Their minds were startled and confounded by the prevalence of prophecies and forebodings of dark and dismal Page At this most unfortunate moment, and, as it were, to crown the whole and fill up the measure of their affliction and terror, it was their universal and sober belief, that the Evil One himself was, in a special manner, let loose, and permitted to descend upon them with unexampled fury. The people of Salem participated in their full share of the gloom and despondency that pervaded the province, and, in addition to that, had their own peculiar troubles and distresses.
Within a short time, the town had lost almost all its venerable fathers and leading citizens, the men whose councils had governed and whose wisdom had guided them from the first years of the settlement of the place. Only those who are intimately acquainted with the condition of a community of simple manners and primitive feelings, such as were the early New-England settlements, can have an adequate conception of the degree to which the people were attached to their patriarchs, the extent of their dependence upon them, and the amount of the loss when they were removed.
In the midst of this general distress and local gloom and depression, the great and awful tragedy, whose incidents, scenes, and characters I am to present, took place. IT is necessary, before entering upon the subject of the witchcraft delusion, to give a particular and extended account of the immediate locality where it occurred, and of the community occupying it. This is demanded by justice to the parties concerned, and indispensable to a correct understanding of the transaction.
No one, in truth, can rightly appreciate the character of the rural population of the towns first settled in Massachusetts, without tracing it to its origin, and taking into view the policy that regulated the colonization of the country at the start. Some few conditions and exceptions were incorporated in the grant, which, in the event, proved to be merely nominal.
The company, so far as the crown and sovereignty of England were concerned, became absolute owner of the whole territory within its limits, and exercised its powers accordingly. It adopted wise and efficient measures to promote the settlement of the country by emigrants of the best description.
John Neal Ancient Metrology
It gave to every man who transported himself at his own charge fifty acres of land, and lots, in distinction from farms, to those who should choose to settle and build in towns. In , Captain John Endicott, one of the original patentees, was sent over to superintend the management of affairs on the spot, and carry out the views of the company. Other provisions were made, on the same principles, to meet the case of servants taken over; for each of whom an additional number of acres was to be allowed.
Energetic and intelligent men, having able-bodied sons or servants, even if not adventurers, were to be favorably regarded. Endicott carried out these instructions faithfully and judiciously during his brief administration. In the mean time, it had been determined to transfer the charter, and the company bodily, to New England.
Upon this being settled, John Winthrop, with others, joined the company, and he was elected its governor on the 29th of October, On the 12th of June, , he arrived in Salem, and held his first court at Charlestown on the 28th of August. There was some irregularity in these proceedings.
There does not appear to have been any formal resignation of his office by Cradock. In point of fact, the charter made no provision for a resignation of office, but only for cases where a vacancy might be occasioned Page It would have been more regular for the company to have removed Cradock by a formal vote; but the great and weighty matter in which they were engaged prevented their thinking of a mere formality. Cradock had himself conceived the project they had met to carry into effect, and labored to bring it about.
He vacated the chair to his successor, on the spot. All usage is in favor of this construction. When he arrived in Salem, he found Endicott — who, in the records of the Page The company had not chosen another in his place, and his commission still held good. It was so evident that the vote extending the term of Winthrop's tenure to a year from the day on which he was chosen, Oct. In the mean time, however, Endicott's year had expired; and, for aught that appears, there was not, for several months, any legal governor or government at all in the colony.
If the difficulty into which they had got was apprehended by Winthrop, Endicott, or any of their associates, they were wise enough to see that nothing but mischief could arise from taking notice of it; that no human ingenuity could disentangle the snarl; and that all they could do was to wait for the lapse of time to drift them through. The conduct of these two men on the occasion was truly admirable. Endicott welcomed Winthrop with all the honors due to his position as governor; opened his doors to receive him and his family; and manifested the affectionate respect and veneration with which, from his earliest manhood to his dying day, Winthrop ever inspired all men in all circumstances.
Winthrop performed Page They each went about his own business, and said nothing of the embarrassments attached to their official titles or powers. After a few months, Winthrop held his courts, as though all was in good shape; and Endicott took his seat as an assistant. They proved themselves sensible, high-minded men, of true public spirit, and friends to each other and to the country, which will for ever honor them both as founders and fathers.
They entered into no disputes — and their descendants never should — about which was governor, or which first governor. The disposal of lands, at the expiration of Endicott's delegated administration, passed back into the hands of the company, and was conducted by the General Court upon the policy established at its meetings in London. On the 3d of March, , the General Court relinquished the control and disposal of lands, within the limits of towns, to the towns themselves. After this, all grants of lands in Salem were made by the people of the town or their own local courts.
The original land policy was faithfully adhered to here, as it probably was in the other towns. The reflecting student of political science will probably regard this as the most important legislative act in our annals. Towns had existed before, but were scarcely more than local designations, or convenient divisions of the people and territories. This called them into being as depositories and agents of political power in its mightiest efficacy and most vital force. It remitted to the people their original sovereignty. Before, that sovereignty had rested in the hands of a remote central deputation; this returned it to them in their primary capacity, and brought it back, in its most important elements, to their immediate control.
It gave them complete possession and absolute power over their own lands, and provided the machinery for managing their own neighborhoods and making and Page It gave to the people the power to do and determine all that the people can do and determine, by themselves. It created the towns as the solid foundation of the whole political structure of the State, trained the people as in a perpetual school for self-government, and fitted them to be the guardians of republican liberty and order.
Large tracts were granted to men who had the disposition and the means for improving them by opening roads, building bridges, clearing forests, and bringing the surface into a state for cultivation. Men of property, education, and high social position, were thus made to lead the way in developing the agricultural resources of the country, and giving character to the farming interest and class.
In cases where men of energy, industry, and intelligence presented themselves, if not adventurers in the common stock, with no other property than their strong arms and resolute wills, particularly if they had able-bodied sons, liberal grants were made. Every one who had received a town lot of half an acre was allowed to relinquish it, receiving, in exchange, a country lot of fifty acres or more. Under this system, a population of a superior order was led out into the forest.
