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Full text of "Sketch of Connecticut : forty years since"

Aje< ( fy^c 

~r 

SKETCH 



OF 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 



** Land of my sires ! What mortal hand 

Can e er untie tke filial band 

That knits me to thy rugged strand ?" 



SCOTT 



HARTFORD : 
OLIVER D. COOKE & SON 8. 

1824. 



DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, as. 

BE IT REMEMBERED That on the 30th day of April, 
L. <S. in the forty-eighth year of the the independence of the 
United States of America, OLIVER D. COOKE & Sews, 
of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a 
Book, the right whreof they claim as proprietors, in th words 
following, to wit : 

" Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since. 
" Land of my Sires ! What mortal hand 
Can e er untie the filial band 
That knits me to thy rugged strand." 

Scott. 

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, 

entitled, " An act for the encouragement of learning, by secur- 

; ing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors aod 

proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned," 

CHARLES A. INGERSOLL, 

Clerk of the District of Connecticut. 
\ true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me, 
CHARLES A. INGERSOLL, 

Clerk of the District of Connecticut 










Roberts &. Burr, Printers. 



SKETCH 

OF 

CONNECTICUT, 

FORTY YEARS SINCE. 



CHAPTER I. 

August she trod, yet gentle was her air, 
Serene her eye, hut darting heavenly fire, 

Her brow encircled with its silver hair 

More mild appear d ; yet such as might inspire 

Pleasure corrected with an awful fear, 

Majestically sweet, and amiably severe." 

Bishop Lowth. 

NOT far from where the southern limits of Connecticut 

meet the waters of the sea, the town of N is situated. 

As you approach from the west, it exhibits a rural aspect, 
of meadows intersected by streams, and houses over 
shadowed with trees. Viewed from the eastern acclivity, 
it seems like a citadel guarded by parapets of rock, and 
embosomed in an ampitheatre of hills, whose summits 
mark the horizon with a waving line of dark forest green. 
Entering at this avenue, you perceive that its habitations 
bear few marks of splendour, but many of them, retiring- 



2 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

behind the shelter of lofty elms, exhibit the appearance 
of comfort and respectability. Travelling south ward about 
two miles, through the principal road, the rural features 
of the landscape are lost, in the throng of houses, and 
bustle of men. The junction of two considerable streams 
here forms a beautiful river, which, receiving the tides of 
th sea, rushes with a short course into its bosom. 

Masts peer over ware-houses, and streets rise above 
streets, with such irregularity that* the base of one line 
of buildings sometimes overlooks the roofs of another. 
Here Man, incessantly combating the obstacles of Na 
ture, is content to hang his dwelling upon her rocks, if 
he may but gather the treasures of her streams. Yet spots 
of brightness, and of beauty occur amid these eagle-nests 
upon the cliff ; gardens of flowers ; bold and romantic 
shores ; pure, broad, sparkling waters ; white sails dancing 
at the will of the breeze ; boats gliding beneath bridges, 
or between islands of verdure, with sportive and graceful 
motion, like the slight gossamer in the sun-beam. 

Between these two sections of the town, which, though 
sisters, bear no family resemblance, is a landscape, which 
some writer of romance might be pleased to describe. It 
is about a mile from the mouth of the smallest of the two 
streams just mentioned, which, winding its way through 
green meadows with a mild course, is fringed with the 
willow, and many aquatic shrubs, bending their drooping 
branches to kiss its noiseless tide. Suddenly it assumes 
the form of a cataract. Dashing tumulluously from rock 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 

to rock, it sends forth from their excavations, deep, hollow 
sounds ; as if thunders were born in those unvisited cav 
erns. Tossing and foaming over the masses that obstruct 
its channel, it becomes compressed within narrow limits 
by two lofty precipices. One, rises frowning and per 
pendicular like the walls of a castle. A few hardy ever 
greens cling to its crown, and mark the spot whence the 
hunted Pequots were forced, by their conquerors the 
Mohegans, to their fatal plunge from time into eternity. 
Fancy, awakened by tradition, sometimes paints their 
forms mingling with the dark, slow waters that circle the 
base of that fearful cliff; or hears their spirits shrieking 
amid the clamour of the cataract. The opposite rampart 
presents a chain of rocks, of less towering height, inter 
spersed with lofty trees, displaying the names of many 
who have visited and admired this wild and picturesque 
scenery. The enthusiast of Nature, who should conquer 
its precipitous descent, and stand upon the margin of the 
flood which creeps in death-like stillness through this 
guarded defile, might see on his right, the foam, the va 
pour, the tossing of a tempestuous conflict ; on his left, 
a broad chrystal mirror, studded with emerald islets, 
and bounded by romantic shores, where peaceful man- 
tons, embosomed in graceful shades, are seen through 
vistas of green. Beneath, the black and almost motion 
less waters seem, to him who gazes intensely, like the 
river of forgetfulness, annihilating the traces of a passing 
world. Above, the proud cliff rears its waving helmet, 



4 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

a if in defiance of the bowing cloud. To hear the voice 
of Nature in passionate strife, and at the same moment to 
gaze upon her slumbering calmness ; to be lost in con 
templation upon the moral contrast, then startled into 
awe by her strong features of majesty ; leave the mind 
uncertain whether, in this secluded temple, beauty ought 
most to charm, or awe to enchain it, or devotion to 
absorb all other sensations in reverence to the invisible 
God. 

Retracing our steps to the northern division of N 
we find a society remarkable for the preservation of pri 
mitive habits. There, was exhibited the singular exam 
ple of an aristocracy, less intent upon family aggrandize 
ment, than upon becoming illustrious in virtue ; and of a 
community where industry and economy almost banished 
want. Do mestic subordination taught the young to hon 
our the old, while the temperance and regularity which 
prevailed gave to age both contentment and health. The 
forty years, which have elapsed since the period of this 
sketch, have wrought many changes ; but some features 
of similarity remain. That luxury which enervates cha 
racter, and undermines the simple principles of justicej 
and charity, has found its ravages circumscribed by the 
example of those to whom wealth gave influence. An 
unusual number of individuals, whose first steps were in 
humble life, have risen to the possession of riches, not by 
fortunate accidents, or profuse gains, by lotteries or by 
war. bwt through an industry which impoverished none. 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. U 

and a prudence which as resolutely frowned upon waste 
of time, as waste of money. It has been thought that the 
advantages, arising from a favourable situation for com 
merce, and from a surrounding country eminently agricul 
tural, languished for want of vigorous enterprize. Yet a 
source of wealth still less fluctuating has been discovered, 
in lessening the number of factitious wants, and pruning 
the excrescences of fashion and of folly. A more moral 
stale of society can scarcely be imagined, than that which 
existed within the bosom of these rocks. Almost it might 
seem as if their rude summits, pointing in every direc 
tion, had been commissioned to repel the intrusion of 
vice. In this department of the town w r as the mansion oi 
Madam L . It raised its broad, dignified front, with 
out other decorations than the white rose, and the sweet 
brier, rearing their columns of beauty and fragrance, 
quite to the projection of the roof. In front, was a court 
of shorn turf, like the richest velvet, intersected by two 
paved avenues to the principal entrances, and enclosed 
by a white fence, resting upon a foundation of hewn stone. 
On each side of the antiquated gate waved the boughs 
of a spruce, intermingling their foliage, and defying-, in 
(heir evergreen garb, the changes of climate. The habi 
tation, which faced the rising sun, had on its left, and in 
the rear of its long range of offices, two large gardens for 
vegetables and fruit. A third, which had a southern ex 
posure, and lay beneath the windows of the parlour, was 
partially devoted to flowers. There, in quadrangles, tri- 



6 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

angles, and parallelograms, beds of mould were thrown 
up, and regularly arranged, according to what the florists 
of that age denominated " a knot." There, in the centre, 
the flaunting peony reared its head like a queen upon her 
throne, surrounded by a guard of tulips, arrayed as 
eourtiers in every hue, deep crimson, buflf streaked with 
vermillion, and pure white mantled with a blush of car 
mine. In the borders, the purple clusters of the lilac, 
mingled with the feathery orb of the snow-ball, and the 
pure petals of the graceful lily. Interspersed were vari 
ous species of the rose, overshadowing snow-drops, and 
daffodils the earliest heralds of Spring the violet, whose 
purple eye seems half to beam with intelligence. the 
hyacinth, the blue-bell, and the guinea-hen in its mot 
tled robe. 

There were also the personified flowers gaudy soldiers 
in green the tawdry ragged lady the variegated batch- 
elor the sad mourning bride and the monk in his som 
bre hood. The larkspur mingled with the sweet pea, and 
the humble fumatory grew at the foot of the proud crown 
imperial, which lifted its cluster of flowers, and crest oi 
leaves, with patrician haughtiness. A broad walk divided 
this garden into nearly equal compartments. The west 
ern part, covered with rich turf, and interspersed with 
fruit trees, displayed at its extremity a summer-house, 
encircled by a luxuriant vine, and offering a delightful 
retreat from a fervid sun. Seated beneath the canopy oi 
fragrant clusters, you might see the velvet-coated peach, 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 7 

the rich plum with its purple, or emerald robe, and the 
orange-coloured pear bruising itself in its fall. Raspber 
ries, supporting themselves by the fence, interwove their 
branches with the bushes that lined it, as if ambitious 
to form an impervious hedge ; while at their feet, the red 
and white strawberry offered its treasures. Near the same 
region was a small nurseiy of medicinal plants ; for the 
mind which had grouped so many pleasures for the eye 
and the taste of man, had not put out of sight his infirmi 
ties, or forgotten where it was written, " in the garden 
was a sepulchre." There, arose the rough leafed sage, 
with its spiry efflorescence, the hoarhound foe of consump 
tion, the aperient cumphrey, the aromatic tansy, and the 
bitter rue and wormwood. There, also, the healing balm 
was permitted to flourish, and the pungent peppermint for 
distillation. Large poppies, scattered here and there, per 
fected their latent anodyne, and hop-vines, clasping the 
accustomed arches, disclosed from their aromatic clus 
ters some portion of their sedative powers. Through 

these scenes of odoriferous wildness Madam L often 

wandered, and like our first mother, amused herself by 
removing whatever marred its beauty, and cherishing all 
that heightened its excellence. 

Her alert step, and animated aspect would scarcely 
permit the beholder to believe that the weight of almost 
seventy years oppressed her ; though the spectacles, that 
aided her in distinguishing weeds from plants, proved that 
time had not spared to levy some tribute upon his favour- 



8 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

ite. Her fair, open forehead, clear expressive blue eye, 
and finely shaped countenance displayed that combination 
of intellect with sensibility, which marked her character. 
A tall and graceful persoi, whose symmetry age had res 
pected, gave dignity to a deportment which the sorrows 
of life had softened. A vein of playful humour had been 
natural to her youth, and might still occasionally be de 
tected in her quick smile, and kindling eye. Yet this 
was divested of every semblance of asperity by the spirit 
of a religion, breathing love to all mankind. Her voice 
had that peculiar and exquisite tone, which seems an echo 
of the soul s harmony. Her brow was circled with thin 
folds of the purest cambrick, whose whiteness was con 
trasted with the broad, black ribband which compressed 
them, and the kerchief of the same colour, pinned in quaint 
and quaker-like neatness over her bosom. Her counte 
nance in its silence spoke the language of peace within, 
good will to all around, and the sublimated joy of one. 
whose " kingdom is not of this world." Her liberality 
was proverbial. She loved the poor and the sick, as if 
they were unfortunate members of her own family. To I 
afford them relief, was not a deed of ostentation, but a 
source of heartfelt delight. She considered herself as 
the obliged party, when an opportunity was presented of 
distributing His bounty, who by entrusting her with riches 
had constituted her his almoner, and would at length re 
quire an account of her stewardship. Her piety was not 
a strife about doctrines, though the articles of her belief 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 9 

were by no means indifferent to her. She thought the 
spirit of controversy should be held in subjection to that, 
tvhich moveth to Jove and to good works. 

She disclaimed that bigotry which desires to extinguish 
every light which its own hand has not kindled. She 
looked upon the varying sects of Christians, as trav 
ellers pursuing different roads to the same eternal city. 

This liberality of sentiment was deserving of more 
praise, forty years since than in our times, when supe 
rior illumination bears with stronger influence upon the 
mists of prejudice. Educated in the metropolis of the 
state, the daughter of its first magistrate, born of a family 
of high respectability, introduced by marriage into the 
aristocracy of N , conscious that her excellencies were 
so appreciated by those around her, that she was consid 
ered almost as a being of an higher order, it would not 
have been wonderful if some haughtiness had marked her 
exterior, at a period when those distinctions signified more 
than they do at present. But that self-complacency, 
which is the spontaneons growth of the unrenovated heart, 
was early checked by a religion which taught her "not 
to glory save in the cross of Christ." Afflictions also 
humbled the hopes which might have unwisely aspired, 
or laboured to lay too deep a foundation on the earth. She 
had borne the yoke in her youth. The early death of her 
parents was strong discipline for a tender spirt. Her hus 
band was endued by nature with every excellence to awak 
en her attachment and confidence. His mind, enlarged 



10 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

by the best education which this country afforded, had 
pursued its scientific researches in Europe, and become 
exalted both by extensive knowledge, and rational piety. 
It was his pleasure to employ his wealth in the relief of 
indigence, and the encouragement of enterprise. He was 
early revered as the patron of merit in obscurity, and his 
name is still enrolled by the grateful town which gave 
him birth, as first in the list of its benefactors. United 
in the warmth of his earliest affections to a kindred spirit, 
they shared all the blessings of a perfect union of hearts. 
Many years of conjugal felicity had been their portion. 
But she was at length appointed to watch the progress 
of a protracted and fatal disease, and to mark with still 
keener anguish the mental decay of him who had been her 
instructer and counsellor. " I have seen an end of all 
perfection," she said, as his strong and brilliant pow 
ers yielded to the sway of sickness and when she bent in 
agony over his grave, she put her trust in the widow s 
God. The earlier part of their union had seen three 
sons rising like olive-plants around their table. The eldest 
exhibited at the age of seven a precocity of intellect, and i 
maturity of character, which at once astonished and de 
lighted the beholder. To store his memory with moral 
and sublime passages, to sit a solitary student over his 
book, to request explanations of subjects beyond his rea 
son, were his pleasures. The sports of his cotemporaries 
were emptiness to him, and while he forebore to censure, 
he withdrew himself from them. Within his reflecting 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 11 

mind, was a desire to render himself acceptable to his 
Maker. Though younger than the Jewish king, who, at 
the age of eight years, separated himself for the search 
of wisdom, he began like him to " seek the God of his 
Fathers." When he requested from his parents their 
nightly blessing to hallow his repose, he often inquired, 
with an interesting solemnity, " Do you think that my 
Father in Heaven will be pleased with me this day ? 
To a soul thus embued with the principles of religion, it 
was sufficient to point out that the path of duty was illu 
mined with the smile of the Almighty, and to deter from 
the courses of evil, by the assurance of his displeasure. 

The second had a form of graceful symmetry, and a 
complexion of feminine delicacy. The tones of his voice 
promised to attain the melting richness of his mother s, as 
a bud resembles the perfect flower. He possessed that 
rapid perception, and tremulous sensibility, which betok 
en genius. His character, even in infancy, displayed 
those delicate involutions, and keen vibrations of feeling, 
which mark the most poignant susceptibility of pleasure 
or of pain. His was the spirit on which the unfeeling 
world delights to wreak her tyranny ; as the harsh hand 
shivers the harp-strings which it has not skill to controul. 

The youngest, just completing his third year, was the 
picture of health, vigour and joy. His golden curls cluster 
ed round a bold forehead which spoke the language of 
command, like some infant warrior. His erect head, and 
prominent chest, evinced uncommon strength, and so full 



12 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

of glee was this happy and beautiful being, that the 
mansion or its precincts rang, from morning till night, 
with the clamour of his sports, or the shouts of his laughter. 
Active, unwearied, and intelligent, he seemed to bear, 
within his breast, and upon his brow, the consciousness 
that he was one of the lords of creation. 

On these three objects the affection and solicitude of 
the parents centered. Often they spake to each other of 
their differing lineaments of character, consulted on the 
methods of eradicating what was defective, or confirming 
what was lovely, and often contemplated the part they 
might hereafter act in life, with a thrilling mixture of fear 
and of hope. But for this anxiety it had been written, in 
the infinite councils, that there was no need. In one week, 
all these beloved beings were laid in the grave. In one 
weck, and the arms of the mourning parents remained 
forever vacant. Death, whose " shadow is without or 
der, respected in this awful instance the claims of priori 
ty. He first smote the eldest at his studies. His languishing 
was short. " I go to my Father in Heaven," he said, and 
without a struggle ceased to breathe. His disease was 
so infectious, that it was necessary to commit him im 
mediately to the earth. 

As the bereaved parents returned from his grave, of 
whom they had said, " this same shall comfort us concern 
ing all our toil," they found the second, bowing, like a 
pale flowret upon its broken stem. Pain fed upon his fraii 
frame, " as a moth fretting a garment." Anguish visit- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 13 

ed, and tried every nerve, yet, if he might but lay his 
head upon his mother s bosom, he would endure without 
repining. Tears quivered in his soft, blue eyes, like dew 
in the bell of the hyacinth, if she were no longer visible. 
Yet, when in a moment she returned, a smile of the spirit 
would beam through, and rule the convulsions of physical 
agony. "My son," said his father, "let us be willing that you 
should go to your Saviour, and to your brother in heaven." 
But the suffering child, who could imagine no heaven 
brighter than the indulgence of his own young affections, 
sighed incessantly as death approached. Yet his convuls 
ed brow resumed partial tranquillity, when his mother s 
voice poured forth, in trembling, agonizing harmony, the 
sacred music of the hymn he loved. It was then that he 
breathed away his spirit, fancying that angels hastened 
him to rise, and learn their celestial melodies. But, ere 
his heart ceased to throb, the destroyer had laid his hand 
upon the youngest, " the beautiful, the brave." Uncon 
sciousness miserably changed a countenance, which was 
ever lighted by the glow of intelligence, or the gladness of 
mirth. Unbroken sleep seemed settling without resist 
ance upon him, who had never been willing even for a 
moment to be at rest. Yet nature on the eve of dissolu 
tion aroused to an afflicting contest with her conqueror. 
Cries and struggles were long and violent, and now and 
then a reproachful glance would be bent upon his parents, 
as if the victim wondered they should lend no aid to his 
conflict. 



H SKETCH OP CONNECTICUT, 

Cold, big drops started thick upon his temples, and his 
golden hair streamed with the dews of pain. It was a fear 
ful sight to see a child so struggle with the king of terrors. 
\t length with one long sob he yielded, and moaning sank 
to rest. 

The little white monument still marks the couch of the 
three brothers. Its silence is eloquent on the uncertainty 
of the hopes of man on the bitterness that tinges the 
brightest fountains of his joy. 

Such were the adversities to which the heart of Madam 

L had been subjected. Her blossoms had been riven 

from her, as a fig-tree shaketh its untimely figs before the 
blast. An affecting memorial of her feelings, at this peri 
od, is still preserved, where, in a poetical form, she pours 
out her sorrows before Him who had afflicted her, and 
urges with the most afflicting earnestness, that her spirit 
may not lose the benefits of his discipline. After the calm 
ness of resignation had soothed the tumult of woe, she 
seldom spoke of her griefs. She kept them sacred for the 
communication of her soul with its Maker. \ r et they dif 
fused over her cheerful and faithful discharge of duty, ; 
a softness, a sympathy with those who mourned, a serene 
detachment of confidence from terrestrial things, which 
realized the tender description of a recent, moral poet : 

u \\ r hen the wounds of woe are healing, 

" When the heart is all resign d, 
Tis the solemn feast of feeling, A^ . 

Tisthe Sabbath of the mind. 



CHAPTER II. 

; * The toil-worn Cotter from his labour goes 
This night his weekly moil is at an end ; 
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, 
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend ; 
And weary o er the moor his course doth homeward bend." 
Burns 1 Colter s Saturday Night. 

OUR sketch, commences at the opening of the year 
1784. Winter had subtracted from the charms of the 
landscape, by substituting for its variegated garniture a 
robe of uniform hue. It had, like the envious brethren 
of Joseph, " rent the coat of many colours." Still, the 
brightness of the pure white surface, the conical mounds 
which attested the play of the elements, the incrustations 
clinging in every fanciful form to boughs sparkling with 
the beams of morning, gave brilliancy to scenery, which 
more favouring seasons had forsaken. 

The war of revolution, which for a long period had 
drained the resources of the country, had been termina 
ted for a space of somewhat more than two years. The 
British Colonies of America were numbered among the 
nations. The first tumults of joy subsiding, discovered a 
government not organized, and resting upon insecure 
foundations. Gold might be discerned among the mate 
rials of the future temple, but the hand of a refiner was 
needed, " to purge the dross, and to take away all the 



16 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

tin." Light had sprung from chaos ; but the voice of the 
Architect, had not yet caused " the day-spring to know 
his place." 

In Connecticut, the agitation, which pervaded the gen 
eral council of the nation, was unknown. The body of the 
people trusted in the wisdom of those heroes and sages of 
whom they had furnished their proportion. They believ 
ed that the hands, which had been strengthened to lay the 
foundation of their liberty, amid the tempest of war, would 
be enabled to complete the fabric, beneath the smiles of 
peace. In gratitude, and quietness of spirit, they rested 
beneath the shadow of their own vine ; and had they pos 
sessed " no law, would have been a law unto them 
selves." 

We return to N , which might be considered, at 

this period, the stronghold of" steady habits," and mod 
erated desires. The family of Madam L was usually 

enlivened by the residence of some of her relations. The 
daughter of a beloved sister had been adopted by her, 
soon after the death of her three sons. She had taken 

a maternal pleasure in superintending the unfolding of 

i 
a character, whose maturity afforded her the consolations 

of an endearing intercourse. A heart of sensibility a 
rapid and strong intellectsuperiority in those attain 
ments of her sex, which give comfort and elegance to the 
domestic department a liberal soul, indignant at mean 
ness and oppression, and imbued with deep reverence to 
wards God, were the characteristics of this object of her 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 1? 

affections. She depended much upon this g entle and zeal 
ous companion, during the mental decay of her husband ; 
but, soon after his decease, shuddered as she remarked 
the pale cheek and hollow eye of this dear friend, whose 
delicate frame was gradually resigning the elasticity of 
health. 

All the powers of medicine were exerted to mitigate 
the sufferings of a long, nervous consumption ; until at 
tenuated like a shadow, her mind still gathering bright 
ness amid the wasting of its tabernacle, her spirit was 
" exhal d, and went to heaven." This bereavement was 
recent, and the heart of the aged mourner felt a deep 
void, whenever her eye rested upon the places usually 
occupied by this daughter and friend. 

She was now soothed by the society of a son of her 
husband s only sister, who, since the death of his uncle, 
had made her house his home, except during an interval 
of absence in England and France. His accurate mind, 
stored with knowledge, which a wide sphere of observa 
tion had given him the means of acquiring, rendered him 
both an interesting and instructive companion. Nor did 
he forget to profit from those treasures of wisdom, which 
he daily beheld falling from the lips of age. He was par 
ticularly fond of the science of Natural History, and of 
exploring those labyrinths in which nature delights to in 
volve her operations, where she has made man, both the 
habitant of a region of wonders, and a link in their mys 
terious chain. His aged relative, whom he revered as a 
2* 



18 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

parent, and by whom his attachment was reciprocated, 
used familiarly to style him her "philosophical nephew. ?> 
By the light-minded, he was considered reserved, and by 
the ignorant, haughty ; but those, who were worthy to 
comprehend him, discovered a heart, alive to the impul 
ses of friendship and affection, and a mind, occupied in 3 
tissue of thought too intricate for vulgar comprehension : 
or balancing the delicate and almost imperceptible points 
of moral principle. 

Besides this nephew^ the family of Madam L 

comprised, at the present time, only herself, and two do 
mestics. These were blacks, and descendants of ances 
tors who had originally been slaves, before the voice of a 
wise and free people decreed the abolition of slavery. 
Several Africans had been owned by the father of her hus 
band, in whose family she had become an inmate at the 
time of her marriage. His death took place, at the advanc 
ed age of ninety-two, while his frame still possessed vigour, 
and his unimpaired mind expatiated freely upon the past, 
and looked undaunted toward the future. Temperance 
had guarded his health, and economy the fortune, which 
his industry had acquired. Religion had been his anchor 
from his youth, sure and stedfast ; arid, with the dignity 
of a patriarch, he descended to the tomb, illustrious at 
once, by the good name he bequeathed to his offspring, 
and by the lustre which their virtues in turn, reflected 
upon him. He lived at a time, when to hold in servitude 
<he children of Africa, had not been set in a true light by 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 19 

the eloquence and humanity of a more favoured age. 
Clarkson, and Wilberforce had not then arisen to unlock 
" indignantly the secrets of their prison-house," nor Cow- 
per, to bid the eye of sensibility weep over their wrongs. 
In the community, where the lot of this venerable patri 
arch had been cast, they were found in the families of a 
few men of wealth, nurtured as dependants, but never op 
pressed as slaves. Under his roof they were treated with 
uniform kindness, and after the accession of his son to the 
paternal estate, received their freedom. 

Two descendants of these " servants born in the house," 
still continued with Madam L , one as a hireling, the 
other for the sake of his clothing, board and education, 
until his minority should cease. Beulah, who had reach- 
her twenty-second winter, was an athletic, industrious fe 
male, grave in her deportment, and ofstrict honesty. Cuff, 
herbrother, was her junior by six years, active, and of an 
affectionate disposition, with some mixture of African hu 
mour. Both were attached to their mistress, like the 
vassals of feudal times, regarding her as " but a little 
lower than the angels." She cherished their unaffected 
regard, by a sway of equanimity, and gentleness, profes 
sing herself to be, like the V r icar of Wakefield, an " ad 
mirer of happy human faces." 

It was now Saturday night, and the setting sun ushered 
in that stillness which used to mark its return, forty years 
since, in Connecticut. Every ware-house, and shop was 
ihut, and man, like the creation around him, seemed 



20 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

relapsing into quietness and repose. There was some 
thing both soothing and dignified in the solemnity with 
which this period was then observed. Labour and revelry 
were alike laid aside, and a pause of silence announced 
the approach of that day, which the Creator consecrated. 

It seemed like the deference of a reflecting spirit, con 
scious that its habitual vocations were earthly, and un 
willing, without purifying itself from their defilement, tc 
rush into those services, which, to be acceptable, are 
required to be holy. It was like the change of garments 
of the Levitical priesthood, ere they entered the Sanctua 
ry. Our puritanic fathers then said to their worldly cares, 
as Abraham to his servants at the base of Mount Moriah, 
" abide ye here, while I go yonder and worship." 

They maintained that, if according to scripture, the 
evening and the morning constituted the first day, the 
Sabbath embraced the preceding evening within its ap 
pointed limits. So strictly did they enjoin the sanctifi- 
cation of Saturday night, that it might be said of them in 
that season, as it was of the Egyptians during their tem 
pest of hail, " he who feared the word of the Lord, made 
his servants, and his cattle flee into their house." The 
penal laws, which guarded the observance of the Sabbath 
among our ancestors at the first settlement of this country, 
had relaxed in their severity. Still, to travel on that day 
was considered an offence, meriting close examination 
from those vested with authority and ending in restraint, 
unless the sickness or distress of distant relations sanction- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 2 

ed the measure. " Sunday airings, "were then unknown, 
and would have been deemed an " iniquity to be punish 
ed by the judges." So fully had the saint-like simplicity 
of our predecessors embued Saturday eve with the sanctity 
of the subsequent morn, that seldom were the wheels of 
the traveller, or his voice, asking admission at the inns, 
known to disturb the silence of this hallowed period. La 
bourers restored to their places the instruments of their 
weekly toil ; mechanics the implements of their trade ; 
students their books of entertainment ; and " every good 
man and true," was supposed to be convening his fami 
ly around the domestic altar. 

In the parlour of Madam L , this was a season of solita 
ry and heartfelt meditation. The reflection of a clear wood- 
fire gleamed fitfully upon the crimson moreen curtains, 
gilded clock, ebony-framed mirror, and polished wain 
scot, ere light glimmered more brightly from two stately, 
antiquated candlesticks. The lady was seated in her 
rocking-chair, which stood in its accustomed corner. A 
favourite grey-robed cat, with neck and paws of the most 
exquisite whiteness, sat at the feet of her mistress, gazing 
wistfully in her face. Slowly erecting herself, she ad 
vanced a soft velvet paw to the hand which rested upon 
the arm of the chair, as if to remind its owner of ancient 
friendship, or claim some expression of fondness. Finding 
herself unnoticed, she removed her station to a green 
cushion in the vicinity, and turning round thrice, betook 



22 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

herself to repose, in the attitude of a caterpiller, coiled 
upon a fresh verdant leaf. 

On a small found table, lay the Scriptures and " Young s 
Night Thoughts," the favourite poem of Madam L . The 
latter was open at that canto, where the author so feel 
ingly describes the loss of friends, and her spectacles laid 
therein, as if to preserve some striking passage for fur 
ther perusal, while she indulged in those contemplation? 
which it awakened. Her brow resting on her hand, dis 
played the emotions of a soul, whose strong susceptibility 
the influences of religion had tempered, purified, subli 
mated. Before her, past in review, the pictured scenes 
of childhood, the gaiety of youth, the sorrows of maturi 
ty, the loneliness of age. Memory awoke Grief from the 
slumber into which time had soothed her, and revived 
her long buried energies. The mourner seemed to see 
her mother, the soft nurse of her infancy, the watchful 
monitress of her childhood, again smitten by an unseen 
hand, and covered suddenly with the paleness of the 
tomb : one moment, bending over her plants, in the sweet 
r ecesses of her garden, the next, lying lifeless among them, 
blasted by Him who maketh all the " glory of man, as 
the flower of grass." 

Her father, venerable for years, and high in publick 
honour, was again stretched before her, in the agonies of 
dissolving nature. Once more, his farewell tone falter 
ed on her ear, as she wiped the dews from his, temples, 
" My daughter I visit the fatherless, and the widow in 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 23 

their afflictions, and keep thyself unspotted from the 
world." Her faithful obedience to this admonition, utter 
ed from the confines of another state, might have cheered 
her heart, had it been wont to linger amid the recollections 
of its own virtue. The tissue of her good deeds, which 
was extolled by others as woven by a perfect hand, she 
was accustomed so to scan, as to administer to her hu 
mility. 

Such influence had imagination in this hour of excited 
feeling, that almost, her husband, the companion of her 
youth, seemed present, in his accustomed seat by her 
side. In fancy, she gazed upon his mild features, radiant 
with the beams of intelligence. Half she listened to his 
voice, explaining the axioms of science, or pouring forth 
the spirit of benevolence. Then came the prattling tones 
of children, the smile, the sport, the winning attitudes 
of those three boys, who returned no more. But illusion 
vanished, and more bitterly than her melancholy poet, 
she might have apostrophized the grim conqueror ; 

" Thy dart flew thrice and thrice my peace was slain, 
And thrice, ere thrice, yon moon had fi ll d her horn." 

Yet no repiaing mingled with her sorrow. She loved 
Him who had chastened her ; and raising upward eyes, 
whose pure azure shone through the big tear, she uttered 
in the low tone of mental devotion, " I thank Thee that 
I am not alone, for Thou art with me." Tenderly im 
pressed by a renovation of her woes, yet gratefully revolv 
ing the short space which separated her from her beloved, 



24 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

her sa nted ones she sang in tones of the gentlest melody 
;hat beautiful hymn of Watts 

" There is a land of pure delight, 

Where saints immortal reign ; 
Infinite day excludes the night, 

And pleasures banish pain." 

At its close, she relapsed into a train of animating, de 
votional contemplations, admirably fitting the mind for 
the duties of that day, on which the Redeemer, whom 
she loved, ascended from the tomb. 

Around the fire of her domestics, quietness and com 
fort, though of a different nature, predominated. The 
clean-washed floor, well-brush d shoes, and preparations 
for a Sunday s dinner, shewed that the householders of 
that time provided, in their domestic regulations, that 
their servants also might attend the worship of the sanc 
tuary, and enjoy the privileges of a day of rest. Neatness 
and order, in which the ancient house-keeping matrons 
certainly yield not the palm to their daughters, or grand 
daughters, prevailed throughout the simply-furnished 
apartment. The dressers, unpainted, but as white as the 
nature of the wood permitted them to be, sustained the 
weight of rows of pewter, emulous of silver in its beau 
tiful lustre. 

A long oaken table in their vicinity, once used at refec 
tions, when the family comprised many more members, 
but now summoned to do service only on ironing days, 
emitted as much lustre as the strength of a brawny arm 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 25 

viaily applied to its surface, could produce. A heavy 
oaken cupboard, the sound of whose opening doors was 
music to the mendicant, and the neighbouring poor, and 
five or six tall chairs, wjth rush bottoms, completed the 
furniture. A wooden seat or sofa, commonly called a 
settle, was immoveably fixed, not far from the ample ex 
panse of the fire-place- Over the mantle-piece, was a 
high and narrow shelf, which, at its western extremity, 
was multiplied into a triple ro% of shorter ones ; forming 
a repository for a servant s library. This was composed 
principally of pamphlet sermons, or what was considered 
Sunday reading ere the writer of novels had engrossed 
that department. Approximating to this library, hung the 
roasting-jack ; which, when put in motion, with its com 
plicated machinery extending from garret to cellar, alarm 
ed the unlearned by its discordant sounds, and awoke 
in the minds of the superstitious some indefinite suspicion 
of the agency of evil spirits. On the broad hearth-stone, 
sat Beulah and her brother ; the former, in token of seni 
ority occupying the post of honour, in front of a blazing 
fire ; the latter, with due decorum ensconced in a corner. 
The brow of the ebon damsel exhibited a more than usual 
cast of solemnity, by way of testifying respect to a New- 
Testament, on whose pages her eyes were devoutly fixed. 
Cuffee regarded her for some minutes, as if doubtful 
whether an interruption of "her studies would be tolerat 
ed. At length, with a long yawn, he hazarded the experi 
ment, of expatiating on the excellence of the supper hp 
3 



26 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

had recently eaten. To distinguish Saturday night, by 
a dish of beans baked with pork, was one of the peculiar 
ities of their native town. Many of the oldest householder;- 
could recollect no instance in w|)ich this ancient custom 
had been violated beneath their roof ; and children some 
times formed an inseparable connection in their minds, 
between this prelusive dish, and the duties of the Sab 
bath. The inhabitants still preserve this usage of their 
ancestors, as faithfully as tHe sons of Rechab transmitted 
his prohibition of wine to their remote posterity. Cuflec. 
rinding his exordium unchecked, proceeded to relate witi: 
proportionable astonishment, that once within the memory 
of an aged man of his own colour, the Saturday-night 
Statute-act was violated, at the inn where he was a ser 
vitor. 

" Next morniri," said he, elevating his eyes with be 
coming gravity, " next mornin, they ebery soul forget it 
be Sabba-day. They go "bout their work wash, scour 
Misse take her knitten-work Massa write his counts 
Brister go to barn thrash grain." 

He described their utter consternation, when the bell I 
from an adjoining steeple reminded them of their trans 
gression ; and the haste with which the} made themselves 
ready to appear in the sanctuary. 

He next proceeded to state, on the authority of a young 
man of his acquaintance, the dire disasters which befel hi s 
father s household, for a similar omission. Their resi 
dence was on Bean-hill, a section of the town, where this 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 27 

important article is required to appear on the table, twice 
in a week, on the evenings of Wednesday and Saturday. 
This ordinance, it seems, had but once been neglected 
since the building of their house. That night, a strange 
uproar awoke eviery member of the family, and frightful 
dreams disturbed their repose. Lo ! in the morning, their 
culinary furnace was found prostrate, and every brick 
dislodged from its station ; as if invisible agents had as 
sumed the punishment of the offence. Cuffee, though 
somewhat diffuse in his narrations, drew no sign of atten 
tion from his sister, who greatly valued herself upon a 
solemn deportment at devotional seasons. At length, 
slowly rolling towards him an eye, where white remarkably 
predominated, she inquired ino the nature of the book, 
which he held unopened in his hand. 

" Catechize," he replied, with the tone of an indolent 
boy at school, equally reluctant to study, or to recite his 
lesson. But Beulah, moved with righteous zeal, drew 
her chair into a line with his, and enveloping the volume 
in her huge hand, took it from him with no gentle grasp. 

By dint of spelling, she rendered the title-page vocal, 
which proved to be, " The Scholar s Introduction to the 
Science of Arithmetic. By Master Edward Cocker." 

" That s a Catechise-Book, I s pose !" she exclaimed 
with commendable asperity. Her brother hastily pro 
ceeded to justify himself, on the ground of a mistake 
made in the volume, before the candle was lighted. 
Wishing however to divert attention from this view of the 



28 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

subject, he descanted upon the carelessness of the owne* 
of this ancient volume, who had torn sundry leaves, besides 
decorating the blank spaces with ill-drawn pictures, and 
blots. He repeated a quaint saying, purporting that those 
who deface their books, have within them that principle 
of carelessness, which leads to want and disgrace. To 
bis expressions of wonder that the name of " Benedict 
Arnold," so often occurred, in almost illegible scrawls, 
Beulah replied that this was the book, which taught the 
elements of arithmetic to the traitor of that name, who 
resided in that house for several years, as one of the 
clerks of her deceased master. Unable to resist the. 
tempation of displaying superiour knowledge, her pious 
taciturnity vanished. She spoke eloquently of his enor 
mities in burning a neighbouring town, and putting to 
death all the brave defenders of the fort ; many of whom 
had been his acquaintance, and friends. She complained 
that, after landing on the devoted spot, and dining with a 
worthy lady, who took great pains for his accommodation, 
he ordered her house to be the first set on fire. 

She described the men of her native place, marching * 
to the relief of their distressed neighbours, as soon as the 
sound of the cannon reached them, and their wives and 
daughters weeping at the doors and windows, as they 
departed. In enlarging upon the losses sustained by the 
conflagration of so many buildings, she could not avoid 
descanting upon the quantity of eatables that were de 
stroyed, especially the " oceans of butter and lard," 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 

which were seen frying in the cellars ; naturally feeling: 
strongest sympathy for the waste of those condiments, 
which in her culinary art she most highly valued. But she 
dwelt with the deepest interest upon an exploit of a female 
of her own colour, with whom she profest a particular 
acquaintance, calling her Aunt Rose. It seems that Ar 
nold, fatigued with the contest, had paused to quench his 
battle-thirst at a well. As he stooped over it, this ebon 
heroine, who had been commissioned to hold his horse, 
made some questionable advances towards him, and had 
actually grasped his ancles, to precipitate him into the 
pit. Proving unsuccessful in her enterprize, she found 
it expedient to withdraw with unusual despatch. 

" That very night," subjoined Beulah, "Aunt Rose, hab 
most remarkable dream. She tink she die, and go rite 
to Heaven. All beautiful place, no hard work dere. 
Presently come in, her Misse, and all her darters lookin 
exceedin grand. " Where Rose ?" they cry. " Tell 
her get supper." Aunt Rose feel strange courage. She 
speak out to em, and say, " how you spect me to get 
supper ? Don t ye see there s no kitchen in Heaven ?" 
Beulah then launched into a new tide of invective, 
against the wicked traitor, as she styled him, until Cuffee 
inquired if he had no good quality, observing that his 
mistress said, that \ve should not forget to speak of the 
good, as well as the evil in the characters of our fellow 
creatures. The maiden, inly reproved, deigned no an 
swer ; but suddenly began to realize that their conver- 



30 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

sation was too diffuse for Saturday night. This she per 
ceived much more readily, when she herself ceased 
to be the chief speaker. After a decent pause, she 
explained her doubts to her brother, with an emphatic 
nasal twang, whether he had yet proceeded in the Assem 
bly of Divines Catechism, as far as " Effectual Calling ;" 
adding, that long before she had reached his age, she wss 
able to repeat the whole, with the proofs, and ask herself 
the questions, into the bargain. 

" I wonder," he replied, " who had not rudder ax dem~ 
selves questions, dan hab any body else. Den if you can t 
answer em, no matter ; no body to scold bout it." 

The ringing of the bell, which on Saturday night, like 
the old Norman curfew, was always at eight o clock, 
reminded them that much time had been spent, and until 
nine, the stated hour for retiring, each seemed absorbed 
?r their respective stnclie?. 



CHAPTER III. 

Our kings ! our fathers 1 where are they 
An abject race we roam ; 

And where our ancient kingdoms Jay, 

Like slaves we crouch like aliens stray ; 

Like strangers tarry but a day, 

And find the grave our home. 

IN the vicinity of the town which we have described, 
was the residence of a once powerful tribe of Indians, 
But diminished in numbers, and oppressed by a sense of 
degradation, the survivers exhibited the melancholy rem 
nant of a fallen race, like the almost extinguished embers 
of a flame, once terrible in wildness. The aged remem 
bered the line of their hereditary kings, now become ex 
tinct ; the younger preserved in tradition faint gleams of 
the glory which had departed. Yet, in the minds of all, 
was a consciousness that their ancestors possessed the land, 
in which they were now as strangers, and from whence 
their offspring were vanishing, as a " guest that tarrieth 
but a night." The small territory, on which they resided, 
was secured to them by government ; and its fertile soil 
would have been more than adequate to their wants, had 
they been assiduous in its cultivation. But those roving 
habits, which form their national characteristic, are pe 
culiarly averse from the laborious application, and minute 
details of agriculture. Here and there, a corn-field with 
out enclosure might be seen, displaying its yellow treas- 



32 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

ures beneath a ripening sun ; but such was their native 
improvidence, that the possessor, ere the return of another 
Autumn, would be as destitute of food, as he who had 
" neither earing nor harvest." The productions of a little 
spot of earth, near the door of many of them, denominated 
a garden, supplied them during the gentler seasons, with 
the more common vegetables ; yet so reckless were they 
of futurity, that cold winter s want was unthought of, as 
long as it was unfelt, and the needs of to-morrow never 
disturbed the revel of to-day. In their simple estimation, 
he was a man of wealth, whose dominion extended over 
a cow ; yet it was v.ealth rather to be wondered at, than 
envied. To roam freely over the forests, and drink the 
pure breath of the mountains ; to earn with their arrow s 
point, the food of the passing day, and wrap themselves 
in a blanket from the chill of midnight, seemed all the 
riches they coveted all the happiness they desired. 

These were, however, more properly, the lineaments 
of their character, in its native nobleness. Civilization 
had excluded them from the forests, their original empire, 
and awakened new wants which they were inadequate to 
supply. It had familiarized them to the sight of the white 
man s comforts, without teaching them the industry by 
which they are purchased. It had introduced them to 
vices which destroyed their original strength, like the 
syren pointing in derision to the humbled Sampson, whose 
locks her own hand had shorn. Thus they sacrificed the 
virtues of their- savage state, and fell short of the ad- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 33 

vantages which a civilized one bestows ; and striking, as 
it were, both upon Scylla and Charybdis, made ship 
wreck of all. 

Still some interesting features might be traced amid this 
assemblage of gloom ; some individuals remained, around 
whom, as around Philipoemon, " the last of the Greeks," 
gleams of brightness lingered. A few warriors, who, in 
the contest of 1755, dared death for the country which 
had subjugated them, still survived, to speak, with flash 
ing eyes, of battle, and of victory. Some, who had shared 
the toils of that recent war which had emancipated from 
British thraldom one who was to rank among the nations 
of the earth, remained, to shew their wounds, so poorly 
requited. Many might still be found, in whose hearts, 
gratitude, hospitality, and inviolable faith, the ancient 
characteristics of their race, were not extinguished. 

But over the greater mass hung the cloud of intem 
perance, indolence, and mental degradation. Conscious 
ness of their own state, and of the contempt of others, 
presented hopeless obstacles to every reforming hand, 
except His who brought light out of chaos. The dwel 
lings of this dilapidated tribe, though universally in a 
state of rudeness, exhibited considerable variety of ap 
pearance. Occasionally, the ancient wigwam might be 
detected, lifting its cone-like head among the bushes ; then 
a tenement of rough logs, reeking with smoke, would pre 
sent its more substantial, though less romantic structure. 
Those, which fronted the road, were wsually of board?. 



