NEW ENGLAND MAGAZINE
(AND BAY STATE MONTHLY)
An Illustrated Monthly
HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, LITERATURE, EDUCATIONAL AND GENERAL INTERESTS
NEW ENGLAND STATES AND PEOPLE
BOSTON BAY STATE MONTHLY COMPANY NO. 43 MILK STREET 1886
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1886, by the BAY STATE MONTHLY COMPANY, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. All rights reserved.
Typography by J. S. Cushing & Co., Boston. Presswork by Berwick & Smith, Boston.
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Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of the article. This issue has the Table of Contents for all of Volume IV. It also seems to be a volume in transition. On the first page of the issue, there is a note that states that it is VOL. IV. NO. 1. of the Old Series, and VOL. I. NO. 1. of the New Series. The full page portrait of M. R. Waite, Chief-Justice of the U. S. listed in the table of contents as facing page 1 did not appear in the scans.
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CONTENTS OF VOLUME IV.
Abbot Academy. Six Illust. by Frank A. Bicknell and others Annie Sawyer Downs 136
Along the Kennebec, (Illust.) Henry S. Bicknell 197
Andover, An Illustrious Town, (Illust.) Rev. F. B. Makepeace 301
Art in Book Illustration Charles E. Hurd 37
Illustrations: The Christ Child—Forest of Ardennes—Stamboul—Ianthe—Tower of the Mengia—The Lady of the Lake—"How they Carried the Good News"—Evening by the Lakeside—Maternity—"The Swanherds where the sedges are"—The Silent Christmas.
Attleboro, Mass. An historical and descriptive sketch C. M. Barrows 27
Barnard, Henry, The American Educator The late Hon. John D. Philbrick 445
Bennett, Hon. Edmund Hatch 225
Boston University School of Law Benjamin R. Curtis 218
Brown University, (Illust.) Reuben A. Guild, LL.D. 1
Cape Ann, A Trip Around Elizabeth Porter Gould 268
Child, Lydia Maria Olive E. Dana 533
Daughter of the Puritans, A Anna B. Bensel 452
Dorris's Hero.—A Romance of the Olden Time Marjorie Daw 463
Editor's Table 87, 177, 279, 378, 475, 557
Magazine Literature—Georgia versus New England Prohibition— German "Housekeeping Schools"—The Historic Spirit—The old NEW ENGLAND MAGAZINE and its successor—Notes—An Historical Parallel—Archdeacon Farrar's Eulogy on the Founders of New England—The Presidential Message—A Note of Peace in Turbulent Times—Society sacrificing its Ornaments—Fall of the Salisbury Government—Bostonian Society—Webster Historical Society—Literary Labors of Miss Cleveland—Socialism in America and Europe—The Chinese Problem—A Short History of Napoleon the First—The Century on International Copyright—Christian Charity and Freedom—Comparative Marriage Statistics—Neither Caste, Class, nor Sect in the late Civil War—Free Education System—The Convict's Family—A Representative American—Train-Wrecking—The Institute of Civics—New England Summer Resorts—The Value of Recreation—The Sensational Press.
Education: Progress and Prospects of Education in America 280
Education 184, 381
Elizabeth: A Romance of Colonial Days. Chapters XXIX.-XXXIII. Frances C. Sparhawk 77, 168, 250
Forty Years of Frontier Life in the Pocomtuck Valley Hon. George Sheldon 236
Grand Array of the Republic in Massachusetts Past Commander-in-Chief George S. Merrill 113
Hawthorne's Last Sketch P. R. Ammidon 516
Historical Record 91, 185, 281, 382, 477, 560
Irish Home Rule Agitation: Its History and Issues Rev. H. Hewitt 157
Judicial Falsifications of History Hon. Chas. Cowley, LL.D. 457
King Philip's War, A Romance of Fanny Bullock Workman 330, 414
Literature and Art 91, 192, 294, 482, 565
Lucy Keyes.—A Story of Mt. Wachusett. I. 551
Index to Magazine Literature 193, 278, 389, 483, 567
Maple-Sugar Making in Vermont, (Illust.) J. M. French, M.D. 208
Myth in American Coinage Isaac Bassett Choate 537
Necrology 61, 190, 285, 380, 479, 562
New Bedford, (26 Illust.) Herbert L. Aldrich 423
New England Characteristics Lizzie M. Whittlesey 374
New England Library and its Founder, The Victoria Reed 347
New England Magazine, The Original Rev. Edgar Buckingham 153
New England Manners and Customs in Time of Bryant's Early Life Mrs. H. G. Rowe 364
Notes and Queries.—Answers 95
Objections to Level-Premium Life Insurance G. A. Litchfield 68
Olden Time, In 291
On Detached Service.—An Episode of the Civil War Charles A. Patch, Mass. Vols. 121
Otis, James, Junior Rev. H. Hewitt 319
Port Hudson, An Incident of William J. Burge, M.D. 548
Publishers' Department 96
Social Life in Early New England Rev. Anson Titus 63
Toppan, Colonel Christopher 60
Town Meeting-House and Town Politics in the Last Century, A Atherton P. Mason, M.D. 127
Trinity College, Hartford, (Illust.) Prof. Samuel Hart, D.D. 393
Tufts College, (6 Illust. by F. A. Bicknell) Rev. E. H. Capen, D.D. 99
Veritable Trader, A A. T. S. 529
Wayte, Richard and Gamaliel, and some of their descendants Arthur Thomas Lovell 48
Webster, Daniel, and Col. T. H. Perkins John Rogers 12
Webster, Editorial Note on Daniel 217
Webster, The Life and Character of Daniel Hon. Edward S. Tobey 228
Webster's Vindication Hon. Stephen M. Allen 509
Webster Historical Society Papers.—The Webster Family, (Illust.) Hon. Stephen M. Allen 340, 409
Williams College Rev. N. H. Egleston 485
To a Friend Edgar Fawcett 12
The Mendicant Clinton Scollard 112
Trust J. B. M. Wright 249
The Oriole Clinton Scollard 267
The Singer Laura Garland Carr 339
Trust Arthur Elwell Jenks 373
To Oliver Wendell Holmes Edward P. Guild 413
The Picture Mary D. Brine 421
Hunting of the Stag of Oenoe Clinton Scollard 503
On Hoosac Mountain Edward P. Guild 527
Bonnie Harebells Anna B. Bensel 536
FULL PAGE PORTRAITS.
M. R. Waite, Chief-Justice of the U. S. Facing 1
Madame Sarah Abbot " 99
Edmund H. Bennett " 197
James Otis " 301
Thomas Prince " 344
Henry Barnard " 393
Mark Hopkins " 487
NEW ENGLAND MAGAZINE
BAY STATE MONTHLY.
Old Series January, 1886. New Series
VOL. IV. NO. 1. VOL. I. NO. 1.
Copyright, 1885, by Bay State Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
BY REUBEN A. GUILD, LL.D.
Brown University owes its origin to a desire, on the part of members of the Philadelphia Association, to secure for their churches an educated ministry, without the restrictions of denominational influence and sectarian tests. The distinguishing sentiments of the Baptists, it may be observed, were at variance with the religious opinions that prevailed throughout the American colonies a century ago. They advocated liberty of conscience, the entire separation of church and state, believer's baptism by immersion, and a converted church-membership;—principles for which they have earnestly contended from the beginning. The student of history will readily perceive how they thus came into collision with the ruling powers. They were fined in Massachusetts and Connecticut for resistance to oppressive ecclesiastical laws, they were imprisoned in Virginia, and throughout the land were subjected to contumely and reproach. This dislike to the Baptists as a sect, or rather to their principles, was very naturally shared by the higher institutions of learning then in existence.
In the year 1756, the Rev. Isaac Eaton, under the auspices of the Philadelphia and Charleston Associations, founded at Hopewell, New Jersey, an academy "for the education of youth for the ministry." To him, therefore, belongs the distinguished honor of being the first American Baptist to establish a seminary for the literary and theological training of young men. The Hopewell Academy, which was committed to the general supervision of a board of trustees appointed by the two associations, and supported mainly by funds which they contributed, was continued eleven years. During this period many who afterwards became eminent in the ministry received from Mr. Eaton the rudiments of a good education. Among them may be mentioned the names of James Manning, Hezekiah Smith, Samuel Stillman, Samuel Jones, John Gano, Oliver Hart, Charles Thompson, William Williams, Isaac Skillman, John Davis, David Jones, and John Sutton. Not a few of the academy students distinguished themselves in the professions of medicine and of law. Of this latter class was the Hon. Judge Howell, a name familiar to the early students of Rhode Island College, as the University was at first called, and to the statesmen and politicians of that day. Benjamin Stelle, who was graduated at the College of New Jersey, and who afterwards, in the year 1766, established a Latin school in Providence, was also a pupil of Mr. Eaton at Hopewell. His daughter Mary, it may be added, was the second wife of the late Hon. Nicholas Brown, the distinguished benefactor of the University, and from whom it derives its name.
