(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The rocks of Deer Creek, Harford County, Maryland : their legends and history"

THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 



PRESENTED BY 

PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND 
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID 



THE 



ROCKS 



DEER CREEK, 



H/RFORD COUNTY, M/RYLAND. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 



BY 

THOMAS TURNER WYSONG, 

OF 

" SHIRLEY, NEAR THE KOCKS." 



TWO ILLUSTRATIONS. 



BALTIMORE: 
PRINTED BY A. J. CONLON, 

No. 23 SOUTH STREET. 



1880 



Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1880, 

BY THOMAS TURNER WYSONG, 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 



TO MY FRIENDS 

OF 

MARYLAND AND OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 

OF PENNSYLVANIA, AND OF VIRGINIA AS 

IT WAS TERRITORIALLY AT THE 

DATE OF MY BIRTH, 

MAY 20, 1817, 

THIS BOOK OF 



Is AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED BY 

THE AUTHOR. 



M363111 



INTRODUCTION. 



MY residence is about a mile, as the bird flies, from 
the celebrated Rocks of Deer Creek. I first saw this 
great natural curiosity in the Spring of 1844. I was 
then young, and did not dream that my advanced years 
would be passed almost under its shadows. But He 
who appoints the bounds of our habitations has so 
ordered. To-day I occupy the place which I have 
named, for peculiar reasons, " Shirley, near the Kocks." 

Since I have lived in this locality I have been ob- 
servant of much apparent interest in the Rocks, and 
have read numerous compositions, both in prose and 
poetry, descriptive of them. These were generally the 
essays of the young, inspired by the beauties and sub- 
limities of the scenes around them. Of the objects 
seen, none have excited more interest than the King 
and Queen Seats. Who made them ? for what pur- 
pose were they used ? have been frequent enquiries. 
These interrogatories suggested the writing of "The 
Last King and Queen of the Rocks of Deer Creek." 
Having done so for the instruction and entertainment 
of the young people especially, it occurred to me that a 
series of sketches, mingling fact with fancy, might give 
them pleasure, and, perhaps, be of some profit to them. 
These I have written, and they are to be found in this 
small and unpretentious volume. 



6 INTRODUCTION. 

I hope that the character of these compositions will 
give offence to no one, not even the most conscientious. 
They are, indeed, the interweaving of fact with fancy, 
but the facts are more numerous than one would imag- 
ine who has not studied the locality and its history as 
I have done. Add to these facts the laws, customs and 
usages of the original inhabitants of the country, re- 
ferred to in these stories, and the amount of absolute 
fiction is not great. My apology for the presence of fic- 
tion at all is, that it is, as I use it, a mirror a reflection 
of the truth. Nature responds to imagination, and 
imagination is the handmaid of Nature. Shakespeare 
is read by all, not because his characters and scenes are 
not fictitious, but rather because his imaginings mirror 
the truths of Nature. That sublimest creation of poetic 
genius, the Book of Job, the Divine inspiration of which 
is not doubted, is a sacred drama, the persons of which, 
though they may not have had existence in fact, are 
nevertheless real, because they are truthful. Paradise 
Lost and the Pilgrim's Progress are both creations of 
fancy, but not therefore pernicious. If strict, literal 
fact is alone to be tolerated, then all bo'oks embellished 
with the colors of imagination must be discarded, 
though imagination be the medium for the conveyance 
of truth. 

I am the more solicitous that the facts and truthful 
fancies of this book shall be read, because of the changes 
that will be wrought by the improvements now in prog- 
ress and promised in the vicinity of the Rocks. The 
iron horse will soon be running along our streams and 
through our valleys, the srnoke of the locomotive will 



INTRODUCTION. 7 

curl its wreaths about the summits of the Rocks, par- 
tially hiding them from view. The substitution of the 
realities of the commercial and business life for the 
poetries of undisturbed Nature is inevitable. 

THE AUTHOR. 



INTRODUCTION TO SECOND EDITION. 



THE favor with which the first edition of one thou- 
sand copies of " THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK ; THEIR 
LEGENDS AND HISTORY," has been received, encour- 
ages the issue of a second edition indefinitely large. 
The sale of so many copies in so brief a space of time 
shows that the interest is in the Rocks as a natural 
curiosity of great attraction ; and this fact is a compli- 
ment to the intelligence and taste of the many who 
have purchased and read the book. Of the hundreds 
who were courteously solicited to patronize this home 
production, scarce a half-dozen lacked courtesy in their 
refusal to do so, and charity believes that the majority 
of this insignificant number were prompted by no un- 
worthy motives. Occasionally there is found in the 
forests a rare bird, in the waters a rare fish, in the fields 
a rare beast; why, therefore, should it be thought a 
strange thing when there is found occasionally among 
those animals who, as has been scientifically determined, 
possess the qualities and characteristics of all the infe- 
rior animals, one to whom the presentation of a book 
constitutes a grave offence. Some members of the 
genus homo the microcosm never read a book, not 
because they have no knowledge of letters, but because 
all letters are offensive to them. 



10 INTRODUCTION TO SECOND EDITION. 

Care has been taken in making up the present edi- 
tion to avoid as much as possible the defects and 
blemishes of the first. Both grammatical and typo- 
graphical errors exist in the former, and fortunate it 
will be if none shall be found in the latter. The effort 
to secure perfection of form will be appreciated, and 
the failure to do so will be forgiven by all generous 
readers. 

This book is larger ; other legends have been added ; 
the facts and incidents are more numerous. It is large 
enough. We launch our boat, which, though not 

4 ' as goodly and strong and staunch 

As ever weathered a wintiy sea," 

will nevertheless, we hope, 

" sail securely, and safely reach 

The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach 
The sights we see, and the sounds we hear, 
Will be those of joy, and not of fear." 

THE AUTHOR. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 
Title 1 

Dedication 3 

Introduction 5 

Introduction to Second Edition 9 

Description of the Rocks 13 

Razuka ; a Legend of Rock Ridge Lake . 15 

The Last King and Queen of the Rocks of Deer Creek 22 

The Last Indian of Deer Creek 28 

The Hermit of the Otter Rock 33 

The Robber's Den ; or, The Learned Philologist 41 

The Enchantress of Hunting Ridge 46 

The Aged Trapper, Hunter and Fisherman of the Indian 

Cupboard 51 

The Mine Old Fields ; or, The Gathering of the Witches... , 58 

The Falling Branch ; or, The Captured Bride 64 

The Eagle 71 

The Witch Rabbit 72 

The Big Snake..* 73 

Whitsuntide 74 

The Perilous Feat 75 

An Act of Vandalism 76 

Canal and Railroad 77 

The Original Moonshiner 79 

The Monuments of the Giants 81 

The Field of Darts 84 

The Chrome Pits 86 

The Slate Quarries 7 87 

The Horse Epidemic and the Guinea- Man's Pony 89 

The Church of the Rocks. . . 92 



12 CONTENTS. 

PAGB. 

Mike' s Rock 94 

The Ancient Mill and the Honest Miller 95 

The Oldest Inhabitant '. 98 

The Youngest Inhabitants 100 

The Original Inhabitants 101 

The Massacre of the Mingoes 103 

Rocks Literature 105 

Introduction thereto ,106 

Selections therefrom, in Prose and Poetry 107 

a. Description of the Rocks in Prose 107 

b. Stanzas on King and Queen Seats 107 

c. Description of the Rocks in Poetry 108 

d. The Fern... 109 

e. The Old MiU 112 

A Prophecy .116 

Mason and Dixon's Line 122 

A Literary Curiosity 123 

ILLUSTRA TIONS. 

The Rocks of Deer Creek Front of Title. 

The Falling Branch Page 64 



THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 



DESCRIPTION OF THE ROCKS. 

THE Rocks of Deer Creek are in Harford County, 
Maryland, distant nine miles north-east of Bel Air, 
the county seat, and seven miles south of the 
boundary line between Maryland and Pennsylvania. 
The waters of Deer Creek, forcing their way at an 
indefinite time past through Rock Ridge, have left 
on either side an immense pile of massive rocks, 
three hundred and eighty-five feet in height, which, 
with the plunging waters of the romantic river 
which runs at their base and the contiguous scenes, 
constitute a rare picture of sublimity and beauty. 
The western rocks are more accessible, and of great- 
er attraction to visitors. The view from them is 
less obstructed and more distant, embracing within 
its range hill and dale, forest and field, river and 
brook, farm-house and hamlet. On them are the 
King and Queen Seats. To the verge of their pre- 
cipice was driven, by a madman, Bold Hector, that 
noble horse, which was as deserving of a monu- 
ment as was Bucephalus, the war horse of Alexan- 
der. At their base the Eagle was killed, and also 
the last wolf and the last deer. These, with other 
historical incidents, increase the interest felt in the 
Rocks, the monuments of mighty and mysterious 
forces exerted in the unknown past. 
2 



14 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

Every genuine Harfordonian is enthusiastic in 
his admiration of the Rocks. They are with him 
the Great Curiosity ; they belong to him ; he is 
proud of them. He loves them, because associated 
with them are memories of happy hours passed 
with congenial associates on their summits or at 
their base by the waters of his favorite stream. 
Their inspirations are sweet to him, and their pres- 
ence creates sympathies loving and tender. In 
their presence he has a higher appreciation of Na- 
ture, and an intenser sympathy with the spirit of 
poetry which dwells amid such scenes. Here, as 
beautifully expressed by our own great poet, whose 
highest, purest inspirations are due to that " sweet 
spirit which fills the world ;" here, amid everlast- 
ing hills, mountain and shattered cliff, and green 
valley, and river and brook, and the silent majesty 
of deep woods 

In many a lazy syllable repeating 
Their old poetic legends to the winds, 

his thoughts are uplifted from earth. And such 
also is the interest he feels in the general library of 
the Rocks, consisting of many volumes of rare in- 
formations. 

Will the coming of the Railroad and the devel- 
opment of the commercial and business life, as has 
been feared, lessen the attractions of the Rocks? 
The poetries of Nature will still be there, and the 
presence of the accidents of artificial life may 
heighten by contrast the interest, making the poet- 
ries of Nature more poetical. Happily, the ap- 
proach by the Railroad, especially from the Smith, 
will open up a view of the Rocks surpassing in at- 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 15 

tractiveness. Passengers from that direction, in 
crossing the bridge over the Creek at the head of 
the dam, will have a view of the upper portion of 
the Rocks, which by a well known quality of the 
mind will exaggerate the whole picture. Mightier 
structures they will seem to be, having their found- 
ations in greater depths, because their summits 
tower upward, touching the heavens. The Rocks, 
their legends and history, the poetries of Nature 
made more poetical by the contrasts suggested by 
the thundering train and smoking locomotive, will 
ever be sources of interest ; and that singular en- 
thusiasm felt by those whose dwelling-places are 
not distant from the Great Curiosity will abide. 



RAZUKA; 

A LEGEND OP ROCK RIDGE LAKE. 



THE Rocks of Deer Creek are the great natural 
curiosity of Harford County, Md. Who first dis- 
covered them? What was their condition at the 
time of discovery ? These questions may not be ca- 
pable of satisfactory answers. A tradition of the 
distant and uncertain past is that the first white 
man who visited that locality did not find it as it 
now is. Instead of the gorge, and the rocks, and 
the river running at their base, there was an impact 



16 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

rock ridge, holding against its gigantic breast the 
waters of a mighty lake, and throwing from its sum- 
mit, four hundred feet in height, the waters of Deer 
Creek. The physical features of the ridge, and the 
characteristics of the low lands for at least five miles 
above it, justify the conjecture that the tradition- 
ary lake and cataract are not myths. In the ab- 
sence of certain historical information, it may be 
allowable to accept the tradition as in accordance 
substantially with the facts. Of the name of the 
first discoverer we have no available knowledge. If 
his name is recorded, it may be found in some 
musty volume of some foreign library. There is a 
bare possibility that some adventurer, associated with 
the expedition of the celebrated Captain John Smith, 
the founder of the colony of Jamestown, Virginia, 
who in his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay and 
its tributaries, sailed as far as the mouth of the Sus- 
quehanna river, may have heard, on the arrival of 
the expedition at that locality, of the wonders of 
the not distant wilderness scarce a day's journey 
and that he was the first civilized man who gazed 
upon those wonderful exhibitions of nature. It 
may be that to a Jesuit father, who had penetrated 
the wilderness in the prosecution of his sacred mis- 
sion, the honor of discovery is due. These holy 
fathers were the earliest explorers of our Western 
territories and inland seas and rivers. They were 
the spiritual guides and counsellors of many of the 
North American Indians, and in the furtherance of 
their work rescued many a wonder of nature from 
the gloom of the primeval forest. But even though 
these conjectures be inadmissible, and we should be 
left to the judgment that at the discovery of this 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 17 

continent by Columbus, in 1492, the Rocks and the 
Ridge were essentially what they are at the present 
time, such a conviction does not destroy our faith in 
the existence of the lake and fall at some more dis- 
tant period in the past. The testimony of the ridge 
and valleys assures our belief. We naturally regret 
that the pent-up waters of Deer Creek exerted so 
soon that resistless energy which clove asunder a 
mountain and reduced their volume to the compar- 
atively small stream of to-day. There is beauty in 
the sinuous Deer Creek, threading its way between 
abrupt wooded hills and along fertile valleys ; also 
sublimity in the Rocks and rapids as they now are ; 
but how much more of grandeur in the mighty lake 
and the lofty cataract, rivalling the Falls of Mont- 
morenci or those of the Yosemite Valley. 

An ancient bard, whose name is unknown, sang 
of the Rocks of Deer Creek : 

A bare and isolated rock, 
On which no tuft of moss has ever grown ; 
In front a precipice descends far down, 
Where a rapid river sweeps along. 
Behind, nature has shaped an opening in the cliff 
(Which looks with frowning brows upon the scene), 
To the resemblance of a lovely garden ; 
There wild flowers bloom, and scent the evening breeze; 
There birds resort and warble all day long; 
-TJiere lovers meet and whisper tales of love. 

I have italicized the last line, and for two reasons ; 
first, because it is as true of the present as the past ; 
and second, because it recalls the legend of the Lake 
and the Rocks, which was learned from the aged 
and venerable hermit of the Otter Rock. 

There once lived on the northern borders of the 
lake, in the wigwam of her father, a noted chieftain 



18 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

in his day, an Indian maiden of exceeding beauty 
and rare fascination. This latter statement may 
be received with incredulity by those who have not 
had the opportunity of observing the North Ameri- 
can Indians in their natural state, removed from the 
contamination of civilization. The hermit assured 
me that it is nevertheless true, and I proceed in his 
own language to describe the attractions of Razuka, 
the Beauty of the Lake : 

" Slender, delicate and elastic as a reed swaying 
in the currents of a gentle breeze, above the ordi- 
nary height, while all the outlines of her graceful 
figure displayed the lithe and fragile symmetry of 
girlish years with the mature development of perfect 
womanhood. Her brow and face were dark, and 
the rich blood crimsoned her full pouting lips, and 
flushed peach-like through the golden hue of her 
cheeks with as warm a tide as ever burned in the 
impassioned cheeks of an Anglo-Norman beauty. 
Her long straight hair was of the deepest black. 
Her eyes had the long almond orbits and long fringed 
lashes, which are deemed the rarest charms of Ital- 
ian beauty, and the large soft pupils of the deepest, 
clearest hazel swam in a field of nacry bluish lustre, 
which could be compared to nothing but the finest 
mother-of-pearl. Her teeth were of perfect white- 
ness, and her features had a harmony and unison 
entirely their own, a soft, tranquil, half unconcious 
majesty of stillness." 

Such is the very imperfect recollection of the de- 
scription of the beauty of Razuka, the loveliest of 
her tribe. Habituated to labor, as all Indian women 
are, it was but pastime to paddle the light bark 
canoe, which was her favorite employment. On 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 19 

the lake alone, angling for the fish which abounded 
in it, she passed many days of her happy life. This 
life, so free from the anxieties and perplexities of 
the artificial life of civilized communities, might 
have been protracted indefinitely but for the pos- 
session of the personal attractions that entitled her 
to the name she bore, Razuka, the Beauty of the 
Lake. Not only the young men of her own tribe, 
but those of other and distant tribes, were wont to 
seek her presence at the wigwam of her father, or 
gathering on the shores of the lake, gaze with fixed 
look upon the Beauty shooting her frail canoe with 
the speed of the arrow through the glassy waters. 
At one time, having passed entirely over the lake 
to the opposite shore, she was attracted by the 
beauty of a wild rose, some distance from the bank, 
and was about making an effort to secure it, when 
she heard the rumbling of the not distant thunder. 
Turning her face to the west, she observed a por- 
tentous storm-cloud gathering on the horizon. 
Anxious, she turned the prow of the boat home- 
ward and rowing with energy, reached the middle 
of the lake, when the storm fell in its fury upon 
the waters. Standing upon the shore near the wig- 
wam was a young man of another tribe, who had 
been smitten by the charms of Eazuka, and solicit- 
ous for the welfare of her whose life was evidently 
imperilled, entered hurriedly a canoe lying near by, 
and pushed out rapidly upon the storm -lashed lake 
to rescue, if possible, the endangered. Happily he 
reached her, and taking her into his stronger boat, 
after almost superhuman exertion, brought her in 
safety to her home. The rescuer, whose timidity 
had hitherto deterred him from any marked demon- 



20 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK, 

stration of interest in Razuka, now very naturally 
hoped that the heroic deed he had done would re- 
commend him to the favorable consideration of the 
chief, the father of the saved ; and having awakened 
the sentiment of gratitude in the mind of the 
daughter, it might eventually lead to the possession 
of the prize he coveted. Under ordinary circum- 
stances, such doubtless would have been the case, 
but unhappily for the cherished hopes of the noble 
rescuer, Razuka had, unknown to her family, re- 
ciprocated the affections of another. Chocorea, the 
son of a M aquas chief, was the favored one. The 
father of Razuka, ignorant that the interest of his 
daughter was endangered, and feeling the obliga- 
tion of gratitude, would have encouraged the aspi- 
rations of the saviour of his idolized child. He 
intimated to Razuka that possibly her union with 
the Swan might promote her happiness, and if so, 
to himself the alliance would not be objectionable. 
Desirous to undeceive her father, and unwilling 
that her rescuer should cherish a hope that could 
not be realized, she frankly declared that her heart 
belonged to another to Chocorea, the son of the 
chief of the Massawomikes, the inveterate foes of 
her tribe. 

" Never/' said the chief, her father, "shall the 
daughter of a Susquehannock wed the son of a 
Maquas," (the Massawomikes were sometimes so 
called.) "The Maquas are dogs. These f< 
had been from time immemorial the undisturbed 
hunting-grounds of my people, and in this lake 
they caught at pleasure the white belly and the 
blue fin, and below the Tails, in the water of our 
river, the shad, the herring and the eel ; and my 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 21 

people had hoped that they would sit by their fires 
unmolested, and smoke their pipes in peace while 
sun and moon endured ; but, alas ! in an evil day 
the prowling wolves of the frozen lakes and haunted 
forests, the sneaking Maquas, came, and but for 
the strength of my arm and the arms of my noble 
braves, many of whom fell by the arrows of the 
hated ones, my people would have been swept from 
the earth, as the north wind sweeps the dry leaves 
from the woodlands. Murderers the Maquas are 
robbers, sneaks ! No Maquas shall ever wed the 
daughter of Nieskan, the Susquehannock, and the 
life of the insolent shall atone for his presumption." 
This threat was put into execution. 

