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Full text of "Papers and proceedings of the Connecticut Valley Historical Society .."

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974.40? 

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v.4 

1904-1907 

1769904 



R . _L)S HISTORICAL 
GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



I COUNTY PUBL C L BRABY 



3 1833 01068 4600 






Pap ers and Proceedings 



OF THE 



CONNECTICUT VALLEY 



Historical Society 



1904-1907 



T'OLU M E I V 



SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 

Published by the Society 

i 9 i 2 



Sty 



17GS904 



Copyright 1912 by 

Connecticut Valley Historical 

Society - 



2 3 7 2 7 



Press of 
THE F. A. BASSETTE COMPASY 

Springfield, Massachusetts 



Pr efa tory No t e 



This volume contains an abstract of the proceedings 
of the Connecticut Valley Historical Society, beginning 
with its meeting, December 19, 1903, ending January 
1 5, 1907. It also contains all of the papers read at 
the meetings of the Society that have been furnished 
by their authors for publication. Other valuable 
papers have been read from time to time, as will be 
seen by reference to the proceedings, which have not 
come into possession of the Society. 



William F. Adams 
Rev. John H. Lockwood 
Edward A. Hall 
J. Brewer Corcoran 
Charles H. Barrows 



Committee 

of 
Publication. 



Springfield, Mass., 1912. 



Contents 

Prefatory Note 

Officers of the Society, 1904 

Description of the gift of the Daniel B. Wesson Mansion to 

the Connecticut Valley Historical Society 
Proceedings of the Society 

MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS 

Pagf. 
Address Delivered to the Gentlemen of Hampshire, Franklin 
and Hampden Bars by the Hon. George Bliss of Spring- 
field. Read by Judge A. M. Copeland .... I 

The Fort at "Number Four." By Rev. Thomas D. Howard 34 

Old Howard Street. By James H. Osgood ... 41 

The Two Captives. By Miss C. Alice Baker ... 58 

Snapshots at Lonirmeadow Precinct. By Rev. Henry L. 

Bailey ......... 79 

Old Springfield in England. By Mary Louise Dunbar . 93 

Sketch of Col. John Worthington. By Rev. Thomas D. 

Howard ......... 101 

Springfield in Retrospect and in Prospect. By Nehemiah 

Hawkins ......... 108 

Some Members of the Bonaparte Family as Exiles in this 

Vicinity. By John A. Callahan. . . . . .125 

A Recent Visit to the Battlefield at Saratoga. By Rev. 

Thomas D. Howard . ' . . . . . .151 

Witchcraft in New England. By Mrs. Mabel Loomis Todd 165 
01J State Street; Its Residences and the People who Lived 

in Them. By Frank G. Tobey ..... 184 

The North End of Main Street. By Rev. Thomas D. Howard 203 
Old Coaching Days. By Mrs. Lucy H. Smitli . . 213 

Lot Once Owned by the Catholics and Now a Part of the 

Armory grounds. By E. A. Hall . . . . .217 



Illustrations 



Daniel B. Wesson Mansion 

Daniel B. Wesson Mansion 

Daniel B. Wesson Mansion, main doorway 

Daniel B. Wesson Mansion, carriage doorway 

Daniel B. Wesson Mansion, main hall 

Daniel B. Wesson Mansion, third landing, main hall 

Daniel B. Wesson Mansion, Library 

Daniel B. Wesson Mansion, Dining Room 

Daniel B. Wesson Mansion, southwest chamber 

N. Hawkins, Portrait 

Victoria Memorial, London 

The Campanile of the "Giralda," Seville, Spain 

Municipal Group, Springfield, Massachusetts 

Piazza, San Marco 

The old Dwight Store, corner Main and State Streets 



Officers of the 

Connecticut Valley Historical Society 

1904 



President, William F. Adams. 

Vice-Presidents, John' West, Andrew J. Flanagan, 
J. Stuart Kirkham. 

Clerk, Henry A. Booth. 

Corresponding Secretary, Henry A. Booth. 

Treasurer, William C. Stone; 

Curator, William C. Stone. 

Executive Committee, Edward A. Hall. Frank G. 
Tobey, Alfred M. Copeland, Albert H. Kirk- 
ham, Lewis F. Carr, Rev. Thomas D. Howard. 



THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 
HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS 



Connecticut Valley 
Historical Society 

Springfield Jk Massachusetts 



A Maintenance Fund 

of 

One Hundred Thousand Dollars 

to be Established by 

Members and Friends of the 

Society 






Committee 



W. F. Adams, President of the Society 

Edward S. Brewer 
Oscar B. Ireland 
Charles H. Barrows 
Col. John L. Rice 
William G. Wheat 
J. Brewer Corcoran 
Clifford B. Potter 
H. Curtis Rowley 
Col. Stanhope E. Blunt 



Col. Stanhope E. Blunt, Secretary 
Oscar B. Ireland, Treasurer 



Springfield Republican a 

Springfield Union b 

Springfield Homestead c 

Springfield Daily News d 



■ 







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LUmaUl 



Wesson $1,000,000 Gift 

TO 

The CONNECTICUT VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
MAPLE STREET MANSION OFFERED 



J. PIERPONT MORGAN CONTRIBUTES ?io,ooo 



Provision That the Society Raise Endowment Fund of $100,000 

for Maintenance— Finest Home in the Country 

for Such an Organization 



THE imposing residence of the late Daniel B. Wesson at 
50 Maple street has been given to the Connecticut Valley 
Historical Society, according to an announcement made at 
the meeting of the directors of the association at the LInion 
Trust Company's building yesterday afternoon. The gift is 
provisional to the raising by the society of a permanent fund 
of #100,000, the income of which is to be used for maintenance. 
J. Pierpont Morgan has already offered to give #10,000 toward 
this fund and the gift of the general committee of the 275th 
anniversary, amounting to #250, is also available. The com- 
mittee appointed to raise the fund consists of William F. 
Adams, president of the society, Edward S. Brewer, Oscar B. 
Ireland, Charles H. Barrows, Col. John L. Rice, William 
G. Wheat, James Brewer Corcoran, Clifford B. Potter, H. 
Curtis Rowley and Col. Stanhope E. Blunt. 

According to the president of the society, the building is 
splendidly adapted for exhibiting the valuable collections that 
are now in possession of the society, or have been promised 
as soon as suitable accommodations could be provided. The 
recent exhibit in connection with the anniversary shows some- 
thing of the wealth of material available. No changes will 



be made in the building as none are needed. With the large 
number of rooms available the collections can be housed prac- 
tically by themselves and in places ideally suited for them. 
This is a source of satisfaction to the Wesson heirs as well as 
to the society as the permanence of the house in its present 
form is assured for all time. The building will be by far the 
most costly owned by a historical society in the country. At 
Worcester the society there has just completed a new building 
that cost #300,000. The Wesson house cost approximately 
$1,000,000. The society will have no burden of taxes to meet, 
as buildings for such purposes come within the exempted list. 

The house was built by the late D. B. Wesson, the noted 
manufacturer of the Smith &: Wesson revolver. It is much the 
most expensive residence in the city and on the finest resi- 
dential street, yet also so close to the center, the city library 
and the art museum, that it is very convenient for the pur- 
pose to which it is to be put. The building was about 10 years 
under construction and in even' particular was the best that 
could be secured at any price. Bruce Price of New York was 
the architect. The material is Milford pink granite, the most 
durable stone that could be found. 

The historical society was organized in 1876 and has a 
membership now of about 300. J. Pierpont Morgan is one 
of the life members. It was organized "to procure and pre- 
serve whatever may relate to the natural, civil, military, 
ecclesiastical and genealogical history of the country, and 
especially of the territory in the Connecticut valley, and also 
to prepare and preserve correct reports of annals of passing 
events of importance." The home of the society has been 
somewhat uncertain for years. At present it is using part of 
the art museum for some of its collections. It has a vast 
amount of material, however, that it has never had room to 
make available to the public. There are scores of people also 
who have said that they would be glad to contribute if there 
was a place suitable for their gifts. The society has issued 




Main Doorway 




...... 



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Carriage Doorway 



three volumes of "Papers and Proceedings." The first of 
325 pages covers the years 1876 to 1881. The second of 309 
pages covers the years 1882 to 1893. The third, covering 
1894 to 191 1, is now in press. It also issued in 1907 "Poets 
and Poetry of Springfield,'" and in 1909, "History of Spring- 
field in Massachusetts for the Young," by Charles H. Barrows. 

The public gifts of the Wessons to the city now amount 
to more than $2,000,000. The Wesson memorial hospital cost 
$400,000. The Wesson maternity hospital cost $200,000. 
The two have also been endowed in the sum of $450,000. 
This latest gift of the costly residence completes the list to 
date. 

Costly and Magnificent Interior 

The house, which was built in 1898, is set in spacious 
grounds and the interior corresponds in magnificence and 
costliness to the outside. The rooms throughout are high and 
large and finished with rare and beautiful woods. Mr. Wesson 
was a lover of beautiful woods and filled his home with rich 
specimens' of native and foreign varieties. Beautiful tapes- 
tries and paintings enhance the richness of the rooms and the 
furniture is made to correspond with the woodwork. The 
walls above the wainscoting are covered with tapestries, 
frescoes or figured satin and there are lovely marble mantles 
and beautifully colored hangings. The floors are of quartered 
oak, with the exception of the salon, which has a floor of white 
mahogany. 

The house is built in the style of Louis XIV. Passing 
through the massive outer door and through the vestibule 
flanked with silver lamps, one enters a large hall, 20 by 30 feet. 
This hall is floored, wainscoted and ceiled with oak, except 
for small spaces near the ceiling, where tapestries are hung. 
A great fireplace with a mantel of Verde antique marble is on 
the right, and a heavy carved mirror hangs at the left. From 
the main hall extend side halls ornamented with carved oak 



wainscotings and tapestry like the main hall. At the north of 
the hall is the reception room, finished in Greek style and 
wainscoted in satinwood. The walls are covered with green 
satin and the mantel is of rose aurora marble with an overman- 
tel of satinwood. At the south of the main hall is the salon, 
finished in the style of Louis XV, with panels of white enameled 
cherry ornamented with gilt, and a floor of white mahogany. 
The ceiling is decorated with a beautiful figure painting by 
the artist Tojetti of New York, and there is a mantel of rose 
aurora marble. The salon and reception rooms are the same 
size, 19 by 22 feet, and each has a tower 15 feet in diameter 
at the corner farthest from the hall. 

The large library, done in colonial style, is at the south- 
west corner of the first floor. The high wainscotings here are 
of oak and tapestry, and the north wall is covered with oak 
bookcases. The mantel is of Sienna marble and the ceiling 
is decorated with paintings and supported by oak beams. 
The dining-room leads out of a side hall at the right of the 
main staircase and is one of the richest rooms on the floor. 
It is finished in San Domingo mahogany and has a wainscoting 
of red wood about eight feet high, with the beautiful grain of 
the wood showing in long, smooth panels. A sideboard is 
built into the wall at the north end of the room and on the east 
side is a handsome table. The mantel, of mahogany and 
Verde antique marble, stands at the south side of the room. 
The predominating colors in the tapestry and hangings is 
green and this color is also brought out in the painting on the 
ceiling. The L-shaped butler's pantry is north of the dining- 
room and north of this is a large kitchen with coal and gas 
ranges, the former having a huge hood of glazed brick sup- 
ported by iron beams in the ceiling. The storeroom and a 
pantry with a refrigerator built into the wall are east of the 
kitchen. 

The beautiful staircase which leads from the head of 
the main hall has balustrades of heavy carving, and ascends 



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with several landings to the second floor. The staircase is 
surrounded with windows of art glass, and is arched with a 
skylight of the same on the third floor. On the second floor 
there are six spacious sleeping-rooms and four bathrooms, 
besides the upper hall. All the rooms are wainscoted, and the 
furniture of each room matches the woodwork of the room. 
Some of the most lovely woods in the house are to be seen on 
this floor. The hall is done in oak, and the north room is in 
Circassian walnut, a dark wood with a rich grain something 
like our black walnut. Above the wainscot the wall is covered 
here with golden bronze satin. The mantel is of Japanese 
marble. The west chamber is in bird's-eye maple, the door 
panels being especially handsome. The mantel is of pink 
Italian marble, and the walls are done in blue satin. 

There are two chambers on the east side, one finished in 
white mahogany and old rose satin with a mantel of pink 
Sienna marble and the other finished in Circassian walnut 
with red satin and a Verde antique mantel. The room at the 
southeast corner is done in satinwood with green satin for a 
wall covering and a mantel of Mexican onyx. The room at 
the southwest corner contains one of the richest displays of 
rare wood in the house. It is finished in East Indian ma- 
hogany, a lovely wood with a pronounced grain and a varied 
color. The walls and hangings are of gold-colored satin and 
the mantel is of Sienna marble. The largest bathroom on 
the floor is situated between the two last-mentioned rooms. 
It is 12 feet by 12 and, like the others, is floored with mosaic 
and wainscoted with Sienna marble. The woodwork is of 
satinwood and the fittings are of silver. 

The rooms on the third floor comprise six sleeping-rooms, 
a bathroom, a sitting-room, a storeroom and a linen closet, 
13 feet square. The wainscoting here is of quartered oak and 
the rooms are larger than those in an ordinary house. Above 
the third floor hall, which is large, there is a garret which has 
been finished. The great basement of the house contains a 



laundry, servants' bathroom and a vegetable closet of Mr. 
\\ esson's own devising, in which the temperature is regulated 
by thermostat. The house is furnished with every modern 
convenience. It is heated with hot water from a furnace in 
the stables and fresh air is supplied from a large duct running 
down the front of the house, passing 1 1 feet under the base- 
ment floor and connecting with air shafts for the radiators, 
which are in the walls of the house except in the third floor, 
where they are inclosed in oak panels. The house is lighted 
with both gas and electricity and there are 30 buttons on the 
switchboard in the main hall which controls the system. 
There is a hydraulic elevator running from the basement to 
the third floor to complete the equipment. 




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Third Landing, Main Hah 



Another Wesson Benevolence 



The gift of the Wesson mansion in Maple street to the 
Connecticut Valley Historical Society, announcement of 
which was made yesterday by President W. F. Adams of the 
society, adds one more to the long list of benevolences to be 
credited to the estate of the late Daniel B. Wesson. This 
gift is from the surviving children of Air. Wesson, the direct 
heirs to this property, and is in keeping with the philanthropic 
provisions made by their father before his death and in his 
will. The mansion, a very palace in design and construction, 
costing a round million dollars, with its spacious grounds, an 
acre in extent, is ideally adapted to the purposes of an his- 
torical library and museum in which may be preserved the 
priceless records and relics of the early history of the Connecti- 
cut valley and the no less important historical data of later 
periods. 

It is a gift not only to the society, but to the entire popu- 
lation of-the valley, and its value will be more and more real- 
ized with the lapse of years. The society is requested to raise 
#100,000 for the maintenance of the property, and has already 
received from J. Pierpont Morgan a contribution of $10,000 
toward this fund. Air. Alorgan, whose ancestors were among 
the early settlers in the Connecticut valley, is a member of 
the society, and has manifested a keen interest in its object 
and work. The task of raising the remaining #90,000 ought 
not to be difficult. Indeed, the public spirit which inspired 
the gift of this #1,000,000 estate to so worthy a cause ought 
to be reflected in an immediate and generous response to the 
society's appeal for contributions to the maintenance fund. 

Springfield will be especially proud of this new addition 
to its public institutions, and with Springfield the cities and 
towns of the Connecticut valley will unite in a feeling of 
gratitude to the Wesson heirs for this munificent benefaction. 



Buildixg Better Than He Knew 



The good fortune of the Connecticut Valley Historical 
Society in receiving the gift of the magnificent Wesson house 
is generally pleasing. It is recognized as a peculiarly suitable 
disposition of an edifice which stands in a peculiar relation 
to the recent history of the city and which is peculiarly adapted 
to the purposes for which the historical society designs it. 
The general approval of the gift should leave no question as to 
the carrying out of the conditions or the understanding which 
is that the society raise a fund of $100,000 for maintenance 
and care. The object is recognized as being so worthy of 
support that it is doubtful if a strong appeal has to be made 
to the public spirited people of the city and vicinity who are 
interested in the good work of the historical society and in its 
possibilities. 

This disposition of the Wesson house is also a rather im- 
pressive example of the unexpected manner in which things 
often work out even in the brief history of a generation or 
two. The shrewdest and wisest men never know as they are 
planning and studying what is to be the ultimate development 
of that to which they are giving so much of their time and 
study. We may imagine that to the construction of this 
splendid dwelling the late Air. Wesson gave much of the strong 
mental powers and of the keen business ability for which he 
was noted. We can fancy how the project grew in his mind, 
how carefully the details were worked out, and how at every 
step the plans were made with the consciousness that it was 
a home making. It was the working out of one of the most 
elevating of ambitions and a man puts much of his personality 
and of his feelings into a house which he is building for his 
home. In many ways it is often the most intelligible index 
to his character and to his nature. 






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In the building few men stop to think of what is to ulti- 
mately become of the work in which they are engaged, but, 
even if there is a dream or a vision or an ambition, its uncer- 
tainties can not fail to be impressive. The purpose of even the 
greatest minds do not reach clearly beyond the grave. There 
is no telling how the ideas of one generation may adapt them- 
selves to the conditions of another. 

It is thus that sometimes men build better than they 
know at the time. Whether there is a Providence that works 
in the affairs of men or not it is a fact often noted that the 
results of individual endeavor are vastly greater than could 
be imagined and very much different. It is hardly possible 
that the late Mr. Wesson could have dreamed as he planned 
and carried to completion his beautiful residence that he was 
really providing a future home for the historical society. He 
knew that he was at least building well, and there is the lesson 
for the men of any generation. Good work is never lost. On 
the other hand, the results of it are always better than can 
be realized by him who works. 
















XXI 



Wesson Home is Bestowed 

#1,000,000 

MANSION ON MAPLE STREET GIVEN TO 
•CONNECTICUT VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



MORGAN GIVES £10,000 



Only Condition Is That Organization Shall Raise 
$100,000 for Maintenance 

T a meeting of the directors of the Connecticut Valley His- 
torical Society held in the Union Trust Company building 
yesterday afternoon, \V. F. Adams, president, announced 
the gift to the society by the heirs of the late Daniel B. Wesson 
.of the residence, 50 Maple street. The property was the home 
of Mr. Wesson, the inventor and manufacturer of the Smith & 
Wesson pistol, and was his home at the time of his decease. 
It is located on Maple street, the finest residence street in 
this city, and at the same time it is near the business center. 
The lot includes about one acre of ground. The building was 
about 10 years in process of construction and was built by 
day work. The architect was Bruce Price of New York City. 
The material is Milford pink granite — the best that could be 
secured. The workmanship throughout the construction was 
as perfect as could be maintained. The building when finished 
and furnished and as now offered as a gift to the society cost 
the sum of about $1,000,000. The only request made by the 
heirs is that the society raise the sum of $100,000, the income 
to be used to maintain the property or estate intact and place 
beyond question the ability of the society to care for it. A 
gift of $10,000 already toward this fund has been made by 
J. Pierpont Morgan of New York City, a member of the 
society. 






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The society was organized in 1876. It has a membership 
of about 300. The objects of the society are to procure and 
preserve whatever may relate to the natural, civil, military, 
ecclesiastical and genealogical history of the country, and 
especially of the territory in the Connecticut valley, and also 
to prepare and preserve correct reports of annals of passing 
events of importance. 

The gifts of the late D. B. Wesson to the city are as follows : 
Wesson Memorial Hospital, which cost $400,000; Wesson 
Maternity Hospital, which cost $200,000; both endowed for 
$450,000. 

The sons of Mr. Wesson, Walter H. Wesson and Joseph H. 
Wesson, have beautiful homes which were built before the 
decease of D. B. Wesson and the residence is not desired by 
either of them. Mrs. Bull, the daughter, has recently built a 
home which is much more to her liking, so that the princely 
gift is made to the Connecticut Valley Historical Society, the 
requirement being only a fund of $100,000 to secure the per- 
fect maintenance of the property. 

The Messrs. Wesson have been great benefactors to the 
city of Springfield and, including the present proposition, 
their gifts will mount into the millions. 

The home of the Connecticut Valley Historical Society 
has been rather uncertain for a number of years and the society 
has used by sufferance, as it were, a part of the Art Museum 
building, which contains the magnificent George Walter 
Vincent Smith art collection. 

The plan is particularly pleasing to the heirs of Mr. 
Wesson, as several propositions have been made for the final 
disposition of the property, and, when this plan is completed, 
it will assure to Springfield for an indefinite time, one of the 
most beautiful buildings in Springfield, if not in all New Eng- 
land, and will provide a home for the Connecticut Valley 
Historical Society, not equaled in this country. There will 
be no changes made, and none will be necessary. 



PAPERS AND PROCEEDINGS 






Papers and Proceedings 



Quarterly Meeting December 19, 1903 

Paper read by Judge A. M. Copeland 

Address delivered to the gentlemen of Hampshire, Frank- 
lin and Hampden Bars bv the Hon. George BlisS of Spring- 
field. 

Address by Hon. Geo. Bliss 

THE influence which the interpreters of law, advocates by 
profession, have had upon society has always been great. 
This has been the case in the old world as well as in the 
new, in ancient as well as modern times. In every civ- 
ilized nation the relations which attorneys and counsellors sustain to 
the community are important. In no country can this class of men 
be likely to produce more effect than in our own. Lawyers will of 
course be selected for judges. Upon them, therefore, must depend 
life, liberty and property. A considerable portion of them also will 
be legislators and though at times, great clamors have been raised 
against having so many of them in our federal and state legislatures, 
yet it will ordinarily be true either that the laws will be made or at 
least draughted by professional men or they will be incorrect. But 
besides this there is a more important, because more general, every- 
day influence which persons of this profession in the performance of 
their ordinary duties exert upon society at large. For whatever some 
visionaries may have imagined, there will, in all tolerably free govern- 
ments, be a class of agents taking the place of advocates. Fortunate 
is it for society that it is so, for in this way contending parties are 



2 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BUSS 

more nearly on a level. The difference between advocates will not 
generally be so great as between the parties themselves. 

Such being the influence exerted on society, the desire of know- 
ing what part our predecessors have acted, is both a natural and 
an interesting one. It is to be regretted that the laudable desire 
of knowing more of those to whose places you have succeeded, 
which is the occasion of this address, cannot be more extensively 
gratified. Such a history of the Hampshire bar as I am able to give, 
will now be laid before you. In gathering up fragments and putting 
them together, partly from personal knowledge, partly from the 
information of others and partly from periodical publications and 
records, I have no doubt there will be facts and circumstances either 
omitted or introduced which might materially vary the statement. 

This history will naturally divide itself into four periods. The 
first extending from the earliest settlement in the county in 1636 to 
First 55 yrs. the year 1691 when the Province charter was 
Second 52 yrs. given. The second from 1691 to 1743. The 
Third 31 yrs. third embracing only a short term of about 
Fourth 52 yrs. thirty years till the commencement of the Revo- 

lution in 1774, and the fourth extending from 

190 yrs. that to the present time, making in the whole 
about 190 years. This division is made not so much from regard 
to any great political changes as because at these epochs important 
changes took place in the bar and in their practice. 

FIRST PERIOD, 1636-169I 

The first settlers of this colony were by no means destitute 
either of talents or literary acquirements. Some of them were 
distinguished in our profession. The first Governor Winthrop was 
a lawyer and the son of a lawyer. His grandfather also had been 
an eminent counsellor. His posterity in Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut were very much distinguished. Governor Bellingham and 
many others were also lawyers. But, the spirit of the times in 
which they lived, the special object of their emigration and the 
business in which they were incessantly engaged, after they came 
here, would, of course, prevent the first settlers from devoting much 
attention to the forms of legal proceedings. The practice of law in 
England as exhibited especially in some of its departments, in the 
time of James the First, or the first Charles, had no charms to 



ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 3 

recommend it to the Puritans in general or to the emigrants to 
this country in particular. 

An extensive examination of the earliest records of Plymouth 
and Massachusetts colonies induces me to believe that our ancestors 
were not so ignorant of the principles, upon which justice had been 
administered in the mother country, as some have asserted. But 
it has also satisfied me that they were either in a great degree 
ignorant of the forms of proceeding or considered them of no im- 
portance. In our first period but very little can be said either of 
the reputation of the lawyers or of their practice. The first settle- 
ment within the limits of the old county of Hampshire, was made 
in May, 1636, at Springfield, then called Agwaam or Agawam, 
though a house had been built the year before. William Pynchon, 
Esq., one of the original patentees under the Massachusetts charter, 
a man of respectable talents and acquirements, with his son, John 
Pynchon, and his son-in-law, Henry Smith, with some others re- 
moved that year from Roxbury and formed this settlement. The 
father with his son-in-law returned to England in 1652, but John 
Pynchon, the son, remained. He was an assistant, an active magis- 
trate, and a renowned warrior. For several years the administration 
of justice was vested in William Pynchon, at first under the original 
provision and general authority given him and others by Massa- 
chusetts when license was granted to emigrate to Connecticut river 
and form settlements there; afterwards by the consent of the 
people themselves; and again by a special appointment from the 
General Court of Massachusetts. When he went to England in 
1652, authority was given by the General Court to certain commis- 
sioners, to hold courts and to haVe a jury of six men, if no more 
could be had. This reserved a right of appeal to the court of assist- 
ants in Boston in matters of weight and dilficulty. 

After Northampton was settled, commissioners were appointed, 
who were directed to hold courts alternately at Springfield and 
Northampton; but instead of appealing to the court of assistants 
the appeal was to be made to the county court holden at Boston. 
The records of the Pynchons, father and son, are preserved, and they 
are probably the only memorials in existence in this part of the 
state of the early administration of justice. I have examined them. 
They show that the forms of law were not always greatly regarded. 
They evidently undertook to act as chancellors as well as judges, 



4 JDDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

and in some instances as arbitrators. I have in my possession some 
of their forms, but there is no time to read them now. It appears 
that trials were generally by a jury under oath; and that processes 
were issued in his majesty"s name as early as 1640. Some have 
supposed this form was not used so early. After the establishment 
of the county of Hampshire, in 1662, county courts were holden 
alternately at Springfield and Northampton. But the court of 
assistants, which was holden only at Boston, had appellate juris- 
diction in civil causes over an original jurisdiction in all criminal 
cases which extended to life, member or banishment. 

This county then contained all the western part of Massachusetts, 
extending eastward as far as the east line of Brookfield. The towns 
of Somers, Enfield and Sufficld, which were very early settlements, 
now in Connecticut, were also then a part of it. The county limits 
were lessened in 173 1 by the incorporation of the county of Worces- 
ter and again in 1749 by the secession of the three towns last men- 
tioned and in 1761 still more by Berkshire becoming a separate 
county. But the Superior Courts as well for Berkshire as Hamp- 
shire were holden at Springfield till 1771, and at Springfield and 
Northampton from that time till after the Revolution. While all 
the Superior Courts under the colonial government were holden 
at 'Boston there were but very small inducements to persons re- 
siding in this county to devote much time to legal study. A journey 
to the Bay, as it was termed, was an arduous undertaking. So far 
as the records give the history of the proceedings in the county 
courts, the practice appears to be open to the remarks made by 
Stearns, Sullivan and others, in the central part of the colony. 
The forms are incorrect and indeed such might well be presumed 
to be the case from the state of the country. But an ordinance 
of the General Court made in 1663 not only shows what the rank 
of the profession was, but it had an evident tendency to keep it 
down and to degrade it lower. By this it was provided that no 
person who is an usual and common attorney in any inferior court 
should be admitted to sit as a deputy in that court. This regulation 
remained in force as long as the charter continued. There were, 
it ought to be recollected, some duties to be performed by the mem- 
bers of the General Court which might have induced this regulation. 
They were to try cases in the last resort between party and party, 
and might be called upon to decide in cases of life and death. The 



ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 5 

deputies took a very solemn oath as judges as well as legislators. 
But the effect upon the respectability of the profession in those 
parts of the country, when all the courts were of the description 
that common attorneys were excluded from them, cannot be doubted. 

Under the colony laws, I have not been able to find any special 
authority to the courts to regulate the admission of attorneys, or 
their practice. But between the time when judgment was given 
upon the Quo Warranto in the year 1684 and before the grant of 
the Province Charter, it seems that some regulations were made 
on this subject, which are not published, for I find on the records 
of the courts that at the County Court or Court of Pleas in Sep- 
tember, 1686, holden under authority of the president and council 
the following entry was made: "John King of Northampton, 
Samuel Marshfield and Jonathan Burt, Sen. of Springfield were 
allowed by this Court to be attorneys for this County's Courts and 
they took the oath of attorneys for the faithful performance of their 
office." This is the earliest record of a regular formal admission 
which I have found. June 18, 1684. Judgment on Quo War. 
Province Charter Oct. 17, 169 1. 

By a law passed in 1641 they were authorized to tax the whole 
cost of the suit to the party whom they found delinquent. What 
regulations, if any, were made in regard to attorneys, I have not 
been able to find. It is clear, however, that there was early such an 
order of men. This the above law of 1663 plainly implies. I find 
by the General Court records that in 1649 an order passed that all 
plaintiffs or their attorneys in civil actions should draw up a declara- 
tion in a fair and legible hand (a rule which courts and clerks in after 
times would be glad to have observed) and deliver the same to the 
recorder or clerk three days, at least, before the same court, whereby 
the defendant might have time to put in his answer also and summon 
witnesses, etc., and by a clause in the law regulating jury trials 
made in 1672, it was provided in the quaint language of the times, 
that "if any plaintiff he or shee have entered an action and do not 
by him or her self or by their attornies make their appearance, etc., 
after they have been three times called, they shall be nonsuited." 
I find some names mentioned as attorneys in the County Court 
but know nothing of their characters or acquirements. 

There is a difficulty in finding and examining the ancient records 
and processes in this county, which it may be as proper for you 



6 JDDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BL/SS 

perhaps as for any other body to take measures to remedy. The 
records before 1728, and the writs and files I believe to a later 
period, arc not in the clerk's office. Some of them are in the probate 
office, as the County Court was the Court of Probate; but I be- 
lieve some of them have remained with the former clerks. I shall be 
excused for making the suggestion if it has no good effect. 

I have now given all that I have learned of the practice till the 
Province Charter was granted in 1696: There is one regulation 
respecting the taxation of costs giving courts, when a party has been 
grossly in fault, a power to compel him to pay all the expenses. 
This is more equitable than the present regulation, when a party, 
however meritorious, can receive, either when his dues are withheld, 
or he is compelled to defend against an unjust claim, but a pitiful 
sum towards remunerating him. It may be well that no litigant 
should be fully indemnified but in many instances our law of rates 
is a denial of right. 

Second Period, 1691-1743 

After the new charter went into operation during our second 
period we are not quite so much in the dark, for a portion of it, 
indeed, the records are defective, but it is very certain that the 
practice of the law in this county, and probably through the Prov- 
ince, very greatly improved. Courts of Common Pleas were sub- 
stituted for the County Courts and by a law of 1692 they were 
authorized to establish necessary rules and regulations for the more 
orderly practicing in said courts. Superior Courts were at the same 
time substituted for the court of assistants. At first no time was 
fixed for holding the Superior Courts in Hampshire, but it was left 
to the governor and council to fix as occasion should require, but 
in 1699 a Superior Court was ordered to be holden at Springfield, 
which continued till the year 1771, when one was directed to be 
holden at Northampton. In the year 1701 the attorney's oath in 
the form now used was prescribed. I have not been able to ascer- 
tain that the Courts of Common Pleas during this second period, 
under the authority given them, made any regulations for practice 
in that court except those which regarded attorneys who lived 
out of the province, practicing in our courts. In the year 1727 thev 
laid some restraint upon them and regulated the costs they should 
tax. I-or as the trade of the county was down the river, it was very 



ADDRESS BY IIOX. GEORGE BEISS 7 

common for attorneys from Hartford and Windsor in Connecticut 
to appear in our courts to collect debts for their clients and they 
were permitted t to take either travel or attorney's fees, but were 
not allowed both. 

In the former part of this period the names of John Huggins and 
Christopher Jacob Lawton of Springfield, Samuel Partridge of 
Hadley and Timothy Dwight of Northampton, are frequently 
found on our records; and in the latter part of it William Pynchon, 
Josiah Dwight and Cornelius Jones of Springfield, Joseph Dwight 
of Brookfield and Oliver Partridge of Hatfield. Some of these were 
men who had extensive public confidence. Huggins was long an 
attorney in this county. He removed to lower Housatonuck, now 
Sheffield, and there continued in practice and was succeeded by 
his son. Some specimens I have seen of his declarations made in 
1728 in actions on notes, were as correct as many that are now used. 
He died in 1732. 

In actions for the recovery of possession of land about that time 
there are many declarations, some of them on mortgages. The 
actions are styled trespass and ejectment and when on mortgage 
the deed is declared on in the form of the English ejectment declaring 
on the mortgage deed instead of a demise. The plea of the defendant 
is infornlal, that he ought not to be ejected, because he has a right 
to hold the demanded premises, and this he is ready to verify and 
prays it may be enquired of by the county. The issue does not 
appear by the record to have been joined. Actions of debt were 
frequently brought during the first and second period of our his- 
tory. Debt was brought on notes as well as on book accounts and 
a profert made of the note or book. This was general through the 
government and was in conformity with the Connecticut practice. 
To this the general issue of nil debit was pleaded. But in the pre- 
cedents of Huggins before alluded to, the declaration is in case, in 
the form now used. 

Of most of the other persons named I am unable to gain any 
information. The three Dwights mentioned were afterwards judges 
of the Court of Common Pleas and all at the same time. Timothy 
Dwight, before he was a judge, was many years an attorney and 
counsellor at Northampton, of reputable standing. Though suits 
were very much multiplied, yet it is recorded by Mr. Dwight, to the 
honor of Northampton, that during the eighteen years he was in 
full practice, no inhabitant of that town was sued. 



8 JDDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

It is very evident that much more attention was paid to the 
forms of proceeding than had been before given, from the fact that 
the records abound with pleas in abatement. Almost every liti- 
gated case commenced with such a pica, some of which were suc- 
cessful, and others were overruled. Justice was frequently en- 
tangled in the net of forms. The maxim was. Qui cadit in litera, 
cndit in causa. Cornelius Jones was a famous champion in this war. 
I presume that he began practice without having had any advantage 
for acquiring a knowledge of the profession. It has been said he 
was at first a mechanic. He had been in full practice more than 
twenty years when he was formally admitted as an attorney. He 
continued to do considerable business till several years after his 
admission. I have frequently heard it alleged that when employed 
for defendant he was accustomed to make his entries on his docket 
under each case in the following manner: i abate 2 demur 3 contin 
4 appeal and sometimes 5 plead to the action. Some eminent 
lawyers have thought that a more strict practice than has been of 
late adopted would prevent lax and slovenly pleading and would 
introduce a wholesome severity. But aside from the unpleasant 
feelings which would arise, it ought to be considered that the most 
careful man may sometimes make a mistake which might, in its 
consequences, produce the ruin either of counsel or client. So that 
it would be very improper to revive the old practice. Liberality, 
however, ought not to degenerate into licentiousness. In medio 
tutissime ibis. From these considerations it is evident that one part 
of special pleading, that in relation to abatement was, in those 
times better understood than it now is. 

\\ hat means of information on legal subjects were enjoyed in 
the county during the first half of the last century, I have not been 
able to ascertain. I cannot learn that there were many law- books, 
nor if there were, what became of them. There are in the county 
but a very few and those not important, which appear to have been 
owned by them. 






Third Period, i 743—1 774 

Before the year 1743 practice must have been in many respects 
incorrect and knowledge of legal principles imperfect, but from 
that time both were very much improved. This ought to be at- 



J DURESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 9 

trihuted principally to three men, Phinehas Lyman of Suffield, 
John Worthington of Springfield and Joseph Havvley of Northamp- 
ton. 

Of the first, as his connection with this county did not long 
continue, I shall say now what I have to observe. The others 
remained members of this bar through the third period. General 
Lyman was born in 1716 at Durham in Connecticut, was a graduate 
of Yale College in 1738, was three years a tutor there and left that 
office in 1742. After having studied law, as I presume at New 
Haven, he came to Suffield, then in this county, and commenced 
practice in the year 1743. His business soon became extensive. 
He was a distinguished advocate and afterwards an able politician 
and renowned military officer. He has found an eloquent biog- 
rapher in D. Dwight, who in his travels has feelingly portrayed his 
sufferings and misfortunes, and I have frequently heard him spoken 
of by others who were contemporary with him, as an able lawyer. 
President Dwight attributes to him in a good degree the plan of 
separating Suffield and the other towns from Massachusetts and 
uniting them with Connecticut. If this be true, and he was likely 
to know how it was, a surmise may be made that he was not pleased 
with the growing fame of Worthington, and was apprehensive that 
they could not move harmoniously in the same orbit, and therefore 
took measures, in which he finally succeeded, to induce those towns 
to revolt from Massachusetts; by which she was deprived of a 
jurisdiction, to which she was most equitably, as well as legally, 
entitled. General Lyman, no longer belonging to this county, 
probably withdrew from practice here. He was, indeed, afterwards 
principally engaged in public business; and not many years after 
undertook a most unfortunate settlement on the Mississippi. 

Colonel Worthington commenced practice in 1744 and Major 
Hawley some years later, probably in 1749. 

From the time that Worthington and Hawley flourished, the 
practice has not very essentially changed. Precedents which can be 
ascertained to have had their sanction might be safely followed 
unless statutes have made some alteration. Contemporary with 
them in the early part of their practice were Charles Phelps of 
Hadley and Oliver Partridge of Hatfield and Cornelius Jones, who 
continued in practice till about 1765, when he died. I believe 
Colonel Partridge had an appointment and left practice early in 
life. 



io ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

I have made a list of the attorneys practising at this bar in the 
year 1774, when the courts were stopped, having arranged them 
according to seniority as far as I have been able to ascertain and 
have added the places of their residence. 

John Worthikgton, Springfield Daniel Hitchcock, Northampton, 1771 

Joseph Hawley. Northampton Caleb Stronc, Northampton 

Charles Phelps, Hadley Theodore Sedgwick, Sheffield 

Moses Bliss. Springfield Woodbridge Little, Pittsfield 

Simeon Strong, Amherst John Chester Williams, Hadley 

Thomas Williams, Stockbridge Justin Ely, West Springfield 

Timothy Danielson, Brimfield William Billincs, Sunderland 

Mark Hopkins, Great Barrington Samuel Fowler, Westfield 

John Phelps, Westfield Samuel Barnard, Deerfield 

Jonathan Bliss, Springfield Samuel Field, Deerfield 

Elisha Porter, Hadley David Noble, Williamstown 

Making twenty-two in all. I believe, however, three of these 
did not practice in this county, Charles Phelps, T. Williams and 
T. Danielson, to any extent. 

It may be noticed that four of those in the above list, resided 
in the county of Berkshire; but as that territory was then part of 
this county for a considerable time and the Superior Courts were 
all holden here and the attorneys practiced together indiscrimin- 
ately in each, I have thought it proper to notice them here. As I 
have already observed, when Worthington and Hawley came to the 
bar, the practice was extremely contracted. It continued so in 
some degree for a considerable time, but gradually became more 
liberal. While Worthington and Hawley were at the head of the 
profession in this county, the bar adopted a number of rules of 
practice and among others the important one requiring three years' 
study before admission to practice. From the first institution of 
courts there seems to have been no rule, no settled uniform practice 
on this subject, till this rule was adopted a short time before the 
revolution. I believe a year was all that had been required and 
probably many were admitted after studying for a much less period. 
These regulations originated with the Essex bar. That county 
has long stood among the foremost in improvement in the knowledge 
and practice of law. 1 have seen the original propositions from that 
county to this bar which were adopted here. I have heard some of 
those who were then in full practice say, that they at first doubted 
whether the term of clerkship was not too long, but after practicing 
upon the rule, they became fully satisfied with it. 



ADDRESS BY HOW GEORGE BLISS u 

One of the Essex bar, contemporary with VYorthineton and Haw- 
ley, William Pynchon, Esq., of Salem, I personally knew. I have 
tried to claim him for Hampshire, but find that, though a native 
of this county, he neither studied nor practiced here. I believe he 
stood high, even at that bar, as an eminent lawyer and was pe- 
culiarly skilled in the science of special pleading. His learning was 
not, however, confined to Rastell, Coke and the year books. He was 
a complete scholar, and an accomplished gentleman. His colloquial 
powers were very superior, as I had frequent opportunity to hear 
during his visits to his native place. He went to Salem in 1745 and 
read law and died about 1 790. If he was a fair specimen of the Essex 
bar, we need not wonder if we find Lowell, Parsons and many 
others, some of whom still survive, emanating from that county. 
I have frequently heard it observed that Pynchon did much to give 
the bar of Essex its high standing. These observations will not be 
understood as depreciating the practice in Suffolk or other counties. 
I have stated that there were rules of the bar, but none of the 
courts. These seem to have been sometimes confounded, though 
there is an obvious distinction. The rules of the bar are the volun- 
tary agreement of the attorneys practicing in a court as to their 
code of practice, depending for their validity on individual agree- 
ment.' The rules of court are imperative upon all who do business 
in it. An illustration of this difference may be given in a case 
respecting the right of attorneys to appear without producing 
warrant of attorney from their clients. The Superior Court of 
the United States seems to suppose this to be a general rule of 
courts in favor of their own attorneys. This may be so now, but I 
well recollect the time when it was not the case in Massachusetts. 
In all cases a power of attorney was to be produced and a very 
short concise form was devised and adopted, specimens of which 
I have. To obviate the necessity for this power, the bar in this 
county adopted a rule not to claim proof of it from brother attorneys 
in regular standing. It, however, not infrequently happened that 
questions were made to the court, and they always decided the case 
upon common law principles, and required the proof, if insisted 
upon, giving time, however, to produce it, if no previous notice had 
been given of the exception. Many points in our practice might be 
traced to this general rule of the court, though in process of time 
the rule was seldom if ever enforced, and doubts are entertained 
whether it was ever part of our system. 



12 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

During the period of thirty years previous to 1774 counsel of 
eminence attended the Superior Court on the circuit from Boston. 
Gridley was frequently here. 

The appearance of the Superior Court of that day was calculated 
to fill the mind with respect. It came into the county but once a 
year till the year 1771 and was ushered into it by the sheriff with 
his posse. When on the bench, their robes and wigs added to the 
majesty of their appearance. 

I saw them when a boy for the last time and after making great 
allowance for the effect upon a child, I am sure no earthly tribunal 
or body of men could inspire greater reverence than they did on 
my mind. I must believe there was much in their appearance and 
deportment well adapted to command veneration and respect. 
The lawyers were obliged to dress in black. The barristers all wore 
black gowns in court. To me it has always been a subject of regret 
that no peculiar costume has been retained or adopted by the bench 
.or the bar. It appeared to me out of character to see as I once did 
a chief justice of the United States, who really was very respectable 
and would appear so everywhere, dressed while on the bench in a 
plain dress or russet mixed suit. I know that such men as Chief 
Justice Jay and Parsons will extort and always command respect 
and veneration. But that is rather in despite of any irregularity in 
dress; and it does not follow that, even in them, attention to it 
might not have insured more. Certainly exceptions in their favor 
furnish no general rules. I know that a person destitute of talents, 
clothe him as you will, must appear contemptible, but still I believe 
that as long as flesh and blood compose so large a part of human 
nature, the senses cannot fail to influence the opinion of every 
individual and especially of the great mass of the community, in 
the judgments they form of others. 

After Worthington and Haw-ley came to the bar, they were com- 
monly employed in all important trials. Associated with them, 
though much their juniors, were Simeon Strong, Moses Bliss and 
Jonathan Bliss, and in the latter part of their practice Mark Hop- 
kins, Theodore Sedgwick and Caleb Strong. The northern section 
of the county comprising the present county of Franklin, was more 
recently settled than the southern and middle ones. Many of the 
present towns were entirely unsettled. For a short time before the 
Revolution, Ashley and Barnard were at Deerficld, Billings and 



ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 13 

Field at Conway. Daniel Jones of Hinsdale generally attended 
our courts. I believe there were attorneys in the present county 
of Hampshire only in Northampton, Amherst and Hadley; and 
in the county of Hampden' there were none except in what was 
then Springfield and Westfield. Timothy Danielson, however, 
was in the profession at Brimfield, but gradually relinquished it 
for trade. The practice in pleading was, in this period, very much 
the same as it is now. In real actions,, so far as I have been able 
to discover, precedents were generally as correct as they have ever 
been since. A precedent I have where entry in the son was brought 
on disseisin done to the ancestor, where the judgment is deduced 
and title stated in a correct manner and the plea and judgment are 
in good form. I have examined the proceedings in many common 
recoveries which appear to be in all respects correct. Probably in 
these cases the business was done by those who had more than or- 
dinary skill, but in proportion to its numbers this bar has, at no 
period, had more men of superior legal ability than those imme- 
diately preceding the Revolution. 

Perhaps I ought not, with so little knowledge as I have, to speak 
of Worthington and Hawley, never having known anything of them 
at the bar. But their great eminence may excuse the attempt to 
gathcr'some portions of their history. Of the former, I know much 
more than of the latter, for with the former as far as my junior 
standing would permit, I was many years conversant. Colonel 
Worthington was a native of Springfield, educated at Yale College, 
where he graduated in the year 1740, and where he was for some 
time a tutor. He left there in 1743, read law a short time with 
General Lyman at Suffield and commenced practice in 1744. I 
do not find any more of his admission to the bar or of that of Lyman 
and Hawley. His legal attainments were highly respectable. He 
had a good, and for that period, an extensive library. His practice 
was extensive. He commonly attended the courts in Worcester 
and, after Berkshire was made a separate county, attended the 
Common Pleas there. He was public prosecutor or King's attorney 
for this county. I never heard him argue a case to a jury; but 
from what I have seen of his mode of managing controversies, I 
have no doubt he was an able advocate. His mind was ardent, 
his imagination lively, his feelings strong. His ideas were apt to 
flow in torrents for he had great command of language. He was 



i 4 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

many times very powerful. If he had any fault it was this, that 
being sometimes too forcibly impressed with the subject, he forgot 
that his hearers had not his feelings and would press his subject 
farther than it would bear. His style was nervous and forcible and 
uncommonly correct. He had a taste for general science and his 
knowledge was not confined to law and politics. 

Though he made a conspicuous figure in the political arena of 
that day, I shall in regard to him, as well as all others to whom I 
shall allude, say nothing of their political course. He was capable 
of communicating much legal information, while his health and 
ability to converse continued, and was very free to do it. I had 
frequently the pleasure and benefit of his instructions, though 
never under his tuition. From the interruptions of the courts in 
August, 1774, to the time of his death in April, 1800, he lived re- 
tired from professional and all public business; and as he had many 
years been in a conspicuous station, and lived to a good old age, he 
had many of his acquaintances and friends to visit him and enjoy 
his society and conversation. He died in his eighty-second year. 
He had a manuscript book of forms which has been many times 
copied. Many of the precedents were noted as Reads. 

# Of Major Hawley I know much less than of Colonel Worthington 
and the little information I have is derived from those who were 
long associated with him in practice before his juridical science was 
profound. He was peculiarly attached to the old English black 
letter law and had an uncommonly extensive library of ancient 
law books, which he studied attentively. Many of the most valu- 
able of these books were afterwards owned by Governor Strong and 
were destroyed by fire. He'was very attentive to forms and tena- 
cious of the ancient English precedents. As an advocate he was 
powerful and successful. He was strictly conscientious and up- 
right. He abhorred everything approaching to deceit or chicanery. 
Juries believed him to be an honest man. Their opinion of his stern 
integrity made them listen to him very readily. His opinions and 
assertions had great weight. It was said of him, that he would 
not engage in a cause unless he was fully persuaded right and justice 
were on his client's side, and if, after he had engaged, he discovered, 
as he believed, that he was not on the side of justice, he would in 
any stage of the case, abandon it. Sometimes he would prematurely 
give up a cause. It is not always easy to perceive at the moment 



ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BEISS 15 

the duty of an advocate. Counsel are sufficiently prone to exercise 
fidelity to a client, but it ought always to be remembered, that 
their obligations to fidelity to the court and to truth and righteous- 
ness are at least as strong as those they owe to their clients. When 
Hawley was convinced he had justice and right on his side, he would 
argue very powerfully and successfully. When a point of law was 
to be taken before the court he would meet the case fairly and reason 
upon it as a sound logician. He was at times subject to great de- 
pression of spirits, generally grave in his deportment, a very zealous 
active magistrate. The general tenor of his manners made him 
more in favor with the people than with the court. Hawley and 
Worthington were most commonly engaged on opposite sides and 
when united they usually succeeded. They were both good special 
pleaders and could not endure to have legal proceedings in any other 
than appropriate technical language. This character I have always 
heard of Hawley and know it was true of Worthington. He could 
not bear the loose story telling manner which sometimes prevailed 
in Connecticut pleadings, but which I believe has there been much 
corrected of late. Hawley had the honor of numbering many among 
his pupils who would be ornaments to any bar. He never practiced 
after the year 1774; but occasionally presided in the Court of 
Sessions with great dignity as the oldest magistrate in the county. 
He died in March, 1788, aged sixty-four years. 

That these men should, with the means afforded them, acquire 
such eminence, is a mark of great industry and talent; and is evi- 
dence that a thorough knowledge of the law, as derived from its 
ancient sources, will make a man respectable, without reading every 
modern publication. 

Hawley, after he left college, studied divinity and was several 
years a preacher, though he was never settled in the ministry. He 
officiated as a chaplain in the Provincial army and was at the siege 
in Louisburgh. He studied law with General Lyman at Suffield; 
how long, I have not ascertained. The earliest notice of him I find 
in practice is in the year 1749, at May term. 

One who knew Hawley well, who had often heard him and was a 
competent judge, says, "many men have spoken with more ele- 
gance and grace, I never heard one speak with more force. His 
mind, like his eloquence, was grave, austere and powerful." 

I have said that Worthington and Hawley had good libraries. 
This must be understood with reference to the time and place. 



1 6 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

I have been informed in such a way that I am satisfied of its 
truth, that General Lyman's library, when Worthington and Haw- 
ley studied with him, was very limited indeed. Worthington, as 
he had opportunity, after he came into practice, proceeded to pur- 
chase a law library and enlarged it from time to time. 

Major Hawley, in the year 1767 or 1768 fell under the censure 
of the Supreme Court and was suspended from practice at the bar. 
At the next term he was restored, at the motion of Colonel Worthing- 
ton. I have always understood that there was no imputation on 
Hawley's character in this affair. The precise state of the case I 
cannot give. He was counsel for some persons in the county of 
Berkshire who had been concerned in a mob and made some ob- 
servations which the court thought had too much of the spirit of 
liberty. Whether this originated from the stamp act or some other 
cause, I am not informed. 

Upon the character of the next in seniority it will not be ex- 
pected that I should enlarge. I believe he was generally esteemed a 
sound lawyer and a skillful special pleader. His contemporaries 
generally valued his legal opinions. He graduated at Yale College 
in 1755. He first studied divinity and preached several years. 
He then read law with Colonel Worthington, was admitted to the 
bar in November, 1761, and left it in the year 1798. He was in 
practice several months before his admission. Very nearly con- 
temporary with him was Simeon Strong. He was born at Northamp- 
ton in the year 1735, graduated at Yale College in 1756 and for 
several years devoted himself to preaching. He was quite a meta- 
physician and always fond of theology. Pulmonary affections 
induced him to relinquish preaching, not having been settled in 
the ministry. He studied law with Colonel Worthington, com- 
menced practice at Amherst in 1762 and after practicing some 
months was regularly admitted to the bar at the November term 
of that year. From the time the courts were stopped in 1774 there 
w'as an interval of several years before he returned to practice. 
He did very little business in court till the year 1780. From that 
time until he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in 1800, 
his practice was extensive and his attendance in court regular, 
with very few interruptions. It was said that he spent the interval 
of his retirement from the bar in extensively revising and examining 
his law books. He had before been well indoctrinated; but this 



JDDRESS BY' HON. GEORGE BLISS 



17 



thorough revision gave him great advantage in the whole learning 
of real estates and particularly in regard to real actions. With 
those subjects he appeared perfectly familiar. There were some 
traits in his character worthy of particular notice. He was very 
modest and unassuming in his whole deportment and always and 
on all occasions treated the court before whom he appeared with 
great deference and respect. Whatever he might think of the man, 
he always revered the judge. In a person of his acquirements, and 
with a wit of such caustic powers as he sometimes exhibited, and 
before judges, for whom, aside from the office, no very high claims 
would be advanced, this was a feature of character rarely to be 
found. Possibly a part of this might be derived from the respect 
accustomed to be shown to the old Superior Court, but I have no 
doubt it was principally personal, and that he lost nothing by it. 
If his course in this respect were generally followed by the bar, 
instead of diminishing, it would add to their weight of character. 

Perhaps an angry client may, at the moment, be better pleased 
with a rude or angry reply; but indifferent, disinterested auditors 
would never be of that opinion. I have known him frequently to 
acquire great advantages by the course he pursued. Another trait 
not always in the character of eminent and distinguished advocates, 
was the perfect fairness with which he was accustomed to treat 
his antagonist. He was as astute to discover mistakes as any man, 
but did not take unreasonable advantage of them. In his remarks 
to the jury, the client or the case might feel the keen point of his 
satire, but towards his brother at the bar, he was always civil and 
courteous. He was eminently skilled in the whole science of plead- 
ing. He generally attended the courts in Worcester as well as 
Hampshire and in the former part of his practice frequently in 
Berkshire. After deducting the interval in his practice, he was 
nearly a third of a century at the bar. As he was more than five 
years on the bench, the soundness of his legal opinions will appear 
from the reports. He died December 14, 1805. 

Among the distinguished members of the bar before the Revolu- 
tion was Jonathan Bliss of Springfield. He graduated at Cam- 
bridge in 1763, read law with Judge Trowbridge and was con- 
temporary with Chief Justice Dana, with whom he long corre- 
sponded. He was in good practice and esteemed an able advocate 
and counsellor. At the approach of the Revolutionary contest, 



1 8 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

having no family, in August, 1774, he went to England and never 
afterwards resided in the United States. He had a very good law 
library which remained at Springfield till some years after the close 
of the Revolutionary War. He was successively attorney general 
and chief justice of the Province of New Brunswick, and died in the 
last office at an advanced age. Those five whom I have particularly- 
referred to were all the barristers in this county before the Revolu- 
tion. Sedgwick and C. Strong were made barristers after the peace. 
One other distinguished man read law and was admitted to the 
bar in this county, though I do not learn that he ever practiced 
here. Pierpont Edwards was of Northampton and was admitted 
in the year 1771. He soon removed to New Haven where he ac- 
quired great professional celebrity, though his eloquence, as much 
as that of any other man, appeared to be strictly extemporaneous, 
yet I had the opportunity of knowing that no man took more pains 
to study a case before hand and to have it thoroughly prepared. 
He was wont to examine all points likely to arise in the case. Here 
I may be permitted to make the general remark that so far as my 
limited observation in the course of a protracted professional life 
extends, those great men who have charmed by their eloquence, 
or convinced by their arguments, were men of deep study. Even 
when they appeared most impromptu they did not come to the sub- 
ject unprepared. Whatever natural powers one may have, you 
know that no man can be an able counsellor without long and 
laborious study. However it may be with poets, no man is born a 
lawyer. Whatever vulgar errors may be entertained, no lawyer can 
be well qualified to manage a cause without previous preparation. 
Whatever the appearance might be in the forum, the excellence 
exhibited there must be much indebted to midnight study. The 
particular circumstance of each case, as well as general principles 
must be thoroughly investigated. It is true some would require less 
time than others. But even a Parsons or an Edwards would be 
found closely engaged in (.heir libraries. There must be much of 
'what one of the old lawyers in his account charged the town of 
Northampton for in his broad language — laboured study and pillow 
rising. Though the charge is not very frequent it is, when made, 
more complained of than any other. 

If I am right in my opinion much encouragement may be given 
to laborious study even though one may think he has not great 



ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 19 

genius. Industry throughout the civilized world makes much more 
difference between persons than the difference of natural ability, 
unless we include in that a capacity for unremitting application. 
I have observed that three of those I have particularized studied 
divinity and were preachers before they practiced law. This was 
the case also with several others in the general list. It cannot be 
necessary in addressing you to vindicate this course of proceeding. 
Eminent jurists, and among the rest, Professor Hoffman, have 
prescribed such a course of study, in the beginning of the study of 
law, as would be very proper and suitable for a student of divinity. 
But, without taking this into consideration, we may say that the 
purity and integrity of such men as Hawley and Simeon Strong, 
cannot, without violating all sound rules of judging, be for a moment 
questioned. When the illiberal speak of such a course as selfish 
and avaricious, if any answer is deemed proper, refer them to Hawley 
and the elder Strong. 

If any one entitled to an answer speaks of making shipwreck of 
a good conscience by leaving the business of a preacher and pursu- 
ing the practice of law, turn them to Hawley and till he is convicted 
of corruption, they must be silent. 

It has not been within the scope of my plan to speak of political 
events, but there was one effect of the stamp act of which I do not 
recollect to have heard. It appears by our records that the ad- 
ministration of justice was suspended during 1765 and 1766 because 
the court declined using stamp paper for their jury process, and it 
is stated that this was general throughout the province. 

We have now arrived at an important era in our jurisprudence. 
There may have been others who were eminent lawyers during our 
third period, but having no information respecting them I shall 
be excused for not attempting any statement. There are some 
who, though they came to the bar in this period, yet, having 
acquired their distinction since, a particular notice of them may 
be reserved for a future period. It may perhaps not be amiss 
here to state some things which more properly come in before 
the closing period. Having mentioned that General Lyman's 
law library was small and Worthington and Hawley having been 
dependent on that for their law knowledge before they went into 
practice, it may not be amiss to mention that they very early took 
measures to purchase law books. They had good collections for that 



20 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

day when they left practice. So that they had the means of ac- 
quiring information themselves and communicating it to their 
students. Most of Ha.wley's law library was not many years since 
destroyed by fire. Jonathan Bliss had also an extensive library 
which remained in the county till the year 1786. 

Fourth Period 

At the time the courts were stopped there were probably in 
Hampshire and Berkshire about twenty persons who paid some 
attention to professional business, but the principal part of it was 
done by a much less number. Worthington and Hawley never 
returned to practice; Jonathan Bliss removed as I have stated. 
Three of the barristers ceased to practice entirely. Many of the 
other lawyers retired and either never came to the bar again, or 
did very little business. The courts of justice were closed in August, 
1774, and no Court of Common Pleas was appointed till May, 1778. 

The Superior Court might have been holden once or twice in 
that interval, but very little professional business was to be done 
till the close of the Revolutionary War. Governor Strong and John 
Chester Williams, at that period, did most of what was done. 
Judge Strong for several years did not regularly attend the courts. 
There was almost an entirely new state of things in the adminis- 
tration of justice at the beginning of the fourth and last period of 
our history. Very few of the lawyers attended courts; those who 
had taken the lead and were commonly looked up to for direction 
were gone. Three of the judges were not professional men and were 
not conversant with legal proceedings. The chief justice had been 
in practice as a lawyer, but had turned his principal attention for 
several years to trade. 

Perhaps this county was as favorably situated as most of those 
throughout the state; one of the whole number of the profession 
has left the county. 

At the close of the Revolutionary War business in our courts 
very greatly increased. The fountains of justice which had been 
closed were suddenly opened, the obstructions removed, and the 
torrents seemed likely to overwhelm everything in their course. 
But this was soon checked. Barriers of various kinds were set up 
and the gates of justice but partially opened. At this time the 
people in this county were greatly in debt. The merchants in 



ADDRESS BY HOW GEORGE BLISS 21 

Boston and New York had been accustomed to give the country 
traders extensive credit. They, in their turn, generally sold their 
. goods on credit. Those debts which had escaped the blast of paper 
money, and there were many in this condition, had accumulated 
to a large amount. In addition to this, public burdens pressed 
very heavily on the people. Their debts increased for living and 
supporting soldiers, as well as the direct taxes, were great in pro- 
portion to their means. There was no market for their produce and 
its price was greatly reduced. Distressed and driven almost to 
desperation, instead of imputing their sufferings to the real causes, 
the people looked only at the immediate instruments, the law- 
yers, sheriffs and constables, who collected their debts and taxes 
and considered them as nuisances in society. 

From the latter part of the year 1784 to 1789 the practice of 
the law in this country was under a cloud. Mobs obstructed the 
courts of justice. Great pains were taken by publications in the 
newspapers and by various other means, to fasten popular odium 
on the profession and for a time these efforts were successful. 

However it might have been in some parts of the common- 
wealth, there was, in this county, no ground for accusing the lawyers 
for unreasonable charges, or excessive multiplication of suits. 
The bar, in this county, as a body, took measures to avert this 
odium and determined to discourage suits when it could be safely 
done. They adopted a practice, which has since become extensive, 
of continuing actions for final judgment, instead of appealing from 
defaults or carrying cases to the Supreme Court; thereby greatly 
diminishing the expense and giving the parties equal advantages 
with an appeal. But all the expedients they adopted were ineffect- 
ual. After various attempts to stop the course of justice, which 
were partially successful, an armed force was resorted to and the 
insurrection of 1786 took place. Silent leges inter arma. Many of 
those concerned in this insurrection very fully believed that the 
war of the Revolution had entirely cancelled their debts and were 
much chagrined and vexed to find them reviving and in full force 
against them. This insurrection was quelled in the course of the 
year 1787. But though open resistance was effectually put down, 
the enemy of justice assumed a new shape and if not quite as terri- 
fic, it was fully as destructive. Having the sanction of government 
it was more pernicious. In addition to tender and suspension laws 



22 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

it came in the form of a process act, commonly called a see cause, 
and had the flattering title of an act for rendering processes in law 
less expensive. 

This act which passed November 15, 1786, gave every justice 
of the peace jurisdiction in all actions of every description wherein 
the title to real estate was not brought in question, and to an un- 
limited amount it was made the duty of every justice, upon demand, 
and the exhibition of a claim to him, to issue a process; by which it 
was evident that the intention was to supersede the agency of 
lawyer in the suit. This course of proceeding, which may here- 
after be as much an object of curiosity as the trial by ordeal or 
battle, unquestionably in its commencement was meant to leave 
courts or lawyers very little, if anything, to do. The writ required 
the defendant to appear and confess the plaintiff's demand if he 
should see cause, which gave it the name of a see cause action. If 
the defendant did not appear, judgment was to be rendered for the 
amount of the plaintiff's claim and execution to issue thereon after 
a considerable delay. If he appeared and disputed the claim, and 
the justice could not induce the parties to agree to a reference, 
the cause was to be carried to the Court of Common Pleas. 