Farms quickly spread into the interior, seeking the meadows, occupying the arable land, and especially following up the streams. I propose to illustrate this by a very particular enumeration of instances, and by details that will give Page I shall give an account of the persons and families who first settled the region included in, and immediately contiguous to, Salem Village, and whose children and grandchildren were actors or sufers in, or witnesses of, the witchcraft delusion.
I am able, by the map, to show the boundaries, to some degree of precision, of their farms, and the spots on or near which their houses stood. The next, on the 3d of July, , was three hundred acres to John Endicott. His dwelling-house embraced in its view the whole surrounding country, with the arms of the sea. From the more elevated points of his farm, the open sea was in sight. A road was opened by him, from the head of tide water on Duck, now Crane, River, through the Orchard Farm, and round the head of Cow House River, to the town of Salem, in one direction, and to Lynn and Boston in another.
A few years afterwards, the town granted him two hundred acres more, contiguous to the western line of the Orchard Farm. After this, and as a part of the transaction, the present Ipswich road was made, and the old road through the Orchard Farm discontinued. This illustrates the policy of the land grants. They were made to persons who had the ability to lay out roads. The present bridge over Crane River was probably built by Endicott and the parties to whom what is now called the Plains, one of the principal villages of Danvers, had been granted.
To them, smaller grants were made. The character of the population, thus aided at the beginning in settling the country, cannot be appreciated without giving some idea of what it was to open the wilderness for occupancy and cultivation. This is a subject which those who have always lived in other than frontier towns do not perhaps understand. How much of the land had been previously cleared by the aboriginal tribes, it may be somewhat difficult to determine.
They were but slightly attached to the soil, had temporary and movable habitations, and no bulky implements or articles of furniture. They were nomadic in their habits. On the coast and its inlets, their light canoes gave easy means of transportation, for their families and all that they possessed, from point to point, and, further inland, over intervening territory, from river to river. They probably seldom attempted, in this part of the country, to clear the rugged and stony uplands. In some instances, they removed the trees from the soft alluvial meadows, although it is probable that in only a very few localities they would have attempted such a persistent and laborious undertaking.
There were large salt marshes, and here and there meadows, free from timber. There were spots where fires had swept over the land and the trees disappeared. On such spots they probably planted their corn; the land being made at once fertile Page Near large inland sheets of water, having no outlets passable by their canoes, and well stocked with fish, they sometimes had permanent plantations, as at Will's Hill.
With such slight exceptions, when the white settler came upon his grant, he found it covered by the primeval wilderness, thickly set with old trees, whose roots, as well as branches, were interlocked firmly with each other, the surface obstructed with tangled and prickly underbrush; the soil broken, and mixed with rocks and stones, — the entire face of the country hilly, rugged, and intersected by swamps and winding streams. Among all the achievements of human labor and perseverance recorded in history, there is none more herculean than the opening of a New-England forest to cultivation.
The fables of antiquity are all suggestive of instruction, and infold wisdom. The earliest inhabitants of every wooded country, who subdued its wilderness, were truly a race of giants. Let any one try the experiment of felling and eradicating a single tree, and he will begin to approach an estimate of what the first English settler had before him, as he entered upon his work.
It was not only a work of the utmost difficulty, calling for the greatest possible exercise of physical toil, strength, patience, and perseverance, but it was a work of years and generations. The axe, swung by muscular arms, could, one by one, fell the trees. There was no machinery to aid in extracting the tough roots, equal, often, in Page The practice was to level by the axe a portion of the forest, managing so as to have the trees fall inward, early in the season. After the summer had passed, and the fallen timber become dried, fire would be set to the whole tract covered by it.
After it had smouldered out, there would be left charred trunks and stumps. The trunks would then be drawn together, piled in heaps, and burned again. Between the blackened stumps, barley or some other grain, and probably corn, would be planted, and the lapse of years waited for, before the roots would be sufficiently decayed to enable oxen with chains to extract them. Then the rocks and stones would have to be removed, before the plough could, to any considerable extent, be applied. The opening of a wilderness combined circumstances of interest which are not, perhaps, equalled in any other occupation.
It is impossible to imagine a Page It developed the muscular powers more equally and effectively than any other. The handling of the axe brought into exercise every part of the manly frame. It afforded room for experience and skill, as well as strength; it was an athletic art of the highest kind, and awakened energy, enterprise, and ambition; it was accompanied with sufficient danger to invest it with interest, and demand the most careful judgment and observation. He who best knew how to fell a tree was justly looked upon as the most valuable and the leading man.
To bring a tall giant of the woods to the ground was a noble and perilous achievement. As it slowly trembled and tottered to its fall, it was all-important to give it the right direction, so that, as it came down with a thundering crash, it might not be diverted from its expected course by the surrounding trees and their multifarious branches, or its trunk slide off or rebound in an unforeseen manner, scattering fragments and throwing limbs upon the choppers below.
Accidents often, deaths sometimes, occurred. A skilful woodman, by a glance at the surrounding trees and their branches, could tell where the tree on which he was about to operate should fall, and bring it unerringly to the ground in the right direction. There was, moreover, danger from lurking savages; and, if the chopper was alone in the deep woods, from the prowling solitary bear, or hungry wolves, which, going in packs, were sometimes formidable.
There were elements also, in the work, that awakened Page The lonely and solemn woods are God's first temples. They are full of mystic influences; they nourish the poetic nature; they feed the imagination. The air is elastic, and every sound reverberates in broken, strange, and inexplicable intonations. The woods are impregnated with a healthgiving and delightful fragrance nowhere else experienced. All the arts of modern luxury fail to produce an aroma like that which pervades a primitive forest of pines and spruces. Indeed, all trees, in an original wilderness, where they exist in every stage of growth and decay, contribute to this peculiar charm of the woods.
It was not only a manly, but a most lively, occupation.
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- My Shopping Bag?
- John Beedle's Sleigh Ride, Courtship, and Marriage : Capt McClintock : .
- Under Julia?