34 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

sometimes containing two rooms, with a chimney of stones, 
and admitting comparative comfort. Trees, loaded with 
small apples, yielded their spontaneous refreshment to 
those, who never cultured the young sapling when the 
parent stock decayed. 

Their situation afforded conveniences for their favourite 
employment of fishing ; and a few boats in their possses- 
sion, enabled them to pursue their victims into the deep 
waters. 

The females were more easily initiated into the habits 
of civilized life. These, they readily saw diminished 
their labours, and augmented their consequence. StilL 
the prerogative of dominion, entrusted to man by his 
Maker, is tenaciously cherished by the American Indian. 
He slowly yields, to the courtesy of example, the custom 
of making his weaker companion the bearer of burdens, 
and the servant of his indolence. In this perishing tribe, 
the secondary sex were far the most docile, whether 
religious truth, or domestic economy were the subjects 
of instruction. 

Still the distaff, the needle, and the loom were less { 
congenial to their inclinations, than the manufacture of 
brooms, mats, and baskets. In the construction of the 
latter, considerable ingenuity was often manifested ; and 
their extensive knowledge of the colouring matter, con 
tained in the juices of plants and herbs, enabled them 
to adorn these fabrics with all the hues of the rainbow. 
Bending beneath a load of these fabrics, and often the 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 35 

additional weight of a pappbose, or babe, deposited in 
a large basket, and fastened around the neck with a leath 
ern strap, might be seen, walking through the streets of 
the town, after a weary journey from their own settlement, 
the descendants of the former lords of the soil, perhaps 
the daughters of kings. Clad in insufficient apparel after 
the American fashion, with a little round bonnet of blue 
cloth, in a shape peculiar to themselves, and somewhat 
resembling a scallop-shell, anda small blanket thrown over 
,the shoulders, if the season were cold, they would enter 
every door in search of a market. There, in the soft, 
harmonious tones, by which the voice of the female na 
tive is distinguished, they would patiently inquire for a 
purchaser. If all their humble applications were nega 
tived, they might be heard requesting in the same gentle 
utterance a little refreshment, or a morsel of bread for the 
infant at their back. I will not say that these entreaties 
were always in vain but the poor, famished dog, which 
would be crouching at the feet of the suppliant, was too 
happy if he could obtain a fleshless bone, to allay the 
cravings of hunger. 

These females, when employed as they sometimes 
were, in the families of whites, to repair worn chairs? were 
uniformly industrious, and grateful for any trifling favour. 
In their own culinary processes, they were studious of 
comfort as far as their rude notions, and imperfect know 
ledge extended. Dishes composed of green corn, and 
beans boiled with clams, and denominated Succatash, 



36 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

the same grain parched nicely, arid pulverized, by the 
name of Yokeag, fish, or birds, prepared in different ways, 
with cakes of Indian meal baked in ashes, or before the 
fire upon a flat board, gave variety to their simple re 
pasts. 

They were likewise the physicians of their tribe. They 
regarded no toil in travelling, or labour in searching the 
thickets, for medicinal plants and roots. To sooth the 
agony of pain, or conquer the malignity of disease, 
was a victory, which their affectionate hearts prized more 
than the warrior, who intoxicated with false glory, boasts 
of the lives he has destroyed. Their knowledge of aperi 
ents and cathartics, was extensive ; their antidotes to poison 
were also considered powerful, and their skill in the 
healing of wounds was said to have been justly valued in 
time of war. Such were the females in their best estate ; 
and such the poverty and degeneracy of the once power 
ful tribe of Mohegans. 

Yet, strange as it may seem, amid their degradation 
they retained strong traits of national pride. In the gravi 
ty, and dignity of brow, which the better sort assumed, 
might be traced a lingering remnant of the creed of their 
ancestors, that the red man was formed before his white 
brethren, and of better clay. The proud recollections of 
royalty were cherished with peculiar tenacity ; and the 
most distant ramification of the blood of their kings, pre 
served in tradition with all the Cambrian enthusiasm. The 
place of burial for their monarchs was never suffered to 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 37 

be polluted by the ashes of the common people. It is 
still visible, with its decaying monuments, in the southern 
part of the town ; and its mouldering inscriptions have 
appeared in the records of recent travellers. A few years 
only have elapsed, since a Mohegan who was employed 
in mowing, in the northern part of the town, and a Pequot 
who was passing through it, both died on the same day, 
apparently destroyed by the excessive heat of the weath 
er ; perhaps, the victims of some latent disease. Coffins 
were provided by the inhabitants, and the bodies, laid 
therein with those demonstrations of respect, which they 
were accustomed to pay to the forsaken tenement of a 
soul. Most of the population of Mohesran attended the ob 
sequies, which were solemnized upon the Square, opposite 
the Court-house. As the clergyman lifted his voice in 
pathetic tones, to Him " who hath made of one blood, all 
who dwell upon the face of the earth," the females throng 
ed to his side, as if they loved and revered the ambassa 
dor of that Great Spirit, who giveth life arid taketh it 
away. Tears flowed over their sad faces, as they gazed 
upon the lifeless forms ; but on the countenances of the 
men, was a dark expression, as if they remembered that 
they were but servants, where once their fathers were 
lords. This recollection occupied their minds more than 
the scene which mournfully illustrated the equality of 
man. At length the dissatisfied spirit revealed itself in 
words. Graves had been prepared for the unfortunate 
men, in the burial-place of the northern parish of N , 



38 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

whose white monuments might be seen through the trees, 
which surrounded the green where they were assembled. 

" These men shall not lie side by side," they exclaim 
ed, with their usual conciseness and energy. " Ask ye 
why ? In one of them is the blood of our kings. He was 
sixteenth cousin to our last monarch. The other is an 
accursed Pequot. Think ye the same earth shall cover 
them ? No ! Their spirits would contend in their dark 
habitation. The noble soul would scorn to see the vile 
slumherer so near. They could not arise and walk to 
gether to the shadowy regions, for their everlasting home 
is not the same." 

Such was the haughty spirit, which lurked in the bosom 
of an oppressed, a crushed people. They could not for 
get the throne that was overturned, though they grovelled 
among worms at its footstool. 

Yet this tribe, now so despised, was once formidable to 
our ancestors. Its friendship was courted, and its aid, 
during the wars with Philip, in the seventeenth century, 
was very important to them in the infancy of their colony. 

It Was, at that time, formidable both for extent of territo- j 

>*. { 
ry, and number of warriors. Its power was increased by 

the conquest of Sassacus, king of the Pequots, who at the 
arrival of the English had under his dominion 26 sachems, 
and 700 warriors ; and also by the subjugation of the Nip- 
mucks, whose strong hold was in Oxford, in Massachu 
setts, though their dominion extended over a part of Con 
necticut. These conquests were achieved by the enter- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 39 

prise and talents of Uncas, a monarch whose invincible 
courage would have been renowned in history, did he not 
belong to a proscribed race ; whose wisdom might place 
him by the side of the son of Laertes, had we but an Ho 
mer to immortalize his name ; and whose friendship for 
our fathers ought to secure him a place in the annals of 
our gratitude. Originally of the nation of the Pequots, 
he revolted against the tyranny of Sassacus, whose king 
dom comprised the whole sea-coast of Connecticut. Un- 
eas partook of his blood, and had a command among his 
warriors, but rebelled against his arbitrary rule, and de 
parted from his jurisdiction. 

Considerable address must have been requisite to ren 
der himself the monarch of another tribe, and make the 
ro} r al honours hereditary in his family. When, at the 
arrival of our ancestors, the enmity of the Pequots dis 
covered itself in such terrible forms of conspiracy and 
murder, that unable to perform in safety the duties of the 
consecrated day of rest, armed sentinels were stationed at 
the threshold of their churches, Uncas continued their un 
alterable ally. When the bravery of Mason staked, as it 
were, the existence of Connecticut on the firmness of one 
little band, Uncas, with his warriors, partook every hard 
ship, shared every danger, and, by his counsels, and su- 
periour knowledge of the modes of Indian warfare, greatly 
facilitated the victory over their ferocious foes. His pres 
ence of mind, in any sudden emergency, would have ranked 
him among heroes, had he borne a part in the wars of Rome. 



40 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

Thrice, assassins were employed against his life, and suc 
ceeded in wounding him, but he discovered no perturba 
tion. One, bribed by Miantonimoh, his deadly enemy, 
in 1643, shot him through the arm, but, like the wretch 
employed against the great Coligny by the Medicean fac 
tion, fled, without daring to meet the eye of the hero. 
Another, instigated by the treacherous Ninigrate, in 1648, 
approached him as he stood unsuspiciously in a ship, and 
pierced his breast with a sword. But the wound was nov 
mortal, and, in both instances, his cool and majestic de 
portment evinced his contempt of treachery, and his supe 
riority to the fear of death. But, though prodigal of his 
own blood when danger impended, he was tenacious of 
the lives of his people. 

Sequasson, a sachem on Connecticut River, having de 
stroyed one of his subjects, and refused to makp. reparation. 
Uncas challenged him to single combat, and slew him ; 
cancelling with his blood the debt of justice, which he had 
scorned to acknowledge. The same tenderness for the 
lives of his followers may be discerned when they were 
drawn up in battle array, against the force of Miantonirnoh, 
his mortal foe. During the short pause which preceded 
the encounter, the Mohegan monarch, lofty in native val 
our, approaching from his ranks, stretched forth his hand 
toward his antagonist, and said, 

" Here are many brave men ; but the quarrel is ours, 
Miantonimoh. Come forth, let us fight together. If you 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 41 

destroy me, my men shall be yours ; if you fall, yours 
shall be mine." 

The haughty king of the Narragansetts answered proud- 
iy, 

" My men came to fight, and they shall fight." 
They fought and were defeated. The vanquished 
leader was taken prisoner by Uncas, who, contrary to the 
expectations of his followers, restrained that rage of ven 
geance, which savages rank among their virtues. He led 
his captive to Hartford, and delivered him to the justice of 
the Colony, submitting his personal resentment to the 
sanction of laws, which he acknowledged to be more wise 
than his own. They decreed his death, on account of 
many crimes, and restored the victim to his conqueror. 
Uncas returned with him to the spot where the battle was 
fought, and when the carnage, which Miantonimoh had caus 
ed, was before his eyes, an Indian executioner cleft his head 
with a hatchet. Uncas, having yielded so much to the 
forms of, justice, now testified some adherence to the sav 
age customs of his country ; which, if fully observed, 
would have demanded the torture of the criminal. Sev 
ering a piece of flesh from the shoulder of his lifeless ene 
my, he devoured it with expressions of triumph. The fal 
len monarch was then laid in a grave, over which a heap 
of stones was raised, and the spot, which is a short dis 
tance north-east of N , bears the name of Sachem s Plain 

to this day ; as an Israelitish valley was denominated 
4* 



42 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

Absalom s Dale, from the pillar erected in remembrance 
of that false prince. 

The character of Uncas comprehended many noble- 
properties. He was indignant at oppression, of invincible 
valour, of inflexible friendship, careful of the lives of his 
people with parental solicitude, possessing presence of 
mind in danger, wisdom in council, and a Spartan con 
tempt of personal hardship and suffering. The historians 
of that age, who were acustomed to represent the na 
tives in shades of indiscriminate blackness, have been 
careful to give us the reverse of the picture. They assure 
us that the wisdom, by which they profited, partook too 
much of art and stratagem to be worthy of commendation. 
They inform us that he was tyrannical, in his administration, 
to the remnant of the Pequots who were subjected to his do 
minion. This was undoubtedly true, yet William the Con 
queror, with all his superiour advantages of education and 
Christianity, was more oppressive to his Saxon vassals 5 
than this Pagan king. They also accuse him of having 
been inimical to the Christian faith. Probably the inde 
pendent mind of the Pagan preferred the mythology in 
which he had been nurtured, to the tenets of invaders, 
who, however zealously they might point his race to an 
other world, evinced little disposition to leave them ? 
refuge in this. Possibly, he might have thought the in 
junctions of the Prince of Peace, not well interpreted by 
the bloodshed that marked the steps of his followers. 
V.-T. under the* pressure of age, and at the approach ofr 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 43 

death, he pondered the terms of the gospel, which in his 
better days, he had not appreciated, and felt the value of 
that " hope, which is an anchor to the soul." Like the 
patriarch Joseph, he " gave commandment concerning his 
hones." He had selected, during health, a spot for his 
interment ; and his dying request was, that all the royal 
family might be laid in the same sepulchre. His people 
revered the injunction of their deceased king, and con 
tinued to lay his descendants in that hallowed ground, 
until the royal line became extinct. It is situated within 

the town of N , about seven miles from the common 

burial place of Mohegan. 

Uncas was succeeded by his son Owaneco, commonly 
called Oneco, who continued a faithful ally of our fathers, 
during the wars with Philip, when the destruction of the 
colony was attempted by. more than 3000 warriors. On 
the 9th of December, 167 1 , when Massachusetts and Con 
necticut hazarded a battle with Philip, and the combined 
force of the Nipmucks and Narragansetts, Oneco accom 
panied them with 300 warriors. 

They endured without complaint, the hardships of u 
march at that inclement season, and displayed the same 
firmness in the cause of another, which the whites evinced 
in their own. On their arrival where the enemy were em 
bodied, after sustaining a sharp conflict with an advanced 
party, they found that the greatest part of the force was in 
the fort with their king, in the centre of a morass. This 
was ascertained to be of unusual height, great strength . 



44 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

and so artful a construction, that only one person could 
enter it at a time without the utmost difficulty. The 
troops, on approaching it, found themselves in a hazard 
ous situation, being seriously annoyed by the fire from 
within the fortification, without the power of acting upon 
the defensive. In the council of officers, held at this criti 
cal juncture, Oneco exclaimed, with all a hero s enthu 
siasm, 
" I will scale these walls. My people shall follow me. 5 

They assented with surprize and gratitude, and instant 
ly Oneco, with his bravest warriors, was seen at the top of 
the fort. From hence they hurled their tomahawks, and 
took deadly aim with their fire-arms, among the mass 
within. In their steps ascended the intrepid Capt. Ma 
son, the first among the whites who hazarded so perilous 
an adventure. Here he received his mortal wound, and 
the troops from Connecticut, who followed him, sustained 
the heaviest share in the loss of that day. Six hours the 
horrible contest continued. Through the huge logs of the 
fort, blood streamed in torrents, and of the great numbers, 
which it contained, scarcely 200 escaped. 

New-England, that day, bewailed the death or wounds 
of between 5 and 600 of her colonists, and of this loss 
more than a fourth part was sustained by her faithful al 
lies, the Mohegans. Three hundred wounded men were 
borne, by their companions, 16 miles to a place of safety, 
on the day of this fatiguing battle. Many of these per 
ished, in consequence of a storm of snow, which rendered 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 46 

the march almost impracticable ; and 400 soldiers were 
disabled from action by the severe cold. In all these 
dangers and suffering s, Oneco never shrunk from his 
friends, or refused any aid, which it was in his power to 
offer. Sometime afterwards, in a conflict with the Narra- 
gansetts, he rendered our ancestors essential aid, and by 
his followers, the wily sachem, Cononchet was destroyed 
in a river, where he had sought concealment. Again he 
hazarded his life, and his people, in a battle, where the 
* Narragansetts, led on by their queen, the wife of Philip, 
were defeated, after displaying great valour. Until 1675, 
when the campaigns of Philip were terminated by his 
death, Oneco continued to lead his men into every scene 
of danger, which threatened his allies. Frequently un 
noticed, and usually unrewarded, he suffered nothing to 
shake the constancy of his friendship, or to induce diso 
bedience to the command of his deceased father, never 
to swerve from his oath to the English. When the Ma- 
chiaveliari policy of Philip was ultimately defeated by 
the undaunted Capt. Church, the head of that " troubler 
of Israel," was presented him by the warriors of Oneco., 
who had drawn him from beneath the waters, where, like 
the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, he had sought shel 
ter. 

The historians of that day, who were more accustomed 
to stigmatize, than to praise the natives, could not with 
hold the epithet of " lion hearted," from the name of 
Oneco. Yet, whether his merits have ever been fully ac- 



46 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

knowledge d by the descendants of those whose existence 
he was instrumental in preserving, let our national annals 
bear witness. He died childless, and was succeeded by his 
brother Joshua, a peaceful prince, who is scarcely men 
tioned in the records of that age, except as executing 
deeds for the conveyance of lands to the English. As 
soon as they obtained respite from war, the same spirit, 
which incited the more southern settlers to search for gold, 
moved them to desire the possession of all the patrimony 
of the aborigines. 

" Soon," said these unhappy people, " we shall not 
have land enough left, on which to spread our blankets. 

Mahomet, the eldest son of Uncas, inheriting a war 
like disposition, had slain, in a private feud, one of his 
people who had given him offence. The avenger of 
blood, who by their laws is permitted to take the life of 
the murderer, slew the young prince ere he was crowned, 
Uncas, then hoary with age, deeply regretted the loss of 
his favourite son, but was too wise to complain of the 
ancient laws of his tribe. Covering his face, for a short 
time, to conceal the anguish of a parent for his first-born. , 
he again raised his eyes, and said with an unmoved coun 
tenance, 

" It is well, my people. Let him be carried to his 
grave." 

Joshua was succeeded by the brother-kings, Benjamin 
and Samuel. The first being the eldest, had the right to 
reign and was* saluted by the nation as its sovereign. 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 47 

The younger, manifesting a more pliant disposition to the 
will of the colonists, was supported by them. He adopt 
ed a military dress, and was fond of the customs and 
conversation of the whites. The elder, strong in native 
eloquence, drew around him the strength of his tribe. 
Like Cyrus and Artaxerxes, the rival monarchs of Persia, 
separate interests awoke their ambition, yet not iike them 
did they lift their hand against each other in battle. Kindred 
blood restrained the animosity which their partizans would 
rfain have fomented ; and then example is a reproof to 
more civilized combatants, who can not only forget that 
they had but one father, but even that " one God created 
them." At length the elder king paid the debt of nature, 
and though he had been wise and humane, yet among the 
adherents of his brother was no mourning. But death, 
as if determining that the grief should be general, smote 
the younger also, and they reposed in one grave. On 
the tomb-stone of the favourite of our ancestors, the fol 
lowing epitaph was inscribed. It was the production of 
a late celebrated physician of N , whose memory is em 
balmed by excellence and piety, more than by his poeti 
cal talents. 

" For beauty, wit, and manly sense, 
For temper mild, and eloquence, 
For courage bold, and things wauregan, 
He was the glory of Mohegan." 

The line of the royalty of this tribe became extinct in 
the person of Isaiah Uncas, who received a partial educa- 



48 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

tion at the seminary of President Wheelock, in Connecti 
cut, but seemed not to inherit either the intellect, or 
enterprise, which distinguished the founder of that dy 
nasty. 



CHAPTER IV. 

k Haste ! ere oblivion s wave shall close. 

And snatch them from the deep, 
Muse for a moment o er their woes, 
Then bid their memory sleep."" 

IT has been mentioned that the tribe of natives, whose 
traditions we have partially gathered, retained amid its 
degeneracy, some individuals worthy of being rescued 
from oblivion. Among these, history has been most 
faithful in preserving the lineaments of their spiritual 
guide, the Rev. Samson Occom. He received instruction 
in the sciences and in the Christian faith, from the Rev. 
E. Wheelock, afterwards President of Dartmouth College. 
The sj^mpathies of this excellent man were aroused by 
the ignorance of a race, at once rapidly vanishing, and 
miserably despised. Regardless of the censure which 
stamped him as an enthusiast, and a visionary, he com 
menced a school for them in Lebanon, (Connecticut,) 
about the middle of the eighteenth century, and by his 
disinterested efforts for their improvement and salvation, 
deserves an illustrious rank among Christian philanthro 
pists. Occom was his first pupil, and his intellectual ad 
vances, and genuine piety, compensated the labours of 
his revered instructor. After a residence of several years 
in the family of his benefactor, he became the teacher of 

a school on Long Island, and endeavoured to impart th# 
o 



50 SKETCH OF CONA tXli^UT, 

fiidimenb of divine truth, to the Moatauk tribe, who were 
in his vicinity. His piety, and correct deportment pro 
cured for him a license to preach the gospel to bis be 
nighted brethren. He travelled through various tribes, 
enduring (he hardships of a missionary, and faithfully 
doing the work of an evangelist. His eloquence, par 
ticularly in his native language, was very impressive, and 
his discourses in English were well received, from the 
pulpits of the largest and most polished congregations ia 
4 he United Slates. In 17G5, he crossed the Atlantic, and 
VH- welcomed in England, with a combination of strong 
Curiosity j and ardent benevolence, which were highly grat- 
lying to him. Here his mind was enlarged by extensive 
ntercourse with the wise and the good, with some of 
vliom he continued to maintain a correspondence through 
out life. At his return, he commenced the discharge of the 
duties of his station, with increased ardour, and an inter 
esting humility. He delighted much in devotional poet 
ry, and presented a volume of hymns, selected by himself., 
vo his American brethren, which together with the let- 
.ers which are preserved, evince his correct knowledge 
of our language, and the predominance of religious senti 
ments in his mind. His residence was not stationary until 
near the close of his life, but at the period of this sketch, 
he was with his brethren of the Mohegan tribe. They 
listened to his instructions with awe, and regarded him 
with affectionate interest. When in explaining to them 
the sufferings of a Saviour, his eyes would overflow, and 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 51 

a more than earthly fervour pervade his features and ex 
pressions, they felt convinced that he loved what he im 
parted, and honoured his sincerity. But when he enforced 
the wrath of the Almighty against impenitence, his tones 
rising with his theme, and the terrours of the law bursting 
from his lips, they forgot the lowliness of his station, the 
subdued meekness of his character, and trembled as if 
they had heard rising among the mountains, the voice of 
the Eternal Spirit. 

Robert Ashbow was the chieftain, the counsellor of the 
tribe. Descended from the royal family, he was tenacious 
of that shadowy honour ; yet he who might decry such an 
empty distinction, could not long scan him, without per 
ceiving that nature had enrolled him among her nobility. 
She had endued him with a noble form, and an eye, 
whose glance seemed to penetrate the secrets of the soul. 
His lofty forehead spoke the language of command, though 
his countenance when at rest wore a cast of gravity, 
even to melancholy, as if his habitual musings were among 
the broken images of other days. Yet his kindling brow, 
aad the curl of his strongly compressed lip could testify 
the fiery enthusiasm of eloquence, or the most terrible 
emotions of anger. Some acquaintance with books had 
aided the vigour of his intellect, and he was fond of asso 
ciating with the better class of whites, because he could 
thus gratify his thirst for knowledge. When the general 
government of the states had become settled upon a per 
manent foundation, Robert Ashbow was permitted to 



5& SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

represent his people in the council of the nation, and re 
ceived from some of the most distinguished Senators, 
proofs that his talents were duly estimated, and his opin 
ions honoured. In religion, he was some what more than a 
skeptick, and less than a believer. He was familiar with 
the language of scripture, and assented to the excellence 
of its precepts, yet was perplexed at the division of faith 
from practice, which he beheld in many who professed to 
obey it. His adorations of the Great Spirit were stated and 
reverential. On the death of the Son of God for man, and 
on the nature of the gospel breathing peace, and good 
will, he reflected with awe, and admiration, but he suffer 
ed his reasoning powers to be perplexed witht he faults, the 
crimes of Christians. Perhaps also, the command "to 
love our enemies," interfered too palpably with his code 
of honour, or with that spirit of revenge, which his proud 
soul had been taught to nourish as a virtue. 

John Cooper deserves also to be mentioned, were it 
only because he was the most wealthy man in his tribe, 
It would be unpardonable to forget this distinction, in a 
country like ours, where wealth so often supplies the 
place of every other ground of merit ; and where it is un 
derstood by the body of the people, if not literally the 
"one thing needful," yet the best illustration of what is 
shadowed forth in scripture, as the " pearl of great price, 
which the wise merchantman will sell all to obtain. 

The habitation of John bore no external marks of splen 
dour, but beside a numerous household, his jurisdiction 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 53 

extended over a yoke of oxen, two cows, and sundry swine, 
riches heretofore unknown among the unambitious sons ot 
Mohegan. 

He was also a patient, and comparatively skilful agri 
culturist. He had a supply of the implements of hus 
bandry, for himself and sons, and availed himself of the 
labours of the plough, which his countrymen, either from 
dislike of toil, or jealousy at innovation, too generally 
neglected. The corn of John Cooper might be known 
from that of his neighbours, by its tall, regular ranks, 
and more abundant sheaves. Its interstices were fill 
ed with the yellow pumpkin, and the green crooked- 
neck d squash, and its borders adorned with the prolific 
field bean. A large stack of hay furnished the winter 
food of his animals, as he had not yet aspired to the luxu 
ry of a barn. He was regarded by some of his brethren 
with a suspicious eye ; not that they envied his possession?, 
for they had not learned to place wealth first on the list 
of virtues. But they imagined that he approximated too 
closely to the habits of white men, whom if they regard 
ed as friends, they could not wholly forget had been 
invaders. They conceived poverty to be less degrading 
than daily toil, and thought he could not be a true Indian, 
who would not prefer the privations of one, to the slavery 
of the other. But John found patient industry favourable 
not only to his condition but to his character. His regular 
supply of necessary articles removed those temptations to 

intemperance, which arise from the alternation of famine 
5* 



54 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

:md profusion. Labour promoted his health, and provi 
dence of comforts for his family inspired a soothing self 
.satisfaction. His untutored mind also found the connex 
ion, which has been thought to exist between agriculture 
md natural religion. While committing his seed to the 
f-arth, he thought of Him who made both the earth and her 
son who feeds upon her bosom. He remembered that all 
his toil would be fruitless, unless that Great Spirt should 
give his smile to the sun, and to the rain that matured the 
harvest. Softened by such contemplations, his heart be 
came prepared for the truths of revealed religion. Mr. 
Occom found him a docile student in the school of his Sa 
viour, and imparted to him with delight the knowledge of 
the word that bringeth salvation. The husbandman sub 
mitted himself to the teaching of the Spirit, and embraced 
the Christian faith. His employment became dearerthan 
ever, and he was continually drawing from it spiritual em 
blems, to animate gratitude, or to deepen humility. When 
subjecting to cultivation an unbroken piece of ground, the 
jrrmibles which invested it, would remind him of the 
.spontaneous vices of the unrenovated heart. " Their end 
is to be burned," he would say internally, " and such had 
been mine, but for thy mercy, my God. 5 The pure 
spring that gave refreshment to his weariness, restored to 
his thought " that fountain, which cleanseth from sin, and 

>f which he who drinketh shall thirst no more." In the 



.storm which frustrated his hopes, he traced the wisdom of 
Him, who giveth not account of bis ways r.nto man, jjuj 



FORTY YEAHS blNChl. OO 

irom the cloud sendeth forth the bow of promise to renew 
his trust, and the sunbeam to cheer his toil. In the cul 
tured fields, clothed with their various garb, he perceiv 
ed an emblem of the righteous man, bringing forth good 
truits, out of faith unfeigned : in the harvest bowing to the 
reaper, he beheld him ready to be gathered into the gar 
ner of eternal life. Thus increasing in knowledge and, 
piety, Mr. Occom considered him an useful assistant in hit 
stated instructions to the people, and thought of commit 
ting them to his spiritual charge, when he was compelled 
to be absent. But though they acknowledged that what 
John Cooper said of religion was well, and his prayers to 
the Great Spirit sufficiently long, it was evident that he 
did not possess their entire confidence, and some of them 
could not refrain from saying, that they " never yet saw 
an Indian so e age /after both worlds." Near the dwelling 
of John was that of Arrowhamet the warrior, or Zachary 
as he was familiarly called, by the name of his baptism. 
Tall, erect and muscular, he seemed to defy the ravages 
of time, though the records of his memory proved, that 
seventy winters had passed over him. He had borne a 
part in the severe campaign, which preceded the defeat of 
Braddock, and shared the hardships of the war of revolu 
tion, as the firm friend of the Americans. The tacitur 
nity of his nation prevented that garrulous recitation of 
rhe minutiae of his drama, to which aged soldiers are 
often addicted ; but sometimes, when induced to speak 
of his battles, his flashing eye, and lofty form rising still 



Ot) SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

more high, attested his military enthusiasm. His wile. 
Martha, who with him had embraced the Christian reli 
gion, was a descendant of the departed royalty of Mohe 
gan. Their attachment for each other was strong, and 
exemplified on his part, by more of courteousness, on her? 
by more of affectionate expression, than was common to 
the reserve of their nation. Their tenement consisted of 
two rooms, with a shed in the rear, for the deposite ot 
tools, or the rougher household utensils. 

Ilrwas encompassed with a little garden of herbs and veg 
etables, and the whole wore an unusual aspect of neatness 
and comfort. But a mysterious personage had been ad 
ded to that family, which had not within the memory of 
the young, comprised but Zachary and Martha. More 
than two years had elapsed, since a female had been 
observed to share their shelter, and to sit at their board. 
The Indians had remarked with surprise that she was of 
the race of the whites, 3 7 oung, and apparently in ill health,, 
as she never quitted the mansion. "They at first had testi 
fied some disgust, but as in their visits to the old warrior 
and his companion, she had always looked mildly on 
them, and spoken gently, they came to the conclusion, 
that " the pale squaw was wauregan," or good. Any in 
quiry respecting the guest, was uniformly answered, 
" She is our daughter ;" and perceiving that their friends 
did not wish to be pressed on the subject, they resigned 
their researches, and considered the stranger a? a denizen, 
and a friend. 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 57 

The Indian possesses in such respects a native polite 
ness, which might sometimes be a salutary model to 
more civilized communities. It is an accomplishment 
which their neighbours of Yankee origin might however 
be slow in acquiring. They seem to have elevated into a 
virtue, that close inspection of the concerns of their neigh 
bour, which almost precludes attention to their own, and 
doubtless think their knowledge of the contents of his cel 
lar and garret, the management of his kitchen, the gene 
alogy of his guests, and his secrets so far as they might be 
ascertained, a suitable employment for those who are 
commanded to love their neighbour as themselves. 

It might have been remarked, however, that since the 
arrival of this stranger, the dress of old Zachary was ar 
ranged with a more scrupulous attention to neatness. No 
rents were observed in any part of his apparel, and where 
they threatened to make their appearance, the delicate 
stitches of no untaught needle might be traced. The 
broad gold band, which had been the present of an officer, 
as a testimony of valour, was now constantly worn upon 
his well-brush d hat ; and old Martha was arrayed every 
afternoon in a plain black silk gown, made in a very 
proper and becoming manner. The interiour of the hum 
ble house evinced the daily use of the broom, and near 
its door two bee-hives, ranged upon a rough bench, sent 
forth the cheerful hum of industry. Beds of thyme and 
sage lent their aromatic essence to the winged throng, 
which might be seen settling upon them with intense 



58 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

pleasure, in the earliest ray of the morning sun. The de 
partment of medicinal herbs was gradually enlarged, as 
they were found to promote the comfort of the drooping in 
mate, and Martha had become too old to seek them as 
she was wont in the woods. She busied herself frequent- 
ly in the construction of work-baskets, whose smooth 
compartments displayed the light touches of a pencil, te 
whose delicacy the natives laid no claim. The zeal ot 
these hospitable beings to promote the accommodation of 
their guest was very remarkable. Zachary would push 
his rude boat into the distant waters, that he might obtain 
supplies of those fish which were accounted most rare, or of 
such oysters as might allure the appetite of an invalid. 
When he carried to the market articles of domestic manu 
facture, he never returned without having expended some 
portion of his little gains, in the purchase of a few crack 
ers, or a small quantity of wheat flour, or perhaps some 
of the tropical subacid fruits, which are so grateful to 
the parched lip of the sufferer from febrile disease, 
Martha brought with maternal tenderness, the morning 
draught of milk warm from the cow, who in her rude 
tenement in the rear of the building quietly ruminated. 
She would present also on a clean wooden plate, a dessert 
from her bee-hive, for the knowledge of whose manage 
ment, she was indebted to the gentle being on whom her 
care centered. She would also search the adjoining fields 
for the first ripe strawberries, and whortleberries in their 
reason, and bring them in a little basket of green leaves, 



FORTY YEARS SIISTCE. ;>y 

that their freshness and fragrance might tempt the sick 
ening palate. An emaciated hand would receive these 
gifts, and a face white as marble beam with a faint smile, 
while a soft voice uttered, " I thank you Mother." But 
all seemed in vain, the liliy grew paler upon its stem. 
and seemed likely to sink into the grave, lonely and beau 
tiful, with all its mysteriousness unrevealed. 

One more personage deserves to be noticed ere we 
close the brief catalogue. Maurice, or as he was called 
before his baptism Kehoran, was deemed by his country 
men the most singular of men. Yet so accustomed had 
they become to his habits, that they almost ceased to be 
an object of animadversion. Years had elapsed since he 
withdrew himself from the residence of man, and became 
the tenant of a cave, at the base of a rock, at a consider 
able distance from the principal settlement. Nature had 
there formed an irregular apartment of about twenty feet 
in length, and varying in height and breadth. Its aper 
ture, much below the stature of a man, was of a triangular 
shape, and apparently made by the disruption of the 
rock, which formed the roof of the cavern. It was par 
tially closed by rolling against it a large stone which was 
found within, among other rubbish, which the hermit had 
removed. Here Maurice dwelt, subsisting upon the roots 
and berries, which the shaggy forest overhanging his roof 
supplied, and quenching his thirst at a spring which ran 
bubbling from the rocky height, and, gliding past his 
door like a riband-snake, disappeared in the adjoining 1 



60 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

thicket. Abed of skins afforded him a place of repose, 
and the severity of his life distressed even the natives, 
who were accustomed to despise hardships arid privation, 
Maurice was tall, and emaciated, clad in a rough man 
tle of skins, fastened round his loins with a strip of 
bark. At a distance he might be taken for a miserable 
Franciscan, and as he approached, the crucifix always 
borne around his neck, revealed the religion which he 
professed. It was the general opinion that the terrible 
penances which he endured, had been enjoined as an 
expiation for some unknown crime. It was remembered 
by the oldest inhabitants that he had been a warrior, and 
a hunter of athletic frame, and keen eye. Now, when a 
partridge rested near him, or a squirrel sprang from the 
branch where he stood, he had been observed to raise his 
arm involuntarily, as if to bend his bow, then dropping it 
suddenly to exclaim, " No ! No ! there is blood enough 
already." His feet were bare, and often wounded by 
thorns, and his white beard which he suffered not to be 
cut, rested upon his breast. Every autumn he disap 
peared, and was no more seen, until the opening spring 
permitted him to inhabit his cave, and resume his usual 
regimen. It was at length understood, that in his inter 
vals of absence, he travelled to Canada, to visit the Jesuit 
who converted him, and to become confirmed in the faith 
which he had embraced. But the present winter he had 
omitted this stated journey. Some fancied that his be 
loved instructed was dead, but the majority concluded 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 61 

that the infirmities of age precluded the hermit from the 
fatigues of his pilgrimage. He was seen to guide his let 
tering steps by a staff, and to look vacantly at surround 
ing objects, as if his eye was dim to their proportions. 
The hair upon his head had become thin, and whiter than 
silver, yet he defended it by no covering from the blast 
or from the tempest. He now received with unwonted 
kindness, additional clothing, or occasional food from his 
countrymen, but if they offered him flesh he would repel 
it with disgust, saying " it must never pass the lips of 
Maurice." The benevolence of Mr. Occom was strong 
ly excited in his behalf. He visited him in his cell, re 
lieved his famine, and urged him to accept of a milder 
faith and to rely on the expiation of his Redeemer, and not 
on the mortification of his frail, decaying body. He would 
listen calmly to his discourses, but when he touched upon 
any peculiar tenet of the Roman church, would wave his 
withered hand, with all its wasted energy, and exclaim 
** your way is not my way." 



CHAPTER V. 



Pure Charity, 



Who in the sun-beam of her Sire doth walk 
Mrtjestic, hath a prayer of love for all ; 
Yet not on Indolence and Vice, her gifts 
Profusely pours ; lest fostering Sin, she mar 
The Deity s good work, and help to stain 
His beautiful creation. 

THE charities of Madam L had become proverb 
ial. Not only did the sufferers in her vicinity resort to 
her under the pressure of calamity, but the roving beggar 
trusted to find in her mansion, relief or shelter. These 
mendicants, not being restrained at that period by the fear 
of work-houses, were more numerous in proportion, and 
vastly more at ease in their peregrinations than at the 
present day. Although there were not among them, as in 
England, any selling of stands and circuits, fortunes se 
cretly amassed, or establishments which transformed the 
gains of the day into nocturnal revels, where the cripple 
danced, and the blind recovered their sight ; yet there 
existed that system of sympathetic intelligence, by which 
the houses of the bountiful were seldom unvisited, or 

those of the churl entered. Madam L , being one day 

summoned to the kitchen to receive a guest of that order, 
was accosted in piteous tones by a man, who raised him 
self with difficulty by the aid of a staff upon one limb, while 



64 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

the other was so bandaged that it seemed an useless ap 
pendage. This he said was disabled by a shot at the battle 
f the Eutaw Springs, where, being left senseless on the 
field, his head was dreadfully lacerated by the tomahawks 
of the Indians. A swelling, and excoriation upon his arm, 
which he also exhibited, he termed a " Rose-Cancer." 
Moved by such a combination of ills, and ever alive to 
the sufferings of those who fought the battles of our revo - 
lution, the Lady bestowed on him alms, which rendered 
him eloquent in thanksgiving, and ordered him some din 
ner. As she retired to her parlour, Cuff following said in 
a suppressed voice, " He been here afore, Ma am. He 
no more lame, than I lame." 

Returning, and scrutinizing him more closely as he par 
took of his repast, she recognized in his face, half covered 
by the large cap which concealed his wound, some resem 
blance to a recent applicant. " Were you here, a short 
time since ?" she inquired. " No God bless your soul, 
Ma am," answered the man, rapidly. " I never see your 
blessed face till this day," regarding Cuff with eyes in 
flamed with anger. Beulah then spoke, " three weeks 
ago yesterday, he come here, walking on two legs, with 
out any hurt in his head, or Rose-Cancer." " Put a spoon 
in your calabash-mouth, and see if that will keep down 
your false tongue," said the beggar, in his hoarse, natural 
voice ; forgetting the melancholy notes, to which he at 
first set his articulation. Hastily seizing the pack, from 
.which he had imhamess d himself, that he might more 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. (55 

eas-ily take refreshment, he slipped the strap over his 
neck with such an ill grace, as to dislodge the cap, which 
he said he was obliged always to keep over his wound, 
because the " air made it ache tormentedly." This un 
fortunate occurrence discovered an unscalped head, with 
a thick growth of hair. The wrinkles, with which he had 
plaited his forehead, suddenly disappeared before the 
emotion, which put disguise to flight ; for, though proba 
bly long inured to dissimulation, he could not without 
some compunction be stripped of his mask, in the presence 
of abused goodness. " You are the man," said the Lady 
in a calm voice, " who, a short time since, requested 
charity for a houseless wife and seven children, whose 
little home, erected by your industry, was burnt at mid 
night. You wept, as you said, that your eldest daugh 
ter, who was sick, perished in the flames. Did you not 
tell me the name of the village within the borders of Mas 
sachusetts, where your family remained, shelterless, and 
that you were in haste to gain a little aid, that you might 
return and comfort them ?" To this mild appeal the dis 
sembler had no answer. He would have repelled anger 
with impudence, but undeserved gentleness silenced him. 
Busying himself to collect his cap, hat and staff, he uncon 
sciously found his useless limb, very serviceable in facili 
tating his exit. " Fear not," said the Lady, " that I shall 
reclaim the alms I have given you. But remember, though 
you may sometimes deceive your fellow-creatures, there 

is a Judge whom you cannot escape, whose " eyes are 
6* 



UU SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

like a consuming fire to all iniquity," Returning to her 

parlour, she found her brother Dr. L , waiting to make 

her his daily visit. He was the only brother of her de 
ceased husband, and a few years younger than herself. 
The residence of his family was opposite her own ; and 
the unrestrained intercourse, which had ever been main 
tained, greatly alleviated her loneliness. Dr. L was 

a man of great goodness of heart, and exemplary life. 
Gentleness of manner, moderation in sentiment, and sin 
cere piety were his characteristicks. As he approached 
the close of a long life, (for more than fourscore year 
were allotted him,) benevolence became more and more 
his distinguishing feature ; as the stream expands more 
widely, as it prepares to enter the bosom of that sea, 
where its course terminates. Invariable temperance, and 
a mind a stranger to those starts of passion which disorder 
the wheels of existence, gave him an age of unbroken ac 
tivity and health ; cheered by the sight of his children s 
children, springing up like olive plants around his path. 
He lived to see the eyes of this beloved sister closed in 
death, when she had nearly attained fourscore years and 
!en. The fraternal attachment, which had been nourish 
ed for more than- half a century by the sympathies of daily 
intercourse, did not fully reveal its strength, till its ties 
were sundered. "Bowing down, he walked heavily, as 
one who mourneth for his mother," and in two years 
slumbered near her, beneath the clods of the valley. 
At the period of this sketch, IIP was in his grand climac- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 67 

terick, with a florid brow, and a step like youthful agility. 
He was of small stature, and correct proportions, and in 
his attire preserved those ancient fashions, which were 
then thought to give consistency and dignity to the form 
which time had honoured. A white, full bottomed wig. 
beautifully curled, shaded his venerable brow. This was 
surmounted by a low-crowned three-cornered hat, or, dur 
ing his favourite rides on horseback, by one with a deep 
brim, to afford shelter to the eyes. His nicely plaited 
stock, long waistcoat, and silver buckles, never yielded to 
modern innovations ; and the neatness, which distinguished 
his dress, extended through his mansion, and its precincts. 
It also pervaded every branch of the domestic depart 
ment, and like the spirit of order, promised to be an heir 
loom in his family. Such was the person to whom Mad 
am L , with the freedom of sisterly intercourse, re 
lated the adventure which had just occurred in her kitch 
en. " I have long wished," he remarked, " for an op 
portunity to converse with you on this subject. I believe 
that you are often deceived by those who solicit your 
charity. The good are not easily suspicious, and the 
wicked take advantage of it." 

" I know brother," she replied, "that I have sometimes 
given to the unworthy. The occurrence of to-day is by 
HO means a solitary one. Yet how can we always dis 
criminate, unless we could read the heart ? That suspi 
cion, which would guard us against dissimulation in one 
i-ce. might turn us from the prayer of real want in 



68 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

another. I have thought that while our reliance was upon 
a Benefactor " kind to the unthankful and evil," we ought 
not to hold, with too strict a hand, the balance of merit, 
when we hear the complaint of misery . I cannot find that 
our Saviour hath said Relieve only the righteous, but, 
" the poor ye have always with you, and whenever ye 
will ye may do them good." Does he not almost make 
them His substitute ? "me ye have not always," as if 
they were to furnish proof of our compassion, when He 
should be raised above the ills of humanity ? When I 
have thus reflected on this passage, I have felt that I had 
rather relieve ten unworthy claimants, than to neglect on e 
suffering servant of my Lord." 

" These sentiments," said Dr. L , " might be ex 
pected from the benevolence of your heart. Yet while 
we indulge in charitable feelings, we should be careful 
not to reward deceit, or cherish vice. We are command 
ed not to do evil that good may come ? ? Is it not pos 
sible that, from a zeal to do good, evil may arise ? It is 
always safe to give food to the hungry, and clothing to the 
naked, and kind words to him who is of a heavy heart. 
But the indiscriminate gift of money enables the drunkard 
to repeat his sin, and the indolent to become more vi 
cious. Benevolence is blessed in itself, but it must be 
associated with discretion, ere it can confer blessings on 
others. The science of medicine is salutary, but if the 
physician use but one remedy for every disease, he will 
sometimes occasion death. Yet I would not speak as if 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 69 

you alone were liable to deception from those who solicit 
charity. It is but a short time since a young man brought 
to my house a paper, signed by several persons, de 
claring him to be deaf and dumb from his birth. His 
conduct comported with this declaration. His questions 
were unintelligible to me, and his eye possessed that 
earnest, inquiring gaze, which characterizes that interest 
ing, and unfortunate race. Affected at the lot of a being, 
cut off from all the privileges and joys of society, I was 
preparing to impart liberally to his wants. My wife, 
regarding him with a penetrating look, said " she had no 
doubt he was an impostor, who could hear and speak as 
well as any of us." He could not avoid turning his head 
as if to listen, and, more moved by resentment than good 
manners, answered, " You lie !" 