As the whole proceeding depended upon the skill and care with 
which the justices' records were made, great perplexity and diffi- 
culty has occurred in attempting to trace a title to real estate under 
the levy of an execution issued by a justice in such a case. ' Justices 
have removed or kept no records, their papers are lost and in some 
instances, persons acting as justices have been found to have had 
no authority. I have known very valuable estates lost through the 
carelessness of a justice under this act. The junior part of the pro- 
fession have probably not known much of this heterogeneous course 
of proceeding. It may be that I have dwelt too long upon it but as 
it began when I commenced my professional course, I felt the evil 
of it very sorely. It operated very extensively to prevent the col- 
lection of debts and increased the expense in all litigated cases. It 
was several years and nearly to the close of the last century before 
business had returned to its regular channels. It is true that after 
June, 1790, actions were generally brought to the Common Pleas 
directly, a law of February, 1789, having given a plaintiff an alterna- 
tive either to sue at court or before a justice. From the year 1800 
to the present time, the business of the profession has met with no 



JDDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 23 

extraordinary embarrassment; and the profession itself has had 
its full share of public confidence. 

I must beg your indulgence for protracting this address to such a 
degree but there remain two persons who have been eminent at our 
bar whom it would be unpardonable to pass in silence, — Governor 
Strong and Judge Sedgwick. The character of Governor Strong 
has been so well known that I may be brief. His political character 
will require a more powerful and skilful hand, but as it is twenty-six 
years since he left practice, and most of those who hear me have per- 
sonally known nothing of him as a lawyer, I will attempt to portray 
his professional character and history. He was a graduate of 
Cambridge College in 1764, and studied law with Major Hawley. 
After he left college his health was very feeble and his eyes so weak 
that he was not able to read himself and was obliged to depend on 
others to read to him. He was compelled to spend much time in 
journeying to regain his health. I do not find any record of his 
admission as an attorney; it is possible I may have overlooked it. 
It has been said that he began to practice in 1772, and the first no- 
tice I find of him in court is of that date. It is very apparent that 
the court did not pursue any fixed rule as to admitting attorneys 
to practice and it is very probable that the names of many who were 
in fact admitted are not to be found on record. As he practiced 
but a little more than two years before the courts were closed it is 
probable Governor Strong's practice before the war was very limited. 
But after they were established during the war, and for years after 
its close, his practice was much more extensive than that of any 
other person in the county. His aid and counsel was usually as 
much sought after and relied on as those of any one. He regularly 
attended the courts in Hampshire, Worcester and Berkshire. 
Though he was much engaged in public business he generally at- 
tended to his professional engagements as well as his public duties. 
That forecast which was so remarkable a trait in his character 
was employed to great advantage in making his arrangements 
to attend the courts. Without deserting public business, when at 
Boston or even at Congress at New York or Philadelphia, he would 
come and attend a court and perhaps not be missed at all. He was 
one of the most diligent, industrious men I ever knew. He was 
very fond of reading and always had a book at hand to improve 
every moment. His mind was uncommonly versatile and interrup- 



24 JDDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

tion, while engaged in any business, did not seem to break the course 
of it. His knowledge of law was very respectable and it was more 
diffused through all its branches than that of any of his seniors, 
yet he was not so pre-eminently skilled in the doctrines in regard 
to real actions as was Judge Strong. His drafts and forms were 
uncommonly accurate. It was rare indeed that any defects were 
found in his forms. He was much employed in public as well as in 
private life. Not a few of the statutes of the Commonwealth and 
of the United States went through his hands. His pleading was 
generally considered as good authority but was rather less in the 
English style than that of his master or Judge Strong. But his 
characteristic prudence appeared in this as well as in other things. 
An instance or two occurs to my recollection. It was long and 
warmly disputed not only with words but almost with fists and 
clubs in other parts of the state, whether in entry or disseisin, not 
guilty was a good plea. It had, during the Revolution, crept into 
practice. Governor Strong pleaded not guilty of the disseisin 
instead of not guilty generally. Another case occurred in regard to 
the proper conclusion of an indictment founded on a statute. The 
authorities were clear that saying it was contrary to law was bad, 
but Strong alleged it to be contrary to the law and held that if 
there was a statute it referred to statute. This has since been de- 
termined to be improper. I mention it as indicating legal astutia. 
Governor Strong was a very successful advocate to a jury, but his 
manner was very diverse from that of his great master. His address 
was insinuating. He commonly began in a low tone of voice, talking 
to the jury in a very familiar way; but so as to gain their attention. 
V\ hether others heard or not he was not concerned. Many times, 
before those whom he addressed, or any one else was aware of it, 
he had gained his point. I have frequently heard it said by one who 
had practiced in every county in the state, that there was no man 
he so much dreaded as closing counsel as Caleb Strong. It was well 
understood that he was twice offered a seat on the bench of the 
Supreme Court but utterly declined it. The public had great con- 
fidence in him. Juries placed the utmost reliance on his assertions. 
Though his eloquence was not destitute of force, yet his manner was 
that of persuasion. He united in a very uncommon degree great 
prudence and discretion with great simplicity and integrity of 
character. He was the favorite advocate when the rights of human- 
ity were to be defended. 



JDDRESS BY HOW GEORGE BLISS 25 

The only other member of the bar to which I ask your attention 
for a few moments is Judge Sedgwick. He was a native of Connecti- 
cut and a graduate of Yale College in the year 1765. After reading 
law he removed into Sheffield in the county of Berkshire and began 
his practice there. He was fast rising into eminence when the Revo- 
lution interrupted the regular administration of justice. But from 
the beginning of his practice until the year 1802, when he was 
appointed a judge of the Supreme Court, he regularly attended 
our courts and constantly practiced at our bar. His practice, how- 
ever, was subject to many interruptions by public business. As he 
was many years a judge and those who never saw him may by the 
reports learn how profound his knowledge of law was, it is needless 
for me to give his character in this respect and might be deemed 
arrogant. His character and talents as an advocate and counsellor 
may not be so generally known. His eloquence was forcible and 
commanding. What he gained was by fair means. His attacks were 
open and above board. He always gave warning and put his ad- 
versary on his guard. His aid was usually sought in important 
cases and he was frequently successful. He seemed to have an 
instinctive abhorrence of deceit and duplicity. He was well versed 
in the science of pleading, had a great deference for English Law 
and wa's a strenuous advocate for an adherence to the old forms. 
Perhaps no two equally great men and eminent advocates can be 
found whose general manner was more dissimilar than that of 
Governor Strong and Judge Sedgwick. They were very commonly 
engaged in the same causes in this county and in Berkshire, and 
were each in his own way pre-eminent. From these examples, as 
well as from other instances I have named, it may be inferred that 
to be an eminent and successful advocate, there is no peculiar mode 
of speaking which is exclusively necessary to insure success. While 
gross improprieties are avoided, each may adopt the method most 
easy and natural to himself. 

I may be pardoned here in repeating a remark made by others, 
that Judge Sedgwick's manner on the bench while it was dignified, 
was always courteous and that his efforts in a good degree contribu- 
ted to establish and promote urbanity on the bench, and a cordial 
good understanding between the court and bar. He died in the 
year 1813. 

There is one thing which ought to be mentioned to his honor. 



26 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

He stood many years at the head of the profession in Berkshire. 
During a long professional life he had many students and paid much 
attention to them. His students through his attention, and that 
of a gentleman long associated with him, came into practice much 
better indoctrinated than many of those who served a clerkship 
in this county. It is certainly not to the honor of our bar, that for 
many years so little attention was paid to the instruction of students. 
It was quite as much as could be said in some cases, of a person 
admitted to practice, that he read law in such an office. The almost 
utter neglect to afford any information or instruction would seem 
to be unaccountable. It was not confined to those whose ability 
to mstruct was very limited, but extending to some who had every 
requisite, except a disposition, to perform this important duty. 

Since attention has been drawn to the subject, it is probable the 
evil will be effectually cured. The eminent law schools established 
in different parts of our country will be likely to insure more atten- 
tion to a knowledge of law, at least in its theory. Experience must 
decide how far and how much practice must be combined with 
theory, in order to give the best chance for success. Various efforts 
have been made by the bar of this county, and some bv the courts 
to establish some other test of professional acquirements than the 
time a person has been in an office, but they seem as yet not to have 
succeeded. Perhaps too much was expected, perhaps there were 
some defects in the plan pursued not necessarily inherent in the 
system. Having been nearly forty years in practice, I think I can 
say I know that time alone is not an infallible test of eminence 
I hope some mode will be devised of having thorough examinations 
to entitle a person to be recommended by the bar and the court as 
worthy of public confidence as a counsellor and advocate but on 
this subject I may not enlarge. From present appearances that 
branch of professional duty which relates to the collection of debts 
will very much diminish. Attention must, therefore, by tho*e 
who devote themselves to this profession, be turned to the other 
more arduous and important branches of knowledge. 

I have given an account of some of the members of the bar who 

have filled a large space and exerted an extensive influence and were 

contemporary with some, shall I say, of us? Alas! my brothers 

the great destroyer will hardly allow me to use the plural number. 

But the reflection how much I stand alone here, will justify me 



ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 27 

in turning out of my course and bringing to your recollection one 
with whom I was longer and more frequently associated as an ad- 
vocate than with any other person. The Hon. Eli P. Ashmun had 
not the advantages of a public education. He read law with Judge 
Sedgwick. He was a bright example to what eminence in spite of 
the want of a thorough classical education, in spite of great feeble- 
ness of elocution, a person may arrive. I shall not attempt to give 
his character. He was too well known to most of you to render this 
necessary. It will be no disparagement to any one to say that he 
stood at the head of the profession in this county: I knew him 
intimately and think I knew him thoroughly. He was an eminent 
advocate and sage counsellor, but he was more and very much more 
than these epithets imply. 

This brief sketch will show that for nearly a century our bar has 
not been destitute of men of eminent talents. Such men as Worth- 
ington and Hawley, the Strongs and Sedgwick would do honor 
to any bar. I say nothing of those who are still alive, whether they 
have retired from practice or arc still devoted to its duties. Omit- 
ting to reckon l'ynchon of Salem, Edwards or President Dwight, 
who studied law here, it has produced those who would be an honor 
to the profession and who have had a full share of public honor and 
the corffidence of their fellow citizens. We cannot, indeed, vie with 
the list given in the excellent address to the Suffolk bar, but ours 
is by no means contemptible. It has given one governor to the 
state, two judges to the Supreme Court, two members of the old 
Congress, four senators in the Congress of the United States, one 
speaker of the House of Representatives in Congress, one member 
of the convention that formed- the United States Constitution, 
three members of the state convention that formed the Constitution, 
seven representatives in Congress, two state senators, six state 
counsellors. The office of president of the senate has been once and 
that of speaker of the house twice filled by men from this bar. 
Eight judges of the Common Pleas and Circuit Court, five judges of 
Probate, four sheriffs, besides many other officers have been filled 
by our bar. 

If the profession is to be estimated by the property acquired by 
it, perhaps no class of the community has labored more unsuccess- 
fully. Whatever else it may be, the practice of law is not the road 
to wealth. Most of those lawyers who have acquired property have 
acquired it by means distinct from the profession. 



28 ADDRESS BY BOA. GEORGE BLISS 

Within the last forty years there have been in practice about 
170 members of the bar. Of these thirty-two have deceased; two, 
who have had public confidence, the Hon. Jonathan Lyman and 
the Hon. Elihu Lyman, have been cut off recently in the midst of 
their days; eighteen have removed from these counties and the 
like number have retired from business or are attending to other 
pursuits. About 100 still remain in practice in these counties. 
Permit me here to look back to the beginning of the forty years. 
There were then only fourteen residing in this county in practice, 
two of them retiring to mercantile pursuits and one declining busi- 
ness. Only four of those survive and not one of them is in practice. 

Very few of the profession have manifested themselves unworthy 
of public confidence. Would that it could be said there had not 
been one. In so numerous a body it is most important that the bar, 
standing in their highly responsible relation which they sustain to 
the community, should exhibit a marked and pointed reprobation 
of every corrupt and dishonorable practice and should exercise a 
watchful vigilance over its members, so that malpractice may be 
brought to light and every offender may be expelled. 

When mistakes are made, that liberality which has so long been 
exercised will undoubtedly be manifested; but fraud and corruption 
cannot be overlooked without violation of the oath of office. Far 
be it from me to excite suspicion or to suggest anything disparaging 
to our bar. But the confidence necessarily placed in professional 
men, and the influence their character and conduct has, not only 
on the bar, but on the administration of justice, and the respecta- 
bility of our courts, render it proper that we should at all times feel 
our responsibility. 

The men of whose character I have spoken had not the advant- 
ages which students now have. Probably a copy of Blackstone's 
Commentaries was not to be found in the county before the year 
1770. They had Hale and Gilbert, and a short time before the 
Revolution, Bacon's Abridgment, Coke, and Littleton's Works, 
as well as Rastell & Fitzherbert were here; but there was not in 
the county a copy of Comyn's Digest. There is one thing, however, 
to be remembered — that what they had was in a narrow compass. 
They were not obliged, in acquiring the language of legal science, 
to search for it in hundreds of detached volumes, or to examine 
where it was spread out so thin, or the thread drawn so fine that 



JDDRESS BY I/OX. GEORGE BLISS 29 

a person would require extraordinary optics to discover whether, 
there was any gold there. One who was apt to learn might sooner 
get all their books by heart, than read all the modern publications. 
Hundreds of volumes of reports were not then annually published. 
Digests and treatises upon all the branches of law were not then so 
multiplied as to require the treasures of the Indies to purchase 
them, and the age of Methuselah to read them. Besides this, it was 
not necessary that a treatise in order to their studying it, should be. . . 
wrought up with all the elegance of a Waverly novel. As, when 
children, they were obliged to eat black broth, or go hungry, so if 
they were too fastidious to read black-letter, they must starve. 

To obviate some of the evils which are felt or fancied in acquiring 
a knowledge of law various expedients have been devised. Codifica- 
tion is to work wonders in this respect. Perhaps it may not be long 
before a patent will be taken out for some royal or democratic road 
to legal science, by which a person can be made a lawyer by a kind 
of legerdemain. 

But more serious objections have been raised and from very 
respectable quarters against the study of the common law. The 
English common law is to be discarded. But such were not the 
sentiments of our venerable predecessors. Several of them had 
certainly no very strong predilection for anything of British origin, 
or sanctioned by the British government. 

On this subject there is no time for observation, but I fear that 
if efforts should be made to build up a system without recourse to 
the common law, it will prove like the attempts to frame a system 
of theology while revelation is professedly discarded, as in the latter 
case, either the system would be useless or even pernicious, or much 
must be derived from the Bible. 

So our legal system will be either very imperfect, or much, very 
much must be derived from the common law. 

It is with pleasure we can look back upon the character of Worth- 
ington, Hawley, the Strongs and Sedgwick, men who have been the 
ornament and glory of our bar. When we inquire into the founda- 
tion of their eminence we shall find the basis of all their distinction 
in their sterling integrity. In order to gain public confidence, it is 
necessary a person should be esteemed worthy of it, but in order to 
hold this esteem, it is absolutely necessary that he should be what 
he professes. Eminent talents and acquirements may, without 



3o JDDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

integrity dazzle for a time, but honesty and integrity are essential 
to the success of an advocate. We have heard in other countries 
and in other parts of pur own, of those who had great abilities and 
most eminent acquirements, but the public voice decided that they 
were devoid of honesty. However high such persons have risen 
and some have been very high, they have fallen into absolute con- 
tempt,— the wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind. While we fol- 
low the examples of our illustrious predecessors, we shall not be 
likely to err and the influence of our profession will be extensively 
felt. As long as there are injuries to be redressed and rights to be 
enforced, I say to it "Esto perpetua." 



Letter from Hon. Perez Morton. Attorney General from 1S10 to 183:. 

., „ _ Dorchester, June 6th, 1827 

.Hon. George Bliss: 

Sir: 

I have read with great satisfaction your excellent address to the bar of 
Old Hampshire. I consider it an historical document of great value to shew to 
posterity the simple origin, gradual progress and constant improvement in the 
juridical proceedings in our Couits of law. Had I the same patience and capacity 
for research with yourself, I should delight in tracing a similar origin and improve- 
ment in the judicial proceedings in Suffolk. I remember, however, that it was 
said by the great James Otis, that Mr. Reed, afterwards one of the Judges of the 
Common Pleas, had more science in special pleading and contributed more to its 
perfection in practice than any other man at the bar in his time. 

I was also highly pleased with your description of the character of the great men 
who were formerly the ornament of your b.,r. Two of them I well remember, 
Colonel Worlhington and Major Hawley, not, however, as advocates at the bar. 
but as rival politicians in the Legislature in the times of our greatest political 
controversies, previous to the Revolution. 

The former of these gentlemen was denominated the leader of the government 
party; and young as I then was, I felt your character of him as an advocate was 
equally appropriate to him in deliberative debate; "his mind was ardent, his 
imagination lively, and his feelings strong," that "his style was nervous, forcible 
and uncommonly correct" and although on the unpopular side of every question, 
"he was many times very powerful." On the other hand his rival, Major Hawley, 
was at that time denominated by Samuel Adams and others, the leading member 
of the country Whig interest; and as you have described him at the bar, so in the 
Legislature; "he was grave and solemn in his demeanour," and the popular 
branch of the Legislature, as well as "juries," had confidence in his assertions 



ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 



3 J 



"and his stern and undeviating integrity" commanded the attention of the mem- 
bers and "his opinions with them had great weight." I might add greater than 
any other man's in the house of representatives. 

Your pamphlet has brought to my mind the important reminiscences of those 
former times. And especially, I remember it to have been then remarked that 
the two gentlemen above alluded to were perfect models for rival politicians in 
conducting their debates; for that they scarcely ever rose in opposition to each 
other without mutually paying some tribute of respect to the talents and motives 
of each other. But I am running too far into politics — but as it is the only character 
in which I knew them, you will therefore excuse it. And I have only to thank 
you for the just delineation of character which you have given, them, and for the 
great pleasure your address had afforded me in every part of it. 

And am with great respect and consideration 

Your hu Servt. 

Perez Morton 



Letter from Hon. Jo 
Sir: 



eph D. Story. 



Salem, June 21, 1827 



I beg to return you my sincere thanks for the copy of your late address 
to the members of the bar of the counties of Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden, 
which you have obligingly sent me. It is a very interesting and instructive dis- 
course and 1 should rejoice if a like example should be followed by the other coun- 
ties of the Commonwealth. Of most of the distinguished lawyers of whom you 
have spoken, I had no personal knowledge, but Mr. Pynchon has left behind him 
in Essex a very high reputation for legal sagacity and learning and blameless 
integrity. I had the good fortune to know Judges Sedgwick and Strong and none 
of us can have forgotten their talents and learning, or that of the iate Governour 
Strong. I can bear a willing testimony to the accuracy of j'our sketches of their 
characters. You have performed a most acceptable service, for which the whole 
profession owes you many grateful acknowledgments; and I beg to add my 
sincere wishes that, as a senior of the bar, you may long continue to illustrate 
and confirm its dignity. 

I am with the highest respect 



The Honble George Bli: 



Your obliged Servant, 

Joseph D. Story 



Letter from Jn. Davis. 

Boston, June 26, 1827 
Dear Sir: 

I thank you for a copy of your address to the members of the bar in the counties 
of Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden. I have perused it with much satisfaction. 
It is gratifying to contemplate the portraits of our departed worthies and every 
jurist and every lover of good and able men must be pleased that you have had 
leisure and opportunity to give the delineations that afford us a more distinct 
apprehension of the character, acquirements and habits of the distinguished pro- 



32 ADDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 

fessional men who so faithfully and honorably pursued and finished their course, 
in your vicinity, and who were so justly endeared to the whole community. It 
is a privilege which I doubt not you duly estimate to stand in immediate connexion 
by birth, residence, education .and acquaintance with such characters. May you 
long continue a revered ornament of a profession to which you have offered this 
dutiful and acceptable tribute, and have the satisfaction to behold the good fruits 
of the sound principles of morality and jurisprudence which you have inculcated. 
Your obedient friend and servt. 



Hon. George Bliss 



Letter of John W. Ames. 



Jn. Davis 



Dcdham, Sept. 19th, 1S26 



Dear Sir: 

I recollect with no little mortification that some days since I received a letter 
from you containing enquiries respecting my grandfather Worthington and that 
I have neglected to reply to it. My only excuse is that I have been engaged in 
business for some weeks past that has exercised to an uncommon degree both 
body and mind. I have been absent from home almost the whole time and confess 
that though greatly interested in the subject ol your letter, my obligation to reply 
to it entirely escaped my memory. The arrival of my aunt Dwight in Springfield 
renders a communication of the facts which were the object of your enquiries 
now unnecessary as I obtained them from her entirely and not from my mother. 
You therefore can now obtain them from the same source more to your satisfaction 
than from a letter of mine. But though my letter cannot now be useful to you I feel 
that it is important to myself to assure you that my negligence has not been the 
effect of design but of accident. Permit me as a relative of Col. Worthington and 
as a member of the profession to express my satisfaction that the task of giving 
to the public historical sketches of the Hampshire bar has been allotted to one 
whose ability to execute it is so well known and is highly estimated. 

I am with the greatest respect 



Hon. George Bli: 



John \V. Ames 



Letter from Samuel F. Merrick. 
Sir: 

I have read your address to the bar with great pleasure, but your account 
of Major Hawley's expulsion from the bar is not sufficiently related. I think I 
could be of some service to you; the fact as far as you have related was true an i 
had the Major left it then no notice would have been taken of it. I was not present 
when the expulsion took place but my father was, who told this story. As soon 
as the Court was opened, Gov. Hutchinson, who then presided, handed a news- 
paper to the Major in which was inserted an account of the trial in which the 
Court and particularly the Chief Justice was highly reprobated, signed by his 
name, and asked him if he was the author; he said he was. The Govr. said he 
thought the piece highly censurable but as he was principally aimed at he should 
say the less. Judge Trowbridge then rose and said that he could speak freely 



JDDRESS BY HON. GEORGE BLISS 33 

as he was not then of the Court. Such conduct was not to be borne with and after 
forcibly reprimanding him, moved that his name be struck from the list of attorneys. 
The Chief Justice then asked the other Judges and they all consented; his name 
was then ordered to be struck from the list. It don't appear the Major was called 
for a defense; to be sure he made none. At the next term he came in and made 
a very humble confession and shed many tears. I don't know who I had this from, 
but it was common report. This was characteristic of the man; his life was full 
of sinning and repenting. lie came out so often into the broad aisle to make his 
confession, that it became proverbial if he did anything supposed to be remiss, 
'we shall have him in the broad aisle again.* You say the Major's character did 
not suffer by the means, but you must remember he was on the popular side, be- 
sides there was no doubt but he was right in his definitions of riots and the Court 
wrong. This is not to be wondered at as I believe we had no statute upon the 
subject and the Court tho' good men were not lawyers. I believe none of them, 
certainly Hutchinson and Peter Oliver were not, whether Lynde and Cushing 
were I know not. I said the Court were good men, they were preeminently so. 
Tho they were hostile to Revolution, I believe they acted from as good motives 
as James Otis did who unquestionably laid the first egg, because his father was 
not made Chief Justice, in the stand for Govr. Hutchinson, when he made this 
memorable speech; — 'I will now raise such a fire as many waters can't quench, 
tho' I get burnt up in it myself,' which almost literally came to pass, for as soon 
as the war began it so altered him that he turned maniac and died in the street 
crying woe to Boston. I certainly do not impeach the motives- of the Court. Had 
they lived to see Andrew Jackson our President, which God grant you nor I may 
never see, they certainly would exhort; and well they might, for there has not 
been a, prince upon the British throne since the Stuarts with whom the liberties 
of the people would not have been safer than in his hands, — but enough of politics. 
There is one thing in your address wants explanation. You say Joseph Clark 
of Northampton is the oldest attorney now living. I never knew a man of that 
name an attorney and I cannot find it in your list. 

Am, Sr. yours with esteem, 



Wilbraham 
April 28th, 1828 

Honble. George Bliss Esqr. 



Saml F. Merrick 







34 THE FORT AT "NUMBER FOUR" 

Quarterly Meeting February 26, 1904 

Rev. Thomas D. Howard read a paper on "An Old Fort 
in the Connecticut Valley." 

The Fort at "Number Four" 

^HE central point of what I propose to set- forth is the 
successful defense of the fort in question, but, as pre- 
liminary, it is proper to tell where and what was the 
structure. 
It stood in Charlestown, N. H., although at the time of the event 
described the township was within the limits of Massachusetts and 
was called "Number Four," being the fourth of a series of town- 
ships extending northward. It lies ninety-two miles north of Spring- 
field, thirty-two miles from Brattleboro and eight above Bellows 
Falls. Its local claim is that it is the most beautiful of Connecticut 
River streets; not indeed vying in breadth with Northfield or 
Deerfiekl, but of ample width as an avenue, and arched in part of 
its extent, which is three-quarters of a mile, with the interlacing 
branches of its double row of elms, and studded with well-kept man- 
sions and grounds. Local pride is supported by the warm praise of 
marfy visitors. The late Judge Shurtleff, when he passed through 
the town, was enthusiastic in his admiration. "When I go home," 
he said, "I shall preach the gospel of Charlestown." After a resi- 
dence in the town of nearly twenty-two years, I can indorse his 
encomiums. 

How did the fort come into being? The settlement in Number 
Four was in 1740, and, as will be seen, was made by men at once 
brave and prudent. This was the northernmost community of white 
men on the Connecticut river; all beyond, west of the river, was 
unbroken forest, roamed by a tribe of Indians whose rendezvous 
was the village of St. Francis in the province of that name, next 
north of the Canada line. These Indians are characterized by 
Saunderson in his excellent "History of Charlestown, N. H.," as 
"a compound of the basest qualities of the American Indian, with 
all that they could gather of greater baseness from the Canadian 
French of that period." 

From 1740 to 1743 inclusive there was an intermittence of the 
wars which constituted the prolonged contention between France 



1769901 



THE FORT AT "NUMBER FOUR" 35 

and Great Britain, during which brief period there was no appre- 
hension of attack. But in the autumn of the third year, with fresh 
hostilities threatening, measures were taken for defense. The action 
looking toward fortification taken by the little community, and the 
description of the fort which was its outcome, are drawn from Park- 
man, the exhaustive historian of the century and a half of France 
in North America. I make these extracts from "A Half Century 
of Conflict": — 

In 1743 when war seemed imminent and it was clear that neither Massa- 
chusetts nor New Hampshire would lend a helping hand, the settJers of Number 
Four, seeing that their only resource was in themselves, called a meeting to con- 
sider the situation and determine what should be done. The meeting was held 
at the home of John Spafford, Jr., and being duly called to order, the following 
resolutions were adopted: That a fort be built at the charge of the proprietors 
of said township of Number Four; that John Hastings, John Spafford and John 
Avery be a committee to direct the building; that the proprietors of the town- 
ship be taxed £300, old tenor, for building the fort; and to the end that their fort 
should be a good and creditable one, they are said to have engaged the services 
of John Stoddard, accounted the foremost man of Western Massachusetts, super- 
intendent of defense, colonel of militia, judge of probate, chief justice of the court 
of common pleas, a reputed authority in the construction of' backwoods fortifi- 
cations, — and the admired owner of the only gold watch in Northampton. 

Timber was abundant and could be had for the asking. The only cost was the 
labor. The fort rose rapidly. It was a square inclosing about three-fourths of an 
acre, each side measuring 1S0 feet. The wall was not of palisades, as was more 
usual, but of squared logs laid one upon another, and interlocked at the corners 
after the fashion of a log cabin. Within were several houses, which had been built 
close together, for mutual protection, and which belonged to Stevens, Spafford 
and other settlers. Apparently they were small log cabins; for they were valued 
at only from £S to £35 each, in old tenor currency, woefully attenuated by de- 
preciation; and these sums being paid to the owners out of the £300 collected for 
building the fort, the cabins became public property. Either they were built in 
a straight line, or they were moved to form one, for when the fort was finished, 
they all backed against the outer wall, so that their low roofs served to fire from. 
The usual flankers completed the work, and the settlers of Number Four were so 
well pleased with it that they proudly declared their fort to be a better one than 
Fort Dummer, its nearest neighbor, which had been built by public authority at 
the charge of the province. 

The anticipated war came in the following year, — 1744. During 
that time and for two years afterward all who were outside the fort 
taking care of their fields were in danger of being slain, or taken and 
carried into captivity, and their only place of safety was within the 
walls of the fort; and the five protected houses were the residences 
of people who were in constant fear of their lives. 



36 THE FORT AT "NUMBER FOUR" 

In 1746 the times became so terrifying that the people decided 
to return to their old homes in Massachusetts, mostly in Groton, 
Lunenburg and Leominster. They left six men, who were to guard 
the fort until winter set in (for after that there was no danger from 
the enemy), when they also departed, and the settlement was de- 
serted. There were, indeed, left behind in the fort, probably from 
difficulty of transportation, a dog and a cat, which animals are men- 
tioned, as they will subsequently reappear. 

Among those who had taken refuge in Massachusetts was Capt. 
Phineas Stevens, the hero of my story. He addressed a memorial 
to Governor Shirley, setting forth the importance of placing a gar- 
rison in the fort at Number Four, in view of the probability of an 
attack in the early spring. His high reputation as a resourceful and 
capable officer gave weight to the representations advanced, and 
he himself, with thirty men, was ordered to repair to the fort and 
take possession. The history of Charlestown supplies me with a 
narration of the events which followed this order, and a copy of the 
commander's report to Governor Shirley. This last is preserved in 
Hoyt's "History of Indian Wars in the Country Bordering on the 
Connecticut River and Parts Adjacent." 

Stevens marched through the wilderness and arrived at Number 
Four on the 27th of March, to find the fort in good condition; but 
what was his surprise, on entering it, to find himself and company 
heartily welcomed by an old spaniel and a cat, which had been left 
behind at its desertion, and had remained in it during the winter, 
as its sole defenders and occupants. 

Captain Stevens and company had been in possession of the fort 
only a few days before they were led to surmise the presence of an 
enemy. Their suspicions were first aroused by the uneasy appear- 
ance of the dogs, and their continual barking. These indications 
of something that was not right induced them to keep the gate 
closely barred. But here we must let Captain Stevens tell his own 
story. In his report to Governor Shirley, dated April 9, 1747, 
he says: — 

Our dogs being very much disturbed, which gave us reason to think that the 
enemy were about, occasioned us net to open the gale at the usual time; but one 
of our men, being desirous to know the certainty, ventured out privately to set 
on the do^-s, about nine o'clock in the morning, and went about twenty rods from 
the fort, firing off his gun and saying, Choboy! to the dogs. Whereupon, the 
enemy, being within a few rods, immediately arose from behind a log and fired; 



THE FORT AT "NUMBER FOUR" 37 

but through the goodness of God, the man got into the fort with only a slight 
wound. The enemy being then discovered, immediately arose from their ambush- 
ments and attacked us on all sides. The wind being very high, and everything 
exceedingly dry, they .set fire to all the old fences, and also to a log house about 
forty rods distant from the fort to the windward; so that within a few moments 
we were entirely surrounded with fire — all of which was performed with the most 
hideous shouting and firing, from all quarters, which they continued, in a very 
terrible manner, until the next day at ten o'clock at night, without intermission; 
during which time we had no opportunity to eat or sleep. But notwithstanding 
all their shoutings and threatenings, our men seemed not to be in the least daunted, 
but fought with great resolution: which doubtless gave the enemy reason to think 
we had determined to stand it out to the last degree. The enemy had provided 
themselves with a sort of fortification, which they had determined to push before 
them and bring fuel to the side of the fort, in order to burn it down. But instead 
of performing what they threatened, and seemed to be immediately going to under- 
take, they called to us and desired a cessation of arms until sunrise the next morn- 
ing, which was granted; at which time they would come to a parley. Accordingly 
the French General Dcbcline came with about sixty of his men, with a flag of 
truce, and stuck it down within about twenty rods of the fort, in plain sight of the 
same, and said if we would send three men *o him he would send as many to us, 
to which we complied. The General sent in a French lieutenant with a Frencli 
soldier and an Indian. 

Upon our men going to Monsieur, he made the following proposals: viz. — 
that in case we would immediately resign up the fort, we should all have our lives 
and liberty to put on all the clothes we had, and also to take a sufficient quantity 
of provisions to carry us to Montreal, and bind up our provisions and blankets, 
lay down our arms and march out of the fort. 

Upon our men returning, he desired that the Captain of the fort would meet 
him halfway, and give answer to the above proposal, which I did; and upon meet- 
ing the Monsieur, he did not wait for me to give an answer, but went on in the fol- 
lowing manner: viz. — that what had been promised he was ready to perform; 
but upon refusal he would immediately set the fort on lire, and run over the top; 
for he had 700 men with him, and if we made any further resistance, or should 
happen to kill one Indian, we might expect all to be put to the sword. "The fort," 
said he, "I am resolved to have, or die. Now do what you please; for I am as 
easy to have you fight as to give up." I told the General that in case of extremity 

Ihis proposal would do; but inasmuch as I was sent here by my master, the Captain- 
General, to defend this fort, it would not be consistent with my orders to give it 
up, unless I was better satisfied that he was able to perform what he had threatened; 
and, furthermore, I told him that it was poor encouragement to resign into the 
hands of the enemy, that upon one of their number being killed, they would put all 
to the sword, when it was probable that we had killed some of them already. 
"Well," said he, "go into the fort and see whether your men dare fight any more 
or not, and give me an answer quick, for my men want to be fighting." Whereupon 

II came into the fort and called all the men together, and informed them what the 
French General said, and then put it to vote, which they chose, either to fight on 
or resign; and they voted to a man to stand it out as long as they had life. Upon 
this, I returned the answer, that we had determined to fight it out. Upon which 



38 THE FORT AT "NUMBER FOUR" 

they gave a shout, and then fired, and so continued firing and shouting until day- 
light the next morning. 

About noon they called to us and said, "Good morning," and desired a cessa- 
tion of arms for two hours that they might come to a parley; which was granted. 
The General did not come himself but sent two Indians, who came within about 
eight rods of the fort and struck down their flag, and desired that I would send 
out two men to them, which I did, and the Indians made the following proposal: 
viz. — that in case we would sell them provisions, they would leave and not fight 
any more, and desired my answer; which was that selling them provisions for 
money was contrary to the laws of nations, but if they would send in a captive 
for every five bushels of corn, I would supply them. Upon the Indians returning 
the General this answer, four or five guns were fired against the fort, and they 
withdrew, as we supposed, for we heard no more of them. 

In all this time we had scarce opportunity to eat or sleep. The cessation of 
arms gave us no matter of rest, for we suspected they did it to obtain an advantage 
against us. I believe men were never known to hold out with better resolution, 
for they did not seem to sit or lie still one moment. There were about thirty men 
in the fort, and although wc had some thousands of guns tired at us, there were 
but two men slightly wounded: viz. — John Brown and Joseph Ely. 

By the above account you may form some idea of the distressed circumstances 
we were under, to have such an army of starved creatures around us, whose neces- 
sity obliged them to be the more earnest. They seemed every minute as if they 
were going to swallow us up; using all the threatening language they could invent, 
and shouting and firing as if the heavens and the earth were coming together. 

But notwithstanding all this our courage held out to the last. We were in- 
formed by the French that came into the fort, that our captives (which they say 
are about 300 in number) were removed from Quebec to Montreal by reason of 
sickness which is in Quebec; and that they were well and in good health, except 
three, who were left sick, and that about three captives had died who were said 
to be Dutchmen. They also informed us that John Norton had liberty to preach 
to the captives. 

The news of this checkmate of the enemy on the frontier was 
dispatched to Boston, and was received with liveliest satisfaction. 
The importance of the victory was recognized by Governor Shirley, 
in distinguished commendation of the conduct of Captain Stevens. 
Commodore Sir Charles Knowles, who was in naval command at 
Boston, showed his appreciation by the gift of an elegant sword, the 
compliment being later responded to, when, in 1753 the settlement 
became a town, by placing in the forefront of the appellation the 
first name of the donor. It must be added that the town was long 
specifically designated as "Charlestown Number Four," which 
descriptive title has not gone entirely out of use. 

One other episode in the life of the fort remains to be told. Seven- 
teen years had passed since hostilities were ended, by the triumphant 



THE FORT AT "NUMBER FOUR" 39 

conquest secured by Wolfe on the plains of Abraham, September 13, 
1759. At the close of this period of innocuous desuetude the fort, 
and the town as well, became the scene of active preparation for a 
brief but brilliant campaign under the command of one of the 
soldierly men to whom, as to \\ ashington, the French War had been 
a school preparatory to the Y\ ar of the Revolution. 

Stark had been colonel of a regiment at Bunker Hill, and with 
Washington at Princeton and Trenton. But the time was at hand 
for his masterpiece of warfare. In July, 1777, he was in retirement 
from the army, resenting a slight which had been passed upon him 
by the Continental Congress. But when summons with a commis- 
sion came to him from the military government of his own state, to 
meet the enemy which was nearing its frontiers, it found him cheer- 
fully obedient. 

Charlestown, which had been made by the state a depository of 
military stores, was the appointed place of rendezvous. The first 
paragraph of a letter to the committee of safety, dated Charlestown 
Number Four, July 30, 1777, — seventeen days before Bennington — 
reveals the military promptness of the commander, as well as the 
difficulties under which he labored: — 

I received yours of the 22d inst., with the enclosed informing me of the situation 
of the enemy; and of our Frontiers; but previous to your letter, I had received 
an Express from Col. Warner, informing me of their situation, and I forwarded 
250 men to their relief on the 28th. I sent another detachment off this day, and as 
fast as they come in will send them. I expect to march myself to-morrow or next 
day; we are detained a good deal by want of Bullet molds, as there is but one 
pair in town, and the few Balls you sent goes but little way in supplying the whole. 

Except in the matter of balls, a good outfit for New Hampshire's 
contingent of soldiers for Bennington would seem to have been 
furnished at Charlestown. Beside ammunition and equipments 
from the quartermaster's department, there was great activity in 
the commissariat. A very long epic, which is in print, bristling 
with names and details, says: — 

And Col. Hunt seemed everywhere, 

To sec that all were fed; 
And every girl made cartridges 
Who was not making bread. 

Indeed, it may not be presumptuous to name as among the possi- 
bilities, that if it had not been for the generous send-off from the 
old fort the victory at Bennington might not have been achieved. 



4 o THE FORT AT "NUMBER FOUR" 

It would be interesting to know the manner of the taking off of 
the battered and time-worn structure, after its days of usefulness 
were past. It was not by fire, surely, as such an event would be 
handed down from vivid memory. It is only certain that not a 
vestige remains. The exact location of the fort will never be known. 
Approximate information, however, has been furnished. At one of 
the annual meetings of the local historical society, Abram Hull, an 
aged man, told us that, when a boy, he was with his father, who was 
engaged in gathering apples in the orchard of Dr. Taylor, and that 
the aged owner came to the place and said, "Where these trees stand 
was the old fort." Dr. Taylor, it must be explained, was, when a 
very young man, — nineteen years of age according to the record, — 
surgeon of the garrison, and subsequently settled in Charlestown. 
His orchard was located as due west from the stone blacksmith- 
shop, — a widely-known landmark. 

This tradition, received at such close range, accords with the pre- 
vailing local opinion. The information it conveys will be inscribed 
on the marker, for which preparations are being made, to stand by 
the driveway in Charlebtown street. The name of Phineas Stevens 
may well have place thereon. It will, surely, ever be recalled in 
connection with the sturdy defense of the northern frontier of the 
vallev of the Connecticut. 



OLD HOWARD STREET 41 

Quarterly Meeting March 15, 1904 

James H. Osgood of Chicago read a paper on "Old Howard 
Street," and in addition gave several anecdotes of his father, 
Rev. Dr. Samuel Osgood. 

Old Howard Street 

This is the first time in my life that I ever attempted to speak 
before an audience, and I might say, 

You'd scarce expect one of my age 
To speak in public on the stage 

I may have occasion to use a term which might be called slang, 
but I want you to understand that it is not original with me, and I 
will tell you where it came from. I got it out of a paper. There 
were two young ladies who were discussing their lovers and Maud 

says to Blanche, "You had a call from Mr. yesterday?" "Yes." 

"Was it a pleasant call?" "Yes." She was not very responsive, 
so her friend suspected that all was not right, so she said, " He made 
a proposition to you, didn't he — he made a proposal?" "Yes." 
"And you refused him?" "Yes." "Well, that's where you dropped 
your watermelon!" I may have occasion to use that phrase, and 
I want you to know where it came from. After I consented to speak 
here I thought perhaps that might be where I dropped my 
watermelon. 

When Mr. Adams asked me to address you, I felt a good deal 
as the school girl did who was asked to make a rhyme — several 
verses of poetry — in order to avoid being whipped. She had given 
to her for a subject the turnip, and she thought it was a pretty 
small subject to make a rhyme upon. However, she succeeded so 
well that she was not whipped. She went on something like this: — 

Mr. Finney had a turnip and it grew behind the barn; 
It grew and grew, but it didn't do no harm. 

It grew and it grew till it couldn't grow no taller; 
Mr. Finney pulled it up and put it in the cellar. 

It lay and it lay till it began to rot; 

His daughter Susie washed it up and put it in the pot. 

It boiled and it boiled all that it was able; 

His daughter Mary took it up and put it on the table. 

Mr. Finney and his wife then sat down to sup. 

And they ate and they ate till they ate the turnip up. 

I shall be satisfied if I succeed as well as the girl did. 



42 OLD HOWARD STREET 

Old Howard street, I thought when I was asked about it, was 
opened in the '3o's, but on going to the records I find it was opened 
in 1829 by Colonel Solomon Warriner, Mr. John Howard and Mr. 
Charles Howard. They were the heirs to the Josiah Dwight estate 
and it was opened on this land, principally, but it seems that Colonel 
Warriner had the disposal of the lots. It was accepted by the town 
in 1829. The first lot was sold to Mr. Franklin Taylor and he built 
a brick house upon it which, in 1836, he sold to the Hon. John Mills. 
I believe the next lot was bought by Mr. Simon Smith and he built 
a brick house upon that which he afterward sold to Mr. Daniel 
Lombard. There was another house built there by Mr. Gideon 
Gardner who was a carpenter by trade, but he built a brick house 
there which he sold to Mr. Charles Merriam some time in the '30's 
I guess, probably '36. 

Now as I remember Howard street more especially, it was after 
'39. I went away from Springfield to New York in '36, but I was 
back and forth until I returned in '39. I remember most of the 
people that were in Howard street at that time and lived there for 
years — until '55 — when I left again, and then there was a period 
when I knew very little about the transactions and special changes 
here. 

'In 1839 the old Josiah Dwight house stood facing Main street 
on the north corner of Howard. In 184c or '42 it was turned around 
and moved in the place where it now stands. It is plain enough to 
me that it is the old Josiah Dwight house. The house that Colonel 
Warriner occupied, and Deacon Bontecou, is the Pitt Bliss house. 
Colonel Warriner is in some way connected with that family and 
he lived there until he moved down to the corner of Water street 
in the late 40's, when he died there. 

In 1839 or '40 Mr. Shurtleff came here from Vermont. He built 
the house which is now standing on Howard street next to Uncle 
Daniel Lombard — he was always spoken of as Uncle Daniel until 
he left. 

Take the north side: The Josiah Dwight house formerly stood 
on Main street and in the early 40's it was turned around to where 
it now stands back of the brick block. Next came the house built 
by James W. Hale, which was afterwards sold to Colonel Thompson. 
Next was the James Brewer house, built by Franklin Taylor, now 
standing. Then Henry Brewer built a house next his brother, 



OLD HOWARD STREET 43 

which is now standing. The next house was a double brick house 
built by David A. Bush; that is standing. The next house was 
built by Roswell Shurtleff some time in the early '40's. He after- 
wards sold it to Ezra Boody. It is now standing. Next came 
Uncle Daniel Lombard's house. Next came the house where Dr. 
Buckingham lived; I do not know who built the house. Next was 
the house built by Mr. S. B. Spooner, of brick, on the corner of 
Water street — still standing. There were no houses beyond that 
until you go to the river on this side of the street. Then you come 
to Mr. Bliss's lumber yard. That completes the north side so far 
as I remember it. 

Beginning on the south side, the first house on the corner of Main 
street was the Pitt Bliss house, afterward owned and occupied by 
Colonel Solomon Warriner. Later it came into the possession of 
Deacon Daniel Bontecou and was occupied by him for several 
years. I think Deacon Bontecou died there; I am not certain, but 
I think so. There was a large garden that ran from the house down 
as far as the Richard Bliss house, built about 1840 or '41. That 
house was afterwards sold by Mr. Bliss to Dr. Adams, and by Dr. 
Adams to Ralph Day. That house has been moved and now stands 
in the alley back of the Jerry Warriner house, where Jenny Lind 
stayed 'while she was in Springfield. She did not stop at the hotel, 
but went straight to Uncle Jerry's with her assistants. It was given 
up to her while she was in the city. She sang here in 1851, and on 
that occasion the church was full — there was not a space left. She 
made this statement about the old church — that it was the easiest 
room she ever sang in — it cost her less effort to fill the house. Some 
society had a number of partially crippled children here and she 
wanted to go and sing to them, and she did so. Next to Mr. Bliss's 
house Lewis Warriner built in 1S43; that house now stands and is 
occupied by his widow who is eighty-seven years old. Next to 
Lewis Warriner's house stood the barn owned by Daniel Lombard 
which was purchased by my father. We took it down and carried 
it up to what we called the North End once, it is now North street, 
I think. I looked for the barn, but I couldn't find it, and I looked 
for the house I lived in. The old barn was taken down and it is now 
in some of those new houses in that part of the city. We bought 
the barn and carried it up there in '43 or '44, and that is where I 
made hay and fed cattle and produced milk which I sold for several 



44 OLD HOWARD STREET 

years to Uncle Jerry and to the Massasoit House. The first house 
that Uncle Jerry Warrincr built was of wood, and it burned down 
in the '50's. It was built on the lot which he bought from Uncle 
Daniel Lombard after the barn was moved away. lie was keeping 
the Union House at that time, and was the proprietor of it. I was a 
member of the Niagara Fire Company then, and I remember going 
there and trying to extinguish the fire; but there was so much inside 
to burn that it didn't do much good. We worked away upon it, 
however. We were treated by Miss FIsie Lombard and her sister 
to hot coffee, which we enjoyed very much. He then built a house 
of brick which stands on the same spot on the lot which he purchased 
of Uncle Daniel Lombard. Next to Uncle Jerry's house was Mr. 
Charles Merriam's which now stands, as well as the Jerry Warriner 
house. Next to Air. Merriam's was the John Mills house and I 
think that is now standing. Next to Mr. Mills was the house owned 
and occupied for a while by Rev. Sanford Lawton. After Mr. 
Lawton's came the house built by Mr. Samuel Hills. When I left 
Springfield the house was occupied by Deacon Solomon Warriner. 
He died there. We are now down to Water street. After you passed 
Water street was a house occupied by Pilot Allen who was pilot of 
the steamers that used to run from here to Hartford. Bevond that 
were the two Bakers — father and son. Mr. Otis Baker, I think, 
was at one time a partner of Mr. Graves — Baker and Graves; both 
were masons by trade. I believe they have all gone. 

At one time Mr. Bliss — Mr. Theodore Bliss had a lumber yard 
at the foot of Howard street, of which I have spoken, which oc- 
cupied quite a considerable space of ground from Water street 
down to the river. I had teams that worked and I used to haul 
lumber from the river to his yard. I think Mr. Frederick Flarris 
was at one time associated with him. in that business. 

There is only one person now living on Howard street who lived 
there in 1845, and that is Mrs. Lewis Warriner. There is not an- 
other soul there that I have any recollection of or know anything 
about. 

The changes in Springfield are of very much the same character 
as those on Howard street. I came here a year ago last fall, and 
if I had been set down anywhere in the town except in front of the 
old church, I could not have told where I was, and I used to know 
almost every man, woman and child in town. There are a few before 



OLD HOWARD STREET 45 

me that I have known for a good many years. All my old compan- 
ions except one, are gone — the Bonds, the Pynchons, the Hatches, 
all the Mills boys — so that 1 feel alone in my native home. But the 
changes have been as great in other parts of the city. Go up to the 
hill where there was nothing but scrub oaks and pine woods. You 
could have bought acres there for $500 forty years ago, and less 
than that. 1 once sold twenty acres of mine to a man up there for 
#200. Now it is a city up there. 

I was looking over a pamphlet that was published by the Cemetery 
Association in 1878, I think. There are 133 burials recorded there, 
all men, there is not a woman's name among those published. Out 
of that number there were only four of my age, or older than my- 
self — only four. I knew every one of them but twenty-one. Do 
you think it is strange that I feel lost here? That pamphlet was 
published in 1878. 

I do not think I can tell you anything more about Howard street 
because I do not know anyone that lives there but Mrs. Warriner. 
I saw her yesterday and had a very pleasant call with her. You 
know it is very hard to converse with her, but I made out through 
the aid of the woman who is so kind to her and she understood me. 

Well, I grew up here as a boy. In 1827 the high school was built 
on School street; I think the house now stands. It has been changed, 
of course, but I think I recognize the front end of it. Well, it was 
a question with us boys who was going to get into the high school. 
There was no grammar school thought of. You went from the com- 
mon school right to the high school. We discussed who was going 
to get in, and one would say, "You won't," and another would say, 
"You won't," and one of my companions said, "You'll get in, be- 
cause you're Dr. Osgood's son." But 1 didn't go in on that account, 
but I had to pass the examination. The high school was then quite 
a prominent place. We had for the first instructor, Mr. Story 
Hebart. He had rooms with Mrs. Colonel Trask in the house that 
is now occupied by Mrs. Alexander — her daughter. He had rooms 
there. He was a most lovely man, and he taught the school then. 
He gave us all good instruction. Some profited by it and others 
didn't, perhaps. He was there four years, and when he left, I had 
been sent up to South Hadley for a time to a school there called 
Woodbridge School. I got uneasy about staying here, and my 
father, after a while, was persuaded to send me up there. In the 



46 OLD HOWARD STREET 

spring of '32 Mr. Hebart left and went on the mission. The next 
teacher was Mr. Lusk from Enfield and the boys soon got the upper 
hand of him and virtually turned him out of the house. Next came 
Mr. Sheldon, and he liked discipline the same as Mr. Lusk, and he 
had to leave. The committee were at a standstill. They had a lot 
of boys that wanted instruction, but they wanted fun more and 
they were bound to have it. The committee heard of Mr. Calhoun 
who graduated at Williamstown. They waited on him and told 
him the conditions of things. He was very frank. "Well, if you 
let me have my own way with them, I'll come and teach them." 
"Very well, do what you've a mind to." Corporal punishment 
then was not prohibited. He came. The first morning that he was 
in the school he let the boys do as they had a mind to — just as they 
pleased. They raised Old Hobbs, so to speak. When he came to 
his desk in the afternoon he stood up with his tall form six feet high 
— a powerfully built man, and said, "Boys, I am going to be 
master here. If you are mild with me, I shall be mild with you; 
but if you are harsh with me, I shall be harsh with you." They 
thought it was all "bluff," as the term goes now. He waited for a 
few moments, and he saw a boy and he said, "Come out here" — 
calling him by name. He came out and he got a good thrashing. 
"Go back to your studies." He looked over the field again and he 
saw another — that was my brother, and he said, "Come out here." 
(I didn't tell you who the first one was.) He got thrashed and back 
he went. Mr. Calhoun had rooms with my sister, Mrs. Hunt, on 
Bliss street, at that time. He came into the house in his quick way: 
"Ha, ha, flogged twenty-two this afternoon." Next day when he 
came home to dinner, "Well," he said, "I flogged sixteen." That 
ended the quarrel. They didn't have any more flogging. He taught 
that school, and the boys, after he had been there two months, 
would have done anything in the world for that man. He won them 
completely over. When he left — he went on the mission also, some 
of you knew him probably, Simeon H. Calhoun, he was one of the 
finest men that this city ever knew. 

Well, when I came here, instead of finding the fathers, I found 
the children. I have been most kindly received by the children of 
my old companions and I love to speak of it. The Bond family are 
all gone but one. I believe Mr. Edward Bond is living in New York; 
he was a few years ago. I have lost all trace of him, but have heard 



OLD HOWARD STREET 47 

Iof him there. The Stebbins family, Festus Stebbins' family, are all 
gone. They have relatives here. Mr. John B. Stebbins married 
the daughter of Mr. Festus Stebbins and his daughters live on 
Crescent Hill. I called to see them and was kindly received. 

I want to tell you one little story about the old poorhouse. It 
was the first poorhouse that was built here that I remember of, and 
I guess it was the first one. It stood just above Auburn street, and 
the town at that time thought — I don't know what caused them 
to do it, but they thought it wise to build a fence ten feet high all 
around on the front and side towards Mr. Stebbins', and down to 
the river. It offended some of the occupants of the poorhouse very 
much and I think it was in the year '31, the poorhouse barn burned 
one night. It was burned down. My father had at that time living 
with him, a man from Hawley, who worked on his land. I cannot 
remember when my father did not have land, more or less, and I 
remember when the barn burned, it had been filled with hay, and 
those of you who have seen hay burn know how the sparks fly. We 
were living where the John Goodrich block now stands and the 
sparks came like a cloud. The man from Hawley went to the side 
door and looked up, and he thought the house was afire. Without 
saying anything to any one he went to the room where my two 
youngest sisters were sleeping and got them out of bed; he put one 
under one arm and one under the other and then he came down 
stairs with them. My mother met him in the hall. "Why, Robin- 
son, what are you doing!" "Where are the boys? "Where are 
the boys?" "What is the matter, Robinson?" "The house is 
afire! Where are the boys?" She said, "The house is not on fire." 
He won my mother's heart by that transaction. Ever after that 
there was nothing too good for Robinson to have. You know the 
old adage is, "The way to a woman's heart is through her child." 

The story that is told in some of the publications about Zebina 
Stebbins' old horse is true. He was harnessed one Sunday morning 
for church, and Mr. Stebbins didn't come out as soon as the horse 
thought he ought to, so he went to the church and stood by the door 
long enough for a man to get out, then he went over and stood by 
the fence until the people began to come out, when he walked up to 
the door, waited long enough for his driver to enter the carriage, 
turned around and went home. 

Time was when we boys in Springfield didn't always agree. We 



48 OLD HOWARD STREET 

were divided up into parties designated as the strecters, the hillers 
and the water shops boys. The hillers and water shops boys trained 
together. At one time we got into a dispute and we were going to 
fight it out. We didn't dare have it in the street, because we were 
afraid of Mr. Elijah Blake. We didn't dare have it in the lots, for 
we were afraid of Dr. Osgood, so it was agreed that we would go up 
to Ferry street — this place was called Ferry street when I was a boy — 
and have the fight. It was all planned out. Two of the boys were 
to be pitted for battle, after one was whipped someone else was to 
take his place, when another was whipped someone else was to take 
his place, and so on. They began to square off, and pretty soon we 
heard a report like a pistol, and we saw a man running out of a 
house with a big black whip with a lash two feet long, and he said, 
"Scatter, boys, scatter, or I'll scatter you." We did scatter and the 
fight ended. There was no bloodshed. We didn't know anything 
about the Marquis of Queensbury rules — it was knock down and 
drag out, as they used to say. That ended the fight. 

There are several stories told about my father; some of them I 
know to be true. The story about the man with the squeaking boots 
occurred in the old church. I was present. The man came in after 
my father had commenced his sermon, named his text and was going 
on. This man came upstairs in a slow way, — creak, creak, creak 
went the boots, and pretty soon the man appeared in the door of 
the south gallery, a tall man, six feet or more, and he started to come 
up the south aisle and father said, "My friend, will you please take 
the first scat you come to?" He paid no attention to him, but he 
kept on and went clear into the pew at the end of the aisle and into 
.the further corner of the pew and sat down. Dr. Osgood went on 
with his sermon. Very soon — probably the man sat there ten min- 
utes — he got up — squeak, squeak, squeak, and he went down that 
• long aisle — the church is about seventy feet deep. As soon as he 
started to go, father turned about and sat down. He waited quietly 
until he had got through, and then went on with his sermon. 

I could tell you stories about Springfield all night and not repeat, 
but they don't all come to me at once. 

I want to say right here that there are three things I am proud 
of: My parentage, the city I was born in, and my native state. I 
love the city — I love it as a city and I loved it as a town. I shall 
never forget it. I have spent a great many happy days here. 



OLD HOWARD STREET 49 

I will tell you a story about my father which shows how ready- 
he was to reply. He was on the way home from Enfield and he had 
got into Longmeadow street one very dark night, and as he was 
riding along in his gig, a man called out, "Halloo!" My father 
answered, "Halloo." "Where the devil am I," said the man. "I 
don't know any such man around here," said my father. "Well, 
can you tell me where I am?" "Yes, you are in the middle of Long- 
meadow street." If you have ever been there, you know it is pretty 
wide. "Well, I want to go to Springfield; can you tell me how?" 
"Yes, follow me and you'll get there." He led and the man followed. 

Here is a story that was never published about my father. Sev- 
eral years ago, I think in '45, a gentleman came here to lecture upon 
colonization, telling what the Colonization Society had done for 
emancipating slaves. The lecture was held in Dr. Peabody's old 
church. Dr. Peabody was then living. The gentleman probably 
knew some of the audience that were on the platform. Among them 
were Judge Morris, Judge Chapman, Dr. Peabody, Mr. Foot, my 
father and some others that you know. When the lecturer com- 
menced, he said he did not wish to be interrupted while he was 
speaking, "But," he said, "if I do not make it plain to you, at the 
end of my discourse I will answer any questions that anyone in the 
audience wishes to ask." He went on with his discourse and he 
didn't wind up until ten o'clock. I remember my mother was a 
good deal disturbed because father was not at home; he was seldom 
out at ten o'clock. Well, when he came home he told us this story. 
When the lecturer got through with his lecture he said, "If there is 
anything you wish to ask me — any questions, I will try to answer." 
My father said to Dr. Peabody, "Ask him the question." Dr. 
Peabody said, "I can't; you ask him." My father said, "Ask him 
the question. You are in your own church." He said, "1 can't." 
"Well," said father, "I am not going to let this thing go." So he 
turned to him and addressed him as a brother and asked him this 
question: "How many slaves have been manumitted by the Amer- 
ican Colonization Society since its organization?" "I have an- 
swered that question once, sir," said the man. "Not to my satis- 
faction," said father. "Well, you can't expect a man is going to 
furnish facts and arguments as well as brains too." "Well, it is not 
the subject under consideration whether I have brains or not. I 
concede that question, if necessary. But these gentlemen on the 



So OLD HOWARD STREET 

platform, whom everybody concedes have brains, are as much in 
the dark as I am." He didn't answer the question. I told you that 
story to show you the perfect control my father had of his temper. 
Very few men would have answered calmly and coolly under that 
insult. 

I will close by simply repeating to you a little poem that I learned. 
When I first read it it did not make much of an impression on me, 
but I afterwards learned it by heart, and it tells just my condition 
where I stand now. It is entitled, "After the Life Battle." I have 
had a life battle. I can repeat it. 

Do you think that I fear you, Goodman Death? 

Then. Sire, you do not know, 
For your grim white face, and your frosty breath 

And your dark eyes browed with snow 
Bring naught to me but a signal of love. 
My Father sent you, He dwelleth above, 

And I am ready to go. 

The battle is o'er and we have won. 

Perhaps you didn't know 
That just to-night the setting sun 

Saw the turning of the foe. 
If you had come in the thick of the fray, 
, I might not have wanted to turn away; 

Now I am ready to go. 

Please steady me into your little boat. 

Your arm, — yes, thank you, there. 
I think when we are well afloat 

I'll sleep, if you do not care. 
If I'm not awake when we reach the shore, 
Tell Father I stayed till the battle was o'er 

And tried to do my share. 



I was once in the express office here. I knew John Brown per- 
sonally. I used to do business with him. A draft at one time came 
through the Agawam Bank — it didn't come through the express 
office. The draft was for $2,500, payable to the order of John Brown. 
He could take $2,500 by writing his name on the back of that draft. 
It had been accepted and gone all through and it was worth $2,500 
with his name on the back of it. The cashier at that time was Mr. 
Bailey. Mr. Bailey said, "Indorse that, Mr. Brown, and I will pay 
you the money." He said, "No, sir; I am not going to indorse any- 



OLD HOWARD STREET 51 

body's paper." "But it is for your own good." "No, I'm not going 
to put my name on the back of that. I never did such a thing." 
Mr. Bailey couldn't persuade him. Chester Chapin was at that 
time president of the bank. He labored with him two hours, but 
he couldn't get him to put his name on the back of that draft and 
they had to return it to New York and have it made payable to 
Mr. Chapin's order. Mr. Chapin indorsed it and gave the money to 
Mr. Brown. 

My father went into the bank one day and asked Mr. John 
Howard for #100. Mr. Howard said, "Yes, sir." Father wrote a 
note and handed it to Mr. Howard, who said, "Well, it really calls 
for an indorser." "I don't know anybody that I want to ask to 
indorse it." Mr. Howard said, "We must obey the rules." Mr. 
Howard took the note, wrote his name on the back and handed him 
the money. 

I have seen nine fugitive slaves in my father's house at one time, 
over night. In the morning father said, "James, you must pilot 
these men up to Mr. Daniel Harris." Well, I piloted the nine men 
up there. They stepped aboard a Connecticut River train and went 
to Bellows Palls, and they were turned over to the next conductor 
and sent to Canada. Mr. Harris was as strong in that line as my 
father was. 

I remember very well when Worthington's tavern stood where 
Worthington street now is. I remember when Mr. Stearns opened 
that street. He couldn't agree with Mr. Pynchon about the matter, 
so the street was all opened on the Worthington lot. We will say 
here is the line of Worthington street (illustrating), well, there was 
a foot of ground left along here and Mr. Pynchon's lot was inside of 
it. That strip represents a foot of ground from Main street to Water 
street. Well, Air. Pynchon says, "I wonder what in the world 
Charles Stearns has left that foot of ground there for?" My father 
said, "Don't you understand?" "No." "It is so you cannot use 
your lots for building." "Well, it's pretty mean business." "You 
know Mr. Stearns opened the street entirely on his own land; he 
is going to protect himself. You would do the same thing, wouldn't 
you?" Well, he didn't understand why it was done, but he finally 
found it out. 

Question — Can you tell us about the alley a few rods north of 
State street, from Main to Market streets? 



52 OLD HOWARD STREET 

Answer — That is where we used to go to school. The old town 
school house stood in back there. 

Question — Did it have a name? 

Answer — I never knew it to have a name. One of Deacon 
Justin Lombard's daughters, Miss Eliza Lombard, taught school 
there for years, and every boy and girl went to school to Eliza 
Lombard. She taught afterwards in the Widow Pynchon's house, 
and some of us went there. 

