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Book. 



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..ykSi___ 



('()|)\Tii»lil X" 



( OnUU;!!!' DKI'OSIT. 



ROMANCE OF THE MAINE COAST 



I. 


Casco Bay. 




11. 


Old 


York. 




11. 


The 


SOKOKI 


Teail. 



IV. Pemaquid. 
V. The Land of St. Castin. 



MAINE COAST ROMANCE 



j^^ Iftomance ot 

HERBERT MILTON SYLVESTER 




BOSTON 
Stanbopc press 

1906 






LIBRARY fif CONGRFSS 
Twf> C"ni»« Received 

AUG il 1906 

/^Couyri^iii Entry 
ai.K%% CL xxc, No. 
COPY B. 



Copyright, by Herbert M. Sylvester, 190G 
All rights reserved 



AUTHOR'S EDinuN 

This edition is limited to one thousand copies 
printed from the face type. This is No. 



THE ROMANCE OF OLD YORK 

IS IN.SCIMIJUII To THK 

HON. CHARLES F. LIBBY 

OK 
i'OKTLAND, MAINE, 

BY THE AUTHOR. 




THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY 




HA\'E inscribed the Romance 
of Old York, — the writing of 
which afforded the author a 
deal of pleasure, — to you, my 
good friend, in recognition of 
the cherished acquaintance 
which began in the days when 
the author stood at the doorway 
of a strenuous life, and when 
you, as well, had entered upon 
what has proven a notably suc- 
cessful and honorable career. 
^ As the years have gone, 

experiences have multiplied; points of view have 
changed; but the same kindly glint is in your eye; 
the same sympathetic greeting in your hand ; the 
same accents of friendly interest, good cheer and 

11 



/^-^.^^ 



r_: THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY 

eiu-ouruffcnicnt fall from y )u: lii)s, as in the days 
when the blood ran warmer and more impetuously. 
A sprinkle of gray has come to each .'ince we took 
to the open, each to hitch his wagon to hi^ par- 
ticular star; yet Time has dealt kindly, whatever 
the remriining elemental forces may have accom- 
pUshed in their turn, and the retrospect may be 
likened to a road over which we have come, familiar 
enough in these days, but once strange and beset 
with arduous labors, with no fabled 0;dv of Dodona 
to drop its whispering leaves at our feet. 

It is fortunate that ambitions differ. Were it 
otherwise, the hardships of accomplishment would 
be something indeed discouraging. I apprehend, 
however, that the finest ambitions in the human life 
are those which seek the achievement of things which 
come to one's hand in a way to enable others as well 
as one's self to find a wholesome enjoyment in the 
realizing of their legitimate fruits. I apprehend, 
further, that the choicest pleasures have their origin 
in the realm of Thought, nor do I forget the admon- 
ishment of the Preacher, that " of makmg books there 
is no end; an 1 much stu ly is a wear'.ne-^s of t'.u^ 
flesh." 

Perhaps I ought to have some hesitation in the 
bringing of this volimie to you, but aware of your 
scholarly attainment and your ripe discrimmation 
in matters of belles lettres in these days of India 
paper, Roxburgh bindings, and vest-pocket editions 
in limp leather, I am fortified in my desire to dis- 
cover to you in a way my inclination. 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY 13 

I do not assume to have made any startling dis- 
coveries in the back-lots of the pioneer days, but the 
rather to have plucked a patch of lichen here and 
there from some old memorial stone, that its mystery, 
sadly forgotten and neglected, might catch anew the 
sunlight of a familiar horizon. 

I sincerely hope that you may find the matter 
between covers more palatable than may appear at 
first glance, and as all good things in life are of a 
dependable character, no one standing l^y itself alone, 
so I hope "Ye Romance of Old York" may find its 
weak places strengthened by the remembrance of 
a friendship which the author reckons among the 
props by which his ambitions have been upheld. As 
to the making of these pages, the procuring the matter 
for them has been like the exploring of a land of 
f!nchantment. As to matters of history, they may 
be accepted as accurate, or as expressing the con- 
sensus of opinion of those familiar with the ancient 
doings of the days that made up the century following 
the discoveries of Samuel de Champlain, Very little 
of authentic record remains of the earliest years, and 
one is somewhat dependent upon his color box and 
his palette knife, which, as a lover of the fine arts, 
will be appreciated by yourself. 

It is a pleasant curiosity — of which many are 
ignorant or immindful — this acquaintance with the 
Cobweb Country, and which is to be regarded as a 
commendable one; for, as the good Montgomery 
says, 

" 'Tis not the whole of Ufe to Hve.' 



14 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY 



The sordid things in hving have their place and 
their use. If kept in place, they are to be endured; 
but with them in the saddle, I would as soon play 
Skipper Mitchell with Old Aunt Polly of Brimstone 
Hill and hor horde of im])s on my ))ack, to jje harried 
from Chauncey's Creek to lira'boat Harbor for a 
sixpence worth o' luUibut. 

It is better to let the odd sixpence get away occa- 
sionally, especially if it has a sixpence worth of 
good in it for one's neighbor; not that this volume is 
to be taken at mint rates, but the rather for what 
it is worth, is the desire of your good friend and 
well wisher, who subscribes himself, 

Cordialh'' j'ours, 

Sylvester. 




PREFACE 



r^^i-^yv ■-,4 











PREFACE 




HE story of the coast east 
of the Piscataqua is the 
gtory of old houses long 
since vacated by their 
builders, the laying of 
whose sills began shortly 
after the visit of Capt. 
John Smith to the Isles 
of Shoals, and practi- 
cally contemporary with 
the founding of the 
Plymouth colony. Looking out upon this historic 
stream are more ghost walks almost than can be 
counted along the entire coastline of Maine, from 
Cape Porpoise to the St. Croix. 

I said ghost walks — not that these old roof-trees 
17 



18 PREFACE 

are haunted by the visible apparitions of these an- 
cients, though I am not wholly certain that they are 
entirely forsaken by the disembodied spirits of those 
whose footsteps once echoed along their ancient halls, 
or left the prints of their shoes along the grit of the 
rude roads that passed their back doors; for, these 
old homesteads, and their like old interiors, touch one 
with a quick sensibility to the charm of their old- 
time romances, and throw around one the spell of 
their ancient life. These old wide fireplaces are aglow 
with flame ; the song of the old spinning-wheel fills 
these low-ceiled living-rooms with a murmurous har- 
mony. Their old dwellers come again, and the life 
of the first half of the seventeenth century goes on, 
and one feels that that was never on sea or land, color- 
ing the images of the period with a fresh conception of 
the New England of the olden time. Here is a store- 
house of antiquities, antiquities of a most delicious 
and appetizing character, that lead one on and on 
until one is lost in the maze of quaint episode that 
began up the Piscataqua with the Hiltons, and on old 
York River with Godfrey. To go back to 1630 is 
like taking a jaunt into the wilderness; for the farther 
one gets from the civilization of to-day, the rougher 
grow the roads, until there are no roads at all, only 
a blazed trail to show one the way, to keep on until 
even there are no scars on the trees, only the mosses 
on the rinds of the Druids of the woods, or their slant 
silhouettes drawn by the sun across their uneven floors 
for a compass and a timekeeper. 
This coloring of the early colonial period is un- 



PREFACE 19 

matchably rich. Many of these old houses are as 
perfect in their conditions, as pregnant with responsi- 
bihties, as in the days of those who knew them first 
and loved them best. Others have lapsed into senil- 
ity; their chimneys hang askew, like an old battered 
hat. Their low-drooping eaves sag like the shoulders 
of an old man in the last stages of decreptitude. 
Others yet have fallen supinely in their decay into the 
caverns they so long concealed, or have shrivelled into 
gray ashes, in the catastrophe of a defective chimney, 
and not one of them all without its tradition. Let 
us repeople these old mansions, leaving out the ghosts. 
Let the old brass knocker fall here or there between its 
carved lintels. It is the gentle way, and it is a gentle 
folk by whom we are likely to be entertained, and 
who know nothing of modernness, and who perhaps 
are fortunate in that respect; for social conventions 
are largely of the nineteenth century, along with rag- 
time, cake-walks, and the two-step. 

Instead, for a space, we are to have the times of 
hilarious Tom Morton and his May-pole at Merry- 
mount; when the softer sex were prohibited by law 
from the Isles of Shoals; when the constable scoured 
the village by-ways of a Lord's day, haling people into 
church, to shiver and freeze, as they would a culprit to 
the magistrates for judgment; whipped Quakers 
through every town until they were without the juris- 
diction; when women were branded with the letter 
A ; ducked in the stream to cool their shrewish ardor, 
or pilloried in the townhouse square; and men for 
more grievous sins were let off with "forty stripes. 



20 



PREFACE 



save one," or put in the stocks for a brief season; 
when the father of Sir WilHam Pepperrell was laying 
siege to Margery Bray's heart, and Winthrop was 
hatching his schemes for the aggrandizement of the 
first commonwealth, and throwing the addled Epis- 
copal eggs out of the nests of the New Somersetshire 
colonies; when people went on stilts as now, though 
of a different fashion, and Puritanism was the guar- 
dian of the public conscience; when Charles I liter- 
ally lost his head, and Gorges, his Palatinate; the 
days of stately dames, brocades, and laces; of velvet 
coats, queues, and knee buckles, and not infrequently 
good old English manners. 

Like pictures that have been long turned to ihe 
wall, suppose the author turns them again to the light, 
if for nothing more than the suggestion they may hold 
for a reverent and not wholly indifferent posterit}'. 

The Author. 





^^^■y 






x^ 



mm 



I. The Voyagers. 

II. Accomenticus. 

III. The Bells of York. 

IV. Saddle-bag Days. 
V. Old Ketterie. 

VI. . Back-log Stories. 

VII. The Pleiads of the Piscataqua. 




PAGE 

Half-title 1 

Vignette ^ 

Headband H 

Initial H 

Tailpiece li 

Headband, Preface 17 

Initial ^"^ 

Tailpiece 20 

Stepping-stones 21 

Pictures 23 

Tailpiece 28 

Headband, Voyagers 35 

Initial 35 

Louisburg Harbor 37 

23 



24 ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 



White Island Light 40 

Pemaquid 43 

Map 45 

Mount Desert 46 

The Nubble 47 

Thatcher's Island Light 48 

Boon Island Light 53 

Norman's Woe 54 

Quotation frojn Capt. John Smith 55 

Cape Ann 60 

Headband, Accomenticus 63 

Initial 63 

The Marshes 67 

Autographs 74 

York River 76 

Mill-dam 78 

Barn Cove 83 

Site Gov. Gorges' House 92 

Union Bluff 95 

York Marshes 103 

The Barrelle Manse 104 

York Jail 106 

An Old Wharf 109 

The Apple-tree brought from England 110 

Old Woodbridge Tavern 112 

Old Wilcox Tavern 113 

Old Say ward House 115 

Mclntire Garrison House 116 

Headband, Bells of York 119 



ILLUSTRATIONS 25 

PAGE 

Initial 

Roaring Rock ' '"'^ 

First Church at Hingham 121 

Boston's First Church 122 

The Wooden Tankard 123 

The York Meeting-house ^25 

Moodij Cradle 1'^'' 

Remnant of the Four Elms 13^ 

The Sewall Tombs I'^l 

Coventry Hall ^'^'"^ 

1 1^4 

Tailpiece 

Headband, Saddlebag Days l'^^ 

Initial '^^ 

Quampegan Falls 1^" 

Shattuck House 1^1 

Rebecca Nourse House 1 ^'^ 

Witch's Hill 1"-^' 

York Jail 1"^' 

Witch's Grove ^^^ 

Tobey House, Eliot 1^^ 

Headband, Old Ketterie 197 

197 
Initial 

. . . 201 



Map 

Glimpse of Kittery 205 

Chauncey's Creek 206 

The Remick House 207 

Rice's Tavern 209 

21 1 

Shapleigh House 

Parsonage, 1629 



26 ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 



Old Church, 1630 217 

Kittery Cemetery 219 

Some Old Stones 221 

Lady Pepperrell House 223 

The Massive Door ■ 224 

The Knocker 22(> 

The Hall 227 

Lawrence's Cove 231 

The Gerrish House 232 

The Anchorage 240 

Block House, Fort M' Clary 244 

Fort M'Clary from Warehouse Point 247 

The Pepperrell Manse 249 

Pepperrell Arms 254 

Pepperrell Wharves 256 

The Clavichord 259 

The Bray House 267 

Old Traipe Cider-press 270 

Site of Champernowne' s House 272 

Champernowne's Grave 2S6 

The Joan Decring House 292 

Water Side of Fort M'Clary 295 

The Sparhawk Manse 296 

Tailpiece 300 

Headband, Back-Log Stories 303 

Initial 303 

Mclntire Block House 306 

Junkins Garrison House 310 

Frost Garrison House 321 



ILLUSTRATIONS 27 



PAGE 



Cutt Garrison House 325 

Snow-SJwe Rock 334 

Old Concord Bridge 337 

Sturgeon Creek Warehouse 339 

Ambush Rock 341 

Where Harmon Massacred the Indians 345 

Site of the Old Stacey House 346 

Stacey {Parish) Creek Bridge 347 

Bunker Hill after the Fight 350 

Relic of Ancient Trading Days, (Stackpole's 

Landing) 3ol 

Boon Island Light 354 

Frost's Hill 364 

Headband, Pleiads of Piscataqua 367 

Initial 367 

Map 368 

Fort Point 375 

Badger's Island 376 

Portsmouth Harbor 377 

Jaffrey's Point 378 

We7itworth Hall 379 

By-way in New Castle 381 

Puddle Luck 386 

Walbach Tower 387 

Fort Constitution 389 

Rocks of Star Island 391 

Haley's Wharf 394 

Smutty Nose '^^^ 

The Hontvet House -^03 



28 ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

The Graves 409 

Along Smutty Nose Shore 412 

White Island from Star 414 

Duck Island 415 

Londoner's Island 416 

Old Stone Church 417 

Smith's Monument 419 

Leighton's Gut 421 

White Island Cliffs 424 

Tailpiece 427 




PRELUDE 



When sunsets go, and twilights come 

In splendid mystery 
To glorify the sands of York ; 

And Nature's minstrelsy 
Is but a bar of molten gold 

Above the crooning sea ; 

The incessant, low-ripphng tune 
The soft-voiced Naiads play 

Along the brooks — a limpid rune — 
An idyl of Cathay, 

Each note a bloom of scented June 
Plucked from the lap of May; 

When od'rous mists, in swirling wraiths 
Of loose, diaph'nous thread, 

Creep through the needle-eye of Dusk, 
Upborne along the shred, 

Ungarnished waste of rush and weed, 
On Zephyrus' footfall, sped; 

Boon Island Light throws out its bar 

Of fire. A star lets down 
The loose-pinned curtain of the night 

Upon the olden town. 
Where, clinging to its drowsy hem, 

The house lights blink and drown. 



THE VOYAGERS 




THE VOYAGERS 

CCORDING to Kohl, the 
German geographer, the 
first voyager to sail down 
the Bay of Maine, after 
the Norseman, was Se- 
bastian Cabot. He 
doubts if John 
Cabot, the father, 
made the voyage 
of 1498. 
The Cabots were Vene- 
tians. Zuan Caboto was 
the father, a man of reputation, an experienced navi- 
gator and cartographer. He came to England some- 
time before 1494; for, it was about that time he began 
those preparations with the royal consent that led 
to the English discoveries along the North American 
Coast, a part of that New World to which Columbus 
had sailed in 1492. 

Of his three sons, Sebastian surpassed the fame of 
his father, in a degree. As early as 1495, Henry VH 
had issued a patent to John Cabot and his three sons, 
Lewis, Sebastian, and Sancius. It authorized them 
to fit out five ships and to voyage across the Atlan- 

.35 




36 OLD YORK 

tic — " under the royal banners and ensigns to all 
parts, countries, and seas of the east, of the west, and 
of the north, and to seek out and discover whatso- 
ever isles, countries, regions, and provinces, in what 
part of the world soever they might be, which before 
this time had been unknown to Christians." It 
further empowered the Cabots "to set up the royal 
banners and ensigns in the countries, places, or main- 
land newly found by them, and to conquer, occupy, 
and possess them as his vassals and lieutenants." 
This first voyage was made in 1497, and did not 
extend so far south as the Bay of Maine, nor did it 
accomplish much more than to locate a large body 
of land in the Western Hemisphere ; yet it was notable 
in one respect, for it was on this first voyage among 
the ice-floes of the North Sea that Cabot discovered 
the variation of the magnetic needle, which phe- 
nomena he gave to the world of those times, and 
announced his reasons for the same, as well. No 
particular exploration was attempted or made of 
the shores visited; Cabot's knowledge of this prima 
vista was of the most meagre sort. Cabot's first land- 
fall, according to Deane, was the northeast shore of 
Cape Breton Island. Upon his return, he was able 
to relate to Henry but the slender fact of his sighting 
land, of pushing his way through ice-laden seas as far 
to the north as it was safe for him to trust his small 
craft, and of his ultimate return. Whatever of the 
picturesque he may have related, must have had its 
source purely in a vivid imagination, or speculative 
conjecturing. Jolm Cabot left a considerable account 



OLD YORK 37 

of his voyages to the New World, but, unfortunately, 
no trace of them has ever been available. They, 
like Cabot himself, have become buried under the 
debris of centuries. 

In lieu of the personal "Relations" of Cabot, one 
must depend upon the chroniclers of his time. One 
of these was Pasqualigo, a London merchant, who, 
August 23, 1497, writes to his brothers in Venice — 
"The Venetian, our countryman, who went with a 
ship from Bristol, is returned, and says that seven 
hundred leagues hence, he discovered land in the 
territory of the Great Cham. He coasted three hun- 
dred leagues and landed, saw no human beings, but 
brought to the king certain snares set to catch game, 
and a needle for making nets. The king has prom- 
ised that in the Spring our countryman shall have 
ten ships. The king has given him money where- 
withal to amuse himself till then, and he is now in 







LOUISBURG HARBOR 



Bristol with his wife, who is also a Venetian, and with 
his sons. His name is Zuan Cabot, and he is styled 
the great Admiral. Vast honor is paid him. The 
discoverer planted on his new-found land a large 



38 OLD YORK 

cross, with one flag of England and one of St. Mark, 
by reason of his being a Venetian." 

One could imagine Cabot saying the same thing 
himself, so definite and incisive are these sentences 
of Pasqualigo. Their notable simplicity gives them 
the very impress of truth. 

Cabot must have been a most interesting topic 
among the Londoners; for, on the very next day, 
August 24, Raimondo de Soncino, envoy of the Duke 
of Milan to Henry VII, says, in a despatch to his gov- 
ernment — "some months ago, his Majesty sent out 
a Venetian who is a very good mariner, and has good 
skill in discovering new islands, and he has retiu-ned 
safe, and has found two very large and fertile new 
islands, having likewise discovered The Seven Cities, 
four hundred leagues from England, in the western 
passage. This Spring his Majesty means to send him 
with fifteen or twenty ships." This passage from 
Soncino has all the ear-marks of hearsay, and is a 
fair specimen of the romancing of the times, of the 
wonderful peoples and their more wonderful riches, 
the mythical Tanais, the coveted treasures of Cipango 
and Kathay that could not be a far dip below the 
Western seas. What, or where, the "Seven Cities" 
were, must, like the fabled city of Norombegua, re- 
main a legend and a dream. 

In some of the relations of the Cabot voyages, this 
preliminary visit to the New World was made as early 
as 1494, but it w\as fully a year later that old John 
Cabot went to the king with his scheme for the dis- 
covery of the northwestern water-way to Cathay. 



OLD YORK 39 

Henry, at once interested, promptly gave his support 
to Cabot; and the result was the Patent of March, 
1495, a part of which has already been cited. The 
burden of fitting out, the chartering and manning of 
the craft that was to take these adventurers into 
strange lands, fell upon the Cabots. Henry's con- 
tribution was the royal seal affixed to the royal con- 
sent; and it may be assumed that much time was 
required for the preparation that would seem impera- 
tive for so important an undertaking. 

Kohl says that, referring to Cabot's first voyage, 
they set sail from Bristol in the early part of 1497, 
with four vessels, one of which was the Matthew, 
whose keel was the first to grate on the sands of the 
first landfall, possibly on the Newfoundland coast, 
as designated on the map of Reynel, the Portuguese 
pilot, and which is believed to have appeared in 
1504-5, as ''Y dos Bocalhos" (Island of Codfish). 
Ruysch, 1508, gives it " baccalaurus " ; and later, 
Kunstmann, 1514, designates it as "Bacolnaus." 
Newfoundland, Labrador, and Nova Scotia, are in- 
cluded in this generic term. It is claimed that Cabot 
gave this name to the region discovered by him on 
this first voyage of 1497; but we have only Peter 
Martyr's statement for that. No such name appears 
on Cosa's map, which is admitted to be the earliest 
record of Cabot's discoveries in the New World. 
According to Kohl, the name originated with the 
Portuguese, though the word is declared to be of 
Iberian origin. It is asserted by some authorities, 
that Cabot found the word here before him; that New- 



40 



OLD YORK 



foundland was well-known to the Basques; and 
Kohl admits that the word Baccalos, had long been 
in use before the Cabots sailed hither, or even the 
Cortereals. In fact, the word is repeated on Cabot's 
map, 1544, according to Hakluyt. Parkman is in- 
clined to the view that the Biscayans were here long 
before Cabot. 

In a recent work of Adolph Bellet, "The French 




WHITE ISLAND LIGHT 



at Newfoundland, etc.," referring to the expedi- 
tions of the Northmen made some five centuries 
before the Genoese Columbus and the bold Pinzon 
sailed away from Palos, and which had apparently 
been forgotten — the same could not be said of their 
cousins, the French Basques — M. Bellet says : " It 
is to this first landing of the whale fishermen of 
Cape Breton, on the shores of Newfoundland, that 
we should trace the true discovery of the New World, 



OLD YORK 41 

and the establishment of the first route really com- 
mercial between Europe and America. Unfortu- 
nately, it is impossible to give a fixed date to this 
historical event. What we can affirm is, that it 
preceded by a century and a half the first expedition 
of Columbus; which, besides, was only organized by 
the Genoese navigator, upon information given by 
other Basques, whom the wind had driven upon the 
Antilles about the year 1480." 

M. Bellet declares the Basques to be the real dis- 
coverers of America; and his contention is not unrea- 
sonable. 

But, going back to the Cabots, the narrative of 
Peter Martyr, contained in a letter to Pope Leo X, 
is of especial interest. That writer says — "These 
northern shores have been searched by one Sebastian 
Cabot, a Venetian born, whom, being but in a manner 
an infant, his parents carried with them into Eng- 
land, having had occasion to resort thither for trade 
of merchandise, as is the manner of the Venetians 
to leave no part of the world unsearched to obtain 
riches. He, therefore, furnished two ships in Eng- 
land at his own charges, and first, with three hundred 
men, directed his course so far towards the North 
Pole that even in the month of July he found mon- 
strous heaps of ice swimming on the sea, and in a 
manner, continual daylight; yet saw he the land in 
that tract free from ice, which had been molten. 
Wherefore, he was enforced to turn his sails and fol- 
low the west; so coasting still by the shore that he 
was brought so far into the South, by reason of the 



42 OLD YORK 

land bending so much southwards that it was almost 
equal in latitude with the sea Fretum Herculeum. 
He sailed so far towards the West that he had the 
island of Cuba on his left-hand in manner in the same 
degree of longitude. As he traveled by the coasts 
of this great land (which he named Baccalaos) he 
saith that he found the like course of the waters 
toward the great West, but the same to run more 
softly and gently than the swift waters which the 
Spaniards found in their navigation southward. Se- 
bastian Cabot himself named these lands Baccalaos, 
because in the seas thereabout he found so great mul- 
titudes of certain big fishes much like unto tunnies 
(which the inhabitants call haccallaos) that they 
sometimes staled his ships. He also found the people 
of those regions covered with beasts' skins, yet not 
without the use of reason. He also saith there is a 
great plenty of bears in those regions which use to eat 
fish; for, plunging themselves into the water, where 
they perceive a multitude of these fishes to lie, they 
fasten their claws in their scales, and so draw them 
to land and eat them, so (as he saith) they are not 
noisome to men. He declareth further, that in many 
places of those regions he saw great plenty of lacon 
among the inhabitants. Cabot is my very friend, 
whom I use familiarly, and delight to have liim some- 
times keep me company in mine own house. For 
being called out of England by the commandment 
of the Catholic king of Castile, after the death of 
Henry VII, King of England, he is now present at 
Court with us, looking for ships to be furnished him 



OLD YORK 



43 



for the Indies, to discover this hid secret of Nature. 
T think that he will depart in March in the year next 
following, 1516, to explore it. . . . Some of the Span- 
iards deny that Cabot was the first finder of the land 
of Baccalaos, and affirm that he went not so far west- 
ward." 

This is evidently a relation of the second voyage, 
1498, and from a letter of Don Pedro de Ayala, who 
resided in London at that time, to Ferdinand and 



^fe^r^Ss^srSL'IS^te^SSB^ 




PEMAQUID 

Isabella, dated July 25, 1498, he notes the departure 
of this second expedition: 

" I have seen the map which the discoverer (Jolm 
Cabot) has made, who is another Genoese like Colum- 
bus, and who has been in Seville and in Lisbon asking 
assistance for his discoveries. The people of Bristol 
have, for the last seven years, sent out every year, two, 
three, or four light ships in search of the island of 
Brazil and the Seven Cities, according to the fancy 
of his Genoese. The king determined to send out 



44 OLD YORK 

ships, because the year before they brought cer- 
tain news that they had found land. His fleet con- 
sisted of five vessels, which carried provisions for one 
year. It is said one of them, in which Friar Buel 
went, has returned to Ireland in great distress, the 
ship being much damaged. The Genoese has con- 
tinued his voyage. I have seen on a chart the direc- 
tion they took and the distance they sailed. ..." 

This second voyage is of the greatest interest, and 
from this letter of de Ayala it is certain that John 
Cabot accompanied this fleet ; but after this, he seems 
to have lost his place in the line of active exploration. 
Little, if anything further, is recorded of him. 

There was a so-called Cabot map bearing the date 
of 1544, according to the copy of Von Martinsyi and 
it bears a marginal note. "This country was dis- 
covered l^y John Cabot, a Venetian, and Sebastian 
Cabot, his son, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
MCCCCXCIV, on the 24th of June (1494) in the 
morning, which country they call, primum visinn; 
and a large island adjacent to it they named St. John, 
because they discovered it on the same day." 

Kohl supposes this date to be a mistake, although 
the map bears the countenance of veracity, because 
it states facts which could come only from John 
Cabot. Richard Eden says it is authentic. Eden 
was a contemporary and an intimate friend of Cabot ; 
but Kohl describes it as largely a copy of Ribero. 

It was on this second voyage that the Cabots sailed 
down the Bay of Maine, and it is for this reason that 
this somewhat extended notice of the Cabots in the 



OLD YORK 



45 



opening chapter of the romance of "Old York" is 
allowable. It was due to the discovery of the Maine 
coast by them, that it was first peopled by the Anglo- 




Saxon; and it was from 
the coming of the Cabots 
that the unwinding of 
these threads of fascinat- 
ing story began. 

It is with lively con- 
jecture one follows the Cabots on this 
second visit — a voyaging that was 
very long after followed by Frobisher, Davis, Hudson, 
Fox, and Baffin, names more familiar to the school- 
boy, by far, than that of Cabot. 
The Cabots, after leaving Newfomidland, must 



46 



OLD YORK 



have rounded Cape Breton, to follow the southern 
coast of Nova Scotia, cutting across Fundy; and 
from thence, south, each day brought them into a 
milder and more equable climate. Undoubtedly 
they hugged the land, for their vessels were of small 
tonnage, and their anchorage was likely to be more 
secure among the sheltered bays that alternated with 
the bold and rugged headlands that reach out at 
intervals of a day's sail over the course southward; 




MOUNT DESERT 



for, once past The Wolves, and still farther south, 
with Grand Menan to the eastward, the whole coast 
of Maine was opened up to their wondering vision, 
bewildering in its scenic splendor, one vista of sea 
and shore opening imperceptibly and unannounced 
upon another, each a picture of inimitable beauty, 
all untamed, unbroken, and undefiled by the hand 
of the stranger. It was an extended panorama of 
imparalleled charm, and fascinating perspectives. 



OLD YORK 



47 



Once among the Isles of Mont Desert, threading 
their water-ways to Au Haut, and thence, into the 
mouth of Penobscot Bay, there was httle to remind 
them of the chalk cliffs of England, for here was the 
livid green of low-sloping shores that merged into 
the blue of the sea with a blending of color to which 
their curious eyes had theretofore been wholly unac- 
quainted. There was nothing in the lagoons of Ven- 







THE NUBBLE 

ice to suggest these inland-reaching marshes, which 
under the winds from the Crystal Hills, bent and 
undulated like endless webs of golden tapestries over- 
shot with the silver threads of the salt creeks that 
crept always with the lazy tides in and out their low 
levels. No doubt the tawny sands of York suggested 
golden visions, and once past the shadows of Aga- 
menticus and the stubby nose of Neddock, the woods 
of York stretched away until they were lost in the 
blue of the far western horizon. 



48 



OLD YORK 



According to Stevens, these visions of unrivalled 
attractiveness never broke upon the eyes of the 
Cabots and their fellow- voyagers. To quote Winsor, 
"Stevens does not allow that on either voyage, the 
coast south of the St. Lawrence was seen; and urges 
that for some years the coast-line farther south was 
drawn from Marco Polo's Asiatic coasts. . . . Dr. 









"f'-y- 






THATCHER'S ISLAND LIGHT 




Hale gives a sketch-map to show the curious corre- 
spondence of the Asian and American coast-lines." 
However this may be, one thinks as one likes; and 
one likes to think of the Cabots sailing down the Bay 
of ]\Iaine, the sheets of their craft bellying with the 
odorous off-shore winds that have blown the same 
way ever since, while the aborigines skulked behind 



OLD YORK 49 

the giants of their primeval forests, or fled to their 
inner recesses in wonder or terror, as these winged 
messengers of a pale-faced race glided from head- 
land to headland, to disappear in the mists of the 
eventide, and whose course through the night was 
marked by a low-drifting star of a binnacle lamp. 

It was years after this, before the white man came 
again, and the reality of those strange white sails 
creeping down the blue of the roughened sea, had 
become a tradition to be passed aroimd the wigwam 
fires of the Etchemin, other than that the slender fleet 
of Verazzano, who came over in 1501, was anchored 
for a night in neighboring waters, supposedly about 
the mouth of the Piscataqua. This was in May. 
He had come from what is now the sheltering harbor 
of Newport; and after leaving his anchorage here, 
he sailed northward along the coast. It was a brief 
visit, but is worthy of mention, as being a link in the 
chain of discovery and exploration that was later 
lengthened out by Champlain, Gosnold, Pring, and 
Weymouth, and the three latter of whom became 
in a manner personally identified with its immediate^ 
fortunes. 

In the preceding volume of this series, in the first 
paragraph of the "Wizard of Casco," Jacques Cartier, 
by a typographic error is made the Spanish navigator 
who first designated the beautiful bay of Casco as the 
"Bay of Many Islands." Jacques Cartier was the 
French explorer of the bay of St. Lawrence. It is 
unfortunate that this misnomer escaped the eye of 
the proof-reader, but it is so obviously a reference to 



50 OLD YORK 

Estevan Gomez, the friend of Sebastian Cabot, that 
the meaning is apparent. 

According to Reinel, who was a countryman of 
Gomez, the latter laid his course in that voyage of 
1525 to the northward from Corunna, first encounter- 
ing the shores of Newfoundland; but Galvano asserts 
that the first landfall of Estevan Gomez was Cuba, 
whence he followed the coast to Cape Race. Gomez 
is credited with having made a minute explora- 
tion of the New England coast, that part of which, 
now known as "Maine," being afterward especially 
designated as "the land of Gomez." On this voyage 
Gomez had along with him several vessels which he 
crowded with savages, taking them along to Spain. 
Of this, Peter Martyr says : " Utriusque sexus homini- 
bus navem farcevit;" but other writers assume that 
this cargo of aborigines was disposed of in Cuba, 
where the planters were much in need of slaves. This 
ten months' voyage of Gomez is reversed by Herrera, 
who makes it from north to south. Gomez no doubt 
had many and profitable conversations with the elder 
Cabot, for he may be said to have taken the course 
of the Cabots along the coast of Maine, and his 
minute observation of its broken and seductive con- 
tours was doubtless the result of this friendship be- 
tween the Venetian navigator and himself. 

In the latter part of 1568, or to be more particular, 
in October, John Hawkins, an English explorer, 
found himself with a large crew about the shores of 
Florida, and short of provisions. In his emergency, 
lie set ashore, somewhere about the Gulf of Mexico, 



OLD YORK 51 

a hundred of his men, more or less, and summarily 
abandoned them to their own resources. It was a 
striking illustration of the scant consideration men 
of those days held for their own kind. In these days, 
such an act would be promptly dealt with in the courts 
of criminal procedure, and the punishment would be 
swift and certain; but Hawkins seemed to have es- 
caped the most ordinary censure. It was the first 
marooning of which we have any relation. 

Among these, was one Jolin Ingram, who, with two 
companions, began the toilsome and perilous journey 
toward the land of Cabot and Verazzano, hundreds 
upon hundreds of leagues to the North. They made 
their way over the slender trails of the Indians, and 
along the curving shores of the sea, following the 
course of the stars by night and the slanting shadow 
of the sun by day, subsisting but meagrely upon 
succulent roots and such game as they could snare, 
the guests of here and there some friendly savage, 
the prey of the more savage wolf, foot-sore and weary, 
ofttimes disheartened, drenched with storms or the 
waters of the creeks and inlets that crossed their 
pathway, leaden-footed with the ooze and slime of 
the marshes, and leaden-brained with the odors of a 
luxuriant and decaying vegetation. Ever they 
plodded on until they had come into the territory of 
what is now Massachusetts; and still keeping the 
smell of the salty sea by them, they threaded the 
wildernesses of Maine until they reached the fabled 
city of Noromhegua somewhere among the wilds of 
the Penobscot. They came at last to the St. Johns 



52 OLD YORK 

River where they found a French vessel, the Gar- 
garine, in command of Captain Champagne, who 
must have been a sparkhng, and withal jolly sort of 
a fellow, a boon companion, and a generous. Cham- 
pagne took Ingram aboard his ship, and soon after 
that the English wanderer was in London, where he 
set the mouths of the credulous Londoners agape 
with the story of his adventures, in which a city with 
roofs of gold figured largely, and which, according to 
Ingram's geography, was in the Penobscot country. 

As one goes over the sands of York to-day he may 
look in vain for Ingram's footprints along the marge 
of the sea, and on the rocks of Cape Neddock that 
reach over into the restless waters of the Atlantic; 
one may look for a spectre of the lone figure of this 
plucky adventurer poised upon their loftiest outlook, 
scanning the sea for the glimpse of a friendly sail — 
a darkly animated spot — against the distant sky. 
Here was the germ of a wild tale to which that of 
Robinson Crusoe is a mild dilution. 

Undoubtedly Ingram saw this country as he neared 
the end of his long and perilous journey; and no 
doubt his lively imagination, and the relations of 
his experiences among the wilds of this new world 
was a lively stimulus to the schemes for the Eng- 
lish colonization of this section of the north coast. 

It was almost forty years after this that Gosnold, 
1602, had sailed away from Falmouth in the 
Concord, and following the track of Verazzano had 
sighted this new country, somewhere near Casco 
Bay — he gave the name of Northland to the place. 



OLD YORK 



53 



About twenty-five miles south, he touched land. 
This, according to his description, was Cape Ned- 
dock. Palfrey says, " It was here that eight Indians 
came out to his vessel in a Basque-made shallop, 
and with a piece of chalk drew for him sketches of 
the coast." Gosnold says from this place he went 




BOON ISLAND LIGHT 



to Boon Island, and thence to Cape Cod. He was 
after a cargo of sassafras, but none was to be found 
at Casco or Cape Neddock. He found, however, an 
abundance of that savory root at Cape Cod. Sassa- 
fras was believed by the English to possess great 
medicinal virtues, especially as a diuretic. After 



54 



OLD YORK 



loading his vessel with sassafras and cedar, he sailed 
for home, making a very expeditious voyage. The 
story of Pring's subsequent voyage, 1603, to Plym- 
outh, the building of his barricade, and the attack 
of the Indians, is full of interest to the lover of epi- 
sode, but for the purpose of this chapter, it is of little 
importance. This success of Pring's, following the 
romancing of Ingram, created a ferment of sea- 







NORMANS WOE 



going activity. Gosnold's voyage was made in 1602, 
almost a century after Verazzano; Pring's in 1603. 

De Costa says Pring planted seed to test the soil, 
and that the Indians came in numbers to see the 
white men, bringing pipes and tobacco, which is the 
first mention I have seen of there being such com- 
modity in these parts. This was two years before 
the coming of Champlain, and ten years before the 
Dutch sailed these waters. Seventeen years after. 



OLD YORK 



55 



came the landing of the Puritans at Plymouth; but, 
between the Mayflower and the Dutch, "Captyne" 
John Smith indulged in the sport of deep-sea fishing 




off these shores^ 
and he was quite 
dehghted to see 
" twopence, six- 
pence and nine- 
pence " on his 
hook as he pulled 
it, dripping, 
_ from the sea. Smith 

made a map, 1614, of 
New England, and upon it, what is now known as 
York, was called Boston. Agamenticus was named 
" Snadoun Hill." These names, however, originated 
with Prince Charles. Smith was the first to apply 



56 OLD YORK 

the generic title of New England to the surrounding 
country. Smith was the last of the English naviga- 
tors to visit this immediate locality. The coloniza- 
tion period was about to open, under the auspices of 
Popham and Gorges; but the scene of their unfortu- 
nate ventures was to be so far away from York, that 
to go and come in a day's sailing would leave but 
little time for either morning or evening chores for 
the dweller in that vicinage. 

So far as York is concerned, the period of its dis- 
covery began with Cabot and ended with Smith; 
and out of all this voyaging of Cabot, of Gosnold, of 
Pring, and Smith, and later, Weymouth, comes the 
vision of a hirsute starveling, plunging through the 
Everglades of Florida, or threading the swamps of 
the Virginias, or hidden among the shadowy gloom 
of New England's primeval woods, a realm of ghostly 
imaginings, of dusk}' spruces, hoary hemlocks, and 
giant pines, the silent Bruids of an unbroken wilder- 
ness. It comes out the mists of the centuries, like 
an apparition, the spectre of a far-away romance. 

A pity it is, that Ingram had not been a composite 
Linnffius and Audubon, with an abundant supply of 
good white paper, some pencils, and brushes, and 
a box of Winsor and Newton's colors, so he might 
have taken notes by the way. What treasures 
environed his lonely journey, as he followed some 
savage trail, or broke out into the sunlight to keep 
to the trend of the sea with its alternate dazzling 
reaches of bleaching sands, and buttressed head- 
lands. What romances of Nature were trodden 



OLD YORK 57 

iinder-foot by him, and what secrets of vegetation, 
of flora, of bird, and beast discovered he, and seeing, 
saw not ! 

But we have none of this. 

One can only let loose the reins of one's imagina- 
tion to riot amid so great a surplus of riches, to pluck 
from it all a paltry foolish tale of a Lost City, fit only 
for a sixteenth century fisher-wife; and yet, who 
can weigh the influence of Ingram's wild imaginings 
and boastful vaporings of adventures in the jungles 
of the New World! The wondering Londoners be- 
lieved him, and that was sufficient for all the needs 
of his vanity. Like all lies, well told and well stuck 
to, it was good until the contrary was proven. Just 
this legend of a fabled city is left. The greed for 
material riches barred all else from the minds of this 
commercial people. Even prebendary Hakluyt, the 
indefatigable recorder of those stirring times, is silent 
as to all except the glamour of this Oriental picture, 
which Ingram hung against the sunset fires that red- 
dened the tops of the Penobscot woods. 

But Ingram nmst have been a man of more than 
ordinary resource to have endured so severe a test. 
His experience seems an incredible one from the 
present point of view, when the average sportsman, 
with all the equipment that modern ingenuity can 
supply, once away from his camp or trail in the 
Katahdin woods, finds himself stricken with sudden 
terror that he is "lost," and, perhaps a year later, 
some guide stumbles upon his remnants rotting amid 
the ferns under the mountain shadows. 



58 OLD YORK 

One would like to know the dreams that wove 
their spectral webs in his tired brain as he slept be- 
side the rippling waters of the Merrimac, or within 
the sound of the narrow, on-rushing Cocheco. We 
know the wonderful dream that came to him as he 
drank of the Penobscot when the Wand of the Wizard 
of Norombegue fell upon his unwitting shoulders. 
He may have thought himself nigh to death in his 
possible exhaustion, and the vision of the New Je- 
rusalem may have come to him. Who knows, for, 

"The beaver cut his timber 

With patient teeth that day, 
The minks were fish-wards, and the crows 
Surveyors of highway." 

Ingram had the whole world to himself. He was 
an elder Selkirk, and as he stood upon the rocks above 
the Piscataquay and watched and nuised, 

"The swift stream wound away, 

Through birches and scarlet maples 
Flashing in foam and spray," 

to wind imder the shadows of Strawberry Bank, or 
spread itself out over the yellow marshes of the 
Kittery shore. And then the speech of Saco Falls — 

"Down the sharp-horned ledges 
Plunging in steep cascade, 
Tossing its white-maned waters 
Against the hemlock's shade," 

with only the sharp cry of the dipping fish-hawk 
up-stream, or the noiseless sweep of the white gulls 



OLD YORK 59 

above the gray flats below with the salt tide at its 
ebb. 

"No shout of home-bound reapers, 
No vintage-song he heard, 
And on the green no dancing feet 
The merrv viohn stirred." 

The silence, except for these songs of Nature, must 
have been magic to his weary body, and as the seal 
of sleep was laid upon his shag-guarded eyes, perhaps 
his oblivion was mellowed by a glimpse of what 
Keezar saw, when, 

"He held up that mystic lapstone — " 

and counted the coming years by single and double 
decades, 

"And a marvelous picture mingled 
The unlvnown and the known. 

"Still ran the stream to the river. 
And river and ocean joined: 
And there were the bluffs and the blue sea-line 
And the cold north hills behind. 

"But the mighty forest was broken 
By many a steepled town. 
By many a white-walled farmhouse, 
And many a garner brown. 

"Turning a score of mill-wheels, 
The stream no more ran free; 
White sails on the winding river, 
White sails on the far-off sea." 



60 



OLD YORK 



If Ingram discerned the prophecies of any of these 
things, there is no evidence that he ever mentioned 
them to others; or, it may have been that the more 
dazzhng vision that came to him by the mystic tide 
of the Penobscot banished it from his mind. But 
had he been with me on a summer day not long since, 
it would have puzzled him to have recalled the river 
that flowed at my feet as the Piscataquay of his 
time, with Strawberry Bank unnamed and unin- 
habited but by the muskrat and the nomad crow. 




ACCOMENTICUS 




^^^-'-fT"' y^t^:— ^■•'''^:^- 



^ 




SEWELL'S BRID3E 

ACCOMENTICUS 

ERE, about old York, 
one imwJttinglj^ breathes 
the air of ancient thhigs. 
One of tlie Sleepy Hol- 
lows of the Maine coast, 
this Bra'boat Harbor 
country, with its flats 
bare at low tide and its 
sweep of marsh grasses 
bendmg under the salty 
winds, is prolific in sug- 
tions of old wharves and 
warehouses, not as yet entirely 
eliminated from the landscape ; for 
some outline of their old foundations may be 
traced by the diligent observer; and here was the 
scene of one of the earliest endeavors at colonization 
along this section of the coast. Across this slen- 
derly-spun thread of blue water, is " old Ketterie," 

63 




64 OLD YORK 

the once bailiwick of the Pepperrells, and this tongue, 
or point of land that reaches out into the outer 
mouth of the Piscataqua River, was, in the days of 
old, Champernowne's Island. Away to the " s'utheas " 
is Appledore; and ten miles out to sea, after night- 
fall, Boon Island Light throws its ruddy gleam land- 
ward to greet the shore lights of Old York. 

Here is a veritable Land of Romance; for mider the 
shadows of old Agamenticus, with the glory of the 
sea massed against its base, and glimmering as far 
as the eye can see to eastward, flecked with the snow- 
white sails of the toilers of the sea, is the site of the 
first incorporated city of America — Gorgeana. There 
is nothing mythical in this relation, though at this 
day its walls seem as far away as those of Carthage, 
and their founder may well be called the Father of 
New England. 

As one follows the ruddy gleam of Boon Island 
Light farther and still farther to seaward, one goes 
over a wide trail of dancing waters to the days when 
this pleasant country was the roaming ground of 
the great Etchemin family, and when the Gorges 
of Wraxhall ]\Lanor, somewhere about 1566, were 
pursuing their peaceful English ways. The initial 
voyages of discovery had been made. The leaven 
©f colonization was awaiting the virile touch of Cham- 
plain and Capt. John Smith. It was about the last- 
mentioned date, about the beginning of the Eliza- 
bethan era, that the old Clerkenwell records mark 
the birth of Ferdinando Gorges. One first gets a 
glimpse of this man when Elizabeth was sending her 



OLD YORK 65 

English contingents over to Holland to assist Wil- 
liam the Silent against the Spaniards. Young 
Gorges was one of Elizabeth's captains, who served 
in that campaign. This was in 1587, and Gorges 
had hardly passed his majority. His education is 
surrounded in obscurity, though others of the family 
were educated at Oxford. A year after he had gone 
to the Holland wars, Gorges was a prisoner at Lisle. 
The following year he was serving in France, getting 
a severe wound at the Siege of Paris. 

The Spaniards defeated on the ocean, England 
began a series of marine reprisals, and in 1592, this 
same Gorges is a member of the Commission to take 
charge of the "great store of spoyle," which resulted 
from this predaceous policy. After this, Gorges 
was engaged in the Continental Wars. In 1595, 
he was in charge of defences then being erected at 
Plymouth. Upon the completion of these fortifi- 
cations, he became their commander. From this 
somewhat important post, for the war with Spain 
was still on, he joined Sir Walter Raleigh in an 
expedition against that country, which was pre- 
destined to disaster and disappointment. Gorges, 
by this, had been knighted by his queen, from 
whom he received a commission for the defence 
of Devonshire. Gorges was a comparatively young 
man at this time, but evidently possessing to an 
uncommon degree the confidence of his superiors. 
But these were stirring times. Ireland was in a 
ferment of discontent and on the verge of rebel- 
hon; Spain threatened England by land and sea; 



66 OLD YORK 

France had slipped the leash of her alliance with 
England; Essex was conspiring; and the smell of 
smoke was upon Gorges' garments. The latter 
went to prison for a year, and Essex went to the 
block. 

With the death of Elizabeth, came the accession 
of James. Gorges was once more in the royal favor. 
The leaven of colonization was about to find its 
"three measures of meal." An impetus to develop 
the country of Cabot was slowly acquiring some- 
thing of motion. The boimdary of almost a century 
of inertia had been passed when Du Monts had 
weathered the inclemency of a winter on the St. 
Croix, 1604-5. Gorges, in his desire for wealth and 
a larger influence, was revolving schemes, which, if 
successful, could not but be of great profit; and it was, 
with these things in mind, he had interested Arundel 
and a few other choice spirits, to join with him in 
despatching Weymouth along the trail of Du Monts 
in the spring of 1605. In the early summer, Wey- 
mouth had made his landfall in the neighborhood 
of Cape Cod. He found the season at its flood, and 
no doubt the experiences of Weymouth and his com- 
panions, on this personally-conducted tour to strange 
lands, were of the most delightful character. The 
days were softly drowsy in their warmth; the nights, 
cool and refreshing; the skies were mild and colored 
with seductive prophecy; while the perfume-laden 
winds blew offshore, vibrant with the songs of the 
pine woods that made the dusky wall that parted 
the blue of the sea from that of the sky. New scenes 



OLD YORK 



67 



of fascinating charm broke constantly upon the 
vision of these adventurers with every newly-dis- 
covered bay or inlet as they kept the trend of the 
sinuous shore eastward. 

As he dropped anchor off the wood-rimmed coast 
of Norombegua, it is evident that hereabout he found 
much that was attractive. In fact, it was this imme- 







THE MARSHES 

diate locality that formed the basis of his report and 
comprised its material substance; and he carried 
hence the first embassy from the Etchemins to the 
English — five stalwart Indians — three of whom be- 
came the guests of Gorges, while Popham assured 
the entertainment of the other two. These natives 
were treated with grave consideration, and upon 
becoming familiar with the English vernacular, they 
began to teach Gorges the geography of the Etchemin 
country. 



68 OLD YORK 

The belief in a northwest passage to the Moluccas 
and the treasures of Zipango and Cathay were aban- 
doned. These Indians described a continent, a 
country of great lakes, rivers, mountain- chains, of 
interminable woods; a country of widely-extended 
and diversified character, and whose story was not 
likely to suffer at the hands of these rude sons of 
Nature, whose language, peculiarly poetic, was that 
of Nature herself, and whose lively imaginations 
enabled them to see 

"God in the clouds 
And hear him in the winds." 

Gorges says the coming hither of these Abenake 
"must be acknowledged the means under God of 
putting on foot and giving life to all our plantations." 
This devout impression on the mind of Gorges was 
never lessened, but rather strengthened, as the years 
grew. 

April 10, 1606, was organized a definite movement 
for the colonization of America. It was known 
as the Plymouth, or New England Company. In 
1609, the renewal of its powers extended its juris- 
diction from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the terri- 
tory being bounded on the north by the claims of 
the French in Nova Scotia, and on the south, by the 
somewhat uncertain limitations of the Hudson River 
country. Gorges may be considered the first land 
promoter of these parts, seconded by Chief Justice 
Popham. Gorges at once despatched a ship to the 
coast of Maine to settle the matter of location for his 



OLD YORK 69 

colony, which was to set out later. Henry Challon 
sailed this vessel, but veering too far to the south- 
ward, he fell in with the Spaniards, who made a prey 
of his equipment. Martin Pring, despatched by 
Popham shortly after, met with better success, but 
the details of Pring's voyage have little reference to 
the fortunes of York. 

From this on to the sailing of the May-flower, the 
work of colonizing these shores had been of a desul- 
tory character. The nucleus of the first permanent 
settlement in the New England of Smith, was formed 
in the latter part of that year, but not where it was 
originally intended. But for the treachery of Jones, 
the Mayflower's sailing-master, the Pilgrims would 
have settled at the mouth of the Hudson River. 
Jones was paid in good Dutch money to land the 
Leyden contingent anywhere else but there, and he 
kept his contract by dropping anchor off the inhos- 
pitable shores of Cape Cod. The fishing-stations 
from Stratton's Island, eastward, could hardly be 
classed as settlements. 

The Virginias, under the influential and wealthy 
London Company, were prosperous, but the Plym- 
outh Company had so far been an ill-starred enter- 
prise. Gorges asked for an extension of his Com- 
pany's powers, to be jealously opposed by the London 
Company, which had the support of Parliament. 
This opposition of Parliament to the projects of its 
royal master had become so irritating that James 
dissolved that body, sending its members home under 
disfavor — what part was not sent to the Tower. It 



70 OLD YORK 

was an impolitic proceeding on the part of James, 
and ultimately, a disastrous one to the Gorges inter- 
ests, although the powers asked for by the Plymouth 
Company were granted and confirmed by royal edict. 
With the death of James, Charles came to the throne, 
who extended his favor to Gorges as had his pre- 
decessor, Charles beheaded, and the Commonwealth 
of Cromwell established, it was remembered that 
James had been master, and Gorges, man, and the 
obloquy born of kingly tyranny and a like royal 
insolence, fell, a natural legacy, to the beneficiaries 
of the royal favor. Gorges was a notable instance, 
and upon him in part were visited the punishments 
deemed to be due his royal master, by a fanatic 
populace. 

But, to go back to the dissolution of Parliament, 
that obstructive body out of his way, James char- 
tered the "The Coimcil Established in Plymouth, in 
the County of Devon, for the Planting, Ruling, Order- 
ing, and Governing of New England in America." 
Its patentees were largely peers, as many as thirteen 
of them, at least, including Warwick, Lennox, Hamil- 
ton, and Sheffield. All were of notable influence, and 
distinguished in their support of the king. This 
charter bore the date of November 3, 1620, and it 
was in the bleak and wintry days of December of 
that year that Jones, the Mayflower skipper, had 
dropped his cargo of human freight on the sands of 
Massachasetts Bay. Discovering themselves within 
the limits of the Gorges patent, they made haste to 
obtain "such freedom and liberty as might stand 



OLD YORK 71 

to their likings," which was confirmed to them by a 
patent to one John Pierce and others, by the 
Plymouth Council, of which Gorges was the moving 
spirit. 

At this time, John Mason was governor of English 
Portsmouth, and becoming interested in this new 
country he had acquired a land grant of territory, 
now a part of New Hampshire. He joined his inter- 
ests with Gorges, with the result that they procured 
from the Plymouth Comicil, of which both were 
members, a patent covering all that territory between 
the Kennebec River on the north, and the Merrimac, 
on the south, extending inland sixty miles. This 
patent included all islands within two leagues of the 
mainland. It was in 1625, that the death of James I 
occurred, but Charles I, his successor, was no less 
friendly to the Plymouth Company. The Plymouth 
Colony had taken permanent root in the meantime, 
and had attracted to itself a strong working con- 
tingent. 

Richard Vines, who had made a previous voyage 
to the mouth of the Saco River, where he had win- 
tered, had returned to that place and had begmi the 
founding of a colony. David Thompson had built 
a "stone house" at Odiorne's Point, in what is now 
Rye. Edward Hilton had pitched his tent on the 
banks of the Piscataqua at what is now Dover, and 
was planting corn across the river in what is now 
Berwick. The Isles of Shoals had become a con- 
siderable fishing station where William Pepperrell 
had begun, or was about to begin, his notable career. 



72 OLD YORK 

George Richmon had finished his voyaging to Rich- 
mon's Island, where Walter Bagnall had opened 
a trading-station. Edward Godfrey was at York 
Harbor; Richard Bonython at Saco; Thomas Cam- 
mock at Black Point; Thomas Pmxhas at New 
Meadows River, now Brunswick; Jolin Stratton was 
at Cape Porpoise. 

With this somewhat wide, yet sparse, distribu- 
tion of settlers. Gorges and Mason had dissolved 
partnership. Mason retained the territory south of 
the Piscataqua, while Gorges retained the country 
on the opposite bank. Mason had begun the build- 
ing of mills at Newichawannick, the nucleus of a 
prosperous settlement, when his death occurred, 
which practically terminated the further progress 
of this settlement. 

In 1635, June 7, the Plymouth Council surren- 
dered its charter, and while the powers of the old 
company were never renewed by the unstable Charles, 
Gorges was, in a way, protected in his rights in New 
Somersetshire, as he called his New England posses- 
sions; and so it came about that William Gorges 
came over in 1636 and established his paraphernalia 
of government at Saco. Three years later, Gorges 
had prevailed upon Charles to grant the charter 
which created the prior interests of Gorges into the 
Palatinate of Maine, but too late for him to put into 
its administration of affairs needful to its prosper- 
ous growth and importance, and especially its in- 
tended active espousal of the Episcopal Propaganda, 
the vigor necessary to overcome even ordinary 



OLD YORK 73 

obstacles, of which the tearing down of the Puritan 
fences about the Massachusetts Bay Province, and 
the feeding of the Episcopal herds among its ver- 
dant fields was one. Gorges was getting along in 
years, and his means even then were sadly depleted 
by his New England ventures. The times in Eng- 
land were tinged with uncertainty. Charles was 
unpopular, and the legacy of the royal insolence and 
intolerance left by James, had been put at interest 
by the former at whirlwind rates that culminated in 
the triple disasters of Marston Moor, Edgehill, and 
Naseby. 

With the downfall of Charles and the ascendancy 
of Cromwell, the grant to Gorges was declared by 
Parliament to be invalid, but not, however, before 
Thomas Gorges was made governor, 1640, of the 
Province of Maine, and on the 25th of June, of which 
year he had established his Court of Judicature, and 
had incorporated the city of Gorgeana. Three years 
later, the influence of Gorges ceased to be a factor 
in New England affairs. In 1643, the title of the 
Episcopal Gorges passed to the Puritan, Alexander 
Rigby, who had purchased the Lygonia Grant. So 
long as the English Commonwealth stood, the Rigby 
titles were effective, but with the restoration, Charles 
II reconfirmed the Gorges titles which had been 
sustained by the English courts, and Massachusetts 
Bay was ousted from her fourteen years' occupation 
of Maine. Three years later, Massachusetts had 
acquired the Gorges title from his heir, and the 
tables were promptly turned, and the Puritans were, 



74 OLD YORK 

at last, by the astuteness of Governor Leverett, able 
to pluck the thorn of Episcopalianism from the Puri- 
tan side. This is the story of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, 
whose ambitions were great, and whose kindliness 
toward the Pilgrims is an index of his greatness of 
character. 

According to Willis, a settlement was begun here 
on York River as early as 1632, by Edward Godfrey, 




but it must have been prior to that date by two or 
three years. York is said to have been settled as 
early as 1629, permanently, and by Godfrey, who, 
says he, was the first to open up the York lands. He 
built his house near the mouth of the river. In his 
petition to the General Court of October 30, 1654, he 
sets the date as 1630. The site of his house is un- 
known, but one may safely say "near its mouth;" 
for these settlers at the beginning were fond of the 
openings along the coast, and York Harbor, even 
in the days of Godfrey, must have possessed suffi- 



OLD YORK • 75 

cient charm to have won the heart of the most pro- 
saic. Godfrey, Hke his compeers, had a proper 
appreciation of water-carriage, and would natm-ally 
choose a location easily reached by the shipping of 
the times. Doubtless, he had spied out the land 
before 1630, and had become familiar with its pos- 
sibilities, for he had been at Piscataqua several years 
as agent for the Laconia Company. Others fol- 
lowed him to York in considerable numbers, and as 
they came, the cabin of the settler began to reach 
into the wilderness up river in the search for the most 
available locations. This river was known as the 
Agamenticus, as well as the York; and a saw-mill 
was shipped hither by Gorges and Mason in 1634, 
with a mill-man to set up its machinery and to get 
it into "running order." The Indian name of the 
river was Ailghemak-ti-kees, the ancient designation 
of the Sacoes. According to Bullard, it was to be 
translated, the Snow-shoes River, taking its name 
from the pond from which it derives its source, and 
the shape of which the Sacoes likened to the shape 
of a snow-shoe. Ligonia was adjudged not to be a 
part of the Maine province. Godfrey was elected 
governor of the western part of Maine, and the first 
court under his administration was held at Gorgeana 
in July of the same year. 

