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Title: The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution

Author: James Henry Stark

Release date: March 31, 2012 [eBook #39316]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Andrew Wainwright, Jonathan Ingram and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
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Born in Boston, Sept. 9, 1711. Governor of Massachusetts 1771-4. Died in London
June 3, 1780.






"History makes men wise."—Bacon.

26 Tremont Street




The Memory of the Loyalists
The Massachusetts Bay






The author wishes to acknowledge the great assistance he has received from the New England Historic Genealogical Society, of which he has been a member for twenty-eight years,—whose library consisting of biographies and genealogies is the most complete in America. Other authorities consulted, have been the "Royalist" records in the original manuscript preserved in the archives of the State of Massachusetts, the Record Commissioners' Reports of the City of Boston, the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the numerous town histories, and ancient records published in recent years, to the most important of which he has acknowledged his obligations in the reference given, and also to the Boston Athenaeum for the use of their paintings and engravings, in making copies of same.

He also wishes to acknowledge the assistance rendered him by his daughter, Mildred Manton Stark, in preparing many of the biographies, also the assistance rendered by Mr. Thomas F. O'Malley, who prepared the very copious index to this work, which will, he thinks be appreciated by all historical students who may have occasion to use same.



Thomas Hutchinson's Portrait,                       Opposite the title page.
James H. Stark, Portrait,OppositePage7.
Landing of the Commissioners at Boston, 1664,""13.
Randolph threatened,""15.
Proclaiming King William and Queen Mary,""17.
Killing and scalping Father Rasle at Norridgewock,""32.
Reading the Stamp Act in King street, opposite the State House,""37.
Andrew Oliver, Stamp Collector attacked by the Mob,""41.
Bostonians paying the Exciseman or Tarring and Feathering,""49.
Colonel Mifflin's Interview with the Caughnawaga Indians,""89.
Cartoon illustrating Franklin's diabolical Scalp story,""91.
Burning of Newark, Canada, by United States Troops,""103.
Burning of Jay in Effigy,""105.
Map, Boundary line between Maine and New Brunswick,""115.
Governor Hutchinson's House Destroyed by the Mob, Page155.
Benjamin Franklin Before the Privy Council,OppositePage165.
Views from Governor Hutchinson's Field, Page168.
Governor Hutchinson's House on Milton Hill, "170.
Inland View from Governor Hutchinson's House, Page171.
Andrew Oliver, portrait,OppositePage181.
Andrew Oliver Mansion, Washington street, Dorchester,""183.
Thomas Oliver and John Vassall Mansion, Dorchester,""185.
Revolutionists Marching to Cambridge,""187.
Sir Francis Bernard, Portrait,""191.
Province House,""195.
Pepperell House,""210.
Reception of the American Loyalists in England, Page214.
Arrest of William Franklin by order of Congress,OppositePage215.
John Singleton Copley, Portrait,""218.
Lord Lyndhurst, Lord High Chancellor of England, Portrait,""221.
King Hooper Mansion, Danvers,""223.
Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, Portrait,""239.
Curwin House, Salem, Page247.
Samuel Curwin, Portrait,OppositePage253.
Country Residence of James Smith, Brush Hill, Milton, Page256.
Birthplace of Benjamin Thompson, North Woburn, "261.
Sir Benjamin Thompson, Portrait,OppositePage267.
Rev. Mather Byles, D. D., Portrait,""277.
The Old Vassall House, Cambridge,""285.
Colonel John Vassall's Mansion, Cambridge,""289.
General Isaac Royall's Mansion, Medford,""293.
Major General Sir David Ochterlony, Portrait,""299.
British Troops preventing the destruction of New York,""303.
Landing a Bishop, Cartoon,""341.
Rev. Henry Caner, Portrait,""349.
Leonard Vassall and Frederick W. Geyer Mansion,""351.
Bishop's Palace, Residence of Rev. East Apthorp,""353.
Samuel Quincy, Portrait,""369.
Dr. John Jeffries, Portrait,""395.
Clark-Frankland House,""417.
Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe, Baronet, Portrait,""439.
The Engagement at the North Bridge in Concord,""471.
Monument to Commemorate the Skirmish at Concord Bridge,""475.
Pursuit and Capture of Paul Revere,""479.
Pelham Map of Boston, In the envelop of the back cover.



At the dedication of the monument erected on Dorchester Heights to commemorate the evacuation of Boston by the British, the oration was delivered by that Nestor of the United States Senate, Senator Hoar.

In describing the government of the colonies at the outbreak of the Revolution, he made the following statement: "The government of England was, in the main, a gentle government, much as our fathers complained of it. Her yoke was easy and her burden was light; our fathers were a hundred times better off in 1775 than were the men of Kent, the vanguard of liberty in England. There was more happiness in Middlesex on the Concord, than there was in Middlesex on the Thames."[1] A few years later Hon. Edward B. Callender, a Republican candidate for mayor of Boston, in his campaign speech said: "I know something about how this city started. It was not made by the rich men or the so-called high-toned men of Boston—they were with the other party, with the king; they were Loyalists. Boston was founded by the ordinary man—by Paul Revere, the coppersmith; Sam Adams, the poor collector of the town of Boston, who did not hand over to the town even the sums he collected as taxes; by John Hancock, the smuggler of rum; by John Adams, the attorney, who naively remarked in his book that after the battle of Lexington they never heard anything about the suits against John Hancock. Those were settled."[2]

These words of our venerable and learned senator and our State Senator Edward B. Callender, seemed strangely unfamiliar to us who had derived our history of the Revolution from the school text-books. These had taught us that the Revolution was due solely to the oppression and tyranny of the British, and that Washington, Franklin, Adams, Hancock, Otis, and the host of other Revolutionary patriots, had in a[6] supreme degree all the virtues ever exhibited by men in their respective spheres, and that the Tories or Loyalists, such as Hutchinson, the Olivers, Saltonstalls, Winslows, Quincys and others, were to be detested and their memory execrated for their abominable and unpatriotic actions.

This led me to inquire and to examine whether there might not be two sides to the controversy which led to the Revolutionary War. I soon found that for more than a century our most gifted writers had almost uniformly suppressed or misrepresented all matter bearing upon one side of the question, and that it would seem to be settled by precedent that this nation could not be trusted with all portions of its own history. But it seemed to me that history should know no concealment. The people have a right to the whole truth, and to the full benefit of unbiased historical teachings, and if, in an honest attempt to discharge a duty to my fellow citizens, I relate on unquestionable authority facts that politic men have intentionally concealed, let no man say that I wantonly expose the errors of the fathers.

In these days we are recognizing more fully than ever the dignity of history, we are realizing that patriotism is not the sole and ultimate object of its study, but the search for truth, and abiding by the truth when found, for "the truth shall make you free" is an axiom that applies here as always.

Much of the ill will towards England which until recently existed in great sections of the American people, and which the mischief-making politician could confidently appeal to, sprung from a false view of what the American Revolution was, and the history of England was, in connection with it. The feeling of jealousy and anger, which was born in the throes of the struggle for independence, we indiscriminately perpetuated by false and superficial school text-books. The influence of false history and of crude one-sided history is enormous. It is a natural and logical step that when our children pass from our schoolroom into active life, feelings so born should die hard and at times become a dangerous factor in the national life, and it is not too much to say that the persistent ill will towards England as compared with the universal kindliness of English feeling towards us, is to be explained by the very different spirit in which the history of the American Revolution is taught in the schools of one country and in those of the other.

James H Stark






A nation's own experience should be its best political guide, but it is not certain that as a people we have improved by all the teachings of our own history, for the reason that our "patriot" writers and orators mostly bound their vision in retrospect by the revolutionary era. And yet, all beyond that is not dark, barren, and profitless to explore. It should be known that the most important truths on which our free forms of government now rest are not primarily the discoveries of the revolutionary sages.

Writing of the Revolution, Mr. John Adams, the successor of Washington, declared that it was his opinion that the Revolution "began as early as the first plantation of the country," and that "independence of church and state was the fundamental principle of the first colonization, has been its principle for two hundred years, and now I hope is past dispute. Who was the author, inventor, discoverer of independence? The only true answer must be, the first emigrants." Before this time he had declared that "The claim of the men of 1776 to the honor of first conceiving the idea of American independence or of first inventing the project of it, is ridiculous. I hereby disclaim all pretension to it, because it was much more ancient than my nativity."

It was the inestimable fortune of our ancestors to have been taught the difficulties of government in two distinct schools, under the Colonial and Provincial charters, known as the first and second charters. The Charter government as moulded and modelled by our ancestors, was as perfect as is our own constitution of today. It was as tender of common right, as antagonistic to special privilege to classes or interests, and as sensitive, too, to popular impulses, good or evil. And it is thus in all self-governing communities, that their weal or woe, being supposedly in their own keeping, the freest forms of delegated government written on parchment are in themselves no protection, but will be such instruments of blessing or of destruction as may best gratify the controlling influences or interests for the time being.

[8]In tracing the origin and development of the sentiment and the desires, the fears and the prejudices which culminated in the American Revolution, in the separation of thirteen colonies from Great Britain, it is necessary to notice the early settlement and progress of those New England colonies in which the seeds of that Revolution were first sown and nurtured to maturity. The Colonies of New England were the result of two distinct emigrations of English Puritans, two classes of Puritans, two distinct governments for more than sixty years—one class of these emigrants, now known as the "Pilgrim Fathers," having first fled from England to Holland, thence emigrated to New England in 1620 in "the Mayflower," and named their place of settlement "New Plymouth." Here they elected seven governors in succession, and existed under a self-constituted government for seventy years. The second class was called "Puritan Fathers." The first installment of their immigrants arrived in 1629, under Endicott, the ancestor of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain's wife. They were known as the "Massachusetts Bay Company," and their final capital was Boston, which afterwards became the capital of the Province and of the State.

The characteristics of the separate and independent governments of these two classes of Puritans were widely different. The one was tolerant, non-persecuting, and loyal to the King, during the whole period of its seventy years' existence; the other was an intolerant persecutor of all religionists who did not adopt its worship, and disloyal, from the beginning, to the government from which it held its Charter, and sedulously sowed and cultivated the seeds of disaffection and hostility to the Royal government until they grew and ripened into the harvest of the American Revolution.

English Puritanism, transferred from England to the head of Massachusetts Bay in 1629, presents the same characteristics which it developed in England. In Massachusetts it had no competitor, it developed its principles and spirit without restraint; it was absolute in power from 1629 to 1689. During these sixty years it assumed independence of the government to which it owed its corporate existence; it made it a penal crime for any immigrant to appeal to England against a local decision of courts or of government; it permitted no oath of allegiance to the King, nor the administration of the laws in his name; it allowed no elective franchise to any Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Quaker or Papist. Every non-member of the Congregational church was compelled to pay taxes and bear all other Puritan burdens, but was allowed no representation by franchise, nor had he eligibility for any public office.

When the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Company emigrated from England, they professed to be members of the Church of England, but Endicott, who had imbibed views of church government and of forms of worship, determined not to perpetuate here the worship of the Established Church, to which he had professed to belong[9] when he left England, but to establish a new church with a new form of worship. He seemed to have brought over some thirty of the immigrants to his new scheme, but a majority either stood aloof from, or were opposed to his extraordinary proceeding. Among the most noted adherents of the old Church of the Reformation were two brothers, John and Samuel Brown, who refused to be parties to this new and locally devised church revolution, and resolved for themselves, their families, and such as thought with them, to continue to worship God according to the custom of their fathers.

It is the fashion of many American historians, as well as their echoes in England, to apply epithets of contumely or scorn to these men. Both the Browns were men of wealth, one a lawyer, the other a private gentleman, and both of them were of a social position in England much superior to that of Endicott. They were among the original patentees and first founders of the colony; they were church reformers, but neither of them a church revolutionist. The brothers were brought before the Governor, who informed them that New England was no place for such as they, and therefore he sent them both back to England, on the return of the ships the same year.

Endicott resolved to admit of no opposition. They who could not be terrified into silence were not commanded to withdraw, but were seized and banished as criminals.[3]

A year later John Winthrop was appointed to supersede Endicott as Governor. On his departure with a fleet of eleven ships from England an address to their "Fathers and Brethren of the Church of England" was published by Winthrop from his ship, the Arbella, disclaiming the acts of some among them hostile to the Church of England, declaring their obligations and attachment to it. He said: "We desire you would be pleased to take notice of the principles and body of our Company as those who esteem it an honor to call the Church of England, from whence we rise, our dear Mother, and cannot part from our native countrie, where she especially resideth, without much sadness of heart and many tears in our eyes." It might be confidently expected that Mr. Winthrop, after this address of loyalty and affection to his Father and Brethren of the Church of England, would, on his arrival at Massachusetts Bay, and assuming its government, have rectified the wrongs of Endicott and his party, and have secured at least freedom of worship to the children of his "dear Mother." But he did nothing of the kind; he seems to have fallen in with the very proceedings of Endicott which had been disclaimed by him in his address.

Thus was the first seed sown, which germinated for one hundred and thirty years, and then ripened in the American Revolution. It was the opening wedge which shivered the transatlantic branches from the parent stock. It was the consciousness of having abused the Royal confidence, and broken faith with their Sovereign, of having acted contrary[10] to the laws and statutes of England, that led the Government of Massachusetts Bay to resist and evade all inquiries into their proceedings; to prevent all evidence from being transmitted to England, and to punish as criminals all who should appeal to England against any of their proceedings; to claim, in short, independence and immunity from all responsibility to the Crown for anything they did or might do. This spirit of tyranny and intolerance, of proscription and persecution, caused all the disputes with the parent Government, and all the bloodshed on account of religion in Massachusetts, which its Government inflicted in subsequent years, in contradistinction to the Governments of Plymouth, Rhode Island, Connecticut and even Maryland.

The church government established by the Puritans at Boston was not a government of free citizens elected by a free citizen suffrage, or even of property qualification, but was the "reign of the church, the members of which constituted but about one-sixth of the population, five-sixths being mere helots bound to do the work and pay the taxes imposed upon them by the reigning church but denied all eligibility to any office in the Commonwealth." It was indeed such a "connection between church and state" as had never existed in any Protestant country; it continued for sixty years, until suppressed by a second Royal Charter, as will appear in the next chapter.

The Puritans were far from being the fathers of American Liberty. They neither understood nor practiced the first principles of civil and religious liberty nor the rights of British subjects as then understood and practiced in the land they had left "for conscience sake."

The first Charter obtained of Charles I. is still in existence, and can be seen in the Secretary's Office at the State House, Boston. A duplicate copy of this Charter was sent over in 1629 to Governor Endicott, at Salem, and is now in the Salem Athenæum.

If the conditions of the Charter had been observed the colonists would have been independent indeed, and would have enjoyed extraordinary privileges for those times. They would have had the freest government in the world. They were allowed to elect their own governor and members of the General Court, and the government of the Colony was but little different from that of the State today, so far as the rights conferred by the charter were concerned. The people were subjects of the Crown in name, but in reality were masters of their own public affairs. The number of the early emigrants to New England who renounced allegiance to the mother church was exceedingly small, for the obvious reason that it was at the same time a renunciation of their allegiance to the Crown. A company of restless spirits had been got rid of, and whether they conformed to all the laws of church and state or not, they were three thousand miles away and could not be easily brought to punishment even if they deserved it, or be made to mend the laws if they broke them. The restriction of subjecting those who wished to emigrate to the oaths of allegiance and supremacy did not last long.[11] Those who chose "disorderly to leave the Kingdom" did so, and thus what they gained in that kind of liberty is a loss to their descendants who happen to be antiquaries and genealogists.

Under the charter they were allowed to make laws or ordinances for the government of the plantation, which should not be repugnant to the laws of England; all subjects of King Charles were to be allowed to come here; and these emigrants and their posterity were declared "to be natural-born subjects, and entitled to the immunities of Englishmen." The time of the principal emigration was auspicious. The rise of the civil war in England gave its rulers all the work they could do at home. The accession of Oliver Cromwell to the Protectorate was regarded very favorably by the colonists, who belonged to the same political party, and they took advantage of this state of affairs to oppress all others who had opinions different from their own. The Quakers, both men and women, were persecuted, and treated with great severity; many were hung, a number of them were whipped at the cart's tail through the town, and then driven out into the wilderness; others had their ears cut off, and other cruelties were perpetrated of a character too horrible to be here related. It was in vain that these poor Quakers demanded wherein they had broken any laws of England. They were answered with additional stripes for their presumption, and not without good reason did they exclaim against "such monstrous illegality," and that such "great injustice was never heard of before." Magna Charta, they said, was trodden down and the guaranties of the Colonial Charter were utterly disregarded.

The following is a striking example of the very many atrocities committed by the authorities at that time: "Nicholas Upshall, an old man, full of years, seeing their cruelty to the harmless Quakers and that they had condemned some of them to die, bothe he and Elder Wiswell, or otherwise Deacon Wiswell, members of the church in Boston, bore their testimony in publick against their brethren's horrid cruelty to said Quakers. And Upshall declared, 'That he did look at it as a sad forerunner of some heavy judgment to follow upon the country.'... Which they took so ill at his hands that they fined him twenty pounds and three pound more at their courts, for not coming to this meeting and would not abate him one grote, but imprisoned him and then banished him on pain of death, which was done in a time of such extreme bitter weather for frost, and snow, and cold, that had not the Heathen Indians in the wilderness woods taken compassion on his misery, for the winter season, he in all likelihood had perished, though he had then in Boston a good estate, in houses and land, goods and money, as also wife and children, but not suffered to come unto him, nor he to them."[4]

After the death of Oliver Cromwell, Charles II. was proclaimed in London the lawful King of England, and the news of it in due time[12] reached Boston. It was a sad day to many, and they received the intelligence with sorrow and concern, for they saw that a day of retribution would come. But there was no alternative, and the people of Boston made up their minds to submit to a power they could not control. They, however, kept a sort of sullen silence for a time, but fearing this might be construed into contempt, or of opposition to the King, they formally proclaimed him, in August, 1661, more than a year after news of the Restoration had come. Meanwhile the Quakers in England had obtained the King's ear, and their representations against the government at Boston caused the King to issue a letter to the governor, requiring him to desist from any further proceedings against them, and calling upon the government here to answer the complaints made by the Quakers. A ship was chartered, and Samuel Shattock, who had been banished, was appointed to carry the letter, and had the satisfaction of delivering it to the governor with his own hand. After perusing it, Mr. Endicott replied, "We shall obey his Majesty's command," and then issued orders for the discharge of all Quakers then in prison. The requisition of the king for some one to appear to answer the complaints against the government of Boston, caused much agitation in the General Court; and when it was decided to send over agents, it was not an easy matter to procure suitable persons, so sensible was everybody that the complaints to be answered had too much foundation to be easily excused, or by any subterfuge explained away. It is worthy of note that the two persons finally decided upon (Mr. Bradstreet and Mr. Norton) were men who had been the most forward in the persecutions of the Quakers. And had it not been for the influence which Lord Saye and Seale of the king's Council, and Col. Wm. Crowne, had with Charles II., the colony would have felt his early and heavy displeasure. Col. Crowne was in Boston when Whalley and Goffe, the regicides, arrived here, and he could have made statements regarding their reception, and the persecution of the Quakers, which might have caused the king to take an entirely different course from the mild and conciliatory one which, fortunately for Boston, was taken. Having "graciously" received the letter from the hands of the agents, and, although he confirmed the Patent and Charter, objects of great and earnest solicitude in their letter to him, yet "he required that all their laws should be reviewed, and that such as were contrary or derogatory to the king's authority should be annulled; that the oath of allegiance should be administered; that administration of justice should be in the king's name; that liberty should be given to all who desired it, to use the Book of Common Prayer; in short, establishing religious freedom in Boston." This was not all—the elective franchise was extended "to all freeholders of competent estates," if they sustained good moral characters.

The Royal Commissioners were appointed to hold Court and correct whatever errors and abuses they might discover.

The return of the agents to New England, bearing such mandates from the king, was the cause of confusion and dismay to the whole country. Instead of being thankful for such lenity, many were full of resentment[13] and indignation, and most unjustly assailed the agents for failing to accomplish an impossibility.

Meanwhile four ships had sailed from Portsmouth, with about four hundred and fifty soldiers, with orders to proceed against the Dutch in the New Netherlands (New York), and then to land the commissioners at Boston and enforce the king's authority. The Dutch capitulated, and the expedition thus far was completely successful. The commissioners landed in Boston on Feb. 15th, 1664, and held a Court to correct whatever errors and abuses they might discover. The commission was composed of the following gentlemen: Col. Richard Nichols, who commanded the expedition; Sir Robert Carr, Col. Geo. Cartwright and Mr. Samuel Maverick. Maverick had for several years made his home on Noddle Island (now known as East Boston), but, like his friends, Blackstone of Beacon Hill and other of the earliest settlers, had been so harshly and ungenerously treated by the Puritan colonists of Boston that he was compelled to remove from his island domain. An early adventurous visitor to these shores mentions him in his diary as "the only hospitable man in all the country." These gentlemen held a commission from the king constituting them commissioners for visiting the colonies of New England, to hear and determine all matters of complaint, and to settle the peace and security of the country, any three or two of them being a quorum.

The magistrates of Boston having assembled, the commissioners made known their mission, and added that so far was the king from wishing to abridge their liberties, he was ready to enlarge them, but wished them to show, by proper representation of their loyalty, reasons to remove all causes of jealousy from their royal master. But it was of no avail; the word loyalty had been too long expunged from their vocabulary to find a place in it again. At every footstep the commissioners must have seen that whatever they effected, and whatever impressions they made, would prove but little better than footprints in the sand. The government thought best to comply with their requirements, so far, at least, as appearances were concerned. They therefore agreed that their allegiance to the king should be published "by sound of trumpet;" that Mr. Oliver Purchis should proclaim the same on horseback, and that Mr. Thomas Bligh, Treasurer, and Mr. Richard Wait, should accompany him; that the reading in every place should end with the words, "God save the King!" Another requirement of the commissioners was that the government should stop coining money; that Episcopalians should not be fined for non-attendance at the religious meetings of the community, as they had hitherto been; that they should let the Quakers alone, and permit them to go about their own affairs. These were only a part of the requirements, but they were the principal ones. Notwithstanding a pretended acquiescence on the part of the government to the requests of the commissioners, it was evident from the first that little could be effected by them from the evasive manner in which all their orders and[14] recommendations were accepted. At length the commissioners found it necessary to put the question to the Governor and Council direct, "Whether they acknowledged his Majesty's Commission?" The Court sent them a message, desiring to be excused from giving a direct answer, inasmuch as their charter was their plea. Being still pressed for a direct answer, they declared that "it was enough for them to give their sense of the powers granted them by charter, and that it was beyond their line to determine the power, intent, or purpose of his Majesty's commission." The authorities then issued a proclamation calling upon the people, in his Majesty's name (!), not to consent unto, or give approbation to the proceedings of the King's Commission, nor to aid or to abet them. This proclamation was published through the town by sound of trumpet, and, oddly enough, added thereto "God save the King." The commissioners then sent a threatening protest, saying they thought the king and his council knew what was granted to them in their charter; but that since they would misconstrue everything, they would lose no more of their labor upon them; at the same time assuring them that their denial of the king's authority, as vested in his commission, would be represented to his Majesty only in their own words. The conduct of Col. Nichols, at Boston, is spoken of in terms of high commendation; but Maverick, Carr and Cartwright are represented as totally unfitted for their business. It is, however, difficult to see how any commissioners, upon such an errand, could have given greater satisfaction; for a moment's consideration is sufficient to convince any one that the difficulty was not so much in the commissioners, as in their undertaking.

After the return of the commissioners to England the government continued their persecutions of the Quakers, Baptists, Episcopalians, and all others who held opinions differing from their own. The laws of England regulating trade were entirely disregarded; the reason alleged therefor being, "that the acts of navigation were an invasion of the rights and privileges of the subjects of his Majesty's colony, they not being represented in Parliament."

Again the king wrote to the authorities of Boston, requiring them not to molest the people, in their worship, who were of the Protestant faith, and directing that liberty of conscience should be extended to all. This letter was dated July 24th, 1679. It had some effect on the rulers; but they had become so accustomed to what they called interference from England, and at the same time so successful in evading it, that to stop now seemed, to the majority of the people, as well as the rulers, not only cowardly, but an unworthy relinquishment of privileges which they had always enjoyed, and which they were at all times ready to assert, as guaranteed to them in their charter. However, there was a point beyond which even Bostonians could not go, and which after-experience proved.

This Royal Commissioner reported that he was in danger of his life, and that the authorities resolved to prosecute him as a subverter of their government.

Edward Randolph brought the king's letter to Boston, and was required to make a report concerning the state of affairs in the colony, and to see that the laws of England were properly executed; but he did[15] not fare well in his mission. He wrote home that every one was saying they were not subject to the laws of England, and that those laws were of no force in Massachusetts until confirmed by the Legislature of the colony.

Every day aggravated his disposition more strongly against the people, who used their utmost endeavors to irritate his temper and frustrate his designs. Any one supporting him was accounted an enemy of the country.

His servants were beaten while watching for the landing of contraband goods. Going on board a vessel to seize it, he was threatened to be knocked on the head, and the offending ship was towed away by Boston boats. Randolph returned to England, reporting that he was in danger of his life, and that the authorities were resolved to prosecute him as a subserver of their government. If they could, they would execute him; imprisonment was the least he expected. Well might the historian exclaim, as one actually did, "To what a state of degradation was a king of England reduced!" his commissioners, one after another, being thwarted, insulted and obliged to return home in disgrace, and his authority openly defied. What was the country to expect when this state of affairs should be laid before the king? A fleet of men-of-war to bring it to its duty? Perhaps some expected this; but there came again, instead, the evil genius of the colony, Edward Randolph, bringing from the king the dreaded quo warranto. This was Randolph's hour of triumph; he said "he would now make the whole faction tremble," and he gloried in their confusion and the success which had attended his efforts to humble the people of Boston. To give him consequence a frigate brought him, and as she lay before the town the object of her employment could not be mistaken. An attempt was made, however, to prevent judgment being rendered on the return of the writ of quo warranto. An attorney was sent to England, with a very humble address, to appease the king, and to answer for the country, but all to no purpose. Judgment was rendered, and thus ended the first charter of Massachusetts, Oct. 23rd, 1684.




Charles II. died Feb. 6th, 1685, and was succeeded by his brother, James II. News of this was brought to Boston by private letter, but no official notification was made to the governor. In a letter to him, however, he was told that he was not written to as governor, for as much as now he had no government, the charter being vacated. These events threw the people of Boston into great uncertainty and trouble as to what they were in future to expect from England. Orders were received to proclaim the new king, which was done "with sorrowful and affected pomp," at the town house. The ceremony was performed in the presence of eight military companies of the town, and "three volleys of cannon" were discharged. Sir Edmund Andros, the new Royal Governor, arrived in Boston Dec. 20th, 1686, and, as was to be expected, he was not regarded favorably by the people, especially as his first act after landing was a demand for the keys of the Old South Church "that they may say prayers there." Such a demand from the new governor could not be tolerated by the now superseded governing authority of Boston, and defy it they would. The Puritan oligarchy stoutly objected to being deprived of the right to withhold from others than their own sect the privileges of religious liberty. To enjoy religious liberty in full measure they had migrated from the home of their fathers, but in New England had become more intolerant than the church which they had abandoned, and became as arbitrary as the Spanish inquisition. Under direction of the king, Andros had come to proclaim the equality of Christian religion in the new colonies. Too evidently this was not what was wanted here.

At last came the news of the landing of the Prince of Orange in England and the abdication of James the Second. The people of Boston rose against Andros and his government and seized him and fifty of his associates and confined them in the "Castle" until February, 1690, when they were sent to England for trial; but having committed no offence, they were discharged. Andros was received so favorably at home that under the new administration he was appointed governor of Virginia and Maryland. He took over with him the charter of William and Mary college, and later laid the foundation stone of that great institution of learning.

This is said to have been the most joyful news ever before received in Boston.

Andros has never received justice from Massachusetts historians. Before his long public career ended he had been governor of every Royal[17] Province in North America. His services were held in such high esteem that he was honored with office by four successive monarchs.

It is gratifying to notice that at last his character and services are beginning to be better appreciated in the provinces over which he ruled, and we may hope that in time the Andros of partisan history will give place, even in the popular narratives of colonial affairs, to the Andros who really existed, stern, proud and uncompromising it is true, but honest, upright and just; a loyal servant of the crown and a friend to the best interests of the people.

Not only were the governor and all of his adherents arrested and thrown into jail, but Captain George, of the Rose frigate, being found on shore, was seized by a party of ship carpenters and handed over to the guard.

So strong was the feeling against the prisoners that it was found necessary to guard them against the infuriated people, lest they should be torn into pieces by the mob. The insurrection was completely successful, and the result was that the resumption of the charter was once more affirmed. A general court was formed after the old model, and the venerable Bradstreet was made governor. Nothing now seemed wanting to the popular satisfaction but favorable news from England, and that came in a day or two. On the 26th of May, 1689, a ship arrived from the old country with an order to the Massachusetts authorities to proclaim King William and Queen Mary. This was done on the 29th, and grave, Puritanical Boston went wild with joy, and all thanked God that a Protestant sovereign once more ruled in England. This has been said to have been the most joyful news ever before received in Boston.

May 14, 1692, Sir William Phipps, a native of Massachusetts, arrived in Boston from England, bringing with him the new Charter of the province, and a commission constituting him governor of the same. Unfortunately he countenanced and upheld the people in their delusion respecting witchcraft, and confirmed the condemnation and execution of the victims. The delusion spread like flames among dry leaves in autumn, and in a short time the jails in Boston were filled with the accused. During the prevalence of this moral disease, nineteen persons in the colony were hanged, and one pressed to death. At last the delusion came to an end, and the leaders afterwards regretted the part they had taken in it.

The new Charter of Massachusetts gave the Province a governor appointed by the Crown. While preserving its assembly and its town organization, it tended to encourage and develop, even in that fierce democracy, those elements of a conservative party which had been called into existence some years before by the disloyalty and tyranny of the ecclesiastical oligarchy.

Thus, side by side with a group of men who were constantly regretting their lost autonomy, and looking with suspicion and prejudice at every action of the royal authorities, there arose another group of[18] men who constantly dwelt upon the advantages they derived from their connection with the mother country. The Church of England also had at last waked up to a sense of the spiritual needs of its children beyond the seas. Many of the best of the laity forsook their separatist principles and returned to the historic church of the old home. This influence tended inevitably to maintain and strengthen the feeling of national unity in those of the colonists who came under the ministration of the church. In all the Royal Provinces there was an official class gradually growing up, that was naturally imperial rather than local in its sympathy. The war with the French, in which colonists fought side by side with "regulars" in a contest of national significance, tended upon the whole to intensify the sense of imperial unity.

"The people of Massachusetts Bay were never in a more easy and happy situation than at the conclusion of the war with France in 1749. By generous reimbursement of the whole charge of £183,000 incurred by the expedition against Cape Breton, the English government set the Province free from a heavy debt by which it must otherwise have remained involved, and enabled by it to exchange a depreciating paper medium, which had long been the sole instrument of trade, for a stable medium of gold and silver. Soon the advantage of this relief from the heavy burden of debt was apparent in all branches of their commerce, and excited the envy of other colonies, in each of which paper was the principal currency."[5]

The early part of the eighteenth century was filled with wars: France, England and Spain were beginning to overrun the interior of North America. Spain claimed a zone to the south, and France a vast territory to the north and west of the English colonies. Each of the three countries sought aid from the savage to carry on its enterprises and depredations. While the English colonies were beset on the north by the French, on the south by the Spaniards, on the west by native Indians along the Alleghany Mountains, and were compelled to depend on the "wooden walls of England" for the protection of their coasts, they were then remarkably loyal to the Crown of England. Their representative assemblies passed obsequious resolutions expressing loyalty and gratitude to the King, and the people; and erected his statue in a public place. This feeling of loyalty remained in the minds of a large majority of the people down to the battle of Lexington.

In May, 1756, the English government, goaded by the constantly continued efforts of the French to ignore her treaty obligations in Acadia, and her ever-harrassing, irritating "pin-pricks" on the frontiers of the English colonies, declared war against France. Long before this official declaration the two countries had been, on this continent, in a state of active but covert belligerency. Preparations for an inevitable conflict were being made by both sides. French intrigue and French treachery were met with English determination to defend the rights of the mother[19] country and of her children here. Money was pledged to the colonies to aid in equipping militia for active service, and the local governments and the inhabitants of every province became as enthusiastic as the home government in the prosecution of war.

On the northern and western borders of New England and of New York, along the thin fringe of advanced English settlements bordering Pennsylvania and Virginia, Indians had long been encouraged or employed in savage raids, and in Nova Scotia, which, by the treaty of Utrecht had been ceded to England, systematic opposition to English occupation was constantly kept up.

Intriguing agents of the French government, soldiers, priests of the "Holy Catholic" church—all were active in a determined effort to check and finally crush out the menacing influence and prosperity of the growing English colonies.

The ambushing and slaughter of Braddock's force on the Monongahela, the removal of Acadians from Annapolis Valley, the defeat of Dieskau at Crown Point, the siege and occupation of Fort Beausejour, all occurred before the formal declaration of war. Clouds were gathering. Men of fighting age of the English colonies volunteered in thousands; British regiments, seasoned in war, were brought from the old country to the new, and with them and after them came ships innumerable. A fight for life of the English colonies was at hand. The brood of the mistress of the seas must not be driven into the ocean. France must be compelled to give pledges for the performance of her treaty engagements or find herself without a foothold in the country.

With the hour came the man. Under the direction of the greatest war minister England had ever seen, or has since seen, William Pitt, the "Great Commoner," war on France was begun in earnest.

At first a few successes were achieved by the French commanders. Fort William Henry, with its small garrison, surrendered to Montcalm, and Abercrombie's expedition to Fort Ticonderoga was a disastrous failure. But the tide of battle soon turned.

The beginning of the end came in 1758. Louisbourg, the great fortress which France had made "The Gibraltar of the West," became a prize to the army and navy of Britain. New England soldiers formed a part of the investing force on land, and their record in the second capture of Louisbourg was something to be proud of. Fort Frontenac, on Lake Ontario, was taken, together with armed vessels and a great collection of stores and implements of war. Fort Duquesne, a strongly fortified post of the French, whose site is now covered by the great manufacturing city of Pittsburgh, surrendered to a British force. For many years after it was known as Fort Pitt, so called in honor of the great minister under whose compelling influence the war against France had become so mighty a success.

In 1759, General Wolfe, who had been the leading spirit in the siege of Louisbourg, was placed in command of an expedition for the capture[20] of Quebec. Next after Louisbourg, Quebec was by nature and military art the strongest place in North America. The tragic story of the capture of Quebec has been so often told that it is not necessary for us to repeat it here.

Of the long, impatient watch by Wolfe, from the English fleet, for opportunity to disembark his small army, drifting with the tides of the St. Lawrence, passing and repassing the formidable citadel, the stealthy midnight landing at the base of a mighty cliff, the hard climb of armed men up the wooded height, and the assembly, in early morning mist, on the Plains of Abraham, are not for us to write of here. In the glowing pages of Parkman all this is so thrillingly described that we need not say more of the most dramatic and most pathetic story in all American history, than that Quebec fell, and with it, in short time, fell the whole power of France in North America.

In the following year (September 8, 1760), Montreal, the last stronghold of the French in Canada, capitulated to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, who had ascended the St. Lawrence with a force of about 10,000 men, comprising British regiments of the line artillery, rangers and provincial regiments from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The provincial contingent numbered above four thousand.

With the fall of Montreal the seven years' fight for supremacy was ended.

Such a defeat to proud France was a bitter experience, and definite settlement of the terms of peace, which Great Britain was able to dictate, was not made until, on the 10th of February, 1763, the treaty of Paris was signed.

By this treaty to Great Britain was ceded all Canada, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and the West India Islands of Dominica, St. Vincent, Tobago and Grenada. Minorca was restored to Great Britain, and to her also was given the French possession of Senegal in Western Africa. In India, where the French had obtained considerable influence, France was bound by this treaty to raise no fortifications and to keep no military force in Bengal. To remove the annoyance which Florida had long been to the contiguous English colonies, that province of Spain was transferred to the English in exchange for Havana, which had been only recently wrested from the occupation of Spain by the brilliant victory of Pocock and Albamarle.

And so 1763 saw the British flag peacefully waving from the Gulf of Mexico to the northern shores of Hudson's Bay. The coast of the Atlantic was protected by the British navy, and the colonists had no longer foreign enemies to fear.

For this relief the colonists gave warm thanks to the king and to parliament. Massachusetts voted a costly monument in Westminster Abbey in memory of Lord Howe, who had fallen in the campaign against Canada. The assembly of the same colony, in a joyous address to the governor, declared that without the assistance of the parent state the colonies[21] must have fallen a prey to the power of France, and that without money sent from England the burden of the war would have been too great to bear. In an address to the king they made the same acknowledgment, and pledged themselves to demonstrate their gratitude by every possible testimony of duty and loyalty. James Otis expressed the common sentiment of the hour when, upon being chosen moderator of the first town meeting held in Boston after the peace, he declared: "We in America have certainly abundant reason to rejoice. Not only are the heathen driven out, but the Canadians, much more formidable enemies, are conquered and become fellow subjects. The British dominion and power can now be said literally to extend from sea to sea and from the Great River to the ends of the earth." And after praising the wise administration of His Majesty, and lauding the British constitution to the skies, he went on to say: "Those jealousies which some weak and wicked minds endeavored to infuse with regard to these colonies, had their birth in the blackness of darkness, and it is a great pity that they had not remained there forever. The true interests of Great Britain and her plantation are mutual, and what God in his providence has united, let no man dare attempt to pull asunder."

In June, 1763, a confederation, including several Indian tribes, suddenly and unexpectedly swept over the whole western frontier of Pennsylvania and Virginia. They murdered almost all the English settlers who were scattered beyond the mountains, surprised every British fort between the Ohio and Lake Erie, and closely blockaded Forts Detroit and Pitt. In no previous war had the Indians shown such skill, tenacity, and concert, and had there not been British troops in the country the whole of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland would have been overrun.

The war lasted fourteen months, and most of the hard fighting was done by English troops, assisted by militia from some of the Southern colonies. General Amherst called upon the New England colonies to help their brethren, but his request was almost disregarded. Connecticut sent 250 men, but Massachusetts, being beyond the zone of immediate danger, would give no assistance. After a war of extreme horror, peace was signed September, 1764. In a large degree by the efforts of English soldiers Indian territory was rolled back, and one more great service was rendered by England to her colonies, and also the necessity was shown for a standing army.[6]

The "French and Indian War," as it was commonly called, waged with so much energy and success, doubled the national debt of England and made taxation oppressive in that country. The war had been waged mainly for the benefit of the colonists, and as it was necessary to maintain a standing army to protect the conquered territory, it was considered but reasonable that part of the expense should be borne by the Americans. This was especially so in view that the conquest of Canada had[22] been a prime object of statesmen and leading citizens of the colonies for many years.

It has been said on good authority that Franklin brought about the expedition against Canada that ended with Wolfe's victory on the Plains of Abraham. In all companies and on all occasions he had urged conquest of Canada as an object of the utmost importance. He said it would inflict a blow upon the French power in America from which it would never recover, and would have lasting influence in advancing the prosperity of the British colonies. Franklin was one of the shrewdest statesmen of the age. After egging England on to the capture of Canada from the French, and then removing the most dreaded enemy of the colonies, he won the confidence of the court and people of France, and obtained their aid to deprive England of the best part of a continent. He was genial, thrifty, and adroit, and his jocose wisdom was never more tersely expressed than when he advised the signers of the Declaration of Independence to "hang together or they would hang separately."

At the conclusion of the Peace of Paris in 1763, Great Britain had ceased to be an insular kingdom, and had become a world-wide empire, consisting of three grand divisions: the British Islands, India, and a large part of North America. In Ireland an army of ten or twelve thousand men were maintained by Irish resources, voted by an Irish Parliament and available for the general defence of the empire. In India a similar army was maintained by the despotic government of the East India Company. English statesmen believed that each of these great parts of the empire should contribute to the defence of the whole, and that unless they should do so voluntarily it was their opinion, in which the great lawyers of England agreed, that power to force contributions resided in the Imperial Parliament at Westminster, and should be exercised. It was thought that an army of ten thousand men was necessary to protect the territory won from France and to keep the several tribes of American Indians in subjection, especially as it was believed that the French would endeavor to recapture Canada at the first opportunity.

Americans, it should be remembered, paid no part of the interest on the national debt of England, amounting to one hundred and forty million pounds, one-half of which had been contracted in the French and Indian war. America paid nothing to support the navy that protected its coasts, although the American colonies were the most prosperous and lightly taxed portion of the British Empire. Grenville, Chancellor of the Exchequer, asked the Americans to contribute one hundred thousand pounds a year, about one-third of the expense of maintaining the proposed army, and about one-third of one percent of the sum we now pay each year for pensions. He promised distinctly that the army should never be required to serve except in America and the West India islands, but he could not persuade the colonists to agree among themselves on a practical plan for raising the money, and so it was proposed to resort to taxation by act[23] of Parliament. At the time he made this proposal he assured the Americans that the proceeds of the tax should be expended solely in America, and that if they would raise the money among themselves in their own way he would be satisfied. He gave them a year to consider the proposition. At the end of the year they were as reluctant as ever to tax themselves for their own defence or submit to taxation by act of Parliament. Then the stamp act was passed—it was designed to raise one hundred thousand pounds a year, and then the trouble began that led to the dismemberment of the empire. Several acute observers had already predicted that the triumph of England over France would be soon followed by a revolt of the colonies. Kalm, the Swedish traveller, contended in 1748 that the presence of the French in Canada, by making the English colonists depend for their security on the support of the mother country, was the main cause of the submission of the colonies. A few years later Argenson, who had left some of the most striking political predictions upon record, foretold in his Memoirs that the English colonies in America would one day rise against the mother country, that they would form themselves into a republic and astonish the world by their prosperity. The French ministers consoled themselves for the Peace of Paris by the reflection that the loss of Canada was a sure prelude to the independence of the colonies, and Vergennes, the sagacious French ambassador at Constantinople, predicted to an English traveller, with striking accuracy, the events that would occur. "England," he said, "will soon repent having removed the only check that would keep her colonies in awe. They stand no longer in need of her protection; she will call upon them to contribute towards supporting the burden they have helped to bring on her, and they will answer by striking off all dependence."[7]

It is not to be supposed that Englishmen were wholly blind to this danger. One of the ablest advocates of the retention of Canada was Lord Bath, who published a pamphlet on the subject, which had a very wide influence and a large circulation.[8] There were, however, some politicians who maintained that it would be wiser to restore Canada and to retain Guadaloupe, St. Lucia, and Martinique. This view was supported with distinguished talent in an anonymous reply to Lord Bath.

This writer argued "that we had no original right to Canada, and that the acquisition of a vast, barren, and almost uninhabited country lying in an inhospitable climate, and with no commerce except that of furs and skins, was economically far less valuable to England than the acquisition of Guadaloupe, which was one of the most important of the sugar islands. The acquisition of these islands would give England the control of the West Indies, and it was urged that an island colony is more advantageous than a continental one, for it is necessarily more dependent upon the mother country. In the New England provinces there are already colleges and academies where the American youths can receive[24] their education. America produces or can easily produce almost everything she wants. Her population and her wealth are rapidly increasing, and as the colonies recede more and more from the sea, the necessity of their connection with England will steadily diminish. They will have nothing to expect, they must live wholly by their own labor, and in process of time will know little, inquire little, and care little, about the mother country. If the people of our colonies find no check from Canada they will extend themselves almost without bounds into inland parts. What the consequences will be to have a numerous, hardy, independent people, possessed of a strong country, communicating little, or not at all, with England, I leave to your own reflections. By eagerly grasping at extensive territory we may run the risk, and that, perhaps, in no distant period, of losing what we now possess. The possession of Canada, far from being necessary to our safety, may in its consequences be even dangerous. A neighbor that keeps us in some awe is not always the worst of neighbors; there is a balance of power in America as well as in Europe."[9]

These views are said to have been countenanced by Lord Hardwicke, but the tide of opinion ran strongly in the opposite direction; the nations had learned to look with pride and sympathy upon that greater England which was growing up beyond the Atlantic, and there was a desire, which was not ungenerous or ignoble, to remove at any risk the one obstacle to its future happiness. These arguments were supported by Franklin, who in a remarkable pamphlet sketched the great undeveloped capabilities of the colonies, and ridiculed the "visionary fear" that they would ever combine against England. "This jealousy of each other," he said, "is so great that, however necessary a union of the colonies has long been for their common defence and security against their enemies, yet they have never been able to effect such a union among themselves. If they cannot agree to unite for defence against the French and Indians, can it reasonably be supposed there is any danger of their uniting against their own nation, which protects and encourages them, with which they have so many connections and ties of blood, interest, and affection, and which it is well known, they all love much more than they love one another."[10]

Within a few years after Franklin made this statement he did more than any other man living to carry into effect the "visionary fear" which he had ridiculed.

The denial that independence was the object sought for was constant and general. To obtain concessions and to preserve connection with the empire was affirmed everywhere. John Adams, the successor of Washington to the presidency, years after the peace of 1783 went farther than this, for he said, "There was not a moment during the Revolution when I would not have given everything I possessed for a restoration[25] to the state of things before the contest began, provided we could have had a sufficient security for its continuance."

In the summer of 1774, Franklin assured Chatham that there was no desire among the colonists for independence. He said: "Having more than once travelled almost from one end of the continent to the other, and kept a variety of company, eating and conversing with them freely, I have never heard in any conversation from any person, drunk or sober, the least wish for a separation or a hint that such a thing would be advantageous to America."

Mr. Jay is quite as explicit: "During the course of my life," said he, "and until the second petition of Congress in 1775, I never did hear an American of any class or of any description express a wish for the independence of the colonies."

Mr. Jefferson affirmed: "What eastward of New York might have been the disposition towards England before the commencement of hostilities I know not, but before that I never heard a whisper of a disposition to separate from Great Britain, and after that its possibility was contemplated with affliction by all."

Washington in 1774 fully sustains their declarations, and in the "Fairfax County Resolves" it was complained that "malevolent falsehoods" were propagated by the ministry to prejudice the mind of the king, particularly that there is an intention in the American colonies to set up for independent state.

Mr. Madison says: "It has always been my impression that a re-establishment of the colonial relations to the mother country, as they were previous to the controversy, was the real object of every class of the people till they despaired of obtaining redress for their grievances."

This feeling among the revolutionists is corroborated by DuPortail, a secret agent of the French government. In a letter dated 1778 he says: "There is a hundred times more enthusiasm for the revolution in a coffee-house at Paris than in all the colonies united. This people, though at war with the English, hate the French more than they hate them; we prove this every day, and notwithstanding everything that France has done or can do for them, they will prefer a reconciliation with their ancient brethren. If they must needs be dependent, they had rather be so on England."

Again, as late as March, 1775, only a month before the outbreak of hostilities at Lexington, John Adams wrote: "That there are any that hunt after independence is the greatest slander on the Province."

This feeling must have arisen from gratitude for the protection afforded by the mother country, or at least satisfaction with the relations then existing. It is true, as has been shown in a previous chapter, that for some years before the English Revolution, and for some years after the accession of William and Mary, the relations of the colonies to England had been extremely tense, but in the long period of unbroken Whig rule which followed, most of the elements of discontent had subsided.[26] The wise neglect of Walpole and Newcastle was eminently conducive to colonial interests. The substitution in several colonies of royal for proprietary government was very popular. There were slight differences in the colonial forms of government, but everywhere the colonists paid their governor and their other officials. In nearly every respect they governed themselves, under the shadow of British dominion, with a liberty not equalled in any other portion of the civilized globe; real constitutional liberty was flourishing in the English colonies when all European countries and their colonies were despotically governed. The circumstances and traditions of the colonists had made them extremely impatient of every kind of authority, but there is no reason for doubting that they were animated by a real attachment to England. Their commercial intercourse, under the restructions of the navigation laws, was mainly with her. Their institutions, their culture, their religion, their ideas were derived from English sources. They had a direct interest in the English war against France and Spain. They were proud of their English lineage, of English growth in greatness, and of English liberty. On this point there is a striking answer made by Franklin in his crafty examinations before the House of Commons in February, 1766. In reply to the question, "What was the temper of America towards Great Britain before the year 1763?" he said, "The best in the world. They submitted willingly to the government of the crown, and paid their courts obedience to the Acts of Parliament. Numerous as the people are in the several old provinces, they cost you nothing in forts, citadels, garrisons, or armies to keep them in subjection, they were governed by this country at the expense only of a little pen, ink, and paper; they were led by a thread. They had not only a respect, but an affection for Great Britain, for its laws, its customs, and manners, and even a fondness for its fashions that greatly increased the commerce. Natives of Britain were always treated with particular regard; to be an 'Old England' man was of itself a character of some respect and gave a kind of rank among us." In reply to the question, "What is their temper now?" he said, "Very much altered." It is interesting to inquire what happened during the three years intervening to change the temper of the colonists.




One of the principal causes that led to the American Revolution was the question of what was lawful under the constitution of the British empire, and what was expedient under the existing circumstances of the colonies. It was the contention of the American Whigs that the British parliament could not lawfully tax the colonies, because by so doing it would be violating an ancient maxim of the British constitution: "No taxation without representation."

On the contrary, many of the profoundest constitutional lawyers of America as well as of England, both rejected the foregoing contention, and at the same time admitted the soundness and the force of the venerable maxim upon which the contention was alleged to rest, but the most of them denied that the maxim was violated by the acts of parliament laying taxation upon the colonies. Here everything depends on the meaning to be attached to the word "representation"—and that meaning is to be ascertained by examining what was understood by the word in England at the time when this old maxim originated, and in subsequent ages during which it had been quoted and applied. During this whole period the idea was that representation in parliament was constituted not through any uniform distribution among individual persons, but rather through a distribution of such privileges among certain organized communities, as counties, cities, boroughs, and universities. Very few people in England then had votes for members of the house of commons—only one-tenth of the population of the entire realm. Such was the state of the electoral system that entire communities, such as the cities of Leeds, Halifax, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool, communities which were as populous and as rich as entire provinces in America, and yet they had no vote whatever for members of parliament. The people of these several communities in England did not refuse to pay taxes levied by act of parliament, because of that reason. It is still a principle of parliamentary representation that from the moment a member is thus chosen to sit in parliament, he is the representative of the whole empire, and not of his particular constituency. He "is under no obligation, therefore, to follow instructions from the voters or the inhabitants of the district from which he is chosen. They have no legal means of enforcing instructions. They cannot demand his resignation. Moreover, members of the house of lords represent, in principle, the interest of the whole empire and of all classes, as truly as the Commons."[11] Therefore the historic meaning of[28] the word "representation," as the word has always been used in English constitutional experience, seemed to justify the Loyalist contention that the several organized British communities in America, as an integral part of the British empire, were to all intents and purposes represented in the British parliament, which sat at the capital as the supreme council of the whole empire and exercised legislative authority coextensive with the boundaries of that empire. The Loyalists admitted that for all communities of British subjects, both in England and America, the existing representation was very imperfect; that it should be reformed and made larger and more uniform, and they were ready and anxious to join in all forms of constitutional agitation under the leadership of such men as Chatham, Camden, Burke, Barre, Fox and Pitt, to secure such reform, and not for a rejection of the authority of the general government, nullification, and disruption of the empire. Accordingly, when certain English commoners in America at last rose up and put forward the claim that merely because they had no votes for members of the house of commons, therefore that house did not represent them, and therefore they could not lawfully be taxed by parliament, this definition of the word "representation" up to that time had never been given to it in England or enjoyed by commoners in England. Nine-tenths of the people of England did not vote. Had not those British subjects in England as good a right as these British subjects in America to deny they were represented in parliament, and that they could not be lawfully taxed by parliament? It was the right and duty of the imperial legislature to determine in what proportion the different parts of the empire should contribute to the defence of the whole, and to see that no one part evaded its obligation and unjustly transferred its part to others. The right of taxation was established by a long series of legal authorities, and there was no real distinction between internal and external taxation. It now suited colonists to describe themselves as apostles of liberty and to denounce England as an oppressor. It was a simple truth that England governed her colonies more liberally than any other country in the world. They were the only existing colonies which enjoyed real political liberty. Their commercial system was more liberal than that of any other colony. They had attained under British rule to a degree of prosperity which was surpassed in no quarter of the globe. England had loaded herself with debt in order to remove one great danger to their future; she cheerfully bore the whole burden of their protection by sea. At the Peace of Paris she had made their interests the very first object of her policy, and she only asked them in return to bear a portion of the cost of their own defence. Less than eight millions of Englishmen were burdened with a national debt of 140,000,000 pounds. The united debt of about three millions of Americans was now less than 800,000 pounds. The annual sum the colonists were asked to contribute was less than 100,000, with an express condition that no part of that sum should be devoted to any other purpose than the defence and protection of the colonies, and the country[29] which refused to bear this small tax was so rich that in the space of three years it had paid off 1,755,000 pounds of its debt. No demand could be more moderate and equitable than that of England. The true motive of the resistance was a desire to pay as little as possible and to throw as much as possible upon the mother country. Nor was the mode of resistance more honorable—the plunder of private houses, and custom-houses, and mob violence, connived at and unpunished. This was the attitude of the colonies within two years after the Peace of Paris, and these were the fruits of the new sense of security which British triumphs in Canada had given to the colonists.

This is a brief statement and a fair one of the principal arguments of the Loyalists. Certainly the position taken by them was a very strong one. A learned American writer upon law, one of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, in referring to the decision of Chief Justice Hutchinson sustaining the legality of the writs of assistance, gave this opinion: "A careful examination of the question compels the conclusion that there was at least reasonable ground for holding, as a matter of mere law, that the British parliament had power to bind the colonies."[12] This view has been sustained by the highest English authorities upon British constitutional law, from the time of Lord Mansfield to the present. "As a matter of abstract right," says Sir Vernon Harcourt, "the mother country has never parted with the claim of ultimate supreme authority for the imperial legislature. If it did so, it would dissolve the imperial tie, and convert the colonies into foreign and independent states." It is now apparent that those Americans who failed in their honest and sacrificial championship of measures that would have given us political reform and political safety, but without civil war, and without an angry disruption of the English-speaking race can justly be regarded as having been, either in doctrine or in purpose, or in act, an unpatriotic party, and yet even at the present time it is by no means easy for Americans, if they be descended from men who fought in behalf of the Revolution, to take a disinterested attitude, that is an historical one towards those Americans who thought and fought against the Revolution.

No candid historian, however, now contends that the government of England had done anything prior to the commencement of the Revolutionary War that justified a Declaration of Independence; for, as previously stated, the amount of taxes required by Parliament was moderate, the money was needed for a proper purpose, and it seemed there was no other way of obtaining it.

Another important factor in the causes of the American Revolution was the so-called "Quebec Act." This act John Adams asserted constituted a "frightful system," and James Rowdoin pronounced it to be "an act for encouraging and establishing Popery." The policy of this legislation may be doubted. Of its justice there can be no doubt. The establishment of the Catholic clergy in Canada and their resultant domination[30] has entailed many disadvantages upon the governing powers of the dominion. But at the time the law was passed it was a simple act of justice. Had Parliament refused to do this it would have been guilty of that tyranny charged against it by the Revolutionists, and today the dominion would not be a part of the British Empire. To the student of American history it at first seems very strange and unaccountable why at the outbreak of the Revolution, the recently conquered French provinces were not the first to fly to arms, especially as their mother country, France, had espoused the cause of the Revolutionists. Instead of this the French Canadians remained loyal to their conqueror and resisted by force of arms all attempts to conquer Canada. The explanation of this curious state of affairs is the "Quebec Act."

By this act the French Canadians were to retain their property, their language, their religion, their laws, and to hold office. In fact, they were allowed greater liberty than they had when subject to France. All this was allowed them by the British Parliament, and this was resented by the English colonists, for they were not allowed to confiscate their lands and drive out the inhabitants as the New Englanders did when they conquered Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. They also claimed that by the laws of the realm Roman Catholics could not vote, much less hold office. At a meeting of the first Continental Congress, held October 21, 1774, an address to the people of Great Britain was adopted, setting forth the grievances of the colonies, the principal one of which was as follows:

"Nor can we suppress our astonishment that a British Parliament should ever consent to establish in that country a religion that has deluged your island in blood and dispersed impiety, bigotry, persecution, murder and rebellion through every part of the world, and we think the legislature of Great Britain is not authorized to establish a religion fraught with such sanguinary and infamous tenets."

This act also granted the Catholic clergy a full parliamentary title to their old ecclesiastical estates, and to tithes paid by members of their own religion, but no Protestant was obliged to pay tithes. It provided for a provincial governing council in which Catholics were eligible to sit, and it established the Catholic clergy securely in their livings. There were then in the Province of Quebec two hundred and fifty Catholics to one Protestant[13]. Surely it would have been a monstrous perversion of justice to have placed this vast majority under the domination of this petty minority, it would have degraded the Catholics into a servile caste and reproduced in America, in a greatly aggravated form, the social conditions which existed in Ireland, but those determined sticklers for freedom of conscience and "the right of self-government," those clamorers for the liberty of mankind, the disunion propagandists, were horrified at the bestowal of any "freedom" or "right" upon a people professing a[31] religion different from their own. "The friends of America" in England, Chatham, Fox, Burke, Barre and others, joined them in their denunciation of the act, the last named especially deprecating the "Popish" measure.

On February 15, 1776, it was resolved that a committee of three, "two of whom should be members of congress," be appointed to pursue such instructions as shall be given them by that body.[14] Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase and Chas. Carroll were chosen for this purpose, and John Carroll, a Jesuit, who afterwards became the first Roman Catholic Archbishop of the United States, accompanied them. The two Carrolls were chosen because they were Catholics, but they were not justified in joining an expedition that might kindle the flame of religious war on the Catholic frontier. The commissioners carried with them an "Address to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec"[15] from Congress, which for cool audacity and impertinence can scarcely be paralleled. It commenced with "We are too well acquainted with the liberality of sentiment distinguishing your natures to imagine that difference of religion will prejudice you against a hearty amity with us," etc.

The address from the Continental Congress was translated into French and was very favorably received. They then begged the translator, as he had succeeded so well, to try his hand on that addressed to Great Britain. He had equal success in this, and read his performance to a numerous audience. But when he came to that part which treats of the new modelling of the province, draws a picture of the Catholic religion and Canadian manners, they could not restrain their resentment nor express it except in broken curses. "O the perfidious, double-faced Congress! Let us bless and obey our benevolent prince, whose humanity is consistent and extends to all religions. Let us abhor all who would seduce us from our loyalty by acts that would dishonor a Jesuit, and whose address, like their resolves, is destructive of their own objects."

While the commissioners were applying themselves with the civil authorities, Rev. Mr. Carroll was diligently employed with the clergy, explaining to them that the resistance of the united colonies was caused by the invasion of their charter by England. To this the clergy replied that since the acquisition of Canada by the British government its inhabitants had no aggression to complain of, that on the contrary the government had faithfully complied with all the stipulations of the treaty, and had in fact sanctioned and protected the laws and customs of Canada with a delicacy that demanded their respect and gratitude, and that on the score of religious liberty the British government had left them nothing to complain of.

And therefore that when the well-established principle that allegiance is due to protection, the clergy could not teach that even neutrality was consistent with the allegiance due to such ample protection as Great[32] Britain had shown the Catholics of Canada. The judicious and liberal policy of the British government to the Catholics had succeeded in inspiring them with sentiments of loyalty which the conduct of the people and the public bodies of some of the united colonies had served to strengthen and confirm. Mr. Carroll was also informed that in the colonies whose liberality he was now avouching, the Catholic religion had not been tolerated hitherto. Priests were excluded under severe penalties and Catholic missionaries among the Indians rudely and cruelly treated.

John Adams, who was a member of the congress that sent the commissioners to Canada, in a letter to his wife, did not state the true reason for sending a Jesuit priest there, and also warned her against divulging the fact that a priest had been sent, for fear of offending his constituents[16]

He wrote as follows:—

"Mr. John Carroll of Maryland, a Roman Catholic priest and a Jesuit, is to go with the committee, the priests of Canada having refused baptism and absolution to our friends there. Your prudence will direct you to communicate the circumstances of the priest, the Jesuit, and the Romish religion, only to such persons as can judge of the measure upon large and generous principles, and will not indiscreetly divulge it."[16]

John Adams also wrote: "We have a few rascally Jacobites and Roman Catholics in this town (Braintree), but they do not dare to show themselves."[17]

By Massachusetts scalp hunters, £100 bounty was offered for the scalp of a male Indian, and £50 for that of women or children.

To any statesman who looked into the question inquiringly and with clear vision, it must have appeared evident that, if the English colonies resolved to sever themselves from the British Empire, it would be impossible to prevent them. Their population was said to have doubled in twenty-five years. They were separated from the mother country by three thousand miles of water, their seaboard extended for more than one thousand miles, their territory was almost boundless in its extent and resources, and the greater part of it no white man had traversed or seen. To conquer such a country would be a task of greatest difficulty and stupendous cost. To hold it in opposition to the general wish of the people would be impossible. The colonists were chiefly small and independent freeholders, hardy backwoodsmen and hunters, well skilled in the use of arms and possessed of all the resources and energies which life in a new country seldom fails to develop. They had representative assemblies to levy taxes and organize resistance. They had militia, which in some colonies included all adult freemen between the ages of sixteen and fifty or sixty, and, in addition to Indian raids, they had the military experience of two great wars. The first capture of Louisburg, in 1745, had been mainly their work. In the latter stages of the war, which ended in 1763, there were more than twenty thousand colonial troops under arms, ten thousand of them from New England alone, and[33] more than four hundred privateers had been fitted out in colonial harbors.[18]

There were assuredly no other colonies in the world so favorably situated as these were at the close of the Seven Years' War. They had but one grievance, the Navigation Act, and it is a gross and flagrant misrepresentation to describe the commercial policy of England as exceptionally tyrannical. As Adam Smith truly said, "Every European nation had more or less taken to itself the commerce of its colonies, and upon that account had prohibited the ships of foreign nations from trading with them, and had prohibited them from importing European goods from any foreign nation," and "though the policy of Great Britain with regard to the trade of her colonies has been dictated by the same mercantile spirit as that of other nations, it has, upon the whole, been less illiberal and oppressive than any of them."[19]

There is, no doubt, much to be said in palliation of the conduct of England. If Virginia was prohibited from sending her tobacco to any European country except England, Englishmen were prohibited from purchasing any tobacco except that which came from America or Bermuda. If many of the trades and manufactures in which the colonies were naturally most fitted to excel were restrained or crushed by law, English bounties encouraged the cultivation of indigo and the exportation to England of pitch, tar, hemp, flax and ship timber from America, and several articles of American produce obtained a virtual monopoly of the English market by their exemption from duties which were imposed on similar articles imported from foreign countries.

The revenue laws were habitually violated. Smuggling was very lucrative, and therefore very popular, and any attempt to interfere with it was greatly resented. The attention of the British government was urgently called to it during the war. At a time when Great Britain was straining every nerve to free the English colonies from the incubus of France, and when millions of pounds sterling were being remitted from England to pay colonists for fighting in their own cause, it was found that French fleets, French garrisons, and the French West India Islands were systematically supplied with large quantities of provisions by the New England colonies. Pitt, who still directed affairs, wrote with great indignation that this contraband trade must be stopped, but the whole community of the New England seaports appeared to favor or was partaking in it, and great difficulty was found in putting the law into execution.[20]

From a legal point of view, the immense activity of New England was for the most part illicit. In serene ignorance the New England sailor penetrated all harbors, conveying in their holds, from the North, where[34] they belonged, various sorts of interdicted merchandise, and bringing home cargoes equally interdicted from all ports they touched. The merchants, who since 1749, through Hutchinson's excellent statesmanship, had been free from the results of a bad currency, greatly throve. The shipyards teemed with fleets, each nook of the coast was the seat of mercantile ventures. It was then that in all the shore towns arose the fine colonial mansions of the traders along the main streets, that are even admired today for their size and comeliness. Within the houses bric-a-brac from every clime came to abound, and the merchants and their wives and children were clothed gaily in rich fabrics from remote regions. Glowing reports of the gaiety and luxury of the colonies reached the mother country.[21] The merchants and sailors were, to a man, law-breakers. It was this universal law-breaking, after the fall of Quebec, that the English ministry undertook to stop over its extended empire. This caused friction, which gave rise to fire, which increased until the ties with the mother land were quite consumed.

As early as 1762 there were loud complaints in Parliament of the administration of custom houses in the colonies. Grenville found on examination that the whole revenue derived by England from the custom houses in America amounted only to between one and two thousand pounds a year, and that for the purpose of collecting this revenue the English exchequer was paying annually between seven and eight thousand pounds. Nine-tenths, probably, of all the tea, wine, fruit, sugar and molasses consumed in the colonies, were smuggled. Grenville determined to terminate this state of affairs. Several new revenue officers were appointed with more rigid rules for the discharge of their duties. "Writs of assistance" were to be issued, authorizing custom house officers to search any house they pleased for smuggled goods. English ships of war were at the same time stationed off the American coast for the purpose of intercepting smugglers.

Adam Smith, writing in 1776, says:

"Parliament, in attempting to exercise its supposed right, whether well or ill-grounded, of taxing the colonies, has never hitherto demanded of them anything which even approached to a just proportion to what was paid by their fellow subjects at home. Great Britain has hitherto suffered her subjects and subordinate provinces to disburden themselves upon her of almost the whole expense."

The colonists had profited by the successful war incomparably more than any other British subjects. Until the destruction of the French power, a hand armed with a rifle or tomahawk and torch seemed constantly near the threshold of every New England home. The threatening hand was now paralyzed and the fringe of plantations by the coast could now extend itself to the illimitable West in safety. No foreign foe could now dictate a boundary line and bar the road beyond it. The colonists were asked only to bear a share in the burden of the empire by[35] a contribution to the sum required for maintenance of the ten thousand soldiers and of the armed fleet which was unquestionably necessary for the protection of their long coast line and of their commerce.

James Otis started the Revolution in New England by what Mr. Lecky calls an "incendiary speech" against writs of assistance, and if half of what Hildreth asserts and Bancroft admits in regard to smuggling along the coast of New England is true, there is no reason to wonder that such writs were unpopular in Boston. James Otis, whose father had just been disappointed in his hopes of obtaining a seat upon the bench, was no doubt an eloquent man and all the more dangerous because he often thought he was right. That it is always prudent to distrust the eloquence of a criminal lawyer we have ample proof, in the advice he gave the people on the passage of the Stamp Act. "It is the duty," he said, "of all, humbly and silently to acquiesce in all the decisions of the supreme legislature. Nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand of the colonists will never once entertain a thought but of submission to our sovereign and to authority of Parliament, in all possible contingencies. They undoubtedly have the right to levy internal taxes on the colonies."

In private talk he was more vigorous than in his formal utterance. "Hallowell says that Otis told him Parliament had a right to tax the colonies and he was a d—— fool who denied it, and that this people would never be quiet till we had a council from home, till our charter was taken away and till we had regular troops quartered upon us."[22]

John Adams wrote in his diary, under date of January 16, 1770, concerning Otis, as follows: "In one word Otis will spoil the club. He talks so much and takes up so much of our time and fills it with trash, obsceneness, profaneness, nonsense and distraction that we have none left for rational amusements or inquiries. I fear, I tremble, I mourn for the man and for his country. Many others mourn over him with tears in their eyes."

Again John Adams says, after an attack upon him by Otis: "There is a complication of malice, envy and jealousy in the man, in the present disordered state of his mind, that is quite shocking."[23] On the 7th of May, 1771, Otis, who at this time had recovered his reason was elected with John Hancock to the assembly. They both left their party and went over to the side of the government. John Adams wrote "Otis' change was indeed startling. John Chandler, Esq., of Petersham gave me an account of Otis' conversion to Toryism, etc." Hutchinson writing to Governor Bernard, says, "Otis was carried off today in a post-chaise, bound hand and foot. He has been as good as his word—set the Province in a flame and perished in the attempt."

In Virginia the revolutionary movement of the poor whites or[36] "crackers," led by Patrick Henry, was against the planter aristocracy, and Washington was a conspicuous member of the latter class. In tastes, manners, instincts and sympathies he might have been taken as an admirable specimen of the better class of English country gentlemen, and he had a great deal of the strong conservative feeling which is natural to that class. He was in the highest sense a gentleman and a man of honor, and he carried into public life the severest standard of private morals.

It was only slowly and very deliberately that Washington identified himself with the disunionist cause. No man had a deeper admiration for the British constitution, or a more sincere desire to preserve the connection, and to put an end to the disputes between the two countries. From the first promulgation of the Stamp Act, however, he adopted the conviction that a recognition of the sole right of the colonies to tax themselves was essential to their freedom, and as soon as it became evident that Parliament was resolved at all hazards to assert its authority by taxing the Americans, he no longer hesitated. Of all the great men in history he was the most invariably judicious, and there is scarcely a rash word or action of judgment related of him. America had found in Washington a leader who could be induced by no earthly motive to tell a falsehood or to break an engagement or to commit a dishonorable act.

In the despondency of long-continued failure, in the elation of sudden success, at times when his soldiers were deserting by hundreds, and when malignant plots were formed against his reputation; amid the constant quarrels, rivalries and jealousies of his subordinates; in the dark hour of national ingratitude and in the midst of the most universal and intoxicating flattery, he was always the same calm, wise, just and single-minded man, pursuing the course which he believed to be right, without fear, favor or fanaticism.

In civil as in military life he was pre-eminent among his contemporaries for the clearness and soundness of his judgment, for his perfect moderation and self-control, for the quiet dignity and the indomitable firmness with which he pursued every path which he had deliberately chosen.


As previously stated, the heart of the Old Dominion was fired by Patrick Henry, one of the most unreliable men living. Byron called him a forest-born Demosthenes, and Jefferson, wondering over his career, exclaimed: "Where he got that torrent of language is inconceivable. I have frequently closed my eyes while he spoke and, when he was done, asked myself what he had said without being able to recollect a word of it." He had been successively a storekeeper, a farmer and a shopkeeper, but had failed in all these pursuits and became a bankrupt at twenty-three. Then he studied law a few weeks and practiced a few years. The first success he made in this line was in an effort to persuade a jury to render one of the most unjust verdicts ever recorded in[37] court. Finally he embarked on the stormy sea of politics. One day he worked himself into a fine frenzy, and in a most dramatic manner demanded "Liberty or Death," although he had both freely at his disposal. He was a slaveholder nearly all his life. He bequeathed slaves and cattle in his will, and one of his eulogists brags that he would buy or sell a horse or a negro as well as anybody.

John Adams of Braintree, now Quincy, was a graduate of Harvard College, and a lawyer by profession. He ranks next to Washington as being the most prominent of the Revolutionary leaders. He was the son of a poor farmer and shoemaker. He married Abigail Smith, the daughter of the Congregational minister in the adjoining town of Weymouth. Much disapprobation of the match appears to have been manifested, for Mr. Adams, the son of a poor farmer, was thought scarcely good enough to be match with the minister's daughter, descended from many of the shining lights of the colony.[24]

John Adams was a cousin of Samuel Adams. He joined the disunionists, probably, because he saw that if the Revolution was successful there would be great opportunity for advancement under the new government. This proved to be the case, for he was the first minister to Great Britain, the successor of Washington as second president of the United States. His eldest son became the sixth president, and his grandson, Charles Francis Adams, ably represented his country as minister to Great Britain during the Civil War of 1861.

The Stamp Act received the royal assent on March 22, 1765, and it was to come into operation on the first day of November following. The "Virginia Resolutions," through which Patrick Henry first acquired a continental fame, voted by the House of Burgess in May following, denied very definitely the authority of Parliament to tax the colonies. At first men recoiled. Otis was reported to have publicly condemned them in King street, which was no doubt true, for, as we have seen, he fully admitted the supremacy of Parliament.

The principal objection made by the colonists to the Stamp Act was that it was an internal tax. They denied the right of Parliament to impose internal taxation, claiming that to be a function that could be exercised only by colonial assemblies. They admitted, however, that Parliament had a right to levy duties on exports and imports, and they had submitted to such taxation for many years without complaint.

In order to soften the opposition, and to consult to the utmost of his power the wishes of the colonists, Grenville informed the colonial agents that the distribution of the stamps should be confided not to Englishmen but to Americans. Franklin, then agent for Pennsylvania, accepted the act and, in his canny way, took steps to have a friend appointed stamp distributor for his province. This made him very unpopular and the mob threatened to destroy his house.

The Stamp Act, when its ultimate consequences are considered,[38] must be deemed one of the most momentous legislative acts in the history of mankind.

A timely concession of a few seats in the upper and lower houses of the Imperial Parliament would have set at rest the whole dispute. Franklin had suggested it ten years before, anticipating even Otis, Grenville was quite ready to favor it, Adam Smith advocated it. Why did the scheme fail? Just at that time in Massachusetts a man was rising into provincial note, who was soon to develop a heat, truly fanatical, in favor of an idea quite inconsistent with Franklin's plan. He from the first claimed that representation of the colonies in Parliament was quite impracticable or, if accepted, would be of no benefit to the colonies, and that there was no fit state for them but independence. His voice at first was but a solitary cry in the midst of a tempest, but it prevailed mightily in the end.

This sole expounder of independence was Samuel Adams, the father of the Revolution. Already his influence was superseding that of Otis, in stealthy ways of which neither Otis nor those who made an idol of him were sensible, putting into the minds of men, in the place of the ideas for which Otis stood, radical conceptions which were to change in due time the whole future of the world. "Samuel Adams at this time was a man of forty-two years of age, but already gray and bent with a physical infirmity which kept his head and hands shaking like those of a paralytic. He was a man of broken fortunes, a ne'er-do-well in his private business, a failure as a tax collector, the only public office he had thus far undertaken to discharge."[25] He had an hereditary antipathy to the British government, for his father was one of the principal men connected with Land-Bank delusion, and was ruined by the restrictions which Parliament imposed on the circulation of paper money, causing the closing up of the bank by act of Parliament and leaving debts which seventeen years later were still unpaid.

It appears that Governor Hutchinson was a leading person in dissolving the bank, and from that time Adams was the bitter enemy of Hutchinson and the government. Hutchinson in describing him says, "Mr. S. Adams had been one of the directors of the land bank in 1741 which was dissolved by act of Parliament. After his decease his estate was put up for sale by public auction, under authority of an act of the General Assembly. The son first made himself conspicuous on this occasion. He attended the sale, threatened the sheriff to bring action against him and threatened all who should attempt to enter upon the estate under pretence of a purchase, and by intimidating both the sheriff and those persons who intended to purchase, he prevented the sale, kept the estate in his possession and the debts to the land bank remained unsatisfied. He was afterwards a collector of taxes for the town of Boston and made defalcation which caused an additional tax upon the inhabitants. He was for nearly twenty years a writer against government in the public[39] newspapers. Long practice caused him to arrive at great perfection and to acquire a talent of artfully and fallaciously insinuating into the minds of readers a prejudice against the characters of all he attacked beyond any other man I ever knew, and he made more converts to his cause by calumniating governors and other servants of the crown than by strength of reasoning. The benefit to the town from his defence of their liberties, he supposed an equivalent to his arrears as their collector, and prevailing principle of the party that the end justified the means probably quieted the remorse he must have felt from robbing men of their characters and injuring them more than if he had robbed them of their estates."[26]

In a letter written by Hutchinson about this time he thus characterizes his chief adversary:

"I doubt whether there is a greater incendiary in the King's dominion or a man of greater malignity of heart, who has less scruples any measure ever so criminal to accomplish his purposes; and I think I do him no injustice when I suppose he wishes the destruction of every friend to government in America."[27]

In a letter dated March 13, 1769, Adams petitioned the town, requesting that he be discharged from his indebtedness to the town for the amount that he was in arrears as tax collector. He states that the town treasurer, by order of the town, had put his bond in suit and recovered judgment for the sum due £2009.8.8. He stated that his debts and £1106.11 will fully complete the sum which he owes and requests "that the town would order him a final discharge upon the condition of his paying the aforesaid sum of £1106.11 into the province treasury." This letter of Adams to the town of Boston fully confirms the statement made by Hutchinson that he was a defaulter, for it appears from this letter that during the several years he was collector of taxes for the town, that he did not make a proper return for the taxes which he had collected, and it was only after suit and judgment had been obtained against his bondsmen that restitution was made, his sureties having to pay over $5000 in cash and the balance was made up of uncollected taxes.[28]

Adams was poor, simple, ostentatiously austere; the blended influence of Calvinistic theology and republican principles had indurated his whole character. He hated monarchy and the Episcopal church, all privileged classes and all who were invested with dignity and rank, with a fierce hatred. He was the first to foresee and to desire an armed struggle, and he now maintained openly that any British troops which landed should be treated as enemies, attacked and if possible destroyed.




After the adoption in Massachusetts of Patrick Henry's resolves, the people, brooding over the injuries which Adams made them believe they were receiving under the Stamp Act, became fiercer in temper. Open treason was talked, and many of the addresses to the Governor, composed by Adams, were models of grave and studied insolence. The rough population which abounded about the wharves and shipyards grew riotous, and, with the usual indiscrimination of mobs, was not slow to lift its hands against even the best friends of the people. "Mob law is a crime, and those who engage in mobs are criminals." This is a fundamental axiom of orderly government that cannot be denied.

The first great riot was in anticipation of the arrival of the stamps. On the morning of August 14, 1765, there appeared, at what is now a corner of Washington and Essex streets, two effigies, hanging on an elm tree, representing Andrew Oliver, the stamp agent, and Lord Bute, the former prime minister. In the evening these images were carried as far as Kilby street, where there was a new unfinished government building, wrongly supposed to have been erected for use as a stamp office. This the mob completely demolished, and, taking portions of its wood-work with them, they proceeded to Fort Hill, where a bonfire was made in front of the house of Mr. Oliver, burning the effigy of Lord Bute there, and committing gross outrages on Oliver's premises, which were plundered and wrecked.

A few nights later riots recommenced with redoubled fury, the rioters turning their attention to the house of Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, who was also chief justice, and kinsman of Oliver. Hutchinson was not only the second person in rank in the colony, but was also a man who had personal claims of the highest kind upon his countrymen. He was an American, a member of one of the oldest colonial families, and, in a country where literary enterprise was very uncommon, he had devoted a great part of his life to investigating the history of his native province. His rare abilities, his stainless private character, and his great charm of manner, were universally recognized. He had at one time been one of the most popular men in the colony, and although Hutchinson was opposed to the Stamp Act, the determined impartiality with which, as Chief Justice, he upheld the law, soon made him obnoxious to the mob.

His beautiful mansion on Oliver street, Fort Hill, was wrecked and he narrowly escaped with his life.

When the mob surrounded his house in Garden Court street, they called for him to appear on his balcony, to give an account of himself as[41] to the Stamp Act. He barred the doors and windows and remained within. One of his neighbors, alarmed, no doubt, as to the safety of his own property, told the mob that he had seen Hutchinson drive out just at nightfall, and that he had gone to spend the night at his country house at Milton. On hearing this the mob dispersed, having done no other damage than the breaking of windows.

The popular fury had now become so ungovernable and perilous that Governor Bernard took refuge in the Castle, leaving Hutchinson to bear the brunt of this vehement hostility. Shortly after the governor's retreat, on the 26th of August, occurred a riot as disgraceful as any on record on either side of the Atlantic. It commenced at dusk with a bonfire on King street. One of the fire-wards attempted to extinguish it, but he was driven from the ground by a heavy blow from one of the mob which had assembled. The fire was doubtless kindled as a signal for the assembling of a ruffianly body of disguised men, armed with clubs and staves. They first went to the house of the register of the admiralty court, broke into his office in the lower story, and fed the fire hard by with the public archives in his keeping, and with all his own private papers. Next they went to the house of the comptroller of customs in Hanover street, tore down his fence, broke his windows, demolished his furniture, stole his money, scattered his papers, and availed themselves of the wine in his cellar as a potent stimulant to greater excesses.

They then proceeded to Hutchinson's house, the finest and most costly in Boston. He had barely time to escape with his family, otherwise murder would no doubt have put a climax to the criminal orgies of the night. The rioters hewed down the doors with broad axes, destroyed or stole everything of value, including important historical data which he had spent years in collecting, papers which, if preserved to his countrymen, would be worth many times their weight in gold; and still further maddened by the contents of the cellar, the incendiary crowd broke up the roof and commenced tearing down the wood-work of the mansion.

There exists competent evidence that the municipal authorities had timely notice of the pendency of this riot. They held a town meeting next day, denounced the rioters by unanimous vote, in which many who had been foremost in the affair gave assent to their own condemnation, but nothing was done towards punishing the perpetrators of the outrages, and it was evident that the prevailing feeling was with the rioters. Those who were arrested and committed for trial were released by a formidable body of sympathizers, undoubtedly fellow criminals, who went by night to the jail, forced the jailer to deliver up the keys, and released the culprits.

The Custom House was selected for assault and pillage on the following night. The collector somehow gained information of this purpose. He had in his custody about four thousand pounds in specie, which could not be removed so secretly as to elude the espionage of eyes intent on rapine and plunder. The governor, at the urgent demand of[42] the collector, called out the cadets, who constituted his special guard. The mob assembled. The commanding officers addressed them, first with persuasion, then with threats, but in vain. Driven to extremity he ordered his company to prime and load, and then begged the rioters to retire. They remained immovable until the order was given to "aim," when a hurried retreat of the tumultuous rabble ensued.

There were, subsequently, various public demonstrations of a disorderly character; effigies of unpopular members of the home and provincial governments were hanged and burned, and there were frequent displays of violent hostility to the administration; but it was not till June, 1768, that there was another dangerous and destructive riot. In this there cannot be the slightest doubt that the mob had on their side as little moral justification as legal right. The sloop "Liberty," belonging to John Hancock, a leading merchant of the patriot party, arrived at Boston, laden with wine from Madeira, and a custom-house officer went on board to inspect the cargo. He was seized by the crew and detained for several hours, while the cargo was landed, and a few pipes of wine were entered on oath at the Custom House as if they had been the whole. On the liberation of the customs' officers the vessel was seized for a false entry, and in order to prevent the possibility of a rescue it was removed from the wharf to the protection of the guns of a man of war. A mob was speedily collected, and as the rabble could not get possession of the sloop, they attacked the revenue officers for doing their duty in properly seizing the vessel for false entry and smuggling. The collector, his son, and two inspectors, received the most barbarous treatment, were badly bruised and wounded, and hardly escaped with their lives. The mob next went to the house of the inspector-general, and to that of the comptroller of customs, and broke their windows. They then dragged the collector's boat to the Common and burned it there.

When we consider the lawless condition of Boston, there cannot be any question that Governor Bernard was fully authorized to seek the presence of troops. The crown officers were in a rightful possession of their offices, and it would have been cowardly for them to desert their posts and sail for England, and thus to leave anarchy behind them. Meanwhile their lives were in peril, and they had an unquestionable right to demand competent protection. This they could have only by sending out of the province for it. The colonial militia could not be relied upon, for the mob must have been largely represented in its ranks. Nor could dependence be placed on the cadets, for Hancock, in whose behalf the last great riot had been perpetrated, was an officer of that corps. The only recourse was to the importation of royal troops—a measure which legal modes of remonstrance by patriots worthy of the name would never have rendered necessary or justifiable.

Two regiments, the 14th and 29th, of about five hundred men each, arrived on Sept. 28, 1768. These soldiers were, of course, a burden and annoyance. They could not have been otherwise. Individually they[43] were not gentlemen, and they could not have been expected to be so. Yet had their presence been desired or welcome, there is no reason to suppose that there would have been any unpleasant collision with them.

The first token of resentment on the part of the populace occurred eleven days after their arrival. The colonel of one of the regiments had ordered a guard-house to be built on the Neck. The site was visited in the night by a mob, who tore down the frame of the building and cut it in pieces, so that no part of it could be put to further use. From that time on there were perpetual quarrels and brisk interchanges of contumely, abuse, and insult between the soldiers and the inhabitants, in which gangs of ropemakers bore a prominent part. There was undoubtedly no lack of ill-blood on either side, but, after patiently reading the contemporary record of what took place, we are inclined to adopt the statement of Samuel G. Drake, whose intense loyalty as a loving citizen of Boston no one can question, and who writes "That outrages were committed by the soldiers is no doubt true; but these outrages were exaggerated, and they probably, in nine cases out of ten, were the abused party."[29]

Passing over intervening dissensions and tumults, we now come to the so-called "Boston Massacre," on the 5th of March, 1770, an occasion on which loss of life was inevitable, and the only question was whether it should be among the soldiers or their assailants. The riot was evidently predetermined, as one of the bells was rung about eight o'clock, and immediately afterwards bands of men, with clubs, appeared upon the streets. Early in the evening there had been some interchange of hostilities, chiefly verbal, between the soldiers and town people, but an officer had ordered his men into the barrack-yard, and closed the gate. The "main guard," for that day's duty, was from the 29th regiment.

