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11 A n p F, R .t i; i: o T II K K s, r u in, i s ii e R s 

V M A N K I, I N S g i; A K K 

1 s 7 5) 


Stories of tLe Old Dominion 12mo, Cloth, $1 50 

Henry St. John, Gentleman 12mo, Cloth, 1 50' 

Leather Stocking and Silk 12mo, Cloth, 1 50 

Mr. Grantley's Idea 3 2 mo. Paper, 25 

Professor Pressensee 32rao, Paper, 25 

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York. 

Any of the above works sent by mail, postage prepaid, to 
any part of the United States, on receipt of the price. 

Copyright, 1879, by Harper & Brothers. 





These Stones from the History of Virginia 



The Briars, Virginia, 1879. 



In these stories I mean to tell you some interesting 
incidents in the history of Virginia, which, in former 
times, was called the " Old Dominion," 

Many of these I look upon as more striking than fic- 
tion — that is, than stories which are not true, and only 
written to amuse people. You cannot find them easily 
in the long histories of Virginia ; and when you do find 
them, little is said about many of them, and that little 
is buried in words. I do not mean to speak ill of the 
histories, but I nmst say they are not very interesting to 
me. As much time is taken to tell us what is dull and 
commonplace, as to relate the striking events which 
everybody should know about. 

This is wrong, I think. There is wheat and there is 
cliaff, and if you mix them both together the wheat is of 
no value. It is better to clean up the wheat and skim 
the cream from the milk of history — that is, dwell on 
the interesting scenes, and say little of the unimportant 

This I mean to try and do in my book. I shall aim 
to tell you the most striking events in the annals of 
the "Old Dominion," and leave the rest to take care 
of themselves. There arc plenty such incidents. Vir- 


ginia history is full of remarkable scenes, and she has 
produced some of the greatest men M'ho have lived in 
America. By telling you of these I hope to interest 
you, and, what is better still, to inform and improve 

I call my stories a book, but I wish you to feel as if 
I were talking to you like an old gentleman in his arm- 
chair, with his young ones gathered around him. Easy 
talk of this sort is often better than long words ; but 
you must not think that I talk carelessly, without mind- 
ing what I say. I wish all to listen to me — even the 
"grown-up children," as men and women are sometimes 
called; and with these I must be careful. They will 
know if I am telling the precise truth, and I can only 
say I have made every effort to do so. I have written 
a number of books in my life, and this has been one 
of the hardest of them — for nothing is more difficult 
than to be simple. 

This is all I have to say before beginning my stories, 
which are meant for my own boys, and for any others 
who will read them. I even hope, as I have said, that 
o-rown-up persons will like them, and here and there 
meet with something which will be new to them. 


About my Storiks Page 7 



I. How he made himself a Soldier 17 

II. His Fight with Three Turks 20 

III. Is taken Prisoner, and Kscai)es 26 

IV. Sails for Virginia 29 

V. The Settlers at Jamestown S2 

VI. lie Visits Powhatan <!(> 

VII. Pocaliontas 40 

Vlil. He Exi)lores the Ciiesapeake 47 

IX. His Last Meeting with Pocahontas 50 

X. His Death r.* 



I. Richard Lee's Visit to Breda ;'>6 

11. The Sunender to Parliament GO 



I. Sir William Rcrkeley and Bacon <]r> 

IF. Tiie Scene in front of the State-house 71 

III. Tlic Fight at Bloody Kmi 73 

IV. The Battle at Jamestown "i^t 

V. The Death and Burial of Bacon 77 

V!. The Clovernor's Cruelty 71) 



I. Alexander Spotswood ■'^2 

II. The March of the Knights H-'> 

III. Over the Mountains ^'^ 

IV. The Horseshoe "-'2 




I. George and Lord Fairfax Page 94 

IF. The Ride beyond tlie Blue Kidge 101 

III. Back to Greenway Court 107 



I. He Visits the Chevalier de St. Pierre 110 

II. Tlie Indian Guide 114 

III. On the Raft in the Ice 117 

IV. The Surrender at Great Meadow 119 



I. At Cumberland 123 

H. The March 126 

III. The Battle 130 

IV. The Retreat 135 



I. Andrew Lewis and his Men 140 

II. The Battle with the Indians 14.5 

III. Cornstalk 149 

IV. Cornstalk and his Son 153 



1. His Early Years 158 

II. His First Speech 162 

III. In the Burgesses 167 

IV. In the Convention 173 



I. His Youth and Marriage 180 

IL The Declaration 184 

HI. His Old Age, and Death 187 



J. In the Capitol 193 

II. Henry, Pendleton, and Jefferson 197 


III. Mason, Lee, and otliers Page 109 

IV. 'I'he Council-chamher 202 

V. The Ball 203 



I. Robbing the Magazine 205 

II. Tiie Battle uf Great Bridge 211 

III. Lord Dunmores Flight 214 



I. The Border People 219 

II. The Fort at Wheeling 223 

in. The Attack of Girty 227 

IV. The Keg of Gunpowder 230 

V. M'Ciilloch's Leap 231 



I. How I found out this Story 230 

II. Down La Uelle Kivieie 238 

III. The Surprise 242 



I. George Rogers Clarke 245 

IF. Kaskaskia 247 

III. The Drowned Lands of the Wabash 251 

1\'. Vincennes 253 



I. Lieutenant of " Minute-men " 257 

II. The Old (ientlernan and the Turkey 2(10 

III. Marshall and the Sceptics 203 



I. The Boy and his Mother 207 

II. l{:ind()lph and Patrick Henry .• 271 

in. How he looked in Old Age.' 273 

I\'. Ills Character 275 




I. Governor Page and his House Page 278 

II. The Wild Man's Story 280 

III. His Portrait 283 



I. His House and his Battle 289 

II. The Old Soldier 294 



I. Arnold the Traitor in Virginia 298 

II. Phillips, and his Death 307 

III. Tarleton 310 

IV. Cornwallis and Wayne 315 



I. In the Tr.ip 319 

II. The Sea-fight 323 

III. The Attack 327 

IV. The Attempt to Escape 329 

V. The Surrender, and Washington's Farewell to his Generals ... 331 

A Last Word to the Boys 3.35 



Captain John Smith makisg Toys for Pocahoxtas Froutkpiece 

Captain John Smith 18 

Holland in the Oldhn Time 20 

Ship in a Storm 21 

Flight of the Saracens 23 

Form of Raleigh's Ships 31 

Chesapeake Bay 32 

Jamestown 34 

Indians 37 

Poisoned Arrows 38 

Pocahontas Interceding for John Smith 44 

Pocahontas 4G 

Marriage of Pocahontas C2 

LoG-CAItlN 57 

The King at Boscobel 02 

Jamestown Island 67 

Bacon Addressing the Council GO 

Indians Fighting 74 

Bloody Kln 75 

Blackdkard, the Pirate 84 

A River View 88 

Young Washington's Mimtaky Aspirations 9(5 

Residence of the Washington Family 08 

Greenway Court 1 02 

Indian with S<;alp 1 no 

f)HI0 RiVKK 112 

Washington on his IIomewaud Journey 118 

Benjamin Franklin 1 24 

<»N the MAHfH 127 



Military Encampment 129 

Braddock's Defeat, 1755 138 

Indian Council 141 

In tue Mountains 143 

An Indian Attack 149 

Portrait of Patrick Henry 159 

Patrick Henry's Statue 161 

Hanover Court-house 167 

Stamp Act Riots 170 

St. John's Church 174 

" Give me Liberty, or Give me Death " 177 

Thomas Jefferson 180 

Raleigh Tavern 182 

monticello 183 

The Apollo Room 186 

University of Virginia 190 

Thomas Jefferson's Statue 191 

The Old Capitol 193 

Remains of Guard-house 194 

Richard Henry Lee 200 

Peyton Randolph 201 

Independence Hall, Philadelphia 206 

Minute-man 208 

The Old Magazine 209 

Culpeper Flag 210 

View of Great Bridge 213 

Gwyn's Island 215 

Spanish Fort 239 

American Flag 240 

George Rogers Clarke 246 

John Marshall 257 

Old Tavern 264 

John Randolph 267 

Daniel Morgan 289 

Flag of Morgan's Rifle Corps 291 

Montgomery's Monument 292 

Gates's Head-quarters at Saratoga 295 

Benedict Arnold 299 

John Andre 301 



Captcre of Andre ... 304 

Andre's Moscment 306 

Lafayette 308 

bolusgbrook 309 

corswallis 311 

General Anthony Wayne 314 

Le Comte De Grasse 319 

Washington as Commander-in-chief 322 

View at Yorktown 325 

CoRNWAXLis's Cave 327 

Nelson House 328 

Surrender of Cornwallls at Yorktown 331 

Moore House 332 

Mount Vernon 333 





YiRGixiA was founded by Captain Joliii Sinitli, and 
I oiiglit to begin my stories witli an account of his won- 
derful adventures. 

At that time nearly all tlic Western world was called 
Virginia. This name was given to it in honor of Queen 
ElizabetlijWho was never married, and therefore was called 
the "Virgin Queen." The country was known to be rich, 
and adventurous Englishmen attempted to settle it; but 
for a long time these attempts all failed. The Indians 
drove away the settlers, but the i)lan was not abandoned; 
and at last, in I)ecemV)er, IGOG, three small vessels sailed 
from England to establish a colony in Virginia. 

Among the men in the ships was a young soldier of 
remarkable character. lie was not quite twenty-eight, 
but he had scon many countries, and fought in nearly ev- 
ery part of Europe. His liCc from boyhood liad been a 
series of romantic adventures, and he was destined soon, 
as I will show you, to meet with more adventures still in 
Virginia, ^'ou must have heard of this celebrated man 
— Captain J(»hn Smith. He was the founder of the United 
States, wf may say, as Janjcstown was the first English 



settlement in the New World, and everything about him 
is interesting. In addition to this, he was so brave and 
devoted to his duty that his life is an example for boys 
to follow. I will therefore tell you his story; and his 
adventures were so singular that they are certain to in- 
terest you. 

He was born at a town called Willoughby, in England, 
in the month of January, 1579. Nothing is known about 


his parents, except that they died when he was a child, 
and he was left alone in the world without any one to 
take care of him. But young John Smith was not cast 
down by his lonely situation. He was a brave and inde- 
pendent boy, and resolved to make his own way in the 
world. He was fond of adventure, as most boys are; so, 
while he was still a youth, he wandered away to Holland, 
a country of ICnrope, and spent some years of military ser- 


vice in an Englisli army there. Tliis made hira long to 
become a soldier. lie tlierefore came back to Willougliby 
and set about training himself; and you will be interested 
in hearing how he did so. 

Instead of passing his time in idleness with other young 
men in the town of Willonghby, he went out to the woods 
near, and built a sort of house for himself of the boughs 
of trees. In this he intended to live, and as to supporting 
himself, be meant to shoot deer and live on the venison. 
He then got together as many books as he could on war- 
like matters, and retiring to his "Bower," as he called it, 
set about studying them. By this means he taught him- 
self the art of war; but as he knew that a soldier must 
fight with his own hands, he resolved also to learn how to 
use every sort of weapon. At that time men fought on 
horseback often, and one of the most important of their 
weapons was the lance. This was a long wooden affair 
with a sharp iron point, and soldiers held the head straight 
in front of them, to strike their enemies as they rode 
against them at full gallop. Young John Smith had a 
horse and lance, and ho now practised to make himself 
skilful. This he did by suspending a ring to the bough 
of a tree, after which he went off to some distance and 
rode at it at full gallop, pointing his lance at the ring, in 
order to carry it off from the bough. By repeating this 
over and over, he at last became expert in it, and then he 
knew he could strike an enemy on horseback. lie also 
practised with his sword to make his eye keen and his 
wrist tough, and fired at the trees with liis pistol to be- 
come an export marksman. By this moans he grew to be 
a skilful soldier; and thi-n he set out in search of advent- 

These adventures, ho know, would not be wanting, if ho 
only had a brave heart to seek thoin. War was going on 




with the Turks in Eastern Europe, and all good soldiers 
were welcome there, to help the Christians. So Smith set 
forth gayly with the design to fight hard, and, if he could, 
make a name for himself. 

Wherever young John Smith went, something singular 
happened to him. His life was crowded with strange ad- 
ventures; and though I cannot tell you the whole of them, 
I will relate the chief ones, which will give you a good 
idea of them all. 



lie crossed the Channel between England and France ; 
but as soon as he had landed on the other side, three 
Frenchmen who had come over with him in the ship took 
advantage of him. They saw that he was a mei-e boy, and 
stole a small trunk containing his money and clothes. This 
left him in great distress, as he was in a strange country, 
without friends; but he kept up his courage, and soon 
showed that lie could take care of himself. The French- 
men had escaped ; but he afterward met one of them, and 
as he knew him at once, he drew his sword and ran it 
through his breast, killing him. lie then wandered on, 
meeting many kind persons on the way who helped him. 

and at last came to the city of Marseilles, on the Mediter- 
ranean Sea. 

You know that his plan was to go and help the Chris- 
tians to fight the Turks, so he went on board a ship bound 
for Home, which was <jn his way. A strange adventure 


now happened to him. The ship set sail, but soon a vio- 
lent storm arose, and the vessel was tossed about and in 
danger of being wrecked. On board were some Roman 
Catholics going to Rome, and they soon discovered that 
Smith was a Protestant, or lieretic, as their term was for 
anybody who was not a Roman Catholic. This brought 
them bad luck, they said, and there was nothing to do but 
to get rid of him ; so they seized him and threw him into 
the sea. The waves were running very high at the time, 
and there was great danger of his being drowned. But 
he was an excellent swimmer, and struck out for the near- 
est land. This was a small island, called the Isle of St. 
Mary's, off the coast of Nice, and here the waves threw 
him on shore. As the weather was cold, he nearly froze, 
and he had nothing whatever to eat. But another ship at 
last came in sight, and Smith made signals of distress by 
waving to them. They saw him, and a boat was sent, 
which took him on board the ship, where he was overjoy- 
ed to find that the captain was an old friend of his. The 
ship was bound for Egypt; but as Smith was in search of 
adventures, he did not care for that. He agreed to go to 
Egypt, and, as usual, something happened to him on the 
way. They met with an enemy's ship, and Smith's friend 
the captain attacked it. A sharp fight took place, but the 
enemy's ship was captured ; and as yx)ung Smith had 
fought bravely, he received about two thousand dollars 
in gold as his share of the " prize-money." 

This made him quite rich, and he determined to go on 
and fight the Turks. His friend the captain put him 
ashore in Italy, and he set out joyfully for Transylvania, 
east of Austria, where the fighting was then going on. He 
had to pass through a rough wild country, but he did so 
safely, and at last reached the Christian army, and was en- 
rolled as a soldier in it. 



He was now among strangers who knew nothing about 
him, but they soon saw tliat the young Englishman was a 
man of brains as well as courage. ' There was a fortress 
called Oliuipach, in which some Christians were besieged 
by the Turks, and the rest of the Christian army came to 
assist their friends. The trouble was to get a message to 
the people in the fort, but Smith thought of a means of 
making signals to answer the purpose. This was done by 


raising and lowering large flaming torches fi-om the to]> 
of a hill at night; ami by this means he spelled out a 
whole sentence, which was understood by the Christians in 
the fortress. The restdt of this was that ihe Turks were 
attacked on both sides and defeated ; and Smith was made 
a captain, and given a company of horsemen caUed the 
"Fiery Dragoons." 


This probably filled the young man with delight, and 
he longed to show that he was ready to fight hard. He 
soon had an opportunity. The Turks had shut themselves 
up in a fortress called Regal, and the Christians surround- 
ed the fortress and besieged them. As no fighting was 
o-oino- on, the times grew tedious, and a Turkish lord 
named Turbashaw sent out word that he was ready to 
fight any Christian soldier who would meet him. This 
ofier was accepted, and the Christian soldiers drew lots 
who should fight him. The lot fell on John Smith ; and 
when the day came he rode forward to meet his enemy. 
Turbashaw was ready, and presented a splendid appear- 
ance. His rich armor was covered with jewels, and two 
large wings made of eagles' feathers sprung from his 
shoulders. Martial music went before him as he came out 
of the gates of llegal, and a great crowd of Turkish sol- 
diers and ladies was seen on the walls. The two enemies 
then rushed upon each other; but the fight was a very 
brief one. Smith's lance pierced the Turk's forehead, and 
he was hurled back dead from his horse. Smith then leap- 
ed to the ground and cut ofl" his head, and the whole Chris- 
tian army burst forth into shouts of triumph. 

A second Tuik then appeared to revenge his friend. 
His name was Grualgo, and he and Smith rode at each 
other. Both their lances were shivered, but Smith fired 
his pistol and broke his enemy's arm. He fell from his 
horse, and Smith once more leaped down, and struck ofl* 
his head as he had struck oft'Turbashaw's. 

The young soldier was now in high spirits, and sent a 
challenge to the Turks. If any of them would meet him, 
he said, they might have the heads of their friends, and 
his own, too, if they overcame him. The challenge was 
accepted by a famous Turk, called Bonnymulgro. It was 
agreed that they were to fight hand to hand with their 


swords, pistols, and battle-axes ; and on the day appoint- 
ed jxi'eater crowds than before assembled to see the two 
champions meet. They rushed at full gallop on each oth- 
er, firing their pistols, and then began to fight hand to 
hand with their battle-axes. Bonnyniulgro was a power- 
iiil man and a dangerous enemy. He struck Smith so 
heavy a blow on the head that he reeled in his saddle and 
dropped his axe. At this a loud shout rose from the 
Turks on the walls, and they shouted louder still as they 
saw Smith wheel his horse and fly, with the big Turk after 
him. But this was only pretence with the young soldier. 
As soon as Bonnyniulgro caught up with him and raised 
his axe to beat out his brains, Smith suddenly wheeled his 
horse, and ran his sword through the Turk's breast. He 
fell from the saddle, but tried to fight still. But Smith 
cut him down, and struck o9" his head, which he held up 
by the hair to show that the combat was ended. 

This was the last of the fighting. There were no more 
challenges, and the whole Christian army escorted Smith 
in triumph to the general's tent. The three fine horses of 
the dead Turks were led in front, and the ghastly heads 
of the warriors carried aloft on the points of pikes. In 
this manner they came to the tent of the general, and he 
made his appearance, and embraced Smith in his arms. 
He tlien gave him a fine hoi'se and sword, and made him 
a major; and the Grand Duke Sigismund, who was carry- 
ing on the war, sent him his portrait in a golden frame. 
He also promised Smith a reward of three hundred ducats, 
or about two thousand dollars, a year, and told him lie 
might wear on liis "coat of arms," as it was called, three 
Ttirks' heads, in memory of his exploits. 

Whether he ever received the money I do not know, as 
princes often forget such things; l;ut for this he probably 
did not fare. He had fought for fame, and not in order 


to be paid for it ; and he no doubt looked upon the honor 

and glory he had won as far better than the golden ducats. 

I will now go on, and soon finish with his adventures in 



John Smith was now a distinguished young soldier, but 
he was soon to find that war is not entirely made up of 
triumphal processions and rich rewards and success. 

A day came when ill-fortune befell him. In a book 
which he afterward wrote he speaks of " the dismal bat- 
tle of Rottenton, in the valley of Veristhorne, where the 
soldiers of Christ and his Gospel did what men could do; 
and when they could do no more, left there their bodies 
in testimony of their minds " — by which he means that 
the Christians fou2;ht as long as thev could, and fell in- 
stead of retreating, in order to show tliat they were in 
earnest in making war on tlie Turks. They were defeat- 
ed in this "dismal battle," and young John Smith was 
wounded and left on the field. He lay there until night, 
when some prowling thieves, who had come to rob the 
dead bodies of anything they found upon them, heard him 
groaning from the pain of his wound, and stopped. He 
had on a very rich suit of armor, and from this they sup- 
posed that he was some great lord. They therefore did 
not kill him, but resolved to carry him away, and keep 
him prisoner until he jDaid a large ransom for his free- 
dom again. 

John Smith did not tell them that they were mistaken 
in tins, as his life depended on his saying nothing. They 
then carried him to a city called Axiopolis, and here they 
found that he was only a poor soldier. He was there- 
fore sold in the slave-market as a common slave, and was 
bought by a Turk named Bogall, who sent liim as a pres- 
ent to a lady in Constantinople named Charatza Tragabig- 


zanda. On the way be was driven along, chained by the 
neck to other Christian prisoners, and at last they reach- 
ed Constantinople. Charatza received him kindly, and 
soon became very much attached to him. Smith found 
that his master, Bogall, had written a letter pretending 
iliat he had made the young man prisoner liimself, by 
which he hoped to persuade Charatza that he was a great 
soldier; but Smith told her the triilh. At last she grew 
so fond of him that she determined to make a Turk of 
him and marry him. He was in danger, however, in Con- 
stantinople, so she sent him to a brother of hers, called 
the Tymor of Xalbritz, living on the shores of the Sea of 
Azov, requesting him to treat Smith kindly for her sake. 

This by no means pleased the Tymor. He thouglit it 
highly absurd in his sister to take so much interest in a 
slave. So he stripped off Smith's clothes, and ordered him 
to put on coarse sheepskins. He next shaved his head, 
and jmt an iron ring around his neck, after which he or- 
dered him to go to work among the rest of his slaves. 

His situation was now very miserable. He Avas the 
" slave of slaves " to all the rest, he says. He therefore 
determined to take the first opportunity to escape. At last 
this opportunity came. His work sometimes took him to 
a lonely barn on the Tyraor's large estate, where his busi- 
ness was to thresh out grain with his flail. One day ho 
was thus engaged, witli no other person with him, wlicn 
the Tymor rode up to ilu; barn. He was in a very bad 
humor; and at such times, you know, people like to have 
some one to quarrel with. As he looked upon Smith as 
only a miserable slave, he began to curse him and ofler 
liim every insijlt. This excited the young soldier's anger, 
and he looked around. Not a soul was in sight, and he 
had in his hand his heavy flail, which consisted of two 
pieces of wood joined by a leatlier tliong, and was (piite 


a dangerous weapon. At last the Tymov, after cursing 
him for some time, struck him with his riding- whip ; at 
which John Smith sjirung upon him and dashed his brains 
out Avith his flail. 

The great thing now was to get away, and the young 
fellow did not hesitate. He stripped the clothes from the 
Tymor's dead body, and then took off his own coarse sheep- 
skins. He next put on the Tymor's suit, and hid the body 
under the straw ; after which he leaped on the dead man's 
horse and rode off" at full gallop. He meant to make his 
way to Russia, where he knew he would be safe, but he did 
not know the route. Day after day he wandered about, 
not daring to ask his way of anybody, and nearly starved. 
But at last he saw, along the road which he was travelling, 
a number of wooden crosses, and by this he knew that he 
had at last found his Avay. The crosses showed that he 
was coming to a Christian country. He followed the 
road joyfully, and at last reached a Russian fortress; and 
here he saw that he had nothing more to fear. He was 
received with the greatest kindness, as the Turks and 
Russians were enemies ; the iron ring was struck from his 
neck; and' at last he went on his way toward Austria, 
" drowned in joy," he says, at his deliverance. 

His sufferings Avere now over. His old friends met him 
in the Avarmest manner, and the Grand Duke Sigismund 
made him a present of three or four thousand dollars in 
gold as some recognition of his serA'ices. He then set out 
for Paris, and then for Spain, Avhere he embaiked on a 
ship to go and fight the JNIoors in Barbary. What he 
heard of the war there, however, disgusted him, and he 
resolved that he Avould take no part in such heathen pro- 
ceedings. He therefore left the Mediterranean and made 
his Avay back to England, Avhich he reached without fur- 
ther adventures. 



Young John Smith was now only a little more than 
twenty, but he was already a famous man. He had left 
liis home at Willoughby a poor unknown boy, and had 
come back a distinguished young soldier. 

All London was talking of tlie brave young fellow who 
liad passed through so many Avonderful adventures. They 
even made his life the subject of plays in the theatres, for 
lie says that " his fatal tragedies were acted on the stage." 
It is therefore highly probable that he made the acquaint- 
ance, among other people, of the great dramatist Sliak- 
speare, who was always looking out lor men of remarka- 
ble characters. At that time the "Mermaid," and otlicr 
London taverns, were full of swaggering soldiers returned 
from the wars. They walked about rattling their swords, 
curling their mustaches, and boasting of their exploits, 
wliile in some quiet corner jMr. William Shakspeare, as lie 
was called, looked at them witli a quiet smile on his lips, ^ 
and listened to all they said. We know that this was his 
liabit, as he has drawn the portraits of a number of such 
persons in his plays. He made fun of them; but if he 
knew Smitli, lie must have seen that Jie was a very dilfer- 
ent sort of person. Xo doubt he did know him, as I have 
already said, and, if so, lie must have had a great respect 
for him. Tlie rest were swaggerers and boasters, passing 
their time in drinking and idleness, while Smith did noth- 
ing of tlie sort, and was a brave, modest young soldier. 

Young John Smitli soon found tliat London was no 
])lace for a man like hiiiisclf. He could not remain idle, 
and his restless disposition made him long for new ad- 
ventures. He had seen life in Europe and Asia, and now 
turned liis tlioughts to America. Tiiis was discovered, 
you know, by Columbus, in the year 1492, but little was 


known of it, except that it was a wonderful country. The 
strangest and most exciting stories Avere told about it. 
Now and then sailors had visited it ; and when they came 
back they reported that the earth was full of gold and 
precious stones, and that the rivers ran over golden sands. 
More sinirular things still were believed about the New 
World, as it was called. There was said to be a fountain 
there which made old people young again, if they only 
bathed in it. It was called the "Fountain of Youth," and 
many people really believed in it. The gold attracted 
others ; and the educated people, who knew that the Foun- 
tain of Youth was mere folly, were just as anxious to see 
the country settled as the rest. 

In fact, tlie whole world of Europe at that time was ex- 
cited in the highest degree. There had been a great 
movement called the Reformation, and everybody's mind 
was in a sort of ferment. People longed for something- 
new: they were tired of old times and things. Tlie world 
was like a man wlio has had a long sound sleep, and gets 
up strong and refreshed, and ready to begin some great 
business. The rulers of England saw this, and they deter- 
mined to take advantage of it. For this they had two 
main reasons. One Avas to increase the power of England 
and get ahead of the French and Spaniards, who were 
looking; toward this new world : and another was to con- 
vert the Indians to Christianity. They were earnest about 
this latter thing, little as was afterward done ; but they 
^had at heart first the enlargement of English territory. 
Amono; these great men was the famous Sir Walter Ra- 
leigh, who was so eager for such voyages that people 
called him the " Shepherd of the Ocean." And all these 
persons Smith no doubt knew. 

He was quite ready to sail for the western land as soon 
as an expedition was ready; and this event soon took 




place. James I., who was king of England now, granted 
the right to Sir Thomas Gates and others to form a set- 
ilenient in the Xew World; and in December, 1606, the 
tliree small ships which I liave 
mentioned set sail for the shores 
of America. 

John Smith was on board one 
of the vessels, and I will soon tell 
you what happened to him. First 
I will speak, however, of the voy- 
age, which was over what was call- 
ed the "old ti'ack." The ships, with 
one hundred and five men in them, 
crossed the ocean in safety, and 

reached the West India Islands. They then sailed north- 
ward along the coast of Florida and the Carolinas, looking 
tor a good harbor. When they reached the mouth of 
Chesapeake Bay they were tossed by a violent storm, but 
managed to get in without being wrecked. This was in 
April, 1607, and some time was spent in looking for a 
place of settlement. Before them was a broad river, which 
was calle<l the Powhatan V)y the Indians, and this they 
sailed up, delighted with the beautiful ])rospcct before 
them. Spring had come, and all was fresh and attractive. 
The shores were covered with green trees, and white- 
winged water-fowl skimmed the waves. The skies were 
blue, and the birds wcvii singing, and the weary storm- 
tossed sailors m\ist have thon^ht that thev were near a 
peaceful liarbor at last, i)erhaps not far fiom the wonder- 
ful Founlain of Youth. 

Some Imlians came down to the shore and stared at the 
ships as they sailed by; but they went on up the broad 
current until they reached a sort of island close to the 
shore, where they resolved to stop. Here the ships cast 



anchor on the 13th of May, 1607, and the new settlement 
was called Jamestown, in honor of the king. 

To-day an old ruined church is still standing on this 
spot, to show where Virginia began. 


In a short story like this I cannot tell you everything, 
you know — that would make my book too long. I shall 


only relate a few incidents of tliose old times; but these 
will prove interesting, I think, and will show you how 
bravely Smith struggled for the good of the colony. 

The English sailors were now in that famous "virgin 
land " they had heard so much of, and had nothing to 
look to but the help of God and their own arms to guard 
them. Some persons have supposed that they were a 


rougli, irreligious set, only greedy for gold. But this is 
not true. As soon as they landed at Jamestown and 
pitched their tents, they stretched an old sail between 
four trees to shade thera from the sun, and under this they 
held religious services night and morning. They had a 
minister with them, and his pulpit was a bar of wood nail- 
ed to two trees. Here he held regular prayers, and preach- 
ed two sermons every Sunday, and every three months ad- 
ministered the Holy Communion. A regular church was 
afterward built, and a bell was placed in it ; and when this 
bell rang, at ten o'clock in the morning and four in the af- 
ternoon, every man stopped work, and knelt down and 
said his prayers. 

I tell you this to show you that the colonists were not 
bad men. They had many faults, but they respected re- 
ligious things, and did not forget that "the end of this 
voyage was the destruction of the devil's kingdom " — that 
is, to live good lives themselves and convert the Indians 
to Christianity. They did not work hard enough, and 
were too anxious to pick up the gold they expected to 
find ; but they began in the right manner, by attending 
to their religious duties, you see. 

One great reason why they were lazy was the character 
of the men who led them. Most of these were perfectly 
worthless, and John .Smith was almost the only man among 
lliem worthy of any respect. But he could do nothing for 
the settlers. He had been arrested by the leaders, while 
the ships were crossing the ocean, on some foolish charge 
tliat he intcndcil 1o make himself kino; of Virtxinia, and 
iron fetters were ])lace(l upon his wrists. These they now 
had to remove. King James I. had not told any one th(> 
names of the "councillors" who were to rule over the col- 
ony. The paper containing their names was sealed up in 
a box, which was not to be opened tnitil tlw ships reach- 




ed Virginia. But the time liad now corae : the box was 
opened, and the name of John Smith was found among 
those who were to be councillors, or leaders. They there- 
fore released him, but refused to let him sit in the council; 


SO he found that he had no more authority than the poor- 
est of the settlers. 

But in this world brains and courage will show them- 
selves, in spite of everything. The colonists soon saw 
that Smith had more sense and energy than all the worth- 
less council put together. From the first he was the real 
loader in the colony. His martial figure was seen mov- 


ing about everywhere. The settlers felt that he was a 
true soldier, and the man to look to. And this is a good 
opportunity to tell you what his appearance and charac- 
ter were at that time. 

Any one could see at a glance that John Smith was a 
thorough soldier. He was just twenty-eight, and a hand- 
some, brave -looking man. His forehead was broad and 
high, and his bright eyes looked everybody straight in the 
face. He wore long mustaches and a full beard, and his 
dress was martial. It consisted of a steel hauberk, which 
was a soi-t of armor covering the body down to the hips, 
and liis boots came to his knees, and the tops turned over. 
Around his waist was buckled a belt, from which hung 
his heavy broadsword ; and he generally carried a car- 
bine, that is, a short gun with a large barrel. He had to 
use this carbine more than once, as you will see, against 
llie Indians; and one look at him showed that he was 
ready to fight witli it or any other weapon. He was po- 
lite and friendly, but he was not a man to be tiifled witli. 
He had come to do hard work, and he meant to do it. 
His bold off-hand manner sliowed that he was a soldier, 
and i)eoplc were forced to res|)cct him, whether they liked 
hitn or not. The best and bravest of the colonists, how- 
ever, liked hiiM very much, for they saw tliat he was 
worthy of it. He was not only a resolute and unselfish 
man, but liad no vices whatever. He never uttered an 
oath, or played cards, or drank, and did not even use to- 
bacco, which was ihcii the fashion as now. He was con- 
tent to live roughly and <1() his duty, ami never seemed 
to be thinking of his own jileasuie in llie least. He hated 
idleness, and set an example by working himself In fact, 
hard work and hard lltrhting seemed to be his idea of the 
li^^lit way of living in this woiM. If he said he would do 
a thing, lie always kept liis word ; and :i man who estab- 


lishes that character is looked up to and trusted. His 
" old soldiers," as the men called themselves, loved him, 
and had the highest respect for him ; and you will see 
that these old soldiers who fought under him and shared 
his hardships were right when they said that he was one 
of the bravest and truest of men. 

Rough houses of felled trees were soon built at James- 
town; and then Smith began to think what it would be 
better to do next. The councillors were a poor set, and 
nobody had any respect for them. They passed their 
time in idling and eating and drinking, and seemed to 
have no idea of the dangers all around them. They had 
seen little of the Indians, and very foolishly paid no at- 
tention to them. Besides this, nothing was done to raise 
corn for food; and Smith looked on in astonishment at 
such childish folly. He knew that the woods were full 
of Indians, who would soon attack them. He also knew 
that the food in the ships would not last forever. He 
therefore resolved to go and explore the country, and find 
what they had to expect by making the Indians a visit. 

With a small party of men Smith, therefore, rowed up 
James River, as they had called it, to visit the emperor 
of the Indian tribes, who lived in that direction. 


The name of the Indian emperor was Powhatan. He 
was an old and famous monarch, Avho ruled over all the 
Indians of tidewater Virginia, amounting at that time to 
about eight thousand in number. 

The Indians were a strange people, and not at all like 
other savages — those of Africa, for instance. They were 
tall and powerful, and as brave and cool as they were 
bloody. They were very fond of hunting and war, and 
when they were going into battle, painted their naked 



bodies in a frightful manner. As to their arms, these were 
bows and arrows, and a sort of hatchet made of flint, which 
they called a " tomahawkee ;" and they lived in Avigwams 
or rouo'h locr-cabins. Wigwams were made by bending 
together the heads of saplings, and tying them with bark. 
Skins were then stretched around them, and a hole was 
left at the top to allow the smoke to rise. The food of 
the Indians was game, chiefly deer and wild turkeys or 
ducks, and their bread was made of corn-meal, as they had 
no wheat. They smoked tobacco in long stone pipes, and 
when any one visited them in their wigwams or cabins, 
they would take a whiff" and then pass the pipe to their 
guest, which was looked upon as a proof of friendship. 
They had a sort of money made of shells, which tlicy 
strung on a string; and 
their clothes were deer or 
raccoon skins, rarely worn 
except in winter. 

This will give you some 
idea of these singular peo- 
ple ; but I ought not to for- 
get to say that they also 
had a sort of religion. They 
believed in a god of their 


own, whose name was (Jkec, 

or Kiwasa, and thought the tliiindcr was his voice, and 
tlic lightning the flash of his eyes. They also believed in 
a future world of happiness or misery. If they were good, 
they expecte<l to go to the " hai)py hunting-grounds" of 
heaven ; and if they were bad, to a great fire in which they 
would burn forever. They were savage, and when they 
look their enemies prisoners, either killed or burned them 
by tying them naked to a stake in the ground, and i)iling 
wood around them; but they were not entirely bad. The 




men were dignified, and bore pain without a word, and the 
women were often pure and aflfectionate. All were brave, 
and they Avould not allow any one to rnle 
over them Avho was not as brave as thein- 
st'lves: and the old emperor, Powhatan, 
was obeyed and respected because he was 
a man of dauntless courage. 

You will meet with this remarkable old 
emperor, Powhatan, hereafter. I will only 
say now that he had many places of res- 
idence throughout the country, where he 
lived at different seasons, and that his 
summer resort was near the Falls of James 
Ja- River, just below where the city of Rich- 
mond now stands. It was a little village 
of about twelve cabins, on a hill opposite 
three islands in the river, and the spot is 
still called "Powhatan" after him. Here 
Smith and his companions, who had come 
upi from Jamestown, found the old em- 
])eror; and he pretended that he was very 
glad to see them. He was a tall, strong 
old man, clad in a royal robe of skins, with 
moccasins (a sort of shoe decorated with beads) on his feet, 
and on his head he wore a plume of feathers. Thus clad, 
he received the white people, surrounded by his many 
wives, and a hundred bowmen, who always guarded his 
person night and day. 

Their meeting was friendly, as I have said, and they 
talked by means of signs. What took place during the 
interview we are not informed, but Smith soon found that 
liL' had a cool and cunning old enemy to deal wuth. Hav- 
ing finished his visit, he and his men rowed back down the 
river; but they had no sooner reached Jamestown than 




tliey found how treacherous the Indians were. In their 
absence the savages had made an attack on the place. No 
doubt Powhatan had sent them as soon as he heard from 
his spies that Smith was coming up the river. One of the 
settlers liad been killed by an Indian arrow and several 
wounded ; but a cannon-shot Avas fired into the band from 
one of the ships, and this made such a noise, as it crashed 
tiirough the woods, that the Indians fled and did not return. 

John Smith now became every day more and more the 
head of everything. The worthless "Council" were the 
lace of the clock for people to look at, but he was the 
mainspring which moved the works. He was the master- 
mind, and everybody could see it. The hot summer had 
made them all sick, and the Council were doing nothing; 
so Smith resolved to take things into his own hands. Tiiis 
he did at once. lie demanded a trial on the charges 
against him, and forced them to acquit him. He then 
took his place in the Council, and made every one go to 
work. Not long afterward he went on an expedition 
down the river, but on his return found that some of the 
coimcillors meant to run off with one of the ships to Eng- 

Smith made short work of them. He aimed the cannon 
in tlie furt at Jamestown against the ship, and sent word 
that if they tried to escape he would fire upon them and 
sink them. This brought them to their senses. A short 
light took place, in wliich one of their party was killed, 
and then they came ashore and surrendered. A chanore 
was maijc in the Council, another president being elected; 
and as cool wcatlier now came, the colonists grew well. 
The river was full of wild-dncks, whicli come to feed at 
this season, and these supplied fresh food for the colonists. 
Smith had also obtained corn from the Indians for bread ; 
so tlie prospect before (hem w;is ("jir brighter than before. 



We come now to the flimous rescue of John Smith by 
Pocahontcas, the daughter of Powhatan; and of this I will 
give you an account. 

One of the orders of King .James was tliat the New 
World should be carefully explored, and all the informa- 
tion possible obtained of it. Smith always remembered 
this; and as he had gone some distance np James Kiver, 
he now determined to explore another river not far above 

This was the Chickahominy, and he set out to visit it 
about the beginning of winter. With a few men he row- 
ed up and entered the wide mouth of the stream, and then 
went on until it grew so narrow and shallow that his boat 
could go no farther. He did not know, probably, that the 
" Chickahominies" were the most daring and warlike of 
all the tribes; but he soon found that they were danger- 
ous enemies. Some came down to the bank of the river, 
and professed to be very friendly. They made signs that 
if he wanted a smaller boat to go higher up, they Avould 
supply one, and also guides to show him the way. 

Smith accepted the offer, and the skiff or canoe was 
brought. He got into it, with two of his men and two of 
the Indians; and then ordering the rest of his men not to 
leave the big boat and go ashore, set ofi" in his canoe to 
explore the stream higher up. He was soon out of sight 
behind the tangled vines and undergrowth, the place 
where he left them being near the great AVhite Oak 
Swamp ; and then the men disobeyed him and went on 
shore. The Indians attacked them at once, driving them 
back to the boat, and taking one of them prisoner. He 
was at once put to death, and then the Indians liastened 
np the river in pursuit of Smith. 


They soon found him. He had gone on up the Chicka- 
liominy, forcing his way through tlie vines and low-hang- 
ing boughs, until he was near an Indian place called Ora- 
pax. Here he stopped and landed, and, taking one of the 
Indian guides, set out on foot to look at the country. He 
had ordered the two men in the canoe to keep a sharp 
lookout, but they foolishly disobeyed him. They were 
cold, and kindled a fire, beside which they lay down and 
went to sleep. The Indians in pursuit found them and 
killed them at once, and then they went on to put an end 
to Smith. 

He was going through the woods with his guide, an In- 
dian boy, when a flight of arrows came from the under- 
growth, and the Indians rushed upon him. His situation 
seemed desperate. He was alone in the heart of the 
woods, far from help, and surrounded by the savages; 
but he was a cool man, and not disposed to lose his cour- 
age. He saw that his only hope was to get back to the 
boat; so he tied the Indian boy to his left arm, as a protec- 
tion from the arrows, and hastened back in the direction 
of tlie river. He fired his carbine at the Indians, and this 
startled them so much that he would probably have es- 
caped. But he did not know the danger of the swamp 
he was hurrying through. The ground was soft and 
treacherous, and before he knew it he sank to his waist. 
Tiie Indians then rushed u])on him, and in a moment dis- 
armed iiim and took hini prisoner. 

Things now looked hopeless. Smith was in the power 
of his enemies, and had very little doubt that they would 
at once put him to death. Their chief was named Ope- 
chancanough, and at first he seemed to have made some 
impression on this warrior. He had a small pocket-com- 
pass with him, and this he explained to him, and made 
liini a present of it. Hut they soon bound liim to a tree, 


and the bows were bent to shoot him, when Opechanca- 
nough waved the compass around his head, and ordered 
them to stop. 

Smith was then unbound and taken to Orapax, where 
the Indian women and children danced around him with 
Avild shrieks. The band then set out, and travelled day 
after day toward the Potomac. They walked in single 
file, with Smith in their midst, and an Indian guard beside 
him kept their bows bent ready to shoot him if he at- 
tempted to escape. As they passed through village af- 
ter village, the women and children shrieked and danced 
around him as they had done at Orapax ; and this march 
seems to have been a sort of triumphal procession, to show 
that they had made prisoner the great leader of the " Pale 

At last they reached the banks of the Potomac River, 
and then they marched back toward the royal residence 
of the emperor Powhatan. This was on the banks of 
York River, in what is now Gloucester County. The In- 
dian name for it was Werowocomoco, and Powhatati spent 
his winters there to enjoy the fish and oysters, as his 
summers were passed near the Falls of James River, for 
the benefit of the cool breezes. 

Smith was now once more in ])resence of this famous 
old warrior, and saw him surrounded by his woodland 
court. The hundred bowmen of his guard were grouped 
around, and he was lying down in his large wigwam, in 
the midst of his wives. On his head he wore a rich plume 
of feathers; a string of beads was around his neck, and 
he was wrapped in a large robe of raccoon skins. At his 
head sat one Indian girl and another at his feet. These 
were his favorite wives, and quite young, as the Indian 
women often married when they were only twelve or thir- 
teen. They wore dresses of fur, wliieh were highly orna- 


mentecl, and their arms and shoulders were painted a deep 
red. In their straight black hair they Avore plumes of 
sea-fowls, and white bead necklaces around their necks, 
probably pearls from oysters. Other women were ranged 
around the wigwam, in which was a fire, and behind were 
a crowd of warriors, mIio uttered a wild yell as Smith was 
brought in. 

Powhatan looked at him keenly, and gave an order to a 
young Indian princess near him. She was the " Queen of 
Appomattox," and brought him a wooden basin to wash 
his hands in. This he did, and she then presented him 
with a bunch of feathers in place of a towel; and then 
meat and corn-bread were set before him, while Powhatan 
consulted with his warriors what to do with liim. 

His fate was soon decided. The Indians hated the 
whites; and as they had the leader of them in their power, 
llicy determined at once to put him to death. At an or- 
der from Powhatan, Smith was therefore seized, and his 
arms were bound together behind him. A large stone 
was tlien brought in and his head was laid upon it; and 
at another order from the emperor a tall savage raised a 
club to beat out his brains. In another moment the club 
would have fallen, and Smith would have died cruelly; but 
a kind Providence watched over him. An Indian girl of 
twelve or thirteen sprang toward him. From her dress, 
it was i)lain that she ranked as a princess. The plume in 
lier black liair was similar to that worn by Powliatan, and 
her moccasins were embroidered like the old emperor's. 
On licr arms were bracelets of shells, and from her shoul- 
ders fell a robe of doeskin, covered with the plumage 
of birds, ami lined with down from ihc l)i'C'asts of wiM 

Tliis girl was I'ocahontas, or " nright-Streaiii-bc'twceii- 
two-IIills," as her name meant in the English language, 



and she was the fiivorite daughter of the old emperor. 
She was filled with pity for the poor prisoner, and ran and 
clasped her arms around him, looking up to her father 
with beseeching eyes as she did so. The heavy club did 
not fall. The blow would have killed Pocahontas, as 
Smith's head was clasped to her breast ; and Powhatan 
ordered that the prisoner's life should be spared. He was 

therefore unbound, and 
found himself free ; and 
Powhatan soon showed 
him that he had noth- 
ing to fear. He enter- 
tained him in a very 
friendly manner, and 
not long afterward al- 
lowed him to return to 
Jamestown. And that 
was the fortunate end- 
ing of this famous ad- 

I have related it with- 
out exaggerating any- 
thing — that is, making 
it out finer or greater 
than it really was. Po- 
cahontas was only a child, but acted nobly, and like a true 
woman. There was no especial reason w^hy she should 
rescue the young Englishman. He was a perfect stranger, 
and she must have heard that he was a dangerous enemy. 
Nevertheless, she risked her life for him, and she deserves 
our love and respect. Looking back to those far-oiF times 
now, we can see the brave girl, and the fearless young sol- 
dier whom she saved ; and Virginia is fortunate in having 
two such figures on the threshold of her history. 



Pocahontas often came to Jamestown afterward, we are 
told, with her "wild train" of Indian boys and girls, and 
gambolled abont in the market-place and on the grass, She 
was a mere child, full of high spirits, and there was no rea- 
son why she should not do so. But she was a woman in 
her feelings too, and showed it in times of trial. Once 
Powhatan determined to attack the English; but Poca- 
hontas overheard him consulting with his warriors about 
it, and stole otf through the woods at night, in the midst 
of a violent storm, to tell them of the danger to which they 
were exposed. She then stole back in the same way ; and 
when Powhatan came he found them ready for him, so 
he gave up the idea of attacking them. 

This is nearly all we know of Pocahontas, or " IMatoa," 
as her otlier name was, when she was a little girl and 
proved herself so good a friend to the English. As I have 
said, she deserves our love and respect for her devotion 
and courage ; and among all the legends, as tliey are call- 
ed, of history there is none more beautiful than her rescue 
of Smith. 

VI I r. 

T cannot follow Jolin Smith through all his adventures 
in \'iiginia. You will one of these days read the long 
books in which thoy are related. With a few more words, 
I will pass on to other stories I have to tell you. 

He and Powhatan had many dealings witli each otlier. 
Sometimes they bargained about swapping a grindstone 
for some corn. At oilier times they visited each other, 
though Powhatan would not come to Jamestown ; and 
they had numerous battles. At last Powhatan grew tired, 
and said li6 wished to live in peace. What he said to 
Smith showed how much sense he had, or liow cunning 
he was. 

"I liave seen two generations of my iieoj)le dii'," llie old 


copper-faced emperor suid, " and not a man of these two 
generations is alive now but myself. I know the differ- 
ence between peace and war better than any man in my 
country. I am now grown old, and must die soon. Why 
will you take by force what you may have quietly by 
love? Why will you destroy us who supply you with 
food ? What can you get by war '? I am not so simple as 
not to know that it is much better to eat good meat, sl^ep 
comfortably, live quietly with my wives and children, and 
laugh and be merry with the English, and trade for their 
copper and hatchets, than to run away from them, and to 
lie cold in the woods, feed on acorns, roots, and such trash, 
and be so hunted that I can neither eat nor sleep. In 
these wars my men must sit up watching, and if a twig 
breaks they cry, '■Here comes Captain Smith P So I must 
end my miserable life. Take away your guns and swords, 
the cause of all our jealousy, or you may all die in the 
same manner !" 

John Smitli, no doubt, listened to this speech quietly, 
without putting any great faith in the old fellow's words. 
He knew him too well to trust him; but perhaps the old 
emperor was sincere. He probably saw that Smith was 
too brave a soldier to be defeated, and that the best thing 
would be to make peace with him. This is not opposed 
to what we knoAV of Powhatan, He was a long-headed old 
ruler, and not a mere stupid savage. An Englishman 
named Ralph Hamor paid him a visit once, on the Pamun- 
ky, and gives us a very good idea of him. He was hos- 
pitable and liberal after his wild wood fiishion. He grew 
angry at something, but went away and got over it ; and 
when something amused him he laughed heartily. He 
was a real king, and governed all around him : the only 
person who gave him any trouble was Smith. 

I cannot tell you, as I have said, all Smith's adventures 


wiili Powhatan and the rest. Once he had a single-hand- 
ed fight with his old enemy Opechancanough, and caught 
liim by his hair and dragged him off prisoner. At another 
time he fought and captured an Indian giant named Pas- 
pahey; and I might go on and tell you of other exploits 
of liis, if I had the time. 

His most important act, however, was his exploration of 
the great Chesapeake Bay. He made two voyages in an 
open boat, going at least three thousand miles, and drew 
a map of the whole country, which was so true that it has 
never needed any correction. He went up all the great 
rivers, fighting the Indians wherever he met with them, 
and landed and cooked his dinner where the city of Bal- 
timore now stands. He then came back and went up the 
Potomac, past the city of Washington, and up the Rappa- 
hannock and all the rivers along the coast. 

One day he came very near losing liis life. The boat 
ran on a sand-bank, and he saw some strange-looking fish 
in the water. They were odd-looking creatures, with long 
tails like a saw, and Smith stuck the point of his sword 
into one of them, and attempted to take it in his hand. 
As he did so, the fish writhed its sliarp tail around and 
stung him in his wrist. Soon the place turned blue, and 
his arm began to swell. The swelling went on growing 
worse and extending toward his shoulder; and at last he 
was convinced that he was going to die. He was so cer- 
tain of this that he picked out a spot on the shore where 
he told his men they must bury him. But the swelling at 
last went down. It was rubbed with a certain oil, and 
finally disappeared; and in memory of the incident Smith 
called the place "Stingray Point," a name it bears still. 

Soon afterward the brave boatmen got back safely to 
Jamestown. They had made a rcmarkabh' voyage, and 
wlion people heard of it in England they wondered at it. 



But this was only one of Smith's remarkable exploits and 
adventures in the New World. He had many others, which 
you will read of when you are older. In spite of all his 
exertions for the good of the colony, there were some base 
persons who hated him, and even tried to destroy him. 
An attempt was made to poison him by these wretched 
creatures, and at another time a plot was formed to mur- 
der him. 

All this he would not have cared for, as he was a fear- 
less man, and knew that he was doing his duty. But at 
last a painful accident brought his career in Virginia to 
an end. As he was rowing down James River one day, 
a bag of gunpowder in his boat exploded, and he was ter- 
ribly burned. He was all in flames, as his clothes had 
caught fire, and the pain was so fearful that he leaped 
into the water to extinguish the fire. In this he succeed- 
ed, but he came near being drowned, and his men could 
scarcely get him into the boat again and take him home. 
He at last reached Jamestown ; but his burns were terrible. 
There was no surgeon to dress them, and be determined 
to go back to England and find one. As a ship was about 
to sail, he embarked upon the vessel ; and that was the last 
of John Smith in Virginia. 

He had come over in the spring of 1607, and went back 
in the autumn of 1609. It seemed a very short time — not 
three years in all ; but in this time he had laid, broad and 
deep, the foundations of the Commonwealth of Virginia. 


I must not end my story of the adventures of John 
Smith without telling you the fate of Pocahontas, and of 
Smith's last meeting with her. Everything concerning 
this devoted girl is interesting, and I will proceed to tell 
you what became of her. 


Some years passed, and the little girl of thirteen was 
now a maiden of seventeen or eighteen, and quite good- 
looking, as her portrait, which was taken soon afterward, 
shows. She had straight black hair (for the hair of the 
Indians never curled), bright black eyes, regular features? 
and was not too brown to be very pretty. She often came 
to Jamestown, as I have told you, and remained friendly 
to the English. But they requited her for this in a very 
poor way. While she was on a visit to some of her friends 
toward the Potomac, she was betrayed by them for a cop- 
per-kettle to the English, and taken back prisoner to 
Jamestown. Their object seems to have been to hold her 
as a hostage, as it is called, and thus make her father re- 
main quiet. Slie was kept for some time, and a young 
gentleman named John Kolfe became very much in love 
with her, and she with him. 

