The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Bay State Monthly — Volume 2, No. 5, February, 1885

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: The Bay State Monthly — Volume 2, No. 5, February, 1885

Author: Various

Release date: November 23, 2004 [eBook #14132]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, Josephine Paolucci, Cornell University
and the PG Online Distributed Proofreading Team


The Bay State Monthly

A Massachusetts Magazine

Volume II

February, 1885.

Number 5.

W'm Gaston.

W'm Gaston.



Victor Hugo has written: "The historian of morals and ideas has a mission no less austere than that of the historian of events. The latter has the surface of civilization, the struggles of the crowns, the births of princes, the marriages of Kings, the battles, the assemblies, the great public men, the revolutions in the sunlight, all exterior; the other historian has the interior, the foundation, the people who work, who suffer and who wait ... Have these historians of hearts and souls lesser duties than the historian of exterior facts?"

There is much unwritten history of the Bay State: of the exterior, much is recorded; of the interior, far less. Both are valuable to posterity. It is believed that succeeding ages will hold of far greater value, and the youth of our day be benefitted more by the study of the underlying principles and causes of those events which are given a conspicuous place in history, rather than by the mere record of the surface facts.

It is profitable to study the habits and methods of individuals who stand out in bold relief in history. To derive the greatest interest and value from such lives it is well to follow them from early childhood. Indeed it is profitable to trace back the ancestry and lineage from which the man has descended, to study the characteristics peculiar to each generation, and to note the result of racial mixtures tending to the typical and representative American of to-day.

Many prominent men received their first incentive to ambition and industry and perseverence by reading—when their minds were immature, but fresh and retentive—of the life and achievements of Benjamin Franklin and such other grand models for the young.

No history of a country or state is complete without studies of the lives of those men who have made and are making history.

William Gaston comes from an honored and distinguished ancestry on both his paternal and maternal side as will be seen by the succeeding genealogical notes.

He was born at Killingly, Connecticut, October 3, 1820.


Jean Gaston was born in France, probably about the year 1600. There are traditions about the particular family to which he belonged, but only little is definitely known. He was a Huguenot, and is said to have been banished from France on account of his religion. His property was confiscated. His brothers and family, although Catholics, sent money to him in Scotland for his support. He is said to have been forty years of age and unmarried when he went to Scotland. Between 1662 and 1668, during a season of persecution in Scotland, his sons, John, William, and Alexander, went over into the north of Ireland, whither many of their friends were fleeing for safety and religious freedom. There is some uncertainty as to which of these three brothers was the founder of this branch of the family, but numerous facts point almost conclusively to John as such founder. One generation was born in Ireland.

John Gaston had three sons born in Ireland: William, born about 1680; lived at Caranleigh Clough Water; John, born 1703-4, died in America 1783; Alexander, born 1714, died in America.

The former lived all his days in Caranleigh Clough Water, Ireland, where he died about 1770. John and Alexander came to New England during or shortly prior to 1730. Tradition has it that they landed at Marblehead. From this place they went soon, if not immediately, to Connecticut. As their ancestors had done, so did they, seek religious liberty in a foreign land. They were Separatists and probably were drawn to Voluntown because a Church holding that faith was there established. Alexander returned to Massachusetts a few years later, residing in Richmond, where some of his descendants now reside; but most of that branch of the family are living in the western states.

John Gaston was made a freeman of Voluntown at the organization of its town government in 1736-7. He was a prominent member of the Separatists Church in that town, the meeting for the settlement of Reverend Alexander Miller, their pastor, being held at his house. He was the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. His three children were born in America: Margaret, born 1737, died 1810; Alexander, born 1739, was a commissioned officer in the French and Indian War; John, born 1750, died 1805.

John Gaston married Ruth Miller, daughter of Reverend Alexander Miller. Their children were Alexander, born in Voluntown, August 2, 1772; Margaret, born December 13, 1781. The latter died in early childhood.

Alexander Gaston married Olive Dunlap, a daughter of Joshua Dunlap, of Plainfield, Connecticut, who was born 1769, died in Killingly, September 7, 1814. He married for his second wife in Killingly, in April, 1816, Kezia Arnold, daughter of Aaron Arnold, born in Burrillville, Rhode Island, November, 1779, died in Roxbury, Massachusetts, January 30, 1856. His death occurred in Roxbury, February 11, 1856. The children of first marriage: Esther, born 1804, died 1860; John, born 1806, died 1824. William Gaston, of whom this sketch is written, was the sole issue of the second marriage. He was born at Killingly October 3, 1820. With his parents he moved to Roxbury in the summer of 1838. On December 27, 1830, was born at Boston, Louisa A. Beecher to whom Mr. Gaston was married May 27, 1852. Mrs. Gaston is a daughter of Laban S. and Frances A. (Lines) Beecher, both of whom were natives of New Haven, Connecticut, and were direct descendants of the very first settlers of Connecticut in 1638. The children of Governor and Mrs. Gaston were: Sarah Howard, William Alexander, and Theodore Beecher. The latter was born February 8, 1861; died July 16, 1869.

The death of Theodore was a severe blow to his family. He was a beautiful and promising boy. This sad calamity seemed like the withdrawal of sunlight from the household, causing his loving parents the keenest anguish.

Of this branch of the family there are but very few relatives of Governor Gaston. His son William is the only male representative of his generation. It is, singularly enough, true that in his family line of descent there have been three generations where each had but one male representative, and two generations having but one representative of either sex. Thus the Carolina Gastons are of the nearest kindred to Governor Gaston's particular branch.

Kezia (Arnold) Gaston, the mother of Governor Gaston, was a daughter of Aaron Arnold and Rhoda (Hunt) Arnold, and a lineal descendant of Thomas Arnold, who, with his brother William, came to New England in 1636. William Arnold went to Rhode Island with Roger Williams, being one of the fifty-four proprietors of that Plantation. His brother Thomas followed him there in 1654. The latter was born in England in 1599, probably in Leamington, that being the birth-place of his brother William. His second wife was Phoebe Parkhurst, daughter of George Parkhurst of Watertown, Massachusetts. The family record is carried back to 1100, being undoubtedly accurate to about the year 1570, when the name Arnold was first used as a surname; possibly accurate throughout.

The arms of the Family; Gules, a chevron ermine between three Pheons, or; appear on the tombstone of Oliver Arnold, and of William Arnold, the original settler. The same arms are on a tablet in the Parish Church of Churcham in Gloucestershire, England, placed there in memory of his ancestor John Arnold of Lanthony, Monmouthshire, afterwards of Hingham, who acquired the manor of Churcham in 1541.


The most ancient written record of the family which the writer has consulted was written by John Roseborough, late Clerk of the Circuit Court, Chester District, South Carolina. He was the son of Alexander Roseborough and Martha Gaston, whose father, William Gaston of Caranleigh Clough Water, Ireland, was grandson of Jean Gaston, the Huguenot ancestor of the family.

The statement is as follows, the words enclosed in parenthesis being supplied by way of information.

"Jean Gaston emigrated from France to Scotland on account of his religion, as a persecution then raged against the Protestants. He had two sons who emigrated from Scotland to Ireland between 1662 and 1668 during a time of persecution in Scotland. There was a John and a William, but which of them was the ancestor of our grandfather is not known. William Gaston, my grandfather, lived at Caranleigh Clough Water. He married Miss Lemmon and had four sons and as many daughters: John Gaston (King's Justice) died on Fishing Creek, near Cedar Shoal, Chester District, South Carolina; Rev. Hugh Gaston, author of 'Concordance and Collections'; Dr. Alexander Gaston, killed by the British at Newbern, South Carolina (father of Judge William Gaston); Robert Gaston, and William Gaston."

One fact is established, that many of Jean Gaston's descendants had settled in America before the Revolution and were actively engaged in that contest for liberty.

Springing from such ancestry in which are joined the characteristics of the French Huguenot, the Scotch Presbyterian, the Scotch-Irish patriot, the follower of Roger Williams, the May Flower Pilgrim, one is not surprised to find in William Gaston a strong man; a man who inherited as a birthright the qualities of leadership.

His father was a well known merchant of Connecticut, of sterling integrity, and of remarkably strong force of character. He was commissioned a Captain at the early age of twenty-two, and was for many years in the Legislature. The father of the latter was also in the Connecticut Legislature for many years.

In early youth William gave promise of a superb manhood by displaying those qualities which have since distinguished him. He was a studious boy, eager for knowledge. He attended the Academy in Brooklyn, Connecticut, and subsequently fitted for College at the Plainfield Academy. At the age of fifteen he left his quiet village home for Brown University, where his intellect was trained in a routine sanctioned by the experience of centuries, and where contact with his fellows soon roused his ambition and gave him confidence in his own ability to enter the struggle with the world for place and honor. William, having a married sister, who was many years his senior, residing in Providence, his father decided to send him, then scarcely more than a lad, to Brown University where he would be surrounded by family influences and enjoy the social advantages offered by his sister's home. He maintained a high rank, graduating with honors in 1840.

For his life work he decided upon the legal profession—a wise choice as subsequent time has shown his peculiar fitness therefor. He first entered the office of Judge Francis Hilliard of Roxbury, remaining for a time and then continued his legal studies with the distinguished lawyers and jurists Charles P. and Benjamin R. Curtis of Boston, with whom he remained until his admission to the Bar in 1844.

At Roxbury in 1846 he opened his first law office, taking comparatively soon a leading position at the Bar. He there continued his practice until 1865 when he formed with the late Hon. Harvey Jewell and the since associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Hon. Walbridge A. Field, the famous and successful law firm, having offices at number 5 Tremont street, of Jewell, Gaston and Field. This firm continued until the election of Mr. Gaston to the gubernatorial chair of Massachusetts in 1874. He was the Democratic candidate the year previous for this office, his competitor being Mr. Washburn, who was elected but did not long retain the chair of State, being elected to the United States Senate. At the convention nominating William B. Washburn for Governor there were four other candidates for the honor: Alexander H. Rice, George B. Loring, Harvey Jewell and Benjamin F. Butler. The latter created no little unquiet by the zeal and strength of his support. The upshot was that there was a harmonious combination of the forces of the four contestants of Butler upon Mr. Washburn. It is remembered that some of the party organs were upon nettles, fearing that General Butler would bolt the nomination, but he came out squarely and declared that as he had staked his issues with the convention he would abide the result.

In the canvass of 1874 Mr. Gaston was opposed by Hon. Thomas Talbot, who, by reason of Governor Washburn's election to the Senate as stated, was acting as Governor, having been elected Lieutenant Governor on the ticket with Mr. Washburn. Governor Gaston's majority over Mr. Talbot was 7,033. In the following canvass of 1875, Mr. Gaston having been re-nominated by the Democracy, his competitor was Hon. Alexander H. Rice. By this time, that part of the country represented by the strongly-intrenched Republican party, was fully aroused to the exigency of the hour. The edict came from the political centre at Washington to the effect that the Republican party could not stand another defeat in Massachusetts, especially on the eve of a presidential campaign. The national organization concentrated a wonderfully efficient auxiliary force in aid of the intense activity already exerted by the local managers, who so well understood the popularity of Mr. Gaston and of the strong hold he had upon the people. It seems now that the Democratic managers accepted or anticipated failure as a foregone conclusion, and no great fight was made; otherwise they would probably have won the election, as Mr. Rice was elected by only the small plurality of 5,306 votes. This is very significant, taken in connection with the fact that General Grant carried Massachusetts in 1872 by 74,212 majority.

In 1876, that memorable year—memorable as the year of the electoral commission—Governor Gaston magnanimously declined the re-nomination, which a large majority of the convention was undoubtedly eager to confer. The nomination of Charles Francis Adams was to the rank and file and to the party managers a disappointment, and the enthusiasm that he was expected to arouse was not materialized.

The press of the State justly commended Mr. Gaston's conduct in not forcing his own nomination, a course so completely in accord with his character, and his entire devotion to the party welfare. He did not display the least semblance of self-seeking.

He has seen not a little of public life, but with the exception of five years, has succeeded in conducting his large and important professional practice the entire period from his early beginning to this day. The five years referred to were: two years, 1861 and 1862, while he was Mayor of the city of Roxbury; the two years, 1871 and 1872, as Mayor of Boston (this being after the annexation of Roxbury), and the year 1875 when Governor.

His mayoralty term of Roxbury antedated the years he was Mayor of Boston by just ten years. While such Mayor of Roxbury in 1861-2 he was very active in speechmaking and raising troops in preservation of the American Union. He went to the front several times, and was enthusiastically patriotic during the entire critical period.

He was five years City Solicitor of Roxbuxy. In 1853 and 1854 he was elected to the Legislature as a Whig, and in 1856 was re-elected by a fusion of Whigs and Democrats in opposition to the Know-Nothing candidate. In 1868, although the district was strongly Republican, he was elected as a Democrat to the State Senate.

In the fall of 1872 Mr. Gaston positively declined the further use of his name in the Mayoralty election in Boston that year. He concluded to be a candidate, however, upon the earnest solicitation of so many of the best citizens, and of the press, and in consideration of the perfectly unanimous action of the ward and city committee, in reporting in favor of his re-nomination and speaking of him as a man pre-eminently qualified for the duties which required "wisdom, discretion, firmness and courage when needed, combined with the most exalted integrity and unselfish devotion to the honor, welfare, and prosperity of the city."

In commenting on this subject the Post in an editorial, November 26, 1872, said in commendation of the above words of the committee: "The language employed is none too strong or emphatic. The history of Mayor Gaston's two administrations is an eminently successful one, so far as he is personally responsible for them, and there is not the least room to question that if he were to be re-elected and supported by a board of aldermen of similar character and purpose the city would at once find the uttermost requirements of its government satisfied." In that election in December, 1872, for the year 1873 his opponent, Hon. Henry L. Pierce, was declared elected Mayor by only seventy-nine plurality. This fact indicates Mr. Gaston's popularity, as General Grant had carried Boston the year previous by about 5,500 majority. As her Representative, her presiding officer, her head of affairs, Mayor Gaston was a success; an honor to the great city which honored him.

In 1870 he was a candidate for Congress, but failed of an election, Hon. Ginery Twitchell receiving a majority of the votes.

In 1875 Harvard College and also his Alma Mater, Brown University, conferred upon him the degree of LL.D.

While he was Governor the somewhat notorious Jesse Pomeroy case was the occasion of more or less criticism; the Governor himself receiving pro and con his full share thereof. He was in some instances charged with a lack of firmness, but time has completely vindicated his course. Many of those alleging at the time the Governor's want of "back-bone" have lived long enough to fully realize that his firmness consisted in adhering with an honest persistency to his convictions, indicating the identical course he pursued in that as in all other matters of public import.

Among those who know him best there exists the consciousness that Mr. Gaston is not only an exceedingly cautious man, but consistently conscientious. Bringing such lofty principles, together with a discerning mind and sound judgement, into activity in the discharge of his duty, his administration was, it was generally conceded, a wise one. It should be borne in mind that he occupied a somewhat novel position, there having been no Democratic Governor of the State for many years. The scrutiny directed to him and his acts was intense. His success in bringing his official relations as excessive to such a happy termination is abundant proof of his being the man this paper endeavors to picture him.

It was during his term of office that the lamented Henry Wilson died. At the State House, in Doric Hall, in November, 1875, Governor Gaston, on receiving the sacred remains in behalf of the Commonwealth, said in his address to the committee: "Massachusetts receives from you her illustrious dead. She will see to it that he whose dead body you bear to us, but whose spirit has entered upon its higher service, shall receive honors befitting the great office which in life he held, and I need not assure you that her people, with hearts full of respect, of love, and of veneration, will not only guard and protect the body, the coffin, and the grave, but will also ever cherish his name and fame. Gentlemen, for the pious service which you have so kindly and tenderly rendered, accept the thanks of a grateful Commonwealth."

Among the appointments made by Governor Gaston were the following: that of the late Hon. Otis P. Lord to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court; Honorable Waldo Colburn and Honorable William S. Gardner to Associate Justiceships of the Superior Court.

The writer has preserved in his scrap books various selections from Mr. Gaston's public utterances, so excellent and so numerous that it would be difficult to single out any of them for insertion here, even would space permit so doing.

It is incomparable, the duties he has performed, the labors he has accomplished. His life is, and ever has been, a busy life. One marvels to know how he accomplishes so much.

In the political world, in literature, in the legal profession, monuments have arisen in testimony of his toil.

As a lawyer his successes have been such as have been vouchsafed to but few. The word success is applied both where it ought to be applied and where not deserved. Gaining great wealth, distinguished professional standing, extensive political renown, pre-eminence in other avenues may be, or may not be, in the highest sense, success. Most men of strong points are sadly deficient in other and essential traits needed to constitute a well-biased, grandly-rounded life. It is rare, indeed, that a person is encountered possessing such well-proportioned, evenly-balanced, distinguishing characteristics as it has been Mr. Gaston's lot to enjoy.

His steady, onward march over the rough places and up the hill in his learned profession abundantly attest his greatness. No being can occupy, nor even approach, the very foremost rank in the legal arena save he be great. Of all representatives of human experiences the lawyer, and more particularly the advocate, has the least opportunity to occupy falsely a position of real prominence. Advocacy is the most jealous of mistresses. Undoubtedly it is true that nowhere else must there be ever present and ever ready to respond at a moment's notice such a happy combination of those qualities already noted.

It is not long ago that one of the most worthy of Boston's Judges remarked to the writer: "You can count the really excellent advocates at the Suffolk Bar upon the fingers of both hands." He began by naming the subject of this sketch, following with the names of Honorable A.A. Ranney, Honorable William G. Russell, Honorable Robert M. Morse, Jr., and others. The learned Judge must, it seems, have had in mind a very high standard of advocacy, for there are not a few among the something like two thousand Boston lawyers who have well earned, and justly, the right to be called able and eloquent.

In his historical article entitled "The Bench and Bar," by Erastus Worthington, and contained in the "History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts," after writing of those eminent advocates, Ezra Wilkinson and John J. Clarke, he refers to Governor Gaston and Judge Colburn in the following words: "The successors to the leadership of the bar, after the retirement of Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Clarke, were William Gaston of Roxbury, and Waldo Colburn of Dedham. Mr. Gaston was not admitted to practice in this county, but he studied law with Mr. Clarke, and practiced in this county for many years, and considered himself a Norfolk lawyer. He was an eloquent and successful advocate and had an excellent practice. He had removed to Boston prior to the annexation of Roxbury.

"Mr. Colburn practiced in Dedham until he was appointed an Associate Justice of the Superior Court in 1875. He attained a high position in his profession as a wise counsellor, an able trier of causes, and a lawyer in whose hands the interests of his clients were always safe."

On his election to the Governorship Mr. Gaston absolutely relinquished his practice and gave his undivided attention to the duties of his office. He had been quite unable to devote his customary labor to the benefit of his law partnership and the good of their clientage during the two years that he was Mayor of Boston.

When he retired from the executive chair it is said that he had neither a "case" nor a client.

He took offices in Sears Building and it was not long before he was again enjoying a large and lucrative practice. In 1879 he took into partnership C.L.B. Whitney, Esq.; and last year William A. Gaston, Esq., was admitted to the firm.

An imperishable chain binds Ex-Governor Gaston to the bright side of the history of the Commonwealth. His life and its renown are one and inseparable. Such is the inevitable result of a life that has ever been linked to honorable endeavors and principles. So thoroughly identified with, and endeared to, her best interests, it is difficult to believe that Massachusetts can claim him by adoption only. In private life Mr. Gaston is all that can be desired. He is quiet, and remarkably modest and unassuming.

He enjoys the delightful home quietness away from his labors. But what little time he has for such enjoyment! He seems to love work. How he has performed so much of it is a wonder, although it is well known that he inherits and enjoys remarkable powers of endurance. Among his favorite authors are Scott and Burke. He is temperate, refined in his habits, has the manners of a perfect gentleman, and deserves the blessed fruits of a well directed life.



The following is a copy of a letter originally addressed to Rev. Mr. Savage of Franklin, N.H. The original is dated October 10, 1852, fourteen days before the decease of Mr. Webster. It was dictated to his Clerk, C.J. Abbott, Esq. It was the same letter that gave rise to the humorous anecdote, so well related by Mr. Curtice in his Biography of Mr. Webster, vol. 2, page 683.