When many were working near each other, the echoes of their voices of cheer, of the sharp and ringing tones of their axes, and of the heavy concussions of the falling timber, produced a music that filled the old forests with life, and made labor joyous and refreshing. The length of time required to prepare a country covered by a wilderness, on a New-England soil, for cultivation, may be estimated by the facts I have stated. A long lapse of years must intervene, after the woods have been felled and their dried trunks and branches burned, before the stumps can be extracted, the land levelled, the stones removed, the plough introduced, or the smooth green fields, which give such beauty to agricultural scenes, be presented.
An immense amount of the most exhausting labor must be expended in the process. The world looks with Page I do not hesitate to say that the results produced by the small, scattered population of the American colonies, during their first century, in tearing up a wilderness by its roots, transforming the rocks, with which the surface was covered, into walls, opening roads, building bridges, and making a rough and broken country smooth and level, converting a sterile waste into fertile fields blossoming with verdure and grains and fruitage, is a more wonderful monument of human industry and perseverance than them all.
It was a work, not of mere hired laborers, still less of servile minions, but of freemen owning, or winning by their voluntary and cheerful toil, the acres on which they labored, and thus entitling themselves to be the sovereigns of the country they were creating.
Items in search results
A few thousands of such men, with such incentives, wrought wonders greater than millions of slaves or serfs ever have accomplished, or ever will. It was not, therefore, from mere favoritism, or a blind subserviency to men of wealth or station, that such liberal grants of land were made to Winthrop, Dudley, Endicott, and others, but for various wise and good reasons, having the welfare and happiness of the whole people, especially the poorer classes, in view.
In illustration of the one now under consideration, a few facts may be presented. In the court-files are many curious papers, in the shape of depositions given by witnesses in suits of various kinds, arising from time to time, showing that large numbers of hired men were kept constantly at work. Palisadoes were young trees, of about six inches in diameter at the butt, cut into poles of about ten feet in length, sharpened at the larger end, and driven into the ground; those that were split or cloven were used as rails.
In this way, lots were fenced in. In some cases, the upright posts were placed close together, as palisades in fortifications, to prevent the escape of domestic animals, and as a safeguard against depredations upon the young cattle, sheep, and poultry, by bears, wolves, foxes, the loup-cervier, or wild-cat, with which the woods were infested. Grover seems to have wrought on the Orchard Farm for a short time.
We find, that, a few years after the point to which his testimony goes back, he had a farm of his own. Some wrought there for a longer time, and were permanent Page In , the widow Scarlett apprenticed her son Benjamin, then eleven years of age, to Governor Endicott. The following document, recorded in Essex Registry of Deeds, tells his story: —. John Endicott, Esq.
Endicott called Orchard Farm, on the South with the high way leading to the salt water, on the West with the road way leading to Salem, on the East with the salt water, which tract of land was given to me, as aforesaid, during my life, and in case I should leave no issue of my body, to give it to such of his posterity as I should see cause to bestow it upon; Know ye, therefore, that I, the said Benjamin Scarlett, for divers considerations me thereunto moving, have given, granted, and by these presents do give and grant, assign, sett over, and bestow the aforesaid tract of land, with all the improvements I have made thereon, both by building, fencing, or otherwise, unto Samuel Endicott, second son to Zerubabel Endicott deceased, and unto Hannah his wife, to have and to hold the said ten acres of land, more or less, with all the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, unto the said Samuel Page Endicott and Hannah his wife, to his and her own proper use and behoof forever; and after their decease I give the said tract of land to their son Samuel Endicott.
In case he should depart this life without issue, then to be given to the next heir of the said Samuel and Hannah. It is to be observed, that Governor Endicott had died twenty-six years, and his son Zerubabel seven years, before the date of the foregoing deed. No writings had passed between them in reference to the final disposition Scarlett was conditionally to make of the estate.
There were no living witnesses of the original understanding. But the old man was true to the sentiments of honor and gratitude. The master to whom he had been apprenticed in his boyhood had been kind and generous to him, and he was faithful to the letter and spirit of his engagement. He evidently made a point to have the language of the deed as strong as it could be. He did not leave the matter to be settled by a will, but determined to enjoy, while living, the satisfaction of being true to his plighted faith.
But humble and unpretending as he was, I feel a pride in rescuing his name from oblivion. Old Ben Scarlett will for ever hold his place among nature's nobles, — honest men. The extent to which Endicott went in improving his Page In , he bought of Captain Trask two hundred and fifty acres of land, in another locality, giving in exchange five hundred apple-trees, of three years' growth. Such a number of fruit-trees of that age, disposable at so early a period, could only be the result of a great expenditure of labor and money.
John Neal (writer)
So many operations going on under his direction and within his premises made his farm a school, in which large numbers were trained to every variety of knowledge needed by an original settler. There were many besides Grover who availed themselves of the advantage. John Putnam was a large landholder, and an original grantee; but we find his youngest son, John, attached to Endicott's establishment, and working on his farm about the time of his maturity.
The same John Putnam, in a deposition dated , says that he was then fifty years old, and that, thirty-five years before, he was at Mr. Endicott; and he testifies to a conversation that he heard between Mr. Endicott and one of his men, Walter Knight. He went as a voluntary laborer, as to a school of agricultural training. This was done on other farms, first occupied by men who had the means and the enterprise to carry on large operations. It gave a high character, in their particular employment, to the first settlers generally.
I cannot leave this subject of Endicott on his farm, without presenting another picture, drawn from a wilderness scene. In , Nathaniel Ingersol, then forty-five years of age, in a deposition sworn to in court, describes an incident that occurred on the eastern Page His father, Richard Ingersol, had leased the farm. It was contiguous to Endicott's land, and controversies of boundary arose, which subsequently contributed to aggravate the feuds and passions that were let loose in the fury of the witchcraft proceedings.
Nathaniel Ingersol says, —. My father replied, then he would remove the fence. No, said Governor Endicott, let it stand; and, when you set up a new fence, we will settle in the bounds. This statement is worthy of being preserved, as it illustrates the character of the two men, exhibiting them in a most honorable light. The gentlemanly bearing of each is quite observable. Ingersol manifests an instant willingness to repair a wrong, and set the matter right; Endicott is considerate and obliging on a point where men are most prone to be obstinate and unyielding, — a conflict of land rights: both are courteous, and disposed to accommodate.
