I \' I I ji //l
THE YOUNG AMERICAN'S LIBRARY.
PHILADELPHIA IN 1776.
HENRY C. WATSON,
AUTHOR OF TH COAMP-FIRES O, TH AMBJRICAN RYTOLiUTMIO,
"TH YATAKR TRA-PARTT, OR BOSTON I 1778," m39. UTO.
LINDSAY AND BLAKISTON.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by
LINDSAY AND BLAKISTON,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
To awaken in the minds of all Americans
that veneration of the patriots and heroes
of the War of Independence, and that emula-
tion of their noble example which is so neces-
sary to the maintenance of our liberties, are the
objects of this little work. Every day's de-
velopments illustrate the importance of these
objects. In the enjoyment of the freedom and
prosperity of our country, we are apt to under-
rate the means by which that enjoyment was
secured to us, and to forget the men who
worked for that end. A knowledge of the
toils and sufferings of the noble-hearted fathers
of the Revolution is the best preventative,
or curative, for this "falling off." War,
clothed as it is, with horrors, is to be con-
demned, and the spirit which leads to it should
be driven from the breasts of men. But gene-
rous devotion, strength of resolution, and far-
reaching skill, are things to be commended and
imitated wherever displayed. In these pages,
will be found stories of the chief men of the
evolution, so connected, by the manner in
which they are narrated, as to give a general
interest to them-" The Old Bell of Indepen-
dence" being the rallying point of the veteran
STORY OF GENERAL WASHINGTON
THE SPY'S FATE .
STORY OF THE SERMON .
STORY OF THE PRAYER. .
STORY OF LYDIA DARRAGH .
THE DEAD MAN'S LAKE. .
THE HALF-BREED .
DEATH OF COLONEL LOVELACE .
MURDER OF MISS McCREA.
DEFENCE OF SHELL'S BLOCK-HOUSE
BATES'S REVENGE .
8TORY OF GENERAL WAYNE .
THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES 88
THE TORY'S CONVERSION .. .... 106
THE TIMELY RESCUE 120
THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN.. 183
THE BATTLE OF THE KEGS 148
ARNOLD'S TREASON 152
CAPTURE OF GENERAL PRESCOTT 16
JONATHAN RILEY AND FRANK LILLY. 170
MASSACRE OF WYOMING 176
STORY OF THE DAUPHIN'S BIRTHDAY 186
IT was a season of unparalleled enthusiasm and re-
joicing, when General Lafayette, the friend and sup-
porter of American Independence, responded to the
wishes of the people of the United States, and came to
see their prosperity, and to hear their expressions of
gratitude. The national heart beat joyfully in anticipa-
tion; and one long, loud, and free shout of welcome
was heard throughout the land.
Arriving at New York in August, 1824, General
Lafayette journeyed through the Eastern States, receiv-
ing such tokens of affection as the people had extended
to no other man except Washington, and then returned
southward. On the 28th of September, he entered
Philadelphia, the birth-place of the Declaration of In-
dependence, the greater part of the population coming
out to receive and welcome him. A large procession
was formed, and thirteen triumphal arches erected in the
principal streets through which the procession passed.
After General Lafayette himself, the most remarkable
objects in the procession were four large open cars,
resembling tents, each containing forty veterans of the
struggle for independence. No one could, without
emotion, behold these winter-locked"patriots, whose
eyes, dimmed by age, poured forth tears of joy at their
unexpected happiness in once more meeting an old
commander, and joining in the expressions of gratitude
After passing through the principal streets, General
Lafayette was conducted into the hall of the State-
House, where the old Continental Congress had assem-
bled, and where the immortal Declaration of Inde-
pendence was signed. Here the nation's guest was
received formally on behalf of the citizens by the mayor,
and then the people were admitted to take him by the
hand. At night there was a splendid illumination; and
crowds of people traversed the streets, singing and cele-
brating the exploits of the champion of liberty and the
fnend of America.
On one of the days succeeding Lafayette's grand
entry into the city, he received, in the Hall of Indepen-
dence, the veteran soldiers of the Revolution who had
come to the city, and those who were residents. One
by one these feeble old men came up and took the
General by the hand, and to each he had some reminis-
cence to recall, or some congratulation to offer. Heroes
of Brandywine, Germantown, Trenton, Princeton, Mon-
mouth, and other fields, were there; some with scars to
show, and all much suffering to relate. The old patriotic
fire was kindled in their breasts, and beamed from their
furrowed countenances, as memory flew back to the time
that proved their truth and love of liberty. One had
been under the command of the fiery Wayne, and shared
his dangers with a spirit as dauntless; another had
served with the cool and skilful Greene, and loved to
recall some exploit in which the Quaker general had
displayed his genius; another had followed the lead of
Lafayette himself, when a mere youth, at Brandywine:
everything conspired to render this interview of the
General and the veteran soldiers as touching and as in-
teresting as any recorded by history, or invented by
After.the reception of the veterans, one of them pro-
posed to go up into the belfry, and see the old bell
which proclaimed liberty to all the land, and to all the
nations thereof." Lafayette and a few others accom-
panied the proposal by expressing a wish to see that
interesting relic. With great difficulty, some of the old
men were conducted up to the belfry, and there they
beheld the bell still swinging. Lafayette was much
gratified at the sight, as it awakened his old enthusiasm
to think of the period when John Adams and his bold
brother patriots dared to assert the principles of civil
liberty, and to proclaim the independence of their couln
try. Old John Harmar, one of the. veteran soldiers who
had been in Philadelphia when the Declaration was
proclaimed, and who again shook hands with his old
brothers in arms, gave vent to his thoughts and feelings
as he stood looking at the bell.
"Ah! that's the trumpet that told the Britishers a
tale of vengeance! My memory 's not so bad but I can
recollect the day that old bell was rung for independence!
This city presented a very different appearance in those
days. It was a small town. Every body was expecting'
that the king's troops would be coming' here soon, and
would sack and bur the place: but the largest number
of us were patriots, and knew the king was a tyrant;
and so we did n't care much whether they came or not.
How the people did crowd around this State-House on
the day the Declaration was proclaimed! Bells were
ringing all over town, and guns were fired; but above
'em all could be heard the heavy, deep sound of this old
bell, that rang as if it meant something! Ah! them
was great times."
As old Harmar concluded these remarks, the old men
standing near the bell nodded approvingly, and some
echoed, Them was great times!" in a tone which in-
dicated that memory was endeavoring to conjure back
the time of which they spoke. They then slowly turned
to descend. Lafayette had preceded them with his few
friends. Stop!" said old Harmar; Wilson, Morton,
Smith, and you, Higgins, my son wants you to come
home with me, and take dinner at his house. Come; I
want to have some chat with you over old doings. I
may never see you again after you leave Philadelphia."
The invitation, cordially given, was cordially accepted,
and the party of old friends descended the stairs, and.
arriving at the door, were assisted by the cheering crowd
to get into their carriage, which then drove towards the
residence of old Harmar's son. At that place we shall
consider them as having arrived, and, after much wel-
coming, introducing, and other preparatory ceremonies,
as seated at a long, well-supplied table, set in a large
and pleasant dining-hall. Young Harmar, his wife, and
the four children, were also accommodated at the same
table, and a scene of conviviality and pleasure was pre-
sented such as is not often witnessed. The old men
were very communicative and good-humored; and
young Harmar and his family were free of questions
concerning the great scenes through which they had
passed. But we will let the company speak for them-
STORY OF GENERAL WASHINGTON.
"GRATHFATHE," said Thomas Jefferson Harmar,
"won't you tell us something about General Wash-
I could tell you many a thing about that man, my
child," replied old Harmar, but I suppose people know
everything concerning him by this time. You see, these
history writers go about hunting up every incident relat-
ing to the war, now, and after a while they 'll know
more about it--or say they do--than the men who
were actors in it."
"That 's not improbable," said young Harmar.
"These historians may not know as much of the real
spirit of the people at that period, but that they should
be better acquainted with the mass of facts relating to
battles and to political affairs is perfectly natural." The
old man demurred, however, and mumbled over, that
nobody could know the real state of things who was not
living among them at the time.
"But the little boy wants to hear a story about
Washington," said Wilson. "Can't you tell him
something about the man? I think I could. Any one
who wants to appreciate the character of Washington,
and the extent of his services during the Revolution,
should know the history of the campaign of 1776, when
every body was desponding, and thinking of giving up
the good cause. I tell you, if Washington had not been
superior to all other men, that cause must have sunk
"You say well," said Smith. "We, who were at
Valley Forge, know something of his character."
"I remember an incident," said Wilson, "that will
give you some idea, Mrs. Harmar, of the heart George
Washington had in his bosom. I suppose Mr. Harmar
has told you something of the sufferings of our men
during the winter we lay at Valley Forge. It was a
terrible season. It 's hard to give a faint idea of it in
words; but you may imagine a party of men, with
ragged clothes and no shoes, huddled around a fire in a
log hut-the snow about two feet deep on the ground,
and the wind driving fierce and bitter through the chinks
of the rude hovel. Many of the men had their feet
frost-bitten, and there were no remedies to be had, like
there is now-a-days. The sentinels suffered terribly, and
looked more like ghosts than men, as they paced up and
down before the lines of huts."
I wonder the men did n't all desert," remarked
Mrs. Harmar. "They must have been uncommon
They were uncommon men, or, at least, they suf-
fered in an uncommon cause," replied Wilson. But
about General Washington. He saw how the men were
situated, and, I really believe, his heart bled for them.
He would write to Congress of the state of affairs, and
entreat that body to procure supplies; but, you see,
Congress had n't the power to comply. All it could do
was to call on the States, and await the action of their
Washington's head-quarters was near the camp, and
lie often came over to see the poor fellows, and to try to
soothe and comfort them; and, I tell you, the men loved
that man as if he had been their father, and would rather
have died with him than have lived in luxury with the
I recollect a scene I beheld in the next hut to the
one in which I messed. An old friend, named Josiah
Jones, was dying. He was lying on a scant straw bed,
with nothing but rags to cover him. He had been sick
for several days, but wouldn't go under the doctor's
hands, as he always said it was like going into battle,
certain of being killed. One day, when we had no no-
tion of anything of the kind, Josiah called out to us, as
we sat talking near his bed, that he was dying, and
wanted us to pray for him. We were all anxious to do
anything for the man, for we loved him as a brother;
but as for praying, we did n't exactly know how to go
about it. To get clear of the service, I ran to obtain the
poor fellow a drink of water to moisten his parched
"While the rest were standing about, not knowing
what to do, some one heard the voice of General Wash-
ington in the next hut, where he was comforting some
poor wretches who had their feet almost frozen off. Di-
rectly, he came to our door, and one of the men went
and told him the state of things. Now, you see, a
commander-in-chief might have been justified in being
angry that the regulations for the sick had been diso-
beyed, and have turned away; but he was a nobler sort
of man than could do that. He entered the hut, and
went up to poor Josiah, and asked him how he was.
Josiah told him that he felt as if he was dying, and
wanted some one to pray for him. Washington saw that
a doctor could do the man no good, and he knelt on the
ground by him and prayed. We all knelt down too;
we could n't help it. An old comrade was dying, away
from his home and friends, and there was our general
kneeling by him, with his face turned towards heaven,
looking, I thought, like an angel's. Well, he prayed
for Heaven to have mercy on the dying man's soul; to
pardon his sins; and to take him to Himself: and then
he prayed for us all. Before the prayer was concluded,
Josiah's spirit had fled, and his body was cold and stiff.
Washington felt the brow of the poor fellow, and, seeing
that his life was out, gave the men directions how to
dispose of the corpse, and then left us to visit the other
parts of the camp."
That was, indeed, noble conduct," said young Har-
mar. "Did he ever speak to you afterwards about
violating the regulations of the army ?"
No," replied Wilson. He knew that strict disci-
pline could not be, and should not have been maintained
in that camp. He was satisfied if we were true to the
cause amid all our sufferings."
Praying at the death-bed of a private," mused Smith
aloud. Well, I might have conjectured what he would
WASHINGTON'S PRAYER FOR THE DYING SOLDIER.
GENERAL WASHINGTON. 23
do in such a case, from what I saw of him. I wonder
if history ever spoke of a greater and better man ?"
Young Mr. Harmar here felt inclined to launch out
into an elaborate panegyric on the character of Wash-
ington, but reflected that it might be out of place, and
therefore contented himself with remarking, We shall
ne'er look upon his like again."
"He was a dear, good man," remarked Mrs. Harmar.
"Yes," said old Harmar, "General Washington was
the main pillar of the Revolution. As a general, he was
vigilant and skilful; but if he had not been anything
more, we might have been defeated and crushed by the
enemy. He had the love and confidence of the men,
on account of his character as a man, and that enabled
him to remain firm and full of hope when his countrymen
saw nothing but a gloomy prospect."
Now I'll tell you a story that I have just called to
mind," said old Harmar. "It's of a very different
character, though, from the story of Washington. It's
about a spy's fate."
Where was the scene of it ?" inquired Mrs. Harmar.
Out here on the SchuylkilPs banks, just after the
British took possession of this city," replied old Harmar.
"There was a man named James Sykes, who had a
lime-kiln on the east bank of the river, and was manu-
facturing lime pretty extensively when the enemy came
to this city. While Congress was sitting here, Sykes
always professed to be a warm friend to the colonial
cause; but there was always something suspicious about
his movements, and his friends and neighbours did not
put much faith in his professions. He would occasion-
ally be out very late at night, and sometimes be gone
from home for a week, and give very vague accounts of
the business which had occupied him during his absence.