We now present this letter to the public to show how worthily one of the last days of Mr. Webster was employed. In this case he presented a Peace Offering to old friends, which proved effectual in preventing a severe litigation and consequent loss of money and friendship:

"MARSHFIELD, Oct. 10, 1852.

MY DEAR SIR: I learn that there is likely to be a lawsuit between Mr. Horace Noyes and his Mother respecting his father's will.

This gives me great pain. Mr. Parker Noyes and myself have been fast friends for near a half century. I have known his wife also from a time before her marriage, and have always felt a warm regard for her, and much respect for her connexions in Newburyport. Mr. Horace Noyes and his wife I have long known. Her grandfather, Major Nathan Taylor, late of Sanbornton, was an especial friend of my father, and I learned to love everybody upon whom he set his Stamp.

These families during many years have been my most intimate friends and neighbors whenever I have been in Franklin. It would wound me exceedingly if any thing as a Lawsuit should now occur between Mother and Son. It would very much destroy my interest in the families, and whatever might be the result, it could not but cast some degree of reflection upon the memory of Parker Noyes. I know nothing of the circumstances except what I learn from Mr. John Taylor, and I do not wish to express any judgement of my own as to what ought to be done, at least without more full information, but I do think it a case for Christian Intercession. And the particular object of this Letter is to invite your attention, and that of the members of the Church, to it in this aspect. Mr. Noyes is understood to have left a very pretty property, but a controversy about his Will would very likely absorb one half of it. My end is accomplished, my dear Sir, when I have made these Suggestions to you. You will give them such consideration, as you think they deserve. It has given me pleasure to hope that I might write half a dozen pages respecting Mr. Parker Noyes, and our long friendship, but I could have no heart for this if a family feud after his death was to come in, and overwhelm all pleasant recollections.

I dictate this letter to my clerk, as the state of my eyes preclude me from writing much with my own hand.

Yours with sincere regard,




This interesting letter produced the happy effect of reconciling the contending parties, and bringing about an honorable and satisfactory settlement of all difficulties between them. The letter was timely, bringing healing in its wings. Here were "words fitly spoken, like apples of gold in pictures of silver;" to the parties it soon was the voice from the dead, "proclaiming peace on earth, and good will towards men." As adviser and counsel of the mother, my own exertions for peace had proved impotent, but the letter of the eminent dying statesman, containing the salutary advice of an old friend, proved irresistible in its influence, and brought to the troubled waters immediate quiet, without resort to the Church or other legal tribunal.

Mr. Webster made allusion to the honored name of Taylor, then of Sanbornton. Both father, and son were brave officers of Revolutionary stock. The father, Captain Chase Taylor, commanded a company composed chiefly of Sanbornton and Meredith men, at the battle of Bennington, on the sixteenth of August, 1777, and was there severely wounded—his left leg being broken, which disabled him for life. He died in 1805. In 1786 he received a small pension from the State. His surgeon, Josiah Chase of Canterbury, and his Colonel, Stickney of Concord, each furnishing their certificates in his behalf. Early in the history of the Revolutionary war the son, Nathan Taylor, was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Corps of Rangers, commanded by Colonel Whitcomb. Lieutenant Taylor had the command of a small detachment of fourteen men. On the sixteenth day of June, 1777, being stationed on the western bank of Lake Champlain, at a place which has ever since been called Taylor's Creek, he was surprised by a superior force of Indians. Taylor bravely resisted this attack, and was successful in driving the enemy off, though at the expense of a severe wound in his right shoulder. Three others of his band were also wounded. Both father and son were confined at home in the same house several months before recovery from their wounds. Lieutenant Taylor returned to active service in the army. He afterwards received the military title of Major, and occupied many civil offices after the war in his own town, as well as in behalf of the State. He was member of the House of Representatives, also of the Senate and Council, for a number of years. He died in March, A.D. 1840, aged 85, much lamented.

Then there was John Taylor of Revolutionary fame. He and many of his descendants have occupied high and enviable stations in Sanbornton, and their biography and good deeds have been ably commemorated by the historian, Rev. M.T. Runnels. In adhering to the Taylor families Mr. Webster obeyed the injunction of Solomon who said, "Thine own friend, and thy father's friend forsake not." Mr. Webster's letter furnishes strong evidence, that he did not forsake "his own friend," Parker Noyes. The friendship between these men commenced when Mr. Noyes entered the Law office of Thomas W. Thompson as early as 1798, and continued intimate, cordial, unabated, "fast" during their lives. The earthly existence of both terminated in the same year, Mr. Noyes having deceased August, 19, 1852, and Mr. Webster on the twenty-fourth of the succeeding October.

The dwelling houses of both in Franklin were within the distance of twenty rods; their intercourse was frequent during the last fifty-four years of their lives.

During the time Mr. Webster practiced law in New Hampshire they often met at the same bar, and measured intellectual lances in various legal contests. These meetings were most frequent when Mr. Webster first settled in Boscawen in 1805, and for the next two years, before his removal to Portsmouth.

We were present in A.D. 1848, when these two friends met and recited many of the interesting and humorous events that occurred in their early practice. In those days, they often had for a veteran client a man who then resided in West Boscawen, now Webster, by the name of Corser. He was represented as one who loved the law, not for its pecuniary profits, but for its exciting, stimulating effects. It was said of him, that at the end of a term of the Court, once held at Hopkinton, he was found near the Court House by a friend, shedding tears. The friend inquired the cause of his great sorrow. His answer was, "I have no longer a case in court." The same Corser had been a Revolutionary soldier, and belonged to the army when discharged by Washington at Newburg, at the termination of the war. He had but little money to bear his expenses home. When he reached Springfield, Massachusetts, his money was exhausted, and he was obliged to resort to his talent at begging. Accordingly he called at a farm house, and requested the good loyal lady of the establishment to give him a pie, adding at the same time, that he wanted another for his Brother Jonathan. The lady well supposing that his Brother Jonathan was then his companion in arms, and in the street suffering with hunger, readily granted his request, when in truth and in fact Jonathan was then at home cultivating his farm in Boscawen.

Brother Jonathan, upon learning the conduct of his brother, rebuked him for useing his name, instead of his own, thereby deceiving the good woman. In justification of his conduct, the brother answered, "My hunger was great. I contrived to satisfy it. The kind woman had my thanks; you was not injured. At most, by strict morals, I committed only a pious fraud in getting two pies, instead of one." Mr. Webster remarked, that he was once present when this case was stated, and argued by the two brothers, and was much interested in the discussion of the celebrated pie case.



The Spragues of Melrose, formerly North Malden, were one of the old families. They descended from Ralph Sprague, who settled in Charlestown in 1629. The first one, who came to Melrose about the year 1700, was named Phineas. His grandson, also named Phineas, served during the Revolutionary War, and a number of interesting anecdotes are told about him. He was a slaveholder, and Artemas Barrett, Esq., a native of Melrose, owns an original bill of sale of "a negro woman named Pidge, with one negro boy;" also other documents, among which is Mr. Sprague's diary, wherein he gives the following account of the wonderfully dark day in 1780, a good reminder of which we experienced September 6, 1881, a century later:

FRIDA May the 19th 1780.

This day was the most Remarkable day that ever my eyes beheld the air had bin full of smoak to an uncommon degree so that wee could scairce see a mountain at two miles distance for 3 or 4 days Past till this day after Noon the smoak all went off to the South at sunset a very black bank of a cloud appeared in the south and west the Nex morning cloudey and thundered in the west about ten oclock it began to Rain and grew vere dark and at 12 it was almost as dark as Nite so that wee was obliged to lite our candels and Eate our dinner by candel lite at noon day but between 1 and 2 oclock it grew lite again but in the evening the cloud came, over us again, the moon was about the full it was the darkest Nite that ever was seen, by us in the world.1



To the antiquarian, the historian, or the general scholar, there are few more interesting studies than that of names. It is a pursuit of rare delight to trace out the derivation of those with which we have been long familiar, and to follow up the associations that have rendered them dear, curious or ridiculous, as the case may be. The names themselves may be of no value, but the spot or circumstance that gave them birth cannot fail to throw around them an atmosphere of peculiar interest. The subject is a broad one and may be, with time and inclination, extensively cultivated; and, even in the limits of a short article, many phases of it of general importance and interest may be satisfactorily treated, and it is proposed in the following paragraphs to present only a few of them.

In the present rage for nicknames, pet names, diminutives and contractions there is fair prospect of an abundant harvest of trouble and perplexity to the genealogist and historian of the future. In fact, the students of the present day are already beginning to realize, in no small degree, the annoyance that arises from the custom. The changes are so many and intricate that to understand them fully requires much valuable time and the patience that could better be employed in more important work.

The difficulty arises, of course, from indifference, inadvertence or carelessness, rather than from set purpose; yet the result is the same in its evil effects. It is true there are some of these nicknames that have been so long in use, and have become so common that no one is disturbed by them and their employment, and they are readily understood. Many of these, however, have served their turn and are gradually going out of use, and will, in a short time, be only "dead words" to the community.

Of this class are the familiar favorites of our grandparents, such as Sally, for Sarah; Polly or Molly, for Mary; Patty, for Martha, and Peggy, for Margaret, representative names of the class. Some of these, with perhaps slight changes, have become legitimatized, and their origin has been nearly, or quite, forgotten. Of such we recognize Betsy, or its modern equivalent, Bettie or Bessie, as a very proper name. Few, perhaps, of our present generation would recognize in "Nancy," the features of its parent, "Ann" or "Nan."

Some of these old nicknames have already gone nearly or quite out of use, so much so that many of our young people will be surprised to learn that Patty was, not long ago, the vernacular for Martha, and would never imagine that "Margaret" could ever have responded to the call of "Peggy;" "Hitty" and "Kitty," for the staid and sober "Mehitable," and the volatile Katherine, are more easily recognized, while it might require several guesses to establish the relationship between "Milly" and "Amelia," or "Emily."

Stranger than either, perhaps because both the proper name and its diminutive have become so uncommon, is that transformation which reduced "Tabitha," to "Bertha," with the accent upon the first syllable, and its vowel long. A curious instance of the change in this name, and the further variation made in it in consequence of its forgotten derivation, has recently occurred in the record of the death of an old lady who was baptized "Tabitha," called in her youth "Bitha," and now in her obituary styled Mrs. "Bertha," probably from the similarity of sound to her youthful nickname. Her relatives of the present generation had forgotten her real name and knew her only under that of an imitation of her diminutive. The transition from "Bitha" to "Bertha" is easy, but how is the perplexed genealogist to ascertain the original when he has only the records for his guide?

Such illustrations might be multiplied almost indefinitely, but those already given are enough to show what an infinite amount of trouble has come and must still come from their continued usage. They also serve well to show with how much care and watchfulness the historian must pursue his work; how constantly he must be upon his guard, and how closely and critically he must scrutinize the names that pass under his eye.

Nor was this custom of nicknames confined to the daughters of the family, but the boys, also, were among its subjects, perhaps in not so great a variety, yet very general. Among the more common we only need mention such as Bill, Ned, Jack, and Frank, to illustrate this. Nor were there wanting among the masculine nicknames those whose derivations seem very remote and far-fetched, as "El" for "Alphus;" "Hal" for "Henry;" "Jot" for "Jonathan;" "Seph" for "Josephus;" "Nol" for "Oliver;" "Dick" for "Richard," and a multitude of others equally well known.

The instances named are old and have been in general use so long that those who are called upon to deal with them are upon their guard and not likely to be led astray by them, but the class of pet names, now, for a few years in use, will necessarily be more misleading because they are new, and in many cases very blind; in many instances the same nickname being used to represent perhaps a dozen different proper names, so that it is impossible to tell, from the nickname, what the real name is. Among the most annoying of this class are those that not only represent several names each, but are masculine or feminine, as occasion calls.

Of the latter class are "Allie" for Alice, Albert or Alexander, and "Bertie," used in place of so many that it is needless to specify, the latter being the worst of its species, since it is wholly indefinite, applying equally to boy or girl, and for a multitude of either sex, some of which are so far-fetched that all possible connection is lost in the journey of transmission. Most of the old fashioned nicknames indicate the sex quite distinctly, and in this they have much the advantage of some of their modern competitors. They were also much more expressive if not so euphonious. A person need but glance at any of our town records for the past few years to see how the use of these pet names has increased, and it requires no prophet to foresee what confusion must naturally arise from the continuance of the custom, and how difficult it will be in the near future to follow the record accurately.

Another and very different class of nicknames are those derived from accident or local circumstance, and have no other connection with the real name of the person to whom they are attached, and to whom they cling as a foul excrescence long after the circumstances that called them forth is forgotten. These sometimes originate at home in childhood, at school among playmates, or after the arrival of the person at mature age, and are oftentimes ridiculous in the extreme. They are nearly always a source of great mortification to those who so unwillingly bear them, who would give almost anything to rid themselves of the nuisance; yet these, once fixed, seldom lose their hold, but must be borne with the best grace possible.

It will not be necessary to cite instances of this class, as every one will recall many such that it might be highly improper to mention publicly as being personal or taken to be so. Some are simply indicative of temperament; some of a peculiarity of manner, or a locality in which they happened to have first seen the light; and others, perhaps the most unfortunate of all and the most mischievous, are derived from an ill-timed word or act, said or done in a moment of passion or thoughtlessness, which the individual would like to recall at almost any price, but cannot. The saddest of all are those unfortunates, for there are such, to whom their parents, they knew not why, gave such names.

Another class are those given at first as a term of reproach or disgrace, accepted without protest, and afterwards borne as a title of honor. The name "Old Hickory" will at once suggest itself as such an instance. Truly fortunate is the person who has the tact and is in circumstances to do this, and thus turn the weapons of his enemies against themselves. There are others, again, whose character and position are such that they permit no familiarity, and every name of reproach or ridicule rolls off like shot from the iron shell of the monitor. The name of our Washington suggests such an individual. Whoever for an instant thought of approaching him with familiarity, or of applying to him a nickname as a term of reproach or ridicule, or even as an expression of good nature.

As will be readily seen, the evil resulting from this custom is wide spread and alarming. It would also seem to be almost without remedy, since it is the result of irresponsible action, committed by persons who are not fully aware of what they are doing, by those who are indifferent, as to what may follow, or by those who are actuated by malice; against these there is no law except the steady, persistent movement of the thinking public setting its face squarely against the practice, with the passage of time, which usually brings about, we know not always how, the remedy for such evils; but we are seldom willing to wait for such a cure.

As before intimated parents are sometimes guilty of this offence, and thus place upon a child a stigma that will follow it through life. A little care on their part will remedy the evil, to that extent, and they surely should be willing to do their share in the work. Teachers and those who have the charge of the young are sometimes thoughtless enough to commit the same fault. Should it not be crime? For they have no right to be thus inconsiderate, when a little restraint upon their part will prevent the wrong as far as they are concerned. With these two influences setting in the right direction, added to that of the thinking community, a current may very likely be formed that shall obliterate wholly the custom and deliver us from its attendant difficulties.

Another practice now quite common, and one which bids fair to create much confusion, is that which permits the wife to take the Christian name of her husband: for instance, Mrs. Mary, wife of John Smith, signs her name Mrs. John Smith, a name which has no legal existence, which she is entitled to use only by courtesy, and which should be allowed in none but necessary cases to distinguish her from some other bearing the same name, or to address her when her own Christian name is not known. Mrs. is but a general title to designate the class of persons to which she belongs, and not a name, any more than Mr. or Esq. Who ever knew a man to sign his name Mr. so and so, or so and so, Esq.?

To show the absurdity and impropriety of this misuse of the name it will be needful to mention but a single illustration. Suppose a note or check is made payable to Mrs. John Smith. Mrs. being only a title, and no part of the name, the endorsement would be plain John Smith, and nobody, not even his wife, has any right to forge his signature. An instrument thus drawn is a mistake, since no one can be authorized to execute it.

The trouble to the genealogist and historian is of a somewhat different nature, since he merely desires to identify the individual and cares nothing about the money value of the document. Much the safer and better way is for the wife always to sign and use her proper name and to add, if she thinks it necessary to be more explicit, "wife of," using her husband's name. By doing this a vast deal of perplexity would be avoided, and sometimes a serious legal difficulty.

Another custom, as common, and quite a favorite one with many married ladies, is that which changes her middle name by substituting her maiden surname; for example, Mary Jane Smith marries James Gray, and immediately her name is assumed to be Mary Smith Gray, instead of Mary Jane Gray, her legal name. The wife, if she so chooses, has the right by general consent, if not by law, to retain her full name, adding her husband's surname; but she has no right to use her own maiden surname in place of her discarded middle name. Much confusion might arise from this practice, as the following illustration will show. Mary Jane Gray receives a check payable to her order, and she, being in the habit of signing her name Mary Smith Gray, thus endorses it, and forwards it by mail or otherwise for collection, and is surprised when it comes back to her to be properly executed.

Again, Mary Jane Gray has a little money which she deposits in the savings bank, and, for the reason already given, takes out her book in the name of Mary S. Gray. She dies and her administrator finding the book tries to collect the money, but he being the administrator of Mary Jane Gray and not of Mary S. Gray may find the Treasurer of the bank unwilling to pay over the money until he is satisfied as to the identity of the apparently two Mary Grays, which, under some circumstances, might be a difficult process.

These changes are usually made thoughtlessly, but the result is none the less serious than though it were done with the intent to deceive or mislead, and the mischief that often arises in consequence is very great. These changes that have been noted from the nature of the case can only occur with women, since men have no occasion to make them, and in point of fact cannot; but there are those, quite analagous in character, that are common to both sexes and should be avoided unless the necessity is very apparent. Double names are sometimes very convenient for purposes of identification, but they may also prove fruitful sources of difficulty and trouble. As an illustration, Mary Jane Smith is known at home by her family and to her acquaintances as Mary. For some fanciful reason or local circumstance she wearies of that name and becomes Jane. Both are equally hers, but her acquaintances who knew her as Mary might well plead ignorance when asked about Jane Smith; and the acquaintances of the latter might never surmise that Mary Smith had ever existed.

Again, James Henry Gray is known at home in his youth as James H. Gray, and the name is very satisfactory to him; but as he arrives at manhood he enters a new business and finds a new residence. For some reason he thinks that a change of name also may be of benefit to him, and therefore he signs himself J. Henry Gray, and henceforth is a stranger to his former acquaintances. He has some money in bank at his old home which he draws for under his new name, and wonders when his check comes back to him dishonored, forgetting that he has never notified the officers of his change of name.

He finds it necessary, upon some occasion, to write to one of his former friends for information of importance, and is surprised that his old associate declines to give it to a stranger, for he does not remember, that, while he may easily retain his own identity, under any change of name, it may not be so easy to assure it to another at a distance. It can thus be seen how easily, and at times, how unavoidably, a great deal of vexation may be produced by this practice, and yet it is extensively followed.

Looking at the subject in another aspect, we find a grievance that has borne and is now bearing with intolerable weight upon many an individual, who would, at almost any sacrifice, relieve himself of it, but it is saddled upon him in such a manner, and is surrounded by such circumstances as to render it quite impossible for him to do so. It is a practice, all too common, but none the less reprehensible, to give to children legitimate names of such a character as to render them veritable "old men of the sea," so graphically described by Sindbad.

They are given for various reasons, sometimes simply for their oddity, sometimes because the name has been borne by a relative or friend, or it may have been borrowed from the pages of some favorite author, or suggested by accidental circumstance. A boy whose Christian name was Baring Folly, and we should not have far to go to find its counterpart in real life, could hardly be expected to get through the world without feeling severely the burden and ridicule of such a name, each part proper and well enough in its place as a surname, but particularly unfortunate when united and required to do duty as a Christian name.