About nine o'clock a solitary sentinel in front of the custom-house on King street, now known as State street, was assailed by a party of men and boys, who pelted him with lumps of ice and coal, and threatened him with their clubs. Being forbidden by the rules of the service to quit his post, he called upon the "main guard," whose station was within hearing. A corporal and seven soldiers were sent to his relief. They were followed by Captain Preston, who said, "I will go there myself to see that they do no mischief." By that time the crowd had become a large one, intensely angry, and determined on violence. The mob supposed the soldiers were helpless and harmless; that they were not permitted to fire unless ordered by a magistrate. The rioters repeatedly challenged the soldiers to fire if they dared, and the torrent of coarse and profane abuse poured upon the soldiers is astonishing even in its echoes across the century, and would furnish material for an appropriate inscription on the Attucks monument. The soldiers stood on the defensive while their lives were endangered by missiles, and till the crowd closed upon them in a hand-to-hand conflict. The leader of the assault was[44] "Crispus Attucks," a half Indian and half negro, who raised the blood-curdling war-whoop, the only legacy save his Indian surname and his strength and ferocity, that he is known to have received from his savage ancestry. He knocked down one of the soldiers, got possession of his musket, and would, no doubt, have killed him instantly had not the soldiers fired at that moment and killed Attucks and two other men, two more being fatally wounded. There is no evidence that Captain Preston ordered the firing, though if he did he certainly deserved no blame, as the shooting was, for the soldiers, the only means of defence. There is no doubt that the mobs on these occasions were set in movement and directed by some persons of higher rank and larger views of mischief than themselves.

Gordon, the historian of the American Revolution, informs us that the mob was addressed, in the street, before the firing, by a tall, large man, in a red cloak and white wig, and after listening to what he had to offer in the space of three or four minutes, they huzza for the "main guard" and say, "We will do for the soldiers." He also said, "But from the character, principles, and policies of certain persons among the leaders of the opposition, it may be feared that they had no objection to a recounter that by occasioning the death of a few might eventually clear the place of the two regiments."

This avowal, which, coming from such a source, has all the weight of premeditation, chills us with its deliberate candor, and begets reflections on the desperate means resorted to by some of the leaders of the populace in those trying times, which historians generally have shrunk from suggesting.

Hutchinson fulfilled at this time, with complete adequacy, the functions of chief magistrate. He was at once in the street in imminent danger of having his brains dashed out,[30] expostulating, entreating, that order might be observed. His prompt arrest of Preston and the squad which had done the killing was his full duty, and it is to the credit of the troops that the officer and his men, in the midst of the exasperation, gave themselves quietly into the hands of the law.

In the famous scenes which followed, the next day, Samuel Adams and other leading agitators, as representatives of the people, rushed into the presence of Hutchinson, and rather commanded than asked for the removal of the troops. Hutchinson hesitated. He was not yet governor—Bernard was in England. The embarrassment of the situation for the chief magistrate was really appalling. He knew that their removal would, under the circumstances, be a great humiliation to the government and a great encouragement to the mob. On the other hand, if the soldiers remained it was only too probable that in a few hours the streets of Boston would run with blood. He consulted the council, and found, as usual, an echo of the public voice. He then yielded, and the troops were sent to Fort William, on Castle Island, three miles from the town.

[45]Although, from that day to this, it has been held that the British uniform was driven with ignominy out of the streets of Boston, they deserve no discredit for their submission to the Governor and his council. They were two weak regiments, together amounting to not more than eight hundred effective men, isolated in a populous province which hated them, and were in great peril of life. It does not appear that they showed the white feather at all, but rather that they were law-abiding. Probably few organizations in the British army have a record more honorable. The 14th was with William III. in Flanders; it formed, too, one of the squares of Waterloo, breasting for hours the charges of the French cuirassiers until it had nearly melted away. The 29th was with Marlboro at Ramillies, and with Wellington in the Peninsula; it bore a heavy part, as may be read in Napier, in wresting Spain from the grasp of Napoleon. To fight it out with the mob would no doubt have been far easier and pleasanter than to yield; for brave soldiers to forbear is harder than to fight, and one may be sure that in the long history of those regiments few experiences more trying came to pass than those of the Boston streets.

Few things contributed more to commence the American Revolution than this unfortunate affray. Skillful agitators perceived the advantage it gave them, and the most fantastic exaggerations were dexterously diffused. It, however, had a sequel which is extremely creditable to the citizens of Boston.

It was determined to try the soldiers for their lives, and public feeling ran so fiercely against them that it seemed as if their fate was sealed. The trial, however, was delayed for seven months till the excitement had in some degree subsided. Captain Preston very judiciously appealed to John Adams, who was rapidly rising to the first place among the lawyers and the popular party of Boston, to undertake his defence. Adams knew well how much he was risking by espousing so unpopular a cause, but he knew also his professional duty, and though violently opposed to the British Government, he was an eminently honest, brave, and humane man. In conjunction with Josiah Quincy, a young lawyer who was also of the popular party, he undertook the invidious task, and he discharged it with consummate ability. Three years afterwards he wrote in his diary: "The part I took in defence of Capt. Preston and the soldiers procured me anxiety and obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested acts of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country. Judgment of death against those soldiers would have been as foul a stain upon this country as the execution of the Quakers or witches, anciently. As the evidence was, the verdict of the jury was exactly right."

These noble words and his actions in this matter are sufficient alone to prove that John Adams was a fit successor to President Washington. He was entirely just in the estimate he put upon his conduct in these frank terms. His defence of the soldiers was one of the most courageous[46] acts that a thoroughly manly man performed, and his summing up of the matter just quoted, is perfectly accurate. If John Adams showed himself here a man of sense and a hero, as much cannot be said of his cousin, Samuel Adams, who undoubtedly was one of the leaders who incited the mob to attack the soldiers, as hinted at by Gordon. And, again, in the vindictive persecution which followed, in the attempt to arouse in England and America indignation against the soldiers, by documents based on evidence hastily collected in advance of the trial, from wholly unreliable witnesses, and in the attempt to precipitate the trial while passion was still hot, the misbehavior of the people was grave. In all this no leader was more eager than Samuel Adams, and in no time in his career, probably, does he more plainly lay himself open to the charge of being a reckless demagogue, a mere mob-leader, than at this moment.

Captain Preston and six of the soldiers, who were tried for murder, were acquitted; two of the soldiers, convicted of manslaughter, were branded on the hand and then released. The most important testimony in the case was that of the celebrated surgeon, John Jeffries, who attended Patrick Carr, an Irishman, fatally wounded in the affray. It is as follows: "He said he saw many things thrown at the sentry; he believed they were oyster shells and ice; he heard the people huzza every time they heard anything strike that sounded hard. He then saw some soldiers going down towards the custom-house; he saw the people pelt them as they went along. I asked him whether he thought the soldiers would fire; he said he thought the soldiers would have fired long before. I then asked him if he thought the soldiers were abused a great deal; he said he thought they were. I asked him whether he thought the soldiers would have been hurt if they had not fired; he said he really thought they would, for he heard many voices cry out, 'Kill them!' I asked him, meaning to close all, whether he thought they fired in self-defence or on purpose to destroy the people; he said he really thought they did fire to defend themselves; that he did not blame the man, whoever he was, that shot him. He told me he was a native of Ireland; that he had frequently seen mobs, and soldiers called to quell them. Whenever he mentioned that, he called himself a fool; that he might have known better; that he had seen soldiers often fire on people in Ireland, but had never in his life seen them bear so much before they fired."

John Adams, in his plea in defence of the soldiers, said: "We have been entertained with a great variety of phrases to avoid calling this sort of people a mob. Some called them shavers, some called them geniuses. The plain English is, they were probably a motley rabble of saucy boys, negroes, mulattoes, Irish teagues, and outlandish Jack-tars, and why we should scruple to call such a set of people a mob, I can't conceive, unless the name is too respectable for them."

Chief-Justice Lynde, eminent for his judicial integrity and impartiality, said on the announcement of the verdict: "Happy am I to find, after much strict examination, the conduct of the prisoners appears in so fair[47] a light, yet I feel myself deeply affected that this affair turns out so much to the disgrace of every person concerned against them, and so much to the shame of the town in general."

In 1887, at the instigation of John Boyle O'Reilly and the negroes of Boston, the Legislature passed a bill authorizing the expenditure of $10,000 for the purpose of erecting a monument to the memory of the "victims of the Boston Massacre." The monument was erected on Boston Common, notwithstanding the fact that the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society, voted unanimously against it. "That it was a waste of public money, that the affray was occasioned by the brutal and revengeful attack of reckless roughs upon the soldiers, while on duty, who had not the civilian's privilege of retreating, but were obliged to contend against great odds, and used their arms only in the last extremity; that the killed were rioters and not patriots, and that a jury of Boston citizens had acquitted the soldiers." A joint committee, composed of members of both societies, presented the resolutions to Governor Ames, and requested him to veto the bill. He admitted that "the monument ought not to be erected, but if he vetoed the bill it would cost the Republican party the colored vote." When the monument was erected and uncovered, it presented such an indecent appearance that the City Council immediately voted $250 for a new capstone. It now represents an historical lie, and is a sad commentary on the intelligence and art taste of the citizens of Boston. To be sure monuments of stone will not avail to perpetuate an error of history, as witness the monument erected to commemorate the Great Fire of London. The inscription on that monument, embodying a gross perversion of history, was effaced in 1831, after it had stood there one hundred and fifty years, but the just resentment, the ill-feeling, the grief and shame which it engendered during that period, had been evils of incalculable magnitude. The time will surely come when the monument on Boston Common will be removed for the same reason.

On the 18th of March, 1766, the Stamp Act was repealed. It had remained in force but one year, and was then repealed in an effort to pacify the colonists. A duty was placed on tea and other imports which the colonists had always admitted to be a valid act of the Parliament. Whatever might be said of the Stamp Act, the tea duty was certainly not a real grievance to Americans, for Parliament had relieved the colonists of a duty of 12d. in the pound which had hitherto been levied in England, and the colonists were only asked, in compensation, to pay a duty of 3d. in the pound on arrival of the tea in America. The measure, therefore, was not an act of oppression, but of relief, making the price of tea in the colonies positively cheaper by 9d. per pound than it had been before. But the turbulent spirits were not to be satisfied so easily. They organized an immense boycott against British goods and commercial intercourse with England, and appointed vigilance committees in many[48] communities to see that the boycott was rigidly enforced. Hutchinson, in describing them, says: "In this Province the faction is headed by the lowest, dirtiest, and most abject part of the community, and so absurdly do the Council and House of Representatives reason, that they justify this anarchy, the worst of tyranny, as necessary to remove a single instance of what they call oppression; they have persecuted my sons with peculiar pleasure." August 26, 1770, he wrote to William Parker, of Portsmouth: "You certainly think right when you think Boston people are run mad. The frenzy was not higher when they banished my pious great-grandmother, when they hanged the Quakers, when they afterwards hanged the poor innocent witches, when they were carried away with a Land Bank, or when they all turned "New Lights," than the political frenzy has been for a twelve-month past."[31]

In December, 1773, three ships laden with tea, private property of an innocent corporation, arrived at Boston, and on the 16th of that month, forty or fifty men, disguised as Mohawk Indians, under the direction of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and others, boarded the vessels, posted sentinels to keep all agents of authority off at a distance, and flung the three cargoes, consisting of three hundred and forty-two chests, into the harbor. How can we, law-abiding citizens, applaud the "Boston Tea Party" and condemn the high-handed conduct of strike-leaders of the present time? In this transaction some respectable men were engaged, and their posterity affects to be proud of it. But they were not proud of it at the time. In their disguise as Indians they were not recognized, and the few well-known names among them were not divulged till the rebellion became a successful revolution. It probably made no "patriots." We have proof that it afterwards turned the scales against the patriot cause with some who had sympathized with it and taken part in it.

Looking back to those times during later years, John Adams wrote: "The poor people themselves, who, by secret manoeuvres, are excited to insurrection, are seldom aware of the purposes for which they are set in motion or of consequences which may happen to themselves; and when once heated and in full career, they can neither manage themselves nor be managed by others."

A cartoon published in London in 1771, showing how the authority of the government was wholly disregarded in Boston.

The illegal seizure of the tea was in a certain sense parallel to the so-called "respectable" mob which on the 11th of August, 1834, destroyed the Charlestown convent, and, a year later, nearly killed Garrison and made the jail his only safe place of refuge. Had slavery triumphed, that mob would at this day be the object and the subject of popular glorification; every man who belonged to it, who was present abetting and encouraging it, would claim his share of the glory, and a roll of honor would have been handed down for a centennial celebration in which every slaveholder in the land would have borne a part. But now that slavery is dead, and the statue of Garrison has its place in the[49] fashionable avenue of Boston, there is no longer any merit in the endeavor to buttress the fallen cause. Had the Revolution failed, the disgrace of the men who threw the tea overboard would never have been removed, and the best that history could say of them would be that, like the Attucks mob, they were enthusiasts without reason.

John Hancock, one of the principal leaders of the Tea Party Mob, and the owner of the sloop "Liberty," which was seized for smuggling, and later the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, inherited £70,000 from his uncle, who had made a large part of it by importing from the Dutch island of St. Eustacia great quantities of tea, in molasses hogsheads, and, by the importation of a few chests from England, had freed the rest from suspicion, and not having been found out, had borne the reputation of a "fair trader." Partly by inattention to his private affairs, and partly from want of sound judgment, John Hancock became greatly involved and distressed, and his estate was lost with much greater rapidity than it had been acquired by his uncle.[32]

John Adams had very positive opinions concerning the mobs of the Revolution. In a letter to his wife he says:

"I am engaged in a famous cause. The cause of King of Scarborough versus a mob that broke into his house and rifled his papers and terrified him, his wife, children and servants, in the night. The terror and distress, the distraction and horror of this family, cannot be described in words, or painted upon canvas. It is enough to move a statue, to melt a heart of stone, to read the story. A mind susceptible of the feelings of humanity, a heart which can be touched with sensibility for human misery and wretchedness, must relent, must burn with resentment and indignation at such outrageous injuries. These private mobs I do and will detest."[33]

Concerning the Loyalists, he says: "A notion prevails among all parties that it is politest and genteelest to be on the side of the administration, that the better sort, the wiser few, are on one side, and that the multitude, the vulgar, the herd, the rabble, the mob, only are on the other."[34]

As regards his own actions towards the Loyalists, he writes in his later years as follows:

"Nothing could be more false and injurious to me than the imputation of any sanguinary zeal against the Tories, for I can truly declare that through the whole Revolution, and from that time to this, I never committed one act of severity against the Tories."[35]

At the time of the shedding of the first blood at Lexington, Hancock was respondent, in the admiralty court, in suits of the crown to recover nearly half a million of dollars, as penalties alleged to have been incurred for violation of the statute-book. It was fit that he should be[50] the first to affix his name to an instrument which, if made good, would save him from financial ruin.

One-fourth of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were bred to trade or to the command of ships, and more than one of them was branded with the epithet of "smuggler."[36]

In 1773 John Hancock was elected treasurer of Harvard college. "In this they considered their patriotism more than their prudence." The amount of college funds paid over to him was upwards of fifteen thousand and four hundred pounds, and, like his friend, Samuel Adams, he, too, proved to be a defaulter. For twenty years the corporation begged and entreated him to make restitution. They threatened to prosecute him and also to put his bond in suit, as Adams' was, but it was all of no avail. He turned a deaf ear to their entreaties, and it was only after his death, in 1793, that his heirs made restitution to the college, when a settlement was made, in 1795, in which the college lost five hundred and twenty-six dollars interest.

Josiah Quincy, the president of Harvard college, in referring to this matter, says:

"From respect to the high rank which John Hancock attained among the patriots of the American Revolution, it would have been grateful to pass over in silence the extraordinary course he pursued in his official relation to Harvard college, had truth and the fidelity of history permitted. But justice to a public institution which he essentially embarrassed during a period of nearly twenty years, and also to the memory of those whom he made to feel and to suffer, requires that these records of unquestionable facts which at the time they occurred were the cause of calumny and censure to honorable men, actuated in this measure solely by a sense of official fidelity, should not be omitted. In republics, popularity is the form of power most apt to corrupt its possessor and to tempt him, for party or personal interests, to trample on right to set principle at defiance. History has no higher or more imperative duty to perform than, by an unyielding fidelity, to impress this class of men with the apprehension that although through fear or favor they may escape animadversion of contemporaries, there awaits them in her impartial record, the retribution of truth."[37]

The action of the tea mob was the culmination of mob violence in Boston. It brought the king and parliament to decide that their rebellious subjects in Boston must be subdued by force of arms, and that mob violence should cease. General Thomas Gage was to have at his command four regiments and a powerful fleet. He arrived at Boston, May 13, 1774, and was appointed to supersede Governor Thomas Hutchinson, as governor, who had succeeded Governor Sir Francis Bernard in 1771. General Gage was now in the prime of life. He had served with great credit under several commanders, at Fontenoy and Culloden[51], and had fought with Washington, under Braddock, at Monongahela, where he was severely wounded, and carried a musket ball in his side for the remainder of his life as a memento of that fatal battle. An intimacy then existed between him and Washington, which was maintained afterwards by a friendly correspondence, and which twenty years later ended regretfully when they appeared, opposed to each other, at the head of contending armies, the one obeying the commands of his sovereign and the other upholding the cause of his people. How many cases similar to this occurred, eighty-six years later, when brother officers in arms faced each other with hostile forces, and friendship and brotherly love were changed to deadly hatred.

The claim has been set up by American historians, and accepted as true by those of Great Britain, that hostilities were commenced at Lexington and by the British commander. This is not so. The first act of hostilities was the attack upon the government post of Fort William and Mary at Newcastle, in Portsmouth harbor, New Hampshire. The attack was deliberately planned by the disunion leaders, and executed by armed and disciplined forces mustered by them for that purpose.[38] The fort contained large quantities of government arms and ammunition, and being garrisoned by but a corporal's guard, it was too tempting a prize to be overlooked by Samuel Adams and his colleagues.

Sir John Wentworth, governor of New Hampshire, tells us that the raiding party was openly collected by beat of drum in the streets of Portsmouth, and that, being apprised of their intent to attack a government fort, he sent the chief justice to warn them that such an act "was short of rebellion," and entreated them not to undertake it, "but all to no purpose." They embarked in three boats, sailed to the fortress and "forced an entrance in spite of Captain Cochrane, the commander, who defended it as long as he could. They then secured the captain triumphantly, gave three cheers, and hauled down the king's colors."[38]

Thomas Coffin Amory, in his "Military Service of General Sullivan," says (p. 295) that "the raiding force consisted of men whom Sullivan had been drilling for several months; that they captured 97 kegs of powder and a quantity of small ammunition which were used against the British at Bunker Hill."

The attack on this fort is worthy of far more consideration than has been given to it, for not only did it occur prior to the conflict at Concord, but was the direct cause of that conflict. It was as much the commencement of the Revolutionary war as was the attack on Fort Sumpter by the disunionists, in 1861, the commencement of the Civil War, and had precisely the same effect in each case. When the news reached London that a government fort had been stormed by an organized force, its garrison made prisoners and the flag of the empire torn down, the ministers seem to have become convinced that it was the determination of the colonists to make war upon the government. To tolerate such a proceeding[52] would be a confession that all law and authority was at an end. Some vindication of that authority must be attempted. An order was dispatched to General Gage to retake the munitions that had been seized by the disunion forces, and any other found stored that might be used for attacking the government troops; surely a very mild measure of reprisal. It was in obedience to this order that the expedition was dispatched to Concord, that brought about the collision between the British and colonial troops and the so-called "Battle of Lexingon."

In Rhode Island, a revenue outrage of more than common importance occurred at this time. A small schooner named the Gaspee, in the government service, with a crew of some 25 sailors, commanded by Lieutenant Duddingston, while pursuing a suspected smuggler on June 6, 1772, ran aground on a sand-bar near Providence, and the ship which had escaped brought the news to that town. Soon after a drum was beat through the streets, and all persons who were disposed to assist in the destruction of the king's ship were summoned to meet at the home of a prominent citizen. There appears to have been no concealment or disguise, and shortly after 10 at night eight boats, full of armed men, started with muffled oars on the expedition. They reached the stranded vessel in the deep darkness of the early morning. Twice the sentinel on board vainly hailed them, when Duddingston himself appeared in his shirt upon the gunwale and asked who it was that approached. The leader of the party answered with a profusion of oaths that he was the sheriff of the county, come to arrest him, and while he was speaking one of his men deliberately shot the lieutenant, who fell, badly wounded, on the deck. In another minute the "Gaspee" was boarded and taken without any loss to the attacking party. The crew was overpowered, bound and placed upon the shore. Duddingston, his wounds having been dressed, was landed at a neighboring house. The party set fire to the "Gaspee," and while its flames announced to the whole county the success of the expedition, they returned, in broad daylight to Providence. Large rewards were offered by the British government for their detection, but though they were universally known, no evidence could be obtained, and the outrage was entirely unpunished. It is to be observed that this act of piracy and open warfare against the government was committed by the citizens of a colony that had no cause for controversy with the home government, and whose constitution was such a liberal one that it was not found necessary to change one word of it when the province became an independent republic.

General Gage, being informed that powder and other warlike stores were being collected in surrounding towns for the purpose of being used against the government, he sent, on Sept. 1, 1774, two hundred soldiers up the Mystic river, who took from the powder house 212 barrels of powder, and brought off two field-pieces from Cambridge. On April 18, 1775, at 10 o'clock at night, eight hundred men embarked from Boston Common and crossed the Charles river in boats to the[53] Cambridge shore. At the same time Paul Revere rowed across the river, lower down, and landed in Charlestown, and then, on horseback, went in advance of the troops to alarm the country. He was pursued, and with another scout named Dawes, was captured by the troops. At the dawn of day Lexington was reached, 12 miles distant from Boston, where the troops were confronted on the village green by the Lexington militia, which was ordered by the commander of the British expedition to disperse, but failing to do so they were fired on by the troops, and several of them killed. The militia dispersed without firing a shot.

The troops gave three cheers in token of their victory, and continued their march to Concord, their objective point, where they were informed munitions of war were being collected. They arrived there at 9 o'clock, and after destroying the stores collected there, they took up their march for Boston. But now the alarm had spread through the country. The troops had hardly commenced marching, when, crossing the North Bridge they were fired upon by the Americans; one soldier was killed and another wounded.[39]

Captain Davis and Abner Hosmer, two Americans, were killed by the British fire. On the march towards Boston the troops were met by the fire of the Americans from the stonewalls on either side of the highway, along the skirt of every wood or orchard, and from every house or barn or cover in sight. The troops, exposed to such a galling attack in flank and rear, must have surrendered had they not been met with reinforcements from Boston. This very emergency had been anticipated, and General Gage had sent out a brigade of a thousand men, and two field-pieces, under Earl Percy. The forces met at Lexington about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. After a short interval of rest and refreshment, the troops took up their line of march for Boston. At every point on the road they met an increasing number of militia, who by this time had gathered in such force as to constitute a formidable foe. It was a terrible march. Many were killed, on both sides, and it was with the greatest difficulty that Lord Percy was able at last, about sunset, to bring his command to Charlestown Neck under cover of the ships of war. The troops lost that day in killed, wounded, and missing, 273; the Americans, 93. The war of the Revolution had commenced. The fratricidal struggle was entered into, between men of the same race and blood who had stood shoulder to shoulder in many a hard-fought field; brothers, fathers and sons, were to engage in a deadly struggle that should last for years, and which, eighty-six years afterwards, was to be repeated over again in the war between the North and South.




At the outbreak of the American rebellion the great majority of men in the colonies could be regarded as indifferent, ready to stampede and rush along with the successful party. Loyalty was their normal condition; the state had existed and did exist, and it was the disunionists who must do the converting, the changing of men's opinion to suit a new order of things which the disunionists believed necessary for their welfare. Opposed to the revolutionists were the crown officials, dignified and worthy gentlemen, who held office by virtue of a wise selection. Hardly to be distinguished from the official class were the clergy of the Established Church, who were partially dependent for their livings upon the British government. The officers and clergy received the support of the landowners and the substantial business men, the men who were satisfied with the existing order of things. The aristocracy of culture, of dignified professions and callings, of official rank and hereditary wealth, was, in a large measure, found in the Loyalist party. Such worthy and talented men of high social positions were the leaders of the opposition to the rebellion. Supporting them was the natural conservatism of all prosperous men. The men who had abilities which could not be recognized under the existing regime, and those that form the lower strata of every society and are every ready to overthrow the existing order of things, these were the ones who were striving to bring about a change—a revolution.

The persecution of the Loyalists by the Sons of Despotism, or the "Sons of Liberty," as they called themselves, was mercilessly carried out; every outrage conceivable was practiced upon them. Freedom of speech was suppressed; the liberty of the press destroyed; the voice of truth silenced, and throughout the colonies was established a lawless power. As early as 1772 "committees of correspondence" had been organized throughout Massachusetts. Adams exclaimed in admiration: "What an engine! France imitated it and produced a revolution."[40] Leonard, the Loyalist, with "abhorrence pronounced it the foulest, subtlest and most venomous serpent ever issued from the egg of sedition."[41] Insult and threat met the Loyalist at every turn. One day he was, perhaps, set upon a cake of ice to cool his loyalty,[42] and was then informed[55] that a certain famous liberty man had sworn to be his butcher. Next he was told that he might expect a "sans benito" of tar and feathers, and even an "auto da fe." The committee sent "Patriot" newspapers and other propaganda to the wavering or obstinate, but seldom failed to follow this system of conversion with a personal interview if the literature failed. Such were the means that were used by the "Sons of Despotism" to bring over the mass of the people to the disunion cause.

In the courts of law, not even the rights of a foreigner were left to the Loyalist. If his neighbors owed him money he had no legal redress until he took an oath that he favored American independence. All legal action was denied him. He might be assaulted, insulted, blackmailed or slandered, though the law did not state it so boldly, yet he had no recourse in law. No relative or friend could leave an orphan child, to his guardianship. He could be the executor or administrator of no man's estate. He could neither buy land nor transfer it to another; he was denied his vocation and his liberty to speak or write his opinions. All these restrictions were not found in any one place, nor at any one time, nor were they always rigorously enforced. Viewed from the distance of one hundred years, the necessity of such barbarous severity is not now apparent.

When this ostracism was approved by a large majority of the inhabitants of a town the victim was practically expelled from the community. None dared to give him food or comfort. He was a pariah, and to countenance him was to incur public wrath.

On January 17, 1777, Massachusetts passed an Act punishing with death the "Crime of adhering to Great Britain." The full extent of this law was not carried into effect in Massachusetts, but it was in other colonies. The "Black List" of Pennsylvania contained the names of 490 persons attainted of high treason. Only a few actually suffered the extreme penalty. Among these were two citizens of Philadelphia—Mr. Roberts and Mr. Carlisle. When the British army evacuated Philadelphia, they remained, although warned of their danger. They were at once seized by the returning disunionists and condemned to be hanged. Mr. Roberts's wife and children went before congress and on their knees supplicated for mercy, but in vain. In carrying out the sentence the two men, with halters around their necks, were walked to the gallows behind a cart, "attended with all the apparatus which makes such scenes truly horrible." A guard of militia accompanied them; but few spectators.[43]

At the gallows Mr. Roberts' behavior, wrote a loyal friend, "did honor to human nature," and both showed fortitude and composure.

Roberts told his audience that his conscience acquitted him of guilt: that he suffered for doing his duty to his sovereign; that his blood would[56] one day be required at their hands. Turning to his children he charged and exhorted them to remember his principles for which he died, and to adhere to them while they had breath. "He suffered with the resolution of a Roman," wrote a witness.

After the execution, the bodies of the two men were carried away by friends and their burial was attended by over 4000 in procession.[44]

Some of the more heartless leaders of the rebellion defended this severity of treatment and thought "hanging the traitors" would have a good effect and "give stability to the new government." "One suggested that the Tories seemed designed for this purpose by Providence."[44] The more thoughtful leaders, however, denounced the trial of Loyalists for treason, and Washington feared that it might prove a dangerous expedient. It was true, he granted, that they had joined the British after such an offence had been declared to be treason; but as they had not taken the oath, nor entered into the American service, it would be said that they had a right to choose their side. "Again," he added, "by the same rule that we try them may not the enemy try any natural-born subject of Great Britain taken in arms in our service? We have a great number of them and I, therefore, think we had better submit to the necessity of treating a few individuals who may really deserve a severer fate, as prisoners of war, than run the risk of giving an opening for retaliation upon the Europeans in our service."[45]

American writers never fail to tell of the "brutal and inhuman treatment" of the American prisoners by the British in the prisons and prison-ships at New York, where about five thousand prisoners were confined. We are informed that their sufferings in the prison-ships were greater than those in the prisons on land; that "every morning the prisoners brought up their bedding to be aired, and after washing the decks, they were allowed to remain above till sunset, when they were ordered below with imprecations and the savage cry, "Down, rebels! Down!" The hatches were then closed, and in serried ranks they lay down to sleep," etc.[46] That many died from dysentery, smallpox and prison fever, there is no doubt; but there is not any record that they were starved to death. Compare the above treatment of prisoners by the British with that of the Loyalists by the disunionists! In East Granby, Connecticut, was situated an underground prison which surpassed the horrors of the Black Hole of Calcutta. These barbarities and inhumanities were the portion of those who had been guilty of loyalty to their country, a social class distinguished by both their public and private virtues. It seemed almost incredible that their fellow-countrymen should have confined them in a place unfit for human beings.

This den of horrors, known as "Newgate Prison," was an old worked-out copper mine, sixty feet under ground, in the hills of East[57] Granby. The only entrance to it was by means of a ladder down a shaft which led to the caverns under ground. The darkness was intense; the caves reeked with filth; vermin abounded; water trickled from the roof and oozed from the sides of the cavern; huge masses of earth were perpetually falling off. In the dampness and the filth the clothing of the prisoners grew mouldy and rotted away, and their limbs became stiff with rheumatism.

During the Revolutionary war Loyalists of importance were confined in this place of horrors, then of national importance, although now but seldom referred to by American writers. Loyalists were consigned to it for safe keeping by Washington himself. In a letter dated December 11, 1775, addressed to the Committee of Safety, Simsbury, Conn., he informed them that the "charges of their imprisonment will be at the Continental expense," and "to confine them in such manner so that they cannot possibly make their escape."[47]

"Driven to desperation the Loyalists rose against their guards. About 10 o'clock at night, on the 18th of May, 1781, when all the guards but two had retired to rest, a wife of one of the prisoners appeared, to whom permission was given to visit her husband in the cavern. Upon the hatches being removed to admit her passing down, the prisoners who were at the door, and prepared for the encounter, rushed up, seized the gun of the sentry on duty, who made little or no resistance, and became master of the guard-room before those who were asleep could be aroused to make defence. The officer of the guard who resisted was killed, and others wounded. The guard was easily overcome, a few sought safety in flight, but the greater number were disarmed by the prisoners. The prisoners, numbering twenty-eight persons, having equipped themselves with the captured arms, escaped, and, with few exceptions avoided recapture."[48]

The heart sickens at the recital of the sufferings of the Loyalists, and we turn in disgust from the views which the pen of faithful history records.

After the legislation of 1778 every grievance the colonists had put forward as a reason for taking up arms had been redressed, every claim they had presented had been abandoned, and from the time when the English parliament surrendered all right of taxation and internal legislation in the colonies, and when the English Commissioners laid their propositions before the Americans, the character of the war had wholly changed. It was no longer a war for self-taxation and constitutional liberty. It was now an attempt, with the assistance of France and Spain, to establish independence by shattering the British empire.

There were brave and honest men in America who were proud of the great and free empire to which they belonged, who had no desire to shirk the burden of maintaining it, who remembered with gratitude[58] that it was not colonial, but all English blood that had been shed around Quebec and Montreal in defence of the colonies. Men who with nothing to hope for from the crown were prepared to face the most brutal mob violence and the invectives of a scurrilous press; to risk their fortunes, their reputation, and sometimes even their lives, in order to avert civil war and ultimate separation. Most of them ended their days in poverty and exile, and, as the supporters of a beaten cause, history has paid but a scanty tribute to their memory. But they comprised some of the best and ablest men America has ever produced, and they were contending for an ideal which was at least as worthy as that for which Washington fought.

It was the maintenance of one great, free, industrial, and pacific empire, comprising the whole British race, holding the richest plains of Asia in possession, blending all that was most venerable in an ancient civilization with the abundant energies of a youthful social combination likely in a few generations to outstrip every commercial competitor, and to acquire an indisputable ascendency among the nations. Such an ideal was a noble one, and there were Americans who were prepared to make any personal sacrifice to realize it. These men were the LOYALISTS of the Revolution. Consider what the result would be today had not this "Anglo-Saxon Schism," as Goldwin Smith calls it, taken place. There would be a great English-speaking nation of 130,000,000 that could dominate the world. They would in all substantial respects be one people, in language, literature, institutions, and social usages, whether settled in South Africa, in Australia, in the primitive home, or in North America.

Because the Revolution had its origin in Massachusetts, and the old Bay State furnished a large part of the men and the means to carry it to a successful issue,[49] it seems to have been taken for granted that the people embraced the popular side almost in a mass.

A more mistaken opinion than this has seldom prevailed. At the evacuation of Boston, General Gage was accompanied by eleven hundred Loyalists, which included the best people of the town. Boston at that time had a population of 16,000. "Among these persons of distinguished rank and consideration there were members of the council, commissioners, officers of the customs, and other officials, amounting to one hundred and two; of clergymen, eighteen; of inhabitants of country towns, one hundred and five; of merchants and other persons who resided in Boston, two hundred and thirteen; of farmers, mechanics and traders, three hundred and eighty-two."[50]

Cambridge lost nearly all her men of mark and high standing; nearly all the country towns were thus bereft of the very persons who had been the most honored and revered. With the exiles were nearly one hundred graduates of Harvard college.

[59]Among the proscribed and banished were members of the old historic families, Hutchinson, Winthrop, Saltonstall, Quincy, the Sewells, and Winslows, families of which the exiled members were not one whit behind those that remained, in intelligence, social standing and moral worth.

At the evacuation of New York and Savannah no fewer than 30,000 persons left the United States for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. From northern New York and Vermont the Loyalists crossed over into Upper Canada, and laid the foundations of that prosperous province under the vigorous leadership of Governor Simcoe, who, during the war, commanded a regiment of Loyalist rangers which had done efficient service. Many of the Southern Loyalists settled in Florida, the Bahamas and the West India Islands.

Familiar New England names meet one at every turn in the maritime provinces, especially Nova Scotia. Dr. Inglis, from Trinity church, New York, was the first bishop, and Judge Sewell, of Massachusetts, the first chief justice there. The harshness of the laws and the greed of the new commonwealth had driven into exile men who could be ill spared, and whose absence showed itself in the lack of balance and of political steadiness which characterized the early history of the republic, while the newly-founded colonies, composed almost exclusively of conservatives, were naturally slow, but sure, in their development. The men who were willing to give up home, friends and property, for an idea, are not men to be despised; they are, rather, men for us to claim with pride and honor as American—men of the same blood, and the same speech as ourselves; Americans who were true to their convictions and who suffered everything except the loss of liberty, for their political faith. We look in vain among the lists of voluntary and banished refugees from Massachusetts for a name on which rests any tradition of disgrace or infamy, to which the finger of scorn can be pointed. Can this be said of the Revolutionary leaders of Massachusetts, the so-called patriots, to whom the Revolution owes its inception? If the reader has any doubts on this subject, then let him compare the lives of the Loyalists, as given in this work, with those of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and other Revolutionary leaders. The Loyalists were generally people of substance; their stake in the country was greater, even, than that of their opponents; their patriotism, no doubt, fully as fervent. "There is much that is melancholy, of which the world knows but little, connected with this expulsion from the land they sincerely loved. The estates of the Loyalists were among the fairest, their stately mansions stood on the sightliest hill-brows, the richest and best-tilled meadows were their farms; the long avenue, the broad lawn, the trim hedge about the garden, servants, plate, pictures, for the most part these things were at the homes of the Loyalists. They loved beauty, dignity and refinement." The rude contact of town meetings was offensive to their tastes. The crown officials were courteous, well-born and congenial gentlemen.

[60]"The graceful, the chivalrous, the poetic, the spirits over whom these feelings had power, were sure to be Loyalists. Democracy was something rude and coarse, and independence to them meant a severance of those connections of which a colonist ought to be proudest.

"Hence when the country rose, many a high-bred, honorable gentleman, turned the key in his door, drove down his tree-lined avenue with his refined dame and carefully-guarded children at his side, turned his back on his handsome estate, and put himself under the shelter of the proud banner of St. George. It was a mere temporary refuge, he thought, and he promised himself a speedy return when discipline and loyalty should have put down the rabble and the misled rustics.

"But the return was never to be. The day went against them; they crowded into ships, with the gates of their country barred forever behind them. They found themselves penniless upon shores sometimes bleak and barren, always showing scant hospitality to outcasts who came empty-handed, and there they were forced to begin life anew. Consider the condition of Hutchinson, Apthorp, Gray, Clarke, Faneuil, Sewell, Royal, Vassall, and Leonard, families of honorable note bound in with all that was best in the life of the Province." "Who can think of their destiny unpityingly."[51]

A man suspected of loyalty to the crown was not left at peace, but was liable to peremptory banishment unless he would swear allegiance to the "Sons of Liberty," and if he returned he was subject to forcible deportation, and to death on the gallows if he returned a second time.

One of the first acts of the revolutionary party when they returned to Boston after the British evacuation, was to confiscate and sell all property belonging to Loyalists and apply the receipts to supply the public needs. The names and fate of a considerable proportion of these Loyalists and those that preceded and succeeded the Boston emigration, will be found in succeeding pages. Most of them went to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John, New Brunswick, where they endured great privation. Many, however, subsequently went to England and there passed the remainder of their lives. We find seventy or more of the Massachusetts Loyalists holding offices of greater or less importance in the provinces, and many of them were employed in places of high trust and large influence in various parts of the Empire. They and their sons filled for more than half a century the chief offices in the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick judiciary, and they and their descendants must have contributed in a degree not easily estimated to the elevation and progress of those provinces.

Men whose fathers, mocked and broken
For the honor of a name,
Would not wear the conqueror's token,
Could not salt their bread with shame.

[61]Plunged them in the virgin forest
With their axes in their hands,
Built a Province as a bulwark
For the loyal of the lands.
Won it by the axe and harrow,
Held it by the axe and sword,
Bred a race with brawn and marrow,
From no alien over-lord.
Gained the right to guide and govern;
Then with labor strong and free
Forged the land a shield of Empire,
Silver sea to silver sea.

—Duncan C. Scott.

In this way the United States, out of their own children, built upon their borders a colony of rivals in navigation and the fisheries, whose loyalty to the British crown was sanctified by misfortune. It is impossible to say how many of these Loyalists would have been on the Revolutionists' side had the party opposed to the crown been kept under the control of its leaders. But they were, most of them, of the class of men that would have the least amount of tolerance for outrage and rapine, and when we consider how closely they were identified with the institutions of their native province, and how little remains on record of anything like rancor or malignity on their part, there can be little doubt that a considerable proportion of them would have been saved for the republic but for the very acts which posterity has been foolish enough to applaud, and for their loss Massachusetts was appreciably the poorer for more than one or two generations.

It is also admitted by those who are authorities on the subject, that if it had not been for the brutal and intolerant persecution of the Loyalists, the ruthless driving of these unfortunate people from their homes, with the subsequent confiscation of property, the attempt to throw off the authority of Great Britain at the time of the Revolutionary War would not have succeeded; that is, people entirely or at least reasonably content with the previous political condition were terrorized into becoming patriots by the fear of the consequences that would follow if they remained Loyalists.

The fact is, that, as far as the Americans were in it, the war of the Revolution was a civil war in which the two sides were not far from equality in numbers, in social conditions, and in their manners and customs. The Loyalists contended all through the war that they were in a numerical majority, and if they could have been properly supported by British forces, the war might have ended in 1777, before the French alliance had given hope and strength to the separatist party. Sabine computes that there were at least 25,000 Americans in the military service[62] of the King, at one time or another, during the wars. In New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Georgia, the Loyalists outnumbered the Revolutionists. Even in New England, the nursery of the Revolution, the number was so large and so formidable, in the opinion of the Revolutionary leaders, that in order to suppress them there was established a reign of terror, anticipating the famous "Law of the Suspected" of the French Revolution. An irresponsible tyranny was established, of town and country committees, at whose beck and call were the so-called "Sons of Liberty." To these committees was entrusted absolute power over the lives and fortunes of their fellow citizens, and they proceeded on principles of evidence that would have shocked and scandalized a grand inquisitor.[52]

The rigorous measures adopted by the new governments in New England States, and the activity of their town committees, succeeded in either driving out these Loyalist citizens, or reducing them to harmless inactivity. In New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the Carolinas and Georgia, they remained strong and active throughout the war, and loyalty was in those states in the ascendancy.

If the Loyalists were really a majority, as they claimed to be, the disunionists were determined to break them up. Loyalists were tarred and feathered and carried on rails, gagged and bound for days at a time; stoned, fastened in a room with a fire and the chimney stopped on top; advertised as public enemies, so that they would be cut off from all dealings with their neighbors; they had bullets shot into their bedrooms, their horses poisoned or mutilated; money or valuable plate extorted from them to save them from violence, and on pretence of taking security for their good behavior; their houses and ships burned; they were compelled to pay the guards who watched them in their houses, and when carted about for the mob to stare at and abuse, they were compelled to pay something at every town. For the three months of July, August and September of the year 1776, one can find in the American archives alone over thirty descriptions of outrages of this kind, and all this done by so-called "patriots" in the name of liberty! In short, lynch law prevailed for many years during the Revolution, and the habit became so fixed that it has never been given up. It was taken from the name of the brother of the man who founded Lynchburgh, Virginia.

Wherever the disunionists were most successful with this reign of terror, they drove all the judges from the bench, and abolished the courts, and for a long time there were no courts or public administration of the law, notably in New England.

To the mind of the Loyalists, all this lynching proceeding were an irrefragible proof not only that the disunionist party were wicked, but that their idea of independence of a country free from British control and British law were silly delusions, dangerous to all good order and civilization. That such a people could ever govern a country of their own and[63] have in it that thing they were crying so much about, "liberty," was in their opinion beyond the bounds of intelligent belief. A recent American writer says: "The revolution was not by any means the pretty social event that the ladies of the so-called 'patriotic' societies suppose it to have been. It was, on the contrary, a rank and riotous rebellion against the long-established authority of a nation which had saved us from France, built us up into prosperity, and if she was ruling us today would, I am entirely willing to admit, abolish lynch-law, negro burning, municipal and legislative corruption, and all the other evils about which reformers fret." The same writer also says: "All that saved this country from complete annihilation was the assistance after 1778 of the French army, fleet, provisions, clothes, and loans of money, followed by assistance from Spain, and, at the last moment, by the alliance of Holland, and even with all this assistance the cause was, even as late as the year 1780, generally believed to be a hopeless one."[53] "In fact, Washington, at this time, was prepared to become a guerilla." In case of being further pressed, he said: "We must retire to Augusta County, in Virginia. Numbers will repair to us for safety, and we will then try a predatory war. If overpowered, we must cross the Allegheny Mountains."[54]

The question will naturally be asked why, if they were so numerous, were they not more successful, why did they yield to popular violence in New England, and desert the country while the contest was going on, Why did they not hold the Southern States, and keep them from joining the others in the Continental Congresses, and in the war?

In the first place, a negative attitude is necessarily an inactive one, and in consequence of this, and the fact that they could not take the initiative in action, the Loyalists were put at a disadvantage before the much better organization of the Revolutionary leaders. Though these were few in number in the South, they were of families of great social influence, and in the North were popular agitators of long experience. They manipulated the committee system so carefully that the colonies found themselves, before they were aware of the tendency of the actions of their deputies, involved in proceedings of very questionable legality, such as the boycotting agreement known as the "American Association," and other proceedings of the Continental Congress.[55] In regard to the subject of legal attainder and exile, Mr. Sabine remarks, very moderately and sensibly: "Nor is it believed that either the banishment or the confiscation laws, as they stood, were more expedient than just. The latter did little towards relieving the public necessities, and served only to create a disposition for rapacity, and to increase the wealth of favored individuals. Had the estates which were seized and sold been judiciously or honestly managed, a considerable sum would have found[64] its way to the treasury; but, as it was, the amount was inconsiderable. Some of the wisest and purest Whigs of the time hung their heads in shame because of the passage of measures so unjustifiable, and never ceased to speak of them in terms of reprobation. Mr. Jay's disgust was unconquerable, and he never would purchase any property that had been forfeited under the Confiscation Act of New York."[56]

Judge Curwen, a Salem Loyalist, says: "So infamously knavish has been the conduct of the commissioners, that though frequent attempts have been made to bring them to justice and to respond for the produce of the funds resting in their hands, so numerous are the defaulters in that august body, the General Court, that all efforts have hitherto proved in vain. Not two pence on the pound have arrived to the public treasury of all the confiscation."[57]

"The Loyalists, to a great extent, sprung from and represented the old gentry of the country. The prospect of seizing their property had been one great motive which induced many to enter the war. The new owners of the confiscated property now grasped the helm. New men exercised the social influence of the old families, and they naturally dreaded the restoration of those whom they had dispossessed."

At the close of the war, the Revolutionists committed a great crime. Instead of repealing the proscription and banishment acts, as justice and good policy required, they manifested a spirit to place the humbled and unhappy Loyalists beyond the pale of human sympathy. Hostilities at an end, mere loyalty should have been forgiven. When, in the civil war between the Puritans and the Stuarts, the former gained the ascendancy, and when at a later period the Commonwealth was established, Cromwell and his party wisely determined not to banish nor inflict disabilities on their opponents, and so, too, at the restoration of the monarchy, so general was the amnesty act in its provisions that it was termed an act of oblivion to the friends of Charles, and of grateful remembrance to his foes. The happy consequences which resulted from the conduct of both parties, and in both cases, were before the men of their own political and religious sympathies, the Puritans of the North and the Cavaliers of the South in America, but neither of them profited by it, at that time; but since then the wisdom of it has been exemplified by the happy consequences which have resulted to both parties engaged in the war of secession, where the United States wisely determined not to banish, confiscate, or inflict any disabilities on their opponents in the late seceded states.

The crime having been committed, thousands ruined and banished, new British colonies founded, animosities to continue for generations made certain, the violent Revolutionists of Massachusetts, New York and Virginia, were satisfied: all this accomplished and the statute-book was divested of its most objectionable enactments, and a few of the Loyalists[65] returned to their old homes, but by far the greater part died in banishment.

No one who studies the history of the American Revolution can fail to be convinced that the persecution of the Loyalists had for its final result the severance of the North American continent into two nations. The people who inhabited Nova Scotia prior to the Revolution were largely New England settlers, who dispossessed the Acadians, and who for the most part sympathized with the revolutionary movement. But for the banishment of the Loyalists, Nova Scotia would have long continued with but a very sparse population, and certainly could never have hoped to obtain so enterprising, active, and energetic a set of inhabitants as those who were supplied to it by the acts of the several states hostile to the Loyalists. The same can also be said of Upper Canada. The hold of the British government upon the British provinces of North America which remained to the crown, would have been slight indeed, but for the active hostility of the Loyalists to their former fellow-countrymen. They created the state of affairs which consolidated British power on this continent, and built it up into the Dominion of Canada, which in another century will probably contain one hundred million inhabitants.

The treaty of peace with Great Britain, like other documents of its kind, contained provisions of give and take. After signature by the commissioners in Paris it was ratified with due consideration by the Continental Congress. The advantages which it secured were not merely of a sentimental nature, but material. It was justly regarded by enlightened citizens of the states as a triumph of diplomacy. The credit of Britain in the bargain was more of the heart than of the head. She was willing to concede substantial and important benefits in order to secure the lives and property of the Loyalists who had clung to her and had sustained her arms. Looking at the matter now, in a cool light, she blundered into sacrifices that were altogether needless, even with this aim in view, and knowledge of the knavery that was to follow.

The game was played, and she had lost. North America, in the eyes of her statesmen, was a strip of eastern seaboard; the great lakes were but dimly understood; the continent beyond the Mississippi was ignored. She gave much more than she needed to have given both in east and west, to attain her honorable end, and what was more immediately distressing, she received little or no value in return for her liberal concession.

"That each party should hold what it possesses, is the first point from which nations set out in framing a treaty of peace. If one side gives up a part of its acquisitions, the other side renders an equivalent in some other way. What is the equivalent given to Great Britain for all the important concessions she has made? She has surrendered the capital of this state (New York) and its large dependencies. She is to surrender our immensely valuable posts on the frontier, and to yield to us[66] a vast tract of western territory, with one-half of the lakes, by which we shall command almost the whole fur trade. She renounces to us her claim to the navigation of the Mississippi and admits us to share in the fisheries even on better terms than we formerly enjoyed. As she was in possession, by right of war, of all these objects, whatever may have been our original pretensions to them, they are, by the laws of nations, to be considered as so much given up on her part. And what do we give in return? We stipulate that there shall be no future injury to her adherents among us. How insignificant the equivalent in comparison with the acquisition! A man of sense would be ashamed to compare them, a man of honesty, not intoxicated with passion, would blush to lisp a question of the obligation to observe the stipulation on our part."[58] In return for these advantages which Hamilton informs us Great Britain gave to the States, Congress had most solemnly undertaken three things, and people, wearied by the sufferings of our eight years' war, would have gladly purchased the blessings of peace at a much higher price. The first of these conditions was that no obstacle or impediment should be put in the way of the recovery of debts due to British subjects from the citizens of the Republic; the second that no fresh prosecution or confiscation should be directed against Loyalists; the third, that Congress should sincerely recommend to the legislatures of the various states a repeal of the existing acts of confiscation, which affected the property of these unfortunate persons. On the last no stress could be laid, but the first and second were understood by every man, honest or dishonest, in the same sense as when peace was joyfully accepted. The American states took the benefits of peace which the efforts of Congress had secured to them, they accepted the advantages of the treaty which their representative had signed, they watched and waited until the troops of King George were embarked in transports at New York for England, and then proceeded to deny, in a variety of tones, all powers in the central government to bind them in the matter of the quid pro quo. It was not a great thing which Congress had undertaken to do, or one which could be of any material advantage to their late enemy. All their promises amounted to was that they would abstain from the degradation of a petty and personal revenge, and this promise they proceeded to break in every particular.

As Hamilton wisely and nobly urged, the breach was not only a despicable perfidy, but an impolitic act, since Loyalists might become good citizens and the state needed nothing more urgently than population. But no sooner was danger at a distance, embarked on transports, than the states assumed an attitude of defiance. The thirteen legislatures vied with one another in the ingenuity of measures for defeating the recovery of debts due to British creditors. They derided the recommendation to repeal oppressive acts, and to restore confiscated property, and proceeded, without regard either for honor or consequences, to pass new acts of wider oppression and to order confiscation on a grander scale. There[67] was a practical unanimity in engaging in fresh persecutions of Loyalists, not merely by the enactment of oppressive civil laws, but by even denying them the protection afforded by a just enforcement of the criminal laws. In many districts these unfortunate persons were robbed, tortured, and even put to death with impunity, and over a hundred thousand driven into exile in Canada, Florida and the Bahamas.

Measures were passed amid popular rejoicing to obstruct the recovery of debts due to British merchants and to enable the fortunate Americans to revel unmolested in the pleasure of stolen fruits. It is remarkable how at this period public opinion was at once so childish and rotten, and one is at a loss whether to marvel most at its recklessness of credit or its unvarnished dishonesty; it was entirely favorable to the idea of private theft, and the interest of rogues was considered with compassion by the grave and respectable citizens who composed the legislatures of the various states. It was the same spirit which had violated the Burgoyne convention at Saratoga, the same which in later days preached the gospel of repudiation, greenbackism, silver currency, violated treaties with the Indians, that produced a "Century of Dishonor."

Meanwhile the policy of breach of faith was producing its natural crop of inconvenience. Dishonest methods were not the unmixed advantages which these adherents had supposed, when they engaged upon them in a spirit of light-hearted cunning. For in spite of all the ill-feeling, a large demand arose for British goods. For these, specie had to be paid down on the nail in all cases where wares or material were not taken in exchange, since no British merchant would now give one pennyworth of credit, out of respect to the measures of the various states for the obstruction of the payment of British debts. It was true that Britain was in no mood to embark upon a fresh war for the punishment of broken promises. She had surrendered the chief hostage when she evacuated her strategical position at New York, but she declined to hand over the eight important frontier posts which she held upon the American side of the line between Lake Michigan and Lake Champlain. These posts were much in themselves, and as a symbol of dominion to the Indian tribes. They were much also as a matter of pride, while their retention carried with it the whole of the valuable fur trade, which consequently, until 1795, when they were at last surrendered, brought considerable profits to British merchants.

To the short-sighted policy which banished the Loyalists may be traced nearly all the political troubles of this continent, in which Britain and the United States have been involved. "Dearly enough have the people of the United States paid for the crime of the violent Whigs of the Revolution, for to the Loyalists who were driven away, and to their descendants, we owe almost entirely the long and bitter controversy relative to our northeastern boundaries, and the dispute about our right to the fisheries in the colonial seas."




The American Revolution, like most other revolutions, was the work of an energetic minority who succeeded in committing an undecided and fluctuating majority to courses for which they had little love; leading them, step by step, to a position from which it was impossible to recede. To the last, however, we find vacillation, uncertainty, half measures, and, in large classes, a great apparent apathy. There was, also, a great multitude, who, though they would never take up arms for the king; though they, perhaps, agreed with the constitutional doctrines of the revolution, dissented on grounds of principle, policy, or interest, from the course they were adopting.

That the foregoing is a correct presentation of the case is shown by a letter written by John Adams, when in Congress, to his wife. He says:

"I have found this congress like the last. When we first came together, I found a strong jealousy of us from New England, and the Massachusetts in particular—suspicions entertained of designs of independency, an American republic, Presbyterian principles, and twenty other things."[59]

It was an open question with many whether a community liable to such outbreaks of popular fury did not need a strongly repressive government; and especially when the possibilities of a separation from the mother country was contemplated, it was a matter of doubt whether such a people were fit for self-government. Was it not possible that the lawless and anarchical spirit which had of late years been steadily growing, and which the "patriotic" party had actively encouraged, would gain the upper hand, and the whole fabric of society would be dissolved?

In another letter of John Adams to his wife at this time, he gives us an idea of what the opinion was of the Loyalists concerning the doctrines taught by the disunionists, and which, he says, "Must be granted to be a likeness." "They give rise to profaneness, intemperance, thefts, robberies, murders, and treason; cursing, swearing, drunkenness, gluttony, lewdness, trespassing, mains, are necessarily involved in them. Besides they render the populace, the rabble, the scum of the earth, insolent and disorderly, impudent and abusive. They give rise to lying, hypocrisy, chicanery, and even perjury among the people, who are drawn to such artifices and crime to conceal themselves and their companions from prosecution in consequence of them. This is the picture drawn by the Tory pencil, and it must be granted to be a likeness."[60]

[69]There are several passages in the writings of John Adams that seem to indicate that he at times had doubts of the righteousness of the course he had pursued. They were written in his later years, though one refers to an incident alleged to have occurred during his early manhood. In a letter to a friend in 1811, he thus moralizes: "Have I not been employed in mischief all my days? Did not the American Revolution produce the French Revolution? And did not the French Revolution produce all the calamities and desolations to the human race and the whole globe ever since?" But he justifies himself with the reflection: "I meant well, however; my conscience was as clear as crystal glass, without a scruple or doubt. I was borne along by an irresistible sense of duty." In his diary Mr. Adams recalls to mind one incident which occurred in 1775. He mentions the profound melancholy which fell upon him in one of the most critical moments of the struggle, when a man whom he knew to be a horse-jockey and a cheat, and whom, as an advocate, he had often defended in the law courts, came to him and expressed the unbounded gratitude he felt for the great things which Adams and his colleagues had done. "We can never," he said, "be grateful enough to you. There are now no courts of justice in this province, and I hope there will never be another." "Is this the object," Adams continued, "for which I have been contending? said I to myself. Are these the sentiments of such people, and how many of them are there in the country? Half the nation, for what I know; for half the nation are debtors, if not more, and these have been in all the countries the sentiments of debtors. If the power of the country should get into such hands—and there is great danger that it will—to what purpose have we sacrificed our time, health and everything else?"[61]

Misgivings of this kind must have passed through many minds. To some may have come the warning words of Winthrop, the father of Boston, uttered one hundred and fifty years before these events occurred, in which he said: "Democracy is, among most civil nations, accounted the meanest and worst of all forms of government, and histories record that it hath always been of least continuance and fullest of trouble."[62]

There was a doubt in the minds of many people, which we have often heard uttered in recent times, with reference to the French people in their long series of revolutions, and equally so with the Spanish-American republics with their almost annual revolutions, whether these words of Winthrop were not correct, and that the people were really incapable of self-government. It was a doubt which the revolution did not silence, for the disturbing elements which had their issue in the Shay Rebellion, The Whiskey Insurrection and the mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line, in 1781, were embers of a fire, smothered, not quenched, which rendered state government insecure till it was welded into the Federal Union. There was a widespread dislike to the levelling principles of New England,[70] to the arrogant, restless and ambitious policy of its demagogues; to their manifest desire to invent or discover grievances, foment quarrels and keep the wound open and festering.[63]

Those who rebelled in good faith did so because they feared that the power of Parliament to tax them moderately to raise money for their own defence might be used sometime in the future for a less worthy purpose, and then they would all be "slaves." Their argument led to mob rule and anarchy, till the adaption of the Federal Constitution, after the close of the Revolutionary War.

The opinion of such an authority as Lecky on our revolutionary movements must be worthy of thoughtful attention; and his opinion is this: "Any nation might be proud of the shrewd, brave, prosperous and highly intelligent yeomen who flocked to the American camps; but they were very different from those who defended the walls of Leyden, or immortalized the field of Bannockburn. Few of the great pages of history are less marked by the stamp of heroism than the American Revolution and perhaps the most formidable of the difficulties which Washington had to encounter were in his own camp."[64] And he concludes his survey of the movement with these words: "In truth the American people, though in general unbounded believers in progress, are accustomed, through a kind of curious modesty, to do themselves a great injustice by the extravagant manner in which they idealize their past. It has almost become as commonplace that the great nation which in our own day has shown such an admirable combination of courage, devotion and humanity in its gigantic Civil War, and which since that time has so signally falsified the prediction of its enemies and put to shame all the nations of Europe by its unparalleled efforts in paying off its national debt, is of far lower moral type than its ancestors at the time of the War of Independence. This belief appears to me essentially false. The nobility and beauty of Washington can, indeed, hardly be paralleled. Several of the other leaders of the Revolution were men of ability and public spirit, and few armies have ever shown a nobler self-devotion than that which remained with Washington through the dreary winter at Valley Forge. But the army that bore those sufferings was a very small one, and the general aspect of the American people during the contest was far from heroic or sublime. The future destinies and greatness of the English race must necessarily rest mainly with the mighty nation which has arisen beyond the Atlantic, and that nation may well afford to admit that its attitude during the brief period of its enmity to England has been very unduly extolled. At the same time, the historian of that period would do the Americans a great injustice if he judged them only by the revolutionary party, and failed to recognize how large a proportion of their best men had no sympathy with the movement."[65]

[71]Our native historians and the common run of Fourth of July orators have treated their countrymen badly for a hundred years. They have given the world to understand that we are the degenerate children of a race of giants, statesmen, and moralists, who flourished for a few years about a century ago and then passed away. An impartial examination of the records would show that we are wiser, better, more benevolent, quite as patriotic and brave as the standard heroes of 1776. We may give our ancestors credit for many admirable virtues without attempting to maintain that a multitude of unlettered colonists, scattered along the Atlantic coast, hunting, fishing, smuggling, and tilling the soil for a slender livelihood, and fighting Indians and wild beasts to save their own lives, possessed a vast fund of political virtue and political intelligence, and left but little of either to their descendants. The public is beginning to tire of this tirade of indiscriminate eulogy, and the public taste is beginning to reject it as a form of defamation. And so the ripening judgment of our people is beginning to demand portraits of our ancestors painted according to the command that Cromwell gave the artist; to paint his features, warts, blotches, and all, and to demand an account of our forefathers in which we shall learn to speak of them as they were.

Sabine, in his valuable work, "Loyalists of the American Revolution," says: "I presume that I am of Whig descent. My father's father received his death-wound under Washington, at Trenton; my mother's father fought under Stark at Bennington. I do not care, of all things, to be thought to want appreciation of those of my countrymen who broke the yoke of colonial vassalage, nor on the other hand, do I care to imitate the writers of a later school, and treat the great and the successful actors in the world's affairs as little short of divinities, and as exempt from criticism. Nay, this general statement will not serve my purpose. Justice demands as severe a judgment of the Whigs as of their opponents, and I shall here record the result of long and patient study. At the Revolutionary period the principles of unbelief were diffused to a considerable extent throughout the colonies. It is certain that several of the most conspicuous personages of those days were either avowed disbelievers in Christianity, or cared so little about it that they were commonly regarded as disciples of the English or French school of sceptical philosophy. Again, the Whigs were by no means exempt from the lust of land hunger. Several of them were among the most noted land speculators of their time, during the progress of the war, and, in a manner hardly to be defended, we find them sequestering and appropriating to themselves the vast estates of those who opposed them. Avarice and rapacity were seemingly as common then as now. Indeed, the stock-jobbing, the extortion, the fore-stalling of the law, the arts and devices to amass wealth which were practised during the struggle, are almost incredible. Washington mourned the want of virtue as early as 1775, and averred that he 'trembled at the prospect'—soldiers were stripped of their miserable pittance that contractors for the army might become rich in a single campaign. Many of the[72] sellers of merchandise monopolized (or 'cornered') articles of the first necessity, and would not part with them to their suffering countrymen, and to the wives and children of those who were absent in the field, unless at enormous profit. The traffic carried on with the army of the king was immense. Men of all descriptions finally engaged in it, and those who at the beginning of the war would have shuddered at the idea of any connection with the enemy, pursued it with increasing avidity. The public securities were often counterfeited, official signatures forged, and plunder and jobbery openly indulged in. Appeals to the guilty from the pulpit, the press, and the halls of legislature were alike unheeded. The decline of public spirit, the love of gain of those in office, the plotting of disaffected persons, and the malevolence of factions, became widely spread, and in parts of the country were uncontrollable. The useful occupations of life and the legitimate pursuits of commerce were abandoned by thousands. The basest of men enriched themselves, and many of the most estimable sank into obscurity and indigence. There were those who would neither pay their debts nor their taxes. The indignation of Washington was freely expressed. 'It gives me sincere pleasure,' he said, in a letter to Joseph Reed, 'to find the Assembly is so well disposed to second your endeavor in bringing those murderers of our cause to condign punishment. It is much to be lamented that each state, long ere this, has not hunted them down as pests of society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America. No punishment, in my opinion, is too great for the man who can build his greatness upon his country's ruin.'"

In a letter to another, he drew this picture, which he solemnly declared to be a true one: "From what I have seen, heard, and in part known," said he, "I should in one word say, that idleness, dissipation, and extravagance seem to have laid fast hold on most; that speculation, peculation, and an insatiable thirst for riches, seem to have got the better of every other consideration, and almost every order of men, and that party disputes and personal quarrels are the great business of the day."

In other letters he laments the laxity of public morals, the "distressed rumors, and deplorable condition of affairs," the "many melancholy proofs of the decay of private virtue." "I am amazed," said Washington to Colonel Stewart, "at the report you make of the quantity of provision that goes daily into Philadelphia from the County of Bucks." Philadelphia was occupied at that time by the British army, who paid in hard money and not in "continental stuff." and mark you! this was written in January of that memorable winter which the American army passed in nakedness and starvation at Valley Forge. There was always an army—on paper. At the close of one campaign there were not enough troops in camp to man the lines. At the opening of another "scarce any state in the Union," as Washington said, had an "eighth part of its quota" in service. The bounty finally paid to soldiers was enormous. The price for a single recruit was as high sometimes as seven hundred and fifty, and one thousand dollars, on enlistment for the war, besides the bounty and[73] emoluments given by Congress. One hundred and fifty dollars "in specie" was exacted and paid for a term of duty of only five months. Such were the extraordinary inducements necessary to tempt some men to serve their country when its vital interests were at issue. Making every allowance for the effects of hunger and want, for the claims of families at home, and for other circumstances equally imperative, desertion, mutiny, robbery, and murder are still high crimes. There were soldiers of the Revolution who deserted in parties of twenty and thirty at a time, and several hundred of those who then abandoned the cause fled to Vermont and were among the early settlers of that state. A thousand men, the date of whose enlistment had been misplaced, perjured themselves in a body, as fast as they could be sworn, in order to quit the ranks which they had voluntarily entered. In smaller parties, hundreds of others demanded dismissals from camp under false pretexts, and with lies upon their lips. Some also added treason to desertion, and joined the various corps of Loyalists in the capacity of spies upon their former friends, or as guides and pioneers. Many more enlisted, deserted, and re-enlisted under new recruiting officers for the purpose of receiving double bounty, while others who placed their names upon the rolls were paid the money to which they were entitled, but refused to join the army; and others still who were sent to the hospitals returned home without leave after their recovery, and were sheltered and secreted by friends and neighbors, whose sense of right was as weak as their own. Another class sold their clothing, provisions, and arms to obtain means of indulgence in revelry and drunkenness; while some prowled about the country to rob and kill the unoffending and defenceless. A guard was placed over the grave of a foreigner of rank, who died in Washington's own quarters, and who was buried in full dress, with diamond rings and buckles, "lest the soldiers should be tempted to dig for hidden treasure." Whippings, drummings out of the service, and even military executions were more frequent in the Revolution than at any subsequent period of our history.

If we turn our attention to the officers we shall find that many had but doubtful claims to respect for purity of private character, and that some were addicted to grave vices. There were officers who were destitute alike of honor and patriotism, who unjustly clamored for their pay, while they drew large sums of public money under pretext of paying their men, but applied them to the support of their own extravagance; who went home on furlough and never returned to the army; and who, regardless of their word as gentlemen, violated their paroles, and were threatened by Washington with exposure in every newspaper in the land as men who had disgraced themselves and were heedless of their associates in captivity, whose restraints were increased by their misconduct. At times, courts-martial were continually sitting, and so numerous were the convictions that the names of those who were cashiered were sent to Congress in long lists. "Many of the surgeons"—are the words of Washington —"are very great rascals, countenancing the men to sham complaints[74] to exempt them from duty, and often receiving bribes to certify indisposition with a view to procure discharge or furlough"; and still further, they drew as for the public "medicines and stores in the most profuse and extravagant manner for private purposes." In a letter to the governor of a state, he affirmed that the officers who had been sent him therefrom were "generally of the lowest class of the people," that they "led their soldiers to plunder the inhabitants and into every kind of mischief." To his brother, John Augustine Washington, he declared that the different states were nominating such officers as were "not fit to be shoe-blacks." Resignations occurred upon discreditable pretexts, and became alarmingly prevalent. Some resigned at critical moments, and others combined together in considerable number for purposes of intimidation, and threatened to retire from the service at a specified time unless certain terms were complied with. Many of those who abandoned Washington were guilty of a crime which, when committed by private soldiers, is called "desertion," and punished with death. Eighteen of the generals retired during the struggle, one for drunkenness, one to avoid disgrace for receiving double pay, some from declining health, others from weight of advancing years; but several from private resentments and real or imagined wrongs inflicted by Congress or associates in the service.

John Adams wrote in 1777: "I am worried to death with the wrangles between military officers, high and low. They quarrel like cats and dogs. They worry one another like mastiffs, scrambling for rank and pay like apes for nuts."[66]

"The abandoned and profligate part of our army," wrote Washington, "lost to every sense of honor or virtue as well as their country's good, are by rapine and plunder spreading ruin and terror wherever they go, thereby making themselves infinitely more to be dreaded than the common enemy they are come to oppose. Under the idea of Tory property, or property that may fall into the hands of the enemy, no man is secure in his effects, and scarcely in his person."[67] American soldiers were constantly driving innocent persons out of their homes by an alarm of fire, or by actual incendiarism, in order more easily to plunder the contents, and all attempts to check this atrocious practice had proved abortive. The burning of New York was generally attributed to New England soldiers. The efforts of the British soldiers to save the city were remembered with gratitude, and there is little doubt that in the city, and in the country around it, the British were looked upon not as invaders, but as deliverers.

"Wherever the men of war have approached, our militia have most manfully turned their backs and run away, officers and men, like sturdy fellows, and these panics have sometimes seized the regular regiments.

"....You are told that a regiment of Yorkers behaved ill, and it may be true; but I can tell you that several regiments of Massachusetts men behaved ill, too. The spirit of venality you mention is the most dreadful[75] and alarming enemy America has to oppose. It is as rapacious and insatiable as the grave. This predominant avarice will ruin America. If God Almighty does not interfere by His grace to control this universal idolatry to the mammon of unrighteousness, we shall be given up to the chastisement of His judgments. I am ashamed of the age I live in."[68]

Nor was the public life of the country at that time more creditable. In the course of the war, persons of small claims to notice or regard obtained seats in Congress. By force of party disruptions, as was bitterly remarked by one of the leaders, men were brought into the management of affairs "who might have lived till the millennium in silent obscurity had they depended upon their mental qualifications." Gouverneur Morris was, no doubt, one of the shrewdest observers of current events in his day, and the purity of the patriotism of John Jay entitled him to stand by the side of Washington. One day, in a conversation, thirty years after the second Continental Congress had passed away, Morris exclaimed: "Jay, what a set of damned scoundrels we had in that second Congress!" And Jay, as he knocked the ashes from his pipe, replied: "Yes, we had."

Near the close of 1779, Congress, trying to dispel the fear that the continental currency would not be redeemed, passed a resolution declaring: "A bankrupt, faithless republic would be a novelty in the political world. The pride of America revolts at the idea. Her citizens know for what purpose these emissions were made, and have repeatedly pledged their faith for the redemption of them." The rest of the resolution is too coarse for quotation, even for the sake of emphasis. In a little more than three months from the passage of that resolution a bill was passed to refund the continental currency by issuing one dollar of new paper money for forty of the old, and the new issue soon became as worthless as the former emission. Indeed, the patriots repudiated obligations to the amount of two hundred million dollars, and did it so effectually that we still use the expression, "not worth a continental" as a synonym for worthlessness.

It is a common belief that scurrilous and indecent attacks upon public men by American journalists is an evil of modern growth; but this is an error. A century ago such attacks exceeded in virulence anything that would be possible today. Among the vilest of the lampooners of that age were a quartette of literary hacks who for some years were engaged in denouncing the federalist party and government. Philip Freneau owned "The National Gazette," a journal that Hamilton declared disclosed "a serious design to subvert the government." He was among the most virulent assailants of Washington's administration, denouncing not only the members of the cabinet, except Jefferson, but the chief himself. Among other charges brought against him, Washington was accused of "debauching the country" and "seeking a crown," "and all the while passing himself off as an honest man." Benjamin F. Bache was a grandson of Dr. Benjamin Franklin. He inherited all his ancestor's duplicity, love of intrigue,[76] and vindictiveness, but none of his suavity and tact. Sullen and malevolent of disposition, scarcely could he keep in accord with men of his own party. He owned and edited "The Aurora," a paper which in depth of malice and meanness exceeded the journal of Freneau. He also made vicious attacks upon Washington, both in the "Aurora" and other publications. Washington's "fame" he declared to be "spurious"; he was "inefficient," "mischievous," "treacherous," and "ungrateful." His "mazes of passion" and the "loathings of his sick mind" were held up to the contempt of the people. "His sword," it was declared, "would have been drawn against his country" had the British government given him promotion in the army. He had, it was asserted, "cankered the principles of republicanism" "and carried his designs against the public liberty so far as to put in jeopardy its very existence."

William Duane, a man of Irish parentage, assisted Bache in the conduct of the "Aurora," and upon his death, in 1798, assumed full control of it. He was responsible for some of the most virulent attacks upon Washington, published in that paper. Bache and Duane both received severe castigations, administered in retaliation for abusive articles.

James Thompson Callender, who disgraced Scotland by his birth, was a shameless and double-faced rascal. A professional lampooner, his pen was at the service of any one willing to pay the price. He, too, had a fling at the President, declaring that "Mr. Washington had been twice a traitor," and deprecating "the vileness of the adulation" paid him.

In this quartette of scoundrels may be added the notorious Thomas Paine, who, after exalting Washington to the seventh heaven of excellence, upon being refused by him an office that to confer upon him would have disgraced the nation, showered upon him the vilest denunciation. "As for you, sir," he wrote, addressing him, "treacherous in private friendship, and a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles, or whether you ever had any." That these attacks upon members of the government were the direct results of the teachings of Jefferson there is no room for doubt. That he encouraged and supported their authors has been proved beyond a doubt. He was one of the worst detractors of Great Britain. For fifty years he employed his pen in reviling the mother country. Then occurred one of the most remarkable instances of political death-bed repentance that the annals of statecraft have to show. He who had so often asserted that Great Britain was a nation powerless, decrepit, lost to corruption, eternally hostile to liberty, totally destitute of morality and good faith, and warned his countrymen to avoid intercourse with her lest they become contaminated by the touch; he who had yearned for her conquest by a military despot, and proposed to burn the habitations of her citizens, like the nests of noxious vermin, is suddenly found proclaiming "her mighty weight," lauding her as the protector of free government, and exhorting his fellow citizens to "sedulously cherish a cordial friendship with her." This change of heart was brought[77] about by the announcement by Great Britain of the so-called "Monroe Doctrine." In Jefferson's letter to Monroe of October 24, 1823, he said: "The question presented by the letters you have sent me (the letters of Mr. Rush, reciting Mr. Canning's offer of British support against the attempt of the "Holy Alliance" to forcibly restore the revolted Spanish-American colonies to Spain), is the most momentous that has ever been offered to my contemplation since that of Independence. And never could we embark under circumstances more auspicious. By acceding to Great Britain's proposition we detach her from the bonds, bring her mighty weight into the scale of free government, and emancipate a continent at one stroke. With her on our side we need not fear the whole world. With her then we should most sedulously cherish a cordial friendship."

Alexander Hamilton was a soldier of fortune of the highest type. He was born on the island of Nevis, in the West Indies. He was of illegitimate birth; his father was Scotch and his mother French. Endowed with a high order of intellect, possessed of indomitable energy and passionate ambition, he went forth into the world determined to win both.[69] Chance threw him into the colonies at a time when the agitation for independence was at its height. He landed at Boston in October, 1772; thence he went to New York, where in his sixteenth year he entered King's (now Columbia) College. At first he affiliated with the Loyalists, but soon deserted to the Disunionists, which gave him greater opportunities of realizing his ambitious dream. As a Loyalist the world would never have heard of him, but as John Marshall informs us, he ranks next to Washington as having rendered more conspicuous service to the United States than any other man in the Revolution. A great orator, a talented lawyer, a good soldier, master of every field he entered, punctilious and haughty of temperament, he scorned to bend even to the proud spirit of Washington. His position on Washington's staff was literally a secretaryship more civil than military. It was "the grovelling condition of a clerk," which his youthful genius revolted at. This caused him to resign his staff appointment. Alexander Hamilton was the deviser and establisher of the government of the United States. He it was that framed the Constitution, who urged and secured its adoption by the original thirteen states at a time when but a rope of sand bound them together. To Hamilton, more than any other man, is due the fact that the United States today form a nation. He lived long enough to see the nation to which he gave political stability submitting itself in entire respect and confidence to the declaration contained in the most remarkable document ever written.

Like many of his contemporaries he was an intrigaunt, injuring his health and impairing the sanctity of his home, and was destined to meet his death at the hands of a man more dissolute than himself, and destitute of his honorable traits of character.

Professor Sumner says: "It is astonishing how far writers kept from[78] the facts and evidence. This is so much the case that it is often impossible to learn what was really the matter. The colonists first objected to internal taxes, but consented to import duties. Then they distinguished between import duties to regulate commerce, and import duties for revenue. They seem to have changed their position and to be consistent in one thing only, to pay no taxes and to rebel." After patiently examining their pamphlets and discussions, Sumner concludes: "The incidents of the trouble offer occasion at every step for reserve in approving the proceedings of the colonists. We therefore come to the conclusion that the Revolutionary leader made a dispute about the method of raising a small amount of revenue a pretext for rending an empire which, if united, might civilize and wisely govern the fairest portion of the globe."

The foregoing statements are more than corroborated by a letter written to Washington by Rev. Jacob Duche, a former rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, a man of great learning, eloquence, and piety, who was appointed chaplain to the first Congress. His prayer at the opening of the session was pronounced not only eloquent, but patriotic in the extreme. While it was being uttered there was but one man in that whole assembly who knelt, and that man was George Washington. When Washington received the letter he immediately transmitted it to Congress. The letter was in part as follows:—

Philadelphia, 8th October, 1777.

"Sir—If this letter should find you in council or in the field, before you read another sentence I beg you to take the first opportunity of retiring and weighing its important contents. You are perfectly acquainted with the part I formerly took in the present unhappy contest. I was, indeed, among the first to bear my public testimony against having any recourse to threats, or indulging a thought of an armed opposition.

"The current, however, was too strong for my feeble efforts to resist. I wished to follow my countrymen as far only as virtue and the righteousness of their cause would permit me. I was, however, prevailed on, among the rest of my clerical brethren of this city, to gratify the pressing desires of my fellow citizens by preaching a sermon, and reluctantly consented. From a personal attachment of nearly twenty years' standing and a high respect for your character, in private as well as public life, I took the liberty of dedicating this sermon to you. I had your affectionate thanks for my performance in a letter, wherein was expressed, in the most delicate and obliging terms, your regard for me, and your wishes for a continuance of my friendship and approbation of your conduct. Further than this I intended not to proceed. My sermon speaks for itself, and wholly disclaims the idea of independence. My sentiments were well known to my friends. I communicated them without reserve to many respectable members of Congress, who expressed their warm approbation of it then. I persisted to the very last moment to use the prayers for my Sovereign, though threatened with insults from the violence of a party.

"Upon the declaration of independence I called my vestry and solemnly[79] put the question to them whether they thought it best for the peace and welfare of the congregation to shut up the churches, or to continue the service without using the prayers for the Royal Family. This was the sad alternative. I concluded to abide by their decision, as I could not have time to consult my spiritual superiors in England. They determined it most expedient, under such critical circumstances, to keep open the churches that the congregations might not be dispersed, which we had great reason to apprehend.

"A very few days after the fatal declaration of independence I received a letter from Mr. Hancock, sent by express to Germantown, where my family were for the summer season, acquainting me I was appointed Chaplain to the Congress, and desired my attendance next morning at nine o'clock. Surprised and distressed as I was by an event I was not prepared to expect, obliged to give an immediate attendance without the opportunity of consulting my friends, I easily accepted the appointment. I could have but one motive for taking this step. I thought the churches in danger, and hoped by this means to have been instrumental in preventing those ills I had so much reason to apprehend. I can, however, with truth declare I then looked upon independence rather as an expedient, and hazardous, or, indeed, thrown out in terrorem, in order to procure some favorable terms, than a measure that was seriously persisted in. My sudden change of conduct will clearly evince this to have been my idea of the matter.

"Upon the return of the Committee of Congress appointed to confer with Lord Howe I soon discerned their whole intentions. The different accounts which each member gave of this conference, the time they took to make up the matter for public view, and the amazing disagreements between the newspaper accounts, and the relation I myself had from the mouth of one of the Committee, convinced me there must have been some unfair and ungenerous procedure. This determination to treat on no other strain than that of independence, which put it out of his lordship's power to mention any terms at all, was sufficient proof to me that independence was the idol they had long wished to set up, and that rather than sacrifice this they would deluge their country with blood. From this moment I determined upon my resignation, and in the beginning of October, 1776, sent it in form to Mr. Hancock, after having officiated only two months and three weeks; and from that time, as far as my safety would permit, I have been opposed to all their measures.

"This circumstantial account of my conduct I think due to the friendship you were so obliging as to express for me, and I hope will be sufficient to justify my seeming inconsistencies in the part I have acted.

"And now, dear sir, suffer me in the language of truth and real affection to address myself to you. All the world must be convinced you are engaged in the service of your country from motives perfectly disinterested. You risked everything that was dear to you, abandoned the sweets of domestic life which your affluent fortune can give the uninterrupted[80] enjoyment of. But had you, could you have had, the least idea of matters being carried to such a dangerous extremity? Your most intimate friends shuddered at the thought of a separation from the mother country, and I took it for granted that your sentiments coincided with theirs. What, then, can be the consequences of this rash and violent measure and degeneracy of representation, confusion of councils, blunders without number? The most respectable characters have withdrawn themselves, and are succeeded by a great majority of illiberal and violent men. Take an impartial view of the present Congress, and what can you expect from them? Your feelings must be greatly hurt by the representation of your native province. You have no longer a Randolph, a Bland or a Braxton, men whose names will ever be revered, whose demands never ran above the first ground on which they set out, and whose truly glorious and virtuous sentiments I have frequently heard with rapture from their own lips. Oh, my dear sir, what a sad contrast of characters now presents! others whose friends can ne'er mingle with your own. Your Harrison alone remains, and he disgusted with the unworthy associates.

"As to those of my own province, some of them are so obscure that their very names were never in my ears before, and others have only been distinguished for the weakness of their undertakings and the violence of their tempers. One alone I except from the general charge; a man of virtue, dragged reluctantly into their measures, and restrained by some false ideas of honor from retreating after having gone too far. You cannot be at a loss to discover whose name answers to this character.

"From the New England provinces can you find one that as a gentleman you could wish to associate with, unless the soft and mild address of Mr. Hancock can atone for his want of every other qualification necessary for the seat which he fills? Bankrupts, attorneys, and men of desperate fortunes are his colleagues. Maryland no longer sends a Tilghman and a Carroll. Carolina has lost her Lynch, and the elder Middleton has retired. Are the dregs of Congress, then, still to influence a mind like yours? These are not the men you engaged to serve; these are not the men that America has chosen to represent her. Most of them were chosen by a little, low faction, and the few gentlemen that are among them now are well known to lie on the balance, and looking up to your hand alone to turn the beam. 'Tis you, sir, and you only, that supports the present Congress; of this you must be fully sensible. Long before they left Philadelphia their dignity and consequence were gone; what must it be now since their precipitate retreat? I write with freedom, but without invective. I know these things to be true, and I write to one whose own observation must have convinced him that it is so.

"After this view of the Congress, turn to the army. The whole world knows that its only existence depends upon you, that your death or captivity disperses it in a moment, and that there is not a man on that side—the question in America—capable of succeeding you. As to the army itself, what have you to expect from them? Have they not frequently[81] abandoned you yourself in the hour of extremity? Can you have the least confidence in a set of undisciplined men and officers, many of whom have been taken from the lowliest of the people, without principle, without courage? Take away them that surround your person, how very few there are you can ask to sit at your table! As to your little navy, of that little what is left? Of the Delaware fleet part are taken, and the rest must soon surrender. Of those in the other provinces some are taken, one or two at sea, and others lying unmanned and unrigged in your harbors.

"In America your harbors are blocked up, your cities fall one after another; fortress after fortress, battle after battle is lost. A British army, after having passed unmolested through a vast extent of country, have possessed themselves of the Capital of America. How unequal the contest! How fruitless the expense of blood! Under so many discouraging circumstances, can virtue, can honor, can the love of your country prompt you to proceed? Humanity itself, and sure humanity is no stranger to your breast, calls upon you to desist. Your army must perish for want of common necessaries or thousands of innocent families must perish to support them; wherever they encamp, the country must be impoverished; wherever they march, the troops of Britain will pursue, and must complete the destruction which America herself has begun. Perhaps it may be said, it is better to die than to be made slaves. This, indeed, is a splendid maxim in theory, and perhaps in some instances may be found experimentally true; but when there is the least probability of a happy accommodation, surely, wisdom and humanity call for some sacrifices to be made to prevent inevitable destruction. You well know there is but one invincible bar to such an accommodation; could this be removed, other obstacles might readily be removed. It is to you and you alone your bleeding country looks and calls aloud for this sacrifice. Your arm alone has strength sufficient to remove this bar. May Heaven inspire you with this glorious resolution of exerting your strength at this crisis, and immortalizing yourself as friend and guardian to your country! Your penetrating eye needs not more explicit language to discern my meaning. With that prudence and delicacy, therefore, of which I know you possessed, represent to Congress the indispensable necessity of rescinding the hasty and ill-advised declaration of independence. Recommend, and you have an undoubted right to recommend, an immediate cessation of hostilities. Let the controversy be taken up where that declaration left it, and where Lord Howe certainly expected to find it left. Let men of clear and impartial characters, in or out of Congress, liberal in their sentiments, heretofore independent in their fortunes—and some such may be found in America—be appointed to confer with His Majesty's Commissioners. Let them, if they please, propose some well-digested constitutional plan to lay before them at the commencement of the negotiation. When they have gone thus far I am confident the usual happy consequences will ensue—unanimity will immediately take place through the different provinces, thousands who are now ardently wishing and praying for such a[82] measure will step forth and declare themselves the zealous advocates for constitutional liberty, and millions will bless the hero that left the field of war to decide this most important contest with the weapons of wisdom and humanity.

"O sir, let no false ideas of worldly honor deter you from engaging in so glorious a task! Whatever censure may be thrown out by mean, illiberal minds, your character will rise in the estimation of the virtuous and noble. It will appear with lustre in the annals of history, and form a glorious contrast to that of those who have fought to obtain conquest and gratify their own ambition by the destruction of their species and the ruin of their country. Be assured, sir, that I write not this under the eye of any British officer or person connected with the British army or ministry. The sentiments I express are the real sentiments of my own heart, such as I have long held, and which I should have made known to you by letter before had I not fully expected an opportunity of a private conference. When you passed through Philadelphia on your way to Wilmington I was confined by a severe fit of the gravel to my chamber; I have since continued much indisposed, and times have been so very distressing that I had neither spirit to write a letter nor an opportunity to convey it when written, nor do I yet know by what means I shall get these sheets to your hands.

