she still single ? Does she intend to alter her state, or 
to remain single? If she thinks of matrimony my only 
wish is that she may meet with a man deserving of her." 

Our skeleton romance is clothed with flesh 


242 More Colonial Homesteads 

and instinct with life when we have finished 
this remarkable communication from the man 
who expected shortly to become the husband 
of another than the unforgotten Louisa. It 
is clear that a whisperer had separated the 
lovers, and almost as clear that the mischief- 
maker was Louisa s sister. As obvious as 
either of these deductions is that the gentle 
man " doth protest too much " as to the com 
pleteness of his cure and the reality of his 

The shock of a real and present calamity 
awoke him from reminiscent reveries. Rachel 
Cooke fell ill of fever about the first of No 
vember, and died on the twenty-fifth of that 

" All that now remains of my unhappy af 
fection is a pleasing melancholy reflection of 
having loved and been loved by a most de 
serving woman," writes Mr. Carroll to his 
English confidante, three months subsequent 
to her decease. In a morbid vein, natural 
and excusable in the circumstances, he de 
clares that he has come to the dregs of his 
life, and "wishes the bitter potion down." His 
health had suffered grievously from his recent 
illness and the sorrow which followed so closely 

Doughoregan Manor 243 

upon it. He had had " the strongest assur 
ances of happiness in the married state from 
the sweetness of Miss Cooke s temper, her 
virtue and good sense, and from our mutual 

The unworn wedding-dress was laid away 
reverently by the women of the household ; 
Rachel s miniature and a long tress of her 
hair were locked from all eyes but his own in 
a secret drawer of Charles Carroll s escritoire. 

The heir of a great estate, and a rising man 
in the political world, could not be surren 
dered to solitary musings upon the uncer 
tainty of human happiness. The dregs must 
be emptied from the cup of life and the goodly 
vessel refilled with generous wine. The com 
mission for bridal gear sent to London had 
included a memorandum for a silk gown for 
Mary Darnall, " a young lady who lives with 
us." The lady who was to make the purchase, 
upon the receipt of a letter from Mr. Carroll, 
Sr., countermanding the order for what was 
meant for Miss Cooke, omitted to buy the 
silk frock. Charles Carroll, Jr., wrote some 
what tartly, ten months after poor Rachel died, 
of " my cousin Miss Mollie Darnall s " cha 
grin at the non-arrival of her gown. A letter 

244 More Colonial Homesteads 

to another British friend two months prior to 
this, shows what right he had to sympathise 
with Miss Mollie s disappointment. 

His third betrothal was to "a sweet-tem 
pered, charming, neat girl. A little too young 
for me, I confess, but especially as I am of 
weak and puny constitution, in a poor state 
of health, but in hopes of better." 

He had always a fine sense of humour, and 
a sad little smile must have stirred his lips in 
adding, " Hope springs eternal in the human 

After he had ordered Miss Darnall s trous 
seau through his London factor, and recovered 
a fair degree of the health so rudely shaken by 
the events of the past eighteen months, Fate, 
unwearied in her pursuit of him, interposed 
yet another impediment to his matrimonial 
ventures. An Act of Assembly must be passed 
to " impower Miss Darnall, who is under age, 
to consent to a settlement in bar of dower." 
The weight of the Carroll influence was ex 
erted to secure this, but as the Assembly did 
not meet until the early spring of 1768, the 
marriage must be put off. 

We cannot read the last of the letters bear 
ing upon the much-vexed question of Charles 

Doughoregan Manor 245 

Carroll s marriage and sober settlement in life 
without the conviction that his character had 
gained strength and depth in his manifold trib 
ulations. After the frank statement that the 
" young lady to whom he was to give his hand, 
and who already had his heart," was poor in 
this world s goods, he goes on in an ingenu 
ous, manly tone to say : 

" I prefer her, thus unprovided, to all the 
women I have ever seen, even to Louisa," and 
cites her want of fortune as another reason 
" inducing the necessity of a settlement, and 
strongly justifying it. I am willing and desir 
ous that all my future actions should stand the 
test of those two severe judges, Reason and 

From this willingness he never departed. 
To this standard he remained constant to the 
end of a long, prosperous, and beneficent 

The Maryland Gazette of June 9, 1768, con 
tained another important bit of society in 
telligence : 

" On Sunday (June 5) was married at his 
Father s House in this city, Charles Carroll 
Jr., Esq., to Miss Mary Darnall, an agreeable 
young Lady, endowed with every accomplish- 

246 More Colonial Homesteads 

ment necessary to render the connubial state 

The bridegroom was in his thirty-first year, 
the bride in her twentieth. 

Pleasant murmurs of the tranquil, yet busy, 
life led by the pair steal to us through the cor 
ridors leading to the memorable Past which 
latter-day research has cleared out for us. 
Charles Carroll of Carrollton was the business 
acquaintance, then, the friend and host of 
Washington. He was the munificent patron 
of Charles Wilson Peale and other artists. 
He and his popular wife kept open house for 
townsmen and visitors from other colonies 
and from over the sea. Annapolis was their 
home in winter ; Doughoregan Manor, in 

Then the famous letters, signed " First Cit 
izen," maintaining the to-be-immortal principle 
that taxation without representation is a pri 
vate and a public outrage, " brought the mod 
est, studious, and retiring planter out of the 
shades of private life into the full glare of 
political publicity." 

Henceforward, the lime-light that is ever 
turned upon the reformer beat steadily upon 

1 Miss Rowland. 

Doughoregan Manor 249 

him. When the Boston Tea Party of 1773 
was outdone by the burning of the Peggy 
Stewart that had brought into the port of 
Annapolis a cargo of " the detestable article," 
Charles Carroll, Jr., was the chief counsellor 
of the owner who, with his own hand, applied 
the expiatory torch. 

Mr. Carroll was a member of the Conti 
nental Congress convened in Philadelphia in 
September, 1774. 

"A very sensible gentleman," says John 
Adams. " A Roman Catholic, and of the 
first fortune in America. His income is ten 
thousand pounds a year now ; will be fourteen 
in two or three years, they say. Besides, his 
father has a vast fortune which will be his." 

From the same hand we have this testi 
mony to the very sensible gentleman s worth 
in 1776 : 

" Of great abilities and learning, complete 
master of the French language, and a pro 
fessor of the Roman Catholic religion ; yet a 
warm, a firm, a zealous supporter of the rights 
of America, in whose cause he has hazarded 
his all." 

On June u, 1776, " Mr. Chase and Mr. 
Carroll of Carrollton, two of the Commis- 

250 More Colonial Homesteads 

sioners, being arrived from Canada, attended 
and gave account of their proceeding and the 
state of the Army in that country." 

On August 2d, the Declaration of Independ 
ence, which had been passed on the Fourth of 
July, was spread upon the desk of the Secretary 
of Congress for the signature of members. 

" Will you sign it ? " asked the President of 
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who was talking 
with him upon other subjects. 

" Most willingly," answered the Marylander, 
with hearty emphasis, taking up the pen. 

" There go a few millions ! " remarked a by 
stander, and a rustle of applause ran through the 
group about the desk and President s chair. 

It is hardly necessary to add, in this myth- 
destroying generation, that " Charles Carroll 
of Carrollton " was the ordinary signature ap 
pended to his letters and business documents, 
adopted and used to distinguish him from his 
father of Annapolis. 

The numerous and important services ren 
dered by this one of " The Signers " to his 
country, the offices to which he was called and 
his manner of filling them, are events in our 
early history. The student of this who would 
learn of these things in detail could not act 

Doughoregan Manor 251 

more wisely than by reading the volumes to 
which I have already and repeatedly directed 
his attention : Miss Kate Mason Rowland s 
Life of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 1737- 
1832, with His Correspondence and Pitblic 

From the Centennial Memorial, published 
in 1876 by the Maryland Historical Society, 
I extract a modest summary of Mr. Carroll s 
public life prepared by himself in his eightieth 
year : 

" On the breaking out of the Revolution, I took a de 
cided part in the support of the rights of this country ; 
was elected a member of the Committee of Safety estab 
lished by the Legislature ; was a member of the Con 
vention which formed the Constitution of this State. 
The journals of Congress show how long I was a mem 
ber of that body during the Revolution. With Dr. 
Franklin and Mr. Samuel Chase I was appointed a 
Commissioner to Canada. I was elected a member of 
the Senate at the first session of Congress under the pre- 
.sent Confederation. . . . The mode of choosing the 
Senate was suggested by me. 

" Though well acquainted with General Washington, 
and I natter myself, in his confidence, few letters passed 
between us. One, having reference to the opposition 
made to the treaty concluded by Mr. Jay, has been 
repeatedly published in the newspapers, and perhaps 
you may have seen it." 




UPON the morning of May 3oth, Mr.. 
Charles Carroll of Annapolis, a hale pa 
triarch of eighty, was standing upon the portico 
of his town house, watching an incoming ves 
sel in the harbour below. Spy-glass at his 
eye, he followed her every movement until 
she dropped anchor at the pier. Then, turn 
ing to speak to his daughter-in-law, who stood 
beside him, he made a backward step, slipped 
over the edge of the portico, and fell head 
long to the ground. He was killed instantly. 

Mrs. Carroll s mother, Mrs. Darnall, had 
died a year before, since which event her 
daughter had been peculiarly dependent upon 
her father-in-law s affection and companion 
ship. As we have seen, she was brought up 


Doughoregan Manor 253 

in his house. Her cousin fiancd spoke of her 
in his letters as " a young lady who lives with 
us." Mr. Carroll, Sr., had never had a daugh 
ter of his own, and treated his son s wife as 
if she were his child instead of his wife s niece. 
Mrs. Darnall had ministered most tenderly 
to the elder Mrs. Carroll in her last lingering 
illness of more than two years duration, and 
then taken her place as manager of the An 
napolis and Doughoregan Manor households. 
The daughter had never recovered her spirits 
since her mother s decease, and her health had 
suffered from her melancholy. The terrible 
accident, of which she was a witness, pros 
trated her utterly. She was too ill to accom 
pany the remains to their resting-place under 
the floor of the Doughoregan chapel, and 
never left her chamber alive after that fatal 
day. In just eleven days from the date of 
her father-in-law s death she breathed her last, 
"after a short, but painful illness." 

Her youngest child was two years old when 
left motherless, and outlived her but three 
years. Three other daughters had died in 
early infancy. Mary, born in 1770, Charles, 
born in 1775, and Catherine, born in 1778, 
grew up to man s and woman s estate. 

254 More Colonial Homesteads 

Charles, the only son among the seven child 
ren given to his parents, was five years of 
age at the time of his mother s death. In an 
other five years he was sent to France to be 
educated by the Jesuit fathers in the English 
college at Liege. He sailed from Annapolis 
in true princely state, commemorated by an 
old picture yet extant. His guardian and fel 
low-voyager was Daniel Carroll, of the Dud- 
dington estate, whose younger brother was a 
student at Liege. 

This cousin Daniel stood high in the regards 
of his kinsman of Carrollton, as is manifest 
from their correspondence. The elder relat 
ive defrayed the other s expenses from Amer 
ica to Liege, and wrote kindly, yet decided, 
counsel respecting the young traveller s con 
duct abroad. He was advised to improve his 
time by acquiring some knowledge of the: 
French language, but not to make that time 
so long as to draw heavily upon an estate 
which was " not very productive." He was 
to polish his manners by intercourse with the 
most polite nation upon earth, " observe the 
cultivation of the country, particularly of the 
vineyards, learn the most improved methods 
of making wines, inquire their prices from the 

Doughoregan Manor 255, 

manufacturers themselves, and endeavour to 
fix some useful correspondences in France." 

Mary Carroll, now a beautiful girl of six 
teen, joined her father and her aunt, Miss 
Darnall, in "sincere wishes for the health and 
happiness" of the absentee. In ten months 
more her father undertook, with obvious re 
luctance, to communicate " intelligence " he 
foresaw would be unwelcome : 

" Although disagreeable, I must impart it to yon. My 
daughter, I am sorry to inform you, is much attached to, 
and has engaged herself to a young English gentleman of 
the name of Caton. I do sincerely wish she had placed 
her affections elsewhere, but I do not think myself at lib 
erty to control her choice when fixed on a person of un 
exceptional character, nor would you, I am sure, desire 
that I should. . . . 

" Time will wear away the impressions which an early 
attachment may have made on your heart," proceeds the- 
philosophical kinsman, " Louisa s " whilom lover, " and 
I hope you will find out, in the course of a year or two, 
some agreeable, virtuous, and sweet-tempered young, 
lady, whose reciprocal affection, tenderness, and good 
ness of disposition will make you happy, and forget the 
loss of my daughter." 

This " intelligence " disposed of early in 
the epistle, the thrice-betrothed and once- 
wedded mentor passes easily on to discussion- 

256 More Colonial Homesteads 

of business, family, and political affairs, send 
ing, en passant, " Molly s kindly compliments," 
and mentioning, jocosely, that Kitty, "who 
will make a fine woman," sometimes talks of 
" Cousin Long-legs." A comprehensive para 
graph tops off the model missive : 

" I have mentioned every occurrence worth communi 
cating, and therefore conclude this letter with assurances 
of real regard and attachment." 

We get a chance glint of light upon the fig 
ure and character of " Molly " Carroll s Eng 
lish spouse in a sarcastic sketch from the pen 
of William Maclay, a Pennsylvania Congress 
man. John Adams, then Vice-President, is 
interrogating Mr. Carroll upon the latter s per 
sonal concerns in a style that impresses us, as it 
struck the diarist, as flippant and impertinent : 

; * Have you arranged your empire on your departure ? 
Your revenues must suffer in your absence. What kind 
of administration have you established for the regula 
tion of your finances ? Is your government intrusted 
to a viceroy, nuncio, legate, plenipotentiary, or charge 
d affaires ? 

" Carroll endeavored to get him down from his im 
perial language by telling him that he had a son-in-law 
who paid attention to his affairs : I left them before 
Adams had half settled the empire." 

Doughoregan Manor 257 

The satirist is gravely respectful in speaking 
of Mr. Carroll s pleasure on reading of the 
.abolition of titles and distinctions of the nobil 
ity in France. u A flash of joy lightened from 
the countenance " of the richest man in Mary 
land, two of whose granddaughters were to 
marry into the British nobility, and two other 
descendants in the third generation were to 
-espouse titled Frenchmen of high rank. He 
is emphatic in the expression of Republican 
and Federal sentiments in a letter to Alex 
ander Hamilton, written October 22, 1792 : 

" I hope the real friends of liberty and their country 
will unite to counteract the schemes of men who have 
uniformly manifested hostile temper to the present gov 
ernment, the adoption of which has rescued these States 
from that debility and confusion, and those horrors, 
which unhappy France has experienced of late, and may 
still labour under." 

At eleven years of age, the little Kitty who 
made fun of Daniel Carroll s long legs was 
sent to an English convent in Liege. She ful 
filled her father s prediction of growing up into 
a fine woman, playing the role of leading belle 
in Annapolis, Philadelphia, and New York so 
ciety for several seasons before her marriage, 
at twenty-three, to Robert Goodloe Harper, an 

258 More Colonial Homesteads 

eminent lawyer, and member of Congress from 
South Carolina. This gentleman, a Virginian 
by birth, removed from South Carolina to 
Maryland after his marriage, and became one 
of Mr. Carroll s most trusted friends. While 
the devoted patriot retired nominally from 
public life in 1800, announcing his intention 
of devoting the rest of his life to the care 
of his estates and enjoyment of home and 
children, his letters to Mr. Harper and others 
show how watchful was the outlook kept up 
at Doughoregan Manor upon the tossing sea 
of politics, how wise his judgment in the 
momentous questions dividing the minds of 

The marriage of iiis only son Charles (IV.) 
Carroll, Jr., July 17, 1800, was a source of 
profound gratification to the father. The 
bridegroom was the Admirable Crichton of 
the brilliant circle which was his social orbit. 

The late Jonathan Meredith, a distinguished 
Maryland lawyer, who died a few years ago at 
the advanced age of ninety, used to tell of a 
trial of athletic skill between some fashion 
able young men of Baltimore which he wit 
nessed. A fencing-match was on the floor 
when he entered the room devoted to the ex- 




Doughoregan Manor 261 

hibition, and his attention was at once captiv 
ated by the extreme beauty and grace of one 
of the contestants, who, he was told, was the 
son of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. 

" Nothing in Grecian art surpasses the per 
fect symmetry of his figure," he would say. 
" In every movement he was a study for a 
sculptor. His face had not a flaw. I have 
always carried the image of him in my mind 
as a faultless model of manly beauty." 

The picture of the athlete in the drawing- 
room of Doughoregan Manor sustains the en 
comium. The head is fine in shape and poise ; 
the low, smooth forehead, the clear blue eye, 
the perfect oval of the face, the straight nose 
and delicate curves of the mouth, beguile and 
feast the eye. 1 After wandering through the 
other rooms and listening to stories of other 
portraits, all full of interest, we are drawn back 

1 An inscription upon the back of the canvas (overlooked by the 
family for two generations), is to this effect : 

" Charles Carroll of Carrollton Junior Esq. 

" This is his likeness which he gave to Mary Wallace, and which she 
received on Mondav January 22d, 7799. Drawn by Mr. Rembrandt 
Peale when Mr. Carroll was 22 years of age, and Mary Wallace 
gives this to her Daughter, Mary Wallace Ranken, at her decease." 

Beyond the mention of the names of mother and daughter in the 
faded inscription discovered just one hundred years after the gift of 
the portrait to " Mary Wallace," nothing is known of either. 

262 More Colonial Homesteads 

to this by a growing fascination enhanced by 
the tale of his life and its untimely end. 

He was just twenty-five when he married 
Harriet Chew, a younger sister of the " Pretty 
Peggy," whose acquaintance we have made 
and improved in our chapter upon " Clive 
den." (Some Colonial Homesteads, pp. 117- 
122.) There were six of the Chew sisters, 
Margaret ("Peggy") being the third of the 
bevy of beauties. The star of Harriet, the 
fourth sister, was in the zenith in 1796, when 
Washington begged her to remain in the room 
during his sittings to Gilbert Stuart, that his 
countenance should, under the charm of her 
conversation, " wear its most agreeable ex 

Colonel John Eager Howard, who had mar 
ried Peggy Chew in 1787, was a political ally 
and warm personal friend of Charles Carroll 
of Carrollton. It is quite possible, and alto 
gether congruous with the rest of the story, 
that the younger Carroll may have been 
thrown into familiar association with Harriet 
Chew during her visits to her sister, who was 
reckoned the most beautiful woman of her 
generation and country. Whispers of a former 
passion, or fancy, for Nelly Custis, of Mount 

Doughoregan Manor 263 

Vernon, the step-granddaughter of the Pre 
sident, did not prevail with sensible Harriet 
against the wooing of the Admirable Crich- 
ton. Nor did family history repeat itself in 
the form of delaying illnesses, frustrating 
deaths, and tardy settlements. 

A lawyer friend and relative, Mr. William 
Cooke, asked and received thirty gallons of 
choice old Madeira for drawing up the joint 
ure papers ; the wedding-garments were worn 
by the bride for whom they were ordered ; the 
marriage took place at the appointed time, and 
the happy pair were installed at " Homewood," 
near Baltimore. The brick mansion built for 
them by Charles Carroll of Carrollton is still 

The neighbourhood was all they could have 
wished, and both were hospitable, fond of 
amusement, and accustomed to the cream of cis 
atlantic society. Mrs. Caton was bringing up 
her three daughters, afterwards celebrated as 
" the American Graces," at " Brooklandwood," 
near enough for the daily exchange of calls. 
44 Hampton," the Ridgely House, built in 1783, 
than which there were few handsomer in the 
State, was but a few miles farther away ; " The 
Homestead," the country-seat of the Patter- 

264 More Colonial Homesteads 

sons, where "Betsey" Patterson and Jerome 
Bonaparte spent the one and only year of their 
married life ; " Belvedere," the residence of 
Colonel Howard and his " pretty Peggy," 
were within easy visiting distance. The elder 
Carroll s many letters to " Homewood " are 
affectionate, and expressive of the thorough 
sympathy existing between them upon every 
subject discussed by the two. The correspond 
ence is entertaining reading apart from the 
insight we thus gain into the prosperous, sunny 
existence led in the two homes. Both of the 
Carrolls disliked and distrusted John Adams. 
" Neither Jefferson nor Burr can make so bad 
a president," is the opinion of the Sage of Car- 
rollton. Yet of Jefferson he concludes : 

" If he does not think as he writes, he is a 
hypocrite, and his pitiful cant is the step-ladder 
to his ambition. Burr, I suspect, is not less a 
hypocrite than Jefferson ; but he is a firm, 
steady man, and possessed, it is said, of great 
energy and decision." 

A year after the marriage a letter from the 
Manor-house of " Homewood" has to do with 
what put presidential candidates and interna 
tional complications clean out of sight and 
thought. A fifth Charles Carroll had seen the 

Doughoregan Manor 265 

light of the world that had dealt so generously 
with his forbears. 

" May this child, when grown to manhood, 
be a comfort to his parents in the decline of 
life, and support the reputation of his family ! " 
is the prayer of the happy grandfather. 

The date of the congratulatory note is July 
26, 1801. 

In the same spirit of unaffected piety, but in 
a far different tone, he writes, August 12, 1806 : 

" Immediately upon the receipt of your letter I gave 
orders to Harry to take up some of the pavement of the 
Chapel to have the grave dug for the earthly remains of 
your poor little infant. To soften the loss of this dear 
and engaging child, the certainty of his now enjoying a 
glorious immortality will greatly contribute." 

At seventy, Charles Carroll, Senior, writes 
to his junior of a plan to visit Carrollton, and 
a desire to have his son s company on the trip, 
adding, jocosely, " I have but two complaints, 
old age and the cholic." 

He is hale and hopeful at seventy-four, with 
the Harper grandchildren playing about his 
knees, the two elder at school in Baltimore, so 
near as " to allow them to visit the Manor every 
Saturday, and return to town the Mondays 

266 More Colonial Homesteads 

A graver despatch went from Annapolis 
May 8, 1813 : 

" I have sent my valuable papers, books of account, 
and plate to the Manor, and baggage of different kinds 
will be sent to-morrow. When I go to the Manor your 
sister Caton and her daughters Betsey and Emily will 
.accompany me. I shall remove some pipes of wine to 
my farm near this city, and some household furniture, 
for I seriously apprehend the enemy will destroy the 
town. It is reported a strong force is going up the Po 
tomac, and they are greatly alarmed at Washington." 

August 25, 1814, the situation is yet more 
alarming : 

The enemy are in possession of Washington ! It is 
reported that they have destroyed the public buildings 
and the Navy Yard. It is thought they will next at 
tack Baltimore. The fire at Washington was plainly 
seen by several of my people about ten o clock last 

" If I live to see the end of the war, I shall," 
etc., etc., is the beginning of another epistle. 
He uses the same formula in effect when the 
war was over, and the return of peace per 
mitted the resumption of the traditional cus 
tom of sending the children of the Carroll 
connection across the ocean for education. His 
granddaughter, Mary Harper, was sent to 

Doughoregan Manor 267 

France, "where she will be more piously edu 
cated than at the very best boarding-school in 

" I may not live to see her return. Kiss her 
for me. I send her my love and my blessing." 

He lived to receive the news that u the dear 
girl " had died abroad, and to mingle his tears 
with her parents . Another Mary, Mrs. Ca- 
ton s eldest daughter, had married a brother 
of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. In 1817, 
Louisa Caton married Colonel Sir Felton 
Bathurst Hervey, who had been on Welling 
ton s staff at Waterloo. In 1818, Mrs. Har 
per writes to her father from England of 
personal interviews and distinguished atten 
tion she has had from the Duke and other 
great ones of the earth, and Mr. Carroll makes 
inquiry as to a French school to which he 
intends to send his grandson, Charles Carroll. 

In 1820, Mrs. Caton brought to Doughore 
gan Manor, the widow of Commodore Deca- 
tur, two months after his fatal duel with Barron. 
" The exercise and change of air have greatly 
benefited Mrs. Decatur," the host reports to 
his son. " Her spirits are more composed ; 
she dines with us, and converses more." 

In that same summer a travelled English- 

268 More Colonial Homesteads 

man describes a visit to Doughoregan Manor 
and the cordial hospitality of the proprietor, 

" a venerable patriarch, nearly eighty-three years of age, 
and one of the four survivors of those who signed the 
Declaration of Independence. 