Some of his neighbours suspected that he was acting as
one of Sir William Howe's spies, but they could never
get any positive proof of their suspicions.
THE SPY'S FArB.
"At length the enemy took possession of this city,
and then Sykes began to show that he was not such a
very warm friend of the right side. He went to the
head-quarters of the British general frequently, and
seemed to be on the best terms with the enemy. Well,
it happened that one of his old neighbors, named Jones,
was the captain of one of the companies of our line;
and he, somehow or other, obtained proof that Sykes
was acting as a spy for the enemy. He informed Gen-
eral Wayne of the fact, and immediately proposed that
he should be allowed to attempt his capture. Wayne
consented, and Captain Jones set about preparing for
the enterprise. Sykes was usually out at his lime-kiln,
with some of his men, during the morning, and, as the
guilty are ever suspicious, he increased the number of
his assistants, to ensure himself against attack. Captain
Jones took only twenty men from his company, and left
our camp just before dark. The business was full of
danger. The place where Jones expected to capture
the spy was within a mile of a British out-post; and the
greatest secrecy and rapidity of movement was necessary
to prevent surprise by the enemy's scouting parties.
"About daylight, Jones and his party reached the
wood near Sykes' lime-kiln, and halted to reconnoitre.
Sykes and four of his men were at work at that early
hour. The lime was burning, and some of the men
were engaged in loading and unloading two carts which
stood near the kiln. Captain Jones' plan was quickly
formed. He sent one half his party around to cut off
the escape of Sykes towards the city, and when he
thought they had reached a favorable position sallied
THE SPY'S FATE.
out towards the kiln. When he was about half-way to
it, Sykes discovered the party, and, shouting to his men
to follow, ran along the bank of the river to escape; but
the other party cut off retreat, and Jones coming up
rapidly, Sykes and his men were taken. Jones did not
intend to detain the workmen any longer than till he got
out of the reach of the British, when he would not have
cared for their giving the alarm. Sykes seemed to be
very anxious to know why he was arrested in that man-
ner; but Jones simply told him he would know when
they got him to the American camp; and that, if Sykes
had not thought of a reason for his arrest, he would not
have attempted to run away. Well, the Americans
hurried the prisoners towards the wood, but Jones soon
described a large party of British coming over a neigh-
boring hill, and knew that his chance was a desperate
one. Sykes also discovered the party of red-coats, and
struggled hard to make his escape from the Americans.
Jones wanted to bring him alive to the American camp,
or he would have shot him down at once. Suddenly,
Sykes broke away from his captors, and ran towards the
lime-kiln. Several muskets were discharged, but all
missed him. Then one of the privates, named Janvers,
a daring fellow, rushed after the prisoner, and caught
him just as he reached the kiln. There a fierce struggle
ensued; but Sykes was cut in the shoulder, and, in at-
tempting to throw his antagonist into the hot lime and
fire, was hurled into it himself. Then Janvers hurried
to the woods after his brave comrades. The British
party was near enough to see the struggle at the lime-
kiln, and came on rapidly in pursuit of our men. A
THE SPY'S FATE.
few of the red-coats were ordered to examine the lime-
kiln, to see if Sykes was alive and concealed; and they
found his body burned almost to a crisp."
"Horrible !" exclaimed Mrs. Harmar.
"Well," continued Old Harmar, there was a long
and doubtful race between the two parties; but Jones
succeeded in getting within the lines of the Americans
without losing a man, and with his four prisoners in safe
custody. These fellows were examined, but no evidence
of their being spies and confidants of Sykes could be
produced, and they were discharged with the promise
of a terrible punishment if they were detected tampering
with the enemy."
Captain Jones was a daring fellow to venture so near
the British lines, and with such a small party," observed
"In such an attempt, a small party was preferable.
Its success depended upon secrecy and quickness of
movements," said Wilson.
It was a horrible death," remarked young Harmar.
"Sykes, however, courted it by treachery to his coun-
STORY OF THE SERMON.
( I BELIEVE this is the first time I 've seen you since
the disbanding of the army, Morton," said Wilson.
"Time has been rather severe on us both since that
Oh, we can't complain," replied Morton. "We
can 't complain. I never grumble at my age."
Some men would have considered themselves fortu-
nate to have seen what you have seen," said young
Harmar. "I think I could bear your years, to have
"So do I," added Mrs. Harmar. She always agreed
with her husband in whatever he asserted.
Let me see," said old Harmar; "where did I first
meet you, Higgins? Oh! was n't it just before the
battle of Brandywine you joined the Pennsylvania line ?"
No," answered Smith for Higgins, who, just then,
was endeavoring to make up for his want of teeth by
the vigorous exertions of his jaws. He joined at the
same time I did, before the battle of Germantown."
"Yes, just before the battle of Germantown," added
Higgins. "I was not at Brandywine."
STORY OF THE SERMON.
"You was n't ? Then you missed seeing us retreat,"
said old Harmar. "But we did considerable fighting ,
howsomever. Mad Anthony was there, and he used to
fight, you know at least the enemy thought so. I
shall never forget the night before that battle."
Why ?" asked Higgins. "Was you on the watch ?"
"' No, not on that account; something very different.
There was a sermon preached on the evening' before that
battle, such as can only be heard once."
"A sermon?" enquired Wilson.
Yes; a sermon preached for our side by the Rev.
Joab Prout. I told my son there about it, and he wrote
it into a beautiful sketch for one of the papers. He's
got a knack of words, and can tell about it much better
than I can. Tell them about it, Jackson, just as you
wrote it," said old Harmar.
Certainly," replied young Harmar. "If I can
Do," said Mrs. Harmer; and Oh! do," added the
children; and Mr. Jackson Harmar did as follows:-
"All day long, on the tenth of September, 1777,
both armies were in the vicinity of each other, and fre-
quent and desperate skirmishes took place between ad-
vanced parties, without bringing on a general action.
At length, as the day closed, both armies encamped
within sight of each other, anxiously awaiting the mor-
row, to decide the fate of the devoted city,
The Americans lay behind Chadd's Ford, with the
shallow waters of the Brandywine between them and
their opponents; the line extending two miles along that
STORY OF THE SERMON.
"The sun was just sinking behind the dark hills of
the west, gilding the fading heavens with an autumnal
brightness, and shedding a lurid glare upon the already
drooping and discolored foliage of the surrounding
forests. It was an hour of solemn calm. The cool
evening breezes stole softly through the air, as if un-
willing to disturb the repose of all around. The crystal
waters of the creek murmured gently in their narrow
bed, and the national standard flapped lazily from the
tall flag-staff on its banks.
In the American camp, interspersed between groups
of tents and stacks of arms, might be seen little knots
of weary soldiers seated on the ground, resting from the
fatigues of the day, and talking in a low but animated
tone of the coming contest.
Suddenly the tattoo sounded,- not loud and shrill,
as on ordinary occasions, but in a subdued and cautious
manner, as if fearful of being heard by the British, whose
white tents might be seen in the distance. Obedient to
the signal, the greater part of the soldiers assembled in
front of the marquee of the commander, near the centre
of the encampment.
"All was hushed in expectation: soon the tall form
of Washington, wrapped in his military cloak, and at
tended by a large body of officers, was seen advancing
in their midst. All present respectfully saluted them, to
which they bowed courteously, and then took their seats
upon camp-stools set for them by a servant. The vene-
rable Joab Prout, chaplain of the Pennsylvania line, then
stood upon the stump of a tree, and commanded silence
for it was the hour of prayer.
STORY OF THE SERMON.
"Here was a scene of moral grandeur unsurpassed
by anything in the annals of war. There, on that still,
cool evening, when the sky was darkening into night,
were assembled some eight thousand men; very many
of whom would never look upon the glorious sunset
again. From the humble cottages in the quiet valley of
the Connecticut-from the statelier mansions of the sunny
South-at the call of liberty, they had rushed to the tented
field; and now, on the eve of battle, as brethren in heart
and deed, had met together to implore the God of
battles to smile upon their noble cause.
"Oh! it was a thrilling and an august sight! The
mild and dignified Washington looked around him with
proud emotion, and turned enquiringly to the fair young
stranger, Lafayette, beside him, as if to ask, 'Can such
men as these be vanquished ?'
The bold and fearless Wayne was there; the un-
daunted Pulaski, and the whole-hearted Kosciusko; and
they bowed their heads in reverence to Him in whose
presence they were worshipping.
"Never beneath the vaulted dome of the stately
temple-never from the lips of the eloquent divine-was
seen such a congregation, or was heard such a discourse,
as on that September evening, from that humble old man,
with his grey locks streaming in the wind.
With a firm, clear voice, that re-echoed to the dis-
tant hills, he announced his text:--
'They that take the sword shall perish by the sword.'
Then, straightening himself to his full height, and his eye
32 STORY OF THE SERMON.
oeaming with a holy feeling inspired by the time and
place, he commenced:-
" 'They that take the sword shall perish by the sword.'
'Soldiers and Countrymen:
We have met this evening perhaps for the last
time. We have shared the toil of the march, the peril
of the fight, the dismay of the retreat alike we have
endured cold and hunger, the contumely of the internal
foe, and outrage of the foreign oppressor. We have
sat, night after.night, beside the same camp-fire, shared
the same rough soldiers' fare; we have together heard
the roll of the reveille, which called us to duty, or the
beat of the tattoo, which gave the signal for the hardy
sleep of the soldier, with the earth for his bed, the knap-
sack for his pillow.
'And now, soldiers and brethren, we have met in a
peaceful valley, on the eve of battle, while the sunlight
is dying away behind yonder heights-the sunlight that,
to-morrow morn, will glimmer on scenes of blood. We
have met, amid the whitening tents of our encampment,
-in times of terror and of gloom have we gathered to-
gether God grant it may not be for the last time!
'It is a solemn moment. Brethren, does not the
solemn voice of nature seem to echo the sympathies of
the hour? The flag of our country droops heavily from
yonder staff; the breeze has died away along the green
plain of Chadd's Ford -the plain that spreads before
us, glistening in the sunlight; the heights of the Brandy-
wine arise gloomy and grand beyond the waters of
STORY OF THE SERMON.
yonder stream, and all nature holds a pause of solemn
silence, on the eve of the uproar and bloodshed and
strife of to-morrow.'
"The propriety of this language was manifest.
Breathless attention was pictured upon every counte-
nance, and the smallest whisper could be distinctly
heard. Pausing a moment, as if running back, in his
mind's eye, over the eventful past, he again repeated his
They that take the sword shall perish by the sword.'
'And have they not taken the sword?
'Let the desolated plain, the blood-soddened valley,
the burnt farm-house, blackening in the sun, the sacked
village, and the ravaged town, answer; let the whitening
bones of the butchered farmer, strewn along the fields
of his homestead, answer; let the starving mother, with
the babe clinging to the withered breast, that can afford
no sustenance, let her answer; with the death-rattle
mingling with the murmuring tones that mark the last
struggle for life -let the dying mother and her babe
'It was but a day past and our land slept in peace.
War was not here wrong was not here. Fraud, and
wo, and misery, and want, dwelt not among us. From
the eternal solitude of the green woods arose the blue
smoke of the settler's cabin, and golden fields of corn
looked forth from amid the waste of the wilderness, and
the glad music of human voices awoke the silence of the
Now! God of mercy, behold the change! Under
84 STORY OF THE SERMON.
the shadow of a pretext-under the sanctity of the name
of God- invoking the Redeemer to their aid, do these
foreign hirelings slay our people! They throng our
towns; they darken our plains; and now they encom-
pass our posts on the lonely plain of Chadd's Ford.'
The effect was electric. The keen eye of the in-
trepid Wayne flashed fire. The neighboring sentinels,
who had paused to listen, quickened their pace, with a
proud tread and a nervous feeling, impatient for ven-
geance on the vandal foe.
"Gathering strength once more, he checked the
choking sensations his own recital had caused, and
"' They that take the sword shall perish by the sword.'
'Brethren, think me not unworthy of belief, when I
tell you that the doom of the Britisher is near! Think
me not vain, when I tell you that beyond the cloud that
now enshrouds us, I see gathering, thick and fast, the
darker cloud and the blacker storm of a Divine retribu-
They may conquer us on the morrow! Might and
wrong may prevail, and we may be driven from this
field-but the hour of God's own vengeance will surely
'Ay, if in the vast solitudes of eternal space, if in the
heart of the boundless universe, there throbs the being
of an awful God, quick to avenge, and sure to punish
guilt, then will the man, George of Brunswick, called
king, feel in his brain and in his heart the vengeance of
the Eternal Jehovah! A blight will be upon his life -
a withered brain, an accurst intellect; a blight will be
STORY OF THE SERMON.
upon his children, and on his people. Great God! how
dread the punishment!
'A crowded populace, peopling the dense towns
where the man of money thrives, while the labourer
starves; want striding among the people in all its forms
of terror; an ignorant and God-defying priesthood
chuckling over the miseries of millions; a proud and
merciless nobility adding wrong to wrong, and heaping
insult upon robbery and fraud; royalty corrupt to the
very heart; aristocracy rotten to the core; crime and
want linked hand in hand, and tempting men to deeds
of woe and death these are a part of the doom and
the retribution that shall come upon the English throne
and the English people!'