" What," inquired the Lady, " do you consider the best 
method of doing good, with the least possible harm ?" 
( Undoubtedly, that of relieving the poor, through their own 
industry," he answered. " Thus, instead of the degrada 
tion of beggary you elevate their character, with the con 
sciousness of a right improvement of time. If they are 
addicted to vices, you diminish their strength, by destroy 
ing indolence. You dry up the streams, by choking the 
fountain. A Christian should seek not merely to relieve 
bodily want, but to elevate moral character. If you sup 
port the children of an intemperate man, you take from him 
the strongest possible motive to reformation and industry. 
In those countries where establishments for the indigent 



70 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

have been the most abundant, charity has at length discov 
ered, that the way to multiply the poor, is to provide for the 
poor ; or in other words to destroy their motives of action." 
" Your theory, my brother, no one can question ; the 
difficulty seems in reducing it to practice. The sick, 
and the infant must ever be an exception, and those also, 
who devote themselves to their comfort. The class of 
roving mendicants would also evade it, until the commu 
nity shall be so impressed as to erect houses for their 
restraint and labour. To the families of the poor, who 
have health, it applies itself, as the most natural, and 
efficacious system of relief. I have ever found wool and 
flax gladly received, and wrought by poor, virtuous 
iemales. Their children can assist them in some parts of 
the toil, and thus industrious habits are implanted, where 
otherwise a vagrant idleness might take root. When these 
domestic manufactures have exceeded my own wants, I 
have sometimes disposed of them at reduced prices among 
those who have wrought them. Thus their families are 
clad in durable materials, instead of those insufficient 
fabrics, which the poor often purchase for the sake of 
cheapness, but which vanish long before one inclement 
reason has past. I have usually found it expedient not to 
render them payment in money, but in those articles 
which are necessary to comfortable subsistence ; for I 
believe the cause of poverty will often be found to exist 
in the destitution of that economy, which warns against 
spending the little " all for that which is not bread, and 



I ORTY YEARS SINCE. 71 

"he labour ior that which satisfieth not." This system of 
charity creates such an intimacy and freedom of detail, 
rhat opportunities are discovered, where medicines for 
sickness, and books for children may be distributed with 
great advantage." " This laborious system, have you then 
been pursuing, so silently that I had not discovered -it ?" 
-:aid her brother. " What I began for a reproof ends as 
asual in the commendation, that, " many daughters have 
done virtuously, but thou still excellest." " I pray you, 
answered the Lady, to mention nothing of what I have 
imparted to you. The detail was given merely for the 
.-ake of the inference, that the system was too extensive 
for an individual. To be rendered effectual, it should be 
supported, by an association of the charitable. It ought 
to comprise a warehouse, where the materials for labour 
should be furnished, the manufactures exposed for sale, 
and a stock of articles kept, suitable to be rendered in 
payment. This should be superintended by the directors 
of the institution ; and a poor, and pious widow, might 
receive a salary for attending in it. A collection of such 
medicines, as might be administered safely without appli 
cation to a physician, might also be connected with it, and 
would often prevent serious sickness in those, whose 
strengh is put in daily requisition, without the power of 
obtaining necessary cordials. Books of instruction for 
children, and of consolation for the aged and sorrowful, 
should also be kept for gratuitous distribution. I have 
thought that a Charity School, if it were kept but on Sat- 



72 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

urday afternoons, might give opportunity of teaching many 
valuable precepts to the children of those who laboured in 
this institution. It might at least then be ascertained how 
they had passed their time during the week, and if they 
were prepared to attend in a proper manner, the exercises 
of the approaching Sabbath." 

" The great objection to this excellent system," said 

Dr. L , " will be found in the love of ease. The rich 

had generally rather satisfy the poor, and their own con 
sciences, at the least expense of time and thought. These 
objects are accomplished by the gift of money, and a 
claim to the title of bountiful is thus easily procured. 
This mode of relief involves no troublesome inquiry into 
the sources of want no difficult, and perhaps abortive 
attempt to awaken industry. To the actings of this indo 
lent spirit, we are all more or less prone. This moves 
us even in the education of our children, to overlook in 
stead of exterminating the ramifications of evil, and t 
cover an injury, which will probably affect them through 
out the whole of life, with the soft name of affectionate 
indulgence." 

Their conversation was interrupted by a low rap at the 
door, and the entrance of a woman apparently in humble 
life. A cloak of homemade cloth covered a form whose 
size promised great strength ; and a decent black bonnet 
partially concealed a face, where health and an expression 
of cheerful contentment reigned. " I have brought home 
Ma am," she said " the rest of the yarn which you wish- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 73 

fd to have spun. If you have any more flax, I should be 
very glad to take it." " Sit down Mrs. Rawson," said 

.Madam L . " You never seem to be tired, while any 

work remains. Have you walked three miles this cold, 
unpleasant day ?" * Any body who is strong, and well, 
need not complain of walking a few miles, Ma am. Some 
part of the way is rather wet, but since I ve been able 
through your help to get such a pair of strong shoes, I 
don t mind any sort of walking. What a blessed thing it 
is. when the hearts of the rich are turned to give work to 
the poor, and assist them to get the necessaries of life, for 
themselves and families." 

" Heaven," said Dr. L , " helps those who are wil 
ling to help themselves. Have you any children, good 
woman ?" " O yes sir. God be thanked. What a lonely 
creature I should be without them We live almost a mile 
from any neighbour, and they are company and comfort 
to me. Some folks blame me, because I don t put them 
to service. But there are only two of them, and they re 
very serviceable to me. The boy is twelve years old, 
and he takes care of the little spot of garden that we have, 
and raises vegetables, and cuts my wood in the winter, 
and when he can work out a day or two, with the farmers, 
he s willing and thankful to do it, to get a little provision 
for me, or help pay my rent. The girl is two years 
younger, and does the chores while I spin. She takes to 
the wheel too, herself, as natural as a duck runs to the 

water. My eldest son wanted to follow the seas like his 
7 



74 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

father. It was a trial to me, but I remembered that he 
had the same protector on the water, as on the land. 
When he went away, he said " Mother, keep up a good 
heart. I shall come back, and bring you something to 
help you along." Oh ! with what delight I used then to 
read the 107th Psalm, which speaks of them "that go 
down to the sea in ships ; to do business in the great 
waters, how they see the works of the Lord, and his won 
ders in the deep." Many a time, when I have lain awake, 
in stormy nights, when my bed has shook under me with 
the winds that rock d the house, I have thought perhaps 
my poor boy is among those who " mount up to the 
heavens, and go down again to the depths, with their soul 
melted because of trouble." Then again it would come 
into my mind, who knows but he " will cry unto the 
Lord, and he will bring him out of his distresses." That 
thought comforted me. If he can only be made to seek 
his God, in the days of his youth, what matter is it though 
he should suffer, and his mother s heart ache ? all would be- 
well in the end. When it came time to expect him back, 
I found myself too anxious and impatient, for one who . 
ought to trust all to God. One day, when I was looking 
for him, a wagon drove up to the door. My heart was 
in my mouth. A man got out, and brought me a chest, 
and said, " This belonged to your son. He died of a fe 
ver, a fortnight before we arrived on this coast." My 
tongue was speechless something said to me " be still * 
and know that 1 am God." All day long, as I went about 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 



76 



my work, that boy seemed to stand beside me, with his 
face between smiles and tears, as when he last said, 
" Good bye, mother." When I went to bed, and all was 
darkness, his pale corpse lay stretched before me, and I 
trembled with agony as when I bore him. But through 
that long sleepless night, the same voice repeated, . ** Be 
still ! and know that I am God." The next day, I opened 
his chest. There lay all the clothes, that those dear 
hands had toiled to procure, and I had made for him. But 
oh ! what a blessing. Wrapt up in the choicest manner, I 
found a prayer, which he had himself written. It has been 
my comfort ever since, when I have grieved, as a mother 
will grieve for her first-born. Then I could turn to the 
psalm, which had been my companion in his absence, and 
say, " Oh ! that men would praise the Lord for his good 
ness ! and for his wonderful works to the children of men." 
How merciful that he was not thrown overboard, without 
a moment s time to beg favour of God. But if the child 
of many prayers did, in his sickness, pray himself for sal 
vation, and be heard, what more have I to desire ? Some 
times in my dreams, I have seen him as an angel, walk 
ing on the waves, and reaching his hand toward me. God 
grant that I may not be deceived in my hope." She 
paused, to wipe the tears that were escaping down her 
cheeks ; and recollecting herself, said, " I ought to ask 
pardon, for talking so much about my own poor con 
cerns." Madam L perceiving that her brother was 

interested in the narration, said, " I am always edified to 



76 SKETCH OP CONNECTICUT, 

hear the events of your life, my good Mrs. Rawson ; for 
you keep in view the Hand that rules, both under the 
cloud, and in the sun-shine. I wish you would relate to my 
brother, what you have told me, respecting your husband. 
" He was a man," she answered, " l of better edu 
cation, than people in his station always enjoy. I mar 
ried him, when I was sixteen, and my whole endeavour 
was to please him. I did not consider that it is our duty 
to seek "first the Kingdom of God, and his righteou c - 
ness." My husband was an ambitious man : and at last be 
came master of a vessel. He was always looking for great 
things, but seemed to be unfortunate. While he was gone 
whole years, I would live upon as little as would keep 
life in me, so as not to be a burden to him ; and some 
times when I was sick, and would have been thankful for 
six-pence, to buy medicine, a letter would come from him, 
full of nothing but poetry. Yet I was rejoiced to see only 
a line, vmtten by his hand, " because of the love I bore 
him." Once, when my babes and I were really in want of 
food, there came from him a present to me. of a gold 
ring, and his picture as big as life. The children were 
frightened to death, at the sight of such a great face, that 
did not talk ; and they cried and screamed so, that I had 
to carry it up garret, and turn it the backside out. 1 soid 
the gold ring, and bought Indian meal, and some wool to 
spin stockings for our bare feet. I would have sold the 
picture, but nobody would buy it. I thought it was not 
becoming in ma to keep such a costly thing. I wrote to 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 77 

my husband " if you had but sent me a piece of meat as 
big as the picture, I should know what to do with it. 
Here are three little mouths, wanting to be rilled, that 
call you Father."" But he meant all in kindness. Once 
he sent me money to buy a small house, which he liked, 
But the man, who had the care of it, spent it, and before 
he got ready to pay me, he failed, and could not. Yet I 
found that what I repined at, was in mercy. Not long 
after, that very house took fire in the night, and burnt 
down : and who knows, but what if we had lived there, 
one of the children might have been burned in it ? 
After some time, my husband came home, a poor, sick 
creature, with a leg to be taken off. I felt as if I knew 
not which way to turn, to make him comfortable. But 
strength came with the need. The doctor was favourable 
in his bill, and I was able to be about, both day and night. 
My husband suffered every thing in the operation, and in 
the sickness afterwards. He was disappointed at being 
so poor, when he had promised himself riches ; and all 
together made him very unhappy, and violent. His oath? 
and curses made me tremble, but I knew that he was in mis 
ery, and my prayers rose for him with almost every breath. 
Those, who heard him speak to me, thought he was un 
kind, but they did not know what he suffered. My voice 
was always cheerful to him ; but, when he slept, I took 
time to weep. My greatest sorrow was, that he seemed 
to be hastening into the presence of his Maker, with a 
heart bitter against him. If he awoke, and I was not by. 
7* 



78 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

he would shriek after me in a voice that frightened me, 
saying that when I was away, evil spirits came to tear 
him. Yet when I appeared, he would sometimes say, 
that my sight was hateful to him, as theirs. Hi? pain, 
made him loath all creatures, and himself also. But God 
in mercy, gave him a better frame of spirit. For a month 
before his death, there were no blasphemies, but prayers 
for patience. He would ask me to read from the good 
book, and listen with tears. I feared to say much to him, 
because of his weakness ; but I thanked my Father in 
Heaven for his altered mind. When he died, he looked 
at me, and his children, with a mild, pleasant face, and 
though he was not able to speak, it seemed as if there was 
peace within his heart. I asked him, if he could leave 
his fatherless children with God, and he bowed his head 
with a smile, that lifted a weight from my heart. For 
many months, the sound of his groans lingered in my ears, 
both when I lay down, and when I rose up, but I commend 
ed my soul to the God of the widow, and was preserved. 1 

>; And were you able," said Dr. L , " to support 

your children entirely by your own industry T * 

" Oh ! that would have been but a light matter, Sir," 
replied Mrs. Rawson, " for they were ail healthy, and 
willing to help according to their years. We ate our hum 
ble food with a good appetite, and found at nigln that the 
" * sleep of the labourer is sweet," and rose in the morning 
with thankful hearts to Him who permitted us to live in his 
good and beautiful world. Once, when we were eating 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 79 

our breakfas-t of potatoes, the youngest boy, who was then 
about five years old, lifted up to me his bright eye, and 
rosy face, and said, " Mother, when I am a little bigger, 
the farmers will hire me to work, aifd then I shall bring 
you home, a bushel of rye." But what made me feel for 
a little while, as if I did not know how to get along, was 
when my father and mother came to live with me, just 
after I was left a widow. I was willing to work my ringers 
to the bone for them, but they were old, and infirm people, 
and my house was very small, and I feared that I could 
not make them comfortable. It did seem to me too, that 
my sister, who sent them down to me from Vermont, was 
better able to take care of them than I ; for she had a 
husband, and a good farm, and was well-off in the world 
while I had to work early and late to get my children 
bread. But I thought again God has ordered it, and he 
will provide; though I have not even a barrel .of meal, 01 
a cruse of oil, like the widow in the Old Testament. And 
so it was we were all able to live upon the little that my 
hands obtained, until my poor mother became sick and 
bedrid ; and then the good people were very kind to help 
me to medicines, and comfortable things for her. She was 
a heavy woman, and in lifting her I strained my breast, 
.-o that it has never been strong since. But how much 
more did she endure for me in my infancy and how small 
a part could I pay the mother, who had patience with 
my helpless and wayward years. Often have I thought, 
when I was broke of my rest for many nights, and had 



80 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

laboured hard in the day, "O if I could ever find it in 
my heart to forsake ray father and mother, how could 1 
hope that the Lord would take me up in my distresses. " 
And I thank Him who gave me strength unto the end ; for 
their aged eyes blessed me, when their voice was lost in 
death. " Surely goodness and mercy have followed me 
all the days of my life ; and I believe there will always 
be a handful of corn, on the mountain-tops for me." 

"God will bless you, good woman," said Dr. L -, 

"he will be your shield in necessity, and reward your 
piety in another world." Then rising to depart, he put 
something into the hand of his sister, saying, " Be my 
almoner, you know best how to make it acceptable to 
her. I perceive there are some, to whom it is safe to 
give money in whose hands it ceases to be the u root 
of evil," and bringeth forth good and peaceable fruits." 



CHAPTER VI. 

" Mistake me not for my complexion 
The shadowed livery of the burnish d Sun, 
To whom I am a neighbour, and near bred. 
But prove whose blood is reddest, thine or mine." 

Merchant of Venice. 

In the neighbourhood of Madam L , was a tenement, 

inhabited by an aged African, whose name was Primus. 
To him she extended not only her benevolent offices, but 
her kind regard. Venerable at once for years and vir 
tues, he was respected both by the young and old. His 
countenance displayed the characteristicks of the country 
of his birth ; and though his features might war with all 
our ideas of beauty, yet their expression caused the eye 
to rest on them with complacency. Seldom is master 
more completely modified by mind, than it was in this 
case ; where the mild eye, beaming Jove to mankind, 
made the beholder forget the jutting forehead, and de 
pressed nostrils, by which it was encompassed. A gentle, 
yet dignified deportment, a politeness which seemed nat 
ural to him, and the white blossoms of the grave, curling- 
closely around his temples, suffered not materially in their 
effect, from the complexion which an African sun had 
burnt upon him. It was remarked, by children in the 
streets, that no one bowed so low, or turned out their toes 
-o well as Primus ; nor was their reverence for his char- 



82 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

acter abated, because they found him " guilty of a skiii, 
not coloured, like their own." Early instructed in read 
ing, and the principles of religion, he had imbibed an ar 
dent love for the Scriptures, and stored his memory with a 
surprising number of their passages. If the great Selden 
merited the name of a " walking dictionary," Primus 
might have been styled a living concordance. At the pri 
vate religious meetings, which were occasionally held by 
the pious, it was customary, when any text was under dis 
cussion, whose place was doubtful in the memory of the 
speaker, to appeal to the venerable African. Then, from 
some remote corner, a modest voice would be heard, to 
pronounce with precision, respecting the chapter and 
verse. This information, which his humility generally 
connected with some expression of doubt, was almost in 
variably found a " sure word of testimony ;" for he had 
made the Bible his sole study from his youth, exercising 
his memory, not only upon its substance, but upon its link g 
of connexion and dependance, as the historian clings to 
chronology, to systematize the facts, with which his mind 
overflows. 

Primus had been, for more than half a century, a mem 
ber of the Congregational Church in his vicinity. We 
might say an ornament also, if the circle of Christian du 
ties, and spiritual graces, were ever found so umningled 
with imperfection, as to justify such an epithet. At that 
most solemn ordinance, appointed by the Saviour to " keep 
in remembrance hjs death tUl be come," the devotion, the 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 8li 

humility, the gratitude of this participant could scarcely 
escape observation. While he bent over the mysterious 
.symbols, with. an eye now fixed on the earth, now humbly 
raised as if in the language of an ancient supplicant, " let 
thy servant wash the feet of these servants of my Lord,- 
those, who knew the purity of his life, would often utter 

mentally, 

u When the Archangel s trump shall blow. 

And souls to bodies join, 
Millions shall wish their lives below, 
Had been as pure as thine." 

His home, which was comfortable, and comprised two 
stories, more spacious than usually fall to the lot of Afri 
cans in this country, was provided for him by the family 
whom he had served in his youth. They had become 
justly attached to him for his excellent qualities, and for 
them, he testified the zeal of an old feudal retainer. 
Though four-score years had passed over him, he still 
preferred supplying his moderate wants by occasional la 
bour in the gardens of his neighbours, to a dependance on 
the industry of his daughterwho resided with him. Their 
habitation was situated near a ledge of dark, broken rocks ; 
between whose base and its walls, rose a School-house of 
brick, which still remains, though no vestige is left of the 
abode of the good African. The noisy inmates of that 
seminary of learning used often to pay a passing visit to 
Father Primus. He kept a small stock of walnuts for 
the good, hence the good were most frequently his guests. 
Often would the red tinge in their cheeks fade, and the 



84 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

dancing blood at their gay hearts be cold for a moment-, 
while he explained to them the only picture in his habita 
tion, the tearing of the forty and two children, who mock 
ed at the bald-headed prophet. The furious deportment 
of the two she-bears, the various attitudes of torture and 
ieath in which the victims appeared, and the solemn 
enunciation of that old, grey-headed man, made this part 
of the bible better understood than others by the breath 
less listeners, and impressed on their minds the turpitude 
of reviling age and piety, more than the formal instruc 
tion of the pulpit. Sometimes he would indulge them 
with the story of his captivity, and many a little bosom 
vould beat indignantly, and tears would gush from many 
a fair eye, at hearing that he was a child like themselves, 
when he was torn from his native land to be made a slave. 
His narrative, when divested of its vernacular, ran thus : 
" I was born in that part of Africa, which lies between 
the Rivers Gambia and Senegal. The king of our tribe 
possessed a small territory, about fifty miles from the 
western coast. The dwelling of my parents was on a 
branch of the river Senegal. Its humble roof was over 
shadowed by lofty palm-trees, and near it grew yams, and 
plantains for our food. Orange trees, and shaddocks 
were abundant there, and the pine-apple might be seen, 
thrusting forth its head like a young cabbage, wherever 
we trod. There was war, at the time I was captured, be 
tween our king, and the chief of a neighbouring nation. It 
was begun, in order to obtain prisoners to sell to the deal- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 85 

ers in slaves, ft is not one of the slightest evils of the 
.slave-trade, that it kindles war among tribes, who would 
otherwise be at peace. The sight of an European sail is 
the signal for dissension and robbery, and ere the ship has 
arrived at its harbour, cottages have blazed, and blood has 
flowed. Those, who were comparatively innocent, are 
rendered sinful by those who have more light and know 
ledge than themselves, so that the Africans who inhabit the 
shores, are worse than those in the interiour, who have 
never seen a Christian. Nations, who deal in slaves, have 
factors or merchants stationed along the coasts, to insti 
gate the avaricious and wicked natives to sell their own 
countrymen. Thus private robberies, and civil wars add 
to the desolations of Africa. The whites, also, sail in ves 
sels, or boats up the principal rivers, and make victims of 
those who may escape the pursuit of their agents. They 
sometimes march with considerable force into the country, 
and seize whole families, leaving only the sick and the 
aged. Alas ! they have not always left these, to mourn 
the loss of all their race. They have staid to destroy 
those lives, which they deemed not worth their capture. 
When the English ship arrived which bore me from Afri 
ca, my father was summoned to aid in defending our tribe 
against the inroads of a powerful chief. I had attained 
the age of ten years, and was left to stay by the bed of a 
sick mother. I said to her in my simplicity 

" I see people coming towards us with a white skin, and 

their voices have a strange sound." 
8 



36 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

"Hide yourself, my son! she hastily exclaimed. 
" these are the men who make slaves of us." 

" But, in a moment, their grasp was upon my shoulder. 
She shrieked in agony " Take him not away, he is ouv 
only one. Spare him, he is my all. He is but a child, 
what service can he render you ? Take me, and leave 
him, for when this sickness departs, my hand is stronger 
than his. See ! I am well already. I will labour for you, 
and be your slave ; but let him stay to comfort his fa 
ther." 

" Ere she had finished speaking, they had torn me away, 
I gazed back on my dear home, and saw that she had 
crept to the door, for she was unable to r/alk. There she 
lay grovelling, following me with her eyes, and filling the 
air with incessant screams, while she implored the gods 
of Africa to restore her child. 

" All that day we travelled, and in the course of it 
were joined by large parties of slaves. Muffled, they 
were not permitted to speak to each other, but groans 
were heard, and tears feH without measure. Chained to 
gether, two and two, they were driven along by the lash 
like beasts. At night, when we all lay down to sleep, an 
arm, raised as high as its fetters would permit, encircled 
me, and I heard the whispered words, " rest your head 
on my bosom." 

I knew the voice of my father. But I could not look 
up, for my heart was heavier, to find him in that place of 
torment. He had been disarmed and sold by the treache- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. #7 

vy oi his own countrymen, whom he was hazarding his 
life to defend. The next day we were put on board the 
slave-ship. Here our miseries were increased, to what 
seemed at first view insupportable. We were forced be 
tween two low decks, where the grown people could not 
stand upright. So crowded were we, that scarcely twen 
ty inches of space were allotted each in his living coffin. 
Our sufferings for want of air, in this confined prison, I 
cannot adequately describe. When in bad weather, the 
tarpaulin was drawn over the hole whence we received 
t resh air, the noise of hundreds drawing their breath as if 
in suffocation, was mingled with piercing cries of " kick- 
eraboo ! we die ! we die !" 

" Every day, except in cases of severe storms, they were 
brought on deck to take their dinner, which consisted of 
boiled horse-beans, and rice. After this they were com 
pelled to jump for exercise, as high as their chains would 
permit. If they refused, they were punished with the 
cat of nine tails ; if they complied, the irons on their limbs 
caused excoriations of the flesh, and sprains of the joints. 
They were ordered to sing also. But only lamentation? 
were heard, or fragments of songs, broken with sobs, 
speaking of the palm-tree shade, and the home of their 
fathers. Their thrilling and mournful voices, with what 
ever burden they burst forth, nded in the same word, 
Africa! dear Africa !" 

" When the short space allotted to breathe the fresh air 
had expired, if any testified reluctance to be packed into 



88 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

their living tombs, they were quickened by the lash. 
Yet if I could only be placed, where I might see the face 
of my father, I seemed to forget a part of "my sorrow. 
But at length, as I watched him, tears were continually 
lying upon his burning cheek. His head declined upon 
his breast, and he forebore to look at me, save with dead 
ly, despairing eyes. 

"A terrible sickness was beginning among the slaves 
The contagion spread rapidly, for those who might have 
escaped, were often chained to the diseased, the dying, 
and the dead. Numbers were removed to what was call 
ed the hospital. Here they were indeed permitted room 
to stretch themselves out, which had been before denied 
them. But it was upon rough boards, when the motion of 
the ship tore the flesh from their bones. Soon, there were 
spaces enough to be seen, but they were reddened with 
the blood of the dead who had filled them. Every day, 
the plunging of bodies into the ocean was heard, with no 
more concern than if beasts were consigned to its depths. 
Stern joy sat upon the faces of the sufferers. They com 
plained not, as they suffocated in the pestilent atmos 
phere. They thought that they were escaping their op 
pressors, and returning to the home of their ancestors. 

My father was among the first victims. I feigned sick 
ness, that I might be near where he lay. Not a groan 
escaped him, though his body was one continued wound. 
Constantly panting for air, which was denied him, hie 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 89 

parched lips could scarcely utter an articulate sound. 
But as he drew his last, long gasp, he said, 

" Come with me, my son! to the fields of pure light, 
where are no white men, no slaves." 

" I was stupid for many days, as one whose mind had 
forsaken his body. Yet I escaped the pestilence. So 
terrible was it, that out of 800, comparatively few remain 
ed, More attention was paid to the health of the survi 
vors, as the owners began to fear it would be a losing 
voyage. We had now more room, and a less corrupted 
atmosphere, and no more deaths occurred save a few of 
broken hearts. 

" The ship landed her crew in New-York, from whence 
a few of the slaves were sent to Connecticut. This state 
had not then prohibited their importation ; nor has it un 
til recently decreed, that whoever is born within its ju 
risdiction, shall be free. 

" My lot -was cast in this place, with a kind master who 
nt his death gave me freedom. I was about his person 
and he required no task of me, beyond my years and 
strength. He first told me that I had a soul, which must 
be forever in heaven or in hell. He taught me to read in 
my bible, of the God who had created man, of the Saviour 
who died to redeem him. And oh ! that knowledge wa? 
worth more to me, than all I had suffered, all I had lost. 
Had I continued in Africa, I should have been a worship 
per of idols that cannot save. Ah ! what if this short life 
were all of it sorrow, if when it endeth, we might carry 



90 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

with us a hope that can never fail, a glory that can never 
die." 

It has been mentioned that this good old African, had 
a daughter who resided with him. She was the sole sur 
viving offspring of a wife who had been many years dead, 
and bore no resemblance to her father, either in person or 
mind. Without being decidedly vicious, she might be 
ranked among those many personages who prove that merit 
is not hereditary. Having but little employment at home, 
she was by profession both spy and gossip ; not that the 
union of these departments is peculiar, or monopolized by 
females of her colour and station. Seldom was any occur 
rence in the household of her neighbours, unknown to her. 
The incipient designs of courtship and matrimony were 
favourite subjects for htr boasted discernment, or malig 
nant prediction, and it might almost be said of her, that 

" She hated men, because they lov d not ker y 
And hated women because they were lov\i." 

She was time-keeper, for all who came within the range 
of her acquaintance. No single-lady, who approached 
the frontier of desperation, could presume to curtail a 
year from the fearful calendar, if Flora were near to 
bring h*r back to the correct computation of her O\VM dsle. 
That portion of the affections, which Nature had intro 
duced into the system of this wayward dame, were more 
liberally bestowed upon animals, than upon her own kind, 
Cats were her principal favourites, and wandered around 
far precincts, irt every shade and diversity of col""" 



FORTV YEARS SINCE. 91 

Under her clement reign, they waxed fat, and multiplied 
exceedingly. At her meals, she was the centre of a circle, 
who, with lynx eyes, watched every movement of her 
hand to her lips, and with discordant growling, grudged 
every morsel which was not bestowed upon them. Some 
times she might be heard by those who passed .ber man 
sion, addressing her dependants with every appellation 
of fondness : at others, with bitter vituperations ; while 
their shrill voices, now mingling with her cadence, and 
anon leading the concert, gave notice that they were pay 
ing 1 the penalty of some petty larceny on the larder. Fre 
quently she was seen, issuing from her habitation, her tall, 
gaunt form clad in a sky-blue tammy petticoat, partially 
concealed from view by a short, faded, scarlet cloak, 
bearing a basket of kittens to display their beauty to some 
amateur, or put them to service with some rat-infested 
householder. Following, with distracted haste, the mother 
Grimalkin might be traced, tossing her whiskers, and 
tittering piteous moans ; occasionally infixing her claws, 
in the stiff blue petticoat, that she might thereby climb to 
her kidnapped offspring. The bereaved parent would be 
either consoled with caresses, or distanced by a blow, as 
the caprice of the dame might dictate. 

Another object claimed her attention, though in an in- 
foriour degree. On the utmost limits of the parapet of rock, 
which flanked her suburbs, was a solitary barberry-bush, 
which possibly she felt bound to patronize, by virtue of 
? Goddess cf Flowers. To this spot, the visits 



92 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

of the children, from the adjacent ternpie of science, 
were constant as the advances of its fructification. Even 
the leaves did not come amiss, as study is known to be a 
provocative of appetite. When its drupes began to assume 
their crimson tinge, dire were the labours, and sore the 
watchings of Flora, between the depredations of the ur~ 
ehins without, and the cats within. At this season of the 
year, her irascible propensities predominated ; and many 
a little girl has vanished like a frighted bird from the 
contested bush ; and many a stout boy, with teeth OD 
edge from the rough acid of the unripe fruit, has lingered 
to shout defiance at the threats which assailed him. 

Her principal amusement, amid the pressure of avoca 
tions like these, was to trace in the aspect of the sky, 
signs of a portending storm. No mariner, whose life bal 
ances upon the cloud, transcended her in this species of 
discernment ; for she could gather amid the unsullied 
brightness of a summer sky, omens of elemental conflict. 
Her delight was amid the convulsions of nature, and the 
deformities of character. This love of scandal led her 
to dread the reproofs of Madam L , and to avoid 
her presence, except when she found it expedient to 
solicit some favour. Her father was ever received with 
kindness, and even with affection, as a "brother in Christ. 
notwithstanding his bonds." But when she made her visita 
tions to set forth her poverty, before this benevolent lady, 
she invariably received, with her gift, some admonition 



v FORTY YEARS SINCE. 93 

whose severity induced her to murmur as she returned to 
her dwelling. 

" It is well enough, for aught I know, for rich people 
to be so mighty good ; but poor folks have not had so 
much eddecatiori) and must take the world as they find it. v 

Yet she fond that punishment invariably attends the 
indulgence of unkind feelings, though conscience may 
have become too obtuse to administer it. The terrours of 
superstition haunted her, and the wakeful hours of night, 
were rendered miserable by fears of ghosts and spectres. 
No Neapolitan ever believed more firmly in the influence 
of an evil eye, than she in the system of witchcraft. The 
tragical scenes acted at Saleiri, in the preceding century, 
had been rendered familiar to her, by the pages of a torn 
book, which she perused on Sundays, as a substitute for 
the bible. All things monstrous, or mysterious were trac 
ed by her to a similar source. The unknown stranger 
who had sought refuge in the abode of old Zachary at 
Mohegan, was to her a meet subject for explanation dire. 
She had no doubt, she was one of that race who held com 
munion with evil spirits. Her living among Indians was 
a sure proof of that. She had heard that when people 
were in pursuit of her, she would cast a mist before 
their eyes, that they could not discover her. She be 
lieved that at her first arrival, there was a blue flame 
and a strong scent of sulphur ; and hinted that, if the 
" Authority of the Town," were as strict as they ought to 
be, old Zachary would be committed to prison, and the 



94 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

creature whom nobody knew, tied in a sack, and thrown 
into the river, to see if she would sink or swim. Then 
lowering her voice, she would assert that other people, 
as well as herself, were confident that she was a witch, 
for that she had been seen to rise into the air upon a broom 
stick so high, that she appeared no larger than a night- 
hawk. This mischievous narrator found listeners ; for at 
that period, low scandal, and the belief in the contracts of 
man with evil demons, were popular among the vulgar. 
Superstition has since vanished before the sway of yupe* 
riour illumination ; but slander still thrives on the faults of 
mankind. They are still forced into daily circulation, 
though not always by those, whom society condemns as 
ignorant, worthless, or malignant. 



CHAPTER VH. 

" Sacred was the pen that wrote, 

Thy father s friend forget thou not." 

Marmion. 

IF to confer happiness be the greatest luxury, he who 
has learned to impart it, with the least labour, may be con 
sidered an adept in a highly important science. Who 
ever is ambitious of this distinction would be wise, some 
times to consult the enjoyment of children. Here the 
elastic, unsubdued spirit will co-operate with his design, 
and those obstacles, which arise from habitual sorrow, 
deep knowledge of the infirmity of our nature, or sicken 
ing acquaintance with the insufficiency of earthly pleas 
ures, are not to be encountered. 

" Theirs are the joys by Fancy fed, 
Less pleasing when possest, 

The tear forgot, as soon as shed, 
The sun-shine of the breast." 

This truth was well understood by Madam L , and 

practised with that ardour which the love of benevolence 
excited. Her object was not that indulgence of the ap 
petites, and passions of children, which many indolent 
teachers, and misguided parents seem to consider their 
chief good, and the surest method of conciliating affection. 
She perceived that the fondness, manifested for those who 
procured them selfish gratifications, was not an enduring 



96 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

attachment ; and endeavoured by a judicious mixture oi 
kindness and instruction, to win their confidence, and im 
press the truth, that they were rational and accountable 
beings. 

It was often her custom, on the afternoons of their stated 
release from school, to assemble around her the younger 
children of the neighbourhood. An invitation of this sort 
was vjewed by them as an honour to be boasted of, as 
well as a pleasure to be enjoyed. On those gala-days, 
they might be seen, seated in groups around her feet, 
watching with sparkling eyes the quick movements of her 
scissors, producing for their amusement, groups of danc 
ing girls, dexterously cut from white paper, tall trees, with 
prominent buds and leaves, and squirrels, apparently ready 
to spring from bough to Dough. When these fanciful crea 
tions had sufficed for a time, a small cabinet of curiosities 
would often be produced, and sundry little heads might 
be observed hanging over it in such close contact, that 
the gold and chesnut of their locks blended in beautiful 
irregularity. There, counters were considered as coins, 
and trifles of slight value esteemed as splendid rarities : 
yet, perhaps the connoisseur criticising the touches of the 
artist, or the antiquary bending over his hoard, might 
have exchanged their heartfelt satisfaction with this sport 
ive group, and sustained no loss. Anon, the variable little 
beings would be searching for some new source of bliss ; 
as if Nature had already taught them that novelty was 
the charm of earthly pleasure, but withheld the bitter cer- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 97 

tainty that " ail is vanity." One of the most enterpris 
ing might be discerned, mounted on a high chair, with 
hand extended above the head, to a well known deposito 
ry of books for children. Then would be seen descend 
ing into the wide-spread white apron of another, a shower 
of tiny volumes, with gilded covers, equally the admi 
ration, and desire of all. There were divers copies of 
** The Bag of Nuts ready cracked," the renowned history 
of " Goody Margery Two-Shoes," and the marvellous and 
dreadful exploits of the "Giant Grumbolumbo." The 
volumes at that period, appropriated to children, were 
generally of meagre variety, and questionable excellence. 
Miss Edgeworth had not then arisen to embody the traits 
of nature and of feeling, in a vehicle of the most enchant 
ing simplicity ; nor Miss More, to build, upon the events 
of humble iife, a column of pure morality, and majestic 
piety ; nor Mrs. Sherwood, to convey to the understand 
ing the precepts of a sublime faith, through the medium 
of the softened affections. The pens of the sage, and the 
historian, had not then learned to accommodate them 
selves gracefully to the capacities of infancy. Watts had 
indeed set the example of subduing poetical inspiration to 
the level of untutor d intellect. He had lured the " high 
born-Urania," to warble the cradle hymn ; but he had 
then neither precedent nor imitator. Great will be the 
responsibility of the present generation. For them Gen 
ius has descended to definition, and Science disrobed her 
self of the mystery of ages. But as no blessing is without 



OF COA KJfiCTICUT, 

alloy, is ii wot to be feared that these privileges, through 
Profusion, may frustrate their own design ? If, through 
their aid, no " royal road to astronomy" has been dis 
covered, has not something very like a dunce s avenue 
to literature, been laid open ? Will the mind, which is 
released from the necessity of laborious research, obtain 
that pre-eminence which habits of application can alone 
bestow ? Are we not in some danger of having more super 
ficial, than profound students? The supcriour learning ot 
the ancients, has been resolved into a single circumstance, 
the scarcity of books. We would not willingly see a 
-eturn of that scarcity ; yet it might be well for education 
TO impress on youth the importance of making itself 
master of the necessary elementary works, as thoroughly 
as if there were none beside. This might demand a per 
severance which would disturb the repose of indolence, 
but it would strengthen the energies of intellect. The 
respect, which, forty years since, was shewn to the ex 
trinsic value of books, did not diminish the sense of their 
intrinsic worth. The maxim, then enforced, both by the 
parent and pedagogue, that it was shameful to deface and 
destroy them, heightened the estimation of their contents ; 
as, in monarchical governments, the sacredness of the per 
son of the King gives weight to his prerogative. Now, 
the idler in school finds no method of escaping his lessor, 
more convenient, than to render it illegible, or to mislay, 
and destroy his book. 
Madam L -, educated in the sobriety and economy of 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 99 

more ancient times, entrusted her volumes to the little 
readers, with repeated injunctions not to tear, tarnish, or 
turn down the leaves. .These directions usually accom 
panied those also, which she gave as presents, and so well 
were they obeyed, that it was a general remark, no books 
retained their beauty so long as hers, whether lent, given 
away, or retained in her own library. 

Some of these fairy forms might sometimes be descried 
in closer contact with the Lady, displaying their powers 
of recitation. Then, might be heard, in every variety of 
emphasis and intonation, the standard pieces of the day, 
" How doth the little busy bee,"" Abroad in the mead 
ows to see the young lambs," or " Though I am young, 
a little one." Thus, an opportunity was afforded for in 
quiry into their different grades of improvement at school, 
and for those admonitions respecting the value of time, 
industry, and correct habits, which she was as faithful to 
impress as she was happy to adapt to different disposi 
tions, and degrees of improvement. 

These little groups could not be persuaded to separate, 
without a song from their kind patroness. Her memory, 
well stored with songs which had been fashionable in her 
youth, and her voice, of great melody and compass, were 
always at the command of these lilliputian visitants ; for 
she felt that she not only thus gave them pleasure, but 
cherished gentle, and virtuous sentiments. " The dis 
tracted Lady," a tender and melancholy complaint of a 
young female, bereft of reason, was a great favourite with 



100 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

the auditors. So was " Indulgent parents dear, : an an 
cient ballad of considerable length, and most tragical 
character. Many an eye, that eparkled with curiosity ^ 
when the hero of the tale, moved by love, sought the 
hand of a " maid of low degree," was dilated withhorrour, 
when his proud mother took the life of the kneeling fair- 
one ; or was suffused with tears, when the unfortunate 
youth, discovering the deed, and reproaching the guilty 
murderess 



* his rapier drew, 

And pierc dhis bosom through, 
And bade this world adieu, 
Forevermore." 

The address of the " Ghost ofPompey to his wife Cor 
nelia," was considered as the climax of this part of the 
entertainment. It is here subjoined, as a specimen of the 
grave song, admired at that period among the better edu 
cated part of the community. Its antiquity is not known 
to the writer, but it has been used as a song in Connecti 
cut, for more than a century. 

" From lasting and unclouded day, 
From joys refiVd, above allay, 
And from a spring without decay 

I come ! by Cynthia s borrowed beams* 
To visit my Cornelia s dreams, 
And give them yet sublimer themes. 

Behold the man thou lov dst before ! 
Pure streams have wash d aw?<y his gore, 
\nd Pompey now shall bleed no more 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 101 

By death, this glory I assume, 

Nor could I bear the fearful doom, 

To outlive the liberties of Rome. 

By me, her changeful fate was tried, 

Her honour was my dearest pride, 

I foritliv d, and with it died. 

Nor shall my vengeance he withstood, 

Nor unattended with a flood 

Of Roman and Egyptian blood ; 

Caesar himself it shall pursue, 

His days shall troubled be, and fe.w. 

And he shall fall by treason too. 

He, by seventy divine, 

Shall swell the offerings at my shrint, 

As I was his, he shall be mine. 

Regret thy woes, my Love, no more, 
For Fate shall waft thee soon ashore, 
And to thy Pompey, thee restore ; 
Where, past the fears of sad removes, 
We ll entertain our deathless loves, 
In beauteous and immortal groves : 
There, none a tyrant s crown shall wear, 
No Coesar be dictator there, 
Nor shall Cornelia shed a tear. 

Perhaps some young mind imperceptibly imbibed a love 
tor the lore of Rome, from the explanations often con 
nected with these quaint stanzas, whose tune, by her man 
ner of execution, possessed exquisite harmony. Inquiries, 
from the more intelligent, would invariably follow, about 
Rome and Caesar, and " Cynthia s borrow d beams," 

which the Lady answered in such a manner as to excite 
9* 



102 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

stronger curiosity. She would then direct them to propel 
books for gaining requisite knowledge, and propose ques 
tions to be answered respecting it, at their next meeting. 
Frequently, during the intervals of these parties, the in 
fant students might be heard asking each other, " do you 
know perfectly where Rome was ? and how large ? and 
who was its founder ? and what were the characters of 
Poinpey and CaBsar ? and why Cynthia s beams are said 
to be " borrowed beams ?" Each was anxious to render 
the most clear account to their kind benefactress, who 
often rewarded patient research, with some book adapted 
to excite it anew. But, not satisfied with sowing the seeds 
of knowledge in the soil of infancy, she sought to implant 
the germs of piety. Her stock of devotional pieces of mu 
sic was large ; many of them simple in their construction, 
all rendered delightful by her powers of voice, and 
perfect elocution. One called "Solitude," and commenc 
ing with " What voice is this I hear ? and another, which 
the children familiarly styled, ; Ah me !** were earnestly 
Bought for, and seemed to inspire a mixture of softened 
and solemn feeling. " While shepherds watch d their ; 
tlocks by night," was understood by them as a close of 
their musical entertainment, or -j signal that rts much as 
was proper had been accorded. Yet a few tender remarks 
usually followed, on the character of that Saviour who was 
thus represented as bringing peace and good will, with a 
brief illustration of their duty in order to gain his love. 
\n parly ^jppec was given to these joyous guests, most of 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 103 

whom were accustomed to retire to slumber with the birds. 
Full of pleasure, which seemed more dignified than that 
usually exemplified in childhood, because it was derived 
from a higher source, they separated, praising the benevo 
lent Lady, who expressed such an interest in their welfare. 
A description of scenes like these will doubtless be 
condemned by many, as puerile. They will immediately 
discern in it proofs of that mental dotage, which leads us, 
in our second childhood, to cling tenderly to *the most 
minute traces of the first. 

They may perhaps inquire, of what consequence is it 
if the children of another age were amused and improved 
at the same time ? Probably of none, to those who are 
willing theirs should find amusement, at the expense of 
improvement. But it was deemed of some importance, 
in pourtraying a character which really existed, to repre 
sent things as they were. It was not thought improper 
to follow the smaller streams, which might diverge from 
so pure a fountain. The science of conferring happiness 
depends less upon splendid achievements, and fortuitous 
combinations of circumstance, than upon those smaller 
occurrences, which vary the common lot of existence : as 
the evidence of piety, is not so much in sustaining great 
affliction, as in surmounting those slighter perplexities, 
u here, if we may use the expression, the soul imagines 
herself to be out of sight of the Deity. Yet might this 
simple delineation, of what one of the best of humao 
:f was. in the humbler walks of her benevolence, in- 



104 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

duce but one heart to exercise the same friendly influence 
over the welfare of the rising generation, cheerfully should 
this volume sustain all the censure which the critic might 
pronounce. More than one of those, who now bend 
beneath the burdens of maturity, can look back to the 
scenes of happy youthful instruction which have been 
here depicted, then upward to the realm of glory, and 

say, 

4t If some faint love of goodness glow in me, 
Pure Spirit ! I first caught that flame from thee." 

