The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 4, April, 1886
Author: Various
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Transcriber's Notes: 1) The single letter following ^ is superscripted. 2) Table of Contents / Illustrations added.

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AN ILLUSTRIOUS TOWN,—ANDOVER. BY REV. F. B. MAKEPEACE. Illustrations: Main Street, Looking North. Brechin Library. Memorial Hall And Library. Phillips Academy. Old Stone Academy. Theological Seminary. Lieut.-Gov. Phillips. Chapel, Theo. Seminary. Punchard Free School. Theological Seminary.—general View. The Old Mark Newman Publishing House. South Congregational Church.




THE WEBSTER FAMILY. BY HON. STEPHEN M. ALLEN. Illustrations: Daniel Webster On His Farm. Birth-place Of Daniel Webster.










Illustration: Hon. Henry Barnard, LL.D.

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————————————————————————————————————- OLD SERIES, APRIL, 1886. NEW SERIES, VOL. IV. NO. 4. VOL. I. NO. 4. ————————————————————————————————————- Copyright, 1886, by Bay State Monthly Company. All rights reserved.



It is said that there are twenty-six places in the United States by the name of Andover; yet when the name appears in the public prints it does not occur to any one to ask which Andover? These facts are suggestive of the wide knowledge and popularity of this historic town, and the abiding interest of scattered thousands in its welfare. Her sons have gone forth to dare and to do upon every field of honorable enterprise. Thousands of pupils have pursued their studies here, and carry precious memories of the schools, of teachers, and influences,—in a word, of Andover.

In this rapid and general view of the town,[A] all that will be attempted is to connect the past with the present, and to give a picture of Andover as it is to-day.[B]

[A] In the February number of this magazine will be found an interesting article upon Abbott Academy, and in following numbers articles, now in course of preparation, will be published upon the Theological Seminary and Phillips Academy.

[B] The history of the town has been carefully written by Miss Sarah Loring Bailey, and her volume of "Historical Sketches of Andover" is very valuable.

The natural attractions of the town are great and permanent in their character. There are neither gold mines nor alarming precipices, but there are graceful rivers, a quiet rolling landscape, and extensive views, shaded walks, and charming drives, because there are "more roads than in any other town in New England;" the air is clear and bracing, the sunsets once seen are not soon forgotten, the wild-flowers spring in abundance, and the autumnal glory draws many visitors to the town.

When Washington made his tour of the Eastern States, after his inauguration, he passed through Andover on his way from Haverhill to Lexington. He spent the night at the Abbott tavern, and left upon the face of his host's little daughter a kiss, which she was so reluctant to lose that for a week she did not wash her face. In his account of this trip he makes special mention of the beautiful country through which he was passing.

All that is most characteristic in our New England landscape finds its representation here. Its rugged granite breaks with hard lines through the stubborn soil. Its sweep of hill and valley fills the eye with various beauty. Its lakes catch its sunlight upon generous bosoms. Its rivers are New England rivers, ready for work, and yet not destitute of beauty.[C]

[C] Phillips Brooks.

The "Hill" is one mile from the depot, a very uphill way, but one which it is well worth the stranger's while to travel. Upon its top is a tract of about two hundred acres, the property of Phillips Academy, upon which stand the various buildings of the institution, now nearly seventy in number.

Prof. Keep, in a recent article, says:—

The wide prospect from Andover Hill is suggestive of the world-wide fame of the school; and the lovely elm-shaded park, in which stand the buildings of the Theological Seminary, and the church where the members of the academy worship, is a hardly less peaceful and charming scholar's retreat than are those of the college gardens of Oxford and Cambridge.

This elm-shaded park is the beautiful campus of seven or eight acres. In the background are all the buildings of the Theological Seminary, except Brechin Hall, and in front of them is the avenue of elms which makes the "Gothic window." Nothing of its kind could be more beautiful. Overhead are the interlaced branches of the lofty trees, the end of the avenue forming the exquisite window, through which extends a long vista. On either side of the mullion one has the view of a church in the distance; and in the valley of the Merrimac nestles the city of Lawrence.

Not far remote is "Carter's Hill," with its commanding view and unbroken quiet, and destined to become a favorite summer resort, for such as wish to enjoy some of New England's choicest scenery, to know some of its purest life, and to keep within an hour's ride of Boston. Within easy view are Monadnock, Wachusett, and other smaller mountains; the beautiful Merrimac River, with its populous valley, and the graceful, busy Shawshin, where it was said, the Devil baptized the witches,—contemptible when thought of as the object of great Boston's covetous desire, but important in its relation to the several mills upon its course, and for its contribution to the general beauty.

"Indian Ridge" is one of the series of lenticular hills, which continues to the north-east as far as Portsmouth, N.H., and in an irregular course may be traced westward to the Connecticut River.

This ridge is supposed to have been the spot of Indian encampments, and is within a tract of land now owned by the town, and intended as a park. Near it is the "Red Spring," and a mile or two north-east is "Den Rock," all of which are frequently visited by holiday bands of children, and by students in hours of recreation.

The Andover records date from 1639, and the town was incorporated May 6, 1646. The story of Andover's progress from its foundation until the present, is full of interest. The town's part in all the early movements was most creditable, and full of intelligence. At the close of a century of its life we find vigilance as to the character of its growing population.

The authorities believed that whatsoever a town soweth, that shall it also reap. It was therefore in vain that the "pauper immigrant" or "criminal classes" knocked for admittance. It is said that the town was "made up at the beginning of 'choice men,' 'very desirable' and 'good Christians.'"[D]

[D] Historical Sketches, p. 145.

"The selectmen were empowered to examine into the character and habits of all persons seeking residence, and to admit none who were idle or immoral.

ANDOVER, the 30th of January, 1719-20.


GREETING:—Whereas there are severall Persons com to Reside in our Towne and we feare a futer charge and as the Law directs to prevent such charge, you are Requested in his Majesty's name forthwith to warn the severall persons under wrighten: to depart out of our Town as the law directs to, least they prove a futer charge to the Towne.

[Signed by the Selectmen.]

"The town also encouraged desirable persons to settle by making them grants of land, etc. Ministers and masters of grammar schools were exempt from taxation."

In few places can the local features of the great Revolutionary struggle be as well studied as in the ample and well-preserved records of Andover. It would take many pages to tell what the town did in council and on the field, in business, and at the fireside, to encourage the patriots. So loyal was the town that its citizens were greatly trusted, and a portion of Harvard College library was sent there for its greater safety.

A pleasant description of the town is given by Thomas Houghton, an Englishman, who, writing from Andover in 1789, mentions several characteristics of the people at that period. He says: "One thing I must observe, which, I think, wants rectifying, that is, their pluming pride when adjoined to apparent poverty,—no uncommon case!"

He adds that they grow "their own wool, which they also get spun, weaved, and dyed, and both the gentlemen I am with, Hon. Samuel Phillips and his father, who is a justice of the peace, generally appear in their own manufacture, in imitation of the British."

"As to property, it seems so well secured from principle in the people that there is not such use of locks and bolts as in England. Even where I am, we have five out-door and sixty-two sash windows; yet all the barage on the doors is a wood catch on the door-snek." ...

"Oh, what a country has Britain lost by her folly! But this is too large a field to dwell on in a letter; the subject, from even poor me, would easily draw forth a volume."[E]

[E] Sketches of Andover, pp. 402-3.

Among the early students in Harvard College, from Andover, was one who was destined to immortal renown. When the rebellious spirit against England began to rise, Samuel Phillips, whose father, by the same name, was then the representative to the General Court, was one of the most earnest to fan the sacred flame. Choosing "Liberty" as the theme, while in college he wrote: "We should watch against every encroachment, and with the fortitude of calm, intrepid resolution oppose them. Unborn generations will either bless us for our activity and magnanimity, or curse us for our pusillanimity."

In 1775 he is chosen to represent the town in Provincial Congress, to be held at the meeting-house in Watertown.

His great life-work now began, a work which will be more fully described hereafter. In all the relations and duties of student, patriot, business man, judge, lieutenant-governor, and founder of Phillips Academy, he won for himself a good report, and helped to lay lasting foundations.

"Phillips School," as it was at first called, was opened April 30, 1778, in a "rude building of one story about 30 x 25 feet, done off temporarily in the plainest manner for the purpose, and not intended for more than thirty or forty scholars." From this small beginning the school has developed into the widely-famed Academy, which numbers more than three thousand graduates, and under whose instruction have passed about eleven thousand pupils. The limits of this article prevent a notice of those alumni who have become justly famous, and also of the very strong faculty of instructors, at whose head stands one of the foremost of American educators, under whose wise direction Phillips is fast becoming the synonyme of Rugby, and is already one of the important sources of supply of student-life for Harvard and Yale.