The success of the Hopewell Academy inspired the friends of learning with renewed confidence, and incited them to establish a college. "Many of the churches," says the Rev. Morgan Edwards, "being supplied with able pastors from Mr. Eaton's academy, and being thus convinced from experience of the great usefulness of human literature to more thoroughly furnish the man of God for the most important work of the gospel ministry, the hands of the Philadelphia Association were strengthened, and their hearts were encouraged, to extend their designs of promoting literature in the Society, by erecting, on some suitable part of this continent, a college or university, which should be principally under the direction and government of the Baptists."[B]
Mr. Edwards, to whom reference is made in the foregoing, was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, to which he had recently been recommended by the Rev. Dr. Gill, and others, of London. He was a native of Wales, and an ardent admirer of his fellow-countryman, Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island. Possessing superior abilities, united with uncommon perseverance and zeal, he became a leader in various literary and benevolent undertakings, freely devoting to them his talents and his time, and thereby rendering essential service to the denomination to which he was attached. He was the prime mover in the enterprise of establishing the college, and in 1767 he went back to England and secured the first funds for its endowment. With him were associated the Rev. Samuel Jones, to whom in 1791 was offered the presidency; Oliver Hart and Francis Pelot, of South Carolina; John Hart, of Hopewell, the signer of the Declaration of Independence; John Stites, the mayor of Elizabethtown; Hezekiah Smith, Samuel Stillman, John Gano, and others connected with the two associations named, of kindred zeal and spirit. The final success of the movement, however, may justly be ascribed to the life-long labors of him who was appointed the first President, James Manning, D.D., of New Jersey. His "Life, Times, and Correspondence," making a large duodecimo volume of five hundred and twenty-three pages, was published by the late Gould & Lincoln, of Boston, in 1864.
In the summer of 1763, Mr. Manning, to whom the enterprise had been entrusted, visited Newport for the purpose of arranging for the establishment of the college in Rhode Island. He was accompanied by his friend and fellow townsman, the Rev. John Sutton. They at once called on Col. John Gardner, a man venerable in years and prominent in society, being Deputy Governor of the Colony, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. To him, Manning unfolded his plans. He heard them with attention, and appointed a meeting of the leading Baptists in town at his own house the day following. At this meeting Hon. Josias Lyndon and Col. Job Bennet were appointed a committee to petition the General Assembly for an act of incorporation. After unexpected difficulties and delays, in consequence of the determined opposition of those who were unfriendly to the movement, a charter was finally granted, in February, 1764, for a "College or University in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England in America."
This charter, which has long been regarded as one of the best college charters in New England, while it secures ample privileges by its several clear and explicit provisions, recognizes throughout the grand Rhode Island principle of civil and religious freedom. By it the Corporation is made to consist of two branches, namely, that of the Trustees, and that of the Fellows, "with distinct, separate and respective powers." The Trustees are thirty-six in number, of whom twenty-two must be Baptists or Antipaedobaptists, five Quakers or Friends, five Episcopalians, and four Congregationalists. Since 1874 vacancies in this Board, have been filled in accordance with nominations made by the Alumni of the University. The number of the Fellows, including the President, who, in the language of the charter, "must always be a Fellow," is twelve. Of these, eight "are forever to be elected of the denomination called Baptist or Antipaedobaptists, and the rest indifferently of any or all denominations." "The President must forever be of the denomination called Baptists."
But though Rhode Island had been selected for its home by the original projectors of the institution, and a liberal and ample charter had thus been secured, the college itself was still in embryo. Without funds, without students, and with no present prospect of support, a beginning must be made where the president could be the pastor of a church, and thus obtain an adequate compensation for his services. Warren, then as now, a delightful and flourishing inland town, situated ten miles from Providence, seemed to meet the requisite requirements; and thither, accordingly, Manning removed with his family in the spring of 1764. He at once commenced a Latin school, as the first step preparatory to the work of college instruction. Before the close of the year a church was organized, over which he was duly installed as pastor. The following year, at the second annual meeting of the corporation, held in Newport, Wednesday, September 3, he was formally elected, in the language of the records, "President of the College, Professor of Languages and other branches of learning, with full power to act in these capacities at Warren or elsewhere." On that same day, as appears from an original paper, now on file in the archives of the library, the president matriculated his first student, William Rogers,[C] a lad of fourteen, the son of Captain William Rogers of Newport. Not only was this lad the first student, but he was also the first freshman class. Indeed, for a period of nine months and seventeen days, as appears from the paper already referred to, he constituted the entire body of students. From such feeble beginnings has the university sprung.
The first commencement of the college was held in the meeting-house at Warren on the seventh day of September, 1769, at which seven students took their Bachelor's degree. They were all of them young men of promise. Some of them afterwards filled conspicuous places in the struggle for national independence, while others became leaders in the church, and distinguished educators of youth. Probably no class that has gone forth from the college or university in her palmiest days of prosperity has exerted so widely extended and so beneficial an influence, the times and circumstances taken into account, as this first class that graduated at Warren. The occasion drew together a large concourse of people from all parts of the Colony, inaugurating, says Arnold, the earliest State holiday in the history of Rhode Island. A contemporary account preserves the interesting facts that both the President and the candidates for degrees were dressed in clothing of American manufacture, and that the audience, composed of many of the first ladies and gentlemen of the Colony, "behaved with great decorum."
Up to this date, "the Seminary," says Morgan Edwards, "was, for the most part, friendless and moneyless, and therefore forlorn, insomuch that a college edifice was hardly thought of." But the interest manifested in the exercises of Commencement, and the frequent remittances from England, "led some to hope, and many to fear, that the Institution would come to something and stand. Then a building and the place of it were talked of, which well-nigh ruined all. Warren was at first agreed on as a proper situation, where a small wing was to be erected, in the spring of 1770, and about eight hundred pounds, lawful money, was raised towards erecting it. But soon afterwards, some who were unwilling it should be there, and some who were unwilling it should be anywhere, did so far agree as to lay aside the said location, and propose that the county which should raise the most money should have the college." Subscriptions were immediately set on foot in four counties, but the claimants for the honor were finally reduced to two, viz., Providence and Newport. The question was finally settled, at a special meeting of the Corporation held in Warren, February 7, 1770. "The people of Newport had raised," says Manning, in his account of this meeting, "four thousand pounds, lawful money, taking in their unconditional subscription. But Providence presented four thousand, two hundred and eighty pounds, lawful money, and advantages superior to Newport in other respects." The dispute, he adds, lasted from ten o'clock Wednesday morning until the same hour Thursday night, and was decided, in the presence of a large congregation, in favor of Providence, by a vote of twenty-one to fourteen.
Soon after this decision, the President and Professor Howell, with their pupils, removed to Providence, occupying for a time the upper part of the brick school-house on Meeting Street, for prayers and recitations. On the fourteenth day of May, 1770, the foundations of the first college building, now called University Hall, were laid; John Brown, one of the "Four Brothers," and the famous leader in the destruction of the Gaspee two years later, placing the corner stone. It was modelled after "Nassau Hall" in Princeton, where President Manning and Professor Howell were graduated. The spot selected for it was the crest of a hill, which then commanded a view of the bay, the river, with the town on its banks, and a broad reach of country on all sides. The land comprised about eight acres, and included a portion of the original "home lot" of Chadd Brown, the associate and friend of Roger Williams, and the "first Baptist Elder in Rhode Island." Now that the buildings of the city have crept up the hill, and, gathering round the college grounds, have stretched out far beyond them, thus shutting out the nearer prospect, the eye can still take in from the top of the building the same varied and beautiful landscape, which once constituted one of the chief attractions of the site.