We ridicule, and it may be wisely, the old-fashioned custom of giving a child a name merely because it happened to be found in the Scriptures, where with its special meaning it was singularly appropriate, yet, when used as a name without that special signification, it would be equally inappropriate. But are we wholly free from the same fault in another direction? How many children have been so burdened with a name that had been made illustrious by the life and services of its original bearer that they were always ashamed to hear it spoken; that very name of honor becoming in its present position a reproach and a hindrance, rather than a stimulus, because the bearers feel that they cannot sustain its ancient renown, and therefore they become mere nothings, simply from the fact of having been borne down to the dust under the burden of a great name.

Who can tell how many have become notorious, or have committed vagaries which have rendered them ridiculous, and destroyed their usefulness, from a sincere desire to bear worthily an honored name? Who shall say that the eccentricities of a certain celebrity of acknowledged talent, whose name would be quickly recognized, were not the result of the same cause, the length, and weight of the name given him at his birth proving too great an incumbrance for him to overcome.

How many ignoble George Washingtons, Henry Clays, Patrick Henrys, and other equally illustrious names, are wandering aimlessly about our streets, shiftless, worthless, utterly unworthy the names they bear, simply because they bear them, when, had they been given plain, honest, common names, they might have been held in respect and esteem. The burden is too great for them. A ship with a drag attached to her cannot make progress, be she ever so swift without it. Even the eagle will refuse his flight when burdened with excessive weight.

A little lack of consideration or want of thought in this matter on the part of parents often entail an immense amount of suffering upon those who are wholly innocent as to its cause. Let the boy or girl be given such a name, as shall be his or hers, worthy or unworthy, as the bearer shall make. Give them all a fair show. We may not be able to tell in all cases, perhaps not in many, how this affair of names has affected the lives of their owners. Give a child a silly or ridiculous name and the chances are that the child's character will correspond with that name. Give a child a name already illustrious and the chances are also fair that the burden will prove its ruin.

It is unnecessary to extend the subject, the present purpose being merely to call attention to those practices, and so to present them that more natural and healthy customs will be sought after and followed, that a true æsthetic taste may be cultivated, and thus alleviate or remove a part, at least, of the burden under which society groans.

It is also intended to illustrate some of the trials and perplexities that beset the genealogist and historian in their researches, arising from these unfortunate habits that pervade society. It would seem that the evils produced by the practices, only need exposure to result in reformation, and that no parent, with the full knowledge of the possible, yes probable, and almost inevitable effect, would so thrust upon his offspring an annoyance, to use the mildest possible term, which should subject them to such disagreeable consequences all through life.

It would seem, also, that no guardian, teacher, or other individual having the care and oversight of children, could be so thoughtless and inconsiderate, or allow a personal or private reason so to influence him, as to assume for the child any name that would be liable to cause it future shame or sorrow. Too much care cannot be taken in this regard, and it is a duty owing to the child that its rights in this respect shall be strictly guarded.

It is the object of this paper simply to call attention to a few of the more prominent points suggested by this subject in order that it may be examined and discussed, and, if it may be, more judicious and wiser practices introduced, that nature, art, and taste may combine to produce a system of names that shall be at the same time, convenient, useful and beautiful, and that shall carry no burden with them.


1603 TO 1682.


The facts that have come down to us whereupon to build a biography of John Prescott are scanty indeed, but enough to prove that he was that rare type of man, the ideal pioneer. Not one of those famous frontiersmen, whose figures stand out so prominently in early American history, was better equipped with the manly qualities that win hero worship in a new country, than was the father of the Nashaway Plantation. Had Prescott like Daniel Boone been fortunate in the favor of contemporary historians, to perpetuate anecdotes of his daily prowess and fertility of resource, or had he had grateful successors withal to keep his memory green, his name and romantic adventures would in like manner adorn Colonial annals. Persecuted for his honest opinions, he went out into the wilderness with his family to found a home, and for forty years thought, fought and wrought to make that home the centre of a prosperous community. Loaded from his first step with discouragements, that soon appalled every other of the original co-partners in the purchase of Nashaway from Showanon, Prescott alone, tenax propositi, held to his purpose, and death found him at his post. His grave is in the old "burial field" at Lancaster, yet not ten citizens can point it out. Over it stands a rude fragment from some ledge of slate rock, faintly incised with characters which few eyes can trace:


No date! no comment! That is his only memorial stone; his only epitaph in the town of which, for its first forty years, he was the very heart and soul, and for which he furnished a large share of the brains. This fair township—now divided among nine towns—and all it has been and is and is to be may be justly called his monument. The house of Deputies in 1652 voted it to be rightly his, and marked it by incorporative enactment with his honored and honorable name, Prescott. Unfortunately, however, some years before he had said something that seemed to favor Doctor Robert Child's criticisms of the Provincial system of taxation without representation; criticisms that grew and bore good fruitage when the times were riper for individual freedom; when Samuel Adams and James Otis took up the peoples' cause where Sir Henry Vane and Robert Child had left it. Therefore when, in 1652, what had been known as the Nashaway Plantation was fairly named for its founder in accordance with the petition of its inhabitants, some one of influence, whether magistrate or higher official, perhaps bethought himself that no Governor of the Colony even had been so honored, and that it might be well, before dignifying this busy blacksmith so much as to name a town for him, to see if he could pass examination in the catechism deemed orthodox at that date in Massachusetts Bay. Alas! John Prescott was not a freeman. Having a conscience of his own, he had never given public adhesion to the established church covenant and was therefore debarred from holding any civil office, and even from the privilege of voting for the magistrates. There was a year's delay, and, in 1653, "Prescott" was expunged and Lancaster began its history.

As in the broad area of the township various centres of population grew into villages and were one by one excised and made towns, it would be supposed that each of them would have been eager to honor itself by adopting so euphonious and appropriate a name as Prescott. But no! The first candidate for a new designation, in 1732, chose the name of the generous Charlestown clergyman, Harvard, for no appropriate local reason now discoverable. Six years later another body corporate imported the name—Bolton. Two years passed and a third district sought across the ocean for its title Leominster. Then Woonksechocksett forgetful of its benefactors and of the grand Indian names of its hills and waters borrowed the title of a putative Scotch lord, who bravely fought for our Independence, and, in adopting, paid him the poor compliment of misspelling it—Sterling. The next seceder ambitiously chose the name of a Prussian city—Berlin. The sixth perpetuated its early admiration of the great small-pox inoculator, Boylston; and the last was named—for a hotel. None so poor as to do Prescott reverence. But surely, it would be thought, banks and manufactories, halls or at least a fire engine, might with tardy respect have paid cheap tribute to his name by bearing it. Is there any example! Yes, at last a short street having little connection sentimental or real with the pioneer, bears his name—this only in the aspiring town, almost a city, of which John Prescott's old millstone is the visible foundation! Clinton.

I have stated that Prescott was an ideal pioneer. Not that there was in him anything of kinship to that race of frontiersmen now deployed along the outer verge of American civilization, like the thread of froth stranded along a beach outlining the extreme advance made by the last wave of the tide. The frontiersmen of to-day, bibulous gamblers, reckless duelists, blasphemous savages of mixed blood, had no prototype in Colonial days, for even the human harvest then gathered to the stocks, the whipping-post and the gallows, was of a far less obtrusive class of offenders against morals and social decency. Prescott was a Puritan soldier, a seeker of liberty not license; fiercely rebellious against tyranny, but no contemner of moral law. It was no accident that put him in the advance guard of Anglo-Saxon civilization, then just starting on its westward march from the shores of Massachusetts Bay. The position had awaited the man. When he set up his anvil and with skilful blows hammered out the first plough-shares to compel the virgin soil of the Nashaway valley to its proper fruitfulness, he was all unwittingly helping to forge the destinies of this great republic;—was in his humble sphere a true builder of the nation. His neighbors and friends, John Tinker, Ralph Houghton, and Major Simon Willard, doubtless excelled him in culture, but no neighbor surpassed him in natural personal force, whether physical, mental or moral. Not only was he of commanding stature, stern of mien and strong of limb, but he had a heart devoid of fear, great physical endurance and an unbending will. These qualities his savage neighbors early recognized and bowed before in deep respect, and because of these no Lancaster enterprise but claimed him as its leader. His manual skill and dexterity must have been great, his mental capacity and business energy remarkable, for we find him not only a farmer, trader, blacksmith and hunter, but a surveyor and builder of roads, bridges and mills. The records of the town show that he was seldom free from the conduct of some public labor. The greatest of his benefactions to his neighbors were: His corn-mill erected in 1654, and his saw-mill in 1659. The arrival of the first millstone in Lancaster must have been an event of matchless interest to every man, woman and child in the plantation. Till that began its tireless turning, the grain for every loaf of bread had to be carried to Watertown mill, or ground laboriously in a hand quern, or parched and brayed in a mortar, Indian fashion. Before the starting of his saw-mill, the rude houses must have been of logs, stone, and clay, for it was an impossibility to bring from the lower towns on the existing "Bay road" and with the primitive tumbril any large amount of sawn lumber.

Of Prescott's wife we know only her name: Mary Platts. But her daughters were sought for in marriage by men of whom we learn nothing that is not praiseworthy, and her sons all honored their mother's memory, by useful and unblemished lives. John Prescott was the youngest son of Ralph and Ellen of Shevington, Lancashire, England. He was baptized in the Parish of Standish in 1604-5 and married Mary Platts at Wigan, Lancashire, January 21, 1629. He was a land owner in Shevington, but sold his possessions there and took up his residence in Halifax Parish, Sowerby, in Yorkshire. Leaving England to avoid religions persecutions, his first haven was Barbadoes, where he is found a land owner in 1638. In 1640 he landed in Boston, and immediately selected his home in Watertown, where he became the possessor of six lots of land, aggregating one hundred and twenty-six acres. In 1643, his name is found in association with Thomas King of Watertown, Henry Symonds of Boston, and others, the first proprietors of the Nashaway purchase. His children were eight in number and all were married in due season. They were as follows:

1. Mary, baptized at Halifax Parish February 24, 1630, married Thomas Sawyer in 1648. The young couple selected their home lot adjoining Prescott's in Lancaster and there eleven sons and daughters were born to them.

2. Martha, baptized at Halifax Parish March 11, 1632, married John Rugg in 1655; and these twain began life together in sight of her paternal home in Lancaster. She died with her twin babes in January 1656.

3. John, baptized at Halifax Parish April 1, 1635, married Sarah Hayward at Lancaster, November 11, 1668, and had five children. He was a farmer and blacksmith, lived with his father, and succeeded him at the mills.

4. Sarah, baptized in 1637, at Halifax Parish, married Richard Wheeler at Lancaster, August 2, 1658, and lived in the immediate vicinity of those before named. Wheeler was killed in the massacre of February 10, 1676, and the widowed Sarah married Joseph Rice of Marlborough. By her first husband she had five children.

5. Hannah, was probably born at Barbadoes in 1639. She became the second wife of John Rugg May 4, 1660, and had eight children. She became a widow in 1696, and was slain by the Indians in the massacre of September 11, 1697.

6. Lydia, born at Watertown August 15, 1641, married Jonas Fairbank at Lancaster, May 28, 1658. He owned the lands next south of Prescott's home. Fairbank had seven children. In the massacre of February 10, 1676, he and his son Joshua were victims. The widowed Lydia married Elias Barron.

7. Jonathan—if twenty three years old in 1670, as an unknown authority has noted, or "about 38," November 6, 1683, as stated in a deposition of that date—was probably born in Lancaster between 1645 and 1647. He was a blacksmith and farmer, and married first Dorothy, August 3, 1670, in Lancaster. She died in 1674, leaving a son Samuel, noted in the town history as the unfortunate sentinel who, on November 6, 1704, killed by mistake his neighbor, the beloved minister of Lancaster, Reverend Andrew Gardner. Jonathan Prescott married second, Elizabeth, daughter of John Hoar of Concord, who died in 1687 leaving six children. Jonathan's third wife was Rebecca Bulkeley and his fourth Ruth, widow of Thomas Brown. He did not reside in Lancaster after the massacre of 1676, but became an influential citizen of Concord, which he served as representative for nine years. He died December 5, 1721.

8. Jonas, born June, 1648, in Lancaster, married Mary Loker of Sudbury, December 14, 1672. The marriage took place in Lancaster and here their first child was born, (they had twelve children in all), but later they removed to Groton, where Jonas became Captain, Selectman and Justice. He died in Groton, December 31, 1723. Of his more illustrious descendants were Colonel William, and the historian William H. Prescott.

In May 1644, John Winthrop records that "Many of Watertown and other towns joined in a plantation at Nashaway "—and Reverend Timothy Harrington in his Century Sermon states that the organization of this company of planters was due to Thomas King. The immediate and final disappearance of this original proprietor has seemed to previous writers good warrant for charging that King and his partner Henry Symonds were but land speculators, who bought the Indian's inheritance to retail by the acre to adventurers. I believe this an unjust assumption. At the date when Winthrop noted down the inception of the Nashaway Company, Henry Symonds had already been dead seven months. He was that energetic contractor of Boston noted as the leader in the project for establishing tide mills at the Cove, and was no doubt the capitalist of the trading firm of Symonds & King, who set up their "trucking house" as early as 1643 on the sunny slope of George Hill. Symond's widow a few months after his death married Isaac Walker, who in 1645 was prominent among the Nashaway proprietors. If King really sold his share of the Indian purchase, may it not have been therefore because, his senior partner being dead, he had no means to continue the enterprise? He too died before the end of the year 1644, not yet thirty years of age. The inventory of his estate sums but one hundred and fifty-eight pounds, including his house and land in Watertown, his stock in trade, and seventy-three pounds of debts due him from the Indians, John Prescott, and sundry others. King's widow made haste to be consoled, and her second husband, James Cutler, soon appears in the role of a Nashaway proprietor.

The direction of the company was at the outset in the hands of men whose names were, or soon became, of some note throughout the Colony. Doctor Robert Child, a scholar who had won the degrees of A.M. and M.D. at Cambridge and Padua, a man of scientific acquirements, but inclined to somewhat sanguine expectations of mineral treasure to be discovered in the New England hills, seems to have been a leading spirit in the adventure; and unfortunately so, since his political views about certain inalienable rights of man, which now live, and are honored in the Constitution of the Commonwealth, seemed vicious republicanism to the ecclesiastical aristocracy then governing the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay; and the odium that drove Child across the ocean, attached also to his companion planters, and perhaps through the prejudice of those in authority unfavorably affected for several years the progress of the settlement on the Nashaway. Certainly such prejudices found expression in all action or record of the government respecting the proprietors and their petitions. The ecclesiastical figure head—without which no body corporate could have grace within the colony—was Nathaniel Norcross. Of him, if we can surmise aught from his early return to England, it may be said, he was not imbued with the martyr's spirit, and his defection was, some time later, more than made good by the accession of the beloved Rowlandson. But far more important to the enterprise than these two graduates from the English University—Child the radical, and Norcross the preacher,—were two mechanics, the restless planners and busy promoters of the company, both workers in iron—Steven Day the locksmith and John Prescott the blacksmith. Steven Day was the first in America, north of Mexico, to set up a printing-press. The Colony had wisely recognized in him a public benefactor, and sealed this recognition by substantial grant of lands. He entered upon the Nashaway scheme with characteristic zeal and energy, if we may believe his own manuscript testimony: but Day's zeal outran his discretion, and his energy devoured his limited means, for in 1644 we find him in jail for debt remonstrating piteously against the injustice of a hard hearted creditor. He parted with all rights at Nashaway before many years and finally delved as a journey man at the press he had founded.

John Prescott deserted of all his original co-partners was sufficient for the emergency, a host in himself. He sells his one hundred and twenty six acres and house at Watertown, puts his all into the venture, prepares a rude dwelling in the wilderness, moves thither his cattle, and chattels, and finally, mounting wife and children and his few remaining goods upon horses' backs, bids his old neighbors good bye, and threads the narrow Indian trail through the forest westward. The scorn of men high in authority is to follow him, but now the most formidable enemy in his path is the swollen Sudbury River and its bordering marsh. We find the aristocratic scorn mingling with the story of Prescott's dearly bought victory over this natural obstacle, told in Winthrop's History of New England among what the author classes as remarkable "special providences."

"Prescot another favorer of the Petitioners lost a horse and his loading in Sudbury river, and a week after his wife and children being upon another horse were hardly saved from drowning." That the kindly hearted Winthrop could coolly attribute the pitiable disaster of the brave pioneer to the wrath of God towards the political philosophy of Robert Child, pictures vividly the bigotry natural to the age and race, a bigotry which culminated in the horrors of the persecution for witchcraft. This Sudbury swamp was the lion in the path from the bay westward during many a decade. In 1645, an earnest petition went up to the council from Prescott and his associates, complaining that much time and means had been spent in discovering Nashaway and preparing for the settlement there, and that on account of the lack of bridge and causeway at the Sudbury River, the proprietors could not pass to and from the bay towns—"without exposing our persons to perill and our cattell and goods to losse and spoyle; as yo'r petitioners are able to make prooffe of by sad experience of what wee suffered there within these few dayes." The General Court ordered the bridge and way to be made, "passable for loaden horse," and allowed twenty pounds to Sudbury, "so it be donne w'thin a twelve monthe." The twelve month passed and no bridge spanned the stream. That the dangers and difficulties of the crossing were not over-stated by the petitioners is proven by the fact that more than one hundred years afterwards, the bridge and causeway at this place "half a mile long"—were represented to the General Court as dangerous and in time of floods impassable. Between 1759 and 1761, the proceeds of special lotteries amounting to twelve hundred and twenty seven pounds were expended in the improvement of the crossing.

John Winthrop, writing of the Nashaway planters, tells us that "he whom they had called to be their minister, [Norcross] left them for their delays," but omits mention of the fact recorded by the planters themselves in their petition, that the chief and sufficient cause of their slow progress was in the inability or unwillingness of the Governor and magistrates to afford effective aid in providing a passable crossing over a small river.

Prescott, at least, was chargeable with no delay. By June 1645, he and his family had become permanent residents on the Nashaway. Richard Linton, Lawrence Waters the carpenter, and John Ball the tailor, were his only neighbors; these three men having been sent up to build, plant, and prepare for the coming of other proprietors. But two houses had been built. Linton probably lived with his son-in-law Waters, in his home near the fording place in the North Branch of the Nashaway, contiguous to the lot of intervale land which Harmon Garrett and others of the first proprietors had fenced in to serve as a "night pasture" for their cattle. Ball had left his children and their mother in Watertown; she being at times insane. Prescott's first lot embraced part of the grounds upon which the public buildings in Lancaster now stand, but this he soon parted with, and took up his abode a mile to the south west, on the sunny slope of George Hill, where, beside a little brooklet of pure cool water, which then doubtless came rollicking down over its gravelly bed with twice the flow it has to-day, there had been built, two years at least before, the trucking house of Symonds & King. This trading post was the extreme outpost of civilization; beyond was interminable forest, traversed only by the Indian trails, which were but narrow paths, hard to find and easy to lose, unless the traveller had been bred to the arts of wood-craft. Here passed the united trails from Washacum, Wachusett, Quaboag, and other Indian villages of the west, leading to the wading place of the Nashaway River near the present Atherton Bridge, and so down the "Bay Path" over Wataquadock to Concord. The little plateau half way down the sheltering hill, with fertile fields sloping to the southeast and its never failing springs, was and is an attractive spot; but its material advantages to the pioneer of 1645 were far greater than those apparent to the Lancastrian of this nineteenth century in the changed conditions of life. With the privilege of first choice therefore, it is not strange that Prescott and his sturdy sons-in-law grasped the rich intervales, and warm easily tilled slopes, stretching along the Nashaway south branch from the "meeting of the waters" to "John's jump" on the east, and extending west to the crown of George Hill; lands now covered by the village of South Lancaster.

