Ile Bldwin Libnry
/ A~ ~7 --I/
HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY.
TICKNOR, REED, AND FIELDS.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court
of the District of Massachusetts.
PRINTED BY BOLLES AND HOUGHTON.
IN writing this ponderous tome, the author's desire
has been to describe the eminent characters and
remarkable events of our annals, in such a form and
style, that the YOUNG might make acquaintance with
them of their own accord. For this purpose, while
ostensibly relating the adventures of a Chair, he has
endeavored to keep a distinct and unbroken thread of
authentic history. The Chair is made to pass from
one to another of those personages, of whom he
thought it most desirable for the young reader to have
vivid and familiar ideas, and whose lives and actions
would best enable him to give picturesque sketches
of the times. On its sturdy oaken legs, it trudges dili-
gently from one to another, and seems always
to thrust itself in the way, with most benign compla-
cency, whenever a historical personage happens to be
looking round for a seat.
There is certainly no method, by which the shadowy
outlines of departed men and women can be made to
assume the hues of life more effectually, than by con-
necting their images with the substantial and homely
reality of a fireside chair. It causes us to feel at
once, that these characters of history had a private
and familiar existence, and were not wholly contained
within that cold array of outward action, which we
are compelled to receive as the adequate represent-
ation of their lives. If this impression can be given,
much is accomplished.
Setting aside Grandfather and his auditors, and
excepting the adventures of the Chair, which form the
machinery of the work, nothing in the ensuing pages
can be termed fictitious. The author, it is true, has
sometimes assumed the license of filling up the outline
of history with details, for which he has none but
imaginative authority, but which, he hopes, do not
violate nor give a false coloring to the truth. He
believes that, in this respect, his narrative will not be
found to convey ideas and impressions, of which the
reader may hereafter find it necessary to purge his
The author's great doubt is, whether he has suc-
ceeded in writing a book which will be readable by the
class for whom he intends it. To make a lively and
entertaining narrative for children, with such unmalle-
able material as is presented by the sombre, stern, and
rigid characteristics of the Puritans and their descend-
ants, is quite as difficult an attempt, as to manufacture
delicate playthings out of the granite rocks on which
New England is founded.
TIE WHOLE HISTORY
COMPLETE IN THREE PARTS.
GRANDFATHER had been sitting in his old arm-
chair, all that pleasant afternoon, while the children
were pursuing their various sports, far off or near at
hand. Sometimes you would have said, "Grand-
father is asleep;" but still, even when his eyes were
closed, his thoughts were with the young people,
playing among the flowers and shrubbery of the gar-
He heard the voice of Laurence, who had taken pos-
session of a heap of'decayed branches which the gar-
dener had lopped from the fruit trees, and was build-
ing a little hut for his cousin Clara and himself. He
heard Clara's gladsome voice, too, as she weeded
and watered the flower-bed which had been given
her for her own. He could have counted every
footstep that Charley took, as he trundled his wheel-
barrow along the gravel walk. And though Grand-
father was old and gray-haired, yet his heart leaped
with joy whenever little Alice came fluttering, like a
butterfly, into the room. She had made each of the
children her playmate in turn, and now made Grand-
father her playmate too, and thought him the merri-
est of them all.
At last the children grew weary of their sports;
because a summer afternoon is like a long lifetime
to the young. So they came into the room together,
and clustered round Grandfather's great chair. Lit-
tle Alice, who was hardly five years old, took the
privilege of the youngest, and climbed his knee. It
was a pleasant thing to behold that fair and golden-
haired child in the lap of the old man, and to think
that, different as they were, the hearts of both could
be gladdened with the same joys.
Grandfather," said little Alice, laying her head
back upon his arm, I am very tired now. You
must tell me a story to make me go to sleep."
That is not what story-tellers like," answered
Grandfather, smiling. "They are better satisfied
when they can keep their auditors awake."
But here are Laurence, and Charley, and I,"
cried cousin Clara, who was twice as old as little
Alice. "We will all three keep wide awake. And
pray, Grandfather, tell us a story about this strange-
looking old chair."