In the twilight of the same evening when these 
ominous words were uttered, Razuka met Chocorea 
in the glen (their usual place of meeting), in the 
rear of her father's wigwam. That interview was 
hurried and anxious, and resulted in the determin- 
ation of Razuka to leave the wigwam of her father 
for the distant home of her hated lover. A meet- 
ing was appointed for the ensuing evening to de- 
termine the time and mode of their departure. 
That interview never took place. On the morning 
of that day, by the hand of the angered father, 
Chocorea, the lover of Razuka, was slain, and his 
body was thrown into the lake. The report of a 
firearm announced the fearful tidings to Razuka, 
and life for her had no further charms. 

Standing, like some grim sentinel, on the south- 
ern border of the lake, was a gigantic and precipit- 
ous rock, which threw its shadows upon its waters. 
To the summit of this eminence Razuka, imme- 
diately upon the report of the death of Chocorea, 



22 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

made her way, and, fastening to her body a stone 
of heavy weight, secured by a cord made of the 
bark of the birch tree, threw herself into the dark 

waters. 

"On the strand 

Two sleeping bodies afterward were found, 
Chocorea and Razuka, joined in death 
As they had been in life. Their spirits, too, 
(So the untutored children of the woods 
Believed) had gone to happier grounds 
The Red Man's paradise to live and love 
Forever there." 

And furthermore, the legend says that at that 
lone rock, where Kazuka met her fate, is seen at 
summer eve a great enchantress, 

"Who will sometimes pour 

Such glowing tales of love into your ear, 
That, in a transport, you will spread your arms, 
And clasp a lovely vision." 



THE LAST KING AND QUEEN OF THE 
KOCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

ON the right bank of Deer Creek, nearly oppo- 
site the present residence of E. S. Rogers, Esq., 
wan, two centuries ago, a village of the SusqiK-han- 
nock Indians. Five miles above, on the same 
stream, fifty yards from where the mill of James 
Stansbury, Esq., is located, was another village of 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 23 

the same Indians. Two and one-half miles south- 
east of the Rocks, on the land now in the occupancy 
of Bennett Grafton, Esq., was a third village. 
Each of these villages had its own chief, but, for 
mutual protection and aid, were confederate, ac- 
knowledging the supremacy of the chief whose 
location was in the vicinity of the Rocks. This 
chief bore the not uncommon Indian name of Bald 
Eagle. The chief of the upper village was Great 
Bear ; of the lower, Lone Wolf. 

In the autumn of the year Lone Wolf, accom- 
panied by several of his braves, visited the Iroquois, 
then living in the northern part of what is now the 
State of New York. While there he became en- 
amoured with an Ojibway maiden, who had been 
captured by the Iroquois in her infancy ; and adopt- 
ed by their chief, was brought up in his wigwam 
as his own daughter. The stay of the visitors was 
protracted until the snow began to whiten the earth 
and the ice to cover the waters, and Lone Wolf 
would fain have tarried until the snow and ice were 
melted again. In the charms of the Fern-Shaken- 
by-the-Wind, as she had been named by her captors, 
he had found an attraction stronger than that he felt 
for his own people in the South country. But fail- 
ing in his efforts to win the affections of the Fern, 
he resorted to diplomac}^, hoping that time, with 
assiduity of attention, would soften the maiden's 
heart, and she would ultimately become his wife. 
The time of his departure having come, he besought 
the Iroquois chief to allow his adopted daughter 
and her brother to accompany him to his distant 
home, promising to return them safely, and laden 
with valuable presents, when the trees put forth 



24 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREER. 

their leaves again. This request was granted. 
The Fern and her brother accompanied Lone 
Wolf to his home. Two moons after their arrival 
the braves of the three confederate villages were 
summoned to attend a great council, to be held at 
the Rocks. At the time appointed Bald Eagle and 
his wife, as was their custom on such occasions, 
took their places in the seats on the Rocks known 
as the King and Queen seats, the braves of the tribe 
and their confederates sitting upon the ground be- 
neath or leaning against the interspersed trees. 
At a short distance beyond the circle of the 
assembled warriors sat the women and children of 
the tribes and their Iroquois visitors. The Fern 
and her brother listened attentively to the speeches 
of the different orators. Nor were they unobserved, 
the maiden particularly. She could hot fail to at- 
tract attention, for to perfection of form and great 
symmetry of features, was added a dignity of man- 
ner rarely equaled. Among the braves most attract- 
ed by the charms of the Fern was The-Bird-that- 
Flies-High, eldest son of Bald Eagle, and prospec- 
tive heir to the supreme chieftainship or kingship, 
as it was sometimes designated. This young brave, 
taking advantage of a short recess had by the coun- 
cil, approached the Fern, and offered her as a pres- 
ent a trinket of exceeding brilliancy and apparently 
of great value, which she graciously accepted. This 
was observed by Lone Wolf, who, under the influ- 
ence of an unconcealed jealousy, rushed to the spot 
where the maiden and her admirer were standing, 
and seizing the trinket, violently wrenched it from 
her hands, and throwing it upon the ground, train- 
pled it under his feet. Ordinarily such an act 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 25 

would have been promptly resented, but tbe Bird 
had too much regard for the dignity of the occasion, 
and too much respect for the character and author- 
ity of his father, the confederate chief, to notice it 
by immediate and violent resentment. He quietly 
withdrew from the presence of the maiden,, enter- 
taining, however, the purpose to avenge the insult 
when the fitting opportunity arrived. That oppor- 
tunity was not long delayed. 

Ten days after the close of the council, there was 
a gathering of the tribes at the lower village, to 
participate in the ceremonial connected with the 
rite of purification, a rite imperative in the case of 
every male infant of the tribe at its eighth day. 
From a grove of stately oaks, one of which may be 
seen at this present time, one hundred yards east of 
the spot on which now stands the house of Mr. 
Grafton, a procession moved toward Deer Creek, in 
the waters of which the child was immersed by the 
venerable priest of the lower village. The rite per- 
formed, the procession returned in the order in 
which it came. The remaining portion of the day 
was spent in feasting and dancing, in which the 
Bird participated with seeming enjoyment and for- 
getful apparently of his purpose to avenge the in- 
sult perpetrated by Lone Wolf. True, however, 
to the instincts of his race, that purpose was still 
cherished, and only awaited the opportunity of its 
accomplishment. When about to leave for his vil- 
lage, he challenged Lone Wolf to a trial of skill 
with the bow and arrow, to take place at the Rocks 
early on the morning of the succeeding day, sug- 
gesting at the same time the Fern as ump re, whose 
decision would be respected by all. These propo- 
3 



26 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

sitions were gladly accepted by Lone Wolf, as the 
trial proposed would afford him an opportunity of 
displaying his acknowledged skill, and also of en- 
joying the society of the Fern. On the following 
day, before the frosts had been melted by the rising 
sun, the contestants met at the place designated. 
The contest continued until the shadows fell upon 
the roots of the trees, when Lone Wolf was declared 
the victor. The crown of laurel was placed on his 
brow by the umpire, accompanied by a few words 
complimentary to the skill of the victor, and seem- 
ingly expressive of personal interest. The Bird 
was excited to madness by the seeming preference 
of the Fern for Lone Wolf, and remembering the 
insult, suddenly grasped his rival, and rushing 
with the speed of lightning to the edge of the preci- 
pice, threw him headlong into the abyss below. As 
he was falling, a few plaintive notes of the death- 
song were heard, and the voice of Lone Wolf was 
hushed forever. 

The Bird made no effort to escape. Submissive 
to the immemorial custom and imperative law of his 
race, he sternly awaited the coming of the avenger, 
and would certainly have been slain, but for the in- 
terposition of the Fern. Drawing from the pocket 
of a belt which she wore the trinket of two jewels 
that had not been damaged seriously, she offered 
them to the sister of Lone Wolf, his only surviving 
relative, as an atonement for the blood of her broth- 
er. The offering was accepted by her, as also by 
her tribe. That trinket of two jewels was the Ar 
and Thar, erroneously supposed to have been lost 
by the ancestors of the present race of Indians in 
their migration to this continent from the East. It 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 2? 

had been preserved in the family of Bald Eagle, 
and highly valued, as its possession gave prosper- 
ity, and conferred princely authority and rule. 
That the Fern should have parted with such a 
treasure is understood in the light of the fact that 
she had cherished an attachment for the Bird, and 
secretly hoped to become his wife. 

Three moons subsequently, at the feast of the 
coming spring, always observed when the first birds 
made their appearance, there was another gather- 
ing of the tribes at the Rocks, to witness the cele- 
bration of the nuptials of the Bird-that-Flies-High 
and of the Fern-Shaken-by-the-Wind. Following 
immediately this ceremony was the consummation 
of a design that Bald Eagle had long entertained. 
Aged and wearied with the responsibilities and la- 
bors pertaining to his position as chief ruler of the 
confederate tribes, he abdicated his authority, and 
nominated his son as his successor. His choice was 
ratified by all the tribes. Conducted by the aged 
priest of the upper tribe to the seats on the Rocks, 
the Bird-that-Flies-High and the Fern-Shaken-by- 
the-Wind were formally declared King and Queen 
of the confederate tribes. 

They were the last King and Queen of the Rocks 
of Deer Creek. Ere many moons waxed and waned 
the pale faces came. Driven from their homes and 
from the graves of their forefathers, the confederate 
tribes fled to the land of the setting sun, finding 
their last hours and their graves among strangers 
in the distant wilderness. 

Lone Wolf, whose romantic history and tragic 
death have been related, was buried on the banks 
of Deer Creek, about six hundred yards above the 



28 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

present residence of Joshua Rutledge, Esq., and 
often, during the autumnal nights, in the faint 
light of the waning moon, is seen at that locality a 
strange apparition. It is thought to he the spirit 
of the murdered chieftain mingling with the shadows 
that fall on the rippling waters. 



THE LAST INDIAN OF DEER CREEK. 

MINGO PARK is the name of the estate of our 
well-known and respected fel lo vv -citizen, James 
Stansbury, Esq. This place is most appropriately 
named. It is derived from Mingo Hill, an ahrupt 
eminence immediately opposite the residence of that 
gentleman, at the base of which luns and ripples 
the waters of the far-lamed Deer Creek. The hill 
itself takes its name from Mingo one of the Min- 
goes whose wigwam was located on the lowlands, 
an hundred yards or more above the position now 
occupied by the mill of Mr. Stansbury, and on the 
left bank of the stream. 

The Mingoes have become celebrated in Indian 
history. They originally occupied a large part of 
the territory now included in the State of New York. 
They were known by several names. The English 
called them the Five Nations, because they consti- 
tuted a confederacy of that number of diMinrt 
nations, increased to si* by the accession of the 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 29 

Tnscaroras of Carolina. The French called them 
Iroquois ; the Dutch, Maquas, and the Virginia 
Indians gave them the name of Massawomikes. At 
home they were known by the name of Mingoes. 
At first their habitj had been rather agricultural 
than warlike, but unhappily for their peace, and 
the well-being of others of their race, they were 
attacked by the powerful tribe of the Adirondacks, 
then occupying the country three hundred miles 
above Trois-Rivieres in Canada. Necessity drove 
them to war, and by their prowess and success they 
earned the proud title of the Romans of the West. 
Nearly exterminating the Adironacks, and proudly 
exalting themselves on their overthrow, the Iroquois 
or Mingoes grew rapidly to be the leading tribe of 
the North , and fi nally of the whole continent. But, 
like many of the mighty nations of the earth, they 
have yielded to a superior force, and there now 
remains only an handful to recount mournfully the 
mighty deeds of their valorous fathers. Another 
race, with its teeming millions, occupies their hunt- 
ing-grounds arid controls their waters. Their fate is 
the melancholy recollection of a greatness never to 
be recovered, and the agonizing anticipation of 
the utter extinction of their race. 

The Mingo whose history we record had, as we 
have seen, his home among the wild, weird scenes 
of the Upper Deer Creek. His wigwam at first 
was one of many, for in the locality designated 
there was a considerable village of his tribe. The 
coming of the white man drove them from their 
homes, and they migrated northward and westward, 
resting for a time in the forests of Pennsylvania 
and on the plains of Ohio. Mingo alone remained, 
3* 



30 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

occupying his wigwam, with his wife and children, 
and finding his support in the waters of Deer Creek 
and in the wooded hills that bordered it. The rea- 
son of this seemingly singular procedure is, as will 
appear, but another illustration of the mysterious 
nature of man and the power of a sentiment. 

The Mi n goes of Deer Creek made frequent forays 
upon the Indians living on the waters of the lower 
Patapsco, and occasionally extended their incursions 
into Eastern Maryland and Virginia. In one of 
their adventures they penetrated the country as far 
south as the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, 
opposite the mouth of the Potomac, and attacking 
suddenly and unexpectedly, surprised and captured 
a large village, with much booty and some prison- 
ers. Among the captives was Watumpka, the 
daughter of Wesaco, in his day the most celebrated 
chieftain of the Wicomicos. Brought by her cap- 
tors to the Rocks of Deer Creek, which at the period 
referred to was the general rendezvous of the Mingo 
warriors of the vicinity, and from which they con- 
ducted their warlike expeditions, and to which they 
returned to make distribution of the common spoils, 
happily for Watumpka, in the allotment of the 
prisoners, she fell to the share of Mingo, who had 
participated in the expedition. This youthful war- 
rior had seen twenty summers. He had already at 
that age developed into the noblest type of manhood. 
Six feet in height, of corresponding weight, straight 
as the arrow he let go from his bow, of perfect fea- 
tures, rather Roman than Indian, and of dignified 
mien, he was the admiration of his tribe. Added 
to these physical attractions was a mind and heart 
intellectual, sympathetic arid loving. The artist 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 31 

would have selected him as his ideal, and the female 
heart chosen him as its possession forever. Of 
Watumpka it might have heen said, Indian though 
she was, what the immortal bard said of the gentle 
Desdemona : 

"A maiden never bold, 
Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion 
Blushed at itself." 

And of the attractions of her person what Michael 
Cassio said of the gentle maiden : 

"Tempests themselves, high seas and howling winds, 
As having sense of beauty, do omit 
Their mortal natures, letting safe go by 
The divine" Watumpka. 

Mingo saw and was conquered. His captive was 
the captor. Watumpka submitting resignedly to 
the fate of the captured expatriation from her 
home and yielding to the ardent wooing of her 
lover, consented to become his bride. The celebra- 
tion of the nuptials was in accordance with the rites 
of the Mingoes, after which she occupied with her 
husband his wigwam on the banks of the Upper 
Deer Creek. There, under the shadows of Mingo 
Hill, in the quiet and patient performance of the 
duties of her position as wife and mother, she passed 
the days of her allotted life. Not indeed without 
feeling the weight of the shadows that fell upon her 
heart in the recollection of the happy scenes of 
childhood and youth, and in the remembrance of 
the loss of a noble father and the care of a tender 
mother. These were but occasional experiences. 
The duties of life and the sense of the affections of 
him she had chosen generally absorbed her thought. 



32 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

How long Mingo remained on Deer Creek after 
the occupancy of the country by the whites is not 
known. The ancestors of some of the present res- 
idents of upper Harford knew him to have been 
there several years after they had settled in the 
neighborhood among them Richard Deaver, the 
great-grandfather of the present George and Rich- 
ard Deaver, Seniors. That after a time he followed 
his tribe westward is conjectured ; but if so, not 
until after the death of Watumpka, his captured 
bride. By the side of the river, under the shadows 
of the trees, was laid in deepest grief what was 
mortal of Watumpka, the child of Wesaco the Wi- 
comico, and the wife of Mingo the Massawomike. 
And it is not difficult, we think, for the occupants 
of .Mingo Park, as they sit by the blazing fire in the 
winter nights, to imagine that they hear the voice 
of Mingo, who long since joined Watumpka in the 
land of spirits, mingling with the voices of the 
winds without. It is the voice of the shade of the 
yet living and loving Mingo, which seeks to com- 
mune with the shade of the still living and loving 
Watumpka. 

Honnis, a venerable chief of the Wyandots, said 
to an acquaintance of the writer of this narrative, 
that the warriors of his nation were called upon to 
put each one grain of corn into a wooden tray that 
would hold more than half a bushel, and that 
before all had done so the tray was full and running 
over. The Mingoes were a more numerous and pow- 
erful nation, covering a great tract of country, esti- 
mated to have been twelve hundred miles in length 
and seven hundred miles in breadth. Along the 
Busquehanna and its tributaries, among the forests 



Til KIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 33 

of Deer Creek and in its valleys, were once many of 
these people. There remained for a while after 
their departure a single representative of this once 
mighty nation. He lingered because his captive 
wife, the beautiful and loving Watumpka, was alien 
to his people. They had killed her father, Wesaco, 
the honored chief of the Wicomicos, and made her 
a captive in a strange land and among a strange 
people. Obedient to a mysterious quality of the 
human mind, she became the wife of a Mingo, par- 
ticipating in his toils and sharing in his sympathies. 
Him alone she loved, and for him and the children 
she bore to him she lived to the Mingoes alien 
forever, a sentiment that led her to end her life 
and find her grave among the pale faces, also the 
inexorable foes of her race. 



THE HERMIT OF THE OTTER ROCK. 

YEARS ago I will not say how many there lived 
in the Valley of Virginia a family of English origin. 
They had emigrated to America, not to better 
their worldly condition, but to relieve themselves, 
if possible, of the shadow of a great trouble which 
had fallen upon them at their former home. The 
head of the household was of noble birth the blood 

of the ran in his veins. Unhappily his temper 

was irascible, and he lacked ability to control its 



34 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

violence. In a controversy with a fellow-nobleman 
he yielded to its exactions, and struck a blow that 
almost instantly proved fatal to his antagonist. 
Conscious of the insufficiency of the provocation 
that led to the fatal result, and properly fearing the 
majesty of that equal justice which is a distinguish- 
ing characteristic of English law, he fled his country, 
and under an assumed name came to America, and 
found, as he thought, a refuge of safety in the prov- 
ince of New Jersey. Having brought with him 
abundant means, he purchased an estate in the vicin- 
ity of what is now , and made preparation for 

the reception of his family. The large reward that 
had been offered for his arrest stimulated inquiry, 
and it was learned that he had fled to America. 
Detectives were put upon his track, and they 
were likely to accomplish the arrest of the object 
of their search. Information of these facts coming 
to the knowledge of the criminal and fugitive, he 
suddenly and secretly left the locality in which he 
had been living, and by concealed travel eventually 
reached the forests of Virginia. Purchasing from 
Lord Fairfax, then proprietor of the northern neck 
of Virginia, a tract of land consisting of two thou- 
sand acres, a few miles east of the present site of 
, he again prepared for the reception of his 
wife and children. Here he was secure, and was 
in a brief time rejoined by his family. At that dis- 
tant period of the past there were not, as now, large 
towns, substantially built, and attractive villages, 
with communities in town and country possessing 
all the refinements of highly cultured society. 
There was not a hamlet ; only an occasional cabin, 
connected by paths or the blazings of the trees, and 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 35 

with rare exceptions, the few, isolated inhabitants 
were as rude and uncultivated as their surround- 
ings. An exception was the family of noble lineage. 
The oldest child of that family was a son, and at 
the time of which we write was a young man twenty- 
four years of age, of cultivated mind, and of much 
personal attraction. In heart he was as his mother, 
a woman of gentle nature and sweetness of disposi- 
tion. And from her he inherited a love of solitude. 
Though she was the wife of a nobleman of large 
wealth, and constrained by her position when at 
home to mingle much in society, it was always with- 
out pleasure, and gladly intermitted. This predis- 
position to solitude was intensified by the occurrence 
which led to the removal of the family to America. 
In its wilds at that day, where solitude reigned 

almost supreme, Walter realized the fullest 

gratification of the inherited and now cultivated 
predisposition. He communed with nature and 
with his own spirit, saddened by the remembrance of 
a great misfortune. 