" Although still an expert horseman, he seldom goes- 
beyond the limits of his Manor. I had, however, seen 
him riding in a long procession, through the streets of 
Baltimore, holding in his hand the Declaration of Inde 
pendence, which he delivered to the orator of the day,, 
at the monument of General Washington." 

Three surviv- 
ing signers, 
James Madison, 
Thomas Jeffer 
son, and Charles 
Carroll of Car- 
rollton, were in 
vited to meet 
Lafayette at 
Yorktown on 
October 19, 
1824, to cele 
brate the surren 
der of Cornwal- 
lis. An auto 
graph letter from Mr. Carroll to the late: 



Doughoregan Manor 269 

Robert G. Scott, of Richmond, Virginia, 
pleads his "advanced age" in apology for his 
declination of the invitation. He met La 
fayette at Fort McHenry, October ;th, on 
his way to Yorktown, and, with Colonel John 
Eager Howard and "several other veterans," 
lunched with them in a tent that had been 
used by Washington in the Revolutionary 
War. Mr. Carroll was also a guest at the 
ball given at " Belvedere " to the French 

One of the most tender and confidential 
letters penned by the patriarch to his son, 
bears date of April 12, 1821. It contains 
these solemn admonitions : 

" I deem it my duty to call your attention to the short 
ness of this life, and the certainty of death, and the 
-dreadful judgment we must all undergo, and on the de 
cision of which a happy or a miserable Eternity depends. 
. . My desire to induce you to reflect on futurity, 
and, by a virtuous life, to merit heaven, has suggested 
the above reflections and warnings. The approaching 
festival of Easter and the merits and mercies of Our 
Redeemer, copiosa assudeum redemptio, have led me into 
this chain of meditation and reasoning, and have in 
spired me with the hope of finding mercy before my 
Judge, and of being happy in the life to come, a happi 
ness I wish you to participate with me by infusing into 
your heart a similar hope." 

270 More Colonial Homesteads 

I n a letter of later date he says, 4 * GOD bless and 
prepare you for a better world, for the present 
is but a passing meteor compared to Eternity." 

And still again : " At the hour of your 
death, ah ! my son, you will feel the emptiness 
of all sublunary things ; and that hour may be 
much nearer than you expect. Think well on 
it ! I mean your eternal welfare." 

Other circumstances besides his own ex 
treme age moved him to such meditations. 
He stood so nearly solitary in the world once 
peopled with his contemporaries that each 
death among the remaining few was like the 
stroke of his own passing-bell. Colonel John 
Eager Howard had buried his beautiful wife 
in 1822. Mr. Carroll s best-beloved son-in- 
law, General Robert Goodloe Harper, died 
January 15, 1825. The heaviest stroke that 
could fall upon the old man and the old 
house descended April 3, 1825, in the death of 
Charles (IV.) Carroll of " Homewood." The 
knowledge of what his life had meant to him 


who was only son, chief pride, and dearest 
hope lends awful dignity to words written in 
November of that direful year : 

" On the 2oth of this month I entered into my eighty- 
ninth year. This, in any country, would be deemed a 

Doughoregan Manor 271 

long life. If it has not been directed to the only end 
for which man was created, it is a mere nothing, an 
empty phantom, an indivisible point, compared with Eter 
nity. ... On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for 
salvation, and on His merits ; not on the works I have 
done in obedience to His precepts, for even these, I fear, 
a mixture of alloy will render unavailing and cause to be 

Mr. Carroll took part in a public pageant 
on July 20, 1826, when memorial services were 
held in Baltimore in honour of Ex-Presidents 
Adams and Jefferson. The whole nation was 
thrilled to the heart by the coincidence of the 
deaths of both these men on the Fourth of July 
of that year, an event which left but one sur 
viving signer of the Declaration of Independ 
ence. Upon the eve of the solemn celebration, 
this man, in the awful solitariness of extreme 
old age, sitting in the shadow of the double 
decease, indited these manly and magnanimous 
words to a friend : 

Though I disapproved of Mr. Jefferson s adminis 
tration and was dissatisfied with a part of Mr. Adams s, 
both unquestionably greatly contributed to the Inde 
pendence of this country. Their services should be 
remembered, and their errors forgiven and forgotten. 
This evening, I am going to Baltimore to attend to 
morrow the procession and ceremonies to be paid to the 
memories of these praised and dispraised Presidents." 

272 More Colonial Homesteads 

He acted as chief mourner in the funeral 
procession, and in the same carriage was the 
friend of more than half a century, John Eager 
Howard. In September of that year, Mr. Car 
roll had a medal struck to commemorate his 
ninetieth birthday, and received the congratu 
lations of friends and neighbours at the 
Manor. From the pen of one who saw him 
then we have a picture of the eminent nona 
genarian : 

" He was a rather small and thin person, of very gra 
cious and polished manners. At the age of ninety he 
was still upright, and could see and hear as well as 
men commonly do. He had a smiling expression when 
he spoke, and had none of the reserve which usually 
attends old age." 

His lively interest in what was going on in 
his widening family connexion and in the 
world of nations remained unabated to the 
last. His widowed granddaughter, Mrs. Rob 
ert Patterson, one of the fairest and most ac 
complished of American-born women, was now 
Marchioness of Wellesley, her second husband 
being a brother of the Duke of Wellington. 
Mrs. Hervey, also, was married again, and to 
a British peer, the Duke of Leeds. A favour 
ite grandchild, Mrs. McTavish (Emily Caton), 

Doughoregan Manor 273 

spent much of her time at the Manor, where 
her children were joyously at home, and a 
never-ceasing delight to their great-grand 

Never was old age more painless and placid. 

August 2, 1826, Mr. Carroll signed, with a 
hand that scarcely trembled, this testimonial 
upon a copy of the Declaration of Independ 
ence, now in the New York City Library : 

" Grateful to Almighty GOD for the blessing which, 
through Jesus Christ Our Lord, He has conferred upon 
my beloved country in her emancipation, and upon my 
self in permitting me under circumstances of mercy to 
live to the age of eighty-nine years, and to survive the 
fiftieth year of American Independence, and certifying 
by my present signature my approbation of the Declara 
tion of Independence adopted by Congress on the fourth 
day of July, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand seven 
hundred and seventy-six, which I originally subscribed 
on the second day of August of the same year, and of 
which I am, now, the last surviving signer, I do hereby 
recommend to the present and future generations the 
principles of that important document as the best earthly 
inheritance their ancestors could bequeath to them, and 
pray that the civil and religious liberties they have se 
cured to my country may be perpetuated to the remotest 
posterity and extended to the whole family of man." 

On July n, 1830, the faithful son of his 
Church laid the corner-stone of the now splen- 

274 More Colonial Homesteads 

did St. Charles College, about two miles from 
Doucrhoregan Manor. He had criven the land 

o o o 

upon which the college was to be built, and a 
handsome sum toward the erection of the same. 

And so one, and yet another year glided in 
and out, like the waves of a summer brook rip 
pling between green pastures. The golden- 
hearted old man retired early, and was abroad 
betimes on the morrow. He believed and 
practised his belief in cold baths, horseback 
exercise, regularity in meals, and temperance 
in everything. He was always present at 
morning and evening prayers in the chapel, 
and passed several hours of each day in the 
perusal of the English, Greek, and Latin clas 
sics, keeping up to the last what one chroni 
cler has called " his perfect knowledge of the 
French language." In his ninety-third year 
he was found by a clerical guest deeply en 
gaged in the study of Cicero s treatise on 
" Old Age," in the original Latin. 

" After the Bible," he added, with his pecul 
iar earnestness and vivacity of manner, " and 
The Following of Christ, give me, Sir, the 
philosophic works of Cicero." 1 

1 Oration upon Charles Carroll of Carrollton, by Rev. Constantine 
Pise, D.D., delivered in 1832. 

Doughoregan Manor 275 

The beautiful close of the long, long day 
came on November 14, 1832. Propped in his 
easy-chair, his daughter and her children, with 
other relatives kneeling about him, he received 
the last offices of the Church. These over, he 
was laid upon the bed. His last words were 
a courteous acknowledgment of his physi 
cian s effort to make his position easier. Then 
he " fell on sleep " and awoke on the Other 

His grandson, Charles (V.) Carroll, suc 
ceeded " the Signer " in the proprietorship of 
Doughoregan Manor, and he, in turn, was fol 
lowed by his son, Charles (VI.), born in 1828. 
His mother was Mary Digges Lee, one of the 
Virginia family of that name. He married 
Miss Caroline Thompson, also a Virginian by 
birth. Mr. Carroll died in 1895. 

The present master of Doughoregan Manor 
is Hon. John Lee Carroll, Ex-Governor of the 
State of Maryland. He has been twice mar 
ried : first, to Miss Anita Phelps of New York, 
second, to Miss Mary Carter Thompson, a sis 
ter of Mrs. Charles (VI.) Carroll. Mrs. John 
Lee Carroll died in 1899. 

One of Governor Carroll s daughters, Mary 
Louisa, married Comte Jean de Kergolay, of 

276 More Colonial Homesteads 

France ; a second, Anita Maria, became the 
wife of another French nobleman, Baron Louis 
de la Grange ; a third daughter, Mary Helen, 

is Mrs. Herbert 

^^^ D. Robbins, of 

New York. Of 
the sons, Royal 
Phelps married 
Miss Marion 
Langdon, of 
New York city; 
Charles (VII.) 
married Miss 
Susanne Ban 
croft. The 
only child of 
Governor Car- 


roll s second 

marriage, Philip Acosta, lives with his father 
and his widowed aunt at Doughoregan Manor. 
The short avenue leading directly from the 
front of the mansion to the highway was for 
many years the principal approach used by 
family and visitors. It is bordered by large 
trees, and affords a fine view of central build 
ing and wings, that to the visitor s right being 
the chapel built in 1717 by the first Charles 

Doughoregan Manor 277 

Carroll. Mrs. Mary Digges Lee Carroll, the 
mother of Governor Carroll and Charles (VI.), 
a woman of much executive ability and refined 
taste, designed the winding avenue turning 
away from the main road a few rods beyond 
the extensive grounds of St. Charles College. 

After a drive of six miles over the macad 
amised turnpike laid between Ellicott City 
and Doughoregan Manor, on the fourth of a 
series of torrid June days that taxed physical 
and moral powers to the utmost, the relief was 
sudden and exquisite as we entered the green 
arches of the wood beyond the lodge-gates. 

The crude newness of the u City " I had 
left behind, made hideously depressing by the 
rough thoroughfare torn up and hollowed to 
receive the " trolley track," to be laid from the 
railway station to the College ; the glare from 
the pale hot heavens reflected from the glit 
tering white turnpike until I was fain to close 
my eyes upon the beauties of undulating hills 
and fertile meadows stretching away for miles 
on either side of the cruel road, were, for the 
next delicious half-hour, as if they had not 
been. Such calm, such refreshment, and such 
generous breadth as had belonged to the life 
of him whose story had engaged my thoughts 

278 More Colonial Homesteads 

all day, were about us and beyond us. The 
dim depths of the wood through which we 
wound ; the velvety reaches of lawn that, by- 
and-by, appeared between the trees ; the ar 
tistic grouping of plantations of shrubbery 
and larger growths ; the glass houses and gar 
dens by which we drove around to the porch 
and hospitable doorway, all were English, 
and of a civilisation singularly un-American in 
design and finish. 

The central hall is luxurious with couches, 
cushions, and lounging-chairs, and full of the 
viewless, pervasive spirit of Home a sweet 
and subtle presence that meets the stranger 
upon the threshold like an audible benedic 
tion. The lines of the noble apartment are 
not broken by the staircase which figures 
prominently in the middle distance of most 
colonial houses, and in the narrower passages 
of modern dwellings. 

Upon the wall of the inner and smaller hall, 
from which the stairs wind to the upper floors, 
hangs a map of the estate, as laid out in 1699 
by the grandfather of Charles Carroll of Car- 
rollton. The primitive specification of " two 
boundary oaks " is given upon the ancient 
chart. The places of the departed trees are 

Doughoregan Manor 279 

now designated by two memorial stones. 
There were 14,500 acres of arable and wood 
lands in this original grant from the 4< Lord 
Baron of Baltimore." All but one thousand 
acres still pertain to the estate. A great slice, 
or section, in the very heart of the domain 
is known as " the Folly." Not, as it may be 
needful to explain, because it was willed to cer 
tain daughters of the house, Mrs. McTavish 
and others. Whatever may have been the 
origin of the term, it has become technical, 
and occurs often in English title-deeds. 

From the inner hall we enter the bedroom 
in which " the Signer " died, consecrated even 
more by his blameless life than by his holy de 
parture. The adjoining drawing-room is rich 
in historic portraits, conspicuous among them 
being the Crichton of " Homewood." The 
walls are panelled from floor to ceiling in rich, 
dark woods, and like all else in house and 
grounds, in perfect preservation. 

In a niche of the dining-room across the hall 
stands a tall clock that has marked the hours 
of birth, of living, and of death for the Car 
roll race for over a hundred and fifty years. 
From the panel over the mantel the founder 
of the American branch of the family looks 

280 More Colonial Homesteads 

majestically down upon the goodly company 
of his lineal descendants who assemble daily 
about the beautiful board in the middle of the 
room. Near by, his son, Carroll of Annapolis, 
repeats the family lineaments with marked 
fidelity. The transmission of the racial type 
with so few modifications from generation to 
generation is consequent, no doubt, upon the 
intermarriages which we have noted. We must 
look to other and more occult influences to ac 
count for the extraordinary resemblance to 
Charles Carroll of "Homewood" that, in one 
of his great-grandsons, is so exact as to be 
startling to those who have studied his por 
trait in the Manor drawing-room. The repro 
duction of feature, colouring, and expression 
in the third generation is almost eerie. 

A likeness of " the Signer," taken when he 
had passed his eightieth year, is in the dining- 
room. It was given by him to the patroon, 
Mr. Van Rensselaer, and after the latter s 
death was presented by his daughter to Mr. 
Carroll s family. The wainscot of this room 
is valuable and curious : a sort of plaster or 
concrete, of a warm cream colour, sound and 
smooth, although laid on and moulded more 
than a century ago. Over the doors are the 

Doughoregan Manor 283 

heads of wild animals killed in hunting by the 
absent sons of the household ; the yachting- 
cups upon the buffet were also won by them. 

What is, I believe, the only private chapel 
attached to a colonial homestead, is a silent 
witness to the loyalty of the Carrolls to their 
ancestral faith. The few changes made in the 
interior have been careful restorations. We 
see the sacred place as the founders planned 
it, seven generations ago, an oblong room of 
admirable proportions, and tasteful, yet simple, 
in decoration. In passing up the aisle, my 
host stayed me to show where the " poor little 
infant, the dear and engaging" yearling of 
Charles Carroll of " Homewood" and Harriet 
Chew, was laid. Mrs. Darnall, the mother- 
in-law and aunt of Carroll of Carrollton, his 
father, and the wife to whose dear memory he 
remained true through fifty years of widower- 
hood, also lie here. "The Signer" was buried 
under the chancel. Upon a mural tablet to 
him, at the left of the altar, is a bas-relief of 
the Declaration of Independence, with a pen 
laid across it ; above this are the thirteen stars 
of the original States, and, set high above all, 
is the Cross, the symbol of his religion. 

A congregation of from three to four him- 

284 More Colonial Homesteads 

dred meets here every Sunday for worship^ 
coming from all quarters of the neighbour 
hood. When front and back doors are open, 
framing pictures of park, trees, and ornamental 
shrubs ; when the birds, nesting in the ivied 
curtains of the ancient walls, and running fear 
lessly over the sward, join their songs to organ 
and chant, one gets very near to Nature s heart 
and to the Father-heart that loveth all. 



" Soon after Perm s arrival in America he conceived 
the idea of a county seat in the centre of St. Jones 
County. In 1683 he issued a warrant, authorizing the 
surveyor to lay out a town to be called Dover. It was 
not until 1694, however, that the land of the town was 
purchased. . . . The price paid the Indians was two 
match-coats, twelve bottles of drink, and four handfuls 
of powder. The old court house was built in 1697. 

" Dover has sent to Washington a Secretary of State, 
.an Attorney General, a District Judge, two Senators, and 
eight Representatives. To the State she has given four 
Governors, five Chancellors, five Chief-Justices, four 
Associate Judges, six Secretaries of State, and six At 
torneys General." 1 

The Green is the heart of old Dover. 

It is a quiet heart, this oblong of turf and 
trees, but four or five city blocks in length, 
with "The King s Road" running, like an ar- 

1 Ridgely MSS. 


286 More Colonial Homesteads 

tery, through it. About it on all sides stand 
homesteads that were here when Dover was 
a village, and the State of which it is the 
capital was a dependence of the British 
Crown. At the eastern end is the State 
House, erected upon the site of the older and 
first edifice of the same name that was here 
a hundred years agone. Hard by is the 
dwelling built early in the eighteenth cent 
ury, and subsequently tenanted by Dr. Sam 
uel Chew before a goodly slice was pared 
from southeastern Pennsylvania and christened 
" Delaware." (See " Cliveden," Some Colonial 
Homesteads, p. 107). Here was born Chief- 
Justice Benjamin Chew, who, prior to his re 
moval to Pennsylvania in 1754, was Speaker 
of the House of Delegates in Dover. The 
building is sound and comfortably habitable 
and is still known as " the Chew House," al 
though it was occupied for several years by 
one of the most eminent sons of Delaware, 
John Middleton Clayton. Mr. Clayton was 
Chief-Justice of his native State, twice U. S. 
Senator, and, upon the accession of General 
Taylor to the Presidency, Secretary of State. 
The homestead of his brother-in-law, the late 
Hon. Joseph P. Cornegys, at the other ex- 

The Ridgely House 287 

tremity of The Green, is full of interesting- 
souvenirs of the lives of both these distin 
guished men, and of early periods of family 
and State history. Every foot of the brief 
parallelogram of earth hemmed about with 
ancestral houses is steeped in tradition and 
romance. In the busiest noontime the place 
is never noisy. After learning who lived here 
and how they lived and died fancy easily 
conjures up the figure of the Muse of History 
standing beside The King s Road, her up 
lifted finger warning aside the thoughtless and 
sacrilegious from holy ground. 

I copy again from the Ridgely MSS. kindly 
placed at my disposal by Mrs. Henry Ridgely,, 
Jr., of Dover. 

" Here a regiment was raised and mustered by Col. 
John Haslet before the Declaration of Independence. A 
few days after the news of the act of Congress reached 
Dover they marched to the headquarters of the army 
and placed themselves under the immediate command 
of Gen. Washington. They probably remained in Dover 
long enough, however, to assist in the ceremony of the 
burning of the portrait of the King of Great Britain,, 
which took place upon The Green on the receipt of 
Caesar Rodney s copy of the Declaration of Independ 
ence. A procession marched around the fire to solemn 
music while the President of the State declared that, 

288 More Colonial Homesteads 

4 compelled by strong necessity, thus we destroy even the 
shadow of that King who refused to reign over a free 
people. Upon The Green, at a later date, was the final 
muster of the gallant Delaware regiment before their 
disastrous campaign in the South. This regiment is said 
to have been in more engagements and to have suffered 
more than any other troops of the army." 

The Vining house is nearer the arterial road 
than the Comegys mansion, and on the north 
ern side of The Green. Of the family who 
made it famous I shall have more to say by- 
.and-by. Across the road, and on the same 
side of the street skirting The Green, is the 
Ridgely House, one of the oldest dwellings in 

Dover, and almost in 
the shadow of the State 

The Honourable 
Henry (I.) Ridgely of 
Devonshire, England, 
settled in Maryland in 
1659, upon a Royal 
grant of 6000 acres of 
land. He became a 
colonel of Colonial Mil 
itia, Member of the As 
sembly, one of the Governmental Council, 
Justice of the Peace, and Vestryman of the 


The Ridgely House 289 

Parish Church of Anne Arundel, dying, after a 
prosperous life, in 1710. 

His nameson and heir, Henry (II.), lived 
and died at " Warbridge," the home the father 
had made near Annapolis. Although but 
thirty at his death in 1699, he left a widow 
.and three children. With that one who bore 
his name, Henry (III.), this story has little to 
do. His biography and dwelling-place are 
catalogued with other Maryland worthies and 

Nicholas Ridgely, the second son, was born 
at Warbridge in 1694. He was, therefore, 
thirty-eight years old when he removed to 
" Eden Hill," a handsome plantation near 
Dover, and bought also the house on " The 
Green," built in 1728. Mr. Ridgely at once 
took his place among the leading citizens of 
his adopted State, filling with honour the of 
fices of Treasurer of Kent County, Clerk of 
the Peace, Justice of Peace, Prothonotary and 
Register in Chancery, and Judge of the Su 
preme Court of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex 
Counties, enjoying the honour until his death 

i n 1755- 

" In 1735, as foreman of the Grand Jury, he signed a 
petition to King George II. against granting a charter to 

290 More Colonial Homesteads 

Lord Baltimore, in abrogation of the rights of the Penn 
family in the Three Lower Counties. 

" In 1745, he was elected by Caesar Rodney to be his 
guardian ; and his papers show his great interest in, and 
warm attachment to, a ward who proved to be the most 
distinguished patriot of his State, 

" To his training may partly be attributed the success 
ful career of Charles Ridgely, his son, John Vining, his 
wife s grandson, and Caesar Rodney, his ward. 

" His wife was Mary Middleton, widow of Captain 
Benj. Vining, of Salem, New Jersey. 

" Her son, Judge John Vining, married Phoebe Wyn- 
koop, and their son John was called the Patrick Henry 
of Delaware, a brilliant lawyer, great wit, member of 
the first Continental Congress, and known as the Pet of 
Delaware. His sister Mary was a beautiful girl and a 
great belle." : 

Of whom more anon. 

Dr. Charles Ridgely was born in 1738, 
studied medicine, and became an eminent 
physician, filling also many positions of public 
trust. His son Nicholas, born of his first mar 
riage (to Mary Wynkoop), was known as the 
" Father of Chancery in Delaware." Dr. 
Ridgely s second wife, Anne Moore, brought 
him five children. 

Henry Moore Ridgely, his son, succeeded 
him in the proprietorship of the homestead, 

1 Ridgely MSS. 

The Ridgely House 291 

at the father s death in 1785. He was ad 
mitted to the bar in 1802. An incident con 
nected with this stage of his career is of 
interest, as illustrating the temper and cus 
toms of that day and the fiery spirit of the 
chief actor in it : 

" Dr. Barrett of Dover was grossly insulted by a Mr. 
Shields of Wilmington, and sought satisfaction through 
the code. He desired Mr. Ridgely to bear his chal 
lenge. Shields refused to meet Dr. Barrett, but chal 
lenged Mr. Ridgely himself. The duel was fought, and 
Mr. Ridgely severely wounded. For a time his life was 
despaired of, and although he recovered, Mr. Shields 
was obliged to leave Wilmington, public sentiment 
against him being so strong that he could nol live it 

In strong contrast to this stormy introduc 
tion, I give a rapid rdsumt of Henry Moore 
Ridgely s public life : 

He was a member of the House in Con 
gress from 1811-13; Secretary of the State 
of Delaware in 1817, and again in 1824, per 
forming a most valuable and laborious work 
in this office, in collecting and arranging in 
proper form for preservation the scattered 
and poorly kept archives of the State. 

He v/as repeatedly elected to the Legislat- 

292 More Colonial Homesteads 

ure, and framed some most important laws ; 
was elected by the Legislature to the United 
States Senate in 1827, where he was known, 
as he had been in the House, as the advocate 
of a protective tariff. 

A true anecdote relative to the persistency 
with which his fellow-citizens thrust greatness 
upon him, their good and gallant servant, 
faithful in the few and lesser matters of his 
stewardship as in the many and weighty, was 
told to me by a member of the family. It is, 
of course, a Delaware edition of an episode of 
an Athenian election day more than two thou 
sand years old ; another of the million self- 
repetitions of history and human nature : 

Mr. Ridgely was walking through " The 
Green " on the day of his second election to 
Congress when a countryman accosted him 
with, " Say, Mister ! you can write, can t 
you?" Upon receiving a reply, he thrust a 
ticket into the gentleman s hand, asking him 
to " scratch out Ridgely s name," and substi 
tute one which he named carelessly. Mr. 
Ridgely complied, and in handing the ticket 
back, inquired smilingly : 

" Would you object to telling me what you 
have against Mr. Ridgely ? Do you know him ?" 