"This was pronounced with a voice of such power,
that its tones might have reached almost to the Briton's
camp, and struck upon the ear of Howe as the prophetic
inspiration of one whose keen eye had read from the
dark tablets of futurity.
Looking around upon the officers, he perceived that
Washington and Lafayette had half risen from their
seats, and were gazing spell-bound at him, as if to drink
in every word he uttered.
Taking advantage of the pervading feeling, he went
'Soldiers -I look around upon your familiar faces
with a strange interest! To-morrow morning we will
all go forth to battle- for need I tell you that your un-
worthy minister will march with you, invoking God's aid
in the fight? -we will march forth to battle! Need I
886 STORY OF THE SERMON.
exhort you to fight the good fight, to fight for your home-
steads, and for your wives and children?
'My friends, I might urge you to fight, by the galling
memories of British wrong! Walton I might tell you
of your father butchered in the silence of midnight on
the plains of Trenton; I might picture his grey hairs
dabbled in blood; I might ring his death-shriek in
your ears. Shelmire I might tell you of a mother
butchered, and a sister outraged-the lonely farm-house,
the night assault, the roof in flames, the shouts of the
troopers, as they despatch their victim, the cries for
mercy, the pleadings of innocence for pity. I might
paint this all again, in the terrible colors of the vivid
reality, if I thought your courage needed such wild ex-
'But I know you are strong in the might of the
Lord. You will forth to battle on the morrow with light
hearts and determined spirits, though the solemn duty-
the duty of avenging the dead may rest heavy on
'And in the hour of battle, when all around is dark-
ness, lit by the lurid cannon glare and the piercing
musket flash-when the wounded strew the ground, and
the dead litter your path-then remember, soldiers, that
God is with you. The eternal God fights for you--He
rides on the battle cloud, He sweeps onward with the
march of the hurricane charge God, the Awful and
the Infinite, fights for you, and you will triumph.'
"Roused by this manly and pathetic appeal, a low
murmur ran from man to man, as a heartfelt response;
STORY OF THE SERMON.
and the chieftains who were near the speaker, felt proud
and happy in the command of such true hearts and tried
blades. But darkness was enveloping all, and he has-
tened to conclude.
They that take the sword shall perish by the sword.'
'You have taken the sword, but not in the spirit of
wrong and ravage. You have taken the sword for your
homes, for your wives, for your little ones. You have
taken the sword for truth, for justice and right, and to
you the promise is, Be of good cheer, for your foes have
taken the sword in defiance of all that man holds dear,
in blasphemy of God they shall perish by the sword.
'And now, brethren and soldiers, I bid you all fare-
well. Many of us may fall in the. fight of to-morrow-
God rest the souls of the fallen; many of us may live
to tell the story of the fight of to-morrow; and, in the
memory of all, will ever rest and linger the quiet scene
of this autumnal night.
Solemn twilight advances over the valley; the woods
on the opposite heights fling their long shadows over the
green of the meadow; around us are the tents of the
continental host, the suppressed bustle of the camp,
the hurried tramp of the soldiers to and fro among the
tents, the stillness and silence that marks the eve of
'When we meet again, may the long shadows of twi-
light be flung over a peaceful land.
'God in heaven grant it.'
"And now the last ray of lingering light had de-
parted, and they were left in darkness. Presuming it
STORY OF THE SERMON.
proper to dismiss his auditors, he proposed a parting
prayer, and immediately every head was uncovered and
bowed in reverence, while, with outstretched hands, that
sincere old man in the homespun garb thus addressed
the throne of grace.
Great Father, we bow before thee. We *nvoke
thy blessing, we deprecate thy wrath, we return thee
thanks for the past, we ask thy aid for the future. For
we are in times of trouble, oh, Lord! and sore beset by
foes, merciless and unpitying; the sword gleams over
our land, and the dust of the soil is dampened with the
blood of our neighbors and friends.
'Oh! God of mercy, we pray thy blessing on the
American arms. Make the man of our hearts strong in
thy wisdom; bless, we beseech, with renewed life and
strength, our hope and thy instrument, even GEORGE
WASHINGTON. Shower thy counsels on the honorable,
the Continental Congress. Visit the tents of our host;
comfort the soldier in his wounds and afflictions; nerve
him for the hour of fight; prepare him for the hour of
'And in the hour of defeat, oh, God of Hosts, do
thou be our stay; and in the hour of triumph be thou
'Teach us to be merciful. Though the memory of
galling wrongs be at our hearts, knocking for admittance,
that they may fill us with desires for revenge, yet let us,
oh, Lord, spare the vanquished, though they nevei
spared us in their hour of butchery and bloodshed.
And, in the hour of death, do thou guide us into the
STORY OF THE SERMON.
abode prepared for the blest; so shall we return thanks
unto thee, through Christ, our Redeemer.-GoD PROSPER
During the recital of this interesting and thrilling in-
cident of the Revolution, the veterans- even Higgins,
too -laid down their knives and forks, and listened as
if carried back to the memorable eve of the battle of
Brandywine, and filled with the hopes and fears of the
period. At its conclusion, they expressed their appro-
bation of the manner of the recital, and the beauty of
That minister was one of the kind that I like," said
Wilson. He could preach peace as long as peace was
wise, and buckle on his armor and fight when it became
his duty." /
Mr. Harmer handles his pen well," remarked Mor-
ton, but such an incident would make any pen write
well of itself. There 's fire in it."
"Yes, a whole heap of fire," put in Mrs. Harmar,
who thought she must make a remark, as she had been
quieting the children while the latter part of the sermon
and the remarks upon it were listened to by the others.
"But the Lord did n't assist us much in that next
day's battle," said old Harmar. We had hard fight-
ing, and then were compelled to retreat."
"It was all for the best," said Wilson. "We
should n't have known our enemies nor ourselves with-
out losing that battle. The harder the struggle for
liberty, the more we enjoy it when won."
That's true," said young Harmar, "The freedom
40 STORY OF THE SERMON.
dearest bought is highest prized, and Americans have
learned the value of that inestimable gem."
The dinner was, by this time, pretty well disposed
of, and the party adjourned to the large parlor, where
they were soon comfortable seated. Mrs. Harmar would
make one of the company, and the children would force
their way in to see and hear the sogers." The win-
dows were up, and the gentle breeze of summer blew
softly through the parlor, thus relieving the otherwise
But we must introduce the company to the reader.
Old Harmar was seated on one end of the sofa, with
one of the small children on his knee. He was a stout,
hearty-looking man of about seventy, with silvery hair,
and a face much embrowned by exposure and furrowed
by time. The general expression of his features was a
hearty good humor, as if perfectly satisfied with things
around. On the other end of the sofa sat Mr. Higgins,
a thin, small-featured, bald-headed man, looking much
older than old Mr. Harmar. On the opposite sofa sat
Mr. Morton and Mr. Wilson. The first was a large-
bodied, full-faced man, slightly bald, with a scar across
his forehead, from the right eye to the left side of his
head. His appearance bespoke an active life, and a
strong constitution; and his eye yet beamed with intel-
ligence. Mr. Wilson was evidently about seventy-five,
with a long, lank face, tall figure, and head scantily
covered with grey hair. Mr. Smith sat in an easy arm-
chair. His appearance was much the same as that of
Mr. Higgins, though his face expressed more intelli-
STORY OF THE SERMON.
gence. He had a troublesome cough, and was evidently
very weak. Mr. Jackson Harmar sat on a chair next to
his father. He was about thirty-five, rather short and
thin, with long brown hair, wild, blue eyes, in a fine
frenzy rolling," and a very literary appearance generally.
Mrs. Harmar sat near her husband, with two very mis-
chievous little boys, apparently about six and eight years
of age, by her side. She had a childish face, but
might have been thought pretty by a loving and indul-
STORY OF THE PRAYER.
THERE is only one other scene during the struggle
for our country's right," said young Harmar, "which I
would compare with the one I have just narrated; and
that is the scene in Congress -the old Continental Con-
gress- during the first prayer by the Rev. Mr. Duche."
SI 've heard something of that prayer," said Mor-
ton, "since the Revolution, but nothing th4l I could
An account of the scene is given by John Adams,
who was a chief actor in it," said young Harmar.
"Old John Adams?" enquired Higgins. "He was
the man! He was the Washington of our politics dur-
ing the war. He was the man!" and Higgins rubbed
his hands together.
Thomas Jefferson, take your foot off your brother's,
and quit pinching him," interrupted Mrs. Harmar.
I have Mr. Adams' account of that first prayer and
its effects," said young Harmar, "and here it is." So
saying, he pulled from his pocket a paper into which the
account had been copied, and read: -
STORY OF THE PRAYER.
"' When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made a
motion that it should be opened with prayer. It was
opposed by Mr. Jay, of New York, and Mr. Rut-
ledge, of South Carolina, because we were so di-
vided in our religious sentiments, some Episcopalians,
some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians,
and some Congregationalists, that we could not join in
the same act of worship. Mr. Samuel Adams arose and
said, 'that he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer
from any gentleman of piety, and who was, at the same
time, a friend of his country. He was a stranger in
Philadelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duche (Dushay
they pronounced it) deserved that character, and there-
fore he moved that Mr. Duche, an Episcopal clergyman,
might be desired to read prayers to the Congress to-
morrow morning.' The motion was seconded, and
passed in the affirmative.-Mr. Randolph, our President,
waited on Mr. Duche, and received for answer, that if
his health would permit he certainly would. Accord-
ingly, next morning he appeared with his clerk, and, in
his pontificals, read several prayers in the established
form, and then read the collect for the seventh day of
September, which was the thirty-fifth psalm. You must
remember, this was the next morning after we had heard
the rumor of the horrible cannonade of Boston. I
seemed as if Heaven had ordained that psalm to be read on
After this, Mr. Duche, unexpectedly to every body,
struck out into an extemporary prayer which filled the
bosom of every man present. I must confess I never
44 STORY OF THE PRAYER.
heard a better prayer, or one so well pronounced. Epis-
copalian as he is, Dr. Cooper himself never prayed with
such fervor, such correctness and pathos, and in language
so elegant and sublime, for America, for Congress,
for the province of Massachusetts Bay, especially the
town of Boston. It has had an excellent effect upon
every body here. I must beg you to read that psalm.
If there is any faith in the sortes Virgilianae, or sortes
Homericae, or especially the sortes Biblica, it would be
The thirty-fifth psalm was indeed appropriate to the
news received, and the exigencies of the times. It com-
mences : -
"'Plead my cause, 0 Lord, with them that fight
Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for
'Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against
them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy
"What a subject for contemplation does this picture
present. The forty-four members of the first Congress,
in their Hall, all bent before the mercy-seat, and asking
Him that their enemies 'might be as chaff before the
wind.' WASHINGTON was kneeling there; and Henry
and Randolph, and Rutledge, and Lee, and Jay; and
by their side there stood, bowed in reverence, the Puri-
tan patriots of New England, who, at that moment, had
reason to believe that an armed soldiery was wasting
their humble households. It was believed that Boston
STORY OF THE PRAYER.
had been bombarded and destroyed. They prayed fer-
vently 'for America, for the Congress, for the province
of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of
Boston;' and who can realize the emotion with which
they turned imploringly to Heaven for divine interposi-
tion and aid? 'It was enough to melt a heart of stone.
I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave
Quakers of Philadelphia.' "
Yes," said Wilson, when young Harmar hadcon-
cluded, "that was a scene equal, at least, to the one on
the eve of Brandywine: how finely old John Adams
speaks about it!"
"That Dr. Duche forgot his connexion with the
Church of England, and only thought of his country,"
remarked Morton. "He was a good man."
"Yes; and he prayed in the presence of as good a
set of men as was ever assembled together," added
Smith. Them was men those Congressmen. They
did n't get eight dollars a day for making speeches."
No," put in Higgins, "but they earned a great deal
more. Some of 'em lost all the property they had, dur-
ing the war."
The spirit which animated our countrymen at that
period was the noblest which could prompt the deeds
of men," said young Harmar, growing quite eloquent.
" From the men who emptied the tea into Boston harbor,
to the statesman of the Continental Congress, all were
filled with patriotism, and that's the most unselfish of
STORY OF LYDIA DARRAGH.
"MRs. HARMAR, your sex nobly maintained their
reputation for devotion and patriotism during the Revo-
lution," said Wilson. "Did you ever hear how a
Quaker lady, named Lydia Darragh, saved the army
under Washington from being surprised ?"
No, never," replied Mrs. Harmar.
"No! Then, as a Philadelphia lady, you should
know about it," said Wilson.
The superior officers of the British army were ac-
customed to hold their consultations on all subjects of
importance at the house of William and Lydia Darragh,
members of the Society of Friends, immediately oppo-
site to the quarters of the commander-in-chief, in Second
street. It was in December, in the year that they occu-
pied the city, that the adjutant-general of the army
desired Lydia to have an apartment prepared for himself
and friends, and to order her family early to bed; add-
ing, when ready to depart, 'Notice shall be given to you
to let us out, and to extinguish the fire and candles.'