One very sad thing occurred here in town one winter. An old 
lady lived with Mrs. Edward Pynchon as her companion, a Miss 
Bliss, and she and Mrs. Pynchon were going out to ride one after- 
noon and they sent to Fuller's stable for a sleigh and driver. Mr. 
Benjamin Fuller harnessed a horse to a single sleigh, which was sent 
to take them out to ride. Miss Bliss got into the sleigh; the man 
stood holding the horse, the horse was not quiet, he was rather am- 
bitious. In a few minutes a horse came running down Main street 
with a pair of shafts and a cross bar — he came dashing down like 
lightning, and as a horse will do — they will always run to where 
there is a horse — he bounded for this horse, and as he got up to the 
sleigh he made a jump, threw the cross bar up, and at the same 
time thp horse Mr. Fuller had sent out, broke away and the shafts 
struck Miss Bliss and knocked her from the seat she was on. The 
Fuller horse started and ran past the Hampden House. He bounded 
in to go on to the sidewalk, and the sleigh struck a tree — it doesn't stand 
there now, it has been cut down — and killed the woman instantly. 

Question — Was Mrs. Ranney's school ahead of your time? 

Answer — No, sir; I remember her. She afterwards married 
John Avery. I knew her son, John Ranney. He went up to Canada 
and lived there a while. I think he has passed away. 

Only one of my old companions now lives in Springfield, Mr. 
E. D. Chapin. He was in Dr. Edwards' store when I was in Bon- 
tecou and Hunt's. Old Springfield is a very interesting place to old 
people. 



APPENDIX 53 

Appendix 

The old Pynchon fort was torn down in 1S31. William Pynchon built a new 
house on the site, very near where the old fort stood. The brick for that fort 
was brought here from Holland and history records that there were only two houses 
left here that the Indians did not burn and one was this fort and the other was 
on Pecousic Hill. 

Just a few rods below the entrance of the Foot block, the main entrance upstairs, 
stood in Main street a watering trough. It was made from a log cut out and was 
probably two feet wide by fourteen or fifteen feet long and was always full of 
water supplied by an aqueduct which ran through Jonathan Dwight's garden 
down to the watering trough, from a spring on the corner where they are now- 
building the Fire and Marine block. A man in town had a grudge against Doctor 
Osgood, and he told a man who worked about here that if he would put Doctor 
Osgood into the watering trough he would give him a dollar. The man replied, 
"I don't know him." The other said, "I will show him to you," and he stepped 
to the door of the Dwight store and said, "There he is on the opposite side of the 
street." The man went out, crossed over the street, walked down by the side of 
Doctor Osgood, looking him up and down, preparing to enter into the contest 
of putting him into the watering trough. Evidently he changed his mind after 
he had seen the object he had to encounter, for he returned to the store. The 
man said to him, "Why didn't you put him into the watering trough? You haven't 
earned your dollar!" "No," was the reply, "I haven't." "Well, why didn't you 
put him into the watering trough.'" "I don't believe he would let me." My father, 
in college, was the champion wrestler in his class and he would not be put into a 
watering trough very easily. 

Mr. Thomas Blanchard, who was an inventor, either in 1833 or 1834 started 
from his house just below Wilcox street, to run a carriage by steam up to the Carew 
corner. He succeeded between eight o'clock in the morning and four o'clock in 
the afternoon, in getting up to the Carew corner and back. That was probably 
the first street car that ever ran in this town. It was simply on four wheels, and 
he had his little engine on the platform which he had made. I remember very 
well seeing it, because he got stalled, as they say, in front of the store where I 
was a clerk. 

Question — Was he twitted a little about the experience? 

Answer — Yes. 

Question— He claimed that he did all he said he would do? 

Answer — Yes; he did all he said he would do. I saw him when he went up 
and when he went back. The fire got extinguished in front of the store and he 
stopped and got it up and raised steam again, got into his wagon and went up 
and back. 

Question — All he claimed was that he would go up to the Carew corner and back? 

Answer — Yes. 

We had some very quaint people here as far back as 1830. I will tell you a 
story about two of them. There were two Stebbins who were cousins; the one 
had land which he let his cousin take upon shares to plant tobacco. The tobacco 
was planted and harvested and the owner of the land said to his cousin, "Have 



54 APPENDIX 

you harvested your tobacco yet?" "Yes." "Well, what have you done with 
it?" "Put it into my barn." "Where is my part? Didn't you agree that I was 
to have half?" "Your part didn't grow." "Well, didn't you agree to take it on 
halves and give me half the crop?" "Oh, yes." "Then where is my part?" "I 
told you it didn't grow, there was but half a crop and that belonged to me." 

Question — Did John Brown belong to the old First Church? You say he 
attended there. 

Answer — I think he was a member of the church. I think he joined the church 
by letter from somewhere. Elba, N. Y., was his home. I won't say lie was a mem- 
ber of Doctor Osgood's church, but my impression is that he was. 

Question — Do you remember where his pew was? 

Answer — I cannot tell you about the pew. 

Question— He certainly attended church there, did he? 

Answer — Oh, yes. lie and father were very warm friends. 

Question-— Another thing as to the old First Church, was Prcs. John Adams' 
body brought there after his death? 

Answer — He was brought here and laid in the old church. 

Question — Do you remember anything about the circumstances? 

Answer— He was simply brought here and laid there over night. The body 
was brought here from Washington. He lay in the vestibule of the church. This 
was in 1848. 

Question — That was before railway trains? 

Answer — No; I do not think so. 

Question — The body remained in state? 

Answer — The body was there over night, guarded by members of the Spring- 
field guards. They volunteered to guard the body over night, and they did. It 
was held there until the next afternoon, I think; it went down on the noon train. 
It certainly was after the railroad. The body was viewed by all who chose to go in. 

Question — Jenny Lind was here? 

Answer— In 185 I. 

Question — You remember her? 

Answer — Oh, yes; the church was full. There was not a space left. She went 
from here to Northampton and sang there. I couldn't get away, I stayed and took 
care of the office the night she was here. The next night I went up to Northampton 
and heard her sing. She made this statement about the old church — that it was 
the easiest room she ever sang in — it was less effort for her to fill the house. 

Question — She stopped at Uncle Jerry Warriner's? 

■Answer — She stopped at the house down on Howard street which was the 
home of Uncle Warrincr. I didn't state the other night that the first house that 
Uncle Jerry built on Howard street was of wood and burned down. I asked Uncle 
Jerry after that fire, "Arc you going to build again?" "Yes, James, I am going 
to build again, but I am going to build one that won't burn down so quick." 

My remembrance is that there were some feeble children here — I don't remember 
what society had them in charge — but she wanted to go and sing to them — quite 
a number of partially crippled children — and she did. 

Question — She created quite a furore? 

Answer — 'i es, she was brought here by Barnum for one hundred thousand 
dollars. She sang here a while and Barnum made quite a good deal of money out 



APPENDIX 55 

of her singing. They made a second deal, but Bamum released her from her con- 
tract. This is hearsay, but I think it is so. 

Question — She didn't sing but once here? 

Answer — Only one evening. I don't think she visited any families here. 

Question — She was rather quiet at Warriner's? 

Answer — Yes. 

Question — She didn't stop at the hotel? 

Answer — She went right to that house on Howard street, with her assistants. 
They gave up the house to her. 

I could tell a story about John Brown. He once went to see a young woman 
who was subject to mesmerism, and she was under the influence to such an extent 
that she was perfectly unconscious. Brown didn't believe it, and he suggested 
to the persons who knew the girl that if they would allow him to make a test, 
if she bore the test, he then would believe she was under mesmeric influence. 
They agreed to it on condition that he should not do her any harm. He promised 
that it would not be permanent harm. It was consented to. He came into the 
room with a paper which contained cowhage which, when pulverized and thrown 
upon the person, not only burned, but itched almost beyond the power of endurance. 
He came up and opened the neck of her dress and threw some on her person. She 
made no movement, but sat through it. "Well," said Brown, "I shall have to 
give in that she is under mesmeric influence when that herb does not disturb her." 
Then he opened his vest and his woolen shirt which he wore. "Now," he said, 
"throw it on." They took a handful and threw it right into his bosom. He but- 
toned up his coat and marched out. They put a preparation of oil on the girl, so 
that she was relieved from the pain, but he never put anything on his person. 
It goes to show the nerve of the man. He was without exception a man of the most 
determined will that ever came into Springfield. It was said by Governor Wise 
that he was the most plucky man that he ever met in his life. History shows 
that he was not afraid of anything. His home was in Elba, N. V. 

Question— Where was he located here? 

Answer — On Franklin street, soon after Franklin street was opened. 

Question — On the south side? 

Answer — I do not know. 

Question — You are not certain that he was in business on Sanford street? 

Answer — No, I am not certain. He was in business with John L. King — in 
the wool business, — Ring and Harding were interested with him in the wool busi- 
ness. That was Brown's business, dealing in wool. 

Question — Do you remember when the old fort was torn down? 

Answer — In the old fort there were timbers of solid oak sixteen inches square, 
and many mementos were made from it, such as canes, chairs, etc. 

Question — Did it retain its original form and shape and characteristics down 
to that time? 

Answer — No, there was an arrangement in front that was taken off. It came 
out from under the eaves; the roof projected so that there was probably four or 
five feet of projection. It was built that way so that the arrows of the Indians 
could not enter the house and injure the occupants. It protected the windows. 
It projected and came down slanting. Underneath at the front door there was 



56 APPENDIX 

at one time a porch which is represented in that picture of the old fort, but that 
porch was taken away before I recollect. Mr. William Pynchon or some one took 
it off. All the timbers of the fort were solid oak and the main timbers were sixteen 
inches square and some twenty-five, thirty or forty feet long, and perfectly sound 
when they came out. If that oak was living to-day it would bring three hundred 
dollars a thousand. 

In the cold and long winters there was a man who ran a team from Feeding 
Hills to Boston. He would go down once or twice during the winter. He called 
once upon Doctor Osgood and asked him if he had any freight in Boston that he 
wished brought to him. The reply was, "Not bad enough to pay winter trans- 
portation; but if you are not fully loaded and will bring it up to me for what it 
would cost in summer to bring it around by the sloop and up the river, you may 
bring it. It is right on your way, you won't have to go out of your way at all." 
The man consented to bring it to him on those terms. On his return he came to 
the doctor's one night and left the freight. The doctor said, "How much do I 
owe you?" He mentioned the price. "Well, that is not according to agreement, 
is it?" "Well, I couldn't afford to bring it for any less." "You agreed to bring 
it to me for the cost of transportation in summer — I am willing to pay that." 
"That won't pay me; I won't take that." "I will not pay the other price." The 
man went away quite angry. The second morning after the doctor's wife missed 
him from the bedroom and was anxious to know what had become of him. He 
got up about three o'clock in the morning, harnessed his horse, drove to Feeding 
Hills — six miles, and met the man as he was going out to the barn to fodder his 
cattle. The man said, "Why, what has brought you over here so early?" "To 
pay you this money, sir." When he returned his wife said, "Where, have you 

been?" "To Feeding Hills." "For what?" "To pay Mr. the money." 

"You didn't owe it; why did you do it:" "If I had exchanged with my Brother 
Hazen, as I got up in the pulpit to perform the service, had that man been in the 
congregation he would say: 'There stands a man in the pulpit trying to show me 
what is right. He owes me ten dollars that he won't pay.' " I told you that story 
because it goes to show that my father was determined to be a minister always, 
rather than a speculator or business man. 

Question — Charles Stearns constructed the first steamboat here? 

Answer — No, Thomas Blanchard. The first steamboat that attempted to run 
up the river made the attempt in 1826. We were called upon in school once to 
mention some circumstance that was remarkable and Bryant Hatch got up and 
said, "In 1826 the steamboat Burnett attempted to come over the falls." 

Question — Didn't Alex Bliss give the land for the high school house? 

Answer — I don't know. Of the steamboats that used to run up the river, 
Blanchard built a boat called the Blanchard, and ran it for some time. There 
were two boats that were owned by this company that ran the boats, the Agawam 
and the Massachusetts: the Agazvam could get through the canal, but the Massa- 
chusetts always had to go over the falls because it was too long to go the other way. 
Charles Stearns built a boat called the Springfield, to run in opposition. He was 
once on board the boat — it came through the canal; it didn't have power enough 
to go over the falls — they were all scow-bottomed, not keeled. He got out of 
patience with his pilot and he went to the wheel, and just as they were coming 
out of the canal and striking into the river Stearns turned the wheel the wrong 



APPENDIX 57 

way and it threw the boat into the falls. Fortunately they got over without stav- 
ing it to pieces. That was in 1842 or 1843. 

I don't know whether anybody has recorded as to the effigies in Court Square 
in February, 185 1. It was the time that George Thompson, the English philan- 
thropist, came here to lecture, and some one for some purpose or other, caused 
two pair of pantaloons to be stuffed and hung on to the big tree that now stands 
on Court Square. They were cut down after church was dismissed Sunday morn- 
ing by Elijah Blake, Ex-Governor Trask and James H. Osgood. 

The old Springfield bank looks very much as it used to. It has a Mansard 
roof which was put on by the bank when they removed. This is where John \V. 
Wilder' s store now is. I remember old Mr. Jonathan Dwight as well as can be. 
He was the first president of the bank, and then his son, Jonathan, Jr., that lived 
on the corner of Maple and State streets. His estate ran down from Maple street 
to where the old Unitarian church used to stand, with an elegant garden filled with 
flowers in summer and everything that was desirable. The old gentleman had 
the bank. That is about as good a specimen of an old New England banking house 
as there is in existence today. The history that goes with it especially, is about 
as interesting as anything that I know of. 

That old fort was erected in 1659. It was there when I came into the world. 
It retained practically its original form up to the time it was torn down with the 
exception of what I told you. -You see it in the picture as it originally was, with 
the portico-vestibule, you might call it. The Indians got underneath it and piled 
up brush under the house and set fire to it, but they didn't succeed in burning it. 
The inmates escaped without any injury whatever. When they found they couldn't 
get the house down, they went away. 

There was a certain man in town who stood on the corner while we were cutting 
down the effigies (John L. King). 'He called out, "0, let 'em hang!" Mr. Elijah 
Blake turned around, shook his hand and said, "I wish to God you hung by the 
side of them." 




S 8 THE TII'O C APT I FES 

Quarterly Meeting April 19, 1904 

Miss C. Alice Baker of Cambridge, Mass., read a paper 
describing her journeys- and researches in the towns and 
parishes on the St. Lawrence River to find records of the 
Deerfield captives. 

The Two Captives 

^HE name of Somers Islands, corrupted in our time to 
"Summer Islands," was given to the Bermudas, not, as 
many suppose, on account of their genial climate, hut 
because of the shipwreck, there in 1610 of Sir George 
Somers and his companions on a voyage to Virginia. Up to that 
time, doubtless because of their dangerous coast, the "still vexed 
Bermoothes," had been known to the English as the "He of Divels, 
and reputed a most prodigious and inchanted place .... 
never inhabited by any Christian or Heathen people.*' 

The report of the shipwrecked men who dwelt nine months upon 
the islands, enjoying the balmy air, and finding the soil "abundantly 
fruitful of all fit necessaries for the sustentation and preservation 
of malt's life," removed all fears of the lie of Divels from the minds 
of the venturous youth of England. 

Sir George Somers sold his claim to the Bermudas, to a company 
of 120, who got a charter for their settlement and in 1612, sent out 
sixty settlers. During the civil war in England, and immediately 
after, many persons took refuge there. The poet Waller invested 
money in Bermuda land, and Mr. Edmund Gosse thinks that he 
wrote his poem of the "Battle of the Summer Islands" as an adver- 
tisement of his plantation to his rich and noble friends. In exchange 
for the products of the Islands England sent cloth, which, says 
the poet, 

Not for warmth, but ornament is worn ... 
Such is the mould, that the blest tenant feeds, 
On precious fruits, — and pays his rent in weeds; 
With candy'd plantain, and the juicy pine. 
On choicest melons, and sweet grapes they dine, 
And with potatoes feed their wanton swine. 



Tobacco is the worst of weeds which they 
To English landlords as their tribute pay. 



THE TWO CAPTIJES 59 

So sweet the air, — so moderate the clime, 
None sickly lies, or dies before his time: 
For the kind spring, which but salutes us here, 
Inhabits there, and courts them all the year. 

Dear to the student of New England genealogies is a book en- 
titled, "Original Lists of Persons of Quality, Emigrants, Religious 
Exiles, Political Rebels, Serving men sold for a term of years, 
Apprentices, Children Stolen, Maidens pressed and others, who 
went from Great Britain to the American Plantations from 1600 
to 1700." According to this book, on the 13th day of September, 
1635, the good ship Dorset, John Flower, master, weighed anchor 
at London "bound for ye Bermudas." Aboard her was a motley 
company, ninety-five passengers all told. Full half were lads under 
eighteen. Eight had already reached that important age. The rest 
were mostly young men under thirty-five, half a dozen of whom 
were accompanied by their wives. Among the passengers were 
two ministers, Rev. George Turk and Rev. Daniel Wite or White. 
Two linger longest at the stern, as the ship slowly leaves her moor- 
ings, Judith Bagley, a lone, lorn woman of fifty-eight, apparentlv 
with no kith nor kin to keep her company, and James Rising, a 
resolute stripling of eighteen, — the only one of his name discoverable 
among the founders of New England. 

To which of the afore-mentioned lists shall we refer this ship's 
company? "What sought they thus afar?" For lack of present 
knowledge, I shall assume that love of adventure led James Rising 
to seek his fortune in the New World, and that he came, apprenticed 
for a term of years to labor in the Bermudas. Of his life there, we 
have as yet no details. Sugar and molasses became important 
exports from the islands, and New England offered a good market 
for the latter article, being then largely engaged in the distillation 
of rum from molasses. 

"An a general town meeting held at Salem on the 20th day of 
the 4th month of the year 1657 James Rising is received an Inhab- 
itant into this Towne." About three weeks later on, on the 7th of 
July, 1657, he married at Boston, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert 
Hinsdell, the sturdy pioneer of Dedham, Medrield and Deerfield. 
I conclude that he probably chose Salem as his home in New Eng- 
land, as being a port of entry for ships, freighted with the products 
of the islands. He was admitted as a member of the First Church 



60 THE TWO CAPTIVES 

of Salem on the 22d day of the nth month, 1661 (January 20, O. S.), 
by a letter from his Pastor Wite or White of the church in Bermuda. 
On the 20th day of the second month, 1663 (April 20, O. S.),his 
daughter Hannah was baptized in the First Church of Salem. 
Whether his two sons, James and John, were older or younger than 
their sister, is unknown. 

Windsor, Connecticut, was at that time a leading commercial 
town, and carried on an extensive trade with the West Indies and 
adjacent islands. There was no bridge at Hartford, and Windsor 
became a noted port of entry, not only for coasters and West India 
vessels, but for English ships. The river was at all times full of 
vessels loading and unloading there, and "Windsor green, often 
heaped with goods" awaiting storage or transportation, "was lively 
with jovial sea captains" and sunburned sailors. Making and 
shipping pipe-staves was an important industry of this vicinity, 
and James Rising may have wished to add this branch of trade to 
his business. However this may be he was "voted an inhabitant 
of Windsor," on March 1 1, 1668, and the next year he was formally 
dismissed by letter from the church of Salem to that of Windsor. 
There his wife died on the nth of August, 1669. Four years later 
he married the Widow Martha Bartlett, who died in less than a 
year'after her marriage. It is said that he kept the ferry at Windsor. 
To the contribution made by that town to the sufferers from Philip's 
war in other colonies, James Rising gave five shillings, his son John 
one shilling and sixpence, and his daughter Hannah, one and three 
pence. 

The same year a grant of fifty acres was allotted to him in Suf- 
field, and in 1682 as a proprietor he voted at the organization of 
that town. There in 1688 at the age of seventy-one he died. 

Of his daughter Hannah nothing more appears. His son James 
died unmarried two years after the father's death, being taken care 
of in his last illness by his brother John, who inherited his estate. 

John Rising lived at Suftield. His first wife was Sarah, daughter 
of Timothy Hale of Windsor. By her he had nine children. Josiah, 
their seventh child, was born February 2, 1694. His mother died 
when he was but four years old, and his father soon married again. 
The stepmother, burdened with the care of a house full of children, 
the eldest of whom was but fourteen, probably found little Josiah, 
a robust boy of five, a trial to her patience. At some unknown 



THE TWO CAPTIVES 61 

period, probably on the birth of a new baby in 1702, he was sent to 
Deerfield to stay with his father's cousin, Mehuman Hinsdell. 

Leaving little Josiah Rising with his cousins in Deerfield, we 
must go back and take up another thread of our story. 

It is the morning of the 24th of September, 1667: The day when 
the County Court begins its fall session at Springfield. A crowd is 
already gathering at the ordinary, so the inn of the olden times was 
called, a room being always set apart there for the holding of the 
court. Men with pointed beards and close cropped hair, in tall 
steeple-crowned hats, short jerkins of a sad color with wide white 
wristbands turned back over the sleeves; leather belts, broad fall- 
ing collars stiffly starched, tied with a cord and tassel at the throat, 
hanging down on the breast and extending round on the back and 
shoulders; full trousers reaching the knee, where they are fastened 
with a bow; long, gray woolen stockings, and stout leather shoes, 
broad, low and well oiled, complete the costume. Some of the 
younger men are in great boots rolled over at the top, and slouching 
in wrinkles about the leg. 

The women are in steeple hats, not unlike those of the men, — - 
and Mother Hubbard cloaks. Some are bareheaded or wear a 
handkerchief over the head, with white kerchief pinned straight down 
from the throat to the waist, white cuffs and long, white aprons 
covering the front of their gray or black woolen gowns. The boys 
and girls, miniature copies of their elders, except that the boys 
wear woolen caps with visors, and the girls, close fitting hoods of 
the same material. 

A constable armed with a long, black staff tipped with brass, 
having three youths in charge, forces his way through the crowd. 
They have been sent by the commissioners at Northampton, to be 
tried and sentenced at Springfield. The culprits are pale and evi- 
dently frightened. The face of the youngest, a mere child, is swollen 
with weeping. The others, who are perhaps sixteen and seventeen 
years old, affect an indifference to their situation which their pallor 
belies. It is easy to see that the eldest is the most hardened of the 
three. 

"In sooth they are not ill looking lads," said a gossip, "I marvel 
of what evil they are accused." "The little one is the son of Good- 
man John Stebbins our former neighbor," said another. "He num- 
bers scarce twelve summers, yet methinks he is old in sin, for they 



62 THE TWO CAPTIVES, 

say he hath entered the house of his stepmother's father, with 
intent to steal." "One Godfrey Nims is the ringleader of these 
villainies," put in a third. "He hath conspired with the others to 
run away to Canady, under the guidance of a drunken Indian varlet, 
who hath been hanging about Xorthampton of late." "It is be- 
lieved that Goodman Hutchinson will intercede with the Court in 
behalf of Benin," added the last speaker, "he hath lately taken the 
lad's mother to wife." "Poor boys," said a young mother, who led 
her little son by the hand, "I hope our Worshipful magistrate will 
mercifully consider their youth, and the shame to their parents." 

"Our magistrate is a God-fearing man," replied a stern Puritan 
father at her elbow. "He will deal justly with the malefactors, but 
it behooves him not to be merciful overmuch. Our young men are 
getting overbold in their carriage. Our maidens wear silk in a 
flaunting manner, and indulge in excess of apparill to the offence 
of sober people. They must be taught to fear God, to obey the law 
and honor their parents." 

"Ay, verily, it were better if they were more often admonished 
and scourged," interrupted a hard-faced woman, "and for my part 
I should like to see a score of lashes well laid on to the backs of these 
knaves. I misdoubt if they get off with less." 

The entrance of the magistrates and jurors put a stop to the talk, 
and the trial proceeded. The story is told in the records far better 
than I could tell it: — 

"Sept. 24. 1667. Att the County Court holden at Springfield, Capt. John 
Pynchon one of the Honored Assistants of this Colony presiding, "James Bennett, 
Godfrey Nims and Benoni Stebbins, young lads of Northampton being by North- 
ampton Commissioners bound over to this Court to answere for diverse crimes 
and misdeeds comitted by them, were brought to this court by ye constable of 
yt towne, wch 3 lads are accufed by Robert Bartlctt, for that they gott into his 
house two Sabbath days, when all the family were at the Publike Meeting, on ye 
.first of which tymes, they, viz Nims and Stebbins did ransack about the house, 
and took away out of diverse places of the house viz, 24 shillings in silver and 7 sh. 
in \\ ampum, with intention to run away to the ffrench, all well is by them con- 
fessed; wch wickedness of theirs hath allso been accompanyed with frequent lying 
to excuse and justify themselves especially on Nims his part, who it sems hath 
been a ringleader in the villanyes; ffor all which their crimes and misdemeands 
this corte doth judge yt the said 3 lads shall bee well whipt on their naked bodies, viz 
Nims and Bennett with 25 lashes apcece and Benoni Stebbyngs with 11 lashes; 
and the said Nims and Stebbins are to pay Robert Bartlett the Summe of 4JE 
being accounted treble damage, according to law for what goods he hath lost by 
their means. Allso those persons that have received any money of any of the 



THE TWO C.4PTIVES 63 

said lads, are to restore it to the sd Robert Bartlett. But their being made to the 
Corte an earnefit pitition & request by Ralph Hutchinson, father in law to ye said 
Bennet, and diverse other considerable persons, that the said Bennett's corporall 
punishment might be released, by reason of his mother's weaknese, who it seemed 
may suffer much inconvenience thereby, that punishment was remitted upon his 
father in law his engaging to this corte. to pat ffive pounds to ye County, as a fyne 
for the said Benitts effence; which ,£ is to be paid to ye county Treasurer for 
ye use of Sd county. Allso John Stebbins Junior, being much suspected to have 
had some hand in their plotting to run away, This Corte doth order ye Commis- 
sioners of Northampton to call him before ym, & to examine him about that, or 
any other thing wherein he is supposed to be guilty with ye said lads and to act 
therein according to their discretion attending law. Also they are to call the Indian 
called Onequelat, who had a hand with ym in their plott, and to deal with him 
according as they fynd." 

The three thoroughly scared boys were sent back the next day 
to Northampton. There let us hope that little Benoni was taken 
from the grasp of the law, and put into his father's hands for chastise- 
ment. Bennett's fine was paid by his stepfather. As for Godfrey 
Nims he paid the penalty of his misdeeds at the whipping post in 
front of the meeting house. Alas for poor Godfrey! he lived in the 
age when a spade was called a spade. Lying was lying in good old 
colony days. Nobody thought of applying to the wild boy the soft 
impeachment of being an imaginative youth. The luckless wight 
had no indulgent friends to plead for him that "boys must be boys" 
and that wild oats must be sown. Wild oats were an expensive 
luxury in those days, as poor Godfrey found to his cost. Doubtless 
he was a disorderly fellow, yet without wishing to palliate his offence, 
I may say that he was without the good influences of a home life. 
There is no evidence of his having father or mother, kith or kin at 
Northampton. An active and excitable lad, with no legitimate 
scope under Puritan rule for his surplus energy, he fell in with the 
Indian vagrant, by whose tales of bush-ranging, his soul was fired 
to daring and reckless deeds. It is of such stuff that pioneers and 
heroes are often made. 

Another turn of the kaleidoscope gives us a better picture of 
these impulsive youths. 

It is the 18th of May, 1676. The sun, sinking behind the western 
hills, throws a golden glow over meadow and river. The Holyoke 
range is already in shadow. A force of about 144 men is gathered 
at Hatfield, awaiting the order to march against Philip's horde, for 
it was now the "general voyce of the people" that "it was time to 



64 THE TWO CAPTIVES, 

distress the enemy and drive them from their fishing at Pcskeomp- 
skut," which was the Indian name for our Turners Falls. Nearly 
all are mounted; a few on foot. Among the volunteers from North- 
ampton are Godfrey Nims and James Bennett, comrades to-day in 
a righteous cause, Nims as usual with a dare-devil look in his eyes, 
resolute, careless and ready for any fate; Bennett more serious and 
subdued. The Reverend Hope Atherton, chaplin of the expedi- 
tion, pours out his soul in prayer for the little army, and the caval- 
cade moves northward. Who at that moment remembered the 
youthful escapade of Godfrey Nims and James Bennett? Surely 
not Mary Broughton, who stood sobbing among the women that 
watched their departure. She had married Bennett in 1674, not 
long after she herself had had a brush with the magistrates. At the 
March Court of 1673, held at Northampton by Worshipful John 
Pynchon, Captain Holyoke and Deacon Chapin, Maid Mary 
Broughton had been severely admonished, and fined ten shillings 
for wearing a silk hood or scarf contrary to law. A sympathetic 
revolt against Puritan discipline may have attracted Bennett and 
Mary Broughton to each other. Their happiness was short-lived. 
On Saturday Nims brought her the sad news that Bennett had been 
killed in the Falls fight. In the spring of 1677, the young widow 
married Bcnoni Stebbins, her husband's dearest friend, another of 
the trio of bad boys of Northampton. Soon after his marriage 
Benoni Stebbins joined Quentin Stockwell and several other bold 
men who returned to Deerfield two years after the massacre at 
Bloody Brook, to begin a new settlement. There Stebbins worked 
early and late at the house to which he fondly hoped to bring his 
bride before winter should set in.' At the end of their day's work on 
the 19th of September, 1677, they were surprised by twenty-six 
Indians from Canada under Ashpelon. Hurrying up from the clear- 
ing to the mountain, they found there seventeen people from Hat- 
field who had been seized the same day, and with them, began the 
weary march to Canada. They were the first to follow that woeful 
road, travelled later by so many New England captives. Crossing 
and recrossing the Connecticut they journeyed rapidly by day. At 
night they lay stretched on their backs upon the ground, a rope 
about their necks, arms and legs extended and tied to "stakes so 
that they could stir nowayes." Halting thirty miles above North- 
field, Ashpelon sent Benoni Stebbins back towards Lancaster, to 



THE TWO CAPTIVES 65 

notify a part of his band to join him on the Connecticut. On the 
return, Stebbins escaped on the 2d of October and reached Hadley 
in safety. His own account taken down in writing on the 6th day 
by the postmaster of Northampton, says that "being sent out with 
two squaws and a mare to pick huckleberries, he "got upon the 
mare and rid till he tired the mare, then ran on foot, and so escaped, 
being two days and a half without victuals." 

Notwithstanding the sorrows and perils that so beset the life of 
Mary Broughton, her high spirit seems not to have been crushed. 
The following from the Court Records of March 26, 1678, shows 
that she never yielded a woman's right to make herself look as 
pretty as she could, and that she was upheld in her resistance by 
her admiring husband. 

"Mary wife of Benoni Stebbins being presented to this Court for wearing 
silk contrary to law, and for that she agravates it by persisting in it, when as she 
was once presented before: This court considering the agravation, and how unfit 
such things are in this day of trouble, did adjudge her to pay a fine of 10 shillings: 
As also Benoni Stebbins, openly affronting the court in saying he would not pay 
the money due for fees to the clerk of the Court; this Court adjudged him to pay 
as a fine to the County 10 sh. forthwith, and committed him to the constable 
for the payment of the aforesaid fines." 

Benoni Stebbins returned to Deerfield at its permanent settle- 
ment in 1682, becoming a prominent citizen there, and filling the 
highest town offices creditably to himself and acceptably to his 
neighbors. Mary, his wife, died in 1689. 

About the time of Benoni Stebbins' marriage, Godfrey Nims had 
wedded the widow Mary Williams and become the guardian of her 
little boy. He owned land in Deerfield in 1674, and if he were not, 
as tradition declares, one of the first three inhabitants, he and 
Benoni Stebbins with their families, were certainly among the earli- 
est permanent settlers. Godfrey Nims, cordwainer, appears to have 
been an industrious, God-fearing and law-abiding citizen. He was 
the first constable of Deerfield, being chosen in 1689, and later held 
other town offices. 

In 1692 on his marriage to his second wife, Mehitable Smead, 
widow of Jeremiah Hull, he bought the lot on which the second 
church, the town house and Memorial Hall now stand, and built a 
house which was burned January 4, 1693-4. His little stepson, 
Jeremiah Hull, perished in the flames. The same year he bought the 
adjoining lot, building again on the site which has ever since been 



66 THE TWO CAPTIVES 

held by his descendants. The Misses Miller, who are prominent 
in the blue and white industry, indeed I think they were the origin- 
ators of that industry, .now live in this house. When Joseph Barnard 
was wounded at Indian Bridge, and his horse killed under him, 
Godfrey Nims bravely took the helpless man upon his own horse, 
which being soon shot down, he was forced to mount behind Philip 
Mattoon, and "so got safely home." 

Immediately upon Queen Anne's accession, the people of Deer- 
field began to make ready to meet the tempest from the north which 
they felt to be impending. The fort was "righted up," the school 
master was asked to help the selectmen "in wording a petition to 
the governor for help in the distress occasioned by a prospect of 
war." In the summer of 1703, Peter Schuyler warned the people 
of Deerfield that an expedition against them was fitting out in 
Canada. Those who had settled at a distance from Meeting House 
Hill, began to seek shelter within the palisade. Twenty soldiers 
were sent as a garrison to the settlement. On the 8th of October, 
John Nims and Zebediah Williams, son and stepson of Godfrey 
Nims, while looking after their cows in the meadow, were captured 
by Indians, and carried to Canada. Such was the alarm and dis- 
tress of the people, that they urged their minister to address the 
government in their behalf. The letter is a credit to pastor and 
people. In asking for relief from taxation as the fortification must 
be rebuilt, Mr. Williams says: "I never found the people unwilling 
to do, when they had the ability, yea they have often done above 
their ability." He speaks of the "sorrowful parents and distressed 
widow of the poor captives taken" from them, as requesting the 
governor "to endeavor that there may be an exchange of prisoners 
to their release." Parson Stoddard of Northampton also wrote to 
Governor Dudley in behalf of Deerfield. He tells him that the 
people are much depressed and discouraged by the captivity of two 
of their young men, and asks that dogs may be trained to hunt the 
Indians, "who act like wolves and are to be dealt withall as wolves." 
To this letter dated Northampton, October 22, 1703, the following 
postscript is added: "Since I wrote, the father of the two captives 
(Godfrey Nims) belonging to Deerfield has importunately desired 
me to write to your Ex'cy that you w d endeavor the Redemption 
of his children." 

Notwithstanding the general uneasiness, private affairs went 



THE Tlf'O CAPTIVES 67 

on as usual. Birth, marriage, death, like time and tide, stay for 
naught. Winter wore to spring. The soldiers were still billeted in 
the homes of the people. The minds of all were tense with anxiety. 
The air was thick with omens. Sounds were heard in the night as 
of the tramping of men around the fort. March came in like a lion. 
The village lay buried in the snow, the people in sleep. In that hour 
before dawn when night is darkest and slumber deepest, the long- 
dreaded storm burst; unexpected at the last, like all long-expected 
events. On what a wreck the morning broke! Benoni Stebbins, 
after fighting for hours like a tiger at bay, lay dead in his house. 
In the southeast angle of the fort, Godfrey Nims' house was still 
burning, three of his little girls somewhere dead among the embers. 
His daughter, Rebecca Mattoon, and her baby, slain by the toma- 
hawk. Ebenezer, his seventeen year old son, his stepdaughter, 
Elizabeth Hull, aged sixteen; his wife with Abigail, their youngest 
child, about four years old, already on the march to Canada. 

His opposite neighbor, Mehuman Hinsdale, bereft of wife and 
child by the same blow, — also a captive, with the boy Josiah Rising, 
his little Suffield cousin, whom he had taken into his home and heart. 
Did Godfrey Nims and Benoni Stebbins in those hours of horror, 
remember how in their boyhood, they had "plotted together to 
run away to the ffrench" with Onequelatt the Indian? 

How Thankful Nims and her family were saved by a snowdrift; 
how Godfrey's wife was killed on the march; how Zebediah Wil- 
liams died at Quebec, firm in the Protestant faith; how John Nims 
escaped from captivity, and was finally married in Deerfield to his 
stepsister, Elizabeth Hull; how Ebenezer Nims contrived to out- 
wit the good priests, who were faithfully trying to secure his sweet- 
heart's conversion by marrying her to a Frenchman ; how Mehuman 
Hinsdale came back to Deerfield, and was again "captivated by 
ye Indian Savages," are matters of history. But what of Abigail 
Nims and Josiah Rising? 

Up to this moment, from the hour when cruelly roused from the 
innocent sleep of childhood, they were dragged towards the North, 
over the snowbound meadows and icy river, this question has been 
asked in vain. Thanks to the careful records made at the time by 
Canadian priest and nun, and thanks again to the kind help given 
me by Canadian priest and nun of to-day we can now follow the 
fortunes of the two captives, so rudely torn from home and kin. 



68 THE TWO CAPTIVES 

In the history of New France there is no more interesting and 
romantic chapter, than that of the life and labors of Marguerite 
Bourgeois. To bring- about the conversion of savages by giving to 
their children a Christian education, was her dearest wish. Not 
only literally but figuratively did she plant the cross on the moun- 
tain of Montreal. In 1676, the priests of Saint-Sulpice built a 
chapel on the mountain and founded there a mission for such 
Iroquois and others, as wished to settle on the island of Montreal. 
In 1680, soon after the school for Indian boys was begun at the mis- 
sion of the mountain, Marguerite Bourgeois sent two nuns of the 
congregation there to teach the girls. 

In 1685 forty Indian girls were in training at this school. It 
takes but a moment to tell the story, but the pain, peril and priva- 
tion, the self-abnegation, the devotion by which this result was 
achieved, cannot be estimated. This Indian village, palisaded to 
protect the Christianized Iroquois from the attacks of their savage 
brethren, who were incensed against the converts, was an outpost 
of defence for Montreal itself. Destroyed by fire in 1694, through 
the carelessness of a drunken Indian, the fort was rebuilt of stone, 
with rude towers at each angle, two of which were set apart for the 
nuns and their school. 

In 1701, disturbed by the opportunity afforded the Indians, by 
their nearness to the town, of obtaining strong liquors, yet unwilling 
to deprive Montreal of their help in case of attack from their enemies 
the priests removed the mission to the other side of the mountain, 
to a picturesque spot called Sauk au Recollct, on the bank of the 
Riviere des Prairies. There they built a church, modelled after the 
Chapel de Notre Dame de Lofette in Italy, and a house for them- 
selves and their school. The Sisters of the Congregation also erected 
there a building for themselves and for a school for girls. (It is an 
interesting fact that Sceur Marie des Agnes, the Lady Superior of 
this mission school, was herself a New England captive. She was 
Marie Genevieve Sayward, taken from her mother and sister Feb- 
ruary 5, 1692, at York, Maine.) The village and mission building 
were enclosed by a palisade with three bastions. 

It was to the Sault au Recollet fort that our two captives, doubt- 
less with others from Deerfield, were carried at once on their arrival 
in Canada. The squaw Ganastarsi, probably the wife or mother of 
her captor, gladly took little Abigail into her bark wigwam, and 



THE TWO CAPTIVES 69 

Josiah Rising was led to that of his Macqua master. There the)' 
lived in true Indian fashion, rolling in the dirt with the papooses 
and puppies with which the village was swarming, and quickly 
catching the Iroquois language. To Josiah, the savages gave the 
name of Shoentak8anni of which the French equivalent is // ltd a 
ote son village. — "He has taken away his village." Abigail was 
known as T8atog8ach, which rendered into French is Ellc retire de 
I'eau. — "She picks something out of the water." 

The little four year old English girl, with her uncouth name, her 
pale face and her yellow hair, did not long escape the notice of the 
holy sisters of the mission. The following is a translation of her 
French record of baptism: — 

"On the 15th day of June of the year 1704, the rites of baptism have been ad- 
ministered by me, the undersigned, to a little English girl, named in her own 
country Abigail, and now Mary Elizabeth; born in Dearnelde, in New England 
the 31st of May, of the year 1700, of the marriage of Geoffrey Nims cordwainer, 
and of Meetable Smecd also deceased. The child, taken at the said place the 
eleventh of March last, and living in the wigwam of a squaw of the Mountain, 
named Ganastarsi. The god-mother was Demoiselle Elizabeth Le Moine, daughter 
of Monsieur Charles Le Moine esquire, Baron de Longueuil, chevalier of the order 
of Saint-Louis, and captain of a company, — with Francois Bonnet who says that 
he cannot sign. 

Signed, Marie Elizabeth Longueuil. Meriel, pretre." 

What the nuns of the Congregation did for little Abigail, was 
done for Josiah Rising by the good priests of Saint-Sulpice at the 
Sault au Recollct Mission. He was baptized on the 23d of Decem- 
ber, 1706, being then about eleven years old. The name Ignace was 
given him, and it was as Ignace Raizenne on Canadian records, that 
I recognized Josiah Rising. 

Picture the life of these children at the Indian fort. The dark, 
cold, smoky wigwam; the scanty clothing in which they had been 
snatched from home all rags and dirt, replaced at last by a blanket 
which was their dress by day, their bed at night; coarse and un- 
palatable food; corn pounded, soaked and boiled in unsavory pot- 
tage; roasted pumpkin a rare luxury. Better times came for the 
poor waifs when they could go to school. There they were decently 
clad, for Marguerite Bourgeois knew that the first step towards 
Christianizing any people, is to make them dress decently and to 
inspire them with a love of work. "If you can introduce petticoats 
and drawers into your mission," wrote Monsieur Tronson, "you 



70 THE TWO CAPTIVES 

will make yourself famous; nothing would be more useful, or 
fraught with better results." 

At school they learned to sing and chant, to read and write and 
to speak French. The catechism and creed were taught in French, 
as well as in English and Indian. The girls learned to sew and knit, 
to spin and make lace. The boys were instructed in carpentry, 
shoemaking, mason work and other trades. 

But Sunday, so gloomy to the children of Puritan households, 
was the day of days to the girls and boys of the mission. Then 
Abigail went in procession with the other girls to mass and saw the 
gorgeous altar cloths and vestments, and the candles burning 
brightly, and the pictures of the saints, and little Jesus and his 
mother looking kindly down upon her. She sat close to Sister des 
Agnes, and crossed herself and said her prayers, and felt very good 
and very happy; only she wished that ShoentakSanni would just 
look at her; but he sat among the choir boys and sang away and 
never lifted his eyes from his book. 

I like to think of the busy school days and cheerful Sundays of 
the little New England captives, thus cared for by gentle nun and 
kindly priest. We must not forget, however, that the "Oso" fort, 
as the New England captives calied the fort at Sault au Recollet, 
had its sadder pictures. The etymology of "Oso" fort is interesting. 
The French doubtless spoke of visiting this mission as going "au 
Sault," (pronounced 0-so), hence the English naturally called it 
"Oso Fort." 

Sometimes an Indian would come back from the town, enraged 
by the white man's fire-water, bringing the news that some "Bas- 
tonnais" had arrived in Montreal. Every messenger from our 
government, no matter how far from Boston his home might be, 
was a "Bastonnais" in Canada. This term is still in use there. 
The first time I was in Canada a priest told me that his old father 
was very anxious to see me indeed, as he wanted to see a 
" Bastonnais." 

Then Abigail's master would threaten to carry her into the woods, 
and Ganastarsi would be very cross, and call her Kanaskwa, the 
slave, and possibly give the child a slap in the face, — for she had 
grown fond of T8atog8ach and did not mean to give her up to the 
Bastonnais if she could help it. Sister des Agnes and the other nuns 
would seem distressed and anxious, and kept the little girl day and 



THE TWO CAPTIVES, 71 

night at the convent, out of sight of any possible English visitors. 
Abigail was too young to mind much about any of this, but Josiah 
knew, and I dare say, asked the school master if he might not go 
home with the messengers. At this the priest would frown and speak 
sharply to the lad, reproaching him with ingratitude to the Indian 
who had saved his life. No doubt he would tell the boy what he 
himself sincerely believed, that if he went back to Protestant New 
England, his soul would be damned eternally. When Josiah's 
master heard about this, he beat the boy and sent him off to the 
woods with a hunting party. 

Deacon Sheldon came back from his embassy in 1705 with but 
five captives, not having even seen his boys, who, he was told, had 
"gone a honten." Shortly after this, bitterly disappointed at not 
being allowed to go home with Deacon Sheldon, John Nims, Martin 
Kellogg, Joseph Petty and Thomas Baker ran away. It went harder 
with Josiah and the rest after this. Ensign Sheldon must have kept 
the Sault au Recollet mission in a stir in the first years of the captiv- 
ity. He was certainly there twice in the spring of 1706. Among his 
accounts is an item of 12 livres paid "for a carriall to goe to see the 
captives at the Mohawk fort," and "4 livres more for a second 
visit." What "carriall" could be used in mid-winter in Canada 
puzzled me, until I learned that a carriole is a Canadian sleigh. He 
probably saw Josiah and Abigail at this time, but they were not 
among those whom he brought home. Grim and direful scenes our 
two captives saw, when the war parties returned with scalps and 
prisoners. Then two long rows of savages armed with clubs and 
hatchets, were formed at the gate of the fort. Between these the 
weary and footsore captives ran for nearly three-quarters of a mile, 
the savages mocking and striking at them as they ran. Then came 
the dreadful powwow, when the poor sufferers were made to sing 
and dance around a great fire, while their tormentors yelled and 
shrieked. The children saw many of their Deerfield neighbors 
brought into the fort in this way. Martin Kellogg in the fall of 1708, 
Josiah's cousin, Mehuman Hinsdell the next spring, and Joseph 
Clesson and John Arms in June, 1709, all ran the gauntlet at the 
Oso Fort. 

After John Sheldon's third journey to Canada in 1707 there had 
been no general exchange of prisoners. In the summer of 1712, the 
Canadian governor proposed that the English captives in Canada 



72 THE THO CAPTIJ'ES 

should be "brought into or near Deerfield, and that the French 
prisoners should be sent home from thence." Governor Dudley 
ordered Colonel Partridge to collect the French captives at Deerfield. 
There must have been some excitement in the usually quiet 
town of Deerfield when it was known that the French captives were 
mustering there, especially when the doeeed refusal of some to 
return to Canada was noised abroad. That Colonel Partridge met 
with some unexpected obstacles in dispatching the French captives 
is shown by the following extract from his letter to Governor 
Dudley: — 

"Hatfield, July I, ryia. 

"I begg yor Excellency's excuse & tender resentment. Off our repeated demur 
&. delay of moveing towards Canada by the Frentchmen & o r Messengers, which 
is wholie by the indisposition of the Frentchmen, Especially two of them, who will 
not be persuaded to go, neither by pruasions nor force, except they be carried, 
viz. Cosset & Laffever. The Capt. hath used all means with them, especially 
Cosset, in so much that I believe if they go into the woods together, they will 
murder one another before they get to Canada. Cosset positively refusing to go, 
Chuseing rather to remayne a prison' all his days, as he saith, rather than go 
home with him. The Captaine vehemently mad with him, as he saith, will kill 
him & it is thought by their violent tieatmt one towards another, that murder 
had been done if or men had not prvented itt. They cannot speak together but 

some fall to blows Laffever has been oposite of goeing all a 

Long & now it comes too positively opposes it, except he be forct. Yesterday I 
went up to Derefd & two of the Frentchmen orderd him & the Frentchman to 
attend me in order to their goeing immediately away." 

When it was known that an escort was to be sent from Deerfield 
with the French captives, there was no lack of volunteers. Colonel 
Partridge continues: — 

"As to Messengers. sc\erall offer themselves to go. We had pitcht 

upon Ltt. Williams, with the consent of his ffathcr, who hath the Frentch tongue, 
jonath Wells, Jno Nims & Eliezer Warner, but havcing in yor last letter a forhidd 
to any of Baker's Company, we pitcht on Lt. Wells, Sergt. Taylor, John Nims 
& Thomas Frentch. who also hath the Frentch tongue, but think the former 
most apt 

I have had no small fategue in this matter, but ye disappointment hath been 
on ye Fremchman's pt as aforesaid." 

On the above letter was the following endorsement: — 

"Co'll Partridg: Honnd Sir, I have all along been much against returning 
home: to Canada: but am now come to a Resolution that I will not go, except 
the Governor with yourself, doe compell me to return; which I hope you will 



THE TWO CAPTIVES 73 

not do; I have an Affection for the people and Countery; and therefore do not 
intend to lieue it until there be a Peace; and then only for to give my Parents 
a vissitt and Returne apaine. from your humble serv't to command; this is 
La ffeveres words." 

The party under command of Lieut. Samuel Williams, a youth 
of twenty-three, started from Deerfield on the 10th of July, return- 
ing in September with nine English captives. 

Godfrey Nims had died some years before. Ebenezer was still 
in captivity and John Nims evidently went as the head of the family, 
hoping to effect the release of his brother and sister. I judge that 
in urging Abigail's return, John made the most of the provision for 
her in his father's will, as the story goes in Canada, that the rela- 
tives of the young Elizabeth, who were Protestants, and were 
amply provided with this world's goods, knowing that she had been 
carried to the Sault au Recollet, went there .... and 
offered a considerable sum for her ransom; and the savages would 
willingly have given her up, if she herself had shown any desire to 
go with her relatives. To her brother's entreaties that she would 
return with him she replied that she would rather be a poor captive 
among Catholics, than to become the rich heiress of a Protestant 
family, — and John came back without his sister and brother. About 
this time came Abigail's first communion. She walked up the aisle 
dressed in white, with a veil on her head, and all the people looked'' 
at her, and a bad Indian girl muttered, "Kanaskwa," the slave. 

ShoentakSanni, in his white surplice, swinging the censer, ring- 
ing the bell and holding up the priest's robe, seemed almost as grand 
as the priest himself, and it was all very solemn and very beautiful 
to the child. That was the summer when Hannah Hurst of Deer- 
field was married. Marie Kaiennoni, she was called at the mission. 
She was seventeen and Michel Amchharison, a widower of thirty- 
two. T8atog8ach heard them called in church. She wondered at 
Marie. ShoentakSanni was ever so much nicer than Michel. I 
think Father Quere had his doubts about this match. He urged 
Marie to leave the Indians altogether, but she declared she wished 
to live and die among them. Sister des Agnes heard her say this 
often. Father Quere asked Monsieur Belmont what he ought to do 
about marrying them, and Monsieur Belmont said she must be 
treated as if she were really an Indian girl. Then Father Quere told 
Thomas Hurst and Father Meriel, and as they did not forbid the 
banns, he married them. 



74 THE TWO CAPTIVES, 

A year passed. The treaty of Utrecht had been signed. Peace 
was proclaimed in London, and a grand 7V Dcum sung to Handel's 
music in St. Paul's Cathedral. In this interval of peace, renewed 
efforts were made by our government for the recovery of the English 
captives in Canada. Nothing daunted by the ill success of John 
Schuyler's mission, Capt. John Stoddard and Parson Williams, with 
Martin Kellogg and Thomas Baker as pilots and interpreters, and 
commissioned by the government to negotiate for the release of the 
remaining captives, arrived in Canada the middle of February, 1 714. 

It is a long and tedious business. De Vaudreuil is vacillating and 
contradictory in his promises. He shirks the responsibility alter- 
nately upon the captives who have been formally naturalized; upon 
his king whom he fears to offend; upon the savages who claim the 
ownership of many and who he says are his allies, and not his sub- 
jects to command. Finally he says that he "can just as easily alter 
the course of the rivers, as prevent the priests' endeavors to keep 
the children." 

The long sojourn of this embassy, its influence and dignity un- 
doubtedly made a profound impression at the Sault au Recollct 
Mission. What more natural than that Abigail Nim's captor, know- 
ing that the English envoys were insisting on the return of minors 
and children, and fearing to lose his reward if general terms of re- 
lease were agreed upon, should have fled with his prize to the Boston 
government, to secure the money for her ransom before Stoddard's 
return. This he could have done without knowledge or consent of 
mission priest or nun. Moreover, had they known his purpose, they 
would have been powerless to prevent its fulfilment. 

Whether this theory be correct or not it was before the return of 
the envoys that Colonel Partridge on the 28th of July, 1714, wrote 
to the Council at Boston, giving an account of an "outrage in the 
country of Hampshire," a Macqua Indian having brought to West- 
field and offered for sale, a girl "supposed to be an English captive 
carried from Deerfield, it appearing so by her own relation and 
diverse circumstances concurring." The Council at once advised 
that Capt. John Sheldon, then living at Hartford, should be the 
bearer of a letter to the Indian commissioners at Albany, demanding 
a strict examination of this matter. The result of Captain Sheldon's 
mission is told in the Council Record. 

"In Council Aug. 22, 1714. Upon reading a letter from the Commissioners of 
the Indian atlairs at Albany by Capt. John Sheldon, messenger thither, to make 



THE TWO CAPTIVES 75 

inquiries concerning a young Maid or Girle, brought thither into Westfield by a 
Macqua and offered for sale, very probably supposed to be English and daughter 
of one (Godfrey) Nims, late of Deerfield, and carried away captive, the Com- 
missioners insisting upon it that she is an Indian: 

Ordered, that Samuel Partridge Esq. treat with Macqua, her pretended Master, 
and agree with him on the reasonablest terms he can for her release and then dis- 
pose her to some good family near the sea side, without charge, for the present to 
prevent her fears; unless Capt. Sheldon will be prevailed with to take her home 
with him. 

Paid John Sheldon for journey to Boston, from Northampton and back to 
Albany and back with his son, 17 £, i6s, ^i for time and expenses. 

In Council, Sept. 20, 1714. Ordered, that the sum of £25. be paid to Elewa- 
camb, the Albany Indian now attending with letters and papers from thence, 
who claims the English girl in the hands of the English and her Relations at Deer- 
field, and that a Warrant be made to the Treasurer accordingly. Also that a 
coat and shirt begiven sd Indian." 

"Here," says Mr. Sheldon in his history of Deerfield, "the cur- 
tain dropped. After this not the slightest trace of Abigail Nims 
was found." 

Had the story ended here, it would have been romantic enough; 
but truth is stranger than fiction. 

An interval of eight months elapses, and the curtain rises again : — ■ 

ACT I. 

Scene 1. 
A marriage in the church of Notre Dame de Lorette, at the Sault au 
Recollet fort, on the Island of Montreal. 

Dramatis Persona;. 
Abigail Nims, aged fifteen. 
Josiah Rising, aged about twenty-four. 
Sccur des Agnes, and other nuns of the Congregation. 
Pere Quere, a mission priest. 
Iroquois Indians. 

The ceremony is soon ended. Father Quere records it on the 
parish register where it stands fair and clear to-day. Here is the 
translation: — 

"This 29th day of July 1715, I have married Ignace Shoentak8anni and Eliza- 
beth T8atogSach, both English, who wish to remain with the Christian Indians 
not only renouncing their nation, but even wishing to live en sausages, Ignace 
aged about twenty-three or twenty-four years,— Elizabeth about fifteen. Both 
were taken at Dierrile about thirteen years ago. Signed M. Quere, pretre S. S." 



76 THE TWO CAPTIVES 

How Abigail Xims got back again to the Sault au Recollct from 
Deerficld, is the missing link in the story of her long life. But what 
more probable than that she should have run away. There is of 
course a shadow of doubt as to the identity of the captive bought 
of Elewacamb, with Abigail Xims, and had satisfied the governor 
and council that she was. They had bought her of Elewacamb, paid 
for her in lawful money and given him a bonus besides. It was not 
strange that the commissioners at Albany "insisted that she was an 
Indian." From her babyhood, for eleven years she had lived among 
the savages, and had become one. An orphan, a stranger, not know- 
ing or caring for her Deerficld relatives, bred a Roman Catholic and 
irked by the straight-laced customs of the Puritan town and church, 
hating the restraints of civilized life, homesick and unhappy, pining 
for the nuns and for her free life in the wigwam of Ganastarsi, fear- 
less and fleet of foot, she may have betaken herself to the woods, 
and somehow got back to the Macqua fort. 

Fancy the joy at the mission, when the stray lamb returned to 
the true fold. It was then, as 1 believe, that the priests, to settle 
the question forever, with much difficulty obtained the release of 
T8atog8ach and ShoentakSanni from their Indian masters. "They 
deserved this favor," says the historian, "for the odor of virtue 
which' they shed abroad over the mission of which they were the 
edification and the model." Their speedy marriage and the em- 
phasis laid in the record upon their wish to conform to the Indian 
mode of life, was to protect them from future importunities for their 
return to New England. 

John Rising of Suffield died December 1 1, 1719. In his will he 
bequeaths to his "well-beloved son Josiah, now in captivity, the 
sum of five pounds in money to be paid out of my estate within 
three years after my decease, provided he return from captivity." 
Josiah Rising and Abigail Nims, his wife, never returned. When in 
1 72 1 the mission was transferred to the Lake of the Two Mountains, 
the priests, charmed with the edifying conduct of lgnace and Eliza- 
beth, with their industry and intelligence in domestic affairs, for 
their advantage and as an example to the mission at large, resolved 
to establish them in a permanent home of their own, and accordingly 
gave them a large domain about half a league from the fort. 

There, they served as a pattern to the savages and to all the 
people round about, of patriarchal life and virtue, by their care in 



THE TWO CAPTIVES 11 

training their children in the fear of God, and in the faithful per- 
formance of their religious duties. 

Abigail Nims, wife of Josiah Rising, died February 19, 1748. 
In her last illness, she refused to leave off the hair skirt which she 
had always worn as penance. She left eight children, six daughters 
and two sons. Her eldest, Marie Madeleine, was a nun of the Con- 
gregation by the name of Sister Saint-Herman. Having learned in 
childhood the Iroquois language, she was sent as missionary to the 
Lake of the Two Mountains and there taught Indian girls for twenty- 
five years. When about ninety, she died in the convent at Montreal. 

Four of the daughters of Ignace and Elizabeth Raizenne, married 
and reared families, many of whose members filled high positions 
in the Roman Catholic church. I learn from one of the ladies of the 
Congregation, who was the pupil of one of Abigail Nims's grand- 
daughters, that she has often heard from this teacher the story of 
her grandmother's life and that she always laid particular stress on 
the fact that she refused to return to Deerfield when sent for. 

The eldest son of Ignace and Elizabeth was a priest and cure of 
excellent character and ability. Jean Baptiste Jerome, their younger 
son, unable to carry out his wish to take orders, married and settled 
on the domain originally granted to his father. His house was a 
refuge lor the poor, the orphan and the unfortunate. He regulated 
his household as if it were a religious community. The father and 
mother rose early and prayed together. Then both went to their 
respective labor, he to his fields, — she to her ten children. The 
hours for study, for conversation, for silence and for recreation were 
fixed by the clock. All the family, parents, children and servants, 
ate at the same table and while eating, the lives of the Saints were 
read. After tea the father explained some doctrinal point to chil- 
dren and servants. Then followed prayers and all went silently 
to bed. 

Marie Raizenne, born in 1736, was the most distinguished of 
Abigail Nims's children. She entered the Community of the Congre- 
gation at the age of sixteen, and in 1778, under the name of Mother 
Saint-Ignace, attained the honor of being its thirteenth Lady Su- 
perior. She was deeply religious, full of energy and courage, of 
extraordinary talents and fine education. She is said to have pos- 
sessed in a remarkable degree, the real spirit and zeal of Marguerite 
Bourgeois, and to have sought untiringly to revive this spirit in the 



78 THE Tiro CJPTIJ'ES 

community of which she was the head. She died at the age of 
seventy-six. 

Thus again did the blood of the martyrs of Deerfield become the 
seed of the church of Canada. 



SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECINCT 79 

Annual Meeting June 6, 1904 

Officers elected — 

President, William F. Adams. Vice-Presidents, John West, Andrew J. 
Flanagan, J. Stuart Kirkham. Clerk, Henry A. Booth. Corresponding 
Secretary, Henry A. Booth. 
Treasurer, William C. Stone. 
Curator, William C. Stone. 

Executive Committee, Edward A. Hall, Frank G. Tobey, Alfred M. 
Copeland, Albert H. Kirkham, Lewis F. Carr, Rev. Thomas D.Howard. 



Quarterly Meeting October 19, 1904 

Rev. Henry Lincoln Bailey of Longmeadow read a 
paper on "Snapshots at Longmeadow Precinct." 

Snapshots at Longmeadow Precinct 

IT took the early settlers of Springfield very little time to dis- 
cover the value of the long meadow upon the east river bank 
south of their first location. The sixth article of agreement 
between Pynchon and his associates read thus: 
"The long meddowe, called Massacksick, lying in the way to Dorchester 
that is, Windsor, Conn.], shall be distributed to every man as we shall think meete." 
In 1644 the first settlement was made on the meadow, and there 
for two generations an increasing population dwelt, undisturbed by 
occasional high water, until in 1695 a freshet of unusual proportions 
demonstrated the desirability of removal to higher ground. A town 
meeting having acted favorably to the petition for privilege of 
removal, the broad street, twenty rods from fence to fence, and four 
miles long from Pecowsic to Enfield bounds, was laid out on the 
plateau above the meadow in 1703, and one by one for half a dozen 
years the families climbed the hill. 

The earliest Longmeadow settler was Quartermaster George 
Colton, quickly followed by Benjamin Cooley and John Keep, with 
the ancestors of the Bliss and Burt families not far behind. The 
ramifications of these five genealogical trees are so interwoven as to 
become an impenetrable thicket for any but the most discriminating 
of expert genealogists. Civil and ecclesiastical history are also so 
intertwined that the untwisting would be the undoing of both. 
Indeed, in the colonial period of New England, church and state 
were but two aspects of one body. Longmeadow owes its initial 



80 SNAPSHOTS AT LOXCMEADOlf PRECINCT 

division from the First Parish of Springfield to the desire of its 
citizens for a home church, the establishment of a separate precinct 
for the gospel ministry; and it is safe to say that no names stand 
higher on its roll for worth and influence than those of the three men 
who for 148 years were connected with the church as its pastors. 

It is singular that the history of the town falls naturally into 
periods of about seventy years each, although the fourth lacks yet 
a dozen years of completion: The meadow period, 1644-1713, when 
we belonged to Springfield, body and soul; the precinct period, 
1713-1783, when we were still of your body but had a soul of our 
own; the early town period to 1 850, when body and soul were both 
ours; and the modern, wherein, if we mistake not, the city would 
like to absorb us again, and has already pushed its line from Pecowsic 
to the top of the hill southward. In each of these periods, except 
the first which is wholly Springfield's, one leading personality is 
found. Stephen Williams came the year after the precinct was 
formed, and for sixty-eight years was a part of Longmeadow, dying 
in office the year before the precinct became the town. In the early 
town period Richard Salter Storrs, father and grandfather of equally 
famous doctors of divinity of the same name, was the commanding 
presence and the foremost citizen, pastor for thirty-four of the sixty- 
seven years. The modern period of sixty-six years, which will end 
with the bicentennial of the church in 1916, needs no greater dis- 
tinction than the pastorate of John Wheeler Harding, forty-two 
years in active service and four as pastor emeritus, a member from 
the beginning of this Society, known widely as the Bishop of Long- 
meadow, who, "traveling on life's common way in cheerful godli- 
ness," passed to his eternal home but a few years since. 