In time Godfrey returned to England, where, im 
poverished, he was put into a debtor's prison, and 
finally died in great poverty. 

Here, at York, one may dream away the sunlit 
hours to the music of the sea; or revel, under the 



76 



OLD YORK 



shadows of the old York ehns, in the visions w-liich 
throng the story of the past, and which come to one 
in whatever direction the eye may turn. Whether 
afoot or horseback, an ancient roof-tree, liere or there, 
weaves its magic spell, and the broad, smooth high- 
ways change to the blazed saddle-path, or lightly- 
trodden trail of the Indian through the underbrush 








YORK RIVER 



of the mitamed forest ; or one sees the lone horse and 
its rider, following a long stretch of sea-sands glim- 
mering in the sun, where every flood of the tide irons 
the hoof-marks smooth again, until every hieroglyph 
of footprint of man or beast is washed clear from 
this page of Nature. 

What days those were, when one's nearest neighbor 
was miles away! AVhen the rugged settler " backed " 
his cow-hide bag of corn to some rude mill, like that 



OLD YORK 77 

of John Fickermg's, who set his clumsy rough-picked 
mill-stones awhir to awake the slumberous glooms 
of Accomenticus River in 1701. This was not an un- 
common occurrence, and whose mill ground so 
coarsely that it was said the meal " had to be sifted 
through a ladder." 

Neighbors, indeed! But what neighbor so enter- 
taining as he who fed the wide-mouthed hopper, or 
caught the hot meal as it dropped into the long meal- 
box, feeling its fineness with an expert touch, his 
face aglow with kindly interest; for here all the 
gossip current was on tap, and the miller liked a bit 
of harmless chat as well as other folk! I can see the 
old Pickering mill perched above its rude dam of 
logs that stopped for a little the flood of the slender 
stream on its way to meet the salt tide as it came 
beating in from the Isles of Shoals, hiding the glisten- 
ing flats that lay below a stretch of grassy marge. 
The mill-pond lies asleep in the drowsy shadows of 
mid-afternoon. The shag of the hemlocks on its 
banks, reflected in its pellucid depths, makes the 
broidered lashes to this one of Nature's half-shut 
eyes so lazily upturned to the sky. One can hear 
the water rushing out the leaky pen-stock; and the 
plash of the paddles, on the under-shot wheel some- 
where in the dripping cavern under the old mill, 
among the huge mossy timbers, that was always a 
place of awesome mystery, marks the time of the 
miller's song. Below, the rough boulders are strewn 
amidstream, from edge to edge, around which the 
water swirls and writhes, its liquid lips rimmed with 



78 



OLD YORK 



foam, until caught in some tremulous eddy, it stops, 
and then, with a shiver of exaltation, it races away 
to the smooth levels of the marshes. Over the dam 
falls a thin wide ribbon that catches all the hues of 
sky and wood, an endless ribbon, for the loom that 
weaves this incomparable fabric will stop only when 
the springs of Accomenticus run dry. And the mill- 
pond, — above the sheen of this dye-pot of brilliant 
emerald hung the old mill; and, below, was another, 
its roof in the water, in the gray sides of which were 



^r 




THE MILL-DAM 



little square windows, no larger than a ship's port- 
hole, that looked out upon this mosaic of color, each 
wooden casing a rude frame to hold an untranslatable 
poem of Nature. 

On the hither side, a narrow door, with its hood of 
rough slabs, where through the idle hours the miller 
drowsed i' the sun, opened out upon the clearing; 



OLD YORK 79 

and here was the horse-block for goodwife when she 
came astride Dobbin, her bag of grist thrown a la 
pillion across the baciv of the patient animal. 

Then the stones began to sing a low tremulous mon- 
ody that drifted out the little windows, and that was 
lost among the somnolent leafage of the verdant tide 
that ran like a sea at flood to the crown of Accomen- 
ticus Hill. With the grinding, the goodwife's tongue 

"Marked the rhythm, and kept the time," 

tipped with, perchance, a fillip of coarse wit, or some 
tragic tale of wolfish raid upon the paddock; for the 
wolves wxre so aggressive in those days that the 
province paid at one time a bounty of ten dollars for 
a single shaggy jowl crowned with a long slant fore- 
head flanked by a pair of lean crop-ears. And were 
it not a story of wolves, perchance some Burdett of 
unsavory reputation might give some excuse for 
gossip. In 1640, one Burdett, expelled from Exeter, 
came here and began to preach without authority; 
but, it was not for long, as the York court had him 
"punished for lewdness," with the result that he 
betook himself to more congenial fields. Such hap- 
penings were not uncommon at a time when the Isles 
of Shoals, wholly manned by fishermen, was forbidden 
to the softer sex. 

Here is a quaint reminder of those days, in the fol- 
lowing memorial presented to the court at York in 
the year 1647. 

"The humble petition of Richard Cutts and John 
Cutting, that contrary to an act or order of the court 



80 OLD YORK 

which says, ' no woman shall Uve upon the Isle of 
Shoals/ John Reynolds has his wife thither with an 
intention to live here, and abide. . . . Your peti- 
tioners therefore pray that the act of the Court may 
be put in execution for the removal of all women; 
also the goats and the swine." 

Order was issued to said Reynolds to remove his 
goats and swine in twenty days; and as to "the re- 
moval of his wife," it was "thought fit by the Court, 
that if no further complaint come against her, she 
may enjoy the company of her husband." 

This prohibition of the court was a general one. 
The ethics of domestic obligation and domestic seclu- 
sion were somewhat loosely strung, and the basis 
of so sweeping a prohibition was that the women 
were "owned by the men in as many shares as a 
boat," — a most lamentable condition of things from 
any point of view, and indicating a low state of moral- 
ity. It affords a scathing reflection upon the indiffer- 
ence of the times to all individual restraint, honesty, 
and observance of personal rights. These men were 
fishermen, illiterate, as well as brutal, in all their in- 
stincts. Their ways were rough, uncouth. Their 
isolation had much to do with this. Society was 
limited. Among the middle class were few ameni- 
ties. The women were not of the tender, clinging 
kind to grace the fore-room on state occasions, but 
rather for the rugged uses which the early settler and 
pioneer, under the most strenuous conditions imag- ' 
inable of daily living, were compelled to combat 
and overcome. She was an active partner whose 



OLD YORK 81 

contribution to the common capital was limited 
only by the ]30wer of her endurance. These men 
and women who felled forests, opened up clearings 
and laid the foundations for the fortunes of a later 
civilization, were not of those whose status in the 
home country was assured, but rather the part of an 
element of whicli the English at home were in many 
instances glad to be well rid of. They were ser- 
vants, hirelings, who, once here, left their masters 
upon one pretext and another, from time to time, 
to "squat," or in many cases, procure grants of land 
to themselves. With them, might was right, and 
an miruly set they were ! No wonder towns reserved 
the right to pass upon the qualifications of a new- 
comer to citizenship. It became a barrier not lightly 
to be crossed; and evil-doers were summarily dealt 
with, and after a fashion that would be noisily de- 
cried in these more lenient days. The whipping- 
post, the stocks, the pillory, and the ducking-stool, 
were rough chastisements for minor offences; but 
such were necessary. Our forefathers were wise in 
their generation. 

Nowadays, one is easily possessed of the spell of 
peace and contentment that everywhere prevails. 
Never was a people swept so rapidly along by the 
current of events as these descendants of the old 
settlers of York, approximately speaking. The old 
days are far away. The old traditions are cher- 
ished by the few. Only as they are made attractive, 
or invested with some charm of relation, will they 
survive the strenuous life of to-day. 



82 OLD YORK 

Here, along the ways of one's going up and down 
these roads of York, are the colors of a perfect land- 
scape of sea, of sky, and shore. Inland the domes 
of the woodlands suggest solid texture and a grace- 
ful contour. They are upreared into huge windrows 
of verdancy that topple over the scarps of the adja- 
cent hills, to fade away with vanishing lines into the 
hazy indistinctness of a limitless perspective, as these 
phalanxes of verdurous uplands close up, or break 
away into wide-open spaces of fertile farming-lands, 
field, meadow, and marsh, with here and there a 
low-pitched roof — square patches of butternut, 
which the hand of man has added to the larger garb 
of Nature. This is the handiwork of man. The 
pioneer made all this possible. But how different 
is all this from the wild luxuriance of tree and vine 
of the days of Pring's and Smith's voyaging up and 
down the coast. 

Pring, 1603, was probably the first to land upon 
the shores of Piscataqua, while Smith touched at 
the Isles of Shoals nine years after Du Monts saw 
them. Smith came after Pring, when the codfish 
were so plentiful that they "staled" his ships. He 
named these islands that now constitute the town 
of Appledore, Smith Islands. Isles of Shoals is cer- 
tainly a more euphonious and poetic appellation. I 
am glad someone changed it. Appledore is better 
still. There is a fruitiness about Appledore that 
suggests the idyllic summer resort, to invest these 
outlying reefs and ribs of seaweed with fascinating 
charm akin to that of old York itself, the first settle- 



OLD YORK 



83 



ment of which, according to Godfrey, was on York 
River, in 1629. 

York was not always known by that name. On 
Capt. Jolin Smith's map (1514) here was the first 
Boston on the New England coast. It was the old 
Quack of Indian nomenclature, some annalists have 




BARN COVE 



it, but Levett says otherwise; and this river of York 
was the Accomenticus of the aborigine. It was here 
the Queen of Quack and her husband, along with 
the little prince, the dog, and the "kettle" enter- 



84 OLD YORK 

tained Christopher Level t after their short sail from 
tlie headlands of Cape Elizabeth. This was a very 
attractive country to such as got near enough to 
the land so they might discover its disposition. 
Du Monts and Champlain were at Old Orchard July 12 
of 1605; and as they sailed to Cape Ann, where they 
arrived four days later, Champlain says they kept 
close to the coast, making notes of the country, its 
inhabitants, and their physique, their habits, and 
manners of life. He notes as he sails hither from 
the eastward that the natives hereabout are of a sed- 
entary disposition; that they are tillers of the soil; 
and he writes of the fields of maize, and pumpkins, 
and beans, about Cape EHzabeth. He ran into the 
mouth of the Saco, but he somehow does not make 
particular mention of the Pascataquack River, which it 
might seem to have deserved. Of all these voyagers, 
however, Capt. John Smith was the most leisurely 
in his visiting of these parts; and to him the English 
owe most, undoubtedly, for the occupation and de- 
velopment by the English pioneer. Rich says that 
Smith was the first to name the country Nova Brit- 
tania, and it was to this probably that the English 
were enabled to make valid claim to it. That it 
remained to Smith to do this is somewhat singular, 
as this trimountain elevation of Accominticus, or 
Agamenticus, modernized, or locally "Head o' Men- 
ticus," "Eddymenticus," as it comes to one from 
those who hve under its shadows, was visible far at 
sea, as it is now. Those of the aborigines who knew 
it best were the Pascatawayes, the Accomintas, and 



OLD YORK 85 

the Sacoes. It is a half-hour's cHml) to its highest 
point, if one goes by Drake's watch; but I should use 
up more time than that, for I should stop to look at 
all the pictures, from floor to sky-line, and there are 
hosts of them, and all by the same artist — a wonder- 
ful artist, too! 

There is no road, or even pathway up this steep. 
There is the bed of a brook, dry in Summer, but as the 
Spring snows melt, a rollicking torrent. One can 
take that, or one can strike straight for the ledgy 
summit through the underbrush and tangle of vines 
and briars that always keep such places summer 
company. The best time is in the early morning 
when the air is clear, when all the capes, headlands, 
coves, and beaches from Cape Ann, almost to Port- 
land Head, are stretched upon one huge canvas, and 
every point of interest is brushed in with all the col- 
oring of a brilliant sunlight. Every pigment con- 
ceivable, or desirable, is here. And here is the touch 
of the mystic in these soft atmospheres that infold 
each object that appeals to the vision. The ships 
at sea do not look like ships. They seem to have 
parted with all suggestion of materialism. White 
wings massed on the horizon — ethereal argosies — 
they seem hardly to touch the water, but to float 
like detached bits of cloud upon an inverted 
sky. 

Off to the south is old Portsmouth, Pascataguay, 

"Its windows flashing to the sky, 
Beneath a thousand roofs of brown, " 



86 OLD YORK 

and out at sea are the old Smith Islands, the Apple- 
dore of the Summer tourist, a scatter of rock, reef, 
and ledge, of which the chiefest is Smutty Nose, 
which one is like never to forget so long as the story 
of Annethe Christensen lingers in the mind, unless 
Appledore may take some precedence; but these two 
are the largest, and topographically, about the same 
size. 

Rye Beach is like an inlaying of gold between the 
sea and the land, Imninously bright under the clear 
simlight. One can follow the trail of the Saco and 
Piscataqua Rivers alike, except that the latter is 
nearer, hardly two leagues away. "Old Ketterie" 
is almost under one's hand, flanked by Champer- 
nowne's Island that butts up against Brave-boat 
Harbor where York River filters seaward through the 
yellow marshes, and York River has its rise along 
the dried-up "bed of a mountain torrent," which 
Drake says, he followed in his ascent of Agamenticus. 
But Whittier saw it all, and let him tell it. 



"Far down the vale my friend and I 
Beheld the old and quiet town; 
The ghostly sails that out at sea 
Flapped their white wings of mystery; 
The beaches glimmering in the sun, 
And the low-wooded capes that run 
Into the sea-mist, north and south; 
The sand-bluffs at the river's mouth; 
The swinging chain-bridge, and, afar 
The foam-line of the harbor-bar. 



OLD YORK 87 

"Over the woods and meadow-lands 

A crimson-tinted shadow lay 

Of clouds through which the setting day 
Flung a slant glory far away. 
It glittered on the wet sea-sands, 

It flamed upon the city's panes, 
Smote the white sails of ships that wore 
Outward, or in, and gilded o'er 

The steeples with their veering vanes!" 

As one looks inland, the White Hills of New Hamp- 
shire loom grandly against the sky. Their hue is 
cyane, a massive undulation of stark bulk above the 
receding waves of woodland that intervene. And 
between, is writ the story of Darby Field, along with 
numerous other tales of a dead century. I am 
minded of IMoses when he stood upon Sinai ; only the 
God of men, and all things else, is otherwise revealed 
to an adoring spirit. One feels like removing one's 
shoes, for, if ever there was sacred ground, here it 
must be, with such a vision and such a crowding of 
thought upon thought against the outer walls of the 
mind, struggling for adequate expression which never 
comes. After one has a surfeit of looking, one listens 
to hear — what? Nothing. Even the wind trips over 
the crest of Agamenticus with tip-toeing steps, as if 
this altar of Nature were not to be Hghtly invaded. 
And then one dreams, and he sees the voyagers from 
the far North, the fair-haired Norsemen; and after 
them, the adventurous Basques; and long years after, 
the shades of Cabot, Cortereal, Du Monts, and Cham- 
plain; of Smith, Gosnold, and Pring, and sturdy 
English Weymouth who founded the first English 



88 OLD YORK 

settlement on the immediate coast, for, Pemaquid is 
hardly a day's sail away. I hail them as they go up 
or down, "Ahoy! Ahoy!" but no answer comes down 
the wind. They pass like the ghosts they are — and 
so the day goes. Boon Island Light comes out in 
the dusk, a red flame in the darkening sea, and over 
Scarborough way is another light that may be Good- 
man Garvin's for aught I know ; and the evening gun 
that breaks the silence may be — 

" from gray Fort Mary's walls," — 

but another would declare it was as far away as Fort 
Williams that huddles under the Pharos-flame of 
Portland Head, but it is in truth from Old Consti- 
tution across the bay. 

High up on the summit of this hill, which Capt. 
John Smith, on his map of 1614, designates as 
"Schooler's Hill," after a small mountain in Eng- 
lish Kent of the same name, one is under the spell 
of its ieipressive silences; and among the legends that 
come, is that of St. Aspinquid, the famous chief of 
the Pawtuckets. It is said that up to 1780 his tomb- 
stone was to be seen here with its simple epitaph, 

"Present, Useful; Absent, Wanted; 
Living, Desired; Dying, Lamented." 

St. Aspinquid is reputed to have been born in 
this York country many years before Walter Neale 
came to Kittery as its flrst settler, and, according 
to the legend, the date is May, 1588. After Mission- 
ary John Eliot began to teach the Indians the faith 



OLD YORK 89 

of the Nazarene, Aspinquid came under the spell of 
Eliot's simple oratory, and at once became a con- 
vert. He threw aside the hatchet, and eschewing 
his habits of savagery, began his pilgrimage to the 
far waters of the Golden Gate, telling in his rude 
way the story of the Man of Galilee, and showing 
the new way to the Happy Hmiting-grounds, teach- 
ing the mystery of the true Manitou. He is said 
to have been greatly venerated by these rude sons 
of Nature, who listened to him gravely, even though 
they did not accept his propaganda, which to them 
must have been of strange and awesome import. 

He is said to have died at the ripe old age of ninety- 
four, in the year 1682, and to have been buried upon 
the summit of Aughemak-ti-koos, with great cere- 
mony, and which may well be regarded as hallowed 
ground. No doubt here was an Indian Mecca, so 
long as the Indians cherished the tradition, and as one 
watches the winding of the mists about this wind- 
straked hill-top, the wraith of this St. Aspinquid is 
readily distinguished. 

If one wished to approach York rightly, he should 
take to the sands of Long Beach with the rugged 
grip of Cape Neddock's rocks still lingering upon the 
soles of his shoes. By road is the shortest way, but 
if one loves the sea, the trudge along the yellow sands 
is one of delight, especially at low tide. The salty 
smell comes to one's nostrils with enlivening quality 
and without a hint of dust ; nor, is one alone ; for this 
IS a famous drive — a mile out and another back — 
and the gay turnouts of the summer visitors and the 



90 OLD, YORK 

groups of romping children, along with the endless 
song of the sea above which troops of white gulls 
dip with a suggestion of ghost-like silence, and the 
long lines of breaking surf, and beyond all this, the 
low-trailing smokes of the freighters, and the glint- 
ing sails of the coasters, afford a scene almost kalei- 
doscopic in variety and rapidity, so swiftly do these 
combinations of living pictures form and fade. 

York has been known from the earliest coming 
hither of the English discoverers. This hill of Aga- 
menticus was a landmark. It was discernible from 
a considerable distance at sea. In fact, it could be 
seen long before the huge wilderness of woods at its 
foot could be made out by the mariner. Smith saj's, 
1614, " Accominticus and Pascataquack are two con- 
venient harbors for small barks, and a good country 
within their craggy cliffs." Christopher Levett 
came over here, 1623-4, and spent some time about 
Casco Bay, where he built a house on what is 
now known as House Island. He came prepared 
to make a permanent settlement, and gave some 
care to his survey of the coast, before finally deciding 
on Casco Bay, all of which is evident from his report 
on the Piscataqua region. His description is per- 
haps the best we have, and may be quoted with in- 
terest here. He says, "About two leagues farther 
to the east (of the Piscataqua) is another great river, 
called Aquamenticus." Levett could not have gone 
up this stream, for it is neither great nor navigable 
for a vessel of any considerable size. He may have 
dropped his anchor in Brave-boat Harbor on a flood- 



OLD YORK 91 

tide which would have given him possibly the im- 
pression which his report conveys. He goes on, 
"There, I think, a good plantation may be settled; 
for there is a good harbor for ships, good ground, and 
much already cleared, fit for planting of corn and 
other fruits, having heretofore been planted by the 
savages who are all dead. There is good timber, 
and likely to be good fishing, but, as yet, there hath 
been no trial made that I can hear of." 

Levett evidently was not aware of Capt. John 
Smith's experience among the codfish schools of 1514 
and earlier. The absence of the savages was due 
to a plague which shortly before had practically de- 
populated the Etchemin country, and from which 
it never fully recovered. That may have been the 
reason why Sebastian Cabot makes no mention of 
the aborigine, either upon his first voyage of 1498, 
or his later reputed voyage of 1515. 

Levett was one of the New England Council, but 
after his return to England in 1624, no further men- 
tion of him is found in local annals. This place has 
had several names. In 1640, it was erected into the 
borough of Agamenticus. A year later it was incor- 
porated into the city of Gorgeana. To quote Win- 
throp's journal, "In the summer of 1640 Thomas 
Gorges arrived, accompanied by the Lord Proprietor 
as his Deputy Governor of the Province." Drake 
says "1641." Winthrop should be the better 
authority. About 1676, the charter of Gorgeana 
was revoked, and the settlement was dubbed York, 
which name it has ever since borne. 



92 



OLD YORK 



Accominticus is a word of Indian origin. Trans- 
lated, it means, according to one authority, "on the 
other side of the river," — an apphcation thoroughly 
local, — but the correctness of the translation is to be 
doubted, as all Indian names were of local applica- 
tion, though topographically correct in its description 
of this place or country, the settlement of which may 
rightfully claim some of our attention. 

The old town, geographically, was noted on the 




^X 



SITE OF GOV. GORGES' HOUSE 

old maps as in latitude 23° 10' north, and longitude 
70° 40' west. The first settlement was at Kittery 
not earlier than 1623, and three years after the com- 
ing of the Mayflower there were on the Isles of Shoals 
three hundred inhabitants, whose sole occupation 
was fishing; a rough, unlettered constituency, amen- 
able to no one. In a westerly course, perhaps ten 



OLD YORK 93 

miles away, was the mouth of the Piscataqua. 
North and south stretched away the mainland, a 
most attractive country to the settler, and here was 
the Gorges and Mason land granted them by the 
Plymouth Council in 1622. The settlement was 
begun about 1623 by Francis Norton, a lieutenant- 
colonel in the English army before his coming hither, 
which was in the interest of the patentees. Gorges 
was a man of ancient lineage, a favorite of Charles, 
and a man of much influence at Court. Important 
results were anticipated. Norton was sent over to 
manage, and with him were artificers to build mills, 
and cattle to populate the fields. The grant cov- 
ered the immense territory of twenty-four thousand 
acres. Capt. William Gorges came over to more 
particularly represent his uncle's interest. The 
cellar of William Gorges' house may still be seen. It 
was situated on the northeasterly bank of York 
River a few rods above Rice's Bridge. A small ladle 
was ploughed up here. Its duplicate was reputed 
to have been found at Pemaquid on the site of the 
Popham settlement of 1608. 

Not much profit was derived from this venture, 
and in 1639, Charles revoked the Charter to the 
Plymouth Council and issued a new grant to Gorges, 
confirming in him the title to the lands on the east 
side of the Piscataqua as far as the Kennebec River. 
A new effort was to be made at colonization. The 
earlier experiment was an expensive one, no less than 
twenty thousand pounds having been sunk in the ven- 
ture. Gorges' means were greatly impoverished, and 



94 OLD YORK 

he now hoped to recoup his somewhat shattered 
fortunes. The officers appointed by him under his 
commission of March 10, 1639, were William Gorges, 
Edward Godfrey, William Hook of Agamenticus, 
Richard Vines of Saco, Henry Jossylyn of Black 
Point, Francis Champernoon of Piscataqua, then 
"old Kitterie," and Richard Bonython of Saco. 
This old plantation of Agamenticus was first a 
borough in 1640; and out of this was erected the 
city of Gorgeana, of which Thomas Gorges was the 
first mayor, who began his administration in 1641. 
When Thomas Gorges arrived upon the scene he 
found the labors of his predecessor of little avail, 
except that the houses were there to afford shelter; 
but they had been stripped of all their conveniences 
and furnishings. Gorges never came to America, 
but at his own expense he caused to be built and fur- 
nished what were known as the Lord Proprietor's 
buildings, one of which was a fine mansion which 
Sir Ferdinando Gorges at some day in the near future 
hoped to occupy himself. These, Thomas Gorges 
found in a "state of great delapidation." It was 
''destitute of furniture, refreshments, rum, candles, 
or milk; his personal property was squandered; 
nothing of his household stuff remaining but an old 
teapot, a pair of tongs, and a couple of andirons." 
Not long ago, while tearing down a chimney in one 
of the old houses of York, and embedded in the back 
curve of one of the flues, the workmen found an old 
pewter teapot. The bottom of this old utensil 
showed signs of having been recoppered, and it bore 



OLD YORK 



95 



the marks of considerable use, the lid having been 
frequently mended. On the inner side of the lid were 
the figures " 1644" and also the letters " Fer Gor," 
and from these it was easy to conjecture its former 
ownership. To my mind there is no doubt that this 
is the identical teapot which Thomas Gorges found 
here when he came to assume the administration of 
the affairs of Gorgeana. This quaint relic is said 




UNION BLUFF 



now to be in the possession of Miss Mary B. Patten 
of Watertown, Mass. It is hoped it will sometime 
find its place among the treasures of the Maine His- 
torical Society, the proper repository of like anti- 
quities. 

Thomas selected the site for his new city under 
the shadows of old Agamenticus, the first city in 
the New World under the regime of the discoverers. 



96 OLD YORK 

Here was the nucleus of the new enterprise, but it 
was doomed to suffer the fate of Norton's borough, 
at which Norton is said to have assisted in the driving 
a hundred head of cattle, all there were, to Boston, 
where he disposed of them for twenty-five pounds 
each. Whether he ever accounted to his principals 
is not known, as after this little or nothing is heard 
of him. 

The high sentiments of the promoters of Gorgeana 
were not appreciated. Illiterateness prevailed. 
Society was at low ebb. The community was a 
mixed one, made up in great degree of lawless men 
to whom the most moderate restraint was irksome, 
who WTre debased by their associations. True, they 
were of rugged character, hardy and inured to 
pioneer life, but uncouth both in mind and manners. 
It was this state of affairs that led to the dissolution 
of the interest coparcenary of Gorges and Mason 
in 1629. Six years later, the Plymouth Coimcil gave 
up their patent to acquire a new one which was al- 
lotted into twelve parts, the third and fourth portions, 
as before indicated, lying between the Piscataqua 
and Kennebec rivers. It was this allotment which 
was supplanted by the grant of 1639. 

This settlement maintained its foothold with vary- 
ing yet not over-flattering fortunes. Gorges, elated 
with his power, which was almost that of royalty 
in this New England domain, and practically abso- 
lute, in high favor with his king, he could discover 
none of the quicksands that lay everywhere about 
his projects. His ambition was to found a great 



OLD YORK 97 

state, and the Church of England would be ultimately 
the influence to overshadow and perhaps entirely 
extirpate the Puritan "heresy," which, finding a con- 
genial soil along the rugged shores of Massachusetts 
Bay, was cropping out here and there in the prov- 
ince of Maine as it found a fertile spot, and acquiring 
a solidarity, that, having in mind the austerities of 
the sect that meted out swift punishment to the most 
indifferent infraction of its laws, was notable and 
productive of apprehension to the rigid churchmen 
of England. 

The Plymouth colony was aggressive, and perhaps 
the extension of its dominating influence was due 
to that self-same quality, a quality which was thor- 
oughly inoculated with the personalities of Bradford, 
Winthrop, and later, Sewall and Mather. It was to 
meet and combat these silently accumulating sec- 
tarian forces that had made the country south of the 
Piscataqua, Puritan, that the Episcopalian propa- 
ganda was to be planted and nourished here. 

Nothing ever came of it. 

It is interesting to note, as one refers to the admin- 
istration of Thomas Gorges, that one of his first acts 
was to clean out the Augean stables, or in other 
words, to exile the disreputable George Burdett. 
This Burdett was a minister, originally from Yar- 
mouth, county of Norfolk, England. One hears of 
him in the province of Salem in 1635, where he 
preached the two following years. He shifted thence 
to Dover, where he was but a brief period, having 
trouble, and from thence he moved still farther east- 



98 OLD YORK 

ward into York, where Thomas Gorges found him 
practising the arts of the devil, for his story is that 
of a licentious man, a wolf in sheep's clothing. He 
made himself so obnoxious with one and another 
of the members of his parish, notably one Mary Pud- 
dington, that the latter was indicted for so "often 
frequenting the house and company of ]\Ir. George 
Burdett," that she was ordered to make "publick 
confession," which she did in these humiliating 
words : 

"I, Mary Puddington, do hereby acknowledge 
that I have dishonored God, the place where I live, 
and wronged my husband by my disobedience and 
light carriage, for which I am heartily sorry, and de- 
sire forgiveness of this Court, and of my husband, 
and do promise amendment of life and manners 
henceforth; " and having made this confession, to ask 
her husband's forgiveness on her knees. 

Burdett was indicted by "the whole Bench," which 
was constituted by Thomas Gorges, Richard Vines, 
Richard Bonython, Henry Jocelyn, and Edmund 
Godfrey. It was on the date of September 8, 1640, 
and the indictment described the accused as a "man 
of ill-name and fame, infamous for incontinency, a 
publisher and broacher of divers dangerous speeches, 
the better to seduce that weak sex of woman to his 
incontinent practices contrary to the peace of our 
Sovereign Lord the King, as by depositions and evi- 
dences." This inquest find Billa Vera. He was 
fined "Ten Pounds Sterling, to the said George Pud 
dington for those of his wrongs and Damage sus- 



OLD YORK 99 

tained by the said George Burdett." This is the 
only decision I have found where damages have been 
awarded by the early provincial courts for ahena- 
tion of the affections of the wife or husband, though 
such are common enough in these modern days. 
The case must have been of no inconsiderable 
aggravation to have inclined the court to personal 
damages. 

On another indictment "for Deflowering Ruth, 
wife of John Gouch of Agamenticus aforesaid," he 
was fined twenty pounds. The wife, Ruth, was 
found guilty " by the Grand Inquest, of Adultery with 
Mr. George Burdett," and to follow the language 
of the sentence "is censured by this Court, that six 
weeks after she is delivered of child, she shall stand 
in a white sheet, publickly in the Congregation at 
Agamenticus two several Sabbath Days, and likewise 
one day at this General Court when she shall be there- 
unto called by the Counsellors of this Province, ac- 
cording to his majesty's laws in that case provided." 

The George Puddington here mentioned was one 
of the "Deputies for the Inhabitants of Agamen- 
ticus," and may, therefore, be regarded as something 
of a public character, and a man of some parts. 

Burdett found the atmosphere of Agamenticus 
so unwholesome and his disrepute was so bruited 
about the province, that he was compelled to quit 
the country. He finally returned to England to the 
wife he had there left in distress, from which time 
but little more is heard of him. 

Gorges kept to his reform with a stern hand. He 



101 OLD YORK 

compelled parents to have their children baptized. 
Neglect to do this was contempt of court. 

It is interesting to note as well these early efforts 
to better the moral condition of things, as one gets 
from a perusal of these ancient records a fair estimate 
of the social side of the provincial life, and the con- 
clusion is not flattering to the morals of the time. 
It is very evident that little or nothing of the delicate 
consideration extended to women in these days was 
practised in the seventeenth century, or at least in 
its earlier half. There was small sympathy for their 
transgressions, and no disposition to pass over their 
overt acts of misdoing. That there were men of 
cultivated and refined character is true; but they 
were few in number and were mostly in authority; 
yet that the culprit was a woman emphasized the 
rigor of the punishment, which was usually of the 
severest and oftentimes the most brutal character. 
No doubt the ignorance and prejudice of those days 
demanded drastic measures, and cheating and incon- 
tinency were the prevailing offences. 

The case of William Noreman is interesting from 
this point of view. 

Noreman had a wife in England. After the fashion 
of the day, he married Margery Randall. Upon 
Margery's discovery of the fact, she petitioned for 
a divorce, and the court ordered "that the said 
Margery Randall shall from henceforth have her 
divorce and now by order thereof clearly freed from 
the said Noreman." 

Then the court devotes its attention to the biga- 



OLD YORK "S)! 

mist. "It is therefore ordered by this Court that 
the said Noreman shall henceforth be banished out 
of this countrie, and is to depart thence within seven 
days after date hereof, and in case the said Noreman 
be found after that time in this Jurisdiction, he shall 
forthwith according to law be put to death." 

One hesitates to make any comment. 

Of Gorges' Commission of 1639, Richard Bonython, 
Gentleman, was a most efficient and capable man. 
He was the local magistrate. These men all bore 
honorable names, and their living-places, as given, are 
significant as indicating the rapid advance of the 
English along the North Shore until — 

the land of Wonalancet, 
Sagamore of Pennacooke — 

is left behind, the tide still pressing farther to the 
eastward, and farther, still, pushing over the 

broad Piscataqua, 
Where the fog trails through the valley 

To the sea-coast, miles away; 
Where, among the dunes of Portsmouth, 

Stream and tide together flow, 
And the fort, gray-walled and moated, 

Guards the fisher-huts, below. 

Still on crept the slender trail of the Anglo-Saxon, 

Through Newichawannock's forest. 
Over bog and hill and stream, 

Where the muskrat leaves his ripple. 
And the dun owls blink and dream, 



102 OLD YORK 

to the homes of Vines, and of Bonython, that over- 
look 

The Saco's silver wall. 
Eastward, where the sands of Spurwink 

Watch the salt tides rise and fall — 

where the council-fires of Squando were, in years to 
come, to gild the Druid hemlocks with something 
of a vengeful glare as he plotted for Harmon's scalp, 
or Mogg sued for Ruth Bonython's hand. A bit 
farther on hawk-eyed Jocelj'Ti had Ms garrison, while 
just around the ragged rocks of Cape Elizabeth — 

The seas of Casco glistened, 

And beneath the wind-blown mists 

Birchen slopes and barren ledges 
Screened its shores of amethyst ; 

and above w-hose vernal domes of limitless woods 
along the swamps of Machigonne, uprose from the 
brooding quiet the pillared incense of Cleeve's cabin- 
fires. 

This silent reminder, the old William Gorges cellar 
above Rice's Bridge, is suggestive. It is a cradle- 
like hollow in the riant grasses, unlike others of its 
kind, where a ragged heap of stone, cairn-like, a 
smudge of weeds lighted vip by the dull -red blaze of 
the sumac or the tawny flame of uncombed, scrawny 
birches, and similar hints of the hirsuteness of Na- 
ture, common to like places abandoned of men — 
unketh-like, unkempt — affords the only hall-mark 
of its forgotten occupant. If one sets about conjur- 
ing up the shapes of its once dw^ellers, one senses the 
uncanny footsteps of those, who in the days agone, 



OLD YORK 



103 



made audible approach, but invisible, noiseless now. 
If they still walk the rotten debris long since reverted 
to the soil, the old floors, the old paths — and why 
not ? — we may not know it. These old cellars are 
like the eyeless sockets in a mouldy skull, perchance 
a Yorick's, and not less or more pregnant to our 
questionings than to Hamlet's, What cavernous 
secrets are here in these wells of emptiness ! And yet 
these hollows, pit-marks on the face of Nature, make 




YORK MARSHES 



speech for those who sound their deeps. When the 
mists drive down the river on the wind, and the rain 
beats the windows, then it is one thinks of those — 

" Doomed for a certain term to walk the night, 
And, for the day, confined to fast in fires. " 

The earliest grant of lands here, at York, was 
from Sir Ferdinando Gorges to his "cozen" Thomas 
— five thousand acres, on the York River. The Isles 



104 



OLD YORK 



of Shoals were included as well as all of Agamenticus. 
This was in 1641. Delivery was made by "turf 
and twig" in 1642. Other grants followed down to 
1653; but jealousy arose at the Court of Charles. 
Finally grave charges were made which Gorges an- 
swered, but not altogether satisfactorily to the gov- 
ernment. The inadequate conditions of his times 
made failure probable; nor, was he a man to over- 
come and ride down obstacles. He was ambitious 
to shine as a politician. He trimmed his sails to suit 









"t^.^^^ >> 




THE BARRELLE MANSE 

the wind, turning the prow of his ship ever away 
from the teeth of the gale. Wolsey-likC; he fell, 
and his fall was great. He died a disappointed 
man in 1647, at the age of seventy-four. This was 
two years before Charles was beheaded with the 
consent of Cromwell. 

After this, the settlers at Gorgeana were thrown 
upon their own resources; and they, with the Isles 



OLD YORK 105 

of Shoals, Kittery and Wells united in a common 
compact for the proper administration of the local 
government of this first mimic Commonwealth. This 
was not for long, however, as will be seen by refer- 
ence to the old York records, which afford apt illus- 
tration of the old ways of doing things. 

" Nov. 22, ] 652. — The commissioners held their 
court and the inhabitants appeared, and after some 
time spent in debatements, and many questions 
answered and objections removed, with full and 
joint consent, acknowledged themselves subject to 
the government of the Masschusetts in New Eng- 
land; only Mr. Godfrey did forbeare, imtill the voate 
was past by the rest, and then immediately he did 
by voate and word express his consent. Mr. Nich- 
olas Davis was chosen and sworn constable. Mr. 
Edward Rishworth was chosen recorder, and de- 
sired to exercise the place of clarke of the writts. 
Mr. Henry Norton was chosen marshall there. John 
Davis was licenced to keep an ordinary and to sell 
wine and strong water, and for one year he is to pay 
but twenty shillings the butt. PhilHp Babb of Hogg 
Hand was appointed constable for all the Hands of 
Shoales, Starre Hand excepted." Out of this tra- 
vail old York was born and from this November 22, 
was a body corporate. All previous land grants were 
confirmed by Thomas Danforth, President. 

Massachusetts immediately assumed control of 
the province of Maine. The Gorgeana charter was 
revoked and York was incorporated as a town. In 
1676, Charles II confirmed the title to the province 



106 



OLD YORK 



of Maine to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A 
more orderly condition of affairs succeeded, except 
that the savage was not included within this em- 
bryo aegis of colonial liberty. 

One does not have to search over-diligently to 
come upon the monopolistic tendencies of the times. 
How will this do? 

" 1652. — At a town meeting, ordered, that Wil- 
liam Hilton have the use of ferry for twenty-one 
years to carry strangers over for twopence, and for 
swimming over horses or other beasts fourpence; or 




-^^vd/i^ '■ '■ 



THE YORK JAIL 



that one swum over by strangers themselves, he or 
his servants being ready to attend, and one penny 
for every townsman." 

Or this one, as well: 

"1701, March 21. — Petitions and offer of Capt. 
John Pickering, to erect a grist-mill, to grinde the 
corn of the town, and put up a dam, and take timber 
from any man's land near by. Will do it if the town 
will give him the monopoly of it; but shall have to 
lay out about one hundred and fifty pomids, for all 



OLD YORK 107 

the toil of grinding the town's corn will not pay a man 
wages this seven years. Voted, to grant him the 
permission to build, take creek, lumber, stream, 
trees, etc. The mill to be built where Glengom and 
Gale had theirs." 

A quaint old structure still stands in York — the 
old jail. Any one passing over the old York highway 
must needs see it. It is "like a city set on a hill." 
One at a distance would take it for some antiquated 
relic, but upon a nearer view its solid oaken, nail- 
studded doors, its iron gratings, and its ponderous 
locks and bolts proclaim its character. It was built 
in 1653. 

This old building has an out-of-place look. There 
is nothing in the modern fashion-plates of house 
architecture that suggests such a low-browed, stolid 
complexioned thing as this. There is one thing 
about the windows — they are too liigh up from the 
floor — one can't see out comfortably. Perhaps its 
builders had that in mind, for, with the poor Joane 
Forde ilk, it would have been a noisy time for the 
town-fathers. There was little sympathy or com- 
passion in those days for the unfortunate in stocks 
and pillory. Joane was glib of tongue, though she 
might have suffered from a limited vocabulary; but 
she would have met the jibes and jeers of those out- 
side these jail windows with the comfortable assur- 
ance that she was "keeping up her end." Joane 
called the constable a "horn-headed rogue and cow- 
head rogue." She got arrested and had nine stripes 
at the post. Afterward, for a like offence, and she 



108 LD YORK 

did not limit herself to the constable, but threw 
numerous and unworthy epithets at her good neigh- 
bors until they got out of patience — no doubt an 
example of piling Ossa upon Pelion, or of carrying 
coals to Newcastle — be that as it may, Joane was 
indicted, given a fair trial, and the court ordered 
ten lashes, and stood by to see that John Parker 
performed his duty agreeably to the opinion of the 
magistrate. 

Undoubtedly, both Stevens and Murphy were 
incarcerated here — the former for slaying his son, and 
the latter his wife. Both were held here at York, 
and the case of Stevens was tried in the Congrega- 
tional Church, and Stevens slipped the hangman's 
noose through "insufficient evidence." Insufficient 
evidence covers a multitude of sins even in these 
days. 

As one recalls the random episode, the old jail 
has a gruesome look. A shag of ragged, weather- 
worn shingles with sunlit edge accentuates the dia- 
phanous suggestions of shadow that lurk under its 
cowl-like gambrel-roof. Its walls are rain-washed 
and stained, suggestive of the bareness and squalor 
of its interior. Its windows have the indifferent 
stare of one used to the avoidance of his kind, or 
rather the set look of the dead, wide-oped, that have 
been thrown up by the sea. In the edge of dusk 
one might conjure it into a giant toad squat upon 
its ledge of stone above the roadside, its flat-roofed 
dormers for all the world a pair of bulging eyes. On 
either gable a stubby chimney-top is heavily poised, 



OLD YORK 



109 



deserted for good by the soot-painted swifts long ago; 
for if ever there was a ghost-walk in old York, this 
ancient jail has all the appearance of belonging to 
that ilk. AVith the glow of sunset on its diminutive 
panes, one looks for withered crones, sunken-eyed 
hags, broom-sticks bewitched, bats and such like, 
and sniffs the air for untoward smells, notably of 
brimstone; and the mind is under the spell of weird, 




AN OLD WHARF 

uncanny tales that were current coin by the fire- 
sides of the old days — 

When Sewall sat, in wig and gown, 
To judge the Devil's protegees, — 

Quaker and witch, in Salem town, — 
Whom burly Stoughton exorcised 
With hangman's scaffold, ill-devised 
Provincial edict, dearth of common sense. 
Law-sanctioned crime, and wickedness prepense 

at Beadle's Tavern. Each ruddy window, too, it 
a Scarlet Letter to suggest other things in scarlet, 
as well. 



110 



OLD YORK 



But this old hibernacle of groans and imprecations, 
that have long since been silenced, is but an empty- 
stage, deserted of its actors, a silent and forsaken 
remnant of a quondam civilization. But York 
abounds in old houses, not a few of which are rich in 
stores of buried romance. These, of course, are 
found about the old harbor where Donnell's Wharf 




THE APPLE-TREE BROUGHT FROM ENGLAND 

still answers the purposes of York's somewhat slender 
trade by water. This locality is classic, along with Cider 
Hill and the old Scotland parish, which was among 
the earliest parts of the town to be settled These 
people were Scotch Royalists, who were exiled after 
the fall of Charles I. Years ago, on Cider Hill, was 



OLD YORK ,111 

an old apple-tree, said to have been brought over 
seas in a tub, almost three centuries ago, and which, 
since 1874, has been cut down by its owner by reason 
of the annoyance caused by the visits of the curious 
stranger. If that man has a trout-brook running 
through his meadow, I venture to remark that the 
gentle Walton will find a trespass notice posted at 
the entrance to his demesne. I hope the trout keep 
on up the brook, and that the meadow is a small 
one, and that it is not far to "go around." 

These old things have the smell of lavender, and 
make one think of the roomy old-fashioned chests of 
drawers, where the old-time wedding-gowns and 
finery were laid away securely, and which one takes, 
from time to time, from their sweet-smelling retreats, 
to romance and dream over. They go with the spin- 
ning-wheel and the old clumsy reel. I have one 
now, and some of the old yarns still cling to it, undis- 
turbed, except for these few, which were spun in old 
York, and which I have unwound, that their texture 
and dye might be examined and admired by those 
who feel the charm and romance that comes with 
the touching of these quaint reminders of a strenuous 
yet simple living. 

And these old houses that hold them — 

Rain-washed, and weather-worn and gray, 
With two huge chimney-stacks that stand aloof 
From sprawling elms that hide a low hip-roof. 

There are some old houses here in York, as in 
Kittery; but not so many. Landlord Woodbridge 



112 



OLD YORK 



had a tavern here in 1770, whose sign bore the 
mystery, "Billy Pitt;" below, was the significant 
welcome, "Entertainment for the Sons of Liberty." 
There were those thus early who were dubbed Tories ; 
evidently, whose room was preferable to their com 
panionship; and it w^as to this contingent this some- 
what inhospitable innuendo was extended. There 
were more or less outspoken leanings to the cause 
of the colonies for which John Adams stood so 
staunchly; and it is plainly to be seen that the genial 
"Woodbridge was not slow, or at all backward, in 
indicating his preference as to the quality of the 




OLD WOODBRIDGE TAVERN 

custom and the politics most to his taste. This old 
tavern in its time was a famous hostel. Among the 
notables who at one time and another exchanged 
courtesies with its landlord, who openly boasted the 
political heresies of Boston, was John Adams, who 
was here in 1770, as he followed the circuit, and it 
was here he met, after some years of separation, his 



OLD YORK 



113 



old friend, Justice Sewall, who afterward became 
as good a Whig as any. 

The Stacey Tavern was a famous one in its day, 
which was as early as 1634. No vestige of this 
hostelry remains. The Wilcox Tavern, a like famous 




P, \JHE OLD WILCOX TAVERN 

inn, in its time, remains as a specimen of the old 
houses of that day, and one cannot fail to remark 
its solidity, and its gambrel-roof, which smacks of 
a rare and bygone hospitality. If one is interested 
in old houses, the Sayward house should not be over- 
looked, for it is of interest by reason of its surround- 
ings, and which lend it something of isolation. Here 
is the ancient Barrelle Manse, to remind one some- 



114 OLD YORK 

what of Wentworth Hall over Piscataqua way. It 
is a finely preserved yet rambling pile, and one won- 
ders what need there was, ever, of such a great house. 
It is good to look at, however, for it stands for the 
old ways wholly. And how^ simple their furnish- 
ings, of which the wide-mouthed fireplace was the 
altar! 

No ancient Delft or Cloisson^, 

Or inlaid vase from far Japan 
Above a carved mantel lay; 

No costly mats from Hindostan, 
Or antique clock, with face o'erwrit 
With mystic symbols, requisite, 
Marks slowly, 'side its dark, wainscoted wall, 
The waning moons, the sea-tide's rise and fall. 

No Whittier, rich in soulful rhymes 

And home-brewed ale of Truth was here; 
Or sound of Bruges' mellowed chimes. 

Or midnight ride of Paul Revere. 
A dozen books piled on the shelf 
Nailed 'neath the dingy clock, — itself 
An heirloom with the rest, — made up the store 
That bred no wish for other, newer lore. 

But these old houses by the w^aters of Bra'-boat 
Harbor were pleasant places, and in these days of 
wide verandas and lazy hammocks, one has charm- 
ing visions of the days of homespun linen. Go back 
two hundred years and see — 

Indoors is rest and quietude. 

Across the threshold cool winds blow; 
And, 'twixt its lintel-frame of wood 

Is shrined a landscape of Corot, — 



OLD YORK 



115 



A picture wrought with mystery, — 

The drowsy farm, the soft fair sky, 
Inwoven with the song of vibrant thread. 
Of wide-rimmed wheel, by household goddess sped. 




,0n::wr- 



THE SAYWARD HOUSE 



Infinite the charm, and sweet the simplicity of so 
fair a picture! and yet it was all there, all of Nature 
that these modern days possess, and more of it, for 
that matter. 

The old stony ruts are gone, and much else, beside, 
that it were better to have retained. 

But such is th^ fate of all ancient things. Their 
days are like the dead leaves of th^ forest that have 
been and are not. No Witch of En dor may raise 



116 



OLD YORK 



their ghosts to satisfy the ambitions of seme modern 
Saul ; and it were best it were so. Let the rampant 
Commercialism of to-day go to its doom with the 
prayer of Dives unanswered. It will not be per- 
suaded though one rose from the dead. 
Surely, the art of El Meysar is vanished. 



f^ 







^t,,^f^- f ^ J 




MclNTIRE GARRISON HOUSE 



THE BELLS OF YORK 










CAPE NEDDOCK 



THE BELLS OF YORK 

ETURN, Lord, and visit this 
vine," was the text of the ordi- 
nation sermon which, in 1662, the 
Rev. Shubael Dummer preached 
from the pulpit of the First Con- 
; ,,, gregational Church, on the estab- 
i'li lishment of the first religious ser- 
vice held in this old town, a pas- 
torate which he held for thirty years, 
and until his death in 1692, when 
he was ambushed by the Indians 
and shot in the back, while his wife, 
the daughter of the distinguished Ed- 
ward Rishworth, was carried into captivity. The 
settlement was practically destroyed. Parson Dum- 
mer had his house by the sea on the narrow neck of 
land, known to the old voyagers as Roaring Rock, 
on what is now known as the Norwood Farm. The 

119 




120 



OLD YORK 



site of the first meeting-house was on the northeast 
side of Meeting-house Creek, near the bridle-path 
to Sewall's Bridge. 

This is the initial episode in the story of " The Bells 
of York," and a savage episode it is: a reminder of 
the days when the musket and the prayer-book were 




ROARING ROCK 



boon companions; when the hoarse whoop of the 
lurking Indian was as like to break in upon the de- 
vout invocation of the preacher, as were the dulcet 
notes of the thrush from the not far-away woodland. 
There is, on one of the main thoroughfares of this 
beautiful old town, a wooden structure, known as 
the old York Meeting-house. It was founded in 1747 



OLD YORK 



121 



— that is the date on its foundation corner-stone — 
and is the third in point of time and building. One 
may easily decipher this by a glance at the archi- 
tectural proportions of its gable, with its stark, staid- 
like tower — without reference to the numerals which 
make up the data on this corner-stone — that it is 
quite, quite old. Its style outwardly is of the old- 




FIRST CHURCH AT HINGHAM 

fashioned, unpretentious sort, which is more than 
compensated for by its modest and constant sugges- 
tion of the common sense and sagacity of its builders; 
for, it stands here on its grassy knoll as a substan- 
tial memorial of a day when things were made to last 
as well as to serve. 

Its exterior prepares one for the severe plainness, 
one might also say, poverty, of its interior decoration. 
The first New England churches were suggestive of 



122 



OLD YORK 



small barns. Afterward, they took the form of a 
square, with a liip-roof, suggestive of the block- 
house at Winslow, known as Fort Halifax. Later 
still, followed the pitch-roof with a two-story porch 
on the front gable, surmounted by a high-posted 
bell-tower; above all this was a tall, slender spire 
of octagon shape that pierced the sky like a needle, 
and atop of which was a wooden chanticleer or kin- 
dred device to 
indicate the 
way of the 
wind — as if 
that had any- 
thing to do 
with the direc- 
tion of the pre- 
valent religious 
leanings of the 
people, who, 
every Sabbath morning, wended their respective ways 
hither, but who never failed to glance upward to 
the veering weather-vane, while their feet kept to the 
green carpeting so generously supplied by Dame 
Nature. 

It is evident that "songs of praise" were heard 
here, for in 1769, it is mentioned that "singing was 
permitted to the lower floor, if persons occupying 
the designated pews fit them up at their own expense." 
According to Emery, the singers sat in the body of 
the house on one side of the broad aisle. Later, they 
occupied the south gallery, fronting the pulpit. The 




BOSTON'S FIRST CHURCH 



OLD YORK 



123 



deacons, like the clerks in the House of Represen- 
tatives, sat facing the congregation under the shadow 
of the preacher's desk, possibly to watch the deport- 
ment of the young people, who were, it is not unlikely, 
in need of some such restraining influence or espion- 
age. Congregational singing was practised, and as 
singmg or hynm-books were scarce, the deacons, 
probably in turn, "Imed" out the hymn, reading 
a line which was smig by the 
people; when the last note 
had died away another line 
was read and sung — so they 
went through the hymn, wliich 
must have had something of 
a lugubrious effect, especially 
if the tune happened to be 
good old "Windham," 
In the old days its 
pews were "box 
affairs," and as the 
goodman and his 
goodwife and the 
children sat in them, 

they could see about the church, miless the pew- 
walls were so liigh that the youngsters needed 
to crane their necks to see even their next-door 
neighbor. A massive mahogany pulpit overlooked 
the house, and a wide sounding-board hung pendant 
over it, after the fashion of the early New England 
days. Its low-posted galleries were without adorn- 
ment, quaint, old-fashioned, and m keeping with 




ONE OF THE TWO WOODEN TANKARDS 
OF FIRST COMMUNION SERVICE 



124 OLD YORK 

their surroundings. On Sundays the bright sun- 
light fell unrestrained across the house, as now when 
the furnishings of the pews are lighted up warmly, 
and as well the carpets and upholstery about the 
preacher's desk. The wide, tall windows let in floods 
of white, colorless light. No doubt its old-time 
worshippers preferred this to the jangle of colors that 
in other churches of fewer years and fewer honors, 
perhaps, slants noiselessly down from diamond panes 
steeped in muddy rainbow dyes, set in a dusky net- 
work of leaden sash after an anomalous pattern 
known in modern art as stained-glass decoration. 
Fashion leads people to do things in church as well 
as out, that bring little of comfort, happiness, or 
even spiritual benefit; but I have been always of the 
opinion that broad daylight was at all times one of 
the things that men could not improve upon, unless 
they wished to sleep; and even then, it does not 
matter if one is tired enough. 

We are writing of the later house of 1747. On 
week-days, these narrow stalls or pews, straight- 
backed and suggestive of scant comfort, the domi- 
nant pulpit and the singing-seats in the organ-loft, 
were shut in from the outer world, of which it can 
be said not a single hint of ornateness lingered. No 
green of ivy-leaf relieved its outer wall, gray and 
cheerless enough, with not so much as a scrap of 
Nature's poetry of growing things, written across it. 
Its square porch midway, its clapboarded gable rose 
squarely and stark to its ridge-pole. A simple cor- 
nice broke around its top, upon which rested a 



OLD YORK 



125 



many-sided belfry, that, rounded off with a dome, 
supported the tapering, needle-hke steeple,- a bodkin 
sort of an affair which brings to mind the churches 
of old London. Its low-sloping roof, its windows 




THE YORK MEETING-HOUSE 



with widely generous outlooks and its old-fashioned 
door On the porch sides, appealed to one with quiet 
dignity, so different were they from what one is accus- 
tomed to associate with the idiosyncrasies of the 



126 OLD YORK 

modern church-builder. This substantial meeting- 
house of another century would be a restful thing 
to look at. 

As to the quite ancient and more ornate edifice 
one sees in these days, the only thing it really lacks 
is a trio of wliite clock-faces to keep an eye on the 
town-roofs, and on the town-folk so much given to 
human questionings and neighborly scrutinies. I 
know a clock on a certain stone church-tower that 
has ever for me a genuine human interest. Its 
black hands, emaciated and long-drawn out, never 
point the same way more than a minute at a time, 
though forever travelling round and round after each 
other, in storm and sun, always coming back to their 
places of starting like a man lost in the woods. The 
people on the street seem always to be asking it 
questions with faces upturned as they go up or down, 
but the clock in the tower seems little to care for 
human affairs. Between us all and the town-pump, 
usually a considerable factor in municipal doings, 
I doubt not it notes all that is going on, and quite 
regularly expresses its opinions to the other clocks 
about town, for that matter, and after a striking 
fashion. Curiously enough, when it speaks, its 
neighbors answer from ah directions, iterating the 
same thing, hour after hour, day after day, the year 
through; but one gets to know them by their voices, 
and to read their messages much as a telegrapher does 
those which come to him over his wires, by sound. 

On the tower of the old York meeting-house, near 
its top, is a window, but why, metaphorically speak- 



OLD YORK 127 

ing, it should always wear blinders, unless its one 
eye is weak, is more than I can tell. I never see it, 
but it suggests to me that long sleep so many have 
taken who were once its human familiars. There 
is one in the stone tower of the clock I know so well. 
It has occurred to me that here might be the lookout 
of the little old fellow who has kept house in the 
clock at the top of the tower ever since it has been 
here, and who attends to things when the clock-tinker 
does not, and who, possibly, has no other occupation 
than watching the passers-by, rich and poor, sober 
and otherwise, unless it is to strike the hours of day 
and night, which he does with such regularity, accu- 
racy, and good judgment, that people have come to 
regard him as a very reliable individual, not hesitat- 
ing to set their time-pieces and likewise get their 
dinners — a matter of great importance to many 
folk — by what he says. In case of fire, he is never 
satisfied until he has set the whole town by the ears 
to count the strokes of his hammer, and the bigger 
the conflagration, the longer he pounds away, as if 
he found a keen enjoyment in the increased tumult 
and alarm. Moreover, I doubt if the rheumatic 
sexton could ring the great bell away up in the belfry 
on Sundays without the help of some good spirit; for, 
I have noticed he often threw his whole weight upon 
its long swaying rope before the bell would respond 
with even the faintest of notes. It seems to me a 
clock on this old meeting-house of York would be 
great company to those who have to be abroad 
betimes. 



128 OLD YORK 

The facial characteristics of this old meeting-house 
are all the more noticeable with so much poverty 
of frieze and cornice, and impart something of human 
interest to its exterior acquaintanceship. So simple 
and unpretending it is, I confess, the most beautiful 
and attractive church of all the town, to say nothing 
of the enhanced interest derived from its venerable 
age, its aristocratic associations, its parish pedigree, 
its ancient musty records, older than itself, even, and 
its value as a historic landmark, bring to it. 

It is a humiliating confession to make, that, often- 
times at church, one hears but little of the text or 
sermon, so busy is one's thought elsewhere; but I 
have sat within these walls when I have been alone, 
so far was I from realizing at the time that I was one 
of a half-hundred others, or that a distinguished 
preacher from a distinguished New England college 
was occupying the pulpit. I rarely step within the 
portals of any long-ago established church whose 
hall-marks are those of a similar ancient lineage, 
but I try to recall the earUest entry in its records, 
no doubt written with a quill from some ancient 
representative of that noble family that saved Rome 
by its clamor, and of the generations through which 
it has passed. Here the old and the new meet once 
a week, and, to my mind it should be a profitable 
meeting, for, here is the proof that men should live 
as they seem, to accomplish anything of profit to 
themselves or their kind. 

I have often thought as I have occupied a pew in 
a strange church, how concerned the minister's wife 



OLD YORK 129 

must be in her secret thought, as she sat within the 
shadow of her husband's pulpit, knowing all the 
little weaknesses and foibles of the man who has thus 
been ordained as a consecrated guide-post for a small 
portion of the human race. I am obliged some- 
times, with all my affection and reverence for Chris- 
tian living, to think of it in some instances as a 
kind of humbuggery. It is a lucky thing for most 
preachers that their congregations do not realize 
how human they are, and how little of real practical 
value, in a worldly sense, attaches to what they say. 
It is the man who does, as well as says, who leaves 
a footprint men are apt to measure. 