Now, the chair in which Grandfather sat was made
of oak, which had grown dark with age, but had been
GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR. 8
rubbed and polished till it shone as bright as maho-
gany. It was very large and heavy, and had a back
that rose high above Grandfather's white head. This
back was curiously carved in open work, so as to
represent flowers and foliage and other devices;
which the children had often gazed at, but could
never understand what they meant. On the very
tiptop of the chair, over the head of Grandfather
himself, was a likeness of a lion's head, which had
such a savage grin that you would almost expect to
hear it growl and snarl.
The children had seen Grandfather sitting in this
chair ever since they could remember any thing.
Perhaps the younger of them supposed that he and
the chair had come into the world together, and that
both had always been as old as they were now. At
this time, however, it happened to be the fashion for
ladies to adorn their drawing-rooms with the oldest
and oddest chairs that could be found. It seemed
to cousin Clara that if these ladies could have seen
Grandfather's old chair, they would have thought it
worth all the rest together. She wondered if it were
not even older than Grandfather himself, and longed
to know all about its history.
Do, Grandfather, talk to us about this chair,"
"Well, child," said Grandfather, patting Clara's
cheek, I can tell you a great many stories of my
chair. Perhaps your cousin Laurence would like to
hear them too. They would teach him something
4 GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.
about the history and distinguished people of his
country, which he has never read in any of his
Cousin Laurence was a boy of twelve, a bright
scholar, in whom an early thoughtfulness and sensi-
bility began to show themselves. His young fancy
kindled at the idea of knowing all the adventures of
this venerable chair. He looked eagerly in Grand-
father's face; and even Charley, a bold, brisk, rest-
less little fellow of nine, sat himself down on the
carpet, and resolved to be quiet for at least ten min-
utes, should the story last so long.
Meantime, little Alice was already asleep; so
Grandfather, being much pleased with such an
attentive audience, began to talk about matters that
had happened long ago.
BUT, before relating the adventures of the chair,
Grandfather found it necessary to speak of the cir-
cumstances that caused the first settlement of New
England. For it will soon be perceived that the
story of this remarkable chair cannot be told without
telling a great deal of the history of the country.
So, Grandfather talked about the Puritans, as
those persons were called who thought it sinful to
practise the religious forms and ceremonies which
the Church of England had borrowed from the
Roman Catholics. These Puritans suffered so much
persecution in England that, in 1607, many of them
went over to Holland, and lived ten or twelve years
at Amsterdam and Leyden. But they feared that,
if they continued there much longer, they should
cease to be English, and should adopt all the man-
ners and ideas and feelings of the Dutch. For this
and other reasons, in the year 1620, they embarked
on board of the ship Mayflower, and crossed the ocean
to the shores of Cape Cod. There they made a
settlement, and called it Plymouth; which, though
now a part of Massachusetts, was for a long time a
colony by itself. And thus was formed the earliest
settlement of the Puritans in America.
Meantime, those of the Puritans who remained in
England continued to suffer grievous persecution on
account of their religious opinions. They began to
look around them for some spot where they might
worship God, not as the king and bishops thought fit,
but according to the dictates of their own con-
sciences. When their brethren had gone from Hol-
land to America, they bethought themselves that
they likewise might find refuge from persecution
there. Several gentlemen among them purchased a
tract of country on the coast of Massachusetts Bay,
and obtained a charter from King Charles, which au-
thorized them to make laws for the settlers. In the
year 1628, they sent over a few people, with John
Endicott at their head, to commence a plantation at
Salem. Peter Palfrey, Roger Conant, and one or
two more, had built houses there in 1626, and may
be considered as the first settlers of that ancient
town. Many other Puritans prepared to follow En-
"And now we come to the chair, my dear child-
ren," said Grandfather. This chair is supposed to
have been made of an oak tree which grew in the
park of the English earl of Lincoln, between two and
three centuries ago. In its younger days it used,
probably, to stand in the hall of the earl's castle.