There is a special fascination in studying the first of these men. 
I have long wanted to write about him, and here is my opportunity. 
Imagine my dismay, then, when this paper was well under way and 
there was no time to choose another theme, to learn by chance that 
you have already heard, and have published in your first volume, a 
paper on Dr. Stephen Williams by John W. Harding. I might have 
known his facile pen and historical imagination, reinforced by an 
intimate acquaintance with the Williams diary, could not resist the 
attractive theme. But Stephen Williams was too great a man for 
even John Harding to dispose of in a single evening. We like to 
have photographs of our friends in different poses; the magazines 



SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECIXCT 81 

arc continually presenting some hitherto unpublished portrait of 
Washington or Lincoln; I too, will venture to point a camera at the 
minister of the Longmeadow Precinct. After all, biography is but 
literary photography. The man continues unchanged. One por- 
trait reveals all the lines of character in his face; the next by care- 
ful retouching has smoothed out every wrinkle; then comes another 
artist, so called, who, in the interests of realism, shows you a wart 
on your hero's nose, or a wen on his check, carefully concealed 
hitherto by profile posing. Mr. Harding has given us a sketch 
which cannot be improved. It is as if the dignified Dr. Williams 
had been sitting for his portrait to an able and sympathetic artist. 
You see the minister, a true bishop as Paul described him to Tim- 
othy and Titus, showing forth in character and doctrine the majesty 
of the law and the tenderness of the gospel. It is a portrait which 
needs no rival. But I can give you snapshots of the boy and man that 
have not been painted into that canvas. Be it mine to supplement 
the former sketch, not with warts or wrinkles, but with side lights. 
The success of the meadow petition, as it is called, evidently 
emboldened the petitioners to strike again. They were weary of 
traveling from four to six miles to church. Some of them had been 
killed by the Indians while attempting it. They addressed the 
Great and General Court, setting forth the inconvenience of the 
present arrangement and declaring their ability, in spite of census 
limitations, to maintain local worship. February 10, 1713, the 
Court granted their request and set them off as a precinct, their 
release from the old church to take effect when they were provided 
with a Learned and Orthodox Minister at a minimum salary of 
fifty pounds. The first concern of the new precinct was to have a 
meeting house, and it was September of the next year before any 
move seems to have been made about the pastorate. Then they 
voted to call a Learned and Orthodox Minister to dispense the word 
of God to them that winter in order to a settlement among them, 
and the committee was ordered to proceed forthwith to find a suitable 
man, and to take advice of the elders in their search. The suitable 
man had been preparing for them for a century in accordance with 
Oliver Wendell Holmes's recipe. Of his four great-grandfathers, 
two were ministers and one a deacon, and his grandfathers were a 
deacon and a minister. On his paternal side he was son of the 
Deerfield pastor, and member of that illustrious Williams family 



82 SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECINCT 

that founded Williams College and fills whole pages in Harvard and 
Yale catalogues. On his mother's side he claimed affinity with the 
Mathers. Her grandfather, Richard Mather, was the Dorchester 
pastor; her father, Eleazar, the Northampton minister; and she 
was niece and cousin respectively to the great Increase Mather and 
his greater son Cotton. 

Born in Deerfield, May 14, 1693, Stephen Williams lived much 
as any other boy of the times for ten years. It was a decade full of 
Indian trouble for Deerfield, with slight assaults almost every year. 
Then came the dreadful morning of February 29, 1704, when the 
enemy burst in like a flood upon the sleeping town, and, after two 
hours of carnage and plunder, departed with a hundred prisoners 
on the long trail to Canada. The crashing of the front door under 
the blows of tomahawks aroused the Williams family; resistance 
was impossible; all were bound. Two of the children and a negro 
servant were butchered at the door, but the rest were spared to be 
the victims of threat and insult and to begin the wintry march in 
snow knee deep. The house and barn were fired as they were led 
away. The father has recorded the horrors of that 300 mile journey 
and of his sojourn in Canada in a little volume, "The Redeemed 
Captive Returning to Zion." Of the hundred who started, nineteen 
were tomahawked on the way, including Mrs. Williams. It was an 
experience burned into the memory of the boy, and often in later 
years as the anniversary recurred, he mentioned in his diary his 
gratitude for the Divine goodness in preserving him. For a year he 
lived among the Indians, and for six months more with his father 
at Chateauriche below Quebec. In the "Redeemed Captive" we 
read: "I implored Captain de Beauvillc, who had always been very 
friendly, to intercede with the governor for the return of my eldest 
daughter; and for his purchasing my son Stephen from the Indians 
at St. Francois fort; and for liberty to go up and see my children 
and neighbors at Montreal. Divine providence appeared to the 
moderating my affliction, in that five English persons of our town 
were permitted to return with Captain Livingston, among whom 
went my eldest daughter. And my son Stephen was redeemed and 
sent to live with me. He was almost quite naked, and very poor; 
he had suffered much among the Indians. One of the Jesuits took 
upon him to come to the wigwam and whip him, on some complaint 
that the squaws had made, that he did not work enough for them." 



SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECINCT 83 

The hardest feature of the captivity to Mr. Williams and many- 
others was the constant effort of the Jesuits to convert their prison- 
ers, by persuasion, stratagem, and persecution. Most of them were 
too strongly Protestant to yield to any of these devices. The 
superior of the priests came to Mr. Williams one day and commented 
on his being ragged. " 'But,' says he, 'y° ur obstinacy against our 
religion discourages from providing better clothes.' I told him it 
was better going in a ragged coat than with a ragged conscience." 
And this sturdy spirit of fearing God rather than man was one of 
the traits of character his son Stephen inherited and used to good 
effect in Longmeadow. With profound gratitude Mr. Williams 
obtained leave to send Stephen home in the first exchange of 
prisoners. The boy reached Boston November 21, 1705; that same 
day next year his father and two brothers landed there. They 
found Stephen cared for and being educated by relatives in Roxbury 
where he remained another year. Then he was at Deerfield for a 
season, for his father had a new house and a new wife. But the 
town was full of soldiers, and buildings were so scarce that another 
family shared the Williams house. It was no place to study, so he 
was sent to his uncle's at Hatfield, going up ere long to a university 
career at Harvard, where he was graduated in 1 71 3. This, with a 
year of teaching school at Hadley, was the discipline of the youth. 
By lineage, experience and culture, or by heredity, hardship and Har- 
vard, he had been fitted to become the strong leader of a strong peo- 
ple. What he lacked in discipline his parish would presently supply. 

The Longmeadow committee, asking advice of the elders, were 
directed to this young schoolmaster just licensed to preach, and at 
their invitation he came to his future parish November 26, 1 714, as 
a candidate for settlement, at the age of twenty-one years and six 
months. Eleven weeks sufficed to demonstrate his acceptability, 
and it was voted to call a special precinct meeting to extend a formal 
call. On March 7th this was given, and the salary was named as 
fifty-five pounds, to be increased as their ability and his necessity- 
might dictate. This was too indefinite to suit the candidate. Two 
months later another vote added a settlement of 200 pounds to be 
paid in four annual instalments. This was satisfactory for the 
moment, and the salary dated from that day, May 4, 1715. Still, he 
was not yet the pastor, and as summer wore away into winter, the 
thrifty youngster held out for better terms. He had had his land 



84 SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECINCT 

broken up and fenced, but he wanted more money. In January it 
was voted that after five years, the precinct then being relieved of 
the settlement instalments, the salary should be increased five pounds 
a year till it reached seventy pounds; and six weeks later that was 
extended to seventy-five pounds, the final decision, and the precinct 
committee was sent to "treat with Mr. \\ illiams concerning his 
settling heer in the Ministry." Was he then ready to be ordained? 
Oh, no. He must have a house. True, he built it at his own expense, 
but he was not ordained until he had a place of his own. The fact 
that he didn't use it till two years later affected not a bit his de- 
termination to have the house. And it was spacious, in anticipa- 
tion of the eight children and the servants and the nights when half 
a dozen chance guests might lodge there; and stately for the times, 
causing tongues to wag in criticism of his extravagance and pride. 
But the house was built. Twenty-three months have run swiftly 
by since he came to this people, and at last there is no farther hin- 
drance to their ecclesiastical wedding. There is as yet no church, so 
the precinct issues invitations to the council. October 17, 1716, 
Stephen Williams and eight other men bind themselves in covenant 
as the First Church of Christ in Longmeadow, and the same day 
he is set apart to the ministry by the laying on of hands, and formally 
inducted into the pastorate of the infant church, a pastorate almost 
unequalled for length in ecclesiastical annals. Do not think him 
mercenary, serving simply for the largest sum he could wring from 
the parish. Such a thought is farthest from the truth. If ever a 
minister gave himself "in labors more abundant," this man did. 
In heartfelt devotion he waited upon God for spiritual guidance and 
strength. But he was no recluse. He knew how to handle men and 
things. He was the shrewder for having shrewd men to deal with. 
The parish was quite as thrifty as the parson. Witness these quota- 
tions from his diary of 1756-7. Mr. Williams had been absent some 
months on military duty, and the people thought to save something 
by a proportionate deduction from the salary. 

"Dec. 10. Ye inhabitants of ye Precinct met to grant money. They are 
desirous that I remit a part of my salary, because I had (they apprehend) good 
wages when abroad. I can't sec it my duty, since they were so well provided for 
in my absence. They have adjourned the meeting and made no grant to me. L 
pray God to keep them calm and give me prudence and meekness, and prevent 
confusion among us. 

"Dec. 14. I don't know but people will get into a heat about my salary. I pray 
that they may be kept from wrong measures. 



SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECINCT 85 

"Dec. 23. The conversation among the neighbors is yet about my salary. 
Their spirits are evidently raised. The Lord be pleased to calm and quiet their 
spirits and keep mine calm and composed. 

"Jan. 6. I have signified my mind to the Clerk of the precinct in writing 
respecting my salary. 

"Jan. 25. Neighbors sledded wood for me, and shewed a Good Humour. 
I rejoice at it. The Lord bless them that are out of humour and brot no wood. 

"Feb. 24. Long talk with Capt. S. Colton and Sergt. D. Burt (two of precinct 
Committee) about ye affair of my salary. I am in fear people's spirits and tempers 
arc too much raised; and so mine may be. The Lord keep us from dishonoring 
his great name. 

"Feb. 26. Sabbath. I found myself more composed than at some times and 
somewhat enlarged. I have been concerned lest I become ruffled and discomposed 
because of ye conduct of my people. Oh, Lord, don't leave me to myself and 
my own counsels." 

Since this subject of Dr. Williams' salary has been made so prom- 
inent, let us look at it once more, in the last year of the Revolution 
and the last time but one that the precinct had occasion to vote him 
an annual allowance. 

"8th of December, 1780. Granted to the Revd Dr. Williams for his salary 
the Present year £+500-0-0 Old Continental Currency. Voted to raise the sum 
of £500-0-0 for contingant charges, out of which the services Done to the Meeting- 
Uouse. as Ringing Bell, sweeping and Tending Clock are to be paid." 

The; present pastor does not expect a salary of $1 5,000 when 
eighty-nine years old, and our sexton would be overwhelmed at the 
thought of $140 a month, but those were days when the modern 
scare of dollar wheat would have been like manna in the wilderness; 
wheat in 1780 was eighty-four dollars a bushel! 

It was nearly two years after his installation when Mr. Williams 
became a married man. The bride was of equally illustrious lineage; 
Abigail Davenport was a minister's daughter from Stamford, Conn., 
and great-granddaughter of the Rev. John Davenport, founder of 
the New Haven Colony. They enjoyed forty-eight years of wedded 
life, and in all that time lost only one of their six sons and two 
daughters; Davenport, a stirring young fellow, deputy sheriff of 
the county, was in the disastrous Lake George campaign of 1758 
and his young life went out at twenty-seven. Three of the boys 
became ministers. They were reared in an atmosphere of Puritan 
theology, as witness a letter written by Mrs. Williams to her youngest 
son. I know not the circumstances, but the letter is preserved, a docu- 
ment of twenty closely written pages to little Nathan, ten or eleven 
years old. Just a brief extract, for the whole is as long as a sermon. 



86 SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOJf PRECINCT 

"O my dear Child. Can I bear the thoughts that the Son that was given me 
in answer to my Prayers, that I bore with so much pain, that I have nursed and 
brought up with So much care and_ tenderness night and day, The Son that I have 
so many Thousand Times prayed and wept over and counselled and warned, 
That this beloved Son, I say, Should be the possession and property of the devil, 
Should serve him all his Days and be miserable as he is and be with him in hell 
fire forever, how can I bear to think of ye dreadful day when I shall See my poor 
undone Child if he turn not Speedily and thoroughly. Stand trembling before the 
Judgment Seat of Christ his face gathering blackness horror and anguish, and 
despair Staring through his Eyelids to hear ye Amazing Sentence pronounced on 
him depart ye cursed henceforth, to See him Seized by mighty Angels, hound 
hand and foot in everlasting Chains and cast Into ye dreadful lake of Fire, and 
the adamant Gates shut and barred by him that Shuts and no man opens. Such 

thoughts as these are ready to tear my heart in pieces I know 

if I be so happy as to find mercy of the Lord in that day I shall have no painful 
Sympathy with you but Shall rather rejoice that God's Justice and power will 
be forever glorified in your Condemnation; but how will your heart Endure, 
how can your hands be strong." 

O Spartan mother! How deeply this impressed the little fellow 
at the moment is uncertain. He drew pictures over the title page, 
but he preserved it and came to realize the yearning of the mother 
heart for her boy's salvation. 

Longmeadow always bore its part in the colonial wars. Three 
times' its pastor marched with the troops as chaplain. The first 
campaign was at Cape Breton in 1745. One cannot help wondering 
if the captive lad of the second French and Indian War did not exult 
over the denouement of the third, when he saw Sir William Pep- 
perell's raw colonials capture the strong French fortress of Louis- 
burg which Benjamin Franklin had declared too hard a nut for their 
teeth to crack. 

In 1 755 he was invited to share in the expedition against Crown 
Point, which got no farther than Lake George ere it met defeat. 
Letters and personal invitations came to him. Parishioners showed 
him the other side of the matter. Mr. Brcck came from town to 
deliver the weekly lecture, shrewdly touching upon public affairs, 
and at the close asked the congregation to give its consent to letting 
Mr. Williams go. Even that failed to clear his mind. He took a 
trip to Boston for ministerial advice, and at last, having prayed 
much over it, consented. The next year he went again, though sixty- 
three years old; but after that he pleaded his age and infirmities, 
though often urged. 

His attitude on the Indian question shows how Christian a 



SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECINCT 87 

temper he had. It would not have been strange, considering his 
early experience, and the fact that one of his sisters had been kept 
in Canada and trained in the Roman church, if he had subscribed 
to the modern heresy that "there is no good Indian but a dead 
one." But no; he did what he could for their uplift. He was em- 
ployed by Governor Belcher and the commissioners to treat with 
the Housatonic Indians about receiving the Gospel. He was in- 
fluential in starting and maintaining the Stockbridge mission. He 
even had Indian boys in his own household as students. Thus did 
he avenge the Deerfield tragedy by heaping coals of fire on their 
heads. 

Dr. \\ illiams not only served his own day and generation faith- 
fully and well; he has served ours by his diary in which for more 
than sixty-six years he recorded in detail not only his spiritual medi- 
tations and aspirations, but household and parish matters and events 
of wider interest of which the times were full. It is a faithful picture 
of eighteenth century life. Do you want the local history of the 
Great Awakening of 1742, and a spectator's account of Jonathan 
Edwards' famous Enfield sermon? It is in the diary. Do you want 
to know how a quiet little New England community thought and 
acted in the stirring scenes of the Revolution? It is portrayed in 
the diary. Do you want proof that human nature was the same 
then as now? The evidence is there. Pastoral problems have not 
altogether changed in the century and a half since he made such 
entries as these: 

"Sabbath. Some rain, and many people absent from the public worship. 
We need resolution" 

Two weeks later: "Sabbath. . Very stormy. Had prepared a new sermon 
but preached an old one because the assembly was small, and not able to write 
new sermons sometimes. Hope I did not indulge sloth." 

"March 11, Thursday. I attended the Weekly Lecture, but many were absent. 
I fear they are tired with the service. I don't know but it will be best to lay down 
the Lecture for a season." This is 148 years in advance of recent editorials con- 
cerning the decline of the prayer meeting. 

The reading from the Bible seems so necessary a part of public 
worship that it is hard to believe there was a time when it was not 
practiced. Yet Dr. Williams endeavored to establish the custom 
and failed. "March 30, 1755. This day I began to read ye Scrip- 
tures publickly in ye congregation; wish and pray it may be ser- 
viceable and a means to promote Scripture knowledge among us." 



88 SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECINCT 

Was this in the good old days when we think everybody knew the 
Bible from cover to cover? Six years later he writes: "April 12, 
, 1761. I have been preaching about publick reading of the Scrip- 
tures, I hope people may be convinced of ye duty and, yt we may 
attend it with seriousness and reverence." So the next Sabbath he 
tries again to establish the custom. It was forty-seven years later 
that the church had its first pulpit Bible. Let us hope the congre- 
gation took more kindly to this than to the new style of singing 
which he had introduced many years before, amid such open opposi- 
tion that he had rebuked from the pulpit two men who interrupted 
trTe singing. 

Dr. Williams was not afraid to differ from his parish and speak 
his mind very plainly on all sorts of questions. Perhaps the people 
took it kindly, perhaps they rebelled; sometimes they prevailed 
against him. Yet it used to be said that the people of Longmeadow 
regarded him as their Maker, with the exception of one rather 
skeptical fellow who alone questioned it. He was not deterred by 
prudential reasons from preaching against any evil, whoever the 
sinner might be. His only thought was to have a conscience void 
of offense toward both God and man. And to make the people 
better, he sought to be a good man himself. "Jan. 12. I have been 
at some* pains to get some Sassafras roots, hoping that they may be 
serviceable to purify the blood. O that God would purify my heart." 
Seeking thus to make body and soul both fit for the Master's use, 
he is able at the age of seventy-three to say that sickness has pre- 
vented him only twice in more than fifty years from preaching to his 
congregation, two sermons one day and one sermon the other; and 
that never had the sacramental service been omitted. If he were 
absent with the army, some brother minister served for him on such 
occasions. 

He was eighty-two when the Revolution broke out, too old a man, 
perhaps, to adapt himself to the new ideas, or fearful that the effort 
of the colonists would be in vain. All his life he had been loyal to 
the king, and it was hard to leave off praying for him. A week after 
Concord and Lexington, he writes: 

"I learn the people are very ready to misrepresent my words even in prayer. 
The Lord be pleased to direct and assist me and keep me from doing anything 
displeasing to His Majesty." Next day: "I perceive the people are out of humor 
with me for things that I have said and done. My own conscience don't upbraid 
me for what they pretend to be uneasy at." 



SNAPSHOTS AT LONGMEADOW PRECINCT 89 

A fortnight later the Stafford minister came to preach for him. 
"He appears a bold and daring man, was very popular and doubt- 
less greatly pleased our warm people. Some of his notions I could 
not join in with. I myself shamefully fell on sleep in the time of the 
forenoon sermon. The Lord be pleased to humble me." 

But the loyal old gentleman continued to pray for the king until 
his patriotic but discourteous parishioners showed their disapproval 
by sitting down noisily when he began that petition. And you can 
see by his language that the Declaration of Independence evoked no 
enthusiasm in his breast. "August 11, 1776. This day I read pub- 
lickly, being required thereto by the Provincial Council, the Declara- 
tion of the Continental Congress for Independency." 

Let me take one snapshot of the first March meeting of the town 
of Longmeadow, after the precinct days were ended. 

"March 23, 1784. Voted to raise a monument over the grave of Rev. Dr. 
Williams on the Town's cost, and that the selectmen be desired to see the same 
effected." 

They did, and upon the old-fashioned table in the quiet church- 
yard you may read this epitome of a long and useful life: — 

In Memory of 

The Rev. Stepuen Williams, D.D. 

who was a prudent and Laborious Minister, 

a sound and evangelical Preacher, 

a pious and exemplary Christian, 

a sincere and faithful Friend, 

a tender and affectionate Father and 

Consort, a polite and hospitable 
Gentleman, and a real and disinterested 
Lover of mankind; departed this life 

with humble and cheerful hope of a 

better, June loth 1782, in the 90th year 

of his age, and 66th of his ministry. 

Softly his fainting head he lay 

Upon his Maker's breast; 
His Maker kissed his soul away 

And laid his flesh to rest. 



90 REMARKS 

Remarks of Mr. J. A. Callahan and others at the meet- 
ing of the Connecticut \ alley Historical Society held 
October 19, 1904. 

Remarks 

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: — 

Mr. Callahan — I did not intend to say anything when I came in, 
but the Speaker asked me to say a few words, and I feel like it, 
because I have been so much interested this evening. I did not 
know what the subjects were to be until I came in here. 

I think we need these local historical societies very much, espe- 
cially when we come to realize how little attention our nation itself 
sometimes pays to historical subjects. 

A few years ago I investigated somewhat Burgoyne's surrender 
and I tried to learn what became of the troops which were captured 
at that time and I found to my surprise that the war department had 
no history as to what became of the prisoners. At the time that 
our representatives went to France to get aid, that nation was very- 
much afraid that we were going into a losing cause. Our history has 
said that two ships were waiting in Boston harbor to learn the result 
of the Battle of Saratoga, and if we were successful in that, France 
would form an alliance with our country. France had promised 
before this event to help this country in case it was successful. 
When I was a boy, in Worcester County, I got interested in Bur- 
goyne's surrender, because I went to the old farm in Rutland where 
they were taking down the barracks where 1,600 soldiers were kept. 
After the surrender the troops were started for Boston and from 
there they were to sail at once for England, as General Gates had 
promised; but Congress refused to sanction those terms, and sent 
word to those men that they could not be shipped across the water 
as Gates had made a strange arrangement with Burgoyne, and if 
they were sent to England, others would be immediately sent over 
to take their places. When they received this message, a part of the 
armies were kept in the town of Rutland one winter. The town 
clerk there has written a great many letters to people who inquired 
about the occurrences of that time and the number of soldiers kept 
there. In Boston in the archives there is a plan of the forts and the 
barracks which were taken down twenty-five years ago. The 



REMARKS 



91 



materials of which the barracks were built are now stored in some 
farmer's barn in the town of Rutland. 

A large part of Burgoyne's army marched through Springfield 
and the rest through Hadley. I have been greatly interested in 
this paper on Burgoyne's surrender. Of the four paintings that 
Congress had Trumbull paint, one was the surrender of Burgoyne. 
These pictures — The Declaration of Independence, the Surrender 
of Burgoyne, the Surrender of Cornwallis and the Resignation of 
General Washington — were painted by Trumbull and are kept as 
national pictures in the Capitol at Washington. 

There are a large number of people in New England who are 
descendants of the Hessian soldiers of Burgoyne's army. A Hessian 
soldier named Hatstaat was a prisoner in Rutland and he petitioned 
the government for leave to become an American citizen. The 
petition was allowed and he went out amongst the people and mar- 
ried Miss Martin and they had fifteen children. I understand there 
are a great many hundred people living here now who are descended 
from Hatstaat, — some live in New Salem and Mr. Cook, of Orange, 
is himself a descendant of this young man who left the prison and 
went to work in the town of Paxton. 

.Mr. Barrows — In reference to the surrender of Burgoyne, my 
great-grandfather said the day of his surrender was a beautiful dav— 
I speak because history has spoken of that fact with apparent 
accuracy. 

I would like to ask Mr. Bailey a question. He tells us that Mr. 
\\ illiams was a descendant of various ministers and he evidently 
belonged to a family of ministers. He told us Mr. Williams had 
eight children. I would like to know whether his descendants are 
living here, and whether there are ministers among them? 

Mr. Bailey — There are certainly some of the descendants of 
Dr. Williams in the Connecticut Valley. George C. Reynolds of 
Van, Turkey, is a grandson of Dr. Williams, and Mrs. Calhoun, who 
has been a missionary in Turkey and is now in Zulu is one of his 
descendants. I do not know as to the Williams descent very much. 
Three of the sons became ministers, and that little Nathan who 
received such a harrowing letter when ten or twelve years old, became 
a doctor of divinity. Some of the granddaughters married ministers. 
A granddaughter married Dr. Storrs, his successor. 



92 REMJRKS 

In regard to the Burgoyne surrender anniversary on the 17th — 
that is the anniversary of the organization of our church under 
Dr. Williams and the granting of the town charter — the first charter 
issued by Massachusetts immediately after the peace of October 17, 
1773. We then ceased to be a precinct and set up in business for 
ourselves. It is quite a day of anniversary. 

Mr. Howard — Who was the immediate successor of Dr. Williams? 

Mr. Bailey — Dr. Storrs, who ministered from 1785 to 1819. Ik- 
had a thirty-four years' pastorate. He died at the untimely age of 
fifty-seven. An epidemic swept through the town and carried off 
the minister among others. But his son was pastor for sixty-two 
years at Braintree and his grandson for thirty-four years in Brooklyn. 

Mr. Howard — Three years ago I went to Braintree, to look back 
upon a time that I spent there — six months — upon a farm in '43 , 
and I recall Dr. Storrs who was a minister there. His ministry there 
was very like the ministry of Dr. Storrs in Longmeadow. That was 
a time when the minister ruled the town with a pretty stern hand. 
He was just giving up when I was there — it was in his latter years. 
The Center, where his house stood, was opposite the church, and I 
saw one place called Storrs' Square, so that the name is being kept 
up from one generation to another. The more brilliant Storrs lived 
and died in Brooklyn — or at any rate, the more accomplished one. 

Mr. Callahan — Speaking of the Williamses, a nephew of the 
great Napoleon married a Miss Williams and a younger brother 
married Betsey Patterson who is the mother of Charles J. Bonaporte 
of Baltimore. 



OLD SPRINGFIELD IN ENGLAND 93 

Quarterly Meeting December 9, 1904 

Miss Mary Louise Dunbar read a paper on "William 
Pynchon and the English Springfield." 

Miss Dunbar in her paper suggested the advisability of 
erecting a statue of the founder of Springfield, on the lawn in 
front of the high school, and the society voted unanimously 
to exercise its best endeavor to further the project. 

Rev. Thomas D. Howard read a paper on "Col. John 
Worthington." 

Old Springfield in England 

'^1 fif UCH of pleasure and of profit for us is found in looking 
Vk / V baC k t0 thc beginnings of New England, and following 

1 YJi those lines across the sea which lead us to our earlier 
ancestors and their English, French, or Scotch homes. 
Happy are we in our inheritance of strength, industry, courage and 
conscience. We know that the development of New England in the 
great ideas in which it had its origin is connected closely with the 
men who were identified with those ideas. 

The source of much of the progress of modern times, came 
through their firm belief in the right and duty of individual judg- 
ment in all matters of truth and justice, and the testing of all prin- 
ciples by the Bible teaching, reason and conscience. If these heroic 
men failed of carrying out their highest ideals, we do not dwell upon 
their defects and inconsistencies, but upon their honest intentions 
and their services. Many a time in a larger outlook into the world, 
we are led to thank God, for the inheritance they left us. It was in 
Touraine last winter, that a French lady said to me: "The Ameri- 
cans are less prejudiced against and more courteous to our religion 
than some English Protestants." Was I not glad to answer: "Our 
ancestors came to America to establish religious toleration." 

\\ hile France with ideals of liberty is a republic, may we not 
remember that our way to the establishment of a republic was easier 
because of that compact in the cabin of the Mayflower which ar- 
ranged for public schools at that early date, and better prepared the 
people for liberty, and the education of the masses. Looking into 
the face of the portrait of William Pynchon, the leader of the Spring- 



94 OLD SPRINGFIELD IN ENGLAND 

field Colony, and its first magistrate, we are satisfied that great as 
was his official part in the affairs of the early settlement, his in- 
fluence was greatest in what he was as a man. 

I fancy that his mind was occupied with the grand ideas of the 
Reformation, rather than controversy as to vestments and forms of 
worship. He was, I am sure, of the Puritans, who desired to return 
to the simple faith of the primitive church and a purer morality, to 
an unrestricted study of the Bible, and the exaltation of preaching 
and Christian instruction, with no terrible animosity against 
liturgies and antiphonal chants. So strong was his influence, that 
in our city, we naturally think of him first, of all the brave men who 
made of an Indian trail through the forests, the Bay path, which led 
from the eastern settlement to the one they founded upon the banks 
of the great river, and which he afterwards named for his old home 
in England. 

There are many shrines over the sea, for the pilgrimage of Ameri- 
can feet, and after the great historic places, there can be none more 
interesting to us than the little village of Springfield, a suburb of 
Chelmsford. 

I could but smile at the solicitude of a kind English lady on the 
steamer when we told her we were bound for that little nook in the 
byways of Essex. "But, you know," she said, "tourists do not go 
into Essex; it is a flat uninteresting country." Earnestly she urged 
the superior charms of the English lakes: Devonshire, Kent, and 
Surrey and blossoming Warwick. Apart from our interesting asso- 
ciations with Springfield, she could hardly understand how weary 
the traveler's feet sometimes become of beaten tracks, and how glad 
one is to wander into some quiet corner, where the world is almost 
shut out and a flavor of the past preserved. It is true that Essex 
is less known than the rest of England. Yet it is second to no 
•country in historic interest, and has many a picturesque nook and 
old world town hidden within its borders. Its green meadows with 
their lines of willows marking the little streams, its undulating and 
wooded slopes, its cottage homes nestling among thick trees, give it 
a beauty all its own. Its fresh verdure is good for tired eyes. We 
must go to Springfield by the Great Eastern Railway, taking it at 
Fen Church Street, for the County of Essex touches the East of Lon- 
don, and the first glimpses from the car window are not cheerful. 

Yet they can well be called interesting to one who has read 



OLD SPRINGFIELD IN ENGLAND 95 

Walter Besant's "All Sorts and Conditions of Men," and can see that 
Mile End, Spitalfields and Bow have a greater air of respectability 
than before the "People's. Palace" tried to realize the dream of the 
author, and the brave slum workers, and the Salvation Army pene- 
trated with their blessed help into crowded streets and reeking 
alleys. In Bethnal Green and Stepney forests of chimney pots rise 
above roofs that almost touch each other; but the blocks of cottages 
speak of comfort, and there are little gardens at the back of them 
with scarlet beans and hollyhocks flaunting above the high fences. 

Since the days of Eden a garden has been associated with human 
happiness. Surely the work people of the cottages amid their brick 
and mortar must get near to the great heart of nature, in these bits 
of blossoming soil. 

We pass next the picturesque glades of what is still left of the 
old Essex forests with trees unfamiliar to American eyes: English 
oaks, blackthorn, hawthorn, beeches and the hornbeam. Essex is 
a fat land, as well as a flat land, and the well watered farms speak 
of prosperity. 

The green distance takes on a softer hue; here and there rise 
mounds of chalk; under the rich soil of Essex is also a thick bed of 
London clay from which bricks of such a somber, depressing hue are 
made. There is no cathedral in the county; it belongs to the Sec 
of Canterbury, but its Abbeys and religious houses were many and 
wealthy. A flavor of antiquity lingers about many a farm house by 
the way. There are touches of old time life that appeal to the im- 
agination. 

Nor is the romance of history lacking in green and quiet Essex. 
It derives its name from the Saxon Conquest, a combination and 
abbreviation of East Saxon. In the heart of the forest the British 
Queen Boadicea took her brave stand and met defeat in the year 
61. Chelmsford and Colchester have some Roman relics. Helen, 
the mother of Constantine, is said to have been born in Colchester, 
which was a town 2,000 years ago. Edward the Confessor had his 
favorite residence at Havering Atte Bower. The first abiding place 
in England of William the Conqueror was at Barking Abbey. Wat 
Tyler's insurrection began in the county, because of grievous taxes 
for foreign wars. 

Henry VIII had several residences here; and the old embattled 
turreted tower of Anne Boleyn's Castle still stands at East Ham. 



96 OLD SPRINGFIELD IN ENGLAND 

Elizabeth made frequent visits to old halls and manor houses here, 
and when England rejoiced madly over the defeat of the Spanish 
Armada, reviewed her troops, at Tilbury. Chelmsford was originally 
the ford of the Chclmer. Its suburb of Springfield, a mile from the 
center, gave us our name through the thought of William Pynchon 
for the old home he left there. I was wrongly told in my childhood 
that our city was named from its many Springs, but that is literally 
true of its forbear over the sea. As we wandered on, we wondered if 
the name of Springfield was given by its founder in some moment of 
longing for his early home; or did he see a likeness in sloping hill, 
soft meadows, the drooping branches of great trees, and the water 
courses, which even now suggest a resemblance, though the English 
Springfield is still very rural. 

At the station in Chelmsford one recognizes an old English town. 
It was brightened here and there by the scarlet coats of wanderers 
from the Essex Rifles. The Shire Hall (pronounced for some mys- 
terious reason, "Shireau") erected in 1792 is rather imposing; 
the old fountain is good; there is a statue of Sir Nicholas Tyndall, 
bom in Chelmsford in 1 776. No tramcars rumbled, clashed and 
clattered along the streets, yet it was the first city in England to be 
lighted by electricity. Chelmsford is evidently not entirely behind 
the times, since we saw a horrible shrieking motor cycle fastened to 
a little carriage in which sat a good sized yearling baby, serene, rosy 
and dimpled like most English babies. Chelmsford, however, seems 
to disport itself generally on horseback, or in two wheeled chaises. 

No doubt the town has greatly changed since William Pynchon 
walked its streets more than 274 years ago; but he must have seen 
Guy Hartings, a building of great antiquity in New street, for it 
was erected soon after the conquest; and there are other old halls 
and mansions, other tipping, queer roofed buildings which stood in 
his day. There is a grammar school here founded by Edward VI. 

The Springfield road as it is called crosses two picturesque 
branches of the Chelmer, and leads into a peaceful calm, as great as 
any fabled Lotus Land. It is one of the quietest nooks in England. 
Within grim and grewsome walls the county gaol occupies five acres 
at the brow of the hill, the only discordant note in the whole pastoral. 
The bird songs at "Meadow Side" opposite were entrancing. I am 
sure that the constant association in our minds of this sweet village 
with our own dear Springfield so far away increased the pathos and 



OLD SPRINGFIELD IN ENGLAND 97 

ravishing tenderness of a song which we heard here at nightfall. 
We were told it must have been that of a goldfinch, for we were too 
late in the season for the nightingale; yet their dearest haunts are 
in these byways of Essex, though they are exceptionally rare in the 
park of the pleasant village of Havering Atte Bower, where Edward 
the Confessor once had a castle. According to a legend, the pious 
Saxon King prayed for their removal because they disturbed his 
even song. I am sure that the throngs of them in Springfield help 
rather than hinder the devotions of the people. 

Beyond the hill are modern villas which copy the old buildings 
in style, within hedges, walls and flowering gardens. Then there 
are more quaint old ivy draped buildings with bulging walls and age 
crumbling roofs. Turning a corner from the Springfield road, we 
pass down a grass bordered street to the green at the side of the 
church where also is an old ivy draped mansion. A flock of sheep, 
tended by a small boy, spread themselves out in quiet content, 
crossing and recrossing the road at their own sweet will, while the 
little shepherd modelled from the clay which he had taken from the 
brook close by, a sheep which in this incipient condition would 
never have prompted a Cimabue to adopt a Giotto. Our desire for 
some tangible association with William Pynchon was gratified in the 
vestfy of the quaint old Norman church of "All Saints" where is a 
tablet inscribed with his name as one of the wardens. And I am 
told that his name is also written high up in the old tower in con- 
nection with figures relating to the renovating of the church; but 
this we did not see. If one goes back 300 years in the history of a 
family which came to England with the Conqueror, it is rare to find 
the record of a name which is more than that which can be read 
between the lines written on uneven marble slabs in footworn church 
floors, or on mossy old stones in kirk yards. The preeminence of 
\\ illiam Pynchon in character, intellect, activity and usefulness is 
emphasized by the fact that, meagre as the account may seem we 
can say so much about him. There was a haunting thought of the 
man in all the roads and lanes of his birthplace. We knew him from 
the record of his active life in America, not as an austere and gloomy 
Puritan, but a gentleman, large minded, wise and just, one who had 
the lofty virtues and severe self-restraint of the honest Puritan, but 
who could be conscientious without being too severe. 

We entered the green church yard of "All Saints," through the 



98 OLD SPRINGFIELD IN ENGLAND 

Lych Gate, very rarely left in these old Norman churches, and in the 
first place a Saxon addition to them, Lych meaning corpse or body. 
(Our English word likeness is said to be derived from it, that is, 
bodily resemblance.) Under the slanting roof of this gate, the dead 
were placed for a prayer and some ceremonies before borne to the 
church or last resting place. "The dusky shroud of death " seemed 
emphasized on either side of the narrow path through the church 
yard, for there were many graves covered between two mossy old 
upright stones with stone representations of coffins. Hoary and 
tree embowered, the old church stands as the embodiment of the 
faith of ages. There is something left of the old Romish atmos- 
phere in the interior, which like that of all the old Norman churches 
in England was influenced by Saxon simplicity. One can mark the 
places where Protestant hands have removed emblems of the old 
form of worship. At the end of the nave is a mortuary chapel. 
Font and carvings, chancel screen and brasses are well worth seeing 
in themselves. Underneath the battlements outside of the low 
square tower is written: "Prayse God for all ye good benefactors." 
The tree embowered rectory with its high hedge, nearly opposite 
the tower of the church, is as old worldly as one could wish. 

Springfield is said by the people of the hamlet to have been the 
"Deserted Village" of Goldsmith. It is proved that he lived in a 
house near the church for two years. It is asserted positively that 
in that house he wrote his poem. I find that Howitt in his "Homes 
of the Poets," in speaking of Lissoy, the home of the poet's childhood 
and the place generally accepted as the Deserted Village of Auburn, 
says: "In all Goldsmith's description of his Auburn, he has closely 
blended the Doric charm of an English Village with the fond boyish 
memories of his actual native place." Howitt does not seem to 
know of the poet's residence in Springfield, though he speaks of his 
ten years' wanderings in England; but it is interesting to find such 
indirect sanction of the traditions of the people, who assert just 
this: that he combined Lissoy and Springfield in his Auburn. 

It was, however, Lissoy which was really destroyed, and although 
a Mr. Hogan rebuilt "The Three Jolly Pigeons " there, to reproduce 
the ale house of the poem from the description, and in his zeal 
ludicrously embedded in the mortar for safekeeping: 

The broken teacups wisely kept for show 
Ranged o'er the chimney glistening in a row 



OLD SPRINGFIELD IN ENGLAND 99 

the still standing "Three Cups" of the Springfield road, honestly 
and much more perfectly represents the inn of the poem. 

The people whom we met were most kindly and courteous; very 
much interested to hear of the thriving great daughter of their 
little village over the sea. Generally they had the usual astonish- 
ment of the rural people of England, that Americans should speak 
so much like themselves, and expressed the inevitable wonder that 
we had not the American accent, their impression of that probably 
derived from Josh Billings and the stage Yankee. It is a relief some- 
times to remember the brightness of a young American girl who 
responded to such patronizing praise of her speech from a young 
Englishman: "Oh well you know it isn't strange, for an English 
clergyman once preached to my tribe." Springfield, by the way, is 
the only place in England where we met no Americans. There were, 
however, treasured traditions of a few who had been there, and Mrs. 
Overman of our city lived there a little while. Everything of a 
business nature was very primitive. The postmistress of Spring- 
field Hill opened her vine wreathed back door as we knocked at a bit 
of a house perhaps nine feet square, whose lettering denoted it the 
office. It is set down among the flower beds of the pretty garden, 
flanked by great tree trunks twined thickly with ivy, and trellises 
of climbing roses. She herself was rosy and golden-haired, but she 
had very vague ideas of the present place of two letters, which she 
remembered came to us two weeks before. William Pynchon, 
gentleman, lived in this quiet village because as a younger son his 
father received an estate here, which belonged to his mother's 
dowry. One must go to Writtle, two miles and a half west, the 
ancestral home of the Pynchons, for closer association with 
them. Let the drive be through the Margaretting woods, a part of 
the old Epping and Hainault forests, which once covered Essex; 
now deep in bosky shades, now out in the sunlight which slants over 
shimmering meadows and farms. The happiness of the world seems 
printed on the fair landscape. Passing into the cool green shadow 
again you come out by some old hall with queer gables rising above 
secluding walls, where joy and sorrow alternated as now, "a long 
while since, a long, long time ago." Writtle is very ancient, said to 
have been of note, when Chelmsford was unknown. The old battle- 
mented Norman church in which the Pynchons worshipped for 
generations, has not the hoary appearance of All Saints in Spring- 



ioo OLD SPRINGFIELD IN ENGLAND 

field. Its tower fell in 1802 and it has been rebuilt, but in the old 
lines. It has many interesting memorials, monuments and brasses, 
but to us there is the attraction of the chancel, which is nearly filled 
with the monuments and memorial brasses of the honored Pynchon 
family. (Mrs. Powers' paper upon William Pynchon contains the 
results of the careful research of Dr. Pynchon of Hartford here.) 

It is said that so deeply rooted was the esteem and regard that 
the Indians felt for Mr. Pynchon and his family, that 100 years after 
the settlement of Springfield, the tribe desired to do special honor 
to his descendants. It remains to be seen what this thriving city 
will do to commemorate its founder, its noble magistrate and wise 
leader, who chose this beautiful spot by the Connecticut, and named 
it in tender memory after his old home in England. America has 
reason to be proud of her sculptors, who rank with the best in the 
world. One of the greatest geniuses of them all has given us the 
stern, strong Puritan, stalking away from the Episcopal church. 
(So unintentionally historically correct, for that is exactly what 
good Dea. Samuel Chapin did in his lifetime!) Should there not 
be an equally worthy memorial to William Pynchon, gentleman and 
scholar, to whom we owe the beginning of the existence of our fair 
city? Purses long and generous have opened nobly for the good and 
embellishment of Springfield. Would that one were ready for this 
object! Yet the history of Florence the Beautiful proves to us the 
gain where many share in such an undertaking. The Tuscan city 
was no doubt helped to her preeminence in art by the general love 
and knowledge of it, which grew among the people, because her 
statues and churches were not always the gift of grand dukes and 
princes, but more often of the trade guilds. When an artist was 
chosen by the people to put his ideal into the subject they had 
selected, each mind and heart followed him in the work, and appre- 
ciation of art and beauty became universal. Who shall say that 
special inspiration did not come to her artists from the sympathv 
of the people and their ability to criticize? Is it not possible that 
Springfield may give and receive in this way, beginning with a 
tribute to its founder, William Pynchon, gentleman? 




COL. JOHN WORTHINGTON 101 

Mr. Howard's paper: 

Col. John Worthington 

R. Judson Worthington Hastings of Agawam, in answer 
to my letter of inquiry , kindly gives this genealogical 
and local information: 

"Nicolas, the emigrant ancestor of the Worthingtons, 
is said to have come in the year 1649 or 1650 from the south part of 
Lancashire, near Liverpool, England. He came from Hatfield, then 
part of Hadley, to Agawam. His residence was where the old 
tavern, which I remember, stood. It is in the south part of the town, 
on the car line. There is a sign, 'Worthington Corner', on the spot. 
He was twice married. By his second wife he had two sons, Jona- 
than and John, the latter called Lieutenant John. Jonathan and 
his descendants have, except for a few years, owned and occupied 
the homestead. The present owner is Mrs. Ellen Worthington 
Wood sum; a brother, Albert E. Worthington, lives on it." 

Sprague's Annals contains a memorandum (in connection with a 
notice of Rev. William Worthington), of his grandfather, Nicolas: 
"He was wounded in the Cromwellian wars; lost the whole or part 
of his estate by confiscation, and came to this country about 1656." 

Lieut. John Worthington is styled in deeds recorded at the registry 
office, in 1729 as "innholder"; in 1736 as "shopkeeper;" and in 
1738, six years before his decease, as "gentleman". April 16, 1812, 
he bought of the widow and heirs of Elizur Holyoke three tracts of 
land, the second and third lying on the east side of Main Street, 
between the present Bridge an'd Worthington Streets. The first 
tract, seven and a half acres, is described as bounded north by John 
Pynchon and south by land of the Parsons's. This became the 
Worthington homestead. 

Thomas B. Warren, who, surrounded by bulky tomes, seems at 
home in Springfield's past, and who has furnished me with all the 
knowledge of conveyances that I shall impart, appends this interest- 
ing note regarding the parties from whom this property was bought: 
"William Pynchon's daughter, Mary, married Elizur Holyoke, and 
these are her heirs." This link connects the first with the second 
century of Springfield. 

John, the subject of my paper, was born November 20, 1719. 



102 COL. JOHN WORTHINGTON 

There were two other children, Samuel, who died in his thirty-sixth 
year, and Sarah, who married Rev. John Hooker. Grandsons of 
John and Mary Hooker were John Hooker Ashmun, Royall professor 
of law in the Harvard law school, whose death at the age of thirty- 
two was mourned as a distinct loss to legal science, and Hon. George 
Ashmun. 

Three divisions in the life I propose to sketch suggest themselves: 
the first is twenty-five years, preparatory; the second, thirty years 
of work; and the third, twenty-five of retirement. 

In the first period there was the preparation for college. Of this 
we have no record, nor of his college course. That, "he graduated 
at Yale college in the year 1740, where he was some time tutor, and 
left there in 1743, and read law, as is supposed about a year, with 
Gen. Lyman at Suffield," we have on the authority of Mr. Bliss's 
historical address. As four years elapsed between his graduation 
and admission to the bar, it would seem probable that law reading 
went along with his work as instructor, details being learned in the 
law office mentioned. 

Second, the busy years. The practice of law was entered on in 
1744. This is the year in which Lieutenant Worthington, the 
father, died. The terms of his will show with what pecuniary ad- 
vantages the young man started on his business career. After pro- 
vision made for the support out of the estate of Mrs. Worthington 
during her widowhood, it was directed that the sons, John and 
Samuel, should receive equal shares of the real and personal prop- 
erty. To the daughter, Sarah, was bequeathed out of the estate, 
one-half as much as had been given to either of the sons, to be paid 
her by them. With the discharge of this obligation, the two brothers 
came into possession of the homestead and the entire landed prop- 
erty. But the young practitioner evidently had no intention to 
subsist on his patrimony. Robert O. Morris, who has rendered me 
very valuable assistance, showed me three books which contain the 
private docket of Colonel Worthington. Closely written, two lines 
naming plaintiff and defendant being the description of each case, 
are many crowded pages. Many of these were doubtless small, but 
for each one some preparation must have been made. Xot a few- 
concerned large interests. It would seem that in practically all the 
more important trials in Hampshire County, Colonel Worthington 
was counsel for one of the parties, with Major Hawley of Korthamp- 



COL. JOHN WORTHINGTON 103 

ton as his opponent. As regards the territorial extent of his practice, 
Mr. Bliss says- "Colonel Worthington usually attended the courts 
in Worcester and after Berkshire was made a county, the court of 
common pleas there." 

That the emoluments from his law business were considerable- 
appears from successive acquisitions of real property. In January, 
1750, he bought out Samuel, thus coming into full possession of the 
paternal landed estate. The number of deeds to both the John 
Worthingtons are found by Mr. Warren to be about two hundred 
and fifty. The scriptural proverb may truthfully be applied to 
Colonel Worthington: "The hand of the diligent maketh rich." 

To the acquisitions of land in Springfield and West Springfield 
must be added a large interest in another part of the county. A 
recorded deed shows that Aaron Willard, Jr., of Lancaster, bought 
June 2, 1762, of a committee of the General Assembly of the Prov- 
ince of Massachusetts Bay, the new township No. 3, for the joint 
interest of himself and four others, who are named. According to 
General Rice's history of the town of Worthington, two members of 
this syndicate, John Worthington and Selah Barnard, subseqeuntly 
became sole proprietors. The enterprise was successful. The 
sections into which the tract was divided were rapidly bought and 
occupied. In six years after the original purchase the plantation was 
incorporated as a town. The town history says: "In honor of 
Colonel Worthington, who liberally induced the early settlers to 
occupy the land, by the erection of a church and a grist-mill at his 
own expense, together with a generous assignment of ministerial and 
school lots for the use of the town, the town was called Worthing- 
ton." (The gifts named in- this paragraph are elsewhere in the 
volume ascribed to the two proprietors jointly. 

Colonel Worthington was a frequent representative of the town 
in the General Assembly of the province. Of his standing and his 
eloquence wc have the testimony of one who wrote from personal 
knowledge; in a letter preserved by Mr. Morris, from Percy Morton, 
who had been attorney-general, to Mr. Bliss. Acknowledging re- 
ceipt of a copy of the historical address, the writer says: 

"Two of the great men you describe who were formerly the orna- 
ment of your bar I well remember, Colonel Worthington and Major 
Hawley; not, however, as advocates at the bar, but as rival politi- 
cians in the Legislature in the times of our greatest political con- 



io 4 COL. JOHN WORTHINGTON 

trovcrsics, previous to the Revolution. The former of these gentle- 
men was denominated the leader of the government party; and, 
young as I then was, I felt that your character of him as an advocate 
was equally appropriate to him in deliberate debate: 'his mind was 
ardent, his imagination lively and his feelings strong,' that, 'his 
style was nervous, forcible and uncommonly correct,' and, 'although 
on the unpopular side of every question, he was many times very 
powerful.' 

It would seem to be in place here to attempt some estimate of the 
native disposition and the character of the subject of my sketch. 
Of the first it may be said in brief that he was born to rule. He was 
endowed with a will power which enabled him almost always to 
dominate — almost always. In a plot in the Springfield cemetery, 
about twenty rods southerly from the Pine Street entrance, in which 
six generations are represented, there is a range of three headstones 
which mark children's graves. The first is inscribed, "John, son of 
John Wotthington, Esq., and Mrs. Hannah Worthington, was born 
August 10, 1762, and died August 30, 1763," having lived, it will be 
seen, one year and twenty days. The other two headstones are 
inscribed respectively, John, second son, and John, third son, with 
dates showing that eacli lived but a few months. A remark has been 
preserved (people will make remarks) that Colonel Worthington 
strove with the Almighty, he himself contending that a John Wor- 
thington should continue on the face of the earth. If failure was the 
outcome of this contest, mastery was generally gained in other rela- 
tions. Captain Ferrel's indignant outburst, "Colonel Worthington 
rules this town with a rod of iron," was not without justification in 
fact. 

Even difference of opinion received but scant toleration. A con- 
versation is related between my grandfather and himself, in which 
the former said that he expected to live to sec a bridge across the 
Connecticut River. The reply was, "Parson Howard, you talk like 
a fool." The event predicted fell far within my grandfather's time. 
In the autobiography of Rev. Dr. Joseph Lathrop there is this 
memorandum: — 

In October, 1805, the great bridge between Springfield and West Springfield, which 
is nearly 70 rods long and cost about £37,000 was completed, and the 30th day of 
that month appointed for opening it, Mr. Howard, the minister of Springfield, being 
infirm, application was made to me to deliver a discourse on that day. The day was 
fine, the assembly numerous and profoundly attentive. 



COL. JOHN WORTHINGTON 10.5 

The character of Colonel Worthington, the native qualities devel- 
oped under the discipline of cherished principles, commanded 
respect. The sternness with which he dominated over others seems 
to have been brought to bear on his own conduct. It does not 
appear that even the hostility excited by his political opinions called 
forth reproaches impugning his uprightness. His influence was 
exerted in favor of the proprieties of life and good morals. He was 
doubtless a terror to evil doers. 

A member of the church of the First Parish, he was active in its 
affairs. His name appears as serving on important committees. 
His religion was more of the type of the previous century than that 
of his own time. He was a strict Sabbatarian. There is a tradition 
that by his express command, which in domestic affairs closely 
resembled the laws of the Medes and Persians, the beds of the house 
hold which were risen from on Sunday morning were left unmade 
until after the sun-setting. Colonel Worthington remained a 
bachelor until he had reached the age of forty years. He was mar- 
ried January 10, 1759, to Hannah Hopkins, daughter of Rev. Samuel 
Hopkins of West Springfield and Esther Edwards, sister of Jonathan 
Edwards. Mrs. Worthington died November 25, 1766, at the age 
of thirty-five, leaving four young children, daughters. Her brief 
characterization in the Genealogy is, "Remarkable for her benevo- 
lence." 

A second marriage, December 7, 1 768, was with Man' Stoddard, 
daughter of Col. John Stoddard of Northampton and Prudence 
Chester. She died July 12, 1812. That motherly love and care was 
bestowed on the children and gratefully remembered, was attested 
by the name, Mary Stoddard, given to the first-born child of one of 
her step-daughters. 

The twenty-five years named as the third period began in 1775. 
The occasion was the parting of the ways respectively chosen by the 
patriots and the royalists. Judge Henry Morris in his contribution 
to King's handbook, treats Colonel Worthington's toryism very 
gently. After stating that he was king's attorney in Hampshire 
County and could have been attorney-general for the state if he had 
chosen to accept the office. Judge Morris says: "His relations with 
the government and his associations with its officers kept him from 
sympathy with the popular cause." 

It seems to me that more fundamental than this influence or, 



106 COL. JOHX WORTHINCTON 

indeed, any prompting from without, was his inborn conservatism 
With him, "Whatever is" was not only right but ought to be unin- 
terruptible - continuous. His contemptuous reply to the suggestion 
of a bridge would seem to say, "There will not be a bridge and ought 
not to be; the ferry and ice-bridge are established and should not 
be superseded." 

The monarchial system of government, too, was most in accord- 
ance with the temper of his mind. Like the extreme federalists of 
the years immediately following the close of the War of the Revolu- 
tion, he believed in the centralization of governmental authority. 
The honesty with which he held to his convictions can hardly be 
doubted; but the result was complete severance from affairs of 
state, in which he had taken so prominent a part. 

To one whose temperament was such as to crave action, this 
enforced idleness must have been a sore trial. It may well have been 
during this period that he selected or composed the pessimistic lines, 
inscribed over his grave: — 

There's not a day but to tlie man of thought 
Betrays some secret and throws new reproach 
On life, and makes him sick of seeing more. 
Then welcome death. 
Death of all pain the period, not of joy. 

His last prolonged illness was attended by mental failure which 
culminated in the condition of second childhood. To this loss of 
mind Mr. Bliss alludes, when he says of Colonel Worthington, that 
"he was capable of communicating much legal information, while 
his health and ability to converse continued." He died April 25, 
1800, in the eighty-first year of his age. 

I will close with a thought which has taken form in my mind while 
seeking for material preparatory to this attempted sketch. The 
reflection was suggested by the paucity of memorials of its subject. 
There is no diary, and, I presume, no regular correspondence pre- 
served. There was no Boswell by, with note-book in hand. Inscrip- 
tions on sepulchral tables and headstones furnish almost the only 
indubitable testimony. The opening stanza of a standard didactic 
hymn was brought to mind: — 

Wherefore should man, frail child of clay, 
Who from the cradle to the shroud 
Lives but the insect of a day. 
Oh, why should mortal man be proud? 



COL. JOHN WORTHINGTON 107 

The reasoning pursued in these lines is sound, and the answer 
proceeding from any well-regulated mind to the question proposed 
is, "Sure enough, why should he?" 

The implied argument presented in the stanza, based on the 
brevity of human life, would seem to be sufficient, but I will venture 
to add another, namely, the brevity of fame. Here was a man pre- 
eminent in town, and of high standing among the great men of 
county and state. His name was spoken with general admiration, 
and yet only a scrap remains in the annals of his time, "The sum, 
the abstract of the historian's page." 

But there is another side to this. If this outlook into the future 
seems to discourage rightful ambition and to dissuade from the 
output of vigorous effort, a promise is held forth which may serve 
as an antidote. There is what has been aptly termed "unrecorded 
history". In this volume (the register of society's well-being and 
progress), there is written out in indelible characters the narrative 
of every life-work. Colonel Worthington, for the space of nearly a 
full generation, was a power preservative of good order. Whether 
as moderator of the town-meeting, or as censor of public morals, the 
potency of his stern sway was controlling for regularity. A con- 
servative certainly, but for safe advance conservatives are essential, 
brakcmen on the moving train. Always on the unpopular side at 
the state capitol, according to the testimony of Attorney-General 
Morton; but stalwart defenders of unpopular causes are always 
requisite. A vigorous opposition is the price of purity and safety in 
state and nation. The unrecorded history of the subject of this 
sketch is faithfully preserved in the steps of progress by which our 
municipality has advanced, even as the successive strata of rock 
testify to the formation of the solid earth. 

The moral, if one need be drawn, is, that each one will devote to 
the common weal his individuality, controlled by a sense of duty, 
guided by a conscience illumined by the fullest enlightenment 
attainable, if the record can be that, "in simplicity and godly sin- 
cerity we have had our conversation in the world," there need be no 
fear that it will fail of registration. 



io8 SPRINGFIELD IN RETROSPECT 

Quarterly Meeting February 8, 1905 

It was voted that a committee of three be appointed by 
the President with full power to solicit funds and to take all 
necessary measures for the erection of a statue of William 
Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, on the lawn in front of 
the high school, or in any other suitable location, which in the 
opinion of the committee may seem more desirable. Charles 
H. Barrows, Robert O. "Morris and Henry A. Booth were 
appointed. 

Nehemiah Hawkins of New York City read a paper on 
"Springfield in Retrospect and in Prospect." 

Springfield in Retrospect and in Prospect 

WISH I knew who it was and the circumstances relating to 

its bringing that planted the first rose in Springfield. 1 am 

sure it was a gentlewoman — one perchance in the storied 

form of Mary Pynchon — possibly by one like Margaret Bliss, 

whom many still remember so well, with her soft dark eyes and 

willowy .form, passing in and out during a long life of unselfish 

devotion, loving and beloved. 

Consider! there was certainly the first time when the Royal 
Red Rose of far-away Persia bloomed upon the banks of the Con- 
necticut. 

Was it during the year 1636, the first of the settlement? Prob- 
ably, yes! However that may be, this superb flower has shed its 
fragrance upon the willing air and delighted the eyes of uncounted 
thousands from that distant time until now; the flowering time, 
as well as the seed time, have never failed. 

In a letter written to my dear mother by myself, June 6, 1902, 
just as she was entering the last half of her hundredth year, occur 
these words, "This is the month of roses in Springfield and I recall 
how glorious they show in the good old town. I trust you are having 
your share of them in your room and will remember me when you 
enjoy their heaven-sent perfume." This letter was returned to 
me after my mother's death, which took place lacking only thirty- 
five days of the century mark, and by mere accident I note what I 
then wrote in the letter, and now quote as above. 


















. ' 



~ 



^y/a^J^nJ 















AND IN PROSPECT 109 

We have in New York, the presence, most of the year, of a 
kindly Scot, of whom this is told: "At Skibo Castle, Mr. Carnegie 
has, during the summer, a beautiful rose garden. There are thou- 
sands of red and white and yellow roses blooming there, and the 
villagers are free to saunter in the garden paths to their hearts' 
content. One day the head gardener waited upon Mr. Carnegie. 

" 'Sir,' he said, 'I wish to lodge a complaint.' 

" 'Well?' said the master. 

" 'Well, sir,' the gardener began, 'I wish to inform you that 
the village folk are plucking the roses in your rose garden. They 
are denuding your rose trees, sir.' 

'Ah,' said Mr. Carnegie, gently, 'my people are fond of flowers, 
are they, Donald? Then you must plant more.' " 

Do you know that David, across three thousand years, still 
speaks to us in holy writ of "the glory of the grass and the splendor 
of the flower"? He does. 

I well remember the day I fell in love with Springfield— such a 
love as I have for no other — "Sweet Auburn, lovliest village of the 
plain," and it was the red rose that enchanted me; the enchantment 
still holds after more than fifty years. I had been away, and on my 
return, a boy of twelve, perhaps, the June flowers had come and I 
saw them in a new light; the town was buried in verdure and bloom, 
and from that time to me it has been the city of roses. Now, year 
by year, as the June time comes, my heart yearns for a renewal of 
the emotions of that never-to-be-forgotten season. There were 
other flowers in abundance. May I name some of them — the pink, 
the hyacinth, the marigold, the chrysanthemum, the violet, the 
hollyhock, the larkspur, the narcissus, the tulip, the aster, the wall 
flower, the dahlia, the white lily. These were, and are, still to be 
found in Old as well as New England. 

And again the fruits, which at times and in their seasons gratified 
my boy appetite; they are, too, too many to name, except perhaps 
the chestnuts, the walnuts and the melons. Of these, I may add that 
I am confident that none of our parents planted any walnut trees, 
nor chestnut trees — nor melon vines! and yet "we boys" never 
lacked for a generous proportionof what thefertile grounds produced. 

Thus it became easy for me to write in those early years spent 
on the verge of civilization, in the great treeless plains of the West — 
largely destitute of fruits and flowers, — 



no SPRINGFIELD IN RETROSPECT 

Where'er I go, whatever climes to see 

My heart untraveled turns to thee; 

To thee, my brother, turns with endless pain 

And drags at each remove a lengthening chain. 

Of one thing I was proud and thankful — that of being a high 
school boy. In my time of 1850-1852 there were probably six or 
eight of these schools; but in 1900 the extraordinary number of 6,005. 

"There was once a philanthropist who ate up all the chowder 
in a Bowery restaurant. 'There,' he said, 'the next fellow will get 
something fresh.' " Unlike this humble philanthropist, I find that 
the board has been already swept quite clean and dry in the way of 
personal experience and "historical remains," leaving but little 
of interest to be added by me, hence, the main part of this paper 
will deal, all too briefly, with Springfield in prospect. 

Still I may reminisce a little — thus — 

In the year 1839 I remember standing, with my father, who was 
at that time master mechanic of the Western railroad, and being 
interested in the building of the railroad bridge across the Con- 
necticut river. At that moment it was constructed but little more 
than half the distance across. Just before this I recall coming by 
the railroad to Springfield in "a day coach." This should be written 
in the plural, for the cars were of the "platform" style- — each 
arranged with several stagecoach bodies so that they were entered 
on the side. This is the very earliest form of passenger cars shown 
in old engravings, for it was in the very, very earliest days of railroad 
building, that year, 1839. 

Upon the arrival of our family we put up at the railroad hotel 
kept and owned by John Goodrich in the northwest corner of Main 
and Hampden streets. This was a wooden building standing fifty 
feet back from Main street and about fifty feet from Hampden 
street. The lot adjoined the Massasoit lot and upon its rear end 
Mr. Goodrich "prepared" Canadian horses, for the West Indies, 
and for plantation use in the South. He also trained trotting horses 
for the Boston market. It was a brave sight to see the high-stepping, 
bob-tailed horses being driven up and down Main street; a favorite 
exercise ground being the road to Round Hill and return. 

After a winter's sojourn on High street, during which my brother 
Frank was born, who has, as he wrote this month, just "passed 
safely" his sixty-fifth birthday, the family settled for some years 



AND IN PROSPECT m 

on Main street, on the southwest corner of Hampden street and 
opposite the Goodrich hotel. We were living there in 1840 and from 
that time on, 1 saw nearly everything that was "doing" and could 
fill a small volume with the events of happy busy days that ended 
in 1852, when, as a boy of eighteen, I went West with a party of 
railroad contractors at a wage of #12.00 per month and expenses. 