"I would fain hope that I have said nothing by which your delicacy can be in the least hurt. If I have, I assure you it has been without the least intention, and therefore your candor will lead you to forgive me. I have spoken freely of Congress and of the army; but what I have said is partly from my own knowledge and partly from the information of some respectable members of the former and some of the best officers of the latter. I would not offend the meanest person upon earth; what I say to you I say in confidence to answer what I cannot but deem a most valuable purpose. I love my country; I love you; but to the love of truth, the love of peace, and the love of God, I hope I should be enabled if called upon to the trial to sacrifice every other inferior love.

"If the arguments made use of in this letter should have so much influence as to engage you in the glorious work which I have warmly recommended, I shall ever deem my success the highest temporal favor that Providence could grant me. Your interposition and advice I am confident would meet with a favorable reception from the authority under which you act.

"If it should not, you have an infallible recourse still left—negotiate for your country at the head of your army. After all, it may appear presumption as an individual to address himself to you on a subject of such magnitude, or to say what measures would best secure the interest and welfare of a whole continent. The friendly and favorable opinion you have always expressed for me emboldens me to undertake it, and which has greatly added to the weight of this motive. I have been strongly impressed with a sense of duty upon the occasion, which left my conscience[83] uneasy and my heart afflicted till I fully discharged it. I am no enthusiast; the course is new and singular to me; but I could not enjoy one moment's peace till this letter was written. With the most ardent prayers for your spiritual as well as temporal welfare, I am your most obedient and humble friend and servant,

Jacob Duche."

The estimation in which Mr. Duche was held before he wrote this letter, by John Adams, who was not particularly friendly to Episcopalians, who as a class were Loyalists (although Washington was one), is here shown. Adams says: "Mr. Duche is one of the most ingenuous men, and of best character, and greatest orator in the Episcopal order upon this continent; yet a zealous friend of liberty and his country."[70]

In the cold light of truth it now seems quite clear that Americans took up arms before they were in any real danger of oppression, and George III. was persuaded to concede more than all their reasonable demands, but yielded too late to save the integrity of the empire.

We are taught in many of our histories that George III. was a tyrant, seeking to establish despotism, and that Washington rescued and preserved Anglo-Saxon liberty, not only in America, but wherever it existed in the British domains; but this is too extravagant a compliment to the king. We may admit that he was a respectable man in private life, that he acted on principle, as he understood it, in his public career, and that he had some princely accomplishments, but was far from a great man. Certainly he was not in the class of conqueror, nor was he able to commit "a splendid crime." His mother was ever croaking in his ears: "George, be a king!" Thackeray gives us a touching account of the king's last years. All history, he tells us, presents no sadder picture. It is too terrible for tears. Driven from his throne, buffeted by rude hands, his children in revolt, his ending was as pitiful and awful as that of King Lear. In a lucid moment the Queen entered his room and found him singing and playing on a musical instrument. When he had finished he knelt and prayed for her and for his family, and for the nation, and last for himself. And then tears began to flow down his cheeks, and his reason fled again. Caesar, Henry VIII., and Napoleon tried to establish a dynasty of despots, and failed. As we glance at the figure of George III. and recall the traits of his character, we see that Anglo-Saxon civilization or liberty was in no danger of permanent injury from the last king of England who tried to reign.

As we review the conflict we are apt to forget that the Americans were not alone in their efforts to throw off the restraint of law and authority of the government during the twenty years preceding the surrender at Yorktown; Wilkes, "Junius," and Lord George Gordon surpassed the efforts of Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, and Crispus Attucks, to make life unpleasant for King George. Mobs surged about the streets of London as they did in Boston, defying the law, destroying property, and disturbing the public peace. The house of Lord Mansfield, chief justice of England,[84] was wrecked and burned to the ground in the same manner as the home of Thomas Hutchinson, chief justice of Massachusetts, was wrecked and pillaged. Both mobs claimed to act "on principle," and there is a curious likeness in the details of these two acts of violence. It was an age of insurrection, with no political genius able, or in a position, to direct the storm. During the Wilkes riots, in 1768, the civil power in England was reduced to extreme weakness. Lecky tells us "there were great fears that all the bulwarks of order would yield to the strain," and Franklin, then in London, said that if Wilkes had possessed a good character and the king a bad one, Wilkes would have driven George III. from the throne. In 1780, during the Gordon riots, chaos came again to London, and all England was threatened with anarchy. The time was out of joint on both continents, and George III. was not born to set it right. We may be sure there is something more serious than glory in all this turmoil that embittered the most beneficent of civilizing races. Whoever examines the dispute with impartial care, will probably perceive that the time had come for a new adjustment of the constitutional relations of the several parts of the British Empire, but the temper of George III. and the disorderly elements, active both in England and America, were unfavorable to rational treatment of the great problem.

Early in the Revolution it was considered necessary, in order to insure its success, to obtain aid and recognition from the French.

Mr. Silas Deane, of Connecticut, and three agents, were sent to France to feel the pulse of the king and nation upon the subject. They, however, neither acknowledged the agents nor directed them to leave the kingdom.

It was not so with individuals, among whom was M. Beaumarchais, who, on his own account and credit, furnished the United States with twenty thousand stand of arms and one thousand barrels of powder of one hundred pounds weight each. Ten thousand of the muskets were landed at Portsmouth, N. H., and the remainder in some southern State. The first opportunity of testing the qualities of the new French muskets occurred September 19, 1777, which engagement led up to the battle of Saratoga October 7, which terminated in the convention with Burgoyne October 17, 1777. Major Caleb Stark, the eldest son of Gen. John Stark, who was present in these actions, says: "I firmly believe that unless these arms had been thus timely furnished to the Americans, Burgoyne would have made an easy march to Albany. What then? My pen almost refuses to record the fact that these arms have never been paid for to this day. When the war ended, application was made to Congress for payment, which was refused on the frivolous pretext that they were a present from the French king. The claim was referred to the United States attorney-general, who reported in substance that he could find no evidence of their having been paid for, or that they were presented as a gift by the court of France.

"Supposing the most favorable plea of Congress to be true, that there[85] was an underhand connivance by France to furnish the arms, or the king had thought proper to deny it, is it just or magnanimous for the United States to refuse payment? Suppose the arms were clearly a 'gift' bestowed upon us in our poverty, ought not a high-minded people to restore the value of that gift with ten-fold interest, when their benevolent friend has become poor, and they have waxed wealthy and strong?

"Congress, skulking behind their sovereignty, still refused payment. Yet the cries of Beaumarchais, reduced to poverty by the French Revolution, have not been heeded."[71]

The action of Congress concerning the Saratoga Convention was equally base. The whole number of prisoners surrendered by Burgoyne was 5791. The force of the Americans was, according to a statement which Gates furnished to Burgoyne, 13,222. The terms of the Convention was that Burgoyne's troops were to march out of their camp with all the honors of war, the artillery to be moved to the banks of the Hudson, and there to be left, together with the soldiers' arms; that a free passage should be granted the troops to Great Britain, on condition of their not serving again during the war; that the army should march to the neighborhood of Boston by the most expeditious and convenient route, and not delayed when transport should arrive to receive them; that every care should be taken for the proper subsistence of the troops till they should be embarked. Although Congress ratified the terms of the Convention entered into by General Burgoyne and Gates, yet they violated them in the most perfidious manner. Many Americans now regard this as the most disgraceful act ever perpetrated by the United States. There was not the slightest excuse for this treachery. When the British ministry charged Congress with positive perfidy, Congress added insult to injury by charging the ministry with "meditated perfidy," for they "believed the British would break their parole if released." After the arrival of the troops at Boston they were quartered at Cambridge, where they were subjected to the most cruel and inhuman treatment. Officers and soldiers were shot down and bayoneted in the most cold-blooded manner without the slightest provocation. If the officers resented any insults, they were sent to Worcester and treated as felons. They were charged the most exorbitant prices for food. Burgoyne alone was allowed to go home on parole; all the other officers and men were marched into the interior of Virginia, where they were kept in confinement for five years.[72]

There is probably not one American in a thousand that knows the origin and meaning of Washington's advice to his countrymen against entering into "entangling foreign alliances," and the often quoted phrase: "French Spoliation Claims," and yet the two are inseparably connected, and form a most important phase in the early history of the United States. American historians have passed over this episode, fearing that[86] it would bring odium on the "Fathers of the Revolution." By the treaty made by Franklin with France, in which she recognized the United States and by which means American independence was secured, it was agreed that the United States should assist France in foreign complications in which she might be involved, and furthermore to protect her possessions in the West Indies. This was the first treaty made by the United States. When the time came for putting these pledges into force, the United States refused to act.

"The expense of the war of the Revolution was as much, if not more, to France, than to the United States, and it is a matter of historical truth that the expenses incurred in this war by France bankrupted the nation and hurried on the terrible events which convulsed the world from the commencement of the French Revolution until the battle of Waterloo. During all this distress and disaster, the Americans were chuckling in their sleeves, and wasting the treasures of the old world to embellish the half-fledged cities of the new world. Gratitude is a virtue often spoken of with apparent sincerity, but not so frequently exhibited in practice." This is the language of a well-known Revolutionary officer.[73] Therefore, the United States acted in a most shameful and disgraceful manner in violating the first treaty she ever entered into, through which she secured her independence; she did not give the French that assistance she had agreed to give by treaty, but remained neutral and indifferent, while England seized upon the larger part of the French colonies in the West Indies. The base ingratitude of the United States exasperated the French, so they issued orders to seize and destroy American property wherever found. Several naval engagements between the late allies ensued, and 898 vessels were seized by the French government or were destroyed by its cruisers, prior to the year 1800. Hence, when Ellsworth, Van Murray and Davie, the commissioners appointed by the United States to negotiate with France, and to settle the dispute, asked for damages for the seizure and destruction of American vessels, the French foreign minister turned upon them with the assertion that in performing her part of the Franklin treaty of 1778, France had spent $28,000,000, and had sacrificed the lives of thousands of her people, simply for the purpose of gaining the independence for the United States. All it had asked had been the friendship and assistance of the United States in the manner provided in this treaty. Instead of meeting these claims and requiting the generosity of France in the way such conduct deserved, the United States had ignored its obligations, and now came forward and advanced a petty claim for money, utterly forgetful of how much France had sacrificed in its behalf.

As might be supposed, there was no answer that could be made to this assertion, and hence the new treaty then drawn up, in which the two states agreed to renounce respectively whatever pretensions they might have had to claims one against the other, was ratified by the Senate, and[87] promulgated by President Jefferson December 21, 1801, thus relieving France of all responsibility for damages caused by her cruisers prior to 1800, and throwing the responsibility of liquidating these demands upon the United States government—a responsibility it succeeded in avoiding for a hundred years, as it succeeded in avoiding the demands which the French government could and did make upon it to defend French West India possessions. These were the "entangling foreign alliances" referred to by Washington.

Bills granting payment of these claims, which originally amounted to $12,676,000, passed Congress twice, and were vetoed first by President Polk and then by President Pierce. If ever there was a just claim brought before Congress, these French spoliation claims deserve the title, and it is a historical disgrace to the government of the United States that the payment of them was delayed for nearly a hundred years.[74]




The writers of American histories severely condemn the British government for employing Indians in the war of the Revolution as well as in 1812, and give unstinted praise to the Americans for humanity in refusing to make use of the warlike but undisciplined and cruel Indian as an ally in the activities of a military campaign. Either an attempt is made to suppress the whole truth of this matter, or the writers have failed in their duty to thoroughly investigate sources of history easily accessible to the honest historian.

The fact is, that in the incipient stage of the Revolutionary war, overtures were made by the political disturbers and leading instigators of trouble to win over to the side of the American party the fiercest, if not the most numerous Indian nation on the North American continent.

From Concord, on the fourth of April, 1775, the Provincial Congress thought fit, with cunning prudence, to address the sachem of the Mohawks, with the rest of the Iroquois tribes, in the following words:

"Brother, they have made a law to establish the religion of the pope in Canada, which lies near you. We much fear some of your children may be induced, instead of worshipping the only true God, to pay his due to images, made with their own hands."[75]

Here, then, a religious reason was advanced, in lieu of the real one, why the Indians should oppose the British, by whom they had always been generously treated. The response to the insinuating address was not encouraging. May it not be assumed that these Indians had already experienced some of the same kind of love, generosity and good faith, as later every tribe has received from every government at Washington, from the days of the first president to the latest, through the past "century of dishonor."

Before the 19th of April, the Provincial Congress had authorized the enlistment of a company of Stockbridge (Massachusetts) Indians. These Indians were used by the Americans during the siege of Boston. A letter, dated July 9, 1775, says: "Yesterday afternoon some barges were sounding the Charles River near its mouth, but were soon obliged to row off by our Indians, fifty in number, who are encamped near that place."

At Watertown during the seige of Boston, the Revolutionists endeavored to obtain their assistance.

On the 21st of June, two of the Indians killed four of the regulars with their bows and arrows, and plundered them. Frothingham says[89] the British complained, and with reason, of their mode of warfare.

Lieut. Carter, writes July 2, 1775: "Never had the British army so ungenerous an enemy to oppose. They send their riflemen, five or six at a time, who conceal themselves behind trees, etc., till an opportunity presents itself of taking a shot at our advanced sentries, which done, they immediately retreat."[76]

During the siege of Boston, John Adams visited Washington's camp at Watertown, and wrote the following letter to his wife, which goes to prove the efforts made by the Americans to enlist the Canadian Indians in their cause, and which they afterwards complained so bitterly of the British for doing:

"Watertown, 24 January, 1776.

"I dined at Colonel Mifflin's with the general and lady, and a vast collection of other company, among whom were six or seven sachems and warriors of the French Caughnawaga Indians, with several of their wives and children. A savage feast they made of it, yet were very polite in the Indian style. One of the sachems is an Englishman, a native of this colony, whose name was Williams, captivated in infancy, with his mother, and adopted by some kind squaw."[77]

Many attempts were made by the Americans to use the Indians. Montgomery made use of them in his Canadian expedition.

In April, 1776, Washington wrote to Congress, urging their employment in the army, and reported on July 13th that, without special authority, he had directed General Schuyler to engage the Six Nations on the best terms he and his colleagues could procure, and again submitting the propriety of engaging the Eastern Indians. John Adams thought "we need not be so delicate as to refuse the assistance of Indians, provided we cannot keep them neutral." A treaty was exchanged with the Eastern Indians on July 17, 1776, whereby they agreed to furnish six hundred for a regiment, which was to be officered by the whites. As a result of this, the Massachusetts Council subsequently reported that seven Penobscot Indians—all that could be procured—were enlisted in October for one year.[78] It is interesting to remember, in this connection, that the courteous and chivalrous Lafayette raised a troop of Indians to fight the British and the Tories, though his reputation has been saved by the utter and almost ludicrous failure of his attempt.[79]

When all this had been done, it needed the forgetfulness and the blind hypocrisy of passion to denounce the king to the world for having "endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savage." Yet Americans have never had the self-respect to erase this charge from a document generally printed in the fore-front of the[90] Constitution and Laws, and with which every schoolboy is sedulously made familiar.

The Revolutionists failed to enlist the Indians in their cause, for the Indian and the Colonist were bitter and irreconcilable foes. The Indian had long scores to pay, not upon the English nation or the English army, but upon the American settler who had stolen his lands, shot his sons, and debauched his daughters. It is well here to remember the speech of Logan, the Cayuga chief, on the occasion of the signing of the treaty of peace in 1764, at the close of the Pontiac Conspiracy. Logan said: "I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked and he clothed him not. Such was my love of the white man that my countrymen in passing my cabin said: 'Logan is the friend of the white man.' I have even thought to have lived with you but for the injuries you did me last spring, when in cold blood and unprovoked, you murdered all the relations of Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance." Logan's family, being on a visit to a family of the name of Greathouse, was murdered by them and their associates under circumstances of great brutality and cowardice. It is known that in revenge, Logan took over 30 scalps with his own hand. And others than Indians had old scores to wipe out. Many loyalists who desired to be left alone in peace had been tarred and feathered by their former friends and fellow-townsmen; were driven from their homes and hunted like wild beasts; imprisoned, maimed, and compelled to suffer every kind of indignity. In many cases fathers, brothers and sons were hanged, because they insisted on remaining loyal to their country. Therefore it is not to be wondered at that many of these loyalists sought a terrible revenge against those who had maltreated them. If the loyalists of New York, Georgia and the Carolinas resolved to join the Indians and wreak vengeance on their fellow countrymen at Wyoming and Cherry Valley, and to take part in the raids of Tyron and Arnold, there was a rude cause for their retaliating. Their actions have been held up to the execration of posterity as being exceptionally barbarous, and as far surpassing in cruelty the provocative actions of the revolutionists, Sullivan's campaign through the Indian country being conveniently forgotten. There was not much to choose between a cowboy and a skinner, and very little difference between Major Ferguson's command and that of Marion and Sumpter. There were no more orderly or better behaved troops in either army than Simcoe's Queen's Rangers. There can be no doubt that the action of the loyalists have been grossly exaggerated, or at least dwelt upon as dreadful scenes of depravity, to form a background for the heroism and fortitude of the "patriotic" party whose misdeeds are passed lightly over. The methods of the growth of popular mythology have been the same in America as in Greece or Rome. The [91]gods of one party have become the devils of the other. The haze of distance has thrown a halo around the American leaders—softening outlines, obscuring faults, while those of the British and the loyalists have grown with the advanced years.[80]

From an old print in the possession of the Bostonian Society.

The following brief entry in a diary, will show that among the American forces savage customs found place: "On Monday, the 30th, sent out a party for some dead Indians. Toward morning found them, and skinned two of them from their hips down, for boot legs; one pair for the major, the other for myself."[81]

It has been the policy of American historians and their echoes in England to bring disrepute upon the Indians and the British government who employed them, and not only to magnify actual occurrences, but sometimes, when facts were wanting, to draw upon imagination for such deeds of ferocity and bloodshed as might serve to keep alive the strongest feelings of indignation against the mother country, and thus influence men to take the field for revenge who had not already been driven thither by the impulse of their sense of patriotism. Dr. Franklin himself did not think it unworthy of his antecedents and position to employ these methods to bring disrepute on the British. The "deliberate fiction for political purposes," by Franklin, were written as facts. Never before was there such diabolical fiction written as his well known scalp story, long believed and recently revived in several books purporting to be "authentic history." The details were so minute and varied as to create a belief that they were entirely true. For a century supposed to be authentic, it has since been ascertained to be a publication from the pen of Dr. Franklin for political purposes. It describes minutely the capture from the Seneca Indians of eight bales of scalps, which were being sent the governor of Canada, to be forwarded by him as a gift to the "Great King." The description of the contents of each bale was given with such an air of plausibility as to preclude a suspicion that it was fictitious. The following are a few brief abstracts from this story: "No. 1 contains forty-three scalps of Congress soldiers, also sixty-two farmers, killed in their houses in the night time. No. 2 contains ninety-eight farmers killed in their houses in the day time. No. 3 contains ninety-seven farmers killed in the fields in the day time. No. 4 contains 102 farmers, mixed, 18 burnt alive, after being scalped; sixty-seven being greyheads, and one clergyman. No. 5 containing eighty-eight scalps of woman's hair, long-braided in Indian fashion. No. 6 containing 193 boys' scalps of various ages. No. 7, 211 girls' scalps, big and little. No. 8, this package is a mixture of all the varieties above mentioned, to the number of 122, with a box of birch bark, containing twenty-nine infants' scalps of various sizes."[82]

With the bales of scalps was a speech addressed to the "Great King."

One of the most cruel and bloodthirsty acts of the Americans was[92] the massacre of the Moravian Indians. "From love of peace they had advised those of their own color who were bent on war to desist from it. They were also led from humanity, to inform the white people of their danger, when they knew their settlements were about to be invaded. One hundred and sixty Americans crossed the Ohio and put to death these harmless, inoffensive people, though they made no resistance. In conformity with their religious principles these Moravians submitted to their hard fate without attempting to destroy their murderers. Upward of ninety of these pacific people were killed by men who, while they called themselves Christians, were more deserving of the names of savages than were their unresisting victims."[83]




The Huguenots and the proscribed of the French Revolution found sanctuary as welcome guests in England and the English colonies.

The Moors were well treated when banished from Spain; the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was civil death to all Huguenots; the Americans made the treaty of peace of 1783 worse than civil death to all Loyalists.

The Americans, at the inception and birth of their republic, violated every precept of Christianity and of a boasted civilization, even to confiscating the estates of helpless women. For all time it is to be a part of American history that the last decade of the eighteenth century saw the most cruel and vindictive acts of spoliation recorded in modern history.

At the treaty of peace, 1783, the banishment and extermination of the Loyalists was a foregone conclusion. The bitterest words ever uttered by Washington were in reference to them: "He could see nothing better for them than to recommend suicide." Neither Congress nor state governments made any recommendation that humane treatment should be meted out to these Loyalists. John Adams had written from Amsterdam that he would "have hanged his own brother had he taken part against him."[84]

At the close of the war the mob were allowed to commit any outrage or atrocity, while the authorities in each state remained apparently indifferent. An example of Loyalist ill-treatment is to be found in a letter written October 22, 1783, to a Boston friend, and preserved in New York City manual, 1870:—

"The British are leaving New York every day, and last week there came one of the d——d refugees from New York to a place called Wall Kill, in order to make a tarry with his parents, where he was taken into custody immediately. His head and eyebrows were shaved, tarred and feathered, a hog-yoke put on his neck, and a cowbell thereon; upon his head a very high hat and feathers were set, well plumed with tar, and a sheet of paper in front with a man drawn with two faces, representing the traitor Arnold and the devil."

Some American writers have been extremely severe upon Americans who served in the royal armies. Such condemnation is certainly illogical and unjust. They must have reasoned they were fighting to save their[94] country from mob rule, from the domination of demagogues and traitors, and to preserve to it what, until then, all had agreed to be the greatest of blessings, the connection with Great Britain, the privilege of being Englishmen, heirs of all the free institutions which were embodied in a "great and glorious constitution." If the Loyalists reasoned in this manner, we cannot blame them, unless we are ready to maintain the proposition that the cause of every revolution is necessarily so sacred that those who do not sympathize with it should abstain from opposing it.

Very early in the Revolution the disunionists tried to drive the Loyalists into the rebel militia or into the Continental army by fines, and by obliging them to hire substitutes. The families of men who had fled from the country to escape implication in the impending war were obliged to hire substitutes, and they were fined for the misdeeds of the mercenary whom they had engaged. Fines were even imposed upon neutral and unoffending persons for not preventing their families from entering the British service. If the fines were refused, the property was recklessly sold to the amount of the fine and costs of action. Loyalists convicted of entering the enemy's lines could be fined as high as 2000 pounds, and even the unsuccessful attempt to enter might be punished by a fine of 1000 pounds.[85] If the property of the offender failed to answer for his offence, he became subject to corporal punishment, whipping, branding, cropping of ears, and exposure in the pillory being resorted to in some of the states.

The Disunionists had early a covetous eye upon the property of the Loyalists. The legislative bodies hastened to pass such laws as would prevent those suspected of Loyalism from transferring their property, real or personal, by real or pretended sale. Friends who tried to guard the property of refugees nailed up the doors that led to the room containing valuable furniture, but were obliged by bullying committeemen to remove their barricades and give up their treasures.

The members of one wealthy refugee's family were reduced in their housekeeping to broken chairs and teacups, and to dipping the water out of an iron skillet into a pot, which they did as cheerfully as if they were using a silver urn. The furniture had been removed, though the family picture still hung in the blue room, and the harpsichord stood in the passage way to be abused by the children who passed through. These two aristocratic ladies were obliged to use their coach-house as a dining-room, and the "fowl-house" as their bed chamber. The picture continues: "In character the old lady looks as majestic even there, and dresses with as much elegance as if she were in a palace."[86] This mansion was General Putnam's headquarters at the battle of Bunker Hill, and was afterward confiscated.

When the treaty of peace was signed, the question of amnesty and compensation for the Loyalists was long and bitterly discussed. Even[95] the French minister had urged it. John Adams, one of the commission, favored compensating "the wretches, how little soever they deserved it, nay, how much soever they deserve the contrary."[87]

The commission hesitated "to saddle" America with the Loyalists because they feared the opposition at home, especially by the individual states. The British demand had been finally met with the mere promise that Congress would recommend to the states a conciliatory policy with reference to the Loyalists. This solution neither satisfied the Loyalists nor the more chivalrous Englishmen. They declared that the provision concerning the Loyalists was "precipitate, impolitic," and cruelly neglectful of their American friends.[88] But all of this cavilling was unreasonable and hasty, for England had gotten for the Loyalists the utmost attainable in the treaty, and later proved honorable and generous in the highest degree by compensating the Loyalists out of her own treasury—an act only excelled in the next century by the purchase and emancipation of all the slaves in the British Empire, for which the people of Great Britain taxed only themselves—the most generous act ever performed by any nation in the history of mankind.

In spite of the recommendation of Congress which had been made in accordance with the terms of the treaty, confiscation still went on actively. Governors of the states were urged to exchange lists of proscribed persons, that no Loyalists might find a resting-place in the United States, and in every state they were disfranchised, while in many localities they were tarred and feathered, driven from town and warned never to return again. Some were murdered and maltreated in the most horrible manner. Thousands of inconspicuous Loyalists did, nevertheless, succeed in remaining in the larger cities, where their identity was lost, and they were not the objects of jealous social and political exclusion as in the small town. In some localities where they were in the majority, the hostile minority was not able to wreak its vengeance.

With the treaty of peace there came a rush for British American territory. The numbers were increased in Canada to some 25,000 during the next few years, and those in Nova Scotia and other British territory swelled the number to 60,000.

Most of these exiles became, in one way or another, a temporary expense to the British government, and the burden was borne honorably and ungrudgingly. The care began during the war. The Loyalists who aided Burgoyne were provided with homes in Canada, and before the close of 1779 nearly a thousand refugees were cared for in houses and barracks and given fuel, household furniture, and even pensioned with money. After the peace, thousands of exiles at once turned to the British government for temporary support. The vast majority had lost but little, and asked only for land and supplies to start life with. The minority[96] who had lost lands, offices and incomes, demanded indemnity. As for the members of the humbler class, the government ordered that there should be given 500 acres of land to heads of families, 300 acres to single men, and each township in the new settlements was to have 2000 acres for church purposes and 1000 for schools. Building material and tools, an axe, spade, hoe and plow, were furnished each head of a family. Even clothing and food were issued to the needy, and as late as 1785 there were 26,000 entitled to rations. Communities were equipped with grindstones and the machinery for grist and saw mills. In this way $5,000,000 were spent to get Nova Scotia well started, and in Upper Canada, besides the three million acres given to the Loyalist, some $4,000,000 were expended for this benefit before 1787.

But there was a far greater burden assumed by the British government in granting the compensation asked for by those who had sacrificed everything to their loyalty. Those who had lost offices or professional practice were, in many cases, cared for by the gift of lucrative offices under the government, and Loyalist military officers were put on half pay. It is said with truth that the defeated government dealt with the exiled and fugitive Loyalists with a far greater liberality than the United States bestowed upon their victorious army.

After the peace, over five thousand Loyalists submitted claims for losses, usually through agents appointed by the refugees from each American colony. In July of 1783, a commission of five members was appointed by Parliament to classify the losses and services of the Loyalists. They examined the claims with an impartial and judicial severity. The claimant entered the room alone with the commissioners and, after telling his services and losses, was rigidly questioned concerning fellow claimants as well as himself. The claimant then submitted a written and sworn statement of his losses. After the results of both examinations were critically scrutinized, the judges made the award. In the whole course of their work, they examined claims to the amount of forty million of dollars, and ordered nineteen millions to be paid.

If to the cost of establishing the Loyalists in Nova Scotia and Canada we add the compensation granted in money, the total amount expended by the British government for their American adherents was at least thirty million dollars. There is evidence that the greatest care that human ingenuity could devise was exercised to make all these awards in a fair and equitable manner. The members of the commission were of unimpeachable honesty. Nevertheless there was much complaint by the Loyalists because of the partial failure of giving the loyal exiles a new start in life. The task was no easy one—to transfer a disheartened people to a strange land and a trying climate, and let them begin life anew. But when, years later, they had made of the land of this exile a mighty member of the British empire, they began to glory in the days of trial through which they had passed.

[97]At a council meeting held at Quebec, November 9, 1789, an order was passed for "preserving a register of the Loyalists that had adhered to the unity of the empire, and joined the Royal Standard previous to the treaty of peace in 1783, to the end that their posterity may be distinguished from future settlers in the rank, registers, and rolls of the militia of their respective districts, as proper objects for preserving and showing the fidelity and conduct so honorable to their ancestors for distinguished benefit and privileges."

Today their descendants are organized as the United Empire Loyalists, and count it an honor that their ancestors suffered persecution and exile rather than yield the principle and idea of union with Great Britain.

The cause of the Loyalists failed, but their stand was a natural one and was just and noble. They were the prosperous and contended men—the men without a grievance. Conservatism was the only policy that one could expect of them. Men do not rebel to rid themselves of prosperity. Prosperous men seek to conceive prosperity. The Loyalist obeyed his nature, but as events proved, chose the ill-fated cause, and when the struggle ended, his prosperity had fled, and he was an outcast and an exile.

If, when George III. and his government recognized the independence of the thirteen colonies, the Loyalists had been permitted to remain here and become, if they would, American citizens, the probabilities are that, long before this time, an expansion would have taken place in the national domain which would have brought under its control the entire American continent north of the United States, an extension brought about in an entirely peaceful and satisfactory manner. The method of exclusion adopted peopled Canada, so far as its English-speaking inhabitants were concerned, with those who went from the United States as political exiles, and who carried with them to their new homes an ever-burning sense of personal wrong and a bitter hatred of those who had abused them.

The indifference shown to treaty obligations by Congress and the states, and the secret determination to eradicate everything British from the country, is now known to have been the deliberate, well-considered policy of the founders of the Republic.

This old legacy of wrongdoing has been a barrier in the way of a healthful northern development of the United States. The contentions which gave rise to these hostile feelings have been forgotten, but the feelings themselves have long outlived the causes which gave rise to them.




When the Revolutionary War had ended came the long twenty-three years' war in which Great Britain, for the most part, single-handed, fought for the freedom of Europe against the most colossal tyranny ever devised by a victorious general. No nation in the history of the world carried on a war so stubborn, so desperate, so costly, so vital. Had Great Britain failed, what would now be the position of the world? At the very time when Britain's need was the sorest, when every ship, every soldier and sailor that she could find was needed to break down the power of the man who had subjugated all Europe except Russia and Great Britain, the United States, the land of boasted liberty, did her best to cripple the liberating armies by proclaiming war against Britain in the hour of her sorest need.

Napoleon was at the height of his power, with an army collected at Boulogne for the invasion of England. England was growing exhausted by the contest. Her great Prime Minister, Pitt, had died broken hearted. Every indication was favorable to the conquest of Canada by the United States and therewith the extinction of all British interests on the western continent.

In the motherland it seemed, to the popular imagination, that on the other side of the Atlantic lived an implacable enemy, whose rancor was greater than their boasted love of liberty. Fisher Ames, who was regarded by his party as its wisest counsellor and chief ornament, expresses this general feeling on their part in a letter to Mr. Quincy, dated Dedham, Dec. 6, 1807, in which he says: "Our cabinet takes council of the mob, and it is now a question whether hatred of Great Britain and the reproach fixed even upon violent men, if they will not proceed in their violence, will not overcome the fears of the maritime states, and of the planters in Congress. The usual levity of a democracy has not appeared in regard to Great Britain. We have been steady in our hatred of her, and when popular passions are not worn out by time, but argument, they must, I should think, explode in war."[89]

The action of the United States in declaring war against Great Britain when she was most sorely pressed in righting for the liberty of mankind is best set forth in the famous speech of Josiah Quincy, delivered before Congress on the 5th of January, 1813. It was, as he himself says of it, "most direct, pointed and searching as to the motive and conduct of our rulers. It exposed openly and without reserve or fear the iniquity of[99] the proposed invasion of Canada. I was sparing of neither language nor illustration." Its author, on reading it over in his old age, might well say that "he shrunk not from the judgment of after times." Its invective is keen, its sarcasm bitter, its denunciations heavy and severe, but the facts from which they derive their sting or their weight are clearly stated and sustained.

As a means of carrying on the war, he denounces the invasion of Canada as "cruel, wanton, senseless, and wicked—an attempt to compel the mother country to our terms by laying waste an innocent province which had never injured us, but had long been connected with us by habits of good neighborhood and mutual good offices." He said "that the embarrassment of our relations with Great Britain and the keeping alive between this country and that of a root of bitterness has been, is, and will continue to be, a main principle of the policy of this American Cabinet."

The Democratic Party having attained power by fostering the old grudge against England, and having maintained itself in power by force of that antipathy, a consent to the declaration of war had been extorted from the reluctant Madison as the condition precedent of his nomination for a second term of office.

When war against Great Britain was proposed at the last session, there were thousands in these United States, and I confess to you I was myself among the number, who believed not one word of the matter, I put my trust in the old-fashioned notions of common sense and common prudence. That a people which had been more than twenty years at peace should enter upon hostilities against a people which had been twenty years at war, the idea seemed so absurd that I never once entertained it as possible. It is easy enough to make an excuse for any purpose. When a victim is destined to be immolated, every hedge presents sticks for the sacrifice. The lamb that stands at the mouth of the stream will always trouble the water if you take the account of the wolf who stands at the source of it. We have heard great lamentation about the disgrace of our arms on the frontier. Why, sir, the disgrace of our arms on the frontier is terrestrial glory in comparison with the disgrace of the attempt. Mr. Speaker, when I contemplate the character and consequences of this invasion of Canada, when I reflect on its criminality and its danger to the peace and liberty of this once happy country, I thank the great Author and Source of all virtue that, through His grace, that section of country in which I have the happiness to reside, is in so great a degree free from the iniquity of this transgression. I speak it with pride. The people of that section have done what they could to vindicate themselves and their children from the burden of their sin.

Surely if any nation had a claim for liberal treatment from another, it was the British nation from the American. After the discovery of the error of the American government in relation to the repeal of the Berlin and Milan Decrees in November, 1810, they had declared war against her[100] on the supposition that she had refused to repeal her orders in council after the French Decrees were in fact revoked, whereas it now appears that they were in fact not revoked. Surely the knowledge of this error was followed by an instant and anxious desire to redress the resulting injury. No, sir, nothing occurred. On the contrary the question of impressment is made the basis of continuing the war. They renewed hostilities. They rushed upon Canada. Nothing would satisfy them but blood.

I know, Mr. Speaker, that while I utter these things, a thousand tongues and a thousand pens are preparing without doors to overwhelm me, if possible, by their pestiferous gall. Already I hear in the air the sound of "Traitor," "British Agent," "British Gold!" and all those changes of calumny by which the imagination of the mass of men are affected and by which they are prevented from listening to what is true and receiving what is reasonable.[90]

As will be noticed in the foregoing extract from Josiah Quincy's celebrated speech, New England refused to take any part in the war. In fact, it must be said in their favor that they refused absolutely to send any troops to aid in the invasion of Canada. They regarded the pretexts on which the war had been declared with contemptuous incredulity, believing them to be but thin disguises of its real object. That object they believed to be the gratification of the malignant hatred the slave-holding states bore toward communities of free and intelligent labor, by the destruction of their wealth and prosperity.

A town meeting was held in Boston at Faneuil Hall on June 11, 1812, at which it was "Resolved: That in the opinion of this town, it is of the last importance to the interest of this country to avert the threatened calamity of war with Great Britain," etc. A committee of twelve was appointed to take into consideration the present alarming state of our public affairs, and report what measures, in their opinion, it is proper for the town to adopt at this momentous crisis.

The committee reported in part as follows: "While the temper and views of the national administration are intent upon war, an expression of the sense of this town, will of itself be quite ineffectual either to avert this deplorable calamity or to accelerate a return of peace, but believing as we do that an immense majority of the people are invincibly averse from conflict equally unnecessary and menacing ruin to themselves and their posterity, convinced as we are that the event will overwhelm them with astonishment and dismay, we cannot but trust that a general expression of the voice of the people would satisfy Congress that those of their representatives who had voted in favor of war, have not truly represented the wishes of their constituents, and thus arrest the tendency of their measures to this extremity."

Had the policy of government been inclined towards resistance to the pretentions of the belligerants by open war, there could be neither policy,[101] reason or justice in singling out Great Britain as the exclusive object of hostility. If the object of war is merely to vindicate our honor, why is it not declared against the first aggressor? If the object is defense and success, why is it to be waged against the adversary most able to annoy and least likely to yield? Why, at the moment when England explicitly declares her order in council repealed whenever France shall rescind her decrees, is the one selected for an enemy and the other courted as a conqueror? "Under present circumstances there will be no scope for valor, no field for enterprise, no chance for success, no hope of national glory, no prospect but of a war against Great Britain, in aid of the common enemy of the human race, and in the end an inglorious peace."

The resolution recommended by the committee was adopted and it was voted that the selectmen be requested to transmit a copy thereof to each town in this commonwealth.

At a town meeting held August 6, 1812, the following resolutions were passed: "That the inhabitants of the town of Boston have learned with heartfelt concern that in the City of Baltimore a most outrageous attack, the result of deliberate combinations has been made upon the freedom of opinion and the liberty of the press. An infuriated mob has succeeded in accomplishing its sanguinary purpose by the destruction of printing presses and other property, by violating the sanctuary of dwelling houses, breaking open the public prison and dragging forth from the protection of civil authority the victims of their ferocious pursuit, guilty of no crime but the expression of their opinions and completing the tissue of their enormities by curses, wounds and murders, accompanied by the most barbarous and shocking indignities.

"In the circumstances attending the origin, the progress, and the catastrophe of this bloody scene, we discern with painful emotion, not merely an aggravation of the calamities of the present unjust and ruinous war, but a prelude to the dissolution of all free government, and the establishing of a reign of terror. Mobs, by reducing men to a state of nature, defeat the object of every social compact. The sober citizen who trembles in beholding the fury of the mob, seeks refuge from its dangers by joining in its acclamations. The laws are silenced. New objects of violence are discovered. The government of the nation and the mob government change places with each other. The mob erects its horrid crest over the ruins of liberty, of property, of the domestic relations of life and of civil institutions."[91]

The foregoing is a fair example of the feelings shown in New England towards this unjustifiable war, and which culminated in the famous Hartford convention which was accused of designing an organized resistance to the general government, and a separation of the New England states from the Union if the war was not stopped. The resolutions condemning the Baltimore mob also show the change in public opinion that had taken place in Boston during the thirty-seven years that had elapsed[102] since the commencement of the Revolution in Boston, which was inaugurated by mob violence, participated in by many who, by the strange irony of fate, by these resolutions condemned their own actions.

Mr. Quincy did not stand alone among his countrymen of that day in a general championship of Great Britain in the hour of her extremity. The Reverend John Sylvester, John Gardner, rector of Trinity church, Boston, a man of great scholarship, among others lifted up his voice in protest against unfair treatment of Great Britain by the government and people of the United States.

In a sermon at this time he said: "Though submissive and even servile to France, to Great Britain we are eager to display our hatred and hurl our defiance. Every petty dispute which may happen between an American captain and a British officer is magnified into a national insult. The land of our fathers, whence is derived the best blood of the nation, the country to which we are chiefly indebted for our laws and knowledge is stigmatized as a nest of pirates, plunderers and assassins. We entice away her seamen, the very sinews of her power.

"We refuse to restore them on application; we issue hostile proclamations; we interdict her ships of war from the common rights to hospitality; we have non-importation acts; we lay embargoes; we refuse to ratify a treaty in which she has made great concessions to us; we dismiss her envoy of peace who came purposely to apologize for an act unauthorized by her government; we commit every act of hostility against her in proportion to our means and station. Observe the conduct of the two nations and our strange conduct. France robs us and we love her; Britain courts us and we hate her."

It was during the summer of 1812, when Jefferson truly stated that every continental power of importance, except Russia, was allied with Napoleon, and Great Britain stood alone to oppose them, for Russia could not aid her if she would—her commerce paralyzed, her factories closed, commerce and her people threatened with famine. It was at this moment of dire extremity that Madison chose to launch his war message. His action was eagerly supported by Jefferson, Clay and Calhoun, and the younger members of his party.

Jefferson wrote to Duane: "The acquisition of Canada this year (1812) as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us experience for the attack on Halifax, the next and the final expulsion of England from the American continent. Perhaps they will burn New York or Boston. If they do, we must burn the city of London, not by expensive fleets of Congreve rockets, but by employing a hundred or two Jack-the-painters, whom nakedness, famine, desperation and hardened vice will abundantly furnish from among themselves."[92]

In retaliation for the destruction of the Public landing at Toronto and Newark, and other villages, the public building at Washington was burned.

[103]Three months after making this prediction, the surrender of the United States invading force to the British General Brock, or as Jefferson preferred to style it, "the detestable treason of Hull," "excited," he writes, "a deep anxiety in all breasts." A few months later we find him lamenting that "our war on the land was commenced most inauspiciously." This has resulted, he thinks, from the employment of generals before it is known whether they will "stand fire" and has cost us thousands of good men and deplorable degradation of reputation.(*) "The treachery, cowardice, and imbecility of the men in command has sunk our spirits at home and our character abroad."[93]

At the commencement of the war of 1812, the whole number of British troops in Canada was 4450, supplemented by about four thousand Canadian militia. With this corporal guard it was necessary to protect a frontier of over 1600 miles in length. Any part of this line was liable to an invasion of United States troops whose lines of communication were far superior. Moreover Great Britain was unable to send reinforcements until after the fall of Napoleon in June, 1814, when the war was nearly fought out.

American writers have always severely criticised the British for burning the public buildings when they captured Washington. Ex-President Jefferson, who proposed that the criminal classes of London should be hired to burn that city, stigmatized the burning of Washington as "vandalism," and declared it would "immortalize the infamy" of Great Britain. He who could contemplate with equanimity the fearful horrors that must have resulted from the putting in practice of his monstrous proposition to burn a city crowded with peaceful citizens, professed to be horrified at the destruction of a few public buildings by which no man, woman or child, was injured in person or property. With equal hypocrisy he professed to believe that no provocation for the act was given by the United States commanders. Upon this point he was taken to an account by an open letter from Dr. John Strachan, afterwards Bishop of Toronto. This letter should be preserved as long as there lives a British apologist for the acts of the United States in the War of 1812. In part it was as follows:

"As you are not ignorant of the mode of carrying on the war adopted by your friends, you must have known it was a small retaliation after redress had been refused, for burnings and depredations not only of public but private property, committed by them in Canada." In July, 1812, General Hull invaded Upper Canada and threatened by proclamation to exterminate the inhabitants if they made any resistance. He plundered those with whom he had been in habits of intimacy for years before the war. Their linen and plate were found in his possession after his surrender to General Brock. He marked out the loyal subjects of the king as objects of peculiar resentment, and consigned their property to pillage and conflagration.

[104]In April, 1813, the public buildings at York (now Toronto) the capital of Upper Canada, were burned by the troops of the United States contrary to the articles of capitulation. Much private property was plundered and several homes left in a state of ruin. Can you tell me, sir, the reason why the public buildings and library at Washington should be held more sacred than those at our York?

In June, 1813, Newark came into possession of your army, and its inhabitants were repeatedly promised protection to themselves and property by General Dearborne and General Boyd. In the midst of their professions the most respectable of them, almost all non-combatants, were made prisoners and sent into the United States. The two churches were burned to the ground; detachments were sent under the direction of British traitors to pillage the loyal inhabitants in the neighborhood and to carry them away captive. Many farm-houses were burned during the summer and at length, to fill up the measure of iniquity, the whole of the beautiful village of Newark was consigned to flames. The wretched inhabitants had scarcely time to save themselves, much less any of their property. More than four hundred women and children were exposed without shelter on the night of the tenth of December, to the extreme cold of a Canadian winter, and great numbers must have perished, had not the flight of your troops, after perpetrating their ferocious act, enabled the inhabitants of the country to come to their relief. General McClure says he acted in conformity with the order of his government.

In November, 1813, your friend General Wilkinson committed great depredations through the eastern district of Upper Canada. The third campaign exhibits equal enormities. General Brown laid waste the country between Chippewa and Fort Erie, burning mills and private houses. The pleasant village of St. David was burned by his army when about to retreat. On the 15th of May a detachment of the American army pillaged and laid waste as much of the adjacent country as they could reach. They burned the village of Dover with all the mills, stores, distillery, and dwelling houses in the vicinity, carrying away such property as was portable, and killing the cattle.

On the 16th of August, some American troops and Indians from Detroit surprised the settlement of Port Talbot, where they committed the most atrocious acts of violence, leaving upwards of 234 men, women and children in a state of nakedness and want.

For signing the Treaty of 1797 Jay was burned in effigy. Hamilton was stoned and the British Minister at Philadelphia insulted.

On the 20th of December, a second excursion was made by the garrison of Detroit, spreading fire and pillage through the settlements of Upper Canada. Early in November, General McArthur, with a large body of mounted Kentuckians and Indians, made a rapid march through the western part of the London districts, burning all the mills, destroying provisions and living upon the inhabitants. Other atrocities committed by the American troops, among them the wanton destruction of a tribe of Indians, unarmed and helpless, are detailed by Dr. Strachan. He adds, addressing Jefferson: "This brief account of the conduct of your government [105]and army will fill the world with astonishment at the forbearance of Great Britain."

After two years and a half had been expended in vain and puerile attacks on the "handful of soldiers" with which Great Britain was able to resist its invasion, combined with such assistance as the patriotic Canadians were able to afford, it was found that not only Canada could not be conquered, but that much of the territory of the United States had passed into the hands of the enemy, with not one foot of that enemy's territory in their own hands to compensate for the loss.

When the arms of the United States had suffered many reverses and it became plain that they must accept the best terms from Great Britain that they could procure, John Adams declared that he "would continue the war forever rather than surrender one iota of the fisheries as established by the third article of the treaty of 1783." He boasted that he had saved the fishermen in that year, and now in 1814 he learned with dismay that they were again lost to his country, their relinquishment being one of the terms insisted on by the British commission as the price of peace.

The Federalists also were not easily satisfied. They admitted that peace was a happy escape for a country with a bankrupt treasury, and all resources dissipated. "But what," they asked, "have we gained by a war provoked and entered into by you with such a flourish of trumpets? Where are your 'sailors' rights?' Where is the indemnity for our impressed seamen? How about the paper blockade? The advantages you promised us we have not obtained. But we have lost nothing? Have we not? What about Grand Manan and Moose Island and the fisheries and our West Indian commerce?" So severely did Boston suffer that there were sixty vessels captured at the entrance to the harbor by one small fishing smack of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, cruising in Massachusetts Bay.

All who were concerned in the passage of the treaty were the subjects of the popular wrath. Jay was declared to be an "arch traitor," a "Judas who had betrayed his country with a kiss," and was burned in effigy in a dozen cities. Hamilton was stoned; the name of Washington was hooted, and the British flag dragged in the mud.

Edmund Quincy, in the life of his father, says, "The fall of Bonaparte, although it occasioned as genuine joy to New England as to the mother country herself, did not bring with it absolutely unalloyed satisfaction." There was reason to apprehend that the English administration, triumphant over its gigantic foe, its army and navy released from the incessant service of so many years, might concentrate the whole of the empire upon the power which it regarded as a volunteer ally of its mighty enemy, and administer an exemplary chastisement. No doubt many Englishmen felt, with Sir Walter Scott, that "it was their business to give the Americans a fearful memento, that the babe unborn should have remembered," and there is as little question that infinite damage might have been done to our cities and seacoast and to the banks of our great rivers, had Great Britain[106] employed her entire naval and military forces for that purpose. But happily the English people wisely refrained from an expenditure of blood and gold which could have no permanent good result, and which would only serve to exasperate passions and to prolong animosities which it was far wiser to permit to die out. It is not unlikely that the attention of English people had been so absorbed by the mighty conflict going on at their very doors that they had not much to spare for the distant and comparatively obscure fields across the Atlantic, and indeed the sentiments of the English people and the policy of English governments have never exhibited a spirit of revengefulness. The American war was but a slight episode in the great epic of the age. At any rate the English ministry were content to treat with the American commissioners at Ghent and to make a peace which left untouched the pretended occasion for the war, over in expressive silence, and peace was concluded, leaving "sailors' rights" the great watchword of the war party, substantially as they stood before hostilities began, except that our fishermen were deprived of the valuable privilege they enjoyed of catching and curing fish on the shores of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence.[94]

The news of peace was received in Boston with great joy. It was a day given up to rejoicing; salutes were fired; the bells rang out their merriest peals; the volunteer companies with their bands filled the streets; the school boys took a holiday; the wharves so long deserted were thronged, and the melancholy ships that rotted along side them were once more gay with flags and streamers. Thus rejoicing extended all along the seaboard and far inland, making glad all hearts and none more glad than those of the promoters of the war in high places and low.[95]

And so the "war of 1812" ended amid a general joy, not for what it had accomplished, for the American forces were defeated in their invasion of Canada, and the United States did not acquire one foot of additional territory, or the settlement of any of the questions which were the pretext for the war.

Much that occurred during the war of 1812 has been conveniently forgotten by American historians, and much that had not occurred, remembered. By degrees failure was transformed into success. The new generations were taught that in that war their fathers had won a great victory over the whole power of Great Britain single handed and alone. This amazing belief is still cherished among the people of the United States, to the astonishment of well informed visitors who meet with evidence of the fact.




For the first fifty years after the Revolution, the wealthy aristocratic slave-holding Southern states governed the Union and controlled its destiny. The acquisition of Florida and the Louisiana purchase doubled the area of the United States, and the territory derived from the Mexican War doubled it again. It was the intention of the South to extend slavery over this immense territory, but they were checked in the northern part of it by the enormous European immigration that poured into it and prevented it from becoming slave territory. Then came the "irrepressible conflict," the border war in Missouri and "bleeding Kansas," the battle of Ossawatomie and Harper's Ferry raid, and the constant pin-pricking of the abolition societies in the North, the headquarters of which were in Boston.

The presidential election of 1860 showed the South that they had lost control of the government and that the free states were increasing enormously in wealth and population, and that, following the example of Great Britain, it would be only a question of time before they would insist on abolishing slavery. Then it was that the Southerners decided to do what their fathers had done eighty-five years before, secede and become Dis-unionists. They could not believe that there would be any opposition to their leaving, especially from Massachusetts, that place that had always been foremost in disunion sentiments. Besides, had not the Abolitionists said repeatedly in Faneuil Hall, "The Cradle of Liberty," that if they would leave the Union they would "pave their way with gold" to get rid of them, and did not the New York Tribune, which had been the organ of the Abolitionists, and which now declared that "if the cotton states wished to withdraw from the Union they should be allowed to do so"; that "any attempt to compel them to remain by force would be contrary to the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and to the fundamental idea upon which human liberty is based," and that "if the Declaration of Independence justified the secession from the British Empire of three million subjects in 1776, it was not seen why it would not justify the secession of five million of Southerners from the Union in 1861." This was quite consistent with the remark of a leading Abolitionist paper in Boston that "the Constitution was a covenant with hell." The South also contended that even if they were not justified in becoming Dis-unionists in 1776, they had established their right to independence by force of arms and that when they had entered into a confederation[108] with the other seceding colonies, they had never assigned any of their rights which they had fought for, that they were sovereign, independent states, and that the bond that bound them together was simply for self-protection and was what the name signified "United States," and not a nation. In proof of this they stated that when the convention met in Philadelphia in May, 1787, for the purpose of adopting a constitution for a stronger form of government, the first resolution presented was, "Resolved, That it is the opinion of this committee that a national government ought to be established, consisting of a supreme legislature, executive and judiciary." This was followed by twenty-three other resolutions as adopted and reported by the committee in which the word "national" occurred twenty-six times. Mr. Ellsworth, of Connecticut moved to strike out the word "national" and to insert the words "Government of the United States." This was agreed to unanimously, and the word "national" was stricken out wherever it occurred, and nowhere makes its appearance in the Constitution finally adopted. The prompt rejection of this word "national" is obviously much more expressive of the intent of the authors of the Constitution than its mere absence from the Constitution would have been. It is a clear indication that they did not mean to give any countenance to the idea that the government which they organized was a consolidated nationality instead of a confederacy of sovereign members. The question of secession was first raised by men of Massachusetts, the birthplace of secession. Colonel Timothy Pickering was one of the leading secessionists of his day. He had been an officer in the Revolution; afterwards Postmaster General, Secretary of War, Secretary of State in the cabinet of General Washington and senator from Massachusetts.

Writing to a friend on December 24, 1803, he says: "I will not despair. I will rather anticipate a new confederacy exempt from the corrupt and corrupting influence and oppression of the aristocratic Democrats of the South. There will be (and our children, at farthest, will see it) a separation. The white and black population will mark the boundary."[96]

In another letter, written in January 29, 1804, he said: "The principles of our Revolution point to the remedy—a separation. This can be accomplished and without spilling one drop of blood, I have little doubt. It must begin in Massachusetts."[96]

In 1811, on the bill for the admission of Louisiana as a state of the Union, the Hon. Josiah Quincy, a member of Congress from Massachusetts, said: "If this bill pass, it is my deliberate opinion that it is virtually a dissolution of this Union; that it will free the states from other moral obligations, and as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some definitely to prepare for a separation, amicably, if they can, violently if they must."

The war between the North and the South produced an abundant crop of bitter prejudices against the mother country. This sentiment[109] was shared by the South as well as by the North. Each imagined it had been unfairly treated by the British Government.

Americans continually point to the period of the Civil war and triumphantly declare that Englishmen were unfriendly to the United States at that time. So they were. And Englishmen were unfriendly to the Confederate states during that time. In fact, Englishmen did exactly what Americans did at that time—some took the side of the North and others took the side of the South. This it was their privilege to do. They simply asserted the right of free men to think as they pleased, and to express those thoughts freely. But that in so doing they showed hostility to the United States it is false and foolish to assert. There was neither unfriendliness nor malice. This hostility to the South, so far as it existed, was based solely upon the existence of slavery there. That which existed against the North was based solely upon the belief that a stronger power was taking advantage of its strength to trample upon the political rights of a weaker one. Any person living either North or South at that time cannot deny that they met many examples of both of these opinions among their respective acquaintances in both these sections.

At the commencement of the Civil War, the Queen issued a proclamation of neutrality, forbidding the sale of munitions of war to either party, warning her subjects against entering any blockaded port for purposes of trade under penalty of forfeiture of vessel and cargo if captured by either contestant.

Great Britain, as well as all other civilized powers, granted to the Confederacy belligerent rights, the same as had been accorded to them by the United States. Many, through cupidity, were tempted to enter into an illegal traffic with the seceded states.

A writer at that time says: "It is to the disgrace of our country that some of the goods smuggled into the Confederacy via Nassau were from Northern ports, as for example, shiploads of pistols brought from Boston in barrels of lard." There was also a considerable trade between Boston and Confederate ports via Halifax during the war, as well as an immense amount of contraband trade along the border even by the United States officials, as for example, the exploits of General Benjamin F. Butler while in command at Norfolk, Va., in 1864. If citizens of the United States, even those of Massachusetts, the home of the abolitionists, entered into this traffic, what could be expected of Great Britain with her mills closed and thousands of operatives obliged to resort to the poor rates for subsistence, because she was prevented from buying cotton with which the wharves of the Southern states were loaded down awaiting shipment. It was claimed by Unionists that the British ministry and aristocracy, from political and commercial considerations, openly and heartily sympathized with the South, and that, under the friendly flag of Great Britain, secessionists and blockade-runners were welcomed and assisted in the nefarious traffic; that this unfriendliness of the British government at that time furnished a solid foundation upon which the[110] rebellion rested their hopes, thereby protracting the war. It should not be forgotten, however, that the Queen and the royal family stood faithfully by the Union in the days of its sorest peril, and refused to listen to the importunities of the French emperor, to recognize the Southern Confederacy and open the southern ports.

France, having taken advantage of the Civil War, set the Monroe Doctrine at defiance and conquered Mexico. Her remaining there depended on the success of the Confederacy, as after events proved. Had Great Britain listened to France and joined her in recognizing the Southern Confederacy, the South would have surely succeeded. It is generally admitted that the strict blockade of the Southern ports is what defeated the Confederacy. It is due to Great Britain that the United States is not dismembered. It should be remembered that during the Civil War the great body of British workmen were on the side of the North. Even in the cotton famine districts they preferred to starve rather than have the Southern ports opened whereby they could obtain an abundance of cotton, thereby relieving their sore necessities.

It is also true that the Confederacy had many friends in Great Britain; that Gladstone, the great Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer, so far forgot what was due to his position as to make a speech in which he said "he expected the liberation of the slaves by their own masters sooner than from the North; that Jefferson Davis and the leaders of the South have made an army; they are soon, I understand, to have a navy, but greater than all this, they have made a nation."

It must be admitted that in building a navy the government connived at the building of cruisers, such as the Alabama, in British shipyards, for which they had to pay dearly afterwards. In answer to this speech of Gladstone, the robust yet tender tones of John Bright's voice rang out for the Northern cause in the darkest hour of the Civil War. His voice was heard with no uncertain sound when he uttered his indignant protest at anything like a reception being tendered Mason and Slidell on their release. John Bright for a long time sustained the enormous loss of keeping his mills open at hast half time with no material to work with. There he stood, all Quaker as he was, praying that the North might not stay its hand till the last slave was freed, even if no bales of cotton were sent to relieve his grievious losses protesting against outside interference. When the day came that marked the passing away of this venerable patriot, one of earth's greatest and best, an attempt was made in Congress to pass a vote of sympathy to his family and to the shame and disgrace of the United States it must be said that Congress refused to pay even this poor tribute to the memory of the best friend the United States had in the whole wide world in the hour of her great distress. This was done because it would be "offensive to the Irish." John Bright could see no difference between dis-union in the United States and dis-union in the United Kingdom. He had written to Mr. Gladstone concerning Parnell, Dillon, O'Brien, etc., saying, "You deem them patriots; I hold them not to be patriots, but conspirators against the crown and government of the[111] United Kingdom." These men were afterwards found guilty of criminal conspiracy and Parnell was received with honor on the floor of Congress.

Henry Ward Beecher stated that during the American Civil War there were thousands of mass meetings held in Great Britain in favor of the Union cause, and not one in favor of the Confederacy.

Jefferson Davis complained bitterly of the action of Great Britain. He says "The partiality of Her Majesty's government in favor of our enemies was further evinced in the marked difference of its conduct on the subject of the purchase of supplies by the two belligerents. This difference was conspicuous from the commencement of the war."(*) Great Britain endeavored to deal justly with both parties in the contest, but pleased neither and was blamed by both. This is probably the best evidence that can be given to show the impartiality of Great Britain in the great Civil War, and it is safe to say that there were ten times more British subjects serving in the Northern armies than there were in the Southern.

As previously stated, Great Britain has been greatly blamed by American historians for her treatment of American prisoners of war during the Revolution, and at Dartmouth prison in the war of 1812. In view of these facts it will be interesting to see how the Americans treated their prisoners when at war between themselves in the Civil War of 1861. One of the worst cases recorded in the history of the world is that of Andersonville. The first prisoners were received there in March, 1864. From that time till March, 1865, the deaths were 13,000 out of a total of 50,000 or 26 per cent. This enormous loss of life was due to the fact that in order to subjugate the South their crops were destroyed, their fields devastated, their railroads broken up, which interrupted their means of transportation, which reduced their people, troops and prisoners to the most straitened condition for food. If the troops in the field were in a half-starved condition, certainly the prisoners would fare worse.(*) The Confederates have been blamed for this enormous loss of life, but when the facts are examined it is found that it was due to the cold-blooded policy of the Federal Government, who would not exchange prisoners for the atrocious reason set forth in the dispatch from General Grant to General Butler, dated West Point, August 18, 1864.

General Grant says: "On the subject of exchange, however, I differ from General Hitchcock. It is hard on our men in Southern prisons not to exchange them, but it is humanity to those left in the ranks to fight our battles. Every man released on parole or otherwise becomes an active soldier against us at once, either directly or indirectly. If we commence a system of exchange, which liberates all prisoners taken, we will have to fight on till the whole South is exterminated. If we hold those caught, they amount to no more than dead men. At this particular time to release all rebel prisoners North would insure Sherman's defeat and would compromise our safety."

[112]What brought forth this letter was a statement made by the Confederate government concerning the excessive mortality prevailing among the prisoners of Andersonville. As no answer was received, another communication was sent on Aug. 22, 1864 to Major General E. A. Hitchcock, United States Commissioner of Exchange, concerning the same proposal. But again no answer was made. One final effort was made to obtain an exchange. Jefferson Davis sent a delegation of prisoners from Andersonville to Washington. "It was of no avail. They were made to understand that the interest of the government required that they should return to prison and President Lincoln refused to see them. They carried back the sad tidings that their government held out no hope of their release."[97]

Up to this time the mortality among the prisoners had been far greater in the Northern prisons than in the Southern prisons, notwithstanding there was an abundance of food and clothing and medical supplies in the North. In proof of this it is only necessary to offer two facts. First, the report of the Secretary of War, E. M. Stanton, made on July 19, 1866, shows that of all the prisoners held by the Confederates during the war, only 22,576 died, while of the prisoners held by the Federal government, 26,246 died.

Second, the official report of Surgeon General Barnes, an officer of the U. S. Government, stated that the number of Confederate prisoners in their hands amounted to 220,000. The number of U. S. prisoners in Confederate hands amounted to 270,000. Thus out of 270,000 held by the Confederates 22,000 died, and of the 220,000 Confederates held in the North, 26,000 died. Thus 12 per cent of the Confederates died in Northern prisons and only 9 per cent U. S. prisoners died in the South.[98]




It is well known and now acknowledged that for the past hundred years it has been the deliberate and well considered policy of the United States to eradicate everything British from the country to the north of us.

During the Canadian rebellion of 1837, as well as during the Fenian raid of 1866, the American frontier was openly allowed to be made a base of operation against British North America.

Canada has always claimed that she has been deprived of enormous areas of territory by the United States through sharp practice and unjustifiable means, especially in Oregon, Maine and Alaska. The most notable case of duplicity on the part of the United States was that of the Northeast boundary settled under the Ashburton Treaty of Washington in 1842. After a bitter controversy it was left out to arbitration for the King of the Netherlands to decide. The award was accepted by Great Britain and rejected by the United States. The question remained in abeyance for two years, during which there was imminent danger of a collision and of war. Military posts were simultaneously established and rashly advanced into the wild country which both parties claimed as their own. Redoubts and blockhouses were erected at several points. Reinforcement of troops from either side poured in. The public mind in the United States became inflamed by the too ready cry of "British outrage," proclaimed in all quarters by the reckless politicians of both parties in order to lash the national spirit into fury. The people in the whole length and breadth of the Union were, to a man, convinced of the justice of their claim and of the manifest wrong intended by Great Britain. The Nation at large was ready and anxious for war, and had a skirmish taken place on the frontier involving the death of a dozen men during the so-called "Aroostook War," the whole country would have rushed to war and plunged the two nations into hostilities, the end of which no man then living could have foreseen.

During this trouble, the English people were quite calm and almost apathetic. With a vague notion of the locality of the disputed territory, a total ignorance of the merits or demerits of the dispute, and a profound contempt of the blustering and abuse of American politicians and newspapers, they were perfectly content to leave affairs in the hands of the government.

Finally a joint commission was appointed from the States of Maine[114] and Massachusetts (both having rights in the disputed territory) and sent to Washington to negotiate a treaty with Lord Ashburton, a nobleman well adapted to the occasion from his connection by marriage, and property in the United States.

The odds were greatly against the British negotiator. His principal adversary was Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, who in one of his letters said: "I must be permitted to say that few questions have arisen under this government in regard to which a stronger or more general conviction was felt that the country was in the right than this question of the northeast boundary." He reiterated his own belief in "the justice of the claim which arose from our honest conviction that it was founded in truth and accorded with the intention of the negotiators of the treaty of 1783." The whole of the disputed territory amounted to 6,750,000 acres. At last a compromise was effected which granted to Great Britain 3,337,000 acres, and to the United States 3,413,000 acres, and acknowledged the title of England to all the military positions upon the frontier, and 700,000 acres more was awarded her than was assigned to her by the King of the Netherlands.

But the decision of the Commissioners suited neither party. The factions in England pronounced Lord Ashburton to have been sold, and those in America declared that Webster had been bought. The most violent opposition to the treaty was made; every part of it was denounced, and it became at last doubtful if the Senate would ratify it. That final consummation was, however, suddenly effected in a most remarkable manner, the Senate coming to its decision by an unexpected majority of thirty-nine to nine, after several days of secret debate. The sanction of the Queen and the British government had been given without hesitation and the people on both sides of the Atlantic were well satisfied with the termination of the long and virulent dispute, and the Northeastern Boundary Question would have sunk into the archives of diplomatic history, but truth like murder will out, and it so happened that Mr. Thomas Colley Grattan, British Consul for Massachusetts[99] who, at the request of the commissioners, had accompanied them to Washington to assist them in their negotiation, had the fortune to discover after the treaty was signed, the duplicity of the Senate during their secret debates leading to the ratification of the treaty. He says: "My informant gave unmeasured expression to his indignation, which he assured me was fully shared in by his friends, Judge Story and Dr. Channing. Judge Story expressed himself without reserve on Webster's conduct as a 'most disgraceful proceeding.'" Other gentlemen of Boston entirely coincided in these opinions.

Map of the Boundary Line between Maine and New Brunswick. Map of the Boundary Line between Maine and New Brunswick.

"It is obvious to all persons familiar with boundary disputes that the most important evidence in such disputes is founded on surveys and maps. Early in the controversy there was a strange disappearance of the one in the archives of the State Department, that had been transmitted by Franklin[115] to Jefferson in October, 1790, with the true boundary line traced on it. It was, therefore, with great astonishment that I learned from the confidential communication just alluded to that during the whole of the negotiations at Washington, while the highest functionaries of the American Government were dealing with Lord Ashburton with seeming frankness and integrity, pledging their faith for a perfect conviction of the justice of their claim to the territory which was in dispute. Mr. Webster had in his possession and had communicated to them all—President, Cabinet, Commissioners and Senate—the highest evidence which the case admitted, that the United States had never had a shadow of right to any part of the territory which they had so pertinaciously claimed for nearly fifty years. This evidence, as my conscientious informant told me, was nothing less than a copy of an original map presented by Dr. Franklin to Count de Vergennes, the Minister of Louis XVI, on December 6, 1782 (six days after the preliminaries of the treaty of Paris of 1783 were signed) tracing the boundary, as agreed upon by himself and the other commissioners, with a strong red line south of the St. John, and exactly where a similar line appears in an unauthenticated map discovered in London subsequent to Lord Ashburton's departure on his mission."

Public attention being aroused by the statements made by the British Consul to his government, the injunction of secrecy imposed by the Senate on its members was dissolved, and permission was given for the publication of the speeches made in secret session of August 17-19, 1842. The most important of those speeches was that of Mr. Rives, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. His principal argument was that if they did not sign the treaty, the dispute would be referred to a second arbitration with very great danger of their losing the whole, Mr. Webster, the Secretary of State, having sent to him to be laid before the Senate a communication and a copy of the map presented by Dr. Franklin to Count de Vergennes. In short, it is exactly the line contended for by Great Britain except that it concedes more than is claimed. When this communication was read, Senator Benton informed the Senate that he could produce a map of higher validity than the one referred to. He accordingly repaired to the library of Congress and soon returned with a map which there is no doubt was the one sent by Franklin to Jefferson already alluded to as having been surreptitiously removed from the archives of the State Department some years before. The moment it was examined it was found to sustain, by the most precise and remarkable correspondence in every feature, the map communicated by Mr. Webster. Mr. Benton then stated that "if the maps were really authentic the concealment of them was a fraud on the British, and that the Senate was insulted by being a party to the fraud," and further that "if evidence had been discovered which deprived Maine of the title to one-third of its territory, honor required that it should be made known to the British."

The sudden acceptance of the treaty was in consequence of the evidence of the maps, and the conviction of all concerned that a discovery of their[116] existence before the conclusion of a treaty would have given irresistible strength to the English claims.

Calhoun said: "It would be idle to suppose that these disclosures would not weigh heavily against the United States in any future negotiations."

The settlement of the Oregon boundary question again showed American hatred of England to be chronic. The question finally resolved itself into whether the threat of 54.40 or fight should be carried out, (a threat to deprive Canada of access to the Pacific Ocean and the possession of most of the enormous wheat fields now being developed in the northwest) or to fight Mexico and extend its boundaries to the South instead of the north. This latter scheme suited the slaveholders best who were then in power. The United States government then entered into a war with Mexico, one of the most unjustifiable contests ever entered into by a civilized nation. By this war of conquest the United States nearly doubled its territory. It must be said to the credit of New England that she would not take any part in this war any more than she did in the war of 1812.

When confederation of the Canadian provinces occurred in 1867, there was placed on record in the House of Representatives at Washington that it was disapproved and that the House regarded the Act of Confederation as a menace to the United States. For a hundred years after the Revolution it had been the policy of the United States to force Canada into annexation, and it was considered that she would be more likely to come into the Union if she was harrassed by a high tariff, boundary and fishing disputes, but now it is known to have been all wrong. The factors worked out just the reverse. Conditions have arrived that were little foreseen until within ten years. The American people have recognized the fact that a great change has taken place in Canada which materially effects the relation between Canada and the United States. Mr. Root, U. S. Secretary of State, recently said:

"Canada is no longer the outlying northern country in which a fringe of descendants of royalists emigrating from the colonies when they became independent of Great Britain, lived and gained a precarious subsistence from a fertile soil. It has become the home of a great people increasing in population and wealth. The stirrings of a national sentiment are to be felt. In their relations to England one can see that while still loyal to their mother country, still a loyal part of the British Empire, they are growing up, and, as the boy is to his parents when he attains manhood, they are a personality of themselves. In their relations to us they have become a sister nation. With their enormous national wealth, with their vigor and energy following the pathway that we have followed, protecting their industries as we have protected ours, proud of their country as we are proud of ours, they are no longer the little remnants upon our borders; they are a great and powerful sister nation."

For years after the Civil War there came from the press, from the[117] lecture platform, and from the political rostrum, the most relentless abuse of Great Britain and everything British. Lecturers gave their audiences vivid descriptions of the Revolution and the war of 1812, in which American valor was always rated high and British brutality was held up to scorn. These lectures were frequently of thrilling interest because the speakers were not handicapped by matters so paltry as facts of history. But the most formidable batteries of wrath were trained against everything British from the political stump. The iron-lunged orators told of the iniquity of England, of its infamous tariff laws, the oppression of Ireland, etc. He was but a poor speaker who could not enliven a political meeting by twisting the tail of the British lion. All this is now changed. It was brought about by President Cleveland's Venezuelian message of December, 1895, and the Spanish War. When the Venezuelian episode occurred, England was believed to be isolated and without an ally. It proved that war could be declared against Great Britain at any time, in ten minutes, upon any pretext. The insolent message fell upon every one in England, from Lord Salisbury down, as a bolt from the blue sky. Englishmen were as innocent as babes of intentional offence to the United States. They had no conception that there existed in the United States such latent irritation or antagonism as under the first provocation would lead to an almost open avowal of national enmity. It, however, happily disclosed the fact that there still existed in the United States a numerous highly educated and conservative element (not dissimilar to the vanished Loyalists of the last century) in which one seldom finds a trace of antagonism to the old mother country. Following the message, magazine reviews, the public press, and the pulpit overflowed with a brilliant series of public utterances and these soon checked the noisy approving outbursts of a reckless half-educated majority to obtain whose votes at the next election undoubtedly prompted the presumptuous interference of the chief of the Republic and the unfriendly tone of his message.

Within three years after the message a wonderful change came over the people of the United States. The Spanish War had taken place and instead of finding Great Britain to be the hereditary enemy of the United States, which they had been taught in the school histories to believe, it was found that among the great powers of the world, Great Britain was the only friend which the United States had, and that "blood was thicker than water." It was discovered that the nations were envious of the great Republic, and that Britain alone was proud of her eldest daughter. It was remarked to the writer by a Spanish officer shortly after the surrender of Porto Rico: "But mind you, this from an old man who has studied history. You would never have had these islands had not England stepped in at the beginning of the trouble and said to all the nations of the world, 'Allow me to present my daughter, America.'" It was found, too, that the "traditional friendship" of Russia was of but little account at that time.

It was Russia that eagerly became the spokesman for envious Europe[118] and gave voice to the words: "Now is the time for us to combine and crush this huge American monster before she becomes too strong for all of us, as she is already too strong for any one of us." It was Russia that planned to have the "concert of Europe" warn us that we were not to pose as champion of any other American people against any form of misrule by Europe—and that we were not to dare to meddle in Europe on any pretext.

She failed because England refused to join the league, or to enter with the other powers into a naval demonstration before Cuba, but so long as the war lasted with Spain the Russian diplomats kept pounding at every backdoor in Europe with an insistence that something be done to cut our comb, or make trouble or lose us the friendship of England. Our people in Washington know all this. They know also the behavior of the Russian minister at Washington who thought to poison us against England in the very days when we were buying in that country and shipping in secret from that country the vital necessities which the war demanded and which we had not got; when great steamers were found abandoned off New York loaded with contraband of war, cannon, arms, ammunition, etc., and towed into port by United States warships; when coal and ammunition were left on desert islands in the Philippines by British warships for the use of the United States navy; when England's fleet at Manila stood ready to take sides with Dewey and to open fire, to begin war on the Germans should occasion arise. American naval officers who were there know these facts to be true, and it is very significant that the Navy Department has not published the correspondence between it and Admiral Dewey at that time. We are hated all over the continent of Europe. Paris made a fete day when she imagined Sampson's fleet was destroyed.

The Germans hate us for taking 3,000,000 fighting men away from them, and also because we prevented them from purchasing the Philippines from Spain, and because the Monroe doctrine prevents them from obtaining colonies or naval stations in the Western Hemisphere. The Austrians hate us for humiliating Spain. There is not a country to the south of us but what hates us. Every republic in South America would put a knife in our back if the opportunity occurs.

Very significant, too, was the reception and banquet given at Windsor Castle in 1896 by Queen Victoria to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston—the oldest military organization in the Western Hemisphere—and the grand reception they received everywhere they went in England. It was a revelation to the Americans, as every one of them acknowledged, to receive such marked expression of kindliness and brotherhood at the old home. It was something they did not expect. The company more than reciprocated when the parent company, The Honourable Artillery of London, visited Boston in 1903. Once more were seen armed British sailors and soldiers marching through Boston's streets under the British flag, the buildings along the entire route beautifully decorated, and the visitors received with vociferous welcome wherever they[119] went. We will hope that something even better and more substantial may yet come to us, when the United States and Great Britain will be allied in amity as firm as that which now holds together these federal states. "Old prejudices should be cast aside; the English-speaking states recognizing their kinship, should knit bonds together around the world, forming a kingly brotherhood inspired by beneficence, to which supreme dominion in the earth would be sure to fall; for whatever may be said today for other stocks, the 135,000,000 of English-speaking men have been able to make themselves masters of the world to an extent which no people has thus far approached.

"If love would but once unite, the seas could never sever. Earth has never beheld a co-mingling of men, so impressive, so likely to be frought with noble advantages through ages to come, as would be the coming together of English-speaking men in one cordial bond."[100]

The statesmen of Britain and America can do no worthier service than to find a way by which their strength may be combined to secure the peace of the world and the betterment of mankind. It is not necessary that their governments should be unified, or even that any hard and fast treaty obligation incurred. It is only necessary that they should agree to be friends and to stand by each other in all that will further these great objects. They alone of all the nations can do this and that they ought to do it few will deny. Both must forget certain bitterness born of the past and certain jealousies growing out of the greatness of both.

What Great Britain is doing for the many peoples under her care and what this nation is doing for the few outside our borders that we have in hand we might unitedly do for a great portion of the globe and its inhabitants. This combination must be strong enough to check certain highwaymen in international relations and to install a wholesome regard for human rights. Such an outcome of present friendliness will not be achieved in a day or generation. But it will come; it must come. Asia and the continent of Europe may become Chinese or Cossack, but the English-speaking race shall rule over every other land and all the islands and every sea.

The present time is a critical period in the life of the American Republic, and therefore in the life of the world. The impotence of the federal government to stop strike disturbances, lynchings and disfranchisements, the growing power of an oligarchial and plutocratic Senate, and the perils of imperialism are disquieting enough, but worst of all is the evil of party rule and party strife.

Washington abhorred party and regarded it as a disease which he hoped to avert by putting federalists and anti-federalists in his cabinet together. The intuition of the founders of the Republic was that the president should be elected by a chosen body of select and responsible citizens, but since the Jacksonian era, nomination and election have been completely in the hands of the Democracy at large, and the election has been[120] performed by a process of national agitation and conflict which sets at work all the forces of political intrigue and corruption on the most enormous scale, besides filling the country with persons almost as violent and anti-social as those of the Civil War.

The qualification for public office from that of president down to that of a member of a city council in national, state or city politics is not a question of which man is most worthy of public confidence. It is no longer eminence but availability. The great aim of each party is to prevent the country from being successfully governed by its rival. Each will do anything to catch votes and anything rather than lose them. Government consequently is at the mercy of any organization which has votes on a large scale to sell, or corporations that will freely contribute its funds. The Grand Army of the Republic is thus enabled to levy upon the nation tribute to the amount of a hundred and fifty million dollars each year, thirty-six years after the war, although General Grant at the close of the war said that the pensions should never exceed seven millions each year. And now both parties in their platform promise their countenance to this exaction.

The recent exposures of the millions contributed by the trusts, tariff protected industries, life insurance companies, etc., to the campaign funds has astonished the world. The history of the most corrupt monarchies could hardly furnish a more monstrous case of financial abuse, to say nothing of the effect upon national character.

Each party machine has a standing army of wire pullers with an apparatus of intrigue and corruption to the support of which holders of office under government are assessed. The boss is a recognized authority, and mastery of unscrupulous intrigue is his avowed qualification for his place. The pest of partyism invades all the large cities of the country. New York is made the plunder of the thieves of one party and Philadelphia of thieves of the other. It is surely impossible that any nation should endure such a system forever. A nation which deliberately gives itself up to government by faction, under the name of party, signs its own doom. The end may be delayed but it is sure. The American people undoubtedly have the political wisdom and force to deal with this crisis, but there is no evidence that these qualities are being brought to bear on the situation nor is there any great man arisen to lead the reform.




of the



The Addresses to Governor Hutchinson. The Conspiracy Act; and Resolution, relating to the banishing and confiscation of the estates of the Absentees, and Refugees, and a list of the Loyalists that went to Halifax on the evacuation of Boston.


The Loyalists of Massachusetts


The first and second chapters of this work treated of the settlement of Massachusetts and the framing and establishing of that social system and form of government which through successive generations, the settlers and their descendants took part, which culminated in the Revolution. The founders of Massachusetts and of all New England, were almost entirely Englishmen. Their emigration to New England began in 1620, it was inconsiderable till 1630, at the end of ten years more it almost ceased. A people consisting at that time of not many more than twenty thousand persons, thenceforward multiplied on its own soil, in remarkable seclusion from other communities, for nearly two centuries. Such exceptions to this statement are of small account. In 1651 after the battle of Dunbar, Cromwell sent some four or five hundred of his Scotch prisoners to Boston, but very little trace of this accession is left. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, about one hundred and fifty families of French Huguenots came to Massachusetts; their names and a considerable number of their posterity are yet to be found. A hundred and twenty Scotch-Irish families, came over in 1719 and settled in Boston, and New Hampshire. Some slight emigrations from it took place at an early date, but they soon discontinued, and it was not till after the Revolution that those swarms began to depart, which have since occupied so large a portion of the territory of the United States. During that long period their identity was unimpaired. No race has ever been more homogeneous than this, at the outbreak of the Revolution, and for many years later. Thus the people of New England was a singularly unmixed race. There was probably not a county in England occupied by a population of purer English blood than theirs. Down to the eve of the war in 1775, New England had little knowledge of the communities which took part in that conflict with her. Till the time of the Boston Port Bill, Massachusetts and Virginia, the two principal English settlements, had with each other scarcely more relations of acquaintance, business, mutual influence, or common action, than either of them had with Bermuda or Barbados.

[123]During the latter part of the nineteenth century vast numbers of Irish, and next to them German, came to New England, so at the time of writing, 1908, it is claimed that one half of the inhabitants of Boston are Irish, or of Irish parentage. During the past ten years the places of the Irish are being taken by the Italians, Jews, Portuguese, Greeks, Armenians, French Canadians, and others. The reader will see from the foregoing that the contestants in Massachusetts during the Revolutionary war were a race representing a peculiar type of the Englishmen of the seventeenth century who, sequestrated from foreign influences formed a distinct character by their own discipline, and was engaged in a work within itself, on its own problem, through a century and a half, and which terminated in the Revolutionary War, that dismembered the Empire. That the foregoing statement concerning the purity of the race at the time of the Revolution is a correct one, is shown in the following biographies of the Loyalists of Massachusetts, for in nearly every case their ancestry date back to that of the first settlers, through several generations.

The Addressers.

The importance of the following addressers is out of all proportion to their apparent significance. They are an indispensable genesis to the history of the Loyalists. For the next seven years the Addressers were held up to their countrymen as traitors and enemies to their country. In the arraignments, which soon began, the Loyalists were convicted not out of their mouths, but out of their addresses. The ink was hardly dry upon the parchment before the persecution began against all those who would not recant, and throughout the long years of the war, the crime of an addresser grew in its enormity, and they were exposed to the perils of tarring and feathering, the horrors of Simbury mines, a gaol or a gallows.


Boston, May 30, 1774.

We, merchants and traders of the town of Boston, and others, do now wait on you, in the most respectful manner, before your departure for England, to testify, for ourselves the entire satisfaction we feel at your wise, zealous, and faithful administration, during the few years that you have presided at the head of this province. Had your success been equal to your endeavors, and to the warmest wishes of your heart, we cannot doubt that many of the evils under which we now suffer, would have been averted, and that tranquility would have been restored to this long divided province; but we assure ourselves that the want of success in those endeavors will not abate your[124] good wishes when removed from us, or your earnest exertions still on every occasion to serve the true interest of this your native country.

While we lament the loss of so good a governor, we are greatly relieved that his Majesty, in his gracious favor, hath appointed as your successor a gentleman who, having distinguished himself in the long command he hath held in another department, gives us the most favorable prepossessions of his future administration.

We greatly deplore the calamities that are impending and will soon fall on this metropolis, by the operation of a late act of Parliament for shutting up the port on the first of next month. You cannot but be sensible, sir, of the numberless evils that will ensue to the province in general, and the miseries and distresses into which it will particularly involve this town, in the course of a few months. Without meaning to arraign the justice of the British Parliament, we could humbly wish that this act had been couched with less rigor, and that the execution of it had been delayed to a more distant time, that the people might have had the alternative either to have complied with the conditions therein set forth, or to have submitted to the consequent evils on refusal; but as it now stands, all choice is precluded, and however disposed to compliance or concession the people may be, they must unavoidably suffer very great calamities before they can receive relief. Making restitution for damage done to the property of the East India Company, or to the property of any individual, by the outrage of the people, we acknowledge to be just; and though we have ever disavowed, and do now solemnly bear our testimony against such lawless proceedings, yet, considering ourselves as members of the same community, we are fully disposed to bear our proportions of those damages, whenever the sum and the manner of laying it can be ascertained. We earnestly request that you, sir, who know our condition, and have at all times displayed the most benevolent disposition towards us, will, on your arrival in England, interest yourself in our behalf, and make such favorable representations of our case, as that we may hope to obtain speedy and effectual relief.

May you enjoy a pleasant passage to England; and under all the mortifications you have patiently endured, may you possess the inward and consolatory testimonies of having discharged your trust with fidelity and honor, and receive those distinguishing marks of his Majesty's royal approbation and favor, as may enable you to pass the remainder of your life in quietness and ease, and preserve your name with honor to posterity.

William Blair,John Greenlaw,Theophilus Lillie,
James Selkrig,Benjamin Clark,Miles Whitworth,
Archibald Wilson,William McAlpine,James McEwen,
Jeremiah Green,Jonathan Snelling,William Codner,
Samuel H. Sparhawk,James Hall,James Perkins,
Joseph Turill,William Dickson,John White,
Roberts & Co.,John Winslow, jr.,Robert Jarvis,
[125]William Perry,Joseph Scott,Thomas Aylwin,
Jas. & Pat. McMasters,Samuel Minot,William Bowes,
William Coffin,Benjamin M. Holmes,Gregory Townsend,
Simeon Stoddard, jr.,Archibald McNiel,Francis Green,
John Powell,George Leonard,Philip Dumaresq,
Henry Laughton,John Borland,Harrison Gray,
Eliphalet Pond,Joshua Loring, jr.,Peter Johonnot,
M. B. Goldthwait,William Jackson,George Erving,
Peter Hughes,James Anderson,Joseph Green,
Samuel Hughes,David Mitchelson,John Vassall,
John Semple,Abraham Savage,Nathaniel Coffin,
Hopestill Capen,James Asby,John Timmins,
Edward King,John Inman,William Tailor,
Byfield Lynde,John Coffin,Thomas Brinley,
George Lynde,Thomas Knight,Harrison Gray, jr.,
A. F. Phipps,Benjamin Green, jr.,John Taylor,
Rufus Green,David Green,Gilbert Deblois,
David Phips,Benjamin Green,Joshua Winslow,
Richard Smith,Henry H. Williams,Daniel Hubbard,
George Spooner,James Warden,Hugh Turbett,
Daniel Silsby,Nathaniel Coffin, jr.,Henry Lyddell,
William Cazneau,Silvester Gardiner,Nathaniel Cary,
James Forrest,John S. Copley,George Brinley,
Edward Cox,Edward Foster,Richard Lechmere,
John Berry,Colbourn Burrell,John Erving, jr.,
Richard Hirons,Nathaniel Greenwood,Thomas Gray,
Ziphion Thayer,William Burton,George Bethune,
John Joy,John Winslow,Thomas Apthorp,
Joseph Goldthwait,Isaac Winslow, jr.,Ezekial Goldthwaite,
Samuel Prince,Thomas Oliver,Benjamin Gridley,
Jonathan Simpson,Henry Bloye,John Atkinson,
James Boutineau,Benjamin Davis,Ebenezer Bridgham,
Nathaniel Hatch,Isaac Winslow,John Gore,
Martin Gay,Lewis Deblois,Adino Paddock.