Calamities come not singly. To that family of 
stricken ones death came in the character of a mys- 
terious plague, and all save Walter fell victims 

to its relentless power. The solitude that he had 
coveted and enjoyed, now intensified, became insup- 
portable, and he sought relief from its oppressions. 
Having heard from a trapper of the wild of north- 
eastern Maryland, with its wondrous lake abound- 
ing in fish, of the cataract falling from the summit 
of a rocky ridge four hundred feet in height, and of 
the rapid river, in the waters of which the otter and 
the beaver abounded, and of the forests in which 
roamed the elk, the bear and the deer, he resolved 



36 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

to muke it his home, where, undisturbed by human 
associations, he might commune alone with nature 
and the denizens of forest and river ; and forgetting, 
if such were possible, that crime of a parent which 
had smitten his heart with an inexpressible anguish, 
wait patiently and submissively for that event which 
comes to all. Early on the morning of May he 
bade adieu to the forests of Virginia, and, after a 
fatiguing journey of some days, reached his desti- 
nation. He had not been deceived by the represen- 
tations of the trapper. He found lake and cataract, 
waters abounding in fish and forests in game. About 
one-half mile east of the Kocks of Deer Creek is a 
massive rock projecting from a precipitous hill into 
the water. The rock is cavernous, arid was a home 
of otters ; hence its name, the li Otter Kock." On 
the hill, one hundred yards above the rock, in a 
thick growth of laurel, the hermit erected a rude 
hut of fallen logs. The cabin was well concealed 
from view by the thicket of undergrowth, and 
having to and from it a narrow, circuitous path, ho 
deemed himself secure from intrusion. The once 
" petted child of fortune " took up his abode in this 
solitary place of the wilderness, trusting in his skill 
in the use of gun and trap and hook to supply him 
with the material necessary to sustain his physical 
life, and hoping to escape the recollections of the 
great wrong that had poisoned so soon the springs 
of his earthly felicity. 

Solitude, to be advantageous, must be for a season 
only. Communing with ones self cannot long be 
protracted. Too long apart from his fellows, man 
will conjure up a thousand beings to con verso with 
his thoughts ; he will give sentiment and even Ian- 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 37 

gunge to inanimate objects. The wild man will 
people the solitudes of the wilderness with society, 
and the untutored man in his solitary watchings 
and walkings among hills and valleys has his fears 
aroused by traditions of places haunted by spirits 
and ghouls. Where human associations break not 
the monotony of speechless existence, there it al- 
ways is 

"Fast in the wilderness and dream of spirits." 

So it became with the hermit. Now he lived in 
an ideal world. Educated from his youth to be- 
lieve in spiritual existences, he peopled the solitudes 
with real though invisible beings, and often in his 
dreams, as also in his waking reveries, communed 
with them. The Puckwudjimmenees those fairy 
beings whom the Algonquins thought planted the 
acorns from which the forests of oaks grow not 
infrequently to his vision 

" came fleeting by 

In the pale autumnal ray." 

In the vicinity of his retreat was a gentle spring 
of cool, limpid water, which he imagined was 
haunted by those mysterious little people. There 
is., perhaps, some apology for the superstition, for 
an ancient legend tells 

" How that old fountain was peopled erst by fairies ; 
That the spirit of their spells 
And flowery rites yet on its margin tarries, 
And that upon the summer eve, in the silent air still lingers 
The wild, sweet music of a band of fay-like singers." 

Such solitude could not be sustained, and the 
hermit turned to the living instincts around him 
4 



S8 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

for relief. In so doing he found pleasure. He 
found in his communings with the occupants of 
forest and lake, grove and river, rare and exquisite 
enjoyments, joys denied him by the presence of civil- 
ized life, and not found in the dreamy existence he 
had been living. The birds entertained him with 
rarest songs of sweetest melodies, and to his ear the 
howl of the wolf and the cry of the panther were 
music. So also the scream of the eagle and the 
hissing of the serpent. With all the habitants of 
woods and waters he cultivated intimate relations. 
He recognized them as friends, and deported him- 
self towards them as such. His friendship was 
reciprocated, and on their part was confiding. Had 
he been seen in his wanderings through the wood- 
lands, or in his solitary walkings by the river's side, 
strange phenomena would have been witnessed. 
The birds accompanied him, flitting after him from 
tree to tree, or bush to bush, reluctant, seemingly, to 
be absent from one whom they manifestly esteemed 
and loved. The fish recognized his voice, and 
upon his appearance on the banks of the streams 
would gather to his presence. They fed from lii.s 
hand as trustingly as the child feeds from the hands 
of a loving mother. The raccoon, the opossum, the 
wildcat and the timid deer were'equally confiding. 
An Adam in his Eden, he ruled the beasts of the 
field, the birds of the air, and the fishes of the 
waters. If his physical necessities required the of- 
fering of the confiding, that sacrifice was made with 
the utmost tenderness and consideration. 

The hermit was not always indifferent to human 
associations. Rarely, indeed, did he Irave his seclu- 
sion to mingle with men. At distant intervals the 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 39 

hermitage was visited by persons prompted by curi- 
osity, if by no otber motive. These rare occasions 
were enjoyed by him, and to his visitors were of 
great interest. His facility of communication was 
great, and at the times referred to his conversations 
were intensive in their character, the logical reaction 
from the life of seclusion he had led. 

Age came to the hermit, and with it thoughts of 
other days and sweeter joys. Present to his vision 
often was the image of his mother, and in the slum- 
bers of the night he would dream that he heard her, 
as in the days of his childhood, breathing blessings 
upon him. He awoke to find it but an illusive 
dream. Sickness came, and with it fever, picturing 
images of terror. The vigils of the night brought 
with them the sense of loneliness, and the mornings 
gave no relief. Alone in the wilderness, without 
the sympathy of his kind, and by infirmity denied 
the happiness he had derived from association with 
the instincts around him, he passed the days of his 
closing life. He was then heard to say he was 
thinking of his mother 

' ' Thy gentle hand seems lightly still caressing 
The flaxen hair so loved, so prized by thee, 
And as in days gone by, I hear thy blessing 
Breathed, oh! so earnestly." 

The end came. The solitary watcher by the 
couch of the departing was a lone star. Looking 
upward, he- gazed long and intently upon it, and 
interpreted the beautiful phenomenon as prophetic 
of joys beyond it, where He abides who dwells in 
the light inaccessible. His last earthly vision was 
the fading image of his mother. 



40 THE ROCKS OP DEER CREEK. 

"Even thine image now, 
The image of the lovely form, that shone, 
The starlight of my childhood, seems to fade 
From memory's vision. 'Tis as some pale tint 
Upon the twilight wave, a broken glimpse 
Of something beautiful and dearly loved 
In far gone years, a dim and tender dream, 
That, like a faint bow, on a darkened sky, 
Lies on my clouded brain." 

Times change, and men and things change with 
them. The lake and cataract no longer exist. 
Under the shadows of the Rocks human habitations 
are built. The waters of Deer Creek are utilized 
in the production of the necessities and conveniences 
of civilized and, in a certain sense, artificial life. 
The rude hut of the hermit has long since dis- 
appeared, and the progress of the age threatens 
greater innovations. But a very brief space of 
time ago men of singular mien were seen among 
the hills and along the valleys of Deer Creek, with 
peculiar instruments in their hands, measuring the 
surface of the earth as they passed. Unknowingly 
they stood on the very spot on which rested the Her- 
mit of the Otter Rock, and had they not been so in- 
tent on pursuing their curious vocation, they might 
have heard the voice of a mysterious though invisi- 
ble stranger bidding them, " Begone ! " For have 
not these men reported that these hills and valleys 
shall soon reverberate with the loud whistlings of 
the " locomotive " and the thunderings of the 
" train?" And such will be the substitution for 
the poetries of nature in the solitudes of the wilder- 
ness. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 41 



THE ROBBER'S DEN ; OR, THE LEARNED 
PHILOLOGIST. 

A SHORT distance above the Otter Rock, on the 
opposite bank of Deer Creek, and in view of the 
Rocks, is a large cavernous rock, that was, as tradi- 
tion informs us, in the. far past the retreat of an 
unhappy man, whose hands, like those of Ishmael, 
the brother of Isaac, the son of Abraham, were 
against every man, and every man's hand against 
him. The entrance to the cave is now partially 
closed by portions of its roof, which have fallen. 
Directly opposite, and near to the water, was a nar- 
row path, used at first by the Indiana in their jour- 
ney ings to and from the Rocks of Deer Creek and 
the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Patapsco 
River, afterwards by the original white settlers in 
their travel from one neighborhood to another. 

The occupant of the cavern had been reared in 
affluence and amidst elevating and refining associ- 
ations. Born in Germany, he received his early 
education in a gymnasium, an institution answering 
to an American college. Afterwards he became a 
student of the University of Heidelberg, one of the 
largest educational institutions of a land which has 
ever been distinguished for its ripe scholars and 
learned philosophers. Immediately after the com- 
pletion of his scholastic studies, he entered the ser- 
vice of the government as an attache 7 of an Ambas- 
sador to the English Court. Of great acuteness of 
intellect, well skilled in international law and the 
art of diplomacy, and ever prompt and faithful in 
4* 



42 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

the discharge of the duties of his position, he won 
the confidence of his superiors, and was recom- 
mended to preferment. Unhappily, at that period 
of English history, the Court was corrupt; from 
the monarch down to the humhlest servant of the 
State, profligacy of manners generally prevailed. 
Truth, honor, integrity, virtue, were words that 
had no meaning, for the sentiments, principles and 
actions of which they are the representatives had no 
existence. Influenced by such examples, his moral 
force was weakened and his sense of right obscured. 
The tempter came to him in the guise of a gilded 
bait the love of money that not for its own sake, 
but for the ability it would give him to gratify his 
depraved appetites and propensities. The German 
government has always been characterized by a 
commendable frugality, not parsimoniousness, but 
a generous economy. Hence, the salary and per- 
quisites of the attache 7 sufficed to maintain the dig- 
nity of his position, but were not enough for its 
abuse. The Embassy, having failed on several 
occasions to receive remittances of money that had 
been made in the usual manner, employed the ser- 
vices of English detectives, who, after several fail- 
ures, succeeded in fixing the crime of the abstraction 
of the funds on the subordinate. 

The young man, receiving timely information 
that suspicion had fallen on him, immediately, in 
the habit of an English laborer, went on board a 
Dutch vessel then lying in the Thames, which in a 
few hours thereafter hoisted sail for America. Ar- 
rived at new New York, he deemed it unsafe to re- 
main, and having heard of the wilds of Soutlmn 
Pennsylvania, journeyed thitherward. And alter 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 43 

a fatiguing travel of many days, through forests 
and swamps, and crossing broad rivers, he reached 
a locality one-half mile east of the present site of 
Fawn Grove, York county. He built a rude hut of 
bark, a few yards above the spring, ou the farm now 
in the occupancy of Thomas II. Wright, Esq., and 
there tarried for a time, subsisting on the game the 
forest afforded and the trout caught in the waters of 
Wild Cat Branch. His stay would probably have 
been protracted, but ascertaining a few months after 
his coming that several families of English sup- 
posed to have been members of the Society of Friends 
had migrated to his vicinity, he hurriedly left, and 
directing his steps southward, found himself in a 
few hours amidst the rugged hills and dense forests 
in the vicinity of the Rocks of Deer Creek, and 
believing that here, if anywhere, he would be safe 
from the pursuit of justice, he chose as the place of 
his refuge the rock now known as the Robber's Den. 
Better thoughts came to the unfortunate, and he 
resolved to expiate, by penitence and reformation, if 
such could be, the sin that had made him an outcast 
and a fugitive in the wilds of America. There was, 
indeed, no church in the wilderness, at the altars 
of which he could bow, no clergyman to instruct and 
comfort, but He against whom he had most sinned, 
who is not confined to temples built with hands, 
was there in that " void waste," to witness his tears 
and hear his cries. Alas ! there needed only the 
presence of the tempter and the occasion of tempt- 
ation where are they not? to call forth again 
the vicious elements of character that had not been 
destroyed, only suppressed. At that time Mason 
and Dixon were running and marking the boundary 



44 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

line between the provinces of Maryland and Penn- 
sylvania, and their party had in the progress of 
their work reached a point near where the road from 
Fawn Grove to Fellowship Methodist Episcopal 
Church crosses Wild Cat Branch. At a spring near 
by, now on the farm of J. L. Glenn, Esq., they 
had encamped for a few days to await supplies of 
provisions from Philadelphia, by way of Joppa, 
then a seaport town in the province of Maryland. 
From what is now Forest Hill, there ran northward 
toward the camp of the surveyors the Indian trail 
of which I have written, along which the packed 
mules must pttss. 

On the morning of what promised to be a bright 
autumnal day, the robber was awakened from his 
somewhat protracted slumbers by the cries of the 
muleteers then approaching. Hastily seizing his 
gun, he made rapidly for the summit of Rock Ridge, 
one mile southwest of the Rocks, and secreting 
himself, awaited the coming of the train. In less 
than an hour it reached that point of the path, and 
being in range with his rifle, he fired, killing the 
leading mule. This so alarmed the drivers that 
they hastily abandoned the mules, and ran in the 
direction of their camp. Hiding the spoils in a se- 
cure place, the robber left the locality of his Den for 
a time, to avoid the search that he feared would be 
made for him. In a few weeks he returned to the 
cave. 

In the Den the once accomplished gentleman and 
honored scholar and diplonmte, but now degraded 
and dishonored man, passed several years of his life, 
issuing therefrom, as necessity constrained him, to 
prey upon the unsuspecting and often unarmed 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 45 

travelers. His many deeds of cruel daring are re- 
corded in the " Book of the Chronicles of the Rocks 
of Deer Creek," but, sadly for our knowledge, these 
chronicles are written in a language to which we 
have no adequate key. There has come down to us 
the interpretation of a few words of the now obso- 
lete language, which gives us some faint idea of the 
difficulty of translation by the most skilled philolo- 
gists, if a translation is possible at all. The words 
are : NummatQhakodtautamoQnkanunnannash our 
lusts ; Kummogkodonattootirnmooetjongannunnon- 
ash our questions ; and Noowomantainmoonkauu- 
naunash our loves. Whether this was the lan- 
guage of the Susquehannocks, who originally occu- 
pied the country in the vicinity of the Rocks, or of 
the Lenopes, who possessed the country eastward 
and northward, or of the Mingoes, who at one period 
dominated both of these nations, we have not been 
advised. It may be an admixture of the three, as 
it is known that the intermingling of tribes did 
modify dialects. Nor do we know whether the 
learned may or may not find in the words resem- 
blance to the family of Semetic languages the He- 
brew, Chaldee, Arabic, Punic, Aramean, Syriac, 
Ethiopic, Hymyaritic. If such could be shown to 
be the case, then we might hope for the ultimate 
translation into English of the " Book of the Chron- 
icles of the Rocks of Deer Creek." Such a result 
would also establish the theory of the eastern ori- 
gin of the Indians of North America. 

The coming of new settlers made the habitation of 
the robber and philologist untenantable. He could 
not expose himself to the certainty of detection. 
Furthermore, just at that time a paper was found 



46 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

by him in the path opposite the Den ; its contents 
were as follows: " By the King, a proclamation 
for the more effectual reducing and suppressing of 
pirates and privateers in America, as well on the 
sea as on the land in great numbers, committing fre- 
quent robberies and piracies, which hath occasioned 
a great prejudice and obstruction to trade and com- 
merce, and given a great scandal and disturbance to 
our government in those parts." London Gazette. 
Whither he went, we do not know ; and the only 
remembrance of the unhappy man is the " Book of 
the Chronicles of the Rocks of Deer Creek." Who 
can translate it? 



THE ENCHANTRESS OF HUNTING RIDGE. 

RUNNING parallel with Rock Ridge, one and a-half 
miles north-northwest of the Rocks of Deer Creek, 
is Hunting Ridge, and, like the first, is high, 
rugged, and in places precipitous. Both ridges are 
covered with trees, generally of large growth, and 
between them is a narrow valley. The whole scene 
is of the wildest character, and, singularly, to the 
inhabitants generally of the county of Harford, is 
almost as much unknown as are the Highlands of 
Scotland or the mountains of Switzerland. In the 
narrow valley, at a time far beyond the memory of 
living man, tjiere dwelt, as th-e ancient legend tells 



TIIEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 47 

us, in a rude hut, built of unhewn logs and cov- 
ered with clapboards, a family consisting of three 
persons an aged man, apparently of fourscore 
years, intellectual in his appearance and courtly in 
his manners; a venerable woman, intelligent and 
dignified of mien ; their daughter, a young lady 
possessing much beauty, affable, and of rare intel- 
lectual and social accomplishments. Whence they 
came none knew, and why they should have left a 
refined and cultivated community to take up their 
residence in so isolated and forbidding a locality 
was a mystery to all. After a time the abode was 
untenanted, and no one knew whither the former 
occupants had gone. A few years ago a gentleman 
visited La Grange, the country-seat of E. S. Rogers, 
Esq., and hearing the legend, was prompted by 
curiosity, and the interest he felt in the shadowy 
past, to visit the unknown scenes. About the mid- 
dle of the afternoon of a summer day he left the 
residence of his hospitable friend at La Grange, and 
walked to the locality of whose physical attractions 
and mythical story he had heard. The experiences 
of his visit I will give in his own language, as 
nearly as my memory will permit me : 

" Entranced by the grandeur of the hills and 
the picturesque loveliness of the vale, I lingered 
until the twilight of the evening came. Warned 
by the lateness of the hour, I was about to retrace 
my steps toward La Grange, when I observed, a 
short distance from me, a rude hut of logs, which 
gave signs of occupation. Associating this scene 
with the legend of the mysterious family, I felt an 
uncontrollable impulse to visit the rude habitation 
and its inmates. As I approached the dwelling I 



48 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

heard a female voice of exquisite melodiousness, 
accompanied by a harp, singing 

" When summer flowers are weaving 

Their perfume wreaths in air, 
And the zephyr wings receiving 

The love gifts gently bear ; 
Then memory's spirit stealing, 

Lifts up the veil she wears, 
In all their light revealing 

The loved of other years. 

" When summer stars are shining 

In the deep, blue midnight sky, 
And their brilliant rays entwining, 

Weave coronals on high ; 
When the fountain's waves are singing 

In tones night only hears, 
Then sweet thoughts waken, bringing 

The loved of other years. 

" The flowers around me glowing, 

The midnight stars' pure gleams, 
The fountain's ceaseless flowing, 

Recalls life's fondest dreams, 
Where all be bright in heaven, 

And tranquil are the spheres, 
To thee sweet thoughts are given, 

The loved of other years. 