Do not you see. the coat of arms of the family of
Lincoln, carved in the open work of the back ? But
when his daughter, the Lady Arbella, was married
to a certain Mr. Johnson, the earl gave her this
"Who was Mr. Johnson? inquired Clara.
"He was a gentleman of great wealth, who agreed
with the Puritans in their religious opinions," an-
swered Grandfather. And as his belief was the
same as theirs, he resolved that he would live and
die with them. Accordingly, in the month of April,
1630, he left his pleasant abode and all his comforts
in England, and embarked with the Lady Arbella,
on board of a ship bound for America."
As Grandfather was frequently impeded by the
questions and observations of his young auditors,
we deem it advisable to omit all such prattle as is
not essential to the story. We have taken some
pains to find out exactly what Grandfather said, and
here offer to our readers, as nearly as possible in his
own words, the story of
THE LADY ARBELLA.
The ship in which Mr. Johnson and his lady em-
barked, taking Grandfather's chair along with them,
was called the Arbella, in honor of the lady herself.
A fleet of ten or twelve vessels, with many hundred
passengers, left England about the same time; for
a multitude of people, who were discontented with
the king's government and oppressed by the bishops,
were flocking over to the new world. One of the
vessels in the fleet was that same Mayflower which
had carried the Puritan pilgrims to Plymouth. And
now, my children, I would have you fancy yourselves
in the cabin of the good ship Arbella; because if
8 GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.
you could behold the passengers aboard that vessel,
you would feel what a blessing and honor it was for
New England to have such settlers. They were the
best men and women of their day.
Among the passengers was John Winthrop, who
had sold the estate of his forefathers, and was going
to prepare a new home for his wife and children in
the wilderness. He had the king's charter in his
keeping, and was appointed the first Governor of
Massachusetts. Imagine him a person of grave and
benevolent aspect, dressed in a black velvet suit,
with a broad ruff around his neck and a peaked
beard upon his chin. There was likewise a minis-
ter of the Gospel, whom the English bishops had
forbidden to preach, but who knew that he should
have liberty both to preach and pray in the forests
of America. He wore a black cloak, called a Ge-
neva cloak, and had a black velvet cap, fitting close
to his head, as was the fashion of almost all the
Puritan clergymen. In their company came Sir
Richard Saltonstall, who had been one of the five
first projectors of the new colony. He soon re-
turned to his native country. But his descendants
still remain in New England; and the good old
family name is as much respected in our days as it
was in those of Sir Richard.
Not only these, but several other men of wealth
and pious ministers, were in the cabin of the Arbella.
One had banished himself for ever from the old hall
where his ancestors had lived for hundreds of years.
Another had left his quiet parsonage, in a country
town of England. Others had come from the uni-
versities of Oxford or Cambridge, where they had
gained great fame for their learning. And here
they all were, tossing upon the uncertain and dan-
gerous sea, and bound for a home that was more
dangerous than even the sea itself. In the cabin,
likewise, sat the Lady Arbella in her chair, with a
gentle and sweet expression on her face, but looking
too pale and feeble to endure the hardships of the
Every morning and evening the Lady Arbella
gave up her great chair to one of the ministers, who
took his place in it and read passages from the Bible
to his companions. And thus, with prayers and pious
conversation, and frequent singing of hymns, which
the breezes caught from their lips and scattered far
over the desolate waves, they prosecuted their voy-
age, and sailed into the harbor of Salem in the
month of June.
At that period there were but six or eight dwell-
ings in the town; and these were miserable hovels,
with roofs of straw and wooden chimneys. The pas-
sengers in the fleet either built huts with bark and
branches of trees, or erected tents of cloth till they
could provide themselves with better shelter. Many
of them went to form a settlement at Charlestown.
It was thought fit that the Lady Arbella should
tarry in Salem for a time; she was probably re-
ceived as a guest into the family of John Endicott.
10 GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.
He was the chief person in the plantation, and had
the only comfortable house which the new comers
had beheld since they left England. So now, child-
ren, you must imagine Grandfather's chair in the
midst of a new scene.