A firm persuasion of your inviolable attachment to the real interest of this your native country, and of your constant readiness, by every service in your power, to promote its true welfare and prosperity, will, we flatter ourselves, render it not improper in us, barristers and attorneys at law in the province of Massachusetts Bay, to address your Excellency upon your removal from us with this testimonial of our sincere respect and esteem.

[126]The various important characters of Legislator, Judge and first Magistrate over this province, in which, by the suffrages of your fellow-subjects, and by the royal favor of the best of kings, your great abilities, adorned with a uniform purity of principle, and integrity of conduct, have been eminently distinguished, must excite the esteem and demand the grateful acknowledgements of every true lover of his country, and friend to virtue.

The present perplexed state of our public affairs, we are sensible, must render your departure far less disagreeable to you than it is to us—we assure you, sir, we feel the loss; but when, in the amiable character of your successor, we view a fresh instance of the paternal goodness of our most gracious sovereign; when we reflect on the probability that your presence at the court of Great Britain, will afford you an opportunity of employing your interests more successfully for the relief of this province, and particularly of the town of Boston, under their present distresses, we find a consolation which no other human source could afford. Permit us, sir, most earnestly to solicit the exertion of all your distinguished abilities in favor of your native town and country, upon this truly unhappy and distressing occasion.

We sincerely wish you a prosperous voyage, a long continuation of health and felicity and the highest rewards of the good and faithful.

We are, sir, with the most cordial affection, esteem and respect,

Your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servants,

Robert Achmuty,Andrew Cazneau,David Ingersoll,
Jonathan Sewall,Daniel Leonard,Jeremiah D. Rogers,
Samuel Fitch,John Lowell,David Gorham,
Samuel Quincy,Daniel Oliver,Samuel Sewall,
William Pynchon,Sampson S. Blowers,John Sprague,
James Putnam,Shearjashub Brown,Rufus Chandler,
Benjamin Gridley,Daniel Bliss,Thomas Danforth,
Abel Willard,Samuel Porter,Ebenezer Bradish,

From the Essex Gazette of June 1, 1775.

Salem, May 30, 1775.

Whereas we the subscribers did some time since sign an address to Governor Hutchinson, which, though prompted to by the best intentions, has, nevertheless, given great offence to our country: We do now declare, that we were so far from designing by that action, to show our acquiescence in those acts of Parliament so universally and justly odious to all America, that on the contrary, we hoped we might in that way contribute to their repeal; though now to our sorrow we find ourselves mistaken. And we do now further, declare, that we never intended the offence which this address occasioned; that if we had foreseen such an event we should never[127] have signed it; as it always has been and now is our wish to live in harmony with our neighbors, and our serious determination is to promote to the utmost of our power the liberty, the welfare, and happiness of our country, which is inseparably connected with our own.

John Nutting,N. Sparhawk,Thomas Barnard,
N. Goodale,Andrew Dalglish,Nathaniel Dabney,
Ebenezer Putnam,E. A. Holyoke,William Pickman,
Francis Cabot,William Pynchon,C. Gayton Pickman,

In Committee of Safety, Salem, May 30, 1775.—The declaration, of which the above is a copy, being presented and read, it was voted unanimously that the same was satisfactory; and that the said gentlemen ought to be received and treated as real friends to this country.

By order of the Committee,

Richard Derby, Jr., Chairman.


Marblehead, May 25, 1774.

His Majesty having been pleased to appoint his Excellency the Hon. Thomas Gage, Esq., to be governor and commander-in-chief over this province, and you, (as we are informed,) begin speedily to embark for Great Britain: We, the subscribers, merchants, traders, and others, inhabitants of Marblehead, beg leave to present your our valedictory address on this occasion; and as this is the only way we now have of expressing to you our entire approbation of your public conduct during the time you have presided in this province, and of making you a return of our most sincere and hearty thanks for the ready assistance which you have at all times afforded us, when applied to in matters which affected our navigation and commerce, we are induced from former experience of your goodness, to believe that you will freely indulge us in the pleasure of giving you this testimony of our sincere esteem and gratitude.

In your public administration, we are fully convinced that the general good was the mark which you have ever aimed at, and we can, sir, with pleasure assure you, that it is likewise the opinion of all dispassionate thinking men within the circle of our observation, notwithstanding many publications would have taught the world to think the contrary;[128] and we beg leave to entreat you, that when you arrive at the court of Great Britain, you would there embrace every opportunity of moderating the resentment of the government against us, and use your best endeavors to have the unhappy dispute between Great Britain and this country brought to a just and equitable determination.

We cannot omit the opportunity of returning you in a particular manner our most sincere thanks for your patronizing our cause in the matter of entering and clearing the fishing vessels at the custom-house, and making the fishermen pay hospital money; we believe it is owing to your representation of the matter, that we are hitherto free from that burden.

We heartily wish you, sir, a safe and prosperous passage to Great Britain, and when you arrive there may you find such a reception as shall fully compensate for all the insults and indignities which have been offered you.

Henry Saunders,John Fowle,Thomas Lewis,
Richard Hinkly,Robert Hooper, 3d,Sweet Hooper,
Samuel Reed,John Gallison,Robert Hooper,
John Lee,John Prince,Jacob Fowle,
Robert Ambrose,George McCall,John Pedrick,
Jonathan Glover,Joseph Swasey,Richard Reed,
Richard Phillips,Nathan Bowen,Benjamin Marston,
Isaac Mansfield,Thomas Robie,Samuel White,
Joseph Bubler,John Stimson,Joseph Hooper,
Richard Stacy,John Webb,John Prentice,
Thomas Procter,Joseph Lee,Robert Hooper, jr.


This document which was printed recently in the "History of Milton," was not a matter of record, and had never been printed before, it had also failed to meet the searching eye of the antiquarian, and the author said "it has come down to us in its original manuscript yellow with age."

It will be noticed the signers were obliged to recant, so as to save their property from being destroyed by the mob, and from personal injury and insult such as tarring and feathering, etc. It was with such doings that the "Sons of Despotism" amused themselves, and made converts to the cause of "liberty." It, however, did not save James Murray and Stephen Miller, who were banished, and Miller's estate confiscated.

[129]To Thomas Hutchinson Esquire Late Gov. &c.

Sir,—We the Select Men, the Magistrates and other principal Inhabitants of the Town of Milton, hearing of your speedy Embarkation for England, cannot let you leave this Town which you have so long honored by your Residence without some publick Expression of our sincere wishes for your health and happiness.

We have been Eye Witnesses, Sir, of your amiable private and useful publick Life; We have with concern beheld you, in the faithful and prudent Discharge of your Duty exposed to Calumnies, Trials and Sufferings, as unjust as severe; and seen you bearing them all with becoming Meekness and Fortitude.

As to ourselves and Neighbours in particular; altho many of us, in future Perplexities will often feel the Want of your skillful gratuitous advice, always ready for those who asked it, we cannot but rejoice for your Sake Sir, at your being so seasonably relieved by an honourable and worthy Successor, in this critical and distressful period from the growing Difficulty of the Government of your beloved native Province. And we see your Departure with the less Regret, being convinced that the Change at present will contribute to your and your Family's Tranquility: possessed as you are of the applause of good men, of the favour of our Sovereign, and the Approbation of a good Conscience to prepare the Way to Rewards infinitely ample from the King of Kings; to whose Almighty protection, We, with grateful hearts commend you and your family.


Saml. DavenportStephen MillerBenjamin Horton
Ja. MurrayJosiah HowZedah Crehore



I have received innumerable marks of respect and kindness from the Inhabitants of the Town of Milton, of which I shall ever retain the most grateful Remembrance. I leave you with regret. I hope to return and spend the short remains of my life among you in peace and quiet and in doing every good office to you in my power.

Tho. Hutchinson.

Milton, Sept. 21, 1774.—Messrs. Davenport Miller and How were taken to Task by the Town Meeting for having signed the above address altho it was never presented or published. They were required by next day to make an acknowledgement of their offence—And a Committee of fifteen was chosen to treat with them and Mr. Murray.

[130]Sept. 22. These Culprits attended and made the following acknowledgement, of which the Committee accepted, requiring them to sign it and to read it severally before the Town Meeting on the green. This done the Meeting by some Majority voted it not satisfactory. The offenders all but Capt. Davenport went home without making any other.


Whereas We the Subscribers did sign and endeavour to promote among the Inhabitants of our Town of Milton an Address to Gov. Hutchinson a few days before his Embarkation for England, which Address contained Compliments to the Gov. that we did and do still, in our consciences, believe to be justly due to him; and Whereas we did further believe that it would be very acceptable to the Town to give them such an Opportunity of showing their gratitude to the Governor.

Now since the Temper of the Times is such, that what we meant to please has eventually displeased our Neighbours, We, who desire to live in peace and good will with them are sorry for it. Witness our hands this 22d. day of Sept. 1774.


Ja. MurraySaml. Davenport
Stephen MillerJosiah How

After the departure of the first three of these, the meeting insisted on Capt. Davenport's making the following acknowledgement, and that the committee should have the rest to make it at or before the next town-meeting on Monday, 3d October:—

Whereas We the Subscribers have given the good People of this Town and Province in General just Cause to be offended with each of us, in that unguarded action of ours in signing an address to the late Governor Hutchinson, for which we are heartily sorry and take this opportunity publickly to manifest it, and declare we did not so well consider the Contents. And we heartily beg their forgiveness and all others we may have offended: Also that we may be restored to their favour, and be made Partakers of that inestimable blessing, the good Will of our Neighbours, and the whole Community.

Witness our hands

Milton22d Sept.signedSaml. Davenport
  24 Sept.——Josiah How
  25 Sept.——Ja. Murray
  25 Sept.——Stephen Miller


Address presented to His Excellency Governor Gage, June 11th, 1774, on his Arrival at Salem.

To his Excellency Thomas Gage, Esq., Captain-General, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England, and Lieutenant-General of his Majesty's Forces.

May it please your Excellency:

We, merchants and others, inhabitants of the ancient town of Salem, beg leave to approach your Excellency with our most respectful congratulations on your arrival in this place.

We are deeply sensible of his Majesty's paternal care and affection to this province, in the appointment of a person of your Excellency's experience, wisdom and moderation, in these troublesome and difficult times.

We rejoice that this town is graciously distinguished for that spirit, loyalty, and reverence for the laws, which is equally our glory and happiness.

From that public spirit and warm zeal to promote the general happiness of men, which mark the great and good, we are led to hope under your Excellency's administration for everything that may promote the peace, prosperity, and real welfare of this province.

We beg leave to commend to your Excellency's patronage the trade and commerce of this place, which, from a full protection of the liberties, persons and properties of individuals, cannot but flourish.

And we assure your Excellency we will make it our constant endeavors by peace, good order, and a regard for the laws, as far as in us lies, to render your station and residence easy and happy.

John Sargent,John Prince,Benjamin Lynde,
Jacob Ashton,George Deblois,William Browne,
William Wetmore,Andrew Dalglish,John Turner,
James Grant,Joseph Blaney,P. Frye,
Henry Higginson,Archelaus Putnam,Francis Cabot,
David Britton,Samuel Porter,William Pynchon,
P. G. Kast,Thomas Poynton,John Fisher,
Weld Gardner,Samuel Flagg,John Mascarene,
Nathaniel Daubney,Nathan Goodale,E. A. Holyoke,
Richard Nicholls,William Pickman,Jos. Bowditch,
William Cabot,C. Gayton Pickman,Ebenezer Putnam,
Cabot Gerrish,Nathaniel Sparhwak,S. Curwen,
William Gerrish,William Vans,John Nutting,
Rowland Savage,Timothy Orne,Jos. Dowse,
William Lilly,Richard Routh,Benjamin Pickman,
Jonathan Goodhue,Stephen Higginson,Henry Gardner.

[132]The "Loyal Address from the Gentlemen and Principal Inhabitants of Boston to Governor Gage on his departure for England, October 6, 1775," was signed as follows:

John Erving,James Selkrig,John Greecart,
Thomas Hutchinson, jr.,Archibald Cunningham,Richard Clarke,
Silvester Gardiner,William Cazneau,Benjamin Fanieul, jr.,
Wm. Bowes,David Barton,Thomas Amory,
John Timmins,John Semple,George Brindley,
Nathaniel Coffin,Henry Lawton,Ralph Inman,
John Winslow, jr.,William Brattle,Edward Winslow,
Alexander Bymer,John Troutbeck,Benjamin M. Holmes,
Robert Hallowell,Stephen Greenleaf,William Jackson,
Robert Jarvis,William Walter,Richard Green,
David Phips,James Perkins,James Murray,
John Tayler,Phillip Dumaresque,Joseph Scott,
Archibald McNeal,Joshua Loring, jr.,Peter Johonnot,
Francis Green,Henry Lloyd,Nathaniel Cary,
Benjamin Davis,William Lee Perkins,Martin Gay,
Thomas Courtney,George Leonard,Samuel Hughes,
John Sampson,Thomas Brinley,William Coffin, jr.,
William Tayler,Daniel Hubbard,Adino Paddock,
John Inman,Samuel Fitch,Andrew Cazneau,
Wm. Perry,John Atkinson,Henry Lindall,
John Gore,Joseph Turill,Theophilus Lillie,
Isaac Winslow, jr.,Samuel Hirst Sparhawk,Henry Barnes,
William Dickerson,Ebenezer Brigham,M. B. Goldthwait,
William Hunter,William Codner,Lewis Gray,
Robert Semple,Jonathan Snelling,Nathaniel Brinley,
John Joy,Benjamin Gridley,John Jeffries, jr.,
Gregory Townsend,Gilbert Deblois,Archibald Bowman,
Isaac Winslow,Edward Hutchinson,Jonathan Simpson,
Byfield Lyde,Miles Whitworth,Nathaniel Tayler,
John Love,Daniel McMasters,James Anderson,
Hugh Tarbett,John Hunt, 3d,Lewis Deblois,
Nathaniel Perkins,James Lloyd,
John Powell,William McAlpine,

The Loyal Address to Governor Gage on his departure, October 14, 1775, of those Gentlemen who were driven from their Habitations in the Country to the Town of Boston, was signed by the following persons:

John Chandler,Seth Williams, jr.,David Phips,
James Putnam,Charles Curtis,Richard Saltonstall,
Peter Oliver, sen.,Samuel Pine,Peter Oliver, jr.,
[133]Jonathan Stearns,Thomas Foster,Edward Winslow, jr.
Ward Chipman,Pelham Winslow,Nathaniel Chandler,
William Chandler,Daniel Oliver,James Putnam, jr.

List of the inhabitants of Boston, who on the evacuation by the British, in March, 1776, removed to Halifax with the army. Taken from a paper in the handwriting of Walter Barrell from the Proceedings of the Mass. Hist. Soc., Vol. 18, page 266.

Lieutenant-Governor Oliver and servants6

Council, &c.

Peter Oliver and niece2
Harrison Gray and family5
Timothy Ruggles and sons3
Foster Hutchinson and family13
Josiah Edson1
John Murray and family7
Richard Lechmere12
John Erving9
Nathaniel Ray Thomas and son2
Abijah Willard and two sons3
Daniel Leonard and family9
Nathaniel Hatch7
George Erving6

Custom House.

Henry Hulton12
Charles Paxton6
Benjamin Hallowel7
Samuel Waterhouse, Secretary7
James Porter, Comptroller Gen'l1
Walter Barrell, Inspector Gen'l6
James Murray, Inspector7
William Woolen, Inspector2
Edward Winslow, Collector, Boston1
Charles Dudley, Collector, Newport2
George Meserve, Collector, Piscataq1
Robert Hallowel, Comptroller, Boston,6
Arthur Savage, Surveyor, &c.6
Nathaniel Coffin, Cashier4
Ebenezer Bridgham, Tide Surveyor8
Nathaniel Taylor, Dep'y Naval Officer2
Samuel Mather, Clerk3
Samuel Lloyd, Clerk6
Christopher Minot, Land Waiter1
Ward Chipman, Clerk Sol.1
Robert Bethel, Clerk Col.1
Skinner, Cookson, and Evans Clerks3
James Barrick, Clerk Insp.5
John Ciely, Tidesman4
John Sam Petit, Tidesman6
John Selby, Clerk2
Edward Mulhall, Tidesman1
Hammond Green, Tidesman1
John Lewis, Tidesman6
Elkanah Cushman, Tidesman1
Edmund Duyer, Messenger3
Samuel Chadwel, Tidesman1
Samuel Sparhawk, Clerk5
——Chandler, Land Waiter1
——Patterson, Land Waiter1
Isaac Messengham, Coxwain1
Owen Richard, Coxwain1


Ashley, Joseph1
Andros, Barret1
Atkinson, John, Merchant4
[134]Atkins, Gibbs1
Ayres, Eleanor3
Allen, Ebenezer8
Bowes, William, Merchant4
Brinley, Thomas, Merchant3
Burton, Mary, Milliner2
Bowen, John2
Blair, John, Baker1
Bowman, Archibald, Auctioneer1
Broderick, John3
Butter, James2
Brown, Thomas, Merchant6
Byles, Rev'd Doctor5
Barnard. John1
Black, John7
Baker, John, Jun'r1
Badger, Rev'd Moses1
Beath, Mary4
Butler, Gilliam1
Brandon, John2
Brattle, William2
Coffin, Williamn2
Cazneau, Andrew, Lawyer1
Cednor, William1
Connor, Mrs.2
Cummins. A. and E. Milliners3
Coffin, William, Jun'r, Merchant4
Cutler, Ebnezer1
Campbel, William1
Caner, Rev'd Doctor1
Cook Robert1
Chandler, John, Esq'r1
Chandler, Rufus, Lawyer2
Chandler, Nathaniel1
Chandler, William1
Carver, Melzer1
Cooley, John4
Courtney, Thomas11
Carr, Mrs.3
Deblois, Gilbert5
Doyley, John4
Dunlap, Daniel1
Danforth, Thomas1
Dumaresq, Philip, Merchant8
De Blois, Lewis3
Duncan, Alexander1
Doyley, Francis1
Dickenson, Nathaniel1
Draper, Margaret5
Dougherty, Edward2
Dechezzan, Adam7
Duelly, William3
Emerson, John1
Etter, Peter7
Fisher, Wilfree4
Foster, Thomas1
Faneuil, Benjamin, Merchant3
Fitch, Samuel, Lawyer7
Foster, Edward, Blacksmith7
Full, Thomas5
Foster, Edward, Jun'r5
Forest, James7
Flucker, Mrs.6
Gilbert, Thomas1
Gallop, Antill1
Gray, Andrew1
Gray, John3
Goldsbury, Samuel3
Gardiner, Doctor Sylvester8
Gridley, Benjamin1
Grison, Edmund2
Gay, Martin3
Gilbert, Samuel1
Grozart, John1
Gray, Mary1
Green, Francis8
Greenwood, Samuel5
Grant, James1
Griffith, Mrs.3
Gore, John3
Griffin, Edmund4
Hill, William17
Hallowel, Rebecca4
Hall, Luke1
Henderson, James5
House, Joseph1
Hughes, Samuel1
Hooper, Jacob2
Hicks, John, Printer1
Hurlston, Richard1
Holmes, Benjamin Mulberry11
Hatch, Hawes1
[135]Hale, Samuel1
Hester, John6
Hutchinsen, Mrs.7
Horn, Henry7
Hefferson, Jane1
Heath, William1
Jones, Mary6
Jarvis, Robert1
Inman, John3
Joy, John8
Ireland, John2
Jefferies, Doctor John6
Johannot, Peter1
Jones, Mrs.4
Knutter, Margaret4
King, Edward and Samuel7
Lazarus, Samuel1
Lovel, John, Sen'r5
Leonard, George9
Liste, Mrs.5
Lillie, Theophilus4
Lutwiche, Edward Goldston1
Lyde, Byefield5
Leddel, Henry4
Laughton, Henry5
Lloyd, Henry10
Linkieter, Alexander4
Lowe, Charles2
Loring, Joshua, Jun'r1
Murray, William3
Moody, John, Jun'r1
McKown, John1
McAlpine, William2
Moody, John4
McKown, John (of Boston)5
Macdonald, Dennis1
Mackay, Mrs.1
Mitchelson, David2
McNeil, Archibald13
Marston, Benjamin1
Moore, John1
Miller, John5
Mulcainy, Patrick4
MacKinstrey, Mrs.12
Morrison, John1
McMaster, Patrick and Daniel3
McMullen, Alexander1
Mitchel, Thomas1
Mills, Nathaniel2
McClintock, Nathan1
Nevin, Lazarus and wife2
O'Neil, Joseph4
Oliver, William Sanford1
Oliver, Doctor Peter1
Powel, John8
Philips, Martha3
Phipps, David11
Pelham, Henry1
Putnam, James7
Paine, Samuel1
Perkins, Nathaniel1
Patterson, William3
Philipps, Ebenezer1
Paddock, Adine9
Pollard, Benjamin1
Patten, George3
Perkins, William Lee4
Price, Benjamin2
Page, George1
Rummer, Richard3
Rogers, Jeremiah Dummer2
Rogers, Samuel1
Richardson, Miss1
Rose, Peter1
Read, Charles1
Ramage, John1
Roath, Richard6
Rhodes, Henry5
Russell, Nathaniel3
Richards, Mrs.3
Ruggles, John and Richard2
Smith, Henry6
Sullivan, George1
Serjeant, John1
Scoit, Joseph3
Simonds, William3
Stow, Edward4
Sterling, Elizabeth1
Sterling, Benjamin Ferdinand1
Simpson, John5
Simpson, Jonathan, Jun'r2
Semple, Robert4
[136]Stayner, Abigail3
Stearns, Jonathan1
Savage, Abraham1
Saltonstal, Leveret1
Service, Robert5
Snelling, Jonathan6
Sullivan, Bartholomew2
Smith, Edward4
Spooner, Ebenezer1
Selknig, James6
Scammel, Thomas1
Shepard, Joseph2
Thompson, James1
Taylor, Mrs.5
Terry, Zebedee1
Terry, William4
Taylor, William2
Winslow, Isaac11
Winslow, Pelham1
Winslow, John4
Winslow, Mrs. Hannah4
Winslow, Edward1
Williams, Seth1
Willis, David4
Wittington, William3
Warden, William2
Williams, Job1
Warren, Abraham1
Willard, Abel4
Warden, Joseph3
Willard, Abijah1
Whiston, Obadiah3
Wheelwright, Joseph1
Winnet, John, Jun'r1
Wright, Daniel2
Welsh, Peter1
White, Gideon1
Wilson, Archibald1
Welsh, James1
Worral, Thomas Grooby5
 [927] 926
For Mr. Samuel B. Barrell
From his friend and kinsman,
Theodore Barrell

Saugerties Ulster Co.,
New York, Aug. 16, 1841


Salem, Aug. 9, 1774. The following were appointed by his majesty, counsellors of this province by writ of mandamas,[101] viz:—

Col. Thomas Oliver, Lieut. Governor, President; Peter Oliver, Thomas Flucker, Foster Hutchinson, Thomas Hutchinson, Jr., Harrison Gray, Judge Samuel Danforth, Col. John Erving, Jr., James Russell, Timothy Ruggles, Joseph Lee, Isaac Winslow, Israel Williams, Col. George Watson, Nathaniel Ray Thomas, Timothy Woodbridge, William Vassall, William Browne, Joseph Greene, James Boutineau, Andrew Oliver, Col. Josiah Edson, Richard Lechmere, Commodore Joshua Loring, John Worthington, Timothy Paine, William Pepperell, Jeremiah Powell, Jonathan Simpson, Col. John Murray, Daniel Leonard, Thomas Palmer, Col. Isaac Royall, Robert Hooper, Abijah Willard, Capt. John Erring, Jr.



An Act to prevent the return to this state of certain persons therein named, and others who have left this state or either of the United States, and joined the enemies thereof.

Whereas Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., late governor of this state, Francis Bernard, Esq., formerly governor of this state, Thomas Oliver, Esq., late lieutenant governor of this state, Timothy Ruggles, Esq., of Hardwick, in the county of Worcester, William Apthorp, merchant, Gibbs Atkins, cabinet maker, John Atkinson, John Amory, James Anderson, Thomas Apthorp, David Black, William Burton, William Bowes, George Brindley, Robert Blair, Thomas Brindley, James Barrick, merchant, Thomas Brattle, Esq., Sampson Salter Blowers, Esq., James Bruce, Ebenezer Bridgham, Alexander Brymer, Edward Berry, merchants, William Burch, Esq., late commissioner of the customs, Mather Byles, Jun., clerk, William Codner, book-keeper, Edward Cox, merchant, Andrew Cazneau, Esq., barrister at law, Henry Canner, clerk, Thomas Courtney, tailor, Richard Clark, Esq., Isaac Clark, physician, Benjamin Church, physician, John Coffin, distiller, John Clark, physician, William Coffin, Esq., Nathaniel Coffin, Esq., Jonathan Clark, merchant, Archibald Cunningham, shop-keeper, Gilbert Deblois, merchant, Lewis Deblois, merchant, Philip Dumaresque, merchant, Benjamin Davis, merchant, John Erving, Jun. Esq., George Erving, Esq., Edward Foster and Edward Foster, Jun., blacksmiths, Benjamin Faneuil, Jun., merchant, Thomas Flucker, Esq., late secretary for Massachusetts Bay, Samuel Fitch, Esq., Wilfret Fisher, carter, James Forrest, merchant, Lewis Gray, merchant, Francis Green, merchant, Joseph Green, Esq., Sylvester Gardiner, Esq., Harrison Gray, Esq., late treasurer of Massachusetts Bay., Harrison Gray, Jun., clerk to the treasurer, Joseph Goldthwait, Esq., Martin Gay, founder, John Gore, Esq., Benjamin Hallowell, Esq., Robert Hallowell, Esq., Thomas Hutchinson, Jun., Esq., Benjamin Gridley, Esq., Frederick William Geyer, merchant, John Greenlaw, shopkeeper, David Green, merchant, Elisha Hutchinson, Esq., James Hall, mariner, Foster Hutchinson, Esq., Benjamin Mulbury Holmes, distiller, Samuel Hodges, book-keeper, Henry Halson, Esq., Hawes Hatch, wharfinger, John Joy, housewright, Peter Johonnot, distiller, William Jackson, merchant, John Jeffries, physician, Henry Laughton, merchant, James Henderson, trader, John Hinston, yeoman, Christopher Hatch, mariner, Robert Jarvis, mariner, Richard Lechmere, Esq., Edward Lyde, merchant, Henry Lloyd, Esq., George Leonard, miller, Henry Leddle, book-keeper, Archibald McNeil, baker, Christopher Minot, tide-waiter, James Murray, Esq., William McAlpine, bookbinder, Thomas Mitchell, mariner, William Martin, Esq., John Knutton, tallow-chandler, Thomas Knight, shop-keeper, Samuel Prince, merchant, Adino Paddock, Esq.,[138] Charles Paxon, Esq., Sir William Pepperell, baronet, John Powell, Esq., William Lee Perkins, physician, Nathaniel Perkins, Esq., Samuel Quincy, Esq., Owen Richards, tide-waiter, Samuel Rogers, merchant, Jonathan Simpson, Esq., George Spooner, merchant, Edward Stowe, mariner, Richard Smith, merchant, Jonathan Snelling, Esq., David Silsby, trader, Samuel Sewall, Esq., Abraham Savage, tax-gatherer, Joseph Scott, Esq., Francis Skinner, clerk to the late council, William Simpson, merchant, Richard Sherwin, saddler, Henry Smith, merchant, John Semple, merchant, Robert Semple, merchant, Thomas Selkrig, merchant, James Selkrig, merchant, Robert Service, trader, Simon Tufts, trader, Arodi Thayer, late marshal to the admiralty court, Nathaniel Taylor, deputy naval officer, John Troutbeck, clerk, Gregory Townsend, Esq., William Taylor, merchant, William Vassal, Esq., Joseph Taylor, merchant, Joshua Upham, Esq., William Walter, clerk, Samuel Waterhouse, merchant, Isaac Winslow, merchant, John Winslow. jr., merchant, David Willis, mariner, Obadiah Whiston, blacksmith, Archibald Wilson, trader, John White, mariner, William Warden, peruke-maker, Nathaniel Mills, John Hicks, John Howe, and John Fleming, printers, all of Boston, in the county of Suffolk, Robert Auchmuty, Esq., Joshua Loring, Esq., both of Roxbury, in the same county, Samuel Goldsbury, yeoman, of Wrentham, in the county of Suffolk, Joshua Loring, jr., merchant, Nathanial Hatch, Esq., both of Dorchester, in the same county, William Brown, Esq., Benjamin Pickman, Esq., Samuel Porter, Esq., John Sargeant, trader, all of Salem, in the county of Essex, Richard Saltonstall, Esq., of Haverhill, in the same county. Thomas Robie, trader, Benjamin Marston, merchant, both of Marblehead, in said county of Essex, Moses Badger, clerk, of Haverhill, aforesaid, Jonathan Sewall, Esq., John Vassal, Esq., David Phipps, Esq., John Nutting, carpenter, all of Cambridge, in the county of Middlesex, Isaac Royall, Esq., of Medford, in the same county, Henry Barnes, of Marlborough, in said county of Middlesex, merchant, Jeremiah Dummer Rogers, of Littleton in the same county, Esq., Daniel Bliss, of Concord, in the said county of Middlesex, Esq., Charles Russell, of Lincoln, in the same county, physician, Joseph Adams, of Townsend, in said county of Middlesex, Thomas Danforth, of Charlestown, in said county, Esq., Joshua Smith, trader of Townsend, in said county, Joseph Ashley, jr., gentleman, of Sunderland, Nathaniel Dickenson, gentleman, of Deerfield, Samuel Bliss, shopkeeper, of Greenfield, Roger Dickenson, yeoman, Joshah Pomroy, physician, and Thomas Cutler, gentleman, of Hatfield, Jonathan Bliss, Esq., of Springfield, William Galway, yeoman, of Conway, Elijah Williams, attorney at law, of Deerfield, James Oliver, gentleman, of Conway, all in the county of Hampshire, Pelham Winslow, Esq., Cornelius White, mariner, Edward Winslow, jr., Esq., all of Plymouth, in the county of Plymouth, Peter Oliver, Esq., Peter Oliver, jr., physician, both of Middleborough, in the same county, Josiah Edson, Esq., of Bridgewater, in the said county of Plymouth, Lieutenant Daniel Dunbar, of Halifax, in the same county, Charles Curtis, of Scituate, in the said county[139] of Plymouth, gentleman, Nathaniel Ray Thomas, Esq., Israel Tilden, Caleb Carver, Seth Bryant, Benjamin Walker, Gideon Walker, Zera Walker, Adam Hall, tertius, Isaac Joice, Joseph Phillips, Daniel White, jr., Cornelius White, tertius, Melzar Carver, Luke Hall, Thomas Decrow, John Baker, jr., all of Marshfield, in the said county of Plymouth, Gideon White, jr., Daniel Leonard, Esq., Seth Williams, jr., gentleman, Solomon Smith, boatman, all of Taunton, in the county of Bristol, Thomas Gilbert, Esq., Perez Gilbert, Ebenezer Hathaway, jr., Lot Strange, the third, Zebedee Terree, Bradford Gilbert, all of Freetown, in the same county, Joshua Broomer, Shadrach Hathaway, Calvin Hathaway, Luther Hathaway, Henry Tisdel, William Burden, Levi Chace, Shadrach Chace, Richard Holland, Ebenezer Phillips, Samuel Gilbert, gentleman, Thomas Gilbert, jr., yeoman, both of Berkley, in the said county of Bristol, Ammi Chace, Caleb Wheaton, Joshua Wilbore, Lemuel Bourn, gentleman, Thomas Perry, yeoman, David Atkins, laborer, Samuel Perry, mariner, Stephen Perry, laborer, John Blackwell, jr., laborer, Francis Finney, laborer, and Nehemiah Webb, mariner, all of Sandwich, in the county of Barnstable, Eldad Tupper, of Dartmouth, in the county of Bristol, laborer, Silas Perry, laborer, Seth Perry, mariner, Elisha Bourn, gentleman, Thomas Bumpus, yeoman, Ephraim Ellis, jr., yeoman, Edward Bourn, gentleman, Nicholas Cobb, laborer, William Bourn, cordwainer, all of Sandwich, in the county of Barnstable, and Seth Bangs, of Harwich, in the county of Barnstable, mariner, John Chandler, Esq., James Putnam, Esq., Rufus Chandler, gentleman, William Paine, physician, Adam Walker, blacksmith, William Chandler, gentleman, all of Worcester, in the county of Worcester, John Walker, gentleman, David Bush, yeoman, both of Shrewsbury, in the same county, Abijah Willard, Esq., Abel Willard, Esq., Joseph House, yeoman, all of Lancaster, in the said county of Worcester, Ebenezer Cutler, trader, James Edgar, yeoman, both of Northbury, in the same county, Daniel Oliver, Esq., Richard Ruggles, yeoman, Gardner Chandler, trader, Joseph Ruggles, gentleman, Nathaniel Ruggles, yeoman, all of Hardwick, in the said county of Worcester, John Ruggles, yeoman, of said Hardwick, John Eager, yeoman, Ebenezer Whipple, Israel Conkay, John Murray, Esq., of Rutland, in said county of Worcester, Daniel Murray, gentleman, Samuel Murray, gentleman, Michael Martin, trader, of Brookfield, in the said county of Worcester, Thomas Beaman, gentleman, of Petersham, in the same county, Nathaniel Chandler, gentleman, John Bowen, gentleman, of Princeton, in the said county of Worcester, James Crage, gentleman, of Oakham, in the same county, Thomas Mullins, blacksmith, of Leominster, in the said county of Worcester, Francis Waldo, Esq., Arthur Savage, Esq., Jeremiah Pote, mariner, Thomas Ross, mariner, James Wildridge, mariner, George Lyde, custom house officer, Robert Pagan, merchant, Thomas Wyer, mariner, Thomas Coulson, merchant, John Wiswall, clerk, Joshua Eldridge, mariner, Thomas Oxnard, merchant, Edward Oxnard, merchant, William Tyng, Esq., John Wright, merchant, Samuel Longfellow, mariner, all[140] of Falmouth, in the county of Cumberland, Charles Callahan, of Pownalborough, in the county of Lincoln, mariner, Jonas Jones of East Hoosuck, in the county of Berkshire, David Ingersoll, of Great Barrington, Esq., in the same county, Jonathan Prindall, Benjamin Noble, Francis Noble, Elisha Jones, of Pittsfield, in the said county of Berkshire, John Graves, yeoman, Daniel Brewer, yeoman, both of Pittsfield, aforesaid, Richard Square, of Lanesborough, in the said county of Berkshire, Ephraim Jones, of East Hoosuck, in the same county. Lewis Hubbel, and many other persons have left this state, or some other of the United States of America, and joined the enemies thereof and of the United States of America, thereby not only depriving these states of their personal services at a time when they ought to have afforded their utmost aid in defending the said states, against the invasions of a cruel enemy, but manifesting an inimical disposition to the said states, and a design, to aid and abet the enemies thereof in their wicked purposes, and whereas many dangers may accrue to this state and the United States, if such persons should be again admitted to reside in this state:

Sect. 1. Be it therefore enacted by the Council and House of Representatives, in general court assembled, and by the authority of the same, that if either of the said persons, or any other person, though not specially named in this act, who have left this state, or either of said states, and joined the enemies thereof as aforesaid, shall, after the passing this act, voluntarily return to this state, it shall be the duty of the sheriff of the county, and of the selectmen, committees of correspondence, safety, and inspection, grand jurors, constables, and tythingmen, and other inhabitants of the town wherein such person or persons may presume to come, and they are hereby respectively empowered and directed forthwith to apprehend and carry such person or persons before some justice of the peace within the county, who is hereby required to commit him or them to the common gaol within the county, there in close custody to remain until he shall be sent out of the state, as is hereinafter directed; and such justice is hereby directed to give immediate information thereof to the board of war of this state: and the said board of war are hereby empowered and directed to cause such person or persons so committed, to be transported to some part or place within the dominions, or in the possession of the forces of the king of Great Britain, as soon as may be after receiving such information: those who are able, at their own expense, and others at the expense of this state, and for this purpose to hire a vessel or vessels, if need be.

Sect. 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person or persons, who shall be transported as aforesaid, shall voluntarily return into this state, without liberty first had and obtained from the general court, he shall, on conviction thereof before the superior court of judicature, court of assize and general gaol delivery, suffer the pains of death without benefit of clergy.—[Passed September, 1778.]



The following votes were passed by the citizens of Worcester, May 19, 1783, and contain the substance of their doings relative to the refugees:

Voted,——That in the opinion of this town, it would be extremely dangerous to the peace, happiness, liberty and safety of these states to suffer those who, the moment the bloody banners were displayed, abandoned their native land, turned parricides, and conspired to involve their country in tumult, ruin and blood, to become subjects of and reside in this government; that it would be not only dangerous, but inconsistent with justice, policy, our past laws, the public faith, and the principles of a free and independent state, to admit them ourselves, or have them forced upon us without our consent.

Voted,——That in the opinion of this town, this commonwealth ought, with the utmost caution, to naturalize or in any other way admit as subjects a common enemy, a set of people who have been by the united voice of the continent, declared outlaws, exiles, aliens and enemies, dangerous to its political being and happiness.

Voted,——That while there are thousands of the innocent, peaceable and defenceless inhabitants of these states, whose property has been destroyed and taken from them in the course of the war, for whom no provision is made, to whom there is no restoration of estates, no compensation for losses; that it would be unreasonable, cruel and unjust, to suffer those who were the wicked occasion of those losses, to obtain a restitution of the estates they refused to protect, and which they abandoned and forfeited to their country.

Voted,——That it is the expectation of this town, and the earnest request of their committees of correspondence, inspection and safety, that they, with care and diligence, will observe the movements of our only remaining enemies; that until the further order of government, they will, with decision, spirit and firmness, endeavor to enforce and carry into execution the several laws of this commonwealth, respecting these enemies to our rights, and the rights of mankind; give information should they know of any obtruding themselves into any part of this state, suffer none to remain in this town, but cause to be confined immediately, for the purpose of transportation according to law, any that may presume to enter it.



An Act to confiscate the estates of certain notorious conspirators against the government and liberties of the inhabitants of the late province, now state, of Massachusetts Bay.

[142]Whereas the several persons hereinafter mentioned, have wickedly conspired to overthrow and destroy the constitution and government of the late province of Massachusetts Bay, as established by the charter agreed upon by and between their late majesties William and Mary, late King and Queen of England, etc., and the inhabitants of said province, now state, of Massachusetts Bay; and also to reduce the said inhabitants under the absolute power and domination of the present king, and of the parliament of Great Britain, and, as far as in them lay, have aided and assisted the same king and parliament in their endeavors to establish a despotic government over the said inhabitants:

Sect. 1. Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, that Francis Bernard, baronet, Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., late governor of the late province, now state, of Massachusetts Bay, Thomas Oliver, Esq., late lieutenant governor, Harrison Grey, Esq., late treasurer, Thomas Flucker, Esq., late secretary, Peter Oliver, Esq., late chief justice, Foster Hutchinson, John Erving, jr., George Erving, William Pepperell, baronet, James Boutineau, Joshua Loring, Nathaniel Hatch, William Browne, Richard Lechmere, Josiah Edson, Nathaniel Rae Thomas, Timothy Ruggles, John Murray, Abijah Willard, and Daniel Leonard, Esqs., late mandamus counsellors of said late province, William Burch, Henry Hulton, Charles Paxon, and Benjamin Hallowell, Esqs., late commissioners of the customs, Robert Auchmuty, Esq., late judge of the vice-admiralty court, Jonathan Sewall, Esq., late attorney general, Samuel Quincy, Esq., late solicitor general, Samuel Fitch, Esq., solicitor or counsellor at law to the board of commissioners, have justly incurred the forfeiture of all their property, rights and liberties, holden under and derived from the government and laws of this state; and that each and every of the persons aforenamed and described, shall be held, taken, deemed and adjudged to have renounced and lost all civil and political relation to this and the other United States of America, and be considered as aliens.

Sect. 2. Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all the goods and chattels, rights and credits, lands, tenements, and hereditaments of every kind, of which any of the persons herein before named and described, were seized or possessed, or were entitled to possess, hold, enjoy, or demand, in their own right, or which any other person stood or doth stand seized or possessed of, or are or were entitled to have or demand to and for their use, benefit and behoof, shall escheat, enure and accrue to the sole use and benefit of the government and people of this state, and are accordingly hereby declared so to escheat, enure and accrue, and the said government and people shall be taken, deemed and adjudged, and are accordingly hereby declared to be in the real and actual possession of all such goods, chattels, rights and credits, lands, tenements and hereditaments, without further inquiry, adjudication or determination hereafter to be had: any thing in the act, entitled, "An act for confiscating[143] the effects of certain persons commonly called absentees," or any other law, usage, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding; provided always, that the escheat shall not be construed to extend to or operate upon, any goods, chattels, rights, credits, lands, tenements or hereditaments, of which the persons afore named and described, or some other, in their right and to their use, have not been seized or possessed, or entitled to be seized or possessed, or to have or demand as aforesaid, since the nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five.—[Passed April 30, 1779. Not revised.]


An Act for confiscating the estates of certain persons commonly called

Whereas every government hath a right to command the personal service of all its members, whenever the exigencies of the state shall require it, especially in times of an impending or actual invasion, no member thereof can then withdraw himself from the jurisdiction of the government, and thereby deprive it of the benefit of his personal services, without justly incurring the forfeiture of all his property, rights and liberties, holden under and derived from that constitution of government, to the support of which he hath refused to afford his aid and assistance: and whereas the king of Great Britain did cause the parliament thereof to pass divers acts in direct violation of the fundamental rights of the people of this and of the other United States of America; particularly one certain act to vacate and annul the charter of this government, the great compact made and agreed upon between his royal predecessors and our ancestors; and one other act, declaring the people of said states to be out of his protection; and did also levy war against them, for the purpose of erecting and establishing an arbitrary and despotic government over them; whereupon it became the indispensable duty of all the people of said states forthwith to unite in defence of their common freedom, and by arms to oppose the fleets and armies of the said king; yet nevertheless, divers of the members of this and of the other United States of America, evilly disposed, or regardless of their duty towards their country, did withdraw themselves from this, and other of the said United States, into parts and places under the acknowledged authority and dominion of the said king of Great Britain, or into parts and places within the limits of the said states, but in the actual possession and under the power of the fleets or armies of the said king; thereby abandoning the liberties of their country, seeking the protection of the said king, and of his fleets or armies, and aiding or giving encouragement and countenance to their operations against the United States aforesaid:

Sect. 1. Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, that every inhabitant and member of the late province, now state, of Massachusetts[144] Bay, or of any other of the late provinces or colonies, now United States of America, who, since the nineteenth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, hath levied war or conspired to levy war against the government and people of any of the said provinces or colonies, or United States; or who hath adhered to the said king of Great Britain, his fleets or armies, enemies of the said provinces or colonies or United States, or hath given to them aid or comfort; or who, since the said nineteenth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, hath withdrawn, without the permission of the legislative or executive authority of this or some other of the said United States, from any of the said provinces or colonies, or United States, into parts and places under the acknowledged authority and dominion of the said king-of Great Britain, or into any parts or places within the limits of any of the said provinces, colonies, or United States, being in the actual possession and under the power of the fleets or armies of the said king; or who, before the said nineteenth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and after the arrival of Thomas Gage, Esq., (late commander-in-chief of all his Britannic Majesty's forces in North America,) at Boston, the metropolis of this state, did withdraw from their usual places of habitation within this state, into the said town of Boston, with an intention to seek and obtain the protection of the said Thomas Gage and of the said forces, then and there being under his command: and who hath died in any of the said parts or places, or hath not returned into some one of the said United States, and been received as a subject thereof, and (if required) taken an oath of allegiance to such states, shall beheld, taken, deemed and adjudged to have freely renounced all civil and political relation to each and every of the said United States, and be considered as an alien.

Sect. 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all the goods and chattels, rights and credits, lands, tenements, hereditaments of every kind, of which any of the persons herein before described were seized or possessed, or were entitled to possess, hold, enjoy or demand, in their own right, or which any other person stood or doth stand seized or possessed of, or are or were entitled to have or demand to and for their use, benefit and behoof, shall escheat, enure and accrue to the sole use and benefit of the government and people of this state, and are accordingly hereby declared so to escheat, enure and accrue.—[Passed April 30, 1779. Not revised.]





Governor of Massachusetts 1771-4.

Among all the loyalists of the revolted colonies, there was none so illustrious, through his position and abilities, as Thomas Hutchinson, Governor of Massachusetts. No public man of this State was ever subject to more slander, personal abuse, and misrepresentation than he, and no son of Massachusetts ever did so much to benefit and advance the best interests of the State; beyond all question he was the greatest and most famous man Massachusetts has ever produced.

Descended from one of the oldest and most noted of Massachusetts families, he was not one of the first members of it to acquire prominence, that distinction belongs to the celebrated Ann Hutchinson, wife of William Hutchinson who came over in 1634, "that woman of ready wit and bold spirit," more than a match for her reverend and magisterial inquisitors, and who won to her side men even of such power as John Cotton and Sir Henry Vane. She was finally banished and with her followers went to live under the protection of the Dutch, at Long Island where she and all of her family except one child were killed by the Indians[102], her husband having died the year previous.[103] Her grandson, Elisha Hutchinson, became the first chief justice under the old charter and afterwards assistant and commander of the town of Boston. His son, Col. Thomas Hutchinson, was of scarcely less note. He it was who seized Captain Kidd when he resisted the officers of justice sent against him, and was the father of Governor Thomas Hutchinson. He was a wealthy merchant, and councillor who made his native town a sharer in his prosperity by founding the North End Grammar School. He lived in the North Square in the finest house in Boston. Here his son, the future governor, was born Sept. 9, 1711 and the two, father and son, occupied it for more than sixty years, till it was sacked by the mob in 1765.

[146]When five and a half years old the boy was sent to the school established by his father, and at the age of twelve went thence to Harvard College. He graduated in 1727, and three years after he took the degree of Master of Arts. He then became a merchant—apprentice in his father's counting room. At the age of twenty-one, he had amassed by his own efforts £500. He married Margaret Sanford, daughter of the Governor of Rhode Island. In 1735 he joined the church, in 1737 he became selectman of Boston, and four months later, was elected Representative to the General Court. At the age of twenty-six, he entered upon his wonderful career, so strangely and sadly varied. When he stepped into leadership, he seemed simply to come to his own, for since the foundation of Massachusetts Bay there had been no time when some of his name and line had not been in the front.

From the first he is set to deal with questions of finance; as early as June 3, 1737, he is appointed to wrestle with a tax bill, and before the end of the year he is settling a boundary dispute with New Hampshire, and it was a mark of confidence when in 1740 he was appointed, being then 29, to go to England to represent the case to men in power. A far more memorable service than this had already been entered upon by him, and was resumed upon his return in which he was thoroughly successful in spite of great difficulties, it also having a close relation with the coming into being of the United States.

New England was at this time cursed with an irredeemable paper currency. Democracies never appear to so poor advantage as in the management of finances, and no more conspicuous instance in point can be cited, than that of provincial New England, throughout the first half of the 18th century. The Assembly, the members of which were simply the mouthpieces of the towns, surrendered their private judgment and became submissive to the "Instruction" which they received at the time of their election, was uniformly by a large majority, in favor of an irredeemable paper currency. Before the enormous evils which early became apparent and constantly grew in magnitude, the Assembly was impotent. Widows and orphans, classes dependent on fixed incomes, were reduced to distress, creditors found themselves defrauded of their just dues, till almost nothing was left, a universal gambling spirit was promoted. The people saw no way to meet the evil but by new, and ever new issues of the wretched script, until with utter callousness of conscience, men repudiated contracts voluntarily entered upon, and recklessly discounted the resources of future generations by placing upon them the obligations their own shoulders should have borne. The action of the Council in which the higher class was represented was uniformly more wise, and honorable, than that of the lower House during this period of financial distress, and it is especially to be noted that King and Parliament threw their influence on the right side, and sought repeatedly to save the poor blind people from themselves. The right of the home government to interfere in colonial affairs was then never questioned.[147] Massachusetts would dodge if she could, the government mandates, but the theories of a later time, that Parliament had no jurisdiction over sea and that the King, having granted the charter, had put it out of his power to touch the provincial policy, in these days found no expression.

The Revolution was now preparing, the Colonies were chafing under restrictions imposed beyond the ocean for their own benefit. It is now generally admitted, that this was one of the first causes of the Revolution, perhaps the most potent of all causes. In all this time of distress no figure is apparent so marked with traits of greatness as that of Thomas Hutchinson. All the Colonies were infected with the same craze, but no other man in America saw the way out. Franklin, level headed though he was, elaborately advocated paper money, turning a good penny in its manufacture.[104] The father of Samuel Adams was one of the directors of the iniquitous "Land Bank" and the part taken by Hutchinson in causing Parliament to close it, was what led to the undying hatred of Samuel Adams towards Hutchinson, and the Government. When "Instructions" were reported in Town Meeting, Hutchinson was immediately on his feet, and declared he would not observe them, there were immediately cries "Choose another Representative." This could not be done during the session; he consistently threw his influence on the hard money side, and so far lost popularity that he was dropped in 1739. He was, however, elected again in 1742, and was Speaker in 1746-7-8.

What saved the province from financial ruin at this time was the capture of Louisburg. This warlike enterprise of Shirley led the country to increase its debt to between two and three million dollars, but the paper money was so depreciated at the close of the war that £1,200 was equal to only £100 sterling. Parliament very generously voted to reimburse the Province for the expense it had gone to in this war, and voted to pay £183,649, 2s 7 1-2d sterling.

Mr. Hutchinson, who was then Speaker of the House of Representatives, considered this to be a most favorable opportunity for abolishing bills of credit, the source of so much iniquity, and for establishing a stable currency of gold and silver for the future. £2,200,000 would be outstanding in bills in the year 1749 £180,000 sterling at eleven for one, which was the rate at that time, would redeem all but £220,000. It was therefore proposed that Parliament should ship to the Province Spanish dollars, and apply same to redeem the bills, and that the remainder of the bills should be met by a tax on the year 1749. This would finish the bills. The Governor approved of the bill prepared by Mr. Hutchinson but when the Speaker laid the proposal before the House, it was received with a smile; for a long time the fight was hopeless, many weeks were spent in debating it.

The large class of debtors preferred paper to anything more solid. Others claimed that though the plan might have merit, the bills must be put an end to in a gradual way, a "fatal shock" would be felt by so sudden[148] a return to a specie basis. When the vote was taken the bill was decisively rejected. The chance of escaping from bondage seemed to be irrecoverably gone. A motion to reconsider having been carried, the conviction overtook some men of influence, and the bill for a wonder passed. The Governor and Council were prompt to ratify, and while the people marvelled, it was done. The streets were filled with angry men and when it was reported that Hutchinson's home was on fire there were cries in the street "Curse him, let it burn." His fine home at Milton, a recent purchase, many thought should be protected by a guard. The infatuation was so great, the wish was often expressed that the ship bringing the treasure might sink. Many doubted whether the treasure would really be sent, and this uncertainty perhaps helped the adoption of the bill.

But the treasure came, seventeen trucks were required to cart from the ship to the Treasury, two hundred and seventeen chests of Spanish dollars, while ten trucks, conveyed one hundred casks of coined copper. At once a favorable change took place. There was no shock but of the pleasantest kind, a revulsion of popular feeling followed speedily, until Hutchinson, from being threatened at every street corner, became a thorough favorite. Twelve years after this time Hutchinson wrote, "I think I may be allowed to call myself the father of the present fixed medium." There is no doubt of it. He alone saw the way out of the difficulty, and nothing but his tact, and persistency, pushed the measure to success. This is admitted by his enemy, John Adams, who thirty years after Hutchinson's death said, "If I was the witch of Endor, I would wake the ghost of Hutchinson, and give him absolute power over the currency of the United States, and every part of it, provided always that he should meddle with nothing but the currency. As little as I revere his memory, I will acknowledge that he understood the subject of coin and commerce better than any man I ever knew in this country. He was a merchant, and there can be no scientific merchant, without a perfect knowledge of a theory of a medium of trade."[105] Hutchinson, in the third volume of his history of Massachusetts, remarks that the people of Massachusetts Bay were never more easy and happy, than in 1749 when, through the application of the Louisburg reimbursement to the extinction of the irredeemable bills, the currency was in an excellent condition. It excited the envy of the other colonies where paper was the principal currency.

In 1750 he was again elected to the Assembly and "he was praised as much for his firm" as he had before been abused for "his obstinate perseverance." He was made chairman of a commission to negotiate a treaty with the Indians of Casco Bay. He also settled the boundary question with Connecticut, and Rhode Island, as he had done previously with New Hampshire. Massachusetts became greatly the gainer by this settlement of its boundaries. The present boundaries of Massachusetts are those established by Hutchinson. In 1752 he was appointed Judge of Probate, and Justice of the Common Pleas, for the County of Suffolk.[149] In the spring of 1754 he lost his wife. With her dying voice and with eyes fixed on him she uttered three words, "Best of husbands." He loved her tenderly; twenty years later, taking thought for her grave, as we shall see later on in this article (where his countrymen could not let her bones rest in peace, but they must desecrate her grave on Copps Hill.)

"In 1754 he was sent as delegate to the Convention held in Albany, for the purpose of Confederating the Colonies, the better to protect themselves from the French. Hutchinson and Franklin were the leading minds of the body. To these two the preparation of important papers was confided and plans made to prevent the 'French from driving the English into the sea.'"

In 1758 Hutchinson became Lieutenant Governor. The excellent financial condition produced by Hutchinson's measure ten years previous, still continued, and was made even better than before. Quebec had fallen, and Canada was conquered by the English, and the mother country, made generous by success, sent over large sums of money to reimburse the Colonies for the share they had taken in bringing about the brilliant success, the result was that the taxes became a burden of the lightest ever before known.

In 1760 Chief Justice Sewall died. Hutchinson was appointed his successor by Governor Bernard. James Otis, Sr., then Speaker of the Assembly, desired the place. James Otis, Jr., a young vigorous lawyer, who was soon to arrive at great distinction, vigorously espoused his father's cause. Hutchinson warned the Governor of trouble, in case the Otises were disappointed. Bernard however, saw the risk of this, and declared he would in no case appoint Otis, but named Hutchinson instead. At once the younger Otis vowed vengence, a threat which he soon after proceeded to execute by embarrassing the Governor, including the new Chief Justice also in his enmity. Though before friends of government, the Otises now became its opposers, and as the younger man presently developed power as an unequalled popular leader, he became a most dangerous foe. "From so small a spark," exclaimed Hutchinson, "a great fire seems to have been kindled." Henceforth the two men are to have no feelings for each other, but dread and hatred. An agitation began between these two men, destined before it closes, to affect most profoundly the history of the whole future human race.

In February, 1761, Hutchinson just warming to his work as Chief Justice, was a principal figure in the disturbance about "Writs of Assistance" or "Search Warrants." The customs taxes were evaded the whole country over, in a way most demoralizing. The warehouses were few indeed in which there were no smuggled goods. The measures taken for tariff enforcement were no more objectionable than those employed today. Freedom to be sure is outraged when a custom-officer invades a man's house, his castle, but high tariff cannot exist without outrages upon freedom. A change had come about; the government had declared the laws must be enforced, and it lay upon Hutchinson to interpret the[150] laws and see to this enforcement. The position of the Chief Justice was an embarrassing one. His own proclivities were for free trade; his friends had been concerned in contraband commerce, according to the universal practice in the term of slack administration. Hutchinson was as yet a novice in the Chief Justiceship, but he made no mistake in postponing his decision, and have the Court wait till the English practice could be known. When news came from England, a form was settled on as near to that employed in England, as circumstances would permit. Writs were issued to custom-house officers, for which application should be made to the Chief Justice by the Surveyor-General of the customs.[106] Before this determination was reached James Otis made his memorable plea against "Writs of Assistance," one of the epoch-making events in the history of America. John Adams afterward said, "I do say in the most solemn manner, that Mr. Otis's oration against Writs of Assistance breathed into this nation the breath of life."

Hutchison's popularity from now begins to wane, and the main hand in this was no doubt the teachings of James Otis whose phrase "no taxation without representation" was used as a rallying cry. Boston at once elected him as its Representative in the Assembly, and his leadership thus was scarcely broken even when he became insane. At last he became a great embarrassment to his party, from the fact that, although his wits were gone, the people would still follow him. Peter Oliver, who succeeded Hutchinson as Chief Justice is quoted by John Adams as saying to him, that Otis would at one time declare of the Lieutenant Governor, "that he would rather have him than any man he knows in any office"; and the next hour represent him as "the greatest tyrant and most despicable creature living."[107]

Hutchinson was now known as a "prerogative man," ready to defer to the home government in important things, but there was as yet no definite line drawn between prerogative men and patriots. Otis always scouted the idea of independence of the Colonies as disloyal folly, his successor, Samuel Adams, was the first to preach disloyalty and secession. Otis, as Moderator in Town Meeting in Boston, in 1763, spoke eloquently of the British empire and constitution. He said, "The true interests of Great Britain and her plantations are mutual, and what God in his providence has united, let no man dare pull asunder." As to parliamentary supremacy, Otis was much more emphatic than Hutchinson. He said, "the power of Parliament is uncontrollable, but by themselves, and we must obey. Forcibly resisting the Parliament and the King's laws is high treason. Therefore let the Parliament lay what burdens they please upon us; we must, it is our duty, to submit, and patiently to bear them till they will be pleased to relieve us."[108]

Otis conceded to Parliament supremacy, but insisted that the Colonies[151] should have representatives there. Hutchinson considered representation there impracticable, and while conceding supremacy, thought it should be kept well in the background, while the Colonies managed for themselves. Great Britain has really always held to this position even to the present day—"Although the general rule is that the legislative assembly has the sole right of imposing taxes in the Colony, yet when the imperial legislature chooses to impose taxes according to the rule of law they have a right to do it." So decided the English judge Blackburn in 1868 in a case when Jamaica was involved.[109] Mansfield's position that the Colonies were virtually represented in Parliament was an entirely reasonable one. Parliamentary supremacy in the British empire is, indeed kept well in the background at the present moment, but let any great emergency arise, such as some peril to the mother country. If the Colony should remain apathetic, or in any way render aid and comfort to the enemy, the dependency would be as arbitrarily ridden over by the fleets, and armies, as in the days of George III. So long as America remained dependent, parliamentary supremacy was necessary. It would only be got rid of by such a declaration as that of 1776. This, Hutchinson was not ready for nor any other person in the Colonies until many years after this time, except one man, Samuel Adams, who said taxation without representation was tyranny and representation was impossible.

The correctness of the position of Hutchinson in the case of the Writs of Assistance have been maintained and exhibited in detail by so high an authority as the late Horace Gray, Esq., for many years Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts and at the time of his decease justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.[110] A currency dispute took place in 1762 as regards the parity between gold and silver. Hutchinson represented the Council and Otis the House, the former, true to the policy which had already been of such advantage, set himself once more against a course certain to lead to a disastrous depreciation. This financial controversy led to further unpopularity, and lost him not only a great number of friends, but the House while reducing the allowance to the Superior Court in general, refused to make any allowance to him whatever as Chief Justice. After the great war with France, which was waged mainly for the benefit of the Colonies, it was found that England had a debt of £140,000,000 instead of £70,000,000 which it had before the war. England also had paid the Colonies vast sums of money as previously stated, expenses incurred in protecting themselves from the French. The American civil and military establishments before the war was £70,000 per annum, it was now £350,000. George Grenville, Chancellor of the Exchequer thought that the Colonies ought to contribute towards it; he did not expect them to raise the whole, but a portion of it, and did not intend to charge them with any interest on the national debt, although it was largely incurred on their behalf.

[152]In February, 1765, he laid a bill before Parliament for further defraying the expenses of protecting the colonies and he proposed to charge certain stamp duties in said colonies. The agents of the several colonies had an interview with him and tried to dissuade him from it. He replied that he had considered the whole case and believed the colonies should contribute something to the mother country to pay for their protection, every penny of which would be spent in the colonies, and that he knew of no better way than a stamp tax. "If," he said, "you can tell of a better, I will adopt it." Benjamin Franklin, proposed that the demand for money should be made in the old constitutional way in the form of a requisition to the Assembly of each province. Can you agree, rejoined Grenville, on the proportion that each colony should raise. The question touched the heart of the difficulty, the agents were obliged to answer in the negative, and the interview speedily closed, a few days later the fatal Bill passed,—one of the most momentous legislative Acts in the history of mankind.

The position of Hutchinson was a trying one; he favored neither the issuance of the Writs of Assistance nor the Stamp Act. The whole course of the government he disapproved of he had been ready to cross the ocean to remonstrate for the Colony, against the impolitic treatment. On the other hand, the disloyal tone which daily grew rife about him, was utterly against his mind, he saw no outcome for it but independence, a most wise forecasting of the situation, in fact there was no middle ground. Independence seemed to him and to every man then, except Sam Adams, a calamity. If that was to be avoided, there was nothing for it but to admit the supremacy of Parliament.[111] But the Province, to which he had been like a father, was growing away from him, and before the summer ended, he was to receive a blow as ruthless, and ungrateful, as it was possible to give. He was at this time a Judge of the highest Judicial Court, a member of the Council, and Lieutenant Governor at the same time. He had performed the duties of these incompatible offices to the satisfaction of the community, as is shown in the writings of John Adams before he became Hutchinson's enemy. He says, "Has not his merits been sounded very high by his countrymen for twenty years? Have not his countrymen loved, admired, revered, rewarded, nay, almost adored him? Have not ninety-nine in a hundred of them really thought him the greatest and best man in America? Has not the perpetual language of many members of both Houses and of a majority of his brother-counselors been, that Mr. Hutchinson is a great man, a pious, a wise, a learned, a good man, an eminent saint, a philosopher etc? Nay, have not the affections and the admiration of his countrymen arisen so high as often to style him the greatest and best man in the world, that they never saw, nor heard, nor read of such a man—a sort of apotheosis like that of Alexander and that of Cæsar while they lived?"[112]

[153]It is not possible to give a more glowing eulogy in the English language of a person, than this written by John Adams, the successor of Washington as second President of the United States, but it could scarcely be less. The regularity of his life, his sympathy for the distressed, his affability, his integrity, his industry, his talents for business, and the administration of affairs, his fluency, and grace, as public speaker. His command of temper, and courteousness under provocation, united to form a rare man, and to give him influence. In a country where literary enterprise was very uncommon, he had devoted a great part of his life to investigating the history of his native province, busy though he was in so many places, in behalf of the public, he found time to carry it forward. In 1764 was published in Boston the first volume of his "History of Massachusetts Bay," a carefully studied work quite unparalleled in the meagre colonial literature, and is still, and will always remain, of the first authority respecting the beginning of New England. In 1767 came the second volume. He had access to original papers such as no person now possesses which were of the highest historical value. Writing to a friend in England in 1765, he said, "I think from my beginning the work until I had completed it, which was about twelve months, I never had time to write two sheets at a sitting without avocations by public business, but forced to steal a little time in the morning and evening while I was in town, and leave it for weeks together so I found it difficult to keep any plan in my mind."

In his third volume, written twenty years later and not published till 1828, more than forty years after his death, the heat of the fight is still in the heart beating behind the pen, in painting the portraits of his contemporaries. Otis, Sam Adams, Hancock and others, the men who bore him down after the fiercest possible struggle. His portrait drawing is by no means without candor, and one wonders that the picture is no darker. His presentment is always clear and dignified; his judgment of men and events are just. It is the work of the thoughtful brain whose comments on politics, finance, religion, etc., are full of intelligence and humanity.

And now Hutchinson approaches the most crucial period of his life. As seen in a previous chapter after the passing of the Stamp Act, and the adoption of the Patrick Henry Resolves, the people grew riotous and treason was talked of openly. The first great riot was on August 14, 1765. In the morning the effigies of Andrew Oliver, the Stamp agent, and Lord Bute the former prime minister, were hung on an elm tree, on the corner of what is now Washington and Essex streets, in the evening they were taken down, carried as far as Kilby street, where a new government building was torn down by the mob, who, taking portions of the wood-work with them, proceeded to Fort Hill, where they burnt the effigies in front of the home of Mr. Oliver and committed gross outrages on his premises which were plundered and wrecked.[113]

[154]On the evening of the 26th the riots recommenced with redoubled fury. Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson, also Chief Justice, the second person in rank in the colony and a kinsman of Oliver, was made a mark for the most unmeasured outrage. The story is best told in the words of the victim in a letter to a friend.

Boston, Aug. 30, 1765.

To Richard Jackson,

My Dear Sir—I came from my house at Milton the 26 in the morning. After dinner it was whispered in the town there would be a mob at night, and that Paxton, Hallowell, the custom house, and admiralty officers' houses would be attacked; but my friends assured me that the rabble were satisfied with the insult I had received, and that I was become rather popular. In the evening, whilst I was at supper and my children round me, somebody ran in and said the mob were coming. I directed my children to fly to a secure place, and shut up my house as I had done before, intending not to quit it; but my eldest daughter repented her leaving me, hastened back and protested that she would not quit the house unless I did. I couldn't stand against this, and withdrew with her to a neighboring house, where I had been but a few minutes before the hellish crew fell upon my house with the rage of devils, and in a moment with axes split down the doors and entered. My son being in the great entry heard them cry 'Dam him, he is upstairs, we'll have him.' Some ran immediately as high as the top of the house, then filled the rooms below and the cellar, and others remained without the house to be employed there. Messages soon came one after another to the house where I was to inform me the mob were coming in pursuit of me, and I was obliged to retire through yards and gardens to a house more remote, where I remained until 4 o'clock, by which time one of the best finished houses in the Province had nothing remaining but the bare walls and floors.

Not content with tearing off all the wainscot and hangings, and splitting the doors to pieces, they beat down the partition walls; and although that alone cost them near two hours, they cut down the cupola or lanthorn and they began to take the slate and boards from the roof, and were prevented only by the approaching daylight from a total demolition of the building. The garden house was laid flat, and all my trees, etc., broke down to the ground. Such ruin was never seen in America. Besides my plate and family pictures, household furniture of every kind, my own, my children, and servants, apparel, they carried off about £900 sterling in money and emptied the house of everything whatsoever, except a part of the kitchen furniture, not leaving a single book or paper in it, and have scattered or destroyed all the manuscripts and other papers I had been collecting for thirty years together, besides a great number of public papers in my custody. The next evening, I intended to go to Milton with my children, but meeting two or three small parties of the ruffians who I suppose had concealed themselves in the country, and my[155] coachman hearing one of them say, 'There he is'! my daughters were terrified, and said they should never be safe, and I was forced to shelter them that night at the Castle.[114]

Governor Hutchinson's House Governor Hutchinson's House Destroyed by the Mob.

Josiah Quincy, then twenty-one years old, writing in his diary Aug. 27, 1765, says that Hutchinson's life "it is more than probable, was saved by his giving way to his eldest daughter and leaving the house." He described "the coming into court the next day of the stripped Chief Justice, clothed in a manner which would have excited compassion from the hardest heart. Such a man in such a station, thus habited, with tears starting from his eyes, and a countenance which strongly told the inward anguish of his soul,—what must an audience have felt, whose compassion had before been moved by what they knew he had suffered, when they heard him pronounce the following words which the agitation of his mind dictated, "Gentlemen,—There not being a quorum of the Court[156] without me, I am obliged to appear. Some apology is necessary for my dress; indeed, I had no other. Destitute of everything,—no other shirt; no other garment but what I have on; and not one in my whole family in a better situation than myself. The distress of a whole family around me, young and tender infants hanging about me, are infinitely more insupportable than what I feel for myself, though I am obliged to borrow part of this clothing.

"Sensible that I am innocent, that all the charges against me are false, I can't help feeling: and although I am not obliged to give an answer to all the questions that may be put to me by every lawless person, yet I call God to witness—and I would not, for a thousand worlds, call my Maker to witness to a falsehood—I say I call my Maker to witness, that I never, in New England or Old, in Great Britain, or America, neither directly or indirectly, was aiding, assisting or supporting—in the least promoting or encouraging—what is commonly called the Stamp Act; but, on the contrary, did all in my power, and strove as much as in me lay, to prevent it. This is not declared through timidity, for I have nothing to fear. They can only take away my life, which is of but little value when deprived of all its comforts, all that was dear to me, and nothing surrounding me but the most pressing distress.

"I hope the eyes of the people will be opened, that they will see how easy it is for some designing, wicked man to spread false reports to raise suspicion and jealousies in the minds of the populace, and enrage them against the innocent, but if guilty, this is not the way to proceed. The laws of our country are open to punish those who have offended. This destroying all peace and comfort and order of the community—all will feel its effects; and all will see how easily the people may be deluded, inflamed and carried away with madness against an innocent man. I pray God give us better hearts." The Court then adjourned to October 15th.

Why Hutchinson should have fallen into such great disfavor, it is not easy to say. Gordon, a writer of Whig leaning, but a fair minded witness of all that occurred suggests that there were some who still entertaining rancor towards him for doing away with paper money in 1748, for, as we have seen, his position in 1762 on the currency was not popular. Moreover the mob was led on to the house by a secret influence, with a view to the destruction of certain public papers known to be there relating to the grant of the New Plymouth Company on the Kennebec River.[115] Hutchinson himself speaks on having given rise to animosity against him for having taken certain depositions in the interest of government, before him in his character of Chief Justice to which his name was signed. They were purely official acts; for the depositions he had no responsibility whatever, but the unreasoning mass of the people confused him with others. There was nothing in his course at the time of the Writs of Assistance, at which the people needed to feel aggrieved. He[157] was with the people in opposing the external taxes, also in disapproving the Stamp Act. Now that they were imposed, he to be sure thought nothing would answer but submission, but certainly in his declaration here he was nothing like so emphatic as James Otis, who still remained the popular idol. Otis had said in May, "It is the duty of all humbly and silently to acquiesce in all the decisions of the supreme legislature." In private talk he was still more vigorous in his utterances. He said to Hallowell, "That Parliament had a right to tax the Colonies, and he was a d——d fool who denied it and that this people never would be quiet till we had a Council from home, till our charter was taken away, and till we had regular troops quartered upon us."[116] Hutchinson had never expressed his thoughts anywhere near so definitely as this.

The inhabitants of Boston and the Province were generally ashamed of the outrage upon Hutchinson, but the mob still dared to show its hand. Though in the first rush of feeling many of the rioters were sent to jail, they were afterwards set free. The chief actor seems to have been a shoemaker, named Mackintosh, who, though arrested, was presently discharged; Hutchinson declares this was through the interference of men of good position, who feared that a confession from him would implicate them. Hutchinson's demand of the legislature for compensation for the destruction of his home, was at last effectual. He is said to have received £3,194, 17s. 6d., a fair indemnity. The Act had attached to it for a "rider" pardon to all who had taken part in the disturbance connected with the Stamp Act. Bernard hesitated to sign the Act; but was finally induced to do so by his earnest wish to have Hutchinson receive justice. When the Act was sent to England, the King disallowed it; such lawlessness could not be condoned, even that a faithful official might receive his rights. But the money had been paid before the news of the King's displeasure arrived.

A period of lawlessness now followed. Riots were absolutely unpunished, for no jury would convict the rioters. Governor Bernard wrote that his position was one of utter, and humiliating impotence, and that the first condition of the maintenance of English authority in Massachusetts was to quarter a powerful military force at Boston.

Two regiments arrived Sept. 28, 1768. Shortly before their arrival the people gathered together in an immense meeting, and voted that a standing army could not be kept in the province without its consent. On the arrival of the troops everything was done by the people to provoke and irritate them. A perfect reign of terror was directed against all who supported the government. Soldiers could not appear in the streets without being the objects of the grossest insults. A press eminently scurrilous and vindictive was ceaselessly employed in abusing them. They had become as Samuel Adams boasted 'the objects of the contempt even of women, and children.' Every offence they committed was maliciously exaggerated and vindictively prosecuted, while in the absence of martial[158] law, they were obliged to look passively on the most flagrant insults to authority. At one time the "Sons of liberty" in a procession a mile and a half long marched around the State House, to commemorate their riots against the Stamp Act, and met in the open fields to chant their "liberty song" and drink "strong halters, firm blocks, and sharp axes, to such as deserve them." At another an informer, who was found guilty of giving information to revenue officers, was seized by a great multitude, tarred and feathered, and led through the streets of Boston, which was illuminated in honor of the achievement.

A printer who had dared to caricature the champions of freedom was obliged to flee from his house, to take refuge among the soldiers, and ultimately to escape from Boston in disguise. Merchants who had ventured to import goods from England were compelled by mob violence to give them up to be destroyed, or to be re-embarked. A shopkeeper who sold some English goods, found a post planted in the ground with a hand pointing to his door, and when a friend tried to remove it, he was stoned by a fierce mob through the streets. A popular minister delighted his congregation by publicly praying "that the Almighty would remove from Boston the English soldiers."[117]

These outrages led to the so-called Boston Massacre, more fully described in a previous chapter.[118] None of the mobs of that time of mobs was more brutal and truculent than that which provoked the firing of the group of baited men, standing their ground with steady discipline, among the clubs and missiles resorted to now, to enforce the usual foul and blasphemous abuse. Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson fulfilled at this time with complete adequacy the functions of chief magistrate, for Governor Bernard was at this time in England. Hutchinson was at once in the street, in imminent danger of having his brains dashed out, expostulating, entreating that order might be preserved.[119] It was a fine exhibition of power and courage. His standing in the east balcony of the State House, with the snow reddened beneath by the blood of the killed, with the regiments kneeling in rank ready for street firing, and several thousand of enraged men on the other side on the point of rushing into the fight, he was able to hold both parties in check. His prompt arrest of Captain Preston and the squad which had done the killing, was his full duty; and it is to the credit of the troop that the officer and his men in the midst of the exasperation gave themselves quietly into the hands of the law. Instead of a bloody battle, there was substituted a well-ordered civil process, due delay being observed that the passion of both sides might subside and the evidence, pro and con be calmly weighed. A mild and just verdict was the outcome, to which all submitted. Men they were, all of the same stock, for the time being fallen into antagonism, seeing things[159] differently. All, however, bore themselves like Englishmen, showing the quality which has made the Anglo-Saxon race a mighty one.

Since the departure of Bernard there had been no session of the legislature. In March one took place that was the cause of a new dispute between the Lieutenant Governor and the legislature, which was destined to be long and important. It was as to how far the chief magistrate could be bound by royal instruction. Hutchinson says the Assembly was prorogued to meet at Boston March 14th, 1770, but before the time arrived there came a further signification of the King's pleasure that it should be held at Cambridge, unless the Lieutenant Governor had more weighty reasons for holding it at Boston, than those which were mentioned by the Secretary of State against it.[120] On the 15th of March therefore the legislature met in the "Philosophy Room" in Harvard College, in Cambridge.

Remonstrances were passed by the Council and the House against the removal to which Hutchinson replied "That the King by his prerogative could remove the legislature from the 'Town House in Boston' did not in his mind admit of a doubt and therefore he disregarded the remonstrance." Soon after the Massacre, Hutchinson begged the Earl of Hillsborough, the Colonial Secretary, to allow him to resign. He said, "I must humbly pray that a person of superior powers of body and mind may be appointed to the administration of the government of this Province. I shall faithfully endeavor to support such person according to the best of my abilities, and I think it not improbable that I may be capable of doing his Majesty greater service in the Province, even in a private station than at present."[121] Instead of accepting his resignation he was appointed Governor in March, 1771, and his wife's brother-in-law, Andrew Oliver, being at the same time commissioned Lieutenant Governor, and Thomas Flucker Secretary.

At his inauguration while the Assembly and the Congregational ministers were silent, there were many congratulations, among them Harvard College. The students singing in Holden Chapel the anthem, "Thus saith the Lord from henceforth, behold! all nations shall call ye blessed; for thy rulers shall be of thine own kindred, your nobles shall be of yourself, and thy governors shall proceed from the midst of thee."

April 1, 1771, he writes to Colonel Williams of Hatfield. "It's certain all the valuable part of the town have shown me as much respect personally, as in my public character, as I could desire. Two Adamses, Phillips, Hancock, and two or three others, who, with the least reason have been the most injurious, are all of any sort of consideration who stand out."[122] Again on April 19, 1771, in a letter to Hillsboro, referring to the Town Meeting he says, "In these votes, and in most of the public proceedings of the town of Boston, persons of the best character and estate[160] have little or no concern. They decline attending Town Meetings where they are sure of being outvoted by men of the lowest order, all being admitted, and it being very rare that any scrutiny is made into the qualification of voters."[123]

The hopes Hutchinson and the friends of government were never brighter since the troubles began with the government, than in the spring of 1771. Among Hutchinson opponents men like Andrew Eliot, thought "it might be as well not to dispute the legal right of Parliament." Otis too, pursued a strong reactionary course and when on May 29 the legislature met, at his instance, while the remonstrance was passed as had become usual, against the removal of the legislature from Boston, the clause was struck out which denied to the crown the right to remove. The principle so long contended for was then sacrificed, the right of prerogative to infringe the charter at this point was acknowledged, and it would be easy to proceed on the ground that the crown might take what liberties it pleased with the charter. Otis's change was indeed startling. Samuel Adams was going on in the old road, when Otis started up, and said they had gone far enough in that way, the Governor had an undoubted right to carry the court where he pleased, and moved for a committee to represent the inconveniences of sitting there, and for an address to the Governor. He was a good man; the minister said so, and it must be so: and moved to go on with the business, and the House voted everything he moved for.[124]

"Serious as was the defection of James Otis that of Hancock was even more so. His wealth, popular manners and some really strong qualities made his influence great. Samuel Adams had exploited Hancock, with all his consummate art ever since his appearance in public life, making him a powerful pillar of the popular cause. Contemptuous allusions to Hancock as little better than an ape, whom Samuel Adams led about according to his will, have come down from those times."[125] Such things were flying in the air and Hancock was feeble enough to be moved by them, if they came to his ears. Whatever may have been the reason, Hancock forsook his old guide, voted with the party of Otis for the acknowledgment of Hutchinson's right to convene the legislature where and when he choose. Hancock's defection at this time from the Whig cause seemed imminent, and when Hutchinson fled to England, three years later and his papers fell into the hands of his enemies, it was found necessary to suppress certain documents, belonging to this time as it is supposed they compromised Hancock, who in 1774 was once more firmly on the side of the Colonies.

Samuel Adams probably never experienced a greater mortification than when, as a member of a committee, he waited, by command of the House, upon Hutchinson to present an address acknowledging the right[161] of the Governor to remove the General Court "to Housantonic in the western part of the Province," if he desired, nor, on the other hand, did the Governor ever enjoy a greater triumph. Hutchinson must have felt that he was even with his chief adversary for the humiliation of the preceding year, the driving out of the regiments. Adams felt his defeat keenly, but gave no sign of it, he saw his influence apparently on the wane, but was as unremitting as ever in his attempts to retrieve lost ground. But for him the revolutionary cause at this time must have gone by the board.

The revulsion was not long in coming. Before Hutchinson had time to restore the repentant legislature to the town house in Boston, the hearts of the members became hardened against him. When it became known that the decision of the king had been made for the support of the Massachusetts town officials from the revenue of the Colony by warrants drawn on the Commission of Custom, the wrath of the people became heavy, and the voice of Samuel Adams led the discontented. The Governor was paid £1500 sterling, instead of £1000, annually, which he was paid when dependent on the people. Hutchinson now plainly announced that he should now receive his salary from the King. The House protested in its usual temper, the set of the opposition being so powerful that several of the Loyalists withdrew disheartened. But in the midst of the fault-finding "Sons of Liberty", he received a mark of confidence from the General Court at which he was greatly pleased, as he had a right to be. We have already seen him as the principal figure in settling the boundary lines on the sides of New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The boundary line on the side of New York, not settled in 1767, and still in dispute, were equally in need of adjustment, and although his principles were popularly denounced, and the scheme was already in progress which was to drive him from his native land and deprive him of all his possessions in it, yet none but he could be trusted to undertake the delicate negotiations upon which the welfare of the Province depended.[126]

The journal of the proceedings in the handwriting of the Governor, is still extant. With William Brattle, Joseph Hawley, and John Hancock, Hutchinson journeyed to Hartford, where on May 18, 1773, they discussed the matter with Governor Tyron, John Watts, William Smith, R. R. Livingston, and William Nicoll, Commissioners from New York. The New York men, although more compliant than the negotiators of seven years ago, were still disposed to exact hard concessions, to which all the commissioners but Hutchinson were about prepared to agree. Hutchinson, however, while diplomatic, was unyielding, insisting upon what had been substantially the demand of 1767. At last it was conceded, establishing for all time as a part of the Bay State the beautiful county of Berkshire. This alone should entitle him to a monument by the State of Massachusetts. He alone, it is said, prevented the giving up by Massachusetts of[162] her claim to western lands; these were retained and afterwards sold for a large sum.[127]

It was a great victory for the Governor, the Massachusetts Commissioners had been left free to do what seemed to them best, but they cordially acknowledged that success belonged to him.

On the return to Boston, the legislature was in session and the assembly authorized him to transmit the settlement to Lord Dartmouth, Secretary of State, at once, without formally laying it before them. They trusted him entirely. Hutchinson with some pride declared that "no previous instance of a like confidence of our Assembly in a Governor can be found in Massachusetts history."[128] This transient favor, and trust, aggravated for him the force of the blow he was so soon to receive. How bitter the home coming of Hutchinson was, the following extract from a letter to Sir Francis Bernard, the late Governor will show:

June 29, 1773. "After every other attempt to distress me they have at last engaged in a conspiracy which has been managed with infinite art, and succeeded beyond their own expectation. They have buzzed about for three or four months a story of something that would amaze everybody as soon as the elections were over, it was said in the House something would appear in eight and forty hours, which, if improved aright, the Province might be as happy, as it was fourteen or fifteen years ago. These things were spread through all the towns of the Province, and everybody's expectations were raised. At length upon motion the gallery was ordered to be cleared and the doors shut. Mr. Samuel Adams informed the House that seventeen original letters had been put in his hands, written to a gentleman in England by several persons from New England, with an intention to subvert the constitution. They were delivered to him on condition that they should be returned, not printed, and no copies taken. If the House would receive them on these terms, he would read them. They broke through the pretended agreement, printed the resolves, and then the letters, which effrontery was never known before. The letters are mere narratives which you well know to be true, as respects remarks upon the Colonies, and such proposals as naturally follow from the principles which I have openly avowed; but by every malversation, which the talents of the party in each House, could produce they have raised the prejudices of the people against me, and it is generally supposed all the writers were concerned in one plan, though I suppose no one of them ever saw or knew the contents of the letters of any others unless by accident."

After three weeks spent, the House resolved to address the King, to remove the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.[129] The name of the person to whom the letters were written was erased from all of them, but they appear to be all Mr. Thomas Whatley's six from the Governor,[163] four from the Lieutenant-Governor, one from Rogers, and one from Auchmuty and the remainder from Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The affair of the Hutchinson Letter created great excitement both in America and England, an affair in which the best men of Massachusetts Bay were concerned, including Franklin, then the agent of his native Province, although a citizen then of Pennsylvania; a shade has rested therefrom upon the character of Franklin, which cannot yet be said to have been explained away. Is it creditable that those wary, able men, Franklin, Samuel Adams, Bowdoin, John Adams, Samuel Cooper, and others, really thought the very quiet statements contained "in the letters in which there was no sentiment which the Governor had not openly expressed in his addresses to the Legislature, was a danger and menace to the welfare of the colony?"[130] The only explanation is that they had persuaded themselves that Hutchinson was so dangerous that if conduct thoroughly above board would not answer, he must be cast out by questionable means. Mr. Winthrop justifies their conduct by believing that it may be classed among what Burke calls "irregular things done in the confusion of mighty troubles, not to be justified on principle."[130] When the printed copies of the letter arrived in England they excited great astonishment. Thomas Whatley was dead. William Whatley, his brother, and executor was filled with a very natural consternation, at a theft which was likely to have such important consequences, and for which public opinion was inclined to make him responsible. He in turn suspected a certain Mr. Temple, who had been allowed to look through the papers of his deceased brother, for the purpose of perusing one relating to the colonies, and a duel ensued in which Whatley was severely wounded. Mr. Temple continued to be suspected. A letter of Jan. 4, 1774, says: "Although when they first came abroad his own brother said: Whoever sent them was a d——d villian."[131]

Franklin then for the first time, in a letter to a newspaper, disclosed the part he had taken. He stated that "he, and he alone, had obtained and transmitted to Boston the letters in question, that they had never passed into the hands of William Whatley, and that, therefore, it was impossible, either that Whatley could have communicated them, or that Temple could have taken them, from his papers." There is some reason to believe that the original owner had left them carelessly in a public office, whence they had been stolen, but the mystery was never decisively solved.