The Ridgely House 


" Never saw him in my life ! Don t know 
nothing against him. But I certainly am sick 
and tired of having his name on my ticket 
every election day. That s all." 


Mr. Ridgely retired from public life in 1832. 
He died in the old house on "The Green" 
upon his eighty-second birthday, August 6, 
1847. He left fifteen children. The eldest 

294 More Colonial Homesteads 

of these, Henry (V.) Ridgely, is now, in a 
serene and honoured old age, a resident of 
Dover, although his home was, until recently, 
at " Eden Hill." His son Henry (VI.), a 
prominent lawyer, occupies the family home 
stead hard by the State House. 

The exterior is severely plain. The walls 
are flush with the sidewalk, the windows of 
drawing-room, library, and the master s law- 
office on the ground-floor are so low that 
pedestrians could rest their elbows sociably 
upon the sills and chat with the occupants. 
The interior is unconventional, full of unex 
pectedness, and altogether captivating. The 
floral designs of the low ceilings are the work 
of Miss Rose Virden, a Dover artist of much 
promise and a graduate of the Artists League 
of New York. The delicate tinting of draw 
ing-room walls and the artistic hangings of the 
guest-chamber contrast harmoniously with the 
dark panelling of the wide hall, which is also 
the library. In the far corner of this last, 
remote from the fire-place is the quaintest, 
crookedest staircase conceivable by builder s 
brain and passable by human feet. It runs 
directly or as directly as is consistent with 
the tortuousness aforesaid down into the hall. 

The Ridgely House 295 

On this, the second day of my sojourn in 
the haunted house, I listen to a story which 
adds another to the wraiths mingling with the 
flesh-and-blood entities whose own the en 
chanted ground is now. The romance belongs 
to the school represented by The Spectator s 
list of killed and wounded in Bill of Mortality 
of Lovers. Such as 

" T. S., wounded by Zerlinda s scarlet stock 
ing as she was stepping out of a coach," 

" Musidorus, slain by an arrow that flew 
out of a dimple in Belinda s left cheek." 

A daughter of the Ridgely house had, among 
other marketable charms, a perfect foot and 
ankle. A susceptible swain, who had been 
unfortunate in his wooing, paid a farewell call 
to his inamorata almost upon the eve of her 
marriage with another man. While seated in 
the hall awaiting her appearance, he heard the 
tap of her high-heeled slippers on the winding 
stairway and saw appear at the last, steepest 
and sharpest turn of the flight above the 
slippered foot, slender, round, supple, swathed 
in snowy silk, THE ANKLE ! 

" Whereupon," concludes the laughing nar 
rator, " the poor fellow swooned away on the 

296 More Colonial Homesteads 

spot. It sounds very absurd, but that was the 
sort of thing they did in those clays." 

Sitting by the window in the same place 
and, for all I know to the contrary, in the 


very chair the swooning swain may have 
occupied on the well-nigh fatal occasion I 
hear another tale of another sort of thing 
they did in those days. 

Mr. Nicholas Ridgely, as his genealogy has 

The Ridgely House 297 

informed us, became the guardian, in 1745, of 
an orphaned youth of seventeen, Caesar 
Rodney by name. 

"William Rodney married Alice, the daughter of Sir 
Thomas Caesar, an eminent merchant of the city of 
London, and his son William died near Dover, Delaware, 
in the year 1708, leaving eight children and a consider 
able landed estate which was entailed, and, by the 
decease of elder sons, finally vested in his youngest son, 
Caesar, who continued his residence as a landed proprie 
tor in Delaware until his death in 1745. 

" Caesar Rodney, the eldest son of Caesar, and grand 
son of William Rodney, was born in St. Jones Neck 
near Dover in Kent County, Delaware, in the year 

" Mr. Ridgely caused his ward to be instructed in the 
classics and general literature, and in the accomplish 
ments of fencing and dancing, to fit his bearing and 
manners becomingly to the station in life in which he 
was born." 

So well was the work done that the princely 
young fellow came into his kingdom at the 
age of twenty-one, well-equipped in body and 
in mind for leadership in society and in State. 
His brother, Thomas Rodney, has left in MS. 
a picture of Delaware life at that period which, 

1 Oration delivered by Hon. Thomas F. Bayard in 1889, upon the 
occasion of unveiling the monument of Caesar Rodney at Dover 

298 More Colonial Homesteads 

in many features, reminds us of New England, 
rather than of a Middle Slave State : 

" Almost every family manufactured their own 
clothes ; and beef, pork, poultry, milk, butter, cheese, 
wheat, and Indian corn were raised by themselves, serv 
ing them, with fruits of the country and wild game, for 
food ; cider, small beer, and peach and apple brandy, 
for drink. The best families in the country but seldom 
used tea, coffee, chocolate, or sugar, for honey was their 
sweetening. . . . The largest farmers at that time 
did not sow over twenty acres of wheat, nor tend more 
than thirty acres of Indian corn." 

Very un-New England, however, was the 
jolly comradeship that prevailed in village and 
country. Everybody knew everybody else. 
" Indeed," says the Rodney MS., 

41 they seemed to live, as it were, in concord, for they 
constantly associated together at one house or another in 
considerable numbers, to play and frolic, at which times 
the young people would dance, and the elder ones 
wrestle, run, hop, or jump, or throw the disc, or play at 
some rustic and manly exercises. 

On Christmas Eve there was a universal firing of 
guns, travelling round from house to house, during the 
holiday, and all winter there was a continual frolic, 
shooting-matches, twelfth cakes, etc." 

Caesar Rodney was a favourite with high and 
low, the lowest class being represented by the 

The Ridgely House 299 

negro slaves. He was " about five feet ten 
inches high," writes his brother. " His person 
was very elegant and genteel, his manners 
graceful, easy and polite. He had a good 
fund of humour and the happiest talent in the 
world of making his wit agreeable." 

When it was known that he had political 
aspirations, the popularity gained by the kind 
heart, the pleasing personality, and the ready 
wit graded and smoothed the path many found 
arduous. In 1758, when he was barely thirty 
years of age, he was High Sheriff of his native 
county of Kent ; two years later, a Judge of 
the Lower Courts. In 1765, he was a mem 
ber of the " Stamp Act Congress " which was 
convened in New York City. A New York 
newspaper of 1812 gives a post-mortem sketch 
of " the estimable and patriotic Caesar Rod 
ney, for many years the great prop and stay 
of Whiggism in the lower part of his native 

In 1766, he was one of the Committee ap 
pointed to draft resolutions addressed to 
George III., thanking him for the repeal of the 
Stamp Act, and assuring him of the loyalty 
of the Delaware Legislature and the constitu 
ency it represented. As a member of this 

300 More Colonial Homesteads 

Legislature he threw all the weight of his in 
fluence into the ineffectual effort to stop the 
importation of slaves into Delaware. 

No man in the Province had the promise of 
a brighter future than the rising statesman, 
trusted and beloved by his fellow-citizens, the 
co-worker of the first men in the Colonies 
when on June 7, 1768, he wrote to his brother 
of a visit paid to Philadelphia for the purpose 
of consulting physicians there upon " a matter 
that had given him some uneasiness." The 
matter proved to be a cancer in the nostrils, 
" a most dangerous place." His friends strongly 
advised him to " sail at once for England, and 
by no means to trust to any person here." 

A few days later he wrote again that he 
had decided to put himself into the hands of 
Dr. Thomas Bond of Philadelphia. Should 
the treatment adopted by him " fail in making 
a cure," he should go to England. 

" But to conclude, my case is truly dangerous, and 
what will be the event, GOD only knows. I still live 
in hopes, and still retain my usual flow of spirits. My 
compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Vining. Tell Mrs. Vining 
the cloud now hanging over me, tho dark and dismal, 
may (God willing) one day disperse." 

Mrs. Vining was the sister-in-law of the 

The Ridgely House 301 

woman he had loved, and whom he had hoped 
to marry in the heyday of his youth and popu 
larity. There is nothing sadder in the archives 
of the Vining, or Rodney, or Ridgely family 
than a creased and torn u returned " letter in 


his strong, legible hand. It was written 
from his guardian s house in Dover, May 27, 
I76:. 1 

" Yesterday evening (by Mr Chew s Tom) I had the 
unwelcome and unexpected news of your determining to 
go to Philadelphia, with Mr. & Misses Chew If you 

1 American Historical Register, July, 1895. 

302 More Colonial Homesteads 

Remember, as we were riding to Noyontown Fair, you 
talked of taking this journey & mentioned my going, 
with you ; you know how readily I \torn\ & how 
willing in this, as in everything else, I was to oblige & 
serve you. . . . When I was last down, you seemed to 
have given over all thoughts of going. This determined 
me, & accordingly, gave Mr. Chew, for answer, that he 
might not expect me with him ; thereby I m deprived 
of the greatest pleasure this World could possibly afford 
me the company of that lady in whom all happiness is 
placed. . . . Molly ! I love you from my soul ! In this, 
believe me, I m sincere, & honest : but when I think of 
the many amiable qualifications you are possessed of 
all my hopes are at an end nevertheless intended 
\torn\ down this week, & as far as possible to have 
known my fate. . . . You may expect to see me at 
your return. Till then, God bless you. 

" I m Yrs." 

Miss Mary (Molly) Vining was the lovely 
aunt of a more beautiful niece who was named 
for her, and was endeared to Caesar Rodney 
on that account. The elder Molly to whom 
was written the letter, so incoherent and ill- 
expressed that one hears all through it the 
irregular heart-beats and broken breaths of 
the impassioned, doubting lover married the 
Right Reverend Charles Ingles, who was first 
Bishop to the Colonies. She outlived her 
bridal day but a year, dying in i 764. 

The Ridgely House 305 

She had, then, been in her grave four years 
when the horrible shadow of doom overtook 
her former suitor, a cloud which was never to 
be dispersed until it thickened into the night 
of death. Fallacious hopes ; discouragements ; 
a rally of the brave soul to sustain the 
" usual flow of spirits " ; the valiant purpose to 
sink selfish dreads in unremitting labours for 
the good of his kind and his country these 
were the fluctuations of feeling and reason that 
were to fill the next fourteen years of the life 
he would not, could not, believe was irrepar 
ably blighted. 

In one of the deceitful lulls in the progress 
of the disease, he accepted the appointment of 
Speaker of the Colonial Assembly (in 1769). 
Before the session was ended he was identi 
fied with the more resolute of the Colonists 
who were already banding themselves together 
to resist the growing aggressions of the parent 
government. His name stood first upon the 
committee of three deputies to the Contin 
ental Congress called by the voice of the people 
to assemble in Philadelphia in 1774. Another 
representative to this body was George Wash 
ington of Virginia. 

Again Caesar Rodney s name stood foremost 

304 More Colonial Homesteads 

among those of the " Deputies to the general 
Congress " called to meet in Philadelphia, May 
10, 1776. Mr. Bayard says of him at this 
crucial period in our national struggle : 

" He was a man of action in an era of action ; born, 
not out of his proper time, but in it ; and, being fitted 
for the hour and its work, he did it well. He was 
recognised, and, naturally, at once became influential 
and impressive distinguished for the qualities which 
were needed in the days in which he lived on earth. . . . 
Moved by patriotic impulse, he had counselled the selec 
tion of Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Col 
onial forces, and from the beginning to the end of the 
conflict, sought to hold up his hands and sustain him 
at all times and in all ways." 

The distinguished orator goes on to quote 
from another eminent jurist to the effect 
that " to Rodney, more than to any other man 
in Delaware, do we owe the position which 
our State and people took in that most im 
portant contest," i. e., the War for Inde 

In furtherance of the great purpose he had 
at heart, he came home to strengthen the 
hearts of timid constituents and to advise with 
cool heads and steadfast hearts like his own, 
over the final step, then imminent, to be taken 
by Congress. 

The Ridgely House 305 

" On one side stand a doubtful experience and 
a bloody war ; on the other side unconditional 
submission to the power of Great Britain. 

This was the situation as he put it before 
himself and his fellow-citizens. If they had 
much to lose, he had more : fortune, the friends 
of years, many of whom, even those in the 
Congress with him, were opposed to the formal 
severance of the tie binding Great Britain to 
her restless colonies ; probably his life, for he 
was colonel of the " upper regiment of Kent 
County," and pledged to bring fifteen hun 
dred men into the field should war be de 
clared. He was absent from Congress upon 
this errand, and energetically canvassing the 
counties of Sussex and his native Kent, when 
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, on June 7th, 
executed his immortal coup d etat by offering 
the resolution, " That the United States are, 
and ought to be, free and independent States, 
and that political connexion with Great Britain 
ought to be dissolved." 

The resolution was passed in secret session 
by six out of seven States, on June 8th. 

Caesar Rodney, Thomas McKean, and 
George Read were delegates from Delaware. 
McKean voted for the resolution ; Read, al- 

306 More Colonial Homesteads 

though Rodney s intimate friend, against it, 
making a tie in the State vote. A second 
vote, to secure unanimity if possible, was 
taken on July ist. Nine colonies were in fa 
vour of the passage of the motion into an 
act ; South Carolina and Quaker Pennsyl 
vania were against it. Delaware was divided, 
as before. A third ballot was ordered for 
July 4th, and Thomas McKean, aroused to 
frantic energy by the peril of the occasion, 
mounted a trusty messenger upon a swift 
horse and bade him ride, as for life, to find 
Caesar Rodney, and bring him to Philadelphia. 

Local and family traditions give an explana 
tion of his prolonged absence and silence at 
this crisis which is not offered by history. Ac 
cording to this, McKean had not waited until 
the eleventh hour before summoning his col 
league. More than one letter had been de 
spatched to Kent, describing the gravity of 
the position at headquarters, and entreating 
Rodney to hasten his return. Not one line 
of these had reached the unconscious ab 

Postal facilities were few and slow, and 
Rodney seems to have rested in the convic 
tion that McKean would recall him if he were 

The Ridgely House 307 

needed, to have and gone on with his can 
vass unconcernedly, addressing public meet 
ings, visiting from plantation to plantation, 
and, in the interim of pressing duties, solacing 
his cares by the society of intimate friends, 
notably the Vinings and Ridgelys, when he 
was in Dover. 

Mr. Bayard opines that the express, sent, 
Mr. McKean says, at his own private expense, 
" must have found Mr. Rodney at one of his 
farms, Byfield, or * Poplar Grove. 

I could not forgive myself if I did not give 
the afore-mentioned tradition (in this instance 
as truthful as her younger and more cautious 
sister, History) in the very words of the 
Ridgely MSS., produced for me, at my ear 
nest petition, at this point of the story : 

" A celebrity of Lewes, the old seaport of Delaware, 
was Sarah Rowland, who, according to tradition, almost 
prevented the Declaration of Independence from having 
the necessary number of signers. 

" She was a beautiful Tory, for, in the first years of 
the Revolutionary War, there were many friends of Eng 
land in the lower part of this peninsula. The news of a 
Tory uprising in Sussex County and Maryland reaching 
Caesar Rodney, who was attending the Delegates Con 
vention in Philadelphia, he immediately mounted his 
horse and went thundering down the State, using threats 

308 More Colonial Homesteads 

and persuasions all along the road. While at Lewes the 
beautiful Sarah so infatuated him by her charms that he 
lingered longer than his business required, and was only 
aroused to a sense of his delinquencies when he was pre 
sented by a loyal servant-girl in the Rowland household 
with a number of letters which had been intercepted by 
his enchantress. Then it was that he made his famous 
ride to Philadelphia. This story adds many miles to the 
length of his ride, as, in most accounts, he was at his 
home near Dover when the call to Philadelphia came." 

Return we to Mr. Bayard and history : 

"You may know how little time there was for dainty 
preparation barely enough for tightening of saddle- 
girths and buckling on of spurs before the good horse 
stood ready to be mounted, and our hero began his im 
mortal ride on that hot and dusty July day, to carry 
into the Congress of the Colonies the vote he held in 
trust for the people of Delaware, and which was needed 
to make the Declaration of American Independence the 
unanimous act of thirteen united States." 

From the window-seat of the old house, 
which was the bachelor hero s dearest earthly 
home, I see, bisecting " The Green," what is 
still known as " The King s Highway," along 
which the rider dashed through Dover when 
the noonday sun was at the hottest. The 
hostelry, " King George s Arms," stood at 
that corner, facing the open square. There, 

a: z 
O < 

The Ridgely House 311 

at Rodney s imperative shout, a fresh horse 
was brought to him, and he was again in the 
saddle and away at breakneck speed, riding, 
not for his own, but for a Nation s life. 

" He is up ! he is off ! and the black horse flies 
On the Northward road ere the God speed dies ; 
It is gallop and spin, as the leagues they clear 
And the clustering milestones move arear." 

On the morning of July 4th, Thomas Mc- 
Kean, until then ignorant of the success of his 
messenger, met Caesar Rodney " at the State 
House door, in his boots and spurs, as the 
members were assembling." 

The briefest of salutations was exchanged, 
and not a word as to the momentous business 
before them. Not a moment could be lost, 
for they were the last to enter the hall, and the 
proceedings had begun. They were hardly in 
their seats when " the Great Question was put." 

At the call for the vote of Delaware, all 
eyes were turned to the bronzed face and dis 
ordered attire of him who was to break the 
"tie." He arose composedly, and spoke with 
calm deliberateness : 

" As I believe the voice of my constituents 
and of all sensible and honest men is in favor 

Caesar Rodney s Ride." 

312 More Colonial Homesteads 

of independence, my own judgment concurs 
with them. I vote for Independence." 

Neither romancist nor dramatist need add 
to, or take away from, the thrilling incident of 
Caesar Rodney s Ride. When one considers 
the tremendous issue involved, the character 
of the man who risked health, already infirm, 
to fulfil his pledge to colleague and to con 
science, and the quiet dignity with which he 
redeemed it the scene is sublime. 

The Rodney coat of arms bears the motto, 
Non generant Aquilcz Columbas (" Eagles do 
not bep;et doves"). 

o / 

This one of the brood, albeit knowing that 
he was fatally hurt, bore himself gallantly to 
the last. He was General Rodney in 1777, 
when ordered by Washington to " gather his 
Delaware troops in close proximity to the 
enemy ; to hang upon his flank, observe and 
report his movements, harass his outposts, and 
protect the surrounding country from maraud 
ing parties." The honour was no sinecure. His 
letters to Washington are models of concise 
ness and comprehensiveness, yet are worded 
with a sort of respectful familiarity betokening 
an entente cordiale between the two men, unu 
sual in the circumstances. Rodney s " usual 

The Ridgely House 313 

flow of spirits " had not deserted him. <4 GOD 
only knows," was still his staff and strength. 

" Be assured all I can do shall be done," he 
assures the Commander-in-Chief. " But he 
that can deal with militia may almost venture 
to deal with the devil. As soon as I can set 
forward I shall advise you. GOD send you a 
complete victory ! " 

All the while he suffered unspeakably in 
body. Aware that the loves of home and fam 
ily could never be his, he poured out his ardent 
soul and great heart in a passion of patriotism. 
His last important public declaration of this 
absorbing devotion is embodied in a resolution 
passed by the Delaware General Assembly in 
1782, when the war was supposed to be virtu 
ally at an end : 

"Resolved: That the whole power of this 
State shall be exerted for enabling Congress 
to carry on the war until a peace consistent 
with our Federal union and national faith can 
be obtained." 

He lived to see that peace established. Just 
one year after the terms of the definite treaty 
were signed (in 1 783) the Legislature of Dela 
ware "met at the house of Hon. Caesar Rod 
ney, Esq., the Speaker, he being too much 

3H More Colonial Homesteads 

indisposed to attend the usual place of 

He died the next month (June, 1784). 

For almost a third of his earthly existence 
he had been the tortured victim of the malady 
which killed him at last, an affliction peculiarly 
humiliating to a proud, sensitive man who, 
freed from it, would have been the possessor 
of all that makes life best worth living. 



MY dear young hostess of the Ridgely 
homestead is still the raconteuse. She 
has a story in a lighter vein to beguile me 
from the reverie into which I have fallen, with 
Dover Green and the King s Highway before 
my eyes, and, in the ears of my imagination, 
the echoes of those flying hoofs that, to 
quote for the last time from the Delaware ora 
tor : " will reverberate in American ears like 
the footfalls of Fate 

Far on in summers that we shall not see. : 

In 1840, Lucretia Mott was advertised as 
intending to lecture in Dover, and the conserv 
ative, slave-holding element of the town pro 
tested indignantly against the measure. When 
she and her companions appeared on the day 
set for the lecture, they were given to under 


316 More Colonial Homesteads 

stand that the attempt would be dangerous.. 
To the menace was added a demand that the 
party leave Dover at once. Judge Henry 
Moore Ridgely interfered boldly between the 
obnoxious visitors and the rising mob. 

"Not"- as he explained privately to his 
family " that I am fond of abolitionists. But 
I will not have a woman insulted in this town." 

He welcomed Mrs. Mott and her aides to his 
own house, and invited a dozen or more prom 
inent members of the Legislature, then in 
session, to meet them at supper that evening. 
But two of those bidden to the feast came. 
Both of these men were lovers of Miss 
Ridgely, the host s daughter, and neither dared 
decline, lest his rival should score a point 
against him by accepting. 

I give the scene at the Court House in 
another s words : 

"When supper was over Lucretia Mott announced her 
intention of speaking that evening in the Court House 
at Dover ; Judge Ridgely, feeling, no doubt, that his 
presence might be a protection to the Quakers, offered 
to accompany them thither ; Miss Ridgely, whose heart 
was quite won by Mrs. Mott s gentle manner and de 
lightful fluency in conversation, begged that she might 
go also, to hear the address, and Mr. DuPont, one of the 1 
Members aforesaid offered to be her escort.. Judge 

(AGED 19.) 


Other "Old Dover" Stories 319 

Ridgely took Lucretia Mott under his protection, gave 
her his arm, and led the way, followed by the rest of the 
Quakers and his daughter with Mr. DuPont The little 
party reached the Court House in safety, notwithstand 
ing that they were subjected to threatening murmurs 
and surly looks from the bystanders, who wished to 
prevent Mrs. Mott from speaking in Dover ; but Judge 
Ridgely conducted her safely to the platform, looking 
around upon the crowd and saying, I dare you to touch 

" Mrs. Mott then made an earnest and beautiful ad 
dress, but without any allusion to the exciting subject of 
Slavery, and all present were delighted with it." 

There was more to follow before the event 
ful visit was over. After the lecture the com 
pany returned to Judge Ridgely s house and 
sat about the drawing-room fire, in full view 
of a gathering crowd without. For Judge 
Ridgely had sternly refused to have the shut 
ters closed, and the windows, as I have said, 
opening directly upon the sidewalk, are so low 
in the wall as to allow passers-by to look into 
the ground-floor rooms. In emulation of her 
entertainers equanimity, the stout-hearted 
Quakeress feigned not to observe the dark 
faces pressed against the panes, or to hear the 
hoarse murmurs from without, like the wash 
of the surge upon the beach before a rising 

320 More Colonial Homesteads 

storm. She had never been more brilliant in 
talk, or apparently more happily at her ease, 
almost charming her auditors into forgetful- 
ness of what might be impending should the 
tempers of the rioters finally break through 
the restraint of one man s influence and defy 
his authority. 

The scene was full of dramatic elements, 
had any of the spectators been sufficiently 
cool-headed to note and appreciate these. By 
and-by, Lucretia Mott arose to her feet in 
telling a story that demanded animated action. 
A young daughter of the house, fancying that 
she was weary of sitting and wished to walk 
about the room, drew back Mrs. Mott s chair 
to give her more space. Simultaneously with 
this action, the lady sat down again, and had 
a hard fall. The rival suitors were nearer to 
her than Judge Ridgely. One stood stock- 
still and laughed. The other sprang to the as 
sistance of the abolitionist, raised her, assisted 
her carefully to a seat, and begged to know if 
he could help her in any other way. 

Miss Ridgely spoke her mind to Mr. Du- 
Pont the next day, when Lucretia Mott and 
her friends were safely out of Dover. 