In 1650 John Prescott found himself the only member of the company resident at Nashaway. Of the co-partners Symonds, King, and John Hill were dead; Norcross and Child had gone to England; Cowdall had sold his rights to Prescott; Chandler, Davis, Walker, and others had formally abandoned their claims; Garrett, Shawe, Day, Adams, and perhaps two or three others, retained their claims to allotments, making no improvements, and contributing nothing by their presence or tithes to the growth of the settlement, thus becoming effectual stumbling blocks in the way of progress. Prescott, very reasonably, held this a grievance, and having no other means of redress asked equitable judgment in the matter from the magistrates, in a petition which cannot be found. His answer was the following official snub:

"Whereas John Prescot & others, the inhabitants of Nashaway p'ferd a petition to this Courte desiringe power to recover all common charges of all such as had land there, not residinge wth them, for answer whereunto this Court, understandinge that the place before mentioned is not fit to make a plantation, (so a ministry to be erected and mayntayned there,) which if the petitioners, before the end of the next session of this Courte, shall not sufficiently make the sey'd place appeare to be capable to answer the ends above mentioned doth order that the p'ties inhabitinge there shalbe called there hence, & suffered to live without the meanes, as they have done no longer." This dire threat of the closing sentence may have been simply "sound and fury, signifying nothing," or Prescott may have been able to prove to the authorities that Nashaway was fit and waiting for its St. John, but found none willing for the service. In fact, its St. John was then a junior at Harvard College, writing a pasquinade to post upon the Ipswich meeting-house, and Nashaway was "suffered to live without the meanes," waiting for him until 1654.

John Prescott retained possession of his early home,—the site of the "trucking house," which he had purchased of John Cowdall,—as long as he lived, but did not reside there many years. No sooner had the plantation attained the dignity of a township under the classic name of Lancaster, than its founder bent all his energies towards those enterprises best calculated to promote the comfort and prosperity of its then inhabitants, and to attract by material advantages, a desirable and permanent immigration. His practical eye had doubtless long before marked the best site for a mill in all the region round about, and on the slope, scarce a gun shot away, he set up a new home, afterwards well known to friend and savage foe as Prescott's Garrison. Those who remain of the generation familiar with this region before the invention of the power loom made such towns as Clinton possible, remember the depression that told where Prescott dug his cellar. The oldest water mill in New England was scarce twenty years old when Prescott contracted to grind the com of the Nashaway planters. His "Covenant to build a Corne mill" has been preserved through a copy made by Ralph Houghton, Lancaster's first Clerk of the Writs, and is as follows:

"Know all men by these presents that I John Prescott blackssmith, hath Covenanted and bargained with Jno. ffounell of Charlestowne for the building of a Corne mill, within the said Towne of Lanchaster. This witnesseth that wee the Inhabitants of Lanchaster for his encouragement in so good a worke for the behoofe of our Towne, vpon condition that the said intended worke by him or his assignes be finished, do freely and fully giue, grant, enfeoffe, & confirme vnto the said John Prescott, thirty acres of intervale Land lying on the north riuer, lying north west of Henry Kerly, and ten acres of Land adjoyneing to the mill; and forty acres of Land on the south east of the mill brooke, lying between the mill brooke and Nashaway Riuer in such place as the said John Prescott shall choose with all the priuiledges and appurtenances thereto apperteyneing. To haue and to hold the said land and eurie parcell thereof to the said John Prescott his heyeres & assignes for euer, to his and their only propper vse and behoofe. Also wee do covenant & promise to lend the said John Prescott fiue pounds in current money one yeare for the buying of Irons for the mill. And also wee do covenant and grant to and with the said John Prescott his heyres and assignes that the said mill, with all the aboue named Land thereto apperteyneing shall be freed from all com'on charges for seauen yeares next ensueing, after the first finishing and setting the said mill to worke.

In witnes whereof wee haue herevnto put our hands this 20th day of the 9mo. In the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred fifty and three.














In six months from that date the mill was done, and Prescott "began to grind corne the 23d day of the 3 mo, 1654."

The commissioners, appointed by the General Court to oversee the prudential management of the town, met at John Prescott's in 1657 and confirmed "the imunityes provided for" in the above covenant specifying that they "should continue and remayne to him the said Jno. Prescott his heyres and assignes vntil the 23d of May, in the yeare of our Lord sixteen hundred sixty and two."

The corn mill was located a little lower upon the brook than the extensive factory buildings now utilizing its water power. The half used force of the rapid stream, and the giant pines of the virgin forest then shadowed all the region about, were full of reproach to the restless miller. His busy brain was soon planning a new benefaction to his fellow citizens, and when his means grew sufficiently to warrant the enterprise, his busy hands wrought its consummation. As before, a formal agreement preceded the work:

"Know all men by these presents that for as much as the Inhabitants of Lanchaster, or the most part of them being gathered together on a trayneing day, the 15th of the 9th mo, 1658, a motion was made by Jno. Prescott blackesmith of the same towne, about the setting vp of a saw mill for the good of the Towne, and yt he the said Jno Prescott, would by the help of God set vp the saw mill, and to supply the said Inhabitants with boords and other sawne worke, as is afforded at other saw mills in the countrey. In case the Towne would giue, grant, and confirms vnto the said John Prescott, a certeine tract of Land, lying Eastward of his water mill, be it more or less, bounded by the riuer east, the mill west the stake of the mill land and the east end of a ledge of Iron Stone Rocks southards, and forty acres of his owne land north, the said land to be to him his heyres and assignes for euer, and all the said land and eurie part thereof to be rate free vntill it be improued, or any pt of it, and that his saws, & saw mill should be free from any rates by the Towne, therefore know ye that the ptyes abouesaid did mutually agree and consent each with other concerning the aforementioned propositions as followeth:

The towne on their part did giue, grant & confirme, vnto the said John Prescott his heyres and assignes for euer, all the aforementioned tract of land butted & bounded as aforesaid, to be to him his heyres and asssignes for euer with all the priuiledges and appurtenances thereon, and therevnto belonging to be to his and their owne propper vse and behoofe as aforesaid, and the land and eurie part of it to be free from all rates vntil it or any pt of it be improued, and also his saw, sawes, and saw-mill to be free from all town rates, or ministers rates, prouided the aforementioned worke be finished & compleated as abouesaid for the good of the towne, in some convenient time after this present contract covenant and agremt.

And the said John Prescott did and doth by these prsents bynd himself, his heyres and assignes to set vp a saw-mill as aforesaid within the bounds of the aforesaid Towne, and to supply the Towne with boords and other sawne worke as aforesaid and truly and faithfully to performe, fullfill, & accomplish, all the aforementioned p'misses for the good of the Towne as aforesaid.

Therefore the Selectmen conceiving this saw-mill to be of great vse to the Towne, and the after good of the place, Haue and do hereby act to rattifie and confirme all the aforemencconed acts, covenants, gifts, grants, & im'unityes, in respect of rates, and what euer is aforementioned, on their owne pt, and in behalfe of the Towne, and to the true performance hereof, both partyes haue and do bynd themselves by subscribing their hands, this twenty-fifth day of February, one thousand six hundred and fifty nine.


The worke above mencconed was finished according to this covenant as witnesseth.

Signed & Delivr'd In presence of,





Monday, the seventeenth of February, 1659, "the Company granted him to fall pines on the Com'ons to supply his saw-mill."

In April 1659, Ensign Noyes came to make accurate survey of the eighty square miles granted to the town, and John Prescott was deputed by the townsmen at their March meeting to aid in the survey and "mark the bounds." Among his varied accomplishments, natural and acquired, Prescott seems to have had some practical skill in surveying, the laying out of highways and the construction of bridges. In 1648 John Winthrop records: "This year a new way was found out to Connecticut by Nashua which avoided much of the hilly way." As appears by a later petition Prescott was the pioneer of this new path. In 1657 he was appointed by the government a member of a committee upon the building of bridges "at Billirriky and Misticke." In 1658 he with his son-in-law Jonas Fairbank was appointed to survey a farm of six hundred and fifty acres for Captain Richard Davenport, upon which farm the chief part of West Boylston now stands.

To the General Court which met October 18, 1659, the following petition was presented:

"The humble petition of John Prescot of Lancaster humblye Sheweth, That whereas yr petitioner about nine or ten yeares since, was desired by the late hon'red Governour Mr. Winthrop, wth other Magistrates, as also by Mr. Wilson of Boston, Mr. Shephard of Cambridge with many others, did lay & marke out a way at ye north side of the great pond & soe by Lancaster, which then was taken by Mr. Hopkins & many others to bee of great vse; This I did meerly vpon the request of these honored gentlemen, to my great detrimt, by being vpon it part of two summers not only myselfe but hiring others alsoe to helpe mee, whereby my family suffered much: I doe not question but many of ye Court remember the same, as alsoe that this hath not laine dead all this while, but I haue formerly mentioned it, but yet haue noe recompence for the same; the charge whereof came at 2s p day to about 10l; it is therefore the desire of yr petitioner yt you would bee pleased to grant him a farme in some place vndisposed of which will engage him to you and encourage him and others in publique occasions & y'r petitioner shall pray etc."

One hundred acres of land were granted him, and speedily laid out near the Washacum ponds, where now stand the railroad buildings at Sterling Junction.

We get very few glimpses of Prescott from the meagre records of succeeding years, but those serve to indicate that he was busy, prosperous and annually honored by his neighbors with the public duties for which his sturdy integrity, shrewd business tact, and wisely directed energy peculiarly fitted him. He had taken the oath of fidelity in 1652. Such owning of allegiance was by law prerequisite to the holding of real estate. Refusing such oath he might better have been a Nipmuck so far as civil rights or privileges were concerned. He was not yet a member of the recognized church however, and therefore lacked the political dignities of a freeman; although his intimate relations with Master Joseph Rowlandson, and his personal connection with the earlier cases of church discipline in Lancaster, sufficiently attest the austerity of his puritanism. Doubtless Governor John Winthrop in his hasty and harsh dictum respecting the Nashaway planters, classed John Prescott among those "corrupt in judgment." But it must be remembered that in Winthrop's visionary commonwealth there was no room for liberty of conscience. All were esteemed corrupt in judgment or even profane whose religious beliefs, when tested all about by the ecclesiastic callipers, proved not to have been cast in the doctrinal mould prescribed by the self-sanctified founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. No known fact in any way warrants even the conjecture that Prescott was not a sincere Christian earnestly pursuing his own convictions of duty, without fear and without reproach.

Prescott's mechanical skill and business ability had more than a local reputation. In 1667, we find him contracting with the authorities of Groton, to erect "a good and sufficient corne mill or mills, and the same to finish so as may be fitting to grind the corne of the said Towne." ... For the fulfillment of this agreement he received five hundred and twenty acres of land, and mill and lands were exempted from taxation for twenty years. Assistance towards the building of the mill were also promised to the amount of "two days worke of a man for every house lott or family within the limitts of the said Towne, and at such time or times to be done or performed, as the said John Prescott shall see meete to call for the same, vpon reasonable notice given." The covenant was fulfilled by the completion of a mill at Nonacoiacus, then in the southern part of Groton. The mill site is now in Harvard. Prescott's youngest son, Jonas, was the first miller. The history of the old mill is obscured by the shadows of two hundred years, but a bright gleam of romantic tradition concerning the first miller is warm with human interest now. Perhaps at points the romantic may infringe upon the historic, but:

Se non e vero,

E ben trovato.

Down by the green meadows of Sudbury there dwelt a bewitchingly fair maiden, the musical dissyllables of whose name were often upon the lips of the young men in all the country round about, and whose smile could awaken voiceless poetry in the heart of the most prosaic Puritan swain. There is little of aristocratic sound in Mary Loker's name, but her parents sat on Sunday at the meeting house in a "dignified" pew, and were rich in fields and cattle. Whether pushed by pride of land or pride of birth, in their plans and aspirations, this daughter was predestinated to enhance the family dignity by an aristocratic alliance. In Colonial days a maiden who added a handsome prospective dowry to her personal witchery was rare indeed, and Mary Loker had, coming from far and near, inflammable suitors perpetually burning at her shrine. From among these the father and mother soon made their choice upon strictly business principles, and shortly announced to Mary that a certain ambitious gentleman of the legal profession had furnished the most satisfactory credentials, and that nothing remained but for her to name the day. Now the fourth commandment was very far from being the dead letter in 1670 that it is in 1885, and it was matter for grave surprise to the elders that their usually obedient daughter, when the lawyer proceeded to plead, refused to hear, and peremptorily adjourned his cause without day. Maternal expostulation and paternal threats availed nothing. The because of Mary's contumacy was not far to seek. A stalwart Vulcan in the guise of an Antinous, known as Jonas Prescott, had wandered from his father's forge in Lancaster down the Bay Path to Sudbury. Mary and he had met, and the lingering of their parting boded ill for any predestination not stamped with their joint seal of consent. With that lack of astuteness proverbially exhibited by parents disappointed in match-making designs upon their children, the vexed father and mother began a course of vigorous repression, and thereby riveted more firmly than ever the chains which the errant young blacksmith and his apprentice Cupid had forged. In due time, they perforce learned that love's flame burns the brighter fed upon a bread and water diet; and that confinement to an attic may be quite endurable when Cupid's messages fly in and out of its lattice at pleasure.

Finally Mary was secretly sent to an out-of-the-way neighborhood in the vain hope that the chill of absence might hinder what home rule had only served to help. But one day Jonas on a hunting excursion made the acquaintance of some youth, who, among other chitchat, happened to break into ecstatic praise of the graces of a certain fair damsel who had recently come to live in a farm-house near their home. Of course the anvil missed Jonas for the next day, and the next, and the next, while he experienced the hospitalities of his new-found friends—and their neighbors. It was time for a recognition of the inevitable by all concerned, but when, and with what grace Mary's stubborn parents yielded, if at all, is not recorded. But what mattered that? Old John Prescott installed Jonas at the Nonacoicus Mill, and endowed him with all his Groton lands, and in Lancaster, December 14, 1672, Jonas and Mary were married. For over fifty years fortunes railed upon their union. Four sons and eight daughters graced their fireside, and the father was trusted and clothed with local dignities. In after time the memory of Jonas and Mary has been honored by many worthy descendants, and especially by the gallant services of Colonel William Prescott at Bunker Hill, and the literary renown of William Hickling Prescott, the historian.

In 1669, John Prescott was proclaimed a Freeman. He may have been long a Church member, or may not even at this date have yielded the conscientious scruples that had a quarter of a century earlier subjected him to the reproach of an ecclesiastical oligarchy. The laws concerning Freemen, in reluctant obedience to the letter of Charles II., were so changed in 1665 that those not Church members could become Freemen, if freeholders of a sufficient estate, and guaranteed by the local minister "to be Orthodox and not vicious in their lives." Prescott had the true Englishman's love of landed possessions, and about this time added a large tract to his acreage by purchase from his Indian neighbors. This transaction gave cause for the following petition:

To the honorable the Govr the Deputy Govr magtr & Deputy es assembled in the genrall Court:

The Petition of Jno Prescott of Lanchaster, In most humble wise sheweth. Whereas ye Petitionr hath purchased an Indian right to a small parcell of Land, occasioned and circumstanced for quantity & quality according to the deed of sale herevnto annexed and a pt. thereof not being legally setled vpon piee vnlesse I may obteyne the favor of this Court for the Confirmation thereof, These are humbly to request the Court's favor for that end, the Lord hauing dealt graciously with mee in giueing mee many children I account it my duty to endeauor their provission & setling and do hope that this may be of some vse in yt kind. I know not any claime made to the said land by any towne, or any legall right yt any other persons haue therein, and therefore are free for mee to occupy & subdue as any other, may I obteyne the Court's approbation. I shall not vse further motiues, my condition in other respecks & wt my trouble & expenses haue been according to my poor ability in my place being not altogether vnknowne to some of ye Court. That ye Lord's prsence may be with & his blessing accompany all yor psons, Counsells, & endeauors for his honor & ye weale of his poor people is ye prayr of

Yor supplliant


This request was referred to a special committee, composed of Edward Tyng, George Corwin and Humphrey Davie, who reported as follows:

"In Reference to this Petition the Comittee being well informed that the Petr is an ancient Planter and hath bin a vseful helpfull and publique spirited man doinge many good offices ffor the Country, Relatinge to the Road to Conecticott, marking trees, directinge of Passengers &c, and that the Land Petitioned for beinge but about 107 Acres & Lyinge not very Convenient for any other Plantation, and only accomoclable for the Petr, we judge it reasonable to Confirme the Indian Grant to him & his heyers if ye honored Court see meete."

This report was approved. James Wiser alias Quanapaug, the Christian Nashaway Chief, who appears as grantor of the land, was a warrior whose bravery had been tested in the contest between the Nipmucks and the Mohawks; and was so firm a friend of his white neighbors at Lancaster, that when Philip persuaded the tribe with its Sagamore Sam, to go upon the war path, James refused to join them. He even served as a spy and betrayed Philip's plans to the English at imminent risk of his life, doing his utmost to save Lancaster from destruction. General Daniel Gookin acknowledged that Quanapaug's information would have averted the horrible massacre of February 10, 1676, had it been duly heeded. The fact of the friendly relations existing between Prescott and the tribe whose fortified residence stood between the two Washacum ponds is interesting and confirms tradition. It is related that at his first coming he speedily won the respect of the savages, not only by his fearlessness and great physical strength, but by the power of his eye and his dignity of mien. They soon learned to stand in awe of his long musket and unerring skill as a marksman. He had brought with him from England a suit of mail, helmet and cuirass such as were worn by the soldiers of Cromwell. Clothed with these, his stately figure seemed to the sons of the forest something almost supernatural. One day some Indians, having taken away a horse of his, he put on his armor, pursued them alone, and soon overtook them. The chief of the party seeing him approach unsupported, advanced menacingly with uplifted tomahawk. Prescott dared him to strike, and was immediately taken at his word, but the rude weapon glanced harmless from the helmet, to the amazement of the red men. Naturally the Indian desired to try upon his own head so wonderful a hat, and the owner obligingly gratified him claiming the privilege, however, of using the tomahawk in return. The helmet proving a scant fit, or its wearer neglecting to bring it down to its proper bearings, Prescott's vengeful blow not only astounded him but left very little cuticle on either side of his head, and nearly deprived him of ears. Prescott was permitted to jog home in peace upon his horse.

After hostilities began, it is said that at one time the savages set fire to his barn, but fled when he sallied out clad in armor with his dreaded gun; and thus he was enabled to save his stock, though the building was consumed. More than once attempts were made to destroy the mill, but a sight of the man in mail with the far reaching gun was enough to send them to a safe distance and rescue the property. Many stories have been told of Prescott's prowess, but some bear so close a resemblance to those credibly historic in other localities and of other heroes, that there attaches to them some suspicions of adaptation at least. Such perhaps is the story that in an assault upon the town "he had several muskets but no one in the house save his wife to assist him. She loaded the guns and he discharged them with fatal effect. The contest continued for nearly half an hour, Mr. Prescott all the while giving orders as if to soldiers, so loud that the Indians could hear him, to load their muskets though he had no soldiers but his wife. At length they withdrew carrying off several of their dead and wounded."

In 1673 Prescott had nearly attained the age of three score and ten. The weight of years that had been full of exposure, anxiety and toil rested heavily upon even his rugged frame, and some sharp touch of bodily ailment warning him of his mortality, he made his will. It is signed with "his mark," although he evidently tried to force his unwilling hand to its accustomed work, his peculiar J being plainly written and followed by characters meant for the remaining letters of his first name. To earlier documents he was wont to affix a simple neat signature, and although not a clerkly penman like his friends John Tinker, Master Joseph Rowlandson and Ralph Houghton, his writing is superior to that of Major Simon Willard.