"In England Franklin's conduct was regarded with the utmost severity. For the purpose of ruining honorable officials it was said, their most confidential letters, written years before to a private member of Parliament, who had at that time no connection with Government, had been deliberately stolen; although the original thief was undiscovered, the full weight of the guilt and dishonor rested upon Franklin. He was[164] perfectly aware that the letters had been written in the strictest confidence, that they had been dishonestly obtained without the knowledge of the person who received them, or the person who wrote them, and that their exposure would be a deadly injury to the writers. Under these circumstances he sent them to a small group of politicians whom he knew to be the bitterest enemies of the Governor, and one result was a duel in which the brother of the man whose private papers had been stolen, was nearly killed. Any man of high and sensitive honor, it was said, would sooner have put his hand into the fire than have been concerned in such a transaction."[132]

When the petition for the removal of Hutchinson and Oliver arrived the Government referred it to the Committee of the Privy Council that the allegations might be publicly examined with counsel on either side. The case exerted an intense interest which had been rarely paralleled. No less than thirty-five Privy Councillors attended; among the distinguished strangers who crowded the Bar were Burke, Priestley and Jeremy Bentham, Dunning and Lee, who spoke for the petitioners; they appear to have made no impression; while on the other side Wedderburn, the Solicitor-General, made one of his most brilliant but most virulent speeches, which was received with boundless applause.

After a brief but eloquent eulogy of the character and services of Hutchinson he passed to the manner in which the letters were procured, and turning to Franklin, who stood before him he delivered an invective which appeared to have electrified his audience. "How the letters 'came into the possession of anyone but the right owner's,'" he said, "is still a mystery for Dr. Franklin to explain, and they could not have come into his hands by fair means. Nothing will acquit Dr. Franklin of the charge of obtaining them by fraudulent or corrupt means, for the most malignant of purposes, unless he stole them from the person who stole them. I hope, my Lords, you will brand this man for the honor of this country, of Europe, and of mankind.... Into what country will the fabrication of this iniquity hereafter go with unembarrassed face? Men will watch him with a jealous eye. They will hide their papers from him, and lock up their escritoires. Having hitherto aspired after fame by his writings, he will henceforth esteem it a libel to be called a man of letters—homo trium literarum. But, he not only took away those papers from our brother, he kept himself concealed, till he nearly occasioned the murder of another. It is impossible to read his account, expressive of the coolest, and most deliberate malice, without horror."

He stood there, conspicuous and erect, and without moving a muscle, was compelled to hear himself denounced as a thief, or the accomplice of thieves.

The scene was a very strange one, and it is well suited to the brush or an historical painter. Franklin was now an old man, sixty-seven, the greatest writer, the greatest philosopher America had produced, a member of some of the chief scientific societies in Europe, the accredited representative of the most important of the colonies of America, and for nearly an hour, and in the midst of the most distinguished of living[165] Englishmen, he was compelled to hear himself denounced as a thief or the accomplice of thieves. He stood there conspicuous, and erect, and without moving a muscle, amid the torrent of invective, but his apparent composure was shared by few who were about him. Fox, in a speech which he made as late as 1803, reminded the House how on that memorable occasion, "all men tossed up their hats, and clapped their hands, in boundless delight, at Mr. Wedderburn's speech." The committee at once voted that the petition of the Massachusetts Assembly was "false, groundless, and scandalous and calculated only for the seditious purpose of keeping up a spirit of clamor and discontent in the province." The king and Council confirmed the report and Franklin was ignominiously dismissed from his office of Postmaster.[133] From this time Franklin and his friends had a deep personal grudge against the British Government.

As the autumn deepened Hutchinson interpreted as favorable to himself the symptoms he perceived of the mood of the people. Oct. 16, 1773, he writes, "I now see so great a change in the people wherever I travel about the country, that I have reason to think I shall rather gain than lose by the late detestable proceedings, and my friends express stronger attachments to me than ever." This was only a brief Indian summer of favor before the outbreak, not now distant, of a storm more cold and pitiless than ever, for a crisis was now at hand more threatening than any that had preceded it. As shown in a previous chapter,[133] after the repeal of the Stamp Act in order to pacify the colonists, a duty was placed on tea, and other imports, which the colonists had always admitted to be a valid Act of the Parliament. No revenue probably had ever been expected from it. It was felt that the principle that Parliament might tax must be maintained; the cost of collection was greater than the proceeds. Instead of paying 12d per pound export duty from England, only 3d per pound was to be charged, when imported by the East India Company to the Colonies, thereby making a saving to the colonists of 9d per pound which would make tea cheaper than that smuggled in from the Dutch colonies.[134]

The project of sending the tea, was decided on in May, 1773, and Massachusetts was the Colony where the crisis was to come. The consignees were important persons. Two of them were Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, sons of the Governor, a third was the Governor's nephew Richard Clarke, father-in-law of Copley, the painter, a fourth was Benjamin Faneuil, a nephew of Peter Faneuil, deceased, a fifth Joshua Winslow, also of a memorable family. These held bravely to the task that had been set for them, putting their property and lives in jeopardy until finally they were driven to seek refuge in the Castle. Of those opposed to them Samuel Adams was the chief, followed by Hancock, Bowdoin, Dr. Thomas Young, Dr. Joseph Warren, Dr. Benjamin[166] Church, Josiah Quincy, John Scollay, and others who lent their hands to action and their heads to counsel. Historic truth also compels the statement that the man put forward to do the disreputable work for them was "Captain Mackintosh" leader of the South End toughs in street fights with the North Enders, leader of the rioters in the destruction of the Governor's home in August, 1765. For his part in that affair he had never been punished, and now seems to have been rather a popular pet. He was styled the "First Captain-General of Liberty-Tree," and managed the illumination, hanging of effigies, etc. Long afterwards, in speaking of the Tea Party he said, "It was my chickens that did the job."[135]

An attempt was made to cause the consignees to resign their commissions under "Liberty Tree;" this they refused to do and in consequence they were mobbed in their houses, windows and doors were smashed and amid a tempest of missiles their lives and persons were in great danger. Hutchinson set himself against the "Sons of Liberty," "his course not showing one sign vacillation from first to last, but throughout bearing the marks of clear, cold, passionless inflexibility."[136]

Another American writer says, "To candid men, the letters he wrote in those days of struggle ought to have interest, as well as the declarations of those who have portrayed him as the disgraced minion of a tyrant."[137] Another writer, referring to his action at this time, says, "We can at this day well afford to mete out this tardy justice to a man, whose motives and conduct have been so bitterly and unscrupulously vilified and maligned as have been those of Thomas Hutchinson."[138]

At last, in December, 1773, three ships laden with tea arrived at Boston, and what followed has been told a thousand times, with all possible elaborations by those who fully sympathize with the tea mob. The cold facts are that "Captain Mackintosh" and "his chickens," disguised as Mohawk Indians, instigated by Samuel Adams, John Hancock[139] and other leading "patriots" flung the whole cargo consisting of 342 chests, into the harbor. In the course of the violent proceedings this year the Council, the militia, and the company of cadets, had been vainly asked to assist in maintaining the law and order. The sheriff was grossly insulted, the magistrates could do nothing, and as usual, the crowning outrage of the destruction of the tea was accomplished with perfect impunity, and not a single person engaged in it was in any way molested, but every soul in Boston knew the penalty must fall, as certain as night follows day. "The news of these events convinced most intelligent Englishmen, that war was imminent, and that taxation of America could only be enforced by the sword. Popular opinion in England, which had[167] supported the repeal of the Stamp Act, was now opposed to further concession, England, it was said, had sufficiently humiliated herself. The claim and the language of the colonial agitators excited profound and not unnatural indignation, and every mail from America brought news that New England at least was in a condition of virtual rebellion, that Acts of the British Parliament were defied and disobeyed with the most perfect impunity, that the representatives of the British Government were habitually exposed to the grossest insults, and reduced to the most humiliating impotence."

The time for temporising, it was said, was over. It was necessary to show that England possessed some real power of executing her laws and the ministers were probably supported by a large majority of the English people, when they resolved to throw away the scabbard, and to exert all the power of Parliament to reduce Massachusetts to obedience.[140] The measures that were taken were very stringent. By one Act, the harbor of Boston was legally closed. "The Custom House officers were removed to Salem. All landing, lading, and shipping of merchandise in Boston harbor was forbidden, and English men-of-war were appointed to maintain the blockade. The town which owed its whole prosperity to its commercial activity was debarred from all commerce by sea and was to continue under this ban, till it had made compensation to the East India Company for the tea which had been destroyed, and had satisfied the crown that trade would for the future be safely carried on in Boston, property protected, laws obeyed, and duties regularly paid."[141] By another Act, Parliament was to remodel the charter of Massachusetts, the Council or Upper Chamber was now to be appointed as in most of the other colonies of America by the crown. The judges and magistrates of all kinds, including the sheriffs, were to be appointed by the royal governor. Jurymen were to be summoned by the Sheriffs. That these Acts of the British Parliament at this time was necessary is beyond question, for there was a mob in revolutionary Boston at this time, scarcely less foul-mouthed, pitiless, unscrupulous, than that which roared for the blood of the Bourbons in revolutionary Paris, or that of the Commons of later times. Mackintosh and his crew were unmistakably in evidence, certainly not restrained, but connived at by the better men, so that those just as conscientious and patriotic, who tried by lawful ways to oppose, found destruction for their property imminent, and could feel that their lives were secure only when they had fled down the harbor to the Castle.

John Adams was one of the very few "patriots" who really disowned and opposed mob violence; not only did he defend the soldiers for killing some of the mob, but in a letter to his wife, he said: "mobs I do and will detest."[142]


(View from Governor Hutchinson's Field.) (View from Governor Hutchinson's Field.)

On May 10th, 1774, news reached Boston of the passing of the Boston Port Bill, and the penalties the Tea-Party had brought upon the town. General Gage, who was to command four regiments and a powerful fleet arrived three days later. A military governor was now to succeed the civilian, it being understood that Hutchinson, after the disturbances were quelled, should return to power; in the meantime he was to go to England, and help the King with personal counsel.[143] Hutchinson's work in America was done. It may be asked, why did he remain in office in all these years, up to this time, enforcing laws with which he had no sympathy, the instrument of a policy he disliked, wrecking in the minds of many of his countrymen the honorable name which for forty years he had been establishing. It was certainly not for emolument. It was not for fame, for instead of credit he had long received only abuse. He kept hoping against hope, that the home government would become wiser, that the supremacy of Parliament, having once been recognized, should be allowed to sink out of sight, the Colonies being allowed to control themselves as British Colonies do at the present time. He hoped that in his own land the question of taxation would be less hotly contested by the people. These things gained, the glorious empire of England might remain undivided, mother and daughter remaining in peace together, an[169] affectionate headship dwelling in one, a filial and loving concession of precedence in the other. To attain such a consummation seemed to the Governor a thing worth suffering and striving for. To bring this about, as is shown by all his acts, and all his words, he contended year after year, sacrificing to his aim his reputation, his fortune, at last, hardest of all, his citizenship, dying in exile of a broken heart.

Before leaving Boston he received a most complimentary address signed by the principal inhabitants of that and other towns endorsing this course and conduct; they were known as "Addressers," and were afterwards persecuted and subjected to many indignities from their fellow townsmen.

June the 1st, 1774, he turned away from his beautiful mansion and extensive farm, and walked down Milton Hill, to the Lower Mills, nodding and smiling to his neighbors on this side and that, it is said, whether Whig or Tory, he was good friends with all. He was in a cheerful mood on that day when he left his home forever, for had not the best people of the Province approved of him, and had shown him strong marks of favor in their addresses. It is very evident, as shown in all his writing, that he was greatly attached to his beautiful country home and to his Milton neighbors, with whom he was a favorite. He mingled with them in social life, and worshipped with them in the same church. His residence on Milton Hill is situated in one of the pleasantest places in the vicinity of Boston. It is the same to-day as it was when the Governor resided there, with the exception that the house has been remodeled, and the surrounding estates, now the homes of millionaires, have been greatly improved by art. It is situated on the crest of Milton Hill—a drumlin—to the south of which, across a beautiful valley are the Blue Hills, called by the Indians the "Massachusetts" or the place of the great hills, and from which the state has derived its name. They appear like mountains rising through the atmosphere charged with fragrant mist from the intervening blossoming fields, which give them a blue appearance, and soften all their ruggedness into beauty.

The mansion faces the north on the road leading to Plymouth; across the road in front of the home is an extensive field sloping towards the green waving marshes that line the banks of the beautiful Neponset river, winding its course to the harbor, which bears upon its bosom many picturesque islands and in the remote distance is seen the rocky Brewsters, on which is situated the white lighthouse, marking the edge of the ocean.[144]

On that beautiful spring morning as the Governor walked down the hill he had no thought of a lasting absence, though martial law for a time was to be tried he was still Governor; meantime his salary was continued and he was about to give an account of his stewardship to his royal master. At the foot of the hill he crossed the river and there met[170] his carriage, next year to be confiscated, and appropriated to the use of Washington. In it he rode to what is now South Boston Point; then embarking in a boat, he was rowed to the Castle, on Castle Island, the last bit of Massachusetts earth to feel his footfall. From here he embarked on the warship Minerva, which was to convey him to England, where he arrived July 1st, and was immediately received by the King, who during the interview said, "I believe you generally live in the country, Mr. Hutchinson, what distance are you from town?" Mr. Hutchinson replied, "I have lived in the country. Sir, in the summer for 20 years, but except the winter after my house was pulled down, I have never lived in the country in the winter until the last. My house is 7 or 8 miles from Town, a pleasant situation, and most gentlemen from abroad say it has the finest prospect from it they ever saw, except where great improvements have been made by art to help the natural view."[145]

(Governor Hutchinson's House on Milton Hill.) (Governor Hutchinson's House on Milton Hill.)

He often afterwards was at Court, and was treated with[171] the greatest kindness by both King and Queen. A baronetcy was offered him, which he declined because of insufficient means to support the title, his property in America having been confiscated. He was however handsomely pensioned. He does indeed write under date of September 1st, 1778, "The changes in the last four or five years of my life make the whole scene, when I look back upon it appear like a dream or other delusions. From the possession of one of the best houses in Boston, the pleasantest house and farm at Milton, of almost any in the world and one of the best estates in the Colony of Rhode Island, with an affluent income, and a prospect of being able to make a handsome provision for each of my children at my death—I have not a foot of land at my command, and personal estate of £7000 only, depending on the bounty of Government for a pension, which, though it affords a present ample provision for myself, and enables me to distribute £500 a year among my children, yet is precarious, and I cannot avoid anxiety. But I am still distinguished by a kind Providence from my suffering relations, friends, and countrymen in America as well as from many of them in England, and have great reason to be thankful that so much money is yet continued to me."[146]

(Inland View from Governor Hutchinson's House.) (Inland View from Governor Hutchinson's House.)

The Governor's diary in England is a profoundly pathetic record of a man broken-hearted by his expatriation. His sons and daughters and their families to the number of twenty-five were all dependent upon him. "He is glad he has a home for them, when so many fellow-exiles are[172] in want." As Hutchinson was by far the ablest and most eminent of his party, so his sufferings were especially sharp. His name was held to be a stigma. Hutchinson Street in Boston became Pearl Street. The town of Hutchinson in the heart of the Commonwealth, cast off its title as that "of one who had acted the part of a traitor and parricide," substituting for it that of Barre, the liberal champion in Parliament.

The honorable name he had made through forty years of self-denying wisely directed public service, was blotted out, for generations it was a mark for obloquy. His great possession and large estate were confiscated, and to the shame of his countrymen be it said, they did not spare even his family tomb. It was sold by the State and the bones of his ancestors, some of the greatest men of the colony, and those of his wife and children were thrown out. The old stone with the Hutchinson crest on it still remains over the tomb in Copp's Hill burial ground with the name of the new owner of the tomb rudely marked on it. Could the governor have had a premonition of what was going to happen when he wrote to his son, Feb. 22, 1775, that he wished to have a new tomb built at Milton, and the remains of his wife, deceased twenty-one years, to be tenderly removed from Copp's Hill and deposited therein, with space for himself, and bade him "leave the wall or any ornament or inscription till I return, and the sooner it is finished the better."

His son Thomas had left Milton and retired to Boston before he received his father's letter. Hostilities immediately followed, and were succeeded by the confiscation of the estates of the loyalists. Hence this cherished design of the governor was never carried out. Again on May 15th, 1779, he writes in his diary, "And though I know not how to reason upon it, I feel a fondness to lay my bones in my native soil and to carry those of my dear daughter with me." Again he writes, "The prospect of returning to America and laying my bones in the land of my forefathers for four preceding generations, and if I add the mother of W. H. it will make five, is less than it has ever been." Then at last this entry is found. "Sept. 16, 1779. Stopped at Croydon, went into the church, looked upon the grave of my dear child, inquired whether there was room for me, and was informed there was." He was indeed sinking fast, and his end was rapidly approaching. A few months later, June 3, 1780, as he was walking down the steps of his house to his coach, going for his morning drive, he fell into the arms of his servant, and with one or two gasps he resigned his soul to God, who gave it. He was buried at Croydon on the 9th of June. It would scarcely be possible for a human life to close among circumstances of deeper gloom. Utter destruction had overtaken his family. His daughters and his son dispirited, dropped prematurely at the same time with him into the grave. His son "Billy" died on Feb. 20. A child of Elisha's died on June 25th, and his daughter Sarah died on the 28th. In daily contact with him was a company of Loyalist exiles, once men of position and wealth, now discredited, disheartened, and in danger of starvation. The country he loved and had[173] suffered so much for, had nothing for him but contumely. To a man like Hutchinson public calamity would cause a deeper pang than private sorrow. No more threatening hour for England has probably ever struck than that in which the soul of this great and good man passed away. It had become apparent that America was lost, a separation that might be fatal to the empire, and which her hereditary enemies were hastening to make the most of. To America herself the rending seemed to many certain to be fatal.

While the members were thus being torn away, destruction seemed to impend at the heart. At the moment of his death, London was at the mercy of the mob, in the Gordon riots. The city was on fire in many places, a drunken multitude murdered, right and left, laying hands even upon the noblest of the land. Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of England, because he had recommended to the mercy of a jury, a priest arrested for celebrating mass, saved his life with difficulty, his home with all his possessions going up in flames. What a remarkable coincidence this was with what happened to the governor when he was Chief Justice of Massachusetts. The exile's funeral passed on its way through smoke, and uproar, that might easily have been regarded as the final crash of the social structure. No one foresaw then what was immediately to come; that England was to make good her loss twice over, that America was to become the most powerful of nations, that the London disorders were on the surface merely, and only transient. In Hutchinson's latest consciousness, every person, every spot, every institution dear to his heart must have seemed to be overwhelmed in catastrophe. Such was the end of a life thoroughly dutiful and honorable.[147]

On the death of Cromwell, his body was buried in Henry VII chapel, and after the restoration it was disinterred and gibbeted at Tyburn, and then buried under the gallows, the head being placed on a pike over Westminster Hall, where Cromwell had Charles I condemned to death. And now nearly two and one-half centuries since this event occurred a beautiful monument of Cromwell has been erected by Parliament on the lawn a few feet from Westminster Hall where the above events took place. Will the city of Boston ever do likewise and erect a statue to Governor Hutchinson in some public place as a slight atonement for the obloquy cast upon his name, the desecration of his family tomb, and as a recognition of the great services he rendered his native state, for certainly he was one of the worthiest sons that Massachusetts has ever produced, and there should be some memorial in the place of his birth, to record his private virtues, his historical labors, his high station, his commanding influences, and his sorrows, which have an interest, which none acquainted with his life can fail to feel.

The following list of estates belonging to Thomas Hutchinson situated at, and near Boston, taken from him under the Conspiracy and Confiscation Acts comprises nineteen parcels of land. The state received[174] for them £98,121, 4s or about $490,000. His mansion house on the corner of Fleet and Hanover Streets brought £33,500. The Governor owned other valuable real estate in Rhode Island and other parts of Massachusetts, particularly in that part now the State of Maine. He was probably the wealthiest person in the state of Massachusetts at the commencement of the Revolutionary War. The author is indebted to the late John T. Hassam, A. M., for the list of Confiscated Estates in Suffolk County contained in this work, giving the name of the purchaser at the sale, the Lib. and folio of the record and a brief description of the confiscated estates. It was originally printed in the proceedings of the Mass. His. Soc. for May, 1895.


To Joseph Veasey, Dec. 27, 1779; Lib. 131, fol. 21; Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W., land purchased by Thomas Stephenson N.; passageway E; heirs of William Graves S.

To Samuel Broome, July 24, 1780, Lib. 131, fol. 233; Land, 43 A. 2 qr. 34 r., in Milton, a back lane E., Mr. Ivers and Milton River N., Stephen Badcock and a brook N.W.; lane to Stephen Badcock S.W.; road to Milton meeting-house S.E.——Land, 33 A. 1 r., mansion house and barn in Milton road to Braintree E., heirs of William Badcock S.E. and S.W., road to Milton meeting-house N.W.——14 A. 3 qr. 3 r. in Milton, road to Braintree S.W., Robert Williams S.E.; heirs of William Badcock N., Milton River N.E.——Woodland, 48 A. 1 qr. 9 r., in Milton, road by Moses Glover's N.W.; Braintree town line S.E.; John Bois S.W.; John Sprague N.E.——Tillage land, 17 A. 2 qr. 27 r., and salt marsh, 16 A. 14 r. adjoining, in Dorchester, lower road from Milton bridge to Dorchester meeting-house W.; Hopestill Leeds N.E.; John Capen and others E.; Amariah Blake and the river N., Ebenezer Swift, Daniel Vose and a creek S.——Salt marsh, 2 A. 3 qr. 9 r., near the Hummucks in Dorchester, Levi Rounsavel N.; Robert Swan and Madam Belcher S., the river W.——Salt marsh, 7 A., in Dorchester, Billings Creek S. and W.; Robert Spurr N.; Henry Leadbetter S.E. and E.——One undivided third of 8 A. salt marsh in Dorchester, held in common with Timothy Tucker and Joseph Tucker. Billings Creek S.; Nathan Ford W.——Woodland, 33 1-2 A. 9 r. in Braintree.

To John Hotty. Aug 8, 1780, Lib. 131, 161, fol. 247; Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W., land purchased by Parsons and Sargeant N.; passageways E. and S.

To Ebenezer Parsons, Daniel Sargent, Feb. 25, 1783; Lib. 137, fol. 95; Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W.; passageways N. and E., land purchased by Thomas Stephenson S.——Land and dwelling-house, Fish St. W.; land purchased by John Hancock N.; Thomas Hutchinson E.; land purchased by John Hotty S.——Land, store, block-maker's shop, and other work places near the above, passageways S.; W. and E; Thomas Hutchinson N.——Flats, dock, wharf and stores near the above passage W.: dock N.; sea E.; dock S.——Flats, dock and wharf adjoining the above-described wharf, John Brick S.; passageways W. and N.; dock N., the sea E.

To Ebenezer Parsons, Daniel Sargeant, Feb. 25, 1783; Lib. 137, fol. 99; Land and dwelling-houses in Boston, Fish St. W.; land purchased by said Parsons and Sargeant S.; passage N.; passage E.; land purchased by said Parsons and Sargeant S.; passage W.; then running W. and S.

To Thomas Stephenson, Mar. 13, 1783; Lib. 137, fol. 161; Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W.; land purchased by Parsons and Sargent N.; passage E.; land purchased by Joseph Veasey S.

To Enoch Brown, Oct. 14, 1784; Lib. 145, fol. 126; Land and brick dwelling-house in Boston, Middle St. W.; Fleet St. N.; street from Clark's Square to Fleet St. E.; Lady Franklin S.



Eldest son of Governor Hutchinson. He was born in Boston in 1740. He married Oct. 10, 1771, Sarah, daughter of Lieut. Governor Andrew Oliver. He was Judge of the Probate Court for the County of Suffolk. He was Mandamus Councillor, and an Andresser of General Gage. He and his family were in Boston during the blockade, and bombardment. At the evacuation, they went aboard ship with their two children, when the third child was born, as they were leaving for England. Dr. Peter Oliver, the second son of Chief Justice Oliver, refers to this matter in his Diary, as follows: "We remained blocked up in Boston till the beginning of March, 1776, when we were ordered to embark. Tommy Hutchinson's family and mine went aboard the Hyde Pacquet for England, March 25th, 1776, we set sail for England. The day before we set sail from Nantasket, Tommy's wife was delivered of a boy which had not a drop of milk during the whole passage, was much emaciated, and no one thought it would have lived. The lady well. As to myself, I was sick 21 days without any support; reduced almost to a skeleton. Seven children on board ship, and the eldest not 6 years old."

The child born aboard ship was baptised Andrew, after its mother's father, Lieut. Gov. Andrew Oliver. It grew up, married, left children, was an eminent surgeon, and after a long life, died Dec. 23, 1846, aged 70 years. He was the father of the late Peter Orlando Hutchinson, great grandson of the Governor who edited the two volumes of the Diary of Governor Hutchinson, published in 1883. He was a local antiquary, of local repute, and a gentleman of great kindness of heart. He was a bachelor, and died at Sidmouth, Devon, Oct. 1st, 1897, aged 87, and was the last of his generation.

His last words at the end of the second volume, are as follows: "If in these volumes, I have anywhere said anything of my American friends that is untrue, or too harsh for the occasion, I regret it should have been so, and I willingly withdraw it altogether. I need not apologise for any unkind remarks that may have been made by the Governor, though most concerned, for he made none; and when they have made reparation for all the slander and misrepresentation which they have persistently heaped upon him during the last 120 years, then—we shall be quits. It is time to bury the hatchet. Farewell."

Thomas Hutchinson, the subject of this sketch, writing to his brother under date of Nov. 15th, 1788, alluded to the trying position in which the Loyalists were placed, he says, "We will give a little attention to a large and suffering body of people whose only crime had been that of fidelity to the Mother country. Driven out of the land of their adoption, they fled back to the land of their ancestors, where most of them were strangers. Some pressed their claims for relief from the English Government; others applied to the American Courts for recovery of the estates themselves, while others despairing of success, gave up everything for lost, and[176] sat down resigned to their fate. Sir Francis Bernard lost the valuable Island of Mount Desert, and Sir William Pepperell lost miles of coast line, stretching away from Kittery Point to Saco, extending miles into the interior."

"These unfortunate people were very difficultly placed—if they had joined the American party, they would have been Rebels to England, but when the war was over and they applied for the restitution of their estates they were told they were Rebels to America."

Writing again under date of 1789, he said: "We proceeded to Exeter, and I have taken a house at a mile from the town, but in the neighborhood, the house furnished, and has every convenience about it, with about six acres of land—mowing, orchard, and garden stocked with fruit trees. I could have had my house and garden without the land, at £45, and am to pay £60 per ann. for the whole. The last year my orchard produced 20 hhds of cyder."

Thus the family became settled in a respectable looking old house built in the Queen Anne style, known as East Wonford near Heavitree church, where it still stands. The rent appears to be extraordinarily low. He would not bind himself to a lease, for he still had hopes of returning to America, but the return was never to be. The Hutchinsons had very little chance of a favorable hearing in Massachusetts, and their large fortune there was forever lost to them. The family seems to have been content with their new home, for in another letter to his brother of May 19, 1791, Thomas says:—"After eighteen months residence, we continue to think this a very agreeable part of England; and perhaps I could not have made a better pitch than I have done."

Thomas Hutchinson, son of the Governor, died in 1811, and his wife in 1802. They were deposited in a vault in the middle of Heavitree church. The church was pulled down in 1843 and a new one erected on the same site.

Thomas, his eldest son, grandson of the Governor, was born in America in 1772, brought to England by his father in 1776, he was a Barrister-at-Law, resided during the early years of his career at No. 14 New Boswell Court, Lincoln's Inn, London, and after that in Magdalen Street, Exeter. He married twice, had three sons and one daughter. He is buried in the N. W. corner of Heavitree churchyard. A stone with the following inscription marks the spot: "Underneath this stone Lie the mortal remains of Thomas Hutchinson, Barrister-at-Law, who departed this life the 12th of November 1837, aged 65."

Mary Oliver Hutchinson, daughter of Thomas Hutchinson, and granddaughter of the Governor, was born in America, Oct. 14, 1773, and was brought to England by her father in 1776, married Captain W. S. Oliver, R. N., grandson of Lieut. Governor Andrew Oliver, at Heavitree, in Oct. 1811. She died at East Tergnmouth, Devon, July 11th, 1833, leaving one son and two daughters of whom more presently.

[177]William Hutchinson, son of Thomas and grandson of the Governor, was born in England, June 14, 1778. He entered the church and was pastor for some time at Heavitree and Colebrook, Devon. He had two sons and three daughters. Rev. William Hutchinson, died May 3rd, 1816.


Son of Governor Hutchinson, was born Dec. 24, 1745, at Boston. He graduated at Harvard College in 1762. His wife Mary was the eldest daughter of Colonel George Watson of Plymouth, Mass. He was the commercial partner of his brother Thomas. They were the consignees of one-third of the tea. Their names were given to the East India Company by a London correspondent, who solicits the consignment for them, without mentioning their connection with the Governor, although the historian Bancroft falsely asserts that he had a pecuniary interest in the shipment, of which there is not the slightest evidence.[148] He accompanied his father to England in 1774, leaving his wife in America, with the intention of rejoining her in a few months, but it was three years before she could join him in England. Having reached his 80th year he died at Tutbury, June 24, 1824, having had issue three daughters and two sons. His son John, born Sept. 21, 1793, was perpetual curate of Blurton near Trentham, Co. Staff. Percentor and Canon of Lichfield, Editor of Vol. 3 of Gov. Hutchinson Hist. of Mass., in 1828. He married his cousin Martha Oliver Hutchinson, May 10th, 1836. He died April 27, 1865, at Blurton, having had issue two daughters and one son, John Rogers, born March 6, 1848, who married Ruth Hombersley, Oct. 19, 1882, at Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire.


Was brother of Governor Hutchinson, and one of the last judges of the supreme court of Massachusetts. He graduated at Harvard University in 1743. He accepted the appointment of mandamus councillor in 1774 and soon after was compelled to take refuge in Boston. He was proscribed and banished and his estates were confiscated. He left Boston at the evacuation in 1776, and with his family of twelve persons went to Halifax. He died in Nova Scotia in 1799. His son, Foster, an Assistant Judge of the Supreme Court of that Colony died in 1815, and his daughter Abigail deceased at Halifax, July 1843, aged seventy-four years. Foster and his brother Thomas had a dry goods store in 1765 below the "Swing Bridge" near what is now the corner of Hanover and Salem streets.


To Ebenezer Parsons, Daniel Sargent, Feb. 25, 1783; Lib. 137, fol. 95; Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Fish St. W.; passageways N. and E.; land purchased by Thomas Stephenson S.——Land and dwelling-house, Fish St. W.; land purchased by John Hancock N.; Thomas Hutchinson E.; land purchased by John Hotty S.——Land, store, block-maker's shop and other work places near the above, passageways S.; W. and E.; Thomas Hutchinson N.——Flats, dock, wharf and stores, near the above, passage W.; dock N.; sea E.; dock S.——Flats, dock and wharf adjoining the above described wharf, John Brick S.; passageways W. and N.; dock N.; the sea E.

To John Codman, Jr., Sept. 25, 1783; Lib 140, fol. 4; Land, wharf and dock in Boston. Town Dock N.; heirs of William Clarke deceased W.; heirs of Benjamin Andrews S.; passage from the Town Dock to Green's wharf E.


As previously stated, the ancestor of Governor Hutchinson who emigrated to Boston was William Hutchinson, grandson of the Mayor of Lincoln; he had a brother Richard in business in London whose son Eliakim also settled at Boston. There is nothing to show that Richard ever came to this country, and when William and his wife Anne was expelled from Boston, the lot which had been granted to him in 1634, now known as the "Old Corner Bookstore," which then extended to the City Hall lot, was sold by his son Edward to Richard Hutchinson of London, linen-draper. This was the father of Eliakim. The subject of this notice was the great grandson of the emigrant. He was born in 1711 and married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Governor Shirley. He was a member of the Governor's Council and Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas for Suffolk County. In 1764 he purchased from his father-in-law "Shirley Hall," the finest estate in Roxbury. In 1746 Governor Shirley bought thirty-three acres of land and erected this palatial mansion on it. Its oaken frame and other materials, even the bricks, it is said, were brought from England, at a vast expense. It has been removed from its original location, and is now occupied as a tenement house, yet, notwithstanding the vicissitudes it has undergone, it is extremely well preserved. One of the peculiarities of "Shirley Place," as the governor styled it, is its double front. From the upper windows a fine view is obtained of the city, harbor and islands. Each front was approached by a flight of stone steps flanked by an iron railing of an antique and rustic pattern. Entering the northern or proper front, you find yourself in a spacious hall of grand proportions. To the right a broad staircase leads to a balcony extending around to the left where two doors open into the guest chambers in which Washington, Lafayette, Franklin, Daniel Webster and many other celebrated men have from time to time been accommodated. From the balcony the musicians entertained the company at the table in the hall. The carved balusters around the staircase and gallery are of three different patterns, and the rail surmounting[179] them is inlaid at the top. The base of the balustrade and staircase, is also adorned with a carved running vine. To the right and left of the hall are doors leading into the reception room, parlors, etc. Upon great occasions the two halls were thrown into one by opening the folding doors between. Washington paid a visit to Governor Shirley in March 1756, to relate to him the circumstances of his son's death who was killed at the battle of the Monongahela. In a letter to his friend and patron Lord Fairfax, he says, "I have had the honor of being introduced to several governors, especially Mr. Shirley, whose character and appearance, have perfectly charmed me." The next time Washington visited "Shirley Place" it was not as a guest, but as an enemy.

Governor Shirley was a man of great industry and ability, thoroughly able, enterprising, and deservedly popular. He was a strong advocate of prerogative and in 1756 advised the ministry to impose a stamp tax in America. In February, 1755, he was made a major-general, with superintendence of military operations in the Northern Colonies. It was then, after the disastrous defeat and death of General Braddock, that Major Washington came to report it to him, and he was superseded both in his command and his government, and ordered to England. Triumphantly vindicating himself from the charges against him, he was made a lieutenant-general in 1759, and was governor of the Bahamas from 1758 to June 1769 when he returned to Roxbury, residing with his son-in-law in the mansion built by him until his death, March 24, 1771, and was interred in the burying ground of King's Chapel, which edifice he caused to be built while governor.

Judge Eliakim Hutchinson died in June, 1775. He had a high standing at the bar, being well versed in his profession, and enjoyed a good reputation as a general scholar, and as a man of high moral and religious principles. He was early imbued with principles favorable to the government, but was never a bitter, nor even a warm partisan.

His patrimonial inheritance, aided by industry enabled him to acquire a handsome fortune, one of the largest in the province. He adhered to government from the beginning of the controversy, but the moderation of his conduct, his superior fitness for his office, and the confidence in his integrity, secured him public favor through the stormy period, which commenced soon after his appointment to the Governor's Council. But this was an unpardonable offence in the eyes of the "Sons of Despotism." It was however unsolicited, unexpected and accepted with great reluctance, and although he died before actual hostilities had scarcely commenced, yet his large and valuable estate was confiscated. That portion of it in Suffolk County was inventoried at £21,400, Shirley Place with eighty acres of land was valued at £12,000. During the siege of Boston the mansion was used as a barracks by the Revolutionary troops and was greatly injured thereby.

It was purchased from the State by John Read, and then passed through many hands, and in 1819 was purchased by Governor Eustis, who[180] passed the remainder of his days there, dying in 1825. Among the guests that accepted his hospitality was John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Aaron Burr, and John Calhoun.

Judge Hutchinson's wife left Boston at the evacuation, and went to England. She died at London in 1790.

William Hutchinson, son of Eliakim Hutchinson, graduated at Harvard College in 1762. He went to the Bahamas when his grandfather Shirley became Governor of same. In 1771 William Hutchinson was appointed Judge of the Admiralty Court of the Bahama Islands. He died in England in 1790.


To William McNeill, Archibald McNeill. Feb. 21, 1782; Lib. 134, fol. 27; Land in Boston, Cow Lane E., Howe's ropewalk S.; W. and S.; Milk St. W.; Palmer's pasture N.

To Edward Compton Howe, June 17, 1782; Lib. 135, fol. 22; Land in Boston, Milk St. N., Mr. McNeil E. and S.; McNeil's ropewalk E.; Cow Lane S.; ropewalk of Ferister and Torrey W.

To John Read, Sept. 9, 1782; Lib. 135, fol. 196; Land 37A., in Roxbury, bounded by the road from Roxbury to Dorchester, the brook and salt water creek between Roxbury and Dorchester, the way to the clay pit and by the lands of John Howes, John Humphrey, John Williams, Aaron White, James White, Caleb Williams, Samuel Warren, Joseph Clapp, Isaac Williams and Benjamin Williams.——Woodland 13 A., in Roxbury, Elijah Wales S.; widow Bourne and heirs E.; Noah Davis W. and N.——Right of William Shirley Esq., to the clay pits above mentioned called the Town of Roxbury clay pits.——23 1-2 A. in Roxbury, John Williams N.; Aaron White, Samuel Cheney, John Hawes, widow Warren and heirs of Joseph Warren W.; Nehemiah Munroe S; town way from Dorchester brook to Braintree road E.——Pasture land, 19 A., in Roxbury, Daniel Holbrook N.; Braintree road W.; James White S.W.; said town way S. and E.——22 A., in Roxbury, said town way N.W.; John Williams and —— Swan S.; John Humphrey E. John Williams N.E.——Salt marsh and upland, 20 A., in Roxbury, heirs of Benjamin Williams S.W.; town creek between Roxbury and Dorchester S.E.; Joseph Curtis N.

To John Lucas, Edward Tuckerman. Oct. 4. 1782; Lib. 136, fol. 22; Land in Boston, on Dock Square and Cooper's Alley, bounded by lands of Thomas Green, Joshua Blanchard, widow Apthorp, John Newell, William Greenleaf, Jonathan Simpson and heirs of Thomas Young.

To Nathan Spear, March 1. 1783; Lib. 137, fol. 131; Land in Boston, passageway from the Town Dock to Green's wharf W.; Jonathan Williams, William Hyslop, Nathaniel Correy, Alexander Hill, heirs of John Gould, of Anthony Stoddard, and of John Walker deceased N.; the end of the wharf E.; the dock between said wharf and Green's wharf S.

To Francis Bigelow, April 3, 1783; Lib. 137 fol. 260; Land in Boston on Milk St.; bounded by a passageway and by land of said Bigelow, said Hutchinson and Mr. Bourne.

To Joseph Russell, July 12, 1783; Lib. 139. fol. 75; Land in Boston near Fort Hill, Gridley's Lane S.; Cow Lane E.; land of Town of Boston and of heirs of Andrew Oliver N.; Thomas Palmer W.

To Thomas Green, Feb. 18, 1784: Lib 141. fol. 136; Land in Boston. Dock Square S.; Eliakim Hutchinson W.; Mr. Blanchard N.; Thomas Green E.; N. and E.

To Thomas Walley, Aug. 28, 1784: Lib. 144. fol. 172; Land and buildings in Boston, Cross St. S.; Thomas Walley W.; widow Holmes N.; Samuel Ellinwood E.

To Samuel Emmons, Jr., Victor Blair. Dec. 24, 1792; Lib. 174. fol. 183; Land in Boston, Milk St. and Cow Lane, between a highway and ropewalk of Farreter and Torrey.

To Jeffery Richardson, May 17, 1793; Lib. 176, fol. 8; Land in Boston. Cow Lane S.E.; Samuel Emmons N.E; Thomas Davis S.W.; extending towards Milk St. N.W.

To Jeffery Richardson, Dec. 15, 1795; Lib. 182, fol. 27; Confirmation of above.

To Martin Brimmer, Apr. 13, 1796;, Lib. 183, fol. 37; Flats and wharf in Boston, Minot's T N.; flats towards the town W.; wharf and flats of William Davis S.; the channel E.

Born in Boston, 1707. Lieutenant Governor 1770-4. Died in Boston, March, 1774.



Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts 1770-1774.

The Oliver family are among the most prominent of the early colonial families. Thomas Oliver came from Bristol in 1632. He was one of the founders, and Elder of the First Church in Boston.[149] His son Peter born in England in 1622 and died in Boston in 1670, was a prominent merchant, and commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1669 and was one of the founders of the Old South Church. Peter's son Daniel married Elizabeth, the daughter of Andrew Belcher, who was the father of Governor Jonathan Belcher.

Andrew Oliver, son of Daniel Oliver, a member of the Council, and brother of Peter Oliver, the Chief Justice. He graduated at Harvard College in 1724. He was a representative from Boston, member of the council and Secretary of the Province. In 1765, soon after receiving the appointment of Stamp Collector, without his solicitation, he not approving of the Act, he became very unpopular. The rough population which abounded about the wharves and shipyards, whose movements were directed by persons of higher rank and larger views of mischief, grew riotous, and with the usual want of discrimination shown by mobs, were not slow to lift their hands against even their best friends. The houses of the Custom and Admiralty officials were attacked, which culminating in an extraordinary outrage against Andrew Oliver, which led John Adams to exclaim, "Has not the blind undistinguishing rage of the rabble done that gentleman irreparable injustice"?[150] He was hung in effigy, a drunken crowd carrying the effigy through the Town House, even while the Governor and Council were in session. The building he had fitted for the transaction of business was destroyed. Taking a portion of it for a fire, the mob proceeded to Fort Hill where Mr. Oliver lived and burned his effigy in a bonfire before his home; they then went to work on the barn, fence, garden, and dwelling house. After breaking all the windows they entered the house and damaged and destroyed his furniture, completely wrecking this beautiful mansion. The business being finished, the "Sons of Despotism" proceeded to the Province-house, gave three huzzas and dispersed. On the day following the riot, Mr. Oliver resigned his office. In writing to a friend he says, "I was persuaded to yield in order to prevent what was coming on the second night." This action of the mob caused intense suffering both to himself and family.[151]

In 1770, Mr. Oliver was appointed Lieutenant Governor. In 1773, several letters which he had written to persons in England, and which were obtained surreptitiously by Franklin and sent to Boston, created much excitement[182] and abuse of the writers.[152] In addition to the assaults at home, he was accused in England by Arthur Lee who signed himself Junius Americanus with the grave crime of perjury. "Scarce any man ever had a more scrupulous and sacred regard for truth, and yet, to such a degree did the malignant spirit of party prevail as to cause this man in the public papers in England, to bring against him a charge of perjury. The Council of Massachusetts Bay, from whose votes and resolves this writer attempted to support the charge, by vote which they caused to be printed, repaired the injury as well as they could, but a consciousness of his innocence and integrity, however, together with the reproaches most injuriously cast upon him by the resolves of the council and house, in which he was treated as the determined enemy of the liberties of his country, the interest whereof according to the best of his judgment (which was much superior to that of his most virulent persecutors) he always had at heart, affected his spirits and evidently accelerated his death."[153] Mr. Oliver was now advanced in life, and unable to endure the disquiet and misery caused by his position in affairs at so troubled a period, soon sunk under the burden. After a short illness he died at Boston in March 1774, aged 67. By the testimony of foes as well as friends, he was a most useful and estimable man, modest, indefatigable, well-cultured, soundly sensible. He had been the most beloved member of a family greatly beloved, and no charge could be brought against him except that in his political principles he sided with the Government. He was a liberal benefactor to his ALMA MATER in books, ancient manuscripts, and anatomical preparations. At his funeral the mob was again in evidence. The House of Representatives withdrew from the procession because a certain punctilio was neglected. The mob of Boston ran after the funeral train hooting and in an unseemly way hilarious, gave three cheers when the mourners came out of the graveyard, his brother the Chief Justice, intrepid as he was, did not dare to be present, because his life was threatened. Had he died before this violent spirit was raised, he would have been revered by all orders and degrees of men in the Province.

He was a man of large wealth for those days. The inventory of his real estate was as follows:

The Mansion House and Buildings situated near Fort Hill.

The Brick School House near Griffin's Wharf.

A Warehouse on Long Wharf.

A right in said Wharf.

The Buildings and Land etc., on Oliver's Dock.

A Brick House on Union Street with a small Wooden Shop adjoining and Land belonging thereto.

A Dwelling House and about three Acres of Land at Dorchester.

Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, 1770-74.

[183]The last named building is the only one now in existence, and the following description of it at the time of writing, may be interesting to the reader.

Lieut. Governor Oliver's country house in Dorchester is situated on the corner of Washington and Park streets. In the old deeds it is described as being "On the Road leading to Milton." The house appears the same as in the olden times. Not one whit has the estate changed outside of the interior of the great house. The broad acres that surround it still spread out before and behind it, the same drives are lined with great English Elms as in the old days; no finer old mansion house of the colonial period is to be found in New England, none is richer in memories of olden times. Here Lieut. Gov. Andrew Oliver entertained the finest of the land, where gentlemen in powdered wigs and ladies in fine old silks used to dance the minuet, and where the negro slaves used to be happy in their own way. It was sold by John J. Spooner, administrator of the estate of Andrew Oliver, to Col. Benjamin Hichborn, and was used by him as a summer residence. In 1817 it went into the hands of his brother, Samuel Hichborn, who entertained there Gen. Lafayette, and Presidents Jefferson, and Munroe. For many years it was owned and occupied by the famous chocolate manufacturer, Walter Baker. At the decease of Mrs. Baker, it was purchased by the Colonial Club who now occupy it as a club house.


Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts, 1774-1775.

Thomas Oliver was born in Antigua and graduated at Harvard College in 1753, he was the son of Robert Oliver, a wealthy planter from Antigua who settled in Dorchester. His parentage is unknown, there were Olivers in Dorchester as early as 1637, and he may have descended from them.[154] He brought with him from Antigua his wife Anne and one son, Thomas, the subject of this notice. He purchased a number of pieces of land of which 30 acres had been the property of Comfort Foster, on this homestead lot he built in 1745 a fine mansion, on what is now known as Edward Everett square. Tradition records, that he brought many slaves with him, and when they were given wheelbarrows in which to carry the dirt, in ignorance of their proper use they carried them upon their heads, in just the same manner as the writer has seen negroes at the present time carry burdens on their heads on the "Pope's Head" estate in Antigua where these slaves came from. In Dorchester Robert Oliver had born to him sons, Isaac and Richard, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who became the wife of John Vassall, Jr. He died December 20, 1762. "The Post Boy" contained the following brief obituary: "Thursday morning[184] last died at his seat in Dorchester, in the 63d year of his age, Col. Robert Oliver. A Gentleman of extensive Acquaintance, remarkable for his Hospitality to All, was kind to the Poor, and in his Military Character, beloved and esteem'd, his Family and Neighbours, have met with a great Loss in this Bereavement; His Remains are to be interr'd Tomorrow at 3 o'clock in the Family Tomb at Dorchester." About two years before this Thomas, his eldest son, had married Elizabeth, daughter of Col. John Vassall of Cambridge, making a double connection by marriage between these two families. Closely allied with them by marriage were the Royalls, all three families being probably originally of New England, then resident in Antigua and Jamaica, and returning here to enjoy their acquired wealth. All three families built houses which have lasted to our time: Royall in Medford, Vassall in Cambridge and Oliver in Dorchester.

Thomas Oliver remained for several years in Dorchester after his father's death. He inherited a large estate from his grandfather, James Brown, and from his great-uncle, Robert Oliver. He then began life under the most favorable auspices. His father-in-law was John Vassall of Cambridge, who married the daughter of Lieutenant-Governor Spencer Phips. Being a man of fortune he did not mingle in the stormy political contests of that period until a day fatal to his peace and quiet, when he accepted the office of Lieutenant-Governor. He has been represented as a mild, peaceable person, and gentlemanly in deportment. In 1766 he removed to Cambridge and built the fine mansion recently occupied by James Russell Lowell. He sold his Dorchester mansion to Richard Lechmere, who was the uncle by marriage of Oliver's wife, he having married May Phips, whose sister Elizabeth married Col. John Vassall, who died in 1741. In 1771 the mansion passed into the hands of John Vassall, a son of the Colonel, who was a Loyalist, and his property was confiscated. It was sold by the State to John Williams; it afterwards passed into the possession of Oliver Everett in 1792, and here his son Edward Everett was born in 1794. The house was torn down in 1900 and the square in front of it, previously known as the Five Corners, was named Edward Everett Square. On the opposite side of the square on a part of the same estate in a small park is situated a house built by one of the earliest settlers, about 1640, owned and occupied by the Dorchester Historical Society.

Thomas Oliver was the last Royal Lieutenant-Governor and President of the Council of Massachusetts. He received his appointment from the Crown in 1774, after the decease of Andrew Oliver, who was of a totally distinct family; it is understood that the King thought he was appointing Chief Justice Peter Oliver, a brother of Andrew, a much more active man in the politics of the times.

It stood on the north side of Edward Everett square. A bronze tablet marks its site. Edward Everett was born here April 11, 1794. (see p. 183.)

His appointment as Councillor was by the King's writ of mandamus which was held, was contrary to the charter. This made him an object of popular resentment. He detailed the course pursued against him, in consequence of being sworn into office in the following narrative dated [185]September 7, 1774, which as throwing light on the transaction of the times is inserted entire:

"Early in the morning" (of September 2d), said he, "a number of inhabitants of Charlestown called at my house to acquaint me that a large body of people from several towns in the county were on their way coming down to Cambridge; that they were afraid some bad consequences might ensue, and begged I would go out to meet them, and endeavor to prevail on them to return. In a very short time, before I could prepare myself to go, they appeared in sight. I went out to them, and asked the reasons of their appearance in that manner; they respectfully answered, they 'came peaceably to inquire into their grievances, not with design to hurt any man.' I perceived they were landholders of the neighboring towns, and was thoroughly persuaded they would do no harm. I was desired to speak to them; I accordingly did, in such a manner as I thought best calculated to quiet their minds. They thanked me for my advice, said they were no mob, but sober, orderly people, who would commit no disorders; and then proceeded on their way. I returned to my house. Soon after they had arrived on the Common at Cambridge, a report arose that the troops were on their march from Boston; I was desired to go and intercede with his Excellency to prevent their coming. From principles of humanity to the country, from a general love of mankind, and from persuasions that they were orderly people, I readily undertook it; and is there a man on earth, who, placed in my circumstances, could have refused it? I am informed I am censured for having advised the general to a measure which may reflect on the troops, as being too inactive upon such a general disturbance; but surely such a reflection on a military man can never arise but in the minds of such as are entirely ignorant of these circumstances. Wherever this affair is known, it must also be known it was my request the troops should not be sent, but to return; as I passed the people I told them, of my own accord, I would return and let them know the event of my application (not, as was related in the papers, to confer with them on my own circumstances as President of the Council). On my return I went to the Committee, I told them no troops had been ordered, and from the account I had given his Excellency, none would be ordered. I was then thanked for the trouble I had taken in the affair, and was just about to leave them to their own business, when one of the Committee observed, that as I was present it might be proper to mention a matter they had to propose to me. It was, that although they had a respect for me as Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, they could wish I would resign my seat. I told them I took it very unkind that they should mention anything on that subject; and among other reasons I urged, that, as Lieutenant-Governor, I stood in a particular relation to the Province in general, and therefore could not hear anything upon that matter from a particular county. I was then pushed to know if I would resign when it appeared to be the sense of the Province in general; I answered, that when all the other Councillors[186] had resigned, if it appeared to be the sense of the Province I should resign, I would submit. They then called for a vote upon the subject, and, by a very great majority, voted my reasons satisfactory. I inquired whether they had full power to act for the people, and being answered in the affirmative, I desired they would take care to acquaint them of their votes, that I should have no further application made to me on that head. I was promised by the Chairman, and a general assent, it should be so. This left me entirely clear and free from any apprehensions of a farther application upon this matter, and perhaps will account for that confidence which I had in the people, and for which I may be censured. Indeed, it is true, the event proves I had too much; but reasoning from events yet to come, is a kind of reasoning I have not been used to. In the afternoon I observed large companies pouring in from different parts; I then began to apprehend they would become unmanageable, and that it was expedient to go out of their way. I was just going into my carriage when a great crowd advanced, and in a short time my house was surrounded by three or four thousand people, and one quarter part in arms. I went to the front door, where I was met by five persons, who acquainted me they were a Committee from the people to demand a resignation of my seat at the Board. I was shocked at their ingratitude and false dealings, and reproached them with it. They excused themselves by saying the people were dissatisfied with the vote of the Committee, and insisted on my signing a paper they had prepared for that purpose. I found that I had been ensnared, and endeavored to reason them out of such ungrateful behavior. They gave such answers, that I found it was in vain to reason longer with them; I told them my first considerations were for my honor, the next for my life; that they might put me to death or destroy my property, but I would not submit. They began then to reason in their turn, urging the power of the people, and the danger of opposing them. All this occasioned a delay, which enraged part of the multitude, who, pressing into my back yard, denounced vengeance to the foes of their liberties. The Committee endeavored to moderate them, and desired them to keep back, for they pressed up to my windows, which then were opened: I could from thence hear them at a distance calling out for a determination, and, with their arms in their hands, swearing they would have my blood if I refused. The Committee appeared to be anxious for me, still I refused to sign; part of the populace growing furious, and the distress of my family who heard their threats, and supposed them just about to be executed, called up feelings which I could not suppress; and nature, ready to find new excuses, suggested a thought of the calamities I should occasion if I did not comply: I found myself giving way, and began to cast about to contrive means to come off with honor. I proposed they should call in the people to take me out by force, but they said the people were enraged, and they would not answer for the consequences. I told them I would take the risk, but they refused to do it. Reduced to this extremity, I cast my eyes over the paper, with a hurry of mind and[187] conflict of passion which rendered me unable to remark the contents, and wrote beneath the following words: 'My house at Cambridge being surrounded by four thousand people, in compliance with their commands, I sign my name, Thomas Oliver,' The five persons took it, carried it to the people, and, I believe, used their endeavors to get it accepted. I had several messages that the people would not accept it with those additions, upon which I walked into the court-yard, and declared I would do no more, though they should put me to death. I perceived that those persons who formed the first body which came down in the morning, consisting of the landholders of the neighboring towns, used their utmost endeavors to get the paper received with my additions; and I must, in justice to them, observe, that, during the whole transaction, they had never invaded my enclosures, but still were not able to protect me from other insults which I received from those who were in arms. From this consideration I am induced to quit the country, and seek protection in the town."

To oblige Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Oliver to resign from the Council Board.

The document presented to Mr. Oliver on the 2d of September, and which he signed, was as follows: "I, Thomas Oliver, being appointed by his Majesty to a seat at the Council Board, upon, and in conformity to the late Act of Parliament, entitled an 'Act for the better regulation of the Province of Massachusetts Bay,' which being a manifest infringement of the Charter rights and privileges of this people, I do hereby, in conformity to the commands of the body of this county now convened, most solemnly renounce and resign my seat at said unconstitutional Board, and hereby firmly promise and engage, as a man of honor and a Christian, that I never will hereafter, upon any terms whatsoever, accept a seat at said Board on the present novel and oppressive plan of Government." To this, the original form, he added the words above recited. Judge Danforth and Judge Lee, who were also Mandamus Councillors and Mr. Phipps, the sheriff, and Mr. Mason, clerk of the county, were compelled to submit to the same body, and make written resignations.

Governor Oliver, as stated by himself, went into Boston, and made assurances both to General Gage and to the Admiral on the station, which prevented a body of troops from being sent to disperse the large body of people who assembled at Cambridge on this occasion; and to these assurances it was owing, undoubtedly, that the day passed without bloodshed. But for the peaceable demeanor of those whom he met in the morning,—the landholders of the neighboring towns,—the first collision between the King's troops and the inhabitants of Massachusetts, would have occurred, very likely, at Cambridge, and not at Lexington. A detachment was sent to the former town the day before, to bring off some pieces of cannon, and from this circumstance arose, principally, the proceedings related by Governor Oliver. Indignant because the "redcoats" had been sent upon such an errand, thousands from the surrounding country assembled in the course of the day, (September 2d.) armed with guns, sticks, and other weapons; and when the Lieutenant-Governor's promise on his return from Boston, rendered it certain that they would not be opposed[188] by the troops, they exacted from every official who lived at Cambridge full compliance with their demands, as has been stated.

From this period Governor Oliver lived in Boston, until March, 1776, when at the evacuation he accompanied the Royal Army to Halifax, and took passage thence to England.

His mansion near Mt. Auburn is the house in which he resided at the time he was mobbed by four thousand Disunionists. When Benedict Arnold with his Connecticut Company arrived at Cambridge just after the fight at Lexington, they were quartered in this house. After Bunker Hill the house became a hospital and the dead were buried in the opposite field. The mansion was afterwards the residence of Governor Gerry, and at a later period was owned and occupied by Prof. James Russell Lowell, which made it still more famous under the name of "Elmwood."

He was proscribed and banished in 1778 and in the year following was included in the Conspiracy Act, and his large estate confiscated. Though he forfeited his estates in Massachusetts, he was better situated financially than most of his fellow sufferers, for he was wealthy from his professions in the West Indies, still owned by his descendants. He was a studious man and lived in retirement in England. He died at Bristol, Nov. 29, 1815, aged 82, and left six daughters.


Chief Justice of Massachusetts.

Peter Oliver, son of Daniel Oliver and brother of Andrew Oliver, the Lieutenant Governor, born in 1713, married Mary, daughter of William Clark. His son Peter, Jr., married Sarah, daughter of Governor Hutchinson. Peter Oliver, Sr., graduated from Harvard College in 1730. He received the degree of L.L. D. He was appointed to the supreme bench of the province, September 15, 1756.

An affair happened at the close of the year 1773, which drove Adams and all his factions into madness. It was a grant from the King of a salary to the judges of the Supreme Court. The Assembly had endeavoured to keep the judges in absolute dependence upon their humor and because they found them rather too firm to coincide with their views in the subversion of government, they made them the object of their resentment. The judges of the Court had the shortest allowance from the General Assembly of any publick officers, even their Doorkeeper had a large stipend. The judges' travel on their circuits were from 1100 to 1500 miles in a year. Their circuit business engrossed seven months of the year during the extremes of heat and cold in a severe climate. For all their service, the highest grant made to them was £120 sterling per year, and it had been much less; the Chief Justice had £30 sterling more.

His Majesty taking the cases of the judges into consideration, and from[189] his known justice and benevolence, ordered their salaries to be paid out of his revenues in America, such salaries as would keep them above want, and below envy. The judges upon hearing of His Majesty's intention of such a grant had agreed to accept it, but four of them who lived at and near the focus of tarring and feathering, the town of Boston flinched in the day of battle, they were so pelted with soothings one day, and with curses and threatenings the next, that they prudentially gave the point up. The Chief Justice was now left alone in the combat, his brethren had but lately been seated on the Bench. He had been 17 years in the service, and had sunk more than £2000 sterling in it. He had offered not to accept of the grant (if His Majesty would permit him to do so), provided the Assembly would reimburse him one-half of his loss in their service, and for this he would resign his seat on the Bench. The Chief Justice very luckily lived at Middleborough, about 30 miles from Boston, or perhaps he would have followed suit of his brethren in giving up the King's grant. A message was sent to him by the Lower House signed "Samuel Adams, Clerk," requiring him to make explicit answer whether he would accept of the King's grant, or of their grant. He replied that he should accept the King's grant. Nothing less than destruction now awaited him. Col. Gardner, who was afterwards killed at Bunker Hill, declared in the General Assembly, that he himself would drag the Chief Justice from the Bench, if he should sit upon it.

The Assembly voted that he had rendered himself obnoxious to the people, as an enemy, and immediately presented a petition for his removal. Articles of impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors were exhibited, which Gov. Hutchinson refused to countenance. The grand jury at Worcester on April 19th following, presented to the court a written refusal to serve under the Chief Justice, considering it illegal for him to preside until brought to answer to the above mentioned charges. He became a refugee in 1775, and died at Birmingham, England, in October 1791, aged 79.[155] Of the five judges of the Superior Court of Massachusetts at the commencement of the Revolution, four remained loyal, viz., Peter Oliver, Edmund Trowbridge, Foster Hutchinson, and William Browne. The Revolutionary member of the Court was William Cushing. Judges at this time wore swords, ermine robes, etc., while on the Bench.

Dr. Peter Oliver. Second son of Chief Justice Oliver, of Massachusetts, graduated at Harvard University in 1761. He dwelt at Middleborough, Plymouth County. He had practised in Scituate in early life, was one of the eighteen country gentlemen who were driven into Boston and who were Addressers of General Gage in 1775. He was proscribed and banished in 1778, and became a refugee in England, where he died at Shrewsbury, in Sept. 1822, aged eighty-one.

Daniel Oliver, son of Chief Justice Oliver, a learned and accomplished lawyer of Worcester County, graduated at Harvard College in[190] 1762. A refugee loyalist of the Revolution, he died at Ashted, Warwickshire, May 6, 1826, aged 82. His father was an antiquarian, and copied with his own hand Hubbard's manuscript History of New England, which the son refused the loan of to the Massachusetts Historical Society for publication in their Collection.[156]

Sabine says that it was Doctor Oliver who refused to lend his copy or at least to permit a transcript of such parts of it as were missing in the American manuscript. In consequence, we have "Hubbard" mutilated at the beginning, and at the end. At this time, 1814, when the Massachusetts Historical Society with the aid of the Legislature desired to publish that work, there was a very bitter feeling towards the United States on account of the war at that time existing between the two countries.

Andrew Oliver of Salem, son of Lieutenant Governor Oliver, graduated at Harvard College in 1749. Studied law. Was often a representative to the assembly and a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He was one of the founders of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia; he was considered one of the best scholars of his day, and possessed fine talents. Judge Oliver was never fond of public life, but ardently attached to his books and friends. He was honored with a commission of mandamus councillor, which he declined. He married Mary, daughter of Chief Justice Lynde, and many of his descendants are now living here, for although Judge Oliver was a loyalist, he was the only member of his family that was not driven out of his country in consequence of the Revolution.

Peter Oliver of Salem, the son of Lieutenant Governor Andrew Oliver, was an Addresser of Gage in 1775 and was proscribed and banished in 1778. He became a surgeon in the British Army, and died at London in April, 1795. His widow afterwards married Admiral Sir John Knight, and died in 1839.

Brinley Sylvester Oliver, another son of Andrew Oliver, graduated at Harvard in 1774. Later became a surgeon in the British service; was also purser on the Culloden at the battle of the Nile. He died in 1828.

Born in 1712 at Brightwell England. Governor of Massachusetts from 1760 to 1769. Died in England June 16, 1779. From Copley's painting in Fiske's American Revolution.

A third son, William Sanford Oliver, in 1776 accompanied the Royal Army to Halifax. He settled at St. John, New Brunswick, at the peace, and was the first Sheriff of the county. His official papers are dated at Parr or Parr-town, by which names St. John was then known. In 1792, he held the office of Marshal of the Court of Vice-Admiralty of New Brunswick. At the time of his death, he was Sheriff of the County of St. John, and Treasurer of the Colony. He died at St. John in 1813, aged 62. His son, William Sanford Oliver, was a grantee of St. John in 1783, but left New Brunswick about 1806, and entered the Royal Navy. He rose to the position of Captain and was married at Heavitree, in October, 1811, to Mary Oliver Hutchinson, the daughter of[191] Thomas Hutchinson, Jr., who was brought to England in 1770 by her father and mother, when she was but three years of age. He was put on the retired list in 1844, and died in England the next year, aged 71.


Governor of Massachusetts from 1760 to 1769.

Sir Francis Bernard was descended from Godfrey Bernard of Wansford in Yorkshire, who in the 13th century was a large landowner, whose clearly defined armorial bearings were the first of the family entered in the Heralds College.

Francis, the only child of the Rev. Francis Bernard was baptized July 12th, 1712, in the church of Brightwell in Berkshire. He was unfortunate in losing his father three years later. He became a scholar of St. Peter's College in 1725, and was admitted as a student to Christ Church, Oxford, later. In 1733 he entered himself a member of the Middle Temple and was called to the Bar in 1737, and soon after settled at Lincoln as a provincial counsel. Four years later he married Amelia, daughter of Stephen Offley, Esq., of Norton Hill, Derbyshire. In 1744 he was elected Steward of the City of Lincoln and Deputy Recorder of Boston. In 1745 he was appointed Receiver-General of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln. In 1750 he was admitted Procter of the Consistory Court of the Diocese. The years that Francis Bernard spent at Lincoln were probably some of the happiest in his life. He was fortunate in his domestic relations, was doing well in his profession, and his many accomplishments which were always at the service of his friends, rendered him a general favorite in society.

In 1758 Mr. Bernard decided to seek a larger field for the support of his now large family. He was on intimate terms with the second Viscount Barrington, and his brothers and sisters; they were his wife's first cousins. It was thus through his influence that Francis Bernard received the office of Governor of New Jersey. The new world afforded an opening for his sons which meant much to the father. Mr. and Mrs. Bernard and four of their children left England in April, 1758. On his arrival in New Jersey, he entered into negotiations with the Indians. The war at the time raged between England and France rendering the positions of the Indians peculiarly important. By his address and tact he conciliated the Indians, and kept them steadfast in their allegiance to England, Governor Pownall of Massachusetts being appointed to South Carolina. Mr. Bernard was appointed as his successor. His residence in New Jersey was remembered as a time of happiness by the governor and his wife. His life was gladdened by a sense of the good he was able to achieve, and he was hopeful for the future, the page written by Thomas Bernard, his son, of this period reads like a pleasant fairy tale, but it[192] was soon ended. Notwithstanding the supposed indignity offered to the colony of Massachusetts by the appointment of three officers of State by the Crown, the Constitution remained exceedingly democratic. Thomas Bernard gives a sketch of its leading features in which he depicts the colony as forming one of the freest communities in the world.

Governor Bernard reached Boston August 2nd, 1760. He was received with great parade and ceremony. At Dedham he was met by Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, several of the Council, and Brigadier-General Isaac Royal and the troops escorted him to his residence at the Province House in Boston. The Militia was drawn up in the main streets, and salutes were fired from all the forts and ships in the harbor, and the Governor and his family were entertained at a great dinner at Fanueil Hall, was then escorted to the State House, and to the Kings Chapel where the Governors were in the habit of attending.

Governor Bernard's nine years' administration in Massachusetts was during one of the most interesting periods in American history. When he arrived at Boston he found affairs on an apparently peaceful and prosperous footing. He stayed till all was in turmoil, and left only just before the storm broke. The first part of his administration was very agreeable. Soon after his arrival Canada was surrendered. The General Court in an address to the Governor declared that without the assistance of England the colonies must have fallen a prey to the power of France, and that without the money sent from England the burden of the war would have been too great to bear. For this relief the colonists gave warm thanks to the king and to parliament, and made the Governor a present of the great island of Mount Desert, and voted a costly monument in Westminster Abbey to Lord Howe, who had fallen in the campaign against Canada.

Much harmony prevailed for two or three years, but this happy and prosperous commencement did not continue. Governor Bernard was soon classed with those who were desirous of strengthening the authority of the government.

Shortly after Bernard's appointment, Chief Justice Sewall died on September 11. He was a great loss to the Province and it was a misfortune that his death occurred just at this time. Colonel Otis, as he was generally called, desired to succeed to this office. It was believed that he and his son were not friendly to the government. Governor Bernard, who had no doubt studied the affairs in Massachusetts, considered Colonel Otis to be wholly unsuited to the position of a Chief Justice, and determined not to appoint him. Thomas Hutchinson, the Lieutenant-Governor, an able and intelligent man, was appointed to the important office of Chief Justice. Governor Bernard had at once realized Hutchinson's qualities and said many years later, when they were both living in England, that he had never repented appointing Hutchinson Chief Justice.[157]

[193] Lynde, the senior judge, who did not care particularly to succeed Sewall, appears to have been satisfied with the appointment of Hutchinson, also Gridley, the leader of the Bar, and apparently all possible rivals, save Colonel Otis. Hutchinson discharged the duties of his new office in the most satisfactory manner. He proved himself to be efficient, and always kind, as evinced by his special attention to the claims of the helpless.

At this time, there were mutterings of a possible storm, and at this critical moment, in October of 1760, George II died. Just previous to his death Mr. Pitt, Secretary of State, sent a dispatch to the Governor touching on the trade of England and her American colonies. The organized system of smuggling that existed in the Colonies caused the Custom House officers to apply for the "writs of assistance," that were frequently employed in England.

So far the Governor's course had been hampered only by factious opposition from the chief offenders, but this opposition assumed formidable dimensions when the question of "writs of assistance" was brought forward. The rights of the Custom House officers to demand such help was tried before the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. "The verdict was in their favor, but public opinion was strongly excited, and James Otis, the lawyer who opposed the Custom House officers, gained great popularity."[158] Notwithstanding Otis' eloquence, the case as already said was decided against his clients on the point of law. Governor Bernard was only performing his duty when he was active in promoting seizures for illicit trade.

In speaking of his early life in Boston, Julia Bernard, Governor Bernard's youngest daughter, mentions their home in Boston as "the Government House." She says that they employed both black and white servants, and speaks of the formalities that existed while the family lived there. "In Boston, none of the family, grown up brothers excepted, ever walked out in the town. We had a large garden, but it seemed rather a confinement." She also speaks of her father's home at Jamaica Pond. "This residence we usually moved to in May I think, and here we enjoyed ourselves extremely. We ran pretty much at liberty; there was no form or ceremony. My father was always on the wing on account of his situation. He had his own carriage and servants, my mother hers; there was a town coach, and a whiskey for the young men to drive about. I was used from a child to ride on horseback, and from childhood none of us had any fear of anything." Speaking of these days she says, they "all seemed great, enlightened, and enjoyable."

In describing her parents Julia Bernard says: "My father, though not tall, had something dignified and distinguished in his appearance and manner; he dressed superbly on all public occasions. My mother was tall, and a very fine woman. Her dresses were ornamented with gold and silver, ermine, and fine American sable."x

[194]The Province House was visited about the middle of the nineteenth century by Nathaniel Hawthorne, who has written interesting but melancholy pages on the subject.[159]

The Province or Government House occupied by Sir Francis Bernard was situated nearly opposite the head of Milk street. It was purchased by the Colonial Legislature in 1716, of the widow of Peter Sargent, who built it. It was a magnificent building, no pains had been spared to make it not only elegant, but also spacious and convenient. It stood back some distance in its ample lot, and had the most pleasant and agreeable surroundings of any mansion in town. It was of brick, three stories in height, with a high roof and lofty cupola. The house was approached over a stone pavement and a high flight of massive stone steps, and through a magnificent doorway. Two stately oaks of very large size, reared their verdant tops on either side of the gate separating the grounds from the highway, and cast a grateful shade over the approach, through the beautiful grass lawn in front of the mansion.

After the evacuation of Boston the Province House and all other Government property was confiscated and became the property of the State. In 1811 the State gave the property to the Massachusetts General Hospital who leased it for ninety-nine years. Stores were erected in front of it. In 1864 it was destroyed by fire and only the walls are all that remain of the Old Province House. The engraving shown here was made from a sketch of it taken a short time before it was leased and altered. The Royal Arms, and the Indian vane are on exhibition in the Old State House.

Sir Francis Bernard's country mansion was situated on the southwest side of Jamaica Pond, fronting on Pond street, now a part of the Boston Park system. This was and still is a most lovely spot. The mansion house was surrounded with an estate of sixty acres. Here, but for the gathering clouds which darkened the political horizon, the remaining years of this scholarly and able representative of the government might have been passed in the enjoyment of all that seemed the most enjoyable in life—a delightful home, set in a lovely landscape, and the esteem and regard of the people he had governed. His extensive and beautiful grounds were filled with choice fruit trees, plants and shrubs including one hundred orange and lemon trees besides fig, cork, cinnamon and other rare exotics.


After Bernard went to England, it was occupied by the second Sir William Pepperell, until he too was driven out by the disunionists. Then came the siege and the occupation of loyalist dwellings by the revolutionists, this being the quarters of Col. Miller of Rhode Island, in the summer of 1775. Afterwards it was used as a hospital for the camp at Roxbury. The soldiers who died were buried on elevated ground some distance back from the buildings. The governor's hot house was taken by Major Crane and converted into a magazine for the artillery. Confiscated by the [196]State in 1779, it was bought by Martin Brimmer, a Boston merchant, who died here in 1804. Capt. John Prince purchased it in 1806, in 1809 took down the old house, a part of which had stood one hundred and forty-one years, and no doubt many a bumper of good wine had been drunk to the health of the seven sovereigns of Great Britain, who had reigned during that period.

Captain Prince made a road through the property from Pond to Perkins street, now known as Prince street; the whole estate was divided up into good sized building lots, on which many elegant residences have since been erected. In front of one of them are some fine large English elms probably planted by Gov. Bernard. One of them measures twenty-five feet in circumference.[160]

Governor Bernard soon after his arrival in Massachusetts became much interested in Harvard College, and his interests extended far beyond the formalities required of him in his official capacity. "Having regard to the Governor's delight in Latin verse, it is not surprising that he should have endeavored to refine and soften the somewhat rugged type of student which Harvard then produced." He suggested that the college should follow the custom established in the English universities, of writing poetical tributes in commemoration of public events. Thirty-one poems were written. Of these nine were by the Governor himself in Greek and Latin, and the others owed their existence to the stimulus of prizes offered by him. It was a difficult undertaking for him to start this custom. A recent writer (Mr. Goddard) styles this volume, indeed, "the most ambitious typographical and literary work attempted on the continent previous to the Revolution, etc."

Governor Bernard's interest and exertion for the development of the material resources of his province should have won him lasting gratitude. He encouraged with all his power the manufacture of potash, the cultivation of hemp and flax on waste lands, and the carriage of lumber to British markets.

The Province prospered under Bernard during these years preceding the Stamp Act, and peace came through his ability and guidance. Mr. Hutchinson writes: "If at the expiration of that term he had quitted the government, he would have been spoken of as one of the best of the New England Governors." His son Thomas, also remarked upon his popularity during these five out of the nine years he presided as Governor of Massachusetts. The House of Representatives, conscious that Mr. Bernard had expended a considerable sum of his own money in improving the castle, and for other public benefits, passed a resolution that the island of Mount Desert, lying on the northeastward of Penobscot Bay, be granted to him and his heirs and assigns. The Council at once concurred in the grant. The confirmation of the Assembly's grant of Mount Desert was contained in a letter from the English Lords of Trade, dated May 21, 1763.

[197]In July, 1763 [writes Thomas Bernard], orders were transmitted to the American Governors for carrying into strict execution the laws of trade, at the same time notifying the new authority which had been delegated to commanders of the King's ships stationed in America, to seize all vessels concerned in any prohibited commerce. These were followed by further orders for improvement of the revenue, and for suppression of all clandestine and illicit trade with foreign nations; with directions for the Governors to transmit such information as they had to communicate on the subject.[161]

Governor Bernard was compelled in the discharge of his official functions to enforce these commands, but he lost no time in remonstrating. His letter to the Earl of Egremont, Secretary of State, contains a plea for the indulgence granted, or tacitly allowed up to that time, with regard to wine and fruit, especially lemons, which he considered necessary to health in the climate of Massachusetts. This letter was followed by another addressed to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, in which he entreats that the duties imposed by the Molasses Act may at least be reduced in the interest of England as well as of America, since it had been, and would be evaded, and its end to a large extent defeated. He continues: "this Act has been a perpetual stumbling block to the Custom House officers, and it will be most agreeable to them to have it in any way removed."[162]

It was not until Bernard left America that the colonists knew of his protest to the government. A large number evidently were satisfied at his good will and perhaps suspected that he interceded in their favour, so their regard for him survived the trial of the new orders from England.

In the midst of this agitation, the smallpox broke out in the capital, and the Governor was compelled to move the General Assembly to Cambridge. Here in January, 1764, another misfortune occurred. Harvard Hall was burned to a heap of ruins, the only one of the ancient buildings which still remained. Of five thousand volumes, only a hundred were saved, and of John Harvard's books, but a single one.

The Governor at once appealed to the Assembly and obtained a vote for reconstruction. He set the example of contributing towards a new library by the gift of some of his own books; he also drew the architectural design for the new building and superintended its execution. Subscriptions were made both in England and America for the erection of the new hall.

In June 1763, a confederation of several Indian tribes had suddenly and unexpectedly swept over the whole western frontier of Pennsylvania and Virginia, had murdered almost all the English settlers, and through unusual skill captured every British fort between the Ohio and Lake Erie, and had closely blockaded Fort Detroit and Pittsburg. After desperate[198] fighting, the troops under Amherst succeeded in repelling the invaders and secured the three great fortresses of Niagara, Detroit and Pittsburg. The severe fighting appears to have been done by the English troops. Massachusetts seemed to be fatigued from the late war and could give no help when aid was asked. Connecticut finally sent 250 men. Peace was signed in September, 1764, the war having lasted fourteen months, months of extreme horror. The credit of the war belonged to the English soldiers, another great service rendered to the colonies by England.

England felt that the colonies should help share the great expense of the late wars. George Grenville as First Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, signalized his period of administration by the Stamp Act. On the 10th of March the House of Commons on the motion of the Minister, passed a variety of resolutions respecting certain duties on foreign goods imported into the British colonies of America.

Grenville remarked in his honest way to the colonial agents in London, "I am not, however, set upon this tax. If the Americans dislike it, and prefer any other method, I shall be content. Write therefore, to your several colonies, and if they choose any other mode, I shall be satisfied, provided the money be but raised."[163]

The British Government gave the colonies a year to deliberate, and the House of Representatives trusted Governor Bernard to plead for the colonists. When the members met again on January 10, 1765, the Governor honestly stated how much he had done. On January 14 began in the British Parliament the vehement and eloquent debates, ending in a majority of both Houses declaring in favour of the Stamp Act. The Ministry seems to have paid no attention to Governor Bernard's suggestion. His "Principles of Law and Polity" were ignored and also the Petition of the Assembly. On March 22, 1765, the Stamp Act received the Royal Assent, and England and her colonies were divided.

When the Colonists learned that the hated act had been passed, they became defiant. Riots soon took place in Boston, and Secretary Oliver, who was appointed by the British government as Stamp Distributor, was hung in effigy. This was during the summer of 1765 when the first cargo of stamps was daily expected. Then came the attack upon Mr. Oliver's house, and the complete destruction of Mr. Hutchinson's home.[164]

During the warm months the Governor and his family were in the habit of residing at the castle. They were there when the stamps were expected and during the riotous times in Boston. The night that Hutchinson's home was destroyed seems to have made a deep impression on Julia Bernard, then in her sixth year. She afterwards wrote:

"While the family was resident at Castle William, my father came one night in his barge from Boston and brought Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, his sister, and two daughters, whom he had thus rescued from the fury of the mob. They had forced the house; the family fled[199] for their lives; my father's barge was in waiting for him and he took them under his protection. The house was stripped of everything, and pulled down that night. They had nothing but what they had on. I can remember my mother getting them out clothes, and ordering beds to be prepared. Terror and distress sat upon their countenances."

Governor Bernard assured the people he had their interest at heart, but his road was a difficult one, and he was greatly worried over the performance of his duty. Because he represented the government, he was abused and insulted, and finally felt that he had no real authority, but was totally in the hands of the people. His son quotes his father's words: "Although I have never received any orders concerning the Stamp Act until this day, nor even a copy of the Act, I have thought it my duty to do all I could to get it carried into execution. And I must say in so doing I have exerted all possible spirit and perseverance.... I have made great sacrifices to his Majesty's service upon this occasion. My administration, which before was easy, respectable, and popular, is rendered troublesome, difficult, and dangerous, and yet there is no pretext to charge me with any other offence than endeavoring to carry the Stamp Act into execution; but that is here an high crime never to be forgiven." The struggle was carried on without intermission, but towards the end of April, Boston was delighted by the news of the repeal of the Stamp Act. "Letters published in England," writes Hutchinson, "Allowed that Governor Bernard's letters to the Ministry, and the petition from the Council and House in 1764, which had been drawn by the Lieutenant-Governor, forwarded the repeal. But they had no merit with the prevailing party, because they solicited the repeal as a matter of favour, and not as a claim of right."

Great rejoicings now took place in the city and for a while Governor Bernard's life became a little easier.

In August 1768, the King offered the Governor a Baronet's title, which he accepted. Rule and order was vanishing in Massachusetts. On September 28, 1768, two regiments from Halifax with artillery, arrived off Boston, and the vessels which brought them, cast anchor in Nantasket Roads, a few miles below Castle William. The troops were landed on Saturday, October 1, and on Saturday, October 15, General Gage arrived with his officers to look after the quartering of the troops himself, a difficult problem to solve in this divided community. Thus was the Governor placed, trying to fulfil his duty to England, and yet always with the best interest of the people at heart. Commodore Hood wrote to Mr. Stephens, Secretary to the Admiralty on November 25, 1768, stating that "The General [Gage] and Governor Bernard have been lately burnt in effigy, in a most public manner."

All through the next winter a fierce controversy raged in the newspapers regarding England and her colonies. Samuel Adams was the most prolific and forcible writer, and his contributions went also to newspapers at a distance. In the spring of this year the Governor became[200] "Sir Francis Bernard of Nettleham, in the county of Lincoln, Baronet." The patent bears the date April 5, 1769. The King had ordered the expense of the patent to be paid out of his privy purse, and this according to the Governor's son, was a compliment seldom offered.

The grant of the baronetcy was accompanied by an order summoning Sir Francis Bernard to proceed to England and there report on the state of his province. Ere long the Governor and the whole body of loyalists were struck with consternation by the intelligence that General Gage had ordered the removal of the troops from Boston. They considered this extremely dangerous.

On the 4th of January, 1770, a town meeting was held by which every one was declared an enemy who had in any way assisted in obtaining or retaining troops. Sir Francis Bernard was making preparations for his departure, and this of course, was intended as a parting shot. He yielded to the advice of friends to attend the Harvard Commencement as usual and Mr. Hutchinson says that, "When he had gone through it without any insult worth notice from the rude people, who always raise more or less tumult on that day, he thanked his friends for their advice." It is satisfactory to think that his last public appearance in Massachusetts was at Harvard, the institution he had always felt such a deep interest in.

A few days before the Governor departed, he received a circular from the Earl of Hillsborough announcing the intended repeal of the duties on glass, paper and paint, and one of his last acts of administration consisted in making this intention known, and the assurance of the good will of the British Government for the American colonies. Governor Bernard then bequeathed the administration to Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson and made his last farewells.

"He embarked on board the Rippon, a man-of-war ordered from Virginia to convey him, and sailed for England. Instead of the marks of respect commonly shown, in a greater or less degree, to governors upon their leaving the province, there were many marks of public joy in the town of Boston. The bells were rung, guns were fired from Mr. Hancock's wharf, Liberty Tree was covered with flags, and in the evening a great bonfire was made upon Fort Hill."[165] The Governor sailed on August 1, 1769, a sad ending to nine years of laborious and anxious administration. Perhaps there were some staunch friends with him to the last in whose sympathy he found consolation for sights and sounds which must have jarred upon his feelings, and were of set purpose arranged to aggravate his sorrow in parting, for an indefinite time, from his nearest and dearest. Hosmer, the biographer and eulogist of Samuel Adams, speaks of Francis Bernard as "an honourable and well-meaning man, and by no means wanting in ability."

Thomas Bernard, who accompanied his father, states that he was[201] graciously received in England and by George III. A petition arrived from the colonies asking for a new governor, it concludes:

"Wherefore we most humbly entreat your Majesty that his Excellency Sir Francis Bernard, Baronet, may be forever removed from the government of this province, and that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to place one in his stead worthy to serve the greatest and best Monarch on earth."

The Governor's resignation soon followed. His life was filled with much anxiety for the financial welfare of his family as during his eleven years of residence in America, his private fortune had not been increased. He received a pension, but many troubles arose which greatly taxed his physical and mental strength. Mrs. Bernard and the remaining members of her family, moved from their country home at Jamaica Pond, which was afterwards occupied by Sir William Pepperell, to a new residence called the Cherry House, which the Governor caused to be built on a lot of land containing about 30 acres on the "Road leading to Castle William" at Dorchester Neck, now South Boston. The Governor probably selected this location on which to build his house on account of its nearness to Castle Island, to which he and his family could take refuge in case of mob violence.[166] John Bernard's name continued for some time to head the list of proscribed traders and his position, entailing loss, insult, and even danger, must have been a constant source of apprehension to his relatives. After learning that her husband had definitely resigned, Lady Bernard prepared to join him in England. Many of their household possessions were sold at the Province house on September 11. Just before the vessel sailed, young Francis Bernard died November 20, 1770, at the age of twenty-seven, and is probably buried beside his brother Shute in the burial ground of the King's Chapel at Boston. Mrs. Bernard was accompanied by four of her children, Amelia, William, Scrope and Julia.

Sir Francis took a house in the vicinity of Hampstead and for a while the family was united, the children from America joining those in England. The two youngest had never seen their eldest sisters, Jane and Frances, who had remained in the mother country. A short time later, Sir Francis suffered from a paralytic stroke and his recovery was partial and imperfect. Realizing this, he applied for leave to resign his appointment to Ireland, having been appointed to the Irish Board of Commissioners. This was granted him in 1774, and his former pension[202] restored to him. The vigor of his mental faculties is evinced by the fact that on July 2, 1772, he went to Oxford and received the degree of D. C. L. and from Christ Church the honour of having his picture by Copley among other illustrious students in the Hall of that society.