On Saturday, December 7, 1776, Sir Peter Parker, the British commander, with seventy sail of men-of-war, anchored in Newport harbor, landed a body of troops, and took possession of the place. Providence was at once thrown into confusion and alarm. Forces, hastily collected, were massed throughout the town, martial law was proclaimed, college studies were interrupted, and the students were dismissed to their respective homes. The seat of the Muses now became the habitation of Mars. From December 7, 1776, until May 27, 1782, the college edifice was occupied for barracks, and afterwards for a hospital, by the American and French forces.
In the spring of 1786, President Manning, whose graceful deportment, thorough scholarship, and wise Christian character had commended him to all his fellow-citizens, was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly of Rhode Island to represent the state in the Congress of the Confederation. This was during a crisis of depression and alarm, when the whole political fabric was threatened with destruction. He, however, returned to his college duties at the close of the year, being unwilling to remain longer away from the scenes of his chosen labors. With the momentous questions of the day he was thoroughly familiar, and he afterwards, by his voice and by his pen, contributed very materially to the adoption of the Federal Constitution by the State, in 1790. He died very suddenly in the summer of 1791, in the fifty-fourth year of his age. His death was regarded as a public calamity, and his funeral was largely attended, not only by the friends of the college, of which he may be regarded in one sense as the founder, but by a vast concourse of people from all parts of the town and the State in which he lived.
Dr. Manning was succeeded in the presidency by the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Maxcy, who during the previous year had held the temporary appointment of Professor of Divinity. The career of this remarkable man indicates a high order of genius. At the early age of fifteen he had entered the Institution as a pupil, graduating in 1787 with the highest honors of his class. Immediately upon graduating he was appointed tutor, which position he held four years. During his brilliant career of ten years, in which he was the executive head of the college, men were educated and sent out into all the professions, who, for learning, skill, and success in life, will not suffer in comparison with the graduates of any period since.
Dr. Maxcy resigned the presidency in 1802, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Asa Messer, a graduate under Manning, in the class of 1790. He held the office until 1826, a period of twenty-four years. Under his wise and skilful management the college prospered; its finances were improved; its means of instruction were extended; and the number of students was greatly augmented. It was in the beginning of his administration that the college received the name of Brown University, in honor of its most distinguished benefactor, Hon. Nicholas Brown. This truly benevolent man was graduated under Manning in 1786, being then but seventeen years of age. He commenced his benefactions in 1792, by presenting to the Corporation the sum of five hundred dollars, to be expended in the purchase of law books for the library. In 1804 he presented the sum of five thousand dollars, as a foundation for a professorship of oratory and belles-lettres; on which occasion, in consideration of this donation, and of others that had been received from him and his kindred, the Institution, in accordance with a provision in its charter, received its present name. Mr. Brown died in September 1841, at the age of seventy-two. The entire sum of his recorded benefactions and bequests, giving the valuation which was put upon them at the time they were made, amounts to one hundred and sixty thousand dollars.
Dr. Messer was succeeded in the Presidency by the Rev. Dr. Francis Wayland, who was unanimously elected to this office on the thirteenth of December, 1826. His administration extended over a period of twenty-eight and a half years, during which the University acquired a great reputation for thorough analytical instruction. His treatises on "Moral Science," and "Intellectual Philosophy," were used as text-books in other colleges, while "The Moral Dignity of the Missionary Enterprise" gave him a world-wide celebrity as a preacher. He resigned in 1855, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Barnas Sears, who continued in office twelve years, when he resigned, having been appointed agent of the Board of Trustees of the Peabody Educational Fund. During his administration, which extended through the financial crisis of 1857, and the long years of civil war, the University prospered, the facilities for instruction were increased, a system of scholarships was established, and large additions were made to the college funds. Dr. Sears was succeeded by Rev. Dr. Alexis Caswell, a graduate of the University, and for more than thirty-five years an honored and successful professor in the Institution. He was thus thoroughly conversant with its history, and familiar with its special needs. The Rev. Dr. E. G. Robinson, the present active and efficient president, entered upon his duties in the fall of 1872. He, too, is a graduate of the Institution over which he now presides, being a member of the class of 1838.
The buildings of the University are ten in number. Of these the oldest is "University Hall," which has already been described. This venerable structure, so rich in historical associations, and so dear to all the graduates, has recently been thoroughly renovated and modernized, its external appearance remaining the same, at an expense of nearly fifty thousand dollars. The "Grammar School Building," now rented to private parties, and occupied as at first for a preparatory or classical school, was erected in 1810, the cost having been defrayed by subscription. "Hope College" was erected in 1822, at the expense of Hon. Nicholas Brown, who named it after his only surviving sister, Hope Ives, wife of the late Thomas Poynton Ives. "Manning Hall" was erected in 1834, also at the expense of Mr. Brown, who named it after his revered instructor, the first President of the College. "Rhode Island Hall," and the "President's Mansion," were erected in 1840, at the expense mostly of citizens of Providence; Mr. Brown, with his wonted liberality, contributing ten thousand dollars. The "Chemical Laboratory" was erected in 1862, through the exertions of Professor N. P. Hill, late United States Senator from Colorado. The new "Library Building," which has been pronounced by competent judges to be one of the finest of its kind in the country, was erected in 1878, at a cost, exclusive of the lot on which it stands, of ninety-six thousand dollars. Both the building and the grounds were a bequest of the late John Carter Brown, a son of the distinguished benefactor. The new dormitory, "Slater Hall," was erected in 1879, by Hon. Horatio N. Slater, a member of the Board of Fellows, and a liberal benefactor of the University. "Sayles Memorial Hall," which was dedicated, with appropriate ceremonies, in June, 1881, is a beautiful structure of granite and freestone, erected at the expense of Hon. William F. Sayles, a member of the Board of Trustees, in memory of his son, who died in the early part of his collegiate course. It is used for daily recitations, while its spacious hall, adorned with portraits of distinguished graduates and benefactors, serves for Commencement dinners and special academic occasions.
The "Bailey Herbarium," the "Herbarium Olneyanum," and the "Bennett Herbarium," contain altogether seventy-one thousand eight hundred specimens, arranged in good order for consultation, and constituting an important addition to the means of instruction in Botany. The Museum of Natural History and Anthropology, in Rhode Island Hall, contains upwards of fifty thousand specimens, implements, coins, medals, etc., classified and arranged by Professor J. W. P. Jenks. The Library, which dates back from the year 1767, when the Rev. Morgan Edwards collected books for it in England, numbers sixty-three thousand choice and well bound volumes, and a large number of unbound pamphlets. Among the recent additions is the valuable and unique "Harris Collection of American Poetry," bequeathed by Hon. Henry B. Anthony, a graduate of the University, and for twenty-five years a member of the United States Senate. The books of the Library are arranged in alcoves according to subjects, and free access is allowed to the shelves. The funds of the University, according to the report of the Treasurer for April, 1885, amount to $812,943. There are sixty-six scholarships for the aid of indigent students, and also premium, prize, and aid funds, amounting to $40,000. The Library Funds amount to $36,500.
The Faculty consists of the President, twelve Professors, two assistant Professors, five Instructors, two assistant Instructors, one Librarian, one assistant Librarian, a Registrar, and a Steward. The present number of undergraduates, according to the annual catalogue for 1885-86, is 239. The number of graduates, as appears from the triennial catalogue, is 3,191. About one fourth of this number are in italics, indicating that they have been ordained and set apart for the work of the Christian ministry. Of these upwards of one hundred have appended to their names "S. T. D.," including bishops eminent for their piety and learning, missionaries of the cross in foreign lands, presidents of theological schools, and religious teachers whose names are conspicuous in the republic of letters, and whose virtues and deeds are held in grateful remembrance.
[A] Brown University, the Charter of which was granted in 1764, is the seventh American College in the order of date. Harvard College was founded in 1638; William and Mary College, Virginia, in 1692; Yale College, in 1701; College of New Jersey, in 1746; University of Pennsylvania, in 1753; and Columbia College, in 1754.
[B] Appendix to President Sears' Centennial Discourse, page 63.
[C] Mr. Rogers was graduated in 1769. In 1772 he removed to Philadelphia, and was ordained pastor of the first Baptist Church. He became distinguished for his eloquence; was made a Doctor in Divinity; and during the war rendered good service as a brigade chaplain in the Continental army. He was an honored member of the Masonic Fraternity, and an intimate friend of Washington. The late William Sanford Rogers, of Boston, who died in 1872, bequeathed to the University the sum of fifty thousand dollars to found the "Newport Rogers' Professorship of Chemistry," in honor of his father, Robert Rogers, who was graduated in 1775, and of his uncle, William Rogers, a member of the first graduating class.