Theis presents witneseth that John Prescott of Lancaster in the Countie of Midlesex in New England Blaksmith being vnder the sencible decayes of nature and infirmities of old age and at present vnder a great deale of anguish and paine but of a good and sound memorie at the writing hereof being moved vpon considerations aforesaid togather with advis of Christian friends to set his house in order in Reference to the dispose of those outward good things the lord in mercie hath betrusted him with, theirfore the said John Prescott doth hereby declare his last will and testament to be as followeth, first and cheifly Comiting and Contending his soule to almightie god that gaue it him and his bodie to the comon burying place here in Lancaster, and after his bodie being orderly and decently buryed and the Charge theirof defrayed togather with all due debts discharged, the Rest of his Lands and estate to be disposed of as followeth: first in Reference to the Comfortable being of his louing wife during the time of her naturall Life, it is his will that his said wife haue that end of the house where he and shee now dwelleth togather with halfe the pasture and halfe the fruit of the aple trees and all the goods in the house, togather with two cowes which shee shall Chuse and medow sufisiant for wintering of them, out of the medowes where she shall Chuse, the said winter pvision for the two cowes to be equaly and seasonably pvided by his two sons John and Jonathan. And what this may fall short in Reference to convenient food and cloathing and other nesesaries for her comfort in sicknes and in health, to be equaly pvided by the aforesaid John and Jonathan out of the estate. And at the death of his aforesaid louing wife it is his will that the said cowes and household goods be equally deuided betwene his two sons aforesaid, and the other part of the dwelling house, out housing, pasture and orchard togather with the term acres of house lott lying on Georges hill which was purchased of daniell gains to be equaly deuided betwene the said John and Jonathan and alsoe that part of the house and outhousing what is Convenient for the two Cowes and their winter pvision pasture and orchard willed to his louing wife during her life, at her death to be equaly deuided alsoe betwene the said John and Jonathan. And furthermore it is his will that John Prescott his eldest son haue the Intervaile land at John's Jumpe, the lower Mille and the land belonging to it and halfe the saw mille and halfe the land belonging to it and all the house and barne theire erected, and alsoe the house and farme at Washacomb pond, and all the land their purchased from the indians and halfe the medowes in all deuisions in the towne acept sum litle part at bar hill wh. is after willed to James Sawyer and one halfe of the Comon Right in the towne, and in Reference to second deuision land, that part of it which lyeth at danforths farme both vpland and interuaile is willed to Jonathan and sixtie acres of that part at Washacom litle pond to James Sawyer and halfe of sum brushie land Capable of being made medow at the side of the great pine plain to be within the said James Sawyers sixtie acres and all the Rest of the second deuision land both vpland and Interuaile to be equaly deuided betwene John Prescott and Jonathan aformentioned. And Jonathan Prescott his second son to haue the Ryefeild and all the interuaile lott at Nashaway Riuer that part which he hath in posesion and the other part joyneing to the highway and alsoe his part of second deuision land aforementioned and alsoe one halfe of all the medowes in all deuisions in the towne not willed to John Prescott and James Sawyer aformentioned, and alsoe the other halfe of the saw mille and land belonging to it, and it is to be vnderstood that all timber on the land belonging to both Corne Mille and Saw Mille be Comon to the vse of the Saw Mille. And in Reference to his third son Jonas Prescott it is herby declared that he hath Received a full childs portion at nonecoicus in a Corne mille and Lands and other goods. And James Sawyer his granchild and Servant it is his will that he haue the sixtie acres of vpland aformentioned and the two peices of medow at bare hill one being part of his second deuision the upermost peic on the brook and the other being part of his third deuision lying vpon Nashaway River purchased of goodman Allin. Prouided the Said James Sawyer carie it beter then he did to his said granfather in his time and carie so as becoms an aprentic & vntil he be one and twentie years of age vnto the executors of this will namly John Prescott and Jonathan Prescott who are alsoe herby engaged to pforme vnto the said James what was pmised by his said granfather, which was to endeuor to learne him the art and trade of a blaksmith. And in Case the said James doe not pforme on his part as is afor expresed to the satisfaction of the overseers of this will, or otherwise, If he doe not acept of the land aformentioned, then the said land and medow to be equaly deuided betwene the aforsaid John and Jonathan. And in Reference to his three daughters, namly Marie, Sara and Lydia they to haue and Receive eurie of them fiue pounds to be paid to them by the executors to eurie of them fiftie shillings by the yeare two years after the death of theire father to be paid out of the mouables and Martha Ruge his granchild to haue a cow at the choic of her granmother. And it is the express will and charge of the testator to his wife and all his Children that they labor and endeuor to prescrue loue and unitie among themselves and the vpholding of Church and Comonwealth. And to the end that this his last will and testament may be truly pformed in all the parts of it, the said testator hath and herby doth constitut and apoynt his two sons namly John Prescott and Jonathan Prescott Joynt executors of this his last will. And for the preuention of after trouble among those that suruiue about the dispose of the estate acording to this his will he hath hereby Chosen desired and apoynted the Reuerend Mr. Joseph Rowlandson, deacon Sumner and Ralph Houghton overseers of this his will; vnto whom all the parties concerned in this his will in all dificult Cases are to Repaire, and that nothing be done without their Consent and aprobation. And furthermore in Reference to the mouables it is his will that his son John have his anvill and after the debts and legacies aformentioned be truly paid and fully discharged by the executors and the speciall trust pformed vnto my wife during her life and at her death, in Respect of, sicknes funerall expences, the Remainder of the movables to be equaly deuided betwene my two sons John and Jonathan aforementioned. And for a further and fuller declaration and confirmation of this will to be the last will and testament of the afornamed John Prescott he hath herevnto put his hand and seale this 8 of 2 month one thousand six hundred seaventie three.


his John mark.

Sealed signed owned to be the Last will and testament of the testator afornamed In the presence of




April 4: 82.


RALPH HOUGHTON, } Appearing in Court made oath to the above sd will,


But John Prescott's pilgrimage was far from ended, and severer chastenings than any yet experienced awaited him. He had survived to see the settlement that called him father, struggle upward from discouraging beginnings, to become a thriving and happy community of over fifty families. Where at his coming all had been pathless woods, now fenced fields and orchards yielded annually their golden and ruddy harvests; gardens bloomed; mechanic's plied their various crafts; herds wandered in lush meadows; bridges spanned the rivers, and roads wound through the landscape from cottage to cottage and away to neighboring towns. All this fair scene of industry and rural content, of which he might in modest truth say "Magna pars fui," he lived to see in a single day made more desolate than the howling wilderness from which it had been laboriously conquered. He was spared to see dear neighbors and kindred massacred in every method of revolting atrocity, and their wives and children carried into loathsome captivity by foes more relentlessly cruel than wolves. When now weighed down with age and bodily infirmities, the rest he had thought won was to be denied him, and he and his were driven from the ashes of pleasant homes—about which clustered the memories of thirty years' joys and sorrows—to beg shelter from the charity of strangers. For more than three years his enforced banishment endured. In October 1679, John Prescott with his sons John and Jonathan, his sons-in-law Thomas Sawyer and John Rugg, his grand-son Thomas Sawyer, Jr. and his neighbor's John Moore, Thomas Wilder, and Josiah White, petitioned the Middlesex Court for permission to resettle the town, and their prayer was granted. Soon most of the inhabitants who had survived the massacre and exile, were busily building new homes, some upon the cinders of the old, others upon their second division lands east of the rivers where they were less exposed to the stealthy incursions of their savage enemies. The two John Prescotts rebuilt the mills and dwelt there. Whether the pioneer's life long helpmate died before their settlement, in exile, or shortly after the return, has not been ascertained, but it would seem that he survived her. Jonathan having married a second wife remained in Concord. For two years the old man lived with his eldest son, seeing the Nashaway Valley blooming with the fruits of civilized labor; seeing new families filling the woeful gaps made in the old by Philip's warriors; seeing children and grandchildren grasping the implements that had fallen from the nerveless hold of the earliest bread-winners, with hopeful and pertinacious purpose to extend the paternal domain; seeing too, may we not trust, from the Pisgah height of prophetic vision the glorious promise awaiting this his Canaan; these softly rounded hills and broad valleys dotted with the winsome homes of thousands of freemen; churches and schools, shops of artisans, and busy marts of trade clustered about his mill site; and, above all, seeing the assertion of political freedom and liberty of conscience which Governor John Winthrop had reproached him for favoring in the petition of Robert Child, become the corner stone of a giant republic.

No record of John Prescott's death is found; but when upon his death bed, feeling that the changed condition of his own and his son Jonathan's affairs required some modification of the will made in 1673, he summoned two of his townsmen to hear his nuncupative codicil to that document. From the affidavit, here appended, it is certain that his death occurred about the middle of December, 1681.

"The Deposition of Thos: Wilder aged 37 years sworn say'th that being with Jno: Prescott Sen'r About six hours before he died he ye s'd Jno. Prescott gaue to his eldest sonn Jno: Presscott his house lott with all belonging to ye same & ye two mills, corn mill & saw mill with ye land belonging thereto & three scor Acors of land nere South medow and fourty Acors of land nere Wonchesix & a pece of enteruile caled Johns Jump & Bridge medow on both sids ye Brook. Cyprian Steevens Testifieth to all ye truth Aboue writen.

DECEM. 20. 81.

Sworn in Court. J.R.C."

Though two or more years short of fourscore at the time of his death he was Lancaster's oldest inhabitant. His fellow pioneer, Lawrence Waters, who was the elder by perhaps a years, till survived, though blind and helpless; but he dwelt with a son in Charlestown, after the destruction of his home, and never returned to Lancaster. John and Ralph Houghton, much younger men, were now the veterans of the town.



We met but once; 'twas many years ago.

I walked, with others, idly through the grounds

Where thou did'st minister in daily rounds.

I knew thee by thy garb, all I might know,

Sister of Charity, in hood like snow.

My heart was weary with the sight and sounds

Of sick and suffering soldiers in the wards below.

Disgusted with my thoughts of war and wounds.

'Twas then, by sudden chance, I met thine eyes,

What saw I there? A light from heaven above,

A gleam of calm, self-sacrificing love,

A smile that fill'd my heart with glad surprise,

Reflected in my breast an answering glow,

And haunts me still, wherever I may go.



The singular collection of islands known as the Bermudas are situated about seven hundred miles from Boston, in a southeast direction, and about the same distance from Halifax, or Florida. The nearest land to Bermuda is Cape Hatteras, distant 625 miles.

Within sixty-five hours' sail from New York it is hardly possible to find so complete a change in government, climate, scenery and vegetation, as Bermuda offers; and yet these islands are strangely unfamiliar to most well-informed Americans.

Speaking our own language, having the same origin, with manners, which in many ways illustrate those prevalent in New England a century ago, the people are bound to us by many natural ties; and it is only now that these islands, having come to the front as a winter resort, have led us to inquire into their history and resources. Settled in 1612, Virginia only of the English colonies outdating it, life in Bermuda has been as placid as its lovely waters on a summer day; no agitation of sufficient occurrence having occurred to attract the attention of the outside world, from which it is so absolutely isolated.

The only communication with the mainland is by the Quebec Steamship Company, who dispatch a steamer every alternate Thursday between New York and Hamilton, Bermuda, the fare for the round trip, including meals and stateroom, is fifty dollars. During the crop season, in the months of April, May and June, steamers are run weekly.

The Cunard Company also have a monthly service between Halifax, Bermuda, Turks Island and Jamaica, under contract with the Admiralty.

The Bermudas were first discovered in 1515 by a Spanish vessel, called La Garza, on a voyage from Spain to Cuba, with a cargo of hogs, and commanded by Juan Bermudez, and having on board Gonzalez Oviedo, the historian of the Indies, to whom we are indebted for the first account of these islands. They approached near to the islands, and from the appearance of the place concluded that it was uninhabited. They resolved to send a boat ashore to make observations, and leave a few hogs, which might breed and be afterwards useful. When, however, they were preparing to debark a strong contrary gale arose, which obliged them to sheer off and be content with the view already obtained. The islands were named by the Spaniards indifferently, La Garza from the ship and Bermuda from the captain, but the former term is long since disused.



It does not appear that the Spaniards made any attempt to settle there, although Philip II. granted the islands to one Ferdinand Camelo, a Portuguese, who never improved his gift, beyond taking possession by the form of landing in 1543, and carving on a prominent cliff on the southern shore of the island2 the initials of his name and the year, to which, in conformity with the practical zeal of the times, he super-added a cross, to protect his acquisition from the encroachments of roving heretics and the devil, for the stormy seas and dangerous reefs gave rise to so many disasters as to render the group exceedingly formidable in the eyes of the most experienced navigators. It was even invested in their imagination with superstitious terrors, being considered as unapproachable by man, and given up in full dominion to the spirits of darkness. The Spaniards therefore called them "Los Diabolos," the Devil's Islands.

Fac-simile reproduction of a Map of Bermuda made in 1614 by Captain John Smith.

Fac-simile reproduction of a Map of Bermuda made in 1614 by Captain John Smith.

View of the State House and reference as to location of the fort, bridges, etc., shown herewith on Smith's map of 1614. (Fac-simile reproduction.)

View of the State House and reference as to location of the fort, bridges, etc., shown herewith on Smith's map of 1614. (Fac-simile reproduction.)

These islands were first introduced to the notice of the English by a dreadful shipwreck. In 1591 Henry May sailed to the East Indies, along with Captain Lancaster, on a buccaneering expedition. Having reached the coast of Sumatra and Malacca, they scoured the adjacent seas, and made some valuable captures. In 1593 they again doubled the Cape of Good Hope and returned to the West Indies for supplies, which they much needed. They first came in sight of Trinidad, but did not dare to approach a coast which was in possession of the Spaniards, and their distress became so great that it was with the utmost difficulty that the men could be prevented from leaving the ship. They shortly afterwards fell in with a French buccaneer, commanded by La Barbotiere, who kindly relieved their wants by a gift of bread and provisions. Their stores were soon again exhausted, and, coming across the French ship the second time, application was made to the French Captain for more supplies, but he declared that his own stock was so much reduced that he could spare but little, but the sailors persuaded themselves that the Frenchman's scarcity was feigned, and also that May, who conducted the negotiations, was regailing himself with good cheer on board without any trouble about their distress. Among these men, inured to bold and desperate deeds, a company was formed to seize the French pinnace, and then to capture the large vessel with its aid. They succeeded in their first object, but the French Captain, who observed their actions, sailed away at full speed, and May, who was dining with him on board at the time, requested that he might stay and return home on the vessel so that he could inform his employers of the events of the voyage and the unruly behavior of the crew. As they approached Bermuda strict watch was kept while they supposed themselves to be near that dreaded spot, but when the pilot declared that they were twelve leagues south of it they threw aside all care and gave themselves up to carousing. Amid their jollity, about midnight, the ship struck with such violence that she immediately filled and sank. They had only a small boat, to which they attached a hastily-constructed raft to be towed along with it; room, however, was made for only twenty-six, while the crew exceeded fifty. In the wild and desperate struggle for existence that ensued May fortunately got into the boat. They had to beat about nearly all the next day, dragging the raft after them, and it was almost dark before they reached the shore; they were tormented with thirst, and had nearly despaired of finding a drop of water when some was discovered in a rock where the rain waters had collected.

St. George's and Warwick Fort in 1614. (Fac-simile of Smith's engraving.)

St. George's and Warwick Fort in 1614. (Fac-simile of Smith's engraving.)

The land was covered with one unbroken forest of cedar. Here they would have to remain for life unless a vessel could be constructed. They made a voyage to the wreck and secured the shrouds, tackles and carpenters' tools, and then began to cut down the cedars, with which they constructed a vessel of eighteen tons. For pitch they took lime, rendered adhesive by a mixture of turtle oil, and forced it into the seams, where it became hard as stone.

During a residence of five months here May had observed that Bermuda, hitherto supposed to be a single island, was broken up into a number of islands of different sizes, enclosing many fine bays, and forming good harbors. The vessel being finished they set sail for Newfoundland, expecting to meet fishing vessels there, on which they could obtain passage to Europe. On the eleventh of May they found themselves with joy clear of the islands. They had a very favorable voyage, and on the twentieth arrived at Cape Breton. May arrived in England in August, 1594, where he gave a description of the islands; he stated that they found hogs running wild all over the islands, which proves that this was not the first landing made there.

It was owing to a shipwreck that Bermuda again came under the view of the English, and that led England to appropriate these islands.

In 1609, during the most active period of the colonization of Virginia, an expedition of nine ships, commanded by Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers and Captain Newport, bound for Virginia, was dispersed by a great storm. One of the vessels, the Sea Adventure, in which were Gates, Somers and Newport, seems to have been involved in the thickest of the tempest. The vessel sprung aleak, which it was found impossible to stop. All hands labored at the pumps for life, even the Governor and Admiral took their turns, and gentlemen who had never had an hour's hard work in their life toiled with the rest. The water continued to gain on them, and when about to give up in despair, Sir George Somers, who had been watching at the poop deck day and night, cried out land, and there in the early dawn of morning could be seen the welcome sight of land. Fortunately they lighted on the only secure entrance through the reefs. The vessel was run ashore and wedged between two rocks, and thereby was preserved from sinking, till by means of a boat and skiff the whole crew of one hundred and fifty, with provisions, tackle and stores, reached the land. At that time the hogs still abounded, and these, with the turtle, birds and fish which they caught, afforded excellent food for the castaways. The Isle of Devils Sir George Somers and party found "the richest, healthfulest and pleasantest" they ever saw.

Robert Walsingham and Henry Shelly discovered two bays abounding in excellent fish; these bays are still called by their names. Gates and Somers caused the long boat to be decked over, and sent Raven, the mate, with eight men, to Virginia to bring assistance to them, but nothing was ever heard of them afterwards, and after waiting six months all hopes were then given up. The chiefs of the expedition then determined to build two vessels of cedar, one of eighty tons and one of thirty. Their utmost exertions, however, did not prevent disturbances, which nearly baffled the enterprise. These were fomented by persons noted for their religious zeal, of Puritan principles and the accompanying spirit of independence. They represented that the recent disaster had dissolved the authority of the Governor, and their business was now to provide, as they best could, for themselves and their families. They had come out in search of an easy and plentiful subsistence, which could nowhere be found in greater perfection and security than here, while in Virginia its attainment was not only doubtful, but attended with many hardships. These arguments were so convincing with the larger number of the men that, had it rested with them, they would have lived and died on the islands.

Entrance to St. George Harbor, between Smith's and Paget's Islands. (Fac-simile re-production of Smith's engraving. 1614.)

Entrance to St. George Harbor, between Smith's and Paget's Islands. (Fac-simile re-production of Smith's engraving. 1614.)

Two successive conspiracies were formed by large parties to separate from the rest and form a colony. Both were defeated by the vigilance of Gates, who allowed the ringleaders to escape with a slight punishment. This lenity only emboldened the malcontents, and a third plot was formed to seize the stores and take entire possession of the islands. It was determined to make an example of one of the leaders named Payne; He was condemned to be hanged, but, on the plea of being a gentleman, his sentence was commuted into that of being shot, which was immediately done. This had a salutary effect, and prevented any further trouble.

View of ancient forts. (Re-produced from Smith's engraving, 1614)

View of ancient forts. (Re-produced from Smith's engraving, 1614)

Two children, a boy and girl, were born during this period; the former was christened Bermudas and the latter Bermuda; they were probably the first human beings born on these islands.

Before leaving the islands Gates caused a cross to be made of the wood saved from the wreck of his ship, which he secured to a large cedar; a silver coin with the king's head was placed in the middle of it, together with an inscription on a copper plate describing what had happened—That the cross was the remains of a ship of three hundred tons, called the Sea Venture, bound with eight more to Virginia; that she contained two knights, Sir Thomas Gates, governor of the colony, and Sir George Summers, admiral of the seas, who, together with her captain, Christopher Newport, and one hundred and fifty mariners and passengers besides, had got safe ashore, when she was lost, July 28, 1609.

On the tenth of May, 1610, they sailed with a fair wind, and, before reaching the open sea, they struck on a rock and were nearly wrecked the second time. On the twenty-third they arrived safely at Jamestown. This settlement they found in a most destitute condition on their arrival, and it was determined to abandon the place, but Sir George Summers, "whose noble mind ever regarded the general good more than his own ends," offered to undertake a voyage to the Bermudas for the purpose of forming a settlement, from which supplies might be obtained for the Jamestown colony. He accordingly sailed June 19, in his cedar vessel, and his name was then given to the islands, though Bermuda has since prevailed.

Entrance to Castle Harbor, between Castle and Southhampton Islands. (Fac-simile re-production of Smith's engraving, 1614.)

Entrance to Castle Harbor, between Castle and Southhampton Islands. (Fac-simile re-production of Smith's engraving, 1614.)