" The interest I had felt was now intensified, and 
immediately upon the cessation of the voice and 
harp I rapped at the door. It was heard and an- 
swered by a gentle voice, bidding me, ' Come in.' 
I entered, and finding but a single occupant, a 
young lady, made as though I would leave the 
room, when a kind but emphatic, ' Be seated,' 
constrained me to remain. The young lady in 
whose presence I was possessed great personal at- 
tractions. Her features were regular, he form elas- 
tic and graceful, showing that no common blood 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY,. 49 

flowed through her veins. An irrepressible desire 
seized me to know by what strange mutation of for- 
tune one so gifted should have been impelled to 
bury herself and all her hopes in this desolate wil- 
derness. I was about to enter into conversation, 
with the view of eliciting information that might 
give me a clue to the history of the mysterious be- 
ing, when I felt myself under the influence of a 
strange spell. In a few moments I was in a pro- 
found slumber. How long I slept I did not know, 
and when I awoke the scene was wholly changed. 
I was in a princely mansion. In the room a soli- 
tary light was gleaming. The windows were 
draped with heavy silken curtains. A whisper of 
leaves and the murmur of a fountain were heard 
coming from without. Delicate flowers, arranged 
in vases, were shedding their perfume through the 
room, and the silver lam)) shed a soft arid radiant 
light on every object. The only occupant of the 
room besides myself was a young lady of medium 
height, pale of complexion, standing, statue-like, 
in the middle of the room, with a harp in her hand. 
8 he sang : 

" Deep hidden in the bosom lies 

A talisman of magic power, 
An heirloom borrowed from the skies, 

For man in his first sinless hour, 
Inwoven in his secret heart 

By some kind, pitying angel's hand, 
Eve, Eden saw him sad depart 

A wandering exile through the land. 
This, when all other gifts took wing, 

When of each heavenly gift bereft, 
He stood a doomed, deserted thing, 

From the great moral wreck was left 
Was left to light the lurid gloom 
5 



50 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

That gathered o'er in his fall, 
To burst, to brighten, and to bloom 

O'er mined Eden, Ere, Earth all, 
Awakening joys that ne'er were his 

In all their matchless pride and power, 
Until all other hopes of bliss 

Fled from him. In that angry hour, 
When Heaven resumed the gifts it gaye, 

And drove him forth in his despair 
To look upon his future grave, 

The self-same hand was ready there 
As when it plucked the fruit for him. 

She touched the gem his bosom bore, 
And though till now its light was dim, 

A glory like the Cherubim 
It from that magic moment wore. 

And ever, r mid the wrong and wrath 
Of life, there beaineth far above 

The darkness dwelling on his path, 
The glory gleam of woman's love. 

" Again the scene changed. I was in the depths 
of a dark forest. It was midday, but the light of 
the sun scarce reached me at the spot where I was 
standing the overhanging branches of the heavy- 
foliaged trees were almost impenetrable to its rays. 
Of the time when I left the princely mansion and 
its accomplished inmate I had no recollection, nor 
how I reached the interior of the forest. I saw no 
road, not even a path, by which I could have entered 
it. My situation perplexed me ; indeed, alarmed 
me. For the first time in my life I saw myself 
surrounded by a network of curious circumstances 
I cuuld not comprehend. My intellect failed me in 
the perception of my real condition ; so also in the 
apprehension of the means by which I might be 
relieved from what seemed to me a hopeless impris- 
onment in the unknown wilderness. The anxieties 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 51 

of my situation awoke me. I was in the library of 
my friend at La Grange. Looking at the clock 
upon the mantel, I found that I had been asleep 
half an hour. I had been under the influence of a 
great Enchantress." 



THE AGED TRAPPER, HUNTER AND FISH- 
ERMAN OF THE INDIAN CUPBOARD. 

THK Indian Cupboard is a well-known locality 
one and a-half miles below the Rocks of Deer Creek 
and one-fourth mile below the ancient mill now 
owned by heirs of the late J. Bond Preston, Esq. 
The Cupboard is a cavern entering a bold and pro- 
jecting rock whose base is washed by the waters of 
Deer Creek. Within a few yards of this rock is 
the home of Alexius, the noted trapper, hunter and 
fisherman. When Alexius first saw the light of 
day is not known by the writer of this narrative, 
nor is it important to the interest of the story that 
it should be known. I am aware that ordinarily 
such ignorance might be interpreted as evidence of 
want of interest in the subject of the story, and 
perhaps as a lack of appreciation of his deeds. 
Such a judgment would do essential injustice to the 
hero, and such he was in the truest and most sig- 
nificant sense of that term. If his deeds do not 



52 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

rival those of the celebrated Baron Munchausen in 
the quality of exaggeration, or those of the Arabian 
Nights in romantic significance, they are such as to 
rank him with the celebrities of the time, and to 
entitle him to a place on the historic page. The 
place where the infantile cries of Alexius were first 
heard is among the wild, weird scenes of Upper 
Deer Creek, in the vicinity of the Rocks so celebrated 
in .story and in song. The great-grandparents 
of Alexius were from the Island of Madagascar, in 
the Indian Ocean. Their migration to the Ameri- 
can Continent was a forced one. The negroes of 
Zululand, South Africa, known as daring and 
aggressive warriors, and unscrupulous as to the 
means by which they secured their ends, under 
pretense of a friendly visit, entered Madagascar 
with hostile purpose, and attacking their unsuspect- 
ing and unprepared army, defeated them, taking 
many prisoners. These they sold to Portuguese 
traders, who, in turn, transferred them to English 
dealers in men. Among these were the ancestors 
of the subject of my story. They were put on 
board ship, and, after a somewhat tempestuous 
voyage of ten months, were landed at Joppa, then 
a seaport town in the province of Maryland. Hap- 
pily for them and their descendants, they were 
purchased upon their arrival in America by a hu- 
mane and benevolent gentleman then residing in 
the vicinity of Scott's old fields, now Bel Air, the 
county-seat of Harford. 

Before proceeding further in the relation of my 
story, I will state, by way of parenthesis, that the ' 
people of Madagascar are not negroes. They arc 
copper-colored, have straight black hair, and lack 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 53 

those prominent facial features which belong to the 
African race proper. They were sometimes en- 
slaved, because it was practicable to do so, and 
profitable because their better looks made their 
possession more desirable. Enslaved, they inter- 
married with the inferior race, and hence but few, 
if any, remain of unmixed Island blood. 

It is due to the character of slaveholders gener- 
ally of that early period in the history of our Conti- 
nent, to say that they were not deficient in those 
qualities that were needed to the discharge of the 
duties of their relations as masters. Their ser- 
vants such they were called were well fed, well 
clothed, and their tasks, unlike those of Egyptian 
bondmen, were not heavy. To them was imparted 
a measure of education, and their attendance upon 
religious service was encouraged. In their early 
years they were allowed the utmost latitude of lib- 
erty. Basking in the sun, rolling in the sand, wad- 
ing in the water, and an occasional siesta, consti- 
tuted chiefly their summer employment ; the winter, 
in the ashes by the blazing hickory fire, the occa- 
sional episode, snow-balling or sliding on the ice. 
The only fear of the youthful negro was of his irate 
mamma, whose habit of persistent beatings has often 
suggested the inquiry, " Is the African woman des- 
titute of sympathy ? ' ' Many a negro child has been 
shielded from the cruel treatment of its mother by 
the authority of a sympathetic master or mistress. 
Instincts are hereditary, and though they may be 
modified by time and circumstances, often survive 
in their original character, with more or less dis- 
tinctness, for many generations. The woman in 
Africa who will barter her child for gain, in America 



54 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

may inflict cruel chastisements. Alexius was for- 
tunate in the possession of his Madagascan mother, 
she having all that solicitude for her offspring, and 
exercising that maternal care which insured their 
comfort ; and having in his mistress a lady of great 
benevolence of character and kindness of heart, his 
youthful life was happy. 

Alexius developed at a very early age those tastes 
and qualities which have made him so celebrated in 
the annals of Deer Creek as a most skillful and 
successful trapper, hunter and fisherman. Retiring 
in his nature, he loved the solitudes of the forest, 
and found in communion with its occupants the 
gratification denied by the common pursuits of life. 
And it was thus in his association with birds and 
fishes. At that period the forests of Deer Creek 
abounded in game, and its waters in fish. In the 
woods were raccoons, opossums, ground-hogs, wild- 
cats, and smaller game; in the streams fall-fish, 
perch, eels, trout and turtle. The favorite game 
of our hunter was the ground-hog, or wood-chuck, 
as naturalists call it ; and many are the wonderful 
and marvelous stories told of his adventures with 
this animal. Like a skillful hunter as he was, his 
first effort was to secure their confidence. He fre- 
quented their burrows and made their acquaintance. 
He had the peculiar faculty of making himself 
understood by them. This animal is not alone in 
its susceptibility to education. The flea has been 
trained to know the voice of its master, and to be 
obedient to his commands. Unhappily fur the con- 
liding chuck, the motive of the seemingly friendly 
hunter was sinister ; he smiled only to betray, and 
the confidence of the simple chuck was his destruc- 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 55 

tion. 'Possum-hunting was an exciting pastime. 
In the woods of Rock Ridge and contiguous hills he 
passed much time in this, to him, pleasing pursuit. 
His hahit was to leave his retreat about nightfall, 
taking with him his two trusty dogs, Bell and Trav- 
eler. Once on a trail, they followed it unerringly 
to the hiding-places of the game, which were usu- 
ally in the thick boughs of some lofty tree, or in 
the rocky caves with which the ridges abound. 
The coon treed, the hunter ascended the tree with 
almost the agility of the squirrel, and, ascertaining 
the position of the game, proceeded to dislodge it. 
This he did either by a violent shaking of the limb, 
or by pushing the animal from his perch with a long 
and heavy pole. The coon on the ground was 
immediately secured by the dogs. More than 
once the hunter narrowly escaped the loss of 
his life in these perilous adventures, and he 
bears to this day on his hand the mark of the 
bite of an enraged coon struggling for his liber- 
ty. Want of space forbids the enumeration of 
the many thrilling adventures connected with his 
pursuit of game in the forests. In the water he 
was equally successful. Eels of enormous length 
and size were trophies of the fisherman's skill, as 
also turtles of great bulk and wonderful strength. 
Notwithstanding the asseveration of the fisherman, 
whose veracity it is not our province to question, 
it is hard to believe that " Big Turtle " supported 
the weight of a man of one hundred and sixty 
pounds, and carried him on his back the distance 
of a half-mile. The theory of Darwin the survival 
of the fittest would lead us to look for animals of 
larger size at the present than in the past, and there 



56 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

is the remotest possibility that this trophy of our 
fisherman's skill was one the last survivor possi- 
bly of a family that had, by a fortuitous and for- 
tunate concurrence of circumstances, been preserved 
from the power of all trappers, hunters and fisher- 
men, from Nimrod down to the last of his class on 
Deer Creek. 

Our hunter was characterized by an even courage 
that made him equal to emergencies generally. He 
was never known to exhibit fear in contest with bird 
or beast or fish. It was different as to a gigantic 
snake, a habitue of the hill opposite the old mill 
above the Cupboard. This snake tl was twenty ieet 
long and thick as a man's body. " It is conjectured 
that it was of foreign origin, or was of the Hairs- 
spring species that in very late times so excited the 
people of that section of Baltimore county, Md. But 
whatever may be the opinion of the present genera- 
tion as to these accounts of the size of the fauna of 
the past, it is true that our hero was remarkably 
successful in his favorite vocations. And now, in 
his old age, he is envied by the younger generation 
of hunters, trappers and fishermen. He may be 
seen occasionally bearing homeward, as a trophy of 
his skill, a fat " chuck," and often in the early 
spring or summer morning drawing from the waters 
of Deer Creek the largest fall-fish or the longest eel. 
The " coon " and the " 'possum " are now secure in 
their retreats, for age has incapacitated him for those 
exertions necessary to their successful pursuit. 

A new day has dawned. An intensive civiliza- 
tion, eager for great achievements, has decreed that 
the hills and dales of Upper Deer Creek shall no 
longer rest in the; % comparative solitudes. The 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 57 

tramroad and the steam engine, with their enormous 
capacity of transportation, are about to substitute 
the common modes of travel and trade. The change 
will bring an increased population, and insure the 
erection of factories and mills. The theatres of the 
solitary wanderings and walkings and skillful 
achievements of our hunter, trapper and fisherman 
will re-echo with the whirr of the wheel and the 
sound of the hammer. A new generation, with its 
real and artificial wants, will take the place of the 
old, content in its enjoyment of the common modes 
of life. 

The Indian Cupboard, no longer tenantable, has 
been abandoned. A common country road has 
marred its beauties, and soon the mighty and 
mysterious dynamite will reduce its proportions 
still more. Reluctant to leave a spot endeared to 
him by so many recollections of the past, the subject 
of our narrative is building of stone and wood, un- 
der the shadow of the Copper Rock, a habitation 
conformable to the style of modern times, where, as 
a partial compensation for the great loss he has sus- 
tained, the exclusion of the employments and pleas- 
ures of the past, he will view the mysterious 
stranger as it passes by, laden with the productions 
of the earth and the fruits of human skill. 

The story I have told is not of one reared in afflu- 
ence, a child of fortune, but of a poor man, who has 
illustrated the dignity of manhood in the faithful 
discharge of the duties of life as he understood them. 
And there are those who have owed to him the 
preservation of their lives from a watery grave in 
the sometimes excessively swollen and turbulent 
waters of Deer Creek ; and many more for assist- 



58 THE ROCKS OP DEER CREEK. 

ances and courtesies that ought not to be forgotten. 
To that class of the community who worship only 
the great we have no apology to offer for this re- 
membrance of the humble. We find in such recol- 
lection an illustration of the well-known adage, 
" Act well your part ; there all the honor lies." 



THE MINE OLD FIELDS ; OR, THE GATH- 
ERING OF THE WITCHES. 

Two miles east portheast of the Rocks are the 
Mine Old Fields. This locality, though the Ara- 
bia Petrea of this section of Harford County, is 
not without a certain degree of interest, and may 
be catalogued with the many curious and attractive 
natural objects of the neighborhood of the Rocks. 
It is an elevated plateau of considerable area, abound- 
ing in iron ore, chrome and other minerals. Much 
of the rock is soapstone of a superior quality. 
From this stone the Susquehannocks and other In- 
dians of the vicinity made their culinary vessels. 
Occasionally there is found a pot or other relic which 
is treasured as a souvenir of the distant past. These 
Fields, as they are called, have never produced 
wheat, or corn, or other cereals, but did for a time 
yield an abundant harvest of iron ore, which, being 
smelted, was manufactured into various articles that 
the necessities of civilized life demand, and they 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 59 

will, doubtless, upon the completion of the Bail- 
road, yield again their valuable treasures. 

A tradition exists that on this territory was found, 
many years ago, a rich mine of lead ; that it was 
known to the first Mr. Rigdon, settled near by on 
land now in the occupancy of some of his decend- 
ants. He was, in his day, a great hunter, and ob- 
tained there, it is said, all the lead he used. There 
is a similar tradition that in the immediate vicinity 
of the Hocks there is a gold mine, known to the Sus- 
quehannocks, the original inhabitants, the knowl- 
edge of which was communicated by them to some 
white man who visited the locality at an early day. 
The contractor who made his way by powder, and 
crowbar and pick through the formidable rock, in 
the hill immediately beyond the creek, above the 
mill, found in the rock a substance bearing so strong 
a resemblance to gold that he conveyed a Urge 
specimen to the shanty. There it was for a time to 
be examined by the curious. But like the discover- 
ers of gold at the settlement of Jamestown, Vir- 
ginia, expectants were doomed to disappointment. 
The Mine Old Fields do have iron and chrome, and 
perhaps lead. 

Like other portions of this far-famed section of 
Harford, the Mine Old Fields have a mythical his- 
tory. The story of the gathering there by moon- 
light of the witches to practice their mysterious 
rites, has come down to us of the present generation. 
We shall relate it substantially as it was told to an 
aged citizen by that venerable hermit, whose roman- 
tic and touching history is written in this book. 
That the story may be properly appreciated, it will 
be necessary to preface it by some preliminary 
statements. 



60 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

Many persons believe not only in the power of 
the devil to assume a corporeal form, hut also in his 
capacity of acting injuriously upon mankind through 
the instrumentality of others. Baxter, the author 
of the "Saint's Rest," shared this opinion with 
many of the wisest and best of England in an age 
of culture and refinement. The same credulous 
tone of mind existed in New England in its early 
history. It is true that at that period belief in 
witchcraft -ind other diabolical agencies were popu- 
lar delusions which were rapidly disappearing from 
the world, but such men as Cotton Mather and the 
intelligent inhabitants of Palem were always ready 
to sustain their belief in such superstitions both 
from holy writ and philosophy. It was an excess 
of the imagination, affecting not only the stupid 
and the dull, but also the highest wrought minds. 
The early residents of our vicinage were a simple 
and enthusiastic people, primitive in their manners, 
and were doubtless affected by the sentiments of 
their more pretentious fellow citizens northeast of 
them. The Puritan, then as now, despite the pre- 
judice and repugnancy felt toward him, singularly 
impressed his views and opinions upon others. In 
the existence of witches and other malevolent beings 
a*id their power of harm, many of our ancestors 
had the most implicit faith. They saw spirits and 
witches ; to them devils appeared ; strange sights 
were seen, strange sounds were heard. The Jack 
o' the Lantern was recognized as a personality 
whose every purpose was evil, and whose following 
certainly brought perplexity, and even peril of life. 
The Fay, though extremely diminutive in size, was 
greatly feared, not so much on account of its physi- 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 61 

cal ability to do harm as of a supposed moral power 
of evil. The potent words were spell, charm, witch- 
craft. 

Why witches practice incantation on moonlight 
nights may possibly be explained on philosophical 
principles. There is no peculiarity, that we are 
aware of, in the visual organs of a witch. The singu- 
lar construction of the eye of an owl or an Albinos 
adapts their sight to moonlight. The retinas of 
witches are suited to the light of day. 'Tis not that ; 
'tis this, perhaps. The moon is idiosyncratic ; 
psychologically, she is peculiar, and by the well- 
known law of sympathy impresses her own nature 
upon the nature of man. It must be so, or else the 
word lunacy would not have found a place in our 
lexicography. Other reasons why the witches were 
wont to assemble in the Mine Old Fields on moon- 
light nights are apparent. They had light. Be- 
sides, the fears of the people, heightened by moon- 
light, were a defence to them as strong as the walls 
of a fortified city. The witches were there, and there 
they practiced their dark rites. Around the blazing 
fire and the boiling caldron they, with joined hands, 
walked during the hours of moonlight " black 
spirits arid white, red spirits and gray," singing : 

"Mingle, mingle, mingle, 
You that mingle may," 

and invoking the spirits of power, ceased their 
orgies only when there came to them the gifts of 
power, in the exercise of which they satanically de- 
lighted. The demonstration of the fact that they 
who gathered in the Mine Old Fields by moonlight 
were witches, was that people in the vicinity became 
6 



62 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

sick in all sorts of ways, falling into strange fits, 
crawling under beds and into cupboards, barking 
like dogs, inewing like cats, bleating like sheep, and 
lowing like cattle. The doctors were sent for, and 
they declared that their patients were bewitched. 
All were superstitious. All believed in diabolical 
agency. Terror and consternation were in every 
heart. 

Living at that day on Deer Creek, one mile east 
of the Mine Old FieMs, in an humble dwelling, was 
an aged woman, whose only misfortune if such it 
were was that she was poor and infirm. The 
other occupants of the hut were an aged Indian 
woman, one of the very few who remained after her 
people had migrated westward, and a young man of 
the class of the "innocents," as the Swiss mountain- 
eers benevolently name such unfortunates as are 
not endowed at birth with the sana mens. Albert, 
as he was always tenderly called by his aged moth- 
er, willingly labored to provide sustenance for the 
household, and the Indian woman, Maggy, having 
been taught the art of weaving, contributed also by 
her industry and skill to the support of the family. 
Of the aged matron of the lowly household it might 
have been said, " She that is a widow indeed, and 
desolate, trusting in God, and continueth in suppli- 
cation night and day ;" and of her assistant, " She 
hath done what she could." An Eden it was. But 
the cruelties of suspicion were soon to be felt by 
the hitherto unsuspecting and confiding household. 
Trouble came from an unexpected source. 