In 1785 the "joiner's shop" gave place to a new academy, which stood west of where Brechin Hall now stands, and which was burned in 1818. The third academy, erected in the same year, is now used as the gymnasium. In 1865 the present academy came into being. It is a noble structure, with excellent facilities for educational work. Its spacious hall, where occur the commencement exercises, and the annual contests for the various prizes, is adorned by the portraits of many of the Academy's illustrious dead.

The new laboratory is a part, already finished, of the proposed building, for the use of the classes in the natural sciences.

For want of funds in hand, only the east wing has been built, and this is now occupied by the class in analytical chemistry. When completed, the building will be a beautiful and a convenient structure. The walls will be of pressed brick laid in red mortar, with dark granite base, and Nova Scotia sandstone trimmings. The roof will be covered with Monson slate. The basement will be eleven feet high, mostly above ground, and will serve for the force-pump, heating apparatus, and for rough storage.

The chemical laboratory will occupy the main floor, and will be a room 40 x 30 feet. Abundant light and air are to be supplied by windows on three sides, and the system of ventilation will be excellent.

The advantages aimed at in this building are, ample space, freedom from dampness, abundant light, the means of speedy and complete ventilation, good drainage, a minimum of absorbing surfaces, and a minimum of fire risk. The building, when completed, will have a small side-room for books and balances, a private laboratory for the instructor in charge, a spacious lecture-room, a drawing-room, cabinets for the various collections in geology, mineralogy, etc., now inconveniently distant, a dry store-room, also corridors, closets, and janitor's quarters, complete.

The chaste and time-honored seal of Phillips Academy was the gift of John Lowell and Oliver Wendell, the grandfathers of Oliver Wendell Holmes; and probably, though not certainly, was engraved by Paul Revere.

In 1807 the "Class in Theology" became a distinct institution, the first of the kind in the world, whose invested endowment now reaches nearly a million dollars and which has graduated nearly 2,000 students. The Theological Seminary has passed her 75th anniversary; yet, as a representative and defender of whatever is most vigorous, active, and progressive in Christian orthodoxy, she holds an aegis that is ageless, and a sceptre imperishable. And it is said that no one man now living can read even the alphabets of all the languages through which her sons have sought to interpret the Word of God to the world. Previous to 1807 the Academy itself did a most important work in educating young men for the Christian ministry, and has contributed to the education of more clergymen than any similar school. The Academy has also been a large feeder of the Seminary and other theological schools, and for long periods has graduated every year from five to fifteen young men who have become ministers. Indeed the Academy has been called, not without reason, itself a Seminary.[F]

[F] Prof. E. G. Coy, New Englander, July, 1885.

As another article will be written upon the founders and instructors of the Seminary, we shall in this speak only of the buildings. At the north end of the long, elm-shaded avenue stands the chapel. It is built in the Gothic style, of Andover stone, trimmed with sandstone from Connecticut and Ohio. It was dedicated in 1876, and is by far the most beautiful, ecclesiastical structure in the town. The audience worshipping in it is composed of professors and their families, the students of the institutions, and a few families living near.

Then follow Phillips Hall and Bartlett Hall, and between them is Bartlett Chapel, the two former serving as dormitories, and the latter for lecture and recitation rooms. Nearly opposite the south end of the avenue is the gymnasium, and in the foreground, nearer the main street, is the imposing library building Brechin Hall.

Over three thousand students have been connected with this institution, and the illustrations which accompany this article will awaken tender and precious memories in the minds of many readers.

In 1830 it was determined to open a school in connection with Phillips Academy, for the training of teachers. The Stone Academy was erected on the square nearly opposite the present academy, and a dwelling-house, also built of stone, was used as the workshop of the students. This house afterwards became the residence of Prof. C. E. Stowe, D.D., and his talented wife. It was while living here that she wrote her "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," and received the kind and unkind notices of her great work.

This school was discontinued in 1842, for lack of funds, and the building was used as the head-quarters of the Academy,—the recitations being made in what is now the gymnasium. About twenty years ago it was burned, and the new academy erected.

Among the buildings in town which have been made historic is what is known as "the old Andover Bookstore,"—so called to distinguish it from the present publishing house. It stands on the top of the hill, is a brick structure, and is now used as a dwelling-house.

The Andover Press has always been closely allied with the literary institutions of the town. In 1809, but one year after the opening of the Theological Seminary, Mark Newman, who for fourteen years had been the eminently respected principal (the third) of Phillips Academy, resigned his office and engaged in the book business, in which he continued till near the close of his long life of nearly eighty-seven years. He died in 1859. Four years after Dea. Newman opened his bookstore, Flagg & Gould began the printing business, at first printing for Dea. Newman and others, but soon for themselves as publishers. The firm of Flagg & Gould remained unchanged for twenty years. In 1833 they admitted as partner Mark H. Newman, son of Dea. Newman. Mr. Flagg died the same year; Gould & Newman continued the business till 1841. They were succeeded by Allen, Morrill, & Wardwell in 1841, W. H. Wardwell in 1847, Flagg & Wardwell in 1848, W. F. Draper in 1849.

The relations of the publishing business to the Seminary and the enthusiasm for theological learning inspired by Prof. Stuart are well illustrated in the title of Newcome's "Harmony of the Gospels," published soon after Flagg & Gould opened their printing-office: "A Harmony in Greek of the Gospels, with Notes, By William Newcome, D.D., Dublin, 1778: Reprinted from the Text and Select Various Readings of Griesbach, by the Junior Class in the Theological Seminary at Andover, under the Superintendence of Moses Stuart, Associate Professor of Sacred Literature in said Seminary. Andover: Printed by Flagg and Gould. 1814." This was probably the first book in Greek published here. Other books have occasionally been published by the students of the Seminary. The first book in Hebrew printed at the Andover Press was Stuart's Hebrew Grammar, the Professor himself superintending the type-setting. Inspired by his zeal, Dr. Codman, in 1821, gave to the Seminary $2,000 for the purchase of type to be used for printing the Oriental languages, a kind of work then new in this country hence the name "Codman Press," which appears on the books of early date. Works or parts of works were printed in as many as ten Eastern languages, a speciality at Andover which has been continued to the present time. Equally zealous in his department was Dr. Porter, President, and Professor of Sacred Rhetoric, in directing the attention of the clergy to the study of pulpit eloquence. He published largely on that subject, some of his books attaining a very extensive sale. Prof. Stuart also published here his Commentaries, some of which, at the time, greatly agitated the theological world. They still abide the test of time and survive among the fittest. Having published as many as six editions of his own Hebrew Grammars, he translated that of Gesenius, and, in connection with Dr. Robinson, he translated also the first edition of Winer's New Testament Greek Grammar, then a book of 176 pages, now, in its seventh—Thayers—edition, one of 746 pages. Both of these works in their greatly improved form still hold the foremost rank as text-books in their respective departments.

Not far from one hundred and fifty different works of 8vo size, some of them containing several volumes, among these the "Bibliotheca Sacra," now entering on its forty-third year, until lately edited by Prof. E. A. Park, one of its founders; over one hundred and fifty books of 12mo and smaller sizes, and more than two hundred pamphlets, have been published in Andover. Many of these works were written here (also many others published elsewhere), and were the outgrowth of the institutions of the place.

At the centennial celebration of Phillips Academy, after speaking of the literary industry of the faculty, it was said, "There have been forty professors, but their wives and daughters, six women, have published books which have had a circulation of at least a million copies."

The Punchard Free School was opened for instruction in 1856. It is the High School of the town, founded and endowed by Mr. Benjamin H. Punchard, who left the sum of $70,000 for the founding of a free school. The school-house is beautifully situated on Punchard avenue, and hundreds of Andover's boys and girls have received great benefit from Mr. Punchard's wise generosity.

William G. Goldsmith, A.M., of Andover, who was the fourth principal, and a graduate of Harvard College, was elected in 1858. He resigned in 1870, but was reelected in 1871, and served until his recent appointment to the service of the Government. The universal respect and affection of the numerous alumni of "Punchard" are the well-earned eulogy of his faithful work.

Its character for good citizenship has never been lost by Andover. There is a sensitiveness to evil and a vigilant eye for immoralities, which form the best possible safeguards for a town's good name.

The policy of the town is at once conservative and progressive. The majority sentiment is easily that of an intelligent class of people, who earnestly seek true progress in all directions, but prefer that all foolish experiments should be made by other communities.

The business of the town is such as the local demands would naturally create, and in addition are the large manufacturing interests, at Ballard Vale: the Tyer Rubber Company, the Stevens Mills of Marland Village, and the Mills of Smith, Dove, & Co., the makers of the well-known "Andover Thread." All these firms have secured such a reputation for their goods that while a period of business depression may lessen the profits it has little effect upon the number of hands employed. The present population of Andover is 5,711. The growth of the town is not rapid, but has been more so of late than formerly. The student and business elements steadily increase, and the farm-houses in the remote parts of the town are favorite summer resorts of such persons as business connections keep close to Boston, but who wish to escape the heat and noise of the city.