Contrary winds and storms carried him to the northward, to the vicinity of Cape Cod. Somers persevered and reached the islands, but age, anxiety and exertion contributed to produce his end. Perceiving the approach of death he exhorted his companions to continue their exertions for the benefit of the plantations, and to return to Virginia. Alarmed at the untimely fate of their leader, the colonists embalmed his body, and disregarding his dying injunction, sailed for England. Three only of the men volunteered to remain, and for some time after their companions left they continued to cultivate the soil, but unfortunately they found some ambergris, and they fell into innumerable quarrels respecting its possession. They at length resolved to build a boat and sail for Newfoundland with their prize, but, happily for them, they were prevented by the arrival of a ship from Europe. An extraordinary interest was excited in England by the relation of Captain Mathew Somers, the nephew and heir of Sir George. The usual exaggerations were published, and public impressions were heightened by contrast with the dark ideas formerly prevalent concerning these islands. A charter was obtained of King James I., and one hundred and twenty gentlemen detached themselves from the Virginia company and formed a company under the name and style of the Governor and Company of the City of London, for the plantation of the Somer Islands.

On the twenty-eighth of April, 1612, the first ship was sent out with sixty emigrants, under the charge of Richard Moore, who was appointed the Governor of the colony. They met the boat containing the three men left on the island, who were overjoyed at seeing the ship, and conducted her into the harbor. It was not long before intelligence of the discovery of the ambergris reached the Governor; he promptly deprived the three men of it. One of them named Chard, who denied all knowledge of it, and caused considerable disturbance, which at one time seemed likely to result in a sanguinary encounter, was condemned to be hanged, and was only reprieved when on the ladder.

The Governor now applied himself actively to his duties. He had originally landed on Smith's Island, but he soon removed to the spot where St. George's now stands, and built the town which was named after Sir George Somers, and which became, and remained for two centuries, the capital of Bermuda. He laid the foundation of eight or nine forts for the defence of the harbor, and also trained the men to arms in order that they might defend the infant colony from attack. This proved necessary, for, in 1614, two Spanish ships attempted to enter the harbor; the forts were promptly manned and two shots fired at the enemy, who, finding them better prepared than they imagined, bore away.

Before the close of 1615 six vessels had arrived with three hundred and forty passengers, among whom were a Marshall and one Bartlett, who were sent out expressly to divide the colony into tribes or shares; but the Governor finding no mention of any shares for himself, and the persons with him, as had been agreed on, forbade his proceeding with his survey. The survey was afterward made by Richard Norwood, which divided the land into tribes, now parishes; these shares form, the foundation of the land tenure of the islands, even to this day, the divisional lines in many cases yet remaining intact. Moore, whose time had expired, went back to England in 1615, leaving the administration of the government to six persons, who were to rule, each in turn, one month. They proceeded to elect by lot their first ruler, the choice falling upon Charles Caldicot, who then went, with a crew of thirty-two men, in a vessel to the West Indies for the purpose of procuring plants, goats and young cattle for the islands. The vessel was wrecked there, and the crew were indebted to an English pirate for being rescued from a desert island on which they had been cast.

For a time the colony was torn by contention and discord, as well as by scarcity of food. The news of these dissensions having reached England the company sent out Daniel Tucker as Governor. Tucker was a stern, hard master, and he enforced vigorous measures to compel the people to work for the company. The provisions and stores he issued in certain quantities, and paid each laborer a stated sum in brass coin, struck by the proprietor for the purpose, having a hog on one side, in commemoration of the abundance of those animals found by the first settlers, and on the reverse a ship. Pieces of this curious hog money, as it is called, is frequently found, and it brings a high price.



Shortly after Governor Tucker arrived he sent to the West Indies for plants and fruit trees. The vessel returned with figs, pine-apples, sugar-cane, plantain and paw-paw, which were all planted and rapidly multiplied. This vessel also brought the first slaves into the colony, an Indaian and a negro.

The company dispatched a small bark, called the Hopewell, with supplies for the colony, under the command of Captain Powell. On his way he met a Portuguese vessel homeward bound from Brazil, with a cargo of sugar, and, as Smith adds, "liked the sugar and passengers so well" he made a prize of her. Fearing to face Governor Tucker after this piratical act he directed his course to the West Indies. On his arrival there he met a French pirate, who pretended to have a warm regard for him, and invited him, with his officers, to an entertainment. Suspecting nothing he accepted the invitation, but no sooner had they been well seated at the table than they were all seized and threated with instant death, unless they surrendered their prize. This Powell was, of course, compelled to do, and finding his provisions failing him he put the Portuguese crew on shore and sailed for Bermuda, where he managed to excuse himself to the Governor. Powell again went to the West Indies pirating, and in May he arrived with three prizes, laden with meal, hides, and ammunition. Tucker received him kindly and treated him with consideration, until he had the goods in his own possession, when he reproached the Captain with his piratical conduct and called him to account for his proceedings. The unlucky buccaneer was, in the end, glad to escape to England, leaving his prizes in the hands of the Governor.

The discipline and hard labor required of the people reduced them to a condition but little better than that of slaves, and caused many to make desperate efforts to escape from the islands. Five persons, neither of whom were sailors, built a fishing boat for the Governor, and when completed they borrowed a compass from their preacher, for whom they left a farewell epistle. In this they reminded him how often he had exhorted them to patience under ill-treatment, and had told them how Providence would pay them, if man did not. They trusted, therefore, that he would now practice what he had so often preached.

Reproduction of Smith's engraving, 1614, showing his coat of arms with the three Turk heads.

Reproduction of Smith's engraving, 1614, showing his coat of arms with the three Turk heads.

These brave men endured great hardships in their boat of three tons during their rash voyage; but at the end of about forty-two days they arrived at Ireland, where their exploit was considered so wonderful that the Earl of Thomond caused them to be received and entertained, and hung up their boat as a monument of this extraordinary voyage. The Governor was greatly exasperated at their escape, and threatened to hang the whole of them if they returned.

Another party of three, one of whom was a lady, attempted in a like manner to reach Virginia, but were never afterwards heard of. Six others were discovered before they effected their departure, and one was executed. John Wood, who was found guilty of speaking "many distasteful and mutinous speeches against the Governor," was also condemned and executed.

As there were at that time only about five hundred inhabitants on these islands, it would appear from Captain Smith's History that Tucker hanged a good percentage of them. Many were the complaints that were forwarded to England concerning the tyrannical government of Tucker, and he, fearing to be recalled, at last returned to England of his own accord, having appointed a person named Kendall as his deputy.

Kendall was disposed to be attentive to his office, but wanted energy, and the company took an early opportunity to relieve him; this was not very agreeable to the people, but they did not offer any resistance.

Governor Butler arrived with four ships and five hundred men on the twentieth of October, 1619, which raised the number of the colonists to 1000, and at his departure three years later, it had increased to 1500.

On the first of August, 1620, in conformity with instructions sent out by the company, the Governor summoned the first general assembly at St. George's for the dispatch of public business. It consisted of the Governor, Council, Bailiffs, Burgesses, Secretary, and Clerk. It appears that they all sat in one house, which was probably the "State House" shown on Smith's engraving. Most of the Acts passed on this occasion were creditable to the new legislators.

Governor Butler, as Moore had done before him, turned his chief attention to the building of forts and magazines; he also finished the cedar Church at St. George's, and caused the assembly to pass an Act for the building of three bridges, and then initiated the useful project of connecting together the principal islands. When Governor Butler returned to England he left the islands in a greatly improved condition. But in his time, also, there were such frequent mutinies and discontent, that at last "he longed for deliverance from his thankless and troublesome employment." It was probably during Governor Butler's administration that Captain3 John Smith had a map and illustrations of the "Summer Ils" made, for in it we find the three bridges, numerous well-constructed forts, and the State House at St. George's. The map and illustrations were published in "Smith's General Historic of Virginia, New England and the Summer Ils" 1624; they are of the greatest value and importance, as they show accurately the class of buildings and forts erected on these islands at that early period; such details even are entered into as the showing of the stocks in the market place of St. George's, and the architecture and the substantial manner in which the buildings were constructed is remarkable, especially so when it is considered that previous to 1620 the Puritans had not settled at Plymouth, and it was ten years from that date before the settlement of Boston: in fact, with the exception of Jamestown in Virginia, the English had not secured a foot-hold in North America at the time these buildings and forts were constructed. There are very few copies of this rare print in existence, even in Smith's history it is usually found wanting, and it was only after considerable trouble and expense that the writer succeeded in obtaining a reproduction of it.

The early history of Bermuda is in many important points similar to that of New England. Like motives had in most instances induced emigration, and the distinguished characteristics of those people were repeated here.

Like the Salem and Boston colonists they had their witchcraft delusions, anticipating that, however, some twenty years, Christian North was tried for it in 1668, but was acquited. Somewhat later a negro woman, Sarah Basset, was burned at Paget for the same offence. The Quakers were persecuted by fines, imprisonment, and banishment, by the stem and dark-souled Puritans, who had emigrated to this place to escape oppression, and to enjoy religious toleration, but were not willing to grant to others who differed from them in their religious belief the same privileges as they themselves enjoyed.

The company discovered by degrees that the Bermudas were not the Eldorado which they had fondly imagined them to be. The colonists were now numerous, and every day showed a strong disposition to break away from the control of the company. The company had issued an order forbidding the inhabitants to receive any ships but such as were commissioned by them. The company complained against the quality of tobacco shipped to London, as well as the quantity.

The people were forbidden to cut cedar without a special license, and as they were in the habit of exporting oranges in chests made of this wood, the regulation operated very materially to the injury of the place. Previous to this order many homeward-bound West Indiamen arrived at Castle Harbor to load with this fruit for the English market. Whaling was claimed as an exclusive privilege, and was conducted for the sole benefit of the proprietors. Numerous attempts were made to boil sugar, but the company directed the Governor to prevent it, as it would require too much wood for fuel.

In consequence of instructions from England Governor Turner called upon all the inhabitants of the islands to take the oath of supremacy and allegiance to his majesty, but as the Puritans had left their native country on account of their republican sentiments, they refused to comply, and the prisons were soon filled to overflowing.

The rapid change of affairs in England during the civil war, in which the Puritans were victorious, and Cromwell was elevated to the Protectorship, opened the doors of the prisons, and stopped all further persecutions, both political and religious.

It must be said in favor of the company that they had, at an early period, established schools throughout the colony, and appropriated lands in most of the tribes or parishes, for the maintainance of the teachers.

From 1630 to 1680 many negro and Indian slaves were brought to the colony; the negroes from Africa and the West Indies, and a large number of Indians from Massachusetts, prisoners taken in the Pequot and King Philip's wars. The traces of their Indian ancestry can readily be seen in many of the colored people of these islands at the present time.

In October, 1661, the Protestant inhabitants were alarmed by rumors of a proposed combination between the negroes and the Irish. The plan was to arm themselves and massacre the whites who were not Catholics. Fortunately the plot was discovered in time, and measures adopted to disarm the slaves and the disaffected.

The proprietary form of government continued until 1685, with a long succession of good, bad, and indifferent Governors.

Many acts of piracy were perpetrated at different times by the inhabitants of these islands. In 1665 Captain John Wentworth made a descent upon the island of Tortola and brought off about ninety slaves, the property of the Governor of the place. Governor Seymour received a letter from him in which he stated that "upon the ninth day of July there came hither against me a pirate or sea robber, named John Wentworth, the which over-run my lands, and that against the will of mine owne inhabits, and shewed himself a tyrant, in robbing and firing, and took my negroes from my Isle, belonging to no man but myself. And likewise I doe understand that this said John Wentworth, a sea robber, is an indweller with you, soe I desire that you would punish this rogue, according to your good law. I desire you, soe soon as you have this truth of mine, if you don't of yourself, restore all my negroes againe, whereof I shall stay here three months, and in default of this, soe be assured, that wee shall speake together very shortly, and then I shall be my owne judge."

This threatening letter caused great consternation, and immediately steps were taken to place the colony in the best posture for defence, reliance being had on the impregnability of the islands, instead of delivering up the plunder, especially as Captain Wentworth held a commission from the Governor and Council, and acted under their instructions.

Isaac Richier, who became Governor of the colony in 1691, was another celebrated freebooter. The account of his reign reads like a romance. The love of gold, and the determination to possess it, was the one idea of his statesmanship. He was a pirate at sea and a brigand on land. Nevertheless, it does not appear that any of his misdeeds, such as hanging innocent people, and robbing British ships, as well as others, led to his recall, or caused any degree of indignation which such conduct usually arouses. The fact appears to be that, although Governor Richier was a bold, bad man, yet few of his subjects were entitled to throw the first stone at his excellency.

Benjamin Bennett became Governor of the colony in 1701. At this time the Bahama Islands had become a rendezvous for pirates, and a few years later, King George the First issued a proclamation for their dislodgment. Governor Bennett accordingly dispatched a sloop, ordering the marauders to surrender. Those who were on shore on his arrival gladly accepted the opportunity to escape, and declared that they did not doubt but that their companions who were at sea would follow their example. Captain Henry Jennings and fifteen others sailed for Bermuda, and were soon followed by four other Captains—Leslie, Nichols, Hornigold, and Burges, with one hundred men, who all surrendered.

In 1710 the Spaniards made a descent on Turk's Island, which had been settled by the Bermudians for the purpose of gathering salt, and took possession of the island, making prisoners of the people. The Bermudians, at their own expense and own accord, dispatched a force under Captain Lewis Middleton to regain possession of the Bahama Cays. The expedition was successful, and a victory gained over the Spaniards, and they were driven from the islands; they still, however, continued to make predatory attacks on the salt-rakers at the ponds, and on the vessels going for and carrying away salt. To repel these aggressions and afford security to their trade, the Bermudians went to the expense of arming their vessels.

In 1775 the discontent in the American provinces had broken out into open opposition to the crown, and the people were forbidden to trade with their late fellow subjects. Bermuda suffered great want in consequence, for at this period, instead of exporting provisions the island had become dependent on the continent for the means of subsistence. This, together with the fact that many of the people possessed near relatives engaged in the struggle with the crown, tended to destroy good feelings towards the British government. These circumstances must be considered in order to judge fairly of the following transaction, which has always been regarded to have cast a stain upon the patriotism and loyalty of the Bermudians.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, two battles were fought in the vicinity of Boston—Lexington and Bunker Hill, after which all intercourse with the surrounding country ceased, and Boston was reduced to a state of siege. Civil war commenced in all its horrors; the sundering of social ties; the burning of peaceful homes; the butchery of kindred and friends.

Washington was appointed by the Continental Congress, Commander-in-Chief of the American forces, and on July 3, 1775, two weeks after the battle of Bunker Hill, he took formal command of the army at Cambridge. In a letter to the President of Congress notifying him of his safe arrival there, he made the following statement. "Upon the article of ammunition, I must re-echo the former complaints on this subject. We are so exceedingly destitute that our artillery will be of little use without a supply both large and seasonable. What we have must be reserved for the small arms, and that well managed with the utmost frugality." A few weeks later General Washington wrote the following letter on the same subject.4


Camp at Cambridge, 4 August, 1775.


I am now, Sir, in strict confidence, to acquaint you, that our necessities in the articles of powder and lead are so great, as to require an immediate supply. I must earnestly entreat that you will fall upon some measure to forward every pound of each in your colony that can possibly be spared. It is not within the propriety or safety of such a correspondence to say what I might on this subject. It is sufficient that the case calls loudly for the most strenuous exertions of every friend of his country, and does not admit of the least delay. No quantity, however small, is beneath notice, and, should any arrive, I beg it may be forwarded as soon as possible.

But a supply of this kind is so precarious, not only from the danger of the enemy, but the opportunity of purchasing, that I have revolved in my mind every other possible chance, and listened to every proposition on the subject which could give the smallest hope. Among others I have had one mentioned which has some weight with me, as well as the other officers to whom I have proposed it. A Mr. Harris has lately come from Bermuda, where there is a very considerable magazine of powder in a remote part of the island; and the inhabitants are well disposed, not only to our cause in general, but to assist in this enterprise in particular. We understand there are two armed vessels in your province, commanded by men of known activity and spirit; one of which, it is proposed to despatch on this errand with such assistance as may be requisite. Harris is to go along, as the conductor of the enterprise, that we may avail ourselves of his knowledge of the island; but without any command. I am very sensible, that at first view the project may appear hazardous; and its success must depend on the concurrence of many circumstances; but we are in a situation, which requires us to run all risks. No danger is to be considered, when put in competition with the magnitude of the cause, and the absolute necessity we are under of increasing our stock. Enterprises, which appear chimerical, often prove successful from that very circumstance. Common sense and prudence will suggest vigilance and care, where the danger is plain and obvious; but where little danger is apprehended, the more the enemy will be unprepared; and consequently there is the fairest prospect of success.

Mr. Brown has been mentioned to me as a very proper person to be consulted upon this occasion. You will judge of the propriety of communicating it to him in part or the whole, and as soon as possible favor me with your sentiments, and the steps you may have taken to forward it. If no immediate and safe opportunity offers, you will please to do it by express. Should it be inconvenient to part with one of the armed vessels, perhaps some other might be fitted out, or you could devise some other mode of executing this plan; so that, in case of a disappointment, the vessel might proceed to some other island to purchase.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient, humble servant,

G. Washington.

This plan was approved by the Governor and Committee of Rhode Island, and Captain Abraham Whipple agreed to engage in the affair, provided General Washington would give him a certificate under his own hand, that in case the Bermudians would assist the undertaking, he would recommend to the Continental Congress to permit the exportation of provisions to those islands from the colonies.

General Washington accordingly sent the following address to the Bermudians.5


Camp at Cambridge, 6 September, 1775.


In the great conflict, which agitates this continent, I cannot doubt but the assertors of freedom and the rights of the constitution are possessed of your most favorable regards and wishes for success. As descendants of freemen, and heirs with us of the same glorious inheritance, we flatter ourselves, that, though divided by our situation, we are firmly united in sentiment. The cause of virtue and liberty is confined to no continent or climate. It comprehends, within its capacious limits, the wise and good, however dispersed and separated in space or distance.

You need not be informed that the violence and rapacity of a tyrannic ministry have forced the citizens of America, your brother colonist, into arms. We equally detest and lament the prevalence of those counsels, which have led to the effusion of so much human blood, and left us no alternative but a civil war, or a base submission. The wise Disposer of all events has hitherto smiled upon our virtuous efforts. Those mercenary troops, a few of whom lately boasted of subjugating this vast continent, have been checked in their earliest ravages, and now actually encircled within a small space; their arms disgraced, and themselves suffering all the calamities of a siege. The virtue, spirit, and union of the provinces leave them nothing to fear, but the want of ammunition. The application of our enemies to foreign states, and their vigilance upon our coasts, are the only efforts they have made against us with success.

Under these circumstances, and with these sentiments, we have turned our eyes to you, Gentlemen, for relief. We are informed, that there is a very large magazine in your island under a very feeble guard. We would not wish to involve you in an opposition, in which, from your situation, we should be unable to support you; we knew not, therefore, to what extent to solicit your assistance, in availing ourselves of this supply; but, if your favor and friendship to North America and its liberties have not been misrepresented, I persuade myself you may, consistently with your own safety, promote and further this scheme, so as to give it the fairest prospect of success. Be assured, that, in this case, the whole power and exertion of my influence will be made with the honorable Continental Congress, that your island may not only be supplied with provisions, but experience every other mark of affection and friendship, which the grateful citizens of a free country can bestow on its brethren and benefactors. I am, Gentlemen,

With much esteem,

Your humble servant,

Signature G Washington

Signature G Washington

Captain Whipple had scarcely sailed from Providence before an account appeared in the newspapers of one hundred barrels of powder having been taken from Bermuda by a vessel supposed to be from Philadelphia, and another from South Carolina. This was the same powder that Captain Whipple had gone to procure. General Washington and Governor Cooke were both of the opinion it was best to countermand his instructions. The other armed vessel of Rhode Island was immediately dispatched in search of the Captain with orders to return.