No heart ought more warmly to respond these senti 
ments, than that which now thrills, even to tears, while 
the hand traces this feeble transcript of its benefactress. 
That gratitude, which hovers round her bright image, re 
volts, both at the veil which conceals it, and at the faintnesE 
of its own pencil. It is not meet here to speak of per- 
sonal obligations, of the kindness that encouraged a lone 
ly spirit, and the monitions that strove to guide it in the 
way to heaven. The still voice of memory is idle music 
in the ear of the world. Thus far, the full heart has forc 
ed the pen to trespass. The remainder shall be inscrib 
ed upon a tablet which fades not, and which will be 
spread where the righteous hear the words, " Inasmuch 
as ye have done good unto one of the least of these, ye 
have done it unto me." 

There was, about this noble female, an union of majes 
ty with mildness, which I have never seen equalled. 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 105 

Doubtless, much of excellence exists in modern times, 
and my lot has been so graciously cast by heaven, as often 
to bring me into contact with some of the purest and best, 
some who still retain traces of that disinterested benevo 
lence, which the cynic pronounces to have fled from the 
earth. Yet, whether it be that more of sublimity really 
belonged to the worthies of ancient days, or whether the 
moral perceptions, like the physical tastes, of childhood 
possess a keenness, a zest, which never again return, I 
cannot say ; but there seems to me nothing now on earth, 
like the hallowed, saintlike dignity of a few who were 
serenely awaiting their departure from this world, when I 
had just entered it. 

Should any visitant of N ever direct his steps to the 

spot, where its lifeless inhabitants rest from their labours, 
perchance he might descry a simple white stone, bearing 
one inspired passage from the man of wisdom. At its foot, 
a smaller monument testifies, that Death smiteth the bud 
in its greenness, and that a mother had thrice wept. By 
its side, another speaks, in its marble stillness, the words 
of the moral poet, 

" What tho we wade in wealth, or soar in fame ? 

Earth s highest station ends in, here he lies, 

And " dust to dust !" concludes her noblest song." 

Let the stranger, who discovers these vestiges, know 
that his foot presses the dust of her, of whom " the world 
was not worthy." And, if he believe that the righteous 



106 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

shall rise to immortality, at the " voice of the archangel, 
and at the trump of God,* let him kneel over their slum 
bering ashes, and breathe the soul s voiceless prayer, that 
he may live their life. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

\ man I am, of quaint, uncourtly speech, 
And uncouth manners, nurtured from iny youti; 
To hide the buffet of the wintry blast, 
And toil unshrinking when the sultry skies 
ScorchM the green verdure of the earth I till d ; 
Yet not by health, or peace, or sweet content 
Un visited, nor yet by patient trust 
In Him, the harvest s universal Lord, 
UncheerM. 

THE agricultural part of Madam L s possessions, or 

as it is styled in New-England " landed estate, "was situa 
ted in. one of the smaller towns in the vicinity of that 
where she resided. It was under the care of a farmer of 
undoubted integrity, and industry, who rendered her, with 
great punctuality, her stipulated share of its products. 
His father had been, for many years, tenant of the same 
estate. After him a younger son succeeded to this trust, 
but died at an early age. The present occupant, being 
the only remaining branch of the family, and feeling an 
affection for the abode of his infancy, returned from " up- 
country," where, to use his own expression, he had " mov 
ed to make room for brother Zedekiah ;" and resumed with 
delight the culture of those fields, where he had" driv- 
team when a leetle boy." 

Madam L had often taken pleasure in his conver 
sation, which was marked with that plain common-sense, 



108 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

which seems the birthright of the New-England farmer, 
while the simplicity of his opinions on some subjects, 
and the oddity of his dialect, administered to her enter 
tainment. 

Calling one morning on his patroness, for whom he 
cherished a respect, almost bordering upon adoration, he 
was requested to walk into her parlour. This he had ever 
refused to do, under pretence that his " shoes were clum 
py, and he was afraid of meeting some of the gentlefolks, 
whose ways he was not used to." But she being some 
what indisposed, and declining to go into her kitchen, he 
appeared at the door, with a well meant bow, which the 
dandies of the present day, who deal principally in nods 
and shrugs, might consider a semi-prostration. Th,e rev 
olution, which in giving us liberty, obliterated almost 
every vestige of the politenes of the " old school," had 
not then done its work completely. Individuals were 
found, forty years since, in every grade of society, who, 
having been educated when a bow was not an offence to 
fashion, nor respect for age a relic of monarchy, continued 
the exercise of both, without being hooted at as aristo 
crats, or " quizzed" as antidiluvians. 

Farmer Larkin was dressed in a suit of steut cloth, 
whose deep brown colour was produced by an infusion of 
the bark of the butternut. It had grown the preceding 
summer upon his own sheep, and after sustaining many 
processes of mutation in the domestic laboratory, now ap 
peared upon his o*wn person. The mail of Diomede was 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 109 

not more invulnerable to the shafts of the Trojans, than 
this to the attacks of winter ; and if a crevice ever ap 
peared in it, the arts of housewifery were in instant requi 
sition, like " armourer accomplishing the knight, with 
busy hammers closing rivets up." 

A neat broad brimmed hat, which his father had worn 
on great occasions for half a score of years, a drab colour 
ed great-coat, with deep cuffs, and huge buttons, both 
taken from the Sunday wardrobe, out of reverence to 
" the Lady," and vast shoes of the skin of that animal 
whom the Brahmins worship, completed his array. His 
countenance, where the blasts of winter, and heats of sum 
mer had long set their seal, exhibited that decision, and 
contempt of bodily hardship, which in ancient Sparta 
was dignified as a virtue. It also displayed that mixture 
of sobriety with contentment, resting on the basis of mod 
erated desires, and humble piety, which often gives the 
agriculturist of our country a dignity, which Sparta in 
her pride never knew. 

Mr. Larkin, at entering the apartment, seemed desirous 
to make his way on that narrow stripe of the floor, which 
in those days was always permitted to surround the car 
pet. At length a large table, which he doubted whether 
it were decorous for him to move, obstructed his course, 
and he exclaimed with some perplexity, 

" I must tread on the kiverlid." The Lady suppress 
ing a smile, said, 

" I beg, good Mr. Larkin, that you would step on the 



-10 o*ETCH 0* 

overlet. It would save Beulah some labour, who prides 
herself on the whiteness of the floor, which she daily 
scours." 

Thus assured, he made one or two strides towards a 
chaii which she placed for him, walking on tiptoe, 
and murmuring with some regret, as he rested his heels 
7 ipon the hearth, 

" Your ha-ath too, is as clean as a cheeny tea-cup, 
^la am. I hate to put my coarse huffs on it. But I ha nt 
been used to seem kiverlids spread on the floor to walk on. 
We are glad to get em to kiver us up with a nights. 
This looks like a boughten one," he added, examining 
he figure, and feeling its texture. " Tis exceedin cu- 
rous. They must have had a pretty many treadles in the 
oom, that wove this." 

The Lady remarked that the use of carpets, like other 
uixuries, was gaining ground too rapidly among those who 
were often deficient in real comfort. " Silks and satins 
put out the kitchen- fire, as a wise man has said," 

4i Ay, Ma am, he answered, just so I tell my young gals, 
when they get a teasin their mammy, for somethin fine ; 
and gay. See to your under- riggin , I tell em, and keep 
yourselves whole and neat. It s as much as I can do, to 
get along, says I, in any comfortable kind of a way with 
such a snarl on ye. And if there was nt so many, says 1, 
and I was a monied man, ye should not go a flauntin 1 
around with your top-knots, for there s no use in em, but 
to make young folks vain, and silly ones stare, If ye Jam 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. Ill 

to be extravagant, ye ll be likely to be old gals all your 
days, for men are afeard to marry women who spend 
money, and never make it." 

The Lady expressed her approbation of his correct 
judgment, and inquired after the welfare of his family. 

" All stout and hearty, thank e Ma am. My wife sent 
compliments to you, and Molly tell d me to say, that she 
was a thousand times beholden to you, for your good pre 
sent. She, and all on em, wishes you a happy New- 
Year." 

" I thank them for their kind recollections. Molly, I 
think, is the plump girl with such rosy cheeks." 

" Why, as for that matter, they re all in the same situa 
tion, as plump as patridges, and swarmin round like bees. 
Molly s the oldest on em, and as fat as butter. She ll be 
fourteen years old, come the tenth day o February and 
that will be Sabba-day arter next. She weighs about twice 
as much as you do, Ma am, I guess. She s rather more 
stocky than her mother, and I hope will be as smart for 
bizness. She ll spin her run o tow-yarn, or woollen, 
afore dinner ; and she has wove six yards a day, of yard- 
wide sheetin . She takes in weavin , when any body will 
hire it done, and so buys herself her bettermost does, 
which is a help to me. Jehoiakim, the oldest boy he s 
named arter his grandad dy and is a stout, stirrin young 
ster. He ll hoe nearabout as much corn in an hour, as I 
can ; and cold winter days, he ll chop and sled wood 
through the snow, without frettin a bit. But I s pose tanl 



112 SKETCH OP GONNECTieUT. 

right and fiitin to brag about my children, Ma am. Il 
seems as if I thought my geese were all swans." 

" It gives me pleasure, my good friend, to hear of the 
welfare of your family, and the habits of industry in which 
you are training them. I hope that you are also careful, 
that their minds are stored with useful knowledge." 

" O yes Ma am. They all go to the deestrict-school f 
more than ha-af o the winter ; though it s nigh upon two 
mild from the house. In the summer time, it s kept a lee- 
tie spell by a woman and then the younger ones go, to 
keep em out o the way o them who are glad to work at 
home. I s pose they larn some thin* about sewin and 
veadin . But Tim, the third child, he s the boy for larn- 
in . He took a prodigious likin to books, when he was a 
baby ; and if you only show d him one, he d put it rite into 
his mouth, and stop squallin. He ant but eleven year 
old now ; and when he gets a newspaper, there s no whoa. 
to him, no more than to our black ox when he sees the hay- 
stack, till he s read it clear through, advertisements and 
all. The Master says that he s the smartest of ail the 
boys about spellin , and now he takes to cypherin mar 
vellously. So that I don t know but sometime or other, 
he may be hired to keep our deestrict-school. But I 
hope my heart a nt lifted up with pride, at sich great 
prospects, for I know that " God resisteth the proud, and 
giveth grace unto the humble." 

"I trust you will always remember that humility i* 
necessary to our religion. But it is equally your duty to 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 113 

receive the gifts of God with gratitude, and to enjoy them 
with a cheerful spirit. I know not that I recollect the 
names of all your children." 

" It s no wonder that ye don t Ma am, there s such a 
neest on em. They re as thick as hops round the fire 
this winter. There s Roxey and Reuey, they re next to 
Tim, and look like twins. They pick the wool, and card 
tow, and wind quills, and knit stockins and mittins for the 
fokes in the house ; and I ve brought some down with me 
to day, to see if they ll buy em to the marchants shops, 
and let em have a couple o leetle small shawls. Then 
there s Keziah, she ant but a trifle over six year old, and 
I recken she has a kind of a hard time on t ; for she takes 
most o the care o the three youngest ones. Jehu is about 
as big as she is, and pretty obstropolous, so that I have to 
take him in hand, once in a while. Then there s young 
Tryphena, and the baby Tryphosa, who s rather tcnd- 
some, and Keziah s tied to em a most every minute when 
she ant abed. So her Mammy is able to see to the 
cheese-tubs, for you know, sich a dairy as we have keeps 
a woman pretty tight to t. There s nine o the young 
ones, Ma am, and as 1 said afore, the oldest is but e en a 
just fourteen. Yet I should be sorry to have one less, 
though 1 should work off my fingers eends clear to the bone 
lo maintain em. I m willin to slave for em, but I mean 
they shall do their part, and not grow up in idleness to 
laff, and make game of their old hard-workin parents, and 

10* 



114 SKETCH OP CONNECTICUT* 

be moths in the world, arter they get to be men and 
women." 

The paternal narrative was interrupted by Cuffe bear 
ing refreshments ; for the Lady seldom permitted any onf 
to leave her mansion, without partaking its hospitality, 
A well warmed mince-pye, and a mug of sparkling cider, 
she had supposed would be useful in guarding the farmer 
from the extreme cold of his ride ; and he soon convinced 
her, by his formidable attacks upon both, that she had not 
misjudged in the question of what was palatable. After 
despatching his refection, and some business respecting 
the farm, he hesitated slightly and said 

" I wonder now, if you d take it hard, Ma am, if I 
should trouble you with some o my own family consarns, 
and ax your advice about em, seein you ve had more 
years, and experunce than I ?" The Lady assured him of 
her willingness both to listen, and to serve him, according 
to her ability. 

" Well then, it s all about my nephew, Amariah Stut- 
-on. He s liv d with me now goin on ten year, About 
the time o my movin into York Slate, his daddy died, 
and the children was all necessiated to be put out. My 
old woman, she set on me to take this boy, cause he was 
her sister Jemima s son, and she always set great store by 
"Mima. I telPd her he was a spindlkj , white-liver d 
thing, and never d stand the fever and agy in the new 
countries. But she kept at me, till she had her way, as 
*romen are pretty apt to do ; and he did better than I es> 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 115 

pected, and grow d up to a chunked, healthy youngster. 
He ll be 19 year old, come next April-fool-day ; and I 
meant to a done well by Amariah, when he got to be of 
age, and give him a decent settin out, and then hired him 
by the month, if so be that he was agreeable to t, and pay 
him the money. 

But he s growin despate unstiddy of late, ever since 
the judgment o God upon our church, and congregation, 
in lettin the Methodist loose among us. You ha nt heard 
of our chastisement for our backslidins, and lukewarm- 
ness, have ye, Ma am ? Poor Deacon Bump takes it to 
heart so sadly, that he s grown as thin as a June-shad. 
Why these people have hired a room rite over acrost the 
way from our meetin-house, and when our worthy minis 
ter begins the sarvice a Sabba-day mornin , they begin 
what they call their exercises, and what with their 
screechin and scramin , and singin and tumlin down, 
they make sich a racket, that it s utterly unpossible, for us 
to hear any thing to be edified with. They hold out 
longer than we too, and have love-feasts, and night-meet- 
ins, and a deal that I cant make neither head nor tail on, 
and I grieve to say that Amariah is gittin bewitched arter 
em. I m sure I don t know what religion there can be in 
sich actions, and as for their lungs, if they vva nt made o 
soal-luther, I m sure they d be wore into holes like a 
honey -comb." 

" The Methodists, my good friend, though their manner 
of worship differs from ours, must not be thought destitute 



116 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

of true piety. They sometimes exhibit an excess of that 
zeal, which we are reproached for being deficient in, 
We should guard against condemning those, who differ 
from us in opinions, or forms. They may have as much 
sincerity as ourselves, and though " man judgeth accord 
ing to the outward appearance, you know who iooketh up 
on the heart." 

" Land o Goshen ! why Lady ! You don t think that 
all the crutters, who call themselves Christians, are as 
right as we, do ye ? There s the Episcopalians, I went 
to their church, once at the landin a Christmas I think 
they call d it. I took it at first, for a merry-makin , there 
was so many green branches plastered up here and there : 
but they kept such a perpechual jumpin up, and sittin 
down, that afore they d done it made my bones ache as 
bad as a hard day s work. What religion there is in read- 
in prayers out of a book, I never could see. Then there s 
the Baptists, who think a man is to be saved, by sousing 
over head and ears in cold water. But these Methodist 
folks seem to me the most strangest of all, Why they 
don t hold to the doctrine o lection, and them that won t 
believe the Bible, when it s as plain to em as the nose on 
their face, have denied the faith, and are worse than an 
infidel. They make a long talkin- too, about arrivin* at 
perfection, and Amariah he holds forth consarniir it. But 
I m sure he s a great deal more unparfect than he was. 
when he was just a larnin by heart in his catechise, 
that " no meer man since the fall is able to keep the com- 
mandaments." Now, he must go racin to all the night 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 117 

meetins , and that makes my boys unstiddy, and teaze to 
go long with him. They shan t stir a step while I live. 
Was nt their honoured grandaddy deacon in the Presby 
terian meet in fifteen years and better ? They sha nt 
scandalize him, while I have the rule over em. 

But as I was a sayin of Amariah, he tells his expe- 
runces at their meetin s, and sometimes at twelve o clock 
at night, he ll wake up in his bed, and scrame some o 
the Methodist hymns so loud, that he sets the baby a 
roarin , bein scared, and no crutter in the house can get 
one wink o sleep till he s a mind to give over. Then if 
I, or his A-ant, open our heads to say one word to him 
about it, then he makes a towse, and is parsecuted, and I 
s pose tells an experunce out on t to Mr. Snortgrass, his 
minister, who is a terrible tonguey man." 

" Your situation, good Mr. Larkin, requires considera 
ble delicacy. Yet I can assure you, that Mr. Whitfield, 
the leader of a great part of the sect of Methodists, was 
a mamof real excellence and piety. My husband, who 
was educated in the same faith which we profess, and was 
sincerely attached to its precepts, possessed that liberal 
ity of soul which I strive to imitate, arid gave to differing 
sects the praise of whatever virtue they displayed. Mr. 
Whitfield was always an honoured guest at our house, 
when he made his excursions through this part of the 
country- * will relate a little anecdote of hinr, which 
may prove to you, how much his thoughts were fixed upon 
a future state. Soon after the death of our three little 
sons, he breakfasted with us. Some Chocolate was 



118 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

brought in, and the recollection of their fondness for thai 
beverage, and of their recent burial, brought tears to my 
eyes. My husband explained the emotion by saying, 
" she thinks of the olive- plants that once flourished around 
our table, and in one week were smitten/* The Divine 
for a moment raised his eyes upwards, then laying his 
hand upon the head of my husband said, with a vivacity 
and earnestness which characterized him, * My dear 
Doctor ! what a lift is this towards heaven." 

** Well Ma am, I s pose that was clever enough since 
you think so. But most folks would say it sounded des- 
pate like want o feelin , not to seem to be sorry for you, 
nor nothin sich-like. Now, what would ye have me to 
do about Amariah s business, for it s high time for me to 
be a gittin under way, Ma am." 

" Mr. Larkin, your own good sense will guard yon 
against any violent opposition to a young man who, if he 
is deceived, deserves pity, if sincere, candour. This 
strong excitement will be likely to pass away, if *you do 
not nourish it by waking angry passions. Extremes are 
not apt to be lasting, and, in any case, moderation will b* 
most effectual. Remember, my friend, that contention 
about doctrines, is neither that love which is the evidence 
of the Spirit, nor that holiness, without which no man 
shall see God. And I doubt not that you will feel, after 
a little more reflection, that, as long as we are so compass 
ed about with infirmity, we should dread to judge, lest 
we also be judg ed, or to condemn, lest we be condemn 
ed." 



CHAPTER IX. 

" See ! See ! his face is black, and full of blood, 
His eye- balls further out, than when he liv d, 
Staring full ghastly, like a strangled man." 

2nd part of Henry 6th. 

THE seventy of the wintry season had apparently sub 
sided. The frosts had begun to evacuate their strong 
holds, and through the intervals of dissolving snow, tufts 
of soft green were visible. But, by one of those sudden 
revolutions, to which the climate of New-England is sub 
ject, the approaches of spring were checked by the re 
turning ravage of winter. A violent storm from the north 
east arose, attended with great quantities of sleet and 
snow. The trees bent heavily beneath their load, while 
huge drifts covered the fences, and lay in banks against 
the walls of houses. In some instances, much toil was re 
quired, ere the inmates could remove the rampart from 
their doors and windows, and emerge into the light of 
day. Heavy sleds, with each a score of oxen, traversed 
the roads, to beat a path for the imprisoned inhabitants. 

In Mohegar^ most of the wigwams, which stood within 
range of the winds, were hidden. Yet, in a few instan 
ces, the cone of the arbour-like dwelling, thatched with 
matting, was seen like a dark hillock, breaking the daz 
zling and dreary surface. The habitants forcing their 
way from their buried abodes, surveyed the chauge, which 



120 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

the tempest of night had wrought, with that equanimity 
which distinguishes the North American Indian. To 
testify surprise, they consider as betraying weakness. 

An instance of this was exhibited among one of the tribes 
in the vicinity of Niagara, during the total eclipse ot the 
Sun, in the summer of 1806. As they had heard no predic 
tion of the event, and a similar one had not occurred for 
several centuries, it was believed that they would scarcely 
be able to refrain from expressions of astonishment. When 
the sky suddenly became dim, and the slars appeared at 
noon-day, they were observed by some travellers, view 
ing the progress of the phenomenon with great attention ; 
but at the same time remarking, with their usual apathy, 
that " they had seen such things before." 

On the present occasion, those natives of Mohegan, who 
obtained egress most easily from their partially encum 
bered cells, were moved by sympathy to lend assistance 
to their less fortunate neighbours. Night was approach 
ing, ere this labour, with their insufficient implements, 
had been successfully accomplished. A party of these 
pioneers met their minister, who had left his abode with 
the same benevolent intention. 

" My children, he said, we must force our way to the 
cave of old Maurice. Who knows that he perished not, 
amid the storm, and cold of the past night ?" 

Animated by the words and example of their guide, 
they commenced the difficult course. Often they strug 
gled through deep mounds, as the swimmer breasts the 



FORTY VEARS SINCE. Uj 

wave, ere they saw the still distant pile of rock, rising like 
the white turrets of a castle. Mr. Occom, though less 
athletic than most of his companions, was the first to lay 
his hand upon the stone door of the recluse, inquiring in a 
gentle voice, " Maurice, may your friends come in to 
you ?" 

Precautions had been necessary at entering the cavern 
when the door was closed, as it usually irritated the aus 
tere hermit. Thrice the question was repeated, and at 
Cach interval the speaker betrayed emotion. Perchance 
thus the Median king trembled, when listening at the den 
of lions, he feared that the prisoner had become a victim 
to their rage. No sound was heard, and the minister, 
extending his hand toward the closed entrance, said " who 
shall roll us the stone, from the door of the sepulchre ?" 

Robert Ashbow, and John Cooper instantly advanced, 
and removed the heavy fragment of the rock. The shock 
brought a weight of snow from the roof of the cavern. 
They forced their way through the low aperture, which 
admitted scarcely a ray of light. Groping amid the 
gloom, they perceived something like a low statue of 
stone, with a hand resting against the wall. It was ri 
gid, and motionless as the rock, upon which it reclined. 
It was in a kneeling posture. Robert raised it in his 
arms, and with the aid of his companion, bore it from its 
dismal a*bode. The glassy and immoveable eyes, seemed 
to have started from their sockets, and their stony glare 

was awful. The hand, in its stiffen d grasp, enclosed a 

11 



122 SKETCH ot U 

crucifix, and the joints of the bended knees were firm as 
adamant. 

" He has kept his Lent with such strictness," said 
John Cooper, " that the feeble spark of life was almost 
smothered before this storm blew upon it," 

" The dark Angel, who demands the spirit," said Ro 
bert Ashbow, " saw it in devotion, as the altar from 
whence incense rises." 

" Happy is that servant," replied Mr. Occom * 4 whom 
his Lord when he cometh, shall find watching." 

Zachary, who, notwithstanding his age, had been mov 
ed by warmth of heart, to join the search for the desolate 
sennit, anxiously surveyed the body, pressing his hand al 
ternately upon the temples and the bosom. He then 
wrapped it closely in the skins, which had formed its 
inferable bed, and directed it to be borne with care to 
.he nearest habitation. 

" Know ye, how deep is the dwelling of the soul ?" lie 
exclaimed. " How long it may linger within its dark 
house, when lips of clay pronounce it gone to the shade? 
of its fathers ?" 

The body was borne to the house of John Cooper, and 
laid upon the bed. Zachary chafed the temples with 
vinegar, immersed the limbs in cold water to expel the 
frost, and rubbed them for a long time with an animal oil 
to soften their rigidity of fibre. At short intervals, he 
endeavoured to pass through the lips the decoction of a 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 125 

powerful plant, styled in the nomenclature of the natives, 
"life to the dead." 

A convulsive motion of the eye-lids, and at length a 
deep, tremulous sob confirmed the hopes of the aged 
warriour. Warmth, friction, and the exhibition of cor 
dials recalled the wandering spirit to its earthly abode, 
just as the morning dawned. During the night, broken 
exclamations attested the return of life, and his hands 
grasped at something above his head, as if the flitting vi 
sions of a disordered intellect encompassed him. 

" I know ye!" at length he uttered in a hollow voice, 
rolling his eyes upward, " I know ye. That head was 
cleft many a year since. Why have ye not healed the 
wound ? Ye bid it gape to torment me. Those locks 
are bright. Why do ye shake them at me ? They drop 
hot blood upon my soul. Oh ! here are hundreds of ac 
cursed spirits, reeking from the eternal lake. Avaunt ! 
T go not your way ! Satan I know, but who are ye ?" 

During the agonies of resuscitation, his cries were fre 
quent, " Go your way ! I know ye !" with menacing ges 
tures of the hands. 

At length, Mr, Occom bending over him, said tender 
ly " do you know me, Maurice ?" 

After a short pause, a hoarse voice replied " yes, I 
know thee too, a blind leader of the blind. Thinkest 
thou to be within the pale of salvation ? Thou! an alien 
iioin the holy mother church. Thou ! who leadest thy 
.illy flork among pit-falls, where is no shelter in the day 



124 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

of wrath." Soon, he made an ineffectual effort to kneel, 
and was observed, by the motion of his lips, and occasion 
al elevation of the crucifix, to be in deep prayer. Af 
terwards, he lay more calmly, as if in meditation, but 
resolutely refused the cordials which they presented to 
him. 

" No ! No !" he vociferated, Maurice hath vowed, that 
nothing but water should pass his polluted lips, until that 
glorious day, when Jesus brake the strong bars of the 
tomb." 

" What you call Easter has nearly arrived," said John 
Cooper. " Unless you take something to support your 
weakness, you will never again rejoice at the anniversa 
ry of the rising of your Lord." 

The ascetic, fixing his withering eyes on the speaker, 
said, " thou thinkest Maurice such a blasted tree that he 
cannot compute times, and seasons. Know I not that sev 
enteen days of the period of humiliation yet remain V 
Maurice will keep his vow. If he enter into heaven ere 
it be accomplished, he will fast and mourn there until 
Lent be past. He will not taste the new wine of the king 
dom, until the voices arid thunderings around the throne 
proclaim, Christ is risen, is risen." 

Observing the children of John Cooper, to speak in 
low voices of his recovery, he addressed them in a milder 
tone. 

" To your young eyes Maurice seems as the dry tree.. 
whose roots quit the earth, that its head may rest there 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 125 

Yet has he numbered fewer years than many, whose hairs 
are not white like his. He was young and full of vigour, 
when Braddock, and his soldiers strewed the earth, lik e 
autumn leaves. He saw Washington lay that proud war- 
riour in his lowly grave Washington, who was then pre 
paring like a bold, broad river, to run his course toward a 
sea of glory. Maurice was then called the warriourKehoran. 
It was said of him, his eye is bright in battle, and his foot 
fleet in the chase, like the deer upon the mountain-tops. 
Kehoran drew his first breath in this valley, and he lov 
ed it when his heart was young. He thought not then, 
to die like the miserable Maurice. But he has grown 
old before his time. Sorrow and penance have wast 
ed his strength. Yet in his bosom hath b een a goad, 
sharper than that of famine. Ask ye, what bows the 
body sooner than age ? what traces deeper furrows on the 
forehead than care ? what sheds snows upon the temples, 
whiter than the frost of grief ? I tell ye it \s guilt." 

Mr. Occom, with that majesty which he well knew 
how to assume, standing near the bed of the sufferer, said, 

>; Maurice ! I adjure thee by the living God, before 
whom thou art about to appear, and by thy hope of heav 
en, to confess the sin which lieth upon thy conscience, 
while there is space for repentance." 

Canst thou absolve me from my sin ?" inquired a 
deep voice, as if from the recesses of the tomb. 

" There is none," replied the Pastor, who hath pow 

cr on earth, to forgive sins, save God only." 
11* 



126 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

u Thou art weak as thy faith !" exclaimed the recluse 
with scorn upon every feature. " How feeble would be 
the penitence, thou shouldst prescribe ! As miserable as 
the hope, which thou canst offer. Holy Mother of God ! 
Would that Father Paul were near me. Oh ! that my 
soul may behold him, where he standeth amid the sera 
phim, when she shall have past the fires of purgatory." 

He lay for some time exhausted, as if in slumber, then 
starting, said, " I know thee ! Thou art Death ! Mau 
rice hath never turned from thee in battle. He will go 
with thee. Thou art sweeter than this mortal life. Ha ! 
whom bringest thou ? His dark wings overshadow thee, 
He desireth to rend my soul in pieces ! Is there none to 
deliver ? I see a fair woman ! She stretcheth her hand 
to save me. Take that hatchet from her head ! alas ! f 
planted it deep there. She mocks at me. She is gone. 
I sink in a sea of blood." 

Again he became absorbed in devotion, praying to the 
holy Saints, and entreating the blessed Virgin to inter 
cede with her Son in his behalf. A sun-beam fell through 
the casement upon his bed * This," he said, more calm 
)y, " is my last morning upon the earth. A hand that ye 
cannot see, beckons me away. Still it waits a liiiie. 
Know yo wherefore ? That I may pour out the dregs 01 
my guilt. So shall the soul travel lighter upon her dreary 
passage. Heard ye ever the name of M Rae ? i cs ! 
11 Kae! M Rae! For years I have not cured to pro 
iiounce that name. Even now, the demons shriek it in 
my par*. Thev write it in flame upon tho wall*. It scorch 



FORTY YEARS SINCE- 127 

es my heart. Avaunt ! Avaunt ! I tell ye, I will unbur 
den my soul, though ye bid the heavens cleave above, 
and the earth beneath me" 

Pressing his hands upon his temples, he remained mo 
tionless for a short interval, apparently seeking to recover 
strength for some great effort, and then proceeded. 

" Before the war between these colonies, and the mother 
who planted them, I led a wandering life, visiting the tribes 
of Indians, who were scattered throughout the Canada*. 
At length, I became stationary in one of the towns near the 
frontier. Here, I was found by Father Paul, a priest of 
the most holy order of the Jesuits. Moved by Christian 
compassion, he had for many years endeavoured to pour 
the light of heavenly truth upon the benighted natives of 
this country. Such benevolence had he, that the soul of 
an Indian was precious in his eyes, as that of a prince 
upon the throne. Grateful for his instructions, I daily at 
tended the mass. His eloquence was more than mortal. 
He received me as his son in the most holy faith. When 
the cloud of war arose, ! wished to return to my kindred, 
and join the standard of my tribe. He said, " God com- 
mandeth thee to lift thy sword for the people, among 
whom thou hast beheld the light from heaven." I obeyed, 
.ind went forth in battle for England, though often with a 
heavy heart. Sometimes, at midnight, stood beside me 
the form of my deceased king. Bending his, dark brows, 
lie would upbraid me as a traitor. Cold dews hung upon 
my forehead, and I lay trembling, and sleepless til? 



J28 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

the morn. But the terrour of that unearthly frown was- 
forgotten, when the voice of Father Paul repeated, " God 
commandeth thee." When Burgoyne with his troops be 
gan to enter the provinces, I was placed with a band oi 
natives, under a young British officer, Proud of my 
strength and valour, I sought the front of danger, and his 
eye distinguished me. Once, at the dawn of day, he 
sent for me to his tent. He, whose heart was a stranger 
to fear, trembled as he spoke " Maurice, thou hast a 
true heart. I adjure thee to keep secret what I intrust to 
thee, and to lend me thine aid." I promised to be his 
friend ; and often his tongue fauitered with emotion, as he 
proceeded. " We are within a league of Fort Edward, 
It is to be attacked. The inhabitants have fled, all, save 
one whom I hold dearer than life. I loved her, long ere 
this war made intercourse with the Provincials, rebellion. 
My residence was near hers, when the mother-country, 
and her children were at peace. She waits me there, 
though all her household have departed. Such faith hath 
she. in my truth. But when the ravage commences, how 
can I save her ? She must be brought hither, and the 
priest must unite us, ere we depart hence. Were I to o 
for her, I should be condemned as a traitor to my king. 
Thou mayest go with safety. I have chosen ihee for this 
embassy, so dear to my soul, because thy heart is true. 
Take with thee ten associates, whom I will amply reward. 
Lead for her my own horse. Give her this letter, and she 
will put herself under thy care. She hath the heart of a 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 129 

lion, theugh the glance of her eye is like that of the dove. 
1 will meet thee at the door of my tent with a holy man, 
who, in making us both one, shall remove from my soul 
every earthly fear. Have I said that her name is M Rae ? 
And now wilt thou be faithful to my trust ?" I replied, 
" The Holy Mother of God be my witness, that no hand 
but mine shall present her unto thee." 

" My heart was proud at this confidence of my chief. In 
stantly I prepared to execute his orders. Ten trusty na 
tives accompanied me. We soon arrived at the house of 
the fair-one, which was forsaken by all but her, and one 
servant maid. 1 held up the letter, as she first perceived 
us, that the hand- writing of her lover might remove the 
dread of our countenances. Her maiden shrieked, and 
fled, when she saw us painted, and attired for war. But 
that beautiful maiden, pressing to her lips the letter, and 
taking from it a lock of his hair which it contained, waited 
only to throw on her veil, and came forth to meet us. I 
i ii ted her upon the noble steed, which curved his neck, 
and moved more gently, as if he knew that he bore the 
treasure of his master. Her long hair, black as the raven s 
wing, was folded in braids around her head ; and her full 
eye, of the same colour, was perpetually looking out for 
the tent of her lover. Her lips smiled fearlessly when she 
spoke, and on her cheek trembled something, like the 
glow of the morning sky when it expects the Sun. I be 
held her, and exulted in the joy of my commander. Half 
our journey was already achieved. I led on slowly, Jest* 



130 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

weariness should cast a shade over the tender, and beau 
tiful. Suddenly, issuing from the woods, a party of Cana 
dian Indians intercepted our path. They had learnt, from 
the imprudence of one of my followers, the arnpJe reward 
which had been promised for slight service, and determin 
ed themselves to obtain it. Cutlasses clashed, and blood 
flowed upon the earth. Foemen fell, with their hatchets 
each in the other s head. All my party, but two, were 
slain. More had fallen of the enemy, yet they still out 
numbered us. Their chief took the bridle of the maiden, 
to lead her away. My blood boiled that he should win 
the prize, which I had vowed to deliver myself. She had 
fainted, and her face, like marble, lay upon the neck of 
the animal who bore her. The rage of hell inspired pie, 
I cleft that beautiful head with my hatchet. The light 
grey of the horse was stained with blood, and he Red. 
affrighted, dragging the body. My opponent pursued him, 
and tore off the scalp of the victim, with its shining tress 
es. I fought with him a long, and furious contest. Mv 
blood flowed, but I snatched the trophy from his dying 
hand, and turned not away until I had cut him in pieces. 
I seemed to accomplish the remainder of my journey ii< 
an instant. The flames of passion consumed thought, and 
bore me forward as on eagle s wings. 

k The sun arose as I returned to the camp. The morn 
ing was bright, as the hopes of the bridegroom. I rnef 
him, coming from his tent with the priest who was to 
sanction his vows Ere he could speak, I held the scalp 



FORTY YEARS SlNfc. 131 

before him. He knew those dark locks, and fell to the 
earth, as if in death. I was hurried to prison by enraged 
soldiers, who wished to tear me to pieces on the spot. 
So blinded had I been in the heat of battle, that I had ex 
pected my chief would commend me for courage, and 
firmness in his cause, even amid his disappointment. I 
believed that I had done my duty in being faithful to my 
vow, that no hand but mine should bring- the maiden, 
whether living or dead. Thus an apostle thought he was 
doing God service, by persecuting and destroying the 
-. But. in my miserable dungeon, I had leisure for 
reflection. There, I learned that General Burgoyne had 
condemned to death all the survivers of both parties, and 
that our execution was delayed only till two of the fugi 
tives were found, who had concealed themselves in the 
forests. Two dreary nights passed over me in my loath 
some cell. On the third, Father Paul stood beside me. 
The terrible deed had reached him, and he travelled 
over the space that divided us, to visit a wretch in bonds. 
I prostrated myself upon the earth before him, and made 
my confession. " Knowest thou," he said, " that the next 
sun will rise upon thy corpse., hanging disgracefully be 
tween the earth and heaven ? It must not be, that a son 
of the holy Church, should thus be a spectacle for the 
scorn of heretics. She commands thy rescue. I have 
achieved it. With me is a Canadian native, an obstinate 
scoffer at the high mysteries of our faith. He is to enter 
thy cell, and assume thy garb. Thou art to pass outward 



132 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

in his. His size, and appearance are favourable to the 
stratagem. The goaler is bribed to my interest, and ere 
morning thou mayest be far from the steps of thy pursu 
ers." u Life is sweet," I answered, ashamed of my own 
weakness." But holy Father, what service have I render 
ed this man, that he should willingly give his life k>r 
mine ?" " He knows nothing of my purpose." said Fath 
er Paul. " He is my servant, I have required him to re 
main in this cell, all night, that thou mayest go forth with 
me to perform a vow. He thinks that, ere morning, I 
shall liberate him. Long have I laboured for his conver 
sion in vain. The Holy Inquisition would condemn him 
to the rack, for blasphemies against the mass. Merci 
fully I substitute a milder death. Thy execution is ap 
pointed at the hour, when the murder was committed. 
At this early season, it is possible that the deception may 
pass unnoticed. 1 have given him a stupifying drug, so 
that he will be unable to make protestations of innocence, 
perhaps will be unconscious of the scene. At any rate 
thou must escape as far as possible, under cover of the 
night. I shall commence, with equal speed, a tour of in 
struction among the uncivilized natives. Turn thy steps 
towards thy kindred, and native country. And now," he 
added, with a deep solemnity, " kneel, and receive the 
doom of penance, with which thine absolution is purchas 
ed. Throughout this war, lift thy hand upon neither side. 
Seek out some lonely cell, and live like the imprisoned 
monk. Every year, come to me as a pilgrim, with thy 



toRTY YEARS SINCE. 133 

feet uncovered, and make thy confession, and I will par 
don thy sins." I departed, but my heart accused me, for 
leaving behind the unsuspicious Canadian. Yet 1 knew 
(hat Father Paul would command nothing but what was 
right, and he was to me in the place of God. Every au 
tumn, when the harvest moon lifted her horn, I have gone 
to him with my bleeding feet, beseeching him to absolve 
me, and have returned to my cave when the white man 
traces his first furrow on the earth. My last pilgrimage 
was performed with difficulty. Thorns mangled my feet, 
and the stormy blasts scattered my few white hairs. I 
arrived, but he whom I sought was not there. Three 
days and nights I lay upon his grave, until I saw high vis 
ions, and heard voices which I may not utter. Methought 
I stood in the midst of a pale assembly, and was about 
to speak. Chilling eyes gazed on me, and I saw that I 
was surrounded by the dead. Yet they clamoured with 
hollow voices " he is one of us," and a fearful tone from 
beneath said, " Come !" Then I knew I was to die. I 
returned to my cavern, and increased my penance. With 
ered roots, and water were my sustenance, and every hour 
in the day, and night, I told my beads. Ah ! little do ye 
know the torments of a sinful soul, propitiating its Maker. 
I have prayed, until my cavern was thick set with faces, 
and with fiery eyes ; so that midnight was light about me. 
Sometimes they have deafened me with peals of hellish 
laughter, but when they have tried to rivet their burning 

12 



134 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 






chains upon me, I have shaken the crucifix at them and 
conquered." 

Maurice relapsed into deep silence, but resolutely re 
fused whatever they held to his lips. Mr. Occom lifted 
his voice in earnest prayer for the sinful, and apparently 
departing soul. His auditors pressed near to him, as the 
flock in fear or danger surround their shepherd. During 
the orison, the features of Maurice were convulsed, and 
vehement, but unintelligible exclamations burst from his 
quivering lips. Soon after its close, he started up in the 
bed, throwing his hands into violent action, as if contend 
ing with enemies in the air. His eyes flamed with rage, 
even when they were frozen in their sockets by the ice of 
death. Large drops started over his distorted forehead, 
but the horrible convulsion was short. Sinking down, he 
set his teeth firmly, as if in mortal combat, and clenching 
the crucifix in his rigid hand expired. 



CHAPTER X. 



-" the azure skies, 



The cheerful Sun, that thro Earth s vitals pours 
Delight, and health, and heat ; all, all conspire 
To raise, to sooth, to harmonize the mind, 
And lift on wings of praise to the Great Sire 
Of being, and of beauty. 1 

Warton. 

THE sway of Winter was now broken. His " ruffian 
winds," which had howled and moaned through the many 

rocky defiles of N -, as if they were reverberating in 

the cave of Eolus, subsided into fitful gales, or sighed in 
humid breezes. The roads were no longer enlivened by 
the sound of sleigh-bells, and the neighbouring farmers 
exchanged the sled which had long conveyed their pro 
ducts to market, for the heavy wheePd, and creaking 
wain. The boys, who had been seen, during the daily 
school-intervals, descending with surprizing velocity the 
steep, snowy declivities, or marking with " armed heel," 
graceful circles upon a surface of ice, now resigned the 
instruments of their favourite sports. Those, who had 
been nurtured in the economical habits of their fathers, 
restored to the accustomed peg in the barn, or tool-house, 
their sled and skates, carefully anointed with oil, as a pre 
servative of the wood, and the metal, which entered into 
their composition, covered with paper, as an additional 
security against rust. Some there are., in these modern 



136 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

days, who would sneer at the plebeian toil, which seeks to 
give a longer date to objects of such trifling value. Yet 
those, who are most forward to tax with the name of mean 
ness that " saving knowledge * which they are too indo 
lent to practise, are not always more elevated above mer 
cenary motives, or more accessible to the claims of charity. 
than those who, in a consistent economy, lay the foundation 
of both justice and liberality. 

But we return, from this digression, to our original plan 

of attending Madam L on an excursion to the house 

f her agriculturist. The roads had not yet attained that 
settled state, when a ride may be considered a pleasure ; 
yet she did not hesitate whether on that account she should 
defer the business which she wished to transact. She 
had not been educated when it was a test of sensibility to 
be alarmed at every imaginary danger, or a mark of re 
finement to magnify every trifling inconvenience. 

It was one of those fine mornings, in which a. softer sea 
son makes its first effectual resistance against the lingering 
claims of winter ; like a buxom infant springing from the 
arms of a wrinkled dame, whose caresses chill it. Still 
the influence of the Sire of Storms was perceptible. The 
small streams moved but torpidly, between margins of ice, 
or beneath a thin veil which might have hidden their pro 
gress, had it not been revealed by a. cold, subterranean 
murmuring. Over the larger rivers small boats were seen 
gliding, while their cheerful navigators repelled with long 
poles those masses of ice which essayed too near an ap- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 137 

proach ; or supporting themselves on their slippery sur 
face, collected the drift-wood which adhered to them. 
Other labourers were busily employed in replacing 
bridges, which the swollen waters had injured or destroy 
ed ; for seldom did the spring-tide floods pass N , 

but the faces of the inhabitants gathered gloom from the 
prospect of an additional weight of taxation. While the 
solitary amateur admired the wrath of the resounding 
streams, the richer, and less romantic burgher would 
calculate the cost, like Marlow in the well-furnished inn, 
apprehending, " how horridly a fine side-board, and mar 
ble chimney-piece would swell the reckoning." But the 
labourers, who had nothing to pay, and foresaw gain from 
being employed about broken bridges, and dilapidated 
fences, contented themselves with lamenting, in a less 
rueful tone, the evils of their almost insular situation. Con 
siderable loss and suffering had frequently been sustained 
in the southern extreme of the town, which occupied the 
ground at the junction of the two principal rivers. These 
waters, when swollen by dissolving snows, and the in 
creased revenue of their tributaries, came rushing down 
with great power. Inundated streets, merchants lament 
ing the loss of their goods, and sometimes of the ware 
houses which contained them,; or millers gazing with up 
lifted hands after theirfloating fabrics, attested the ravages 
of the triumphant flood. Here and there, the sharp eaves 
of a fisherman s hut, or the upper story of some building 
of larger dimensions wouH rise above the encompassing 



138 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

element ; while the boats employed to take from their 
windows the sick, or the softer sex, encountered continual 
obstacles from trees partly immersed, and fences planted 
like chevaux defrise, beneath the treacherous waters. 

