The Project Gutenberg EBook of The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 1, January 1886, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere 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 www.gutenberg.org Title: The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 1, January 1886 Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 1, January, 1886 Author: Various Release Date: September 16, 2007 [EBook #22621] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE NEW ENGLAND MAGAZINE *** Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, Josephine Paolucci and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net. (This file was produced from images generously made available by Cornell University Digital Collections).
BAY STATE MONTHLY COMPANY
No. 43 Milk Street
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1886, by the Bay State Monthly Company, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. All rights reserved.
Typography by J. S. Cushing & Co., Boston. Presswork by Berwick & Smith, Boston.
Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of the article. This issue has the Table of Contents for all of Volume IV. It also seems to be a volume in transition. On the first page of the issue, there is a note that states that it is VOL. IV. NO. 1. of the Old Series, and VOL. I. NO. 1. of the New Series. The full page portrait of M. R. Waite, Chief-Justice of the U. S. listed in the table of contents as facing page 1 did not appear in the scans.
|Abbot Academy. Six Illust. by Frank A. Bicknell and others||Annie Sawyer Downs||136|
|Along the Kennebec, (Illust.)||Henry S. Bicknell||197|
|Andover, An Illustrious Town, (Illust.)||Rev. F. B. Makepeace||301|
|Art in Book Illustration||Charles E. Hurd||37|
|Illustrations: The Christ Child—Forest of|
|Ardennes—Stamboul—Ianthe—Tower of the|
|Mengia—The Lady of the Lake—"How they Carried|
|the Good News"—Evening by the Lakeside—Maternity—"The|
|Swanherds where the sedges are"—The Silent Christmas.|
|Attleboro, Mass. An historical and descriptive sketch||C. M. Barrows||27|
|Barnard, Henry, The American Educator||The late Hon. John D. Philbrick||445|
|Bennett, Hon. Edmund Hatch||225|
|Boston University School of Law||Benjamin R. Curtis||218|
|Brown University, (Illust.)||Reuben A. Guild, LL.D.||1|
|Cape Ann, A Trip Around||Elizabeth Porter Gould||268|
|Child, Lydia Maria||Olive E. Dana||533|
|Daughter of the Puritans, A||Anna B. Bensel||452|
|Dorris's Hero.—A Romance of the Olden Time||Marjorie Daw||463|
|Editor's Table||87, 177, 279, 378, 475, 557|
|Magazine Literature—Georgia versus New England Prohibition—German "Housekeeping Schools"—The Historic Spirit—The old New England Magazine and its successor—Notes—An Historical Parallel—Archdeacon Farrar's Eulogy on the Founders of New England—The Presidential Message—A Note of Peace in Turbulent Times—Society sacrificing its Ornaments—Fall of the Salisbury Government—Bostonian Society—Webster Historical Society—Literary Labors of Miss Cleveland—Socialism in America and Europe—The Chinese Problem—A Short History of Napoleon the First—The Century on International Copyright—Christian Charity and Freedom—Comparative Marriage Statistics—Neither Caste, Class, nor Sect in the late Civil War—Free Education System—The Convict's Family—A Representative American—Train-Wrecking—The Institute of Civics—New England Summer Resorts—The Value of Recreation—The Sensational Press.|
|Education: Progress and Prospects of Education in America||280|
|Elizabeth: A Romance of Colonial Days. Chapters XXIX.-XXXIII.||Frances C. Sparhawk||77, 168, 250|
|Forty Years of Frontier Life in the Pocomtuck Valley||Hon. George Sheldon||236|
|Grand Array of the Republic in Massachusetts||Past Commander-in-Chief George S. Merrill||113|
|Hawthorne's Last Sketch||P. R. Ammidon||516|
|Historical Record||91, 185, 281, 382, 477, 560|
|Irish Home Rule Agitation: Its History and Issues||Rev. H. Hewitt||157|
|Judicial Falsifications of History||Hon. Chas. Cowley, LL.D.||457|
|King Philip's War, A Romance of||Fanny Bullock Workman||330, 414|
|Literature and Art||92, 192, 294, 482, 565|
|Lucy Keyes.—A Story of Mt. Wachusett. I.||551|
|Index to Magazine Literature||193, 278, 389, 483, 567|
|Maple-Sugar Making in Vermont, (Illust.)||J. M. French, M.D.||208|
|Myth in American Coinage||Isaac Bassett Choate||537|
|Necrology||91, 190, 285, 380, 479, 562|
|New Bedford, (26 Illust.)||Herbert L. Aldrich||423|
|New England Characteristics||Lizzie M. Whittlesey||374|
|New England Library and its Founder, The||Victoria Reed||347|
|New England Magazine, The Original||Rev. Edgar Buckingham||153|
|New England Manners and Customs in Time of Bryant's Early Life||Mrs. H. G. Rowe||364|
|Notes and Queries.—Answers||95|
|Objections to Level-Premium Life Insurance||G. A. Litchfield||68|
|Olden Time, In||291|
|On Detached Service.—An Episode of the Civil War||Charles A. Patch, Mass. Vols.||121|
|Otis, James, Junior||Rev. H. Hewitt||319|
|Port Hudson, An Incident of||William J. Burge, M.D.||548|
|Social Life in Early New England||Rev. Anson Titus||63|
|Toppan, Colonel Christopher||60|
|Town Meeting-House and Town Politics in the Last Century, A||Atherton P. Mason, M.D.||127|
|Trinity College, Hartford, (Illust.)||Prof. Samuel Hart, D.D.||393|
|Tufts College, (6 Illust. by F. A. Bicknell)||Rev. E. H. Capen, D.D.||99|
|Veritable Trader, A||A. T. S.||529|
|Wayte, Richard and Gamaliel, and some of their descendants||Arthur Thomas Lovell||48|
|Webster, Daniel, and Col. T. H. Perkins||John Rogers||13|
|Webster, Editorial Note on Daniel||217|
|Webster, The Life and Character of Daniel||Hon. Edward S. Tobey||228|
|Webster's Vindication||Hon. Stephen M. Allen||509|
|Webster Historical Society Papers.—The Webster Family, (Illust.)||Hon. Stephen M. Allen||340, 409|
|Williams College||Rev. N. H. Egleston||485|
|To a Friend||Edgar Fawcett||12|
|The Mendicant||Clinton Scollard||112|
|Trust||J. B. M. Wright||249|
|The Oriole||Clinton Scollard||267|
|The Singer||Laura Garland Carr||339|
|Trust||Arthur Elwell Jenks||373|
|To Oliver Wendell Holmes||Edward P. Guild||413|
|The Picture||Mary D. Brine||421|
|Hunting of the Stag of Œnoë||Clinton Scollard||503|
|On Hoosac Mountain||Edward P. Guild||527|
|Bonnie Harebells||Anna B. Bensel||536|
|M. R. Waite, Chief-Justice of the U. S.||Facing||1|
|Madame Sarah Abbot||"||99|
|Edmund H. Bennett||"||197|
Old Series January, 1886. New Series
VOL. IV. NO. 1. VOL. I. NO. 1.
Copyright, 1885, by Bay State Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
Brown University owes its origin to a desire, on the part of members of the Philadelphia Association, to secure for their churches an educated ministry, without the restrictions of denominational influence and sectarian tests. The distinguishing sentiments of the Baptists, it may be observed, were at variance with the religious opinions that prevailed throughout the American colonies a century ago. They advocated liberty of conscience, the entire separation of church and state, believer's baptism by immersion, and a converted church-membership;—principles for which they have earnestly contended from the beginning. The student of history will readily perceive how they thus came into collision with the ruling powers. They were fined in Massachusetts and Connecticut for resistance to oppressive ecclesiastical laws, they were imprisoned in Virginia,[Pg 2] and throughout the land were subjected to contumely and reproach. This dislike to the Baptists as a sect, or rather to their principles, was very naturally shared by the higher institutions oflearning then in existence.
In the year 1756, the Rev. Isaac Eaton, under the auspices of the Philadelphia and Charleston Associations, founded at Hopewell, New Jersey, an academy "for the education of youth for the ministry." To him, therefore, belongs the distinguished honor of being the first American Baptist to establish a seminary for the literary and theological training of young men. The Hopewell Academy, which was committed to the general supervision of a board of trustees appointed by the two associations, and supported mainly by funds which they contributed, was continued eleven years. During this period many who afterwards became eminent in the ministry received from Mr. Eaton the rudiments of a good education. Among them may be mentioned the names of James Manning, Hezekiah Smith, Samuel Stillman, Samuel[Pg 3] Jones, John Gano, Oliver Hart, Charles Thompson, William Williams, Isaac Skillman, John Davis, David Jones, and John Sutton. Not a few of the academy students distinguished themselves in the professions of medicine and of law. Of this latter class was the Hon. Judge Howell, a name familiar to the early students of Rhode Island College, as the University was at first called, and to the statesmen and politicians of that day. Benjamin Stelle, who was graduated at the College of New Jersey, and who afterwards, in the year 1766, established a Latin school in Providence, was also a pupil of Mr. Eaton at Hopewell. His daughter Mary, it may be added, was the second wife of the late Hon. Nicholas Brown, the distinguished benefactor of the University, and from whom it derives its name.
The success of the Hopewell Academy inspired the friends of learning with renewed confidence, and incited them to establish a college. "Many of the churches," says the Rev. Morgan Edwards, "being supplied with able pastors from Mr. Eaton's academy, and being thus convinced from experience of[Pg 4] the great usefulness of human literature to more thoroughly furnish the man of God for the most important work of the gospel ministry, the hands of the Philadelphia Association were strengthened, and their hearts were encouraged, to extend their designs of promoting literature in the Society, by erecting, on some suitable part of this continent, a college or university, which should be principally under the direction and government of the Baptists."[B]
Mr. Edwards, to whom reference is made in the foregoing, was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, to which he had recently been recommended by the Rev. Dr. Gill, and others, of London. He was a native of Wales, and an ardent admirer of his fellow-countryman, Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island. Possessing superior abilities, united with uncommon perseverance and zeal, he became a leader in various literary and benevolent undertakings, freely devoting to them his talents and his time, and thereby rendering essential service to the denomination to which he was attached. He was the prime mover in the enterprise of establishing the college, and in 1767 he went back to England and secured the first funds for its endowment. With him were associated the Rev. Samuel Jones, to whom in 1791 was offered the presidency; Oliver Hart and Francis Pelot, of South Carolina; John Hart, of Hopewell, the signer of the Declaration of Independence; John Stites, the mayor of Elizabethtown; Hezekiah Smith, Samuel Stillman, John Gano, and others connected with the two associations named, of kindred zeal and[Pg 5] spirit. The final success of the movement, however, may justly be ascribed to the life-long labors of him who was appointed the first President, James Manning, D.D., of New Jersey. His "Life, Times, and Correspondence," making a large duodecimo volume of five hundred and twenty-three pages, was published by the late Gould & Lincoln, of Boston, in 1864.
In the summer of 1763, Mr. Manning, to whom the enterprise had been entrusted, visited Newport for the purpose of arranging for the establishment of the college in Rhode Island. He was accompanied by his friend and fellow townsman, the Rev. John Sutton. They at once called on Col. John Gardner, a man venerable in years and prominent in society, being Deputy Governor of the Colony, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. To him, Manning unfolded his plans. He heard them with attention, and appointed a meeting of the leading Baptists in town at his own house the day following. At this meeting Hon. Josias Lyndon and Col. Job Bennet were appointed a committee to petition the General Assembly for an act of incorporation. After unexpected difficulties and delays, in consequence of the determined opposition of those who were unfriendly to the movement, a charter was finally granted, in February, 1764, for a "College or University in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England in America."
This charter, which has long been regarded as one of the best college charters in New England, while it secures ample privileges by its several clear and explicit provisions, recognizes throughout the grand Rhode Island principle of civil and religious freedom. By it the Corporation is made to consist of two branches, namely, that of the Trustees, and that of the Fellows, "with distinct, separate and respective powers." The Trustees are thirty-six in number, of whom twenty-two must be Baptists or Antipædobaptists, five Quakers or Friends, five Episcopalians, and four Congregationalists. Since 1874 vacancies in this Board, have been filled in accordance with nominations made by the Alumni of the University. The number of the Fellows, including the President, who, in the language of the charter, "must always be a Fellow," is twelve. Of these, eight "are forever to be elected of the denomination called Baptist or Antipædobaptists, and the rest indifferently of any or all denominations." "The President must forever be of the denomination called Baptists."[Pg 6]
But though Rhode Island had been selected for its home by the original projectors of the institution, and a liberal and ample charter had thus been secured, the college itself was still in embryo. Without funds, without students, and with no present prospect of support, a beginning must be made where the president could be the pastor of a church, and thus obtain an adequate compensation for his services. Warren, then as now, a delightful and flourishing inland town, situated ten miles from Providence, seemed to meet the requisite requirements; and thither, accordingly, Manning removed with his family in the spring of 1764. He at once commenced a Latin school, as the first step preparatory to the work of college instruction. Before the close of the year a church was organized, over which he was duly installed as pastor. The following year, at the second annual meeting of the corporation, held in Newport, Wednesday, September 3, he was formally elected, in the language of the records, "President of the College, Professor of Languages and other branches of learning, with full power to act in these capacities at Warren or elsewhere." On that same day, as appears from an original paper, now on file in the archives of the library, the president matriculated his first student, William Rogers,[C] a lad of fourteen, the son of Captain William Rogers of Newport. Not only was this lad the first student, but he was also the first freshman class. Indeed, for a period of nine months and seventeen days, as appears from the paper already referred to, he constituted the entire body of students. From such feeble beginnings has the university sprung.
The first commencement of the college was held in the meeting-house at Warren on the seventh day of September, 1769, at which seven students took their Bachelor's degree. They were all of them young men of promise. Some of them afterwards filled conspicuous places in the struggle for national independence, while others became leaders in the church, and distinguished[Pg 7] educators of youth. Probably no class that has gone forth from the college or university in her palmiest days of prosperity has exerted so widely extended and so beneficial an influence, the times and circumstances taken into account, as this first class that graduated at Warren. The occasion drew together a large concourse of people from all parts of the Colony, inaugurating, says Arnold, the earliest State holiday in the history of Rhode Island. A contemporary account preserves the interesting facts that both the President and the candidates for degrees were dressed in clothing of American manufacture, and that the audience, composed of many of the first ladies and gentlemen of the Colony, "behaved with great decorum."
Up to this date, "the Seminary," says Morgan Edwards, "was, for the most part, friendless and moneyless, and therefore forlorn, insomuch that a college edifice was hardly thought of." But the interest manifested in the exercises of Commencement, and the frequent remittances from England, "led some to hope, and many to fear, that the Institution would come to something and stand. Then a building and the place of it were talked of, which well-nigh ruined all. Warren was at first agreed on as a proper situation, where a small wing was to be erected, in the spring of 1770, and about eight hundred pounds, lawful money, was raised towards erecting it. But soon afterwards, some who were unwilling it should be there, and some who were unwilling it should be anywhere, did so far agree as to lay aside the said location, and propose that the county which should raise the most money should have the college." Subscriptions were immediately set on foot in four counties, but the claimants for the honor were finally reduced to two, viz., Providence and Newport. The question was finally settled, at a special meeting of the Corporation held in Warren, February 7, 1770. "The people of Newport had raised," says Manning, in his account of this meeting, "four thousand pounds, lawful money, taking in their unconditional subscription. But Providence presented four thousand, two hundred and eighty pounds, lawful money, and advantages superior to Newport in other respects." The dispute, he adds, lasted from ten o'clock Wednesday morning until the same hour Thursday night, and was decided, in the presence of a large congregation, in favor of Providence, by a vote of twenty-one to fourteen.
Soon after this decision, the President and Professor Howell,[Pg 8] with their pupils, removed to Providence, occupying for a time the upper part of the brick school-house on Meeting Street, for prayers and recitations. On the fourteenth day of May, 1770, the foundations of the first college building, now called University Hall, were laid; John Brown, one of the "Four Brothers," and the famous leader in the destruction of the Gaspee two years later, placing the corner stone. It was modelled after "Nassau Hall" in Princeton, where President Manning and Professor Howell were graduated. The spot selected for it was the crest of a hill, which then commanded a view of the bay, the river, with the town on its banks, and a broad reach of country on all sides. The land comprised about eight acres, and included a portion of the original "home lot" of Chadd Brown, the associate and friend of Roger Williams, and the "first Baptist Elder in Rhode Island." Now that the buildings of the city have crept up the hill, and, gathering round the college grounds, have stretched out far beyond them, thus shutting out the nearer prospect, the eye can still take in from the top of the building the same varied and beautiful landscape, which once constituted one of the chief attractions of the site.
On Saturday, December 7, 1776, Sir Peter Parker, the British commander, with seventy sail of men-of-war, anchored in Newport harbor, landed a body of troops, and took possession of the place. Providence was at once thrown into confusion and alarm. Forces, hastily collected, were massed throughout the town, martial law was proclaimed, college studies were interrupted, and the students were dismissed to their respective homes. The seat of the Muses now became the habitation of Mars. From December 7, 1776, until May 27, 1782, the college edifice was occupied for barracks, and afterwards for a hospital, by the American and French forces.
In the spring of 1786, President Manning, whose graceful deportment, thorough scholarship, and wise Christian character had commended him to all his fellow-citizens, was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly of Rhode Island to represent the state in the Congress of the Confederation. This was during a crisis of depression and alarm, when the whole political fabric was threatened with destruction. He, however, returned to his college duties at the close of the year, being unwilling to remain longer away from the scenes of his chosen labors. With the momentous questions of the day he was thoroughly familiar, and[Pg 9] he afterwards, by his voice and by his pen, contributed very materially to the adoption of the Federal Constitution by the State, in 1790. He died very suddenly in the summer of 1791, in the fifty-fourth year of his age. His death was regarded as a public calamity, and his funeral was largely attended, not only by the friends of the college, of which he may be regarded in one sense as the founder, but by a vast concourse of people from all parts of the town and the State in which he lived.
Dr. Manning was succeeded in the presidency by the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Maxcy, who during the previous year had held the temporary appointment of Professor of Divinity. The career of this remarkable man indicates a high order of genius. At the early age of fifteen he had entered the Institution as a pupil, graduating in 1787 with the highest honors of his class. Immediately upon graduating he was appointed tutor, which position he held four years. During his brilliant career of ten years, in which he was the executive head of the college, men were educated and sent out into all the professions, who, for learning, skill, and success in life, will not suffer in comparison with the graduates of any period since.
Dr. Maxcy resigned the presidency in 1802, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Asa Messer, a graduate under Manning, in the class of 1790. He held the office until 1826, a period of twenty-four years. Under his wise and skilful management the college prospered; its finances were improved; its means of instruction were extended; and the number of students was greatly augmented. It was in the beginning of his administration that the college received the name of Brown University, in honor of its most distinguished benefactor, Hon. Nicholas Brown. This truly benevolent man was graduated under Manning in 1786, being then but seventeen years of age. He commenced his benefactions in 1792, by presenting to the Corporation the sum of five hundred dollars, to be expended in the purchase of law books for the library. In 1804 he presented the sum of five thousand dollars, as a foundation for a professorship of oratory and belles-lettres; on which occasion, in consideration of this donation, and of others that had been received from him and his kindred, the Institution, in accordance with a provision in its charter, received its present name. Mr. Brown died in September 1841, at the age of seventy-two. The entire sum of his recorded benefactions and[Pg 10] bequests, giving the valuation which was put upon them at the time they were made, amounts to one hundred and sixty thousand dollars.