Father G., a prominent man of the neighbor- 
hood, in conversation had said, " Tliere have been 
wizards and witches in all times," and that pious 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 63 

and learned man, Cotton Mather, says, ".That if 
all the spectral appearances and molestations of evil 
angels, and tricks of necromancy, and bodily appa- 
ritions of Satan and his imps, could he collected 
and counted, that are daily and nightly going on, 
all righteous and goodly men's hair would stand 
on ends with horror." " In these parts," con- 
tinued Father G., "are infernal doings," and 
pointing significantly toward the cabin which the 
unsuspecting were abiding in peace, ominously said, 
" Satan may now abide there." That was sufficient 
to create in all minds a suspicion that very soon 
ripened into a conviction, that the aged and decrepit 
occupant of the cottage, as, perhaps, also her faith- 
ful assistant, dealt with familiar spirits, and that 
much, if not all, the strange evils which afflicted 
the community were to be attributed to their ma- 
chinations. 

On the morning of the following day the former 
habitation of the widow was but a pile of smoking 
ashes. The people said, "The wretches who made 
a compact with Satan, and inflicted the evils we 
suffer, have perished. Give God the glory." 

From the Mine Old Fields the witches have de- 
parted. Their unhallowed rites have ceased ; the 
innocent are at rest. And Father G. has, we hope, 
expiated his great wrong in the light of a knowl- 
edge free from cruel suspicion. 



64 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 



THE FALLING BRANCH ; OR, THE CAP- 
TURED BRIDE. 

EMPTYING into Deer Creek, three miles above the 
Rocks, is Falling Branch. It is so called from the 
fact that a mile or more above its mouth its waters 
fall from a rock twenty-five or thirty feet in height, 
forming a miniature Niagara, which, with the 
picturesque and romantic surroundings, constitute 
a most pleasing attraction. To some this curiosity 
is more attractive than the Rocks, nature not dis- 
playing herself in such bold and massive forms, but 
exceeding in picturesque beauty. It is a wild scene, 
primitive almost as when the wild man speared the 
speckled trout that abounded in its waters, or shot 
the swift deer that frequented the adjacent forests. 
Here the attention of the visitor is also curiously 
drawn to a series of stone steps that lead from the 
base of the rock over which the waters fall to its 
summit. These steps were seemingly cut by the 
hand of man. If so, by whom and by what instru- 
ments? The Susquehannocks, who dwelt by the 
locality when discovered by the white man, were 
men of large size and of much strength, but could 
physical strength so handle the stone axe or hatchet 
as to make the achievement possible? If human 
ingenuity and labor constructed the steps, it may 
have been done by that previous race whose instru- 
ments of labor were of copper or iron, or by the 
present race, to whom invention has supplied such 
instruments in their more perfect forms. 

Within fifteen or twenty yards of the falls and 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 65 

directly opposite them are the remains of a mill and 
a dwelling-house, the former abode of the miller. 
Why the immediate contiguity of those build- 
ings to the ialls? Was the builder and occupier a 
man of romantic turn of mind? Appreciating the 
scene, and charmed by the music of the falling 
waters, were these the motives that prompted him 
to fix his residence in this wild spot? It would be 
pleasant to think so, but sadly for our imaginings, 
the suspicion of utility and economy is suggested. 
His nearness to the falls obviated the necessity of 
building a dam of perishable material, or the digging 
of a race, or the construction of a trunk more than 
a few feet in length. Wise, worldly wise, was Isaac 
Jones in his day and generation. But for aught we 
know, in the heart of that plain man who patiently 
watched the hopper in the years long gone, when 
northern Harford was a comparative wilderness, and 
the progenitors of the pretentious race of the pres- 
ent were a plain folk without ambition to be great, 
there may have been the highest and the subtliest 
appreciation of nature in her sublime and beautiful 
moods, and a susceptibility to art that brought to 
him the knowledge of that mysterious law a law 
operative in the realms of spirit and matter equally, 
which harmonizes the creations of the made with 
the works of the Maker. The artist-born builds not 
a high house in a diminutive and contracted valley, 
nor a low one on a high hill overlooking an extended 
plain. These are but few of the many fitnesses of 
things perceived by the man whom God has created 
great in his appreciation of the harmonies of nature. 
Almost a demonstration of the possession of this 
quality is the row of Lombardy poplars, now in 



66 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

decay, that were planted in front of the dwelling, 
which, with the native forest trees and rocks and 
cataract and rapid river, constituted a scene of sur- 
passing attractiveness. 

The Falling Branch owes its chief attraction to 
the story of the Captured Bride, which, though 
confessedly legendary and mythical, is not without 
a certain degree of interest, especially to persons of 
much romantic susceptibility. Arlotto was the only 
daughter of a gentleman of fortune, whose home 
was in the vicinity of Hull, England. The attrac- 
tions of her person and the fascination of her man- 
ners, added to a superior mental and moral culture, 
brought to her presence many admirers. Among 
them was an officer of the English Army. Young, 
handsome, accomplished, brave, the scion of a noble 
family, in all respects worthy of her whose qual- 
ities of mind and heart had so strongly attracted 
him, his suit was encouraged, and after a proper 
interval of time, they were wedded. The church, 
or rather cathedral, in which the nuptials were 

celebrated, was 

^ 

"A dim and mighty Minster of old times! 
A temple shadowy with remembrance 
Of the majestic past." 

Everything about it told of a race 

41 that nobly, fearlessly, 

In their heart's worship poured forth a wealth of love." 

There, under its fretted roof, and in the midst of its 
wrought coronals of ivy, and vine, and leaves, and 
sculptured rose '*the teriderest image of mortal- 
ity" the light which streamed through arch and 



TI1EIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 67 

aisle in harmony with all ; that dim, religious light, 
which is a reminder of the past of the dim, the 
shadowy, the heroic past there, in the select 
assemhly of the high-born, they pledged each to 
other their troth, and were by the aged and vener- 
able priest pronounced man and wife. Retiring 
from the church, they were followed by the aged 
minister and his assistants, singing a recessional 
hymn, accompanied by the organ, the flood of its 
harmony bearing up on its high waves their voices 
attuned to the praise of God. Such was the mar- 
riage scene. 

The past is always suggestive of the future. The 
memories of the past, like dim processions of a 
dream, are associated with visions of the future, 
though indistinct as dreams that ic sink in twilight 
depths away." Arlotto passed from the altar 
happy, indeed, in the sense of the love of her now 
adored husband, but not without thoughts tinged 
with sadness. Apprehension of coming sorrows 
was the shadow that fell upon her pathway so soon. 
" Coming events " sorrowful and pleasant alike 
" cast their shadows before." A few days after 
the marriage the young officer was ordered to rejoin 
his regiment, then at Portsmouth, about to embark 
for America. This summons was the interpretation, 
in part, of the mysterious revelations that mingled 
with her present joys fears of future evils. 

"Even so the dark and bright will kiss; 
The sunniest things throw brightest shade, 
And there is even a happiness 
That makes the heart afraid." 

The New World was at this period a theatre for 



68 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

the struggles of giants. France and England were 
contending for the mastery, and the stake was a 
continent, with all its possibilities of wealth and 
power. So desperate was the conflict, and of such 
magnitude was the issue, that each party was 
obliged to avail itself of all its resources. To the 
place of battle, so full of peril to the participants, 
the youthful officer would have gone alone. He 
was unwilling that his bride should be subjected to 
the privations incident to warfare, and to the perils 
always attending it, greater in this case because of 
the character of the foe. The savages were gener- 
ally the allies of the French. Yielding to her en- 
treaties, he consented that she should accompany 
him. 

Arriving in America, the regiment to which the 
officer belonged was detached to form a part of the 
army then being raised by the governors of Massa- 
chusetts and Connecticut, and designed to operate 
against the French and Indians, who in large force 
were threatening the borders of their respective prov- 
inces. In a battle fought soon after his entrance 
upon the campaign, the young officer was wounded, 
and left upon the field as dead. Arlotto, imme- 
diately upon the cessation of the conflict, made her 
way to the ensanguined field, and after a patient 
and anxious search found her yet living husband. 
The dying sufficiently recovered to recognize her 
whose presence was the only earthly solace left to 
him. A few words, with difficulty uttered, were 
expressive of the tenderness and strength of his 
affection. Arlotto hoped. How delusive that hope 1 

"A moment more and she 
Knew the fullness of her woe at last ! 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 69 

One shriek the forests heard and mute she lay 
And cold; yet clasping still the precious clay 
To her scarce heaving breast." 

Awaking from what was less than death and more 
than sleep, Arlotto became conscious of the presence 
of a dusky form bending with seeming sympathy 
over her prostrate body. It was an aged Indian 
warrior, who, taking her tenderly by the hand, 
bade her arise, and by further signs indicated his 
desire that she should follow him. Toward the 
setting sun they journeyed slowly for some days ; 
then south-eastward until they reached the imme- 
diate vicinity of the Falling Branch. There was 
the home of her captor, a lone cabin in the woods, 
within hearing of the plunging waters of the cata- 
ract. The Indian woman in whose care she was 
placed, seemingly won by "a form so desolately 
fair/' or touched by the remembrance of some deep 
sorrow, manifested an unwonted interest in the cap- 
tive, and cared for her with all the tenderness and 
solicitude of a mother. The aged warrior and his 
wife had seen a daughter go to the land of spirits, 

' ' And ever from that time her fading mien 
And voice, like winds of summer, soft and low, 
Had haunted their dim years." 

And fancying that they saw in their captive a re- 
semblance to their only child, whose early death 
had thrown upon their pathway heavy shadows, 
their hearts, " with all their wealth of love," were 
touched by the sorrows of her to whom was left only 
the memories of the past. In the forest was no 
temple erected by human hands dedicated to the 
Sufferer of Calvary. It was a void waste, in which 



70 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

the sound of the church-going bell was not heard ; 
nor priest nor altar was there. Yet in the silent 
majesty of the deep woods, and in the presence of 
the silver brook which pours from its full laver the 
white cascade, was more than the spirit of poetry 
which dwells amid such scenes. The spirit of the 
Holy One was there, and valley and brook, and cas- 
cade and deep woods and everlasting hills, and the 
green trees, were a grand minster at the altars of 
which the devout could worship and the sorrowing 
find relief. To this temple and to these altars in 
the green wood, by the side of babbling streams, in 
the sunlight and the stars' bright gleams, the sufferer 
went, and thither she led her captors, and there she 
taught them to listen to the voice of Him whose 
presence is the glory of all temples and of all altars. 

The harp-string too strongly tensioned breaks. 
Worn with grief and hopeless of relief, Arlotto 
wasted, and when autumn's last sigh was heard, 
and the winter's blast, in the first days of spring ; 
when " sound and odors with the breezes play 
whispering of spring-time/' bore to her couch life's 
farewell sweetness, then she was passing away to 
that solemnly beautiful sleep, that deep stillness 
which falls on the silent face of the dead. 

Arlotto's life work was ended ; its great purposes 
accomplished. In the depths of the forest, within 
hearing of the murmuring waters of the Falling 
Branch, in God's acre she sleeps, and by her side 
her foster father and mother. In God's acre they 
rest, and 

"Into its furrows shall we all be cast, 

In the sure faith that we shall rise again 
At the great harvest, when the archangel's blast 
Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 71 

"Then shall the good stand in immortal bloom, 
' In the fair gardens of that second birth ; 
And each bright blossom mingle its perfume 
With that of flowers which never bloomed on earth." 



THE EAGLE. 

"He clasps the crags with hooked hands; 
Close to the sun in lonely lands, 
Ringed with the azure world he stands, 
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; 
He watches from his mountain walls, 
And like a thunderbolt he falls." 

Some yards above the Saloon at the Kocks and 
under the hill, there lived in a small cabin a man 
by the name of Cully, the father of Arch Cully, so 
well known in his day by the residents of Rock 
Ridge and its vicinity. At that early period the 
Rocks and their surroundings were in almost their 
original wildness, unaffected by the arts and appli- 
ances of civilized life. The axe of the woodman 
might have been heard now and then, but no house 
other than the cabin had been erected, and no forge 
or furnace to mar the scene. 

It was wash-day to the aged matron of the hut, 
and while engaged in the necessary vocation, she 
heard the crtes of the chickens and the excited bark- 
ings of the dog without. An eagle, whose nest, 
with young, was on the summit of the opposite 



72 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

Rock, had swooped down from her eyrie, and seized 
with its talons one of the chickens. The little dog, 
true to its instincts, hastened to the rescue, and 
chicken, and dog, and eagle were soon engaged in 
earnest contest. The eagle was likely to succeed in 
her purpose, when the old lady, grasping her beetle, 
ran to the rescue, and striking the eagle a deadly 
blow, carried it in triumph to the cottage. 

The eagles, like the original human inhabitants, 
pressed by the presence of civilized man, have sought 
their eyries on more distant and secluded heights. 
Occasionally one may be seen hovering about the 
summits of the Rocks, as if curious to observe the 
past homes of its progenitors. 



THE WITCH RABBIT. 

AMONG the hills in the vicinity of the Rocks was 
many years ago a remarkable rabbit. Tradit on 
tells us that it was of the size of a Jack Rabbit, 
that well-known habitant of the West, though not 
of the same species. The hunters of those early 
times sought by trap and snare to secure it, but 
without success. Many a charge from musket and 
shot-gun and rifle was directed toward it fruitlessly. 
The opinion of our simple fathers was, that the 
body of tfmt rabbit was the habitation of a witch, 
and in solemn conference they resolved that it could 



TIIEER LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 73 

be slain by a silver bullet only. The scarcity of the 
precious metal prevented the making of the problem- 
atical experiment, and hence the possessed animal 
was left to wander at will. For many years it has 
not been seen. The witch may have taken another 
habitation, or assumed another form. The en- 
lightenment of the community has thrown doubt 
upon the story, once so implicitly believed. People 
now-a-days suspect much of the past to be mythical, 
as it doubtless is, but subjecting everything to a 
mathematical test, they may forget, as my credulous 
friend suggests, that there are more things in heaven 
and earth than are dreamed of in their philosophy. 
Candor compels us to say that in our philosophy 
there are no witches save those bewitching ones 
whose manners captivate the susceptible youths of 
the stronger sex. 



THE BIG SNAKE. 

THE existence of a species of snakes of large size 
in the neighborhood of the Rocks has been reported 
for many years. Mr. William Jeffrey, an aged 
citizen of Bel Air, informed us that the track of a 
snake "broad as a cart wheel" was pointed out to 
him by his father seventy years ago ; that thirty, 
and again fifty, years thereafter, the serpent itself 
was seen. The Ancient Trapper avers that in his 
7 



74 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

youth he learned from a reliahle source of a snake 
of extraordinary size, whose home was in the hill 
opposite the Ancient Mill. By the incredulous, the 
story was considered doubtful, or supposed to be an 
exaggeration, but very recently several persons 
whose truthfulness is not questioned, have declared 
that they saw the monstrous reptile. The visitor 
to the Rocks need have no fear, as the animal is 
most likely to shun the presence of man. And it is 
probable that the blasting of rocks in the making of 
the Railroad will induce his majesty to seek another 
domain in which to enjoy his hitherto acknowledged 
supremacy over the beasts that crawl* 



WHITSUNTIDE. 

FOR many years the Rocks were a resort at Whit- 
suntide. The best people of the country patronized 
the festival. It was a favorable time for making 
acquaintance and cementing friendships. And I 
suppose that then, as now, on festal days, Cupid 
was present, armed cap-a-pie, and that his arrows 
failed not of many a worthy mark. An estimable 
lady, who died a few years ago, living to be nearly 
one hundred years of age, was wont to speak with 
great interest of her visit to the Rocks of Deer 
Creek at Whitsuntide, when she was a little girl. 
Her memory of the delicate and refined attentions 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 75 

of Colonel John Streett, a prominent gentleman of 
Harford county, in those early days, was very dis- 
tinct, and she failed not to speak of them enthusias- 
tically 

The Rocks in later years became at this season a 
scene of dissipation and rowdyism, and the patron- 
age of the more respectable classes was discontinued. 
In the procession of years, another change has come. 
Now, at all seasons, the Rocks are a point of attrac- 
tion to all classes. The pic-nic, harvest homes, 
political gatherings, railroad meetings, have substi- 
tuted Whitsuntide ; and upon the completion of the 
Baltimore and Delta Railroad, the Rocks must, from 
the attractions of scenery and the salubrity of the 
air, become the resort of persons from all sections 
of the county and more distant points. 



THE PERILOUS FEAT. 

To SAY fool-hardy, would be an appropriate ad- 
dition to qualify the act. A well-known resident 
of the neighborhood of the Rocks illustrated the 
truth of the old adage, " When wine is in wit is 
out," by forcing his horse to the very verge of the 
precipice, with seeming intention of throwing him- 
self and his noble animal into the fearful abyss 
below. The sober horse, with more discretion than 
his drunken master, seeing the peril, turned at the 



76 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

moment of immediate danger, and thus saved him- 
self and rider from certain death. This unhappy 
man afterward, in an attempt to force his horse 
across Deer Creek when swollen, was drowned. 
The particular point on the Creek where he 
entered the water is said to have been about the head 
of the dam of Preston's Mills. Thus died igno- 
miniously a man who, but for indulgence in the use 
of an unnecessary beverage, might have lived for 
many years, a comfort to his family and an orna- 
ment to society. The horse, Bold Hector, as he was 
not inappropriately named, survived his unfortunate 
master several years. 



AN ACT OF VANDALISM. 

ON the summit of the western Rocks was an im- 
mense boulder, weighing many tons, poised on a 
fixed rock so slightly and delicately that a strong 
man could move it at will, and yet it was so related 
to the rock upon which it rested, that it required 
the force of four men, aided by levers, to throw it 
from its position. These persons, without apprecia- 
tion of nature, and of mere wantonness, or con- 
ceiving the purpose of giving immortality to their 
names, threw this object of great interest from its 
position to the rocks below, where it now lies with- 
out hope of its ever being replaced in its original 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 77 

location. I have understood that the then proprie- 
tor of the Rocks offered a reward for the discovery 
of the perpetrators of the ignoble deed, 'but that 
it was not effectual in securing that end. This 
may have been fortunate. Otherwise the names of 
the guilty parties might have been coupled in history 
with the destroyers of Rome and the burners of the 
Alexandrian Library. 



CANAL AND RAILROAD. 

WHEN the Tide- Water Canal was completed, our 
citizens agitated the subject of slack-water naviga- 
tion from a point five miles above La Grange to the 
mouth of Deer Creek, the accomplishment of which 
would have made a direct and cheap outlet for our 
trade to Baltimore and Philadelphia. The idea 
was born of a felt necessity, but could not have 
been made practical. Such a project would not have 
paid. And it has been well for the health of the 
country bordering Deer Creek that it was impossible 
of realization. Canals and fevers are synonymous 
terms. 

Instead of slack-water, locks and dams, with in- 
creased disease, we shall have a Railroad, and more 
direct communication with Baltimore, our chief 
commercial city. Under the direction of a most 
energetic President and an enterprising Board of 
7* 



78 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

Directors, sustained by citizens along the line, who 
are awake to its advantages, it is being pushed with 
commendable vigor, and will, we cannot doubt, be 
completed in good time. 

To our immediate Rocks of Deer Creek neigh- 
borhood the effect of the road will be very signifi- 
cant. Our rocks and minerals will be marketable, 
and the attractions of our scenery will draw many 
curious visitors. And it is to be hoped that the 
possessors of the soil will awake from their more 
than Rip Van Winkle sleep. It is strange that they 
have slept so long, seeing that around them there 
are so many examples worthy of imitation. The 
enterprise, thrift and judgment of the many success- 
ful farmers above, and the no less competent tillers 
of the soil below, should stimulate us to an exertion 
that may make this comparative wilderness blossom 
as the rose. The Railroad, completed, will ensure 
the development of all our interests. Our fields will 
yield abundant harvests, the waters of Deer Creek 
will be utilized in the operation of mills, and fac- 
tories, and furnaces. Our lofty summits will be 
crowned with the residences of their proprietors, or 
occupied as the retreats of the wealthy inhabitants of 
the city. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 



THE ORIGINAL MOONSHINER. 