The number of voters is 893, and of a total vote of 468 upon the question, "Shall licenses be granted for the sale of intoxicating liquors in this town?" the recent declaration was Yes, 141, No, 327. The desire for improvement in the town can easily be inferred from a statement of the appropriations for the current year. They amounted to $77,283.67, of which the following are items:—

Voted to appropriate the following sums for the different departments: For schools, $10,700; school-houses, $1,800; school-books, $1,000; sidewalks, $1,000; removing snow, $800; town-officers, $2,500; town-house, $600; fire department, $3,500; street lamps, $950; printing and stationery, $500; Spring Grove cemetery, and avails of sales of lots, $300; Memorial Day, $175; State aid, $1,400; additional pay to soldiers, $600; almshouse expenses, $4,500; almshouse, relief out of, $3,000; repairs on almshouse, $500; hay-scales, $50; State tax, $6,000; county tax, $6,000; adjustment of taxes, $500; discount on taxes, $2,000; abatement of taxes, $400; interest on notes and funds, $2,000; insurance, $200; miscellaneous, $1,500; fire-engine for Ballard Vale, $4,000; highways and bridges, $10,000; water-supply, $10,000; tree-planting, $100; new streets, $625; etc.

For six years past—1880-85—the taxes have averaged only $7.25 per $1,000,—on a low valuation of property. For healthfulness the town stands near, if not quite at the head of the list, in the vital statistics of the State. When the writer was about to make Andover his place of residence he was heartily congratulated by a friend: "People never die in Andover," said he, "from disease. They live on, and on, and on, until their friends weary of them, and shoot them." No one has been shot recently in Andover, and some have died; but the town is remarkable for its healthfulness. In 1885 there were 81 deaths, and the average age was 48+ years; while 40 were 60 years old, and upwards; 27 were over 70; 24 were over 75; 13 were over 80; 4 were over 85, and 2 were over 90. The records of the largest Sabbath school in town show only three deaths of persons under 20 years of age, for at least eight, and possibly ten years. The two funerals which the writer last attended were of persons aged 89 and 101. The Catholic priest informs me that an entire year has passed without the occurrence of death in his parish. To show that the statistics of 1885 are not exceptionally favorable to the name of the town, let us take a longer period,—say of six years, 1879-85. During this period the death-rate has been 14.45 per 1,000, which gives an average number of deaths for each year, of 79; and within this period 159, deaths have been of persons over 70 years of age. Since the new year came in 15 persons have died, and the average age of 5 was over 90 years.

Each of the nine churches in Andover has an interesting history. Of these five are of the Congregational order, and their enrolled membership numbers 1,099, nearly one-fifth of the entire population. When to this is added the membership of the Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist and Catholic churches it is probable that one person in four, of whatever age or nationality, is a member of some church. The enrolment of the Sabbath Schools is about the same as that of the churches.

This is owing partly to the fact that the "foreign element" in Andover consists largely of Scotchmen, who love the kirk; and also because the educational facilities of Andover are such as to draw hither persons of intelligence, and of literary tastes and habits.

The town is well supplied with libraries. The Memorial Hall was built to commemorate the Andover defenders of the national flag, and contains a free reading-room, well supplied with current issues of the press, and a free public library, containing 5,259 pamphlets, and 9,185 volumes, to which additions are constantly being made.

In 1865 the Library building of the Theological Seminary was erected, through the generosity of Mr. John Dove and Messrs. John and Peter Smith, at the cost of $60,000. It was named "Brechin Hall," from their native town in Scotland.

Its shelves contain more than 43,000 volumes, the gentlemen who built the library having given large sums for the purchase of books. On its walls hang the portraits of many of its founders and professors, and on the lower floor is a valuable museum and reference library. Besides these are various private libraries; and there is a community of taste, which brings all valuable books to the town in some connection.

Another educational element is that of the public lectures. The People's Course is a thrifty annual, which, each autumn, provides a series of ten entertainments at merely nominal prices. During the past year there has also been a course of Emergency Lectures; and various others, upon many topics, detached from the established courses, are of frequent occurrence. Abbot Academy provides its annual and popular series of public "Piano Recitals," under the oversight of its efficient professor, S. M. Downs.

Phillips Academy has its annual contests for the "Draper Prizes" and the "Means Prizes," and a year seldom passes in the history of the Theological Seminary without one or more courses of special lectures, in addition to those which are in constant progress, under the regular instructors of this and of the other institutions. Nor should the anniversaries, with all the strangers and alumni they bring, the stir they make, the congratulations and the partings, be forgotten.

So it is that all the important phases of our best American life are found in the history and enterprise of this illustrious town. Here one may find the house in which have lived seven generations, the head of the family bearing the same name; and the home of the recent immigrant. The educational and business interests are nobly conducted and carried to great success, and the current life is representative of good old customs and earnest strivings for the best things.

A careful study of Andover life, such as Rev. Phillips Brooks, D.D., had evidently made before writing his address for the dedication of the Memorial Hall, leads one to feel, what he has so well stated:—

"The more we look into the history of Andover the more we feel how thoroughly it is a characteristic New England town. If I wanted to give a foreigner some clear idea of what that excellent institution a New England town really is, in its history and in its character, in its enterprise and its sobriety, in its godliness and its manliness, I should be sure that I could do it if I could make him perfectly familiar with the past and the present of Andover."



Goethe's famous saying, that "Talent forms itself in solitude; character, in the stream of life,"[G] has often found striking exemplification both in the narrow sphere of individual existence, and on the broader and more conspicuous stage of national affairs; but perhaps the truth it contains has seldom been more amply illustrated than during the stormy days of the American Revolution. Great political convulsions sift peoples as the wind sifts the wheat on the summer threshing-floor, bringing into prominence their best as well as their worst features. They furnish occasion for the development and display of all that is noblest in mankind, and they offer equal scope and opportunity to all the baser susceptibilities and passions of our nature. They furnish a broader platform on which to act, and originate more exciting topics to occupy and elevate the mind, than are afforded by an orderly and undisturbed condition of society; and they are certainly better fitted to create that energy of will and heroism of purpose without which nothing noble, beneficent, and lasting can ever be accomplished.

[G] "Es bildet ein Talent sich in der Stille, Sich ein Charakter in dem Strom der Welt."

Never, perhaps, has this effect been produced in a more impressive manner, or to a fuller extent, than during the anxious years when the American colonies were slowly feeling and fighting their way to the status of an independent nation. A new order of manhood appeared, shaped by the dangers and difficulties of the time. The crisis called for men of courage and capacity, of wise council, of prompt and decisive action, and these men were forthcoming, as if providentially prepared for the hour and the occasion. Of these, one of the earliest on the scene, and, for a time, one of the most eloquent and able of the popular leaders, was James Otis, Junior. Though, in consequence of the sad affliction that darkened and distressed his later days, his labors in the cause of American independence were prematurely closed, and he was not permitted to share in the consummation of the conflict in which he had played so prominent, and spirited, and successful a part, he still deserves to be remembered with gratitude and affection by the nation, now grown big, at whose birth he so nobly played the part of midwife. James Otis was born at Great Marshes, now known as West Barnstable, February 5, 1725 (old style, February 5, 1724). His ancestor, John Otis, came from England about the year 1657, and settled in the town of Hingham. The family was from the first distinguished by public spirit, and by aptitude for places of trust and responsibility in the public service. Besides the important offices of Judge of the Common Pleas and Judge of Probate, John Otis had the honor of holding a seat in the Council of the Province for more than twenty years. His son, James Otis, born 1702, stood equally prominent in his public capacity, being a distinguished member of the Bar, an officer of the Militia, a Justice of the Common Pleas and of Probate, and a Councillor of the Province. He married Mary Allyne, by whom he had a large family, James, the subject of this sketch, being the eldest and most celebrated. Samuel Allyne, the youngest of the thirteen children, served for some time as secretary of the Senate of the United States. The eldest daughter, Mercy, displayed an aptitude for politics and literature, in which she acquired considerable reputation in those unquiet and exciting days, vigorously indorsing and seconding the action of her brother, and her husband, James Warren, in the Provincial Council. She was the anonymous author of "The Group," a stinging political satire, published in 1775, and in 1805 she produced a "History of the American Revolution."