Dr. Messer was succeeded in the Presidency by the Rev. Dr. Francis Wayland, who was unanimously elected to this office on the thirteenth of December, 1826. His administration extended over a period of twenty-eight and a half years, during which the University acquired a great reputation for thorough analytical instruction. His treatises on "Moral Science," and "Intellectual Philosophy," were used as text-books in other colleges, while "The Moral Dignity of the Missionary Enterprise" gave him a world-wide celebrity as a preacher. He resigned in 1855, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Barnas Sears, who continued in office twelve years, when he resigned, having been appointed agent of the Board of Trustees of the Peabody Educational Fund. During his administration, which extended through the financial crisis of 1857, and the long years of civil war, the University prospered, the facilities for instruction were increased, a system of scholarships was established, and large additions were made to the college funds. Dr. Sears was succeeded by Rev. Dr. Alexis Caswell, a graduate of the University, and for more than thirty-five years an honored and successful professor in the Institution. He was thus thoroughly conversant with its history, and familiar with its special needs. The Rev. Dr. E. G. Robinson, the present active and efficient president, entered upon his duties in the fall of 1872. He, too, is a graduate of the Institution over which he now presides, being a member of the class of 1838.
The buildings of the University are ten in number. Of these the oldest is "University Hall," which has already been described. This venerable structure, so rich in historical associations, and so dear to all the graduates, has recently been thoroughly renovated and modernized, its external appearance remaining the same, at an expense of nearly fifty thousand dollars. The "Grammar School Building," now rented to private parties, and occupied as at first for a preparatory or classical school, was erected in 1810, the cost having been defrayed by subscription. "Hope College" was erected in 1822, at the expense of Hon. Nicholas Brown, who named it after his only surviving sister, Hope Ives, wife of the late Thomas Poynton Ives. "Manning Hall" was erected in 1834, also at the expense of Mr. Brown, who named it after his revered[Pg 11] instructor, the first President of the College. "Rhode Island Hall," and the "President's Mansion," were erected in 1840, at the expense mostly of citizens of Providence; Mr. Brown, with his wonted liberality, contributing ten thousand dollars. The "Chemical Laboratory" was erected in 1862, through the exertions of Professor N. P. Hill, late United States Senator from Colorado. The new "Library Building," which has been pronounced by competent judges to be one of the finest of its kind in the country, was erected in 1878, at a cost, exclusive of the lot on which it stands, of ninety-six thousand dollars. Both the building and the grounds were a bequest of the late John Carter Brown, a son of the distinguished benefactor. The new dormitory, "Slater Hall," was erected in 1879, by Hon. Horatio N. Slater, a member of the Board of Fellows, and a liberal benefactor of the University. "Sayles Memorial Hall," which was dedicated, with appropriate ceremonies, in June, 1881, is a beautiful structure of granite and freestone, erected at the expense of Hon. William F. Sayles, a member of the Board of Trustees, in memory of his son, who died in the early part of his collegiate course. It is used for daily recitations, while its spacious hall, adorned with portraits of distinguished graduates and benefactors, serves for Commencement dinners and special academic occasions.
The "Bailey Herbarium," the "Herbarium Olneyanum," and the "Bennett Herbarium," contain altogether seventy-one thousand eight hundred specimens, arranged in good order for consultation, and constituting an important addition to the means of instruction in Botany. The Museum of Natural History and Anthropology, in Rhode Island Hall, contains upwards of fifty thousand specimens, implements, coins, medals, etc., classified and arranged by Professor J. W. P. Jenks. The Library, which dates back from the year 1767, when the Rev. Morgan Edwards collected books for it in England, numbers sixty-three thousand choice and well bound volumes, and a large number of unbound pamphlets. Among the recent additions is the valuable and unique "Harris Collection of American Poetry," bequeathed by Hon. Henry B. Anthony, a graduate of the University, and for twenty-five years a member of the United States Senate. The books of the Library are arranged in alcoves according to subjects, and free access is allowed to the shelves. The funds of the University, according to the report of the Treasurer for April, 1885, amount to $812,943.[Pg 12] There are sixty-six scholarships for the aid of indigent students, and also premium, prize, and aid funds, amounting to $40,000. The Library Funds amount to $36,500.
The Faculty consists of the President, twelve Professors, two assistant Professors, five Instructors, two assistant Instructors, one Librarian, one assistant Librarian, a Registrar, and a Steward. The present number of undergraduates, according to the annual catalogue for 1885-86, is 239. The number of graduates, as appears from the triennial catalogue, is 3,191. About one fourth of this number are in italics, indicating that they have been ordained and set apart for the work of the Christian ministry. Of these upwards of one hundred have appended to their names "S. T. D.," including bishops eminent for their piety and learning, missionaries of the cross in foreign lands, presidents of theological schools, and religious teachers whose names are conspicuous in the republic of letters, and whose virtues and deeds are held in grateful remembrance.
[A] Brown University, the Charter of which was granted in 1764, is the seventh American College in the order of date. Harvard College was founded in 1638; William and Mary College, Virginia, in 1692; Yale College, in 1701; College of New Jersey, in 1746; University of Pennsylvania, in 1753; and Columbia College, in 1754.
[B] Appendix to President Sears' Centennial Discourse, page 63.
[C] Mr. Rogers was graduated in 1769. In 1772 he removed to Philadelphia, and was ordained pastor of the first Baptist Church. He became distinguished for his eloquence; was made a Doctor in Divinity; and during the war rendered good service as a brigade chaplain in the Continental army. He was an honored member of the Masonic Fraternity, and an intimate friend of Washington. The late William Sanford Rogers, of Boston, who died in 1872, bequeathed to the University the sum of fifty thousand dollars to found the "Newport Rogers' Professorship of Chemistry," in honor of his father, Robert Rogers, who was graduated in 1775, and of his uncle, William Rogers, a member of the first graduating class.
On the morning of Thursday, the fourteenth day of August, 1817, Col. Thomas H. Perkins, after an early breakfast, left his house on Pearl Street in Boston, and entered his travelling carriage, having in mind a pleasant day's excursion with his friend, Mr. Daniel Webster, for a purpose which will hereafter appear.
Though now given up to trade, Pearl Street was then the site of some of the finest dwellings in the city, and prominent among these was Col. Perkins's mansion, afterwards munificently bestowed, with other gifts, upon the Massachusetts Blind Asylum, which then became the Perkins Institution for the Blind, and occupied the building for its charitable purposes.
As his comfortable and substantial equipage passed down the gentle slope towards Milk Street, it met with a general recognition, for Boston was then a town of some thirty thousand people only, and Col. Perkins one of its best known citizens.
Born in 1764, at five years of age he saw from his father's house in King Street the Boston Massacre, and, after receiving a commercial education, was for more than fifty years a leading merchant in his native city. His military title was not one of courtesy only, but conferred upon him as commander of the Corps of Independent Cadets, a most respectable body of citizens, upon whom devolved the annual duty of escorting the Governor and Legislature to hear the time-honored Election Sermon, which marked the opening of the General Court in the month of January.
Passing up Milk Street, then also a street of dwellings,—among them the birthplace of Franklin,—the Old South Church, which at that time had received only its first "desecration," was soon reached, and the carriage turned into Washington Street, opposite the Province House—with its two large oak trees in front, and the grotesque gilt Indian on the roof with bended bow, just then pointing his arrow in obedience to a gentle breeze from the south-west; then up the narrow avenue of Bromfield Street, with the pretty view of the State House over the combined foliage of Paddock's[Pg 14] elms and the Granary Burial Ground, and, turning into Tremont Street, our traveller was soon at Park-Street Corner.
The noble church edifice which graces this sightly spot, though sadly dealt with in its general symmetry, still lifts its lofty spire with undiminished beauty, and justifies the stirring lines of Dr. Holmes:—
As our friend turned into Park Street on this summer morning, the giant's lance threw its shadow far into the Common among the cows which were quietly cropping the dewy grass within the enclosure of the old rail fence, while his brazen goblet clanged the hour of seven.
As the substantial citizen of to-day passes up this street, where shops are rapidly displacing the mansions of the last century, he looks with honest pride upon Boston's crowning glory, the gilded dome which, like a great golden egg, is nested upright upon the roof which shelters the annually-assembled wisdom of the Old Commonwealth. Around its glowing swell the orbit of the sun's kiss is marked by an ever-moving flame, and even its shadows are luminous.
As he looks across the Common he catches glimpses of the "New Venice" which has been built upon the lagoons of the Back Bay, and sees among its towers and spires one beautiful campanile which, by its graceful inclination to the south, recalls Pisa's wonder, and lends a special charm to the view.
Upon the little eminence near the Frog Pond, once the site of the fort built during the British occupation to defend the city from the American army encamped on the opposite shore, rises the monument which commemorates the war of the Rebellion and the gallant men of Boston who lost their lives in defence of the Government.
On that pleasant morning in 1817, neither the beautiful new city nor the sad monument greeted the eye of the good Colonel, for the Common formed the western boundary of the town, and the British earthworks were still upon the little hill.
Could he have had a prophetic vision of the one, his honest pride in his native town would have risen almost to ecstasy. Could[Pg 15] he have known of the other, his patriotic soul would have sunk within him, and the pleasure of his day's journey would have given place to grief.
Rounding the Common, by the Hancock mansion, with its lilac bushes and curiously wrought iron balcony, Walnut Street was soon reached, and, near its junction with Mount Vernon Street, the house of Mr. Webster.
The future "Defender of the Constitution" was no sluggard. It was his habit to "Rise with the lark and greet the purpling east," to use one of his favorite quotations, and the carriage had hardly stopped when he appeared, and, exchanging kindly greetings with the Colonel, took his place beside him.
Mr. Webster was at this time thirty-five years old, and had taken up his residence in Boston to resume the practice of his profession, after representing his native State of New Hampshire for two terms in Congress.
Col. Perkins was among the first to recognize his abilities, and a strong attachment had grown up between them. A marked element in the Colonel's character was his constant desire to investigate for himself remarkable developments in nature and art; and on this occasion, when he expected an unusual gratification of his curiosity, no company could be more congenial than that of his friend, the young advocate.
As the two companions made their way down the north side of Beacon Hill towards Charlestown bridge, their conversation, cheerful and even gay through the prospect of an interesting and pleasant excursion, turned from private matters to topics of local interest, and thence to national affairs.
Mr. Webster's experiences at Washington naturally took the lead, and were listened to with attention by his companion. Mr. Monroe was at this time taking an extended tour through the Northern States, having occupied the presidential chair but a few months; the "era of good feeling" had fairly commenced, partisan violence had for the time abated, and the country was at peace with all the powers of the earth.
Soon our travellers pass Charlestown bridge, leaving Copp's Hill and Christ Church, with its memories of Paul Revere, behind them, and approach Bunker's Hill, where eight years later Mr. Webster was to inaugurate the building of the monument with an eloquent address.[Pg 16]
Next they cross the bridge to Chelsea, and, continuing their way through the little village beyond, the long stretch of the Salem Turnpike over the Lynn marshes opens to them, with the wooded heights of Saugus on the north, the wide sands of Lynn beach on the south, and few signs of life beside the skimming flight of wild fowl and the occasional plunge of a seal at their approach.
And now the wide expanse of land and sea, and the cool breeze stealing in from the water, turn their conversation to things maritime and foreign, to the wonders of the deep, and to the danger of those who "go down to the sea in ships," and brave its storms and hidden rocks.
The Colonel, from his youth fond of travel, had now many a story to tell of his early voyages on business to Charleston, Saint Domingo, Batavia, and Canton, and of his visits to Europe, one of which brought him in contact with some of the stirring scenes of the French Revolution in 1792.
Thus beguiling the time, they pass through the village of Lynn, with a glance at High Rock on the one side and a longer look on the beautiful peninsula of Nahant on the other. Between Lynn and Salem lies a rocky and sterile tract, to this day almost without an inhabitant, but not without its picturesque and beautiful spots, like that for instance about the little pond, which is crossed by the floating bridge, through the cracks of whose rude floor the water spouts in miniature geysers as the carriage rolls across.
Near by is the region where the famous witchcraft delusion took its rise; but reminiscences of this cruel drama are cut short by the abrupt transition to the closely-built streets of Salem, where our friends soon find themselves moving on through Essex Street, passing the East India Marine Hall, containing the contributions of Salem's numerous merchants and mariners, passing also the White mansion, a few years later to be the scene of a foul murder, in the investigation of which Mr. Webster was to make one of his most eloquent pleas, thence by the well-known Common and through the long avenue to Beverly bridge, over which they pass to the ancient town of Beverly, and are launched on that most delightful seashore road, which, continuing on through Manchester and Gloucester and round Cape Ann, has been pronounced the loveliest in New England.
Soon the Beverly Farms, and then Manchester, are reached,—both[Pg 17] places known to-day as the summer residences of some of Boston's best citizens, whose comfortable and elegant homes are reared upon every commanding spot.
Next, after Manchester, the environs of Gloucester,—Kettle Cove, now rejoicing in the more pleasing name of "Magnolia," taken from the swamp near by, where grow those fragrant flowers whose creamy petals, set off by dark-green leaves, are popularly supposed to scent the air for miles around,—a race of strangers whose translation from the sunny South to this northern clime is one of the wonders of the region.
After Magnolia, they ride through the pleasant woods to Fresh Water Cove, passing Rafe's Chasm and Norman's Woe Rock. Now the extreme end of Eastern Point, stretching away to the right and forming the outer part of Gloucester Harbor, appears in sight; but it is not till the top of Sawyer's Hill is reached that our friends, gaining a full view of the wide-spread panorama, call a halt to enjoy its varied beauties.
Right before them appears the rocky point on which Roger Conant's colony of 1623, the first of the cape and the oldest after Plymouth and Boston, held its brief sway; farther on, Ten-Pound Island with its light-house; then the village of Gloucester, the old fort, the still older wind-mill, both prominent objects; and in the distance the twin lighthouses of Thatcher's Island, with Railcut Hill to the north-east, and, stretching to the north, the low, marshy level through which Squam River meanders to the sea by the sands of Coffin's Beach.
Under any circumstances this panorama would have challenged the admiration of our friends; but seen, as they saw it, on a clear summer day, with the wide expanse of blue water breaking under the influence of a gentle breeze into curling waves, which with gathering force dashed playfully upon the yellow ledges and shining beaches, with flocks of sea-gulls sweeping in graceful circles or brooding upon the surface, no ordinary description could do it justice.
The fair peninsula of Cape Ann, a large part of which now lay before them, called by the Indians "Wingershaek," has since been thrice named. By Samuel de Champlain, who visited in it in 1605, it was called Cap aux Isles, the islands being those now known as Straitsmouth Island, Thatcher's Island, and Milk Island. By Captain John Smith, who landed upon its rocky shores in 1614, it[Pg 18] was named Tragabigzanda, and the same islands were called The Three Turks' Heads; and by Prince Charles, who, after Smith's return to England, gave it the name of Cape Ann, in honor of his mother, Queen Ann, consort of James the First.
The colony of Roger Conant was afterward transferred to Salem; but within the next ten years a permanent settlement was made, which in 1642 was incorporated under the name of Gloucester, in honor of the ancient city of that name in England.
From the first, Cape Ann has been the home of fishermen, though a considerable foreign commerce was at one time carried on by its thrifty mariners. Eminently patriotic, the town bore its share in the country's struggle for independence, two companies of Gloucester men having fought at Bunker's Hill, and its bold privateers did good service upon the ocean, not only in the Revolution, but in the later struggle with the mother country.
Our travellers, having satisfied their curiosity as to the general appearance of the town, are getting under way again for a nearer acquaintance, and becoming more and more interested in the special object of their visit.
As they approach the village, it is evident that something unusual is going on; they pass people moving in the same direction, with eager and expectant faces, to one of whom Mr. Webster ventures these questions: Can his serpentine majesty be seen to-day? and where to the best advantage? Receiving satisfactory replies, the coachman is ordered to drive to the old wind-mill, where they arrive in a few moments,—from the shady side of this quaint structure, whose merrily revolving sails were at their usual work, a large part of both the outer and inner harbors being easily seen.
Let us now take some note of occurrences which at this time were agitating the little town, and the fame of which had extended to Boston.
On Sunday, the tenth of August, four days before, Mr. Amos Story, rowing in his boat near Ten-Pound Island, was greatly disturbed, not to say alarmed, by the appearance, at some twenty rods' distance, of a sea monster, totally unlike anything he had ever seen in his long experience as a fisherman and mariner. Moving at the rate of a mile in two minutes, nearly one hundred feet in length, as large as the body of a man, with a head like a turtle, but carried high out of the water, with the body of a snake,[Pg 19] but with the vertical motion of a caterpillar, and of a dark-brown color, this enormous reptile brought such fear to the honest fisherman as induced him to make a rapid retreat to a safe distance.
His account of the monster naturally set all the people on the lookout, and for nearly every day in the following two weeks it was seen under different circumstances by many of the inhabitants of Gloucester and the adjacent villages.
At the present day, on the first notice of such a wonderful appearance, the daily papers would send their reporters from far and near, and, with the help of the Associated Press, curious readers all over the country would the next morning have accounts of the Sea Serpent served to them at breakfast-time. Instantaneous photographs would be attempted, and the illustrated weeklies would give the world picturesque, if not accurate, representations of the monster and the localities in which he appeared. But in 1817 the news spread slowly, and no public mention was made of the matter till Saturday the 16th, when the Commercial Gazette of Boston, under the modest caption of "Something New," alludes to the reports that had been in circulation for some days, and describes the preparations making by a party who expected to capture the bold intruder.
The subject occupied the attention of the papers in Salem and Boston more or less for the next two months, for although the visit of the serpent seems to have ended early in September, records of former appearances in different parts of the world were fully discussed. It is worthy of notice that almost from the first the authentic character of the reports was admitted. The Chronicle and Patriot of Boston says, under date of Aug. 20, "Doubts having been expressed by some as to the fact of an aquatic serpent of the magnitude described having been seen in the harbor of Gloucester, we have conversed with gentlemen of that place of undoubted veracity who have seen him since the former accounts were published, and who declare that they have in no way been exaggerated."
These are brief extracts from the papers during the time that they were occupied with the subject: Aug. 18, "two serpents were seen playing together"; Aug. 25, one was seen "feasting on ale-wives in Kettle Cove"; Aug. 28, he was "still hovering on the coast and feeding on herring"; Sept. 4, "It is hoped that the naval commander on the coast will attempt its capture"; Sept. 10,[Pg 20] he was seen at Salem, "after the swarms or schools of bait," and again, near Half-way Rock, "coiled up on the surface of the water, reposing after a hearty breakfast of herring"; Aug. 27, the "Aquatic Novelty" was "off Eastern Point"; Sept. 24, there was a notice of "Beach's picture about to be exhibited"; Oct. 1, "the Panorama of Gloucester with the great Sea Serpent will be ready for exhibition on Monday next." One account states that "he is cased in shell"; another, that "it is proposed to make a number of strong nets in the hope of entangling and so killing him"; Oct. 8, "the panorama is on exhibition at Merchant's Hall, Milk Street," and "Beach has in the hands of an engraver a view on a small scale, and is painting one 26 x 14 feet, including the town and harbor of Gloucester."
A small serpent of strange appearance having been taken on the land near Loblolly Cove, one correspondent writes at some length that it must have been the progeny of the two seen playing together, who were doubtless the parents.
Fortunately for the cause of science, there was at the time an association of naturalists called "The Linnæan Society of New England," whose prompt action caused the various reports about the matter to be carefully sifted, and the result placed before the public in an authentic manner. This society met at Boston on the 18th of August, and appointed a committee to collect evidence in regard to the existence and appearance of the strange animal.
The committee consisted of the Hon. John Davis, Jacob Bigelow, M.D., and Francis C. Gray, Esq., all men of the highest respectability, and of undoubted fitness and capacity for the work they were to undertake, and the result of their labors was published in a pamphlet of fifty-two pages, the title of which cautiously states that the report is "relative to a large marine animal, supposed to be a serpent, seen near Cape Ann, Massachusetts, in August, 1817." It was accompanied by an engraving of the "Scoliophis Atlanticus," the small snake captured near Loblolly Cove, representing the animal at full length, about three feet, and also in parts after dissection, with full explanations.