Occasionally, a bridge from some neighbouring town 
has been borne along, a reluctant visiter : in one instance 
a structure of this sort glided by, displaying in unbroken 
majesty a toll-gate, upon whose topmost bar, a red-wing d 
cockerel was perched. Having evinced his fidelity to his 
favourite roost, by adhering to it during all the shocks of 
its midnight disruption, morn beheld the undaunted bird, 
clapping his wings as he passed the town, and sending 
forth shrill notes of triumph, from excitement at his extra 
ordinary voyage of discovery. 

Once, an infant, in his cradle-ark, suddenly washed from 
the cabin of his slumbering parents, glided over the bosom 
of the pitiless surge. He was rescued not b} r the daugh 
ter of Pharoah, and her maidens, but by the father urging 
on his light boat with eager strokes, while the mother, 
not standing " among the flags by the river s brink, - but 
wading unconsciously into the cold, slippery channel, 
received with extended arms, the babe smiling as he 
awoke. 

But the Spring, which we describe, had witnessed no 
uncommon accident. On the contrary, the breaking up 
of the frosts of Winter had l^een peculiarly favourable. 

The course of Madam L , being directed toward the 

west, led her gradually from the vicinity of the larger 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 139 

rivers, into a country, beautifully peninsulated by small 
winding streamlets. Already the turf, seen through melt 
ing snows, shewed the first tints of its mantle of green, 
seeming to promise early vegetation. 

The trees with their swelling buds confessed the action 
of genial warmth, and the squirrel issuing from his nest at 
their roots, eyed the traveller for a moment, ere he com 
menced his half aerial course. The blue-bird sent forth a- 
few clear notes, as if to remind his more tardy compan 
ions, that the " time of the singing of birds had come." 

Madam L was attentive to every change of nature. 

whose works she loved. In her heart was a perpetual 
spring of cheerfulness, which, throwing a charm over 
every season, rendered her peculiarly susceptible to the 
delights of that which was now unfolding, so redolent, 
and full of the Creator s beauty. Her ride, which ex 
tended to the distance of about five miles, and which it 
has been mentioned was directed to the house of her farm 
er, did not terminate until the sun had a little passed the 
meridian. She had paused for some time at the abode of 
^ood Mrs. Rawson, which was on the road ; for, as usual, 
r.harity constituted a part of the business which had led 
her from home. Finding one of the children sick, she 
had remained so long at the dwelling of poverty, that she 
thought it probable she might reach Farmer Larkin s at 
the time of his recess from labour at noon. Her equip 
age, which moved rather slowly, was a chaise, whose 
form displayed none of the light and graceful elegance of 



140 SKETCH OP CONNECTICUT, 

modern times. Its heavy body was painted a,dun yellow, 
and studded thick at the sides, and edges with brass nails. 
This supported a top, whose wide and low dimensions 
jutted over in so portentous a manner, that had a person 
of the height of six feet essayed to be benefitted by its 
shelter, he must have persisted in maintaining that alti 
tude, which Dr. Franklin recommended to those who 
would enter his study. Its clumsy footstep, and uncurved 
shaft was so near the ground, as greatly to facilitate the 
exploit of ascending, and likewise to diminish the danger 
of a fall, in case of accident. This vehicle, which was oi 
venerable antiquity, was the first of its kind which had 
been seen in the streets of N . In those early days, it was 
viewed as a lamentable proof of aristocratic pride, par 
ticularly as on the back might be traced the semblance of 
a coat of arms. It was now so much reverenced by its 
owner, that she could never consent to subject it to those 
changes of fashion, which the taste of her younger friends 
suggested. To her there was a sacredness, even in the 
form of whatever had administered to the comfort of the 
departed, and the beloved. She loved better to lay her \ 
hand where theirs had laid, than to bury it amid the gar 
niture of a gorgeous coach. Such also was the good 
.sense of her cotemporaries, that they bowed not to her 
with slighter respect, nor pointed her out to strangers with 
less enthusiasm, because she declined to make her equip 
age the herald of her wealth, or the sole interpreter of 
her merit. It was drawn by a heavy black steed, who, 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 141 

some fifteen years before, had been in his prime, and who 
had as much the habit of stopping at the abodes of pover 
ty, as PeveriJ s Black Hastings had of turning towards the 
window of mourning. 

He also was cherished by his kind mistress, for the same 
reason that she valued the vehicle to which he was har 
nessed. 

" He is like me," she would sometimes say, " in hav 
ing seen his best days, and I love to be reminded by that 
faithful animal how deeply I have entered the vale of 
years." 

Her attachment to this favoured servant seemed to be 
reciprocal ; for, when she occasionally visited him in his 
abode, he would raise his long black visage from the 
well-fill d rack, and greet her with a loving sound, the 
echo of the neigh of his better years. With his mane 
some white hairs were mingling, and the elasticity of his 
youthful step had changed into the heavy tramp of a load 
ed dray-horse ; yet he was still strong and sure-footed, 
and his clumsiness seemed as much the result of full feed 
ing, and want of exercise, as of the weight of age. In 
summer, he was carefully guarded from the depredations 
of flies by a net made of twine, while one of bleached cot 
ton with tassels and balls, exquisitely white, overshadow 
ed his huge frame, when he bore his load on Sundays to 
the house of God. 

Such was the steed, and such the equipage, which now 
ipproached the abode of Mr. Larkin. It was a long, low 



142 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

unpainted house, with narrow casements, situated about 
half a mile from the main road. Near it was a substan 
tial barn, surrounded by a large yard, where a number 
of animals assembled exhibited an appearance of com 
fort, which denoted at once a kind and careful master. 
Cuffee alighting, removed the bars, which formed, or rath 
er obstructed, the rustic entrance to the demesne ; and 
then addressed a few soothing words to his horse, who ad 
vanced his head, and bent down his quivering ear, as if 
the sounds of the human voice were either comprehend 
ed, or beloved. 

As Madam L entered she heard, in the clattering 

of knives and forks, the reason, why she was not as usual 
welcomed at the door. Unwilling to interrupt the re 
fection of the family, she took a seat unobserved. She 
found herself in the best room of the mansion, but to this 
the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages would assign, 
neither the name of " parlour, hall, or drawing-room, 5 
avoiding the example of their city acquaintance, as the 
ancient reformers did the abominations of the Church of 
Rome. Adhering to their habits of precision as tenacious 
ly a? to their ideas of simplicity, they gave to this most 
honourable room an appellation derived from its bearing 
upon the cardinal points. The one under present consider 
ation, being visited by the latest beams of the setting sun, 
and the first breathings ef the summer breeze, was de 
nominated the " south-west room." As the furniture of 
this best apartment of Farmer Larkin may serve as a 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 143 

sample of the interiour of most of the Sanctum Sancto 
rums of the better sort of agriculturists at that early pe 
riod, it may be well to" add a brief description. 

The bed, an indispensable appendage, was without ei 
ther curtains, or high posts, and decorated with a new 
woollen coverlet, where the colour of red gorgeously pre 
dominated over the white and green, with which it was 
intermingled. So small a space did it occupy, that if, 
like Og, king of Bashan, whose gigantic height was pre 
dicated from his bedstead of nine cubits, the size of our 
farmers should have been estimated by the dimensions of 
their places of repose, posterity would do them immense 
injustice. 

A buffet, or corner-cupboard was a conspicuous article, 
in which were arranged a set of bright, pewter plates, 
some red and white cups and saucers, not much larger 
than what now belong to a doll s equipage, and a pyramidal 
block-tin tea-pot. The lower compartment of this repos 
itory, which was protected by a door, furnished a recep 
tacle for the Sabbath-day hats and bonnets of the children, 
each occupying its own place upon the shelves. In the 
vicinity was what was denominated " a chist o draws," 
namely, a capacious vault of stained pine, which, opening 
like a chest, contained the better part of the wardrobe of 
the master and mistress of the family ; while, beneath, 
space was left for two or three drawers, devoted to the 
accommodation of the elder children. But the master 
piece of finery was a tea-table, which, elevating its round 



J44 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

disk perpendicularly, evinced that it was more for show 
than use. 

Its surface displayed a commendable lustre, protected 
by a penal statute from the fingers of the children. But 
an unruly kitten used to take delight in viewing, on the 
lower extremity of that polished orb, a reflection of her 
own round face, and formidable whiskers. Unhappily mis 
taking the appearance of these for an adversary, she im 
printed thereon the marks of her claws, too deeply for all 
the efforts of the good housewife to efface, and soon after 
expiated her crime upon the scaffold. A looking-glass, 
much smaller than the broad expansion of the Farmer s 
face, hung against the roughly plastered, yet unsullied 
wall. A few high, strait-back d chairs, and a pair of 
small andirons nicely black d, whose heads bore a rude 
resemblance to the " human form divine," completed the 
inventory of goods and chattels. Over the low, wide fire 
place, hung in a black frame, without the superfluity of 
a glass, the family record, legibly penned, with a space 
very considerately left for future additions. The apart 
ment had an air of neatness, beyond what was then gener 
ally observed in the houses of those who made the dairy, 
and spinning-wheel, their prime objects of attention. 
The white floor was carefully sanded, and at each door a 
broad mat, made of the husks of the Indian corn, claim 
ed tribute from the feet of those who entered. Where 
Madam L was seated, she had a full view of the fam 
ily, surrounding their peaceful board, and so cordially en- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 146 

gaged in doing justice to its viands, that not a glance 
wandered to the spot which she occupied. 

The table, covered with a coarse white cloth, bore at 
the head a large supply of boiled beef, and pork, served 
up in a huge dish of glazed ware, of a form between 
platter and bowl, though it probably would rank with the 
latter genus. A mass of very fine cabbage appeared in 
the same reservoir? like a broad, emerald islet, flanked 
with parsnips and turnips, the favourite " long and short 
saace" of the day. At the bottom of the board was an 
enormous pudding of Indian meal, supported by its legit 
imate concomitants, a plate of butter, and jug of molas 
ses. Four brown mugs of cider, divided into equal 
compartments the quadrangle of the board, and the wood 
en trenchers, which each one manfully maintained, were 
perfectly clean and comfortable. 

Farmer Larkin, and his wife, not deeming it a point of 
etiquette to separate as far as the limits of the table would 
permit, shared together the post of honour by the dish of 
meat. At the left hand of the father, sat his youngest son, 
and at tl^e right hand of the mother, her youngest daugh 
ter. Thus the male line, beginning at Jehu, and touching 
every one according to his age, passed over the heads of 
Timothy and Jehoiakim, ending in Amariah, the nephew, 
and would-be Methodist. On the other hand, the female 
line, from the mother, who held in her lap the chubbed 
Tryphosa, passed with geometrical precision through the 
spaces allotted to Tryphena, Keziah, Roxey and Reuey, 

13 



146 aJLKTCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

terminating with buxom Molly. She was indeed a damsel 
of formidable size, but of just proportions, and employ 
ed her brawny arm, in cutting slices from a large loaf o* 
brown bread, which she distributed with great exactness 
by each trencher, as soon as her father had stocked it with 
meat, and her mother garnished it with vegetables. There 
was something pleasing in the sight of so many healthy 
and cheerful faces, and in the domestic order which evi 
dently prevailed. The first course past in silence, except 
that Farmer Larkin said to his wife, 

" Do pray, Mammy, put down Tryphosa on the floor, 
and give her a crust o bread to gnaw. 1 can t bear to 
see ye always a carryin some burden or other, so that ye 
get no rest even at meal times." 

The wife obediently placed the plump infant in a hum 
bler station, who lifted up its broad blue eyes, as if it 
thought itself aggrieved, until the father reaching it a piece 
of bread, said, " there, baby, larn to take care o your 
self." 

It soon became so much absorbed with its tVagment of 
the staff of life, as to make no overtures to return to the 
arms of it mother. In a short time, each trencher, neatly 
scraped., was presented to Molly for a slice of the pudding 
in her vicinity, to which Amariah carefully added the us 
ual condiments. When Tim s plate, in due rotation, was 
replenished, the farmer said, 

" Amariah, that boy did not do his ta-a-sk this mornin . 
Don t ye put any lasses on his puddin . Lazy folk? 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 147 

sha-ant fare so well as others in my house. That s right 
*n t it Tim, to larn ye to be industrious ?" 

Yes Father," said the boy, eating his dry pudding 
without complaint, and with the air of one who intended 
to profit by the justice which he acknowledged. The meal 
was accompanied by a few questions from the parents, to 
which the younger members returned brief answers ; but 
refrained from holding light conversation among them- 
elves, with far greater sense of propriety, than is always 
witnessed at the tables of the professedly polite. At the 
close of the repast, the Father, bowing his head, uttered 
brief but hearty thanks to the Giver of all Mercies, during 
which even the youngest children stood as if in an act of 
devotion. They had been taught that the food of each 
day, however homely, was a favour ; that it was both a 
duty and pleasure to thank Him who bestowed it ; and 
r.hat it was sinful to do this with a light, irreverent deport 

ment. Madam L- , touched at this scene of domestic 

order, harmony and devotion, thought that the careless, 
the proud, or the epicure, who would scorn these humble 
inmates, might still receive from them a salutary lesson. 
Perchance, in her mind was a train of thought, similar to 
what inspired the ploughman-poet, when he exclaimed 
* ; From scenes like these, old Scotia s grandeur springs. 

Which makes her lov d at home, revcr d abroad 
Princes ami lords are hut the breath of kings, 

. in honest man s the noblest work of Goef." 

As she came forward from the apartment, where she had 
comained unobserved, she was received with the most 



148 SKETCH OP CONNECTICUT, 

cordial delight by every individual. The good Farmer 
approached with a fervent welcome tempered with re 
spect, and the matron with an apology for not having met 
her at the door, little imagining that she had so long been 
their guest. Bows and court sies multiplied among the 
junior class, as they were kindly addressed by the Lady. 
Molly produced with great rapidity a plate of nut-cakes 
and cheese, a basket of fine apples, and a glass of metheg- 
lin. Roxey and Pteuey ran to add a " saacer of presarved 
barberries," from the jar, which was filled with fruit 
gathered and prepared by their own hands, for a dessert 
on extraordinary occasions. Jehoiakim also hastened to 
convey refreshments to Cuffee, who in tarn presented him 
with some grafts from the Vergaloue, the Bennet, and the 
Winter Pear, eulogizing their respective merits ; and not 
forgetting to add, that his Mistress had " eight bery large 
fine tree, most hundred year old." 

Mrs. Larkin, after the lady had concluded her business 
with her husband, was anxious to shew her dairy, where 
the large cheeses, turned and rubbed daily by her own 
bands, and the stores of gold-coloured butter, arranged 
with perfect neatness, attested her industry, and good 

housewifery. Madam L took pleasure in conversing 

with this worthy family, where each fulfilled their part, 
with such faithfulness, and harmony. She distributed to 
each of the children some little present adapted to their 
age. To the older ones she gave books, after questioning 
them en the contents of those which she bad last present- 



JtORTY YEARS SIM. i 14B 

ed, and expressing satisfaction that they had been pre 
served with so much attention. To Amariah she gave a 
New Testament, saying with kindness, that she had 
marked with a pencil some passages which she thought 
applicable to him, and doubted not that he would per 
ceive that religion was confined to no particular sect, but 
was valued in the eye of the Almighty according to its 
effects upon the heart and life. Amid expressions of 
sincere gratitude and affection from all, she took her 
, leave, with more heartfelt satisfaction than is found among 
the courtly pomp of a ceremonious party ; 

" Where e en while Fashion s brightest arts decoy, 
The heart, distrusting asks, if this be joy. - 

Such; forty years since, were most of the agriculturists, 
who tenanted the lands of others in the villages of Con 
necticut. Uncorrupt integrity, and reverence for religion 



were their distinguishing characteristics ; and their fami 
lies were nurtured in that industry, and subordination, 
which are the germs of the strength and peace of commu 
nities. By no profession might that beautiful passage 01 
inspiration be with more justice assumed as a motto, " in 

simplicity, and godly sincerity we have our conversation 

i 
in the world." 

Since that period, those luxuries and refinements, which 
.-spread so rapidly in our cities, have pervaded, in some 
degree, the abodes of the tillers of the earth. They are 
becoming a more enlightened race than their fathers, and 
from their habitations have issued some of our most di- 
13* 



150 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

tinguished merchants, statesmen and divines. Their sons 
have been distinguished in our seminaries of science, for 
the zeal with which they have pursued knowledge, and 
the indefatigable application with which they have suppli 
ed the defects of early culture. When the sons of rich men. 
languid from indulgence, have shrunk from mental effort 
as insupportable hardship, and fallen a prey to those vices 
which indolence creates, the offspring of those who hold 
the plough have wrested from their feeble hands the prize 
of honour, and pressed on in the path of their country s 
praise and pride. There is, in the pursuits of agriculture, 
a salutary discipline both for the body and mind, as they 
are gradually developed. That hardihood of frame, which 
despises privation, or change of elements s is more conge 
nial to elevation of character, than the enervating nurture 
of patrician families, where animal tastes are pampered, 
at the expense of vigour of intellect, and ease of body 
promoted, even to the bondage of the free spirit. Possi 
bly also, in the simplicity of man s primeval -occupation, 
there may be, like the angels hovering over Eden, natural 
and invisible guards around the avenues of innocence, 
cheerfulness, and that religion which springs from a view 
f the Creator in his works, 

Agriculture has been, in the New-England States, a 
source of wealth, less splendid indeed than some others, 
but far less fluctuating. It has been a fountain, not always 
as profuse in its streams as avarice or ambition might, de 
sire, but perermiajl when sought by industry and prrr 



FORTY YEARS SINCE, 151 

tience. How frequently does it happen, in our republican 
government, that a fortune, acquired by the economical 
agriculturist furnishes the means of vanity and pride to 
his son ; who, removing to the city, and educating his 
children in indolence, prepares them to squander the in 
heritance of their ancestors. The next generation, born 
in poverty, seek an antidote in labour, and find that " tide 
in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to 
fortune." 

Many such instances had fallen under the observation 

of Madam L , and her silent reflections upon them 

were not interrupted, until her approach to the Turnpike, 
a few miles from her residence. There she saw an un 
usual bustle, and heard the tones of the red-faced gate 
keeper, elevated like the hoarse croak of a raven. But 
these were overpowered by the loud brogue of an Irish 
man of enormous stature, who mounted on a pony ready 
to sink beneath the weight of the rider, contested the rate 
of toll : 

" I tell ye, I ll not be paying nine-pence for travel 
ling on such a confounded bogrof a road, with the danger 
of breaking my neck into the bargain." 

;< Zounds ! * roared the sturdy, square shouldered Eng 
lishman, lifting up his shoemaker s hammer, by the aid of 
which, with the profits of his gate, he earned a subsistence 
for his family, " are ye not able to read the printed board 
before your face, or d ye think ye re in Cork, where club 
law will silence the jailors," 



152 oKETCH Of CONNECTICUT, 

" Of what use, my dair," said Paddy without regard 
ing the threat, " of what use is that sort of a whirligig 
thing, which bears some indifferent likeness to the cross of 
St. Patrick ?" 

" It is the wicket, where people on foot go through for 
nothing," replied the toll-keeper, approaching to shut the 
gate, which, not apprehending any contention, he had 
thrown open at the arrival of the passenger. But Paddy, 
dismounting with as much haste, as Lord Marmion dis 
played in clearing the falling portcullis of the indignant 
Earl of Douglas, threw his arms round his shadow of a 
steed, and lifted him fairly over the debateable ground. 
Then turning about, he walked through the wicket, and 
resuming his seat upon the wretched animal, shouted to 
the amazed toll -keeper, 

" If a man may walk through your limboes by himself, 
without any burden at all, for nothing, my jewel, should 
not he be desarving of some pay, when he carries a 
baste upon his shoulders ? And so, ye re so covetous in 
this beggarly country, as never to be giving so much as 
.1 drop of drink to a friend, who has left the swatest isl 
and in the world, just to be travelling through this wilder 
ness among thieves, and lubberly pickpockets." 

Without waiting to hear the torrent of recrimination, 
which burst from the lips of the baffled toll-gatherer, he 
pursued his journey, with a peal of laughter, which echo 
ed from the surrounding rocks and woods, as if a colony 
*f Hibernians were mocking from beneath their canopy. 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 163 

Madam L readied the gate, at the moment when its 

enraged superintendant was preparing for pursuit. His 
square, thick figure, bustling about with uncommon agil 
ity, had a comic appearance, while on his brow was some- 
nhat of that eager impatience, with which he of Bosworth 
field exclaimed, " My kingdom for a horse." The Lady 
suddenly changed the fierce expression of his counten 
ance, by putting into his hand, with her own toll, the sum 
for which his recreant brother of Erin was indebted ; and 
kindly wishing him a good afternoon, departed with a 
smile of that conciliating spirit, which prompted the pa 
triarch s exhortation to his kinsman, " let there be no 
strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and my herds 
men and thy herdsmen, for we be brethren." 



CHAPTER XL 

" Gently oa him had gentle Nature laid 

The weight of years : all passions that disturo 

Were past away." 

Maduc . 

THE wandering natives, in their visits to N , ever 

sound a kind reception at the mansion of Madam L . 

.They were accustomed to point it out at a distance, as the 
weary traveller recognizes the house of refreshment, and 
repose. Here they knew that their wants would be re 
lieved, and their simple industry promoted. It might be 
said that they were encouraged here to hold an annual 
convention. A custom was established by our pious an 
cestors, immediately after the settlement of New-England, 
of setting apart a day in Autumn, for publick and private 
gratitude to the Giver of all good. This, which might 
originally have been intended as an imitation of the Israel- 
itish festival of in-gathering, had been gradually lowered, 
by the interpretations of their descendants, from a day of 
sacred gratitude, to one of good eating and drinking. Still 
there were connected with it many cheerful, and interest 
ing associations ; the return of absent children, the union 
of dispersed families around the domestick altar, and the 
offering of praise, by the ministers of religion, to the Fa 
ther of all. This was a season, when anciently the rich 
remembered the poor, and sent portions from their own 



!56 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

tables to the needy. It was the practice in the house 
hold of Madam L to make a large quantity of pastry, 

expressly for the natives of Mohegan. This secured an 
almost universal attendance of the females, who holding 
a neat basket of their own manufacture, would thankfully 
receive in it the luxury for their expectant families. It 

was pleasant to Madam L to see their dark red brows 

beam with gentle feelings, arid to hear them speaking in 
the softest tones, their native language to the little ones 
who accompanied them. She knew each by name, and 
they would gaze upon her, with the most reverent, and 
trusting affection, when she addressed them. This peo 
ple are reserved on the subject of their necessities. They 
view the wealth of the whites, without envy, or desire of 
personal appropriation. If they have been denominated 
the " nation of poverty," they could never have beec 
justly styled a nation of beggars. Their little store they 
freely impart to the wants of another, and cultivate hospi 
tality as faithfully as they cherish gratitude. By that 
sympathy with which a benevolent female enters into the 
hearts of her own sex, Madam L became so well ac 
quainted with the respective characters of her pensioners, 
as to adapt judiciously to each the presents of clothing, 
or other useful articles, which at this season she prepared 
for them. They possessed so humble a spirit of gratitude 
for the gifts bestowed, that none was disposed to cavil if 
the portion of her neighbour seemed more valuable ; or to 
doubt the wisdom of the giver, in doing " what she would 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 157 

with her own." Each rejoiced in her individual share of 
bounty, and in that which was allotted to others ; and 
venerated, as a benefactress, her who regarded with inter 
est an outcast, and perishing race. 

One morning, Mr. Occom, and Robert Ashbow were 
announced, the minister, and chieftain of the tribe. After 
a little conversation, the former said 

" I come, Madam, to take leave of you, and in the 
name of my nation, who depart with me, to give you 
thanks for your continued kindness. A large part of them 
have consented to accompany me to a tract of land, given 
them by their brethren of the Oneida tribe, on the condi 
tion of their removing thither, and cultivating it." 

" Is there not already land enough in their possession, 
in this vicinity," said the Lady, "for their subsistence, 
if they. would attend to its culture ?" 

" Alas ! Madam," he replied, " my brethren are de 
generate plants. They are but shadows of their ancestors. 
I wish to associate their broken spirits with others less 
degraded. Peradventure the Almighty, upon this hum 
ble foundation, may yet build a temple to his praise." 

4< Do you accompany these emigrants ?" inquired the 
Lady of the Chief. His melancholy brow seemed to 
gather darkness, as he answered haughtily 

"Ask the mother, if she forsakes the cradle of her son, 

because disease hath wasted him ? Does the bear scorn 

to defend her cub, because the arrow of the hunter hath 

wounded it ? Does the bird hate her nest, while her 

14 



158 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

offspring are unfledg d, and helpless ? And should not man 
be more merciful than the beasts of the field, and wiser 
than the fowls of heaven ?" 

" You are not willing then," she replied, " that your 
tribe should separate from the home of th eir Fathers." 

"Lady!" said the chieftain sternly, " that man hath 
stood before me, day after day, urging, like the prophet 
of Israel, let this people go. Like him of Egypt with the 
harden d heart, I long answered, i will not let them go, 
But a decree was made plain to my soul. The terrible 
blackness of prophecy unfolded itself. I saw written, the 
dispersion of all our race. I was dumb. I opened not my 
mouth for many days. Then in my bitterness I said let 
Ihem go forth ! Such as are for the sword, to the sword : 
;*nd such as are for the famine, to the famine ; or to the 
pestilence ; or to the wild beast of the forest. Each, hi,- 
own way to the grave let him go !" 

There was a pause of some emotion, and the Chief 
.idded mournfully 

* Long ere our doom was revealed to us, it began to be 
;,ccomplished. Where are the Pequots, once numerous 
as th stars, whose strong holds ruled the waves of the 
sea-coast ? Where are the Narragansetts, the natural 
enemies of our tribe ? They vanished before our nation, 
as we now sink beneath yours. All are gone. All save 
a little chaff for the winds to sweep away. I would have 
prevented this division of my perishing people. I would 
have lifted my voice against it. The words of their Chief 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 169 

should have prevailed over those of the man of God. But 
I saw that Fate had determined evil against us. The 
shades of our fallen kings uttered it in my ears. In the 
darkness of night- visions, their voice hath entered my 
soul. I heard it, as if winds murmured from some hollow 
cave " Our people are water scattered upon the ground. 
None shall gather it." 

There was an interval of silence, and then the Lady 
expressed, to the unhappy Chief, her good will for his 
.people. Not heeding the remark, he continued in the 
same voice, as if pursuing an unbroken current of thought 

" Who shall break the chain that binds our race to de 
struction ? Once, it might have been cut by the sword. 
But where now is the arm of the warriour ? Strength hath 
perished from among the people. The avenging spirit 
hath lifted his hand against us. Who can stay it ? What 
matters it, where he shall overtake us, whether upon 
the mountain tops, or in the wilderness, or the forest, 
where no ray hath penetrated ? Wherever we flee, he will 
follow, and fulfill the curse. Therefore have I consent 
ed to let my people go, whom else I would have com 
manded to shed the last drop of their blood on the tombs 
of their fathers. But for me, though I should be left 
alone, as a blasted tree upon the desolate rock, yet will I 
stay, and pour my last breath where the death-sigh of 
my kings arose." 

" It would seem at first view," said Mr. Occom. " as 
it the sentence of extinction were indeed passing upon 



160 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

our race, as that of dispersio n was executed upon the pe* 
euliar people. Yet we hope in the mercy of Him, who 
" hateth nothing that he has made." We pray that his 
goodness may yet be manifested in the calling of us, Gen 
tiles. We trust, Madam, that your favoured race, who 
are exalting the country to a glory which under us it could 
neyer Vve known, will yet impress with civilization and 
Christianity, the features of our roving and degraded char 
acter. Then At will be but a small matter to have yield 
ed to you these perishable possessions, if through you, 
we become heirs to the kingdom 01 heaven." 

" Why are those," said the Chief, " who expect an in 
heritance in the skies, so ready to quarrel about the earth, 
their mother ? Why are Christians so eager to wrest 
from others lands, when they profess that it is gain for 
them to leave all, and die ? Ah ! what hath been the sin 
of our nation, above that of all other nations, that our 
name must be blotted from among the living ? For what, 
crime is our heritage taken away, and given to another 
people ? On the land which our fathers gave us, we may 
not set our feet, except as strangers. Like shadows we 
flee away to our sepulchres. Even these are no longer 
ours. Monuments of those whom our fathers knew not, 
are there, and the dust of the Indian is scattered by the 
winds. Ere long, white men will cease to crush us, for 
we will cease to be." 

" Chief of the Mohegans !" said the Pastor " all men 
all nations of men, have sinned. In this world retribu 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 161 

tien is not perfect. It becomes not us to contend with Him, 
who deaJeth more lightly with us than our iniquities de 
serve. Saith not that holy book, whose words thy strong 
memory so well cherisheth. " wherefore should a living 
man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins ?" 

" Did all our kings, and chiefs," he inquired " offend 
fhe God of Christians ? Why does he thus draw out his 
-anger to the latest generations ? Are we sinners above all 
men, that we are made as driven stubble before our ene 
mies ?" 

" My brother speaks like a native," said the minister 
addressing the Lady. iv Oh ! that he may yet say as a 
Christian, though clouds and darkness are round about 
Jehovah, justice and judgment are the foundations of his 
throne/ 

-God forbid!" said the Chief, " that Robert should 
blame the religion of Christians. Shall the snow-wreath 
lift itself against the sun-beam? But that religion is for 
white men. The God, who ordained it, is angry at the 
red man of the forest. He will frown upon him until he 
lie. Let him pray then to that Great Spirit who watched 
over his fathers, whether his throne be amid the roll of 
mighty waters, or where the tempest folds its wings. 
The white man may seek the God who loveth him, who 
hath given him a book from heavfen, and continually call- 
eth to the torn that he will heal, to the smitten that he 
will bind him up. But where shall the poor Indian turn 
in his sorrow, but to that spirit of mystery, which hath led 
14* 



162 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

him on through darkness, all his life long ? lie was hun 
gry, and his bow satisfied him. Thirsty, and drank of 
the brook. He dies, and will He, who nourished his body, 
slay his soul ? Can the spirit, which He breathed into 
clay, perish like the gale which sighs once, arid is not ? 
Doth not the smoke ascend, and the cinders go downward 
to the earth, when the fuel that fed the flame is consum 
ed ?" 

" Connect your natural religion, with that which is re* 
vealed from above," said the Pastor. " Whether you 
call Him who ruleth over all, the Great Spirit, or Jeho 
vah, strive to enter into his Heaven, To whom do the 
promises of the gospel address themselves with more force, 
than to a race like ours, homeless and despised ?" 

" I know that the shades of my fathers live," he repli 
ed, " but not in the white man s Heaven. On earth they 
lived not as brothers, though ye say that one Father 
created them. Ye say that in your Heaven, they c< go 
no more out. But the spirit of the red man must wan 
der ; as on earth, so in heaven. If it might- not rove, i; 
would faint amid the islands of bliss. Your holy book ; 
tells of the great city in Heaven, the New-Jerusalem. 
which is built of pure gold. It is described with gatev oi 
pearl, and streets of transparent glass. Our Heaven is not 
so. The poor Indian would tear to enter such a glorious 
place. He is contented to lie down in the forest, whose, 
lofty columns prop the blue arch of the skies, and to sec 
the moon look forth in brightness from her midnight throne. 



FORTV YEARS SINCE. 168 

This is splendour enough for his untutor d soul. He loves 
not the pomp of cities. He loves better to stand on the 
cliff, where the cloud rests, and gaze upon the troubled 
ocean, while the voice of its storms dies beneath his feet. 
He loves to feel himself to be but as a drop in its bosom, 
swallowed up in the vast and awful creation. Ye say that 
your Jehovah is a God of wisdom. Will he then carry to 
oneplace souls, which like contending elements, can have 
no communion ? Would he kindle war in Heaven if he be 
^ a Spirit of love?" 

Mr. Occom, raised his eyes upwards, as if they uttered 
* Thy light alone, is able to dissolve this darkness !" Pre 
paring to depart, he approached the Lady, and said, 

" I could not leave this part of the country, Madam, 
without saying to you, that your bounty, and that of your 
deceased partner can never be forgotten, either by the na 
tives who go, or by those who remain behind. In their 
prayers, they will commend you to that God whom in 
truth you worship. My people were hungry, and you 
have given them bread. Naked, and you clothed them. 
Sick, and you visited them. Lady ! I seek not to praise 
man, but God, who hath breathed goodness into his heart. 
Yet there is written a book of remembrance, and the right 
eous need not shrink from it in the day of scrutiny, for 
the traces of errour, over which Repentance weeps, shall 
be blotted out in the blcod of Calvary. Farewell, blessed 
Lady ! When, before the throne of mercy, you remember 
the sorrowful, let the outcast Indian share in your peti 
tions." 



164 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

The sorrow-stricken Chief drew near, and bowed with 
the deepest reverence upon the hand which was extended 
to him. 

" Think not that Robert condemneth all thy race. Out 
of the bitterness of a heavy heart hath he spoken. Yet 
he can see the dew-drop sparkling in its pureness, amid 
the darkest path. He can distinguish the " herb of life," 
though the venomous vine overshadow it. He can love 
those, who shall hereafter be angels, though he come not 
himself into their holy place." 

Soon after the departure of these visitants, Dr. L 

entered, and said, 

" The affliction, which our Church expected, has arriv 
ed. Her venerable pastor, Dr. L*** is dead. The " ides 
of March" 1784, will long be remembered in her annals 
as a time of mourning." 

" I have frequently thought," she replied, " that, if 
anniversaries of both our sorrows and our joys were 
faithfully kept, the dealings of the Almighty would be 
more deeply impressed on the heart, for its " instruction 
in righteousness." A tablet of individual, domestick, and | 
social vicissitudes, would serve as a monument to recall 
the past, and as a way-mark to direct the future. The 
record of our adversities is not easily forgotten ; but, when 
the Sun of Mercy beams upon us, we do not always, like 
the Israelites, set up a stone of remembrance, and say 
" hitherto hath the Lord helped us." Our beloved minis 
ter has departed, full of days, and full of honour. Four 



FORTV YEARS SINCE. 166 

score and ten years were appointed him, yet but a short 
iime has elapsed, since he spoke to us from the pulpit. 
The tones of his voice were dear to me, and his counten 
ance ever restored the memory of scenes of happiness, in 
which his friendship had participated, or of affliction, in 
which his piety had administered consolation." 

* How majestic was his presence," he answered, 
when he enforced the obligations of conscience, and the 
terrours of the law. He spoke with a power that forced 
the guilty to tremble. With what an overflowing fullness 
would his mind illustrate points, which the thoughtless had 
deemed of minor importance ? In prayer his solemnity 
was so striking, that I think none could listen to him, 
without revering that devotion by which he was inspir 
ed." 

" I have been peculiarly impressed with this, my broth 
er, during the exciting events of our recent war. In his 
humility for our occasional defeat, his gratitude for deliv 
erances, his thanksgiving at the result, he seemed to pour 
out his whole soul, in all that variety of sacred language, 
with which the prophets recite the battles of the hosts of 
Israel. Yet there were some who were fatigued with the 
length of his orisons, and others who objected to the nar 
rations which they contained. The nurse of my niece, 
who was a member of the Church of England, remarked 
that his prayers seemed principally intended, to " convey 
information to the Lord." 

Were Gabriel on earth," he replied, " there would 



166 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

undoubtedly be some to object to the strain of his devo 
tion. I have heard our departed minister censured for 
credulity, because in one or two instances, he gave thanks 
for victory, which afterwards proved a defeat. But, amid 
the variety of rumours which, during our long war, often 
deceived professed politicians, how could he be expected 
always to discern between correct and false information ; 
he, whose integrity of soul would render him one of the 
last to suspect others. I have recently heard, also, some 
uneasiness expressed at the length of his sermons. It 
seems that some of our audience have tutored their minds 
to perform so skilfully the office of an hour-glass, that they 
can ascertain the moment, when the speaker passes the 
limit of sixty minutes. All beyond is to them weariness 
and vanity. They are not indifferent to any other species 
of gain ; but " goodly pearls without price" are scorned 
if they are presented in large numbers, or in a capacious 
casket. Yet these cavillers are principally among the 
younger part of our auditors, who have not yet attained 
the piety of their fathers. They feel the winter s cold, 
or the summer s heat, more sensibly than the peril of their 
souls. If the stoves and the furs of Russia could be intro 
duced into our places of worship, changing an inclement 
season into the softness of Spring, I fear that even then 
they would scarcely listen, without murmuring, to a dis 
course of an hour and a half in length. Ah I I fear that 
days are coming, when sound doctrine must be stinted, 
both in weight and measure ; and when it will be thought 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 167 

necessary, so to refine and gild truth, as to destroy its 
specific nature. So that there may } r et be a time, when 
the spirit of the gospel will be held secondary to the 
vehicle in which it is presented, and men will hear ser 
mons, not for the purpose of laying conscience open to 
their pnwer, but to employ the mind in criticism upon 
their construction. Our aged Pastor might have had the 
satisfaction of reflecting, that he never curtailed the copi 
ousness of his theme., or allayed its pungency, for the ac 
commodation of "ears polite." 

" To me,* she replied " his performances were ever 
consistent with each other, and with the holy dignity of 
one appointed to lead " the sacramental host of God s 
elect." And it has given me great pleasure, in my visits 
to him during his decline, to perceive, that his strenuous- 
ness about particular doctrines had become absorbed in 
the sublimity of the great plan of. salvation. While we 
are ascending the hill of life, little obstructions or aids seem 
of great importance ; but when we reach the summit, if 
the Sun of Glory beam there, the whole journey appears 
but as one path of light. His happy spirit wondered 
where were the obstacles that had impeded its course. 
They vanished, when it sat so peacefully on the threshold 
of the gate of Heaven." 

This I have also observed, my sister, in recent con 
versation with him. Undoubtedly, many of those opin 
ions, which we now defend with asperity, will appear 
divested of importance, when the light of .another world 



168 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

shines upon them. Our clergyman seemed to gather gen 
tleness and charity, while he went downward to the grave, 
as the sun sheds a more serene lustre, when " he trem 
bles at the gates of the west." I witnessed an affecting 
occurrence of this nature, in the chamber of his sickness. 
The Divine of a neighbouring township differed from him. 
in ihe interpretation of a particular doctrine, and a dis_ 
pute on this point had been conducted with considerable 
acrimony. Like the strife between Paul and Barnabas, it 
caused a suspension of their accustomed intercourse. For 
many years, their friendly exchange of pulpits had ceas 
ed. A meeting between them was effected, by Mr. S , 

the young colleague, and successor of our departed guide. 
They pressed each other s hands, and tears fell down like 
rain. "Brother !" said the dying clergyman, raising him 
self on his couch, "underneath thee be the everlasting 
arms. One thing is needful. I trust that we both have 
faith in our Redeemer, and shall dwell together eternally, 
where one spirit of love pervadeth all." Those who know 
with what tenacity learned men of ardent temperament 
adhere to their favourite theories, will fully estimate the 
extent of this sacrifice." 

" It does more honour to his piety, she answered, 
-< than all the books of controversy, which he could have 
written. To contend, is the dictate of our nature ; io 
desist from strife, the victory of a divine motive. This 
reconciliation must have been highly satisfactory to the 
benevolent fedings of our young minister. His filial 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 169 

deportment toward this patriarch in the Church, and the 
solemnity with which he administers the appointed ordi 
nances, reflect honour upon the religion which he professes. 
In prayer, he condenses, as it were, the spirit of devotion, 
and gives it force even among the inattentive. I have 
seldom heard any thing more pathetic than his perform 
ances in the house which Death has entered, where there 
is such an expressive adaptation of manner, countenance, 
and supplication, to the sorrows of the mourner, and the 
jesires of the penitent heart." 

s< These excellencies," said Dr. L , " he possesses 

in an eminent degree ; and his union, with one of our most 
ancient and respectable families, affords reason to hope 
that he will continue with us. In length of days, and in 
exemplary piety, may he equal his revered predecessor, 
that " mighty man so eloquent in the Scriptures." To 
us, who are going down into the dust, many would deem it 
of little importance, who shall stand as a watchman upoa 
the walls of Zion. Yet it ought never to be a matter or 
indifference, who shall be the spiritual guide of our chil 
dren. Those, who desire religion to be honoured when 
they are no more, should not only teach their descendant*? 
Jo obey its precepts, but to revere its minister*. 



15 



CHAPTER XII. 

* 4 Disperse ! Disperse ! The gathering boats I view. 

Sad parting friends around the waters stray, 
Yet shall dark Fate their distant steps pursue ; 
Alike with those who go, and those who stay, 

The withering curse shall stalk, companion of their way. - 

ON the ensuing Sunday, Mr. Occom gave his farewell 
discourse to the separating tribe. It was founded on 
that part of Scripture, which describes the division of land 
among the people brought out of Egypt, and the depar 
ture of the half tribe of Manasseh, to a distant inheritance 
with the Reubenites, and Gadites "Now to one-half of 
this tribe, Moses had given possession in Bashan : but 
unto the other half thereof, gave Joshua a possession, 
among their brethren on the other side of Jordon west 
ward." The object of his address was to calm the cur 
rent of perturbed feelings, to strengthen the ground of 
conh dence in Him who " who appointeth the bounds of 
man s habitation," and to enforce the motives of faithful 
obedience to his commands. The following clay, all Mo- 
hegan were assembled upon the banks of the river. There 
lay the boats, prepared to convey to their distant abode 
the emigrants, whose number was about two hundred 
There were sorrowful countenances, and solemn partings, 
and mutual good wishes, and blessings. Amid the throng, 
the lofty figure of the young, warriour Ontologon was seen-. 



l 7 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

bending in deep conversation with a maiden. They lov 
ed each other, and she would have joined his enterprize, 
but the sickness of an infirm mother incited duty to c<5r>- 
quer love. 

" Would to God, that I might lead thee by the hand to 
my boat," said the dark eyed youth. " I would throw 
over thee an awning of the deer-skin, and neither wind 
or rain should visit thee. Our voyage should be prosper 
ous, because thou wert with me, and in storms the Great 
Spirit would have mercy upon me for thy sake. I would 
build thee a cabin in our new country, and thou shouldest 
be all the world to me." 

41 Ontologon," said the maiden, " thou art young, and 
thy arm is strong. Thou art sufficient to thine own sub 
sistence, thine own joys. My mother languishes, and is 
sick who shall feed her ? If 1 depart with thee, who shall 
comfort her ? Hath she any other child, to make the corn 
grow around her habitation, or to seek in the woods those 
roots which ease her pains ? Her groans would raise 
from ns sepulchre the spirit of my father, ft would 
curse ihe daughter who could forsake, for her own pleas- \ 
ures, the cry of misery in that home, where her own infant 
cries were soothed. It would frown on her who could bid 
to make her own grave that mother whose breast had giv 
en her nourishment. That frown would wither my soul, 
even while thy love cherished it. Tempt me no more 
Ontologon. The sound of thy voice is sweeter to my ear* 
than the song of the bird making its first nest in the spring- 



FORTY YEARS SINCK. 173 

My eyes pour forth water at thy words, but my heart is 
fixed" 

" I will not leave thee, Zenelasie, said the lover. My 
boat shall pursue the fish into the deepest waters, and my 
arrow bring the birds from the highest boughs for thee. 
Thou shalt watch by the couch of thy mother ; but let 
me be thy husband, Zenelasie, and sustain the heart that 
pours life into hers." 

tc Thou hast given thy word to the chiefs and war- 
.riours," she answered. " Make not thyself false for n 
woman. I will not see the finger pointed at thee, ami 
hear the brave say, Ontologon hath no soul. Thou would^ 
soon be as the chained lion, for love i.s a fleeting flame. 
Oh ! son of Lodonto. It falls like a band of snow from the 
breast of the warriour. The heart has other voices, than 
those which it utters in the spring, in the bloom of flow 
ers. Be wise, and it shall breathe music, when the frost- 
of winter shall come, and the flowers are faded. Go then 
where are wider waters, and hibger mountains than the.se. 
The eye of the pale race blasts our glory. We fleet be 
fore them, as the brook vanishes in the summer. Go 
then to the country, where are none but red men, and 
let thy name be among their bravest." 