The house in which the family lived on Main street adjoined 
the Pynchon place, where dwelt the aged Mr. Pynchon, his wife 
and children. Among the latter, there were William, the farmer; 
Daniel, the West Point cadet; two daughters — one, Mary, a lovely 
and fragile girl, who died in early womanhood; and John Pynchon, 
in my eyes, a great and noble fellow of twenty. 

The Pynchon place was a home of abundance, — horses, cattle, 
lands, houses and withal, honor were among their possessions. The 
two families became very intimate and it is pleasant to remember 
that in 1864 and thereabouts, a quarter of a century afterwards, 
that my John Pynchon was operating a steam car axle factory 
within half a mile of my own steam flour mills, with the old friend- 
ship still surviving. 

It is worth recording that the Pynchon family and the Hawkins 
family, thus living kindly neighbors, were representatives and 
descendants in 1840 of their noble ancestors, who in the same year, 
1636, 204 years before, founded the towns of Providence, R. I., and 
of Springfield, Mass., and who exactly 200 years before, were the 
busiest and among the most prosperous men of New England. 

Between the lives of the founder, William Pynchon, and of 
Roger Williams there were some curious analogies. I. Their 
arrival from England about the same year — Roger landed in Bos- 
ton, February 5, 163 1, "a young minister, godly and zealous, and 
having precious gifts, and accompanied by his wife Mary." 2. They 
both found it convenient to leave Boston, the same autumn, for 
conscience's sake, for the cold and bleak wilderness. 3. The next 
spring they founded their new towns, each with less than ten fami- 
lies and afterwards with no more than thirty or forty. 4. They 
each wrote books which were condemned as heretical. 5. They 
were intimate with, friendly and much trusted by the Indians of 
whom they bought, like honest men, their lands. 6. In after life 
they were in England again, at the same time, and finally they 
were most prosperous and honored in their advanced age, having 



ii2 SPRINGFIELD IN RETROSPECT 

lived down by pure and good lives the ill words spoken of them in 
the early days of the Colonies; again each in his dwelling had 
preached the kindly gospel i.n the early days. 

My own remembrances of this lovely Pynchon family are most 
vivid and most pleasant. I could fill these pages most easily with 
my boyish recollections of events and places which will always be 
dear to me, but if I may be forgiven, I avail myself of the words — 
what's the use? — and pass along to the ever fascinating Future. 

The German language has furnished the Anglo-Saxon a word 
with a widely accepted meaning — Wanderlust — a lust for travelling. 
At an early year this seized me, and, during a life in which I have out- 
lived nearly all my early companions, I have wandered in the home 
land and abroad, from city to city, and from town to town, and 
one scene of nature and art to another, but always as I said before, 
with my untravellcd heart ever turning to the dear old town. 

When I have visited a new scene, I have often come to feel 
enriched by what I have seen. I have sometimes used the term' 
"bouquet of cities;"' thus it came that after an absence in Europe 
for some months, my own two dear daughters greeted me with the 
words, "Papa, we have added thirty-two cities to our bouquet." 
Hence in choosing the theme "Springfield in Retrospect and in 
Prospect," I designedly added the latter that I might bring to my 
lifelong loved city some suggestions gathered from my acquaintance 
with other growing places, although none are more admirable or 
beautiful than that founded by William Pynchon. 

Springfield entered the century with a population of 2,312. 
"Court Square" was deeded to Hampden county in April, 1 82 1. 
The names of Daniel Bontecou, Justice Willard, Edward Pynchon, 
etc., are honorably mentioned in subscribing towards this public 
gift and it has been truly said that Modern Springfield begins from 
this time. In 1820 the population was 3,914 and in 1843, 10,985, 
These are interesting figures in view of its present number. 

In April, A.D. 1830, the townsfolk saw for the first time a 
schooner under full sail— 77^ Eagle — on the river. It had come 
up through the Enfield canal. The Blanchard and Vermont steam- 
boats happened to be both lying at the wharf and the excited people 
dreamed of a metropolis at once, but "the human heart ever longs 
for the impossible — for the joy that lasts 'forever after;' for the 
loveliness that never fades; for the purse that is never exhausted; 



AND IN PROSPECT 113 

for the friend that is always true; for the device that will do away 
with all the conveniences of time and space.'' 

The time arrives when the "master of the feast," told of in the 
parable, cries out in stentorian tones, "Friend, come up higher," 
and the advancing population and increasing wealth calls also in 
trumpet tones, Coyne up Higher. 

There is such a thing as "making history" and it is before the 
present generation of this beautiful town to make in large part its 
future history. Springfield has outgrown itself and must be un- 
comfortable until it adjusts itself to new and larger conditions. It 
is the main thought of the writer to indicate the path and method 
of advancement; in two words the thought can be expressed — 
Rebuilding and Consolidation. In a humble spirit, the writer is 
prepared to argue that these express the logic of the situation in 
which Springfield now finds itself. 

The wise old philosopher Demosthenes declared that "the end 
of wisdom is consultation." Thinking it might be an aid to Spring- 
field's committee and of general interest, I take pleasure in reading — 
by permission — a few paragraphs transcribed from the advance 
sheets of the Report of the New York City Improvement Commis- 
sion to Mayor McClcllan, and to his board of aldermen. All 
cities, I have observed, are, broadly speaking, alike; our Saviour 
loved the city of Jerusalem and wept over it; "Dear Old London" 
is the term used by Englishmen over the wide world; "Little Old 
New York is good enough for me" is a common phrase among its 
citizens at home and abroad; a city man is a civil man; an urbane 
man is an inhabitant of urban, a city. Hence! these suggestions 
relating primarily to my own "Little Old New York," which has 
served me well, are extracted and read for the use of the good city 
"Springfield of the Future" — the Greater Springfield. 

By the terms of the ordinance it was provided that the commis- 
sion should make a report on or before the first day of January, 
1905. I have with me this report not yet made public, hence not 
to be given out until it is officially delivered to the mayor of New 
York and its aldermen. 

Knowing the use to which I was to put this report the young 
architect said, "So full am I of 'City Improvement after working 
with the Commission' that I would willingly, upon invitation, go 
over in person, free of cost except to myself, the city of Springfield 
and its environs." 



ii 4 SPRINGFIELD IN RETROSPECT 

I quote: 

"A comprehensive plan for the city's development must necessarily anticipate 
the future growth of the city for many years to come and be so framed as to meet 
all possible future requirements so far, at least, as they can be reasonably foreseen, 
and be so designed that all its parts shall be consistent, the one with the other, and 
form a homogeneous whole, in order that any improvements hereafter made may be 
entered upon with reference to the accomplishment of a definite purpose and along 
definite lines and not as has been too often the case, without reference to any general 
plan or regard to the bearing of the particular improvement proposed or its connec- 
tion with other improvements already made or which thereafter may be deemed 
advisable. Such a plan necessarily involves not only the laying out of psrrks, streets 
and highways, the location of city buildings, improvement of water fronts, etc., 
but also questions of more or less detail, relating to pavements, sidewalks, appro- 
priate house numbers, gas and electric fixtures, manner of indicating the streets, 
location of statues and monuments commemorating historical events, tree planting, 
and a countless number of other matters, all important and essential. No plan that 
fails to take into consideration all the above subject matters can be deemed a com- 
prehensive one. 

" It is manifest that the subject is one of large and extended scope and necessarily 
requires the examination and consideration of many important questions, and the 
commission feels that there is not sufficient time within the period limited by the 
ordinance, to enable it to make a complete report which would do justice either to 
the subject matter involved or to the commission itself. The commission deems it, 
however, proper and incumbent on it at this time, in view of the provisions of the 
ordinance to make a preliminary report as to its proceedings and the progress made 
by it in effectuating the purposes for which it was created. 

"It must be recognized at the outset and will be by all who give any careful 
consideration to the subject, that any proper and comprehensive plan of municipal 
improvement must, of necessity, involve large and heavy expenditures. Such ex- 
penditures have, however, been found in other large cities to be not entirely without 
return. Apart from the convenience to its own citizens, municipal improvement 
and adornment tends to attract strangers and directly contribute to a city's material 
prosperity. The commission fully realizes that considerations of expense must 
necessarily and properly enter into the consideration of any proposed changes or 
improvements, at the same time it does not conceive it to be its duty to select or 
recommend the cheapest possible make-shifts. While it proposes, therefore, to 
ultimately recommend a plan fully accomplishing, in its judgment, the object 
desired, it will, nevertheless, be controlled by the consideration that the ultimate 
benefit must always be commensurate with the expense entailed — in other words, 
that while essentUls are not to be sacrificed to a question of cost, any plan to be of 
practical value must be framed with due regard to proper considerations of economy. 

" In this connection, it is desirable to remember that it is not the intentionof the 
commission, either now or hereafter, to recommend the carrying out at once, or 
even within any definite period of time, of all the various changes or improvements 
it may propose. On the contrary, many of them will be neither immediately neces- 
sary nor advisable. As above pointed out, the province of the commission is to 
formulate a general plan to be adopted for the future — the improvements and 






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AND IN PROSPECT 115 

changes themselves can manifestly not be made at once. Considerations of expense, 
if nothing else, would render such course impracticable. They are only intended 
to be undertaken as and when made necessary and advisable by the continued 
growth of the city. This fact must be borne in mind in considering the amount 
of the possible expenditures involved. 

"Although, as above said, the expenditures necessarily required by any proper 
plan must be large, they can in many instances be greatly reduced, if the city had 
the power exercised in many European cities of condemning more than the area 
actually required, so that the city might reap the benefit to be derived from the 
enhanced value of neighboring property, and in the judgment of the commission 
steps should be taken to secure such changes in the constitution and legislative 
enactments as may be necessary for the purpose. This method of taking more land 
than required, with the object of resale at an advance of recouping part of the ex- 
pense, has been applied in various large cities of Great Britain and the continent 
where extensive alterations have been undertaken for securing architectural effects, 
remedying sanitary conditions or improving the city generally, and it is questionable 
whether many of the improvements would have been otherwise accomplished. 
Objection to giving the city such power has sometimes been raised on the ground 
that it might be abused or injudiciously exercised. In these times, however, of 
increasing municipal activities when so many nrorc extensive powers are constantly 
being entrusted to those charged with the administration of the city's affairs, such 
objection can scarcely be considered necessarily fatal or conclusive, if proper safe- 
guards and limitations are imposed." 

Other cities besides New York are extending their borders, are 
opening new streets, etc. In the January number of the Century 
is an article on the "remaking of London," from which I now quote: 

"Chief among the vast undertakings of the London County Council are the 
widening and extending of old streets, the opening of new ones, the laying of electric 
tramways and the rehousing of the poor. Most radical of the many changes now 
in progress in London's streets is that which comprehends the widening of the 
Strand between Welling street and St. Clement Danes (Dr. Johnson's church); 
the creation of a new street in the form of a crescent with one of its horns resting 
on the Strand at each of the points referred to; and the opening of a wide avenue 
straight through from the apex of this crescent to High Holborn at a point opposite 
Southampton Row, which in turn is being widened so as to afford (with the new 
street to the south of it and its present continuation, under different names, to the 
north) a main thoroughfare from the neighborhood of the Thames Embankment, 
through the Drury Lane region and Bloomsbury, to Hampstead Heath, four or five 
miles from its starting-point. 

"It is expected to cost about J25.ooo.ooo; but as the value of the contiguous land 
will be greatly enhanced by the improvement, and as much of this land has been ac- 
quired by the county council, the sale of eighty-year leases will go far to lighten 
the taxpayers' burden. To insure an adequate architectural effect for the buildings 
to occupy the newly created sites in the Strand, the council invited eight architects 
of standing to submit elevations, and called in Mr. Norman Shaw, R. A., to pass upon 
them. 



n6 SPRINGFIELD IN RETROSPECT 

"The Wcsleyan Methodist Church, having paid £1,650,000 for the Royal Aqua- 
rium, near Westminster Abbey, spent the year 1903 in pulling down that enormous 
structure, and in its place will erect a denominational church house, one of the two 
halls of which will hold three thousand people." 

There is a city in Spain dating far back beyond old Roman 
times — Seville, situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir, of 
which Lord Byron wrote: 

"Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast 
Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days." 

The rich architectural monuments of a people who loved beauty 
in all its forms are there to be found. The history of the city is full 
of interest and rich with the ancient lore and romance of Spain. 
The Sevillians are proud of the old motto, "Who has not seen 
Seville has not seen a marvel.*' A young artist friend, William 
Young, has furnished me with a drawing showing one of the finest 
specimens of architecture of all times — "The Tower or Campi- 
nella." I quote from a book, "Historic Buildings of the World," 
the following description, for a purpose which will appear later: 

"The Giralda, which serves as a campanile to the cathedral, and rises above all 
the spires of the town, is an old Moorish tower, erected by an Arabian architect, 
named Geber or Guever, who invented algebra, which was called after him. The 
appeartnee of the tower is charming, and very original; the rose-coloured bricks 
and the white stone of which it is built, give it an air of gaiety and youth, which 
extends as far back as the year 1000, a very respectable age, at which a tower may 
well be allowed to have a wrinkle or two and be excused for not being remarkable 
for a fresh complexion. The Giralda in its present state is not less than three hun- 
dred and fifty feet high, while each side is fifty feet broad. Up to a certain height 
the walls are perfectly even; there are then rows of Moorish windows with balconies, 
trefoils and small white marble columns, surrounded by large lozenge-shaped brick 
panels. The tower formerly ended in a roof of variously coloured varnished tiles, 
on which was an iron bar, ornamented with four gilt metal balls of a prodigious size. 
This roof was removed in 156S, by the architect, Francisco Ruiz, who raised the 
daughter of the Moor Guever one hundred feet higher in the pure air of heaven, so 
that his bronze statue might overlook the Sierras, and speak with the angels who 
passed. The feat of building a belfry on a tower was in perfect keeping with the 
intentions of the members composing that admirable chapter who wished posterity 
to imagine they were mad. The additions of Francisco Ruiz consist of three stories; 
the first of these is pierced with windows, in whose embrasures are hung bells; the 
second, surrounded by an open balustrade, bears on the cornice of each of its sides, 
these words — T arris fortissimo, nomen Domini; and the third is a kind of cupola or 
lantern, on which turns a gigantic gilt bronze figure of Faith, holding a palm in one 
hand and a standard in the other, and serving as a weathercock, thereby justifying 
the name of Giralda, given to the tower. This statue is by Bartholomew Morel. 



Tfr! 

i Ml i 






fT 



i m 



The Campanile of the "Gib 
Seville. Spain. 



AND IN PROSPECT 117 

It can be seen at a very great distance; and when it glitters through the azure at- 
mosphere, really looks like a seraph lounging in the air. 

** You ascend the Giralda by a series of inclined ramps, so easy and gentle, that 
two men on horseback could very well ride up to the summit, whence you enjoy an 
admirable view. At your feet lies Seville, brilliantly white, with its spires and 
towers, endeavoring, but in vain, to reach the rose-coloured brick girdle of the 
Giralda. Beyond these stretches the plain, through which the Guadalquivir flows, 
like a piece of watered silk, and scattered around are Santiponce, Algaba and other 
villages. Quite in the background is the Sierra Morena, with its outlines sharply 
marked, in spite of the distance, so great is the transparency of the air in this ad- 
mirable country. On the opposite side, the Sierras de Gibram, Zaara and Moron 
raise their bristling forms, tinged with the richest hues of lapis lazuli and amethyst, 
and completing this magniheent panorama, which is inundated with light, sunshine 
and dazzling splendour." 

Still keeping in mind an ultimate purpose to which I have 
alluded, I take the time to read a description of one of the most 
famous edifices in Italy — the Bell Tower or Campanile of Venice: 

"The great campanile of St. Mark in the square at the west of the church was 
founded about 900 by Doge Pietro Tribuno and finished in 1 1 3 1 or soon after. It 
is a very massive square tower of brick, 325 feet high by 42 square, on a stone base, 
simply decorated with slight pilasters. The ascent to the top is made by a scries of 
inclined planes instead of stairs. The upper part, an upen lantern with a pyramidal 
roof, was added in the 16th century; on the apex is a fine colossal statue of an angel, 
formed of plates of gilt bronze on a wooden core, — a work of the end of the 15th 

"Throughout the Middle Ages the main walling of Venetian buildings was always 
of fine brick, usually a rich red in colour, made and fired in the kilns of Murano. 
In spite of its beautiful colour the brick work was seldom left visible, the whole wall- 
surface being lined with thin slabs of marble in the more magnificent buildings, 
or else coated with stucco, on which decorative patterns were painted. 

" One of the chief glories of Venice depends on its extensive use of the most beau- 
tiful and costly marbles and porphyries, which give a wealth of magnificent colour 
such as is to be seen in no other city in the world. In early times none of these seem 
to have been obtained direct from the quarries, but from older buildings, either of 
Roman or early Byzantine date. Immense quantities of rich marbles were brought 
from the ruined cities of Heraclca, Ravenna, Altinum, and especially Aquilcia. 
Under the Roman empire, Aquileia contained great numbers of magnificent build- 
ings, decorated with marbles and porphyries from Greece, Numidia, Egypt and 
Arabia. The gorgeous churches and palaces of the Byzantine emperors, enriched 
with rare marbles stolen from Greek and Roman buildings of classic times, were in 
their turn stripped of their costly columns and wall-linings by the victorious Vene- 
tians. Thus Venice became a magnificent storehouse in which were heaped the rich 
treasures accumulated throughout many previous centuries by various peoples. 
The principal varieties used in the palaces of Venice are the red porphyry of Egypt 
and the green porphyry of Mount Taygetus, red and grey Egyptian granites, Oriental 
alabaster from Numidia and Arabia, the Phrygian pavonazzetto with its purple 



u8 SPRINGFIELD IN RETROSPECT 

mottlings, and, in great quantities, the alabaster-like Proconnesian marble with 
bluish and amber-coloured striations. Till the 14th or 15th century the white 
marbles used in Venice were from Greek quarries — Parian or Pentelic — being all 
(like the coloured marbles) stolen.from older buildings, while in later times the native 
marble of Carrara was imported. Large quantities of red Verona marble were used 
to form moulded frames round panels of white sculptured marble. The greater part 
of these costly marbles seem to have been imported in the form of columns, immense 
numbers of which were sawn up lengthways into long thin slabs for use as wall- 
facings. 

"The facades of the chief palaces of Venice down totheend of the 15th century 
were wholly covered with these magnificently coloured marbles. But that was not 
all; a still greater splendour of effect was given by the lavish use of gold and colour, 
especially the costly ultramarine blue. Very frequently the whole of the sculpture, 
whether on capitals, archivolts, or frieze-like bands, was thickly covered with gold 
leaf, the flat grounds being coloured a deep ultramarine so as to throw the reliefs 
into brilliant prominence. The less magnificent palaces were decorated in a simpler 
way. The brick surfaces between the windows and other arches were covered with 
fine hard stucco, made, like that of the ancient Romans, of a mixture of lime and 
marble dust. The whole of this was then decorated with minute diapers or other 
geometrical ornament in two or three earth colours, especially red, yellow, and blown 
ochres." 

The wave of civilization which is next to flood the world is to take 
the shape of magnificent architecture. I give a single examp.Ie of 
hundreds of these buildings as now planned. 

" One of the most notable of the group of buildings which has 
been designed for the new Naval Academy at Annapolis is the 
chapel. Although all of the structures are of impressive size and 
architecture, the great height of the chapel and its other dimensions 
will make it one of the most imposing religious edifices in the United 
States when it is completed. From the ground to the top of the 
"lantern," which is to surmount it, the distance is 210 feet, while 
the extreme width of the structure is 130 feet. 

"The appropriation of #400,000 for the chapel gave the architect 
an opportunity to design not only a spacious, but a very ornate 
edifice. Realizing the effect of a large dome, one was planned which 
extends to a height of nearly 150 feet above the roof of the main 
building, with a diameter of sixty-nine feet at its base. The base 
of the dome is thirteen feet smaller than the circle formed by the 
center of the main building, consequently the construction of the 
chapel has been attended by some unusually interesting engineering 
features- If the great weight of the superstructure had been sup- 
ported by the exterior walls, it would have been necessary to make 



■ 



i 1 iij 
i 















: . i ■ 



Municipal Group 
Springfield, Massachusetts 



AND IN PROSPECT 119 

these of extraordinary thickness or to utilize columns in the in- 
terior, which was not considered desirable. As a substitute for 
• interior columns and what might be termed wall support, a some- 
' what novel method of carrying the load of the dome has been 

adopted. In it the material known as ferro-concrete has been 
utilized in a framework, which relieves the exterior walls of prac- 
tically all stress except that due to their own weight and that of the 
dome." 

A present view of Springfield, no matter how transient and 
limited, tells, in its admirable structures, the existence here of the 
artistic gift. The new Armory, the City Hospital and scores of 
other buildings delight the eye with their true proportions and 
graceful outlines and the employment of local artistic skill. May 
I quote from Ruskin, the greatest of critics, a few paragraphs — 
in view of the remaking of this already artistically adorned town: 

" Great art is the expression of the mind of a great man, and mean art, that of the 
want of mind in a mean man. A foolish person builds foolishly, and a wise one, 
sensibly; a virtuous one, beautifully; and a vicious one, basely. If stone-work "is 
well put together, it means that a thoughtful man planned it, and'a careful man cut 
it, and an honest man cemented it. If it has too much ornament, it means that its 
carver was too greedy of pleasure; if too little, that he was rude and insensitive, or 
stupid and the like. So that, when once you have learned to spell these most precious 
of all legends, pictures and buildings, you may read the character of men and of 
nations, in their art; — nay, as in a microscope, and magnified a hundred-fold; for 
the character becomes passionate in the art, — and intensifies itself, in all its noblest 
or meanest delights. Nay, not only as in a microscope, but as under a scalpel, and 
in dissection; for a man may hide himself from you, or misrepresent himself to you, 
every other way; but he cannot in his work; there, be sure, you have him in the 
utmost. All that he likes, all that he sees, all that he can do, — his imagination, his 
affections, his perseverance, his impatience, his clumsiness, cleverness, everything 
is there. If the work is a cobweb, you know it was made by a spider; if a honey- 
comb, by a bee; a worm-cast is thrown up by a worm, and a nest wreathed by a bird; 
and a house built by a man, worthily, if he is always, from the least to the greatest, 
as the made thing is good or bad, so is the maker of it. 

"The secret of art and the secret of nature areone — the slow, patient, absorbing, 
generous process of love — sustaining itself everywhere on loveliness and life, and 
remanifesting itself afresh in ever new forms of vitality and loveliness. It is be- 
cause of this quality and in proportion to this quality that we value every shred of 
art, and are at such pains to preserve it. By the simplest natural law, humanity 
cares for those things which ameliorate its lot, and lets go in the long run everything 
that hurts or retards it. 

In view of the inevitable merging of the adjacent towns with the 
original, making Greater Springfield, a center for the whole should 



120 SPRINGFIELD IN RETROSPECT 

be wisely selected, convenient and central at the present to all 
and yet so chosen that in the future it may focus the still 
greater city, arising from consolidation and natural growth. Such 
a central point I suggest exists at Round Hill, and vicinity. 

I remember hearing Daniel Webster speak in 1844 or thereabouts 
on the level ground just beyond the slope of the hill. Now, upon 
the northern end of the eminence I propose — and yet most modestly, 
as most disinterestedly — the erection of 

An electric tower to be built of steel and concrete, faced with 
enameled brick; that the height, exclusive of the hill, shall be 450 
to 600 feet; that nightly the tower be lighted with electricity, one 
feature of which should be a searchlight strong enough to throw 
its beams north, south, east and west to all the adjacent mountains 
and all between, a section distinct to form the boundaries of the 
New Springfield. 

I propose that another feature of this tower should be a ramp or 
climbing way, winding about a central cylinder equipped with an 
elevator. A model for this ramp has existed for a thousand years in 
the famous and most beautiful Campanile of Venice, a description 
of which has been read. Napoleon is said to have ridden to the top of 
the Campanile on horseback and the idea would be that the rise 
should be so gentle that men, women and children could easily 
walk, singly and in groups, to the top; the way being enlivened 
by views from balconies, on the sides of the tower, opening at 
intervals. 

In the daytime the view from its pinnacle, even at very great 
distances would be greatly enhanced by its glittering enameled 
surface, inspiring the utmost civic pride, or perchance poetic lines 
as these I quote: 

"She whom I love, at present is in China 
She dwells with her aged parents 
In a tower of white porcelain." 

From the tower as a center I propose that a new town with every 
possible modern convenience should be "plotted," with streets, 
avenues and boulevards, with a view to a population of half a 
million. This is no new idea, for Napoleon the Third erected the 
Arc dc Triomplre on new ground at Paris and it is now the center of 
twelve magnificent avenues stretching out from it like the spokes 
of a wheel with scores of connecting streets. The city of \\ ashington 



AND IN PROSPECT 121 

was thus laid out with the capitol as its center and many cities 
which were outgrowing their bounds have wisely established new 
centers of population. This procedure will cost only time and skill 
and no money, for the large increase in the value of the taxable 
property would more than compensate for the outlay. No less 
than twelve or fifteen years should be allowed to execute the pro- 
jected rebuilding of the city and the charge upon the assessed 
property could even be carried for fifty or one hundred years by 
bonded debt. 1 would propose, also, the construction of a mag- 
nificent Merchants' Exchange and the erection of an immense 
Cooperative Food and Produce Exchange embodying the thought 
of a flower, fruit, meat and produce market; in connection with 
the latter, bearing in mind the Cooperative feature, I would sug- 
gest the turning of Hampden Park into a shelter harbor for pleasure 
and industrial craft, whence waterways of the world could be 
brought into profitable and happy connection with the new center. 

I have in mind a music and assembly hall, a structure for a 
meeting place and headquarters for every working men's society, 
which may desire a forum for the finest and most eloquent expres- 
sion of thought; a gallery of the arts of sculpture, painting and 
desjgn and an aggregation of public and semi-public offices arising 
from a widely extended community, such as the police, military, 
fire, water, gas, local transportation, the courts and others, all of 
which for convenience should be near the center of affairs in the 
center of the Greater Springfield. 

Not to be too prolix and my point in writing this paper being 
now disclosed I hasten to its end. I present with this a drawing of 
two noble twin towers built in Munich in 1468-148S (twenty years) 
and carefully restored in 1 858-1 868 (ten years). Its two heavy 
spires dominate the landscape in whatever direction you go and 
their effect is heightened by the two caplike domes. 

In another engraving I present a view of the tower forming part 
of the New Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral just completed 
in London. I myself marked its noble proportions before it was 
finished. It is modelled after the Campanile of Venice and is dis- 
tinguished by its vivid and alluring coloring. It is the only Catholic 
Cathedral in England. I also present a view of the Victoria Memo- 
rial. The great outpouring of money upon the death of the Great 
Queen has provided the immense sum necessary to make this 



122 SPRINGFIELD IN RETROSPECT 

adornment to the old city of London. It is to be a world model and 
one which Springfield in its remaking will wisely follow. A little 
imagination transfers it to the north of Round Hill with its broad 
avenues reaching out towards Holyoke and Chicopee. 

To these I add a view of a tower of a new armory now building 
in New York City and also of a splendid structure replacing the 
old Newgate prison which carries, to my mind, an image of the 
limit of improvement; for I have often gazed upon the dreadful, 
dark, dank prison which it has displaced. Now a word as to the 
merging of Springfield with its neighboring towns. 

// is almost incredible that Springfield and West Springfield are 
two separate communities. As I write I have in rnind the River 
Seine which flows for seven miles (taking five hours) through Paris, 
with any number of artistic bridges uniting the two parts. I recall 
the Thames winding through London — its bridges being a joy to 
think of. I see "in my mind's eye Horatio" more beautiful than 
all, the city of Florence in Italy, with the Arno, very like the Con- 
necticut, twisting and bubbling along, spanned by many bridges. 
I may now- add that Brooklyn and New York with the East river 
between, found that they could not exist one without the other. 
When I say that Springfield and West Springfield need each other I 
have said it all. 

The same truth applies to Chicopee, Chicopee Falls, Indian 
Orchard, Agawam, Westfield, etc.; and what shall I say of Hol- 
yoke? That is a more difficult problem and grows more difficult, 
but the fact will remain that they are One — with a capital O. 
With a view to the question of merging with Holyoke, I have 
requested my young relative, John Torrey Hawkins, to gather 
some figures relating to population and taxable property. I quote 
that the population of the territory of which Springfield is now the 
natural center numbers 225,000; the property interests of these 
counts up to $200,000,000 or very nearly $1,000 to each man, 
woman and child resident in the territory. 

Springfield also needs these outlying places for the trolley lines 
are carrying away its people to live in them and things are so chang- 
ing that in a brief space of time ten miles away will mean perhaps a 
quarter of an hour of time. The subway in New York is an aston- 
ishing success and lines of subways will work in Springfield the ready 



AND IN PROSPECT 



123 



answer — yes! to the question of a common merger of all these 
community interests. "In Union" there is convenience and safety 
as well as "strength." 

There can be no legal objection or other to a merger, for Boston 
has accomplished the feat; Philadelphia, Chicago, New York 
have enlarged their borders and there are none to regret the step. 
"Friend, Come up Higher" are the best words now for Springfield 
and its environs. 

We shrink naturally from undertaking the plainest duties but 
they must be met. To rebuild Springfield is no small task; how to 
succeed in its accomplishment is indicated in the following words 
of Taine: 

"Success in life depends upon knowing how to be patient, how toendure drudgery, 
Ko'M to viahe and remake, how to recommence and continue without allowing the 
tide of anger or the flight of the imagination to arrest or divert the daily effort." 

—11. Tain, 











Piazza San Marco 



represents the Campanile at \"enice. The arrow points 
in 1901, a few weeks before the fall of the tower. 



ny "home" 



124 TO THE UNBORN PEOPLES 

The following poem accompanied the X. Hawkins paper: 

To the Unborn Peoples 

Ye Peoples of the future years. 

We you salute. To you we fling 
From these revolving hemispheres 

A greeting glad. While yet we cling 
To earth's old rim, we think of you; 

A watch we keep by day and night 
As plain, in Heaven's unfathomed Blue, 

Your great battalions sweep in sight. 

Ye Peoples of the future years. 

Keep faith with us, the older ones. 
Wipe out the causes of our fears. 

Climb nearer to the central Suns. 
We go our way, our names will die, 

Ye shall not find them near or far. 
Our highest spans in dust will lie 

As low as Karnac's pillars are. 

Hail! Hail! ye Peoples yet unborn, 

We leave you all that Love bequeaths; 
Our gems and mines and fields of corn. 

Traditions, arts, and Valor's wreaths. 
New voices call. We disappear. 

Above our dust your songs will swell; 
Your banners float, — Our Kinsmen dear. 

Hail! Hail! and then,— Farewell, Farewell. 

Ellen M. H. Gates. 

November 20th, 1906. 






THE BONAPARTE EXILES 125 

September 17, 1905 
Annual Meeting adjourned to October 17, 1905. 

Adjourned Annual Meeting October 17, 1905 

Officers elected — 

President, William F. Adams. Vice-Presidents, John West, Andrew 
J. Flanagan, J. Stuart Kirkham. Clerk and Corresponding Secretary, 
Henry A. Booth. Treasurer and Curator, William C. Stone. 

Executive Committee: Edward A. Hall, Frank G. Tobey, Alfred M. 
Copeland, Albert H. Kirkham, Lewis F. Carr, Rev. Thomas D. Howard. 

John A. Callahan of Holyoke read a paper on "Some 
Members of the Bonaparte Family as Exiles in this Vicinity. " 

The Bonaparte Exiles in the 
Connecticut Valley 

^HIS subject has at first a strange sound to most people; 
for we generally associate the name of Bonaparte with 
great events across the sea; with the rise and fall of 
kingdoms; with marching armies and fleeing royalty; 
with conquest and military glory; with the Alps and the pyramids, 
with the "hills of haughty Spain where his mighty armies shouted;" 
with Jena and Marengo; with Waterloo and Helena, with a 
tomb on the banks of the Seine. 

To change the scene from the banks of the Danube and the Rhine 
and the Seine, to the banks of the Connecticut; and to change the 
work and events from empire building to love making and weddings, 
is a transition quite marked and impressive; yet we all will be able 
to stand the shock. 

In the above subject I refer to visits in this region in 1804 and 
in 1824. 

During the former year, Jerome, the youngest brother of Napo- 
leon Bonaparte went a number of times through this valley with 
his Baltimore bride whom he had married near the close of 1803. 
They may truthfully be called "exiles," as they had been informed 
that they would not be allowed to land in France as man and wife. 
The American girl by her marriage belonged in France — the home 




iz6 THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

of her husband, and her exclusion made her an exile. Jerome was 
an exile only on condition that he attempted to bring his American 
wife with him to his native country, and as he refused to desert 
his bride he became an exile by this act. 

In 1824, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, a boy of nineteen years, 
son of Jerome and the American wife, passed through this section 
with his mother after she had been deserted by her husband. This 
boy, or young man, was an exile, as the Bonapartes had been over- 
thrown at Waterloo in 1815, and the old Bourbon kings were re- 
stored to the throne of France. The law of 1816 prescribed death 
as the penalty for any person, male or female, of Bonaparte blood 
found on French soil. This boy, of course, came under the law and 
was therefore an exile of France. The title to this lecture is, there- 
fore, historically justified, I think. 

Since reading the paper before the society in Springfield, I have 
given it before a number of societies and clubs. I have found that 
the interest was mainly in the Baltimore bride, and therefore I have 
used the title "America's Uncrowned Queen." This title is not used 
in a figurative, but in a legal sense. Her husband, Jerome, was 
made king of Westphalia and she was his only lawful wife, if we 
overlook the divorce decree of the French senate — a decree which 
was granted without cause and against international law. 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 

The Bonaparte family into which our American girl married 
was a product of the French Revolution. That most singular 
period in the world's history followed closely upon the American 
Revolution, and had a close relation to it. The treaty of alliance 
between the two countries in 1778, and the resulting union of arms 
for nearly four years aroused an intense interest in France as to the 
meaning of the American conflict. When our war was a success, and 
a new nation was organized on the basis of popular sovereignty, a 
form of government then almost unknown in the world, this success 
intensified the interest in France, and provoked further discussion 
and study among her statesmen as to the rightful origin and basis 
of governments. These statesmen could not but be interested in a 
form of government that they themselves had helped to establish. 
The French asked themselves the direct and sensible question: 
Why should we sacrifice lives and much treasure in establishing a 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 127 

republic in America, and wildly cheer the American representa- 
tives when they come to Paris, and at the same time maintain an 
absolute government in France, with no legislature for nearly 200 
years? 

An attempt to convene this old legislature on May 5, 1 789, 
brought disorder, and the French Revolution was started on that 
day — made ever historic. There soon followed the downfall of the 
old French monarchy, the execution of the king and his wife, with 
other members of the royal family, and the proclamation of the first 
French republic in 1792, a few months before the execution of 
Louis XVI. 

In the terrible confusion that followed for years, there came gradu- 
ally to the front a young hero, known in history as Napoleon Bona- 
parte. He had no connection with royalty, but was the son of a 
lawyer and a widowed mother with seven other children living. 
So powerful did he become through his great military achievements, 
that he was soon the leading man in France, and in 1800 was made 
First Consul, or civic head of the French nation. Four years later 
he was so strong that he had himself proclaimed emperor and was 
later crowned amidst scenes of the wildest enthusiasm. 

VISIT OF JEROME TO THIS COUNTRY 

It was during the consulship that Jerome, the youngest member 
of the large family of five brothers and three sisters, made a journey 
along the coast of the United States, and visited New York and 
Baltimore in the fall of 1803. While in that southern city, he saw at 
the races, Elizabeth Patterson, daughter of William Patterson, a 
wealthy merchant of that city, who had come to America from Ire- 
land as a boy of fourteen years, a short time before the Revolution 
in the colonies. 

In a few days Jerome Bonaparte was introduced to Miss Patter- 
son at the house of Hon. Samuel Chase, one of the signers of the 
Declaration of Independence, and later a justice of the nation's 
Supreme Court. 

The two young people were in love with each other in a short 
time and decided to be married. A certificate was procured Octo- 
ber 29, and arrangements were made for the wedding on November 7. 
So strong was the protest from her father, that the event was post- 
poned. It was soon learned that the marriage would be disagreeable 



128 THE BOX. -IP ARTE EXILES 

to the First Consul. France was still a republic in form and it 
would be supposed that a marriage between a French gentleman 
and an American girl would meet with no objection from the French 
Consul. But he was then arranging to establish his empire and 
imperial family, and wanted his brothers to form alliances in Europe 
and thus help to make his own power more secure. 

In spite of the objections from both families, the young couple' 
were married in Baltimore on Christmas Eve, 1803, by Rt. Rev. 
John Carroll, bishop of the Roman Catholic church. The Fatter- 
sons were Protestants and the Bonapartes were Catholics. 

As the couple would not be received in F ranee, they spent a good 
part of 1804 in travel, visiting the principal cities along the coast. 
It was then the custom for many visitors to Xew England to come 
to Hartford by water and journey to Springfield, the Brookfields, 
and through Worcester to Boston. There is a record that Jerome 
Bonaparte and his wife stayed at the old tavern in West Brookfield, 
a hostelry now standing, and of much historic prestige. 

It is very probable that the couple stopped in Springfield, as a 
journey from West Brookfield to Hartford would be too long to 
make in their slow mode of travel without resting. West Brookfield 
is about thirty miles east of this city and Hartford about three 
quarters of that distance to the south. 

While the married pair were having this extended wedding 
journey, efforts were made to reconcile Napoleon to the marriage. 
At Mr. Patterson's request, President Jefferson wrote to our minis- 
ter in France, Robert R. Livingston, to use his influence in the in- 
terest of the bride. Later, her brother Robert went abroad on this 
mission, but his efforts bore no fruit. Napoleon soon showed where 
he stood by the orders that he issued. These were that no French 
vessel should bring to France, Miss Patterson'-', the pretended wife 
of Jerome Bonaparte, nor should any public recorder receive or 
place on record a pretended marriage between Miss Patterson 
and Jerome Bonaparte. 

EMPIRE AND ROYAL FAMILY ESTABLISHED 

While these matters were being considered, a far greater event 
took place in Europe; an event that filled all the crowned heads 

'The groom was 19 and the bride 18. 

■Her maiden name was used in all official documents in France. The 
marriage was called illegal, as Jerome was a minor. 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 129 

with amazement. On the 18th of May, 1804, the French 
republic was changed to an empire and the First Consul became 
emperor. He was later crowned with great ceremony in the Cathe- 
dral by the Pope, who went to Paris for the purpose. A new royal 
family was established, composed of some of the members of the 
Bonaparte family and their connections. Two of Napoleon's 
brothers, Joseph and Louis, were made princes. Jerome and I.ucien 
were excluded from the royal family. 

JOURNEY ABROAD. BIRTH OF SON 

As no ship would carry Jerome and his wife to Europe, her father 
sent one of his vessels, The Erin. They reached Lisbon, Portugal, April 
2, 1805. An agent of Napoleon came on the boat and addressed her 
as Miss Patterson. She replied that she was Madame Bonaparte 
and would demand her rights as a member of the Imperial Family 
of France. She was not allowed to land. Her husband promised 
to go to Paris and endeavor to reconcile the emperor. He left her 
on the vessel at Lisbon and she sailed northerly and came to the coast 
of Holland. She was not allowed to land, and after waiting eight days, 
she sailed for England and landed at Dover about April 15, or 20. 
She went at once to London and took apartments. Her baby was 
born on July 7, 1805, at Camberwell, in London, not far from where 
Robert Browning was born seven years later. She named her baby 
Jerome Napoleon, in honor of his father, and the emperor. About 
November 14, when her child was a little over four months old, she 
sailed for America and reached Baltimore a short time before 
Christmas, 1S05. So she came back to her father's home, a de- 
serted wife, with a baby son that his father had never seen. She 
must have fully realized before she left England that she would lose 
her husband; for she had not seen him since they parted on the boat 
at Lisbon, the first week in April. During the seven months that 
she was abroad, Jerome was only a short distance from her, and 
could probably have made a number of trips across the channel to 
give her comfort in her exile if he had wished to do so. He did 
write her a few letters with strong claims of fidelity. One of them, 
written in October, contains this language: "My dear and well 
beloved wife: Life is nothing to me without thee and my son; be 
tranquil, thy husband will not desert thee." Her sailing for home 
soon after receiving this letter is proof that she had small hope of 



130 THE BON. -IP ARTE EXILES 

being reunited with him again. The Christmas of 180; at her 
father's home with her babe must have been in strong contrast to 
the Christmas day in 1803 — the day following her triumphant 
marriage to the brother of the first man in Europe. 

TEN YEARS OF EXILE. WATCHING AND WAITING 
1805-1815 

Madam Bonaparte spent the next ten years in Baltimore watching 
over her growing son, but watching still more intently the movements 
of her illustrious brother-in-law, as he was changing the map of West- 
ern Europe, overturning thrones, and establishing new governments 
on the ruins of the old. She learned before she left Europe that 
divorce proceedings had been started by her husband, and she now 
learned that a decree of separation had been passed by the French 
council of state. This separated her from her husband so far as 
French law had power to do so. She read in i8c6 that her hus- 
band was made king of Westphalia, and the following year that 
he had married Frederica Catharine, daughter of the king of 
Wurtemberg. Their marriage had great significance when looked 
at from the standpoint of Xapoleon's ambitions, and created great 
interest in England; for the mother of Frederica, the second wife 
of Jerome, was a granddaughter of the Duchess of Brunswick who 
was a sister to George III, the then ruling king of England. This 
made any child born of the marriage heir to England's throne, 
according to the laws of English royalty.* The first child, a son 
born in 1814, was recognized as such and reveals more clearly the 
ambitious plans of the Emperor Napoleon. It can easily be seen 
why the second wife of his brother Jerome would count more in his 
imperial program than the daughter of the Baltimore business man. 
She watched from her home in Maryland the rise of a great empire, 
and saw her connections placed on many thrones. She saw her 
brother-in-law, Louis, made king of Holland and another king of 
Naples and later king of Spain. She saw her sister-in-law Caroline, 
queen of Naples. She read of the divorce of Josephine by 
Napoleon, his marriage to the Austrian duchess, Marie Louise, 
in 1810, and the birth of a son the following year. She read also 
of events when the tide turned; how Louis left the throne of Hol- 
land; the flight of Joseph from Spain, and her own husband's fall 

•England has not recognized the salic law which excluded females from the 
throne. 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 131 

in Westphalia; the Russian campaign, and at last Napoleon's 
defeat and downfall at Waterloo in June, 1815. 

HER SECOND JOURNEY TO EUROPE 

Within two months after the fall of Napoleon, she placed her 
son in a private school, Mt. St. Mary's, Emmitsburg, Maryland, 
and sailed for England. She went to Cheltenham, about ninety 
miles northwest of London, a place of fashion because of its springs. 
She is delighted with her reception there and writes home that she 
longs for the presence of Americans that they may see for them- 
selves the esteem in which she is held. Her father, in reply, under 
date of December 15, 1815, writes her a strong letter, rebuking 
her for the un-American spirit that she shows in her letters. She 
replies warmly in a series of letters and defends her position. In 
one of these she says: "I am surprised that you wonder at my 
resembling every woman who has left America. I never heard of 
one who wanted to return there." In another letter: "These people 
who talk of me are envious of your fortune and my situation. 
Look how they themselves run after every sprig of nobility. . . . 
If people do not approbate my conduct in America, why did they 
pay me so much attention ? What other American woman was 
ever attended to as I have been there? Who ever had better offers 
of marriage? I confess it would have been perhaps a blessing if I 
could have vegetated as the wife of some respectable man in busi- 
ness, but you know that Nature never intended me for obscurity." 

She went to France after a short stay in England and was well 
received there. She refused an invitation to call upon the restored 
Louis XVIII, as she was yet drawing the pension of one thousand 
dollars per month granted by Napoleon after the divorce in France. 

She soon hastened home and applied for a divorce from her hus- 
band in this country and it was granted by the Maryland legis- 
lature. Jerome had fallen from power and it was held by some 
that he might be able to secure a part of her fortune, unless a 
divorce was procured in Maryland. He was badly in need, as he 
was living on an allowance which he would not have had but for 
the exertions and influence of his second wife, who refused to desert 
him, although strongly urged to do so by her father, the king of 
Wurtemberg. Madame Bonaparte stayed in Baltimore for three 
years and then became restless. She longed for European life and 



i 3 2 THE BON J PARTE EXILES 

society, but realized that her future success there must come 
through her son who was of Bonaparte blood and name. She 
believed that Waterloo had not ended the rule of the illustrious 
family; that it would some day come back to power and that her 
son should have in part, at least, a European education, to fit him 
for a life which would probably be European. 

THIRD JOURNEY ABROAD 

In 1819 she went to Europe with her son, then fourteen years 
old. They settled in Geneva where the boy had a tutor and began 
a course of study. The venerable mother of Napoleon, and his sister 
Pauline were living together in Rome, and each family was anxious 
to see the other. John Jacob Astor was in Rome and wrote Ma- 
dame Bonaparte in Geneva that her mother-in-law and sister-in-law 
in Rome would be glad to see them. A correspondence opened with 
the result that she and her son went to Rome in the fall of 1821, and 
for the first time were received into the family into which she was 
married eighteen years before. 

IN WITH THE BONAPARTES 

Atr this time the Bonaparte spirit was at its lowest ebb. The 
fallen emperor had died a prisoner at St. Helena on May 5, and the 
news had gradually spread over Europe a few months before, and 
the family felt with deep sorrow the loss of the man who had made 
them all illustrious. Their Bourbon enemies now ruled France and 
death was the penalty for anyone of Bonaparte blood, male or 
female, who stepped on her soil. A letter left by Napoleon at 
his death urges his family to stand together, and claims that if 
they do this, they will again rule France. He advises that the 
cousins marry, as far as possible, as was the custom in royalty, 
so as to keep the members of the family together. 

MARRIAGE ARRANGEMENTS 

When this matter was considered it seemed agreeable to some 
of the family that the Baltimore boy should marry Charlotte, the 
daughter of Joseph, former king of Spain. He lived from 1815 till 
1830 in the United States as an exile, and his two daughters were 
with him for a visit at this time in Philadelphia. This arrangement 
was extremely agreeable to Madame Bonaparte. The next spring 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VAELEY 133 

the boy started for America to handle the question with his cousin. 
He was kindly received by her and so wrote to his mother. A second 
visit did not find quite the same cordiality; or, at least, he so 
claimed, while the mother suspected that her own father, Mr. 
Patterson, was interfering with her plans. She wrote to him when 
the marriage was first proposed a strong letter in which she used 
these words: "This match is the idol of my heart and whoever 
opposes it is either an idiot or an enemy and will ever be treated 
as such by me." 

It had been arranged between mother and son that if the mar- 
riage plan did not succeed, he was to enter Harvard college. It was 
found that his preparation was not complete and he attended a 
preparatory school at Lancaster, Mass., for eight months and en- 
tered Harvard in 1823. The following year she came to America 
to study conditions. She was surprised to learn on her arrival that 
her son had been suspended from Harvard and was living at Lan- 
caster, under discipline. He met her at New York and they went 
through this valley and the Brookfields to that town near Fitchburg, 
where she stayed two months with her son in the fall of 1824. She 
was very anxious about the marriage and there was much ground 
for hope on her side, as the son had received a letter from Charlotte 
while in Harvard, asking him to spend his vacation with her family. 
This he had declined on the ground that he had no time to travel 
from Boston to Philadelphia. 

In June the next year (1825) Madame Bonaparte returned to 
Italy. She was much grieved on her arrival to learn that her sister- 
in-law, Pauline Bonaparte, who had helped to entertain her at 
Rome, had just died. Yet she was greatly pleased when the will 
was made public, for her son had been left $4,000. This gave him 
recognition in the family — a recognition which up to this time had 
been confined to visits and correspondence. Her hopes for her son's 
marriage were now greatly increased, and she felt more than before 
the very great advantages of the marriage to this Charlotte. 

ADVANTAGES OF THE MARRIAGE 

The ex-king Joseph (Charlotte's father) was the oldest brother 
of Napoleon and represented the family. After the death of the 
emperor, if the Bonapartes were restored to power he would prob- 
ably be king or emperor of France. Napoleon's son had been 



i 34 THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

brought up an Austrian by his mother when she deserted her 
fallen husband, and he would not find very strong support in 
France. Besides, ex-king. Joseph was quite wealthy. He had 
been king of two countries, Naples and Spain, of the latter country 
four years. He had married Julie Cleary, daughter of a wealthy 
capitalist of Marseilles. 

But if the Bonapartes were not restored to power, she would 
be sure of a royal connection, if her son's marriage to the daughter 
of Joseph took place. The then ruling king of Sweden (who was 
formerly Bernadotte, one of Napoleon's generals) had married a 
Miss Cleary, a sister of Joseph's wife. Charlotte was therefore her 
niece, and Madame Bonaparte's son would therefore be married to 
a niece of the queen of Sweden (and Norway). This royal family 
was firmly established on the throne, as it had been endorsed by 
thc "allied powers" in 1815, when Europe was reorganized after 
Waterloo. It is no wonder that this marriage was the "idol" of 
Madame Bonaparte's heart, as she had told her father in the strong 
letter above mentioned. 

charlotte's marriage to another cousin 

\Ladame now wrote to her son to come to Europe after his 
graduation at Harvard, and he sailed in 1826. She had suspected 
that Charlotte was to marry her cousin, the son of Napoleon's 
sister Caroline, once the wife of Murat, king of Naples. She met 
her son in Switzerland on his arrival and traveled with him to Flor- 
ence. When they arrived in that city she was surprised to learn that 
the coveted lady was married in her absence to another cousin — 
son of Louis, former king of Holland. This was a severe blow to 
Madame Bonaparte's ambitions, and she felt it keenly. 

"bo" sees his father 

Her son, however, (called "Bo" in her letters), had a singular 
experience through his visit abroad in 1826. He saw his father for 
the first time, although he was twenty-one years old. He saw also 
his two half-brothers, aged twelve and four years, and his half- 
sister, six years old — known in history as the Princess Mathilda — 
till her death in 1905. He spent five months with his father's 
family and wrote many letters to his grandfather in America on the 
life of this fallen royalty. In one of them he says that no food 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 135 

has ever tasted so good to him as the beefsteak at his grand- 
father's tabic in Baltimore. He expressed a desire to return to 
America as he was getting expensive habits that he ought not to 
cultivate. He returned in 1827, while his mother stayed in Florence. 
This return voyage has more than ordinary significance, as it 
marked the parting of the ways in the plans of the mother and her 
son on the marriage question, which was then the ruling issue in 
her mind. The son now passes under the influence of his grand- 
father, and his own inclinations concerning his future career. This 
time (1826-1827) also marks an epoch in her own life, and her im- 
perial hopes are approaching their sunset. She now forms a new 
program and decides to live no more in Italy, but in England. The 
reasons for this are many and substantial. 

REASONS FOR A CHANGE IN ABODE. SilE PLANS TO 
LIVE IN ENGLAND 

The object of her trip abroad in 1819 was in part successful, as 
she had been received by her husband's family in Rome and with 
much consideration by the mother and sister of the emperor; her 
son was remembered substantially in the will of Pauline in 1825. 
Yet jn the far greater problem of marriage, there was a complete 
failure and disappointment. Charlotte's marriage in 1826 took 
away the last Bonaparte girl whom "Bo" might marry. The others 
had formed alliances. Zenaide, the other daughter of ex-king Joseph, 
married in 1822, her cousin Charles Lucien, son of Lucien Bonaparte. 
Louis, king of Holland, never had a daughter. The great emperor 
had an only child, a son. Lucien had daughters by both wives, 
but those of the first wife were all married at this time, and, I think, 
those of the second wife. Yet, this matter of Lucien's daughters is 
not important as he had not generally been considered a member of 
the royal family. Any project for a marriage of "Bo" with a Bona- 
parte girl after this time was either impossible, or too remote for 
serious consideration. Madame Bonaparte knew this and now 
decided to change her dwelling place from Italy to some other coun- 
try in Europe. For a number of reasons she preferred England. 
First, she had been received there with great honor when she went 
abroad after Waterloo, in 1815. Her reception in Cheltenham was 
always remembered with the greatest pleasure, and referred to 
with pride. In the .second place, three sisters in Baltimore, who 



136 THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

were her connections by marriage had gone abroad recently and 
married with much distinction. One of them, her sister-in-law 
(widow of her brother Robert who had gone abroad in her interest 
the year after marriage), married the Marquis of Wellesley, Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland, and brother of the Duke of Wellington. 
A second sister (nee Caton) married the Duke of Leeds, and a third, 
Baron Stafford. Furthermore, England was on very friendly 
terms with Sweden, and the queen of Sweden was closely connected 
with the Bonapartes, as she was formerly a Miss Cleary, sister of 
the wife of Joseph Bonaparte, ex-king of Spain. All these reasons 
made her sec a good future in England. She felt, however, that 
it would give her a start in England if her son was there also, and 
in some official position. She wrote to her father to see Andrew 
Jackson, then approaching the height of his great power, and ask 
him to use his influence to have her son connected with the American 
embassy in London. This could not be done, as the son was legally 
an Englishman, having been born in England when his mother was 
driven from the shores of France. Our government would be slow 
to appoint an Englishman to represent the nation in any capacity. 
Besides, if "Bo" became a citizen here it would spoil his connection 
with the imperial family of France, if it should be reorganized as an 
Empire under the Bonapartes. These matters annoyed her greatly 
and caused her to delay her program and remain in Florence. 

THE SON'S MARRIAGE 

For about a year there was a lull in the excitement of events — 
a rest from her labors, as if she were waiting to get her bearings and 
wondering what to do. But the stillness is of the kind that precedes 
the storm; and is suddenly broken when she learns that her son 
is engaged to marry an American girl. She had noticed the son's 
drift away from her for several years, but consoled herself with the 
feeling, so often expressed in her letters, that while he remained 
single there might arise some opportunity for him in Europe to 
help her in her ambition. The son was of age after 1826 and there- 
fore beyond her legal control. Nothing is left to her but a mother's 
power of persuasion, and now even this has failed. Her father and 
her son are both against her. The former was strongly against any 
European marriage for his grandson, but was less vigorous in his 
opposition while the young man was under the legal control of his 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 137 

mother. On August 14, 1825, he wrote this note to "Bo," then in 
Harvard college: "Your education and habits are not suitable for 
the kind of life you must lead if you marry in Europe; nor would 
it answer to bring a wife to this country, for she would never be 
satisfied, or reconciled to our manners and customs. If you remain 
in this country and make use of your time and talents, you may 
come to something, but you would come to nothing in Europe. 
My opinions I give fully and freely, and hope you will consider them 
well before you take any step that might interfere with your future 
happiness." 

This was during the boy's minority, in 1825, but now in 1828- 
1829, the grandfather is more positive. Arrangements are being 
made and carried out for "Bo's" marriage with an American girl, 
against the most vigorous protest of his mother, writing from 
her home in Florence, Italy. 

jerome eonaparte's marriage 

On November 3, 1829, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte was married 
in Baltimore to Susan May Williams, a native of that city, whose 
father, Benjamin Williams, had moved there from Roxbury, Mass. 
The marriage was an event of much importance in the region and 
attended by the learned and substantial people. One of the grooms- 
men was Mr. Pierce Butler, who three years later married Fannie 
Kemble, the English actress, who spent many summers in this re- 
gion, mainly at Lenox, in the Berkshire Hills. The groom received 
letters of congratulation from his father, his uncles Joseph and 
Louis. Countess Julie, wife of Joseph, the Princess Charlotte, his 
cousin, the one intended for him by his mother, and from his pater- 
nal grandmother in Rome. 

The letters from his own mother were of an opposite tone. In 
one letter she shows her feeling in this way: " It would be fair in my 
family and a justice they owe me and my reputation for pride and 
sense, to say that this marriage was contracted without my knowl- 
edge, and in the most decided opposition to the opinions and wishes 
I had ever expressed respecting my son's interests. 1 think 1 would 
sooner have begged my bread from door to door, than have de- 
graded myself by entering into such a connection. My son by his 
birth was a much greater person than I have become by marriage, 
and therefore had to stoop much lower than I should have done if 



138 THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

any sordid consideration ever could have induced me to forget 
the respect that I owed to my place in society." 

In a very few months there took place in Europe a great event 
that was the beginning of the restoration of the Bonapartes to 
power. This was 

THE DOWNFALL OF THE BOURBON' KINGDOM 

This took place in the summer of 1830, and then followed the 
flight of Charles X and his royal household from France. The 
Bonapartes were in exile according to the Bourbon law of 1816, and 
therefore were at a great disadvantage in handling their cause 
in the struggle for the throne. A cousin line of the Bourbons, the 
Orleans branch, was placed on the throne, without the white flag, 
and the government went on. 

TIDE TURN'S TOWARDS THE BONAPARTES 

There began at once to occur in France a series of important 
events which plainly showed that the tide was rising and was surely 
to bring back to power the Bonaparte family upon its bosom. 
General La Marque died at this time and was buried with the °reat- 
est honor, yet his main claim to distinction was that he had been 
a general under Napoleon. In 1833, the statue of the emperor 
which had been taken down by the Bourbons after Waterloo, was 
restored to its place on the Vendome Column with the cheers of 
acres of humanity. In 1836, the Arch of Triumph, started by 
Napoleon in 1806, was now finished in his honor. In the same 
year, his nephew (son of Louis, former king of Holland), landed 
in France and made an unsuccessful dash for control. In 1840, the 
highest point of the fever was nearly reached when the body of 
Napoleon, in fulfillment of his last wish, was brought from St. 
Helena, and placed under the dome of the Soldiers' Home, "on 
the banks of the Seine among the French people whom he loved 
so well." In the same year the nephew made a second dash for the 
throne but was no more successful than in 1836. He was sentenced 
to prison where he remained until his escape, in disguise, six years 
later. 

THEIR ENEMIES OR COMPETITORS PASSING AWAY 

Not only did many events directly favor the Bonaparte family, 
but also their opponents for the throne began to pass away. 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 139 

Napoleon II, the only child of the emperor, died in 1832 in man- 
hood's prime, at his Austrian home. He had been brought up as 
an alien to the family of his father; yet if he appeared in an 
emergency at Paris, there would have been many cheers for him in 
the city of his birth and the scene of so much of his father's glory. 
His death settled this question. 

The fallen Bourbons made an effort to recover their lost power 
by a dash into France, with the grandson of the exiled king as 
claimant for the throne but it ended in a dismal failure. La Fayette 
was not seeking power against the will of the nation, yet if he 
were offered the presidency of France without too much opposition, 
he might have accepted the honor as a proper ending to a long and 
patriotic life. But he died in 1834 and his death settled another 
question for the Bonapartes. 

These many events show how fortune in this decade favored the 
illustrious family into which the former Miss Patterson was married. 

HER RETURN TO AMERICA 

From 1819, when she went abroad to educate her son, till 1834, 
she lived in Europe, except the ten months spent in America in 
1824 and 1825. She now abandons Europe for good — Europe that 
she' so praised and loved — the scene of her triumphs and the source 
of her glory. This must have been an eventful year for her, the year 
that ended her European career. The past and present must have 
risen up before her. She returned to a lonesome city of changed 
population and increased size; for it was a third of a century since 
the days of her happy marriage in Baltimore on Christmas eve in 1803. 

Her mother and sisters are long since dead. The brother who 
journeyed abroad in her interest in 1804, died in 1822, and his widow 
went abroad and married the Marquis of Wellesley. Her son 
is living with his American wife and child four years old. Her 
former husband is living in peace with his second wife Frederica 
Catharina and their three children on the shores of the Adriatic. 
The Princess Charlotte is now a widow by the death of her husband 
in 1 83 1, and had Jerome remained single, as his mother had urged, 
the match which failed in 1826 might now be arranged with the 
widow, and put her son in close alliance with the rising Bonaparte 
power. 

Her father, William Patterson, with whom she had not been 



1 4 o THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

on friendly terms, is very old (eighty-two) and about to dispose 
of his large property. Last but not least, she hears that her hus- 
band is trying to arrange a marriage between his daughter Mathilda 
(by his second wife)' and Louis Napoleon, who was being considered 
as the representative of the Bonaparte claims on power and who 
later became Napoleon III. These were the conditions as she 
returned to her Baltimore home. She was in her fiftieth year and 
she realized it. She had lost in the two great battles of her 
life, — the retaining of her husband, and the marriage of her son 
into the new royal family of Europe. 

There was another recognition of her son in the Bonaparte 
family at this time when Cardinal Fesch, maternal uncle of the 
emperor, left by will #io,coo to him. She and the son went abroad 
for this in 1 839 and returned in 1840 

DOWNFALL OF ORLEANS KINGDOM. BONAPARTES RESTORED 
IN FRANCE 

Soon there came the year 1848, that year of terror in Europe. 
The "Citizen King"' as Louis Philippe was called,' fled across the 
channel to England, there to find a home, and before two years a 
grave. The Revolution is complete. The Bonapartes rush into 
France from their exile homes in many lands — from America, from 
Italy and from England, and the nation receives them with the 
wildest enthusiasm. The prophecy of the fallen emperor before 
his death on his prison island — that his family would come back to 
power — is fulfilled. Madame Bonaparte looked with quiet serenity 
on the restoration of the illustrious family whose name her own son 
bore. They dispute no longer 'with their enemies for leadership, 
but dispute among themselves for power and place. 

The emperor is dead twenty-seven years; his three sisters are 
dead and all his brothers, except Jerome, the former husband of the 
Baltimore woman. It was thought for a while that the other mem- 
bers would turn to him as the only surviving brother of the great 
Emperor, and place him at the head of the French nation. And if 
this were done, there might come to pass another event that would 
bring to Madame Bonaparte the realization of all her hopes, and 
make her rule in the palace of the Tuileries. Her former husband 
was now a widower; for Frederica Catharina had died in 1835, and 
Jerome was free to marry again. He had been mellowed by sorrow; 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 141 

his only daughter* had married a Russian count, but was divorced 
from her cruel husband and had seen a broken life. His older son 
by the second marriage had died in 1846, only two years before 
this time. This son was heir to England's throne, through his 
mother who was grandniece of George III. It was thought that 
Jerome would now in the days of his sorrow, when his family was 
broken, turn to his first love, the mother of his first born child, and 
bring her to France and make her the first lady in the land from 
which she had been cruelly driven in her early life through no fault 
of her own. But it was destined not to be. He was now sixtv-four 
years old and the younger relatives, his nephews, were ready to show 
him that they were more capable of upholding the family cause. 