Disagreeable as this and kindred comment may 
be, it has the bitter flavor of truth, that, like a spoon- 
ful of rhubarb, leaves a bad taste in one's mouth, but 
one is better for a good dose of it. I never think 
of my own minister in that way. He never pre- 
tends to be more than a man, and that is all any of 
us are, or may be. But one could never harbor such 
speculation as to the inner and more hidden Ufe of 
others, if one could forget one's own weaknesses 
and mistakes. Experience is not only cumulative, 
but ductile. It can be stretched out, as a shape- 
less mass of iron may be, into a coil of delicate wire, 
so that it encompasses one's local Carthage, not only, 
but as well, one's entire acquaintance. It is so easy 
to interpret the quality of those about us when we 
perfectly understand ourselves. But of the people 
who worshipped here so many years ago, only the 
most prominent tendencies of their times, which, 



180 OLD YORK 

by the way, were ultra-religious, remain to make up 
their history. If they could have lived on to this 
day, they might have concluded, with a great deal 
of sound sense, that the Kingdom of God does not 
come in a generation, or even in a century, and that, 
after all these eighteen hundred years Jerusalem and 
the Man of Sorrows were not so far away, and that 
the second coming might not seem so near after all. 

It is the bare outline of the real life of two cen- 
turies ago one has with which to content one's self 
in these non-church-going days, as they may be well 
called, when people attend semi-theatrical perform- 
ances, fish, and golf, while some others attend church. 
The Puritan Church was planted invariably on the 
bleakest of wind-blown places. Its creed was as 
barren of spiritual beauty as the plainly-boarded 
walls of the edifice where it was taught; as devoid 
of comfort as were its pine settees and other rude 
insignia of churchly service. As if this were not 
enough, restraining statutes — Blue Laws — were en- 
acted for the deportment of members of religious 
societies, as well as for those without the gates, for 
Sunday, as for week-day behavior. 

All members of early communities were amenable 
to the most stringent construction of the laws in 
force. Like stakes set to mark the boundary-line 
of one's moral, and personal rights as well, a net- 
work of constrictive restraints was stretched about 
the area of early New England living much as a 
farmer of nowadays would string his corn with 
twine to keep away the thieving crows. Even the 



OLD YORK 131 

natural and God-given rights of man were put in 
abeyance, or under grievous scrutiny; and the teach- 
ings of the Creator were subjected to revision by 
the early legislators of Massachusetts Bay. 

There was not much difference between the Mas- 
sachusetts Bay settlers and those in the province 
of Maine. They were part and parcel of the same 
Colonial family. As yoimg as the settlement was 
in those days, its morals were not of the best, nor 
did they differ much from their neighbors elsewhere. 
Its amenities were roughened and lessened by an 
exterior deportment of unbending dignity and re- 
serve among the leaders in the community. In 
many respects the lives of these people were barren 
of the commonest of creature comforts; their lines 
were drawn in harsh relief. Much that passes for 
ordinary in these times would then have been re- 
garded as unattainable, and would, no doubt, have 
been charged to the invention of the Devil, as gotten 
up for a snare and a delusion for mankind. Their 
practices were largely of self-denial, bordering upon 
austerity. Days of error they may have been, but 
of some superior manners, as well. Great deference 
was exacted of the plebeian by those in authority — 
an exaction so rigid, that a settler who forgot himself 
so far as to say that the magistrate's "mare was 
as lean as an Indian dog" was deemed to have 
committed a heinous offence, and was fined with 
commendable promptness. Theirs was a peculiar 
code of punishments, as ingenious as effective, that 
were visited upon the offenders of the period. 



132 OLD YORK 

An ok! case is recorded where a woman of question- 
able morals was sentenced to stand in church in a 
white sheet for three successive Sundays, and to 
afterward acknowledge her failings to the congre- 
gation, a chastisement that would hardly do for 
these enlightened days when things are not always 
called by their right names. No doubt there were 
many unruly spirits in the township where life par- 
took so much of the frontier, and much that would 
now pass without notice, would then have attracted 
serious attention and condign punisliment. They 
were an old-fashioned people, with old-fashioned and 
limited ideas. Their ruts were narrow, but well- 
defined, and well-adhered to. Radical methods of 
correction were necessary to restrain those who were 
afflicted with a grievous moral obliquity. Of the 
adventurers who came here, many were of the de- 
generate sort, who, if not needed to increase the 
quota of citizenship, were voted out of town; and 
who, if they did not depart of their own volition, 
were summarily ejected. These characters were 
thorns in the side of this ultimately Puritan com- 
munity, and got but little sympathy, and less mercy. 
For all that, it is presumed that this old town was 
not behind her sister communities in visiting the 
rigor of the law upon her recreant cliildren. In 
post-Revolutionary times wooden stocks were a 
necessity on training-days, or "musterings," as they 
were called, and it is recorded that even aristocratic 
old Falmouth, farther down the coast to the 
eastward, was once presented to the General 



OLD YORK 133 

Court for not providing "stocks" and a "ducking- 
stool." 

On "muster-day" the people came from far and 
near to make a gala-event of the occasion, which was 
an infrequent episode in the then country life, and 
to see the motley-arrayed militia "go through" their 
manceuverings and evolutions with halting awkward- 
ness; when the butts of rum and gin were apt to be 
too frequently drawn upon by the "squad" and 
its admiring friends; when a country boy with a 
shilling, or even a ninepence in his pocket for spend- 
ing money, thought liimself immensely well off, and 
a trudge of ten miles to go and as many more to 
come, was a light task. A "pig-tail" doughnut or a 
square of ginger-bread, and a "swig" of hard cider, 
or a mug of spruce beer, was the extent of boyish 
dissipation. A ride homeward on the old thorough- 
brace wagon with the old folk was a treat; but it 
was more likely a long walk up hill and down dale 
that terminated the day's entertainment, comical 
enough in many ways, and that grew so farcical to 
the plain yeomanry of the time, who thought more 
of their potato patches than of their regimentals, 
that these annual gatherings were abolished by law 
with a conmiendable imanimity. 

Almost every country household with a pedigree 
has some reminder of those quaint old days with their 
quaint old customs, in its musty garret — a rusty 
musket, a cartouch-box, a faded coat with buff trim- 
mings sadly stained, an old three-cornered hat, or 
an iron-hilted sword with its black leather scabbard 



134 OLD YORK 

ripped badly up its seam, as if the sword were too 
big for it — for New England times from the earliest 
were nothing, if not warlike. 

Miles Standish, with his Low Coimtry experience 
at arms, set a militant example that was bravely 
adhered to through the French and IncUan forays 
that after 1692 were the especial misfortune of New 
England pioneer life ; and the same was true of Har- 
mon, Storer, and Moulton, and the Pepperrells of Kit- 
tery. It may be on that account the people were 
the more boisterous and rough-seeming, and in truth, 
less refined in their jollity and merry-making, and 
more quarrelsome in their cups. Be that as it may, 
the pillor}^ and stocks had their place in the village 
square so that they might be easily accessible when 
men got noisy and meddlesome. These two instru- 
ments of torture, along with the whipping-post, stood 
for the climax of discomfort and obloquy. In most 
instances they were unsparingly used. They were 
a brutal trio, and strange to say they were not a long 
step out the shadow of the meeting-house. 

There was a singular consistence in the meting 
out of provincial punishments, for there was little 
distinction between the sexes. AVomen were made 
to stand in pillory in the village midst, hke Jane 
Andrews, to be jibed and jeered at. Hester Prynnes 
were not lacking — and brutal spectacles, were they 
not! Scolds and shrews were ducked midstream! 
nor was there any hurry to lift them out, once well 
out of sight, or until the constable was convinced 
that the shrewish ardor was abated — a harmless 



OLD YORK 135 

and homoeopathic treatment. There was a tinge of 
humor about it all that lent to these castigations a 
peculiar grimness. It was an annealing process — 
one form of self-purification. 

Here was democracy, pure and simple. Perhaps 
it would be more apt to look at them as a parcel of 
great overgrown school-children working out the 
problem of self-government under the tutelage of 
the minister, the selectmen, and the constable. It 
was a tough problem in some localities, and the 
dunce-seat was wtII occupied most of the time; but 
they managed to ''put it on the board,"' and since 
which time numerous constitution-tinkerers have 
been trying to demonstrate the proposition. A man's 
standing in church had much to do with his influence 
and power as a citizen, for the early church of New 
England easily became the nucleus of the New Eng- 
land aristocracy. In this way, towns, after a fashion, 
became the arbiters of their corporate w^elfares, and 
were let pretty much alone by the province at large. 
In other words, the exigencies of the time welded 
each town into a close corporation. The settlers 
were of a gregarious sort by compulsion, and if they 
huddled together along some neck of land by the 
sea, it was that they preferred the "open." The sea 
was as good as a fort-wall. Like porcupines, they 
rolled themselves together, their quills pointed in 
all directions, trenchantly suggestive. A man could 
not settle in towTi without the consent of the ''folk- 
mote" or town-meeting. An unfavorable vote com- 
pelled a man to go elsewhere. There was no court 



136 OLD YORK 

of appeal. Towns had the power, or rather assumed 
it; to disfranchise their own citizens. 

Here is a quotation from the old York records: 
" 1724-5. — Samuel Johnson put btj from voting." 
Ecclesiastical matters were entirely within the con- 
trol of the town-meeting, and were matters of public 
discussion in which all who were voters, took part 
if they desired. 

Recalling the fact that in the Indian raid of 1692 
York was practically destroyed, preacher Dummer 
ambushed, and the other settlers killed or carried 
into captivity, and that for six years after, the settle- 
ment was without religious instruction, it is easy 
to locate the landmark where one may set up his 
theodolite and begin his survey with a fair degree 
of accuracy. 

Until 1731, the freemen of York had full control 
of church affairs. Father Moody came in 1698, 
May 10. Whether or not the barn-like structure of 
the time was ready for his occupancy, there is no 
relation that I have seen. Doubtless, the voters were 
duly warned, and when the day of the town-meeting 
came, after cUscussions numerous, pro et con, the 
people voted to provide a church for the eccentric 
preacher. 

" ' Build, Troll, a church for me 
At Kallundborg by the mighty sea ; 
Build it stately, and build it fair. 
Build it quickly,' said Esbern Snare." 

But there were no Trolls at old York, yet it is fair 
to assume that a Harvard University man,- as was 



OLD YORK 



137 



the Rev. Samuel Moody, would receive the utmost 
consideration, and that a substantial structure was 
raised for him. 

The records show that on April 1, 1747, the old 
meeting-house was ordered demolished, and such of 
its timber as was fit, should be used in the construc- 
tion of a new one. The clerk of the meeting has 
kept no record of what was said upon that auspicious 
occasion, but the 
proposition was 
"vehemently op- 
posed" at this 
last of many pre- 
vious meetings at 
which a like pro- 
position was de- 
bated. The 
church-folk had 
to "go into their 

pockets," as is usual in such matters; and, with the 
additional sum of two hundred and fifty pounds, 
voted to be raised "by taxation," the church was 
built and dedicated without the usual presence of 
the money-lender. This is the church one sees to- 
day. The present parsonage is the third one. The 
first was burned in 1742; the second was torn do^vn 
in 1859. The last parsonage erected stands on the 
fomidations of the first. 

This parish was organized under a warrant issued 
by WiUiam Pepperrell, justice of the peace, and bore 
the date of March 5, 1731. The first parish-meeting 




THE MOODY CRADLE 



138 OLD YORK 

was held the twenty-seventh clay of the same month, 
and the management of its affairs was taken out of 
the hands of the town. The next year it voted 
to purchase a slave for the minister. In 1734, the 
parish assessors were given six hundred dollars with 
which to buy another slave for the minister; two 
years later the assessors w^ere ordered to sell the 
negro to the best advantage, and the records show 
no further dealing in slaves by the Church. 

After the death of Father Moody in 1747, the 
parish voted in the aggregate, sixty-five pounds to 
Mr. Moody's family to enable them to go into " proper 
mourning." These votes were, no doubt, declared 
by the moderator with due solemnity. The same 
meeting voted to pay the doctors' bills, which 
amounted to twenty-six pounds and seven shillings, 
all of which is indicative of the good feeling cher- 
ished for the clergy of those days. 

One realizes how long ago this was, wlien it is re- 
membered that Samuel Adams was making malt in 
old Braintree, and that John Hancock, the man who 
wrote his name with such a flourish that it w\as 
said John Bull could read it without his "specs," 
was probably in "short clothes," when the Boston 
Rebel, as a factor in provincial history, w^as yet to 
be discovered. 

Right here by this old church was the ancient 
town-house. The remaining two of the once four 
elm-trees a-row, mark the close vicinage of all these 
early reachings out after a better civilization, and 
are of equal antiquity. The ancient burial-gromid 



OLD YORK 



139 



is just across the way; and, altogether they make 
a glorious quartet. I doubt if there be a dozen, 
people in old York to-day who can tell the date of 
setting out these elms, but it was the 15th of April, 




THE REMNANT OF THE FOUR ELMS 



1773, an old-fashioned Arbor Day; and where then 
were the dense, wooded lands, are now the clustered 
roofs and wide-spreading lawns, and reaches of open 
fields, that make old York one of the most delight- 
ful of Summer resorts; in no small degree distin- 



140 OLD YORK 

guished as the Summer home of the gifted and 
cosmopoHtan Howells, and others of the guild, as it is 
the Mecca of the artist and the vacation idler. Its 
cool seas, their marge of rock and sand, the seduc- 
tive charm of its outdoor life, the restful quiet that 
broods among the tops of its incomparable elms, 
make a complement of aspects of a most attractive 
character when the heats of August flood the inlands. 

For so ancient a parish, the number of pastors 
that have filled its pulpit as regularly ordained min- 
isters, have been few. It will be of interest to know 
who they were. First came Shubael Dummer in 
1662; Samuel Moody, 1698; Isaac Lyman, 1742; 
Roswell Messinger, Moses Dow, Eben Carpenter, 
John Haven, John L. Ashley, William J. Newman, 
John Smith, William A. Patten, William W. Parker, 
Rufus M. Sawyer, John Parsons, Benjamin W. Pond, 
David Sewall, followed in succession. The records 
of the old church were destroyed with the burning 
of the first parsonage in 1742, which was a loss 
indeed. 

A second church parish was organized in 1732, 
over which, on November 29 of that year, a son of 
Father Moody was ordained — a man of more than 
ordinary acquirement. Before coming to York, he 
had been town-clerk of Newbury, coimty register of 
deeds, and a judge of the court of common pleas. He 
was knowm in after years as "Handkerchief Moody." 

In 1792, a lightning-rod was ordered for the church, 
but when the first bell sent its clangor across coun- 
try on the startled winds was minuted only in the 



OLD YORK 141 

old parish record destroyed in the fire; but it must 
have been sometime prior to September 20, 1744, 
for it was on tliis last date that it was voted "to 
take down the bell and hang it upon crotches, or any- 
thing else erected for that purpose." March 31, 
1749, it was voted that "the assessors take care 
and hang the bell in the steeple of the new meeting- 
house, at the charge of the parish." Undoubtedly, 
this was the first bell. March 25, a new bell was 
ordered, not to exceed a weight of four hundred 
pounds. August 27, 1S21, the parish voted "to 
choose a committee to dispose of the old bell, the 
proceeds to be applied to the purchase of a new one." 
Requisition was also made on the parish treasury 
for one hundred dollars. Capt. David Wilcox, 
Jonathan S. Barrell, Jr., and Edward A. Emerson 
were a committee to act in conjunction "with a com- 
mittee of subscribers, for a new bell, and make the 
purchase of the same as soon as may be, and place 
the same securely in the belfry." In 1834, a still 
larger bell was desired, and a parish-meeting was 
held to discuss the matter. Emery says, " the pres- 
ent bell is the third or fourth one." There is a reach 
of salt-marsh here which goes by the name of ^^ Bell 
Marsh." This was granted the parish very long ago, 
and sold by it, to procure the wherewithal to purchase 
the first bronze Muezzin of old York. 

The bells of York. What tales are sealed within 
their hps! What notes of sadness, or joy, smothered 
mutterings of alarm, tocsins, for the gathering of the 
settlers for the common defence! when — 



142 OLD YORK 

The old cracked bell in the belfry tower 
Awoke, with swift and clattering note, 

The somnolence of the morning hour, — 
]\Iuttering deep in its brazen throat, — 
Scoured the fields with militant boom ; 
Jarred the bees in the clover bloom ; 
The oriole's nest on its pendant limb; 
Silenced the sparrow's matin hymn. 

What lyrics of the budding Spring-time have burst 
from its vibrant rim to fly — 

Far over the sunlit cape and wood — 

to set their fiute-toned echoes throbbing — 

The music of Nature's solitude! 
Only the flicker's sharp tattoo 
Drumming the apple-orchards through, 

answers its Sabbath matin in these modern days. 
What would not one give for the magic of Agrippa, 
to unlock tlie secrets of the rusty iron tongue ; to bid 
it ring out the changes of the long-gone years ! Vain 
regrets: for those days are done! They are lost — 

"In the remorseless flood of Time," 

along with the old sexton who lies somewhere among 
the obliterate mounds of the York graveyard. 

The church beadle of those days was not known 
to exist, officially, in my youngsterhood ; but the 
deacons within my recollection did not hesitate to 
perform their functions as late as a half century ago, 
as many a boyish acquaintance might testify, whose 
mirth and untimely pranks had aroused the right- 



OLD YORK 143 

eous ire of these "pillars of the church" to the dis- 
turbance of churchly decorum and spiritual quietude. 
With such spiritual diet, the young folk grew pre- 
maturely staid; and — well they might— with a 
pastor like Parson Thomas Smith of old Falmouth, 
who once wrote in his journal with a quaint con- 
ceit: "I had extraordinary assistance; was an hour 
and a half in prayer.'" On another occasion, he 
enters the following: "Preached p.m., and was tnore 
than two hours and a half in sermon; preached eitein- 
fore, all the application, and had great help." 

No wonder the boys grew restive, and the old folk 
got in the habit of taking a nap in sermon-time — 
a good old custom which still survives by prescrip- 
tive right. The beadles must have been well occu- 
pied, rapping a nodding head here and there, about 
their barns of churches; for they were hardly more. 
The cattle in the barn-stalls of to-day have warmer 
quarters. 

Emery says of the oldest York meeting-house: 
"Previous to 1825, no idea of warming the huge 
structure seems to have entered the minds of any 
one; and in cold weather, people muffled themselves 
up as well as they could, taking their foot-stoves to 
keep themselves comfortable. The main entrance 
or porch was on the side next the street, and facing 
the cemetery; there was another door where the 
present pulpit now stands. The old pulpit was on 
the north side. A very large, arched window was 
directly behind the seat of the preacher, which seemed 
admirably adapted to keep him cool, especially in 



144 OLD YORK 

Winter, if the upholsterer had not vouchsafed an im- 
mensely heavy green damask curtain, from the center 
of wliich was suspended a huge tassle." He does 
not say whether, the "tassle" was provided with a 
mercury bulb or not: to my mind it should have 
been. For all these rigors, a hale and hearty old 
age prevailed. 

Certainly, the years have brought great ameliora- 
tions to church-goers. Not all the churches of those 
provincial days possessed bells. This was true of 
Falmouth, where every Sabbath morning the sexton 
of the now aristocratic First Parish, blew a long, 
tin horn to send its sharp notes flying about the 
"clearings," and over the wooded slopes of Casco 
Neck and across the slodder of Back Bay, warning 
the people to come to church. The Second Parish, 
over which the distinguished Elijah Kellogg was 
settled, and afterward, the like distinguished Dr. 
Payson, used a flag to summon its worshippers. The 
Episcopalians had a very small bell, of which its 
sexton was very proud. 

Said the High Church sexton to his Second Parish 
brother, "Why do you hoist a flag?" 

"To let the people know your bell is ringing," 
was the witty reply; a remark which hints at the 
petty cUfferences that oftentimes held supporters of 
varying creeds aloof, each from the other, wherever 
they might be planted. Tolerance was a plant of 
slow growth. 

Attendance at church was required of every house- 
holder, and all under him. It was, no doubt, a pic- 



OLD YORK 145 

turesque sight to see the people wending their several 
ways to the old York church. 

And then, out of the shadows of the wayside elms 
into the Summer sunlight — 

Through the portal of the old church, 

With devoutly solemn tread, 
Went the people as befitted, 

With the preacher at their head; 
Mistress, gay with gown and ruffle, — 

Slow-paced, clerkly, next the squire, — 
Then the goodman and his goodwife 

In their homely homespun wear. 

Bare its pine pews and its pulpit 

In those old Provincial days ; 
Quaint its habit and its worship ; 

Quaint its people and their ways ; 
Stark its beams and low walls, creviced 

Wide with gaping seam and stain. 
Through which blew the gusty sea-winds 

And the Summer's slanting rain. 

And out-of-doors, what a delightful change with the 
long service concluded, and the cramped hmbs feel- 
ing anew the leaping pulse of a welcome variety, 
with all the wealth of Nature crowding their home- 
bent footsteps, while — 

O'er York's white nose the sea-winds blew, i 

Their saltness, cool, confessing. 
To lightly touch the dusky pines 

Their foliage caressing. 
Each breath of Summer air a bar 

Of Nature's low-pitched trebles ; 
And in the woods, sweet tenor songs 

Of crooning brooks and pebbles. 



146 OLD YORK 

Delinquents were promptly dealt with. Those 
living at a distance came on horseback, their dames 
astride, beliind. The children followed afoot, carry- 
ing their shoes in Summer, to the church door, where 
they put them on, and wore them through the service, 
despite the Scriptural precedent. Out of doors again, 
the shoes were removed and carried home, as they 
were brought. The wealthiest families walked with 
their families with a slow, stately step, wliile the 
servants and apprentices and negroes followed at 
a respectful distance behind. Slavery was a common 
thing in the early days of the colonies. 

Every Sabbath these actors appear. There is very 
little variation in the cast, sober enough at all events ; 
only the boys have come to the estate of manhood; 
and the older men have in turn grown into a second 
cliildhood. The stage is set with the same old pic- 
tures, unless there may be a new homestead here or 
there; a new lane running up or down the widening 
purlieus of York. The two old wharves reach out 
into Bra'-boat Harbor, a few more ships are moored 
in the slips, while folk pass on to meeting, noting 
these evidences of York's growing importance. 

In some of the old meeting-houses the custom was 
to put the common folk in the body of the house, 
while the gentry occupied the side pews. The pews 
farthest in front were reserved for such dignitaries 
as happened to be present; the negroes were by 
themselves in one corner — in old York a de- 
tested adjunct of the community. Doubtless, 
these ways prevailed in esrly York. They would 



OLD YORK 147 

naturally follow any well-established precedent of 
the times. 

They were, however, in the main, an intelligent 
independent, refined body of citizens — these eigh- 
teenth century people of York — who were slowly 
founding families and fortimes in this coast town; 
a brave, generous-hearted class as one could find 
from Massachusetts Bay to Falmouth. Nor could 
they be much else, with good Parson ^Vloody to show 
them the way. The style of living was plain, simple, 
and often scant. Habits and tastes were of the most 
primitive sort. Display in dress was not uncommon. 
That the church deprecated this leaning to the vani- 
ties of the world is not to be doubted; but the tide 
was not to be stemmed. Already they had begun 
to grow away from the old things as the tide of pros- 
perity rose, old things that to-day are but traditions. 
The cocked hats, powdered wigs, broidered waist- 
coats, buckles, and gold-headed canes of the men 
were not out of place with the brocades, stomachers, 
head-dresses, and gay cloaks of the high-spirited 
dames in liigh-heeled shoes and slippers with throats 
and elbows daintily ruffled. 

A local historian describes a young beau of the 
period. "He wore a full-bottomed wig and stock- 
ings, shoes and buckles, and two watches, one each 
side." It is barely possible this type is still extant, 
in sentiment, if not in quaint habiliment, for nowa- 
days the tailor helps to clobber many a man, as he 
did then. If one feels like laughing at the quaint- 
ness of the old fashions and fantastic rig in vogue 



148 OLD YORK 

among its more fashionably inclined, I have no doubt, 
were they to come among their descendants of this 
present day, they would be (like that hilarious crea- 
tion of Holmes' who burst his waist-band buttons) 
amused, at least, at the extravagant efforts at per- 
sonal adornment of one sort and another, which 
accumulate the fashionable attire of that fashionable 
animal, commonly dubbed "swell," but which the 
experts at the Smithsonian have not yet had time 
to classify. Human nature is much after the same 
pattern in one century, as another, dependent upon 
its environment, as upon its horse sense, and its 
pocket. 

With some people, to be inclined to the cherish- 
ing of common things, is to be "provincial," as if it 
were in such outrageous bad taste to foster those 
tilings which pertain to the old and primitive ways 
of living with any show of enthusiasm; but, one 
should thank the good Lord for simple things, simple 
tastes, and simple-hearted folk to enjoy them. I 
wish the old days might have lapped a little farther 
over the edge of the nineteenth centur}^ It is a pity 
the children of this generation are not as simple- 
hearted in many things as were their ancestors of a 
century back. 

The only thing that does not change is the sea. 
All else goes: the restless, sounding, life-giving sea 
tosses its foam-streaks up the Long Reach, and the 
surf at ebb-tide piles its rough windrows of froth 
across the bar at the mouth of York River, as coolly 
sinuous as when Parson Dummer, from his rude 



OLD YORK 149 

porch on Savage Rock, looked, or dozed and dreamed 
to its monotonous lullaby. It is as glistening white 
under the high-light of noon, as ruddy at dawn, as 
bloodshot at set of sun, and as pallid-gray in the 
gathering twilight as the ghostly-hued reeling grave- 
stones in the burying-ground that looks out always 
over this limitless field of blue water. These bound- 
aries that men have set up to mark the line between 
the here and the hereafter, and that starkly throng 
this gateway to the unknown country, look always 
to the sunrise where the white sails blow in and out, 
out over the beating tides, that Magdalene-like, are 
ever bathing its feet with salty tears — a dumb pen- 
ance, perchance. They have a look of prophecy, as 
if of that "great and notable day," when these grass- 
swathed mounds shall gently part their lips, to utter 
the softly-comforting words of the angel who stood 
by an old-time tomb among the olives of Jerusalem. 
In this old First Parish cemetery at York are 
many quaint and curious stones and epitaphs. Here 
is larger York. It is a city of grass-grown mounds, 
each one a dwelling-place for some tired, worn-out 
laborer of the vineyard who has gathered up his or 
her talent-laden napkin to render the inevitable 
accounting; but it is hard to realize that this just 
discernible swell of verdure holds the invisible date 
of 1648, and yet it was just that long ago the first 
turf was upturned and its first dead, carried thither 
on the shoulders of sorrowing neighbors, was tenderly 
laid within the folds of this rough, rock-set slope. 
But these lichen-stained stones are, some of them. 



150 OLD YORK 

very, very old; and some, weary of their watch and 
ward, have lapsed in their vigils and lie prone amid 
the riant blooms that give this mitilled field its only 
color. 

Here are some strange epitaphs — epitaphs to suit 
any taste, and that reminds one of the storekeeper 
who kept "two-quart jugs of all sizes." 

Here is an old stone. You will have to get down 
on all-fours and brush away the wild things that 
seem anxious to hide the caustic discourtesy of tliis 
rough-etched epitaph — a nameless, dateless memorial. 
Only this, and nothing more — 

"I am Somebody: 
Who, is no business of yours." 

With mouth agape, one catches the grim humor 
of this degenerate wag; the gloom of the place parts 
as one smooths the feathers of a momentary resent- 
ment to laugh and rejoice alike in the philosophy 
of the defunct. 
, Here is a fine strain of mortuary eloquence: 

"Mary Wainwright, 
1715-1760. 
She was good to all." 

What more could one ask — a modest stone and 
a passport over the wall of Al Rakin to Abraham's 
bosom that will require no viseing on the way! Na- 
ture has been kind, for — see how tenderly the green- 
ery of Nature is folded about the ancient slab. Even 
the lichens have forborne to cover a single letter. 



OLD YORK 



151 



Undoubtedly, these lines glow wiih a warm phos- 
phorescence in the dark. They ought, at least. 

Here is something of a different sort. It is a model, 
something of the hatchet-and-can't-tell-a-lie sort, 
and it doubtless covers a multitude of sins. If Sam 
Slick had run across it, he would have appropriated 







i'vw/;rv''V'' 



THE SEWALL TOMBS 



it for his own. Certainly, once read, it is not easily 
forgotten. As a waymark it is as good as any, and 
bears the pleasing stamp of being the real thing. 
It also indicates an underlying fine strain of honesty. 
The briars do not grow so thickly here, yet there 
is a hint of shamefacedness in the tangle of swamp- 



152 OLD YORK 

roses that holds its neighbor in a riotous embrace of 
color and sweet odors. 
Read it for yourself: 

"Here lies the body of Jonathan Drew, 
Who cheated all he ever knew ; 
His Maker he'd have cheated, too, 
But that his God he never knew." 

He must have been a politician who had been 
relegated to "the shelf." But Drew is a good old 
York name, a name to conjure with in years agone 
■ — but names, Hke men, sometimes come to base uses. 

One of the most notable spots in the old yard 
is the "resting-place" of David Sewall, the jurist. 
The Sewall tomb is something of the massive sort, 
an antique, among its kind ; but a part of the inscrip- 
tion written after this distinguished gentleman of 
the "old school" had been brought hither, may be 
quoted. It appeals to me with a singular force. It 

is — 

" His house was the abode 
Of hospitality, and friendship." 

As one thinks of it, it seems to be a fine free trans- 
lation of that sentiment cut into the stone of Mary 
Wainwright. Hospitality, and friendship — it strikes 
one that, at the rate the commercial sentiment is 
overcasting human intercourse and human sympa- 
thies, no great lapse of time will be required to place 
them with other words of good old Saxon meaning, 
among the obsoletes oi the dictionary. 

A stroll along the ways of the old town does not 



OLD YORK 



153 



reveal much of the once rugged Hfe that was its por- 
tion. Roofs sagging under the infirmities of age are 
rare. Few walls are discolored or stained, for all 
their years of sea-fogs and salty drizzle ; but here and 
there are old houses toned down by that master of 




COVENTRY HALL, THE SEWALL MANSE 



all art, Time, into medleys of charming color, topped 
off here and there with antiquated gables and gambrel- 
roofs which shelter stores of family traditions. There 
is nothing here to remind one of Carlyle's "smells of 
Cologne," nor drinking-places, haunts of grievous 
repute. But all is sweetness and content, ^^'hat 



154 



OLD YORK 



more is needed with its famous waterside, the broad 
beaches that flash the sun back with every clear dawn! 
Yes; it is difficult to conjure up the old days, with 
all this paraphernalia of modernness, staring one in 
the face at every turn of the street; but bend your 
steps across the threshold of God's Acre, with the 
old church-steeple towering above you, silently point- 
ing the way these ancient people have gone, and the 
spell is upon you; and with the song of the sea in 
your ears, and speech of the bells on a Sabbath morn- 
ing, some rare day in June, the story of the old days 
of York is hke an adventurous tale from the lips of 
some modern Scheherazade. 




SADDLE-BAG DAYS 




^^^ ^^^p^pf^ 




SADDLE-BAG DAYS 

HEY, who recall the travelling conve- 
niences of a half-century ago, even, 
may well regard the pace of the world 
a rapid one ; for the days of the ancient 
and time-honored saddle-bag are not so 
f far away after all. What, with "Flying 
Dutchmen," and "Empire Limited" trains 
for railroad travel, upon which one may 
eat, and sleep, at leisure, and at the same 
time span the globe at a mile-a-minute 
gait; while one takes his sunlight sifted, so 
thickly crossed are the telephone and telegraph wires 
over one's head, and which the modern wizard of 
Netteshiem, Marconi, proposes to send to the junk- 
heap; storage-batteries for electric lighting, heating, 
and motor-power; with Macadam roads for the 
horseless "Wintons"; the Brewsters and Goddards 
upheld upon wheels with steel spokes, and rimmed 
with noiseless rubber tires, pulled along by a horse 
that has to "go" his mile in two "flat" to get his 
name into the public prints, the world has even been 
made over. 

157 



158 OLD YORK 

When Santos Dumont gets his air-Une incorpor- 
ated, and horses are bred with wings, one will, it is 
quite likely, be beyond caring for the things of this 
world; but with Rontgen rays, and radium, one has 
no idea of the curious and startling happenings in 
store for pampered humanity. One neighbor has 
been disembowelled, had his explanatory notes elided, 
and still preserves the outward appearance of an 
unexpurgated copy; a broken neck is mended as 
well as a bit of broken crockery; stomachs are re- 
moved and thrown, along with physic, to the dogs; 
Chalmettes play with cobras and rattlesnakes, laugh 
at their envenomed bites, and prescribe their virulent 
poisons for the serious ills of man. In the venom of 
the Gila monster, Bocock has discovered a remedy for 
locomotor ataxia; when the anti-venomous serum is 
discovered to immunize against the bite of the Gila 
monster, humanity may be declared safe from all ills ex- 
cept, what is known in legal parlance, as the act of God. 

All these in a half-century ! 

The latter days of saddle-bags were invaded by 
the clumsy thorough-brace wagon — an affair that 
would now be regarded as an antique from the wilds 
of Borneo. The old-fashioned conveyances for stag- 
ing across country are almost within the memory 
of the present generation; but of the times when 
there WTre no roads, and when settlements were 
held together only by tortuous horse-paths, there 
is no one alive to relate. 

When Parson Dummer made his way eastward, 
he undoubtedly came overland across the Hampton 



OLD YORK 159 

meadows, cutting across the head of the Boar, and 
swimming the Piscataqua with his horse, to find at 
York Harbor, probably, his first bridge, the same 
built by Capt. Samuel Sewall, in 1642. It must have 
been a tedious journey and full of hardship, and, per- 
haps, peril. He may have come by water, a favor- 
ite conveyance with the people who dwelt in the coast 
towns. The man who celebrated his own ordination 
over the First Church of York in 1662, educated at 
Harvard, must have had a tremendous flow of vital- 
ity, as of soul — a high courage and an indomitable 
purpose. It must have been a matter of solicitude 
to his Newbury friends, but he had chosen his work; 
he was needed. The popular preacher had not then 
become a factor in the moral diseases of the com- 
munity. He was a man for the times, and what must 
have been the privations of that sparsely settled fron- 
tier town! He may be called the first Evangelical 
missionary in Maine. 

One year more and the meagre settlement would 
have rounded out two generations of living; and then 
the Indians fell upon it, to begin a series of savage 
raids that for six years made York a wilderness, 
almost — and according to history, Parson Dummer's 
blood was the first sprinkled upon the altar of self- 
sacrifice. His story would be eminently excellent 
reading for a certain class of clerics. I have in mind 
now that most unusual spiritual allegory, painted 
by Sigismund Goetz, ''Despised and Rejected of 
Men," which one might not hesitate to nominate as 
one of the modern Gospels in pigment. 



160 OLD YORK 

As has been before noted, Father Moody came to 
York in 1698. He, too, a Harvard graduate, saw be- 
fore him the same meagre prospect. The General 
Court allowed liim twelve poimds (sixty dollars) 
yearly, and it was on this pittance he wrought in holy 
bands among a people too poor to have a meet- 
ing-house, and as well, too poor to support him. 
This allowance from the General Court was in answer 
to his personal application. He had declined a 
stipulated salary; and there were times, it is said, in 
his ministry, when he and his family were at the 
point of starvation. This is asserted upon good 
authority, according to Emery. Generous in word 
and thought to all, and greatly beloved by all, he 
went in and out among his people for a half-century, 
lacking a triplet of years, carrying the Light of the 
Gospel with unvarying steadiness; for, there is no 
hint of stumbling in the way he came, as one goes 
back over it. He had the right to regard himself 
as the original proprietor in the spiritual field from 
which he was to remove the tares, a position which 
his sensitive temperament and over-alert conscience 
might constrain him to maintain at all odds, but 
which his endearing qualities as a man and neighbor, 
would not permit him to abuse. He was a partisan, 
undoubtedly, as were all preachers of the time, else 
he would not have been a good churchman. They 
were days when Precedent sat on the bench with 
Law. Precedent was an excuse appealed to without 
hesitation; or rather, it was a justification for much 
that was done in high quarters. Society went on 



OLD YORK 161 

stilts in many ways, and the clergy mounted the 
tallest pair, which not infrequently carried them 
into the highest political and judicial positions. Nat- 
urally, Father Moody would be a politician for the 
Church, and thus easily take to himself the larger 
influence in temporal affairs, which were a close ad- 
junct of the Church; but there is no suggestion, even, 
that he was ever the cause of discord or heart-burning. 
Thedictum of the minister often carried as much weight 
as if it were the ipse dixit of the court of last appeal. 

The Ancient Charters and Laws of Massachusetts 
Bay abound in enactments which set forth with 
the rigidness of the Draconian Code the duties and 
liabilities of every person within its Colonial juris- 
diction. It may be well to quote somewhat, as every 
quotation will throw a luminous ray in the direction 
of what has already claimed our attention. Chapter 
XXXIX, Section 15 (1646): "AVherever the ministry 
of the word is established, according to the order 
of the gospel throughout this jurisdiction: 

" Every person shall duly resort and attend there- 
unto respectively on the Lord's days, and upon such 
publick fast days, and days of thanksgiving, as are 
to be generally observed by appointment of authority. 
And if any person within this jurisdiction shall with- 
out just and necessary cause, withdraw himself from 
the public ministry of the word, after due means of 
conviction used, he shall forfeit for his absence from 
every such publick meeting five shillings. And all 
such offences may be heard and determined, from 
time to time, by one or more magistrates." 



162 OLD YORK 

This section makes it a statutory offence to be ab- 
sent from any church service. "Dancing in ordi- 
naries (taverns) upon any occasion" was punished by 
a fine of five shilhngs. " Whosoever shall be found 
observing any such day as Christmas or the like, 
either by forebearing labour, feasting, or any other 
way upon any such account," incurred a similar fine. 

Nor are there to be any idle hands — for Satan's 
employ; therefore, (Chap. LIII, Sec. 2) ''it is ordered 
that no person, householder or other, shall spend his 
time idly or unprofitably, under pain of such punish- 
ment, as the county court shall think meet to inflict." 

Here is a sumptuary law, Chapter XCV, *' Nor shall 
any take tobacco in any inn or common victual house, 
except in a private room there, so as neither the 
master of the said house, nor any other guest there 
shall take offence thereat, which, if any do, then such 
person shall forthwith forbear, upon the pain of two 
shillings sixpence for every such offence." 

These chapters begin with a preamble or argument, 
and some are certainly unique, especially this of 
Chapter CV: ''Whereas the laws at several times 
established by the government of this her majesty's 
province of Massachusetts bay, and now in force, 
have made good and wholesome provision for the 
regulation of inns, taverns, ale-houses, victuallers, and 
other houses for common entertainment, and re- 
tailers of strong liquors out-of-doors, and for prevent- 
ing of tippling and drunkenness, declaring that such 
licensed houses ought to be improved to the right 
ends and uses for which they are designed, namely, 



OLD YORK 163 

for the receiving, refreshment, and entertainment of 
travellers and strangers, and to serve the publick 
occasions of the towns, and place where they are, 
and not to be nurseries of vice and debauchery, as 
is too frequently practised by some, to the hurt of 
many persons, by misspending their time and money 
in such houses, to the ruin of families." 

"And have also made good and wholesome pro- 
vision against immoralities, vice, and profaneness. 

" Section 5. And be it further enacted that no per- 
son or persons, either singly or together in company, 
shall presume to sing, dance, fiddle, pipe, or use any 
musical instrument in any of the streets, lanes, or 
alleys, within any town in the night-time, or make 
any rout, or other disturbance, to the disquiet and 
disrest of any of the inhabitants, under a penalty of 
five shillings for every person so offending in any of 
the particulars aforementioned, or being corporally 
punished by imprisonment, sitting in the stocks, or 
cage." 

" And for the more religious observance of the 
Lord's day: 

" Section 6. Be it enacted, that all persons who shall 
be found in the streets, wharves, fields, or other places 
within any town on the evening following the Lord's 
day, disporting, playing, making a disturbance, or 
committing any rudeness, the person so offending 
shall each of them pay a fine of five shillings, or suffer 
twelve hours' imprisonment, sit in the stocks not ex- 
ceeding two hours; all fines and forfeitures arising 
by virtue of tliis act, or any paragraph thereof, and 



164 OLD YORK 

not herein disposed of, shall be to and for the use 
of the poor of the town where the offence shall be 
committed, any law, usage, or custom to the contrary 
notwithstanding. 

" And the constables of the respective towns are 
hereby directed and specially empowered to prevent 
the profanation of the Lord's day by restraining 
persons from walking, recreating, and disporting 
themselves in the streets, wharves, or fields, in time 
of publick worship." 

In Section 2 of this same chapter, the following 
drastic quotation may be made, "That common 
drunkards be posted up, at the houses of retailers 
of wine and liquors, out-of-doors, as the law directs, 
to publick houses, with a prohibition to them of sell- 
ing drink to any such." 

That there was some tendency to commit jelo de se, 
is evidenced by the following. It is unique in its 
way, comprising the whole of Chapter LXXXIX: 

"This court, considering how far satan doth pre- 
vail upon several persons within tliis jurisdiction to 
make away themselves, judgeth that God calls them 
to bear testimony against such wicked and unnatural 
practices, that others may be deterred therefrom: 
Do therefore order, that from henceforth, if any 
person, inhabitant or stranger, shall at any time be 
found by any jury to lay violent hands on themselves 
or be wilfully guilty of their own death, every such 
person shall be denied the privilege of being buried 
in the common burying-place of christians, but shall 
be buried in some common Mghway, where the select- 



OLD YORK 165 

men of the town where such person did mhabit shall 
appoint, and a cart-load of stones laid upon the 
grave as a brand of infamy, and as a warning to 
others to beware of the like damnable practices 
(1660)." 

Here is a unique provision in regard to profanity; 
it is Section 2, of Chapter XCIV, and provides: ''And 
if any person shall swear more oaths than one at a time 
before he remove out of the room or company where 
he so swears, he shall then pay twenty shillings." 
Ten shillings, or three hours in the stocks, was the 
penalty for a single slip of the tongue; but in case 
the cow got into the garden or wandered off into the 
swamps just at nightfall when she should have been 
poking her nose through the pasture-bars, and the 
goodman forgot in his annoyance, the usual cow-call 
and substituted therefor, something of warmer tem- 
perature, he was in danger of being soundly " whipt, 
or committed to prison." If one had no cow, any- 
thing else would do as well, provided it was suffi- 
ciently exasperating. It had not occurred to Satan 
to institute "moving-day" and introduce the incor- 
rigible stove-funnel into the community at that time. 
I say Satan; if the delver after the odd things of those 
days will look over the preambles of such enact- 
ments as were made for the conservation of the public 
morals of the seventeenth century, he will find that 
the devil is duly estimated in some such form of ex- 
pression as this: "This court considering how far 
satan doth prevail," and from a human point of 
view, perhaps, these Puritans were half right; but 



166 



OLD YORK 



from a look at Chapter LI, entitled, "Acts against 
Heresy," one feels like revising one's opinion. After 
enumerating the books of the Old Testament and the 
New, wliich are declared to " be the written and in- 
fallible word of God," Section 41 begins, "Whereas, 
there is a cursed sect of hereticks lately risen up in 
the world, which are commonly called quakers — " and 




QUAMPEGAN FALLS 



ends with the following, "And if any person or per- 
sons within this jurisdiction shall henceforth enter- 
tain and conceal any such quaker or quakers, or other 
blasphemous hereticks (knowing them to be such) 
every such person shall forfeit to the country forty 
sliillings for every hour's entertainment and con- 
cealment of any quaker or quakers, etc.," and as to 
the poor Quakers themselves, they were to be taken 
before the nearest magistrate, when apprehended, 



OLD YORK 167 

and upon his warrant properly directed to the con- 
stable, they were to be stripped "naked from the 
middle upwards, and tied to a cart's tail, and whipped 
through the town, and from thence immediately con- 
veyed to the constable of the next town towards the 
borders of our jurisdiction as their warrant shall di- 
rect, and so from constable to constable till they be 
conveyed through any the outwardmost towns of our 
jurisdiction." 

In 1661, this was amended by the addition "pro- 
vided their whipping be but through three towns: 
and the magistrates or commissioners signing such 
warrant shall appoint both the towns and the number 
of stripes in each town to be given." Upon the return 
of a Quaker once whipt out of town, " they shall be 
branded with the letter ' R ' on their left shoulder and 
be severely whipt and sent away as before." Satan 
must have rubbed his hands after a gleeful fashion, 
wliile these devout Puritans drove the stakes and put 
up the ecclesiastical bars in their religious fences. 

One feels to exclaim with Whittier: 

" and these are they 
Who minister at thy altar, God of Right 
Men, who their hands with prayer and blessing lay 
On Israel's Ark of light!" 

Cassandra Southwicks were numerous in those old 
days, and one would feel to say with Goodman Macy, 
to the warning of the Puritan priest — 

"' The church's curse beware! ' 
' Curse an' thou wilt,' said Macy, ' but 
_ Thy blessing, prithee, spare.'" 



168 OLD YORK 

But old York seems to have escaped the stain of 
these summary proceedings against " liereticks." 

As one pores over these old statutes, along with 
Mary Fisher and Ann Austin rise up the provoca- 
tions offered the staid procurers of the Puritan Com- 
monwealth, with Lydia Wardwell laying aside her 
clothing to walk into Newbury meeting-house, and 
Deborah Wilson walking naked through the streets of 
Salem. And so it happened that one August day 
three drum-beats were heard in Boston, and two men 
and one woman hung pendant from as many gallows- 
ropes, while Endicott, Bellingham, and the Rev. Mr. 
Wilson stood by to see "the devil exorcised." These 
were Quakers, "Sabbath-breakers and witches — 
hereticks." 

So AVilUam Robinson, Marmaduke Stevens, and 
Mary Dyer won the distinction of being the first upon 
the martyr-list of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 
a list that was to be grievously lengthened through 
the imbecile credulity of Sewall and Stoughton at 
Salem. These laws seem very cruel to us ; but all laws 
are cruel, though necessary. Had these come to 
York it is a question whether the results would have 
been the same. The woman who stood in a sheet for 
three Sabbaths in succession, to make public con- 
fession of her sin on the last day of her penance ; and 
in a Scarboro meeting-house, too; and possibly, like 
Hester Prynne, she wore the first letter of the alpha- 
bet, in scarlet, sewed to her garb; would remove any 
lingering doubts we might have on the subject. 

These laws were not of a reformatory character. 



OLD YORK 169 

They were wholly punitive; and Uke a searing-iron 
brand, they made the individual a moral leper for life 
and created for their unblamable posterity a peerage 
of disgraceful antecedent that generations of ex- 
emplary citizenship could not utterly obHterate. It 
might be well named, " The Heraldry of Satan." 

Lovers of Hawthorne, and admirers of his best 
work, undoubtedly his "Scarlet Letter," will appre- 
ciate the unvoiceable and unnamable terror that 
smote the heart of Hester Prynne as she mounted 
the scaffold steps to face the jibes and jeers of her 
once-time friends and neighbors. 

The statute which made such debasement of woman- 
kind possible — wholly indefensible from any point 
of view because it devitalized the soul and killed the 
heart — is Chapter XXVHI, of the Ancient Charters 
and Laws. With Hawthorne's heroine before one, 
the scene of her daily livings all wrought with the 
exquisite art of which Hawthorne was master, is so 
vivid that one seems to be a component veritably, of 
Hester Prynne 's time and place, and the act, itself, 
in the original, like a weather-vane, hales one's atten- 
tion to that olden day, 

"Though you untie the winds and let them fight 
Against the churches — " 

Here is one of the guide-posts of the Puritan civili- 
zation: "And if any man shall commit adultery, 
the man and woman that shall be convicted of such 
a crime before their majesties assize and general gaol 
delivery shall be set upon the gallows by the space of 



170 OLD YORK 

an hour, with a rope about their neck, and the other 
end cast over the gallows, and in the way from thence 
to the common gaol shall be severely whipt, not ex- 
ceeding forty stripes each ; also every person and per- 
sons so offending shall forever wear a capital A of 
two inches long, and proportionable bigness cut out 
of cloath of a contrary colour to their cloathes, and 
sewed upon their upper garments, on the outside of 
their arm, or on their back, in open view;" and if 
found thereafter " without their letter," they were 
to be " pubhckly whipt, not exceeding fifteen stripes, 
and so, from time to time, toties quoties." 

This is the law of 1692; but here is the law earher 
of 1634, Chapter XVIII, Section 9. " If any person 
commit adultery with a married or espoused wife, 
the adulterer and the adultress shall surely be put to 
death, Levit. 20. 19, and 18. 20. Deut. 22. 23, 27." 

The second state is worse than the first, and like 
Lady Macbeth one cries, 

"Out, damned spot! Out, I say!" 

but it will not out, along with that other delusion, 
that Law was a healer of moral delinquencies, incor- 
porated in Section 2, of the same chapter, " If any 
man or woman be a witch, that is, hath or consulteth 
with a familiar spirit, they shall be put to death, 
Exod. 22. 18, Levit. 20. 27. Deut. 18. 10, 11." 
Strange and inhuman laws when — - 

"Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf; 
Witches' mummy; maw and gulf 
Of the ravin 'd salt-sea shark; 
Root of hemlock digged i' the dark; 



OLD YORK 



171 



Liver of blaspheming Jew ; 
Gall of goat ; and slips of yew, 
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse; 
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips; 
Finger of birth-strangled babe, 
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab," 

made a potent brew of which old black Tituba of 
Salem must have imbibed inordinately to have filled 
old Salem meeting-house on that memorable first day 
of March, 1692, with a gaping, aghast crowd of men 




"! y 







v^^. 



THE SHATTUCK HOUSE, SALEM 

and women who had come to the trial of Sarah Good 
and Sarah Osburne, both poor old wrinkled women, 
alleged witches, with Jolm Hathorne and Jonathan 
Corwin on the bench to render judgment for the Com- 
monwealth. 

The trial opened with a prayer by the Rev. 
Sanmel Parris who invoked Divine guidance for the 
Court, the slave-master of Tituba, whom he had 
purchased in the Barbadoes. 



172 OLD YORK 

Sarah Good was first arraigned. 

''Have you made a contract with the devil? " was 
Hathorne's query. 

"No," came tremulously from the old woman's lips. 

The witnesses were called; seven girls of them, of 
whom Abigail Williams, eleven years of age, was 
the youngest ; and of whom the eldest were EHzabeth 
Hubbard, EHzabeth Booth, and Sarah Churchill. 
These three were eighteen years of age. Two servant 
girls made eleven — a " cloud of witnesses." 

"Children, is this the person who hurts you? " 

"Yes; she is sticking pins into us! " whereupon the 
girls made a tumult of crying out as if in great 
bodily pain, which they kept up as the examination 
proceeded. 

"Why do you torment the children?" 

"I do not." 

Nowadays, the word of an elderly person of sound 
mind and good repute is almost incontrovertible, but 
it is evident that to the deluded Hathorne, this old 
woman, whose hands were already groping for that 
other Unseen Hand, was not believed; and Sarah 
Osburne was bade to stand up, to be tortured in her 
turn. 

"Sarah Osburne, have you made a contract with 
the devil?" 

"I never saw the devil." 

"Why do you hurt the children?" 

" I do not hurt them." 

"She does! she does!" shouted the girls in general 
outcry. 



OLD YORK 



173 



Then came Tituba's turn. 

"Tituba, why do you hurt the children?" 

"I do not." 

"Who is it, then?" 

"The devil, for aught I know." 

"Did you ever see the devil?" 

"Yes; he came to me and bid me serve him. Sarah 




THE REBECCA NOURSE HOUSE 



Good and Sarah Osburne wanted me to hurt the chil- 
dren, but I would not." 

"How does the devil appear when he comes to 
you?" 

" Sometimes like a hog, and sometimes like a great 
black dog." 

"What else have you seen?" 



174 OLD YORK 

"Two cats; one red, and the other black. I saw 
them last night, and they said ' Serve me; ' but I would 
not." 

"What did they want you to do?" 

"Hurt the children." 

"Did you not pinch Elizabeth Hubbard?" 

"Yes; they made me pinch her, and wanted me to 
kill her with a knife." 

"How do you ride when you go to meet the devil?" 

" On a stick. I ride in front, and Sarah Good and 
Sarah Osburne behind me. We go up over the trees 
and in a short time are in Boston or anywhere else." 

It is reported that this Barbadoes negress narrated 
many other strange things about her acquaintance 
with the devil. She had seen him frequently in a 
tall black hat. An imp of the devil came into Mr. 
Parris' house one night and stood a long time by the 
fire. He was hairy, about three feet tall and had a 
long, hook nose. She had a fertile imagination like 
most of her race, and doubtless enjoyed her promi- 
nence in the affair. Yes, she was a witch, for she cor- 
roborated the girls and they her; so, the people cried 
out against those two old decrepits, to remind one 
of the scene before Pilate ; and the girls kept to their 
mewing, creeping, barking, and convulsions and out- 
cry, until Martha Corey and Rebecca Nourse were 
haled in for condemnation. Then the old cart began 
to rattle up Witch Hill ; but, of all the judges who 
sat in these cases, Sewall was the only one into whoee 
soul filtered the light of Truth; the accusation against 
Mrs. Hale of Beverly broke the spell; and the law 



OLD YORK 



175 



against witchcraft had added the name of Giles Corey 
tortured to death under a heap of stone because he 
would not plead to the indictment against him, to 
those of Robinson, Stevens, and Mary Dyer — all 
ineradicable tragedies, or rather blotches upon the 




WITCH HILL 



otherwise fair fame of the Puritan colonies. These 
were grossly awry times; but such made the laws, 
some of which, even at this far cry, glower from out 
the fogs of Bygone land like the one eye of Cyclops 
from his Sicilian fastnesses. 

And these laws were those of York, whose first 
court under the domination of Massachusetts, was held 
right here in old York Village March 17, 1680, twelve 
years before the Salem Witchcraft Trials began. 
Thomas Danforth was appointed President; and the 
Rev. Shubael Dummer preached the election sermon. 
Such authentic records of earlier York as exist out- 



176 



OLD YORI 



side the meagre and prior town records, may be said 
to date from this time. 

How far away it all seems! and how broken its 
narrative, and how barren its episode of humble life 
and living! Yet, the link that connects the Now with 








YORK JAIL 



the Then, is a very short one. If one goes by the age 
of the world and its dwellers, it is but a hand's span. 
We are not so much different from our forbears. It 
is only a question of adaptations of things to present 
uses — the more things, the more uses one finds for 
them. 

The settler had no time to go on voyages of discov- 
ery along the lines of na ural phenomena. Outside 
of Franklin and his kite, the chart of Nature was as 
obscure as the maps of the Arabian cartographers, 



OLD YORK 177 

or that of Toscanelli, and his conjectural location of 
Zipangu. Nature had not been recognized as the 
store-house of Art, to which all processes were akin. 
They had pre-empted the eternal hills, and the bowls 
of verdure that lay between, for their herds and flocks. 
There, their study of Nature's chemistry stopped. 
The rainbow chasers of the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries had given up their search af.er mythical 
Eldorados because they had no legacies of Nature's 
secrets to bequeath. Their descendants took from 
their estates only the alchemy of toil. 

The differences are simply comparative. The 
rude and rugged conditions still exist in the back- 
woods of Maine that were once the share of the early 
York settler. One does not find much variation in 
similar locaUties. The tan of Nature on the un- 
painted house of to-day is the dun-hue that marked 
that of Parson Dummer's parsonage on the edge 
of Savage Rock, and that overlooked the marsh 
grasses of York River. The hedges have the same 
characteristics of growth. The birch throws its yel- 
low fringe to the same idly-blowing winds. The 
sumac burns as brilliantly in its shadow, to touch 
elbows with the scrawny dwarfs that huddle along 
the edges of the woodland. Like lines, hatched care- 
lessly, the purple briar stems mingle and mix with 
the hues that blend into a harmony of tones and 
half-tones, like the notes of a musical composition. 
If the old settler saw these things, he has never men- 
tioned it. He was better acquainted with creeds 
and polemics, if the literary products of his time are 



178 



OLD YORK 



to be taken as a criterion. Literally, the old Anglo- 
Saxon cotset is admirably applicable to the general 
conditions which made up the environment of the 
earliest comers. 

The same wild grasses paint the hillsides with 
emerald now, as then. The same delicate lichens, 




THE WITCH S GRAVE 



with their parti-colored dyes of gray, brown, and olive, 
streak the ledges of Agamenticus; and it is the same 
with men. One man's corn or grain differs not much 
from his neighbor's. His acres may have yielded 
more, a condition dependent on soil, treatment, 
labor processes, and farm economics. Once in the 
garner, they find the same market and a like price. 
One man goes one way, another, and another, to 
overtake one the other, or to meet at the fork of the 



OLD YORK 179 

roads. The surprise is mutual; but so long as the old 
ruts are at one's feet, it is natural men should prefer 
them to newer and untried ways. An old rut is like 
an old shoe — " dreffle easy t' the fut." 

Doubtless there are some old ruts in the York of 
to-day; and should one saunter down to the old Don- 
nell Wharf, or into the old burying-ground, one 
might find there some things which are not suscepti- 
ble of the theory of integral calculus. 

These old days, with their formalities and restric- 
tions, are like worn-out fields that have run to " spear 
grass" and seem hardly worth the mowing; but turn 
them up with the plough, and harrow them up and 
down, and one gets a rich return of storied tradition, 
once real enough, but now illumined and softened by 
that distance that — 

"lends enchantment to the view;" 

meanwhile the legends grow, and the heart fills and 
goes out to the gentle-mannered dames, and the "old- 
school" gentlemen who fill in the middle-ground be- 
tween the amenities of aesthetic, art-environed to- 
day, and strenuous, horny-handed yesterday. 