Endicott was governor of the colony, and a large conterminous landowner; Ingersol was a husbandman, at work with his boys on land into which their labor had incorporated value, and with which, for the time being, he was identified. But Endicott showed no arrogance, Page If a similar spirit had been everywhere exhibited, the good-will and harmony of neighborhoods would never have been disturbed, and the records of courts reduced to less than half their bulk. To his dying day, John Endicott retained a lively interest in promoting the welfare of his neighbors in the vicinity of the Orchard Farm.
Father Gabriel Druillettes was sent by the Governor of Canada, in , to Boston, in a diplomatic character, to treat with the Government here. Finding I had no money, he supplied me, and gave me an invitation to the magistrates' table. His natural force of character had been brought under the influence of the knowledge prevalent in his day, and invigorated by an experience and aptitude in practical affairs.
There is some evidence that he had, in early life, been a surgeon or physician. He was a captain in the military service before leaving England. Although he was the earliest who bore the title of governor here, having been deputed to exercise that office by the governor and company in England, and subsequently elected to that station Page His descendants early manifested a predilection for maritime life. During the first half of the present century, many of them were shipmasters.
The map shows the farm of Emanuel Downing. The lines are substantially correct, although precise accuracy cannot be claimed for them, as the points mentioned in this and other cases were marked trees, heaps of stones, or other perishable or removable objects, and no survey or plot has come down to us. A collation of conterminous grants or subsequent conveyances, with references in some of them to Page This gentleman was one of the most distinguished of the early New-England colonists.
He was a lawyer of the Inner Temple. He married, in the first instance, a daughter of Sir James Ware, a person of great eminence in the learned lore of his times. They were married, April 10, There seems to have been a very strong attachment between Emanuel Downing and his brother Winthrop; and they went together, with their whole heart, into the plan of building up the colony.
They devoted to it their fortunes and lives. Downing is supposed to have arrived at Boston in August, , with his family. On the 4th of November, he and his wife were admitted to the Church at Salem. So great had been the value of his services in behalf of the colony, in defending its interests and watching over its welfare before leaving England, that he was welcomed with the utmost cordiality to his new home. His nephew, John Winthrop, Jr. The General Court granted him six hundred acres of land. He was immediately appointed a judge of the local court in Salem, and, for many years, elected one of its two deputies to the General Court.
In anticipation of his arrival in the country, the town of Salem, on the 16th of July, granted him five hundred acres. He afterwards Page The condition of public affairs, and his own connection with them, detained him in the mother much of the latter part of his life. While in this colony, he was indefatigable in his exertions to secure its prosperity. His wealth and time and faculties were liberally and constantly devoted to this end.
The active part taken by Mr. Downing in the affairs of the settlement is illustrated in the following extract from the Salem town records:—. The names of such as are ordered to this service are for the 1st day, Mr. Stileman and Philip Veren Jr. Batter and Joshua Veren. Johnson and Mr.
Story i Must Tell Jingle Bells in the Minstrel Repertoire
Downing and Robert Molton Sr. The men appointed to this service were all leading characters, reliable and energetic persons. It was a singular arrangement, and gives a vivid idea of the state of things at the time. Its design was probably, not merely that expressed in the vote of the town, but also to prevent any disorderly conduct on the part of those not attending public worship, and to give prompt alarm in case of fire or an Indian assault. The population had not then spread out far into the country; and the range of exploration did not much extend beyond the settlement in the town.
None but active men, however, could have performed the duty thoroughly, and in all directions, so as to have kept the whole community under strict inspection. Downing probably expended liberally his fortune and time in improving his farm, upon which there were, at least, four dwelling-houses prior to , and large numbers of men employed.
He was a ready contributor to all public objects. His education had been superior and his attainments in knowledge extensive. He was of an enlightened spirit, and strove to mitigate the severity of the procedures against Antinomians and others. He seems to have had an ingenious and enterprising mind. At a General Court held at Boston, Sept. The court afterwards granted to other towns liberty to set up duck-coys, with similar privileges. What was the particular structure of the contrivance, and how far it succeeded in operation, is not known; but the thing shows the spirit of the man.
He at once took hold of his farm with energy, and gathered workmen upon it. Winthrop in his journal has this entry, Aug.
Downing having built a new house at his farm, he being gone to England, and his wife and family gone to the church meeting on the Lord's day, the chimney took fire and burned down the house, and bedding, apparel and household, to the value of pounds. On his return from England, he undoubtedly built again, and Page Public travel to and from those points goes over that same road to. That it was so early laid out is probably owing to the fact, that such men as Emanuel Downing were on its route, and John Winthrop, Jr. Originally, travel was on a track more interior.
The opening of roads did not begin until after the more immediate and necessary operations of erecting houses and bringing the land, on the most available spots near them at the points first settled, under culture. Originally, communication from farm to farm, through the woods, was by marking the trees, — sometimes by burning and blackening spots on their sides, and sometimes by cutting off a piece of the bark.
When the branches and brush were sufficiently cleared away, horses could be used. At places rendered difficult by large roots, partly above ground, intercepting the passage, or by rough stones, the rider would dismount, and lead the horse. On reaching a cleared and fenced piece of land, the traveller would cross it, opening and closing gates, or taking down and replacing bars, as the case might be. There were arrangements among the settlers, and, before long, acts of the General Court, regulating the matter.
Endicott hath found a copper mine in his own ground. Leader hath tried it. The furnace runs eight tons per week, and their bar iron is as good as Spanish. Downing seems to have resided permanently on his farm, and to have been identified with the agricultural portion of the community. His house-lot in the town bounded south on Essex Street, extending from Newbury to St. Peter's Street. The attesting witnesses were Samuel Sharpe and William Hathorne. The estate has remained, or rather so much of it as was attached to the homestead, in that family to this day, and is now owned and occupied by John Pickering, Esq.
Emanuel Downing was the father of Sir George Downing, one of the first class that graduated at Harvard College, — a man of extraordinary talents and wonderful fortunes. After finishing his collegiate Page This office seems to have combined the functions of inspector and commissary, and head of the reconnoitering department. All this, within eleven years after he took his degree at Harvard, is surely an extraordinary instance of rising in the world.