"You proved yourself a true man and a 

Other "Old Dover" Stories 321 

thoroughbred," said her father s daughter. 
" The other is neither ! " 

There are other stories dozens of them 
lingering about the house, and stealing in with 
the odour of the honeysuckles from the garden 
at the back. The garden where the box-bushes 
have grown, in a century and more, into great 
trees and thick hedges, on the top of which one 
may walk fearlessly, as upon a wall. Where 
Judge Nicholas Ridgely and his family, includ 
ing Caesar Rodney, liked to take tea all summer 

" I seem to know them so well and to 
have seen them there so often that I could 
paint the group if I were an artist," says Mrs. 

And I, awakened by memories of it all at 
early morning, before the birds have stopped 
singing to breakfast in the cherry trees, make 
a picture for myself and hang it upon a nail 
fastened in a sure place in my mental gallery. 

The next day is filled with sight-seeing and 
dreaming. The pretty town is rich in historic 
shrines. We drive by the picturesque little 
church, so clothed upon with ivy we can hardly 
see the venerable walls of the burial-ground 


in which the remains of Caesar Rodney, brought 

322 More Colonial Homesteads 

from " Poplar Grove " in 1887 by the " Rodney 
Club " of young Delawareans, were laid with 
appropriate ceremonies. In 1889, the monu 
ment overtopping the churchyard wall was 
erected by the same organisation, Henry 
Ridgely, Jr., the descendant of the hero s 
guardian, being the President. 

" Woodburn " opens hospitable doors to us, 
when our eyes ache somewhat with much 
gazing, and the dust stirred by our wheels re 
awakens sympathy with the mad rider of 1776. 
There is an ocean-cave, coral-grove effect of 
whiteness and shade, in the spacious hall where 
Mrs. Holmes and her son welcome us. The 
weight of unperformed duties slips from our 
souls for an enchanted hour, while we look 
and listen. The woodwork of the lofty rooms 
was paid for by the Colonial proprietor by the 
transfer of a valuable farm to the builder. 
The toothed cornices were carved by hand, 
as were the deep panels of the doors, the win 
dow-casings and -seats and the wainscots. All 
are as sound and whole as if they had left the 
workman s hand ten, and not one hundred and 
forty, years ago. 

The hostess speaks when we are midway in 
the easy ascent of the noble staircase : 

(BUILT 1728.) 


Other "Old Dover" Stories 3 2 5 

"Just here, Lorenzo Dow passed the old 
gentleman, the other visitor. 

Then we have one of the authentic ghost- 
stories, such as my soul loveth : 

" You will find it in Lorenzo Dow s pub 
lished works. He was a guest in this house 
for several days. The morning after his ar 
rival, on his way down to prayers and break 
fast, he overtook on the stairs an old gentleman 
in Continental costume, long coat and waist 
coat, knee-breeches and long stockings. His 
white hair was tied at the back of his neck 
in a queue, and he moved slowly, as if in 
firm, holding to the rail as he walked. Mr. 
Dow bowed respectfully in passing him, but 
neither spoke. When the lady of the house 
requested Mr. Dow to begin family worship, 
he asked : Are we not to wait for the other 
visitor ? 

" * Whom do you mean ? There is no other 
visitor in the house. 

" The old gentleman I passed upon the 
stairs just now, he persisted. 

" The hostess coloured painfully, and seemed 
very uneasy, and the matter was dropped. 
Mr. Dow learned, afterward, chat others be 
sides himself had seen the apparition, and that, 

326 More Colonial Homesteads 

for some reason, the subject was a sore one to 
the family." 

The ghostly visitant showed himself again, 
and in broad daylight, to a guest of a later 
generation than Lorenzo Dow s. A college- 
boy, coming to spend some time at Wood- 
burn, was shown to his room, a pleasant 
chamber on the second floor, opening upon the 
wide, airy hall we traverse to the scene of his 
adventure. A long glass is at one end, and as 
we stand before it, we see, reflected in it, the 
window, and a chair set within its embrasure. 
The youth was brushing his hair and arrang 
ing his cravat when he beheld in the mirror 
the figure of an old man, dressed as I have 
described, sitting quietly in the chair and look 
ing straight at him. 

" Hope I don t intrude ! " said the collegian 
jauntily, turning toward the stranger, who, on 
the instant, vanished. A comical touch is sup 
plied to the tale by another Dover resident, 
who adds gravely that the old gentleman went 
to pieces jerkily before the poor boy s horrified 
eyes, his arms going in one direction, and his 
legs in another. 

Natheless as the books used to say when 
the old gentleman was solid flesh and bone the 

Other "Old Dover" Stories 3 2 7 

collegian declared that he was sane and sober 
when he saw the apparition, and could not be 
persuaded to stay in the chamber or house 
after the unpleasant dismemberment of his 

A modern story-wright, George Alfred 
Townsend, says of " Woodburn " : 

" Built by a tyrannical, eccentric man, it passed 
through several families until a Quaker named Cowgill, 
who afterwards became a Methodist, made it his prop 
erty. . . . 

" The first owner, it was said, had amused himself in 
the great hall-room by making his own children stand 
on their toes, switching their feet with a whip when they 
dropped upon their soles from pain or fatigue. His own 
son finally shot at him through the great northern door 
with a rifle or pistol, leaving the mark to this day, to be 
seen by a small panel set in the original pine. . . . The 
room over the great door has always been considered 
the haunt of peculiar people who molested nobody liv 
ing, but appeared there in some quiet avocation, and 
vanished when pressed upon." 

The present occupants are the descendants 
of a Dover lawyer who bought the place about 
fifty years ago. 

We get no ghostly anecdote during our call 
upon the Misses Bradford, who occupy a be 
witching homestead built by one of the Loock- 

328 More Colonial Homesteads 

erman family in 1746. We are introduced, 
instead, to a wealth of old china, much of it 
older than the house, each piece of it an heir 
loom beyond price. It is arranged in orderly 
rows within corner cupboards reaching to the 
ceiling, showing so many unbroken sets that 
one conceives a profound, almost an awed, 
respect for housewifery that must also have 
been a transmitted heritage from age to a^e. 

o o o 

The curious tiled fireplaces have shared in the 
care which warded off craze and crack and nick 
from other fragile treasures ; there are curtained 
bedsteads, solid mahogany, with twisted posts 
and carved headboards, and chairs yet older, 
and ancient tables of divers patterns, and a 
wonderful escritoire with a secret drawer we 
cannot refind after the location and way of 
working have been explained and illustrated 
to us twice over. 

The Bradford garden is a " good second" 
to the house and its plenishing. An enormous 
box-tree is believed to be a century old, and 
looks half as old again. It has a round poll, 
green and firm, and is perhaps fifty feet in cir 
cumference. Iris beds purple, white, white- 
and-purple, and yellow line the walks ; peo 
nies, pinks, cinnamon-roses, and many other 



Other "Old Dover" Stories 331 

dear flowers planted and tended by our great- 
grandmothers, grow where they were set when 
the portrait of King George III. was burned 
upon Dover Green, and, 

" From that soft midland where the breezes bear 
The North and South on the genial air ; 
Through the County of Kent, on affairs of State, 
Rode Caesar Rodney the Delegate." 

Thoughts and talk recur to him as we pass 
the Vining house on our homeward way. 

We have seen, in the preceding chapter, 
that Judge Nicholas Ridgely s third wife was 
Mrs. Mary Middleton Vining. She was the 
widow of a wealthy citizen of Salem, and, in 
accordance with a pledge made to him on his 
deathbed, secured her large fortune to their 
three children before her second marriage. 
Her brilliant son, Chief-Justice John Vining, 
was the father of the " Revolutionary belle," 
Mary Vining, the name-child of the aunt who 
was Caesar Rodney s first love. 

A charming sketch of the younger Mary 
Vining, written by Mrs. Henry Geddes Ban 
ning, appeared in the American Historical Re 
gister for July, 1895. Every child in Dover 
has heard her name and some particulars of 

33 2 More Colonial Homesteads 

her life. Mrs. Banning, a descendant of 
Thomas Rodney, Caesar Rodney s brother and 
executor, is in possession of several relics of 
the American beauty whose fame was carried 
back to France and England by officers who 
served in the Revolutionary struggle. 

" Thomas Jefferson, when minister plenipotentiary to 
France, was proud to assure the lovely Queen of France 
that the extravagant admiration of the Delaware belle 
by the French officers, which had reached her ears, was 
no exaggeration, for the American lady was worthy of it 
all. Marie Antoinette replied she would be glad to see 
her at the Tuileries. . . . She was mentioned in 
flattering terms, also, at the English Court of George III., 
and likewise at the Court of Germany." 

Besides the marriage which connected her 
with the family of her step-grandfather, Judge 
Nicholas Ridgely, she was related by blood to 
the Ridgelys and Rodneys, and a great pet in 
both families. But one of the many letters, 
written by her has been preserved for our 
reading. The loss to the epistolary literature 
of that period is inestimable, for her pen was as 
facile as the tongue that gained her the re 
putation of being the finest conversationalist 
of her generation. She spoke French with 

1 American Historical Register. 

Other "Old Dover" Stories 333 

grace and fluency ; her voice was rich and 
flexible, her charm of manner irresistible and 
indescribable. Her brother, John Middleton 
Vining, the " Pet of Delaware," shared with her 
the magic and mysterious gift of personal 
magnetism that gives plausibility to the folk- 
stories of fairy conclaves and presentations 
about the cradles of certain infants, who are, 
thenceforward, blessed or banned. 

When Caesar Rodney was Governor of 
Delaware, (in 1778) he hired a house in 
Wilmington for the winter, and his young 
kinswoman, Mary Vining, was the presiding 
genius of every entertainment given by him 
when women were present. Lafayette was a 
close friend and frequent guest of the bachelor 

" It was in the cellar of this house that, the 
Governor consenting, General Lafayette stored 
his little casks of gold wherewith to pay his 
little army, and help the cause of freedom," 
Mrs. Banning says, and proceeds to narrate 
the following pleasing incident : 

"My grandfather, C. A. Rodney, was a boy at this 
time, and he related this anecdote to my mother : * I 
was studying my Latin by the parlour fire when the door 
opened, and Miss Vining appeared in full dress. She 

334 More Colonial Homesteads 

approached the mantel, looking approvingly at the re 
flection in the glass. She observed my look of fixed 
admiration, for she turned and said, extending her hand 
to me " Come here, you little rogue, and you shall kiss 
my hand." I refused, drawing back with boyish bash- 
fulness, when she replied, " You might be glad to do so ! 
* Princes have lipped it " (from Cleopatra). All the 
time, I did think her the most beautiful creature I ever 
saw, and I still recall her as a beautiful picture. . . . 

The beauty was capricious as was natural. 
She was, also, spoiled and imperious, with all 
her gracious sweetness of disposition and man 
ner as was inevitable. The Frenchmen 
lost their heads, and told her so in ecstatic 
ravings which expressed all they felt. More 
phlegmatic British victims laid hearts, and all 
they had of fortunes, at her feet, and meant 
more than they could say. She was as often 
in Philadelphia as in Wilmington and Dover, 
and her conquests there were as notable. When 
Philadelphia was evacuated by the British in 
1778, a British officer risked character and 
life by making a flying trip to Wilmington, 
without leave of absence and under cover of 
night, to entreat Miss Vining to reconsider 
her refusal of him. Luckily, the transgression 
was not discovered by the authorities, a piece 
of good fortune for which he was probably 



Other "Old Dover" Stories 337 

less grateful than he should have been, being 
driven from desperation to despair by the 
belle s tranquilly kind repetition of her former 

Louis Philippe, then Due d Orleans, was 
among her visitors and admirers. Her friend 
ship with Lafayette, begun while he was 
Governor Rodney s guest, lasted while she 
lived. They corresponded regularly in French 
after his return to France. 

" Do you never mean to marry?" asked a 
wondering acquaintance after reckoning up 
the offers Miss Vining had had. " Will you 
never accept anybody ? " 

Mary Vining was frank with herself, if with 
no one else. Her reply was prompt and seri 
ous, almost regretful : 

"Admiration has spoiled me. I could not con 
tent myself with the admiration of one man." 

One of the regal fancies her great wealth 
enabled her to indulge was that of never going 
abroad on foot. Another was to wear a veil 
whenever she appeared in the street or at 
church. Her costumes, even during the Revo 
lutionary blockade, were the marvel and envy 
of women with equal ambitions and wealth, 
but who lacked her taste and genius. 

338 More Colonial Homesteads 

She was still in the prime of beautiful wo 
manhood when Peace sent French gallants and 
English suitors back to their homes, and dis 
banded her military admirers. Her Delaware 
drawing-room remained a salon, herself a queen. 
She was nearing her fortieth birthday, still 
handsome, still gracious in her imperiousness, 
when the Ridgely family was agitated by a 
rumour, at first scouted as incredible, then re 
ceived shudderingly. 

" Is it true," writes the widow of a Revolu 
tionary hero to Mrs. Dr. Charles Ridgely, 
" that Miss Vining is engaged to General 
Wayne ? Can one so refined marry this 
coarse soldier ? . . . True " relentingly 
" he is brave, wonderfully brave ! and none 
but the brave deserve the fair." 

General Anthony Wayne was now a wid 
ower. Mary Vining was a child of eleven 
when he, a man of twenty-two, married and 
settled upon a farm in Chester County, Penn 
sylvania. She was twenty-three when the 
storming of Stony Point, one mid-July night 
in 1779, fastened upon him the name of " Mad 
Anthony." In hearing the daring exploit dis 
cussed by his brother officers in her drawing- 
room, she must have laughed over the one 

Other "Old Dover" Stories 339 

bon-mot of the Commander-in-Chief trans 
mitted to us, and which Mrs. Banning revives 
in our recollection : 

" Can you take Stony Point ? " inquired 
Washington of the fiery brigadier-general. 

" Storm Stony Point, your Excellency ! I 11 
storm hell if you 7/ plan the attack ! " 

" Had n t we better try Stony Point first, 
General Wayne ? " was the dryly facetious 

Mary Vining would have enjoyed that. 
There was a decided admixture of shrewd 
common sense in her composition, despite her 
sybaritic tastes and habits. 

The one letter from her hand alluded to 
just now, was written to a cousin just after 
Chief-Justice Vining s death, when the daugh 
ter was fourteen years old. The grateful 
tenderness of the childish heart cannot be mis 
interpreted, but she takes thought of the keys 
of desk and trunks sent by him in " Uncle 
Wynkoop s letter to Uncle Ridgely," also, 
that " among them is the key of Mrs. Nixon s 
trunk, and in that you will find a canister of 
very good green tea, which you will please to 
use when Mr. Chew is down." 

Tea was already an expensive luxury, al- 

34 More Colonial Homesteads 

though the letter antedates the Boston Tea 
Party and the burning of the Peggy Stewart at 
Annapolis by three years. Mr. Chew was an 
honoured guest, for whom the best was none 
too good. 

" Mad Anthony " was made General-in- 
Chief of the United States Army in 1792. It 
is supposed that he paid his addresses first to 
Miss Vining in 1794. He had been in a dozen 
pitched battles, always serving with valour and 
distinction. His address, in suppressing the 
mutiny of the Pennsylvania troops in 1781, 
and his clear counsels as a member of the 
Philadelphia Legislature, proved that he had 
sense as well as valour. By a dashing bayo 
net charge at Green Spring, Virginia, he had 
saved the liberty, maybe the life, of the well- 
beloved Lafayette. Miss Vining understood 
him and her own heart so much better than 
her critics could know either, that she not 
only promised to marry the " coarse soldier," 
but loved him ardently and proudly. 

They were betrothed, and the wedding-day 
was set, when General Wayne set out late in 
1795, or early in 1796, to conclude the treaty 
of Greenville with the Western Indians, whom 
he had defeated at Maumee Rapids the year 

Other "Old Dover" Stories 341 

before. It was a long journey, and the nego 
tiations were tedious. In the civilised Dela 
ware he had left preparations went on briskly 
for the marriage, which was to take place 
immediately upon his return. Miss Vining 


bought a complete service of silver, and re- 
furnished her already handsome home. Be 
fore leaving her, the bridegroom-expectant had 
given her a set of India china, which is still in 
the Ridgely family at Dover. It was never 
used in the long lifetime of Mary Vining, but 
treasured among her most sacred belongings. 

342 More Colonial Homesteads 

The warrior betrothed never returned from 
his long journey and tedious errand. Mary 
Vining s New Year s gift was the news that 
he had died, December 15, 1796, at Presque 
Isle, on Lake Erie, on his way home, his ne 
gotiations satisfactorily completed, his heart 
full of hopes of happiness and her. 

Mrs. Charles Ridgely wrote to the corre 
spondent who had been shocked at the news 
of the projected marriage : 

u Miss Vining has put on mourning and re 
tired from the world, in consequence of Gen 
eral Wayne s death." 

Mrs. Banning adds that " Miss Vining 
seems to have deeply mourned General Wayne s 
death. She lived for twenty-five years longer, 
but never again entered society." 

This romance in real life, all unexpected to 
us, the admirers of the intrepid, dashing soldier, 
never named without the amused repetition of 
his sobriquet was followed by other disas 
ters. The " Pet of Delaware" lost his sister s 
fortune with his own. The delicately nurtured 
woman was compelled to sell her chariot, 
horses, servants, and home. A suburban cot 
tage left to her by her mother, and a scanty 
pittance for daily needs, were all that remained 

Other "Old Dover" Stories 343 

when the death of the brother she had idolised 
revealed the wreck he had made of their 

To quote again from Mrs Banning: 

" To the north of the eastern yard in which two huge 
willows grew, arose a blank brick wall that added to the 
convent-like seclusion of the shaded cottage. It be 
came, indeed, her living tomb. The loss of all that 
made life dear broke her proud, ambitious heart. She 
only sought concealment, like a wounded deer, till she 
could die." 

This was in 1802. In 1806, the thorough 
bred had rallied her forces to care for her 
brother s orphaned boys, four in number. To 
maintain and educate them the deposed queen 
took boarders, " hesitating at no sacrifice to 
benefit them, and devoting her time and talents 
to their education." 

From the eldest of these beneficiaries, then 
a lad of fourteen, we have a rhyming descrip 
tion of the Lady of " The Willows," as she 
had called her cottage, which is creditable to 
his head and heart : 

" Lady Vining comes first, with her soul-piercing eye, 
Let her look in your face, in your heart she will pry. 
In her features sits high the expression of truth, 
The wisdom of age and the fancy of youth. 

344 More Colonial Homesteads 

They say a bright circle her figure once graced, 

The mirror of fashion and Phoenix of taste ; 

But Religion soon whispered t were better to dwell 

In the willow s retreat, or hermitage cell. 

Now, apart from the world and its turbulent billows, 

Contentment she courts in the shade of The Willows."" 

Miss Vining s last visit to Philadelphia, the 
scene of her proudest conquests, was made in 
1809, upon business connected with the pla 
cing of this nephew with his maternal aunt, 
Mrs. Ogden, of New York. She went to the 
city by the urgent invitation of Caesar Augustus 
Rodney, " the Signer s " nephew and heir, 
in his carnage, and under his escort, remain 
ing for a fortnight in his house. She received 
the many faithful friends who hastened to pay 
their respects to her, conversing with the old 
winning grace and ease, but entered no other 
house than Mr. Rodney s. 

" The Willows " became more and more 
like a conventual retreat as the years went by. 
When the mistress went to church, which was 
seldom toward the end of her life, she wore 
the muffling cap with wide borders, assumed 
after General Wayne s death, and never laid 
aside or changed in fashion ; over this a pro 
jecting bonnet or " calash." As face and form 

Other "Old Dover" Stories 345 

lost delicacy and beauty, she saw the few 
visitors admitted to " The Willows " in a room 
where the shutters were bowed, and the cur 
tains drawn. 

" But her elegance of conversation, attractive man 
ners, and musical voice remained to the last, also her 
fine grey eyes. She had an abundance of brown hair 
that never turned grey. When the concealing cap was 
removed after her death, a high white forehead, and 
very smooth, was revealed." ] 

Of her four adopted children, her solace in 
poverty and widowhood, three died in early 
life, of consumption ; the eldest outliving her 
by a year. 

Mary Vining died in 1821. During the last 
years of her life, she had busied herself in 
writing the History of the Revolutionary War. 
The unfinished MS., with other valuable 
papers, was destroyed by fire several years 

1 American Historical Register. 



WITHOUT disparagement to other 
broods of the " Blue Hen s Chickens," 
we must admit that those sent out for public 
service from Kent County were of a game 
strain. Not fewer than sixteen Governors of 
Delaware were born in Kent, or were residents 
of the Peninsular County when elected to 
office. The long line began with Caesar Rod 
ney who, in 1778, was made " President of the 
Delaware State," for the then constitutional 
term of three years. 

Another President was John Cook, a man of 
wealth and influence in the Province. He 
came into office in 1783. In 1772, he had 
been High Sheriff of Kent County. He 
afterwards became a member of the first 


Belmont Hall 347 

Assembly of the State in 1776, and of the 
committee appointed in October of the same 
year to devise the Great Seal of Delaware. 
He also served as a soldier throughout the 
Revolutionary War, after which he was one 
of the Judges of the State. His landed es 
tate in and about the town of Smyrna in 
cluded the extensive tract of arable and wooded 
land upon which now stands the fine old 
homestead of Belmont Hall. 

The original grant of several thousand acres 
was made to an Englishman from whom it 
took the name of " Pearman s Choice." A 
house stood upon the site of the Hall late in 
the seventeenth century. The next proprie 
tor after Governor Cook was Moore, another 
Englishman, who erected the rear and lower 
wing of the house, as we now see it. 

The body of the Hall was added by Thomas 
Collins, the third Governor, or President, 
given by Kent County to Delaware. He was 
a brother-in-law of John Cook, and, like him, 
the owner of much valuable farming land in 
the lower part of the State. He bought the 
Belmont Hall tract from Moore in 1771, and 
enlarged the dwelling to its present propor 
tions in 1773. When hostilities between the 

More Colonial Homesteads 

Colonies and Great Britain broke out, he gar 
risoned the Hall and stockaded the grounds 
outlying it, raising, by his personal efforts, a 
brigade of militia from the surrounding country 
and maintaining it at his own expense while 
the war lasted. In addition to his duties as a 
military officer he was a member of the 
Council of Safety, subsequently, a delegate to 
the Convention that drafted the Constitution 
of the State, and Chief Justice of the Court of 

Common Pleas. 

" Belmont Hall" 
we learn from a 
family MS. 

"descended to Dr. 
William Collins by the 
will of his father, Gov 
ernor Thomas Collins, 
in 1789, and was sold 
by Dr. Collins to John 
Cloke, Esq., in 1827. 
He, in turn, left it to 
his daughter, Mrs. 
Caroline E. Cloke Pet 
erson, then the wife of 

J. Howard Peterson, Esq., of Philadelphia. Mr. Peter 
son died in 1875. Several years later Mrs. Peterson- 
married again, but is still the owner of Belmont Hall,, 
and the plantation connected with it." 


Belmont Hall 349 

The historic mansion is one of the oldest, if 
not the most ancient, private house in a State 
where Colonial architecture and old families 
abound. Two pictures of it hang in the 
Relic Room of Independence Hall, Philadel 
phia. One of the frames contains, in addi 
tion to this picture, a Continental specie note 
made into currency by the signature of War- 
Governor Thomas Collins, in 1776. The 
bricks of the Hall are said to have been 
brought from England. They are as hard as 
flint, and rich brown in color. Nails, hinges, 
door-knobs, and bolts were imported expressly 
for this dwelling and bear the imprint of the 
British stamp. 

The faade of the Hall is imposing, and the 
effect of the whole building, set in the centre 
of a park and gardens twenty acres in extent, 
and quite removed from the highway, is noble 
and dignified. One of the most beautiful 
views of the house is to be had from the 
garden behind it, where a low terrace falls 
away from the ornamental grounds to the 
level of the surrounding fields. The stroller 
in the winding alleys, looking up suddenly at 
the ivied gables of the oldest part of the Hall, 
framed in the broad arch of the arbour at the 

35 More Colonial Homesteads 

top of the terrace steps, fancies himself, for one 
bewildered instant, in the Old World, in the 
near neighbourhood of grange or priory, the 
age of which is measured by centuries, and not 
by decades. The illusion is borne out by 
patriarchal trees, knobbed and hoary as to 
boles, broad of crown, and with a compactness 
of foliage unattainable by groves less than 
fifty years old. 