SOUTHEAST of the Rocks three-fourths of a mile, 
through a ravine hidden by wooded hills, runs a 
small stream, having its sources in several springs 
a short distance above, which gives evidence of oc- 
cupation and use. Remains of a dam still exist, as 
also traces of a ditch, leading to what has the ap- 
pearance of the foundation of a building. For what 
purpose was the dam built, the ditch dug, and the 
building erected? The oldest inhabitants cannot 
answer these interrogatories, and have no tradition 
in relation thereto. We are therefore left to conjec- 
ture the purpose for which they were made. It 
may have been the location of the distillery of some 
moonshiner one of the progenitors of the gentle- 
men of West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, 
and elsewhere, who are engaged in illicit distilla- 
tion, to the great detriment of the revenues of the 
United States of America. If so, he could not have 
selected a place more favorable to his vocation. 

Since writing the above I have had conversations 
with James Wann, Esq., and with David Tucker, 
Sr., an aged citizen, from whom I have learned 
some facts that may throw doubt on the moonshine 
theory. They informed me that in the earlier days 
of Harford the tub-mill was in use, requiring but 
little water ; that the turning of chair-stuff by wa- 
ter, of which little volume was required, was com- 
mon ; as also the distillation of brandies from fruits, 
requiring comparatively little water. The waters 
of my brook may have been used for one of these 
purposes. A remark made by our venerable citi- 



80 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

zen, Mr. Tucker, throws doubt upon all these spec- 
ulations. He said that it is not rare to find in the 
forests of this portion of Harford traces of ditches, 
sometimes of considerable length, leading to low- 
lands, and suggested that they might have been 
used for purposes of irrigation. If so, by whom? 
Not one of the oldest inhabitants has any knowledge 
of such use, and none know by whom they were ex- 
cavated ; nor is there tradition bearing upon the 
subject. Can it be that the people who preceded 
the Indians in the occupancy of this country, and 
who have left traces of a superior civilization 
the mound-builders or some other race were the 
diggers of these ditches, and used them, as sug- 
gested, for irrigating uses? Or might they not 
have been rude aqueducts conveying water to their 
villages or fortified camps, or, at a later period, to 
the palisaded villages of the Susquehannocks, 
against whom the Six Nations waged war for many 
years ? It is known that the Tohocks, a tribe once 
residing at the head of the Chesapeake, did thus for- 
tify themselves against the fierce Mingoes. How 
soon the past becomes mythical and legendary, and 
how greatly it is to be regretted that there has not 
been left more than mere conjecture of so much 
which, if known, would greatly interest us of the 
present 1 

" Thus are the tracks of nations blotted out, 
Faint impress leaving, like the passing bird, 
Save when the mould, erst trod by them, is stirred 
By other races giving to the light 
Borne yellow, crumbling bone, or instrument of fight." 



TIIEIll LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 81 



THE MONUMENTS OF THE GIANTS. 

WHEN the French first settled Canada, they heard 
marvelous stories of a race of giants who were said 
to inhabit the country at the mouth of the Susque- 
hanna and westward of that river. How much 
foundation of fact there was for these reports we 
do not know, hut in after ^years the Susquehan- 
nocks were known as men of large size and of great 
strength. Six feet or more in height, and of corre- 
sponding weight, was the representation given of 
them by the first white explorers of their country. 
The knowledge of the Indians who first communi- 
cated to the French the stories of the size and 
strength of the Susquehannocks might have been 
traditionary arid descriptive of a race who had been 
gigantic in stature and of herculean strength, but 
who, from some unexplained and unexplainable 
causes, had in the progress of time degenerated to 
the proportions of ordinary mortals. Students of 
ethnology know that such degenerations have 
occurred. There are some slightly presumptive 
proofs that the traditionary stories of the physical 
proportions of the original dwellers by the Rocks 
of .Deer Creek are not without some slight basis of 
truth. The King and Queen Seats are the sitting 
places of giants, arid they, presumptively, were 
occupied at a time past indefinitely distant by the 
rulers of the country. Indian Jupiters and Junos, 
honored not less, perhaps, than the gods and god- 
desses of Roman and Grecian mythology, may have 
received there the homage of their subjects. The 
gods have come down to us, said the superstitious 



82 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

Ephesians, when Paul and Barnabas wrought 
miracles in their city. The gods are with us, would 
have been the natural exclamation of the super- 
stitious Indians assembled in council on the summits 
of the Rocks in the presence of their rulers. We 
may not in this argument overlook the attractions 
but little noticed by intelligent seekers of curious 
objects which we have appropriately named, as we 
think, the Monuments of the Giants. On the sum- 
mit of Rock Ridge, northeast of the Rocks, are 
several huge pillars of stone many feet in height. 
The curious observer that looks at them from the 
valley below in the dawn of the morning or twilight 
of the evening can scarce resist the conviction that 
they may have been erected by a race of giants in 
honor of their monarchs and to perpetuate their 
glory ; and that here may have been deposited their 
remains, a use to which some, if not all, of the great 
mounds in the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi 
were appropriated. The geologist who shall visit 
these attractions may smile at that simplicity which 
attributes to the might of man that which may be 
only a proof and illustration of the power of nature, 
which, in the indefinite past, threw upon the sum- 
mit of Rock Ridge these collossal piles. But what- 
ever was the agency by which the result was effected, 
there they are those monuments 

"That look like frowning Titans in the dim 
And doubtful light," 

to be numbered with the many curious and attract- 
ive natural objects seen in the vicinity of the Rocks 
of Deer Creek. 

The view from the Monuments is commanding 






THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 83 

and extensive. In the distance northward is seen 
the Susquehanna River, and beyond it the hills of 
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; southward, the 
Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore of Maryland 
the bay dotted here and there with white sails, 
moving gracefully, like swans, upon the bosom of 
the scarcely ruffled waters. On every side are 
reaches of fields and forests, in the midst of which 
are towns and villages, hamlets and farm-houses, 
constituting rare pictures of Arcadian beauty ; the 
interest heightened by the lowing of the herds 
which feed upon the contiguous meadows, and by 
the sounds of distant church bells, reminding the 
devout of the hour of prayer, or summoning them 
to the worship of the sanctuary on the early Sab- 
bath morning. The observer of these entrancing 
views is, however, conscious of that illusion which 
is always associated with such scenes ; " every valley 
is an Eden, and every heart therein is at peace." 
The repose is the possession of unthinking nature ; 
the hearts of the reasoning inhabitants are the 
abodes of strife, for in them is found envy, and 
pride, and ambition, and hate, 

"Every prospect pleases, 
And only man is vile." 



84 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 



THE FIELD OF DARTS. 

ONE-HALF mile southeast of Rock Ridge, and two 
and one-halt' miles northeast of the Rocks and bor- 
dering on the Mine Old Fields, is a valley in which 
have been found numerous Indian arrow-heads or 
darts. The stone of which they were made is unlike 
any that exists in that locality. Either the material 
of which these points were manufactured was brought 
there for that purpose, or it was the place of a great 
battle or battles fought by contending savage forces. 
Possibly, those confederated nations, Oneidas, Cay- 
ugas, Senecas, Mohawks, Onandagoes and Tuscaro- 
ras fought at that spot the Delawares and Susque- 
hannocks, also confederated tribes, and that that 
contest was decisive of that long-continued struggle 
which reduced the latter nations to the condition of 
women, which they were contemptuously called after 
their subjection. No conjecture is at fault in con- 
sidering that eventful past in which almost every 
foot of territory occupied by them was the place of 
battle between opposing Northmen and Southmen, 
and no excess of imagination can paint in too vivid 
colors the horrors of the struggle. To the South- 
men the coming of the Northmen was as- the coming 
of Gog and Magog. All resistance was vain. 
Loups and Susquehannocks were as helpless in the 
grasp of their foes, as effete Romans in the hands of 
Goths and Vandals. 

History is ever repeating itself. Three centuries 
later the territory south, and bordering on the 
former, was the theatre of a contest between civil- 
ized people almost unparalleled, in its violence, in 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 85 

the history of warfare, resulting as in the past in 
the triumph of the warriors of the northern lakes 
and rivers, but as also in the past, without loss of 
honor to the conquered. The weaker was overborne 
by the stronger. Once more, if the prophet is indeed 
a seer, the mighty tribes of the distant North will 
move down upon the strong ones of the South. Kuss 
and American in the valley of the Mississippi con- 
tending for the mastery, the former finding that 
valley the place of graves. So shall close the con- 
flict of the world, and the earth shall keep jubilee 
a thousand years. The voice of Gitche Manito, 
the mighty, will yet be potent to subdue man's 
stubborn nature, and to allay his thirst for human 
blood. Happy would it be for mankind if his 
counsels were now heeded : 

"O, my children! my poor children! 
Listen to the words of wisdom, 
Listen to the words of warning 
From the lips of the Great Spirit, 
From the Master of life, who made you 1 

"I am weary of your quarrels, 
Weary of your wars and bloodshed, 
Weary of your prayers for vengeance, 
Of your wranglings and disunion, 
All your strength is in your union, 
All your danger is in discord ; 
Therefore be at peace henceforward, 
And as brothers live together." 



86 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 



THE CHROME PITS. 

SOUTHWEST of the Rocks, from one to three miles 
distant, are extensive deposits of chrome. They 
have been worked for many years, chiefly by the 
Messrs. Tyson, of Baltimore, enterprising mer- 
chants of that city. The working has often been 
intermitted for considerable spaces of time, but 
when the Baltimore and Delta Railroad shall have 
been completed, this industry will doubtless be con- 
tinuous, and also enlarged, and thus add materially 
to the wealth of this section of the county of Har- 
ford. In addition to chrome, there are in the neigh- 
borhood valuable deposits of iron ore, magnesia, 
black lead, flint, asbestos and natural paint. The 
development of all these sources of material pros- 
perity is but a question of time and of cheap trans- 
portation to market. The rock of Rock Ridge, 
which is fire-proof and particularly adapted for fur- 
nace hearths, may of itself become a considerable 
source of income. As an item of history interest- 
ing to all, it may be noted that the fire-proof char- 
acter of these rocks was first discovered by Dr. 
Thomas Johnson, of the United States Army, and 
brother of the late Mrs. Eliza A. Preston, of Deer 
Creek. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 8*7 



THE SLATE QUARRIES. 

THE Slate Quarries of Harford County, Mary- 
land, and York County, Pennsylvania, are distant 
about eight miles northeast of the Rocks. They 
are a source of prosperity to the section of country 
in which they are situated, and promise, upon the 
completion of the Baltimore and Delta and York 
and Peach Bottom Railroads, to develop its wealth 
indefinitely. The slate is of superior quality, and 
held in high estimation wherever used. The quar- 
ries employ many men and afford subsistence to 
many families. The Welsh alone, who are chiefly 
employed, constitute a population of six or seven 
hundred. The village of Bangor, upon the sum- 
mit of the Ridge, is composed principally of this 
nationality. It has several stores and other places 
of business. There are two churches, Welsh Con- 
gregational and Calvinistic Methodist. One of 
these has a settled pastor, the Rev. Mr. Hughes, 
and in both the Welsh language is exclusively used 
in religious services. These churches have given a 
desirable moral tone to the community, though, 
like all other Christian communities, the good find 
in the natural antagonism of the human heart a 
constant incentive to holy work. The village of 
Delta, at the foot of the Ridge, is composed chiefly 
of a native population. It has many places of busi- 
ness, but no church. In the immediate vicinity of 
the two villages are Slate Ridge, Slateville and Mt. 
Nebo churches, the first under the pastoral care of 
the Rev. Joseph D. Smith, a gentleman loved by 
his congregation, and held in high esteem by the 



88 . THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

people generally, irrespective of creed or profession ; 
the second by the Rev. Mr. Davenport, a gentleman 
of deserved popularity among all classes ; the last 
is under the charge of the Eev. Mr. Litsiuger, of 
the Methodist Protestant Church, a Christian min- 
ister of enlarged and liberal views, whose praise is 
in all the churches. 

The representative business men at the Quarries 
of the Welsh population are Faulk Jones, William 
E. Williams, John Humphreys and Hugh C. Rob- 
erts, Esqrs., John Parry & Co., Richard Reese & 
Co., Win. C. Robertson & Co., John W. Jones & 
Co., Richard Hughes & Co., Robert L. Jones & Co., 
and Humphrey Lloyd, Esq. These gentlemen came 
to America in their youth, and by industry and 
skill have accumulated property ; and occupying 
prominent and influential positions in the commu- 
nity, have given proof that industry and integrity 
are roads to success. 

The first Welsh worker in the Quarries was a 
Mr. Davis ; the first successful worker a Mr. Parry. 
The latter leased from Major Williamson thirty or 
thirty-five years ago, acquired a fortune, traveled 
into foreign countries, and died at Jerusalem. His 
family is now living in Bangor, Wales, on the inter- 
est of the money made at Bangor, United States of 
America. He is represented to have been a man of 
great integrity, a proof of which is, that after his 
return to Wales he called together his creditors, 
and paid the whole amount of his indebtedness to 
them, with interest. 

The Quarries constitute a part of the group of 
interesting objects that render the locality of the 
Rocks of Deer Creek one of great attraction, and 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 89 

the visitor to the Rocks will do well to visit them. 
The Quarries have a promising future. Delta's 
magnificent distances will be of the past, and Ban- 
gor's sombre residences will be substituted by more 
pretentious edifices. The whole ridge will be alive 
with busy and enterprising workers, bringing from 
the bowels of the earth the material that shall 
shield its purchasers from sun, and rain, and snow, 
and make fortunes for the sellers. 



THE HORSE EPIDEMIC AND THE GUINEA- 
MAN'S PONY. 



MORE than one hundred years ago, during the 
lifetime of Benjamin Rigdon, grandfather of the 
late George W. S. Rigdon,, an epidemic among 
horses, very destructive in its character, prevailed 
throughout all this section of country. Tradition 
tells us that the Durhams, ancestors of the present 
families of that name, who were wealthy, owning 
large tracts of land and many horses, lost two hun- 
dred of them by the scourge ; that the only horse 
that escaped the plague was a pony owned by an 
aged Guinea-man belonging to the first Mr. Rigdon. 
This old negro lived in a small cabin on the top of 
Rock Ridge, a short distance above the present resi- 
dence of Richard Mayes, Esq., and not distant from 
the Rocks of Deer Creek. Whether the preservation 
8* 



90 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

of the life of the pony was owing to the healthful- 
ness of the spot, or its isolated position, is not 
known ; most likely to the latter, as the disease was, 
doubtless, contagious. Though not another repre- 
sentative of the equine race was left, the fortunate 
pony ate sprightlily of the slight herbage that grew 
on the open places of Rock Ridge summit, or of the 
corn grown by his thrifty master on the plain below. 
Looking down on the vast reaches of country on 
either side of the noted ridge, which towers in 
mountain height above the valleys, if he could not 
say, with Alexander Selkirk (Robinson Crusoe), on 
the island of Juan Fernandez, 

"I am monarch of all I survey, 
My right there is none to dispute," 

he could say, "I am the sole owner of a horse 
in all these broad domains ;" and the proud pony, 
joining his master in the refrain, could utter, 

"No pent-up Utica contracts our powers, 
The whole boundless continent is ours." 

Theirs it was not as against superior man, who rules 
the beasts of the field, but as against the beasts 
themselves, every one of which, save the pony, had 
succumbed to the power of the fell destroyer. The 
invulnerable pony was alone in all his glory. The 
value of such a pony could not be estimated. 

The Guinea-man was a character. We write 
only of his religion. In that he was Fetish. He 
bore constantly about his person afeitico, the Por- 
tuguese name for an amulet a talisman. To this 
gru yrus, the name of the charm in his native lan- 
guage, he attached much importance, as it shielded 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 91 

his family and all living things belonging to it- 
dog or cat or pony from disease, and made all safe 
from the machinations of their enemies. We are 
not to infer from his possession of the feitico, and 
the power he ascribed to it, that he had no idea of 
a Supreme Spirit, a King of Heaven, or that he did 
not worship Him. Worship of the Highest is uni- 
versal. So thought Pope : 

"Father of all in every age, 

In every clime adored, 
By saint, by savage, and by sage, 
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord." 

The Guinea-man could not but recognize Him who 

" Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, 
Glows in the stars, blossoms in the trees, 
Lives through all life, extends through all extent, 
Spreads undivided, operates unspent." 

Fetishism is not a primitive religion. It is a cor- 
ruption of religion, and even enlightened Christians 
may well be fearful of foe feitico, for the tendency 
to idolatry is universal. Solomon built altars for 
Chemosh and Moloch. The possession of the feitico 
by the G-uinea-man of Rock Ridge rendered him 
very obnoxious to his fellow-servants. They were 
afraid of him. " He possesses a charm," said they ; 
" he can kill us if he will. He is a wizard, a con- 
jurer ; his old woman is a witch ; they deal with 
spirits." No one of them would have touched that 
mountain, for to touch it was death, they thought. 
If they could have taken his life by poison, the usual 
mode of their race, they would not have done so ; 
for does not the power of the feitico survive after its 
possessor has gone hence, and may not his spirit 



92 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

come in the silent hours of the night to avenge his 
wrongs ? This apprehension was his castle. A 
cabin without wall, or moat, or drawbridge, was 
stronger than a feudal castle. It was defended by 
superstition. 

That pony should have been skinned at its death, 
his cuticle stuffed and preserved, and labeled, " The 
sole survivor." 



THE CHURCH OF THE ROCKS. 

"A CITY set on a hill " cannot be hid, nor can a 
church in such a position. This is eminently true 
of the house of worship now in the occupancy of the 
religious denomination known as the Evangelical 
Association. Situated on the summit of a lofty emi- 
nence directly opposite the Rocks, having them in 
full view, and overlooking the romantic and pic- 
turesque valley of La Grange, it looks upon a scene 
of alternate and mingled beauty and grandeur not 
often seen. This view has a peculiar psychological 
effect upon the intelligent and appreciative be- 
holder. It intuitively demonstrates (I hope my 
language is philosophical) the former existence of 
a Rock Ridge Lake. That mighty basin, scooped 
out of the mighty hills which surround it, and the 
violent breaks of the Ridge, where the waters of 
Deer Creek rush through it, are physical proofs of 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 93 

its past existence, that, like axioms in mathematics, 
are self-evident. 

Years previous to the building of the church, re- 
ligious services were held on the summit of the 
Kocks. Prompted hy curiosity, if hy no worthier 
motive, there gathered once on that high eminence 
a congregation of men, women and children to hear 
the preacher of righteousness, who, we may well 
conjecture, was, with -his audience, inspired by the 
scenes around them. In the selection of this spot 
for the exercise of his vocation, he but imitated the 
example of One greater than himself. "And see- 
ing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain, 
and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him ; 
and He opened His mouth and taught them." 

More than a century previously there was a gath- 
ering of the chiefs of the Indians whose habitations 
were not distant from the Rocks, to listen to a ser- 
mon by a Swedish minister. The lessons were those 
which are now given to such as sit under the min- 
istry of the Word. The clergyman spoke to them 
of the principal historical facts of Christianity 
such as the fall of Adam by eating an apple, the 
coming of Christ to repair the evil, His labors, suf- 
ferings and miracles. When he had finished, one 
of the chiefs, thanking him for the discourse, re- 
lated one of the mythical traditions of his people, 
which he deemed to be of like credibility, and 
equally binding upon the faith of all, and thus 
proved the inefficacy of the lessons taught him by 
the Christian teacher. Now, the lessons taught in 
the Church of the Rocks are doubtless believed, and, 
we would fain hope, practiced. 



94 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 



MIKE'S ROCK. 