From this pamphlet it appears that on the 19th the committee wrote to Hon. Lonson Nash, a magistrate of Gloucester, asking him to examine upon oath some of those who had seen the animal, not allowing them to communicate with each other the substance of their respective statements till they were all committed[Pg 21] to writing, and proposing certain rules with regard to the method of conducting the examination, as well as a list of twenty-five carefully prepared questions to be put to the persons examined.
Eight depositions received from Mr. Nash, and three others taken in Boston, all read before the Society on the 1st of September, are given in full, as well as further correspondence with Mr. Nash, and various accounts of similar appearances in former years and at other places. The committee seem to have no doubt but that the depositions were truthful and accurate, and suggest that the small serpent which they describe may have been of the same species as the larger one, and possibly its progeny.
The eight depositions taken at Gloucester were those of Amos Story, mariner; Solomon Allen, 3d, shipmaster; Epes Ellery, shipmaster; William H. Foster, merchant; Matthew Gaffney, ship carpenter; James Mansfield, merchant; John Johnston, Jr., a boy of seventeen; and William B. Pearson, merchant. The deponents were selected for their probity; each of them saw the serpent at different times and under different circumstances, and their very interesting statements, too long to be here given in full, are briefly summarized, so far as description is concerned, in the following extracts:—
This is what they say as to the length of the monster: "eighty to ninety feet," "forty feet at least," "forty to sixty feet in length," "fifty feet at least," "nothing short of seventy feet," "seventy feet at least," "not surprised if one hundred feet," "at least a hundred feet."
And this as to his size: "size of a man's body," "size of a half barrel," "joints from head to tail," "joints about the size of a two-gallon keg," "large as a barrel," "bunches on his back about a foot in height," "two and a half feet in circumference."
His movements are thus described: "slow, plunging about in circles, and sometimes moving nearly straight forward," "sunk directly down and appeared two hundred yards distant in two minutes," "did not turn down like a fish, but settled directly down like a rock," "moved at the rate of a mile in two or three minutes," "turned short and quick till his head came parallel with his tail," "sinuosities vertical," "in different directions, leaving on the water marks like those made by skating on the ice," "a mile in a minute," "vertical, like a caterpillar," "turns short and quick, head and tail moving in opposite directions and almost touching,"[Pg 22] "a mile in five or six minutes," "a mile in three minutes," "turned short, head and tail moving in opposite directions, and not more than two or three yards apart," "twelve or fourteen miles an hour," "swifter than any whale," "rising and falling as he moved," "head moving from side to side," "a mile in four minutes."
His head is "like the head of a sea-turtle," "carried ten to twelve inches above the water," "larger than the head of any dog," "like the head of a rattlesnake, but nearly as large as the head of a horse," "head two feet above the surface of the water," "top of his head flat," "a prong or spear about twelve inches long which might have been his tongue," "as large as a man's head," "large as a four-gallon keg," "about a foot above the water," "eye dark and sharp," "tongue like a harpoon thrown out two feet from his jaws," "mouth open ten inches," "like a serpent."
And his color is "dark brown," "black or very dark," "white beneath," "head, top brown; under part nearly white."
In some respects more interesting than the report of the Linnæan society are the statements published in New York in the fall of 1817, under the title of "Letters from the Hon. David Humphreys, F.R.S., to the Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, London, containing some account of the Serpent of the Ocean frequently seen in Gloucester Bay."
Mr. Humphreys, a citizen of Connecticut apparently, visited Gloucester repeatedly in August, and, though he did not succeed in getting a look at the great snake, had many interviews with those who did, and was present when the depositions were taken.
The narrative of his experience at Gloucester, with some letters from Mr. Nash, a detailed account of efforts to catch the serpent, and some statements in regard to its visit to Long Island Sound later in the year, make eighty-six pages of pleasant reading, which those curious to know about the matter will find well worth their attention.
His version of the depositions is also interesting, varying somewhat as it does from that published by the Linnæan Society, and he goes at length into the reasons for believing the small captured serpent to have been the offspring of the large one.
It is easy to account for the variations in the evidence taken before Mr. Nash, when we find from the statements of the parties[Pg 23] that the distance at which the serpent was seen varied from thirty feet to one hundred and fifty yards. But there is agreement in the important points which clearly separate the animal described from all well-known fishes. The undulating vertical motion producing the appearance of humps upon the back, the small size of the body compared with its length, the sharp turns when the head and tail moved in opposite directions, the elevated head, and the protruding tongue, are more or less recognized in every description.
Let us now return to our friends, whom we have left at the old mill. It was the curiosity of Col. Perkins, who was already familiar with the water-snakes of the Indian Ocean, and strongly inclined to believe in the existence of the monster serpent, which led him, at the first reports from Gloucester, to plan this visit to the scene of the excitement. And in good truth he had planned it well, and had selected his time with that rare good luck which attended most of his mercantile operations. It had been a "field-day," so to speak, in Gloucester Harbor, the serpent having been visible, more or less, all the morning.
Looking out over the water, where boats were moving cautiously about, Rocky Neck and Ten-Pound Island on one side and the old fort on the other, our friends found that most of the points from which a good view could be obtained were occupied by spectators waiting for the sinuous monster, who was not long in making his appearance, and seemed to enjoy the occasion as well as his company.
Sometimes playing in wide circles, sometimes moving rapidly in a straight line, leaving a long wake behind him, he at length approached so near the lookout of our travellers that, with the Colonel's field-glass, they could easily see his snaky head, his open mouth, his gleaming eyes, and his protruding tongue.
One adventurous boatman, Mr. Matthew Gaffney, getting within some thirty feet, fired at him with his gun, carrying an eighteen-to-the-pound ball, and aiming full at his head. The monster turned, and sinking down like a rock, went directly under the boat, making his appearance a hundred rods off, apparently unhurt. He continued his playful gambols as before, finally moving off out of the harbor till he was lost in the distance.
Our friends now found themselves the objects of attention on the part of several gentlemen, who, hearing of their visit, had sought them out, in order to pay due respect to such distinguished[Pg 24] visitors. Among them were Mr. Lonson Nash, the eminently respectable lawyer of the town, before whom were made the affidavits to which we have already alluded; Capt. Jack Beach, an eccentric gentleman of leisure, whose drawing of Gloucester harbor, with the serpent occupying a prominent position, was afterward enlarged into a painting, and subsequently engraved; and Col. William Tappan, landlord of the tavern where our friends were to dine.
The meeting between this last gentleman and Mr. Webster was one of unusual interest. Col. Tappan had been the instructor of Mr. Webster's youth at Salisbury in his native State, and was greeted with unaffected and hearty cordiality by his now eminent pupil. The future statesman had been the brightest boy in his school, so Master Tappan said, and among other well-earned rewards obtained a new jackknife for committing to memory a large number of verses from the Bible. After hearing sixty or seventy, with several chapters yet in mind, his instructor gave up the trial, and afterwards told the boy's father that he "would do God's work injustice if he did not send him to college."
In company with Col. Tappan and the other gentlemen, our travellers repaired to the tavern, which was near at hand, and enjoyed not only a good dinner, but much pleasant conversation in regard to the events of the week, varied with reminiscences of school days by the master and pupil.
But the waning afternoon soon warned them that an early departure was necessary if they were to reach their homes before dark. Their carriage was ordered, leave taken of their new acquaintances, as well as of the landlord, and with lingering looks at the now quiet scene of the day's excitement, they passed rapidly out of the town over the same road by which they entered it in the early part of the day.
Seen from the opposite side, each point in the home journey presented new beauties to add to the pleasant remembrances of the morning. The afternoon shadows gave a tender touch to the landscape, and a serious tone to the conversation, which, dealing reverently with the great problems of life and immortality, continued till the friends arrived at their homes in the early dusk.
Sixty-eight years have passed since the events which have been narrated, and the two friends whom we have followed through that beautiful August day have long since passed to their reward.
The shrewd, far-seeing, and successful merchant and public-spirited[Pg 25] citizen, completing at the extreme old age of ninety a well-developed life, and leaving a reputation, not only without a stain, but adorned with the memory of numerous philanthropic and benevolent acts.
The able lawyer, after rising to the highest fame as a statesman and orator, passing away at threescore and ten, his latest years overshadowed by the grief of a disappointed ambition.
A few weeks before his death at Marshfield, in 1852, Mr. Webster presented to Colonel Perkins a copy of his published speeches, with the following written therein:—
"My Dear Sir,—If I possessed anything which I might suppose likely to be more acceptable to you as a proof of my esteem than these volumes, I should have sent it in their stead. But I do not; and therefore ask your acceptance of a copy of this volume of my speeches. I have long cherished, my dear sir, a profound, warm, affectionate, and I may say a filial regard for your person and character. I have looked upon you as one born to do good, and who has fulfilled his mission; as a man without a spot or blemish, as a merchant known and honored over the whole world; a most liberal supporter and promoter of science and the arts; always kind to scholars and literary men, and greatly beloved by them all; friendly to all the institutions of religion, morality, and education; and an unwavering and determined supporter of the constitution of his country, and of those great principles of civil liberty which it is so well calculated to uphold and advance. These sentiments I inscribe here in accordance with my best judgment, and out of the fulness of my heart: and I wish here to record, also, my deep sense of the many personal obligations under which you have placed me in the course of our long acquaintance. Your ever faithful friend,
Should this dedication, truly as it portrays the excellent character of the person to whom it was addressed, seem to be redundant and overstated, let us remember that the writer, feeble and sorrowful, was penning his last words to his old and perhaps best friend, and its very extravagance at once assumes a childish pathos. The critical eye as it scans the record becomes dim with the sympathetic tear, and reads between the blurred lines only the passionate tribute of a broken spirit.
In the ample stairway of the Boston Athenæum hang portraits of the two men,—that of Colonel Perkins, painted by Sully in 1833, is an exceedingly graceful presentation, and represents him at full length, carefully dressed, and seated in an easy attitude.[Pg 26] The accessories are skilfully introduced, especially the large and exquisitely shaped china pitcher, which doubtless represents some gift received through his commercial relations with the East. The picture of Mr. Webster, also full length, was painted by Harding in 1849, and is an excellent likeness as well as a painting of much merit, though lacking the charming qualities of the other portrait.
During these sixty-eight years, great changes have come upon the little village of Gloucester, now grown to a city of more than twenty thousand people; its houses, then few and rude, have increased in number till the rocky hills are covered almost to their summits with the neat dwellings of its still hardy and adventurous population.
The old wind-mill, from whose vicinity our friends saw the monster snake, has given way to a summer hotel, whose occupants look out upon the beautiful bay and watch the incoming and outgoing of the fishing fleet of five hundred staunch schooners, manned by the bold mariners who seek their prey on "Georges," the Grand Banks, or the far waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence; while the old fort, which never succumbed to a foe, has given way to the invasion of industry, till its grounds are covered and its walls obscured by buildings intended for occupation or labor.
And what during these sixty-eight years has befallen the enormous reptile, whose visit to Cape Ann called our friends to examine for themselves his claim to be the real Sea Serpent?
In what waters plays the sportive monster to-day? Did he return to the coast of Norway, where, according to the naturalists of the country, such as he live at the bottom of the sea, rising sometimes to the surface in summer, but plunging again as soon as the wind raises the least wave? Or did the bullet of Matthew Gaffney inflict a wound of which he afterwards perished in some submarine retreat?
The most cautious naturalists, while endeavoring to explain on various hypotheses the authentic appearances of marine monsters resembling serpents,—one theory being that they are abnormal cases of unusual growth of ordinary marine animals, and another that they are individuals of an almost extinct race,—are compelled to admit that the time may come when, with further evidence, scientific examination will accurately determine the question, and the Sea Serpent take its place among the acknowledged dwellers in the sea.
When the Puritans removed from Charlestown to Trimountain in search of wholesome water-springs they found the ground preoccupied by Motley's "Hermit of Shawmut;" and when the godly people who discarded the musical Wannamoisett and gave their plantation a homely Bible name, joined to their borders the tract of wilderness lying between them and the Bay line, they found the same whimsical anchoret snugly domiciled in his "Study Hall" beside a stream that bounded their new possessions. Thus it happened that the first English inhabitant of Boston and the pioneer settler in the wilds of Rehoboth North Purchase were one and the same person.
For years this piece of unimproved real estate waited for a name, until, at length, for some unaccountable reason, it was christened after the English town where George Eliot attended Miss Lathom's school when a child, and caught a chronic cold, from the effects of which she seemed never to have quite recovered, and it was called Attleborough. The original purchase included a much larger area than that comprised in the present township; and, like the then adjacent domain of Dorchester, Attleboro parted with one section of land and then another, until its acreage to-day is but a fraction of that perambulated by the colonial surveyors. On the west side a triangle, locally known as the Gore, was set off in 1746 to form the town of Cumberland, R. I., while from the south and east sides were taken generous slices to piece out the towns of old Rehoboth, Mansfield, and Norton.
The history of Attleboro, like that of so many other New England towns, naturally divides itself into two widely different epochs, each interesting to the modern reader. From the year 1661, when Wamsetta, chief sachem of Pokanokett, made the original conveyance of the territory to Capt. Thomas Willett, representing the town of Rehoboth, until the close of the last war between this country and Great Britain, is a period rich in annals of men and deeds, whose records live on musty parchments and crumbling gravestones. It is crowded with tales of hardship, struggle, and heroism out of which some local Scott or Cooper with wizard hand might fashion many books of poetry or fiction:[Pg 28]—
Then, after the primeval wilderness had been subdued under the patient tillage of more than one generation of sturdy farmers, there opens a second period extending to the present date,—busy years of modern industry, when the nervous spirit of enterprise and the restless fever for gain have stimulated brain and brawn to ceaseless endeavor.
It would be difficult for the present dwellers in the thriving villages of Attleboro to imagine a time when but a single white inhabitant had a fixed abode within the limits of Capt. Willett's extensive purchase, when Ten-Mile River had never reflected a pale face or turned a mill-wheel, and when the site of humming Robinsonville was occupied by a clump of Indian wigwams in a beaver clearing. The historic elm on the Carpenter estate, under which Whitefield preached so eloquently, had not yet sprouted from the seed; the falling leaves had scarcely obliterated the footprints of persecuted Roger Williams, making his toilsome retreat from the new settlement on the Bay to the headwaters of the Narragansett; and the Bay road was only an uncertain path blazed through a dense forest, along which not a hundred pairs of Anglo-Saxon feet had ever trudged.
In this vast solitude the intrepid William Blaxton had spent thirty lonely years before the original purchase was made. He built his rude house on the extreme western frontier of Attleboro Gore, beside the river which now bears his name with altered spelling, made friends with his Indian neighbors, planted the first apple-orchard in North America, and trained an imported bull to serve him as a saddle-horse. There, like Thoreau in his Walden hut, the old divine encountered nature in her rougher aspects and studied her wonderful book untrammelled by even the slight social conventionalities that obtained in colonial Boston.
The first settlement within the limits of the present town was made beside a stream which crossed the Bay road, on the site of the[Pg 29] Hatch tavern, opposite Barden's building in North Attleboro; and because this stream marked a journey of ten miles from Seekonk, the early travellers named it Ten-Mile River. Here the famous John Woodcock took up his abode in 1663 or 1664, and established a garrison which afterwards formed one of a chain of strongholds extending from Boston to Rhode Island. An avowed foe of the red race who surrounded him, he found them hostile and treacherous, and had no recourse but to fortify himself behind his stockades, and keep the stealthy warriors at bay with his musket. At this dangerous outpost Woodcock bravely defended his little family for many years, until quite a community of white people had placed themselves under his protection, and he became a sort of feudal lord, into whose rude castle they might retreat in time of danger. He was a restless spirit, fond of hazardous adventure, to whom civilized life was unendurably tame, and many are the current traditions of his prowess and bloody encounters with the savage aborigines. In 1670 he opened a licensed ordinary on his premises, the first public house in the country; and from that time a hostelry was kept on that spot for nearly two centuries.
Other settlements were naturally made in the open meadows easily accessible from the Bay road; and so we find the next community growing up in what is now the Falls Village, where a corn mill was erected in 1686. Then a few new families, immigrating from Rehoboth, made themselves a home in the south part of the town; and near the close of the century settlers found their way down the winding Ten-Mile River, and built houses at Mechanics.
For obvious reasons the east precinct, as Attleboro-bred people are wont to call it, is the newest part of the town; the north and the south sections were traversed by the one thoroughfare then open as a highway between the home of the Puritans and the shores of Narragansett Bay, and for years after these began to number a very respectable colonial population, the now thickly settled area in the east village bounded by Peck, Pleasant, Pine, Capron, and Main streets, contained no buildings except the Balcom Tavern with its contiguous barn, a small dwelling-house near the present site of the old straw shop, and another house about forty rods further to the south.
Lying in the very heart of the Narragansett country, this town was constantly menaced by King Philip and his braves during the period of the Indian wars, and two of the bloodiest fights occurred[Pg 30] within the limits of Attleboro Gore. The settlers found it necessary to go about their daily work armed, lest some red man skulking in the borders of the forest should attack and slay them. John Woodcock, the leading spirit among them, was a special object of savage hatred, and in the summer of 1676 he and his sons were surprised while at work in a field, and, before they could retreat within the garrison, one son was killed outright, and another was severely wounded.
On Sunday morning, March 26, 1676, Captain Pierce, who, with a company of sixty-three white men and twenty Cape Indians, was advancing upon the enemy, was surrounded by about nine hundred Indians at a point on the Blackstone not far from William Blaxton's house. With true Spartan courage he and his little band resolved to sell their lives at a high price; so forming a circle back to back, they made a desperate resistance for two mortal hours, and after they had fallen it was found that about three hundred of their cruel captors had perished with them.
In the same war another brutal butchery entailed upon another spot in the Gore just north of Camp Swamp the name of "Nine Men's Misery." There three triads of white soldiers, finding themselves surrounded by a large force of savages who had been lying in wait for them, placed their backs against a huge rock and fought like heroic knights in the old Arthurian days, until all were slain. Afterwards their nine bodies were buried in one wide grave, which was marked by a heap of stones; and many years later a company of young Boston physicians exhumed the bones, and one skeleton was identified as that of Bucklin of Rehoboth, because the jaws contained a set of double front teeth.
In the Revolutionary struggle Attleboro men bore an active and honorable part, and some of her noblest sons were under fire in the hottest engagements of the eight years' war. A respected citizen of the town recently told the writer that immediately after the battle of Bunker Hill, Caleb Parmenter, Thomas French, and Isaac Perry proceeded to Boston on foot, and joined the army then in command of General Ward; and the first of the three, on whom Governor Samuel Adams afterwards conferred a lieutenant's commission, was present at Cambridge when General Washington assumed charge of the army. A company of men was also raised in Attleboro for service at the siege of Newport, R. I., and in the engagement at Quaker Hill they pushed bayonets with the British[Pg 31] three times in a single day, and two of their number, Israel Dyer and Valentine Wilmarth, were slain.
At an early date in the history of the town two taverns (already referred to) were established, which under successive proprietors flourished for many years, and acquired a wide reputation for abundant good cheer and excellent liquors. As model public houses of the time they were not inferior to the Punch Bowl at Brookline, Bride's in Dedham, or even the Wayside Inn in ancient Sudbury, made forever famous by Longfellow. Each in its way was
Hatch's Tavern, the older of the two inns, was John Woodcock's ordinary enlarged to meet the demands of the times. It stood on the identical spot where his garrison was planted, and until quite recently some of the logs that formed the ancient stockades might be found built into the older portion of the structure. In 1806 the original house was removed a few feet to the south to make room for a new tavern, and there it is still standing. The new house in which the original proprietor and landlord made his enviable reputation was needed to accommodate the increased public travel soon after the opening of the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike, as described in an article entitled "From the White Horse to Little Rhody," and published in the first volume of this magazine. No house along the entire line of this once important thoroughfare dispensed a more generous hospitality or was presided over by a more genial host. It was twelve miles out from Providence, and a place where all the stages stopped to change horses, and allow passengers to partake of a breakfast, or some favorite beverage at the bar.