There were four nephews of the emperor at that time in Paris. 
Lucien Charles Murat, son of Caroline, sister of Napoleon; 
Pierre, son of Lucien; Napoleon Bonaparte, son of Jerome (and 
half brother of the Baltimore Jerome); and Louis Napoleon, son 
of Louis, former king of Holland. The latter was looked upon 
with some suspicion on account of his leaning towards imperialism; 
but the tide soon turned in his favor and he was elected president 
of the French Republic by an overwhelming majority. He was 
a bachelor till his marriage in 1853 to the one who became on her 
marriage, Empress Eugenie, now living in England. During a part 
of this time he had for the Lady of the Tuileries Palace, the Princess 
Mathilda, daughter of Jerome Bonaparte by his second wife. She 
was about thirty years old, and of course a half sister to the Balti- 
more Jerome. Unpleasant must this have been for the Baltimore 
queen — the palace in Paris governed by the daughter of the woman 
who had taken her place in her husband's affections. 

FAME AND EMPIRE 

In 1852 France was made an empire with the former president as 
emperor. He assumed the title of Napoleon III, thus leaving room 
for the deceased son of Napoleon I to be honored as Napoleon II. 
With his marriage the next year to the Spanish countess, the im- 
perial family in France seemed quite complete and firmly estab- 
lished. About this time there was born, 1851, a second son to Mr. 
Bonaparte of Baltimore, the first son having been born twenty-one 
years before. This son, born in 1851, is the present distinguished 

"Princess Mathilda (1820-1905). 



M2 THE BOXAPARTE EXILES 

citizen of the nation, Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, who served as secre- 
tary of the navy and later as attorney general in Roosevelt's cabinet. 

In 1854, Jerome Bonaparte of Baltimore went to France and 
asked to be recognized in the royal family. He was met at the door 
of the palace by his cousin, the emperor, who handed him a letter 
which said that there had been a decision by the Council of State 
to consider him a legitimate child of France. Jerome thanked the 
emperor and felt most grateful. Later, however, he received a 
letter from the emperor which informed him that his father, 
Jerome, would never consent to have this American son live in 
France. He was offered the title of Duke of Sartene, but as that 
meant that he should use the title and give up his own name, he 
looked upon the proposition as a device to side track him and de- 
clined the honor. Very soon the king of Wurtemberg, representing 
the family of the second wife, made much trouble and noise about 
the reflection on his family if the first marriage question was re- 
vived. Jerome's half brother, seventeen years younger than him- 
self, made a severe attack on him and protested against Jerome 
Patterson* using the name Bonaparte-. The emperor soon sent a 
letter to Jerome telling him that it would be impossible to recognize 
him as a member of the imperial family. He did this with very 
great sorrow, as the two cousins had been friends since they first 
met at Rome in 1826, when Jerome went abroad after his graduation 
from Harvard. The emperor had also visited Mr. Bonaparte in 
Baltimore in 1837, when he was set free after his trial for attempting 
to capture the government of France. 

Mr. Bonaparte replied to the emperor in a letter of much 
strength, dignity and courtesy and returned to his Baltimore home. 

It may, at first, seem surprising, after reading of the aversion 
of Jerome in his early life to Europeanism, that lie should care for 
admission to an imperial family. But it should be remembered that 
his early manhood was developed under the watchful eye of his 
sternly American grandfather; that he was too young to appreciate 
the great conquests of his uncle at their time, as he was a boy of 
nine when the great hero went down to defeat in Belgium's rolling 
plains, and made Waterloo immortal and symbolic of disaster. 
His grandfather was now dead for nearly twenty years and it is 
not surprising that he came to sympathize with his mother, and to 

*His mother's maiden name, on the theory that the marriage in 1803 was not 
legal as Jerome was a minor. 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 143 

see that she was being deprived of her dearest personal and legal 
rights as a woman. He could not but have felt great pride in the 
family whose name he bore, and desired recognition with those 
who were of his blood. He must have read in his mature years, 
of the almost unprecedented chapter that his uncle made in the 
history of Europe. That this family should come back to power a 
third of a century after Waterloo, and with the almost unanimous 
voice of the French nation, must have stirred his pride, and in- 
creased his desire to assume in the family the part that belonged 
to him by law and nature. 

JEROME NEAR THE IMPERIAL THRONE 

A glance at the male heirs to the throne at this time will plainly 
show that the Baltimore Jerome was not far from the throne if his 
rights were recognized. He was the oldest son of his father by a 
lawful marriage. The half brother who was against his living in 
France was the son of a German woman, and it was felt that the 
revolutionists in France in 1848 had far more sympathy for Ameri- 
can than for German ideas and principles. The- two brothers of 
Napoleon III were dead and had no descendants. The emperor 
himself, at this time, had no child. The son of Napoleon I was dead 
since '1832. The sons of Lucien had no great influence on account 
of the hostile attitude of their father towards his illustrious brother. 
Joseph, oldest brother of Napoleon I, had no sons, and the sons of 
his daughter Zenaide could not inherit the right to rule, according 
to the policy that had governed royalty in France for centuries. 
Therefore, if the emperor died at this time, and if there was a fair 
adjustment of the claims made- by the Bonaparte men, Mr. Bona- 
parte of Baltimore might be asked to sit on the imperial throne. 
Does it seem surprising then that the American nephew of the great 
emperor went abroad to ascertain what were his rights when his 
own cousin is sitting on that imperial throne? In 1856, however, 
there was born to Napoleon III a son, known as the Prince Imperial 
until his tragic death in the English army in 1879. 

DEATH OF JEROME BONAPARTE, EX-KING OF WESTPHALIA 

In June, i860, Madame Bonaparte's former husband died in 
Paris. This brought before her mind a history of fifty-seven years, 
filled with events of great interest to her. 



144 THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

She went abroad to contest his will and secure her rights accord- 
ing to the marriage contract of 1803. That contract was drawn by 
Hon. Alexander J. Dallas (later in Madison's cabinet), and it was 
stipulated that in case the French nation should separate her hus- 
band from her, she should receive one-third of the property that 
he possessed at his death. She wanted that contract executed and 
employed the great Berryer, who had appeared in two other legal 
battles for the American Bonapartes. He presented the case with 
great eloquence and feeling before the tribunal, but the decision was 
against her. Justice and law were on her side, but the power was 
with the tribunal. A decision in her favor would have annoyed the 
family of the second marriage. France was an empire, not a re- 
public, at this time, and people of royal tradition had more influence 
than people with republican traditions. Her husband left his only 
living son by the second marriage sole heir to his possessions, and 
sanctioned a portion for his daughter Mathilda. His first wife is 
not mentioned in the will, nor is her son. They are treated as if 
they had no existence — as if he did not know them. She is again 
cast down, when she is in her seventy-sixth year. She has now 
been severely hurt by two wills — wills of persons near to her, 
— father and husband; for William Patterson's will, filed in 1835, 
the year after she abandoned Europe, left her little or no property 
in fee, but the income and use of nine houses. She returns to 
America, and finished her sixth round trip, or twelfth voyage across 
the Atlantic. The first voyage was made with her young husband 
in 1805, and the last, fifty-five years later, only to learn that neither 
herself nor her son is mentioned in the will of that husband of her 
early days. They never spoke to each other after the parting on 
the boat at Lisbon in April, 180;. They once met by accident 
in 1822, at the art gallery of the Pitti Palace in Florence, but 
they did not speak. Jerome had with him his second wife at the 
time. It may seem quite consistent, therefore, that she would not 
be mentioned in the will of a husband whose desertion had been 
so complete and of such long duration. 

SUMMER OF I87O 

The year i860 was eventful for Madame Bonaparte, as it brought 
the death of her husband and the memories that must have been 
revived. But the year 1870 was more eventful still. It brought 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 145 

first, the death of her son — on June 17 — the same month in which 
his father had died ten years before. This was the son who was 
born to her when she was deserted by her husband and living 
among strangers in a foreign land, the son that as a small babe 
she had brought across the sea in those days before steam was used 
in ocean travel; the son, who, when he had reached manhood, 
refused to follow her advice on the question of a royal marriage and 
then helped to drive her back again into an obscurity from which 
she claimed he might have redeemed her. 

DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 

She hardly had time to realize the fullness of her sorrow when 
there burst suddenly upon the world in that same year, the Franco- 
German war, the defeat of the French at Sedan, the downfall of 
the Second Empire, the flight of the emperor to England, there to 
find, like the Orleans king, a home and a grave. The Baltimore 
queen saw now for the second time the downfall of the most illus- 
trious family that Europe has produced. Sedan came and the 
empire fell and she realized that it could never rise again. The 
republic was established in France, and she saw it develop for over 
eight^years. She died the fourth of April, 1879, and was buried in a 
plot by herself in Grcenmount Cemetery, Baltimore. She was 
buried from the home of the daughter-in-law whose marriage to her 
son she had so vigorously opposed a half century before, in 1829. 
She was in her ninety-fifth year. 

Some accounts say that she was worth about $1,500,000 when 
she died. Some of this came from the pension of $1,000 per month 
which the emperor allowed her after the separation. This was 
continued for ten years, and during this time she lived quietly 
with her father in Baltimore. Fler son received $4,000 from 
his aunt, Pauline Bonaparte, in 1825, and later $10,000 from his 
grand-uncle, Cardinal Fesch, maternal uncle of the first emperor. 
\\ illiam Patterson passed much of his property over her head to 
her son, but this son died before his mother, and she may have in- 
herited from him a part of what her father refused to leave her. 
Her struggle for a large part cf her life was for recognition in the 
family of her marriage, and inspired by the just belief of a woman 
that she was wronged. She had married her husband according 
to the forms and ceremony of his religion, and by a high dignitary 



1 46 THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

of his church. She had her son brought up in the religion of his 
father, although she and the Patterson family were Protestants. 
She had some correspondence with Harvard College o.n this matter 
when her son was a student there, as he was attending exercises 
which she thought were not necessary. On this subject she was a 
diplomat; her family represented two systems of religion, yet in 
her many letters she rarely mentions the subject of religion. 

She not only lived in a time when ''new" families were being 
established in Europe, but she was closely connected with them. 
She had been a sister-in-law to the king of Holland, to the king of 
Naples, and later the king of Spain; sister-in-law also to queen 
Caroline of Naples, and to the emperor himself, and her lawful 
husband was king of Westphalia. 

She was as much royal as the one who was queen of Sweden 
after 1818, for the latter was the daughter of a French business man, 
and her husband, king of Sweden, was simply one of Napoleon's 
generals, while the husband of the Baltimore queen was the brother 
of the Emperor Napoleon I. 

Her life covered nearly a century — a century most eventful in 
the history of the world, but especially in the country which became 
hers by marriage. 

When she was born in 1785, the Bourbons were slumbering in 
apparent security on a quaking throne. When she was a girl of 
seven, that throne was gone, and soon the head of Louis XVI 
fell before the shining blade. As a girl of eighteen she was married 
in her own city to a brother of the greatest man in Europe. At 
twenty she was deserted by that husband and gave birth to a son 
among strangers in a foreign land. At thirty she read of the fall 
of the great Bonaparte family at Waterloo, and saw the exiled 
Bourbons restored to the throne. At forty-five she learned of the 
second downfall and the folding forever of the white Bourbon flag. 
At sixty-three she saw her illustrious family returned to power 
in their own land and commence a reign that lasted nearly a 
quarter of a century. 

At seventy-five, she learned of her husband's death, and his 
failure to remember in his will that she ever existed. At eighty-five 
she lost her son, and in a few months saw the downfall of the Second 
Empire at Sedan. She now had seen in her life two great empires 
fall, two empires of her family — she had seen two Waterloos, 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 147 

fifty-five years apart; and the second Waterloo — Sedan in 1870, 
was the greater. The first Waterloo was not what we are made to 
feel; the word was given a .meaning before history had time to 
pass on the result. The battle was to put down Bonaparte and 
restore the Bourbons. It restored the Bourbons, but they did not 
stay in power; they soon fell, and fell forever. It put down the 
first Bonaparte, but not his cause, nor even his family. They came 
back after a third of a century and ruled the land of their uncle. 

But Sedan ended that rule forever, and was a worse Waterloo 
than the former. At the first Waterloo Madame Bonaparte was 
thirty, in the springtime of life, when the pulse of youth was strong 
and its hopes were high. But in 1870, the year of Sedan, life for 
her had reached its chill December. Appropriate, indeed, is the 
inscription on her simple monument in Greenmount: 

"After life's fitful fever, she sleeps well." 

She has a number of descendants now living, and when their 
high standing, character and connections are considered, it can be 
said that Madame Bonaparte's ambition to be the mother of an 
illustrious family has been realized quite fully, even if not in the way 
she had ^marked on life's program. 

Her grandsons have attained high distinction, one on each side 
of the Atlantic. The elder, Colonel Jerome Bonaparte, born in 
1830, graduated from West Point in 1852 and served as lieutenant 
in the army until he resigned to enter the service of the Second 
Empire of his cousin. He served in the Crimean War against 
Russia, and received a Crimean Medal from the queen of England. 
He fought in the Vatican Campaign against Austria in 1859 and 
was given special marks of honor by the king of Sardinia. He died 
at his summer home in our state — Beverly Farms, in September, 
1893. 

His brother, born twenty-one years later, is a graduate of Har- 
vard College, and was a member of Roosevelt's cabinet. He is 
known as the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte of Baltimore, and has 
been a national figure since his civil service work for good govern- 
ment in Maryland and in the nation. Colonel Jerome married the 
granddaughter of Daniel Webster, and they had several children. 
A son is now in a bank in Washington, D. C. A daughter was 
married September 29, 1896, to Count Adam de Moltke Huitfeldt 



148 THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

of Denmark, whose father had been Danish Ambassador to France. 
The married couple went to live in St. Petersburg, Russia and 
now have three or four children. 

DESCENDANTS OF JEROME AND HIS SECOND WIFE 

He left his first wife in 1805 and married Frcderica Catharina, 
daughter of the king of Wurtemburg, on August 12, 1807. Three 
children were born of this union — two sons and a daughter. The 
first child was a son, born in 1814, about seven years after the mar- 
riage. Great interest was felt in England as it had been known that 
any issue of their marriage would be a distant heir to the English 
throne, as the German princess, whom Jerome married, was a 
granddaughter to the Duchess of Brunswick, who was a sister to 
George III, king of England. He died a bachelor at thirty-two, 
in 1846, two years before the Bonapartes were returned to France. 
The second child was a daughter, born in 1820, and has been known 
in history as the Princess Mathilda. For a while she was the first 
lady of France in a social way, as she was housekeeper for Napoleon 
III before his marriage to Eugenie in 1853. She married Count 
Demidoff of Russia in 1840, but was divorced from him five years 
later.' There was no child of this union. She died in 1905, having 
spent a large part of her life in Paris in the study of painting and 
the fine arts. 

The third child of Jerome by his second wife was a son, born in 
1822, and named for his father. He married in 1859, Clothilde, 
daughter of Victor Emmanuel I, and sister of the late King Humbert. 
Three children were born of this union — two sons and a daughter, 
as was the case in the previous generation. The older son, born 
in 1862, was married in 1910, to Princess Clementine, daughter of 
the king of Belgium, recently deceased. The second son, born in 
1864, has not been married, and is now, or has been, connected 
with the Russian army. The daughter, Letitia, was married in 18S8, 
to her own uncle, the brother of her mother, the Duke of Aosta. 
They had one child, a son, born in 1889. These three children 
of Clothilde and Jerome's son are now living. Their father (who 
married the sister of King Humbert) died in Rome in 1891. It is 
singular that the descendants of Jerome by his two wives — the 
Baltimore lady and the German princess, are the representatives 
of the Bonaparte family on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. 

No elaborate argument is needed to show that Madame Bona- 



IN THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY 



H9 



pane's cause was justice, and that her many battles were fought 
to secuie her personal rights. In the time of her youth, many" of 
the daughters of the leading American families were educated 
abroad, and became much interested in marriages with nobility. 
According to letters from the families of our embassadors a century 
ago, large numbers of American girls were abroad for this purpose. 
This was not the case with Miss Patterson. She was discovered in 
her own city and sought in her own home by Jerome Bonaparte. 
She was married according to forms and ceremony that satisfied 
the laws of her country and also the rules of her husband's church. 
When her father learned that the marriage was certain to take place 
he consulted able lawyers, and took all means to secure a legal 
marriage from the standpoint of both state and church. There 
was no possible loophole left open for attack. The property con- 
tract was drawn by one of the best lawyers in the country. 

The objection raised by Napoleon, then First Consul of France, 
was that Jerome was a minor, and as his father was dead, he should 
have received the consent of his oldest brother Joseph (later king 
of Naples and Spain). But it was not necessary to have the mar- 
riage conform to French law, but to American law where the cere- 
mony took place. 

According to international law, by the comity of nations, each 
country recognizes the official acts and records of other nations on 
a variety of questions, including marriage. This settled the ques- 
tion from a legal standpoint and made Miss Patterson the lawful 
"wife of Jerome Bonaparte" as is written on her single headstone 
in Baltimore. Her husband was king of Westphalia for about seven 
years, and she was, therefore, th'e de jure, if not the de facto queen 
of that kingdom. 

She was the lawful sister-in-law of an emperor, vet she was denied 
admission to the royal family. She became bv her marriage a 
daughter of France, yet she was refused the right to put her foot 
on its soil. Large numbers of her connections lived in palaces, 
yet she was forbidden to cross their threshold. Her own son bore' 
the name of Bonaparte, yet he was denied the right to use it in 
France, and was given his mother's maiden name In the land and 
household of his father. 

Her son's half-brother was heir to England's throne (through the 
German Prmcess) and her brother-in-law, Joseph (king of Naples 



150 THE BONAPARTE EXILES 

and Spain), was a brother-in-law to the queen of Sweden, yet all 
these things could not draw her close to royalty. 

She passed through a long series of trials, disappointments, 
humiliations and insults — such as have fallen to the lot of few 
women, and are believed to shorten the lives of most people who 
experience them, yet she lived to be nearly a century. 

She was a woman of deep and strong feelings in every way and 
had an intense love for her son. In one of her letters she said that 
even if he should try to kill her and failed in the attempt, she would 
not disinherit him as it was "not natural for a mother to do so." 
When she returned from Europe she had labels on the large number 
of garments so that she could tell which one she wore when she met 
different notables at court or social functions in her long career in 
Europe. She kept also, well into later life, the silk coat that her 
husband wore at their wedding in 1803. 

I visited her grave in the spring of 1909, a short distance from the 
Pennsylvania R. R. Station in Baltimore, and it came to me as I 
stood there that the date was April 2, the anniversary of the date 
(April 2, 1805) when she parted (or was about to part) from her 
young husband forever at Lisbon, and lived seventy-four years a 
widow. 

As I stood in silence before her tomb there came to my mind a 
few of the lines that have made Gray and Stoke-Pogis immortal: 

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike the inevitable hour, 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 




ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 151 

Quarterly Meeting December 8, 1905 

Rev. Thomas D. Howard read a paper on "A Recent 

Visit to the Battlefield at- Saratoga. " 

Henry A. Booth gave a talk on ''The Battle of Saratoga. " 

On Saratoga's Battlefields 

N the map of the state of New York, against the name 
"Bemis Heights," is the battle-mark with two dates, 
September 19 and October 7, 1777, indicating two en- 
gagements instead of a single battle. The fighting took 
place on the heights named, which are, and were in 1777, within the 
limits of the township of Stillwater. The name Saratoga is given 
to the entire campaign as indicating the place of the capitulation, 
the grand outcome. 

The scene of this memorable conflict has probably been less 
visited than any other of the chief battle grounds of the Revolution, 
being off the line of any railroad. It is now, however, made acces- 
sible by the trolly from Mechanicville, a station on the Boston and 
Maine railroad, and from Saratoga Springs, by rail to Schuylerville 
and tnence by trolly. Moreover, its attractiveness has been en- 
hanced by the information furnished by suitably-inscribed markers 
at points of special interest. These pillars are of Quincy granite, 
grounded, I was told, to the depth of four feet; and standing about 
three and one half; the chiseled lettering on the smoothed face is 
painted black so as to be easily read from the carriage road. 

By each of the routes I have mentioned the stopping place is 
Bemis Heights, a small post-office village. There is a nicely-kept 
tavern, where a conveyance and guide were furnished me for the 
tour, which occupied two hours. 

Our itinerary was first to the north by the river road. The 
Hudson was on our right. A hight termed Willard mountain, evi- 
dently of upheaved rock, rises sharply from the opposite bank. This 
was an important holding of the American army, furnishing as it 
did a point of observation into the British camp. On the left is 
Bemis Heights. This elevation is a deposit largely of clay. It rises 
from the river about seventy-five feet as a bluff, from which there 
extends inward a table land pierced by deep ravines which have been 



i 5 2 ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 

worn through the yielding material. This plain, thus broken, was 
the scene of the conflicts of September 19 and October 7, 1777. 

The first roadside marker reached bears the inscription "Remus 
Tavern," the proper name spelt with a "u." Here, previous to the 
second engagement were the headquarters of General Gates. This 
was the east limit of the American fortified camp. The next stone 
indicated the western terminus of the floating bridge which con- 
nected the American camp with YV illard mountain. The first marker 
beyond the American lines is at the site of the house of Nicholas 
Fish, in which General Frazer, who was mortally wounded in the 
second battle, died. 

The river road is now left by a turn to the west. A sharp ascent 
brings us to the elevated plain. The line of the British entrench- 
ments, three-quarters of a mile in extent, is now followed. The first 
stone marks the place where General Arnold made his seemingly 
desperate but brilliantly successful attack on the British artillery. 
The next indicates the ground where Frazer was attacked by Captain 
Morgan. The third, the ravine where in both battles the contend- 
ing forces surged back and forth in hand-to-hand fighting. "Free- 
man's Farm," a small clearing in 1777, well-cultivated acres now, 
its soil teeming with bullets, tells the story of the fierce encounters 
that there had place. The roughly-curbed well, the possession of 
which was violently contested, remains now as then. 

There is next traversed, southward, the interval between the 
two camps — a space of about two miles. The first marker en- 
countered on the American side bears the inscription "Fort Neil- 
son." This structure was originally a barn in the clearing of the 
settler whose name it bears. It must be observed that the American 
lines were in their general direction parallel with those of the British. 
But at this point a curve northward formed a salient angle including 
this barn, which was strengthened by a double coating of logs. Jt 
formed a redoubt well advanced toward the enemy, and was manned 
by Captain Morgan's riflemen. Its site is of special interest, be- 
cause thence went forth this sturdy corps to initiate each of the 
battles which brought about the final victory. 

The expedition which received its check at Bemis Heights set 
forth from St. John, Canada, June 16, 1777, under the command of 
Gen. John Burgoync. Its purpose and the expectations based on its 
success is stated by Irving, speaking from the British point of view: 



ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 153 

"The junction of the two armies, that in Canada and that under 
General Howe in New York, was considered the speediest way of 
quelling the rebellion." It docs indeed seem probable that such 
complete severance of New England from the rest of the confed- 
erated states might have resulted in the ultimate suppression of the 
revolt against British tyranny. To borrow a phrase applied by a 
recent historian to the effect of the conquest of the Mississippi by 
the Union army and navy, the confederacy of 1777 would have been 
"broken in half." 

For the narrative of the preparation and the battle I am largely 
indebted to a history, the title of which indicates its local flavor, 
"The Story of Old Saratoga, by John Henry Brandon, M. A., some- 
time pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church of Schuylerville, N. Y." 
Schuylerville, it is to be observed, is Old Saratoga. The place chosen 
to receive the British attack was the narrowest part of the river 
valley, closely hemmed in by YVillard mountain on the east and 
Bemis Heights on the west, leaving but a strait defile to be defended. 
This excellent strategic position was selected by Kosciusko, the 
Polish patriot, who in 1776 came to America, joined the army, and 
had been assigned to General Gates's command not long before the 
battle. 

A lfnc of entrenchments was thrown up, beginning at the river 
and continuing three-quarters of a mile west; not, however, in a 
straight line; although irregular, it may be described as a semicircle 
convexing to the north. There was also toward the western limit 
the angle and redoubt already described. 

The right wing of the defensive army occupied the hillside near 
the river, protected by a marshy ravine and an abbatis. The left 
wing in command of General Arnold, the hight on "the west." Can- 
non were planted on \\ illard mountain across the Hudson, and 
Colonel Colburn's regiment held that commanding position. The 
preparation was substantially complete when, September 16th, 
General Burgoyne, having crossed the Hudson by a bridge of boats, 
encamped about five miles distant. For the next two days there 
were no signs of his further progress southward. But on the morn- 
ing of the 19th Colonel Colburn's men, perched on treetops, spied 
a movement of the enemy, indicating an advance. Report was im- 
mediately made to headquarters. 

General Gates planned to meet the enemy within the entrench- 



1 54 ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 

ments. General Arnold, however, persuaded the commander, though 
with much difficulty, to allow himself and Morgan to attack the 
advancing force before it could reach the camp. With this permis- 
sion he went forth in command of Captain Morgan's 500 riflemen 
and General Dearborn's rangers and riflemen. Their route was to 
the west and north, toward the extreme right of the British line, 
where was General Frazer's command. At I o'clock they met Bur- 
goyne's Indians and Canadians, scouting near the cottage on Free- 
man's farm; a skirmish occurred. Meanwhile General Frazer 
wheeled to the left for the purpose of flanking Morgan and Dearborn, 
when he encountered Arnold, now reinforced by New York and New 
Hampshire troops. His purpose was to separate Frazer from Bur- 
goyne. At about 3 o'clock the action became general. The struggle 
of the contestants was for the possession of the clearing, Freeman's 
homestead, hemmed in by thick woods. Burgoyne, for he was him- 
self at the front, hard pressed by the spirited attack, sent to his left 
for reinforcements, and by the numerical superiority thus acquired 
compelled the patriots to retire. There was no pursuit. 

This was the entirety of the first battle. It was all comprised in 
but little more than three hours of desperate fighting, ending with 
the obscuring darkness of nightfall. It was not a victory for the 
Americans, they being finally repulsed, but it was a defeat for the 
British, since Burgoyne was foiled of the object he had in view. He 
intended to pass through or over the entrenchments he approached 
on his way to junction with General Clinton. He was halted and 
as the event proved, permanently. The losses sustained in the 
battle were on the British side 500 or 600 killed and wounded; of 
the Americans, about 300. 

In the British camp orders were immediately issued for the 
renewal of the conflict in the morning, but Burgoyne, with his in- 
veterate habit of delay, changed the time to the day following. In 
the intervening night a dispatch came from Sir Henry Clinton that 
he was about to move up the Fludson to his aid. On this it was 
decided to await events. A happy postponement for the American 
cause! The supply of ammunition had been almost entirelv ex- 
pended on the 19th, and an attack on the entrenchments could 
hardly have been repulsed. Each day was clear gain to the patriots. 
Ammunition was soon sent from Albany to the camp, and the army 
was daily augmented by the militia, who reported for duty from the 
whole countryside, generally bringing their supplies with them. 



ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 155 

It will be remembered that General Burgoyne held the ground 
on which lie was attacked September 19th. In the interval of quiet 
he threw up breastworks and erected forts which transformed the 
line into an entrenched camp. Its length westward from the river 
was the same as that of the Americans, and at nearly all points its 
breastworks were directly opposite those of the American camp. 
For sixteen days there were no indications of hostile activity. It is 
now known that on the evening of October 5th General Burgoyne 
laid before his officers the situation, namely, that his commissariat 
was running low, and that nothing had been heard from Clinton; 
and that on this presentation the advice he received was so opposed 
to offensive operations and in favor of a retreat to Fort Edward, 
that he decided on a middle course, — to make a reconnoissance in 
force to ascertain the position of the enemy, and if an attack should 
be found unwise, to retreat. 

Now, to comprehend the origin and course of the battle of which 
the carrying out of this plan was the occasion, it must be noticed 
that this was a reconnoissance in force, that is, while its prime ob- 
ject was to view the enemy in order to ascertain the advisability 
of an attack, there was full preparation for fighting. The organized 
force was a body of 1,500 picked men and ten pieces of artillery. 
There was the right, left and center; in detail, the light infantry 
under General Balcarres was stationed on the right, General Rie- 
descl with the German troops held the center, Majors Ackland and 
Williams with the grenadiers were posted on the left. Meantime, 
General Frazer with 500 grenadiers had occupied a hight in advance, 
with the intention of stealing around the left of the American ranks 
and holding their attention, while the main body could gain the 
high ground. 

That immediate hostilities were inferred from this disposition 
of the British troops is evident from the conversation reported as 
taking place in the American camp. Adjutant-General Wilkinson, 
having from an eminence observed the enemy in array, reported 
to General Gates that Burgoyne apparently offered battle. 

"What do you suggest?" asked Gates. 

"I would indulge him," was the reply. 

"Then," said Gates, "order out Morgan." Obedient to this 
command was the initiation of the battle. 

Unlike the previous engagement, which was a fight for the pos- 



1 56 ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 

session of a space of small dimensions, the attack of October 7 was 
planned for a. combined assault on the entire line of the organized 
■ threatenine force. Morgan's riflemen were to make a wide circuit 
northwesterly to outflank General Frazer with his grenadiers. 
Time being allowed for Morgan to rcacli the enemy, General Poor 
with his brigade was to assail the extreme left of the British line 
and Learned's brigade and Dearborn's riflemen the center and left. 
At about half past two began the combined attack. Morgan, gain- 
ing a ridge west of Frazer, fell upon his detached force and compelled 
a retreat to the main body with the aid of Major Dearborn who 
made a counter attack. He struck the British right, making a 
change of front a necessity; while this change was in process or 
shortly after its completion, the riflemen enforced a disorderly 
retreat. Almost simultaneous with this success was General Poor's 
charge on the British left, where were Majors Ackland and \\ illiams 
with their commands and a battery of 12-pounders. For the por- 
trayal of this brilliant achievement I quote the animated description 
in the "History of Old Saratoga:" — 

Poor's men descended into the ravine and ascended the opposite bank with 
the coolness of veterans. They were well up and were nearing the enemy before 
a shot was fired, when a tremendous volley of musketry and cannon thundered 
forth, bin the pieces being too much elevated, the missiles harmed only the tree- 
tops in their rear. At once they marched forward in open order, and, forming 
again on their Hanks, they literally mowed down the grenadiers with their accu- 
rately aimed volleys. Then charging, they closed with the enemy and a desperate 
hand-to-hand conflict ensued, the combatants surging back and forth as each for 
the moment gained advantage. The most furious contest, however, raged around 
Williams's battery. One of the 12-poundeis was taken and retaken no less than 
six times, till finally Major Williams was taken prisoner and Major Ackland of 
the grenadiers was seriously wounded, when the men, seized with panic through 
the loss of their leaders, abandoned the contest and fled. 

The spot where the achievement thus described had place is 
marked by a stone bearing the inscription, "Where the Americans 
caused the British to retreat." 

There remains for narration the other part of the movement on 
the encmj — the most sensational of the three, because Arnold, 
whose actions were full of contrasts and surprises, is its hero. For 
the attack on the British center General Learned had selected a 
part of the line which seemed the least sufficiently manned, and 
was advancing thither, when General Arnold appeared on the scene 
and putting himself at the head of the brigade (he being superior 



ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 157 

officer, though deprived of his command, his authority was ac- 
knowledged), led the assault. 

The story is familiar of Arnold's chafing under restraint at 
headquarters, and at last taking horse and spurring to the field, 
pursued but not overtaken by the mounted messenger with an order 
for his instant return, "lest he should do some rash thing." 

The charge led by Arnold on the entrenchments was successful, 
the defenders being put to flight. Arnold followed up his advantage, 
razed the breastworks, rushed with his men through the opening 
into the enemy's fortified camp. Once within, he gained entrance 
into an important redoubt, of which he speedily possessed himself. 
With this advantage gained by their foe, the British, attacked from 
their own stronghold, were compelled to huddle, as it were, into a 
part of their breastworks which remained intact. Night again put 
an end to the contest, the Americans marching to their camp with 
shouts of victory. 

The statistics of relative losses in the engagement as given by 
Winsor are: Americans, 50 killed and 150 wounded; British, 176 
killed, about 250 wounded, and some 270 prisoners. 

The night following the battle the Americans lay on their arms, 
prepared to renew the attack on the following morning. But during 
the night General Burgoyne had removed his army to the part 
of the entrenchments which lay near the river. 

Nine days elapsed before the doomed surrender. The first two 
of these were occupied by the retreat of the British army, closely 
followed by Gates, to Saratoga-on-the-Hudson, ten miles north of 
the battlefield, the original Saratoga. The fearful week there spent, 
cannonaded by the besiegers, is vividly portrayed in the memoirs 
of Baroness Reidesel, wife of the commander of the German con- 
tingent of Burgoyne's army. The house in which she took shelter 
is still standing. It served at once as a place of refuge for women 
and children, and a hospital. 

General Burgoyne seemed almost to the last to have cherished 
hope of escape. But during the fateful interval of delay he was 
surrounded. Crossing the Hudson eastward in the close proximity 
of the enemy was out of the question. General Fellows, who had 
been posted on Willard mountain, occupied with 1,300 men the 
hights north of Saratoga. Captain Morgan with his riflemen who 
were at the west, flanked by the impassable wilderness, while General 



158 ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 

Stark with New Hampshire and Vermont troops erected a battery 
which commanded the only gap by which the road to Canada could 
be reached. An attempt to make terms with the nationals had 
become a necessity: 

October 13, General Burgoyne called a council of officers, who 
unanimously recommended the opening of negotiations with Gen- 
eral Gates. During the next three days propositions and counter 
propositions were exchanged, and on the 1 6th the treaty of con- 
vention was signed. In accordance with its terms there were sur- 
rendered, October 17, as prisoners, 4,640 men; also, 5,000 muskets, 
a train of brass artillery consisting of forty-two guns and a large 
supply of ammunition. 

An incident connected with the German part (nearly one-half 
of the surrendered army being Hessians), has a certain local 
interest. The first date of the inscribed record 1 am about to quote 
is just fourteen days after that of the convention, during which time 
the prisoners had inarched, under guard of General Heath, from 
Saratoga by way of Albany to West Springfield common. The 
inscription is: "Here encamped, October 30 and 31, 1777, General 
Reidesel and his Hessian soldiers, on their w-ay to Boston, after 
Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga." 

The exact spot on which the treaty was signed is indicated by a 
tablet on a dwelling-house in the main street of Schuylerville. 
But, grandly commemorative of the decisive battle, there rises 
from the summit of the ridge which flanks the village, an imposing 
and beautiful monument. The structure is of granite. On the 
ample base is a chamber fourteen feet square. Its walls support a 
second base from which a shaft of obelisk form ascends, reaching 
the hight of 155 feet. From the look-out, reached by stairs, the 
southward view includes the entire expanse made memorable by 
the conflict and triumph of which it was the scene. 

Of the participants in the events I have described, three stand 
forth in special prominence. The two commanders-in-chief are not 
included in the trio. Of these I offer Winsor's characterization of 
Burgoyne, "he was not only slow, but he was irresolute;" and it 
is added as illustrative of his dilatory vacillation, "After his disas- 
trous defeat at Bemis Heights, he lost five precious days in fatal 
indecision while retreat was possible." Of Gates, "He had no 
fitness for command, and wanted personal courage." Gates is 



ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 159 

chiefly remembered for his insidious plotting to supplant Washing- 
ton in the chief command. 

1. The name of Benedict Arnold was to become a synonym 
for archtreason. But let it be remembered, that the morning of 
September 18, 1777, it was General Arnold's project to stem the 
progress of the British army toward the American breastworks, 
and his insistence which secured for him permission to take the 
field; and, that, through his conduct and valor in the battle that 
ensued, the threatening advance of a powerful enemy was called 
to a halt. It was this action that saved the day and, in the event, 
secured the victory. In the second battle he crowned the victory 
which had already been practically gained, by his fiery charge into 
the very citadel of the enemy. Wounded, he was at the close of 
the battle borne from the field. I quote a remark which has re- 
ceived wide circulation, "Well would it have been for Arnold's 
reputation if the wound had proved fatal." 

2. Capt. Daniel Morgan, in July, 1775, after a march of 
twenty-one days from Virginia, joined Washington at Cambridge 
with his company of ninety-six picked riflemen. It is said that, on 
their arrival, General Washington, usually undemonstrative, shook 
hands with every man in the ranks. At Saratoga, Morgan is relied 
on to open each engagement, and appears at every point where 
daring, swift execution and sound judgment are required. Loyal 
to his country's cause, he was equally devoted to his chief. This 
is the record of his chilling response to a suggestion of disloyalty: 

"At the close of the second day's battle, Gates approached 
Morgan with a proposition to desert Washington and support his 
own pretensions to the chief command. The reply was, 'Lnder 
no other man as commander-in-chief than Washington would I 
ever serve.' " 

3. The name of General Frazer of the British staff is, with a 
certain tenderness, associated with the battle ground of Bemis 
Heights. On a hill-top within its limits is his grave. When the 
spot was pointed out to me I was asked if it was generally thought 
that the body was disinterred and carried to England. I was able 
to reply that not only was such removal improbable, but that the 
statement was pronounced by good authority to be entirely without 
foundation. The question, and the satisfaction with which the 
answer was received, showed that, to those familiar with the place, 



160 ON SARATOGA'S BATTLEFIELDS 

a sort of consecration was imparted by the ashes which were mingled 
with the dust. For General Frazer was highly regarded by foes as 
well as by friends. In efficiency and in every martial quality greatly 
the superior cf his chief, he was implicitly relied on by General 
Burgoyne. A characterization given in a proposed epitaph may 
serve for a description of the man: — 

His walk was free and bold, and his decided movements showed his military 
impetuosity; a man of the people, a man of war and action; the frank cordiality 
of his address invited friendliness and sympathy. 

The historical record of his death is that while protecting a wing 
of the British army, he was mortally wounded by one of Morgan's 
sharpshooters. It is also told, and the story is illustrative of the 
qualities of the two men, that when Morgan perceived the effective 
work of General Frazer in rallying disordered ranks, he called two 
or three of his best marksmen, pointed out the officer named and 
said, "That gallant officer is General Frazer. I admire and respect 
him, but it is necessary for our good that he should die. Take your 
station in that cluster of bushes and do your duty." Shortly after 
the order was given Frazer fell, and died on the following morning. 

A last request was that at 6 o'clock, in the evening, he should be 
buried in the "Great Redoubt," which had been the chief fortification 
of the British camp. At the hour named there assembled around 
the open grave those of his fellow-officers who could be spared from 
their posts, to join in the burial service. During the reading cannon 
balls fired from the opposite camp plowed up the earth around, and 
covered those assembled with dust; but with steady attitude and 
unaltered voice the chaplain read the service to its completion. 
It should be stated that the cannonading was directed under the 
apprehension that the gathering was with hostile intent, and that 
General Gates afterward said that, had he known what was going 
on, he should have stopped the firing immediately. 

The story of the funeral scene, with the resemblance of situation, 
the new-made grave to be hastily abandoned, soon to be trodden 
underfoot by the enemy in close pursuit, and the grief and regrets 
which filled the hearts of the participants "as they bitterly thought 
of the morrow," might have place along with the stately lines which 
portray "The Burial of Sir John Moore." But to the visitor of the 
present time, the grave which was closed on the evening of that 
autumn day sheds a mellow light on the peaceful scene, in the 
valley to which the gentle flow of the Hudson has given the name of 
Stillwater. 



THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA 161 

The Battle of Saratoga 

Remarks by Henry A. Booth 

I DID not know until the day before yesterday that I was to 
say anything here on this subject or on any other subject, 
and in justice to the members of the society, as well as in 
justice to myself, I feel that I ought not to attempt it, for I 
believe that a person should be thoroughly prepared on his subject 
when speaking before such an audience as this. I understand I am 
limited to five or ten minutes, and perhaps you will bear with me 
for that length of time for the reason that in so short a space I 
cannot and could not be expected to say very much. 

There are in the history of this nation, many days and many 
events which well deserve recognition and remembrance at the hands 
of patriotic American citizens; but 1 do not believe that there is 
any day which so much deserves remembrance as the anniversary 
of the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga on October 17, 1777. I 
believe practically all the historians concede that to have been the 
decisive battle of the war, and Creasy, in his fifteen decisive battles 
of the world, includes this among the number. 

In the spring of 1777 the Americans were engaged in a life and 
death struggle with the largest, richest and most powerful nation 
in the world. The whole population was less than three millions — 
less than are today in the city of New York — engaged in such a 
struggle as they were; and these people were spread out over a 
territory reaching from Maine to Georgia. Even under the best 
of conditions, and with everything favorable, they would have had 
a tremendous undertaking on their hands. The army had been 
defeated again and again in open battle. The British were in 
possession of Philadelphia, New York and Newport; and the army 
itself was demoralized, half clad and half fed. The troops were in 
no condition to cope with their enemies. The commander-in-chief 
had encountered the most severe criticism because of what was 
claimed to be his inability to wage the war, and many of the wealthy 
colonists were opposed to the war. Besides, in the whole world, 
there was no friend to hold out a helping hand, no friend to advise. 
It was under such a condition of affairs as this that Great Britain 
determined to strike a still stronger blow and crush forever any 



1 62 THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA 

tinge of American liberty that still prevailed. In furtherance of 
these plans, a large army was raised and sent into Canada. This 
army was to march down from Canada to Albany where it was to 
meet another army from New York and establish a chain of forts 
from Canada to New York City, thus separating the New England 
colonies from the colonies on the other side of this line. General 
Gage said New England was the hotbed of rebellion, and it was 
thought if these colonies could be separated from the other colonies, 
the war would soon be ended. Great Britain placed her army, 
composed of four or five thousand Hessians and an equal number of 
British under control of experienced generals, at the head of whom 
was General Burgoyne and to these were added two or three 
thousand Canadians, and several hundred Indians bent on murder 
and robbery, and with this army of ten or twelve thousand men, 
Burgoyne started south from Canada. The patriots had no array 
in front to oppose him and none in the rear to harrass him. It is no 
wonder that the patriots became alarmed as they did. General 
Arnold, fresh from his laurels won at the siege of Quebec, was sent 
to assist General Schuyler, and Morgan with his famous sharp- 
shooters was also sent to check the advance; but with the small 
force at their command, they were able to effect but little. The 
huge force moved to the south — I say huge force advisedly, because 
at that time it was a large force, considering the condition of the 
country. They passed on and Crown Point fell into their hands 
without a struggle; then they pressed on to Ticonderoga, which gave 
up with scarcely a struggle, as they were utterly unable to compete 
with the British army, and so this force passed on to the Hudson 
river. During this time one or two things happened which affected 
the final outcome. After leaving Canada, Burgoyne sent out a 
party for the purpose of capturing Fort Stanwix in the Mohawk 
valley. General Arnold was sent to defend Fort Stanwix, and he 
did it successfully in this manner: He took a half-witted boy and sent 
him to the English force with the story that the Americans were 
more numerous than the leaves on the trees, and the British being 
frightened retired without stopping to ascertain as to the truth or 
falsity of the statements made by the boy. 

At the same time that he sent a force to capture Fort Stanwix, 
General Burgoyne also sent another force eastward into Vermont, 
for the purpose of capturing the town of Bennington, at which place 



THE BATTLE OE SARATOGA 163 

were a large amount of stores, provisions, etc. General Stark de- 
fended this place as successfully as did General Arnold Fort Stanwix. 
He not only compelled the British to retreat, but he at the same time 
captured several hundred prisoners. Both of these forces then fell 
back upon the main body. 

General Schuyler was forced at this time to resign. The example 
of Schuyler might well be followed by any and all office-holders at 
the present day. Instead of leaving the army in anger and jealousy, 
he generously divulged to General Gates all his plans of campaign 
and he also generously assisted him in their execution. And General 
Gates accepted and carried out the plans given him by General 
Schuyler. 

The army crossed the river at Fort Edwards, where the Ameri- 
cans had fortified themselves at Saratoga. The first battle of 
Saratoga was fought on September 19, 1777, but neither side 
seemed to havegaincd a decisive victory. Both armies remained there 
until the 7th of October in the same year. In the meantime, General 
Burgoyne saw his army was being depleted and the forces of the 
Americans continually augmented by new recruits who came in from 
every direction and from every one of the colonies. Accordingly on 
this day he attacked again. Arnold had been displaced, perhaps 
because of jealousy, on General Gates' account; nevertheless he 
rushed in at the head of his old command where he was received 
with cheers, and ordered a charge on the British line, and though he 
was wounded, and borne from the field, it was through his efforts the 
battle was won. I have thought many times that the services of 
General Arnold during that day, did much for the cause of American 
liberty, and far offset any injury that he afterwards did in favor 
of the British crown. The arm)- of Burgoyne, however, did not 
surrender on this day. It remained somewhere near its old position 
until the 17th day of October, when, with starvation staring it in 
the face, it surrendered to the American forces. 

Xow while the effect of this battle may not have been electrical, 
at the same time the spark there ignited; did electrify the whole 
of the colonies; it made them more of a unit in the future and con- 
vinced them that final victory was possible and stirred the whole of 
continental Europe. It hastened along the French Revolution and 
made possible a freer government in every country of Europe, and 
I believe the people of Europe to-day are enjoying a greater amount 



164 THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA 

of liberty than they would have done were it not for the Battle of 
Saratoga. 

Not only that, but France recognized the liberty of the thirteen 
colonies and sent over an able admiral of her own navy with a power- 
ful fleet, and an army under one of her own marshals. Spain and 
Holland also soon followed the example of France and recognized 
the independence of the colonies, thus giving to the colonies several 
powerful friends, while before this battle they had not one. 

Besides that it taught us a lesson and that lesson is this: That 
we should respect the rights of weaker nations who are struggling 
for their independence, and I believe that since then we have not 
only preached it, but practiced it also. In 1820 we held out a help- 
ing hand to each and every one of the South American republics 
when they were endeavoring to win their independence from Spain, 
We also held out a helping hand to the Grecians when they were 
endeavoring to win their independence from Turkish tyranny. 
We held out a helping hand to the Mexicans when they were strug- 
gling under the domination of Maximilian. And I hope the time 
will never come when we will forget that we were once in a position 
where we needed the assistance of foreign nations. 



Mr. Howard — The first Williams, from whom I descended, was 
Robert Williams who came to Roxbury and is buried in the burying 
ground on Eustis setter, which is near the old Roxbury line, be- 
tween Boston and Roxbury. We could not find Robert's grave, 
nor his son Deacon Samuel Williams' grave; but Mrs. Samuel 
Williams' grave is there. Deacon Samuel stayed in Roxbury and 
his descendants were numerous. Isaac went west — to Newton — 
that was west at that time, and then his sons came to Worcester, 
Massachusetts, and to Decrfield and also to Connecticut and that 
is where my grandmother came from — that branch in Wethersfield. 




WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 165 

Quarterly Meeting January 12, 1906 

Mrs. Mabel Loomis Todd of Amherst read a paper on 
"Witchcraft." 

Witchcraft in New England 

S a child spending summers in Hampton, New Hamp- 
shire, I became intensely interested in the legends and 
stories connected with the old Moulton house. The 
story that the General had sold his soul to the devil 
for a large bootful of gold was strangely fascinating to me, scarcely 
less so the story that the canny gentleman had cut the sole from his 
boot, and the innocent devil continued to pour in the precious metal 
until the room was full. 

Shortly after the death of his first wife he married again, a young 
woman of simpler family, who used to feel ghostly fingers on her 
wedding ring during the night. The story is told by Whittier in 
"The New Wife and the Old." When he died, the story goes that 
instead of a corpse in his coffin, it was found to be full of gold, or 
stones as some used to aver. At all events, a strange black cat leaped 
out of the window shortly after his death, and his body disappeared. 
Years afterward Col. Oliver Whipple bought the house, bring- 
ing his slaves and his chariot from Rhode Island with Pomp and 
Dick in a rumble behind, holding the tassels. His arrival caused a 
great celebration, and lunch was served to all the surrounding 
country; but the family could never rest quietly in this haunted 
house. In the words of an old nurse for many years employed by 
them, she often heard the General's cane "thump, thumping down 
the stairs, his wife's lute-string dress a-rustling. " At last three elderly 
clergymen were invited to the house, who stood at the foot of the 
stairs and begged these uncanny inhabitants to leave the house in 
peace. No ghostly sounds are reported after that. 

Hampton witchcraft was rife before that of Salem. In 1673, 
Goody Cole was buried at the crossroads with a stake through her 
body. 

"They buried them deep, but they wouldn't lie still, 
For cats and witches are hard to kill." 

Who does not remember the strange shivers running over him 
when first seeing the witch scene in Macbeth, typical witches. 



1 66 WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 

"those grey old wives," bent and brown and shriveled, nose and 
chin grewsomely meeting, wild white locks straggling over their 
burning eyes as thev leaned above the stewing toads and snakes in 
their dreadful brew. 

"Double, double toil and trouble. 
Fire burn; and cauldron bubble." 

I can see it now, as the genius of Shakespeare brought it before us, 
and splendid Charlotte Cushman, old but glorious, as she vivified 
the play, and gave her pregnant interpretation. The witches' 
croon has always fascinated me, and a study of that strange belief 
in them, as old as time. 

The witchcraft delusion and persecution is one of the saddest 
passages in our history, when men had so recently come to escape 
persecution, and so soon began to practice it. There was much in- 
tolerance in religious matters, as evidenced among other things by 
the cruelty to Quakers. By the time of the great witchcraft out- 
burst in 1692, Quakers had been placed more on an equality with 
othei sects, and actual persecution had ceased; but even later many 
of them complained bitterly of the treatment they received, and the 
unkind attitude of those who should have been friendly. 

Many persons think that the greatest development of the twen- 
tieth century will not be so much in mechanical things as along 
psychological lines. Personal magnetism and telepathy are investi- 
gated, mesmerism, mental healing and hypnotism. Psychical 
societies are looking into all mysteries; the occultism of India and 
Japan are studied, and books which bring in, never so little, communi- 
cation with the dead, or unusual power of divination or influence, 
are sure to sell. It is the great underlying, but burning, present 
interest. The borderland of two worlds is limitlessly attractive; 
all have lost some friend, all long to know. YVc are not as ignorant 
now as four or five centuries ago, and are not in such terror of super- 
natural influence. We know more of natural laws, but mysteries 
continue to attract. 

It is hardly to be wondered at that the newness of natural phe- 
nomena and their unexplainable character should have inspired fear 
in early times. One has only to study the history of astronomy to 
see the tremendous hold such beliefs of uncanny influence had upon 
the ancients. 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 167 

Comets brought evil by the shaking of their "horrid hair." 
Eclipses presaged disaster. Even Kepler was a zealous advocate of 
astrology, while Tycho Brahe kept a mumbling idiot about him as 
mediator and interpreter for higher powers. It is even asserted by 
a recent writer in The Century that four-fifths of humanity today 
believe in witchcraft. 

One of the most absorbingly interesting studies is to trace the 
history of preternatural beliefs from the twilight of fear and tradi- 
tion to present day sunlight, — a sunlight, however, which sane and 
open and bright and normal as it is, still holds the possibility o! 
belief in that which cannot be explained by natural law, the germ of 
other-worldliness. A certain sort of spiritism, magic in various 
forms, sorcery, necromancy, enchantments, fetichism, witchcraft — 
all have had their day and power, their nations peculiarly suscep- 
tible, their victims. 

Nvma, an early Roman law giver, caused the people to believe 
that he had access to a divinity who told him what to do. 

Pliny tells us of a Roman farmer, Furius Cresinus, who was 
accused of magic because he was uniformly successful. In reply he 
merely showed his better plows and other implements, and pointed 
to hjs sunburned daughters — his only witchcraft. 

Zoroaster was also accused of magic, probably and simply because 
he had peculiar and unusual acquirements. 

Others pretended to superior powers — which being regarded with 
awe, necessarily kept the people in a state of submissive fear. They 
called themselves variously — soothsayers, diviners, sorcerers, as- 
trologers and oracles. 

They were chiefly persons who had discovered some secret of 
nature, and instead of proclaiming it as now is done, held it in re- 
serve as a secret power to be used upon the credulous. 

Naturally they became priests. In this class are Chaldean priests 
of Assyria, Brahmins of India, Magi of Persia, Oracles of Greece. 
Augurs of Italy, Druids of Britain, Powwows (medicine men) of 
Indians. 

Their procedure was more in the line of mysteries, charms, and 
the like, than actual witchcraft. 

The Witch of Endor (Samuel I, Ch. 28) was probably an imposter, 
but the story is most interesting. 

The anonymous authors of Old Testament books, as in this chap- 



1 68 WITCHCRAFT IN NEIV ENGLAND 

ter, dating to iooo b. c, were fond of putting laws, commands, senti- 
ments for greater force, into the mouths of long-dead prophets and 
seers. 

In those far-away Biblical days the laws against witchcraft were 
profoundly stringent (Deut. XVIII, 9-14), uncanny practices being 
pronounced "an abomination unto the Lord." 

It was even commanded (Deut. XVII, 5) "Thou shalt stone 
them with stones till they die." 

Two witnesses were required to be sure, but in that cruel fashion 
"So thou shalt put the evil away from among you, " (Isaiah VIII, 19). 

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," (Exodus XXII, 18): 
Literally, "Thou shalt not keep alive one who uses charms" (or 
spells). 

Leviticus XIX, 26: "Neither shall you use enchantments or deal 
in soothsaying." 

Leviticus XIX, 3 1 : "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, 
neither seek after wizards." 

Leviticus XX, 27: "A man also or woman that has a familiar 
spirit or that is a wizard shall surely be put to death; thou shalt 
stone them with stones." 

Taking all these Hebrew denunciations in their most cruel and 
literal fheaning, they proceeded to carry out provisions which seem 
to us worse than barbarous in atrocity. 

Demonology, as a general word, means an entire class of ideas 
relating to supernatural interference in mundane things, and was 
not originally necessarily applicable to evil spirits. Such inter- 
communication was at first regarded as innocent, even creditable, 
as during the classic times of mythology. 

One peculiarity of Hebrew belief was, as we have seen, that it 
denounced such communications as unholy, even criminal. In the 
beginning, Christianity said that God only was to be sought in 
prayer. 

About the opening of the Christian era we can trace outlines of 
the more modern witchcraft beliefs. As the twilight of the dark 
ages cif Christianity came on and settled heavily, superstition spread. 
The early observations of nature in the East had seemed to show- 
that two great powers were in command over the world, and con- 
tinually warring. The two mighty antagonists used men as puppets 
and played with and upon them. 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 169 

Liven Christianity allowed that perhaps the devil was at the head, 
and that it was possible for persons to join him for the overthrow of 
the church. 

In this belief lay- the kernel of all subsequent action upon the 
crime of witchcraft. 

Still later, things of strange import not classified before as neces- 
sarily bad, were increasingly attributed to an intimacy with the 
devil. After that, learned men, instead of concealing their dis- 
coveries, proclaimed them abroad and showed their naturalness and 
freedom from the uncanny. All this tended enormously to the 
spread of knowledge, and the dispersing of the mists of that twi- 
light time. 

Christian Thomasius, who died in 1728 and did his university 
work at Halle, wrote treatises and plunged constantly into great 
and living questions, in which he rendered more direct service to 
mankind than any other German from Luther to Lessing. First of 
these subjects was witchcraft, and his work finally destroyed this 
widespread, noxious, tenacious growth. 

But witchcraft as a crime had been punished with wide carnage 
as early as the century when the Roman Empire became Christian. 

All Christendom believed that some persons were possessed of 
supernatural powers, of advantage to themselves, and evil and 
confusion to their enemies. It was a capital crime by the laws of 
many European nations. 

In the thirteenth century, Roger Bacon found out so much of 
optics, chemistry and astronomy that he was charged with witch- 
craft. Papal denunciation followed and he was twice imprisoned. 

In 1305, Arnold de Villa Nova was burned by inquisitors at 
Padua, on the charge of witchcraft. 

The Earl of Bedford put Joan of Arc to death on this charge. 

Even Martin Luther actually believed that he talked with the 
devil. 

In 1484 came the famous Bull of Pope Innocent VIII which gave 
new fury to the persecution of those possessing occult powers, and 
enormously hastened the unrelenting pursuit of witchcraft. Hun- 
dreds perished, not only Protestants, but some Roman Catholics as 
well, these horrible transactions often sanctioned by theological 
hatred and rancor. It was easy to clear the church of heretics by 



i 7 o WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 

hanging and burning, and quite as easy to accuse and condemn as 
witches in the first place. 

The fury raged in both Protestant and Catholic countries. His- 
tory reports that agents of the Pope burned over nine hundred. 

During our colonial era six hundred a year perished in Germany, 
and a state of things almost as bad prevailed in Italy, Switzerland 
and Sweden. 

In 1541, the Earl of Hungerford was beheaded for asking of a 
reputed witch how long Henry VIII might be expected to live. 

One inquisitor, or so-called judge, Regius, condemned and burned 
over nine hundred in fifteen years, in Lorraine, and as many more 
fled the country, in despeiate fear of their lives. He practiced the 
most awful tortures, remarking that otheiwise he could not get them 
to confess. Most intelligent persons believed that witches com- 
municated with Satan. 

Most of the sufferers were innocent, but some were undoubtedly 
evil, and knew they had been imposing on the world. Still others 
had taught magic, and really believed they had covenanted with 
the devil. 

In the sixteenth century, continental Europe sacrificed one hun- 
dred thousand lives in this mad fanaticism. In the sixteenth century 
one thousand perished in Como in Lombardy, one hundred a year, 
after. 

The statute of Queen Elizabeth against witchcraft and sorcerers, 
in 1562 began practically the persecutions in England, which reached 
their height in the seventeenth century. King James I was the 
great persecutor, and the Act of Parliament in England in 1603 
caused the fury to break out like wildfire. It was in the same year 
that parsons were forbidden to cast out devils in England without 
a license. 

In a period more than covered by John Alden's life, forty thousand 
"witches" were murdered in England. For a hundred and twenty- 
five years a sermon was annually preached on a foundation of £40 
confiscated in this same fateful year, 1603, as the property of three 
witches. 

The English statutes against witchcraft were repealed only forty 
years before the American Colonies ceased to be a part of the British 
Empire. About 161 5, more than five hundred were put to death in 
Geneva, the home of Calvin. During the reign of King James VI, 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 171 

thousands of "witches" were executed in Scotland, and in 1645 a 
hundred in Essex and Sussex alone. 

King James of Scotland was a firm believer in the occult. All 
mysteries found ready credulity in his mind, and to flatter his weak- 
ness Parliament passed truly terrible laws against witches. The 
worst tortures were practiced at this time, and in England as well — 
and were indulged in with a spirit of unmitigated cruelty and vin- 
dictiveness. Mercy and compassion seemed strangled in the hearts 
of the persecutors, as later they seemed also absent from the Salem 
judges. 

A fiend in human shape went about, not only to extort confessions 
from innocent people, but to entrap and confuse everyone upon 
whom he could lay hands. His own name was Matthew Hopkins, 
his title "Witchfinder General." This monster operated in England 
in 1646, his expenses paid liberally to prick, cut, torture, drag in 
water, tie up and mutilate all suspects, and as I have said, to extort 
confessions which could be later used against them. In one year and 
one county he alone had sixty killed. People — and we are filled with 
amazement that such was the case — looked not only complacently, 
but with admiration upon him, believing that he had stolen Satan's 
list of confederates, his "book of names." Even good men like 
Richard Baxter and Edmund Calamy believed in him. But then, 
Baxter always believed in ghosts and other uncanny manifestations. 

One of Hopkins' pet methods was to tie his victims' limbs to- 
gether, double the body over and tie hands to feet and so foith, and 
then throw them into water. If they floated they were proved and 
convicted witches, and dealt with accordingly. If thev sank they 
were innocent — but being by that time drowned it did not do them 
personally much good. 

He was finally suspected of not acting in good faith, and some 
persons tied him into a bundle and threw him into the water. He 
floated. 

Nobody, however, dared to deny the reality of witchcraft, though 
error never being absolutely universal, there were people who took 
no real share in these beliefs. 

Thus it will be seen that Christianity did not stamp out certainties 
as to witches. Not a village in England but had its ghost; church- 
yards were haunted; every common had its "circle" of fairies, and 
hardly a shepherd lived but had seen spirits. The Rev. Joseph 



i 7 2 WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 

Glanville, Vicar of Frome, Chaplain to Charles II, and a member of 
the Roral Society, wrote distinctly in favor of the undoubted exist- 
ence of witches, witchcraft and apparitions. His books were cer- 
tainly read in New Encland before we began to publish such litera- 
ture here. 

Spiders were always intimately associated with strange powers 
and incantations; and witches were supposed to be able, at will, to 
turn themselves into dogs, cats, hogs, rats, mice, toads — and into 
the yellow birds which flew adroitly to their victims. 

We remember Holmes's famous picture of the "midnight hags" 
sailing off 

"On their well-trained broomsticks mounted high, 
Seen like shadows against the sky; 
Crossing the track of owls and bats. 
Hugging before them their coal-black cats." 

How it brings the whole weird scene before us, as also his descrip- 
tion of 

"Dusky nooks in the Essex woods, 
Dark, dim, Dante-like solitudes, 
Where the tree-toad watches the sinuous snake ■ 
Glide through his forests of fern and brake." 

Witches could operate from a distance, however, by means of their 
own apparitions" even from a hundred miles away; so that an 
alibi could never be urged — as was tragically shown in Salem later on. 

Enough has been said to show that the belief in witchcraft was 
neither confined to America nor indigenous to New England, but 
was legitimately imported by the first settlers. 

In many important respects, Massachusetts was peculiarly ready 
for just the sort of delusion which descended upon it with such 
crushing force. Her people believed in the reality of these mani- 
festations, in common w-ith other Christian countries, although 
one of its most singular features to us, now, is the sort of people who 
firmly held to its reality — the burning belief of eminent, even godly 
men. 

It should not be forgotten that their experience in a new and 
savage country bad been sad and tragic rather than happy. Their 
homes must all have been tinged with melancholy, and "Thou 
shall not suffer a witch to live" was a Bible command. 

They felt that here in bleak New England they were especially- 
called upon to defeat the devil. It is interesting to find that more 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW EXGLAXD 173 

than seventy years after the last witch was executed in New England 
Sir William Blackstone wrote in all simplicity: 

"To deny the possibility, nay, actual existence of witchcraft and 
sorcery is at once flatly to contradict the revealed word of God in 
various passages in both the Old and New Testament." 

A few sporadic cases of trial and execution for witchcraft occurred 
before 1650, but the strong feeling hardly began until about 1651. 
Altogether there were only four executions for that crime in Boston: 
Margaret Jones, June, 1648; Mary Parsons, 1651; Ann Hibbins, 
1656; Goody Glover, 1688. The fever never raged with great vio- 
lence in western Massachusetts, the region of Hampshire County 
particularly being then as now slow to stir in radical causes. 

The first execution in New England for witchcraft, was in Con- 
necticut in 1647. The "crime" probably showed itself first among 
the Springfield planters. In December, 1648, a ceitain Mary John- 
son confessed to familiarity with Satan in Hartford and was exe- 
cuted. About 165 1 John Eliot writes, supposedly to Edward 
Winslow in London, of four witches being detected in Springfield, 
one executed for the murder of her own child, another condemned, a 
third under trial, a fourth under suspicion. 

The first case in Hampshire County was at Springfield (then in 
that county) in the spring of 1651. 