After a stay at Nether Winchendon, the family removed to the Prebendal House at Aylesbury, and now for a short period enjoyed comparative peace. The colonies were in open revolt. Soon after Governor Hutchinson's arrival in England, he resumed his habits of friendly intercourse with Sir Francis Bernard and his family. Thomas Bernard studied for the Bar, and William and Scrope were sent to Harrow. Jane, the eldest daughter, married Charles White, a barrister, in 1774. Fanny, the third daughter, became greatly attached to her newly found sister Julia, and proved herself very capable with her pen. Scrope later entered Christ Church at Oxford and William embarked for Canada. John left England for America probably in 1775. William, who was a Lieutenant in the army, was drowned before reaching Canada. He was on board a provision ship bound for Quebec which took fire, and he, with some others, took to a boat which overset and they all were drowned. This cast a gloom over the family, from which the father and mother never fully recovered.

A London visit of Sir Francis and Lady Bernard in March, 1777, is mentioned by Governor Hutchinson.

"8th.—Sir Francis and Lady came to town last evening, and dined with us to-day, with Paxton, Dr. Caner, Chandler, and Boucher."

Later came Lady Bernard's death and Hutchinson in his "Dairy," 1778, says:

"2nd.—Lady Bernard died last week, the 20th. [May], at Aylesbury. Paxton was there on a visit. She had been in poor health several months, but took an airing the day before the night in which she died, or rather towards morning."

This remarkable woman was married to Sir Francis Bernard thirty-seven years and had shared every vicissitude of his career. She had felt the cares of his agitated public life in America and had seen him gradually broken down by much trouble, not the least of which was the final blow received in England at the hands of supposed friends.

Thomas, who was now eight and twenty, relieved his father from business cares, and became a worthy head to the family. News reached England of the act of banishment. John Bernard had reached America before the Declaration of Independence and lived in a remote part of Maine, but his name does not appear among the proscribed. News of the Confiscation Act did not reach Sir Francis before his death, and Thomas says that his last days were free from anxiety on that ground. He died believing in the honesty of America.

The engagement of Julia Bernard about this time to the Rev. Joseph Smith, brought a gleam of happiness into the family.

On June 21, Hutchinson writes:

[203]"A gentleman, who knew me and asked how I had been since he last saw me, informed me Saturday morning, as I was taking my morning walk, that he went to Aylesbury a day or two before, and that Sir Francis Bernard died Wednesday night, the 16, [1779], which has since been confirmed."

He suffered from several complaints, and an epileptic fit more violent than any he had had before, hastened the end. He died surrounded by his children, within a month of completing his sixty-seventh year, and was buried by the side of Lady Bernard in a vault under Aylesbury church. Sir Francis Bernard's memory was held in high honor by his children, and by none more tenderly than Thomas, his father's companion and confidant. After his father's death, Thomas wrote:

"May his children contemplate with pleasure and confidence, the talents and probity of their father, and, soothed with the memory of his virtues, forget the return which those virtues have received! And may they, by retracing the events of his life, strengthen and fortify their minds, that if ever they should be called to such a trial as he underwent, they may imitate him in the conscientious and honourable discharge of their duty, and in integrity of life."[167]

Sir John Bernard, on the death of his father, succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1779. When, in 1769, Sir Francis was recalled from the government, he possessed a large landed estate in Maine of which the large island of Mount Desert, which was given him by the Colony, and afterwards confirmed by the Crown, was a part. He also owned Moose Island, now Eastport, and some territory on the mainland. John, at the time of his departure, had an agency for the sale and settlement of these and other lands, and until the war commenced, was in comfortable circumstances. In order to hold his property and prevent its confiscation, he remained in the country, and therefore it could not be claimed that he was an absentee, or a refugee, and as he did not take any part in the controversy, it could not be claimed that he was an enemy to the new government. His place of residence during the war appears to have been at Bath, Machias, and at Pleasant Point, a few miles from Eastport. An unbroken wilderness was around him. The only inhabitants at the head of the tidewater of the St. Croix were a few hunters and Indians. He lived in a small hut built by himself, with no companions but a dog. Robbinston and Perry were uninhabited, Eastport contained but a single family, yet at the spot now occupied by the remnant of the Passamaquoddy Indians, he attempted to make a farm. He had been bred in ease and refinement, had hardly done a day's laborious work in his life, yet he believed he could earn a competence by labor. He told those who saw him that "other young men went into the woods, and made themselves farms, and got a good living, and he saw no reason why he could not." But he cut down a few trees, became discouraged, and after the confiscation of the property of Sir Francis in 1778, he was in abject poverty, and[204] the misfortune of himself and family seemed to have unsettled his mind. After the peace, he lived at Pleasant Point, and occasionally went to Boston. His abject condition in mind and estate rendered him an object of deep commiseration, and his conduct during hostilities having entitled him to consideration, the Legislature of Massachusetts restored to him one half of his father's estate, which included one half of the island of Mount Desert, and an estate in Boston consisting of wharves, land, and flats, which he sold for £600 to Wm. Allen. Of his subsequent history while he continued in the United States, but little is known. Later in life he held offices under the British Crown at Barbadoes and St. Vincent. He died in the West Indies in 1809 in his sixty-fifth year, without issue, and was succeeded by his brother Thomas.

Sir Thomas Bernard, the third surviving son of Sir Francis, succeeded his brother John to the Baronetcy. He took his degree from Harvard College in 1767. After he took up his residence in England, much of his time was devoted to institutions of benevolence in London, and he wrote several essays with a design to mitigate the sorrows, and improve the condition of the humbler classes of English society. The University of Edinburgh conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws. He married a lady of fortune who died in 1813 while preparing to go to church.

Sir Thomas' account of his father's life makes him stand out perhaps the most prominent of Sir Francis' children. His death occurred in England in 1818. The Baronetcy of Sir Francis Bernard now stands in the name of Morland.

The following is a list of Sir Francis Bernard's confiscated property in Suffolk County situated in what is now South Boston, and Jamaica Plain, together with the name of the purchasers. He had also much property in Maine, including one half of Mount Desert island, that was confiscated.


To Martin Brimmer, Aug. 18, 1779; Lib. 130 fol. 178; Farm, 50 A., mansion house and barn in Roxbury, highway to Benj. Child S.E.; Jamaica Pond N.E.; Joseph Winchester N.W.;, Samuel Griffin and school lands S.W.; the hill N.; Samuel Griffin W.; S W; W. and S.W.—Wood lot in Roxbury, 12 A. 3 qr. 36 r., Sharp and Williams S; land of heirs of William Douglas deceased W.; land of heirs of Edward Bromfield deceased N. land of heirs of Elizabeth Brewer deceased E.——Wood lot in Roxbury, 2A. 1 qr 17 r, highway W.: Capt. Baker S.; John Harris E.; Mr. Walter N.——Salt marsh in Roxbury, 3 A. 1 qr., John Williams S., creek N.W.; Robert Pierpoint N; creek to Dorchester E.

To William Allen, Jan. 2, 1781; Lib. 132 fol. 76; Land in Dorchester, 25 A. 3 r., road to Point of Dorchester Neck N.; land of town of Dorchester and Richard Withington deceased E; said Withington, James Baker, Samuel Blake deceased and James Blake S.; Jonathan [Clap] W.——Salt marsh in Dorchester. 2 A. 3 qr., Sir Francis Bernard N.; salt marsh of Richard Withington deceased E.; James Blake W; the sea S.



Baronet of Kittery, Maine.

William Pepperell was a native of Tavistock near Plymouth in Devon, who at the age of twenty-two, about the year 1676, emigrated to the Isle of Shoals, and became a fisherman. He acquired property and removed to Kittery on the mainland, where he died in 1734, leaving an only son of his own name, who continued the business of fishing, amassed great wealth, and arrived at great honors. It is interesting and instructive to trace the rising steps of the Pepperell family, from a destitute young fisherman to the princely affluence and exalted station, civil, political, and military, to which his son arrived. It throws light upon the early history of the infant colonies, the character of the early settlers, the nature of their occupations, their commerce, the condition, and relative importance of places of trade, and the influence of the times, and events, in forming the character and shaping the fortunes of the illustrious subject of this memoir. The name once so celebrated, has in America long since become extinct, and but for its record in the page of history, would ere this have passed into oblivion. To account for this curious fact, it will be necessary to give a more extended notice of the history of the family than would otherwise seem necessary.

While a fisherman at the Isle of Shoals, Pepperell had frequent occasion to sail to Kittery Point for the purpose of traffic, and for the purchase and repair of boats. A shipwright there named John Bray welcomed him to his home, and supplied his wants. He had a daughter Margery, who had arrived at the age of seventeen when she first saw Mr. Pepperell, who was smitten with her youthful charms. At the time of this marriage Mr. Pepperell removed from the Shoals to Kittery Point, where Mr. Bray gave him the site of the present Pepperell mansion. The south part of this structure was built by him and the north part by his son Sir William, who was born here in 1696, and here dwelt the two families till the decease of the father in 1734, which left the son's family sole occupants till 1759. The home has since been curtailed in its dimensions by the removal of ten feet from each end of the building. It was during this period of little more than half a century that the largest fortune, then known in New England, was gradually accumulated. The principal business of the Pepperells was done in the fisheries. They sometimes had more than one hundred small vessels at a time on the Grand Banks. Ship-building was also a very extensive branch of industry on the Pascataqua, and its tributary streams. The Pepperells built many vessels and sent them to the West India islands, laden with lumber, fish, oil, and live stock, to exchange for cargoes of rum, sugar, and molasses, for home consumption; others to European markets to exchange for dry goods, wine, and salt, and to sell both vessel and cargo. To the[206] Southern colonies fish was sent in exchange for corn, tobacco, and naval stores. Mills were erected by them on the small rivers, and lumber and ship-timber, were floated down to Kittery Point, and Newcastle, to be shipped to European and American ports.

Sir William was his only son. About 1727 he was elected a member of the Council of Massachusetts, and held a seat in that body by annual election for thirty-two years, until his death. He was also selected to command a regiment of militia, and being fond of society, rich, and prosperous, was highly popular, and possessed much influence. With a vigorous frame, firm mind, and great coolness, when in danger, he was well fitted for his residence in a country exposed to ferocious enemies.

The Treaty of Utrecht which secured Nova Scotia to the British Crown, gave France undisputed right to Cape Breton. Here they built the city of Louisburg at enormous cost, and protected it with fortresses of great strength. The walls of the defences were formed with bricks brought from France, and they mounted two hundred and six pieces of cannon. The city had nunneries, and Palaces, gardens, and squares, and places of amusement, and was designed to become a great capital, and to perpetuate French dominion, and the Catholic faith in America. Twenty-five years of time and six million dollars in money were spent in building, arming, and adorning this city, "The Dunkirk of the New World." That such a plan existed, at so early a period of our history, is a marvel, and the lovers of the wonderful may read the works of Parkman which contain accounts of its rise, and ruin, and be satisfied that "truth is sometimes stranger than fiction."

The possession of this stronghold by the French was a source of continual annoyance to the New England fishermen, and at last became intolerable. Situated as it was directly off the fishing grounds, it meant destruction to the fishing interest every time there was a war with France. At last its capture was seriously conceived and undertaken. Governor Shirley, in 1744, listening to the propositions made to him on the subject, submitted them to the Legislature of Massachusetts, and that body in secret session, the first ever held in America, authorized a force to be raised, equipped, and sent against it, and the command was conferred upon Colonel William Pepperell. His troops consisted of a motley assemblage of fishermen, and farmers, sawyers, and loggers, many of whom were taken from his own vessels, mills, and forests. Before such men, and others hardly better skilled in war, in the year 1745, Louisburg fell. The achievement is the most memorable in the Colonial annals. For this great service Colonel Pepperell was created a Baronet in 1746. After the fall of Louisburg, he went to England and was presented at Court. In 1759 he was appointed Lieutenant-General. He died the same year at his seat at Kittery, aged sixty-three years, and was buried in the large and beautiful tomb erected in 1734 which was placed near the mansion home. His children were two, Andrew, a son who graduated at Harvard University in 1743, and died March 1, 1751, aged twenty-five, and a daughter,[207] Elizabeth, who married Colonel Nathaniel Sparhawk. Lady Pepperell, who was Mary Hirst, daughter of Grove Hirst of Boston, and granddaughter of Judge Sewall of Massachusetts, survived until 1789. Mrs. Sparhawk bore her husband five children, namely Nathaniel, William Pepperell, Samuel Hirst, Andrew Pepperell, and Mary Pepperell. Sir William, her father, soon after the decease of her brother, executed a will, by which after providing for Lady Pepperell, he bequeathed the bulk of his remaining property to herself, and her children. Her second son was made the residuary legatee, and inherited a large estate. By the terms of his grandfather's will he was required to procure an Act of the Legislature to drop the name of Sparhawk, and assume that of Pepperell. This he did on coming of age, and was allowed by a subsequent Act, to take the title of Sir William Pepperell, Baronet. He received the honors of Harvard University in 1766, subsequently he visited England, and became a member of the Council of Massachusetts. In 1774 when that body was recognized under the Act of Parliament, he was continued, under the mandamus of the King, and thereby incurred the wrath of the disunionists, who at a county congress, held at Wells, York County, Maine, on the 16th of Nov. 1774, declared a boycott against him, and denounced him in the following manner: "The said William Pepperell, Esq., hath, with purpose to carry into force, Acts of the British Parliament, made with apparent design to enslave the free and loyal people of this country, accepted, and now holds, a seat in the pretended Board of Councillors in this Province, as well as in direct repeal of the charter thereof, as against the solemn compact of kings, and the inherent right of the people. It is therefore Resolved, that said William Pepperell, Esq. hath thereby justly forfeited the confidence, and friendship of all true friends to American liberty, and with other pretended councillors, now holding their seats in like manner, ought to be detested by all good men, and it is hereby recommended to the good people of this country, that as soon as the present leases made to any of them by said Pepperell, are expired, they immediately withdraw all connection, commerce, and dealings, from him, and they take no further lease, or conveyance of his, farms, mills, or appurtenances thereunto belonging (where the said Pepperell is the sole receiver and appropriator of the rents and profits), until he shall resign his seat, pretendedly occupied by mandamus. And if any persons shall remain, or become his tenants, after the expiration of their present leases, we recommend to the good people of this country, not only to withdraw all connections, and commercial intercourse with them, but to treat them in the manner provided by the third resolve of this Congress."

The Baronet not long after this denouncement retired to Boston. His winter residence was on Summer street, near Trinity church, and his country residence was an estate on the southerly side of Jamaica Pond containing sixty acres, which he leased from Sir Francis Bernard. In 1775 he arrived in England under circumstances of deep affliction. Lady[208] Pepperell, who was Elizabeth, daughter of Hon. Isaac Royall, of Medford, having died on the passage. In 1778 he was proscribed and banished, and the year following was included in the Conspiracy Act. In May, 1779, the Committee on confiscated estates offered for sale "his large and elegant house, gardens, and other accommodations, &c., pleasantly situated on Summer street, Boston, a little below Trinity church." His vast domain in Maine, the largest owned by any individual in New England, though entailed upon his heirs, was confiscated. This estate extended from Kittery to Saco, with a coast line of upwards of thirty miles, and extending back many miles into the interior, and, for the purposes of farming and lumbering, was of great value, and the water power and mill privileges, rendered it even at the time of the sequestration, a princely fortune. His possessions were large in Scarboro, Elliot, Berwick, Newington, Portsmouth, Hampton and Hubbardston. In Saco alone he owned 5,500 acres, including the site of that populous town and its factories. A large portion of this property was purchased by Thomas Cutts who had served as a clerk in Sir William's counting room. He was active during the revolution, was a noted merchant, president of a bank, colonel of a regiment, senator in the Massachusetts Legislature, and one of the founders of the Massachusetts General Hospital. He died in 1821.

All of Sir William's brothers were loyalists and were forced to leave the country, and their vast domains passed into other hands. A life interest or dower right in the Saco lands was enjoyed by Lady Mary Pepperell, the widow of the first Sir William and her daughter, Mrs. Sparhawk, which was devised to them by the Baronet's will. In exchange for the right thus arising, the State afterwards assigned two-ninths in absolute property to Lady Pepperell and her daughter, by a deed executed in 1788. This small portion of this great estate was saved through these ladies residing in the country during the war, the "sons of despotism" could hardly tar and feather two defenceless women, or drive them forth as they did their sons and brothers, and make absentees or refugees of them.

Thus the princely fortune of Pepperell, that required a century to construct, from the foundation laid by John Bray the shipwright to the massive structure raised by the fisherman William Pepperell and completed by his son Sir William, fastened and secured though it was, by every instrument that his own skill and the best legal counsel could devise to give stability and perpetuity, was in a brief hour overthrown, and demolished by the confiscation act of 1778. So complete was the wreck that two of his daughter's grandsons, were saved from the almshouse by the bounty of some persons on whom they had no claim for favor.

Never before in the history of this country has there been a more conspicuous fall of a family from a high estate. There has always been a doubt as to the legality of the Confiscation Act, as far as the remainder or reversionary interest, of the first Sir William was concerned, since[209] it is apparently clear that the life-interest of the second Sir William could only be, or by the statute actually was, diverted and passed to the State.[168]

After the death of the first Sir William, his widow, Lady Pepperell, caused a neat house to be erected near that of her daughter, and the village church which still remain. Here she died in 1789 after being a widow thirty years.

This house came into the possession of Captain Joseph Cutts. He was a large ship owner and a successful merchant. Ruined by Mr. Jefferson's embargo, and the war of 1812, he lost his reason, and his two sons also went insane. One fell by his own hand in Lady Pepperell's bedchamber, the other was so violent at times that it was necessary to chain him. Under these misfortunes the daughter Sally's reason gave way. The town allowed a small sum for the board of her father, and her brother. Her home even was sold to satisfy a Government claim for duties owed by her father. It would seem that the doom of the Pepperells was transmitted to all who should inhabit this house. Surely a blight seemed to have fallen upon it which consumed the lives and fortunes of a family until its evil destiny was fully accomplished.

The old mansion built by the first Colonel Pepperell, and enlarged by his son, is plain in its architecture, and contained a great many rooms before it was curtailed ten feet from each end. It was well adapted to the extensive domains and hospitalities of its former owners. The lawn in front extends to the sea, and the restless waves over which Sir William successively sought fortune and fame, still glitter in the sunbeams, and dash around the disconsolate abode. The fires of hospitality are extinguished. It is now occupied by the families of poor fishermen who do not like to be troubled with visitors or strangers. The hall is spacious and well finished; the ceiling is ornamented, and the richly carved bannisters bear traces of former elegance. The large hall was formerly lined with some fifty portraits of the Pepperell and Sparhawk families and of the companions in arms of Sir William, such as Admiral Sir Peter Warren Commodore Spry and others. We have now no sympathy with the joyous acclamations once bestowed on these successful victors returning from the field of glory to be crowned with laurels. The American people feel no desire to perpetuate the fame of their achievements, although characterized at the time by patriotism as pure, and disinterested as any exhibited since this government was formed. Patriotism in those days implied loyalty and fidelity to the king of England, but how changed the meaning[210] of that word in New England after the Declaration of Independence? Words and deeds before deemed patriotic, were now traitorous, and so deeply was the idea of their moral turpitude impressed on the public mind, as to have tainted popular opinion concerning the heroic deeds of our ancestors performed in the king's service, in the French wars, but criticism of this is apt to produce what Coleridge declared the cold waters of reason thrown on the burning embers of democracy inevitably produced—namely a hiss. The Revolution absorbed and neutralized all the heroic fame of the illustrious men that preceded it. The extinction of their fame was not more remarkable than the wreck of their fortunes. The Penns, Fairfaxes, Johnsons, Phillips, Robinsons and Pepperells were stripped of their immense possession, by confiscation, who up to that time had been but little less than hereditary noblemen and viceroys of boundless domains.


During the Revolution the Baronet was treated with great respect and deference by his fellow exiles in England. His home in London was open for their reception, and in most cases in which the Loyalists from New England united in representations to the ministry or to the throne, he was their chairman or deputed organ of communication. He was allowed[211] £500 sterling per annum by the British Government, and this stipend, with the wreck of his fortune, consisting of personal effects, rendered his situation comfortable, and enabled him to relieve the distress of the less fortunate. And it is to be recorded in respect for his memory, that his pecuniary benefactions were not confined to his countrymen who were in banishment, for their loyalty, but were extended to his countrymen who were disloyal, who languished in England in captivity sharing with them the pension which he received from the government, after their government had despoiled him of all his great possessions. It is to be remembered, too, that his private life was irreproachable, and that he was among the founders of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

In 1779 the Loyalists then in London formed an Association, and Sir William was appointed President. The first meeting was held at Spring Garden Coffee House, May 29th, 1779, and the next at the Crown and Anchor, in the Strand on the 26th. About ninety persons met at this place composed of Loyalists from each Colony. A Committee appointed at this meeting, on July 6th, reported an Address to the King. In this document it is said, that, "notwithstanding your Majesty's arms have not been attended with all the effect which those exertions promised, and from which occasion has been taken to raise an indiscriminate charge of disaffection in the Colonists, we beg leave, some of us from our own knowledge, and others from the best information, to assure your Majesty that the greater number of your subjects in the Confederated Colonies, notwithstanding every art to seduce, every device to intimidate, and a variety of oppressions to compel them to abjure their sovereign, entertain the firmest attachment and allegiance to your Majesty's sacred person and government. In support of those truths, we need not appeal to the evidence of our own sufferings; it is notorious that we have sacrificed all which the most loyal subjects could forego, or the happiest could possess. But, with confidence, we appeal to the struggles made against the usurpations of Congress, by Counter Resolves in very large districts of country, and to the many unsuccessful attempts by bodies of the loyal in arms, which have subjected them to all the rigors of inflamed resentment; we appeal to the sufferings of multitudes, who for their loyalty have been subjected to insults, fines, and imprisonments, patiently enduring all in the expectation of that period which shall restore to them the blessings of your Majesty's Government; we appeal to the thousands now serving in your Majesty's armies, and in private ships-of-war, the former exceeding in number the troops enlisted to oppose them; finally, we make a melancholy appeal to the many families who have been banished from their once peaceful habitations; to the public forfeiture of a long list of estates; and to the numerous executions of our fellow-citizens, who have sealed their loyalty with their blood. If any Colony or District, when covered or possessed by your Majesty's troops had been called upon to take arms, and had refused; or, if any attempts had been made to form the Loyalist militia, or otherwise, and it had been declined, we[212] should not on this occasion have presumed thus to address your Majesty; but if, on the contrary, no general measure to the above effect was attempted, if petitions from bodies of your Majesty's subjects, who wished to rise in aid of Government, have been neglected, and the representations of the most respectable Loyalists disregarded, we assure ourselves that the equity and wisdom of your Majesty's mind will not admit of any impressions injurious to the honor and loyalty of your faithful subjects in those Colonies."

Sir William Pepperell, Messrs. Fitch, Leonard, Rome, Stevens, Patterson, Galloway, Lloyd, Dulaney, Chalmers, Randolph, Macknight, Ingram, and Doctor Chandler, composing a committee of thirteen, were appointed to present this Address. At the same meeting it was resolved, "That it be recommended to the General Meeting to appoint a Committee, with directions to manage all such public matters as shall appear for the honor and interest of the Loyal in the Colonies, or who have taken refuge from America in this country, with power to call General Meetings, to whom they shall from time to time report." Of this Committee, Sir Egerton Leigh, of South Carolina, was Chairman. This body was soon organized. On the 26th of July, Mr. Galloway, of Pennsylvania, who was a member of it, reported rules for its government, which, after being read and debated, were adopted. The proceedings of this Committee do not appear to have been very important; indeed, to meet and sympathize with one another, was probably their chief employment. On the 2d of August, it was, however, "Resolved, That each member of the Committee be desired to prepare a brief account of such documents, facts, and informations, as he hath in his power, or can obtain, relating to the rise, progress, and present state of the rebellion in America, and the causes which have prevented its being suppressed, with short narratives of their own, stating their facts, with their remarks thereon, or such observations as may occur to them; each gentleman attending more particularly to the Colony to which he belongs, and referring to his document for the support of each fact." This resolution was followed by another, having for its design to unite with them the Loyalists who remained in America, in these terms: "Resolved, That circular letters be transmitted from the Committee to the principal gentleman from the different Colonies at New York, informing them of the proceedings of the General Meeting, the appointment and purposes of this Standing Committee, and requesting their co-operation and correspondence."

August 11, 1779, at a meeting of the Committee, report was made that General Robertson had been "so obliging as to undertake the trouble of communicating to our brethren in New York our wishes to have an institution established there on similar principles to our own, for the purpose of corresponding with us on matters relative to the public interests of British America." Whereupon it was resolved, that, in place of the circular letter resolved upon on the 2d, "a letter to General Robertson, explanatory of our designs and wishes, and entreating his good offices to[213] the furtherance of an establishment of a Committee at New York, be drawn up and transmitted." At the same meeting, (August 11th,) Sir William Pepperell stated that Lord George Germain had been apprised of the proceedings of the "Loyalists for considering of American affairs in so far as their interests were concerned, and that his Lordship had been pleased to declare his entire approbation of their institution."

The framing of the letter to General Robertson, above mentioned, seems to have been, now, the only affair of moment, which, by the record, occupied the attention of the Association. It may be remarked, however, that agreeably to the recommendation above stated, a Board of Loyalists was organized at New York, composed of delegates from each Colony. Another body, of which the Baronet was President, was the Board of Agents constituted after the peace, to prosecute the claims of Loyalists to compensation for their losses by the war, and under the Confiscation Acts of the several States. Sir James Wright, of Georgia, was first elected, but at his decease, Sir William was selected as his successor, and continued in office until the Commissioners made their final report, and the commission was dissolved. Sir William's own claim was of difficult adjustment, and occupied the attention of the Commissioners several day. In 1788, and after Mr. Pitt's plan had received the sanction of Parliament, the Board of Agents presented an Address of thanks to the King for the liberal provision made for themselves and the persons whom they represented, which was presented to his Majesty by the Baronet. On this occasion, he and the other Agents were admitted to the presence, and "all had the honor to kiss his Majesty's hand." As this Address contains no matter of historical interest, it is not here inserted. But some mention may be made of West's picture, the "Reception of the American Loyalists by Great Britain in 1783," of which an engraving is here shown. The Baronet is the prominent personage represented, and appears in a voluminous wig, a flowing gown, in advance of the other figures, with one hand extended and nearly touching the crown, which lies on a velvet cushion on a table, and holding in the other hand, at his side, a scroll or manuscript half unrolled.

The full description of this picture is as follows: "Religion and Justice are represented extending the mantle of Britannia, whilst she herself is holding out her arm and shield to receive the Loyalists. Under the shield is the Crown of Great Britain, surrounded by Loyalists. This group of figures consists of various characters, representing the Law, the Church, and the Government, with other inhabitants of North America; and as a marked characteristic of that quarter of the globe, an Indian Chief extending one hand to Britannia, and pointing the other to a Widow and Orphans, rendered so by the civil war; also, a Negro and Children looking up to Britannia in grateful remembrance of their emancipation from Slavery. In a Cloud, on which Religion and Justice rest, are seen in an opening glory the Genii of Great Britain and of America, binding up the broken fasces of the two countries, as emblematical of the treaty of peace[214] and friendship between them. At the head of the group of Loyalists are likenesses of Sir William Pepperell, Baronet, one of the Chairmen of their Agents to the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain; and William Franklin, Esq., son of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who, having his Majesty's commission of Governor of New Jersey, preserved his fidelity and loyalty to his Sovereign from the commencement to the conclusion of the contest, notwithstanding powerful incitements to the contrary. He was arrested by order of Congress and confined for two years, when he was finally exchanged. The two figures on the right hand are the painter, Mr. West, the President of the Royal Academy, and his lady, both natives of Pennsylvania."


Sir William continued in England during the remainder of his life. He died in Portman Square, London, in December, 1816, aged seventy. William, his only son, deceased in 1809. The baronetcy was inherited by no other member of the family, and became extinct. His daughters were Elizabeth,[215] who married the Rev. Henry Hutton, of London; Mary, the wife of Sir William Congreve; and Harriet, the wife of Sir Charles Thomas Palmer, Baronet.

The Last Royal Governor of New Jersey, Son of Benjamin Franklin

Nathaniel Sparhawk, brother of the second Sir William Pepperell, was born August, 1744. Graduated at Harvard University in 1765. He was an Addresser to Gov. Gage and went to England where he remained till 1809, when he returned, and died in Kittery, 1814. His two sons never married, and were by the kindness of their neighbors saved from the almshouse, on account of their noble ancestor, being great grandsons of the elder Sir William Pepperell.

Samuel Hirst Sparhawk, also brother to Sir William Pepperell, graduated at Harvard University in 1771, an Addresser to both Hutchinson and Gage. Subsequently he went to England with his family of four persons. He died at Kittery, August 29, 1789, aged thirty-eight. He left an only daughter, Miss Harriet Hirst Sparhawk, who at his request was adopted by his sister in Boston, wife of Dr. Jarvis, with whom she lived till the death of that lady in 1815. She afterwards lived at Portsmouth, and expended one hundred dollars in repairing the old Pepperell tomb. She was the last Sparhawk living of Pepperell blood, in America.

Andrew Sparhawk, the fourth son of Colonel Sparhawk, married a Miss Turner. Was a Loyalist and went to England with his brothers, where his wife died soon after their arrival, and he died there in 1783, leaving no children.

Mary Pepperell Sparhawk, married Dr. Charles Jarvis of Boston, and after his death, she passed the remainder of her days at Kittery Point near the village church, and nearly opposite the residence of her grandmother, Lady Pepperell's dwelling, built after the Baronet's death. She died in 1815.


To Thomas Russell, Jan. 2., 1783; Lib. 136, fol. 203; Land and dwelling-house in Boston, Summer St. S.; Benjamin Goldthwait E.; heirs of Benjamin Cunningham deceased N.; Samuel Whitwell W.——Land and Buildings, Summer St. N.; widow Jones W. and N.; Joseph Balch W.: John Rowe and Thomas Thompson S.; said Thompson W.; John Rowe S.; Zachariah Brigdon E.




Lord Lyndhurst, Lord Chancellor of England.

John Singleton Copley of Boston was the son of Richard Copley of County Limerick, who married Mary Singleton, of Deer Park, County Clare. Her father was of a Lancashire house of that name which had settled in Ireland in 1661.

Richard and Mary came to Boston in 1736, and their son John was born July 3rd, 1737. The father went to the West Indies and died there about the time of the birth of his son.

The widow of Richard Copley married Peter Pelham, an engraver and artist, by whom she had one son, Henry Pelham, who followed his father's profession. Peter Pelham died in 1751. John S. Copley became one of the most famous painters of his time. Without instruction, or master, he drew and painted, and "saw visions" of beautiful forms and faces which he transferred to canvass. His pictures show up the features and the figures of the aristocracy of Boston, of a time when there were aristocrats here, so that it has been frequently said that one of these ancestral portraits is a Bostonian's best title of nobility.

Major George Washington visited Boston in 1755 and sat to young Copley for a miniature. In 1766 Copley sent, without name or address, an exquisite portrait of his half brother, Henry Pelham, known as the "Boy and the Flying Squirrel," to Benjamin West, a fellow countryman then settled in London with a request to have it placed in the Exhibition Rooms of the Society of British Artists. The attention and admiration excited by this wonderful painting were such that the friends of the artist wrote most warmly to persuade him to go to England for the pursuit of his vocation, and West extended to him a pressing invitation to his own home. In 1769 he married Susannah Farnum, daughter of Richard Clarke, a wealthy merchant of Boston, and agent of the East India Company for their trade in that town. The tie between the artist and his wife was peculiarly close. We constantly meet her familiar lineaments through the whole course of Copley's works. Now Mary by the manger, with the Divine Infant at her breast, in "The Nativity," again in "The Family Picture" and in the fabled scene of Venus and Cupid, or in the female group in "The Death of Major Pierson," dissolved in an agony of grief, and fear, as they escape from the scene of violence and death.

The locality associated with his married life in Boston was a solitary house on Beacon Hill, chosen with his keen perception of picturesque beauty. His prophecy has been fully verified that the time would come when that situation would become the favorite site for the homes of the wealthy. Singular as it may appear the site selected by Copley was[217] the same as that selected by William Blackstone, the first settler of Boston. In after years Copley's thoughts fondly reverted to his early home—his farm, he called it—which contained 11 acres on the southwest side of Beacon Hill, now bounded by Charles, Beacon, Walnut, and Mt. Vernon streets, Louisburg Square and Pinckney street.

In 1771 Copley wrote that he was earning a comfortable income. At this time, he moved in the best society, where his courtly manners and genial disposition made him a general favorite. He was now approaching the crucial period of his life. He saw the approaching storm that was soon to break and deluge his country in blood. He was peculiarly situated, and in a trying position. It is said that his sympathies were at first with the revolutionists, and he acted as an intermediary between them and his father-in-law, Richard Clarke,[169] to whom the tea was consigned, but when the infuriated mob destroyed the tea, and attacked the warehouse, and residence of Mr. Clarke, forcing him to flee for his life, Copley could no longer tolerate mob rule. His case was like that of many others of whom it is said "persecution made half of the king's friends." These outrages occurred in December 1773. Less than two years afterwards he wrote to his wife, from Italy, July 1775: "You know years ago I was right in my opinion that this would be the result of the attempt to tax the colony; it is now my settled conviction that all the power of Great Britain will not reduce them to obedience. Unhappy and miserable people, once the happiest, now the most wretched. How warmly I expostulated with some of the violent 'Sons of Liberty' against their proceedings, they must remember; and with how little judgment, in their opinion, did I then seem to speak! But all this is past; the day of tribulation is come, and years of sorrow will not dry the orphan's tears, nor stop the widow's lamentations, the ground will be deluged in the blood of its inhabitants before peace will again assume its dominion in that country."[170] Copley embarked for England, June 1774, six months after his father-in-law was driven out of Boston by the mob, and one year before the conflict with the mother country commenced. Leaving his aged mother, his favorite brother, his wife and children behind him, he went to prepare a place of refuge for them from the impending storm. Probably the desire to visit Europe and behold the work of the great masters of the art he loved so well had something to do with leaving his native land, to which he was never to return. After travelling and studying two years on the Continent, he went back to London, and was soon joined by his family. Then began a career of uninterrupted success. He became the fashion, and many of the nobility sat to him as did also three of the princesses, daughters of George III. Following the fashion of the day he took up historical painting, which included the death of Major Pierson and the death of Chatham (both now in the English National Gallery): The[218] siege of Gibraltar, now in the Guild Hall of London, and Charles I demanding in the House of Commons, the surrender of the five impeached members, which now hangs in the Boston Public Library. "The death of Major Pierson" in repelling the attack of the French at St. Helier's, Jersey, on the 6th of January 1781, was painted in 1783 for Alderman Boydell, for his gallery. When this was dispersed it was bought back by Copley, and remained in the house in George Street till Lord Lyndhurst's death, when it was purchased for the National Gallery for 1500 guineas. The woman flying from the crowd in terror, with the child in her arms, was painted from the nurse of Mr. Copley's family; the figure between her and the wall, with the upraised arm, is Mrs. Copley; the boy running by the nurse's side is young Copley.

Copley was an Addresser of Hutchinson in 1774, the year he left Boston, and in 1776, on his return from Italy to London, he became a member of the Loyalist club, for weekly conversation and a dinner. He died at his residence in George Street, London, Sept. 9, 1815, aged seventy-eight and was buried in the tomb belonging to Governor Hutchinson's family in the parish church at Croydon, near London. Copley had one son and two daughters who lived to maturity.

Born in Boston July 3, 1737. Painter to the King. Died in London Sept. 9, 1815.

John Singleton Copley, the younger, was born in Boston May 20, 1772, was early destined for his father's profession, and, accordingly he attended the lectures of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Barry, at the Royal Academy. He, however, had no inclination to follow in his father's footsteps. He threw off his instructors, impatiently declaring that he would not be known as the "son of Copley the painter" but it should be "Copley, the father of the Lord Chancellor." So early did he prognosticate his own future eminence. He was entered 1790 at Trinity College, Cambridge. In the mathematical tripos of 1794, was second wrangler, sickness alone preventing him from obtaining the highest honor of the year. He was also Smith's Prizeman, won the King William prize, and, the following year, was appointed a "travelling bachelor" with a grant for three years of a £100 a year, and, a month later, was elected a fellow of Trinity, improved the opportunity to visit Boston, the town of his birth, with the ulterior view of regaining the family estates on Beacon Hill, owned by his father before leaving Boston, more than twenty years before. For although Copley was an Absentee, or Refugee, and therefore had laid himself liable to the confiscation of his property, yet, through his well known sympathy with the Revolutionists before the commencement of open war, and through the assistance of some of his friends, his property, which consisted of the largest landed estate in Boston, had not been confiscated. There were however several real estate speculators who had profited largely by purchasing the confiscated estates of the Loyalists for a mere trifle who determined to possess themselves of Copley's property. Jonathan Mason, and Harrison Grey Otis, made a contract with Gardiner Green, who was Copley's agent, to purchase the same, without adequate authority from the owner. When the deed was sent to[219] him for execution he refused to sign it. A bill in equity was bought to enforce the contract of sale. Copley executed a power of attorney to his son, when he went to Boston, giving him authority to settle the case. He arrived in Boston Jan. 2nd, 1796, and wrote to his father: "The business cannot come on till May. If you can make yourself a subject of the United States you are clear. If otherwise I am not yet sufficiently informed to say what may be the result, if you are decreed an alien, but take courage." He wrote again in February 27, 1796, saying, "I have, my dear sir, concluded my negotiations with Messrs. Mason, Otis, and others. I have acted for the best. I was very strongly of the opinion that the event of the contest would be in favor of the plaintiffs. Your counsel agreed with me in their sentiments upon that head.[171] A compromise became, therefore, necessary, and for the consideration of $18,450 a deed of release was given, dated February 22, 1796, recorded in Lib. 182, fol. 184, Suffolk Deeds."[172]

No deed of any lands in Boston within a century will compare with this in importance and interest. Taking into consideration the upland, beach, and flats, this purchase is at a considerably less rate than $1,000 per acre. That the son acted wisely his letters prove, but the transaction was one of deepest regret to the whole family, and embittered the remainder of the artist's life.

In a letter to his mother from Boston, the young man says: "Shall I whisper a word in your ear? The better people are all aristocrats. My father is too rank a Jacobin to live among them. Samuel Adams is superannuated, unpopular and fast decaying in every respect." Again he wrote to his mother from Philadelphia: "I have become a fierce Aristocrat. This is the country to cure your Jacobins. Send them over and they will return quite converted. The opposition here are a set of villains. Their object is to overset the government, and all good men are apprehensive lest they should be successful. A great schism seems to be forming, and they already begin to talk of a separation of the States north of the Potomac from those on the southern side of the river."[173] He was a visitor at Mount Vernon and spent a week as a guest of the first President of the young Republic.

After nearly two years spent in the new United States, John Singleton Copley, the younger, returned to what had now become the settled home of the Copley family. He commenced a long course of study and systematic preparation for a life which was to become of the most distinguished, among the most famous men of the first half of the 19th century. Called to the bar in 1804 he, with no other influence than that of his own commanding talents, soon ranked among the leading men of his profession and that at a time when an unusually large number of great advocates were at the English bar.

[220]But it was not at the bar only, or when on the bench at the head of the judiciary of England that this son of Boston distinguished himself. In both houses of Parliament, as Copley or Lyndhurst, he was an acknowledged leader of men.

Copley took his seat in the House of Commons as member for Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight, in March 1818, and until his removal to the House of Lords, nine years later, sat continuously as a member. Meanwhile promotion, professionally and politically, was constantly growing. In 1819, he was made a king's sergeant (at large) and chief justice of Chester. In June of the same year he was appointed Solicitor General (with knighthood), five years later became Attorney General. In 1826 he succeeded Lord Gifford as Master of the Rolls, a high judicial office, which at that time and for many years after did not compel the vacating of a seat in Parliament.

The town Council of Bristol unanimously elected him in the same year Recorder of that city.

In April 1827 in his 55th year on the retirement of Lord Chancellor Eldon, the ambition of his life was realized. The great prize of the legal profession was offered to him by the express desire of the king and with it of course a peerage, Sir John Singleton Copley became Baron Lyndhurst of Lyndhurst in the County of Hampshire and, for nearly forty years thereafter remained to adorn the House of Lords by his high talents, his noble character, and his fervid eloquence.

Lyndhurst's first Chancellorship, was not of long duration. From 1830 to 1834 we find him occupying the chiefship of the Court of Exchequer. He a strong tory, had been honored by a whig ministry, in his appointment to the office of Lord Chief Baron. This dignified and permanent position he resigned again to became Chancellor following the passing of the Reform Bill. As Lord Chancellor once more, and for the third time, from 1841 to 1846 he was a member of the ministry of Sir Robert Peel. The fame of the great jurist and statesman had become as precious to the citizens of Breton, as it was to the mother country. Here in Massachusetts he was born, and from his American parents received the first vivid impression of childhood. The reminiscences of his youth however, were always-accompanied by a heartfelt effusion of gratitude that his lot was cast in England. To London he was especially attached, and used to say "that every product known to man, every wonder of art, and skill, which the civilized world produced, could be found there."[174]

He was called the "Nestor of the House of Lords." His speeches were remarkable for their clearness, vigor, and force, even when he had reached nearly to his ninetieth year. A portrait of Lord Lyndhurst in his Chancellor robes is in the portrait gallery of the New York Historical Society. Lord Lyndhurst died October, 1863, in his 92nd year. Leaving no male heirs, his title died with him.

Born in Boston May 20, 1772. Son of John Singleton Copley. Died in London Oct. 12, 1863.

He married Sarah Geray, daughter of Charles Brunsden, and widow[221] of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas, who fell at Waterloo. He was the father of Sarah Elizabeth, Susan Penelope, and Sophia Clarence. His second wife, Georgiana, daughter of Lewis Goldsmith, bore him a single child, Georgiana Susan.

His Lordship's eldest sister, Elizabeth Clarke, born in Boston, 1770, was educated at a boarding school at Clapham, London, and married Gardiner Greene of Boston, a man of high social standing and business position, who had come to Boston from Demerara after the Revolution, where he had accumulated a large fortune. While on a visit to London in July, 1800, he married Miss Copley. She died at Boston in 1866, aged 95 years. In her will she left to Harvard College a collection of proof copies of all of Copley's historical paintings. Her daughter, Martha B. Greene, born in 1812, married Charles Amory and wrote the Life of John Singleton Copley, and to this valuable work we are indebted for much of the information we have given in this biographical notice. She died in 1880 leaving many descendants.


Marblehead is a rough peninsular, projecting into the Bay, with craggy shores, and a narrow harbor a mile and a half in length and a half mile wide. It is distant about eighteen miles from Boston.

From its peculiar adaptation to fisheries and commerce, though very limited in territory, this place was once famous for the hardihood and daring enterprise of its citizens. It was the principal fishing port in all the colonies, and now it does not contain one single fisherman that goes to the "Banks," but it has since become the principal yachting centre in the United States if not in the world; frequently there will be seen gathered here more than five hundred yachts of all classes and descriptions.

It was naturally a wilderness of rock, with here and there a green valley or glade just fitted for a little garden, where the mariner perched his pretty nest, on the adjacent cliff. No herds or flocks ranged on this barren place. A Marbleheader ploughed only the deep for his living, his pasture lay afar off on the Banks of Newfoundland, or the Georges, and his harvest whitened the shores with their wide spread fish flakes. Even at this day, with its cluster of antique dwellings and rough trapesian streets, this seaport has an odd look, like some ancient town in England. But in this secluded spot, where stands the dilapidated fortresses of Sewall and Lee, several eminent men, merchants, mariners and lawyers, were born and educated, who became staunch loyalists. They were sincere in their convictions and had the courage to declare them in defiance of a rough and turbulent population. They could not view the revolutionary proceedings of their townsmen without deep concern, and doing all in their[222] power to dissuade their fellow-citizens from the course they had taken, they protested that the entire policy of the colonies was suicidal and that the town had been guilty of treason by its action. With a sincere belief that these rebellious acts of the colonists must sooner or later bring disaster and ruin upon the country, and death and imprisonment to the leaders, they entreated their friends and neighbors to recede from their position before it was too late, but in vain. It was voted in town meeting that they "ought not to be indulged in their wickedness" and that a committee should be chosen to attend to the conduct of these ministerial tools and Jacobites, that effectual measures might be taken "either for silencing them or expelling them from the community". What brought about this action of the Revolutionists was the address to Governor Hutchinson on his departure for England signed by thirty-three of the principal citizens of the town. Among these names there were five of the name of Hooper, chief of whom was "King Hooper," the principal merchant in the town. He had a high reputation for honor and integrity in his business dealings and for his benevolence.

Robert Hooper, the first to appear in Marblehead, is first mentioned in Massachusetts records as master of a shallop hired of Mr. Moses Maverick, a wealthy business man of Marblehead, in 1663. From a deposition he made in court, he was born about 1606. This would make him old enough to have been the father of John, Robert and Henry Hooper, the other very early residents of Marblehead. He died after 1686.

Robert Hooper, supposed to be the son of the aforesaid, was born as early as 1655. Married Dec. 4, 1684, Anna, daughter of Peter and Hannah Greenfield. Hannah was a daughter of John and Ann Devereux. He was an inn keeper and died about 1689.

Greenfield Hooper, son of the aforesaid, was born about 1686. He resided at Marblehead, was a merchant. He also had a "workshop," with loom for weaving. He married, Jan. 16, 1706, Alice, daughter of Andrew Tucker, Sr., and received a share of his real estate. He died about October 1, 1747.

At his elegant mansion in Danvers, Robert Hooper entertained General Gage, who made it his headquarters in 1774.

Robert Hooper, known as "King Hooper," was born at Marblehead, June 26, 1709, son of the aforesaid Greenfield Hooper. He was married four times. Was a merchant who rose from poverty to apparently inexhaustible wealth, engrossing for years a large part of the foreign fishing business of Marblehead, which was very extensive about the year 1760. For awhile he purchased all the fish brought into that port, sent it to Bilboa and other parts of Spain and received gold and silver in return, with which he purchased goods in England. He owned lands in Marblehead, Salem, Danvers, and an extensive tract at Lyndeborough, N. H., and elsewhere. He had a large and elegant house at Marblehead, and also a mansion at Danvers, where he did "royal" entertaining, rode in a chariot like a prince, and was ever after known as "King Hooper." He was[223] one of the wealthiest and most benevolent men in the colony. He presented Marblehead with a fire engine in 1751.[175]

At his elegant house in Danvers he entertained General Gage for some time in 1774, and was an Addresser of Hutchinson the same year. He was appointed representative to the General Court in 1775, and declined a seat in the Governor's council in 1759 on account of deafness. He was one of thirty-six persons appointed as mandamus councillors of the province in 1774, at the beginning of the agitation that led to the Revolution, and was one of the twelve that did not accept of the honor, his deafness previously referred to being probably the reason, for he was a staunch loyalist. This, together with his age and known generosity, prevented his being driven forth from the town; it however did not prevent the loss of his great property, for when he died in 1790 he was insolvent. In a letter dated Marblehead, March 17, 1790, addressed to his granddaughter Ruth, the wife of Lewis Deblois, a Boston loyalist residing at St. John, N. B., he says: "But as you justly observe we have been and still are 300 miles distance from each other and my advanced age make it doubtful whether I may ever see you more in this world, your parting from me was next to burying you, there is nothing would give more pleasure than to hear of the health and prosperity of every branch of my family." This truly great and honorable man died, a little more than a month after writing this letter. He died May 20, 1790, aged 81 years.

Joseph Hooper, son of the aforesaid, was born at Marblehead, May 29, 1743, married Oct. 30, 1766, Mary, daughter of Benjamin and Lucy (Devereux) Harris of Newburyport, Nov. 20, 1746. She died at Newburyport Oct. 3, 1796.

He graduated from Harvard College in 1763, was a merchant in his native town, carrying on a foreign trade. He built the mansion in Marblehead afterwards occupied by Chief Justice Sewall. He was an Addresser of Governor Hutchinson in 1774. Being an ardent loyalist he was forced to leave his home in 1775 and go to England. He became a paper manufacturer at Bungay, Suffolk, England, where he died in 1812. The Marblehead Revolutionary committee recorded May 8th, 1781, that "they believed he had voluntarily gone over to our enemies," that is he was a loyalist, and proceeded to administer on his affairs. One third share was set off to his wife June 9, 1783, and the balance confiscated and sold. He had two sons and two daughters.

Robert Hooper, son of King Hooper, was born at Marblehead, Feb. 9, 1746, married May 23, 1769, Anna, daughter of Richard and Jemima Corwell. He was an Addresser of Governor Hutchinson, but evidently made peace with the Revolutionists and was allowed to remain. He died about 1781 at Marblehead. "He had usually traded beyond the sea."

Sweet Hooper, son of King Hooper. Married at Boston, Aug. 4, 1779, Mary, daughter of Hector McNeil. He was an Addresser of Governor[224] Hutchinson, but was allowed to remain. He was a merchant at Marblehead, died October, 1781.

Robert Hooper, 3d. as described in the Addressers to Governor Hutchinson, was probably a son of Deacon Robert Hooper, cousin to the aforesaid Hoopers. He was born at Marblehead 1757, and married Sept. 21, 1777, Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Whittaker of Salem. In 1794 he sold his two-sixths of the mansion house, etc., which had belonged to his father, the late Deacon Robert Hooper. He removed to Lexington, Maine, was master of Limerick Academy. He died May 11, 1836.


Nicholas Bowes of Cambridge, Mass., married 26 June, 1684, Sarah Hubbard, who died 26 Jan. 1686, and for second wife married 6 May, 1690, Dorcas Champney, and a third wife, Martha Remington, of Cambridge, June 21, 1718. It is claimed that he was descended from Sir Martin Bowes, Lord Mayor of London. Nicholas Bowes, son of the preceding was born at Boston, Nov. 2nd, 1706. He graduated at Harvard College as M. A., was minister at Bedford from 1730 to 1754. He married Lucy Hancock, the aunt of John Hancock, the Revolutionary Governor of Massachusetts. Their son

William Bowes, was born at Boston, 3 December 1734. He married Ann Whitney, March 22, 1761, who died Jan. 2, 1762. His second wife was Mary Stoddard, whom he married Oct. 30, 1769, and who died 9 May, 1774. He was a merchant and had inherited in 1764 a large property from his uncle, Thomas Hancock, one of the wealthiest merchants in Boston. He was an Addresser of Governor Hutchinson in 1774, and of General Gage in 1775. At the evacuation of Boston he went to Halifax with his family of four persons. In 1788 he was proscribed and banished, and his estates confiscated. He died near London, April, 1805. His eldest son,

William Bowes, born at Boston, 15 Oct. 1771, lived in England and died near London 10 June, 1850, aged 79. He married Harriet Troutbeck, daughter of Rev. John Troutbeck, born at Boston 1 Oct. 1768, and died in England, 14 January, 1851, aged 82. Their children were Emily Bowes born 1806, Edmund Elford Bowes, born 1808, M. A. Trinity College. Cambridge. Arthur Bowes, born 1813. All born and living in England in 1856.

Sarah Bowes, daughter of William Bowes, Sr., was born at Boston, Jan. 31, 1773, and died in England. July 1850, unmarried.


To Richard Driver. Feb. 16, 1782, Lib. 134, fol. 23; Land in Boston, Fitch's Alley W.; Margaret Phillips N., Corn Court E. Andrew Oliver S.

To Mungo Mackey. June 11, 1783; Lib. 139, fol. 16. One fourth of land, brick distill house and other buildings in Boston, Cambridge St. N.; George St E. heirs of John Guttridge deceased S.; Belknap St. W.

To Robert Jenkins, Feb. 16, 1784; Lib. 141, fol. 132; Land and buildings in Boston. Wilson's Lane W.; Dock Square N.; Arnold and Samuel Wells E. heirs of Charles Hammock deceased S.

To James Welch. Nov. 6, 1784; Lib. 145, fol. 250; Land in Boston. Wings Lane N., Nathan Frazier and heirs of Charles Apthorp deceased E.; said heirs S.; E.; S. and W.


Thomas Ruggles of Nazing, Essex County, England, was born in Sudbury, Suffolk County, England, in 1584. He came to Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1637 and was freeman May 22, 1639. He married in Nazing, England, Mary Curtis. He died in Roxbury, November 16, 1644, and his wife died in 1674, leaving four children.

His son Samuel was many years selectman, representative, and captain of the Roxbury company. His son Samuel succeeded his father in the several offices named and in company with seven other persons purchased, Dec. 27, 1686, for £20, from John Nagers and Lawrence Nassawano, two noted Indians, a tract of land containing by estimation 12 miles long north and south and eight miles wide east and west. This purchase is now known as the town of Hardwick, Mass. His son, the Rev. Timothy Ruggles, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts November 3., 1685, and married Mary White, the daughter of Benjamin and Susanna White. He graduated from Harvard College in 1707, and was ordained pastor of the Rochester church in 1710, which office he held until his death which occurred October 26, 1768. He was a great worker in the community and much beloved.

General Timothy Ruggles, born in Rochester, Mass., October 20, 1711, eldest son of Rev. Timothy Ruggles, one of the fifth generation of Ruggles in America, graduated at Harvard College in 1732 and commenced practicing law in Rochester. He represented his native town in the provincial assembly at the age of 25, and procured the passing of a bill still in force prohibiting sheriffs from filing writs. He removed to Harwich about 1753 on to the lands bought by his grandfather from the Indians. In 1757 he was appointed judge and in 1762 Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, which he held till the Revolution. He was also surveyor-general of the king's forest, an office of profit, attended with but little labor. Besides professional employment he was engaged in military and political occupation.

In 1756 almost immediately before Mr. Ruggles' appointment to the[226] bench, he accepted a Colonel's Commission in the forces raised by his native province for service on the frontier of Canada. In the campaign which followed, he served under the command of Sir William Johnson, and did good service in the expedition against Crown Point. In September of the same year he was second in command under that leader at the battle of Lake George, in which the French under Baron Dieskau, met a signal defeat, after very severe fighting, in which he distinguished himself for coolness, courage and ability, and so highly were his services esteemed on that occasion that he was promoted to the position of General of Brigade and placed under the command of the Commander-in-Chief.

In 1758 he commanded the Third Division of the Provisional troops under Abercrombie, in the unsuccessful attack upon Ticonderoga. He also served with distinction and courage in the campaign of 1759-1760. In the winter of 1762 while the belligerent forces on both sides were in winter quarters, he had the honor to be chosen speaker of the House of Representatives. On the passing of the Stamp Act in 1765 delegates were chosen by the legislature of the various colonies, to seek out some relief from immediate and threatened evils, by a representation of their grievances to the king and parliament. Gen. Ruggles was chosen as one of the delegates from Massachusetts. The Stamp Act Congress met at New York, Oct. 19, 1765, and General Ruggles was elected president of same. An address to the king was voted and certain resolves framed setting forth the rights of the colonies, and claiming an entire exemption from all taxes, excepting those imposed by the local assemblies. Gen. Ruggles refused his concurrence in the proceedings for which he was censured on his return by the House of Representatives, and was reprimanded by the speaker who occupied his place. John Adams, who claimed relationship with Ruggles before his defection found nothing in his character but what was noble and grand. "Ruggles' grandeur" he wrote, "consists in the quickness of his apprehension, steadiness of his attention, the boldness and strength of his thoughts and his expressions, his strict honor, conscious superiority, contempt of meanness, etc." He was, he said, a man of genius and great resolution. At an early period of the Disunion propaganda. Ruggles, conceiving that the course of the British Government was neither politic nor just, and believing that the Disunion leaders honestly intended to bring about a reform, joined hands with them and as previously stated he was elected President of the Stamp Act Congress, but on the discovery of the real aim of that body, he refused to proceed any further on the road to Disunion and left the Congress. Adams then suddenly discovered, "an inflexible oddity about him, which has gained him a character for courage and probity, and that at Congress." "His behavior was very dishonorable" and governed by "pretended scruples and timidities" and ever since he was "held in utter contempt and derision by the whole continent." But fifty years later, when no advantage could be gained by blackening the character of this brave and honest man, he remembered he was a high-minded man, an exalted[227] soul acting in scenes he could not comprehend.[176] General Ruggles was a staunch, independent and fearless supporter of the government, a son of Massachusetts of which she should be proud.

An extract from the "History of the County of Annapolis, Nova Scotia," says, "The conduct of Mr. Ruggles as a military commander has been highly praised by most competent judges. Few men in the province were more distinguished and few more severely dealt with in the bitter controversies preceding the Revolution. His appearance was commanding and dignified, being much above the common size; his wit was ready and brilliant; his mind clear, comprehensive and penetrating; his judgment was profound and his knowledge extensive; his abilities as a public speaker placed him among the first of the day; and had he embraced the popular sentiments of the times, there is no doubt he would have ranked among the leading characters of the Revolution."

By pen and tongue, in the halls of the Legislature, and on the platform, he declared against rebellion and bloodshed; General Ruggles was a good scholar and possessed powers of mind of a very high order. Many anecdotes continue to be related of him in the town of his nativity, which show his shrewdness, his sagacity, his military hardihood and bravery. As a lawyer he was an impressive pleader and in parliamentary debate able and ingenious. He remained in the army until 1760, the last three years being Brigadier General under Lord Amherst.

As the Revolutionary quarrel progressed he became one of the most violent supporters of the ministry and he and Otis as leaders of the two opposing parties were in constant collision in the discussion of the popular branch of government. In 1774 he was named a Mandamus Councillor, which increased his unpopularity to so great a degree that his house was attacked by night and his cattle were maimed and poisoned. General Ruggles tried to form a plan of combining the Loyalists against the Disunionists after the model of similar associations formed in other colonies. On December 22, 1774, he sent a communication to the "Printers of the Boston Newspaper" concerning the forming of an Association "and if attended to and complied with by the good people of the province might put it in the power of anyone very easily to distinguish such loyal subjects to the king and are to assert their rights to freedom, in all respects consistent with the laws of the land from such rebellious ones as under the pretence of being friends of liberty, are frequently committing the most enormous outrages upon the persons and the property of such of his Majesty's peaceable subjects who for want of knowing whom to call upon, in these distracted times for assistance, fall into the hands of bandits, whose cruelties surpass those of savages."

The "Association" consisted of a preamble and six articles. The principal were the first and third, which provided "That we will upon all occasions, with our lives and fortunes, stand by and assist each other in the defence of life, liberty and property, whenever the same shall be attacked[228] or endangered by any bodies of men, riotously assembled upon any pretence, or under any authority not warranted by the laws of the land." And "That we will not acknowledge or submit to the pretended authority of any Congress, Committees of Correspondence, or any other unconstitutional assembly of men, but will at the risk of our lives if need be, oppose the forcible exercise of all such authority."

The Association did not succeed, the Loyalists were not inclined to such organization, nor fitted for secret intrigue without which it could not have succeeded in combatting the measures of the Disunionists. They were slow to join, and inefficient in action. No good was accomplished by this association and the Disunionists proceeded on their way triumphant.

When the appeal to arms had been finally decided on by the Disunionists, the popular excitement was at a fearful height, and all those who had counselled moderation, either in demand or action, were declared to be enemies to their country and traitors to the cause of liberty, and as such worthy of death. No man in Massachusetts was regarded as so inimical to the cause of rebellion as General Ruggles, whose known and recognized ability, great energy, and unflinching courage made him an object of fear as well as dislike.

They denounced him as malignant and openly threatened his life. In consequence of this violence he was forced, with his family and such of his neighbors as remained loyal, to seek safety and refuge from his dwelling house which he had built in Harwich by joining the British forces in Boston. On the very day of the battle of Lexington, a body of Loyalists formed in Boston, composed of tradesmen and merchants. They are spoken of as "the gentlemen volunteers," or Loyal American Association. They were placed under the command of Brigadier General Ruggles. During the siege of Boston they were joined by other Loyalist companies, Loyal Irish Volunteers, Captain James Forrest, Royal Honorable Americans, Colonel Gorham. After the evacuation of Boston he was in Long Island for a while and in 1783 he was an exile from his native province in his old age, but still as vigorous as he was loyal. His extensive estates in Harwich were confiscated, but were made up to him subsequently by the crown. He was living at Digby or Annapolis in the year of 1783, and made an application for a grant of land in that portion of the province. "In the following year the grant was issued. The undismayed grantee commenced a labor at the age of more than seventy years, which few, if any of the young men of to-day would voluntarily undertake. The work of chopping down the forests and clearing the lands for crops and of preparation for building went on simultaneously and rapidly under his direction.

"Two young men, Stromach and Fales, were employed to work with him for a limited number of years and receive their pay in land. They did their work, and he paid them, and their descendants are now the occupiers of many a fair home in the beautiful township of Wilmot."

General Ruggles' four daughters were married before the Revolution[229] broke out and their husbands probably adhered to the Colonial side, for they never came to Nova Scotia. Three of his sons followed him into exile and settled in that country, Timothy, John, and Richard. It may not be without use to remark that for much the greater part of his life, General Ruggles ate no animal food, and drank no spirituous or fermented liquors, small beer excepted, and that he enjoyed health to his advanced age. This remarkable leader of men died in 1795. The "Royal Gazette" in August, 1795, said of him that "the district of county in which he lived will long feel the benefits resulting from the liberal exertions he made to advance the agricultural interests of the Province." It was also said of General Timothy Ruggles that he was one of the best soldiers in the colonies.

He was buried to the eastward of the chancel of the (then new) church, lately known as the "Pine Grove Church," in Central Wilmot, near the present village of Middleton,—a church toward the erection of which he was a considerable contributor.

Numerous descendants of General Ruggles are to be met with in Nova Scotia. There is a street and church in Roxbury named after this illustrious family.

John Ruggles, son of General Ruggles of Harwich, Mass., was proscribed and banished in 1778. He settled in Nova Scotia and died there in 1795. His widow Hannah, only daughter of Dr. Thomas Sackett of New York, died at Wilmot, N. S. in 1839, aged 76. His only son, Captain Timothy Amherst Ruggles of the Nova Scotia Fencibles died at the same place in 1838 at the age of 56.

Timothy Ruggles, another son of the General, was a member of the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia for many years. He died at N. S. in 1831. Sarah, his widow, died at that place in 1842, aged 92.

Richard Ruggles, son of the General, was born at Rochester, Mass., in 1774 and died at Annapolis in 1832.


The Faneuils were Huguenot refugees from La Rochelle, France. When they came to America they brought with them considerable wealth in jewels and money. From their coat of arms we should judge they dated back as far as the crusades, as the crossed palm branches can have no other meaning.

There is a paper extant in the French language and written by Benjamin Faneuil the elder. It is a family record in which he states that in 1699 he married Ann Bureau; then follows the birth of Peter Faneuil, afterwards the birth of three daughters. This paper was left by Benjamin Faneuil the younger, and is now in the possession of his great-grand-son George A. Bethune, M. D., Boston (1884). They first settled near New Rochelle, N. Y., and in 1699 Benjamin Faneuil was given the[230] freedom of the city of New York. In Valentine's "History of New York," P. 219, we read in a list of the principal merchants of the city the name of Benjamin Faneuil the third in the list.

Andrew, the brother of Benjamin settled in Boston and made an immense fortune as a merchant. His wife was born in Holland and was a very beautiful woman.

Andrew Faneuil had no children that lived to maturity. He adopted two sons of his brother Benjamin of New York—Peter, born in 1701, and Benjamin the younger, born in 1702. Benjamin Faneuil the younger, married the daughter of Dr. John Cutler from a noted German family. Andrew Faneuil was offended about this marriage and left most of his fortune to his nephew Peter Faneuil. Peter Faneuil died five years after his uncle and left no will, and his brother Benjamin was declared sole heir to his fortune.

Benjamin Faneuil the elder is buried on the north side of Trinity church in New York City and the gravestone is in good preservation. His brother Andrew lived in a splendid house at the corner of Somerset and Beacon Streets, Boston; the house after his death was owned and occupied by Gardner Greene. From that home in Boston Andrew Faneuil was buried, having a most imposing funeral. (See Memorial Hist. of Boston). His tomb is in the graveyard at the south side of the common.

Benjamin Faneuil the younger, and Mary Cutler, had two sons neither of whom left descendants, and a daughter. He lived at one time in Boston at the corner of Washington and Summer Streets, and later in Brighton. He was stone blind for twenty years and lived to be eighty-four years of age. He was an admirable character and greatly beloved. His daughter entertained General Washington at their home during the seige of Boston, and General Lee was with him. Benjamin Faneuil admired Washington and he told him so, emphatically, whether a Whig or not. But he also told General Lee who was an Englishman that he had his "head in the noose" for he was a very decided old man and had to state his opinions under any circumstances.

Peter Faneuil possessed his uncle's estate only about five years but during that time he lived in sumptuous style at the corner of Somerset and Beacon Streets in the house that Andrew built. He gave great sums to charity and Faneuil Hall was but one of his gifts to the city. Every charity of that day has his name down for a large sum. To Trinity church he gave a £100 for an organ and a donation to support the families of the deceased clergy of that church. It became so large that it was divided between Trinity church and Kings Chapel, and has done much good. There is a fine portrait of Peter Faneuil still extant; it was given to the Antiquarian Society of Boston by his niece, Miss Jones, and is a better picture than the one in Faneuil Hall.

Peter Faneuil was a careful business man, but was always generous. At the time of the erection of Faneuil Hall there was no market house then in the town, and so he erected a building one hundred feet in length by[231] forty feet in width. Besides the market there were several rooms for town officers, and a hall which would contain one thousand persons. On the completion of the building the first public oration held there was a funeral eulogy delivered in honor of its donor, Peter Faneuil, March 14, 1743 by Master Lovell of the Latin School, and was "Recorded by Order of Town."[177] The Hall was dedicated to Liberty and Loyalty to the King in the following words, "May Liberty always spread its Joyful Wings, over this Place. And may Loyalty to a King under whom we enjoy this Liberty ever remain our Character." That the building should ever be used by conspirators against the King, and become synonymous for disloyalty to the King, was the very last purpose that its founder intended it to be used for, yet by the strange irony of fate Faneuil Hall became known to the world as the "Cradle of Liberty" in which the Revolution was rocked. The town also voted to purchase the "Arms of Peter Faneuil and Fix them up in Faneuil Hall." Only a few years passed when the very people he had so benefited by his bounty tore down his "Arms" and portraits, and showed the most violent marks of disrespect to the memory of him who had been their best friend, but it was unreasonable violence that moved the mob who called themselves patriots. Faneuil Hall is a permanent memorial of the Huguenots of Boston and with the exception of a few crumbling gravestones it is the only visible monument of their residence here.

Peter Faneuil died in 1742 and left his vast fortune to his two nephews, Peter and Benjamin Faneuil the younger, the latter being an eminent merchant and was one of the consignees of the tea that was destroyed by the mob. The following letter sent to him by the "patriots" at that time undoubtedly expresses the feelings and the sentiment of those who formed the "Boston Tea Party." The letter he said was found in his entry.

"Gentlemen, It is currently reported that you are in the extremest anxiety respecting your standing with the good people of this Town and Province, as commissioners of the sale of the monopolized and dutied tea. We do not wonder in the least that your apprehensions are terrible, when the most enlightened humans and conscientious community on the earth view you in the light of tigers or mad dogs, whom the public safety obliges them to destroy. Long have this people been irreconcilable to the idea of spilling human blood, on almost any occasion whatever, but they have lately seen a penitential thief suffer death for pilfering a few pounds, from scattering individuals you boldly avow a resolution to bear a principal part in the robbing of every inhabitant of this country, in the present and future ages of every thing dear and interesting to them. Are there no laws in the Book of God and nature that enjoin such miscreants to be cut off from among the people, as troublers of the whole congregation. Yea, verily, there are laws and officers to put them into execution, which you can neither corrupt, intimidate, nor escape, and whose resolution[232] to bring you to condign punishment you can only avoid by a speedy imitation of your brethren in Philadelphia. This people are still averse to precipitate your fate, but in case of much longer delay in complying with their indispensable demands, you will not fail to meet the just rewards of your avarice and insolence. Remember, gentlemen, this is the last warning you are ever to expect from the insulted, abused and most indignant vindicators of violated liberty in the Town of Boston.

Thursday evening 9 o'clock,
Nov. 4. 1773.

O. C. Secy, per order.

To Messrs. the Tea Commissioners,
Directed to B—— F—— Esq."[178]

The Faneuils did not lack patriotism. They counselled prudence until the country was prepared for action in a constitutional way. They were entirely opposed to mob violence, and their patriotism took a reasonable practical form, looking to the best interests of all. Further they had no angry feelings against the English; they had too recently been received and protected by them when their own country turned them out. They always spoke of the English as a great nation. They admired their liberality as to religious opinions in which France was wanting.

Benjamin Faneuil the elder previously referred to, the father of Peter and Benjamin, the younger, and Mary died at Cambridge in 1785 aged 84.

Peter Faneuil his son, who shared with his brother the vast fortune left them by their uncle went to Canada at the outbreak of the Revolution and then to the West Indies.

Benjamin Faneuil found that it was necessary for his safety to leave Boston. He went to Halifax with the fleet when Boston was invaded on March 17, 1776, he afterwards went to England where he had $300,000 in English funds, with which he entertained his friends, the less fortunate refugees. In writing to a friend he said, "When we shall be able to return to Boston I cannot say, but hope and believe it will not exceed one year, for sooner or later America will be conquered, that you may depend on." He, however, was destined never to return but was proscribed and banished. He resided at Bristol where he died in 1785. His wife Jane was the daughter of Addington Davenport. The Faneuil name has become extinct; there are, however, numerous descendants through the female. Mary Faneuil, daughter of Benjamin Faneuil the elder became the wife of George Bethune, Oct. 13, 1754, and died in 1797, leaving many descendants. Mary Ann Faneuil, sister of Peter, who built the hall, married John Jones, who died at Roxbury in 1767, and whose son Edward died in Boston in 1835 at the age of 83. She was a loyalist, and resided for some time in Windsor, Nova Scotia. A letter from her son dated at Boston, June 23, 1783, advising her if desirous[233] of returning, not to come directly to Boston, as the law was still in force; but first to some other State and thence to Boston.[179]


Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, Sir Thomas Aston Coffin, Admiral
Froman H. Coffin, General John Coffin.

The name of Coffin is widely spread over this continent; thousands take pride in tracing their descent from Tristram Coffin of Alwington, which extends along the Severn Sea, south of the boundary between Somerset and Devon, fronting the broad Atlantic.

The Coffins came over with William the Conqueror and settled there in 1066. It is said that the name Coffin was a corruption or translation of Colvinus, signifying a basket or chest, and that from the charge of the King's treasure, such employment, like royalty itself, being hereditary, the name became attached to the family. In 1085, according to the "Doomsday Book," Alwington was possessed by David De la Bere, and that the heiress of that name brought it to the Coffins. On a subject less grave this might be suspected for a jest but the authority is proof. Tristram came over to New England in 1642 and settled at Salisbury, and also at Haverhill and Newbury. He resided at these places for sixteen years and then went to Nantucket, which at that time was a dependency of New York. For 80 pounds he and his associates bought of the Indians a large part of the island. Tristram's third son, James, was Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and of Probate. James' son, Nathaniel, married the daughter of William Gayer, and niece of Sir John Gayer. William, the eldest son of Nathaniel, born 1699, removed to Boston and became proprietor of the Lunch of Grapes Tavern in 1731. It was situated on King street at the corner of Mackerel lane, the site now occupied by the Exchange building, on the corner of State and Kilby streets. It was a tavern from 1640 to 1760, when the Great Fire swept everything away.

The Coffins were strong in numbers and near neighbors, along the principal thoroughfare, now Washington street, dwelt twenty families, descended from William Coffin, or their near kinfolk, who lived in constant intercourse. The patriarch, at four score, his vigor hardly abated, lived on this street near his son's house. His daughter, Elizabeth, married her cousin, Thomas C. Amory, who had bought the house opposite her father's, at the corner of Hollis street, built by Governor Belcher for his own use. He was one of the organizers of Trinity church in 1734 and was one of the first wardens of same. He lived in honor and affluence till he died in 1774, just before the war broke out, which saved him from witnessing the exile and widespread confiscation that awaited his[234] sons. His children and their children counted about sixty when he died, but of his descendants bearing the name of Coffin, all have died out in Massachusetts. He had four sons, all staunch Loyalists, William, Nathaniel, John and Ebenezer. The daughters, Mrs. De Blois, Mrs. Amory, and Mrs. Dexter, married into the best families of Boston, and through love for their husbands took the other side. The sons were proscribed and banished by an Act of the Massachusetts Legislature.

William Coffin, Jr., the eldest son of William, was born in Boston, April 11th, 1723. He was an Addresser of General Gage, was proscribed and banished. He accompanied the Royal Army to Halifax in 1776 on the evacuation of Boston.

Sir Thomas Aston Coffin, Baronet, son of William, Jr., was born at Boston, March 31, 1754. He graduated at Harvard College in 1772. He was for a long time Secretary to Sir Guy Carleton, by whose side he sat in the last boat which left Castle Garden on the evacuation of New York, 25th Nov., 1783. When Sir Guy Carleton became Lord Dorchester and Governor of Quebec, 1784, Coffin accompanied him and by his influence was appointed in 1804 Secretary and Comptroller of Accounts of Lower Canada. At another part of his life he was Commissary General in the British Army. He went to England and died in London in 1810, very wealthy. He was grandfather to Mrs. Bolton, wife of Col. Bolton, R. A., who took an active part in the Red River Expedition of 1870.

William Coffin, the second son of William Coffin, Jr., was born in Boston, 1758, and died at Kingston, Canada, in 1804.

Ebenezer Coffin, the third son of William Coffin, Jr., was born at Boston, 1763, went to South Carolina where he acquired property as a merchant and planter and was the father of Thomas Aston Coffin of Charleston, South Carolina, whose descendants, with an hereditary instinct, distinguished themselves by their chivalrous devotion to a failing cause in the late Confederate war.

Nathaniel Coffin, second eldest son of William, was born in Boston in 1725, graduated at Harvard College in 1744, received in 1750 an honorary degree at Yale. Brought up a merchant, he was early appointed King's Cashier of the Customs and acquired considerable property. He resided on the corner of Essex and Rainsford Lane, now Harrison avenue. The tide washed up to the garden wall. Near by in front, on what is now called Washington street, was the "Liberty Tree," where Captain Mackintosh and his "chickens," met to plan outrages upon loyal citizens.

In August, 1767, a flagstaff was erected which went through and above it highest branches. A flag hoisted on this was the notice for the assembling of the "Sons of Liberty" for action. In 1775, his son Nathaniel, and his friends cut it down, much to the disgust of Mackintosh who was known as the "First Captain General of Liberty Tree." On the building occupying its site is a stone bas-relief of the tree with an inscription on it. Nathaniel Coffin held one of the most lucrative positions under the crown, his acquaintances and friends were naturally among the government[235] officials and the better class of the community. He had much to lose if he severed from his fealty to the mother country and, banishment and confiscation would be the penalty, if the disunionists succeeded.

Nathaniel Coffin was the last Receiver General and Cashier of his Majesty's Customs at the Port of Boston, he was an addressor of Hutchinson in 1774 and of Gage in 1775. With his family of three persons he accompanied the Royal Army to Halifax in 1776 and in July of that year embarked for England in the ship Aston Hall. In May, 1780, while returning, he died the day before the vessel arrived at New York. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Barnes of Boston.

Nathaniel Coffin, Jr., son of the aforesaid, was born in Boston in 1749. Was an Addresser of Hutchinson in 1774 and a Protester against the disunionists the same year. He was brought up to the bar, and succeeded well in his profession. As he took a prominent part on the side of the Government; and caused the "Liberty Tree" to be cut down, he was obliged to fly, or he would have been tarred and feathered. He employed a negro to assist him in cutting it down. A thousand dollars reward was offered by the Revolutionists for the offender, the darky informed against him, and he had to leave.[180] He was at New York in 1783, and was one of the petitioners for lands in Nova Scotia. At a subsequent period he was appointed Collector of Customs at the island of St. Kitt's and filled that position for thirty-four years. He died in London in 1831, aged 83.

William Coffin, second son of Nathaniel, the Cashier. An Addresser of Hutchinson in 1774; went to Halifax in 1776, proscribed and banished, 1778. Assisted his brother in destroying the "Liberty Tree." He had three sons in the British service. After the peace, he was at St. John, New Brunswick, a prosperous merchant.

General John Coffin, the third son of Nathaniel, the Cashier, was born in Boston, 1756, was sent to sea at a very early age, and at the age of eighteen was in command of a ship. In 1775, while his ship was in England, she was engaged by the government to take troops to America. He had on board nearly a whole regiment with General Howe in command of the troops, who was ordered out to supersede General Gage at Boston. The vessel arrived at Boston June 15th. Mr. Coffin landed the regiment on June 17th at Bunker Hill, and the action having already commenced, he was requested by the Colonel, "to come up and see the fun," the only weapon at hand being the tiller of his boat; he immediately, to use a nautical phrase, "unshipped it," and with equal determination, commenced "laying about" him, and "shipped" the musket, powder and belt of the first man he knocked down. He bore an active part and distinguished himself during the rest of the action. In consideration of his gallant conduct he was presented to General Gage after the battle and made an ensign on the field, shortly after he was promoted to a lieutenancy,[236] but still retained the command of his ship. He was promised by General Howe on his arrival at Boston the command of 400 men, if he would go to New York and raise them. He accordingly went to New York when Boston was evacuated March 17, 1776, where he raised among the Loyalists a mounted rifle corps, called the "Orange Rangers," of which he was made Commandant, and from which he exchanged into the New York Volunteers in 1778. He took part in the defeat of Washington in the battle of Long Island in 1777 and went with that corps to Georgia in 1778. Here he raided a corps of partisan cavalry, composed chiefly of loyal planters. At the battle of Savannah, at that of Hobkerk's Hill, and the action of Cross Creek near Charleston, and on various other occasions, his conduct won the admiration of his superior.

At the battle of Eutaw Springs which he opened on the part of the King's troops, his gallantry and good judgment attracted the notice and remark of General Greene, the Revolutionary leader, one of General Washington's ablest lieutenants. Major Coffin with 150 infantry and 50 cavalry averted the advance on Eutaw. Colonel William Washington, a distinguished partisan leader, with numerous cavalry rashly dashed forward; he lost most of his officers and many of his men, and his horse was shot under him, and he would have been slain had not Major Coffin interposed, who took him prisoner. These two men, who had known each other well in private life, rode back to camp to share the same meal and the same tent.

In the Southern colonies the Revolutionists and Loyalists, waged a war of extermination, the partisans on both sides, seldom gave quarter or took prisoners. At the close of the conflict in Virginia Lord Cornwallis made him a gift of a handsome sword, accompanied by a letter conferring on him the rank of Major Brevet. Whilst Coffin was attached to Cornwallis, he was able to be of great service to him, but the bravery, not to say the extraordinary sagacity mingled with audacity of one man, could not save the army. Lord Cornwallis' army cooped up in Yorktown by a superior army of French and Americans, and blockaded by a French fleet, was in danger of starvation, and Coffin stood almost alone in successful forays, in which he frequently eluded the whole American and French army, and returned laden with the fruits of his success. In one of these raids he accidentally came to the house of a wealthy planter whose daughter was to be married that day. He quietly surrounded the house with his troops and knocking at the door, sent in word that he wished to speak with the proprietor. On presenting himself, the gentleman was courteously made aware of his condition. He was told not to make any noise, but to order sufficient turkeys, ham, wine and other provisions to be put up, to satisfy his men; if this was done no harm would happen, but on the contrary, if any resistance was attempted, everything and everybody in the house would be destroyed. Coffin's character and resolution were well known, so the planter thought it best to graciously comply with the mandate. A large quantity of provisions was thus secured.

[237]Captain Coffin supped with the wedding party, danced with the bride, and left in safety, taking care that no alarm should be given, and reached Cornwallis without accident by daylight.

Even when the enemy held Charleston, during which time he ran very great risks of being taken prisoner, he went to see Miss Ann Matthews, daughter of William Matthews, Esq., of St. John's Island, to whom he was eventually married in 1781. On the occasion of one visit, the house was searched for him by authority, and the gallant soldier took refuge under Miss Matthews' ample dress. At that time ladies wore hoops and they must have been of considerable size, when Major Coffin, who stood six feet two and was proportionately stout, could successfully conceal himself under one. At the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, that portion of his army consisting of native Americans, he failed to obtain special terms for, in the articles of capitulation. He, however, availed himself of the conceded privilege of sending an armed ship northerly, without molestation, to convey away the most obnoxious of them. Major Coffin determined not to be taken by the Revolutionists who had offered $10,000 for his head, so he cut his way through the lines, and reached Charleston, attracted by the charms of Miss Matthews. When Charleston was evacuated Major Coffin made his way up to New York, crossed the Hudson, having eluded all attempts at his capture and presented himself at headquarters, to the great astonishment of his friends in the British Army. Sir Guy Carleton, Commander-in-chief, appointed him Major of the King's American Regiment, vacant by the death of Major Grant.

Previous to the evacuation of New York, and probably in view of it, Major Coffin and others who were feared and disliked by the victorious Revolutionists, and were, therefore, thrust out beyond the pale of redemption, were sent by the British Government, to New Brunswick. At twenty-seven he laid down his sword and took up his axe, accompanied by a wife delicately nurtured in a wealthy family and a warm climate, and four negroes, one woman and three men, all brought from Charleston. They arrived in October, 1783, when there were but two persons in or near the harbor of St. John. Mr. Symonds and Mr. White, fur-traders, kindly supplied the newcomers with provisions, and they immediately commenced clearing and felling timber. During the first winter they suffered great hardships, particularly Mrs. Coffin. His first mishap was the loss of his boots in crossing a swamp, now the market place of the city of St. John. Having selected some lots of ground fronting the harbor, he proceeded to explore the interior of the country. An ascent of about twelve miles up the beautiful St. John, opened out a rich and lovely landscape-hill and dale, magnificent woods, rivers and lakes, swarming with game and fish.

In this fine and fertile locality Major Coffin purchased for a trifle a tract of land from Colonel Grazier, to whom it had been granted by Government. Four men were sent up there to build a house, and in the following May, 1784, he and his wife and four black servants, took possession[238] of their new residence, and called it Alwington Manor, after the family estate in Devonshire, which belonged to them in the time of William the Conqueror. Two of the men, and the woman, proved to be good and faithful servants, and when the slaves were emancipated, still remained with the family.

Settlers soon flocked into the province. Ten years' residence, with Major Coffin's activity, aided by his willing men, made it a respectable and desirable settlement. He was made a Magistrate of the county and in due time a Member of the Provincial Parliament, and of the Legislative Council, which offices he filled till within a few years of his death.

In June, 1794, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent, the father of Queen Victoria, who was then Governor of Nova Scotia, stopped at Alwington Manor.

Although retired from active employ, he still remained in the service on half pay, and in 1804 he was advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1805 he went to England, where he was received with much distinction, and was presented to the King by the commander-in-chief.

The war of 1812 aroused all the warlike instincts of the old partisan; he snuffed the battle afar off, and at once offered to raise a regiment for home service. He soon had 600 men ready for service, which enabled the Government to send the 104th regiment to Canada, then hardly pressed by invasion. At the peace of 1815 he was promoted to the rank of Major-General, and the regiment disbanded and General Coffin returned to half pay once more.

He for many years alternated in his residence between England and New Brunswick. He was the oldest General in the British Army when he died in 1838, aged 82, at the house of his son, Admiral T. Coffin, in King's County, New Brunswick.

Those who knew the General well in his later days, recall with affectionate recollection the noble presence and generous character of the chivalrous old soldier, a relic of the days in which giants were in stature and in heart, true to his king and country, a humble Christian and an honest and brave man, who united to the heroism of a Paladin the endurance of the pioneer, and when he could no longer serve his Prince in the field, served him still better by creating a new realm of civilization and progress in the heart of primeval forest. His name will ever be held in honor in New Brunswick.

Born in Boston, 1759. Died in England, June 23, 1839. From a painting in possession of the Boston Atheneum.

Eight of the children of General and Mrs. Coffin, all natives of New Brunswick, lived to make their way in the world, thanks to a grateful government and helpful country. The eldest son, General Guy Carleton Coffin, died in 1856, a General of the Royal Artillery; John Townsend Coffin, the second eldest, entered the British Navy as midshipman in 1799 and became admiral in 1841. Under the will of his uncle, Sir Isaac Coffin, he became the owner of the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He died in 1882. Henry Edward Coffin, the third son, became a lieutenant[239] in the British Navy in 1814 and an Admiral in 1856. He died in 1881. The eldest daughter, Caroline, married the Hon. Charles Grant of Canada, afterwards Baron de Longueuil; their son, the present Baron, married a daughter of Lewis Trapmane of Charleston, S. C. The second daughter married General Sir Thomas Pearson, K. C. B., an officer much distinguished in Canada during the war of 1812.

A third married Colonel Kirkwood of the British Army and went to live in Bath, England.

A fourth married John Barnett, Esq., also an officer in the British Army, who subsequently occupied a high official position in the Island of Ceylon.