\ 

A FEW miles northeast of the Rocks of Deer 
Creek, and on Rock Ridge, is a large rock known 
by the name of the title of this article. By the 
side of it is a large tree, the branches of which over- 
hang it. An unfortunate, wearied with the per- 
plexities of life, perhaps its agonies, closed here 
that life, if not precisely in the manner expressed 
in the following lines of an atheist, found among 
his papers after his death, yet in one of the modes 
common to the sad who lack fortitude : 

"An hour more; 
Sixty minutes, and the light 
Of this, we mis-call life, goes out forever. 
Forever? Aye; beyond the grave is found 
No life, save that great primal force, which here 
Displays itself alike in growth of weed 
Or human soul. Why longer live and suffer, 
When Vie finger upon this slender 
Bar of steel will end, with one sharp flash, 
TJie hurry and the heart-ache? 

"Death's messenger, 

From out this glittering tube, I call, to bid 
Me sleep ; and in that sleep I dread no dreams, 
And no to-morrow. Salve, rex terrorumf 
Moriturus te saluto" 

A rash act, which was followed by a surprise. 
Death terminates this, not that ; and that is eter- 
nal. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 95 

THE ANCIENT MILL AND THE HONEST 
MILLER. 

HALF-WAY between the Indian Cupboard, the re- 
treat of Alexius, the noted fisherman and trapper, 
and the Otter Bock, above which was the habita- 
tion of Walter the Hermit, is an ancient mill. 
The first mill was of logs, and owned by an English- 
man named Sankey. He was probably a York- 
shireman, as tradition informs us that the boys of 
that day amused themselves with his, to them, sin- 
gular brogue. The mill, in the course of time, 
passed to Underwood, Harry, Morton, and J. Bond 
Preston, in the order named. This mill has fur- 
nished for many years bread for man and " stuff" 
for beast. One possessed of good descriptive powers 
and of a poetical genius might make the mill and 
its picturesque surroundings furnish material for an 
article that would not discount the reputation of 
Scribner or Harper, or any other leading magazine. 
Such description is not sought. Attention is direct- 
ed to it rather because it is one of the ancient land- 
marks or watermarks of its neighborhood, and is a 
connecting link between the distant past and the 
immediate present. It derives also some notoriety 
from the snake story of the ancient trapper, a snake 
rivaling the sea serpent that has been so often seen 
on our Atlantic coast from New England to Key 
West the habitation of which was on the wooded 
hill opposite it. 

In this ancient mill was once upon a time, as 
tradition tells us, an honest miller. To me, all 
millers are honest ; but unhappily for the reputa- 



9b TI1E ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

tion of the craft, suspicious people, or people who, 
like the Heathen Chinee, as Bret Harte tells us, 
themselves familiar with the ways that are dark, 
are sometimes oblivious of the saying : 

"Who steals my purse steals trash, 
But he who filches from me my good name 
Takes that which does not himself enrich, 
And makes me poor indeed." 

The honest miller was Thomas Wright, remem- 
bered by the few ancient people who have survived 
him. The story of the mysterious pig is both a 
proof and illustration of the integrity of the miller. 
Once on a time he left Sam's Creek, Carroll county, 
Md., early on the morning of a summer day, for 
the mill on Deer Creek. He had walked but a 
short distance when he heard the squealing of a di- 
minutive pig that was following in his tracks. To 
escape the animal that was intent upon accompany- 
ing him on his journey, he left the road, walking 
through fields and forests. But in vain. The pig 
was equal to the emergency, its instincts pointing 
out the way of the miller unerringly. The integ- 
rity of the miller consisted in this, that he made 
every possible exertion to escape from that pig, 
showing that if there has ever been in this Chris- 
tian country a miller who fattened his pigs on 
other people's corn, he was not that miller. The 
sad thing about the story of the pig is, that the 
honest miller, being of superstitious turn of mind, 
interpreted its singular following as an omen of 
his death. His death did occur a short time there- 
after. 

The wheels of the ancient mill yet turn not the 
wheels used when the honest miller was occupant, 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 97 

but turbine wheels. The old mill is doomed. The 
coining narrow-gauge, insuring facility of transit to 
and from our large commercial city, will make it a 
potent reason why men of capital should utilize the 
great and continuous water-power for manufactories 
on a larger scale. 

The unceasing flow of the waters of Deer Creek 
symbolizes the onward flow of humanity uninter- 
rupted by successive generations. Humanity lives 
and the waters flow on, and such may be for a bil- 
lion of years to come. But within the hearing of 
the music of no onflowing stream will there be, if 
my informant has uttered truth, a more honest 
miller than Thomas Wright. (f An honest man is 
the noblest work of God." 

"At the window, looking upon a crystal stream, 
There sat a little lady, indulging in a dream, 
A dream of fairy visions conies up before her eyes, 
As she gazes now intently upon the azure skies. 

" A soft breeze fans the valley, the sun rests on the hill, 
The water murmurs sweetly as it rushes past ' the mill ; ' 
The earth seems glad of springtime, unfolding every hour 
From Nature's store, the tender bud that holds the fragrant 
flower. 

"The lady sits a-dreaming, with head buried in her hand, 
And visions come a- trooping from off a fairy-land, 
And in her dreamy fancies there is a potent spell 
That acts like charm of music, the smiling lips now tell. 

"The heart cons o'er its treasures glowing in rosy light, 
The spirit basks in beaut}'- like stars that gem the night, 
And thus the little lady dreamed happy hours away, 
So happy in her musings she fain would have them stay." 

The little lady whose musings form a proper se- 
quel to the story of the ancient mill and its 
9 



98 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

occupant, cherishes now, and it will ever be so, 
the highest admiration and esteem for the honest 
miller. 



THE OLDEST INHABITANT. 

THE oldest inhabitant now living in the vicinity 
of the Rocks of Deer Creek is Mrs. Rebecca Smith. 
She was born within three-fourths of a mile of her 
present residence. Here, within sight of the Rocks, 
she has lived to be almost a centenarian, being now 
in the ninety-sixth year of her age, surviving all 
who commenced with her the journey of life. Of 
a cheerful disposition and vigorous constitution, she 
has borne the burdens of life with comparative ease ; 
and in a serene old age, comforted by loving hearts, 
she is awaiting resignedly the final summons. 

Retaining unimpaired her mental faculties, which 
were always strong, she is able to entertain the cu- 
rious of a later generation with most interesting 
descriptions of the habits, customs and manners of 
her early cotemporaries, distinctly recollecting arid 
graphically relating innumerable incidents of the 
far past. In her youth this portion of the country 
was comparatively a wilderness. Without attract- 
ive and comfortable residences, as now ; no conven- 
ient and well supervised roads, paths usually ; no 
churches, preaching in private houses ; the school- 
house a rude cabin of logs, without any floor but 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 99 

nature's, the chimney built of sticks, unplaned 
seats, without backs. Carriages there were none, 
the ordinary mode of travel being on horseback. 
The whole progress for ninety-six years, from the 
rude past to the present more advanced civilization, 
lias been witnessed by her. But whatever contrasts 
she makes between the past and the present, they 
are without invidiousness. All along she has ac- 
cepted the conditions of life, and the circumstances 
attending it, as they were more or less favorable, 
without murmur or complaint, recognizing the fact 
that the Most High appoints the bounds of our hab- 
itations, and that all things promote the happiness 
of the submissive. 

It was her great felicity to be united in marriage, 
at a comparatively early age, with a gentleman of 
superior intellectual and social qualities, a conscien- 
tious Christian, a faithful friend, and a considerate 
and loving husband and father. The name of Amos 
Smith is to this day in this community a synonym 
of all that is excellent in character it is as precious 
ointment poured forth. The memories of his unob- 
trusive acts of kindness are treasured, and his ex- 
ample valued as a rich legacy to those who have 
followed him. 

The venerable matron, the oldest inhabitant of 
the neighborhood of the Rocks of Deer Creek, now 
leaning upon her staff, and bending toward that 
house of the earth that is the decreed abode of all, 
suggests, in the remarkable vigor of her physical 
being, and in the sprightliness of her intellectual 
life, lessons of wisdom that the young everywhere 
may with profit learn. An active life and a cheer- 
ful mind were the great treasures she possessed 



100 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

more valuable than gold or silver, or the jewels that 
blaze in the coronets of queens. 



THE YOUNGEST INHABITANTS. 



THE youngest inhabitant in the neighborhood of 
the Rocks is William Cecil Gladden, infant son of 
our well-known fellow-citizen, William Gladden, 
Esq. 

Of the immediate vicinity of the Rocks, the 
youngest inhabitants are Bessie and Jessie, twin 
daughters of Joseph Wetherill, Esq., proprietor of 
the store at that place. Born under the very 
shadows of the Rocks, and by the side of Deer 
Creek, in view of the plunging waters of its romantic 
fall all that remains of the once majestic cataract 
of Rock Ridge Lake they are passing their con- 
fiding and unsuspecting life happy in the present 
and without care for the future. These children 
and William Cecil Gladden are cousins. May life 
be to the three all that fond parents and loving 
friends can wish. To each we dedicate the prayer 
of the gifted Willis : 

"Light to thy paths, bright creature! I would charm 
Thy being if I could, that it should be 
Ever as now thou dreainest, and flow on, 
Thus innocent and beautiful, to heaven." 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 101 



THE ORIGINAL. INHABITANTS. 

THE original inhabitants were the Susquehan- 
nock Indians. Their territory extended from the 
Susquehanna River westward as far as the Allegany 
Mountains. This nation had a close alliance with 
the Len Lenapes or Delawares, who occupied the 
country from the head of the Chesapeake Bay to the 
Kittatinny Mountains northward, and as far east- 
ward as the Connecticut River. This confederacy 
carried on a long war with the Indians who lived 
to the north of them, between the Kittatinny Mount- 
ains and Lake Ontario, who called themselves Min- 
goes, and were called by the English the Five 
Nations. At the time of the settlement of James- 
town, Virginia, this war was raging with great 
fury. In one of Captain Smith's excursions up the 
Chesapeake, at the mouth of the Susquehanna, in 
1608, he met with five or six canoes full of warriors 
who were coming to attack their enemies in the 
rear. Having made peace with the Adirondacks, 
through the intercession of the French, who were 
then settling Canada, they turned their arms against 
the Lenapi and their confederates, and subduing 
them, reduced them to almost the condition of 
slaves. Peace was granted them on condition that 
they should put themselves under the protection of 
the Mingoes, confine themselves to raising corn, 
hunting for the subsistence of their families, and no 
longer have the power of making war. This is 
what the Indians call making them women. In 
this condition the Lenapes and their confederates 
were when the settlement of Pennsylvania was 



102 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

begun. What is said by Stitb of tbe language and 
dress of the Susquehannocks, may deserve to be here 
inserted: " Their language and attire were very 
suitable to their stature and appearance ; for their 
language sounded deep and solemn, and hollow, 
like a voice in a vault. Their attire was the skins 
of bears and wolves, so cut that the man's head went 
through the neck, and the ears of the bear were 
fastened on his shoulders, while the nose and teeth 
hung dangling upon his breast. Behind was 
another bear's face split, with a paw hanging at 
the nose. And their sleeves coming down to their 
elbows, were the necks of bears, with their arms 
going through the mouth and paws hanging to the 
nose. One of them had the head of a wolf hanging 
to a chain for a jewel, and his tobacco pipe was 
three-quarters of a yard long, carved with a bird, 
a deer and other devices at the great end. His 
arrows were three-quarters of a yard long, headed 
with splinters of a white, crystal-like stone in the 
form of a heart, an inch broad and an inch and a 
half long. These he carried at his back in a wolf's 
skin for a quiver, with his bow in one hand and a 
club in the other." Such was the appearance of 
the first inhabitants of Deer Creek and the Rocks. 
The Mingoes came, saw, conquered, and, occupying 
the country as masters, ruled for a time. They, in 
turn, were overborne by a superior race, and we 
have only the recollections of the deeds of the bold 
warriors. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 103 



THE MASSACRE OF THE MINGOES. 

THE Mingoes of Deer Creek, as a body, left this 
locality in the year 1752. A few of them remained 
until, as is plausibly conjectured, the winter of 1763, 
and left immediately after the extermination of their 
kindred who had been living on Conestogoe Creek, 
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. These Indians 
were the remains of a tribe long settled at that place, 
and thence called Conestogoes. Upon the arrival 
of the English in Pennsylvania this tribe sent mes- 
sengers to welcome them, with presents of venison, 
corn and skins, and the whole tribe entered into a 
treaty of friendship with the first proprietary, Wil- 
liam Penn a treaty which was to last as long as the 
sun should shine, or the waters run in the rivers. 
This treaty was often renewed the chain brightened, 
as the Conestogoes expressed it from time to time. 
This tribe was ultimately reduced to twenty per- 
sons seven men, five women and eight children, 
when by one of the most cowardly and dastardly 
acts on record in all the protracted and bloody con- 
tests with the Indians, this handful of peaceable 
people were murdered in cold blood by fifty-seven 
Conestogoe gentlemen (.?). On Wednesday, the 14th 
day of December, 1763, these cavaliers, mounted on 
good horses, and armed with fire-locks, hangers 
and hatchets, entered Conestogoe Manor, and sur- 
rounding the defenceless village, fired upon, stabbed 
and hatcheted to death three men, two women and 
a boy. Shehaes, an old man who assisted at the 
second treaty held with them by Penn in 1701, was 
among the slain. All were scalped, and their huts 



104 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

burned. The remaining Mingoes, absent at the 
time of the massacre they were out among their 
white neighbors selling baskets, brooms and bowls 
were taken into protection by the humane magis- 
trates of Lancaster, and secured from harm, as they 
thought, in the work-house of that town. Fifty of 
the chivalry, whose names are worthy to be inscribed 
on the temple of cfo'shonor as high up as the sum- 
mits of the Rocks of Deer Creek, suddenly appeared 
before that town on the 27th of December, invested 
the work-house, and by gradual approaches, doubt- 
less, assaulted, captured and put to death all that 
were left of the Mingoes men, women and chil- 
dren, fourteen in all. The remains of the mur- 
dered victims were dragged into the street and ex- 
posed to view. The fifty patriots of the Simon 
Girty stamp then mounted their horses, huzzaed in 
triumph, and rode off, congratulating themselves 
on their victory. 

"Ah! where are the soldiers that fought here of yore, 
The sod is upon them, they'll struggle no more, 
The hatchet is fallen, the red man is low ; 
But near him reposes the arm of the foe. 

"The bugle is silent; the war whoop is dead; 
There is a murmur of waters and woods in their stead, 
And the raven and owl chant a symphony drear 
From the dark waving pines o'er the combatants' bier. 

"Sleep, soldiers of merit! sleep gallants of yore! 
The hatchet is fallen, the struggle is o'er, 
While the fir-tree is green and the wind rolls a wave, 
The tear-drop shall brighten the turf of the brave?" 

The Mingoes of Deer Creek, hearing of the mas- 
sacre of their people, and fearing that their lives 
would not be secure even among the humane white 



THKIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 105 

inhabitants of their neighborhood, left to join their 
people in the West or South. Their fears were 
groundless. We have never heard that gentlemen 
of Maryland ever deported themselves toward de- 
fenceless women and innocent children as those 
Bayard-like representatives of the men of England 
who wore the red rose. 

The Mingoes occasionally visited their former 
homes, but that for a few years only. In 1764, a 
year after their removal, a party visited a locality 
in the neighborhood of New Park, York County, 
Pennsylvania, ten miles distant from the Rocks. 
There was a wigwam still standing at that date on 
the farm now owned by Duncan Brown, Esq., then 
possessed by his paternal grandfather. They were 
seen walking around it, and seemingly viewing it 
with a curious interest. To Deer Creek and the 
Rocks a final adieu came. The descendants of the 
former occupants know of these localities only as 
the homes of their ancestors the places where the 
bear, the wolf and the beaver were many, and 
where the eagle built her nest upon the High Rocks, 
beneath which their chiefs sat by their council fires. 



ROCKS LITERATURE. 

I AM not perfectly satisfied with the designation 
I have given to the communications in prose and 
poetry which I have selected for this place in this 



106 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

book. Rocks Literature is not poetical ; and the 
title is justified only by the fact that these contri- 
butions have been inspired by the sublimities and 
beauties of that wonder of nature, the Rocks of 
Deer Creek, with their romantic contiguities and 
surroundings. Could I have said " The Curiosties 
of Literature," the name giVen by Disraeli the 
elder to that confessedly most curious collection of 
literary gems which bears that title, I should as- 
suredly be content, assuming, of course, that my 
collection would bear some proper relation in their 
literary qualities to that unique gathering of rare 
intellectualities. No other title could I use, because 
the literature I collect bears relation to but one 
thing the Rocks of Deer Creek and their surround- 
ings. And I am shut up to the necessity of using 
the material I have, material not created by my- 
self, save one short essay, but by others, and for the 
quality of which I am in no degree responsible. 

I am not to be understood, however, as disparag- 
ing the efforts of the writers in prose and in poetry 
whose contributions I shall insert in this book. I 
have no doubt that many of the readers of them 
will derive both pleasure and profit in their pe- 
rusal. 

I make these contributions a part of this volume, 
because they are a part of the history, so to speak, 
of the Rocks, and because they show that the Rocks 
are potent in inspiration. 

The literature of the Rocks is abundant suffi- 
cient, perhaps, to make a volume respectable in 
size. It is in accordance with my plan to limit my 
collection to a few selections. The first was written 
some years ago by a girl of tender years, and was, 
perhaps, her first effort in such writing. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 107 



THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. . 

" Nature, in her delineations, ever delights in 
giving variety to the beauty and magnificence of 
her creations. Mountain, hill, valley and plain 
have each their enchantments, but the Rocks of 
Deer Creek, situated in the upper section of Har- 
ford County, present to the lover of natural scenery 
a combination of attractions that nature, in her mu- 
nificence, seldom deigns to lavish on her fair do- 
mains. The Rocks are several hundred feet in 
height, extending to a point that projects in solemn 
grandeur over huge masses of rock that lie scat- 
tered at their base." Having described the beauty 
of the adjacent landscape, she continues : " But the 
Rocks, apart from the lovely landscape that spreads 
around us, are ever the scene that must enchant the 
gaze, and infuse into the heart of nature's votary a 
mingled feeling of admiration and awe." She con- 
cludes : " The image of the scene is impressed upon 
the soul, and in the secret chamber of our being 
often will we view over again the Rocks of Deer 
Creek." 

The next selection is a poem, written by a young 
lady of Long Island, New York. We give only the 
stanzas which describe the " King and Queen 
Seats:" 

"In ages past, so runs a legend old, 
These rocks were the wild home of warriors bold ; 
Here they in council met, and warfare planned, 
Talked o'er the mighty secrets of their dusky band; 
I fancy how the echoes have rung out, 
The noisy clamor of their war-cry shout. 
Long years have passed away, the red man's tread 



108 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

No longer echoes there ; the wild, fierce tribe is dead, 

And nought remains but memories alone, 

And two rough seats hewn from the solid stone. 

"These were the lofty thrones of King and Queen, 
Spread now with moss and trailing vines of green ; 
We rested in their depths, and pictured rare 
Visions of Indian beauties, wild yet fair ; 
All still and silent now, only the breeze 
Comes whispering soft sweet stories through the trees, 
And echoes only waken to the words 
Of untold beauty in the songs of birds, 
Those clearest, bell-like tones that float and ring, 
Pronounce the mocking bird the woodland king." 

The following was written by a lady, a native of, 
and now resident in, Harford : 

Rocks of Deer Creek, I, a pilgrim, 

Wander up thy mountain side, 
And beneath thy lofty summits 

Watch the sparkling waters glide. 