TO A FRIEND,
On his Departure for a Tour round the World.
BY EDGAR FAWCETT.
In losing thee, dear friend, I seem to fare Forth from the lintel of some chamber bright, Whose lamps in rosy sorcery lend their light To flowery alcove or luxurious chair; Whose burly and glowing logs, of mellow flare, The happiest converse at their hearth invite, With many a flash of tawny flame to smite The Dante in vellum or the bronze Voltaire!
And yet, however stern the estrangement be, However time with laggard lapse may fret, That haunt of our fond friendship I shall hold As loved this hour as when elate I see Its draperies, dark with absence and regret, Slide softly back on memory's rings of gold!
DANIEL WEBSTER AND COL. T. H. PERKINS.
A SUMMER-DAY OUTING IN 1817.
BY JOHN K. ROGERS.
On the morning of Thursday, the fourteenth day of August, 1817, Col. Thomas H. Perkins, after an early breakfast, left his house on Pearl Street in Boston, and entered his travelling carriage, having in mind a pleasant day's excursion with his friend, Mr. Daniel Webster, for a purpose which will hereafter appear.
Though now given up to trade, Pearl Street was then the site of some of the finest dwellings in the city, and prominent among these was Col. Perkins's mansion, afterwards munificently bestowed, with other gifts, upon the Massachusetts Blind Asylum, which then became the Perkins Institution for the Blind, and occupied the building for its charitable purposes.
As his comfortable and substantial equipage passed down the gentle slope towards Milk Street, it met with a general recognition, for Boston was then a town of some thirty thousand people only, and Col. Perkins one of its best known citizens.
Born in 1764, at five years of age he saw from his father's house in King Street the Boston Massacre, and, after receiving a commercial education, was for more than fifty years a leading merchant in his native city. His military title was not one of courtesy only, but conferred upon him as commander of the Corps of Independent Cadets, a most respectable body of citizens, upon whom devolved the annual duty of escorting the Governor and Legislature to hear the time-honored Election Sermon, which marked the opening of the General Court in the month of January.
Passing up Milk Street, then also a street of dwellings,—among them the birthplace of Franklin,—the Old South Church, which at that time had received only its first "desecration," was soon reached, and the carriage turned into Washington Street, opposite the Province House—with its two large oak trees in front, and the grotesque gilt Indian on the roof with bended bow, just then pointing his arrow in obedience to a gentle breeze from the south-west; then up the narrow avenue of Bromfield Street, with the pretty view of the State House over the combined foliage of Paddock's elms and the Granary Burial Ground, and, turning into Tremont Street, our traveller was soon at Park-Street Corner.
The noble church edifice which graces this sightly spot, though sadly dealt with in its general symmetry, still lifts its lofty spire with undiminished beauty, and justifies the stirring lines of Dr. Holmes:—
"The Giant standing by the elm-clad green; His white lance lifted o'er the silent scene; Whirling in air his brazen goblet round, Swings from its brim the swollen floods of sound."
As our friend turned into Park Street on this summer morning, the giant's lance threw its shadow far into the Common among the cows which were quietly cropping the dewy grass within the enclosure of the old rail fence, while his brazen goblet clanged the hour of seven.
As the substantial citizen of to-day passes up this street, where shops are rapidly displacing the mansions of the last century, he looks with honest pride upon Boston's crowning glory, the gilded dome which, like a great golden egg, is nested upright upon the roof which shelters the annually-assembled wisdom of the Old Commonwealth. Around its glowing swell the orbit of the sun's kiss is marked by an ever-moving flame, and even its shadows are luminous.
As he looks across the Common he catches glimpses of the "New Venice" which has been built upon the lagoons of the Back Bay, and sees among its towers and spires one beautiful campanile which, by its graceful inclination to the south, recalls Pisa's wonder, and lends a special charm to the view.
Upon the little eminence near the Frog Pond, once the site of the fort built during the British occupation to defend the city from the American army encamped on the opposite shore, rises the monument which commemorates the war of the Rebellion and the gallant men of Boston who lost their lives in defence of the Government.
On that pleasant morning in 1817, neither the beautiful new city nor the sad monument greeted the eye of the good Colonel, for the Common formed the western boundary of the town, and the British earthworks were still upon the little hill.
Could he have had a prophetic vision of the one, his honest pride in his native town would have risen almost to ecstasy. Could he have known of the other, his patriotic soul would have sunk within him, and the pleasure of his day's journey would have given place to grief.
Rounding the Common, by the Hancock mansion, with its lilac bushes and curiously wrought iron balcony, Walnut Street was soon reached, and, near its junction with Mount Vernon Street, the house of Mr. Webster.
The future "Defender of the Constitution" was no sluggard. It was his habit to "Rise with the lark and greet the purpling east," to use one of his favorite quotations, and the carriage had hardly stopped when he appeared, and, exchanging kindly greetings with the Colonel, took his place beside him.
Mr. Webster was at this time thirty-five years old, and had taken up his residence in Boston to resume the practice of his profession, after representing his native State of New Hampshire for two terms in Congress.
Col. Perkins was among the first to recognize his abilities, and a strong attachment had grown up between them. A marked element in the Colonel's character was his constant desire to investigate for himself remarkable developments in nature and art; and on this occasion, when he expected an unusual gratification of his curiosity, no company could be more congenial than that of his friend, the young advocate.
As the two companions made their way down the north side of Beacon Hill towards Charlestown bridge, their conversation, cheerful and even gay through the prospect of an interesting and pleasant excursion, turned from private matters to topics of local interest, and thence to national affairs.
Mr. Webster's experiences at Washington naturally took the lead, and were listened to with attention by his companion. Mr. Monroe was at this time taking an extended tour through the Northern States, having occupied the presidential chair but a few months; the "era of good feeling" had fairly commenced, partisan violence had for the time abated, and the country was at peace with all the powers of the earth.
Soon our travellers pass Charlestown bridge, leaving Copp's Hill and Christ Church, with its memories of Paul Revere, behind them, and approach Bunker's Hill, where eight years later Mr. Webster was to inaugurate the building of the monument with an eloquent address.
Next they cross the bridge to Chelsea, and, continuing their way through the little village beyond, the long stretch of the Salem Turnpike over the Lynn marshes opens to them, with the wooded heights of Saugus on the north, the wide sands of Lynn beach on the south, and few signs of life beside the skimming flight of wild fowl and the occasional plunge of a seal at their approach.
And now the wide expanse of land and sea, and the cool breeze stealing in from the water, turn their conversation to things maritime and foreign, to the wonders of the deep, and to the danger of those who "go down to the sea in ships," and brave its storms and hidden rocks.
The Colonel, from his youth fond of travel, had now many a story to tell of his early voyages on business to Charleston, Saint Domingo, Batavia, and Canton, and of his visits to Europe, one of which brought him in contact with some of the stirring scenes of the French Revolution in 1792.
Thus beguiling the time, they pass through the village of Lynn, with a glance at High Rock on the one side and a longer look on the beautiful peninsula of Nahant on the other. Between Lynn and Salem lies a rocky and sterile tract, to this day almost without an inhabitant, but not without its picturesque and beautiful spots, like that for instance about the little pond, which is crossed by the floating bridge, through the cracks of whose rude floor the water spouts in miniature geysers as the carriage rolls across.
Near by is the region where the famous witchcraft delusion took its rise; but reminiscences of this cruel drama are cut short by the abrupt transition to the closely-built streets of Salem, where our friends soon find themselves moving on through Essex Street, passing the East India Marine Hall, containing the contributions of Salem's numerous merchants and mariners, passing also the White mansion, a few years later to be the scene of a foul murder, in the investigation of which Mr. Webster was to make one of his most eloquent pleas, thence by the well-known Common and through the long avenue to Beverly bridge, over which they pass to the ancient town of Beverly, and are launched on that most delightful seashore road, which, continuing on through Manchester and Gloucester and round Cape Ann, has been pronounced the loveliest in New England.
Soon the Beverly Farms, and then Manchester, are reached,—both places known to-day as the summer residences of some of Boston's best citizens, whose comfortable and elegant homes are reared upon every commanding spot.
Next, after Manchester, the environs of Gloucester,—Kettle Cove, now rejoicing in the more pleasing name of "Magnolia," taken from the swamp near by, where grow those fragrant flowers whose creamy petals, set off by dark-green leaves, are popularly supposed to scent the air for miles around,—a race of strangers whose translation from the sunny South to this northern clime is one of the wonders of the region.