He was a member of Parliament for Scotland. Cromwell sent him to France on diplomatic business, and his correspondence in Latin from that court was the beginning of a career of great services in that line. He was soon commissioned ambassador to the Hague, then the great court in Europe. Thurlow's state papers show with what marvellous vigilance, activity, and efficiency he conducted, from that centre, the diplomatic affairs of the commonwealth. At the restoration of the monarchy, he made the quickest and the loftiest somersault in all political history. It was done between two days. He accompanied this wonderful exploit by an act of treachery to three of his old associates, — including Colonel Oakey, in whose regiment he had served as chaplain, — which cost them their lives.
He was forthwith knighted, and his commission as ambassador renewed. After a while, he returned to England; went into Parliament from Morpeth, and ever after the exchequer was in his hands. By his knowledge, skill, and ability, he enlarged the financial resources of the country, multiplied its manufactures, and extended its power and wealth. He was probably the original contriver of the policy enforced in the celebrated Navigation Act, having suggested it in Cromwell's time. By that single short act of Parliament, England became the great naval power of the world; her colonial possessions, however widely dispersed, were consolidated into one vast fountain of wealth to the imperial realm; the empire of the seas was fixed on an immovable basis, and the proud Hollander compelled to take down the besom from the mast-head of his high-admiral.
Sir George Downing did one thing in favor of the power of the people, in the British system of government, which may mitigate the resentment of mankind for his execrable seizure and delivery to the royal vengeance of Oakey, Corbett, and Barkstead. He introduced into Parliament and established the principle Page The House of Commons has, ever since, not only held the keys of the treasury, but the power of controlling expenditures.
The fortune of Sir George, on the failure of issue in the third generation, went to the foundation of Downing College, in Cambridge, England. It amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling. It is not improbable, that Downing Street, in London, owes its name to the great diplomatist. This remarkable man spent his later youth and opening manhood on Salem Farms. In his college vacations and intervals of study, he partook, perhaps, in the labors of the plantation, mingled with the rural population, and shared in their sports.
The crack of his fowling-piece re-echoed through the wild woods beyond Procter's Corner; he tended his father's duck at Humphries' Pond, and angled along the clear brooks. It is an observable circumstance, as illustrating the transmission of family traits, that the same ingenious activity and versatility of mind, which led Emanuel Downing, while carrying on the multifarious operations of opening a large farm in the forest, presiding in the local court at Salem, and serving year after year in the General Court as a deputy, to contrive complicated machinery for taking wild fowl and getting up distilleries, re-appeared in his son, on the broader field of the manufactures, finances, and foreign relations of a great nation.
A tract of three hundred acres, next eastward of the Downing farm, was granted to Thomas Read. He Page The farm is now occupied and owned by the Hon. Richard S. It is a beautiful and commanding situation, and attests the taste of its original proprietor. Read seems to have had a passion for military affairs. In , he commanded a company. During the civil wars in England, he was attracted back to his native country. He commanded a regiment in , and held his place after the Restoration. He died about Our antiquarians were long at a loss to understand a sentence in one of Roger Williams's letters to John Winthrop, Jr.
John Winthrop and Mr. Hugh Peters. Peters was not the father of either of Winthrop's two wives; and there was nothing in any family records or memorials to justify the notion. On the contrary, they absolutely precluded it. By the labors and acumen of the Hon. James Savage and Mr. Charles Deane, of Cambridge, who have no superiors in grappling with such a difficulty, its solution seems, at last, to be reached.
Savage has expressed a conviction that Mr. The second wife of John Winthrop, Jr. By marrying Mrs. Read, Peters became the step-father of the younger Winthrop's wife; and, by the usage of that day, he would be called Winthrop's father. A few additional particulars, in reference to Peters and our Salem Read, may shed further light on the subject.
This is one of the most admirable productions of genius, wisdom, and affection, anywhere to be found. In it he gives a condensed history of his life, which enables us to settle some questions, which have given rise to conflicting statements, and kept some points in his biography in obscurity.
In the first place, the title proves that he had, at the time of his death, no other child. In the course of it, he tells his daughter, that, when he was Page His elder brother had been sent to Oxford for his education. This made me to go into Essex; and after being quieted by another sermon in that country, and the love and labors of Mr. Thomas Hooker, I there preached, there married with a good gentlewoman, till I went to London to ripen my studies, not intending to preach at all. He is stated to have been born in his death was in If there were, they died young.
He married, for his second wife, Deliverance Sheffield, at Boston, in March, His first wife, the time of whose death is unknown, had left the children by her former husband in his hands and under his care. She had not only been the dear wife of his youth, but her property placed him above want. No wonder that the strongest attachment existed between him and her children. John Winthrop, Jr. It was on account of this intimate and endeared connection, and in consideration of the pecuniary benefit he had derived from his marriage to the mother of the younger Winthrop's wife, that he made arrangements, in case he should not return to America, that his Salem property should go to her and her husband.
Having married a second wife, and there being issue of said marriage, he would not have alienated so considerable a part of his property from the legal heir without some good and sufficient reason. The foregoing view of the case explains the whole. The solution of the mystery which had enveloped Roger Williams's language is complete.
It does not appear, that, during her subsequent life, there was any intimacy, or even acquaintance, between her and the Page Winthrops, as there was no ground for it, she being in no way connected with them. They were the same as children to him. They sent for him, and he came. After it was ascertained and determined that Peters should settle in Salem, Read joined the church here, and became a full inhabitant. Peters located his grant of land in sight of Read's residence, on the next then unappropriated territory, at a distance of about two and a half miles.
When Read returned to England, he left his property here in the care of the Winthrops. Wait Winthrop, as the agent and attorney of his heirs, sold it to Daniel Eppes. If, as I conjecture, Thomas Read was a son of Colonel Read, of Essex, his coming here with Peters, and his connection with the Winthrops, are accounted for. His strong predilection for military affairs was natural in a son of a colonel of the English army. It led him back to the mother-country, on the first sound of the great civil war reaching these shores, and raised him to the rank he finally attained. The conjecture that he was a brother of the wife of the younger Winthrop is favored by the fact, that her son, Fitz John Winthrop, Page During the short period of the residence of Hugh Peters in America, professional duties, and the extent to which his great talents were called upon in ecclesiastical and political affairs, in all parts of the colony, left him but little opportunity to attend to his twohundred grant.