Of the habits, character, and status of Otis, as a student at Harvard, whither he went in his fourteenth year, little is known, except what has descended to us in the shape of anecdote, such as the story of his playing the violin for a small party of young friends on one occasion, and suddenly stopping the dance by dropping the instrument, and exclaiming, "So fiddled Orpheus, and so danced the brutes." He, however, managed to graduate with honors in 1743, and to carry off his Arts degree in 1746. About two years after leaving college he commenced the study of the law in the office of Jeremiah Gridley, a lawyer of some repute, who, later on, as Attorney-General, defended the famous "apple of discord," the "Writs of Assistance," which Otis so brilliantly and successfully impeached. He resided for a short period, 1748-9, in the town of Plymouth; but the place of Pilgrim fame was at that time too slow and dull a place for the quick and active mind and ardent and ambitious temper of the rising young lawyer, and he removed to Boston, soon to be absorbed with the duties and difficulties of a large and lucrative practice, and esteemed and admired as one of the brightest ornaments of his profession. Nor was the public confidence in him misplaced, or his popularity without warrant. Governor Hutchinson, who knew him only in the capacity of a powerful personal and political opponent, was yet obliged to yield homage to his public and professional virtues, frankly declaring that "He never knew fairer or more noble conduct in a pleader than in Otis; that he always defended his causes solely on their broad and substantial foundations." Among other stories and items of fact put forth in evidence of his contempt of the pettifogging and professional lying so common in these degenerate days, is the following: Being engaged on one occasion to recover the amount of a bill which was alleged by the defendant to have been paid, he discovered, quite accidentally, among his client's papers, as the trial was proceeding, a receipt in full for the demand before the court. The paper in question had fallen into his client's hands in some way or another, and he was villanously using this advantage to wrong his neighbor. As soon as Otis detected the trick his indignation burst forth like a scorching flame, "You are a pretty rascal!" he said; "there is a receipt for the very demand now before the court."

Otis' happiness, however, such as it was, lay outside his home. His marriage with Ruth Cunningham, which took place in 1755, was far from being happy. Incompatibility of temper, and radical and stubborn differences in political principle and sentiment, were the main ingredients in the chalice of bitterness and woe which both, doubtless, helped to fill. His only son, a youth of promise, entered the navy as midshipman, and died at eighteen. His eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married a loyalist, Captain Brown, who was wounded at Bunker Hill,—an alliance that much distressed him. The sad fortune of his second daughter, Mary, was another source of grief. She had married Benjamin Lincoln, eldest son of General Lincoln, who received the sword of General Cornwallis at the surrender of Yorktown,—a young lawyer of considerable promise; but he died at twenty-eight.

It is necessary to remember that in the great drama of the Revolution, Otis was only one of many distinguished actors, and that, in order to appreciate the part he played so well, we shall require to give a brief and rapid sketch of the political situation at the time. The sudden assertion of the spirit of liberty, which the British Parliament and the Provincial Legislature, acting under its direction and control, strove to check and subdue, was the awakening of the colonial communities, not simply to a consciousness of their political rights, but, also, of a new-born power to maintain and defend them. During the first hundred years of colonial history King and Parliament, occupied with affairs of an absorbing character at home, knew little, and cared even less, about the fate and fortunes of the men and women, who, for the sake of conscience and religious freedom, had left the land of their birth and best affection, and were engaged in a heroic contest with nature, on a wild, desolate, and distant coast. The early colonists were left to a liberty almost as unfettered as the wild animals and savage tribes whom they dislodged from their native forests. When, however, the infant communities had grown strong and prosperous, and had initiated a system of commerce which bade fair to become expansive and lucrative, they at once attracted the attention of the State authorities in the land of their origin. When the conflict with Parliament began, the rights and immunities claimed by the American colonies, were not matters of statute and charter. The prescriptive right, which is founded in long-established custom and usage, rather than in positive enactment, was the ground of resistance to the encroachments of the Provincial Executive. When James Otis, in pleading against the "Writs of Assistance," said, "Taxation without representation is tyranny," he stated a great political principle; he indicated the great palladium of popular liberty; but deeper than that principle, in the hearts of the colonists, lay the sense of uneasiness at the prospect of having the privileges of one hundred and fifty years in any way compromised, disturbed, or imperilled. This was the spirit of Franklin, in his "Hints for a Reply to the Protest of the Lords against the Repeal of the Stamp Act:" "I will freely spend nineteen shillings in the pound," said he, "to defend my right of giving or refusing the other shilling; and, after all, if I cannot defend that right, I can retire cheerfully with my little family into the boundless woods of America, which are sure to afford freedom and subsistence to any man who can bait a hook or pull a trigger." This was the spirit of Otis when he complained that Parliament regarded the British colonies in America rather as "a parcel of small, insignificant conquered islands, than as very extensive settlement on the continent," with a future of unlimited development in store. This, too, was the spirit of Hawley, when, with a boldness outstripping that of Otis himself, he said, "The Parliament of Great Britain has no right to legislate for us." The latter sentence is memorable as being the first instance in which the power of the British Parliament was distinctly denied in a colonial legislature.

Still, side by side with these strong assertions of independence, there existed curiously enough an almost equally strong feeling of reluctance to sever the long-standing relation between the colonies and the mother country. England was still "home," even in the language of James Otis, as is clear from his correspondence, in which he speaks of certain legal decisions as being "sent home for approbation." Though all were agreed as to the character and tendency of such acts of the imperial legislature as the Stamp Act, the Revenue Act, the Port Bill, and the Billeting Bill, hopes were entertained to the last that some method of solution would be eventually discovered that would avert the disaster of revolution. "In America," said Rev. Andrew Elliot, a popular and much-respected minister in Boston, "the people glory in the name, and only desire to enjoy the liberties of England." And he added, significantly enough, "Oppression makes wise men mad." Even Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Randolph, as late as 1775, expressed his decided preference "to be dependent on England under proper limitation, to being dependent on any other nation, or on no nation whatsoever." "We strongly enjoin you," said the Pennsylvania Assembly, November 9, 1775, largely influenced by Farmer Dickenson, in its instructions to its delegates, "that you, in behalf of this colony, dissent from and utterly reject any proposition, should such be made, that may cause or lead to a separation from our mother country, or a change of the form of this government." In almost identical words the Assembly of New Jersey expressed its dread of "separation from England." "For what are we to encounter the horrors of war?" asked a writer in the New York Gazette, April 8, 1776, as quoted by Mr. Oscar Straus, in his admirable little work on "The Origin of the American Republic." "It is a form of government which Baron Montesquieu, and the best writers on the subject, have shown to be attended with many mischiefs and imperfections, while they pay high encomiums on the excellency of the British Constitution. The Continental Congress has never lisped the least desire for independency or republicanism. All their publications breathe another spirit." What strong ground the Gazette had for the above statement will be seen from the words of the address sent to the British Parliament and People by the Congress of Delegates which met on the 5th September, 1774, at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia. "You have been told," says the Congress, "that we are impatient of government and desirous of independence. These are calumnies. Permit us to be free as yourselves, and we shall esteem a union with you to be our greatest glory and our greatest happiness."

It is always the unexpected that happens, however, and, strange as it may appear, in little more than a year after the publication of the warnings of the New York Gazette, and the strong deprecations of leading colonists, the first decisive and irrevocable step towards revolution of the government and the autonomy and independence of the colonies was taken. On July 4, 1776, the Rubicon was passed: the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed.

To trace the causes and indicate the character of this sudden and irreversible revulsion of feeling is to relate the story of the public career of James Otis as primus inter pares and leader of the popular party in the Province of Massachusetts. For ten years, with the exception of some brief intervals of popular misunderstanding and disfavor, he stood forth as the eloquent exponent and acknowledged champion of the popular cause. Long prior to 1760 he had achieved renown as a lawyer, and the skill and distinction he had attained in his profession had already received due and appropriate recognition and reward in his appointment to the Attorney-Generalship of the Province. In that year, however, the outcry against the administration of the Acts of Trade became loud and general, and in the discontent and excitement which prevailed the over-zealous agents of the Executive came into collision with the people. The revival of an old "Act for the better securing and encouraging the trade of His Majesty's colonies in America," imposed a duty of sixpence on molasses and other articles imported from the French and Spanish West Indies. As this was tantamount to doubling the price, the trade was forced into contraband channels, and vigorous measures had to be adopted for the suppression of the illicit traffic. A third of the forfeited goods belonged to the king, and were appropriated for the benefit of the colony; a third belonged to the governor; and a third fell to the informers. But as that portion of the spoils which accrued to the colony was not claimed, the money was used to stimulate the zeal and vigilance of the customs-officers. These persons, armed with "writs of assistance" issued by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in England, were empowered to enter and search any private house suspected of containing smuggled goods, and seize whatever articles might be considered contraband within the meaning of the acts. Against these proceedings resistance was bold and general, suspected householders answering the demand of the customs-officers by closing the doors in their faces. It was the duty of Otis, as Advocate-General of the Province, to uphold the action of the executive government; but he refused to argue for the writs, and resigned. On his resignation becoming known he was at once retained, along with Oxenbridge Thacher, to defend the cause of the people, and his splendid triumph in this capacity made him the popular hero. His opponent, as has been already intimated, was his old friend, Jeremiah Gridley, King's Attorney,—a lawyer of great learning and acuteness. An eye-witness comments on the sublime spectacle of Otis, spite of the difficulties of his position, the excitement of the hour, and the fire and vehemence of his own passionate nature, treating his old master "with all deference, respect, and esteem", but confuting all his arguments, and reducing him to silence, and Gridley, on the other hand, "seeming to exult inwardly at the glory and triumph of his pupil."