After Magnolia, they ride through the pleasant woods to Fresh Water Cove, passing Rafe's Chasm and Norman's Woe Rock. Now the extreme end of Eastern Point, stretching away to the right and forming the outer part of Gloucester Harbor, appears in sight; but it is not till the top of Sawyer's Hill is reached that our friends, gaining a full view of the wide-spread panorama, call a halt to enjoy its varied beauties.
Right before them appears the rocky point on which Roger Conant's colony of 1623, the first of the cape and the oldest after Plymouth and Boston, held its brief sway; farther on, Ten-Pound Island with its light-house; then the village of Gloucester, the old fort, the still older wind-mill, both prominent objects; and in the distance the twin lighthouses of Thatcher's Island, with Railcut Hill to the north-east, and, stretching to the north, the low, marshy level through which Squam River meanders to the sea by the sands of Coffin's Beach.
Under any circumstances this panorama would have challenged the admiration of our friends; but seen, as they saw it, on a clear summer day, with the wide expanse of blue water breaking under the influence of a gentle breeze into curling waves, which with gathering force dashed playfully upon the yellow ledges and shining beaches, with flocks of sea-gulls sweeping in graceful circles or brooding upon the surface, no ordinary description could do it justice.
The fair peninsula of Cape Ann, a large part of which now lay before them, called by the Indians "Wingershaek," has since been thrice named. By Samuel de Champlain, who visited in it in 1605, it was called Cap aux Isles, the islands being those now known as Straitsmouth Island, Thatcher's Island, and Milk Island. By Captain John Smith, who landed upon its rocky shores in 1614, it was named Tragabigzanda, and the same islands were called The Three Turks' Heads; and by Prince Charles, who, after Smith's return to England, gave it the name of Cape Ann, in honor of his mother, Queen Ann, consort of James the First.
The colony of Roger Conant was afterward transferred to Salem; but within the next ten years a permanent settlement was made, which in 1642 was incorporated under the name of Gloucester, in honor of the ancient city of that name in England.
From the first, Cape Ann has been the home of fishermen, though a considerable foreign commerce was at one time carried on by its thrifty mariners. Eminently patriotic, the town bore its share in the country's struggle for independence, two companies of Gloucester men having fought at Bunker's Hill, and its bold privateers did good service upon the ocean, not only in the Revolution, but in the later struggle with the mother country.
Our travellers, having satisfied their curiosity as to the general appearance of the town, are getting under way again for a nearer acquaintance, and becoming more and more interested in the special object of their visit.
As they approach the village, it is evident that something unusual is going on; they pass people moving in the same direction, with eager and expectant faces, to one of whom Mr. Webster ventures these questions: Can his serpentine majesty be seen to-day? and where to the best advantage? Receiving satisfactory replies, the coachman is ordered to drive to the old wind-mill, where they arrive in a few moments,—from the shady side of this quaint structure, whose merrily revolving sails were at their usual work, a large part of both the outer and inner harbors being easily seen.
Let us now take some note of occurrences which at this time were agitating the little town, and the fame of which had extended to Boston.
On Sunday, the tenth of August, four days before, Mr. Amos Story, rowing in his boat near Ten-Pound Island, was greatly disturbed, not to say alarmed, by the appearance, at some twenty rods' distance, of a sea monster, totally unlike anything he had ever seen in his long experience as a fisherman and mariner. Moving at the rate of a mile in two minutes, nearly one hundred feet in length, as large as the body of a man, with a head like a turtle, but carried high out of the water, with the body of a snake, but with the vertical motion of a caterpillar, and of a dark-brown color, this enormous reptile brought such fear to the honest fisherman as induced him to make a rapid retreat to a safe distance.
His account of the monster naturally set all the people on the lookout, and for nearly every day in the following two weeks it was seen under different circumstances by many of the inhabitants of Gloucester and the adjacent villages.
At the present day, on the first notice of such a wonderful appearance, the daily papers would send their reporters from far and near, and, with the help of the Associated Press, curious readers all over the country would the next morning have accounts of the Sea Serpent served to them at breakfast-time. Instantaneous photographs would be attempted, and the illustrated weeklies would give the world picturesque, if not accurate, representations of the monster and the localities in which he appeared. But in 1817 the news spread slowly, and no public mention was made of the matter till Saturday the 16th, when the Commercial Gazette of Boston, under the modest caption of "Something New," alludes to the reports that had been in circulation for some days, and describes the preparations making by a party who expected to capture the bold intruder.
The subject occupied the attention of the papers in Salem and Boston more or less for the next two months, for although the visit of the serpent seems to have ended early in September, records of former appearances in different parts of the world were fully discussed. It is worthy of notice that almost from the first the authentic character of the reports was admitted. The Chronicle and Patriot of Boston says, under date of Aug. 20, "Doubts having been expressed by some as to the fact of an aquatic serpent of the magnitude described having been seen in the harbor of Gloucester, we have conversed with gentlemen of that place of undoubted veracity who have seen him since the former accounts were published, and who declare that they have in no way been exaggerated."
These are brief extracts from the papers during the time that they were occupied with the subject: Aug. 18, "two serpents were seen playing together"; Aug. 25, one was seen "feasting on ale-wives in Kettle Cove"; Aug. 28, he was "still hovering on the coast and feeding on herring"; Sept. 4, "It is hoped that the naval commander on the coast will attempt its capture"; Sept. 10, he was seen at Salem, "after the swarms or schools of bait," and again, near Half-way Rock, "coiled up on the surface of the water, reposing after a hearty breakfast of herring"; Aug. 27, the "Aquatic Novelty" was "off Eastern Point"; Sept. 24, there was a notice of "Beach's picture about to be exhibited"; Oct. 1, "the Panorama of Gloucester with the great Sea Serpent will be ready for exhibition on Monday next." One account states that "he is cased in shell"; another, that "it is proposed to make a number of strong nets in the hope of entangling and so killing him"; Oct. 8, "the panorama is on exhibition at Merchant's Hall, Milk Street," and "Beach has in the hands of an engraver a view on a small scale, and is painting one 26 x 14 feet, including the town and harbor of Gloucester."
A small serpent of strange appearance having been taken on the land near Loblolly Cove, one correspondent writes at some length that it must have been the progeny of the two seen playing together, who were doubtless the parents.
Fortunately for the cause of science, there was at the time an association of naturalists called "The Linnaean Society of New England," whose prompt action caused the various reports about the matter to be carefully sifted, and the result placed before the public in an authentic manner. This society met at Boston on the 18th of August, and appointed a committee to collect evidence in regard to the existence and appearance of the strange animal.
The committee consisted of the Hon. John Davis, Jacob Bigelow, M.D., and Francis C. Gray, Esq., all men of the highest respectability, and of undoubted fitness and capacity for the work they were to undertake, and the result of their labors was published in a pamphlet of fifty-two pages, the title of which cautiously states that the report is "relative to a large marine animal, supposed to be a serpent, seen near Cape Ann, Massachusetts, in August, 1817." It was accompanied by an engraving of the "Scoliophis Atlanticus," the small snake captured near Loblolly Cove, representing the animal at full length, about three feet, and also in parts after dissection, with full explanations.
From this pamphlet it appears that on the 19th the committee wrote to Hon. Lonson Nash, a magistrate of Gloucester, asking him to examine upon oath some of those who had seen the animal, not allowing them to communicate with each other the substance of their respective statements till they were all committed to writing, and proposing certain rules with regard to the method of conducting the examination, as well as a list of twenty-five carefully prepared questions to be put to the persons examined.
Eight depositions received from Mr. Nash, and three others taken in Boston, all read before the Society on the 1st of September, are given in full, as well as further correspondence with Mr. Nash, and various accounts of similar appearances in former years and at other places. The committee seem to have no doubt but that the depositions were truthful and accurate, and suggest that the small serpent which they describe may have been of the same species as the larger one, and possibly its progeny.
The eight depositions taken at Gloucester were those of Amos Story, mariner; Solomon Allen, 3d, shipmaster; Epes Ellery, shipmaster; William H. Foster, merchant; Matthew Gaffney, ship carpenter; James Mansfield, merchant; John Johnston, Jr., a boy of seventeen; and William B. Pearson, merchant. The deponents were selected for their probity; each of them saw the serpent at different times and under different circumstances, and their very interesting statements, too long to be here given in full, are briefly summarized, so far as description is concerned, in the following extracts:—
This is what they say as to the length of the monster: "eighty to ninety feet," "forty feet at least," "forty to sixty feet in length," "fifty feet at least," "nothing short of seventy feet," "seventy feet at least," "not surprised if one hundred feet," "at least a hundred feet."