The dark brow d youth replied, " Ah ! whither shall 
we go, and not hear the speech of the white man ? If we 
hide in the thickest forest, he is there, and the loftiest 
trees fall before him. If we dive beneath the darkest 
waters, his ships over them, ere we can rise again. We 



174 SKETCH OF CONNECTieUT, 

cannot fly so swiftly that he overtakes us not ; so far, but 
he is there before us. He speaks, and our wigwarns van 
ish, and his cities spring up, like the mushroom, in one 
night. It is written upon the earth, and in the sky, that. 
the Indians must perish, and the^ white man blot out 
his name. Yet fear not that the sou) of Ontologon shall 
bow. No ! he will go to another land where the ancient 
spirit of his race hath yet a little resting-place, " like 8 
wayfaring man, who tarrieth for a night." When it slum 
bers, he will awake it ; when it departs, he will follow ii 
If it die, he will die also, and there shall his grave be 
Ontologon will be first among the hunters, and captain 
among the brave. He will gain a name for thy sake, and 
when thy mother sleeps where is no waking, he will re 
turn and claim thee. 

"Go then warriour !" said the maiden, throwing off the 
melancholy that had marked her tone. Go, bold son of 
Lodonto, whose arm was mighty in battle. Yet speak 
not of the death of her who bore me. I will guard her 
as the apple of my eye. Whoknoweth but she may yet 
rise up from her sorrows, as the drooping willowrises after 
the storm ? Who knows but she may yet lay her head on 
my grave and mourn. A little while, and I shall no long 
er see thy noble form, towering above the loftiest. I will 
watch thee, as thy oars bear thee from our shore. When 
thy boat is as a speck, I shall know it, from those which 
surround it. When it loses itself in darkness, I will lay 
my face in the.dust, and weep. But what are the tea r? 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 175 

of a woman. Regard them not, O son of Lodonto! Think 
of the fame of our fathers, ere the glory departed from 
them. When the Sun sinks to his rest, or rising reddens 
the hill-tops, and I speak to Him whom the eye seeth not, 
thy name, Ontologon, will bejSrsf, last in my prayer. I 
would not that thou shouldst know all the weakness of my 
heart. Be thou strong in the day of evil, and the Great 
Spirit give thee a name among thy race." 

Scarcely had she finished speaking, when the Pastor of 
the tribe, having ended his private farewells, and bene 
dictions, advanced to the centre of the circle. His head 
was uncovered^ and traces of emotion were visible on his 
brow. Waving his hand the throng separated, those who 
were to depart, from those who were to remain. There 
was a brief and heavy silence, during which he past his 
hand over his eyes. Then, gathering firmness as he pro 
ceeded, he spoke with the tenderness of a father, who 
sees the children, whom he has reared, departing from 
i he paternal abode ; yet with the solemnity of a spiritual 
teacher, who desires above all things, the edification of his 
flock. 

" Think ye not, as ye thus divide, neighbour from neigh 
bour, arid friend from friend, and parent from child think 
ye not of that eternal separation at the last day, where OR 
one side shall be anthems of joy, on the other wailing and 
gnashing of teeth ? And what hand shall then remove you 
one from another, as "a shepherd divideth the sheep 
from the goats ?" What hand, but that which was pierced 



176 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

for you, which is still stretched out to draw every soul ot 
you within the Ark of the Covenant ? See that ye refuse 
not Him who speaketh from Heaven ; for there renoaineth 
no other sacrifice for sin. Hoary heads arise here and 
there among you. Fathers ! God only knovveth whether 
I shall see your faces again on earth, { charge ye by the 
fear of Jehovah, by the love of Christ, by the consolations 
of the Holy Spirit, that ye look upon my face with joy, 
when this earth, and these heavens shall vanish like a 
scroll. Here also stand those, whom age has noi bowed 
down the youth in his strength and the babe of a fen- 
summers. Remember that Death hath set his seal upon 
you also. He forge tteth none born of woman. Many 
herbs are cut down or wither in their greenness. Few are 
brought to the harvest, fully ripe. See that none of you 
disobey Him, whose anger ye cannot bear. If you hear 
my voice no more upon earth, remember, whenever you 
stand upon this rivers brink, that I warned you with tears 
to make your Judge j^our friend. See that net one of you, 
; drink the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured 
out without mixture," where is no hope." 

Kneeling upon the young turf, he commended them in 
fervent supplication, to the keeping of an Almighty Pro 
tector ; and rising, gave his paternal benediction lo all. 
Laying his hand upon the head of John Cooper, whom he 
desired should be a shepherd to his flock, until his next vis 
itation, he said, k receive him! he hath corrupted no man, he 
hath defraudedno man." "The blessing of the Almighty 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 177 

be upon thee," replied the pious husbandman. " May his 
dews refresh the new branch of thy planting, and his sun 
beams remember the broken tree thou leavest behind 
thee. Saith not his holy word " that there is hope of a 
tree, if it be cut down that it will sprout again, and that 
the tender branch thereof will notecase?" Thus may it- 
be with our people with our Church. Though the root 
thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in 
the ground, yet through the scent of water may it bud, 
and bring forth boughs as a plant." Amen ! said their 
Pastor, and bowing himself to the people, turned his steps 
down ward to the water. This was understood as the signal 
for departure, and every emigrant entered his boat. It 
had been concerted that a parting hymn should be sung, 
expressive of their sympathies and devout hopes. It rose 
in deep and solemn melody from the waters, while the 
measured stroke of the oar gave it energy, as it softened 
in distance. From the shore the response swelled fit 
fully, and in its cadence were heard the voices of those 
that wept. It was like the music on the coast of Labra 
dor, where, amid the coid blasts, the poor Esquimaux 
raises his anthem, at the departure of their yearly mis 
sion ship, which brings relief to his poverty, and sheds 
light on his darkness. It was like the music of the Jews, 
at the foundation of their second temple, where the sound 
of cymbal and trumpet, could not be distinguished from 
" the noise of the weeping" of those who remembered 
tfve glory of their^rs^ holy and beautiful house. At length 



178 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

all was silent. The echo died upon the waters, and the 
sob upon the shore. Each might be seen, slowly taking 
his way to his respective abode, yet often lingering to try 
if, amid the diminishing throng, the brother could dis 
tinguish the boat of his brother, or the father that of his 
son. Last of all Zenelasie was seen, wrapping her head 
in her mantle, and flying like a young roe to the habitation 
of her mother. 

But long after her departure, the form of Robert, the 
mournful Chief, was discovered slowly pacing the bank 
of the river. He had spoken a few words, with animat 
ed gesture to the remainder of his tribe, ere they dispers 
ed, and had then sought to conceal himself from them. 
His pride would not permit his heart to unburthen itself 
in their presence, or to reveal to his inferiours how deeply 
it was pierced. He wandered silently onward, his head 
declined upon his breast, until he reached the solitary 
recess, which still bears the name of " the chair of Uncas." 
It is a rude seat, formed by Nature in the rock, and so en 
compassed with masses of the same material, and embo 
somed in the thicket, as to be almost impervious to the eye- . 
except from the water. When, in the seventeenth centu 
tury, the fort of that monarch was invested by the Narra- 
gansetts, and his people perishing with famine, he took 
measures to inform the English of their perilous situation, 
and was found seated in this rude recess, anxiously watch 
ing the river, when those supplies arrived which rescueo 
him from destruction. These were conveyed in a larg-e 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 179 

canoe from Say brook, under cover of darkness, by an en 
terprising man of the name of Leffingwell, to whom Un- 
cas, as a testimony of gratitude, gave a large tract of land, 

comprising the whole of the present town of N . 

There that king sat, on the throne furnished by Nature, with 
no guard, but the shapeless columns of stone, whose mossy 
helmets waved over him, and no canopy but the midnight 
cloud, listening with throbbing heart, for the dash of that 
oar, on which hung his only hope. At a distance were his 
tarnishing people, and his besieging foes holding the war- 
dance, which preceded their morning battle, and their ex 
pected victory. On the same seat, after the lapse of more 
than a hundred years, reclined this lonely Chief of a di 
minished and dispersed tribe. Behind him was no fort, 
no warriours. Upon the still waters, where his eye rest 
ed, was no hope. The setting Sun threw his lustre over 
them for a moment, as if they were an expanse of liquid 
silver, and illumined the bold, broad forehead of the 
Chieftain, half-hidden by his dark clustering locks, over 
which a slight tinge of snow had been scattered, not by 
time, but by sorrow. He watched the last rays, and as 
they faded into twilight exclaimed in agony, " Thou 
shaft rise again in glory ; but for us there is no returning, 
no dawn." He concealed his brow with his hands, and 
his bursts of grief were long, and passionate. None were 
there to report, " I saw my Chief mourning." Day, at 
her return, found him in the same spot in the same atti 
tude, as when she sank to repose. Starting, as her beams 



jgQ SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

discovered him, " through the misty mountain-tops," he 
left communing with the shades of his fathers, and sought 
the remnant of his people, 



CHAPTER XIIL 

; The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay, 
Sat by his fire, and talk d the night away." 

Goldsmith* 

MADAM L felt a deep interest in those soldiers who 

had borne the burdens of our revolution. It was one of 
her favourite maxims, that their services would be better 
estimated when the blessings, won by their toil, were 
more widely diffused, and more fully realized. Could she 
have seen through the vista of future years, a band, small, 
feeble, and hoary, yet bending less beneath the burdens 
of age, than those of poverty, going forth like the widow 
of Zarepta, to gather sticks to dress a handful of meal, that 
they might eat it and die ; she would scarcely have been 
convinced that these were the defenders of her country. 
Had she seen, in vision, a mother redeemed from servi 
tude by the blood of her sons, yet withholding from their 
necessities a scanty pittance, till by far the greater num 
ber of them had sought refuge where wounds fester no 
more, she would not have acknowledged such an emblem 
of the land that gave her birth. She couid not have been 
induced to believe, that her dear native country, like the 
officer of the Egyptian king, in his transition from a prison 
to a place near the throne, " remembered not Joseph, 
but forgat him," 

16 



182 SKETCH OF .CONNECTICUT, 

The place of her residence had furnished many of those 
veterans who, during a war of eight years, had rarely tast 
ed the " charities of home, and sweet domestick life." 
Some had fallen while the fields were sown with blood, 
others had returned to share the blessings of their harvest, 
A few survived with broken frames, and debilitated con 
stitutions, living spectacles of woe to their disconsolate 
families. To these that charitable Lady extended her 
unwearied friendship. Medicine for their sicknesses, food 
for their tables, and condescending kindness to their 
sorrowful spirits, she distributed with that judgment 
which accompanies a discriminating mind. 

One of these unfortunate beings, who frequently came 
to sit an hour with her when she was at leisure, used to 
style himself the Captain of her band of pensioners. He 
was a man of powerful frame, strong features, and ardent 
character. His good right hand which had so often toiled 
to procure bread for the lambs of his household, had been 
cleft from his body by a sabre, as he raised it to ask for 
quarter in an unsuccessful combat. A crutch, which his 
left hand had painfully wrought out, and inscribed with 
the date of his last battle, supplied the loss of a limb, 
which had been amputated in consequence of a neglect 
ed wound. Pain, sickness, and the untold miseries of a 
prison-ship, had destroyed the vigour of a muscular frame, 
and given the wrinkles of age to one who had not seen 
half a cenlur3 r . 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 183 

Madam L listened with interest to his narratives, 

and often wondered at the elasticity with which his spirit 
soared above the ruins of his frame. One morning as he 
was seated with her, his only hand resting upon the crutch 
that stood by his side, he said 

" I should take more pleasure in coming to this house, 
Madam, if I could but forget that the traitor Arnold used 
to reside in it. I don t like to sit in seats, where he sat. * 

" I am sorry, Anderson," replied the Lady, " that any 
uch image should interfere with the comfort of your vis 
its. I have no particular satisfaction in retracing the con 
nection of Benedict with our family. He was received 
by my husband, more from the solicitations of a widowed 
mother, than from any prepossessing traits of character. 
He evinced, at the age of twelve, those qualities which 
distinguished his manhood. He possessed a courage, and 
contempt of hardship, which would have been interesting, 
had they not been associated with dispositions delighting 
to inflict pain. His intellect was rapid and powerful, but 
he was impatient of controul, arid devoid of integrity." 

" I remember him," said the soldier, " in his boyish- 
days. He loved to cut young birds to pieces, and to 
laugh at the mourning of their parents, and to torture eve 
ry thing that was weaker than himself. There is nothing 
that I check my boys sooner for than cruelty to animals. It 
will make you like Arnold, I say to them, and no traitor 
shall be son of mine. I once met him when a boy at the 
mill, where we both came with corn. He quarrelled with 



184 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

the miller for making him wait, and then amused hitnseh 
by clinging to the wheel, and going with it fearlessly as it 
turned in the water. I wondered at his dangerous sport, 
and his bold words. I knew not then that I should live to 
see him strive to plunge his country into perdition." 

The Lady, ever intent to find ** some soul of goodness 
in things evil," replied, 

" Arnold possessed courage, and presence of mind, in 
an eminent degree. At his unsuccessful attack on Canada, 
with the lamented Montgomery, he displayed superiour 
valour. You know also, that he sustained extreme hard 
ships, in his march through the wilderness from Kenne- 
beck. Beside the labour of travelling over pathless- 
mountains, and swamps, he and his men were reduced to 
the necessity of feeding on the vilest substances, even cm 
the remnants of their own shoes. That he possessed ac 
tive as well as enduring courage has been often proved. 
In his battle with Sir Guy Carleton on Lake Champlain, 
after signalizing his valour, he was so solicitous about a 
point of honour, as to prefer blowing up his own frigate to 
striking the American flag to the enemy. His radical 
faults were want of feeling, and of moral principle. His 
fondness for pomp, and splendid equipage led him to the 
meanest acts of fraud, when in command at Philadelphia, 
His vindictive spirit never forgave the reprimand which 
was there given him by Washington, in pursuance of the 
decree of the court, appointed to investigate his conduct 
From that period, revenge, and treason employed hi e 



FORTY YEARS SINCE, 185 

meditations. He probably procured the command at 
West-Point, witb the deliberate design of delivering to 
the foe that " rock of our military salvation." 

Anderson who could scarcely endure to yield the traitor 
that measure of fame which he had earned, felt particu 
larly uneasy to hear it from lips that he revered, and an 
swered with warmth 

" I have heard his courage doubted, Madam. At Sara 
toga, where he so madly defied danger, he was known to 
have been intoxicated. I recollect how angry he was. 
*t the battle of Bemis-heights, because the command was 
not given to him instead of General Gates. He came upon 
the field in very ill -humour, and brandished his sword so 
carelessly, that he wounded in the head an officer who 
stood near. Then plunging foolishly into the most peril 
ous scenes of action, he had his leg fractured ; and I heard 
4ie surgeon of the hospital say, that he was so peevish, and 
furious at his confinement, and pain, that no one liked to 
be near him." 

Madam L , perceiving that the object of honest An 
derson s aversion bade fair to monopolize his whole 
visit, made an attempt to change the current of his 
thought- 

" There is a story," she said, " which 1 always hear 
from you, with peculiar satisfaction. I refer to the battle 
ofl^unker-hiil, which you may perhaps recollect you have 
not described to me for a very long time." 

The expression of the soldier s face suddenly changed, 



186 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

Debility and poverty vanished from his mind. His tall 
form was raised erectly, and his tone became more free 
and bold as he recited his first feat of arms. The u Last 
Minstrel" evinced not more of a warriour s pride, when he 
exclaimed 

" For I have seen war s lightning flashing, 
Seen the claymore gainst bayonet clashing, 
Seen through red blood the war-horse dashing; 
And srorn d amid that dreadful strife 
To yield a step for death, or life." 

" You will remember, Madam," said the soldier, " that 
it was warm weather for the month of June, when the 
action, to which you allude, took place. It was on the 
evening of the 16th, that we were ordered to march to 
Bunker-hill. It had been rumoured that the British troops 
intended to take possession of it, and we were directed 
to prevent them. People say now that Prescott made a 
mistake, and fortified Breed s-hill, instead of Bunker s, 
But the name is of little consequence, as long as the vic 
tory remains. We inarched in perfect silence, lest we 
should be discovered by some of Gage s centinels. But 
some of us could not refrain from cursing the vile wretch, 
who was cooping up the distressed Boston ians, like lambs 
in a quick-set hedge. We did not arrive on the ground 
till near midnight. Then we commenced our labour-, 
and it seemed as if the Almighty prospered us. Before 
day-light our fortifications were completed. At dawn, the 
British saw with great surprise, what had been done so 
near them, without their discovering it before. Perhaps 



FORTY YEAKS SINCE. 187 

the evil-minded Saul was not more dismayed, when the 
stripling David displayed, from a neighbouring hill, the 
spear, and the cruse of water, which he had stolen from 
his head while he slept. They acknowledged that Yan 
kees could work well, and afterwards found that they 
were able to fight as well. Early the next spring, when 
we threw up fortifications with great despatch on Dor 
chester Heights, General Howe on discovering them the 
next morning through a thick fog, which, like a vessel 
looming at sea, made them appear larger than they really 
were, struck his forehead in great wrath, exclaiming, 
" what shall I do ! These rebels do more in one night, 
rhan my army can accomplish in weeks." 

" But I beg pardon, Madam, for wandering from my 
subject. As soon as our entrenchments struck the eye of 
the British, a terrible fire opened upon us from Copp s- 
hill, the war-ships, and floating batteries, so that we might 
pick up shot, and bombs, wherever we turned. We were 
much fatigued after the severe toil of a sleepless night, 
but none of us could think of taking rest ; and what was 
worse, we were poorly supplied with provisions. I can 
see at this moment General Putnam moving round among 
us, and animating every man who drooped, by his bold 
and cheerful voice. All night he was in the midst of our 
labours, directing and bearing a part. While the morn 
ing was yet gray, a detachment of somewhat more than 
:in hundred men was despatched, under Captain Knowl- 
ton. to take post on the left hand of the breast-work. I 



188 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

knew not, as I hastened on with them, what a dangerous 
station it would prove. Yet if I had, I should not have 
drawn back, for my heart was high. When we reached 
the spot, we were employed in placing one rail-fence par 
allel with another, and filling the interval with the new- 
mown hay which strewed the field, that field where men 
were soon to lie thick as herbs beneath the sharp sithe. 
In the course of the forenoon, a few more soldiers arrived, 
increasing our numbers to about 1 500. We made but a 
scanty dinner, though those of us, who had watched all 
night, and got no breakfast, were rather sharp-set. Yet 
it seemed as if no man thought of food, or of rest, so full 
was his heart of those liberties, which he was about to de 
fend. At one o clock, a thick, dark smoke spread over 
the skirts of the hill. We had scarcely time to exclaim 
" See ! Charlestown with its fair houses, and beautiful 
spire burning," ere we saw our foes marching towards us. 
Soon the smoke of the town, and that of the cannon 
mingled, rising in heavy volumes towards the sky. Pres- 
cott flourished his sword, till it cast a gleam like lightning 
among us ; and Putnam s voice thundered hoarsely, " Re- > 
member Lexington." 

" Ah !" said the Lady, " it was at the report of the 
blood shed at Lexington that, like the Roman Cincinnatus. 
he cast the plough from his hand, and leaving his unfinish 
ed furrow, rode in one day nearly seventy miles to join 
the American camp. Washington repeatedly paid high 
tribute to his bravery, and his virtues." 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 189 

Smiling at the praise of his favourite general, the veteran 
proceeded : 

" Knowlton, also, the commander of our little band, 
was a lion-hearted man, and his lieutenants did their du 
ty bravely. Colonel Stark, with his New-Hampshire 
back-woedsmen, took deadly aim as if in their own forests. 
The British lines, partly wrapt in smoke, marched up with 
colours flying". At their head, came Generals Howe, and 
Pigot. with a contemptuous, yet noble demeanour. 
: Three thousand well-disciplined men followed them, sup 
ported by field artillery. First marched the grenadiers, 
with their lofty caps, and glittering bayonets. We were 
commanded to reserve our fire, until they were within a 
tew yards of us. When they reached that spot, it was 
wonderful how many plumed heads fell. Dismayed at our 
furious, and fatal discharge, they at length fled precipi 
tately towards their boats. 

t; Their officers pursued, menacing them with drawn 
swords. With difficulty they were forced to rally. A 
second time they came forward, fought with great valour, 
suffered terrible slaughter, and retreated. The officers, 
who forced them a third time to the charge, said to each 
other, with melancholy countenances 

" It is butchery again to lead these brave fellows to that 
fatal spot." 

" General Clinton stood with Burgoyne, upon Copp s- 
hill, gazing through his spy-glass to see the chastisement 
of the rebels. But, whence marked movements of dfs- 



J90 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

tress in the British lines, he flew to join them, and was 
seen, hurrying with distracted steps to unite with Howe, 
and his council. Then they increased the fire from their 
ships of war, changed the position of their cannon so as 
to rake the inside of our breast- work, and advanced with 
fresh resolution, attacking our redoubt on three sides at 
ence. The carnage became dreadful. At this important 
crisis, our ammunition was exhausted, and that decided the 
fate of the day. Could we but have obtained the materi 
als of defence, the British would never have driven us 
from that hill. Perhaps they might have buried us in its 
bosom. 

You know, Madam, our redoubt was lost. I never 
can bear to say that we retreated, or that the English took 
it ; but it was lost by the fortune of war. 

" When it was found necessary for us to retire, the ene 
my attempted to force our little band from the rail-fence, 
in order to cut off the retreat of the main body. This they 
found no such easy matter. We fought till not a cartridge 
was left, and then gave them a parting salute with the but- 
end of our muskets, as they leaped into our entrench 
ments. Half our number lay lifeless, or wounded among 
us. Yet even the dying forbore to groan, listening for 
our cry of victory. Four comrades were shot beside me. 
Their warm blood poured over my feet. One of them 
was my brother, whom I loved as my own soul. Falling 
he said 



FORTY YEARS SINCt,- 191 

" Here are yet three cartridges. Take them, and God 
be with you." 

"Strange as it may seem, I who could never, from my 
infancy, see him suffer pain without sharing in it, took the 
cartridges from his quivering hand, and paused not a mo 
ment to mourn. I cannot tell how many times I fired. 
with the same aim that I have taken at the fox in his speed, 
and the pigeon in the air, when they have fallen. My 
musket burst, and I snatched another from the dead hand 
of a comrade. The Almighty have mercy on the souls, 
who were sent by me to their last account. When we 
were compelled to retire, not having a round of powder 
left, and being unprovided with bayonets, our only path 
was over a neck of land, where we were exposed to a 
cross-fire from a man of war, and two floating batteries. 

" Our loss, in that perilous combat, was less severe than 
could have been expected, and would almost have been 
forgotten, had not the brave Warren fallen. He was a 
godlike man, and the idol of the people. He had per 
formed prodigies of valour that day, seeking the front of 
danger. After the musket-shot struck him, an elegant 
man, in the uniform of a British officer, was seen to with 
draw his arm from that of General Howe, and run to 
wards the fallen, with great rapidity. Waving his sword 
to disperse the regulars who followed him, he bent over 
General Warren, and said in a tremulous tone 

" My dear friend, I hope you are not much hurt." 

The fallen hero lifted his glazed eye to him, and faint- 



192 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

]y smiling, expired. This officer was Colonel Sraali, who 
had been much in this country previously to the war, 
and had formed many friendships here. He was once so 
near our redoubt, during the battle, that a line of marks- 
men took aim at him, perceiving by his uniform that he 
held rank in the army. Putnam saw them, and striking 
up the muzzles of their pieces with his sword, exclaim 
ed 

"For God s sake, spare that man. I love him as a 
brother." 

" I think I can hear at this moment, the voice of my 
old general, so bold and loud. Notwithstanding his rough 
exteriour, he had a tender heart for the wounded and 
the prisoner." 

" I knew him," said the Lady, " as a friend of my hus 
band, and occasionally our honoured guest. He had a 
kind and generous nature, scorning dissimulation in all its 
forms. Though he possessed valour, which even in the 
language of his foes made him " wiling to lead where any 
dared to follow," his energetic soul was gentle in its 
affections, and easily moved to pity. I find we are always! 
ready to recount the virtues of those who have aided in 
delivering our country ; yet we ought not to forget the 
merits of our enemies. Were any in the British lines pe 
culiarly conspicuous during this battle ?" 

" Madam," answered the veteran, "had they shews 
less courage, we should have deserved less praise, Howe 
was in all places, and in the midst of every thing, always 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 193 

animated, and collected. He was wounded in the foot, 
hut disregarded it till the action was over. Major Pit- 
cairn, who was so active at Lexington, distinguished him 
self here. At the taking of the redoubt, he was one of the 
first to spring upon our breast-work. " The day is ours, * 
he shouted with a clear, glad voice. He had scarcely 
closed his lips, ere ahall passed through his body. His son, 
Captain Pitcairn, a fine young man, caught him in his arms 
as he fell, and bore him to the boat, where he soon died. 

" The enemy complained of the great proportion of val 
uable officers, who were that day fatally singled out by 
our marksmen. Ninety were among the slain and wound 
ed ; some of them the flower of their army and nobility. 
General Gage himself confessed a total loss of nearly elev 
en hundred. Among us, those who died upon the field of 
battle or soon after, amounted to about one hundred and 
thirty. More than twice that number were wounded. The 
whole of these, including prisoners, fell short of five hun 
dred. We were defeated solely by the want of ammu 
nition, and when we retired were obliged to leave several 
pieces of artillery behind us. It was a stirring time, Mad 
am, and every thing was well enough, except our being 
obliged to retreat. I always wish to leave that out of the 
story." 

" It was a retreat, my friend," she answered, " which 
produced the effect of a victory. This was a battle where 
the vanquished seemed to reap the harvest, and the vic 
tors to mourn. It might almost be styled the Thermopy- 
17 



194 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

lae of our revolution. It raised the doubting spirit of our 
people, and taught them confidence in the resources of 
their own strength. Those, who retained possession of the 
field, were humbled at the gallant bearing of undisciplined 
troops, and depressed at the magnitude of their own loss 
It was the first time that they had seen military skill, and 
the terrour of a royal name bow before the rude enthusi 
asm of liberty. It was a difficult page in the lesson of hu 
miliation. For my own part, I have never since locked 
upon that green hill, or at the tomb of the warriours who 
sleep in its bosom, without numbering them among the 
silent but powerful agents who influenced our destinies a? 
a nation. * 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Say, who shall carry a letter of guile 

To Corny n the red, that crafty lord ? 
And who for the meed of his country s mile 

Will brave the keen edge of the foeraan a sword ? r 

Fight of Falkirk. 

THE narrator of Bunker-hill had not taken his leave, 
_when two gentlemen entered, who like him had served 
through the war, but with a different fortune. They were 
of the distinguished family of , and sons of a gen 
tleman who, by enterprize in commercial pursuits, had 
acquired an ample fortune, and, by that energy of charac 
ter which gives man influence over his fellows, had be 
come th^founder of one of the most respectable aristoc 
racies which dignified his native place. He had been an 
officer in the war of 1 755, and his death occurred at about 
the period of this sketch. The latter years of his life had 
been marked by some aberrations of intellect, like that 
of Otis, the early advocate of the liberties of Massachu 
setts, whose memory the classic pen of Tudor has em 
balmed. General , the eldest of his five sons, was 

of small stature, but of correct, and graceful symmetry. 
Firm in camps, and wise in council, in refined society he 
was gentleness itself. The friend of Washington, an in 
mate of his military family, and highly respected by the 
>oldievs under his command, he bore into dome&iick life. 



J96 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

the spirit of that dovelike gospel which he loved. He 

was accompanied by his younger brother Colonel . 

whose noble form the military habit well became, and 
whose countenance was considered as a model of manly 
beauty. While yet a boy, pursuing his studies at Yale 
College, the war commenced ; and his bold spirit prompt 
ed him to rush from academic shades to the toils of the; 
tented field. He continued firm throughout the whole 
contest, and rose through the different grades of command 
to that of Lieutenant-Colonel, while yet in the early stages 
ef manhood. 

The army has been called a school for manners, even 
by those who consider it hostile to morals, and to the bet 
ter interests of man. The association of lofty spirits, in 
ured to danger in all its forms, and emulous of heroic 
deeds, may naturally give energy, and elevation to th* 
character, which in the " piping time of peace," has liltl^ 
scope for action. But, among the officers of our revolu 
tion, this was blended with a gallantry, a courtes}-, which 
in mixed society threw around them somewhat of the en 
chantment of the age of chivalry. It produced a cast, of 
manners, which was peculiarly admired among female? . 
who found an almost irresistible charm in the graceful 
. condescension of those, so long accustomed to command. 
This deportment distinguished both these visitants oi 

Madam L , though modified by their different char.? 

teristics. 

They migbt have been compared to the two Gracchi 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 197 

save that the elder had more gentleness of soul, and the 
younger less ambition for popularity, than their ancient 
prototypes. After offering their respects to the Lady, 
whom from childhood they had honoured as an epitome of 
all that was noble in woman, they spoke kindly to the 
the poor soldier, who had risen at their entrance. 

" Sit down, my good fellow," said General ," I 

am sorry that you have lost so much, by your country s 
gain." 

" General," he answered, unconsciously elevating his 
crutch to his shoulder, as if it had been a musket, " I have 
lost only a hand and a leg. Many have lost more, and 
seen their country enslaved beside. I had rather this 
head should have gone likewise, than not to have heard 
that shout of victory when Burgoyne was taken." 

The piercing eye of Colonel flashed with a war- 

riour s pleasure. The recollection of that event was dear 
to his soul. He knew not then how conspicuous his own 
noble form should appear in later times, on the canvas of 
the illustrious Trumbull ; deputed both to witness, and 
pourtray the brilliant events which led to his country s lib 
erty. But the picture of the memory was, at that mo 
ment, more vivid in the mind of Colonel , than it 

could have been rendered by the pencil of the artist. 

Glowing recollections, and proud feeling, retouched the 
traces of the scene ; and in an instant countless images 
thronged around him. The deeply marked, and interest 
ing countenance of Burgoyne, the ill-concealed rnelan- 
17* 



198 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

choly of his officers, amid the formalities of their capitu 
lation, the martial demeanour of Gates, the energetic, 
open countenance of Knox, the sullen faces of the British 
soldiery, the half-suppressed rage with which they 
grounded their arms, produced a combination of joy and 
rapturous gratitude, softened by pity, which can scarcely 
be imagined but by an actor in those tumultuous scenes. 
The very tones of the music, which guided their march, 
seemed again to vibrate on his ear, and the foliage of the 
Saratoga forests, bright with the opposing hues of autumn, 
to wave in accordance. 

Interesting groups filled the back ground of this mental 
picture. The funeral of General Frazer ; the incessant 
cannonade upon his grave ; the uncovered head of the 
clergyman, who absorbed in the services of heaven, heed* 
ed not the war upon earth ; the pale, delicate, beautiful 
countenance of Lady Ackland, committing herself to the 
waters in an open boat, amid the darkness and storms of 
night, or presenting to General Gates the open and wet 
letter of Burgoyne, in which her protection was supplicat 
ed, or entreating with the exquisite tones of female forti 
tude in anguish, permission to attend her imprisoned and 
desperately wounded husband ; the magnanimous Schuy- 
ler, as he took in his arms the three little children of the 
Baroness Reidesel, reassuring the spirits of the stranger, 
and the captive, by his tenderness to her helpless off- 
-pring ; these, and many more touching images were call- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 199 

ed forth by the allusion of the disabled soldier to the 
surrender of Burgoyne. 

The transient reverie of ColoneJ was dispelled by 

the voice of the Lady, kindly mentioning Anderson, who 
had been the last speaker. 

" I take so much pleasure," she said, v in his narratives, 
that I sincerely regret any draw-back should exist to his 
part of the satisfaction in visiting me. So strong arc his 
patriotic feelings, that he likes not to be long in a house, 
which, for so many years, gave shelter to General Ar 
nold." 

" I feel strongly indignant," said Colonel , " that 

my native place should have given birth to the only 
traitor, who ever existed among the officers of the United 
States." 

" When we recollect," replied Madam L , " that 

our contest had, at first, all the repulsive features of a civil 
war when we balance the labours, the privations, the dis 
couragements of our officers, with the infirmities of human 
nature. I have often been surprized, and always grateful 
to God, that this instance of treason was solitary." 

" There was," said General , " a circumstance 

connected with the history of Arnold, with which, Madam,, 
you may not have been familiar ; as it was for some time- 
known only to a few, who possessed the confidence of 
Washington. The treason was discovered by him, on his 
arrival at West-Point, from Hartford, in 1781. He was 
astonished at perceiving marks of disorder, and at learn- 



200 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

ing that Arnold was absent, whom he expected would have 
received him at the fortress. Recrossing the Hudson, he 
went to the General s house, and found Mrs. Arnold in a 
state of sudden, and violent distraction. Tearing her 
hair, she could scarcely be restrained by her women, and 
the two aids-de-camp of her husband, from rushing into 
the streets. At the sight of Washington, her frenzy was 
redoubled, with cries of" Depart! depart ! thou demon. 
?ent ta torment me." Then a horrible suspicion of trea 
son first entered the mind of the Commander in Chief. 
Soon the circumstances of the traitor s escape were made 
known, by the men who returned from rowing him on 
board the Vulture. He had endeavoured to bribe them 
also to desertion, by promises of promotion, and British 
gold. Finding them resolute, he forced them to trust their 
lives to a miserable boat, retaining for his own use, the 
barge in which they had innocently conveyed him to the 
enemy. Intelligence arrived of the capture of Andre", and 
Washington, inexpressibly afflicted, hastened to the army 
which, under the command of General Greene, was en 
camped in the vicinity of Tappan. He immediately sum 
moned to his presence Major Lee, of the celebrated 
legion of Virginia horse, an intrepid officer, and worthy 
the confidence of his Chief. When he came. Washington 
was alone, and writing in his teat. The glimmering light 
of the lamp displayed a countenance, pale with anxiety 
and watching. His noble, and commanding appearance 
seemed to derive new interest from the grief which shaded 



ORTY YEARS SINCE. 201 

his features. It was a searching, yet serene sorrow, such 
as perchance might mark the brow of some guardian angel, 
who saw the object of his affectionate tutelage, plunging 
into perdition. He rose as Major Lee entered, and said 
in a voice whose deep, and manly tones were softened into 
exquisite modulation 

" Heaven only knows where the treason of Arnold will 
end. Imputations are cast, through him, upon one whom 
I hold most pure, and noble. Have you, among your bold, 
.Virginian spirits, any man capable of a daring, delicate, 
and perilous enterprize ? Know you any one willing to risk 
life, liberty, and what is more, honour, upon a desperate 
stake, where the chance of success is but as one against a 
thousand dangers ?" 

" Did you say that honour must also be thrown into the 
balance, my General ?" inquired Lee. " And what is the 
counterpoise ?" 

" The punishment of treason," replied Washington with 
energy, " the thanks of his country, the friendship of his 
Chief, perhaps the rescue of an unfortunate victim " more 
sinned against, than sinning." 

" Lee bent his eyes to the earth, in deep thought. Again 
he raised them, beaming with affection, to his beloved 
commander. Yet he looked one moment to Heaven, as 
if for assurance, ere he spoke. 

" I do know such a man ; and but one. He is a native 
of my own Loudon county. Though but twenty-four years 
f age, heroes honour to Virginia. He is the serjeant-ma- 



202 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

jor of my cavalry, and has served since 76 with unsul 
lied reputation. His courage equals any danger, and his 
perseverance is invincible. But in points of integrity he 
will be found inflexible. 1 know not how far it is the will 
of your Excellency, that his honour should be put to the 
proof." 

" The cloud passed from the forehead of Washington, ar* 
he said 

" Heaven be praised. My friend, you have raised a 
heavy weight from my soul." 

" He then gave him his instructions with that minuteness, 
and accuracy, which he ever preserved even in the most 
perplexing, and dreadful exigencies. Lee returned to the 
camp, and summoned to a private conference his faithful 
officer. As he entered, his tall, finely proportioned form, 
in the imposing dress of the Virginia cavalry, exhibited a 
commanding appearance. His grave countenance betok 
ened a character, enduring, and undaunted, such as ad 
versity sometimes forms. His black eye, keen in its 
glances, but almost melancholy when at rest, indicated a 
man dexterous to read the secrets of others, and cautious 
*o conceal his own. His black hair, cut according to the 
military fashion, still evinced some disposition to wreathe 
itself into those close curls, which had given his youth a 
cast of romantic beauty. His broad shoulders, and joint? 
firmly knit, gave evidence of native strength, confirmed b* 
verity of toil, 



FORTY YEARS S1NCL. 203 

* I have sent for you, Champe", said his commander, to 
entrust to you an expedition which requires inviolable se 
crecy." 

" The soldier bowed. 

" I have chosen you to this confidence, because I have 
long known your valour, and integrity. I commit to you 
what may influence your destiny, beyond the power of 
present calculation. It may secure that promotion which 
is so dear to a brave man, or it may lead to an untimely 
grave." 

**" Again the soldier bowed with an unmoved counte 
nance. But, as the outlines of the mysterious plan were 
developed, his features confessed the varying interests of 
wonder, enthusiasm, and distress. He respectfully pre 
served silence, until his commander had ceased to speak. 
Then his emotion became extreme. He traversed the 
tent with hasty strides, and his breathing was thick, and 
strong as one who approaches convulsion. The bold 
Champe, who often rode unmoved up to the sabre s edge, 
trembled, and could scarcely articulate 

" I cannot think of desertion. I would serve my 
Commander in Chief with the last drop in my veins, and 
the last breath of my soul. But why does he solicit me to 
appear as a betrayer of my country ?" 

" It is indispensable," answered Lee, "that you join 
the ranks of the enemy, and identify yourself with them. 
How else can you expect to circumvent the traitor, and 
bring him to his country s justice ? It is the particular 



04 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

order of Washington, that you offer him no personal inju 
ry, but restore him to be made a public example/ 

" Theresas a settled sorrow on the brow of the sol 
dier, and he almost gasped for utterance, as he said 
" Speak not to me of desertion !" 

" Lee approached him, as he traversed the tent with 
unequal steps, and waving all circumstance of rank, drew 
his arm within his own, and spoke in a low voice, words 
which made him start. He exclaimed rapidly 

" It is false. The army holds not an officer more loyal 
to the liberties of America, than him you mention. The 
suspicion was created by the execrable Arnold. If, as you 
say, it might be in my power to prove its falsity, I know 
of nothing that would sooner tempt me to accede to your 
purpose. Would to God, it were at the expense of my 
blood, and not of my integrity." 

" His emotion redoubled, and his breast heaved strong 
ly against the band which compressed it. This was the 
parting struggle. Lee was astonished at the length of his 
resistance. 

" I knew," he said, " that the plan was replete with 
peril. Therefore I entrusted it to you. I said, I have* 
known Champe from his youth. He will not shrink from 
danger. It seems 1 was mistaken. Since you are more 
moved by the semblance of present evil, than the pros 
pect of immense good, you are released from ail obliga, 
tion, save that of secrecy. Leave my tent. I will seek 
for another, who shall clear innocence from suspicion, bring 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 205 

treason to punishment, fulfil the wishes of Washington, 
and merit the thanks of his country." 

" Major Lee," said the soldier calmly, " this appeal 
was unnecessary. I had resolved to go when I last spoke. 
You know me too well to believe that any part of my hes 
itation has arisen from fear." 

Delighted to secure this cautious, and intrepid agent, 
Lee gave him particular instructions, accompanied by the 
kindest wishes, and recommended an immediate depart 
ure. Champe* hastened to the camp, wrapt himself in his 
cloak, silently arrayed his horse, and began his adventur 
ous journey. He knew that his first danger was from the 
pursuit of his own people ; who, since the crime of Ar 
nold, had been full of watchfulness, and suspicion. 

"Lee sat in his tent, ruminating upon the danger, and 
magnanimity of Champe , and following in imagination 
the speed of his faithful war-horse. Half an hour since 
his departure had not elapsed, when suddenly the officer 
of the day stood before him. In hurried accents, he said 

" A dragoon has been seen to leave our camp. He was 
challenged by a patrole, but put spurs to his horse, and 
escaped." 

" I beg your pardon," replied the Major. "The fatigues 
of the day had so exhausted me, that I was half slumber 
ing, and did not comprehend your communication." 

" It was repeated, and he answered 

" It was undoubtedly some countryman. During the 
whole war but one dragoon has deserted. I am sorry that 

18 



206 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

you suspect we harbour any such base souls in our Vir 
ginia legion." 

" Indignant at his indifference, the officer replied- 
" The deserter is believed to be no Jess a person than 
your sergeant-major. His horse, and arms are missing 
from their quarters. I have to request immediate or 
ders for pursuit." 

These Lee was compelled to grant, after prolonging the 
conversation as much as possible. Immediately a band 
equipped for pursuit appeared in front of his tent. On 
inspecting them, he said lo the lieutenant at their head 
I have a particular service for you in the morning. 
Call Cornet Middleton to the command of this party." 

" This arrangement was partly to create delay, that the 
fugitive might have more the advance of his pursuers ; and 
partly from a knowledge of the tenderness of Middleton s 
disposition, which he thought would prevent him from in 
flicting personal injury on his victim. The design of de 
lay was soon frustrated by the appearance of Cornet 
Middleton, spurring his horse in front of his associates, 
Such command of countenance had Lee, that not a mus 
cle moved, as he delivered his orders in a distinct, delib 
erate tone 

" Pursue as far as you can with safety Sergeant Cbam- 
pe", who is suspected of desertion to the enemy. He has 
been seen to take the road leading to Paulus-hook. Bring 
him alive, that he may suffer in the presence of the army ; 
but if he resist, kill him." 



FORTY YEARS SINCE, 207 

The tramp of the horses, put to full speed, instantly 
succeeded his words. He strained his eyes after them, 
in agony. It was midnight, and rain fell in protracted 
showers. Champe had the advance of his pursuers scarce 
ly one hour. 

" He will be overtaken," exclaimed Lee. " I have 
destroyed a brave, and honourable man." 

"Securing the entrance of his tent, he threw himself upon 
the earth, in bitterness of soul. Groans burst from his 
manly bosom, and deeply he execrated the perfidy of Ar 
nold, which had been the cause of all this woe. 

" Rain had fallen soon after the departure of Champe, 
which enabled his pursuers, with the aid of the lights 
they bore, to discern his track. It was for him an unfor 
tunate circumstance, that the front shoes of the horses of 
those dragoons had a private mark by which their impres 
sion was distinctly known to each other. This precau 
tion, which had often proved useful, now greatly enhanced 
his danger. Middleton, with his men, occasionally dis 
mounted to examine these impressions ; and as no other 
horse had past since the shower, mistake was impossible. 
Day broke when they were several miles north of the 
village of Bergen. Ascending an eminence, just before 
reaching the Three Pigeons, they descried Champe not half 
a mile in front. Vigilant and active, he also, at the same 
moment descried them. Putting spurs to his horse, he de 
termined to outstrip them. Middleton, calling on his men 
to imitate him, urged his horse to breathless speed. Re- 



208 SKETCH OP CONNECTICUT, 

collecting a shorter route through the woods, to the bridge 
below Bergen, which diverged from the great road near 
the Three Pigeons, he directed a sergeant with five dra 
goons to take it, and obtain possession of the bridge, 
Champ^ also recollected this shorter road, but, thinking it 
probable that Middleton would avail himself of it, felt con 
strained to avoid it. He also knew that it was generally 
preferred by those parties of our men who were returning 
from the neighbourhood of the enemy, on account of the 
concealment which the shade of its trees afforded. 