The manner of delivering this order, especially that part
of it which commanded the early retirement of her
STORY OF LYDIA DARRAGH.
family, strongly excited Lydia's curiosity, and deter-
mined her, if possible, to discover the mystery of their
meeting. Approaching without shoes the room in which
the conference was held, and placing her ear to the key-
hole, she heard the order read for the troops to quit the
city on the night of the 4th, to attack the American army
encamped at White Marsh. Returning immediately to
her room, she laid herself down, but, in a little while, a
loud knocking at the door, which for some time she pre-
tended not to hear, proclaimed the intention of the party
to retire. Having let them out, she again sought her
bed, but not to sleep; the agitation of her mind pre-
vented it. She thought only of the dangers that threat-
ened the lives of thousands of her countrymen, and
believing it to be in her power to avert the evil, deter-
mined, at all hazards, to apprize General Washington
of his danger. Telling her husband, at early dawn, that
flour was wanting for domestic purposes, and that she
should go to Frankford to obtain it, she repaired to head-
quarters, got access to General Howe, and obtained
permission to pass the British lines. Leaving her bag at
the mill, Lydia now pressed forward -wards the Ameri-
can army, and meeting Captain Allen M'Lean, an officer,
from his superior intelligence and activity, selected by
General Washington to gain intelligence, discovered to
him the important secret, obtaining his promise not to
jeopardize her safety by telling from whom he had ob-
tained it. Captain M'Lean, with all speed, informed the
commander-in-chief of his danger, who, of course, took
every necessary step to baffle the contemplated enter-
prize, and to show the enemy that he was prepared to
48 STORY OF LYDIA DARRAGH.
receive them. Lydia returned home with her flour,
secretly watched the movements of the British, and saw
them depart. Her anxiety during their absence was
excessive, nor was it lessened when, on their return, the
adjutant-general, summoning her to his apartment and
locking the door with an air of mystery, demanded
'Whether any of the family were up on the night that
he had received company at her house ?' She told him,
that, without an exception, they had all retired at eight
o'clock. 'You, I know, Lydia, were asleep, for I
knocked at your door three times before you heard me,
yet, although I am at a loss to conceive who gave the
information of our intended attack to General Washing-
ton, it is certain we were betrayed; for, on arriving near
his encampment, we found his cannon mounted, his
troops under arms, and at every point so perfectly pre-
pared to receive us, that we were compelled, like fools,
to make a retrograde movement, without inflicting on
our enemy any manner of injury whatever.' "
"Ha! ha! a neat stratagem, and a patriotic woman,"
exclaimed young Harmar.
"Talking of the services of the women during the
war," said Higgins, "reminds me of Molly Macauly,
or Sergeant Macauly, as we knew her while in the army.
She was a Pennsylvanian, and was so enthusiastic in her
patriotism, that she donned a man's dress, and joined
the army, when she became a sergeant, and fought
bravely in several battles and skirmishes. Nobody sus-
pected that she was not what she seemed to be; for she
was tall, stout, and rough-looking, and associated with
.he men very freely. Molly had a custom of swinging
STORY OF LYDIA DARRAGH.
her sabre over her head, and hurrying for Mad Anthony,
as she called General Wayne. She was wounded at
Brandywine, and, her sex being discovered, returned
She was not the only woman in disguise in the
army," said old Harmar. There was Elizabeth Can-
ning, who was at Fort Washington, and, when her hus-
band was killed, took his place at the gun, loading,
priming, and firing with good effect, till she was wounded
'n the breast by a grape-shot. While our army lay at
Valley Forge, several Pennsylvania women were detected
In disguise, enduring all kinds of want, and with less
murmuring than the men themselves. Oh, yes! the
women were all right in those days, however they may
have degenerated since."
"Come, no slander on the women of the present
day," said Mrs. Harmar. "I 've no doubt, take them
all in all, they will not suffer in comparison with those.
of any age."
"Bravo! Mrs. Harmar," exclaimed Wilson.
Women, now, are ready enough with disguises,"
remarked young Harmar.
"To be sure !" replied his wife, and always were."
DEAD MAN'S LAKE.
ME. SMITH, can 't we have a leaf from your experi-
ence in those trying times ?" said old Harmar.
Ah! sir, I would have much to tell if I had time to
collect my memory -much to tell, sir. But though I
saw a great deal in the Revolution, I heard much more."
Tell us anything to pass time," said young Harmar.
"I 've heard my father speak of some bold exploits up
in the vicinity of New York. The history of the Cow-
boys and Skinners always interested me."
"Ah! I've heard many a story of them," replied
Smith. I '11 tell you of one old Jack Hanson told me-
you recollect old Jack, do n't you, Harmar? He was
with us at Valley Forge."
"That I do," replied old Harmer. "He gave me a
piece of his blanket, and an old shoe, when I believe I
was freezing to death."
"Yes, he was ever a good-hearted fellow -Jack
Hanson was. He 's been dead now about ten years.
Well, as I was saying, he told me a story about those
Cowboys and Skinners which will bear telling again."
"It happened when the British were in possession
of the city of New York. Many brave men did all that
THE DEAD MAN'S LAKE.
could be done to destroy the power and comfort of the
king's representatives, and alarm them for their personal
safety; and, to the greater part of them, the neighboring
county of West Chester furnished both the home, and a
theatre of action. Their system of warfare partook of
the semi-savage and partisan predatory character, and
many fierce and desperate encounters took place between
them and the outlawed hordes of desperadoes in the pay
of the British.
The refugees, banded together for the purpose of
preying upon the patriots, and then retreating behind the
shelter of the royal fortifications, were composed of the
vilest miscreants that could be gathered from the dregs
of any community, and were generally known by the
slang name of Skinners.'
To oppose these desperadoes, and protect their lives
and property from insult, many of the whig had united
in small parties, and were styled by the Skinners, in
derision, the 'Cow-boys.' One of the most active and
energetic of these bands, ever ready for any species of
patriotic duty, was led by Nicholas Odell. Nick, as he
was familiarly termed, though entirely uneducated, was
one of the shrewdest men to be found; for Nature had
gifted him where cultivation was wanting, and he be-
came, in consequence, a most formidable and dangerous
enemy in the service he had chosen. But fifty men
composed his entire force, and with these he did his
country much service, and the enemy no little mischief.
The line of the Bronx River was the route always
kept in view by Nick and his men; and, at six several
points, places of rendezvous were established, at which
52 THE DEAD MAN'S LAKE.
they were generally to be found when off duty, whicn
was, indeed, seldom the case.
One of these places was on the banks of that stream,
where the water was so wide and deep as to render it
perilous for any but an expert and experienced swim-
mer to attempt its passage, and always placid, with a
sort of oily surface looking like the backed waters of a
mill-pond. The banks were covered with a thick un-
dergrowth of vines, saplings, and trees in abundance,
so that autumn did not, by taking away the leaves,
expose the spot to the observation of the passer-by. Here
a rude board shanty had been knocked up in a hurry,
and was used to shelter the men from the intense cold
of the winter nights. This episode in the stream Nick
had named 'Dead Man's Lake,' in consequence of find-
ing on its banks the body of a man who had been mur-
dered and mutilated by his old enemies, the Skinners.
One evening, in the depth of winter, Nick, who had
been a long distance above White Plains, hastened back
to the lake in order to intercept a body of Skinners, on
their way from Connecticut to the city, with considerable
booty taken from the inhabitants in the vicinity of the
Sound. They numbered about eighty, under the control
of a petty Scotch officer named McPherson. Nick had
contrived to gain intelligence of their movements and
access to their party, by means of John Valentine, one
of his own scouts, who, by his direction, had met and
joined the stories with a specious tale, and promised to
lead them through the country so securely that none of
the prowling rebels should encounter them.
THE DEAD MAN'S LAKE
Previous to John's starting on his perilous adven-
ture, it was agreed that Nick, with all his men, should
remain the whole night in question concealed at the lake,
without entering the hut. John was then to bring the
refugees to the spot, shelter them in the hut, and, at a
favorable moment, he would sing out, 'Hurrah for
Gin'ral Washington, and down with the red-coats!'
when the Cow-boys were to rush in, and take them
Having reached the lake about nine o'clock in the
evening, Nick proceeded to devise a plan for conceal-
ment, for he expected to wait several hours. The cold
was intense, and, like all the servants of Congress, Nick
and his men were but ill prepared to resist the in-
clemency of the weather.
-" Nick was in perplexity; no plan could be devised
with satisfaction to the majority, and they stood in abso-
lute danger of perishing with cold. The debate on the
subject was still in progress, when heavy flakes of snow
began to fall briskly, with promising appearances of a
long continuance. 'Good!' said Nick, half in soliloquy,
as he viewed the feathery element, and a new idea
seemed to strike him, 'I have hit it at last. Boys, no
grumblin' or skulkin' now, for I won't have it. You
must do as I am goin' to order, or we part company.'
"So saying, he directed the whole of his men to enter a
swamp meadow which was behind the shanty, and had
been rendered hard and porous by the weather. Here
he directed them to spread their blankets, and lie down
with the locks of their muskets between their knees, and
the muzzle protected by a wooden stopper kept for the
54 THE DEAD MAN'S LAKE.
purpose. Nick enforced this command with an expla-
nation of its advantages: the snow being dry, and not
subject to drift, would soon cover them, keeping them
quite warm, and would also conceal them at their ease.
The porous quality of the ground would enable them to
distinguish the distant approach of the enemy, and there-
fore they could snatch a few moments sleep in the snow.
To prevent its being fatal or injurious, he made each
man, previous to lying down, drink freely of rye whiskey.
Four long hours elapsed, by which time the hardy pa-
triots were completely under the snow, being covered
with nearly eight inches of it.
The keenest eye, or acutest cunning, could not have
detected in those undulating hillocks aught but the natu-
ral irregularities of swampy ground.
"At length, about two o'clock in the morning, John
arrived with his devoted followers. They were right
thankful for the shelter of the shanty, and McPherson
swore he would report John's generous conduct at head-
quarters, and procure him a deserved reward.
'Wait,' said John; I have not done the half that 1
intend to do for you.'
"Nick, whose bed was nearest the hovel, now arose,
and placed himself against it, that he might be ready to
act when John's signal was given. He first, however,
awoke his men, without permitting them to rise, by the
summary process of slightly pricking each one with the
sharp point of a bayonet.
"The stories, stowed like sheep in the little hut, soon
began to drink, and, as they did so, became very valor-
THE DEAD MAN'S LAKE.
ous and boastful. McPherson, singularly communicative
to John, detailed his atrocities on the route with savage
exultation. He feared no assault not he! He was
strong enough to repel any handful of half-starved, skulk-
ing outlaws." If he caught any of the Cow-boys he
would hang them to their own trees, and manure the
soil with the blood of their women.
"John had crept to the door by degrees, and now
stood with his hand upon the raised latchet. He ap-
plauded the officer's remarks, and was willing, he said,
to aid him in the deed he contemplated. He then
proposed a toast, and, filling a tin-cup with liquor,
said in a loud voice, Hurrah for Gin'ral Washington,
and down with the red-coats !' The liquor was dashed
in McPherson's face, and John vanished from the hut.
Nick immediately summoned his men by a repetition of
the toast, and the fifty hillocks of snow were suddenly
changed, as if by magic, into as many armed and furious
'rebels.' Before the Skinners could recover from the
momentary surprise into which this curious incident had
thrown them, a volley of powder and shot had been
fired into their midst. Dashing like a frightened hare
through the open'door, McPherson beheld his assailants.
His fears magnified their numbers, and, conceiving there
was no hope in fight, he summoned his men to follow
him in flight.
They madly rushed after him, and forcing their way
through the dry limbs of brush that stuck up on the
banks of the lake, gained the frozen surface. More than
one half their number had taken this course, while the
rest had either fallen victims to the first fire, or taken to
5L THE DEAD MAN'S LAKE.
their heels towards the main road. Suddenly a terrible
crash was heard, accompanied by a splash, and a hub-
bub of unearthly screams. The ice had broken, ana
'Dead Man's Lake was accomplishing a victory for the
handful of American patriots who stood upon its banks.
The result was, that over twenty of the Skinners
were taken prisoners. Only half-a-dozen were killed by
fire-arms. The lake was examined at sunrise, and fifteen
bodies were drawn from its remorseless bosom. The
remainder, McPherson among them, escaped."
"That Nick Odell was nearly equal to old Nick
himself in stratagems," said Wilson, when Smith had
It 's a wonder the men did n't freeze to death under
the snow," said Morton. I think I should have been
opposed to trying such a way of disposing of myself."
Oh! there 's no doubt about its keeping you warm,"
said old Harmar.
"How can cold snow keep men warm ?" enquired
Thomas Jefferson Harmar.
"I suppose," answered Higgins, "that it's much
like blowing your warm breath on anything hot to cool
As nobody seemed disposed to contradict this expla-
nation, old Higgins took it for granted that he was cor-
rect; and Thomas Jefferson was satisfied.
DIFEoT OF THE SKINNERS AT DBADMAN'B LA M
THE STORY 01 THI HALI-BBRED.
STORY OF THE HALF-BREED.
"Now," said young Harmar, who, as a literary
gentleman, was anxious to collect as many incidents of
the Revolution as he could from these old men; "now,
Mr. Higgins, you must oblige us by recalling something
of your experience."
Ah!" replied Higgins, if I could tell in words a
small part of what I know of the war, I 'm sure I could
We are not critical," said old Harmar. Jackson
may think of his bookish notions sometimes; but he
knows what kind of old men we are. Narrate anything
that comes uppermost."
Well," commenced Higgins, "I'll tell you about an
adventure of a friend of mine, named Humphries, with a
half-breed that 's horribly interesting if I can only
recollect it." And, after a short pause, to let his old
memory bring up the incidents from the far past, Higgins
told the following story of revenge.