I wish I might find that old journal which Parson 
Moody must have kept, for it was the habit in those 
days for the educated man to preserve some record 
of his own accomplishments, not so much, perhaps, for 
the pleasure it would give to unborn generations, as, 
that by so doing, events would be fastened more se- 
curely in his mind, trivial enough in their day, with 
here and there a random thought which would po- 



180 OLD YORK 

tently reflect the manners, feelings and sympathies 
of those with whom daily contact was not only a duty 
but a profitable pleasure. It would make mention 
of many things that have forever passed the scope of 
the most industrious scrutiny. I should have sup- 
posed he would have written something of the beadle, 
whose care was that the boys " are jiiuilty of no mis- 
demeanors at the Meeting-house on the Sabbath/' 
a needful provision, if one accepts Longfellow, that, 

"A boy's will, is the wind's will," 

and the good old poet ought to have known ; for he 
lived on the hither edge of the days these pages are 
in some degree delineating. Old Father Moody must 
have had many a spell of unconscious cerebration, and 
no doul^t many a latent thought of his would have 
found place on one page and another as it passed 
under his hand. 

But those cold, blustering, winter Sabbaths! The 
fireless, roughly-boarded old church, the slow-sing- 
ing of the ''lined-out" hymns, the prayer and sermon 
dragging their slow lengths along the frost-laden air, 
called for not only a fortitude, incomprehensible to the 
modern devotee, but a loyalty to religious observance 
which certainly required a fine of five shillings and 
costs to give it proper stamina. 

The youngsters must have been a stolid set not to 
have thrashed about a little bit, with so great a prov- 
ocation under foot. For, I much doubt if the women 
shared their foot-stoves with anybody; and queer 
clumsy-like things they were — square boxes of sheet- 



OLD YORK 181 

iron, punched with holes, in the bottom of which 
was an ash-pan filled with live coals from the 
home fireplace. It is doubtful if these meeting- 
houses had so much as a huge hearth from which these 
foot-stoves could be replenished, and which took the 
place of the soapstone of to-day. The men were hard- 
ened to the cold, and the women as well; and the 
cliildren were toughened, bit by bit, into uncom- 
plaining types of their elders. 

In those days, and even at the beginning of the 
last century, churches were without fires. Full of 
windows, the rough wintry winds smote their loose 
rattling sash, and their low gables, and crept through 
every crack and crevice, of which there were many, 
in these rude structures. One recalls here, that the 
old Pejepscot meeting-house, now used as a town- 
house, was sheathed with birch bark. Certainly, 
church-goers must have been stoics, and of unlimited 
patience. Whether the hard bare benches, a zero 
atmosphere, long, interminably long prayers and ser- 
mons then in vogue, were conducive to a "lowly and 
contrite heart," may well be doubted; but the absence 
of any amenities in their worship was in perfect con- 
sonance with the strength and ruggedness of the char- 
acter so evidently possessed by the founders of this 
old York settlement. 

The sure result of these old-time experiences and 
teachings was patience. Patience begat courtesy; 
courtesy, gentleness of manners ; and out of this latter 
came grace, good-breeding, a delicate consideration 
for others, and a reverence for good things. 



182 OLD YORK 

I remember a fashion, a remnant of these manners, 
worn-out almost in my short-clothes clays, how the 
school-children, whenever the minister came along 
the highway, stood arow by the roadside, with hats 
and wide-brimmed bonnets doffed, while the object 
of all this gentle courtesy and deference walked or 
jogged his horse complacently past in his two- wheeled 
chaise — one of the same kind 

" That was built in such a wonderful way 
It lasted a hundred years to a day — " 

deeply buried, no doubt in theologic abstractions, or 
lost in perplexing calculations of a temporal character 
as became the chairman, ex-officio, of the parish com- 
mittee on ways and means ; with but a scant word of 
recognition for the rusticity that did liim so much ad- 
olescent courtesy. But the charming simplicity of 
that time has passed away. Quality, weight, and 
measure, from the stocks and bonds pomts of view, 
are the gauge of nowaday courtesies. Men respect 
others for what they are, and what they are able to 
get for themselves, and not so much for the positions 
they command by family influence or the prestige 
which has been passed to them by a Court of Surro- 
gate. As for the young folk, they spend their time 
in growing a set of knobs and protuberances to be 
knocked off later in life, which, well-rid of, graduates 
them into the staidness of a settled career. 

I have m mind an old-school clergyman who was 
settled over an up-country parish years ago. He 
was an old man when I knew him first and of whom 



OLD YORK 183 

Father Moody might have been a near-by prototype ; 
with the difference, that the courtly short breeches, 
knee-buckles, long figured waistcoats and sugar-loaf 
hat, had been conjured by fashion into the more pro- 
saic garb of the nineteenth century; and who, with his 
people, quaint and olden in their habits, manners, 
and living, had been picked up bodily by some wan- 
dering Roc and dropped a half-century inland. All 
else was much the same, and delightfully old-fash- 
ioned. Like the typical Puritan of Hawthorne, he 
was tall, lank and raw-boned; big of frame and sparse 
in flesh; but abundant in conscience and untiring de- 
votion; whose suit of doeskin, rusty and threadbare, 
bore marks of long wear, with, here and there, a tell- 
tale patch of economy — indicative of a pinched 
stipend, or what was more likely, an active sympathy 
for the parish poor. He was, in truth, a leader of 
the church militant; and the patches on the knees of 
his much mended trousers, were to him the scars won 
in many a prayerful battle with the Father of Lies. 
He was a man of long prayers and longer sermons. 
Whatever of kindliness he bore to others was masked 
under a long-drawn, solemn visage, and a most dig- 
nified and serious demeanor. Not in the least an 
ascetic, he was inwardly all piety and love. 

A half a hundred years, probably he held his pas- 
torate, to die at last as do others; but old parson 
Richardson could go about his parish, and in and out 
its hillside homes, in garb of ancient cut and sad 
dilapidation, or drive along the highway behind his 
like ancient nag in his old leather-topped chaise, and 



184 OLD YORK 

no one laughed at him or his turn-out; but his more 
youthful successor could not. Dress had come, after 
all, to have a value in the average country mind, and 
there were no presumptions in favor of the new- 
comer. 

The minister of the "saddle-bag" period never 
outgrew his parish; nor did the parish ever get res- 
tive or uneasy, or long for the flesh-pots of Egypt. 
Once settled, he was the patriarch of his flock. Stern 
of countenance, austere of greeting, and even eccen- 
tric in his manner, he might be. He was a University 
man if the parish were Congregational. He was loved, 
respected, and in his extreme age venerated. His 
people were his flock: he was their shepherd; and when 
the light began to fail along his path, he was solici- 
lously cared for. When the light was utterly blown 
out, his last word was cherished as a henedicite. 
Those were the good old saddle-bag days, when 
Things did not move so rapidly as to-day, or get to 
jogging elbows disagreeably in church matters. 

There are numerous meeting-houses scattered 
through New England, doubtless contemporary with 
this ancient structure at York. They were, from an 
architectural point of view, built along the same 
lines, and in their day regarded as models of elegance 
and structural beauty. I have one in mind, now 
abandoned for a newer; but the elder is superior to 
its successor from every point of view. Its pews are 
of the straight-backed sort. The family seat faced 
the l3ody of the church. To occupy it was to feel 
that one was the object of much staring; but it was 



OLD YORK 185 

a vantage-point from which to see all that was going 
on; and many a sly wink and grimace were indulged 
in, though a gentle nudge was sure to follow. This 
pew was occupied every Sabbath of the year, almost, 
''rain or shine." Old Parson Richardson usually 
reached his limit somewhere around the " and, thir- 
teenthly " — numerically; that was about as far as 
he ever got — as if that were not enough; and all 
of which was taken with a wholesome awe antl pro- 
found respect. However, when the "and lastly" 
was reached, a bustle of gratified expectancy ran over 
the church as the women-folk began to fuml^le for 
their "Watts and Select," or fingered their pockets 
for a bit of sugared calamus root with which to clear 
their throats, and the men got out their l)ig red hand- 
kerchiefs with which to blow their individual noses 
by way of climax to the closing of the sermon. 

One would need but a single experience to realize 
how restful it was, the rising and singing of that last 
hymn, with every face turned to the singing-seats 
in the narrow gallery that spanned the front gable 
of the church, where the crowded choir, aided by 
"ye little and ye big fiddles," sang with an unction 
and a volume of sound ; but , what a commotion when 
these "worldlie" instruments came first to be used 
in the old church! Old ties were like to be split 
asunder; but good sense prevailed then, nmch as in 
these later days. 

The preacher's trenchant voice did not admit of 
much dozing or sleeping in the congregation, as is 
somewhat the fashion in these times; and the deacons 



186 OLD YORK 

were ever on the alert for the skitterwit boy who 
indulged in obstreperous misbehavior. They did 
not hesitate to take such to their own pews, much to 
the chagrin of the thoughtless urcMns who were so 
unfortimate as to get caught. High, rough-plas- 
tered walls, wide-staring windows looked down upon 
this scene. Among the cramped pine seats of the 
singing-gallery, dangled the bell-rope from the belfry, 
which always creaked and scraped loudly when the 
sexton rang or "set" the heavy bell. Crooked, rust- 
eaten fimnels towered crazily above the stoves, and 
then, turning a sharp angle, stretched the entire 
length of the church to disappear in the ceiling over 
the huge mahogany- veneered pulpit. Exceeding 
steep flights of steps ran up from the dais on either 
side, and up which, every morning and afternoon, 
an old man climbed slowly and unsteadily to over- 
look the well-filled pews. 

It is something to be able to live over the old life, 
if only in one's thought. It is much to have such 
to relive. It softens the harsh lines; and like the old 
tasks, long ago laid aside, their irksomeness is gone. 

Outside the Sunday services, other than the 
quarterly conference, which was sometliing of a visit- 
ing episode, and that rounded out the clerical year, 
was getting the minister's wood and the donation 
j)arty, customs now grown obsolete in a great meas- 
ure, yet something of a vogue in the "back" parishes 
where the minister takes to preacliing to eke out a 
scanty farm-living, with, perhaps, though not often, 
it is to be said, to the credit of the cloth, a bit of 



OLD YORK 187 

horse-trading, now and then ; which was not supposed 
to interfere with the pastoral duty, unclerical as it 
might seem. 

It is almost a generation and a half since I went 
to the last of these charitable happenings in my coun- 
try life. The wood question, hauling the minister's 
wood, came earliest in the season. It was followed 
about midwinter with a "donation." After the first 
snows came, — and it seems as if they came earlier 
and deeper then, — the menfolk turned out with 
their oxen, sleds, and axes, and driving into the wood- 
land of some generously disposed parishioner, the 
onslaught among the beeches and maples began. A 
dozen axes made sharp music, and the minister's 
woodpile grew apace. For all tliis, he was to be 
pitied; for often, while liis neighbors' fire was ablaze 
with summer-seasoned wood, cut and split while the 
March snows were settling, and seasoned with scents 
of apple blossoms and the songs of sunmier, and 
stored in the ample sheds, the August sunshine filling 
its fibres with crackling heats, the parson sat beside 
his slow-burning fire of frostbound sticks, coaxing 
now and then a tardy blaze with which to set liis thin 
blood aglow. 

Sometimes a load of well-seasoned birch in rags 
and tatters of snowy, sun-bleached bark for swift 
kindling, found its way into the parsonage outhouse. 
Then the old man's heart glowed like the cheery flame 
that lay within the secret cells of wood. Sometimes 
at noon when the school was out the larger boys 
would chop at the minister's wood-pile, but his axe, 



188 OLD YORK 

like some of his sermons, was very dull, and the boys 
would get discouraged, and then he would have to 
take a hand himself, or fare worse. I have thought, 
sometimes, if they who show the way knew more of 
the work men do with their hands they might get 
nearer the people than they do. 

The "donation" was as likely to occur on a Febru- 
ary night as any other, when 

"Half the corn and half the hay " 
had gone with Candlemas Day, But there was a grim 
sequel to this coming of the good people of the parish, 
with their buttered bread and doughnuts, their black 
pots of baked beans, and loaves of rye bread baked in 
wide-flaring, ten-quart tin pans, that came with the 
cleaning up of the "left-overs," with crumbs of all 
sorts trodden into the carpets, and the pantry all 
askew. 

Money was not over-plentiful; "four 'n' six" a 
day for rustic labor might be taken to indicate its 
ratio of value to other things. Giving " things " was 
easier than giving money. But this was a much 
talked of event. It meant an outing for the young 
folk at a time when cards and dancing and parties 
were not countenanced among the strictly orthodox, 
— an evening of sober enjoyment and social inter- 
course for their elders. It was an informal reception 
at which the youngest was as welcome as the eldest. 
But, somehow, the best was always thought too good 
for the parson's family; so whatever went out of these 
many households into his, was such as would be the 
least missed from the home larder. 



OLD YORK 189 

It was "early candlelight," hardly, on this Feb- 
ruary afternoon when the folk began to gather at the 
parsonage. As team after team drove up, the lan- 
tern lights dodged in and out, or swung up and down 
like so many will-o'-the-wisps, faint and grimm^ring. 
The snow creaked in a cheery way under the sleigh 
runners; the barn doors rattled a noisy welcome; the 
house doors flew open with every fresh alarm of jing- 
ling bells, letting bars of nebulous light out into the 
biting night wind that brought down hosts of fine 
snowflakes from the roofs to pile the drifts in the 
narrow yard still higher. Later, the parish folk are 
all here. The parish includes the entire neighbor- 
hood, unless the contingent of corner grocery habi- 
tues, who are never to be found elsewhere so long as 
the trader will contribute lights and fuel, and who 
lounge about the hacked settees, are excepted. The 
parson's wife is sent into the best room to assist her 
husband in receiving; and the neighborhood matrons 
take possession of the kitchen, where everything is 
being made ready for the feast, a sort of mysterious 
procedure, along with much voluble comment and 
critical sampling individual contributions. 

Every room glows with open fires and the mellow 
light of home-made candles ; the stairways creak with 
the young folk going up and down, laughing and 
romping at will through the house, which really en- 
joys this lapsing from its customary staidness. Oc- 
casionall}^ the wind swoops down against the north 
gable, with a buffet that makes the roof-tree quiver 
with shrill weird notes of complaining; the nails in 



190 OLD YORK 

the clapboards snap loudly; while Jack Frost, with 
his proverbial lack of manners, peeps in at the cor- 
ners of the windowpanes, and wherever his breath 
touches them gather tufts of queerly shaped wrin- 
kles, that grow into wonderful ferns and clumps of 
foliage. But this was not all. The apple-trees and 
the lilac bushes in the front yard whistled softly to 
each other as the wind jumped off the low roof, or 
whirled around the white gable ; and they wished th3m- 
selves grown-up folk, so they might shake the hand of 
the good old parson and his sweetfaced wife, but all 
they did was to rub their scrawny limbs against the 
side of the house with a rough caressing, that no doubt 
took the will for the deed; for from the outside the 
parsonage seemed on the broad grin, with so many 
flashing firelit windows, and such a continuous trail 
of ruddy sparks scurrying away from its low chim- 
ney tops. The sleigh-bells had a great time, talk- 
ing back and forth, as the horses took up one foot 
after another, only to put them back again into the 
crisp snow, and thoroughly discontented with noth- 
ing better in view than a rickety board fence that 
served as a boundary line and a hitching-post alike. 
The old parsonage seemed "possessed," and fairly 
shook with laughter, with all its pent jollity. Time 
went, on this night, if it never did before ; and it was 
not long after "grace" that the supper was eaten — 
the children were served last — when the little Gothic 
clock on the kitchen shelf struck ten halting strokes, 
each one a thin-timbred, high-pitched note — as if 
long ago worn out with so much iteration. Then 



OLD YORK 191 

the parish folk said, "Good-night" one by one, to 
go out into the dark, leaving the parson and his wife 
to rake up the smouldering coals with tired, tremu- 
lous hands, covering them deep in the gray ashe\ 
That done, they sat down to count the cost. This 
having to count the cost, was the bane of the old- 
fashioned donation-party, when those who came, 
ate up all they brought, as was often the case. No 
doubt any one of the good old pastors of this ancient 
church of York could have told the story much better, 
and I should very much prefer to have used quota- 
tion marks in the relation, but, 

"Where to elect there is but one, 
'Tis Hobson's choice; take that, or none." 

The minister of the old days was looked upon as 
a man of superior education ; and the York ministers 
were not one whit behind the best men of the times. 
All, conscientious disciples of the Man of Galilee, 
their labors were of arduous and unremitting char- 
acter, and their lines were cast amid rough waters. 
What would not one do or where would not one go, 
to find that journal of neighborhood happenings, 
quaint pen-pictures of current events, in which as 
much was written about himself as of his neighbors 
and their doings, which each of these stewards of 
the vineyard must have kept! Stories of earth- 
quakes, the untimely frosts of 1794; the poverty year 
of 1815 with its heavy snow of June 9, and the great 
snowfall of February 20, 1717, when the houses were 
buried, and Boston's cow-lanes were clogged with a 
single fall of six feet of snow, would have had perti- 



192 OLD YORK 

nent mention. There were no wagons in those days — 
nothing but bridle-paths along the sands, out through 
the swamps, up over the rugged hills, and threading 
the dense woods, and which were dignified by the 
General Court as "roads," for which appropriations 
were made and expended. Old York was indicted 
for neglect of highways in 1664, and this was the 
"road" ordered by the General Court to be cut from 
the head of Roger's Cove to Bra'boat Harbor, "and 
on unto the little marsh near unto Captain Camper- 
nowne's house, and so to William Hilton's at Ware- 
house Point, the inhabitants of Gorgeana to cut unto 
a cove near to John Andrew's and the inhabitants 
of Pascataquack from William Hilton's, and to be 
done by 30 Oct., 1649." 

These roads were hardly more than foot-paths 
from house to house, often impassable in winter; and 
it was through these blockades the minister went if 
he went at all, when he made his visits to his pa- 
rishioners, and where he was always, if report be 
true, a welcome visitor. What a dearth of neigh- 
borhood calls there must have been in those days! 

But this was not all. Provisions were scanty; 
famine stared the township in the face more than 
once, with so many men away fighting the Indians, 
and so much of danger threatening those who ven- 
tured into the fields to plant them, or to gather their 
crops. It might well be called the Iron Age here- 
about, with so much of exposure and hardship, and 
so little with which to do. But amid all, with all 
the changes that came to his people, moved the pastor 



OLD YORK 193 

with self-conscious integrity, and benign countenance, 
holding to the tenure of his service for a hfetime — 
which is so uncommon in these days of uneasy and 
changing pastoral relations, as to be worth the re- 
cording. 

These loosely-spun yarns of the days of pillion and 
saddle-bag would not be complete without some ref- 
erence to the preparations for the Sabbath, which 
was not only a day of worship and religious reflec- 
tion, but a day of quiet, seeml}^ rest from labor of 
the field. This was an interregnum during which 
no "idle" recreating, walking or disporting of one's 
self in public was allowable or permitted. "Thou 
shalt keep the Sabbath day holy," included the ox 
as well as his master; and this enforced seclusion 
outside of attendance upon public worship, begot 
extra toil for the day preceding. It is within the 
memory of the writer, that in the old-fashioned ortho- 
dox family, all food for Sabbath consumption was 
prepared on Saturday, so that nothing of a " worldlie " 
nature, or care, or annoyance, should interevene to 
distract the mind of the devoutly-inclined household 
from a "profitable meditation of the Word;" and 
all secular reading was tabooed or locked up in the 
little cupboard in its "Sailor's Snug Corner" of the 
sitting-room. Only the black leather-covered Bible, 
Baxter's "Samt's Rest," or dear old Bunyan, were 
available for mental refreshment, unless Young's 
"Night Thoughts" was permitted to share with 
"Watts and Select" the scanning of the poetically 
inclined. 



194 



OLD YORK 



These were the days when things were seen dimly, 
as through the perforated square tin lanterns of the 
time, whose single candle-flame, and limited powers 
of illumination, barely suggested the way one's feet 
should keep; and whose tiny holes, outlined in scrolls 
and other simple devices, let out slender and doubt- 
ful threads or rays of light, that were, after all, but 
intimations; and, so it was they groped their way 
toward the larger day which they were allowed to 
see afar off, as Moses viewed the milk and honey land 
from Pisgah's top. 

As if one were astride the ass of Al Borak, these 
pictures are limned with every raising of the eye- 
lids; and they change, and come, and go, as the shift- 
ing shadows of the leaves where the sunlight filters 
brokenly with every varying breeze. 








TOBEY HOUSE, ELIOT 



OLD KETTERIE 




OLD KETTERIE 



NDOUBTEDLY the first 
Englishman to sail up the 
channel of the Piscataqua 
River was Pring, who 
sailed over here in 
the Speedwell in 
1603. The Speed- 
well and the Dis- 
coverer made up 
Pring's fleet, 
whose sails, belly- 
" ing with the pine- 

flavored winds of the Maine coast, bore southward 
until the wide mouth of the beautiful river opened 
up before the prows of his vessels, where he willingly 
dropped anchor, and like many others who have been 
charmed with its varied and romantic scenery, began 
to write of what he saw. He was evidently much 
attracted b}^ this river, for he not only followed its 

197 




198 OLD YORK 

course inland some distance, but he describes its 
natural disposition of land and water, its vegetation, 
and its four-footed dwellers, but does not mention 
that he saw any of the aborigines. He was looking 
for sassafras, but it was not indigenous to the sur- 
rounding country. Doubtless it was his search for 
that savory root that led him up-stream; and it is 
certain that he found the land pleasant to look upon, 
as did many others, who a quarter of a century later 
began to follow in his footsteps. 

The first comer here was one David Thompson. 
He did not settle at Kittery, but across the river on 
the New Hampshire side, probably. His settlement 
has been located at Rye; also at Thompson's Point, 
which latter is most likely to be the place, else it 
would not have taken his name. Stackpole locates 
him at Little Harbor, better known in these days as 
Rye. This writer says his house site has been " lo- 
cated at Odiorne's Point." It matters little as to the 
exact spot that marked his stay of hardly three years; 
but that he was here in this neighborhood makes 
a human landmark from which one may begin to run 
his l)Oundary lines as he makes his survey. In the 
Public Record Office in London may be seen a patent 
to Thompson and two other men bearing the date 
of October 16, 1622, "for a pt of Pascataqua river 
in New England;" which was an infringement upon 
that of Gorges and Mason, August 10 of the same 
year. Upon the arrival of Neal as agent for Gorges 
and Mason, Thompson departed for the Boston 
colony. It seems that Christopher Levett was his 



OLD YORK 199 

guest, in 1623; and his place may have come into 
some prominence as a convenient shelter for the 
fishermen who began coming to these waters after 
cod. Smith was here at the neighboring Isles of 
Shoals in 1614, and, after his coming the fishermen 
were numerous. Thompson's "stone house" may 
have been hardly more than the rudest shelter of the 
times; but it was undoubtedly well known, because 
Thompson was not here alone, but had employees 
or servants. These, many of them, naturally re- 
mained, as Neal came prepared for a permanent stay. 
He pre-empted Thompson's house, and after a brief 
three years returned to England. In 1631 a ship 
came over with a relay of other laborers. It is prob- 
able that Capt. Thomas Cammock, Chadbourne, the 
builder of "Great House," at Strawberry Bank, 
Thomas Withers, Thomas Spencer, and Thomas 
Crockett, all early landmarks, came at the same time. 
They were contemporaries here and their names 
appear with frequency. Ambrose Gibbons, who 
came with Neal, was Mason's manager, and a house 
had been built for Mason at Newichawannock, prob- 
ably in 1632, as Mason writes Gibbons under date of 
December 5, 1632, "We praie you to take of our 
house at Newichawannock, and to look well to our 
vines; also, you may take some of our swine and 
goates, which we praie you to preserve." 

This was the first attempt, doubtless, at systematic 
farming in the province, and it was ultimately suc- 
cessful; for Francis Norton, a later agent of Mason's 
widow, drove one hundred beeves to Boston after- 



200 OLD YORK 

wards, where he disposed of them readily, at a good 
price. But Mason's interest here was short, and 
very few titles of to-day can be traced back to his 
grant. Henry Jocelyn assumed Neal's functions as 
]\Iason's provincial governor, and at Mason's death 
established himself at Black Point to the eastward. 
The Mason property at Newichawannock met the 
fate of the garments of the Nazarene. After Nor- 
ton had taken what he desired, the servants fell to 
and appropriated the residue, — the neat stock, stores, 
and provisions, and, as well, the houses. This was the 
end of the seductive dream that possessed j\Iason's 
mind of an English manor in New England. Mason 
as well as Gorges was bound to fail ; but both builded 
better than they knew. Their immediate loss was the 
ultimate gain of others who were to come after them. 
If one cares to examine the New England His- 
torical and Genealogical Register for 184S, a list of 
]\Iason's stewards and servants will be found, and 
which is reputed to be an accurate copy of an ancient 
document which is accepted as reliable. The names 
of fifty individuals are given, and it concludes, — 
"Eight Danes, Twenty-two Women." The men 
were expected to work; and the women to marry. 
Wives were in demand. Gibbons wrote Mason 
August 6, 1634, "a good husband with his wife to 
tend the cattle, and to make butter and cheese will 
be profitable; for maids they are soon gonne in this 
countrie." A comely English maid once off ship 
found it a short road to the Justice of the Peace and 
a rude but comfortable home. Then began the 



OLD YORK 



201 




202 OLD YORK 

building up of the households; and how they grew! 
And the houses kept pace, too; and a lively pace it 
was with so many childish feet thronging their thres- 
holds, for the good old English fashion of big families 
was brought along with the rest of the good old things 
common in bonnie England. As these settlers pros- 
pered, and the choice fruits of their adventurous 
courage, their energy, and their indomitable industry 
were garnered, their intelligence and mental training 
demanded and obtained for them, the position and 
influence that the New England character has always 
stood for. The men and women of the old days were 
heroes and heroines; and out of the realities of their 
times are woven the finest fabrics of to-day's romance. 
Their traits were all of the hereditary sort; and these 
people of Kittery were loyalists as well as liberalists. 
On general principles they were as God-fearing antl 
as jealous of the rights of the individual as the Puri- 
tans of Massachusetts Bay. They differed, it is true, 
in their motives in coming to this new country, but 
it was a creditable difference. Their object was land, 
primarily, and lumber; fishing was the first and most 
important factor; but that industry took second 
place as the settlements grew and the clearings 
widened. The foundation of all this perilous and 
rugged endeavor was the acquisition of material 
wealth, in the accumulation of which they were 
not behind the Plymouth colony. With wealth 
came power and local importance and a generous 
outlook. Go into the old houses of older Kittery, 
and you have the proof of this in the ample halls, the 



OLD YORK 203 

low broad fireplaces, the carved wainscotings that 
reach from floor to ceiling; the wide staircases with 
their carved balustrades, the shuttered windows, and 
the antique furnishings that at this day are wonders 
of art. There is hardly one of these old houses that 
has not on its walls a Copley, or did not have at some 
time in its history, along with a tall clock in mahog- 
any, and a set of brasses for every fireplace, that 
would put a connoisseur on pins and needles imtil he 
might call them his own, or gather them into his 
already fine collection. They were the days of fine 
tapestries, laces, and old china, and of like fine ways 
and manners. What was the odds if the founder of 
this family made his mark or could not write his 
name! Those who came after him could, and what 
was more, they coukl point with a great pride to the 
achievement of their ancestor who lived in a time 
when brawn of muscle and native wit and a heroic 
cast of mind were the hall-marks of manhood; and 
when reading, writing, and spelling would hardly 
keep one's scalp on one's head in an Indian raid; or 
clear the lands, turn up the black furrows for the flax 
and the corn; or defend the sheep that afforded them 
their garb of homespun. The schoolmaster came as 
soon as room could be made for him, and the meet- 
ing-house as well. The Rev. Jeremiah Hubbard 
was here as early as 1667, and in the Rev. Mr. New- 
march was happily combined both preacher and school- 
master. At this time Kittery was a busy place with 
its ship-building and its increasing commerce, all of 
which stood amply for the quality of its citizenship. 



204 OLD YORK 

If one saunters leisurely along the shore road of the 
Kittery of to-day he will find much food for thought, 
for he would find the actualities of the Old 

"mingled 
With the marvels of the New," 

and as well, 

"A vast and ghostly cavalcade," 

keeping even step with his own, over these old bridle- 
paths that have widened out somewhat with the usage 
of centuries, touching elbows, or nudging one i' the 
ribs, as one comes to an ancient roof or a hollow in the 
ground once dignified by an old-time mansion and a 
human occupant. If one stops to listen, faint foot- 
falls come and go, or beat with an irregular pulsing 
upon the sleepy airs that hereabout seem always to 
blow from Nowhere, — for here at Kittery Point is a 
veritable patch of Poppj^-Land. Whether one takes 
a hammock swing when the heavy dews lie along the 
fragrant grasses, or later in the day when the roads 
are but tremulous threads of glimmering heats, or 
still later, when the lengthening phantoms of the Kit- 
tery elms creep noiselessly athwart the sward, and 
the shadows of the headlands paint the sea a swarthy 
gray, or inlay it with mosaics of mother of pearl, 
one is under the spell of the 

"legends and runes 
Of credulous days, odd fancies that have lain 
Silent from boyhood taking voice again, 
Warmed into life once more, even as the tunes 
That, frozen in the fabled hunting-horn, 
Thawed into sound;" 



OLD YORK 205 

as if one had paused to 

"eat the lotus of the Nile 
And drink the poppies of Cathay." 

Old Kittery, like poor Rip, went to sleep long years 
ago; but if one cares to hear the rime of the inland 
Catskills, one needs but to catch the sound of the sea 
along the Kittery shores, with the dull thunder of its 






/a.'' i^*Ai */ '■ ^— '^K y^SL w^ "*" ^k*i "lis ^^ >«?^w&ar ^^-^ at V*" 




A GLIMPSE OF KITTERY 



surf breaking over Whale-back, and with Irving's 
tale in mind, the vision grows, and the Kittery sands 

"are traversed by a silent throng 
Of voyagers from that vaster mystery," 

whose company we would recall for a little span. 

If one would see old "Ketterie" as it came to me, 
I should say, Here are the glasses, sir; you will 
have to use them as they are, for the mechanism of 
their adjustment to the promiscuous vision is some- 
what out of repair, — "mebbe they'll do you!" as 



206 



OLD YORK 



my friend Bellamy, Avho lives in the Sir William Pep- 
perrell house, remarked to me one lazy summer after- 
noon of not long ago. While I scanned the sunlit 
waters that lay over and beyond Fort Constitution, 
he told me how to make a witch bridle; and somehow 
it seemed that the days of old Aunt Polly were returned 
and she was taking me up and dowTi the roads of here- 
about, croaking her stories of the people she once 
knew into my ears, and who were wont to climb Brim- 




CHAUNCEY'S CREEK 



stone Hill to pay to her their tributes of fish, tobacco, 
and snuff, and one knows not what else, — good-will 
offerings, the purchase money for the devil's forbear- 
ance. She showed me the furrow in the mud of 
Chauncey's Creek where she " teched " the Vesper ; 
and told me how she rode old Captain Perkins to 
York and back one stormy night. She said, " Mary 
Greenland were a pore, deluded woman, an' no witch ; 
but 'n them days folk hed t' hev witches, an' mebbe 
she'd do fer Deb'rah Lockwood an' Ann Lin. Fer 



OLD YORK 



207 



sitch nigh folk 's Cap'n Mitch'll an' Cap'n Perkins, it 
needed suthin' made i' the dark o' the moon/' — 

From the inner shag of the yellow-birch ; 
Hair from the tail of a piebald horse; 
A poop of tow, from a swingle-staff 
Cut from the limb of a witch-burr tree; 
Looped through a yoke, limber and slim 
As ever a witch-bridle yoke could be. 

It was on a July afternoon that I made my way to 
Kittery. I left the train at Kittery Junction, from 











THE REMICK HOUSE 



whence one gets a first look at this country of By- 
gone, where every cove and outreacliing slielf of rock 
owns some legend or tradition. Across the river — for 
it was up these waters that Pring turned the prows 
of his craft toward Quampegan Falls — is old Straw- 
berry Bank, and midstream is old Withers' Island, 



208 OLD YORK 

now known as Badger's. Both these are landmarks 
as ancient as any hereabout ; for here was an ancient 
ferry kept by Woodman, and which spanned the Pis- 
cataqua from Withers' Point to Strawberry Bank, as 
travellers to east or west, signified their desire. I can 
almost see the cliimney top of the Remick house, 
built in 1777, near the overhead bridge north of the 
railway station, and which is an interesting example 
of the clwellmg of its period. Hardly has the smoke 
of the tram into Portsmouth cleared away up river 
than one's dreaming begins ; for turn wliichever way 
one will, the spell works, and one's feet are following 
th? same trend of the worthies who wrought these 
ways up and do\ATi the olden town, keeping to the 
water-side. From the station the shore runs south- 
east, and as one goes one finds the outward aspect 
' of things to be much like that of any other coast 
town, except that, to the right, below Badger's 
Island, are those of Puddington and Fernald, oc- 
cupied by the present Navy Yard. The strip 
of water between, is Crooked Lane, at the head 
of which was the early mansion of Robert Cutt; 
and as one keeps on, down the mainland, it ends in 
old-time Gunnison's Neck, where Spruce Creek makes 
in to widen out northward. Opposite, and exactly 
east, is Crockett's Neck, which makes the north land- 
wall of Crockett's Cove a narrow strip of flats at ebb 
tide, but a charming and picturesque bit of water at 
flood. Between the mainland and Iiittery Point, 
Spruce Creek is compressed into the shape of a bottle- 
neck, across the mouth of which the Piscataqua cuts 



OLD YORK 



209 



squarely, to sweep grandly down to the sea between 
Great Island, with its gray roofs antl ancient church 
towers of olden New Castle, and the Kitteryof Cham- 
pernowne and the famous Pepperrells. Once over 
Spruce Creek from Gunnison's Neck one is in an en- 
chanted country. All the way from the railway 
station hither, one has been walking over or past old 
cellars, liut unless one has stopped for a glanc3 at the 




RICE'S TAVERN 



old Rice Tavern, nothing of a material character 
has met the eye other than what one sees in the mod- 
ern village. Nor is this hostelry very ancient, as its 
building was somewhere about 1806; but it was here 
before the days of bridges, and marks the landing- 
place of the ferry from Portsmouth. This, and the 
old Remick house by the railroad, are the two surviv- 
ors of the early settlement days on the hither side of 
Spruce Creek, unless one goes up Eliot way for a 
glimpse at some old houses, where he is likely to begin 



210 OLD YORK 

with the structurally quaint Tobey roof-tree, planted 
as early as 1727. Eliot has some very old houses. 
The Shapleigh house, built in 1730, is regarded as a 
fine specimen of the colonial type. The huge chim- 
ney of this old mansion was shaken down by the earth- 
quake of November 1, 1755, — 

"That was the year when Lisbon town 
Felt the earth shake, and tumbled down; " 

and it was the identical day on \Aliich Lisbon was 
destroyed. This digression to Eliot emphasizes the 
rarity of the house of the ante-Revolutionary period 
along Kittery Foreside; but Eliot was in those days 
kno^ii as Kittery Middle Parish. Referring to its 
ancient places, one should not miss the Frost Garri- 
son house, which is now stored with the family fuel 
instead of powder and shot, for the wily savage. 

With a parting glance up the river I get a gUmpse 
of the green uplands of Withers' Island, and I recall 
an old court record in wliich he figures somewhat. 
He was one of the settlers induced by Mason to go 
to liis province of New HampsMre. He came here 
in 1631, and was a councillor imder the Godfrey 
government in 1644. After the submission of the 
Maine province to the Massachusetts Bay colony 
he was made a commissioner. He was a represen- 
tative to the General Court in 1656. He was in 
high favor and obtained many grants of land, so 
that his acquisitions were considerable, and he was 
regarded as a landed proprietor of quite extensive 
hokUngs. But for all these evidences of abmidance 



OLD YORK 



211 



Baxter says he fell into "disrepute." According to 
the records of the court in 1671, John (undoubtedly 
this was a mistake in the Christian name, and Thomas 
was meant) Withers was presented " for an irregular 
way of Contribution, by putting in money to leade 
on others to do y"* hke, & takening of his own money, 
if not more, out againe, w"" by y"" lyes some suspi- 
cion of fraud." Mr. Baxter says, "With this last 




^ 









' 1 irr -J. K**: 



4/^,_fik.ali' ^ _-■ 




SHAPLEIGH HOUSE 



curious yet sad record we are obliged to complete 
the biography of the man." Stackpole gives quite 
an extended description of Withers' possessions," 
ai:d places the date of his death in 16.S5. He had 
no sons, and was the only man of his name among 
the early settlers. Mr. Baxter assumes "John" to 
be Thomas Withers, and he is undoubtedly correct. 
Of his three daughters one married John Shapleigh, 
another Thomas Rice, and the third was married 



212 OLD YORK 

twice, — first to Benjamin Berry, and lastly to Doda- 
vah Curtis. Stackpole says, " Thus the name Withers 
perished with the first settler, but Ms descendants 
are many in the Shapleigh, Rice, andalUed famihes." 
The island granted to Withers in 1643 has followed 
the name of its subsequent owners, and once called 
Langdon, is now Badger's. 

The quotation from this court record is made 
simply to throw a sidelight on the manners of the 
times. Withers was undoubtedly reacliing the child- 
ish period of his life, in wliich the ruhng passion gets 
the advantage of Ms sense of the proprieties, a not 
uncommon happening among elderly folk, as I have 
had occasion to make note of at one time and another ; 

but 

"The evil that men do lives after them; 
The good is oft interred with their bones." 

However tliis may be, Thomas Withers played well 
Ms part, and was an important factor in the growth 
and prosperity of Kittery's earher days. That the 
early name of the island that was among the first 
of his possessions was not retained is to be regarded as 
unfortunate. These old names are linked closely with 
the years that gave to Ivittery its largest importance, 
nor should they become obsolete or forgotten. 

Withers' son-in-law, John Shapleigh, was the grand- 
son of Alexander, who came from Ivingsweare, on 
the Devon. He was a merchant in the fisMng trade. 
He had a son Nicholas, who is to be remembered 
for the humanity he possessed in a large degree, 
and wMch he exMbited in Ms attitude to the Quakers, 



OLD YORK 213 

who at that time wore under a ban, and which caused 
his expulsion from the Kittery board of selectmen 
in 1659. Gorges granted him five hundred acres 
at Kittery Point, and he was honored with the invest- 
ment of " magistratical powers throughout the whole 
county of York." He was a member of the God- 
frey Coimcil in 1652, and was one of the signers of 
the submission of Maine to Massachusetts. Baxter 
says, "It is not known that he favored their 
peculiar tenets," referring to Shapleigh's treatment 
of Quakers, but it is indicative of liis liberality and 
forecast. In 1658 he was one of the commissioners 
to "pitch and lay out the cUviding line between 
York and Wells." 

Before the "submission" Kittery was Episcopa- 
han in all matters rehgious; afterward, the churches 
succumbed to Congregationalism. There was natu- 
rally much discontent, much discussion among folk 
as they came together in one place and another, 
and, as well, much opposition to the domination of 
Massachusetts. About 1654 militia companies were 
organized about tliis part of the country from Kittery 
to Wells, and Shapleigh was appointed commander 
over them. Stackpole describes the Shapleighs 
" as an old English family. Their coat of arms was, 
vert, a chevron between three escallops argent. 
Crest, an arm vested gules turned up argent hold- 
ing in hand proper a chaplet vert, garnished with 
roses of the first." He was the son of Alexander 
who settled here with the earliest. He located at 
Kittery Point in 1635. 



214 OLD YORK 

In this enchanted country of Ejttery Point, fol- 
lowing the east trend of its shore one gets a fine and 
ever-widening 'sdew of the Piscataqua and its detour 
seaward. If one is curious as to the derivation of 
tills name, essentially Indian, he may find himself 
in doubt, as WilUamson says the meaning of the 
word is right angles; and to be sure, as the stream 
makes the turn to the southward aroimd Great 
Island, the angle is sharp; but I prefer the dicta of 
Potter in his discussion of the language of the Abe- 
naquies. He says it is derived from pos (great), at- 
iuck (deer), auke (place); or in other words, Grea 
Deer Place. Mr, Baxter coincides with Potter, and 
ro my mind it is the preferable derivation. It is 
certainly delightfully suggestive of hunting exploits 
and smoking venison steaks and all the out-door 
romance of primitive life. What deep and vitaUzing 
breathings of ozone these early settlers must have 
taken in, and what feastings of nature must have 
garnished their rude boards, with such an abundance 
of fish, fowl, and game, and no fish and game warden 
to bother, with a surety of being mulcted by the 
local magistrate! An old saying that has come 
down with every generation is, "Fishing and berry- 
ing are free," and one thinks of it as a pleasant fiction 
in these days of "posted" brooks and enclosed blue- 
berry patches. Only the plainslands are left to the 
impecunious berry-pickers of to-day, and even the 
private trout-stocked pond comes within the ban of 
close-time. But these curtailments of personal Ub- 
erties are the adjuncts of the civiUzation of the Now, 



OLD YORK 



215 



and are to be regarded complacently, as coming 
within the democratic proposition of "the greatest 
good for the greatest number." 

Here on Kittery Point, following what was once 
the bridle-path thoroughfare toward York Harbor, 
leaving Brewhouse Point and Spruce Creek to the 
left, one cuts across lots, as it were, with the feel of 
the gravel under foot that once cut the soles of old 




THE PARSONAGE, 1629 



Hugh Gunnison, for here was his demesne as of fee in 
1650, to run up against the gable of a sim-tanned, 
two-story h^u-e built in 1629, and ever since known 
as the "Parsonage," and close by is its Idndred spirit, 
the Kittery Point Church, built the following year. 
The parsonage is a good-sized, apparently roomy 
house, against whose gray gable, when the sun is 
right, falls the shadow of a goodly tree, once a riding- 
switch, so the legend runs, of good old Parson Hub- 
bard, who when he had done with it stuck it in the 



216 OLD YORK 

ground, and lo! it grew and waxed great. One feels 
a real friendship for this ancient shade-maker, and 
touches its rough rind as one would shake hands 
with the man who planted it so carelessly, as if it 
were possessed of some astral quality. One puts an 
ear to its trunk, and some would say it was but the 
whispering of the leaves, no doubt curious as to who 
this may be at its root who is so familiar on short ac- 
quaintance; but to me comes something else. There 
are unfamihar names of men and women, mingled 
with serious admonition, passages of Scripture, and 
something more about "man and wife," a brief 
prayer, some goodly advice, a low, reverently voiced 
benediction, and then I know, — for two people a 
new life has begun. The sash of the windows in this 
westerly gable are thrown up to let in the cool wind 
that blows down the river, and one can even hear the 
squeak of the goose-quill pen across the sermon sheets, 
])ut never a word until the deacons have quieted the 
congregation of a Sabbath morning, when the sleepy 
airs of the Point fly wide-awake with the High Church 
service that at that time prevailed here, its chants, 
and intonings of litany and hymn, and the trench- 
ant exposition of the Word. It is not at all hard to 
get into the atmosphere of these old things, with such 
ancient environment, for Kittery Point, externally, 
does not show the iconoclastic tendency so apparent, 
once one gets across to Crooked Lane. 

Unless it be the modern hotel on Warehouse Point, 
one may look for a suggestion of modernness, to find 
it in the up-to-date monolith of polished granite that 



OLD YORK 



217 



marks the resting-place of Christian Remick, and 
that shows its ghstening apex over the top of the 
broken stile that gives entrance to the ancient ceme- 
tery, where sleep in unmarked graves the great and 
the obscure of this old parish. Vandal hands have 
been at work on this old church. It has been "im- 
proved," and I trow there is not a man or woman in 
all Kittery but feels as they pass it by that a virtue 







THE OLD KITTERY CHURCH, 1630 



has gone from it that can never be replaced. Van- 
dalism is a good name for it ; and vandalism it was in 
its quintessence. These old relics are in a sense, pub- 
lic property. They are silent pages to be read rev- 
erently; and they are rich in lessons of sturdy living, 
self-denial, heroic persistence, a high, inflexible cour- 
age, and a patriotic purpose. They are the landmarks 
by which the epochs of New England's high civiliza- 
tion are to be counted; the silent memorials of your 
fathers, and mine, alike, — silent, yet their windows 



218 OLD YORK 

glow with the soul-lights of those who first used them; 
and their thresholds are still tremulous with the tread 
of the feet that first tried their mysteries. All over 
them are the prints of hands long stilled, but the. 
magic of their touch, here and there, remains to bind 
one under the spell of their golden speech. Not one, 
but has been hallowed by birth and reconsecrated 
by death. One goes to Egypt for obehsks, but here 
are sometliing other than pagan memorials, and 
richer and worthier. When the last one has mould- 
ered or burned away, one will have but the memory 
of their rugged lines; and the iconoclast will have 
had his way. Money is well enough; but money 
without the finer strains of patriotism, without the 
impetus of public spirit, without hereditary tradi- 
tions, or a love and reverence for such, Avill set the 
hands on the clock of to-day, back even beyond the 
hour when these old garrison-houses of Ivittery and 
York were born. 

Keep the hand of the man with money and less 
wit, who has an itch to "do sometliing," off these old 
landmarks. Send Mm to the country of the Goths 
and Vandals, whence he came, and tell your geese to 
set up their mightiest outcry if by a happen he come 
upon you miaware. Could one spare a bullet-mark 
off the stones in the old Copp's Hill burying-ground, 
or a splinter from the old North Church tower, or a 
fine from the traditions of Concord and Lexington? 
These are the memories that make the blood leap 
and one's muscles rigid. Not one of these old hiber- 
nacles of wood scattered about old Ivittery but thrill 



OLD YORK 



219 



the heart and bring a fresh glow to the eye, and may- 
hap a quivering of the Hp or a choke in the throat. 
It is hke going back to the home hearth to look into 
these old Uving-rooms; and yet how unhke they are 
to those we know best to-day! 
Across from the old church is the cemetery. Go 







THE KITTERY CEMETERY 



through the stile. No need to wait for its turning, 
for it is broken and one easily goes through; and 
witliin this enclosure, for it is surrounded by a low 
wall of flat stones evidently gathered along the shore 
of Lawrence's Cove, one is surprised at the poverty 
which prevails in headstones. Here is a populous 



220 OLD YORK 

community, but door plates seem to be wofully lack- 
ing. Those who have come after the dwellers in 
these grassy hillocks, some of wliich are but faintly 
discernible, are as well forgotten with those who have 
gone before. There are but few stones with names 
and dates on them, speaking comparatively, and 
these, with the exception of a half dozen, perhaps, 
are mostly of the nineteenth century. Here is a 
massive memorial of the Remick family. Here are 
the slabs of Mr. Robert Cutt antl his wife Dorcas, but 
the stone is so soft and the teeth of Time have been so 
sharp that the date is obliterated. The Rev. Benja- 
min Stevens and Mr. Robert Cutt Whipple, 1761, 
are easily distinguished. 

On a stone upon which is etched the name of 
Elizabeth Fernald, bearing the date of 1816, one 
may read the following simple epitaph: 

"By my request, 
Let this dust rest." 

Here is the stone of John Morse. It bears the 
date of 1741, one of the most ancient stones in 
the enclosure to give any information, outside that 
of Mr. Robert Cutt. 

The stone of Dorcas Cutt bears date 1757. An- 
other, that of Thomas Jenkins, bears date, Sep' em! er 
19, 1740. The oldest stone, a slab of flat slate evi- 
dently picked up alongshore, is that of Nicholas Sever, 
which bears the date of October 27, 1729. There 
is a quaintly pathetic line untlerneath all, and the 
letters are most rudely and irregularly cut, and 



OLD YORK 



221 



altogether, to me, it was the most fascinating spot 
in the yard. It is close to the westerly wall, just 
where the crest of sward breaks down abruptly to 
the shore. One can sit on the rough edge of the 




SOME OLD STONES IN KITTERY GRAVEYARD 



wall and scan tliis memorial at leisure. The line 
referred to is, 

"old & STILL." 

What infinite rest and quietude in that last word ! 
I must confess that I find in them a strange insistence, 
for they follow me wherever I go. I seem to see 
them, as I saw them on that old lichen-stained rock, ' 
and there is a peaceful, thin old face, out of which 



222 OLD YORK 

the glow has faded, turned toward me. It is "old 
and still," yet it is singularly beautiful, more beau- 
tiful than ever before with the hght which was never 
upon sea or land illumining it. 

John Morse was buried here in 1741; and down 
on the extreme edge almost by the sea is the stone 
of Moses McClintock, 1814. You will find these 
lines upon it: — 

"Behold all men as you pass by, 
As you are now, so once was I ; 
As I am now, so must you be, 
Prei^are foi" death and follow me." 

Rather an ingenious epitaph and hterally true. 

Here is something which falls within the line of 
obituary poetry: 

"Margaret Hills 
Consort of Oliver Hills. 
1803. 
I lost my hfe in the raging seas; 
A governing God does as he please; 
The Kittery friends, they did appear, 
And my remains they buried here." 

I beheve tliis covers all the epitaphs in tliis old 
cemetery. I made a very dihgent search, but most 
of the graves have but a rude stone such as might 
be picked up along any pasture side; but I should 
judge the greater part possessed not even that. The 
old cemetery is embowered in a mass of foliage from 
the many deciduous trees growing within its boun- 
dary hne, as well as those which hedge it about. It 
is a quiet, secluded place, and has in very shght 



OLD YORK 



223 



degree the garish suggestion of the modern city 
of the dead. 

If one should turn cne's back to the broken stile 
that gives entrance to the cemetery, with one's face 
to the old church, at the left, witliin a stone-throw 




PART OF LADY PEPPERRELL HOUSE 



is the Lady Pepperrell House. According to Drake, 
wlien he saw it, it was in an exceeding dilapidated 
condition, with its great door hanging by a single 
liinge, its window panes broken, and its chimney 
tops sadly awry. I anticipated finding it in a still 
more advanced stage of ruin; but what was my sur- 



224 



OLD YORK 



prise to find it aglow in the light of the morning 
sun, and outwardly suggestive of all its pristine 
glory and importance. What wand of magic had 
been laid upon it I did not inquire, but there were 
no signs of decay, from either a physical or moral 




THE MASSIVE DOOR' 



point of view. As I looked at its massive door I 
would not have been surprised had it been thrown 
wide open for Lady Peppenell, or to have seen that 
proud dame step out upon its single wide flag that 
hugged its threshold, for a stroll about the lawn 
that spread away on either side of the walk that 



OLD YORK 225 

led to the street. But there was no grande dame, 
nor even poor, harmless Sally Cutts, of whom Drake 
writes so eerily; only three girls in very short dresses 
played at "liide and go seek," among the syringas 
and flowerless Ulacs, to lend a beautiful color to 
my imaginings. The robins were singing in the 
trees over by the parsonage, which made a pleasant 
treble to the alto voice almost at my elbow, chanting, 
slowly, 

"Hinty, minty, cuti-corn, 
Apple-seed and briar thorn; 
Ten mice in a clock; 
Sit and sing, by the spring 
Where my father used to dwell; 
There are diamonds; there are rings; 
There are many pretty things, — 
0-U-T, out goes he." 

And then there was a scurrying of httle feet, and 
the sharp cry of, "Goal ! " 

That was the way I myself felt as I asked the 
eldest of the trio, "Do you think I can have a 
look at the hall and the fore-room, httle woman?" 

"Do you draw pictures?" was the Yankee-like 
reply. 

" Sometimes." 

"May I see how you do it?" with a wistful glance 
at the sketch block under my arm. 

"Certainly," extenchng my hand to the quaint- 
est specimen of a door-knocker I had ever seen. 

"Oh, you needn't wake the neighborhood with 
that thing," she exclaimed with a silvery laugh, "I'll 



226 



OLD YORK 



let you in!" Off she scampered, with the others 
at her heels, and a moment later the great door 
opened from the inside, and I had stepped within 
the gracious portals of this famous house. 

In a way I was preparetl for the quaint beauty 
of the interior. Drake's reproduction is very like, 
yet I sketched it for myself, with my young friend 

peeping over my shoulder, 
wliich instead of being an 
annoyance was in a way an 
inspiration. 

After the wide hall, with 
its grand staircase, its 
carved balustrade, and 
curiously wrought balus- 
ters, its liigh wainscoting 
and square-panelled doors, 
and the huge parallelogram 
of original wall-paper, that 
had been preserved and 
framed within a band of 
warm color when the paper-hanger came to renew the 
wall decorations, the fore-room with its small fire- 
place seemed a dainty affair. Its lurni.-^hings were 
unique and ancient. The effect was singularly light 
and airy. The gairish light of the mid-summer sim 
was tempered by a northern exposure, and the wain- 
scoting was immaculate in its whiteness. If the fire- 
place was small, its antique brasses shone with a 
mild glory adequately suggestive. Except for its 
antique mantel, and the panel work which extended 




THE KNOCKER 



OLD YORK 



227 



from floor to ceiling, it did not differ from others 
of its kind of a much later date. I returned to 
the hall. I was interested in that patch of old 
paper brought originally from England. The figure 




THE HALL OF THE LADY PEPPERRELL HOUSE 



was large, and set in broken panels, and of a gray 
effect, an old castle in each panel. 

I went at my sketch again, and the girl was at 
my elbow; meanwhile, 

"The wonder grew," 

and when I had finished it, woman-hke, she criticised 
it : "That's real nice. Looks just hke it. I'll draw 



228 OLD YORK 

it myself, some clay!" and I doubt not a bit but 
she will try it. 

With an expression of the pleasure I had received 
from my little hostess, I was out in the simshine 
again, studying the dolphins over the front door. 
I missed the anchor, otherwise I should have taken 
the house to be an ecUtion de luxe with the Picker- 
ing imprint. It is one of the flowers of old Ivittery, 
and has the lavender odor, suggestive of high coif- 
fures, brocades, Watteaus, quilted skirts, and high- 
heeled shppers; and I doubt not but there was an 
antique chest of drawers in some one of the upper 
rooms, wliich, with a bit of rummaging, would have 
revealed just such a host of treasures, with a wedcUng 
dress of grandma's throwTi in. 

It was once said, "All roads lead to Rome." 
The same would have been true of old Kittery, and 
York might well be included. In the early days 
there was but one road to the eastward, and that 
was along the marge of the Hampton meadows, 
across Great Boar's Head, and over the sands 
of Rye to Strawberry bank. Once across the 
Piscataqua, the trail was down Kittery Point 
ten miles to York Harbor, by the way of Champer- 
nowne's Island; while beyond the sands and flats, 
was the road to Ogunquit, the Saco of Bonython, 
the Black Point of Cammock and Vines, and the 
lands of Trelawney, into the country of Cleeve and 
Tucker, by the way of the Cape EHzabeth shore. 
Tliis was the way of the saddle-bags, and the foot 
traveller, as well. It is upon tliis thoroughfare that 



OLD YORK 229 

the Lady Pepperrell house faces ; and doubtless, when 
this mansion was finished, and its first notable occu- 
pant had moved in, what is now a statute carriage 
road, an average country liighway, was then a 
bridle path. There was need for notliing better. 
A stout horse and a saddle, or a pair of good sturdy 
legs, were the only means of locomotion common 
to the time. The sea sands were the great highway. 
They were ironed smooth with every tide; when the 
tide was out only the headlands offered obstruction 
to the traveller's progress. They were safer. The 
outlook was wider, and there was less chance for 
ambush. Tliis old trail was Uke a slender thread, 
along wliich were strung the sparse clearings and 
the little hamlets, hke Ivittery and York, hke isolated 
beads. But the people of those days were grega- 
rious; they were inter-dependent; and a common 
interest of life and property hmited their activities 
to a narrow field. To get beyond the sound of the 
long tin horn of the settlement, or of the block-house, 
was to court the isolation of the hermit, and possible 
annihilation. 

Tliis liighway that runs the length of Kittery 
Point, and thence to York Harbor, is a magnificent 
picture gallery, and for those who delight in scenic 
beauties here is a charm and fascination miequalled 
in its variety or its swift unfolcUng of panoramic 
effects. It is the land of the dreamer and the poet, 
the home of romance, and the ideal camping-ground 
for the nature lover. The painter here needs to 
daub liis palette with all the colors of the rainbow 



230 OLD YORK 

would he accomplish even a faint approximation to 
the dyes that drip from the slant rays of the sun 
over the wide reach of sea and shore that is lost 
finally in a Umitless perspective. 

Here is sometliing better than the Uffizi or the 
Palazzo Pitti of the Ponte Vecliio. These are the 
works of the Master of all masters, works that are re- 
touched every day by the hand of the Infinite, 
the pigments of wliich were wrought and blended in 
the crucible of the creation. Everytliing in tliis 
royal exliibition is lumg "on the hne," and the sign 
manual is the same that Belshazzar saw on the walls 
of liis banquet hall. There is no functionary here 
in gilt braid to exact a tariff before one can pass the 
portal, or to relieve one of one's umbrella. These 
pictures are for the poor as for the rich, and every 
day in the week is a "free day." Whatever of rule 
or regulation there may be, is that of the "law and 
the prophets," that having eyes, you see; that 
having ears, you hear; and that running, you read 
as you run. Then you will realize that you are in 
the presence of the Author of these marvels, for each 
is an apparition of the Deity. Nor does one need 
to carry the Rosetta Stone in one's pocket to find 
the key to the translation of these mysteries of 
sound and substance and color; but one must have 
drunk of the sherbet of Pahlul to have the Khalsa 
of Nature opened to liim. 

Tills locahty in the immediate vicinage of the Lady 
Pepperrell house, the burial ground, the meeting- 
house, and the parsonage, is notable as being the 



OLD YORK 



231 



first settled portion of Kittery. It is Warehouse 
Point, and as the name indicates, it was from the 
first, the business end of the town or settlement. The 
old wharves here are eloquent, with their cobbled logs 
and rock ballast. The antiquary should begin right 
here, for chronologically ffittery was founded with 
the cellar of the father of Nicholas Shapleigh, and 
that cellar is within a stone's throw of the lower edge 
of the graveyard. On the west side of tliis enclos- 




LAWRENCE'S COVE, WAREHOUSE POINT — THE SPARHAWK WHARVES 



ure is a lane, which is quite English in its kirk- 
yard wall and embowered coolness; this lane runs 
past the Lady Pepperrell house, straight to the edge 
of the bluff that overhangs the west curve of Law- 
rence's Cove. 

Here is the Gerrish house that stands on the upper 
side of the lane and faces the sea, as do most of these 
old Kittery houses. This was known as the " Piggin" 
house in the ancient days. The style of its arclii- 



232 



OLD YORK 



lecture was peculiar and won it that appellation. It 
has suffered the usual ills common to tilings that get 
out of style, or rather it has suffered in the acquaint- 
ance that has been forced upon it; and yet the anti- 
quated stoop^ the little peaked porch gable, and a 
long, low sloping roof betray its hneage, and assert its 











THE GERRISH HOUSE 



claim to notabiUty. Under its roof-tree are to be 
found treasures. There are some bits of old times 
worth seeing, that is, allowing that you are granted 
the opportunity. 