The same Mary Parsons aheady alluded to as one of the four to 
perish in Boston, was accused not only of murdering her child, but 
of bewitching the two children of Rev. George Moxon. Subse- 
quently it was shown that she was quite deranged, though too late 
to save her. 

In 1656 a suit and trial for slander in Northampton, originating 
in neighborhood gossip, stirred the county to its depths. One 
Joseph Parsons, charged Goodwife Bridgman with slander, in accus- 
ing his wife Mary of witchcraft. Being persons of good position and 
property, the case was pushed with much energy, and resulted in a 
conviction for Goody Sarah Bridgman. Her family cherished the 
grudge for eighteen years, and in 1674 't flamed out again, using as a 
basis the general belief in personal dealing with the devil, by which 
they averred that Mary Parsons had murdered by witchcraft Mary 
Bridgman, married to Samuel Bartlett. It is consoling to find that 
the accused came off with flying colors. 

During King Philip's War in 1675, as the men marched to the 



i 7 4 WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 

attack, an eclipse of the sun is said to have occurred in which they 
saw the outlines of an Indian scalp. While the accounts of me- 
diaeval eclipses are in a sense historic, no one would claim for them 
scientific fullness or precision. In these forgotten coronas almost 
any strange forms might have been imagined. Learned persons 
believed all these portents as wholly as the illiterate. It is not to be 
wondered at, then, that witchcraft was a capital offence in every 
civilized country. 

The scanty literature of the time teems with weird tales, many of 
which would be ludicrous had they not led to such tragic endings. 
Certain depositions describing mysterious attacks are curiously 
humorous in themselves, — thoush humor was antipodal to the 
deluded people who gave them. Noah Strong in Northampton 
suspected a pigeon-hawk of sinister designs and motives, and he 
accordingly shot it, with his silver sleeve button, and broke its wing. 
At that moment a woman he had displeased had her arm broken. 
Any peculiar sickness or accident was almost invariably ascribed to 
witchcraft, and people began to look about for those through whom 
Satan would operate. They talked of "fascinations," and tried to 
collect facts for "strange apparitions." 

Not much real excitement prevailed before 1680, nor were there 
many convictions in New England. 

In 1684, Increase Mather wrote his famous book, "Illustrious 
Providences," in which he told many stories of persons in league 
with the devil. 

The most noteworthy witch in Hampshire County was Mary 
Webster of Hadley, a poor, and probably bad-tempered, woman. 
Many stories until comparatively recent years were still told in the 
vicinity — of her stopping cattle or horses from going by her house, 
tipping off loads of hay and putting them on again; while mysterious 
scalds and all sorts of malicious performances were ascribed to her 
as a result of her familiarity with the devil. Brought before the 
court in 1683, she was acquitted at Boston. She was afterward 
accused of bewitching Lieut. Philip Smith, so that he died 
peculiarly, with flashes of fire about his head and strange noises. 
During the time that his friends "disturbed" the old woman (as it 
was politely called), hanging her up, rolling her in the snow, tem- 
porarily burying her, and other pleasant exercises, he had much ease 
and comfort, and slept peacefully. In spite of this terrible treat- 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 175 

ment the poor old woman lived, quietly enough, for eleven years 
longer. 

One affair, as leading perhaps directly to the wild Salem horrors 
of 1692, must be mentioned. 

A young girl named Goodwin in Boston had a quarrel with her 
Irish washerwoman about some missing linen. Probably the woman 
retaliated with Irish warmth. At all events the child had her re- 
venge by "crying out"' upon her as a witch. Such fun did this be- 
come, especially as persons listened and seemed to be impressed 
(several other children nocking to her standard crying that they, 
too, were bewitched), that the bad child went on in vehemence, and 
pretended to all sorts of afflictions, in which the other children 
joined. They mewed, barked, lost their hearing, sight, speech, their 
jaws would lock like a vise, or open until dislocated, they could read 
in Popish or Quaker books, but not in the Westminster Catechism 
or in the Bible. 

It seems incredible that such performances could impose upon 
scholarly men, but Cotton Mather implicitly believed they were 
bewitched, and they actually had five ministers praying with them 
at one time. The washerwoman was requested to repeat the Lord's 
prayer as a proof of innocence. Xever having learned it in English 
she made several bad, stumbling blunders, and was forthwith con- 
victed and sent to the gallows. When she was actually hung, the 
children immediately recovered. 

In 1691, Mary Randall in Springfield was complained of, though 
not prosecuted; and hers was the last case in Hampshire County. 
But now was to begin in far-away Essex a wild, fanatical delusion 
which the world has hardly seen equalled — not in the number of 
victims, for they were only twenty, but a carnival of ferocious 
cruelty and suffering, which, from surrounding circumstances, at- 
tained a world-wide celebrity beyond even those similar periods in 
Europe where hundreds were slain. 

But twelve had suffered death in New England before the craze 
at Salem in 1692, that "storm of terror and death." Curiously, 
twenty-five years before, some mischievous children in Sweden had 
played tricks very much like those performed by the young girls 
who started Salem fires, and eighty-eight in the cold Scandinavian 
peninsula had died in consequence. In Amsterdam, too, in 1560, 



176 WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 

twenty or thirty boys pretended to be bewitched, and had strange 
fits, in which they threw up needles and pins and broken glass. 

Ninety years before, or more, William Perkins of Cambridge 
(England) had written a book with the emphatic title, "Discourse 
of the Damned Art of Witchcraft, " and it has been shown that Rev. 
Mr. Parris, in whose house the Salem fires were kindled, had a copy 
at hand. He was perhaps a learned, but exceedingly disagreeable 
and unpopular man, and his subsequent conduct adds an element 
of execration to memories of him. 

Spirits were said to have been seen already near Gloucester, and 
had been fired upon by people, but apparently never hit, and the 
marksmen retired to the garrison for safety. Everyone believed at 
that time that Satan was waging war upon Jehovah, and was operat- 
ing extensively through persons who had pledged their souls to him. 
By their training, habits of mind, experience and character, the 
Salem people were well adapted for the events now rapidly approach- 
ing. The excitement began to work its way, and bringing in the 
supernatural so clearly, precipitated' the final explosion. 

The story of the Goodwin children, and of their relief when their 
"tormentor" was hung, had been told everywhere. Arrests had 
begun for trivial things, and in Mr. Parris's house the spititual 
torch was applied. 

A party of young girls and a West Indian slave, Tituba, servant 
in his family, had acquired a truly unholy curiosity about super- 
natural matteis. Wildly interested in sorceries and magic, they met 
to practice rites and incantations they had read of, or heard from 
the old negress. The)- finally acquired the power to produce cata- 
lepsy, to cry real tears, or to perspire profusely at will, to fall in 
grotesque postures, and show cramps and spasms, until their fam- 
ilies were at their wits' end, neighbors alarmed and distressed, and 
physicians baffled. Witchcraft, of course, was adduced as the cause 
of it all. Kinsfolk of these "afflicted children" as they were uni- 
versally called, assembled for prayer. We can imagine the naughty 
satisfaction with which these highly accomplished young persons 
regarded the storm which they had evoked. More ministers were 
sent for, and a prayer-meeting lasting all day was held. The 
children (aged nine, eleven, twelve, two or three of seventeen and 
two of eighteen, with three married women) were made to perform 
for the awe-struck company. 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 177 

So far we can see the absurdity — the bad taste and deception, if 
you will — but now the scene becomes criminal. They were asked 
what ailed them — who had bewitched them. So they "cried out 
upon" three names, and the unfortunate trio were at once taken 
into custody, arraigned in Salem meeting house, and sent to jail. 
Later on Martha Corey, Rebecca Nourse, and others were added until 
over one hundred were in jail. Their examinations, as we read them 
today, were farcical in the extreme. Questions were silly and ridicu- 
lous. The accused were not allowed to have lawyers, and must 
conduct their own defence. Their bewilderment at the charges was 
often pathetic to the last degree. Some of them did not know the 
"children" even by sight, but that made no difference. They were 
prejudged guilty before a word had been spoken. It was believed 
that witches could not cry, and their stupor of amazement at the 
charges was put down to an evil presence of mind, especially as the 
"children" often exclaimed in court that they saw the "black man" 
standing beside to counsel and comfort his puppets. It was believed 
that the witches made dolls and small figures which they called by 
the names of those they wished to torment, and then scalded them, 
stuck pins in them, or similar pleasantries, whereby at the identical 
moment the living victim would be scalded, pricked or pinched as 
the ca*se might be. Their houses were often searched for these 
wicked toys, in solemn faith. Also their bodies were scrutinized for 
"witch marks" or callous spots, which old people often have. And 
the finding of such a spot was practically conviction. 

The trials were extremely inegular, people speaking out as dam- 
aging thoughts occurred to them, whispering to the judges, and 
otherwise bringing obloquy upon the whole court, if any had been 
sufficiently unprejudiced to appreciate it. 

Cotton Mather is said by the best historians to be largely the 
originator of these outrages; and he seems to have taken a leading 
part in the persecutions, with apparently great satisfaction and 
comfort in fomenting the excitement. 

As for the "children," they were manifestly intoxicated by their 
overwhelming success, the terrible perfection of their selfish scheme 
to become of wide importance, and were swept along in a sort of 
frenzy. Rigid and often cataleptic in court, they were instanta- 
neously "cured" by a touch from the person they had accused of 



178 WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 

bewitching them, the theory being that the evil fluid flowed back 
to its source, out of the girls to the witch. 

It is singular that no one should have observed that the girls never 
accused their friends, but always those against whom they had some 
spite or animosity. They said an "evil hand" was against them. 
Whose was it? 

As they had acquired supposable powers of divination they be- 
came very important, even exalted to the position of prophetesses, 
which spoiled them, and dried up all natural pity and compassion 
in their hearts, leaving only the burning intoxication of power and 
notoriety. It seems unbelievable now. but all writers about the 
period agree in this point, often reiterating that "the fun of the 
thing" led them on. 

One of the most picturesque characters of that fatal year seems to 
have been Bridget Bishop. Entirely free from the sanctimonious- 
ness which so disagreeably tinged even the best meaning persons in 
those days, she was too free and easy to be popular in the sober 
community. Her costumes were showy for the time and place, she 
played shovel board and other worldly games, and altogether was 
not quite approved of, even at the best of times. But there is no 
insinuation whatever against her moral character. It was natural, 
however, that she should have been speedily "cried out against" in 
such an era. She became a victim of gross misrepresentation. She 
was farcically tried, and hanged after eight days. Her death warrant 
is the only one preserved. 

The accused protested their innocence, but to no avail. Every 
possible inducement was given them to confess, and many did, which 
although it led to their subsequent pardon, only added fuel to the 
fire of hatred toward those brave ones refusing to confess a lie. 

Six women were hung during one day, eight on another. To the 
credit be it said of the unjust judges and the packed juries, that at 
least they never but once delivered over their victims to torture. 
That was in the case of the venerable Giles Corey, who refused to 
answer or plead, thereby saving his estate to will as he chose. To 
make him speak he was squeezed between great weights, and so 
killed, refusing to the last to say a word in his own defence. His 
tortures still make Essex County black. 

At Andover a woman was ill in a peculiar way, not understood by 
the simple physicians of the day, so a Salem "witch detector" was 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 179 

sent for, and fifty Andovei people were accused, a few weaker ones 
confessing injuiies to neighbors which they could not have com- 
mitted, and acknowledging that they rode a variety of animals and 
sticks through the air. at night. 

"Mount and be quick, 
A broom or a stick, 
Goat, pitchfork— 
We're all in a flurry. 
We'll leave behind 
The swiftest wind 
As off to the Brocken we hurry. 

We'll madly bound, 

While dancing around. 

Great Beelzebub, 

He is our master; 

Sometimes we'll pause, 

Kiss his old claws, 

Then faster we'll caper and faster." 

By the latter part of 1692 twenty had been killed, all of whom had 
nobly refused to confess something they were not guilty of. Fifty 
had been pardoned because they did confess, one hundred and fifty 
were awaiting trial, two hundred had charges against them. There 
seemed put one way to avoid being "cried out upon" and that was 
to cry out first and accuse somebody. That generally brought im- 
munity to the accuser. The community was practically insane on 
the subject, enveloped in a weird and consuming flame which all the 
blood of the innocent victims could not yet quench. 

It was believed that locks would neither keep a witch out, nor in, 
unless doors were each double locked; and in general suspected 
witches were also manacled. The body could be watched, but the 
"apparition" might be off choking or strangling somebody to death, 
or otherwise working evil. 

So far as remote and rustic communities were concerned, this was 
undoubtedly the most benighted period in our history. The educa- 
tion which had come over with the first settlers had largely dis- 
appeared when they died, and nothing had yet come in America to 
take its place. These proceedings against "witches" were instigated 
by all sorts of personal grudges and pique, and free rein was given to 
all maliciousness. Those "cried out upon" were not of the lower 
classes — rather the reverse. 



180 WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 

Even Capt. John Alden, son of John of Mayflower fame, was 
accused, cried out upon and for fifteen weeks imprisoned. He was a 
leading and distinguished man, and for over thirty years a resident 
of Boston. He commanded the armed vessel belonging to the 
colony, a most efficient officer, and naval commander. He was 
seventy years old, and very wealthy. All this did not save him. 
But he was nearly four months in prison before he could be prevailed 
upon by friends to make his escape. "Outraged innocence will not 
save your life, " they ureed, and at length he broke out, and appeared 
before his amazed relatives in Duxbury, who sheltered him. \\ hen 
the craze subsided no charges of any definite character could be 
proved against him, and no accuser appeared, so all judicial pro- 
ceedings ceased. But to the day of his death this doughty navigator 
could never hear a word about that experience without a high- 
flaming wrath that broke out into many nautical remarks not strictly 
appropriate to the drawing-room. 

Children were induced by awful fear to give evidence against their 
parents; brothers against sisters; wives, husbands, dearest of 
friends — no ties were respected. Some replied to the outrageous 
charges in wrath, like Sarah Good, who answered back with much 
spirit, "You are a liar. I am no more a witch than you are a wizard; 
and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink. " 

You will remember that this is the fatal sentence which Haw- 
thorne, that modern wizard, puts into the mouth of Maulc, in "The 
House of Seven Gables." Charges were liable to be exceedingly 
frivolous, but that made no difference in the result. While some 
retaliated thus, in words, others bore the obloquy in gentle sweet- 
ness, like Elizabeth How. 

Rebecca Nourse called forth more evidence in her favor than any 
of the others condemned. She was once acquitted, and there is 
' reason to believe that Cotton Mather used his influence to have her 
re-tried. It is certain that had the verdict in her case rested with 
the people, she would have been triumphantly released. Thirty- 
nine leading citizens signed a petition for her, dangerous as such 
favorable words were to those who dared use them; but there was 
evidently an organized association of individuals to persecute and 
condemn suspects, and they followed her mercilessly, by a definite 
effort of the magistrates. Then a wave of furious fanaticism broke, 
with Parris pressing it on, and they not only murdered Rebecca 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 181 

Nourse, but excommunicated her before her death. The hideous 
cruelty of that can be appreciated only by remembering that they 
thought they were forever shutting her out of heaven by it, as 
well as wrecking the earthly life of the noble, venerable woman, 
who for forty years had only done kindnesses to her community. 

The persecution of Rev. George Burroughs was similarly and 
criminally absurd. He was, and had been, at Casco Bay when he 
was alleged to have committed his witchcraft spells, but he was 
sought out and imprisoned. He was a popular rival to Mr. Parris 
and must be removed. His chief sins, according to his accusers, 
were, that being a small man, he was still able to perform remark- 
able muscular feats. Cotton Mather was loud in denunciations 
of him. 

But John Proctor saw through the true inwardness of much of 
this wild orgy, and spoke out freely — which cost him his own life. 
No one could breathe "conspiracy and delusion" safely in those 
days. He was so bold that it was necessary to get him out of the 
way. His splendid deportment in dying seems to have opened a few- 
eyes, and to have been something of a blow to the delusion. But 
persons behind the scene urged on more horrors for purposes of their 
own. 

Still the worst of it all was practically confined to Essex County. 
Then, at last, these "afflicted children" whom it is a wonder an 
avenging heaven did not fall upon or crush months before, grew 
over-confident. They had become so skilful in their diabolical arts 
as to deceive the elect, and they overestimated their temporary 
power, due to a frenzy of persecution bound, in the nature of things, 
to die out sometime. They cried out upon peisons in very high 
stations, though from the beginning this had been dangerous. 

The Rev. S. Willard, pastor of the Old South Church and subse- 
quently Harvard's president, was accused — for which the girls were 
rebuked by the court; then upon some members of Increase 
Mather's family, because he was not so ardent in denunciations as 
his more violent son; then whispers began to be circulated about 
Lady Phips, the Governor's wife, and a few persons called a halt in 
the carnage. When Mrs. Hall, wife of the minister at Beverly, was 
accused, the committee decided that they had probably peijured 
themselves, and so their power came to a sudden and unexpected 
end, and a close was put to one of the most terrible tragedies of 



1 82 WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 

earth. The revulsion was enormous and rapid, hastened no doubt 
by several suits for slander and defamation of character. It is said 
that Andover recovered and.gained its poise first. 

Two years later, however, Harvard College issued "Proposals to 
the Reverend Ministers of the Gospel" for a collection of "appari- 
tions, possessions and enchantments." But it was abortive. The 
fury had passed. People and juries repented in sorrow for their acts. 

In 1696, January 14, Judge Sewall rose in his Old South pew, and 
handed a paper of humiliation and remorse to the pulpit, where it 
was read, the judge standing till it was finished. Every year he 
kept a private day of humiliation and prayer for his part in the 
tremendous wrong. 

Thirteen years later Ann Putnam, one of the three wilful beginners 
of all the horrors, confessed her false part, and it is now on record in 
the books of the Danvers church. 

Twenty years after, in 1710, the General Court made grants to 
the heirs of the sufferers, and annulled their convictions. 

Seventy years later Governor Hutchinson scorns the whole affair 
publicly as fraud and imposture begun by irresponsible girls. And 
certainly personal spite had much to do with all the later accusa- 
tions. 

It is certain that depositions of an incriminating character to the 
accused were taken and surreptitiously added to the papers in the 
case many years aftei their murder, to bolster up the case for the 
shamefaced judges and instigators. 

But beliefs were not all changed thus in the twinkling of an eye, 
even if conscience did awake at the enormities committed. As late 
as 1 71 2, South Carolina adopted the act of King James I, "against 
conjuration, witchcraft and dealing with evil and wicked spirits;" 
and Rhode Island still later, in 1728, called such affairs felony, and 
ordered persons convicted to be killed. 

Mankind is prone to sudden and inexplicable furies, for we re- 
member that in 1 741 a story became rife in New York that the 
blacks had conspired to murder all the whites. The result of this 
was eleven negroes burned at the stake, eighteen hung, and fifty 
sent South into slavery. It was a panic not dissimilar to the witch- 
fever, and as fatal to its victims. 

It is humiliating to reflect upon, and makes the cheek burn even 
now. There were sweet-natured, godly men in 1692, but the stern- 



WITCHCRAFT IN NEW ENGLAND 183 

ness of religion generally was but slightly mitigated by tenderness, 
and in its name horrors and atrocities were committed all the more 
ghastly because supposedly perpetrated in the name of an accusing 
God. 

Perhaps imagination, denied its legitimate outlet in music, paint- 
ing and love of the beautiful, vented itself in these orgies; even 
dissipation in novel reading might not be indulged, and so an ab- 
normal and repressed imagination, distorted, twisted, almost un- 
recognizable, found illegitimate food in these unspeakable horrors. 

I never see the splendid sunsets burning behind Witch Hill in 
Salem without a quicker breathing — the tribute of a sigh, mental at 
least, to its ghastly memories. And yet it is more profitable in 
recalling this shameful outbreak, to remember what superb qualities 
it unveiled in the patient victims — how steadfastly they clung to 
their fatal statement of innocence — how clearly burned their steady 
spirit, despite all the wild surrounding hurricane. This is better 
than to dwell on the cruelty and wickedness, the blindness and 
fanaticism of their accusers and judges. 

Emily Dickinson says: 

"I had no time Lo hate, because 
The grave would hinder me; 
* And life was not so ample 

I could finish enmity." 

And so we must leave them to their repose. After two hundred 
years the grass grows with equal luxuriance over accusers and 
accused, over judge and prisoner, over persecutor and victim; the 
splendid nightly firmament still arches its silent but pregnant im- 
mensity above the same earth which saw that long-gone tragedy. 

Nature may be pitiless, and mankind may reek of cruelty and 
injustice, but 

"Still the pensive spring returns, 
And still the punctual snow;" 
and through all its mistakes and crimes we cannot but know that 
humanity is making its way, though by slow and halting stages, to 
its great, its superb birthright, to take up its heritage of the ages as 
a part of the joy and strength of the Creator, "a spark of the glad- 
ness of God" which shall vet become the illumination of the world. 



1 84 OLD STATE STREET 

Quarterly Meeting May 15, 1906 

Frank G. Tobey read a paper on "Old State Street, its 
Residences and the People who Lived in Them."' 

Old State Street ; Its Residences and the People 
Who Lived in Them 

STATE street in the early part of the last century, was, next to 
Main street, the principal highway of the town, as perhaps it 
is today. It was the beginning of the old staye route to Bos- 
ton, and at that time was known as the Old Bay Road, the 
road to the Bay. It was opened in 1640 through what was known as 
"Hasseky Marsh," which extended several rods east of Main street, 
and the road-bed through this marsh was composed of logs laid cross- 
wise. I am told that workmen have unearthed parts of these old logs 
within very recent years. State street at this point was about two 
rods wide, but very much wider as it ascended the hill. 

I am unable to find any record of the exact date that the street 
was given its name. A bit of my family history, may, in this con- 
nection throw a little light on this point, to which, if you will pardon 
me, 1 will refer. My grandfather, Elisha Tobey, came to Springfield 
from Conway, Mass., in the latter part of the eighteenth century, 
and it is largely from memoranda, left by him and by my father, 
that I am enabled to prepare this paper. My grandfather was an 
iron-worker by trade, making old-fashioned shovels and tongs. 
He was one of the first armorers at the establishment of the Armory 
in 1794, and for over thirty years was inspector of arms for the 
United States government, fire-warden in 1808. deputy sheriff in 
1812 and the first Junior Warden of Hampden Lodge of Masons 
in 1817. His home was on Maple street opposite the present South 
Church, later in the old Blake house, which stood just east of the 
present city library, and still later he moved to the Armory grounds, 
where the officers' quarters are now located. In 18 13 he bought of 
James Russell for #650 what became the Tobey homestead on 
State street, the present site of George W. Tapley's residence. It 
was a story and a half house, standing back from the road. My 
father and myself were born there. The deed, dated 1813, refers 
to State street as "The Road" and another deed from Roswcll Lee, 



:ze» L. 

St ' I ' 



V; ' -J, : 

'■l a 




OLD STATE STREET 185 

superintendent at the Armory, dated 1826, for a strip of land ad- 
joining the first, refers to State street as the "Bay Road," from which 
I infer that up to 1826 the street had not received its present name. 

But, whatever the date of its christening, State street has always 
been, and is today, one of the finest avenues in this naturally beau- 
tiful city, of which we are all so proud. And when our new library 
building is an accomplished fact, and our Catholic neighbors carry 
out their plans for the erection of a new cathedral, which I under- 
stand they are considering, State street in this immediate vicinity, 
will, it seems to me, present as attractive a picture as any city in 
the Commonwealth can offer. 

Now, if you will bear with me, we will start at the corner of 
State and Main streets on the south side, and, in our minds, take a 
stroll up State street as far as Walnut street, while we discuss the 
different buildings, and some of the people who occupied them at 
the beginning of the last century, and later, — afterwards we will 
take the north side. None of the descriptions are very exhaustive, 
and I know there must be many interesting facts with which some 
of you are familiar, relating to these different places, that are not 
down on this paper, and if you can supplement it with any incident 
that may suggest itself, it will add greatly to the interest, and I 
shall certainly be very grateful. 

My position here tonight, reminds me of a story told by Presi- 
dent Slocum of Colorado College, whom I met at Mt. Desert one 
summer. The Doctor is a very interesting and forceful speaker, 
and when 1 congratulated him after the sermon he told this story: 
He and his wife while traveling through the West stopped at a 
small town over night and attended an evening meeting. The 
speaker of the occasion failing to appear, they called upon the Doc- 
tor, who spoke to them about fifteen minutes and sat down. He 
said he congratulated himself that he had done very well under the 
circumstances, but his conceit all disappeared at the close of the 
meeting, when one of the deacons came forward, and shaking his 
hand very cordially, remarked that "they were always glad to hear 
from strangers even if they didn't have much of anything to say." 

AT THE CORNER OF MAIN AND STATE STREETS 

On the corner of Main and State streets, where the Masonic 
building now stands, was the old hardware store of Jas. Brewer. 



1 86 OLD STATE STREET 

About 1825 Mr. Brewer was a partner in the old Dwight store with 
Jas. Scutt Dwight and Benj. Day, but a few years later he retired 
from the firm and started in business alone on the opposite corner. 
Later his son, Jas. D. Brewer succeeded to the business. Mr. 
Brewer was a director in the Chicopee Bank (now the Chicopee 
National Bank) at its organization in 1836. He was the father of 
Mrs. Eunice Brewer Smith of Maple street and the grandfather of 
Mrs. Dr. Corcoran. The land and buildings belonged in the early 
days to Capt. Jos. Carew, and later to Philo F. Wilcox. 

Previous to the beginning of the last century, a two story brown 
house, the residence of Luke Bliss, stood on this corner facing State 
street, and in front was an ancient watering-trough, around which 
the farmers hitched their horses on market days. The street was 
much narrower than at the present time and there was always a 
blockade of teams at that point. 

Adjoining the Brewer store and extending nearly to the old 
Springfield Bank was a block of stores that previous to 1855 was 
the fashionable millinery center, not only of the town, but of the 
surrounding country. There were three different stores devoted 
to this business. They were owned by Gardner Adams, O. W, 
Wilcox and D. J. Bartlett; the last two afterwards moved to Main 
streets The ladies' hats in those days were delivered in what was 
known as a band box, a round box about eighteen inches deep and 
covered with wall paper. They were necessarily large to contain 
the "creations" of that period. The hats of the ladies of today 
are much smaller in size but the price does not seem to have grown 
perceptibly less. The earlier occupants of this block were D. \V. 
Willard, Edmund Rowland, Draper & Bailey and M. & E. 
Pomeroy. Later Willard Elmer carried on the shoe business there. 
On the second floor was a school for girls and A. C. Tannatt's 
printing office. The Springfield Gazelle was published there. East 
of this was a brick block owned and occupied by Elam Stock- 
bridge who carried on the tailoring business. 

We now come to the old Springfield Bank (until recently the 
Second National) organized in 1814. This was the first discount 
bank in Springfield. The population of the town at that time was 
3,000, and the country was engaged in a war with Great Britain. 
The corporators met in Uncle Jerry Warriner's Tavern and or- 
ganized the bank with a capital of $200,000. The old bank building 



OLD STATE STREET 187 

is still standing, but has been remodeled and the lower part is at 
present occupied by Wilder's grain store and a barber shop. Jona- 
than Dwight was the first president and Edward Pynchon the first 
cashier. Other presidents were Judge John Hooker, Jas. Byers and 
Hon. John Howard (the latter an uncle of Rev. Thos. Dwight 
Howard, a director of this society).. The bank was reorganized in 
1863 under the National Bank Act and Hon. Henry Alexander was 
for many years its president. The veteran banker, Edmund Chapin, 
late president of the John Hancock National Bank, when a young 
man was one of the clerks. 

THE BURNING OF THE OLD UNITARIAN CHURCH 

On the spot where the Kirkham and Olmstead block now stands 
was the first house of worship of the Unitarian, or Third Congre- 
gational Society, the corner stone of which was laid May 2c, 1 8 19. 
It was a fine old wooden structure, and was destroyed by fire on 
the night of October 12, 1873. It was built and presented to the 
society by Hon. Jonathan Dwight. Rev. \Y. B. O. Peabody was 
the first pastor. Many of us can remember the night it burned, 
when the flames enveloped the spire, and the old bell came clanging 
to the basement. This old bell has quite a history. It was the only 
fire alafm bell of the town for several years, and after its destruction 
the late Colonel Thompson sent parts of it to the Ames Company 
at Chicopee and had them cast into a flower vase which was placed 
in the new church, where it is in use today. In February, 1869, the 
society dedicated its present handsome edifice opposite the city 
library. H. H. Richardson, who designed Trinity Church, Boston, 
was the architect. It is now, and I think will always be, one of the 
architecturally beautiful buildings in the city. 

This takes us to the present corner of \\ illow street (which at this 
time had not been opened) and from here to Maple street, the land 
now covered by dwelling houses and shops, and the State Street 
Baptist Church, was, at the beginning of the last century, the home 
of Hon. Jonathan Dwight, 2nd, son of Hon. Jonathan Dwight, Sr. 
(to whom I shall refer later), and the house was occupied, within 
my memory, by Frederick Dwight. The house stood near the Maple 
street corner and the grounds which extended down to Willow 
street were filled with flowers and vegetables in their season and 
always in fine condition. 



OLD STATE STREET 



DALE S CORNER 



We now cross Maple street to what was known in the early 
days as "Dale's Corner," for a description of which I am indebted 
to Rev. Thos. Dwight Howard of this city — and Mr. Howard's 
sketch is so much clearer than anything that I can write, that I will 
give it in his own words. He says: 

The route to my first school which was kept by Miss Mary Foot in a building 
presently to be described, lay around what was then (about the year 1832) known 
as "Dale's Corner," the southeast corner of State and Maple streets. The name 
came from Mr. Thos. Dale, Sr. The aped man could be seen almost daily in his 
yard viewing, as I recall him, the pile of cord wood which seemed to be a fixture 
there. He lived about ten years beyond the year above named, as will be seen 
from the following sketch drawn from Chapin's "Old Springfield." Thos. Dale, 
Sr., born in Sheffield, England, was a cutler by trade. lie was drafted into the 
British Army and was with Burgoyne when he surrendered to General Gates at 
Saratoga, Oct. 17, 1777- On his way to Boston a* a prisoner of war, he was given 
his choice to return to England or remain in this country. He chose the latter and 
stopped in Sprim/held. Upon the establishment of the Armory in 1794 he was 
one of the first men to be employed there. Mr. Dale died Oct. 14, 1S43, aged 92. 
Next east of the Dale lot stood a two-story house which was occupied at the 
time of my earliest recollection by Mr. Smith, one of the early dancing masters 
of Springfield; subsequently by Dr. Matthew Baker; for a time by Doctor Grey 
and later by Deputy Sheriff Kingsley. The house was afterwards removed to the 
extreme corner and in the modern period sheltered the Variety store. Next east 
was the diminutive structure which bore the sign "John Hooker" and was his 
business office. In the east corner of Mr. Hooker's property stood a one-story 
house, originally the tin shop of Dennis Cook and Philip Wilcox. In the early 
thirties it was a kindergarten and at a later period the office of the Allis Dye House. 
The space between these two buildings was shaded by the wide spreading branches 
of a gigantic buttonwood tree. 

The fiist marked change in the State street front was wrought by Mr. Tilly 
Haynes who built of brick his ample double house on lots east of the corner property. 
The purchase of land for its site was effected according to the Registry Oct. 9, 
1S55. 

There remains for narration the mutations, which meanwhile had their initi- 
ation in the eastern portion of the John Hooker property. This plot extended 
to the line of the county land on the east and to that of Hon. Oliver B. Morris on 
the south. The southern portion of this space was from my earliest recollection, 
occupied by the Springfield Brewery, a large ill-shaped structure; its principal 
attraction to the children was the rotary horse that furnished the power. This 
architectural deformity was to disappear from the face of the earth. Under date 
of March fourth John Hooker made a contract with Zephaniah Hunt and George 
Hunt to convert the building lately improved by him as a brewery into four dwell- 
ing houses according to plans drawn by H. A. Sykes, architect. The work to be 
done under the direction of John or Simon Sanborn and to the satisfaction of said 



OLD STATE STREET 189 

Sanborn. It is scarcely necessary to say that for this and most of my well founded 
statements, I am indebted to Thos. B. Warren. 

The brick block fronting towards State street with the cleared space inter- 
vening will be remembered by persons in mid-life. Names of occupants of these 
attractive houses are Samuel Bigelow, Tilly Haynes, Ariel Parish, Mrs. George 
Frost, Mrs. Bush, Mrs. Evans, Elisha Leonard and Edmund Bigelow. These 
houses remained in place about eighteen years. The land they occupied was bought 
by the Third Congregational Society, June 30, 1860. The corner stone of Unity 
Church was laid May :o, 1867 and the building dedicated Feb. 17, 1869. The 
parsonage was built during the pastorate of Rev. John Cuckson. The transforma- 
tion, the process of which I have endeavored to portray has been completed by the 
erection of the elegant and stately edifice of the Springfield Fire Sc Marine Insur- 
ance Company. This, however, is so closely contemporary with the present 
writing that it is only necessary for the historian to say that the angle formed 
by the convergence of its north and west walls, marks the point which in olden 
times was known as "Dale's Corner." 

THE COUNTY JAIL 

Mr. Howard's interesting paper leaves us near the western end 
of the new high school. This property was bought of Joseph Hop- 
kins by the county in 1S13 for the county jail. The building was 
erected in 1815 and was in use until the present jail was completed 
a few years since. Col. Ebenezer Russell was the first jailor, later 
Col. Harvey Chapin, Elihu Adams and still later Sheriffs Bradley 
and Hush. Col. Emery B. Clark is the present incumbent in the 
the York street institution. The jail was a brick structure and stood 
quite close to the street extending back to what is now Temple 
street. I remember an incident that occurred here when I was a 
lad. A man named Jones who was confined there for murder 
eluded his keepers one day and made a dash for liberty. I happened 
to be passing at the time and saw him rush across State street in his 
prison garb and climb into the thick foliage of a tree in the Alex- 
ander yard. The house dog treed him and his barking guided the 
officers and he was captured and taken back to his cell. I am not 
sure, but I think he was afterwards executed by hanging in the 
jail yard. 

Next to the old jail stood the soap factory of James and Michael 
Lee, the only Irishmen in Springfield at that time. It stood back 
from the street with a small wooden dwelling in front. Mr. R. M. 
Cooley subsequently bought the property and erected a brick house 
on the east end of the lot for his own occupancy. This place was 
purchased a few years since by Jas. \V. Kirkham and remodeled 



igo OLD STATE STREET 

into a fine residence. Mr. Kirkham later sold it to Robert W. Day, 
who moved it to its present location. 

On the lot where the house of Mr. Day now stands, was the old 
Kirkham homestead owned and occupied by Mr. John B. Kirkham 
(father of Albert H. Kirkham). Mr. Kirkham was an armorer. 
At the organization of the Springfield Institution for Savings in 
1827 he was a member of the first board of trustees. In later years 
this was the home of the late James Kirkham, President of the 
First National Bank, recently absorbed by the Union Trust Com- 
pany, and father of Jas. W. Kirkham. The grounds of nearly all 
these places between Maple and School streets extended back to 
the old Morris estates or to what is now Temple street. 

I am unable to gather many facts regarding the next two or three 
residences to the east. The first was owned by John C. Stebbins 
and later by Sheldon Webster. It was afterwards bought and 
remodeled by the late Elisha Morgan, and is now the home of his 
widow. The second, at the commencement of the last century 
was the house of Joseph Hopkins and 1 am told was built by him. 
It was afterwards bought by Jas. W. Hale. Mr. Hale came to 
Springfield in 1836 and was afterwards engaged in the grocery 
business with John West under the firm name of J. VV. Hale & Co. 
Mr. Hale was one of the typical old time merchants and a very 
benevolent man. He provided in his will for the establishment of a 
fund which is known as the "Hale Fund," the principal amounting 
to over #30,000, the income to be used for the purchase of coal, 
flour, etc., for the poor of the town. After the death of his son, 
George N*. Hale, in 1870 the plage was sold to the late Emery Meckins 
and is now the home of his widow and daughter. The third house, 
at the corner of State and School streets, was owned by Charles 
Wood and later by Dca. VV. H. Bowdoin. Deacon Bowdoin carried 
on the grocery and dry goods business on the hill and was also a 
manufacturer of cards. He was one of the directors of the John 
Hancock Bank at its organization in 1850 and one of the founders 
of Olivet Church in 1833. The Bowdoin house is still standing 
although not in its original shape and is owned by Deacon Bowdoin's 
daughter, Miss Caroline Bowdoin. 

W'e now cross School street (which was opened in 1826) to the 
John Stebbins homestead. Mr. Stebbins was the father of the late 



OLD STATE STREET 191 

John B. Stcbbins of Crescent Hill (who at the time of his death was 
president of the Springfield Institution for Savings). Mr. John 
Stebbins, I understand, lived and died here; subsequently it was 

I the home of his daughter, who married the late R. T. Safford, 

father of Jas. D. and Henry S. Safford of this city. T. M. Walker 
afterwards purchased the property and erected the brick house now 
standing on the corner; subsequently his son, Wm. B. Walker, built 
upon the eastern portion of the lot his present residence. 

THE OLD HAMPDEN" BREWERY 

In the rear of the next lot stood the old Hampden brewery of 
Mr. Warriner. This and the Springfield brewery already described, 
manufactured what was known as ''Cream Ale." This was before 
the Germans had taught us the art of brewing lager beer. There 
were two breweries and one distillery in Springfield at this time. 
The latter was at Sixteen Acres. I understand that liquors were 
stored in the basement of the old First Church in those days and 
it excited no comment. There is a story that a wag posted one 
night the following lines on the door of the old church, but I will 
not vouch for it: 

f There are spirits above and spirits below. 

There are spirits of joy, and spirits of woe; 
The spirits above are the spirits divine. 
The spirits below are the spirits of wine. 

Myrtle street was not opened at this time and the brewery stood 
in the rear of the lot where the brick house of E. C. Barr now stands. 

The next three lots are now covered by the big apartment house 
at the corner of State and Myrtle streets. The buildings were all 
wooden structures, the first occupied by Solomon Ferre, the 
second by Noah Ferre and later by Mr. Gay, and the third by Mr. 
Dale, father of the late Lombard Dale. Ezra Richmond, who 
married the widow of Mr. Dale was the next occupant. Mr. Rich- 
mond was the father of F. ii J. M. Richmond, the old Sanford 
street stablemen. Mrs. Taylor, widow of the late Varnum N- 
Taylor, was the last owner. In recent years the Methodist Society 
erected a church on the Myrtle street corner which was taken down 
when the apartment house was built. 

The brick building, now standing, next above the apartment 
house was remodeled by Dr. George C. McClean and is now his 



192 OLD STATE STREET 

home. This was the old Cyrus Foot house, built by B. O. Tyler of 
Washington and is with one exception, the only one of the old 
residences now standing on that side of State street between School 
street and the top of the hill. It was a double house and Mr. Foot 
occupied the east side. The tenement on the west side was the home 
of T. D. Beach, the old time auctioneer of Springfield, and father 
of Mrs. Newrie D. Winter of this city. 

Two small wooden structures come next. The first owned by 
Martin \\ hite, and later by "Mother" Stevenson. The second by- 
Carlos Smith on the present site of Wm. H. Parsons' residence. 
The place adjoining these on the east was my own birthplace and 
the home of my paternal grandparents, which I have already de- 
scribed. Geo. W. Tapley's residence now stands on the lot. 

"skunk's misery" 

Back of these old homesteads, was a wide deep dingle through 
which ran an open brook, and the gardens and orchards ran down 
to it in terraces. This has all been filled, but I think the brook still 
runs under ground as far down as Temple street of farther, but am 
not sure. This valley was known as "Skunk's Miserv." Why it 
was given this euphonious name I cannot understand. To me, with 
its abundance of lawn, its old fashioned gardens, and grand old 
maples and chestnuts, it was anything but that. 

We now come to the homes of E. S. Bradford and George A. 
Russell. These two lots were formerly in one and extended back into 
the dingle and up to High street. The first owner of which I have 
any record was Mr. Broad. Later Col. Roswcll Lee, superintendent 
at the Armory, built upon the site and it w-as occupied by John B. 
Eldridge, editor of the Hampden Whig. Afterwards it was bought 
by F. M. Carew, a partner of the late John L. King, and was the 
home of Adonijah Foot, father of the late Col. Homer Foot. In 
my boyhood it was owned by Philos B. Tyler, mayor of Springfield 
in 1854, and subsequently by Homer Merriam of the firm of G. & C. 
Merriam, publishers of "Webster's Dictionary." The grounds were 
quite extensive, even for those days, and the hillside extending up 
to High street was a forest of chestnut trees. This part was pur- 
chased by D. B. Wesson and is now the site of the fine new hospital, 
the gift of Mr. Wesson. 

Coming back to State street the next place to engage our atten- 



I 

OLD STATE STREET 193 

tion is the Weatherhead house, which was built about the year 1845, 
Chauncy Shepard being the architect, and was the home of Joseph 
Weatherhead. Mr. Weatherhead came to Springfield about 1815 
and for over thirty years was in the service of the United States 
government at the Armory, eight years of the time as master ar- 
morer. He was a member of the first board of trustees of the Spring- 
field Cemetery Association in 1 841 . Mr. Weatherhead died in 
1871. His daughter, who married the late Daniel D. Warren, to- 
gether with her family, occupied the house since my earliest recol- 
lections and it was known as the Warren homestead until bought 
a few years since by the late Win. H. Wright. It is now owned by 
his son, Horace P. Wright. Mrs. Geo. R. Estabrook and Mr. Thos. 
B. Warren are grandchildren of Mr. Weatherhead. 

Where the next two houses now stand was formerly one lot, and 
owned by Martin Sykes, father of Martin L. Sykes, Vice-President 
of the Chicago & Northwestern R. R.* I can just remember the 
low, unpainted, weather-stained house that stood there. Later Mr. 
Hubbard, father of Mrs. E. D. Beach, built the present brick 
structure, which was afterwards bought and remodeled by Justice 
M. P. Knowlton, the present owner. The other house on this lot is 
now standing. It was originally a plain octagon shaped structure 
and wa^ at one time the home of Dr. Otis, one of our city physicians. 

ANCIENT HOUSES ON STATE STREET 

The late A. B. Forbes of the firm of Forbes & Wallace owned and 
lived in the next residence until he moved to his country home at 
Byfield. This is one of the very old houses on the street. Mr. Sable 
Rogers (or Commodore Rogers, as he was called), who came to 
this town in 181 5 lived there. Mr. Rogers was the only butcher in 
Springfield at the time. He was treasurer of the Springfield Mutual 
Fire Assurance Company and director of the Chicopee Bank in 
1836. 

Edwin Booth built the next house in 1827 but it has been com- 
pletely changed in shape in recent years. Mr. Booth was a hatter 
and furrier. I have heard my father say that he was a strong anti- 
slavery man, and greatly opposed to the use of tobacco. He was one 
of the founders of the Olivet Church. Mr. Booth died in 1865. 

•Mr. Sykes sold it in 184+ to Samuel R. Crane, father of Frank S. Crane, chair- 
man of board of assessors, who in 1847 sold it to Thomas J. Shepard. 



194 OLD STJTE STREET 

My memoranda says that Mr. Perl. ins lived on the present site 
of the Olivet Church hut nothing is said about the man or any de- 
scription of the house. Olivet Church was built in 1834 and re- 
modeled and dedicated in 1855. The society was organized in 
1833 as the Fourth Congregational Society, but the name Olivet 
was not used until its dedication. 

The house next east of Olivet Church was the home of Zebina 
Walker and is now an apartment house. The next was that of Elisha 
Curtis. From this point to Walnut street I have nothing definite 
left me, but from the following memorandum, contributed from 
memory by Mr. John West, a member of this society, I am enabled 
to give the names of the occupants of the shops, and the business 
they were engaged in about the year 1840, and I will read them in 
the order they were given: John Kilbon, shoe store; Austin Stewart, 
shoemaker; E. & S. Woodworth, jewelry; F. M. Carew, dry goods 
and groceries; Roderick Norton, hat store; G. W. Harrison (or 
General Harrison, as he was called), groceries; E. D. Stocking 
(later Nathaniel Cate), groceries; Jonathan Bangs, groceries; 
Holt & Brown, merchant tailors, and on the corner of Walnut 
street, F'.lisha Gunn. This must have been quite a business center 
for those days as the John Hancock Bank started there in 1850. 

State street from School street to the top of the hill when first 
laid out ran farther to the north, and took in the large trees that 
are now inside the Armory fence. The ancient milestone that 
stands today at the foot of the large elm, in front of the middle 
arsenal, indicates the northerly line of the street. Later, in order to 
avoid the steep grade, the path was changed and ran from Myrtle 
street to Walnut up through "Skunk's Misery," back of the Olivet 
Church. Afterwards this was discontinued and the present location 
established. The grade has been several times lowered, once at 
least within my own recollection. 

THE DAYS OF THE SIMPLE LIFE 

It is interesting in this connection to "hark back" forty years 
or so and contrast the old omnibus and its single pair of horses 
toiling up State street hill, once an hour, with the present electric 
cars passing every three minutes, and if they are a minute or so 
behind the schedule, or run in bunches, we enter a protest. Max 
O'Rell in commenting on American customs said, "The Americans 



OLD STATE STREET 195 

require from five to six minutes for lunch but they hope soon to 
accomplish it in less time than this." We certainly lived the "Sim- 
ple life" in those days and pjobably none of us would care to return 
to them; if we are getting with our present rapid pace all that 
we think we are, is another question. 

In taking the north side of State street from Federal street to 
Main, the United States Armory is the first to engage our attention. 
This, however, is a history in itself, and the subject was so ably 
treated last winter, in a paper written by Major Clark of the United 
States Army, and read before one of our Men's Clubs, that I will 
not enlarge upon it here. This paper was an admirable description 
of the Armory, and part of it together with some early drawings 
was published in one of the Sunday issues of the Republican. An- 
other remarkably good article on the Armory is contained in King's 
Hand Book of Springfield by Mr. Albert H. Kirkham, an old and 
valued member of this society. 

AT BYERS STREET 

Just above Byers street upon what is now government ground 
stood the old Starkey house. Of the man and his family I have no 
record beyond the fact that he was killed by lightning during a 
terrific thunder storm, while standing in his front doorway, one 
Sunday morning. I understand that there was a small yellow 
painted building known as the "Pay-master's Office" that stood 
just east of this house, but of this I have also no record. 

West of the Starkey house at the present entrance to Byers 
street (before that street was opened) was the home of Hon. James 
Byers, known as "Hillside Cottage." The house is still standing 
on Byers street, the first from the corner. Mr. Byers built it in 183 1 
and occupied it for many years, afterwards selling it to Col. Roswell 
Shurtleff, father of Judge Wm. S. Shurtleff and Roswell G. Shurtleff 
of this city. Here Mr. Byers entertained many prominent men of 
his day, Daniel Webster among the number. Mr. Byers was a 
merchant and for several years postmaster of Springfield. He was 
also paymaster and military storekeeper at the Armory for eight 
years from 1803, and commissary of the United States Army during 
the war of 1812, also one of the incorporators of the old Springfield 
bank in 1814. He was one of a number of citizens who bought the 
freedom of the slave woman "Jenny" in 1808. Many of you are 



196 OLD STATE STREET 

probably familiar with the history of this woman. She had run 
away from her Dutch master in New York state and the good people 
here took her in. During her stay she made such a good impression 
that a number of citizens contributed and bought her freedom from 
her owner when he finally located her here. I can remember hearing 
my father speak of buying cakes and spruce beer of "Aunt Jenny'' 
at her little hut near "Goose Pond." Airs. Jas. L. Egbert and Mrs. 
Walter H. Wesson are grand-nieces and Nathan Adams a grand- 
nephew of Mr. Byers. Some of the old residents who have occupied 
the Byers cottage are Henry Seymour, General Barnes, Elisha 
Gunn, Hon. John Mills, John B. Stebbins, Rodolphus Kinsley and 
D. E. Taylor. 

West of the Byers cottage where the house of Dr. Pomeroy 
stands lived a Mr. Potter, but of this man and his family I have no 
record. On the present site of the First Baptist Church was the 
home of William Child, father of Mrs. lngersoll, wife of Maj. Ed- 
ward Ingersoll, for many years paymaster at the Armory. Mr. 
Child was a distiller at Sixteen Acres, coming to Springfield in 1830. 
He was a representative to the Legislature in 1828 and one of the 
original trustees of the Springfield Institution for Savings. Dr. 
Alfred Lambert afterwards bought the property, built a new house 
and occupied it for many years. He had his office there. It was a 
brick house painted a dark grey color. The lot extended up to Byers 
.street and before his death Dr. Lambert built the present brick 
house on the Byers street corner for his own occupancy. It is now 
the home of Dr. Pomeroy. I understand that a wooden house 
stood on the Spring street corner before Dr. Lambert built there, 
and was owned and occupied b'y John Rice, grandfather of Frank C. 
and Walter Rice of this city. 

NEAR SPRING STREET 

On the northwest corner of State and Spring streets stood the 
old Dr. Frost house. Dr. Frost was a man highly esteemed in the 
community and a physician of marked ability. After Spring street 
was opened the old house was moved to the rear, fronting on Spring 
street, and a new one was built which is now standing. The prop- 
erty afterwards came into the possession of Edmund Palmer, 
grandfather of the Misses Mills of Crescent Hill. Mr. Palmer re- 



OLD STATE STREET 197 

modeled the whole structure. The late Chas. O. Chapin was the 
last purchaser and it is now occupied by his son, Chas. L. 
Chapin. 

We now come £0 one of the fine old Colonial mansions of early 
Springfield, best known today perhaps as the Alexander house, the 
home of Colonel and Mrs. H. M. Phillips and Miss Alexander. It 
was built nearly a century ago by Hon. James Byers. The architect 
was Asher Benjamin of Boston, grandfather of Mrs. H. A. Gould 
of this city. Simon Sanborn was the contractor, the man who built 
the George Bliss house, now the Episcopal rectory. Mr. Byers 
built it in 1 816 and in 1821 sold it to Col. Israel Trask. Colonel 
Trask was a lawyer of distinction, a graduate of Harvard College 
and at one time a captain in the Sixteenth U. S. Infantry. He was 
the owner of a plantation near Natchez, Miss., where he spent most 
of his winters, making Springfield his summer home. From 1830 
to 1832 the place was owned and occupied by Chester Harding, 
the artist, but was afterwards conveyed back to Colonel Trask, in 
whose family it remained until sold to Hon. Henry Alexander, 
Jr., in 1862. Gen. James Barnes, superintendent of the old Western 
Railroad, lived here at one time. The house in my boyhood stood 
nearer the corner of Elliot street (which was not open at that time) 
and was subsequently moved to its present location. 

A notable occupant of this old mansion was Chester Harding, 
considered I believe by good critics to be one of the finest portrait 
painters this country has ever produced. There is a little volume 
in our city library compiled by his daughter Margaret which is 
well worth the reading. It is made up largely of correspondence 
between Mr. Harding and members of his family, and shows the 
early struggles of the man and his phenomenal success in the face 
of great obstacles. It is much more interesting than the average 
biography. Mr. Harding was a personal friend of Daniel Webster, 
and his portraits of that statesman are considered the best in ex- 
istence. There are many specimens of his work in our city library 
and in private residences here. A portrait of my grandfather which 
I have in my home and prize very highly was painted by Mr. 
Harding in 1S30 after his return from Europe. 

Before Elliot street was opened and on the present site of the 
bishop's residence stood the house of Maj. Lewis Foster. Major 
Foster was an officer in the Massachusetts militia. In 1815 he 



i 9 8 OLD STATE STREET 

was appointed overseer in the United States watershops by Col. 
Benj. Prescott, superintendent at the Armory. Major Foster died 
in Springfield in 1849. 

WHERE THE CATHEDRAL NOW STANDS 

On the lot now occupied by the Catholic cathedral were the 
homes of Edmund Allen and Elijah Goodrich. Mr. Allen bought 
his home of Luther White in 1815 and occupied it until sold to the 
Catholics in 1861. Mr. Allen was a mechanic at the United States 
Armory and at one time agent of the old Springfield brewery. 
For several years he was chorister at the Unitarian Church. Elijah 
Goodrich owned the other half of the cathedral lot where he lived 
and carried on the livery business. Mr. Goodrich was a great 
horse trainer in his day. 

After Rev. Dr. Osgood and his neighbor, Samuel Reynolds, had 
opened Hampden street from Main to Water street through their 
property, John Goodrich bought of Dr. Osgood the land on the 
north side and erected Goodrich block on the corner, now the 
Nelson Hotel and theatre. 1 am told that a brick house stood on 
this State street lot in later years and was occupied by Daniel 
Gay. » Subsequently the late T. M. Walker bought the property 
and lived there until he sold it to Rev. Mr. Gallagher of St. Mi- 
chael's Cathedral. 

The next house is still standing but has been so completely made 
over that those of us who remember the imposing white structure 
would hardly recognize it today. This was the home of Rev. Dr. 
VV. B. O. Peabody, the beloved pastor of the old Unitarian Church 
from 1820 until his death in 1847. It is to Dr. Peabody that we 
are in a large measure indebted for our beautiful cemetery. He was 
the first to suggest its location, was its first president and together 
with Chester Harding and others contributed largely to laying out 
and beautifying the grounds. From my earliest boyhood I have 
been accustomed to hear of the many virtues of this kindly man. 
Perhaps because my grandparents were Unitarians, but I suspect 
he was loved and revered in his day very much as our good Dr. 
Buckingham was in later years. Dr. Peabody died in 1847 leaving 
one daughter and four sons. The oldest, Col. Everett Peabody, 
was killed at the battle of Pittsburg Landing in 1862. W. B. O. 



OLD STATE STREET 199 

Peabody, Jr., was an architect and Frank H. and Oliver W. were 
bankers of Kidder-Peabody & Co. of Boston. 

Mr. Bailey of Draper & Bailey occupied this house for many 
years, also Calvin Loomis and Dr. Grey. Subsequently it was 
owned and occupied by the late Emerson Wight, Nathan D. Bill 
and Dr. H. E. Rice. It finally passed into the hands of the Catholic 
society and has been converted into a private hospital. (The fine 
old residence on Maple street now owned by James T. Abbe and 
for many years known as the Rumrill house was afterwards built 
by Dr. Peabody and he lived and died there.) 

Until very recently there stood in the rear of the Y. M. C. A. 
building on Dwight street a low one-story house with a gambrel 
roof and occupied by colored families. It was moved there from 
the present site of the Art Museum, and was built in 1760 (by 
whom I do not know). My grandfather lived there in the early 
part of the last century, and it was afterwards owned by Elijah 
Blake, who came to Springfield in 1808. After its removal Mr. 
Blake built in 1839 a new house on the lot which he occupied until 
his death. This was afterwards moved to the rear and is now the 
property of the City Library Association and used as a club house 
by the Springfield Women's Club. Mr. Blake was engaged in the 
shoe and leather business, which he sold in 1855 to the late John R. 
Hixon. Mr. Blake was one of the selectmen and represented this 
district in the legislature of 1838. He was also for many years chief 
engineer of the fire department, first treasurer of the Cemetery 
Association and a director in the Springfield Mutual Fire Associa- 
tion. Many of us can remember his venerable figure on the street 
twentv-five or thirty years ago. He died in 1880 at ninetv-six 
years 01 age. 

ON THE SITE OF THE LIBRARY 

West of the Blake house was the Solomon Hatch place, which 
stood on the site of the city library. Mr. Hatch was a merchant, 
starting as a clerk for Hon. Jas. Byers. He succeeded Mr. Byers 
in the business and later retired and engaged in farming. He was 
town treasurer in 1824 and senator from Hampden district in 
1824-25. 

On the corner of State and Chestnut streets (now Merrick Park) 
was the George Bliss estate, the house standing at the top of the 



200 OLD STATE STREET 

hill on the present site of the Episcopal Church and fronting on 
Chestnut street, the grounds extending down to State street. It 
now stands in the rear of the church and is used as the rectory. I 
am unable to find any record to show that a building of any kind 
was ever erected upon the site of Merrick Park. 

From Chestnut street to Dwight street I have no record of any 
building until the first Episcopal Church was erected in 1840, but 
this may not be correct. The rectory stood on the corner where the 
Washburn block now stands and the church just above it. The 
latter is still standing and forms the rear of a brick business block, 
since built. Rev. Henry Lee, afterwards Bishop of Iowa and son 
of Col. Roswell Lee, was the first rector. Later this property was 
sold and in 1876 the present handsome edifice on Chestnut street 
was completed. 

This brings us to the historic old house which stood on the corner 
of State and Dwight streets, the present site of the Y. M. C. A. 
building. This was the home of James Scutt Dwight who died in 
1822 and to whom I shall refer later. A plain two-story wooden 
house with its wide Colonial window in the second story front, and 
its old fashioned door, it was a pretty good type of the substantial 
home of that period. A double wedding of considerable local in- 
terest'occurred here in 1834, when the late Col. Homer Foot and 
William W. Orne were married by Rev. Dr. Peabody to daughters 
of Mr. Dwight. After Mr. Dwight's death his widow occupied the 
home for several years. Later the widow of Dr. Samuel Kingsbury 
bought it. A small ell with a door opening on Dwight street was 
the law office of Hon. Wm. B. Calhoun, who married Margaret, 
daughter of Dr. Kingsbury. The property has changed hands 
several times, William W. Lee, Elam Stockbridge, William H. Par- 
sons and James E. Russell being some of the owners. In recent 
years monitor stores were attached to the old house which was used 
for commercial purposes. 

I have no record of the places between here and the old town 
hall, but they are down on the old maps as belonging to Widow 
Robinson, Widow Lyman, M. D. Graves and P. F. Wilcox, in the 
order named. An interesting fact came to my notice a few days 
ago in connection with the building that stands next east of the 
town hall and which is being fitted up for Lewis J. Ball's grocery 
store. It seems that this was at one time (about 1849) a hotel, 



OLD STATE STREET 201 

and kept by Mr. Earle, father of the Earles of New York, once the 
proprietors of the old Earle's Hotel at Canal and Center streets and 
of the Hotel Normandie at Broadway and 38th streets. Later I 
understood it was used as a restaurant. 

The old town hall is worthy of more than a passing notice. It 
was built about the year 1826 or 1827 and the entrance to the second 
and third stories was on Market street. At that time the three 
stores were owned by Dr. Elisha Edwards and Charles Stearns. In 
1832 the one on the Market street corner was bought by Phillip 
Wilcox for a stove and tin shop, the middle one by Henry L. Bunker 
for a grocery store and the third was Mr. Pomeroy's millinery store. 
The hall was on the second floor and the third or top floor was 
occupied by the Hampden Lodge of Masons. On the evening of 
the day of the national election, during the "Tippecanoe and Tyler 
too" Campaign, there was a ball held in the old hall which was 
considered a grand affair for those days. 

In the rear of the hall and before Market street was opened, in 
fact before the hall was built, was a little red brick school house for 
which many of the older residents seem to entertain very tender 
recollections. James Osgood of Chicago, a son of Rev. Dr. Osgood 
of the First Church (and to whom I am indebted for many valuable 
suggestions) refers to it in a letter and names Miss Eunice Brewer, 
daughter of Dr. Chauncy Brewer and Miss Eliza Lombard, daughter 
of Dea. Justin Lombard as the teachers. There have been three 
different school houses upon this very spot, and the open lot in the 
rear, which is now covered with business blocks was the school 
playground. 

THE OLD DWlGHT CORNER 

I cannot close this paper without reference to the Old Dwight 
Corner, the present home of the Springfield Institution for Savings, 
for while the entrance was on Main street, the building extended 
back nearly to Market street. There was a small wooden structure 
in the rear in which the post office was at one time located, and in 
later years Capron & Son had a grocery store there. "The Dwights 
were planted on Springfield soil long before the Revolution," I now 
quote from Greene's History. "Col. Josiah Dwight, son of Captain 
Henry and Sarah Pynchon Dwight, was a man of note, dying in 
Springfield in 1768. His brother, Edward Dwight of Halifax, sent 



202 OLD STATE STREET 

his ten years' old son to the colonel in Springfield in 1753. The 
lad's name was Jonathan. He grew up in his uncle's store, suc- 
ceeded to his business, managed his estate and perfected the foun- 
dation upon which the Dwight family in Springfield have since 
builded. 

"Jonathan Dwight was of medium size, engaging in his manners, 
a great smoker, a fine business man and thoroughly honorable, up- 
right and church-going in his habits. His old red house at the 
corner of Main and State streets lives in storied memory. Here used 
to gather for converse, and to smoke and trade, people of all classes 
and conditions." 

In 1799 this red building was removed and a more commodious 
brick one was built (which many of us can remember), and at this 
old corner resided the spirit of Theology, Politics and Business. 

About 1790 Jonathan Dwight's son, James Scutt Dwight, was 
taken in as a partner where he remained through the various changes 
in the firm for over thirty years. The firm had branches throughout 
Western Massachusetts and also at Boston. About 183 1 Hon. 
George Dwight and Col. Homer Foot purchased the various in- 
terests and later took into the firm John B. Stebbins, who had been 
a clerk in the old Dwight store with Colonel Foot. This, I suppose, 
was the beginning of the well known firm of Homer Foot & Co. 
In 1847 they bought Uncle Jerry Warriner's Tavern and built what 
is known as Foot's Block, recently purchased by the Massachusetts 
Mutual Life Insurance Company, and moved the hardware business 
there. With this the glory of the old Dwight Corner departed. 
During the next twenty years the grocery and confectionery business 
was carried on here by different parties, Cicero Simons and Mr. 
Hudson among the number. In 1867 the Springfield Institution 
for Savings built their present banking house, which they are soon 
to vacate. 

In going back over the history of "Old Springfield" one cannot 
fail to be impressed by the enterprise and courage exhibited by a 
score or more of the early business men of the town, in laying the 
foundation that made possible the present beautiful "City of 
Homes." 



THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET 203 

September 17, 1906 

Annual Meeting adjourned to November 20, 1906. 
Adjourned Annual Meeting November 20, 1906 

Officers elected — 

President, William F. Adams. Vice-Presidents, John' West, Andrew 
J. Flanagan, J. Stuart Kirkham. Clerk and Corresponding Secretary, 
Henry A. Booth. Treasurer and Curator, William C. Stone. 

Executive Committee: Edward A. Hall, Frank G. Tobey, Alfred M. 
Coeeland, Albert H. Kirkhaji, Lewis F. Carr, Rev. Thomas D. Howard. 



Rev. Thomas D. Howard read a paper on "Main Street, 
from Carew Street to the Arch." 

The North End of Main Street 



"" ^HE section to which your attention is invited is that 
bounded by Carew street on the north and the railroad 
arch on the south. The period brought to view is that of 
the youthtime of those who are now old; it may be 
proximately defined as the years between 1836 and 1842, that being 
the time in which my most vivid memories have place. Essential 
to the 'success of my undertaking was the assistance of Richard 
Stebbins, M.D., of Omaha, Neb., my special friend from boy- 
hood, and who knew every foot of the ground covered. This aid has 
been cheerfully rendered. It is proper, however, to say that all the 
information furnished has been given in response to specific inquiries 
and requests, and that I am alone responsible for the use made of it 
in this paper. 