But it was too late; he reached Bermuda and put in at the west end of the island. The inhabitants were at first alarmed, supposing him to command a king's armed vessel, and the women and children fled from that vicinity; but when he showed them his commission and instructions they treated him with much cordiality and friendship, and informed him that they had assisted in removing the powder, which was made known to General Gage, and he had sent a sloop of war to the island. They professed themselves hearty friends to the American cause. Captain Whipple being defeated in the object of his voyage returned to Providence.

Soon after the inhabitants of Bermuda petitioned Congress for relief, representing their great distress in consequence of being deprived of the supplies that usually came from the colonies. In consideration of their being friendly to the cause of America, it was resolved by Congress that provisions in certain quantities might be exported to them.6

The powder procured from the Bermudians led to the first great victory gained by Washington in the Revolutionary war, the evacuation of Boston by the British army. After the arrival of the powder Washington caused numerous batteries to be erected in the immediate vicinity of the town. On the night of March 4, 1776, Dorchester Heights were taken possession of and works erected there, which commanded Boston, and the British Fleet lying at anchor in the harbor. This caused the town to be evacuated, and General Howe with his army and about one thousand loyalists went aboard of the fleet and sailed for Halifax, March 17, 1776.

Nothing could exceed the indignation of Governor Bruere when he received intelligence of the plundering of the magazine; he promptly called upon the legislature to take active measures for bringing the delinquents to justice. No evidence could ever be obtained, and the whole transaction is still enveloped in mystery. The Governor let no opportunity escape him to accuse the Bermudians of disloyality, and no doubt severe punishment would have been inflicted on the delinquents could they have been discovered.

Two American brigs under Republican colors arrived shortly after this and remained some weeks at the west end of the islands unmolested, and Governor Bruere complained bitterly of this to the assembly.7

Governor George James Bruere died in 1780, and the administration devolved on the Honorable Thomas Jones, who was relieved by George Bruere as Lieutenant Governor, in October, 1780.

Governor Bruere was soon openly at variance with the assembly, and did not hesitate to accuse the people of treason in supplying the revolted provinces with salt, exchanging it for provisions. Mr. Bruere extremely exasperated at their trading, which he considered to be treasonable conduct, commented on it in his message to the assembly in no measured terms. Some intercepted correspondence with the rebels added fuel to the flame, and on the fifteenth of August, 1781, he addressed them in a speech which could not fail to be offensive, although it contained much sound argument. This was followed by a message more bitter and acrimonious, all of which they treated with silent contempt, until the twenty-eight of September, when they discharged their wrath in an address, in which the Governor was handled most roughly for his attacks on the inhabitants of these islands. In return he addressed a message, equally uncourteous in its tone, and dissolved the house.

The arrival of William Browne, whose administration commenced the fourth of January, 1782, put an end to Mr. Bruere's rule.

The high character of the new Governor had preceded him in the colony, and he was joyfully received on his arrival. He was a native of Salem, Massachusetts, and was high in office previous to the Revolution, was Colonel of the Essex regiment, judge of the Supreme Court, and Mandamus Counselor. After the passage of the Boston Port bill, he was waited on by a committee of the Essex delegates, to inform him, that "it was with grief that the country had viewed his exertions for carrying into execution certain acts of parliament calculated to enslave and ruin his native land; that while the country would continue the respect for several years paid him, it resolved to detach, from every future connection, all such as shall persist in supporting or in any way countenancing the late arbitrary acts of Parliament; that the delegates in the name of the country requested him to excuse them from the painful necessity of considering and treating him as an enemy to his country, unless he resigned his office as Counsellor and Judge." Colonel Browne replied as follows:

"As a judge and in every other capacity, I intend to act with honor and integrity and to exert my best abilities; and be assured that neither persuasion can allure me, nor menaces compel me, to do anything derogatory to the character of a Counselor of his Majesty's province of Massachusetts."—William Browne.

Colonel Browne was esteemed among the most opulent and benevolent individuals of that province prior to the Revolution; and so great was his popularity that the gubernatorial chair of Massachusetts was offered him by the "committee of safety," as an inducement for him to remain and join the "sons of liberty." But he felt it a duty to adhere to government; even at the expense of his great landed estate, both in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the latter comprising fourteen valuable farms, all of which were afterwards confiscated.

By preferring to remain on the side representing law and authority, and unwilling to adopt the course of the revolutionists, this courtly representative of an ancient and honorable family, this sincere lover of his country, this skilled man of affairs, this upright and merciful judge, once so beloved by his fellow townsmen, drew upon himself their wrath, and he fled from his native country never to return again. First he sought refuge in Boston in 1774, then in Halifax, and from there he went to England in 1776, where he remained till 1781, when he was appointed Governor of Bermuda, as a slight return for his great sacrifices and important services in behalf of the Crown. Colonel Browne married his cousin, the daughter of Governor Wanton, of Rhode Island, and was doubly connected with the Winthrop family; the wives of the elder Browne and Governor Wanton being daughters of John Winthrop, great grandson of the first Governor of Massachusetts. Colonel Browne's son William was an officer in the British service at the siege of Gibralter in 1784.

Under the judicious management of Governor Browne the colony continued to steadily flourish; he conducted the business of the colony in the greatest harmony with the different branches of the legislature. He found the financial affairs of the islands in a confused and ruinous state, and left them flourishing. In 1778 he left for England, deeply and sincerely regretted by the people, and was succeeded by Henry Hamilton as Lieutenant Governor, during whose administration the town of Hamilton was built and named in compliment of him.

Near the close of the American Revolution a plan was on foot to take Bermuda, in order to make it "a nest of hornets" for the annoyance of British trade, but the war closed, and it was abandoned. It, however, proved a nest of hornets to the United States during the late civil war. At that time St. George's was a busy town, and was one of the hot-beds of secession. Being a great resort for blockade runners, which were hospitably welcomed here, immense quantities of goods were purchased in England, and brought here on large ocean steamers, and then transferred to swift-sailing blockade runners, waiting to receive it. These ran the blockade into Charleston, Wilmington and Savannah.

It was a risky business, but one that was well followed, and many made large fortunes there during the first year of the war, but many were bankrupt, or nearly so at its close.

Here, too, was concocted the fiendish plot of Dr. Blackburn, a Kentuckian, for introducing yellow fever into northern cities, by sending thither boxes of infected clothing.

[The foregoing article on the history of Bermuda was compiled by the author of "Stark's Illustrated Bermuda Guide," published by the Photo-Electrotype Company, of 63 Oliver Street, Boston. The work contains about two hundred pages and is embellished with sixteen photo-prints, numerous engravings, and a new map of Bermuda made from the latest surveys.—ED.]



Singing, singing through the valleys;

Singing, singing up the hills;

Peace that comes, and Love that tarries,

Hope that cheers, and Faith that thrills,

Heart and I, are we not blest

At the thought of coming rest?

Singing, singing 'neath the shadow;

Singing, singing in the light;

Plucking flowerets from the meadow,

Seeing beauty up the height,

Heart and I, are we not gay

Thinking of unclouded day?

Singing, singing through the summer;

Singing, singing in the snow;

Glad to hear the brooklets murmur,

Patient when the wild winds blow,

Heart and I, can we do this?

Yes, because of future bliss.

Singing, singing up to Heaven;

Singing, singing down to earth;

Unto all some good is given.

Unto all there cometh worth;

Heart and I, we sing to know

That the good God loves us so.



BY FRANCES C. SPARHAWK, Author of "A Lazy Man's Work."



With suppressed ejaculations and outspoken condolences the party broke up. It was not until the last one had gone that Mrs. Eveleigh, leaving her post of observation in the corner, swept out to find Elizabeth who disappeared after Stephen Archdale had gone with Katie. She found her in her bed-room trying to put her things into her box. Her face was flushed, and her hands cold and trembling.

"Why have you waited so long?" she began. "We must go at once. Have you sent for a carriage? We shall meet ours on the way."

"My dear," answered the other seating herself, "that is impossible. They will not turn you out, if you have made a mistake. You can not go until to-morrow, of course; nobody will expect it. I am very sorry for poor Archdale and the young lady, but I dare say it will turn out all right."

Elizabeth raised herself from the box over which she had been stooping throwing in her things in an agony of haste. She opened her lips, but words failed her. The amazement and indignation of her look turned slowly to an appealing glance that few could have resisted. She had been used to Mrs. Eveleigh's not comprehending nice distinctions, but now it seemed as if to be a woman would make one understand. If her father were with her now! She turned away sharply.

"Will you see that some conveyance is here within half an hour?" she said. "If it is a cart I will not refuse to go in it. But leave here at once I will, if it must be on foot. For yourself, do as you choose, only give my order."

There was something in Elizabeth's gesture, and a desperation in her face that made Mrs. Eveleigh go away and leave her without a word. In a moment she came back.

"I met James in the hall and sent him off in hot haste," she said. Her tones showed that she had recovered the equanimity which the girl's unexpected conduct had disturbed. She seated herself again with no less complacency and with more deliberation than before.

"I brought you up to be polite, Elizabeth," she said. "Things do sometimes happen that are very trying, to be sure, but we should not give way to irritation. Why, where should I have been if I had? Think how it would have distressed your dear mother to have you show such temper."

The girl looked up sharply, looked down again, her hands moving faster than ever, though everything grew indistinct to her for a minute.

"Are you going with me?" she asked after a pause.

"I? O, my dear child, you will not go at all this way. Perhaps it is as well to pack up and show your dignity, but they will not let you go, you know, your father's daughter, and all,—I told James to tell them,—it would be shameful, I should never forgive them."

"The question is whether they will ever forgive me, whether I have not killed Katie. Sometimes I think of it only that way, and sometimes—."

She was silent again and busy. Then all at once she stopped and walked to the window. Her hands grasped the sash and she stood looking out at the sky that had not gathered a cloud from all this darkness of her life. At length she began to walk up and down as if every footstep took her away from the house.

"I always thought it must be a dreadful thing to marry a man you did not want," she said speaking out her thoughts as if alone; "but to marry a man who does not want you,—that is the most terrible thing in the world. I have done both." And she covered her face with her hands.

"Poor girl," answered Mrs. Eveleigh, "it is hard. But you gave him as good as he sent, that's a fact. Governor Wentworth spoke about it after you left." Elizabeth had raised her head and was looking steadily at her companion. "When young Archdale looked at you as he passed out, I mean," she went on. "'Great Heavens!' cried the Governor, 'did you see that exchange of looks, scorn and hatred on both sides, and they may be husband and wife? The Lord pity them. And poor Katie!'"

"He said that?"

"Exactly that. Why, everybody noticed it, of course. What did you say?" she added at a faint sound from her listener.


And Elizabeth said nothing until ten minutes later when the sound of wheels sent her to the window to see that a conveyance at least fairly comfortable had been found for them. Her bonnet and wraps were already on.

"Are you coming?" she said to the other abruptly. "I shall start in five minutes."

"For Heaven's sake, more time, my dear. I have not changed my dress yet. I suppose I cannot let you go alone, I should not feel happy about it, and your father would never forgive me in the world."

A half smile of contempt touched the girl's lips. Mrs. Eveleigh knew what was for her own comfort too well to get herself out of Mr. Royal's good graces, and not to be devoted to his daughter would have been to him the unpardonable sin. But nobody would have been more astonished than this same lady to be told that she had not a thoroughly conscientious care of Elizabeth. She combined duty and interest as skilfully as the most Cromwellian old Presbyter among her ancestors.

In the hall Elizabeth met her hostess.

"May I speak to Katie?" she asked timidly.

Mrs. Archdale hesitated a moment, nodded in silence and went on to the library, the girl following. Mr. Archdale was there, and the Colonel and his wife. Stephen sat by the great chair in which Katie was propped, holding her hand and sometimes speaking softly to her, or looking into her face with eyes that gave no comfort. Elizabeth seemed to see no one but her friend, she went up to the chair, and said to her softly, pleadingly,

"Good by, Katie."

But Katie turned away her head.

The door closed, Elizabeth had gone.



Gerald Edmonson, Esquire, and Lord Bulchester drove leisurely through the streets of the London of 1743. They found in it that same element that makes the fascination of the London of to-day; for the streets, dim, narrower, and less splendid than now, were full of this same charm of human life, and yet, human isolation. Then, as now, might a man wander homeless and lost, or these grim houses might open their doors to him and reveal the splendors beyond them; and whether he were desolate, or shone brilliant as a star depended upon so many chances and changes that this Fortune's-Wheel drew him toward itself like a magnet.

"I tell you," said Edmonson to his companion as they went along, "there is not a shadow of a chance for me. When a woman says, 'no,' you can tell by her eyes if she means it, and if there had been the least sign of relenting or a possibility of it in Lady Grace's eyes, do you think I would have given up? She has led me a sorry chase, that pretty sister of yours."

"Her beauty would not have taken you ten steps out of your way, if she had not been such an heiress," retorted Bulchester.

"Don't be so blunt, my friend. Is it my fault that I am obliged to look out for money? If a man has only a tenth of the income he needs to live upon, what is he going to do? It is well enough for you to be above sordidness, so could I be with your purse and your prospects. Besides, you know that I told you frankly I found Lady Grace charming. I wonder," he asked turning sharply round, "if you have been playing me false?"

But Bulchester laughed. A laugh at such a time, and a laugh so full of simplicity and amusement brought the other to his bearings again.

"You know I favored the match," added the nobleman. "Hang it! I don't see why my sister could not have had my taste. She does not know all your deviltries as I do, but yet I think you the most fascinating fellow in England."

"Perhaps that is the reason, because she does not know," laughed Edmonson. "But, then, you have not been very far beyond England, except to the land of the frog, and nobody expects to delight in the messieurs anywhere but on the point of the bayonet, as we had them lately at Dettengen." In a moment, however, he added gravely, "I am afraid my suit to your sister has damaged my prospects in another quarter, at least the matrimonial part of them, and I can hardly expect to be so successful otherwise as to enable me to marry a lady whose face is her fortune."

"Hardly, with your tastes," said Bulchester. "But, for my part, I am glad that I can afford to be sentimental if I like. For that very reason I shall probably be extremely sensible."

Edmonson smiled, half in amusement, half in contempt.

"Suppose the lady should be so too?" he asked slyly; then added, "I hope she will, Bulchester, and take you. I don't know her name yet."

"Nor I. But I don't want to consider only the rent-roll of the future Lady Bulchester."

"My lord, I shall be devotion itself to Mistress Edmonson, and I assure you that the young lady I have chosen, I having failed to win your adorable sister, is not a nonentity, though I cannot say that she is charming. But you will see her. Her father was very gracious to me when I was in Boston last winter, and regretted that I was obliged to leave in the spring on affairs of importance. How was he to know, he or the fair Elizabeth, that the business was a love suit? That would not have done. The old gentleman would not think the king himself too good for his daughter; if he dreamed that she was second fiddle, he would want me to find the door faster than he could shew me there. So, if you fall in love with her and want to supersede me, there's your chance."

"I'm Jonathan to your David," returned the smaller man, "the kingdom is for you, Edmonson." And the speaker looked at his companion with an admiration that was deep in proportion as he felt himself unable to imitate that mixture of good nature, strong will, and audacity that in Edmonson fascinated him. "Is she handsome?" he added.

"No," said the other decidedly. "She has a smile that lights up her face well, and occasionally she says good things, but half the time in company she seems not to be attending to what is going on about her, she is away off in a dream about something that nobody cares a pin for, and of course, it gives her a peculiar manner. I could see I interested her more than anybody else did, but I had hard work sometimes to know how to answer her queer sayings, for I could scarcely tell what she was talking about."

"You don't like that," suggested Bulchester. "You like ladies who lead in society."

"Well," assented Edmonson, "I know. But she will have to set up for an oddity, and, you see, she has money enough to be able to afford it. A fortune in her own right, and large expectations from the old gentleman who began with money and has never made a bad investment in his life. Think of it! Gerald Edmonson will keep open house and live rather differently from at present in his bachelor quarters; and all his old friends will be welcome."

"What do you say to those we are going to meet to-night, who are to give us our farewell supper; you would not ask a set like that to a lady's table?"

Edmonson laughed.

"Why, and if I did," he answered, "Elizabeth Royal would never fathom them. She might think they drank somewhat too much, and discover that they were noisy; but as to the wild pranks we have played, yes, you and I, Bulchester, I out of pure enjoyment of them, you, I do believe, more than half not to be behind other men of fashion, why, you might tell them to her safely, for she would never comprehend. One can't get along so well with her on the little nothings one says to other women, to be sure, but she has the greatest simplicity in the world, and that touch of evil that spices life is entirely beyond her. But however that might be, I tell you this, my lord: Gerald Edmonson is always master, and always will be."

"Yes," assented his hearer.

"I only hope the extent of my impecuniosity will not cross the water with me. I have never pretended to be rich, but I have said that my expectations were excellent. So they are; for you know, Bulchester, the heiress is not all my errand to these outlandish colonies. I have expectations there. Rather strange ones, to be sure, so strange, and to be come at so strangely, that if I can make anything out of them I shall enjoy it a thousand times more than by any stupid old way of inheritance."

"It strikes me, though, you would not object to the stupid if a good plum should fall down on your head from an ancestral tree."

Edmonson laughed.

"You have me there, Bul," he said. "But, on your honor, you are not to betray my plans, or I have no chance at all," he added, suddenly facing his companion.

"What do you take me for, a traitor?"

"No," exclaimed Edmonson with an oath.

"For a tattler, then?"

"No," came the answer again. "Only, inadvertence is sometimes as mischievous in its results."

"I, inadvertent?" cried Bulchester.

His listener smiled slyly. The other felt that caution was his strong point, and Edmonson's diplomacy would not assault this vigorously; his aim had been merely to warn Bulchester and strengthen the defences. Soon after this they reached the inn, where they were boisterously greeted by their companions, who had been waiting for them in what was then one of the fashionable public houses of London, though long since fallen out of date and forgotten.

"Don't be flattered," said Edmonson aside, "all this welcome is not for us; the feast is to begin now that we have arrived." And a cynical smile flashed over his handsome face.

It was hours after this. The high revel had gone on with jest, and laugh, and song, with play, too, and some purses were empty that before had been none too well filled. Through it all Edmonson, the life of the party, kept the control over himself that many had lost. There was no credit due to him for the fact that he could drink more wine without being overcome than any other man there. His face was flushed with it, his eyes somewhat blood-shot and his fair hair disordered as, at last, looking at his opposite neighbor, he nodded to him, leaned across the table and touched glasses with him. Then, "Let us drink this toast standing," he said, rising as he spoke; and at the movement ten other young men, full of the effrontery of a long carousal, pushed back their chairs noisily and rose, exclaiming in tones varying in degrees of intoxication:

"We pledge."

"Yes," returned the man opposite Edmonson, repeating the pledge that they all without exception would meet one hundred years from that night to pledge each other again.

A shout, more of drunken acquiescence than of comprehension went up in chorus from all but one of the revelers; he held his glass silently a moment, disposed to put it untasted on the table.

"Bulchester's backing out," cried Edmonson giving him a scornful glance.

"Oh, ho! Backing out!" echoed nine derisive voices.

"We have made it too hot for him," called out Edmonson again.

At which remark another shout arose, and the glasses were tossed off with bravado, Bulchester's also being set down empty.

After this the party broke up boisterously, Edmonson and Bulchester receiving the good wishes of the company for their prosperous voyage.

Leaving the inn, they went out into the night again, in which the October moon veiled in clouds was doing its best to light the streets now almost deserted. Bulchester looked with disapprobation at his smiling companion. It was for the first time in their acquaintance, but the compact into which the earl had so unwillingly entered had sobered him, and was still ringing in his ears, giving him a sort of horror. He said this to Edmonson, who burst out laughing.

"A mere drunken freak, Bul, that counts for nothing. You will be an angel sitting on a cold cloud singing psalms long before that time. I'll warrant it. You are a good fellow. Don't bother your brains about such nonsense."

The third of November, Edmonson and Lord Bulchester sailed from Liverpool in the "Ariel" for Boston.



The winds were baffling, and Edmonson and Lord Bulchester had a longer voyage than they had counted upon. They found it tedious, and it was with satisfaction that they at last set foot on land and drove through the streets of Boston to the Royal Exchange. Edmonson's projects inspired him rather than made him anxious. It was, of course, possible that Elizabeth Royal might refuse him, but in his heart he had the attitude of a Londoner toward provincials and was not burdened with doubts as to the result of his wooing, and so the one necessary grain of uncertainty only gave flavor to the whole affair.