" Fruitful in expedients, he with great presence of mind 
resolved to relinquish his original destination to Paulus- 
hook, and seek refuge from two British gallies, which usu 
ally lay a few miles east of Bergen. Entering this village, 
he turned to his right, and disguising his track as much 
as possible, by choosing the beaten roads, directed his 
course towards Elizabeth-town Point. The sergeant, 
with his dragoons, concealed himself at the bridge, ex 
pecting every moment to dart upon his prey. Thither 
Cornet Middleton also soon arrived, and found, to his ex 
treme mortification, that the victim had eluded his strata 
gem. Returning a short distance, he inquired of the 
villagers of Bergen, if a dragoon had been seen that morn 
ing, alone, and preceding him. They answered in the 
affirmative, but their information of his route varied. 
The pursuers, in great chagrin, dispersed through the 
whole village to search for the track of his horse. It was 
discovered just at the spot where, leaving the village, he 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 209 

had taken the road towards the Point. They flew with 
the speed of lightning. Again the fugitive was descried. 
His eye was also bent upon them ; and they perceived 
that, notwithstanding the rapidity of his course, he had 
lashed his valice to his shoulders, and that he carried his 
drawn sword in his hand. The pursuit was rapid, and 
close. Not more swiftly does the eagle pursue the dove 
ihrough the air. 

"They were within a few hundred yards of him. They 
Routed with eager joy. The heart of the fugitive beat 
with tumultuous sensation, lest the gallies where he sought 
refuge might not be there. In an instant, he perceived 
their white sails ; and for the first time blest the flag of 
his country s foe. 

" A long marsh, and the deep waters lay between him, 
and the ark of safety. He sprang from his horse, and 
plunged into the morass. His pursuers arrived, and dis 
mounted also. 

" Champe*, struggling with the tenacious and deceitful 
footing, and sometimes sinking in the slimy pool, still held 
his glittering sword high above his head. Reaching the 
brink of the river, he threw away his cloak, and scab 
bard, lest they might obstruct his desperate enterprize. 
He threw his broad breast upon the waters, and divided 
them with Herculean strokes. But, in his extremity, his 
trusty sword escaped from his grasp, and the head of the 
bold dragoon sunk for a moment, as if in despondency, 
or sorrow. 



210 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

"At this crisis, a fire commenced from the gallies upon 
the cavalry on shore, some of whom, like the horsemen of 
Pharoah, were preparing to plunge in after him, who thus 
boldly made for himself a path through the deep. But 
a light boat, with rapid oar, approached him, and bore 
him on board the gallies. 

" The British had been watchful of the. strife, and draw 
ing the inference that Champ^ was a pursued deserter, de 
termined to protect him. 

"Cornet Middleton collected his scattered band, and 
returned to the camp, chagrined, and in silence. It was 
three in the afternoon ere they arrived, yet Lee had not 
yet left his tent. So sorely did the agitation of his mind 
affect physical energy, that he almost seemed the victim 
of intermittent fever. He was roused by a shout. It was 
universal and prolonged 

The traitor is slain. The second Arnold has met his 
doom." 

" Rushing from his tent, he saw the horse of Champe led 
on, with his cloak, and the scabbard of his trusty sword. 
The eye of the fiery animal was roiling, and blood-shot^ 
and his sides heaved deeply, more in anger, than from toil. 
To Lee it seemed that he was mourning for his master. 

" I knew, he sighed, that Champe loved thee as a bro 
ther, thou forsaken animal ! Thou hast been his compan 
ion these five years, in all dangers, by night and by day. 
Consumed by heat, or chilled by frost, when sleep depart 
ed from his eyes, thou wert with him." 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 211 

* Groaning audibly he returned to his tent, exclaim 
ing 

" The blood of my bravest man is upon my soul to all 
eternity." 

" Cornet Middleton entered. The Major read the set 
tled gloom upon his brow, and his hopes rekindled. 

" The traitor has eluded me," he said, and as he re 
traced the adventure, Lee had need of all his self-controul 
to repress the rapture that kindled in his eye. His sick 
ness vanished. Throwing himself upon his horse, he hast 
ened to head-quarters, and sought a private interview with 
the Commander in Chief. Thrice Washington pressed 
hard the hand of his Major ; and once a bright moisture 
glistened in his eye, as he heard the loyalty, the perils 
the escape of the faithful Champe. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Mid thy full wreath no bosona d worm shall feed, 
Nor envy shame it with one mingling weed, 
This to thy deeds doth public Justice give, 
That with thy country shall thy glory live." 

Mrs. Morion. 

( THE sergeant-major of dragoons," continued General 
T - ," was kindly received on board the British gallies, 
and sent to New- York. After passing the usual interro 
gations before the adjutant-general, he was taken into 
the presence of Sir Henry Clinton. Not doubting the sin 
cerity of a man who had encountered such dangers in order 
to join his standard, he inquired with great emphasis 

" How may this spirit of defection among the American 
trGG?S be be?t excited 1 Are any general officers sus 



pected of being concerned in the conspiracy of Arnold ? 
What is the prevailing opinion respecting the doom of 
\ndre ? Is not the popularity of Washington with the 
army declining ? 

" To these insidious questions Champ returned wary 
answers. The haughty features of Clinton relaxed into a 
sarcastic smile, and putting gold into his hand, he direct 
ed him to wait on General Arnold. 

" He is forming," said he, " an American legion for the 
service of his Majesty. You must have a command in it 
since you so well understand how to baffle the rebels." 



214 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

" Champe was presented to Arnold by an officer. He 
found him in one of those elegant mansions, which suffer 
ed so much from the wantonness of abuse by the British 
soldiery. Fond of pomp, and elated by it, he regarded 
the dragoon with an arrogant, inquisitorial look. The 
Virginia cavalry had borne such high reputation for intre 
pidity in their country s cause, that he could scarcely be 
lieve that one of them stood before him in the character 
of a deserter. Yet, amid the assumed haughtiness of hie 
manner, it seemed as if the consciousness of his crime 
came suddenly over him, and callous as was his heart, he 
dared not offer the Virginian the hand of a traitor. 

" A letter from the commander of the gallies, who had 
witnessed the circumstances of the escape, was enclosed 
to him by one of the aids of Sir Henry Clinton. He pe 
rused it, and his doubts vanished. Hurrying toward 
Cliaulp^ with his quick, limping gait, he said 

" I am glad to see that you are so wise a man. You 
shall have the same station in my legion, which you have 
held in that of the rebels." 

" This was a fiery ordeal to Champd. He had submit 
ted to the exposure of his escape, and to the ignominy re* 
suiting from imputed treachery, without repining, con 
sidering them as the sacrifice necessary to be made for the 
attainment of that great good which Hope was offering. 
But to bear arms against that country, for which he had 
fought, spent watchful nights upon the cold ground, arid 
sent his midnight prayer to heaven, was more than he 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 215 

could sustain. Scarcely could he withhold his hand from 
plunging a sword into the heart of the traitor. Scarcely, 
with all his characteristic calmness, could he command 
utterance to say, that he wished to retire from war, for he 
was aware that if, in its various" vicissitudes, he should fall 
into the hands of the Americans, a gibbet, at which his 
soul revolted, would be his inevitable doom. The blood 
mounted to the forehead of the traitor, at this refusal. 
Champe marked the rising storm of passion, and hasten 
ing to quell it, said 

" " Nevertheless, I have a martial disposition. It may 
be that my mind cannot rest, to see the glory of war, and 
not partake it. If it prove so, I will avail myself of your 
offer." 

" Arnold was satisfied, and appointed him quarters near 
himself. The dragoon, sensible that the greatest circum 
spection was necessary, endeavoured so to conduct as to 
lull suspicion. His first object was to convey letters to 
Lee. But to so dangerous an attempt many obstacles were 
interposed. In his private instructions, he had been di 
rected to a person on whose aid he might rely ; one of that 
class of adventurous and patriotic spirits, who submitted 
to the most humiliating disguises, to obtain intelligence for 
their country s good. Their dangers were more affecting 
than those incurred upon the field of battle ; for with them, 
the punishment of defeat was ignominious death, and the 
reward of victory inglorious concealment. Females fre 
quently dared the perils connected with a system of es- 



216 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

pionage, and like the Saxon king amusing himself with his 
harp in the camp of the foe, secretly unstrung the sinews 
of the enemy s strength. 

" A delay of several days intervened, ere Champe found 
it practicable to elude his attendants, and go in search of 
this unknown coadjutor. It was beneath the cover of a 
gloomy evening, when rain fell in torrents, that he ven 
tured cautiously to open the door of a small dwelling in 
the suburbs of the city. A man was there, hovering over 
a miserable fire, and hastily stripping the feathers from 
some dead poultry. A basket of eggs, as if for the market 
of the next day, stood near him on a bench. He started at 
the British uniform, and playing with the long hair which 
hung over his eyes, said in the tone of an idiot 

" Here s fine fowls, your honour, fine for the spit, Sir. 
Will, you buy some fresh eggs ? three for sixpence." 

" Then lifting the basket, he ran with childish haste to 
exhibit it to the stranger. Champe fixed upon him his 
keen black eye, and repeated with deep intonation the 
watch-word which had been given him by Lee. Instan 
taneously the half bent form became erect, and the fidget 
ing, wandering movements of idiocy were exchanged for 
the light of an intelligent countenance. Securely bolting- 
the door, he drew a chair for Champe , and listened to his 
brief conversation with deep emotion. As he gave him, 
at parting, the letter to be conveyed to the American 
camp, he would fain have put into his hand a piece of 
gold. But the spy, as if touched by the spear of Ithuriel, 



FORTY YEARS SINGE. 217 

rose to the full height of six feet, and extending his arm in 
an attitude of native majesty, and uncovering his head, 
where a deep scar severed the thick locks, said 

" You mistake me. Suppose ye that gold is payment 
for these scars this disgrace this wretchedness ? Ought 
you not better to read the heart, where the love of its 
country lies so deep, that many waters cannot quench 
it, neither the floods drown it ? Here, a miserable outcast, 
I think of my desolate country, and my heart bleeds, not 
for itself, but for her." 

i4 Half-abashed at the lofty demeanour of the spy, 
Champe" pressed his hand, and departed. The next day, 
Major Lee communicated to Washington, in his marquee, 
the following letter in cypher. 

"NEW-YORK, OCTOBER 10th, 1781. 
" With the circumstances of my escape you were un 
doubtedly made acquainted, at the return of my pursuers. 
The bearer will inform you that my reception on board 
the gallies, and at this place, has been favourable to our 
wishes. I am able confidently to assure you, that the sus 
picions excited by Arnold are false as himself. Not one of 
our officers is supposed by the British to be otherwise than 
inimical to their cause. Only one has fallen, owe son of per 
dition. To have the pleasure of doing this justice to fideli 
ty, balances the evils of my situation. I was yesterday com- 
pelled to a most afflicting step, but one indispensable to 
the completion of our plan. It was necessary for me to 
accept a commission in the traitor s legion, that I might 
19 



218 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

have uninterrupted access to his house. Thither he usu 
ally returns at midnight, and previously to retiring, walks 
a short time in his garden. There I am to seize, and gag 
him, and with the assistance of this trusty spy, bear him 
to a boat, which will be in readiness. In case of inter 
rogation, we shall say, that we are carrying an intoxicated 
soldier to the guard-house. Some of the pale? from the 
garden fence are to be previously removed, that our silent 
passage to the alley may be facilitated. On the night, 
which the bearer is commissioned to appoint, meet me at 
Hoboken, with twenty of the Virginia cavalry, those 
brothers of my soul, and there, God willing, 1 will deliver 
to your hand, the troubler of Israel. 

JOHN CHAMPE." 

" Unforeseen circumstances occurred to protract thr- 
enterprise. Lee longed for the appointed day with 
impatience of a lover. At length it arrived, and with a 
party of dragoons he repaired to Hoboken. Three led- 
horses, completely accoutred, accompanied the train. 
The beautiful steed of Champe was one of the number, 
and Lee could scarcely restrain his joy, as he saw hiag 
proudly champing his bit, and anticipated the pleasure 
with which his faithful officer would again remount him. 
He concealed himself with his party in a thick vrpod. 
Evening drew on, it seemed, more slowly than ever. 
Dark clouds partially enveloped the atmosphere. A few 
faint stars were occasionally visible. The eye of Lee 
was continually upon the waters, and before the appoint- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 219 

ed hour, he fancied that he heard the dash of oars, and 
the watch-word in the voice of Champt:. Midnight passed, 
the dawn gleamed, the morning opened, but no boat ap 
peared. 

" Disappointed, and full of apprehension for the safety 
of his faithful emissary, Lee collected his party, and re 
turned to consult with Washington. Several days of anx 
iety intervened, ere the arrival of the trusty spy, from 
whom he learned that a sudden movement of Arnold discon- 
.certed their plan, but a few hours before the t ; me appoint 
ed for its execution. He changed his quarters to superin 
tend the embarkation of his troops, who were transferred 
from their barracks to ships, destinied for some secret expe- 

r^iJr*" TU:-, jfoH* : 

of Virginia. ac- 

rioiT i ^v?fj 

native state h^ . H the 

. 
:n ihickets, nr>( ; s-jtlering 




x.v, iirt&ieiicu. i- iUajur juee, and threw him?elt 
at his feet, a broken-hearted man. His commander rais 
ed him in his arms, and tears flowed over his manly cheeks. 
Addressing himself to an officer of a noble countenance, 
who stood intently viewing the scene, he said 

* General Greene, the worth of this manls incalculable. 



220 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

You know something of his virtues, but the half of his 
sufferings has not been told you." 

" The veteran received him as a brother. There is 
nothing like a participation in common danger to cement 
the hearts of men together. Friendships formed in pros 
perity may be sincere ; but those, tried by adversity, are 
like gold from the furnace. 

" Lee directed the disconsolate Charnpe to Washing 
ton, and ordered his servant to bring him the horse, and 
cloak, which were brought back by Cornet Middleton, 
It was an affecting sight to see the soldier meet his favour 
ite animal. Till that moment he had preserved his man 
hood. But, when he saw that mute companion of his dan - 

. - T ; ^< 

. m- 

, knows 
so *M 

* Go, r : J- 

; ir- 

rt* In the failure of your design-, you deserve more I 
praise, than many victors wnoiu iuc *> oriel have appi. 
ed. I cannot again risk you in this war. Your life is too 
raluabie tome, and to your country, to be again exposed 
to the dangers of battle, or to the hazard of that vengeance, 
which the enemy would inflict, if you became their pris. 
oner." 
" Champe* received his discharge, and retired to private 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. ^21 

life, embellishing it with his virtues, and carrying with 
him, what was to him above all price, the friendship of 
Washington." 

"How," inquired Colonel , " had this enterprise 

reference to the liberation of Andr ?" 

" It was ardently hoped by Washington," replied his 
brother, " that the capture of Arnold might develop some 
circumstance of palliation, which would permit us to re 
store the amiable Andre to his friends. This was, how 
ever, the dictate of compassionate feelings, rather than of 
sober judgment. But long ere CHSTnpe could bring his 
designs to their termination, the unfortunate and noble- 
minded Andre had confessed the character in which he 
came, and by the sentence of the court-martial had been 
led to execution." 

" That interesting man," said the Lady, " and the firm 
ness with which he suffered, made a deep impression upon 
all classes of persons in our community. In this instance, 
and in the imprisonment of young Asgill, in retaliation for 
the unprincipled murder of Huddy by Lippincut, Wash 
ington subjected his washes to the controul of policy." 

" But he could not suppress his sympathies," said Col 
onel . " They were visible in his changed counte 
nance, when he spoke of their misfortunes. You have 
justly admired, Madam, the firmness of Andr ; yet there 
is a circumstance respecting one of our own Connecticut 
men, which, though less applauded, is worthy of equal 
honour. When the retreat of vVashington left the British 

iy* 



222 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

in possession of Long-Island, it became exceedingly im 
portant to know their plan of operations. Application for 
that purpose, was made to Captain Knowlton, whose name 
will remind Anderson of the rail- fence, and of the terrible 
carnage at Bunker-hill. Nathan Hale, a native of Con 
necticut, a young man with the rank of captain, urged 
earnestly for the hazardous service. He passed in dis 
guise to the island, obtained the most important informa 
tion, and was on the point of departure. At that moment 
he was suddenly apprehended , and carried before Sir 
William Howe. Sctfrhing dissimulation, he frankly ac 
knowledged for what purpose he came. He was ordered 
for execution the next morning, and treated in the most 
unfeeling manner. It was in vain that he requested the 
attendance of a clergyman, or even the favour of a bible 
for one moment. Letters written to a mother, and the 
dearest friends of his heart, were destroyed. The reason 
given by the provost- marshall for this singular cruelty, 
was 

" The rebels shall never know that they have in their 
army, a man capable of dying with such firmness." 

" A stranger, exposed to the bitterness of insult, without 
a glance of pity, or a tear of sympathy, he approached the 
gallows with an undaunted air, uttering the heroic senti 
ment 

" I lament that I have only one life to lose in the service 
of my country." 
"Neither hope of promotion, nor pecuniary re ward, had 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 223 

incited him to this enterprise. His sole motive was patri 
otism ; yet he sleeps without a stone, almost without a 
record. How different was his treatment, so disgraceful 
to humanity, from the tender attentions bestowed on An 
dre by Washington ! How different the barbarity of his 
murder from the poignant regret with which Washington 
signed the warrant for the execution of Andre* !" 

" It can never be necessary," said the Lady, " to add 
bitterness to the severity of the law. Justice, and cruelty 
haveuo affinity ; it is the depravity of man which blends 
them. In the character of Washington, sympathies and 
energies are finely mingled. We are always glad to find 
that a hero does not forfeit the sensibilities of a man." 

" It is easy," said Colonel , " to pass encomiums 
on the virtues of Washington, for it is always safe to do so. 
But we, who saw him without restraint, who knew the 
secret trials which he endured, are most sensible how far 

beneath his merits is the meed of fame. While to a dis- 



tant observer he might seem the most fortunate of men, 
hidden darts were piercing him. His disinterested labours 
were not always correctly estimated, Congress some 
times blamed, often opposed his wisest measures. It con 
cealed within its bosom a faction, anxious to supplant him. 
Instigated by the malicious calumniator, Conway, and the 
vindictive, and unprincipled Charles Lee, their object was 
to supersede him, and elevate Gates upon the ruin of hi* 
reputation. His perplexities were greatly increased, by 
the brief, and inadequate periods of the enlistment ofhi* 



224 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

soldiers ; so that often, on the eve of some important ac 
tion, when all his effective strength was required, his army 
would be disbanding, and vanishing like a shadow." 

" The wants of the soldiers," said Gen. - , " were 
also to him a source of continual sorrow. Ill-clothed, ill- 
led, and scantily provided with ammunition, he was com 
pelled to struggle with his pity, and enforce that rigid dis 
cipline and subordination, without which an army is an 
unmixed evil. In their winter-quarters, particularly at 
Valley-Forge, and Morristown, where, through the crevi 
ces of the miserable log-huts which they had themselves 
constructed, they were heard complaining for food, for 
want of wh ch their half-naked, emaciated forms were 
famishing ; when the traces of their feet upon the snow 
and ice, were red with their own blood, how did Washing 
ton strive to relieve their comfortless condition. With 
what fatherly compassion would he listen to their com 
plaints ; yet with what firmness decree justice to their 
offences. How would he sooth them into patience, while 
his own heart was bleeding. Yet, in the midst of his sor 
rows, with what dignity and serenity of soul, would he 
meet the darkest vicissitudes, and be prepared for the 
most unforeseen exigencies. It was to his officers a source 
of wonder, as well as of admiration, that when the most 
important transactions were committed to his guidance, 
he never neglected the most minute attentions." 

" I have been surprised" said the Lady " at his 
power of uniting calm and deliberative wisdom, with 
promptness arfd energy of execution. I have supposed 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 225 

that the structure of mind, which enables a man to phi 
losophize, did not naturally dispose him to the per 
formance of difficult and daring deeds. But he, whom 
Heaven raised up for its own great purpose, seemed to 
combine, without contradiction, opposing qualities." 

" I shall never forget," said Colonel , " that 

mixture of noble feeling with urbanity, with which, in the 
early stage of the contest, he refused to treat with the 
commissioners from Lord and Admiral Howe, because 
they studiously avoided the acknowledgment of those 
titles, which the independence of his country demanded. 
To his expanded mind, those titles were less than nothing 
and vanity. But he would not dispense with the respect, 
which was due to his nation through her representa 
tive. How firm and dignified was his demeanour when, 
in the winter of 1776, the despondence of the people ap 
peared in every imaginable form, when the enlistments of 
his insufficent army were expiring every month, and they 
could be induced neither to remain, nor to contend. How 
bright was the glance of his eye when, after performing 
prodigies of valour at Monmouth, and enduring without 
complaint the excessive heat of that terrible day, he lay 
down upon the earth in his cloak for a short repose that 
night, expecting to renew the battle ere the dawn of morn 
ing. But his countenance has, at no period, made a more 
indelible impression upon my mind, than at the passage 
of the Delaware; when by a brilliant stratagem, he re 
vived the hopes of a dejected nation. I think I again see 
the banks covered with snow, as they were during the in- 



226 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

tense cold of that Christmas night. Seated upon his noble 
horse, and attended by General Greene, he superintended 
the hazardous embarkation, with the serenity of a superi- 
our being. In retracing this group, the athletic form and 
open countenance of his black servant Bill always recurs 
to my memory, with his upturned eye fixed affectionately 
upon his master, as if he were the arbiter of his fate. On a 
slippery and steep eminence at some distance,Hhe intrepid 
Knox directed the passage of the artillery. His steed 
seemed to tread in air, and he displayed the same firmness, 
with which he continued to stand, as one of the pillars of 
the temple of Liberty, until the storm which rocked her 
foundations had past. The soldiers forced the horses, with 
their baggage, down the slippery banks, and the slight 

boats, in which they encountered the masses of ice borne 

down by the river, seemed emblematical of the strug 
gles of an infant nation with one, whose armour, and whose 
tone threatened destruction." 

Could Colonel have anticipated the events of 

forty years, he might have seen the magnificent pencil of 
Sully forcibly illustrating his own description of the me 
morable " Passage of the Delaware." 

Madam L , always moved by the praises of Wash* 

ington, replied 

" Such an union of goodness with greatness, of deliber 
ative wisdom with energy of execution, of attention to the 
most minute concerns amid the transaction of the greatest., 
rank our Washington, not only among the first of heroes 
but the best of men." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

" Dark, rugge i brows, and rigid forms enfold 
Warm, grateful hearts, to feeling never cold; 
Thus the rough husk, and rind impervious, hide 
The luscious Cocoa, with its milky tide." 

SPRING, with her varying charms, was now every day 
dispensing some new gift to the earth. The tardiness of 
f her first advance was compensated by the rapidity with 
which she changed eveiy thing subject to her influence ; 
as a timid child, ripening into the loveliness of woman 
hood, glides gracefully through those paths, which her 
feet at first trembled to approach. The period was arriv 
ing, when the two most delightful seasons of the year 
stand, as it were, on each other s boundary, blend their 
unfinish d work, dip their pencils in each other s dies, and 
like the rival goddesses, contend before the sons of earth 
for the palm of beauty. Even the rude settlement of the 
children of the forest put on its beautiful garments. They, 
whom their more fortunate brethren scarcely admitted 
within the scale of humanity, were not shut out by pity 
ing nature from her smiles, or her exuberance. Through 
the rich green velvet of her fields, the pure fountains look 
ed up with chrystal eyes, in silent joy. Bolder streams 
murmured over rocky beds, occasionally falling in cas 
cades, like a restless spirit afflicted with the turmoils, and 
tossings of the world. Wild flowers expanded their petals, 



228 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

trees their blossoms, birds filled their retreats with harmo 
ny, or soaring high, poured louder tones of transport, until 
it seemed that every thicket, and every wave of air uttered 
the strain, " Thou makest the outgoings of the morning, 
and of the evening to rejoice." 

The abode of old Zachary and Martha felt the influence 
of this enlivening season. Already their aromatic herbs 
yielded a pure essence to the husy inhabitants of the hives, 
and their cow cropped with delight the juicy food of her 
little pasture. A rose-bush near their door displayed its 
swelling buds, and the woodbine protruded its young ten 
drils, to reach the window of the invalid. But within the 
walls, was Age which knew no spring, and Youth, fading- 
like a blasted flower ; night that could know no dawning, 
and a morn that must never ascend to noon. The day had 
closed over the inhabitants of that peaceful habitation. 
The old warriour, and his wife were seated in the room 
appropriated to their mysterious guest. Reclining in a 
chair, which the ingenuity of Zachary had so constructed 
as to answer the purposes of both seat and couch, and wrap, 
ped in a loose dress of light calico, she watched the rising 
of the full, round, silver moon, like one who loves its 
beams, yet feels that he must soon bid it a returnless fare 
well. The bright, brown locks of that beautiful being, 
twined in braids around a head of perfect symmetry, and 
falling in profuse curls over her brow, formed a strong 
contrast to the snow of her cheek, and seemed to deepen 
the hue of her soft, blue eye. But the snows of her cheek 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 229 

were now tinted with that ominous flush, whose brief 
loveliness Death lends, as a signal of his approaching tri 
umph. Sometimes, it gave to her eye a ray of such un 
earthly brightness, that the tender-hearted Martha could 
not gaze on it without a tear. She had remarked with 
grief to her husband, that the form of the uncomplaining 
victim was becoming rapidly emaciated, and respiration 
feeble and laborious, and that all her culinary arts were 
exerted in vain to stimulate appetite. The invalid gazed 
^ng at the moon, with her forehead resting on a hand of 
purest whiteness, which, partially shaded by the rich curls 
that hung over it, seemed to display the flexile fingers of 
childhood. Turning her eyes from the beautiful orb, she 
observed those of the aged couple bent upon her with in 
tense earnestness. A long pause ensued. Something, that 
refused utterance, seemed to agitate her. But they, mark 
ing the emotion which varied a countenance usually so 
serene and passionless, forebore to break the silence lest 
they should interrupt her musings, and dreaded to hear her 
ipeak, lest it should be of separation. At length, a voice 
tremulous, and musical as the tones of a broken harp, was 
heard to say 

" Father ! you may recollect hearing me mention that 

I was educated a child of the Church of England. I love 

her sacred services, though I have long been divided 

. from them. A clergyman of that order lives within a 

few miles of us. I feel a desire to see him, and once 



20 



230 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

more to partake of the holy Sacrament. Will you bear 
my request to him, Father ?" 

" The feet of Zachary shall travel any where for the 
comfort of his daughter," said the old warriour, rising to 
receive a letter which she held towards him. 

" 1 knew it would be necessary to give some explana 
tion of my birth and education, before I could expect the 
favour which rny heart desires. You see now, Father, 
why I requested you to procure a few sheets of paper 
from the town. I have written in few words, for my hand 
is weak. Perhaps I may yet intrust to the man of God 
all my history, if I shall be strengthened to record it. * 
Pausing, she added, " But it must not meet his eye, till 
mine is closed." 

Martha rose, with that undefinable sensation which moves 
us to shrink from any subject by which our feelings are 
agonized, and throwing up the casement for a moment, 
through which the soft, humid air of Spring breathed* 
said 

" Have you seen, Oriana, how your woodbine grows ? 
Soon it will be raising up its young blossoms to look ;/l 
you, through the window." 

" It will remind you of me, kind Mother," she said, 
"" and may its fragrance be soothing to you, even as your 
tenderness has been to the lonely, and withering heart." 

Again there was silence, and then the aged man, raising 
his head from his bosom where it had declined, spake i 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 231 

a voice which, as he proceeded, grew more calm, and 
distinct. 

" Daughter! I understand thee. It is vain that we 
strive to conceal from each other a truth, with which we 
are all acquainted. I am glad that thou hast spoken thy 
mind to us. Yet is my soul at this moment weak as that 
of an infant, though in battle no eye hath seen me turn to 
shun the death, which I dealt to others. My daughter ! 
Zachary could lie down in his grave, and not tremble. 
Yet his heart is soft, when he sees one so young, and beau 
tiful, falling like the green leaf before the blast. Zacha 
ry is old, but his mind is selfish. He had desired to look 
on thy brow, during the short space that he hath yet to 
measure. He hath prayed the Eternal, that his ears might 
continue to hear thy voice ; for it was sweet to them. 
His heart wished to have something to love, which should 
not be as himself, every day decaying like the tree strip 
ped of its branches, and mouldering at the root. But 
he must humble his heart. Thou haft toJd him that God 
giveth grace unto the humble. Thou hast read unto 
him, from thine holy book, till he has bowed in peni 
tence, and sought with tears in the silent midnight for 
salvation through Christ. What shall he, and Martha 
do, when thou art taken from them ? Who will have 
patience with their ignorance, as thou hast done - ; Who 
will kindly teach them the true way of life ? Ask 1 what 
we shall do, as if we had yet au hundred years to dwel) 



232 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

on earth ? We shall soon sleep in that grave, to which 
thou art hastening." 

" Whither I go, ye know," answered the same sweet, 
solemn voice, " and the way ye know. Hope in Him 
whom ye have believed. Like me, ye must soon slum 
ber in the dust ; but His power shall raise ye up at the 
last day. The Eternal, in whose sight shades of complex 
ion, and distinctions of rank are as nothing. He who look- 
eth only upon the heart, bless you for your love to the 
outcast, and lead you to that abode, where all which is be 
nevolent, and pure shall be gathered, and sundered no 
more." 

She then laid her hand on her Prayer-book, which with 
a small bible was always near her on the table, arid Mar* 
tha rose to light the lamp, which had hitherto been neg 
lected. 

" It is in vain, Mother !" she said " with a lamb-like 
smile. "I am too much exhausted to say with you my 
evening prayer. Pray for yourselves, and for me, that we 
may meet where is no infirmity or pain, and where sorrow 
fleeteth away." 

Then, as if regretting that the night should draw over 
them without their accustomed devotions, looking upward 
she repeated with deep pathos, a few verses from th 
fourt-ieiith of John. 

** Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in Gods 
believe also in me. In my Father s house are many man 
sions," &c. 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 233 

The old warriour rising to take his leave for the night, 
held his hands over her head, and pronounced in deep tones 
the blessing of his nation. This he retained probably 
from early associations, though he was now the disciple 
of a better faith. 

" The Great Spirit, who dwelleth where the Sun hideth 
himself, and where the tempest is born, guide thee with 
strength. He who maketh the earth fruitful, and the sky 
bright, and the heart of man glad, smile on thee, and give 
thee rest." 

Martha remained to render some attentions to the suffer 
er. She removed her gently from her reposing seat to 
the bed, gave her an infusion which was useful to repel in* 
(lamination, and quiet restlesness. But she dared not trust 
her voice beyond a whisper, lest it should yield wholly 
to her emotion. After her services were completed, she 
lingered, as if unwilling to leave the pillow of the sufferer. 

" Mother !" said the broken voice, " kind, tender moth 
er, go to thy rest. Oriana hath now no pain. Sleep will 
descend upon her. She will not leave thee this night. 
But soon she must begin her journey to the land of souls. 
What then ? She hath hope in her death, to pass from dark 
ness to eternal sunshine. Weep not, mother ! but lift 
your heart to the Father of consolation. I believe that 
whither I go, thou shalt come also. I shall return no 
more ; but thou and thy beloved shall come unto me. 
There will be scarcely time to mourn, ere, like the glid 
ing of a shadow, the parents shall follow their child." 
20* 



234 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

A celestial smile was upon her brow, which would have 
cheered the grief of the aged woman, but for the reflec- 
tion she must so soon behold it no more. So strongly did 
her affectionate heart cling to this cherished object, thai 
sorrow shuddered at the thought that the beautiful taber 
nacle must be dissolved, even while Faith shadowed forth 
the joy of the liberated spirit. 

The first rays of the sun found Zachary on the way to 
the clergyman whom .Oriana had designated. He paused 
not on his weary journey. Travellers who passed him, 
had they thought it fitting to bestow so much attention on 
an Indian, might have perceived that tears occasionally 
rolled over the furrows of his cheek, or hung upon his eye 
lashes, which like a fringe of silver, resembled in colour 
the few hairs which were scattered upon his temples. 

41 Zachary s heart is proud," he would say, in com 
muning with himself. " The good prophet, when the de 
sire of his eyes was removed with a stroke, wept not, 
neither made lamentation. It was so, for she read it to 
me. She, who will SOOD open her blessed bible no more. 
And Martha, she will grieve more than Zachary, for her 
heart is weaker. Be strong, old warriour, that thou may- 
est comfort the woman. Thou, whose heart did never 
shrink in battle, what aileth thee, that it is now dissolved ? 
Thou art old, Zachary, and thy hairs are like snow ; 
wherefore shouldst thou mourn any more, for what the 
world taketh away ?" Gathering strength from these me 
ditations, his step became firm, and his head erect, as he 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. S 

reached the southern part of the town, where the clergy 
man resided. Presenting the letter, the reverend man 
perused it, and said with affectionate feeling 

" My brother, I will come to-morrow to your house." 
The afternoon of the succeeding day, the clergyman 
was seen fastening his horse to the fence that enclosed the 
garden of Zachary, He approached with the slow step, 
and benevolent countenance, which were indicative of his 
character. Firmness in the truth, and mildness in the ex 
pression of it distinguished his conversation among men. 
Filial trust in his God taught him to consider all as breth 
ren, and no hand raised the bruised reed more ten 
derly than his. When a child, the amusements of that 
giddy period had no charms for him, in comparison with 
those studies which nourish intellect. Thirteen sum 
mers had not past over him ere he made his election in 
favour of that Church to which he faithfully devoted the 
remainder of his life. So uninfluenced was this determi 
nation, that his parents and friends, who belonged to a 
different sect, were ignorant of the arguments by which 
his belief was fortified until he adduced them as a reason 
of "the hope that was in him." After spending his 
youth in collegiate studies, he found that the sect to which 
he had devoted himself was so far from enjoying popu 
larity, that not a single person existed in this country, to 
administer to him the vows of ordination. He crossed the 
Atlantic, and received holy orders from the Bishop of 
London, in 1768. From that period he had been con- 



236 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

nected with the parish in which he now resided ; and his 
attachment to the flock, and to the faith which he had 
taught it, was among the warmest affections of his heart. 
During the reign of those strong passions which our revo 
lutionary struggle excited, the single circumstance of his 
adherence to the Church of England created him ene 
mies among the more violent partizans, both political and 
puritanical. His amiable virtues, and pious life were as 
dust in the balance which the hand of enmity poised. For 
three years the doors of his church were closed ; but. from 
house to house, he broke the bread of life to his little 
flock, exhorting them to submit to " principalities and 
powers." In this day of darkness, he was pressed to re 
ceive a lucrative clerical establishment in England; but 
he chose to adhere to the little community which he had 
planted, through " evil report and good report." Now 
the rage of contest had subsided, and he again led his be 
loved followers to the sanctuary to pay their stated ser 
vices to the God of peace and consolation. When, on the 
first Sunday after their exile, they convened in their con 
secrated temple, such was the saintly expression of his 
countenance, and such the effect of his remarkably melo 
dious voice, as he uttered " From the rising of the sun, 
even unto the going down of the same, rny name shall be 
great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall 
be offered unto my name, and a pure offering," and such 
were the recollections, tender, melancholy, and soothing, 
which arose at .the appearance of their venerated pastor 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 137 

again in his much loved pulpit, that a burst of tears min 
gled with their devotions, and sobs ascended with their 
praises. 

Such was the man who, like a shepherd seeking his 
sheep in remote places, now entered the abode of Zach- 
ary and Martha. He received their respectful saluta 
tions with that smile for which he was distinguished a 
smile which seemed the irradiation of a spirit, whose 
light was not kindled beneath the stars. He appeared 
/struck with the exceeding beauty of the stranger ; and, 
comparing it with the rude apartment, and the o!ark faces 
of her aged attendants, he could scarcely forbear ex 
claiming, " verily we have this treasure in earthern ves 
sels, but the excellency of the power is of God, and not 
of man." After a conversation of considerable length 
with the invalid, during which he became fully satisfied of 
her religious education, correct belief, and happy spirit 
ual state, he prepared to administer to her that most holy 
rite which her soul desired. Exhausted by the efforts of 
discourse, and by the warmth of her gratitude for the ap 
proaching privilege, she laid herself on her couch, as a 
pale iilly surcharged with dew reclines its head upon the 
stalk. Zachary and Martha rose to depart. 

* These are Christians," Oriana remarked, " in heart 
and in life. They have been baptized many years since, 
by Mr. Occom, their departed minister. I can bear wit 
ness that they know, and love the truth. May they not 
partake with us, to the edification of their souls ?" 



.238 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

The clergyman, regarding them steadfastly, but kindly, 
inquired 

" Are ye in perfect charity with all men ?" 

Bowing himself down, the old warriour replied solemn- 
ly- 

" We are. Your religion has taught even us Indians, to 
forgive our enemies." 

" Approach then," said the minister of Heaven, " ap 
proach, ye who do truly, and earnestly repent you of your 
sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and 
intend to lead anew life, following the commandments of 
God." 

They kneeled by the bed of the sufferer. Often did 
the tears roll in tides over the face of old Martha, and the 
strong frame of the warriour tremble with emotion, as 
that voice so deep-ton d, so sweet, so solemn poured, in 
its varying modulation, the sublime language of the most 
holy office of religion, through the breathless silence of 
their abode. But she, who, reduced to the weakness of 
infancy, might have been supposed to be the most agitat 
ed, was as calm and unmoved as the lake, on which shines 
nothing but the beam of heaven. Raised above every 
cause of earthiy excitement, she seemed to have a fore 
taste of the happy consummation that awaited her. And, 
when the clergyman, with uplifted "eyes, pronounced the 
Gloria in excelsis," a voice of such thrilling, exquisite 
melody warbled from the couch, " GJory to God in the 
highest, and n earth peace, good will toward men. " 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 239 

that in the devotion of that moment one might have fanci 
ed that the harp of angels, was once more pouring the ad 
vent melody over the vallies of Bethlehem. The heart 
of the good man was touched, and a tear starting to his 
mild eye, attested the accordance of his soul with the 
sympathies of the scene. His voice faltered as he utter 
ed the benediction, to which the aged warriour, bowing 
his face to the earth, pronounced distinctly, Amen. 

A pause of several minutes ensued after this holy ordi- 
jiance. Each seemed fearful of interrupting the medita 
tion of another ; and all felt as if a human voice would be 
almost profanation amidst the heavenly calmness which 
had descended upon them. Every Christian, who has 
participated with sincere, and elevated devotion in this 
sacred banquet, must have been sensible how empty, and 
even painful are the first approaches of worldly conversa 
tion to the sublimated spirit. Like Moses, admitted to 
the mysterious mountain, she dreads too suddenly to min 
gle with the multitude at its base ; happy if, like him, she 
may illumine the brow with celestial brightness, as a wit 
ness of her communion with the Eternal. 

The clergyman at length broke the silence by inquiring, 
with his native benevolence, if there were not some article 
of comfort which might alleviate her sufferings, and which 
she would permit him to procure ; or if she would not 
wish to consult a physician on the nature of her dis 
ease. 

" I desire nothing," she added, " but what the care of 
these kind beings provide for me. Their knowledge of 



*48 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

medicine is considerable, and they prepare with skill as- 
suasive and soothing remedies, drawn from the bosom oi 
that earth to which I am returning. With the nature of 
my disease I am acquainted. I saw all its variations in 
my mother, for whom the utmost exertions of profes 
sional skill availed nothing. 1 feel upon my heart a cold 
hand, and where it will lead me, I know. You, reverend 
Father, can give me all that my brief earthly pilgrimage 
requires. You can speak to me of the hope of Heaven, 
when my ear is closed to the sound of other voices ; and. 
when my eye grows dim in death, it will brighten to be 
hold, and bless you." 

Pressing her hand, the servant of peace and consolation 
took his leave, promising frequently to visit her, and en 
treating her to rely upon his friendship. Zachary and 
Martha followed him. Even the skirts of his garment 
were dear to them, since he had imparted comfort to their 
beloved one. Shaking hands with each, as he mounted 
his horse, he said, " I see that she will not long tarry with 
you. She is ready to commune with angels, and hasten to 
join them. What a privilege have you enjoyed in her in 
structions ! Pray that ye may tread in her steps." They 
stood gazing at him, till his form faded in distance, and 
the warriour, whose retentive memory was stored with ma 
ny passages of scripture, gathered from the daily readings 
of Oriana, repeated as he returned to her ** How beau 
tiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger, 
that hringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that 
saith unto Zion, thy God reignetb." 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Death s final pang, like the last paroxysm 
Of some dire dream, waking the pious soul 
To life and transport, makes amends at once 
For all past suffering, in a moment all 
Forgotten, in that plenitude of joy." 

Age, of Benevolence 

THREE weeks had elapsed since the first interview of 
tlie good clergyman with Oriana, during which period he 
had frequently seen her. He was one who found leisure 
both for duties, and for pleasures, because he systemati 
cally divided his time ; and in his duties, his pleasures 
lay. Complaints of the toil which his profession! impos 
ed, of the drudgery of writing sermons, and the labour of 
instructing the young, were never heard from him ; for 
he loved to be about his Master s business. Content with 
a stipend, which the effeminacy of modern times would 
pronounce insufficient for the necessaries of life, he taught 
his family by example the art of cheerfully sustaining 
privations, and of sacrificing their own wishes to the good 
of others. He never studied to disjoin self-denial from 
benevolence ; and his conduct, and even his countenance 
was an illustration of the inspired direction, respecting 
the sons of Levi " Ye shall give them no possession in 
Israel, I am their possession : ye shall mete out to them 
no inheritance, I am their inheritance." In his intercourse 
21 



242 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

with Oriana, his spiritual consolations were ever mingled 
with solicitude for her earthly comfort. His wife, to 
whom he had communicated what he knew of the inter 
esting invalid, continually sent by him cordials, and little 
delicacies, which it was her pleasure to prepare for the 
sick. His little children, moved by kindness at once 
hereditary, and impressed by education, would add, what 
she always received with peculiar gratitude, a bouquet oi 
the flowers, which their own hands had cultivated. He 
had occasionally proposed to Oriana a removal to his 
residence, hoping that a change of habitation might be 
beneficial to her health. But the idea was painful to her. 
She could not think of parting from those, who had cher 
ished her with such undivided tenderness, and whose 
happiness had become interwoven with her presence. 
Thanking him for his fatherly solicitude, she would say 
" The pomp and circumstance of life, to one about to 
leave it, reveal their own emptiness. To have our neces 
sities ministered unto by hands which are never weary, 
our pains mitigated by hearts which are never cold, is all 
which a disease fatal like mine can ask. Fear not that -I 
am entirely burdensome to their poverty. My small stock 
is not yet expended, nor will it be until my animal wants 
are at an end. Yet more than the perishable part is pro 
vided for. Your prayers, your instructions, Father, 
strengthen my soul for her approaching flight. More than 
contented, grateful, and happy, she waiteth till her change 
come. Sometimes, while I lie sleepless, yet composed 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 243 

thoughts so serene pass over me, that I almost think 1 
hear the voice of my Redeemer, saying through jtht 
silence of midnight, " when I sent ye forth without purse, 
or scrip, lacked ye any thing ? and I answer, nothing 
Lord." 

The gentle sufferer requested of her spiritual guide, 
that her history might not be mentioned among his ac 
quaintance. Visits of curiosity, she remarked, would only 
interrupt the short space allotted her, which she wished to 
pmploy in preparations for her departure ; and those oi 
charity were unnecessary to a being, whose ties to the 
world were so broken that her dependence upon it wa? 
annihilated. 

" It can now give me nothing," she said, " but it may 
ake something away." 

He perceived that she wished to detach her mind fron- 
surrounding objects, arid cultivate a deep acquaintance 
with her heart ; as Cosmo de Medici, in his last sickness, 
closed bis eyes that he might see more clearly. Ih 
could understand & desire, which some would be in dan 
ger of mistaking for affectation, or perverseness, or enthu 
siasm. He could sympathize in the aspirations of a soul, 
desiring to be. alone with its God. He prevailed on her. 
however, to admit the attentions of a physician, who came, 
and inquired minutely into the progress of her disease, 
and the mode of treatment to which it had been subject 
ed. He approved the light nutriment of milk, and fruits, 
which she had adopted, examined the herbs, and plants; 



4 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT . 

whose infusions she had used, and seemed surprized at 
the*r judicious adaptation to the different stages of her 
malady. The knowledge professed by our natives of the 
virtues of medicinal plants was not at that period under 
stood. Barton had not then given the world his research 
es, or enriched our Pharmacopoeia with the discoveries 
of the children of the forest. 