Kittery, after a fashion, is a Mecca for the lover of 
old and quaintly interesting tilings. They abound 
here, and these old houses are their places of usual 
containment, — houses famous for the people who built 



OLD YORK 233 

them, lived, prospered, and died in them; and it was 
all so long ago, and the tilings they did were so un- 
usual, and the ways of their doing as well. They 
are still occupied, and in some instances by the de- 
scendants of their builders. The dwellers in these 
old relics have been much annoyed by strangers, and 
the mistress of the house opens her door nowadays but 
slowly, if the face be a strange one. You would Uke 
to just see the inside of the house. From a few of 
these your refusal will be abrupt and final. The dis- 
position is Idndly, but you fail to realize that many 
others may have taxed your hostess' energy in ad- 
vance of your coming; that if you have an abim- 
dance of time, she has not; and more than that she is 
hkely to class you with that half-dozen who called the 
other day, and who hacked her carved mouldings for 
souvenirs, tore the paper that came from London off 
the walls of the great hall, kicked a baluster off the 
grand staircase, and smuggled that off the premises. 
Honest folk, once in the atmosphere of these old 
things, seem to lose their tempering, and they be- 
come vandals, despoilers, thieves. No wonder the 
face of a stranger is not welcome. 

For myself I have no complaint to make. I found 
the people just what they should be to hve in the at- 
mosphere that seems continually to enfold the place. 
I did not see but one incUvidual in a hurry in my whole 
sojourn. He was a hotel proprietor, and had just 
come in from Boston. He was awake, to be sure, 
but how long he would stay so, once home in tliis som- 
nolent environment, would simply depend upon how 



234 OLD YORK 

frequently he jumped the Kittery fences. But this 
Gerrish house is as quaint interiorly as it is quaintly 
suggestive from the outside. Its windows command 
a charming outlook upon the harbor waters of the 
Piscataqua, and when the twihght comes the myriad 
hghts of New Castle are doubled, for the sea mirrors 
them in lance-like points of fire that are never still, 
but always dropping from some invisible sieve of 
flame. It is so cosily ensconced witliin a snuggery 
or cowl of fohage as to be almost wholly secluded on 
three sides. There is some suggestion of Mother 
Goose poetry here, — 

"There was an old woman 
Lived under the hill; 
If she is not gone, 
She lives there still." 

And in fact, these lines occurred to me as I looked at 
the porch gable, wliich smacks of senility. Were it 
a nose on a face, I should say some one had thrown a 
brick. 

Tills old relic has a neighbor just across the way. 
It hangs by its teeth, as one might say, to the edge of 
the bluff inland ; it presents a one-story gable, wliich 
still bears the paint-denuded Gerrish signboard above 
the plain double doors. I pushed the door ajar and 
entered. The interior was plain, but suggested great 
sohcUty. I picked my way down a pair of steep, nar- 
row stairs to the floor below. The worn floor was 
deeply stained as with oil, and it opened cUrectly 
upon the best preserved of the four wharves that 
once made Lawrence's Cove a considerable place for 



OLD YORK 235 

shipping. A look at this seaward gable shows two 
stories. On tliis gable is the mystery, — 

"ship stores & MEDICINES," 

a curious juxtaposition of tarred rope and physic, 
which arouses something of humorous conjecture; 
but that was before the days of " Maine law," when 
rum was an aristocratic adjimct of every social func- 
tion from the christening to the grave, and not a 
"medicine." I wish it could be called sometliing be- 
sides "Maine" law. It would be better to call it 
Maine "politics." 

The color of the sign is a dim gray, the soft silvery 
color of the gable, a color wliich the stain makers 
have succeeded quite well in imitating. There is 
notliing hke a sea fog and a salty drizzle to temper 
the colors that men grind and mix. But this old 
warehouse of the Cutts will stand two hundred 
years longer, and more, for its timbers are huge and 
sound as the day they were cut and squared with 
broadaxe up in the Dover woods. It sits level 
and stands plumb; but levels were not used two hun- 
dred and fifty years ago. These timbers were laid 
and levelled with a tub of water and a floating chip, 
a clumsy device, yet simple in the extreme. If you 
should cut a lemon crosswise, in either half you 
would have the contour of Lawrence's Cove. On 
the westerly point were the Cutts and Cove wharves ; 
and on the easterly point were the Sparhawk wharf 
and its old red warehouse. Between, were the ways 
where sliips were built, the foundations of wliich are 



236 OLD YORK 

even now discernible. Ships were built here at a 
very early clay, and here was a large West India 
carrying trade for the times. The out-going cargoes 
were of dried fish and lumber rafted dowTi river 
from up Dover way, and the return cargoes were 
rum and molasses. The Cutt wharf is in fair con- 
dition, but the Cove and Sparhawk wharves are in 
the last stages of dilapidation. The latter is a mere 
buttress of loose stone, and no vestige of the old red 
warehouse remains to tell of the fortune that its 
proprietor accumulated here. 

And here on tliis point is the old Shapleigh cellar, 
a faint undulation in the sward that grows more 
shallow with every year. Here is a court record, — 
"1650, Oct. 15; Forasmuch as the house at the 
river's mouth where Mr. Shapleigh's father first 
built, and Mr. Wilham Hilton now dwelleth, in re- 
gard it was the first house there built and Mr. Shap- 
leigh intendeth to build and enlarge it, and for 
further considerations it is thought fit it should from 
time to time be for a house of entertainment or 
ordinary, with this proviso, that the tenant shall be 
such an one as the inhabitants shall approve of," 
is conclusive as to the fact stated. Wilham Hilton 
had a tavern here in 1648. He had probably been 
here some considerable time, as is evidenced by the 
deposition of Frances White, who was an old woman 
at the time the deposition was taken, wliich was 
in 1687 or 1688. She was the wife of Richard White. 
She says " that about forty-sixe years past (1642) 
shee Uved in a house at lottery poynt that stood 



OLD YORK 237 

then between the house that was Mr. Morgans & 
the house that Mr. Greenland afterward hved in, 
which house above sayed the deponent's husband, 
WilUam Hilton, did hyer of Major Nicholas Shap- 
leigh." 

The Greenland here mentioned was the husband 
of Mary Greenland the alleged witch. Greenland 
was banished the town. He wiis the first physician 
in these parts; but what might be his quahfications 
for healing are somewhat obscured by Ms reputation 
as a htigious neighbor and as a man who delighted 
to stir in poHtical waters when charity and an unruffled 
surface were most desirable. He was complained 
against, and after a trial at the old house of John 
Bray, he was mulct in a fine : he was banished from 
the Massachusetts jurisdiction in 1672, a precedent 
for the modern fasliion of disposing of the " hobo," 
or any other undesirable individual, with tliis excep- 
tion, that the magistrate stands for the unwritten 
law of exile from the municipahty. 

Phyllis' Notch is here midway of Warehouse Point. 
It is a httle hollow in the shore, a most convenient 
ferry landing. It is said it took its graceful cogno- 
men from a negro woman who lived about here in 
other days. If you wish to locate the cellar of the 
Shapleigh house, do as Stackpole says; stand at the 
"opening of this notch, facing the water; on the 
left may be seen the site of the first house built in 
Kittery." Here was the red warehouse and the 
old tavern. Alexander Shapleigh built it in 1635. 
As one follows the trend of Lawrence's Cove, a sea- 



238 OLD YORK 

wall, substantially laid up, still remains, and it was 
necessary, to save the shore from erosion by the 
continual action of the undertow. Hugh Gunni- 
son followed Hilton as the Ivittery Boniface at this 
old inn, in 1651. 

There was another inn here at the Point as early 
as 1644, kept by one Mendum. Competition was 
hvely, and it is doubtful if these two tapsters ever 
broached a pot of ale together, for in 1650 the rec- 
ords of the local court make mention that Men- 
dum's wife was fined five pounds for saying, 
"The devil take Mr. Gulhson and his wife." Doubt- 
less Goody Mendiun was the household barometer, 
as some strong-minded wives are, and, John Allen 
hke, spoke for her husband, as in a way for herself. 

Gunnison not only kept the tavern, but ran a 
brewery. 

Shapleigh sold tliis warehouse and tavern prop- 
erty in 1662; and the following court record appears 
as of 1661, July 5th. "Whereas there is a demand 
for a house of entertainment at the place called the 
Poynt, where sometimes Hugh Gunnison did reside, 
and whereas there is constant necessity for trans- 
portation across the Piscataqua River at that place 
the Court orders that Robert Wadleigh keep an 
ordinary there and take charge of the ferr}^ over to 
Capt. Pendleton's side." 

With the builcUng of the wharves and warehouses 
here, and the coming of the ships. Warehouse Point 
was a busy and a populous part of the early Ivittery 
community. There must have been considerable 



OLD YORK 239 

hitherwards, as in 1672, or about that time, John 
Bray set up an inn just beyond the Peppeirell 
warehouses and wharves, farther down tlie Ettery 
Point shore. He did not swing any sign, and the 
court ordered him to put one up, wliich doubtless 
he did. Bray was the father of Margery Bray, 
mother of the baronet. Sir WilUam Pepperrell. 

But going bacli to Warehouse Point ; Robert Cutt 
came here from the West Inches, and built sh'ps here 
at Warehouse Point. He died in 1674, and liis widow 
became the wife of Francis Champernowne. His 
house was at Wliipple Cove. Stackpole says the 
brewery was one of the "first buildings erected." It 
was regarded as a pubhc necessity. Ale and beer 
were the national Enghsh drink, and the old Shap- 
leigh house, as a well-regulated tavern, was well pat- 
ronized; and West India rum and beer were sold 
imder the direction of the court. As early as 1670 
Klttery was really the capital of the province of 
Maine. Fleets of vessels loaded and unloaded here; 
and with the ferry between Phyllis' Notch and Great 
Island and Strawberry Bank, travel was of growing 
proportions. Here was the thoroughfare to York, 
called a "road," which was laid out in 1649, and 
wliich for years after was only a pathway for horses. 
On the back side of the Point, up Spruce Creek, were 
numerous sawmills. The elegant, old-time mansions 
were going up, and little by Uttle the Ivittery Point 
highway was planed down, and widened. The first 
streets built were those to the wharves and ware- 
houses. It was the tribute that trade always exacts. 



240 



OLD YORK 



— improved facilities. Its population was largely 
of the artisan class; as for that, all were workers, 
those who held the helm and furnished the wind, as 
those who fished, or laid the bottoms of the ships 
that were to carry the harvest of the seas over water 
to far countries. 

These were some of my ruminations as I sat on one 
of the sun-bleached stringers of the old Cutt wharf. 
It was a royal seat, and as I rubbed my hand along 
its surface, pohshed to the smoothness of glass by 



irf-- 




THE ANCHORAGE 



the salt spray that had dashed over it so many years, 
it seemed something like Aladdin's lamp, to bring to 
my mental vision pictures of the days when here was a 
scene of rude activities, along wdth the sound of ham- 
mer and saw, and the " Yo-heavc-o ! " of the sailors 
getting up their anchors, or letting the sails go on 
the run as the ships swing to the tide with taut 
cables. 

Here is an idyllic spot for a sun bath, under the 
fast asleep gable of the warehouse, silent but for the 
scolding of the wrens in the tree tops at one's back 
and the sleep-distilUng swash that marks the rhythm 
of the sea rim as it breaks on the shale of Lawrence's 



OLD YORK 241 

Cove. The wind blows from the southwest, and now 
one hears a roulade of bugle notes from Fort Consti- 
tution, a far-off sound that brings to mind the song of 
the veery at twilight as it comes up from the sea of 
woodland that laps the foot of the upland homestead 
I call my own. A white sail flaps idly in the offing, 
and there is a low trail of smoke on the horizon. The 
light-towers on Whaleback and nearer Fort Point 
stand stark and gray, spectre-hke, in the haze of the 
sea. White Island tower is not visible. With Apple- 
dore and her sister isles, that on the map look like the 
clustered Pleiades, they might be as far away as the 
seven cities of Marco Polo, for all one can see. Fort 
Constitution is but a low gray wall on the water, the 
forearm of Great Island, where the roofs of New 
Castle ghmmer in the sun, and its windows flash 
searchhght rays to the mainland from countless 
domes of verdurous tree tops. A half mile to the 
eastward is a green mound in the sea, with its single 
low-roofed house, the Anchorage, and this is Ravi- 
stock Island, the owner of wliich is reputed to be 
somewhat of an antiquarian; it would be a matter 
of wonderment to me, were he not, with so much of 
old Ilittery before him from morning until night ; for 
if the old Pepperrell wharf were long enough it would 
strike his cliimney amidships. But I presmne he 
prefers liis boat; at least, I should. 

But it is time to go; and within the cool shadows 
of the warehouse, I stumble up the steep stairs; and 
through the open door in the front gable, the tawny 
streak of the roadway shows the track of the newer 



242 OLD YORK 

civilization. Here by the door is what was used as 
the coimting-room. There was a dingy sign, "No- 
tary Public," tacked to its outer side. It had an 
ancient appearance, and was suggestive of manifests 
and bills of lading. An old table was huddled in one 
corner, and an old broken stool completed the furnish- 
ings. Here was really the end of all things. Out- 
side of these, its other adjuncts were a musty 
atmosphere and an extreme dinginess, only reheved 
by the marvellous tapestry that hung at its single win- 
dow, the maker of which was snugly tucked away in 
the central design of tliis dainty hammock. I think it 
was the largest and most perfectly spun web I have 
ever had the good fortune to see. As I admired it, it 
seemed a Penelope-like creation, as if the apparently 
sole occupant of the place had essayed the liistory of 
this old hamit; but not having Abdallah Baba's 
magic box of ointment, I had to leave it as I found it, 
its mystery unravelled. Its story was a sealed book, 
except that its geometric lines were the untrimmed 
pages, and the fog-stained frame of the window its 
rigid bincUng. 

It occurred to me, that as a cover design for a book 
this suggestion of Nature was sometliing hardly to 
be improved upon, even from the poster point of 
view. 

Out again upon the Via Appia of the ancient 
roadmaker, one's trend is to the eastward, and one's 
ears are startled by the honk of an automobile, and 
one is reminded of the opening hues of Sldpper Ire- 
son's ride, — 



OLD YORK 243 

"Of all the rides since the birth of time, 
Told in story, or sung in rhyme, — 
On Apuleius's Golden Ass, 
Or one-eyed Calendar's horse of brass, 
Witch astride of a human back, 
Islam's prophet on Al Borak, — 
The strangest ride that ever was sped," 

is the horseless wild thing that has just scurried like 
an autumn leaf before the wind, down the road to 
Fort M'CIary, leaving beliind a swirl of dust, hke 
what Betty Booker and her coterie of hags might 
have raised when she rode Skipper Perkins down^to 
York and back that wild November night if the 
tempest had not been abroad. What would Mather 
or the Salem sheriff have thought with such a fear- 
some thing abroad in the days of Tituba! 

But the world has grown fearless, if Dobbin has 
not. Like the arrow of Abaris, there is magic in 
the modern apphances for man's conveyance about the 
world. Perhaps Andre is still circhng about the 
North Pole in liis balloon. 

A five-minute walk brings one to the site of one 
of lottery's block-houses. It is a famous landmark 
hereabout, and is pitched upon what seems Kittery's 
highest outlook. It has a base of stone, and is 
surmoimted by a wooden garrison house of the old- 
time type, and is of the same character as the block- 
house at Winslow, on the Kennebec, long known as 
Fort Hahfax. It is hexagonal, with ample ports, 
and is patterned after the one first built here. It 
has an overhang above its base of spht granite, after 



244 



OLD YORK 



the manner of the garrison houses of the early period ; 
and as compared with its sohd foundation presents 
a manifest incongruity as a means of defence. It 
was known as Fort William as early as 1690, and 
as against Indian foray it would have a sufficient 
place of refuge; but a single shot from a modern 
Krupp would demoUsh it entirely. Here is a gov- 




ernment reservation of fifty acres or more. A rude 
board fence separates it from the highway, over 
which one chmbs to plunge through the tangle of 
low birch and alder, to come out upon an elevated 
plateau, where tons of igneous rock have been blasted 
out of the solid ledge to make way for the granite 
bastions and angles broken here and there by em- 
brasures for heavy guns which have yet to be 



OLD YORK 245 

mounted. Here is a suggestion of a road, and as one 
follows it one comes to its extreme easterly scarp, 
where by a flight of steps of spht stone one reaches 
the highest level of the work. Here are the maga- 
zines and the barracks, and the crazy wooden bridge 
or steps on the landward side by which one mounts 
to the doorless entrance of its second story. It is 
a barren interior, stripped of every vestige of its 
once familiar appointments. A winding stair leads 
to the lower regions, where are dog-holes of sohd 
masonry occupying its central area, which may have 
been intended for the stowing away of ammunition 
or recalcitrant humanity. Tliin ribbons of subdued 
hght came through the numerous shts in the walls, 
which were for musketry, and as I stood there idly 
gazing I momently expected to hear the ominous 
jangUng of keys or the hail of the guard; but the 
place was silent, deserted utterly. I mounted the 
wentletrap —steep and narrow it was — with a feel- 
ing of pleasing relief. In my rummaging I found 
another stairway. This led to the garret, for I could 
hken it to notliing else; and from its four dormer 
windows that were built into its hip roof, I got a far- 
away view in as many directions that repaid me for 
my venture across the rotten, swaying stair outside 
that was as suggestive of the bridge of Al Sirat as 
anything, for it bent and swayed under my weight 
ominously. From one of these cock-loft dormers, 
I saw 

"The hills curve round like a bended bow; 
A silver arrow from out them sprung," 



246 OLD YORK 

the gleaming reach of waters that flow in and out 
of Crockett's Cove; the wider span of Spruce Creek 
that twists ingratiatingly inland to the northward, 
and wooded Mils as far as the eye can go. From 
another there was a gUmpse of 

"Old roads winding, as old roads will. 
Here to the ferry, and there to the mill; 
And glimpses of chimneys and gabled eaves," 

and the huge bulk of Champernowne's Island of old; 
and away beyond, the woods of York, and the silver 
threads of the salt creeks and the yehow marshes 
between. Witliin another is framed, 

" The blink of the sea, in breeze and sun," 

and the widening mouth of the historic river; and 
beyond the low wall of Fort Constitution, the light 
on Fort Point, and the gray roofs of olden New 
Castle, Portsmouth bar; the oasis of Ravistock in 
its turquoise setting of the sea; and farther out, the 
low spine of Whale's Back, with its single Pharos; 
and nearer the dip of the horizon, the spectral figure 
of White Island's beacon, indistinct in the purpUng 
mists, that overlook Appledore and Smutty Nose 
and their ragged kindred, as if each were under the 
ban since the dark tragedy that forever hnked to- 
gether the names of Louis Wagner and Annethe 
Christensen; a group of gUstering sails that fade 
away under the immaculate sky, argosies to Any- 
where; while almost within the shadows of these 
weather-beaten window ledges, are the classic roof^ 
of the Pepperrells and their ancient contemporaries. 



- OLD YORK 



247 



Old Fort M' Clary is a riiin. The government 
work was long ago abandoned. The old derricks 
have rotted down. Only the huge piles of split gran- 
ite and three heavy somewhat modern ordnance 
mounted on massive steel carriages indicate the scene 
of acti\ity that at one time prevailed here. Down 
near the landing is a tier of heavy guns, unmounted 
and prone amid the lush grasses that half hide them. 




FORT M'CLARY FROM WAREHOUSE POINT 



The sea-wall is of massive proportions, but unfinished, 
as if the work had been dropped suddenly for lack of 
energy or money. The real reason was, undoubtedly, 
that the advance in the mysteries of destructive pro- 
jectiles was more rapid than the wit of the naval 
board could forecast; and perhaps it was thought 
best to wait until the cHmax of these bloodthirsty 
inventions was in sight. It is a commanding site 
and covers the whole entrance to the Piscataqua; 



248 OLD YORK 

but as sunken batteries seem to be the trend, it is 
doubtful if the location ^\ill be further utihzed. 

A barnlike structure of brick seems to have been 
used as a barrack. At either end are comfortable 
fireplaces, the chimneys running up the outside of 
the gable ; and I note that the woodwork of one fire- 
place is entirely gone, and the other has lost its man- 
tel. The first decorates the den of some souvenir 
crank, probably, and the latter may make up the 
litter that this sort of vandalism is always sending 
garret-ward. The gunracks are suggestive, and the 
door opens out directly upon the parade, which com- 
mands a magnificent view of the Piscataqua harbor 
and its points of interest. Fort M'Clary's story is 
of the past, as is that of Major Andrew M'Clary, the 
gallant leader of his rustic troops at Bunker Hill. 
He should have had a Uveher memorial, whose asso- 
ciations should have some part in the present at least. 
Suppose we call at the old Pepperrell house, built 
by William Pepperrell, or Pepperrelle, as it was also 
spelled, in 1682. Pepperrell was born probably at 
Old Plymouth, England, Ravistock parish, in 1646, 
and was possibly of Welsh origin. There are no accu- 
rate data as to his ancestors, but it is kno^\Ti that in 
youthful years as an apprentice, after the Enghsh 
fashion, he went on a fishing vessel that made tripj 
to the fishing-banks of New England, and in tliis man- 
ner he undoubtedly became familiar somewhat with 
the country he in after years made liis own. We first 
hear of Mm in the fishing business at the Isles of 
Shoals. He carried on tliis industry here for some 



OLD YORK 



249 



time, and was evidently a shrewd man, as it is known 
he prospered in his business, so that in time he 
married the daughter of John Bray, whose old house 
still faces the sea all these people hereabout evidently 
loved so well. If mention of the fact has not been 




THE PEPPERRELL MANSE 



made before, it is worthy of a casual allusion, that all 
of these old houses face the sea, and the road to York 
Harbor passes their backdoors instead of those in front. 
This is true of the old Bray house and the Pepperrell 
mansion as well. Old John Bray was a tavern- 
keeper, and a man of a large landed property. When 



250 OLD YORK 

Margery Bray married William Pepperiell, her father 
gave liis son-in-law a strip of land on the northwest 
side of his house, and there this now ancient dom- 
icile was erected, a great house for the times and the 
locaUty. Its builder no doubt had in mind the old 
manor-houses he knew as a boy in England. He was 
a provincial Midas, for everything he touched seemed 
to turn to gold, or its equivalent. His accumulations 
were rapid and extensive. He was an enthusiastic 
investor in real estate, and his holdings were very 
considerable. 

He was, in a way, one of the wealthiest men in New 
England. After this house was built he erected a 
wharf at the foot of the lane that ran from his front 
door down to the shore, and on it were ample ware- 
houses in which were stored the cargoes and imports 
which constituted Ms local trade, which was large 
and lucrative. He built a sliipyard here, and the 
keels of many a vessel were laid here and completed 
and sent out to all parts of the then commercial world. 
Here is ample sea-room, and it is said that a hundred 
sail have been anchored here at one time; more than 
could be seen to-day at the wharves of almost any 
Maine port. His wealth and business sagacity 
brought him prominence in local affairs, and he was 
for tliirty odd years the local magistrate, and from 
1715 he was judge of the court of common pleas. He 
was sometliing of a miUtary man, for he was in com- 
mand of the forces at old Fort Wilham, now Fort 
M 'Clary, as captain, and ranked in the provincial 
mihtia as lieutenant-colonel. As one of the found- 



OLD YORK 251 

ers of the Congregational Church at Kittery, liis in- 
fluence was cast along the lines of the liighest moral 
standards, and the people among whom he went out 
and in, could not but feel the force of his example. 
His interest in religious matters was strong and abid- 
ing, and when he came to the disposing of his 
estate he remembered liis church, as among the in- 
terests to be cared for when liis mantle should fall 
upon another. Tliis came on the fifteenth of Febru- 
ary, 1734. If one would see the spot where tliis njost 
remarkable man of Kittery lies, one has but to stand 
under the shadows of the gable of the house he built, 
and cast a searching glance about for a clump of ever- 
greens; and it is there witliin their Druid-like circle, 
marked by a massive sarcophagus of granite and 
marble, the place will be located. It is less than a 
minute's walk, and one is in the old Pepperrell or- 
chard, and beside the slab, whereon may be read the 
brief story of this man's career, w^hich is accentuated 
by the coat of arms afterward achieved by the Con- 
queror of Louie burg. 

Here was the beginning of the Pepperrell name. 

Humble enough, was it not? a fishing-lad without 
an ancestry, in a new country, liis only capital his 
native wit, the culmination of whose thrift and 
industry made him the largest landed proprietor 
in Ms province, the manipulator of the most exten- 
sive diversified interests, and gave him an honored 
place on the provincial bench. The story over again 
of Dick Whittington. 

He was ahke honored in his son, who became Sir 



252 OLD YORK 

William, and who lived in the paternal home until 
the death of his father. The wife, Margery, out- 
lived her husband some seven years. Here is a 
quotation of one of the Boston papers of the time: 
"She was, through the whole course of her life, very 
exemplary for imaffected piety and amiable virtues, 
especially her charity, her courteous affability, her 
prudence, meekness, patience, and her unwearied- 
ness in well-doing. She was not only a loving and 
discreet wife and tender parent, but a sincere friend 
to all her acquaintance." 

With such a helpmeet, what might not a man 
accompUsh ! and to what heights might not her 
children climb ! 

Margery Pepperrell's portrait is worth looking at. 
It is a thoroughl}^ English face, and its lines are 
of the royal type, reminding one of the Stuarts. 
There is a fine mingling of proportions, and the head 
is perfectly balanced. There is, too, something of 
the Sibyl, as if possessing a rare and faultless dis- 
cernment. The neck and shoulders are those of 
Venus de Milo. Every quality of womanhood men- 
tioned in the above quotation is stamped unmis- 
takably on tills face, which is that of un grande dame. 

Wilham Pepperrell, who was knighted after the 
capture of Louisburg, was born June 27, 1696, and 
was the sixth child. His brother Andrew was the 
oldest, who died without male offspring. Four girls 
came between these two, and two girls followed 
Wilham. It was a goodly-sized family of eight, 
all of whom married in time; neither Andrew nor 



OLD YORK 253 

William left male descendants, and with the death of 
Sir William Pepperrell the family name was extinct. 

Young William Pepperrell's education was slender. 
He was trained to business, for he could sell goods, 
sail a ship, survey a lot of land, scale timber, and 
manage men. He went into land speculations and 
made a great deal of money. His real estate greatly 
exceeded that of his father, and at one time he is said 
to have been able to ride from Kittery to Saco on 
his own land. Saco was once known as Pepperrell- 
borough, and why the name should have been 
changed is easily accounted for by the short word 
that supplanted the lengtliier. 

He was the evident possessor of some popularity, 
for he was a captain of cavalry at twenty-one, and 
a justice of the peace. At tliirty he was a full- 
fledged colonel and commanded the Maine militia. 
He was made a member of the governor's council 
shortly after, wliich office he held for over tliirty 
years. Eighteen years out of the tliirty he was presi- 
dent of the council. In 1726-27 he was a member 
of the General Court, and from 1730 until his death 
in 1759, July 6, he was chief justice. In 1734 he 
took up his father's work in the Kittery chm'ch, and 
was prominent in church matters. At one time the 
preacher, George Whitefield, was his guest at Pep- 
perrell House. He was a man of amiable char- 
acter, as it is said he never lost the sympathy or 
ccmpanionship of liis to^vnspeople. 

The above is a brief summary of the career of the 
man, a man in many ways distinguished above his 



254 



OLD YORK 



fellows, with the additional prestige acquired in his 
exploit as commander of the Louisburg expedition 
in 1745, the result of wliich was the capture of that 
hitherto regarded impregnable fortress. The siege 
was a brief but impetuous one, to the expenses of 
wliich Pepperrell personally contributed five thou- 
sand pounds. It won him a baronetcy and a coat 
of arms. Nimierous of Ms townsmen were with him 
in tliis glorious venture, and doubtless the tales of 




THE PEPPERRELL ARMS 



his prowess gilded many an after-evening by the 
firesides of Ettery and Berwick with the halo of 
romance; for he had fifty Berwick men with him 
under the immecUate command of Capt. Moses 
Butler. He was honored with a commission in 1756, 
in the royal forces, as lieutenant-general. Drake 
says, Whitefield, on his visit to the lottery church, 
and while a guest of Pepperrell, gave him the motto 
for his banner, 

" Nil Desperandum ; Christo Duce. " 



OLD YORK 255 

As one recalls the story of this Church Mihtant, it 
seems as if his eloquence and spiritual power had 
been dipped in the essence of the same creed. 

Pepperrell married Mary Hirst, of Boston, evi- 
dently a woman of fine culture and a similar per- 
sonahty. She survived her husband, and after the 
mansion at Warehouse Point had been completed 
by her son-in-law, Captain Sparhawk, she removed 
from the first Pepperrell house, into this. There 
she continued to reside until her decease, which oc- 
curred November 25, 1789. This fine old house has, 
fortunately, suffered no change. It is the same as 
in the days when its aristocratic mistress moved 
through its halls and ample rooms; and in the lower 
hall and fore-room may still be seen the same fur- 
nisliings as when her comely and graceful presence 
adorned them. Her portrait is suggestive of the 
famous Nell Gwynn. 

Why she should have left the old home is something 
she could have explained, had there been need of it; 
but with her ample fortune she undoubtedly insisted 
upon more modern and elegant surroimdings in which 
the stately traditions of the nobihty so recently ac- 
quired tlii'ough her husband's knighthood might be 
better sustained. 

Here is Fernald's story of the house built by the 
husband of sweet Margery Bray. 

He says, "It was a square house about forty- 
five feet long and of the width that it now is, and had 
two chimneys, with a sharp roof. Colonel Pepperell 
carried on the fisliing business. At his decease, his 



256 



OLD YORK 



son, Sir William Pepperell, took possession of the 
estate. He made additions of about fifteen feet on 
both ends of the house, and altered the roof, to the 
present form, and revised it throughout, and built the 
wharf and four stores, and built a tomb, and extended 
his land from the partition wall between Capt. Jolin 
Underwood, now Joanna Mitchell, and the now 
Thomas Hoyt, from this line westward up to the lane 




i«l---«iSif' 






THE PEPPERRELL WHARVES 



leading down to Capt. Robert Follet, now J. Law- 
rence. On the north of the Mansion House was the 
Great Orchard, so called, in the middle of wliich he 
built a tomb. After the war commenced. Sir Wil- 
liam Pepperell's estate was called Tory property, 
and many thought that they might destroy it at 
pleasure. In the year 1774 my father moved into 
the Mansion House, so called, to take care of it. Colonel 
Sparhawk having previously built a house for Lady 
Pepperell, so called, widow of Sir WilUam. Said house 



OLD YORK 257 

is owned by Capt. Joseph Cutts, where she lived the 
remainder of her days and died there. At the end of 
the Revohitionary War, all Sir AViUiam's estate was 
considered confiscated, or Tory property, because it 
belonged by wiU to William P. Sparhawk, who had 
fled liis country and joined our enemies. Therefore, 
our government had orders to sell at public auction 
all the land and buildings formerly belonging to Sir 
William Peppereil as Tory property. Beginning with 
the Mansion House about the year 1790, as well 
as I can remember, Capt. Samuel Smallcorn bought 
the Mansion House and the two lots, one on wliich the 
house stands, and the other owned now by Capt. Dan- 
iel Frisbee, together with the wharf. In the same 
or next year, Thomas D. Cutts bought the said Man- 
sion House of Captain Smallcorn, and commenced 
tavern, and carried on fishing and built the store that 
Capt. Daniel Frisbee now occupies. Major Cutts 
set out all those elm-trees around the premises. He 
flourished for some time, but there was a leak under 
the house, and in a few years it leaked out and by 
mortgage became Richard Cutts' property. He 
carried on fishery and foreign trade for many years, 
but trusting too much to other people's honesty, he 
fell in the rear and sold the house and lands to Elder 
J. Meader and Capt. Jesse Frisbee. Captain Frisbee in 
a few years was lost at sea. Elder Meader sold the 
house to Charles G. Bellamy, Esq., and Mr. Thomas 
Hoyt in the year 1848. They divided the land and 
took off the bend, or room, from each end of the 
house, and left it in the same form on the ground that 



a 



258 OLD YORK 

Col. William Pepperell built it. It is now (1849) 
owned by Charles G. Bellamy, Esq., who has made a 
very large repair, and it is hkely it may stand another 
century, excepting fire, as it has stood through all the 
past." 

A quaintly told story, in which everybody seems 
to be a captain and to smack of salty winds, and the 
wholesome smell of fish, except that Squire Bellamy 
and his clerical grantor add sometliing of a piquant 
flavor to the "leak" under the house. 

Referring to the Lady Pepperrell house once more, 
Drake says, "It was nothing but a wreck ashore." 
He was writing of it about tliirty years ago, a genera- 
tion, but it is a finely preserved mansion without the 
shghtest vestige of decay about it. The " fluted pilas- 
ters on either side" of the door, were "rotting away" 
in Ms day, but strange to say in the beginning of the 
twentieth century they are as sound apparently and 
as handsome as the day when, imder the direc- 
tion of Colonel Sparhawk, they were put in place. 
He found the old rookery "haunted"; so I did, but 
by three little misses who were as amiable and as 
charming in their manners as Lady Pepperrell was 
reputed to have been. The exterior is as fresh as a 
corn-color pigment well laid on, can make it, while 
the interior is delightfully cool and restful, finished en- 
tirely in "dead white," that, to use an old pro\incial 
expression, "looked clean enough to cat off." I 
wish Drake could have a pair of the Mormon's gog- 
gles, and could see it as I did. But that was in the 
days of poor Sally Cutts. 



OLD YORK 259 

Fernald's story is suggestive of the indifference of 
the owners of the old Pepperrell house, as it has 
come to one and another of them, to its liistoric 
value as the hibernaculimi of old-time traditions, and 
of a glory that has forever passed away. It is a ruth- 
less hand these mutations have shown; and it is 
unfortunate that nhe bend or room" at each end 
of the house could not have been left intact. The 
Bellamys still occupy the house, descendants of 




THE CLAVICHORD 



Squire Bellamy. They are loth to open it to 
strangers, nor do I much blame them, now that I 
have seen the destructive marks of the souvenir- 
hunter. I foimd the great hall of the same style 
as that of the mansion house of Lady Pepperrell. 
The balustrade and the wainscoting was of the 
same panelUng; the same patterns of hand-carved 
balusters, four to a "tread," and each unhke the 
others; the same fluted hand-rail, the same newel- 
post surmounted by an armorial device appurtenant 
to the Pepperrell coat of arms. At the first 
landing of the very wide stair was an ancient clavi- 



260 OLD YORK 

chord. I raised its lid, nor did its keys look over- 
yellow with age, yet this old instrument was brought 
from over the seas, long, long years ago, in the days 
of the first Pepperrell. I did not touch those keys. 
I could not, as I thought of the hands, silent for over 
a century and a half, the fine sympathetic touch 
of Margery Pepperrell that once awoke its slender 
wealth of harmony. It was a silent ghost of former 
actuaUties. I knew the sound it would give forth, 
had I pressed do\\Ti a single white key. The sharp 
wail of the fox, coming on the night-wind from the 
deeps of the woods, has the same tonic weirdness, the 
same cry of the forsaken. These old strings, awake 
them, no ; rather let them sleep as Margery Pepperrell 
and the other Margery have slept these many years. 
There are some tilings one should not touch, and this 
is one of them. An old chair or two, of unmistak- 
ably Enghsh make, are here to accentuate the flavor 
of the atmosphere ; most of the balusters in the beauti- 
ful balustrade are gone, and in their place are the 
common round supports such as might have been 
run through a dowel-machine. Perhaps a third, 
numerically speaking, of the originals are here; but 
the others have been kicked out and smuggled out 
of the house, from time to time, by visitors and sight- 
seeing vandals. Great scars are here, in the hand- 
carven mouldings, where considerable pieces have 
been hacked out by these predatory bipeds and slyly 
pocketed. The Messrs. Bellamy told me that with 
a party of si dozen in the old house it was impossible 
to prevent it. The stranger must needs have some 



OLD YORK 261 

other motive than mere curiosity to have the privi- 
lege of treacling the floors that once echoed to the 
footfalls of the Pepperrells. 

Below stairs, the rooms are square but do not 
impress one as over-large. The old-fasHoned fire- 
places went when the old cliimneys were taken down 
and rebuilt; but the interior decoration is the same; 
the bases of the new cliimneys were extended so as 
to fill the space occupied by those first built. When 
the "bends" were taken off the ends of the old house, 
and the space of fifteen feet was removed, the walls 
of the original gables, with the inside finish, were set 
in that distance, and finished up; so that the house, 
with the exception of the roof, is the same that was 
built by the first Pepperrell. The old wine closets 
are all here. I am told the kitchen is the same, and 
which is small. Here, when the elder Bellamy was 
aUve, Judge Nathan Chfford was accustomed to come 
as an honored and intimate guest during Ms lifetime, 
and here many a story of the old time has been 
broached, wliich, could they have been preserved, 
would have been worthy of a binding of their own. 
To sit in one of those old chairs is to dream as did 
De Quincey, with fantasy upon fantasy crowding 
the mind. Mine host brought out an ancient long 
fowHng-piece, that had come down with the house. 
With its butt on the floor, a man of six feet in height 
could barely look into its black muzzle. It had a 
ma-^sive flintlock, and I wondered if Mr. Henry 
Joe lyn had ever drawn bead along its long barrel. 
He was a notorious Nimrod, and frequented Ivittery 



262 OLD YORK 

more or less. He went a-fishing down the harbor 
and out upon the fisliing-grounds once surely. He 
says, ''Having Imes we proceeded to the fisliing- 
banks without the harbor, and fished for cod, but it 
not being the proper time of tide, we caught but two." 
He was at that time president of the province. Con- 
sidering liis wonderful adventures in Casco Bay with 
Michael Mitton, with the tritons and mermen so 
famiUar, he must have considered the sport at Pis- 
catnqua rather uneventful. 

Tliis old manse is beautifully situated and its gray 
roof is barely to be discerned amid the domes of its 
towering elms. The liighway passes its back door, 
so nearly that one can almost get the feel of its 
weather-stained clapboards, a stain of such delicate 
shadings of gray and pearl, with just a suggestion of 
vert where a hchen has attached itself, as to defy the 
art of the color maker. Here are some studies for 
the water-colorist. Only the mysteries of Winsor 
and Newton, and the teclmique of Alfred Bellows, or 
Swain Gifford, can approximate to the flexibihty of 
tones and values that lurk in these marvellously 
evasive combinations of constantly changing color. 

But if one cannot have them on a sheet of What- 
man, one can come and see them occasionally, and 
then go home and dream about them, wliich, perhaps, 
is more intoxicating. 

One leaves tliis ancient Hving-place, once the home 
of two judges and a baronet; and later the tavern 
stand of landlord Cutts, and now the quiet abiding- 
place of the Bellamys, with mingled feeUngs of Uvely 



OLD YORK 263 

interest in its famous associations and of pleasure at 
having made its acquaintance. Closely allied with 
it, and wliich should have a place here, is the tomb 
in "the Great Orchard." The tomb is here, but no 
vestige of the orchard remains. Tliis last resting- 
place of the Pepperrells is less than two minutes' 
walk from the manse. It is Mdden within an encir- 
cling rim of dark firs. Just without tliis Druid circle 
is a diminutive red slate stone, hardly twenty inches 
high and perhaps a foot wide, wliich marks the grave 
of Miriam Jackson, 1720. How she came to be the 
only one of the name to be interred outside the 
Pepperrell circle, a grand-daughter of the first Pepper- 
rell, might be a source of some curiosity to the indi- 
vidual of inquiring mind. Miriam Jackson's mother 
was the tliird daughter of the first Wilham Pepper- 
rell, and tliis babe, Miriam, died tliirteen years be- 
fore her grandfather. Probably this old stone was 
set some years before the Pepperrell tomb was 
brought liither from London and put in position, and 
it was left in its original location. The top plane of 
the tomb is of marble, and is upheld upon a heavy 
granite base, that is as stable as the hillock whose 
apex it surmounts. On the slab, somewhat discolored 
and hchen stained, one may read a modest tale — 
"Here lies the Body of the Honorable 
WILLIAM PEPPERRELL, Esq. 
who departed this life the 15th of 
Feb., Anno Domini 1733, in tlie 
87th year of his Age. 
With the Remains of great part of his 
Family." 



264 OLD YORK 

This simple annal stands for the whole of the Pep- 
perrell posterity wliich is absorbed in the personality 
of the original ancestor. The only suggestion of the 
baronet is in the coat of arms which is very ornate, 
and which takes up about one third of the marble. 
Its situation is isolated, yet there is a mute compan- 
ionsliip in these encirchng firs, that lock arms so 
closely, with not a dead tree or a break of foliage 
among them all. There is sometliing kindly, too, 
in the pall-Uke hovering of their perpetual coolness, 
as if here were a veritable Shadow-land; and when 
the winds blow, as they do most of the time, Nature 
pulls the stops of her great organ wide open, and a 
solemn dirge beats the air tremulously. 

At this place in our story there comes to mind a 
tale of love, — a bit of the romance of the old days, 
when a comely, capable young woman was a grand 
prize in the lottery of life, who could have her 
choice among the young men of her vicinage. Mar- 
gery Bray was without doubt betrothed to Joseph 
Pearce; and had he not sailed out to sea as he did, 
she might not have obtained so notable a place in the 
early history of Kittery as her marriage with William 
Pepperrell brought to her. Eleanor Pearce took a 
great interest in th's yoimg woman. To quote Stack- 
pole, " She made her will in 1675 and named a son 
Joseph who died at sea about 1676, and left all his 
estate to Margery Bray." Margery Bray's father 
married a sister of tliis Joseph Pearce. Her name 
was Jane. A glance at a few extracts from the Kit- 
tery court records will be interesting. 



OLD YORK 265 

Richard Row, deposes 1 Oct. 1678: " of Kittery, 
aged about 40; that in the latter part of year 1676 
Jos: Pearce hving then in liittery came to me and 
Jolm Andrews both of us togeather and desired of us 
very earnestly, begging of us both to take notice of 
his words that after his decease w" all liis debts was 
payed, that y^ remaind"" of his estate hee freely gave 
unto Margery Bray daughter to John Bray of lottery 
sliipwright & further begging very Earnestly of this 
Depone* that hee would not forget it, that shee might 
not bee cheated of Jt & further sayd tliis shall bee 
my last will & testame*." 

Samson Wliitte, aged 23, deposes likewise, adding 
that Joseph Pearce "went last to sea." 
Likewise, John Andrews, aged 26. 
July, 1679; "To settle estate of Jos Pearce late of 
Ivittery deed first one-third to be delivered to Saraih 
Mattown sister to said Pearce — " 

"Saraih Mattown alias Jones or Pearce not living 
with her husband." 

1681; "Complaint of Rupert Mattown Saraiah 
Joanes aHas Pearce since married to said Mattown, — 
relating, to a divorse between both parties." 

The complaint was allowed and the divorce was 
decreed, the second, perhaps, in the province of 
Maine, and the entry is properly minuted upon the 
docket. 

1684; "WilUam Pepperly, (note the spelling of 
Pepperrell's name), is Plaintiff in an action of the 
case for witholding of an Estate given unto Mar- 
gery the wife of sd Plaintiff Contra Hene: Seavey 



266 OLD YORK 

Defend* The Jury mids for the Defend* Costs of 
Court 8^ 6^ " 

Sargent says Eleanor Pearce "was the widow 
of John Pearse, who removed from CharlestowTi to 
Kjttery, and died in 1673 leaving an estate appraised 
at £154. . . . The above notes considered collec- 
tively furnished a long-sought clue to the grand- 
mother of the Baronet, Sir Wilham Pepperrell, the 
wife of John Bray. Her Christian name is given in 
the Wentworth Book, I. 307 n., as Jane, and it was 
correctly surmised that she was a Pearse, sister to 
the above Joseph. York Probate Records, I., 40, 
affords the proof positive in an agreement between 
John Braey and Micom Macantire, dated April 7, 
1699, in which they describe themselves as ' sons- 
in-law to John Pearce.' 

"Thus by the fortunate mention of the proportion 
awarded by the Court above, after its decision that 
what Joseph Pearce intended should be Ms nmicupa- 
tive will, was too long anterior to Ms death to be per- 
mitted to go upon record as such, are we enabled to 
decide that there were three of Ms sisters ; Sarah, the 
eldest, who had married, 1 Jones, 2, Rupert Mat- 
toon; Jane, wife of Jolm Bray, who had certainly 
predeceased both her mother (not being mentioned 
in her will above) and her brother Joseph, leaving an 
only cMld Margery (who became the mother of the 
baronet); and Mary who married Micom Macantire." 

Here is a story of a first love ; a domestic f alHng out ; 
a serious charge against the wife, of a prior, concealed 
marriage, and Mattoon's desertion, he going to the 



OLD YORK 



267 



Barbadoes instead of the D; kotahs, find ultimately, 
the modern panacea — divorce; a protn cted property 
litigation, and a perversion of the property to pur- 
posely ignored heirs. What a tale for the romancer! 
This is probably Pepperrell's only appearance in 
court. 

The old John Bray house stands beside that of the 







,,'ni|'w#. 



THE BRAY HOUSE 

Pepperrells, a massive old affair, where tliis Margery 
Bray was wooed and won by the Isles of Shoals fisher- 
man. But the wooing of a maid in those days was 
a very serious affair. The young folk did not have 
the liberty accorded to the summer girl of the present 
period. It is not probable that they were allowed 
to watch the sea under the moonlit sides, that are 
nowhere fairer than here at Ivittery, for long, unmo- 



268 OLD YORK 

lested, if at all. It was not considered "meet" for 
the colonial maid to be much out of her elders' com- 
pany with a determined lover about, laying desperate 
siege to her favor with every opportunity. But 
doubtless William Pepperrell was as industrious in 
liis love-making as in the curing of liis fish in his 
yards. Jolin Bray watched these young people 
jealously, I have no doubt; but love had its way, 
as it generally does, with a fair chance; and Mar- 
gery Bray, after her father had been properly spoken 
to, married, and as one may beheve, happily. She 
became the mother of a large and promising family, 
one of whom was the famous baronet, the conqueror 
of Louisburg. 

This Bray house is roomy, and in the day of its 
building by tliis earhest of Ivittery's sliip-builders 
and innkeepers was a luxurious abode. It was 
erected in 1662, and is said to be the most ancient 
house in present Ivittery. Ten years after its build- 
ing, Jolm Bray extended his good-natured hospital- 
ity to the travelling public. A fine old inn it must 
have been, for liis custom became so extensive that 
the court ordered him to advertise his wares of polite- 
ness and good cheer by hangmg a sign. Local 
historians do not make any mention of what it was; 
whether it was copy of one that attracted his atten- 
tion in old Plymouth, or one of his indi\4dual incuba- 
tion, has not been thought to be of much interest. 

Stackpole says there is no record of Bray's being 
in Kittery before 1662; and, as the daughter was 
born in 1660, he tliinks she came over from Plymouth 



OLD YORK 269 

with her father. She was a daughter by his first wife. 
He was one of the first to engage in ship-buikhng here, 
thus laying the foundation for the Pepperrell fortune. 
The connection of tliis old house with the Pepperrell 
name, and its prestige as having been in the old days, 
the place of holding the court of the province, give it 
its importance. It is in a fine state of preservation 
and is worth a visit. Its gable is adjacent to that of 
the Pepperrell manse, and both look down on the Pep- 
perrell wharves and storehouses that are to-day in con- 
stant use. I noticed that these old laying-by places 
for vessels were apparently as sohd as when they 
were built two hundred and more years ago, and 
that their usefulness was to be still further perpet- 
uated. Piles were being driven for an extension of the 
main pier upon which a half-score of men were ac- 
tively engaged. Here is a fine beach athwart which 
was the hull of a large coaster burned to the water's 
edge three or four years ago, and half submerged by 
the tide. It is a suggestive adjunct to these old relics, 
and if one did not know that a cargo of Rockland lime 
was at the bottom of this disaster, one might conjure 
up a score of tales of sliipwreck, any one of which 
would fit out the charred ribs of this old hulk with a 
garb of thrilling romance. Here was the scene of the 
principal activities of Kjttery in the days of the Pep- 
perrells. Hides were tanned here, the site of the old 
tannery being just west of the manse. It was near 
the water; and these sands are known to-day as Tan 
House Beach. The baronet had a park here, where 
he had a herd of moose and deer. There is a house 



270 



OLD YORK 



here, also, known as the Park House ; and a little far- 
ther to the westward was a finer mansion even than 
the Sparhawk, which was built by the baronet for 
another daughter as a wedding present. Unfortu- 
nately, after the War of the Revolution closed, this 
was taken, ultra vires, by the returned Continentals, 
piecemeal, for their own use — a species of dras- 
tic confiscation that ended in the complete dis- 




OLD TRAIPE CIDER-PRESS 



integration of what was once the finest colonial resi- 
dence ever built in New England. Langley and 
Hooke were nearby neighbors of Bray on the west, 
but nothing remains but the court records to show 
where their tents were pitched. On the east were the 
Deerings. The Joan Deering house is here, and across 
Deering's Guzzle is an old Wolfert's Roost, but the 
stepping-stones are gone. They went when the elec- 



OLD YORK 271 

trie power-house came in. Deering's Guzzle has lost 
its freshners and its old-time charm. Where were 
once the stepping-stones at low tide over which the 
Kittery folk were wont to pass dry-shod, as it is re- 
corded the Israelites made the passage of the Red Sea, 
is the power-house dam; and where the marsh grass 
and the meadow blooms swayed or nodded in the wind 
is the debris of the ash heap, a dump of coal-screenings, 
and a low-walled temple of mystery, which, taken 
literally, might be made to stand for anytliing from 
an official perquisite dovm to a five-cent fare; and 
for the piping of the plover, the yeap of the snipe, 
and the flap of a duck's wing on the water, is 
the insistent purring of dynamos in this ready- 
made hghtning factory. 

What a flamboyant, megaphone-gifted, ubiquitous 
something that never was, and never will be, but al- 
ways is, is this creature To-day! How one would 
like one of those old-fashioned Yesterdays, for a bit 
of vacationing, the days of lavender scents and can- 
dle-dips, and pitch-lmots ablaze on the wxle hearth, 
with the weird tale or two out of the New England 
Nights' Entertainments, washed down with a mug of 
foam'ng spruce beer, to take the "current hterature " 
taste out of one's mouth! 

But here, looking out upon the waters of Chami- 
cey's Creek is a modern shore cottage of attractive 
and ambitious architecture, that as one gets a glimpse 
of it through the trees might be taken for the House 
of the Seven Gables. It may have more gables than 
that, for aught I know, I never counted them; but 



272 



OLD YORK 



it has more than a passing interest attached to it, for, 
here is the site of the manse where Francis Champer- 
nowTie Uved mostly. It is on the point of land made 
by the coming together of Chauncey's Creek and 
Deering's Guzzle. This creek was once known as 



'^. J 



r 







SITE OF CHAMPERNOWNE'S HOUSE 



Champernowne's. It had been better had it kept its 
first name. 

If one is to keep even pace with Champernowne, 
one should go hence, eastward, as far as Brave-boat 
Harbor, then retrace his steps leisurely. The 
stranger in these parts would naturally look for sign- 
boards to indicate the way; the roads precede the 
waymark, usually. Suppose we try to discover the 
road. 



OLD YORK 273 

"To the Select Men of the Town of Kittery. 

Gent^". — Whereas therenever was yet any High 
way Laid out from Champernoons Island so-called 
I therefore desire yould lay out a Road for y<^ Benefit 
of y*' Inhabitants thereof (from A Bridge that Joyns 
on y*^ Man) from the North end of s'^ Bridge to York 
High Road that leads to Kittery Point, and youl 
oblige Your Hum' Serv*^ 

Tim° Gerrish. 

"By the Request of Co'' Tim° Gerrish Esq'. 

We the Subscribers being appomted by the Rest 
of the Selectmen of y*^ town of Kittery we have laid 
out a heigh way from York heigh Road that leads to 
Kittery Piont South two Rods wide to be left open 
at the North end of Co" Gerrish's Bridge that is now 
standing over the Creek for the benefit of y^ Inhabi- 
tants thereof that is to say two Rods wide one Rod 
out of Mr. Cln-istopher Mitchells Land and one 
Rod out of y^ Land on y'' west which Land is now 
in possession of Mr. Sam Ford by Consent of both 
partys they being present the Road to go as it now 
lays open between them. 
Kittery, March 2 1737 

Thomas Hutcliings, Select 
Rich Cutt J' men 

Highway laid to Co" Gerrishes Island 1738." 

Here is the road we are to follow, if we keep the 
footprints of Champernowne in sight. There had 
long been a bridlepath or trail, as these old settlers 
always took the most direct course, whether over a 



274 OLD YORK 

steep hill, or through a swamp wliich had to be cor- 
duroyed to make it passable. Up hill or down, it 
mattered not, so that folk kept to their direction, 
but the Kittery Point roads must have been laid out 
by the convivial friends of tapster Bray after an 
evenmg of story-telling at the inn, as they wended 
their ways, with something of dubious footfall, home- 
ward. They are as crooked as a Boston cowpath. 

But these early footprints of the settler were 
always by the sea. Perhaps it was because the 
settler had been used to the sight of the salt water, 
and the vigorous savor of its briny winds. Did 
you ever go through a long, a seeming interminably 
endless stretch of wilderness, to come out into the 
"open" among the fields; and do you recollect what 
a delightful sensation of freedom swept over you 
from head to foot, and how restful the shag of the 
hills was to the pent vision of a verdurous woodland 
lane? Did the sky seem ever so near, or so dear, with 
its brooding peace and promise? And the speech 
of that famihar landmark over there, across the 
valley, the lone pine on the Mil that marks the liidden 
home slopes, were ever the words of a friend sweeter? 

I expect that was what the sea and the open lands 
along shore meant to the settler. The water was his 
larder, his fish and game preserve, and the winds 
were to him the one-eyed Calendar's metal boatman, 
and they carried him whichever way he trimmed 
liis sails. So these old roads kept the sea, or a bit of 
yellow marsh, in sight ; with here and there a head- 
land as a relief to the eye, or an outlook. 



OLD YORK 275 

The approach to luttery from York Harbor is 
more interestmg than from the Junction; and a foot 
jaimt through the by-phices of Champernowne's 
Island, now yclept Cutts', and across the head of 
Chaimcey's Creek, and westward, along shore into 
the Enchanted Country of Deering's Guzzle and 
Warehouse Point is at once cheering and restful. 

One's starting-point is the old bridge over York 
River, and Major Samuel Sewall of old York could 
have left no better memorial of himself than this 
first framework of piles set in the black mud of the 
Brave-boat Harbor flats. It was built in 1761, a 
hundred and tliirty years after the first settlement 
of the "Ancient Plantations," and wliich was the 
model, as Drake says, "of those subsequently built 
over the Charles, Mystic and Merrimac." The super- 
structure was set up and afterward floated into place, 
and the supports were firmly impaled in the river 
bottom. And SewalFs old bridge is here to-day, 
after a service of almost a centmy and a half. At 
the first footfall on tliis old span the visions begin 
to crowd in upon one's mind! It is as if one were 
threacUng the deserted streets of a city in the dead 
of night, when the answering echoes to one's stac- 
cato footfall become the fighter tread of its familiars 
of the gairish day, and the bricks are crowded to the 
curb with the ghosts of a hurrying, jostling hmnan- 
ity — as if one were ever alone ! 

It is vibrant somid, this footfall of to-day across 
tliis remnant of yesterday; and with it comes the 
sliivery, psychological sensing of a numerous yet 



276 OLD YORK 

invisible company of quaintly-garbed people, whose 
steps keep pace wdth my own. One's ear-drums are 
tremulous with the somids of that ancient yesterday; 
and the mind is alert to this astral companionship 
that comes unbidden — an old-fashioned folk, whose 
grosser selves were long since absorbed in the mute 
caress of the Antsean mother. 

Here is the easterly boimdary of Kittery, where 
the tide makes up along an exceedingly picturesque 
shore, and wliich affords a pleasant introduction to 
the charms of lottery's varied landscape and the 
storied landmarks that fasten one's attention at 
almost every turn of the road. From York Harbor 
westward down the Point is suggestive. One's 
thoughts stray unwittingly from the present. One 
reads, Indian-Hke, the ground at his feet, to find 
strange and unfamihar footprints. They were left 
here, the oldest of them, as early as 1623, since which 
time the path has been beaten out smooth. Here 
were the stamping-grounds of the rude forefathers, 
the peasantry who made all things possible for their 
posterity. What stories of the rough needs of those 
days are told by the cumbersome things that made 
up the furnisliings of their interiors ! Mahogany was 
plenty in those days, and the real thing was the only 
tiling, whether it grew in the back lot, or came in 
the old Anglesea from the Barbadoes. Their colors 
were as real as the woods they filled. Red, yellow, 
black, and white, completed the gamut. Barbizon 
Millet could have done sometliing even with that 
limited palette, and what a pity there was no Millet 



OLD YORK 277 

of those clays to have preserved a few Hodges at their 
toil afield, with their ironboimd ploughs and clumsy 
implements by which these new lands were made 
to bestow their riches as the meed of tliis strenuous 
pioneer hving! 

They must have been of Herculean strength to 
have manipulated the tools of the time. I have an 
ancient snath and scythe that was in use as late as a 
century ago; and how any profitable labor could be 
accomphshed with it, is wholly a matter of conjec- 
ture. In its time it was, imdoubtedly, the best at 
hand — rude, crude, and unwieldy, to make one 
think of huge settles and high-posted bedsteads, 
of long, stout-armed cranes that spanned the wide 
throat of the family fireplace, of dingy pot-hooks, 
and skillets with swivelled bales and wide-mouthed 
tin ovens, and spits that went with a crank. It was 
the iron age hereabout, and men were, perforce, fire- 
worshippers. It did not do to let fire get out on the 
hearth; for to borrow Uve coals from a neighbor 
was much more easy than to transport them hence. 