Kolfe scarcely knew what to do. The Indians were 
looked upon as an inferior race of people, and mere hea- 
thens; and at that time it was considered a sin to inter- 
marry with such persons. Rolfe was tliercfore much trou- 
bled, and wrote a long letter to Sir Thomas Dale, who was 
then governor. He knew, he said, tliat in the Bible men 
were forbidden to marry "strange wives" who were 
heathens, l)ut that Pocahontas was ready to become a 
Christian. lie loved her, he said, and he was acting for 
the good of the colony and tlie glory of God. He was 
sincere in this, lie declared, and he gave a high character 
to Pocaliontas. His words were: "Likewise adding liere- 
iinto her great ajijK'arance of love to me, Iier desire to be 
taught and instructed in the knowledge of God, her capa- 
blencss of understanding, her aptness and willingness to 
receive any good impression, and also the spii'itual besides 
her own incitements stirring me up licicunto." 

There is no reason to believe tliat John Rolfe was not 



honest in Avhat he wrote. Every word came from his 
heart, as any one who read his letter could see ; and those 
who knew him spoke of him as a "discreet gentleman" 
and a man of high character. The governor gave his 
consent, and soon afterward Pocahontas became a Chris- 
tian, and was baptized at Jamestown under the name of 
Rebecca. She and Rolfe were then married, and he went 
Avith her to England, where she was called the "Lady Re- 


becca," and treated like a princess. It is even said that 
King James looked upon her as the daughter of a real em- 
peror, and grew angry at one of his plain subjects having 
married into a royal family. 

In England, about three years afterward, Pocahontas 
again met with John Smith, lie paid her a visit, and they 
talked together for two or three hours. She was then 
twenty-one and he was thirty-seven; and though they 


were thus both tolerably young people still, it seemed an 
age since they had last met. They must have remembered 
old times in Virginia, where they knew each other so well ; 
and Pocahontas was ready to meet him with the same joy 
and aifection as before. But Smith would not allow this, 
or permit her to call him " fjither," as she had been in 
the habit of doing. It is probable that he had heard of 
the king's foolish ideas, and thought that there might be 
trouble. He therefore addressed her as "Lady Rebecca," 
and treated her with great respect. 

At this Pocahontas covered her face with her bands and 
began to cry. It was unkind in him, she said, in a faltering 
voice, to speak so coldly to her. In Virginia she bad call- 
ed him father, and he had called her his child, and she 
meant to call him father still. What had become of him 
all this time? she asked: they had told her he was dead. 
She murmured these low words from behind her hands, 
which she never took away from her face. And that is all 
wc know of her last meeting with John Smith. 

Some persons have supposed that when he left Virginia, 
she loved him and expected to marry him, as the Indian 
girls became wives often when they were very young. It 
is also said that the friends of Uolfe knew this, and there- 
fore told her that Smith was dead, in order to induce her 
to ijive up the idea. Of this nothing is known at this far- 
off time. Smith was young and haiidsotne, and Pocahon- 
tas saved his life; so it is not improbable that she had 
formed a deep affection for him. 

The meeting I have spoken of was their last. About a 
year afterward she and her husband were about to sail for 
Virginia, when Pocahontas was taken ill, and soon after- 
ward dicil. She left one son, whose name was Tiiomas 
Itolfe. He returned to Virginia, where he afterward mar- 
ried ; and amonf» his descendants were the great orator 


John Randolph of Roanoke, and some of the most respect- 
able people in Virginia. 

Such was the end of this " tender virgin," as John Smith 
calls her in a letter to the king. She was only a child of 
twelve or thirteen, he says, when she saved his life, and 
he adds: "Her compassionate, pitiful heart of my desper- 
ate estate gave me much cause to respect her ; she haz- 
arded the beating out of her brains to save mine ; . . . and 
during the time of two or three years she, next under God, 
was the instrument to preserve this colony from death, 
famine, and confusion." 

Could praise- be much higher than this? If we think 
of Pocahontas and of what she did — of her " aptness and 
willingness to receive any good impression," and her "de- 
sire to be taught and instructed in the knowledge of God" 
— we have before us a very beautiful character to love and 



I have thus related the chief events in the life of the 
brave soldier John Smith, and with a few more words 
will go on with other stories. 

He continued to make voyages, and received from King 
James I. the title of "Admiral of New England;" but at 
length he went into retirement, and spent his last days in 
quiet. He died in 1631, at the age of fifty-two, and was 
buried in St. Sepulchre's Church, in the city of London. 
His grave was just in front of the chancel, and two flat 
stones were placed in the floor above it. On one of these 
was carved his coat-of-arms, with the three Turks' heads 
upon it ; and on the other these words were cut, 

"here lies one conquered that hath conquered kings." 

Under this was a prayer that when God came to judge 
him he might "with angels have his recompense." And 


there the dust of the brave soldier remains to the present 

My story must liave shown you the true character of 
John Smitii. He lived in a remarkable age, and was 
one of the foremost men oi' his time. The Middle or 
Dark Ages, as they are called, were giving way to the 
modern world, and John Smith seemed to have in his 
character what was best in both. He was a romantic sol- 
dier, but a man of business also. He loved fame, but was 
ready for the hardest work. We find him talking at one 
moment with dukes and princes, and then, axe in hand, 
cutting down trees to build ))alisades. He was ready to 
fight the Turks, or to bargain with Powhatan for a grind- 
stone. In all this he showed his 2:ood- sense and readi- 
ness to do his duty. He looked to Heaven to help him 
always, but he meant to do his best also to help himself; 
and this makes him a noble example. 


why virginia wa& called the ''old 


Virginia received the name of the " Old Dominion " 
about fifty years after the settlement at Jamestown. What 
led to it was somewhat curious; and as you ought to know- 
about the events, I will tell you what they were in a very 
few words. 

The colony went on increasing in these first years, in 
spite of every difficulty, as to wliich I will say more when 
I come to my next story. I need only tell you now that 
at the middle of the century — that is to say, about the 
year 1650 — there were twenty thousand people in Virginia, 
and the land was prosperous. Many persons of high char- 
acter had come over after the death of Charles I., for fear 
of being persecuted by their enemies in England ; and I 
will show you how much courage they exhibited in times 
of trial, which were now near. 

The trouble srrew out of affiiirs in England. About 
1640 a srreat stru^o-le took place there between King 
Charles I. and the Parliament. They complained that 
the king was a tyrant, and he charged them with rebellion 
and treason ; and the result Avas that a bloody war began, 
which for some time was doubtful. At last the king was 
defeated and made prisoner by the Parliament, when they 
went through the form of trying him, and beheaded him 
in front of his palace in London. 

A new government was now established, and Oliver 



Cromwell, the leader of the Parliament party, was made 
"Lord Protector of England." He was a man of great 
genius, and made a powerful ruler; but the Virginians 
were by no. means pleased at the manner in which he had 
gained his power. Many of them were " Cavaliers," as 
they were called, and had fought for King Charles, and 
the Virginians generally were in favor of royal authority. 
They were proud enough, and ready at all times to fight 
for their rights, against the king or anybody else, as you 


will sec when you have read a few pages farther; but 
they looked upon the execution of Charles I. as murder, 
and, like brave men, openly said so, in spite of Cromwell 
and the Parliament, who ruled affairs with an iron hand 

I will now give you llie ])roof of tliis. Charles was 
executed in the month of January, IfUO; and in the fol- 
lowing October the Virginia IJurgcsses passed a law which 



I will tell you of. In this law they said that if any one 
went about in Virg-inia cleclarinsr that the execution of 
"the late most excellent and now undoubtedly sainted 
king," Charles I., was justifiable, such persons should be 
arrested and punished as traitors, just as if they had taken 
part in the king's death. And in the law there is another 
very remarkable passage. It speaks of "his sacred majesty 
that now is" and threatens with bloody punishment any- 
body w^ho denied "the inherent right of his majesty that 
now is to the colony of Virginia." 

You may not understand what these words, " his maj- 
esty that now ?\s," meant, and I will explain them. The 
friends of royal rule believed that kings were entitled to 
authority by birth, and that if one died or was put to 
death, the next heir began to reign from that hour. He 
mio-ht not be able to assert his claim and make himself 
king, but he was the true king for all that, Avherever he 
was; and this was the meaning of the law passed by the 
Burgesses. Charles I. had a son, who had been driven out 
of England, He was a careless young fellow, very good- 
hearted, but rather worthless, who was lurking at this 
time in Holland. He was only about eighteen, and scarce- 
ly had clothes to wear, such was his poverty ; but home- 
less as he was, and almost an object of charity, the fol- 
lowers of his father looked upon him as the real King 
of England. 

In this feeling the Virginians shared, you see ; and in 
spite of the great Parliament, they said what they thought. 
I have shown this by quoting the words of the law passed 
by the House of Burgesses. They spoke of the boy who 
was lurking and dodging about in Europe as "his maj- 
esty that now is,''"' and denounced the penalty of treason 
against any one who denied that he was the true King of 
Eno-land and Virginia. This, of course, was a dangerous 


proceeding. Oliver Cromwell was one of the most pow- 
erful rulers of Europe— for he ruled from the very begin- 
ning — and was a bitter enemy. Scarcely a man in all 
England dared to whisper tliat the execution of Charles I. 
was unjustifiable; and as to asserting that his son was 
entitled to the throne, they knew that short work would be 
made of any one who did so. Parliament hated the very 
name of Charles, and hunted down his friends everywhere; 
and it was in the midst of all this that the Virginia Bur- 
gesses stood up for the young man in exile. An offer was 
even made to him that if he would come over, the Vir- 
ginians would fight for him ; and I will tell you how and 
by whom this offer was made. 

Tlie name of the Governor of Virginia at that time was 
Sir William Berkeley, of whom I will have more to say 
when I come to my story of Bacon's Rebellion. I need 
only tell you here that this Sir William was a fiery old 
Cavalier, and he resolved to send and invite young Charles 
II., as he called him, to Virginia. No law was passed by 
the Burgesses giving him authority to do so, but his de- 
sign was certainly well known to the leading Virginians, 
among whom was Colonel Richard Lee, a planter on the 
Potomac, who was as strong a Cavalier as Sir William 

liichard Lee set sail, and visited young Charles IT. at a 
place called Breda, in Holland. Here he had a long con- 
versation with the youth, and told him how the Virginians 
felt toward him. Richard Lee never wrote down an ac- 
count of his interview, or the paper is now lost; but it is 
known that he informed t])e young ]irince that the Vir- 
ginians wished to have nothing to do with the Parliament, 
and that if he would come over they would espouse his 
cause, in case there was any hope of making him king and 
of not destroying themselves. That this offer was made 


to Chavles we are told by William Lee, sherifl" of the 
city of London, and a cousin of Richard, who wrote it all 
down, and said he knew about the visit to Breda. 


Nothing came of the whole affair. Charles refused to 
come over to Virginia, and I think he showed more sense 
by doing so than people gave him credit for. The at- 
tempt to make him king in Virginia would, no doubt, have 
failed, and he declined to accept the offer. But he sent 
back to Sir William Berkeley a new commission — at this 
time or afterward — as Governor of Virginia, signed by him- 
self as King of England ; and this the Virginians looked 
on as a real commission from a real king. 

Richard Lee had to come back without succeeding in 
his business ; and the English Parliament soon showed that 
they were not to be trifled with. They were much too 
powerful and determined to allow themselves to be de- 
fied by a small colony like Virginia. There was no one 
in England who was fearless enough to declare openly 
that he was in favor of Charles IL, and yet here was Sir 
William Berkeley and the House of Burgesses of Virginia 
proclaiming that he was their king. 

Oliver Cromwell and the Parliament resolved to put an 
end to the whole matter at once. In 1652 an English 
fleet was sent across the water, and a part of it sailed np 
the river to Jamestown. 

It seemed quite absurd to suppose that Virginia could 
resist the Parliament, and the strong force sent over, which 
was quite sufficient to crush her. Certainly the English 
commander had cannon enough to blow Jamestown to 
pieces. But in spite of this, Berkeley and the rest re- 
solved to fight. Now was the time, if ever, to show that 
they were in earnest when they said they would fight the 


Pai'liaraent, and preparations were at once made for battle. 
The Virginians had Hocked to Jamestown, on hearing that 
ships of war were coming up the river, and were now fur- 
nished with muskets and ammunition. Cannon were post- 
ed to rake the river below the place, and some Dutch 
ships were also made use of as a sort of fort. These were 
merchant ships which had brought cargoes of goods to 
Jamestown ; and as England and Holland were then at 
war, the Dutchmen were afraid of losing their goods. 
These were quickly moved on shore ; then cannon were 
placed in the vessels, and they were drawn up in a line 
ready to open fire as soon as the enemy approached. 

They came in sight at last, and it seemed certain that a 
battle would take place. But none followed. A boat 
came to shore, and a message was brought to Governor 
Bei-keley. This was a summons to surrender to the au- 
thority of Parliament ; and a promise was made, if they 
consented to do so, that they should not be interfered with 
in any way. At this a long consultation was held, some 
being in favor of it and others against it. But at last it 
was decided that the terms offered should be accepted, 
and a paper was drawn up in whicli Virginia agreed to 
submit. Tliis paper is quite remarkable under all the cir- 
cumstances. The Virginians made their terms as if they 
were one nation treating with another which they were 
not at all afraid of. There is no cringing anywhere about 
this paper, which is still in existence. Its tone is proud 
and resolute. The Virginians declared in it that they 
were not " forced nor constrained by a conquest of the 
country" to surrender, but did so of their own accord. 
Hut tlicy would not be' oppressed. They intended to en- 
joy every privilege belonging to English peoj)le. No man 
was to be punished for anything he had said or done in 
favor of the king. Virginia was to have the rii^lit of trad- 



ing freely with all nations. Governor Berkeley was not 
to be interfered with, or bis property touched ; atid they 
were to have the right to use the Episcopal Prayer-book 
in church, which at that time the Parliament party hated 
as bitterly as they hated the king. 

These were a few of the tei-ms, and none of them were 
objected to. There is very little doubt that this was in 


consequence of orders from Cromwell. He was a very 
great statesman, and knew how desirable it was for the 
English colonies to remain on good terms with the Mother 
Country, as England was called. Destroying them would 
only have weakened the power of England ; and I suppose 
he thought the Cavalier feeling in Virginia could do no 
great harm. Still there was danger in humoring it, too, 


as Charles II. might come over, and his friends might 
then rise in England. So Cromwell is entitled to all the 
credit he deserves for acting like a great ruler and a'man 
of sense. 

The Virginians thus gave up to the Parliament, and Sir 
William Berkeley retired to his plantation. The Burgesses 
then went on making laws and governing the colony to 
suit themselves, just as if they were an independent nation 
belonging to nobody, and Parliament did not interfere 
with them. At last a great change came, and the English 
people resolved to place young Charles II. on the throne. 
Two years before this was done, William Lee says that 
the Virginians proclaimed Charles II. King of England 
and Virginia, though nothing is found to prove this in 
the laws passed by the Burgesses. It is not very impor- 
tant. The people wished to, if they did not do so ; for in 
March, 1600, the Burgesses re-elected old Sir William 
Berkeley "Governor and Captain -general of Virginia," 
wlio certainly proclaimed him. And as it was not until 
April of the same year that Charles was made King of 
England, lie was King of Virginia first, you see, after all. 
It is said that at his coronation — that is, when the crown 
was placed upon liis head— he wore a robe of Virginia silk, 
to show his gratitude for all this; and after that time the 
kinors of England looked with great favor on Virginia. It 
was ])roclaimed on coins, that is, pieces of money, that the 
English kingdom should thenceforward consist of " Eng- 
land, Scotland, Ireland, and Virginia f and on these coins 
was the inscription, "A/i dat Virginia qxiartam,^'' which are 
l/ilin words, signifying " Sec, Virginia makes the fourth^ 
One of these coins is said to be in the Massachusetts 
Historical Society's collection. This was considered a 
high lionor for the little colony, to rank her with such 
great countries as England, Scotlatul, and Trrlnnd : but 


her course in favor of Charles, when he had scarcely a 
friend in the world, showed that her people were brave 
and devoted. She was therefore generally spoken of as 
the " Old Dominion," where Charles II. was first pro- 
claimed king after the execution of his father, and where 
he had dominion — that is, " sovereign authority" — when 
he had none anywhere else. 

The Virginians, in fact, whether they were right or 
wrong, had very little opinion of the way things went on 
under the Parliament ; and the English people, you see, 
soon came to be of the same way of thinking. Charles 
II. was made king, and Virginia became quiet once more. 
She asked no favors, and received none. She had acted on 
principle, and that was enough ; and you will soon see that 
when she was not pleased with Sir William Berkeley, the 
king's governor, the " Old Dominion " took up arms against 
him, as she had taken them up against the Parliament. 




Just one Ininclred years before the American Revolu- 
tion, a rebellion or revolution took place in Virginia, which 
resembled it in the most striking manner. The Virginians, 
as you will see, made war on the English governor just 
as the Americans afterward made war on the King of 
England. Tliey were led, too, by a man whose character 
was very much like Washington's; and I shall now de- 
scribe this remarkable struggle, and how it ended. 

Tlie " Great Rebellion," as it was called, broke out in the 
year 1676, about seventy years after the landing at James- 
town. At this time Virginia had become a considerable 
colony. Only about one hundred persons, you remember, 
had come over at first ; but others followed them, and in 
three years there were five hundred, and the colony went 
on increasing and prospering. There were times of dis- 
tress, when the people nearly starved, and the Indians 
continued to give them great trouble. At one time Ope- 
chancanough, Smith's old enemy, fell upon them, and near- 
ly all of them were put to death. But this did not dis- 
courage pcojjle. iSIore settlers came to make their homes 
in the country. The number of people grew larger and 
larger, and the rich lands were settled farther and farther 
up the rivers. Strong settlers went to work in the woods, 
and cut down the oaks and pines, with wliicli tliey built 
lioiises for their lanulies. Tliey then ]tl(Mighcd the ground 
and sowed wheat, and planted corn and tobacco, keep- 


ino- a o'oocl lookout all the time for Indians. And so 
the country gradually grew in the number of settlers, 
whose houses were seen peeping everywhere from the 
trees; until, in the year 1676, there were no less than 
forty thousand people in Virginia, of whom eight thou- 
sand were servants — two thousand black and six thou- 
sand white. 

Several governors had been sent, one after another, to 
rule over Virginia. When Bacon's Rebellion, of which I 
am going to tell you, broke out, the English governor was 
Sir William Berkeley — the same who had sent Richard 
Lee to invite Charles II. to Virginia. He was a high- 
tempered old ruler, not altogether bad, by any means, but 
very cruel and revengeful in his disposition, and so de- 
voted to the King of England, as I have shown jou, that 
he was always thinking how he could please him. He 
seemed to like the Virginians, and they liked him, but 
they were not much pleased at his high-handed manner 
of making them obey every order that came across the 
ocean. They did not mind old Sir William's living easily 
and in luxury at his estate, called " Green Spring," not far 
from Jamestown, where he had fine horses and carriages, 
and large numbers of servants, and ate his dinner off sil- 
ver plate, and was a Sort of king in a small way. The 
Virginians themselves were fond of that style of living, 
and may have liked old Sir William all the better for in- 
viting guests to his house and entertaining them well. 
But what they did not like was his habit of deciding ev- 
erything in favor of England and against Virginia. They 
also complained that he would not protect the families 
living up the rivers toward the mountains from the sav- 
ages. The Indians were not yet entirely subdued, and 
would make sudden attacks on the women and children, 
and put them to death ; and as Sir William Berkeley 



seemed resolved to do nothing for the people, they at last 
determined to take the matter into their own hands. 

An opportunity for this soon came, and the Virginians 
found a leader who just suited them. His name was Na- 
thaniel Bacon ; and as I have given you some idea of the 
character of Governor Berkeley, I will now say a few 
words of the man who was going to give bim so much 
trouble. Bacon was born in England, like many other 
persons who lived in Virginia, and had come over to the 








colony only a short time before. Here he owned a con- 
siderable quantity of land and a number of servants, and 
ranked very high among the planters, as they were called. 
He was about forty-five, and in many ways quite a re- 
markable man. As you will soon see, he was extremely 
brave and determined ; but besides this, he seems to liave 
been a very fine ]>ublic speaker, and very popidar with his 
friends and neighbors, from his polite and cordial manners. 


Although he was a new-coraer, as it was called, he was 
made a member of the " King's Council ;" and as only the 
oldest and ablest planters were generally aj^pointed to 
this council, this was a high compliment to Bacon. No 
doubt old Sir William thought he was an Englishman in 
his feelings, and would support him in his doings against 
the Virginians. But he was very much mistaken. Bacon 
determined to oppose him, and take the Virginia side; and 
his friends, who saw how brave he was, resolved to have 
him for their leader. 

Trouble soon began. Rebellions or revolutions gener- 
ally begin with some small matter; and so it was on this 
occasion. Bacon had a plantation near the Falls in James 
Rivei-, where the city of Richmond now stands, and one 
day he heard that the Indians had attacked the plantation, 
and killed his overseer and one of his servants. This high- 
ly excited him, and he resolved to act at once. He sent 
word to his neighbors to meet him and march on the In- 
dians ; and on the day appointed a large number of them 

Bacon then addressed them, and spoke of the wrongs 
done them by the governor. He was an enemy of the 
Virginians, he said, and Avould not protect them from the 
Indians. These barbarous savages were killing the women 
and children, and yet the governor would not fight them ; 
but if he would not, he, ISTathaniel Bacon, would. Then he 
asked his neighbors if they were ready to march with him, 
and, if so, whom they would choose for their leader. 

At this they uttered a shout, and declared that they 
were ready. He should be their leader, they declared, and 
Bacon accepted the command. First, however, he re- 
solved to send to Sir William Berkeley to obtain his leave, 
and one of the men was sent to ask the governor for a 
commission, as it Avas called. This the governor refused, 


and the messenger came back without it. Bacon, no doubt, 
expected tliis, and had made up his mind. He told his 
friends that as to himself he was ready to march without 
any commission. He would take all the risk, and any who 
wished to go with him could do so. 

This was followed by another shout, and tlie men mount- 
ed their horses. Bacon took command, and the whole body 
set forward. They marched up James River, and into the 
woods near the Falls, and here they found the Indians and 
attacked them. The result was a complete victory over 
tlicm. They were all killed or driven off And then Ba- 
con and his men marched back homeward in triumph. 

But while they were fighting up the river a great ex- 
citement had taken place at Jamestown. Governor Berke- 
ley was enraged when he heard that Bacon had marched 
in defiance of him. So he issued a proclamation that Ba- 
con and his men were all traitors, and got together a body 
of troops to attack them. Nothing occurred, however. Sir 
William set out, but found that there was trouble behind 
him. The Virginians everywhere sympathized with Ba- 
con, and were ready to rise in arms ; so the old governor 
changed his mind, and marched back again with his forces 

to Jamestown. 


This was a great triumph for Bacon, and all Virginia 
nearly was in his favor. The old governor was obliged 
to submit, and said lie had no objection to what tlie peo- 
ple demanded. They might make any new laws they 
wished, as far as he was concerned ; and so a new House 
of Burgesses was at once elected. 

Bacon was chosen one of the members, as lie was now 
extremely |»f>]>ular, and set out down James Kiver in liis 
sail-boat for Jamestown. I'ut the governor was ready. 
As soon as he arrived lie had liim arrested and brought 


into the State -bouse. Here Sir William and the king's 
council were waiting to receive him, and a stormy inter- 
view followed. We know how high- tempered the old 
governor was, and he received Bacon fiercely. But that 
had no effect upon him. He w-as too cool a man to cower 
before Sir William's anger, and discussed the w'hole mat- 
ter with bira in a very plain manner. He knew that be 
bad acted illegally, be said, in fighting without the com- 
mission, and was ready to say so, if the commission was 
now given to him. To this the governor at last agreed ; 
but he did not keep his word, and Bacon determined that 
he would force him to do so. 

He accordingly left Jamestown, and went home and 
told his neighbors how matters stood. He was resolved 
to have the commission, be said, and they said they would 
assist him. In a short time about four hundred planters 
assembled, and at the head of them Bacon marched toward 
Jamestown. As soon as he arrived he drew up his forces, 
on the State-house green, and then sent word to Sir Wil- 
liam Berkeley that he had come for bis commission. 

This greatly enraged the old governor. He was quite 
as brave as Bacon, and rushed out in front of the men. 
Tearing open bis ruffled shirt so as to leave his breast 
naked, be exclaimed, violently, 

" Here, shoot me — 'fore God, a fair mark ! — shoot !" 

But Bacon bad no intention of hurting the governor. 
He advanced toward him and bowed, and said, 

"No, may it please your Honor, we will not hurt a hair 
of your head or any other man's. We have come for a 
commission to save our lives from the Indians, which you 
have so often promised, and now we Avill have it before 
we go." 

There was then great confusion, and an angry scene 
followed. But Bacon stood firm, and declared that be 


would not go without the paper; so the governor was 
obliged at last to submit. lie consented to what Bacon 
demanded, and he received his commission, when he mount- 
ed his horse again and marched his men out of Jamestown. 


This act of Bacon's was open defiance, you see, of the 
king's authority, for Sir William was his representative in 
the colony. Tlie governor was a brave old fellow, and 
resolved to fight; so he suddenly left Jamestown, and 
crossed York River to Gloucester, where be raised his flag, 
and called on his friends to assemble. 

But Bacon was quite as resolute as he was. He was 
not afraid to make war on the king himself, though he 
risked his head in doing so ; and at once set out with a 
small army to fight Sir William. When the governor 
heard of this he fled across Chesapeake Bay to Accomac, 
and Bacon was in possession of the whole country. 

He and his men then acted like true patriots. A new 
House of Burgesses was ordered to assemble, and in the 
mean while they pledged themselves not to lay down their 
arms. As Sir William had sent to England for soldiers to 
fight for him, they bound themselves to fight these soldiers, 
as they had fought the governor; and they signed a pa- 
per to tliis effect, whose date was August, 1G76. This was 
just one Imndred years before the American declaration 
of Independence, you sec, and there is not much diflference 
between the two pa])er.^. 

In the midst of all this, Bacon heard that the Indians 
were making trouble again, so he resolved to march at 
once and put an ejid to them. The tribes which murdered 
the settlers lived in the neighborliood of the present city of 
Richmond, and Bacon soon reached the spot and jircpared 
to attack tlieni. 




They had built a strong stockade, or fort, on a lofty hill 
east of the city, and in this they had placed their women 
and children, and were ready to fight. Their bravest war- 
riors were in the log-fort, and they knew that the battle 
would decide everything. It was a very strong position, 
with a steep descent in front; but Bacon rushed up at the 
head of his men, and a desj^erate fight followed. The In- 


dians did their best, but the Virginians were too strong for 
them. They captured the fort, and either killed or made 
prisoners of all the Indians who did not fly. It was a 
bloody aifiiir, and blood ran down the hill, it is said, into a 
small stream at the foot, which is called "Bloody Run" to 
this day. 

This was the last of the Indian troubles in Eastern Vir- 
ginia. They never fought again, and Bacon was looked 


upon as the deliverer of the country. But a new enemy- 
was waitino: for him, to strike him in the rear. Sir William 


Berkeley had collected troops in the lower counties, and 
Bacon now heard that he was again in possession of James- 
town, wilh eighteen ships in the river, and an army of 
about eight hundred men. 


Bacon lost no time. lie had resolved to fight the old 
[Tovernor until one or the other got the best of it, and he 
set out at once for Jamestown. 

On the way he did what he had no right to do. A num- 
ber of prominent men had sided with Sir William, and Ba- 
con stopped at their plantations, and took their wives pris- 
oners. They were, no doubt, permitted to ride in their 
carriages, as the men moved on, but their arrest was a 
very unjustifiable proceeding. Bacon sent word to their 
luisbands at Jamestown that he had taken the ladies pris- 
oners, and would hold them as liostages for the good be- 
havior of the gentlemen. This was quite unworthy of a 


high-toned man like Bacon, but he certainly did it ; and as 
I am telling you a true story, I have no intention of omit- 
ting the incident. 

He marched on steadily, with his lady -prisoners, and 
soon found that Sir William Berkeley was ready for him. 
The old governor was in high spirits, for he was brave and 
determined. Two friends of Bacon, named Bland and Car- 
ver, had attempted to cross to Accomac and capture him ; 
but he had caught and hung them, and hoped soon to 
catch and hang Bacon himself. His ships, armed wi^ 
cannon, were in the river near the town; his soldiers were 
drawn up in Jamestown ready to fight; and it was plain 
that a battle would soon take place. 

The sun was just setting when Bacon and his men ar- 
rived. It was the month of September, when the leaves 
of the trees are just beginning to turn red and yellow, and 
the moon was shining. Bacon lost no time, but went to 
work at once. A long ditch was dug, and the earth thrown 
up in front so as to form a breastwork. Trees were then 
cut down, and laid one on the other so as to strengthen 
the works against cannon balls, and the whole was soon 
finished. While the men were working, the governor did 
not fire his cannon at them from Jamestown or from the 
ships. He was afraid he would kill the ladies whom Ba- 
con had taken prisoners, and a very discreditable story is 
told of their treatment. It is said that they were placed 
in front of the men while they were building the earth- 
work ; and if so. Bacon acted in a manner unworthy of him. 
No civilized nation makes war on women any more than 
on children, and to endanger these ladies' lives was not 
like a soldier. They Avere not to blame because their 
husbands had sided with Sir William Berkeley, and per- 
haps the story was made up by Bacon's enemies. I hope 
it was untrue, and that the ladies were soon sent back 


home, and that the men were allowed to fight the matter 
out among themselves. 

The night passed quietly, but in the morning old Sir 
William marched out to attack Bacon. He had about 
eight hundred men, and Bacon's numbers were probably 
about the same. Tlie battle began at once, and it must 
have been a hard tight. There is no full account of it ; 
but we know enough about it to feel certain that some 
historians are very foolish in sayins: that Sir William's 
men were "degraded" people who would not fight, while 
Bacon's men \?is4;e the "very chivalry of Virginia," and 
rode right over their enemies. The fact was that a large 
number of the bravest gentlemen of the colony had sided 
with Sir William, because they thought it wrong to take 
up arms against the king's authority ; and they no doubt 
fought just as bravely as their opponents. It is true, 
liowever, that Bacon won the victory. After fighting- 
hard, old Sir William found that Bacon was too strong 
for him, and he retreated from the field, on which many 
of his soldiers lay dead or groaning from their wounds. 

There was no course left for him now but to fly. This 
was, no doubt, "gall and wormwood" to him, but there 
was no help for it. There was danger that he would fall 
into the "rebel" Bacon's hands, wlien every one would 
laugh at him; so he hastened to take refuge on board his 
ships. Ilis troops hurried after him, in the midst of the 
cheers of the "rebels;" and then the ships set sail down 
the river, followed by cannon balls which Bacon fired at 
them from the hills near Jamestown. 


The capital of Virginia was now in Bacon's hands, and 
he set it on fire and burned it to ashes. 

Why this was done it is hard to say. They pi'obably 


meant to show that they had conquered Sir William Berke- 
ley, or it may have been done to prevent him from ever 
returning to it as governor. It was a great pity to thus 
burn the old town which John Smith and the early set- 
tlers had built ; but fire was set to it, and no one made the 
least objection. Two gentlemen in Bacon's army, named 
Lawrence and Drummond, had houses in the place, but 
they set fire to them with their own hands; and soon the 
fiimous old place was nothing but a heap of ashes. 

All now seemed over with Governor Berkeley and liis 
people, but new enemies suddenly made their appearance. 
An army of a thousand men was marching from toward 
the Rappahannock against Bacon, and he set forward, with- 
out loss of time, to meet them. But no battle took place. 
Instead of fighting, the men of the two armies shook 
hands. The up-country men then returned to their homes, 
and Bacon led his army back toward James River. 

He was now master of Virginia, and might easily have 
declared himself governor. His men would have made 
him their ruler at a single word, but he had too much re- 
spect for the law to agree to that; and if he had been 
elected he would never have been governor. His life was 
near its end, and he M-as destined to die in the very hour 
of his triumph. 

He had caught a fever while directing the men how to 
work in the trenches at Jamestown ; and at last he grew 
so ill that he saw his last hour was approaching. He 
had gone to Gloucester County, probably to pursue Sir 
William Berkeley ; and here he grew worse and worse, 
and at last expired. 

This was a terrible blow to his followers. They feared 
that old Sir William would now win back all he had lost, 
and even dig up Bacon's body and hang it upon the gal- 
lows. They therefore resolved to conceal his grave. He 


was buried by night, in a lonely spot ; and althougli we 
have no description of the scene which took place, we may 
imagine it. His friends, no doubt, dug a grave secretly 
with their own hands, and then, when it was dark, placed 
the dead man's body in a wagon, and took it to the spot 
and buried it. If it was by moonlight, or even if the stars 
were shining, it must have been a strange and solemn 
sight. Xo doubt some clergyman was present and read 
prayers over the grave when the body was lowered into 
it, while his friends stood around with their hats off and 
their heads bent down in sorrow. Large stones were then 
laid on the coffin, the grave was filled up, and the grass 
was smoothed down in order to conceal it. 

This was done so carefully that Bacon's grave Avas 
never discovered, and the wrath of Sir William Berkeley 
was not expended upon his enemy. He had the living to 
take revenge on, as I will show you in ending my story; 
but Bacon he could not reach. The body of that brave 
soldier was sleeping in the woods of Gloucester, and the 
great trees guarded the secret of his resting-i)lace. 


The "Great Kebellion," as Sir William Berkeley called 
it, was now over. When a famous leader dies, it is hard 
to find any one to take his place; and as soon as news 
came that Bacon was dead, his men returned to their 
homes in despair. A {aw kept up a show of resistance, 
but ihey soon gave way like the rest, and Sir William 
Jk-rkeley marched back in triumph. 

I liave told you tJie character of this fiery old ruler. 
He was brave and determined, and had some other good 
(jualities; but he was narrow-minded and cruel, and hated 
the "rebels" bitterly for defeating him; so he resolved 
to take a bloody revenge upon them. 


Every friend of Bacon's whom he could lay his hands 
on was put to death. Thomas Hansford, a brave young 
planter, was one of these. He was captured, and, after a 
pretended trial, was at once hung, although he begged 
them to shoot him. Another was Captain Wilford, Avho 
fought hard not to be taken prisoner, and had one of his 
eyes put out by a bullet. When some one spoke of this 
he said it was no matter, as Sir William Berkeley would 
have him led to the gallows ; and he too was soon hung. 
Another was Major Cheeseman, whose wife knelt before Sir 
William and begged her husband's life, telling him that 
she had persuaded him to join Bacon, In rej)ly to all her 
tears and prayers, the governor, it is said, offered her a 
vulgar insult, instead of pitying her; and Major Cheese- 
man soon afterward died in prison. A more important 
prisoner still was William Drummond, one of Bacon's 
warmest friends. Sir William Berkeley hated him, and 
felt a cruel triumph when he was brought before him. 

"Mr. Drummond," said tlie governor, in a sneering voice, 
" you are very welcome ! I am more glad to see you than 
any man in Virginia ! Mr. Drummond, you shall be hang- 
ed in half an hour!" 

Drummond was tried at once; and as there was no trou- 
ble in proving that he had been one of the leaders of the 
"rebels," he was found guilty and at once hung. The 
governor hated him more than all the rest, and his prop- 
erty was at once seized ; but the King of England, as soon 
as he heard of this, ordered it to be restored to Mrs. Drum- 
mond, his widow. 

These were a few of the victims of Sir William's cruel- 
ty. Altogether more than twenty persons were hung; 
and Charles II. exclaimed when he heard of it, 

"That old fool has hanged more men in that naked 
country than I did for the murder of my father !" 


All the changes in the laws made by Bacon were now 
repealed, and Governor Berkeley found no enemies to op- 
pose him. But he felt ill at ease. The people of Virginia 
hated him for his cruelty, and he had scarcely a friend in 
the whole colony. He therefore resolved to visit England, 
fearing, it seems, that he had as few friends there, and 
thinkino- that it would be better to go and defend himself 
He therefore sailed for England, and his departure was a 
joyful event. The Virginians fired cannon and illuminated 
their houses, and he never afterward returned to the col- 
ony. When he got to England the king refused to see 
him, and this filled him with so much mortification that 
he soon afterward died. And that was the end of old Sir 
William Berkeley. 

lie and Bacon were two remarkable men, but Bacon 
was by far the greater. He was a fearless soldier, and a 
true lover of his country, lie had nothing to win by fight- 
ing and everything to lose, for the governor Avould have 
liung him and seized upon all liis property if he had de- 
feated him. But his duty was ])lain to him. The Vir- 
ginians were oppressed, and he meant to risk his life 
against their oppressor. 

This Avas acting precisely as George "Washington did 
a hundred years afterward. One succeeded, the other 
failed ; but the man who does his duty is as great in fail- 
ure as in success. Nathaniel Bacon did his, and has left 
a noble name in history. 





I WILL now relate a romantic little incident which oc- 
curred in the summer of 1*714, about thirty years after Ba- 
con's death. This was the ride beyond the mountains of 
the " Horseshoe Knights," as they were afterward called ; 
and I will give you, in the first place, a short account of 
the man who led them. 

He was Alexander Spotswood, Governor of Virginia at 
the time, and his life had been adventurous. He was born 
on board a ship, in the Mediterranean Sea, in 1676, and 
it is not known how this singular event happened. But 
there seems to be no doubt about the truth of the state- 
ment, and he may have sailed about with his father, who 
probably commanded the ship, and thus acquired while he 
was young his love of adventure. As soon as he was old 
enough, he became a soldier in the English army under 
Marlborough, who was then fighting the French ; and at 
a great battle, called Blenheim, he distinguished himself 
by his bravery, and was Avounded by a cannon-ball. This 
occurred when he was about twenty-eight years of age ; 
and as he was sent over to be Governor of Virginia when 
he was only thirty-four, you will see that he must have 
shown that he was a man of strong sense and firm char- 
acter. He looked older than he really was, for that mat- 
ter. His portrait is still to be seen in an old countrA-house 
in Virginia, with a picture of the field of Blenheim in the 
background; and this jjortrait shows that he was a tall. 


Strong man, with many wrinkles in his forehead, and a de- 
termined expression of countenance, which expressed his 

As soon as Spotswood reached Virginia, he set to work 
to improve everything, and make the country as prosper- 
ous as possible. He had a curiously shaped magazine 
built ill Williamsburg, the capital of the colony, to hold 
gunpowder to use in case of war; and this is still stand- 
ing, lie then built a good house for the governors to 
live in, and sent word to the few Indian tribes left that 
they might bring their boys to the college of "William 
and I\Iary," at Williamsburg, if they wished, where they 
would be educated free of expense. He next set about 
making iron for the use of the Virginia people. 

This was very important. Iron, you know, is a metal 
that no one can do without, as axes, ploughs, and hundreds 
of other useful implements are made of it. The Virgin- 
ians, like everybody else, required it, but they were obliged 
to send to England for it; and as England always aimed 
to make as much as she could out of her colonies, they had 
to pay a very liigh price for all that they bought. You 
now see why Governor Spotswood was anxious to show 
them how tlioy mi^ht make iron for themselves, and not 
send to England and ))ay so much for it. When iron is 
in the ground it is mixed with earth and stones; and bo- 
fore it is of any use it is necessary to cleanse it, which is 
done by melting it in large furnaces built for the purpose. 
Spotswood knew that there was an abundance of iron in 
the soil of the colony, and built the furnaces, which jirovcd 
perfectly successful. They were the first ever seen in 
America, and made him (piite famous; and the people 
gave liim the name of the "Tubal-cain of Virginia," an 
explanation of which will be found in the I>ook of (Jenesis. 
These exertions for the good of the countrv made (tov- 



eriior Spotswood very poi^ular. He was a determinetl 
ruler, and had more thau one quarrel with the House of 
Burgesses, who were as hard-headed as himself. But he 
was very much respected, for the Virginians saw plainly 
that he was resolved to put down evil-doers and have the 
laws obeyed ; as he showed, among other things, by his 
treatment of a bloody marauder named Blackbeard, 

Blackboard was a pirate who sailed along the shores of 
the Carolinas and Virginia, attacking any ships he met, 
and killing all who were on board of them ; after which 


the goods in them were seized and the ships were burned. 
This had gone on for some time, and at last Spotswood 
grew tired of it. He therefore sent a ship-of-war to at- 
tack Blackbeard, or John Theach, as his real name was, and 
the two vessels came in sight of each other oflf the coast. 
Blackbeard now saw what was before him. He knew he 


must fight, and that if he was captured he would be hung 
in chains to a gallows ; he therefore determined to die 
first. He ordered one of his men to stand with a lighted 
match near the magazine of powder in the ship; and if the 
Virginians boarded them and got the better in the fight, 
he was to set fire to the powder and blow up all together. 
The fight then began. The two vessels came up side by 
side, and the Virginians leaped on board the pirate ship, 
armed with their cutlasses. Blackbeard and his men met 
them and fought dtjsperately, but in vain. He himself was 
in front, but his foot slipped in the blood on the deck, and 
as he staggered, one of his enemies cut him down and 
struck off his head. At this the rest lost heart and sur- 
rendered. Blackboard's head was stuck on the bowsprit 
of the Virginia vessel, and it returned home in triumph, 
where the rest of the pirates who had been captured were 
soon afterward executed. 

This is only one instance of Governor Spotswood's way 
of dealing with people who would not respect the laws 
and defied his authority. I might tell you other incidents 
of the same sort, but this must suflice. I will now come 
to the expedition beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, which 
conferred on him and his friends the name of " Sir Knicrhts 
of the Golden Horseslioe." 


It may surprise you to hear that at that time people 
thought that the Mississippi River rose in the Blue Ridge. 
In fact, nothing was known certainly about the great coun- 
try beyond the mountains. They called it "Orange Coun- 
ty;" an<l it was a very large county indeed, you sec, as it 
extended from the Blue Ridge to the Pacific Ocean. 

There were only vague rumors about it — that it was 
filled with great forests and lofty mountains; that tlie 


valleys were green and fertile, and traversed by beautiful 
rivers; and perhaps the ignorant still believed that the 
famous " Fountain of Youth " might be found somewhere 
there. Now and then some hunter would wander off into 
this unknown country, and when he returned would tell 
Ills friends that nothing was like it. It was filled, these 
men declared, with Indians and wild animals, and alto- 
gether was the most remarkable country that the sun 
ever shone upon. 

All this highly excited Alexander Spotswood. He was 
a man, as I have told you, of adventurous character, and 
he longed to explore this splendid land. It was his duty, 
lie felt, as Governor of Virginia, to discover whether the 
land was so rich, in order to settle it; and at last he re- 
solved that he would set out and visit it himself, and find 
whether the reports about it were true. 

He might easily have sent a party, with some intelligent 
man at the head of it, to report to him all about it. But 
this did not suit him. He resolved to go in person, as I 
have said, and to make a holiday excursion of the expe- 
dition. He was well acquainted with the planters, old and 
young, and he now sent them word that he was going to 
march to the mountains : if any one wished to go with 
him he would be welcome, and the governor would be 
glad to have the pleasure of his company. 

This excited the young Virginians and filled them with 
delight. They Avere fond of horseback exercise and hunt- 
ing, and a number sent word that they would be ready at 
the time appointed. A day in August (1714) was fixed 
by Spotswood, and the party assembled at Williamsburg, 
prepared for their long ride. Every arrangement had 
been made. Mules were ready, with pack-saddles strapped 
upon their backs, in which were baskets of provisions and 
bottles of wine and other liquors. These were to follow 


tliein in cliarge of servants; and all was now ready, when 
tliey suddenly discovered that they had forgotten a very 
important matter. 

This was to shoe the horses. You may tliink it some- 
what strange that such a thing had been lost sight of, but 
at that time it was tlie fashion generally to ride horses 
barefooted^ as it is called. One reason for this was prob- 
ably the scarcity and high price of iron, which people could 
not afford to use for shoeing horses ; and there was anoth- 
er reason still. The roads of Lower Virginia were soft and 
sandy at that time, as they are now, and often you might 
ride for miles without seeing a single stone. There was 
notliing, therefore, to make shoeing really necessary, as the 
soft sand did not hurt the horses' feet: but now, when 
Spotswood and his friends intended to cross the moun- 
tains by pathways full of rocks, it became necessary to 
have their riding-horses shod. This was at once done; 
and the little incident Avas the explanation, as you will 
see, of the name of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe. 

We can imagine what an interesting sight the party of 
horsemen presented as they rode along "Duke of Glouces- 
ter Street," as the main street of Williamsburg was called, 
with men, women, and children flocking to the doors and 
windows, and waving handkerchiefs as they passed by, 
Tliey were all mounted on spirited horses, and carried 
their guns, as they expected to hunt on the way; and be- 
hind followed the mules with their packs, in charge of the 

Spotswood rode at the head of the party, with his erect 
military beaiing, learned in tlic wars, and clad, like the 
rest, in the line costume of that time, Avhen people dressed 
far more picturesquely than now; and there is very little 
doubt that lie was in as high spirits as the I'cst of the 
l)arty. He was in the bloom of life, fjr he was onlv about 



thirty-eight, enjoyed excellent health, and saw the pros- 
pect before him of an adventurous march into an unex- 
plored wilderness, which just suited him. We need not 
be surprised, therefore, to be told by one of the party, who 
afterward wrote an account of the expedition, that Spots- 


wood was bright, and pleased with everything from first 
to last, on the wliole long ride. 

As the little band rode on, they were joined here and 
there by others, who had also determined to go on the 
expedition. The party thus increased in numbers as it 
moved on, like a snowball rolled in the snow, and they at 
last came to a place called Germanna, on the Rapid Ann 


River, ou the edge of what is now known as the " Spot- 
sylvania Wilderness." 

Here the governor had established a colony of Germans 
to work his iron furnaces, and had built a house for him- 
self and his family to live in during the summer months, 
when the lower country was unhealthy. I would like to 
give you a full account, if I had time, of a visit made to 
this little village of Germanna by a famous old planter of 
James Kiver, named Colonel William Byrd. He tells all 
about the place, and the governor's house, where a tame 
deer, on seeing him, leaped against a fine tall mirror in the 
drawing-room, thinking it was a window, and smashed it 
to pieces. But what he said of Spotswood himself was 
more interesting than what iiappened to the mirror, and 
shows that the brave soldier was a kind-hearted man. 

He and Colonel Byrd had known each other Avell before 
Spotswood was married, as he was at this time ; and it 
seems that the governor had then laughed at people who 
showed too great fondness for their wives and children. 
Xow he was just as bad, or ratlier as good, as the rest. 
He never spoke to his wife or children Avithout smiling 
and using some fond expression; and Colonel Byrd said, 
with a laugh, that he must have changed his opinion on 
this subject since he was married. To this Spotswood 
loplicd tliat he thought it was his duty to be as kind as 
possil)le to his wife, as he had brought her so far from all 
her friends into such a wilderness. And this shows, as I 
have said, that he was a warm-hearted man, however stern 
and determined he was as a soldier and a ruler. 


After resting at Germanna, the party of horsemen again 
sot out, and rode on in the direction of the Blue Bidge 


Every one seemed to enjoy himself. The season of the 
year was deliglitful, for August in Virginia is a month 
when the air is j^leasant, and the blue sky is filled with 
white clouds, drifting on befoi'e the wind like ships with 
all sails set. The woods were in full leaf; the streams 
were laughing and the birds singing; and in the midst 
of all these beautiful sights and sounds, the horsemen 
wound their way along, laughing and talking with each 
other. In the middle of the day they would stop in some 
green glade of the woods, to rest and pasture their horses ; 
and then the baskets on the pack -mules would be un- 
strapped by the servants, the contents spread on the 
grass, and everybody would gather around and eat their 
dinner with an appetite sharpened by their long ride since 

Frequently, while on the march, some one of the party 
would ride into the woods, and the rest would lose sight 
of hitn. But soon they would hear him fire his gun, and 
he would come back, holding in his hand a fat pheasant 
or some other game, which he would hand to the servants 
for supper. At night the party would halt in some favor- 
able spot, and hobble their horses by tying their legs to- 
gether with ropes, after which they would turn them loose 
to graze, certain that the hobbles would prevent them 
from wandering off very far. Tlien supper would be 
spread on the grass, everybody would sup heartily, and, 
wrapping their cloaks around them, Spotswood and his 
friends would stretch themselves on the ground, and sleep 
as soundly and sweetly as if they were at home in their 
beds. Some of these times you will read all about this 
in the account given by one of the party; but I have 
here told you pretty much all that he says of the manner 
in which the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe passed 
their time on the expedition. 


At last they reached the Bhie Riclge Mountains, and 
toiled on up the steep sides, covered with forest-trees, to 
the top. It is not known precisely where they ascended 
the mountains, but it is supposed that the spot Avas near 
what is called Rockfish Gap, where the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Railroad now passes through. Some persons assert 
that the party went on and crossed the Alleghany Moun- 
tains also; but there is no proof of this, and no reason to 
believe it, as they never said that they crossed two ranges 
of mountains, and would not have forgotten the Blue 
Ridge, which they must have reached first. From the 
summit, which they now stood upon, they saw beneath 
them a wild and lovely landscape, through which wound 
the Shenandoah, whose name signifies, in the Indian lan- 
o-uao-e, "The Daughter of the Stars." To the right and 
left the Blue Ridge extended far out of sight, clothed 
with oaks, ])ines, and other forest-trees ; while in front, 
across the valley, was seen the long blue line of the Alle- 
shanies, like a wave of the ocean. 

The sight before them must have filled Spotswood and 
his friends with delight; and they carved their names on 
the rocks, to mark the spot to which they had ascended. 
There wore two peaks of the mountain near, and one of 
these was named " Mount George," in honor of the King 
of England, and the other "Mount Alexander," in honor 
of Spotswood. Tlio party then drank the king's health, 
and rode down the western side of the mountain into the 
Shenandoah Valley. 

They did not Jiioct willi any romantic incidents — fights 
with Indians or bears, or anything of the sort. The wild 
animals seen were chiefly deer; or a herd of huge elks, 
such as then lived in tlic region, may have galloped off 
into the thick woods as the hoofs of the horses clattered 
on the rocky paths. No advent urcs befell them in the 


valley ; and after enjoying a sight of its fertile lands, the 
party recrossed the Blue Ridge, entered the low country, 
and, going joyously on their way, as before, reached their 
homes on tidewater. 


This little expedition pleased every one who took part 
in it, and the discovery of so fine a country was very im- 
portant. Spotswood therefore resolved to commemorate 
his long ride by establishing what is called an Order of 

You probably know what this means. Knights in for- 
mer times were brave men who went about seeking ad- 
ventures, and they belonged to various " orders," which 
were regarded with great respect. Governor Spotswood 
therefore determined to form a Virginia Order of Knight- 
hood ; but he must have been puzzled at first to find a 
name for it. At last, however, he decided what this name 
should be. He remembered the shoeing of the horses at 
Williamsburg before the party set out, and thought the 
best name for them would be "Sir Knights of the Golden 
Plorseshoe." He therefore fixed upon that title, and sent 
to England for a number of small golden horseshoes, one 
of which he presented to each of his companions. There 
was a motto, in Latin, cut upon them — ''''Sic jurat trcms- 
cendere inontes^'' signifying, "Thus we swear to cross the 
mountains;" and one of them, set with garnets, a species 
of jewel, is still to be seen, it is said, somewhere in Virginia. 

When the King of England heard of Spotswood's ex- 
pedition, he made him Sir Alexander Spotswood ; but I 
am sorry to say the governor was obliged to pay for the 
golden horseshoes out of his own pocket. He requested 
the king to see that the shoes were paid for in London, 
but not the least notice was taken of this. It may have 


been that the king thouglit it rather i)resamptuous in him 
to be establishing an order of knighthood without per- 
mission ; or he may have grudged the money, of which 
kings, even, are often much in want. However that may 
be, he refused to pay ; so Sir Alexander did so, and was 
thus the real founder of the "Order." 