Here upon this pile of ages, 
Where the Red Man's flight was stayed, 

I, in contemplation solemn, 
View the mighty work displayed. 

Think of Him who, out of chaos, 

Called this great mysterious world, 
With its mountains, vales and waters, 

Like a picture fair unfurl' d. 

Piled this mighty, rocky structure, 

Like some castle, grim and gray, 
Sublime mysterious wrote upon it, 

A monument without decay. 

List! methinks I hear "the voices 

Of the hills" that round me lie, 
For one grand and solemn anthem 

Seemeth filling earth and sky. 

And self is lost forgotten e'en 

As I list the soft refrain; 
Surely God, the builder of you, 

Reigns upon this height supreme. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 109 

Misty clouds are upward rising, 

Like pure incense, to the sky, 
Peace-offerings from the waters 

On this rock-bound mountain high. 

Surely in this solemn grandeur, 

On this temple most sublime, 
More ancient than the pyramids 

Of old, in eastern clime, 

Man must see and feel a power, 

Great beyond our mortal ken; 
Rocks of Deer Creek, veil'd in mystery, 

You must ever more remain. 

MARY WARNER Ross. 

Sandy Hook, 1879. 



That which follows are the meditations of one 
who discovers, in the vicinity of the Rocks, a sin- 
gular fern. He is evidently in a philosophical 
mood, and has been disturbed, it may be, by the 
rash speculations of some modern scientists so- 
called. 

A REMARKABLE FERN. 

Strolling one day of the past autumn along Deer 
Creek, in the vicinity of the Rocks, I was attracted 
by a species of fern with which I was not familiar. 
Upon examining it minutely, I found, to my sur- 
prise, and I must confess to my gratification, written 
upon the stem and each leaf of the fern the word 
Biogenesis : life from life, and from nothing but 
life. And recollecting that Sir William Thomp- 
son, President of the British Association for the 
Advancement of Science, in an address to the Soci- 
ety, incidentally refers to the theory of Biogenesis 
and its opposite theory, Abiogenesis (spontaneous 
10 



110 THE ROCKS OF DEER CHEEK. 

generation), I sought that address, and found the 
following statement therein : 

" I am ready to adopt as an article of scientific 
faith, true through all space and through all time, 
that life proceeds from life, and from nothing hut 
life." I am not aware that Sir William had ever 
seen a specimen of the singular Deer Creek fern, or 
ever heard of it ; but one cannot fail to note the 
agreement between the teaching of the fern and that 
of the distinguished President of the British Asso- 
ciation. Anxious to know what that other distin- 
guished member of the same Association, Professor 
Huxley, might have to say upon Biogenesis and its 
antagonistic theory, Abiogenesis, I turned to an in- 
augural address delivered by him to the British 
Association, in which Professor Huxley concedes 
that " the evidence, direct and indirect, in favor 
of Biogenesis : life from life, and from nothing but 
life, for all known forms of life, must be admitted to 
be of great weight/' This utterance of the great 
inductive philosopher gave me great pleasure, as it 
seems to confirm the suspicion that possibly the 
Creator of all things wrote upon my fern the word 
Biogenesis: life from life, and from nothing but 
life. My satisfaction with this declaration of the 
philosopher would have been complete, had he not 
to this just admission, as I thought it to be, added : 
u But though I cannot express this conviction of 
mine too strongly, I must carefully guard myself 
against the supposition that 1 intend to suggest that 
no such thing as Abiogenesis (spontaneous gener- 
ation) has ever taken place in the past, or will take 
place in the future. If it were given me to look 
beyond the abyss of geologically recorded lime to 



TIIKIK LEGENDS AND HISTORY. Ill 

the still more remote period when the eartli was 
passing through physical and chemical conditions, 
which it can no inure sec again than a man can re- 
call his infancy, / should expect to be a witness of the 
evolution of living protoplasm from unliving matter." 
I was now in a quandary. When doctors disagree, 
who shall decide? And what estimate can I have 
of the veracity of my fern? Singularly, the phil- 
osopher whose just quoted utterance had tended to 
overthrow my cherished theory of life, and brand as 
false the teaching of the fern, comes to my relief. 
The philosopher does not account for life without a 
metaphysical cause. Hear him : " I, individually, 
am no materialist, but, on the contrary, believe 
materialism to involve grave philosophical error/' 
His materialism is only a trick of logic ; his faith 
is that all life has a transcendental, metaphysical 
cause. He vindicates the truthfulness of my fern.* 

The question is, where did my fern get its life? 
Who wrote upon its stem and leaves Biogenesis? 
My fern was sustained by inorganic substances. 
From such substances it extracted the nutriment of 
its life by a chemistry peculiar to itself. But whence 
its life? It cannot be that life is a phenomenon ? 
evolved from the forces of unliving matter. Science 
does not say so. Matter is a basis of life ; in it life 
manifests itself, and nothing more. Life, like 
matter in which it dwells, was created, not evolved 
from unliving forces. The life of my fern came 
fro m abroad . Its cause was the only cause , ultimat e , 
spontaneous will. The Author of all life gave it 
life, and wrote upon its leaves Biogenesis. 

My fern is perishing. Is this not singular? 
Strange that the living forces which built it up 



112 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

should now, that its vitality is gone, tear down the 
structure which they, with so much pains, con- 
structed. The vital principle in my fern did for a 
time hold in abeyance the physical forces, but this 
having departed, its enemies triumph. My fern is 
returning to unliving dust. Whether it, Phoenix- 
like, will arise from its ashes, I do not know. And 
if its unliving dust should become the basis of other 
life, whether it will be the life of another fern, I do 
not know. Of this I am confident, if it shall be 
the basis of another life, upon that creation, be it 
rose or magnolia or fern, will be written Biogenesis : 
life from life, and from nothing but life. 

If any of my curious friends would see a specimen 
of the Deer Creek fern, they can do so by searching 
the hills between Preston's Mill and the Rocks of 
Deer Creek. 

THE OLD MILL. 

Opposite Mingo Hill, on the waters of Deer Creek, 
a few miles above the Rocks, is a quaint old mill. 
Of this ancient mill a poetess writes : 

4 'Softly dim twilight lingers 

O'er the picturesque mill, 
Night, with her purple fingers, 

Is draping each noble hill 
With the shadows she loves to muster, 

And waft in the twilight down, 
Faintly outlined with the lustre 

"Which streams from his starry crown. 
Beautiful shadows that fall so still 
And nestle down on the silent mill. 



"Silent, for now the 

Heart of the mill's at rest, 
And only the breezes arc sobbing 
O'er the water's breast; 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 113 

Its ripples' musical splashing 

Seem crowning a dreamy song, 
As o'er the high dam dashing, 

They hurry so swiftly along. 
Laughing waters that scorn to feel 
The ponderous weight of the old mill wheel. 

" We sit in the night's dark splendor 

And list to the whippoorwill, 
Breathing in accents tender 

Its moan o'er the night-wrapped mill, 
And watch how the shadows linger 

O'er the tree-topped hill on high, 
Till each waving branch seems a finger 

Writing against the sky. 
And the spirit of night has awakened 

The fairies that surely dwell, 
In the quiet depths of the woodland 

In some fair little hidden dell; 
For the fire-flies twinkle their lights afar 
Till each fairy lamp seems a tiny star. 

" Brightly the summer dawning 

Gleams o'er the quiet mill, 
And scattered far by the morning 

The shadows lift from the hill; 
And the sunbeam's golden splendor 

Pours o'er the dewy earth, 
While the birdlings' voices tender 

Thrill with sweetest mirth. 
A morning concert given us free 
Echoing sweet the softest melody. 

"How lightly the water dances, 

How sparkles its crystal breast, 
As each arrow of sunlight glances 
. In quivering, gay unrest, 
And the dewy morning breathing 

Tenderly touching now, 
Silvery hair enwreathiug 

An aged though cheerful brow. 
For many years that are gone and dead, 
The mill has echoed his gentle tread. 

10* 



114 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

"And long may it echo the paces 

Of the feet that are walking toward 
The golden gates of the city 

Leading to home and God. 
Respected friend, I will carry 

Sweet memories as I roam 
Of the picturesque mill in the valley, 

And the sweetly embowered home. 
With sad regrets my song will fill, 
And a fond farewell to the dear old mill." 

"JAMAICA, LONG ISLAND.'' 



WHAT immediately follows are the prophetic dec- 
larations of the resident of "Shirley, near the 
Hocks," who may be indebted, in a measure, to the 
scenes amid which he dwells for the strength of 
his patriotic inspirations and impulses. The High- 
lands of Scotland, the mountains of Wales and 
Switzerland, have ever been inhabited by peoples of 
patriotic sentiments and practically devoted to lib- 
erty. The dwellers by the Kocks are not an excep- 
tion. The Eagle, which is the symbol of their 
country's majesty, soars above the summits of their 
mountains. They watch its lofty flights with pride, 
and aspire to equal eminence in their sentiments 
and aspirations. The lowlands are generally the 
places of wealth, and luxury, and enervation, with 
which the sentiments of personal independence and 
individual liberty do not usually co-exist. 

The prophecy is a portion of a Centennial Ad- 



Til KIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 115 

dress, delivered by the author, July 4th, 1876, in 
Ward's Woods, not distant from, and in view of, 
the Rocks, and is a legacy to the young men who 
shall be living in 1976 ; bequeathed to them with 
the hope that they will cherish an ardent love of 
country, and maintain the principles of their 
fathers. 



116 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 



A PROPHECY. 



THE retrospect we have made very naturally sug- 
gests the prospect. What shall the future of our 
country be? Who shall forecast its destiny ? Have 
we, by the marvelous rapidity of our growth in the 
hundred years past, exhausted our energies, and 
brought upon ourselves premature old age, premon- 
itory of speedy deatli ? Or, are we as Hercules in 
his cradle, possessed of a vitality and force and fer- 
tility of resources that shall be manifested in achieve- 
ments that will surpass all that has been seen in 
the past of our history, and surprised the world 
with their greatness. We are in the infancy of 
our greatness, the beginning of a progress such as 
has not hitherto been seen, and of which the most 
sanguine could not possibly have dreamed. Man- 
kind is standing on the very threshold of a new life, 
on a boundary line, about to launch out into an 
unknown future. The past is gone, the old land- 
marks are swept away, and fresh armies of 
thoughts, opinions and knowledge are breaking in 
upon the world. The jungle has been cleared, 
space has been almost annihilated, and the. human 
mind, free from embarrassments that have inter- 
rupted its progress, is entering upon a series of es- 
says and conflicts that shall ultimate in achieve- 
ments far surpassing those of the past, and that 
Khali carry humanity upward to higher planes rap- 
idly and majestically. It may be centuries before 
tin- new life shall be matured. In the very "lisp- 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 117 

ing infancy " of the new life humanity may be, but 
the child is born, and there shall follow the vigor 
of manhood and the ripeness of age. A sagacious 
thinker and observer has said : " A mighty impulse 
has come over the world lately. A time of looking 
forward rather than back has set in. Great inven- 
tions of all kinds are altering the face of the earth, 
making the conditions of life different, and raising 
the hopes and fears of men. Great discoveries are 
bringing with them all the eager wildness, all the 
enthusiasm for good or evil, that such unsettle- 
ments must always bring. The vast ocean of 
knowledge has found its Columbuses, and hearts 
beat high with the daily hope of fresh wonders be- 
ing unveiled by new voyagers." Where, we ask, 
has this impulse been felt stronger than on this 
continent and with us ? Where so much of change, 
of adventure, of achievement? Where in all the 
earth so much of enthusiasm, of earnest purpose, 
of determination to do all that lies within the range 
of possibility ? There are barriers that no human 
invention can overcome ; conditions beyond the 
range of mortal power. But within those great bar- 
riers which God has fixed to human progress, an 
almost infinite advance is certain. There are men 
of folly, as was Canute the Great, when he sat by 
the sea-shore, and said to the advancing waters, 
" So far shalt thou come, and no farther," who in 
the impotency of their reason may prescribe bounds 
to human progress, but that progress, as did the 
oncoming waves, will mock their folly and weak- 
ness. This continent, this nation, shall participate 
in this general onward movement, and in a degree 
exceeding all. The genius of the American people, 



118 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

their inquisitiveness, their steadiness of purpose, 
their inflexibility of will, their inventive qualities, 
their love of change, their ambition to excel, all 
point to a destiny of unparalleled grandeur. Our 
lofty mountains, our wide extended plains, our ma- 
jestic rivers, are symbolic of the might and majesty 
of our coining greatness. Here, upon the shores of 
the Atlantic, on the banks of the Mississippi and the 
Missouri, and by the side of the Pacific, in mountain 
place and valley, shall be a teeming multitude of 
men building up in their strength a material, in- 
tellectual, social, spiritual empire, before which all 
other empires shall pale as the glow-wortn v pales in 
the presence of the sun. It will be the onward 
movement of thought, and feeling, and faith, and 
work, widening and deepening, and increasing in 
strength, until mighty in its volume and resistless 
in its force, it shall bear upon its bosom, as the 
flood bears the oak, all the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge. This is my thought it may be the 
dream of an enthusiast. 

In one hundred years the population of the 
United States of America may exceed that of China ; 
the area of territory, if extended, may embrace the 
whole of North America, and our progress in all 
other respects be commensurate. Then it will be 
that those then living will look back upon the epoch 
of the first Centennial as we, who celebrate it to-day, 
look back upon its beginning as a day of very small 
things, and, as we do, congratulate themselves and 
the country on the progress made, differing from us 
in this, that their felicitations will be greater pro- 
portionate to their increased prosperity. The reali- 
zation of this hope will depend essentially upon 



THEIR LKGHNDS AND 1IIST011Y. 1 1 ( J 

one thing that we remain at peace among our- 
selves. This unity of the nation is the pledge of its 
perpetuity, and the assurance of its high destiny. 
Not, indeed, that unity which is enforced by strength 
of will and power of bayonet, but unity .of senti- 
ment and affection, that unity of mind and heart 
which has its most striking illustrations and exem- 
plifications in the virtuous household, each member 
of which, recognizing the significancy of the rela- 
tion, performs its obligations. The hope is that 
Christianity, in its onward inarch, will so leaven 
society with its restraining and conserving influ- 
ences, that human passions will not simply be held 
in check, but will be consecrated to virtuous pur- 
poses, the human heart responding always and un- 
erringly to truth, and the life to noble aim. 

Our fathers sought to erect the superstructure of 
American government upon a substantial basi^s, in- 
tending that in th#5 ark of national safety their de- 
scendants should be secure when the tempests gath- 
ered. The fabric of government which they erected 
was no temporary expedient," to serve the wants of 
a day ; it was built, as the pyramids were built, to 
resist the wear of ages, and serve the necessities of 
generations. Washington, and Adams, and Jef- 
ferson, and Madison, and Monroe, and all the illus- 
trious host of worthies who laid the foundations of 
American nationality, were men not only of wis- 
dom, but of conscience also, having in view, not the 
mere gratification of personal ambition and the ag- 
grandizement of self,' but the welfare of the whole 
people and of generations of people. To establish 
this government our ancestors toiled, and sacri- 
ficed, and poured out their blood, not anticipating 



120 THE ROCKS OF DEER CREEK. 

that Catalines would ever be found among their 
descendants, who would conspire against the liber- 
ties of the people, but hoping and believing that 
they to whom had been bequeathed the precious 
legacy of- American freedom, would cherish it as 
vestal virgins and priests of Inca cherished their 
sacred fires. The gift has so far been generally 
appreciated, and the men of this generation are 
bearing upon their shoulders the ark which contains 
the sacred things placed therein by the fathers of 
the republic. They cherish it as the ark of the 
Lord was cherished in the house of Obed Edom. 

It is not within the power of man to foretell the 
time when this nation, having performed its allot- 
ted part in the great drama of the world's life, 
shall follow the peoples that have preceded it, and 
pass in mournful procession to the graves of dead 
nationalities. The race that forms this nation has, 
as we have seen, been distinguished above all other 
races for its vitality and force, resisting thus far 
that strong tendency to decay that characterized the 
nations that preceded it. It may follow in the 
footsteps of the nations that have gone before ; but 
if true to itself, if it fulfills the destiny which the 
Divine hand has marked out for it, then when its 
cycle shall have been completed and the record 
made up, future races will look back upon its period 
as the brightest in human history. And that re- 
cord, the brightest spot in human history, may be 
the roll of a thousand years. 

Yea, if the period of the existence of the great 
nations of antiquity was ten centuries, ten times ten 
centuries may be the cycle of American history, the 
time when its record shall be made up. The senti- 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 121 

inent of patriotism existing in such intense force in 
the bosom of every true American would place no 
limit to his country's life. To-day, moved thereto 
by the enthusiasm kindled by our recollections of 
the past and our faith in the greatness of our coun- 
try's future, we all with one accord exclaim, Our 
country ; may she live forever ! 

My fellow-citizens, we congratulate ourselves 
that we have lived to celebrate the Centennials In 
honoring this day we do justice to the memory of 
our fathers who bequeathed to us our heritage to 
their intelligence, their virtue, their bravery, their 
fortitude, their spirit of self-sacrifice. They have 
gone to their graves, and the worthiest monuments 
that we can erect to perpetuate their memories are 
the appreciation of their virtues and the imitation 
of their examples. 

Fellow-citizens, we shall not live to celebrate 
another Centennial. Ere the coming century of our 
national existence shall have closed we will have 
passed away been gathered to our fathers ; but we 
shall leave a heritage worthy to be preserved by our 
posterity, and by them transmitted to the genera- 
tions following. 



1 1 



1-- THE ROCKS OF DBKR CREEK. 



MASON AND DIXON'S LINE. 



A FEW miles north of the Rocks of Deer Creek, 
in latitude 39 degrees, 43 minutes, 26^ seconds, is 
the boundary between the States of Pennsylvania 
and Maryland. This line was begun in December^ 
1763, and concluded in the end of the year 1767. 
Its whole length is 244 miles, not all of which was 
laid out by the scientific gentlemen after whom it is 
called. They were prevented by fears of hostile 
Indians from proceeding further than Sideling Hill, 
a distance of 116 miles from the place of beginning. 
At the termination of every fifth mile is planted a 
large stone, having on one side the coat of arms of 
William Penn, and on the other or southern side, 
the Escutcheon of Lord Baltimore, the proprietaries 
respectively of the provinces of Maryland and Penn- 
sylvania. Every mile is a smaller stone with the 
letter P on one side and M on the other. All these 
stones were brought from England. This line was 
fixed after eighty years of constant discussion, and 
thus was lost to Maryland much fertile territory. 
It was not surveyed in the ordinary mode, but estab- 
lished by mathematical and astronomical calcula- 
tion. A survey was had in 1844, and the original 
line was found to be substantially correct. 



THEIR LEGENDS AND HISTORY. 123 



A LITP:RARY CURIOSITY. 



IN the year 1661, the Rev. John Eliot, " the 
Apostle to the Indians," translated the Virginian 
Bihle into the language of the New England In- 
dians. The following specimen exhibits the Lord's 
Prayer (Matt, vi : 9-13) : 

9. Yowutche yeu nuppenantarnook: Nooshun 
kesukqut quttianatamunach knowesuonk. 

10. Peaumooutch kukketassootamdonk, kutten- 
autamoouk nennach ohkeit neane kesukqut. 

11. Nummeetsuonqash asekesukokish assamaii- 
uean yeuyea kesuked. 

12. Kah ahquontamaiinean nummatchseonqash, 
neane niatcheneukgueagig nutahquontamounna- 
nog. 

13. Ahque sagkompagunaiinnean en qutchhua- 
onganit, webepohquohwussinean wutch matchitut. 
Newutche kutahtaun ketassootarnoonk, kah raenuh- 
kesuonk, kali sohsumoorik micheme. Amen.