"In the country around Saratoga, wjen General
Gates lay encamped there, lived a half-breed Indian,
called Blonay. He was well known in the neighborhood
58 STORY OF THE HALF-BREED.
as a fierce and outlawed character, who wandered and
skulked from place to place, sometimes pretending to be
for the Americans, and, at others, for the stories. He
went anywhere, and did everything to serve his own
ends; but his whole life, and all his actions, seemed
centred in one darling object, and that was revenge. He
had deeply and fearfully sworn never to rest until he had
drawn the heart's blood of Humphries, a member of
Morgan's corps, and his greatest enemy. They had
been mortal foes from boyhood, and a blow Humphries
had given Blonay had fixed their hatred for life. He
had pursued him from place to place with untiring vigi-
lance, and had watched, day after day, and month after
month, for an opportunity to glut his revenge, but none
< One morning, Humphries and a comrade named
Davis, with a negro servant belonging to Marion's band,
were standing on a small hill near the encampment, when
a strange dog suddenly appeared through the bushes, at
the sight of which Humphries seized his rifle, and raised
it to his eye, as if about to fire. The black was about
to express his surprise at this sudden ferocity of manner,
when, noticing that the dog was quiet, he lowered the
weapon, and, pointing to the animal, asked Davis if he
knew it. 'I do; but can 't say where I 've seen him,'
replied the other. 'And what do you say, Tom ?' he
asked of the black, in tones that startled him. 'Do n't
you know that dog?' 'He face berry familiar, massa,
but I loss to recollect.' That's the cur of Blonay, and
the bear-eyed rascal must be in the neighborhood.' Do
you think so?' inquired Davis. 'Think so! I know so;
8TORY OF THE HALF-BREED.
and why should he be here if his master was not?'
'Tom,' he continued, hit the critter a smart blow with
your stick -hard enough to scare him off, but not to
hurt him; and do you move to the edge of the creek,
Davis, as soon as the dog runs off, for his master must
be in that direction, and I want to see him.'
Thus ordering, he called two of the riflemen that
were near, and sent them on the path directly opposite
to that taken by Davis. He himself prepared to strike
the creek at a point between these. two. He then made
a signal, and Tom gave the dog a heavy blow, which
sent him howling into the swamp, taking, as they had
expected, the very path he came. Blonay, however,
was not to be caught napping. He left the point from
which he was patching the camp, and running in a line
for some fifty yards, turned suddenly about for the point
at which he had entered the swamp. But he could not
but have some doubts as to the adequacy of his conceal-
ment. He cursed the keen scent of the dog, which he
feared would too quickly discover him to his pursuers.
He hurried on, therefore, taking the water at every
chance, to leave as small a trail as possible; but, from
place to place, the cur kept after him, giving forth an
occasional yelp. 'Aroint the pup! there 's no losin'
him. If I had my hand on him, I should knife him as
my best caution,' exclaimed the half-breed, as the bark
of the dog, in making a new trail, showed the success
with which he pursued him. Exasperated, he rose upon
a stump, and saw the head of Humphries, who was still
pressing on, led by the cries of the dog.
60 STORY OF THE HALF-BREED.
I can hit him now,' muttered Blonay. It's not
two hundred yards, and I 've hit a smaller mark than
that at a greater distance, before now.'
He raised the rifle and brought the sight to his eye,
and would have fired, but the next minute Humphries
was covered by a tree. The dog came on, and Blonay
heard the voices of his pursuers behind; and just then
the dog reached him.
The faithful animal, little knowing the danger into
which he had brought his master, leaped fondly upon
him, testifying his joy by yelping with his greatest vocal
With a hearty curse, Blonay grasped the dog by the
back of the neck, and, drawing the skin tightly across
the throat, quickly passed the keen edge %f his knife but
once over it, and then thrust the body from him. Sheath-
ing his knife and seizing his rifle, he again set forward,
and d!d not stop till he gained a small but thick under-
brush. His pursuers now came up to the dead body of
the dog; seeing which, they considered further pursuit
At this moment, sounds of a trumpet came from the
camp, as the signal to return. Humphries told the others
to obey its summons, but avowed his determination of
pursuing Blonay until he or the other had fallen. After
they had left him, he again set forward, and walked very
fast in the direction he supposed his enemy had taken,
and had not proceeded far ere he saw his track in
the mud, which he followed until it was lost among the
leaves. Darkness coming on, he gave up the chase
STORY OF THE HALF-BREED.
until the next morning. That night both slept in the
swamp, not more than two hundred yards apart, but
unconscious of each other's locality. In the morning,
Humphries was the first to awake. Descending from the
tree where he had slept, he carefully looked around,
thinking what he should do next. While he thus stood,
a slight noise reached his ears, sounding like the friction
of bark; a repetition of it showed where it came from.
He glanced at an old cypress which stood in the water
near him, and saw that its trunk was hollow, but did not
look as if it would hold a man. On a sudden, some-
thing prompted him to look upward, and, in the quick
glance he gave, the glare of a wild and well-known eye,
peeping out upon him from its woody retreat, met his
gaze. With a'howl of delight, he raised his rifle, and
the drop of the deadly instrument fell upon the aperture;
but before he could draw the trigger the object was gone.
It was Blonay, who, the moment he perceived the aim
of Humphries' piece, sank into the body of the tree.
Come out and meet your enemy like a man!' ex-
claimed Humphries, and do n't crawl, like a snake, into
a hollow tree, and wait for his heel. Come out, you
skunk! You shall have fair fight, and your own dis-
tance. It shall be the quickest fire that shall make the
difference of chances between us. Come out, if you 're
a man !' Thus he raved at him; but a fiendish laugh
was the only answer he got. He next tried to cut his
legs with his knife, by piercing the bark; but a bend of
the tree, on which Blonay rested, prevented him. He
then selected from some fallen limbs one of the largest,
62 STORY OF THE HALF-BREED.
which he carried to the tree and thrust into the hollow,
trying to wedge it between the inner knobs on which the
feet of the half-breed evidently were placed. But Blonay
soon became aware of his design, and opposed it with
a desperate effort. Baffled for a long time by his enemy,
Humphries became enraged, and, seizing upon a jagged
knot of light wood, he thrust it against one of the legs
of Blonay. Using another heavy knot as a mallet, he
drove the wedge forward against the yielding flesh, which
became awfully torn and lacerated by the sharp edges
of the wood. Under the severe pain, the feet were
drawn up, and Humphries was suffered to proceed with
his original design. The poor wretch, thus doomed to
be buried alive, was now willing to come to any terms,
and agreed to accept the offer to fight; but Humphries
refused him, exclaiming, 'No, you do n't, you cowardly
skunk! you shall die in your hole, like a varmint as you
are; and the tree which has been your house shall be
your coffin. There you shall stay, if hard chunks and
solid wood can keep you, until your yellow flesh rots
away from your bones. You shall stay there until the
lightning rips open your coffin, or the autumn winds
tumble you into the swamp.' So saying, he left him,
and went back to the camp left him to die in the old
woods, where no help could ever come; and in this
wild and awful manner--buried alive--perished the
That was an awful death, indeed," exclaimed Mrs.
Harmar. "That Humphries must have been a very
STORY OF THE HALF-BREED.
And why so ?" enquired Higgins. The men in
those parts of the country were forced to be as fierce as
their foes. Humphries was one of the cleverest fellows
I ever knew."
"A man after your own heart," remarked Smith.
"A warm friend and a warm foe. I know you,
"You should know me, Smith, or no man should,"
replied Higgins, evidently profoundly satisfied with him-
Many a time have we messed together," added
Smith; ay, and many a time have we hunted in com-
pany for the food we made a mess of."
Those times are gone," said old Harmar mournfully.
"Those times are gone."
"I wonder where?" put in Mrs. Harmar's youngest,
looking up in her face for an answer. She smoothed his
hair, and shook her head.
DEATH OF COLONEL LOVELACE.
SPEAKING of awful deaths," said Morton, reminds
me of a scene I witnessed at Saratoga, which I may as
well tell you about, as young Mr. Harmar seems anxious
to hear anything relating to the war of independence.
You know there was an unconscionable number of stories
up there in New York State about the time of Burgoyne's
invasion. Some of them were honest, good sort of men,
who did n't happen to think just as we did: they kept
at home, and did not lift their arms against us during the
war, though some of them were pretty hardly used by
their whig neighbors. Another set of the stories, how-
ever, acted upon the maxim that 'might makes right.'
They were whigs when the royal power was weak, and
stories when they found it strong. Though raised in the
same neighborhood with the staunch whigs, these men
turned robbers and murderers, and lost all virtuous and
manly feelings. Colonel Tom Lovelace was one of this
class. He was born and raised in the Saratoga district,
and yet his old neighbors dreaded him almost as much
as if he had been one of the fierce Senecas. When the
STORY OF COL. LOVELACE.
war commenced, Lovelace went to Canada, and there
confederated with five men from his own district, to
come down to Saratoga, and kill, rob, or betray his old
neighbors and friends. There 's no denying Lovelace
was a bold, wary, and cunning fellow, and he made the
worst use of his qualities. He fixed his quarters in a
large swamp, about five miles from the residence of
Colonel Van Vechten, at Dovegat, and very cunningly
"Soon after, the robberies and captures around that
neighborhood became frequent. General Schuyler's
house was robbed, and an attempt was made, by Love-
lace and his companions, to carry off Colonel Van
Vechten. But General Stark, who was in command of
the barracks north of Fish Creek, was too wide awake
for him. He got wind of the scheme, and gave the
Colonel a strong guard, and so Lovelace was balked,
and compelled to give up his design. Captain Dunham,
who commanded a company of militia in the neighbor-
hood, found out the tory colonel's place of concealment,
and he determined to attempt his capture. Accordingly,
he summoned his lieutenant, ensign, orderly, and one
private, to his house; and, about dusk, they started for
the swamp, which was two miles distant. Having
separated to reconnoitre, two of them, named Green
and Guiles, got lost; but the other three kept together,
and, about dawn, discovered Lovelace.and his party, in
a hut covered over with boughs, just drawing on their
stockings. The three men crawled cautiously forward
till near the hut, when they sprang up with a shout,
66 STORY OF COL. LOVELACE.
levelled their muskets, and Captain Dunham sang out,
'Surrender, or you are all dead men !' There was no
time for parley; and the tory rascals, believing that our
men were down on them in force, came out one by one,
without arms, and Dunham and his men marched them
off to General Stark's quarters. The rascals were all
tried by court-martial, as spies, traitors, and robbers; and
Lovelace was sentenced to be hung, as he was considered
too dangerous to be allowed to get loose again. He
made complaint of injustice, and said he ought to be
treated as a prisoner of war; but our general could not
consent to look upon such a villain as an honorable sol-
dier, and his sentence was ordered to be carried into
effect three days afterwards. I was then with a company
of New York volunteers, sent to reinforce General Stark,
and I was enabled to gratify my desire to witness the
execution of a man I detested. The gallows was put
up on the high bluff a few miles south of Fish Creek,
near our barracks. When the day arrived, I found that
our company was on the guard to be posted near the
gallows. It was a gloomy morning, and about the time
the tory colonel was marched out to the gallows, and we
were placed in position at the foot of the bluff, a tremen-
dous storm of wind and rain came on. It was an awful
scene. The sky seemed as black as midnight, except
when the vivid sheets of lightning glared and shot across
it; and the peals of thunder were loud and long. Love-
.lace knelt upon the scaffold, and the chaplain prayed
with him. I think if there was anything could change
a man's heart, it must have been the thought of dying at
STORY OF COL. LOVELACE.
such a time, when God himself seemed wrathful at the
deeds of men.
I expected to be delighted with seeing such a man
hung; but I tell you, my friends, I felt very differently
when the time came, and I saw the cruel tory kneeling
on the scaffold, while the lightning seemed to be quiver-
ing over the gallows. I turned away my head a moment,
and when I looked again, the body of Lovelace was
suspended in the air, and his spirit had gone to give its
account to its God."
The account of this terrible scene had deeply interested
the company; and the animated manner of Morton im-
pressed even the children with a feeling of awe.
"Why did n't they postpone the hanging of the man
until there was a clear day ?" enquired Mrs. Harmar.
Executions are never postponed on account of the
weather, my dear," replied her husband. It would be
rather cruel than otherwise thus to delay them."
I've heard of that Lovelace before," remarked old
Harmar. "I judged that he was a bold villain from
some of his outrages, and I think he deserved his death."
"For my part," said Higgins, I hated the very name
of a tory so much, during the war, that I believe I could
have killed any man who dared to speak in their defence.
All that I knew or heard of were blood-thirsty scoun-
MURDER OF MISS M'CREA.
"IF you were at Saratoga, Mr. Morton, perhaps you
know something about the murder of Miss M'Crea,"
said Mrs. Harmar.
Oh, yes! I know the real facts of the case," replied
Morton. I got them from one who was acquainted
with her family. The real story is quite different from
the one we find in the histories of the war, and which
General Gates received as true."
Then set us right upon the matter," remarked young
Do," added Wilson. "I 've heard the story
through two or three twistings, and I 'm only satisfied
that the lady was killed."
Well," commenced Morton, what I now tell you
may depend on as the truest account you can receive.
No one but Heaven and the Indians themselves witnessed
the death of the young girl; and our only evidence of a
positive nature is the declaration of those who were sup-
posed to be her murderers. But to the story.