Somewhat later in the century Balcom's Tavern in the east part of the town sprung up, and was maintained for a long period as a popular house of resort. The original structure, enlarged and changed by successive additions, still stands on the corner of South Main and Park streets. Here have been entertained not only celebrities of the earlier days, but famous modern men, among[Pg 32] whom might be mentioned Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wendell Phillips, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, who visited the town as lyceum lecturers. In 1852 this house was purchased by Dr. Edward Sanford, who remodelled and repaired it, and made it his own private residence for thirty years, when it passed into the care of tenants.
The proprietors who gave their names to these public houses were men quite widely known in their day, though for different reasons. Col. Hatch was emphatically a man of affairs, and full of business both public and private; wiser, perhaps, for this world than the next, he sought to become a political leader and office-holder among his townsmen. Col. Balcom on the contrary was a merry sporting-man, equally at home among gamblers and horse-racers, and in the society of gentlemen. He was politic and adroit, not lacking in good points, though he had conspicuous vices. The former kept a quiet, orderly, and eminently respectable house; the latter liked to entertain a jovial company, and enjoyed the fun too well to frown upon youthful pranks or hilarious conduct. Among many good anecdotes told of Col. Balcom, there is one very characteristic, and good enough to find a record here.
It is related that Parson Holman and other pious people of the village often sought to induce the colonel to reform his course of life and seek those things which concerned his eternal peace; but the wily landlord, while receiving them with a most gracious suavity, usually managed to evade the force of their appeals and frustrate their most serious efforts for the good of his soul. On one occasion, so runs the story, the deacons of the church made him a special visit, and, being ushered into the parlor, were given a patient audience while they pointed out the moral danger of his way of life, and besought him earnestly to reform. But presently the colonel was called out, and having obtained a short leave of absence ordered a flask of his best brandy carried in to the deacons, with sugar and glasses. Of course it was in entire accord with the custom of those days for the worthy pillars of the church to partake of the proffered beverage; and, on his return Col. Balcom said: "Now, gentlemen, let's take a drink, and then I'm ready to talk." So the deacons drank again. Scarcely had they picked up the lost thread of the conversation, however, when the landlord was once more obliged to excuse himself in order to attend to some urgent duty as host; and, in fact, several like interruptions occurred[Pg 33] in the course of an hour. But in each case the imperturbable colonel returned with the same hearty words upon his lips: "Now, gentlemen, let's take a drink, and then I'm ready to talk." Then as the smooth brandy began to tell on the deacons, they gradually modified their estimate of the landlord's sins and their personal duty, until at length one of them rose from his chair and turning to the other said: "Waal, I guess Col. Balcom ain't the wust sort o' man in the world—come, brother, let's go home."
Although nature and circumstances would seem to have destined Attleboro for an agricultural town, its reputation rests chiefly on its mechanical industries, and during the eighteenth century there were several small cotton mills running in the place. As early as 1825, a traveller following the Ten-Mile River from the Wrentham line to where the stream slips into Seekonk on the other side of the town, would have found two cotton mills near where Whiting's jewelry factory now stands, a third near the site of the "Company's" shop, and still a fourth at Falls Village. Farther on he would have come upon the rude beginnings of the button factory which has flourished so long at Robinsonville; a nail factory at Deantown and another at the Farmers, as well as a cotton mill on the spot where the stove foundry now stands in the same village. Robert Saunderson's forge would have been blazing at Mechanics beside John Cooper's corn mill, and Balcom's machine shop in active operation where R. Wolfenden's sons now ply the trade of dyers. Hebronville also would then, as now, have greeted the visitor with the music of swift shuttles and whirling spindles, as he passed on to the end of his tour of inspection at Kent's grist mill, the oldest, probably, in the country.
These rude mills were the original sources of a progressive, ever-widening, material prosperity for which Attleboro is justly noted. Its people display great business thrift; its many commodious factories are crowded with skilled mechanics and trained artisans; and its abundant products are sold by men of enterprise in all the markets of the world. The farm and garden products of the town make a very respectable display at the annual local and county fairs; the textile and other manufactures would make no mean showing; but all these industries are eclipsed by the one business that absorbs the majority of labor and capital, namely, the making of jewelry.[Pg 34]
It has been facetiously, sometimes sneeringly, remarked that the Attleboro jewelers are as nearly creators as finite beings can be, because they almost make something out of nothing, while the cheap trinkets they turn out by the barrel have to be hurried to market by rapid express, lest they corrode and tarnish before they can be disposed of. Such jests, however, convey a very erroneous and unfair notion of the real character of most of the work done in those large shops, and the amount of money invested in the business. It is true that grades of very poor jewelry are made in Attleboro, and it is equally true that most of the goods manufactured there are both costly and durable; it is not "washed brass" that goes to the trade with the stamp of those great firms upon it, but heavy rolled plate goods, containing such a thickness of fine gold that they may be deeply cut with the graver's tool, and will never wear down to the baser metal which it conceals. The curious and wonderful processes of this complex manufacture cannot be even hinted at in the space of such an article as this, and only an approximate estimate of the value of these products and the number of employés working upon them can be given in figures.
The census reports for the year 1880 enumerate the different manufactures of the town as artisans' tools, boots and shoes, boxes, brushes, buttons, carriages and wagons, coffin trimmings, cooking and heating apparatus, cotton goods, cotton, woollen, and other textiles, electroplating, food preparations, jewelry burnishing, lapidary work, leather, machinery, metallic goods, printing, bleaching, and dyeing. The capital invested in these industries is chiefly devoted to jewelry business, and is placed by the report at a total of $2,924,890; the products are valued at $4,345,809; and the number of employés is set at 3,378. But that census, though substantially correct when made, will not answer now; for, in the five years elapsed since it was taken, new factories have been built, new firms have started in business, and old ones have enlarged their trade.
The spirit of enterprise engendered by the large business interests in which the leading citizens are engaged is manifest also in the management of public affairs, and the town is noted for liberal expenditures of money in the way of substantial improvements. The public buildings, with the exception of two high-school houses recently erected, and the new Universalist Church in North Attleboro,[Pg 35] a handsome brick structure, demand no special mention; but its system of abundant water supply and the provision made for an efficient fire department are standing advertisements that the town looks carefully after the health and protection of its citizens and their homes. For many years the Farmers and Mechanics Association has held an autumnal town fair, where in its ample grounds and halls are exhibited a fine display of farm stock, implements and produce, domestic and artistic handiwork, and manufactured goods of the trades. The grounds contain also a fine half-mile track, on which is annually made a showing of horses owned in Attleboro that would compare favorably with any other in the country. Another organization which attests the live, progressive spirit of the place is the Board of Trade, to which most of the leading business men belong. It was established in the spring of 1881, with commodious rooms and appointments on Washington Street, North Attleboro.
No town in Bristol county has provided more liberally for the education of youth than Attleboro, and in the larger centres a graded school system has been adopted; nor is it lacking in the appointed means of moral improvement, since there are within its limits no less than fifteen religious societies, holding regular Sunday services. Two weekly newspapers, the Advocate and the ... are published in the place; there are also two national banks, one savings bank, and a savings and loan association.
Did space permit, it would be possible to single out from the many sons and residents of Attleboro, men who have become distinguished for learning and the public and private services they have rendered their fellow-men; but it must suffice here simply to remark that it is the crowning glory of the town to count among its citizens a large number of sagacious, sensible men of affairs, who have built up its manifold interests, and by personal enterprise and energy have secured for the place a large measure of material prosperity. Very early in its history the family names of these substantial men appear on the records of the town—Allen, Peck, Carpenter, Daggett, Robinson, Blackinton, May, Thacher, Richards, Capron, Ide, Wheaton, Bliss, and others,—names that stand for character, influence, thrift, and wealth. But these have no need of eulogy or praise, since every busy factory and every commodious home testifies to their worth; then let this sketch be concluded with a brief allusion to one whose simple record,[Pg 36] though one of the curiosities of the town, and containing an epitome of instructive history, will excite no man's envy and pique no family pride.
In the old-burying ground in the north part of the town—the first cemetery in the region—is a headstone marking the grave of a pious negro slave, on which is rudely chiselled the following inscription:—
Books, books, books! Their number, variety, gorgeousness of bindings, and wealth of illustration confuse the visitor who at this season wanders through the bookstores of a great city, whether aimlessly, or with the design of purchase. Books stare at him from the long rows of shelves; books are piled in reckless profusion upon the counters; they protrude from under the tables, as if vainly seeking to hide themselves there from insatiable buyers; they bulge through the broken paper of packages in corners; they crowd themselves into the windows, where the boldest and most gorgeous display themselves as if calling to the passers-by to come in and purchase.
One cannot help wondering, sometimes, where all these books come from. Who are their makers? What reason is there for their existence? Under what circumstances were they thrust upon the world? For, really, eight out of ten count as nothing in the literary race for fame or money. Either the publisher or the[Pg 38] author—nowadays, as a rule, the latter—must suffer. The book—representative of the hopes, the wearisome labors, and, sometimes, of the brains of the author—leaps into being with the air of "Who will not buy me?" which soon changes into that of "Who will buy me?" and goes out finally to stand at the doors of the second-hand bookstores on a dirty shelf, to get its covers blistered in the sun, its binding dampened by the rain, all the while shamefully conscious of the legend displayed above,—"Anything on this shelf for 25 cents."
There are, however, books that achieve success, and that publishers thrive upon. Books that are "a joy forever," companions, counsellors, and friends, the value of whose printed pages is aided and added to by the hand of the draughtsman, and in which text and illustration harmoniously blend to make the perfect book.
It speaks well for the growing taste of the American public that these books, whose cost of manufacture often reaches many thousands of dollars, always meet with popular favor, and so exacting[Pg 39] has the public taste become that no publisher of reputation dares leave a stone unturned in the carrying-out of any literary project in which illustration bears part.
It is only by putting the work of twenty years ago by the side of that of to-day that one can realize what wonderful strides have been made in every department of bookmaking, more especially in that of illustration. The art of wood-engraving has been carried, one could almost say, to perfection. In its marvellous capability of imitation it has, perhaps, lost individuality, but it has proved its adaptability to the production of the most diverse and beautiful effects. In the hands of artistic workmen,—for an engraver must nowadays be an artist as well as a workman,—a wood cut may imitate a true engraving, an etching, a mezzotint, a charcoal or crayon drawing, or even the wash of water color, or india ink. One with some theoretical knowledge of the art will find wonderful opportunities for study in some of the holiday volumes of the present season, which show the latest developments of the skill of the engraver, and the different methods of producing effects.[Pg 40]
Let us stand here at the counter in one of our largest bookstores, and turn over the pages of a few of the books which lie nearest. First at hand is Childe Harold, the latest in that admirable series of gift books which includes The Princess, Owen Meredith's Lucile, and Scott's Lady of the Lake. How charmingly everything is balanced in the making of the book,—type, margin, binding, and what we are now specially considering, illustration. How full of atmosphere are the landscapes, and how clear and perfectly kept their values! Look at the exquisite little wood scene on page 123, with the foreground in shadow, and a bar of sunshine lying across the middle distance. And here, in a totally[Pg 41] different subject, a view of Stamboul, where the engraver has had to deal with land, water, and sky,—how cleverly he has managed to bring each part of his picture into its proper relations with the others, and yet how simply it is done! Changing from landscape to figure, take the ideal head, "Ianthe," which one might imagine was drawn, feature by feature, from the portrait of Byron, which forms the frontispiece of the volume. It is an example of what perfect knowledge can achieve on the part of the engraver,—delicate and yet strong in its way, soft without being indistinct, every line being made to fulfil its purpose and nothing more.
Here is another volume from the same house, "Tuscan Cities," which shows the capabilities of wood-engraving in quite another direction. Some of the illustrations might absolutely be taken for etchings, so faithfully have the peculiarities of the artist been followed. Compare the treatment of "The Tower of the Mengia" with that of the pictures already mentioned, and mark the difference of effect.
Here is another exquisite holiday volume,—"Heroines of the Poets,"—which will further exemplify what we have been saying. It has been made up of a series of pictures by Fernand H. Lungren, with accompanying text. Any single picture will serve as an illustration. For instance, this of Ellen, in "The Lady of the Lake," a subject of unusual difficulty, and requiring unusual skill for its proper management. It needs no second glance to see how perfectly the engraver has triumphed over his difficulties. Or, select at random any of the illustrations in this second volume[Pg 46] from the same publishers, "Ideal Poems." One of the best, perhaps, is Henry Sandham's vigorous illustration of Browning's poem, "How they brought the good news from Ghent to Aix." The sunburst over the eastern hills, the cattle black against the light, the panting horses and their eager riders, and the rolling clouds of dust,—the character of each and all, as portrayed by the artist, is perfectly rendered.
Elbridge Kingsley has acquired reputation for engraving directly from nature, without the intervention of brush or pencil. One may judge of the results of his work by the plates in Whittier's "Poems of Nature," issued as a special holiday volume the present season. The pictures vary in merit, but they all show what the skilled workman is capable of doing with block and graver.
Here is another volume of the season, an exquisite edition of "The Favorite Poems" of Jean Ingelow, from which we copy two pictures as admirably illustrating a phase of wood-engraving especially pleasing and attractive. The first, from "Songs of Seven," has the advantage of being a charming subject in itself, but the engraver has been as conscientious in his work as if he had no such aid, and the result is doubly satisfying to the eye. The other, from "The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire," is equally gratifying and artistic.
The records of Boston, beginning with the year 1633, and for many years thereafter, contain frequent references to Richard and Gamaliel Wayte, brothers, born in England, the former in the year 1596, and the latter in the year 1598. A writer in the Boston Transcript (Dec. 6, 1874) makes the ancestry of these brothers common with that of Thomas Wayte, who was a member of the English Parliament in Cromwell's time, one of the judges who condemned Charles the First to death, and who signed the warrant for his execution. Be this as it may, the records show that the brothers Richard and Gamaliel were admitted to the church in Boston in 1634 and 1633 respectively, thus establishing the fact of their residence here at that early date. Tracing their history chronologically, the name of Gamaliel, the younger brother, appears first on the list of Freemen, in 1635. Nov. 30, 1637, he was disarmed because of his sympathy with the views of Mr. Wheelwright and Mrs. Anne Hutchinson. His occupation is inferred from the fact that in company with other fishermen he petitioned the court at Salem, Oct. 14, 1657, "for exemption from training in the fishing season." In 1670 he received from the General Court a grant of a half acre of land in Boston, on the south side of "Sentry Hill," to plant and improve; and in 1673 he was part owner of Long Island in Boston Harbor. Mention is made in 1677 of his son John, his daughter Deborah, and his grandchildren Ebenezer and Richard Price, the children of his daughter Grace. From an entry in the diary of Judge Sewell it is learned that he died suddenly, Dec. 9, 1685, aged 87 years.
His son John, born in 1646, after long experience as a member of the General Court of Massachusetts, was in 1684 made Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was eminent in his day among Boston business-men, was a witness to the will of Governor Leverett, was one of the sureties on the bond of Emma, widow and administratrix of the estate of Moses Maverick, of Marblehead, in 1686; succeeded to his father in the ownership of a portion[Pg 49] of Long Island in Boston Harbor, and in 1694 sold "Beudal's Dock," then in his possession. His wife Emma (née Roberts), upon his death in 1702, was appointed executrix of his estate.
From John, and other descendants of Gamaliel Wayte, are traced the Watertown, Medford, and Brookfield branches of the family, whose representatives are found in all parts of the United States. A memorial of the last named branch is found in the historic "Wait Monument" at Springfield, Mass., erected in 1763 to mark the old "Boston Road." It appears that Mr. Wait, mistaking his way at this point, nearly perished in a snow-storm, and erected this waymark for the benefit of future travellers. It is about four feet high, two feet broad, and one foot thick, and, beside Masonic emblems, bears two Latin inscriptions,—"virtus est sua merces," and another, of which only the word "pulsanti" remains. Beneath are the words,—
this stone is erected by
Joseph Wait, Esq., of Brookfield,
for the benefit of travellers, 1763.
The stone is of a dark red, similar to the Long Meadow stone, and is supposed to have been cut by Nathaniel Brewer. By a singular coincidence, it marks the spot where the celebrated "Shay's Rebellion" culminated in an encounter between the insurgents and the Springfield militia under General Shepard, and bears upon its face the scars of the opposing bullets.
Thomas, one of the Malden descendants of Gamaliel, removed to Lyme, Conn., about the year 1700, where he married, in 1704, Mary Bronson, a granddaughter of Matthew Griswold, the ancestor of a family distinguished in American history. Remick, a grandson of the Thomas last referred to, married Susannah Matson, whose sister was the mother of Connecticut's noble war governor, Hon. William A. Buckingham. The first child of Remick and Susannah (Matson) Wait, born in Lyme, Feb. 9, 1787, was Henry Matson, who, when of legal age, restored to the name the final letter, which had been for some time omitted by many of the descendants of Gamaliel Wayte. Henry Matson Waite was fitted for college at the academy in Colchester, and graduated at Yale with distinction, in 1809. He studied in the office of Gov. Matthew Griswold, and his brother, Lieut.-Gov. Roger Griswold; became a lawyer of marked ability; was repeatedly made a member[Pg 50] of the legislature; in 1832 and 1833 was a member of the state senate; in 1834 was made associate of the supreme court of Connecticut; and in 1854, by the almost unanimous vote of the legislature, was elevated to the position of chief justice. He held this office until 1857, when he retired, having reached his seventieth year, the legal limit as to age. He died Dec. 14, 1869, full of years and full of honors. His wife, married in 1816, was Maria, daughter of Col. Richard Selden, of Lyme, and granddaughter of Col. Samuel Selden, of the revolutionary army. By her he had eight children. The first born of these was Morrison Remick, the most distinguished of the members of this old and honorable family.
Hon. Morrison Remick Waite, LL.D., Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was born in Lyme, Conn., Nov. 29, 1816. He graduated with distinction from Yale College in 1837, in a class which included Hon. William M. Evarts, Edwards Pierrepont, and Prof. Benjamin Silliman, Jr., and began the study of law in his father's office. He finished his studies, preparatory to admission to the bar of Ohio, in the office of Samuel M. Young, in Maumee City, in that state, and, on his admission, formed a partnership with Mr. Young. In 1840 the firm removed to Toledo, and there continued their law-partnership until Mr. Waite's youngest brother, Richard, who graduated at Yale College in 1853, was admitted to the bar, when the brothers formed a new partnership, which existed until the senior partner received his present appointment. He was married Sept. 21, 1840, to Miss Amelia C. Warner, a resident of his native town. He received the degree of LL.D. from Yale College in 1872, and, a year prior to his appointment as chief justice, was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court, on motion of Hon. Caleb Cushing, whose name was subsequently spoken of in connection with the office of chief justice. It was not until 1849 that Judge Waite, as he was called by courtesy, occupied a public position. He was then elected a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the sessions of 1849 and 1850. Although frequently urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Congress, and other positions, he subsequently declined to hold office. On two or three occasions, he was offered a position on the supreme bench of his adopted state, offers which he also declined. The esteem in which he was held by the citizens of Ohio is marked by the fact that he was unanimously chosen as the representative[Pg 51] from Toledo in the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1874, of which body he was made president.