A few hours after his arrival he left the house to try his fortune.

"I may not be home until late," he said to Bulchester. "I shall tackle pater-familias first, then the young lady herself. It is possible they will invite me to tea, you know. Don't wait for me if you find anything to do or anywhere to go in this puritanical hole." And the young man, in all the tasteful splendor of attire that the times allowed, closed the door behind him and left Lord Bulchester looking at the oaken panels which had suddenly taken the place in which his friend had been standing, and seeing, not these, but Edmonson's fine figure and his bold smile.

"No woman can resist his wooing," the nobleman said to himself with a sigh at the thought of his own indifferent appearance. Therefore it was with amazement that two hours later coming home from a stroll he learned that the other had returned, and going to his room found him prone on the sofa.

"Why! What is the—," he began, then checked himself, considering that since only failure could be the matter, this was hardly a generous question.

"Headache," growled Edmonson. "No," he cried with an oath, "that is a lie," and springing up, turned blood-shot eyes upon his companion. "I am mad, Bulchester," he cried, "raving mad. It is all over with me in that quarter."

"She has refused you? Or the father has?"

"Hang it! they couldn't do anything else, either of them. I did not see Mistress Royal, Mistress Archdale, rather. Yes, married!" as Bulchester echoed the name. "There's been an interesting drama with one knave and two fools. If I could only catch the knave! Perhaps it is as well to let the fools go, since I can't help it." He was silent a moment. Then after a moment he added. "Well! what is the use of cursing one's luck?" "There are several others I know of doing the same thing at this moment, and I like to be original. I declare, if he didn't stand in my way, I should be tempted to pity young Archdale. He wishes himself in my shoes as much, and I suspect a good deal more, than I do myself in his. I don't wonder that the young lady keeps herself retired for a time. I did not see her, as I told you. Mr. Royal made as light of the matter as possible, merely saying that something which might prove to have been a real marriage ceremony, though he thought not, had taken place in a joke between his daughter and Stephen Archdale, that the matter was to be thoroughly investigated at once, and if it turned out that Elizabeth was not Mistress Archdale, I had his permission to receive her answer from her own lips. He was guarded enough; but on the way home I met Clinton who had been one of the guests at Mistress Katie's attempted wedding last week. He gave me details. Here they are." And these details lost nothing through Edmonson's racy recital of them. "No, Bulchester," he finished, "out of six people that I could name mixed up in this affair, on the whole, I am the best off."


"Yes; counting in the love-lorn Waldo; that knave Harwin, who ought to swing for it; the poor little bride that lost her bridegroom; and the bridegroom; the young lady that got him when she didn't want him, and missed me, whom, perhaps (without too much vanity) she did want a little; and last on the list of wounded spirits, your humble servant. How wise that man was who said that one sinner destroyed much good. By the way, Bulchester, who was he? It is an excellent thing to quote in regard to this affair, and I should like to know where it comes from."

An anxious expression crossed the other's face as he cried:

"Good heavens! Edmonson, if you go to quoting the Bible and asking where the quotation comes from, you will get into awful disgrace with this strictest-sect-of-our-religion people, and then what will become of the other scheme that is bound to pull through?"

"True, most sapient counsellor, and I will be on my guard. To show how I profit by your sageness, let us drop all thought of this royal maiden who is probably out of my reach, and attend to the other business. It is good to have a sympathetic friend, Bul."

They talked for nearly an hour after this, but not about Edmonson's wooing. When Bulchester left, the other sat looking after him a moment.

"Yes," he said to himself, "it is well to have a sympathetic creature like that sometimes, but not if one tell him all his heart. I hid my rage well, I passed it off for mere spleen. But we are not a race to get over things in that way. It is hate, hate, I say," And he ground his teeth, and again threw himself upon the sofa his face downward and buried in his hands as if he were meditating deeply.

Edmonson told his friend of having met one of the guests at Katie Archdale's wedding, but he did not say to him that coming out of Mr. Royal's house and walking quickly down the street, he had met the bridegroom himself, and had returned Archdale's bow with a politeness equally cold, while anger had leaped up within him. Was Archdale going to call upon his wife?

Stephen Archdale had come to Boston to collect whatever facts he could about Harwin, and about the places and the people that the confession referred to. Nothing was farther from his thoughts than any such visit. It was his wish that Elizabeth and himself need never meet again, and he knew that it was hers. Indeed, so far from thinking of the woman who was perhaps his wife, he was living over again the glimpse he had had of the one from whom he had been separated. Three days ago he had taken his gun early in the morning and had gone out hunting, made more miserable than before by something he had perceived in his father's mind. The Colonel was not in sympathy with him; he was consoling himself that, after all, Elizabeth Royal was a richer woman than Katie Archdale. At his light insinuation of this to his son, the young man had flamed out into a heat of passion and declared that one golden hair of Katie's head was worth both Elizabeth and her fortune. He had rushed out of the house with the wish for destroying something in his mind. As he stopped in the hall to snatch his gun, the flintlock caught, and tore a hole in the tapestry hanging. He saw it, pushed the great stag's antlers that the gun had been swung on a little aside, and covered the torn place. Then he forgot the accident almost as soon as this was done, left the house and went striding over the fields, not so much to chase the foxes, as to be alone. And when that point was gained he would have gone a step further if he could and escaped from himself also. But he was only all the more with his own thoughts as he wandered aimlessly through great stretches of pine trees with the light snow of the night before still white on their lower boughs, except when in some opening it had melted into dewdrops in the December sun, and still clung to the trees, ready when the sun had passed by them towards its setting to turn into filmy icicles. The sky was brilliant; the long winter already upon the earth smiled gently, as if to say that its reign would be mild. Stephen went along so much preoccupied that only the baying of his hound made him notice the light fox-prints by the roadside. Then the instinct of the hunter stirred within him, and he followed on, listening now and then to the distant bark while pursued and the pursuer were going farther away. He waited, knowing fox nature well and that there were a hundred chances to one that the creature would come back near the spot from which it was started. As he waited close by the road which here led through the woods, two men passed along it without seeing him. They were talking as they went. Stephen knew them; one was an old man who used to be a servant in the family when Colonel Archdale was a boy. He had married long ago and was now living in a little house not far from his old home. The young man with him was his son. Stephen was in no mood even for a passing word, and he stood still, perceiving that a clump of bushes hid him. A few sentences of the conversation reached him through the stillness, but it meant nothing to him; he was not conscious even of listening until Katie's name caught his ear. They were talking of this marriage then, as every body was; he was the gossip of the very servants. But his attention once caught was held until the speakers passed out of hearing. Surely they knew nothing about the matter that he did not.

"She is such a pretty young lady," said the elder man, "and any girl would feel it to miss the handsome young master for a husband."

"Um!" assented the son. "Well, I suppose she will miss the sight of him if her heart is set upon him, but there is many a young man nicer to my thinking, and not so proud in his ways."

"Has he ever been unjust or overbearing to you, Nathan?" inquired the old man severely.

"Oh, no, he has been uncommonly civil, he would think it beneath him to be anything else. I know the cut of him; if he had any spite he would take it out on a gentleman. He thinks we are made of different clay from him." And the embryo republican threw back his shoulders impatiently.

"So we are," returned the other, with the Englishman's ingrained belief in caste; "but, to be sure, you feel it with some more than with others, with the young man more than with his father. But I like it better than the softly way the Colonel has. Stephen is more like his grandfather."

"His grandfather!" echoed the son. "Why, he was a—."

"Hush!" cried the other so suddenly and sharply that if the word had been, uttered at all Stephen lost it, though, now he was listening eagerly enough. "Do you remember you swore that you would never speak that word?"

"Well," returned the young man in a sullen tone, "if I did, what harm in saying it here with not a soul but you around? And my feeling is," he went on, "that this broken-off wedding is a judgment for his grandfather's—." He hesitated.

"When you learned it by accident, Nathan," returned his father, "you swore to satisfy me, that you would never speak the word in connection with him. Who knows what person may be round?" And he glanced cautiously about him. Stephen half resolved to confront him and force him to tell this secret. But the very quality in himself which the men had been discussing held him back until the opportunity had passed. "No, I don't want you to name it at all, Nathan. That is what you swore," continued the old man.

"You have said enough about it," retorted the younger. "I will keep my word, of course; you know that." His tone was loud with anger.

"Yes, yes, I know," said his companion, "But, you see, I was fond of the young master if he was a bit wild; he was a fine, free gentleman, though he changed very much after this—this accident and his coming over to the Colonies, which wasn't no ways suited to him like London, only he found it a good place to get rich in. You see, Nathan, it all happened this way; he told me about it his own self with tears in his eyes, as I might say, for his family,—he—."

But it was in vain that Stephen strained his ears, the voices that had not been drowned in the noise of footsteps had been growing fainter with distance, and now were lost altogether.

So there had been something in the family, thought Stephen, that he knew nothing about, something that his grandfather had done which this man, the son of his grandfather's butler, considered had brought down vengeance on Katie and himself as the grandchildren. The very suggestion oppressed him in this land of the Puritans, although he told himself that he believed neither in the vengeance nor even in the crime itself. But he had not dreamed of anything, anything at all, which had even shadowed the fair fame of the Archdales. Did his father know of it? Nothing that Stephen had ever seen in him looked like such knowledge, but that did not make the son quite sure, for the old butler's remark about the Colonel's suavity was just; his elaborate manners made Stephen almost brusque at times, and aroused a secret antagonism in both, so that they sometimes met one another with armor on, and Stephen's keen thrust would occasionally penetrate the shield which his father skilfully interposed between that and some fact.

That morning Stephen sank down upon a rock near by while his mind ranged over his recollections to find some clue to this mystery. But he found none. He was sure that his grandfather had never been referred to as being connected with anything secret, still less, disgraceful, or perhaps criminal. It was impossible to imagine where the old butler's idea came from, but it could not be founded upon truth. Yet, this snatch of talk which Stephen had heard made him curious and uncomfortable. And he knew that he must resign himself to feeling so; he could ask his father, to be sure, but he would get no satisfaction out of that; either the Colonel did not know, or, evidently he had resolved that there should seem to be nothing to tell. After all, it did not matter very much. His thoughts came back to his own position with almost wonder that anything could have drawn them away from it. While he sat there the baying of the hound drew nearer, and suddenly a rabbit started up from a bush on his right. He raised his gun, but instantly lowered it again. He had not moved, so it had not been he that had startled the rabbit, but the larger game that was following it. The little creature scampered away, and in another moment the fox which his dog had started ran past him. Again he raised his gun and took aim with a hand accustomed to bring down what he sighted. But to-day the gun dropped once more at his side, for here was a creature that wanted its life, that was straining for it. "Let him have the worthless gift if he values it," thought Archdale, feeling that the gun had better have been turned the other way in his hands. The fox disappeared after the rabbit, and in another moment Stephen rose with a sneer at himself, and turned toward home. Evidently, he could accomplish nothing that day, matters must have gone hard with him to make him lose even the nerve of a hunter. He whistled to his dog, but the hound had no intention of giving up the chase as his master had done, and rushed past in full cry. The young man left him to follow home at his pleasure, and walked along the road with a sombre face. Soon the sound of distant bells reached him. A minute after a sleigh appeared coming toward him from the vanishing point of the road that here ran straight through the woods for some distance. It made no difference to Stephen who was in the sleigh. As it came nearer and nearer he never even glanced at it, until as it was passing, some instinct, or perhaps eyes fixed upon him, made him look up. He started, stopped, bowed low, took off his fur cap with deference, holding it in his hand until the sleigh had gone slowly by. Then he turned and stood looking after it, the flush that had come suddenly to his face fading away as his eyes followed Katie Archdale's figure until it was lost to sight. He could see her clinging to her father's arm; he seemed to see her face before him for days, her face pale and sad, and so lovely. Neither had spoken. Mr. Archdale had not waited; what had they to say? Stephen had not really wished it; every thought was deeper than speech, and probably Katie, too, had preferred to go on. And yet to pass in this way—it was like their lives.

That afternoon he started for Boston. It was doing something. Edmonson who met him just arrived, need not have feared that he was going to Elizabeth. He was in the city only to prove that the frolic of that summer evening had been frolic merely, and that he was still free to follow that charming face that had passed him by, so reluctantly, he knew, in the woods.



While delivering an address in Faneuil Hall, in 1875, the late distinguished Wendell Phillips declared that he had never cast a ballot in his life.

Such a confession, coming from the liberty-loving champion of the rights and freedom of all people, was not a little startling.

Months later he was requested to explain what seemed to be a serious inconsistency, as bearing on the question—how can an American citizen wilfully refrain from the high prerogative of exercising his right and duty to vote?

The following is a copy of his letter stating the reason why he had not voted.

The letter hitherto has never been made public. It is of historical value.

7 Aug't '76.


I am in receipt of your kind note.

This is the explanation: Premising that I entirely agree with you as to the transcendant importance of the vote and the duty of every citizen to use it—to let no slight obstacle prevent his voting.

The few years after I came of age I was moving about and it happened, curiously enough, that I never lived in one town long enough to get the vote there and never could be, at the proper time, in the town where I had the right.

Then soon I became an abolitionist and conscientiously refused to vote or accept citizenship under a constitution which ordered the return of fugitive slaves.

The XVth. amendment was the first release from this bar, as I judged. Since that, I have never voted but once. Absence from the city &c prevented my doing so. I should have taken special care to be at home if living in a ward where my vote would have availed anything, or if candidates were such as I could trust.





This is an age of magazines. Every guild, every issue, has its monthly or quarterly. If a new athletic exercise should be evolved to-morrow, a new magazine, in its interest, would follow; and there seems to be a field for every new venture.

Among our older magazines, Harper's "New Monthly" still pursues its popular course. In June, 1850, I bought the first number, and from that day to this it has been one of my household treasures. A complete set, sixty nine (69) volumes, forms a most excellent library in itself; a fair compendium of the world's history for the last thirty odd years. Story, essay, and event, has filled these sixty thousand pages. In October, 1851, the department called the "Editor's Easy Chair," was established by Donald G. Mitchell, the genial "Ik: Marvel." Here are his first words:

"After our more severe Editorial work is done—the scissors laid in our drawer, and the monthly record, made as full as our pages will bear, of history—we have a way of throwing ourselves back into an old red-back Easy Chair, that has long been an ornament of our dingy office, and indulging in an easy, and careless overlook of the gossiping papers of the day, and in such chit chat with chance visitors, as keeps us informed of the drift of the towntalk, while it relieves greatly the monotony of our office hours." Here is the well remembered flavor of the "Reveries of a Bachelor" and "Dream-Life"!

A year or so afterward, George William Curtis became a co-writer of a part of the articles for this department, and soon after he became the sole occupant of the now famous "Easy Chair;" and each month, as regularly as the appearance of the magazine itself, these very interesting, most readable, and instructive notelets upon the current topics of the time have appeared. Their pure style, graceful and delicate humor, and the vast range of culture and observation, give them a distinctively personal characteristic. He would have made one of our first novelists; but he has chosen to give the strength of his powers to journalism, and the study of political affairs.

It is safe to say that each number of the magazine has had an average of at least five pages of "Easy Chair," making very nearly or quite two thousand (2,000) pages in all; or a quantity more than sufficient to fill two and a half volumes of the sixty nine (69) thus far issued, each volume containing eight hundred and sixty four (864) pages. Before beginning to write these delectable tid-bits, he had published "Nile notes of a Howadji," "The Howadji in Syria," and "Lotus Eating;" soon after appeared "Potiphar Papers," "Prue and I," and "Tramps." For twenty years he was constantly on the lecture platform; and for twenty one years he has been the political editor of "Harper's Weekly." Although offered missions to the courts of England and Germany, and other positions of trust and honor, he never accepted; his nearest approach to the holding of any political office was the accepting of an appointment, for a while, of the chairmanship of the "Civil Service Advisory Board." As has been well said by George Parsons Lathrop, "The idea often occurs to one that he, more than any one else, continues the example which Washington Irving set: an example of kindliness and good nature blended with indestructible dignity, and a delicately imaginative mind consecrating much of its energy to public service."

As for the "Easy Chair," with me, its leaves are first cut in each fresh number; and while enjoying the last one, I wondered why some deft hand had not culled some of the choicest specimens, and that the Harpers had not given them to the world in a volume by themselves. They are most certainly worthy of it. A few passages taken here and there, from these rich fields, will prove this assertion. The subjects treated in the whole "Easy Chair" number nearly or quite twenty-five hundred (2,500),—reminiscences of Emerson and Longfellow—first presentation of a new Oratorios—a celebrated painting—the visit of a Lord Chief Justice of England,—a vast range of topics. Consult the nine closely printed octavo pages of their titles in the "Index to the first Sixty Volumes"—from "Abbott, Commodore, xiii. 271," to "Zurich, University of, xlviii. 443," and one will be amazed at the great number and variety of themes upon which the "Easy Chair" has had its say. And it would seem that its occupant has had some similar thoughts to these, for, in a recent number there is a retrospective glance—a wondering as to what future generations may have to say, and wish to know regarding matters and things of this generation about which it has discoursed:

"The Easy Chair, mindful of posterity, and of that future loiterer in the retired alcoves of coming libraries who will turn to the pages of an old magazine to catch some glimpse of the daily aspect and the homely fact of our day, which will be then a kind of quaint remembrance, like the 'Augustan age' of Anne to Victorian epoch, puts here upon record for his unborn reader—whom he salutes with hope and Godspeed—that the winter of 1883-4 in the city of New York was a gray and gloomy season almost beyond precedent, during which the persistent fogs and mists appeared half to have obliterated the sun."

Here are a few excerpts which may be called "Gems for the Easy Chair;" but those given are no better than thousands of others that are scattered through these many volumes.

A Madonna. Once in Dresden the Easy Chair climbed into a little room where an engraver was finishing a picture which is now famous. He had worked long and faithfully upon it. It was truly a work of love, and it had cost him his most precious and essential possession for his art—his eyesight. The engraver was Steinla, and the picture was the Madonna di Sisto.... It can be seen only by those who go to Dresden. Among pictures there is none more justly famous, and the devoted engraver toiled long and patiently, and at such enormous sacrifice to re-produce it, so far as lines could do it, from the same love and instinct that produced the picture.



MIDDLESEX COUNTY MANUAL. By CHARLES COWLEY. LL.D. Penhallow Printing Company, Lowell, Mass.

In this handy volume, the "Historical Sketch of the County of Middlesex," Judge Cowley has made a valuable contribution to the recorded history of our Commonwealth. He has traced in a clear and concise manner the important events of Middlesex County from 1643, the year of its incorporation, down to Shay's Rebellion.


This work is one of many for which the public are indebted to Judge Cowley. It presents many facts of great historical value, and in the usual pungent and agreeable style of their author.

SHOPPELL'S BUILDING PLANS FOR MODERN LOW COST HOUSES. The Co-operative Building Plan Association, New York. Price, 50 cents.

This book contains a mass of information to builders and would-be home owners. Its many and varied plans are for the construction of neat, comfortable and very attractive buildings at very reasonable cost.


In the sketch of Saugus in the December number of the BAY STATE MONTHLY, line 14, on page 149, should read "as early as 1828" instead of 1848.—E.P.R.



This was printed in the sketch of Melrose in "History of Middlesex County," vol. II.


This inscription is still in existence, the engraving shown herewith is a good representation of it, as it appears at the present time.


Captain John Smith was never in Bermuda. He derived all his information from his opportunities as a member of the Virginia Company, and from correspondence or personal narratives of returned planters. This was his habitual way, as is shown by the number of authorities that he quotes. He probably obtained the sketches, from which these illustrations were made, from Richard Norwood, the schoolmaster.


Writings of George Washington, by J. Sparks, vol. iii, page 47.


Writings of George Washington, by J. Sparks, vol. iii., page 77.


Journal of Congress, November 22, 1775.


These were probably the vessels sent out from Rhode Island under the command of Captain Whipple.