"Jane M'Crea, or Jenny M'Crea, as she is more
generally known, was the daughter of a Scotch clergy-
STORY OF MISS M'CREA.
man, wno resided in Jersey City, opposite New York.
While living with her father, an intimacy grew up be-
tween the daughter of a Mrs. M'Niel and Jenny. Mrs.
M'Niel's husband dying, she went to live on an estate
near Fort Edward. Soon after, Mr. M'Crea died, and
Jenny went to live with her brother near the same place.
There the intimacy of former years was renewed, and
Jenny spent much of her time at the house of Mrs.
M'Niel and her daughter. Near the M'Niel's lived a
family named Jones, consisting of a widow and six sons.
David Jones, one of the sons, became acquainted with
Jenny, and at length this friendship deepened into love.
When the war broke out, the Jones's took the royal side
of the question; and, in the fall of 1776, David and
Jonathan Jones went to Canada, raised a company, and
joined the British garrison at Crown Point. They both
afterwards attached themselves to Burgoyne's army;
David being made a lieutenant in Frazer's division.
The brother of Jenny M'Crea was a whig, and, as the
British army advanced, they prepared to set out for
Albany. Mrs. M'Niel was a loyalist, and, as she re-
mained, Jenny remained with her, perhaps with the hope
of seeing David Jones.
At length Jenny's brother sent her a peremptory
order to join him, and she promised to comply the next
day after receiving it. On the morning of that day, (1
believe it was the 27th of July,) a black servant boy be.
longing to Mrs. M'Niel discovered some Indians ap
preaching the house, and, giving the alarm, he ran to
the fort, which was but a short distance off. Mrs
70 STORY OF MISS M'CREA.
M'Niel, Jenny, a black woman, and two children, were
in the house when the alarm was given. Mrs. M'NiePs
eldest daughter was at Argyle. The black woman
seized the two children, fled through the back door into
the kitchen, and down into the cellar. Jenny and Mrs.
M'Niel followed; but the old woman was corpulent, and
before they could descend, a powerful Indian seized Mrs.
M'Niel by the hair and dragged her up. Another
brought Jenny out of the cellar. But the black woman
and the children remained undiscovered. The Indians
started off with the two women on the road towards
Burgoyne's camp. Having caught two horses that were
grazing, they attempted to place their prisoners upon
them. Mrs. M'Niel being too heavy to ride, two stout
Indians took her by the arms, and hurried her along,
while the others, with Jenny on horseback, proceeded
by another path through the woods. The negro boy
having alarmed the garrison at the fort, a detachment
was sent out to effect a rescue. They fired several
volleys at the party of Indians; and the Indians said
that a bullet intended for them mortally wounded Jenny,
and she fell from her horse; and that they then stripped
her of her clothing and scalped her, that they might ob-
tain the reward offered for those things by Burgoyne.
"Mrs. M'Niel said that the Indians who were hurry-
ing her along seemed to watch the flash of the guns,
and fell down upon their faces, dragging her down with
them. When they got beyond the reach of the firing,
the Indians stript the old lady of everything except her
chemise, and in that plight carried her into the British
camp. There she met her kinsman, General Frazer,
STORY OF MISS M'CREA.
who endeavored to make her due reparation for what
she had endured. Soon after, the Indians who had been
left to bring Jenny arrived with some scalps, and Mrs.
M'Niel immediately recognized the long bright hair of
the poor girl who had been murdered. She charged the
savages with the crime, but they denied it, and explained
the manner of her death. Mrs. M'Niel was compelled
to believe their story, as she knew it was more to the in-
terest of the Indians to bring in a prisoner than a scalp.
It being known in camp that Lieutenant Jones was
betrothed to Jenny, some lively imagination invented the
story that he had sent the Indians to bring her to camp,
and that they quarrelled, and one of them scalped her.
This story seemed to be confirmed by General Gates'
letter to Burgoyne, and soon spread all over the country,
making the people more exasperated against the British
than ever. Young Jones was horror-stricken by the
death of his betrothed, and immediately offered to resign
his commission, but they would not allow him. He
bought Jenny's scalp, and then, with his brother, de-
serted, and fled to Canada."
Did you ever hear what became of him ?" enquired
"Yes; he was living in Canada the last time I heard
of him," replied Morton. "He never married; and,
from being a lively, talkative fellow, he became silent
Poor fellow! It was enough to make a man silent
and melancholy," remarked young Harmar. "I can
imagine how I would have felt if deprived of her I loved,
in as tragical a manner."
72 STORY OF MISS M'CREA.
Do n't- do n't mention it, my dear!" exclaimed
his wife, sensibly affected at the thought of her being
'" It was a horrible transaction," remarked Wilson;
and it had a stirring effect upon our people. I can
recollect when I first heard the story with all its embel-
lishments; I felt as if I could have eaten up all the red
varmints I should chance to meet."
"General Gates's version of the affair answered a
good purpose," said Higgins. It roused our people to
great exertions to defeat the designs of a government
which employed those savages."
King George's government thought it had a right to
make use of every body -rascals and honest men -to
effect its design of enslaving us; but we taught 'em a
thing or two," added Morton, with a gratified smile.
DEFENCE OF SHELL'S BLOCK-HOUSE.
SI SUPPOSE," said young Harmar, "that, while you
were up in New York, you heard of many bloody affairs
with the Indians and stories "
"Many a one," replied Morton. "Many a one, sir.
I could interest you for days in recounting all I saw and
heard. The poor whigs suffered a great deal from the
rascals -they did. Those in Tryon county, especially,
were always exposed to the attacks of the savages. I
recollect an affair that occurred at a settlement called
Shell's Bush, about five miles from Herkimer village.
"A wealthy German, named John Shell, had built a
block-house of his own. It was two stories high, and
built so as to let those inside fire straight down on the
assailants. One afternoon in August, while the people
of the settlement were generally in the fields at work, a
Scotchman named M'Donald, with about sixty Indians
and stories, made an attack on Shell's Bush. Most of
the people fled to Fort Dayton, but Shell and his family
took refuge in the block-house. The father and two
sons were at work in the field when the alarm was given.
The sons were captured, but the father succeeded in
74 STORY OF THE DEFENCE
reaching the block-house, which was then besieged.
Old Shell had six sons with him, and his wife loaded the
muskets, which were discharged with sure aim. This
little garrison kept their foes at a distance. M'Donald
tried to burn the block-house, but did not succeed.
Furious at the prospect of being disappointed of his
expected prey, he seized a crowbar, ran up to the door,
and attempted to force it; but old Shell fired and shot
him in the leg, and then instantly opened the door and
made him a prisoner. M'Donald was well supplied with
cartridges, and these he was compelled to surrender to
the garrison. The battle was now hushed for a time;
and Shell, knowing that the enemy would not attempt to
burn the house while their captain was in it, went into
the second story, and began to sing the favorite hymn
of Martin Luther, when surrounded with the perils he
encountered in his controversy with the Pope."
That was cool," remarked Higgins.
"Bravely cool," added old Harmar.
Oh, it was necessary to be cool and brave in those
times," said Morton. "But to go on with my story; the
respite was very short. The stories and Indians were ex-
asperated at the successful resistance of the garrison, and
rushed up to the block-house. Five of them thrust the
muzzles of their pieces through the loop-holes; but Mrs.
Shell seized an axe, and, with well-directed blows,
ruined every musket by bending the barrels. At the
same time, Shell and his sons kept up a brisk fire, and
drove the enemy off. About tw;.'ight, the old man went
up stairs, and called out in a loud voice to his wife, that
Captain Small was approaching from Fort Dayton, with
OF SHELL'S BLOCK-HOUSE.
succor. In a few minutes, he exclaimed, 'Captain
Small, march your company round on this side of the
house. Captain Getman, you had better wheel your
men off to the left, and come up on that side.' This,
you see, was a stratagem. The enemy were deceived,
took to their heels, and fled through the woods, leav-
ing eleven men killed and six wounded. M'Donald
was taken to Fort Dayton the next day, where his leg
was amputated; but the blood flowed so freely that he
died in a few hours. On his person was found a silver-
mounted tomahawk, which had thirty-two scalp notches
on the handle, to show how he had imitated the savages."
"But what became of the two sons who were cap-
tured by the stories and Indians ?" inquired young Harmar.
"They were carried to Canada," replied Morton.
"They afterwards asserted that nine of the wounded
stories died on the way. But some of the Indians were
resolved to have revenge for their defeat, and they lurked
in the woods near Shell's house. One day they found
the wished-for opportunity, and fired upon Shell and his
boys while they were at work in the field. One of the
boys was killed, and Shell so badly wounded that he
died soon after, at Fort Dayton."
"Revenge seems a part of an Indian's nature," re-
marked young Harmar.
Yes," said Higgins, they will pursue one who has
injured them in any way until he has paid for it."
Our people suffered much from them during the
Revolution," added Higgins," and they want no instruce
tion in regard to their character."
STORY OF BATE'S REVENGE.
I RECOLLECT," said old Harmar, "after our line
went south, under General Wayne, just after the surren-
der of Cornwallis, I met some of the men who had
passed through Green's campaign. They were the
bitterest kind of whigs-men who had seen their houses
burnt over their heads, and who could have killed and
eaten all the stories they should meet. They told me
many wild stories of the black doings of those traitorous
"Tell us one of them, won't you ?" entreated Mrs.
Come, father, spin us one of those yarns, as the sail-
ors say," added her husband. The children also became
clamorous for 'a story,' and the old veteran was com-
pelled to comply.
"Well, you shall hear. A man named Joe Bates
told me how he had been used by the enemy, and how
he had been revenged. He joined the southern army
when Greene first took command of it, leaving his wife
and two children at his farm on the banks of the Santee
River. His brother, John Bates, promised to take care
STORY OF BATE'S REVENGE.
of the family and the farm. You see, John used to help
Marion's band whenever he could spare the time-he
was so anxious to do something fpr the good of his
country, and he did n't know how else he could do it
than by going off on an occasional expedition with
Marion. Well, some how or other, Major Wemyss, the
commander of the royalists in the neighborhood, got
wind of John's freaks, and also of those of some other
whig farmers, and he said he would put a stop to
them. So he sent a detachment of about twenty-five
men to bur the houses of the people who were suspected
.of being the friends of Marion. John Bates heard of
their coming, and collected about ten or a dozen whigs
to defend his house. He had n't time to send the wife
of Joe and his children away to a safer place, or else he
thought there was no better place. However it was, they
remained there. The house was barred up, and every-
thing fixed to give the red-coats a warm reception,
should they attempt to carry out their intention. The
time they chose for it was a moonlight night. The
neighbors could see their houses burning from the upper
windows of the one where they were posted, and they
kept muttering-curses and threats of vengeance all the
Why did n't each man stay at home, and take care
of his own house ?" enquired Mrs. Harmar.
Of what use would that have been ?" returned old
Harmar. By so doing, they could not have saved any
house, and would have lost the chance of punishing the
red-coats for their outrages. I forgot to tell you, though,
78 STORY OF BATES' REVENGE.
that some of the farmers had brought their wives and
children to Bates', and these were all put up-stairs out
of the way. The little garrison had made loop-holes on
all sides of the house, and each man had his rifle and
knife ready to guard the post at which he was stationed.
John Bates was the captain, because he knew most about
such fighting' matters; he learned it of Marion. Well,
at last the garrison caught sight of the Britishers coming
up steadily, the leader a little in advance. They did n't
seem to suspect that any body was in the house, for they
had found all the rest deserted. Still they thought it
wise to be careful. They surrounded the house at their.
leader's command, and were getting their things ready
to set fire to it, when the garrison, who had kept still as
death all the time, blazed away at them from all sides.
This staggered the whole party; four or five of their
number were shot dead, and as many more wounded.
They rallied, however, and poured a volley into the
house. The garrison, under John's command, returned
the fire, and seemed to have decidedly the best of the
matter. Joe's wife could n't content herself up-stairs
with the women and children. She wanted to be of
some use in defending her own house. She would come
down and load the guns for John, while he kept a look-
out on the movements of the British party. Well, she
had just loaded the gun, and was handing it to John,
when a bullet whizzed past him, struck her in the breast,
and she fell dead. John Bates looked through the loop-
hole, and caught sight of one of the red-coats running
back from the house, and fired at him but missed. He
STORY OF BATES' REVENGE.
saw the man's face, though, and remembered it. John
then bo:e the corpse up-stairs. The women and chil-
dren shrieked at the sight, and thus discovered to the
cowardly foe where they were placed. A volley was
sent through the upper part of the house, which killed
one of Joe's children and wounded the wife of a neigh-
bor. But the enemy were losing men too fast to continue
the attack. I think Joe said they had lost half their
party in killed and wounded, while in the house only
one man was wounded. The red-coats that were left
began to move off, dragging some of their wounded with
them. Then the farmers threw open the doors and
windows, and, giving a shout of triumph, sent a volley
after them that must have done some damage."
Did n't they start a pursuit ?" inquired Higgins.
"No: John thought his party was not strong enough,
and that the glory of defeating such a party of regulars
was enough for once. But several of the wounded red-
coats were taken. Some of the farmers wanted to kill
them right off, but John would n't let them. He said
there had been blood enough shed already, and set them
at work to bury the dead. Soon after, John went to the
army, and told Joe of the attack, and of the death of
his wife and child. Joe swore, by the most sacred oaths,
to have revenge; and made John describe the appear-
ance of the man whom he had seen running away from
the house after firing the shot that had killed Mrs. Bates.