It was to the north of the present village of Danvers Plains, on the eastern side and adjoining to Frost-Fish Brook. The history of this grant confirms the supposition of his particular connection with the family of the younger Winthrop. It seems that it had not been formally laid out by metes and bounds while Peters was here. Owing to this circumstance, perhaps, it escaped confiscation at the time of his condemnation and execution. Peters's lands did go, according to the agreement when he left America, to the family of John Winthrop, Jr.
Whether he had erected a house on this grant is not known. From his characteristic energy, activity, and promptitude, it is probable that he had begun to clear Page In agriculture, as in every thing else, he gave a decisive impulse. It is stated that he had a particular design to attempt the culture of hemp. He introduced many implements of labor, and started new methods of improvement. He disclosed to the producer of agricultural growths the idea of raising what the land was most capable of yielding in abundance, in greater quantities than were needed for local consumption, and finding for the surplus an outside market.
He is allowed to have introduced the coasting and foreign trade on an intelligent and organized basis, and to have promoted ship-building and the export of the products of the forests and the fields generally to the Southern plantations, the West Indies, and even more distant points.
If he had remained longer in the country, the farming interests, and the settlers in what was afterwards called Salem Village, within which his tract was situated, would have felt his great influence. As it was, he undoubtedly did much to inspire a zeal for improvement. The lot was a quarter of an acre. Roger Williams probably had resided there, and sold to Peters, who was his successor in the ministry of the First Church, and whose attorney sold it to Benjamin Felton, in The range of ground included within what are now Washington, Essex, Summer, and Chestnut Streets, and extending to the South River, as it was before any Page Most, if not all of them, had houses on their lots.
His house was at the north corner of Lynde and Washington Streets. Edmund Batter, Henry Cook, Dr. Hugh Peters also owned the lot, consisting of a quarter of an acre, on the north-eastern corner of Essex and Washington Streets, now occupied by what is known as Stearns's Building, and was preparing to erect a house upon it when he was sent to England.
His attorney sold it, in , to John Orne, the founder of the family of that name. The daughter of Mr. Peters came over to America shortly after his death, bringing with her her mother, who, for many years, had been subject to derangement. They were kindly received; and some of his property, particularly a valuable farm in the vicinity Page She probably soon went back to England, where she spent her days. In consequence, perhaps, of the intimate connection between Mr.
Peters and the family of John Winthrop, Jr. He was here, it is quite certain, from to , if not for a longer period. There are indications of his presence as early as March of the former year, when he was appointed with Endicott to administer the freeman's oath to his uncle Downing. On the 25th of the next June, he had liberty to set up a salt-house at Royal Neck, on the east side of Wooleston River. There he erected a dwelling-house and other buildings, as appears by the depositions of sundry persons in a land suit about thirty years afterwards, who state that they worked for him, and were conversant with him there for several years.
His first experiments and enterprises in the salt-manufacture, which he subsequently conducted on a very extensive scale in Connecticut, were performed at Royal Neck. His daughter, the widow successively of Antipas Newman and Zerubabel Endicott, in the suit just mentioned, Page In , John Winthrop, Jr. Thomas Peters was the first minister of Saybrook. Downing, Read, and Peters, three of the original planters of Salem Farms, were drawn back to England and kept there by the engrossing interest which the wonderful revolution then breaking out in that kingdom could not but awaken in such minds as theirs.
Here and everywhere, a great check was given to the early progress of the country by the turn of the tide which carried such men back to England, and prevented others from coming over. If the Parliament had not attempted to arrest the usurpations of the crown at that time, and the Stuarts been suffered to establish an absolute monarchy, the eyes and hearts of all free spirits would have remained fixed on America, and a perpetual stream of emigration brought over, for generations and for ever, thousands upon thousands of such men as came at the beginning. The effects that would have been thus produced in America and in England, in accelerating the progress of society here, and sinking it into debasement there; and thereby upon the fortunes of mankind the world Page But, although these men were lost, others are worthy of being enumerated, in forming an estimate of the elements that went to make the character of the people, a chapter in whose history, of awful import, we are preparing ourselves to explore.
Francis Weston was a leading man at the very beginning. His land grant was some little distance to the west of the meeting-house of the village. He must have been a person of more than ordinary liberality of spirit; for he discountenanced the intolerance of his age, and kept his mind open to receive truth and light. He did not conceal his sympathy with those who suffered for entertaining Antinomian sentiments. He was ordered to quit the colony in But, as he stood to his principles, and there was danger to be apprehended from his influence, he was again driven out of the colony.
Richard Waterman came over from England in , recommended to Governor Endicott by the governor and deputy in London. He was a noted hunter. But he, too, had a spirit that resisted the severe and arbitrary policy of the times. He became a dissenter from the prevalent creed, and sympathized with those who suffered oppression. In , he was brought before the court, condemned to imprisonment, and finally banished. Weston and Waterman subsequently were conspicuous in Rhode-Island affairs.
While residing in the village, the latter probably devoted himself to the opening of his land, and the pursuit of game through the forests. I find but one notice of him as connected with public affairs. For some years, the settlements were necessarily confined to the shores of bays or coves, and the banks of rivers. There were no wheel-carriages of any kind, for transportation or travel, until something like roads could be made; and that was the work of time. A few horses had been imported; but it was long before they could be raised to meet the general wants, or come much into use.
Every thing had to be water-borne. The only vehicles were boats or canoes, mostly the latter. There were two kinds of canoes. Large whitepine logs were scooped or hollowed out, and wrought into suitable shape, about two and a half feet in breadth and twenty in length. These were often quite convenient and serviceable, but not to be compared with the Indian canoes, which were made of the bark of trees, wrought with great skill into a beautiful shape.