Suppose it a hot summer's day, and the lattice-
windows of a chamber in Mr. Endicott's house thrown
wide open. The Lady Arbella, looking paler than
she did on shipboard, is sitting in her chair, and
thinking mournfully of far-off England. She rises
and goes to the window. There, amid patches of
garden ground and cornfield, she sees the few
wretched hovels of the settlers, with the still ruder
wigwams and cloth tents of the passengers who had
arrived in the same fleet with herself. Far and near
stretches the dismal forest of pine trees, which throw
their black shadows over the whole land, and like-
wise over the heart of this poor lady.
All the inhabitants of the little village are busy.
One is clearing a spot on the verge of the forest for
his homestead; another is hewing the trunk of a
fallen pine tree, in order to build himself a dwelling;
a third is hoeing in his field of Indian corn. Here
comes a huntsman out of the woods, dragging a bear
which he has shot, and shouting to the neighbors to
lend him a hand. There goes a man to the sear
shore, with a spade and a bucket, to dig a mess of
clams, which were a principal article of food with
the first settlers. Scattered here and there are two
or three dusky figures, clad in mantles of fur, with
ornaments of bone hanging from their ears, and the
feathers of wild birds in their coal black hair. They
have belts of shell-work slung across their shoulders,
and are armed with bows and arrows and flint-headed
spears. These are an Indian Sagamore and his
attendants, who have come to gaze at the labors of
the white men. And now rises a cry, that a pack
of wolves have seized a young calf in the pasture;
and every man snatches up his gun or pike, and runs
in chase of the marauding beasts.
Poor Lady Arbella watches all these sights, and
feels that this new world is fit only for rough and
hardy people. None should be here but those who
can struggle with wild beasts and wild men, and can
toil in the heat or cold, and can keep their hearts
firm against all difficulties and dangers. But she is
not one of these. Her gentle and timid spirit sinks
within her; and turning away from the window she
sits down in the great chair, and wonders where-
abouts in the wilderness her friends will dig her
Mr. Johnson had gone, with Governor Winthrop
and most of the other passengers, to Boston, where
he intended to build a house for Lady Arbella and
himself. Boston was then covered with wild woods,
and had fewer inhabitants even than Salem. During
her husband's absence, poor Lady Arbella felt her-
self growing ill, and was hardly able to stir from the
great chair. Whenever John Endicott noticed her
despondency, he doubtless addressed her with words
of comfort. Cheer up, my good lady he would
say. "In a little time, you will love this rude life
of the wilderness as I do." But Endicott's heart
was as bold and resolute as iron, and he could not
understand why a woman's heart should not be of
Still, however, he spoke kindly to the lady, and-
then hastened forth to till his corn-field and set out
fruit trees, or to bargain with the Indians for furs, or
perchance to oversee the building of a fort. Also
being a magistrate, he had often to punish some idler
or evil-doer, by ordering him to be set in the stocks
or scourged at the whipping-post. Often, too, as
was the custom of the times, he and Mr. Higginson,
the minister of Salem, held long religious talks
together. Thus John Endicott was a man of multi-
farious business, and had no time to look back regret-
fully to his native land. He felt himself fit for the
new world, and for the work that he had to do, and
set himself resolutely to accomplish it.
What a contrast, my dear children, between this
bold, rough, active man, and the gentle Lady Arbella,
who was fading away, like a pale English flower, in
the shadow of the forest! And now the great chair
was often empty, because Lady Arbella grew too
weak to arise from bed.
Meantime, her husband had pitched upon a spot
for their new home. He returned from Boston to
Salem, travelling through the woods on foot, and
leaning on his pilgrim's staff. His heart yearned
within him ; for he was eager to tell his wife of the
new home which he had chosen. But when he
beheld her pale and hollow cheek, and found how
her strength was wasted, he must have known that
her appointed home was in a better land. Happy
for him then, happy both for him and her, if
they remembered that there was a path to heaven,
as well from this heathen wilderness as from the
Christian land whence they had come. And so, in
one short month from her arrival, the gentle Lady
Arbella faded away and died. They dug a grave
for her in the new soil, where the roots of the pine
trees impeded their spades; and when her bones
had rested there nearly two hundred years, and a
city had sprung up around them, a church of stone
was built upon the spot.