The man had peculiar features, and could not be mis-
"At the great Battle of Eutaw Springs, Joe war
80 STORY OF BATE'S REVENGE.
among the troops who charged with trailed arms. He
came upon a man who answered the description given
by John, and rushed upon him with such force that he
pinned him to the ground with his bayonet, and he then
drew a knife across his throat to make sure work of it.
He told me that he stopped, amid a tremendous storm
of grape and musketry, to take a look at the Britisher,
and to be sure that he had no life in him."
What bloody creatures war can make men," remarked.
young Iarmar. "That man was not sure he had killed
the murderer of his wife."
It made no difference to him," replied old Harmar.
"He hated the whole set, and he had no mercy on any
of them. Joe Bates was a clever fellow as warm a
friend and as quiet a companion as you would wish to
meet in time of peace; but he hated like he loved-with
all his heart, and would go through fire and death to get
at a foe."
I believe Joe Bates' conduct was a fair specimen
of that of the whole people of those parts, at that time,"
said Wilson. I've been told that the whigs and stories
had no mercy on each other."
"Not a bit," added old Harmar. "It seems to me
that the fighting up here in the North was child's play
in comparison with that in the South. Every man on
the American side that went into the battle of Eutaw
Springs, was so full of courage and the desire of revenge
that he was equal to two common men. Greene had
difficulty in restraining their ardor within the limits of
prudence. I heard of Colonel Henry Lee and his le-
STORY OF BATE'S REVENGE.
gion coming up with a body of stories who were assem-
bled to march to the British camp, and his men would
slaughter them without mercy, in spite of his efforts to
"It was a bloody time," remarked Smith.
"God grant that we may never see its like again,"
Up this way," said Wilson, "the stories were quite
peaceable and respectable; and some of them were
badly treated without any reason for it. Thy were
honest men, and differed in opinion with those who
judged the Declaration of Independence and the as-
sumption of arms, necessary measures."
Yes," replied Higgins; "its all very well for men
to differ in opinion nobody finds fault with that; its
taking up arms against their own countrymen, and op-
posing their country's cause, that we grumble at. We
should all adopt Commodore Decatur's motto; 'Our
country-right or wrong.' If she be right, our support
cannot be refused; if wrong, we should endeavor to set
her right, and not, by refusing our support, or by taking
up arms against her, see her fall."
"Bravo!" cried Mr. Jackson Harmar. "There 's
the true patriotic sentiment for you. Allow me, Mr.
Higgins, to shake hands with you over that sentiment."
The veteran patriot extended his hand, and received
the hearty shake of the patriot of another generation.
STORY OF GENERAL WAYNE
"GRANDFATHER," said Thomas Jefferson Harmar,
"wont you tell us something about Mad Anthony
Who learnt you to call him Mad Anthony Wayne ?"
That's what grandfather calls him," replied the boy.
"Yes," said old Harmar; we always called him Mad
Anthony -he was such a dare-devil. I do n't believe,
if that man, when alone, had been surrounded by foes,
they could really have made him afraid."
"( He was a bold and skilful general," remarked Mor-
ton. He was equal to Arnold in those qualities, and
superior to him in all others."
"I think I can see him now, at Morristown, in the
midst of the mutineers, with his cocked pistol in his
hand, attempting to enforce orders--an action that
no other man would have thought of doing under such
STORY OF GENERAL WAYNE.
"He did his duty," said Wilson; "but the men
cannot be censured for their conduct. They had re-
ceived no pay for many months, were without sufficient
clothing to protect them from the weather, and some-
times without food. If they had not been fighting for
freedom and their country's rights, they never could have
stood it out."
"One of the best things Wayne ever did," said
Smith, "was that manoeuvre of his in Virginia, where
the British thought they had him surely in a net."
What manoeuvre was that?" inquired Mr. Jackson
Why, you see, General Lafayette was endeavoring
to avoid a general action with Cornwallis, and yet to
harass him. Early in July, 1781, the British army
marched from Williamsburg, and encamped on the banks
of the James River, so as to cover a ford leading to the
island of Jamestown. Soon after, the baggage and some
of the troops passed the ford, but the main army kept
its ground. Lafayette then moved from his encamp-
ment, crossed the Chichahominy, pushed his light troops
near the British position, and advanced with the conti-
nentals to make an attempt on the British rear, after the
main body had passed the river. The next day, the
Marquis was told that the main body of the British had
crossed the ford, and that a rear-guard only remained
behind. This was what the British general wanted him
to believe, and.he posted his troops ready to receive our
men. Well, General Wayne, with eight hundred men,
chiefly of the Pennsylvania line, (including Mr. Harmur,
84 STORY OF GENERAL WAYNE.
Mr. Higgins, Mr. Wilson, and myself,) was ordered to
advance against the enemy. Now, Wayne thought he
had to fight a rear-guard only, and so he moved forward
boldly and rapidly; but, in a short time, he found him-
self directly in front of the whole British army, drawn
up to receive him. Retreat was impracticable, as the
enemy then might have had a fair chance to kill or cap-
ture the whole detachment. Wayne thought that the
best plan was to put on a bold face, and so he com-
menced the attack at once. A fierce and bloody struggle
followed, and I 'm not sure but we were gaining the ad-
vantage, when General Lafayette discovered the mistake
and ordered a retreat, and we were compelled to fall
back, leaving two cannon in the hands of the enemy.
By General Wayne's presence of mind and courage,
you see, we got off with but the loss of one hundred
men. The British lost the same number."
The Marquis was, of course, right in ordering a
retreat," remarked young Harmar.
"I suppose so," replied Smith. "Our detachment
might have made considerable havoc among the British,
and, perhaps, if promptly supported, have maintained a
long and doubtful battle. But General Lafayette wanted
to save his men until a more certain contest could be
brought about. He was a very young general-younger
than Napoleon when he took command of the army of
Italy; but all his movements about that time indicated
that he was as skilful and vigilant as he was brave."
Americans should ever be grateful to the memory
of such a man as Lafayette," said old Harmar. He
STORY OP GENERAL WAYNE. 86
was a true lover of liberty, and a staunch friend to this
land when it most needed friends."
And that reminds me," added young Harmar, that
I 've a song here, which I wrote for one of the papers,
in relation to Lafayette. It is arranged in the measure
of the feeling melody of 'Auld Lang Syne.' "
"Sing it," said Mr. Smith; and the request was
echoed by the rest. Mr. Jackson Harmar, therefore,
after sundry excuses in the usual routine-that he had a
cold, &c.-sang the following words in a very emphatic
manner, with an occasional break in the high notes, and
huskiness in the low ones.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
The friend that's true, remembered not,
And days of auld lang syne t
For auld lang syne, my dear,
We never can forget;
When dangers pressed, and foes drew near,
Our friend was Lafayette.
When first our fathers bravely drew
'Gainst tyrants and their laws,
On wings of generous zeal he flew
To aid the holy cause.
For auld lang syne, my dear, &o
He stemm'd the broad Atlantic wave;
He vow'd they should be free;
He led the bravest of the brave
To death or victory.
For auld lang syne, my dear, A&.
86 STORY OF GENERAL WAYNE.
Let Brandywine his glory tell,
And Monmouth loud proclaim;
Let York in triumph proudly swell
The measure of his fame.
For auld lang syne, my dear, &e.
Shall sons of freedom e'er forget,
Till time shall cease to move,
The debt they owe to Lafayette
Of gratitude and love?
For auld lang syne, my dear, &c.
The song was listened to with considerable pleasure
by the company, and there was an occasional attempt,
on the part of the veterans, to join in the chorus, which,
however, ended in a slight cough and shaking of the
head, as if the attempt was hopeless.
"There 's good sentiment in that song," remarked
Smith. It stirs the heart."
"Mr. Harmar, did you say the piece was your own
composition ?" inquired Morton.
It is one of my humble efforts," modestly replied
Mr. Jackson Harmar.
I 'm very glad there are some young men left who can
write something else besides the love trash that's so
popular," said Mr. Higgins. Old men generally have a
strong aversion or lofty contempt for everything relating
to the love matters of youth.
"Everything has its time," was the sage remark of
'Mr. Jackson Harmar; or, in the more popular phrase
of Mr. Shakspeare, 'Every dog will have his day !' "
I should like to see patriotic songs more popular,"
remarked Morton; and it is highly probable the conver-
STORY OF GENERAL WAYNE. 87
station would have continued on this subject, but Mrs.
Harmar and the children kept up a constant clamor for
more stories, and old Harmar consented to amuse them
and the rest of the company with a story which, he said,
he had seen in several papers, and told in several differ-
ent ways, none of which were correct. The true circum-
stances he would then relate in order that his son might
make a story of it for his forthZoming work,-" Legends
of the Times that tried Men's Soulk"
OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
IN the fall and winter of 1776," began Mr. Harmar,
Sthe people of New Jersey experienced their full share
of the miseries of civil war. During no period of the
Revolutionary contest did the enemy's troops act more
cruelly or more unlike civilized men. As they marched
through the Jerseys, driving our poor 'rebel' army be-
fore them, they committed all kinds of outrages on help-
less women and old men; but this conduct was destined
to recoil upon the heads of the foe. The people were
roused to resist the invaders, and the militia was organ-
ised throughout the State silently but surely. Our
victories at Trenton and Princeton were received as the
signals for action. As the enemy retired on Brunswick,
they were followed by the exasperated farmers, and
harassed terribly. But, at the time when my story
commences, the red-coats were in quiet possession of
New Jersey, from Burlington to New York. General
Washington had come over on this side of the Delaware.
THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
It was late in December. The weather was bitter
cold, and the enemy seldom stirred from their quarters
to visit the interior of the State. This respite would
have been refreshing to the harassed farmer, if the with-
drawal of the regular troops had not left free play for
the more desperate servants of King George, or others
who pretended to be such. One of these pretenders
was named Fagan. He was the leader of about twenty
ruffians as free from any particle of human feeling as him-
self. There was no romance about the black character
of Fagan; he was a perfect wretch; he robbed for gain,
and murdered to conceal the robbery. The hiding-place
of the band was in the pine barrens of New Jersey, and
they thence received the name of 'the pine robbers' from
the people of the country. Their violence and cruelty
towards women and even children had made them the
terror of all classes. The whigs charged their doings on
the stories and refugees; but the robbers were against
both parties. They plundered a tory in the name of the
continentals, and were true to the Crown when a whig
chanced to be in their power.
Well, I'm going to tell you about one of their ex-
ploits. Not many miles from Trenton, on the road to
Bordehtown, was the farm-house of Nathaniel Collins, a
Quaker, but who was not strict enough for his sect. He
was disowned by them on account of encouraging his
two sons to join the continental army, and for showing
a disposition to do the same himself. He was about
sixty years old at the time of which I speak, but still a
large, powerful man, with the glow of health on his
90 THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
cheek and intelligence in his eye. Though disowned
by the Quaker sect, Nathaniel Collins retained their
dress, manners, and habits, and always defended them
from the attacks of their enemies.
One night, the old Quaker, his wife Hannah, cousin
Rachel, and daughter Amy, were sitting up till a very
late hour. They expected Nathan's sons home from the
Continental army. These sons had chosen the night to
cross the river, to avoid the notice of the Hessians at
Trenton. Well, the family waited till the clock struck
one, but the sons did not appear, and Nathan was getting
impatient. At last footsteps were heard on the road.
"'There they are at last!' eagerly exclaimed Amy.
'Let me see,' said Nathan, as, with the placid man-
ner characteristic of a Friend, he moved to a window
which commanded a view of the kitchen door, at which
a knocking had commenced. He could distinguish six
men, armed and equipped like militia, and another,
whose pinioned arms proclaimed him a prisoner. His
sons were not of the party; and as the persons of the
strangers were unknown, and the guise of a militia-man
was often assumed by Fagan, our friend was not easy in
his mind how to act.' His first idea was to feign deafness;
but a second knock, loud enough to wake all but the
dead, changed his intention-he raised the window and
hailed the men:
Friends, what 's your will ?'
'A little refreshment of fire and food, if you please;
we have been far on duty, and are half frozen and quite
THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
'We do n't entertain them who go to war.'
'Yes; but you will not refuse a little refreshment to
poor fellows like us, this cold night; that would be as
much against the principles of your society as war.'
'Thee 's from Trenton ?'
'No, I thank you; Nathaniel Collins is too well
known as a friend to the country, and an honest man, to
aid a refugee we know that.'
'Soap the old fox well,' whispered one of the band.
SCome, friend, make haste and let us in, we are al-
most perished, and have far to go before sunrise, or we
may change places with our prisoner here before sunset."
But what does the party here, this side of the river,
right under the Hessians' nose, if-'
'Oh, we are minute-men, sent from within by Cap-
tain Smallcross, to seize this deserter-do n't you mean
to let us in ?'
"Nathaniel closed the window and said, 'I don't
know what to make of these men. Amy, call the boys;
tell them to make haste and bring their guns, but keep
them out of sight, where they will be handy.'
"As the command was obeyed, and the three young
men, laborers on the farm, appeared and placed their
guns behind the inner, their master unbolted the outer
door and admitted five of the armed men-the prisoner
and one of his captors remaining without. Nathaniel
thought this unnecessary of so cold a night, and a little
suspicious-' Will not thy companions enter also ?'
'No, thank you; he guards the prisoner.'
'But why may not the prisoner, too ?'