The balustrade enclosing the flat central 


roof of the Hall was put up by Colonel Collins 
to protect the beat of the sentry kept for 
months upon this observatory. The officers. 
of the brigade were the guests of the family 
while the country swarmed with predatory 
bands of British and Tories, with an occasional 
sprinkling of Hessians. These last were be 
lieved by the peninsular population to be ogres 
imported especially for the destruction of 
women and children, each of the monsters 
being equipped by nature with a double row of 
carnivorous teeth. 

While there was no regular battle fought in 
the immediate neighbourhood of Smyrna, the 
region was reckoned peculiarly unsafe for the 
reason I have given, and skirmishes were not un 
common. Colonel Collins and his home guard 

Belmont Hall 353 

were a committee of safety in themselves ; 
the Hall, with its solid wall and surrounding 
defences, was looked upon by the fearsome 
families left unprotected while husbands, sons, 
and fathers were in active service in Pennsyl 
vania, New York, New Jersey, or Virginia, as 
a strong tower, into which they might run and 
be safe in case of peril to their persons or lives. 
The conformation of the peninsula, a signal 
advantage when commerce, and not war, was 
the business of the inhabitants, trebled the 
present dangers. " The extensive water-front 
was a constant invitation to attacks, and em 
boldened British emissaries and sympathisers. 
British vessels patrolled Delaware Bay, hold 
ing frequent communication with the shore, 
landing at night, and causing terror to the 

How imminent were the perils of the situa 
tion, and how needful the precautions taken 
by Colonel Collins, were illustrated by an in 
cident which, thenceforward, invested the look 
out upon the housetop with tragic interest. A 
stray marauder Tory spy, British scout, or a 
freebooter from the coast bent upon mischief 
of whatever kind ventured near enough to 
the fortified homestead one night to pick off 

354 More Colonial Homesteads 

the sentinel by a well-aimed rifle-ball. The 
wounded man, alone on his beat, and unable 
to summon aid, contrived to drag himself down 
the narrow staircase to a room below, occupied 
by some of his comrades, sleeping quietly, un 
conscious of what was passing over their heads. 
He died there, within the hour, before a sur 
geon could reach him, lying in a spreading 
pool of his own blood. The awful stain is 
upon the boards still, a memorial to this one 
of the host, which no man can number, of 
unknown private soldiers who poured out. 
their lives like water to secure to the land 
they loved 

" A Church without a Bishop, 
And a State without a King." 

Following the trail, faint but visible, left by 
the unknown s life-blood upon the stairs, we 
mount to the roof, and view the goodly pano 
rama of teeming fields and vineyards, peaceful 
hills, beautiful homes, and shining river, and 
hope that they know what they conveyed to 
us under so many, and such precious, seals. 

In 1777, the State Council of Delaware met 
in Belmont Hall by special invitation of the 
owner, probably because it was a safer place. 

H" i 

M&:. : ~ 




Belmont Hall 357 

than that in which the Council usually sat. 
Colonel Collins was himself recalled from the 
army under Washington by a special letter 
from the Speaker, or President of the Coun 
cil, " requiring his attendance, if consistent 
with the service he owed to his chief." 

No part of the State accessible by water was 
secure from alarms of invasion. In August, 
Thomas McKean, then executing the duties of 
the President of Delaware, complained that he 
was "hunted like a fox." Five times in four 
months he removed his wife and children from 
one refuge to another, finally hiding them in 
a secluded log cabin in Pennsylvania, a hun 
dred miles from Dover. This asylum was soon 
deserted for fear of Indians and Tories. 

George Read was probably President of the 
Council when it was hospitably entertained in 
the garrisoned Hall. Richard Bassett, a fut 
ure Governor of Delaware and Chief-Justice 
of the State, was also summoned from the 
army to take his seat in the Council. 

In the room where the unfortunate sentinel 
died there hung, for many years, a framed au 
tograph letter from General Washington to 
Colonel Collins, ordering him to report with 
his brigade at Morristown, for immediate serv- 

35 8 More Colonial Homesteads 

ice. This valuable relic was lent to a relat 
ive, and while in his keeping was accidentally 
destroyed by fire. 

Mrs. Peterson-Speakman, the great-grand 
daughter of Governor John Cook, is in pos 
session of another autograph despatch from the 
same august hand, bearing date of the same 
year. The fate of the infant government was 
wavering in the balance that winter, and, judg 
ing from the tone of the epistle, the temper of 
the Commander-in-Chief was "on the move." 

A second perusal engenders the shrewd sus 
picion that this was an open letter, meant for 
the men, and not for their colonel. Recalling 
the personal relations of the two men, we are 
furthermore persuaded that Colonel Collins 
comprehended the meaning of each biting line, 
if he were not in the secret of the composition. 
Caesar Rodney did not scruple to say to his 
Excellency, when urged to bring his men to 
the front, " He that can deal with militia may 
almost venture to deal with the devil." Colo 
nel Collins had his militia and his experience. 
He had, also, the ear of the General-in-Chief. 

" Headquarters, January 2ist, 1777. 

Ol iv I 

" To my great surprise I was applied to this morning to 
discharge your Battalion. If I am not mistaken it came 

Belmont Hall 359 

In on Sunday last, and it is not possible that a single 
man among them can wish to return before they have 
earned a single shilling. Your people cannot wish to 
burden the public, and they will do so, by asking pay 
without deserving any. What service have they been 
of ? None unless marching from home, when they had 
nothing to do, and staying four weeks on the way can be 
called service. If they would consider how ridiculous 
they will appear when they return without staying a week 
with me, they would continue here. This is probably 
the only time they will be needed to maintain our ground 
till the new army is raised. For this purpose I hope 
they left home and surely they cannot think of deserting 
me at so important a time. At any rate, their time of 
service cannot commence till they were equipped and 
ready to take the field. Dating it from thence they 
ought to stay six weeks after they marched from Phila 
delphia. Please mention these things to your Battalion. 
If they will not stay, tell them I cannot in justice to the 
States give them a discharge, and moreover, that I will 
not suffer them to draw pay for the time they have stayed. 
This measure being extremely disagreeable to me, I en 
treat you to use your utmost influence to prevail on your 
men to stay. They may render special service to their 
country in a short time, and justly claim the honour of 
saving it. On the contrary, should they go home, they 
will not only lose their pay, but remain the scoff of all 
their worthy neighbours. 
" I am, Sir 

" Your most obediently humble servant 


360 More Colonial Homesteads 

The original of the testy epistle was un 
earthed from a mass of other papers in the 
attic of Belmont Hall less than fifty years ago, 
by John Cloke, Esq., the then owner of the 
homestead, and a copy of it sent to Washington 
Irving. Mr. Irving s note of acknowledgment 
is courteous and characteristic : 

" SUNNYSIDE, August 27, 1855. 


" I feel very much obliged to you for the copy of a 
letter of General Washington s which you have had the 
kindness to send me. 

" By the date it must have been written from his Head 
quarters at Morristown at a time when he apprehended 
a push from the enemy, and could not afford to dis 
charge a Battalion. But five days previous to the date 
of this letter, he [General Washington] wrote to the 
President of Congress Reinforcements come up so 
exceedingly slow that I am afraid I shall be left without 
any men before they arrive. The enemy must be ignor 
ant of our numbers or they have not horses to move 
their artillery, or they would not suffer us to remain 

" Washington might well say that troops that could 
wish to abandon him and return home at such a moment 
would remain the scoff of all their worthy neighbours. 
" Very respectfully, your obliged and obedient servant, 


The patriotic Delawarean and Daughter of 
the American Revolution to whom I am in- 

Belmont Hall 361 

debted for this valuable contribution to my 
story of Belmont Hall, subjoins with emphasis 
that is even passionate : 

" Now be it known and inscribed to the honour and 
glory of these men, and of this State of Delaware, that 
they did stay all through that winter, and that Delaware 
history records the fact that Brigadier-General Collins 
led his native militia to Morristown, in the winter of 
1777, and then and there saw active service, enduring 
all the hardships of that memorable campaign." 

A list of authorities in support of the vindi 
cation follows. 

History records a narrow escape from utter 
spoliation which the garden county of Dela 
ware had in 1781. Arnold was fitting out the 
expedition that was to carry fire and sword up 
the Rappahannock and the James, and the 
wildest apprehensions were entertained of his 
taking the eastern coast of Delaware en route. 
In a sort of panic Congress " actually decided 
that the only measure of prevention was to 
denude the region in question of all its live 
stock, provisions, and supplies, and starve the 
inhabitants, in order to deprive the enemy of 
support in case they should decide to land." 

A cavalry regiment was detailed to carry 
out the ruthless order, and was about to march 

362 More Colonial Homesteads 

when Caesar Rodney made another hurried 
visit to Philadelphia, and by his determined 
resistance to the vandalistic decree, saved his 
home and neighbourhood. 


Colonel Thomas Collins was Governor 
(President) of Delaware in 1781, when her 
deputies, in solemn convention, ratified the 
Constitution of the United States. To the 
wisest statesmen of the infant Republic she 
seemed to have passed through the dangers of 
birth only to incur the equal risk of strangula 
tion in her cradle. 

" The Constitution, or disunion, are before 
us to choose from," said Washington. " The 
political concerns of the country are suspended 
by a single thread." 

General Collins, the loyal executive of a 
loyal State, spoke out boldly : 

" The new Constitution involves in its adop 
tion, not only our prosperity and felicity, but, 
perhaps, our national existence." 

Senator Bayard might well ask ; 

" May not we of Delaware, descendants of 
the Blue Hen s Chickens of the Revolution, 
afford to smile at sneer or jest at our scanty 
area and population, and say Our best crop 
is MEN ! men like Caesar Rodney ?" 

Belmont Hall 3 6 3 

He might have added " Men like McKean, 
Cook, Collins, Robinson, Sykes, Clark, Bas- 
sett, Clayton "-and a score of others, includ 
ing those of his own illustrious line, now, as of 
yore, sans peur et sans reproche. 

Governor Thomas Collins was succeeded 
in the ownership of Belmont Hall by his son, 
Dr. William Collins. In 1827, it passed into 
the hands of John Cloke, Esq., the father of 
the present mistress of the homestead, Mrs. 
Caroline Elizabeth Cloke Speakman. Each 
one of this lady s names is a link in the history 
of the old Hall in which she was born and 
where she has lived her busy, beneficent life. 

Her ancestor, John Cloke, emigrated to 
America in the i 7th century. 

His son, Ebenezer Cloke, married Elizabeth 
Cook, the daughter of the Governor John 
Cook of whom honourable mention was made 
in the opening paragraphs of this chapter. 
His wife was a sister of Thomas Collins, and 
a daughter married Hon. John Clark, another 
Governor of their native State. Belmont Hall 
was one of Elizabeth Cook s early homes. A 
vivid scene, pictured for us by the traditions 
of the place and time, is of the young wife of 
Ebenezer Cloke, sitting by the tiled fireplace 

364 More Colonial Homesteads 

in the parlour, assisting her aunt, her cousins, 
and other patriotic women to mould bullets, 
while armed men bivouacked upon the lawn, 
and the sentinel trod his lonely round upon 
the balustraded roof. She had her own pecul 
iar martyrdom to the righteous Cause. Her 
husband, Ebenezer Cloke, fitted out a priva 
teer at his own charges, and commanded her 
in person in coast cruises against the enemy. 
In one of these he was captured with his. 
vessel and consigned to a prison-ship. 

" Here," says a chronicler, " overtures of release were 
daily made to him and the other prisoners, provided 
they would take sides with Great Britain against the 
Colonies ; but he resisted this bribe of a dishonourable 
freedom, and with liberty in reach, did he but choose to< 
grasp it, he languished and died of ship-fever, a worthy 
patriot to the last." 

The tale, as sad as it is brief, is the dark 
curtain against which is cast for us the fig 
ure of the bullet-moulder, lighted by the red 
shine of the fire. Prayers and tears went 
into the shaping of the missiles that were to 
defend the Cause which had cost her young 
husband liberty and life ; tears for what she 

1 Rev. G. W Dame, D.D. Address delivered upon the organisa 
tion of Elizabeth Cook Chanter. Belmont Hall, i8q6. 

Belmont Hall 367 

had lost, prayers that the sacrifice might not 
be in vain. 

There is fine poetic compensation in the 
facts that her son became the master of the 
estate her father had once owned ; that the 
Chapter of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution organised beneath the ancient roof 
should receive her blessed name, and that the 
granddaughter who proudly bears the same 
should be the honoured Regent of the Chapter. 

A blood-relative and dear friend of Eliza 
beth Cook Cloke was Eve Lear, the niece 
of Dr. Tobias Lear, Washington s confiden 
tial secretary, who attended him in his last 

"It is recorded of her," says Dr. Dame, 
" that she gave her entire fortune in gold to 
feed and clothe the soldiers at Valley Forge." 

I had expected, before coming to Belmont 
Hall, to find it redolent of such hallowed 
memories as a potpourri of rose-gardens and 
sunny bygones. My anticipations are more 
than fulfilled in the cherished relics with which 
it is stored. In the "winter kitchen" in the 
oldest wing yawns the cavernous fireplace 
where were roasted mighty barons of beef for 
the officers of the Collins Brigade ; and sav- 


368 More Colonial Homesteads 

ory pastries and delicate cates were baked, 
and wines were mulled, according to Mistress 
Collins s choicest recipes, for the grave and 
reverend Councillors who must be braced in 
body if they would be stout of spirit when the 
matter before their worships was the resistance 
of a few and simple folk to the most powerful 
government upon earth. 

We are assured in our own minds, although 
unconfirmed by history, that it was here, on 
winter nights, when the bewigged and beruffled 
Councillors occupied the parlour and dining- 
room, that bravely patient Elizabeth Cloke 
and why not Eve Lear? melted lead, and 
manipulated the clumsy moulds, and talked 
of the beloved of their blood and hearts, war 
ring for freedom upon land and sea. Eben- 
ezer Cloke s writing-desk, upon which his wife 
may have written her letters to him while he 
was off upon his cruise, is in the dining-room. 
There were no banks then or none accessi 
ble to provincial rebels. Mr. Cloke kept his 
money in the double row of secret drawers 
unlike any others we have ever explored. 
The big spinning-wheel near by whirled all 
day long for months together, spinning yarn 
to be woven into cloth for uniforming the 

Belmont Hall 369 

Collins Brigade. I am allowed to handle the 
old flint-lock musket that was used by John 
Cook, " soldier, legislator, judge, senator, and 
president " ; the two antique chairs on each 
side of the drawing-room hearth were passed 
down in the Collins family as mementoes of 
the period when Belmont Hall, " in addition 
to its other memories, posed as one of the 
State capitals." They were part of the fur 
niture of the room used as a legislative cham 
ber in 1777. Caesar Rodney may have sat in 
one, or Thomas McKean, or the warlike lord 
of the manor, recalled from the field to open 
his hospitable doors to the Council. 

The fireplace is set with blue and white tiles 
of the time of William and Mary. They are 
unchanged from the days "when, in front of 
the chimney, Governor Collins wrote his mes 
sages and planned with his officers his cam 
paigns against the British." 

About the antiquated spinet, which has 
stood for over fifty years in the great garret, 
troop and hover all manner of fancies, sweet, 
sad, and quaint, such as visited the mind of 
one who, many years ago, left a page of im 
promptu verse within the case, above the 
shattered, tuneless wires : 

370 More Colonial Homesteads 

" In gown of white, in sunset light, 
She sits and plays upon her spinet, 
And falling clear upon his ear, 
Come forth the dainty airs within it. 

The twilight falls adown the walls, 
Yet softly on her fair form lingers 
A last red glow, as, loth to go, 
The sun leaves kisses on her fingers. 

They both are gone ! now quite forlorn,, 
In dusty attic stands the spinet ; 
And nought remains to mark Love s pains, 
Except the airs she found within it." 

The tall clock on the landing of the hand 
some staircase, faced by the stately peacock 
upon the railing, has mounted guard there for 
a century. The linen cambric sheets under 
which I slept last night, as fine as gossamer, 
and trimmed with old family lace, were a part 
of the bridal gear of Mrs. John Cloke, upon 
her coming to Belmont Hall in 1849. The 
stately cedars on either side of the front porch 
were planted upon the respective birthdays of 
her two daughters, and named for them. The 
vista leading from the porch to the gate is walled 
and arched by the close foliage of evergreens 
and deciduous trees, where song-birds build and 



Belmont Hall 373 

make music from dawn to dusk. A mocking 
bird was the precentor at the matinal service 
to-day. Wood-doves are cooing and pre 
sumably building in the dim greenery, as the 
day marches towards noontide. Box-trees, 
syringas, roses, calycanthus, and many varie 
ties of honeysuckles send up waves of warmed 
incense when the breeze shakes them. The 
extensive plantations are enclosed by match 
less arbor-vitae hedges. 

I have been graciously allowed to visit the 
cellars under-running the entire building- 
erstwhile filled to the ceiling with army stores 
and found them, as I had hoped I should, a 
study and a joy. Cool, spacious, clean, sweet, 
and in every part walls, shelves, cemented 
floor, the very barrels and boxes white as 
new-fallen snow. Our hostess is a veritable 
Mrs. Rundle in the matter of pickles, pre 
serves, and jellies, and this, too, is a hereditary 

Her beautiful grounds are ever open to the 
well-mannered public, not excepting Sunday- 
school picnics. Delawareans sustain the repu 
tation for law-keeping and orderliness won in 
the " Long time ago," by never presuming 
upon this large-hearted hospitality. 

374 More Colonial Homesteads 

We talk of "places," not houses; " planta 
tions," not farms, while lingering in the vener 
able peninsula. Everybody hereabouts has 
quotable ancestors, and neighbourhood gene 
alogies are known, and may be read, of all 
men. Each farmstead has its legend ; every 
old tree its anecdote ; and none have been 

A venerable lady who passed from earth in 
1882 did more than can ever be fully told 
towards keeping the glorious Past alive in 
the minds of this generation. The grounds 
of " Woodlawn," the beautiful family seat of 
George W. Cummins, Esq., adjoin those of Bel- 
mont Hall. Mrs. Anne Denny, Mr. Cummins s 
mother-in-law, was born in Kent County, Del 
aware, January i, i 778. She was, therefore, one 
hundred and four years old at the time of her 
death, and, retaining all her faculties to the 
last, was a most valuable bond to the last 
century. A member of the Society of Friends, 
the placidity of spirit and demeanour cultivated 
by them as one of the first of Christian graces, 
had been brought by her to perfection through 
all these years of aspiration after the highest 
good. Her " household s most precious and 
most highly cherished treasure, the centre of 

Belmont Hall 


attraction and light of the home," as one who 
knew her long and intimately called her, she 
was the pride and delight of the region blest 
.and dignified by her abiding. 

" She was older than the Government under 
which we live " ; so runs the loving tribute to 
her memory. " Her childhood was spent in the 
days when our public men were noted for that 
purity of life for which she herself was so 

Mrs. Denny was a woman of fine intellect, 
keen perceptions, and extensive observation. 
" Her memory being clear as to the events of 
each successive year that had rolled over her," 
since her early childhood, conversation with 
her was like drawing directly from the twin 
streams of History and Tradition. 

A biographer writes : 

We may mention, as one incident of her childhood, 
that she and many other children gathered in Wilming 
ton to greet General Washington, as he passed through 
to his first Inauguration as President of the United 
States. When the great man came opposite to her, 
attracted probably by that sweetness of expression 
which was always hers, he stooped, took her in his arms, 
and kissed her." 

Washington Irving 1 never forgot that his 

o o o 

3/6 More Colonial Homesteads 

nurse had taken him into a shop where Wash 
ington was standing, and introduced her 
charge to the President as " a little boy who 
was named after Your Excellency," where 
upon the hero laid his hand upon the sunny 
head and " hoped he would grow up to be a 
good man." 

The little girl whom Washington embraced 
and kissed told the story to her great-grand 
children. Caesar Rodney was President of 
the Delaware State when she was born, and 
she outlived twelve of the fifteen Governors 
from Kent County who were his successors in 
office during the century that followed. She 
had been a married woman for two years when 
Washington died in 1799, and was widowed 
four years after the war of 1812. Born amid 
the thunders of the Revolution, she read three 
other Declarations of War, issued by as many 
Presidents of these United States, and heard, 
three times, the joy bells of Peace. She 
marked the birth and growth of inventions we 


now receive as the commonest necessaries of 
everyday life, such as steam-transportation, 
the magnetic telegraph, the telephone, the 
electric-car, the sewing-machine and the type 
writer. Upon these, and all other subjects of 

Belmont Hall 377 

interest and benefit to the human race, she 
had her opinion, always speaking out bravely 
for Right and Truth. Physically and mentally 
her bow abode in strength and strangest of 
all, when we consider what the wear and tear of 
a century s joys, griefs, and worries must be to 
brain and nerve, " None of the family at Wood- 
lawn, children, grandchildren, or servants 
e v e r received 
from her a harsh 
word, or an un 
kind look." 

I account it a 

privilege a n d a "fe 

rare honour to 
hear all this from 
the lips of my 
hostess (who was 
her loving friend 
and nearest neigh- 
bour), while we sit 
under the ances- 
tral trees of Bel 
mont Hall in the MRS. ANNE DENNY. 

1 (TAKEN AT THE AGE OF 101.) BORN 1778. DIED 1882. 

summer seclusion 

of shade and silence. It is a fit place and time 

for listening to a letter read to the accompani- 

378 More Colonial Homesteads 

ment of the weak wind playing- with the Nor 
way firs and losing itself in the vista they 
enclose : 

" It seemed to me, then and it is a deepened sense 
now as if she had been so long at the heavenly 
portal that she was breathing the very atmosphere 
of the New Jerusalem. As if she had had some 
glimpse of the King in His beauty, and that, though 
her feet were on the earth, yet her conversation was in 

" Do you recollect the message she gave me ? 

Tell my friends, she said, that I have a beauti 
ful home here, but that I desire so to live that I may be 
ready and willing to leave it when the message may 
be sent to me. 

This was upon her one-hundred-and-fourth 
birthday, when, as was their custom, her most 
intimate friends, Mrs. Peterson - Speakman 
among them, gathered at Woodlawn to pay 
their respects, offer congratulations, and ex 
press their desire that the wonderful life might 
be prolonged yet further into her second 
century. One of the company, on taking 
leave, " hoped that he might meet her again 
on the next anniversary." 

Her answer was firm and sweet; "I neither 
expect nor desire it ! " 

Belmont Hall 


In four days more the beautiful link bind 
ing together three generations of mortal lives, 
parted gently. The listening spirit had re 
ceived " the message." 



T F geologists are trustworthy sources of know- 
A ledge, the stony spine of New Hampshire 
was the first part of our continent upheaved 
from the primeval ocean. 

As if in obedience to an occult law of prior 
ity, the " Granite State " has consistently pressed 
to the front ever since she took upon herself 
the name and the dignity of a commonwealth. 
The map of her brief coast was one of the 
earliest charts made out by the first admiral 
of New England, Captain John Smith (in 
1614). From the Portsmouth Navy-yard, the 
oldest in the country, was launched, in 1777, 
the Ranger, ordered by the Continental Con 
gress, which, under the command of John 
Paul Jones, had the distinction of being the 
first war-vessel to hoist the Stars and Stripes 
and receive a formal naval salute. 


Langdon and Wentworth Houses 381 

Stark s Volunteer Brigade, that helped to 
-win the first decisive victory for the Americans 
in the Revolutionary War, was fitted out at 
the expense of John Langdon of Portsmouth, 
and his was the first signature affixed to the 
Federal Constitution drafted by the Conven 
tion of 1778. 

Portsmouth, the only seaport of the sturdy 
State, was settled in 1623, and was created a 
township in 1653. In 1890 just three hundred 
years after the launching of the Falkland, the 
first war-vessel built in her clocks she had a 
population of 10,000, with an allowance of one 
church and-an-eighth for every thousand inhabit 
ants, and public-school property to the amount of 
$100,000. All of which shows oneness of spirit 
with pioneers who marched five hundred strong 
to do battle at Louisburgin 1645, a d who fur 
nished the same number of soldiers to attack 
Crown Point in 1755. Of a like strain were 
the 12,500 Continental militia who answered 
the call of Congress during the eight years 
struggle for the liberty of the Colonies. Some 
thing of the strength and inflexibility of the 
Eozoic period, to which belong her everlast 
ing hills, would seem to permeate New Hamp- 
.shire s civic, religious, and moral institutions. 