In 1871, as is generally known, Mr. Waite was appointed one of the counsel in the matter of the Alabama claims, to prepare the case of the United States and present the same before the Court of Arbitration at Geneva. While the most prominent part was assigned to the senior counsel, Mr. Cushing, it is the opinion of those familiar with the arguments, including Mr. J. C. Bancroft Davis, that Mr. Waite contributed in a very large degree to the success of the case of the United States, and thus to the peaceful settlement of long standing and bitterly contested questions of the gravest national concern. A writer in the Boston Evening Transcript, date of Dec. 6, 1874,—Mr. A. H. Hoyt, to whom we are indebted for many of the facts here recorded,—very accurately describes the characteristics of the chief justice at that time as follows: "He has the reputation of possessing a vigorous intellect, which very readily and clearly grasps the facts and the law of a case. He has a sound and well-balanced judgment and a large share of practical common sense. He is blessed with robust health, is industrious in his habits, and possesses an equable temper. His appointment was not prompted by motives of party or political policy. He will enter into his office untrammelled by close political alliances, and free from the biases and prejudices engendered and fostered by party spirit and party contests." The truth of these words has been more than proven by the dignity, ability and impartiality with which Mr. Waite has filled his high office,—an office in the esteem of many the most important and honorable in the gift of the American people. In Washington, as in Toledo, Mr. Waite's home is one of unostentatious comfort rather than elegance, commendably in contrast with those of many men at present prominent in political circles at the national capital. His home and private life may be said, in brief, to present a notable example of the simplicity, quiet dignity, and domestic virtues which should characterize the home and life of a republican citizen in exalted station. Those who have enjoyed familiar acquaintance with him speak of him as affable, thoroughly unaffected, as a good conversationalist, well informed in history, literature, philosophy, and the sciences, and as a close student of social, financial, and all political questions of the day. His interest in these respects is evidenced by his connection with the management[Pg 52] of the "Peabody Fund," as a trustee, and with the important non-partisan movement in the direction of political education recently inaugurated by the American Institute of Civics, a corporate institution, national in scope, of whose advisory board he is president.
Judge Waite was married to Miss Amelia C. Warner, of Lyme, Conn., Sept. 21, 1840. Mrs. Waite is a woman of fine mind, engaging manners, and great force of character, and is in every way worthy of the position in life to which her husband's distinguished abilities have exalted her. Of their living children all save one—Miss Mary F. Waite, highly esteemed because of her personal qualities and her deep interest in philanthropic and charitable work—have gone forth from the home roof to occupy honorable positions in homes of their own. Judge Waite and family are communicants and active co-operators in the work of the Protestant Episcopal church.
We have traced the descent of the Hon. Morrison R. Waite to Remick, a grandson of Thomas and Mary Bronson Wait, of Lyme. Among other grandsons of Thomas was Marvin, who became a noted member of the Connecticut bar, having his office in Lyme, where he was a partner of Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons, a nephew of Gov. Matthew Griswold. Marvin Wait was a member of the electoral college chosen after the war, and cast his vote for Washington. He was nineteen times made a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, was several years judge of the county court, and was one of the commissioners for the sale of the state's land in the northwestern territory. Judge Marvin Wait was the father of that honored citizen of Connecticut, Hon. John T. Wait, LL.D., who was born in New London, and graduated at Washington (now Trinity) College, Hartford, in 1842, held the office of state attorney in 1863, headed the electoral ticket cast for Lincoln in 1864, was elected to the state Senate in 1865, and in 1866 presided over that body. In 1867 he was speaker of the national House of Representatives, and from that time to the present has been almost regularly returned to that body, where he has a recognized position as one of the ablest, most upright, and most influential of its members. He is familiarly known in New London, where, with his family, he has always resided, as "Colonel Wait," and is not merely esteemed, but beloved, by his fellow-citizens of all parties and creeds.[Pg 53]
From these notes concerning Gamaliel Wayte and his descendants we now turn to his elder brother Richard.
Richard Wayte was born in England in 1596. His name first appears upon the colonial records Aug. 28, 1634, when, at the age of thirty-eight, he was admitted to the church in Boston, his younger brother, Gamaliel, having been admitted in the previous year. It appears that he took the freeman's oath March 9, 1637, and that November 30 of the same year, in company with his brother Gamaliel, he was found guilty of too much sympathy with the religious views of Mr. Wheelwright and Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, and by a judgment very suggestive of the church militant, was thereupon sentenced to be disarmed. This enforced retirement to the walks of peace was of brief duration, as in 1638 we find him an active member of the "Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company." In 1640 he united with other residents of Mt. Wollaston in a petition for the formation of the town of Braintree. In 1647 he was sent as an officer with a message to the Narragansett Indians, and went on a similar errand in 1653. In 1654 we find him occupying the honorable and difficult position of marshal of the Massachusetts colony, a post which he seems to have filled to the satisfaction of the colonists for many years, and in which he was succeeded, as will be seen, by his son Return. In the same year (1654) he took an important part in an expedition against the Narragansett Indians. October 20, 1658, on account of services in the Pequot war and elsewhere, he received from the General Court a grant of 300 acres of land, "in the wilderness between Cochituate and Nipnop, 220 acres on a neck surrounded by Sudbury River, great pond, and small brook, five patches, 20 acres meadow, and 60 acres on northeast side Washakum Pond," all now included in Framingham, Mass., and a part of which is supposed to be now occupied by the Lake View Chautauqua Assembly, whose Hall of Philosophy stands on the summit of the elevation still known as "Mt. Waite." In 1659 Marshal Wayte was voted £5 from the public treasury in recognition of "his great and diligent pains, riding day and night, in summoning those entertaining Quakers to this court." October 16, 1660, his prowess was recognized by an appointment as "governor's guard (John Endicott at that time occupied this position) at all public meetings out of court."
From these fragmentary records we learn enough to indicate that the first marshal of the Massachusetts colony was a man of no[Pg 54] ordinary character. His was a semi-military position, devolving upon him, not only the duty of executing the ordinary behests of the General Court, but of acting an important part as an aid to the governor in devising means for the defence of the colonists against their Indian foes. Marshal Waite was proprietor of a tailoring establishment, and an owner of real estate on Broad Street. He was twice married, and was the father of fourteen children—eight by his first wife, who died in 1651, and six by his second wife, Rebecca Hepbourne. Of these, three died at an early age; two (Nathaniel and Samuel) are not mentioned in their father's will; of the eight remaining, three only were sons. These, Return, Richard, and John, each married and left children. Return, one of the sons of Marshal Wayte, born in 1639, was an officer in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, was his father's successor as marshal, and also succeeded to his father's business. It appears that in 1679 he imported "part of the show that appeared at Gov. Leverett's funeral," taking a personal part in the ceremonies. He died in 1702, aged sixty-three years. He had seven children by his wife Martha. The name of his first born, Return, is connected with the romantic story so charmingly told in "The Nameless Nobleman," a book published by Ticknor & Co. He married, in 1707, the heroine of this book, Mary, the wife of the nobleman, Dr. Francis Le Baron. Thomas, his second son, born in 1691, was a well-to-do shopkeeper, owning land on Leverett's Lane, Queen Street, Cornhill, and elsewhere, including a tenement on King Street, known as the "Bunch of Grapes." He was for twenty years or more a deacon in the first church, to which he left, in his will (proved in 1775), a silver flagon with twelve shillings for each of its poor.
The third son of Marshal Return, and grandson of Marshal Richard, was Richard Waite, third of the name, born Oct. 21, 1693, and married to Mary, daughter of John Barnes, in 1722. He was a resident of Middleboro, in 1715; Taunton, in 1718, and afterward of Plymouth, save for a short time, when he purchased a residence on Leverett's Lane, paying for the same £3,700, owning also other property on Cornhill. He conducted a profitable business as a merchant in the coasting trade, and was himself for many years captain of a vessel plying between Plymouth and New London. He had eleven children, three sons and eight daughters. Of these Richard, the fourth of the name, was born[Pg 55] in Plymouth, Oct. 6, 1745. Members of the family having previously gone to Vermont (giving a name to Waitsfield), Richard, after a brief residence in Boston, removed to that state, settling at Bennington, and from there went to the pioneer region in the "Black River Country" in New York, settling at Champion. He married Submit Thomas, at Hardwick, Mass., in 1747, and had nine children, four of them sons. Of these, James, born at Bennington, Vt., May 13, 1789, married at Dummerston, Vt., Esther L. Coughlan, who was the daughter of an Irish gentleman, and a woman of fine culture and great personal attractions. He spent the chief part of his life upon the estate in Champion occupied by his father.
Of his seven children, one, Rev. Hiram Henry Waite, M. A., born Aug. 13, 1816, lately pastor of the Waverly Congregationalist Church, Jersey City, N. J., and now of the Congregationalist Church, Madison, N. Y., is well known among Congregational clergymen as an able, faithful, and successful minister, his services, wherever he has labored, having been signally blessed in every way. He married in 1843 S. Maria Randall at Antwerp, N. Y., by whom he has now living three daughters and one son, Henry Randall Waite, Ph. D., of West Newton, Mass., who is prominent among the younger representatives of this ancient New England family. On the maternal side his descent is traced from the Randalls and Carpenters of New Hampshire, stocks from which have sprung many notable men. Both his paternal and maternal grandfathers were soldiers in the war of 1812; his ancestors were also active participants in the war of the Revolution, and at a still earlier date, as we have seen, participants in the wars with the Narragansetts and other Indian tribes. To his Puritan ancestry we may trace his sturdy independence, his originality, and persevering industry; while to his Celtic progenitors may be due something of his generous and genial nature. He graduated in 1868, at Hamilton College, with an excellent reputation as a scholar and thinker; and in the same year became one of the editors of the Utica Morning Herald, where his abilities as a critical and literary writer soon gained recognition. Subsequently he studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York, and in 1872 visited Europe.
He supplied the pulpit of the American Chapel in Paris for a short time, and afterward visited Rome, where he was invited[Pg 56] to assist in the establishment of what became under his labors a flourishing and useful church for resident and visiting Americans, the first for English-speaking people tolerated within the walls. In the pastor's parlors, facing the windows of the Propaganda Fide, many notable assemblies were gathered. Here were taken the first steps toward the organization of a union of the Sunday-school forces in Italy. Here were held important meetings of the Italian Bible Society, and here was organized the first Young Men's Christian Association in Italy, its members including Italians of every evangelical faith. He established a Bible training school for Italian young men, so planned as to secure the approval and co-operation of Italian ministers of every denomination, and was also instrumental in the establishment of a school among the soldiers of the Italian army stationed in Rome, out of which grew a church, composed wholly of men in the military service, its creed being that of the Apostles. Many persons, native and foreign, assisted on the occasion, memorable in the history of religious progress in Rome, when the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered to these modern soldiers of Cæsar's household. This work has been efficiently continued to this day under other direction, and thousands of ex-soldiers in all parts of Italy have borne with them to their homes the influence of their Catholic Christian training in the Scuola of the Chiesa Evangelica Militare.
Dr. Waite's inquiries early led him to look upon sectarianism as one of the most serious obstacles to the progress of evangelical truth in Italy, and to the belief that the presentation of a united Christian front, in agreement upon the fundamental truths of the gospel, was essential to that influence upon the mind which would bring the most hopeful elements among the Latin peoples into practical unity with Protestant Christianity. He therefore energetically espoused the cause of Christian unity, of which the church in Rome, in its ingathering of worshippers of all creeds, was made a notable example.
In 1875 he returned to the United States, and, resuming editorial work, was for a time editor of the New Haven Evening Journal, and then of the International Review, in New York, in both of which positions he added largely to his reputation as a scholar, thinker, and trenchant and graceful writer. In 1876 he received from the University of Syracuse, pro causa, the degree of Doctor[Pg 57] of Philosophy, and was at the same time invited to become a non-resident professor of Political Science in that institution. He had previously accepted a call to the pastorate of the Huguenot Memorial Church at Pelham on the Sound, where he purchased an estate known as "Bonny Croft," and in the midst of most congenial surroundings remained until 1880, when, upon invitation of Gen. Francis A. Walker, superintendent of the Tenth Census of the United States, he undertook the direction of the Educational and Religious Departments of the Census.
Dr. Waite has an acknowledged position as one of the most accomplished statisticians and most thoroughly informed educational authorities in the United States. Doubtless in recognition of this fact, at the Inter-State Educational Convention held in Louisville in 1883 and composed of delegates appointed by the governors of the several states, he was invited to deliver the opening address, a paper on the Ideal Public School System, which was characterized by the Chairman of the convention as "one of the best ever read before a like body." Aside from editorial work he has furnished frequent contributions to various periodicals, and has gained a special reputation as a writer upon politico-economic subjects. Two of these contributions recently published in the form of a brochure by D. Lothrop & Co., under title of "Illiteracy and Mormonism," have attracted especial attention among those interested in these important questions. When residing in New York he was President of the Political Science Association, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Reform League, one of the pioneer organizations for the reform of the civil service; and while residing in Washington was president of the Social Science Association of the District of Columbia.
Dr. Waite is a logical, fluent and earnest speaker, and his reputation as a student of educational and social problems has led to a frequent demand for his services on the part of committees concerned with legislative questions, and at assemblies of leading educators. He presided and delivered an address at one of the sessions of the National Educational Assembly at Ocean Grove, in 1883, and in an address at one of the meetings of the National Educational Association at Madison, Wis., in 1884, following Mgr. Capel, to whose covert attack upon our public school system he made, as reported in the Chicago Tribune, a temperate[Pg 58] but caustic and able reply. At the last meeting of the same association, at Saratoga, he delivered an address upon the Tenure of Office and Compensation of Teachers, which is characterized by the Iowa School Journal as one of the specially fine papers of the occasion. In connection with his editorial labors, he discharges the duties of President of the American Institute of Civics, an organization lately incorporated, "for the purpose of promoting the study of political and economic science and so much of social science as is related to government and citizenship"; the aim of the institution being to secure, in every walk in life, a more thorough preparation for the duties of citizenship. Notable among the officers of this worthy institution are Chief Justice Waite, Senator Colquitt, Hon. Hugh McCulloch, President Porter of Yale College, President Seelye of Amherst, Senator Morrill of Vermont, Hon. John Eaton, U. S. Commissioner of Education, Hon. Carroll D. Wright, Hon. Mellen Chamberlain, D. C. Heath, Gen. H. B. Carrington, Daniel Lothrop, and Robert M. Pulsifer, with hundreds of members of equal eminence.
Dr. Waite has had several invitations to accept important positions in connection with educational institutions, none of which he has thought it advisable to accept.
The Boston Transcript, not long since, noted the fact that prominent friends of Middlebury College had presented his name in connection with the office of President of that institution, and added: "Whether Dr. Waite will accept the position, if elected, we are not informed, but of his qualifications there can be no doubt. Graduated from a kindred institution, he is a firm believer in the usefulness of the smaller college.... To his other qualifications are added the executive skill and indomitable energy which are needed to place Middlebury College upon the footing with similar institutions to which its honorable position in the past so justly entitles it."
Among other labors, he is preparing for early publication by D. Lothrop & Co. a work upon the Indian Races of North America; and is also Secretary of the Inter-State Commission on Federal Aid to Education. Few men have a wider circle of devoted friends among educated young men, a fact in some degree accounted for by the ready and helpful sympathy and practical wisdom with which he responds to the numerous demands made upon him for aid and counsel, by those who are perplexed as to the[Pg 59] choice of a calling or are seeking entrance to some field of labor. There are many such, within the writer's knowledge, who owe him debts which they will never cease to acknowledge with gratitude. An evidence of the esteem in which he is held by college men, is afforded by the fact that one of the oldest of college societies, with chapters in twenty or more leading colleges, including Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Williams, Hamilton, etc., chose him as orator at its semi-centennial anniversary, observed in September of last year, in the Academy of Music, in New York.
To these notes relating to a family whose history is so linked with the beginnings of colonial life in Massachusetts, we append the following inscription from one of the three tombs of Marshal Wayte's family, still standing, in good preservation, in the old King's Chapel Ground, on Tremont St., in Boston:
Aged 84 years
Died 17 Sept. 1680
In the May number of the Bay State for 1884 is an article on the promontory Boar's Head, and the adjoining town of Hampton, New Hampshire, which contains a mention of Colonel Christopher Toppan, who employed in his time many men there in boat and ship building, and in other branches of industry. He was a man so strongly marked in mind and character, and so identified with the local prosperity of his day and generation, that some further facts about him may be noted.
Christopher Toppan was the son of Dr. Edmund Toppan, a physician of Hampton, and the grandson of Dr. Christopher Toppan, a Congregational minister of learning and ability, settled from 1696 until his death, 1747, over the first church in Newbury, Mass. Christopher Toppan married Sarah Parker, daughter of Hon. William Parker of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and sister of Bishop Samuel Parker of Boston, so many years rector of Trinity Church.
The children of Christopher and Sarah Toppan were Abigail, who died unmarried at the age of ninety-six years; Sarah, who married Dr. Nathaniel Thayer, who had a long and able pastorate, severed only by his death, over the Unitarian Church in Lancaster, Mass.; Edmund Toppan, a lawyer who lived and died in Hampton, N. H.; Mary Ann, who married Hon. Charles H. Atherton of Amherst, N. H.
Of the grandchildren of Christopher Toppan may be mentioned Hon. Christopher S., son of Edmund Toppan, who lived and died a prominent merchant of Portsmouth, N. H. He left his salary as mayor so funded as to furnish every year a Thanksgiving dinner to the poor of the city. As that anniversary comes round, his name may be seen on the walls of the almshouse, with appropriate mottoes of gratitude, and his memory is fragrant to a class of citizens whom, in his life-time, he delighted to aid.
Among the children of Charles H. and Mary Ann (Toppan) Atherton was Charles Gordon Atherton, a lawyer of Nashua, N. H., who represented New Hampshire in Congress, for successive terms in the House and in the Senate. Every year but one from the time he was twenty-one, he had held political office until his sudden[Pg 61] death at the beginning of Franklin Pierce's administration in which, had he lived, he would have had, doubtless, a prominent part. He was an ultra and zealous democrat, differing in this respect from the political faith of his fathers; and so strenuous was he in the advocacy of State rights that he introduced into Congress the twenty-first rule against the right of petition—a rule which the efforts of "The Old Man Eloquent," John Quincy Adams, caused to be rescinded. So obnoxious a measure fastened upon Atherton the nickname of Charles Gag Atherton; and many an anti-slavery writer in bitter philippic contrasted his course with that of his grandfather, Hon. Joshua Atherton, who, early in the history of New Hampshire, was an able and fearless advocate of the abolition of slavery.
Two of the sons of Dr. Nathaniel and Sarah (Toppan) Thayer were the well-known successful and liberal bankers,—John Eliot and Nathaniel Thayer of Boston,—whose wise and generous gifts to the cause of liberal education give their names an honored place among the benefactors of the Commonwealth. A younger son, Rev. Christopher Toppan Thayer, was, for many years, a faithful and beloved pastor of the Unitarian Church in Beverly, Mass.
Christopher Toppan was not only shrewd and enterprising in his private business, but a pioneer in every project which would benefit the community around him. He assumed responsibilities, invested money, and hired labor in building the turnpike and other public improvements. He was a leader in matters of religion and education as well as of secular interest. When the Congregational Church and Society of Hampton wished to build a meeting-house, the committee wrote him a letter stating the reasons why a certain valuable and centrally situated piece of land owned by him would be the most advantageous site for the proposed building. His reply was in the laconic style characteristic of his manner of doing good:—
Gentlemen,—If you want my land, you may have it.
He invited the clergyman to make it his home for a year at his house, thus removing some of the self-denials of an early settlement in a country parish. He did much toward the establishment of Hampton Academy, then a pioneer and very useful institution of the kind in that part of the State, and one at which Rufus Choate[Pg 62] and other men of mark fitted for college. He offered to the preceptress also a home in his family, in order that a well-educated and refined woman might find it more pleasant and profitable to teach in the village. The hospitality of his house was proverbial. The old mansion still stands, a large, low, two-story yellow house, with long front and side yards, and a grassy lawn between them and the road, with massive, protecting elms, twice as high as the house in front and around it; spacious barns extend a little in the rear on one side, and a simple old garden of fruit, flowers, and vegetables on the other. This was originally one of the four garrison houses of the town in the old times of terror and defence from Indian incursions; and it would be difficult to find now a more pleasant old-fashioned country house of equal age, with its physiognomy of generous hospitality and unobtrusive refinement and good sense.