Spotswood never returned to England. Besides his 
house at Gerraanna, he had another near Yorktown, which 
was called "Temple Farm;" and here he spent his last 
days in quiet, with his wife and children. You will re- 
member how Colonel Byrd laughed at him for treating 
his wife with so much tenderness; but it was a good-nat- 
ured laugh, and the old "Master of Westover," as Byrd 
was called, must have respected him all the more for it. 
The Virginia people had a very high opinion of Spots- 
wood, for during the thirteen years in which he had been 
governor lie had showed that the good of the country was 
nearest to his heart. 

He died at "Temple Farm," where his old house is still 
standing; but for a long time it was not known where be 
was buried. At last, nearly a hundred years afterward, 
some broken stones in an old enclosure near the house 
were removed, and on these stones were found letters 
which sliowed that the little enclosure was once a grave- 
yard. The ]>ieces were put together, and at last some- 
thing was made of them : 


'Sir Alexander Spotswood, 

This much was read upon iho fragments of stone; and it 
thus became plain that the small enclosure was the burial- 
place of the brave Spotswood. He was one of the best 
governors that Virginia ever had, and his bones were laid, 
you see, in the land he loved so well. 




My stories are not only meant to inform and interest 
you, but to show you how the great men of Virginia did 
their duty always, and especially how their characters 
came to be shaped. 

There is one of these men who rises above all the rest, 
and is looked upon as one of the greatest human beings 
who have lived in this world. I mean George Washing- 
ton, who is called the " Father of his Country ;" and it is 
extremely interesting to see how he passed his boyhood 
and early manhood. He was no better than other peo- 
ple in many things. He had quick and excitable pas- 
sions, which he soon found he had to control, or they 
would control him. But he had the highest sense of 
duty, and determined to make a good and useful man 
of himself; and in this story I mean to show you how he 
set about it. 

He was the son of a farmer who lived in Westmoreland 
County, Virginia, and was born on the twenty-second 
of February, 1V32. His father, Augustine Washington, 
had large landed possessions on the banks of the Poto- 
mac, and was well to do in the world; but as often hap- 
pened at that time, when people did not think so much 
of show, he lived in a small plain house, and here George 
was born. While he was still a child his fi\ther moved 
to another house in Staiford County, on the Rappahan- 

Cf'.>.' ^ 



nock River, where he sent George to what is called an 
"old field-school" — a sort of log-house, generally with 
only one room, where children were taught to read and 
write and cipher. "While he was at school, George is said 
to have been very fond of playing at soldiering with the 
rest of the boys, which he probably gained a liking for 
from listening to the talk of his elder brother Lawrence, 
who had been a soldier in the West Indies. 

When his father died, which he did at the age of forty- 
nine, George was left to the care of his mother. But he 
could not have had a better person to look after hiui. 
"Mary, the Mother of Washington," as she is called, was 
•a lady of the highest character, with a very strong mind, 
and as pious as she was intelligent. She determined to 
make her boy a good man, and taught him to love God, 
and kneel beside her and say his prayers night and morn- 
ing. She also taught him always to tell the truth and 
do Ills duty in everything. These lessons of his mother 
while he was still a small bo)' were the main cause of his 
becoming afterward so great a man. 

He was very fond of out-door pleasure, riding and hunt- 
ing, and games that require skill and bodily strength. 
Tliese made him grow tall and strong. It is said that he 
once threw a stone across the Kappahannock River, at the 
city of Fredericksburg; and there are very few men who 
could do as much, lie did not, liowever, neglect improv- 
ing his mind, and learning everything that would prove 
useful to him in his after-life. He kept a book in which 
he wrote down wise maxims and lulcs to follow: he also 
taught himself how to keep accounts, and all about sur- 
veying land, which, as you will sec, soon became of the 
greatest use to liim, and had a very important influence 
upon his career in life. 

When George was fourteen years of age he was a tall, 




robust boy, and longed to lead the life of a soldier or sail- 
or. He thought that he would like being a sailor the bet- 
ter of the two; and as his brother Lawrence was rich and 
influential, he had not much trouble in having George ap- 
pointed a midshipman in the English navy. But his poor 
mother grieved at the thought that she was going to be 
separated from her boy, and might never see him again. 
He had persuaded her to let hina go, and she had consent- 
ed ; but she could not conceal her tears when the time ar- 


rived. When George came, in his tine new uniform of a 
midshipman, to tell her good-bye, she covered her face with 
her hands and cried ; and at this the boy gave way. He 
could not bear to distress his mother, and at once gave up 
the idea of leaving her. He took off his fine uniform, re- 
signed his commission as a midshipman, and stayed at 
home to take care of his mother. 

Instead of going away as a brave young sailor, George 
went back to school, and the time passed on until he was 
sixteen years of age. He often went to see his brother 
Lawrence at his house, called " Mount Vernon," on the 
Potomac River, and was a greajt favorite with everybody 


there. Lawrence had married a daughter of Mr. William 
FairfaXj-a rich Englishman, who lived at a place called 
"Belvoir," not far from Mount Vernon; and here the 
boy met with an old English lord of singular character, 
named Thomas, Lord Fairfax, a cousin of William Fair- 

Lord Fairfax was a very curious old man, and his life 
had been an interesting one. He was born in England, 
and when he was a young man, went up from his home 
in the country to live in the great city of London, where 
lie moved in the highest society, and was one of the finest 
dressed young men of his day. He did not pass all his 
time, however, in idleness and visits to ladies. He be- 
came acquainted with many authors, and among the rest, 
with a famous one named Addison, who wrote a number 
of papers under the title of the Spectator. These papers 
were very much admired at the time, and are admired 
still for the bcauliful style in which they are written. 
Young Fairfax offered to help Addison, and wrote some 
of the Spectator papers for him. And now one of the 
main things that people remember the rich, finely dressed 
young lord by, is that he assisted the poor, shabbily dress- 
ed Mr. Addison in writing his Spectator. 

Lord FairHix soon met with a lady who pleased him, 
and they were at last engaged to be married. But the 
lady treated him very badly. She saw that another per- 
son of higher rank was ready to marry her, and refused 
to keep her word with young Fairfax. This distressed 
him deeply, and he went back to liis home in the country, 
resolved never to marry anybody, which he never did. 
And I will now tell you what brought him to Virginia. 

Hi.s mother was a daughter of Lord Culpcpor, who 
had been at one time (iovernor of Virginia. While lie 
was living in Virginia, Lord C'ul|»e])cr found how rich 


the laud was between the Potomac and Rappahannock 
rivers; and when he returned to England he aeked the 
king to give him all this land, which was then only partly 
inhabited — proraisiug that he would have it settled and 
cultivated. To this the king consented, and Culpeper 
received what was called a patent for the whole country 
— which did not at all please the Virginians, and was one 
of the great causes of complaint leading to Bacon's Ile- 
bellion, about which I have told you. When Lord Cul- 
peper died, his daughter inherited the land; and as Lord 
Fairfax was her son, he became the owner of it after her 
death. His cousin, William Fairfax, of Belvoir, had man- 
aged his great property for some time, but at last Lord 
Fairfax determined to cross the ocean to look after it 
himself. He did so; and this accounts for his living with 
his cousin at Belvoir, where young George Washington 
made his acquaintance. 

I have told you this story of Lord Fairfax because he 
had a great deal to do with the fortunes of the youth who 
afterward made so great a name for himself. If he had 
not met with Lord Fairfax, Washington's whole life would 
probably have been different. The old Englishman put 
him in the way of making a man of himself, and gaining 
the reputation which led to his being appointed command- 
er-in-chief of the American armies in the Revolution. And 
I will now tell you how he did so. 

Belvoir was a pleasant house to visit at; and as Mrs. 
Lawrence Washington was a daughter of William Fair- 
fax, you know, the two families were on the most intimate 
terms. When George was at Mount Vernon he often 
went to Belvoir, as I have said, and he and Lord Fairfax 
soon became great friends. The old Englishman, who 
was a tall, gaunt, near-sighted man, was very fond of 
hunting, and liked to have George go with him. So they 


often rode out fox-hunting together, and Lord Fairfax 
came to like the boy very much. Pie saw that he was a 
stout, manly, intelligent young fellow, with a great desire 
to make himself useful in some way; and this gave him 
the idea of appointing George to survey his wild lands 
beyond the Bine Kidge Mountains. 

These lands were of very great extent, as they reached 
as far up as the head-waters of one branch of the Poto- 
mac River; but large as they were, they were of no great 
value unless they were surveyed and laid off to be sold or 
rented to such people as wished to settle on them. Per- 
haps you do not know exactly what is meant by survey- 
ing. It means measuring land, which is generally done 
by means of a chain, and laying it off into tracts, which 
are then marked by catting gashes in the bark of certain 
trees, or describing other trees or prominent objects as 
landmarks in a book carried for the [)urpose. When you 
grow older you will understand the use of the compass 
and the calculation of angles in surveying; but this is all 
I can say of it at present. 

Lord Fairfax wished very much to have his lands in 
the Valley of Virginia thus surveyed, and ])roposed to 
young George Washington that he should undertake the 
work. The boy at once consented. Nothing could have 
pleased him better than an occupation of this sort. He 
loved the open air and horseback riding; he would have 
an opportunity to explore a ]tictui'esque and beautiful 
country, full of Indians and wild animals; and he set 
about at once making preparations for liis expedition. 


• It was a fine day in early spring of the year 1748 when 
George set out on his ride to the valley. Tie had a com- 
panion, George William Fairfax, a son f.f William of IJcl- 



voir, who was about twenty-two years of age, aud they 
rode along in high spirits toward the mountains. 

George was at an age when the world seems full of 
enjoyment. He was just sixteen, and in high health, and 
no doubt felt delighted, as boys will, at the thought of be- 
ing his own master and meeting with all sorts of advent- 
ures. He had brought his gun with him to hunt, and his 
surveyor's instruments were packed in a leather valise 


beliind his saddle. I have myself seen these instruments, 
which his family still have; and it was interesting to look 
at them, and remember that they were used by so great 
a man when he was young and unknown to the world. 

The two friends crossed the Blue Ridge at Ashby's 
Gap, and forded the bright waters of the river Shenan- 


doah. They then turned a little to the left, and made 
their way toward "Green way Court." This was a sort 
of lodge built by Lord Fairfax in the woods, and after- 
ward his place of residence. It was a house with broad 
stone gables, and a roof sloping down over a long porch 
in front. On the top of the roof were two belfries with 
bells in them, which were meant, it is said, to give the 
alarm to all the settlers in the neighborhood when the 
Indians were coming to attack them. Some fast rider 
would bring the news; then the bells would be rung, and 
every man would prepare for the Indian attack. Green- 
way Court was thus a famous place in the e3'cs of every 
one, and business with Lord Fairfax's manager broujjht 
a great many people to the spot. To direct these visi- 
tors, a white post, with an arm pointing in the direction 
of tlic place, was set up at some distance from it. When- 
ever this post fell, from the wood decaying or by any ac- 
cident, another was erected in its place ; and one stands 
in the very spot to-day, in the middle of the village of 
White Post, which takes its name from it. 

George and his friend came in sight of the white post, 
and soon reached Greenway Court, where they were hos- 
l)ilably received by Lord Fairfax's manager; and then, 
after a short rest, they began to survey the lands along 
tiie banks of the Shenandoah River. 

This must have been a deliglitful employment to tliem. 
The spring was just opening, and the leaves beginning to 
bud iti the woods. The sun was shining briglitly, the 
birds were chirping, and on every side, as far as the eye 
could reach, were long blue ranges of mountains, like higli 
walls |>lacc'd tliorc to guard the beautiful Valley of tlie 
Sheiiand(jali. Tliis country is very attractive now, with 
its green wiioat-fiehls or waving corn, and its clumps of 
trees, in the midst of which are seen old houses, the abodes 


of happy families; but it was far more striking and pict- 
uresque at that time. Old people, whose memories went 
a long way back, said that in former times the land wa? 
covered with majestic forests and broad prairies. In these 
prairies, they said, the grass was so tall that a man on 
horseback could tie the heads together across the saddle 
in front of him, and the whole beautiful expanse, waving 
in the wand, was bright with flowers. 

Surveying itself is hard work, but the free open-air life 
that surveyors lead makes it very attractive. This life 
was highly agreeable to George and his friend. They 
worked faithfully all day, and at night stopped at the 
rude house of some settler in the woods; or, if no house 
was seen, they built a fire, wrapped themselves in their 
cloaks, and slept in the open air. They went on in this 
manner until they reached the Potomac River. They then 
rode up the stream and over the mountains until they 
reached what is now called Berkeley Springs, or " Bath," 
where they camped out, as usual, under the stars. There 
were no houses there then, but a town was built in course 
of time, and Washington often spent a part of the sum- 
mer there long years afterward with his family, to bathe 
in and drink the mineral waters, which are good for the 

George and his friend did not meet with many advent- 
ures, but they had a sight, for the first time in their lives, 
of the savages. They stopped at the house of a settler 
one day, and were soon afterward surprised by the sudden 
appearance of a band of Indians. They were about thirty 
in number, with their half-naked bodies covered with paint, 
which signified that they had been at war with their ene- 
mies, and one of them had a scalp hanging at his belt. 
Perhaps you do not know what a scalp means, so I M'ill 
explain it. When the Indians killed any one, they made 



a deep cut with a knife around the forehead and behind 
the head of the corpse, and then tore off the whole skin 
from the head, with the hair upon it. Sometimes they 
thus scalped their enemies before they were dead, and it 
was so painful that scarcely any one ever lived after it. 
The scalp was then hung to the belt ; and the Indians were 
proud of it as a proof of victory over their enemies. 

George and his friend must have been shocked at see- 
ing the bloody scalp, but the Indians soon made them 
laugh. Some liquor was given them, and they executed 
their war-dance, as they called it. One of them stretched 
a deer-skin over an iron pot and drummed upon it, while 
another rattled a gourd with a horse's tail tied to it, in 
which were some shot. While this was going on, one of 
the savages leaped up and began to dance and turn and 
tumble about in the most ridiculous manner, while the 
rest yelled and whooped around a large fire which they 
had built. Altogether it was a singular sight, and the 
two young men must have looked on with wonder at such 

strange doings. 


Several weeks were sjKMit by the young surveyors in 
this wild country, during which they were busy attending 
to their duties. They cooked their meat by holding it 
to the fire on forked sticks, and chips served for dishes. 
Sometimes it rained heavily, and they were drenched. At 
one time some straw on which they were sleeping caught 
fire, and they woke just in time to save themselves from 
being burned. Sometimes they slept in houses, but this 
was not much better than the open air. " I have not slejjt 
above tliree or four nights in a bed," George wrote to one 
of his friends; "but after walking a good deal all the day, 
I have lain down before the lir<'. on a little straw, or fod- 
der, or a bear-skin, whichever was to be liad, w itii man, 


wife, and children, like dogs and cats; and happy is he 
who gets the berth nearest the fire." 

In the month of April the two young men recrossed the 
mountains, and again reached Greenway Court. Here they 
found good beds and every comfort, and rested after their 
long ride. I have visited Greenway Court; and while 
walking over the green lawn under the old locust-trees 
in front of it, and looking at the old stone gables with 
the belfries on the roof, I thought of the bright boy of 
sixteen, with his brown curls and rosy cheeks, who once 
looked at the same objects and sat on the same porch 
there before my eyes. The old house should have been 
taken good care of, from these associations with the youtli 
of Washington, But Greenway Court is gone! It was 
pulled down for some reason, and no human eye will ever 
look upon it again ; so I thought I would give you this 
description of it, just as it looked when I saw it about ten 
years ago. 

Soon afterward George and his friend crossed the Blue 
Ridge and returned home. Lord Fairfax was higlily 
pleased with what they had done, and George was no 
doubt very much gratified. He was paid for his work in 
surveying at the rate of about three dollars and a half a 
day when he was only riding aroimd, and about seven 
dollars a day when he was regularly engaged in survey- 
ing. This was the first money that he liad ever earned in 
his life, and he must have enjoyed spending it, as he knew 
that he had worked for it. Another subject of gratifica- 
tion to him was the good opinion Lord Fairfax formed of 
him from the manner in which he had executed his duties. 
The old Englishman now knew how valuable his property 
was, and what a fine country the valley was for hunting; 
so he removed to Greenway Court, and spent his last years 


I have only one other incident to relate of Lord Fairfax, 
which took place just before his death. He was an Eng- 
lishman, and opposed to the Revolutionary war ; but he 
continued to live in Virginia, at Green way Court. At 
last the year 1781 came, and Lord Fairfax grew very ill. 
He was at Winchester at the time, which is not far from 
Greenway ; and one day he heard the people shouting and 
cheering in the streets. He asked his old servant what 
it all meant, and he told him that the people were shout- 
ing because Lord Cornwallis, the great English general, 
had surrendered to General Washington at Yorktown. 
At this the old lord groaned. 

"Take me to bed, Joe," he said, in a low voice; "it is 
time for mc to die !" 

And you no doubt understand what the old English- 
man meant. He had been the friend of young Geoi'ge 
W^ashington, and brought him on in life; and now this 
same young fellow had defeated the great Lord Cornwal- 
lis, and compelled England to give up America. It was 
time for him to die, therefore, he said ; and soon afterward 
he expired, greatly mourned, there can be no doubt, by 

This was the end of old Lord Fairfax. His life was 
a sad one, in P]»ite of his great wealth, for his last days 
were spent in the lonely forests beyond the Blue Ridge, 
without wife or children to cheer his declining years. I 
never heard that Washington visited him there in these 
latter years. The boy with the rosy cheeks and the curly 
locks, who had stopped at Greenway Court, was now the 
grave commander-in-chief of the American army, and had 
no time to spare. But he must have wished to visit the 
old house again, and its master, who had been the friend 
of his boyhood. 




It is SO interesting to follow George Washington 
through these first years of his career, that I will go on 
now and tell you of an expedition which he made at this 
time into the " Great Woods," as they were called, beyond 
the Ohio River. 

Both the English and the French claimed this country. 
The English, you know, had settled at Jamestown in 1607, 
but the French had possession of Canada long before, and 
it was now a question to whom the western country be- 
longed. It was full of English and French hunters, who 
traded with the Indians ; and it became a great point with 
both sides to secure the friendship of the savages, in case 
fighting broke out, as it probably would. 

This led to the expedition I now mean to tell you about. 
Governor Dinwiddle of Virginia and the Governor of Can- 
ada were watching each other; and at last Dinwiddle re- 
solved to send the French a message. This message was 
to the effect that the western country belonged to Eng- 
land, and that as the French had no right to it, they were 
not to build their forts on it. The person to be sent was 
also to make friends of the Indians ; and for this impor- 
tant expedition Governor Dinwiddle selected young George 

The events here spoken of took place in the year 1753, 
when Washington was twenty-one years old. It was a 
proof of the confidence placed in him, to choose so young 


a man for a mission requiring the utmost prudence and 
sood-sense, as well as courage. But Washinofton was now 
very well known. He had not done much, but had im- 
pressed every one with a high opinion of his character. A 
proof of this is that at the age of nineteen, three years be- 
fore this time, he had been appointed adjutant-general of 
one of the military districts of Vii'ginia. In performing 
his duties as such, he must have shown that he was a ca- 
pable person, as he was now selected by the governor to 
carry his important message into the wilderness. 

He set out on the very day he received his commission 
from the governor at Williamsburg. At Winchester bis 
party was waiting. It consisted of three white hunters 
and two friendly Indians, and a Mr. Gist, who was an ex- 
])eriencod woodsman. As the weather was very cold (the 
month being November), small tents were packed on horses, 
which were intrusted to the white men ; and thus equip- 
ped the party set forward and reached the Monongahela. 

The point Washington aimed for was an Indian vil- 
lage called Logstown, a little below where the city of 
Pittsburg, in Pennsylvania, at present stands. As the 
river flowed in that direction, it would enable him to 
float the tents and baggage down in canoes; so some of 
these were procured and the loads placed in them, in 
charge of some of the men, while the rest of the party 
Ibllowed along the bank. 

They at last reached the Forks of the Ohio near Pitts- 
burg. The weather was intensely cold, but Washington 
stopped to look at the position, lie saw at a glance how 
strong it was, and that it was the very place for a fort; 
which was a proof of liis good-sense, for Fort Dnqucsnc 
was afterward erected there l»y the French. 

At last he reached I^ogstown, and here he had a long 
talk with the "Half King" of the Indians, whose name 



was Tanacharisson. The object of this talk was to per- 
suade him to promise to have nothing to do with the 
French; l»nt Tanacharisson, although he was friendly to 
the English, was afraid to do so, and evaded making any 
promises. He was full of polite speeches, after the In- 
dian fashion ; but the French commander, he said, was at 

OHIO liivEK. 

a fort near Lake Erie, and, if Washington wished, he would 
go with him to see this commandant. 

Washington accepted his offer, and set out with Tana- 
charisson and other Indians, who guided him to a place 
called Venango. Here a cunning old French captain, 


named Joncaire, met them, and set plenty of drink before 
them. The object of this was to make Wat^hington drunk, 
and induce him to talk freely; but the plan did not suc- 
ceed, and he soon left Captain Joncaire, and pushed on 
with the Indians toward the fort near Lake Erie. 

After a long and freezing ride he reached the fort, and 
was courteously received. Tlie commandant was an old 
French officer, called the Chevalier de St. Pierre, with a 
silvery head, and clad in a fine uniform. He made the 
young Virginian a low bow, and invited him into the fort, 
and Washington then handed him a letter which he had 
brought from Governor Dinwiddle. This the chevalier 
received with another polite bow, and then he retired to 
read it. 

Two days then passed, and, on one pretence or other, 
the old chevalier delayed giving an answer to the letter. 
Washington soon saw what this meant. The chevalier 
was extremely polite, but he was quite as cunning, and 
during all this time was endeavoring secretly to persuade 
Tanacharisson to remain friendly to the French, Wash- 
ington found this out, and was very angry ; but the smil- 
ing old Frenchman informed him that he was mistaken 
in supposing any such thing; and at last he gave him a 
reply to Governor Dinwiddle's letter. This showed that 
the chevalier was a good soldier as well as a diplomatist. 
He informed his Excellency Governor Dinwiddie that he 
would send his letter to the INIarquis Duqucsne, in Can- 
ada; but as to giving up the country, he could not and 
would not do so : he was ordered to hold it, and he meant 
to obey his orders. 

This was all Washington cuuld obtain from liini, and 
he now prepared to set out on his return. Tlic old Clieva- 
lier de St. Pierre was both j)olitc and cunning to the last. 
He furnished Washington with plenty of canoes to carry 


his baggage, and a quantity of provisions, but secretly 
tried to persuade Tanacliarisson not to return with him. 
But in this he failed. Tanacharisson went back with 
Washington in the canoes, which were rowed down French 
Creek. The horses followed by land. And that was the 
last they saw of the old Chevalier de St. Pierre. 


The boating expedition down French Creek was a diffi- 
cult affair. It was full of floating ice, and several times 
the canoes were nearly staved to pieces. Now and then 
the men were obliged to jump into the water and drag 
them over shallows ; and once they found that a bend in 
tlie river was so full of broken ice that they were com- 
pelled to take the canoes on their backs, and carry them 
a quarter of a mile before they could find open water 
again. At last they reached Venango, where they parted 
with Tanacharisson and the rest of the Indians, and Wash- 
ington determined to push on, on foot, for Virginia. 

He was induced to do this by tlie terrible condition of 
the roads. They were now almost impassable. The wa- 
ter and snow in them had frozen, and at every step the 
horses broke through and stumbled, and more than once 
fell beneath their riders. It was plain, therefore, to Wash- 
ington that he would never reach Virginia if he depend- 
ed upon the horses to carry him there; so he and his 
friend Gist strapped knapsacks on their backs to carry 
their provisions and papers, took their rifles, buttoned up 
.their overcoats, and pushed into the woods, leaving the 
rest of the men, with the horses, to come on in the best 
manner they could. 

The long and danarerous march of Washinjjton and his 
single companion then began. The obstacles before them 
were enough to dishearten them. It was the depth of 


winter, and the weather was freezing. They were in the 
heart of the wilderness, which was covered with snow, 
and could only guess at their way ; and, what was worse 
than all, they were surrounded by hostile Indians, the 
friends of the French. Perhaps in all Washington's long 
life he was exposed to no peril greater than on this occa- 
sion. It seemed veiy doubtful indeed whether he and 
Gist would ever return alive to Virginia. 

But they pushed forward fearlessly, and Providence 
watched over them. They ate, when they were hungry, 
some of the provisions carried in their knapsacks, and 
at night slept by a fire in the woods. All day long the 
steady tramp continued through the desolate woods, and 
at last they reached a place bearing the gloomy name of 
Murdering Town, where they came upon a band of In- 
dians. As soon as he saw these Indians, Gist, who was 
an old woodsman, began to suspect them. IIo did not 
like their looks, and their side glances excited his suspi- 
cion. He therefore strongly advised Washington not to 
stop, but to push on ; and as one of tlie Indians offered 
himself as a guide, his offer was accepted, and he accom- 
panied them. 

It soon became evident that Gist was right in his sus- 
picions. The first thing the Indian guide did was to offer 
to carry Washington's gun. This he was far too wise to 
consent to, and refused, which made the Indian sulk3^ He 
had evidently hoped to induce Washington to give up his 
gun, and his next attemi)t was to get the two men in liis 
power. Night was coming, and they looked about for a 
place to build a camp-fire; but the Indian advised them 
against tliis. There were some Ottawa Indians in the 
woods, lie said, who would certainly come upon them :iiicl 
murder them; but his own cabin was near, and if they 
would go with him they would be safe. 


This was very suspicious, and they resolved to be on 
their guard. The good-sense of this was soon seen. They 
refused the Indian's offer, and went on looking for water, 
near which they meant to encamp. The Indian guide was 
walking ten or twenty yards in front of them, when, just 
as they came to an open space where the glare of the snow 
lit up the darkness, the Indian turned and levelled his gun 
at Washington and fired. The bullet did not strike him, 
and the Indian darted behind a tree. But Washington 
rushed upon him and seized him before he could escape. 

Gist came up at once, and was eager to put the guide 
to death. But for some reason Washington would not 
consent to this. He took the Indian's gun away from him, 
and soon afterward they reached a small stream, where 
they made tlie guide build them a fire to camp by for 
the night. Gist was now very uneasy. He knew tlie 
Indians much better than Washington did, and told him 
that if he would not put tlie guide to death they must get 
away from him. This was agreed to, and the Indian was 
told he could go to his cabin, if he chose, for the night. 
As to themselves, they would camp in the woods, and join 
him there in the morning, which they could easily do by 
following his tracks in the snow. 

The guide was glad to get away, and was soon out of 
sight; Gist followed him cautiously, listening to his foot- 
steps breaking the dry twigs in the woods. As soon as 
he was sure that the Indian was gone, he came back to 
Washington and told him that if he valued his life he 
had better get away from this spot, as he was certain that 
the guide meant to bring other Indians to murder them ; 
so they again set forward through the woods. 

When they had gone about half a mile they kindled 
another fire, but did not lie down to sleep. The fire was 
only to deceive the Indians. Instead of going to sleep. 


Washington and Gist set out again, and travelled all that 
night and the next day without stopping. They knew 
that their lives depended on getting away quickly from 
that dangerous country. And at last they reached the 
banks of the Alleghany, a little above the present city of 



They had expected to cross to the eastern bank of the 
Alleghany on the ice, but this they now found was impos- 
sible. Instead of presenting a level floor of ice from bank 
to bank, the river was only frozen about fifty yards from 
each shore, and the channel in the middle was open and 
full of drifting ice. It came down in large masses, and 
there was no possibility of crossing ; so the two travellers 
lay down for the night, to consider what they would do 
in the morning. 

There seemed no hope of crossing except by means of 
a raft, that is, by binding logs together in some manner, 
and floating over upon them. This they resolved to at- 
tempt. As soon as daylight came they began the work. 
Gist probably had a hatchet with him, as woodmen gener- 
ally carried one, and trees were cut down and tied togeth- 
er with grape-vines. Tliis rough raft was then dragged 
to the edge of tlie ice, and tlie two men got upon it and 
pushed it into tlie water. This was done by means of 
long poles, whidi they had cut for tlie ])urposc; and soon 
the raft was driving on into the midst of the broken ice. 

Their situation soon became dangerous. The current 
was strong, and in spite of all they could do to force the 
raft across, the ice swept it down, and they could not 
rcacli the shore. P]very exertion was made to steady it, 
and in attempting to do so Washington mot with a very 
dangerous accident. He was leaning on his long ])ole, 
resting on the bottom of the river, which was about ten 



feet deep, wlien the ice crashed against it, and he was 
thrown into the water. Few things are more perilous 
than this. The water was freezing cold, and he no doubt 
had on his heavy overcoat, and this clogged his move- 
ments and threatened to sink him with its weight. And 
here let me stop a moment to give you some advice which 
may save your life some day. Never ford a deep stream 


on horseback or otherwise with an overcoat on. First 
take it off, with your arms, if you carry any ; then you 
may swim out if an accident happens. If you do not, 
you will probably be drowned. 

Fortunately Washington succeeded in getting back on 
the raft, in wliich Gist no doubt assisted him. They were 
then swept along, and gave up all attempts to reach the 


shore, where they had intended at first to do. At last 
they saw a chance for safety. The ice drove the raft 
near a small island, and they managed to get upon it. 
The raft was then carried away, and disappeared in the 
floating ice, and they found themselves on firm ground 

But their situation seemed nearly as bad as ever, if not 
worse. They were upon a small island which had no fuel 
upon it, it seems, for we are told that they could not make 
a fire. The shore was still at some distance, and they had 
no means of reaching it ; and the cold was so intense that 
Gist had his hands and feet frozen. It was a miserable 
night, and they must have remembered it for years after- 
ward. They lay down in their overcoats and shivered 
through the dark hours, until at last day came and they 
looked around. 

Providence had befriended them. The floating blocks 
of ice had frozen together during the night, and they saw 
that there was a solid pathway to the shore. They reach- 
ed it without trouble, though his frozen feet must have 
given Gist intense pain in walking; and then they set 
forward again with brave hearts toward the South. Soon 
their troubles were over. Tliey reached without further 
accident the house of a trader whom they knew, on the 
Monongahcla Iliver, and he received them cordially and 
supplied all tlieir wants. 

Wasliington then bought a horse, as his own were far 
behind; and sixteen days afterward he was hundreds of 
miles distant, in "Williamsburg, informing Governor Din- 
widdle of tlie results of his expedition. 

Tl)is adventurous journey through the Great Woods 
crave Washington a higli reputation. It was seen that 


he was a man who could be depended upon, and in the 
next spring (1754) he was appointed one of the officers 
to command an expedition against the French. 

I have not time to give you a full account of this ex- 
pedition; but as it is well to know the main facts, I will 
tell you these before I finish my story of Washington's 
adventures in the wilderness. 

The old Chevalier de St, Pierre's letter to Dinwiddle 
was not at all satisfactory, and the governor determined 
to send a body of troops and drive the French out of 
the country. This was approved of by everybody, and 
Washington was appointed to command a part of them. 
In April he was ready, and marched to Cumberland, then 
called Wills' Creek; but here he heard unwelcome news. 
Some Virginians had gone in front to build a fort at the 
forks of the Ohio, on the very spot .selected, you may re- 
member, by Washington on his way to visit the Chevalier 
de St. Pierre. The force sent was small, and they were 
suddenly attacked by several hundred French and In- 
dians, who easily captured them. The French then set 
about finishing the fort for themselves, after which they 
marched toward Virginia, to attack the forces sent against 

This was the news received by Washington, and, at 
the head of one hundred and fifty men, he advanced to 
meet the enemy. On the way he was joined by his old 
acquaintances. Gist and Tanacharisson, who told him that 
a large body of French and Indians were not far off. He 
therefore halted at a place called the Great Meadows, 
and threw up an earthwork. This he called Fort Neces- 
sity, and here he waited. 

Tanacharisson, with some Indians, then went forward 
into the woods, and soon came back and reported that 
they had found a force of Frenchmen a few miles oflT. 


They numbered oirfy about fifty, he said, and Washington 
determined to advance quietly and take them by surprise. 
This was done, and a fight followed. Tlie French were 
posted behind rocks, but the Virginians attacked and de- 
feated them, killing several, among whom was their com- 
mander, De Jumonville. 

All were now in high spirits, and other forces joined 
them. "Washington had four hundred men, and he march- 
ed forward to otter the French battle. On the way, how- 
ever, he received intelligence which made him hesitate. 
The enemy had been re -enforced heavily, and were ad- 
vancing to attack him. He therefore retreated again to 
Fort Necessity, and the French and Indians, to the num- 
ber of about nine hundred, soon appeared in front of it. 
They were commanded by an otticer named De Villiers, 
a brother-in-law of De Jumonville's, and the fighting at 
once began. Tlic Yii'ginians fought well, but were op- 
posed to more than double their number. They Avere 
also suffering for food, and the rain was pouring, and 
they could not see the French and Indians, who were 
concealed in the w'oods. 

All this was very discouraging. They could not vent- 
ure far into the woods for fear of being surrounded, and 
they could not stand a siege, as they had no provisions. 
After fighting for some time, the French demanded their 
surrender; and as the terms were favorable, Washington 
consulted with his officers, and resolved to accept them. 
He agreed to surrender, and did so on July the Fourtli 
(lTo4). llis men marched out of Fort Necessity, leaving 
their cannon behind theni, and the Frencli were thus mas- 
ters of the whole country. 

This was what is known in history as the "Surrender 
at Great ^^eadows." It was not a very glorious affair, 
as the Virginians had four liiindred men, if the enemy 



had nine hundred. But I suppose Washington did what 
was most prudent. He certainly did not act from fear, 
for his whole life proves that he never had any ; and the 
Governor and House of Burgesses approved of his course, 
and thanked him for what he had done. 

The events here related will show you what Wash- 
ington's character was, and why so much confidence was 
placed in hitn. Although quite a young man, he was cool 
and determined, as he clearly showed in his dealings with 
Joncaire and St. Pierre, and afterward in the expedition 
I have just spoken of If he had been thoughtless and 
hot-headed, as young men are apt to be, he would have 
failed in everything, and i)erhaps shed his men's blood 
for nothing at Great Meadows. But he seems to have 
acted as coolly as he afterward did when he was a gray- 
haired general. He saw what was the best to do, and 
he did it to the best of his ability ; and to say that is 
the same as saying that he was a great man even then. 




TuERE was one other evciiL in the old " Frencli War," 
as it was called, which I must relate. It was a remarka- 
ble incident, which many persons long remembered, and 
went by the name of " ]>raddock's Defeat." 

I have told you of the surrender at Great Meadows in 
1754. When the news reached England it caused great 
excitement. At last the long dispute between France and 
England had ended in fighting, and troops were sent over 
to make war on the Frenchmen. These troops were first 
to march and capture Fort Duquesne ; then they were 
to move on and attack the other French strongholds one 
after another; and as no one supposed that they could be 
defeated, it was expected that the whole country would 
be in possession of the English by the end of the year. 

This was a fine plan to write down upon paper, but 
much harder to carry out. The English soldiers knew 
nothing whatever about fighting in the woods, and the 
ffcneral wlio commandt.'d thcjn was so headstrong that he 
would take advice from no one His name was General 
Braddock, and he was about forty years of age. lie was 
a stout, bluff, red-faced, obstinate soldier, with the highest 
possible opinion of himself and his men, but very little 
respect for the " provincials," as he called the Americans. 
He did n(»t look u]iiiu them as soldiers, and swore that his 
"regulars" would show tin iii liuw to fight. The provin- 
cials, he said, might <lodge behind trees, if they chose, but 


he meant to march straight forward, with his drums and 
trumpets sounding, and make an end of the French be- 
fore the autumn. Of this there could be no doubt. Fort 
Diiquesne would not keep him more than three or four 
days ; then he meant to march on and attack Fort Niaga- 
ra, then another fort called Frontenac. And that would 
be the end of the matter. 

Among the persons to whom he talked in this manner 
was the celebrated Benjamin Franklin. He had come 
from Pennsylvania to see Braddock on business, and wore 


a Quaker coat and hat, and was as cool and cautious as 
the Englishman was boastful. 

"To be sure, sir," Franklin now said to Braddock, in 
reply, ^^ if you arrive well before Duqiiesne with these fine 
troops, the fort can probably make but a short resistance." 

The trouble, however, Franklin went on to say, was to 
get there safely. The Indians would help the French, and 
waylay the English in the woods probably ; and if they 
did not look out carefully, the line of soldiers would be 
"cut like a thread into several pieces." 


But Bi-addock only laughed, and sneered at the idea 
that a Quaker could tell him anything about military 

"These savages may be indeed a formidable enemy to 
raw American militia,^'' he replied, "but upon the king''s 
regular and discij)lined troops^ sir, it is impossible to make 
any impression !" 

Braddock had iMtclligcncc enough, however, to know 
that it would be better to have some one with him who 
knew the country toward Fort Duquesne; and he was 
informed that a young soldier, living at a place called 
"Mount Vernon," was well acquainted with it. TItis was 
AVashington, and Braddock sent him an invitation to come 
to Alexandria, where the English had landed, and see him. 
Washington rode over at once. J^raddock offered him a 
])lace on his staff, and the young soldier accepted it, and 
)»romised to go on the expedition. 

The great trouble now was to procure wagons to con- 
vey the munitions and provisions. The troops had gone 
forward to Fort Cumberland, but could not move, Brad- 
dock said, without wagons; and whenever he spoke of 
these wagons, lie cursed and swore in the most violent 
maimer. In fact, liraddock swore at everything. AVhen 
he set out for Ciiniberland, he swore at the roads; when 
he spoke of the ))rovincials, he swore at theui; and when 
nothing in particular annoyed him at tlie moment, he 
swore at tlic country in general. 

This will give you some idea of General Braddock's 
character. lb- was a bra\e man and a nr'^'d soldier, but 
very high-tempered and ilomineering. lb' ciiuld not con- 
trol his anger when he became excited, and, what was 
worst of all, he liad an extravagant opinion of Iiis own 
judgment. Washington observed this, and must, have felt 
very nielanchnly as to the fate of the expedition. He saw 


that Braddock would take no advice, and that something 
unfortunate would probably happen. He had accepted 
Braddock's offer, however, to go with him, and did not 
mean to turn back. They set out from Alexandria, and 
went to Frederick, in Maryland. Then Braddock, who 
travelled in a fine coach, guarded by a troop of cavalry, 
travelled through muddy roads to Winchester, which was 
near Greenway Court. Whether he visited Lord Fairfax 
there is uncertain. But Washington did : he obtained 
fresh horses at Greenway, and then rejoined General Brad- 
dock, who, after a short halt at Winchester, continued his 
way through the mountains to Cumberland. 

Here his army awaited him, and were drawn up in line 
to receive him. His coach, with its cavalry guard, passed 
rapidly along the line, in the midst of the roll of drums, 
and a salute of seventeen pieces of artillery was fired to 

welcome him. 


Many weeks passed at Cumberland before the little 
army was in order to march. It consisted of about two 
thousand men, and Braddock drilled it carefully and es- 
tablished rigid discipline. Washington saw that the gen- 
eral was a thorough soldier, and would be obeyed. Drunk- 
enness was punished by close confinement, and theft by 
cruel whipping. Some Indians who came with their wives 
and daughters to the camp were ordered away at once, 
and Braddock's firm hand Avas felt everywhere. 

All this proved very instructive to Washington, and he 
witnessed the military ceremonies which were observed 
with deep interest — the regular guard -mountings, the 
drills and reviews, and the burial of an ofiicer one day, 
when a guard of honor marched beside the coftin, on 
which lay the dead man's sword and sash, with their guns 
reversed, and fired a salute over the grave. 



At last the wagons, which General Braddock had sworn 
so often about, were obtained, and the array set out on its 
march. It had to penetrate the "Shades of Death," as 
the Great Woods were cdled ; and this proved, as Wash- 
ijigton had told Braddock, a " tremendous undertaking." 
Bodies of men had to be sent in front to cut a road for 
the wagons through the woods; and day after day the 
army toiled along, watched by parties of Indians from the 



surrounding hills, ready to attack it on the first opportu- 

At last Washington lost his ])ationce. It seemed ut- 
terly absurd to liim tliat the army should be delayed by 
this long, cumbrous train r)f wagons, loaded down, lor the 
most part, with the baggage of the English officers, which 
they refused to leave behind. He therefore went to (len- 
cral Braddock, and told him that the wagons must be left 
to come on, while the army marched forward. He could 
carry the powder and i)rovisions on pack-horses; and if 


this was not clone, tliey would not reach Fort Duquesne 
until the French had collected a large army to receive 

Rash and impatient as Braddock was, he saw the good- 
sense of this advice. He began to understand that there 
were some things which the provincials could teach 
him, and ordered Washington's views to be carried out. 
Twelve hundred men and ten pieces of cannon, with the 
stores on pack-horses, advanced in front, commanded by 
Braddock, and the rest followed with the slow wagon- 
train under Colonel Dunbar. 

The twelve hundred men now advanced steadily in the 
direction of Fort Duquesne. On the way an incident oc- 
curred which, again showed how obstinate General Brad- 
dock was, and how little he kncAV about fighting in the 
woods. A well-known hunter and woodsman named 
Captain Jack, or " Black Rifle," joined the troops with 
some of his men, and ofiered Braddock his services. Cap- 
tain Jack was a wild-looking hunter, with a long rifle, and 
dressed in deer -skin. He informed the general that he 
and his men were well acquainted with Indian fighting, 
and, if he wished, they would scout in front, and report 
whether they discovered any enemies. 

General Braddock ought certainly to have had sense 
enough to accept this ofter. Why he did not it is hard 
to say, unless he was determined to show that he did not 
require assistance from anybody. At all events, he re- 
ceived Captain Jack's ofter very coldly, telling him that 
"there was time enough for making arrangements, and 
that he had experienced troops, on whom he could rely 
for all purposes." He then made Captain Jack and his 
men a bow, to show them that he had said all that he had 
to say, and that was the end of it. They left without 
further words; but if Braddock had accepted their ser- 



vices, it is probable that the fate of the Avhole expedition 
Mould have been diifeient. 

Tliey were now approaching Fort Duquesne, and had 
seen few signs of Indians. Sometimes they came on a 
pile of black brands in the M'oods where some^ one had 
been, and one day a French officer was shot as he was 
out hunting. But the woods seemed nearly deserted, and 
no enemy was seen. 

At last Braddock halted on the Monongahela River, 


about fifteen miles from I'orl l)ii(|ucsnc. He was on the 
same side of the river, but found he would have to cross 
it, as a steep mountain just in front of iiim ran down into 
the water, and left no road for tlie cannon. There was, 
however, a good ford near his camp, and another, he heard, 
about five miles farther on. I>y crossing at these l)e could 
advance straight on the fort; and he made all his arrange- 
ments to do so at davlight on the next morning. 



That was the last night on earth for many of the brave 
fellows in the little army. Death was coming upon them 
swiftly. And I will now relate what took place. 


At daylight the army was drawn up and roadv to 
march. It was the morning of the 9th of July, 1755. 

The force was the advance, you know, of twelve hun- 
dred men and ten pieces of artillery. They were partly 
English regulars and partly Virginians, and at the word 
they inarched down to the ford and crossed without trou- 
ble. The regulars went in front, though Washington had 
strongly advised Braddock to allow the Virginians to go 
before. These "Rangers," as they were called, were far 
better acquainted with fighting in the Avoods, he said, 
than the English regulars. But this only irritated Brad- 
dock. He gave a very short answer, and would not make 
any change. And what he now did was still worse. In- 
stead of advancing in silence, so as to surprise the ene- 
my, as he should have done, he ordered tlie drums to be 
beaten and the fifes to be blown, as if he was anxious 
to inform the French that he was coming. In this man- 
ner the English marched on, in their bright red uniforms, 
and with their muskets glistening in the sun. The flags 
floated, the cannon rumbled, the drums and fifes "were in 
full blast; and Washington afterward told his friends that 
it was the finest sight he had ever looked upon in his life. 

They were soon at the second ford, and found that 
there was no trouble in crossing here either. The water 
was shallow, and the men waded, and were followed by 
tlie cavali-y and cannon. The drums were beating still 
and the fifes sounding shrilly; so if the FrencH had not 
known of Braddock's approach, they would have known 
it novr. 


Before them, beyond the river, tliey saw a plain ; and 
as Braddock knew that he Avas near the enemy, he made 
liis ])reparations for battle. A part of the array was to 
advance in front nnder Colonel Gage, and Braddock 
himself was to follow with the reserve or main bod}', 
■which was to sni)port the advance if it was attacked. 
Flanking parties were then sent out on both flanks of 
the army, which at once moved forward toward Fort Dn- 

Tlie name of the ofiicer in command of the fort at this 
time was De ContreccEur. As the whole country was full 
of reports about the expedition, he knew that Braddock 
was coming to attack him. This lie was very much 
afraid of Ilis force was not large, and he feared that he 
would not be able to defend the place, but be compelled 
to retire and give it up to the English. But this did not 
suit a young French officer in the fort, named Ue Beau- 
jeu. He oflered to take a party of French and Indians 
and march to meet Braddock, and to this De Contrecceur 
consented. De Bcaujeu accordingly selected his men, 
and, placing liimself at the head of them, set forward to 
meet and fight the i^nglish. 

The bloody encounter followed very soon. I have men- 
tioned the plain over which the J-Cnglisli were marching. 
Beyond this plain, in fiont, was a rising ground, Ijchind 
which were woods; and on each side of tlic army, as it 
marched up the liill, were two ravines or liollows full of 
bushes antl trees. 

Here the battle took place. Colonel Gage was march- 
ing up steadily, with liis men in close order, and followed 
l)y I>rad<lock willi the reserve, wIumi suddenly a licnvy 
fire was opened upon liim from tlie right, left, and front 
at the same moment. These were De Beaujeu's men, 
Frenclmien and Indians, whom he had concealed in the 


brushwood, and he himself leaped forward, in his fine 
frino-ed huntinoj-sliirt, in front of all. A bullet struck him 
as he did so, and he fell dead; but this did not discourage 
his men. They poured a hotter fire still into the dense 
mass of redcoats on the slope of the hill, and every shot 
seemed to kill a man. 

All was now uproar and confusion. The surprise was 
complete, and the English officers lost all control of the 
men. They were huddled uj) like sheep, and only fired 
at random ; and still the fatal fire from the front and the 
two ravines continued to destroy them. 

Braddock galloped to the front and waved his sword, 
ordering the men to fire and charge. His voice was loud 
and his face furious, but the panic- struck regulars did 
not seem to hear him. This sudden attack confused them 
so much that they seemed to have lost their wits; and 
Washington rode up to Braddock and said if he did not 
order them to scatter they woitld all be killed. At this 
Braddock grew furious. 

"What!" he exclaimed, "a Virginia colonel teach a 
British general how to fight !" 

Even in that perilous moment he thus showed his preju- 
dice against the provincials. lie resolved to form line of 
battle, and march in solid column on the enemy. And all 
this time the French and Indians were scattered through 
the woods, every man behind his tree, taking dead aim 
at the huddled-up regulars, and killing them one by one. 
They were worse than hornets, buzzing and stinging, and 
as difficult to get at: and the youngest boy can see that 
Washington's advice ought to have been followed. But 
Braddock would not follow it. His soldierly pride was 
aroused at the idea that, with his fine British regulars, he 
was to be stopped by a body of skirmishers or sharp- 
shooters dodfifing behind trees; and he rushed around 


on horseback, sliouting liis orders, and calling for bis can- 
non to clear tbe woods by firing grajje-sbot into tbem. 

At last the cannon, which had been in the rear, came 
up with the horses at a gallop, and was nnlinibered, that 
is, gotten ready for fighting. But it seemed nseless to 
bring it up. The English cannoneers were no cooler than 
the foot-soldiers. The incessant crack of the enemy's ri- 
fles, bringing down a man at every shot, confused them 
and filled them with panic, and they seemed ready to de- 
sert their gnns and fly. 

All would haye been lost now, in the yery beginning 
of the battle, but for the Virginia rangers. They knew the 
Indian way of fighting, and at once scattered, and fought 
from behind the trees: while the resTulars were firing in 
wild confusion, without knowing what they fired at, each 
of tiie Virginians picked out an enemy, and took good aim 
and put a bullet through him. George Washington, whom 
they looked to as their leader, did his part. I haye men- 
tioned the panic which seized upon the English cannon- 
eers. They seemed to be stunned by the bloody sight 
around them and the yells of the savages, and made no 
eflfort to man the gnns. "Washington therefore leaped 
from his horse, wheeled one of the cannon with his own 
hands, and fired a round of grape-shot into the woods 
whore the enemy was concealed. 

Wild yells were heard, and some of the French and In- 
dians ^vere no doubt killed. But they continued to fire 
as hotly as ever. Washington and the English ofticers 
made every effort to rally the regulars, but it was impos- 
sible. Tiie officers were on horseback, and were picked 
out by the Indian sharp-shooters as Ihey galloped to .'inil 
fro, Braddock was as brave as he was obstinate and im- 
patient. When it came to fighting, he showed what a 
true soldier lie was. He had five horses shot under him. 


one after another, and "Washington had two killed under 
him also. Four bullets passed through AVashington's 
clothes, and nothing but Providence preserved him. As 
he rode in front, rallying the men, he was an excellent 
mark; and many years afterward an old Indian said that 
he had done his best to kill him. He took dead aim at 
Washington, he said, and tired at him. Jif teen times, but 
he never could strike him. 

The confusion and uproar went on and grew Avorse 
and worse. Nothing could be done to rally the panic- 
stricken English regulars. The brave English officers did 
all they could, but the redcoats did not seem to hear 
them ; and one by one men and officers were killed by 
the hidden marksmen, who uttered wild yells as they saw 
them fall. 

At last Braddock was shot. The bullet passed through 
his right arm and pierced his breast, and he would have 
fallen from his liorse had not Captain Stewart, of the Vir- 
ginia Light-horse, caught him. In his agony and mortifi- 
cation he uttered a deep groan, and asked them to leave 
him to die on the field of battle. To this, of course, they 
would not consent. He was hurried away, as everybody 
saw that the army was about to break, and they placed 
him in a light wagon, Avhich was driven hastily toward 
the ford in their rear. 

The fill of Braddock was the signal for a disorderly 
flight. The English regulars gave up all hope now, and 
broke in confusion. Men, cannon, and all rushed back 
toward the river^ hotly pursued by the French and In- 
dians, who fired on. them, uttering loud shouts and yells. 
The Virginians were obliged to give way like the rest, 
and retreated over the battle-field, which was strewed 
with dead bodies. More than seven hundred of Brad- 
dock's men had been killed or wounded, and sixtj'-two of- 


ficers out of eiglity-six, of wliom twenty-six had been killed 
on the field. This was a terrible mortality in so small a 
force; and the Virginians, wlio brought up the retreat, 
lost more heavily than the English. One of the compa- 
nies was destroyed almost to the last man, and in another 
every officer was shot, down to the lowest corporal. 

The only course for the remnant of the fine army to 
pursue now was to get away as quickly as possible. They 
were in the heart of the Great Woods, with a triumphant 
enemy in ]iursuit ; and they rushed pell-mell toward the 
river, and ])lunged into the water. Many threw away 
tlieir muskets, and this unsoldierly act seems to have pre- 
served them from destruction. Tiie Indians ])ursuing them 
stopped to pick up these guns, and, no doubt, also to scalp 
the dead, as they always did; and this gave the English a 
little time. Their officers acted bravely, as English officers 
always do. They managed to get the flying troops over 
the river, and restore something like order among them ; 
and then the defeated army hurried on toward Virginia. 

It was a terrible defeat ; and to think of it probably gave 
poor Braddock worse agony than liis wounds. lie did not 
wish to give up, even after all was lost. Like the brave 
soldier he was, he asked his friends to take liim back and 
let him die on the field, lighting to- the last. But this was 
mere madness. lie had no army to fight with. There was 
nothing left for him but to do as the rest had done — en- 
deavor to get away in safety. 