382 More Colonial Homesteads 

Benning Wentworth was made Governor of 
the State in 1741. Most of us are more fa 
miliar with his name than with that of the very 
much better man who was born that same year. 
History was made of John Langdon s works 
and warrings. Poetry has made Benning 
Wentworth s wooing and wedding famous. 

The Colonial parody of the story of Lord 
Bzwleigh and the Village Maid is musically 
rendered by Longfellow. Governor Benning 
Wentworth married Martha Hilton, once a 
servant-girl at the Stavers Tavern in Queen 
(afterward called " Buck," now State) Street, 
but since promoted to the housekeeper s office 
in the Governor s household. The wedding 
feast was a surprise party, given upon the 
bridegroom s sixtieth birthday. 

" He had invited all his friends and peers, 
The Pepperills, the Langdons, and the Lears, 
The Sparhawks, the Penhallows, and the rest 
For why repeat the name of every guest ? " 

The Reverend Arthur Brown hesitating to per 
form the ceremony, was commanded, in the 
name of the law, to proceed with it. 

The marriage was at Little Harbour, the 
gubernatorial mansion there having been built. 



Langdon and Wentworth Houses 385 

in 1750. Until that time the Wentworths 
had lived in what is known as the Went- 
worth-Vaughan Tavern, on Manning Street, 
Portsmouth. Samuel Wentworth, the grand 
father of Governor Benning, was licensed in 
1690, "to entertain strangers, and to sell and 
to brew beare as the law allows," in this, the 
house he had built. It is one of the dozen or 
more Colonial homesteads in Portsmouth that 
repay the visitor to the quaint old seaport for 
the time and trouble the journey hither has 
cost him. 

The event that gave us the poem of Lady 
Wentworth, is squeezed in the Parish Register 
of St. John s Church, into a space just one 
inch square : 

"Portsmouth, March I $th, Benning Went 
worth, Gov., Martha Hilton. 59." 

Another entry dated a few months after the 
elderly bridegroom s death, shows that Lady 
Wentworth speedily consoled herself for the 
loss of her Burleigh by wedding his brother, 
Colonel Michael Wentworth of His Majesty s 

Sir John Wentworth, LL.D. was the uxori 
ous Benning s nephew. He was, by three 
years, the senior of John Langdon. The boys 

386 More Colonial Homesteads 

may have fought together on the village 
green, and upon the play-ground attached to 
worshipful Major Hale s school, as they strug 
gled in their manhood in the arena of Colonial 

The Langdon family was one of the oldest 
in Portsmouth and always conspicuous in her 
domestic and public annals. John, the most 
distinguished citizen of town and Province, 
was born in 1740 or 1741. 

" His boyhood was unmarked by prophecy or won 
ders. He did what other boys did ; trudged to the 
Latin school kept by the celebrated Major Hale, who 
was one of the characters of his day, recited his lessons,, 
and left no gleaming legend for scholarship. Langdon 
was not a genius, and sound sense always kept him 
safely within bounds." 

John Wentworth, the Governor s nephew 
was graduated at twenty-two from Harvard 
College ; at twenty-eight (in 1 765), he was sent 
by the Provincial Government to England 
upon a special mission. That year, his titled 
relative, Charles Watson Wentworth, Marquis 
of Rockingham, was made Premier of Great 
Britain. He was to become the idol of a 
fleeting hour in America on account of his 

Charles R. Corning, in New England Magazine, July 1894. 



Langdon and Wentworth Houses 389 

agency in the repeal of the detested Stamp 
Act, and was always popular in the Colonies. 

John Wentworth returned to Portsmouth in 
1767 as " Surveyor of the King s Woods in 
America and Governor of New Hampshire." 
The curled and perfumed darling of Fortune 
like his uncle and predecessor in office 

" Represented England and the King 
And was magnificent in everything." 

Longfellow paints a street scene in that 
Old Portsmouth for us : 

"A gay 

And brilliant equipage that flashed and spun, 
The silver harness glittering in the sun, 
Outriders with red jackets, lithe and lank, 
Pounding the saddles as they rose and sank ; 
While, all alone within the chariot, sat 
A portly person with three-cornered hat 
A crimson velvet coat, head high in air, 
Gold-headed cane, and nicely powdered hair, 
And diamond buckles, sparkling at his knees." 

Ah ! the world went very well then with 
the future baronet in his Great House at Little 
Harbour, "looking out to sea." 

The sea upon which John Langdon, who 
was never to prefix or suffix a foreign title to 
his honest name, was then making the fortune 

39 More Colonial Homesteads 

to be staked upon the result of the conflict 
between his native Province and the King 
represented by his former schoolfellow. After 
serving an apprenticeship in a Portsmouth 

counting-house, the man 
without genius chose his 
career. Money was to 
be made surely and 
swiftly by trading di 
rectly with the Indies, 
Africa, and Europe. 
John Langdon was one 
who ever knew his own 


mind intimately ; who 

understood his own purposes and abode by 
them. He meant to become rich, and that 
Portsmouth and New Hampshire should profit 
by his prosperity. 

" Moons waxed and waned ; the lilacs bloomed and died. 
In the broad river ebbed and flowed the tide ; 
Ships went to sea, and ships came home from sea, 
And the slow years sailed by, and ceased to be." 

The world was not going so well for Gov 
ernor Wentworth when the seafarer decided 
to leave off roving and resume home and 
mercantile life. Fortune s darling was still 


personally popular with his fellow-citizens, but 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 391 

the King he represented was growing daily 
more obnoxious. The gallant fellow had done 
his best, according to the light that was in him, 
toward securing the best interests of the coun 
try as dear to him as to any of the malcontents. 
He had given a charter to Dartmouth College, 
rising superior to any small partiality for his 
own Alma Mater ; he was the farmer s friend 
and zealous coadjutor, and, as chief magistrate 
of the Colony, encouraged immigration and de 
velopment of all her resources. As the direct 
result of his wise legislation, New Hampshire 
had, by now, a population of 80,000, and was 
growing rapidly in numbers and wealth. 

With indignant pain the Governor awoke 
to the truth that has confounded many another 
favourite of the people, to wit, that the dullest 
yokel can dissociate men and measures when 
self-interest is abraded. One and all of those 
who visited the Great House, or bared their 
heads as the Governor s chariot drove through 
the streets of his capital city, liked and ap 
proved of him, and of what he had done in the 
past for town and townspeople. But resent 
ments and resolves which were, in two years 
time, to crystallise into the Declaration of Inde 
pendence, were as rife in New Hampshire as in 

39 2 More Colonial Homesteads 

her sister provinces. A long series of wrongs 
and misread rights had aroused the loyal and 
patient young giant that now knew itself to be 
a nation. It was beyond the power of any 
individual to quiet the tempest. 

John Wentworth, too, was loyal and patient. 
Loyal to his sovereign and in love for his fel 
low-citizens, patient, to an extent that awakens 
our affectionate and compassionate respect, 
with his misguided compatriots. His policy 
was conciliatory from the outset to the bitter 
and unlooked-for end. It was, therefore, a 
heavy disappointment and a personal sorrow 
when, in the depth of a December night, in 
1774, a party, headed by John Langdon and 
John Sullivan (Major-General Sullivan of 
the Revolutionary War, subsequently Attorney- 
General, then, President of the State of New 
Hampshire) surprised and overcame the little 
garrison at Fort William and Mary, New 
Castle, securing the ordnance and ammunition 
for the Colonial army. The expedition was a 
direct assault upon the Royal Government ; the 
assailants were little better than an infuriated 
mob, such as no one who knew John Langdon 
as a sober, law-abiding citizen would have 
expected him to countenance, much less to 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 393 
organise and conduct. Yet there is no record of 


any effort at reprisal on the part of the King s 
representative, and nothing to show that the 
relations between him and Langdon were 
strained by what was a crime in the eye of 
established law. 

On the contrary, the message sent by Went 
worth to the Provincial House of Representa 
tives convened in Portsmouth, May 1775, and 
to which John Langdon was a delegate, was 
full of kindly and moderate counsels. The 
colonists were advised to bear and forbear until 
the unhappy misunderstandings were cleared 
up, and exhorted to continued confidence in 
the Home Government which had been pater 
nal in past kindnesses. 

In reply, a Committee from the House 
waited upon the Governor. John Langdon s 
was among the serious visages that met Went- 
worth s ready smile. The two were, as we 
have seen, not far apart in age, John Langdon 
being now thirty-five, John Wentworth, thirty- 
eight. The crisis was too grave for diplomatic 
circumlocution. The Committee drove straight 
to the object of their visit. The temper of the 
Assembly was too fiery to allow calm discussion 
of the matters set forth in his Excellency s 

394 More Colonial Homesteads 

message. They would not answer for the 
consequences if the members proceeded forth 
with to business. John Langdon was a lover 
of liberty. He was also a lover of fair play, 
and so far as was practicable in the present ex 
cited state of public feeling, a lover of peace 
and concord. He strongly recommended, and 
his colleagues agreed with him, that the session 
be postponed for a month. After a little par 
leying the Governor acquiesced in the propos 
ition. He was confident, at heart, of winning 
his people back to their allegiance. Before the 
month was half gone, another organised exhi 
bition of popular feeling, engineered as before, 
by substantial citizens, and led by Langdon 
and Sullivan, heated the blood of town and 
Colony. The fortifications of Jerry s Point, 
one of the harbour defences, were demolished ; 
more muniments of war fell to the portion of 
the insurgents. 

The crowning insult to King and to Gov 
ernor came in May of 1775. Colonel Fen- 
ton, "a well-known and well-hated" British 
officer, was dining with the Governor, when a 
mob collected in front of the Great House, 
trained a field-piece upon it, and demanded 
the loyalist s person. Before the host could 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 395 

interfere to prevent him, Colonel Fenton 
coolly walked out of the front door and gave 
himself up. He 
was hurried 
away under 
guard to Exeter. 
Stung and hu 
miliated as he 
was by these re 
peated outrages, 
John Went 
worth was suffi 
ciently master of 
himself to essay 
further concilia 
tion of the turb 
ulent populace. 
Langdon still 

, ^ . 11 GOVERNOR OF N. H. 

ion that it would 

be unsafe to bring the Convention together 
at present, and the Governor once more post 
poned the session, this time until July. 

" Before the day of assembling came, the last Royal 
Governor [of New Hampshire] had fled to the protec 
tion of H. M. Frigate Scarborough. The people at last 
were kings, responsible only to themselves." 

39 6 More Colonial Homesteads 

Personally, and I would fain believe that 
my reader is with me, I own to much and 
sympathetic interest in this special Royal Gov 
ernor. All that we gather concerning him 
shows us a right goodly figure, debonair and 
dashing, as might well be in one richly en 
dowed by nature and circumstance with gifts 
that captivate his fellow-men and all classes of 

A local historian treats us to a diverting ac 
count of John Wentworth s marriage, which 
set gossiping tongues hardly stilled from dis 
cussion of his uncle s escapade to wagging 
hotly and furiously. The nephew and suc 
cessor of Benning Wentworth was unhappy 
in his first love, the lady jilting him to marry 
Colonel Atkinson of Portsmouth. Two years 
after Wentworth returned from England, Gov 
ernor of New Hampshire and Royal Surveyor 
of the Woods of North America, Colonel At 
kinson died. I copy the rest of the tale from 
Rambles about Portsmouth : 

" The widow was arrayed in the dark habiliments of 
mourning, which, we presume, elicited an immense 
shower of tears, as the fount was so soon exhausted. 
The next day the mourner appeared in her pew at church 
as a widow. But that was the last Sabbath of the widow. 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 397 

On Monday morning there was a new call for the serv 
ices of the milliner, the unbecoming black must be laid 
.aside and brighter colours, as becomes a Governor s 
bride, must take its place." 

She espoused Governor Wentworth in 
Queen s Chapel exactly ten days after her 
first husband s demise. 

The Chief Magistrate of the Province was 
gorgeously bedight in a white cloth coat, 
trimmed with " rich gold lace," white silk 
u stocking-breeches," and embroidered blue 
silk waistcoat coming down to his thighs. 
His hat was " recockt " for the occasion, and 
caught up at the side with gold lace, button, 
and loop. His bonny brown hair was tied in 
a queue with three yards of white ribbon. 

They were married by the same clergyman 
to whom Longfellow introduces us in Lady 
Wentworth : 

" The rector there, the Reverend Arthur Brown 
Of tjie Established Church ; with smiling face, 
He sat beside the Governor and said grace." 

As a sequitur to this second unconventional 
performance of the Governors Wentworth, 
our local chronicle relates : 

39 8 More Colonial Homesteads 

" Rev. Arthur Brown may have been excited beyond 
his wont by the celerity of the proceedings, considering- 
the mourning so hastily put off. Perhaps he was solilo 
quising on the course of human events and wondering 
what might happen next. Be that as it may, he wan 
dered, absent-mindedly, down the steps after the wed 
ding ceremony, and falling, broke his arm." 

This marriage extraordinary took place in 
1769. The new Lady Wentworth queened it 
superbly in the provinces, and when she ac 
companied her husband to England in 1775, 
became one of the ladies-in-waiting to the 
Queen of George III. She lived to extreme 
old age. Their only son died before either of 
the parents. 

" For a that an a that," we dismiss the 
bold bridegroom from our pages regretfully. 
Compared with Edmund Andros of New Eng 
land, Berkeley and Dunmore of Virginia, and 
Leisler of New York, he was a gentle and 
beneficent ruler, and deserved to be held in 
affectionate remembrance by those he had 
served. His property was confiscated after 
his flight to England; he returned to Amer 
ica as Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia 
in 1792, was made a baronet in 1795, and 
died in Halifax in 1820, aged eighty-three. 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 40 J 

Although we have the story of Lady Went 
worth the first at our finger s ends, we think 
more, and tenderly, of Governor Benning s 
nephew in visiting Wentworth Hall, at Little 
Harbour. It is an irregular group of build 
ings that does not warrant the poet s descrip 

" A noble pile, 
Baronial and colonial in its style." 

The several parts composing it seem to have 
been thrown together, rather than arranged in 
obedience to any architectural design. There 
were originally fifty-two rooms ; now there are 
but forty-five. Rising ground hides the house 
from the road, but it is open toward the sea on 
two sides. John Wentworth stabled his horses 
in the extensive cellars after the era of popular 
tumults began. Thirty horses could be com 
fortably housed here. The ancient council- 
chamber is in admirable preservation. It is 
an imposing apartment, finished in the best 
style of the last century. The fine mantel 
represents a year s work with knife and chisel. 
In the billiard-room hangs the familiar por 
trait of Dorothy Quincy, the " Dorothy Q " of 
Holmes s delightful verses. 

402 More Colonial Homesteads 

The present owner of Wentworth Hall, Mr.. 
Coolidge, formerly of Boston, is most hospit 
able to those inquisitive strangers whose desire 
to behold the time-honoured precincts springs 
from reverent interest in the past it commem 

As we sit upon the sofa in the spacious 
drawing-room, so deftly restored and so jeal 
ously protected that we might be gazing upon 
wainscot and ceiling with Martha Hilton s 


housewifely eyes, or with the satisfied regards 
of Colonel Atkinson s late relict, we hearken 
to another and yet more sensational legend 
than that perpetuated by Longfellow. 

According to this, Governor Benning Went 
worth a widower made childless by the death 
of three sons cast approving glances upon 
Molly Pitman, a lass of low degree, who was 
betrothed to a certain Richard Shortridge, a 
mechanic, and therefore in her own rank of 
life. Her persistent refusal of the great man 
so incensed him that, by his connivance, a 
press-gang was sent to the house of Short- 
ridge and carried him off to sea. After sun 
dry transfers from one ship to another, he 
gained the good-will of his commanding officer, 
who listened patiently to his piteous tale. 



Langdon and Wentworth Houses 405 

44 Run away, my lad, and we won t pursue 
you," was the practical advice of the superior. 

Richard Shortridge was not slow in taking 
the friendly hint. Upon his return to Ports 
mouth, he found his Molly faithful, and mar 
ried her. 

It was after this most unhandsome behav 
iour upon the Governor s part (for which we 
were not prepared by Longfellow, et als\ that 
he espoused Martha Hilton. 

As they would have phrased it, the Ports 
mouth people had no stomach for diverting 
tales of any kind, for gossip of marrying and 
giving in marriage, of singing men and sing 
ing women. All this was vanity of vanities 
while the old government was going to pieces 
under them, and the seafaring qualities of the 
hastily constructed raft of the new were 

John Langdon and John Sullivan were com 
missioners to the first Continental Congress in 
May, 1 775, conferring there with Patrick Henry, 
Richard Henry Lee, Caesar Rodney, Samuel 
Adams, George Washington, and others. Lang 
don was at home again, July 3d. We are in 
debted to Mr. Corning for part of a letter 
which shows us the moved depths of a nature 

406 More Colonial Homesteads 

that, up to this time, has seemed quiet to cold 
ness, self-contained to austerity : 

" The low mean revenge and wanton cruelty of the 
Ministerial sons of tyranny in burning the pleasant 
Town of Charlestown Beggars all Description. This 
does not look like the fight of those who have so long 
been Friends, and would hope to be Friends again, but 
rather of a most cruel enemy, tho we shall not wonder 
when we Reflect that it is the infernald hand of Tyranny 
which always has, and Ever will delluge that part of the 
World (which it lays hold of) in Blood. ... I am 
sorry to be alone in so great and important Business as 
that of representing a whole Colony, which no man is 
equal to, but how to avoid it, I know not. ... I 
shall endeavor, as far as my poor abilities will admit of, 
to render every service in my power to my Country." 

In 1776, he was appointed by Congress to 
superintend the building of the frigate Raleigh, 
and did not return to Philadelphia for some 
months. To this absence was due the mis 
fortune that his name did not take its rightful 
place among the Signers of the Declaration of 
Independence. He was made Speaker of the 
New Hampshire House of Representatives in 
1776 and in 1777. 

"He was no orator," says his biographer, 
" and scarcely a fair talker." 

The exigency of Burgoyne s march towards 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 407 

New England, and the unreadiness of the 
patriots to meet him induced the Committee 
of Safety to recall the Provincial Assembly in 
haste. The summons got the members to 
gether in three days time, but their alacrity in 
obeying the call was not expressive of the 
state of their spirits. Men s hearts were fail 
ing them for fear. What hope of success 
ful resistance had companies of raw militia, 
hurriedly drawn together, and commanded by 
provincial officers, when opposed by the flower 
of the English army in an overwhelming ma 
jority as to numbers ? A more despondent 
and woe-begone set of representatives was 
never collected in the Assembly Hall. Lang 
don sat, silent and observant, in the Speaker s 
chair until the prevalent discouragement began 
to take unto itself words. Then the patriot 
who was "scarcely a fair talker" sprang to his 
feet, the fire of a Henry in his eyes, the ring 
of Henry s eloquence upon his tongue. With 
out preamble or the waste of a word, he flung 
out the briefest and most pertinent speech 
ever uttered in any Legislature : 

r / have three thousand dollars in hard money ! I 
will pledge my plate for three thousand more. I have 
.seventy hogsheads of Tobago rum, which shall be sold 

4o8 More Colonial Homesteads 

for the most it will bring. 1 These are at the service of 
the State. If we succeed in defending our firesides and 
homes, I may be remembered. If we do not, the 
property will be of no value to me. Our old friend 
Stark, who so nobly sustained the honour of our State at 
Bunker Hill, may be safely intrusted with the conduct 
of the enterprise, and we will check the progress of 
Burgoyne ! " 

The effect was electric. The House re 
solved itself into a Committee of the Whole 
and ordered the entire militia of the State to 
be formed into two brigades. The command 
was given by acclamation to Stark. As I 
have said, John Langdon s money equipped 
a volunteer battalion. John Langdon in per 
son led one company at Bennington. It is 
with a thrill of genuine satisfaction that we 


read of Colonel Langdon s presence at the sur 
render of Burgoyne at Saratoga and that to 
him was committed the honourable task of bear 
ing the articles of the terms of capitulation 
from the American general s headquarters to 
the British forces. We hear of him again, 
fighting under his old colleague, General Sulli 
van, in Rhode Island. Then, to him was 

1 Portsmouth distillers and merchants had just raised the price of 
rum to an extravagant figure in anticipation of the demands of the 
army for " the essential concomitant to war in those days." 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 49 

assigned by Congress the congenial task of 
supervising frigate-building, enlisting marines, 
and providing guns and ammunition for the 
war-vessels when built. 

When the war was over, he was president of 
a State convention to consider the vexed ques 
tion of paper money, and again, a delegate to 
the United States Congress to deliberate upon 
certain points of difference between that body 
and New Hampshire. I have noted as one of 
the interesting coincidences in the history of 
the State that his name was the first signed 
to the Federal Constitution. 

When the political outlook was least promis 
ing, and just before the impassioned upspring- 
ing of patriotic fervor that threw his worldly 
all into the trembling scale of national exist 
ence, he had married Elizabeth Sherburne, 
daughter of John and Mary Moffat Sherburne. 
Near the close of the war the Langdon Man 
sion in Pleasant Street was completed, the 
building having been often interrupted. 

November, 1789, Washington, who had been 
inaugurated as President of the United States 
in April of that year, wrote in his diary of a 
Sunday spent in Portsmouth. There had 
been a triumphal reception of the President on 

More Colonial Homesteads 

Saturday, in which Colonel Michael Went- 
worth, Lady Benning Wentworth s second 
husband, was chief marshal. General John 
Sullivan was Governor of the State, and, with 
the marshal and ex-Governor John Langdon, 
accompanied Washington to " the Episcopal 
church under the incumbency of Mr. Ogden, 
and in the afternoon to one of the Presbyterian 
or Congregational churches, in which a Mr. 
Buckminster preached." 

Upon this occasion, the President was at 
tired in a suit of black velvet, with diamond 
knee-buckles. Tobias Lear, a native of the 
important seaport town, was with his chief. 

The Presidential party was entertained by 
Mr. Langdon and his wife in the home we 
visit in Pleasant Street, a residence his Excel 
lency was pleased to pronounce the " hand 
somest in Portsmouth." The toothed cornices 
of drawing-room and hall, the massive doors 
and thick partition-walls were the same then 
as we see them now. There are bits of Colo 
nial furniture in every room, each having its 
story. The whole house is in splendid preserv 
ation, a fit and enduring type of the estate of 
the man who built and occupied it when fortune 
and fame were in their zenith. No citizen 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 411 

liad deserved better of his compatriots, and 
when he threw open for the first time the great 
doors of the Pleasant Street mansion, his heart 
was full of grateful appreciation of the manner 
in which they had tried to recompense him for 
lavish expenditure of wealth, for valour in the 
field, and wise counsels in the halls of public 
debate. It was his hour of triumph, glad and 
full, the day of prosperity in which none could 
have blamed him for thinking, if he had not 
said it, " I shall never be moved." 

Those of his blood, although not his lineal 
descendants, still dwell under the stately roof. 

Of them and of the homestead we shall 
learn more in the next chapter. 



( Concluded) 

OENATOR MACLAY, of Pennsylvaina, 
^ whose acquaintance we made in our chap 
ters upon the Carroll homesteads, was not, as 
we know, an admirer of John Adams and some 
other dignitaries. We have from his caustic 
pen a sketch of the dinner customs of the rich 
and great in the last decade of the eighteenth 
century, and are grateful, even though the 
tendency of the clever skit be to lower the 
greatest man of the country a quarter-degree 
in our imaginations. The scene was the 
dining-room of the Presidential mansion in 
Philadelphia, and Mr. and Mrs. John Langdon 
were among the bidden guests. It is in their 
company, therefore, that we witness what went 
on at the state banquet. 


Langdon and Wentworth Houses 413 

" The room "- Maclay complains "was 
disagreeably warm." 

Then we have the menu : 

" First was soup ; fish, roasted and boiled meats 
gammon [that is, ham, probably Old Virginia ham] fowls, 
^tc. The middle of the table was garnished in the usual 
tasty way, with small images, flowers, (artificial) etc. 
The dessert was, first, apple pies, puddings, etc. ; then, 
ice-creams, jellies, etc. ; then, water-melons, musk 
melons, apples, peaches, nuts. It was the most solemn 
dinner ever I sat at. Not a health drank scarce a 
word said, until the cloth was taken away. Then, the 
President, taking a glass of wine, with great formality, 
drank to the health of every individual, by name, 
around the table (!) 