The fifth, Mary, married Charles R. Ogden, Esq., Attorney-General, Lower Canada.

Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin was the fourth son of Nathaniel, the Cashier. He was born in Boston in 1759. At eight years of age he entered the Boston Latin School. He was a diligent student in a class that embraced numerous celebrities and when in Parliament he acknowledged himself indebted to the methods and discipline of the Boston schools for his apt classical quotations, then a mode much in vogue in that august assemblage. His constitution was, however, too vigorous, his animal spirits too buoyant for scholarship alone to mark his schoolboy days. He led the sports of the playground and was the leader on the 5th of November, the anniversary of the Gunpowder plot. Boston was a pleasant place to dwell in, broad stretches of tree or turf, sloping pastures, and blooming gardens, surrounded the abodes of the wealthy. Tide water fresh from the ocean, spread nearly around the peninsular. Beyond these basins, wooded heights of considerable elevation lifted themselves above boundless tree tops. For fishing, or shooting, rowing, sailing, or swimming, coasting or skating, Boston with its environs of lake, and orchard, was then the paradise for boys. It was a capital school for his play hours, and the old Latin,—the oldest school in the country,—dating from 1635, for his studies of a graver sort. There fifteen of his cousins were his school mates, a host of his own celebrities and four—Scheaffe, Moreland, Mackay, and Ochterlony—who became baronets, or generals by military service in England, he was well placed for development nor were his opportunities neglected. At the commencement of the Revolution Isaac was too young to enter into it, or to realize what it meant, but long before he entered, at the age of fourteen, the British navy, he no doubt had formed opinions of his own.[181] It was doubtless of advantage to him, quickening his faculties and maturing his character, that such events were transpiring about him at this plastic period. His sense of justice and right[240] and of what freedom signified, proved in his subsequent career that these advantages had not been without effect.

At the age of fourteen Isaac entered the Royal navy under the auspices of Rear Admiral Montague. By him he was confided to the care of Lieutenant William Hunter, at that time commanding the Brig Gaspee and who then spoke of his pupil, "Of all the young men I ever had the care of, none answered my expectations equal to Isaac Coffin. He pleased me so much that I took all the pains in my power to make him a good seaman, and I succeeded to the height of my wishes, for never did I know a young man acquire so much nautical knowledge in so short a time." After serving on the Gaspee he served as midshipman on the Kingfisher, Captain, Diligent, Fowey, Le Pincon and the Sybl, frigate. In 1779 Coffin, now Lieutenant, went to England and joined the Adamant. His next appointment was to the London of 98 guns, the flagship of Rear Admiral Graves on the coast of America, from her he removed into the Royal Oak where he acted as signal lieutenant in the action off Cape Henry, March 16, 1781. By following such traces the naval histories of Great Britain afford of these several ships, we can reasonably conjecture the part Coffin took in the Revolutionary War. We learn what duties were performed by him on each of them, and we have no reason to doubt, from his rapid promotions, of his efficiency and zeal. We know that his patron, Admiral Montague, protected the rear of Howe's retreat from Boston in 1776, that the ships were often engaged with the enemy, and that they captured several valuable prizes in which action he participated. The events of the first four years of the war from 1775 to 1779 are sufficiently familiar. D'Estraing's repulse at Savannah and Prescott's evacuation of Newport in 1779, its reoccupation by Tiernay in July 1780. The reduction of Charleston, defeat of Gates at Camden. Capture at sea of Henry Laurens, president of Congress. After the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown to the combined French and American armies and French fleet, De Grasse hastened to the West Indies intending to join the Spaniards, and capture Jamaica and drive the English out of the West Indies. After the battle of March 16 at Cape Henry, on the return to New York, the Royal Oak took several valuable prizes, and then went to Halifax for repairs. In the middle of June a vessel arrived from Bristol with the remains of his father, who died the day before. Having held an important government position, his obsequies in New York on Broadway showed due regard to his memory. Isaac was placed soon after in command of Avenger, the advanced post of the British up the North River, which he held during the autumn till he exchanged with Sir Alexander Cochrane, for the Pocahontas and joined Admiral Hood at Barbados and served on his flagship, the Barfleur. Soon after Coffin joined him he learned that De Grasse was at St. Kitts, after an engagement there in which the French lost one thousand men, Hood joined Lord Rodney's fleet.

For two days the hostile fleets manoeuvered in sight of each other[241] near Dominica. In number the fleets were equal, in size and complement of crew the French were immensely superior; they had twenty thousand soldiers on board to be used in the conquest of Jamaica; a defeat at this time would be England's ruin. The English Admiral was aware that his country's fate was in his hands. It was one of those supreme moments which great men dare to use and weak ones tremble at. At seven in the morning, April 12, 1782, the signal to engage was flying at the masthead of the Formidable Rodney's flagship. The Admiral lead in person and in passing through the enemy's line engaged the Glorieux, a 74, at close range. He shot away her masts and bowsprit and left her a bare hull. All day long the cannons roared and one by one the French ships struck their flags or fought till they sank. The carnage on them was terrible, crowded as they were with troops. Fourteen thousand were reckoned as killed besides the prisoners. The Barfleur, Hood's flagship, on which was Coffin engaged the "Ville de Paris," the flagship of the French Admiral, the pride of France, and the largest ship in the world. After fighting valiantly all day, after all hope was gone, and a broadside from the Barfleur had killed sixty men, she surrendered. Her decks above and below were littered over with mangled limbs and bodies. It was said when she struck there were but three men on the upper deck unhurt, the Count was one. The French fleet was totally destroyed, and on that memorable day Yorktown was avenged, and the British empire was saved. Peace followed but it was peace with honor. The American Colonies were lost but England kept her West Indies. The hostile strength of Europe all combined had failed to wrest Britannia's ocean sceptre from her. She sat down, maimed and bleeding, but the wreath had not been torn from her brows. She was and is still the sovereign of the seas. After the battle Captain Coffin went in his sloop to Jamaica, where through the influence of Hood, he was appointed by Lord Rodney captain of the Shrewsbury, of 74 guns; he was then only 22 years of age. This indicated the estimate of both Hood and Rodney of the value of his services in the late famous battle. Peace soon came, but there was much to discourage him. His family was broken up. The remains of his father lay in their last resting place in New York. The Shrewsbury was paid off, and he was put out of commission. He was his own master with abundance of prize money. Many of his family and friends from Boston had taken up their abode in London, and the refugee loyalists formed there a large circle. They all liked Isaac, a handsome young fellow with pleasant ways, generous and unpretending and loaded with laurels. He was held in high estimation by the great naval celebrities and by the public, their attention might have turned the head of one less sensible.

Sir Guy Carleton, who had been created Lord Dorchester, could hardly have saved Canada for the Crown in 1775 without the aid of the Coffins, was now appointed Governor of Canada. It was probably at his request that Isaac was appointed to the command of the Thisbe, to take him and his family and suite to Quebec in 1786. While on his way[242] up the river to Quebec the Thisbe was becalmed off the Magdalen Islands, and struck by their appearance, perhaps the more attractive from the autumnal splendor, Coffin requested, probably not in very serious earnest, that Lord Dorchester as representative of the Crown, would bestow them on him. This request seemed reasonable to the governor, and eventually letters patent were granted to him on the Islands. The records recite the grant of the islands to him for his zeal and unremitting persevering efforts in the public service. At Sir Isaac's death he left the island by will to his nephew, Admiral John T. Coffin, who died in 1882. On his return to Europe he was employed in many branches of the service. In 1794 he was in charge of the Melampus frigate, in 1796 he was resident commissioner of Corsica. From Elba he removed to Lisbon, to take charge of the naval establishment there for the next two years. He was then dispatched to superintend the arsenal at Port Mahon when Minorca fell into the hands of the British, and from there to Nova Scotia, in the Venus frigate. At Halifax and afterwards at Sheerness, as resident commissioner, he was employed till April 1804, when appointed rear admiral he hoisted his flag on the Gladiator, and the following month was created a baronet.

March, 1811, he married Elizabeth Browne, but within a few years satisfied of their utter incompatibility, they very amicably, on both sides, arranged for independence of each other. She was said to be addicted to writing sermons at night to the disturbance of the slumber of her rollicking spouse. The fault was certainly not hers, for she was a clever and exemplary woman. She lived nearly as long as he did, but they rarely met, though he made repeated overtures to reconciliation, some rather amusing. It is the reasonable ambition of all Englishmen, whose conditions and circumstances justify such aspirations, to be permitted to take part in the legislation and government of the country, and when Sir Isaac's health and peace rendered active service in the navy no longer desirable, his wish was gratified by his return to Parliament in 1818 for the borough of Ilchester for which he sat till 1826. His reputation and experience, gave considerable weight to his opinion when he took part as he frequently did in debates on naval affairs. He was tall, robust, but of symmetrical proportions, his voice powerful, and his countenance expressive and noble. Sir Isaac died at Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, June 23, 1839, at the age of 80. Lady Coffin preceded him to the tomb on the 27th of January that year. His brother, General John Coffin, died the year previous, June 12, 1838, in New Brunswick. Sir Isaac made frequent visits to his native town, having made more than thirty voyages to and from America. The many brilliant gentlemen of Boston in professional life, or among its merchant princes, affluent and convivial, were pleased to have him as their guest. Loyalty to the mother country died out slowly, and a Boston born boy, who had attained great distinction, whose kinsfolk had ample means for hospitality, had much attention paid him. His kinsman, Thomas C. Amory writes, "Often when at my[243] father's, who resided in Park street, where now is the Union Club house, the festal entertainments extended into the small hours, and those upon whom it devolved to sit up to receive the roisters, would gladly welcome from far off his shout of 'Home ahoy!' breaking the silent watches of the night."

His prize money amounted to considerable. This he entrusted to his cousin Amory in Boston, and the income finally equalled the original deposit.

He was very generous to his native land. Soon after the war ended he established a schoolship in Massachusetts waters, for mates and skippers to learn the art of navigation. The barge Clio which he purchased for the purpose, was commanded by his kinsman, Captain Hector Coffin, who was imprudent enough in 1826 to go up in her to Quebec with the American flag flying and act in a very indiscreet manner, and when his brother, General John Coffin, of New Brunswick, urged him to abandon what gave umbrage at home, he acquiesced in giving up what had cost him several thousand pounds. He also sent over to the land of his birth famous race horses and cattle to improve the breed; also fish, rare fruit and plants.

He was warmly attached to Nantucket, where his ancestors and their descendants had dwelt for many generations. He visited the place and became acquainted with his kinsfolk and in 1826 appropriated $12,000 afterwards increased till now it is upwards of $60,000, as a fund for a school for the instruction of the posterity of Tristram. This includes nearly every native born child of the island. The Duke of Clarence, William the Fourth, who succeeded his brother George to the throne, through his long connection with the navy, attached to him the officers who had grown old with him. It is said the King had Sir Isaac upon his list as Earl of Magdalen and intended to make him Governor of Canada, and the only obstacle that prevented it was the attachment he had for the land of his birth.

This memoir of a Boston boy, who by dint of his own native energy attained a title, and the highest rank in the British navy, and a generous benefactor, whose works still bear witness to the noble impulse that prompted them, will ever be kindly remembered and cherished by his countrymen.

Jonathan Perry Coffin, Sir Isaac's youngest brother, born in Boston in 1762, was a barrister of repute in London.

John Coffin, the third son of William and Ann Coffin, was born in Boston, August 19, 1729, and was brother of Nathaniel, the Cashier, and uncle of General John, and Admiral, Sir Isaac Coffin. In the confiscation Act he was described as distiller, and combined this business, no doubt, with that of merchant and ship owner. Loyal to the core, and knowing that he was a marked man, he resolved early in 1775, to place his family in safety. Embarking, therefore, his household goods, his wife and eleven children, on board his own schooner, the Neptune, he[244] brought them around safely to Quebec where on the 23d August, 1775, he bought from "La Dame Veuve Lacroix" a piece of land at the pres de ville, well known during the siege which followed as the "Potash." He went to work with characteristic energy to establish a distillery, when his work was interrupted by that celebrated event. In the autumn the Revolutionary forces under Arnold and a former British officer, Montgomery, invaded the Province, and Quebec was invested. Late in the year John Coffin joined the Quebec enrolled British militia and the building he had designed for a distillery, became a battery for the defence of the approach from Wolfe's cove. The battery was armed with the guns of a privateer frozen in for the winter. Her commander, Barnsfare, and his seamen handled the pieces, and by his side John Coffin, the Boston Loyalist, shared the merit of the defence.

Before that battery, on the memorable morning of the 1st January, 1776, fell, General Montgomery, and the chief officers of his staff, and with them the last hopes of the Revolutionary cause in Canada.

In a paper prepared by his nephew, Lieutenant-Colonel Coffin of Ottawa, read before the Literary and Historical society of Quebec Dec. 18, 1872, it is shown on the testimony of Sir Guy Carleton, then Governor of Canada, and of Colonel Maclean, Commandant of Quebec, "that to the resolution and watchfulness of John Coffin, in keeping the guard at the pres de ville under arms, awaiting the expected attack, the coolness with which he allowed the rebels to approach, the spirits which his example kept up among the men, and to the critical instant when he directed Captain Barnsfare's fire against Montgomery and his troops, is to be ascribed the repulse of the rebels from that important post where, with their leader, they lost all heart."

There can be no question but that the death of Montgomery and the repulse of this attack, saved Quebec, and with Quebec, British North America to the British Crown, and that of the brave men who did this deed John Coffin was one of the foremost.

John Coffin died September 28, 1808, aged 78, as the record of his burial has it, "One of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace of the City of Quebec and Inspector of Police for said City."

He had thirteen children born to him, 11 survived him. Directly, or indirectly, all throve under the fostering protection of the Crown and a grateful government. The eldest daughter, Isabella, married Colonel McMurdo. Her sons served in India, a grandson was captain in the Royal Canadian Rifles, when that fine regiment disbanded at Kingston in 1870.

The second daughter, Susannah, married the Hon. John Craigie of Quebec, Provincial Treasurer, a brother of Lord Craigie, Lord of Sessions in Scotland. One son, Admiral Craigie, died in 1872. A daughter married Captain Martin, who led one of the storming parties at the capture of Fort Niagara in 1814.

Margaret, the youngest daughter, married her cousin, Roger Hale[245] Sheaffe. At the time of the marriage he was major in Brock's regiment. That gallant officer was slain at Queenstown Heights at 7 o'clock in the morning. At noon Colonel Sheaffe moved up from Niagara, attacked the American forces and hurled them from the rocks into the river. For this great service he was made a Baronet.

Of John Coffin's sons, the oldest, John, born in Boston in 1760, died Deputy Commissary-General at Quebec, March, 1837.

William, the second son, born in Boston, 1761, obtained a commission in the 1st Battalion of the King's Royal Regiment. Subsequently through the kind influence of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent, he obtained a commission in the regular army and served half the world over. He retired from the service in 1816 a captain in the 15th Regiment and Brevet Major, and died in England in 1836. His son William Foster Coffin, was Commissioner of Ordnance and Admiralty, Land Department of the Interior, Canada. This gentleman married, in 1842, Margaret, second daughter of Isaac Winslow Clarke, of Montreal, who, in 1774, was the youngest member of the firm of Richard Clarke and Sons of Boston, to which was consigned the historical cargo of tea. He rose to the rank of Deputy Commissary General, and after 50 years service died in 1822.

The third son, Thomas Coffin, born in Boston, 1762, was a member of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada, and Lieutenant-Colonel of Militia. He married a Demoiselle de Tonancour and lived and died at Three Rivers, 1841. A son of his was for many years Prothonotary for the District of Montreal.

The fifth son, Francis Holmes Coffin, born in Boston, 1768, entered the Royal Navy and served during the long war with France, and died an Admiral in 1835. His eldest son, General Sir Isaac Coffin, K. C. Star of India, died at Black Heath, October, 1872.

The fourth son, Nathaniel Coffin, born in Boston, 1766, lived and died in Upper Canada. In the war of 1812 he joined the volunteer companies and was aide-de-camp to Sir Roger Sheaffe at the battle of Queenstown Heights, where General W. Scott was taken prisoner. He became Adjutant General of Militia in Upper Canada. He died at Toronto in 1835.

The sixth son, James, born in Boston, 1771, died at Quebec in 1835, Assistant Commissary-General.

These Boston men and women, sons and daughters of brave John Coffin, are all living instances of the loyal faith in which they were born, and of its honorable and just reward of a grateful and kind government, and is but one case of many which goes to show that the Americans who were loyal, as a body fared infinitely better than the Revolutionists who were successful. It is proverbial that republics are ungrateful.

Today their descendants are organized as the United Empire Loyalists and count it an honor that their ancestors suffered persecution and exile rather than yield the principals and the ideal of union with Great[246] Britain. They have made of the land of their exile a mighty member of the great British empire, they begin to glory in the days of trial through which they passed.


To Christopher Clark, Aug. 9, 1783; Lib. 139, fol. 151; Land in Boston, Essex St. S.; Short St. W.; Joseph Ford E.; Thomas Snow N.

To Moses Wallack, Mar. 12, 1785; Lib. 146, fol. 260; Land in Boston, Essex St. S.; said Wallack W.; S. and W.; Blind Lane N.; Thomas Downes and Samuel Bradley E.

To Edward Jones, Feb. 13, 1786; Lib. 155, fol. 111; Land in Boston, Essex St. N.; the sea S.; sugar house and land of heirs of Thomas Child deceased E.; Mary Pitman and heirs of Samuel Bradley W.; with flats to low water mark.


The paternal ancestry of Samuel Curwen, the subject of this sketch were for many centuries amongst the leading families in the county of Cumberland, in the north of England, where the family seat Workington Hall still remains, George Curwin his immediate ancestor was an early emigrant to New England, having established his residence in Salem in 1638. He was highly esteemed for his active, and energetic character, and for several years represented Salem in the "General Court" or Legislature of the colony. He also commanded a squadron of horse in the Indian wars and assisted in checking the inroads of the savage enemy. He died at Salem in 1685 at the age of 74 years, leaving a large estate. His son Jonathan was of the provincial council named in the second charter granted by William and Mary in 1691, and a judge of the superior court of the province. He married a daughter of Sir Henry Gibbs and their son George was the father of the subject of this sketch. George Curwin graduated at Harvard College in 1701 and was pastor of a church at Salem. He died in 1717 at the early age of thirty-five years. The subject of this memoir was born in 1715 and graduated at Harvard College in 1735. In 1738 he traveled in England and the Continent. On his return he engaged in commercial pursuits with success. His business was subsequently interrupted by the depredation of French cruisers fitted out from Louisburg. In 1744-5 Mr. Curwin as a captain and his brother as a commissary joined an expedition for the reduction of that stronghold. The result of the expedition was completely successful, and reflected great credit on the participators in it.

Annexed is a cut of the Curwin House, Salem, erected by Captain Curwin in 1642, now known as the witch house. The unfortunate persons arrested during the witchcraft delusion were examined in this house by Justices Jonathan Curwin and Hawthorn before being committed.



At the commencement of the Revolution Samuel Curwin was Judge of Admiralty and had been in the commission of the peace for thirty years. He was one of the signers of the address to Governor Hutchinson when he went to England. This gave great offence to the disunionists, they attempted to compel him to make public recantations in the newspapers. This he refused to do, saying that the prescribed recantation contained more than in conscience he could own, and that to live under the character of reproach, which the fury of the mob might throw upon him, was too painful a reflection to suffer for a moment. He therefore resolved to withdraw from the impending storm. He accordingly embarked for Philadelphia on the 23rd of April, 1775, and thence to London on the 13th of the following month. While in exile he kept a journal, which has been published. No work extant contains so much information of the unfortunate Loyalists while abroad. The journal commences at Philadelphia, May 4th, 1775, and says: "Since[248] the unhappy affairs at Concord and Lexington, finding the spirit of the people to rise on every fresh alarm, (which has been almost hourly) and their temper to get more and more soured and malevolent against all moderate men, who they see fit to reproach as enemies of their country by the name of tories, among whom I am unhappily (although unjustly) ranked, and unable longer to bear their undeserved reproaches and menace, hourly denounced against myself, and others, I think it a duly I owe to myself to withdraw for a while from the storm, which to my foreboding mind is approaching. Having in vain endeavored to persuade my wife to accompany me, her apprehensions of danger from an incensed soldiery, a people licentious, and enthusiastically mad, and broke loose from all the restraints of law or religion, being less terrible to her than a short passage on the ocean, and being moreover encouraged by her, I left my late peaceful home (in my sixtieth year) in search of personal security, and those rights which by the laws of God I ought to have enjoyed undisturbed there, and embarked at Beverly on board the schooner Lively, Captain Johnson, bound hither, on Sunday the 23rd ultimo, and have just arrived. Hoping to find an asylum among quakers and Dutchmen, who I presume from former experience have too great a regard for ease and property to sacrifice either at this time of doubtful disputation on the altar of an unknown goddess or rather doubtful divinity."

On landing he writes "I went in pursuit of lodgings, and on enquiring at several houses, ascertained they were full or for particular reasons would not take me in; and so many refused, as made it fearful whether like Cain I had not a discouraging mark upon me, or a strong feature of toryism. The whole city appears to be deep in congressional principles and inveterate against Hutchinson Addressers." Under date of May 9th, 1775, he writes, "Dined with Stephen Collins. Passed the evening at Joseph Reed's in company with Col. Washington (a fine figure and of most easy and agreeable address) Richard Henry Lee, and Col. Harrison, three of the Virginia delegates. Besides Mr. and Mrs. Reed, were Mrs. Deberatt, Dr. Shippen and Thomas Smith. I staid till twelve o'clock, the conversation being chiefly on the most feasible and prudent method of stepping up the channel of the Deleware to prevent the coming up of any large ships to the city. I could not perceive the least disposition to accommodate matters." He wrote, "Having had several intimations that my residence here would be unpleasant, if allowed at all, when it shall be known that I am what is called 'an addresser' I have therefore consulted the few friends I think it worth while to advise with, and on the result am determined to proceed to London in the vessel in which I came here."

Following is a brief description of the journal, which Curwin kept while in England, the four hundred and more pages contain matters of the deepest interest to those who are interested in the lives of those Loyalists who returned to England, July 3, 1775. "On landing at Dover,[249] visited the Castle. Next day arrived at the New England Coffee House, Threadneedle Street. Visited Westminster Hall with my friend Benjamin Pickering. Went to old Jewery meeting-house where I met Gov. Hutchinson, and his son and daughter, and received a cordial reception and invitation to visit him. There is an army of New Englanders here. Evening to Vauxhall Gardens. Spent the day at Hempstead in company with Isaac Smith, Samuel Quincy, David Greene, and P. Webster. I am just informed of the most melancholy event, the destruction of Charlestown by the King's troops, of great carnage among the officers. My distress and anxiety for my friends and countrymen embitter every hour. By invitation dined at Grocers' Company feast, at their hall in the Poultry. Dined with Governor Hutchinson in company with Mr. Joseph Green, Mr. Manduit and Mr. Ward Nicholas Boylston. It is a capital mistake of our American friends to expect insurrections here, there is not a shadow of hope for such an event. It is said most vigorous measures will take place in the spring, if no offer be made on the part of the colonies. Visited Hampton Court, and Gardens. Thence to Windsor. From the terrace we saw almost under our feet Eaton college. Saw Mr. Garrick in Hamlet at Drury Lane. To the Herald's office where Parson Peters, with his friend Mr. Punderson lodges, the latter has lately arrived from Boston. It seems he was harshly dealt with by the sons of liberty, being obliged to make two confessions to save his life notwithstanding which he was hunted, pursued, and threatened, and narrowly escaped death (or the Simsbury mines to which he was finally adjudged, and he thinks with the loss of his eyes) which would have been his fate but for his seasonable and providential retreat.[182] At Chapel Royal, St. James, saw the king and queen, who joined in the service with becoming devotion. Bishop of London preached. To the Adelphia, Strand, where by appointment met twenty-one of my countrymen, who have agreed on a weekly dinner here, viz., Messrs. Richard Clark, Joseph Green, Jonathan Bliss, Jonathan Sewell, Joseph Waldo, S. S. Blowers, Elisha Hutchinson, Wm. Hutchinson, Samuel Sewell, Samuel Quincy, Isaac Smith, Harrison Grey, David Green, Jonathan Clark, Thomas Flucker, Joseph Taylor, Daniel Silsbee, Thomas Brindley, William Cabot, John S. Copley and Nathaniel Coffin, Samuel Porter, Edward Oxnard, Benj. Pickman, Jno. Amory, Judge Robert Auchmuty and Major Urquhart, absent, are members of this New England club, as is also Gov. Hutchinson. At Parson Peters saw Mr. Troutbeck, lately arrived from Halifax, and Mr. Wiswall, mutually invited each other to visit and gave cards. Drank tea at Mr. Green's in company with Gov. Hutchinson, whom I had not seen for some weeks, and who expressed an uneasiness at my neglect to call. I called at Mr. Copley's to see Mr. Clark and the family who kindly pressed my staying to tea. Was presented to Mr. West, a Philadelphian, a most masterly hand in historic painting. Mr. West is the king's history painter. Called on my friend[250] Browne. He acquainted me with some facts relative to the unfortunate abandonment of Boston by the king's troops, which has all the appearance of being forced. Would to God this illjudged, unnatural quarrel was ended."

Went to Shepton Mallet.[183] Walked to the market-cross, an open structure supported by Gothic arches and pillars, and ornamented in front by a few mutilated statues, but whether of saints or heroes of antiquity, I know not. A few gentlemen of fortune live here, but many worthy clothiers. Walked with Mr. Morgan over the hills to the remains of Roman-way, the ditch continues, although in an imperfect state, and carried over the Meridep hills, running from north to south and from shore to shore. Rode to Bath. Met Col. Saltonstall who with Mr. Boyleston has taken lodgings here for sometime past. Visited Glastonbury Abbey ruins. In the Bristol Gazette is the following: 'Gov. Howe has landed the British army and taken possession of New York on the 15th of September, the provincials had fled from the city with great precipitation, towards Kingsbridge.' There have been some discouraging accounts from France, respecting the intention of that court to assist the colonies, and advices from Spain say their ports are open to the English colonists. Received a letter informing me of my wife's health, and that she had been obliged to pay ten pounds sterling to find a man for the American army in my stead. Dec. 14. This day, General Burgoyne's mortifying capitulation arrived in town. We all know the General's bravery, and skill. He did not surrender whilst there was a possibility of defence. On confirmation of the American news, Manchester offered to raise a thousand men at their own expense, to be ready for service in America in two months, and was soon followed after by Liverpool. It is said there are to be proposals for raising two thousand men out of each parish through the kingdom.

Lord North, has proposed terms of reconciliation, but nothing short of independency will go down with the colonies. France will support them, all thoughts of conquest, of unconditional submission, be assured are given up. I am fully convinced the colonies will never find any good purpose answered by independence. God only knows what is before us. I cannot review the state of Great Britain four years since, and regard the present crisis without horror, without trembling. France and Spain are armed from head to foot at all points ready to sally forth. Heard the dreaded sound, war declared against France.

Exeter, Sept. 6. Am informed that I am suspected to be an American spy disaffected to government. Have heard that Paul Jones in the French king's service, has taken a forty-four gun frigate, and entered the harbor of Hull and destroyed sixteen ships.

Visited Col. Erving and family, afterwards dined and took tea with my worthy friend Judge Sewall, his company Mr. and Mrs. Faneuil. From thence I went to see Mrs. Gardner, her husband the doctor, and[251] their daughter Love Eppes. Meeting Colonel Oliver, late lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts, he informed me of his residence.

Visited Mr. Lechmere, drank tea with Judge Sewall, Captain Carpenter, young Jonathan Gardner, both of Salem, and a Mr. Leavitt, having arrived in a cartel ship from Boston, dined and passed the afternoon and evening. From them I obtained much information relating to our country and town. Those who five years, ago were the "meaner people" are now by a strange revolution become the only men of power, riches and influence. Those who, on the contrary, were leaders in the highest line of life, are glad at this time to be unknown, and unnoticed, to escape insult, and plunder, the wretched condition of all who are not violent, and adopters of republican principles. The Cabots of Beverly, who you know, had but five years ago a very moderate share of property, are now said to be by far the most wealthy in New England. It is a melancholy truth that whilst some are wallowing in undeserved wealth, that plunder and rapine has thrown into their hands, the wisest, most peaceable and most deserving such as you and I know are now suffering want, accompanied by many indignities that a licentious, lawless people can pour forth upon them.

The number of Americans in Bristol are compiled in the following list: Col. Oliver and six daughters. Mr. R. Lechmere, his brother Nicholas, with wife and two daughters. Mr. John Vassal, wife and niece, Miss Davis, Mr. Barnes, wife and niece, Miss Arbuthnot, Mr. Nathaniel Coffin, wife and family. Mr. Robert Hallowell, wife and children. Judge Sewell, wife, sister, and two sons. Samuel Sewall with his kinsman. Mr. Faneuil, and wife. Mr. Francis Waldo and Mr. Simpson, together with Mrs. Borland, a son and three daughters.

April 24, 1780. This day, five years are completed since I abandoned my house, estate, effects and friends. God only knows whether I shall ever be restored to them, or they to me. Party rage, like jealousy and superstition is cruel as the grave;—that moderation is a crime and in times of civil confusions, many good, virtuous and peaceable persons now suffering banishment from America are the wretched proofs and instances. By letter from Salem from our friend Pynchon, all our friends there are well and longing, but almost without hope, for the good old times as is the common saying now except among those as he expresses it, whose enormous heaps have made them easy and insolent, and to wish for a continuance of those confusions by which they grow rich.

London, Oct. 30th, 1781. To Samuel Sewell, Esq., You wish me to write you favorable news from America. Would to God such was to be found written in the book of fate. The French you know are in possession of the Chesapeake, with a much superior fleet to that of Great Britain, for they reckon thirty-six capital ships to our twenty-four, even after Digby's junction. General Cornwallis's royal master is in the utmost distress for him, who, all the world here fears to hear will have[252] been Burgoyned and therefore an end to this cursed, ill-omened quarrel, though not in a way they wish, for which the instigators and continuers deserve execution. At New England Coffee House heard the glorious news of Admiral Rodney's defeat and capture of the French Admiral de Grasse, with five capital ships and one sunk.

London, March 17, 1783. Before the preliminaries are ratified or hostilities ceased in the channel an American ship laden with oil, with thirteen stripes flying, came into the river from Nantucket. The ship, Captain Holton Johnson of Lynn, with whom I came from America, was, by a revolution common at such periods translated into a legislator in our Massachusetts Assembly, being about two months in London, told me that had not his interests and efforts prevailed, my name would have been inserted in the banishment list, and my estate confiscated, the reason, if any, must be private spite and malice, no public crime was ever alleged, but merely leaving the country in her distress. If success is justification, I confess my guilt. Read a Boston newspaper, where I saw poor Coomb's estate in Marblehead advertised for sale. I really pity my poor fellow refugee and think him cruelly treated by his savage townsmen. At New England Coffee House to read the papers filled with relations of the rising spirit of Americans against the refugees, in their towns and assemblies. Intoxicated by success under no fear of punishment, they give an unrestrained loose to their angry, malevolent passions attribute to the worst of causes the opposition to their licentious, mobbish violation of all laws human and divine; and even some of the best of the republican party seem to think at least their practice squints that way, that the supposed goodness of their cause will justify murder, rapine, and the worst of crimes. But cool impartial posterity will pass a better judgment, and account for the violence of the times from party rage which knows no bounds.

Born at Salem in 1715. Judge of Admiralty. Died at Salem in 1802.

London, Aug. 9, 1783. By the newspapers from America, particularly our quarter, I find there but slender grounds of hope for success in attempting the recovery of debts or estates; a general shipwreck is seemingly intended of all absentees' property—the towns in their instructions to the representatives making it a point to prevent the return of them, and consequent confiscations of all their property, notwithstanding the provision in the fifth preliminary article. These lawless people regard not any obstacle when the gratification of their angry passions or the object of gain are in view. For an explicit answer, "Do you propose to spend the remainder of your days abroad?" The wished for period of my return is not arrived, it is a subject I consider with some indifference, age and infirmities having made such inroads on my constitution as leave me but little to hope, or fear from the result of public councils, or the imprudence of private conduct. I am free to declare my apprehension that the lower, illiterate classes, narrow-minded and illiberal all over the world, have too much influence. Oct. 6. This day was proclaimed peace with France, Spain, and Holland. At New England Coffee House[253] in company with Mr. Nathaniel Gorham, lately arrived from Boston, whom I had well known. He is a native of Charlestown, late a member of Congress, and of the Massachusetts Assembly, and who is now here on the score of obtaining a benevolence for the sufferers at the destruction of that town June 17, 1775, by the king's troops, which all things considered, carries with it such a face of effrontery as is not to be matched. Invited him to tea; received a letter from my wife's brother, James Russell. To him he replied, I thank you for your favor of the 21st of August, the first from you since my unhappy abandoning my former home in April, '75. In truth, were your sister (Mrs. Curwin) no more, there would need no act of Massachusetts, or any other assembly, or senate to prohibit my return. To his wife he writes: If it was not for your sake, or that you would follow my fortune or accompany my fate, I should not hesitate for a moment taking up my future abode, which cannot possibly be but of short continuance, somewhere out of the limits of the republican government. Wishes for the welfare of my friends still warm my heart, as to the rest, I read with cold indifference the insurrection in Pennsylvania, and the carryings-on in the late English colonies, having lost local attachment. If your fortitude has increased in the proportion that your health and spirits have improved, perhaps you will not find it an insurmountable difficulty to resolve on a land tour to Canada, or a voyage to some other English settlement. Whatever shall be the result of your thoughts let me be made acquainted therewith as soon as convenient. Should a final expulsion be concluded on, you will no longer hesitate. Captain Nathaniel West brings me a message from the principal merchants and citizens of Salem proposing and encouraging my return which instance of moderation I view as an honor to the town and respectful to myself. It affords me pleasure, and I would cheerfully accept the offer, but should the popular dislike rise against me, to what a plight should I be reduced, being at present (out for how long is a painful uncertainty) on the British government list for £100 a year (a competency for a single person exercising strict economy) to surrender this precarious allowance without public assurance of personal security. Imagine to yourself the distress of an old man, without health under such adverse circumstances and you will advise me to wait with resignation till the several Assemblies shall have taken decisive measures. Went to the Treasury and there received the agreeable information that the commissioners had granted my petition to appoint an agent to receive my quarterly allowance, after my departure from England, on making satisfactory proof of my being alive at the successive periods of payment. From this date an end to my doubts respecting my embarkation, its issue time must reveal. I know not in what employment I am to pass the small remainder of my days, should Providence permit my safe return home, but I shall not think part of it ill-bestowed in directing and assisting the studies and pursuits of my niece's children who are just of an age to receive useful ideas—with[254] regard to the English, Latin, and Greek tongues. Sept. 25, 1784. Arrived at Boston at half past three o'clock. Landed at the end of Long Wharf after an absence of nine years and five months, occasioned by a lamented civil war. By plunder and rapine some have accumulated wealth, but many more are greatly injured in their circumstances. Some have to lament over the wreck of their departed wealth and estates, of which pitiable number I am, my affairs sunk into irretrievable ruin. On Sunday, being the day following, I left for Salem, where I alighted at the house of my former residence, and not a man, woman, or child, but expressed a satisfaction at seeing me, and welcomed me back. The melancholy derangement of my affairs has so entirely unsettled me, that I can scarcely attend to anything. I think it very unlikely that my home can be saved.[184] Salem, Nov. 22, 1784. Judge Curwin wrote to his friend Judge Sewall, Bristol, England, saying: "I find myself completely ruined. I confess I cannot bear to stay and perish under the ruins of my late ample property and shall therefore as soon as I can recover my account-books, left in Philadelphia on my departure from America and settle my deranged affairs, retreat to Nova Scotia, unless my allowance be taken from me." He however remained at Salem where he passed the remainder of his days dying in 1802 at the age of eighty-six. The foregoing brief abstracts from Curwin's Journal give some of the things which he saw and heard, and the hopes and fears which agitated him and his fellow exiles. He left no children. Samuel Curwin Ward, a grandson of his brother George, at the request of Judge Curwin, took his name by an act of the Legislature, and his descendants are all that now bear the name in New England.


James Murray was a direct descendant of Sir John Murray of Philiphaugh, Scotland, who sat in Parliament for the County of Selkirk in 1612. Sir John's second son, was John Murray of Bowhill. This John Murray was the father of John Murray of Unthank, born in 1677, who in turn was the father of James Murray, the subject of this notice, who was born in 1713 at Unthank. Here on this ancestral estate he passed the first fifteen years of his life, after the wholesome manner of Scotch lads—porridge-fed, bare legged—he protested in after life against his grandson wearing stockings. The people amongst whom he lived had married, thriven and multiplied until the population had become one vast cousinship, bound together by that clannish loyalty which, quite apart from pride of name, is ineradicable in the Scots to the present day. Through the influence of Sir John Murray he was apprenticed to William Dunbar of London, a merchant in the West India trade. On[255] the death of his father, he received a thousand pounds as his share of the estate. With this small patrimony he decided to try his fortune in the New World. His objective point in his new venture was the Cape Fear Region in North Carolina. The Carolinas having shaken off their proprietary rule were now entering, it was hoped, upon a more prosperous period as dependencies of the Crown. Gabriel Johnson, a Scotchman who had been a physician and professor at St. Andrews University, had been recently appointed Governor. This made some stir in Scottish circles, a fact which directed James Murray's desire to this particular Colony. With letters of recommendation to Governor Johnson, he embarked at Gravesend, September 20, 1735, for Charleston. He settled at Wilmington, on the Cape Fear River, and purchased a house in town and a plantation of 500 acres and Negro slaves. He was also appointed collector of the Port, and in 1729 he was appointed a member of the Board of Councillors. In 1737 Mr. Murray received news of the death of his mother. This necessitated a journey to Scotland to settle her estate. On returning he brought with him his younger brother and his sister Elizabeth, not quite fourteen years of age. She was installed as his housekeeper, and then began that affectionate intimacy between them which was perhaps the most vital and enduring element in the life of each. James Murray prospered as a planter and merchant. He imported from England such goods as the colonists required and in exchange sent to England naval stores, tar, pitch, and turpentine.

In 1744 he returned to Scotland with his sister Elizabeth, married his cousin, Barbara Bennet, and remained in England and Scotland for five years. On his return in 1749, accompanied by his wife and daughter and his sister Elizabeth, their ship put into Boston, and he returned alone to Wilmington, leaving his family in Boston, because, as he wrote, "they had an opportunity of spending three of the most disagreeable months of this climate in that poor Healthy Place, New England—their health they owe to God's goodness, their poverty to their own bad policy and to their Popular Government." His sister Elizabeth remained in Boston and married Thomas Campbell, a Scotchman, merchant and trader. Their married life was short, for the husband died in a few years.

A comfortable, prosperous figure in Boston at that time was Mr. James Smith, a Scotchman, a sugar-baker, whose refinery had been in working since 1729 or before and who had amassed wealth as well as years. His home on Queen Street, now Court Street, was central in position, surrounded by other residences of its kind, yet conveniently near his sugar house, which stood in Brattle Street, between the old church and what was known as Wing's Lane. At the same time it was not far from King's Chapel. As one of the Church Wardens of King's Chapel and a generous contributor to its needs Mr. Smith stood high in the esteem of his fellow townsmen and the few allusions[256] to him in the records and traditions of his day indicate that he was no less genial a friend than an open handed citizen. Mr. Smith married Mrs. Campbell in 1760. "I can assure you," wrote James Murray in 1761, "they both enjoy a happiness which is rarely met with in a match of such disparity." Her brother rejoiced in this marriage, which he declared placed her "in the best circumstances of any of her sex in the town." Prosperity for one member of the family must help for all. Boston thus became a second home for the Murrays in America.

BUILT IN 1734.

Shortly after his sister's marriage he lost his wife and all his children but two, owing to the unhealthy climate. This caused him to leave the South and his opinion of New England was changed, for he wrote at this time, 1760, "you cannot well imagine what a land of health, plenty and contentment this is among all ranks, vastly improved within these ten years. The war on this continent has been a blessing to the English subjects and a calamity to the French, especially in the Northern Colonies, for we have got nothing by it in Carolina."

In 1761 Mr. Murray married Miss Thompson, a daughter of Mrs. Mackay, who lived on King Street. The marriage proved to be a fortunate one for Mr. Murray's two daughters as well as for the two most concerned. Mr. Smith was withdrawing from the sugar business and wished Mr. Murray to take it up. He was, however, in no haste[257] to be off from his plantation, which he really loved, but at last the break was made and in 1765 he removed to Boston to cast in his lot permanently. Mr. Murray had warm friends in Boston and felt himself in congenial surroundings. He occupied Mr. Smith's home on the corner of Queen Street, the Smiths reserving a portion of it for themselves, though their permanent residence was now at Brush Hill, Milton. Mr. Smith had purchased in 1734, and subsequently, 300 acres at Brush Hill and erected the mansion house now owned and occupied by Murray Howe.

Mr. Smith's long life came to an end on the 4th of March, 1769. He died at Brush Hill and was buried from his home on Queen Street. Mrs. Smith returned to Scotland and before leaving she made over to her brother the Brush Hill Farm, in trust for his daughters, Dorothy and Elizabeth. This was very fortunate, as it afterwards turned out, for it saved it from confiscation. Mr. Murray, with much content, established himself there, hoping to "run off the dregs of his days" in peace. Of the farm he had given his brother, some years before, a graphic description; it was in many respects as pleasantly situated as Governor Hutchinson's. It had, he said "a good house, well furnished, good garden and orchards, meadows and pasturage, in 300 acres. A riverlet washed it and by several windings lost itself between two bushy hills, before it ran into the great bay. Of this bay, often covered with sails, and of the light-house, there is a fair prospect from the house which stands on an eminence and overlooks also a pleasant country round. It is in short one of the pleasantest and most convenient seats I see in the country."

Dorothy Murray, who, family traditions say, had grown to be a beautiful and fascinating young lady, accepted the hand of Rev. John Forbes, a clergyman then settled at St. Augustine, Florida. Their marriage occurred in 1769. The Forbes of Milton are the descendants.

The political turmoil in the midst of which Mr. Murray found himself upon his removal to Boston, in 1765, filled him with surprise and dismay. He had hoped, on leaving North Carolina, that he was turning his back upon rebellion, but here he had alighted upon the very seat of disorder. By force of circumstances, as well as by inclination, it was inevitable that in North Carolina, and afterwards in Massachusetts, his associates should have been those whose sympathies were on the side of law and order. The Boston of the disunionists, of Otis, Hancock, and the "brace of Adams" he never knew. "He shared so completely Hutchinson's convictions that the best interests of America were being sacrificed" by the very men who maintained they were asserting their rights and although, like those who sided with the Government, he incurred suspicion and hatred, he never to the end of his life could see himself as an enemy to the land he helped to build.[185]

To such men as him, men who were averse to partisanship and whose interests centered wholly within the domestic circle, yet who could take[258] a large impersonal view of passing events, the inevitable ban under which, as Tories, they afterward fell, bore all the sting of injustice. He wrote in 1766, "the truth is we are all the children of a most indulgent Parent, who has never asserted his authority over us, until we are grown almost to manhood and act accordingly; but were I to say so here before our Chief Ruler, the Mob, or any of their adherents, I should presently have my house turned inside out."

When the troops sent by General Gage from New York arrived in Boston and were refused shelter in various places under control of the disunionists, Mr. Murray came forward and the sugar house was opened to them for barracks. Thenceforth "Murray's Barracks" or "Smith's Barracks," as they were indiscriminately called, were a source of irritation to the disloyal section of the town. Moreover, his willingness to lodge British soldiers, and a free hospitality shown to British officers (among others who frequented his house was General Mackay, a relative, probably, of his wife) marked Mr. Murray as a King's man. His appointment in 1768 as a Justice of the Peace drew him still further into public notice. Popular displeasure in fact, so far distinguished him as to make him, in the autumn of the next year, the victim of a mob. The condition of affairs was rapidly growing worse. The troops were called from Murray's barracks to protect the guard on King's Street from the fury of the mob and this brought about the so-called "State Street Massacre." Then followed the Lexington affair and Bunker Hill and the siege of Boston by Washington's army. During this time Mr. Murray remained in Boston. His daughter, Mrs. Forbes, had returned from Florida and with her sister Elizabeth, lived on the farm at Brush Hill. His sister, Elizabeth Smith, had married Ralph Inman of Cambridge and while her husband remained in Boston, she stayed in the Cambridge mansion to prevent its being confiscated. Communications between Milton and Boston were carried on by vessels sailing up the Neponset.

Mr. and Mrs. Murray visited Brush Hill in this manner and Mrs. Inman even journeyed back and forth between Cambridge, Boston and Milton in this way. Finally the evil day came when the evacuation of Boston became a necessity. The consternation was indescribable. Men who had lived all their lives in Boston and were a part and parcel of it found themselves suddenly compelled to take leave of friends, old associations and property and to flee with the army to Nova Scotia. The departure of General Howe was hampered and delayed by the necessity of caring for the removal of the Loyalists. All the transports which were at hand, assisted by such other vessels as could be procured, were inadequate for the purpose. The refugees, on their part, were in a state of distraction between the impossibility of taking with them more than a small part of their possessions. Mr. Murray, like the rest, had no recourse but to sail with the troops for Halifax. The parting he must have believed to be only temporary, but it was final.

[259]A lady writing from Brush Hill under date of May 17th, 1776, and signing herself E. F., gives a graphic description of the condition in which the Murray family were left. She writes, "This amiable family are going to be involved in new troubles. Did I fear for myself alone, I should be happy compared with what I now suffer, for I have nothing to fear from the malevolence of man, but when I see the few but valuable friends I have remaining upon the point of becoming destitute like myself my heart sinks within me, and I can not avoid exclaiming "Great God!" Surely for all these things people shall be brought to judgment. I am hunted from one retreat to another, and since I left your Ark, like Noah's dove I can find no resting place. The Committee at Cambridge have left Mrs. Inman's farm, in spite of all assiduity to prevent it and the same tribe of demons have been here to take this into possession during the life of Mr. Murray. When this affair will end, God knows. Nature is all blooming and benevolent around us. I wish to Heaven that she could inspire the breasts of this deluded people with the same affectionate glow towards each other. May eternal curses fall on the heads of those who have been instrumental to this country's ruin."

Again under the date of June 16th she writes, "Rejoice with me, my dear Aunt, this infernal crew cannot succeed in taking the farm from this amiable family. The Almighty Father of infinite perfection will not permit them to prosper in all their wickedness."[186]

James Murray now began the weary life of banishment, the pathos of which was so many times repeated in the history of the Loyalist exiles. He first went to Halifax; there he established himself with his wife and his sister, Mrs. Gordon, but he could not be content to stay so far from his sister and his children, who remained in Boston to prevent their property from being confiscated, and soon, as he puts it, he came "creeping towards" them, hoping at least to be able more easily to communicate with them and to serve them by sending occasional supplies. He visited Newport, New York and Philadelphia. He found himself, however, no nearer the accomplishment of his wishes in New York than in Halifax and to Halifax, in 1778, after some two years spent in profitless wanderings, he returned. There he remained the rest of his life. In his last letter to his daughter dated Halifax, February 17th, 1781, he said "A man near seventy, if in his senses, can want but little here below, nor want that little long. Therefore the withdrawing of my salary for some time past gives me but little concern." In this letter he seems to have had a premonition of his death, for he died a few months later. The salary that he refers to was that which he received from England for several years after leaving Boston—about 150 Pounds a year as inspector of imports and exports, many sufferers received from 50 to 300 Pounds a year in addition to their salary for their present subsistence. Mrs. Inman, his sister, survived her brother but a few years[260] and those were sad ones. Her friends were scattered, her means reduced and her health undermined. She died May 25, 1785.

Elizabeth Murray, his daughter, married Edward Hutchinson Robbins, who in 1780, when but twenty-two years of age, became a member of the disloyal government and who occupied the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lieutenant Governor and Judge of Probate. Brush Hill afterwards passed into the possession of her son, James Murray Robbins, who lived here until his death in 1885. It then passed into the possession of his nephew, James Murray Howe, its present occupant.

As previously stated, the only thing that prevented the confiscation of this estate was that Elizabeth and Dorothy Murray, to whom their aunt had given it had remained on the property during the war and would not leave it, although every effort was made to drive them off it by their disloyal neighbors. Their father was proscribed and banished under the Act of 1778, he was forbidden to return to Massachusetts and for a time did not even dare to write to his family. A daughter of Mary Robbins married a son of Paul Revere. Two of their sons fell upon the battlefield in the war for the Union, fighting on the loyal side in support of their government, giving to their country on the one hand lives derived from the disunionists and on the other from their loyal ancestor.

Rev. John Forbes wrote to his wife in 1783, just previous to his death, as follows: "Upon hearing of the peace, having all my property in Florida, I thought of going immediately to England. I might be of use to myself either by giving a short representation of the importance of retaining the province under the Crown of Great Britain or in finding early what hopes I might entertain of being in a situation of remaining in England with my united family, when the boys might be educated under my eye." After Mr. Forbes' death his wife, Dorothy Forbes, hoping to recover something from his estate as well as from her father's, made a trip to Wilmington and St. Augustine. The land which Mr. Forbes owned in Florida, which had been given over to the Spaniards, she received compensation for from the British Government. In Wilmington, however, she did not succeed, for when her father went to Boston he turned over his Cape Fear estate, which he valued at that time at £3000, to his nephew, Thomas Clark, who had recently come over from England. After the war commenced, the whole of Mr. Murray's property was confiscated. It was then claimed by Thomas Clark, who presented an account for more than the assessed value of the property for his salary for caring for it. As he had joined the disunionists it was ultimately made over to him by act of the Legislature. Mrs. Forbes tried to recover some of her patrimony, but without success. She did not even see her cousin, who wrote from his plantation that floods prevented his leaving his estate to visit Wilmington but that if she would come to him he would be happy to see her and did not doubt of being able to convince her that he had acted for the best in what he did.



Benjamin Thompson, otherwise known as Count Rumford was one of the most distinguished men of his age. He came on both sides of his parentage from the original stock of the first colonists of Massachusetts Bay. James Thompson, one of the original settlers of Woburn, was prominent among those who fixed their residence in that part of the town now known as North Woburn. Little is known of his English antecedents except that he was born in 1593, his wife's name was Elizabeth and by her he had three sons and one daughter all probably born in England. As early as 1630 when he was thirty-seven he joined the company of about fifteen hundred persons who under lead of Governor Winthrop landed on New England shores during the eventful year. He was one of the first settlers of Charlestown and belonged to sturdy yeomanry of the country. He was among the few adventurers who early pushed their way into an unknown region and fixed their home in the wilderness, with Henry Baldwin and a few others, in that part of Charlestown Village now known as North Woburn. James Thompson was twice married. Elizabeth died November 13, 1643, and he married February 15, 1644, Susannah Blodgett, widow of Thomas Blodgett of Cambridge. The descendants of this early settler are now very numerous in the country.


Jonathan Thompson, son of the former had a son Jonathan who had a son Ebenezer. Captain Ebenezer Thompson and Hannah Converse[262] were the grandparents, Benjamin Thompson, the son of the last, and Ruth Simonds were the father and mother of the celebrated Count Rumford. His mother was the daughter of an officer who performed distinguished service in the French and Indian wars, which were in progress at the time of the birth of his eminent grandson. The parents were married in 1752, and went to live at the house of Captain Ebenezer Thompson. Here under his grandfather's roof, the future Count Rumford was born, March 26, 1753, in the west end of the strong substantial farm-house. The father of the little boy died November 7, 1754, in his twenty-sixth year, leaving his wife and her child to the care and support of the grandparents. In March, 1756, when the child was three years old, his widowed mother was married to Josiah Pierce, the younger, of Woburn. Mr. Pierce took his wife and her child to a new home, which, now removed, stood but a short distance from the old homestead.

Ellis in his "Life of Count Rumford" says, that Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Thompson were the two men most distinguished for philosophical genius of all that have been produced on the soil of this continent. "They came into life in humble homes within twelve miles of each other, under like straits and circumstances of frugality and substantial thrift. They both sprang from English lineage, of an ancestry and parentage yeoman of the soil on either continent, to be cast, as their progenitors had been, upon their own exertions, without dependence upon inherited means, or patronage, or even good fortune. Born as subjects of the English monarch, they both, at different periods of their lives, claimed their privileges as such, visiting their ancestral soil, though under widely unlike circumstances, and their winning fame and distinction for services to humanity. We almost forget the occasion which parted them in the sphere of politics, because they come so close together in the more engrossing and beneficent activity of their genius." It is not known whether these two men ever met together, or sought each other's acquaintance, or even recognized each other's existence, though they were contemporaries for more than thirty years.

Benjamin Thompson in his youth attended the village grammar school. Later he was apprenticed to Mr. John Appleton, an importer of British goods at Salem, and later still was for a short time a clerk in a dry goods store in Boston where he was when the "Massacre" occurred. It was while at Salem he first displayed his fondness for experimental philosophy, when accidentally his face was somewhat marked by a pyrotechnical explosion. He used to steal moments to play the fiddle as he was passionately fond of music. Lacking taste for trade he engaged in the study of medicine with Dr. Hay of Woburn, meanwhile in company with his friend and neighbor, Loammie Baldwin, walking to and fro from Cambridge, in order to attend scientific lectures at Harvard College. At length he became a teacher, first in Wilmington, then in Bradford and then in a more permanent and lucrative position in Concord,[263] New Hampshire, then a part of Essex County, Massachusetts; once known as Penacook but at this time as Rumford. His more public and noticeable life now began. Here he married at the early age of nineteen Sarah, the widow of Colonel Rolfe and the daughter of the Rev. Timothy Walker. When he went to Concord as a teacher he was in the glory of his youth, and his friend Baldwin describes him as of a fine manly make and figure, nearly six feet in height, of handsome features, bright blue eyes, and dark auburn hair. He had the manners and polish of a gentleman, with fascinating ways, and an ability to make himself agreeable. His diligent study and love of learning also added to his attractions. He was married about November, 1772, and his wife brought to him a fortune. It was at about this time that Benjamin Thompson met Governor Wentworth,—an event which led to that series of difficulties and troubles which resulted in his leaving the country. The governor was struck by the young man's commanding appearance, and a vacancy having occurred in a majorship in the Second Provincial Regiment of New Hampshire, Governor Wentworth at once commissioned Thompson to fill it. Thus the young man received an appointment over the heads of other officers of age and experience. It was a mistake on the part of the governor and a mistake for him to accept the office. The veteran officers over whom he had been appointed so suddenly and unexpectedly from the plain life of a civilian were very angry as was to be expected.

Young Thompson manifested in early manhood the tastes, aptitudes and cravings which prompt their possessor, however humbly born, and under whatever repression from surrounding influence, to push his way in the world by seeking and winning the patronage of his social superiors, who have favor and distinctions to bestow. He was regarded from his boyhood as being above his position; he had also a noble and imposing figure, with great personal beauty, and with those whose acquaintance he cultivated he was most affable and winning in his manners. His marriage enabling him to give over the necessity of school keeping, furnished him the means for making excursions at his pleasure. Besides his acquaintance with Governor Wentworth at Portsmouth, he had also on visits with his wife to Boston, been introduced to Governor Gage and several of the British officers, and had partaken of their hospitalities. Two soldiers, who had deserted from the army in Boston, finding their way to Rumford (Concord), had been employed by him upon his farm. Wishing to return to their ranks and comrades, they had sought for the intervention of their employer to secure them immunity from punishment. Thompson addressed a few lines for this purpose to General Gage asking at the same time that his own agency in their behalf should not be disclosed. Besides his acquaintance with the royal governors, the patronage he had received from one of them, the intimacy in which he was supposed to stand with others, the return of the deserters, and his independent spirit, as shown in speaking his mind with freedom, in[264] a way to check the rising spirit of rebellion, and in distrust of the ability and success of the disunionists, caused him to be distrusted, and unpopular by the inflammable materials around him. He therefore became a suspected person in Rumford, where there were watching enemies, and talebearers, as well as jealous committees, who soon brought their functions to bear in a most searching and offensive way against all who did not attend revolutionary assemblies. It was well known as it was observable that Thompson took no part in these. He had occasion to fear any indignity which an excited and reckless county mob, directed by secret instigators might see fit to inflict upon him, whether it were by arraying him in tar and feathers, or by riding him upon a rail to be jeered at by his former school-pupils. If ill usage stopped short of these extremes, the condition of escape and security was a public recantation, unequivocally and strongly expressed, involving a confession of some act, or word, in opposition to the will of the disunionists, and solemn pledge of future uncompromising fidelity to them.

There was something exceedingly humiliating and degrading to a man of independent and self-respecting spirit, in the conditions imposed upon him by the "Sons of Despotism" in the process of clearing himself from the taint of "Loyalism." The Committees of "Correspondence and of Safety" whose services stand glorified to us through their most efficient agency in a successful struggle, delegated their authority to every witness or agent who might be a self-constituted guardian of the disloyal cause or a spy, or an eaves-dropper, to catch reports of suspected persons. It was this example, followed a few years later that led to such terrible results in the French Revolution.

Major Thompson insisted from the first, and steadfastly to the close of his life, affirmed that he had never done anything hostile to the revolutionary cause up to this time. He demanded first in private, and then in public, that his enemies should confront him with any charges they could bring against him, and he promised to meet them and defend himself against all accusations. He resolved, however, that he would not plead except against explicit charges, nor invite indignity by self-humiliation. Major Thompson was summoned before a Committee of the people of Rumford (Concord), in the summer of 1774 to answer to the suspicion of "being unfriendly to the cause of Liberty." He positively denied the charge and boldly challenged proof. The evidence, if any such was offered, was not a sort to warrant any proceedings against him, and he was discharged. This discharge, however, though nominally an acquittal, was not effectual in relieving him from popular distrust and in assuring for him confidence. Probably his own reluctance to avow sympathy with the disloyal cause, and make professions in accordance with the wishes of his enemies, left him still under a cloud. A measure less formal and more threatening than the examination before a self constituted tribunal, was secretly planned by the "Sons of Despotism." This was a visit to his comfortable home, the most conspicuous residence[265] in the village. It was carried into effect in November, 1774. A mob gathered at the time agreed on, around his dwelling, and after a serenade of hisses, hootings and groans, demanded that Major Thompson should come out before them. The feeling must have been intense and was of a nature to feed its own flames. Had Thompson been within, he would inevitably have met with foul handling. The suspicion that he was hiding there would have led to the sacking of his dwelling, and the destruction of his goods, though the daughter of their venerated minister was its mistress, and she was the mother, not only of Thompson's infant, but of the only child of their former distinguished townsman, Colonel Benjamin Rolfe. Mrs. Thompson and her brother, Colonel Walker, came forth and with their assurance that her husband was not in town, the mob dispersed.

Having received a friendly warning that this assault was to be made upon him, his brother-in-law and other friends advised him to quit the place, for although his family connections, beginning with the minister, and the squire of the town, were, the most powerful set among the inhabitants, yet they were unable to vindicate him and protect him from outrage, and we may infer that his apprehensions were not in vain, notwithstanding his own consciousness of rectitude.

Mr. Thompson therefore had secretly left Rumford just before the mob came to his home. He thought it was to be only a temporary separation from the place, for all his friends were there, and his wife and infant child; but he was never to see that pleasant home again, nor anyone of those whom he left there, except that he had a brief and troubled visit from his wife and infant, and met the latter again only after an interval of twenty-two years. He made a hasty effort to collect some dues which belonged strictly to himself, but he scrupulously avoided taking with him anything that belonged to others, or even to his wife. What of his own he left there was soon subjected to the process of confiscation.

Thompson sought refuge in his former home at Woburn with his mother. Here for a short time, he sought to occupy himself in quiet retirement with his favorite pursuits of philosophical study and experiment. But popular suspicion found means to visit its odium upon him there, and seeking a new refuge, he found temporary shelter in Charlestown, with a friend, nine miles from Woburn and one from Boston. In compliance with an earnest appeal, his wife with her infant joined him at his mother's home in Woburn, though it required of them a ride of more than fifty miles in winter. They remained with him till the end of May, 1775, after which he never saw his wife again. Thompson offered his services to the patriot army but his enemies interposed their veto. Ellis says, "There is no record, or even tradition of unwise or unfriendly expressions dropped by Mr. Thompson which could be used against him even when he challenged proof of his alleged disaffection to the cause of his country. However he was young and he had an independent spirit. His military promotion by pure favoritism,[266] and, what he insisted was simply an act of humanity, his seeking immunity for two returning deserters, were enough in themselves to assure him zealous enemies."

Through all this trouble Thompson had a staunch and loyal friend. Colonel L. Baldwin was an ardent patriot, but stood faithfully by his old friend and fellow-student, believed in him and protected him from violence. At last Thompson's pride was so wounded and he felt the humiliation so keenly that in the hot impulse of youth and a naturally proud spirit, he embraced an opportunity to leave a land which he honestly thought to be ungrateful and cruel. It is not true as has often been said that Benjamin Thompson lost his interest in his family and country. Some of the most tender and most touching letters were written by him to his mother and his family still in Concord who believed in his integrity. Some of these letters have never been published, others after the lapse of nearly a century appeared in the "life of Count Rumford" by Dr. Ellis. These errors as to matters of fact may persuade us that the early predilection of Thompson for the loyalist cause, and the opening of opportunities, more than any settled purpose, decided the course of this forlorn and ill-treated young husband and father, adrift on the world, when he found himself loosed from all home ties and that there was nothing secret or disguised in the plans he formed for seeking in a foreign land and among strangers at the risk of homelessness and poverty, the peace and protection which he could not find in his own dwelling. He did not privately steal away; he remained in and about Woburn two months after writing his last letter to his friend, Mr. Walker, in which he so deliberately avowed his intentions. He settled his affairs with his neighbors, collecting dues and paying debts, well assured that his wife and child would lack none of the means of a comfortable support. Having made all his preparations he started from Woburn October 13, 1775, in a country vehicle, accompanied by his step-brother, Josiah Pierce, who drove him to the shores of Narragansett Bay where he was taken aboard of the British frigate Scarborough, in the harbor of Newport. The vessel very soon came round to Boston and remained till the evacuation, of which event he was undoubtedly the bearer of the tidings to England in despatches from General Howe. From henceforth we are to know Benjamin Thompson till the close of the war as an ardent loyalist, and in council and in arms an opponent to the revolutionary cause. He must have done appreciable service in the four or five months he was in Boston, in order to have won so soon the place of an official in the British government. Thenceforward the rustic youth became the companion of gentlemen of wealth, and culture, of scientific philosophers, of the nobility and of princes. The kind of influences which he at once began to exert, and the promotion which he so soon received in England, answers to a class of services rendered by him of a nature not to be misconceived. They had not in England at that time much exact information about the state[267] of the country. Thompson thoroughly understood the matter. He could give trustworthy information about the topography, and about the events of the war in which he had played a part. He was not slow in winning the confidence of Lord George Germaine, Secretary of State for the Colonies, who was sadly deficient in his knowledge of the American Colonies. Major Thompson was immediately admitted to a desk in the Colonial office. He of course proffered and showed he could impart "information." The young man became such a favorite with Lord George that he was daily in the habit of breakfasting, dining and supping with him at his lodgings and at his country seat, Stoneland. Apart from the discharge of his duties as a private secretary, he made the most and the best use of his opportunities in acquainting himself with London and seeking introductions alike to men in public station and to those engaged in scientific pursuits; nothing of interest would escape his keen observation, and no means of personal improvement or acquisition through men or things, would fail to yield him advancement.

Born in North Woburn, March 26, 1753. In the uniform of a British Officer. Known as Count Rumford. Died at Paris Aug. 21, 1814.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and became one of the most active and honored members of the Society. In 1780 he was made "Under Secretary of State for the Northern Department." The oversight of all the practical details for recruiting, equipping, transporting, and victualling the British forces, and of many other incidental arrangements was then committed to him. Major Thompson, who had always clung to that title, though its provisional commission gave him no rank in the regular army, was now honored with the commission in the regular army of a Lieutenant Colonel; though now at the age of only twenty-eight, not yet a veteran, he wished for, and meant to do, full military duty. He needed a command. Where should he find a regiment. He provided for himself, and resolved to secure a following from those in his native land, who had been loyal to the government. They were known as the "Loyal American Regiments" and for the most part, they were the most desperate, and hated of any of the combatants, they had suffered the loss of their homes, and endured the most cruel treatment from their neighbors, and countrymen, and when the opportunity occurred they often retaliated. In this partisan warfare quarter was neither given or taken. In the early part of January, 1782, Lieutenant Colonel Thompson arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, General Green's army at that time invested the city. Becoming desperate in their need of supplies, a sortie was made under Thompson's command, an attack was made by him on the partisan forces under the command of Marion, the famous partisan leader, near the Santee. When the brigade was first attacked it was under the command of Colonel Horrey, and though Marion came in season to take part in the action, he had the mortification of witnessing the discomfiture of his band with the loss of many men and munition.[187]

Rivington's New York Gazette, under date of Feb. 18th, 1782, says[268] "A detachment of the Royal Americans went on service against Greene," March 27th. A person who left the Southern Army Feb. 13th, says Lieutenant Colonel Thompson has taken command of the British cavalry under Colonel Leslie. "A considerable force of cavalry and infantry commanded by Colonel Thompson sallied out from Charleston on the side opposite the American camp and surprised and dispersed a party of militia. The British retreated before Greene could send reinforcements."

Charleston, March 2. Lieutenant Colonel Thompson moved Sunday, Feb. 24 from Daniel's Island, with the cavalry, Cunningham's and Young's troops of mounted militia, Yagers, and Volunteers of Ireland, with one three pounder, and a detachment of the Thirtieth Regiment. By the spirited exertion of his troops, and by the Colonel's mounting the infantry occasionally on the dragoon horses, he carried his corps thirty-six miles without halting. Having secured the American scouts to prevent information being given he drove in Horrey's regiment. They were pursued by Major Doyle with mounted militia. On seeing the enemy, Colonel Thompson sounded a charge and dashed forwards. Marion's marque and men refreshed our soldiers. Colonel Thompson marched back driving the cattle, etc. The admirable conduct of the officer who commanded can be equalled by the spirit with which his orders were executed. (Rivington, April 17). In the war of posts, of desultory skirmishes, and of raids into the farming country, to which the struggle at the South was reduced, there was indeed little opportunity for Thompson to win laurels. He made use of his energetic and methodical skill in doing what he could to organize and discipline such materials as he had before him.

Towards the end of the war he was sent to New York to organize a regiment out of the broken and scattered bands of Loyalists on Long Island. "Recruits for the King's American Dragoons, likely and spirited young lads who were desirous of serving their King and country, and who prefer riding to going on foot, were offered ten guineas each, if volunteers." Such was the advertisement. His ability in organizing this regiment was a great achievement. He commanded at Huntington, Long Island in 1782-3 where he caused a fort to be built. In August, 1782, near Flushing, standards were presented to his corps, with imposing ceremonies. Prince William came forward to the center of the regiment, received the colors from Admiral Digby, and presented them with his own hand to Lieutenant Colonel Thompson. On a given signal the whole regiment gave three shouts, the music played "God save the King", the artillery fired a royal salute and the ceremony ended.

An ox was roasted whole, to grace this occasion. He was spitted on a hickory sapling, twelve feet long, supported on crutches, and turned by handspikes. An attendant dipped a swab in a tub of salt and water to baste the ox, and moderate the fire. Each soldier then sliced off for himself a piece of juicy beef.[188]

[269]The Prince who officiated on this occasion was the King's third son, afterwards William IV. He had sailed on board the Prince George under Admiral Digby, to qualify himself for rank in the Royal Navy.

Returning to England Thompson, as a commissioned officer of high rank now on half pay, obtained leave to travel on the Continent. He left England in September, 1783, with no anticipation of the ultimate result of what was to him in intent mainly a trial of fortune. On his arrival at Strasburg, Prince Maximilian, who became Elector of Bavaria in 1799 and King in 1805, was attracted by the young man's appearance. On acquaintance he soon realized that the Englishman was a man of remarkable intelligence and later Thompson received an earnest invitation to enter into the service of the elector. Thompson therefore returned to England to receive the necessary permission from the king. The king not only granted the permission but also conferred on him the honor of Knighthood on February 23, 1784.

Returning to the continent Thompson became a fast friend of the Elector of Bavaria. His great mind was put to useful service in a country that needed his wisdom, philanthropy and personal help. Many honors were conferred upon him and he was admitted to several academies. In 1788 the Elector made him Major-General of Cavalry and Privy Councillor of State. He was also put at the head of the War Department. His constant study in science and philosophy, and the great problems of the day, made him an invaluable help to the people, besides his ability as a statesman. In Munich, where beggary had been reduced to a system and had become an intolerable curse, he received from all classes multiplied tokens of most grateful regard for his acts of disinterested benevolence. Both in England and on the continent he was held in the highest esteem for the broad and wise plans for the amelioration of the condition of the poor which he devised and executed. He dealt with those who lived in the filthiest order and it was his aim to show them that virtue came from cleanliness, and he worked unceasingly that their surroundings might first be clean.

Honors of all kinds were heaped upon this worker for mankind, but nothing so deeply moved him or was so tenderly cherished in his memory, as that scene, when once he was dangerously ill, the poor of Munich went publicly in a body, in processions, to the cathedral, and offered public prayers for his recovery. And on another occasion four years later, when he was again dangerously ill at Naples, these people of their own accord, set apart an hour each evening, after they had finished their work in the Military Work-house, to pray for him. On his return, after an absence of fifteen months, the subjects of his benevolence gave him a most affecting reception. He in response, provided for them a festival in the English Gardens which his own skill and taste had laid out where before was an unhealthy marsh. Here eighteen hundred poor people of all ages enjoyed themselves, in presence of above eighty thousand visitors. Thompson says, "Let him imagine, I say, my feelings,[270] upon hearing the confused noise of the prayers of a multitude of people who were passing by in the streets, upon being told that it was the poor of Munich, many hundreds in number, who were going in procession to the church to put up public prayers for me;—public prayers for me!—for a private person!—a stranger!—a Protestant!"

"Such testimonies as these were more valuable than all his military honors, all his scientific reputation, his diplomas of Knighthood in England, and in Poland, and his decoration as a count of the Holy Roman Empire and there is reason to believe that he so regarded them himself."[189]

He was accused of being selfish and devoid of all honor, coarse and cruel. That he married another woman while his wife was alive and was always a tyrant! The records of Concord give the date of his wife's death as January 19, 1792, while the register of Paris gives the date of his second marriage as October 24, 1805.

Sarah, the only child of Count Rumford, who was born in the Rolfe Mansion in Concord, Oct. 18, 1774, remained in the care of her mother until the latter's death. Her father had taken great interest in her and never forgot his family, and he made provision also for his mother. After his wife's death, Sarah accepted her father's invitation to rejoin him in Europe where she shared his honors both in London and on the Continent. She received her title as countess and her pension both of which she enjoyed to the close of her life.

While the countess was on a return visit to her old home she gained the first news of her father's coming marriage through his letters to her. Father and daughter kept up a continual correspondence, and from these letters which have since been published much of their private life is revealed.[190] Count Rumford married the widow of General Anthony Laurence Lavosier at Paris in 1805, but the marriage soon proved unhappy and he retired to the Villa Auteuil, within the walls, but removed from the noise of the great city. Count Rumford never returned to his old home in Massachusetts though it was his wish to do so. The United States government through its ambassador, Hon. Rufus King, then resident of London, formally invited him to return, assured of his loyalty and great ability, and offered him the responsible position of superintendent of the proposed American Military Academy and of inspector-general of artillery. Though to the mutual regret of both parties concerned, the count was not able to accept the invitation of the American government, he gave in order to assist in the equipment of the Military Academy, some of his very valuable models and drawings and offered to give his whole rich collection of military books, plans, drawings, and models, provided they would be acceptable.

The Count's last days were spent near Paris, as that climate was best[271] suited to him. He lived a very retired life spending most of his days in philosophical pursuits and experiments, almost secluded from the world. Constant friendship between Colonel Baldwin and Benjamin Thompson remained until the end, and the latter was always grateful for the interest and care his old friend had bestowed upon his daughter during their separation.

Thompson published essays and papers on his work and that he could have been great in theoretical science is shown by his experiment at Munich in 1798, and his clear reasoning upon it which was in advance of the prevailing scientific opinion by half a century. When he was in London in 1800 he projected the Royal Institute of Great Britain.

Besides a great number of communications to scientific journals, he published four volumes of essays, political, economical, experimental, and philosophical. He was ever a great friend to Harvard College. When the Colleges were converted into barracks, during the siege of Boston, he was instrumental in preserving the library and philosophical apparatus from destruction by the revolutionists who regarded the College as a hotbed of toryism. By his will he laid the foundation of that professorship to Harvard University, which has rendered his name justly esteemed with his friends. He bequeathed an annuity of one thousand dollars and the reversion of another of four hundred dollars, also the reversion of his whole estate, which amounted to twenty-six thousand dollars, "for the purpose of founding a new institution and professorship, in order to teach by regular courses of academical and public lectures accompanied with proper experiments, the utility of the physical and mathematical science for the improvement of the useful arts, and for the extension of the industry, prosperity, happiness and well being of society." In 1796 he remitted five thousand dollars in three per cent. stocks, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the income to be appropriated as a premium to the author of the most important discovery on light and heat.

This great, useful and influential life came to a close on August 21, 1814. He was just about to depart for England to which country, as long as he lived, he retained the most devoted attachment. His death resulted from a nervous fever at Auteuil, about four miles from Paris and he is buried within the limits of that city. In the Monthly Magazine or British Register (London) for September, 1814, appeared the following:

"At his seat near Paris, 60, died, August 21, that illustrious philosopher, Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, F. R. S., Member of the Institute, &c., an American by birth, but the friend of man, and an honor to the whole human race."

Many testimonies were given in remembrance of Benjamin Thompson throughout the civilized world. In Munich the king erected at his own cost a bronze statue of Count Rumford, and it stands in the Maximillian Strasse, the finest street of Munich, perhaps of any city of Europe. The new and beautiful library which was erected in Woburn,[272] Massachusetts, has paid tribute also to this man's memory. A bronze monument of heroic size stands boldly out upon the library lawn, and the inscription was written by President Eliot of Harvard College. The Rumford Historical Association was organized in 1877 with the simple desire to do justice to Count Rumford's transcendent abilities as a great scientist and to his marked usefulness as one of the greatest philanthropists of his age. A portrait of Count Rumford by Page after one Kellerhofer hangs in Memorial Hall, Cambridge.

Sarah, the Countess of Rumford, after living in Paris and London several years, returned to her old home in Concord, where she spent her last years. She possessed many memorials and pictures which she was fond of exhibiting to visitors. She was eccentric but had a quick and vigorous mind and idolized America. She was never married and her death occurred December 2, 1852, at the age of seventy. In her will she left $15,000 and her homestead, worth $5,000, for the endowment of an institution for widows and orphans of Concord, the homestead to be the site of the institution, to the New Hampshire Asylum for Insane in Concord she left $15,000, to the Concord Female Charitable Society who have under their care a school for poor children, called the Rumford School, she left $2,000, and the rest of her property, estimated at from $75,000 to $100,000, to distant relatives.


The ancestors of Sir Richard Saltonstall resided for centuries in the parish of Halifax, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, and the earliest date at which we find this name recorded is in 1276. Thomas de Saltonstall of the West Riding of Yorkshire is the first name of whom any record is preserved. Sir Richard Saltonstall, born in 1521 was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1598. After holding several prominent offices under the crown he became Lord Mayor of London in 1597-8. He was the uncle of Sir Richard Saltonstall who was born in 1586 at Halifax and was one of the patentees of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay and was appointed First Assistant. He came over with the Winthrop fleet, and arrived in Salem aboard of the Arabella, June 12, 1630, "bringing out the charter with them." He returned to England, and at his death, left a legacy to Harvard College. He dissented from the action of the tyrannical rulers who were his associates, who inflicted punishment on such as differed from them, but slightly in their notion of policy, and requested that his dissent should be entered upon the records, which stand much to his honor and credit. After his return to England he wrote to Mr. Cotton and Mr. Wilson, the ministers in Boston "that it did not a little grieve his spirit to hear what sad things were reported daily of the tyranny and persecution in New England, as that they fined,[273] whipped and imprisoned men for their consciences." His son Richard, born in 1610, settled at Ipswich, Massachusetts, returned to England, and died there in 1694. His son Nathaniel, born about 1639 and died in 1707, settled at Haverhill, Mass., of which he is called the father. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of the first minister, Rev. John Ward, who gave the young couple the land for their home, on which was erected the Saltonstall mansion which remained in the possession of the Saltonstall family for several generations. In the early part of the last century it was purchased by Major James Duncan, who erected the present mansion which is now owned and occupied by the Haverhill Historical Society. Nathaniel had a son Richard, who also had a son Richard born June 24, 1703. He graduated from Harvard College in 1722 and became Colonel in 1726. In 1736 he became judge of the Superior Court and died in 1756. His eldest son, Richard Saltonstall, the subject of this notice, was the sixth generation from Sir Richard the First Assistant, and the fourth of the family in succession who held the office of Colonel. He graduated from Harvard College with high honors and delivered the Latin Oration at Commencement.

His acceptance from Governor Shirley of the commission of Colonel, so soon after leaving college, evinced a spirit which was not long after to be tried in arduous service for his country. During the French war he was Major in the army and was one of the unfortunate prisoners at the capitulation of Fort William Henry. He escaped being massacred by the Indians by concealing himself in the woods where he lay for many hours, and when at last he reached Fort Edward was nearly exhausted with fatigue and hunger. He remained in active service until the close of the war, and later was appointed Sheriff to the County of Essex.

Colonel Saltonstall was always a steady loyalist in principle and never for a moment wavered in his devotion to the flag which he had so bravely fought under and which he had so often sworn to support. "The proceedings (of the Government) were in his opinion extremely inexpedient, but he never doubted their right to tax the Colonies."

"He was much beloved by the people of Haverhill, and its vicinity. He resided on the beautiful family estate in Haverhill known as 'the Saltonstall Place,' where he lived in a liberal style of hospitality, sustaining the character of a truly upright man, and an accomplished gentleman. It was long before he lost his popularity, but in 1774 a mob assembled from the West Parish of Haverhill and Salem, N. H., for the purpose of proving themselves Sons of Liberty by attacking him. By a word he could have collected a great part of the inhabitants of the village to his defence, but he would not, though urged by some of his friends. The rioters marched to his home and paraded before it, armed with clubs and other offensive instruments, when he came to the door and addressed them with great firmness and dignity. He told them he was under the oath of allegiance to the king, that he was bound to discharge the duties of the office he held under him, that he[274] did not think the people were pursuing a wise or prudent course but that he was as great a friend to the country as any of them, and had exposed his life in its cause, etc. He then ordered some refreshment for the gentlemen, who soon began to relent, when he requested them to go to the tavern and call for entertainment at his expense. They then huzzard to the praise of Colonel Saltonstall, and never attempted to mob him again."

Colonel Saltonstall left Haverhill in the fall of 1774 and embarked for England. He did not enter the British service, saying, if he could not conscientiously engage on the side of his native country he never would take up arms against her. If he had joined the continental army he undoubtedly would have held an office of high command. The king granted him a pension and he passed the remainder of his life in England, where he died. In one of his last letters in which he expressed great affection for the "delightful place of his nativity," he wrote, "I have no remorse of conscience for my past conduct. I have had more satisfaction in a private life here than I should have had in being next in command to General Washington, where I must have acted in conformity to the dictates of others, regardless of my own feelings."

In Haverhill Colonel Saltonstall was much beloved and had a great influence from his integrity, benevolence of disposition and his superior understanding and knowledge of the world. In England he was hospitably received by his remote family connections, who paid him every kind and generous attention while living, and erected a monument to his memory in Kensington church, on which is the following inscription:

"Near this place are interred the remains of Richard Saltonstall, Esq., who died October, 1785, aged fifty-two. He was an American loyalist, from Haverhill in Massachusetts, where he was descended from a first family, both for the principal share it had in the early erecting as well as in rank and authority in governing that province, and wherein he himself sustained, with unshaken loyalty and universal applause, various important trusts and commands under the Crown both civil and military, from his youth till its revolt; and throughout life maintained such an amiable private character, as engaged him the esteem and regard of many friends. As a memorial of his merits this stone is erected."

Colonel Saltonstall was not married. He was Proscribed and Banished by the law of 1778. His mansion home at Haverhill passed into the hands of his brother, Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall who joined the Disunionists, at a time when his brothers remained true to those principals of loyalty in which they had been educated. He however did not take up arms against the government. At his death he left three sons and four daughters, the only family of that name in Massachusetts.

Leverett Saltonstall, youngest son of Judge Saltonstall was born in 1754 and at the commencement of the war had nearly completed his term of service with a merchant of Boston, when Col. Saltonstall came to that place for protection from mob violence. Being in the habit of[275] looking up to him for advice and direction, he embraced the same political opinion, and becoming acquainted with the British officers he was fascinated with their profession. After the passing of the Act of Disunion July 4, 1776 he unlike his brothers decided to enter the British service and fight for his government. He was in many battles, and commanded a company in the army of Lord Cornwallis. He died at the close of the war at New York, 1782. His brother-in-law, the Rev. Moses Badger, who was also a loyalist, in a letter to Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall concerning his sickness (consumption), says, "It may be some consolation to you and his mother to hear, that his behaviour in the regiment endeared him to every officer, and the soldiers who had so frequent opportunities to see his intrepidity, coolness and gallantry in action, absolutely revered him. He was agreeable to people of all ranks. He was exceedingly cautious in speaking, seldom uttering a word without reflection and was never heard to speak ill of any one and reprobated the man or woman who indulged themselves in this infirmity. He never fell into the scandalous and fashionable vice of profaneness. In short, I looked upon him to be as innocent a young man as any I have known since I have been capable of making observations on mankind."[191]


Josiah Byles, a saddler by trade, came from Winchester, Hants county. He was in Boston in 1695 and joined the church October 11, 1696; seven years later he married the pastor's daughter.

He had four children by his wife Sarah. His second wife, Elizabeth, he married October 6, 1703; she was the widow of William Greenough and the daughter of Increase Mather.

Mather Byles, D. D., son of Josiah and Elizabeth, was born in Boston in 1706. He graduated from Harvard University in 1725 and was ordained first pastor of the Hollis street church in 1733. This church was built on land given by Governor Belcher in 1733, the site is now occupied by the Hollis street Theatre. He married, February 14, 1733, Mrs. Anna Gale; the ceremony took place in the state room of the Province House, Rev. Thomas Prince of the Old South officiating. By this marriage he had six children born, all of whom died young except Elizabeth. His second wife was Rebecca, daughter of Lieutenant Governor Hon. William Tailor; the ceremony was performed by Rev. Joseph Sewell, D. D. By his second wife he had four children. He was created Doctor of Divinity at Aberdeen in 1765. He lived happily with his parish until 1776 when the connection was dissolved and never renewed. Of the Congregational clergy he stood alone against the revolution.

Mather Byles is one of the most interesting men of this period. He was a scholar and a great wit. Pope, Lansdowne and Watts were among[276] his correspondents. In his pulpit he avoided politics and on being asked the reason, replied: "I have thrown up four breastworks, behind which I have entrenched myself, neither of which can be enforced. In the first place I do not understand politics; in the second place, you all do, every man and mother's son of you; in the third place you have politics all the week, pray let one day in seven be devoted to religion; in the fourth place, I am engaged in work of infinitely greater importance; give me any subject to preach on of more consequence than the truth I bring you, and I will preach on it the next Sabbath."

The preacher became known as the "celebrated Dr. Byles." He wrote in poetry and prose very well, and some of his sermons are still extant. Also several of his essays, in the New England Weekly Journal, a poem on the death of George I; and the accession of George II, in 1727. A sort of memorial address to Governor Belcher, on the death of his wife, and a poem called the conflagration, and a volume of metrical matters published in 1744.

The serious writings of Dr. Byles are singularly free from everything suggestive of frivolous association. In his pulpit there was none of it, while out of it, unless on solemn occasions, there was very little else. One of that day said his wit at times was quite as clever as Jonathan Swift or Sydney Smith.

Mather Byles and his family were staunch loyalists. News of the repeal of the stamp act arrived in Boston May 16, 1766. The nineteenth of May was appointed for merry-making. "At one in the morning the bell of the Hollis street church began to ring," says a zealous writer of that day. "The slumbers of the pastor, Dr. Byles, were disturbed of course, for he was a tory, though a very pleasant tory, after all." In 1777 he was denounced in town meeting, and having been by a subsequent trial pronounced guilty of attachment to the Royal cause, was sentenced to confinement, and to be sent to England with his family. This Byles steadfastly refused to do and the doom of the banishment was never enforced, and he was permitted to remain in Boston. The substances of the charges against him were that he continued in Boston during the siege; and that he prayed for the king and the safety of the town.

For a time he was kept a prisoner in his own house. On one occasion while under guard he persuaded the sentinel to go on an errand for him, promising to perform sentinel's duty himself; and to the great amusement of all gravely marched before his own door with a musket on his shoulder, until his keeper returned. This was after his trial; and alluding to the circumstances that he had been kept prisoner, that his guard had been removed and replaced again, he said, that "he had been guarded, re-guarded, and disregarded."

Born in Boston in 1706. "A man of infinite wit." Died in Boston July 5, 1788.