ITow to get the wounded general oflT, however, was the 
dittifulty. Me was so badly wounded that it was impossi- 
l>lc for him to ri<lc u|)on horseback. Even the jolting of 
the light wagfMi in which he had been takou across the 
river was more than ho could bear; but at last a plan 


was devised for carrying him away without giving him 
pain. This was to employ a sash, which he wore, as a sort 
of liammock. At tliat time soldiers' sashes were made 
very large and strong. They were of close -woven silk, 
and though thin and fine in texture, would bear a great 
strain upon them. Braddock wore an uncommonly large 
one; and his friends now took it oif and tied the ends to 
the saddles of two horses, thus forming a hammock or 
swinging-bed. In this the wounded soldier was placed ; 
and as the silk was elastic, the movement of the horses as 
they were led along did not give him pain. 

I ought to tell you, before going on, that this incident 
rests on tradition : but there are no good grounds for 
doubting it, for two reasons. One is that the men present 
reported that it was done, and another that the red sash is 
yet in existence, or was some years since. It was kept by 
some one, and in the year 1846 was sent to General Tay- 
lor, who was then fighting the Mexicans, to be presented 
to " the bravest man in his army." The old general look- 
ed at it, and saw the figures "ITOV" woven in the silk, 
and told the other generals about it. One of these, Gen- 
eral Gaines, said it was no doubt true that Braddock 
had been carried oif in it, as sashes were often used for 
that purpose in old times, and General Ripley had been 
laid in one when he was wounded at the battle of Lundy's 
Lane. I suppose this statement is true, and the tradition 
also, and that Braddock was thus carried along ; and so I 
will go on and finish my story. 

It was ii sorrowful march through the Great Woods 
toward Virginia. The fine army which had advanced so 
bravely, with drums beating and flags flying, was now 
only a ci'owd of fugitives listening for the yells of the In- 
dians behind them, and hurrying along to reach a place of 
safety. Why the French did not follow them and cut 


lliem to pieces it is hard to say. It seems that they 
misjlit have done so, but for some reason they did not. 
This may liave been for fear tliat the English had fresh 
troops, and might hiy a trap for the)n. Some fresh men 
did come to lielp them from the force which had remained 
in rear under Colonel Dunbar. Washington galloped back 
and ordered up these troops, but it was too late to think 
of doing anything. The only thing to do -was to press 
on and get away from the enemy, and the men hurried 
along in the direction of Fort Cumberland. 

Poor Braddock was never to reach that place, from 
which he had set out with such high hopes. His wounds 
grew worse and worse, and his strength failed more and 
more, as he went on. Very few persons were with him. 
His regulars seemed to liave forgotten all about him, 
thinking only of their own safety; but the English officers 
and the Virginia Light-horse stuck to him, resolved to tight 
for him to the last. The Virginians, it is stated, were " un- 
remitting in their attentions," and proved better friends 
than his own men in his time of trouble. He saw how un- 
just he had been to them now, and told them they had 
fought gallantly and like true soldiers. He begged "NV^ash- 
ington's pardon for all his ill-humor, and to show his re- 
gaid for him, presented him with a fine riding-horse, and 
an old soldier named I>isho|i, who had been his own body- 

As ho went along, he kept groaning to liimsolf: 

"Who would have thought it ! w l:o would liavc tliought 
it ! \\\\\ wo shall know better how to deal willi tliem an- 
oth(;r time.'' 

He was not to have any more dealings with the French, 
or any one else. He was about to die. His wounds l)o- 
camc more and more painful, and his strength was failing 
fast. Finally they reached the Great Meadows, where 



Washington liad surrendered, you know, to De Villiers 
just one year before. Here they were obliged to stop. 
Poor Braddock could go no farther. His life was ebbing 
away, and he called his friends around him and took leave 
of them. After this his end soon came. Ou the 13th of 


'I'M' " 


July, four days after the battle, his eyes closed and he ex- 

A grave was dug near the fort, and in this he was 
buried. The ceremony took place at night, and as there 
was no chaplain present, Washington himself read the 
burial-service over the grave. Everything was done with 
the utmost secrecy to prevent the Indian scouts, Avho were 


no doubt luvkins; near, from discovering Braddock's rest- 
ing-place, as they would no doubt have dug up his body 
to scalp it, if they had known where he was buried. The 
Virginians were afraid to lire a salute above the grave, 
which was customary, you know, at the funeral of a sol- 
dier. This would have been heard, and none was fired. 
Before daylight the grave was filled up, and the earth 
smoothed down carefully, in order to conceal it. Then 
the Yiririuians and the Enijlish officei's, wlio had remained 
fixithful to the last, took up their sorrowful liiarch again 
through the forests toward Cumberland. 

This was the famous incident known as "Braddock's 
Defeat." It is an interesting story, I think, and has an 
important moral. Poor Braddock was ruined by liis re- 
fusal to take advice. lie was obstinate, and had so high 
an opinion of his own judgment that lie would not listen 
to Washington, who knew far moi-e about fighting in the 
woods than lie did. This blinded his eyes, and was the 
cause of his destruction. He was a brave and generous 
soldier, but tliis did not avail him. His fine ai'my was 
destroyed, and his friends had even to conceal liis last 
resting-place from his enemies. 




In October, 1'774, a bloody battle took place between 
the Indians and Virginians on the banks of the Ohio, and 
this was followed some time afterward by the murder of 
the Indian leader, whose name was Cornstalk, Of these 
fierce old border scenes I will now try to give you a de- 

Many persons have treated the Indians with injustice — 
I mean, in the opinions formed and expressed of them. 
They have been looked upon as only blood-thirsty wild 
animals full of savage instincts; but this is only half the 
truth about them. They were blood-thirsty enough, but 
were men of great courage and often of generous traits. 
Thoy fought for Avhat they considered their rights — as 
what man will not? — that is, for the soil on which their 
forefathers had lived and hunted for many generations; 
and it certainly is hard to find any fault with them for 
that. The English came to take it away from them, with 
no better reason for doing so than that they were a supe- 
rior and stronger race, which was no reason at all, unless 
we say that " might is right." They attacked each other, 
and many cruelties were committed, in which the Indians 
took the lead, in accordance with their savage character. 
North and South, war went on with them, and the two 
races hated each other bitterly ; but there were great and 
noble Indians, as there were great and noble white men. 


Of one of these I mean to tell you to-day, and first of a 
liard-fouglit battle, in which he was the leader of the "Red- 

As I have said, it was the year 1774, and war was about 
to begin between England and the colonies. It was be- 
lieved at that time that the English governors had secret 


dealings with tlie Indians to make them attack the colo- 
nists, and so prevent tliera from fighting Enghuid. Wheth- 
er this was true or not, one thing is certain, that in this 
autumn of 1774 the Indians collected a hirgc number of 
warriors iti the woods beyond tlio Ohio Kiver, to make 
war on tlic \'ii'ginians, and tlie whites at once prepared 
to meet them. 

The name of tlie Englisli Governor of Virginia at that 
time was Lord Dunmorc. Tlie Virginians did not like him 
much, as he was not very friendly to them ; and in what 
now took place, they said that he had a secret understand- 
ing with the Indians to make them attack wliite people. 
He, however, seemed to be doing all in his power to i)re- 
vent them from injuring the Virginians. He raised an 
army, and marched with a pait of it toward the Indian 


country, as if he intended to fight them ; but he failed to 
do SO, as you will see, and many people said that he never 
meant to do anything of the sort. 

While Governor Dunmore was marcliing with one part 
of liis army toward the Great Woods, where George Wash- 
ington had the adventures I have told you about, another 
little army was getting ready to march from Leuisburg, 
in Western Virginia, not far from what is now the fjxmous 
White Sulpliur Springs, This was commanded by a brave 
soldier named General Andrew Lewis. He was a tall, 
powerful man, about forty -five years of age, with long 
hair, and generally wore a hunting -shirt. This was a 
loose sort of coat, made like a common shirt, but a belt 
was buckled around the waist, in which were carried a 
long knife, and sometimes a tomahawk, the name of a 
small sharp hatchet which the Indians and white hunters 
used in figliting. When he was dressed in his hunting- 
shirt and deer-skin leggings, botli of which were generally 
ornamented with fringe, and stood, with his head up and 
his long rifle in his hand, Andrew Lewis was a brave-look- 
ing soldier. A tall bronze statue of him now stands in 
the Capitol Square at Richmond, and shows how he look- 
ed. He was born in Ireland, and all his family came from 
that country, to escape being punished for killing a power- 
ful man who had acted very cruelly toward them. But 
Lewis was a thorough Virginian in his feelings, and when 
Lord Dunmore called on him to march at the head of his 
friends against the Indians, he set about collecting men as 
soon as possible for the purpose. 

As everybody liked Andrew Lewis and had the highest 
opinion of him, his friends took down their long rifles from 
the pegs driven into the log -walls of their houses, and 
marched to Lewisburg, which was then called Camp Un- 
ion, to meet him. He soon found that he had a little army 



of about eleven luiiidred iiicii, und in the month of .Sf|»leni- 
IxT, 1774, ho set out on his march toward the Ohio River 
to flight the Indians. 

The country through wliicli Andrew Lewis and liis men 
now made their way was one of the rotiglicst in tlie world. 


It was full of woods, and swift rivers running between 
ruo-oed mountains, over which no paths had ever been cut. 
The men had to toil along slowly ; but they were strong 
hunters, used to the woods, and did not mean to stop for 
anything. Their provisions and gunpowder were carried 
on pack-horses — ^just as Washington had advised poor Gen- 
eral Braddoclc to carry his — for no wagon could be driven 
through such a country. At last, after marching one hun- 
dred and sixty miles, which took them nineteen days, the 
little army reached the Ohio Kiver, at a place called Point 
Pleasant, where the Great Kanawha, or " River of the 
Woods," as the name signified in the Indian language, 
empties into it. 

Nothing had yet been heard of Lord Dunmore. As I 
have told you, he was marching far off — somewhere in the 
direction of Fort Duquesne, or Fort Pitt, as it was now 
called by tlie English, near which Braddock had his un- 
fortunate battle — and Andrew Lewis could hear nothing 
about him. He sent off "runners," as they were called — 
that is, hunters who knew the woods, and travelled rapid- 
ly — to look for Dunmore ; and, as all of his own men had 
not arrived, he determined to wait at Point Pleasant until 
he heard from the Governor. Soon afterward he received 
a message from Governor Dunmore that he must cross the 
OI)io River and march forward, and he immediately got 
ready to obey the order. But the Indians Avere too quick 
for him. They had resolved to fight Lewis before he could 
reach Dunmore, and this brought on the bloody battle 
about which I am going to tell you. 

It was now the month of October, which is a fine time 
for hunting, and one morning two of Lewis's men went up 
the bank of the river to shoot deer. They had gone about 
two miles when a large number of Indians suddenly rose 
up from the bushes in front and fired at them, killing one 


of them. The other man ran back to camp as swiftly as 
possible, and said he had seen Indians enough to " cover 
four acres of ground" packed close together. When he 
lieard this, Lewis knew that the Indians had come to at- 
tack him, and made haste to get his little army ready to 
receive them (October 10th, 1774). 


Andrew Lewis was a brave man, as he show'cd on this 
and many other occasions. Some people grow excited 
when the moment of danger a])proaches, but this was not 
the case with Lewis. lie took his j)ipe from his pocket, 
filled it with tobacco, lit it, and began to smoke. He 
then gave his orders to the men. 

These orders were that they should form two lines of 
battle, the one on the left to be commanded by Iiis biotli- 
cr, Colonel Charles Lewis, and the one on the right by 
Colonel William Fleming, while he himself commanded 
the whole. It was not very good ground to fight upon. 
At this si)ot the Ohio and Kanawha rivers form a sort 
of elbow, and a small stream, called Crooked Run, ran into 
the Kanawha on the right of the Virginians, while the 
broad Ohio was on their left. They were thus hemmed 
in with a river behind them, and there ^vas no road to 
retreat if they were defeated, except across Crooked Kun. 
Lewis would not have chosen such ground to figlit ii|m>ii 
if he had had his own way, but iIm'I'c was no help for it 
now, as the Indians, he knew, were close to him. So he 
ordered the men to see that their rifles were all loaded, 
and march forward at once to attack the savages. 7\t 
this order every man advanced, keeping a keen lookout; 
and when they hatl gone about four hundred yards they 
suddenly found themselves face to face with about a tliou- 
sand Indians. 



The battle at once began, Tlie Indians were command- 
ed by a celebrated old chief whose name was Cornstalk, 
who was the " King of the Northern Confederacy," to- 
ward the Great Lakes. I will teli you more about Corn- 
stalk before I finish my story ; at present I must give you 
an account of the battle. The Indians rushed forward, 
firing and yelling. They had excellent muskets, given 
them either by the English or the French, and the Vir- 
ginians soon saw that they knew how to use them. At 
the first fire Charles Lewis, the brother of the general, 
was killed. He fell at the foot of a tree, and soon after- 
ward expired ; and as Colonel Fleming, commanding the 
right, was wounded about the same time, the men lost 
heart, and fell back slowly toward the Kanawha, behind 

This was a very bad beginning. Two of the bravest 
of the Virginia officers and some of the best men were 
killed, and it seemed that the day was going against 
them. Andrew Lewis, however, remained cool. He or- 
dered up a fresh body of men under Colonel Field, and 
the firing became hotter than before. The Indians had 
built a log breastwork from Crooked Run to the Ohio 
River, and they fought from behind this and the trees in 
the woods. The Vii'ginians also took to the trees, and 
killed a number of the savages by the following strata- 
gem : To deceive the Indians, they would take off their 
hats and hold them in sight at the side of the trees. 
Then some Indian would take aim at the bat, supposing 
that it Avas his enemy's head, and put a bullet through it, 
when the hat would be dropped, as if the owner of it was 
killed. Then the Indian who had firett at it would rush 
out to scalp his enemy, when the Virginian would dart 
at him, and dash his brains out at one blow with his tom- 
ahawk. Several were killed in this Avay, but the number 


did not amount to much. The Indians were still firing 
steadily from behind their log breastwork, j^elling in tri- 
umph whenever they saw any of the Virginians fall, and 
General Lewis saw that he would be obliged to attack 
them in some other wa}'', or give up the battle. 

He soon determined what he would do. I have de- 
scribed the small streani called Crooked Run, running 
across the risfht of the Virtjinians into the Kanawha. 
The banks were very high, and covered with weeds and 
bushes; and Lewis saw that if he could send a party and 
set in rear of the Indians in that direction, he would sur- 
prise and probably defeat them. It was necessary to do 
something, as night was coming, and he would be in great 
danger; so he determined on making this attempt, and 
did so at once. Three companies stole away secretly 
while the fighting was going on in front, and got to the 
Run without being seen by the Indians. They then crept 
along the bank under shelter of the bushes, and in this 
manner ecot in rear of the Indian breastwork. 

Lewis was wailing anxicnisly for the signal. At last it 
came. A rapid fire was heard in the rear of the Lidians, 
showing that the party sent around had attacked them ; 
and at this sound Lewis placed himself at the head ol" 
his men and charged the l)reastwork. The Indians made 
a desperate resistance. TImv were cheered on by old 
Cornstalk, who was heard sh(»uting, " Be strong ! be 
strouir !" — that is, " liold fast!" — and wiien one of his 
warriors exhibited cowardice he buried his tomahawk in 
liis brains. JJut he could do nothing. The Virginians 
were fighting him in fiont, and rear; and at tliis the In- 
dians lost heart. The fighting continued until sunset, and 
the crack of rifies rang thiough the woods without ceas- 
ing for a moment; l>iil at last the Indians gave way. 
They scattered in every direction, pursued by the white 


hunters, and, about three miles up the Oliio, crossed the 
river on rafts, and escaped into the Great Woods, from 
which they had come. 

It was a bloody affair. The Virginians lost sevent}'^- 
five men killed and one hundred and forty wounded. 
What the Indians lost w'as not known, as they always 
carried off their dead, if possible. Only thirty- three of 
their dead were found ; but the main thing was that they 
were defeated and driven from the soil of Virginia. 

Such was the battle of Point Pleasant. And before w^e 
leave the subject, perhaps you would like to hear some 
verses from a song, or " Lament," as it was called, written 
concerning it by one of the hunters, probably, who took 
part in the fighting. These verses were as follows: 

" Colonel Lew is and some iiolile cajitaiiis 
Did down to death like Uriah go, 
Alas! their heads, wound up in napkins, 
Upon the banks of the Ohio. 

" Kings lament their mighty fallen 
Upon the mountains of Gilboa; 
And now we mourn for brave Hugh Alien, 
Far from tlie banks of the Ohio. 

"Oh, bless the mighty King of heaven 
For all his wondrous works below, 
Who hath to us the victory given 
Upon the banks of the Ohio." 

These verses are rude, and not remarkable for their poe- 
try, but they describe the feelings of the brave men who 
fought on that occasion, and you must not laugh at them, 
or find fault Avith the manner in which they are written. 
The author of them miglit not know much about poetry 
and rhyming, but you can see that he was in earnest, and 
that his heart was full of sorrow. This induced him to 
write his rude "Lament," as he called it, in honor of brave 


Hugh Allen, Charles Lewis, and the rest who had fallen 
in defence of their country. 


As I liave called my story " Cornstalk and the Battle 
of Point Pleasant," I will now tell you more about this 

vs IM.IAN AlIA<h. 

great Indian warrior, and liow he came to his dealii abuul 
three years afterward. 

As General Andrew Lewis had defeated ihc savages, 
ami killed so many of ihcni, lie thought the best thing I'or 
him to do was t,o march straight on into the Indian coun- 
try and make an end of the matter, ilis men weri' in the 
highest spirits; and as the Lidians had cruelly nnirdered 
the Virginia women and cliildrcn all along the border, 


they hated them, and determined not to give them any 
rest until they were all killed or driven away into the 
Great Woods. Lewis, therefore, set out at once; but he 
was surprised to meet a messenger on the way from Gov- 
ernor Dunmore, with an order to him to march back to 
the Kanawha River. This made him and his brave men 
very angry. They had just whipped the savages after 
bloody fighting, and now Lgrd Dunmore ordered them to 
go back, and not finish the work. They had heard the 
charges made against the governor — that he was, secretl)', 
the friend of tlie Indians, and wanted them to attack the 
Virginians — and this made Lewis so suspicious that he 
refused to go back. He marched straight on, and on the 
way met the governor. High words took place between 
them, and it is said that Lord Dunmore was so angry at 
Lewis's disobedience of his orders, that he drew his sword 
and threatened to kill him. If lie did so, it is not proba- 
ble that a man like Lewis felt very much frightened. But 
Dunmore was the governor, and he could not resist. He 
and his men were very much enraged, but as Dunmore 
told them that he was going to make peace with the sav- 
ages, they had nothing more to say. 

The Indians were persuaded to make peace by the old 
Avarrior, Cornstalk, When Lewis drove him and his peo- 
ple into the woods. Cornstalk called the chiefs together 
to consult upon what was best to do. 

" Well," said the old ruler, " what will you do next ? 
'The Big Knife' is coming on us now, and we shall all 
be killed. Now you must fight or we are all undone." 

The Indian cliiefs who Avere squatting down around 
him made no answer. Every one looked sulky, and did 
not seem to know what to do. 

"Let us kill all our women and children, and go and 
fight till we die !" Cornstalk said. 


To this the warriors made no more answer than to what 
he had said at first. Cornstalk looked at them one after 
another, waiting to hear what they had to say, but they 
said nothing at all. 

" \Yell," he said, " then I'll go and make peace !" 

With these words lie struck his tomahawk into a post by 
him, while the warriors grunted " Ough ! ough !" meaning 
that they agreed to what he had said ; and a messenger 
was sent to Lord Duiniiore to say that the Indians were 
ready to make peace. The governor sent back word that 
he would meet and talk with them, and soon afterward 
tlie Indian chiefs visited him at his camp for that purpose. 

Cornstalk was at the head of them. lie did not seem 
to be at all cast down by liis misfortunes in the bloody 
battle, and stood up and spoke boldly. lie said that the 
Indians were not to blame for hating the white people 
and making war on them ; and to show how cruel the pale- 
faces had been to the red-skins, as the savages were then 
called, he mentioned wliat had liappened to an Indian 
chief named Logan, whose whole family liad been murder- 
ed l)y tlie white peojde in the spring of that year; an<l 
that was the reason why Logan was not there to talk 
with llie rest. This was done, lie said, by a Captain Cresap, 
of Maryland — which, however, is not true. 

As Logan sent a famous answer to Governor Dunmore's 
invitation to him to be ])resent on this occasion, I will 
here tell you what it was. When he received the invi- 
tation, he look the oflicer who brought it into the woods, 
and tlicy sat down on a log. Logan then said, with tears 
in his eyes, that he could not go to meet Lord Dunmorc 
and the rest of the white people. 

"I appeal," he said, "to any while man, to say if Ik- 
ever entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave hi in n<> 
meat; if he ever came cold and naked, and he clothed him 


not ? During the course of the last long and bloody war 
Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate of peace. 
Such was my love for the whites that my countrymen 
pointed as they passed, and said, ' Logan is the friend of 
the white men.' I had even thought to have lived with 
you, but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the 
last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all 
the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and 
children. This called on me for revenge. I have sought 
it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my ven- 
geance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. 
But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear, 
Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to 
save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan ? — Not 
one !" 

Logan made this speech, of course, in the Indian lan- 
guage, but the officer understood him, and when he went 
back to Lord Dunmore, repeated it in English, and it was 
printed. Everybody was very ranch affected by it. But 
if Indian Avonien and children were murdered by the 
whites, the Indians had begun doinoj so first; and though 
that does not justify the whites, it shows how they came 
to act in so bloody and cruel a manner. Cornstalk spoke, 
as I have told you, of poor Logan, throwing all the blame 
of the hatred between the Virginians and the Indians on 
the white people. Other speeches were made, and the 
whole matter was talked over; but at last it was detei'- 
mined that peace should be made, and what is called a 
treaty was concluded between Dunmore and the savages, 
each side promising not to go to war any more. The 
Indians then went back to the woods, and Dunmore and 
his army marched home again. 

As I shall not have any more to say of Andrew Lewis 
in this story, I will tell you that he afterward became a 


famous man, both as a soldier and statesman. He was so 
tall and heavy that on one occasion the Governor of New 
York said that the ground seemed to shake as he walked 
along. He never liked Lord Duumore from the very first; 
and you will see, when I come to that part of my book, 
that when the governor was driven away from Virginia, 
it was Andrew Lewis who drove him. 


I will now tell you more about Cornstalk, and the man- 
ner in which he and his son, Ellinipsico, were cruelly mur- 
dered by the white people. 

After the battle of Point Pleasant a fort was built 
there, and in the fall of 1777, three years after the bat- 
tle, Cornstalk and another Lidian chief, named lledhawk, 
came to pay the soldiers at the fort a visit. Such visits 
were often made at that time by cunning Lidians, with 
a bad ])urposc. Sometimes they came to find out how 
many fighting-men and cannon were in the ibrts, so that 
when they made an attack afterward they might know 
all about it. At other times their object was to deceive 
the white people, by jjretending that they were friendly 
to them and would help them, after which they would go 
away and join their enemies. 

Cornstalk did not make any pretences whatever on his 
visit to the fort. lie told them that they knew he was 
friendly to the Americans, who l)y this time were at war 
with the English, and that his own tribe, the Shawnecs, 
did not like the English any better than he did himself. 
But, he went on to say, the Indians in general looked upon 
the English as their friends, .md he was afrai<l he and the 
Shawnecs " woidd liave to run wiili the stream," and 
make war on the Americans. He was sorry for this, l>nt 
he could not help it; and he had come to tell his friends 



how it was, so that they might not think badly of him. 
He was not afraid to tell them this, he said. It might be 
dangerous, but he did not care for danger. 

" When I was a young man and went to war," said the 
old chief, " I thought that might be the last time, and 1 
would return no more. Now I am here among you ; you 
may kill me, if you please : I can die but once, and it is 
all one to me, now or another time." 

This showed how brave the old warrior was, and how 
little he cared for his life. He was in the midst of a 
crowd of soldiers, but he spoke fearlessly, in his firm voice. 
He felt that if he loas an uneducated savage, he was the 
ruler of his people, and spoke and acted like a true king. 

The old chief had not many more days to live. The 
commander of the fort told him that, as he said he would 
be obliged to fight for the English, he could not allow 
him to leave the fort. And he and Redhawk thus be- 
came prisoners. Cornstalk did not complain. Perhaps 
he came to the fort knowing that they would not let him 
go back to his tribe, by .which means he would be pre- 
vented from fighting against his friends, the Americans. 
He did not ask them to release him, or grow angry, but 
remained quiet, talking over matters of one sort or anoth- 
er very calmly, and making no effort to escape. 

The sad tragedy of his and his son's death now took 
place. This son's name, as I have told you, was Ellin- 
ipsico. He seems to have been a handsome, fine-looking 
boy, with a slender figure, and about seventeen years old. 
He was very fond of his father, and as.Cornstalk had stayed 
away longer than was expected by his tribe, Ellinipsico 
came to find if anything had happened to him. Cornstalk 
was stooping down, with a piece ofchalk in his hand, to 
draw a map of the western country on the floor, which 
the officers of the fort had asked him to do, when he heard 


a voice slioutiiig from tlie opposite bank of the river. He 
raised his head and listened. The shout was repeated, 
and Cornstalk told the officers that it was his boy EUin- 
ipsico, as he knew him by his voice. This proved to be 
true. The boy was hallooing for some one to come over 
in a canoe and bring him across. This was done, and he 
came up to the fort, where he clasped his arms around his 
father in a very aifectionate manner. The old chief was 
quite as glad to see his son, and they went into another 
room, where Cornstalk slept, and were heard talking far 
into the night. Cornstalk was no doubt askino: the news 
in the tribe, and Ellinipsico telling him everything, and 
askinsc whv he did not return. 

This was the last night the father and son passed to- 
gether on earth. Early on the next morning two of the 
men belonging to the fort, whose names were Gilmore and 
Hamilton, crossed the Ohio River to hunt for deer. As 
there had been no trouble with Indians for some time, 
they thought it was safe to venture into the woods; but 
they soon found how much they were mistaken. A band 
of Indians were lying liidden in the tall weeds on llu' 
bank of tlu? river, and as (iilmore and Hamilton passed 
by, one of the Indians levelled his gun and shot Gilmore; 
after which he rushed on him artd scalped him, tearing 
ofl' his whole head of hair by the roots, and the skin and 
flesh with it. This was the bloody manner, you know, in 
which the Indians treated their enemies; and as Hamilton 
thought that it would be liis tuiii next, he ran back to the 
bank of the river and shouted to his friends that Gilmore 
was killed, and they must come ovei- and help him. 

The men at the fort could hear what he said, and rush- 
ed toward a canoe, which was tied to the bank not far 
from the fort, and Icnpod into it. At the head of tliem 
was Captain John Hall, a relation of Gilmorc's, and he 


and his men were in a violent rage at hearing that their 
friend had been killed. The canoe shot across the river, 
and the men ran np the bank. The Indians were nowhere 
to be seen, but they found poor Gilniore's body, scalped 
and all bloody, and brought it to the canoe, in which they 
crossed back to the fort. 

As they came up the bank, carrying the dead body, it 
was easy to see that they were full of anger at the death 
of their comrade. A person who saw them said that they 
were " pale with rage ;" and with their guns in their hands 
they rushed forward, exclaiming, 

" Let us kill the Indians in the fort !" 

By this they meant Cornstalk, his son Ellinipsico, and 
the chief Redhawk. Captain Arbuckle and others tried 
to stop them; but they shouted out, as they came up the 
bank, that the Indians who killed Gilmore had come with 
Ellinipsico on the day before, and therefore he and his 
father should die, A woman living in the fort, who was 
very fond of Cornstalk, ran in and told him what the men 
said. Ellinipsico at once exclaimed that this was not 
true, and declared that no one at all had come with him. 
As he was only a boy, he was very much frightened and 
trembled all over. But Cornstalk did not show the least 
fear. Only an hour before he had been talking with the 
men in the fort, and used the words — 

"I am here among you; you may kill me, if you please: 
I can die but once, and it is all one to me, now or another 

He now encouraged his boy Ellinipsico, and told him 
not to be afraid. The pale-faces, he said, were coming to 
kill them, but that was all right, and the Great Man above 
— by which he meant God — had sent him there to be 
killed and die with his father. As Cornstalk said this 
the furious soldiers ruslied in at the door. The old war- 


rior, who had been quietly seated, rose to meet them, and 
looked them straii'lit in the face without showing: the 
least fear. As he did so, they levelled their guns at him 
and fired ; and he fell and died, shot through the body 
with seven or eight bullets. Ellinipsico was then shot 
and killed, and so was the chief Redhawk, who tried to 
hide in a chimney. In a few minutes they were all lying- 
dead on the floor, and that was the end of the great war- 
rior Cornstalk, and his son and friend. 

I hope I need not tell you that this was a cruel mur- 
der, as neither Cornstalk nor the others had anything to 
do with the death of Gilniore. Ellinipsico could not have 
brought the band of Indians with hiiu,or known that they 
were going to kill any soldiers belonging to the fort ; for 
he must have had sense enough, to know that tliis would 
put Cornstalk's life in danger. There is no good reason 
to believe that he came with any other purpose than to 
see what had become of his father — and to kill him, and 
the brave old chief who was friendly to the Avhite people, 
was a barbarous murdei", and nothing else. 

Cornstalk died, as he said he would, without fear. He 
stood calmly before his furious enemies, and iell dead 
pierced by their bullets. But, jioor Indian as he was, lie 
proved himself greater and braver than them ail. 


patrick henry, the ''man of the 



We are now nearly at the beginning of the great 
American Revolntion, In this strnggle Virginia was one 
of the foremost of the colonies, and her promptness was 
due in a large measure to the determined character of her 
leaders. Patrick Henry was the most famous of these, 
and I sliall here give yoM an account of him : but first I 
ought to tell you how affairs were at the moment when 
he appeared. 

There were many other colonies, you know, on the soil 
of America. Soon after the settlement at Jamestown, a 
party of Dutch and English established New Amsterdam 
(1614), now the City of New York. Then (in 1620) a num- 
ber of English, who had made a bargain with the Vir- 
ginia Company, in London, landed at Plymouth, in New 
England, and founded the Colony of Massachusetts. Soon 
afterward (1624) the Dutch and Swedes settled Delaware 
and Pennsylvania, and a party of English Catholics, under 
Lord Baltimore, founded Maryland (1631). And so, step 
by step, the whole country along the Atlantic was settled 
by white people, who drove back the Indians, and eveiy 
year grew stronger and more pi'osperous. 

This may not seem very interesting; but when you hear 
of a famous man, you like to be told when he was born, 
and how his early life was passed : and it is well to know 
the origin of nations. The United States is now the larg- 




est republic iu the world, and American boys ought to 
know how their country had its beginning. 

For about one hundred and fifty years the colonies 
went on prospering ; and if England, to whom they be- 


longed, had treated them justly, they might have remained 
a part of the IJrilish Emi)ire. Tliey were strongly attach- 
ed to the "Mother Country," as they called England ; but 
instead of returning this attachment, and taking pride in 
her robust children, wlu) were growing to manhood iit 
the New World, Englaixl seemed to have no thought in 
reference to them but what profit she could derive from 
them. She seemed to look down upon them, and treated 
them like inferiors. To call a man an American was the 
same thing with them as saying that Ik; was rough and 
uncivilized ; and, in i)art. this feeling continued almost up 


to the present time, when at last it seems to be changing. 
But, wliut was worse, they were resolved to make all the 
money they could out of the colonies, fairly or unfairly. 
Laws were passed taxing them heavily, although they 
were not represented by any of their own people in the 
English Parliament; and at last, in the year 1765, came 
tlie celebrated Stamp Act. This directed that no bus- 
iness papers of any sort should be binding on any one 
unless they had a certain stamp upon them, and for this 
stamp the Americans had to pay. A tax was laid on 
tea, glass, and other articles; and when intelligence came 
that these laws had been passed, a violent commotion 
took ])lace in the colonies. 

Virginia and Massachusetts were foremost in declaring 
that they would not submit, and I shall now tell you what 
sort of men led the people in Virginia. Patrick Henry 
was in front of all, and Thomas Jefferson followed him. I 
shall therefore give yon an account of these two remarka- 
ble men, and endeavor to show you by what circumstances 
their characters were shaped, as well as what sort of per- 
sons they were. 

I am particularly anxious to present this familiar view 
of them, as it will show you how they looked, and talked, 
and acted among their friends and neighbors. You will 
thus be able to form an idea of the men as they really 
were. When we look at their statues in marble or bronze 
they seem hard and cold. You fancy that they were al- 
WJiys performing some grand public action. On the Cap- 
itol Square at Richmond are two tall bronze statues of 
Henry and Jefferson. The latter is standing, wrapped in 
his cloak, with a pen in his hand ; and the former is hold- 
ing up both arms, as if delivering a speech. The pen in 
Jefferson's hand means that lie was the author of the Dec- 
laration of Independence, and Henry is represented as lie 



is supposed to have looked when he exclaimed, in one 
of liis great speeches, " Give me liberty or give me 
death !" 

You here see the men in their public characters ; and 
in making statues of them it is right to so represent them. 
But this was not all about them. If we suppose that 
tliey were always 
making eloquent 
speeches or writ- 
ing great declara- 
tions, we are very 
greatly mistaken. 
They were men 
just like other peo- 
ple. When they 
were hungry, they 
liked to eat; when 
they were tired, 
they liked to sleep; 
and if anything 
amused or grieved 
them, they laughed 
and cried like ev- 
erybody else. It 
is hard to believe 
this when we look 
at the grand stat- 
ues. They a])|)ear 
cold aiiil nii.'ip- 

proachable, ami a boy is apt to fancy that he never could 
be a great man. Hut. this is all a mistake. These cele- 
brated ])eopl(' had their faults an<l failings, ami little pe- 
culiarities, like the humblest of their species. JJy showing 
you this, I niay convince you that they are not so far off, 



:ifter all ; and this may give j^ou courage, if yon are ever 
called upon to imitate them. 

I will first tell you of Patrick Henry. He was the 
greatest orator that Virginia every produced — I might, 
perhaps, say, that ever lived in America. His fearless 
character and wonderful genius render all about him in- 
teresting ; and I shall now relate some particulars of his 

early life. 


Patrick Henry was the son of a farmer in Hanover 
County, and was born in May, 1736. In his boyhood and 
early manhood he was so idle that he was looked on as 
o-ood for nothing. He spent most of his time in hunting 
and fishing, or playing the fiddle, instead of helping on 
his father's farm; and at last, as his lamily did not know 
what to do with liim, he was sent to be a clerk in a small 
country store. Some time afterward he opened a store 
for himself, but soon failed. He then married a young 
lady of the neighborhood, whose father gave him a farm ; 
but he failed a*t farming, too, and two years afterward the 
farm was sold. He then went back to store-keeping, and 
failed at that again; and now he was without the means 
of support for himself and his wife. 

This was his own fault, as you can easily see. He would 
not attend to his business. He still passed his time in 
fishing and playing the fiddle, and the consequence was 
that he succeeded at nothing which he undertook. A 
stout, healthy young man may fail in store -keeping, but 
he ought not to fail on a farm. If he is industrious and 
follows liis plough, he can always make a support for his 
family. But Patrick Henry was too lazy to do so. So 
he fell into debt, his farm had to be sold, and he found 
liimself without a home. 

Sometiiing, he now saw, had to be done. His friends 


could not support liim, and no doubt he was too proud to 
consent to that, lie therefore resolved to study law, and 
borrowed some old law-books, wliicli he began to read ; 
and six weeks afterward he applied for a license to prac- 
tise law. This seemed quite absurd. The old judge to 
whom he applied found that he knew almost nothing of 
law, and was unwilling to give him his license. As Pat- 
rick Henry promised liim, however, that he would go on 
studying, he at last consented. Tlie license was granted 
him, and he set up at Hanover Court-house as a lawyer, 

None of his friends had the least idea that he would 
ever do anything in his profession. They knew how idle 
and ignorant he was, and no doubt supposed that the law- 
office would soon be shut up, just as his store had been. 
There was nothing about him to show that he would suc- 
ceed. His appearance was as ungainly as possible. He 
had a stooping figure, and was awkward in all his move- 
ments. He wore faded old clothes, leather breeclics, and 
yarn stockings, and his maimer of speaking was quite as 
rough as his dress. As an instance of this, he i)ronounced 
"natural," "learning," and "earth" — Jiaii^rcd, laj'?im\ and 
airt/i ; for, when he and one of his friends were disjniting 
one day about the advantages of education, lie exclaimed : 
"A^(^<<7Vrt^ parts arc better than all the laridn'' on airthP'' 
No one could suppose that a person who spoke in this 
illiterate manner would ever turn out to be a great pub- 
lic speaker; and his fVicnds and neighbors had a lower 
opinion of him still as a lawyer. He was so ignoi-anl that 
he could not write the simplest law-paper; so lie got no 
business to attend to, and was I'cduccd to the greatest 
distress. He liad to help to keep a tavern belonging to 
his father-in-law at the court-house, to earn his daily bread ; 
and the whole prospect before him was as gloomy as any 

one can imagme. 


But the time was near when a great change was to 
take place in his fortunes, and of this I will now tell you, 
A lawsuit was brought by the clergymen of the Episco- 
pal church in Hanover County to recover money which 
they said was due them for preaching in their parishes. 
When you grow older you will read all about this famous 
lawsuit. It turned upon the question whether the "par- 
sons," as they were called, should be paid for their ser- 
vices in money or tobacco, which was then used as cur- 
rency, like gold and bank-notes; and the King of England 
had decided in one way, and the Virginia House of Bur- 
gesses in another, x\s the king's decision was in favor of 
the parsons, they brought a lawsuit to get their pay— and 
there seemed nothing to do but to pay them. All the 
old lawyers, who examined the question, gave it up at 
once ; when the report suddenly spread that young Pat- 
rick Henry was going to " plead against the parsons." 

When this became known, everybody began to laugh. 
It seemed absurd that an ignorant youth should attempt 
to do what the old lawyers could not. He was oidy 
twenty-seven, and almost unacquainted with law. Be- 
sides this, he had never made a public speech in his life, 
and it was known that there would be a crowd to hear 
how the case would be decided. Everybody predicted 
that he would make a complete failure; and though the 
people wished him good- luck, as they were against the 
parsons, they expected that the whole affair would be 
quite ridiculous. 

At last the day came, and a great crowd assembled at 
Hanover Court-house. The court was opened, and Pat- 
rick Henry came across the street from the tavern where 
he lived, and took his seat behind the bar. The sight be- 
fore him was enough to frighten a young man unaccus- 
tomed to public speaking. The court-house was crowded 


with people, and tlie twelve men of the jury were ready. 
On a raised platform opposite sat the magistrates and a 
large number of tlie clergy, or parsons; and these were 
waiting, with a feeling of triumph, for the decision which 
they were certain would be in their favor. 

All eyes were fixed on the poorly dressed* young law- 
yer, and he hung his head and seemed confused, Ilis 
friends felt as if he had placed himself in a very ridicu- 
lous position; but it was too late to think of that now, 
and the counsel for the clergymen opened the case. He 
said that there was no doubt at all about the law of the 
matter. His majesty the King of England had decided 
it, and so had the courts. All that was to be done now 
was for the jury to fix the amount of damages — that is 
to say, liow much money was to be paid the clergymen. 
And then the speaker took his seat, and Patrick Henry 
rose to reply to him. 

Every sound was now hushed, and every eye was fixed 
upon the young man. He seemed to feel this, and to be 
almost too much confused to utter a word. His voice 
could scarcely be heard, and his liead liung down as though 
lie were ashamed of liinisclf and liis presumjition. His 
friends felt for liim, and were almost tempted to leave the 
court-house, in order not to be present ami witness his 

Very soon, however, a change took jdace in Patrick 
Henry's whole appearance. He seemed gradually to bo- 
come accustomed to the sound of his own voice, and his 
tones grew firmer and louder. As he went on, he became 
more and more excited, and soon his eyes began to Hash, 
and his voice to fill the whole rouit-house. He seemed 
scarcely 1o be the same man, and carried every listener 
along with liiin ; and they saw, from his treatment of the 
case, that he knew just what he was about. He scarcely 


touched the question of the hiw, as he knew that it was 
against him. He addressed himself to the jury, and told 
them they had to decide between the King of England 
and the Virginia House of Burgesses. The Burgesses 
were their own people, and the king a stranger to them. 
He had no i>ght to issue his orders to them — 

Here the old lawyer who was for the clergy started up, 

"The gentleman has spoken treason !" 

But Patrick Henry did not stop. It never did any 
good, as people afterward found, to try to frighten him. 
Tlie interruption only made liim more violent in his de- 
nunciation. He repeated what he had said, and declared 
that the parsons were no better than the king. Men who 
led such lives as they did had no right to be demanding 
the people's money : and his expressions grew so violent 
at last that the clergy rose in a body and indignantly left 
the court-room. 

Henry then ended his speech in the midst of great ex- 
citement, and soon afterward the jury retired to consult 
upon their verdict. This was awaited with breathless in- 
terest. The law was wholly in favor of the parsons, as 
the king's order could not be disobeyed ; but the jury 
could fix any amount of damages they chose — or at least 
they did so, as everybody soon perceived. They came 
back at length and gave in their verdict. It was one 
penny damages — about two cents; and no sooner had 
the crowd heard this than they uttered a shout of delight. 
All was uproar and confusion. The old lawyer who rep- 
resented the clergy rose and exclaimed that the verdict 
was against the law, and demanded that the jury should 
be sent back. But his voice could scai'cely be heard. The 
crowd was shouting, and gathering with delight around 
Patrick Henry. At last they caught him np a,nd placed 


"max of the people." 1G7 

him on their slioulclcrs, and bore him out. And in this 
way he was carried in triumph around the grounds of tiie 
old court-house, the crowd clieering and shouting in liis 

The scene of this great event remains ahnost unchanged 
to this day. Tiie old court-house is still standing in its 
grassy yard ; and I have visited it, and looked Avith deep 
interest at the old colonial building where the voice of 
young Patrick was first 
raised against England. 

This was the begin- 
ning of Ills great career. 
On the day before he 
was almost unknown, 
but now he was famous. 
There is no doubt that 
everytliing happened 
just as I have related. 
His friends and neigh- 
bors wondered at his 
genius and eloquence; and when they wished to pay a 
compliment to any public speaker .'iltcrward, exclaimed, 
"lie was almost erpial to Patrick Ileniy when ha pled 
against the parsons !" 

Ileiny soon obtained a ]il('nly of law ))ractice. His 
dark days had passed, ainl 1 wo years afterward he was 
elected to the Burgesses. Here he made his great speech 
against the Stamp Act, and "started the ball of revolu- 


As the scene which took place on this occasion was 
quite a remarkable one, I will describe it. 

You will remember what T said about the English law 
called the "Stamp Act," which ordered that the Ameri- 



cans slioiild not transact Idisiness unless all the papers 
had a certain stamp upon them. As you have been told, 
this produced a great excitement in the colonies. It was 
regarded as an open attempt to make them the slaves of 
England, as they were not represented by any of their 
own people in the Parliament Avhich made the law; and 
when the stamps came over, they Avere so angry that they 
seized upon them in many parts of the country, and burn- 
ed them. 

In Virginia the excitement about the stamps was very 
great. Some people said that" as the colonies belonged 
to England, and the king had authority over them, they 
ought not to refuse to obey the law, but to write a peti- 
tion asking the king to change it, and that this petition 
should be as respectful as possible. But others said that 
such petitions would be of no use. They had been tried 
over and over, and the best thing to do now was to tell 
the king plainly that no one on earth had the right to tax 
Virginians except the Virginia House of Burgesses. 

The Burgesses soon met at Williamsburg. It was in 
the year 1*765, two years after Patrick Henry's great 
speech against the parsons ; and, as I have told you, he 
was a member of the House. Everybody soon saw that 
there would be an excited time. The people everywhere 
were talking about the Stamj:) Act, and the Bui-gesses 
knew that something would have to be done. They were 
generally rich men, with large farms, and lived in great 
style. They loved England, for the Virginia people had 
never forgotten that their fathers and grandfathers were 
Englishmen ; and they were proud of their blood. They 
were quite willing that the King of England should con- 
tinue to reign over them, if they were treated like the rest 
of his subjects who lived in England. If they were not, 
they meant to resist, but not to act in a passion. It 


would be far better, they thought, to petition the king to 
do tliem justice, tlion to tell hitn in plain words that they 
would not obey him. 

When Patrick Henry reached Williamsburg he found 
that this was the general way of thinking. Scarcely a 
single member of the Burgesses was ready to act prompt- 
ly. They still ho])ed for a "redress of grievances," as it 
was called, by sending a petition to the king; but Patrick 
Henry had made up his mind that this would do no good. 
He therefore determined to act boldly, and soon after the 
House assembled he rose to address them. 

They were a grave ami imposing body, very different 
from the plain countrymen whom he was accustomed to 
in Hanover. TJieir dress and appearance indicated their 
rank in society. On all sides were powdered heads and 
riilHcd shirts, and faces full of dignity. They were almost 
all large landholders, accustomed to be treated with the 
highest respect; and the contrast between them and Pat- 
rick Henry was very striking. He was as rough-looking 
as ever. His hair was unpowdercd, and he wore a faded 
old coat, leather breeches, and yarn stockings. In short, 
he was exactly the same aw kwaid-Iooking countryman as 

As he rose in his jdace, the JJurgesses turned their heads 
and looked at him. They scarcely knew liis name, and 
no doubt thougiit it prcsumjttuous in this plaiidy dressed 
young man to be taking- the lead, and telling older per- 
sons what was best to be done. IJut I'atriek Henry paid 
no attention to tlieir looks of surprise. He had made up 
his mind to say what lie had to say, and give liis own 
opinion at least on the subject of the Stamp Act. He 
spoke in a quiet tone, an<l was listened to in deep silence. 
The Stamp Act was illegal, and oppressive to Virginia, 
he said; and he therefore moved that the House of Bur- 


gesses should pass the resolutions he was about to read 
to them. He then read the resolutions, which he had 
written on a blank leaf torn out of an old law-book. The 
tone of them was respectful, but there was no doubt what 
they meant, as the last of them declared that no one had 
the rio-ht to tax Viroinia but the Viro-inia Buro-esses, 

Cj CD O t^ 

The resolutions were looked upon as violent and very 
imprudent. They, in fact, asserted that tlie king had no 
right to levy taxes in Virginia, which was very much 
like rebellion ; and several speakers at once rose, and de- 
nounced them as highly injudicious. There was a violent 
excitement, as one after another spoke against the resolu- 
tions, and then Patrick Henry rose to defend them. 

His whole appearance had changed, and the Burgesses 
soon found that the poorly clad young countryman was 
a matchless speakei', and superior to all of them. His 
head was carried erect, and his stooping figure grew as 
straight as an arrow. His eye flashed, and his voice roll- 
ed through the hall like thunder. He was fully aroused, 
and denounced England in terms of the bitterest insult. 
Why were English people better than Virginians? he 
asked. What right had the Parliament to tyi-annize over 
the colonies? And as to the King of England, he had 
better look to his life. 

"Cresar had his Brutus," he exclaimed, " Charles the 
First his Cromwell, and George the Third — " 

"Treason !" came from eveiy part of the hall; but Hen- 
ry did not shrink. 

"And George the Third may profit by their exam- 
ple !" he added. " If this be treason, make the most 
of it !" 

He took his seat after uttering these brave words, in 
the midst of great excitement. It was plain that his 
speech had made a strong impression. Speech after 


speech was made — some in favor of, and some opposed to 
the resolutions; but at last, it was seen that Plenry's won- 
derful eloquence had swept away everything. When the 
House was called upon to say whether the resolutions 
should pass or not, they were passed — the last and most 
important of them, by a single vote. 

The Burgesses then adjourned in the midst of general 
excitement. One of them rushed out, declaring that he 
would have given five hundred guineas for a single vote, 
in order to defeat the resolutions. But the people were 
delighted to hear that they had passed. As Henry push- 
ed through the crowd, a plain countryman slapped him 
on the shoulder, and exclaimed, 

"Stick to us, old fellow, or we are gone !" 


1 ought not to leave the subject of the life of Patrick 
Henry without saying a few words of what was looked 
upon as the greatest of all liis speeches. This was made 
at St. John's Church, in the city of Richmond, and rang 
like the blast of a trumpet through all the colonies, sum- 
moning them to resistance. 

It was now the spring of 1775, and the whole country 
was drifting toward revolution. What Patrick Henry 
had said against the Stamp Act proved like seed sown in 
the ground. It lay there for ten years, but at last it be- 
gan to sprout, and now, in the year 1775, it appeared 
above the crround. P^no-laiid seemed determined to make 
the colonies sulmiit to licr. Soldiers were sent to Boston, 
and as Virginia took part with ^Massachusetts, the gov- 
ernor drovp the Burgesses away from Williamsburg. To 
this tliey paid no attention, however. As they could not 
meet there, they determined to assemble in Richmond. 
A convention -fif tlie Virginia leaders was accordingly 


gesses should pass the resolutions he was about to read 
to them. He then read the resolutions, which he had 
written on a blank leaf torn out of an old law-book. The 
tone of them was respectful, but there was no doubt what 
they meant, as the last of them declared that no one had 
the rio-ht to tax Vir2;inia but the Viro;inia Buro-esses. 

The resolutions were looked upon as violent and very 
imprudent. They, in fact, asserted that tlie king had no 
right to levy taxes in Virginia, which Avas very much 
like rebellion ; and several speakers at once rose, and de- 
nounced them as highly injudicious. There was a violent 
excitement, as one after another spoke against the resolu- 
tions, and then Patrick Henry rose to defend them. 

His whole appearance had changed, and the Burgesses 
soon found that the poorly clad young countryman was 
a matchless speakei', and superior to all of them. His 
head was carried erect, and his stooping figure grew as 
straight as an arrow. His eye flashed, and his voice roll- 
ed through the hall like thunder. He was fully aroused, 
and denounced England in terms of the bitterest insult. 
Why were English people better than Virginians? he 
asked. What right had the Parliament to tyrannize over 
the colonies? And as to the King of England, he had 
better look to his life. 

"Caesar had his Brutus," he exclaimed, " Charles the 
First his Cromwell, and George the Third — " 

"Treason !" came from evei-y part of the hall; but Hen- 
ry did not slirink. 

"And George the Third may profit by their exam- 
ple !" he added. " If this be treason, make the most 
of it !" 

He took his seat after uttering these brave words, in 
the midst of great excitement. It was plain that his 
speech had made a strong impression. Speech after 


speech was made — some in favor of, and some opposed to 
the resolutions; but at Last, it was seen that Henry's won- 
derful eloquence had swept away everything. When the 
House was called upon to say whether the resolutions 
should pass or not, they were passed — the last and most 
important of them, by a single vote. 

The Burgesses then adjourned in the midst of general 
excitement. One of them ruslied out, declaring that he 
would have given five hundred guineas for a single vote, 
in order to defeat the resolutions. But the people were 
delighted to hear that they had passed. As Henry push- 
ed through the crowd, a plain countryman slapped him 
on tlie shoulder, and exclaimed, 

"Stick to us, old fellow, or we are gone !" 


1 ought not to leave the subject of the life of Patrick 
Henry without saying a few words of what was looked 
upon as the greatest of all liis speeches. This was made 
at St. John's Church, in the city of Richmond, and rang 
like the blast of a trumpet through all the colonies, sum- 
moning them to resistance. 

It was now the spring of 1775, and the whole country 
was drifting toward revolution. What Patrick Henry 
had said against tlie Stamp Act proved like seed sown in 
the ground. It lay there for ten years, but at last it be- 
gan to sprout, and now, in the year 1775, it appeared 
above the ground. England seemed determined to make 
the colonies submit to licr. Soldiers were sent to Boston, 
and as Virginia took part with Massachusetts, the gov- 
ernor drovf! the Burgesses away from Williamsburg. To 
this tliey paid no attention, liowcvcr. As they could not 
meet there, they determined to assemble in Ilichmond. 
A convention •'•f tlic Virginia leaders was accordingly 



elected; and iu March, 1115, they met to consult on the 
state of the country. 

The old church of St. John's, in which they assembled, 
is still standing. It is a plain old building, crowning a 
hill not far fi'om Bloody Run, where Bacon defeated the 
Indians, and in sight of Powhatan, where the old Indian 

"SMi^^S&^^^^^r /"If.."*' " ^'"^^ ' 


emperor was visited by Captain Smith. In front is James 
River, winding away below the falls and green islands 
with their dipping foliage, and all around the ancient 
church are old tombstones crumbling away in the grass. 

Here the convention assembled, and it embraced some 
of the bravest and wisest men in Virginia. The president 


was Edmund Pendleton, who was celebrated for his pow- 
ers of public speaking and for his ready and vigorous 
intellect. Thomas Jefferson said of him, "Taken all in all, 
he was the ablest man in debate I have ever met with ;" 
and his voice was so sweet and "silvery" in its tones 
that it was delightful to hear him speak. Many other 
distinguished men were present, and among the rest Pat- 
rick Henry, He was looked upon by this time as the 
leader of the Revolution in "S'^irginia, and soon showed 
that he deserved the name which had been given him — 
the " 3Ian of the People." 

As soon as the convention took their seats, he rose and 
moved that Virginia " be immediately put in a state of 
defence." This was coming to the heart of the matter in 
a very few words. He meant that the time for discussion 
liad passed, and the tin\e for action come. If the Amer- 
icans intended to submit, then they could go on oifering 
petitions; but if they meant to fight England, it was time 
to get ready. 

As had happened to him in the old House of Burgesses, 
his proposition met with strong opposition. There were 
many good jtatriots who still thought that peace could 
be made with P]nglan<l. They dreaded going to war and 
sliedding blood if they could avoid it : tliey therefore 
spoke against Henry's resolution, and declared that it 
ought not to pass. The scene was exciting, and Henry 
listened in silence. When they had finished, he again 
rose, and his face showed that he was fully aroused. His 
speech surpassed all others which he had ever delivered, 
and the whole man seemed to be on lire as liis voice ech- 
oed from the old walls of the church. They must _/?///* <.^ 
he exclaimed ; there was no longer any hope but in a re- 
liance on (lod and their own strong arms. It might be 
said that tlicy were weak and unable to oppose England; 


but God would tigljt for them and protect thera in the 
great struggle. They must fight! — and even if they were 
not willing, they would be obliged to. No choice was 
left them. 

"There is no retreat," he exclaimed, " but in submission 
and slavery ! Our chains are foi-ged — their clanking may 
be heard on the plains of Boston. The war is inevitable, 
and let it come ! I repeat it, sir, let it come ! It is in 
vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry 
'Peace, peace!' but there is no peace. The war is actu- 
ally begun. The next gale that sweeps from the north 
will bring to our ears the clash of resounding^ arms. Our 
bi-ethren are already in the field. What is it that gentle- 
men wish ? What would they have ? Is life so dear, or 
peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains 
and slavery ? Forbid it, Almighty God ! I know not 
what course others may take, but as for me, give me lib- 
erty, or give me death !" 

As Patrick Henry uttered these words, with both arms 
raised and eyes on fii'e with excitement, it is said that a 
thrill ran through the whole assembly. They were ready 
to start from tlieir seats and shout, "To arms!" No fur- 
ther opposition was made. The voice of Henry had swept 
it away. His resolutions were passed by a large major- 
ity, and Virginia thus announced to the world that she 
was ready to fight. 

All things considered, this speech was one of the great- 
est ever delivered ; and Patrick Henry seemed to be almost 
a prophet. It Mas made in the month of March, and in 
April the fighting began. General Gage attacked the 
people in Massachusetts; and if Virginia had not been so 
distant, the sound of his cannon might have been heard 
upon the wind from the north, and the "clash of resound- 
ing arms" at Lexington and Concord. 

"give me LIIlEUrV, OR GIVE ME DEATH 1" 

I'ATKlClv HKMiV, TllK " MAN OF JllE PEOPLE." 179 

This is all I can say to-day of Patrick Henry. He was 
a remarkable man, and suited to the times in which he 
lived. Nothing could shake his resolution, and his won- 
derful eloquence astonished the greatest men who listen- 
ed to him, Thomas Jefferson said of him: 

"It is not easy to say what we would have done with- 
out Patrick Henry. He was far before us all in maintain- 
ing the spirit of the Revolution. His eloquence was pe- 
culiar — if, indeed, it should be called eloquence, for it was 
impressive and sublime beyond what can be imagined. 
After all, it must be allowed that he was our leader. He 
left us all flir behind." 

These were strong words to apply to the plain country 
lawyer who had failed at store-keeping and nearly every- 
thing else which he had attempted. But they were true. 
Patrick Henry found at last what his true business in life 
was, and his name is now one of the greatest in the his- 
tory of America. 



thomas jefferson, the ''pen of the 

On llie clay when Patrick Henry made his great speech 
against the Stamp Act, a number of students from Wil- 
liam and Mary College were standing at the door listen- 


ing. Among these was a young man of twenty-two, who 
drank in every word. When he was afterward asked 
about the debate, he said it was "most bloody." He was 


unknown at the time, but was destined to become as fa- 
mous as Henry himself; for the name of this youth was 
Tliomas Jefterson. 

I liave told you that I meant to try and give you 
some idea of these men of the Revolution as they ap- 
peared every day to their friends and those wlio knew 
them best. This I can do in the easiest way by giving 
you anecdotes and familiar details of them, from which 
you will see how they passed their time, and what their 
real characters were. Jeiferson has told us himself, in his 
letters, about his youthful days ; and as these were very 
different from his after-life as a famous statesman and 
ruler, I will tell you about them, to show you what a gay 
youth this great man was. 

He was the son of a wealthy farmer in Albemarle 
County, Virginia, and was born in the month of April, 
1743. As was then the fashion, he was sent to William 
and Mary College at Williamsburg, and here for a part 
of his time he studied very hard. While not thus en- 
n^asred he was visiting young ladies, and from all accounts 
he was very much liked by them. He was tall and not 
very graceful, and h;id sandy hair; but he was full of wit 
and fun, and fond of dancing and other amusements. 
There is no reason to believe that he neglected his stud- 
ies for the society of young ladies, but he certainly had 
his share of the fun and frolic around him. He tells us 
so himself He had a friend named John Page, who was 
afterward Governor of Virginia, and wrote him a number 
of letters, which were published. In these he gave an ac- 
count of his daily doings, and it is amusing to read them. 
In one, he <lescribes a night which he spent at an old 
co\intry house, where the rain leaked \ipon his watch, and 
the rats ate up his pocket-book and garters, which wore 
then worn l>v men; and in anf>thei- he speaks of "dancing 


with Belinda in the 'Apollo,'" and tells his friend how 
happy he felt while doing so. 

The "Apollo" was a large room in the old Raleigh 
Tavern at Williamsburg, and became famous afterward, 


like Faneuil Hall in Boston, as the place of meeting of 
the patriots. At that early day, however, it was only 
used as a ball-room, and the "Belinda" the young man 
speaks of was a young lady with whom he had fallen in 
love. His letters are full of her ; and it is amusing to find 
a person who afterward became the grave President of 
the United States breaking forth into exclamations at 
the delight he felt in dancing with her. They were never 
married, and young Jeiferson either was, or pretended to 
be, very disconsolate. He meant to rig out a boat, he 
said, and sail to Europe, and remain absent two years ; 
but this was probably a jest, and he turned his attention 

Soon afterward he left college and began the practice 
of law, and it was not till he was nearly thirty that he 
was married. On this occasion an interesting little scene 
occurred; and as it gives us a good idea of his light-heart- 
ed disposition, I will relate it. 



His bride was a beautiful young widow of Charles City 
County, named Mrs. Skelton. She was about twenty- 
three, and lived at a place called "The Forest;" and, as 
she was very wealthy, she had a number of admirers. Of 
these she preferred Mr. Tliomas Jeflerson, and in January, 
1772, they were married at "The Forest." It was an old 
Virginia party, with crowds of friends and relatives, huge 
roaring tires, and music and dancing, which was kept up 
throuofhout the night. On the next morning the bride 
and groom set out in their carriage, drawn by four horses, 
for the mountains, where Jefferson lived, and then their 
troubles began. 

It was the depth of winter, and a snow-storm began to 
fiUl. They stopped at " Blenheim," the residence of Col- 
onel Carter, not far from the end of their journey ; but as 
the family were not at home, they determined to push on 




and reach "Monticello," the name of Jefferson's place, be- 
fore night. They therefore continued their way, but it 
proved a tcnible undertaking. The snow was falling 
stcadilv, and the mountain roads were full of drifts, througlt 


which they could scarcely force their way. The horses 
plunged and snorted, and the coach rolled from side to 
side, and it seemed probable that they would be com- 
pelled to spend the night in the fields or forests, without 
fii-e or food. It must have tried the young lady's cour- 
age, but slie laughed and kept up her good spirits, and at 
last the coach plunged through and ascended the wind- 
ing road to "Monticello." 

The sight before them was dreary enough. The hill was 
covered with snow, and not a light or a fire was to be 
seen. But this did not aftect the young married couple. 
Jefferson opened a small pavilion, and led his bride in. 
He then kindled a fire, and brought out a bottle of wine 
and some biscuits from behind the books on the shelves, 
and they supped, and laughed, and sang, and were as gay 
as if they had been two children enjoying a frolic. 

This is one of the small incidents which I set out with 
the intention of relating. They ai'C not very important 
in themselves, but they afford us an idea of the persons 
who figured in them, and that is precisely what we wish 
to obtain. Jefferson's good-humor on this occasion shows 
one trait in liis character which many persons gave him 
no credit for; and I have always thought of this little in- 
cident M'ith pleasure. The snow was falling and the wind 
blowing outside the mountain pavilion, but within all was 
warmth and laughter. They were happy, for they loved 
each other, and did not mind the snow. None of us mind 
it in youth, when those we love are beside us. As we 
o-row old thev leave us sometimes, and the snow settles in 
our hearts — when we have a dreary time enough. 


In the spring of ITTS, whicii was the year after his 
marriage, Thomas Jefferson took his seat in the House of 


Bur<^esses. He was only about tliiit y, and therefore quite 
a vouno- man still, but it soon became plain that he would 
be one of the greatest leaders of the Revolution. He 
was a very poor speaker, and it is doubtful whether he 
ever made a regular speech in his life; but he was an 
excellent wn-iter, and this was the foundation of his fame. 
He wrote a pani[)hlet on the subject of the quarrel be- 
tween England and America, which was so defiant that 
he was declared a traitor by the English government. 
But this had no efll'ct upon him. He said what he thought, 
and men like himself are always ready to support their 
opinions. He was heart and soul for resistance to England, 
and now became the author of one of the greatest of all 
plans for uniting the colonics. This was a " Committee 
of Correspondence," whose duty it was to write to similar 
committees to be formed in otlier parts of the country, 
by which means eacli colony would know what the rest 
were rea<ly to do. Jefl'erson proposed this, and tlie com- 
mittee was apjjointcd. The effect was soon seen. From 
the North to the South the scattered colonies formed one 
country in their resistance to op])ression ; and through 
their committees they made an arrangement to meet in 
Congress at Philadelpliia. 

In these movements at Williamsburg Patrick Henry 
and Thomas Jefferson were the great leaders. Eac-h liad 
his peculiar gift. Jefferson could not speak, but was a 
powerfid writer. Henry could not write, but was a won- 
derful orator. Thus each did his part, and urged resist- 
ance as the only course now left. The Burgesses follow- 
ed their suggestions, and tlie English governor dissolved 
them, as it was called; but they determined to meet at 
the Kaleigh Tavern, in the "Apollo Room," and did so. 
Here they consulted as to the next ste]). .FrlVcrson was 
amon'T tliem. He must have looked around him, and re- 



membered the days of his youth, when he was so well ac- 
quainted with the ohl apartment. He had danced many 
a set with "Belinda" and other young ladies in this very 
room when he was a thoughtless young man ; and now 


he was a grave statesman, organizing revolution on the 
same floor which he had danced upon. He must have 
closed his eyes sometimes, and fancied he heard the music 
again ; for even the busiest men find time to go back in 
this way often, and return in memory to the happy days 
of their youth. 

I have mentioned the General Congress of the colonies 
which met at Philadelphia. Jefterson was one of the 
delegates to it, and in the year 1776 he became immortal 
in American history as the author of the Declaration of 
Independence. In May of that year, Virginia suggested 
that this declaration should be made, and directed Rich- 
ard Henry Lee, one of her most distinguished patriots, 
to move the resolution. He did so, and Congress resolved 
that the declaration should be made; after which they 
looked about for a person to write it. 

The choice fell upon Jefferson. He had scarcely risen 
in Congress since he had been a delegate, for he was noth- 
ing of a public speaker, as I have said, and left debating 


to Others. J3ut his powers as a writer were well known. 
His style was plain, vigorous, and went straight to the 
point. What he had to say he said clearly always, and 
he knew well what to say. The colonies meant in this 
great paper to declare themselves independent, and give 
the reasons for doing so; and, sitting down in an old 
house in Philadelphia, Jefferson wrote the Declaration. 

It was then offered to Congress, and a hot debate took 
place upon it. Jefferson had no share in this ; he left the 
struggle to the great John Adams and other friends, who 
fought like giants for it. jNIany were opposed to it, and 
did all they could to defeat it, but failed. The time had 
come to declare that the colonies were independent, and 
Congress resolved that this declaration should be made 
in the terms used by Jefferson. It was passed with a few 
changes which did not alter the meaning, and was the 
crown of Jefferson's fame as a statesman. 

It was natural that he should be proud of it, and he 
seems to have been so. By his own request, the words 
"Author of the Declaration of American Independence" 
were cut upon his tombstone. 


I cannot tell you, in this short story, of Jefferson's long 
and famous career as a statesman and ruler. He became 
President of the United States, and the head of a great 
party ; and his fame as an upholder of democracy extend- 
ed throughout the world. For good or evil — and there 
are different opinions as to that — he left a powerful im- 
press on the country; and his name will ])robably last as 
long as its history. 

All this you will read of some day. I eaiiiiot speak of 
it here. With a glance at Jefferson as an old man, I will 
proceed to other stories. 


He passed his last days at " Monticello," where he and 
his bride had spent that snowy night so long before. He 
was old, but still active. The University of Vii'ginia Avas 
established by him, and he spared no exertions in these his 
last years to make a great institution of it, in which he 
succeeded. He wrote many letters, and still watched po- 
litical affairs keenly; but his chief sources of happiness 
were literature and the society of his family. 

He was happy in his home. His family loved him ten- 
derly, for he was kindly and affectionate. His neighbors 
liked him, for he w^as extremely hospitable and cordial 
whenever they came to see him, and he entertained so 
many visitors that it nearly ruined him. These came to 
see hiiu from all parts of the world, and especially from 
France, where he had been minister and was exceedingly 
popular. One and all were met with a warm welcome 
and smiles; and th.ey went away and said that the "Sage 
of Monticello" was one of the most agreeable as well as 
one of the greatest men in the world. 

He still remained busy. Sucli a man, with a mind so 
keen and active, never rests. He labored to establish 
firmly the great University of Virginia. He wrote thou- 
sands of letters to people on politics or other subjects. He 
read and studied, and wrote for many hours every day, 
and took a very deep interest in everything relating to 
Virginia. He had himself, you know, played a great part 
in her history-. He and Edmund Pendleton had rewritten 
the laws, and Jefferson had overturned with his own hand 
the old order of things, and made all new. He had put 
everybody on a level. The old religious intolerance w\as 
swept away by his exertions, and, in spite of Edmund Pen- 
dleton's opposition, he had destroyed the old system of 
giving the land to the eldest son, which kept up distinc- 
tions in society. This quite altered the State, and he was 




III ^ 


■'"■■' 111,' 






not much liked by the old planters for it; but the people 
ill general were delighted, and said he was the defender 
of the " rights of man." 

He was very fond of flirming operations, and would go 
into the harvest-field in the hottest part of the day to see 
his cradlers cut the wlieat. He also took a deep interest 
in stock, and raised blooded horses and fine breeds of cat- 
tle. He was an excellent rider. 
Even when he was an old 
man and very feeble, he would 
mount the most spirited horses, 
and control them with ease. 
To the last his seat in the sad- 
dle was erect and firm, and he 
continued to ride out on his 
high-mettled horses when liis 
servants had to lead them up 
to the porch for him to mount 

These little details will give 
you an idea how Thomas Jef- 
ferson passed the evening of 
his life at "Monticello." His 
sun was setting gradually, and 
all eyes were fixed upon it as 
it sank. At last it began to 
descend below the horizon, as 
you may have seen the large red orb of the ical sun 
touch the blue mountains in the west and slowly disap- 
pear. In the year 1820, lie was taken sick and went to 
bed. His family and friends gathered around him, and 
were deeply distressed, but he himself was entirely re- 
signed. He did not seem afraid to die. IJut he gradual- 
ly sank; and on the night of llic tliiid of .Inly, those at 



his bedside saw that he was dying. Very singularly, the 
famous John Adams, who had been his friend and sup- 
porter in the great struggle over the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, was dying at the very same time, far off in Mas- 
sachusetts. He remembered his old friend in Virginia, 
and was heard to say to himself, 

"Thomas Jefferson still lives !" 

Just as midnight struck, Jefferson roused himself, and 
his lips moved. Those beside him bent over him, and 
heard him murmur, in a low voice, 

"This is the fourth of July !" 

He lived until twelve o'clock in the day. He then said, 
in a feeble voice, 

"I resign myself to my God, and my child to my coun- 
try !" 

After uttering these words, he expired ; and John Ad- 
ams died on the same evening. Fifty years before, almost 
hour for hour, these two great men had placed tlieir names 
to the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. 





On the 2Vth of May, 1774, the Virginia Burgesses gave 
a ball to the English governor, Lord Dunuiore, and his 
family at the Capitol in "Wiliiamsburg. This ball was 
quite remarkable from the circumstances connected with 
it ; and before relating some 
important events which fol- .-;'■?:• 
lowed, I will give you an ac- 
count of it. 

Lord Dunmore had come 
to Virginia in the year 1772. 
He soon became unpopular. 
He was a man of bad dis- 
position, and seems to liavc 
looked upon the Virginians as his enemies. The rising 
spirit of rebellion excited his anger, and ho shut himself 
up ill his "Palace," as it was called, for the greater part 
of the time, watching the House of Burgesses. 

This Palace was a large and fine building near Glouces- 
ter Street, in the middle of the ca])ital. It was sev- 
enty-four feet long, and iieaily as deep, and stood in a 
beatitiful park of tliree hundied and seventy acres. The 
grounds were lull of walks and carriage-drives, anid had a 
bowling-alley in them. Fine old trees were seen every- 
where, and on these colored lanterns were hung, when 
balls were given al the Palace, to light the guests on 
llicii- way to the house. All about the ]ilacc was fine and 
imposing. There was a guard -house at the large gate- 





way for the governor's guard, ^nd a porter's- lodge. A 
broad walk led up to the Palace, and within it was dec- 
orated with carved wood-work, and well furnished. Two 
portraits of the King and Queen of England hung oppo- 
site each other in the main apartment, and in this room 
the royal governors received their visitors. 

Governor Dunmore did not entertain much. As I have 
said, he had no great opinion of the Virginians, and sel- 
dom offered them any courtesies or received any. Tiiey 
were probably doubtful whether he cared to have any 
such compliments paid him; but at last an opportunity 

came to give him an 
example of Virginia 

Lord Dunmore had 
left his family behind 
him in New York ; 
but they now joined 
him in Virginia, and 
the Burgesses re- 
solved to give them a warm reception. From all accounts, 
they deserved this. They were very different from the 
governor, and ready to respond to any attentions they 
received, with pleasure. One who knew them wrote: 
"Lady Dunmore is here — a very elegant woman. Her 
daughters are fine, sprightly, sweet girls. Goodness of 
heart flashes from them in every look. How is it possible 
my Lord Dunmore could so long deprive himself of those 
pleasures he must enjoy in such a family ?" 

But here they were at last — Lady Dunmore and her 
sons, and three handsome daughters, Catherine, Augusta, 
and Susan, The windows were illuminated as they drove 
into the capital in their coach, and then the House of Bur- 
gesses set about arranging for a ball in their honor. 



On the very day before that on which the ball was to 
take place, a remarkable scene took place at the Capitol. 
To understand this scene, I must tell you what had just 
happened. You have heard how the English tea was 
thrown overboard from the ships in Boston Harbor by 
the Americans, to show that they did not mean to use it 
if they had to pay the tax upon it. As soon as they heard 
of this in England, it caused general excitement; and a 
law was passed which ordered that the port of Boston 
should be closed — that is, that no ship should sail from it 
— by way of punishment. This aronsed the Virginians, 
and they determined to show their displeasure at the law. 
The port was to be closed on the first day of June in this 
year, and the Burgesses recommended that this day should 
be passed by the Virginians in fasting and prayer, to show 
that they were mourning over the destruction of Ameri- 
can liberty. 

I wish yon to observe particularly what now took place. 
The Burgesses passed their law, about the fasting and 
praying, on the 24th of May. On the 26th, two days af- 
terwai'd, the scene occurred which I will now describe. 

In order to show you just what happened, let us fancy 
that wc are living in AVilliamsburg at the moment, and 
endeavor to see with our own eyes all that took place. It 
was more than a hundred years ago, but there was an old 
newspaper published at that time which gave an account 
of everything, and this informs us accurately in regard to 
the whole affaii". 

It is the morning of ISfay 2Gth, 1T74. The old city 
of Williamsburg is in commotion. To and fro along 
(iloucestcr Street roll the coaches of the planters, drawn 
by their four glossy horses, with their liv(M'ied (lii\ers; 
and men on horseback, and country jx/oph' in carts, are ar- 
riving at every moment. It is reported that something 


interesting is going to take place to-day, and at last Lord 
Dnnmore is seen passing in his fine coach from his palace 
to the Capitol. The crowd follows and gathers around 
the portico, where a marble statue stands of good Lord 
Botetourt, the former governor. Lord Dunmore then 
gets out of his coach and goes up-stairs to his council- 
chamber, and the crowd flock in and fill the gallery of 
the House of Burgesses, which is in session. 

Let us follow them, and see what is going on. We find 
seats in the gallery at last, and look down on the large 
apartment, which is crowded with the members of the 
Burgesses, On a raised platform opposite sits the Speak- 
er, or presiding ofiicer. He is seated in a tall- backed 
chair, which is still used for the same purpose in Rich- 
mond, and behind him is a large red curtain, held up by a 
gilded rod. Below him sits the clerk, with the mace, a 
sort of heavy weapon, lying before him on his table. This 
is in imitation of the old practice in the House of Com- 
mons in Eno;land, and means that the Buro-esses are in 
full session, and that no one must disturb them. 

Let us look attentively at this distinguished body of 
men. You may see at a single glance that they are the 
" men for the times," They are richly clad, and present 
an imposing appearance. They wear coats with heavy 
sleeves, long waistcoats covered with embroidery, ruflied 
shirts, silk stockings, buckled shoes, and their hair is cov- 
ered with white powder. They are grave and digni- 
fied ; bold-looking, but cautious too, for the times are dan- 
gerous. They are the greatest men of Virginia, to whom 
the people have left the decision of everything ; and 
before we see Avhat takes place, it is worth while to 
look carefully at a few of the most famous men of the 



You no doubt recognize tliat plain-looking man yondcv 
ill the old faded coat. His dress and general appearance, 
you see, are not at all like those of the rest. Plis hair 
is unpowdered, and he wears leather breeches and yarn 
stockings. His face is grim and determined, and his keen 
eyes flash under his bushy eyebrows. 

He has just risen to speak, and every eye is fixed upon 
him. Xobody seems to think of his shabby coat and |)lain 
appearance. They listen, for they know what is coming. 
His voice is low, you observe, at first, and his manner 
quiet. He speaks deliberately, and pronounces some of 
his words in a very sinscular manner. He calls earth 
airth, and seems to be uneducated ; but no one takes any 
notice of this. Now his voice is growing louder and his 
appearance more animated. His stooping shoulders grow 
straight, his eyes are full of fire, and at last his voice begins 
to thunder above the heads of his listeners. The fire of the 
man seems to burn them. Their faces flush, and they lean 
forward in their seats, with their eyes fixed upon him. 
His voice grows louder and more ])assionate : he pours a 
flood of denunciation upon England and everything Eng- 
lish. Tlie time has come to act, he tells them, or they 
and their children will be slaves; and, with both arms 
raised and liis hands clinched, he ends his speech, and 
takes his seat in the midst of murmurs of approval. 

I need not say who this is. You know I'atrick Ilcni y. 
He is at his post in front, but has followers as brave and 
resolute, if not as fiery, as himself Tliere is one ol" them 
not far from liiin. Hi; is t.ill .unl <listinguisIu'd-looking. 
His forehead is lofty, his eyes an; blue, and as ho rises to 
address tljc Burgesses, you can see that he is an orator. 
His voice is sweet and silvery, and falls on the c'lr like mu- 


sic. But those who listen to him know that his mind is as 
powerful as his voice and gestures are attractive. That 
is Edmund Pendleton, of "Edraundsbury," in Caroline, 
the leader of the party in the Burgesses which is in favor 
of calm and deliberate action. He is deeply attached to 
England, like almost every one in the assembly. He loves 
the Episcopal Church, of which he is a member, and the old 
Englii^^h law that the eldest son in a family should inherit 
the land and keep up the name ; lie is proud that he has 
English blood in his veins, that Virginia is a part of the 
famous old land, and hopes still that there Avill be no war, 
and that they will all live in peace together. He sees no 
good that can come from a new state of things ; but he 
is as determined as Patrick Henry that the rights of Vir- 
ginia shall not be trampled upon. And this is known to 
everybody. The utmost confidence is placed in him. He 
will hereafter become the head of the Virginia Committee 
of Safety, the president of her great conventions, and the 
chief judge of her Supreme Court. He shares the coun- 
sels of the leaders, and is one of the most distinguished 
of them, and will rank in future years as one of the great- 
est men of her history. 

Not far from Henry and Pendleton sits a person of 
about thirty, with sandy hair, a square face, and a quiet 
expression of the eyes, who does not speak, but seems to 
listen to every one and to be waiting. His manner is so 
unpretending that you would not suppose that he was one 
of the greatest of the leaders in the Burgesses. But this 
quiet-looking man is Thomas Jefferson, who uses his pen 
as vigorously as Patrick Henry uses his tongue. Calm 
as he seems, he is full of fire, and resolved to stop at noth- 
ing. He has no fondness for England. He laughs quiet- 
ly at kings and noblemen, and the idea that they have a 
right to rule over anybody. He wishes to overthrow 


them all, and thinks it is necessary to act at once. He 
is ready to fight, in order to sweep away every landmark 
of the past — lank in society, the English Church, and ev- 
er}'- trace of monarchy. He is for levelling everybody, 
and setting up a republic, where all are equal ; and is one 
of the greatest political overturners of the age. 


These men are the leaders of the two great parties in 
the Burgesses — one in favor of deliberate action, the oth- 
er for revolution at once. 

But there are other celebrated men before us at whom 
we ought to glance before passing on. Yonder is one of 
the most remarkable of them. You see the portly figure, 
the swarthy face, bronzed by the sun, and the dai-k, stern 
eyes, both sad and severe in their expression. He leans 
back, with his right hand buried in the rufties under his 
gold-laced waistcoat, and in every eye fixed upon him you 
may see the regard and respect that is felt for him. He 
is George Mason, of "Gunston Hail," on the Potomac. 
His family supported Charles I., and were obliged to fly 
to Virginia; but George Mason is a determined patriot, 
and ready to oppose George HI. He is an admirable 
writer, and will soon distinguish himself as such. The 
"Bill of Rights of the People of Virginia" will proceed 
from his ]»t'n, and make hint famous before long; and he 
will write to his son in France that lie hopes to see him 
again as a {'\-Q(i man, or not at all ; and that if he only lias 
"a crust of bread and lil)erty," he wiil be ready to die. 

Not far from him is a lall gentleman, with a noble Uo- 
man head, bent forward (•onrteous]3\ His right hand is 
covered with a bandage, as he shot himself one day while 
hunting swans on ihc ]*otomac. But his gestures in 
sjx'akiiig are so graceful that people say he practised them 



before a looking-glass. That is Richard Henry Lee, of 
"Chantilly," in Westmoreland, called the "gentleman with 
the silver hand," as Pendleton is spoken of as the " silver- 


voiced." He is a remarkable orator, and a man of the 
highest character. Two years from this time he will make 
a great name for himself, by moving in the General Con- 
gress that the Americans shall declare themselves inde- 

Yonder is a person worth our attention — the man of 
small stature and long hair, with the piercing eyes. That 
is Archibald Gary, of " Ampthill," in Ghesterfield. He is 
descended from Lord Falkland, who fell in the English 
revolution, and is heir-apparent to the English barony of 
Hunsdon. People call him " Old L-on," either because he 
has an iron-foundry on his farm, or is as firm as iron in 
character. He will show hereafter that he is a deter- 
mined man. When people speak of making Patrick Henry 



dictator of Virginia, Archibiild Gary will say to a half- 
brother of Henry, "Sir, I am told that your brother wish- 
es to be dictator. Tell him from me that the day of his 
appointment shall be the day of his death, for he shall 
find my dagger in his heart before the sunset of that 
day !" 

There are many other striking figures, you perceive, 
in the assemblage, as we look down upon tliem from the 
crowded gallery. Notice that calm- looking gentleman 
with the erect head and lofty forehead. That is Thomas 
Nelson, of York, hereafter to be Governor of Virginia, who 
will spend his whole estate to fit out soldiers, and never 
be repaid. At the siege of Yorktown he will cannonade 
his own house, and there 
is no truer patriot in the 
Burgesses. Many others 
are worthy of attention. 
Yonder is George Bland, 
of Prince George, called 
the " Virginia Antiquary," 
old and nearly blind ; and 
Edmund and Peyton Pan- 
dolph — one to serve in the 
cabinet, and the other to 
bo president of the first 
Congress. There is Rob- 
ert Carter Nicholas, the 
sound financier, and Ben- 
jamin Harrison, of " Berkeley," ^vho is said to be de- 
scended from the regicide. Colonel Harrison, who signed 
the warrant for the execution of Charles I. 

Last of all, sec that man of tall stalurc, witli llic erect 
hc;i.l and ihe military bearing. lb- is in llic midst of 
Patrick Heiuv, 'I'hoinas .Tcfic-rson, and ilic ><\]irv patriots, 


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as you will see him in bronze one day, on his horse, in 
the Virginia monument to him. That is Colonel George 
Washiiisfton, of "Mount Vernon," on the Potomac. The 
old wars on the border are over, and he is a planter now. 
He is married, and represents the county of Fairfax in the 
Burgesses; but, as you know, he is soon to be called to a 
greater stage of action. His appearance is imposing, and 
there is something calm and majestic about him. His 
glance is clear and steady ; you see he is the man of ac- 
tion. The time is not far off when the country will call 
him. He will take command of the American army, and 
die the founder of the American republic. 


As we look at those distinguished men, grouped upon 
the floor of the old House of Burgesses, a stir takes place 
at the door, and a messenger enters and delivers a paper 
to the Sjjeaker. 

It is an order from Lord Dunmore to attend upon him 
in a body, in his council-chamber, to receive a communica- 
tion which he has to make to them. The Speaker rises, 
and informs the House of the order received. Nothing 
is said : the members leave their seats ; the Speaker, fol- 
lowed by the sergeant-at-arms carrying the mace, goes in 
front ; and the Burgesses rejjair in a body to the council- 

.They enter, and are received with stiff courtesy by Lord 
Dunmore. He is seated at the head of a large table, with 
the members of his council around him. He is richly clad, 
and resembles a monarch receiving the homage of his 

" Mr. Speaker, and gentlemen of the House of Burgess- 
es," he says, "I have in my hand a paper published by or- 
der of your House, conceived in such terms as reflect high- 


ly upon his Majesty and the Parliament of Great Britain, 
which makes it necessary to dissolve you, and you are dis- 
solved accordingly," 

The governor tlien bows stiffly again, and the Burgesses 
return the bow ; then they leave the council-chamber and 
go back to the hall, when they at once adjourn. 

But they do not mean to return to their homes without 
further consultation. The Capitol is closed to them, and 
the House of Burgesses dissolved ; but they are free to 
go elsewhere and consult with each other, if not act as a 
legal body. They therefore repair to the old Raleigh Tav- 
ern in Gloucester Street, wdiere they hold a meeting in 
the "Apollo Room," and discuss the state of affairs. The 
meeting is an excited one. They declare themselves a 
"convention," and draw up a paper addressed to the peo- 
ple, in which they say that the 'attack on Massachusetts 
is precisely the same as an attack on Virginia. The time 
has come, they declare, for action, and to that end they 
recommend that a General Congress shall be held to con- 
sult how to oppose the tyranny of England. They resolve 
to observe the 1st of June as a day of fasting and prayer, 
in spite of Lord Dunmore; and then, after calling a con- 
vention of the ]ieople in August, this remarkable meeting 
in the "Apollo Room" adjourns. 


Night has come at last on this famous 2'7th of May, 
17'74. It is the night of the ball to be given to Lord 
Dunmore and his wife and daughters. "Will the Vii-gin- 
ians feel in a mood to assemble? They have just been dis- 
missed, like a ]>arty of school-boys, by the governor, who 
has told them that their action deserves punishment, and 
tliat he inflicts the punishment. Will the ball follow ? 

The question is soon decided. As night comes thr win- 


clows of the Capitol blaze with lights. In front of the 
portico is a great crowd watching coach after coach as 
they stop, and ladies and gentlemen, in full-dress, descend 
and enter. The array of silks and satins and embroidered 
coats is dazzling. All the grace and beauty of Williams- 
burg and the surrounding country has assembled to do 
honor to the governor and his family. 

Let us go up the steps and enter with the rest. The 
hall of the Burgesses is the ball-room. The chairs are 
removed, and the whole apartment blazes with lights. It 
is crowded with beautiful women and stately gentlemen, 
among whom are Washington and a large number of other 

Then a stir is heard at the door; the crowd divides, 
and Lord Dunniore, superbly dressed, enters with his wife 
and family. They are received with profound bows and 
cordial courtesy. The governor's manner is not very en- 
couraging, but Lady Dunmore and her "fine sprightly 
girls" make up for that by their bright smiles. And so 
the famous ball goes on its way with music and dancings 
and the hall which has just echoed to the voices of Henry 
and Pendleton is full of gay accents and mirth and laughter. 

It was a singular affair — was it not ? — this ball at the 
Capitol in May, 1774. At least the Virginians showed 
their gallantry, and acted with true courtesy. Whatever 
they thought of Lord Dunmore, it did not prevent them 
from welcoming the ladies. From all accounts, these en- 
joyed themselves highly, and were gratified at the respect 
paid them; and the ball was long sjiokcn of as one of the 
finest that had ever taken place in Williamsburg. 




I -WILL now tell you how Lord Dunmore attempted to 
disarm the Virginians by seizing their gunpowder, and 
how they drove him from Virginia forever. 

In spite of the fine entertainment given in his honor, 
the governor did not seem to like the people any better 
than before. He was a man of liarsh character, and was 
cliarged with being underlianded and treacherous. I liave 
told you of his expedition against the Indians in the fall 
of this same year, 1774. He was charged, you remember, 
by Andrew Lewis and his men, with secretly stirring up 
the savages, and persuading thena to attack the border 
people. Was this true, or only the result of the dislike 
ll'lt for him by the Virginians? I do not know, but ap- 
pearances were against him, and in the next spring he did 
commit this great crime. A man named Connolly was 
employed by him as his agent, and this man was captured 
on his way to the Ohio. As people suspected him, he 
was searched, and hidden beneath his saddle were foiiiul 
a number of papers. Those left no doubt of anything. 
They were signed by Lord Dunmore, and proved clearly 
that Connolly was sent to stir up the Indians against the 
Virginians, and that when he was caught he was on his 
way to do so. 

'I'lio fact is that no one could trust Lord Dunmore. His 
word could not hv relied ui)on, as what I am about to tell 
you will show, ^'ou will see that ho told the Virginians 



that he was anxious to protect them from an insurrection 
of tlieir slaves, and immediately afterward called on the 
black people to rise and fight them. Of this fact there is 
no doubt, and it will enable you to form your own opinion 
of Lord Dunmore. 

We have now come to the spring of 1775, just one year 
after the ball at the Capitol. In these twelve months the 
spirit of resistance to England had gone on growing more 
determined. The General Congress which the Virginians 


had recommended in their meeting at the Raleigh Tavern 
was agreed to at once. Six days afterward Massachusetts 
had suggested it also, probably before the news of it 
reached them from Virginia. The other colonies were as 
prompt, and the Congress met in the autumn at Phila- 
delphia, where the greatest men of all the sections con- 
sulted together. "Carpenter's Hall" was the first place 
of meeting, but "Independence Hall" was afterward 
chosen, and this is still standing. 

As the spring of 1775 opened, there was excitement 


everywliere. People felt that great events would soon 
take place, and all were ready. There never was a peo- 
ple more ready to resist. The very women and children 
were determined not to submit to English misrule. As 
the tax on tea remained in force, the ladies would not pur- 
chase any. They even resolved that they would not use 
what they had already, and sealed it up in canisters and 
put it away. The boys were quite as rebellious. In Mas- 
sachusetts a party of them, who were sliding on the snow, 
got into a quarrel with the English soldiers, and defied 
them, and in Virginia they formed companies to fight the 
English when they came. 

I will tell you an anecdote of one of these small boy- 
companies. On one occasion Lady Nelson was riding out, 
when she met with one of them. They had guns, and a 
flag, and a drum, which they were beating; and when 
Lady Nelson stopped to look at them, she saw that two 
of her own boys were in the company. The young sol- 
diers knew her carriage, and drew up by the side of the 
road to salute her. They were going to fight the British, 
they said, but this seemed quite absurd in such mere ur- 
chins. Lady Nelson therefore called to her two boys to 
get into the coacli, and they did so, crying from mortifica- 
tion — which will show how much in earnest these youth- 
ful patriots were. 

In the month of April the storm burst forth. The Brit- 
ish government had determined to get possession of all 
the arms and gunpowder in the colonies, and sent word to 
the various governors to seize these stores on a day fixed 
for the ])urposc. Tlie orders were first sent to (4eneral 
Gage, who cnininandod the English troops in Boston; and 
they were then transmitted to Lord Dunmore, in Virginia, 
Ihrougli the same Connolly who was his agent in stirring 
up tlie Indians. 



These orders were now obeyed. Gage marched from 
Boston to tlie village of Concord, to seize the powder 

in Massachusetts; 

and the people 
assembled, and a 
battle was fought, 
which resulted in 
the retreat of the 
English back to 
Boston. This was 
on the 19th of 
April, and on the 
very next day 
(April 20tli, 1775) 
Lord Dun more 
seized the powder 
belonging to Vir- 

For this all had 
been arranged. 
Several English 
ships -of -war liad 
been sent to Vir- 
ginia, and one of 
these quietly sail- 
ed up York Riv- 
er, and anchored 
not far from Wil- 
liamsburg. This 
ship was named 
the Magdalen^ and 
was commanded by a Captain Collins. On the day be- 
fore the scene which I will now describe, Lord Dunmore 
sent word to Captain Collins that the time had come. He 




was to march after dark with a party of soldiers to Wil- 
liamsburg, and seize the powder in the magazine. And 
this order the Englissh captain obeyed. About midnight 
he marched silently into the town to the magazine. He 
had the key, and oi)ened it quietly, and took possession of 
the powder, which was in half-barrels. lie then retired as 
he came ; and all had been done in such silence that the 
people did not hear of the affair until the next morning. 

As soon as the news spread it excited general indigna- 
tion. The town was in commotion, and the people re- 
solved to seize the governor and make him answer for his 
act. But they were persuaded not to use violence, and 


sent to demand the return of the powder. To this Lord 
' Dunmorc made an evasive and untruthful reply, lie had 
only taken the powder, he said, to use in case there was 
an insurrection of the slaves in a neighboring county, of 
which he had heanl something. He wouhl soon return 
it; there need be no trouble whatever about it. All of 
which was wholly untrue, as there was no such report. 
The people then retiix-d to their homes and waited, 

liut the news soon spread through the length and 


breadth of Virginia. The people rushed to arms, and sev- 
en Inmdred men assembled at Fredericksburg, and sent 
word that they were ready to march on Williamsburg. 
. Among these were the famous Culpeper 
" minute-men," ready to march at a min- 
ute's warning. They wore green hunt- 
\\ "'*'*8^ A\ ing- shirts, and had knives and toma- 
j^ ^o NT j ^ R CAD^N^Mr^ liawks in their belts. On their breasts 

CDLPEPER FLAG. ^^,g,.g Patvlck Hcury's words, in white 
letters, " Liberty or Death !" and their flag bore the pict- 
ure of a coiled rattlesnake, with "Don't tread on me !" be- 
neath it. 

But Patrick Henry had already taken the matter into 
his own hands. As soon as he heard that Dunmore had 
robbed the people of their powder, he sent word to his 
friends to meet him at a place called New Castle, fully 
armed and ready to fight. Everybody hastened to obey 
his call, and with one hundred and fifty men under him, 
Henry set out at once to go and attack the governor. 

You see he was not a man to trifle about anything. He 
had told everybody that he was ready to fight England, 
and he now showed that he meant what he said. He 
marched without delay on Williamsburg, and no doubt a 
battle would have taken place in Virginia, as in Massachu- 
setts, if Governor Dunmore had not become frightened. 
He sent one of his friends to say that he was ready to pay 
for the powder, and Patrick Henry determined to take 
the money. It was three hundred and thirty pounds 
sterling (about sixteen hundred dollars), and this was paid 
to him at a place called Doncastle's Ordinary, or tavern, 
where he had stopped to rest his men. 

It is more than probable that Henry was sorry at hav- 
ing the money paid to him. He saw that the very best 
thing that could happen now was a fight with Lord Dun- 


more, whicli would excite the whole country, and bring 
on war before a large army of English were sent to Amer- 
ica. But he was afraid of putting himself in the wrong 
by refusing to take the money ; so he took it, and then 
marched back home with liis friends. 


Lord Dunmore was now in a great rage. His author- 
ity was in danger, and his person not safe. He therefore 
issued a proclamation against Henry and his followers, 
declaring that they were traitors, and sent to the 3Iag- 
dalen for English troops, which he posted in his palace. 
Rows of arms were laid on the floor, ready to be used at 
a moment's warning ; and the redcoats swaggered about 
the streets, scowling at the people, who scowled back at 

Things were ready, you see, for an outbreak, and it soon 
came. Some arms were supposed to be still in the mag- 
azine, and a party of young men forced open the door to 
secure them. x\ startling incident followed. No sooner 
had they done so than a loud explosion took place, and 
one of them staggered back wounded. Lord Dunmore 
or some one had set a s])ring-gun behind the door of the 
magazine. Tlie opening of tiie door discharged this, and 
one of the party was shot. 

At this the people assembled, uttering shouts of indig- 
nation. 'I'liey broke into the magazine, and seized all 
tlie arms they found, and made a discovery which raised 
their excitement to tlie highest pitch. Several barrels of 
gunpowder were found buried beneath tlie floor of the 
maLraziiie, ready to blow up any one who entered the 
building. These, they knew, must have been placed there 
by Lord Dunmore, as no other person had control of the 
ma<Tazinc, and it iiut llic finishing touch to (■v<'r\lliing. 


At the same moment the report spread that English troops 
from the Mag(Me7i were marching on Williamsburg; so 
the people rushed to arms, and determined to seize the 
governor, fight the troops, and settle the whole afiair at 


This brought out Lord Dunmore in his true character. 
He Avas not even brave. He ought to have stayed and 
fought, if he thought that he was in the right. He had 
the means of doing so, for there were the English troops ; 
but he lost heart at the idea of fighting, and fled with his 
family on board the English ships. After this he never 
again showed his face in the town of Williamsburg. 

The Virginians, you see, were more lucky than the peo- 
ple of Massachusetts. They had succeeded in driving 
away the governor and his English soldiers, and every- 
thing was now in their own hands. But they were not 
yet entirely rid of Lord Dunmore, who was full of spite 
and hatred at being obliged to fly from his palace. He 
got together some ships-of-war which were lying in Ches- 
apeake Bay, and sailed for Norfolk, a Virginia town of 
about six thousand inhabitants at that time, where he 
sent word to all the negroes in the surrounding country 
to rise and help him. This showed exactly how he felt 
toward the Virginians, and how little trust could be placed 
in what he said. When he seized their powder, he told 
them that he intended to use it to 2>reve7it a rising of the 
negroes. Now he called on them to rise and fight for 

Many of the slaves and lower class of white people 
joined him, and he soon showed the Virginians how he 
meant to treat them. He seized the printing-presses in 
Norfolk, and ])lundered the whole country; and by his 
orders his motley army of negroes and others committed 
many acts of violence. 



Yii-giuia was now tlioroughly aroused, and a "Com- 
mittee of Safety" was appointed. Troops were hastening 
from every direction to attack Dunmore's men, and as 
fast as these arrived they were sent toward Norfolk, It 
was not easy to fight Governor Dunmore, as he was most 
of the time in his ships, prowling around more like a pi- 
rate than the commander of regular troops. Some time 
thus passed, but finally a fight took place. Dunmore had 


./r^^, ^.i. '" '-^-^^ 

VIEW or ijUkat miiDGE. 

landed his troops at Norfolk, and hearing that the Virgin- 
ians were near, resolved to send a force to attack them. 

They awaited the English attack at a place called Great 
Bridge (December 9th, 1775). This was a common wood- 
on bridge over a stream, approached on both sides by a 
causeway, or road made by throwing up earth. On this 
causeway, at one end of tlic bridge, the Virginians had 
thn.wii up a breastwork, and behind this they lay ready 
to receive the IJritish assault. 

It soon came, and the attack was a determined one. It 
was made by a force of Knglish grenadiers, led by two 
ca|»tains, named Leslie and Fordyce, who proved them- 
selves brave men. Cannon were posted across the bridge, 


and opened fire on the Virginians, after which Fordyce 
rushed forward at the head of his grenadiers, crossed the 
bridge, and charged the breastwork. 

The Virginians did not fire until the enemy were with- 
in fifty yards of them. The order was then given, and the 
crack of rifles ran along the whole breastwork, staggering 
the grenadiers, and throwing them into confusion. Cap- 
tain Fordyce was at the head of his men, waving his hat 
and shouting, "The day is ours!" Suddenly he fell, but 
instantly leaped up, brushing his knee, as if he had only 
stumbled. But he had been mortally wounded. Four- 
teen bullets had passed through his body, and, staggering 
a few steps forward, he fell dead. 

At this the grenadiers gave way, and retreated in disor- 
der. They hastened back across the bridge and along the 
causeway on the other side, leaving the ground strewed 
with their dead. The Virginians leaped over the earth- 
works and pursued them, firing upon them as they fled ; 
and the pursuit was not stopped until the grenadiers were 

safe back in Norfolk. 


Lord Dunmore was now furious. He had fully expect- 
ed to defeat the Virginians in the battle, and was so much 
enraged at his fiiilure that he threatened to hang a boy 
who brouo-ht him the news. This would have done him no 
good, however, and he hastened to look after his own safe- 
ty. He at once left Norfolk, and took refuge in his ships, 
and then the Virginians marched in and took possession. 

Fire was opened upon the ships, and a furious cannon- 
ade followed. At this Dunmore sent word that if it did 
not stop he would destroy the town with hot shot. He 
was told by the Virginian commander that he might do 
his worst, and he at once opened fire on the place. It was 
very soon in flames, and for three days the fire raged in 



all directions. The Aveather was intensely cold, for it was 
ill the month of January, and the women and children 
were obliged to fly from the burning houses, and take 
refuge wliere they could. Not content with burning their 
houses. Lord Dunmore sent troops on shore to fire on the 
Virginians; and all the horrors of war were thus visited 
on the once peaceful place. At last the flames died down, 
Norfolk was completely destroyed. The toAvn, of six thou- 

■'<■■■' ' -•- - 4- 

gwyn's island. 

sand inliabitants, was a mass of smouldering embers; and 
Slaving glutted his revenge, Lord Dunmore sailed away in 

I-'rom this time forward he resembled a i)irate more 
tlian ever. He landed, an<l pluiidcied the shores of Ches- 
apeake Day in every diiccliun. JJut his end was coining. 
At la.>t he anclK>red at a place called Gwyn's Island, on 
the western shore of the bay, and here he threw up a fort, 


in wlilch he placed a part of his forces, consisting largely 
of negroes and low white people. His intention, no doubt, 
was to await re -enforcements from England, and then 
march on Williamsburg and hang all his enemies. But 
this plan was never carried out. The Virginians resolved 
to attack him, and the afiair was intrusted to General 
Lewis, the very Andrew Lewis who commanded the hunt- 
ers at Point Pleasant. Lewis marched at once. He soon 
reached the shore just opposite Gwyn's Island, where he 
planted his cannon, and opened fire on the fort and the 

The affair did not take long. Lewis fired the first gun 
with his own hands at the ships. The ball passed through 
the Dunynore^ on which the governor was at the time ; 
and the second ball also struck the ship, and cut one of 
his men in two. The third smashed the governor's cups 
and saucers, and a splinter of wood wounded him in the 
leg. At this he lost heart, and gave up the idea of fight- 
ing, and his ships were seen scattering, like white-winged 
sea-fowl, in every direction. 

Still no sign of surrender was made, and the Virginia 
fire continued. It went on all day, and at night they had 
seen no white flag. What m- as Lord Dunmore doing? If 
he was beaten, why did he not surrender? The Virgin- 
ians resolved to discover what was going on, and at day- 
light two hundred men were sent over in boats to attack 
the island. 

Then the whole truth was discovered. Lord Dunmore" 
was preparing to fly. He had gotten everything of value 
on board the ships ; and as the Virginians approached on 
one side, they saw a great commotion going on on the 
other side. English soldiers hurried on board the vessels, 
the anchors were raised, and as the boats touched the 
shore, the whole fleet rapidly sailed away. 


When the Virginians landed on the island it present- 
ed a horrible sight. Dead bodies of men were lying all 
around, and many wounded persons, black and white, 
were groaning and begging for water to drink. Graves 
were all over the island, and these were so shallow and 
hastily dug that the dead men were only half covered. 
Many were found burned to death in the brush huts, which 
had been set on fire by the cannon-shot, and altogether 
the sight was a sickening one. While they were looking 
at it, a briglit light suddenly burst out on the waters of 
the ba}', not far off, and they soon saw what this meant. 
Some of Lord Dunmore's ships had run aground in the 
sand, and as lie could not get tliem off, he had ordered 
them to be set on fire, to prevent them from falling into 
ilie hands of his enemies. The flames soon caught the 
masts and riggings, which blazed up, presenting a fine 
spectacle. Then the hulls were seen to be on fire, and 
burned down to the edge of the water, when the ships 
sunk and disappeared from sight. 

Tliis was the last of Lord Dunmore. tic seemed fond 
of fire, as he had tried to blow up the magazine at Wil- 
liamsburg and burned the town of Norfolk, and now his 
burning ships lit him on Ills way. For some time he prowl- 
ed about, plundering the houses along the sliore, and once 
sailed up the Potomac to "Mount Vernon," to capture 
Washington, if possible. JJut he failed to do so, and at 
last resolved to depart. Ilis ships, with the plunder which 
he h;id secured, and about one thousand slaves wliom he 
had carried <>i]' Cioiii tlie Virginia ])lantalions, sailed ibr 
the West Indies, and he himself went to New Vork, and 
tiience to Englan<l. 

The Virginians were thus rid of him, and must have re- 
joiced at tlic fact. They liad had some bad governors, 
iMit Lord Dunmore was the very worst of them. lie had 



been, from the time of his arrival, their secret enemy, and 
had done all he could, at all times, to injure them ; and 
thus his disappearance excited general joy. 

The great year ITTG bad now arrived, and the first thing 
the Virginians did Avas to elect a Republican governor. 
Their choice fell on Patrick Henry, who had marched 
against Lord Dunmore; and tlie new governor went to 
live in the very "Palace" at Williamsburg from which 
Dunmore had issued the proclamation declaring him a 





We have now reached tlie period of the American Revo- 
lution ; but before I speak of some great events Avhich took 
place in Eastern Virginia, I have two or three remarkable 
stories to tell you of lighting in the woods of the West.- 

In this country, along the Ohio, everything was quite 

different. In Lower Virginia the people were generally 

lar<re landholders, who lived in comfort, if not in luxury. 

Their houses were excellent, and they had servants to wait 

on them, and travelled in coaclies, and wore rich clothes, 

and altogether led very agreeable lives. Their wives and 

daugliters were tenderly cared for, and the boys were not 

brought up to work witli their own hands : life was passed 

in peace and enjoyment, and the laws protected every one 

from injury. If a robbery or murder was committed, there 

was the constable to arrest the criminal, and the whipi)ing- 

post or gallows to punish him. On Sunday the families 

went to church in their carriages; the young men rode 

fine horses and visited the young ladies; entertainments 

were often given, at which the ladies and gentlemen 

dressed in silks and velvets; and altogether the old-time 

Virginians of the Tidewater region, as it was called, led 

as pleasant lives, perhaps, as any people over did in this 


Over the mountains toward the Oliio things were very 
different, as I have told you. The country was thinly set- 


tied, aud covered with great woods, from which peeped 
up, here and there, the few log-forts of the settlers, built 
to defend them from the savages, who were lurking in the 
forests around. The men who lived in these log-houses or 
forts were brave fellows from Lower Virginia, or Maryland, 
or Pennsylvania, and they dressed in hunting-shirts, and 
had no servants to wait on them. As there was no law 
to protect them, they had to protect themselves and their 
families ; and this they did with their knives and rifles. 
They supported their families by hunting, and tilling the 
soil with their own hands, and were not able to educate 
their children or afford them luxuries. This probably did 
the young people good, however, as they learned to take 
care of themselves. Tliey were happy and contented, if 
the Indians would only let them alone. Thus they grew 
up to be brave and independent. And there never was a 
finer race of men than these hunters of the border. The 
very women and children were cool and determined, as 
they showed on a hundred occasions; and in the story I 
shall now tell you, I will relate a brave action performed 
by a border girl, whose name deserves to be recorded in 

Before telling you this remarkable storj', however, I will 
say a few words of the border boys. They were as brave 
as their fathers, and not only worked for the famil}^, but 
took part in fighting the Indians when they came to at- 
tack them. The name of one of these boys was Lewis 
Wetzel. His father lived near Wheeling, on the Ohio 
River, and Lewis soon learned to use his rifle, and hunt 
like a man. As he thought it might be useful to him 
some day, he taught himself to load his gun while he was 
running. lie did this with an eye to the Indians. The 
boi'derers often had to run from them, and Lewis learn- 
ed this trick, so that when the Indians pursued him he 


mii^lit fire back at them, and then load again without 


One day, when Lewis was about thirteen j^ears old, he 
and his younger brother, Jacob, who was about eleven, 
went off into the woods to hunt. Here they came upon 
some Indians, and, of course, ran as soon as they saw them ; 
but the Indians fired upon the boys, and wounded Lewis 
in the breast, and captured them both. They then took 
them along with them into the great woods beyond the 
Ohio, and marched for two days. At last the second 
night came, and the Indians lay down to sleep. As they 
considered the boys mere children, they did not tie them 
or watch them very closely, and Lewis determined to at- 
tempt to escape. He therefore waited until the Indians 
were asleep, and then whispered to his little brother that 
he must get up and go back home with him. At first lit- 
tle Jacob was afraid, but Lewis persuaded him to try, and 
they stole ofl" quietly until they were a hundred yards in 
the woods. Lewis then sat down on a log and said to 

" Well, we can't go home barefooted. I will go back 
and get a pair of moccasins for each of us" — moccasins, 
you know, being a sort of Indian shoes made of deer-skin. 

Lewis stole back to the place where the savages were 
still asleep, and got two pair of moccasins, and with these 
he returned to his brother. They put them on, and Lewis 
next said, 

"Now I will go back and get father's gun, and then 
we'll start." 

He Rtolc off again, creeping along the ground and listen- 
ing until he got to the savages; and there, lying by them, 
was his father's gnu, which he caught up and brought 
back with him. The boys then startc<l at once for home; 
but tlx'V Ii:id not gone far In-foro lln'V heard the Indians 


running after them. They began to run themselves, but 
they heard the Indians coming nearer and nearer. As it 
was a bright moonlight night, Lewis knew that they would 
be seen very soon, so he told his little brother what he 
must do. Their only chance, he said, was to hide until 
the Indians went by, and this they did. Lewis pulled 
Jacob into some bushes, and they crouched down and 
waited. They soon saw the Indians running past them, 
as they did not know that the boys had stopped to hide ; 
and then Lewis told his brother to come on — they must 
follow behind the Indians. They did this at some dis- 
tance, but soon heard the Indians coming back. They 
then liid again, and waited until the savages had pass- 
ed; and then Lewis and little Jacob hurried on, and safe- 
ly reached home, after dodging two of the savages who 
followed them on horseback, in the same manner as be- 

This was a brave adventure for mere boys, and w^hat 
made it nobler still, in the case of young Lewis, was his 
dangerous wound. Of this he made no complaint to his 
little brother; but when they crossed the Ohio River on 
a raft which they made, and got back home, the boy was 
nearly dead. He recovered, however, and became a great 
Indian fighter ; and you will some day read the stories 
about him and others, and see what hard lives they led, 
and how fearless they were. 

I might tell you a number of these stories of bloody 
fighting, but I doubt if it is well to fill the minds of boys 
with such things. It is apt to excite them and make them 
wish to do likewise, for which there is now no necessity. 
What I have told you was to show the courage of the 
border boys, which ought to be known ; and these anec- 
dotes will give you an idea of the times. The old histo- 
ries are full of fighting, but I cannot stop to tell you of 


all the instances of Indian cruelty. One related in these 
old books will give you a good idea of them. 

" An Indian seized Mrs. Scott," the book says, " and or- 
dered her to a particular spot, and not to move; others 
stabbed and cut the throats of the three smaller children 
in their bed, and afterward lifting them up, dashed them 
upon the floor near their mother : the eldest, a beautiful 
girl of eight years old, awoke, escaped out of the bed, ran 
to her parent, and, with the most plaintive accents, cried, 
'Oh, mamma! mamma! — save me!' The mother, in the 
deepest anguish of spirit, and with a flood of tears, en- 
treated the savages to spare her child ; but, witli a brutal 
fierceness, they tomahawked and stabbed her in her moth- 
er's arms." 

If you will try to think how you would have felt if this 
little girl had been your sister, you will understand the 
feeling of the border people toward the savages. Tliey 
hated them bitterly, and never saw an Indian without 
longing to put a bullet through him, as if he had been a 
venomous reptile. Tliey and the redskins hunted each 
other, and every fight was a life and death affair. The 
hunters knew that they would be scalped, and the Indians 
that they would have their brains dashed out if they were 
overcome ; and this made tlic fights on the border so des- 


I will come now to the particular incident which I set 
out to relate — tlie attack on Wheeling fort, and the fear- 
less act of a young girl on that occasion. 

Tills took place in 1777, wliit-h was called the "year of 
the three sevens," and was one of the darkest hours of 
the Revolution. The Kiiglish and Americans were at war, 
and the struggle had become bitter. The I»ritish forces 
were more numerous than those of the Americans; and to 


make mattei's worse, the English had persuaded tlic In- 
dians to join with them and attack the frontier settle' 
ments. They supplied them with muskets, and paid them, 
and even offered a certain sum of money, it is said, for 
every white man's scalp. 

Such was the state of affairs at the time when the inci- 
dent I will now relate took place. The English had a 
number of forts toward Canada, on the lakes, and Fort 
Detroit was one of the most important of these. It was 
commanded by Colonel Hamilton, Governor of Canada, and 
he was the chief agent of the British in stirring up the 
Indians. I will have more to say of him hereafter; at 
present I will tell you of his scheme to get possession of 
Fort Henry, at Wheeling, in north-western Virginia. 

This was an important border fort, and a small village 
of about twenty-five log-houses had sprung up around it. 
These were occupied by the settlers when times were 
quiet ; but as soon as a report came that the Indians were 
approaching, the settlers hastened into the fort with their 
wives and children, and prepared to fight. It was quite a 
good place of refuge. It was built of logs, in the shape of 
a long square, and had block-houses, as they were called, 
at the four corners ; in these the men fought, firing 
through holes in the logs. There Avere, besides, a number 
of cabins for the women and children, a good well to sup- 
ply water, and a magazine to hold the arms and gunpow- 
der. The main entrance was by a gate Avhich was on the 
east side, toward the village; and you now have a toler- 
ably good idea, I hope, of Fort Henry, as it was called, in 
honor of Patrick Henry. 

In the autumn of 1777 Colonel Hamilton resolved to 
attack Wheeling. For this purpose he employed a man 
named Simon Girty. He was a white man, wlio had been 
captured, when he was a boy, by the Indians, and joined 


their tribes, and became one of them. He was a very 
great rascal, and for some reason bated the Americans. 
The attack on Wheelinsr was therefore intrusted to him, 
and collecting together about five hundred Indians, he 
marched southward from the Great Lakes toward Ken- 
tucky. This was meant to deceive the whites. The route 
taken by Girty was not in tlie direction of Wheeling. 
But when he reached the Ohio River, a little above Cin- 
cinnati, he turned to the left, and hurried up the river to 
surprise Fort Henry. 

In this he did not succeed. The woods were full of 
hunters at that time, who kept their eyes on the Indians, 
and the people at Wheeling were promptly informed that 
the enemy was coming to attack them. At this all was 
commotion. The women and children left their homes in 
the village and hastened into the fort. The men followed 
them, and closed the gates; and this was no sooner done 
than Gii'ty and the savages made their appearance. 

ICvery one knew now that a desperate fight would take 
jdace, and there seemed very little probability that the 
whites would be able to hold out against their assailants. 
They ha<l only fojty-two fighting-men, even counting old 
men and boys, and the Indian force was about five hun- 
dred. What was worst of all was the small supply of gun- 
l)Owder in the fort. A keg containing the main supply 
hail been left by accident in one of the houses of the vil- 
lagc; and this, as you will see, gave rise to the brave ac- 
tion which I will now relate. 

The whites were commanded by Colonel Shepherd, who 
seems to have been a cool and determined man. He kept 
a keen lookout for the Indians, who were known to be in 
the woods near the fort, ami an incident at once took place 
which sljowcd that they were ready to attack him. Two 
men, one of them white and the other a black man, were 



sent out on some errand. They left the fort, and were 
passing through a field of corn, when suddenly a large In- 
dian started up from the midst of the corn and knocked 
the white man down with the butt of his musket. The 
negro at once turned back and ran for his life, and as soon 
as he reached the fort, told Colonel Shepherd what had 

Everybody knew now tl)at the Indians were upon them, 
and Colonel Shepherd determined to send out a jjarty and 
attack them. Tliis was done. Captain Samuel Mason, with 
fourteen men, marched out of the fort and into the corn- 
field, but the Indians were nowhere to be seen. This was, 
however, only a proof of their cunning. They saw Cap- 
tain Mason and his men as they passed through the corn- 
field, and when they had gone some distance, closed in on 
their rear and thus cut them ofi" from the fort, 

A desperate fight followed. The Indians started up 
from the brushwood in all directions, and opened fire on 
the party. The hunters did not flinch. They returned 
the fire, and then clubbing their rifles, rushed on the swarm 
of savages to break throuajh them and regain the fort. 
They knocked down and killed a number of them, and 
made a brave resistance; but the Indians were too many 
for them — they had at least thirty to their one — and the 
desperate struggle was soon over. Captain Mason was 
wounded, and almost all his men killed. The few remain- 
ing fought on, but they saw that there was no hope for 
them. Mason was shot a second time, but turned on the 
Indian who was close to him, and knocked him down with 
his gun. He then ran into the brushwood, and crawled 
into a pile of logs, where he concealed himself, and remain- 
ed safe until the end of the battle. Two of his men did 
the same; and these three were all that escaped Avith 
tlioir lives. 


This was followed by another incident equally unfortu- 
nate. A party of thirteen men had rushed out to help 
their friends, but these also fell into a trap, and eight of 
them were killed. The Indians then came out of the 
woods and advanced on the fort. 


The Indians advanced in two ranks, in " open order," 
dodging behind the trees, and ready to begin the attack. 

Girty was at the head of them ; but lie first resolved to 
summon the place to surrender. He therefore Avent into a 
log-cabin which was not far from tlie gate of the fort, and, 
opening a small window, waved a white flag, which meant 
that he had something to say. At this the whites ceased 
firing, as they had begun to do, and listened, and Girty 
read a paper to thetn. Tliis was a proclamation from 
Colonel Hamilton, ordering them to lay down tlieir arms 
and surrender. If they did so, he promised that no liarm 
should happen to them ; but if they refused, the fort would 
be attacked, and the Indians would put them all to death. 

Girty read to the end of tlie paper, and then asked what 
they meant to do. The reply was prompt. Colonel Shep- 
herd called out from the fort that they never meant to 
surrender to a rascal like /am, and that he would never 
get possession of the fort until he had killed the last man 
in it. At this the people in the fort cheered, to show their 
approval of his reply, and a young man fired at Girty, who 
slammed to the window and disappeared. 

The fi<'hting at once began. It was a beautiful Sep- 
tember morning, and the red and yellow foliage of the 
woods shone in the sunshine. The Iinlians advanced with 
loud yells, firing as they came; and ilic fire was returned 
from the fort, where each one picked out his man and took 
dead aim, in order not to waste powder. A miniber of 


the savages were killed, and they saw that nothing could 
be done by fighting in that manner. A party of them, 
therefore, rushed up close to the fort, and endeavored to 
thrust their guns through holes in the logs and fire at 
the whites. But this was an unfortunate attempt. The 
whites killed nearly all of the attacking party, and then 
the whole army of Indians fell ba<.'k, yelling, into the 

The men in the fort now held a consultation. They 
knew too much about Indians to believe that they were 
o-oino- to aive up the stru2:2:le. Their retreat into the 
woods, they felt sure, was only make-believe, and they 
would probably make another attack very soon. They 
therefore prepared for this, but found to their great dis- 
may that scarcely any gunpowder Avas left in the fort. 
They had forgotten the keg of powder in one of the houses 
near, as I have told you, and now they found they had 
scarcely any. What was to be done? They must have 
more powder or they could not fight, and they and the 
women and children would all be murdered. The only 
thing to do was to try and get the keg which had been 
left behind; but this would be almost certain death to 
anybody who attempted it. The house in which the keg 
was, stood only about sixty yards from the gate of the 
fort; but they knew that although they could not see the 
Indians, they were on the Avatch. As soon as a man left 
the fort, he would probably be killed before he had gone 
ten yards ; but they had to have the powder, and some- 
body must run the risk. 

Colonel Shepherd told his men exactly how the matter 
was. He would not order any man to go and get the 
powder, he said, as the Indians were almost sure to kill 
him ; but if any one chose to volunteer, that is, ofiTer to go 
himself, he would accept his offer. At this three or four 


young men and boys stepped forward, and said they were 
■willing to go. But the colonel replied that lie could not 
spare three or four men — there were too few in the fort. 
One would do, and they must agree among themselves 
which one it was to be. This caused quite a dispute. One 
said he would go, but another said he would ; and they 
went on disi)uting anji losing time, until there was danger 
that the Indians would renew the attack before they came 
to any arrangement. 

At this moment a young lady among the women in the 
fort came forward and said she was ready to go. Her 
name was Elizabeth Zane, and she had just come home 
from boarding-school in I'hiiadelphia, where she had gone 
to be educated. This made her brave offer all the more 
remarkable, as she had not been trained up in tlie fear- 
less life of the border; so you will see that she must have 
been a noble girl. Of course the men would not hear of 
such a thing. It was their place, they said, to expose 
their lives, not the place of women or girls; but Elizabeth 
went on urging that she ought to be allowed to go. She 
was told that she would almost certainly be killed, and 
therefore a man ought to go for the powder. But this, 
she said, was the very reason wliy slic offered liorself 
They could not spare a man^ as they had so few, and the 
Idss of a girl would not amount to much. And so, at 
lenglli, they reluctantly agreed that she should go for the 
keg of gunpowder. 

The house containing it stood, as I have said, about 
sixty yards from tlie fort, find Klizabeth hoped to run 
and bring the powder back in a very ii^w iniiiutes. She 
said she was ready, and tlicn the gate of the fort was 
o])ened, and slic passed through, ninninir ]il<'' m dcfi- to- 
wnrd the lioiiso. 



As I have told you, Girty had ordered the Indians to 
fall back into the woods to protect themselves from the 
bullets of the whites ; and this they had done, yelling as 
they went off, carrying upon their shoulders the dead bod- 
ies of their warriors who had been shot. And here I will 
tell you, for fear of forgetting it, that this was always the 
custom witli the Indians. They were strange people, and 
had their own ideas of what was proper and dignified. To 
be able to say that they had conquered their enemies was 
a great thing with them, and they were just as much mor- 
tified when the whites could say they had conquered them. 
So, whenever their Avarriors were killed, they would not 
leave them on the battle-field for their enemies to count, 
and boast of the number they had killed. They always 
carefully bore off the dead bodies ; and this they did on 
the present occasion, as they fell back into the woods. 

When Elizabeth Zane ran out from the fort, however, 
a few straggling Indians were observed dodo-inor about 
among the log- houses of the town, which stood about 
three or four hundred yards east of Fort Henry. They 
saw the girl, for the people in the stockade observed them 
looking at her; but for some reason they did not fire at 
her. Why they did not it is diflicult to saJ^ They may 
have supposed that she was only running to tlie house to 
get her clothes, or a hair -brush, or some other article 
which girls like to have ; and as the Indians loved fun un- 
der all their cruelty, they may liave laughed to see the 
young lady running, with her skirts flying behind her, to- 
ward the house. It is just as likely, however, tliat they 
thought it would only be throwing aAvay a load of gun- 
powder to fire at a girl, who was of no use to anybody. 
As they felt certain that thoy would take the fort, they 


could easily kill her afterward by dashing her brains out 
with a tomahawk. So they quietly looked at her as she 
ran across to the house, and not a shot was fired at her. 

As they were so anxious to capture Fort Henry, it would 
have been better for them to have killed that girl, for she 
was destined to save it. She hastened into the house, 
found the keg of gunpowder, Avhich was probably small, 
and, holding her precious load with both arms close to 
her breast, darted out again, and ran with it in tlie direc- 
tion of the fort. As she ran the Indians saw her, and un- 
derstood what she had come for. Uttering a wild yell 
tliey levelled their guns and sent a shower of bullets at 
her, but all flew wide of the mark; they whistled to the 
right and left, but did not strike her; and, with the keg 
still hugged close to her bosom, she reached the fort, and 
the gate closed as the bullets of the Indians buried them- 
selves in the thick panels behind her. 

A weak girl had thus saved a dozen men and their 
wives and children. It was a brave act, and Americans 
sl»ould never forget to honor the name of Elizabeth Zane. 


"^I must not finish my story without telling you what 
took place next, and how the siege ended, as well as how 
a brave man made a wonderful leap, on horseback, and 
saved his life in the most remarkable manner. 

Soon after Elizabeth's return with the keg of powder 
the Indians once more rushed from all sides against tlie 
fort, and the fighting became more obstinate and bloody 
tlian before. I>ut the wliites kei>t cool. Every one con- 
tinued to pick out his man and take sure aim at him, and 
the ground was soon strewed with dead Indians on every 
side. Toward evening about eighteen or twenty savages 
made a rush liom tlif Ii'>ii«' \\lii<-)i Kli/.nbcth li;id visited 


in the morning, toward the gate of tlie fort. They were 
armed with heavy rails and logs, and tried to force in the 
gate. In this they failed. The whites shot down five or 
six of them, and the rest then ran back. 

Abont nightfall they made one more attempt to force 
their way in. They had found an old maple log, which 
was hollow, and in one end of this they drove a plug of 
wood, so as to close it tightly; they then wrapped around 
it some heavy chains, which they had found in a black- 
smith's shop in the town, and loaded it with a full charge 
of gunpowder, on which they rammed stones, and slugs, and 
pieces of broken iron, until it was full to the muzzle. This 
strange sort of cannon was then lugged forward to within 
about sixty yards of the gate of the fort, and pointed at 
it. As a touchhole had been made, the maple-log cannon 
was then fired, and went ofl" with a tremendous explosion, 
in the midst of loud yells. These yells were not, however, 
shouts of triumph. The old log had burst into a hundred 
pieces, and the splinters and broken iron killed many of 
the Indians who were standing around. This so much 
discouraged them that they fell back to the woods, and 
the whites had a short time to breathe after their long 
day's work. They had fought steadily from daylight till 
dark; and we are told that their rifles became so hot by 
such constant firing, that they were forced to lay them 
aside to allow them to cool. 

By this time the news had reached other settlements 
near Wheeling that the Indians were attacking the place. 
The hunters, therefore, seized their rifles, and hastened 
to help their friends. Some were shot as they arrived, 
but others fought their way in ; and about daybreak 
next morning Major Samuel M'CulIoch, from a place 
called Short Creek, arrived whh forty men to assist the 


As soon as tlie people in the fort saw thera the gate 
was opened, and the men hastened in. The Indians had 
seen thera, and were rushing after them and liring upon 
them ; but all of thera succeeded in entering the fort, ex- 
cept Major M'Culloch himself. Like a good soldier, he 
was behind, facing the enemy, and determined to be the 
last man to enter the gate. All were safely in now, and 
M'Culloch spurred his spirited horse after them. But the 
Indians rushed between, and he found liimself completely 
cut off. 

He looked around him, and saw that he could never 
force his way to the gate. He tried to do so more than 
once, but a swarra of Indians were in front, and he knew 
that his only hope was to escape in some other way. He 
therefore struck the spurs into his fine horse, and set off 
at full sjK'cd in the direction of Wheeling Hill, pursued 
by the Indians. They could easily have killed him, but 
did not wish to do so. He was a famous Indian fighter, 
and they knew hira at once. As they hated hira bitterly, 
they <lid not wish hira to die by a death so easy as shoot- 
iiiLC- What they desired was to take hiin prisoner, when 
they ititended to burn liim to death, sticking splinters in 
("nil blaze into his naked body while he was l)urning, in 
order to glut their revenge upon him for killing so many 
of their warriors. 

M'Culloch knew this, and he resolved to die rather than 
be taken prisoner. There seemed no hope at all for him. 
lie had icachcd Wheeling Hill, beneath which ran llic 
creek, and the Indians \\:\<\ Iicmmed him in <iii every other 
side. Iltlurc him was a precipice of about one Immlred 
and fifty feet, at the bottom of w liidi ran the watei's of 
Wliecling ('reek. To attemjtt to hap from this )>recipioe 
was almost certain deatli, but M'Culloch saw that it was 
hi.s oiilv hope of escape. The Imlians were now close 


upon him, and there was no time to lose. Pie accordingly 
took his rifle in his left hand, gathered up his reins in his 
right, and dug spurs into his horse, who leaped forward 
with his rider from the brink of the precipice. Strangely 
enough, they were neither of them killed. Horse and 
rider fell into the water of the creek below, and plung- 
ing into the woods, with a shower of bullets whistling 
around him, the brave M'Culloch succeeded in making 
his escape. 

Altogether, tliis was one of the most remarkable inci- 
dents in tlie history of the border. The leap was certain- 
ly made, and the hill is there still to show how dangerous 
it was; and one of the'advantages in visiting such scenes 
is that they bring back old times, Avhen men seemed not 
to know what fear meant. M'Culloch was one of this 
class of men, and we are now enjoying quietly what they 
fought so hard for and suffered so much to win for us. In 
this wild western land of woods and rivers, which once 
swarmed with savages, great cities now stand, and rail- 
ways are laid, and happy families of women and children 
live, without fear of having their brains dashed out by 
Indians. It was the hardy borderers, like M'Culloch and 
the rest, who laid the foundation for all this peace and 
happiness; and, in praising the men, we must not forget 
the women and boys and girls. They were as brave and 
true as the rest ; and I have shown you how one of these 
girls proved that she had as much courage as the coolest 
Indian fighter of them all. 

The attack on Fort Henry soon ended. Girty saw that 
the attempt to capture the place was hopeless, and, after 
burning the village, disappeared with his Indian army in 
the woods. 

On his return to Detroit he probably informed Colonel 
Hamilton that the fort was licavilv garrisoned, and de- 


fended by regular troops Avitli cannon. If be did so, you 
know whether it was true or not. Twelve men and boys 
had held it against him and his five hundred Indians; 
and if I knew their names I would write them down, in 
order that they might be remembered. 




Would you like to hear another interesting border 
story about these old times? I found it out myself, and 
perhaps you would like to know how this happened. 

One day I was looking over some old papers in the 
Capitol at Richmond, and found a bundle which seemed 
to have been there for a very long time. It was covered 
with dust, and when I opened it, I found the writing on 
the papers so much faded that I could scarcely read some 
parts of it. As the papers did not seem to be very inter- 
esting, I was about to tie them up again, when some words 
caught my eye here and there which attracted my atten- 
tion. Somebody or other was mentioned who had "a beau- 
tiful silver-hilted sword and excellent gold-laced hat;" and 
this somebody, whoever he was, had " landed at the mouth 
of the Ozark, now the Arkansaw River," where he was 
received by somebody else " witli three discharges of 
heavy ordnance" — that is, cannon — when the first some- 
body raised the American flag, which was " the first Thir- 
teen Stripes ever seen on that ground." As I read farther 
on I found, also, that somebody had been " surrounded al- 
most immediately and overpowered by numbers;" then, 
that he " remained in the woods during the night of the 
battle, in extreme pain and utterly past recovery;" and 
then, that this somebody was " never afterward seen or 
heard of" 

All this excited my curiosity, and made me anxious to 


find what the jjapevs were about. I sat clown, therefore, 
and read them over carefally. They proved to be a 
highly interesting account of an cxj)edition undertaken 
by a brave soldier of Maryland or Virginia to the lower 
Mississipi)i, and of a fight in which he was engaged with 
the Indians. I had never seen an account of this battle 
in any book, nor have I met with any since, so I wrote 
down the main incidents, and these I now intend to relate. 
There is no doubt of their truth. The papers were all 
sworn to by the brave fellows Avho signed them — Douglas 
Baker, James Paule, and Basil Brown by name. They 
were " bounty-land papers," as it is called, to secure the 
land which tlie law gave to old soldiers of the Ilevolu- 
lion ; and as the statements were under oath, I thought, 
and still think, them as good authority as what passes 
for such in the big histories. 

The incident took place in the year IVVS, during the 
Revolutionary War, and not very long after the Indian at- 
tack on Wheeling. Things looked gloomy for the Amer- 
icans at the time, as they were in want of everything 
nearly, especially of arms and ammunition to carry on the 
war; and it was to obtain a supply of these that the ex- 
pedition I shall now tell you of was undertaken. 

The leader of it was Colonel David llogers, who lived 
on the border, and was either a IMarylander or a \'irgin- 
ian — I do not know which. This is not important, however, 
as the two names amount to pretty much the same thing; 
and, as you will see, the events took place along the Ohio, 
which then l)elonged to Virginia. 

Colonel llogors was at home at this time, on leave of 
absence, })robably, from tin; army, but was ready, as you 
will soon see, to do anything in his power to help the 
American cause. One morning a letter was l»rought to 
liiin from the American officer coinnumding at I"'orr Titt, 


wliich was the name now given to old Fort Duquesne, 
near Avhich Braddock had been defeated. In this letter 
the officer asked Colonel Rogers if he would like to take 
command of an expedition down the Ohio and Mississippi 
rivers, to bring back some ammunition which the Amefi- 
cans had purchased from the Spaniards or French there; 
if so, he would be furnished with boats and men, and the 
expedition would be ready to set out at once. 

Colonel Rogers at once accepted the offer. He was " a 
brave and energetic man, highly respected " by everybody, 
as his friends testified, and he mounted his horse and rode 
to Fort Pitt, where every arrangement was soon made. 
He was to have forty men for the purpose, and the boats 
were ready at Red Stone Old Fort, on the Monongahela, 
above. Rogers rode thither without delay; found the 
men were waiting; they all embarked on the boats, and 
were soon descending the river. Before long they passed 
Fort Pitt and entered the Ohio, making their way toward 
New Orleans, where they expected to find the "muni- 
tions" awaiting them. 


The little party were now on the bosom of " La Belle 
Riviere," as the French called the Ohio in old times, and 
looked forward in high spirits to the pleasant journey be- 
fore them. The weather was beautiful, for the season was 
summer, and the banks of the "Beautiful River" were 
trreen with trees in full foliage. The skies were blue and 
the air delightful; and the rough woodmen bent to their 
oars, passing the time in talk, or singing old songs of the 
border, like that I have told you of about Lewis and his 
men at Point Pleasant. 

They knew that the woods along the river were full of 
Indians, but their rifles lay beside them, and they were 
ready to fight if they were attacked. All day long they 



rowed on, taking their meals on the boats, and probably 
sleeping upon them at night ; and thus the brave Colonel 
Rogers and his men descended the Ohio, and turned into 
the Mississippi toward Xew Orleans. 

Here they ran some danger from the snags in the river, 
that is, larcce logs Avith one end buried in the mud of the 
bottom, while the other end swayed about near the sur- 

■-''Tf^y, ' 

>i'AM-'ll I "H I . 

lace. The boatmen avoided these, and went on safely, and 
at last reached the mouth of the Arkansas River, then 
called the Ozark. 

Here stood a Spanish fort. Colonel Rogers had been 
told of it, and was directed to stop when he came to it, 
and see the ollicer commanding at the fort; and this he 
now did. To give notice of liis arrival, he ordered his 



men to fire thirteen guns, by way of saluting the Span- 
iards, and the woods eclioed witli the discharge. The 
Spaniards in the fort fired three of their cannon in reply, 
and then Colonel Rogers landed. Unfurling the Ameri- 
can flag of the Stars and Stripes, which no one, we are told, 
had ever before seen in that country, he marched at the 


head of his men up to the fort, and was received with 
great politeness by the Spanish commandant, named De- 
vilie, who came to meet him, with his own troops drawn 
up behind liim. They made low bows to each other, and 
then the Spaniard invited Rogers to go inside the fort. 
Soon afterward the Spanish soldiers were ordered to go 
through a parade on the ground near the fort, for tlie 
pleasure of the Americans, and they were put through all 
the military movements — Colonel Rogers, with his gold- 
laccd hat and silver-hiltcd sword, standing beside Com- 
mandant Devilie, and all looking on 


The colonel told Devilie what he came for — to pro- 
cure the " munitions " which the Americans had pur- 
chased at New Orleans. But he now heard that these 
munitions had been removed higher up the Mississippi, to 
a fort near where the city of St. Louis stands at present, 
in the State of Missouri. As Colonel Rogers, however, 
had been ordered to go to New Orleans, he thought it 
would be better to obey his orders, and get a paper from 
tlie authorities there to the officer at St. Louis, directing 
him to let him have the ammunition, so he determined 
to do so. 

It was a dangerous attempt to go down the river to 
New Orleans. The English had a fort on the river, at a 
])lace called Natchez; and Colonel Rogers knew that if 
they saw his boats passing they would fire at them, and 
probably sink them, with all the men in them. lie there- 
fore resolved to take only six or seven men with him, 
while the rest stayed behind at the Spanish fort, and steal 
by, in a single pirogue (a sort of canoe), during the night, 
when no one could see him. This was successfully done. 
The pirogue glided quietly by the fort in the darkness 
without being discovered, and Rogers and his men safely 
reached New (Orleans. 

Here he found there was no trouble in getting the or- 
der for the ammunition at St. Louis. It was at once 
handed to him, and without loss of time he set out on his 
1(1 uni to the Spanish fort. This was both a difficult and 
dangerous undertaking. lb rould not co back in his 
pirogue, as the current of the river was too strong to row 
against; so he was obliged to travel by land, and make 
his way in the best manner he couhl. It was hard work. 
The banks of the ]\IiHsissij)[)i are often overgrown with 
canebrakcs, and woods so thick that a jiathway can scarce- 
ly be forced through them ; and in addition to this, Rog- 



ers and his six or seven men were in danger of being seen 
and taken prisoners or killed by the English. They nev- 
ertheless toiled on, and were fortunate enough to j^ass by 
the fort at Natchez without being seen, and at length 
reached the Spanish fort on the Ozark. 

There was nothing further to detain them here, and 
Rogers set out in liis boats for St. Louis. Here they found 
the munitions, and the officer at once delivered them. 
They were stowed in the boats, the men again embarked, 
and the little fleet at last turned toward home. 


By this time it was autumn. The journey down the 
Ohio and Mississippi had been slow ; and the visit to New 
Orleans, and afterward to St. Louis, had been a tedious 
aifair. It was thus the month of October when Colonel 
Rogers and his men once more found themselves on the 
bosom of the Ohio, going in the direction of home. 

This is the most beautiful season of the year, and the 
party probably enjoyed it to the utmost. They had fully 
succeeded in their expedition, and no doubt looked for- 
ward with delight to seeing their wives and children 
again after their long and toilsome journey. If they sung 
before, they probably sung even more gayly now as they 
rowed on up the broad river, thinking that all their toil 
and trouble was nearly over. 

But there was to be a bloody ending to all this hope 
and joy, and I will now go on and tell you what a sor- 
rowful tragedy took place. The boats had gone on up 
the Ohio until they reached a point in the river, near 
where the city of Cincinnati now stands, when the men 
saw a small party of Indians crossing the river in a boat 
in front of them. To understand what the Americans 
now did, we must remember the feeling of the whites at 


that time toward the Indians. Tiie savages had burned 
their houses, and dashed out the brains of their wives and 
children with their tomahawl-:s, and the very first thing 
which the old hunters thought of when they saw an In- 
dian was to send a bullet through his heart. As soon, 
therefore, as Rogers and his men observed the party of 
Indians cross the river in front of them in the canoe, they 
determined to pursue them and kill them. 

The boats at once pushed toward tlie mouth of Licking 
River, which here empties into the Ohio, and, gliding un- 
der the bouglis of the trees, reached shore. Rogers gave 
his orders to the men, and, marching at the head of them, 
went up the bank to look for the Indians. 

But he had made a terrible mistake in supposing that 
he would meet with only a small party of savages. A 
large band were hidden in the undergrowth on the bank, 
and it is not improbable that the few seen crossing in the 
canoe had done so as a decoy, to make the whites land 
and attack them. If so, they succeeded, and the whites 
fell into the trap. Colonel Rogers had no sooner landed 
and marched up the bank than the woods in front of him 
suddenly swarmed with Indians, and a hot fire was open- 
ed upon the whites. 

It was a comi)lete surprise, and enough to test the cour- 
age of the bravest men. The whites returned the fire, and 
rushed upon the Indians, and an obstinate liand-to-hand 
struggle took place. The woods were full of smoke and 
tlie crack of rifies, mixed with shouts and yells, as the 
whites and savages closed in on each othei*. Colonel Rog- 
ers was in front, sword in hand, cheering on his men, and 
as long as they saw his tall figure leading them, they 
fought on, without regarding the disproportion in numbers. 

At last Rogers was sliot and fell, and at this his men 
lost all hope. They broke and fled into the woods, pur- 


sued by the Indians. The ground was covered with their 
dead, and out of the forty men of the expedition only thir- 
teen escaped. 

In tliis bloody manner did the expedition end. It was 
a tragic aflair, and the lot of brave Colonel Rogers was 
sorrowful indeed. Little was known of his fate after be 
was shot, except that one of his men reported that he " re- 
mained in the woods during the night of the battle, in ex- 
treme pain and utterly past recovery." The man who 
made this statement was obliged to leave him, to save his 
own life, and says that " Colonel Rogers was never after- 
ward seen or heard of." 

The thirteen men who escaped reached the Kanawha 
River, in Virginia, after wandering through the woods for 
nineteen days. And that was the last of this sorrowful 

I have related it to give yon one more illustration of 
those troubled times, and to show you what men had to 
pass through in former days. Great cities are to be seen, 
now, throughout all that "Dark and Bloody Ground," as 
it was called. But for the brave old race to which Rog- 
ers and his men belonged, they would never have been 




I HAVE one more story to tell you of border fighting, 
from which you will see that the brave and hardy fron- 
tiersmen of that time allowed nothing to stop them. 

The leader in the famous expedition you will now be 
told of was named George Rogers Clarke. He was born 
in Albemarle Count)', Virginia, and was at this time a lit- 
tle more than twenty-six years old ; so you see he became 
celebrated at an early age, like John Smith and others 
whom I have mentioned. lie first followed the business 
of a surveyor, like young George Washington, and was 
captain of a company in 1774, when Lewis and Diiiimore 
marched to the Ohio. This gave him a great fondness 
for life in the woods, and we soon find him paddling down 
tlie Ohio River, exploring Kentucky and all the great re- 
ijion around. 

This country, as I have told you, belonged at that time 
to Virginia. Y'ou may nut understand this, but it is easi- 
ly explained, and you ought to know all about it. The 
Ixnindaries of each of the old colonies were fixed l)y the 
laws of England ; and in 1G09, two years after Smith landed 
at Jamestown, a law was j)assed that what was called the 
Virginia or " I^dudon Company" should have all (he land 
two liimdred miles north and two hinidrid miles south of 
the mouth of .r.-imcs IJivcr, where l-'ortress Monroe now 
stands, as far back as the l*acific Ocean. 'I'his was a very 
great country, for Viiginia thus reaclii'(l nearly to the 
city of Xcw York on the north, and to Charleston, South 



Carolina, on the soutli, and over all the Great West as far 
as what is now California, Avhich belonged to her, like the 
rest. Afterward a part of this country was cut up into 
the colonies of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and others on the 
sea-coast ; but Virginia was still the owner of the Great 
West, as you will see when I tell you that as late as the 
year 1786 the State of Kentucky was a county of Virginia, 
governed by laws passed in Richmond. This will explain 


what I meant by saying that this fine country, now form- 
ing Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and other great 
States, was at that time a part of the " Old Dominion." 
I will only add here that in January, 1781, while the 
Revolutionary War was still going on, Virginia voluntarily 
gave up her title to this large tract of country, making a 
present of it to the other colonies ; and now it is one of the 
richest and most prosperous parts of the American Union. 
In 1778, however, this had not been done; and when the 


Eiiirlish and Indians attacked the settlers, Virjjinia sent 
soldiers to protect them. Among these, as you will see, 
was George Rogers Clarke, and a better man could not 
have been chosen for the work. He was not only a fear- 
less soldier, but, what was more important, had a very 
fine mind, and knew how valuable this great country in 
course of time would be. He saw that the land was rich, 
and that some day it would be filled with j^eople, who 
would build great cities there. He accordingly deter- 
mined to settle in it himself, and do all in his power to 
prevent the English from seizing upon it. 

A few words taken from an account of Clarke will show 
you what people thought of him. This account says : "His 
mind was clear and comprehensive; his personal courage 
of the truest stamp; his energies, physical and mental, al- 
ways vigorous; and he soon became an oracle with the 
backwoodsmen." As you may not understand some of 
these words, I will tell you that they meant that Clarke was 
a strong man in body and mind, and that the hunters of 
the western woods believed everything he told them. He 
soon became a great man in the country, and before long 
began to think whether he could not drive the English 
out of their forts in tlie region. 

The most important of tliese forts was at the spot where 
the city of Detroit now stands, and tliis was commanded 
by Colonel Hamilton, Governor of Canada, as I have told 
you, in relating the attack by Simon Girty on Wheeling. 
Theie were others at Kaskaskia, in Illinois, and Vincennes, 
in Indiana, but all were undei- Colonel Hainillon, who was 
the great man of the country. 


Well, now I will come to Colonel Clarke, as he was 
called, and tell yon what he resolved to do. In the winter 


of 1777 he visited Eastern Virginia, and had a long talk 
with Patrick Henry, who had just been made governor. 
He told Henry tliat the English forts ought certainly to 
be attacked, and if they would let him try it, he thought 
he could capture them. This highly pleased Patrick Henry 
and the other Virginia leaders. They wrote an order that 
he was to "proceed to the defence of Kentucky ;" but they 
told him privately what this meant — he was to attack- 
Kaskaskia. Then they furnished him with twelve hun- 
dred pounds sterling in money, and four companies of 
men ; and in the spring of the next year (1778) all was 
ready for the march on Kaskaskia. 

This was quite an old place, and had belonged to the 
French, who first settled the country, but was given up 
to the English in 1763, after the "French war," in which 
Braddock lost his life, you know. There were only about 
one hundred families living there besides the English 
soldiers in the fort, and Clarke thought he could easily 
take the place if lie surprised it. He accordingly set 
out with his men in boats on the Ohio, and floated down 
to Paducah. Then he went on and landed on the Illinois 
shore ; and then he and his men hid the boats, and set 
off through tlie woods in the direction of Kaskaskia. 
On the way they nearly starved, and were obliged to 
live on roots ; but at last they reached the place (July 
4th, 1778). 

Tiie men concealed themselves in the woods until night 
came, and then rushed in and captured the English sol- 
diers almost without a struggle. Rocheblane, the com- 
mandant, was caught in bed and made piisoner; and then 
the Americans began to rummage for his papers, to find 
what the English were going to do. But they did not 
discover many, in consequence of their politeness. ]Most 
of the papers were in Madame Rocheblane's chamber, which 


was separate from liis o\vn, and this brave lady no sooner 
lu-ard lliat tlie place was captured tlian slie set about 
burning them. The Americans might have prevented 
this by rushing into her room; but they had too much 
respect for ladies to do that. So Madame Rocheblane 
went on burning the documents, and soon they were noth- 
ing but a pile of cinders. Some were found, however, 
but these only showed them what they knew very well 
before — that is, that the English were all the time excit- 
ing the Indians to attack the borderers. The command- 
ant, Rocheblane, and his papers were then sent off, under 
guard, to the Virginia authorities at Williamsburg; and 
T hope, if Madame Rocheblane went with him, as she no 
doubt did, that they treated her well on the way. 

The capture of Kaskaskia was soon followed by that 
of other ))laccs, and at last of Fort Vincennes, where Fa- 
ther Gibault, a French priest, i)ersuaded the people to 
submit to the Americans. The American flag was raised, 
and floated proudly in the wind, and Colonel Clarke now 
found himself master of the whole country. 

He soon afterward sent woi'd to ihe Indians that he 
wishcfl to see them ; and when they came he talked to 
them, and told tliem that there was no reason wliy they 
should fight for the English. Some of them seemed to be 
persuaded, and all listened to him with the deepest re- 
spect, for they knew what a determined in;iii he was. Of 
this I will give you an instance, and it will show you why 
the Indians respected and wei-'" afraid <il'Iiim. .\t a place 
called Fort Washington once he nu't tliree hundi'ed In- 
dian warriors to talk about making jieace. Clarke had 
only seventy men with hiu), and the Indians thought he 
would be afraiil of their number. 

One of the wari'iors then made a speech in a loiid :inii 
threatening voice, while Clarkf, who was sitting by a t;i- 

1 1- 


ble, with his elbow leaning upon it, listened without say- 
ing a word. There were only two or three other persons 
with him, but the whole three hundred Indians had gath- 
ered around to listen to the speech made by their chief. 
This speech, as I have said, was noisy and threatening. 
The chief spoke as if he had only to give the word, and 
Clarke and his men would be tomahawked in a moment. 
He came to the end of it at last, and tlirew upon the ta- 
ble two belts of wampum, one black and the other white 
— meaning that he was ready for peace or war — when the 
savages uttered a wild yell, and the chief looked frown- 
ingly at Clarke. The first thing Clarke did showed the 
Indians that he was not a man to be easily frightened. 
He had a small rattan cane in his hand, and with this he 
carelessly pushed the wampum, or " speech-belts," off the 
table on the floor, which was a sign of the greatest con- 
tempt. He then rose, frowning, to his feet, put his heel 
on the belts, and, turning to the Indians, ordered them, 
in a commanding voice, to leave the room. One look at 
him showed them that they could not frighten him. They 
obeyed his orders without saying a word, and on the next 
day came back humbly, and said they were ready to make 
• peace. 

This adventure of Clarke's did not occur, however, at 
the time I am now telling you of, and I must come back 
to my story. Having arranged everything at Vincennes, 
Colonel Clarke went back to Kentucky ; but in the win- 
ter exciting news was brought to him. Colonel Hamilton, 
the English commander at Detroit, had marched down to 
Vincennes, driven away the American garrison, and placed 
his own men in the fort. Clarke also heard that Hamilton 
meant to march and retake Kaskaskia, and then to come 
and attack Kentucky; and as soon as he heard this, Clarke 
determined to be beforehand with him. In other words. 


he resolved to march and attack Vincennes, in spite of the 

fearful weather, and so nip the whole British phm in the 

very bud. 


It was a tremendous undertaking. The march was so 
hard that it afterward gave Clarke the name of the "Han- 
nibal of the West," in allusion to a great Carthagenian 
general, who underwent terrible trials in crossing some 
high mountains to invade Italy. Clarke had no moun- 
tains to climb over, but the obstacles in his way were 
even more difficult to overcome. He had to march nearlv 
one hundred miles through the wilderness in the depths 
of winter, and traverse what were called tlie "drowned 
lands" of the Wabash River, of which I will tell you 
more directly; and, at the end of this terrible march, he 
expected to find Colonel Hamilton and his English soldiers 
ready to receive him. 

All these difficulties, however, did not make him change 
his mind or give up liis design, lie collected a force of 
one hundred and fifty of his bravest men, and in February, 
1779, set out on his perilous expedition. Every man was 
clad in liis liuntiiig-shirt, and carried his knapsack, long 
rifie, and horn of ])owder. Tliey wore fnr hats, ornamented 
with the tails of bucks or raccoons, and were the very sort 
of soldiers for the work. They had, besides, the very high- 
est confidence in tlieir leader, and began their iiiarch with 
a feeling which goes a great way to make men succeed in 
anything in this world — the feeling that they would meet 
willi success. 

I will now go on and toll you what folh^wed. Clarke 
sent one of his captains, named IJogcrs, with forty men 
and two small cannon, itj a boat up the Wabash Ifiver, 
with orders to stop at a point where White Kiver empties 
into it, about (ifteen or twenty miles south ol" \'incennes. 


And here I will say that you ought always to look at a 
map when you are reading about historic events. This 
will show you just where every jitlace is, and one glance 
at the map will often give you a better idea of things 
than whole pages of explanation. 

Having sent Captain Rogers ahead with the forty men, 
Colonel Clarke followed with the rest. They had a terri- 
ble time. As I have told you, it was in the depth of win- 
ter, and the weather was intensely cold. The hunters had 
to stru2:«'le on, with their lonfj rifles in their hands and 


the packs containing provisions on their backs, through 
thick woods, day after day, and, what was worse still, 
plunge on through what were called the "drowned lands" 
of Illinois. These were low grounds, which the river had 
overflowed to the depth of many feet; and as the water 
was now nearly frozen, it was a fearful attempt to force 
their way through. Often they could scarcely find a spot 
dry enough to halt upon and kindle their camp-fires, to 
cook their food and sleep by. All day long it was tramj), 
tramp through the ice-cold water splashing around them; 
but they pushed on for nearly one hundred miles above 
the Ohio, and at last reached the fork at White Eiver. 
♦ This was about fifteen or twenty miles, as I have told 
you, south of Vinccnnes ; and they soon hoped, now, to 
reach the fort. But suddenly they found that the pros- 
pect before them was Avorse than ever. At this point the 
"drowned lands" were more forbidding than before. The 
whole country between the forks was flooded to the depth 
of many feet, and there were only a few spots of dry land 
here and there, some of them five miles apart. It seemed 
almost impossible to plunge on through such an expanse 
of freezing water, but Clarke determined to try. There 
was no "give up" either in him or his men, and at the 
word they marched into the water and struggled on. 


As they proceeded, the water grew deeper and deeper. 
At first it only came up to llieir knees, then it reached to 
their waists, and at last the waves washed backward and 
forward just under their armpits. The water was freezing, 
and enough to benumb their limbs. But the work was so 
liard that it probably kept them warm ; and they strug- 
gled along, holding their guns and powder above their 
heads to keep them from becoming wet, until they reach- 
ed dry land again, and stopped for a short rest. 

I have often shut my eyes and thought of this strange 
march. It would make a very fine picture. You would 
see in the picture — if it was like the real scene — the long 
line of hunters, up to their shoulders nearly in the cold 
water, toiling along, and stumbling perhaps now and then, 
but recovering their foothold again, and at the head of 
them the tall form of brave Colonel Clarke moving, like 
a good soldier, in front of all. 


On the evening of the 18th of Fcbruaiiy they had pass- 
ed through the worst of these "drowned lands" of the 
Wabash, and were near Vincennes — so near that they hefird 
the boom of the "evening gun," which was a cannon fired 
f)ft"at the fort to tell people that it was time to come in 
for the iiiglit. 

Clarke knew by this that he hiid not much farther to 
march, and ordered his men to lie down and sleei), which 
they did. i>i<t at the first streak of dawn they were up, 
:ind their leader issued his orders. These orders were 
tliat they were to blacken their faces with gunpowder, 
to frighten their (.-nemics, and advance u])on the fort. 
Clarke then found a large, into which the men crowd- 
ed. They crossed the river, and pushed on through water 
again, and at last landed near Vinceiuies. 


The time for fighting had now come, and Colonel Clarke 
wrote a letter to Colonel Hamilton, in the fort, demanding 
his surrender. This he sent by a countryman living near, 
and it was delivered by him to the commandant. No 
man could have been more perfectly astounded than Col- 
onel Hamilton. If Clarke and his men had dropped down 
suddenly- fi-om the sky, his surprise could not have been 
greater. He knew all about the "drowned lands,-" and 
thought that no soldiers on earth would dare to march 
through them in the depth of winter, and he could scarce- 
ly believe that his enemies were really near him. But 
there they were, and there was Clarke's letter demand- 
ing that he should surrender. The families at the place 
were in favor of this, but Colonel Hamilton would not 
hear of it. He was a brave soldier, and the governor 
of all Canada, and he did not mean to give up his fort 
without fighting. 

Hamilton accordingly sent back word that he would 
not surrender, and Clarke at once attacked the fort. His 
cannon, which had been dragged on in the boats, were 
brought up, and a furious fire was opened on Fort Vin- 
cenues. Colonel Hamilton replied to this by a shower of 
balls and grape-shot from his cannon in the fort, and for 
fourteen hours the guns went on thundering through the 
chill winter fields and woods. This was kept up long- 
after night had come ; and it must have been a grand sight 
to see the red glare of Clarke's cannon, and the flashes 
coming back from the walls of the fort, lighting u]) all 
around. At last both sides stopped, and Clarke's men 
lay down to get some sleep, intending to begin the fight 
again at daylight. 

But the matter was decided. Colonel Hamilton came 
to the conclusion that he could not resist the Kentuckians; 
and when, next morning, Clarke once irwre demanded a 


surrender, the English commander gave up, and the Ken- 
tuckians marched into the fort, shouting and waving their 
hats. We are not told how Colonel Clarke and Colonel 
Hamilton met each other; they probably bowed and 
shook hands, as soldiers do after fighting with each other; 
and then the Red Cross flag of St. George, which was the 
flag of England, was pulled down from the staft', and the 
American Stars and Stripes were run up in its place, 
amidst the shouts and cheers of the Kentuckians. 

Colonel Hamilton and some of his oflicers Avere then 
sent to Williamsburg, Virginia, with the captured papers; 
and as these paj^ers showed that they had excited the 
Indians to attack the Americans, they were all "put in 
irons," that is, fettered, for their conduct. But these fet- 
ters were soon removed, and they were allowed to go to 
their homes. And that was the end of Governor Hamil- 
ton and his doings. 

I have told you all about this march through the wil- 
derness and the Wabash low grounds, to show you what 
a brave race of men the Americans of that time weie. I 
hope it lias interested you, for it was an adventurous and 
romantic exploit. But it was far more than that in its 
consequences, that is, in what followed it. A few words 
will explain this, and let you know just what I mean. 

Some years afterward the IJcvolutionaiy War ended, 
and peace was made; and then the question was, What 
land was to belong to England and what to the United 
States? Englaiul still owned Canada, and there was no 
dispute about that; but there was the great country 
around A'incennes south of the Great Lakes — who was to 
be the owner of llxii / This was a hard matter to de- 
cide, and there was a great deal of talk about it. But 
at last it was agreed that a rule called the Uti possidcliH 
should govern ill the matter. These are Latin words, and 


I will tell you wliat they meant. They meant that each 
side was to keep what they had possession of at the end 
of the war; and now you will see how this rule worked 
as to the great north-western country. 

By capturing the small fort of Yineeunes, Clarke had 
driven the English out of the country, and taken posses- 
sion of it in the name of America. They never could 
drive him away afterward, and so it remained ours; and 
when the treaty of peace -was made, England gave up all 
claim to it. Thus the march of about two weeks through 
the "drowned lands" of the Wabash, and the one day's 
lio-htinsx at Fort Yincennes, won for ns the great States 
of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, to say 
nothing of all the other States springing up every day in 
the great West. 

General George Rogers Clarke passed through many 
other remarkable scenes, but of these I cannot tell you 
at present. You must take the capture of Yincennes 
as a specimen. I thought I would tell you about that, 
as he Avas a Yirginian, and the land he fought upon was 
then a part of his State. Rich and prosperous common- 
wealths, full of happy families, now cover this fine region, 
which was given up by Yirginia to her sisters of the Union. 
If she had not done so, the people would still be called 
Yirginians; and in this little book I am trying to show 
you why they ought not to be ashamed of the name. 





As in ray three last stories I have endeavored to give 
you some idea of life in the western woods, I will now 
return to Eastern Virginia, and tell you about some fa- 
mous personages there, after which I will finish with some 
scenes of the Revolution. 

Do you remember the Culpeper "Minute-men," witli 


their rattlesnake flag and its motto, " Dhu'i (read on nicV" 
Tliese brave men took itarl in the batHe of (Jreat llridge 
against Lord I)nnmf)re; and I will now Icll you about a 
young lieutenant of these " Minute-men," wlio i.insiied the 
r.ritish after the fall of Fordvee. 


His name was John Marshall, and he was, afterward, the 
Chief-justice of the United States. This ought to make 
you desire to hear all about him ; but besides this, he was 
so great and good a man that he deserves a place in any 
book relating to the distinguished men of Virginia. 

He was the son of Colonel Thomas Marshall, of Fau- 
quier — a brave soldier who had fifteen children. His 
property was small, and his means very moderate ; his 
wife and daughters, it is even said, had to use thorns 
instead of pins to pin their dresses. This they did not 
mind, however; and the small farm was managed so well 
that Colonel Marshall gave his children a good education, 
besides teaching them always to be true and honest. They 
lived near Manassas Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 
and here young John passed his boyhood till the Revolu- 
tion, when he was elected lieutenant of the "Minute-men," 
and marched down to Norfolk. He fought bravely there, 
and everybody was fond of him. He was not a very 
handsome person. He was tall and thin, but his fiice 
beamed with o-ood-humor, and his black eves seemed to 
smile at everybody ; so he was very much liked. He also 
read jjoetry in a very sweet voice; and when the "Minute- 
men" marched to Yorktown after the fighting, young John 
Marshall used to go to General Nelson's house and read • 
poems to the young ladies, and it is said they thought his 
reading the sweetest in the world. 

I tell you this, Avhich may seem very trifling, because 
almost anything about so- great a man ought to interest 
us. And, for that matter, in my little story I mean to tell 
you scarcely anything but anecdotes; and I am glad to 
do so, and leave out the rest, for, after all, these little de- 
tails about distinguished people often give you a better 
idea of them than the /acts in regard to their public lives. 

John Marshall continued in the army during the Avhole 


war, and those who fouglit with him said that he was not 
onlj' brave, but that nothing could put him in low spirits. 
When Washington spent the dreary winter with his little 
army at Valley Forge, near Philadelphia, the times were so 
dark, and the sufferings of the soldiers so great, that they 
nearly gave way to despair. But John ■Marshall never 
did. Like the rest, he had to tramp through the deep 
snow to gather a little wood to keep from freezing; 
but in the midst of all, his friends said afterward, he was 
still bright and hopeful. Seated by the camp-fire, he 
would tell stories, and laugh, and cheer up his comrades, 
and thus keep them in good spirits when they were down- 

He was an excellent soldier, you see, and bore all the 
hardships of that hard time without a murmur, lie had 
scarcely clothes to wear, and no money to buy them; and 
it is related that, when he visited home once, he was 
obliged to return to the army on foot, and was so shabbi- 
ly dressed that a tavern-keeper in I^liiladelpliia would not 
let him come into his house. But for this he did not care, 
lie knew that he was doing his duty, and he went on 
cheerfully [terforming it without a innniiur to the last. 

When the Itevolution ended, John jSIarshall came 
back to \'irginia — a poor young fellow, with scarcely a 
penny in the worhl. Hut he was not disheartened. He 
resolved to go to work, and as he had managed to learn 
a little law, he began the practice, and soon got married. 
His wife was one of the young ladies whom he had read 
]>oetry to at Yorktown in 1775, after the battle at Great 
iJridf-e, and her nanu; was ]\Iary Willis Ambler. She had 
never forgotten the bright black eyes and sweet smile and 
voice of the tall young soldier, and now gave him Ik r hand. 
He was so poor at the time that he gave the parson who 
marrieil them the last golden guinea he had in the world. 


But, poor as he was, be was happy with his young wife, 
and he loved her so much that he seemed to think of no 
one else in comparison with her. When they were old, 
and she was sick, he would walk about the house and 
yard with his shoes off, and hardly speak above his 
breath ; and any one could see that she was dearer to him 
than when she was a rosy -cheeked young girl. After 
her death he wrote these words : "On the 3d of January, 
1783, I was united by the holiest bonds to the woman I 
adored. From the moment of our union to that of our 
separation, I never ceased to thank Heaven fov this, its 
best gift. Not a moment passed in which I did not con- 
sider her a blessing, from which the chief happiness of my 
life was derived. Hers was the religion taught by the 
Saviour of man. I have lost her, and with her have lost 
the solace of my life." 


Some of these days you will read all about the great 
Chief-justice Marshall, and find what people thought of 
him. He began, you know, only as a poor young law- 
yer, but evei-ybody soon saw that he was a man of won- 
derful genius. There was scarcely any office which he 
would accept that the people did not offer him. He 
served in tlie Legislature ; then in the Convention to rati- 
fy the Constitution; then was sent as envoy to France; 
then was made Secretary of State ; and then Chief-justice 
of the United States, where the greatest judges, even the 
great Judge Story, my father told me, looked up to him, 
and listened to what he said, as if that decided every- 
thing. When he died, at the age of eighty nearly, he was 
one of the greatest and most famous men in America. 

Now for a few anecdotes about him, for I wish you to 
know the man John Marshall. My father knew him very 


well, and loved him, and told me many things about him. 
lie was very tall and thin, and dressed very plainly. He 
wore a suit of plain black cloth, and common yarn stock- 
ings, which fitted tightly to his legs, and showed how 
thin they were. He was a very great walker, and would 
often walk out to his farm, which was several miles from 
Richmond, where he lived, and back, without thinking of 
ordering his carriage. But sometimes he went on horse- 
back; and old Bishop Meade said he met him one day 
lidinir out to his farm with a bag of clover-seed on the 
saddle before him. 

His manners were simple and friendly, and he liked to 
talk about evcry-day matters with plain country people, 
and laugh and jest with them. As to this poorly dressed 
man being the great Chief-justice Marshall, it was hard to 
make a stranger believe such a thing. He never seemed 
to remember that he was a great man at all, and played 
games of "quoits" with his coat off" at Buchanan's Spring, 
near Richmond, as full of fun as a boy, and ready to laugh 
with everybody. In a word, he was so great a man tliat 
he was plain and simple, and I will wind up my little talk 
about him with an anecdote or so which will show you 

At that time it was the fashion among the gentlemen 
of Richmond to walk to market early in the morning, and 
buy fresh meats and vegetables for their family dinners. 
This was a good old fashion ; and some fimous old gentle- 
men — among them the distinguished ] benjamin Wat kins 
I.eigh, whom I knew and loved — used to do so to the end 
of their lives. It was the iiabit of .Judge Marshall, and 
very often he took no servant with him. He wouI<l buy 
what he wanted, and return lionic with his "marketing;" 
:ind on one of these occasions the little incident I will 
speak of took place. 


Judge Marshall had gone to market and made his pur- 
chases, when, just as he was going home, he heard some- 
body swearing angrily not far from him. He turned round 
and saw what the hubbub was about. A finely dressed 
young manj who seemed to be a stranger, had come to 
market and bought a turkey. He then looked round for 
some one to take it home; but as no one could be found, 
he grew angry, and began to curse and swear. Judge 
Marshall listened, and stepping up to him asked, politely, 
" Where do you live, sir ?" 

The young man looked at the plainly dressed old coun- 
tryman, as he supposed, and told him where he lived. 

"That is my way," said Judge Marshall, with a smile, 
"and I will take it for you." 

The young man handed him the turkey and left the 
market, followed by Judge Marshall, and they soon reach- 
ed the house where the former lived. Marshall then po- 
litely handed him the turkey, and turned to go. 

" What shall I ])ay you ?" said the young man, 

" Oh, nothing," replied Marshall ; " you are welcome. It 
was on my way, and no trouble." With which he bowed 
and walked on, while the young man looked after him 
with a puzzled expression. Pie had, no doubt, begun to 
think that he had made some mistake; and, as a citizen 
was passing, he said, pointing after Marshall, 

"Who is that polite old gentleman who brought home 
my turkey for me ?" 

"That is John Marshall, Chief-justice of the United 
States," replied the citizen. 

The young man was perfectly astounded, and exclaimed, 
"But why did he bring home my turkey V" 

"To give you a reprimand, and learn yon to attend to 
your own business !" replied the citizen, walking off. 

This little anecdote will show you the character of John 


Marshall ; but I do not believe that he brought home the 
young man's turkey to " give him a reprimand." Anoth- 
er person might have done so, but John Marshall never 
seemed to have any desire to reprimand people. He was 
too sweet-tempered and kindly to take pleasure in doing 
so, and I have no doubt he carried the turkey from a 
pure wish to be obliging. 


I might tell you more stories — how, among other things, 
he once met an old army comrade, who said he would be 
ruined unless he could get three thousand dollars, when 
Marshall privately left a check for the amount to bo 
handed to him, and then rode away to escape his thanks. 
Tliese anecdotes you will read some day, but those I have 
related will give you a true idea of this great man, and 
show bow simple and unpretending he was, as all really 
great men are. 

He did nothing "for clTect," as the phrase is, and nev- 
er seemed to feel that he was greater than the very hum- 
blest countryman of his acquaintance; and this was all 
the stranger, if you remember what I said about the pub- 
lic opinion of him. The greatest judges of the United 
States at Washington looked up to him as their superior; 
and whenever he passed, men took off their hats, to show 
their respect for him. But this did not have any effect 
upon him. He was the same simple old gentleman, with 
his friendly smile, ready to chat with anybody or do them 
a kindness, and just as devoted a Chiistian too, which 
was more than all, and as liumble before God as the 

I said that I had no time to relate other anecdotes of 
.John ^larshall, but I cannot pass over ouc referring to 
tiis faith in Christianity. 



One day an old gentleman was seen to drive up to a tav- 
ern in the Valley of Virginia, in a shabby one-horse gig, 
the shafts of which were broken, and tied together with 
hickory bark. He was a plain-looking old man, and wore 
common yarn stockings, and when he went in and sat 
down, nobody took any notice of him. In the tavern were 
some young lawyers, and as night came on they got into 
an argument about the truth of Christianity, one of them 
sneering at it, and another speaking in favor of it. All 
this time the old man in the yarn stockings had been sit- 


ting in a corner, smiling and listening, until at last they 
were tired out. They laughed, and gave up the argu- 
ment; but one of them turned round and said, 

" Well, old gentleman, what think you of these things ?" 
They all turned round and looked at him, expecting, 
probably, that he would have nothing to say. Never were 
any persons more mistaken. The old gentleman began 
quietly, and went on for nearly an hour without stop- 
ping. What he said was all in favor of the truth of the 
Christian religion, and his arguments were so powerful 
that the young lawyers listened in perfect amazement. 
If a streak of lightning had flashed before them, one of 


them afterward said, they could not have been more star- 
tled than by hearing such grand reasoning from such a 
plain-looking old countryman. They were all keen law- 
yers, but they felt that this old stranger was their master. 
And another of them said that to try to describe his lan- 
guage would be like attempting to paint the beams of the 
sun. At last he finished, and, with a smile on his lips, 
retired; and then everybody was anxious to find who 
this wonderful old countryman, with the shabby coat 
and yarn stockings, could be. This they soon discovered. 
He was John Marshall, the Chief-justice of the United 

I have told you this anecdote because I wish you to 
see that the greatest intellects are the first to bow their 
heads before tlie majesty of Christianity. It is well to re- 
member this, when we find so many people of weak minds 
sneering at holy things. John Marshall's mind was one of 
the greatest and strongest that man ever had, and he was 
an humble believer, if the young lawyers were not. He 
was such to the day of his death, and never went to bed 
at night without kneeling down and saying the Lord's 
Player, and the old verse which his mother had tauo^ht 
him : 

" Now I liiy me down to sleep, 

I pr.iy llie Lord my soul to keep : 

If I sliaiiid (lie before I wake, 

I ])iMy the Lord my soul to take — 

And tills I ask for Jesus' sake." 

'fills is all I have to tell you about the great .lului Mnv- 
bliall. It is not very much, and I might say a great deal 
more, but you must have a good idea of him, and see what 
sort of person he was. There never was a finer example 
of our good old Virginia country stock of people, which 
gave 80 many great men to the land we live in. He was 



honest, brave, sira2:)le- minded, and had a vast intellect. 
You may not have an intellect like his — few human be- 
ings ever had — but you can imitate his sweet temper and 
good heart. He lived before my time, but I know a great 
deal about him, and I can tell you that he valued good- 
ness for above any mere strength of mind. 






One morning, many years since, I visited an old liouse 
called "Matoax," on the north bank of the Appomattox 


JtlllN IIANUOLrll. 

llivpr, near Petersburg, and spent some time thinking, 
Iteside a time-worn slab of marble, under a chinip <»! 
trees not far from the river. It was a beautiful spot, an<l 
the tall trees waved in tli(> wind ab»)ve the marble tomb- 


stone, which was nearly sunk in the grass ; and, looking 
at the stone, I thought of the time when the great orator, 
John Randolph of Roanoke, came there one day and cried 
beside it, for it was the grave of his mother. 

As I have said in the case of John Marshall, it is hard 
to leave out of my stories any celebrated Virginians who 
were connected in any manner with the days of the Revo- 
lution. John Randolph Avas one of the most famous men 
who ever lived in the old Commonwealth, and knew Jef- 
ferson well, and made his first public speech in reply to 
Patrick Henry's last; and so I will now tell you a few in- 
cidents of his life, which was remarkable, and even splen- 
did, although not happy. 

Many of the celebrated men we liave talked of were of 
plain origin, and began life poor; but John Randolph was 
rich, and belonged to an old and iniiuential family. He 
was therefore never called upon to struggle with poverty, 
like Patrick Henry and others, and raise himself from a 
low station by the strength of his talents. He was born 
to a good estate, and bore a distinguished name; but, as 
you will see, neither of these two things can make a man 

I have spoken of the visit I paid to the old liouse, 
"Matoax," which was one of the names of Pocahontas, 
from whom John Randolph was descended. This was his 
father's house, but he was born at " Cawsons," the resi- 
dence of his mother's father. Mi-. Bland, in the year lYVS, 
just after the marriage of Thomas Jefferson, who was his 
cousin, Cawsons stood near the mouth of the Appomat- 
tox River, below Petersburg, and here he passed many 
hours of his ehildhoo.d with his beautiful dark-eyed moth- 
ei-, Frances Bland Randolph. She became a widow before 
he could remember his father, and this pious Virginia 
mother instilled into her child all the best and purest 


principles and feelings of his after-life. Up to the age of 
fifteen nothing of interest occurred to young John Ran- 
dolph, except a visit to the beautiful Bermuda Islands, in 
the midst of the Atlantic Ocean, where he read Shakspeare's 
"Tempest," and no doubt thought of the little winged 
spirit of tlie air, Ariel, who is one of the characters in that 
drama. But he soon came home, and was sent to school, 
from which he suddenly came back on hearing of his 
mother's death. 

The death of his mother was a dreadful blow to poor 
young John Randol[)h. lie loved her with the deepest 
tenderness; and now, at the early age of fifteen, he came 
back to his old home, to find that he would never again 
see the face which was dearer to him than everything in 
the world besides. There was no pretence at all in this 
fond love, or any wish to make it out greater than it was, 
in order to have himself looked upon as a tendpr-hearted 
person. .hAin Randolph was not at all tender-hearted to- 
ward the world in general, and never tried to gain peo- 
ple's good opinion by pretending to anything; he was 
far too proud, and indilferent to what was thought of him, 
fur that. Wiion he spoke to his few warm friends of his 
\()\ii for his mother, he was in earnest, and he never for- 
got her to the last day of his life. 

When he was an old gray-headed man, lonely, sick, and 
nearly out of his mind, he crossed .lames Ilivcr one day in 
a boat, with the spray dashing over iiim, to Cawsons, and 
stood for a long time in silence, looking at the old spot 
where he had played with his brothers when he was a 
little child. 'J'iierc! was the same old liouso where he once 
ran, laughing, to tell his mother some childish trille— that 
he ha<l found a bird's-ncst, ])erha|)s, or that tlic liul icrcups 
were in bloom — and where he had knelt wilh his iicad on 
her knees, with her arms around liini and hci- head bend- 


ing fondly over him, to repeat "the Lord's Prayer and 
the Ten Commandments," which he said she taught him. 
There was every familiar scene in which he had passed 
his happy childhood ; but his mother was long dead, and 
he was only a poor, old, unhappy, famous man ! 

You see I am trying to tell you about the feelings of 
John Randolph, and show you what his real character 
was, as I have tried to do when speaking of other cele- 
brated people. Many persons who hated him because he 
was so bitter against them, and made people laugh at 
them by his terrible tongue, said that he had wo feeling at 
all, and never had had any. But that was a very great 
injustice. Like many other poor huaian beings, he was 
made gloomy and bitter by disease and trouble ; but no 
man that loves his mother faithfully, and thinks of her 
with deep tenderness to the last hour of his life, can be 
truly said to be without feeling, or really bad. 

After his mother's death, John Randolph was never like 
the same person, and other troubles soon came. These 
were not money troubles, for he was quite rich, as I have 
said ; they arose from disappointment in connection with 
a young lady. This lady was a beauty, and had some- 
. thing about her which attracted everybody. John Ran- 
dolph met her when they were both children and the 
British invaded Virginia, under Lord Cornwallis, of which 
I will soon tell you. As Cornwallis was marching to- 
ward Petersburg, and "Matoax" was very near it, the 
family hastened away, and stopped for the night at the 
house of a friend of theirs. He was the father of the 
young lady I have mentioned, and here the children be- 
came acquainted; and when John Randolph grew to 
be a young man, he became deeply attached to her and 
wished to marry her. The marriage never took place 
for some reason, and the disappointment Avas a terrible 


one to the youth. He never got over it, and uever mar- 
ried any one, and this made him more and more un- 
liappy. You may think it was unreasonable in hiaa to 
let it trouble him so much, and perliaps it was. But 
he said himself that he was always " thin-skinned," and 
small matters troubled bira ; and so poor young John 
Randolph moped and brooded, scarcely knowing what he 
would do. 

At last he determined to try whether he could not serve 
his country in Congress. He was a large landholder, and 
at that time it was considered that men of this sort were 
better for public place, as there was no reason why they 
should use their offices to make money. So young John 
Randolph "ran for Congress," as the phrase is, in Char- 
lotte and other counties about the time when lie was 
twenty-five years old. 


I must say a few words about the occasion of his first 
speech, as it was quite a remarkable one. It was in the 
year 1799, the last year of the century, and Patrick Henry 
made his last speech on the same day that John liandolph 
made his first. They were not opposed to each other to 
win the same office, for Patrick Henry was "running" for 
the Virginia Legislature, where "Washington wished him 
to go and speak against some famous laws, called the 
"Resolutions of '98," while John Randolph was a candi- 
date for Congress. 

It was Charlotte County court day, and a great crowd 
had assembled. Everybody came to hear Pati'ick Henry, 
who was now old and celebrated, and he mounted the 
platform and made them a great speech. He was not the 
same Patrick Hciiiy who made the fiery speeches at 
Williamsbm-g and Richmond before the Revolution. He 
was nearly seventy, and his form was bowed with age; 


but he soon began to kindle, and spoke Avitb as splendid 
an eloquence as ever. The crowd shouted and hurrahed, 
and when he finished seemed ready to carry hifn on their 
shoulders, as they had done in Hanover after liis speech 
against tlie parsons. One of them exclaimed, "The sun 
has set in all its glory !" — meaning the fome of Patrick 
Henry ; and when, a few moments afterward, a boyish- 
looking young fellow mounted the same platform to speak, 
they were ready to hiss him, and turn their backs at his 
presumption in daring to address them after Patrick Henry. 

The youth was John Randolph. He was a mere strip- 
ling, with a smooth rosy face, smiling lips, and " remark- 
able for his beauty," it is said, by those who saw him. He 
began in a thin, shrill voice, which made everybody laugh ; 
but he did not mind that, and went on speaking in the 
same voice. What made matters worse was that he was 
denying the truth of every argument of Patrick Henry's, 
and this excited stroncj indiojnation in those who listened. 
But he did not seem to care. The shrill voice did not fal- 
ter ; it seemed to pierce every ear to the farthest skirts 
of the crowd, and they were forced to listen to him, wheth- 
er they would or not. At last he stopped and came down 
from the platform, and there in the crowd was Patrick 
Henry. The old man came up to young Randolph and 
put his hands upon his head. 

" Keep faith and honor, my son !" said Patrick Henry, 
as if he foresaw how famous the youth would become; 
and thus ended what has always seemed to me a very 
striking incident. It was the old Avorld and the new 
standing face to face — the gray-haired "man of the peo- 
ple" about to die, and the beardless young "aristocrat" 
just beginning life. As the old man's sun was setting, the 
young man's was just rising; and the words of Patrick 
Henry were worthy of his noble character. 


They -were botli elected, but Patrick Henry's sun liad 
set. He never took his seat, and soon afterward died — the 
greatest orator the Western workl has produced. 


I cannot tell you all about John Randolph's long and 
remarkable life. He ran a famous and splendid careei-, 
and attracted the attention of the whole country by his 
wonderful oratory, wiiicli Avas so sharp and bitter that 
men liated him, and spoke ill of him very often when he 
did not deserve it. But all this would lead us far into 
this century, and you know. I am only telling you stories 
of "old times," and the great men of the far past. I will, 
therefore, only say that John Randolph became fonious, 
and was minister to Russia, and remained in public life 
for thirty years or more, and from first to last loved Vw- 
ginia, and defended her against every one. 

Instead of speaking of all this, which you will read 
about for yourselves some of these days, I will pass over 
the whole of it, and tell you how John Randolph appeared 
and acted as an old man. 

This I can do easily from what I have read of him, atid 
also from what my father told me about him. There was 
a great convention in Virginia, of which both were mem- 
bers; and as he and my father diilcred in opinion about 
many things, they often sjjoke against each other, and 
knew each other well. So, although I never saw him, I 
can descril)c his a]»pearance and chai'acter, which were 
very ditVerent from what they were when he was yotnif/ 
•John Randolph. 

I have told you that when he was youthful he was re- 
markable for Iiis beauty, and his ])ortrait, which was taken 
by a famous i)ainter of tliat time, shows that he certainly 
was. The cheeks in the picture arc rosy, and the eyes 



bright and happy. His hair is parted in the middle, and 
very soft and silky. He looks, indeed, like a sweet-tem- 
pered, happy young fellow, ready to love everybody and 
to make himself beloved by them ; and it is hard indeed 
to believe that the portrait was ever like him, as it real- 
ly was. 

The "Virginia Convention" I have mentioned took 
place in the year 1829, and it is said to have had more 
famous men in it than any other body which ever sat in 
the United States. I need only tell you that its object 
was to make a new Constitution for Virginia; and the 
eastern part of the State and that beyond the Blue Ridge 
Mountains were opposed to each other. The Valley and 
Western Virginia came to ask for more votes in the gov- 
ernment, and John Randolph said he came to the Conven- 
tion to say " No " to everything. 

He was a remarkable sight as he sat in the Capitol — 
very different, as you will see, from the young John Ran- 
dolph of the portrait. He was now an old, stooping man, 
with thin gray hair, and a sallow face, worn by pain and 
suffering. His health was very bad, and his mind dis- 
eased, some people said ; but his sharp black eyes, which 
were deeply sunken in his head, did not seem to show 
that he had lost any of his power of mind ; and when he 
rose to speak, people could see that he was as brilliant as 
ever. He did not speak much. He generally sat quiet, 
holding a large walking-stick in his hand, and passing his 
hands up and down it, looking keenly all the time at any- 
body who was speaking. But at last one day the people 
of Richmond were seen running through the streets to- 
ward the Capitol. They hastened on as if they were go- 
ing to a fire ; and when a stranger asked what the matter 
was, one of them exclaimed, 

"John Randolph is speaking!" 


There he was on his feet, indeed, with every one listen- 
ini;- in silence, and the crowd at the doors and in the gal- 
leries growing every moment larger. lie was the queer- 
est-looking figure you can possibly imagine. He wore an 
old cloak, and his cap, with a straight brim, was on the 
desk by him. His slender legs were clad in silk stock- 
ings, and his long, sharp forefinger M'as stretched straight 
out, pointing before him, as he went on, in his high, shrill 
voice, to address the Convention. Nobody ever before 
heard such a voice. It was more like a woman's than a 
man's, but was clear and sweet, in spite of its shrillness. 
Every word was distinct and deliberate, and heard by all ; 
and the long forefinger seemed to point every sentence 
which he nttered. 

You know how he looked now in tliat famous old Con- 
vention, where he had come to say " No " to everything. 
He did not wish the old Constitution to be changed ; and, 
in fact, he never wished anything concerning old Virginia 
to be altered. All his life he had loved Virginia with 
his whole heart and soul — her old times, old habits, old 
manners, and old glory. He could not bear to think that 
these would ever be changed in the least; and in his feel- 
ings he might be compared to tlie famous Mary Queen of 
Scots. She came from France, you know, and said one 
day that if people opened her heart when she died they 
would find "France" written on it. Well, I think if ])co- 
ple Inid opened the licart of John IJandoIph they wouhl 
liave found "Virginia" written on his. 


I must end my story, Avhich is cari-ying ns too lar. I 
tliouglit you would be interested in tliis strange man. He 
was not a happy man. His distress at his mf)t]ier'.s death, 
and ilicii liis disappointment with the young lady whom 


he wished to marry, made him gloomy. His temper be- 
came irritable uuder all these trials, and his tongue was 
fearfully sharp against people whom he did not like. It 
seemed to cut like a knife, and everybody became afraid 
of him. They wondered at his brilliant eloquence, but 
hated him for liis ill-nature; and this will show you how 
ill-advised it is to indulsje such feelino;s. No one likes a 
person who is always saying unkind things, and few peo- 
ple had any personal regard for John Randolph besides 
liis intimate friends. These knew that he had very warm 
feelings, and they loved him deeply, and he loved them ; 
but all the rest of the world feared him, or looked upon 
him with astonishment. 

At last his mind gave way — I do not mean tliat he lost 
it, but the bright sun was overclouded, and he was like a 
great slnp beating on the breakers. But to the last he 
was a very great man in the eyes of the Virginia people. 
He was looked upon as a mighty ruin, whicli might not 
be what it once was, but still was grand and majestic, 
even in its decay. At length he passed away, and was 
buried on his farm, called " Roanoke," in Virginia, under 
two great trees, and there the ashes of this remarkable 
man now rest. 

As I have said more than once, the main object of my 
stories is to set before you high examples. This great 
man is not one of them. He allowed bitter feelings to 
carry liim away, and was much more ready to frown than 
to smile on his fellow-men. He ouglit to have remem- 
bered that it is a far more beautiful thing to love than to 
hate, and that kindness and charity are better than the 
most splendid genius if it is only used to wound the feel- 
ings of others. 

Still, John Randolpli had noble traits. He loved his 
native State and his friends dearly, and was open-handed 


and generous. His black slaves were tenderly attached 
to him and he to them, and by his will he gave them their 
freedom, and means to live. We must not do as he often 
did — that is, look on the dark side — but remember that he 
had much to try him and make him irritable and bitter. 
I have heard his old friends speak of him, and read many 
of his letters which have never been published, and vis- 
ited the spots where he had his troubles, and I cannot 
feel other than kindly toward this great unhap|)y man. 
The old house is still standing where he visited the young 
lady who refused to marry him, and I have often seen her 
name, cut with a diamond ring on a window-pane there. 
In the room are two pictures of her, one when slie was a 
little girl, with her hair on her shoulders, and the other 
wlien she was a middle-aged lady, with a veil over her 
forehead. It was curious to think the young people 
met here so long ago, and how unha])py young John Ran- 
dolph must have looked as he went away down the old 
steps to where his horse was tied and rode away. 

I have mentioned my visit to " Matoax," near Peters- 
burg, where his father and mother were buried. lie used 
to go there when he was an old man, and lean his face 
down in the grass and cry. It was pitiful to imagine tliat 
scene as I stood by tlie grave under the old trees; an<l I 
think everybody wlio snjyposes that John IJandolph was 
only bitter and liateful, ouglit to do as I did, that is, go to 
the spot where he thus shed tears over the grave of his 
inutile r. 




As we go on with our stories we often meet, you know, 
with persons who have already been mentioned in former 
talks, and find them playing their parts in other incidents. 

One of the persons thus spoken of was a young Mr, 
John Page, you remember, perhaps, to whom Thomas Jef- 
ferson Avrote the letters from Williamsburg about "Belin- 
da," and dancing with her in the "Apollo," when they were 
all young people. As time wore on, they all became staid 
men and women ; and this John Page was first a delegate 
to the General Congress, then Governor of Virginia, and 
throughout his life an excellent, pious man, whom every 
one loved and respected. He lived* at a house called 
"Kosewell," on York River, not far from the spot where 
Pocahontas rescued Captain Smith, and this house, which 
is still standing, was a very large and fine one. 

It was built on a liill not far from the river, and, people 
say, was the largest in all Virginia at that time. The 
rooms had lofty ceilings, and the mantel-pieces were of 
fine marble. The staircases and pillars were carved into 
leaves and bunches of grapes, and on top of the house 
there was a flat space, covered with lead, from which you 
could look up and down the broad York River for miles 
and miles. On this high platform it is said that Governor 
Page and Thomas Jefterson used to sit in the evening 
and talk about religious matters while looking out upon 
the river, where white-sailed ships were passing, either up 
the broad current or down toward the sea. 


It is an interesting old place, and was built a long time 
ago. How it came by its name is not exactly known, but 
two explanations are given of it. Down the hill, not far 
fi'om the house, there was a fountain which bubbled up in 
a marble basin, and the path to this led through a double 
row of fine cedar-trees, while a shady patli ran beyond, 
called "The Lovers' Walk." All around were multitudes 
of flowers, especially roses, and the place, it is said, "was 
called Rose Well, or fountain, for that reason. Others say 
that the name was given to it because a little girl called 
Rose Page, a daughter of the owner, loved the well or 
fountain, so the house was called Rose Well after her. 
But, whetlier or no, that was the name of it ; and liere 
John Page, Jefierson's old friend, lived with his wife and 
children at the time of the Revolution, greatly respected 
by everybody, and entertaining a great deal of company, 
who loved to come to the hospitable old place. 

These guests were always met in the kindest manner; 
but what surprised them was to see a very singular-look- 
ing person who came in and out, as if he was entirely at 
home. He was a strange sort of old man, with bright, 
])iercing eyes, and long scattered locks of hair floating 
down over his forehead from beneath a straw liat, Avhich 
was tied on with a check handkerchief. Around his shoul- 
ders he wore a bright-colored blanket, and on his legs and 
feet were leggings and moccasins like those Avorn by the 
Indians, made of deer-skin. He Avandered around in a cu- 
rious manner, as if he was looking for something; and wlun- 
ever l)e met any one, lie would Avave his liand and exclaim, 
"God save ye I" Altogether he Avas a singular sight, and 
persons avIio saw him supposed he Avas a common lunatic, 
without sense or education. In this they Avcre mistaken. 
Ik- was a little out of his mind, it is true; but lie could 
read Greek, and Hebrew also, it seems, and had more learn- 


ing than many who pitied him. His name was Selim, and 

I will now tell you his stol•3^ 


Selim was first seen in Virginia about the time of Gen- 
eral Braddock's march to Fort Duquesne, and he made his 
appearance under very unusual circumstances. 

There was a Avorthy old hunter who lived in Augusta 
County, west of the Blue Ridge, and one day he went out 
hunting deer to supply his family with fresh venison. It is 
the habit with deer to bound off as soon as they hear any 
one approaching, but sometimes they stand still and watch 
the persons who are hunting them, out of their soft bright 
eyes, as if curious to know what they have come for. On 
this occasion the old hunter tramped on througli the 
mountains for some time without discovering any game, 
but at last he thought he had certainly come on a fine 
deer. Right in front of him was a fallen tree, which had 
probably been uprooted by some storm, for the top was 
still bushy, with green leaves growing closely together. 
In this bushy top the hunter now saw two eyes gleaming. 
He had no doubt that they belonged to a deer which was 
hidden and looking at him ; so he raised his rifle, took dead 
aim at the eyes behind the leaves, and was about to fire. 

All at once, however, the eyes disappeared from view, 
and the next moment there came out from the fallen tree 
one of the strangest-looking creatures ever seen. It was 
hard to say at first whether he was a man or a Avild ani- 
mal. He was entirely naked, and covered all over with 
blood. Plis body Avas hairy, and his head was a mass of 
elf-locks tossing about his face. He came toward tlie old 
hunter, who probably kept a keen eye on him, thinking 
he might be some strange wild animal; but the poor thing 
made signs, and muttered something in a strange Ian- 


giiage ; so the hunter knew tliat it was a man. He soon 
saw that there was no danger, as the wild man had a very 
pitiful and humble expression of countenance. It was 
])!ain that lie was nearly starved, from his liollow clieeks 
and meagre limbs; so the hunter went up to him, and at 
last took him home to his house. 

The poor wild man could not speak English, people 
soon found, and could give no account of himself: besides, 
he was evidently suffering for want of food and clothing, 
and the tirst thing to do was to dress him and give him 
something to eat. This was done by the kind hunter, and 
the poor creature remained with him. But pitiful as he 
seemed, it was very soon plain that he did not want sense. 
He began to read all the books he could find, and learn 
English. In this he made very rapid progress, and it was 
not long before he could speak the language and tell who 
lie was. 

His story was strange indeed. His name was Selim, he 
said, and he was born in Algiers, a country in the north 
of Africa, on the banks of the ^Mediterranean Sea. His 
parents were wealthy people, and Mohammedans, like the 
I'cst of the Algerines, and when he was a youth he was 
sent to the city of Constantino})le to be educated. Here 
lie remained some time studying languages, ancient and 
modern, until at last his education was nearly finislied, and 
lie set sail to return to his family in Algiers. He was not 
destined to see tliem again, however, for many a long year. 
Spain was then at war with Turkey or Algiers, and on the 
way they met a Spanish ship, which attacked them, and 
captured them. The Spanish ship tlien sailed on, but met 
with a I'rcncli vessel outward lintiiid. ()n this vessel Se- 
lim was placed with others, and the ship crossed the ocean, 
and reached Xew Orleans, in America. 

Selim's fate was now iiielanclif)lv, and li:ird to bear with 


patience. He had been brought up in a wealthy home, 
surrounded by every comfort and luxury; but he now- 
found himself a slave, set to work on a Louisiana planta- 
tion. He had been sold to the planter who owned the 
property, and he soon found that he was a cruel and bru- 
tal man. He was not only made to work like a slave, but 
one day his master grew angry with him, and struck him 
so heavy a blow on the head that it affected his mind, and 
he never afterward recovered from it. 

Good -fortune seemed at length to come to his relief. 
He was sent up the Mississippi River, probably to some 
other plantation, and this removed him from his cruel 
master. But new troubles were coming. He was cap- 
tured by the Indians, and taken as their prisoner to the 
Shawnee towns, as they were called, on the Ohio, where 
he found he was a greater slave than ever. The Indians 
loaded him with heavy buidens, and kicked and cuiFed 
him, and nearly starved him ; so he determined, if he could, 
to escape from them. This seemed almost impossible, as 
he was closely watched ; and even if he succeeded in get- 
ting away, lie was so ignorant of the country that the 
chance was that he would starve in the woods before he 
reached the abodes of white people. 

But at last he determined to try. There w^as a white 
woman with the Indians, who was a prisoner like himself, 
and she pitied the poor Algerine, and advised him what to 
do. She told him that the Virginia settlements were to- 
ward the rising sun, and he had only to travel straight in 
that direction and he would reach them. He resolved to 
escape and try the long and toilsome journey ; so he man- 
aged to get away w'ithout being seen by the Indians, and 
was soon in the Great Woods, going toward the rising sun. 

All day long he tramped on, keeping his eyes upon the 
^direction which he supposed to be the east, and after sleep- 


ing in the woods, again started on tlic next morning- to- 
ward the sunrise. Very soon he began to siitter from hun- 
ger, and knew not what to do. His moccasins were worn 
out, and his clothes torn to shreds by tlie thorns and 
briers through which he was obliged to force his way. 
lie, however, struggled on, barefooted and in rags, eating 
berries and such roots as he could dig, until his rags were 
entirely torn from him, and he was almost starved. He 
bound the last of his rags around his feet to protect them 
from the rocks, and still tottered along, nearly dead with 
hunger, until at last he had sunk to the ground in the 
top of a fallen tree, and prepared to die. But IVovidence 
was watcliing over him. His friend, the old hunter, had 
come ; lie was saved at last. And that was the poor fel- 
low's whole story. 


Selim Mas treated most kindly by every one, and soon 
made a number of friends by his kindliness and inoffensive 
temper. Peojjle saw that his mind was affected, but lie 
was far better educated than most of those around him, 
and this gave them a certain respect for him. As he was 
a heathen in his religious belief — for, as you know, his 
parents were followers of Mohammed — there was a great 
desire to convert him to Christianity; and this conversion 
MOW occurred in a somewhat singular manner. 

Sc'litn had a horse given him, and one day he rode with 
his friend to Staunton, where court was sitting. As soon 
as lie reached the place, he was seen to stop suddenly and 
look at a i)erson in the crowd with great intentness. This 
person was the Kev. Mr. Craig, a Presbyterian minister; 
and Selim went and spoke to iiim, and said he wished to 
go home with him. < )|' course this very much surprised 
Ml'. Craig, but he at once rejdied that he would lie very 
glad to see him. So they rode to the house, which was 


near Staunton, and Mr. Craig then asked Selim why he 
had come up and spoken to liini in the crowd, as he was 
an entire stranger. 

Selim replied that he had done so on account of a very 
remarkable dream he had had. This dream he now related. 
In his sleep he thought he was back in his native country 
of Algiers, and on a vast plain he saw the greatest multi- 
tude of men his eyes had ever looked upon. They were 
all in uniform of some sort, and drawn up in a line, like 
soldiers about to begin a battle. The plain stretched 
away in front of them, and was a dead level, without any 
object upon it; but far off in the distance he saw a dim, 
mysterious figure, resembling a man, and all that he could 
discover in regard to this figure was that he was some 
great Personage, to whom the multitude were looking for 

From time to time some one of the multitude drawn 
up on the plain left the ranks and tried to reach this Per- 
sonage ; but in this they did not succeed. As soon as 
they had gotten about half-way across the plain they 
would drop into a great pit in the ground, and disap- 
pear from sight. At last he saw an old man standing at 
some distance from the crowd, and some of the multitude 
applied to him for advice and directions how to reach the 
great Personage. He gave them the directions they wish- 
ed, and they followed them, and safely crossed the vast 
plain without falling into the pit. This was his dream, 
Selim said, and, what was strangest of all, was that Mr. 
Craic: exactly resembled this old man who had given the 
directions. As soon as he saw him he knew him, and that 
was the explanation of his accosting him, and his desir- 
ing to go and live with him. 

This was certainly a very remarkable dream, and it is 
a difficult matter to account for it. Selim was " half out 


of his head," you know, and we may understand some 
portion of the dream. The men drawn up on the plain 
were no doubt Mohammedans, that is, believers in the 
false religion of Mohammed, who was the great impostor of 
the P2ast, and the uniforms worn by them were those worn 
by the Algerine or Turkish soldiers. The great Person- 
age in the distance was also, no doubt, our Saviour, and 
the deep pit between was Selim's idea of the difficulty of 
coming to Jesus Christ through the dangers of this world. 
It was also very natural that he should have fancied tliat 
there was some good, man present who directed those who 
tried to cross the plain and enabled them to pass it safeT 
ly. ]3ut why did he suppose that Mr. Craig was this per- 
son? If the minister had belonged to the Episcopal Cliurch, 
in which clergymen wear black gowns in the pul])it, lie 
might have thought he was the same, as the figure he re- 
membered might have worn a similar robe. But Mr. Craisf 
was a Presbyterian, and wore no gown in preaching; so 
the whole matter was as mysterious and unaccountable 
as ever. 

It was ])laii), however, that Selim wished to be a Ciiris- 
lian, and Mr. Craig began to explain the true doctrine to 
him. But Selim studied it himself lie found a New 
Testament in the original Greek in wliich it was written, 
and hugged it to his breast, and began to read it quickly, 
lor he knew Greek far better than he knew English. In 
two weeks he had studied the whole question of the truth 
of Christianity, and said he was convinced that there was 
no other true religion. He was therefore baptized, and 
said that now lie meant to go back to Algiers and con- 
vert liis family from their belief in the false doctrine of 

His friends gla<lly ai<lcd him. He was sujipliod with 
inoiu'v, and set sail for Africa by w ay of England, and 


then for some years nothing was heard of hhu. At last 
he came back to Virginia suddenly, and his friends saw 
that his mind was more diseased than ever. He had evi- 
dently passed through great sufferings, and of these he 
gave an account. He had returned to his home in Algiers, 
he said, and attempted to convert his fiimily to Christian- 
ity; but they would listen to nothing he had to say. 
They plainly looked upon him as a lunatic, and tui-ned 
him oif upon the world again, to go where he chose and 
take care of himself as he could, as he refused to give up 
his relision and become a Mohammedan again. He could 
not do this, aiid left them, to go and live in England among 
Christians. But he found no friends there, and came back 
to Virginia now, where he passed nearly all the rest of 
his life. 

This is a singular story, but it is entirely true. Selim 
was very well known to many of the most respectable 
families of Virginia, who vouched for the truth of what I 
have told you. He was a wild, erratic being, and wander- 
ed from place to place, waving his hand when he met any 
one, and exclaiming, " God save ye !" At other times he 
would pass his hand constantly up and down over his face, 
exclaiming, "It is the blow — that disgrace to a gentle- 
man — given me by that Louisiana planter. But, thank 
God ! thank God ! but for the Saviour I could not bear 

He seldom slept in a house, his favorite place being an 
old windmill near Yorktown, where he would lie down 
at night, wrapped in his blanket. Sometimes he would 
go to Williamsburg and read Greek Avith an old professor 
at William and Mary College. Now and then, too, he 
would wander into Yorktown; and one day he was per- 
suaded to take a seat in Lady Nelson's sedan-chair, which 
was a sort of small vehicle with shafts at each end, which 


servants lifted and carried along, with a lady or gentle- 
man inside. Selini took his seat in the sedan-cliaii-, and 
he was carried into Governor Nelson's house. As thev set 


down the chair he rose up and began to sing, in a sweet 
voice, the hymn for children, 

"How glorious is our heavenly King!" 

His latter days were spent in thus wandering about 
Lower Virginia, and he and Mr. Page, of Rosewell, were 
very great friends. They read Greek together, and Selini 
became fond of the whole Rosewell family. When Mr. 
Page went to Philadelphia to attend the meeting of Con- 
gress, Selim followed him on foot, and his portrait was 
painted for Mr. Page by the distinguished artist Pealc. 
This was sent home in a box to Rosewell, and the family 
and servants thought the box contained a portrait of Mr. 
Page. "When it was opened, however, the servants ex- 
claimed, " God save ye !" as Selini always did. The like- 
ness was so perfect that they recognized liim at once. 
This portrait is still in Williamsburg, where any one may 
see it. From Philadelphia he wandered off to South Caro- 
lina, and after that nothing more was ever heard of him. 

I have thus told you of this singular person, and his 
life spent at Rosewell ami in the vicinity, with his kind 
friends the Pages and others. I think his story is an in- 
teresting one; and in spite of his being a poor wanderer, 
without house or home, he is worthy of our respect. If lie 
had consented to give up liis belief in Christianity he 
might have Ix-en a rich man, and lived in luxury in Al- 
giers, for his family were wealthy, an<l he was their heir. 
Hut this he refused to do. lie dung to his religion like 
a good Christian ; and you may sec that he understood 
what Christianity meant by his forgiving his enemies. 
Tlic Louisiana planter \\\\>\ 1»( atcn him so cruelly that it 


destroyed his reason, but he struggled to forgive liiin. 
His blood boiled when he remembered the blow the plant- 
er had struck him on the head, but he exclaimed, you re- 
member, "Thank God! thank God! hut for the Saviour 
I could not bear it !" 

This meant that he could bear blows and insult as our 
Saviour had borne thein ; and to feel thus and forgive in- 
juries is to be a true Christian. . 





I HAVE often visited an old stone house whicli stands 
on a grassy hill not fai- from the little village of Millwood, 
beyond the Blue Ridge, in the Valley of Virginia. As it 


may be called a historic spot, it is very interesting. At 
the foot of the hill there is a very fine spring, wliieli bul)- 
blcs up beneath some weeping-willows, and on all sides are 
green fields and woods and blue innnntains. Tlic house 
is old and largo. To the right of the front door is a long 



apartment with tall windows, and a fireplace so large that 
it holds quite a load of wood ; and in this apartment I 
have often mused about former days, and thought of the 
old soldiers gathered there once, talking about the days 
of the great Revolution. 

This was the place of residence of Daniel Morgan, the 
brave soldier who really won the battle of Saratoga, 
though another person got the credit of it, and defeated 
Tarleton badly at the Cowpens, He was supposed to be 
a native of New Jersey, but he came to Virginia when he 
was young, and worked as a farm-laborer, for he was poor, 
and plain in his origin, it is said. But you will see that he 
was a braver and truer man than many who had greater 
advantages in beginning life. A story is told of his having 
been a wagon-driver in Braddock's expedition, and of his 
receiving a terrible lashing by order of an English officer, 
whom he had beaten with his wagon-whip for insulting 
him. He was sentenced to receive five hundred lashes, it 
is said, but they stopped at four hundred and ninety-nine ; 
and Morgan always said, with a laugh, afterward, that he 
owed them one lash yet. If this whipping made him an 
enemy of the English they had better have let him alone, 
for he made them pay for it in blood on many occasions. 

Morgan's early manhood was not very quiet or respect- 
able. He was a rough young fellow, and so much given 
to fist fighting that the village of Berryville, near which 
he then lived, took the name of Battletown. He lived at 
a place called "Soldier's Rest," near by, and tliis old 
house still stands, and is interesting ; for young George 
Washington used to sleep in it when he was a boy-sur- 
veyor here, Avhich I have told you about. 

But Morgan was too brave a man to spend his time in 
these idle brawls. He was probably led into them, and 
was sorry for them afterward ; and his want of education 




ought to be some excuse for such things. lie soon showed 

that lie was fit for better thuigs. No sooner did the Revo- 

lution begin than he raised a company of riflemen, and set 

cut for Boston, where Washington tlien was. Tliey were 

all hardy young fellows in 

linen hunting -shirts, with 

" Liberty or Death " on the 

breasts of their shirts, and 

they marched six hundred 

miles, and at last Avere 

near Boston. It was in 

the evening, and Washing- ^^ 

ton, who was riding out, 

saw them and stopped. 

Morgan stepped in front, 

and, saluting, said, 

" General, from the right bank of the Potomac !" 
At this Washington displayed great emotion. He dis- 
mounted from his horse, walked along the line of riflemen, 
shaking hands with every man, while the tears rolled 
down his cheeks, and then mounted his horse again, and, 
touching his hat, rode away without a word. 

lie believed that Morgan and his men were the real stuflf 
for soldiers, and in this he was not mistaken. The Amer- 
icans determined to attack Quebec, in Canada, which the 
English held, and IVforgan was sent to help in this undertak- 
ing. The march, which took jjlace in winter, was a fearful 
one, for a great wilderness had to be traversed, and the suf 
ferings of the men were terrible; but at last they reached 
Quebec, and attacked it. This attack was at niglit, from 
the *' Plains of Abraham," as they are called, west of the 
old city, and was a desperate and bloody aflair. (Jeneral 
Montgomery, who led the assault, was killed, and INforgan 
was taken prisoner; and T have told you about this as- 



sault to inform you of Morgan's brave speech on tlie oc- 

He had led the attack on what was called the St. Roche 
bastion, and had fought so desperately that the English 
were filled with admiration for him. He was their pris- 
oner now, and the British general sent for him. He told 
him how much he thought of him, and said that if he 
would join them he should have the commission of col- 
onel in the English army. This was a splendid offer to 

so poor and humble a man, but 
Morgan only frowned and grew 

" I hope," he said, looking 
sternly at the English general, 
" tliat you will never again in- 
sult me, in my distressed and un- 
fortunate situation, by making 
me offers which plainly iniply 
that you think me a rascal !" 

That was a brave reply, and 
shows the stuft' INIorgan was 
made of. He did not mean to 
sell himself for rank or pay. And 
on another occasion, some years 
afterward, he made another 
speech of very much the same 
sort. He had gone on fighting 
bravely after getting away, as he soon did, from the Brit- 
ish, and at the battle of Saratoga was a general and a 
rising man. General Gates, who commanded the Ameri- 
cans in this battle, had been an Englishman, and as the 
English army liad surrendered to him, he thought he 
was a greater man than Washhigton. He therefore set a 
scheme on foot to have Washington removed, and him- 

montgomery's monument. 


self appointed commander-in-chief; and the American of- 
ticei's were sounded, as it is called, to find it" they would 
support Gates. At last they came to Morgan, but he 
stopped them very quickly. 

"I have one favor to ask of you," he said, in the same 
stern tone he had used at Quebec, " which is never to 
mention that detestable subject to me again ; for under no 
other man than Washington, as commander-in-chief, will 
I ever serve !" 

You may see at a glance that men of this sort may be 
counted on; and old Daniel Morgan, as he always called 
himself, soon showed everybody that he was true as steel. 
No man was ever braver, and whenever he fought, as he 
did all through the war, fiom north to south, he showed 
that nothinsr could daunt him. This same battle of Sara- 


toija was one instance, and his daring attack there was 
the cause of the British defeat. 

His most important victory was the battle of the Cow- 
pens, in the Carolinas. The Americans had been defeated 
everywhere, and were retreating before the English, and 
on their heels rushed Colonel Tarlelon, who commanded 
the liritish cawUry, certain that he was about to destroy 
them. I will t<ll you more at another time of this famous 
Colonel Tarleton. lie was a very brave soldier, but as 
cruel and boastful as he was courageous. He now has- 
tened after Morgan, who was in command of the Ameri- 
cans ; and wherever he stop|)ed, as he often <lid to plun- 
der houses, he boasted that he would soon overtake Mor- 
gan and cut him to pieces. 

It seemed that he would be able to do ihis, as he had 
in addition to his cavalry a considerable force of infantry 
and plenty of cannon. He sujtposed that ^Morgan would 
not dare to stop ami fight hitn; but in this he was much 
nii^t.ikf-n. Suddenly he c'lmc on the Aniciicans drawn up 


in line of battle, and instead of flying Morgan awaited his 
attack. The English fought hard, but they had found a 
tough obstacle in " Old Morgan," He would not yield, 
and the end of it was that, before night, Colonel Tarleton 
was himself flying, with all his men and cannon, with Mor- 
gan following close on his heels. 


I should like to tell you more about the hard fighting 
of brave old Daniel Morgan, but this you may read of in 
larger books: I shall now only give you some idea of 
him as he was in private, after the war. 

The old house which I have spoken of near Millwood 
was built by him, and there are some stories told in the 
neighborhood as to how this was done. At Winchester, 
which is only a few miles distant, a number of English pris- 
oners were kept at that time under guard. They were 
Hessians, who came to fight us, to win pay only, and were 
much despised; so Morgan determined that he would 
make them work. He therefore ordered them to quarry 
large stones for him on the Opequon, which is a stream 
near by ; and these stones, which were for his house, he 
compelled them to carry for miles on their shoulders. It 
was hard work, and they often growled and grumbled, 
but Morgan did not mind that. He told them that, as 
they were eating bread and meat which belonged to the 
Americans, he would make them work, and if they did 
not tcork they shoidd not eat. So they were compelled to 
obey his orders, and certainly deserved no better treat- 
ment. They were not Englishmen, and had come to 
kill the Americans for money; and Morgan was right in 
looking on them as little better than beasts of burden, 
unworthy of much respect. 

The house was built at last, and he called it " Saratoga," 




after the battle which he had really won. It was an ex- 
cellent piece of stone-work, and here Morgan lived in his 
old days. He had come back to the same neighborhood 
in which he used to have his quarrels and fist fights; and, 
judging from a speech which he made one day, he often 
thought of those times, and remembered what a gay, 
careless, young fellow 
he had been. """ W^^s ^^ ^ 

" To be young once 
more," he said, "I 
would be willing to 
be stripped naked and 
hunted through tlie 
Blue Ridge with wild 

But he soon gave up 
all this idle feeling and 
talk, and became a very different man. Instead of looking 
back and longing for the scenes of his youth, which were 
not much to his credit, he looked forward to the future 
in another world, and got ready for his long journey. He 
became a good Christian, and joined the l*resbyterian 
Church in "Winchester; and in his last days at "Sara- 
toga," or in Winchester, he often talked with his friends 
about the battles in wliich lie had fought. 

"People think old Morgan never was afraid," he said, 
" and never prayed, but ])Cople did not know." 

He then wont on and described the assault on Quebec. It 
was at night, he said, and he had drawn up liis men, wait- 
ing for the order to advance. It was a iearful momotit. 
It seemed almost hopeless to make sucli an attack on so 
strong a place, so well defended, and his heart sunk within 
him. A miracle was all that could save tliem, and lie de- 
termined to ask the help of (iod. IFc therefore stepped 

296 STORIES or the old dominion. 

aside and knelt down by one of the cannon, and prayed to 
God to protect him. He was still on his knees when the 
word was passed along the line to advance on the enemy, 
and his protection from death on that terrible night he 
said was due, he fully believed, to this prayer. 

At the battle of the Cowpens he had felt afraid in the 
same way, he said. The British were coming on in a long 
glittering line to attack him, and, as he looked at his own 
poor little army, he felt that God only could enable him 
to conquer. He therefore rode into the woods, and dis- 
mounting from his horse, knelt down in the top of a fallen 
tree and prayed long and earnestly. When he had finish- 
ed his prayer he felt far more cheerful, and returning to 
his men, made them a speech which they answered with 
cheers. The bloody battle followed, and Tarleton was 
defeated, and this, too, he attributed to his prayers. 

While talkino; about these old times Morgan would 
shake his head, and say that people might speak of him as 
the " thunder-bolt of war, who never knew fear," but they 
were greatly mistaken. 

" Old Morgan," he said, " was often miserably afraid." 

And now I have told you these incidents of Daniel Mor- 
gan to show you what true courage is. It is not mere 
foolhardiness and thoughtlessness. Many persons have 
that sort of courage, but it is not the best sort, and does 
not make the hardest fighters. The truest courage, and 
the sort which is most dangerous to an enemy, is that of 
the man who, though he may feel afraid of death, still 
resolves to trust in God, and do his duty without flinching. 
It is hard to overcome such people, because they see the 
worst from the beginning, and are never cast down by 
anything which takes place. They mean to meet death 
if necessary, doing their duty and looking to God, and the 
result generally is that no enemy can stand before them. 


Morgan died in Winchester, a celebrated old man, with 
his gold medal from Congress, and enjoying the respect 
and reo-ard of Washington. But the old house which I 
have described— I mean "Saratoga" — is more closely con- 
nected with his last days than any other spot. It is inter- 
esting to visit it, and think of the tall soldier who once 
walked about the grounds and down to the old spring. 
Such spots make us remember the old days of the Revo- 
lution, and the brave men who won American liberty. 





We have come at last to the final scenes of the Revo- 
lution, which ended on the soil of Virginia. These were 
the termination of a long and remarkable drama, and I 
shall tell you a few of them, and first of Lafayette and 
Cornwallis. You will see from this story that the Brit- 
ish general looked on the young Frenchman as " a boy," 
and I will then proceed to tell you how the boy proved 
himself a better soldier than the general. 

It was the opening of the year 1781. The long Rev- 
olutionary War was very nearly over, and it M'as going to 
end in a manner which very few persons expected. It be- 
gan, you know, in the north, near the city of Boston, where 
most of the English troops were, and then drifted down 
to New York, and afterward to New Jersey and Pennsyl- 
vania. Year after year the two armies went on fighting, 
one sometimes getting the best of it, and then the other; 
but at length things began to look very dark for the 
Amei'icans, and the English felt sure that they were going 
to conquer. Washington's army was very small, and had 
scarcely any clothes to wear or anything to eat. Often 
the soldiers had no shoes, and one winter day when an 
ofiicer came to visit General Washington, he told him that 
he had followed the track of his army by the marks of 
blood left on the snow by the naked and bleeding feet of 
his men. 

At last the whole North seemed to be conquered, or 



very nearly, and the British commander- in -chief, whose 
name was Sir Henry Clinton, sent one of his generals, 
named Lord Cornwallis, to conquer the States of Georgia 
and Xorth and South Carolina, Sir Henry also deter- 
mined to get possession 
of Virginia, and accord- 
ingly sent a fleet of ships 
to Chesapeake Bay to sail 
up James River and capt- 
ure Richmond, to which 
the capital had been re- 
moved from AVilliams- 

This fleet of ships, with 
the soldiers in them, was 
placed under command 
of General Benedict Ar- 
nold. You must have 
heard the name of this 
infamous person. He was 
an American by birth, and had fouglit bravely I'or the 
Americans; but he turned against them at last, and at- 
tempted to commit a great crime ; and as the story is in- 
teresting, I will stop and tell you about it in as few words 
possible : 

In the summer f>f 1780 Sir Henry Clinton, the British 
commandei", had possession of the city of New York with 
his army, and General Washington, with the American 
troojjs, was along tlie Hudson River above, around the 
strong fortress of West Point. The ofllcer commanding 
at West Point was named Benedict Arnold, and the Amer- 
icans thought that they could not intrust this important 
fort to a better man. AriioI<l was a general in I lie Ameri- 
can army, and had sliowcd, in more battles llian one, that 



he was as brave as steel. But he was a cunning and 
treacherous man, and thought he had been treated badly 
by Congress. He was also very much in debt, owing to 
his extravagance in living; so, in consequence of his hatred 
and his money troubles, he determined to turn traitor, and 
give up the great fortress of West Point for a large sum 
of money and a post of rank in the British army. 

Arnold had no sooner made this resolution than he at- 
tempted to carry it out ; and you will see that when a man 
determines to be a rascal, he begins to act in the most se- 
cret and underhand manner. He sent word secretly to 
the British general in New York that he was ready to sell 
West Point, and his offer was at once accepted. You 
may feel surprised at this, as Sir Henry Clinton was a 
highly honorable soldier and gentleman, but it is one of the 
bad rules of war to get the better of your enemy in almost 
any possible manner; so Sir Heniy sent back word, in the 
same secret way, that Arnold should be paid, and deter- 
mined to send one of his officers to finish the bargain. 

The officer chosen was named John Andre. He was 
quite a young man, and so handsome and friendly in his 
manners that everybody loved him. If he had not often 
shown how brave he was — and you will soon see there 
was no doubt about that — people might have supposed 
that he was too soft and easy in disposition to be a good 
soldier. He was very fond of ladies' society, and one of 
his greatest pleasures was to laugh and talk with them. 
He also wrote poetry, and played on musical instruments, 
and drew well, and was very accomplished in every way. 
So it was hard to believe that he was so fearless as he 
really was, and was now about to show. 

Young Andre, who Avas a major and adjutant-general 
on Clinton's staff, went up the Hudson River in a British 
ship to meet Arnold. It was at night, and the two men 



met in a thicket in the dark, on the west shore of the riv- 
er. For many hours they went on talking about the sur- 
render of West Point, and had not finished the business 
when daylight came. At this Arnold grew uneasy. He 
told Andre that they must go to a house near by, where 
they could talk over everything, and when the next night 

JuilN ANbllK. 

came, Andre could return to his ship. To this the young 
soldier consented, and went with Arnold, but was start It-d 
at suddeidy hearing an American sentinel cry out, "Who 
goes there?" This showed him that they were going to 
pass the lines of the American army, and Andre told Ar- 
nold that he had never intended to do anything of that 
sort, as he might be taken for a spy, which was consideretl 
infamous, and tried and shot for it. Arnold, however, told 
him there would be no trouble, and .\ndii' went on. Ar- 


nolcl gave the watchword to the sentinel, as he knew 
what it was, and so they got to the house and finished 
the whole bargain. 

The great point with Andre was now to get back to 
New York ; but his ship had sailed away. An American 
fort on the other side of the river had seen the ship, and 
fired at her with cannon. So the Yulture^ as her name 
was, dropped down the river, and Andre was there in 
Washington's lines, in danger of being caught and shot. 

Arnold now acted as all men do when they know they 
are traitors — he looked out for himself. He told Andre 
that when night came he could get back to the Vulture; 
but in case he could not, he could cross the river, and re- 
turn to New York by land. To this poor Andre had to 
agree ; and soon afterward Arnold left him, first giving 
him some papers containing a full description of West 
Point, and the number of soldiers there, for Sir Henry 
Clinton. He also gave Andre a pass, which he signed 
himself, but, of course, did not write, " Pass Major Aiidre." 
What he wrote was, "Pass 3lr. John Anderson through 
the lines," and Andre was to tell any one who stopped 
him that he was an American on " secret service," as it is 
called, for the Americans. 

With this he had to be satisfied. Arnold rode ofi" for 
fear of being discovered ; and as soon as night came An- 
dre asked the man to whom the house belonged to row 
him down to the Yulture. But the man refused. It would 
be dangerous to try that, he said, and the best thing to 
do was to cross the Hudson River and go by land; and 
he promised to show the way. To this Andre had to 
agree, and he then proceeded to take off" his uniform and 
put on plain clothes. He knew how dangerous this was, 
for, unimportant as it seemed, it made everything very 
different. As long as a soldier goes into an enemy's lines 


dressed in his uniform, he is looked upon as a soldier, do- 
ing a soldier's duty ; but if he dresses in plain clothes, so 
that no one can know who he is, he is looked upon as a 
spy, and shot or hung if he is caught. Andre knew this 
very well, and did not wish to take off his British uniform; 
but this he was obliged to do to get back to his friends; 
so he put on the plain suit of clothes, and, after hiding 
the papers about West Point, given him by Arnold, in his 
boot, mounted a horse, and crossed the river on his way 
to New York. 

He was soon stopped by the American sentinels, but 
he showed General Arnold's pass, in which he was called 
" Mr. John Anderson," you know, and they handed it back, 
tellinoc him it was all right. He then rode on down the 
river in the direction of Xew York, and had nearly reach- 
ed the city, when his journey came to a sudden end. Some 
young men belonging to the American side saw him pass- 
ing, and ran and stopped him. From something that they 
said he took them for friends of the English, and said he 
was a British officer, and they must stand aside, as he was 
on important business. At this they told him who they 
ically were, and searched him to find what was in liis 
pockets. Nothing was found l)Ut his purse and liis watch; 
I)ut they made him take off liis boots, and tliere between 
his foot and the sole of his stocking were the j^apers given 
liim by Arnold. 

All was now over for poor Andir, and he was conduct- 
ed back at once, under guard, to tlie American army. 
Word was sent to (ieneral Arnold, wlio was in command 
of the troops in the vicinily, that [NlMJor Andn', of the Brit- 
isli army, had just been niptureil, and had a ])ass Irom him, 
• ieneral Arnold, undrr the name of "John Anderson." At 
this Arnold saw that all was discovered, and ln' knew that 
his only hope was to make his escape to the Hritish. 'I'iie 



news reached hirn just at the moment when General 
Washington was coming to his house, opposite West 
Point, to breakfast with him. But he did not mean to eat 
breakfast with Washington on that morning if he could 
help it. He kissed his wife and baby, and told the former 
in a few words how matters were: the poor lady shrieked 
aloud, and fell fainting on the floor; and then Arnold 

S\'i r]f-^^^ ^- 


sprung on a horse and galloped at full speed down the 
bank to his barge, or large boat, and the men in it were 
ordered to row rapidly down the river. They obeyed, 
and Arnold stood at the prow, looking out for the Vulture. 
At last it came in sight, and he waved a white handker- 
chief The boat darted on, and soon reached the ship, 
wliich Arnold went on board of, and was safe. 


I have scarcely the heart to tell you tlie fate of young 
Andre. He Avrote to General Washington, giving him a 
true account of everything; but he had come on a terrible 
errand, which might have ruined the Americans if it had 
succeeded; and a court-martial was assembled to try 
him. From first to last Andre never showed the least 
sign of fear. He said that he never had the least inten- 
tion of becoming a spy ; that he wore his uniform ; that 
General Arnold had betrayed him into entering the Amer- 
ican lines; and if he died, he would die like a soldier and 
a gentleman, feeling that he had done no more than an 
honorable soldier's duty. But all was of no avail. The 
court decided that as he had entered the lines by night, 
without a flag, he "ought to be considered as a spy;" and 
ihey would not even consent that he should be shot like 
a soldier — he was to be hung like a criminal. This was 
done, and poor Andre was marched out and hung: he re- 
mained brave and cool to the very last, and those who saw 
him could not help loving and admiring him, and slicd- 
ding tears at. his fate. 

Perhaps you will ask me if this was right. That is a 
hard question to answer. According to army law it was 
nf)t right, for Andre was in reality no spy. But the times 
were terrible, and it was necessary to make a terrible ex- 
ample. This no doubt led the court-martial to condemn 
him to death, and even to refuse to let him be shot. They 
condemned him to be hung, in order to wain Uiitish ofli- 
cers not to venture on any such thing in Ihluic, and 
Washington approved the sentence. They were brave 
ami honorable men, and admired Andro as much as other 
jieoplc did ; but they did what they thought was their 
duty undfr all the ciroimstances, and were ready lo 
Ijcar the blame, if lliere was any attached to their 



This is the story of brave young Andre and the traitor 
who betrayed him. Arnold reached New York safely, 
and Sir Henry Clinton paid him his money, and made him 


a British general. But every officer in their army de- 
spised him as a traitor, and refused to associate with him, 
except when they were obliged to do so. 


Xow you know all about the man who was sent Avith 
the ships and soldiers to make war ou the people of Vir- 


Benedict Arnold did not do much in Virginia, after all, 
but I thought I would take this occasion to tell you, in a 
few words, one of the most sorrowful stories in American 

Although the English despised hiui, they knew he was 
a brave and determined soldier, as he certainly was ; and 
as a man often hates old friends, when he turns against 
them, worse than he hates other people, the English prob- 
ably thought Arnold would do everything in his power to 
injure the Americans; and he soon showed that they were 
right in supposing so. lie sailed up James River to Rich- 
mond, which was now the Virginia capital, and plundered 
and burned and laid waste wherever he went. Thomas 
.lefferson, who was governor at the time, had to mount his 
horse and gallop away, and then Arnold and his soldiers 
committed all the depredations they could ; after which 
they went back to their ships in the river, and sailed down 
to Portsmouth again. 

Soon afterward General Pliillips was sent to take the 
place of Arnold, aiul sailed up James River, landing here 
and there, and destroying everything he thought would 
\)f of any use to the iVmerican army. He then landed 
with three thousand five hundi'cd men at City Point, and 
marched up the Appumattox to Petersburg. Hero he in- 
tended to wait until he was joined by C'ornwallis, who had 
l)een fighting the Americans in the Carolinas. Cornwallis 
had been successful, and had taken the whole country, to- 
gether with the chief city, Charleston. He was therefore 
n-ady to inarch northward to Virginia, where Sir Henry 
Clinton had determined to bring the war to an end. 



General Phillips, who was very proud and high-tempered, 
but very brave and honorable too, marclied into Petei's- 
burg, and captured the place \vithout any trouble. But 


suddenly he received intelligence that "Washington had 
sent troops from the North to attack him, and that these 
troops were coming toward Richmond from the direction 
of the Rappahannock River. He therefore determined to 
go and meet them, and was soon at Manchester, opposite 
Richmond. But here he was stopped. On the hills across 
the river were long lines of Americans, waiting with their 
cannon to receive his attack. 

The Ainericans were commanded by the brave young 
French marquis, Lafayette. At this time he was only 
twenty-three years of age, but he was already considered 
one of the best soldiers in the army, and everybody had 



the highest respect for him. At home, in France, he had 
been very rich, and ranked higli among the nobility. He 
was also married to a beautiful young wife; but in spite 
of his wealth and high rank and his pretty young wife, 
he determined to cross the ocean and fight for the Amer- 
icans. He did so, and told them that he was ready to go 
into the ranks as a private soldier, and would not take any 
pay ; but they saw what a good officer he would make, 
and would not allow that. He was made major-general, 
in spite of his being a boy almost, and soon showed people 
that he had as much sense and courage as the oldest gen- 
erals. Washington had a high opinion of him, and this 
you will easily see, as Lafayette was now sent to take 
command of an army of four thousand men, and meet the 
old British generals in Virginia. 

He soon let people see that, if he was a mere boy, he 
knew his business, and was the man for the place. He 
got to Richmond before General Phillips, and drove him 



back to IVtersburg, to which place he followed him, and 
attacked the Uritisli. 

Poor I'hillips was now taken very ill. He < aught 
a fever, and it grew worse and worse. His head-quarters 
were at " Bollingbrook," a house in the town belonging to 


a Mrs. Boiling; and as Bollingbrook was on a hill, it was 
exposed to the fire of the American cannon. The balls 
crashed through the house, for Lafayette did not know that 
the British general was lying ill there, and poor Phillips 
was heard to groan out from his bed, 

" Can't they let me die in peace !" 

None of the balls injured him, however; his fever end- 
ed his life. He soon afterward died, and his men buried 
him in the graveyard around "Old Blandford" church, 
which is still standing in ruins, covered with green ivy. 
They fired a salute over the grave of their general; and 
that was the last of "the proudest man of the proudest 
nation on earth," as he was called by Thomas Jefierson. 


It was now the month of May, 1781. Lord Cornwallis 
had arrived with his army from the South, and Lafayette 
was obliged to retreat from Petersburg up James River 
again, toward Richmond. Here he stopped not far from 
" Wilton," an old house some miles below the city, and 
began to watch his enemy. 

If you will now think for a moment how matters stood, 
you will see that the contest between the two generals 
was very unequal. Lord Cornwallis was an experienced 
soldier of forty two or three years of age, and had a well- 
disciplined army of regular soldiers; while Lafayette had 
far fewer men, and nearly three-fourths of them were un- 
trained militia. Another thing which seemed to be against 
the Americans was Lafiiyette's age. It seemed unreason- 
able to suppose that a youth of twenty-three could fight 
successfully against a man of forty-three, who was acknowl- 
edged to be a good soldier, and had a victorious army at 
his orders; and Lord Cornwallis took this view of the 
subject. When he heard that the Americans were only 



commanded by Lafayette, he laughed at the intelligence, 
and said, 

'"''The hoy cannot escape me !" 

But the boy^ as he was called, had a better head than 
Lord Cornwallis thought he had. No doubt the English 
general supposed that Lafayette was brave and reckless, 
as many young men are, and would be ready at any time 


to fight, which was just wliat Jio wished. lie knew that 
Lafayette's men were not disciplined soldiers, only un- 
trained country people; and as the P'tiglish cavalry rode 
strong horses and were hard fighters, lie expected to ride 
r)ver the American militia, and soon make an end of them. 
The boy Lafayette, however, had not the least idea of 
standing still and waiting to fight Cornwallis. TIo was 
brave enough, and nothing would have pleased liim better 


than a good bloody battle, in which he might win distinc- 
tion ; but he knew that he ought not to think of such a 
thing. Washington had sent him to take charge of things 
in Virginia, and if he fought the English and Avas defeat- 
ed, it would be a terrible blow to the American cause. So 
Lafayette kept his eyes on every movement of the Brit- 
ish ; and when they came up the river, as they soon did, to 
attack him, he retreated slowly before them toward the 

For this time, at least, you see, the boy had escaped 
Lord Cornwallis. This probably mortified the English 
general, and he saw that his youthful adversary was a 
better and cooler soldier than he supposed. He resolved, 
however, to lay waste Virginia, and capture, if he could, 
the members of the Legislature, then in session at Char- 
lottesville ; so he marched up the country for that purpose. 

In front of him went Colonel Tarleton, the young cav- 
alry general who had laid waste the Carolinas Avith fire 
and sword. Tarleton was as brave as possible, but cruel, 
boastful, and quick-tempered. He pretended to have a 
great contempt for the Americans, and told an American 
lady once that Colonel William Washington was an "illit- 
erate fellow, hardly able to write his name." Now Col- 
onel Washington had just defeated Tarleton in a cavalry 
fight, and the lady replied, 

"You ought to know better, for you bear on your per- 
son proof that he knows very well how to make his mark!'''' 
— by which she meant to allude to the way uneducated 
people have of making a cross -mark when they cannot 

At this Tarleton grew angry, and exclaimecl, with a 

"I would be happy to see Colonel Washington !" 

" If you had looked behind you at the Cowpens, yon 


would have enjoyed that pleasure !" replied the lady, re- 
ferring to the battle in which Tarleton had been defeated. 

This made him furious, and, without thinking, probably, 
he laid his hand on his sword, when General Leslie, of the 
English army, who was present, and very angry at his 
doing so, exclaimed, addressing the lady, 

" Say what you please, 31rs. Ashe, Colonel Tarleton 
knows better than to insult a lady in my presence !" 

Tarleton now marched with his troopers, in front of 
Lord Cornwallis, toward the mountains, committing all 
sorts of depredations wherever he went. He plundered 
many of the houses, carried off all the horses which were 
fit to ride, and when they were too young he ordered 
their throats to be out, in order to prevent the Americans 
iVom riding them. Some fine colts, which he found at a 
place called Elk Ilili, belonging toTiiomas Jefferson, were 
treated in this mannei', as the British had a particular 
spite against him for doing so much to bring on the Rev- 
olution ; and other acts were committed by Colonel Tarlo- 
t'»n which were very cruel. lie burned all the mills for 
grinding flour or meal, and destroyed the barns contain- 
ing the grain to make bread. This, he pretenilcd, was 
(»nly to prevent the bread from being sent to the Ameri- 
can soldiers; but it was very convenient to make that 
excuse. The effect of it was to nearly starve the women 
and children, who did no fighting; and no side ever really 
prospers or comes to good in the cml when the "cry <»1" 
the widow a'tid the fatherless," as the IJible says, goes up 
to Heaven against them. 

Cornwallis did not succeed in eatching the "legisla- 
tors" at Charlottesville. A man on horseback galloped 
in and told them the British were coming; so they hur- 
ried away, and made their escape. Some cavalrynicn wen- 
then sent to capture Thomas Jeflerson at " M<iiit icello," 




where he and his young wife, you remember, had laughed 
and sung in the little pavilion ou that snowy night near- 
ly ten years before. But they were warned in time. Jef- 
ferson sent off his family to "Blenheim," where they had 
stopped that day, and, mounting his horse, rode into the 
mountains. The British cavalry thus failed to take him 
prisoner. They drank his fine wine, but did no other rais- 



chief. They then returned to Cornwallis, and the whole 
army soon afterward retreated down the country. 

Lafayette followed them at once, for all this time he 
had been watching them. He had now been joined by 
more troops, which were sent to him by Washington, and 
these were commanded by " Mad Anthony " Wayne, as 
he was called, for his love of fun and his dashing courage. 
"Mad Anthony" was a Pennsylvanian, and one of the 


very bravest soldiers in the army. lie was always in 
liigli spirits, and ready to do anything that AVasliington 
told him; and there never was any "give up" in him 
when he once began to figlit. lie showed this at a place 
called Stony Point, on the Hudson Kiver, a year or two 
before this time. The British held the fort, and "Mad 
Anthony" attacked it, and succeeded in capturing it. 
During the attack he was shot down, and fell on his knees. 
But he sprung to his feet, exclaiming to his men, 

"March on, and take me into the fort, for I will die at 
the head of my column !" 

These were the words of a brave soldier, and ought to 
have been cut on his tombstone. They will show you 
that the Pennsylvanian was the man for the times; and 
Lafayette, who knew him well, and admired him as much 
as other people did, must have been rejoiced to see his 
bold laughing face in Virginia. 


"The boy" Lafayette now acted like an experienced sol- 
dier, lie knew that it would be dangerous to light a reg- 
uhir Ijaltle with Cornwallis, one army against the other; 
but he meant to watch for an opi)ortuiiity, and see if he 
could not take his enemy unawares. 

He therefore followed the Britisli closely as they re- 
treated down James Kiver, and near Williamsburg he had 
a hot skirmish with them, in which neither side had much 
to boast of. After the skirmish the Hritish continued to 
retreat, and at last Lord Coriiwallis reached Jamestown, 
where he intended to cross James liiver. 

But first lie made up his mind to draw " tlie boy" La- 
fayette intf) a trap, and this he proceeded to set for liiiii. 
.Famestown, wIumc Smith and I lie first settlers liad land- 
ed, you know, was a sort of island, separated lioiii the 


main-land by a marsh and a small stream. All around 
were thick woods, and these enabled Cornwallis to lay 
his trap. He hid his soldiers in the woods along the 
marsh on the land side, and then did everything to make 
Lafayette believe that his main army had crossed to the 
island. Into tliis well-laid trap Lafayette now fell. He 
thought nothing but the rear-guard of the British army 
Avas before him, and at once resolved to attack it. 

"Mad Anthony" was selected to head the attack, and got 
his men ready. It was a summer day (July 6th, 1781), 
and the woods and swamps were covered with fog. This 
made it all the easier to get up to the enemy without be- 
inff seen, and about three o'clock in the afternoon Wayne 
advanced to attack them. In front marched some rifle- 
men to look for the English, then came some cavalry, and 
behind came the foot-soldiers — about eight hundi-ed men. 

Cornwallis was waiting for him, with nearly his whole 
army hidden in the woods, while tlie Americans thought 
they were only going to attack his small rear-guard. The 
battle soon began. Wayne's riflemen, who went in front, 
saw redcoats in the woods, and opened a hot fire on them. 
At this the American cavalry charged at a gallop, and 
the infantry behind them rushed on, firing and cheering. 
But suddenly the woods swarmed with the redcoats on 
every side. The Americans found themselves attacked by 
an army instead of a small force, as they expected ; and 
Wayne, who was just as cool and prudent as he was brave, 
saw that they had fallen into a trap. Lafayette sent word 
to him to retreat at once ; and he fell back, fighting at 
every step, and at last made a stand, where he hoped he 
would be able to hold his ground. 

This he soon found was impossible. Suddenly heavy 
lines of the English, to the number of two thousand men, 
burst out of the woods on his right and left, as well as in 


front. It seemed just as impossible for the Americriiis to 
retreat as to stand their ground. Wayne saw that his sit- 
uation was desperate almost, and that his only hope was 
to get back to Lafayette. But how could he do so? The 
enemy were upon him, and if he tried to fall back, they 
would rush upon his flying men and destroy them. 

Wayne saw all this at a single glance, and determined 
what he would do. Instead of flying, he drew up his men 
in close line of battle, and charged the enemy, ordering his 
cannon to open a hot Are upon them as he did so. The 
charge was made, and it was so impetuous that it drove 
the British back. Tbey did not know what to make of it, 
as they thought the Americans were defeated, and now 
supposed that Lafayette's whole army was ready to sur- 
round them. They thei'efore halted, and this was just 
what Wayne wanted. Lafayette, he knew, was far in his 
rear, and could not help him: the oidy thing to do was to 
get out of the trap; and taking advantage of the enemy's 
surprise at his bold attack, he ordered his men to retreat, 
and tliey got safely out of the woods back to their friends 

This was a brave and skilful act in Wayne. lie de- 
served all the credit of it, and the Pennsylvania soldiers, 
who did most of the fighting, were entitled to their full 
share of the lionor. It was a Pennsylvania light, you see, 
as both general and soldiers came from that State, and I 
have no doubt the Virginians clicered their friends as they 
came back. 

A tier this there was no more fighting. Night was com- 
ing on, and Lord Cornwallis was perplexed in his mind. 
As he did not know what force Lafayette had, he was 
afraid to attack him ; so he rctirccl to Jamestown Island, 
and three days afterward crossed J.'iincs Tiivrr and march- 
ed toward Norfolk. 


I thought you would like to hear this story of the brave 
"boy" Lafayette and "Mad Anthony" Wayne, and how 
they got the better at last of old Lord Cornwallis. There 
is a saying that "he laughs best who laughs last" — 
that is, who succeeds in the end in what he undertakes ; 
and Lafayette could now indulge in a good laugh at his 
enemy. Cornwallis had called him a hoy, and said he 
could not escape from him ; but, instead of being a 
thoughtless youl,h, Lafayette proved himself a good gen- 
eral, and it now looked very much as if Lord Cornwallis 
was himself retreating to escape from this very same 
" boy." 

All this happened, as I have told you, in the month of 
July, 1781; and in October of the same year the great 
war was to come to an end. How this took place I will 
tell you in my last story. 




This is the last of my stories of Virginia history, and in 
it I will tell you how the Revolution ended at Yorktown, 
not far from Williamsburg, where, in 1765, Patrick Henry 
sounded the first note of resistance to England. 

After the battle at Jamestown with Lafayette, Lord 
Cornwallis crossed James River, and finally retired with 
his army to Yorktown. Here 
he began to throw up earth- 
works to protect himself from 
the Americans; and this will 
show you what a change had 
snddeidy taken place in every- 
thing. In fact, (ieneral Wash- 
ington was every day expect- ; :v:^<,^i^ -.iw^: \ 
e<l. He had left his camp near 
New York with very great 
secrecy, ami was marching 
southward to attack the IJrit- 
ish in \'irgiiiia. The news 
went before him, and Lord ('ornwallis no doubt heard it, 
and it could not have p\it him in very good spirits. The 
Americans were closing in on liim from every side; and, 
what made matters worse, a French fleet under Comtc <1o 
(irasse, whicdi had come over to help Washington, was ly- 
ing in Chesapeake I5ay, ready to cut iiiiii oil" if lie tried 1<> 
escape by water. Ifh*' was attacked at Yorktown by the 



American army and tlie French sliips, there seemed small 
probability that he would be able to make much resist- 
ance ; and Sir Henry Clinton, who was at New York, un- 
derstood this perfectly well. He saw that there was no 
time to lose, if he intended to help Cornwallis ; so he sent 
a Heet of English ships, under an officer named Admiral 
Graves, to sail into Chesapeake Bay, and carry more sol- 
diers to Yorktown. With these he hoped that Cornwallis 
would be able to hold his gi-ound against the Americans," 
or if he could not, there would be the ships to safely carry 
away him and his men. 

Admiral Graves accordingly sailed down and soon reach- 
ed the shores of Virginia. But Comte de Grasse, with his 
French ships, was on the lookout, and meant to fight him ; 
so as soon as they heard that the English ships were near, 
the Frenchmen sailed out to attack them. 

The Americans saw the French ships sail away to attack 
the English, and soon lost sight of them in the direction 
of the ocean. But before long they heard, borne on the 
ocean wind, the distant roar of cannon, from which they 
knew that the two fleets were fighting. Hour after hour 
the dull, far-ofi:' muttering of the cannon went on, and then 
at length there was silence. The Americans hoped that 
this meant that the English fleet was driven back; and so 
it indeed proved. The French and English ships had at- 
tacked each other and fought until night. The English 
vessels were not destroyed; but as Admiral Graves did 
not renew the attack on the next day, or tr}' to get to 
Yorktown, Comte de Grasse was satisfied, and waited for 
what was to come next. For five days the two fleets 
sailed about in sight of each other without any more figlit- 
ing; and at last the French sliips returned to Chesapeake 
Bay, and the English did not follow them. 

Lord Cornwallis must have listened to that faint roar 



of cannon from the ocean with very great anxiety. He 
knew just what his situation was, and that his only hope 
of safety "was tlie defeat of Corate de Grasse by Admiral 
Graves. If the English ships were driven oif, he saw that 
he would be caught like a rat in a trap; so he probably 
stood on his earthworks at Yorktown, listening anxiously 
to the sound of the guns, and trying to form an opinion 
how the fight would end. This, you know, he could do in 
some measure by the sound. If it grew louder and nearer, 
it would mean that De Grasse was coming back toward 
the bay ; while if it grew fainter, it would signify that 
Admiral Graves was sailing away toward the ocean. But 
the sound did neither. It went on steadily until it stop- 
ped ; and Lord Cornwallis was obliged to wait until news 
was brought to him of the result of the fighting. 

It Avas bad enough news, you see, and he must have 
felt that the end of the struggle was now near. The sea- 
fight took place in the first week of September, and on 
the fourteenth of the same month General Washington 
reached Williamsburg, which is not far from Yorktown. 
As he rode along the lines of his war-worn troops the sol- 
diers waved their hats and burst forth into cheers. Every 
man felt that there would be hot work now when the great 
commander-in-chief had arrived, and nothing pleased them 
better tiian the prospect. They were anxious to beat the 
British and return home to their families, and the expres- 
sion on every face seemed to say, " We arc ready !'* 


Washington listened whili; Lafayette toM him all thai 
had liappt'ued, and probably praised the young soldier 
highly for all his movements in the sumiiKi- ciinpaign. 

If F.afayctte had not beaten Lord ('ornwallis in battle, 
he had fulldwed and worried him until he had shut, hitn- 


self up in Yoiktown ; and from this corner there seemed 
no means of his escaping. With the land forces on one 
side, and the ships on the otlier, the English were caught ; 
and Washington set out at once in a small vessel to visit 
Comte de Grasse. 

He found the brave sailor in his ship, named the Ville de 
Paris, in the bay, and was received with a salute of hon- 
or. In the midst of the thunder of cannon Washington 
went on board the ship, and Comte de Grasse came to 
meet him, making him a low and respectful bow. They 
then went into the cabin and had a long talk. De Grasse 
did not wish to stay and take part in the siege of York- 
town, He was burning to follow the English ships and 
attack them ao-ain ; but Washington told him that the 
great thing now was to capture Cornwallis, and at last 
the bold sailor was convinced that this was best. He 
promised not to sail away, but remain where he was, and 
Washington then went back in his small vessel, which 
was named the Queen Charlotte, to Williamsburg. 

Everything was now ready for the march upon York- 
town, and the soldiers set out through the beautiful au- 
tumn weather (September 28th, 1V81) for the place. It was 
only twelve miles from Williamsburg, and the road led 
through cultivated fields, and woods of lofty pines, hollies, 
laurels, and other forest-trees, which cast refieshing shad- 
ows on the troops as they marched along. They were all 
in fine spirits, and the French soldiers who had come from 
the North with Washington were dressed in bright uni- 
forms. But the Americans, or " Continentals," as they were 
called at that time, presented a much less imposing ap- 
pearance. Their clothes were faded and worn, and some 
of them were almost in rags; for America was poor, 
and could not give them good uniforms. But they were 
just as well satisfied and in the highest spirits; am! if 



their clothes were worn and soiled, their muskets were 

It was not loni; before thev came in si2;lit of Yorktown. 
This old village is still standing, and looks pretty much 
the same as it did at tliat time. It was built on high 
ground on the south bank of York River, and had in it 
only about sixty houses. Just opposite, across the river, 


which becomes much narrower at this place, was Glouces- 
ter Point, whii'h the British also hold. In the direction 
from which the Americans were coming toward the south 
ami west, they had thrown up a number of redoubts or 
litld- works, as they are called; that is, small banks of 
earth, behind which were i)laced camion. Inside of these 
wore heavier works still; an<l flicn, jii>t in the edge of 
the town, were others, fifteen <»r twenty feet, high, to le- 
treat to, in case they were driven out of tliose in front 
"f them. 


You can now fancy how everything looked as the 
Americans marched up. The bright autumn sunshine lit 
up the whole landscape. There on the left was York Riv- 
er, and in front were the houses of the town ; and in front 
of all were the British redoubts, with their cannon wait- 

As Lord Cornwallis expected to have more soldiers sent 
him by Sir Henry Clinton, he ought to have fought in these 
redoubts, I think, in order to gain time. But he deter- 
mined that he would give them up, and retreat to his 
stronger works behind them. The Americans at once 
rushed in and took possession of them ; and then the next 
thing to be done was to make what are called parallels. 
These are trenches and banks of earth thrown up by the 
army Avhich is attacking earthworks, behind which they 
fight, as those who are besieged fight behind their own. 
The parallels were begun, and the men worked at them 
day and night: at last one of them was finished and 
mounted with cannon, and the Americans then prepared 
for tlie attack. Their army lay around Yorktown in the 
shape of a new moon ; the left, composed of French troops, 
restino- on York River, and the risjht, of Americans under 
Lafayette, extending down beyond the town. In this way 
Yorktown was regularly invested from the land side; the 
French fleet watched on the water, ready to meet any 
Biitish ships which attempted to approach ; and on the 
9th of October General Washington began the attack. 

It was begun in the afternoon, and for eight hours the 
cannon thundered from the opposing works. Darkness 
soon came, but this did not stop the tire, and the spectacle 
is said to have been magnificent. The red glare of the ar- 
tillery lit up the night, and all at once a still more splen- 
did sight was presented, which I will now proceed to de- 





Opposite the left of the Aiuerican line, in York River, 

were some English ships, which they determined to make 

an effort to destroy. One of them was named the Charon 

and the otiier the Guadaloxipe^ and, as their 

lights were visible, there was no difficulty 

in firing at them. 

This was done with red-hot can- 
non-balls from the Amer- 
ican redoubts toward 
—^ York River, and both 
the ships were 
soon set on fire. 
One who saw them 
described it as a 
wild and beautiful 
spectacle, full of " terrible grandeur " and attraction. The 
flames speedily caught the sails and rigging of the ships 
and ran to the summits of the masts, and the shores were 
lit up by the conflagration. Tlie ships had slipped their 
rabies and attempted to get away, but the red-hot balls 
caught up with them, and they became the mark of all 
the batteries as they fled, like mountains of fire, toward 
the bay. Tiie Guadaloupe managed to extinguish the fire 
<^)n board, and escaped, but the Charon was completely 
destroyed and sunk. Another English ship was also set 
on fire by shells and destroyed ; and (he cannonade did 
not cease until next morning. 

Day after day the fighting conlinued, an(l llic prospect 
became darker and darker for Lord Cornwallis. There 
was a cave, it is said, in the river blufV, where he consult- 
ed with his officers, but his head-i|ii;irt('rs, it seems, were in 
what was called the "Nelson House," a residence belong- 



ing to General Nelson, The Americans fired at it, al- 
though they at first did not wish to do so, from reluc- 
tance to injure the fine mansion. But of this General 
Nelson would not hear. When the artillery officers hesi- 
tated, he liimself aimed the cannon and fired at his own 
iiouse; and this, if nothing else were known of him, would 
prove his noble character and self-sacrificing patriotism. 

Day after day and night after night the fighting went 
on, and the situation of Lord Cornwallis grew every hour 

more critical. A sec- 
ond parallel was con- 
structed by the Amer- 
icans in front of their 
right wing, very close 
to two of the strongest 
of the English works ; 
and these redoubts 
Washington now re- 
solved to assault. 

The attack took place 
on the evening of the 
14th of October. The 
column on the i-ight consisted of the troops under Lafay- 
ette, and was led by Alexander Hamilton, afterward one 
of the greatest statesmen of America. On the left were 
the French chasseurs and grenadiers^ as they were called ; 
and when the word was given, the two columns rushed 
forward toward the British redoubts. They were re- 
ceived with a storm of bullets and cannon-shot, but did 
not return the fire. The only way to take the works was 
at the point of the bayonet, and the men rushed on over 
the felled trees and other obstacles, and mounted the earth- 
works, where they fought with clubbed muskets hand to 
hand with the English troops. 



Tlie Americans under Ilaniiltoii carried everytliing be- 
fore them, and were at last in possession of the redoubt. 
The French were still fighting on the left, and Lafayette 
sent word to Baron Viomenil, who commanded the French, 
that '■''He was in his redoubt ; when would the baron be in 

"Tell the marqnis," replied Viomenil, "that I am not in 
mine, but I will be in five minutes!" 

He was as good as liis word. Suddenly clieers were 
heard all along the front. Both redoubts were captured, 
and the shouts of the French and Americans rang aloft 
and mingled together. 

Washington was standing on liis works in the rear, lis- 
tening. As he lieard this sliout lie closed his field-glasses, 
and said to General Knox, who was standing by him, 

" The work is done — and well done !" 


Lord Cornwallis was now in a desperate situation. He 
had lost all hope of having more soldiers sent him by Sii- 
Henry Clinton, and he saw that he could not resist Wash- 
ington much longer, lie made one attempt to attack the 
French above the town before daylight one morning, but 
was soon driven ])ack ; and then he determined to make 
.'in effort to escape. 

The manner in which he attempted to do this shows 
how desperate he had become. You will remetnber what 
I told von about CJloucestcr Point, across tlic river from 
^'orktown. 'I'lic British had some soldiers there, and a 
party of French were also across the river watching them. 
Lord C'ornwallis's jdan was this: As the river was not 
more than a mile wiilo at the place, he resolved to leave 
all his cannon and baggage in Yorktown, iiml eross his 
men over in boats by night to the Point. Then he meant 


to make a sudden attack on the French there and cut them 
to pieces. Then he and his men could mount the horses 
of the French legion, gallop off toward the Rappahannock, 
and, forcing their way through Maryland, Pennsylvania, 
and New Jersey, arrive safely in the city of New York, 
where their main army was. 

When a man is desperate he is ready to undertake des- 
perate things, and you see this was now the case with 
Lord Cornwallis. He was like Colonel M'Culloch, who 
leaped over the precipice at Wheeling. It was his only 
chance of safety, and he I'esolved to try it. 

The boats were soon ready, and on the night of the 16th 
of October the British began to cross from Yorktown to 
Gloucester. It was about ten o'clock at night when the 
boats pushed from shore, and they moved in such deep si- 
lence that no one in the American camps dreamed of their 
design. The greatest secrecy had been kept about the 
whole affair, and none of the people in the town knew of 
it ; so the first boat-loads were landed on the Gloucester 
side, and then the boats set out to return and carry over 
more. But Providence had determined that Lord Corn- 
wallis should not escape. His plan might have succeeded, 
as desperate plans sometimes do ; but when Heaven has 
decreed that certain things in this world shall not take 
place, the power of man is vain, and everything comes to 
nothing. No sooner had the boats started back toward 
Yorktown than the sky clouded over, and a violent storm 
began. The thunder roared, the lightning flashed, and the 
waves of the broad river dashed the boats up and down, 
rendering it impossible to carry over the rest of the army. 
All night the storm went on, and when morning came it 
was not yet over. Cornwallis saw that there was no 
hope now, as the Americans would discover his attempt to 
escape; so he brought back the soldiers wlio were at 



Gloucester Point, and sent word to Geueral Washington 
that he was ready to surrender. 

Such was the end of the famous siege, and the long 
agony of tlie Revohition was over. One ceremony only 

SL'&ULMlLil or toUNWALLli) AI iu;;Klu«.N. 

remained to be observed — to receive tlie surrender of the 
Hritish troops; and tliis was fixed for the I'Uh of October. 
On that day it took jilace. Tlio terms were as liberal 
as possible. The men and oflicers were to retain their 
bacrga'^c and side-arms, and all their jjcrsonal property. 
Only one disagreeable comlilion was exacted by Washing- 



ton. This was that tlie English flags should be " cased," 
as it was called, that is, rolled up, when the troops march- 
ed out. This was considered a great disgrace ; but Lord 
Cornwallis had inflicted it u]ion General Lincoln, of the 


American army, when he surrendered at Charleston, and 
now Washington resolved that he should submit to it in 
his turn. 

The surrender took place in a field south of Yorktown, 
and the scene was lonsf remembered. Through the field a 
road ran, and on one side of this road the American troops 
were drawn up. The French were facing them on the 
other side, and the lines were more than a mile long. 

Washington rode a white horse, and took his place at 
the head of the American line ; and General Rochambeau, 
on a fine bay, was at the head of the French. A great 
crowd had assembled from all the surrounding country, 
and at the hour appointed the British troops were seen 
defiling out of Yorktown. Their colors were cased, in 
compliance with the terms of surrender, and they came on 
slowly, with sullen faces, in the midst of a deep silence. 



Lord Connvallis did not make his appearance. He sent 
word that he was unwell, and General O'Hara, of the Brit- 
ish army, took his place. This officer rode up to Wash- 
ington, made a bow, and presented Lord Cornwallis's sword. 
Washington bowed in return, but pointed to General Lin- 
coln, to signify that the surrender must be made to him. 
General O'Hara therefore presented the sword to Lincoln, 
who received it with a bow, and then returned it, request- 
ing that it should be restored to Lord Cornwallis. 

The rest of the ceremony was soon over. The British 
troops marched between tlie two lines, and stacked their 


X - 


arms and colors. Tiiis sceniud Id morlil'y and enriige 
lliem in the highest degree. Tlie officers looked fii rictus, 
and Colonel Abcrcrombie, of the English (iuards, covered 
his face and bit the hilt of his sw<ir<l willi rage. 


The British troops were then marched back to their 
quarters in Yorktown, and the ceremony of the surrender 
was over. 

From that hour the Revolutionary War was at an end. 
British troops remained upon American soil, but the fight- 
ing was over, and in 1783 a formal treaty of peace was 
made between England and the United States. As soon as 
intelligence of this was received the British prepared to 
leave New York. This ceremony took place in November, 
1783; and in December of the same year Washington, 
who was then in the city of New York, took leave of his 
old friends and comrades, who had fought under him so 
long. It was an affecting scene. Washinfjton came into 

CD Cj vj 

the room where his generals were all assembled, and rais- 
ing a glass of wine, addressed them in a voice full of the 
deepest feeling : 

" With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take 
leave of you," he said. " I most devoutly wish that your 
latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your for- 
mer ones have been glorious and honorable." 

He then drank to their health and happiness, and looked 
at them with deep emotion. The tears were running down 
their cheeks, and they seemed unable to utter a word. 

Washington then said, " I cannot come to each of you 
to take my leave, but shall be obliged to you if each will 
come and take my hand." 

General Knox, who was next to him, grasped his hand, 
and Washington kissed him. He then shook hands with 
and kissed each of the generals in turn, after which he left 
the room. Long lines of his old soldiers were drawn up 
in the street. Between these he walked to a boat on the 
river; raised his hat in reply to the cheering; the boat 
was rowed away, and thus ended one of the most affect- 
ing scenes of history. 



I HAVE thus told you a good many stories of Virginia 
liistory, and have tried to do so in a manner to interest 
you. Whether I have succeeded I do not know ; but I 
have done ray best, and I hope, at least, that some of them 
have pleased you. 

But pleasing you was not my main object in telling you 
my stories. It is a great thing to interest young people, 
and make them acquainted with fiicts which they ought 
to know ; but what is far more important is to improve 
their characters, by showing them how great and good 
men did their duty wherever and whenever they were 
called upon. If you will go back and remember the 
stories in our little book, you will see that I have never 
lost sight of this, or allowed it to pass out of my mind. 
I first told you about John Smith and his adventurous 
career — how he began life as a poor boy, but was always 
so brave and true that every one respected him, and how 
he came at last to found a great country, and died leaving 
a famous name. Then you were told of Nathaniel Bacon 
and his patriotic life ; and then all about Washington, and 
his courage and high character, from tiie time when he was 
a boy whom scarcely any one had heard of, to that day 
in New York when he was looked upon as the greatest 
man living in the whole woild. Vou heard next about 
Thomas Jelferson and Patrick Henry, and other jjatriots; 
and in my stories of Andrew Lewis, and Klizabetli /arie, 
and Colonel Rogers, I showed vou liow brave ami hue 


the men and women and very children of- the border 
were, in tlie dark days when they were called npon to 
sliow what was in them. All these and other stories still 
I have gone on telling you day after day — never tired 
telling them, it' you were willing to listen ; and now when 
I have finished, and am about to bid you good-bye, I think 
I can say that some, at least, of these true stories will be 
of profit to yon. 

You are boys now, but you will soon be men. Then 
you will have your own way to make in the world. Do 
you mean to be idle, and fearful, and deceive people, and 
give them a bad opinion of you ? Or do you intend to 
go to work, and act bravely and nobly, and do your 
duty, and leave a name behind you when you die which 
the world will love and resjoect V Take care — now is 
the time! Did you ever notice a large tree that grew 
crooked, and was an ugly eyesore on that account? Per- 
haps it stood on the lawn, right in front of the porch, and 
your father would have liked very much to straighten it. 
It was impossible to do so. A hundred horses could not 
have dragged it erect. And yet think of the time when 
that large tree was a small sapling : a child might have 
straightened it then, and it would have grown properly, 
and every one would have admired it. 

By this I mean that boys ought to groio straight, not 
crooked. You are young now, as the tree was once: be- 
gin in time, and you will be as straight as an arrow when 
you are a man. If you wait, it will be too late. The way 
to make men erect and noble is to take them, when they 
are boys, and show them that there is nothing in this 
world so noble as doing their dutJ^ Once more I say, re- 
member that, though you are boys now, you will be men 
soon. The old people will die, and you must take their 
places; and woe to these old people if they set you a bad 


example! Did you ever bear what a great and good 
man said one day ? He was walking in the snow, and his 
little son was following him, and stepping in the prints 
which his father's feet had made in the snow. His father 
saw this, and shook his head : 

"I must mind how I walk," he said to himself; "that 
fellow is following in my footsteps !" 

We old people must mind how we walk, if you young 
fellows are walking after us, and take care where we go 
and what we do. You will do good or evil, just as you 
have been taught. If you are false and worthless, you and 
everybody else will have a hard time of it. You may 
be soldiers, judges, statesmen, and presidents. What you 
say or do may decide the fate of millions of other people. 
These will look to you; and, more than all, God will 
watch you, and hold you to a strict account. If you are 
brave, and true, and unselfish, Heaven will bless you, and 
every one who knows you will love and respect you. If 
you are mean and cowardly, and think of nothing but 
your own pleasure, God and man wall hate you. Which 
will you be ? 

The greatest of all things is to be pure, and to do your 
duty. Boys, and grown people too, learn this best by 
example, I think, and I have tried to show you these ex- 
amples in American history. 

I might have made my book longer, and written it in a 
(UnVM-ent style; but I tliink I acted wisely in never forget- 
ting that I was writing for boys. If I have interested you, 
I am more than content. I am sure of one thing — tliat 1 
would not write what Mould make you worse, for all the 
world. I hope my liltlo stories, by showing you great ex- 
amples, will make you wiser and better. 





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