And this as to his size: "size of a man's body," "size of a half barrel," "joints from head to tail," "joints about the size of a two-gallon keg," "large as a barrel," "bunches on his back about a foot in height," "two and a half feet in circumference."
His movements are thus described: "slow, plunging about in circles, and sometimes moving nearly straight forward," "sunk directly down and appeared two hundred yards distant in two minutes," "did not turn down like a fish, but settled directly down like a rock," "moved at the rate of a mile in two or three minutes," "turned short and quick till his head came parallel with his tail," "sinuosities vertical," "in different directions, leaving on the water marks like those made by skating on the ice," "a mile in a minute," "vertical, like a caterpillar," "turns short and quick, head and tail moving in opposite directions and almost touching," "a mile in five or six minutes," "a mile in three minutes," "turned short, head and tail moving in opposite directions, and not more than two or three yards apart," "twelve or fourteen miles an hour," "swifter than any whale," "rising and falling as he moved," "head moving from side to side," "a mile in four minutes."
His head is "like the head of a sea-turtle," "carried ten to twelve inches above the water," "larger than the head of any dog," "like the head of a rattlesnake, but nearly as large as the head of a horse," "head two feet above the surface of the water," "top of his head flat," "a prong or spear about twelve inches long which might have been his tongue," "as large as a man's head," "large as a four-gallon keg," "about a foot above the water," "eye dark and sharp," "tongue like a harpoon thrown out two feet from his jaws," "mouth open ten inches," "like a serpent."
And his color is "dark brown," "black or very dark," "white beneath," "head, top brown; under part nearly white."
In some respects more interesting than the report of the Linnaean society are the statements published in New York in the fall of 1817, under the title of "Letters from the Hon. David Humphreys, F.R.S., to the Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, London, containing some account of the Serpent of the Ocean frequently seen in Gloucester Bay."
Mr. Humphreys, a citizen of Connecticut apparently, visited Gloucester repeatedly in August, and, though he did not succeed in getting a look at the great snake, had many interviews with those who did, and was present when the depositions were taken.
The narrative of his experience at Gloucester, with some letters from Mr. Nash, a detailed account of efforts to catch the serpent, and some statements in regard to its visit to Long Island Sound later in the year, make eighty-six pages of pleasant reading, which those curious to know about the matter will find well worth their attention.
His version of the depositions is also interesting, varying somewhat as it does from that published by the Linnaean Society, and he goes at length into the reasons for believing the small captured serpent to have been the offspring of the large one.
It is easy to account for the variations in the evidence taken before Mr. Nash, when we find from the statements of the parties that the distance at which the serpent was seen varied from thirty feet to one hundred and fifty yards. But there is agreement in the important points which clearly separate the animal described from all well-known fishes. The undulating vertical motion producing the appearance of humps upon the back, the small size of the body compared with its length, the sharp turns when the head and tail moved in opposite directions, the elevated head, and the protruding tongue, are more or less recognized in every description.
Let us now return to our friends, whom we have left at the old mill. It was the curiosity of Col. Perkins, who was already familiar with the water-snakes of the Indian Ocean, and strongly inclined to believe in the existence of the monster serpent, which led him, at the first reports from Gloucester, to plan this visit to the scene of the excitement. And in good truth he had planned it well, and had selected his time with that rare good luck which attended most of his mercantile operations. It had been a "field-day," so to speak, in Gloucester Harbor, the serpent having been visible, more or less, all the morning.
Looking out over the water, where boats were moving cautiously about, Rocky Neck and Ten-Pound Island on one side and the old fort on the other, our friends found that most of the points from which a good view could be obtained were occupied by spectators waiting for the sinuous monster, who was not long in making his appearance, and seemed to enjoy the occasion as well as his company.
Sometimes playing in wide circles, sometimes moving rapidly in a straight line, leaving a long wake behind him, he at length approached so near the lookout of our travellers that, with the Colonel's field-glass, they could easily see his snaky head, his open mouth, his gleaming eyes, and his protruding tongue.
One adventurous boatman, Mr. Matthew Gaffney, getting within some thirty feet, fired at him with his gun, carrying an eighteen-to-the-pound ball, and aiming full at his head. The monster turned, and sinking down like a rock, went directly under the boat, making his appearance a hundred rods off, apparently unhurt. He continued his playful gambols as before, finally moving off out of the harbor till he was lost in the distance.
Our friends now found themselves the objects of attention on the part of several gentlemen, who, hearing of their visit, had sought them out, in order to pay due respect to such distinguished visitors. Among them were Mr. Lonson Nash, the eminently respectable lawyer of the town, before whom were made the affidavits to which we have already alluded; Capt. Jack Beach, an eccentric gentleman of leisure, whose drawing of Gloucester harbor, with the serpent occupying a prominent position, was afterward enlarged into a painting, and subsequently engraved; and Col. William Tappan, landlord of the tavern where our friends were to dine.
The meeting between this last gentleman and Mr. Webster was one of unusual interest. Col. Tappan had been the instructor of Mr. Webster's youth at Salisbury in his native State, and was greeted with unaffected and hearty cordiality by his now eminent pupil. The future statesman had been the brightest boy in his school, so Master Tappan said, and among other well-earned rewards obtained a new jackknife for committing to memory a large number of verses from the Bible. After hearing sixty or seventy, with several chapters yet in mind, his instructor gave up the trial, and afterwards told the boy's father that he "would do God's work injustice if he did not send him to college."
In company with Col. Tappan and the other gentlemen, our travellers repaired to the tavern, which was near at hand, and enjoyed not only a good dinner, but much pleasant conversation in regard to the events of the week, varied with reminiscences of school days by the master and pupil.
But the waning afternoon soon warned them that an early departure was necessary if they were to reach their homes before dark. Their carriage was ordered, leave taken of their new acquaintances, as well as of the landlord, and with lingering looks at the now quiet scene of the day's excitement, they passed rapidly out of the town over the same road by which they entered it in the early part of the day.
Seen from the opposite side, each point in the home journey presented new beauties to add to the pleasant remembrances of the morning. The afternoon shadows gave a tender touch to the landscape, and a serious tone to the conversation, which, dealing reverently with the great problems of life and immortality, continued till the friends arrived at their homes in the early dusk.
Sixty-eight years have passed since the events which have been narrated, and the two friends whom we have followed through that beautiful August day have long since passed to their reward.
The shrewd, far-seeing, and successful merchant and public-spirited citizen, completing at the extreme old age of ninety a well-developed life, and leaving a reputation, not only without a stain, but adorned with the memory of numerous philanthropic and benevolent acts.
The able lawyer, after rising to the highest fame as a statesman and orator, passing away at threescore and ten, his latest years overshadowed by the grief of a disappointed ambition.
A few weeks before his death at Marshfield, in 1852, Mr. Webster presented to Colonel Perkins a copy of his published speeches, with the following written therein:—
"MY DEAR SIR,—If I possessed anything which I might suppose likely to be more acceptable to you as a proof of my esteem than these volumes, I should have sent it in their stead. But I do not; and therefore ask your acceptance of a copy of this volume of my speeches. I have long cherished, my dear sir, a profound, warm, affectionate, and I may say a filial regard for your person and character. I have looked upon you as one born to do good, and who has fulfilled his mission; as a man without a spot or blemish, as a merchant known and honored over the whole world; a most liberal supporter and promoter of science and the arts; always kind to scholars and literary men, and greatly beloved by them all; friendly to all the institutions of religion, morality, and education; and an unwavering and determined supporter of the constitution of his country, and of those great principles of civil liberty which it is so well calculated to uphold and advance. These sentiments I inscribe here in accordance with my best judgment, and out of the fulness of my heart: and I wish here to record, also, my deep sense of the many personal obligations under which you have placed me in the course of our long acquaintance. Your ever faithful friend,
Should this dedication, truly as it portrays the excellent character of the person to whom it was addressed, seem to be redundant and overstated, let us remember that the writer, feeble and sorrowful, was penning his last words to his old and perhaps best friend, and its very extravagance at once assumes a childish pathos. The critical eye as it scans the record becomes dim with the sympathetic tear, and reads between the blurred lines only the passionate tribute of a broken spirit.