In answering, almost at the outset, a charge which made his highest public virtue his fault,—the charge that he had deserted his office,—he said: "I renounced that office, and I argue this cause from the same principle, and I argue it with the greater pleasure as it is in favor of British liberty at a time when we hear the greatest monarch upon earth declaring from his throne that he glories in the name of Briton, and that the privileges of his people are dearer to him than the most valuable prerogatives of his crown; and it is in opposition to a kind of power, the exercise of which in former periods of English history cost one king his head, and another his crown."

* * * * *

The only principles of public conduct that are worthy of a gentleman or a man are to sacrifice estate, ease, health, and applause, and even life itself, to the sacred calls of his country. The glowing and oft-quoted eulogy of John Adams on this great argument, which is said to have lasted nearly five hours, is a commonplace of history, but we cannot forbear repeating it. Otis was a flame of fire; with a promptitude of classical allusions, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities, a prophetic glance of his eyes into futurity, and a rapid torrent of impetuous eloquence, he hurried away all before him. American independence was then and there born. Every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take up arms against the "writs of assistance." The speech, says Bowen, "gave vitality and shape to the dim sense of oppression and wrong from the mother country, which already rested indistinctly on the minds of the colonists." "It breathed," says Adams, "into this nation the breath of life."

The effect, however, which John Adams and other admirers of Otis have ascribed to his great legal triumph was obviously not the one Otis himself intended it to produce. There was, after all, something exceedingly vague and uncertain about his attitude and principles as a politician and a statesman. His contemporaries felt this, and somewhat unfeelingly accused him of inconsistency. At one time he was equally censured by his friends and by foes. In his "Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representatives of the Province of Massachusetts Bay," published in 1762, occurs the following: "The British Constitution of government, as now established in His Majesty's person and family, is the wisest and best in the world. The King of Great Britain is the best and most glorious monarch upon the globe, and his subjects the happiest in the universe." And yet Lord Mansfield, whose marble figure stands proudly among those of other distinguished Englishmen in the corridor of the British House of Commons, defended him in Parliament, not as a loyalist, but as a revolutionist. "Otis" said he, "is a man of consequence among the people over there. It was said the man is mad. What then? One madman often makes many. Massaniello was mad, nobody doubts; yet for all that he overturned the government of Naples." Friends of the government on both sides of the water suggested that Otis should be proceeded against for treason, but the British Attorney-General declared the "writs of assistance" illegal, and there, for a time, the matter ended.

When, in January, 1763, preliminaries of peace between France and England were signed, the people of Boston rejoiced, and Otis, as their spokesman, said: "The true interests of Great Britain and her plantations are mutual, and what God in His providence has united, let no man dare attempt to pull asunder." Governor Bernard, however, who inferred from this strain of remark that the province would soon recover its reputation for loyalty, seriously overrated its significance. When the General Assembly of Massachusetts met in 1764, Otis, as chairman of the Committee of Correspondence, drew up the draft of an address to Parliament, to prevent the passage of the Stamp Act; but it was not presented. The act passed into law, and Boston was immediately caught in a whirlwind of popular indignation and excitement. The mob burnt the effigy of Oliver, who, in an evil moment, had accepted the office of Distributor of Stamps, and he, deeming discretion the better part of valor, resigned his post immediately thereafter, under Liberty-tree. The house of Hutchinson, Lieutenant Governor, was demolished, while Bernard, the chief offender, was left undisturbed. Mobocracy, however, was not a pleasant contemplation to the sober and law-abiding people of Boston, and next day the inhabitants of the town assembled in Faneuil Hall and denounced the authors of outrage and violence.

The Stamp Act Congress, originally proposed by Otis, met in New York, October 19, 1765. He, together with Timothy Ruggles and Colonel Partridge, were delegated to attend as the representatives of Massachusetts. Otis took a prominent and influential part in the deliberations of the Congress, and was one of the committee chosen to draft an address to Parliament praying for the repeal of the obnoxious law, which had nearly brought business to a stand-still in many of the colonies, for, as Hutchinson remarks, "No wills were proved, no administrations granted, no deeds nor bonds executed." Agitation and appeal were successful. Parliament beat a retreat and dropped the attempt to tax the American colonies, like a red-hot poker.[H] But the breach between the popular party and the friends and representatives of the government was destined never to be healed. Between Hutchinson and Otis especially relations were of a very unfriendly character, and it must have been exceedingly difficult for the partisans on either side to keep cool when the leaders were so apt to catch fire. Still, when the Revenue Act of 1767 fell like a firebrand among the colonists, Otis, singularly enough, was almost alone in advising moderation and caution. In the following year his action and attitude were more consistent; he was once more the advocate of resistance, and was appointed to draft letters to the King, to De Berdt, the agent of the Province in London, and a circular-letter, addressed to the colonial assemblies, requesting them "to unite in some suitable measures of redress."[I] Governor Bernard demanded the rescinding of the letters; and Otis replied in a speech which the Governor described as "the most violent, abusive, and treasonable declaration that perhaps ever was delivered." It is a very significant indication of the state of popular feeling in Massachusetts at the time that, while only seventeen members of the House were ready to say "Yes" to the Governor's demand, nintey-two were resolved to say "No." In the summer of 1769 a violent and disgraceful affray took place between Otis and Robinson, the Commissioner of Customs, in a coffee-house, in which Otis received a severe blow on the head. From that moment his public career was practically at an end. He became the victim of insanity. From 1771 to 1783 he lived aloof from the excitement of public affairs. His death was singularly tragic and fearfully sudden. As he stood at the door of his home in Andover, during a storm, a flash of lightning struck him lifeless to the ground; so that he may almost be said to have been carried to his rest in a chariot of fire.

[H] Edmund Burke had previously warned the British Parliament against the futile attempt to tax the American colonies, and had said, "You will never get a shilling from them."

[I] Tudor and Bowen hold that these letters, which are found in the Massachusetts State Paper Collection, are from the pen of Otis. Bancroft gives strong reasons for believing Samuel Adams to be their author.

As to the place of Otis in the early colonial history of America it is somewhat difficult to state it. His influence as the leader and exponent of popular opinion was undoubtedly very great so long as it lasted, and in the main it was beneficial. If, like many another great moral and political force, he accomplished something entirely different from what he intended, both what he intended and what he actually accomplished were equally a credit to him. Some of his contemporaries thought that his courage, his eloquence, his pure and undiluted patriotism, had a serious drawback in the irrepressible fire and vehemence of his nature; but passion enters largely into the composition of all noble natures, and is, in no inconsiderable degree, the secret of their success. Otis was certainly wanting in some of the elements of greatness displayed by the most distinguished of his contemporaries and compatriots. His style of statemanship was not so far-seeing, comprehensive, and solid as that of a Samuel Adams, a Thomas Jefferson, a John Dickenson, or a Benjamin Franklin, and it certainly lacked the Machiavellian coolness and argumentativeness of a Hutchinson. But what Otis accomplished was impossible to any of them. His work was quite unique in its way, and his public life and action have produced results as valuable and lasting as the public labors of any of the noble men who devoted without stint their best thought and energies to laying down, deep, strong, and enduring, the foundation-stones of the American Republic.




One bright afternoon early in the month of June, 1676, a young girl stood leaning against the trunk of a tree, gazing into the waters of the beautiful Lake Quinsigamond. Her head rested heavily on her hand, as if weighed down by the burden of despair. Suddenly she started, uttering a slight cry, then sank back against the tree with a sigh of relief as she recognized a tall young Indian who approached her.

"Ah! is it you, Ninigret?"

"Yes, Millicent; fear not, there is no foe near; and if there were I would protect you. Why do you tremble so?"

"Is it strange I tremble at the least noise, when the sound of a footstep or the rustling of a leaf may mean instant death to me? The forest is full of enemies. They lurk in every by-path. Behind every bush or fair spreading tree may be seen their leering faces. What, then, has a poor captive girl to expect of their mercy?"

"Do not I and those of my tribe here protect you? Have I not already saved you from death at the hands of a roving Indian?"

"You have; perhaps only for a worse fate. Death, indeed, would be no worse than a future of such captivity; for though you will save me from the violence of the red men, neither you nor your associates will liberate me. Ah, Ninigret! why are you so in the power of that tyrant, Philip? Why will you not brave him, he is so far from here now, and take me to a white settlement? I promise you no harm shall come to you. You shall return unhurt to your people."

"Do you not remember that Wattasacompanum has promised to keep you in safety until Philip is ready to have you ransomed? Have you forgotten the solemn rites by which he bound himself the day they brought you to us? Wattasacompanum is a good chief, a true Indian, who will not break his promise."