Christopher Toppan was an influence in character as well as a stimulus in business to those around him. He taught them to save part of their earnings, to secure as early as possible a piece of land and a home. In few but pointed words he reproved thriftless and idle ways, and his respect and approbation were sought and valued. What Colonel Toppan said upon any matter was quoted and remembered as if it decided the question, long after men left his employment, and had an independence of their own. Nor was the gratitude for his aid and influence always confined to the first generation. Within a few years, two solid men of business sought out Hampton, and inquired especially for the house which formerly belonged to Col. Christopher Toppan. They visited the spot, and looked with reverence at the situation, the trees, the old house, and everything that belonged to it. Their grandfather had come to this country a poor and friendless boy, and at the age of twelve had been taken into the kitchen here to wait on the family. The patience with which his blunders had been borne, and the kindness with which he had been treated, he had rehearsed to his children's children. He was sent to school, and told he must learn to read and write and cipher if he wanted to be a man, but being a dull pupil he was often discouraged, and the Colonel used to call him into the sitting-room, as it was called, and teach him himself in the evening. He gave him a little money for certain extra services on condition he set it down on paper, and saved a little every month. Thus commenced the habits of industry, economy, and[Pg 63] exactness which made the subsequent prosperity of the man, who used to recount to his grandsons his early poverty and hardships, the kind home he found, and dwell with grateful pleasure on every trait and habit of the Colonel. "Now, boys," he said, "be sure, when you grow up and can afford it, that you go into New Hampshire and see where I used to live as a boy, and if the house of Colonel and Madam Toppan is still standing, with the beautiful elms and all."
Verily the good men do springs up, they themselves know not where, and blesses, they know not whom.
There is much value in knowing of the past social life of New England. By regarding the ways and manners which were, we are the better prepared for the duties which are. In entering into the labors of others, we should know what those labors were.
At the outset we must regard the singular oneness of purpose in the minds of our New England ancestors. To serve God unmolested was the ruling idea of those who led in the settlement of Boston, Dorchester, Salem, and Plymouth. The hardship of laws and social oppression stimulated many more to join those who came from a religious motive. But those who came, came with a deep purpose to make these parts their home. They brought their families with them. This made the settlers more contented in living amid the new scenes, with privations they had not known. The early settlers in many instances came in such numbers from a given section that they brought their minister with them. There was a great bond of sympathy between those who thus came together. The new communities became as one home. Add to this the fact of the settlers living within a mile of the meeting-house, often meeting with each other on Sunday and at the midweek meetings for town purposes, for the drill of the military companies, and having the same hopes and fears regarding the Indians, we find the common sentiment welded even stronger. The oneness of the New England communities is proverbial.[Pg 64] There were rich, there were poor people, and in the meeting-house the people were seated and "dignified" according to title and station; but in spite of these, there was more in the name than in reality. The people were not hedged in by their differences. President John Adams was asked by a southern friend what made New England as it is. His reply is memorable: "The meeting-house, the school-house, the training-green, and the town-meeting." In these, the people were brought together, their common interests were discussed and acted upon. The youth grew up with each other in the schools. The young men stood shoulder to shoulder on the training-green, drilling themselves to defend their homes. In the councils of the town they debated and conducted the business which would accrue to their weal and benefit, and on the Lord's Day they would gather in families to hear the words of the town minister, and before the one altar of the community bow in filial reverence to their God. This frequent meeting with one another and mingling in the same social life made the distinctive type of character which grew up in every community.
The minister and his family were in the front rank of social life. To the people's adviser deference was paid. To the minister, even the smallest of the boys took off their hats. The people of the town may have disagreed with him, still his position in society was acknowledged. He was the educated man of the town. In the early days he was the physician also. The first medical work published in America was by the pastor in Weymouth. It treated of small-pox. Vaccination was met with the strongest of opposition. The clergy opposed what was thought to be a means of intervening the will and providence of God. This discussion had much to do in separating the profession of medicine from the ministerial office. The minister likewise did much of the legal business of the people. Lawyers were rare men until towards the war of the Revolution. There was a dislike towards them—a feeling that they would take advantage of the people's rights. But America owes a debt of gratitude to the young barristers of the Revolution. They were true to the people and their best interests. When John Adams wished the hand of Abigail Smith, the people were anxious lest the dignity of Parson Smith's family would suffer. The next Lord's Day after the marriage he preached from the text, "And John came neither eating nor drinking, and ye say he hath a devil."[Pg 65]
The grade in social life, which was largely a name, was shown most in the meeting-house. The seating of families and the assigning of pews was one of the difficult things. The minister and deacons were nearest the pulpit. The boys and colored people were assigned the back pews or those in the gallery. This idea of "social dignity" was brought from the old country, but gave way in the growing oneness of life in America.
The days of the early New Englander were not all dark. There was much of the austere in them, but there was also a grain of mirth and cheerfulness. We must bear in mind that the clergymen were the early historians of the country; and they put much gloom in their writings. The mirthful side of social life was expressed at the parties and meetings for hilarity; for such they often had. The young delighted themselves in each other's company, the same as to-day. The young gent and his lady either walked to the party, or rode on one horse. Parties began in better season than now. The assembly met in the latter part of the afternoon, and the dancing, where dancing was the order, began at about four o'clock. This was truly in good season, but, if our information is correct, they kept even later hours than the parties of to-day.
In Froude's recent "Life of Thomas Carlyle" is a conversation alluding to Thurtill's trial: "I have always thought him a respectable man." "And what do you mean by respectable?" "He kept a gig." A century ago it evidenced pre-eminent respectability to support such a vehicle. It was a wonderful conveyance in the eyes of the ordinary folk. With the coming-in of gigs and carts, where the element of pleasure was sought as well as service, came not alone improvement in vehicles, but the widening and general improvement of the highways. The New England inn was a place of great resort. In the poverty of newspapers, people came here to gain what news there might be. The innholder was a leading man in the community. He got the news from the driver and passengers of the stage-coach, and of the travellers who chanced to be passing through the town. The innholder knew the public men of the country, for they had partaken of his sumptuous dinners, and had lodged at his inn. If the walls of these ancient New England taverns could talk, what stories would they tell; not of debauches alone, but, in the dark and stirring days, of patriotic and loyal sentiments and deeds, whose influence went out for the founding[Pg 66] of the nation, and the perpetuity of the blessings of freedom. He who strives to know of early New England, must not look alone to the learning, character and influence of its ministers, but to the manners, life, and influence of the innholders.
The town meeting was the day of days. The citizens of the town met to consult and devise plans for their common welfare. "Citizen" in the very early time meant "freeman," and a freeman was a member of the church; but this interpretation was too confined for the growing diversity in colonial and provincial life. It served well for the time, but new conditions demanded that it be superseded. The property qualification has likewise virtue in it, and the educational test of Massachusetts has much strength. This test is quite limited in the nation; nevertheless, if general, it would be for the saving of many of our political troubles. Election or town-meeting day had its treat. Its cake has left a precious memory behind, and many an old-timed family observes the custom until now. The town meeting was opened by prayer by the town minister, and much decorum and orderliness was observed by the citizens. The day was jovial, however, despite the solemnity attending it.
Prudence and economy had to be exercised, even in the more prosperous days. Little was wasted. There was not much money in the market. To trade, barter, and dicker was the custom. For amusements, the game of "fox and geese," and "three" or "twelve men morris," served well. The mingling of work and pleasure was common. The husking-bee and the quilting-bee afforded sources of much enjoyment. Prudence and economy hurt no one, but the mingling of these in the life of childhood and manhood aids in developing character which makes men and women hardy for the race of life.
The ever-famous New England Primer, small though it has been, was one of the most influential of publications. It was in every home. From it the children learned their A, B, C's. In it were pert rhymes expressing the theology of the people, such as "In Adam's fall, We sinned all"; and the set of biblical questions beginning with "Who was the first man?" The prayer of childhood, "Now I lay me down to sleep," is in its pages. Of songs, most familiar is the
The picture and story of John Rogers' burning at the stake, with wife and nine small children and one at the breast looking on, beholding the martyrdom of this advocate of the early Protestant church, did much to keep alive the bitterness between the Protestant and Catholic churches. The Catechism, known by all, began with: "What is the chief end of man?" Then followed the words of this conclave of divines, the teachings of Rev. John Cotton, which he named "Spiritual milk for American babes, Drawn out of the Breasts of both Testaments for their Soul's Nourishment." We call New England character hardy, stern, and stalwart. Well it might be, by having the teachings of this Primer enforced in men's lives and labors. We may not admire some of the doctrines, but for the times they made the noblest and strongest of men. A trite statement of the late Dr. Leonard Bacon was: "In determining what kind of men our fathers were, we are to compare their laws not with ours, but with the laws which they renounced." So with their theological opinions. Compared with the doctrines they renounced, and not with those of our own era, we recognize in them a strength and vigor of thought and character which will stand the severest test and scrutiny. Steel well heated and hammered is most valuable. But steel can be overheated and overhammered; then it becomes almost useless. The strong doctrines of the earlier New England were too closely enforced, and there came a day—a part of which we live in—which repelled them. The old-time teaching has passed, and a fresher and more potent teaching is supplanting it.
There is something grand in the social life of the good old days. In knowing of it, we better appreciate the blessings of to-day. The ordinary life of the people has in it a fascination which a general knowledge fails to impart. The greatness of New England, however, is not all in the past. New England has given excellent life to the great West, and the far-reaching isles. Its line has gone out through all the earth. The descendants of New England are drawing riches from the prairies, the mines of the mountains, and are creating business thrift in all the rising towns. In all the world, in every commercial centre, in the vessels upon the sea, in every mechanical industry at home and abroad, are those whose keenness and brightness of mind, whose sharpness of ingenuity, and whose warmth of heart are to be traced to the natural blood and descent from those we ever delight to honor.[Pg 68]
The social life of to-day is not as it has been. The oneness of the early times is disintegrating. The people seem almost mad in their rush after clubs and societies. The ninety per cent of English descent at the beginning of the Revolution is giving way before the incoming of emigrants from every other nation. The rapid reading, thinking, and living has long since passed the life of former generations. But in this new social order is there nothing rich and abiding? Most truly there is. The millennium may be distant, but a brighter day is dawning, when intellectual activity, stimulated by the studies of the sciences and material things, coupled with the fresher faith quickened by the larger conceptions of the mission of the world's Master, will result in causing the knowledge of the truth and heavenly affection to go to the farthest parts of the earth, and the turning of men to the character which attracteth all.
In considering the objections to level-premium life insurance, as at present administered, it will not be assumed that there is not much in the system to commend. It has subserved, and is now subserving, a great and beneficent end.
It is the channel through which millions of dollars have been disbursed to families in the time of their sorest need.
It has encouraged habits of economy, and stimulated the noble resolve to lay by a part of earnings, scarcely adequate to meet present necessity, for a time of greater necessity still.
Thousands of families have experienced exemption from actual want, and thousands more have enjoyed comforts, not to say luxuries, that they would never have known but for the forethought of husbands and fathers who availed themselves of the provisions of life insurance when in health, and with a long life in prospect.
We have no disposition to detract from the excellent results accomplished, and perhaps the severest criticism that can be made upon a system embracing such beneficent possibilities is that it has[Pg 69] failed so disastrously to realize them in such numerous instances. While it has carried relief and comfort to many families whose wage-producers have been taken from them by death, it has bitterly disappointed many more who had made it their dependence for such a time of need.
While it has encouraged many a poor man to heroic self-sacrifice in the effort to save the premium required from his scanty wages, it has too often absorbed the products of his toil, and left his children to cry for bread. Such results have been reached sometimes by extravagant and incompetent management, and again by dishonesty and gross betrayal of important trusts. The preposterous claim is frequently made by the advocates of level-premium insurance, when contrasting it with assessment insurance, that patrons of the former system may pay their money with the absolute certainty of securing the benefits for which they pay, while patrons of the latter are placing their hopes upon a rope of sand. We do not hesitate to assert that more money has been actually lost to the people by the collapse of a single level-premium life company that we might name than by all the failures combined that have ever occurred in assessment companies in this country; because, in assessment companies, for the most part, a fair equivalent is rendered from year to year, while in the former large over-payments are required upon the promise of future returns. There have been in the United States some eight hundred level-premium life companies, only about fifty of which are now in existence. It is unnecessary to recall the disastrous ending of such companies as the "Continental" and the "Knickerbocker." It is well known that the former was at one time receiving not far from half a million of dollars annually in premiums through its Boston agency alone, and that the latter, in the midst of seeming prosperity, collapsed so suddenly that millions of dollars of supposed assets disappeared beyond recovery.
The history of the "Charter Oak," with its more than ten millions of assets at one time, its subsequent compromise with its policy-holders at sixty-five cents on the dollar, and its now possible passage into the hands of a receiver,—that functionary at the tail end of a life-insurance company that has so often been the "bourne" whence few dollars have ever returned to the pockets of the unfortunate policy-holder,—is too well known to require rehearsing here. Yet the assertion is brazenly made that level-premium[Pg 70] companies alone give insurance that insures; that there is no safety in any other form of insurance, and that assessment insurance, disbursing its millions to the families of our land, is but a temporary craze that will soon pass away.
It is a question that may well be asked: What is the explanation of results so deplorable in level-premium insurance?
That they occur is too well known to admit of question.
That a very large proportion of those who patronize these companies become dissatisfied, not to say disgusted, with their practical workings, there is abundant evidence to prove.
That level-premium insurance does not meet the requirements of the people is shown by the fact that there are only about 600,000 policy-holders in these institutions in a population of about 60,000,000. While lack of confidence undoubtedly deters some from patronizing them, yet there are many other considerations that tend to produce this state of things. To insure in them is attended with too great expense. It is not possible for the average mechanic to save from his earnings a sufficient sum to carry any considerable amount of insurance in these companies. The principles upon which the system is founded are such as to render it needlessly expensive. Experience has shown that for various reasons a very large proportion of the insured do not continue to pay until the maturity of their policy by death, or by limitation of the contract, yet the system requires the payment of a sum which, after amply providing for expenses, computed at a given rate of interest, will amount to the face of the policy at the expiration of the life limit, making no account of gains by lapses nor from a mortality below the expectancy.
The premium includes three items, viz.:—
First, Cost of pure insurance.
Second, The amount to be placed in reserve.
Third, The expense charge.
The cost of pure insurance is about one third of the premium, or perhaps a little less. Now, does any unprejudiced person believe that it is necessary to charge three dollars for the purpose of disbursing to the families of the insured one dollar? Is not any system of insurance properly open to criticism that continues to assume and charge a cost that experience has shown to be so excessively beyond the necessities of the case? We do not overlook the fact that a part of this overcharge is returned to the insured[Pg 71] upon certain conditions, nor the other fact, that the proper expense of conducting the business must be provided for; but, after giving credit for both these items, a very large and needless overcharge remains to discourage those desiring insurance from assuming its obligations. This may be more clearly shown in the light of a few facts.
By examining the Massachusetts Life-Insurance Report for 1884, it will be seen that several companies report an income from investments largely in excess of the amount required to pay death-losses. It will be borne in mind that the premium charge includes the amount required for the payment of death-claims, and it is supposed to be, and undoubtedly is, amply sufficient for all purposes in the absence of large accumulations from which to receive such a princely income.
In other words, the companies go on requiring the payment of the same premium from the party proposing to insure, one third of which is for claims by death, when income from investments more than pays this important item.
But it may be said that the surplus returns to policy-holders are proportionately larger, when claims by death are more than met by income from investments. This surely is the result that would naturally be looked for, and which should be realized; but unhappily it is not always the case. The writer holds a policy in one of the companies referred to above, and has paid premiums on the same for some twenty-five years. Judge of his surprise when, three or four years ago, he was called upon to pay 20 per cent in excess of the premium he had been paying for years; and when an explanation was asked, the reason given was that the per cent realized from investments was much less than formerly. Yet this same company more than pays its death-losses by income from investments. This is not an isolated instance.
Many readers of this article have, no doubt, enjoyed (?) a like experience. Is not such a system of insurance fairly open to criticism in its practical workings?
But perhaps the most astonishing feature of level-premium insurance is found in the fact that there is absolutely no obligation assumed on the part of the company, and no power anywhere to enforce an accounting for the vast sums entrusted to it, so long as it can be made to appear that it holds securities in the aggregate to meet the legal requirements of a reserve.[Pg 72]
These vast sums of money are paid in by policy-holders without any knowledge of, or means of knowing, the uses to which they will be applied. They know, in a general way, that a part of the premium will be used for reserve, a part for expenses, and a part for losses, but how much will go for each purpose they have no means of ascertaining. The company places it all in a common pot, and can put in the hand of extravagance, of avarice, or of dishonesty, and take out any amount for personal aggrandizement, or for expense of management, so long as it can be made to appear that the legal standard of reserve is maintained. There is absolutely no limit put upon the extravagant conduct of the business. There is no separation of trust funds from expense account. No man who insures in a level-premium life company knows whether such company will use for expenses $5 or $25 for each $1,000 of insurance which he carries. He has the vague promise of a dividend,—falsely so called, for it is really nothing but a return of a part only of his own money which he has paid in excess of what he should have paid,—and this vague shadowing of some possible relief of the excessive pecuniary burden he is compelled to assume if he insures, is all that is given him. There is exhibited here the most astonishing credulity, and, too often, as thousands can testify from sad experience, a misplaced confidence on the part of the insuring public, that seems childlike and puerile in the extreme.
The official reports of Level-Premium Life Companies to the Insurance Departments of the several states show that these companies actually use, for expense of conducting the business, from $6 to $25 for each $1,000 of insurance outstanding. A man carrying $10,000 insurance for his family in these companies must pay on the average, for the expense of the business, about $80 per annum, and if it should be twice or three times that amount he has no redress. Should not these companies stipulate, in every policy, a sum for expenses which could not be exceeded? Should they not separate the mortuary and expense account, and contract with every policy-holder to use, not exceeding a specified per cent of the premium paid, for expenses, and to hold the balance a sacred trust for the payment of claims, the surplus above such requirement to be returned to the insured? To what other branch of business would men apply such unbusinesslike methods as to pay two or three times the value of the article purchased,[Pg 73] upon the implied or real obligation of the seller to return, at some time in the future, some part of the overpayment, but with no definite agreement as to how much, or at what time it should be returned? What merchant could maintain his credit for any considerable time if he made his other purchases as he does his life insurance? Life insurance is a commodity to be bought and paid for at a fair market price.
In the earlier history of the business, there were no data at hand to fix its value. Experience of fifty years and more has furnished such data, and its value can now be determined with very considerable closeness, and very far within the charges of level-premium companies. There should be some margin charged above probable cost, as shown by the experience of companies; but such charges should not contemplate nor admit of such extravagant expenses as have, and do now, obtain in level-premium companies. The experience of assessment companies has shown that the business can be done for from $2 or $3 at most, for each $1,000 at risk.
Is there any reason why level-premium companies should not be limited to twice that amount? The recent law governing assessment insurance in Massachusetts requires that in every call for an assessment it shall be distinctly stated what the money is to be used for, and no part of the mortuary fund can be used for expenses. Will any man say that assessment insurance is not in advance of other forms of insurance, in these respects at least?
Another important objection to level-premium insurance is found in the fact that it has drifted away from its primal purpose. Originally it contemplated simple life insurance.
Its intent was to offset, to some extent, the loss incurred by the family in the death of its wage-earner. The death of the father involves the family in a pecuniary loss represented by the amount of his yearly earnings, and if this occur before he has had time to accumulate a surplus above yearly expenses, the hardships of poverty are added to the pain of separation from so valued a friend. Life insurance was intended to come in with its benefits at such a time, as the result of forethought on the part of the father in depositing a part of his savings with the life company. If this simple form of insurance had been adhered to, the temptations to unwarranted and hurtful competition would, in a large measure, have been avoided; but with most level-premium life companies[Pg 74] this form of insurance is now largely neglected, and their energies are given to other forms, some of them highly speculative in their character. Contrary to the original purpose of life insurance, banking has been combined with insurance, and people have been taught to believe that they can secure better investments through life-insurance companies than elsewhere. It has never been clear to the writer how such results can be reached, in view of the excessive cost of conducting the business. Any suggestion of this kind, however, is at once met by the reply that the company has an immense amount of money invested, from which it derives a large income.