Charley, almost at the commencement of the fore-
going narrative, had galloped away with a prodigious
clatter, upon Grandfather's stick, and was not yet
returned. So large a boy should have been ashamed
to ride upon a stick. But Laurence and Clara had
listened attentively, and were affected by this true
story of the gentle lady, who had come so far to'die
so soon. Grandfather had supposed that little Alice
was asleep, but, towards the close of the story, hap-
pening to look down upon her, he saw that her blue
eyes were wide open, and fixed earnestly upon his
face. The tears had gathered in them, like dew
upon a delicate flower; but when Grandfather
ceased to speak, the sunshine of her smile broke
0, the lady must have been so glad to get to
heaven! exclaimed little Alice.
Grandfather, what became of Mr. Johnson ?"
His heart appears to have been quite broken,"
answered Grandfather; "for he died at Boston
within a month after the death of his wife. He was
buried in the very same tract of ground, where he
had intended to build a dwelling for Lady Arbella
and himself. Where their house would have stood
there was his grave.
"I never heard any thing so melancholy! said
The people loved and respected Mr. Johnson so
much," continued Grandfather,' "that it was the
last request of many of them, when they died, that
they might be buried as near as possible to this good
man's grave. And so the field became the first
burial-ground in Boston. When you pass through
Tremont street, along by King's Chapel, you see a
burial-ground, containing many old grave-stones and
monuments. That was Mr. Johnson's field."
How sad is the thought," observed Clara, that
one of the first things which the settlers had to do,
when they came to the new world, was to set apart
Perhaps," said Laurence, if they had found
no need of burial-grounds here, they would have
GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR. 15
been glad, after a few years, to go back to Eng-
Grandfather looked at Laurence, to discover
whether he knew how profound and true a thing he
NOT long after Grandfather had told the story of
his great chair, there chanced to be a rainy day.
Our friend Charley, after disturbing the household
with beat of drum and riotous shouts, races up and
down the staircase, overturning of chairs, and much
other uproar, began to feel the quiet and confinement
within doors intolerable. But as the rain came down
in a flood, the little fellow was hopelessly a prisoner,
and now stood with sullen aspect at a window, won-
dering whether the sun itself were not extinguished
by so much moisture in the sky.
Charley had already exhausted the less eager
activity of the other children; and they had be-
taken themselves to occupations that did not admit
of his companionship. Laurence sat in a recess near
the book-case, reading, not for the first time, the
Midsummer Night's Dream. Clara was making a
rosary of beads for a little figure of a Sister of
Charity, who was to attend the Bunker Hill Fair, and
lend her aid in erecting the Monument. Little Alice
sat on Grandfather's foot-stool, with a picture-book
in her hand; and, for every picture, the child was
telling Grandfather a story. She did not read from
the book, (for little Alice had not much skill in
reading,) but told the story out of her own heart
Charley was too big a boy, of course, to care any
thing about little Alice's stories, although Grand-
father appeared to listen with a good deal of interest.
Often, in a young child's ideas and fancies, there is
something which it requires the thought of a lifetime
to comprehend. But Charley was of opinion, that
if a story must be told, it had better be told by
Grandfather, than little Alice.
Grandfather, I want to hear more about your
chair," said he.
Now Grandfather remembered that Charley had
galloped away upon a stick, in the midst of the nar-
rative of poor Lady Arbella, and I know not whether
he would have thought it worth while to tell another
story, merely to gratify such an inattentive auditor
as Charley. But Laurence laid down his book and
seconded the request. Clara drew her chair nearer
to Grandfather, and little Alice immediately closed
her picture-book, and looked up into his face.
Grandfather had not the heart to disappoint them.