" Everybody imitated him changed glasses ; and 
such a buzz of * Health, Sir ! and Health, Madam! 
and Thank you, Sir! and Thank you, Madam! 
never had I heard before. 

" Indeed, I had like to have been thrown out in the 
hurry ; but I got a little wine in my glass, and passed 
the ceremony. The bottles passed about, but there was 
a dead silence almost. Mrs. Washington at last with 
drew with the ladies. I expected the men would now 
begin, but the same stillness remained. The President 
told of a New England clergyman who had lost a hat 
and wig in passing a river called the Brunks, \_quczre, 
the Bronx ?] He smiled, and everybody else laughed. 
The President kept a fork in his hand, when the cloth 
was taken away, I thought for the purpose of picking 
nuts. He eat no nuts, but played with the fork, striking 
on the edge of the table with it." 

More Colonial Homesteads 

This is delightful ! It is also seriously sug 
gestive of facts which are generally ignored 
when we speak of Washington s administration. 
The hero ceased to be a demi-god in becom 
ing Chief Magistrate of the crude Republic. 
What the New Hampshire Legislature objur 
gated as a " spirit of malignant abuse," walked 
openly in the land, and was especially rampant 
in high places. To this era belongs the anec 
dote of John Adams s private ebullition of 
jealous contempt when the Father of his 
Country was nominated for a second term. 
Chancing to be, as he supposed, alone, in a 
room where the most conspicuous decoration 
was a portrait of the successful nominee, Mr. 
Adams is said to have walked up to it and 
shaken his fist in the impassive face : 

" Oh ! you d d old mutton-head ! If you 
had not kept your mouth so closely shut, they 
would have found you out ! " 

The connection of the profane story with 
the ponderous festivities so well depicted by 
Maclay that we yawn while we laugh is 

John Langdon, when elected for the second 
time to the Senate, was honestly opposed to 
Washington s administration, and did not cloak 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 

his hostility. The passage of the Jay treaty 
was the signal for a display of partisan fury, 
imperfectly suppressed until the unpopular 
measure afforded 
a pretext for the 

This celebrated 
treaty, known by 
the name of the 
then Minister to H 
the English 
Court, deter 
mined the eastern 
boundary of the 
State of Maine ; 
awarded to the 
United States 
$10,000,000 as re 
prisal for the property of private citizens 
captured unlawfully by British cruisers ; and 
certain Western forts occupied by British gar 
risons were given up. Thus far the advantage 
to the United States was unequivocal. Joined 
to these provisions, however, were clauses ex 
cluding United States vessels from the ports 
of Canada, and restricting the lucrative 
West India trade. No security against the 



More Colonial Homesteads 

impressment of sailors was offered, and there 
was equal neglect with respect to such neutrality 
laws as regulated British and French priva 

When the Jay treaty was approved by the 
Senate and signed by the President, a wild 
wave of excitement rushed over the country. 
Mass indignation meetings were held in every 
city, and angry mobs wreaked their wrath 
upon the property of legislators who had for 
warded the measure. John Langdon had 
fought valiantly against it in the Senate, and 
had an enthusiastic ovation upon his return to 

In connection with this demonstration came 
the first proof to him of the uncertainty of 
popular favour. Other portions of the State 
saw things in a different light from that in 
which they appeared in the capital. The dis 
senting Senator was hung in effigy in one town, 
and at the next session of the Legislature 
resolutions were passed affirming the confid 
ence of that body in " the virtue and ability 
of the minister who negotiated the Treaty ; 
the Senate who advised its ratification, and 
the President, the distinguished friend and 
Father of his Country." 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 4 1 ? 

The tide had turned. John Langdon was 
a politician instead of a patriot, "a partisan," 
to quote Mr. Corning, " whose hand was against 
all who did not think and act as he did. He 
had taken a leading part in the political war 
fare, and he must abide the inevitable hostility 
of his former friends." 

And again, of him at a later date of the 
troublous career upon which this partisanship 
had cast him : 

" His ideas of civil service, as applied to 
office-holders, were Draconic. He is on record 
as declaring that he hoped to live to see a 
change in men, from George Washington to 

It is an extraordinary testimony to the 
hold this opponent of Washington and ally of 
Madison and Jefferson had gained upon the 
confidence of the bulk of his fellow-citizens, 
by his probity and his personal gifts, that he 
was again elected to the Legislature, and for 
two years served as Speaker of the House. 
Moreover, he was chosen Governor in 1802, 
" receiving nearly half the entire vote," and 
was a successful candidate for the guberna 
torial office three times afterward namely, in 
1803, l8 4> arj d 1805. 

4 1<s More Colonial Homesteads 

In iSij, he declined the nomination as can- 
dklate for the Vice-Presidency, with Madison 
as President upon the ticket. 

1 I am now seventy-one years of age," he 
wrote, " my faculties blunted, and 1 have lived 
for I he last lorty years of my life in the whirl 
pool ol politics, and am longing for the sweets 
of retirement. . . . To launch again upon 
the sea of polities at my time of life appears 
to me highly improper." 

Less than a month later than the date of 
this simple and dignified letter, he put pen to 
paper in a very different spirit. lie had 
always been an ardent admirer of James 
Madison, yet a campaign libel declared that 
he had declined to run lor the Vice-Presidency 
11 because of his disapproval of Madison s 
course." In repelling the charge, |ohn Lang- 
don affirmed that he considered his "great 
and good friend. Mr. Madison, one of our great 
est statesmen, an ornament to our Country, 
and above all, the noblest work ol God, nu 
honest wan" 

There is sad acrimony in one of the con 
cluding sentences of the last public deliverance 
of this other " honest man." 

"As our patience is worn out. and we have 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 4 T 9 

drunk the dregs of the cup of humiliation, if 
we now act with spirit and decision, we have 
nothing to fear." 

Those who sigh sentimentally for the purity 
and calm of those elder days of our Republic, 
would do well to study the history of the ad 
ministrations of our first four presidents and 
the private correspondence of the men who 
then ruled and fought, and who suffered " the 


stingrs and arrows of outrageous " calumnies, 

o o 

such as are not peculiar to our times, or to 
any particular time. 

Our oft-quoted travelled friend, the Mar 
quis de Chastelleux, who seems to have left 
no notable nook or family unvisited, was mar 
vellously taken with John Langdon, whom he 
met in 1780 or 1781. 

" After dinner," he says, "we went to drink tea with 
Mr. Langdon. He is a handsome man, and of noble 
carriage ; he has been a member of Congress, and is now- 
one of the first people of the Country ; his house is elegant 
and well furnished, and the apartments admirably well 
wainscoted ; he has a good manuscript chart of the har 
bour of Portsmouth. Mrs. Langdon, his wife, is young, 
fair, and tolerably handsome, but I conversed less with 
her than with her husband, in whose favour I was preju 
diced from knowing he had displayed great courage and 
patriotism at the time of Burgoyne s expedition. For, 

420 More Colonial Homesteads 

repairing to the Council Chamber, of which he was a 
member, and perceiving that they were about to discuss 
some affairs of little consequence, he addressed them as 
follows : 

" Gentlemen, you may talk as you please ; but I know 
that the enemy is on our frontiers, and I am going to 
take rny pistols and mount my horse to combat with my 

" The greatest part of the members of the Council and 
Assembly followed him, and joined General Gates at 
Saratoga. As he was marching day and night, reposing 
himself only in the woods, a negro servant who attended 
him said to him, Master, you are hurting yourself ; but 
no matter, you are going to fight for Liberty. I should 
suffer also patiently if I had Liberty to defend. Don t 
let that stop you, replied Mr. Langdon ; * from this 
moment you are free. The negro followed him, behaved 
with courage, and has never quitted him. 

"On leaving Mr. Langdon s, we went to pay a visit to 
Colonel [Michael] Wentworth, who is respected in this 
country, not only from his being of the same family as 
Lord Rockingham, but from his genuine acknowledged 
character for probity and talents." 

We have a last view of Portsmouth s most 
distinguished citizen in the diary of his almost 
lifelong friend, Governor Plumer. The date 
is July 23, 1816 : 

" Visited L. He is so literally broken down in body 
and mind that it gave me pain to behold the wreck of 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 4 21 

human nature in a man who had been distinguished for 
the elegance of his person and the offices he had held in 
public life." 

He lived on thus for three years longer, 
" civil, kind, and affectionate, and tho weak 
in mind, yet not foolish," until he passed away, 
in the seventy-ninth year of his age. He was 
borne from his beautiful home in Pleasant 
Street to his last resting-place, amid the firing 
of minute-guns from the navy-yard, the display 
of bunting at half-mast from public offices and 
private houses, and all the other tokens of 
general mourning. 

" Every mark of respect was rendered to 
the memory of the distinguished patriot who 
had done so much for the welfare of his coun 
try and the good of his fellow-citizens." 

The handsome homestead in Pleasant Street 
has sheltered a great companyof " honourables " 
in its long day. Louis Philippe was Mr. Lang- 
don s guest while in America ; Washington 
and his aids, Lafayette, de Chastelleux, and 
every other foreigner of distinction who took 
Portsmouth en route in his tour, broke bread 
with the hospitable owner, and was ministered 
to by his amiable and accomplished wife. 
After Mr. Langdon s death it was for many 

422 More Colonial Homesteads 

years the residence of that kindly despot, the 
Reverend Charles Burroughs, D.D.,who u ruled 
like a king the little literary circle in Ports 
mouth of which he was undisputed head." 

Ever since the death of Dr. Burroughs s 
widow, the house has been the property of 
Woodbury Langdon, Esq. of New York City. 
As he has another country seat near Ports 
mouth where he prefers to reside, the home 
stead is presided over by his sister and brother, 
whose patient courtesy to curious and senti 
mental visitors is proverbial. 

The Reverend Dr. Alfred Elwyn of Phila 
delphia, whose summer home is just outside of 
Portsmouth, is a great-grandson of John Lang 
don, his grandmother having been the only 
child of John and Elizabeth Sherburne Lang 
don, who married Thomas Elwyn, Esq., of 
Canterbury, England. A daughter of Dr. 
Elwyn is the wife of Woodbury Langdon, 
Esq., mentioned above. 

Dr. Burroughs was Rector of St. John s 
Church, one of the most important features of 
a city which is as redolent of ancient story as 
of the sweet salt waves that bathe her feet 
and send coolness, health, and strength through 
her streets. 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 4 2 5 

For St. John s Chapel where it may still 
be seen was bought by Dr. Burroughs, in 
1836, the "first organ that ever pealed to the 
glory of God in this country." 

It was imported in 1713 by Mr. Brattle of 
Boston, who left it in his will to the well- 
known old Brattle Street Church, provided 
"they shall accept thereof, and within a year 
after my decease, procure a sober person that 
can play skillfully thereon with a loud noise." 

No skill could draw out the loud noise 
now, but the notes coaxed forth by our re 
spectful fingers are, even yet, tuneful, justifying 
the original owner s pride and Dr. Burroughs s 

Yet, as we walk over to Queen s Chapel to 
see the relic, we are amused by the story that 
the "o er-pious " Brattle Street people left the 
legacy boxed up for eight months before the 
more progressive could overcome the prejudice 
against the use of "an ungodly chest of 
whistles" in the Meeting House. 

The Reverend Dr. Hovey, the present rec 
tor of St. John s, is an indefatigable and most 
intelligent archaeologist and antiquarian, and 
within a few years, valuable discoveries have 
been made in the venerable building and 

426 More Colonial Homesteads 

adjoining grounds. Not the least interesting 
of these is a set of mural tablets recording 
several donations to church and parish. One 
which instantly seizes upon our attention is a 
bequest from Colonel Theodore Atkinson, in 
1754, of a valuable tract of land upon which 
tombs, vaults, and monuments may be erected. 
He also bequeathed ^200, the interest to 
be used in the purchase of bread for the poor 
of the church, the distribution to take place 
each Sunday. The custom is still kept up. 

Another discovery made this year is of a 
subterranean passage leading to the church 
yard from the basement of the church. 

In St. John s churchyard sleep the fathers 
of what was but a seaside hamlet when they 
helped to make it. The Wentworth vault 
holds Benningf Wentworth and his brother 


Michael, with the woman whom both had to 
wife. The last Royal Governor, the rollick 
ing John of our liking, was buried in Nova 
Scotia, severed from home and kindred in 
death as in life by loyalty to the King to whom 
he owed his preferment. The Reverend 
Arthur Brown is here, and Colonel Atkinson, 
who would have had no place in the Annals of 
Portsmouth but for his complaisance in making 

Langdon and Wentworth Houses 4 2 7 

way for the former lover of his easily consoled 

The American branch of the Langdon family 
has been, for over a hundred years, nobly re 
presented by Woodbury 
Langdon the brother 
of John and his de 
scendants. He was the 
junior of John by two 
years, having been born 
in 1 738. He married at 
twenty-seven -twelve 
years before his brother 
entered upon the holy 
e s t a t e S a r a h , the 
daughter of Henry and Sarah Warner Sher- 
burne. Ten children were the fruit of this 
union : 

(i) Henry Sherburne, who married Ann 
Eustis, a sister of Governor William Eustis. 
(2) Sarah Sherburne, married to Robert 
Harris. (3) Mary Ann, died, unmarried. 
(4) Woodbury, died, unmarried. (5) John, 
married to Charlotte Ladd. (6) Caroline, 
married to William Eustis, M.D., LL.D., Sur 
geon in the Revolutionary War ; Member of 
Congress, 1801-1805 and 1820-1823 ; Secretary 


428 More Colonial Homesteads 

of War, 1807-1813 ; Minister to Holland, 1814- 
1818 ; Governor of Massachusetts in 1823. (7) 
Joshua, died, single. (8) Harriet, died, single. 
(9) Catherine Whipple, married Edmund 
Roberts. (10) Walter, married Dorothea, 
daughter of John Jacob Astor. 

Woodbury Langdon was a man of singular 
personal beauty, and exquisite charm of man 
ner, a family characteristic, and hereditary. He 
was a delegate to the Continental Congress, 
1 779-1 780 ; Counsellor of State of New Hamp 
shire, 1781-1784; President of New Hampshire 
Senate, 1784; Judge of Supreme Court of 
New Hampshire, 1782-1791. 

His wealth and taste enabled him to erect 
for his private residence the building which 
has been converted into the palatial Rocking- 
ham Hotel. The mansion cost Judge Lang 
don $30,000, and was built with bricks brought 
from England. It was supposed to be fire 
proof, and far surpassed in dimensions, decora 
tions, and general architectural beauty any- 
other house in New Hampshire or indeed in 
New England. It was finished in 1785 and 
kept up in superb style during Judge Lang- 
don s lifetime. After his death and the mar 
riage and dispersion of the large family that 




Langdon and Wentworth Houses 431 

had filled it, his sons sold it (in 1 8 10) toThomas 
Elwyn, Esq., the husband of Elizabeth Lang 
don, the only child of Governor John Langdon. 
In 1830, it passed out of the family and since 
then has been used as a hotel. In 1884, a fi re 
damaged the building greatly, but spared the 
fine wainscots and the magnificent octagonal 

o o 

dining-room, the marvel of ancient Portsmouth 
and the pride of the modern city. It is still 
the study of architects from near and from far ; 
and an enduring memorial to the intelligence 
and refinement of the first proprietor. 

The portrait of Judge Woodbury Lang 
don has a distinguished place in the State 
House at Concord, the present capital of 
New Hampshire. 

The name of Edmund Roberts who married 
Judge Langdon s youngest daughter is insep 
arably associated with our earliest diplomatic 
relations with the Far East. Born in Ports 
mouth in 1784, he was offered an appoint 
ment as midshipman in the United States 
Navy at thirteen, but preferred a place in the 
merchant service, dividing his time between 
England and South America until he was 
twenty-four years old. He amassed a large 
fortune and became a heavy ship-owner before 

43 2 More Colonial Homesteads 

he utilised, in diplomatic life, the results of his 
wide observation and deep thought respecting 
our foreign commercial relations. He was 
sent upon a special embassy by the Govern 
ment to make treaties with Muscat, Siam, and 
Cochin China in 1830, and again in 1835, u to 
visit Japan with like purpose," but died at 
Macao before the work was fully accomplished. 
A posthumous volume under the caption of 
Embassy to Eastern Courts, details his successes 
during a voyage of twenty-six months. 

A memorial window of exquisite design and 
execution in St. John s Church, Portsmouth, 
was presented to the parish by Mrs. J. V. L. 
Pruyn in honour of her grandfather, the first 
American diplomatist in Asia, whose unfinished 
work was consummated many years later by 
Matthew Perry and Townsend Harris. 

One of his surviving daughters married the 
Reverend A. P. Peabody, D.D., of Harvard 
University; another, Harriet Langdon, be 
came the wife of the Honorable Amasa Junius 
Parker of Albany. 

The marriage ceremony of Judge and Mrs. 
Parker was performed by Rev. Dr. Burroughs, 
who had also baptised the bride. The first 
ten years of their married life were spent in 




Langdon and Wentworth Houses 435 

Delhi, New York. In rapid succession Mr. 
Parker was chosen a Regent of the University 
of New York, made Vice-Chancellor and a 
Judge of the Circuit Court, Member of Con 
gress, 1838-9 ; then, Judge of the Supreme 
Court. He was one of the founders of the 
Albany Law School, and for twenty years 
one of the professors. His contributions to 
the legal literature of the United States were 

In 1884, Judge and Mrs. Parker celebrated 
their golden wedding at the " The Cliffs," the 
Newport home of their daughter, Mrs. J. V. 
L. Pruyn. There were then living of the 
ten children born to the honoured parents : 
Mrs. Pruyn, General Amasa Junius Parker, Jr., 
Mrs. Erastus Corning, and Mrs. Selden E. 
Marvin. The fine " Holiday Window " in St. 
John s Church, Portsmouth, to the memory of 
Edmund Roberts and his wife was erected by 
Mrs. Pruyn in honour of the golden wedding. 
The figures therein depicted are those of St. 
Edmund and St. Catherine, with their legends. 
The harmonious family group assembled upon 
the memorable occasion I have chronicled, was 
broken by the death of Mrs. Parker, June 28, 

436 More Colonial Homesteads 

The Albany Argus, in a biographical sketch 
of one who was, for forty years, a ruling in 
fluence in Albany society, says : 

"Mrs. Parker had strong religious convictions and 
high ideals, and was possessed of great force of char 
acter and the many graces and charms that are em 
bodied in the character of a good woman. She was a 
woman, also, of extraordinary unselfishness and always 
solicitous of the comfort and welfare of others." 

How far the eulogium understates the sterl 
ing qualities and exceeding lovableness of the 
subject, those who were admitted to her home 
and a place in the true, tender heart, can best 

Judge Parker died May 13, 1890, and Mrs. 
Erastus Corning very suddenly at Easter-tide, 
1899. To the rare, fine spirit whose life was a 
continual benediction to church, community, 
and home, the translation, upon the dearest 
and most joyful of Christian festivals, was a 
beautiful passing over, not a passing out. 

In reviewing the history of the New-World 
lines of the Langdon race, the believer in 
hereditary influences in shaping and colouring 
human destiny finds abundant confirmation of 
what is no more theory, but a science which is 
not far from exactness. 




Langdon and Wentworth Houses 439 

In addition to the pure strong flood poured 
"by Woodbury Langdon into the minds and 
souls of his descendants, Judge Parker s child 
ren have drawn high principles and fine mental 
traits from their mother s forbears, Governor 
Thomas Dudley of the Massachusetts Bay 
Colony ; Governor Theophilus Eaton of the 
New Haven Colony, and Lieutenant-Governor 
Gibbins of the Province of New Hampshire ; 
.also, from Henry Sherburne of Portsmouth, 
New Hampshire, a Judge and a member of 
His Majesty s Privy Council, and a delegate to 
the famous Congress held in Albany in 1754. 


Adams, John, 249, 256, 264, 271, 
412, 414 

Aken, Miss, 52 

Albany, 14, 17, 20, 187 

Anderson, Mrs. Elizabeth San 
ders, 175 

Anderson, William, 175 

Andre, Major John, 2, 76 

Anne, Queen, 2 

Arnold, Benedict, 2, 361 

Atkinson, Colonel Theodore, 
396, 402, 426 

Ayers, Dr., 143 


Baker, Louisa, 234, 240-242 

Baker, Mr., 235 

Ball, Mrs. Julia, 80 

Ball, Mary, 98 

Balls, The, 98 

Banning, Mrs. Henry Geddes, 

331-333, 339, 342, 343 
Barrett, Dr., 291 
Barren, Commodore, 267 
Bassett, Richard, 357 
Bayard, Hon. Thomas F., 297, 

304, 307, 308, 362 
Bayard, Samuel J., 139 
Beekman, Catherine Sanders, 

Beekman, Girard, 175 

Beekman, John Jacob, 175 
Beekman, Mrs. Maria Glen, 175 
Belmont Hall, 347, 348, 360, 361,. 

363, 3"7, 369, 370, 377 
Belvedere, 264, 269 
Beverwyck, 155, 157 
Blennerhassett, 88, 89 
Bonaparte, Elizabeth Patterson,. 

264, 267 

Bonaparte, Jerome, 264 
Bond, Dr. Thomas, 300 
Botetourt, Lord, 74 
Boudinot, Elias, 105, 106, 117,. 


Bradford, The Misses, 327 
Brant, Joseph, 24, 25, 42, 45, 47,. 

49, 55 
Brant, Molly, 24-29, 47, 58,. 


Brant, Nickus, 24 
Brattle, Mr., 425 
Brent, Robert, 229 
Brooke, Clement, 225 
Brooke, Elizabeth, 228 
Brooklandwood, 263 
Brown, (Rev.) Arthur, 382, 397,. 

398, 426 

Brown, Mrs. W. R., 148 
Burgoyne, General, 216, 221,. 