But whose money is it? Who paid it to the company, if not the policy-holders? Still, if the business were confined to simple endowment insurance in connection with pure life insurance there would be less objection, although banking is properly no part of insurance; but the fact is, a far more speculative business is done, called Tontine insurance. This form may be fitly characterized as the gambling form, inasmuch as the only hope of profit to a few is that the many will be robbed of their savings. Tontine insurance is profitable to the few in just the proportion that misfortune shall overtake those who participate in it. No man would risk large payments with the certainty of losing all if he should fail to make one such payment in a term of years, if he were not tickled by the hope that others would be the unfortunate ones compelled by circumstances to discontinue and lose all, while he would be the exception and profit by their loss.
But he should consider that, even if he persists in paying through the specified term, he is still at the mercy of the company in the division of the spoils. They may use as large a part of the plunder as they please in the expense of the business, and the experience of many will attest that, while for the company it was "turkey," for them it was "crow."
President Greene, of the Connecticut Mutual Life, in a series of able articles, has exposed the injustice of this system, and shown, to the satisfaction of unprejudiced minds, that it is no part of legitimate life insurance. Still, some companies are making Tontine and Semi-Tontine insurance their specialty.
There is one other form of insurance practised by level-premium companies that demands brief notice here. It would seem that to mention it would be to call down upon it public reprobation: we[Pg 75] refer to what is called prudential or industrial insurance. The peculiarity of this form is that its patrons are found among the poorest and the lowest classes of our population, and, in the judgment of others than the writer, it appeals to the very worst instincts of those unfortunate people. The insurance is effected upon the lives of helpless infants and children to the amount of one hundred or two hundred dollars or more, ostensibly to provide for suitable burial expenses in the event of the child's death. While, doubtless, in some cases the motive is a worthy one which prompts to such insurance, one's thought shrinks with horror from a contemplation of the crimes which it must, in many cases, suggest to the minds of the low and depraved. How many children are there in our large cities whose lives are not worth even one hundred dollars! How many are there whose death would be hailed as a deliverance from an expensive and unwelcome burden! The simple suggestion is enough to carry with it a sense of obligation to lovers of humanity to see that a premium is not placed upon infanticide and kindred crimes. If such insurance is to be effected at all, which is extremely questionable, it should be under the strictest restraints of law.
Another serious objection to the system is that it necessitates nearly double the cost of even regular level-premium rates, from the fact that weekly collections of five and ten cents must be made by agents employed for the purpose.
Of course a large part of these collections, wrung from the poor, are absorbed in agents' fees, the balance going to the company. The lapses also must be very numerous, and but little benefit is ever realized by those who part with these pittances from their scanty earnings. It is a well-known fact that companies realize very large profits from this business, and in some instances the writer has been credibly informed the expenses of the general business are met by the profits of this branch. This article is written in no spirit of hostility to level-premium insurance; it is simply a criticism upon its defects and its abuses. Properly administered, there is an ample field for the prosecution of its business. There will always be those who will prefer to pay the larger price, for what to them may seem the better form of insurance; but there will be large numbers, as now, who will prefer assessment insurance in reliable companies.
There is an ample field for both assessment and level-premium[Pg 76] companies to prosecute their work. There need not and should not be antagonism between the two systems. Each will and should be criticised, but always in a spirit of fairness. To some extent modifications in both systems may be desirable, and doubtless a healthy competition will bring such changes to pass. Perfection is a quality of slow growth, but it should be the aim of those who administer the far-reaching and sacred trusts of either system of life insurance.
Such companies can undoubtedly be made permanent by providing for the entrance of new members at any time in the history of the company at a cost for mortuary assessments substantially as low as in the earlier history of the company. This may be accomplished in either of two ways:—
1. By advancing the rate of assessment with advancing age, by what is called the step rate process, or,—
2. By the accumulation of funds to meet the increased assessments beyond a fair or normal rate.
To say that a company which does not adopt the first of these systems is necessarily "doomed," as was asserted by a recent writer in your columns, is to make a very extravagant claim at least, and one to which the writer of this article would beg to demur. The objection to the plan of step rates is that it is not popular with the people who are the purchasers of insurance.
The company adopting the plan says, "We shall get rid of our undesirable risks, those who are getting old, because the rate of assessment will be so high they cannot afford to pay it." The individual says, "I don't like a plan by which I am to be increasingly burdened as I grow older, and by which it is altogether probable I shall be compelled to sacrifice the savings of years, and lose my insurance at the last."
This practical freezing-out process has never yet been made popular; perhaps it may be in the future.
It is objected to the second method that some will pay more for the same value received than others, and it is therefore inequitable. But there is some inequity in any plan of insurance, and this last has not the element of injustice that would compel the aged and unfortunate to lose the entire savings of years because of unavoidable increasing cost.
Assessments in most companies are graduated so that 800 or 1,000 policy-holders responding to a mortuary call would make a[Pg 77] $5,000 policy good for its face, and the income from $2,000,000 at five per cent would pay twenty losses of $5,000 each.
Is it then an absurd statement that an assessment company properly and honestly administered, with that amount invested, can be perpetuated for all time?
Long before the reduction of membership to a number insufficient to pay the face of the policy from direct assessments, the income from the reserve would so lessen the cost that members could not afford to lapse their policies, and new blood could always be secured.
It was nearly two weeks from the unsuccessful attack upon Island Battery, the fifth and most disastrous that had been made. The morning after it the soldiers, sore over their defeat, had listened sullenly to the shouts of victory from within the French lines. Since then the combined attack by land and sea, planned and eagerly wished for by the two commanders, had been deferred from day to day. But Pepperell was not idle, and he was unable to understand despair. To him a repulse was the starting point of a new attempt. But now, with half his camp in hospital, with French and Indians threatening him in the rear, and the great battlements of Louisburg still formidable, he dared not risk an assault that, if unsuccessful, would further dispirit the army, and might be fatal. He had sent to Governor Shirley for ammunition and re-inforcements, and he had still the resource of sounding away with all his guns, for which, by borrowing, he could find powder and balls. He availed himself of this privilege with a persistence that after the city had surrendered he was able to see had not been useless.[Pg 78]
The West gate had long since been demolished, the citadel more than once injured by shot, and as to the city itself, streets of it were in ruin. But Island Battery still held its own and kept the fleet away from the city, the soldiers sickened, and the French governor held out. The incessant cannonade went on until sometimes the men wondered how it would seem not to hear bursting shells. There had been sorties and repulses, and though not much fighting, enough to prove the temper of the men. One day Elizabeth, looking across at a fascine battery where the enemy's fire was hottest in return, discovered Archdale standing in the most exposed position, watching and giving orders with an imperturbable face.
So the siege went on, with brave resistance on one side, and on the other with that invincible determination that makes its way through greater obstacles than stone walls. The weather was magnificent in spite of the fogs at sea that sometimes made it impossible to go from shore to ship. Edmonson lay tossing on his bed in the hospital. He had been badly wounded in the attack, and his feverish mind retarded his recovery. As had been said, he had learned of Katie Archdale's engagement, not through Lord Bulchester, for that was the last thing that the nobleman would have told him, but through a correspondent in Boston to whom he had made it worth while to keep him informed of his lordship's movements.
Edmonson's wound was painful, and his compensation did not come. Nancy, not Elizabeth, was his nurse. Occasionally the latter spent half an hour beside him when her maid was resting or was busy with others, but then, although she ministered to his physical comfort, her mind seemed always elsewhere, often where her eyes wandered, to some private whose suffering was greater than his.
"I wish I had been the worst wounded man here," he said to her one day.
"Why?" she asked bringing her eyes back to him. And then before he could answer, she added: "Your wound is bad enough; you will not get well until you are more quiet. Be a little more patient."
"Patient!" he cried, half raising himself and falling back with a groan. "You are cruel. Patient! with the vision of delight always floating before me, never turning back to look at me or[Pg 79] smile upon me. Patient! in torment. Perhaps you would be. Submission is not a constitutional virtue of mine."
"It's being a virtue at all," returned Elizabeth, "depends upon whether we submit to men or to God." If any other lips had spoken the Divine name, Edmonson would have sneered openly. As it was, he lay silent, looking out at the speaker through half-veiled eyes. This tantalizing woman always turned his words into impersonalities. Her power had roused his will to its utmost to make her feel his own. How far had he succeeded, that she would condescend to stay with him when there was no one else to do it and he needed attention? It was because the surgeon would soon be here to look after his wounds and would need help, that she was sitting now, fanning him gently and glancing toward the door of the tent.
"You are very impatient to have Waters come," he said.
"Yes, a great many others need me."
"Not half so much as I do," he began. "Your presence soothes me," he added hastily.
"It is the sort of effect that a nurse ought to have," she answered.
He was silent again. He would have given half the expected years of his life to know if ever so little of her indifference were feigned. He gave himself an impatient toss. Why had he come to this siege at all? He was not sure now that if he had accomplished his object, or should yet do it, the reward would come. He had known women that in Elizabeth's place would like to show their power of torture; but she scarcely deigned to glance at him, and tortured him a thousand times more. Why had Archdale thrown his arm about so clumsily and saved his life? So good an appointment was not likely to make itself again; he must have a hand in framing the next. And if worst came to worst as to absence of chance, he could still pick a quarrel over the clumsiness by challenging it as intention. Yet he was afraid that Archdale was too much of a Puritan to think of duelling.
"Don't tire yourself fanning me," he said. "Talk to me a little."
"I have nothing to say," answered Elizabeth. For it happened that she also was remembering that night in the boat as she had heard of it, and it seemed hard to her that she should be obliged to render Edmonson the smallest service, yet he had been brave in the[Pg 80] attack, and had been wounded in fair fight against the enemy. Her first thought that night of the attack, on seeing him borne in, had been that Archdale had given the wound in self-defence. She was humiliated by feeling that her wealth had been played for like a stake by Edmonson. For she had not yet come to confessing to herself what flashed across her mind sometimes. Two years ago Edmonson's approval had seemed to her a desert beyond her talents; now his admiration displeased her,—there was an element of appropriation in it. Where Elizabeth prized regard she could not condescend to woo it; where she did not prize it, it seemed to her, if openly given, almost an impertinence. Stephen had been right when in the midst of his anger at her pride he had felt that love would awake new powers in her, that she could be magnificent in action and in devotion. He had been very human, too, in the breath of wild desire to see her at her best that had swept through him. But the desire slept again as suddenly as it had waked, and the mists of indifference settled about him once more.
Edmonson dared not speak. If he offended Elizabeth he should not see her again, except at a distance as real as the intangible space always between them now. And if he were silent, he might yet win, some day.
"At last!" she smiled, and rose to meet the doctor with an alacrity that made Edmonson bite his under lip hard. She thought that dressing the wound took a long time that evening, that the physician had never been so slow before, nor the patient so fractious. But to Edmonson it seemed as if she vanished like a vision.
At last she was in the open air, under the stars, and refreshed by the breeze. She stood looking out to sea, but there was an expression of trouble on her face, that the air could not blow away.
A voice said, "Good evening," and, turning, she saw Archdale beside her. She asked him if he were on guard that evening.
"Yes," he answered. "You must be very tired, cooped up in that hot place for so many hours," he went on. "Shall we walk down to the shore and back, for a change. I'm sorry that I can't suggest any variations in the route. But we will stop at the brook and I will get you some fresh water."
She took a step, then hesitated.
"But I thought you were on guard," she said.
"So I am, especially detailed by our commander-in-chief to look after the comfort and welfare of a certain gentleman, a civilian in[Pg 81] name, but so active an inspector of military operations that I cannot often keep track of him unless I'm under fire myself, and also the welfare of two volunteer nurses who are in great danger of letting their zeal outrun their strength. No, I am wrong; I am in charge of only one nurse; she takes care of the other. It is you whom the General has in mind." Never was Archdale's tact finer and more opportune. After the smouldering passion of Edmonson, felt if not yet confessed to herself, the ease and safety of this companionship seemed to her like the difference between the air of the tents hot and heavy with unhealthy breaths, and the salt wind that came to her softly now, but with invigorating freshness.
"I haven't the least idea where my father is," she said. "I suppose he is so used to business that he must have always something on hand."
"He is with the General now," he said.
"There is one walk I wish you would invite me to take," said Elizabeth, as they sauntered away. "Into the city, I mean." And for a moment she forgot the cost of victory in its exultation.
"I will," he answered. "Will you come, then?"
They reached the brook and followed it up a little distance above the camp. Elizabeth sat down upon the bank, and Archdale filled his cup and brought it to her. She examined it by the dim light.
"I see that it is silver, and chased," she said. "But I can't make out the figures upon it."
"The Archdale arms," he answered. "I brought the cup with me. It's my canteen." She drank and gave it back to him.
"Thank you," she said. As she spoke, a shot rose high in air and ended its parabola in the heart of the doomed city. It seemed as if a cry uprose. Elizabeth shuddered. "How dreadful it is!"
"You will never forget it," he answered.
"No; no one who has been here ever can." She had risen, and they were walking down toward the shore. Her fatigue, or her mood, gave her an unusual gentleness of manner. As Stephen Archdale walked beside her he tried to imagine Katie as Elizabeth was now, with a background of suffering, with trial and daring, perhaps death before, and failed. He looked at Elizabeth, dimly seen under the starlight, now suddenly brought sharply into[Pg 82] view by the flare of cannon, weary, glad of the General's thoughtfulness, without a suspicion that her present companion had suggested it, taking the rest that came to her and enjoying it as simply as a child would do, yet radiant at moments in the presage of national success, or pale with a glow of sublime faith at the efficacy of the sacrifice that was being offered up for her country. She seemed in harmony with the nature about her and the earnestness, perhaps tragedy, of her surroundings. Katie could not have been at home here; it was not because she had been brought up in luxury and laughter, for so had Elizabeth. It was because there was in the latter something responsive to the great realities of life. Did Katie lack this? He drew a quick breath at the thought. Elizabeth turned to him suddenly.
"Is your arm quite well yet?" she asked.
"Quite well, thank you."
"Not even a twinge left?"
"I thought there was then," she said.
"Oh, no, that was my conscience. Are you a good doctor for that? Shall I try you?"
"No; thank you; my own is not clear enough."
"Isn't it?" he said. "Then I think the rest of us had better give up in despair."
She made an impatient movement, and said, "Was that Captain Edmonson's ball? You did not tell me, but I guessed it."
"Yes. At first I thought it had only grazed my sleeve. But it was really very little." Archdale, bringing up the wounded on that night of the repulse, had said nothing of being wounded himself, and Elizabeth, meeting him three days afterward with his arm in a sling, had been assured that he was ashamed to speak of such a scratch.
They sat down upon the rocks and talked for a time about the siege and the soldiers, and even about things at home, away from this strange life, but never about what had happened to themselves, and never one word of Katie. Elizabeth seemed to be resting. Archdale thought that she found it pleasant enough, too. But more than once she turned her face in the direction of the hospital, and he knew that she was thinking of her duties there. He must find some way to keep her a little longer. This hour must not be gone yet. What story could he tell her? If he did not[Pg 83] begin, in a moment she would get up from that comfortable niche in the rock, and say that it was time to go back to her patients, and then it would be too late.
"I think I never told you," he began, "how Mr. Edmonson's portrait, my great-grandfather's, came into that hiding-place? Would you care to hear?"
"Very much, if it is not too much family history for you to tell me."
He smiled. "I must begin a good way back, as far as with my grandfather's youth," he said. "I am afraid it was a wild one. He was handsome, and gay, and rich, well-born, too, though not of the Sunderland Archdales, as I had always supposed. He must have said this when he took his own name again after his year of hiding as a criminal from justice. But I don't think that he ever meant crime; it was an irregular duel. I think his adversary's first shot hit him in the shoulder, and at the second, for they were to fire twice, he rushed up to his opponent in a fury of pain, perhaps, and fired at close range. The man fell dead. I don't know how they tell the story in Portsmouth, but it's not worse than that, I suppose."
"It's something like that, I think," she said.
"Pleasant to go back where we've always been so,—well, so esteemed; I mean that the name has been. But I may not go back," he added.
She made no answer for a moment; then she said, "Captain Edmonson is like that."
"But worse," he answered.
"Is his wound doing well?" questioned Archdale.
"It is healing, but very slowly."
"Next time he will not fail of his mark," said the young man.
"Perhaps the next time his mark will be the enemy," she answered. "He has had time to think." Her companion gave an eager glance. "Is she teaching him something?" he wondered. "What?" How could she teach him not to care for her? His pulses quickened. He altered his position a little, which brought him by so much nearer. "But tell me about the portrait," said Elizabeth.
Archdale told the story, the outlines of which Elizabeth had given to Mrs. Eveleigh. But he told it with so many details that[Pg 84] it seemed new to her. "Edmonson insists that the nobleman killed in this duel was a distant relative of Sir Temple Dacre," he said, as he finished the account of the flight and the taking of the portrait.
He told of its careful concealment afterwards lest it should identify them, and how, when the daughter's eyes rested upon it, she had a dread of discovery, that amounted almost to a sense of guilt.
"Poor woman!" said Elizabeth, "with the loss of her father and her child, she could not have been very happy."
Her listener recalled that the speaker at one time in her life had not considered the loss of a husband in any other light than a great satisfaction. But he went on to explain that after his grandmother's death, the portrait had been concealed where Elizabeth had discovered it. "My mother knew nothing of it," he said, "but my father had seen it before. He told me so after that day," he added, remembering that Elizabeth had heard Colonel's denial of any knowledge of the portrait. "He knew whom it was a picture of, I mean, and that we were not the Sunderland Archdales, but nothing of Edmonson's rights; and he had looked at the portrait so little that he never perceived the likeness to Edmonson until we all did. Edmonson, you know, was in search of this portrait. He had heard of it from his father, who passed as the child of the old man's only son, who died in India at about the same time that the baby and nurse came to the grandfather's. My grandmother Archdale besought her father to take care of the child until she could send for it, and he was better than her request. I suppose that he could not bear to give up both his children and he hated his son-in-law. Edmonson's father did not know his real name until after the elder Edmonson's death. Then the nurse told him the story. But at that time he was twenty-five; married, and established in his home, with no desire to change, or to share his possessions. Gerald learned the truth only when he came of age, and his capacity for getting through with money made him think that something ought to be made out of his colonial relatives. He had spent his own moderate fortune before he came here. He showed his character in his way of going to work," finished Archdale, contemptuously. "He could not believe that anybody would have honesty enough not to defeat his claim unless he could clinch his proofs instantly."[Pg 85]
"It was a cowardly way of doing it," said Elizabeth slowly.
"Yes," he answered, and looked at her, wondering if he should learn what she was thinking about, for it seemed as if she had only half finished her sentence.
"Nothing seems to me stranger than the difference between people in the same family," she said at last, almost more to herself than to him. There was something so utterly impersonal in her tone that she seemed to be setting forth a general trite observation rather than comparing Edmonson with any of his relatives. And it was evident that, if she thought of her listener at all, this was the way in which the remark was meant for him. And yet—Then he heard Elizabeth saying that she must go back.
"Poor Melvin is dying," she said. "He probably will not live through the night. I promised to take down some messages for him. He began to give them to me, but was so exhausted that I had to leave him to rest. But I must not leave him too long, and then there are the others." Stephen helped her down from the rock as she spoke, and they went together along the beach and up the path from the shore, talking as they went. She told him some of the things that the men needed most, and asked his advice and his help toward getting for them what was possible. "I cannot go to the General for these; I cannot put any more burdens upon him," she said. Archdale told her all that he could, and then for a few minutes they walked on in silence. At the hospital she stopped and turned to him.
"Thank you," she said. Then, as he was about to answer, she added hastily, "I think that experience like this is good for us, for every one I mean; it opens up the world a little and shows so much suffering besides one's own. It's a help to get at the proportions of things. Don't you think so?" The appeal in her voice was an exquisite note of sympathy.