In the ample stairway of the Boston Athenaeum hang portraits of the two men,—that of Colonel Perkins, painted by Sully in 1833, is an exceedingly graceful presentation, and represents him at full length, carefully dressed, and seated in an easy attitude. The accessories are skilfully introduced, especially the large and exquisitely shaped china pitcher, which doubtless represents some gift received through his commercial relations with the East. The picture of Mr. Webster, also full length, was painted by Harding in 1849, and is an excellent likeness as well as a painting of much merit, though lacking the charming qualities of the other portrait.
During these sixty-eight years, great changes have come upon the little village of Gloucester, now grown to a city of more than twenty thousand people; its houses, then few and rude, have increased in number till the rocky hills are covered almost to their summits with the neat dwellings of its still hardy and adventurous population.
The old wind-mill, from whose vicinity our friends saw the monster snake, has given way to a summer hotel, whose occupants look out upon the beautiful bay and watch the incoming and outgoing of the fishing fleet of five hundred staunch schooners, manned by the bold mariners who seek their prey on "Georges," the Grand Banks, or the far waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence; while the old fort, which never succumbed to a foe, has given way to the invasion of industry, till its grounds are covered and its walls obscured by buildings intended for occupation or labor.
And what during these sixty-eight years has befallen the enormous reptile, whose visit to Cape Ann called our friends to examine for themselves his claim to be the real Sea Serpent?
In what waters plays the sportive monster to-day? Did he return to the coast of Norway, where, according to the naturalists of the country, such as he live at the bottom of the sea, rising sometimes to the surface in summer, but plunging again as soon as the wind raises the least wave? Or did the bullet of Matthew Gaffney inflict a wound of which he afterwards perished in some submarine retreat?
The most cautious naturalists, while endeavoring to explain on various hypotheses the authentic appearances of marine monsters resembling serpents,—one theory being that they are abnormal cases of unusual growth of ordinary marine animals, and another that they are individuals of an almost extinct race,—are compelled to admit that the time may come when, with further evidence, scientific examination will accurately determine the question, and the Sea Serpent take its place among the acknowledged dwellers in the sea.
BY C. M. BARROWS.
When the Puritans removed from Charlestown to Trimountain in search of wholesome water-springs they found the ground preoccupied by Motley's "Hermit of Shawmut;" and when the godly people who discarded the musical Wannamoisett and gave their plantation a homely Bible name, joined to their borders the tract of wilderness lying between them and the Bay line, they found the same whimsical anchoret snugly domiciled in his "Study Hall" beside a stream that bounded their new possessions. Thus it happened that the first English inhabitant of Boston and the pioneer settler in the wilds of Rehoboth North Purchase were one and the same person.
For years this piece of unimproved real estate waited for a name, until, at length, for some unaccountable reason, it was christened after the English town where George Eliot attended Miss Lathom's school when a child, and caught a chronic cold, from the effects of which she seemed never to have quite recovered, and it was called Attleborough. The original purchase included a much larger area than that comprised in the present township; and, like the then adjacent domain of Dorchester, Attleboro parted with one section of land and then another, until its acreage to-day is but a fraction of that perambulated by the colonial surveyors. On the west side a triangle, locally known as the Gore, was set off in 1746 to form the town of Cumberland, R. I., while from the south and east sides were taken generous slices to piece out the towns of old Rehoboth, Mansfield, and Norton.
The history of Attleboro, like that of so many other New England towns, naturally divides itself into two widely different epochs, each interesting to the modern reader. From the year 1661, when Wamsetta, chief sachem of Pokanokett, made the original conveyance of the territory to Capt. Thomas Willett, representing the town of Rehoboth, until the close of the last war between this country and Great Britain, is a period rich in annals of men and deeds, whose records live on musty parchments and crumbling gravestones. It is crowded with tales of hardship, struggle, and heroism out of which some local Scott or Cooper with wizard hand might fashion many books of poetry or fiction:—
"And so, by some strange spell, the years, The half-forgotten years of glory, That slumber on their dusty biers, In the dim crypts of ancient story, Awake with all their shadowy files, Shape, spirit, name in death immortal, The phantoms glide along the aisles, And ghosts steal in at every portal."
Then, after the primeval wilderness had been subdued under the patient tillage of more than one generation of sturdy farmers, there opens a second period extending to the present date,—busy years of modern industry, when the nervous spirit of enterprise and the restless fever for gain have stimulated brain and brawn to ceaseless endeavor.
It would be difficult for the present dwellers in the thriving villages of Attleboro to imagine a time when but a single white inhabitant had a fixed abode within the limits of Capt. Willett's extensive purchase, when Ten-Mile River had never reflected a pale face or turned a mill-wheel, and when the site of humming Robinsonville was occupied by a clump of Indian wigwams in a beaver clearing. The historic elm on the Carpenter estate, under which Whitefield preached so eloquently, had not yet sprouted from the seed; the falling leaves had scarcely obliterated the footprints of persecuted Roger Williams, making his toilsome retreat from the new settlement on the Bay to the headwaters of the Narragansett; and the Bay road was only an uncertain path blazed through a dense forest, along which not a hundred pairs of Anglo-Saxon feet had ever trudged.
In this vast solitude the intrepid William Blaxton had spent thirty lonely years before the original purchase was made. He built his rude house on the extreme western frontier of Attleboro Gore, beside the river which now bears his name with altered spelling, made friends with his Indian neighbors, planted the first apple-orchard in North America, and trained an imported bull to serve him as a saddle-horse. There, like Thoreau in his Walden hut, the old divine encountered nature in her rougher aspects and studied her wonderful book untrammelled by even the slight social conventionalities that obtained in colonial Boston.
The first settlement within the limits of the present town was made beside a stream which crossed the Bay road, on the site of the Hatch tavern, opposite Barden's building in North Attleboro; and because this stream marked a journey of ten miles from Seekonk, the early travellers named it Ten-Mile River. Here the famous John Woodcock took up his abode in 1663 or 1664, and established a garrison which afterwards formed one of a chain of strongholds extending from Boston to Rhode Island. An avowed foe of the red race who surrounded him, he found them hostile and treacherous, and had no recourse but to fortify himself behind his stockades, and keep the stealthy warriors at bay with his musket. At this dangerous outpost Woodcock bravely defended his little family for many years, until quite a community of white people had placed themselves under his protection, and he became a sort of feudal lord, into whose rude castle they might retreat in time of danger. He was a restless spirit, fond of hazardous adventure, to whom civilized life was unendurably tame, and many are the current traditions of his prowess and bloody encounters with the savage aborigines. In 1670 he opened a licensed ordinary on his premises, the first public house in the country; and from that time a hostelry was kept on that spot for nearly two centuries.
Other settlements were naturally made in the open meadows easily accessible from the Bay road; and so we find the next community growing up in what is now the Falls Village, where a corn mill was erected in 1686. Then a few new families, immigrating from Rehoboth, made themselves a home in the south part of the town; and near the close of the century settlers found their way down the winding Ten-Mile River, and built houses at Mechanics.
For obvious reasons the east precinct, as Attleboro-bred people are wont to call it, is the newest part of the town; the north and the south sections were traversed by the one thoroughfare then open as a highway between the home of the Puritans and the shores of Narragansett Bay, and for years after these began to number a very respectable colonial population, the now thickly settled area in the east village bounded by Peck, Pleasant, Pine, Capron, and Main streets, contained no buildings except the Balcom Tavern with its contiguous barn, a small dwelling-house near the present site of the old straw shop, and another house about forty rods further to the south.
Lying in the very heart of the Narragansett country, this town was constantly menaced by King Philip and his braves during the period of the Indian wars, and two of the bloodiest fights occurred within the limits of Attleboro Gore. The settlers found it necessary to go about their daily work armed, lest some red man skulking in the borders of the forest should attack and slay them. John Woodcock, the leading spirit among them, was a special object of savage hatred, and in the summer of 1676 he and his sons were surprised while at work in a field, and, before they could retreat within the garrison, one son was killed outright, and another was severely wounded.
On Sunday morning, March 26, 1676, Captain Pierce, who, with a company of sixty-three white men and twenty Cape Indians, was advancing upon the enemy, was surrounded by about nine hundred Indians at a point on the Blackstone not far from William Blaxton's house. With true Spartan courage he and his little band resolved to sell their lives at a high price; so forming a circle back to back, they made a desperate resistance for two mortal hours, and after they had fallen it was found that about three hundred of their cruel captors had perished with them.