The birch canoe was an admirable structure, Page In lightness, rapidity, freedom and ease of motion, it has not been, and cannot be, surpassed. Its draft, even when bearing a considerable burden, was so slight, that it would glide over the shallowest bars. It was strong, durable, and easily kept in repair. Although dangerous to the highest degree under an inexperienced and unskilful hand, no vessel has ever been safer when managed by persons trained to its use. The cool and quick-sighted Indian could guide it, with his exquisitely moulded paddle, in perfect security, through whirling rapids and over heavy seas, around headlands and across bays.
The settlers early supplied themselves with canoes, by which to thread the interior streams, and cross from shore to shore in the harbors. One great advantage of the light canoe, before roads were opened through the woods, was, that it could be unloaded, and borne on the shoulders across the land, at any point, to another stream or lake, thus cutting off long curves, and getting from river to river. The lading would be transported in convenient parcels, the canoe launched, loaded, and again be floated on its way.
Canoes soon came into universal use, particularly in this neighborhood. The quarterly court records have the following entry under the date of June 27, —. Holgrave, P. Palfrey, R. Waterman, R. Conant, P. Veren, or the greater number of them.
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And that there shall be no canoe used upon penalty, of forty shillings, to the owner thereof than such as the said surveyors shall allow of and set their mark upon; and if any shall refuse or neglect to bring their canoes to the said places at the time appointed, they shall pay for said fault 10 shillings. The names of the men associated with Waterman prove that he was ranked among the chief citizens of the town. The austere manners of the age, among communities like that established here; the exclusion, at that time, by inexorable laws, of many forms of amusement; and the general sombre aspect of society, kept down the natural exhilaration of life to such a degree, that, when the pressure was occasionally removed, the whole people bounded into the liveliest outbursts of glad excitement.
It was no doubt a gala day. Ceremony, sport, and festivity, in all their forms, took full effect. The surveyors performed their functions with the utmost display of authority, examined the canoes with the gravest scrutiny, and affixed Page A light, graceful, and most picturesque fleet swarmed, from all directions, to the appointed rendezvous. The harbor glittered with the flashing paddles, and was the scene of swift races and rival feats of skill, displaying manly strength and agility.
It was the first Fourth of July ever celebrated in America. Thomas Scruggs was an early inhabitant of Salem; often represented the town as deputy in the General Court; was one of the judges of the local court, and always recognized among the rulers of the town. In January, , he received a grant of three hundred acres on the south-west limits of its territory. Scruggs had a farm of three hundred acres beyond Forest River, and that Captain Trask had one of two hundred acres beyond Bass River, and Captain Trask freely relinquishing his farm of two hundred acres, it was granted unto Mr.
Thomas Scruggs, and he thereupon freely relinquished his farm of three hundred acres. The real object in making this arrangement was to advance a project which the leading Page They were very desirous to have the college established on the tract relinquished by Scruggs. What would have been the effect of placing it there, in the immediate neighborhood of the sea-shore, in full view of the spacious bay, its promontories, islands, and navigation, is a question on which we may speculate at our leisure. The effort failed: Captain Trask and Mr. Scruggs had done all they could to accomplish it, and gave their energies to the welfare of the community in other directions.
From the little that is recorded of Scruggs, it is quite evident that he was an intelligent and valuable citizen. The event that brought his career as a public man to a close proves that his mind was enlightened, liberal, and independent; that he was in advance of the times in which he lived. When the bitter and violent persecution of the celebrated Anne Hutchinson, on account of her Antinomian sentiments, took place, Mr.
Scruggs disapproved and denounced it. He gave his whole influence, earnestly and openly, against such attempts to suppress freedom of inquiry and the rights of conscience. He, with others in Salem, was proscribed, disarmed, and deprived of his public functions. He appears to have been suffered to remain unmolested on his estate, and died there in He had but one child, Rachel; and the name, as derived from him, became extinct.
The inventory of his property is dated on the 24th of June of that year. Considering Page I do not remember to have found this last point arranged for, in such a form of expression, in any other instance. William Alford was an early settler. He was a member of the numerous and wealthy society, or guild, of Skinners, in the city of London, and probably came here with the view of establishing an extensive trade in furs.
He received accordingly, in , a grant of two hundred acres, including what was for some time called Alford's Hill, afterwards Long Hill, now known as Cherry Hill. It is owned and occupied by R. Waters, Esq. Alford sympathized in religious views with his neighbor Scruggs, and with him was subjected to censure, and disarmed by order of the General Court.
He sold his lands to Henry Herrick, and left the jurisdiction. One of the most enlightened, and perhaps most accomplished, men among the first inhabitants of Salem Village, was Townsend Bishop. He was admitted a freeman in The next year, he appears on the list of members of the Salem Church. He was one Page In , as his attention had been led to the subject, he conceived doubts in reference to infant baptism; and it was noticed that he did not bring forward a child, recently born, to the rite.
Although himself on the bench, and ever before the object of popular favor and public honors, he was at once brought up, and handed over for discipline. The next year, he sold his estates, and probably removed elsewhere. He appears no more in our annals. Where he went, I have not been able to learn. It is to be hoped that he found somewhere a more congenial and tolerant abode. It is evident that he could not breathe in an atmosphere of bigotry; and it was difficult to find one free from the miasma in those days.
Five of the most valuable of the first settlers of the village — Weston, Waterman, Seruggs, Alford, and Bishop — were thus early driven into exile, or subdued to silence, by the stern policy on which the colony was founded. It is an error to characterize this as religious bigotry. It was not so much a theological as a political persecution.
Its apparent form was in reference to tenets of faith, but the policy was deeper than this. Any attempt to make opposition to the existing administration was treated with equal severity, whatever might be the subject on which it ventured to display itself. Their resolve was inexorable not to allow the mother-country, or the whole outside world combined, to interfere with them.
And it was equally inexorable not to suffer dissent or any discordant element to get foothold among them. Sir Christopher Gardner's rank and title could not save him: he was not of the sort they wanted, and they shipped him back. Roger Williams's virtues, learning, apostolic piety, could not save him; and they drove him into a wintry wilderness, hunting him beyond their borders.
It was not so much a question whether Baptists, Antinomians, or Quakers were right or wrong, as a preformed determination not to have any dissentients of any description among them. They had sacrificed all to find and to make a country for themselves, and they meant to keep it to themselves.