"Then, Ninigret, I appeal to you, who have made no promise for me, to help me to escape to my countrymen."

"I cannot do that; but I will take you to a place of safety, though it may be a long, long journey from here. Say, Millicent, will you come with me?"

"Go with you, Ninigret, in any direction other than to a white settlement?" replied Millicent, turning her wondering blue eyes full upon him. "Even if such a thing were possible, where would you take me? Where and how in this time of war?"

"Beyond the reach of the present strife, until Philip has driven the white men from our country. I cannot take you to the whites, for they will soon be swept from the land. They are much broken up already. Philip is a mighty chief, and has powerful friends among the Indians."

"Can it be so? No, no; the Indian may do harm and cause suffering, but surely the white race cannot be exterminated."

"Yes, it can, Millicent; as when, in the spring, the warm sun melts the snow, causing it to disappear from the dark earth, so will the white men vanish from this country, leaving the red men in possession."

"I cannot believe it. Yet how can a poor creature like me, a captive in the forest, cut off from all communication with her friends, know what is the real state of affairs outside? In the long months since I was taken captive rumors have come to me of one town after another being destroyed or abandoned. Alas! what else may not have happened? Yes, it is doubtless true. O my God! is it then to be my fate to be held in life-long bondage, without a friend to whom I can turn?"

"I will be your friend; come with me. I will take you away from here, where you are so unhappy, I will make a home for you. We will live together. You shall be my wife."

"Your wife!" and Millicent, deadly pale, clung closer to the tree.

"Yes, why not? I am brave and strong; I would guard you from all evil, and would make you happy. What better have you to hope? Why await Philip's pleasure? You say you have no rich friends to ransom you. If not, he will marry you himself, and he would not be as kind as I. He is a hard master."

"I marry you, or Philip?" the young girl murmured, with a look of dreary terror on her face; then, as if to herself, "In fairy tales, as a child, I read of maidens marrying kings, and wished I were the heroine of such a tale; but little did I dream that such a king might some time be offered me for a husband." And she dropped her head upon her arm.

"Do not look so unhappy. Philip is, in truth, no husband for you; but I am different, and do not hate the white race as he does. He is a fierce warrior, while I wish but to live in peace, to have you for my wife." The Indian drew nearer to Millicent. His dark hand stretched forth to grasp her slender white wrist, his black eyes flashing with entreaty. "I am not like the others of my tribe you see about here; I am more civilized; I speak your language; I have the last year embraced your religion. I vowed to you I would not lay hands upon one of your race to hurt them while you were amongst us. That I have sacredly kept this vow you well know; but you do not know what it has cost me at times, when I have seen the bitter cruelty shown by your race toward mine. All this I would do willingly for you; will you not then be my wife and love me a little?"

The young Indian spoke with a modesty and manliness so remarkable in a son of the forest that Millicent was impressed with his manner, and in her reply tried to show consideration.

"You are an exception to your race, Ninigret, and have always acted honorably toward me. I thank you for all you have done; and, if God ever restore me to my countrymen, I will show my gratitude in more substantial form than mere words. Marry you I never can; think of it calmly, and you will see that it is impossible; such a marriage would only bring misery to us both."

"You scorn me I see," Ninigret said, quickly, growing angry. "I tell you we should be happy."

"Indeed, we should not; from this on you must never mention this subject to me."

"You cannot put me off so easily. What do I care for the kindness you may show me after you leave here? But you will not leave here very soon, let me tell you, unless you marry me. In that case you shall escape in a few days."

"Then I shall never escape," replied Millicent, a bright flash of determination suffusing her fair face.

"Your only answer then is No?"

"No; I will never be your wife."

"And I say you shall. Farewell! We will meet again." And all the latent savage nature gleamed forth from his face as he swiftly and noiselessly disappeared into the forest.

Millicent, overcome with emotion, sank listlessly on the ground, where she remained for some time with her head bowed upon her knees, regardless of the beauty of the scene about her. Above, the sky was cloudless, a deep impenetrable blue, as seen through the heavy foliage of the grand primeval forest. At her feet stretched the calm, smooth lake, dotted here and there with tiny islands, so thickly wooded that they looked like escaped bits of the forest floating on the glassy surface of the water. For miles stretched the line of the shore, here straight, there gracefully curving, and everywhere heavily overhung by majestic trees. After a time she raised her eyes, and, stretching her hand with a hopeless gesture toward the lake, said, "Better to drown in that quiet water than to remain longer with these savages, now that Ninigret has turned foe also, and I have no friend to help me."

"Let me be a friend to help you," replied a manly voice close by.

Surprised and astonished Millicent sprang to her feet, and saw standing before her a tall, handsome man of perhaps five and thirty years, dressed in uniform.

"O sir! can I really hope that you will help a poor, distressed captive girl?"

"Of course I will," he answered, moving near to her. "First tell me the circumstances of your captivity and"—

"Hush! do not speak so loud, or they will hear us and take you prisoner also. Come this way," said Millicent, as she led him to a thick clump of trees near at hand. "A short distance from here, on yonder hill, is an Indian camp, which has been my home for many months."

"How large is the encampment?" asked the young man, looking with interest and admiration at the poorly clad but refined and beautiful girl by his side.

"When all are there they number about one hundred; but at present most of the warriors are away."

"Where is your home?"

"I have no home. I am an orphan, and with my sister was visiting friends in Taunton, at the time the Indians attacked that place."

"Ah! Tell me the story of your capture."

"I will if you care to hear it. Upon the breaking out of the war, my friends, like others, became alarmed, and adopted such means of defence as they could command; still, when Philip really appeared with his Indians, they were surprised. Ah, sir, even you, who I see are an officer, and probably used to such sights, would have been touched by the misery and desolation those wretches caused on that day. They fired the house we were in, and when we were driven by the flames to the open air, they assailed us; and then I saw my friends struck down about me. An old woman, a mother, three daughters and a son, all brutally killed. Then they seized me, more dead than alive. A fierce Indian, with a yell, raised some weapon in the air, while holding me fast with the other hand; but his uplifted arm was suddenly grasped by a stalwart and gayly dressed chief, whom I soon learned was King Philip. Although nearly overcome with terror, I heard him say, 'She is too'"—

"Beautiful to be killed," added the officer.

"Well, yes, I suppose that was the idea. 'Take her captive.' They bound my arms to my sides and carried me away. I fainted at that point, and when I came to myself was on horseback, supported by a horrible old squaw."

"Poor girl! how did you survive such a shock?"

"I do not know, for I was ill with fever throughout the journey; but am I not wearying you with the history of a girl who has surely no claim upon you?"

"You have a claim, dear lady; the unfortunate have always a claim upon any honorable man; besides, I am deeply interested in your story. Please proceed."

"We travelled slowly on for several days, resting at night. The shock, the mode of life, and, above all, the anxiety about my sister, of whose fate I knew nothing, made me ill and unfit for the rough journey. When I failed and fainted, as I did several times, they beat me and knocked me about, making me walk when utterly unable, as a punishment for my laziness, they said. At last, when they saw I could go no farther on my feet, they strapped me on a horse's back, where I lay, half delirious and without food, until we reached this place."

"What an experience for one so delicate!" remarked the officer, looking at Millicent with increasing interest.

"We arrived here late one night, and then an old squaw, who has ever since been kind to me, took me to her wigwam and made me as comfortable as she could. I shall never forget the relief it was to lie quiet, if only on a bed of pine-boughs."

"You must have had fortitude to have lived through such a mental and physical strain. How did they happen to bring you here?"

"That night, when they thought I slept, I overheard the leader of the band that brought me talking with Wattasacompanum, the chief of the Nipmucks. He said Philip had ordered them to bring me here, and sent a message that I should be kept and well treated until he should see fit to have me ransomed. Wattasacompanum, who is a good chief and a praying Indian, promised that I should be faithfully guarded. The next day, before Philip's messengers departed, I was carried outside the wigwam, where the Indians danced a wild, fantastic war-dance about me, to the music of their own strange screaming. I lay trembling with fright, until the old squaw came out and sat by me, somewhat quieting my fears by repeating, 'They no kill you; they no kill.' They wished to paint my face and decorate my head with branches, but Wattasacompanum said no, that being ill I should not be disturbed. He laid his hand on my head, and solemnly promised to safely keep me; and after that the strange Indians departed."

"What did they do for you to bring back your health?"

"Very little. I was allowed to rest for a time, was not treated very harshly, and nature did the rest."

"What food did you have?"

"Ah, that was the worst trial; for days I ate almost nothing. I could not touch the meat they kept constantly boiling in a great common kettle, which all could go to, but I soon learned to eat a sort of cake they make of Indian corn, and when stronger I wandered about and found berries and dried nuts for myself; but I have never been strong since I came here."

"That does not surprise me. Such a life for one like you! Have they always treated you well?"

"No, they are often very rough; but the women are kinder than the men, who, fortunately for me, are away upon the war-path the greater part of the time, returning only occasionally for a night."