In the same war another brutal butchery entailed upon another spot in the Gore just north of Camp Swamp the name of "Nine Men's Misery." There three triads of white soldiers, finding themselves surrounded by a large force of savages who had been lying in wait for them, placed their backs against a huge rock and fought like heroic knights in the old Arthurian days, until all were slain. Afterwards their nine bodies were buried in one wide grave, which was marked by a heap of stones; and many years later a company of young Boston physicians exhumed the bones, and one skeleton was identified as that of Bucklin of Rehoboth, because the jaws contained a set of double front teeth.
In the Revolutionary struggle Attleboro men bore an active and honorable part, and some of her noblest sons were under fire in the hottest engagements of the eight years' war. A respected citizen of the town recently told the writer that immediately after the battle of Bunker Hill, Caleb Parmenter, Thomas French, and Isaac Perry proceeded to Boston on foot, and joined the army then in command of General Ward; and the first of the three, on whom Governor Samuel Adams afterwards conferred a lieutenant's commission, was present at Cambridge when General Washington assumed charge of the army. A company of men was also raised in Attleboro for service at the siege of Newport, R. I., and in the engagement at Quaker Hill they pushed bayonets with the British three times in a single day, and two of their number, Israel Dyer and Valentine Wilmarth, were slain.
At an early date in the history of the town two taverns (already referred to) were established, which under successive proprietors flourished for many years, and acquired a wide reputation for abundant good cheer and excellent liquors. As model public houses of the time they were not inferior to the Punch Bowl at Brookline, Bride's in Dedham, or even the Wayside Inn in ancient Sudbury, made forever famous by Longfellow. Each in its way was
"A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, * * * With weather-stains upon the wall, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, And creaking and uneven floors, And chimneys huge and tiled and tall."
Hatch's Tavern, the older of the two inns, was John Woodcock's ordinary enlarged to meet the demands of the times. It stood on the identical spot where his garrison was planted, and until quite recently some of the logs that formed the ancient stockades might be found built into the older portion of the structure. In 1806 the original house was removed a few feet to the south to make room for a new tavern, and there it is still standing. The new house in which the original proprietor and landlord made his enviable reputation was needed to accommodate the increased public travel soon after the opening of the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike, as described in an article entitled "From the White Horse to Little Rhody," and published in the first volume of this magazine. No house along the entire line of this once important thoroughfare dispensed a more generous hospitality or was presided over by a more genial host. It was twelve miles out from Providence, and a place where all the stages stopped to change horses, and allow passengers to partake of a breakfast, or some favorite beverage at the bar.
Somewhat later in the century Balcom's Tavern in the east part of the town sprung up, and was maintained for a long period as a popular house of resort. The original structure, enlarged and changed by successive additions, still stands on the corner of South Main and Park streets. Here have been entertained not only celebrities of the earlier days, but famous modern men, among whom might be mentioned Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wendell Phillips, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, who visited the town as lyceum lecturers. In 1852 this house was purchased by Dr. Edward Sanford, who remodelled and repaired it, and made it his own private residence for thirty years, when it passed into the care of tenants.
The proprietors who gave their names to these public houses were men quite widely known in their day, though for different reasons. Col. Hatch was emphatically a man of affairs, and full of business both public and private; wiser, perhaps, for this world than the next, he sought to become a political leader and office-holder among his townsmen. Col. Balcom on the contrary was a merry sporting-man, equally at home among gamblers and horse-racers, and in the society of gentlemen. He was politic and adroit, not lacking in good points, though he had conspicuous vices. The former kept a quiet, orderly, and eminently respectable house; the latter liked to entertain a jovial company, and enjoyed the fun too well to frown upon youthful pranks or hilarious conduct. Among many good anecdotes told of Col. Balcom, there is one very characteristic, and good enough to find a record here.
It is related that Parson Holman and other pious people of the village often sought to induce the colonel to reform his course of life and seek those things which concerned his eternal peace; but the wily landlord, while receiving them with a most gracious suavity, usually managed to evade the force of their appeals and frustrate their most serious efforts for the good of his soul. On one occasion, so runs the story, the deacons of the church made him a special visit, and, being ushered into the parlor, were given a patient audience while they pointed out the moral danger of his way of life, and besought him earnestly to reform. But presently the colonel was called out, and having obtained a short leave of absence ordered a flask of his best brandy carried in to the deacons, with sugar and glasses. Of course it was in entire accord with the custom of those days for the worthy pillars of the church to partake of the proffered beverage; and, on his return Col. Balcom said: "Now, gentlemen, let's take a drink, and then I'm ready to talk." So the deacons drank again. Scarcely had they picked up the lost thread of the conversation, however, when the landlord was once more obliged to excuse himself in order to attend to some urgent duty as host; and, in fact, several like interruptions occurred in the course of an hour. But in each case the imperturbable colonel returned with the same hearty words upon his lips: "Now, gentlemen, let's take a drink, and then I'm ready to talk." Then as the smooth brandy began to tell on the deacons, they gradually modified their estimate of the landlord's sins and their personal duty, until at length one of them rose from his chair and turning to the other said: "Waal, I guess Col. Balcom ain't the wust sort o' man in the world—come, brother, let's go home."
Although nature and circumstances would seem to have destined Attleboro for an agricultural town, its reputation rests chiefly on its mechanical industries, and during the eighteenth century there were several small cotton mills running in the place. As early as 1825, a traveller following the Ten-Mile River from the Wrentham line to where the stream slips into Seekonk on the other side of the town, would have found two cotton mills near where Whiting's jewelry factory now stands, a third near the site of the "Company's" shop, and still a fourth at Falls Village. Farther on he would have come upon the rude beginnings of the button factory which has flourished so long at Robinsonville; a nail factory at Deantown and another at the Farmers, as well as a cotton mill on the spot where the stove foundry now stands in the same village. Robert Saunderson's forge would have been blazing at Mechanics beside John Cooper's corn mill, and Balcom's machine shop in active operation where R. Wolfenden's sons now ply the trade of dyers. Hebronville also would then, as now, have greeted the visitor with the music of swift shuttles and whirling spindles, as he passed on to the end of his tour of inspection at Kent's grist mill, the oldest, probably, in the country.
These rude mills were the original sources of a progressive, ever-widening, material prosperity for which Attleboro is justly noted. Its people display great business thrift; its many commodious factories are crowded with skilled mechanics and trained artisans; and its abundant products are sold by men of enterprise in all the markets of the world. The farm and garden products of the town make a very respectable display at the annual local and county fairs; the textile and other manufactures would make no mean showing; but all these industries are eclipsed by the one business that absorbs the majority of labor and capital, namely, the making of jewelry.
It has been facetiously, sometimes sneeringly, remarked that the Attleboro jewelers are as nearly creators as finite beings can be, because they almost make something out of nothing, while the cheap trinkets they turn out by the barrel have to be hurried to market by rapid express, lest they corrode and tarnish before they can be disposed of. Such jests, however, convey a very erroneous and unfair notion of the real character of most of the work done in those large shops, and the amount of money invested in the business. It is true that grades of very poor jewelry are made in Attleboro, and it is equally true that most of the goods manufactured there are both costly and durable; it is not "washed brass" that goes to the trade with the stamp of those great firms upon it, but heavy rolled plate goods, containing such a thickness of fine gold that they may be deeply cut with the graver's tool, and will never wear down to the baser metal which it conceals. The curious and wonderful processes of this complex manufacture cannot be even hinted at in the space of such an article as this, and only an approximate estimate of the value of these products and the number of employes working upon them can be given in figures.
The census reports for the year 1880 enumerate the different manufactures of the town as artisans' tools, boots and shoes, boxes, brushes, buttons, carriages and wagons, coffin trimmings, cooking and heating apparatus, cotton goods, cotton, woollen, and other textiles, electroplating, food preparations, jewelry burnishing, lapidary work, leather, machinery, metallic goods, printing, bleaching, and dyeing. The capital invested in these industries is chiefly devoted to jewelry business, and is placed by the report at a total of $2,924,890; the products are valued at $4,345,809; and the number of employes is set at 3,378. But that census, though substantially correct when made, will not answer now; for, in the five years elapsed since it was taken, new factories have been built, new firms have started in business, and old ones have enlarged their trade.