The gentry comprised a limited few, and large 
accretions of wealth were at the disposal of but few. 
The luxuries of Hfe were commonplace in many 
respects. Travel was an arduous and slow enter- 
tainment, even to those who had the leisure for such 
diversion, and hamlets were far apart. The en\dron- 
ment was exceeding narrow; social amenities were 
practised mostly by those who affected the better 
manners of the times. The general demeanor was 
staid, and such as held provincial office exacted a 



278 OLD YORK 

deference that nowadays would afford prolific inspi- 
ration for the cartoonist. Personal liberty was 
cramped; everybody was bitted, and not a few sad- 
dled; the right of way was hereditary, and education 
bushed it out, carried the wliip, and held the reins. 
Precedent was good law, and was seldom called to a 
halt. 

The superstitions that made the Salem trials a 
possibility were a good barometer of the intellectual 
capacity of the average mind, wliich was cloudy most 
of the time, and indicated doubtful weather. They 
were the days when Toppan wrote to Cotton Mather 
of a double-headed snake at Newbury — a curious 
reptile that had one head where a head ought to be, 
while the other wagged where its tail should have 

been. 

"Far and wide the tale was told, 
Like a snowball growing while it rolled. 
The nurse hushed with it the baby's cry; 
It served in the worthy minister's eye 
To paint the primitive serpent by. 
Cotton ]\Iather came galloping down 
All the way to Newbury town, 
With his eyes agog and his ears set wide, 
And his marvellous inlv-horn by his side; 
Stirring the while the shallow pool 
Of his brains for the lore he learned at school, 
To garnish the story, with here a streak 
Of Latin, and there another of Greek; 
And the tales he heard and the notes he took — " 

And such was the atmosphere, mentally, and other- 
wise, and naturally productive of the peculiar char- 
acteristics that endowed whatever these people did 



OLD YORK 279 

with that quaintness that stamped everything ^^ith 
a hall-mark that did not admit of infringement. 
They were the times when the timorous goodman 

"Nailed a horseshoe on the outer door, 
Lest some unseemly hag should fit 
His own mouth with her bridle-bit," 

and the housewife's churn refused, 

"Its wonted culinary uses 
Until with heated needle burned, 
The witch had to her place returned." 

Strange and soul-troubhng vagaries, these! 
TMs ancient road that runs the length of luttery 
Point, the gray, worn roofs of a schoolless architec- 
ture, strewn like pearls along its marge at uncertain 
intervals, and the quaint and humble doings of those 
who made their exits and their entrances over their 
like worn and sagging thresholds, have had their 
translations at the hands of annalists like Purchas 
and Palfrey and their ilk; but as one goes, one scans 
the story in the original, and translates for himself 
as freely as the scope of his imagination will allow. 
As to many tilings, one sees darkly, as through a 
glass, and longs for the Mormon's goggles. As to 
others, Time has set a wall as impassable as that of 
Al Araf, but over which one may look into the De- 
batable Land, and that only. But of many other 
tilings replete with fascinating charm, he who can 
read, may. 

Geograpliically, here is the southernmost limit of 



280 OLD YORK 

Maine, if one excepts that portion of the Isles of 
Shoals of wliich Smutty Nose and breezy Appledore, 
Duck, and Cedar Islands are a part. The hne of 
demarcation follows the main channel of the Piscata- 
qua River, leaving Great Island, Star, Wliite, and 
Londoner's Islands to the south. Here is the begin- 
ning of Maine's varied and romantic coast. From 
the Pepperrell manse to, 

"gray Fort Mary's walls," 

past the cabin smoke of Cleeve, and still on, leaving 
beliind the stone heaps of Pemaquid, until one hears 
the flap of Castine's wigwam door, still past the 
smoldng embers of St. Saviour's Mission to the land 
of Evangeline, is the Thule of the painter, the tourist, 
and the summer dawdler, and which has its eastern 
limit at West Quoddy Head; or, if one makes the turn 
of the granite nose of this headland, he may keep on 
up the St. Croix to Devil's Head, over a reach of water 
rich in liistoric lore, and where one may find many 
a stirring romance written in the uneven Unes of 
its sinuous shores. The entire Maine coast trend is 
a storehouse of surprise to the lover of the pictur- 
esque. 

From Kittery to Devil's Head are nubbles and 
headlands of buttressed rock frescoed with brilliant 
oxides, the reds and yellows of igneous ingots from 
the smelters of preliistoric ages; the soft shimmer of 
the softer shales; the gUttering lustres of the micas; 
or the gray gloom of the massive granites, their feet 
sandalled in the emerald of the sea, or snooded with 



OLD YORK 281 

bands of dusky kelp and devil's apron that undulate 
with the tide like the sinuous spine of some sea mon- 
ster. It is a panorama of Nature, wonderfully and im- 
pressively beautiful. 

Where in the world is another Frenchman's Bay 
or another Mount Desert ! Here is the Mediterranean 
of the western hemisphere. It is a Riviera, only 
that for solid Italian dirt under one's feet one has the 
limpid waters of the famous Penobscot. 

Alw^ays witliin the range of the vision are the hooded 
capes dyed with the deeper emerald of the ocean, 
that seaward shows a limitless horizon. Here and 
there the trees have been combed and sculptured 
and twisted into fantastic shapes by the vagrant 
winds, or buffeted into stark nudity by the bleak 
storms that swoop dowai from the northeast. Sleep- 
distilling, pine-laden odors are coaxed offshore by 
zephyrs that steal with noiseless footfall across the 
golden floors of the wide salt marshes, or that, with 
more hurried pace, weave them into webs of riant 
color. Deep bays break the seemingly endless con- 
tour of these rugged lines with spacious anchorages 
that could take at a single gulp the navies of the world, 
almost; and here are hosts of inlets and creeks that 
make inlayings of silver inland, and that lie most of 
the time fast asleep in the sun after a vagabondish 
fasliion, and wiiere even the wildest gales beget 
hardly more animation than the gray rifle of broken 
waters. 

As one looks out over this feast of Nature, the heart 
breaks into song as one sees — 



282 OLD YORK 

"the mighty deep expand 
From its white hne of gUmmering sand 
To where the blue of heaven on bluer waves shuts down; " 

and with tliis heart melody comes the deeper tone 
from the huge organ loft of the sky, while, 

"in foam and spray wave after wave 
Breaks on the rocks which, stern and gray, 
Shoulder the broken tide away, 
Or murmur hoarse and strong through mossy cleft and cave." 

No wonder men set up their easels along these ribs 
of sun-bleached sands to catch 

"The tremulous shadow of the sea," — 

but the transcription of their mysteries and their in- 
terpretations are beyond the puny effort of the most 
gifted pen or brush, and imequalled by any other coast 
line of similar extent anywhere. 

Had the Mayflower followed the track of Pring, and 
once bathed her face in the brine of the Piscataqua, 
or even the whirlpools of Hell-gate, the history of 
New England would have read differently. But that 
was not to be ; yet it is not to be doubted, had the folk 
from Leyden made their land-fall here, the council 
of Plymouth would have given priority to their occu- 
pation, and the grant to Gorges and Mason, in 1622, 
would have been somewhat restricted. Ettery 
would have retained the name given to York origin- 
ally ; here would have been another Manhattan. For 
the shahows of the classic Charles and the mud of the 
Mystic would have been the deeps of the New Hamp- 
shire estuary, with its miles of frontage by stream and 



OLD YORK 283 

by sea, and which the government experts were not 
slow to take advantage of for the building of a fighting 
marine. Here is one of the most available navy 
yards on the United States coast. Famous ships 
have been built here at the old Puddington Island. 
At Withers' Island, the Ranger, of Paul Jones fame, 
and the frigate, America, seventy-four guns, presented 
in 1782 to France, were built and fitted out. Here 
were laid the keels of the old Alabama, the Santee, 
the Co?i(/re.ss, afterward rammed at Hampton Roads 
by the Merrimac, the Franklin, and the illustrious 
Kearsarge. Since the steel battlesliip has come in, 
tliis famous old yard has been simply a repair shop 
and a hospital for the senile Constitution of glorious 
memory. A new dry dock is building here, wdiich, 
when completed udll be sufficiently ample to take the 
largest vessels afloat. What a berth tliis would have 
been for the commerce of New England's metropohs! 
and Bunker Hill Monument would midoubtedly have 
towered above the ruins of Fort M'Clary. The coast 
of Maine abounds in magnificent harbors, 

Jocelyn speaks of Kittery in his time as "the 
most populous of all the plantations in the Maine 
Province." 

Drake rightly says, "this Island of Champer- 
nowne's is one of the headlands of history." The 
tides of Bra'boat Harbor lap its northeastern edge, 
and Chauncey's Creek on the northwest fends it 
from the ma:"nland; and here was the grant of Gorges 
to Arthur Champernowne, December 12, 1636. It 
was estimated to contain five hundred acres, and was 



284 OLD YORK 

designated as Dart'ngton in the grant. That was 
the name of the English manor of Champernowne's. 
Northeast of Bra'boat Harbor was another grant of 
the same date. This was in York, and was yclept 
Godmorrocke. These wide acres came to Arthur 
Champernowne's son, Francis, by inheritance. The 
Champernownes were an Enghsh family of aristo- 
cratic I'neage. Yomig Champernowne was a cousin 
of Sir Ferdinando Gorges; and it is hkely it was in 
that way the former became interested in the devel- 
opment of the Gorges and Mason province. He had 
distinguished himself in the English navy as a cap- 
tain; and he is located at Greenland in New Hamp- 
shire in 1640, where he had a considerable estate. 
He came to Kittery about 1657, and built liis first 
house on his island in the vicinity of York River. In 
1665 he bought three hundred acres on the mainland 
of John Archdale, "between the land of Thomas 
Crockett & an house formerly the Sayd Capt. 
Champernownes." Tliis was October 20; and July 
17, the next year, the to\\Ti of Kittery granted Mm 
five hundred acres "adiojneing to the house where 
Capt. Lockwood now Uveth. Neare the lower end 
of the Town by the water side, that runneth towards 
Braue boat Harbour." The grant was "to begin 
next Major Shapleigh's land, & not two much 
breath by the water side, to the Preiudice of the 
Inhabitants toward Braue Boate Harbour." Stack- 
pole says ChampernowTie had two houses. He lo- 
cates one at the eastern end of the island, the original 
site of wliich, Stackpole says, is occupied by the 



OLD YORK 285 

John Thaxter residence. It is a sightly place, and is 
part and parcel of the fashion in the old days, to plant 
the roof-tree where it would have an abundant sea- 
way; but to my mind the outlook from the "lower 
house" was by far the finest. Here one gets a wide 
view from the mouth of Chauncey's Creek where 
Deering's Guzzle comes in, and here is the old well 
that undoubtedly supplied the Champernowne house- 
hold. The wide mouth of the Piscataqua is before 
one, with its low-lying ribs of "sland verdure studding 
the restless waters, and along shore are slender 
scarps from the mainland reaching out toward them 
like so many fingers of a huge hand, that lengthen 
with the ebb of the tide, or shorten as it makes to 
its flood. Here is an abundance of form and color, 
as if Nature began her labors here when she was 
possessed of a plethora of good things and had no 
mind to stint her work. 

In 1648 Champernowne sold this estate to one 
Walter Barefoot, and thus he parted with h's main- 
land property. The eastern end of the 'sland came 
finally into the hands of Richard Cutt, s'nce which 
time the island has taken the latter's name. The 
mainland estate in 1661 was conveyed by Barefoot 
to one Harbert, since which time it has been the sub- 
ject of numerous conveyances. If one likes to look 
out upon the picture from Champernowne 's original 
point of view, anywhere about the Keene cottage 
will answer the purpose; for it was in th's immediate 
vicinity that not many years ago could have been 
seen the sight depression that marked the location 



286 



OLD YORK 



of this "lower house." He laid down his life work 
in 1687, at the ripe age of seventy-three; but shortly 
before that, he took unto himself the widow of Rob- 




CHAMPERNOWNE'S GRAVE 



ert Cutt. Unfortunately, h's good old English name 
died with him, for he died childless. 

That he left no posterity is greatly to be regret- 
ted, having in mind hs wealth and social station in 
wh'ch he outranked his contemporaries at Kittery. 
Pearce's Neck once belonged to this man, but a con- 
veyance to Jolin Pearce of Noodle's Island gave way 



OLD YORK 287 

to another apology for the further obUteration of the 
Champernowne name. No part of modern K ttery 
is known or distinguished by this p'.oneer among its 
early people, except a rough p'le of rock, a rude ca'rn, 
which is shown to the curious, as Champernowne 's 
grave. It is a bit east of the s'te of h:s old home, and 
is enclosed by a like rude wall of stone gleaned from 
the rocky slopes of Cutt's Island. Nature has written 
his epitaph with kindly hands in the multi-colored 
lichens that have found lodgment on the rough faces 
of these fragments of rock; and overhead, the foliage 
of the birches wave their pliant arms with every 
breeze in delicate obeisance to his indifferently cher- 
ished memory. Local pride, it seems to me, should 
lend some stimulus to the proper recognition of his 
name and his old-time connection with the laying 
of the Kittery corner-stone. 

This getting beneath the surface of current events, 
to touch elbows, as it were, with the things that were 
in days when others made the conveniences of the 
present possible, the quaint things the like of which 
have passed from the memory of man in their actual- 
ity, may not be so interesting to the world at large 
as the excavations of Pompeii and Cyprus, or their 
brilliant frescoes and licentious mural decorations; 
but they are of far richer fruitage, if one goes by the 
amount of pleasure gained. To get any good from 
anything, one must use the mental pick-axe and shovel ; 
and a few days among these old by-ways gives one 
a longer lease of life, a better digestion, and a larger 
fund of self-respect, and withal, a HveUer patriotism. 



288 OLD YORK 

In leaving Champernowne, perhaps it might be in- 
teresting to quote a Hne from the Massachusetts ar- 
chives. In these eastern settlements, as the fight 
grew more acrid between the Puritan and the Royal- 
ist, the political interests of Massachusetts Bay col- 
ony and the settlements east of the Piscataqua be- 
came more sharply defined. The commissioners of 
Massachusetts were astute politicians, as were the 
men behind them; and what to them were the Au- 
gean stables, were cleaned out in July, 1668. Among 
these, were: 

"Henry Josslin Esq' of good parts & conuersation 
well-beloved of the inhabitants and allways A uindi- 
cator of Engly Government both cuill & Eclesiati- 
call liueing at Black Point. 

" Capt. Champernowne of Piscataqua a man allways 
for the King, and was Comd*" at sea in the same sliip 
under the Lord of Marlborough many years agoe." 

Among others of the proscribed, appear the names 
of Francis Hooke, Robert Cutt, Capt. Wincall of 
Piscataqua and "M"" Edward Rishworth, both men 
without Schandall in Reference to Life & Conuersa- 
tion & now are associates for Boston which is a Small 
majestraticall Power they haue." 

Banks, in a note to the extract from wliich the 
above is quoted, says, "Tliis paper was undoubtedly 
prepared as a sort of private memorandum by Ed- 
ward Randolph, about 1680, for his own use and for 
the information of his political friends in England." 

Quoting somewhat farther from tliis paper of Ran- 
dolph's, he says, — 



OLD YORK 289 

" Men that are Enimies to m Gorges interest, lining 
In the Prouince of Mayne : 

"Major Bryan Pembleton (Pendleton): A man of 
Saco Riuer of Great estate & uery independent, be- 
loued only of those of his fraternity being both an 
Enemy to the King's interest & M" Gorges Interest, 
all so a great Ringleader to others to utmost of his 
Power. 

"Capt Raines of York'', M^ Neale of Casco Bay, 
Arthur Auger of Black Poynt, Andrew Brown of 
Black Poynt, Francis Littlefield of Wells, Henry Saw- 
yer of Yorke, Peter Wyer, (Weare) of Yorke, — 
these are men of indifferent Estate & are led by Maj'' 
Pembleton & of the same independent way of under- 
standing Httle but what he tells them in Law or gos- 
pell." 

Edward Rishworth was a pohtician of the first 
water. He managed to keep in good trim with both 
sides of the controversy. His "Apology" shows the 
sting of the party whip; and as well Rishworth's 
pUancy, and skill as a political tumbler. Here it is, 
and it is in its way a curiosity. 

"To the Hono^** Generall Court now assembled at 
Boston. 

I being chozen Deputy by the majo' part of the 
freemen of Yorke to attend the publique service of 
the country at this Gener'^ Court vnto whose accep- 
tance I stood uncapable through some affronte which 
I had given to y** same for whose satisfaction these 
may satisfy all whom It may Concerne, that through 



290 OLD YORK 

fears of some future troubles, & want of Indemnity 
in case this Hono""^ Court had not relieved in tymes 
of danger, I being prsuaded that by his Majestys 
letter I was discharged from my oath, taken to this 
authority, I did accept of a commission before apply- 
cation to the same w"^ in I do acknowledg I did act 
very Imprudently, & hope through God's assistance 
I shall not do the like agajne, but for tyme to come 
shall Indeauor to walke more cerumspectly in cases 
soe momentous craning pardon of y"" honord Court 
for tliis offence, & yo'' acceptance of this acknowledg- 
ment of your unfayned servant 

May: 12; 1670: Edw: Rishworth" 

Rishworth's artless explanation, and liis saying he 
would try to be very good, found the "Deputyes 
Judge" in a complaisant mood; and after due con- 
sideration, his offence was remitted. The apology 
intimates the offence, and, as a case of discipline, it 
proved eminently effectual. As a sidelight on the 
exactions of the primitive machine that steered the 
political craft of Massachusetts in 1670, the inference 
is easy that its stones ground exceeding fine, even as 
they do in these latter days. There was no trouble 
with Rishworth after that. The winds of York blew 
the same way they blew in Boston; and his 
weather-vane was as delicately adjusted to their pos- 
sible variation as the finest chronometric mechanism. 
It is not recorded that he ever lost step with the Mas- 
sachusetts leaders after that, and honors were easy. 

But in these days just anterior to the war of the 



OLD YORK 291 

Revolution, as well as wliile its issues were being set- 
tled, Kittery was growing in size and importance; 
and doubtless there were no inconsiderable property 
interests represented within its borders. It must 
have been so, for it is apparent that there was a sense 
of insecurity abroad. The following from the Kittery 
records would suggest as much. 

" To the Selectmen of the Town of Kittery, 

We the Subscribers being Freeholders and Inhabi- 
tants of said Town Request you to Coll a meeting 
Imeediatly of the Freeholders & Inhabitants of the 
Affores'^ Kittery at Such Place as you Shall think 
best then & there for S*^ Inhabitants to vot Such a 
Number of Sutabel men to Keep a Watch at Kittery 
Point & other Sutabel Place or Places As they Shall 
think Proper & Said Persons to be paid a Reasonable 
Sum by the To\\ti as no Person have of Late Ap- 
peared to keep a Watch at the Afores*^ Point we think 
It Extreemely Dangerous to the Inhabitants of this 
whole Town for Said Place to be without a Gard Es- 
pecialy by Night and to Pase any Vote or Votes Re- 
lating to the Premises as they shall think fitt. 

Kittery, June 3, 1775." 

This petition was signed by William De?ring and 
seventeen others. 

Going back fifty years over these records, one finds 
the minutes of a warrant to the town constable. It 
reads like a page from a mediaeval transcript, and 
is singularly suggestive of the ahnost inquisitorial 



292 



OLD YORK 



power the towns of those days assumed over the indi- 
vidual who had incurred something of local disrepute. 
Compared with the trend of opinion as to the scope 
of personal liberty of the Now, when unions and 
federations of workingmen assume to stop the 




THE JOAN DEERING HOUSE 



wheels even of the commerce that brings to people 
the necessities of hfe, the indications are that one 
is not so far away from the time of Peter Matthews, 
only the stage has changed managers; and for the 
selectmen, has come the baton of the federate presi- 
dent or an irresponsible district deputy. 



OLD YORK 293 

Suppose you look over this old record with me. 

"York ss: To the Constable of the Town of Kit- 
tery, Greeting: 

" Whereas, Complaint is made to us y" Subscribers 
By Severall of the Inhabitants of this Town that 
Peter Matthews of York is come to Reside in this 
Town of Kittery afors*^ 

'' You are hereby Required in his Maj^ Name to give 
Personall notice to the said Peter Matthews that he 
forthwith Depart this Town on Penalty of Being 
Sent out as the Law directs. Hereof fail not and 
make due Return of this warrant under your hand 
of your Doings herein unto us the Subscribers of 
Some of us within Seven Days after the Date hereof. 
Dated in Kittery y'' 20th Day of June, 1726." 

" This warrant was subscribed by the five selectmen 
of Kittery, of whom John Dennett was the chairman, 
and the constable makes his return. 

"Pursuant to the within warrant to me Directed, 
I have Given Personal Notice to y** within Named 
Peter Matthews to Depart this Town. 

Samuel Lebbey, Constable." 

. This authority was vested in towns under the law 
of 1693. 

Coming down these records to May 10, 1734, one 
finds the list of Quakers who were allowed to reside 
in Kittery, that year. They were twenty-four in 
number. 



294 OLD YORK 

East of the Piscataqua the temper of the inhabi- 
tants toward this persecuted sect was much more 
passive than on its southern side. They were under 
a mild but distinctive surveillance; or in other words, 
they were, under certain conditions of behavior, toler- 
ated. They were not allowed to hold public meet- 
ings, but they taught their doctrines here and there, 
in some private house, where they were in a way 
surreptitiously entertained. The Massachusetts 
authorities were jealous of the liberties accorded 
this, by them, proscribed people; but hereabout, 
in Kittery and its sister towns, the townspeople were 
not over-zealous in their adhesion to the Puritan laws 
where it was not for their peculiar benefit, either as 
incUviduals, or as an aggregate. The latitude allowed 
alleged witches hereabout is notable, as compared 
with the Salem folk. Burroughs was complained of 
at Salem ; and I think it is safe to say, had it been left 
to the people of Wells to take the initiative, the 
preacher among the garrison houses of Wells and 
Scarborough would have wrought to the end in his 
own way. There is no doubt but Massachusetts 
found a poor soil in the province of Maine for the 
growth of her peculiar religious tenets. 

The people of this part of the country had good 
memories. Those who were not alive to tell of the 
indifference of the Massachusetts commissioners, in 
1592, to the welfare and safety of its settlers, when 
the IncUans began their raids south of Falmouth, had 
left the story as one of the items of traditional legacy, 
handed down with every re-telling of the devilish 



OLD YORK 



295 



and savage reprisals of those dark and treacherous 
fourteen years that preceded the Peace of Utrecht. 
If the truth were to be told, it was a case of the " devil 
take the hindermost." Haverhill was nearer Boston 
than Wells, and the Dimstan tragedy, with five hun- 
dred French and Indians at the gate of Storer's 

i > 







THE WATER SIDE OF FORT M'CLARY 



Garrison in Wells, less than a hundred miles away, was 
suggestive of the possibility that these Tarratine 
hornets might invade the gables that looked out over 
the placid waters of the Mystic. When the Peace 
of Utrecht came, the General Court assumed its 
domination over this ravaged stretch of shore from 
the Piscataqua eastward, as if the pestilent hordes 
of Castine and Madockawando had never left their 
Penobscot lair. They who had kept their garrison 



296 



OLD YORK 



houses, and had sustained hfe through those days 
that made Scarborough the "bloody ground" in 
local annals, had reason to remember how completely 
they were abandoned to their own resources by the 
Puritans of Boston. In the years after, when some- 
thing of prosperity had re-vamped the footgear of 
these settlers, it is not singular that they should 
resent a too close supervision of their local doings 
by the law-makers of Massachusetts Bay, because 




THE SPARHAWK MANSE 



these same perils had made them not only self- 
reliant but notably independent. Perhaps it was 
good policy to let these imperilled settlers run to the 
best cover they could find, but to my mind it was 
the quintessence of selfishness, with possibly a taint 
of cowardice — a harsh analysis of events, but 
Boston was human. 

It is with reluctant steps one turns from these old 
haunts; but one must linger a moment longer to 



OLD YORK 297 

saunter up the lane between its verdurous maples to 
the ancient lindens, brought from England by Bar- 
onet Pepperrell and planted here, and that stand guard 
over the wide entrance to the old Sparhawk Mansion, 
Cerberus-fashion. These are huge trees, and their 
age is not doubtful. Their gnarled bodies suggest the 
experience of those who knew them first. Of the 
turdy Enghsh type, they remind one of the pencils 
studies of the English masters. They are essentially 
Enghsh in form, tone values, and effect. I speak of 
these things because I see them and I enjoy them, 
for they are to me the choicest settings in which these 
rehcs could be framed; and they who hved by them 
for years saw them as I see them, only with a larger 
affection, because they were more closely identified 
with them as a part of their surroundings. I have 
no doubt but all the young folk of the neighborhood 
had kno\Mi at one time and another the coolness of 
their grateful shadows; and I am sure the Pepperrell 
uncles, cousins, and aunts, and grandchildren, and 
the baronet, as well, have patted these huge trimks 
when they were smaller, with something of the feeling 
that here was some genuine British fibre, whose juices 
were chstilled from the mother-land itself. 

These people were not oblivious to the poetry of 
things, the things of Nature, else their home interiors 
would have shown the dull edge of their sense ; but it 
was otherwise. If you wish for the aesthetic in its 
purity, go through the old Sparhawk manse, and if 
you do not see anything else, do not forget the Dutch 
tihng of the broad fireplace in the roomy hbrary, — a 



298 OLD YORK 

single touch that makes the world aldn are those 
ancient tiles of washed-out blue. 

As the hall-mark of intellectuality, an excellent 
good taste, and a just appreciation of the true and the 
beautiful in art, they are imimpeachable testimony. 
Why not ? Their days were the days of Sir Peter 
Lely, Huysman, Vandevelde, and Vosterman; their 
immediate predecessors were Rubens and Vandyke. 

But these Hndens were set somewhere around 1742. 
That was the year that Elizabeth Pepperrell married 
Capt. Nathaniel Sparhawk. This mansion was a 
wedding gift, and so must date from about that time. 
Passing between these massive trees one is at the 
wide entrance to the house. It is the residence of 
Hon. Horace Mitchell, who takes goodly pride in his 
possession, wliich is, so far as one can see, exactly as 
the yomiger Sparhawk left it in his flight to England. 
That it has been so well kept through all the vicissi- 
tudes of the succeeding one hundred and sixty years 
is a matter of congratulation; for here is one of the 
most perfectly appointed mansions of its time to be 
fomid in New England. Its interior is of finer and 
more elaborate workmanship than either the old Pep- 
perrell manse or the Lady Pepperrell house. The 
paper on its hall walls is the same brought from Lon- 
don at the time of its building, with which an interest- 
ing story is connected. But this story has a^.ready 
exceeded its limits. 

One of the quaint tilings one is likely to notice in 
the wide hall is the lifelike wooden hawk, hand- 
carved, the claws of which hold in a firm grasp a like 



OLD YORK 299 

carved wooden spar. This device depends from an 
iron rod pendant from the ceihng over the newel-post. 
In the long fore-room, that takes the whole of the 
eastern gable, is a wonderful fireplace, whose wain- 
scoted mantel reaches to the high ceiUng, that is 
flanked on either side by ample buffets of a hand- 
carved shell pattern. The balustrade in the hall is 
identical in design with those of the other Pepperrell 
houses. Here are some of the canvases, once among 
the Sparhawk possessions, stiU on the walls; and they 
too are interesting. In fact, the mind finds much 
here to beget reflection; for, as one lingers, the a'ert 
Now is forgotten in the dreams of long-ago Yester- 
days. 

But all things have an end; and as one's stay here- 
about is in a degree subject to mundane influences 
and necessities, one hails the first passing electric, 
and with a parting look leaves liis Dreamland to 
others. 

It is a delightful sojourn one makes here, whether 
it be long, or short; and the memory of its old houses, 
its sinuous roads, and its river, and the hospitality 
extended to myself will l^e cherished 

"So long as Nature shall not grow old, 
Nor drop her work from her doting hold.". 

No lack of goodly company is here whether one 
chats with mine host Mitchell on the breezy veranda 
of the Champernowne awaiting the boom of the sun- 
set gun from the walls of the fort across the river, 
where the windows of olden New Castle gleam ruddily 



300 



OLD YORK 



as the day dies; or loses himself in silent reverie as 
he takes his sun-bath under the lee of old Cutts wharf, 
for 

"he who drifts 
Is one with him who rows or sails; 
And he who wanders widest lifts 
No more of beauty's jealous veils " 

than he who wanders nearer home. 







BACK-LOG STORIES 




BACK-LOG STORIES 

T was my good fortune, when a young 
lad, to live in one of those old-fash- 
ioned houses affected by the aris- 
tocracy in the early eighteenth 
century. Like im house set upon a 
hill, it was visible for many miles 
aroimd; and its ample roof was 
quaintly suggestive of good cheer 
and the material comforts of life, 
after the manner of the times when 
roomy fireplaces, long, low and wide 
hearthed, were capable of generous, glowing heats and 
pregnant hints of a hospitdity that is now among the 

303 




304 OLD YORK 

lost arts. There were four spacious rooms below, and 
a like number above, which were reached by a straight 
flight of stairs, pitched at a most comfortable angle. 
On their outer rim or edge was a slender, carved hand- 
rail, which was upheld by pilasters, delicately propor- 
tioned, square, and hardly larger then one's finger. 
The newel-post was of the same sylph-like design, 
and the long hall was wainscoted about one third of 
the way to the ceiling by a single strip of finish got 
out in the days when the pine-trees were huge, knot- 
less, and sapless, with hearts as yellow as nuggets 
of gold. All the rooms were wainscoted alike, and 
in each room was a fireplace surmounted by a hand- 
carved mantel so narrow as to make one think of the 
bridge of Al Borak, so far as they might be of use. 
The windows were wide, and the shafts of light which 
broke through them were broken into numerous lesser 
shafts as they fell athwart the yellow-painted floors. 

Over all spread a low hip-roof, topped by a pair 
of sturdy cliimneys; and above these was a broidery 
of foliage through the summer days that made the 
drapery of the huge, wide-armed elm that held all in 
its coohng shadow; and that, when the wind blew, 
sang a low-pitched monody to the liigh treble of 
the orioles whose homes hung pendant from many 
a slender twig. 

In the living-room was the largest fireplace. It 
was huge in its proportions, so large that a cord- 
stick would find ample room against its back wall, 
and a wide slab of rived granite, worn smooth by 
years of use, afforded an ample hearth. It was here, 



OLD YOBK 305 

before this black maw of sooty brick, that the family 
gathered as the shadows of the winter evenings fell, 
when the firelight flashed brightly athwart the 
quaintly-patterned paper that adorned the walls; 
and it was here that all the neighborhood happen- 
ings were gone over, along with a store of other lore, 
in which hob-thrushes and Robin Goodfellows and 
other spectral marvels played uncanny parts. And 
not least among these back-log tales were the stories 
of Indians and bears and catamounts, stories of hunt- 
ing and fishing, and of the early clearings and their 
adventurous experiences, until the youthful mind 
was crowded with strange pictures and its owner 
was fain to steal up the creaking stairs to bed with 
his heart in his throat, and one eye cast backward 
over one shoulder, apprehensively, and each indi- 
vidual hair on his youthful head "on end." In these 
days of bricked-up fireplaces and departed inspi- 
rations, one has to go to the printed page; for the 
story-teller of the fireside has gone the way of things 
that were, or grown dull and forgetful and of sleepy 
wit, and the neighbors visit but infrequently. 

The back-log romancer is a legend and a tradition, 
and hke the headlands of old-time episode, is every 
year buried deeper in the fogs of forgetfulness. 

Materiahsm is the iconoclast of the times. 

But that old homestead, recalled as one recalls 
much else, that like an old worn shpper, fits so com- 
fortably into the mosaic of one's experiences, bears 
outward semblance in small degree to this low- 
browed garrison house which one finds here at Cape 



306 



OLD YOBK 



Neddock. Here was the early home of the Mcln- 
tires, and its fame goes back to and beyond the 
obhteration of old Falmouth, when the hordes of 
Castine swept down upon it. 

It is one of the two remaining in York to-day; in 
1711 there were twenty-one. This old Mclntire 
block house was built about 1640, and is on the east- 




MclNTIRE BLOCK HOUSE 



erly bank of York River. One of its contemporaries , 
the Junkins garrison, and which is in its near neigh- 
borhood, may yet be seen, but in a dilapidated con- 
dition. After the Indian outbreaks, which began as 
early as 1676, the number of block houses increased 
so that York was well supplied with these houses 
of refuge, and each had its billet of settlers ; nor were 
they over large ; and at such times as the long tin 



OLD YORK 307 

horn sent its note flying across country, they must 
have found their individual capacities somewhat 
strained. 

It is difficult for one to convey a likeness of one of 
these old forts, for the eye sees only the shell of an old 
house. Timbers hewn, dove-tailed and tree-nailed, 
gave it a redoubtable massiveness. The seams were 
calked like those of a sliip, loop-holes were cut in the 
sides for small-arms, and the second story was pro- 
vided with an overhang, or set-off, and in the floors 
of this projection, which followed the outer wall 
around the building completely, openings were made 
for offensive as well as defensive piu"poses. It was a 
favorite trick with these aborigines to push carts of 
straw or other inflammable matter against the house 
of the settler, and in such a case from these projec- 
tions could be poured water to extinguish any con- 
flagration possible. In the second story was a loft, 
and here were loopholes from which a watch could be 
kept. And it was to such places the women and 
cliildren fled at the first alarm. 

That is what one sees with the outward eye. 

But there are other things here that have the hu- 
man touch. The cliimney-back is painted with soot 
stains, and the walls are dyed a deep sepia by the un- 
ruly smokes, and there is a smell of creosote, sugges- 
tive of advanced age. There are signs of decrepitude. 
The windows have a bleary aspect. The roofs are 
ragged and out at the knees, and even their rigidity 
betokens weariness at having to stand so long. There 
are weeds and briars choldng the old footways, as if 



308 OLD YORK 

Nature were making ready to shortly assume charge 
of the remains. Tliis is especially true of the old Jun- 
kins garrison house, not far from the Mclntire home- 
stead. 

But here are some old andirons, twisted and bent 
and eaten up, almost, by the ravenous fires that have 
long ago burned themselves out; and here is some 
wood, and an old pine knot that is so "fat" that it 
shows the varnish of its resinous saps, and is as rich 
in its coloring as the back of some old violin made in 
the days of Stradivarius. I do not see the rusty tin 
tinder-box, in wliich was always kept the flint and 
steel and a bit of punk, that ought to be at one end 
of the rude mantel over the fireplace; but the ill- 
smelling brimstone match will do as well, except 
that the flint and steel and its old-fashioned appli- 
ances would have given me time to gather my wits, 
wliich is quite an important consideration, if one is 
to indulge somewhat in romancing. 

But let me hght this pitch-lmot and set the old 
broken hearth ablaze. The smoke chokes a moment 
in the old Junkins chimney throat, and then the flame 
leaps, and the hght dances up and down the time- 
stained walls; the backlog crackles and croons a 
song of the wilderness woods. The old voicings come, 
and the looms in the brain begin to work; the sleys 
go up and down as the shuttle flies back and forth, 
and the web grows eerily to the rhythm of the incom- 
ing tide, and the rough sibilance of the wet, salty 
winds that are "blowing up a storm," and that, like 
Endor's witch, crowd the empty spaces about our 



OLD YORK 309 

fire with many a ghostly figure. How they do troop 
in like so many children ! for here is old Trickey, and 
old Aunt Polly who Uved on Brimstone Hill; and 
Mary Greenland and Easter Booker, with her witch- 
bridle over her shoulder, with hag-harassed Skipper 
Perkins safely noosed and considerably blown after 
his rough journey hither from Chauncey's Creek with 
a horde of hob-thrushes on his back. Here is Skipper 
Mitchell, who sailed the Vesjyer from Pepperrcll's wharf 
about the time the baronet was building the Spar- 
hawk manse; and over in the darkest corner, half- 
buried in the dun shadows of the dusk is a lone 
woman. No, it is not Hester Prynne. This woman 
never heard of her other sister in misfortune, but she 
has the red letter A on her left sleeve. I cannot re- 
call her name just now, but we will have to ask ques- 
tions, and I trow Betty Booker can tell; if not, Skipper 
Mitchell will know, for she has come over here from 
Kittery Point, and it may be she has a witch-bridle 
about her neck, too. If she has, you may be sure 
the old hag Polly holds to one end of it. Aunt Polly 
is from Kittery way. She used to make witch- 
bridles, and famous ones. 

But how the winds buffet against the gable of the 
old garrison house! That is old Trickey who has 
just stolen out the door. The two shag-bearded men 
under the little square window by the farther corner 
are Junkins and Mclntire, and if you get near enough 
to catch their whispers between their generous pulls 
at the quart stoup of steaming rum between them, 
you will hear the story of old Trickey, a story that is 



310 



OLD YORK 



still told along the sands of York when the winds are 
high and the sheeted rain drives in from the east. 

Perhaps it is well to say right here that among the 
ancient New England settlements no place is more 
abundant in legend and tracUtion than the reaches of 
shore, the strips of sand and ragged headlands of this 
broken coast of York, and by York I mean that 




JUNKINS GARRISON HOUSE 



from Pascataquack to the easterly boundary of In- 
dian Mogg's possessions. These tales of the early 
times, hereabout, are rich in the suggestions of the 
hardsliips of hving, the strenuous character, and the 
dogged temperament of those who gave them cre- 
dence, and among whom was found fertile planting 
ground, — a harvest of lore waiting for the reaper. 

But, this must be visitors' night, for here are Har- 
mon and Frost and a dozen others; if we are patient 



OLD YORK 311 

we will get a word with each. But how in the world 
these two witches got out from under the heavy 
stones that were piled into their graves is more than 
I can imagine; but one need have no fear, for Mother 
Earth has long ago drunk up all their saps and juices, 
and these dim shapes that seem to enjoy the genial 
warmth of the open fire are but scraps of memory. 

Old Trickey? Yes, but it is one of those old tales 
that come up with the kelp and devil's apron about 
Cape Neddock when the wind comes from the east- 
ward, dripping with wet. 

Trickey was a fisherman, and as rough and unruly 
of disposition as the wildest eea he ever rode out. 
He lived at the mouth of York River, but just where, 
no one seems to know; but there were Trickeys in 
Kittery. He was as prickly and irritable as the 
saltest brine; and Ms ugliness and generally dis- 
reputable character for wickedness and malevolence 
were nowhere to be questioned. All these made of 
him a privileged character, who without let or hin- 
drance, wrought in the devil's vineyard after his own 
inventions. 

After he died it was said that on account of his 
misdeeds done in the body, the devil condemned 
him to stay about the region of Bra'boat Harbor, and 
he was supposed to haunt the vicinity constantly. 
The curse was upon him, and his doom was to bind 
and haul sand with a rope until the devil was satis- 
fied. Curse as he would, and fume and fret, it was 
useless mi til liis task was done. The devil had ex- 
acted so much sand, and so much he would have. 



312 OLD YORK 

SO old Trickey got at his work when the storm began 
to gather and the sand dunes inshore grew in size 
and number. When the brew of the gale wet the 
nose of Cape Neddock, the wraith of old Trickey 
would come shrieking along over the marshes and 
then he was at his Sisyphus-like labor, when the air 
was filled with his wailing cries, "More rope! More 
rope! More sand! More sand!" and there he wTOught 
amid the rack of the storm. As the dusk deepened 
the figure of old Trickey grew and grew, until racing 
inland with liis load of sand he strode over the cabin 
roofs to disappear until the coming of the next gale. 
In the morning the sands had shifted strangely, and 
as the sun shot its hght across them, the \nllage folk 
could not but observe the tremulousness of the atmo- 
sphere above them. It was old Trickey struggling 
with the devil over the scene of liis labors of the night 
before, and after dark these sands were as much to 
be avoided as the graveyard a little way up the Mil 

Nowadays, when the fogs roll in, and the sea and 
sky are one, and the winds begin to rise, and the 
growl of the surf on the harbor bar grows louder, 
the fisherfolk say, "Old Trickey is binding and 
hauling sand to-night ! God save the fishing-smacks 
from harm!" 

The old jail at York is now used as a museum for 
such antiquities as the people there are able to keep 
from taking wings and flying away. Among the 
treasures there shown is the Bible once owned by 
Trickey, a cherished curiosity, and an eerie thing, if 
what one may hear is to be taken without salt. It 



OLD YORK U3 

is said there is a spell upon it. It is ancient enough, 
and its joints are stiff and dry. As one opens it, the 
binding is somewhat reluctant in its yielding, and 
like many books made to-day it will not stay opened, 
but flies shut with a vicious snap; and some say they 
cannot push its black covers apart; and so, it must 
be haunted, or ''cursed." If old man Trickey had 
used it more frequently liimself, the old tome would 
have been more pliable, doubtless. However, it is an 
interesting rehc, and as one fumbles at its discolored 
leaves, the story of its owner of long years before 
smacks of reality, and out of the moaning of the sea 
and the wailing of the wind is readily conjured the 
tortured and maddened outcries of this devil-doomed 
sand-man. 

Poor Mary Greenland seems to be in a fidget about 
sometliing. It may be that this air does not agree 
with her, or her husband is inclined to object to her 
rambhng about nights, as it was said she was wont 
to do in her yoimger days. She was reputed to have 
a famihar spirit, but she was twenty years in advance 
of the times. She died soon after, 1684, quietly and 
decently; but had she not been in such haste, she 
might ultimately have been considered at the Min- 
istry House at old Salem village, and her earthly 
exit would probably have been no less certainly 
accomplished, but with it would have come the fame 
of martyrdom, and the seal of a high, oflicial sanction. 

If the Greenland woman had not been born so 
soon, I think the depositions of Deborah Lockwood 
and Deborah Phenix, wives of reputable men of 



314 OLD YORK 

Ejttery, would have made her eligible to the Nineteen 
Club of Salem. 

"These deponents testify that Mary Pearse did 
say when Alexander Jones did sail out of Piscattaqua 
River with Ellinor and Sarah Pearse and John 
Pearse about November or December last a violent 
storm did arise and Mary Greenland ye wife of Henry 
Greenland did then appear or ye devill in her Ukeness, 
that she was known by hir voice, namely, Mary 
Greenland further saith ye sd Mary Pearse did 
say that liir father did se ye sd Mary Greenland start 
out of a bush wch made liir fathers haire stand on end 
for feare." 

This "hearsay" was taken February 18, 1669. 

Ann Lin, "being summoned saith that this depo- 
nent being at her mother Lockwoods house Mary 
Pears was there and this said Mary Pears was talk- 
ing about some witches that should be about Alix- 
ander Jones boat when they were going to the south- 
ward and Mary Pears did say after tliis discourse that 
her father goeing out to seeke liis cowes that Mrs. 
Greenland did start out of a bush and did fright her 
father, or the devill in her Ukeness, and further saith 
not." This was incubated in the following March. 

Greenland was shortly after banished the town, 
and imdoubtedly this deposition-ridden woman went 
with liim. Greenland was a contentious sort of a 
fellow, and no doubt wherever he went about Kit- 
tery he found foul weather brewing. 

Mistress Greenland's reputation as a witch fades 
into the commonplace beside that of Aunt Polly 



OLD YORK 315 

and the Booker woman. Aunt Polly's hut was in 
a secluded part of the town, the immediate vicinage 
of which was known, in doubtful euphony, as witch- 
haunted, malodorous Brimstone Hill. Here she 
held malignant sway, and it was here the credulous 
folk of her time came with their good-will offerings 
of what the old hag was supposed to be most fond of, 
all the time taking good care to keep beyond the noose 
of her famous witch-bridle. 

From time to time I caught furtive glances in her 
direction, on the part of Skipper Mitchell, as if his 
experience at her hands were not utterly forgotten, 
and he seemed to be going over those days when he 
had the Vesper beached, and with liis ship's crew 
was hurrying her repairs for his summer fishing 
cruise. She of all the fleet hereabout had been left 
behind, and the skipper spent the most of his time 
in storming and urging and cursing the slowness of 
the work. 

" Dod-gast it, th' Vesper wunt git oot o' Chauncey's 
Cove 'n all summer!" he roared. "To work, marlin- 
spiks! to work!" 

AVork as they would the Vesper hugged her 
muddy berth, until one day came when the boys 
got word there was to be a jollification at Bra'boat 
Harbor. They wanted to go, but the sldpper ob- 
jected ^vith a roar and an outburst of fury that 
made his previous rhetorical pretensions tamely flat 
and innocuous. 

"Dod-gast it, th' Vesper '11 sail on th' fust tide,, 
termorrer!" 



316 OLD YORK 

So the men wrought, with here and there a murmur, 
as the calking-hammers lapsed in their rhythm. 
When night came the Vesper was ready for sea. 

By sun-up of the following day the skipper betook 
himself to where the Vesper lay idly at anchor, and 
he forgot for the once his raucous objurgations in 
his amaze. The tide was well out, and there lay the 
Vesper without shore or spur, with a brace of heavy 
spars outreaching from her larboard rail, on which 
were huge fish-tubs filled with water. And then he 
stormed up and down the mud; and the neighbors 
came to see, while the tide crept still farther do^\T:i 
the flats, until the Vesper's keel could be made out 
its length; and still the staunch schooner sat erect, 
when the weight to larboard should have throwTi her 
with a disastrous crash upon her bilge. And so the 
Vesper stood, as jauntily as if the tide were at its 
flood, her garboard streak showing above the mud, 
while the wind whistled crazily through her rigging. 

Then some one said, "Skipper, she ' teched,' sure." 

"Dod-gasted, ef she haint, er she'd a bilged afore 
this!" 

"Thet 's ol' Polly's wuk," whispered another. 

And the Skipper Mitchell bethought himself of his 
crew. But they were all at Bra'boat Harbor, and 
as the sun went down, they turned up to a man; 
and when the tide was full, they emptied the tubs 
and housed the spars, and with a jolly "Heav.-o!" 
up came the anchor. The sheets were braced, and 
the Vesper swung her nose to seaward, and at dusk 
she was far away in the offing. 



OLD YORK 317 

Sure enough, they had consulted Aunt Polly. 
She told them to go to the jolhfication; "she'd tek 
keer o' th' schooner." 

This is one of Aunt Polly's liveliest traditions, and 
credence is given to the tale by some of the Battery 
sea-dogs, who, if one will listen, will spin many 
another queer yarn, with their voices pitched to the 
subdued key of a spinning-wheel's murmurous song. 
And one always catches the name of Betty Booker, 
once the flush-board is off the dam. 

These two skippers, Mitchell and Perkins, were 
both Kittery salts, but of the two. Skipper Perkins 
was the worst curried. Old Betty Booker wanted 
some fish, and she suggested her need to the skipper, 

" Bring me a bit o' hal'but, skipper, when you git 
in—" 

"Show me your sixpence, ma'am," was the thrifty 
reply. 

And with an ill-boding scowl, and a shake of — 

"Her wicked head, with its wild gray hair, 
And nose of a hawk, and eyes like a snake," 

she watched the skipper sail away. The sea beat 
him up and down. The gale tore liis sails, and the 
fish sheered away from his trawls. His men got 
sick, and his schooner came home poorer than she 
went. Then it got bruited about that Betty Booker 
was making a witch-bridle for the skipper, and was 
going to ride him down to York some wild night; 
whereat, the skipper, when it came to his ears, got 
into a mortal terror. He was sure to be at home, 



318 OLD YORK 

always, before dusk; and his doors were barred 
double, and he quaked and shivered and shook until 
the sun came up. Finally Betty sent the skipper 
word that the first stormy night she would ride him 
to York. 

Then he waited for the storm, and the storm came. 
The rain drove across Chauncey's Creek in blinding 
sheets; the winds WTenched and tore at the trees 
along shore, shaking the gables of the houses. Folk 
huddled about their slow fires with so much wet 
coming down the chimneys, and whispered awe- 
somely that the witches were out. 

Skipper Perkins not only barred his door double, 

but he piled all the movable furniture in liis rooms 

against it, and then he waited for Betty Booker; nor 

was she long in coming. An unearthly wail came 

down the wind, and there was a scratching of a hmi- 

dred witch-claws on his door, and above all sounded 

the cracked notes of Betty Booker's voice, — 

"Bring me a bit o' hal'but, skipper!" 

But the skipper piled the furniture higher against 

the door, and pushed against it with all his strength. 

"Bring me a bit o' hal'but, skipper!" 

With cry of the hag, the gale rose higher, and with 

rougher buffetings it smote the old door that was 

built to look out on the sea; and then it began to 

open so the skipper felt a spatter of rain on his face. 

He heard the wild chatter of the witches, but he 

still held to his pushing, until he felt himself sliding 

along the rough floor. He made a leap for his bed, 

winding himself about in its coverings; the door 



OLD YORK 319 

flew open and in trooped the witches. They pounced 
upon the skipper, and stripped him to his skin; and 
while he cowered in his fear, old Betty bridled him 
and got upon his back, while the other witches 
climbed upon hers, and off they raced through the 
gale to York Harbor. When he lagged, they pricked 
him with their claws to make him go the faster; and 
so they rode him as long as they wished, to get him 
back to Kittery before cock-crow, more dead than 
alive. 

"Don't say sixpence, skipper, to a poor old woman, 
again," was Betty Booker's parting admonition, as 
she and her familiars vanished into the mists of the 
darkest part of the night. 

After that the skipper took to his bed, where for 
three weeks he nursed his wounds and told Ms story 
to liis neighbors. 

In one of the old houses of Ettery, a part of which 
was being torn down not long ago, an old witch- 
bridle was found between the lathing and the outside 
boarding. It was made of the hair of the tail of a 
horse, strands of tow, and the inside bark of the 
yellow birch. A woman who happened to be pres- 
ent loiew what it was, and seizing it with the tongs 
threw it into the fire. That there were such things 
seems to be well authenticated. 

There were witches in York, but they seem to 
have been of the harmless sort, who never raised 
anything but a heavy gale to break down the corn 
or topple over a chimney. One hears about black 
Dinah and her "weather-pan." Black Dinah Hved 



320 OLD YORK 

in York, and her hut stood on a rock at the inter- 
section of three roads, and it overlooked the okl 
mill-dam on York River. Her warming-pan when 
she put it over the fire was productive of great 
atmospheric disturbances. It was a Pandora's box 
of the whole gamut of tempestuous phenomena, 
— flooding rains, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. 
She was here in York as early as 1770, and was an 
object of avoidance by the credulous. Easter Booker 
was her contemporary in York. She slept at night 
with her head in Kittery and her feet in York. 
Emery speaks of her as bearing a striking resemblance 
to the biblical portrait of Lucinda, the Endor woman 
of Saul's acquaintance. In later years, Easter 
Booker disappeared and was never afterward seen. 
She may have been the Betty of the Skipper Perkins 
yarn; but that does not matter much. The yarn 
holds its dye just the same. 

It must have been a quaint people to have absorbed 
so much of these quaint tales, according supernatural 
powers to a bit of hair, some tow, and a strip of birch 
bark; but the taint is in the blood of their posterity 
after a fasliion even now. 

As has been before noted, in 1711 there were 
twenty-one garrison houses in York. There were in 
1690 ten garrisons in lower Kittery; in upper Kit- 
tery there were eight. A hst of them has, fortu- 
nately, been preserved. In the upper part of Kittery 
was the Frost garrison, and doubtless there was an 
old place of defence on the site of what is now Fort 
M'Clary. In its early days, this was Fort WilHams, 



OLD TORE 



321 



and here was a substantial block house, but it was 
probably of later construction. William Pepperrell's 
and the Widow Champemo^vne's were two of those 
in lower Kjttery. The establishment of these garri- 
sons was important; and it is undoubtedly due to 
the fact that so many were maintained, that the 
settlers of this portion of the province were able to 




THE FROST GARRISON HOUSE 



maintain a footing, and to preserve some semblance 
of occupation of this end of York. 

Accorchng to the town records in 1722, there were 
thirty-six garrisons. These were established by 
the military officers of Kittery, and there seem to be 
twelve of them, and among the names appear those 
of William Pepperrell and William Pepperrell, Jr. 
Until 1675 these settlers had lived in peace with the 
savages, though there is a tradition extant that in 
1648 — another date of 1650 is given — Nicholas 



322 (^LD YORK 

Frost's wife and daughter were killed in Berwick, 
upper Kittery. This is to be doubted, however, 
as there was at that time no Indian outbreak; nor 
is there any mention of the occurrence in the Kittery 
records. To follow the tradition, Nicholas Frost and 
his son were away from their home on Leighton's 
Point, and in their absence the women were spirited 
away. When the Frosts came home and discovered 
what had happened, they set out in hot pursuit, over- 
taking the savage marauders. A fight took place, 
and the son, Charles, a boy of seventeen, shot two 
of the Indians, one of whom was a chief. The next 
day the wife and daughter were found tomahawked 
and scalped. How much truth there may be in the 
tale, or any other tale of a similar character, and of 
a happening so far away, is hardly worth the discuss- 
ing. They were rough times, and there are always 
isolated cases which are classed among the excep- 
tions. 

The outbreak, instigated by King Philip, came in 
1675. It was in June the first blow was struck at the 
Plymouth people. From thence it crept by quick 
repetition along the line of the frontier, until it reached 
Richard Tozier's, who lived a bit above Salmon Falls. 
Tozier was away with Captain John Wincoll, but the 
garrison house was close by, and the fifteen people 
who happened to be in the house stole from the door 
at its rear and made for the garrison, while an 
eighteen-year-old girl held the door until it was de- 
molished by the hatchets of the savages. The girl 
was tomahawked and left behind, to recover and 



OLD YOllK 323 

live to tell the tale for maii}^ years after. The result 
of this raid, the first of many in this section, was the 
capture of one woman, and the slaughter of a three- 
year-old child. The next day, the smokes of Win- 
coil's home went rolling off over the Berwick woods. 
This was the beginning hereabout of a series of savage 
reprisals that only ended with the death of James 
Pikernell in 1812, who fell almost across his own 
threshold. Tradition has it that his wife was slain 
at the same time. 

Berwick seemed to be the point upon which these 
attacks were principally focussed. That was due, 
perhaps, to its being more thinly settled, it being 
upon the outskirts of Kittery, which at that time 
was a populous and prosperous settlement. Through- 
out this entire Indian warfare, lower Kittery suffered 
least of her neighbors. 

But the story of the Indian warfare that ebbed 
and flowed intermittently about the frontier of upper 
Kittery, and thence along toward the marshes of 
Scarborough, are as much the story of York as of 
the immediate locality of the savage episode. 
Authentic records of many of the most stirring events 
of the times are not to be had; but their lines were 
painted in such ruddy hue as to have been trans- 
mitted to succeeding generations along with the 
ruddy life-currents nursed from the bosoms of mrny 
a heroic survivor of those far-away midnight raids, 
when a wild whoop, or a glare of flame on the sky, 
carried the tale of butchery and devastation, Marconi- 
like, far over the tops of the woods to other isolated 



324 OLD YORK 

cabins, whose inmates, driving their stock afield, 
shouldered their children and hastened to the near- 
est garrison house, there to await the onslaught that 
was sure to come; and woe betide the laggard whose 
slow wit or whose bellicose disposition lost time in 
so doing. Once behind these stout walls, the settlers 
were comparatively safe from a foe that rarely 
showed itself, imless \dctory were so certain that the 
added element of terror at the sight of the painte;! 
devils would make the paleface a readier prey. 
The Indian was a skulker; an aboriginal bush- 
whacker; a blood-besotted malignant of the devil; 
and had Pope met one of these fiends on the warpath, 
it is doubtful if he would have perpetrated, — 

"the poor Indian, whose untutored mind 
Sees God in the clouds and hears Him in the wind." 

He would at least have thought it something of a 
strain on his conscience, w^hich hardly poetic hcense 
could justify, especially after the hair-raising possi- 
bilities common to the unfortunate captive. 

To look over the ground at this day, it is a wonder 
that a smgle wliite person east of the Piscataqua 
River should have survived the devilish ingenuity 
of Moxus, and the military skill of Portneuf and 
Labocree. These garrison houses were their salva- 
tion, and they were scattered at short intervals the 
length of the coast from the Piscataqua to Falmouth. 
They were built by the settlers at their owti expense, 
and Massachusetts showed little anxiety as to their 
probable fate. In Kittery the people were so im- 



OLD YORK 



325 



poverished by their efforts to protect themselves, that 
after the peace the General Court was asked to 
abate the taxes by the selectmen. East of Wells 
the province was laid waste. There were fourteen 
years that Falmouth was deserted, and in that time 
it had relapsed into a wilderness. 

Going back to the locality of the Tozier cabin, in 




CUTT GARRISON HOUSE, KITTERY 



October of 1675, out of the s'lonce of the autumn 
afternoon burst the whoops of a hundred savages. 
The family was surprised, and overwhelmed by 
numbers, notwithstanding Tozier made a brave re- 
sistance. He was killed and his son carried into 
captivity; and through the painted woodlands of 
Berwick filtered or drifted the smokes of his rude 
home. Lieut. Roger Plaisted was in command of the 



326 OLD YORK 

garrison house, and sent out a reconnoitring party 
of nine men. They had not gone far into the under- 
brush, when a hail of shot fell about them, and just 
a third of their number dropped, while the other six 
got their legs, and made the garrison safely. The 
day following, a relay was despatched for the bodies. 
It w\as a cart dra^Mi by oxen, with an escort of twenty 
men. They must have presented a curious sight in 
such a time of peril to have gone in such a foolhardy 
way about the enterprise. The result was what 
might have been expected. A cloud of musket 
smoke rolled away from the wall and over the tops 
of the bushes, and the Uttle party was almost entirely 
annihilated. Plaisted himself was cut down by a 
hatchet. It was twenty against a hmidred, and this 
was the way the settler was to make the acquaintance 
of the Indian method of making war. 

Just before these men left the garrison, Plaisted and 
one John Broughton made up an appeal for aid, and 
had sent it out by a rmmer. What happened to 
the garrison after that can only be conjectured, as it 
reciuired but one or two more foolish expeditions 
of the sort to render it defenceless. 

As one goes over the railroad bridge at Salmon 
Falls, a look out the car window to the northward 
will show a pleasant hillslope. This is a part of the 
old Plaisted estate, and if one were making a foot ' 
jaunt along the yellow thread of the highway that 
creeps over and beyond its crest, one might see the 
memorial that brings the gruesome tale to mind. 