406, 408 

Burr, Aaron, 84, 88, 89, 264 
Burroughs, (Rev.) Charles, 422,, 

425, 432 
Butler, (Colonel) John, 42, 60 




Butler, Walter, 20, 42, 50, 181 
Butler s Ford, 50 
Butler s Homestead, 51 
Butlers, The, 66, 72 
Byrd, Mrs. Charles Willing, 93 
Byrd, William Evelyn, 86 
Byrd, William (III.), 66 
Byrds, The, 66, 72 


Caldwell, James, 52 

Calvert, Charles, Lord Balti 
more, 226, 227, 233, 279, 290 

Canajoharie, 24, 156 

Carroll, Catherine, 253, 256, 257 

Carroll, Charles (I.), 225, 227, 
228, 277 

Carroll, Charles of Annapolis, 
224-228, 230, 235, 237, 252, 
253, 280 

Carroll, Charles of Carrollton, 
219, 224, 225, 227, 228, 236, 
242, 243, 245, 246, 249-251, 
256-258, 261-265, 267-273, 
278,280, 283 

Carroll, Charles of Homewood, 
22Q, 234, 253, 254, 258, 261, 
262, 270, 280, 283 

Carroll, Charles (V.), 264, 267, 


Carroll, Charles (VI.), 275, 277 
Carroll, Charles (VII.), 276 
Carroll, Daniel, 228, 254, 257 
Carroll, Elizabeth Brooke, 237, 


Carroll, Henry, 227, 228 
Carroll, James, 228 
Carroll, John, 229 
Carroll, (Governor) John Lee, 


Carroll, Madame Mary, 228 
Carroll, Mary, 253, 255, 256 
Carroll, Mrs. Anita Phelps, 275 
Carroll, Mrs. Caroline Thomp 
son, 275 

Carroll, Mrs. Charles (Sr.), 253 
Carroll, Mrs. Charles (Jr.), 253 

Carroll, Mrs. Charles (VI.), 275 
Carroll, Mrs. John Lee, 275 
Carroll, Mrs. Marion Langdon, 

Carroll, Mrs. Mary Carter 

Thompson, 275 
Carroll, Mrs. Mary Digges Lee, 

275, 277 
Carroll, Mrs. Susanne Bancroft, 


Carroll, Philip Acosta, 276 
Carroll, Royal Phelps, 276 
Caton, Betsey, 266 
Caton, Emily, 266 
Caton, Louise, 267 
Caton, Mary, 267 
Caton, Mrs. Mary, 263, 266, 


Caton, Richard, 255 
Caughnawaga, 4, 57 
Chase, Mr. Samuel, 249 
Chastelleux, Marquis de, 65, 151, 

419, 421 
Chaumiere du Prairie, 77, 78, 

80, 84, 87, 88, 90, 91, 95, 96 
Cherokees, The, 7 
Cherry Valley, 50 
Chew, Chief-Justice Benjamin, 

286, 301, 302, 340 
Chew, Harriet, 262, 263, 283 
Chew, " Peggy," 262, 264 
Chew, Samuel, 286 
Chew, The Misses, 301 
Chew House, The, 286 
Clark, Hon. John, 363 
Claus, (Colonel) Daniel, 12, 47, 

58, 60, 73, 179, 180 
Claus, Nancy, 29 
Clay, Henry, 88 
Clayton, John Middleton, 286 
Clinton, vSir Henry, 2,19, 21, 22, 

30, 76, 197, 204 
Cliveden, 262, 286 
Cloke, Ebenezer, 363, 364, 368 
Cloke, John, 348, 360, 363 
Cloke, Mrs. John, 370 
Collins, Dr. William, 348, 363 



Collins, (Governor) Thomas, 347 

-350, 353, 357, 358, 361-363, 


Collins, Mrs. Thomas, 368 
Comegys, Hon. Joseph P., 286 
Constitution Hill, 108 
Cook, Elizabeth, 363, 364, 367, 

Cook, (Governor) John, 346, 

347, 358, 369 

Cooke, Rachel, 240, 242, 243 
Cooke, William, 263 
Cookham, 98, 99 
Coolidge, T. Jefferson, 402 
Corning, Charles R., 405, 417 
Corning, Mrs. Erastus, 435, 

Cornwallis, Lord, 120, 133, 151, 


Covenhoven, Mr. John, 120, 121 
Creighton, Judge, 89 
Cromwell, Oliver, 68 
Cromwell, Thomas, 67, 68 
Crown Point, 17, 20, 73, 204, 


Cummins, George W., 374 
Custis, Nelly, 262 
Cuthbert, Alexander, 136 
Cuthbert, Susan Stockton, 136 


Dame, Rev. G. W., 364, 367 
Darnall, Henry, 225 
Darnall, Mary, 225, 243-245 
Darnall, Miss, 255 
Darnall, Mrs., 252, 253, 283 
Dartmouth, The Earl of, 39 
Dartmouth College, 25, 31, 391 
Decatur, Commodore Stephen, 

142, 267 

Decatur, Mrs., 267 
De Graff, 176 
Delancey, James, 2 
Delanceys, The, 28, 197 
Denny, Mrs. Anne, 374, 375 
Dod, Mrs. W. A., 148 
Doughoregan Chapel, 253 

Doughoregan Manor, 227, 230, 
246, 253, 258, 261, 267, 268, 

Dover (Del.), 285, 286, 301, 315 
Dow, Lorenzo, 325, 326 
Dudley, (Governor) Thomas, 

Dupont, Mr., 316, 319, 320 

Eaton, (Governor) Theophilus, 


Eden Hill, 289, 294 
Edwards, Mrs., 59, 60 
Elwyn, (Dr.) Alfred, 422 
Elwyn, Thomas, 422, 431 
Eustis, Mrs. Caroline Langdon, 


Eustis, William, 427 
Everard, Sir Richard, 69 
Everett, Edward, 90 

Fenton, Colonel, 394, 395 
Field, Mrs. Abigail, in, 136 
Field, Robert, 136 
Five Nations, The, 22 
Fonda, 57 

Franklin, (Dr.) Benjamin, 251 
Frederic, Harold, 28 
Frelinghausen, Dominie, 208 
Fulton, Robert, 183 

Gage, General, 73 

Gates, (General) Horatio, 420 

Gibbins, Lieutenant-Governor, 


Glen, Alexander Lindsay (" San 
der Leendertse "), 156-160, 

Glen, Alexander (II.), 170 

Glen, (Captain) Alexander, 160, 
1 66 

Glen, Catherine Dongan, 159 



Glen, Deborah, 171, 173, 174, 


Glen, Jacob, 170, 171, 215 
Glen, Jacob Alexander (I.), 160 
Glen, Jacob Alexander (II.), 


Glen, John (II.) 170, 174, 175 
Glen, (fudge) Elias, 170 
Glen, (Judge) John (III.), 170, 


Glen, (Major) John Alexander, 

160, 162-166, 169, 170, 174 
Glen, Mrs. Anna Peek, 160, 162, 

164, 1 66 

Glen, Sarah, 175 
Gordon, Lord Adam, 29, 113 
Grange, Anita Maria, Baronne 

de la, 276 

Grange, Louis, Baron de la, 276 
Grant, Mrs. Anne ("of Lag- 

gan "), 27, 187, 188, 195-197, 

212-215, 220 
Griffis, William Elliot, 63, 64 


Hageman, John Frelinghuysen, 

128, .140, 143 
Hale, Major, 386 
Hamilton, Alexander, 219, 220, 


Hampton, 263 
Harper, (General) Robert Good- 

loe, 257, 258, 270 
Harper, Mrs. Mary, 266, 267 
Harris, Robert, 427 
Harris, Sarah Sherburne, 427 
Harris, Townsend, 432 
Harrow School, 69, 70 
Haslet, (Colonel) John, 287 
Herkimer, County of, 156 
Herkimer, General, 60 
Hervey, (Colonel) Sir Felton 

Bathurst, 267 
Hervey, Mrs., 272 
Hillhouse, (General) Thomas, 


Hillhouse, Miss Margaret P., 

Hilton, Martha, 382, 385, 402, 


Holmes, Mrs., 322 
" Homestead, The," 263 
Homewood, 263, 264, 270, 280 
Hopkins, Mrs., 148 
Hovey, Rev. Dr., 425 
Howard, (Colonel) John Eager, 

263, 264, 269, 270 
Howe, (General) Sir William, 2, 


Howe, Lord, 206, 207 
Howell, Mrs. Admiral, 148 
Howell, Mrs. F. D., 148 
Hunter, Mrs. Mary Stockton, 

Hunter, Rev. Dr., 136 

Ilchester, The Earl of, 28 
Ingles, (Rev.) Charles, 302 
Iroquois, The, 5, 19 
Irving, Washington, 360, 375 


Jackson, (General) Andrew, 84, 


James River, The, 65, 66 
Jay. John, 251, 415, 416 
Jefferson, Thomas, 264, 268 V 

271, 332 
Johnson, Ann ("Nancy"), 12,. 

47, 57, 58, 180 

Johnson, (Captain) Warren, 19 
Johnson Castle, 8 
Johnson, Christopher, I 
Johnson, Fort, 14 
Johnson, Guy, 12, 39, 42, 45, 

47, 58, 60 
Johnson Hall, 6, 8, 13, 14, 17, 

18, 20, 28, 32, 35, 36, 45-49* 

5i, 52, 63, 73, 113 
Johnson, Lady, 46 
Johnson, Mary, 12, 29, 57, 58 



Johnson, Mrs., 12, 14, 57 
Johnson, Sir Adam Gordon, 51 
Johnson, Sir John, 12, 29, 32, 

38, 39, 42, 45, 46, 48, 49, 51, 

55, 60, 181 
Johnson, Sir William, I, 3-7, 9, 

10, 13, 17, 19,20, 22-24, 27-30, 

35-37, 40, 41, 47, 5i, 55-57, 

59, 60, 63, 73, 113, 179, 192, 


Johnson, William, 25, 47 
Johnstown, 37, 57, 63 
Johnstown, Episcopal Church of, 

45, 60, 64 
Jones, John Paul, 380 

Kellogg, (Rev.) Charles H., 63 
Kemp, Deborah, 166 
Kergolay, Jean, Comte de, 275 
Kergolay, Marie Louise, Com- 
tesse de, 275 

Lafayette, Marquis de, 46, 139, 
151, 268, 269, 333, 337, 340, 

Lake George, 25, 31 

Langdon, Harriet, 428 

Langdon, Henry Sherburne, 427 

Langdon, John, 382, 385, 386, 
389, 390, 39 2 -395, 405, 407, 
408, 410, 414, 416-422, 427, 


Langdon, John (II.), 427 
Langdon, Joshua, 428 
Langdon, Mary Anne, 427 
Langdon, Mrs. Ann Eustis, 427 
Langdon, Mrs. Charlotte Ladd, 

Langdon, Mrs. Dorothea Astor, 

Langdon, Mrs. John, 410, 412, 


Langdon, Walter, 428 
Langdon, Woodbury (I.), 422, 

427, 428, 431, 439 

Langdon, Woodbury (II.), 427 
Langdon, Woodbury (III.), 422 
Langdons, The, 386 
Latham, Mary, 69 
Lear, Eve, 367, 368 
Lear, Tobias, 367, 410 
Lebanon, 31 
Lee, (Colonel) Charles, 205, 206, 

208, 214 

Lee, Richard Henry, 305 
Leeds, Duke of, 272 
Letcher, Mrs. Anna Meade, 89, 

90, 93 

Lossing, Benson J., 52, 57 
Louis Philippe, 184, 337, 421 


Maclay, William, 256, 412-414 
Madison, James, 268, 418 
Malpas, Barony of, 100 
Malpas, Church of, 100 
Malpas, Parish of, 101 
Marvin, Mrs. Selden E., 435 
Massie, Elizabeth, 89 
Maycox, 65, 66, 74, 75, 79 
McGill, Mrs. Chancellor, in, 

124, 136 
McKean, Thomas, 305-307, 311, 

357, 369 
McTavish, Mrs. Emily, 272, 


Meade, Andrew, 68 
Meade, David (I.), 69 
Meade, David (II.), 65-67, 69- 

7i, 73-75, 77, 79, 4-9, 93~ 


Meade, David (III.), 77, 88, 93 
Meade, Elizabeth, 89 
Meade, Everard, 72 
Meade, Mrs. David, 83, 84 
Meade, Richard Kidder, 70-72, 


Meades, The, 67, 68, 83, 85, 96 
Meredith. Jonathan, 258 
Miller, Betsey, 94, 95 
Mohawk River, 2 
Mohawk, Valley of, I 



Mohawks, Tribe of, 5, 18, 19, 

I 55. J 56, 158, 163 
Moor Charity School, 25, 42 
Moore, Lady, 214, 216 
Moore, Sir Henry, 214, 216 
Morven, no, 113, 114, 117, 119, 

120, 123, 124, 126, 128-130, 

139, 140, 142, 147,148, 151, 152 
Mott, Lucretia, 315, 316, 319, 



Nassau Hall, 130 
Newcastle, Duke of, 19 
North, Lord, 138 

O Brian, Lady Susan, 28 
O Brians, The, 29 
Oriskany, 48 
Ossian s Poems, 109 
Oswego, 19 

Parker, (General) Amasa Junius, 

Parker, (Hon.) Amasa Junius, 

432, 435, 436, 439 
Parker, Mrs. Harriet Langdon, 

432, 435, 436 

Parkman, Francis, 8, n, 41 
Patterson, Mrs. Robert, 272 
Paulus, 24 

Peabody, (Rev.) A. P., 432 
Peale, Charles Wilson, 246 
Peale, Rembrandt, 261 
Penn, William, 40, 102, 285 
Perry, Matthew, 432 
Peterson, J. Howard, 348 
Phillips, Abigail, 104 
Phillipses, The, 28 
Pintard, Captain, 105, 153 
Pintard, Louis, 105, 153 
Pise, (Rev.) Constantine, 274 
Pitman, Molly, 402, 405 
Plumer, Governor, 420 
Pontiac, Conspiracy of, n 

Poplar Grove, 322 
Portsmouth (N. H.). 381 
Potter, John, 148 
Powis, Lord, 226 
Princeton, Battle of, 122 
Princeton, History of, 128 
Princeton, The, 145 
Pruyn, Mrs. J. V. L., ii, 189, 
432, 435 


Randolph, Richard, of Curies,. 


Randolphs, The, 73 
Ranken, Mary Wallace, 261 
Read, George, 305, 357 
Rensselaer, Maria, 191 
Ridgely, Ann Moore, 290 
Ridgely, (Dr.) Charles, 290 
Ridgely, Henry (I.), 288 
Ridgely, Henry (II.), 289 
Ridgely, Henry (III.), 289 
Ridgely, Henry (V.), 294 
Ridgely, Henry (VI.), 294, 322 
Ridgely, Henry Moore, 290-292,. 

293, 316, 319, 320 
Ridgely, Miss 316, 320 
Ridgely, Mrs. Dr. Charles, 338,. 

Ridgely, Mrs. Henry (Jr.), 287, 


Ridgely, MSS., 285, 287, 307 
Ridgely, (Judge) Nicholas (L), 

289, 296, 297, 321, 331, 332 
Ridgely, Nicholas (II.), 290 
Robbins, Herbert D., 276 
Robbins, Mrs. Mary Helen, 276 
Roberts, (Hon.) Edmund. 428, 

431, 435 

Roberts, Mrs. Catherine Whip- 
pie, 428, 435^ 

Rochambeau, Count of, 65, 151 

Rodney, Caesar (I.), 297 

Rodney, Caesar (II.), 287, 290, 
297-299, 302-307, 311-313, 
321, 331-333, 337, 346, 358, 
362, 369, 3?6 



Rodney, Caesar Augustus, 344 
Rodney, Thomas, 297, 332 
Rodney, William (I.), 297 
Rodney, William (II.), 297 
Rowland, Kate Mason, 225, 230, 

236, 241, 251 
Rowland, Sarah, 307 
Rush, (Dr.) Benjamin, 114, 136 
Rush, Mrs. Julia Stockton, 114, 


Sanders, Albertine Ten Broeck, 


Sanders, Anna Lee, 176 
Sanders, Barent, 175 
Sanders, Charles P. (I.), 175 
Sanders Charles P. (II.), 176, 

178, 182 

Sanders, Deborah, 175 
Sanders, Jacob Glen (I.), 175 
Sanders, Jacob Glen (II.), 175 
Sanders, John (I.), 171, 172, 174 
Sanders, John (II.), 175-177. 


Sanders, John (III.), 175, 183 
Sanders, Mrs. Jacob Glen, 173 
Sanders, Peter, 175, 176 
Sanders, Robert, 175 
Saratoga, 32 

Schenectady, 31, 155, 156, 158 
Schuyler, Catalina, 191 
Schuyler, Catherine Van Rensse- 

laer, 219 

Schuyler, Elizabeth, 219 
Schuyler, George W., 197, 213 
Schuyler, Johannes, 191, 192, 

195, 214 
Schuyler, "Madame" Mar- 

garitta, 190-192, 195, 201-203, 

205-208, 212-216 
Schuyler, Margaritta (I.), 191 
Schuyler, "Margaritta," (III.), 


Schuyler, Pedrom, 207 
Schuyler, Peter (" Quidor "), 
191, 197 

Schuyler, Peter (II.), 191 
Schuyler, (Colonel) Philip, 191, 

195, 196, 198, 203, 205 
Schuyler, (General) Philip, 46, 

197, 214, 216, 219-222 
Schuyler, Mrs. Philip, 221 
Schuyler, Richard, 213 
Scotia, 158, 159, 162, 164, 169- 

171, 174, 175, 181, 186 
Scott, Robert G., 269 
Sherburne, Elizabeth, 409 
Sherburne, Henry, 439 
Sherburne, John, 409 
Sherburne, Mary Moffat, 409 
Shields, Rev. Dr., 151 
Shields, Mr., 291 
Shortridge, Richard, 402, 405 
Six Nations, The, 30, 35, 46 
Smith, (Captain) John, 5, 380 
Smith, (Hon.) Horace E., 64 
Smith, Samuel Stanhope, 126 
Sparks, Jared, 25 
Speakman, Mrs. Peterson, 358, 

363, 378 

Starke, (General) John, 381, 408 
Stockbridge, 31 
Stockton, Abigail, 105, 153 
Stockton, Anice Boudinot, 107- 

109, in, 118, 123, 124, 126, 

129, 130, 135, 136 
Stockton, Bayard, 151 
Stockton, David de, 100 
Stockton, (Sir) Edward, TOO 
Stockton, Hannah, 105 
Stockton, Job, 102 
Stockton, John (I.). 101 
Stockton, John (II.), 102-105, 


Stockton, John (III.), 105 
Stockton, John Potter, 148 
Stockton, John W., 118, 125 
Stockton, Manor of, 100 
Stockton, Miss Maria, 148 
Stockton, Mrs. Maria Potter, 148 
Stockton, Owen, 100, 101 
Stockton, Philip, 106, 117 
Stockton, Rebecca, 105 

44 8 


Stockton, Richard (I.), 101 

Stockton, Richard (II.), 102, 
103, 108 

Stockton, Richard (III.), 103 

Stockton, Richard (IV.), 105, 

Stockton, Richard (" The Sign 
er "j, 106, 108, no, in, 117, 
118, 120, 122, 126, 128 

Stockton, Richard (VI.), 119, 
130, 136, 139, 140 

-Stockton, Richard (VII.), 140, 

Stockton, (Commodore) Robert 
Field, 140-148, 154 

Stockton, (General) Robert 
Field, 148 

Stockton, Samuel Witham, 106, 

Stockton, Susannah (I.), 103 

Stockton, Susannah (II.), 105, 


" Stone Arabia, 9 
Stone, Herbert, n, 18, 49 
Stony Brook, 102 
Stuart, Gilbert, 262 
Stuyvesant, Peter, 155 
Sullivan, (General) John, 392, 

405, 408, 410 
" Sycamore," 89 

Ten Broeck, Helen, 182 
Ten Broeck, Jane L., 176 
Ten Eyck, Elsie Glen, 175 
Ten Eyck, Myndart Schuyler, 


Tennent, (Rev.) William, 105 
Thackeray, Dr., 69, 71 
Thackeray, William Makepeace, 

70, 71 

Thompson, Mrs. W. L., 89 
Ticonderoga, 73, 205 
Townsend, Charles, 112 
Townsend, George Alfred, 327 


Van Cortlandt, Cornelia, 214 
Van Curler, Arent, 155 
Van Rensselaer, Killian, 175 
Van Rensselaer, Mrs. Margaret 

Glen, 175 
Van Rensselaer, Peter Schuyler, 


Van Rensselaer, Sarah, 175 
Van Slichtenhorst, Margaritta, 


Vining, (Captain) Benjamin, 290 
Vining, John, 290, 331, 339 
Vining, John Middleton, 290, 

T 333 

Vining, Mary (I.), 302 
Vining, Mary (II.), 290, 331, 

333-335, 338-345 
Vining, Mrs. Mary Middleton, 

Virden, Miss Rose, 294 


Wallace, Mary, 261 

W r arbridge, 289 

Warren, Oliver, 22 

Warren, (Sir) Peter, 2-5, 14 

Warrenton, I 

Washington, Augustine, 98, 99 

Washington, George, 98, 99, 
122, 130, 135, 151, 179, 219, 
251, 262, 303, 304, 312, 357, 
359- 3^0, 375, 376, 409, 4-^, 

Washington, John, 99 

Washington, Lawrence, 99 

Washington, Mrs. George, 135, 

219, 413 

Waters, Sarah, 73 
Wayne, (General) Anthony, 338 

340, 342, 344 

Wellesley, Marchioness of, 272 
Wellington, Duke of, 267, 272 
Wells/Eleazar, 52, 59 
Wells, Mrs. Eleazar, 59 



Wells, Mrs. John E., 52 
Wentworth, (Governor) Ben- 

ning, 382, 385, 396, 401, 402, 

Wentworth, Charles Watson, 

Marquis of Rockingham, 386, 

Wentworth, (Governor) John, 

385, 386, 389, 390, 392, 393, 

395-397, 40i, 426 
Wentworth, Lady, 398, 401 
Wentworth, Michael, 385, 410, 

420, 426 

Wentworth, Samuel, 385 
Westover, 65, 66, 79 
Wheelock, Rev. Dr., 42 
Wilford, Florence, 202 
William and Mary College, 69, 


Williams, Eunice, 192 
Williams, (Rev.) Meade C., 67, 


Williams, Susan Creighton, 79 
Wilson, (General) James Grant, 

Wissenberg, Catherine, n, 12, 

29, 58, 63 
Witherspoon, Rev. Dr., 112, 


Wolsey, Cardinal, 67, 68 
Woodburn, 322, 326, 327 
Woodlawn, 374, 377, 378 
Wynkoop, Mary, 290 
Wynkoop, Phoebe, 290 

Younglove, James T., 63 

By Marion Harland 

Some Colonial Homesteads 

And Their Stories. With 86 illustrations. 8, gilt 
top $3.00 

Contents : Brandon, Westover, Shirley, Marshall House, Clive 
den (Chew House), Morris House, Van Cortlandt Manor House, Oak 
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More Colonial Homesteads 

And Their Stories. With 81 illustrations. 8, gilt 
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Contents: Johnson Hall, Johnstown, N. Y. ; La Chaumiere, Du 
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New York ; Two Schuyler Homesteads, Albany, New York ; Doughore- 
gan Manor, The Carroll Homestead, Maryland ; The Ridgely House, 
Dover, Delaware; Other "Old Dover" Stories and Houses; Belmont 
Hall, near Smyrna, Delaware; Langdon and Wentworth Homes, in 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Where Ghosts Walk 

The Haunts of Familiar Characters in History and 

Literature. With 33 illustrations 8, gilt top, $2.50 

" In this volume fascinating pictures are thrown upon the screen 

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Literary Hearthstones 

Studies of the Home Life of Certain Writers and Think 
ers. Put up in sets of two volumes each, in boxes. 
Fully illustrated 16. Price per volume . $1.50 

In this series, Marion Harland presents, not dry biographies, 
but, as indicated in the sub-title, studies of the home-life of certain 
writers and thinkers. The volumes will be found as interesting as 
stories, and, indeed, they have been prepared in the same method as 
would be pursued in writing a story, that is to say, with a due ^ense 
of proportion. They were prepared in the very neighborhoods in 
which the subjects of them lived, wrought and died. The local 
color is thus carefully preserved. The first issues aie 

i. Charlotte Bronte at Home. | 2. William Cowper. 

Q. P. PUTNAM S SONS, New York and London 

American Historic Towns 

Historic Towns of New England 

Edited by LYMAN P. POWELL. With introduction by 

GEORGE P. MORRIS. With 161 illustrations. 8, gilt 

top . $3.50 

CONTENTS : Portland, by Samuel T. Pickard ; Rutland, by 

Edwin D. Mead ; Salem, by George D. Latimer ; Boston, by 

Thomas Wentworth Higginson ; Cambridge, by Samuel A. Eliot ; 

Concord, by Frank A. Sanborn ; Plymouth, by Ellen Watson ; 

Cape Cod Towns, by Katherine Lee Bates ; Deerfield, by George 

Sheldon ; Newport, by Susan Coolidge ; Providence, by William 

B. Weeden ; Hartford, by Mary K. Talcott ; New Haven, by 

Frederick Hull Cogswell. 

"This very charming volume is so exquisitely gotten up, the 
scheme is so perfect, the fifteen writers have done their work with 
such historical accuracy, and with such literary skill, the illustrations 
are so abundant and so artistic, that all must rejoice that Mr. Powell 
ever attempted to make the historical pilgrimages." Journal of 

Historic Towns of the Middle States 

Edited by LYMAN P. POWELL. With introduction by 
Dr. ALBERT SHAW. With 135 illustrations. 8, gilt 
top $3.50 

CONTENTS : Albany, by W. W. Battershall ; Saratoga, by 
Ellen H. Walworth ; Schenectady, by Judson S. Landon ; New- 
burgh, by Adelaide Skeel ; Tarrytown, by H. W. Mabie ; Brook 
lyn, by Harrington Putnam ; New York, by J. B. Gilder ; Buffalo, 
by Rowland B. Mahany ; Pittsburgh, by S. H. Church; Phila 
delphia, by Talcott Williams ; Princeton, by W. M. Sloane ; 
Wilmington, by E N. Vallandigham. 

" These volumes have permanent literary and historical value. 
They are from the pens of authors who are saturated with their 
themes, and do not write to order, but con amore. The beautiful 
letterpress adds greatly to the attractiveness of the book." The 



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