Near his house, in wet weather, was a very bad slough. It happened that two of the selectmen who had the care of the streets, passed that way driving in a chaise, stuck fast in this hole, and were obliged to get out in the mud to extricate their vehicle. Dr. Byles came out, and making[277] them a respectful bow, said: "Gentlemen, I have often complained to you of this nuisance, without any attention being paid to it, and I am very glad to see you 'stirring' in this matter now."

Dr. Byles' wit created many a laugh and many an enemy. In person he was tall and commanding. His voice was strong and harmonious and his delivery graceful. He was intimate with General Knox, who was a bookseller before the war. When the American troops took possession of the town after the evacuation, Knox, who had become quite corpulent, marched in at the head of his artillery. As he passed on Byles thought himself privileged, on old scores, exclaimed, loud enough to be heard, "I never saw an ox fatter in my life." When confined in his own house and quite poor and had no money to waste on follies, he caused the little room in which he read and wrote to be painted brown, that he might say to every visitor, "You see, I am in a brown study."

From the time of the stamp act in 1765 to the period of the revolution the cry had been repeated in every form of phraseology, "that our grievances should be redressed." One fine morning the multitude had gathered on the common to see a regiment of redcoats parade there, who had recently arrived. "Well," said the doctor, gazing at the spectacle, "I think we can no longer complain that our grievances are not red-dressed." "True," said one of his neighbors who were standing near, "but you have two d's, Dr. Byles." "To be sure, sir, I have," the doctor instantly replied, "I had them from Aberdeen in 1765."

Some visitors called one morning, and Mrs. Byles unwilling to be found at her ironing board, and desiring to hide herself, as she would not be so caught by those ladies, the doctor put her in a closet, and buttoned her in. After a few remarks the ladies expressed a wish to see the doctor's curiosities, which he proceeded to exhibit; and after entertaining them very agreeably for some time, he told them he had kept the greatest curiosity to the last; and proceeding to the closet, unbuttoned the door and exhibited Mrs. Byles.

He had at one time a remarkably stupid and literal Irish girl as a domestic. With a look and voice of terror he said to her in haste, "Go and say to your mistress, Dr. Byles has put an end to himself." The girl ran upstairs and with a face of horror, screamed, "Dr. Byles has put an end to himself." The astonished wife and daughter ran into the parlor—and there was the doctor, calmly waltzing about with a part of a cow's tail, that he had picked up in the street, tied to his coat or cassock behind.

On the celebrated Dark-day in 1780 a lady who lived near the doctor, sent her young son with her compliments, to know if he could account for the uncommon appearance. His answer was, "My dear, you will give my compliments to your mamma, and tell her that I am as much in the dark as she is." He paid his addresses unsuccessfully to a lady who afterwards married a gentleman of the name of Quincy; the doctor on meeting her said: "So madam, it appears that you prefer a[278] Quincy to Byles." "Yes, for if there had been anything worse than biles God would have afflicted Job with them."

Mather Byles had two daughters by his second wife, Mary born in 1750 and Katherine born in 1753. They were famous for their hospitality and their stout, unflinching loyalty to the throne, to the last hours of their existence. This thread of life was spun out more than half a century after the Royal government had ceased in these States; yet they retained their love of, and strict adherence to monarch and monarchies, and refused to acknowledge that the Revolution had transferred their allegiance to new rulers. One of these ladies of a by-gone age, wrote to William the Fourth, on his accession to the throne. They had known the "sailor-king" during the Revolution and now assured him that the family of Doctor Byles always had been, and would continue to be, loyal to the rightful sovereign of England.

Dr. Byles continued to live in Boston after the Revolution, the last twelve years of his life being spent in retirement. He died of paralysis July 5th, 1788 at the age of 82. As Dr. Byles refused to be driven out and made a refugee, or absentee, he therefore saved his property from confiscation, and his two daughters, maiden ladies, lived and died in the old family house at the corner of Tremont and Nassau street, now Common street. They were repeatedly offered a great price for their dwelling, but would not sell it, nor would they permit improvements or alterations. In the course of improvements in Boston a part of the building had to be removed in widening the street. This had a fatal influence upon the elder sister; she mourned over the sacrilege, and, it is thought, died its victim. "That," said the survivor, "is one of the consequences of living in a Republic. Had we been living under a king, he would have cared nothing about our little property, and we could have enjoyed it in our own way as long as we lived. But," continued she, "there is one comfort, that not a creature in the States will be any better for what we shall leave behind us." She was true to her promise, for the Byles estate passed to relatives in Halifax at their decease. One of them died in 1835, the other in 1837. They worshipped in Trinity church under which their bodies were buried, and on Sundays wore dresses almost as old as themselves. Among their furniture, was a pair of bellows two centuries old, a table on which Franklin drank tea on his last visit to Boston, a chair which more than a hundred years before the Government of England had sent as a present to their grandfather, Lieutenant-Governor Tailer. They showed to visitors commissions to their grandfather, signed by Queen Anne, and three of the Georges. They talked of their walks arm-in-arm, on Boston Common, with General Howe, and Lord Percy, while the British Army occupied Boston. They told of his Lordship's ordering his band to play under their window for their gratification. They took pleasure in exhibiting the many heirlooms which were in the possession of the family and enjoyed hearing a recitation of the bright stories of the day. The works of Watts were sent to Byles by the author from time to time and[279] among the treasures highly prized by the family was a presentation copy, in quarto from Pope, of his translation of the Odyssey. At the sale of the library of Dr. Byles a large folio Bible in French, was purchased by a private individual. This Bible had been presented to the French-Protestant church in Boston, by Queen Anne, and at the time when it came into the hands of Dr. Byles was the last relic of that church, whose visible temple had been erected in School Street about 1716.[192]

The bible is now preserved in the library of the Divinity School at Cambridge and was presented in 1831 by the widow of the late Samuel Cobb of Boston, who had bought it at the sale of Mather Byle's library.

Mather Byles, Jr., D. D., a son of Rev. Mather Byles by his second wife, was born in 1734, and married Rebecca, daughter of Rev. N. Walter of Roxbury in 1761. He graduated in 1751 at Harvard University. In 1757 at the age of twenty-three he was ordained at New London; his father preached the sermon. Eleven years after, his ministry came to an abrupt termination. Without previous intimation, he called a meeting of his church and requested dismission, that he might accept an invitation to become Rector of the North Episcopal, or Christ Church, Salem street, Boston. His change to Episcopacy was soon a matter of discussion all over New England. Among the reasons he gave in the course of the discussion that ensued, were, that "another minister would do much better for them than he had done or could do, for his health was infirm, and the position of the church very bleak, the hill wearisome, he was not a country minister, and his home and friends were all in Boston." The debate was long and warm, and produced total alienation. April 12, 1768, the record is "The Rev. Byles dismissed himself from the church and congregation." Before the close of 1768, he was inducted into the desired rectorship; and of Christ Church, was the third in succession. He continued to discharge his ministerial duties until 1775, when the force of events compelled him to abandon his flock. He was a staunch loyalist, and resigned the rectorship of Christ Church on Easter Tuesday, 1775, meaning to go to Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, but political tumults there, making that impossible, he remained in Boston, and performed the duty of chaplain to some of the regiments, until the evacuation in 1776, when he left Boston. Accompanied by his family of four persons, he went to Halifax. In 1778 he was proscribed and banished. He settled at St. John, New Brunswick, after the war, and was Rector of the city, and Chaplain of the Province. He died at St. John in 1814.

His daughter Rebecca, born in 1762, married W. J. Almon, M. D., Surgeon to the Ordnance and Artillery, and died at Halifax in 1853.

Mather Byles (3) born in 1764, went to the British West Indies, was Commissary General at Grenada. He married June, 1799, Mary, eldest daughter of Chief Justice Bridgewater of Grenada. The writer was at St. George, Grenada, in 1907, and saw there in the Episcopal[280] Church a marble tablet erected to the memory of Mather Byles of Boston, by his Brother Belcher. He died Dec. 17, 1802.

Elizabeth, born in 1767, married William Scoville, Esq., of St. John, and died in 1808.

Anna, born at Boston, married General Thomas DesBrisay, Lieut. General in the Army, Commandant at Halifax in 1799.

Belcher was born in 1780 at Halifax, and died in England in 1815.

Mather Brown, was a grandson of Rev. Mather Byles (1). His mother was Elizabeth, born in 1737, who married in 1760 Gawler Brown and died in 1763.

Mather Brown went to Europe in 1780, with a letter of introduction from his grandfather to Harrison Gray, Esq., London, a firm friend of the family. Mr. Copley had likewise been intimate with Dr. Byles before he left Boston. He also gave him a letter addressed by the old patriarch "To Mr. Copley in the Solar system." In a letter dated Paris 23, 1781, he writes: "Dr. Franklin has given me a pass, and recommendatory letter to the famous Mr. West. He treats me with the utmost politeness; has given me an invitation to his home. I delivered him my grandfather's message, he expressed himself with the greatest esteem and affection for him, and has since introduced me at Versailles, as being grandson to one of his most particular friends in America."

In his first letter from London, 1781, he writes: "In consequence of the recommendation of Dr. Franklin, who gave me letters to his fellow townsman, the famous Mr. West of Philadelphia, I practice gratis with this gentleman, who affords me every encouragement, as well as Mr. Copley, who is particularly kind to me, welcomed me to his home, and lent me his pictures, etc. At my arrival Mr. Treasurer Gray carried me and introduced me to Lord George Germaine." In a letter in 1783 he wrote: "I have exhibited four pictures in the exhibition; the king and queen were there yesterday." In 1784: "I have painted several Americans. Yesterday I had two pictures shown his royal highness, the Prince of Wales. They were carried to the palace by his page. He criticised them, and thought them strong likenesses. I believe I never told you that the king knew a picture of mine in the last exhibition, of the keeper of Windsor Castle, and took particular notice of Mr. Gray's picture; asked him who it was, and who did it, and what book he had in his hand. Mr. West told him it was the treasurer of Boston painted by his pupil, a young man, Mr. Brown of America. The king asked him what part. He told him Massachusetts." In 1785 he writes: "Among other great people I have painted, Sir William Pepperell and family, and Hon. John Adams, ambassador to His Britannic Majesty. On the 20th of June, I had the honor to be introduced to the Duke of Northumberland at his palace; his Grace received me with the utmost politeness."

Mather Brown became afterwards artist to the king, a worthy successor to Copley. And thus two Boston-born boys filled this honorable position.



Robert Hallowell arrived in Boston from London, in 1764 and entered upon his duties as Comptroller of the Customs. He was Collector of the Customs at Portsmouth, New Hampshire before the age of twenty-five. In 1765, Sabine says, "A mob surrounded his elegant house in Hanover Street, tore down his fences, broke his windows, and forcing the doors at last destroyed furniture, stole money, scattered books and papers, and drank of the wines in the cellar to drunkenness."

In 1768 Hallowell ordered Hancock's vessel, the Liberty, seized for smuggling wine, to be removed from the wharf to a place covered by the guns of the Romney frigate; and in the affray which occurred, received wounds and bruises that at the time seemed fatal.

He removed his office to Plymouth, June 1, 1774, when the port of Boston was closed. In 1775, he was an Addresser of Gage; and the year following with his family of five persons, he accompanied the British Army to Halifax. In 1778 he was proscribed and banished. He went to England and resided at Bristol. Hallowell came to the United States in 1788 and in 1790—as the executor of his own father and of his wife's father. In 1792 he removed to Boston with his family, and lived in the homestead on Batterymarch Street, which because of his mother's life interest, had not been confiscated. He was kindly received and became intimate with some distinguished citizens.

In 1816, when failing in health, he went to Gardiner, Maine to reside with his son, and died there April, 1818, in his seventy-ninth year. His wife was Hannah, daughter of Doctor Sylvester Gardiner. His two daughters, Hannah and Anne, died unmarried. His son, the Hon. Robert Hallowell, became a gentleman of great wealth and a highly respected citizen. Two of Mr. Hallowell's sisters died in England; Sarah, wife of Samuel Vaughan, in 1809; and Anne, widow of General Gould, in 1812.

The towns of Hallowell and Gardiner on the Kennebec River are named after their families.

Benjamin Hallowell of Boston, brother of Robert Hallowell, was Commissioner of the Customs. In early life he commanded a small armed vessel, and during the war ending in the conquest of Canada, commanded the province twenty-gun ship, "King George," rendering essential service notably at the retaking of Newfoundland.

Captain Hallowell's acceptance of the office of Mandamus Councillor made him a special object of public detestation.

On September 2, 1774, while the mob were assembled on Cambridge Common to receive the resignations of Danforth, Lee, and Oliver as Mandamus Councillors, Hallowell passed on his way to Roxbury. About one hundred and sixty horsemen pursued him at full gallop. Some of the leaders however, prudently dissuaded them from proceeding and they returned[282] and dismounted, except for one man who followed Hallowell to Roxbury and caused him much annoyance. Through the action of the mob he was obliged to seek protection in Boston and leave his mansion which was built in 1738. It was used afterwards by the disunion forces as a hospital for the camp at Roxbury and his pleasure grounds were converted into a place of burial for the soldiers who died there.

In March, 1776, Captain Hallowell accompanied the British army to Halifax with his family of six persons. In July, 1776, he sailed for England in the ship Aston Hall. While at Halifax he wrote: "If I can be of the least service to either army or navy I will stay in America until the Rebellion is subdued."

The British Government granted him lands in Manchester, and two other towns in Nova Scotia, and a township in Upper Canada, which bears his name. He was a large proprietor of lands on the Kennebec, Maine, prior to the Revolution, but in 1778, he was proscribed and banished and included in the Conspiracy Act a year later, and his entire estate confiscated. His mansion house in Roxbury was seized and sold by the State, but as the fee was in Mrs. Hallowell, her heirs sued to recover of the person who held under the deed of the Commission of Confiscation and obtained judgement in 1803 in the United States Circuit Court, by which she recovered the property.

In 1784, when Mrs. Adams, the wife of the first minister from the United States was in England, she relates that both Mr. Hallowell and his wife treated her with respect and kindness. They also urged her to take lodgings with them, but this she declined. She records, too, that they lived in handsome style but not as splendidly as when in Boston. She accepted an invitation to "an unceremonious family dinner" as Mrs. Hallowell called it and met the Rev. Dr. Walter, Rector of Trinity Church, and two other gentlemen who belonged to Massachusetts.

On visiting Boston in 1796, Captain Hallowell was accompanied by his daughter, Mrs. Emsley, whose husband had just been appointed Chief Justice of Upper Canada. During his stay the odium which attached to his official relations to the Crown seemed to have been forgotten, since he was received by his former associates with the greatest kindness and hospitality. He died at York (Toronto) Upper Canada, in 1799, aged seventy-five, and was the last survivor of the Board of Commissioners.

Captain Hallowell had two sons, both of whom changed their names. Ward Nicholas Hallowell's name was changed to Boylston. He was born in Boston in 1749. Sabine says: "I have before me the original license bearing the signature of George III by which he was authorized to change his name;" it recites—"That Nicholas Boylston, his uncle by his mother's side has conceived a very great affection for him, the petitioner, and has promised to leave him at his death, certain estates which are very considerable, etc." In early life he made a tour of Europe, visiting Italy, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and along the coast of Barbary; and arrived in England in 1775 through France, and Flanders. He dined[283] at Governor Hutchinson's, London, with some fellow Loyalists, July 29, 1775, and entertained the company with an account of his travels, and, at subsequent periods, exhibited the curiosities which he brought from the Holy Land, Egypt, and other countries to the unhappy exiles from his native state.

In the Autumn of the next year, he was in lodgings at Shepton Mallet. He became a member of the Loyalist Association, formed in London in 1799. In 1800 he returned to Boston and laid claim to his father's estate that had been confiscated and sold, as being the property of his mother in her own right. Having assumed her name of Boylston, he obtained the estate by due process of law, as previously stated. In 1810 he presented Harvard College with a valuable collection of medical and anatomical works and engravings. He took his mother's name of Boylston, and thus claimed the family estate. He died at his seat in Roxbury, January 7, 1828.

He was a gentleman of education and took an active interest in the Roxbury schools. His liberality is commemorated by a school, and a street named after him, Boylston street being one of the principal streets in Boston.

Sir Benjamin Hallowell (Carew), another son of Captain Hallowell, who, succeeding to the estates of the Carews of Beddington, assumed the name and arms of that family. He was one of the eight Boston boys who subsequently attained high rank in the British service. Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, Sir Benjamin Hallowell (Carew), John Singleton Copley, the younger, who became Lord Lyndhurst, Lord Chancellor of England, General Sir John Coffin, Hugh Mackay Gordon, Sir David Ochterlony, Sir Roger Hale Sheaff, Sir Aston Coffin.

Entering the royal navy during the American war he was at the time of his death in 1834, an admiral of the Blue in the British Navy, G. C. B., K. St. F. M. His commission as Lieutenant, bears date August, 1781; as Captain, in 1793; as Rear-Admiral, in 1811; as Vice-Admiral, in 1819. He was made a Knight Commander of the Bath in 1819, and was promoted to the rank of Grand Cross in 1831.

His employments at sea were various and arduous. He was with Rodney in the memorable battle with De Grasse; also at the siege of Bastia; and in command of a ship-of-the-line under Hotham, in the encounter with the French off the Hieres Islands. He served as a volunteer on board the Victory, in the battle of Cape St. Vincent. In the battle, Admiral Jarvis took his official post on the quarter deck of the Victory. Calder, the captain of the fleet kept bringing reports of the increasing numbers, observed till he reached twenty-seven, and said something of the disparity. Enough of that, said Jarvis, the die is cast and if there are fifty sail, I will go through them. Hallowell could not contain himself. He slapped the great admiral on the back, crying "That's right, Sir John, and by God, we'll give them a damned good licking." He was in command of the Swiftsure of seventy-four guns, and contributed essentially to Nelson's[284] victory in the battle of the Nile. From a part of the mainmast of L'Orient, which was picked up by the Swiftsure, Hallowell directed his carpenter to make a coffin, which was sent to Nelson with the following letter:

"Sir, I have taken the liberty of presenting you a coffin made from the mainmast of L'Orient, that when you have finished your military career in this world, you may be buried in one of your trophies. But that that period may be far distant is the earnest wish of your sincere friend,

"Benjamin Hallowell."

Southey, in his "Life of Nelson," remarks: "An offering so strange and yet so suited to the occasion, was received in the spirit in which it was sent. And, as if he felt it good for him, now that he was at the summit of his wishes, to have death before his eyes, he ordered the coffin to be placed upright in his cabin. An old favorite servant entreated him so earnestly to let it be removed, that at length he consented to have the coffin carried below; but he gave strict orders that it should be safely stowed, and reserved for the purpose for which its brave and worthy donor had designed it."

In 1799, Sir Benjamin was engaged in the attacks on the castles of St. Elmo and Capua, and was honored with the Neapolitan Order of St. Ferdinand and Merit. Two years later he fell in with the French squadron, and surrendered his ship—the Swiftsure—after a sharp contest. During the peace of Amiens, he was stationed on the coast of Africa. He was with Hood in the reduction of St. Lucia and Tobago; with Nelson in the West Indies; in command of the convoy of the second expedition to Egypt; with Martin, off the mouth of the Rhone, where he assisted in driving on shore several French ships-of-war; and in the Mediterranean. His last duty seems to have been performed on the Irish station. He died at Beddington Park, in 1834, at the age of seventy-three. His wife was a daughter of Commissioner Inglefield, of Gibraltar Dock-yard. His son and heir, Charles Hallowell Carew who at the time of his decease, had attained the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy, and who married Mary, the daughter of Sir Murray Maxwell, C. B., died at the Park, in 1848. In 1851 his fifth son, Robert Hallowell Carew, late captain in the 36th Regiment, married Ann Roycroft, widow of Walter Tyson Smythes.


To Samuel Gardner Jarvis, July 24, 1780: Lib. 131, fol. 230 Farm, 7 1-2 A., and dwelling-house in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain N.W.; road by widow Parker's N.E.; Joseph Williams S.E.; heirs of Capt. Newell, deceased, S.W.

To John Coffin Jones, Mar. 15, 1782; Lib. 134, fol. 60; Land and brick dwelling-house in Boston, Hanover St. N.; heirs of Alexander Chamberlain, deceased, and heirs of Miles Whitworth, deceased, W.; land in occupation of Samuel Sumner S. and W.; said Sumner and Joseph Scott, an absentee, S.; said Scott and heirs of Benjamin Andrews, deceased, E.

To John Coffin Jones, Mar. 15, 1782; Lib. 134, fol. 62; Land and dwelling-house in Boston, land purchased by said Jones N.; Joseph Scott E.; S. and E.; said Scott and Sampson Mason S. and E.; Masons Court S.; heirs of Miles Whitworth, deceased, W.

Occupied during the siege of Boston by Dr. Benjamin Church, Surgeon-General, who was arrested and confined here until his trial.



John Vassall, the first member of this illustrious family of which anything is definitely known, was an alderman of London, and in 1588 fitted out and commanded two ships of war to oppose the Spanish Armada. He was descended from an ancient French family traced back to about the eleventh century of the house of Du Vassall, Barons de guerdon, in Querci, Perigord.

John Vassall had two sons, Samuel and William. Samuel was one of the original patentees of lands in Massachusetts in 1628. His monument in King's Chapel, Boston, erected by Florentinus Vassall, his great grandson, in 1766, sets forth that he was "a steady and undaunted asserter of the liberties of England in 1628, he was the first who boldly refused to submit to the tax of tonnage and poundage, an unconstitutional claim of the crown arbitrarily imposed for which to the ruin of his family, his goods were seized and his person imprisoned by the star chamber court, the Parliament in July, 1641, voted him £10,445:12:2 for his damages, and resolved that he should be further considered for his personal sufferings."

His name headed the subscription list to raise money against the rebels in Ireland, and his whole life was indicative of the energy and liberality which characterized many of his descendants.

His son, William Vassall, born about 1590, was the first of his name who came to America. He was an assistant in the Massachusetts Bay Company and one of the original patentees of New England. In June, 1635, he embarked with his wife and six children on board the Blessing, for New England. He undoubtedly settled at first in Roxbury, for in the church record of that town is the following entry: "Mrs. Anna Vassaile, the wife of Mr. William Vassaile. Her husband brought five children to this land, Judith, Frances, John, Margaret, Mary." Also one other, Anne, who afterwards married Nicolas Ware.

William Vassall removed later to Scituate, where he proved himself to be an ever staunch Episcopalian. The Puritans had strong suspicion of him always as "inclining to the Bishops." While he lived in Scituate he was regarded as a highly respectable citizen and of "a busy and factious spirit." He was proprietor of a large estate, which bore the name of Newland. In 1646 he sailed to England for the redress of wrongs in the government and never returned, but in 1648 removed to Barbados and resided in the parish of St. Michael, where he died in 1655, aged 65 years. He bequeathed to his son John one-third of his real estate and the remainder to his five daughters. His Scituate estate consisted of about 120 acres, with house, barns, and the privilege of "making an oyster bed in North River," before his house. The estate was conveyed by Joshua Hubbard to John Cushen and Mathyas Briggs for £120.

His daughter Judith married Resolved White, the eldest brother of[286] Peregrine White, at Scituate, 1640. Frances married James Adams at Marshfield 1646. Ann married Nicholas Ware of Virginia. Margaret married Joshua Hubbard of Scituate. Mary was unmarried and alive at Barbados in 1655.

John Vassall, only son of William Vassall, born about 1625. In 1643 his name is on the militia roll of Scituate, and later bore the rank of captain. In 1652 he sold his house in Boston for £59. In 1661 he sold his Scituate estates and removed, it is supposed, to Cape Fear, N. C, and later to the West Indies.

John Vassall, the only son of Samuel, whose monument is in King's Chapel, married Ann, the daughter of John Lewis, an English resident of Geno. He went to Jamaica shortly after it was taken in 1655, and laid the foundation of the great estate which his posterity enjoyed until the emancipation in 1834. He had two sons, William and Leonard, from whom descended all of the name of which there is any subsequent record.

Leonard Vassall, son of said William, was born in Jamaica, 1678, and was twice married. His first wife was Ruth Gale, of Jamaica by whom he had seventeen children. She died in Boston in 1733. His second wife was widow Phebe Goss, by whom he had one daughter. He removed to Boston previous to 1723. He was early connected with Christ Church. In 1730 he was instrumental in founding Trinity church. The original building was built on land which he had purchased of William Speakman, baker, 1728, for £450. The lot covered by the church was bounded by Seven-starr Lane (Summer street), 86 feet and 169 feet on Bishop's Lane (Hawley street), and is nearly opposite the estate which he purchased in 1727 of Simeon Stoddard, and where he resided until his death. He had large and valuable estates in Braintree and Jamaica.

John and William Vassall, two of Major Leonard's sons, were important men in Boston, and added much to the prosperity of the town.

John Vassall, the elder brother of William, was born in the West Indies Sept. 7, 1713, and graduated from Harvard college in 1732. In 1734 he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Lieut. Gov. Spencer Phips by whom he had four children, and later he married Lucy, the daughter of Jonathan Barren of Chelmsford by whom he had one child. He resided in Cambridge most of his life and died there November 27, 1747. December 30, 1741, John Vassall conveyed to his brother Henry (a planter who had married Penelope the daughter of Isaac Royal of Antigua), in consideration of £9050 over seven acres of land in Cambridge, with dwelling house, barn and outhouses. During the Revolution, no doubt, this house was the headquarters of the Surgeon-General and perhaps a hospital. Dr. Benjamin Church, after he was detected in correspondence with the enemy, was arrested here and confined to his quarters until trial, and left a record of his occupation of the house by his name, cut with a penknife on one of the doors of his chamber, which is still legible though since covered with several coats of paint.

After the death of John Vassall, his son, who was also known by the[287] name of John, erected the house in Cambridge, which has since become famous through Washington's connection with it, as during the Revolution it was used as his headquarters, and afterwards it was the home of Prof. Henry W. Longfellow.

Major John Vassall, the grandson of Leonard Vassall, was born in Cambridge, June 12, 1738, and graduated from Harvard College in 1757. He erected a beautiful edifice on the estate inherited from his father and occupied it until driven from it by the rage of the mob. The estate was confiscated in 1774 and he removed to Boston for protection, and in that city continued to dwell upon the estate adjoining that of his uncle, William Vassall, on Pemberton Hill, until 1776.

At the commencement of the Revolution he was obliged to flee with his family to England. He had large possessions in Cambridge, Boston and Dorchester,[193] all of which were confiscated and himself exiled, soon after he departed from home. He joined the British army in Halifax, and from there sailed to England. He died there suddenly, October 2, 1796. An obituary published in the "Gentleman's Magazine" said of him, "he had a very considerable property in America where he lived in princely style." Sometime after the disturbances took place, having taken a very active part and spared no expense to support the royal cause, he left his possessions there to the ravagers, and having fortunately very large estates in Jamaica, he came with his family to England. He carried his loyalty so far as not to use the family motto, "Soepe pro rege, semper pro republica."

In 1774 he had been addresser of Hutchinson and for this great offence to the mobs, he was driven from his home, his property was confiscated and he was exiled. During his residence in England, he seems to have lived near Bristol and died at Clifton. A part of the Jamaica grant was still in the family, and his several children inherited a competence. His wife Elizabeth, sister of Lieut.-Gov. Thomas Oliver, died at Clifton, in 1807. His children were John, who died at Lyndhurst, in the year 1800; Thomas Oliver, who died in England in 1807; Elizabeth; Robert Oliver, who became a member of the Council of Jamaica, and died at Abington Hall, in that island in 1827; a second Elizabeth, who married a Mr. Lemaistre and died at Cheltenham, in 1856; Leonard and Mary, who alone was born in England, who married Mr. Archer, and who with her only child, deceased, at Clifton, in 1806.

Spencer Thomas Vassall, son of the aforesaid John Vassall, born at Cambridge, Mass., 1764. Entered the British Army as Ensign at the age of twelve years. He rose to the command of the 38th regiment, and was regarded as one of the bravest officers in the service. He was mortally wounded at the storming of Monte Video, in 1807. His remains were taken to England and buried in St. Paul's church, Bristol, where there is a monument to his memory. His son, Spencer Lambert Hunter, who died in 1846, was a Knight and a captain in the Royal Navy. His other son,[288] Rawdon John Popham, was a colonel in the Royal Artillery. His youngest daughter Catherine married Thomas L. Marchant Saumerez, son of the admiral.

William Vassall, brother of Major John Vassall, was born in Jamaica, November 23, 1715, and graduated at Harvard College in 1733. In 1774 he was appointed Mandamus Councillor, but was not sworn. He was also sheriff of Middlesex County. He owned considerable property, and was the possessor of a fine estate near Bristol, R. I. He was prominent among the Loyalists of Boston, and was singled out early as an enemy to the Revolutionary cause. He was proscribed and banished and obliged to flee with his family to England. Mr. Vassall was for many years connected with King's Chapel, Boston, and in 1785 protested by proxy against the change in the Liturgy and the unauthorized ordination of James Freeman.

The confiscation of his estate gave rise to a singular suit. As the Federal Constitution was adopted, a State could be sued; and, at Mr. Vassall's instance, proceedings against Massachusetts were commenced in the court of the United States; and Hancock, who was governor, was summoned as defendant in the case; he however declined to appear, and soon after the eleventh amendment to the Constitution put an end to the right of Loyalists to test the validity of the Confiscation Acts of the Revolution. Mr. Vassall died at Battersea Rise, England, in 1800, aged eighty-five. He was upright, generous, and loving. Church and society lost in him an eager, zealous advocate, an upright Christian, of an honorable and unblemished reputation. His first wife, Ann Davis, bore him Sarah, four named William, two named Fanny, Francis, Lucretia, Henry and Catherine. His second wife, Margaret Hubbard, was the mother of Margaret, Ann, Charlotte, Leonard and Nathaniel. Each wife had twins. Nathaniel, the youngest son, a captain in the Royal Navy, died in London in 1832.

William Vassall, son of the preceding William Vassall, was born in Boston in 1753, and graduated at Harvard College in 1771. He was a Loyalist and went to England. He inherited the bulk of his father's property in the West Indies, which descended to his nephew, Rev. William Vassall, rector of Hardington, England, "but so burdened and deteriorated in consequence of emancipation of the slaves that it was not worth anything," and that gentleman declined to administer upon it. He died at the Weston House, near Totness, December 2, 1843. Ann, his widow, died at the same place October 1846, aged seventy-five years.

Florentinus Vassall was the son of William Vassall and a great-grandson of Samuel, to whose memory he erected the beautiful marble monument in King's Chapel, when he was in Boston in 1766. He was here again in 1775 and in that year went to England. He was born in Jamaica, and lived there the greater part of his life. He died in London in 1778.

Washington's headquarters during the siege of Boston afterwards known as the Craigle and Longfellow House.

Of the immense domain fifteen miles wide on both sides of the Kennebec River, extending from the vicinity of Merry Meeting Bay to the [289]southerly line of the town of Norridgwock, he was the owner of one twenty-fourth part. In his will, executed in 1776, he gave to his son Richard and to Richard's daughter, Elizabeth, life estate in these lands, and then devised them in entail to his male children. The bequest proved of little value to either. After the lapse of years the rights of Elizabeth and her son Henry were transferred separately to parties in Boston, to test the title which was claimed by squatters. Three of them were sued in the name of the son. The cases were carried up to the United States Supreme Court, where it was decided that during his mother's life, he could not maintain an action. After her decease, suit against one settler was renewed, but on intimation by the court that fifty years' possession was sufficient to presume a grant, or title without consideration, another point, namely, whether the right of the plaintiff to recover was barred by the statute of limitation. The defendant paid a small sum for the land he occupied, and each party his own costs. Thus in 1851 terminated litigation, which for a long time was the subject of great interest on the Kennebec, and elsewhere in Maine. This granddaughter Elizabeth was a remarkable woman. Those who knew her speak of her as brilliant and witty, as possessed of queenly grace of manner, as well informed, of wonderful tact, and of excellent sense. Her first husband was Sir Godfrey Webster, Bart. By this marriage she was the mother of Sir Godfrey Vassall Webster, Bart., who died in 1836, of Lieut-Col. Sir Henry Vassall Webster, K. T. S., of the British Army, who died in London in 1847, aged 54, and of Harriet, who married Admiral Sir Fleetwood B. Reynolds C. B. K. C. H., who died at Florence in 1849, leaving an only child, the wife of the son and heir of the Earl of Oxford. Another son, Charles Richard Fox, whose father was Lord Holland, married Mary Fitzclarence, second daughter of King William IV., and who, in 1845 was a colonel in the army, and aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria.

In 1797 Lady Webster married Lord Holland, who took by sign-manual the surname of Vassal which, however, was not assumed by his children. As Lady Holland, she was the mother of three children, who died young, of Henry Holland, who became at the death of his father, Lord Holland, of Mary Elizabeth, wife of Lord Lilford, and of Georgianna Anne who died in 1819.

The friendly feelings of Bonaparte towards Lady Holland, especially after the peace of Amiens, is well known, and that in return "for the many acts of kindness, which she had bestowed upon him" he left her a gold snuff box which had been presented to him by Pope Pius VI., containing a card with these words: "L'Empereur to Lady Holland, temoigne de satisfaction et d'estime." She died at London, in 1845, aged 75. Among her bequests were the income of an estate, about £1500 per annum, to Lord John Russell, for his life, and a legacy of £100 to Macaulay the historian.

"The Vassall family has ever been distinguished for enterprise, magnanimity, and noble bearing. If some of this name were not only often,[290] but always, for their king it must be admitted that they made as great sacrifices to loyalty as did their forefathers to liberty."

The Vassals were connected by marriage and business dealings with the Olivers and Royalls. All three families had acquired great wealth in the West Indies, and although they lost their great possessions in New England, by the Confiscation Act, yet they were much better situated than their fellow sufferers as they retained their West Indian estates till they, too, became worthless, after the emancipation of the slaves.


To John Williams, Sept. 25. 1781; Lib. 133, fol. 110; Land 3 1-2 A., and buildings in Dorchester, the high road S. and W.; Ebenezer and Lemuel Clap N.; Zebadiah Williams E.——1-2 A South of the above, Mr. Jeffries E.; the high road on the other side.

To Isaiah Doane, Jan. 8, 1784; Lib. 141, fol. 2; Land and buildings in Boston. Tremont St. E; heirs of John Jefferies deceased S.; heirs of Jeremiah Allen deceased, William Vassall and heirs of Joseph Sherburne W.; William Vassall and land of the old brick church N.


William Royall, the first member of this family of which there is anything definitely known, emigrated to Salem probably during the year of 1629. He had a grant of land there known as "Royall's side" or "Ryall's Neck." He married, at Boston or Malden, Phoebe Green. He was in Casco Bay as early as 1635. His house was built on the south side of what was afterwards known as Royall's River, near its mouth, in North Yarmouth. Here he lived until the troubles with the neighboring Indians, which induced him to remove to Dorchester in 1675, accompanied by his son William, who was born probably at the Casco settlement in 1640. He was a carpenter by occupation, and died in 1724, in the 85th year of his age, and is buried in the tomb built by his son Isaac in the Dorchester burying ground.

Isaac Royall, son of the aforesaid William, born probably at the settlement in Casco Bay about 1672. He early settled at Boston, and engaged in trade, making frequent voyages to Antigua and other West India islands. He married, according to Boston records, on July 1, 1697, Elizabeth, daughter of Asaph Eliot and grandniece of the apostle to the Indians of that name. His wife was the widow of one Oliver, probably of Dorchester.

For a period of forty years Isaac Royall was a resident of Antigua, although his frequent presence in Boston during that time is evinced by his signature to conveyances. His name first appears on the Suffolk records in a mortgage deed given by himself and wife on the 24th August, 1697, he then being styled a "merchant of Boston." His trading[291] operations between 1704 and 1710 with the West Indies, proved the foundation of his fortune.

On December 26, 1732, he purchased of the heirs of Lieutenant Governor Usher the estate in Charlestown (Medford) containing about five hundred acres. The large Mansion house was built by Usher, but has since become widely known as the Royall Mansion. It was one of the finest and most pretentious residences of the time within the suburbs of Boston. It is described by a visitor at that time as "A fine Country Seat belonging to Mr. Isaac Royall, being one of the grandest in N. America." This mansion was greatly added to, and almost rebuilt by the wealthy West Indian planter. He petitioned the General Court in December, 1737, that he might not be taxed on the twenty-seven slaves which he brought with him from Antigua. "That he removed from Antigua with his family, and brought with him among other things, and chattels, a parcel of negroes, designed for his own use, and not any of them for merchandise."

Isaac Royall, the builder of this mansion, did not live long to enjoy his princely estate, dying in 1739, not long after its completion. His widow, who survived him eight years, died in this house, and was interred from Colonel Oliver's in Dorchester April 25, 1747. The pair share the same tomb in the old Dorchester burying place. His daughter Penelope married Colonel Henry Vassall of Cambridge in 1742. He died in 1769, and she died in Boston in 1800, aged 76.

General Isaac Royall, a son, who was born in Antigua, probably in 1719, married Elizabeth McIntosh in 1738, but lived mostly in Boston. He became an extensive purchaser of lands in various parts of the State, and was one of the original proprietors of the township of Royalston in Worcester County. He was a member of the Artillery Company of Boston in 1750, was made a brigadier general in 1761, the first of that title among Americans. He was elected by the House a Councillor of the Province, and served in that office until 1774, completing twenty-three years of consecutive service.

Much has been written of this man's position at the time of the colonial disturbances in 1774. Possessed of large wealth, and the influence that riches and education carried with them, his course was watched by the people with intense anxiety. He was known to have much in common with the faithful band of Loyalists, who were gathered about Cambridge and Boston, yet he was still faithful to the people's church, and most of his family ties held him to the popular cause. A long letter, written by him to Lord Dartmouth, dated in January of 1774, exists in the archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society's Proceedings, 1873-1875, page 179. Harris says, "there can be no good reason for doubting the sincerity of his sympathy with the people, and although, when the time came to make a choice, he was prevailed upon to adhere to the side of the government, there is abundant evidence of his continued love towards New England and his desire to return and end his days here." How[292] much harder was it then for a man in his position to make the great sacrifices he did, to give up his loved home and his property, all for the cause of his King.

He wrote to Lord Dartmouth, "I am conscious that in all public affairs I have made the honor of my king and the real Interests and Peace of my country the ultimate end of all my transactions. I am so to live in this world as that I may be happy in another, and no man more ardently wishes and earnestly prays to the God of Peace for the Restoration of those happy days, which formerly subsisted between us and our mother country than I do."

Three days before the battle of Lexington, Colonel Royall took his departure from Medford. He drove in his chariot, which was one of the few in this vicinity, to Boston, and never again returned.

The mansion itself was indeed one of the finest of colonial residences, standing, as it did, in the midst of elegant surroundings. In the front, or what is now the west side, was the paved court. Reaching farther west were the extensive gardens, opening from the courtyard, a broad path leading to the summer house. The slave quarters were at the south. The brick slave quarters have remained unchanged, and are the last visible relics of slavery in New England. The deep fireplace where the slaves prepared their food is still in place, and the roll of slaves has certainly been called in sight of Bunker Hill, though never upon its summit.

The interior woodwork of the house is beautifully carved, especially the drawing room, guest chamber, and staircase. The walls are panelled, and the carving on either side of the windows is very fine, that in the guest chamber being the most elaborate.

One interested in colonial architecture may wander for hours through this noble house, and yet feel that there is more to learn. The dark cellar, full of passages, the garret with its corners, and the secret staircase so often searched for, yet undiscovered, all furnish good material for imaginary pictures of the Revolutionary days of our ancestors.

The Royall mansion is now owned and occupied by "The Royall House Association" and is open for the public.

When Colonel Royall left his mansion he had prepared to take passage from Salem to Antigua, but, having gone into Boston, the Sunday previous to the battle of Lexington, and remained there until that affair occurred, he was, by the course of events, shut up in the town. He sailed for Halifax very soon, still intending, as he says, for Antigua, but on the arrival of his son-in-law. George Erving, and his daughter, with the troops from Boston, he was by them persuaded to sail for England, whither his other son-in-law, Sir William Pepperell, had preceded.

He was kind to his slaves, charitable to the poor and friendly to everybody.

Upon his arrival in England, he exchanged visits with Governors Pownall, Bernard, and Hutchinson. Colonel Royall after the loss of some of his nearest relatives and of his own health, requested that he be allowed to return "home" to Medford and to be buried by the side of his wife, his father and mother, and the rest of his friends. He would fain have lived[293] in amity with all men and with his king too, but the Revolution engulfed him. But he is not forgotten. He died in England 1781, his large hearted benevolence showed itself in many bequests to that country that had driven him forth and to which he was an alien. He bequeathed upwards of two thousand acres of land in Worcester County to found the first Law Professorship of Harvard University and his other bequests were numerous and liberal. He has a town (Royalston) in Massachusetts named for him, and is remembered with affection in the place of his former abode. His virtues and popularity at first saved his estate, as his name was not included with those of his sons-in-law, Sir William Pepperell and George Erving, in the "conspirators act," but on the representation of the selectmen of Medford "that he went voluntarily to our enemies" his property was taken under the confiscation act and forfeited. It was held by the State until 1805, when it was released by the Commonwealth, owing to the large bequests that Colonel Royall made to the public. It was then purchased by Robert Fletcher, who divided the estate up into house lots and sold them to various persons.

General Royall's mansion was the centre of great festivities, and the most noted families of Boston and vicinity were entertained there. He was noted for his hospitality and was always generous and charitable to the poor, and an excellent citizen. Brooks in his "History of Medford" says hospitality was almost a passion with him. No home in the Colony was more open to friends, no gentleman gave better dinners, or drank costlier wines. As a master he was kind to his slaves, charitable to the poor, and friendly to everybody.

He was a most accurate man and in his daily journal minutely described every visitor, topic, and incident and even descended to recording what slippers he wore and when he went to bed. Some one said in speaking of Colonel Isaac Royall, "it is not that he loved the colonies less but England more." Among his bequests was a legacy of plate to the first church of Medford, and legacies to the clergymen, and while a member of the House of Representatives, he presented the chandelier which adorned its hall.

After the departure of General Royall from his beautiful home, it was taken possession of by the rebels who came pouring into the environs of Boston and laid siege to same. Colonel, afterwards General, John Stark,[194] made the mansion his headquarters, and his New Hampshire troops pitched their camp in the adjacent grounds. It was afterwards occupied by General Lee, who took up his quarters in the mansion, whose echoing corridors suggested to his fancy the name of Hobgoblin Hall.

Elizabeth, the wife of Isaac Royall, died at Medford, July, 1770, and[294] was buried in the marble tomb in Dorchester. Their daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Sir William Pepperell, died at sea upon the voyage to England in 1775.[195]

It is said that the male line of the Royalls has ceased to exist in Maine and Massachusetts. The writer knows not of a single living individual bearing the surname who has descended from the stock that in the beginning of the settlement was so vigorous, and promised to be so prolific. This statement will also apply to many other Loyalists' families that were driven from their homes at the commencement of the Revolution.


Thomas Brattle, the forefather of the Brattle family that settled in Boston, was at his death accounted the wealthiest man in the Colony. Though we have no information concerning the family prior to the coming of Thomas Brattle to New England, it is only reasonable to believe that he was descended from an educated and intelligent line. Only four generations bearing the name existed here, and it is a notable circumstance that all the male representatives of those four generations were men of remarkable powers and distinguished abilities.

Thomas Brattle was born about 1624, and was a merchant of Boston. He was a member of the Artillery Company and captain in the militia, and the commander of several expeditions against hostile Indians. He was one of the founders of the Old South Church. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of Captain William Tyng, by whom he had seven children. His death occurred in 1683.

Thomas Brattle, the son of the former, was born in 1658, and was a graduate of Harvard College. He was a very intelligent man, and was treasurer of Harvard College for twenty-five years. He was one of the founders of the Brattle Street church, and gave an organ to the King's Chapel when it was rebuilt in 1710, the first organ used in Boston in a church. He was a steadfast opposer of the proceedings of the courts during the witchcraft delusion in 1692. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and died in 1713. President Ouincy says of him: "He was distinguished for his private benevolences and public usefulness."

William Brattle graduated from Harvard college, and for over twenty years was pastor of the Cambridge church. He was also a member of the Royal Society of London.

William Brattle, son of the former, was baptized by his father in 1706. He graduated from Harvard College in 1722, and was a member[295] of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. He was a theologian, and as a physician he was widely known, and no higher tribute to his eminence as a barrister need be sought than in the years 1736-7, when, only thirty years of age, he was elected by the House and Council to the office of Attorney General.

He possessed strong peculiarities, and Sabine says of him that "A man of most eminent talents and of greater eccentricities has seldom lived." He inherited a large and well invested property, and had ample means to cultivate those tastes to which, by his nature and education, he was inclined. He was for many years Major General of the Province, and afterwards Brigadier General. His large and beautifully situated house, which now exists in Cambridge, though greatly transformed, known as the "Old Brattle House" was the resort of the fashion and style of this section of the country. At the age of twenty-one he married Katherine, the daughter of Governor Gurdon Saltonstall. She died at Cambridge in 1752, and he married again in 1755, Mrs. Martha, widow of James Allen, and daughter of Thomas Fitch. General Brattle seems to have inherited from his father the same love for and interest in the welfare of his Alma Mater, which so characterized the beloved minister of the church in Cambridge. He was long one of her overseers, and in 1762 was appointed by the Council one of a committee for the erection of Hollis Hall, a task which was satisfactorily completed.

When the Revolution broke out in 1775, he was holding a very honorable office under the crown. Harris says he was "on terms of friendship with many of the regular army officers quartered in Boston and vicinity. His cultivated and refined tastes tending always to draw him to court, rather than plebeian society, were, no doubt, inducements for him to remain loyal. Certain it was, while studiously endeavoring to preserve friendly and peaceful relations with his townsmen and neighbors, he was openly opposed to their principles. He was an Addresser of Gen. Gage and approved of his plans, but at last public excitement reached such a height that he deemed it wise to withdraw from Cambridge, and leaving his house and property in the hands of his only daughter, Madame Wendell, at that time a widow, he quietly joined the Royal army in Boston, and at the evacuation in 1776, sailed with the forces to Halifax, where he died in October of the same year. It is said that his gravestone is still to be seen in the churchyard in that city." There is a portrait of William Brattle in the possession of his descendants, which was painted by Copley, being one of the first productions of that eminent artist. Of his nine children, only two lived to maturity, Katherine in whom the line but not the name was perpetuated, and Thomas.

Katherine was married to John Mico Wendell, a merchant of Boston, in 1752, who was of Dutch origin. After the death of her husband, Katherine removed to Cambridge and resided there until her death in 1821, at the age of nearly ninety-one years. The house was situated near the corner of what afterwards became Wendell street, and North[296] ave. The Centinel of February 10, 1821, contained a memoir from which we gain some knowledge of her character.

"Descended from honorable families, she possessed the virtues and and maintained the honors of her ancestors.... During the war of the Revolution, both her talents and virtues were put to severe tests, and by her wisdom and discretion, her energy, and integrity, her benevolence, and charity, she conciliated the favor of men in power, civil and military; secured to herself personal respect, and rescued the paternal inheritance from the hazard of confiscation. It was by her means that the portion of the estate that fell to her brother Thomas, then in England, was in a like manner preserved.... Her contributions aided in the translation of the Bible into the languages of the East, and in the diffusion of Christian knowledge among the poor and destitute of our own country."

She had five children, but three of them died before reaching maturity. Governor James Sullivan, who knew Thomas Brattle well, wrote of him: "Major Brattle exercised a deep reverence for the principles of government, and was a cheerful subject of the laws. He respected men of science, as the richest ornament of their country. If he had ambition, it was to excel in acts of hospitality, benevolence, and charity. The dazzling splendor of heroes, and the achievements of political intrigues, passed unnoticed before him, but the character of the man of benevolence filled his heart with emotions of sympathy."... "In his death, the sick, the poor and the distressed have lost a liberal benefactor, politeness an ornament, and philanthropy one of its most discreet and generous supporters."

Thomas Brattle, the youngest and only surviving son of General William and Katherine Saltonstall Brattle, was born at Cambridge in 1742. He graduated from Harvard College in 1760, and not long afterwards visited England and the Continent, for the double purpose of study and travel.

When the war broke out, he was still abroad, and being informed of the position taken by his father, he conceived to be the most prudent course to remain in England. While abroad he traveled over various parts of Great Britain, and made a tour through Holland and France, and was noticed by persons of distinction. Returning to London, he zealously and successfully labored to ameliorate the condition of his countrymen, who had been captured and were in prison. This restored to him his estates, for he was included in the Confiscation, Proscription and Banishment Act of 1778. He returned to America in 1779, and 1784 the enactments against him in Massachusetts were repealed, and he took possession of his patrimony. He found his mansion home at Cambridge had been thoroughly ransacked and damaged by the Continental troops, who had occupied it during the war. The neglected estate was restored to its former beauty, and improved by the erection of a green-house, probably one of the earliest known in this part of the country. He lived here for many years, and became well known for his charities. He died,[297] universally lamented and beloved, on the seventh of February, 1801, and was laid to rest in the family tomb, the last of his name. He was never married.

The only descendants of General William and Katharine Saltonstall Brattle, are through their daughter Katherine, who married John Mico Wendell.


To James Allen, May 12, 1781; Lib. 132, fol. 202: Land and buildings in Boston. Tremont St W.; John Rowe and Henry Caner, an absentee, S.; Nathaniel Holmes E.; George Bethune N. and E.; John Andrew and heirs of Samuel Pemberton deceased N.; Robert McElroy W. and N.; passageway W. and W. [N.]


Joseph Thompson was the son of Joseph and Sarah (Bradshaw) Thompson, who were located in Medford as early as 1772, coming from Woburn, and descended from the same family as Sir Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford). They lie buried side by side in the little burial ground on Salem street, Medford. Joseph, the subject of this sketch, was born May 16, 1734. He was married in Boston, 1759, to Rebecca Gallup, whom Isaac Royall refers to in his will as a kinswoman of his wife.

In addition to the double portion assigned to him out of his father's estate, he added to it from time to time by the purchase of several estates. His occupation is mentioned in the deeds as that of merchant. In June, 1775, news reached the Provincial Congress that the Ervings of Boston, had fitted out, under color of chartering to Thompson, a schooner of their own, to make a voyage to New Providence (Nassau, Bahama Islands), to procure "fruit, turtle and provisions of other kinds for the sustenance and feasting of those troops who are, as pirates and robbers, committing daily hostilities and depredations on the good people of this colony and all America." Congress therefore resolved that Captain Samuel McCobb, a member, "be immediately dispatched to Salem and Marblehead, to secure said Thompson, and prevent said vessel from going said voyage, and cause the said Thompson to be brought before this Congress." Thompson, however, escaped, and afterwards went to England. On June 3, 1780, on the petition of Rebecca Thompson, asking leave be granted her to rejoin her husband in England on the first convenient opportunity, and to also return again to this state, the General Court, and the committee of Inspection for Medford, were directed to see that she carried no letters nor papers that might be detrimental to this, or any of the United States of America.[196]

James Prescott, Joseph Hosmer and Samuel Thatcher, Esq., were[298] ordered to make sales of certain estates situated in the county of Middlesex, confiscated to the use of the government, belonging to Joseph Thompson, merchant. Six acres of salt marsh on Medford river were sold to Ebenezer Hall, Jr., for £70; a dwelling house and yard bounded south on the great road, to Thomas Patten for £295; 1½ rods of land (part of the dower estate of his mother), with 3-16 of the dwelling house, 1-4 of an acre of mowing land, 20 rods of plow land, to Samuel Kidder for £24.15; a pew in the meeting house to Susanna Brooks, widow, for £10; 8 acres of land bounded south on the great road and west on Proprietor's Way, and situated near the Hay Market, to Jonathan Foster for £252. 10, and about 10 poles of land with a joiner's shop thereon, bounded north on the road to Malden, to Ebenezer Hall for £40.5, making a total of £692.5.

A Mr. Thompson died in England during the war, probably the same.


The Erving family was one of the oldest and most respected families in Boston. Hon. John Erving, the father of the colonel, was one of the most eminent merchants in America, and was a member of the Council of Massachusetts for twenty years. The Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, his great-grandson, in a public address in 1845, thus refers to him: "A few dollars earned on a commencement day, by ferrying passengers over Charles River, when there was no bridge—shipped to Lisbon in the shape of fish, and from thence to London in the shape of fruit, and from thence brought home to be reinvested in fish, and to be re-entered upon the same triangular circuit of trade—laid the foundations of the largest fortunes of the day, a hundred years ago." Mr. Erving, by his wife Abigail, had a large family. He died in Boston in 1786, aged ninety-three.

Colonel John Erving, eldest son of the preceding, was born in Boston, June 26, 1727, was a colonel of the Boston regiment of militia, a warden of Trinity church. He graduated at Harvard University in 1747. In 1760 he signed the Boston Memorial, and was thus one of the fifty-eight who were the first men in America to array themselves against the officers of the Crown, but like many others that did not favor many acts of the government, he could not tolerate mob rule, and therefore threw his lot in on the side that represented law and authority.

When Hancock's sloop Liberty was seized for smuggling in 1768, by the commissioners, the fury of the mob became great. They fell upon the officers, several of whom barely escaped with their lives. Mr. Erving, besides having his sword broken, was beaten with clubs and sticks, and considerably wounded. He was not concerned with the seizure of the sloop.

Born in Boston Feb. 12, 1758. There is erected in Calcutta a monument to him, which is one of the notable sights of that city. Died at Meerut, India in 1825.

In 1774 he was an addresser of Hutchinson, and the same year appointed mandamus councillor. On the evacuation of Boston, he[299] and his family of nine persons accompanied the army to Halifax, and from there he went to England. In 1778 he was proscribed and banished. He died at Bath, England, June 17, 1816, aged eighty-nine. His wife, Maria Catherina (youngest daughter of Governor Shirley), with whom he lived sixty years, died a few months before him. A daughter of Mr. Erving married Governor Scott of the island of Dominica and died at that island February 13, 1768. His son, Dr. Shirley Erving, entered Harvard College in 1773, but his education was cut short by the Revolution. He became a prominent physician at Portland, Maine, and died at Boston in 1813, aged fifty-five. His widow survived him for many years. They left two sons and one daughter. The Erving mansion house was on Milk street, and was confiscated.

George Erving was a prominent merchant of Boston. He was one of the fifty-eight memorialists who were the first men in America to array themselves against the officers of the Crown, but he could not take part with the mobs in their lawless and brutal actions. He was an Addresser of Hutchinson in 1774, was proscribed under the Act of 1778, and his estate was confiscated under the Conspiracy Act of 1779. He went to Halifax with his family of five persons, and thence to England. He died in London in 1806 at the age of seventy. His wife was a daughter of General Isaac Royall of Medford.


To James Lloyd, May 4. 1787; Lib. 160, fol. 105; Land and buildings in Boston. Kilby St., formerly Mackerel Lane, E; heirs of John Erving deceased N; heirs of Samuel Hughes W.; Joseph Winthrop S.

To John Codman, Jr., July 2. 1787. Lib. 160, fol. 201; Land and messuage in Boston. Newbury St., W.; John Crosby N.; E. and N., John Soley E. and S., passage or alley S.——Land 14 A., in Walpole, road from Walpole to the sign of the Black Lamb in Stoughton N.; Nathaniel Preble S.E.; Philip Bardin S.W. and N.W.

To Nathaniel Appleton. Feb. 13, 1789; Lib. 164, fol. 149; Land, 14 A, in Walpole, road from Walpole to the sign of the Black Lamb in Stoughton N.; Nathaniel Preble S.E.; Philip Bardin S.W. and N.W.

To John Deming. May 6, 1789; Lib. 166, fol. 11; Land and messuage in Boston. Newbury St. W.; John Crosby N.; E. and N.; John Soley E. and S.; passage or alley S.


Captain David Ochterlony, the father of the subject of this memoir, was born in Forfarshire, Scotland, and was descended from one of the most ancient families in that country. In 1226 the land of "Othirlony" was exchanged by his ancestors for those of Kenney in Forfarshire possessed by the Abbey of Aberbrothock. Kenney had been bestowed on the Abbey by its founder, King William, the Lion King of Scotland.

David, was a captain in the merchant service, and resided for a while[300] at Montrose. Boston was one of the many ports visited by him in his voyages. Five years after his first appearance in Boston, June 4, 1757, intention of marriage was published, to Katherine, daughter of Andrew Tyler of Boston, by his wife Miriam, a sister of Sir William Pepperell. On 27th of June, 1762, he purchased a brick house with about 1500 square feet of land on Back street, which at that time was that part of Salem street from Hanover to Prince street. Meanwhile three sons and daughter were born. The eldest of these, Major General Sir David Ochterlony born 12 Feb. 1758, who was to revive the name in a new locality. Captain Ochterlony, the father, continued his career as a mariner but a few years after locating in Boston, he died in 1765, at St. Vincent W. I. His widow went to England, where she married Sir Isaac Heard of London, Norroy and Garter King of Arms, and gentleman of the Red Rod, to the order of the Bath.

The son David was a scholar at the Latin School in Boston, when his father died. At the age of eighteen he entered the army and went to India, as a cadet, and in 1778 received an appointment as Ensign. In 1781 he was Quartermaster to the 71st Regiment of Foot. During the twenty years that succeeded, he was exposed to all the danger and fatigue of incessant service in the East. He attained the rank of Major in 1800 and of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1803, and Colonel in 1812. His commission of Major General bears date June 1, 1814. In 1817 he received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament. His health, after nearly fifty years of uninterrupted military duty in a tropical climate, became impaired and he resigned a political office in India with the intention of proceeding to Calcutta, and thence to England. This plan he did not live to execute. He died at Meerut in 1825, while there for a change of air. He was Deputy-Adjutant-General at the Battle of Delhi, after which he was sent as envoy to the Court of Sha Alum. For his conduct in the Nepaulese war, he was created a Knight Commander of the Bath and May 7, 1816, was made a baronet. After his death there was erected in Calcutta a monument to him, which is one of the notable signs of the city. Sir David never married. His title descended to Charles Metcalf Ochterlony, and was succeeded in it by his son, the present baronet, Sir David Ferguson Ochterlony. Gilbert Ochterlony, the second son of Captain David, died Jan. 16, 1780, aged 16, at the home of his step-father Isaac Heard, Esq., at the college of arms.[197] Alexander, the third son died in 1803, and Catherine in 1792.

Captain David's will, made at the time of his marriage, was probate March 7, 1766, and left everything to his wife Katrin, but his estate was not settled till after the peace. 1791, and then it was insolvent, the sum then obtained to close up the estate paid a dividend of only six and a half pence on the pound. The name of Ochterlony in New England became extinct.



Robert Auchmuty first of the American family of that name was descended from an ancient Scottish family, holding a barony in the north of that country. His father settled in England early in the eighteenth century, and Robert studied law at the Temple, London, and came to America and settled in Boston about the year 1700. He was a profound lawyer and possessed remarkable talents and wit, but when he was admitted to practice does not appear. He was in practice soon after 1719 and the profession owed much to his character and system and order which now began to distinguish its forms of practice. His talents were extraordinary, "Old Mr. Auchmuty says a contemporary would sit up all night at his bottle, yet argue to admiration next day, and was an admirable speaker." He was sent to England to settle a boundary dispute between Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. His services were so valuable, that on December 1738, he received from the former a grant of two hundred acres of land. He was judge of the Court of Admiralty for New England from 1733 until 1747. While he was in England he advocated the expedition to Cape Breton in an ably written pamphlet published in 1744. This tract probably gave to the historian Smollett the erroneous impression that Auchmuty was the originator of that brilliant enterprise, the credit of which belongs to Governor Shirley.

Judge Auchmuty held his office until 1747 when he was superseded by Chambers Russell. His home was in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and many anecdotes of him have been handed down from generation to generation. He was "greatly respected and beloved in public and private life." His memory is held in high veneration by the bar in Massachusetts and his opinions are still respected.

Judge Auchmuty died in April, 1750, leaving several children. His daughter married Judge Pratt of New York and his son, Judge Robert Auchmuty, followed in his father's footstep, and became a noted lawyer in Massachusetts. Although he had not the advantage of a collegiate education he became an able lawyer. As an advocate he was eloquent and successful. "Among his contemporaries were Otis, Quincy, Hawley, and judges Paine, Sargent, Bradbury, R. Sewall, W. Cushing and Sullivan and though less learned than some of these he was employed in most of the important jury trials."

"It was when together with that class of lawyers above named that the profession owed the respectability which since his day has characterized the bar of Massachusetts."[198] He held the office of Advocate of the Court of Admiralty from August 2, 1762, until his appointment as judge, having been originally appointed in the place of Mr. Bollan, to[302] hold the office during his absence. Chambers Russell was appointed in the place of the elder Auchmuty as judge of the Admiralty for Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island in 1747. He held the office until his death in 1767, and Robert Auchmuty, the younger, was appointed by the governor to fill his place. This was in April, but on the sixth of July he was duly commissioned as Judge of the Admiralty for all New England with a salary of £300 a year. His commission was received in March, 1760, when his salary was increased to £600 per annum. Judge Auchmuty continued to hold this office as long as the authority of the British was recognized, as he was a zealous Loyalist.

Robert Auchmuty was one of the commissioners with Governor Wanton of Rhode Island, Samuel Horsemanden, Chief Justice of New York, Frederic Smythe, Chief Justice of New Jersey, and Peter Oliver, Chief Justice of Massachusetts, to inquire into the destruction of the Gaspee, in 1772.[199] He was a colleague of Adams and Quincy in defence of the British soldiers tried for participation in the "Boston Massacre."[200] He appeared once after his appointment in defence of Captain Preston and his soldiers, and his argument was described as so memorable and persuasive, "as almost to bear down the tide of prejudice against him, though it never swelled to a higher flood."

The Auchmuty house in Roxbury stands at the corner of Cliff and Washington Streets. It was build about 1761 by the younger Judge Auchmuty, who resided there until the outbreak of the revolution. Here as a convenient halting place between the Province House and the Governor's country seat at Jamaica Plain, and the Lieutenant Governor residence at Milton, met the crown officers to make plans to stem the rising tide of disloyalty and lawlessness of the mobs, and their secret leaders. Here Bernard Hutchinson Auchmuty, Hallowell, and Paxton discussed the proposed alterations in the charter, and the bringing over of British troops to preserve the peace. Letters of Judge Auchmuty to persons in England were sent to America with those of Governor Hutchinson by Franklin in 1773 and created much commotion.[201]

At the Declaration of Independence in 1776 he left his native country and settled in England. At one period he was in very distressed circumstances. He never returned to the United States and his estate was confiscated. His mansion in Roxbury became the property of Governor Increase Sunmer and was occupied by him at the time of his decease. Auchmuty Lane was that part of Essex Street between Short and South Street in Boston. Robert Auchmuty died in London an exile from his native land in November, 1778.

On its evacuation by Washington; it was set on fire, it was saved by the summary execution of all incendaries by the British.

Honorable James Auchmuty, son of the elder Robert, was a storekeeper in the Engineer Department. At the peace he removed to Nova Scotia where he became an eminent lawyer, and was appointed judge. He[303] had a son, a very gallant officer in the British Army, who was killed in the West Indies.

Reverend Samuel Auchmuty, another son of the elder Judge Auchmuty who settled in New York, was born in Boston in 1725. He graduated from Harvard college in 1742 and was taken by his father to England, where he was ordained a minister in the Episcopal church. The degree of D. D. was conferred on him by Oxford. He was appointed by the Society for the Propagation of the gospel, an assistant minister of Trinity church in New York. He married in 1749 a daughter of Richard Nichols, governor of that province. In 1764 at the death of the Rector of Trinity church he was appointed to succeed him and took charge of all the churches in the city, performing his arduous duties with faithfulness until the revolution. In 1766 he received the degree of S. T. D. at Oxford. Dr. Auchmuty opposed the revolution and when the Americans took possession of New York City in 1777, it is said a message was sent him from Lord Sterling by one of his sons, "that if he read a prayer for the King the following Sunday, he would send a band of soldiers and take him out of the desk." His son, knowing his father's indomitable spirit did not deliver the message, but with some of his classmates from Columbia college attended the church with arms concealed under their gowns and sat near the pulpit for his protection. His conscience would not allow him to omit these prayers without violating his ordination vows. As soon as he commenced reading, Lord Sterling marched into the church with a band of soldiers and music playing Yankee Doodle. The Doctor's voice never faltered and he finished his prayer and the soldiers marched up one aisle and down another, and went out again without violence. After the service Dr. Auchmuty sent for the keys of Trinity and its chapels, and ordered that they should not be opened again until the liturgy could be performed without interruption, and took them to New Jersey. When the British took possession of New York he resolved at once to return to his loved flock and applied for leave to pass the American lines. This was denied him. With the unfailing energy which marked his character he determined to return on foot through circuitous paths to avoid the American lines. After undergoing great hardships, sleeping in the woods and great exposure, he reached the city. On its evacuation by Washington's Army it had been set on fire, and it was only by using the most drastic means,—the summary execution of all incendaries by the British—that the city was saved from total destruction. Nearly one thousand buildings were burned in the western part of the city and among them Trinity church, the Rector's home, and the Charity School. Through the exertions of the British troops, St. Paul's and King's College barely escaped. The Vestry of Trinity reported their loss at £22,000, besides the annual rent of 246 lots of ground on which the buildings had been destroyed. After the fire, Dr. Auchmuty searched the ruins of his church and of his large and elegant mansion; all of his papers and records had been destroyed; he found no articles of value except[304] the church plate and his own. His personal loss he estimated at upwards of $12,000.

The Sunday following Dr. Auchmuty preached in St. Paul's church for the last time. The hardships which he had undergone terminated in an illness which resulted in his death after a few days. This venerable and constant worker for mankind died March 4, 1777 in his fifty-second year, and was buried under the altar of St Paul's. Interesting notices of his labors and sufferings and death may be found in Hawkins' "Historical Notices of the Missions of the Church of England, in the North American Colonies," London, 1845. By the old inhabitants of the city Dr. Auchmuty was much respected and beloved and was spoken of as Bishop Auchmuty. He had seven children. Jane, one of his daughters, married Richard Tylden of Milstead, of county Kent in England. One of her sons was Sir John Maxwell Tylden, who was in the army for twenty years in which he greatly distinguished himself. Another, William Burton Tylden was a major in the Royal Engineers. Dr. Auchmuty had two other daughters of which there is no account, save that they were married.

Sir Samuel Auchmuty, the eldest son of the Rev. Dr. Auchmuty, was a Lieutenant General in the British Army. At the beginning of the Revolution he was a student at Kings College and was intended by his father for the ministry. His own inclinations were military from his boyhood and soon after he graduated he joined the Royal army under Sir William Howe as an ensign in the 45th regiment and was present at most of the actions in that and the following year. In 1783 he commanded a company in the 75th Regiment, in the East Indies, and was with Lord Cornwallis in the first siege of Seringaptarn. In 1801 he joined the expedition to Egypt, and held the post of adjutant-general. He returned to England in 1803 and three years after was ordered to South America, where as brigadier-general, he assumed the command of the troops; and in 1807 assaulted and reduced—after a most determined resistance—the city and fortress of Montevideo. In 1809 he was transferred to India. Subsequently he succeeded Sir D. Baird as chief of staff in Ireland. He was knighted in 1812, his nephew, Sir John Maxwell Tylden, lieutenant-colonel of the 52 regiment being his proxy. He twice received the thanks of Parliament, and was presented with a service of plate by that body and by the East India Company. His seat was Syndale House, in Kent, near Feversham. He died in Ireland suddenly in 1822 at the age of 64.

Robert Nicholas Auchmuty, another son of the Rev. Dr. Auchmuty, graduated at Kings College, New York and in the revolution served as a volunteer in the British army. His wife was Henrietta, daughter of Henry John Overing and he died at Newport, Rhode Island in 1813. His daughter Maria M., widow of Colonel E. D. Wainwright of the United States Marines, died at Washington, D. C., Jan. 1861, aged 71.

Richard Harrison Auchmuty, brother of the above, was a surgeon[305] in the British Army. Taken prisoner in the storming of Stony Point. With Cornwallis at Yorktown, and died soon after the surrender, while on parole.

"It is regretted that men as distinguished in their day as were the Auchmuty's, father and sons, so few memorials new remain." They were men who adorned their profession and "left a distinct and honorable impression upon their age."


To Samuel Clark, Feb. 26, 1780; Lib. 131, fol. 58; Land and dwelling-house in Boston, School St. S.; the town's land W.; John Rowe N; Joseph Green E——Garden land near the above. Cook's Alley W.; Leverett Saltonstall N.; William Powell E. S. and E.; Leverett Saltonstall S. [Description corrected in margin of record.]

To Josiah Waters, Jr., April 13, 1782; Lib. 134, fol. 164. Discharge of mortgage Fillebrown et al to Auchmuty dated Feb. 10. 1766.

To Increase Sumner, July 31, 1783; Lib. 139, fol. 122; 6 A. 3 qr. 10 r. land and dwelling-house near the meeting-house in Roxbury, the road N.; Jonathan Davis E., S.E; and S.; the lane and Increase Sumner W.


Robert Paddock was one of the Pilgrim Fathers, he was one of the early settlers of Plymouth, and was a smith by trade. He had a son, Zachariah, born in 1636, who was the ancestor of the subject of this sketch. Robert Paddock was probably a relative of Captain Leonard Peddock who was master of one of the ships that came to Plymouth in 1622, it being frequently the case in those times that names were mis-spelled. This is the origin of the name of Peddock's Island at the entrance of Boston Harbor. Branches of this family at the Revolutionary period were to be found in various parts of New England, New Jersey, and South Carolina. Adino Paddock was the son of John and Rebecca (Thatcher) Paddock; was born March 14, 1727, and was baptized in the First Church, Harwich, March 31, 1728.

His father died in 1732 and his mother removed soon after to Boston, where her name appears as a communicant in Brattle Square church "from Church East Yarmouth" December 5, 1736. Adino Paddock was married in Boston, June 22, 1749, to Lydia Snelling, daughter of Robert and Lydia (Dexter). He settled in Boston, where he manufactured chaises and transacted his business near the head of Bumstead Place. He lived opposite the burying ground, on the east side of Long-Acre Street. Adino Paddock was the first coach-maker of the town, and was a man of substance and character. His name is best known in connection with the famous Paddock elms. Mr. James Smith, a prosperous sugar baker, whose house was on Queen Street,—now Court Street,—when in London, was struck by the beauty of the elms in Brompton[306] Park. The story goes that Mr. Smith procured young trees of the same kind, and had them planted in his nursery, on his beautiful farm, Brush Hill, in Milton. The fame of these trees spreading, one of his friends, Mr. Gilbert Deblois, asked for some, saying that he would in return name his newborn son for Mr. Smith. The bargain was struck, and James Smith Deblois, baptized May 16, 1769, bore witness to its fulfilment. Other elms of this stock were also planted, but those received by Mr. Gilbert Deblois became the most celebrated. These were set out in front of the granary, just opposite Mr. Deblois' house in Tremont Street. As Adino Paddock's shop window looked out upon them, Mr. Deblois enjoined Mr. Paddock to have an eye to their safety.

It is related that on one occasion, Paddock offered the reward of a guinea, for the detection of the person who "hacked" one or more of the trees. He guarded the infant elms very carefully and the "Gleaner" tells of his darting across the street upon one occasion and vigorously shaking an idle boy who was making free with one of the sacred saplings. The elms were thought to have been planted in 1762. They grew to magnificent proportions, and withstood the axe for more than a century. They escaped in 1860, but were cut down a few years later. The largest was one that stood near the Tremont House. Its circumference near the sidewalk was nearly seventeen feet. This was the largest of all the trees belonging to the public walks of the city, excepting the great American elm on Boston Common that was destroyed by the tornado of 1869.

Adino Paddock was in 1774 captain of the train of artillery belonging in Boston of which John Erving was colonel. This company was particularly distinguished for its superior discipline and the excellence of its material. The gun house stood at the corner of West and Tremont Streets, separated by a yard from the school house. In this gun house was kept two brass three-pounders, which had been recast from two old guns sent by the town to London for that purpose, and had the arms of the province engraved upon them. They arrived in Boston in 1768, and were first used at the celebration of the King's birthday, June 4th, when a salute was fired in King Street.

When the mobs began to be in evidence Captain Paddock expressed an intention to turn them over to General Gage, for safe keeping, some of the men that composed the company, resolved, that it should not be so, they met in the school-room, and watching their opportunity they crossed the yard, entered the building and, removing the guns from their carriages, carried them to the school room where they were concealed in a box in which fuel was kept. They were finally taken to the American lines, in a boat, and were in actual service during the whole war. The two guns were called the "Hancock" and "Adams," and were in charge of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, until presented in 1825 by the State to the Bunker Hill Monument Association. They are now suspended in the chamber at the top of Bunker Hill Monument, with a suitable inscription on each.

[307]Before Mr. Paddock's departure from Boston he was entitled to the higher military appellation of Colonel. As an active officer, and for a time commander of the Boston train of artillery, he felt himself particularly honored, as he was then in a position of great usefulness, for, in fact his lessons in military matters while in the Train, were productive of much good, as laying the foundation of good soldiership, in the Province, by giving thorough instruction to many who afterwards became distinguished officers in the revolutionary war.

Ardently attached to the interests of the government he was one of the foremost of the loyalist party. He left Boston at the evacuation, March 17, 1776. There were nine in his family. They went to Halifax and in the following June he embarked with his wife and children for England.

In 1778 he was proscribed and banished. From 1781 until his death he resided on the Isle of Jersey and for several years held the office of Inspector of Artillery Stores with rank of Captain. Colonel Paddock received a partial compensation for his losses as a Loyalist, and died March 25, 1804, aged seventy-six years. Lydia, his wife died at the Isle of Jersey, in 1781, aged fifty-one.

Colonel Paddock's house was situated on the south corner of Bromfield and Tremont Streets, formerly Common Street and Ransom Lane. Thomas Bumstead, a coach-maker, purchased the estate when it was confiscated and carried on the coach-making business there. Bumstead Place was laid out in 1807 on the site of the home, and was closed in 1868. Gilbert Deblois occupied the opposite corner, on which was built Horticultural Hall, the trustees of the new office building recently erected there, at the suggestion of Alex S. Porter, named the new building the "Paddock Building" who said "I think that we ought to do all we can to preserve the memory of those good old citizens who by their influence and hard labor did so much in laying the foundation of our beloved city."

Adino Paddock and Lydia Snelling had thirteen children, nine of them died in infancy, and John a student at Harvard College was drowned while bathing in Charles River in 1773.

Adino Paddock, the younger, accompanied his father to Halifax in 1776 and in 1779 followed his father to England, where he entered upon the study of medicine and surgery. Having attended the different hospitals of London and fitted himself for practice, he returned to America before the close of the Revolution, and was surgeon of the King's American Dragoons. In 1784 he married Margaret Ross of Casco Bay, Maine, and settling at St. John, New Brunswick, confined his attention to professional pursuits. In addition to extensive and successful private practice he enjoyed from Government the post of surgeon to the ordinance of New Brunswick. He died at St. Mary's, York County in 1817, aged 58. Margaret his wife died at St. John in 1815 at the age of 50. The fruit of this union was ten children, of whom three sons, Adino, Thomas and John were educated physicians. Adino commenced practice in 1808 at Kingston, New Brunswick. Thomas married Mary, daughter of Arthur[308] McLellan, Esq., of Portland, Maine, and died at St. John, deeply lamented in 1838, aged 47.


To Thomas Bumstead. Aug. 1, 1782, Lib. 135, fol. 139; Land and buildings in Boston, Common St. W.; land of the commonwealth S.; heirs of Gillum Taylor deceased E. and S.; Thomas Cushing E., N. and E.; Rawson's Lane N.


Edward Lillie by the recorded births of his children appears to have been in Boston as early as 1663. As he was devoted to the Church of England, it may be presumed that he came from that country, and the date of his eldest child's birth makes it likely that he was born before 1640. This branch of the Lillie family probably lived for a while in Newfoundland, and if so, they are likely to have been of the Devonshire or West-of-England stock, which supplied the first settlers for that Province. They became possessed of real estate at St. John's during the latter half of the seventeenth century, described as "a plantation"—a term signifying full proprietorship.

Edward Lillie married about 1661, Elizabeth, whose maiden name is unknown. He was one of the well known citizens of the town of Boston when its estimated population was from five to seven thousand inhabitants. In 1687 he was one of the sixty citizens whose property was rated at £50 or more,—taking rank with such contemporaries as Elisha and Eliakim Hutchinson, Adam Winthrop, Samuel and Anthony Checkley, and Simon Lynde.[202] Edward Lillie carried on a large business as "cooper," at that period one of the most important industries of New England in its connection with commerce.

Prior to 1670 Edward Lillie had land "in his tenure and occupation" at the North End. He purchased July 8, 1670, an estate at what was then the South End of the town,—a dwelling-house and land. This estate was situated on the south-east corner of Washington and Bedford Streets, and it is in part now (1907) the site of R. H. White's dry-goods establishment. In January 1674 he purchased of Captain Thomas Savage land on Conduit (now North) Street and erected thereon in 1684 a brick dwelling-house. The estate was valued in inventory at £1300.

Edward Lillie's will was dated December 24, 1688, and proved January 7, 1688-9. His wife was probably the "Mrs. Lily" whose death, according to town records, took place January 4, 1705. They had six children.

Samuel Lilly, born March 20, 1663, was the eldest child. June 4, 1683, he married at the age of twenty Mehitable Frary, daughter of Captain and[309] Deacon Theophilus Frary, one of the founders of the Old South Church. Her mother was the daughter of Jacob Eliot, and the niece of John Eliot, the "Apostle to the Indians." Mehitable, was born February 4, 1665-6, and as her father had no sons, his estate was divided between the daughters.

Samuel Lillie, like his father, was a "cooper," but early in life became interested in commerce, sending as early as May 23, 1684, merchandise to the island of Nevis. For the next twenty-three years he was widely engaged in commercial transactions, and was uniformly styled "merchant" in formal documents. After his father's death he bought and occupied the latter's premises at the North End, enlarging them by other purchases.

Mrs. Royall, wife of Isaac Royall and mother of the Loyalist was a cousin of Mrs. Samuel Lillie. During his latter years Samuel Lillie was absent from America quite frequently. It is not likely that he was in Boston from 1708 till shortly before his death.[203] Mrs. Lillie died March 4, 1723. They had eleven children, born in Boston and baptised (except one or two) in the Second church, each a few days after birth.

Theophilus Lillie, the fourth child of Samuel and Mehitable Lillie, was baptized August 24, 1690. He married July 8, 1725, Hannah Ruck (Rev. Cotton Mather officiating). Seems to have done much in settling his father's affairs, but was not engaged in active business.

On the 28th of July, 1732, in Town Meeting, he with others, was appointed a committee to receive proposals, touching the demolishing, repairing, or leasing out the old buildings belonging to the town in Dock Square. The committee to give their attendance at Mr. William Coffin's the Bunch of Grapes tavern, on Thursdays weekly, from six to eight o'clock in the evening. In 1736 he appears as one of the subscribers to Prince's Chronological History of Boston, the list containing, according to Drake, the names of persons most interested at that period in literary concerns.

Hannah Ruck, his wife, was born December 4, 1703 and was the daughter of John Ruck, a successful merchant, a citizen active in municipal affairs and holding municipal offices. Her mother was Hannah Hutchinson, daughter of Colonel Elisha Hutchinson, and aunt of Thomas Hutchinson, the last Royal Governor. A close friendship existed between the two families, and their homes were near together at the North End. This friendship was continued in Halifax, after the Loyalist exodus in 1776.

Theophilus Lillie sold the family estate at the corner of Newbury and Pond Streets March 9, 1754. Before this sale he had removed to the Ruck homestead "near the old North Meeting House." Mr. Lillie died late in March, 1760. He left but little property. His eldest son Samuel, died young and John and Theophilus Lillie were his father's sole heirs.

Theophilus Lillie, the youngest son, was born August 18, 1730.[310] He married late in 1757 (intentions of marriage published October 27, 1757) Ann Barker, who had been a shop-keeper, in company with Abiel Page, "near Rev. Mr. Mather's meeting-house." He was educated as a merchant and was in retail trade as early as 1758, as shown by the numerous collection suits brought by him, and his advertisements in the Boston "Gazette" May 22 of that year. His store was on "Middle (Hanover) Street, near Mr. Pemberton's meeting-house." His stock was miscellaneous English Dry Goods and Groceries.

When it was determined to resist the tax on imports, a non-importation agreement was entered into in August, 1768, by the merchants of Boston, many were forced to sign it through fear of offending the mob, the agreement ended in 1769, and some of those who had been forced into it were determined to proceed in their regular business, and would pay no attention to a renewal of it, among these was Theophilus Lillie. They were proscribed and persecuted for several weeks by the rabble collecting to interrupt customers, passing to and from their shops, and houses, by posts erected before their shops with a hand pointed towards them, and by many marks of derision. At length on February 22nd, 1770, a more powerful mob than common, collected before the house of Theophilus Lillie and set up a post on which was a large Wooden Head, with a board faced paper, on which was painted the figures of four of the principal importers. One of the neighbors, Ebenezer Richardson, found fault with the proceedings which provoked the mob to drive him into his home for shelter. Having been a custom house officer, he was peculiarly obnoxious to the mob. They surrounded his house, threw stones and brick-bats through the windows, and, as it appeared upon trial were forcing their way in, when he fired upon them, and killed a boy eleven or twelve years of age. He was soon seized, and another person, George Wilmot with him, who happened to be in the house. They were in danger of being sacrificed to the rage of the mob, being dragged through the streets and a halter having been prepared, but some more temperate than the rest, advised to carry him before a justice of peace, who committed him to prison.

The boy that was killed was Christopher Snider, the son of a poor German. The event was taken advantage of by Sam Adams, and other revolutionary leaders to raise the passion of the people, and thereby strengthen their cause. A grand funeral therefore was judged to be the proper course to pursue. In the Evening Post of 26 Feb. is a very minute account of the affair, which had a very great deal to do with subsequent events. The corpse was set down under 'Liberty Tree' whence the procession began. About 50 school boys preceded, and there was "at least 2000 in the procession, of all ranks, amid a crowd of spectators." The pall was supported by six youths chosen by the parents of the deceased. On the Liberty Tree and upon each side and foot of the coffin were inscriptions well calculated to excite sympathy for the deceased, and at the same time indignation against him, who occasioned his death.

[311]On the 20th of April following the two culprits were tried for their lives. Richardson was brought in guilty of murder, but Wilmot was acquitted. Drake says "In this account of the case of Richardson and Wilmot, it must be borne in mind that it is almost entirely made up from the facts detailed by their enemies. Richardson was no doubt insulted beyond endurance, which caused his rashness, in a moment of intense excitement he fired on the mob. These facts doubtless had their weight with the court, for the Chief Justice Thomas Hutchinson, viewed the guilt of Richardson as everybody would now, a clear case of justifiable homicide, and consequently refused to sign a warrant for his execution, and, after lying in prison two years, was, on application to the King pardoned and set at liberty."[204]

After the affair of the Wooden Figure at Lillie's, there was constant trouble in Boston between the soldiers and roughs of the town, until the 5th of March, when occurred the affray between the Mob and the Soldiers known as the "Boston Massacre."[205]

Mr. Lillie had taken no part in the affair that happened near his store, but popular feeling was influenced by that occurrence against him. Mr. Lillie's full statement of the interference with his business by the illegal committee of citizens, will be found in the "Massachusetts Gazette," January 11, 1770. An extract will show his attitude towards the affair.

"Upon the whole, I cannot help saying—although I have never entered far into the mysteries of government, having applied myself to my shop and my business—that it always seemed strange to me that people who contend so much for civil and religious liberty should be so ready to deprive others of their natural liberty: that men who are guarding against being subject to laws [to] which they never gave their consent in person or by their representative should at the same time make laws, and in the most effectual manner execute them upon me and others, to which laws I am sure I never gave my consent either in person or by my representative. But what is still more hard, they are laws made to punish me after I have committed the offence; for when I sent for my goods, I was told nobody was to be compelled to subscribe; after they came, I was required to store them. This in no degree answered the end of the subscription, which was to distress the manufacturers in England. Now, my storing my goods could never do this; the mischief was done when the goods were bought in England; and it was too late to help it. My storing my goods must be considered, therefore, as punishment for an offence before the law for punishing it was made.

"If one set of private subjects may at any time take upon themselves to punish another set of private subjects just when they please, it's such a sort of government as I never heard of before; and according to my poor notion of government, this is one of the principal things which government[312] is designed to prevent; and I own I had rather be a slave under one master (for I know who he is, I may perhaps be able to please him) than a slave to a hundred or more whom I don't know where to find, nor what they will expect of me."

In 1770 Mr. Lillie removed to Oxford in Worcester County,—a removal induced probably by his recent experiences in Boston. His domicile is stated to be in that town in actions brought by him in Suffolk County. On account of his political views his new residence did not prove to be any more congenial than Boston had been.

In 1772 he attached for a debt the house of Dr. Alexander Campbell and the people of Oxford took umbrage, and threatened him with violence. In the same year he sold his place in Oxford, and returned to Boston. He bought in 1774 an estate in Brookfield, but it does not appear that he lived upon it at any time. Until the political troubles Mr. Lillie seems to have been in good circumstances, and to have kept up in his manner of dress the fashions of the period, according to family traditions. He left Boston in March, 1776 with the British troops for Halifax. His family thus embarking numbered four persons—himself and wife, and one of the other two being, doubtless, a negro servant.

Mr. Lillie's death occurred in Halifax