Any one who is at all acquainted with the history 



OLD YORK 327 

of that period will recall the capture of Major Wal- 
tlron of Dover in his bed, and how the Indians crossed 
out their several accounts with him, but they may 
not be so well acquainted with the stimulus to this 
midnight vengeance. Waldron, and Captain Charles 
Frost, who Hved in upper Kittery, by strategem cap- 
tured two hundred Indians at Cocheco. They got 
up a sham fight; invited the savages, and this was 
Waldron's ruse. They were sent to Boston to be 
dealt with; some were executed summarily for the out- 
rages in which they had been engaged, but the larger 
portion of them were disposed of to the slave-dealer. 
It is a matter of history how Waldron met his 
fate; as for Frost, his turn came in time. The Indian 
memory is famous, as famous as liis hate; and like 
the Harmons of York, he was doomed as certainly 
as if he had midergone the solemnity of a trial, and 
had been remanded to the jail to await his execution. 
Not long after the Tozier tragedy, a peace was en- 
tered into which lasted until 1689, when the deposing 
of James II., and the espousing of the cause of the 
legitimacy by Louis XIV., led to a declaration of 
hostilities between the English under William and 
Mary, and the French interference. It was the op- 
posing of Jesuit to Protestant. The colonies became 
involved, and the French interests in Canada were 
only too eager to take advantage of so advantageous 
an opportunity to set the savages of eastern Maine 
at the heels of the English settler, whose area of 
occupation east of York had increased notably 
through the preceding ten years of security. 



328 OLD YORK 

The storm burst upon Salmon Falls and Quam- 
pliegan, and quoting from the letter of William 
Vauglin and Richard Martyn, one gets the local flavor 
and a sensing of the deep feehng of desperation which 
pervaded the hearts of these people. This letter 
was written the day following the butchery at Salmon 
Falls. It bears date "March 18, 1689-80," and a full 
quotation is given. 

"Yesterday we gave accot of ye dreadful destruc- 
tion of Salmon ffalls the perticulers whereof please 
take as followeth; 

''The enemy made their onset between break of the 
day & sunrise — when most were in bed & no watch 
kept neither in the fort nor house they presently 
took possession of ye fort to prevent any of ours 
doing it & so carried all before them by a surprize, 
none of our men being able to get together into a 
body to oppose them, so that in the place were kild 
& taken between fourscore & 100 persons, of wch 
between twenty & Thirty able men, the fort & upards 
of twenty houses burnt, most of the Cattle burnt in 
the houses or otherwise kil'd which were very con- 
siderable from thence the Enemy proceeded to 
Quamphegon where lived onely Thomas Homes who 
upon the Alarm retired from his house to a small 
garrison built near his saw mill wheither also some 
of Salmon Falls yt made their Escape fled, about 30 
of the Enemies surrounded Homes house, but met 
with noe opposition there till fourteen men of ours 
came up from ye lower parts of ye Town, & unde- 
scryed by ye Enemy, made a shot upon ye party of 



OLD YORK 329 

Indians at homes houe, Sundry of ym standing before 
the door, at wch shot they say thre of the Enemy 
fell, ye rest run mto the house & broke through ye 
backside thereof, & being more numerous than ours 
forced our men to retire, nine of them got safe home 
& five Escaped to Holmes Garrison, only one of ours 
woimded in the Encounter, then the Enemy burnt 
Holmes house & proceeded about a mile lower down, 
and burnt the ministrs house wth two more & As- 
saulted Spencers Garrison but were repel'd and so 
retir'd. James Plaisted who was taken at Salmon 
falls was sent by Hope Hood (Commandr in chief of 
the Indians) wth a flag of Truce to Tho. Holmes for 
ye surrendr of his Garrison — promising liberty to 
depart upon his soe doing, but Plaisted returned not 
nor was ye Garrison surrendered. 

"The sd Plaisted who was in ye Enemies hands many 
houres Informed yt he saw of ye Enemy one hundred 
& fifty men well accoutred & Guesses them to be 
about one half ffrench; upon their taking possession 
he saith that ten of them ffrench & Indians made A 
dance wch Hope hood told him were all officers, he 
also told him that his brother Gooden who lived in 
Loves house was going to be tryed for his life by A 
Councill of Warr; for yt in their takeing Loves house 
the said Gooden had kil'd one ffrench man & mortally 
wounded another & further that there was Eight 
ffrench ships designed for Pascataque River to destroy 
ye same. 

'' The Alarm being given to all adjacent Towns in 
ordr to their releife we sent about thirty men from 



330 ^LD YORK 

this Town, as many went from Dover, & a party from 
Yorke together wth wt could be got from their own 
town, but before they could unite their force it was 
neare night & then they marcht wth about 100 men 
under Command of Capt Jo. Hammond Comandr of 
ye upper part of Kittery, the scouts yt went before 
just as they came within sight of Salmon falls dis- 
covered one of ye Enemy who was binding up his 
pack & staying behinde his Company fell into our 
hands wch proved to be a ffrenchman whose exam- 
ination in short we herewth send to you & to- 
morrow morning mtend to send the persons towards 
you by land, none by Water being just ready to goe; 
our fforces proceeded in pursuit of ye Enemy & about 
2 mile above ye ffort of Salmon falls at the farther 
house up in the woods there discovered them about 
ye setting of ye sunn, our men presently fell upon them 
& they as resolutely oppos'd them, in short the fight 
lasted as long as they could see friends from Enemies, 
in wch we lost two men, one of York another of 
Cocheco kil'd upon ye place & 6 or 7 woimded some is 
feared mortally; wt damage we did the Enemy we. 
can't at present say. Tliis is all ye accot we can at 
present Give ; tomorrow mtend you shall hear againe 
from us; we Intrem Subscribe ourselves, — " 

This is- known as the m.assacre of Newichawannock. 
Hartel was at the head of the French, and Hopehood, 
chief of the Kennebecki, led the savages. Twenty- 
seven cabms were burned in the raid; two hmidred 
cattle slaughtered: thirty-four persons were slain, 
and fifty-four women and children were carried into 



OLD YORK 331 

captivity. The settlers of York, Kittery, and adjoin- 
ing settlements made a brave defence against tre- 
mendous odds ; and in those days they always seemed 
to have the odds to contend with, so isolated were 
their homes and so limited their means for taking 
the needed precautions. 

Every cabin above Quamphegan Falls had been 
destroyed, and the country thereabout deserted or 
depopulated. It was evident, however, that the 
savage lurked about the locality through the summer; 
for cabins were burned at Newichawannock and 
their dwellers scalped the followmg May, and later 
in September. After this there was an apparent 
cessation of this predatory surveillance; the leaves 
had dropped and the snow had hidden them. Other 
snows came, and the winter was on. The Indian 
had forsaken the trail of the settler. East of Wells 
the country had been stripped of the English. Not 
a garrison house remained, and only those of York 
and Wells had escaped the general disaster of this 
savagery. These block houses were of the most sub- 
stantial character, and presented outwardly the 
characteristics of impregnability, with the means of 
offensive assault limited to the axe antl the musket. 
Most of them were without the palisade, Larra- 
bee's, perhaps, being the only one of that kind. Most 
of them were under the direction of experienced and 
resolute men, whose guidance and courageous exam- 
ples were an incentive to a like spirit among those 
upon whom they depended for assistance. The 
women of the times, like their husbands and brothers, 



332 OLD YORK 

were fertile in resource and abundant in heroic spirit. 
There were in Wells perhaps a half dozen of these 
strongholds; in York twice as many. In Kittery 
there were perhaps as many as in York and Wells 
together. But the scene of these butcheries was soon 
to be shifted from the rim of these settlements to 
their centres. 

York was a considerable place, possessed of local 
prominence m the province. Its people were pros- 
perous and of an intelligent and progressive char- 
acter. The prestige of old Gorgeana still attached 
to it, and as a settlement of the earliest days it pos- 
sessed a stability that was well represented by the 
Se walls and other families of like scholarly pretensions. 
This was what would have been the conclusion of 
the observer on the fourth day of February of 1692. 
By sunrise of the following day the old town was in 
ashes and practically destroyed, and of its population 
one hundred and fifty had fallen by the tomahawk 
or had been carried into captivity toward Canada. 

The winter had been a severe one; the snow lay 
deep, and the drifts were piling higher every day. 
Along the white sea of the cleared lands stood the 
dark green of the woodland agamst the sky, that with 
the coming of the winter season had lost its sinister 
suggestion. In these days of deepening cold it could 
afford but little of comfort or safety to the lurking 
savage who found its leafy coverts in summer so con- 
venient to his ideas of warfare. With no likelihood of 
ambush, of treacherous musket shot or predatory 
force, the settlers had lapsed into a feeling of mid- 



OLD YORK 333 

winter security. There were signs of dawn along the 
eastern sky. Here or there, perhaps, an isolated 
thread of smoke unwound its spiral mystery from off 
the spindle of the cabin chimney, as its dweller had 
raked open the coals of his rude hearth. Otherwise 
the settlement was wrapped in slumber. The sharp 
report of a musket shot broke the frosty quiet — the 
signal for simultaneous attack upon the scattered 
houses of York. There was no time for all to reach 
the garrisons, yet perhaps one half succeeded in so 
doing. The savages had come in upon snow-shoes, 
like dusky spectres; an hour later every house out- 
side the four block houses was in ashes, and the 
Indians and French had drifted away with their 
human prey as noiselessly as they had come. This 
was York's first savage visitation of any importance, 
and its desolation was supreme. 

It was during the winter of 1692 that the Indians 
hovered about the settlements of southeastern Maine, 
to the great terror of the settlers, but York at that 
time had not been scourged to its utmost. There 
was always a feeling of security with the deepening 
of the winter snows, and the settlers relaxed some- 
what of their usual vigilance. The woodland was 
clogged with repeated snowfalls; but one morning 
young Bragdon left the York hamlet to go into the 
forest upon some errand of need, or perhaps to look 
after his traps. Making his way softly among the 
bent foliage of the evergreens, he came, much to his 
surprise, upon a stack of snow-shoes. A granite 
boulder marks the place. A single glance sharpened 



334 



OLD YORK 



his wits, and their Indian fashioning was sufficiently 
convincing. He immediately retraced his way, 
floundering through the snow-smothered under- 
growth of brush, making speed for Indian Head as 
the nearest hiding-place. He gained the shelter of 
the rocks, and while regaining his wind discovered 
an Indian dog nosing at his heels. The cur's muzzle 







SNOW-SHOE ROCK 



was tied with thongs to prevent the animal from 
giving tongue, and thereby betray the presence of 
the savage horde undoubtedly at his back. Young 
Bragdon again fled, making for the river, which he 
followed, the dog still trailing after. Fear lent wings 
to his feet, and he kept on until he found a boat into 
which he leapt, and was soon across the river. The 
Smith cabin was close by, and as he fell across its 
threshold, he told his tale breathlessly, and the alarm 



OLD YORK 335 

was given, so that those on the south side of the river 
escaped. A moment later and the whoops of the 
Indians echoed across the stream. The attack 
had begun. Few settlers on the east side escaped. 
Among those who got away was young Jeremiah 
Moulton, who afterward, with Captain Harmon, 
planned the raid on Norridgewack, in 1724, which 
resulted in the death of Rasle and the destruction 
of that nest of conspiracy. 

There was safety nowhere. Danger lurked within 
the shadows of every hedge or weed-garnished fence. 
After a time the settlers made a practice of carrying 
the gun, and while thus armed were seldom attacked. 
The savage was wary. His first care was to avoid 
personal injury to himself. Next to that were the 
scalps, the number of them, and the importance of 
their former owners; and to the accomplishment of 
these, the settlement must not be alarmed. To attack 
an armed settler was to provoke a conflict; a musket 
shot in those days was a danger signal that sent the 
women and children to the garrisons and the men to 
scouring the woods for the cause. As the days went 
the settler lost his fear of the Indian. He fought him 
as he would a wild beast, in self-defence, until the 
Indian found in the pale-face the hunter for the 
hunted. So the savage preferred the silent axe, or 
the knife, sped on its fatal mission in the hesitation 
of a terror-stricken surprise. It was in this way that 
two years after the tragedy of York, the savages 
betrayed their presence about Spruce Creek, when 
three settlers, two men and a woman, were slain in 



336 OLD YORK 

the field while laboring amid their crops. Four days 
afterward eight others were killed and scalped at 
Long Reach. Capt. Joseph Hammond went across 
lots in search of a stray cow that had failed to come 
up with the herd the next day. He found the cow 
and the Indians foimd Captain Hammond. It was a 
savage ruse, and after lying in the open on Raitt's 
Hill over night, securely bound, his captors took 
him along w^ith them, after an unsuccessful assault 
upon his garrison. 

Here is the quaint relation of the matter by Captain 
Frost, who was a party to "Waldron's Ruse," and 
who in less than two years was to follow Major 
Waldron, though not in so brutal and bloodthirsty 
a fashion. 

Frost's letter bears date, Sept. 7th, 1695. 

" On Lords day last the enemie alarmed Wels by 
shotting of many guns in the woods nere the garisons; 
on Monday A party of Souldiers from Berwick & 
York went out, noe signe of them, only secerall 
Cowes wanting that were wont to Com home. On 
Wensday mornmg last the Indianes beset Capt. 
Hammonds garison at Kittery, a bout thirty of 
them as they Judge, wonded one man in the garison 
throu both thies. they being Close imder the garri- 
son, put his gun throu a Little Craves of the polosa- 
does, there being but fower menn in the garison at 
that time: they beete them of Soe they went a waie 
into the woods, Carrying a waie three of thire wonded 
menn. Left behind them a french pistol, hatchet, 
a small bag in which was his beads, Cruisefix, Ahna- 



OLD YORK 



337 



nick, & som other trumperey; leaving much blood 
behind them a bout the garison. The same day they 
were on the upper end of York, and a bout the Same 
number: our menu have bin rangin the woods: 
Cannot meete with them: som scoulking Indian have 
bin sen since in our towne: guns heard go of in the 



if 







OLD CONCORD BRIDGE 



woods: this I thought it my Duty to Informe yo'r 
Honour:" 

July 4, 1697, came on the Sabbath, but the 
bell-ringers of Philadelphia had not at that time 
cracked the Liberty Bell to round out the historic 
episode of Concord Bridge. There was a church at 
Great Works, on what was called in the ancient deeds 
Little Newichawannick River. It was here that 
Chadbourne, Mason's agent, in 1634 built the first 
mills in the new province of Maine. After Mason 



338 OLD YORK 

died, and Francis Norton had driven off the cattle 
to Boston, and the servants had completed the strip- 
ping of the estate, the mills lapsed into disuse and 
decay. Nothing was done here after that until 1651, 
when the towii vested in Richard and George Leader, 
the use of the water-power and the lands on either 
side of the river within a ciuarter of a mile. George 
Leader settled here the same year. Ten years after, 
Joseph Mason brought a suit for damages in the 
Norfolk County Court against Richard, "for build- 
ing and erecting certaine houses on our lands at 
Newitchewanick ... & for cutting downe our 
tymber there to erect a saw mill in our Antitnt pos- 
sessed place whereon wee formerly began and doe 
intende to pceedinye like worke imeadiately." The 
Leaders had built a serviceable saw mill and put 
in the first gang-saw ever seen hereabout. There 
were nineteen saws in the gang, which created great 
wonderment, so that the neighborhood described the 
mill as a place where "great workes" were to be done. 
So the place became generally known as Great Works ; 
and the name attached itself to the river as well. 
One finds it so recorded in the records of the town 
as early as 1663. 

Eighteen years after the building of this mill, its 
projectors were dead. The over-shot mill-wheels were 
silent, and the stream began to run free once more. 
Here is the inventory, made in 1669, as one will see 
by a glance at the York records — " A broaken house 
ready to fall, & a barne much out of repayre, two 
orchards without fence with a Tract of Lands lijing 



OLD YORK 



oo; 



on both sides the River esteemed at foure hundred 
Acers more or less granted by the Town, Meddow at 
Tottanocke & at boabissa pond, & Whittes & Parkers 
Marsh, the broaken mill with the Irons & Vtensills, 
the Falls & Tymber grant, the Smyths shopp with 
bellows Anvell, beckhorne vice Sledg Hannner & 




STURGEON CREEK WAREHOUSE 



some ould Irons, ffoure halfe hundred weightts, An 
Iron beame, an ould Copper & an ould kettle, & two 
ould Iron potts," all of the value of £493. 

This was old Quamphegan, better knowTi in these 
hurrying days, as South Berwick. It was here that 
church s rvice was first inaugurated, for John Mason 
sent over with his pioneer colonists (which was in 
1631), a communion set, also a "great Bible and 
twelve Service Books." The service was of the 
Episcopalian order, and I have no doul^t but the ser- 



340 OLD YORK 

vice of the Church was read, and that the laborers 
joined in the saying of the responses and the creed 
with bowed heads and an accompanying reverence. 
As early as 1640 fines were imposed for such viola- 
tions of the Sabbath as occurred, which may be taken 
as an indication of the sanctity with which this day 
was thus early clothed. 

This, in 1668, was known as the parish of Unity. 
Stackpole concludes that the first meeting-house here 
was built about 1659; but the service seems to have 
been of a somewhat desultory character, as this 
parish was presented to the court four several times 
in as many years, ''for not providing a minister." 

It was from this old church that Captain Frost was 
returning on that summer morning of 1697, in com- 
pany with Dennis Downing, Jolm Heard and his 
wife Phoebe. They had reached a point in the bridle- 
path of those days, opposite a huge boulder, which 
was about a mile away to the north from the Frost 
garrison house. The sharp reports of three gmis 
broke the silence. Captain Frost and Downing were 
killed instantly. The Heard woman, although 
sorely wounded, tried to regain her saddle but 
was unable to do so. Falling back into the path, 
Spartan-like she urged her husband to ride for the 
cabin and place the children in safetj^, which he did, 
notwithstanding the savages chased him and shot 
his horse under him just as he got to the garrison. 
He saved his house and his children. Heard was 
a great Indian fighter, and the Indians were desirous 
to obtain his scalp. They lurked about his place 



OLD YORK 



341 



to finally come across him in the woods. Heard ran 
and the Indians gave chase. He remembered a 
hollow log in the woods and made for that, into 
which he crept, thereby evading his pursuers. He 
had killed his dog, so he might not be betrayed by 



.15? 




//^^/ 



^^ 







AMBUSH ROCK 



that faithlul animal, and while thus concealed the 
savages came to the log. Here they sat down to 
get their wmd, and he listened to what they would 
do to John Heard when they caught him. 

The body of Frost was decently buried, and the 
night after these ghouls of the woods had opened the 



342 OLD YORK 

grave and taken the body to the crest of Frost's Hill 
and impaled it upon a stake. Such was their hatred 
of the man who helped to plan and carry out the 
trick which has come down in history as AYaldron's 
Ruse. This boulder still cleaves to its pasture side 
and is known as Ambush Rock. 

Both Waldron and Frost paid their debt dearly. 
For the next year there were a half-dozen isolated 
cases of savage assault and butchery in the neigh- 
borhood of Spruce Creek; and then came a period of 
peace that lasted about four years, wdien the conflict 
known as Queen Anne's War began, and Kittery was 
again infested. The previous depredations had im- 
poverished the old town. A severe drain had been 
made upon its man and womanhood. Many had 
been killed or carried into captivity. Property had 
been destroyed; houses and barns and cattle in con- 
siderable numbers had been swept away. Wher- 
ever religious services were had, the rattle of the 
musket stock could be heard against the rude floors; 
the men as they went to and from church carried 
their guns, while the good wife carried her Bible. 

On one of the last days of the first month, 1704, a 
mornmg attack was made on the Andrew Neal garri- 
son. Captain Brown, who was in charge, made a vig- 
orous defence, and the Indians w^ere repulsed with 
some loss. A girl was killed, a boy was shot, but got 
away. Several houses were burned and many cattle 
destroyed. Penhallow says nine Indians were killed 
"on the spot," and many more were woimded. 

In the following May a descent was made on Spruce 



OLD YORK 343 

Creek, in which York was inckicled, but this was 
about the last inroad of a serious character until 1712, 
when twenty-six persons were killed or carried away 
captive in Wells, York, and Kittery. It was a desul- 
tory warfare, and difficult to oppose successfully, 
owmg to the character of the offending savage. After 
the attack on York, in 1692, the savages do not seem 
to have been accompanied by the French. The de- 
vastations committed after that date seem to have 
been the work of small parties of roving Indians, 
whose glut of blood and fire was apparently never to 
be satisfied; and it is to the zeal of the French Jesuits 
at Norridgewack and on the Penobscot that this 
savage deviltry and fiendish butchering of women 
and children, this half-century reign of terror to the 
settler, is chargeable. As late as 1745 the settlers 
carried their gmis as they went to divine service; and 
almost every third house had been made over into a 
garrison. There is hardly a headland, point, or re- 
cess of shore along the York coast that has not its 
tradition or legend of Indian foray. If one should try 
to relate them all, an ordinary volume would not suf- 
fice. It was a lurid stage, and the scenes shifted with 
the hands on the clock face, from the somid of the 
moanmg tide to the purling of some woodland brook ; 
from the clustered roofs of York hamlet to the iso- 
lated cabin in the wilds of Quamphegan. . A new act 
was ushered in with every new scene, and the tragedy 
went on amid a chorus of discordant yells, intermit- 
tent musket shots, and the riotous crackling of burn- 
ing houses. 



344 OLD YORK 

York and Kittery were communities of fortified 
houses, and at last the colonial government gave as 
high as fifty pounds bounty for a single Indian scalp, 
and at an ultimate cost of above a thousand pounds. 
Utter extermination of the Indian became the recog- 
nized policy of the colony. 

Old York did not suffer in proportion as did the 
settlements about it. Wells, on the northeast, took 
the brunt in that direction; on the south and west 
Kittery and Berwick extended a sheltering barrier. 
North of Berwick was a wilderness which made a 
most convenient covert for the predatory and cow- 
ardly savage, from which he could emerge and to 
which he could as swiftly retire after having wreaked 
his vengeance, to be practically beyond pursuit. 
In the later years of the Indian warfare, pursuits 
were organized and relentlessly persisted in. The 
settler once having learned the trick, fought the 
Indian after his own fashion, and with a fair meed of 
success, and the latter became more cautious in ex- 
posing himself to the imerring bead of the settler's 
rifle. 

Here at York, in 1750, and where the old j^arsonage 
stood, was a picketed fort, flanked by bastions, and 
which offered a formidable exterior. Elsewhere 
about the town were other forts and numerous forti- 
fied houses that offered but slender prospect of suc- 
cessful inroad. York's geographical situation was 
fortunate; and with the raid upon Cape Neddock in 
1676, when all the settlers were killed or carried 
away captive, some forty or more, the surprise of 



OLD YORK 



345 



York in 1692, the empty alarm of 1700, and the in- 
cursion of 1712, with an isolated butchery in adjacent 
localities, the tragedies of York are historically enum- 
erated. 

The hatred of the Indian for those who bore the 
name of Harmon was proverbial and inveterate, as 




WHERE HARMON MASSACRED THE INDIANS 



it was to all such as had at any time offered affront to 
the race. This enmity toward the Harmons, and, by 
the way, the Harmons were all good Indian fighters 
and Indian haters, had its foundation in what was 
kno\^^l as the "Harmon Massacre," which occurred 
in the earlier days of the York settlement. The 
tradition is, that there was an old rookery in earlier 
York known as the Stacey house. It was located 



346 



OLD YORK 



near the gouthwest end of Parish Creek Bridge, and 
on the crest of the hill which overlooks this stream. 
Emery notes that it had many legends connected 
v/ith its history, but of them all, I have but this one. 
He describes it as' a quaint "old wooden structure, 
abounding in projections and sharp angles, with an 
enormous chimney in its center, resting on the de- 




SITE OF THE OLD STAGEY HOUSE 



clivity of a hill." The house was at the upper end of 
the mill-pond, where vessels were wont to come in 
until the dam was stretched across the stream below. 
The man, Stacey, who lived here, was an officer under 
the famous Paul Jones; and the lower portion was 
reputed to have been used as a trading-place as early 
as 1630. When the house was demolished in 1870 
a human skeleton was found under the hearth. 
It was said by some, to have been one of Harmon's 



OLD YORK 



347 



Indians, which gives this digression something of 
interest. 

The Harmons Hved dovm by the sea on the lower 
side of the settlement. The men were of seafaring 
habit, hardy and vigorous in physique, and of great 
personal courage. On one of their sea voyagings, 
and while they were absent from home, a party of 
Indians made their way to the Harmon cabin, and 




STAGEY (PARISH) CREEK BRIDGE 

while there conducted themselves after an unseemly 
fashion, so that the women of the Harmon house- 
hold took serious offence. When the men came in 
from their trip, the women, still incensed at the 
untoward behavior of the savages, related the occur- 
lence, with the result that the culprits and some of 
their friends of the tribe were invited to a "powwow" 
on the point near the old Barrelle mill-dam. The 



348 OLD YORK 

Indians came, and what with eating and drinking 
of rum a great debauch ensued, and which, accord- 
ing to the tradition, lasted into the night. After 
getting the Indians into a drunken stupor, the Har- 
mons killed their guests to a man. 

The next dawn ushered in the Sabbath, meanwhile 
the tidings "flew the town," and Father Moody made 
the tragic episode the subject of his morning discourse 
in part; and like Elijah, he prophesied in his righteous 
wrath, that the Harmon name would disappear from 
among men. It may have so happened in York, 
but elsewhere the name is common and of good 
repute. This tragic episode happened in close prox- 
imity to the old Stacey house, and in a degree is 
attached to it as part and parcel of its traditions. 

The name of Harmon will go down with the endur- 
ing history of the raid upon Norridgewack, and the 
death of Rasle, and the consequent destruction of 
that nest of conspiracy against the English settler. 
One story is often related of Harmon of Norridge- 
wack fame, and who was for many years the dread 
of the Tarratmes and Norridgewacks, when their 
sharpened hearing was alert with the query, 

" Steals Harmon down from the sands of York, 
With hand of iron, and foot of cork ?" 

He was conducting an expedition up the Kenne- 
bec; like himself, his party of rangers were trained 
Indian-fighters. Their progress was slow and cau- 
tious. His foe was as keen of eye, as acute of ear, 
and as soft of footfall as a wood-cat. Single file, 



OLD YORK 349 

they threaded the dim woods, cutting the shadows 
of the foliage with a vision as keen as the edge of a 
knife, stiUing the beats of their hearts as they lis- 
tened, and then came the smell of a wood fire. It 
was like the silken strand of Ariadne to lead Harmon 
straight to the Minotaur of these wilderness woods. 
Harmon and his men kept to the trail of the smoke, 
and parting the underbrush he saw twenty Indians 
stretched upon the leaves, asleep. The light of their 
fire betrayed them. Mute signs from Harmon indi- 
cated his plan, and a moment later twenty muskets 
sent their messengers of death abroad, and the sav- 
ages, every one, had crossed into the Happy Hunting- 
grounds. 

Old York to\\7i has always been notable for its 
high and generous sense of public duty, its loyalty 
to right, and its patriotism. In 1772 the freemen 
of York met to deliberate upon the action of the 
mother country in matters of taxation, and to pro- 
test against such infringement on personal rights. 
The result was a lively protest. In January, 1774, 
they protested more vigorously yet. In October 
following they made a substantial contribution to 
the poor of Boston. On June 5, 1776, the men of 
York voted to pledge their persons and their money 
to the Declaration of Independence, should the Con- 
tinental Congress declare such to be th^ final course 
of action. 

The news of Lexington reached old York in the 
evening of April 20, 1775. There was not a minute- 
man in town. Twentv-four hours later there were 



350 OLD YORK 

sixty-three such, and accoutred with guns and sup- 
plies, they were across the Piscataqua before dusk, 
and were hurrying on to Boston. That April night 
when the post-rider came in from Boston with his 
stirring news was a memorable one. He left his 
horse and his message, and upon a fresh mount, sped 
away to the eastern towns, as did Paul Revere 
through the Fells of Middlesex, arousing the silence 
of the night with his startling cry, ''To arms! To 




3UNKER HILL AFTER THE FIGHT 



arms!" while the rest of his story trai'ed through 
the dust behind, to be read by the light of the sparks 
from the hoofs of his flying steed. 

Johnson Moulton was the leader of this company, 
the first raised in the Maine province, and to 
York must be given the honorable distinction of so 
notable an activity. Moulton was a prominent man 
in York. He knew something of warfare, having 
been a captain in the French and ndian conflict. 
Undoubtedly it was his activity in former times of 
stres? and hi^ local influence that enabled him to 



OLD YORK 



351 



gather so many of the sons of York in so limited 
a space. After his return from Boston he was lieu- 
tenant-colonel in Col. James Scammon's regiment. 
He was in the siege of Boston, imder Col. William 
Prescott, and later in the Long Island campaign, 
under Gen. Nat. Greene. After the War of the 
Revolution had closed he was sheriff of his county 
Like many a patriot whose deeds have made the 




A RELIC OF ANCIENT TRADING DAYS 

fame of others secure, Moulton is forgotten, except 
as he may be recalled by some scant mention of his 
name where it may chance to be. Only the anti- 
quary or the historian can tell one that such an 
individual ever lived. 

Just across from Warehouse Point is Jaffrey's, or 
Fort Point, where Capt. Jolm Mason m the early 
days of the Gorges and Mason occupation caused a 
fortification to be erected where ten cannon were 
moimted in 1666. This armament was of brass 



352 OLD YORK 

ordnance, contributed by the merchants of London. 
Later a new fort was erected here, and it was this 
fort that was captured by the "Liberty Boys" of 
Portsmouth a day or two after Paul Revere made 
his famous midnight ride through the Fehs of Middle- 
sex. These "rebels" carried off its armament and 
its munitions of war, and out of these, one hundred 
barrels of the king's powder were sent to the Boston 
provincials, who distributed it hot, with great en- 
thusiasm, to the Red Coats at Bunker Hill. This 
empty fort was soon after reoccupied by the British, 
but in 1775 it was abandoned by them voluntarily. 
The present lonely and dismantled Fort Constitu- 
tion was built, partly on the foundation of the original 
provincial fortification. Near this is a curious cairn 
of brick, a ruin it is, that has the flavor of mediaeval 
days, and reminds one of feudal times and moated 
castles. It is commonly known as the Martelle 
Tower, as it is modelled after that fashion. A closer 
inspection will show casemated embrasures, and if 
one clambers over the debris that fills its entrance a 
small magazine will be discovered. Its builder was 
John DeBarth Walbach; before that an officer in 
Prince Maximilian's Royal Alsace Regiment. In 
after years he was the commander of this fort. This 
tower mounted one gun, which seemed to be suffi- 
ciently effective, as no attack was ever made on the 
place. It is a quaint relic of the early days hereabout, 
when the great Pepperrell estate had been confis- 
cated, and when most of the early settlers of York 
and Kittery had become traditions. When the sea 



OLD YORK ooo 

is still aromid Jeffrey's Point, the old tower is renewed 
in its emerald deeps, and as one looks at its pictured 
sombreness, one expects to hear the sharp challenge 
of its sentinel long ago silenced. 

But our fire is getting low, and the night is counting 
its way along by increasing strokes. If one is to 
stay here longer beside the ancient Junkins hearth, 
another pitchloiot must go on the fire. I wonder if 
that woman with the letter A on her sleeve is here. 
Some of our visitors have slipped out noiselessly, but 
others have dropped into their places, so one has not 
missed them. Now I remember it, the last I saw 
of Betty Booker she had mounted the back of Skipper 
Perkins and was making off in the direction of 
Se wall's Bridge. Over m the corner where I thought 
I saw Mclntire and his two cronies, and caught some- 
thing of the story of the devil-dighted Trickey, is 
naught but the dancing of shadows up and down the 
wall; even the table of deal and the steaming stoup 
of rum have disappeared. The woman of the red 
letter has drawn up to tha fire, so I get a fair glimpse 
of her troubled features. They are fair enough, but 
there is a suggestion of sullenness and defiance, as if 
she had not yet forgotten the taunts and jeers that 
beset her unwillmg ears as she stood in pillory on 
that day of long ago. 

There is a swift flooding of this old livmg-room 
with a flare of flame, and the ear catches off to the 
westward the muttering of the storm spirit; a low 
rumbling of thunder that throbs and beats brokenly 
along the upper marge of Spruce Creek over Kittery 



354 



OLD YORK 



way. There is a dash of rain on the roof, whose 
worn thatch of shingle is so thoroughly weather- 
seasoned that each, like the belly of a violin, responds 
audibly to the touch of the rain or even the noise- 
less footfalls of the wind. They are like sounding- 
boards, to repeat with a monodic vibration all the 
notes in the gamut of Nature. I look out the sea- 
ward window, that is more like a port-hole than any- 
thing else, and Boon Island Light flashes its ruddy 




BOON ISLAND LIGHT 



flame over the waste of waters between, to dwindle 
to a red stain on the gathering murk, as the rhythm 
of the rain on the roof begins to mark time with 
thickened beat. 

This light tower was built in 1811. With that in 
mind I recalled that it was one hundred and one 
years before that that the Nottingham galley, a 
hundred and twenty ton vessel, carrying ten gims, 
and a ship's complement of fourteen men, went to 
pieces on its ragged rocks the night of December 11. 



OLD YORK 355 

It was in the midst of a wintry gale that John Dean, 
master, reached this part of the coast, on his way 
to Boston. The Nottingham had come from London, 
and a day's sail, with a fair wind, would have taken 
Dean into port; but that was not to be. The gale 
drove him off his course. The sky was thick with 
rain, snow, and hail, and the storm swooped down 
from the northeast with increasing fury, to choke 
and smother the night into impenetrable obscurity. 

Boon Island is seven miles off shore from Cape 
Neddock, the nearest mainland. It is a low reef of 
ledge, submerged in heavy storms, so the keepers of 
the light are driven into the tower for safety. Boon 
Island Ledge is three miles farther out, and is one of 
the most dangerous reefs on the coast. It was here 
on Boon Island that the Nottingham struck. All of 
the men got to the rock safely, but before morning 
some of their nimiber had succumbed to the incle- 
mency of the season and the exposure incident to 
their shelterless condition. They were here ma- 
rooned, as it were, for twenty-three days, without 
fire or food other than that afforded by the bodies 
of their dead companions, which they were forced to 
consume raw, after the fashion of beasts of prey. 
Like the sailors of Ulysses on the island of Circe 
they became transformed into brutes ; and on January 
3, 1710, when they were finally discovered by the peo- 
ple on the York shore, and taken from their perilous 
situation, they were so emaciated not one of them 
could stand erect. No other wTeck of such horrible 
detail has occurred off the York coast. 



356 OLD YORK 

Not far from this old garrison house is Roaring 
Rock, where there were fortifications in the Revolu- 
tionary times. There was a fort here in 1812. One 
can see their scars along its slopes to this day. There 
was a mythical cave under Sentry Hill, in which are 
stowed away numerous legends ( f pirates. On 
Stage Neck was a beacon in the early days which 
was supported upon a stout pole. Emery relates 
a humorous tale which is appurtenant to this shore. 
One dark night a sloop was wrecked here. One of 
the survivors, questioned as to the cause of the 
disaster, replied: "The vessel struck, turned over 
on her side, and the skipper and another barrel of 
whiskey rolled overboard." The jury brought in 
their verdict: "We find that the deceased fell from 
the masthead and was killed; he rolled overboard 
and was drowned; he floated ashore and froze to 
death, and the rats eat hun up alive." 

And no wonder the poor man succumbed to his 
untoward fate. 

Th' fire dulls, but I upturn the brands and it 
breaks out once more into a lively flame to light up 
tliis antiquated interior anew. Perhaps you have 
never seen this old Junkins garrison. If such is the 
fact, let me tell you something about it, and when 
I have done, perhaps the woman with the scarlet 
letter will let me into her secret. If the sun were up 
one could see that this ancient place of refuge has 
a wide outlook. From its vantage point of hilltop 
the river and the lowlands that make its pleasant 
marge are in sight. The lands break away in all 



OLD YORK 357 

directions in these days, for it is like a city set on a 
hill that cannot be hid. In its early days the woods 
hereabout were more compact, more dense; and doubt- 
less the view was not so charming or i-uggestively 
bucolic. It was, however, from its location not 
easily approachable from any point, without dis- 
covery by the alert sentmel, who it is not milikely 
was on the watch for savage incursion in the troublous 
times that held this region for almost three quarters 
of a century in bands of lively terror or anxiety. 

It is an old rookery as one sees it now, and the rain 
and snow beat in upon its rough floors, and the winds 
make weird noises as they search out the nooks and 
crannies that widen with the years. Its huge chim- 
ney and its great square lum-head have the appear- 
ance of great stability and ancientness of construc- 
tion. It must date from somewhere about 1640, 
though some annalists do not accord it so great an 
age, yet it must have been contemporary with the 
buildmg here of the Mcln tires. The argument is 
put forward that this early date is not to be accepted, 
because the Indian outbreaks did not occur until 
many years after the middle, even, of the seven- 
teenth centuiy. But that does not hold, as one finds 
in the older portions of Massachusetts in these mod- 
ern days relics of the times before King Philip's 
War whose style of architecture is similar to that of 
th?se York garrison houses. They have the same 
projecting roofs and widely ( verhanging upper 
storias. One can see them in Boston, of which, per- 
hap3, the most notable specimen is the I ouee of Paul 



358 OLD YORK 

Revere, on old Salem Street. Nor is there anything 
unreasonable in ascribing the building of this Junkins 
house to so early a period, though Drake is inclined 
to believe otherwise. These early settlers but fol- 
lowed the style of the old houses they knew in the 
motherland, except that perhaps they might have 
been of larger and more cuml^rous construction. 

Its great chimney is a curiosity in its way; and 
the great fireplace that even now disports its ancient 
crane, and the great timbers that everywhere stick 
out or protrude like the libs of a lean horse, keep 
it consistent and suggestive companionship. If one 
should happen hither of a tempestuous night, as I 
have, and perchance kindle a fire upon its broken 
hearth, they might, like myself, see strange sights 
and hear strange and uncouth sounds. If one had 
a piece of aloes and the magic word of Gulnare, this 
crackling blaze would be all needed to bring hither 
its familiars after a more substantial fashion than 
the vagaries that haunt the brain after the intangible 
fashion of dreams and such like empty imaginings. 
No doubt it would be a startling experience, yet one 
is not entirely free from his sensing of the uncanny, 
as he searches the footmarks of a long-dead race, or 
listens, with a stilled breathing wrapped about with 
the thick shadows of the night tide, for a long-silent 
footfall. 

Tliis old Jimkins garrison is a forsaken thing, the 
quintessence of lonely dejection, at least in appear- 
ance. 

But my fire is dowTi once more, and the room grows 



OLD YORK 359 

gray. It is the gray of dusk. The rain has swept 
far to seawartl, and my visitors as well have returned 
to the uncanny seclusion of the graveyards here- 
about, all except this strange woman with the scarlet 
letter. As the light of the fire dies, and only the 
blinking embers are left, that letter on the sleeve 
grows more luminous, as if it had caught the glow of 
another, never-dying flame, and Magdalen-like, the 
weary head of her who bears it has dropped forward 
upon the palms of a pair of thin hands, and a flood of 
graying hair that reaches to her knees hides the out- 
line of the troubled face utterly, of this poor cowering 
outcast. 

I stir the ashes anew, and my silent visitor cowers 
closer yet to the soot-stained jambs, as if, with the 
going of the flame, her spirit was being forsaken of its 
life and warmth. I am moved somewhat to probe 
the secret of her life, but as I glance again toward her 
corner, she has disappeared. 

" I wonder who it could be?" you exclaim. 

Frankly, I never thought to ask. Amit Polly, of 
malodorous Brimstone Hill, knew her. She was a 
Kittery girl; but more, I do not know, though it oc- 
curred to me I would like to know more of her history. 
I felt a bit chary about quizzing her, for she might 
have been sensitive about it; that is, if she had re- 
tained much of womanly feeling after that benmnb- 
ing hour in the pillory, with the rough-edged comment 
and the merciless jeerings of those perhaps no better 
than herself, but who were more fortunate in the con- 
cealment of their intrigues, ringing in her tortured 



360 OLD YORK 

ear. I wonder if she has forgiven her betrayer, and 
if the stripes on her back redden and burn, as she 
thinks of the grievous wrongs her sex has alway suf- 
fered at the hands of her brothers. 

Now that these eerie folk have got away, my mind 
has cleared of the fogs that came with the storm, and 
the spectral influences that dommated and colored 
my mental vision, and I remember. 

In 1651, there lived in Kittery a mmister by the 
name of Stephen Bachiller, whose mclmation to 
one marital experience after another gave opportu- 
nity for satirical reflections, akin to those which in- 
spired Alexander Pope, who was born thirty-seven 
years later, to exploit, in pmigent verse, the alliance 
of January and May. 

This Stephen Bachiller was born in England, 1561, 
and by reason of his Non-Conformist belief was com- 
pelled to take asylum in Holland. Some years later, 
he returned to London, and March 9, 1632, he sailed 
for New England on the William and Francis to join 
his daughter, Theodate. Reaching Boston, he went 
to Ljoin, where this daughter lived with her husband, 
and there he began to preach. It was not long, how- 
ever, before he was complained of for preaching 
without legal authority, and the Court required him 
" to forbeare exercising his gifts as a pastor or teacher 
publiquely in our Pattent." In 1636, he went to Ips- 
wich, where he had a land-grant; but he had in mind 
the establishment of a church in Yarmouth, for which 
place he set out afoot amid the severity of the winter 
of 1637 — a journey which comprised nearly a hun- 



OLD YORK 361 

drecl miles. His project was a failure. He next 
appears at Newbury, from whence he went with his 
daughter and her husband to Hampton two years 
later. He was here in Hampton when he was called 
to act as referee in a matter in litigation between 
George Cleeve of Casco and John Whiter, Tre- 
lawiey's factor at Richmond Island. He was about 
eighty years old at this time "when he committed a 
heinous offence, which he at first denied, but finally 
acknowledged, and was excommunicated from the 
Church therefor." 

Not long after, he was re-admitted to Comnumion, 
but debarred from preaching. Baxter says he was 
invited " to preach at Exeter in 1644, but the General 
Court would not permit him to accept the call. " In 
1650, he was in Portsmouth, where at the extreme age 
of eighty-nine, a wintry age, he contemplated takmg 
to himself a third wife. Experienced m marital 
matters, he decided that 

" A stale virgin with a winter face" 

would not be to his taste. Had one been within ear- 
shot mayhap some echo of his soliloquy would have 
inspired an earlier Pope to this: 

"My limbs are active, still I'm sound at heart, 
And a new vigor springs in every part. 
Think not my virtue lost, though Time has shed 
Those reverend honors on my hoary head ; 
Thus the trees are crowned with blossoms white as snow, 
The vital sap then rising from below; 
Old as I am, my lusty limbs appear 
Like winter greens that flourish all the year." 



362 OLD YORK 

Endowed with the fervent belief that 

"A wife is the peculiar gift of Heaven," 

he forthwith married one Mary — the surname is lost 
— for his third spouse, and her age is given as " twenty 
years." As woman sometimes will, with or without 
provocation, Mary Bachiller erred in becoming enam- 
oured of a worthless fellow by the name of George 
Rogers, who was somewhat a disciple of the Arts of 
Ovid, and whose untimely and scandalous behavior 
with the girlish, and, no doubt, charming wife of 
this foolish old man, was such that both were brought 
"to book" in October of 1651. It was a swift disil- 
lusionment for the poor wife; for upon their indict- 
ment and presentment to the Court, as appears by 
Book "B" of the York Records, they were duly sen- 
tenced. Rogers, man-fashion, got off with "forty 
stroakes save one at ye first Towne Meeting held at 
Kittery, which he could cover up with his coat; 
while the girl-wife was adjudged to "receive forty 
stroakes save one at ye first Towne Meeting held at 
Kittery 6 weekes after her delivery, & be branded 
with the letter A," and which was to be " two inches 
long, and proportionable bigness, cut out of cloath 
of a contrary colour to 'her' cloathes, and sewed 
upon ' her' upper garments on the outside of ' her ' arm 
or on 'her' back, in open view," and if found there- 
after without her letter, she was to be " pubhckly 
whipt." 

Here was a Hester Prynne, forsooth, with the 
difference, that she got her name legitmiately, and 



OLD YORK 363 

not under the magic wand of the romancer. Poor 
Mary Bachiller! forever branded, on that fateful 
fifteenth of October of 1651! whose untoward career 
may have afforded Hawthorne the material for his 
famous "Scarlet Letter." 

Her husband at this time was ninety years old, 
and this same year took ship for England. Once 
there, and undivorced from his third wife, he was 
married to a fourth wife, with whom he lived to the 
end of his days, which occurred in 1660. What a 
commentary on the ways of those far-off times, the 
checkered career of this one man affords! 

Here is another presentment of the same day as 
that of Mary Bachiller. "We present Jane, the wife 
of John Andrews, for se'ling of a Firkin of Butter 
unto Mr. Nic. Davis that had two stones in it, which 
contained fourteen pounds, wanting two ounces in 
A^>ight. This presentment owned by Jane Andrews 
and John Andrews, her husband, in five-pound Bond, 
is bound thus: Jane h"s wife, shall stand at a town 
meeting at York, and at a town meeting at Kittery, 
till two hours be expired, with her offense written in 
Capital Letters, pinned to her forehead. This in- 
junction fulfilled at a Commiss'n Court according 
to Order Jan'y 18, 1653." 

I wish that these odd shapes and sizes of ghost-folk 
might have shown less haste in their going, for there 
were many other matters concerning which I was 
anxious to be informed; and while I was mildly 
chiding myself upon my unprofitable display of 
modesty, mj^ lack of tact or courtesy to my guests, 



364 OLD YORK 

the sharp challenge of a cock-crow echoed from a 
neighboring barn-loft. I knew then that it was no 
fault of mine that these waifs of other days had so 
abruptly flown. 

A glance out the little window that revealed the 
lurid edge of the storm, and as well the cheery blaze 
of Boon Island Light, shows a streak of pallor low 
down on the rim of the sea to eastward. The light 
on Boon Island has changed from red to white against 
the luminous sky. The ash of the rose is strewn 
over the nearer waters, while farther away, the roses 
bloom on every shifting crest of their ever-widening 
waste. 

The day-break has leapt from the sea with a bound, 
and the land of ghostly, and other traditions, is left 
behind with one more day that will never return. 







FROST'S HILL 



THE PLEIADS OF THE PISCATAOUA 







u^-. 



v 



V 



THE PLEIADS OF THE PISCATAQUA 

EN miles offshore, and 
in sight of White 
Island Light, are the 
Isles of Shoals, seven 
sister-islands grouped 
closely, like the Ple- 
iads of the Constella- 
tion of Taurus. These 
islands, lying off the 
mouth of the Piscata. 
qua, have been well- 
known to voyagers 
along the New Eng- 
land coast since the sailing hither of Champlain. 
Smith mentions them first, and they appear first, 
cartographically, upon his rude map of 1614; and 
first knoAvn as the Smith Isles, they afterward were 
christened anew, by whom I know not, or when; 
but it is to be admitted that their present appella- 
tion is peculiarly appropriate, and smacks abund- 
antly of the romance and poetry of the sea. Their 

367 




368 



OLD YORK 



low, black ribs make the setting for the emeralds of 
verdure that crown them with a certain comeli- 
ness, and lend to them suggestions of breezy cool- 




)^at-bor 



^Td§ 



ut[hr 



ness when 
the heats of 
summer hold 
the mainland 
in bands of 
sweltering hu- 
midity. 

Here is the 
home of ro- 
~~' mance, of le- 
gend, and of tragedy. 

Suppose we mount the Indian's 
Enchanted Horse and give the peg in 
his neck a slight turn; with our faces 
to the rising sun, we are, with the 
ciuiclmess of thought, beside the blue 
waters that hold the Isle of St. Croix 
in their crooning embrace, where Pierre 
du Guast, Sieur de Monts, one of the first gentlemen 
of France, and a favorite officer of the royal house- 
hold of Henry VII, passed the winter of 1604-5. 
Du Guast was an experienced navigator, and pos- 
sessed the confidence of his royal master to so great 
a degree, that before sailing hither, Henry had named 



OLD YORK 369 

him his lieutenant-general in this new country which 
he was to possess himself of in the name of his king, 
and colonize. This commission was dated at Fon- 
tainebleau in 1603, and was further established by 
the uncouth sign-manual of Henry. A splotch of 
yellow wax, known as the royal seal, reenforced 
this important document, by which Du Guast was 
authorized to colonize Arcadia. The limits of Arca- 
dia were defined as lying between the parallels of 
40 and 46, which on the New Brmiswick coast would 
strike in about Georges Bay, to run westward across 
the backwoods of Maine to touch the northern skirts 
of old Katahdin. Its southern limit would cut into 
the northern suburbs of the Quaker City. This 
stretch of coast-line, reaching from the upper end 
of Nova Scotia to the shallows of New Jersey, was 
the ocean boundary of New France, and from the 
time of Henry VH, Du Guast's limitations were 
the bases of the French claims to the territory, which, 
fifteen years later, were to be contested by the Eng- 
lish by actual occupation and appropriation of the 
soil -about Massachusetts Bay, which is spanned by 
parallel 42. 

It was here at Isle St. Croix that Du Guast formu- 
ated his plans, and as the spring opened he set sail, 
pointing the prow of his little bark to the southward 
along the coast, ever seeking for a " place more suit- 
able for habitation, and of a milder temperature," 
than the snow-bound, fog-beset shores of the St. 
Croix. His commission vested in him full discre- 
tionary powers to colonize this Arcadia, to which 



370 OLD YORK 

distance had lent something of enchantment, but 
which, in its reality was a rugged country, beset with 
perils, and whose high emprise was to be achieved 
only by centuries of strenuous warfare not only with 
Nature, but with the aboriginal possessor. Du Guast 
was its first monopolist. For a decade of years, the 
sole right to the emoluments of its commodities of 
skins and furs was to be his; and, autocrat-like, his 
was the power to make war or peace — sovereign 
powers, to be sure. 

Under Du Guast were a small number of adven- 
turers, who, at home, within the purlieus of the 
French Court, were denominated gentlemen. Twenty 
sailors made up the crew, but the most distinguished 
of all was Samuel Champlain, the geographer of this 
expedition of combined exploration and colonization. 
Champadore was pilot, who was to be assisted by the 
Indian Panounias and his scjuaw, who accompanied 
Du Guast as he left the waters of the St. Croix behind 
him. It was about June 15, of this year 1605, that 
Du Guast and Champlain began a minute examina- 
tion of the Maine coast, but the larger portion of his 
contingent was left at St. Croix. They were here 
at the Isles of Shoals about July 15, after having 
cast anchor in the mouth of the Saco, and given a 
cursory glance at the fairly spacious estuary of the 
Kennebunk River, still following the trend of the 
coast — which was low, marshy, and sandy — south- 
ward from the bold headland of Cape Elizabeth, until 
they had sighted Cape Ann. 

Champlain does not show this group of islands on 



OLD YORK 371 

either of his maps. Perhaps he did not regard them 
of sufficient importance; and, again, De Monts may 
have left them so far to the eastward as that they 
appeared but a broken reef of rocks. The wide 
mouth of the Piscataqua to the west afforded an 
abundance of sea room, yet he mentions three or four 
islands of moderate elevation. He locates the anchor- 
age of the French bark clearly enough. 

"Mcttant le cap au su pour nous esloigner afin de 
mouiller I'ancre, ayant fait environ deaux lieux nous 
appercumes un cap a la grande terre au su quart de 
suest de nous ou il pouvoit avoit six lieues; a Test 
deux lieues appercumes trois ou quatre isles assez 
hautes et al'ouest un grand cu de sac." 

From this, one makes the Bay of Ipswich; the head- 
land of Cape Ann; and these "trois et quatre isles" 
are the Isles of Shoals. That he says, three or four, 
is conclusive that no minute examination of their 
exact number or character was made. Pring men- 
tions some islands about the 43d parallel, within the 
shelter of one of which he cast anchor ; but they were 
as likely to have been those of Casco Bay, as those 
lying off the mouth of the Piscataqua. The seven 
islands that make the Isles of Shoals group would 
hardly be taken by a mariner of Pring's experience 
as a "multitude." I apprehend the "taking of the 
sun" with so rude an instrument as a jackstaff in 
those days, was not so absolutely accurate, as that 
the designation of any particular parallel by those 
old voyagers could be taken as exact. Their instru- 
ments were rude, and subject to error. 



372 OLD YORK 

I am inclined to give Smith the distinction claimed 
for him. Drake says Gosnold must have seen these 
islands, and adds, " but he thought them hardly worth 
entering in his log." There is neither rhyme nor 
reason in such a conjecture. Smith was the first to 
exploit these islands and the riches of their waters, 
and he has the rights of an inventor to his patent. It 
was Smith's report of them that first sent the English 
fishermen hither; and it is as true that from Cham- 
plain's sighting them in 1605, to Smith's locating 
and giving them a name in 1614, one finds no special 
mention of them. To Smith clearly belongs the pres- 
tige, if there be any, of their so-called discovery. 
Drake suggests that Smith left no evidence that he 
ever landed on them. It strikes me that his descrip- 
tion of them, his locating of them on his map, and his 
giving them a name is as good evidence as one could 
expect. He could have conceived no idea of their 
value or importance, had he not sailed in among them; 
and had he not valued them according to his observa- 
tion of them, he would have hardly given them his 
name ; which he did, and which Charles I confirmed. 
His accomit of them, to his king, must have been 
of a somewhat extended and flattering character, 
also, to have attracted the royal complaisance. 
Every circumstance points to Smith's accurate and 
extensive knowledge of them. 

Gosnold's unconscious cerebrations do not weigh 
much against Smith's activities. As to De Monts, 
his accomplishment was small. He conducted a 

voyage which Champlain has appropriated by reason 



OLD YORK 373 

of his " Relations." De Monts, stripped of his endow- 
ments by his fickle master, a descendant of line of 
kings whose fickleness was proverbial, is forgotten, 
while Champlain's story of the voyage of 1605 will 
perpetuate his memory so long as the St. Croix shall 
flow seaward, or Cape Ann hold apart from Massachu- 
setts Bay the waters of Ipswich. His is the first de- 
tailed and discerning account of this coast; and it 
was the story of a fairly good observer. 

Christopher Levett was here in 1623. He says, 
" The first place I set my foot upon in New England 
was the Isle of Shoals, being islands in the sea about 
two leagues from the main. 

" Upon these islands I neither could see one good 
timber-tree nor so much good ground as to make a 
garden. 

"The place is foimd to be a good fishing-place for 
six ships, but more cannot well be there, for want of 
convenient stage-room, as this year's experience hath 
proved." 

He seems to be the only Englisliman up to that 
time who mentions them, with any directness, after 
Smith, who preceded Levett's visit by seven years. 
According to Levett, these islands were then Imown 
as the Shoals, and one would gather that fishermen 
were there before him. Undoubtedly, there were 
fisliing-craft at the islands at the time of which he 
writes, as he designates the number of vessels that 
may find accommodation. Levett had but one vessel, 
so the inference may be taken for a fact. As to the 
fishermen, as early as 1615, according to the Whit- 



374 OLD YORK 

bourne Relations, referred to by Purchas, the former 
is quoted: 

"In the year 1615, when I was at Newfoundland 
.... there were then on that coast of your Majes- 
tie's subjects, two hundred and fiftie saile of ships, 
great and small. The burthens and tonnage of them 
all, one with another, so neere as I could take notice, 
allowing every ship to be at least three-score tim (for 
as some of them contained lesse, so many of them 
held more), amounting to more than 15,000 tunnes. 
Now, for every three-score tun burthen, according 
to the usual manning of ships in those voyages, agree- 
ing with the note I then tooke, there are to be set 
doune twentie men and boyes; by which computation 
in these two hmidred and fiftie saile there were no 
lesse than five thousand persons." 

With so many "saile" about the shores of New- 
foimdland, there would be a disposition to seek out 
nd occupy new fishing-grounds that were to be profit- 
able. The water about the Isles of Shoals was deep, 
and the cod were abundant; and the spines of these 
islands offered a most excellent drying-place for the 
industry. If one notes the fact, it was on the island 
slopes that these fishermen spread out their catches 
to the sun. The farther they were from the main- 
land, the more desirable the location, with fathoms of 
water in plenty, and cod likewise abundant; and the 
less likelihood there was of molestation. 

Poutrincourt, in 1618, declared the New World 
fisheries, even then, to be worth annually, a "million 
d'or" to France. Immediately after the visit of 



OLD YORK 



375 



Levett, the Isles of Shoals were permanently occupied 
by the fishermen, a rough, boisterous set; so that 
among the early restrictions of the Province was one 
that women were not to be allowed to live there; and 
which was based solely on moral gromids. The case 
of Jolm Reynolds and his wife, who went there to live 
as late as 1645, is in point. But the exigency of the 




FORT POINT 



earlier days being somewhat abated, Mrs. Reynolds 
was allowed to remain, pending the further order of 
the Court. 

As Drake says, these islands have something of an 
inhospitable aspect; but their rugged character com- 
ported with the rude and uncouth salients of their 
dwellers, whose isolation surrounded them with a 
shadow of obscurity, accentuated by their infrequent 
contact and limitary intercourse with the mainland. 
The sea was a natural barrier to such; an Al Araf 
to keep Nature's bounty of the fields and meadows 



376 



OLD YORK 



apart from the mystery of these sea-scarred ribs of 
semi- verdurous rock. 

I made my visit to these islands after much the 
same fashion of other folk. I went by a comfortable 
little steamer, that swung out its Portsmouth dock 
with the morning tide; and I saw, as I sailed, what 
every one sees who goes to the Isles of Shoals by 
water. What interested me most were the stories 
of the old days that were written along the city roofs, 




BADGER'S ISLAND 



on one side, and along the marge of the Kittery 
shore, opposite. There was not much activity on 
the river; the olden commerce of the Port of Ports- 
mouth having long ago forsaken it for the shallows 
of Boston harbor. The ferry plied its trade with 
Kittery; and here and there the black smoke of a 
collier blew down the channel between Great Island 
and Kittery Point; the asthmatic wheeze of a donkey- 
engine, hidden among the shadows of a huge coal- 
bunker along-shore, straining at its task, throbbed 
and beat against the morning air. Troops of gulls 



OLD YORK 



377 



swept outward over the rough floor of the river with 
curving, spectral flight. 