"What work do they require of you?"

"I first bring up water from the lake in the morning,—that tires me most,—then I help cook their food, and do whatever is necessary in an Indian household,"—and Millicent smiled,—"and I sew for the women and children."

"The wretches! why don't they bring their own water from the lake, and make their own clothes?"

"I would willingly do all they ask could I but know that I may soon be free to look for my sister, and be among my own race again."

"We will see about that. You must not do drudgery for these savages much longer. Have you no relatives with whom it may be possible your sister is now?"

"None; the family whom we were visiting when I was captured were our only relatives. My sister was out at the time on an errand in the town; so you see I do not know whether she was killed or captured, undoubtedly one or the other. My name is Millicent Gordon; hers, Martha. Now, sir, you have my history, and I wish to thank you for your kind attention. It has done me good to relate it to you, for you are the first white man whom I have seen for many months."

"My dear lady, your story has interested me deeply and aroused in me both sincere admiration and sympathy for one who has suffered so much and so bravely. My one thought is to liberate you."

"Can you really do so? Is the country, then, not all given over to the Indians? Oh, tell me it is not!"

"No, indeed; they are being steadily and surely conquered; though, God knows, they do enough damage even now. I am Captain Merwin, sent here from Boston on a scouting expedition. I have two men with me, who are awaiting my return less than a mile off. I wandered in this direction while they were resting. I knew there were many Indians roving about; but that there was a camp in this vicinity I was not aware."

"They suppose their existence here to be unknown to the whites."

"I wonder they trust you as far as this."

"They do; I always return. They know I am unable to escape, and would be found and brought back if I tried; so they grant me my only solace, that of wandering in the woods."

"This time they have trusted you once too often. Will you go with me, and let me take you back to your friends?" asked the captain, impulsively.

"I would go with you most willingly; but would the venture not be too rash? Would it not endanger your own safety and that of your men, who might escape harm alone, but, impeded with a woman, you might lose your lives while saving hers. No, I had better stay where I am. You can be of more service without me," answered Millicent, with quiet forethought.

"Not for a moment would I consider myself in the matter, Miss Gordon," replied the captain, with prompt assurance; "but perhaps it is not best to attempt to rescue you until I have secured more men." He remained silent a few minutes, apparently in deep thought, and said, at last, very decidedly, "No; in case we met even a small band of Indians we should be unable to resist, and they would surely recapture you or kill us all at once. If you will have a little patience, and still trust me, I promise to return and liberate you as soon as I can get men."

"Yes, I trust you wholly; and, as for patience, the hope of rescue will make it infinite until you come," said Millicent, smiling.

"Thank you for your trust; it shall not be misplaced. Be prepared at any time after a week for an attack upon the camp, and this time the war-cry will come from friends instead of enemies. May I do homage to the fair hand that has carried water to quench the thirst of an Indian squaw?" Before the blushing Millicent could deny the favor he had pressed her fingers to his lips.

"I must return now, or they will look for me. See, the sun sets already."

"I will go part way with you, as I wish to observe the situation of your present home."

"Abode, not home," Millicent said, half-jestingly. "Yes, come with me, but tread softly or you may be heard," and she led the way through the wood. Upon reaching the brow of the hill she halted, and, placing her hand on the captain's arm, said, "Look through these trees into the clearing yonder." He did so, and saw a number of wigwams, with smoke curling out from their tops, and, sitting about on the ground outside, several women, and one or two old men.

"And there you have lived for nearly a year; but it is late; I must leave you. Be of good courage, and believe that never a crusader felt his pledge to visit the Holy Land more sacred than I do mine to liberate you;" and, lifting his hat with deference, he withdrew into the forest.

The scene above described carries the reader back to the time of the fierce and devastating war waged by King Philip against the settlers of New England, in which all the worst elements of the Indian nature came to the surface. The firebrand and the tomahawk were the weapons employed by the Indians to accomplish their purpose of destroying the advancing power of the white man; and so mercilessly did they use these that the outposts of civilization were swept away as by a whirlwind. The savages, avoiding direct conflict with organized forces of the English, made sudden and unsuspected attacks, under cover of darkness, upon exposed houses or towns, applying the torch to the buildings, and massacring the inhabitants or carrying them into captivity. Neither the life nor property of a white man was safe for an instant. While sitting quietly by his fireside or working in his cornfield, he was liable to instant death at the hands of an unseen foe. In such a condition of affairs it is not surprising that spots, where of late the influence of civilization had begun to make itself felt, were abandoned by their terror-stricken inhabitants. Thus, for a while, the rude savages again appeared as rulers of the land, and the forest often resounded with their war-cry as they fell on one partly-deserted town after another, and their yells of triumph rang on the hushes of midnight as they returned from their fiendish expeditions of plunder waving aloft the scalps of their victims. For a year or more this bloody war lasted, bringing death and desolation to many homes, until its guiding hand and vital breath, King Philip, was struck down, killed by one of his race.





"Outside the gate, what do I hear Along the drawbridge sounding? A song! Now let it reach my ear Through palace-halls resounding!" So speaks the king; the small page flies; The lackey comes; the message hies; The old man comes, low bowing.

"These noble lords have welcomed me; These fair dames give me greeting. What heavenly kingdom do I see With star-gleam, star-gleam meeting! Such splendor, pomp, and wealth allied, Desire must here rest satisfied, While Time forgets his speeding!"

He pauses now; now strikes in song Full toned, of pleasing phrases. Each knight grows proud in look, and strong; Dames blush at fancied praises. The king, for whom the songs awake, As fair return the bard to make— A golden chain upraises.

"Oh give to me no gift of gold! Such to your knights deliver, Before whose faces, stern and bold, The foe's best lances shiver. Or let some chancellor of state This gift receive, a treasure mete, Fit token from wise giver.

"I sing as some free wild bird sings, Among green branches swinging. The song that from the throat outrings Its own reward is bringing. But may I beg a gift of thine? Then give to me of rare old wine In golden beaker, brimming."

They bring it in; he drinks it up. "O drink—sweet, strength-bestowing! O happy house—where one may sup With such wealth ever flowing! Thank God—you share with me a part! It stirs my brain; it warms my heart! I go with new life glowing."

[Webster Historical Society Papers.]




The family of Webster, which settled on the easterly coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, became quite numerous, and emigrated to the various parts of western New Hampshire as early as 1763. Stephen Webster was one of the twelve pioneers of the town of Plymouth, N.H., in which, with other settlers of the backwoods, they had to endure great privations and hardships.

The three Webster families which settled and remained in Plymouth always claimed Daniel and Ezekiel of Salisbury as first or second cousins.

I quote from Moore Russell Fletcher, M.D., who was connected with the Webster family on both sides, the following narration. He says that Mrs. Stephen Webster and her sons and daughters, the youngest of whom was Mrs. Betsey Fletcher Webster,—the mother of the doctor, and who died in 1863, at the advanced age of eighty-one,—gave him much of his information.

"Stephen Webster, with eleven others, with their wives and children, went from Chester, N.H., to Plymouth, N.H., then a wilderness, about forty-five miles north of Penacook, now Concord, and there, on the Pemigewasset, near the juncture of Baker's River (afterwards so called), they erected a log-cabin, in that hitherto transient abode of the wild animals of the forest and the still wilder Indians, who at intervals passed through the place on their way to Penacook, Contoocook, Hooksett, Suncook, and Soucook, their old camping-grounds. These men, having selected lands for farms, had no alternative but to carry on their backs the articles of food, implements and seeds requisite for their colonization. They had axes, saws, augers, and shaves, or drawing-knives, and for protection and food their guns and ammunition; not forgetting their bibles, hymn-books, and tinder-boxes. In their journey through the wilderness from Penacook, a distance of sixty or seventy miles, they were guided by blazes on trees made by surveyors or men in search of lands, were obliged to cross streams on fallen trees reaching from bank to bank, and when hunger and fatigue compelled a halt, they selected a spot near some stream, drew forth their tinder-boxes, and with steel and flint struck a fire; then they selected flat stones, wet some Indian meal, placed it on the stones, and baked it for their frugal meal—their 'Johnny-cake.' At night they constructed a little booth of bushes, with their fire at its entrance, and, as they laid upon the boughs, their feet would be near the fire,—a great protection against wild animals who infested the forest and who are known to have great dread of fire.

"Each day was a repetition of its predecessor. Upon their arrival their first efforts were directed to erecting a temporary wigwam of trees and bushes in their new home, and all reposed on the boughs, prior to which all joined in prayer and thanksgiving for their safe arrival and good health. On the morrow, after locating the spot for buildings, they began the erection of their log-houses, with one room, with opening for light, and an attic, which was accessible by a small ladder. The crevices between the logs were stopped with moss; the floor of the rooms, roofs, and the attics and doors were of small poles. A few days were sufficient to get their houses in the rough well under way. For food all had equal rights and took an equal part in procuring it. Three or four took dog and gun, and in an hour or two returned with a dead moose, bear, or three or four deer on their shoulders. They subsisted largely upon game, which was plenty in the forest, and when a change was desired they sought fish, with which the streams abounded.

"A few months after their arrival, Mrs. Stephen Webster signified her expectation of adding another member to her family. It was a matter deemed of such importance that a town meeting was called, a moderator and clerk chosen, and the vote put to the meeting upon the name which should be given to the new-comer, which vote was unanimous 'if a boy his name shall be Plymouth.' But their vote did not prevent its being a girl, and she was called Lydia, with the remark, 'the first white child born in Plymouth.'

"Upon one occasion, food being nearly exhausted, a settler took a bag, went to Concord, got one hundred pounds of Indian meal, took it on his shoulder, and carried it to Plymouth, sleeping on boughs, and baking his corn-cake on a flat stone. His arrival was hailed with enthusiasm. When tired of moose and bear meat they tried deer, rabbit, coon, and turtle, then turned to salmon, eels, and pouts. For dessert they had chestnuts, beech-nuts, and butternuts, and for drink they used the checkerberry and hardhack, but mostly they used mountain tea and swamp chocolate-root; these two last-named articles nearly resembled those brought from foreign countries. They raised flax, and with it made their clothing for both men and women. For coats and outer garments they doubled and redoubled the threads, the cloth resembling our present canvas. Linen was found to be cold for stockings and socks, and their inventive talent was brought into use. They cut hair from the bear-skins and mixed it with tow, and thus Bruin furnished them meat, cotton, and wool.

"After a few years of roughing it the settlers began to reckon on some of the luxuries of civilization, and indulged in windows, each allowing two panes of glass 7 X 9. Their fireplaces and chimneys were built of flat stones for the first few feet, and were 'topped out' with clay, mixed with straw, and held by sticks of wood laid up cob-house fashion. The same kind of chimney may now be seen in the rural districts of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. In many places the fireplace and chimney stand outside of the house, and the fireplace is wide enough to burn wood ten feet long. The wood requires but little chopping or splitting. For andirons they used large stones. When the children wanted to warm themselves they stood at the corner at the ends of the wood.

"They made their furniture, hewing planks from logs for tables, and for a tub chopped off the end of a log, dug a hole through it, leaving only a shell, in which, with a jackknife, they made a groove for the bottom, which also was hewn from a piece of log. The shell of their tub was then soaked with hot water, to enlarge its circle; the plank bottom was then crowded into the groove, and the tub dried before the fire. If not water-tight, the openings were filled with rags. For chairs they took tops of trees with many limbs, split them into two parts, and the limbs answered for legs. Their crockery, much of it, was made of hard wood: from knarls they made trays, bowls, pans, plates, and sometimes spoons, knives, and forks. Instead of candles they used pitch and candle woods. My grandfather, had in his house wooden trays, bowls, plates, and wooden spoons.

"When the number of inhabitants had increased so that it was called a village, earthen plates and pewter plates and iron spoons were brought into town from the town and larger settlements. Men carried the flax wheel on their backs, and their mechanical skill enabled them to construct looms.

"As the settlement increased in number, and the people began felling trees, the Indians, who from time to time passed there on their way to Penacook, Contoocook, Hooksett, etc., seeing the whites encroaching upon their lands, began their maraudings and became so troublesome, that the settlers regarded it as no sin to kill a redskin who was known to watch about for an opportunity to secretly send an arrow with deadly intent at their white brothers whenever they ventured beyond the limits of their little settlement.

"There was one, Mr. Baker, whose delight was, we learned of the Indians,—being at their camping-ground, near the union of what is now Baker's River with the Pemigewasset River, about a mile above Plymouth,—to take his gun, as he termed it, and play hide-and-seek with the redskins. His scouting about would seem to be known, and an Indian would come out to spy his enemy, hiding from tree to tree. Baker did the same, and as each peeped for the other Baker placed his hat on the muzzle of his gun, and held it so that the Indian saw, as he thought, a white man's head. Then he sent an arrow whizzing through Baker's old hat, and, seeing it fall, stepped out to finish his foe by raising the hair, when Baker sent a slug through the redskin. Soon another Indian came peeping from trees to learn the cause of that report and the fate of his chief. In a few minutes Baker played the same game on him and several others. Baker became so notorious an Indian exterminator that they gave the river his name; hence Baker's River."





Thomas Prince was an eminent divine and accomplished scholar, well known throughout New England during the first half of the 18th century. His life is worthy of consideration on many accounts, but particularly for the great work he accomplished outside of his profession. He is, perhaps, best known to this generation as the collector of the Prince Library, now incorporated with many other private collections in the Public Library of Boston, although his published work, "The Chronology of New England," confers an equal benefit on posterity, and both together entitle him to a place of honor in our annals.

His library was gathered as much for the instruction of others as for his own gratification. It is interesting to know that this bequest, now one hundred and fifty years old, obsolete in some respects, is still highly valued. Some writer says, that, if for no other reason, there should be a new fire-proof building for the Public Library for the better preservation of the Shakespeare collection and the Prince Library. The valuable editions of Shakespeare arranged in glass cases in the Bates Hall are no doubt familiar to many people, but it is possible that the majority even of the daily visitors to this institution have no definite knowledge of the Prince Library, which is found, on examination, to contain a fund for the curious, as well as many things of importance to the antiquarian.

This library was added to the Public Library twenty-four years ago, and was originally a gift to the Old South Church. It is a collection which should be treasured, not only by Bostonians and all New England people, but is also of importance to the country at large, as it was, in a limited sense, the forerunner of all public libraries in the land. It is of a twofold nature,—an historical section, with the other devoted to ecclesiastical works. Mr. Prince designed the ecclesiastical or Old South collection, as he called it, for the use of the pastors and church of which he was associate pastor forty years. This contained all the Latin and Greek books, and all in oriental languages.

His will states: "That whereas I have been many years collecting a number of books, pamphlets, maps, prints and manuscripts, either published in New England or pertaining to its history and public affairs, to which collection I have given the name of 'Ye New England Library,' and have deposited in the steeple of the Old South Church; and as I made this collection from a public view and desire that many important transactions might be remembered, which otherwise would be lost, I hereby bequeath the collection to the Old South Church forever, to the end that this collection may be kept entire. I desire that this collection be kept in a different department from the other books, and that it may be so made that no person shall borrow any book or paper therefrom, but that any person whom the pastors and deacons of the church for the time being shall approve, may have access thereto, and take copies therefrom."

The Prince catalogue states that, "at his death, the New England Library was the most extensive of the kind that had ever been formed. It contains, in its depleted state, not less than 1,500 books and tracts relating to America during the period of our colonial history."

The Mather family and Gov. Hutchinson are alone to be compared with Mr. Prince as collectors of books, and theirs avail little, as they have been scattered and destroyed. It is a matter of congratulation that the greater portion of Mr. Prince's books have been preserved, each of which had been carefully selected, "many bearing name, date of purchase, cost, and place where it was acquired." He frequently noted contemporaneous events of public importance on fly-leaf.

A great number were purchased during a seven-years' residence in Europe, and some one says, "By means of this memoranda, we can easily trace the stages of his sojourn abroad." He invented a very quaint book-plate, with flowered border, in which he inscribed his name.

Many valuable books and manuscripts were destroyed at the beginning of hostilities, which resulted in the Revolutionary war. The library, when entire, was a rare monument to the energy and perseverance of Mr. Prince, who, through a long and laborious life, never lost sight of this cherished project of his youth. It has never been merged into any other collection, but remains entirely separate, in accordance with the will of the testator. It has a special catalogue, and no book is ever taken from the building, though accessible for reference in the main hall. The books are deposited in an alcove at the top of the house, reached by a spiral stairway. Many of them are of immense size, in heavy leather bindings, while others are of the smallest dimensions. The pages are yellow with age, and the majority will have only the ravages of time to contend with, as the contents are not of a nature to make them attractive to the youth, or even to many maturer minds of this generation; but to the antiquarian, and as a picture of the growth of a mind in Puritan days, from its earliest years to advanced age, this collection is unequalled; for it was carefully selected, subject to the taste and needs of Mr. Prince's nature, and each book was familiar and favorite ground to him.

The first book with date bears this inscription: "Thos. Prince, his book, 1697, 10 years of age." The book was "Marrow of Modern Divinity," with "Awakening Call to the Unconverted" attached, and in his 16th year the following book was added: "Some Account of Holy Life and Death of Mr. Henry Gearing, late citizen of London, who departed this life Jan. 4th, 1693, aged 61. Boston in New England, printed for Sam'l Phillips, at the Brick Shop, 1704." Underneath is written, "Anno Domini, 1704, Thomas Prince, Duke of Landwich, Earl of Pen^apog."

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