The Carew mansion, built in 1800 by Capt. Joseph Carew, was at 
the head of Main street, and was well suited to its commanding 
situation. Its outlook was down the broad avenue shaded by its 
central row of elms. Within was a home of gracious hospitality. 
In this connection one inmate should be mentioned, if faithful 
service is worthy of praise. Harriet Wood, colored, lived with this 
family in cheerful ministration, with cooking as her specialty, from 
the age of fourteen until her death at that of seventy, and the kindly 
regard of those who knew her was attested by the large attendance 
at her funeral. East of the house was a finely-kept flower and vege- 
table garden, and beyond this the famous tannery. South, along the 



20 4 THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET 

line of Main street, was a meadow of two acres. Besides this prop- 
erty there was (the name indicating ownership of the brick building 
at the southeast corner of Main and State street) Carew hall, the 
precursor of Stockbridge's hall. Sons of Captain Carew weie active 
in business in Springfield and South Hadley Falls. Of the third 
generation Miss Carrie E. Spencer, daughter of Capt. Luther and 
Caroline Carew Spencer, is resident in Springfield. 

East of the Carew property was the house of Mr. Alexander Rum- 
rill. Although this home was not on Main street, it was an integral 
part of the north end community, as have been James B. and James 
A. Rumrill, successively, of the larger municipality of Springfield. 
I am told of the house of Darius Wright, a revolutionary pensioner, 
which cornered on the Caiew house at the northwest. Both of my 
informants tell of a leaden sun-dial, which unusual indicator would 
seem to have been the distinguishing feature of this domicile. Miss 
Spencer writes, " I have heard my mother say that she often went 
over there to see the time of day. " 

We now begin on the line of residences on the west side of Main 
street, with a historic building erected in 1774 by Maj. Joseph 
Stebbins; a tavern during the Revolutionary period and for many 
years afterward. In 1827 the house with the valuable farm was 
bought.by Thomas Bond, previously of West Brookfield. In 1842, 
Mr. Bond changed his residence to the corner of Main and Bridge 
streets, and became identified with the business interests of Spring- 
field, as were also his sons, George T. and Ephraim W., the latter 
having graduated as first scholar in the class of 1841, Amherst 
College, and received the degree of LL.B. from the Harvard Uni- 
veisity law school in 1845. He died December 5, 1891. 

The purchaser of the Bond property was Horatio Sargeant, whose 
name appeared on the stagecoaches of the Connecticut valley. Mr. 
Sargeant resided here until his decease in 1864 at the age of seventy- 
two. His son, Rev. Horatio Lester Sargeant, after a few years of 
service in his chosen profession, died July 25, 1864, at the age of 
thirty-two. 

Next south was the only brick structure that will come under our 
notice, built by and the residence of Silas Potter. Mr. Potter owned 
and canied on a brick-yard about the corner of Bridge and Chestnut 
streets. He took pait in the erection in Armory square of "the new 
arsenal," as it was called up to the 40's. The place was bought in 



THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET 205 

1835 by H. H. Buckland. His law office was on the corner of Main 
and Sanford streets. Mr. Buckland sold to Mr. Colby (who came to 
Springfield from Salem) and built on Water street. He died August 
25, 1846, at the age of forty. Surviving in Springfield is Miss A. 
Sophia Buckland, 736 State street; in Philadelphia, Dr. E. H. Buck- 
land. The respected patriarch of the neighborhood, Walter 
Stebbins, occupied during a long life the next house, which was 
built by his father. At a later period a modern house was built by 
Miss Angelina Stebbins, which she bequeathed to the Springfield 
Home for Aged Women. 

The ill-shaped structure which had been the town poor-house next 
comes to view. It stood wheie Auburn street opens from Main. 
The property was owned by James Byers; the house was occupied and 
the farm carried on by Seneca Cooley. Theie follow three weather- 
stained houses flanked by well-sweeps, all occupied by families bear- 
ing the name of Stebbins. Of these homes I can recall only one 
family, which consisted of George Stebbins, who carried on the 
ancestral farm, his aged mother, Mrs. Moses B. Stebbins, and a 
widowed sister, Mrs. Peck, with her four children. Vine street was 
subsequently opened nearly where the old house stood. The fact 
that, of some twenty families I have occasion to mention, nine bear 
the natne of Stebbins, is my excuse for an excursion at this point 
in the realm of genealogy. 

Rowland Stebbins came to Springfield from Roxbury, according 
to the genealogy preserved in the Stebbins family, with William 
Pynchon in 1636. In Burt's Memoranda the date of his arrival is 
given as 1639. It is in favor of the latter date that the name does 
not appear in the records as preserved until 1640, while in subse- 
quent years it frequently occurs until 1653, when he removed to 
Nonotuck, now Northampton, where he died in 1677. In the grave- 
yard on Bridge street at Northampton stands a monument near the 
supposed spot of his burial, elected by Dr. Daniel Stebbins, to the 
memory of Rowland Stebbins, "the supposed ancestor," so the 
inscription reads, "of all the Stebbinses in America." That may 
have been true a hundred years ago, but it is highly probable that 
othei Stebbinses have arrived since. But it is certain that his son, 
Thomas, who came with his father at the age of fourteen, is the 
ancestor of the Springfield branch. I will give the oider of succession 
as represented by the head of each generation, — a typical New 



206 THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET 

England genealogy: thousands could furnish, with names changed, 
its counterpart: Rowland, Thomas, Joseph, Joseph, Joseph, Joseph, 
Festus. 

The house built by Festus Stebbins is still standing, numbered 
114. It was the center of well conducted farming operations. The 
farm consisted largely of meadow land; the home lot (through the 
center of which is Clinton street) extending to the river and including 
the south half of Franklin park. It was my impression that farming 
operations weie canied on here when they had been mainly dis- 
continued elsewhere. In answer to my request for dates, Dr. Steb- 
bins writes: — 

The old farm was practically turned to other uses by the march of improvement 
and advance in the price of real estate soon after 1S49, except the land on the plain 
and the Agawam meadows in West Springfield. A "Farm Book" containing an 
account of sales of hay was kept up to 1S70. In the home, where I spent many happy 
days, were twelve children. Two died before reaching their majority; ten filled 
their respective places in business and domestic life. I have the register of births 
which extends from i8co to 1824, ending with Richard, the sole survivor. Three of 
the brothers, — Theodore, Joel and William, after having been engaged in business in 
New York, returned to the old home. Resident in Springfield of the third generation 
are Mrs. William T. Parker, Miss Anne C. Stebbins, Miss M. Louise Stebbins, Mrs. 
George B. Joslyn and Mrs. Charles B. Atwater. 

The 'premises of the house occupied by Eli Bates joined the 
Stebbins garden on the south. There were four stalwart boys. Eli, 
Jr., went to Cleveland where he engaged in the lumber business, and 
afterward to Chicago. The heroic statue of Abraham Lincoln which 
faces the main entrance to Lincoln park was his gift to the latter city. 

We have now to notice a new, or rather reconstructed, house the 
first innovation in that neighborhood for a peiiod of forty years. 
It was built by Capt. Charles Emery, son of Robert and Mary 
Lyman Emery, who had given up seafaring and become a resident 
of Spiingfield, but in 1845 removed to Dorchester. The northern 
part was occupied by John B. Stebbins and afterward by Nathan 
Foster and his sister, Mrs. Hyde; the southern pait by Captain 
Emery. 

Joshua Childs resided next. His blacksmith shop, with its oaken 
frame in which oxen were suspended preparatory to shoeing, stood 
opposite where Franklin street joins Main. Of this family were the 
late Otis, who was city marshal of Springfield in 1S62-3, and Charles, 
a carriage maker on Sanford and Market streets until 1856, when 



THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET icy 

j 

1 he removed to Omaha, Xeb. Rev. Thomas Childs, D.D., is rector 

of a church in Chevy Chase, Washington, D. C. In the earliest 
years I attempt to cover, Henry Comstock lived in the house south 
of Mr. Child?. Mr. Comstock removed in the early 40's to Illinois. 
About the year 1843 Joshua B. Vinton, well known as a landlord 
and in business circles, was in possession and resident there. 

South of the junction of Emery street with Main was the house of 
John B. M. Stebbins; previous owner, Pelatiah Bliss. Mr. Stcbbins 
was a member of the firm of John Cooley & Co., river transportation 
company between Springfield and Hartford. He died June 30, 
1869, at the age of seventy-two. For these and many other state- 
ments of fact I am indebted to Charles W. Chapin's "Old Spring- 
field," a volume which preserves valuable details that could only 
have been obtained by thorough and painstaking research. The 
house, now 148 Alain stieet, reconstructed and elegantly finished 
within, and which has been the residence of J. F. Bidwell for thirty- 
five years, was the subject of a descriptive article in a former number 
of the The Republican. 

The lots below the original premises were, at the time under 
review, vacant as fai as Perry lane, now Cypress street. Pausing at 
its head, I ask you to look down the lane as it was sixty years ago. 
A lanc'it was in the old English sense, skirled only by fields and the 
ruins of an old mill. It had not been always so. We have some data 
for the rehabilitation of the once busy street. First, in a contract 
published in Burt's First Century, Thomas Stebbins, Jr., binds him- 
self to furnish material, build and finish a schoolhouse twenty-two 
feet long and seventeen feet wide, the consideration being £14, unless 
the builder should have a hard bargain, and in that event he was to 
have " 10 shillings more of the town." The site of the building was 
on "the lane to the upper wharf." This was four years before the 
ferry. The school-house I venture to locate near the head of the lane 
(since Main street must have furnished the scholars) and on the 
north side, the Lyman estate being the southern line. 

In 1683 a ferry was established and an agreement entered into 
with John Dorchester to attend same, he having liberty to sell drink, 
be freed from military service and to take nine pence per horse and 
man. His dwelling must have been near the river. There was also 
near the river the Brewer mansion, historical; between these houses 
and the schoolhouse were Deacon Henderson's hat shop, traditional, 



208 THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET 

and Edward Boylston's wheelwright shop, also traditional, but with 
the specification that excellent work was done there; much later the 
factory for making woolen cloth and the rope walk, to be further 
mentioned, and, finally, the dry goods store of Zebina Stebbins on 
the corner, afterward removed across Main street. A business street 
was Ferry lane, a thoroughfare for western-bound travelers. 

Its prosperity was continuous for over a century and until the 
opening of Springfield biidge in October, 1805. The running of the 
ferry and the general use of the lane must then have ceased. There 
is the material for a pathetic story of the abandoned highway, the 
road that leads nowhere, but it must suffice to say that in the time 
of my youth there remained beside the living green of adjacent 
fields, only the ruins of the long, one-story woolen mill. 

My friend has furnished me with a list, complete to the best of 
his recollection, of the dwelling-houses which have had place on the 
east side of Main street. "On the north corner of Ferry street was 
the dwelling of Zebina Stebbins; adjoining on the north, a house 
occupied by two families, named Chapin and King. About where 
Sharon street joins Main was the house of John Rice, a carpenter, 
and near by a shop and dwelling occupied by John Lloyd, a cabinet- 
maker; on the site of the old shop was built the residence of Wait- 
still Hastings; on the north corner of Main and Sharon w-as the 
house of J. Linus Briggs, and on a corner of Congress street one 
built by Conductor James Parker. On the southeast corner of 
Franklin street was the house, of long standing, of Amasa Parsons, 
and on a corner of Greenwood street that of Samuel Greene. At the 
junction of Main and Essex streets was a one-story house which had 
been moved from the line of the Boston & Albany railroad and was 
known as the Sanderson House." Doctor Stebbins adds, "North 
of the Sanderson house to Carew street were vacant lots when I 
lived in Springfield." 

Nearly all of these buildings were of later date than the period of 
my sketch. Only two houses on the east side were familiar to me. 
The first went by the name of Zebina Stebbins, who had died in 
1835. Mr. Stebbins had been the enterpiising man of the North 
end. All the manufacturing there carried on had its inception in his 
brain, and was prosecuted by his energy. The initial undci taking 
must have been entered on in his early manhood. This infant, 
unprotected industry is graphically described in the manuscript 



THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET 209 

reminiscences of Mrs. Eunice Stcbbins Adams: "Zebina Stebbins's 
pottery stood on the lot of his father, Thomas Stebbins, nearly oppo- 
site Walter Stebbins's house. He made all kinds of useful articles, 
such as mugs and pitchers, which were much used for cider and 
beer, and milk pans; also teapots and cups, some of these being 
highly glazed and figured. All his trading was done by barter. 
Money was not seen by many in those days, just after the Revolu- 
tion. When I was a child I spent many an hour seeing Mr. Stebbins 
work the clay into shape with his hands, with his foot on the step 
which turned the wheel. " 

The factory and rope walk on Ferry lane were owned and managed 
by Mr. Stebbins, and with all the rest he reserved time and strength 
for the oversight of bis dry goods store on the corner. There will be 
remembered by the eldeis the sons, James, Christopher and John 
B. M. I iecall Christopher when he was in the staging business. 
He was a bachelor, with the evident determination to remain single 
in spite of all temptation. He drove to my fathei's house one morn- 
ing to receive a passenger bound for Hartford by the steamboat 
Aga-u<am, Capr. Richard Peck. The passenger was a somewhat 
eccentric maiden lady, and while talking with Mr. Stebbins laid her 
hand on his arm, as was her custom in order to emphasize her words; 
but he interrupted her with "Hands off!" The other dwelling-house 
recalled is that of Amasa Parsons, which stood on what is now the 
southeast corner of Franklin street. Mr. Parsons must have been 
sworn in as constable during a long period of time, for he had become 
the embodiment of repressive law in the eyes of all the youth of the 
North end. 

We now return to the west side of Main street. The extensive 
Lyman estate had Ferry lane for its northern boundary. The man- 
sion was distinguished as having been the residence of Judge Samuel 
Lyman, who was a member of Congress during the closing years of 
Washington's presidency. A very interesting and appreciative 
sketch of Mr. Lyman is reprinted in Mr. Chapin's volume, with 
extracts from letters affording glimpses of men in cabinet and Con- 
gress, and indicating, as well, the character of the writer, which is 
described as "both noble and genial." He died June 6, 1802, in the 
fifty-third year of his age. By his will the landed property was 
divided between Samuel, Jr., who was afterward a member of Con- 
gress, and the daughter, Mary. The house at the time of which I 



210 THE NORTH EXD OF MAIN STREET 

write was the home of Mr. Lyman. No descendants in the third 
generation have lived in Springfield since 1S45. 

Capt. Robert Emery's holdings, which adjoined the Lyman estate, 
reached the southern limits of the district reviewed. The house, 
relatively modern, had an air of elegance from its style and. finish, 
and also because of its being painted in color, in contrast to the pre- 
vailing white. The piazza, which was on the south side, and from 
which was the main entrance, as well as the ample grounds orna- 
mented with shrubbery, added to the effect. For a sketch of the 
owner and the extensive property I borrow Mr. Cha pin's succinct 
statement. It is especially suggestive in the enumeration of streets 
which intersect the old farm: "Capt. Robert Emery was born in 
Newburyport, Mass., September 20, 1773. In his early manhood he 
followed the sea. He was master of vessels at various times engaged 
in the East India trade. Retiring early from maritime life, he 
removed to Sprinefield, and about the year 1815 married for a second 
wife Mary Lyman, daughter of Samuel Lyman, Esq. Mrs. Emery- 
died August 8, 1826. From her he inherited the estate which she 
had received from her father, which consisted of about a hundred 
and thirty acres, and is now covered by the Boston Sc Albany 
railroad, Lyman, Liberty, Chestnut, Charles, Cass and Webster 
streets, and the adjacent lands thereto. " 

Special mention should be made in annals of Springfield of Miss 
Margaret Emery. A daughter by a former marriage, she was, at the 
time of which I write, the head of her father's household, and in 
place of mother to her half-brother and sister, John and Mary. The 
death of the former in his senior year at Harvard College she deeply- 
lamented. He was looking forward to the ministry, and her fond 
hopes rested on him. In the community- Miss Emery was held in 
high esteem for, to quote from a published characterization, "her 
uncommon intellect, rare learning and racy wit." Possessed of a 
valuable library, she was well acquainted with the English classics, 
for the reading of which, under her guidance, young people used to 
meet at her home. But her special study r was that of Hebrew his- 
tory, and successive classes profited by her aptness as a teacher. 
Miss Emery's home in her latest years was at Hartford, where she 
died, August 8, 1865, aged sixty-nine. 

With reference to the portion of our city which I have brought to 
view the nineteenth century- may, with a little trimming and fitting, 



THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET 211 

be divided into two equal parts, one of which may be termed the 
half century of quiescence, and the other that of rapid, onward 
motion. About the year 1800 were erected most of the houses which 
stood conspicuous among the ancient dwellings; but, with only the 
modifications incident to wear and tear, both the old and the new 
remained in statu quo for the space of fifty years. During the next 
fifty a transformation practically complete was wrought; only two 
houses remain in place. Where dwelling-houses had place, stand 
buildings which minister to business interests. The building ma- 
terial is changed. The conqueror found the houses of wood and 
replaced them by red brick. The extent of the alteration, though it 
can hardly be surpassed, is equalled in many municipalities, and is 
part of the general trend. I quote a succinct statement of an 
acknowledged verity: "No other fifty years of life for which known 
records have shown such progress in almost every department of 
life as the half century 1800-1850. " 

In this connection a question suggests itself: Is this advance to be 
uninterruptedly continuous: An article in the Atlantic Monthly 
which takes note of the rapid strides that have been recently made 
in the realm of applied science, brings its wonder-exciting contribu- 
tions to the enrichment of life, corrects what the writer deems a 
popular error. The forecast is often indulged in, he says, of a future 
in which the pace now attained will be constant, or the only change 
to be expected acceleration gained by momentum. This expecta- 
tion, he avers, is controverted by the clear testimony of history, — 
which records periods of rapid advancement, always followed by 
seasons in which the benefits bequeathed are enjoyed, but with 
cessation for the time being of activity, and, in a review of the past, 
specific instances are brought to view in proof of the assertion. 

The implication to be drawn from this survey may not be welcome 
but is not the intermittency which is shown to be probable whole- 
some? I confess to a preference for a river which is not rapid 
through its entire course, but which has its reaches of "still waters" 
(the marginal reading is "wateis of rest"). 

But, be this as it may, inasmuch as obscurity rests on the past in 

jp its contrast to the brilliancy of the present, it is important that 

there should be gathered up memories and mementoes, in order that 

bygone years may be placed in their true perspective. Gratitude, 

too, may well evoke the acknowledgment of our debt to those who 



212 THE NORTH END OF MAIN STREET 

laid the firm foundations for the fair abodes prepared for us. The 
task which was reverently assumed by the ancient Hebrew, to hand 
down to future generations the details of divinely directed events: 

"Which in our younger years we saw. 
And which our fathers told" 

is the legitimate province of our association. Its call is general, as 
it invites all who can contribute to this end heartily to cooperate 
in this pious work. 



OLD COACHING DAYS 213 

Quarterly Meeting December II, 1906 

Mrs. Lucy H. Smith of Northampton read a paper on 
"Old Coaching Days." 

Old Coaching Days 

f H "^HE Connecticut Valley Historical Society held a meeting 
I at the Art Museum Tuesday evening, at which Mrs. 

Lucy Hunt Smith of Noithampton read a delightful 
paper on "Old Coaching Days" which made everyone 
present regret that coaching days were over, in this part of the world 
at least. After a brief historical review of coaching in other countries, 
Mrs. Smith told of the private coaches owned by Governors Brad- 
ford and Winthrop. 

The first coaches had seats for twelve persons. The back seat was 
regarded as the best and usually given to women. Concord coaches 
were first built in 1827 and by some are considered the most perfect 
passenger vehicle ever built. They are used down to the present 
time. Buffalo Bill had the famous Deadwood stage built in Concord 
in 1863 and it has been in constant use. Queen Victoria and most 
of the royalty of Europe have ridden in it. 

Few pieces of mechanical work are now done so carefully as were 
the parts of a stage. The choicest ash, elm and cedar were used in 
its construction, as well as the finest metals, leathers and plushes, 
also special coach lace. The wheels had tires two inches thick, 
which were worn out every two months, and the painting was an 
elaborate process. 

The term stage coach applies only to coaches going long distances 
by stages and to call a Fifth avenue bus a stage is a misnomer. The 
splendid turnpikes aided in making coaching popular. One great 
test was the time which it took to carry the President's message. 
Once it was carried five hundred miles in twelve and a half hours. 
There was competition and prices varied. At one place where the 
fare was $3.00 it was cut to $2.00 and lower, until one company 
would carry passengers for nothing. The rival line carried free and 
gave a dinner. When the other line added a bottle of wine to the 
free transportation and dinner, the limit was reached. In a curious 
old magazine, called the Stage Register, printed in I S3 1, stages, 
steamboats and canal packets were advertised, giving full par- 



2i 4 OLD COACHING DAYS 

ticulars. Out of three hundred and fifty-nine stage lines, ninety- 
were from Boston. 

The bustle incident to the arrival of a stage coach, changing of 
horses and its departure was vividly pictured. The driver was 
always an exceedingly popular man and deservedly so, for he did 
all sorts of errands for everybody along his route. One driver 
boasted that he bought all the bonnets for the women on his route 
in Boston and pleased them all, as he never bought two alike. From 
1830 to 1846, a driver by the name of Twitchell ran five lines of 
stages from Northampton. Each coach carried twenty outside and 
twelve inside passengers. He afterwards became a member of 
Congress. One driver, receiving a legacy, retired to a farm, where 
he stayed a week and then returned to drive again and left a record 
of 135,000 miles he had driven a coach. 

There are a few stage lines left in the White Mountains and it is 
an ideal way to travel. Mrs. Smith related the story of how, when 
on a coaching trip there, the driver pointed out a rock by the road 
where he had overturned the coach just a week before and many 
passengers were injured, especially a young lady sitting in her place. 
She breathed more freely after that spot was passed. Two North- 
amptpn people, who were accustomed to take the trip to Boston 
annually, were besieged by their friends with errands and messages, 
so that after packing their own trunks, they packed an extra one 
with articles sent by them. 

The coach always started early and it was customary to take 
breakfast at Belchertown. At Ware many othei stages met them 
and more passengers were taken aboard. Many stories are told of 
the pleasant acquaintances and romantic matches made in these 
journeys. It took eighteen hours to go to Boston from Northamp- 
ton. There were milestones on all of the post roads. These long 
journeys were a serious undertaking and not all pleasure, especially 
in the south where the bridges were often miserable affairs. One 
time when the mud was up to the hubs, the coach refused to move, 
so the driver asked the passengers to get out. They did not under- 
stand their plight, so declined. He then sat down by the road and 
composed himself as for a nap, with his hat over his eyes, when 
some one enquired when they were going on. "When the mud 
dries up," was his answer, so they thought better of the matter and 
alighted. 



OLD COACHING DAYS 215 

For some reason, no matter in what direction one was going, the 
stage always started just before daylight, when the earth offers the 
least to the human soul to tempt it to remain here. In those days 
of candle light it was especially dreary. There was nothing to fear 
from highway robbery in this part of the country in those early 
times, although there is a record of a robbery between Baltimore and 
Philadelphia. When the steam cars began to run there were many 
absurd reasons against their use. Horses would have to be killed, 
for they would be needless; hens would not lay their eggs; people 
would go insane if they traveled that way; trains would not be able 
to make any headway against the wind and the like. Stage drivers 
worked on the trains and became everything, excepting engineers. 
Chester W. Chapin drove a stage between Hartford and Spring- 
field and afterwards was president of the Boston &: Albany railroad. 
Efforts were made to restrict drunkenness in taverns and tobacco 
was forbidden in public. Two men could not smoke together or 
within two miles of a meeting house. The signs on the old taveihs 
were curious. One where Moody's school now is had two little pine 
trees and a large rabbit. There were plenty of Washington taverns. 
At the Warner tavern in Northampton, General Lafayette made a 
speech and some are now living who remember scattering flowers 
at that time, also being present at the laying of the corner stone of 
Bunker Hill monument, where the father chartered a coach and 
took his family and some friends to Boston. The last stage line out 
of Northampton was given up twenty years ago. It ran to Amherst 
and it was a pleasant sight to see the college boys drive into town. 
Remarks followed, when different members told what they re- 
membered of coaching days. Mr. W. F. Adams told how it was 
customary when there were banknotes to be sent to Boston to be 
redeemed to go to the stage and give the package of notes, amount- 
ing- sometimes to #5000, to some passenger, often a stranger, to take 
to Boston. The Thompson express grew out of this business. Rev. 
T. D. Howard told of going by stage to Brattleboro, when he enjoyed 
the trip very much, as everything was as if arranged for his own 
pleasure alone. Also, of an evening when his Uncle John had just 
returned from Boston, having gone to Worcester by stage and pro- 
ceeded by the (then new) steam cars, and described the cars to his 
wondering listeners. Mr. Fuller told of Washington's visit to 
Springfield in 1789 when he arrived at Parsons' tavern in the rain at 



216 OLD CO J C II INC DAYS 

4 o'clock and stayed over night. It is said that he gave a Long- 
meadow youth a silver dollar. The next day he took dinner at West 
Brookfield and intended to spend the night at Brookfield, but the 
landlady, not understanding who it was, pleaded a headache and he 
stayed at Jenks' tavern, at Spencer, where he complimented Mrs. 
Jenks on her good bread. He was provided a white horse to ride 
in Boston and there is a letter a young lady wrote her lover in 
Springfield about seeing President Washington in church. 



THE CATHOLIC LOT 217 

Quarterly Meeting January 15, 1907 

Edward A. Hall read a paper on the "Lot Once Owned 

by the Catholics and Now a Part of the Armory Grounds." 

The Catholic Lot on the Armory Grounds 

t IS "^HE United States Armory is first among the most promi- 
nent points of interest in Springfield and the citizens have 
always taken great pride in this great national institution 
in their midst. To all visitors, the Armory buildings are 
the first to claim attention. As one approaches the city from any dis- 
tance, the arsenal, the largest building in the city and the tower with 
its tall flag staff with Old Glory flying in the breeze, is the most con- 
spicuous sight in view. Situated on the highest ground in the city 
and bounded in a mammoth square by State, Federal, Pearl and 
Byers streets, with Federal Square and Benton Park to the cast. The 
Springfield Armory is the oldest gun manufactory in the country, its 
site having been selected by Gen. George Washington as early as 1777, 
when he ordered Col. David Mason of Boston to make the selection 
of a site for the founding of works for the manufacturing of such 
arms and ammunition as may be needed. In 1794 the General Court 
of Massachusetts passed an act authorizing the purchase by the 
United States Government of a tract of land of Springfield of sixty- 
four acres, and the Armory was established in 1795 by Act of Con- 
gress, although small arms were made in shops there as early as 
1775. The grounds of the United States Armory are in a measure 
and always have been sacred to the citizens of Springfield. They 
have been set apart for a government purpose, placed aside for a 
specific design, guarded by soldiers of the regular army, under the 
control of an army officer, who has it in his power to say just how 
far the claims of the people of the city shall trespass within its 
boundary. The inhabitants of the Armory grounds have no legal 
residence in the city, and cannot vote at any election here, not 
being assessed for taxes. The Armory grounds are famous in 
Springfield history for a few events of more than local importance. 
In January, 1777, Capt. Daniel Shays, who had fought with the 
Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, led an insurgent 
army of 1,500 men to Springfield to prevent the holding of the 
courts here. To protect the courts and surpress the insurrection, 



218 THE CATHOLIC LOT 

an army of 4,400 men was raised by order of the government. 
They were commanded by General Shepherd of Westficld and 
ordered to Springfield to meet the insurgents. A battle of short 
duration was fought, not far from the corner of State and Federal 
streets; the insurgents dispersing, which ended the war. This 
battle between General Shepherd and his regular troops and Captain 
Shays and his ex-revolutionary soldiers, might be termed a stately 
minuet as compared to the long continued series of ructions as to 
whether the United States Armory should be under civil or military 
control. During the superintendency of David Ames, the armorers 
were enlisted like regular soldiers, and until the appointment of 
Col. Roswell Lee in 18 15, the workmen drew their rations like 
common soldiers, many of them living in houses on the government 
grounds. In 1841, Maj. James Wolfe Ripley, a military officer in 
the ordnance department, of Kennebec Arsenal at Augusta, 
Maine, was appointed commandant of the Springfield Armory, 
with Maj. Edward Ingersoll as paymaster and storekeeper. 

In 1842, the Armory was placed under military control and the 
appointment of Major, afterwards General, Ripley, chief of ord- 
nance, was confirmed. Many of the skilled workmen and others 
who had worked under General Ripley at the Kennebec Arsenal in 
Maine, followed him to Springfield, and were given employment 
in the Armory and at the Watershops. Among these newcomers 
were several Irish Catholic families. The Catholics of Springfield 
are entitled to much praise for their good judgment in the selection 
of the sites for their churches. This is shown from the first location 
selected by them, about 1843, on the present grounds of the United 
States Armory, on the westerly brow of the hill, a few rods from the 
residence of Colonel Phipps, Commandant of the Armory, over- 
looking one of the most beautiful views to be found in New England. 
Rev. John Brady, during his visits to Springfield, negotiated the 
purchase of this property of the owner, Charles Stearns, before 
Pearl street went beyond Spring, and Byers street was open as far 
as Frost street. The sale of this property to the Catholics created 
a war between the parties interested and their friends which lasted 
for years, and resulted in the financial embarrassment of Charles 
Stearns, the retirement of Colonel Ripley as commandant of the 
Armory, the suspension of the Daily Post newspaper, owned bv 
David Ashley, and edited by William L. Smith, afterwards mayor 



ON THE ARMORY GROUNDS 



of Springfield, on account of suits for libel brought for publishing 
letters of Stearns and others, about the management of the Armory 
and its official, and finally, the fight was carried to Washington by a 
petition to Congress, praying that the management of the United 
States Armory at Springfield be placed in charge of civil authorities, 
which was done, and E. S. Allen was appointed acting superintend- 
ent of the Armory, August 17, 1854, and remained until Gen. James 
Whitney took charge. Hon. Charles Stearns, who sold this lot to the 
Catholics, was the most enterprising man in Springfield, seventy- 
five years ago, and was one of the chief promoters of all the leading 
enterprises connected with the construction of railroads and fac- 
tories, in the building and construction of which he was usually 
the contractor, employing hundreds of men in various occupations, 
incidental to the rapid increase of the population from villages of a 
few hundred to towns and cities of several thousand. With Con- 
tractor William McClellan, he erected the cotton mills at Chicopee 
and Chicopee Falls, also the Dwight Mfg. Co., Ames Mfg. Co., the 
mills at Indian Orchard and Ludlow, the Hampden and Lyman 
Mills at Holyoke, and the Glasgow Mills at South Hadley Falls, 
and many of the tenement houses for the families employed in 
those mills, factories and railroads from 1825 to 1850. Mr. Stearns 
was one of the largest property owners in Springfield seventy-five 
years ago. He owned a stone quarry, a large lumber yard and saw- 
mill, and had a brick yard on Spring street, a little west of the 
Armory property, and a fine residence for those days on the corner 
of High and Maple streets. He presented the ground between 
Worthington and Bridge streets to the city, now known as Stearns 
Park, and was one of our most public spirited and liberal minded 
men of the time. In all of his enterprises, Mr. Stearns employed 
large numbers of Irishmen and provided them with homes to live 
in when necessarv. 

The population of Springfield in 1840 was 10,935, > n 1845 it had 
increased to 14,073, — this included Chicopee, which left us in 1848, 
reducing our population to 11,766 in 1850. Two streets, Liberty 
and Prospect streets, now discontinued, ran from State street into 
the present territory of the Armory grounds in 1845. Prospect 
street was opened through land owned by Samuel H. Stcbbins, 
with land of the United States Government on the east, and land 
owned by several private citizens on the west; the entrance was 



220 THE CATHOLIC. LOT 

on State street, about twenty rods east of Byers street, on a line 
running to the front of the commandant's residence. Charles 
• Stearns was the owner as far back as 1828, of a tract of ground on 
this street, bordering on the 'westerly line of the United States 
Government territory. He had held peaceable and undisputed 
possession of this property up to the early part of 1845, a period of 
seventeen years, and could distinctly trace his title back to a period 
long anterior to the ownership by the United States Government 
of any land in Springfield, indeed for more than a century. The 
precise boundary between the parties was well defined and ac- 
quiesced in, manifested by the United States authorities, as the 
Government originally built and afterwards maintained the divid- 
ing fence from the time they became owners of land in that locality. 
In process of time Mr. Stearns and the others, owning land along- 
side of him, opened a street parallel to and bordering on the United 
States land, which was called Prospect street, and this was done in 
concert with the superintendent of the Armory at the time, and he 
at the same time, opened a short street at right angles with Pros- 
pect street, through the Armory grounds leading from the work- 
shops. The owners of those lands bordering on Prospect street, 
sold off building lots to various individuals, mostly armorers, and 
several good houses were erected on them, — the fee and rights in 
the street remaining in the original owners. The lot owners on 
Prospect street were Samuel Currier, George Bliss, Persis Taylor, 
Walter H. Bowdoin, Bishop Fenwick, Samuel H. Stcbbins, Samuel 
Dale, J. Willard, George T. Bond, James Brewer, C. B. Stebbins 
and Charles Stearns. Other property in the immediate vicinity 
for which the Government paid' $30,000 was bought from John 
Mills, J. D. Brewer, W. H. Bowdoin, Samuel and James Endicot, 
James W. Crooks and Roswell Shurtleff. 

Mr. Stearns had, previous to the autumn of 1843, sold all of 
his land bordering on Prospect street, except one lot, which in 
November, 1843, he conveyed to Timothy Hayes, a member of the 
"Roman Catholic Congregation*' of Springfield, for the known 
purpose of erecting a church upon it, and he sold the lot at a price 
far below its value to encourage the Catholics in their enterprise. 
This individual member of the church directly conveyed the same 
interest and title to Bishop Fenwick, as is usual in such cases. 

The Catholic society being few in number and short of means, 



ON THE ARMORY GROUNDS 221 

did not immediately commence building, but early in the spring of 
1845, having prepared plans and specifications, they made con- 
tracts with the expectation of being able to build and worship in 
their own church in the course o'f a year. No sooner had Contractor 
John B. Vincent commenced excavating for the cellar, than an 
unlookcd for obstacle interfered and prevented the continuance of 
the work. The commandant of the Armory suddenly laid claim 
to a large portion of the street in front of the Catholic lot, and with- 
out giving notice to anyone, removed the dividing fence, built by 
his predecessors upon the heretofore undisturbed and unquestioned 
line, and took possession of the principal part of the street in front of 
the Catholic lot, and effectually shut out all access by teams to it. 
The Catholics, very properly, called upon their grantor to remove 
the obstruction from the street, and make good the access and rights 
warranted to them, — they knew their rights but declined to have 
any trouble with the commandant about the matter. Mr. Stearns 
immediately laid the matter before the Secretary of War, who 
happened to be visiting in Springfield at the time, and Secretary 
Macey promised to take measures to have the difficulty adjusted, 
but evidently failed to do so. In the meantime the operations of 
the building of a new church were indefinitely postponed and never 
resumed on that spot. The Catholic congregation in Springfield at 
that time were few in number and recognizing discretion to be the 
better part of valor, they were easily induced to withdraw from 
the controversy. Not so, however, with Mr. Stearns, — he was a 
born fighter, and not only brought the war into Africa, here at 
home, but into Washington, and through four administrations of 
the National Government, those of President James K. Polk, 
Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce, — covering 
a period of eleven years, 1843 to 1854. 

Mr. Stearns felt in duty bound to defend the rights of the owner, 
as the grantor and warrantor of the right to use this lot to the 
Catholic congregation, and that is just what he did. With the 
aid of several men in his employ, he proceeded to remove the fence 
and other obstructions placed upon his ground. Instead of the 
orderly and customary mode of settling disputes of titles, — of 
bringing action for trespass in the civil courts, where Mr. Stearns 
expected to meet the commandant, — that officer chose the des- 
perate course of bringing a man who was contesting for rights most 



222 THE CATHOLIC LOT 

dear to him before a criminal court on the charge of riot. The 
first intimation that Mr. Stearns had that any measures were in 
preparation was about .forty-eight hours after the removal of the 
fence on the grounds. He was arrested by the United States mar- 
shal, and together with his men, seven in number, transported 
to Boston, one hundred miles from home, for examination, and 
afterwards for trial. Three of the men who were first arrested were 
taken from their beds at midnight and lodged in the county jail 
opposite the present cathedral. The trial took place in Boston on 
Monday morning, before the circuit court of the United States. 
The prisoners were: Charles Stearns, Thomas S. Frost, John W. 
Brown, Callahan McCarthy, Robert Madden and Daniel O'Brien. 
The witnesses for the Government were: Edward lngersoll, John D. 
Lord, Roswell Shurtleff, Rev. Edward Russell, Luke Jones, Dennis 
Donavan, John Miles and Edward Child. The witnesses for the 
accused were: Charles Howard, O. A. Seamans, William Bryant, 
J. D. Smith, George Gardner, J. M. Goodman, John B. Kirkham 
and Timothy Hayes. The indictment charged the defendant with 
riotously taking away a fence and tearing down an old building on 
land belonging to the United States Armory at Springfield. The 
indictment was in two counts, — first in trespassing on property of 
the Urlited States Government, and second, in creating a riot. 
The trial was before Judge Sprague with District Attorney Rantoul 
and Hon. George Ashmun of Springfield for the United States, and 
B. R. Curtis, E. D. Sohier and Henry Morris for the defendants. 
Judge Sprague, in his charge to the jury, ruled out a deed of land 
from George Bliss to the United States, under which the Govern- 
ment claimed to own the land, — -the purchase being made without 
the authority of Congress and conferring no jurisdiction on the 
Government. The one important principle to settle in the ruling 
of the court was that the purchase of land by the superintendent, 
being made without the authority of Congress, conferred no juris- 
diction on the United States, even if it conveyed the soil. 

The trial was a tedious and expensive one, and the contest so 
far as the means were concerned, was a very unequal one. On the 
one side was a citizen of Massachusetts, with limited resources, 
and on the other a military officer of the United States Government, 
with a free and unsparing use of the money in its treasury to back 
him. Surely the citizen ought to have a good cause in such a con- 



ON THE ARMORY GROUNDS 223 

test, and so the result proved. The jury had no hesitation in ren- 
dering a verdict for the defendant, nor no reluctance in saying that 
there was no evidence in the case that would justify a prosecution, 
all the witnesses testifying that there was no attempt at a riot. 

This decision, however, did not settle matters. The commandant 
had the fence rebuilt and held possession until Mr. Stearns sued 
him on an action of trespass and got judgment in the common court 
of pleas, which took two years. The defendant's counsel carried 
the case to the Supreme Court on exceptions, which affirmed the 
decision of the lower court, — this took a year and a half more, — all 
with the evident hope that Stearns would break down before a 
final decision could be arrived at. In this, however, they were 
mistaken. The highest tribunal in the state of Massachusetts most 
signally rebuked the high handed operation of this military officer 
and placed Mr. Stearns in possession of his property. 

Colonel Ripley, having in the meantime located his elegant new 
quarters directly abreast the disputed grounds, and anticipating 
the decision of the courts, manifested his anxiety to possess the 
property in a straightforward and honest way. Mr. Stearns con- 
sented to sell it to the Government at the appraisal of three trustees. 
The referees agreed upon were Willis Phelps, Chairman of the 
County Commissioners, William Rice, Register of Deeds for the 
County of Hampden, and Elijah Blake, a prominent and active 
citizen of Springfield. The result of the award was that Mr. Stearns 
received for his property $1,400. The size of the territory in ques- 
tion was about fourteen square rods. The Springfield Republican 
on July 19, 1845, published a map of the disputed territory and the 
surrounding ground with designations of lots which they issued to 
their subscribers on that day. The thirty-first Congress appro- 
priated $5,000 to defray the expenses incurred by Colonel Ripley 
in the suits growing out of the attempt to take Mr. Stearns' prop- 
erty. The counsels in the case were Ashmun, Chapman and Norton. 

The sending of several petitions to the Secretary of War signed 
by men who had been employed at the Armory and the Water- 
shops and memorials to the Congressional Committee on Military 
Affairs, signed by a number of citizens, accompanied by delegations 
to Washington, making charges of extravagance and mismanage- 
ment at the Springfield Armory, resulted in the sending of a Military 
Commission to Springfield, to examine the state of conditions here. 



224 THE CATHOLIC LOT 

This court of inquiry was commenced at the Springfield Armory, 
February 14, 1846, with Brig. John E. Wool presiding, Lieut. S. S. 
Clark and Lieut. Brevet Maj. S. Cooper as officers of the court, and 
Capt. E. Sepriver, recorder of courts; B. H. Dustin was counsel of 
complainant and R. H. Chapman for the accused. The investiga- 
tion was ordered by James K. Polk, President of the United States, 
in consequence of a memorial of the citizens of Springfield, charging 
Col. James W. Ripley, commandant at the Armory, with mal- 
administration. Among the prominent witnesses were Charles 
Stearns, George Bliss, Congressmen W. C. Calhoun and George 
Ashnmn, John C. Stcbbins, Calvin Stebbins, T. D. Beach, H. Q. 
Sanderson, Charles McClellan, William Dwight, Rev. G. D. Rear- 
don, John D. Lord, Samuel McNary, John Hall, and several others 
who were discharged from the army because they subscribed for 
the independent democratic newspaper, and Michael Ryan, Timo- 
thy Sullivan, Michael Kervick, James and John McClintock, — 
the latter swore that he was in the city seven years, and employed 
in the Armor)-, and John Bannon swore that "he had learned the 
mason's trade in Dublin, Ireland, in 1792, that after taking part 
under Robert Emmet, he escaped to this country, served under 
Capt. E. A. Clary in the War of 1812 against England, and had 
worked at the Armory ever since." The court listened to the testi- 
monies of over 100 witnesses for twenty-five days. The indictment 
against Colonel Ripley was in thirteen counts, only one of them with 
which we have to do; this was the eleventh charge, "that he has 
committed oppression and wrong on an individual citizen uncon- 
nected with the Armory, procuring his arrest and trial before a 
distant tribunal, on a pretended criminal charge, thereby subject- 
ing said citizen to great expense in defending himself in said suit, 
also that he has committed oppression and wrong on seven other 
citizens by similar vexatious prosecution, obliging them to defend 
themselves before a distant tribunal on a charge of pretended 
criminal act, at a cost which said individuals are wholly unable 
to meet, also that he has committed oppression and wrong on a re- 
ligious society which had purchased a lot on which to erect a church 
by taking measures manifestly and avowedly to drive said society 
to a necessity of abandoning their design of erecting a church on said 
lot." To this charge Colonel Ripley made reply: "When this 
charge was made it was well known to Mr. Stearns that I had pur- 



ON THE ARMORY GROUNDS 225 

chased the lot and paid its fair value, and that my relations to the 
Catholics were of the friendly character, expressed in the deposition 
of Bishops Fenwick and Fitzpatrick. They do not complain that 
I have wronged them, nor will they thank him for his officious 
meddling in their behalf. That I deemed it undesirable that a 
building should be erected so near the line of the United States 
land may easily be imagined, but I took no unlawful means to pre- 
vent it, and since they are satisfied with our mutual agreements, 
my accusers would have best consulted their own credit by omitting 
this charge against me." The court submitted their reports to the 
President on the 19th of April, 1846, exonerating General Ripley 
on all of the counts in the indictment. The witnesses comprised 
most of the prominent men in public and political life in Springfield 
at the time. Mr. Stearns swore at the trial, "that his expenses for 
himself and his men at the trial before the United States court in 
Boston were about $2,000, and that Bishop Fenwick had been paid 
$500 for the property known as the Catholic lot, — that the Catho- 
lics bought of Chester W. Chapin through Roswell Shurtleff, for 
this money, a lot on the corner of Chestnut and Emory, now Liberty 
street." After Mr. Chapin sold this property to the Catholics for 
a church site, and when questioned for doing so, he replied that, 
"the Catholics had as good a right to have a church and needed 
one just as much as the party who objected to the transaction." 
This property on Liberty street was sold in 1848 to T. \V. Wason, 
Levi Parks and Thomas Beaven for about $1,200, — the money 
finally going toward the purchase of the site of St. Michael's Cathe- 
dral, which for beauty of location, with its religious and educational 
surroundings, is not excelled anywhere in New England. 

"There is a Providence which shapes our ends, rough hew them 
as we may." Mr. Beaven built a house on the Liberty street prop- 
erty and there the present Bishop of Springfield, Rt. Rev. Thos. D. 
Beaven, was born March 1, 1S51. 

Charles Stearns began as early as 1843 to agitate the question 
of supplying Springfield with water from springs instead of by the 
"old oaken bucket." After investing about $25,000 in what was 
known as the "Van Horn Reservoir," he concluded to apply to the 
Legislature for an act of incorporation. 

In February, 1848, he sent a petition to the Legislature, in favor 
of this project, bearing the signatures of eighty-three citizens of 



226 THE CATHOLIC LOT 

the town, and here again, came a renewal and continuation of the 
bitter and fierce conflict begun over the Catholic lot. Colonel 
Ripley of the United States Armory instituted a remonstrance 
signed by seventy-five men, mostly officers and workmen of the 
Armory. This petition was presented to the Legislature, and re- 
ferred to the Committee on Mercantile Affairs, and two meetings 
were held at the State House in Boston, but this not satisfying the 
remonstrants, they asked for another hearing. The committee 
appointed a day and came to Springfield, that all sides might be 
heard. The hearing was held in the town hall, and lasted two days. 
Much feeling was manifested and a large number of citizens were 
in attendance. Charles Stearns and his party carried the day, — 
in fact they won out, as the legislative committee on their return 
to Beacon Hill reported in favor of the project, and the bill became 
a law May 10, 1848. The last scrimmage of this warfare was as 
late as 1856, when a number of people on Armory Hill started a 
movement in favor of separating from Springfield and forming a 
new town to be called Delano, out of the territory comprising the 
Armory Hill, the Watershops district and Indian Orchard. 

A petition for that purpose was circulated by E. A. Fuller and 
several public meetings were held in Gunn's Hall, corner of State 
and Wa'lnut streets. The enthusiastic promoters of this scheme 
appointed committees to carry on the agitation, but better judgment 
prevailed, and the movement to separate from Mother Springfield 
died in its infancy. 

From this time onward, the great agitation of the anti-slavery 
movement and the breaking out of the Civil War caused the people 
to sink all other issues in the one grand and paramount issue, — 
the support of the Government by all classes and creeds in its deter- 
mination to preserve the Union. Nearly all of the actors in the 
scenes described have long since gone hence, and Gen. James W. 
Ripley and Hon. Charles Stearns are sleeping peacefully in our 
beautiful Springfield Cemetery. Let us close with that beautiful 
Catholic expression, " Requiescat in pace." 



REMARKS 227 

Remarks following the paper by Mr. Edward A. Hall: 

Remarks 

Mr. Howard: The events which have been spoken of with such 
clear-cut expression and in such a good historical paper have been so 
fully described that little further need be said of them. The con- 
ditions of which I wish to speak are a little in advance, in point of 
time, to where I am going for I am about to speak of sixty-five 
years ago. I am going to try to tell, so far as my memory will 
help me, just how those grounds lay and how they were divided 
by streets at that time, when I was fifteen years old, and I go back 
of that, to my childhood and early boyhood when my home was on 
those grounds. 

Perhaps some people here will remember where Major Ingersoll 
resided when he was paymaster of the Springfield Armory — there 
may be some, but they all look too young for such memory. I will 
begin with Major Ingersoll's house — that will help me to indicate 
the lay of the grounds and I will start there. The roadway that 
entered into the United States grounds began about opposite Mr. 
Tobey's home, but he is too young to remember that, I suppose. 

Mr. Tobey: I remember that. 

Mr. Howard: The street started in a few houses above what is 
now Dr. McClean's house which is the only one of those houses now 
standing. The roadway went in past Major Ingersoll's house, the 
house of Colonel Robb who had been with Jackson at New Orleans 
in January, 1815; the next house was that of the Master Armorer, 
Warner. Then it turned a square corner and passed by the clerks' 
houses, two of which were occupied by Mr. Wolcott and William 
W. Lee and the occupants of the two others I do not remember, 
passed by the old forging house and came out at Armory Street, I 
think it was then called. West of that and about half way between 
that and Byers Street was what was known as Prospect Street. As 
I remember, it was a roadway with houses on it but it could hardly 
be dignified by the name of street. It was well grown up with 
bushes on one side and residences on the other, the first of which was 
Mr. Storkey's house on the pitch that rises above the level ground. 
That ascent was quite well covered with bushes, and beyond them 



228 REMARKS 

Mr. Storkey's house. Some of us remember that morning in August 
when, as he was looking out on his finely kept grounds, he was 
struck by lightning. 'Next came Mr. Sexton's, his son's, J. Q. A. 
Sexton, next the house occupied by Dr. Ezckiel Russel, long pastor 
of the Olivet Church, next, Mr. Stebbins' grandfather of Marshal 
Stebbins. One of these houses has been moved down for the Wo- 
man's Club, others have been moved down to Spring Street. 

Prospect Street was a playground for the children. On the side 
of the Armor)- grounds there was a good growth of bushes, especially 
choke cherries, which we ate with great avidity, knowing well of the 
puckered mouths to come afterwards. At the northwest corner 
were blueberry bushes scant and poorly grown, and at that point 
the roadway turned and entered the one which I have spoken of as 
passing by the clerks' houses. That is the way the land lay accord- 
ing to my recollection. 

If the children had been the voters in regard to any alterations 
there, I think they would have been unanimous to leave things as 
they were for they were very enjoyable and they enjoyed them very 
much. 

Mr. Adams: I well remember as a youth, of my mother speaking 
of the feeling which ran very high against the Major at that time, 
so much so that as he visited her home, to and from the Armory, 
the opportunity was improved and stones were cast at him. The 
feeling was rather intense. Of course I was not old enough to take 
interest with one side or the other of the board fence question, but 
evidently the fence was there and as it came down finally everybody 
felt good-natured. 

We are very proud of the Armory as it stands today. 

Possibly young Major Ripley had as much to do with the im- 
provement at the Armory as any officer. He was the first military 
officer in command, and as he took possession he found things in a 
crude state in many ways. In the workshops the men were allowed, 
previous to the coming of Major Ripley, to do practically as they 
chose. If the fish man came, down would go their tools and out 
they would go and take their time from the government to do the 
purchasing of their fish, or whatever it might happen to be from the 
groceryman or the butcher. The men had been accustomed for a 
number of years to this method of doing business, and were rather 



REMARKS 229 

dissatisfied that a military officer should make a change in the pro- 
gram. That was the condition of things all along the line. 

General Ripley had five daughters and all have died with the 
exception of one who is now" living in New York City. There are 
grandchildren in Boston, but there are no other relatives, aside from 
my own family, in this vicinity. There was a nephew in Hartford, 
Mr. Rowland Swift, but he recently died. Before going on to the 
Armory grounds, Major Ripley lived in the house at the corner of 
Edwards and Chestnut Streets, the north corner, now occupied by 
Mrs. Ward. As Mr. Hall stated, he was buried in our Springfield 
cemetery. He became Chief of Ordinance at Washington before 
his death and he was Chief of Ordinance at the time the war broke 
out. He was in Japanese waters and was ordered home at the com- 
mencement of the war and lived but a short time afterward. 

Mr. Barrows: You have made mention of the wooden fence. 
After the wooden fence came the iron fence and we scarcely' realize 
what that means. That stone foundation and mass of iron is really 
a beautiful fence. Major Ingersoll tells me it came about in this 
way: after the limits of the Armory grounds were accepted it, 
seemed to him that they might have a reasonable fence. Major 
, Ingersoll spoke to Major Ripley and later to the government. They 
had large quantities of scrap iron which they sold as junk, and his 
suggestion was that instead of selling it, it should be kept for the 
Armory grounds' fence. It was not sold here, but in other places. 
If you have noticed that fence you will see that it is built of a stone 
foundation with posts so far apart, with pickets between. All the 
pickets are spears and the posts are sceptres. The sceptre was the 
symbol of sovereignty. 

Question: Where does the old church now on Union Street come 
Ln? 

Mr. Hall: I omitted that for this reason. This matter was not 
settled until after that old church on Union Street was built and 
occupied in the spring of 1846; this matter was not finished until the 
fall of 1846, and the five hundred dollars given for the Catholic lot 
and a bonus of two hundred dollars went to buy the lot on the site of 
which Bishop Beaven was born, and when that was sold to Mr. 
Beaven, Mr. Wason and Mr. Parks, the church on Union Street was 
established and occupied. 



! 






230 REMARKS 

When Father Galligher came here in 1856 he took this money and 
placed it in the bank on interest until i860. The first of January, 
i860, he bought the site of the present cathedral with the seven 
hundred dollars saved from the purchase and sale of the lot on which 
Bishop Beaven was born. Our present church property cost thirty- 
four thousand dollars and in a little while, Father Galligher, who 
was quite a financier, had sold off thirty-five thousand dollars' worth 
of the property and had all the property that we have now and a 
thousand dollars to the good. 

I thought Mr. Barrows might be going to say what I heard. I do 
not know whether it is true, but I have heard that the pickets and 
posts of that fence were made from the iron of the muskets and 
cannon used in the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War. 

I was not born early enough to remember all the personages I 
speak of. Colonel Ripley and Charles Stearns I remember very well. 
I heard Mr. Stearns use the word — so foreign to us now — " ructions " 
when he was relating the trouble I spoke of, to Mr. T. W. Wason, 
founder of the Wason Company, one day in 1859. 

I remember Major Ingersoll and Colonel Ripley very well. I 
remember some of the men who were arrested very well — Callahan 
McCarthy, Dennis Donohoe, and other Catholics, among them an. 
uncle of Dr. Flanagan. 

Father Galligher was the first settled priest here. Father Bradv, 
who was mentioned, came here from Hartford one month and leather 
Fenton came from Worcester the next month to hold services, and 
the Rev. Father Blinkinsop sometimes came from Chicopee to 
minister to us. Bishop Beaven had to be brought from Springfield 
to Chicopee to be baptized. Many persons were brought from Long- 
meadow to Chicopee to be baptized. 

Col. John L. Rice: There are a great many matters of historical 
interest connected with the establishment and early years of the 
United States Armon- in Springfield. As I listened to Mr. Hall's 
interesting paper, I was reminded of one very curious fact which it 
is safe to say scarcely anyone at all knows of — anyone outside of 
the members of the legal profession, and probably very few of them 
remember it; and that fact is that one of the very important pro- 
visions of the Constitution of the United States, involving the ques- 
tion of state rights, which has been the cause of infinite controversy 
ever since the government was established, had its first judicial 



REMARKS 231 

interpretation in a case which arose out of the sale of one pint of rum 
on the watershops grounds in this city. It arose in this way: Mr. 
Hall spoke in his paper of the fact that the government had no juris- 
diction over the land .claimed by the United States because the pur- 
chase of that land was not authorized by Congress. There is a pro- 
vision of the federal constitution that Congress shall have power to 
exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over matters 
embraced in the District of Columbia, and in like manner over all 
purchases made by the consent of the legislature of the state in which 
the same shall be, for the erection of forts, arsenals, magazines, dock 
yards and other needful buildings. 

Now in the latter part of the eighteenth century, soon after the 
Government was organized, Congress authorized the purchase of 
the Armory grounds on State Street, and preliminary to that act 
the consent of the Legislature of Massachusetts was secured in order 
that Congress might have the exclusive jurisdiction over the 
grounds, because the Government purchasing it without title from 
the Legislature, would have the soil, but no jurisdiction over it. In 
1801 the land on Mill River where the watershops. are, was pur- 
chased in the same way. The act of Congress authorizing that pur- 
chase was for the erection of an armory and not of an arsenal, or 
fort, or-magazine. The government erected the shops for the manu- 
facture of arms and also some dwelling houses. The dwelling houses 
might have been there on the land, but the government used the 
houses for the occupancy of the officers and possibly some of the 
workmen. There was at that time a statute of this commonwealth 
prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors except by persons licensed 
thereto. Mr. Ethan A. Clary was a man of much consequence here 
then. Some of his descendants lived here until recent years and 
some of them distinguished themselves in naval affairs. Ethan 
Clary lived in one of those houses and in 1809 he was indicted in the 
Court of Common Pleas in this county, for selling liquor, and haled 
before the court, charged with selling one pint of rum to a person 
named in the indictment; and being a man of consequence and 
presumably of some means, he set up a pretty vigorous defense, as 
persons charged with that offense have been known to do since that 
time. He employed as counsel to defend him, Ely P. Ashman. 

Mr Stearns contested the case, but it was proved very conclu- 
sively before a jury that he did sell the rum and that he had no 



2 3 2 REMARKS 

license to sell it; but his counsel, Ashman, was careful to show that 
the sale took place on the land of the watershops owned by the 
government and nowhere else, and thereupon he asked the court to 
instruct the jury that the liquor law of Massachusetts did not extend 
to that ground and that Mr. Clan' was therefore not guilty of any 
violation of the law and that the jury should be instructed to find a 
verdict of not guilty. The presiding justice did not take much stock 
in that defense, for at that time lawyers in this country had not 
begun to invoke the federal constitution. It was a new law then. 
There had been no cases of any importance, involving an interpreta- 
tion of the federal constitution and Mr. Ashman's defense was 
quickly passed over and the jury were instructed that if Mr. Clary 
sold the rum, to find him guilty. This was done. Mr. Ashman 
appealed to the supreme judicial court. The case was argued at 
Northampton by Mr. Ashman for the defendant and George Bliss 
Master George, as he was called affectionately — the leading lawyer 
of this county, for Mr. Clary. Mr. Bliss realized the force and the 
substantial character of the defense set up, and his argument was 
exceedingly technical and did not take hold of the fundamental 
principles of the constitution and statutes. He simply argued this: 
That the Constitution provided that Congress should have exclu- 
sive jurisdiction over places purchased for forts, dock yards, arsenals 
and magazines, and that an armory, for which this land was pur- 
chased, was not an arsenal. He argued that an arsenal is a place for 
storing arms and an armory is a place for manufacturing arms. 
This case was considered by Chief Justice Parsons, Mr. Sedgwick, 
Judge Scwall and Judge Parker. It was nearly a year before the 
court rendered a decision in the case, and then they took the view of 
Mr. Ashman, that Congress had exclusive legislation over the terri- 
tory purchased, and although it was purchased for an armory and 
not an arsenal, they called attention to the concluding clause, "and 
other needful buildings," and the court called attention to another 
clause of the Constitution which empowered Congress to raise and 
equip an army, and a convenient way to furnish an army with arms 
was to manufacture them and a building was needful for their manu- 
facture and therefore these buildings were needful. This was the 
first decision on this point rendered by any court in this country 
and it all grew out of the sale of a pint of rum over at the watershops. 
The decision in this case was followed in all subsequent cases. Five 



REMARKS 233 

years afterwards the same question was raised in Rhode Island when 
a soldier in Fort Adams, Rhode Island, was tried and indicted in the 
United States Circuit Court and Judge Story, then of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, charged the jury. The defense set up 
was that the soldier was not amenable to the United States court, 
because the crime was committed in Rhode Island. Judge Story 
went into a long explanation of that provision of the Constitution, 
in which he cited with approval the decision of the Massachusetts 
court and characterized the court, as I remember, as a very eminent 
tribunal. 

Dr. Flanagan: We would naturally suppose that in a controversy 
such as Mr. Hall has told us about, between Major Ripley and a 
people who believed in their church, loved it and were anxious to 
erect a place of worship, but who felt that Major Ripley had stepped 
in and made trouble, that the people would naturally side with our 
friend, Mr. Stearns. But if you look back and investigate, you will 
find it was about six of one and half a dozen of the other. Major 
Ripley had been a great friend to the early Irish coming here. Mr. 
Hall speaks of the McClintocks who were summoned into that trial. 
They lived on the property now owned by the Stebbins family, at 
the foot of Hancock Street, known at that time as East Street. 
Directly opposite that is the cellar of the first house that was used by 
Catholics here. That house was owned by the Sullivan family. It 
was formerly owned by the Lombards and came to them from the 
Birnies, who owned a paper mill or a manufactory of some kind at 
the foot of what is now Hancock Street. 

As to the question of the market man and the fish man and the 
butcher who used to go to the Armory — there was another kind of 
people who used to go there. I remember of seeing in some of the 
old collections in this city and elsewhere a certain brown article 
large in the middle, tapering at both ends and having a handle — a 
jug, commonly called. Major Ripley had more trouble with the 
men who kept their jugs near their work than with any others. 
These men went to the corner of Walnut and State Streets where 
they sold West India groceries — rum. Major Ripley interfered with 
that privilege and that was the beginning of the trouble. 

Mr. Hall speaks of A. 0. Seaman, called Judge Seaman. He it 
was to whom many Irish people went for legal services. He had 



234 REMARKS 

offices at the corner of State and Walnut Streets and was the legal 
adviser of the majority of people at the Armory. Many of these 
people could neither read nor write, and when they wished to buy 
property, or had legal transactions of any kind, or were in such 
matters, they always went to Mr. Seaman. Mr. Stearns was a man 
who would also advise and guide these people and Mr. Stearns was 
in this fight for principle. If we could look back at the doings in the 
political field at that time, we might gain new light. Mr. Stearns 
had a grove just beyond Stearns Park, where the Elks' Club and 
Chester Chapin's home is, and in that grove many political meetings 
were held, as well as picnics. When we stop and look back, we can 
only remember that the people who took part in that affair were 
actuated from their own standpoint. 

When local authority clashes with the United States government, 
it is a good deal like the case of a fellow you may have seen at a 
country fair. He has a penny he wants to pitch up. He says, 
"Heads I win, tails you lose." When they went against the United 
States government in those days, it was a good deal like, "Heads I 
win, tails you lose." 

Mr. Adams: I think the feeling was of a good-natured kind be- 
tween Major Ripley and the Catholics at the time the purchase of 
the lot tfas consummated. Is that correct? 

Mr. Hall: Yes, I think so. 

Mr, Adams: I think Major Ripley at that time paid, in addition 
to the value of the lot, quite a little sum to pacify the disappointed 
ones and smooth matters a little and the outcome was that there 
were pleasant feelings all around. 

The feeling of the workmen in the buildings was intense. I ought 
not, possibly, to speak of this, but Colonel Clark in conversation, 
spoke of it in a casual way. He said it was almost impossible for 
Major Ripley to go up and down through the shops with safety and 
he had to be guarded, — the workmen had such a strong feeling that 
he was meddling with their affairs because he brought them up to 
the method he was accustomed to. 

The State Street side of the iron fence was built in 1852, the Pearl 
Street side in 1857. 



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