These flights of the gulls to seaward remind one 
of the old saw — 

" If at morn the gulls to sea take flight, 
The sun will shine from morn till night," 

and the fisher-craft sail out into the farthest haze to 
drop their lines, assured of fair weather; but, with 




A BIT OF PORTSMOUTH HARBOR 



the gulls hovering along the flats, the fishermen look 
to their boats to see that their moorings are taut and 
ready for wind and rain. It is then they say — 

" When the sea-gull hugs the inner shore, 
The rain will drive, and the winds will roar. " 

There was the sound of a creaking capstan and a 
rattle of mast-hoops as the sails of the four-master 
under our lee went down on the rim. I thought 
of old Skipper Robinson of New Gloucester, who 
originated this type of sailing vessel in 1713, and 
which he dubbed on the spot, a "scooner;" and I 



378 



OLD YORK 



wondered what he would have said to the modern 
six-masted craft of the Bath shipyards. Off the 
Navy Yard, the traditions crowd each the other; 
but here is AVarehouse Point, where Spruce Creek 
comes in; and the pleasant slopes of the Enchanted 
Land where the names of Champernowne, Chamicey, 
Pepperrell and Cutt are as good as guide-boards to 
show one his way about. Each of these nooks and 




corners of Kittery verdure is a page whereon one 
reads as he sails — whether it be a headland, creek, an 
old-time rookery, or a manse, or the greenery of God's 
Acre that fronts the old parsonage — all are to be 
interpreted by one according to his own fashion. 

Here is a delightfully suggestive environment, with 
all of old Kittery to sunrise-ward, and quaintly olden 
New Castle on the westerly and opposite side of the 
main channel of this historic waterway. If one 
should hug the shore of Great Island after turning 
the needle-like Jaffrey's Point, another entrance to 



OLD YORK 



379 



Portsmouth would be discovered. This is Little 
Harbor, but it is a shallow strait; for at low tide it is 
unavailable for other than craft of the lightest 
draught. But one needs to skim these shallows if 
one is to Imow Portsmouth from her sea approaches. 
Once well mto this charming nook of Little Harbor, 
the artery by which Great Island is connected to the 
mainland, is discovered a trio of old-fashioned 
bridges, and Great Island is at the end of them all. 




WENTWORTH HALL 

Here is the quaintest of all, New Castle. Opposite, 
across the shallows, at the mouth of Sagamore Creek' 
one gets a glimpse of clustered chimneys, as it were' 
of some old-tune inn, so many are there of them. 
The native knows it for olden Wentworth Hall, a ram- 
bling old house spacious enough to quarter a company 
of dragoons in, horses and all; for its subterranean 
excavations are barn-like in their extent. A queer 
old affair is AYentworth Hall, which has the appear- 



380 OLD YORK 

ance of two old houses wrought into one by an inter- 
vening structure of even more ample proportions, 
having a semblance of a trio of roof-trees. None of 
these three resemble each the other, for each is as 
unlike the other in design and architecture, as the 
periods in which they were evidently built. The 
only way to get well and thoroughly acquainted with 
a place is to go without guide-book, or even guide. 
One does not need the scent of a ferret, but the 
Yankee-like trait of asking questions must needs 
be put into exercise; and with one's nose for a 
guide-board, one's curiosity is apt to be amply re- 
warded. 

Nor does one make the best venture with a lively 
horse and a rubber-tired Brewster, but one must 
trust wholly to " Shank's Mare " to get the most profit- 
able results. The foot jaunt must be of a somewhat 
aimless character, for more of directness is apt to 
avoid many a charming by-way and gabled quaint- 
ness; and then the acquaintances one makes, here 
and there are among the richest of one's experiences. 
Horse-talk does not admit of a more than limited 
vernacular, but every wayside meeting afoot is likely 
to enlarge and savor one's vocabulary with the most 
delightful of local flavors. Everythuig that smacks 
of locahty, its human types, their garb and dialect, 
adds to the zest of one's explorations. A gentle 
word of appreciation and a kindly courtesy at first 
greeting will open the roughest chestnut burr, and a 
flood of old-time lore is on tap. One makes no note 
of time, for the eye and ear are one; and both are 



OLD YORK 



381 



alertly vibrant with riches, to which the makers of 
guide-books are utter strangers. 

If one goes afoot about this old fishing-port of New 




A BY-WAY IN NEW CASTLE 



Castle, he is sure to wander down to the Point of 
Graves. One can see it from the steamer deck, or 
rather where it is; for to see it in truth is to thread its 



382 OLD YORK 

corrugations with reverent tread, for here is an ilhi- 
minated page of local history with headband, initial, 
and tail-piece, ready for the reading. It is a quaint 
picture of the Past these black slabs make, stark-set 
amid a host of verdant mounds so many years blown 
over by the salty winds from the sea, and saturated 
with the Piscataqua fogs. It is a story, as well as a 
picture, written in wavering, broken lines of living 
green, with these old headstones, quaint, moss-gro\Mi, 
lichen-stained, and storm-etched, for punctuation 
marks; for one makes longer stay at some than at 
others. Here is one to set one's wits agog, for 
among these old memorials is that of old Samuel 
Wentworth. One can see him now in his tavern door 
under the shadow of his sign of "The Dolphin," 
greeting or speeding his guest with the jovial stirrujD- 
cup of the time. He was the father of Jolm Went- 
worth, the first Governor Wentworth; likewise the 
grandfather of Governor Benning Wentworth, whose 
nephew. Sir John Wentworth, was the last of the 
New Hampshire colonial governors of that name — 
surely a remarkable family, a sturdy and a note- 
worthy. 

Bennmg Wentworth was twice married. With his 
first marriage the reader is not concerned. Before 
his first wife died, a slip of a girl, whose sharply angu- 
lar shoulders and slender ankles gave scant promise 
of the wonderful beauty of after years, was running 
about the streets of old Portsmouth, the great-great- 
grand-daughter of pioneer Hilton, who is said to be 
the first to have planted corn on Maine soil. 



OLD YORK 383 

This was Martha Hilton, and Longfellow has 
painted her portrait. Here it is: 

"Barefooted, ragged, with neglected hair. 
Eyes full of laughter, neck and shoulders bare, 
A thin slip of a girl, like a new moon, 
Sure to be rounded into beauty soon. 
A creature men would worship and adore, 
Though now in mean habiliments she bore 
A pail of water, dripping, through the street, 
And bathing, as she went, her naked feet; " 

and so scandalized was Mistress Stavers, the inn- 
keeper of Queen Street, that she chided the child. 
And then Martha Hilton laughed, and tossed her 
yoiing head, and from her tongue flew the saucy 
quip — 

"No matter how I look; I yet shall ride 
In my own chariot, ma'am;" 

and she did; for when the time came, and Governor 
Benning Wentworth had tired of his lonely livmg in 
his great manse, he made Martha Hilton, his then 
serving-maid, mistress of Wentworth Hall. When 
tiie knot was tied, 

"On the fourth finger of her fair left hand 
The governor placed the ring; and that was all; 
Martha Hilton was Lady Wentworth of the Hall." 

It was a charming romance, and had Mistress 
Stavers been alive she would doubtless have taken 
the Earl of Halifax into Iier confidence, who had 
so long maintained a discreet silence that he might 
well have been trusted with this. It is a charming 



384 OLD YORK 

story Longfellow has woven from this romance of 
Martha Hilton, but she was worthy of it; for if all 
accounts are true, she was a great beauty, and 
graced the ampUtude of the great house with its 
fifty-two rooms, to uphold with credit the character 
of its distinguished occupants; of it all, Lady Went- 
worth was the pearl of great price. 

But this is not all this old memorial of Samuel 
Wentworth tells me, though his own story is of the 
most meagre sort — a name, a date, and that is all. 
But one goes back far beyond the times of the land- 
lord of "The Dolphin"; beyond the time when 
Thompson had built him a house at Odiorne's 
Point. As one stands here one hears the leaves of 
Sherwood Forest singing to the winds, as they sang 
to Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck, and Allan-a- 
Dale, and where was the more ancient and grander 
Wentworth Hall. 

Walter Scott says "the ancient forest of Sher- 
wood lay between Sheffield and Doncaster. The 
remains of this extensive wood are still to be seen at 
the noble seat of Wentworth," and from whence 
is to be reckoned the ancestry of the English 
and American W^entworths, a notable family tree 
from which much goodly fruit has been shaken. 
Perhaps the most notable of all was the Marquis of 
Rockingham, whose opposition to the infamous 
Stamp Act links his name to that of the great Chat- 
ham. What a bimdle of etchings one has here in 
this old headstone of Samuel Wentworth's ! And 
if one is of a mind to linger longer before it, there are 



OLD YORK 385 

others that will repay one's waiting. Richard-like, 
one sees a train of ghosts, with the unfortunate Earl 
of Strafford at their head; for he was a Wentworth, 
like those who came after, along with Lady Byron, 
who later in life assumed the title of Baroness Went- 
worth. 

But this old manse on Sagamore Creek is a famous 
house. Drake's description of it is meagre at best, 
when one has once crossed its threshold. Its pic- 
tured story would need an entire volume by itself; 
but the rambling pile carries outwardly no sugges- 
tion of the treasures of which it is the unassuming 
possessor. One must needs see more than the jumble 
of its low-sloping roofs and its low-topped chimneys 
that peer at one from out its broidery of foliage. 
But the sun falls across the water to make a silver 
ribbon that loses itself amid the greenery of Saga- 
more Creek; and one comes back to the Present by 
the way of it, and the Point of Graves is left beliind 
with its ghostly dreams and traditions. 

The wind blows freshly, and is laden with the 
scents from the woodlands up river, and I note the 
smoke from the boat goes hurrying seaward even 
faster than myself. It hangs away from the black 
nuizzle of the smokestack like a dingy banner, and 
anon its fibre untwists, and it is drimk up by the 
Sim. This olden New Castle was once a fishmg- 
towii, as one may know with a single glance mto 
Puddle Luck, for here are rude wharves and fish- 
houses, all in numerous stages of senility and dilapi- 
dation. Here were once fishflakes by the acre. 



386 



OLD YORK 



Like the headstones at the Point of Graves, these 
old shacks are but the scant memorials of a larger 
and more active importance. Everywhere are rot- 
ting timbers as suggestive as the ribs of a long mould- 
ering skeleton from which all vitality has long since 
departed. 

But they are fertile for all their decay, and of 
much interest. They make the uncouth yet pathetic 




PUDDLE LUCK, GREAT ISLAND 

frames for hosts of snappy sketches of the days 
when a sailor in pigtails and petticoats and a 
cutlass was as common as is the Ingersoll watch of 
to-day, for the charter of the old town dates from 
1693, which one may see if one cares to go over to the 
selectmen's office. Bellomont, who opened up the 
way to Captain Kidd's piratical career, with a com- 
mission to make reprisal upon the enemies of the 
English, was here along with Admiral Benbow, and 
Bellomont reported to the Lords of Trade at London 



OLD YORK 



387 



as early as 1699, "It is a most noble harbor. The 
biggest ships the king hath can lie against the banks 
at Portsmouth." 

One notes the Martello tower on its rocky hump, 
that has for so many years looked to seaward, for 
it dates back to 1812. There was an older fort of 







9W/(Sf^ 



thirty guns here as early as 1700, but Bellomont con- 
demned it as incapable of serviceable defence against 
an invasion of the river. It was known as old Fort 
William and :Mary, but it has disappeared to its last 
vestige. 

The low granite fortress one sees here on Jaffrey's 
Point is nearly a century old. Its date of construc- 
tion goes back to around 1808. Fort Constitution, 



388 OLD YORK 

for these walls of brick and stone are so called, is 
of slender importance. Like its contemporaries, 
Gorges, Scammell, and a few others, it is but a 
reminder of the days when war was child's play com- 
pared with that now famous conflict of the Korean 
peninsula. 

Before getting out of sight of Wentworth Hall 
altogether, one recalls Martha Hilton. In good time 
Benning Wentworth died, and Martha did not cling to 
her widowhood for long, for she married a rake, known 
in his time as Michael Wentworth of the Royal army. 
After the dashing colonel had run through with his 
property, he is said to have ended his life by suicide. 
He furnished his own epitaph, — "I have eaten my 
cake." 

The narrows of the river have been left behind 
with their suggestive ridges that indicated the loca- 
tion of the batteries of the Revolutionary period. 
This water-way is a dimmutive Hell Gate, and no 
wonder the spur of land that juts into the river here 
should be christened by the unwashed as Pull-and- 
be-damned Point. With the out-going tide boiling 
and seething through this gap the sailor finds his 
up-river trip a tedious and difficult proposition on a 
light wind. But the way has opened up; the scene- 
shifter has thrown the roofs and spires of Portsmouth 
into the background; in fact, they have disappeared 
behind the urban mysteries of ancient New Castle, 
whose dockless shore narrows and loses itself in the 
sea where the low gray wall of antiquated and dis- 
mantled Fort Constitution lies, sluggard-like, in the 



OLD YORK 



389 



flood of the Piscataqua. On the outermost extrem- 
ity of the fort wall is the Pharos of the inner harbor, 
while just ahead are the twin towers that rise out of 
the sea from the tide-submerged spine of the Whale's 
Back. The old Pepperrcll Manse and its black 
warehouses and dock are a good mile astern; and 
Odiorne's Point, where settler Thompson had his 
cabin before the occupation of ]\Iason's agent, is to 
starboard. Champernomie Island of the olden time 




FORT CONSTITUTION 

is to leeward. Chauncey's Creek opens its mouth 
with a yawn, while Deering's Guzzle is lost in the soft 
contour of the Kittery shore. 

Now one gets a glimpse of the Pleiads of the 
Piscataqua, the Smith Isles, better kno^^^l as the 
Isles of Shoals. They were just discernible in the 
sea mist that held the horizon in a purple swathing- 
band. As we steamed comfortably over the inter- 
vening reach of blue water, Ipswich Bay and the 
pug-nose of Cape Ami broke their bonds of mystery 
and stood out fairly distinct. From this pomt of 
view their appearance was not much different from 
that of the year 1605, when Du Guast sailed his little 



390 OLD YORK 

bark perhaps over the very course which our steamer 
is taking. As I looked Cape Ann-ward my vision 
followed that of Champlain, but it went beyond 
that of Champlain 's; for I saw, as by revelation, 
the roofs of towns that, like so many pearls, were 
strung along the thread of the North Shore, until 
they were lost in the dim smokes of what was once 
Winthrop's bailiwick. I could even see the gallows 
on Witch Hill. 

A bump against the pier of Star Island wakes me 
from my re very; for here we are, j^erhaps at the very 
place where Levett anchored his craft in 1623. 
There is nothing here but a rib of rock, and a shore- 
house for summer tourists. If one wants wind and 
water only, here is as good a place as any; but as for 
seclusion, it is wholly of the veranda sort. As for 
the atmosphere, it is savored abmidantly with purest 
salt, and much of the time, water-logged. One's 
only resource is a boat. One's impression here is 
of being en voyage, for the swash of the tide is dinning 
in one's ears always. After all there is something 
very restful in this isolation ; for if one can handle an 
oar, one can get out of ear-shot of his kind almost 
immediately. With the first grip of the rocks of 
Star Island on my boot-soles, my inclination is to 
get by myself in some comfortable nook, toper-like, 
to have it out with Nature. But get where I may, 
in one corner of the veranda, or another, I hear the 
chitter-chatter of young magpies in comfortably 
short skirts; and the wild whoop of a contingent of 
kids in knickerbockers; a sort of thing I like well 



OLD YORK 



391 



enough at times; but, like a nursling at Nature's 
pap, I was inclined to greediness. 

Several years before my visit to the Isles of Shoals, 
I had read Drake, critically, being something of a 
lover of the quaint and olden; and I said to myself, 
with something of a reservation, that he was a man 
after my owm heart. I should like to have been his 
companion in his walks abroad. I would have 



'^^^ 







>/5^^"^ 



ROCKS OF STAR ISLAND 



"swapped" glasses with him occasionally, Yankee- 
like. In going over this ground, I have some recol- 
lection of him, and his way of putting things, and of 
observing. He seemed to enjoy a brilliant sunset, 
and many things else. I realize that he found the 
path worn by others, as I to-day find here and there 
an ear-mark of his; and it makes me feel much as I 
used, when, reaching the trout-brook of an ancient 
meadow whose '' swinuning-holes " were once places 



392 OLD YORK 

of boyish delight, I found, to my annoyance, that the 
dew had been brushed off the lush grasses along the 
stream by some earlier fisherman. There was 
nothing to do but to trudge after, lazily, the more 
lazy-like the better, landing a trout, here, or there, 
as I could. It did not matter much, however, for, 
somehow, I managed to bring home a goodly basket 
of red-spots. I have, before now, met the "other 
fellow" whipping the stream back, and upon a "show- 
down," surprised him into envious silence. 

To digress briefly: several years ago, I wrote a 
book or two, in one of which I alluded to the canoe- 
birch. When the volmne reached the critics, one, 
who evidently had attended a late supper, in whose 
mouth still lingered that disagreeable "dark brown 
taste," shrieked himself hoarse with the exclama- 
tion: "Who is this, that writes of the canoe-birch, 
after John Burroughs?" 

Well, I was heartily sorry for the fellow, for it 
indicated his shrunk stature, and the Blondin-like 
slenderness of his stamping-groimd ; but I had the 
consolation of knowing that that glorious vestal of 
the New England woods, to a considerable patch of 
which I personally had a suggestion of title, had 
many a golden-lined cup of good cheer for her lovers ; 
and that many a gracious tribute would be hers, even 
after the gifted pen of Mr. Burroughs had bequeathed 
its legacy to others. I hope the reader will not shrug 
his shoulder too strenuously, if by chance I should 
happen to write of something that Mr. Drake saw; 
or if, perchance, my shoe should unwarily press one 



OLD YORK 393 

of those vagrant and infrequent blades of grass on 
Smutty Nose, or Appledore, which, after a generation, 
still shows the heel-mark of my genial predecessor. 
Among the things to which the law of copyright does 
not extend, is Nature, and as well, the translation 
of her mysteries. If a man is pleased to sing, let 
him sing; provided he shifts his key sufficiently 
often, so that one can get away from its idem, sonans 
occasionally. 

One cuckoo croaks "dry weather" on the hills; 
another croaks "rain" m the meadows. It is the 
croak of the cuckoo, hill, or valley. 

As if the dazzling sun of yesterday had exhausted 
all the mj^steries of to-day! or the sunset of to-day 
had drained *the untold to-morrows of all their pig- 
ments. 

But it is high noon. I do as others do, indulge 
in the prosaic satisfying of the inner man. The next 
thmg is a savory cigar, one of the choicest companions 
for the seashore. It helps one to deliberate. Its 
fragrance suggests Cathay, Zipango, and numerous 
romantic heresies; and one starts off, like Marco Polo, 
on a journey of discovery. Chartering a dory, I push 
out into a choppy sea, with about as much direct- 
ness as did the Three Wise Men in a Tub. After 
a squint over my shoulder, my oars catch the water 
and the rhythm of the surf on the rocks, and I am 
off, en voyage. 

It is with something of the spirit of a freebooter of 
the days of Kidd and Dixey Bull, that I pull out for 
the little haven of Smutty Nose wdiere Haley built 



394 



OLD YORK 



his rude wharf. The water slaps the nose of my 
dory audibly, and as I glide into the smooth water 
of Haley's dock, there is something of restful quiet 
brooding over it. There is nothing of an attractive 
character about Smutty Nose Island, for its name 
does not belie its general appearance. This island in 
days agone was of some considerable importance, 







'^I/^^-^ 



HALEY'S WHARF 



and was somewhat populous. Williamson says: 
"They once had a Court-house on Haley's (a name 
occasionally given to Smutty Nose) Island; and in 
so prosperous a state were these Islands that they 
contained from four to six hundred souls. Even 
gentlemen from some of the principal towns on the 
sea-coast sent their sons here for literary instruction," 
These islands off Portsmouth Harbor comprising 
the Isles of Shoals, were once deemed of so much 
value that a Royal Commission was appointed in 



OLD YORK 395 

1737 to survey and set the line of demarcation be- 
tween the two Provinces, that is, the Massachusetts 
ProA'ince, south, and the Province of Maine, north of 
the Piscataqua River. The Court decreed " that the 
dividmg Hue shall part the Isles of Shoals, and run 
through the middle of the harbor, between the islands, 
to the sea on the southerly side; and that the south- 
easterly part of said islands shall lie in, and be ac- 
counted part of, the Province of New Hampshire; 
and that the northeasterly part thereof shall lie in, 
and be accounted part of, the Province of Massachu- 
setts Bay; and be held and enjoyed by the said Prov- 
inces respectively, in the same manner as they now do 
and have heretofore held and enjoyed the same." 

This was the old line between the two Provinces es- 
tablished by the division of Laconia, between Mason 
and Gorges, and confirmed to them by their respect- 
ive charters of 1629 and 1639, but this decree of 
1637 was appealed from, and on ]\Iarch 5, 1740, was 
affirmed by his Majesty's order. The charter of 
William and Mary, 1691, confirmed the old Mason 
and Gorges division, and so it has always remained, 
leaving the islands of Appledore, Malaga, Smutty 
Nose and Duck, as a part and parcel of Old York. 

On November 22, 1652, the proprietary govern- 
ment of Gorges ended, and Massachusetts Bay 
usurped the jurisdiction. It based its act upon its 
charter of 1628, which related: "All those lands 
which lie, and be, within the space of three English 
miles to the northward of the river Merrimac, or to the 
northward of any and every part thereof," evidently 



396 OLD YORK 

meaning a line drawn from a point three English miles 
to the northward from the source of that river, and 
of which Clapboard Island in Casco Bay was the east- 
erly boundary. This jurisdiction continued until 
about 1664, when Charles II took the management 
of the Province to himself and his Royal Commis- 
sioners, which was Usurpation II, in that, that the 
claims of Gorges as w^ell as those of Massachusetts 
Bay were each and severally ignored by this succes- 
sor to the Cromwellian Commonwealth. In 1667, the 
Massachusetts Bay Province purchased of the Gorges 
heirs the charter of 1639, and thereupon assumed that 
charter of government, and as Lord Proprietor of 
the Gorges Grant, and as successor under the purchase, 
governed the Maine Province until 1691, when, 
under the charter of William and Mary, the Maine 
Province became an integral constituent of the Bay 
Colony, and so continued as a part of the Common- 
wealth until the Dominion of Maine was endowed 
in 1820 with statehood. 

In recapitulating, it is easy to follow the several 
governments which have exercised authority over 
this earliest of the habitable coast of Maine. The 
first was the Proprietary Government of Gorges under 
his charter of 1639, and which continued until 1652. 
Then followed the Government of Massachusetts 
Bay, whose cycle of authority may be divided into 
four segments — namely, under the charter of 1628,, 
or by usurpation which extended down to 1677, with 
the exception of the four years from 1664 to 1668, 
during which time the Royal Commissioners of 



OLD YORK 397 

Charles II held the Provmcial reins; under the 
Gorges charter, 1639, by purchase, from 1667 to 1691; 
under the charter of 1691, from that time to the Com- 
monwealth; under the Commonwealth to the erection 
of the Dominion into the State of Maine in 1820. 

When the census was taken in 1852, there were 
nineteen people upon these islands on the Maine side 
of the line. When Louis Wagner rowed from the 
foot of Pickering Street, Portsmouthside, to Smutty 
Nose in Burke's dory, that March night of 1873, there 
were four people living on Smutty Nose. 

Suppose one goes back to the beginning of the 
York Court Records — I think they began with the 
settlement, and most that happened of any conse- 
quence they seem to have taken cognizance of. On 
one of these musty time-yellowed pages one finds this: 
" At a court holden at Wells by the Justices of the 
Peace for the Province of Maine, appointed by com- 
mission from the Right Hon. Sir Robert Carr, Kjiight, 
George Cartwright, and Samuel Maverick, on this 
10th day of July, fourteenth year of the reign of our 
Sovereign Lord, the King, in the year of our Lord 
1665. 

"Ordered by the court that an exact injmiction 
issue out by the Recorder, prohibiting all persons 
whatsoever, after the receipt hereof, to sell by retail 
any small quantity to any person whatsoever, at or on 
the Isle of Shoals, in any part thereof belonging to this 
counte, viz.: Smutty Nose Hog Island, &c., wine or 
strong liquors, under the penalty of ten pomids for 
every such offense." 



398 OLD YORK 

This is the first application of the Prohibitory Law, 
for which Maine has become famous in one way or 
another, in the province, and it is notable that the 
penalty is about the same as in these more modern 
days when money is easier, and values are more 
elastic. 

Glancing over another old volume I find this: 
"At a court of pleas, houlden for the Province of 
Mayne, at Yorke, under the authority of his majesty, 
and subordinately, the heirs of Sir Ferdindo Gorges, 
Kt., by the worship'll John Daviss, Major, Capt. 
Josua Scottow, Capt. Jon Wincoll, Mr. Fran. Hooke, 
Mr, Samuell Wheelwright, Capt. Charles Frost, and 
Edward Rishworth, Recor., Just. Pe., and Counsellors 
of tliis Province, April 6, 1681. . . . 

" For the better and more peaceably settling of all 
matters, civil and criminal, at the Isles of Shoals, 
this court do judge, meete, and do appointe a court 
of sessions to be holden at Smutty Nose Island, upon 
the first Wednesday of June next ensuing, where- 
unto Mayor Davis and Capt Fran Hook are ap- 
pointed to repair and invest it with power to join 
with the commissioners of these Islands, Mr. Kelley 
and Mr. Dyamont, to keep a court for trial of actions 
as high as ten pounds." I find in the same time- 
yellowed tome: "At a Court of Sessions holden at 
Smutty Nose Island upon the Isles of Shoals belong- 
ing to the Province of Maine, by Edward Rishworth, 
Justice, and Mr. Andrew Fryer, Commissioner by 
the appointment of General Assembly at Wells, 
Aug. 10th, 1681, upon the 9th day of November, 1681. 



OLD YORK 399 

"We have called said Court at the time prefixed, 
several persons presented. Thomas Harding, Nicho- 
las Bickford, and Augustine Parker, summoned by 
Mr. Thomas Penney, constable; but said Harding 
appeared not; the others referred themselves to the 
court and were fined ten shillings each person, by 
the province, and ten shillings fees to the Marshall 
and Recorder, which Mr. Kelley stands engaged to 
pay in their behalf. Edw. Randall appeared and 
fined five shillings to the province and five shillings 
officers' fees, which Mr. Fryer engaged in his behalf 
to pay Mr. Kelley. Eyers Berry owneth a judge- 
ment of twenty shillings due from him to Hugh 
Allard to be paid him on demand. 

"Robert Marr complained of by Mr. Kelley for 
abusing of said Kelley and his wife, by way of oppro- 
brious language, which was proved by sufficient 
evidence. The Court considering the premises, do 
order the delinc^uent for his miscarriage herein, either 
forthwith to make public acknowledgement of his 
fault for defaming Roger Kelley and his wife, or upon 
refusal to receive ten stripes well laid on at the post 
and to pay costs of Court, seven shillmgs. 

"Robert Marr made public acknowledgement of 
his fault in open Court for defaming Mr. Kelley and 
his wife, which he declared his sorrow for, promising 
amendment for the future. 

"The Court further requires ten pounds for his 
good behavior for future. Robert Marr came into 
Court and owned himself bound in a bond of ten 
pounds to the treasurer of this Province to be of 



400 OLD YORK 

good abearance and behavior to Roger Kelley and 
Mary his wife, and ah other his Majesty's subjects, 
unto the next Court of Pleas holden for this Province." 

From the same volume, one gets another glimpse 
at the happenings of the times hereabout: "At a 
General Assembly, holden at York, for the Province 
of Maine, this 25th day of June, 1684, by the Honor- 
able Thomas Danforth, Esq., President of said Prov- 
ince, Major Jolin Davis, Deputy President, Mr. 
No well. Assistant, Joshua Suttow, John Wincoll, 
Frank Hook, Charles Frost, Edward Tynge, and Ed- 
ward Rishworth, Recorder, his Majesty's Justice of 
the aforesaid Province. . . . For the better settling 
of persons and matters in that part of the Isles of 
Shoals, being the Western Islands belonging to this 
province, it is hereby ordered by this Court that 
Mayor Jolm Davis, Mr. Edward Rishworth, Capt. 
Francis Hook, and Capt. Charles Frost, or any three 
of them, shall and hereby are appointed with all con- 
venient speed to repair unto Smutty Nose Island and 
there to hold a Court of Sessions for the Western 
Islands for trial of actions, and to make diligent 
inquiry into the state of the people, and to require 
their attendance to their duties to his majesty's 
authority established in this province according to 
law." 

In the same • year, James Vanderhill was " ap- 
pointed for a Grand Juryman for these Northern 
Islands for the year ensuing, and Mr. Diamond is 
ordered to give him his oath." 

So it is seen that however deserted and barren these 



OLD YORK 



401 



islands may now seem, hedged about by the Atlantic- 
tides, here was once a populous appurtenant to old 
Yorkshire, the first county erected in this province. 
Under the Massachusetts Bay jurisdiction, the Isles 
of Shoals were erected into a town known as Apple- 
dore, and in 1672 were annexed to the county of 
Dover. Yorkshire was incorporated in 1652, and 




SMUTTY NOSE 

when Maine became a state, these "Northern 
Islands" became a part of the old county of York 

once more. 

Th shores of Smutty Nose are ragged and black- 
ened with seaweed. In fact, they are of forbidding 
asp-ct, and from this old dock where Haley once 
moored his boats the outlook is a barren one. A 
quartette of wan, unpainted, weatherbeaten huts 
l:>reak the line of its low and somewhat irregular 
horizon, and it is toward one of them I make my way 
over the rough path that leads upward from the sea. 



402 OLD YORK 

I hardly think I should have taken the trouble to 
have rowed hither, had it not been for one of these 
old houses, and which particular house I connect very 
vividly with the dark tragedy of a generation ago, 
when Louis Wagner added to its traditions of wreck, 
of smuggling, and of piracy, the more authentic epi- 
sode that has given to this dorsal of dingy rock a 
lasting place in the local history of crime. Whatever 
of credence one might give to the story of old man 
Haley's finding four huge ingots of silver under a flat 
stone among the nubbles of Smutty Nose, or the raid- 
ings of the pirate Low upon its hardy fishermen, or 
its more notorious familiars Bradish, Bellamy, and 
Pound, is dependable; but the ruddy stain left by 
Wagner among its snow-patched hollows will come 
with every setting of the sun. But these were not 
all, for there were Hawkins, Quelch, and Phillips, the 
latter of whom was killed by one John Fillmore, of 
the fishing-crew of the Dolphin, sailing out of Cape 
Ann. Fillmore was an Ipswich man, and he rebelletl 
against the enforced outlawry exacted of him by 
Phillips after the latter's capture of the fishing- 
smack. Fillmore brought the pirate's craft into 
Boston. From Drake one learns that this John 
Fillmore was the great-grandfather of Millard Fill- 
more, the president of pro-slavery days. 

These islands were said to have once been the 
lounging-place of the celebrated Captain Kidd, and 
that he buried vast treasures here; but these tales 
are mere far-away traditions to tell the children at 
nightfall to the low moanmg of the near-by sea. 



OLD YORK 



403 



Recalling the Wagner tragedy, one comes dow^l 
from the days of old-time lore to the not far-away 
year of 1873, which was the year following my admis- 
sion to the bar, and which perhaps accomits for my 
interest in what happened in an adjoinmg county at 
that time. When the stor}^ of Annethe and Karen 
Christensen came to my breakfast table, the fragrant 
coffee and its accompanying roll were forgotten in 
the perusal of the minute and horrifying details that 
has ever since given to this locality a sinister color 




and a tragic association. I had always desired to 
see the Hontvet rookery so minutely described to the 
jury by poor Mary Hontvet, and who, by the way, 
never returned to it after her husband, John Hontvet, 
found her among the frost-bitten rocks of Smutty 
Nose on that March morning, and among which she 
had hidden as the moon was setting over the roofs 
of Portsmouth but a few hours before. Kindly 
disposed were those black ribs of granite for once. 

I had a morbid curiosity to see what could be seen 
from that window out which Annethe Christensen 
leapt to meet the murderous axe of Lends ^^'agner; 



404 OLD YORK 

for this Mary Hontvet had painted a ghastly picture 
with the accused Wagner m the dock, who was one 
of her most attentive Hsteners. I thought I might 
be able, standing within its narrow ledge, to see it in 
its actuality. I hauled the dory ashore, and it oc- 
curred to me that it might have been right here that 
Wagner landed on that March midnight m the dory he 
had stolen from Burke, when he had ascertained from 
Jolm Hontvet that the women were to be alone that 
night while he — Hontvet — remained with Annethe 
Christensen's husband, baiting trawls in ]\Irs. John- 
son's Portsmouth kitchen. No doubt he had made 
directly for the Hontvet house, for he believed there 
was money there to be had for the taking. Mary 
Hontvet, Annethe and Karen Christensen were the 
only occupants of the island. Wagner's object was 
robbery. He told Hontvet the afternoon before the 
commission of the crime that he had to have money, 
if he had to murder for it — and he did. It was a 
grim remark to make to the man whose house he was 
to enter so soon, feloniously. 

The old house came more clearly into view^ as I got 
a bit up from the dock; and as I drew near it I saw 
that it had l^een sadly shorn and neglected. The 
shingles seemed to still cleave to its sagging roof, but 
falteringly; but the clapboards were going the way 
of the blood-stained wall paper and the window 
sash. The souvenir hunter had been here in force, 
and I doubt not but by this time the whole house 
has been distributed after a fashion. The lintels 
of the door were doorless, and the winds from the 



OLD YORK 405 

sea had been blowing over this deserted threshold 
for many years. I went into the house, through 
which the storms of years had likewise surged, drench- 
ing its silent floors with wet, and as I stood amid the 
broken shadows of its blanched walls, I had no diffi- 
culty in recalling the crime and its details with photo- 
graphic distinctness. First of all was the crowded 
court room and its tediously selected panel of twelve 
jur}Tnen; the distinguished and scholarly justice who 
presided, the Hon. Justice Barrows; and below, about 
the bar, the like distinguished counsel and its on- 
looking members; and behind the somewhat con- 
tracted space occupied by the lawyers, the awed and 
gaping adjimct of humanity whose curiosit}^, or 
resentment, had overflowed the bounds of capacity 
and comfort alike. From the challenge to the array, 
the motion to "quash" the indictment, because the 
allegation of the place where the offence was com- 
mitted was indefinite and uncertain and not in con- 
formity to law, to the final "Yes " of the foreman 
and his associates upon the jury, when asked upon 
their oaths to say whether the prisoner was guilty 
of murder in the first degree, the picture is as dis- 
tinctly drawn as the landscape framed within this 
old window through which Mary Hontvet saw the 
act which she so simply and yet so graphically 
described. 

Through it all filtered the low moan of the waters 
on the outer rocks, the same that sounded through 
that fearful night. All that was needed to repeople the 
house with the Hontvet woman and the two Christen- 



406 OLD YORK 

sen girlp, and the low-browed Prussian, Wagner, was 
the pale light of the moon and the glittering snow 
above the blackness of the sea, and the otherwise 
weirdly oppressive silence of the hour when ghosts 
are said to be abroad. 

This night of the fifth and sixth of March, 1873, was 
brilliantly moon-lit. There was a light snowfall a 
short time before, and Smutty Nose lay along the 
dusky plane of the sea, a mass of glittermg luminous- 
ness. These three women were the only occupants of 
this isolated island. By the clock on the kitchen 
mantel it was bedtime, and the lights were blo^^^^ 
out. The old house was asleep, and its dwellers as 
weh. Mary Hontvet and Annethe Christensen oc- 
cupying the sleeping-room, while Karen, the sister 
of Evan, Annethe's husband, made up a couch on the 
lounge imder the kitchen mantel. The little clock 
ticked on and on, until seven minutes past one. Mid- 
night had gone. There was a shrill outcry from 
Karen, and Karen and the clock fell to the floor 
together. When the clock fell, it stopped to mark 
the time when the first murderous blow fell upon the 
helpless Karen. 

Sometime before the lock on the house door had 
been broken, and the intruder had no difficulty in 
going into a house with the mterior of which he was 
well acciuainted, for he had lived with these Hontvets 
somewhat in days gone. Undoubtedly it was a 
matter of surprise to Wagner, when he found Karen 
in his pathway. Karen must be killed, if he was to 
get Jolm Hontvet's money, which he knew was 



OLD YORK 407 

in the house. Hontvet had told Wagner he had 
stocked six hundred dollars on his winter trips fish- 
ing, and that was what he had rowed from Ports- 
mouth for. Dead women, like dead men, tell no 
tales, and with his hand to the plough, the red furrow 
must be turned. The tumult in the kitchen aroused 
the older women ; but let Mary Hontvet say it for 
me, just as she said it to the jury: "As soon as I 
heard her (Karen) halloo out, 'John killed me!' I 
jumped up out of bed, and tried to open my bedroom 
door. I tried to get it open, but could not; it was 
fastened. He kept on striking her there, and I tried 
to get the door open, but I could not; the door was 
fastened. She fell down on the floor under the table; 
then the door was left open for me to go in. When I 
got the door open, I looked out and saw a fellow 
standing right alongside of the window. I saw it was 
a great, tall man. He grabbed a chair with both 
hands, a chair standing alongside of him. I hurried up 
to Karen, my sister, and held one hand on to the door, 
and took her with my other arm, and carried her in as 
quick as I could. When I was standing there, he 
struck me twice, and I held on to the door. I told 
my sister Karen to hold on to the door, when I opened 
the window, and we were trying to get out. She said, 
' No, I can't do it, I am so tired.' She laid on the floor 
on her knees, and hanging her arms on the bed. I 
told Annethe to come up and open the window, and 
to run out and take some clothes on her. Annethe 
opened the window, and left the window open, and 
run out — jumped out of the window. 



408 OLD YORK 

"I told her to run, and she said, 'I can't run.' I 
said, you halloo, might somebody hear from the other 
islands. She said — ' I cannot halloo.' AVhen I was 
standing there at the door he was trying to get in 
three times, knocked at the door three times, when I 
was standing at the door. When he found he could 
not get in that way, he went outside, and Aimethe 
saw him on the corner of the house. She next 
hallooed, 'Louis! Louis! Louis!' a good many times, 
and I jumped to the window and looked out, and 
when he got a little further I saw him out at the win- 
dow, and he stopped a moment out there. It was 
Louis Wagner. And he turned around again, and 
when Annethe saw him coming from the corner of 
the house, back again with a big axe, she hallooed 
out, 'Louis! Louis!' again, a good many times she 
hallooed out, ' Louis,' till he struck her. He struck 
her with a great big axe. After she fell domi he 
struck her twice." 

What a graphic story, this of Mary Hontvet! In 
her terror she leapt from the same window, leaving 
the wounded Karen by the bed. Once safely away 
she burrowed among the black rocks of the shore, as 
the moon was going down beyond the roofs of Ports- 
mouth, and where John Hontvet was still baiting his 
trawls. When his trawls were baited, John Hontvet 
and Evan Christensen pushed out the Portsmouth 
dock to see, still afar off on the rocks of Smutty Nose, 
the isolate form of a woman etched against the dawn. 

It was Mary Hontvet. 

His wife led liim to the house. In telling his story 



OLD YORK 



409 



to tlie jury, he said: "I found Annetho Christenpon 
lying on the floor with her face up, a heavy IdIow under 
her eyes, a cut near her ear. I found a chair all 
broken up, and the clock was down from the shelf, and 
a mark on it where it was struck with something; it 




lay on the lounge, face down, and stopped at seven 
minutes past one." 

One of the coroner's jury adds: "Around the 
throat was tied a scarf or shawl, some colored woolen 
garment, and over the body some article of clothhig 
w\as thrown loosely." Karen was found not the less 
brutally beaten. 

As I stood by that window I saw it all, and I heard 
the cry, "Louis!" as plainly as did Mary Hontvet, so 



410 OLD YORK 

potent was the spell of the locality. I say I heard 
the cry — I thought I did, and that was all. 

That cry convicted the murderer, as it ought. 

There are some old graves here that I recalled as I 
turned from the old house, dun colored and weather 
stained, and this was all there was to suggest the 
swarthy AVagner and the tragedy of Smutty Nose on 
that bright sunny afternoon. As for the graves, I 
knew the story of the Sagimto, but there were so 
many tales of wrecks at hand, that, with a swift sur- 
vey of the haunted rookery of the Hontvets, I has- 
tened back to my dory, to find the tide had turned, 
and that my craft a few moments later would have 
left me in the lurch. 

Away from the shingle that glistens under the slant 
glory of the sun the sea is again swashing against the 
thwarts of my dory and sending the fine spray into 
my face. I saw a sail in the ofhng which I thought 
might be that of the bold Captain Kidd; and as I 
looked over Appledore way I thought I saw " Old 
Bab," the pirate spectre, signalling Kidd that there 
were strangers about. I saw the sail, and there was 
the figure of a man limned against the not far-away 
horizon of Appledore. Farther I cannot vouch. 

During the Revolutionary War the Government 
ordered the inhabitants of the Isles of Shoals to va- 
cate the islands, which they did, taking with them 
not only their household goods but their dwellings. 
Old Parson " John Tucke's house was taken down by 
his son in law and carried across water to York in 
17S0, " so the Gosport records have it. Gosport 



OLD YORK 411 

was the name of the fishing village here. This island 
was once fortified, boasting a slender armament of 
four-pounders, but one can hardly discover at this 
day where the ground was broken for the old fort. 
That was in the early days of the French occupation, 
when sorties by sea out of Quebec were not infrequent, 
and when the shore to^vns eastward w^re more or less 
harried. The site of this ante-Revolutionary defence 
was at the western end of the island. A faintly 
drawn wrinkle along the impoverished sward but 
meagrely suggests the scant panoply of war com- 
prised in its nine small cannon that once looked out 
toward the setting sun. Its construction undoubtedly 
followed the fashion of those described by Hutchin- 
son in his ]\Iassachusetts history. 

In 1660 there were forty families here; in 1661 
the General Court of the Bay province incorporated 
these islands into the towTi of Appledore, and here, 
among its earliest ministers, came John Brock, whose 
memory is linked with traditions of miracles, two of 
which will bear the retelling. 

There was, in Ms time, at the Isles of Shoals a 
fisherman who possessed much kindliness of feeling 
toward his neighbors, and whose boat was always at 
the service of the people on the adjacent islands who 
"kept church." A storm came up and swept the 
boat away. The fisherman sought his pastor, into 
whose sympathetic ear he poured his tale of loss. 

"Go home contented, good sir. I'll mention the 
matter to the Lord. To-morrow you may expect to 
find your boat," was Parson Brock's encouraging 



412 



OLD YORK 



reply; and he supplemented his assurance with a 
heart-felt prayer. 

The following day, the parson's prophecy was ful- 
filled; for the lost boat was brought up from the 
depths of the sea on the fluke of an anchor of an in- 
coming vessel; and not only was the heart of its 




ALONG SMUTTY NOSE SHORE 



owner made glad, but his faith was strengthened and 
made sure. 

Another instance of the good minister's miraculous 
powers is afforded in the tradition of the healing of 
the Arnold child. This little one fell ill and wasted 
away until death came, apparently. The parson 
called on the sadly bereaved parents and bade them 



OLD YORK 413 

to be of good cheer. He then prayed for the 
restoration of the child's hfe, of which a part has 
come down through the years. And here it is : 

" Lord, be pleased to give' some token before we 
leave prayer that Thou wilt spare this child's life! 
Until it be granted w^e cannot leave Thee!" These 
closing words were uttered with all the fervor of a 
soulful faith. 

Strange to relate, the child sneezed, to afterward 
regain its full health. 

These islands possess much of scenic grandeur, 
especially under the stress of a furious storm, when 
the gloom of the sky hugs their black rocks and the 
indriven mists and the spray soften their hard lines. 
Then the barren ribs of these islands seem to grow 
more virile; and one can feel them throb under the 
pounding of the huge waves that roll in from the 
outer seas. Then it is that the imagination warms 
up, and the old tales that hang, as it were, by shreds 
to this nakedness of earth-denuded granite, clothes 
them with the impalpable, and strange sounds vibrate 
on the ear. It is as if a host of disembodied spirits 
hover at one's elbow to weave anew the spell of the 
old days, and one sees a half score of quaint hulls of 
fishing-vessels within hail; inbreathes the savory 
odors of the fish drying on the flakes that cover 
these island slopes; sniffs the pungent smokes from 
the huddle of chimneys against the horizon blown 
down the freshening wind, and singles out the shouts 
of children from those of the men about the old- 
time fish-houses. One rubs his wits, as Aladdin did 



414 



OLD YORK 



his lamp, and their servants rehabilitate these 
silent shores with their ancient picturesqueness; and 
up and down the by-ways of old Gosport one sees 
Parson Tucke wending his way, serenely, dropping 
here and there a kindly word, as was his reputed 
fashion. 

But there is always the incessant surge and sound 
of the sea. Each rocky buttress is a huge mailed 







hand to smite back these waters that momently 
return the challenge with redoubled tumult. But 
of these seven stone heaps in the sea, what might be 
said of one is pertinent to all, except as to area; for 
of them all Appledore is the largest, and yet it seems 
always to have held the lesser place in history and 
tradition. Strike a circle about the Isles of Shoals 
and its axis would he somewhere within the southern 
half of Appledore, and from thence to any point of 
its periphery would be a scant two miles and a half. 
Star Island, though somewhat south of this axis, was 



OLD YORK 415 

evidently the most favorable location for the centre 
of its commerce. 

From Duck Island on the north to White Island 
Light on the south it is about five miles, as the crow 
flies. All these islands are boldly marked b}' broken 
shores, softened by their broideries of a few sea flora ; 
bastioned with crag-like or castellated piles of solid 
rock; striated, gullied, fissvu-ed, and rent and seamed 
with rudely sculptured galleries and shadow-haunted 
caverns that resound to the constant bass of old 



.-W^ 




DUCK ISLAND 



ocean, the warp into which are woven the lighter 
notes, the Glorias and Te Deums of Nature that are 
ever throbbing on the air hereabout. Nor can one 
say they are at all alike, for they are physically unlike. 
If one makes their close acquaintance it is to rec- 
ognize their individual charm and fascination, and 
their power to beget dreams and ruder fancies under 
the influence of their picturesque environment. Each 
has its own lore of tradition, and each after a like 
fashion becomes one's famihar; and one's errant foot- 
steps are clogged with a color of regret, as if these 



416 



OLD YORK 



secluded retreats held some long-sought panacea for 
the unrest that is the heritage of all humanity. 

After one's mid Shoals jaunt by water, one natur- 
ally gets back to Star Island, as one is likely to reach 
it first as one comes hither. My dory buries its nose 
again in the drift of kelp and devil's apron that seems 
ever sliding up and down these wet rocks with the 
lapping of the tide, and I am ashore to find here the 
same multi-dyed lichens as on Appledore and Smutty 







LONDONERS ISLAND 



Nose. The patches of grass in the hollows between 
the out-cropping ledges possess the same brilliancy 
of coloring of intense emerald, to the bleached-out 
stuffs whose color fabrics are made up of vagrant 
weeds. Here is a huge bull thistle, the only one I 
have found, thickly armored with dangerous spines, 
surmounted, Hessian-like, by a like huge pompon 
of softly luminous pink, to make one think of an 
inland hillside pasture. I imagine this verdure later 
in the season will have ripened into sharper contrasts 
of color; but with the blue water and the cyane of 



OLD YORK 



417 



the sky there are hints of tone values here that give 
one an itching for a few colors, a brush, and a bit 
of Whatman paper, so lively is the desire to catch 
and hold permanently something of this elusive 
yet luminant flood of sun and shadow. 

There are some remnants of the human touch here 
on Star Island. Here is an old stone church, a huddle 
of graves which one would hardly take for such, ex- 
cept for a pair of weather-worn slabs which are about 








OLD STONE CHURCH 

the only things translatable into memorials of an 
older people; for this old graveyard is a closed book, 
strewn as it is with rough boulders, nameless, date- 
less, that mark the almost obliterated mounds. 
Whatever of annals it ever had are now comprised 
in the stones that tell one that here lie the remains 
of the Rev. John Tucke and Parson Josiah Stevens. 
The epitaph on the stone of the former is suggestive 
of a life of great piety and loving labor, and all for a 
stipend of a quintal of winter fish per year from each 
islander, and wood enough for his needs. Parson 



418 OLD YORK 

Tucke was the teacher of its schools, which attained 
to some celebrity, and he was likewise physician, as 
well as preacher. It is safe to assume that when 
the Lord of the vineyard came he gave ten talents 
for one. He was of the class of 1723 at Harvard, 
and began his ministry here nine years later. He 
was here until his death, which came in 1773. 

Upon Star Island's windiest knoll is the memorial 
to Capt. John Smith, whose marble shaft points 
upward always, along with the quaint tower on the 
meeting-house close by, that makes one think of the 
days of New Amsterdam and the gables of the days 
of Peter Stuyvesant, better known among his com- 
peers as "Hard koppig Piet," — Headstrong Peter, 
— and by others as "Old Silver Leg." This little 
church tower is as well suggestive of Dutch tiles and 
windmills and the lazy boats of Holland; but it 
overlooks the sea in all directions, and has seen 
more than it can ever tell, begin its tales as soon as 
it may. There is a grim companionship in these 
remnants of an older day, and one looks at them all 
expectantly, but they are all alike silent and in- 
scrutable. 

Little or no romance outwardly attaches to this 
pillar that so vividly recalls the adventurous career 
of Capt. John Smith, the navigator and seeker-out 
of new comi tries; and although his name did not 
stick to the "Islands off Cape Ann," yet it was to 
Smith the credit was due for their swift recognition, 
and it is to him New England owes her name. If 
Du Monts gave these islands a name, his misfortune 



OLD YORK 



419 



was as great as that of Smith, and better deserved. 
Except for Chainplain, his sailing hither would have 
been regarded as uneventful. Drake does not seem 
inclined to give Smith the credit he so clearly deserves. 
Smith blew his horn somewhat loudly, but legiti- 
mately, as might any man who dealt in results, rather 




CAPT. SMITH'S MONUMENT 



than in long-distance perspectives, as did Du Monts 
and Gosnold, having reference to their sighting of 
the trois et quatre islands that made up this after- 
ward famous fishing-ground of the Isles of Shoals. 
Du Monts and Gosnold were content to sail past them, 
while Smith knew the feel of their gritty rocks. He 
knew them as intimates; he so spoke of them. For 



420 OLD YORK 

more than a centur,y the miportance of their fisheries 
justified Smith's estimate of them and their value. 
I confess I like "Isles of Shoals" better than the 
nominis umbra of "Smith's." But to hear the 
former is to recall with lively interest the husband 
of Pocahontas. Smith may not have ranked as a 
gentleman after the French standard, with some 
annalists, but according to the Anglo-Saxon estimate, 
he was a man of notable achievement, with whom 
personal aggrandizement was not the underlying 
motive. At least, he was never in the way of becom- 
ing a monopolist in fish and furs. His career is 
firmly fixed in one's mind, if for nothing more than 
his illustrious example of hardy and courageous man- 
hood, to whose uprightness of character and tem- 
perate administration of matters intrusted to his 
charge much praise is due. Smith's loyalty to his 
enterprises and to his king was notable as well. 

If one goes over this island of Star, as one would 
saunter down the midway of one of our great na- 
tional fairs, on the lookout for a two-legged calf or 
an exponent of some anti-lean society, or some other 
marvel or monstrosity of nature, he would find him- 
self peering into so-dubbed Betty Moody's Hole, 
whose legend reminds one of the smothering of the 
princes in London Tower; for it is related that it was 
in this shallow cavern that Betty Moody hid away 
from the Indians, and to prevent her children from 
betraying her with their outcries, strangled them. 
According to Hutchinson the Indians were here in 
1724, when they carried away two shallops. 



OLD YORK 



421 



If one can feel of nature's pulse to catch its beat, 
now and then, these strange forms of massy rock, 




THE RAGGED LINES OF LEIGHTON'S GUT 

their wild gorges and impassive crags, human asso- 
ciations would hardly be suggested. Humanity is 
puny beside these ragged lines of nature's writings 



422 OLD YORK 

or hieroglyphics, and massive sculpturings and the 
labelling of their untamed and untamable char- 
acteristics with one tradition and another, for which 
there is no semblance of authenticity, does hardly 
more than remind one of some gairish circumstance, 
the like of which the guide books use for padding. 

One of the most delightful surprises in store for 
the saunterer among these rocks is a tiny spring 
from out which bubbles a crystal tide. If one takes 
Star Island for one of nature's rugged odes, here is 
its choicest line, and with which the tradition of 
Betty Moody's Hole is as sounding brass. To drink 
of the sparkling waters of this spring, is to quaff a 
Circe's cup. Ulysses might have drimk of its magic 
cordial without the "Pe-eep" of King Picus shrilling 
in his ears. It is not unlikely that Capt. John Smith 
knew the taste of its sweet flavor, and was un- 
doubtedly the first white man to partake of its bomity. 
Christopher Levett, who was here in 1623, one may 
assume, filled liis water casks from it after his strange 
voyage hither; and what could have been more pal- 
atable after the stale juices of his English springs, 
than the cool wholesomeness of its pellucid pleasures ! 
Mayhap, Jolm Winter, who wrote Trelawney in 1641 
from the Isles of Shoals, the Isles assez hautes of 
Champlain, 1605, was not a stranger to this original 
and most delicious "Star" water. 

The islands that make up this group, known as the 
Isles of Shoals, have been aptly described as ''mere 
heaps of tumbling granite in the wide and lonely 
sea." It may be said, as truthfully, that these tree- 



OLD YORK 423 

less ribs of rock are an anomaly in nature. There 
are eight or nine of them, if one coimts everything 
above water, and they are boldly poised amid-seas, 
craggy, and dyked with lava streaks; seamed with 
gneiss and trap; weirdly modelled mto jagged cliffs 
whose rough faces are ever wet with the flymg spray; 
and recessed with noisy caverns that, intermittently 
choked and drenched with the restless tides, gurgle 
and roar their discontent with deafening riot. 

There is some verdure, but the grass is stunted. 
Here and there are patches of dwarfed wild roses 
that lend a touch of suggestive color and a rarely 
delicious odor to the picture. In the early spring one 
finds clusters of elderberry blooms that in the autumn 
have donned the purple of Tyre, and their heavy 
droops of juicy fruitage smack of the wine-press and 
the vine-clad slopes of France. 

Towards the mainland, when the summer sun has 
drunk up the mists along shore, one may scan a long 
stretch of coast that reaches from Cape Ann ; and at 
nightfall, one can count the glowing flames of the 
nine beacons that light the sea-frrer hereabout 
through the night. Topographically, it is interesting 
to know something of this famous island group. 
Appledore is the largest. If one goes its length, one 
finds it a mile tramp; if its breadth is to be spanned, 
it is a third less. Smutty Nose has almost the same 
area as Appledore. Cedar and Malaga might be 
declared a part of Smutty Nose at low tide, as 
they are accessible from the latter, dryshod, with 
the tide well out. Star Island is about one half as 



424 



OLD YORK 



large as Appledore; and from Star, a half mile across 
water, is White Island, a huge pile of stone that rises 
out of the sea in wildly picturesque disorder, and 
which owns a massive grandeur, about the base of 
which an endless procession of inrolling waves offer 
countless and elusive surf studies for the painter, 




WHITE ISLAND CLIFFS 



that defy the most rapid technique or the most reck- 
less essays of impressionistic art. 

Wherever one may stand, whichever way one may 
look, there is ever the glamour of the sea. Here, one's 
mental canvas conveniently disposed, with a bit of 
imaginary charcoal, or a brush wet with some choice 
pigment, sketch after sketch is fastened upon the 
memory, until one's portfolio is filled to its limit. 
The Isles of Shoals was one of the many painting- 



OLD YORK 425 

places of the beloved Wliittier, and here is a canvas 
or two of his filling : 

"And fair are the summer isles in view 
East of the grisly Head of the Boar, 
And Agamenticus lifts its blue 
Disk of a cloud the woodlands o'er; 
And southerly, when the tide is down, 
'Twixt white sea-waves and sand hills brown 
The beach birds dance and the gray gulls wheel 
Over a floor of burnished steel." 

Ever these sketches grow, and the poet hangs them 
on the walls of his library for his friends to enjoy, and 
as they look and listen, he dreams anew, and paints as 
he dreams — 

"So, as I lay upon Appledore, 
In the calm of a closing summer day, 
And the broken hues of Hampton's shore 
In the purple mist of cloudland lay, 
The Ri vermouth rocks their story told, 
And waves aglow with the sunset gold. 
Rising and breaking in steady chime 
Beat the rhythm and kept the time 

"And the sunset paled and warmed once more. 
With a softer, tenderer afterglow; 
In the east was moonrise, with boats offshore, 
And sails in the distance drifting slow ; 
The beacon ghmmered from Portsmouth bar, 
The white Isle kindled its great red star;" 

and the glory of the twilight, and the glow of the 

"Sunset fires along the clouds burned down," 

that merged the dusky sea into a ruddy flood, faded 
away. But Whittier was not alone in his enjoyment 



426 OLD YORK 

of these marvellous legacies of nature; for all dream 
and paint, as did he, differing only in degree; except, 
perhaps, that we turn our sketches to the wall, as if we 
would enjoy them alone, but really, because of their 
crudities. For all that, nothing one does with all 
one's heart can be without its interest and value to 
some other. 

What would not one give to catch a few bars of the 
many songs that are unsung, or a sentient glimpse 
of the pictures the painter in the bram paints as one 
sleeps! But dreams are slender things, more slender 
than the cobwebs that make the fields of a dewy morn- 
ing into webs of green and silver; and yet it is out of 
just such sleazy stuffs that Art is born. But is it a 
true note the poet strikes, when he declares that 

"All passes. Art alone 

Enduring, stays to us. 
The bust outlives the throne ; 
The coin, Tiberius." 

Does the poet forget that all things revert to the bases 
of their creation, nature? for the bronze will corrode, 
the marble crumble, and Cresar's efifigy pass, from its 
disk of gold as the moisture of one's breathing on his 
mirror. But one associates the pacts with thes^ Isles 
of Shoals, as one does the facile touch of Cham plain, 
or the resounding tread of Smith; and though Whit- 
tier, the greatest of them all, has passed through the 
gates of the Great Silence, his pictures still glow and 
pulse with the realism of his technique as softly tender 
as the moonrise, and as delicate as the coloring of the 
vagrant blossoms at his feet. 



OLD YORK 



42' 



Stretched at length under the afternoon sun, along 
some verdurous coverlet of grass that softly lines the 
cradling hummocks of these islands, with the cool sea 
winds blowing up from the indigo waters, he un- 
doubtedly saw, as I did, the phantasmagoria of these 
and the adjacent shores in the days of old, troop, like 
a flight of swallows before the rain, over and across 
his field of vision. It is a Delectable Land one looks 
out upon — these buried centuries — and. Moses- 
like, one can look, and looking can but covet the 
dervish's ointment that their treasures might be 
revealed to him. 




S 11 I50i 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS