Sword and Pen - Ventures and Adventures of Willard Glazier
by John Algernon Owens
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Transcriber's note:

Several minor typographical errors have been corrected in transcribing this work: contineu, secresy, bubling, reconnoissance, cotemporary, delived (should be delivered), eat (ate), Alleghany, amendmet, lage (large). Otherwise the text is original and retains some inconsistent or outdated spellings.

The original contains two lengthy addenda supplied by the publisher which were not named in the Table of Contents. Entries for these have been added to the Contents for the convenience of the reader.

Despite the many testimonials in this book, as of 2008, the source of the Mississippi is considered to be Lake Itasca. Following a five-month investigation in 1891 it was decided that the stream from Elk Lake (the body that Glazier would have called Lake Glazier) into Itasca is too insignificant to be deemed the river's source. Both lakes can be seen, looking much as they do in the maps in this book, by directing any online mapping service to 47 deg.11'N, 95 deg.14'W.


* * * * *


Captain Willard Glazier.


I. Soldiers of the Saddle. II. Capture, Prison-Pen, and Escape. III. Battles for the Union. IV. Heroes of Three Wars. V. Peculiarities of American Cities. VI. Down the Great River.

Captain Glazier's works are growing more and more popular every day. Their delineations of military life, constantly varying scenes, and deeply interesting stories, combine to place their writer in the front rank of American authors.




* * * * *



Ventures and Adventures


WILLARD GLAZIER, (The Soldier-Author,)

In War and Literature: Comprising Incidents and Reminiscences of His Childhood; His Chequered Life As a Student and Teacher; and His Remarkable Career As a Soldier and Author; Embracing Also the Story of His Unprecedented Journey from Ocean to Ocean on Horseback; and an Account of His Discovery of the True Source of the Mississippi River, and Canoe Voyage Thence to the Gulf of Mexico.




Philadelphia: P. W. Ziegler &. Company, Publishers, 720 Chestnut Street. 1890.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880, by John Algernon Owens, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D.C.


No apology will be required from the author for presenting to the public some episodes in the useful career of a self-made man; and while the spirit of patriotism continues to animate the sturdy sons of America, the story of one of them who has exemplified this national trait in a conspicuous measure, will be deemed not unworthy of record. The lessons it teaches, more especially to the young, are those of uncompromising duty in every relation of life—self-denial, perseverance and "pluck;" while the successive stages of a course which led ultimately to a brilliant success, may be studied with some advantage by those just entering upon the business of life. As a soldier, Willard Glazier was "without fear and without reproach." As an author, it is sufficient to say, he is appreciated by his contemporaries—than which, on a literary man, no higher encomium can be passed. The sale of nearly half a million copies of one of his productions is no slight testimony to its value.

Biography, to be interesting, must be a transcript of an eventful, as well as a remarkable career; and to be instructive, its subject should be exemplary in his aims, and in his mode of attaining them. The hero of this story comes fully up to the standard thus indicated. His career has been a romance. Born of parents of small means but of excellent character and repute; and bred and nurtured in the midst of some of the wildest and grandest scenery in the rugged county of St. Lawrence, close by the "Thousand Isles," where New York best proves her right to be called the Empire State through the stamp of royalty on her hills and streams—under the shadow of such surroundings as these, my subject attained maturity, with no opportunities for culture except those he made for himself. Yet he became possessed of an education eminently useful, essentially practical and calculated to establish just such habits of self-reliance and decision as afterwards proved chiefly instrumental in his success. Glazier had a fixed ambition to rise. He felt that the task would be difficult of accomplishment—that he must be not only the architect, but the builder of his own fortunes; and, as the statue grows beneath the sculptor's hand to perfect contour from the unshapely block of marble, so prosperity came to Captain Glazier only after he had cut and chiseled away at the hard surface of inexorable circumstance, and moulded therefrom the statue of his destiny.

J. A. O. Philadelphia, June 14th, 1880.

* * * * *







Have so Nobly Illustrated the Valor and Genius of their Country:


In a Spirit of Profound Admiration for


And of Measureless Gratitude to


Dedicates This Book.

* * * * *




Lineage of Willard Glazier.—A good stock.—Oliver Glazier at the Battle of Bunker Hill.—The home of honest industry.—The Coronet of Pembroke.—The "Homestead Farm."—Mehitable Bolton.—Her New England home.—Her marriage to Ward Glazier.—The wild "North Woods."—The mother of the soldier-author 21



The infant stranger.—A mother's prayers.—"Be just before you are generous."—Careful training.—Willard Glazier's first battle.—A narrow escape.—Facing the foe.—The "happy days of childhood."— "The boy is father to the man" 27



Scotch-Irish Presbyterianism of twenty-five years ago.—The "little deacon."—First days at school.—Choosing a wife.—A youthful gallant.—A close scholar but a wild lad.—A mother's influence.— Ward Glazier a Grahamite.—Young Willard's practical jokes.— Anecdote of Crystal Spring.—"That is something like water" 34



School-days continued.—Boys will be boys.—Cornelius Carter, the teacher.—Young Willard's rebellion against injustice.— Gum-chewing.—Laughable race through the snow.—The tumble into a snow-bank, and what came of it.—The runaway caught.—Explanation and reconciliation.—The new master, James Nichols.—"Spare the rod and spoil the child."—The age of chivalry not gone.—Magnanimity of a school-boy.—Friendship between Willard and Henry Abbott.—Good-bye to the "little deacon" 42



Henry Glazier.—A singular character.—"Kaw-shaw-gan-ce" and "Quaw-taw-pee-ab."—Tom Lolar and Henry Glazier.—Attractive show-bills.—Billy Muldoon and his trombone.—Behind the scenes.—"Sound your G!"—The mysterious musician.—What happened to Billy.—"May the divil fly away wid ye!" 50



The big uncle and the little nephew.—Exchange of ideas between the eccentric Henry Glazier and young Willard.—Inseparable companions.—-Willard's early reading.—Favorite authors.— Hero-worship of the first Napoleon and Charles XII. of Sweden.— The genius of good and of evil.—Allen Wight.—A born teacher.— Reverses of fortune.—The shadow on the home.—Willard's resolve to seek his fortune and what came of it.—The sleep under the trees.—The prodigal's return.—"All's well that ends well" 58



Out of boyhood.—Days of adolescence.—True family pride.—Schemes for the future.—Willard as a temperance advocate.—Watering his grandfather's whiskey.—The pump behind the hill.—The sleigh-ride by night.—The "shakedown" at Edward's.—Intoxicated by tobacco fumes.—The return ride.—Landed in a snow-bank.—Good-bye horses and sleigh!—Plodding through the snow 68



Ward Glazier moves to the Davis Place.—"Far in the lane a lonely house he found."—Who was Davis?—Description of the place.—A wild spot for a home.—Willard at work.—Adventure with an ox-team.—The road, the bridge and the stream.—"As an ox thirsteth for the water."—Dashed from a precipice!—Willard as a horse-tamer.— "Chestnut Bess," the blooded mare.—The start for home.—"Bess" on the rampage.—A lightning dash.—The stooping arch.—Bruised and unconscious 75



A plan of life.—Determination to procure an education.—A substitute at the plow.—His father acquiesces in his determination to become a trapper.—Life in the wild woods along the Oswegatchie.—The six "dead falls."—First success.—A fallacious calculation.—The goal attained.—Seventy-five dollars in hard cash!—Four terms of academic life.—The youthful rivals.—Lessons in elocution.—A fight with hair-brushes and chairs!—"The walking ghost of a kitchen fire."—Renewed friendship.—Teaching to obtain means for an education 87



From boy to man.—The Lyceum debate.—Willard speaks for the slave.—Entrance to the State Normal School.—Reverses.—Fighting the world again.—Assistance from fair hands.—Willard meets Allen Barringer.—John Brown, and what Willard thought of him.—Principles above bribe.—Examination.—A sleepless night.—Haunted by the "ghost of possible defeat."—"Here is your certificate."—The school at Schodack Centre.—At the "Normal" again.—The Edwards School.—Thirty pupils at two dollars each.—The "soldier school-master."—Teachers at East Schodack.—The runaway ride.—Good-by mittens, robes and whip!—Close of school at East Schodack 102



The mutterings of war.—Enlistment.—At Camp Howe.—First experience as a soldier.—"One step to the front!"—Beyond Washington.—On guard.—Promotion.—Recruiting service.—The deserted home on Arlington Heights.—"How shall I behave in the coming battle?"—The brave Bayard.—On the march.—The stratagem at Falmouth Heights.—A brilliant charge.—After the battle 118



The sentinel's lonely round.—General Pope in command of the army.—Is gunboat service effective?—First cavalry battle of Brandy Station.—Under a rain of bullets.—Flipper's orchard.—"Bring on the brigade, boys!"—Capture of Confederate prisoners.—Story of a revolver.—Cedar Mountain.—Burial of the dead rebel.—Retreat from the Rapidan.—The riderless horse.—Death of Captain Walters 128



Manassas.—The flying troops.—The unknown hero.—Desperate attempt to stop the retreat.—Recruiting the decimated ranks.—Fredericksburg.—Bravery of Meagher's brigade.—The impregnable heights.—The cost of battles.—Death of Bayard.—Outline of his life 135



"What boots a weapon in a withered hand?"—A thunderbolt wasted.—War upon hen-roosts.—A bit of unpublished history.—A fierce fight with Hampton's cavalry.—In one red burial blent.—From camp to home.—Troubles never come singly.—The combat.—The capture.—A superfluity of Confederate politeness.—Lights and shadows 144



A situation to try the stoutest hearts.—Hail Columbia!—Every man a hero.—Kilpatrick's ingenuity.—A pen-picture from "Soldiers of the Saddle."—Glazier thanked by his general.—Cessation of hostilities.—A black day.—Fitzhugh Lee proposes to crush Kilpatrick.—Kil's audacity.—Capture of Lieutenant Glazier.—Petty tyranny.—"Here, Yank, hand me that thar hat, and overcoat, and boots" 155



"All ye who enter here abandon hope."—Auld lang syne.—Major Turner.—Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.—Stoicism.—Glazier enters the prison-hospital—A charnel-house.—Rebel surgeons.— Prison correspondence.—Specimen of a regulation letter.—The tailor's joke.—A Roland for an Oliver.—News of death.—Schemes for escape.—The freemasonry of misfortune.—Plot and counter-plot.—The pursuit of pleasure under difficulties 166



Mournful news.—How a brave man dies.—New Year's day.—Jolly under unfavorable circumstances.—Major Turner pays his respects.— Punishment for singing "villainous Yankee songs."—Confederate General John Morgan.—Plans for escape.—Digging their way to freedom.—"Poet No. 1, All's well."—Yankee ingenuity.—The tunnel ready.—Muscle the trump card.—No respect to rank.—Sauve qui peut!—A strategic movement.—"Guards! guards!"—Absentees from muster.—Disappointed hopes.—Savage treatment of prisoners.—Was the prison mined? 179



Belle Boyd, the Confederate spy.—National characteristics.—Colonel Mosby.—Richmond to Danville.—Sleeping spoon-fashion.—Glazier's "corrective point" suffers.—Saltatory entrance to a railroad car.—Colonel Joselyn.—Sympathy of North Carolinians.—Ingenious efforts to escape.—Augusta.—Macon.—Turner again!—"Carelessness" with firearms.—Tunneling.—Religious revival.—Order from Confederate War Department.—Murder!—Fourth of July.—Macon to Savannah.—Camp Davidson.—More tunneling 194



Under siege.—Charleston Jail.—The Stars and Stripes.—Federal compliments.—Under the guns.—Roper Hospital.—Yellow Jack.—Sisters of Charity.—Rebel Christianity.—A Byronic stanza.—Charleston to Columbia.—"Camp Sorghum."—Nemesis.—Another dash for liberty.—Murder of Lieutenants Young and Parker.—Studying topography.—A vaticination.—Back to reality 206



Mysterious voices.—"I reckon dey's Yankees."—-"Who comes there?"—The Lady of the Manor.—A weird spectacle.—The struggle through the swamp.—A reflection on Southern swamps in general.—"Tired nature's sweet restorer" 221



Startled by hounds.—An unpleasant predicament.—A Christian gentlewoman.—Appeal to Mrs. Colonel Taylor.—"She did all she could."—A meal fit for the gods.—Aunt Katy.—"Lor' bress ye, marsters!"—Uncle Zeb's prayer.—Hoe-cake and pinders.—Woodcraft versus astronomy.—Canine foes.—Characteristics of the slave.— Meeting escaped prisoners.—Danger.—Retreat and concealment 228



Parting company.—Thirst and no water.—Hoping for the end.—The boy and the chicken.—Conversation of ladies overheard.—The fugitives pursued.—The sleeping village.—Captain Bryant.—The alba sus.—Justifiable murder, and a delicious meal.—Darkies and their prayers.—Man proposes; God disposes.—An adventure.—A ruse de guerre.—Across the Savannah 238



Alligators.—A detachment of Southern chivalry.—A scare.—Repairs neatly executed.—Misery and despair.—Virtue its own reward.—Hunger and desperation.—Audacity.—A Confederate officer.—"A good Union man."—"Two sights and a jambye."—A narrow escape 249



Fugitive slaves.—A rebel planter.—The big Ebenezer.—A sound of oars.—A ruse de guerre.—Burial of a dead soldier.—A free ride.—Groping in the dark.—"Who goes there!"—Recaptured.—Nil desperandum.—James Brooks.—Contraband of war.—Confederate murders.—In the saddle again.—A dash for freedom.—Again captured.—Tried as a spy 261



In jail.—White trash.—Yankees.—Off to Waynesboro.—No rations.—Calling the roll.—Sylvania.—Plan for escape.—Lieutenant John W. Wright.—A desperate project.—Escaped!—Giving chase.—The pursuers baffled.—Old Richard.—"Pooty hard case, massa."—Rebel deserters.—The sound of cannon.—Personating a rebel officer.—Mrs. Keyton.—Renewed hope.—A Confederate outpost.—Bloodhounds.—Uncle Philip.—March Dasher.—Suspicion disarmed.—"Now I'ze ready, gemmen."—Stars and stripes.—Glorious freedom.—Home 274



Glazier's determination to re-enter the army.—Letter to Colonel Harhaus.—Testimonial from Colonel Clarence Buel.—Letter from Hon. Martin I. Townsend to governor of New York.—Letter from General Davies.—Letter from General Kilpatrick.—Application for new commission successful.—Home.—The mother fails to recognize her son.—Supposed to be dead.—Recognized by his sister Marjorie.—Filial and fraternal love.—Reports himself to his commanding officer for duty.—Close of the war and of Glazier's military career.—Seeks a new object in life.—An idea occurs to him.—Becomes an author, and finds a publisher 295



Glazier in search of a publisher for "Capture, Prison-Pen and Escape."—Spends his last dollar.—Lieutenant Richardson a friend in need.—Joel Munsell, of Albany, consents to publish.—The author solicits subscriptions for his work before publication.— Succeeds.—Captain Hampton.—R. H. Ferguson.—Captain F. C. Lord.—Publication and sale of first edition.—Great success.—Pays his publisher in full.—Still greater successes.—Finally attains an enormous sale.—Style of the work.—Extracts.—Opinions of the press 304



Another work by Captain Glazier.—"Three Years in the Federal Cavalry."—Daring deeds of the Light Dragoons.—Extracts from the work.—Night attack on Falmouth Heights.—Kilpatrick's stratagem.—Flight of the enemy.—Capture of Falmouth.—Burial of Lieutenant Decker.—Incidents at "Brandy Station."—"Harris Light" and "Tenth New York."—"Men of Maine, you must save the day!"—Position won.—Some press reviews of the work 313



"Battles for the Union."—Extracts.—Bull Run.—Brandy Station.—Manassas.—Gettysburg.—Pittsburg Landing.—Surrender of General Lee.—Opinions of the press.—Philadelphia "North American."—Pittsburg "Commercial."—Chicago "Inter-Ocean."— Scranton "Republican."—Wilkes-Barre "Record of the Times."—Reading "Eagle."—Albany "Evening Journal" 322



Literary zeal.—"Heroes of Three Wars."—Extract from preface.—Sale of the work.—Extracts: Washington.—Winfield Scott.—Zachary Taylor.—Grant.—Sheridan.—Kilpatrick.—Press reviews, a few out of many: Boston "Transcript."—Chicago "Inter-Ocean."—Baltimore "Sun."—Philadelphia "Times."—Cincinnati "Enquirer."—Worcester "Spy."—Pittsburg "Gazette" 341



From Boston to San Francisco.—An unparalleled ride.—Object of the journey.—Novel lecture tour.—Captain Frank M. Clark.—"Echoes from the Revolution."—Lecture at Tremont Temple.—Captain Theodore L. Kelly.—A success.—Proceeds of lecture.—Edward F. Rollins.—Extracts from first lecture.—Press notices 364



In the saddle.—Bunker Hill.—Arrives in Albany.—Reminiscences.— The Soldiers' Home.—Contributions for erecting Soldiers' Home.—Reception at Rochester.—Buffalo.—Dunkirk.—Swanville.— Cleveland.—Massacre of General Custer.—Monroe.—Lectures for Custer Monument.—Father of General Custer.—Detroit.— Kalamazoo.—An adventure.—Gives "Paul Revere" a rest.—Decatur.— Niles.—Michigan City.—Chicago 376



Returns to Michigan City.—Joliet.—Thomas Babcock.—Herbert Glazier.—Ottawa.—La Salle.—Colonel Stevens.—Press Notice.—Taken for a highwayman.—Milan.—Davenport.—Press Notice.—Iowa City.—Des Moines.—Press Notice.—Attacked by prairie wolves.—Council Bluffs.—Omaha 401



Captain Glazier as a horseman.—Cheyenne.—Two herders.—Captured by Indians.—Torture and death of a herder.—Escape.—Ogden.— Letter to Major Hessler.—Kelton.—Terrace.—Wells.—Halleck.— Elko.—Palisade.—Argenta.—Battle Mountain.—Golconda.—Humboldt.— "The majesty of the law."—Lovelock's.—White Plains.—Desert.— Wadsworth.—Truckee.—Summit.—Sacramento.—Brighton.— Stockton.—SAN FRANCISCO 410



Returns to the East by the "Iron Horse."—Boston Transcript on the journey on horseback.—Resumes literary work.—"Peculiarities of American Cities."—Preface to book.—A domestic incident.—A worthy son.—Claims of parents.—Purchases the Old Homestead, and presents it to his father and mother.—Letter to his parents.—The end 431



An interval of literary work.—Conception of another expedition.— Reflections upon the Old Explorers.—Indian rumors.—Determined to find the true source of the Great River.—Starting on the eventful journey.—Joined by his brother George and Barrett Channing Paine.—Collecting materials for the expedition.—Brainerd the first point of departure.—Through the Chippewa country.—Seventy miles of government road.—Curiosity its own reward.—Arrival at Leech Lake 437



An aboriginal red man.—A primitive hotel.—A native of the forest.—Leech Lake.—Major Ruffe's arrival.—White Cloud.—Paul Beaulieu and his theory about the source of the Mississippi.—Che-no-wa-ge-sic.—Studying Indian manners and customs.—Dining with Indian royalty.—Chippewa hospitality.—How the wife of an Indian Chief entertains.—Souvenir of Flat Mouth.—Return of Che-no-wa-ge-sic.—A council held.—An Indian speech.—"No White Man has yet seen the head of the Father of Waters."—Voyage of exploration.—Launching the canoes 444



Launching the canoes.—Flat Mouth and White Cloud again.—An inspiring scene.—Farewell to Leech Lake.—Up the Kabekanka River.—Dinner at Lake Benedict.—Difficult navigation.—A peaceful haven.—Supper and contentment.—Lake Garfield.—Preparations for first portage.—Utter exhaustion.—Encampment for the night.—The cavalry column.—Lake George and Lake Paine.—The Naiwa River.—Six miles from Itasca.—Camping on the Mississippi watershed.—A startling discovery.—Rations giving out.—Ammunition gone.—Arrival at Lake Itasca 454



Short rations.—Empty haversacks and depleted cartridge-boxes.—Statement of Chenowagesic.—Captain Glazier's diary.—Vivid description.—Coasting Itasca.—Chenowagesic puzzled.—The barrier overcome.—Victory! the Infant Mississippi.—Enthusiastic desire to see the source.—The goal reached.—A beautiful lake.—The fountain-head.—An American the first white man to stand by its side.—Schoolcraft.—How he came to miss the lake.—Appropriate ceremonies.—Captain Glazier's speech.—Naming the lake.—Chenowagesic.—Military honors.—"Three cheers for the explorer" 465



Voyage from Source to Sea.—Three thousand miles in an open canoe.—"Pioneers of the Mississippi."—A thrilling lecture.—The long voyage begun.—Mosquitoes.—Hunger and exhaustion.—The Captain kills an otter.—Lakes Bemidji and Winnibegoshish.—An Indian missionary.—Wind-bound.—Chenowagesic bids farewell to the Captain.—Pokegama Falls.—Grand Rapids.—Meeting the first steamboat.—Aitkin.—Great enthusiasm.—The new canoes.—Leaving Aitkin.—Arrival at Little Falls.—Escorted in triumph to the town.—"Captain Glazier! A speech! A speech!"—Lake Pepin.—An appalling storm.—St. Louis.—Southern hospitality.—New Orleans.—Arrival at the Gulf of Mexico.—End of voyage 476



Captain Glazier returns to New Orleans.—A general ovation.— Flattering opinions of the press.—Introduction to the Mayor.— Freedom of the City tendered.—Special meeting of the New Orleans Academy of Sciences.—Presentation of the "Alice" to the Academy.— Captain Glazier's address.—The President's Response.—Resolutions of thanks and appreciation passed.—Visit to the Arsenal of the Washington Artillery.—Welcome by the Old Guard of the Louisiana Tigers.—Pleasant memories of the "Crescent City" 490



Return to St. Louis.—Lecture at Mercantile Library Hall.—Brilliant audience.—The Missouri Historical Society present.—Eloquent introduction by Judge Todd.—"Pioneers of the Mississippi."—Presentation of the "Itasca" to the Historical Society.—Remarks of Captain Silas Bent on accepting the canoe.—Congratulations of the audience.—Closing scene 496



An interesting souvenir.—Greeting at Lake Glazier.—Petition to Geographical Societies.—Voice from Aitkin, Gate City of the Upper Mississippi.—Tributes from Brainerd.—Mississippi Pyramid.—An old friend at La Crosse.—Greetings at St. Louis.—Senator Lamar.—Royal welcome at Bayou Tunica.—Sentiment of Port Eads.—Congratulations of the officers of the "Margaret."—Greetings from New Orleans.—"Fame's triple wreath."—Closing remarks 502




Portrait of the Soldier-author Frontispiece

Birth-place of Willard Glazier 26

The First Battle 32

Race with the Schoolmaster 44

Tragic Experience with an Ox-Team 80

The Young Trapper of the Oswegatchie 90

Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary 102

Old State Normal School 110

A Cavalry Column on the March 118

Night Attack on Falmouth Heights 126

Federal Canteens for Confederate Tobacco 130

Burial of Captain Walters at Midnight, during Pope's retreat 134

Sergeant Glazier at Aldie 146

Lieutenant Glazier at Brandy Station 156

Cavalry Fight at New Baltimore—Lieutenant Glazier taken Prisoner 160

Libby Prison 166

The Hole in the Floor 192

Tunneling—the Narrow Path To Freedom 198

Charleston Jail—Charleston, South Carolina 206

The Escape From Columbia—Crossing the Dead-Line 216

The Escape—Fed by Negroes in a Swamp 220

The Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties 224

Uncle Zeb's Prayer 232

The Escape—Crossing the Savannah at Midnight 246

A Mutual Surprise 258

Recaptured by a Confederate Outpost 266

The Escape and Pursuit 270

The Escape From Sylvania, Georgia—Running the Guard 276

Interview With Joel Munsell 306

Cavalry Foraging-Party Returning To Camp 312

A Cavalry Bivouac 319

Battle of Gettysburg 332

Captain Glazier at Tremont Temple—Boston 364

Boston to Brighton—First Day of The Journey 376

A Night among Wolves 406

Captured by Indians, near Skull Rocks, Wyoming 412

Pursued by Arrapahoes 418

Riding into the Pacific, near the Cliff House—San Francisco 428

Map of the Headwaters of the Mississippi 437

Captain Glazier Embarking for the Headwaters of the Mississippi 454

Camp Among the Pines 458

Making a Portage 462

Map of Lake Glazier 464

Lake Glazier—Source of the Mississippi 468

Running Rapids on the Upper Mississippi 478




Lineage of Willard Glazier.—A good stock.—Oliver Glazier at the Battle of Bunker Hill.—The home of honest industry.—The Coronet of Pembroke.—The "Homestead Farm."—Mehitable Bolton.—Her New England home.—Her marriage to Ward Glazier.—The wild "North Woods."—The mother of the soldier-author.

Willard Glazier comes of the mixed blood of Saxon and of Celt. We first hear of his ancestors upon this side of the Atlantic at that period of our nation's history which intervened between the speck of war at Lexington and the cloud of war at Bunker Hill.

Massachusetts and the town of Boston had become marked objects of the displeasure of the British Parliament. Later, in 1775, Ethan Allen had startled Captain Delaplace by presenting his lank figure at the captain's bedside and demanding the surrender of Ticonderoga in the name of the "Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." In the language of Daniel Webster, "A spirit pervaded all ranks, not transient, not boisterous, but deep, solemn, determined."

War on their own soil and at their own doors was indeed a strange work to the yeomanry of New England; but their consciences were convinced of its necessity, and when their country called them to her defense they did not withhold themselves from the perilous responsibility.

The statement of Quincy seemed to pervade all hearts. Said that distinguished son of genius and patriotism, "Blandishments will not fascinate us, nor will threats of a halter intimidate; for, under God, we are determined that, wheresoever, whensoever, and howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men."

At such a time, and among such men, we find enrolled in the ranks of the patriot army Oliver Glazier, the great-grandfather of the subject of the present biography.

Oliver's father was John Glazier, a Massachusetts Lancastrian, born in 1739. John Glazier was the son of William Glazier, born about the year 1700, his ancestry being respectively of English and of Scotch extraction. Oliver himself, however, was born in the town of Lancaster, in the province or colony of Massachusetts, May twenty-third, 1763.

Hence the blood of Norman, of Saxon and of Celt, that had forgotten the animosities of race and mingled quietly in the veins of his ancestors, had become purely American in Oliver, and though but little over fourteen years of age, we find him doing yeoman service upon the ramparts of Bunker Hill.

That he performed well his part in the struggle for liberty, is evident from the fact that he appears upon the rolls as a pensioner, from the close of that memorable contest until the time of his death.

Mr. Frank Renehan, in a sketch contributed by him to an elaborate work which was published by the New York and Hartford Publishing Company in 1871, comments as follows upon the coincidence of Oliver Glazier in 1775 and Willard Glazier in 1861—both being at the time of entering service comparatively boys in age, enlisting for the defense of their country: "The former, though then but fourteen years of age, participated with the patriots in the battle of Bunker Hill, and to the last contributed his young enthusiasm and willing services to the cause he had espoused; thus giving early testimony of his devotion to the land of his adoption and of fealty to the principles of popular government involved in the struggle for American independence. So remarkable an instance of ancestral fidelity to the interests of civil liberty could not but exercise a marked influence upon those of the same blood to whom the tradition was handed down, and here we find our subject, a scion of the third generation, assisting in 1861 on the battlefields of the South, in maintenance of the liberty his progenitor had contributed to achieve in 1775 on the battlefields of the North! This is not mentioned as a singular fact—history is replete with just such coincidences,—but merely for the purpose of suggesting the moral that, in matters of patriotism, the son is only consistent when he imitates the example and emulates the virtues of his sires."

In this eloquent passage occurs an error of fact. Oliver Glazier while in the patriot army was not fighting for the "land of his adoption." As we have seen, he was native here and "to the manor born." Indeed, in the light of historic proof and with the example of men descended from Washington and Light Horse Harry Lee before us, we are rather inclined to admire the paragraph as a fine specimen of rhetorical composition than to admit its accuracy as a deduction in philosophy.

Subsequent to his term of military service—an experience through which he had safely passed—Oliver Glazier became a resident of West Boylston, Massachusetts, where he married a Miss Hastings.

The name of Glazier, Lower tells us, is purely English, and is derived from the title given to the trade. However that may be, those who have borne it have always expressed a pride in having sprung from the great mass—the people—and have held with the philosopher of Sunnyside, that whether "hereditary rank be an illusion or not, hereditary virtue gives a patent of nobility beyond all the blazonry of the herald's college." The name of Hastings takes its rise from a nobler source; for Mrs. Oliver Glazier brought into the family as blue blood as any in all England. The great family which bears that name in Great Britain can show quarterings of an earlier date than the battle which gave a kingdom to William of Normandy. Macaulay says that one branch of their line, in the fourteenth century, "wore the coronet of Pembroke; that from another sprang the renowned Lord Chamberlain, the faithful adherent of the White Rose, whose fate has furnished so striking a theme both to the poet and historian," and while it is probable that this wife of an American patriot was many degrees removed from the powerful leaders whose name she bore, the same blood undoubtedly flowed in her veins that coursed through theirs.

Oliver, during the many years of a happy married life which terminated in his death at the ripe age of ninety-seven, became the father of eight children. His son Jabez left Boylston at an early age, and after considerable "prospecting" finally married a Miss Sarah Tucker and settled in the township of Fowler, St. Lawrence County, New York. Out of their union sprang three sons, George, Ward, and Henry, and four daughters, Elvira, Martha, Caroline and Lydia. During a visit he made to his "down East" relations, Ward married a young lady by the name of Mehitable Bolton, of West Boylston, Massachusetts.

This young lady was a true representative of the New England woman, who believes that work is the handmaid of religion. She entered a cotton factory at Worcester when only seventeen years of age, and worked perseveringly through long years of labor, often walking from her home in West Boylston to the factory at Worcester, a distance of seven miles. At the time of her marriage—which occurred when she was twenty-five—she had accumulated the snug little sum of five hundred dollars, besides possessing a handsome wardrobe, all of which was the fruit of her own untiring industry.

If it be true that the mothers of men of mark are always women of strong and noble characters, then we are not surprised to find in the mother of Willard Glazier those sterling qualities which made her young life successful.

The early married life of Ward Glazier was passed upon the farm first cleared and cultivated by his father, and which has since become known to the neighborhood as the "Old Glazier Homestead." This farm is situated in the township of Fowler, midway between the small villages of Little York and Fullersville.

The township is a tract of rugged land, containing only the little village of Hailesborough, besides those already named. Along its borders rushes and tumbles a turbulent stream which still retains its original Indian appellation—the Oswegatchie; a name no doubt conveying to the ear of its aboriginal sponsors some poetical conceit, just as another stream in far off Virginia is named the Shenandoah, or "Daughter of the Stars."

Those who are at all familiar with the scenery that prevails in what in other sections of the country are called the great North Woods, and in their own neighborhood the great South Woods, can readily imagine what were the geological and scenic peculiarities of Fowler township. Bare, sterile, famished-looking, as far as horticultural and herbaceous crops are concerned, yet rich in pasture and abounding in herds—with vast rocks crested and plumed with rich growths of black balsam, maple, and spruce timber, and with huge boulders scattered carelessly over its surface and margining its streams, St. Lawrence County presents to-day features of savage grandeur as wild and imposing as it did ere the foot of a trapper had profaned its primeval forests.

Yet its farms and its dwellings are numerous, its villages and towns possess all the accompaniments of modern civilization, the spires of its churches indicate that the gentle influences of religion are not forgotten, and there, as elsewhere, the indomitable will of man has won from the wilderness a living and a home.



The infant stranger.—A mother's prayers.—"Be just before you are generous."—Careful training.—Willard Glazier's first battle.—A narrow escape.—Facing the foe.—The happy days of childhood.—"The boy is father to the man."

The Glazier Homestead, as we have said, is upon the main road leading from Little York to Fullerville. It is a substantial and comfortable farm-house, with no pretension to architectural beauty, but, nevertheless, is a sightly object in a pleasant landscape. Standing back two hundred feet from the road, in a grove of gigantic elms, with a limpid brook of spring water a short distance to the right, and rich fields of herd grass stretching off rearwards towards the waters of the Oswegatchie, which hurry along on their journey of forty miles to the St. Lawrence River, the old house is sure to attract the attention of the traveller, and to be long remembered as a picture of solid and substantial comfort.

In this old house, upon the morning of August twenty-second, 1841, to Ward Glazier and Mehitable, his wife, a son was born who was subsequently named Willard. The father and mother were by no means sentimental people—they were certainly not given to seeing the poetical side of life; they were plain, earnest people, rough hewn out of the coarse fibre of Puritanism, but the advent of this little child brought a joy to their hearts that had its softening influence upon the home in which he was to be reared.

The thoroughness of Ward Glazier's nature, that conscientiousness in excess which made him radical in all things, was of the heart as well as of the head, and though not a demonstrative man, the intensity of his paternal love cropped out in many ways. As to his wife, hers was truly "mother's love." And what notes are there attuned to sacred music, in all the broad vocabulary of the English tongue, which gives any idea of the sentiment that links a woman to her babe, except the three simple syllables, "mother's love!" Brooding over the tiny stranger, ready to laugh or cry; exultant with hope and pride, despondent with fear, quivering with anguish if the "wind of heaven doth visit its cheek too roughly," and singing hosannas of joy when it lisps the simpler syllables that she so patiently has taught, covering it with the broad wing of her measureless affection, and lavishing upon it such "sighs as perfect joy perplexed for utterance, steals from her sister sorrow," there is nothing except God's own illimitable affection for his creatures, that can rival in depth and strength and comprehensiveness, a mother's love.

The heart of Ward Glazier's wife, at this time, blossomed in absolutely rank luxuriance with this feeling, and ran riot in the joy of its possession; but she determined within herself that it should be no blind or foolish worship. It grew, therefore, into a sober, careful, provident affection.

Quiet and unobtrusive in manner, her face always wore a look of gravity befitting one who felt that God had entrusted to her charge a fresh human soul to mould for good or evil. She fully realized the fact that her son would grow up with honor or sink down into ignominy just as she should guide or spoil him in his youth. She quite comprehended the stubborn truth, that while the father to some extent may shape the outward career of his son, the mother is responsible for the coloring of his inner life: and that

"All we learn of good is learned in youth, When passion's heat is pure, when love is truth."

Though of Puritan stock, though reared in the austere faith of John Knox, there was nothing hard or harsh in this mother's character, and still less was there anything of the materialist about her. She would have utterly scouted the doctrine of Cabanis and his school, which held that the physical was the whole structure of man; that all instincts, passions, thoughts, emanated from the body; that sensibility is an effect of the nervous system, that passion is an emanation of the viscera, that intellect is nothing more than a cerebral secretion, and "self-consciousness but a general faculty of living matter." She had drunk inspiration of a different kind from her infancy. In her New England home the very atmosphere was charged with religious influences. She was taught, or rather she had learned without a teacher, not only to see God in the flowers and in the stars, but to recognize his immediate agency in all things terrestrial.

Night after night, listening to the tremulous tones of her father as he read a lesson from the sacred page, not only to those of his own blood, but to his "man-servant, his maid-servant, and the stranger within his gates," she had felt the presence of a tangible God, and when, at last, she followed the fortunes of the chosen one of her heart far into the great North Woods, nature spoke to her from the forest and the cataract, deepening each early impression and intensifying each early belief, until she realized as a living fact that the "Lord was ever in his holy temple" and that his temple was the universe.

To a woman like this every act of life became a matter of conscience, and the training of her child of course became such to Mrs. Glazier. She had watched the pitfalls which the "world, the flesh and the devil"—that trinity of evil—provide for the feet of the unwary, and she determined that young Willard's steps, if she could prevent it, should never stray that way.

Her husband took life and its duties much more easily. He was less rigid in his sense of parental responsibility. While a man of great rectitude of purpose, he was good-natured to a fault—somewhat improvident, careless of money, ever ready to extend aid to the needy, and especially disinclined to the exercise of harshness in his home, even when the stern element of authority was needed. In short, he was one of those big-hearted men who are so brimful of the "milk of human kindness" that the greatest pain they ever feel is the pain they see others suffer. His plan therefore was, spare the rod even if you do spoil the child.

But—perhaps fortunately for young Willard—Mrs. Glazier held different views. From his very infancy she endeavored to instil into his nature habits of truthfulness, industry and thrift. "Never waste and never lie" was her pet injunction. Her aim was not to make her son a generous, but a just man. "One hour of justice is worth an eternity of prayer," says the Arabian proverb, but Mrs. Glazier, while she exalted justice as the greatest of the virtues, also believed that in order to make man's heart its temple, prayer was an absolutely necessary pre-requisite. She likewise endeavored from the first to habituate the boy's mind to reflect upon the value of money and the uses of economy. She would have "coined her blood for drachms" if that would have benefited her husband or her son. Her savings were not spent upon herself, but in the hard school of a bitter experience she had learned that money means much more than dollars and cents—that its possession involves the ability to live a life of honor, untempted by the sordid solicitations that clamor round the poor man's door and wring the poor man's heart.

The result was that as soon as he began to comprehend her words, young Willard had impressed upon his memory maxims eulogizing all who practise habits of sobriety, industry and frugality, and denunciatory of all who fail to do so.

His mother never wearied of teaching him such sayings of Dr. Franklin as these: "Time is money," "Credit is money," "Money begets money," "The good paymaster is lord of another man's purse," and "The sound of a man's hammer heard by his creditor at six o'clock in the morning makes him easy six months longer, while the sound of his voice heard in a tavern, induces him to send for his money the next day;" "Trifling items aggregate into large totals," while the text that ruled the house was that of the Scripture, "If any would not work neither should he eat."

The effect of the constant teaching of such lessons was not however perceptible in the lad's habits in very early life. He was no model little boy, no monster of perfection—he was like the boys that we see around us every day—not one of the marvels we read about. But the seed was sown in his soul which was destined to quicken into fruit in after life.

At the early age of four years his mother began to teach him to read and write, and under her loving tuition he acquired a knowledge of these two branches of culture quite rapidly.

Just about this time an incident occurred which came near finishing young Willard's career in a manner as sudden as it would have been singular.

The "Homestead Farm" was at that time pretty well stocked for a place only containing one hundred and forty acres, and among the cattle was a sturdy Alderney bull whose reputation for peace and quietness was unusually good.

On a certain morning, however, early in the spring of the year 1845, young Master Willard happened to overhear a conversation between two of the farm hands, in the course of which one of them declared that "old Blackface was tarin' round mighty lively." This statement interested the lad to such an extent that he concluded to go and see how this "tarin' round" was done.

Accordingly, taking advantage of a moment when his mother's attention was occupied, he started for the barnyard, into which Mr. Bull had been turned only a few moments before. Now as young Willard was somewhat smaller than the visitors our bovine friend was in the habit of receiving, such an unwarrantable intrusion was not to be tolerated for a moment. Accordingly, no sooner had Willard set his little feet within the enclosure of the barn-yard than the bull gave a roar of rage, and catching the boy on the tips of his horns, which fortunately were buttoned, sent him twenty feet up in the air, preparing to trample him out of existence when he should come down. Luckily some of the men were attracted to the scene, who secured his bullship and rescued the child. Willard was not seriously hurt, and the instant he regained his feet, he turned round, shook his tiny fist at the now retreating animal and shouted out in a shrill treble, "When I get to be a big man I'll toss you in the air!"

Having thus taken the bull by the horns in a literal as well as figurative sense, the lad began gradually to develop into that terrible embodiment of unrest—a boy. He exhibited no very marked peculiarities up to this time to distinguish him from other youths; but just grew into the conglomerate mass of good, bad and indifferent qualities which go to make up the ordinary flesh-and-blood boy—brimful of mischief and impatient of restraint.



Scotch-Irish Presbyterianism of twenty-five years ago.—The "little deacon."—First days at school.—Choosing a wife.—A youthful gallant.—A close scholar but a wild lad.—A mother's influence.—Ward Glazier a Grahamite.—Young Willard's practical jokes.—Anecdote of Crystal Spring.—"That is something like water."

It must not be supposed that young Willard's home was gloomy and joyless, because it was presided over by a religious woman. The Presbyterians of that day and that race were by no means a lugubrious people. They did not necessarily view their lives as a mere vale of tears, nor did they think the "night side of nature" the most sacred one. The Rev. Mr. Morrison, one of their divines, tells us that "the thoughtless, the grave, the old and the young, alike enjoyed every species of wit," and though they were "thoughtful, serious men, yet they never lost an occasion that might promise sport," and he very pertinently asks, "what other race ever equaled them in getting up corn-huskings, log-rollings and quiltings?—and what hosts of queer stories are connected with them!" Fond of fun, there was a grotesque humor about them, which in its way has, perhaps, never been equaled.

"It was the sternness of the Scotch Covenanter softened by a century's residence abroad, amid persecution and trial, united to the comic humor and pathos of the Irish, and then grown wild in the woods among their own New England mountains."

Such was the Scotch-Irish Presbyterianism of that period.

Other cheerful influences were also at work in the two villages that comprised the town of Fowler. The only house of worship in the town proper was a Universalist church, and the people were compelled for the most part, notwithstanding their various creeds, to worship in a common temple where the asperities of sectarian difference had no existence.

Ward Glazier, at that time, was an adherent of Universalism, while his wife held evangelical views. But he was ever ready to ride with his wife and son to the church of her choice at Gouverneur, a distance of six miles, and returning, chat with them pleasantly of the sermon, the crops, the markets and the gossip of the town.

In truth, young Willard's early home was a good and pleasant one, and having learned, under his mother's careful training, to read exceedingly well, for a boy of his age, by the time he reached his fourth year he became noted for his inquiring disposition, his quiet manner, and a quaint habit of making some practical application of the "wise saws" with which his mother had stored his juvenile mind.

The result was that up to this period of his existence he was an old-fashioned little fellow, and somehow had acquired the sobriquet of the "little deacon."

At about five years of age, however, a change took place in the boy.

The bird that flutters and twitters in the parent nest is a very different thing from the emancipated fledgeling, feeling its newly acquired power of flight, and soaring far up and out into the woods and over the fields; and the boy whose experience of life is confined to the household of his parents, is not less different from the lad who has gone beyond it into the bustle and turmoil of that epitomized world,—a public school.

Little Willard, like other youths, was thrown into this new sphere of action suddenly, and without any adequate idea of what was there expected of him. The first day passed as all first days at school pass, not in study, but in looking on and becoming accustomed to the surroundings, himself in turn being the subject of scrutiny by his school-mates, as the "new boy." The day did not end, however, without its incident.

Young Willard as soon as he had made his bow to his new teacher, was placed upon a bench in close proximity to a pretty little girl of about his own age. Instead of wasting his time therefore, by studying the less attractive lineaments of his male companions, he made a careful comparison between this young lady and the other girls present, the result of which was that the moment he was permitted to go out during the customary recess, he bounded off home at the top of his speed, and with all the exuberance natural to his years announced to his astonished mother, "Mother! mother! I've picked out my wife!"

Susceptibility to the influence of beauty seems, at this period of Willard's life, to have been one of his prominent characteristics, for in addition to exhibiting itself in the manner described, upon another occasion not long afterwards it broke out as follows:

Every school-boy is aware that there is nothing so humiliating to a male pupil at a public school as to be called a "girl-boy." Hence, for trivial offences a boy is often punished by being sandwiched between two girls, and compelled to remain there until the offence committed has been sufficiently atoned for. Now young Willard was frequently guilty of talking during study hours, and his teacher determined to try this species of punishment upon him with a view of correcting the offensive habit. As soon, therefore, as he caught him indulging in the prohibited practice, he was ordered to take his place between two very young ladies of six and eight summers respectively. To the amazement of his teacher, young Willard sustained the infliction smilingly, and believing that this was an indication that the culprit recognized the justice of the punishment and was practising a commendable patience, he very soon called him up to his own desk, reasoned with him upon the necessity of observing the rules of school, and released him with an admonition to be careful for the future, as a repetition of his offence would certainly be followed by a repetition of the punishment.

Willard said nothing, but went to his desk, and for the space of five minutes, perhaps, there was complete silence in the school-room. Then Mr. —— was startled to hear a distinct, clear, unmistakable whisper break in upon his meditations, and became as suddenly struck with the conviction that it was uttered by Master Willard Glazier.

The countenance of the pedagogue grew dark and stern. Fire shot from his usually calm eyes, and his expression betokened the fact that this flagrant act of disobedience was more than he could bear. Indignation however soon gave place to astonishment, for the little fellow, without waiting for a single word from his teacher's lips, quietly arose to his feet, and with the placid expression of an individual performing a meritorious action, marched across the school-room and deliberately seated himself in the place he had before occupied between the two little girls.

"Willard Glazier!" thundered the master, "come here, sir, immediately!"

The boy of course instantly obeyed.

"What do you mean, sir!" exclaimed the teacher, "how dare you conduct yourself in this disgraceful manner, sir!"

Young Willard looked astonished.

"Why, Mr. ——," said he, "didn't you say that if I whispered to Myron Sprague again, I should go back and sit between Lizzie and Annie?"

"Yes, sir, I did, and how dare you disobey me in this way?"

"Why, sir," said Willard, "I whispered again to him, because, sir,—because—I like to sit there, sir."

A light dawned upon the mind of the master, and thereafter he adopted a less attractive mode of punishing Willard's offences. To some of my readers such incidents may seem too trivial for record, and no doubt such days as these are foolish days, but are they not in our memories, among our very happiest too? As David Copperfield said of such, so say we, that "of all my time that Time has in his grip, there's none at which I smile so much, or think of half so kindly."

The usual surroundings of a public school made a great change in the existence of Willard Glazier, and it is necessary to note its influence, for in writing the life of a man in its private as well as its public relations, the chief point to be considered is that which men call character, and how it was formed and fashioned.

If the truth must be told, the "little deacon" had not been a month in attendance at school before he was up to every imaginable species of mischief that the fertile brain of a school-boy could conceive—provided its execution did not involve unequivocal untruth or palpable dishonesty.

No human being, save one, was exempt from his practical jokes. That one was his mother. In his wildest moods, a glance of reproach from her would check him. His father, however, enjoyed no such immunity, and in a kindly way, he delighted in tormenting the good man whenever the opportunity offered.

For instance, that worthy gentleman, among other idiosyncracies, was a follower of the so-called Dr. Sylvester Graham, an ex-Presbyterian clergyman who, in 1832, inaugurated, by a familiar course of lectures, a new system of dietetics.

The Grahamites, as they were called, held that health is the necessary result of obeying certain physical laws, and disease the equally certain result of disobeying them; that all stimulants are pernicious to the human body, and should be rejected, except in those rare cases where it becomes necessary to administer one known poison as an antidote to another equally deadly, in order to neutralize its effects or expel it from the system. Dr. Graham condemned the use of tea, coffee and spices, tobacco, opium, and not only alcoholic drinks but even beer and cider, declaring that all were equally poisonous, and that they only differed in the degree in which their evil qualities were concentrated or expanded.

Ward Glazier held this theory to be the result of a profound philosophy, and considered the observance of the course of diet he prescribed to be the only way in which a human being could secure for himself a sound mind in a sound body. In medicine, Mr. Glazier was an equally rigid hydropathist. He held that the system of water cure was the only rational system of healing. One of his individual fancies was to drink only water obtained from a particular spring. This spring was beautifully clear and cold, and was situated at the distance of about sixty rods from the house. It was Willard's allotted duty each day to fill a large pitcher from its crystal treasures for use at meals. In order to do this, the brooklet being extremely shallow, and running over masses of pebbles, he was compelled to kneel and dip it up with a cup,—an operation requiring both time and patience. Now within a few yards of this place flowed a small stream or creek considerably deeper and of larger volume, fed by a number of rills, and as the boy had conceived the impression that his father only fancied a distinction where there was really no difference, between the waters of the rival streams, it occurred to him that he might just as well plunge his pitcher in the latter, fill it by a single effort, and thus save himself what he especially disliked,—useless labor. This he did with the following result:

Ward Glazier was just about sitting down to dinner as Willard entered, and observing that his son came from the immediate vicinity of the creek, poured out and tasted a little of the water with evident dissatisfaction.

"Willard," said he, "you didn't get this from the spring; this is creek water. Now go right back and get a pitcherful from the spring."

Off started Master Willard to do as he was bidden, but on his way, the originator of all mischief suggested to his fertile brain the idea of playing a trick upon his father; so instead of going to the spring, he simply loitered for a few moments out of sight of such of the family as might be at the windows,

"Under an elm whose antique roots peep out Upon the brook, that brawls along the wood."

He then quietly sauntered back, with the identical pitcher of water with which he had come forth.

"There," said he, emphatically, as if he had fulfilled his mission, at the same time placing the pitcher near his father's plate upon the table. The good man took it up, examined the contents with a critical eye, poured out a glassful of the sparkling liquid and drained it to the last drop.

"Ah," said he, with a sigh expressive of great satisfaction, "that is something like water! that does a man good!"

This evidence of parental fallibility Master Willard enjoyed hugely, but it was many years before he ventured to give his father an opportunity to join in the laugh at his own expense, by telling him of the occurrence.



School-days continued.—Boys will be boys.—Cornelius Carter, the teacher.—Young Willard's rebellion against injustice.—Gum-chewing.—Laughable race through the snow.—The tumble into a snow-bank, and what came of it.—The runaway caught.—Explanation and reconciliation.—The new master, James Nichols.—"Spare the rod and spoil the child."—The age of chivalry not gone.—Magnanimity of a school-boy.—Friendship between Willard and Henry Abbott.—Good-bye to the "little deacon."

Willard Glazier was, by no means, what is termed a bad boy, at school.

It is true he was full of mischief; was the last in for study and the first out for recreation, but he was neither disobedient nor inattentive to his lessons. One scholarly element, however, he lacked. The bump which phrenologists term reverence had small development in him at this period of his existence. His record always stood high in the matter of lessons, but low in the matter of conduct. Instances of insubordination occurred whenever he thought he was treated unfairly, while no boy was ever more ready to submit to authority when wisely and justly administered. The following incident is an illustration in point:

One of his teachers bore the name of Cornelius Carter. We have been unable to ascertain this gentleman's nationality, nor would his history, if known to us, be pertinent to this work, but we have reason to believe that he was of Scottish descent, if not actually a native of that

"Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, Land of the mountain and the flood."

At all events he possessed all the sterling qualities of that clear-headed people.

A man of fine parts and scholarly attainments, earnestly bent upon doing his whole duty, vigorous, energetic and thorough in everything, Carter was just the man to conduct a school with mathematical precision, but at the same time, his natural irritability was such that the whirlwind was less fierce than his wrath, when the latter was aroused. About the time of his advent among the pupils at the Little York public school, gum-chewing had become an accomplishment among the boys, and though it was a species of amusement positively forbidden, was carried on surreptitiously throughout the school.

One dark winter morning just after a heavy fall of snow, it happened that our friend Willard, though placed upon a bench in the middle of a row of these gum-chewing juveniles, was himself not chewing, for the simple reason that he had no gum to chew, and his next neighbors were niggardly enough to refuse to give him any.

Suddenly the hawk eye of Carter swept down upon the offending group; and quite assured that if mischief was in progress, young Glazier was in it, came forward and stretching out his long arms, placed his palms upon the outermost cheek of each "end boy," and brought the heads of the entire line together with a shock that made them ring again. Then, without a word, he caught each urchin in turn by the collar of his coat, and with one vigorous jerk swung him into the middle of the floor and in his sternest tones bade him stand there until further orders.

Willard did not at the moment venture to say anything, but stood with the rest, nursing his wrath. Had he really been at fault he would have thought nothing of it, but first to have been deprived by circumstances of the opportunity to break the rules, and then to be punished for a breach of them, was too much.

He waited, without a word, until the group of delinquents, after listening to a scathing lecture, were dismissed to their seats. He then deliberately proceeded to put his books under his arm, preparatory to making a start for home.

One of the monitors, a large boy, observing this movement, informed Mr. Carter that Willard Glazier was going to "cut for home," in other words, to leave school without permission.

The master, upon receiving this intelligence, started down the aisle towards young Willard; but that restive youth perceiving the movement, made rapid time for the door, and dashed down-stairs closely pursued by the now furious pedagogue.

Having some rods the advantage at the start, the boy reached the exterior of the building first, and struck out in a straight line for home.

The storms which prevailed throughout the entire winter in St. Lawrence County, had piled up their accumulated snows over the space of ground that separated the school-house from Willard Glazier's home. Over this single expanse of deep snow many feet had trodden a hard path, which alternate melting and freezing had formed into a solid, slippery, back-bone looking ridge, altogether unsafe for fast travel. Over this ridge young Willard was now running at the top of his speed. In view of the probable flogging behind, he took no heed of the perils of the path before him.

"So like an arrow, swift he flew Shot by an archer strong, So did he fly, which brings me to The middle of my song."

As for Carter, not a whit daunted by the icy path and the fact that he was hatless, in slippers, and clad only in a long, loose summer coat worn in the heated school-room, he gave chase in gallant style, and while Willard possessed the advantage of an earlier start, the teacher's long legs compensated for the time gained by his pupil, and made a pretty even race of it.

On he went therefore, his coat-tails standing out straight like the forks of a boot-jack, and a red bandanna handkerchief streaming in the wind from his pocket behind like some fierce piratic flag! On, too, went Master Willard Glazier, until both—one now nearly upon the heels of the other—reached a troublesome miniature glacier, when each missed his footing.

Down went the boy's head and up went the master's heels, and the pair lay together, panting for breath, in the drifts of a contiguous snow-bank.

"Ah, ha!" said Carter, when he had recovered sufficiently to speak, "so you were going home, were you?"

"Yes," said young Willard, as his head emerged from the drift, looking like an animated snow-ball, "and I would have reached there, too, if I hadn't slipped."

This was all that was said, at the time, but as Mr. Carter led his prisoner back, an explanation took place, in which the lad so strongly insisted that his escapade arose from a sense of the gross injustice done him, that Carter's own sense of right was touched, and after admonishing the boy to take a different mode of redressing his grievances in the future, he agreed to forego the flogging and let Master Willard finish the remainder of the session in the customary way.

After this occurrence, Willard got along very well under the tuition of Mr. Carter, and it was not until some years later, when a gentleman by the name of Nichols took charge of the school, that anything transpired worthy of note.

James Nichols was a devout believer in Solomon's maxim that to spare the rod is to spoil the child. The whip was his arbiter in all differences which arose between his pupils and himself. He never paused, as Mr. Montieth has lately done, to consider that at least two-thirds of the offences for which children are flogged at school are "crimes for which they are in nowise responsible," and "when stripped of the color given to them by senseless and unmeaning rules, they are simply the crimes of being a boy and being a girl," and are "incited by bad air, cold feet, overwork and long confinement; crimes which the parents of these same children are accustomed to excuse in themselves, when they sit in church, by the dulness of the sermon, or other circumstances that offend against nature and which they sometimes soothe with fennel or hartshorn, or change of position, and not unseldom with sleep." In school discipline Mr. Nichols was a pure materialist. He never realized Cayley's profound lesson that "education is not the mere storing a youthful memory with a bundle of facts which it neither digests nor assimilates," but that it is the formation and training of a mind. Under his regime the rod ruled everything. Even the offence of whispering was punished by the lash.

Upon one occasion, when young Willard was seated between two brothers—Henry and Brayton Abbott by name—engaged in solving Algebraic problems, a whispered inquiry, regarding the lesson, passed from one to the other.

Mr. Nichols at the moment happened to glance towards them, and conjectured, by the movement of Willard's lips, that he was violating the rule against whispering.

"Willard Glazier!" said he, angrily, "come out here, sir!"

The boy obeyed.

"Now then, Willard," said Mr. Nichols, "I presume you understand the rules of this school?"

"I think I do, sir."

"Very well, then you know that whispering during the hours of study is a breach of its discipline, and that I must punish you."

Willard said nothing.

"Have you a knife, sir?" pursued the teacher.

"No, sir," replied the boy, not quite certain whether the knife was wanted for the purpose of scalping him, or merely with a view of amputating the unruly member which had been the instrument of offence. "Well, take this one," said Nichols, handing him a five-bladed pocket-knife, with the large blade open, "go out and cut me a good stout stick."

The boy by no means relished the prospect this mission suggested, but seeing no means of escape, he went to a grove in the neighborhood and cut a stick whose dimensions resembled a young tree—shrewdly suspecting that Nichols would never venture to use a club of such size.

With this stick he stalked majestically back to the school-room. As he entered, he saw Henry Abbott standing up in front of the teacher's desk, and heard him utter these words:

"It is not fair, Mr. Nichols, to flog Willard alone. It was my fault, sir. I beckoned to Brayton and whispered first. That is what started it. You should whip me, too, sir."

The master, as we have said, was stern and uncompromising, but his nature was not entirely devoid of feeling, and as he heard the brave admission, his eye lighted up with sudden softness.

"Go back to your seats, boys," said he, "I will not flog either of you to-day. Lads that are brave enough to face the punishment of one offence as you have done, can, I hope, be trusted not to soon commit another."

The incident was one that raised the tone of the whole school, and it gave rise to a warm feeling of admiration in Willard Glazier's breast for Henry Abbott which did Willard good, and made the two youths firm friends.

Thus the years sped on—dotted with little incidents that seem too trivial to relate, and yet each one of which had some effect upon the future life and character of young Willard. He had become a pretty wild boy by this time, and the cognomen of the "little deacon" was dropped without ceremony.

Although he was marked high for scholarly attainment, he received many a bad mark for violating the rules of school.

This state of affairs existed until the boy had reached the age of eleven years, when he was brought into contact with two diametrically opposite influences, one of which was calculated to make and the other to mar his future character and fortunes.



Henry Glazier.—A singular character.—"Kaw-shaw-gan-ce" and "Quaw-taw-pee-ah."—Tom Lolar and Henry Glazier.—Attractive show-bills.—Billy Muldoon and his trombone.—Behind the scenes.—"Sound your G!"—The mysterious musician.—What happened to Billy.—"May the divil fly away wid ye!"

At this time there resided in the paternal homestead a younger brother of Ward Glazier named Henry, who was Willard's senior by about eleven years, and, physically speaking, was a splendid specimen of masculine development. Like his brothers Ward and George, he stood six feet in his stockings, and literally looked down on his fellows.

He had conceived a great liking for his nephew Willard, and on many a hunting excursion in the Great North Woods, the boy was his only companion. This affection, however, was not unmingled with some contempt for the lad's diminutive stature.

Upon one occasion, during a visit to West Boylston, he made it his business to search out the relatives of Willard's mother, in order to ascertain what sort of stock she came from. On returning home, this son of Anak exclaimed, with a dejected air:

"Mother, I'll be hanged if I ain't discouraged! Our Willard will always be a little runt. His mother's folks ain't bigger'n a pinch of snuff!"

How far the prediction has been verified any one who has seen the compact, sinewy form of the young soldier will understand.

Henry Glazier reveled in everything sensational. His ideal of heaven was a succession of tableaux in which he was to play the principal part.

At one time he joined another eccentric character named Tom Lolar, an Indian of the Seneca tribe, whose lands in the long ago of Indian history bordered the blue waters of Lake Seneca in central New York. This peculiar pair proceeded to electrify certain rural communities in their immediate neighborhood with huge posters, announcing that on a given night:





Great Chief of the Walaitipu Indians,

Now traveling for the benefit of his tribe, proposes to exhibit to an enlightened public the

Trophies won by his Braves,

In their battles with other Ferocious Tribes beyond the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Chief will likewise give an exhibition of the


Accordingly upon the night in question Tom Lolar as "Kaw-shaw-gan-ce," and Henry Glazier as ticket agent, reaped such an excellent harvest that the latter concluded to start a "live Indian" upon his own account.

This he accordingly did, dubbing the prodigy of his creation "Quaw-taw-pee-ah," or the "Red Wild Cat."

Whether this venture was successful or not we have failed to learn, but there is one story connected with it which is too good to be lost, though it lacks satisfactory evidence of authenticity.

The legend runs that our enterprising manager went three miles away and hunted up a genuine old native of Erin who had deserted from the British army, where he held some position in one of the military bands attached to a regiment stationed in Canada. With true Irish instinct this exile of Erin had brought his trombone across the border, and "the enterprising manager"—to use the language of the bills—"secured in him the services of an eminent musician, late of Her Majesty's Royal Band," to discourse sweet music during the entire performance. This and other attractive announcements drew a goodly crowd of lads and lasses from far and near to the place appointed, and when the doors—otherwise tent-flaps—were open, the assemblage marched in to the entrancing strains of the trombone, as played by "Professor Muldoonati" alias Billy Muldoon.

Everything passed off well. "Quaw-taw-pee-ah" presented to the elite of the locality a type of the aboriginal American, which at least possessed the merit of originality. If the audience expected to be astonished they were not disappointed; for such an Indian as they then beheld no living eye had ever looked upon before.

Mr. Catlin would have admitted that this noble red man was alien to any of his tribes, and even Cooper's Leather-Stocking would have conceded that his was a new revelation of savage humanity. It is barely possible that Buffalo Bill may have dreamed of something like him, and it is not impossible that the late Edwin Forrest may have actually been on speaking terms with his brother, but outside of these two gentlemen, we do not believe that human imagination ever conceived a child of the forest in any respect resembling "Quaw-taw-pee-ah" on his opening night.

It did seem a little singular to combine the convivial music of "St. Patrick's day in the morning" with such diabolical grimaces and gestures as those which the Great Chief used in the pantomimic expression of his sentiments. But the people were prepared for originality, and they had it. At any rate the performance received their loud applause. At last, however, it was over: the successive scenes of the programme had come and gone—the war dances were finished, the curtain had fallen on the last act, and Billy Muldoon's trombone had subsided into silence. But if the performance within was wild, it was nothing to the wild night without. It was the seventeenth of March, and the snow had been steadily falling since morning, shrouding the hills and all the surrounding country with a mantle as white and cold as a winding sheet.

The wind had increased since nightfall, and by the time "Quaw-taw-pee-ah" had washed his face of its red lead, and Mr. Muldoon had been paid his share of the proceeds, it was blowing "great guns," as the sailors say. Out into such a night as this the audience dispersed: but the lights of home shone through the blinding storm near at hand, and buffeting with the fierce gusts of whirling snow and wind was only brave sport for them. Not so, however, with Mr. Billy Muldoon. His home was three miles away, and though the prospect without was anything but pleasant, he prepared to face it like a man. His only precaution was to see that an old army canteen was filled afresh with the best whiskey the neighborhood afforded. Then he started on his homeward journey.

At first it was pretty hard work. The snow had drifted into heaps in some places, and rose almost to the little man's waist. Still he struggled bravely on, only stopping now and then to celebrate the anniversary of Ireland's Patron Saint by taking a long pull and a strong pull at the canteen.

For a half-hour or more he made but slow progress through the pitiless, pelting storm, and he heartily cursed his folly in attempting the task of coming home at all, on such a night as this. But a change came o'er the spirit of his dream. As the contents of the canteen had diminished, Billy's spirits had risen in exact proportion, his heart had grown strong and he began to despise the difficulties in his way. In fact he was as happy as a prince, and rather liked the idea of facing the snow drifts and fighting the wind. So on he went. What seemed strange to Billy was the fact that there seemed to be so much sameness in the surrounding features of the landscape—or so much of it as he could discover, during the momentary lulls of the storm. He therefore stopped short, steadied himself for a moment, and took another drink; which proceeding seemed to clear up his mind on the puzzled subject, for muttering that it was "all roight," he once more started forward.

Another half-hour passed and still another, and yet Billy found the road open before him, with no sign of his own humble little home. He began to grow very tired and considerably muddled, and paused at length to consider the situation.

In front of him he perceived something so like the lane that led to his own shanty that he joyfully proceeded, and at length reached what he believed to be a back door that he had directed his wife to leave "on the latch" for his return.

What surprised him was that he could see no light within. He was, however, sufficiently aware of the fact that he had taken more of "the crayther" than his good woman would approve of, so not caring to wake her up, he stole to the door and tried to lift the latch. It was fastened. Everything within was dark as Erebus, and not a sound could be heard except the low breathing of what he supposed to be his sleeping children. This rather excited Billy's wrath. He had been particular in his injunction to leave the door unbolted, and it was hard to be kept out in the storm on such a night as this. He called out—at first in a whisper, then louder and louder—to Kathleen to let him in. There was no response. Yet he certainly heard the movement of feet within. What could it mean? The little man finally swore a big oath and fiercely demanded admittance; but still there came no reply. He then essayed to force the door, and to his utter amazement the upper part of it gave way, opening out like a window-shutter, while the lower part remained firm. The musician therefore climbed up, and seating himself on the edge of the door, peered in. He could see nothing but a black void. To use his own figure of speech, "yez might as well hunt for Gineral Washington's will down a black dog's throat, as attimpt to see the nose on yer face in there!"

He was nearly paralyzed with astonishment. Suddenly a bright thought struck him. He raised his trombone to his lips, and in spite of the mingled emotions that agitated his breast, blew upon it a blast loud enough to have waked the dead.

Imagine therefore how his previous astonishment was deepened into almost idiotic wonder when he heard a reply from what appeared to be a trombone of more gigantic power than his own. "Bur-r-r!" went Mr. Muldoon's instrument.

"Boo-o-o!" replied the invisible respondent.

Billy was amazed. Billy was awe-stricken. But the instinct of the musician rose above all other emotions.

"Sound your G!" said Billy.

"Boo-o-o!" was the answer in a deeper base than before.

"Yer out o' tune, ye domned old fool!" says Billy.

"Boo-o-o!" came the response once more.

"Sound yer G, and take that, ye murtherin spalpeen!" said the now thoroughly exasperated musician, dashing his own instrument in the direction of his invisible rival.

Just then poor Billy saw a ferocious-looking pair of eyes glaring at him, and before he had time to add another word, some huge object rushed towards him, struck him a determined blow, and lifting him off his perch sent him into the middle of the road.

The fact is, Billy had wandered very much out of his way, and had mistaken Ward Glazier's barn for his own dwelling. The supposed rival musician was our old acquaintance, "Black-face," the Bull.

Billy picked himself up from the snow, and, regardless of his bruised body and aching bones, steadied himself for a last shot at the enemy. The little man looked in the direction where he thought his adversary ought to be, and though he could see nothing through the darkness and storm, he shouted out, in accents of blended dignity and contempt:

"May the divil fly away wid ye! Ye may be the sthronger of the two, but, be jabers, yer no museecian!"

How he eventually got home and what were his sentiments regarding the adventure with which he had met, are facts that do not concern this history; but it is quite probable that he wondered as we have often done, that St. Patrick, while engaged in the laudable task of expelling snakes from the soil of the Emerald Isle, did not also provide that such reptiles should keep out of the boots of her sons.



The big uncle and the little nephew.—Exchange of ideas between the eccentric Henry Glazier and young Willard.—Inseparable companions.—Willard's early reading.—Favorite authors.—Hero-worship of the first Napoleon and Charles XII. of Sweden.—The genius of good and of evil.—Allen Wight.—A born teacher.—Reverses of fortune.—The shadow on the home.—Willard's resolve to seek his fortune and what came of it.—The sleep under the trees.—The prodigal's return.—"All's well that ends well."

Between Henry Glazier and young Willard a singular friendship had sprung up. The great, six-foot uncle and the quaint, old-fashioned boy were much together.

In the woods and fields, at junketings and corn-huskings, the pair were often seen in grave converse, and while Willard was ever eager to hear the stories of his uncle's mad adventures and queer scrapes, Henry Glazier, in turn, would listen with a species of reverent wonder to the boy's recital of striking passages of history or of fiction which he had picked up in the course of a varied and desultory reading—a taste for which was developed even at that early age. The volumes to which he had access were few in number, but he had read their pages again and again, and the subjects of which they treated were, for the most part, of just such a character as were calculated to attract the attention of a youth of action rather than of thought.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12     Next Part
Home - Random Browse