The physician recommended the continuance of the re 
gimen which had been pursued, prescribing- only some 
simple additions ; and, on his return, told his reverend 
companion that the case of the invalid was beyond the 
reach of medicine. 

" She probably has derived from her parents the poison 
which feeds on her vitals. Nature cannot long cope with 
an enemy, who has already entered her citadel. But, ii* 
I mistake not, there will be no struggle of the soul, when 
its tabernacle is dissolved." 

" No," answered his friend, " she has long been con 
vinced, that to depart, and to be with Christ is far better. 
It would seem as if this must always be the effect of mor 
tal disease upon the Christian. Yet such is the weakness 
of faith, such the infirmity of man at his best estate, that 
sometimes fear predominates most, when hope is about to 
be changed into glory. I have supposed that your pro 
fession, which familiarizes man at once with the mystery 
of his own construction, and the indefinite varieties of suf 
fering to which it is liable, would have a strong affinity 
with that piety, which points the mortal part to its $a 



FOKTV YEAKS SltfCL* 246 

ker, and the immortairto its home. Why is it then that, 
among our many healers of the body, we find so few 
qualified .to act as physicians to the soul ?" 

The disciple of Esculapius, who was also a follower of 
Christ, replied 

Whoever penetrates into the secret springs of his 
frame, must be constrained to acknowledge that he is 
; tearfully and wonderfully made." Anatomy, like As- 
vronomy, points the eye to an infinite Architect. But sim- 
nly to acknowledge the existence of a God is far from being 
the Whole of Christianity. Thus far the devils believe, 
while they tremble. You have thought, Sir, that a con 
stant view of the pains } and infirmities of our race ought 
to awaken piety. Thus the most eloquent apostle assert 
ed, that the goodness of God ought to lead men to repent 
ance. But the perverseness, which in one case produces 
ingratitude, in the other generates pride. He boasts that 
his science can arrest the ravages of disease, and tear the 
victory from death. So that "Him, in whose hand is his 
breath, hath he not glorified." Besides, our familiarity 
with all the modifications of distress blunts that sensibili 
ty, through which alone it can convey a lesson to the heart. 
Our danger is of materialism, of resting in natural reli 
gion, or of elevating the pride of science into the place 
of God. From all these His Spirit can deliver us." 

This excellent man, who happily blended piety with 
professional skill, resided in the northern part of the town, 
and was the writer of that epitaph on a son of the depart- 
21* 



24tJ 3KETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

ed royalty of Mohegan, which appeared at the close of 
the third chapter. His memory is still revered, and the 
celebrity which he acquired in the science of medicine, 
is still enjoyed by his descendants. Soon after the con 
versation which has been related, he stopped on a visit of 
charity, to which he was so much accustomed, that it was, 
said his horse turned involuntarily towards the abodes of 
poverty. The divine, thanking him for his attention to the 
mysterious invalid, pursued his homeward journey. 
. Exhausted in body, but confirmed in faith, Oriana wait 
ed her dissolution. Such was the wasting of her frame, 
that she seemed reduced to a spiritual essence, trembling, 
and ready to be exhaled. Every pure morning, she de 
sired the casement to be thrown open, that the fresh air 
might visit her. But at length, this from an occasional 
gratification became an object of frequent necessity, to aid 
laborious respiration. The couch, which she had been 
resolctte in leaving while her strength permitted, was now 
her constant refuge. The febrile symptoms of that terri 
ble disease, which delights to prey on the most fair and 
excellent, gradually disappeared ; but debility increased 
to an almost insupportable degree. Smiles now constant 
ly sat upon her face, and seemed to indicate that the bit 
terness of death had already passed. The irritation of 
pain, which had marked her features, subsided into a tran 
quil loveliness, which sometimes brightened into joy, as 
one who felt that " redemption draweth nigh." One night, 
sleep had not visited her eyes > for, whenever her sense 



FORTY YEARS SINCE, 24tf 

began to be lulled into transient repose, the spirit in its 
extasy seemed to revolt against such oppression, desirous 
to escape to that region, where it should slumber no more, 
through fullness of bliss. 

Calling to her bedside, at the dawn of morning, the old 
warriour, for her mother for several nights had watched 
beside her, she said 

" Knowest thou, Father, that I am now about to leave 
thee ?" 

Fixing his keen glance upon her for a moment, and 
kneeling at her side, he answered 

" I know it, my daughter. Thy blue eye hath already 
the light of that sky to which thou art ascending. Thy 
brow hath the smile of the angels who wait for thee." 

Martha covered her face with her hands, and hid it OQ 
the couch, fearful lest she might see agony in one so be 
loved. Yet she fixed on that pallid countenance another 
long, tender gaze, as the expiring voice said 

" I go, where is no shade of complexion no trace of 
sorrow. I go to meet my parents, who died in faith ; my 
Edward, whose trust was in his Redeemer. I shall see thy 
daughter, and she will be my sister, where all is love. 
Father ! Mother ! that God, whom you have learned to 
worship, whose spirit dwells in your hearts, guide you 
thither also." 

Extending to each a hand, cold as marble, she said 
" I was a stranger, and ye took me in : sick, and ye 



248 SKETCH OP CONNECTICUT. 

ministered unto me. And now go I unto Him, who hath 
said " the merciful shall obtain mercy." 

They felt that the chilling clasp of her fingers relaxed 
and saw that her lips moved inaudibly. They knew that 
she was addressing Him, who was taking her unto himself. 
A smile not to be described passed, like a gleam of sun 
shine, over her countenance ; and they heard the words 
1 joy unspeakable, and full of glory." Something more 
was breathed in the faintest utterance, but she closed not 
the sentence it was finished in Heaven. 

There was long silence in the apartment, save the sobs 
of the bereaved Martha, and at long intervals a deep sigh, 
as if bursting from the bottom of the breast of the aged 
warriour. Then he rose from the earth where he bad 
stooped his forehead, and took the hand of his companion. 

" We have heard," he said, " before we were Chris 
tians, that too much grief is displeasing to the Great Spirit 
Let us pray to that God, to whom she has returned. She 
hath taught us to call Him Father, who was once terrible 
io our thought. She was as the sun in our path. But she 
hath set behind the dark mountains. Hath set did I say ? 
No. She hath risen to a brighter sky, and beams of her 
light will sometimes visit us. Thou hast wept for two 
daughters, Martha. One, thou didst nurse upon thy breast. 
But was she dearer than this ? Did not the child of our 
adoption lie as near to our heart, as she to whom we gave 
life ? Henceforth, we shall be made childless no more. 
Let us dry up the fountain of our sorrows. Let us pray 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 249 

together to Him who maketh the heart soft, and bindeth 
it up." 

The day seemed of interminable length to the aged 
mourners, who, long accustomed to measure time by the 
varieties of solicitude, felt that the loss of the sole object 
of their care had given to the hours a weight, under which 
they heavily moved. 

In the afternoon, the clergyman, who for several days 
had not visited their habitation, was seen to approach it. 
Zachary went to meet him. The agitation, which had so 
long marked the manner of the grief-stricken warriour, 
had subsided ; and he moved with the calm dignity which 
was natural to him. His deportment seemed an illustra 
tion of the words of the king of Israel, when his child was 
smitten : - 

** She is dead. Wherefore should I mourn ? Can I 
bring her back again ? I shall go to her, but she shall not 
return to me." 

Bowing to the clergyman, he said 
" She, whom you seek, is not here. She arose ere the 
sun looked upon the morning. Come, see the place where 
she lay." 

Departing from the distant respect bordering upon awe, 
which he had been accustomed to testify towards the guide 
of Oriana, he led him by the hand to the apartment, as if 
he felt that in the house of death all distinctions were lev 
elled, and all men made equal. 



250 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

Martha lifted up a white sheet, and discovered the life 
less form clad in a robe and cap of the purest cambrick. 
which those beautiful hands had prepared, and preserved 
for the occasion. Rich, and profuse curls still clustered 
round an oval forehead, which bore no furrow of care, or 
trace of pain. Long, silken eye-lashes fringed the iov 
moveable lids, which concealed, in their marble caskets, 
gems forever sealed from the gaze of man. But whoever 
has beheld beauty, which Death has blanched but not 
destroyed ; or has hung over the ruins of the Creator s 
fairest workmanship, deserted by life, but not by love ; 
may have realized that moment of thrilling tenderness, of 
speechless awe, which we should in vain attempt to dc 
scribe. 



* It is finished !" said the divinCi lowering his head . 
but no tear stole over his placid countenance. He be 
lieved that if there is joy among the angels in Heaven 
over one sinner that repenteth, there ought at least to be 
resignation on earth, when a saint is admitted to their glo 
rious company. Kneeling down he prayed with the 
mourners, and after the orison, said 

" Great is the blessing which has been lent to you, my 
friends. Her prayers, her instructions, her example, how 
precious were they all to you ! May they, through the 
aid of the Holy Spirit, lead you where she has gone." 

" My heart is sorrowful," said old Martha, " because 
my ears hear no more the sound of her voice. Every 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 251 

place, in which she has sat, speaks the name of Oriana. I 
goto it, but she is not there." 

The clergyman spoke kind words of comfort to them? 
as to his brethren ; andere he departed, made arrange 
ments for the. funeral solemnities, that the bones of the 
stranger might rest in consecrated earth. Two days elaps 
ed, and the scene changed to the burial ground of the re 
ligious community, to which he ministered. An open 
grave was seen there, and a few forms flitting among the 
Shades which environed the spot, as if watching for some 
funeral train. The passing-bell, echoing from rock to 
rock, fell with its solemn, measured sound upon their ear, 
as they roved amid the mouldering remains of their fellow 
creatures. There were here but few monuments, and 
none whose splendour could attract the attention of the 
traveller. It might seem as if those, who here slumber 
ed, had realized the fallacy of those arts, by which man 
strives to adhere to the remembrance of his kind. 

Perhaps, among this group, were some recent mourn 
ers, who felt their wounds bleed afresh at the sight of an 
open grave. Perhaps some parent might there be seen, 
bowing in agony over the newly covered bed of his child ; 
some daughter, kneeling to kiss the green turf upon the 
breast of her mother ; some lover, weeping amid the ru 
ins of his hope, or casting an unopened rose bud on the 
gr. .eof her who had perished in beauty. Alas! how 
many varieties of grief had that narrow spot witnessed, 
since it cast a heavy mantle over the head of its first ten- 



252 SKETCH OF CONNECTIUCY, 

ant. Hovr many hearts had there laid the ido! of their 
worship , and withered over the broken altar. How many 
sad spirits had there buried the roses that adorned thei r 
bower ; and passed the remainder of their pilgrimage un 
der the cloud. 

Here too, with the sigh of mourning perhaps mingled 
the pang of compunction : for how few can say, when the 
earth covers their beloved ones, between us, nothing has 
transpired at which memory should blush nothing been 
omitted, on which regret can feed -nothing done, which 
tenderness would wish to alter nothing left undone, which 
duty, or religion could supply ? Perhaps some, amid that 
group, might realize that the thorn in the conscience can 
rankle, long after the wound of God s visitation had been 
healed. Others might there have wandered, in whose 
hearts Time had blunted the arrow of Grief. The shrine, 
once empty in the sanctuary of their soul, filled by some 
other image ; and were it possible that the tomb should 
restore to their arms that tenant whom they once 
thought to lament with eternal tears, might there not be 
some barrier to joy, some change in love, wrought by 
the silent mutation of years ? Yet of whatever nature 
were the reflections of the group, who circled with light 
footstep, the " cold turf-altar of the dead," they were soon 
interrupted by the approach of a procession. It was first 
seen indistinctly through treesthen winding over the 
bridge then pacing, with solemn step, and slow, the base 
of one of the principal streets. Then turning obliquely, 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 253 

it entered the western road, which, skirting the banks of 
the river, led directly to that narrow house, where the 
pale assembly slumbered. As they pursued their course, 
the rough, broken rocks, towering on their right hand, and 
in their rear the bustle of the town, might seem an emblem 
of the paths and pursuits of the worldling : while, on their 
left, the pure, placid current, reflecting the brightness of 
a sun already approaching the horizon, typified the re 
pose of the saint, when he * resteth from his labours, and 
his works follow him." 

Next to the bier, walked the aged warriour, and his 
wife ; like the patriarch, who would go down to the grave 
to his son mourning. The Chieftain Robert, and John 
Cooper followed, with heads declined ; as those who had 
testified friendship for the deceased, without having been 
acquainted with her history. Many of the natives of Mo- 
began, two and two, in decent dresses, next appeared, 
wishing to shew respect to old Zachary, whom they all 
loved. A number of the inhabitants of the town were 
seen to close the procession. They had heard, from the 
benevolent clergyman, some notice of the departed; and 
had walked out a mile to meet those who came to discharge 
the last offices of respect to the mysterious stranger. He, 
ascending the steps, where he had so often preceded the 
trains of sorrow, uncovered a head where care had already 
begun to shed its snows. The peculiar meJody of his 
voice was never more apparent, than when its soothing, 
and impressive tones poured forth on the silence of the 



254 SKETCH OP CONNECTICUT, 

funeral scene, " I am the resurrection, and the life, saitk 
the Lord." The attention of the natives to this solemn 
service was almost breathless. It seemed as if their hum 
bled, dejected countenances were an illustration of that 
pathetic portion of it, " Man that is born of a woman, is 
of few days, and full of misery." Tears rolled over the 
face of old Martha at the words, " He cometh up and is 
cut down like a flower, he fleeth as it were a shadow, 
and never continueth in one stay." The hollow sound of 
the clods falling upon the lid of the coffin, arid the voice, 
" earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust," drew a 
deep groan from the hoary warriour. John Cooper, who, 
strongly attached to the customs of Mr. Occom, had list 
ened with some touch of sectarian feeling, was so much 
affected at the introduction of the passage, " write ! bless 
ed are the dead, who die in the Lord," that, forgetting he 
was in a burying place of the Church of England, he re 
sponded fervently, Amen. At the close of the service , 
the divine approached old Zachary, and took him by the 
hand. He stood like some tall tree in the forest firm at 
the root, but whose boughs are marked by a winter which 
can know no spring. His few silver locks waved in the 
light breeze that was rising ; and his eyes, bent upon the 
grave, were tearless. Bowing down at the salutation of 
the clergyman, he said in a calm tone" I look for the 
resurrection from the dead, for the life of the world to 
come." Martha, whose erect and dignified form, had nev 
er yielded to. time, now be^nt with sorrow. Clasping tV 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 266 

offered hand between both hers, she put into it a packet, 
saying, " she left this for you, and she blessed you, when 
the cold dew was on her forehead like rain-drops. * John 
Cooper bowed reverently, and the chief, stalking with 
his majestic port toward him who had officiated, said 
" Father ! thou hast spoken well. The Great Spirit is 
pleased with words like these, and with a life like thine." 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

" Pure Love is indestructible, 
Its holy flame forever burneth, 
From heaven it came, to heaven returneth ; 
Too oft on earth a troubled guest, 
At times deceiv d, at times opprest, 
It here is tried, and purified, 
Then hath in heaven its perfect rest." 
f Southey. 

THE clergyman, after his return from performing the 
last pious offices for Oriana, read the following letter, 
which had been presented to him at her grave. 

You have expressed a wish, my dear and reverend 
benefactor, to possess a more particular acquaintance with 
my history, than my weakness has yet permitted me to 
impart. I will, as God may give me strength, recount 
=ome of its circumstances, to meet your eye when mine is 
closed in dust. It will then be time enough to lift the veil 
of mystery, when 1 shall no longer be pained at the curi 
osity of strangers, or affected by their opinion. You, Sir> 
have without suspicion reposed confidence in the imper- 
r ect narrative, which has been entrusted to you. You 
have not, as the cold-hearted multitude might have done, 
wounded with the cruelty of distrust a heart long sinking 
beneath the visitation of God. You will not now believe 
?hat a spirit, nurtured in the love of truth, could use guile, 
22* 



258 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

when on the threshold of His presence, who " hateth 
every false way." 

" I was born in Blackburn> in the county of Lancashire, 
in England, and descended of obscure, but virtuous ances 
tors. My father, whose name was Selden, was devoted 
to the pursuits of agriculture. He married rather late in 
life, and died while I was yet a child. With the profits 
of his industry, my mother purchased a neat cottage in a 
retired spot, where she devoted herself to my welfare. 
Her education had been supcriour to what is usually found 
among those of her rank ; and the few books which she 
possessed, aided by the force of her example, excited in 
me an early taste for reading, f can scarcely imagine a 
lot more congenial with happiness than ours. Our income 
ivas adequate to our wants ; and that industry, which pre 
served our health, gave us the power of administering t- 
the necessities of others. When my daily share of labour 
was completed, my recreations were to tend my llowers, 
to read, to converse with my mother while we were both 
employed with our needles, or to join my voice to that of 
ihe birds who surrounded our habitation. I was inn.ic, 
the pastoral charge of the Rev. Mr. Owen, of the Estab 
lished Church, a man of the most ardent piety, and inde 
fatigable zeal in the instruction of his flock. By him I 
was baptized in infancy, and weekly catechized in my 
knowledge of those doctrines, which be explained with 
simplicity, and illustrated by example. 1 have often re 
flected with gratitude that by him 1 was prepared for the 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 259 

vows of confirmation, and by his hand led to that holy 
sacrament which our Saviour has instituted for the peni 
tent believer. It was impossible to attend to his injunc 
tions without cultivating that close acquaintance with the 
heart, that scrutiny into its springs of action, which in 
duce deep humility, and a renunciation of merit, save 
through the mediation of Him, " who offered himself 
without spot to God." To the blessing of the Holy 
Spirit on the instructions of this beloved guide do ! im- \ 
pute, that the foundation of my faith was laid even in 
childhood so strong, that it does not fail me now, in my 
hour of trial. Mingled also with the pursuits of piety, 
was a thirst for knowlege. But to this my lot afforded on 
ly ,1 limited gratification. Edward Merlon, the son of a 
family of distinction in the vicinity, became interested to 
h me what wealth afforded him the means of acquir- 
i i. His noble mind, enlarged by the circle of the sci 
ences, took pleasure in imparting to others its own riches. 
Most of his evenings were passed at our cottage, in reading 
to us the works of authors, which we had no other means 
; .blaming. That joy seemed to animate him, with 
which the benevolent mind gives food to the hungry, or 
opens a fountain to the thirsty soul. To my simple mind, 
}( -ccmc-d as a pure spirit bowing from the skies to ele- 
v-.iic an inferiour race. At length it became evident that 
he loved the mind which he had himself adorned ; like him 
who, imparting fire from heaven to an inert mass, became 
its adorer. Authorized in cherishing a virtuous attach- 



260 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

ment, it increased every day, and every night I thanked 
my Creator with exuberant gratitude, for the fullness of 
my joy. Yet my heart too much exulted, too exclusively 
trusted to the earth, and at the moment when I thought 
my sky the brightest, it was involved in a cloud of woe- 
Edward s only surviving parent was a father, a proud, and 
mercenary man. Two sons were his sole offspring, and 
the idea that one should marry a cottager was insupporta 
ble. With the threat of disinheritance, he commanded 
him to relinquish the design ; and I, educated with high 
ideas of filial obedience, entreated him to submit, though 
my heart felt that it must break at his desertion. Nothing, 
however, was able to destroy the inviolable affection of 
that exalted being. To me, a novice in the school of sor 
row, this trial appeared too much for endurance, until it 
was appointed to be swallowed up in a greater affliction. 
My mother, whose health had been delicate from her 
youth, and who had long been subject to symptoms of dis 
ease, which she laboured to conceal from me, now rapid 
ly declined. I watched in agony, day and night, the 
struggles of a gentle spirit, disengaging itself from clay, 
Her resignation to the divine will was scarcely shaded by 
maternal anxiety ; for she trusted to leave her orphan to 
the protection of one, who loved the orphan s God, 
Sometimes she would join our hands, as we kneeled to 
gether by her couch, saying with a smile, " My children, 
you will be happy, though I am gone. Yet forget not to 
seek greater happiness ; for ah ! if you come not to me. 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 261 

at last , there will be mourning in Heaven. I had forborne 
to communicate to her the opposition of Edward s father 
to our union, lest it might embitter her parting moments. 
But as her sickness approached its fatal termination, he 
was himself summoned to his last account. He had been 
Tor some time absent, superintending an estate in Ireland, 
and encountering a storm in the Channel, was drowned 
on his homeward passage. He gave by will all his pos 
sessions to his eldest son, to whom he was partial, and 
who resembled him in character. Edward came to us 
depressed at the depth of his poverty. But my heart 
with deep gratitude thanked the Eternal Sire, that I might? 
now return his affection without the imputation of merce 
nary motives, and relieved from the dread of a father s 
malediction. He departed for a few days to seek some 
prospect of maintenance, and returned only in time to 
support me to my mother s grave. The fatal disease, 
which has set its seal upon me, triumphed over both my 
parents. The bitterness of my orphanage was consoled 
by the voice of love as pure, as ardent, as holy, as ever 
dwelt in the breast of man. So firmly was it returned, 
that I heard, without repining, that the only resource 
which remained was to join the army, then about to em 
bark for America, under Earl Cornwallis. 

" We were married, and my little patrimony, which in 
consequence of my mother s sicknsss had become some 
what encumbered with debt, was sold. Hand in hand, 
we parted from that sweet cottage, to encounter the peril? 



262 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

of ocean, and war in a foreign land. Methought that little 
retreat never looked so beautifully as when we were leav 
ing it. Its roses, and woodbines breathed fragrantly, and 
the smooth-shorn grass before it was like the richest vel 
vet. With the warmth of seventeen, I was attached to 
every spot which had ministered to the joy of a childhood 
whose traces were yet recent in my memory. 1 gazed on 
the white roof of the home, hallowed by the last breath oi 
my mother, until the trees hid it from my view. Yet all 
the attractions of my native country vanished, as shadows, 
before my vow d affection to him, for whose sake I was 
willi ng to become a wanderer. He was my all, and the 
idolatry of my soul was perfect. Therefore its altar of 
earth was removed, and the image to which it offered ia 
cense was broken. 

" I will not detain you, Reverend Sir, with the dangers 
of our voyage, or the hardships of a life in camps. Like 
the servitude of Jacob, they seemed to me as nothing 
" for the love I bare him." But in time of battle, my 
wretchedness was extreme. It was then that, imploring 
protection for my husband, I first learned what was mean* 
by " the agony of prayer." Of a daring, and invincible 
spirit, he was ambitious to stand foremost in the ranks of 
danger. His intrepidity gained the attention of his offi 
cers, and led to his promotion. This stimulated his mili 
tary enthusiasm, and when 1 entreated him to be careful 
of his life for my sake, he would answer firmly, but with 
tenderness, ".In the scenes to which my duty sails me 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. &>3 

there can be no protector but the God of battles. Is he 
not also a God of the widow ?" 

But from the details of war I have ever shrunk, and now 
my trembling hand, and fluttering heart admonish me to 
be brief. Seldom has one, who possessed such native 
aversion from all the varieties of strife, such an instinctive 
horrour at the sight of blood-shed, been appointed to share 
the fortunes of a soldier. During the investment of York- 
town, in the autumn of 1781, he was almost constantly 
divided from me, either on some post of fatigue, or expos 
ure. The minute scenes of that eventful period are en 
graved on my memory, as with the point of a diamond. 
Often have I retraced the circumstances of the last night 
which I passed in that fatal spot. The atmosphere was 
faintly lighted by stars, shedding that dim, doubtful beam, 
which disposes the mind to melancholy contemplation. 
I was alone, and the heaviness of my solitude in a strange 
land oppressed my heart like a physical weight. The 
works of the allied French and Americans were every day 
brought more nearly to us. In the form of a crescent they 
spread themselves before us, cutting off our communica 
tion with the neighbouring country. The ships of France., 
anchored at the mouth of York River, prevented our re 
ceiving supplies from thence, or aid from Sir Henry Clin 
ton, who in New- York awaited our fate with anxiety. A 
fixed gloom might be sees on the countenance of Cora- 
wallis ; and Tarleton, who had hitherto poured his bold 
into the enterprise, was suffering pain., and dejection 



^64 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

from a wound. The prospects of our army were dark in 
the extreme, and I was continually agitated with fears for 
my sole earthly stay. To dissipate the melancholy im 
pressions which thronged my soul, I ascended to the top 
of the house to take a view of that glorious firmament, 
which had so often led my thoughts from the woes of earth 
to the tranquillity of heaven. But the thunder of a terrible 
cannonade drew my attention to the surrounding scene . 
The whole peninsula seemed to tremble beneath the en 
gines of war. Bombs, from the batteries of both parties, 
were continually crossing each others path. Like blazing 
meteors their luminous trains traversed each other, with 
awful sublimity. Sometimes I heard that hissing sound, 
when in their fall they excavate the earth, and rend in 
atoms whatever opposes them. Once I saw the severed, 
mangled limbs of several British soldiers thrown into the 
air, by their explosion. I fancied that I heard a groan of 
agony in the voice that I loved, and listened till sensation 
almost forsook me. Suddenly, a flame sprang forth from 
the bosom of the river. It was a column of ineffable 
brightness. The waters seemed to feed it, and every mo 
ment it rose higher, and extended wider, as if uncertain 
whether first to enfold the earth, or the heavens. Then 
two smaller furnaces burst forth near it, breathing intense 
fires in spiral forms, beautiful and dreadful. I gazed, till 
the waters glowed in one dazzling expanse, and I knew 
not but the Almighty in anger at the crimes of man, was 
kindling around.him an ocean of flame ; as He once pour- 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 265 

cd over him a deluge of waters. But nothing could hush 
the incessant roar of these engines of death ; and I thought 
that man would continue to pursue his brother with hatred, 
even to the conflagration of the day of doom. When the 
influence of an excited imagination had subsided, I found 
that this splendid and fearful pageant was the burning of the 
Charon, one of our ships of war, with two smaller vessels 
at anchor in the river, which had been set on fire by a 
heated shell from the French battery. Chilled with the 
e damps of evening, I descended, and threw myself upon 
my sleepless couch. My health had for some time suffer 
ed for want of exercise in the open air, from which I was 
precluded by the impossibility of enjoying the company, 
and protection of my husband. On the afternoon of the 
following day, he entered his apartment. It was Sunday, 
October 14th, for misery stamped the date indelibly on 
my soul. He told me that he was to remain with me, until 
evening should call him forth to his watch upon the ram 
parts. He requested me to read the service for the day 
from the Prayer-book ; for vye had endeavoured, as far as 
possible amid the privations of our existence, to hallow the 
day of God by private devotion. As I closed the volume, 
the sun forsook the horizon, leaving a beautifully serene 
sky. He proposed a walk, to which I gladly assented ; 
and as the means of prolonging it, without attracting par 
ticular attention in streets filled with soldiers, desired me 
to wear a suit of his military apparel. Yielding to his rea 
soning, I consented thus to array myself ; and we strolled 
23 



266 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

onward, admiring the scenary which, at that season in the 
American climate, is so peculiarly brilliant. We indulged 
in a conversation, which selected from the past the most 
soothing recollections, and gilded the future with the pen 
cil of hope. We followed the course of the fortifications 
until we had passed, almost unconsciously, the last re 
doubt. The shadows of evening were beginning to con 
ceal the landscape, when we heard the trampling of many 
feet. The white uniform of the French, and presently 
that of the Americans were seen, through the trees which 
skirted our path. My husband had scarcely time to draw 
his sword, when a volley of shot was poured upon us. A 
bullet pierced his breast, and he fell without life. I fell 
with him, senseless as himself. I recovered troin my 
swoon to mourn that I lived, and to feel more than the bit 
terness of death. Sometimes I fancied that he clasped 
my hand ; but it was only the trickling of his blood through 
my own. I imagined that he sighed ; but it was the 
breathing of the hollow wind through the reeds where his 
head lay. I heard the horrible uproar of war in the neigh 
bouring redoubts, the roar of cannon, the clashing of 
swords, and the cry of men. I knew that the enemy was 
in the town, but I made no attempt to escape. Whither 
should I have flown ? Among my own people I was a 
stranger, and were it possible that I should reach England, 
who would succour me there ? An hour passed in the 
madness of grief, while I was clasping the lifeless form, 
and supplicating to be made like unto it, A small party 



PORTV YEARS SINCE. 267 

passed, speaking with uncouth voices. I saw that they 
were American Indians, and wished to escape. I forgot, in 
my inconsistency, that I had a moment before exclaimed 
with the prophet, who mourned his smitten gourd, " take 
now away my life, I pray thee ; it is better for me to 
die, than to live." My movements betrayed me, and they 
took me prisoner. They were leaving the town, and I 
expected to have been conveyed to the American camp. 
But they continued to journey throughout the night, and 
from their conversation I learned that two redoubts had 
been taken by the Americans and French, with desperate 
valour. This was the daring action, in which La Fayette 
led on the Americans, and De Viomenil the French, which 
preceded but four days the surrender of Earl Cormvallis. 
The party which had slain my husband, was the advance- 
guard, under the command of Colonel Hamilton ; and 
those, who had taken me captive, were a small number of 
natives led by a Delaware Chief. They were connected 
with some embassy which had been sent, as far as I could 
understand their broken explanations, to discover the state 
of affairs at Yorktown ; and being there at the time of this 
encounter, had joined the Americans, partly as actors, and 
partly as spies. Thus was I in the power of beings, whom 
I had ever contemplated as the most savage of mankind. 
I followed them, as we rove in a terrible dream unable 
either to resist, or to awake. Stupified with grief, I was 
for many days unequal to the sense of my misery. Yet the 
captors, so far from testifying the cruelty I had anticipa- 



268 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

ted, were attentive to my wants. Of their food, which 
was principally game shot as they travelled, and roasted 
before fires kindled in the forest, they always presented 
me an ample share, even when they were themselves but 
scantily supplied. When I was weary, they would con 
struct a kind of litter, and carry me for a time upon their 
shoulders. I exerted myself tg endure hardship as cour 
ageously as possible, fearing they might suspect my dis 
guise ; but they appeared to consider my effeminacy as 
the result of that civilization which they constantly de. 
cried. " A British soldier," said they, " is never so good 
on a march, as an Indian squaw." 

But as I began to arouse from the stupor, which the 
overwhelming rapidity of my affections had occasioned, 
a horrible idea took possession of my mind. I imagined 
they were protecting my life with such care, in order to 
sacrifice it in that savage manner, of which I had frequent 
ly heard descriptions. This trrour obtained predomi 
nance over grief. When I lay down to sleep in the forest, 
wrapped closely in my blanket, and surrounded by the 
dark-brow d warriours, no slumber visited me ; for beforr 
my diseased imagination swam continually images of the* 
prisoner at the stake, the flame, the death-song, and all 
tKj features of savage vengeance, and exultation. Plans 
of escape occupied every night, and every day revealed 
their impracticability. During this season of excitement, 
1 felt no fatigue. My strength was more than equal to 
the labour imposed : so much is the mind capable of mod 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. ?69 

ifying its terrestrial companion. I hoped that, as our route 
led through a more populous country, we should occasion 
ally lodge in towns ; where I fancied greater facility of 
escape might be offered. But they avoided suffering me 
to pass through the more populous settlements, and uni 
formly preferred the shelter of forests, to the abodes of 
white men, whom I found they still considered as intrud 
ers, and doubtful friends. On our arrival at a large town 
in Pennsylvania, they made me, as usual, travel through 
the outskirts with a guard of four men. Those, who en 
tered, perceived demonstrations of extravagant joy, and 
were informed that the surrender of Cornwall is had taken 
place on the 1 8th of October, antf that peace was confi 
dently expected. They made no stay in this place, ex 
cept to purchase a large quantity of whiskey ; and pres 
sing on with great rapidity, prepared to pass the night 
within the borders of an extensive, and lofty forest. 
Here they made a fire, and proceeded to strip the bark 
from some young saplings. Their words were in their 
own language, but their gestures were mysterious ; and 
their eyes were often directed towards me, with an expres 
sion of fierceness. The black shade of the forest, whose 
top seemed to reach the skies, the glare of the wide, red 
flame, falling upon the giant forms of those warriours. 
with their uncouth habits, wild locks, and savage counten 
ances, formed a picture, which I cannot even now retrace 
without shuddering. Loud words arose, as if a contest 
was about to begin. The party contained a few Mohe- 



270 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

gans ; but the principal number were Delawares, or Len- 
ni-Lenape, as they styled themselves. I believed that 
my hour was come, and that the strife was between the 
two nations, respecting different modes of torture. An 
old warriour of the former tribe sat solitary, taking no 
part in the conflict, but observing its progress with great 
attention. He avoided the spirituous liquors, with which 
all were becoming inflamed, and seemed to reserve him- 
felf for action in some important juncture. I thought 
that I had previously seen him regarding me with eyes of 
pity, and said mentally, is it possible that Heaven will 
raise up in my extremity, a friend in this aged man ? I 
remembered that he "was called Arrowhamet, and was 
treated with respect for his courage and wisdom. When 
the strife grew violent, he arose, and approached the Dela 
ware Chief. They conversed long together, during which 
both parties preserved silence. Then they parted, and 
the Lenni-Lenape murmured aloud. Their Chief calmed 
them, with the simple expressions, " Arrowhamet is old. 
He has fought bravely. His temples are white as the 
snows of the Alleghany. Young men must submit to the 
warriour, who wears the crown of time." They then 
commenced their war-dance, and in the violence of thai 
amusement, and the fumes of intoxication, merged their 
anger at disappointment. It was long past midnight, ere 
they all lay down to sleep. Arrowhamet approached me, 
and throwing over me his blanket, said, " The night is 
chill. All now will be quiet. Compose your mind, thai 



FORTV YEARS SINCE.- 271 

your body may be able to bear fatigue." He stretched 
himself at some distance, between me, and the slumber 
ing group. It was impossible for me to find repose, and I 
saw that my aged guardian also slept not. His eyes were 
raised upward, as if he contemplated the Maker of that 
majestic blue arch, where a few stars faintly twinkled. I 
said silently, can it be that an Indian thinks of God ? Ah ! 
I knew not then, of what deep devotion their souls were 
susceptible. Judge, into what fearful surprize I was start- 
Jed from my reverie, when a low voice uttered, " Oriana ! 
Is thy mind wakeful ? Fear not to sleep. Thou art re 
deemed from torture. No flame shall touch you. Be 
lieve what the old warriour has spoken, and rest in 
peace." 

" Why do you call me Oriana ?" I inquired, trembling 
with astonishment. 

v Didst thou then think the eye of Arrowhamet was 
,-o dim that it could not read thy brow ? that his heart 
was so cold as to forget the hand that gave him bread ?" 

" Am I knawn then to your comrades ?" I asked. 

" No thought but mine has comprehended thee. Arrow 
hamet shall be as the bars of the grave to thy secret. 
To all but me, thou appearest as if thy disguise were 
truth." 

" How have you acquired knowledge, above all your 
companions, and what have you spoken about my giving 
you food ?" 



272 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

" I knew that face," he answered tenderly, ci when the 
torches first glared upon it, and the cry of war was around. 
It was deadly pale, but I knew it was the face of her who 
had given me bread. Thou sayest, when have I fed 
thee ? So will the righteous ask at the last day. Thou 
writest the traces of thy charity in the sand, but the fam 
ished prisoner graves them in the rock forever. I was 
with the men of Colonel Buford, on the waters of the 
Santee River, where out of four hundred, only fifty-three 
escaped the sword of Tarleton. I saw an hundred hands 
of brave men raised to implore mercy. They were 
stricken off by the sabres of the horsemen, who SOGJI 
trampled upon their bodies. But why tell I thee tales of 
blood ? whose heart is tender as that of an infant. I have 
said that a few were saved. With them I went into cap 
tivity. Some pined away, and died in their sorrows. 
Seventeen moons have since beamed upon their graves. 

" Remember thou an old Indian, who leaned against a 
tree, near thy tent ? He leaned upon it, because he was 
weak, and his blood wasted by famine ? *He asked not 
for food, yet thou gavest it to him. Thou rememberest 
him not ? Well ! Thou wilt never forget the youth, who 
was near, in the door of thy tent. His voice was like the 
flute of his own country, when he said, Oriana. But how 
did I see him next ? His beautiful forehead was cold, and 
his noble breast red with its own blood. I saw thee also. 
Thou wert as one dead. But how could I be mistaken in 
the hand that .had given me bread ? I determined to take 



FORTY YEARS SINCE.. 17o 

thee from my people, that I might feed thee when thou 
didst hunger, and be thy staff when thou wert weary. To 
this end have I laboured. The purpose is accomplished, 
and thou art safe." 

" Was I then right in supposing myself destined to the 
torture ?" 

The chief hatf said that this night his people should 
avenge on thee, tneir young men who had been slain in 
battle. So fixed were the Lenni-Lenape upon thy death, 
that 1 obtained power to rescue thee with difficulty. In : 
dians will generally submit their will to the hoary head. 
But they continually replied, Our mighty men have fallen 
before the warriours of his country. Two sons of our Sa 
chem were cut in pieces by their swords. The blood of 
the brave cries for vengeance. If we give it not ere the 
rising of the dawn, let their souls frowri on us forever. " 

" But how were you able to accomplish your compas 
sionate design ?" He hesitated fora moment, ere he re 
plied " The natives of this country, have a custom of 
which thou art ignorant. He, who is deprived of a near 
relative by death, is permitted to fill the void in his heart 
from among the captives, whom the fortune of war gives 
into the hands of his nation. This is called the rite of 
adoption. It has snatched the prisoner from the stake, 
when the fire was scorching his vitals. Without the force 
of this claim I could not have saved thee from the raging 
passions of my countrymen ; for the footstep of death 
was nearer to thee than mine." Pausing, he added, in a 



74 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

tone of great tenderness, " I had once a daughter. An 
only one, as the apple of my eye. But she faded. She 
went down to the grave, ere she bloomed in womanhood." 

" There was silence ; and afterwards I expressed with 
warmth, my gratitude t o my deliverer. The solemn hour 
of midnight had long passed ; yet the forest seemed to 
assume a still darker hue, and the decaying fires, scarcely 
cast a feeble ray upon the scattered forms of the slumber 
ing warriours. 

" Daughter !" said the aged man, " rest in peace. I 
watch over thee. I have prayed the Great Spirit that I 
may lead thee in safety to my home, and put thy hand in 
to the hand of my wife. Knowest thou why she will love 
thee ? Why the tears will cover her face, when she look" 
eth upon thine ? Because thou wilt remind her heart of the 
blossom whose growth she nursed, whose blasting she be 
moaned. Be not angry at what I say. She had a dark 
brow, and her garb was like the children of red men. 
Yet, as she went down into the dust, there was upon her 
lips a smile, and in her eye a tender melancholy, like 
thine." He ceased, oppressed with emotion. Pressing 
his hands upon his forehead, he laid it on the earth. Pres 
ently raising his head, I saw that his eyes, was dazzling., 
but tearless. 

"Wilt thou accept my adoption?" he inquired. "Wilt 
thou bow thyself, for a time, to be called the daughter of 
old Arrowhamet? I have said that it need be but for a 
time. My home is near the shores of the great water* 



FORTY YEARS SINCE- 275 

They shall bear thee to thy people, when thy heart sick 
ens at the rude ways of Indians." I assured him of my 
acceptance, in such terms as an outcast ought to address 
to his sole earthly benefactor. Apparently gratified, he 
raised his lofty form erect, and laying one hand upon my 
head, while he lifted the other towards heaven, ratified 
with great solemnity his rite of adoption. 

Thou ! whose way is upon the winds through the 
deep waters within the dark cloud Spirit of Truth ! 
before whom the shades of our fathers walk in fields of 
everlasting light, hear confirm bless." 

" He added a few words in his native language, and 
stretching himself upon the ground in an attitude of re 
pose, said, " It is enough. Sleep now, my daughter. I 
will pray thy God .to protect thee. Thy God, is my God. 
I am called among warriours, Arrowhamet ; but the name 
of Zachary was given me, when I bowed to the baptism 
of Christians. Thou wilt no longer fear me, when thou 
art convinced that our God is the same." 

" Lost in wonder, in gratitude, in praise, to the Al 
mighty Preserver, I made my orison with many tears, and 
sank into such a refreshing sleep, as had not visited me 
since my captivity. I awoke not, till the Sun, like a 
globe of gold, was burnishing the crowns of the kings of 
the forest. 

" Nothing worthy of narration occurred, on the remain 
der of our journey. The supernatural strength, which 
had hitherto sustained me, gradually vanished ; and du- 



276 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT, 

ring a great part of the distance, I was borne on the shoul 
ders of the natives. In a short time, the Mohegans 
separated from the Lenni-Lenape, to return to their hab 
itations, having completed the period of their engage 
ment. In passing through a considerable town, I sold a 
yaluable watch and necklace, gifts of my Edward in his 
happiest days. The sum which they produced, is not 
yet expended. It will probably suffice fur the purposes 
of my interment. 

" My reception from old Martha was soothing to my 
weary heart. From that moment to this, her maternal 
kindness has never slumbered. With the most watchful 
care, she has suited my aliment to my situation ; and by 
her knowledge of the virtues of plants, has mitigated my 
pain. Kindness, from whatever hand, is dear to the iso 
lated and suffering heart. At my first admission into 
this humble abode, I cherished a hope of returning to 
England. Yet to what should I have returned ? Only to 
the graves of my parents. With the disconsolate and elo 
quent Logan, I might say, " there runs not a drop of my 
blood in the veins of any living creature. Who is there 
to mourn for me ? Not one." 

"Throughout the whole range of my native country, was 
there a cottage to afford me shelter, or friends to minis 
ter to me, day and night, like these aged beings ? But 
with whatever attractions the land, where I first drew 
breath, would sometimes gleam upon my exiled eye, all 
hope of again sharing them has been long since extinguish 



FORTY YEARS SINCE. 277 

ed. The disease, to which my early youth evinced a 
predisposition, and which I probably inherit from both 
parents, soon revealed itself. Its progress was at first 
slow ; but every month, I became conscious of its latent 
ravages. My retreat, which to most beholders would 
have seemed as comfortless as it is obscure, so accorded 
with my subdued feelings, that, like the disciple who de 
sired a tabernacle upon the mountain of mystery, I have 
often exclaimed " Master ! it is good to be here." Here, 
f\ have learned to estimate a race, to which I had ever 
done .injustice. Those, whom I had previously stigma 
tized as the slaves of barbarity, ignorance, and obduracy, 
were appointed to exhibit to my view continually traces 
of philanthropy, intellect, and devotion, inviolable attach 
ment, and deathless gratitude for trivial kindness ; which, 
however the civilized world may affect to scorn in Uu 
cabin of the red man, she does not often find in the pala 
ces of kings. Here I have felt, how vain is that impor 
tance which we attach to shades of complexion, and 
gradations of rank ; how less than nothing the pageantry 
of pomp, and the tinsel of wealth appear, when " God 
taketh away the soul." The Almighty has here appoint 
ed me to realize the nature of those phantoms which had 
often held me in bondage, that renouncing all other domin 
ion, my affections might own supreme allegiance to him. 
It was necessary that the pride of my heart should be 
subdued by affliction : and affliction having had her per 
fect work, has terminated in peace. Yet I quit not this 
24 



ii78 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT. 

existence, like the ascetic for whom it has no allurements. 
Its opening was gilded by what the world calls happiness, 
and its close with a joy to which that world is a stranger. 
For your instructions, your prayers, my Father, receive 
the blessings of one who will soon have neither name, nor 
memorial among men. Your last benevolent office, will 
be to lay her wasted frame where saints slumber. May 
she meet you at their resurrection in light. Her last re 
quest is that you would sometimes grant a visit, and a 
prayer to those, who were parents to her without the bonds 
of affinity ; philanthropists, without hope of the w^i ld s 
applause ; Christians, though proscribed as the heritors of 
a savage nature ; and who will also, she trusts, be heir? 
of heaven, through faith in Him who hath promised that 
MIPS merciful shall obtain mercy." 



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