Stephen knew that all his life long it had been his way, as it had been that of the other Archdales, to consider his own joys and sorrows not only of more relative but of more actual importance than those of the people about him. He looked at Elizabeth, royal as she stood, full of compassion for him, but with her hand already stretched out to draw back the canvas which separated her from that presence of death in which live and grow, watered by tears, all human sympathies. It seemed as if she always touched some chord in him untouched by others. Was it[Pg 86] the truth that she spoke that thrilled him so? He perceived nothing clearly except the one thing that he uttered.
"Yes," he said, "I am glad I came,—glad for my own sake, I mean. Be it for joy or sorrow, for life or death, I am glad that I came."
She drew back the curtain of the tent. He bowed and turned away.
[D] Copyright, 1884, by Frances C. Sparhawk.
It is not an easy task either to establish a magazine, or, having secured for it a place in public favor, to retain the good will essential to its continued success. The examples of failure on the part of those who have essayed this task are so many and so notable, that publishers and editors who enter the field of periodical literature with new ventures, must possess, first of all, not a little courage; to this, if they are to expect any degree of success, must be added a raison d'être for the publication; and, besides, there must be an accompaniment of managerial ability sufficient to give the reason a continual demonstration in fact. Whatever the view of the cheerful optimist who stands on the threshold of the magazine world, with his experience, like his hoped-for triumphs, all in the future, the conditions above named, as witnessed by the broken lance of many a vanquished knight of this "Round Table," are not easily met. It is with a full understanding of these facts that we record the enlarged plans of the publishers of the Bay State Monthly, whereby that periodical, a vine of Massachusetts planting, seeking soil for wider growth, will send forth its roots into all New England. Chief among the features of the Bay State Monthly which have made it acceptable to the people of Massachusetts have been the many articles relating to the history and biography of its storied towns and famous men. Material for articles of equal interest and value, and much of it as yet unused by historian or biographer in sketch or story, abounds in every State of the New England group. It is in order to make better use of this material, that a change is made, as will be seen, not in place, but in scope,—whereby the Bay State gives way to the New England; and the New England Magazine, which is the Bay State Monthly with a wider outlook, goes forth to commend itself to the good opinion of the citizens of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and of New Englanders everywhere.
The prohibitionists of New England find it difficult to understand why Georgia, with the immense quota of ignorance in its voting population, has been able to abolish legal rum-drinking, a thing which has not yet been found possible—notwithstanding the supposed reign of a more widely diffused intelligence—in the greater part of New England. An explanation of the fact is to be found in the homogeneity of the Georgian population, due to the vast preponderance of native born elements[Pg 88] (there being only ten thousand five hundred persons of foreign birth in 1880), and to the popular condition affecting public sentiment in Georgia and her sister States. Among these influences may be noted that of the clergy, who reach the greater part of the population, white and black, through the churches in whose membership it is enrolled; the fact that, owing to the comparative non-use of wines and beers, the question is simply that of rum or no rum; and the added circumstance that the evils of intemperance are there greatly aggravated by the character of the whiskey almost universally used, it being an unrectified form of the article, and accompanied by the most dangerous and destructive results to individuals and to society. Among these results may be mentioned the often repeated instances of lawlessness and bloodshed, and the growing demoralization of the colored workingmen, which reacts injuriously upon every industry.
Against conditions like these, there can be found in almost any community in the land, in the aggregate, an opposing majority. In New England this majority is largely powerless, because swallowed up in the opposing votes of political parties. In Georgia it has succeeded, because it has separated the liquor question from all other political considerations and made it a separate issue, upon which men vote neither as Democrats nor Republicans, but as well meaning, and ably directed men, who are marshalled against a great social evil.
New England temperance advocates have difficulties to contend with, growing out of the foreign born elements in our midst, which do not exist at the South; but it may be well for them to consider the question of adopting the Georgian method of sticking to the temperance issue as a distinct question, instead of dragging it into general politics, where the temperance element loses in strength by a division upon other questions.
We find in the Pall Mall Gazette suggestions intended for the eyes of English matrons, but which may be equally commended to the attention of American mothers, relating to the establishment of "housekeeping schools" after the pattern of those in Germany.
Every girl in Germany, be she the daughter of nobleman, officer, or small official, goes, as soon as she has finished her school education, into one of these training establishments. The rich go where they pay highly. They are never taken for less than a year, and every month has its appropriate work: Preserving of fruits and vegetables, laying down meats, the care of eggs and butter, the preservation of woollen clothes, repairing of household linen, etc. Besides these general branches of housewifery, they are taught cooking, clear starching, the[Pg 89] washing of dishes, the care of silver and glass, dusting and sweeping, laying of a table and serving—in brief, all the duties which will fall to their own lot or to the servants whom they employ. As a result, the ménage of a German matron is perfection, according to German ideas.
A good illustration of the historical spirit, which happily has come to stay in our midst, is seen in the instructive and entertaining articles which have recently been published in the newspapers concerning some old New England homesteads. Among these is one in the Boston Courier of Oct. 4, 1885, telling of the Pickering house in Salem, built in 1659, and still in the Pickering name, and also of the Porter place in Wenham, which, although it had been in the Porter name without alienation since 1702, was of much older date. In the Boston Transcript of Nov. 28, 1885, was also an interesting account of the old Curtis house at Jamaica Plain, which was finished in 1639. Its builder, William Curtis, was its first occupant; and from that time to 1883 none but his descendants occupied the house. A number of ancient dwellings still standing in New England were referred to in the same article.
Such public notices of time-honored landmarks are to be commended, not only because they serve as historical links, but because they develop that historical imagination which enables one to clothe with a tender reverence places so rich in interest.
The present New England Magazine is not the first of the name. Another New England Magazine was established in 1831, by Joseph T. Buckingham and his son Edwin, who died and was buried at sea in 1832. His cenotaph may be seen in Mount Auburn, bearing the inscription, "The sea his body, heaven his spirit holds." This magazine included among its contributors John Quincy Adams, Oliver Wendell Holmes (who commenced The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table as a serial in it), Jeremy Belknap, Jared Sparks, Edward Everett, Charles C. Felton, John G. Palfray, Gardner Spring, Joseph Story, Francis Wayland, Daniel Webster, and Nathaniel P. Willis. It contained articles upon the authorship of Junius, American Colonization Society, and Spurzheim, who died in 1832, and was among the first tenants of Mount Auburn, and the elegy upon whom, composed by John Pierpont, commencing
pronounced at the funeral services at the Old South Church, is still remembered by many. It also contained Garrett's Fly-Time, Reflections of a Jail-Bird, etc., etc. It was discontinued in 1834, for want of patronage. We have the courage to believe that the success so justly merited, but[Pg 90] denied to the projectors of this pioneer among American periodicals, will not fail to reward the efforts of those who, at the end of a half-century, take up the broken thread, and give the time-honored name once more a place in American literature.
In a future number, we shall have more to say concerning our worthy predecessor in the Magazine field. It will be seen that there is much in common in the aims of the two periodicals, especially in the purpose to represent, and loyally serve, the best interests of New England and its people.
As the New England Magazine seeks to become a repository for material of interest concerning the New England States worthy of preservation, we cordially invite contributions to its pages, from all sources, of matter relating to town and local history, and the manners and customs of early times, and of biographical and other sketches relating to the notable men and women, the social and religious life, the occupations and industries, of colonial and later days.
Under the head of Necrology there will be published obituaries of notable New England men and women recently deceased, accompanied, where possible, by brief genealogical records. The value of material thus placed in permanent form, within reach of future investigators, will be at once evident; and we shall be glad to receive properly prepared brief contributions to this department.
We shall seek to make the "Notes and Queries" department of the Magazine of use and interest to our readers, as a medium of communication between those seeking or possessing information as to New England persons and places. Communications intended for this department should be written separately from the letter enclosing them, and should be brief.
Brief records of the genealogy of families resident in New England during and prior to the war of the Revolution are invited; and by furnishing such records, especially in instances where they have not already been fully published, valuable additions will be made to the store of material relating to both history and biography—which is really fundamental history. Men and women make history.
In this connection we shall welcome not only articles of length, but anecdotes and scraps of information, for which a special department will be furnished, under title of "In Olden Times."
November 3.—Elections were held in twelve States of the Union. In Massachusetts, a full list of state officers and a legislature were chosen. Governor Robinson was elected for the third time, and all the other members of the Republican ticket were chosen,—it being a re-election for each one, excepting Alanson W. Beard, who succeeds D. A. Gleason as Treasurer.
The name of the West Roxbury Park, in the city of Boston, has been changed to the Franklin Park, and a fund established by Dr. Franklin applied to its purchase. In 1791 he left to the city £1,000 which was to accumulate for one hundred years, when £100,000 was to be appropriated for some public object, and the balance to accumulate for another century. The amount specified will not be realized, however, in 1891, as the fund will then reach only about $350,000.
December 8.—Elections were held in thirteen Massachusetts cities. The Mayors elected are as follows: Chelsea, Mayor Endicott, re-elected; Somerville, Mayor Burns, re-elected; Cambridge, Mayor Russell, re-elected; Brockton, John J. Whipple; Salem, John M. Raymond; Gloucester, Mayor Parsons, re-elected; Haverhill, C. H. Weeks; Lowell, J. C. Abbott; Lawrence, A. B. Bruce; Taunton, R. H. Hall; Fall River, W. S. Greene; Springfield, E. D. Metcalf; Newton, D. H. Kimball.
[E] This department hereafter will be made much more complete, and will cover all of the New England States.
November 21.—The death occurred of Hon. Elizur Wright, a well-known Massachusetts man, and a resident of Medford. Mr. Wright was born in South Canaan, Conn., February 12, 1804, and graduated at Yale, in 1826. In his early life he was a teacher, from 1829 to 1833 being Professor of Mathematics in Western Reserve College. He became in 1833 Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York. In 1838 he came to Boston, and for twenty years was actively engaged in editorial work, taking a stand as a most pronounced abolitionist. Since then he has been Insurance Commissioner or Actuary for the State till the time of his death. Mr. Wright has been an earnest advocate of the project for converting the "Middlesex Fells" into a park in later years. He was always an earnest, active man.
For more than twenty-five years the public has been familiar with the products of the skill and genius of John Rogers, in which he has illustrated a variety of social, domestic, literary, and political subjects. During the War of the Rebellion, when the hearts of the people were quickly reached by anything that brought vividly before them the scenes of soldier life or the experiences of the "brave boys in blue," the artist won his way to a wide circle of admirers by his stirring representations of those scenes and experiences. His illustrations of Rip Van Winkle touched another chord in the public heart and increased the number and the enthusiasm of those who acknowledge the charm of his rare and facile power. He has produced three groups illustrative of scenes in Shakespeare, of which the latest, representing the interview between King Lear and Cordelia,[F] described in Act IV. Scene VII., is one of his best. The king had discarded and banished Cordelia, and divided his kingdom between his other two daughters; but their ingratitude and ill-treatment had driven him crazy. He had been brought in and laid on a couch by his old friend Kent,—who is disguised as a servant,—and the doctor. Cordelia, who still loves him truly and tenderly, tries to recall herself to his wandering mind. The whole group is conceived with remarkable power and truthfulness, and in it nothing is more noteworthy than the expression of filial love and sorrow on the face of the daughter. This group will both sustain and increase the artist's well-won reputation as an interpreter of life and its experiences.
The first two or three books of "Charles Egbert Craddock" secured to their author a most enviable literary reputation, and the writer's latest book[G] will be regarded with no less interest because it is now known that "Mr. Craddock" is Miss Mary Murfree. As in her other works, the book before us deals with the peculiar characteristics of life in the mountains of Tennessee, and is largely in the dialect of that region. Her rendering of this dialect has been strongly criticised by some, but we do not know who can be better authority than Miss Murfree herself, who has spent years among the people, engaged in careful and intelligent observation and study.
The Prophet is eminently a readable book, and is charming to those who like stories in dialect. The Prophet, which one would expect to be[Pg 93] a very strong character, is not brought out to such a degree as the writer, it would seem, could have easily done; but there are many word pictures which will long remain vivid in the reader's memory. We think Miss Murfree's literary reputation will be still further enhanced by the Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains, and the book may be wisely selected for reading, even by those who take time for only a very few stories.
Princes, Authors and Statesmen,[H] edited by James Parton, is a collection of very entertaining sketches of noted persons, written, for the most part, by relatives, personal friends or others who have known them under favorable circumstances. The habits and demeanors of eminent persons are always matters of curiosity and interest to the general public, and this book contains abundant material which will gratify just this harmless instinct, and yet there is no violation of that privacy which always ought to be observed. The volume contains "Dickens with his Children," by Miss Mamie Dickens; "Reminiscences of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley," by Canon Farrar; "Victor Hugo at Home," by his secretary, M. Lesclide; and valuable chapters on Emerson, Longfellow, Gladstone, Disraeli, Thackeray, Macaulay and many other authors, besides emperors, kings and princes. The illustrations are numerous, and include many scenes of places and excellent portraits.
In no department of publishing has there been a greater advance than in the production of juvenile literature. Not many years ago there were very few really appropriate books for children published, and hardly anything in the way of periodical literature of a high standard for young folks. To supply a long felt need, Harper & Brothers began a few years ago to publish a weekly magazine for children, employing in its production not only the best writers but the best artists to be found. The year's numbers up to November last, make a bound volume[I] of more than eight hundred pages of choicest juvenile reading, all crowded with beautiful illustrations, about 700 in number, and many of them gems of art. It would hardly seem possible to praise such a book too much. It is a storehouse of pleasure which may well delight any intelligent boy or girl.
The art of sculpture is commanding the interest of a steadily growing class outside the practical workers with the chisel, or the professional critics. Clara Erskine Clement's new book[J] is on the plan of her "Outline[Pg 94] History of Painting." For beginners in the sculptor's art, it is an admirable text-book, which must be welcomed by all in that class, while to the amateur, or the mere admirer of the art, it is a very pleasing and instructive book. It presents the salient facts about sculptors and their works from the earliest times, and the reader is given a large amount of help in the illustrations, which represent specimens of the art in every age and of every school.
Mr. Hamerton's Paris[K] is a work which is sure to attract attention, to be read, and to be highly prized. The author's long residence in the great French metropolis has given him rare opportunities for this work, and he has given us the result of painstaking research in every quarter of the city. The author has made special reference to changes in the architecture and topography of Paris, and the book contains a large amount of matter of antiquarian value. The illustrations, of which there are many, are mostly simple outline sketches, or in the etching style, relating to architectural forms, and well serve their purpose.
Lovers of the quaint and curious in art, science, and literature have formed a pleasing acquaintance with Notes and Queries,[L] which has reached its forty-second number. The latest issue (December, 1885), which closes the second volume, contains a full and carefully prepared index to the entire work, which was begun in July, 1882. This magazine abounds in information concerning matters not usually treated of in more formal and pretentious works, and well deserves a cordial support from an inquiring public.
For the best quality of American humor it is pretty well settled that the popular weekly paper Life is not equalled by any of its contemporaries. From the fifty-two numbers of the last twelve months the best of the humorous designs have been selected and bound into a handsome quarto volume.[M] Pen and pencil combine in making its pages laughable, and there are many incisive thrusts at the weak spots in society, but without coarseness or vulgarity.
[F] King Lear and Cordelia. Roger Groups of Statuary. New York: John Rogers.
[G] The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains. By Charles Egbert Craddock, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
[H] Some Noted Princes, Authors and Statesmen of Our Time. Edited by James Parton. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.
[I] Harper's Young People, Volume VI. New York: Harper & Brothers. Price $3.50.
[J] An Outline History of Sculpture. By Clara Erskine Clement. New York: White, Stokes & Allen.
[K] Paris, in Old and Present Times. By Philip Gilbert Hamerton. Boston: Roberts Brothers.
[L] Miscellaneous Notes and Queries, with Answers in all Departments of Literature. One Dollar a year. S. C. & L. M. Gould, Manchester, N. H.
[M] The Good Things of Life. Second Series. New York: White, Stokes & Allen.
4.—A good account of the "Know-Nothings" is to be found in the "Magazine of American History," Vol. 13, p. 202, in article "Political Americanisms," by Charles Ledyard Norton.
6.—That antiquarian scholar, Samuel Gardner Drake, made an exhaustive study of the Massachusetts Indians, which is embodied principally in his "Book of the Indians," the "Old Indian Chronicle" and the "Particular History of the Five Years' French and Indian War." Much Indian history is also given in notes, introductions, and appendices, in his editions of Church's and Mather's "King Philip's War," and Mather's "Early History of New England."
7.—There is no extended biography of Robert Rantoul, Jr., but sketches of him may be found in the "North American Review," Vol. 78, p. 237, and the "Democratic Review," Vol. 27, p. 348; the latter containing a portrait.
3.—A lady thoroughly identified with the Anti-Slavery cause, and abundantly able to answer the query "Who was the first American woman to publicly espouse the cause of Anti-Slavery," writes as follows in response to a request for her opinion:—
The question is on some accounts rather a difficult question to answer, as I do not quite understand its intent. You doubtless know that until the Anti-Slavery movement and some time after, no woman, except those of the Society of Friends, ever spoke or even prayed in public. If women wished to show their interest on any question, it was in societies and meetings exclusively for women. And this was the case with the Anti-Slavery women. Women's Societies were very early organized, and a great many women were active in them.
But I suppose the question relates to the women who addressed mixed audiences of men and women.
At the convention held in Philadelphia, 1833, to form the National Anti-Slavery Society, all the delegates were men, but a large number of women were present, and Lucretia Mott, who was a minister of the Friends' Society, and consequently was used to speaking to both sexes in Friends' meetings, spoke at the convention, but did not make any formal address. Several other women, also "Friends," spoke; and several years after, Samuel J. May, in speaking about it, said he was ashamed to say that though the convention passed a vote of thanks to the women for their interest, no one thought of asking any of them, not even Lucretia Mott or Mary Grew, to sign the "Declaration of Sentiments." I think the first women, undoubtedly, who addressed a mixed audience of men and women of all denominations were Angela Grimké, afterwards married to Theodore D. Weld, and her sister Sarah M. Grimké. Being Southerners, and having been slaveholders, being allied to the best families of Charleston, S. C., their knowledge was considered authentic, and a great interest was shown to[Pg 96] hear them. They too began by addressing meetings of women, but when they spoke in Boston, in 1837, so great was the desire of the men to hear them, that they were persuaded to hold public meetings of both sexes. I well remember the crowded audiences which listened to them with rapt attention.
One can judge somewhat of the interest they excited from the fact that, at a time when no large halls or churches could be obtained for any kind of an Anti-Slavery meeting, the "Odeon," at the corner of Federal and Franklin Streets, then the largest and most popular hall in Boston, was obtained for a course of five lectures by these ladies, and was filled every evening by a dense crowd. Angelina was the finer speaker and gave three lectures out of the five. This was the only time the Odeon was ever opened to Anti-Slavery. They were members of the Friends' Society, which undoubtedly prevented them from embarrassment in addressing mixed audiences.
Wendell Phillips says of them, "No man who remembers 1837 and its lowering clouds, will deny that there was hardly any contribution to the Anti-Slavery movement greater or more impressive than the crusade of these Grimké sisters from South Carolina, through the New England States."
You see my answer to the question would be emphatically Angelina and Sarah M. Grimké.
Sarah H. Southwick.
The Publishers and Editors of The Bay State Monthly, in compliance with urgent suggestions from many friends, and in the belief that its interests will be in every way promoted by the change, have decided to enlarge the scope of the Magazine so as to include in its plans not only the "Bay State" but all of its sisters in the historical New England group.
The New England Magazine will, therefore, aim to become a treasury of information relating to matters of special interest to citizens of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and to be of incalculable value as an authoritative recorder and medium of interchange and information for all Libraries and Historical Societies especially, and for all history and literary loving people generally.
Especial attention will be given to the features which have made the Bay State Monthly so acceptable, and new features will be introduced which it is believed will add greatly to the interest and value of forthcoming numbers.