They had gone out of everybody else's way, and they did not mean to let anybody else come into their way. All children should be fed, though they have different faces and shapes: unity, not uniformity, is the Christian word. They thought uniformity the only basis of unity. They meant to make and to keep this a country after their own pattern, a Congregational, Puritan, Cambridge Page The time has not yet come when we can lift up clean hands against them. Two successive chief-magistrates of the United States have opened the door and signified to one-eighth part of our whole people, that it will be best for them to walk out.
So long as the doctrine is maintained that this is the white man's country, or any man's, or any class or kind of men's country, it becomes us to close our lips against denunciation of the Fathers of New England because they tried to keep the country to themselves. The sentiment or notion on which they acted, in whatever form it appears, however high the station from which it emanates, or however long it lasts in the world, is equally false and detestable in all its shapes.
The only consistent or solid foundation on which a republic or a church can be built, is an absolute level, with no enclosures and no exclusion. Townsend Bishop's grant of three hundred acres was made on the 16th of January, When he sold it, Oct. A large force must have been put and kept upon it, from the first, to have produced such results in so short a time. Orchards had been planted. The manner in which the grounds were laid out is still indicated by embankments, with artificial slopes and roadways, which exhibit the fine taste of the proprietor, and must have required a large expenditure of money and labor.
Although the estate has always been in the hands of owners competent to take care of it and keep it in good preservation, none but the original proprietor would have been likely to have made the outlay apparent on its face, on the plan adopted. The mansion in which he resided stands to. Its front, facing the south, has apparently been widened, at some remote intermediate date since its original erection, by a slight extension on the western end, beyond the porch.
It has been otherwise, perhaps, somewhat altered in the course of time by repairs; but its general aspect, as exhibited in the frontispiece of this volume, and its original strongly compacted and imperishable frame, remain. No saw was used in shaping its timbers; they were all hewn, by the broad-axe, of the most durable oak: they are massive, and rendered by time as hard to penetrate almost as iron. The walls and stairway of the cellar, the entrance to which is seen by the side of the porch, constructed of such stones as could be gathered on the surface of a new country, bear the marks of great antiquity.
A long, low kitchen, with a stud of scarcely Page The rooms of the main house were of considerably higher stud. The old roadway, the outlines of which still remain, approached the house from the east, came up to its north-east corner, wound round its front, and continued from its north-west corner, on a track still visible, over a brook and through the apple-orchard planted by Bishop, to the point where the burial-ground of the village now is; and so on towards the lands then occupied by Richard Hutchinson, also to the lands afterwards owned by Nathaniel Ingersol, towards Beaver Dam, and the first settlements in that direction and to the westward.
In general it may be said, that the structural proportions and internal arrangements of the house, taken in its relations to the vestiges and indications on the face of the grounds, show that it is coeval with the first occupancy of the farm. But we do not depend, in this case, upon conjectural considerations, or on mere tradition, which, on such a point, is not always reliable. It happens to be demonstrated, that this is the veritable house built and occupied by Townsend Bishop, in , by a singular and irrefragable chain of specific proof.
A protracted land suit, hereafter to be described, gave rise to a great mass of papers, which are preserved in the files of the county courts and the State Department; among them are several plots made by surveyors, and adduced in evidence by the parties. Not only the locality but a diagram of the house, as then standing, are given.
The spot on which it stood is shown. Having, as occasion required, been seasonably repaired, it is as strong and good a house to-day as can be found. Its original timbers, if kept dry and well aired, are beyond decay; and it may stand, a useful, eligible, and comely residence, through a future as long as the past. It may be doubted whether any dwelling-house now in use in this country can be carried back, by any thing like a similar strength of evidence, to an equal antiquity.
Its site, in reference to the surrounding landscape, was well chosen. Here its hospitable and distinguished first proprietor lived, in the interims of his public and official service, in peace and tranquillity, until ferreted out by the intrusive spirit of an intolerant age. In the course of a mysterious providence, this venerable mansion was destined to be rendered memorable Page As that scene cannot otherwise be comprehended in all the elements that led to it, it is necessary to give the intermediate history of the Townsend Bishop farm and mansion.
In , Bishop sold it to Henry Chickering, who seems to have been residing for some time in Salem, and to whom, in January, , a grant of land had been made by the town. He continued to own it until the 4th of October, ; although he does not appear to have resided on the farm long, as he soon removed to Dedham, from which place he was deputy to the General Court in , and several years afterwards. He sold the farm at the above-mentioned date to Governor Endicott for one hundred and sixty pounds. In , John Endiott, Jr.
How long, or how much of the time, the young couple lived on the estate, is not known. Reviewed by Himself —- "Esquire" , was published in Shortly after Neal traveled to England in , he met Jeremy Bentham, the philosopher, who hired him as his secretary. While in England, Neal wrote a series of five articles on American writers for Blackwood's Magazine. This is noteworthy, as the Blackwood editors had no use for American writers or writing.
Although riddled with error, the series is considered the first effort to chronicle and explain American literature and was reprinted as American Writers in When Neal returned to Portland in , he opened the city's first gymnasium as he had become a strong proponent of physical well being as a means of advancing social and political well being. Neal, who was an early advocate for equal rights for minorities and women, severed his relationship with the gym when the majority of members would not support his nomination of African-Americans for membership.
He established gymnasiums in other Maine cities and taught boxing and bowling at Bowdoin College. In addition to his writing, Neal was also known as an editor, architect, lawyer, historian, and women's rights advocate. He wrote numerous magazine articles on American artists and is considered one of the United States' first major art critics. Although a strong opponent of dueling, he was not against using his fist or his physical strength to challenge an opponent. One of the more frequently cited Neal stories is one in which he, at 79 years old, is noted for throwing a defiant cigar-smoking passenger off a street car.
George Bancroft Griffith ed. John Neal Perspectives in American Literature. John Neal Wikipedia. John Neal PictureHistory. Maxwell, From the Portico Press, Geo. Grater, Printer, pseud. Jehu O'Cataract [ online text ]. John Neal, Letters to Edgar A. Robinson, 2 vols.
Bain introd. Blackwood, 3 vols. Jones,
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