92 THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
'Pshaw! he 's nothing but a deserter. The cold will
be good for him.'
'I must say,' quoth Nathan, 'exercised,' as he after-
wards owned, past endurance, 'thy conduct neither be-
comes thy nature as a man, or thy calling, which should
teach thee more feeling-I '11 take the poor fellow some-
thing to eat myself.'
The old man had reached the door on his merciful
errand, meaning, it is true, to satisfy his curiosity at the
same time, when he who had acted as leader of the
party sprang from his chair, and, placing his hand on his
host's breast, pushed him rudely back. 'Stand back-
back, I say, and mind your own business, if you are a
There was a momentary struggle in Nathan's mind,
whether to knock the fellow down, as from appearances
he easily might, or to yield, in obedience to his prin-
ciples. 'It was strongly on his mind,' he confessed, to
pursue the former course, but prudence conquered, and
he quietly withdrew to the upper end of the apartment,
where his men lounged on a bench, apparently half
asleep, and indistinctly visible in the light of the fire and
one small candle, which burned near the strangers. In
the interim, the old cook had been summoned, and had
arranged some cold provisions on the table. 'Old
Annie,' the cook, was the child of Indian and mulatto
parents, but possessed none of the features of her darker
relation, except a capacious mouth and lips to match.
She refused to associate with either negroes or Indians,
considering herself as belonging to neither, and indulg-
THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
ing a sovereign contempt for both. Her favorite term
of reproach was 'Injin' and 'nigger,' and when they
failed separately to express her feelings, she put the two
together, a compliment always paid the Hessians, when
she had occasion to mention them. A party of these
marauders had, on a visit to her master's house, stolen
her fall's store of sausages; thenceforth she vowed eter-
nal hatred to the race-a vow she never forgot to the
day of her death.
The strangers ate their repast, showing anything but
confidence in their entertainer, and ate, each man with
his gun resting on his shoulder. During the whole meal,
he who called himself their captain was uneasy and rest-
less. For some time, he appeared to be engaged in a
very close scrutiny of the household, who occupied the
other end of the kitchen-a scrutiny which, owing to the
darkness, could not yield him much satisfaction. He
then whispered anxiously and angrily with his men, who
answered in a dogged, obstinate fashion, that evidently
displeased him ; till, finally, rising from his seat, he bade
them follow, and scarcely taking time to thank Nathan
for his food and fire, passed out of the door and made
from the house.
"'Well, now, that beats me!' said Elnathan, as he
and his comrades looked at each other in astonishment
at the abrupt departure and singular conduct of their
'That are a queer lark, any how!' responded John; .
'it beats all natur'.'
''The Injins,' said Ann. If that is not Fagan or
94 THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
some of his gang, never trust me !-why did you not
give them a shot, the 'tarnal thieves ?'
But our household troop were too glad to get rid
of their visitors to interrupt their retreat. The house
was secured again, the men had thrown themselves down,
and some of them were already asleep, when another
knock at the same door brought them as one man to
their feet. On opening the door, a laborer attached to
a neighboring farm presented himself, breathless from
haste, and almost dead with fear. When he so far re-
covered his speech as to be able to tell his story, he
proved to be the man whom the pretended militia-men
had brought with them as a prisoner, and his captors
were found to be no less than Fagan and a portion of
his band. They had that night robbed five different
houses before they attempted our Friend's. Aware that
his sons were from home, they expected to find the old
man unsupported, but having gained admission into the
house, they were surprised at the appearance of three
additional men. Fagan, however, was bent upon com-
pleting his enterprise in spite of all opposition; but his
followers obstinately refused. At the foot of the avenue
a bitter quarrel ensued, Fagan taxing his men with cow-
ardice; but the fear of pursuit silenced them at length.
The next question was, how to dispose of their prisoner,
whom they had seized in one of their 'affairs,' and, for
want of some means of securing him, brought with
them. Fagan, as the shortest way, proposed, as he had
before, to cut his throat; but the proposal was overruled
as unnecessary. He was unbound, and, upon his
THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
solemn promise to return without giving the alarm, one
of the band returned him his silver and a little money
they had abstracted from his chest. In consideration
whereof he made to the nearest house and gave the
alarm, impelled by instinct more than anything else.
Suddenly, the man's narrative was interrupted by
an explosion of fire-arms, which broke upon the clear,
frosty night, and startled even Nathan. Another and
another followed before a word was uttered.
'What can that be? It must be at Trenton.'
'By jingo,' exclaimed Elnathan, forgetting, in his
excitement, that his master was present, if I do n't be-
lieve our men ain't giving the Hessians a salute this
morning with ball catridges there it goes again! I
say, John, it's a piert scrimmage.'
"In his own anxiety, Nathan forgot to correct his
servant's profanity. 'It must be but how they got
over through the ice without wings -'
'No matter 'zackly how, master, it 's them. I '11
warrant them 's hard plums for a Christmas pudding.
Ha! ha! they get it this morning,-them tarnation Hes-
"'Ann, thee '11 never forgive the Hessians thy sau-
sages and pork.'
'Forgive-not I. All my nice sausages and buck-
wheat cakes, ready buttered -and all for them 'are
The firing having continued some minutes, though
less in volleys than at first, gradually ceased, and all
was quiet, as if nothing had happened to disturb the
96 THE OUTLAW OF TIE PINES.
deathlike stillness of the night. Yet, in that brief half
hour, the fate of a continent was decided-the almost des.
operate cause of the colonies had been retrieved. The
victory of Trenton had been achieved.
The attention of Nathan was diverted, by this first
incident, from the other events of the night, but was soon
recalled to the pursuit of the robbers, and the relief of
their victims, who, from their late prisoner's account,
had been left in an unpleasant condition. His men
being despatched to collect aid, Nathan now remained
with old Anne; the sole efficient defender of the house.
He was not doomed to wait their return undisturbed-
the indistinct sound, as of many feet, was heard advanc-
ing along the road to Bordentown.
'It's them Hessians,' said Anne. But Nathan
thought not-it was not the tread of regular troops, but
the confused rush of a multitude. He hastened to an
upper window to reconnoitre. The day had begun to
break, and he easily distinguished a large body of men
in Hessian uniform, hurrying along the road in broken
ranks. As they came nearer, he perceived many indi-
viduals half clad and imperfectly equipped. The whole
consisted of about six hundred men. Before their rear
was lost behind a turn in the road another body appeared
in rapid pursuit. They marched in closer order and
more regular array. In the stillness of the morning the
voice of an officer could be distinctly heard urging on
the men. They bore the well-known standard of the
colonies. It all flashed on Nathan's mind-Washington
had crossed the river, and was in pursuit of the routed
THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES,
foe. The excited old man forgot his years, as he almost
sprang down stairs to the open air, proclaiming the tid-
ings as he went. Even the correct Hannah, who had
preserved her faith unbroken, in spite of her husband's
and sons' contumacy, and the, if possible, still more
particular Rachel, were startled from their usual compo-
sure, and gave vent to their joy.
"'Well, now, does thee say so?' said the latter,
eagerly following the others to the door. 'I hope it is
not unfriendly to rejoice for such a cause.'
"'I hope not, cousin Rachel,' said Amy; 'nor to be
proud that our boys had a share in the glorious deed.'
"Amy was left to herself, and broke loose upon this
occasion from the bonds of Quaker propriety; but no
one observed the transgression except old Anne,
'That 's right, Amy Collins; I like to hear you say
so. How them Hessians can run-the 'tarnal niggers;
they steal sausages better than they stand bullets. I told
'em it would be so, when they was here beguzzlen my
buckwheat cakes, in plain English; only the outlandish
Injins could n't understand their mother tongue. They're
got enough swallowen without chawen, this morning.
I wish them nothen but Jineral Maxwell at their tails,
tickling 'em with continental bagonets.'
"'That friend speaks my mind,' said Elnathan, with
a half-sanctimonious, half-waggish look, and slight nasal
"' Mine too,' as devoutly responded a companion,
whom he had just brought to assist in the pursuit of the
98 THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
"The whole family had assembled at the door to
watch the motions of the troops. The front ranks had
already passed down the road, when a horseman, at full
speed, galloped along the line of march to the extreme
right, and commanded a halt. After a few minutes de-
lay, two or three officers, followed by a party carrying a
wounded man, emerged from the ranks and approached
the house. This was too much for the composure of our
late overjoyed family; all hastened to meet their wounded
or dead relation, but were disappointed agreeably -the
brothers were indeed of the party, but unhurt.
'Charles- boys- what means-'
'Nothing, father, except that we paid the Hessians a
friendly visit this morning. You saw them ?'
'A part where are the rest ?'
'Oh, we could not consent to turn them out of their
comfortable quarters this cold night, so we insisted on
their remaining, having first gone through the trifling
ceremony of grounding their arms.'
The greeting between the young soldiers and their
more peaceful relations could not have been more cordial
if their hands had been unstained with blood. Nathaniel
proffered refreshments to the whole detachment; old
Anne trembled for her diminished stock of sausages, and
remarked to Elnathan, that it would take a 'tarnal grid-
dle' to bake cakes for 'all that posse cotatus.' But the
offer was declined by the officer in command, who only
desired our friends to take charge of the wounded Hes-
nan, whom his own men had deserted in the road.
In the meanwhile, about forty men had assembled
at Nathan's summons to pursue the robbers, some of
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THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
them having first visited those who had suffered trom the
previous night's depredations. In one instance, they
found a farmer tied in his own stable, with his horse
gear, and his wife, with the bed-cord, to some of the
furniture in her own apartment. In another place, the
whole household was quietly disposed down a shallow
well, up to their knees in water, and half frozen. In a
third, a solitary man, who was the only inmate at the
time, having fled, in his fright, to the house-top, was left
there by the unfeeling thieves, who secured the trap-
door within. But the last party who arrived had a
bloody tale to tell: they had.been to the house of Joseph
Farr, the sexton to a neighboring Baptist church; a
reputation for the possession of concealed gold proved
fatal to him. On entering his house, the door of which
stood open, the party sent to his relief stumbled over
his body. After having most cruelly beaten him, in the
hope of extorting the gold he was said to possess, the
murderers, upon his positive denial, pierced him in
twenty places with their bayonets. The old bedridden
wife was still alive in her bed, though the blood had
soaked through the miserable pallet and run in a stream
into the fire-place. Their daughter, a woman of fifty
years, fled from the house as the murderers entered, and
was pursued by one of them, nearly overtaken, and even
wounded in the arm by his bayonet; but his foot slipped
in making the thrust, and she escaped slightly hurt.
"This bloody business aroused the whole country; a
persevering and active pursuit was commenced. The
murderers had many miles to traverse before they could
100 THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
reach a safe retreat, and were obliged to lighten them.
selves of their heavier plunder in the chase. Four were
shot down in the pursuit; the knapsack of a fifth was
found partly concealed in a thicket, and pierced with a
ball, which had also penetrated a large mass of conti-
nental money in sheets, and, by the blood on the inner
covering, had done good service on the wearer. It was
S believed that he contrived to conceal himself in a thicket,
and died there ; as he was never heard of after. Fagan
alone escaped unhurt to the pines, and for days defied
all the exertions of the whig farmers. By this time, the
pursuing party had increased to nearly two hundred
men. The part of the wood in which he was known to
be concealed, was surrounded and fired, till the wretch
was literally burnt from his den, and, in an attempt to
escape from one flaming thicket to another, taken alive,
although not unwounded. One of the gang, who had
not participated in the deeds I have mentioned, was se-
cured at the same time.
There appeared to be no difference of opinion about
the mode of disposing of the prisoners- indeed, an
opinion was scarcely asked or given. It seemed taken
for granted--a thing of course; and the culprits were
led in silence to the selected place of execution. There
was neither judge nor jury no delay no prayer for
mercy; a large oak then stood at the forks of two roads,
one of which leads to Freehold; from the body of the
tree a horizontal branch extended over the latter road, to
which two ropes were attached. One of them having
been fixed to the minor villain's neck, his sufferings were
THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES.
soon over; but a horrible and lingering death was re-
served for Fagan. The iron hoops were taken off a
meat cask, and by a blacksmith in the company fitted
round his ancles, knees, and arms, pinioning the latter
to his body, so that, excepting his head, which was 'Jeft
free to enjoy the prospect,' he could not move a muscle.
In this condition he hung for days beside his stiffened
companion; dying by inches of famine and cold, which
had moderated so as, without ending, to aggravate his
misery. Before he died, he had gnawed his shoulder
from very hunger. On the fifth night, as tt approached
twelve o'clock, having been motionless for hours, his
guards believed him to be dead, and, tired of their
horrid duty, proposed to return home. In order, how-
ever, to be sure, they sent one of the party up the ladder
to feel if his heart still beat. He had ascended into the
tree, when a shriek, unlike anything human, broke upon
the stillness of the night, and echoed from the neighbor-
ing wood with redoubled power. The poor fellow
dropped from the tree like a dead man, and his com-
panions fled in terror from the spot. When day encou-
raged them to return, their victim was swinging stiffly in
the north wind- now lifeless as the companion of his
crime and its punishment. It is believed, to this day,
that no mortal power, operating upon the lungs of the
dead murderer, produced that awful, unearthly, and
startling scream; but that it was the voice of the Evil
One, warning the intrusive guard not to disturb the fiend
in the possession of his lawful victim; a belief materially
strengthened by a fact that could not be disputed-the