He mentioned several persons who had a share in
the settlement of our country, and who would be
well worthy of remembrance, if we could find room
to tell about them all. Among the rest, Grand-
father spoke of the famous Hugh Peters, a minister
of the gospel, who did much good to the inhabitants
of Salem. Mr. Peters afterwards went back to Eng-
land, and was chaplain to Oliver Cromwell; but
Grandfather did not tell the children what became
of this upright and zealous man, at last. In fact,
his auditors were growing impatient to hear more
about the history of the chair.
"After the death of Mr. Johnson," said he,
" Grandfather's chair came into the possession of
Roger Williams. He was a clergyman, who arrived
at Salem, and settled there in 1631. Doubtless the
good man has spent many a studious hour in this
old chair, either penning a sermon, or reading some
abstruse book of theology, till midnight came upon
him unawares. At that period, as there were few
lamps or candles to be had, people used to read or
work by the light of pitchpine torches. These sup-
plied the place of the midnight oil," to the learned
men of New England.
Grandfather went on to talk about Roger Wil-
liams, and told the children several particulars,
which we have not room to repeat. One incident,
however, which was connected with his life, must be
related, because it will give the reader an idea of
the opinions and feelings of the first settlers of New
England. It was as follows:
THE RED CROSS.
While Roger Williams sat in Grandfather's chair,
at his humble residence in Salem, John Endicott
would often come to visit him. As the clergy had
great influence in temporal concerns, the minister
and magistrate would talk over the occurrences of
the day, and consult how the people might be gov-
erned according to scriptural laws.
One thing especially troubled them both. In the
old national banner of England, under which her
soldiers have fought for hundreds of years, there is
a Red Cross, which has been there ever since the
days when England was in subjection to the Pope.
The Cross, though a holy symbol, was abhorred by
the Puritans, because they considered it a relic of
Popish idolatry. Now, whenever the train-band of
Salem was mustered, the soldiers, with Endicott at
their head, had no other flag to march under than
this same old papistical banner of England, with the
Red Cross in the midst of it. The banner of the
Red Cross, likewise, was flying on the walls of the
fort of Salem; and a similar one was displayed in
Boston harbor, from the fortress on Castle Island.
I profess, brother Williams," Captain Endicott
would say, after they had been talking of this mat-
ter, "it distresses a Christian man's heart, to see
this idolatrous Cross flying over our heads. A
stranger beholding it, would think that we had
undergone all our hardships and dangers, by sea
and in the wilderness, only to get new dominions for
the Pope of Rome."
"Truly, good Mr. Endicott," Roger Williams
would answer, "you speak as an honest man and
Protestant Christian should. For mine own part,
were it my business to draw a sword, I should reckon
it sinful to fight under such a banner. Neither
can I, in my pulpit, ask the blessing of Heaven
Such, probably, was the way in which Roger Wil-
liams and John Endicott used to talk about the ban-
ner of the Red Cross. Endicott, who was a prompt
and resolute man, soon determined that Massachu-
setts, if she could not have a banner of her own,
should at least be delivered from that of the Pope of
Not long afterwards there was a military muster
at Salem. Every able-bodied man, in the town and
neighborhood, was there*. All were well armed,
with steel caps upon their heads, plates of iron upon
their breasts and at their backs, and gorgets of steel
around their necks. When the sun shone upon
these ranks of iron-clad men, they flashed and blazed
with a splendor that bedazzled the wild Indians, who
had come out of the woods to gaze at them. The
soldiers had long pikes, swords, and muskets, which
were fired with matches, and were almost as heavy
as a small cannon.
These men had mostly a stern and rigid aspect.
To judge by their looks, you might have supposed
that there was as much iron in their hearts, as there
was upon their heads and breasts. They were all
devoted Puritans, and of the same temper as those
with whom Oliver Cromwell afterwards overthrew
the throne of England. They hated all the relics of
Popish superstition as much as Endicott himself;
and yet, over their heads, was displayed the banner
of the Red Cross.
Endicott was the captain of the company. While
the soldiers were expecting his orders to begin their
exercise, they saw him take the banner in one hand,
holding his drawn sword in the other. Probably he
addressed them in a speech, and explained how hor-
rible a thing it was, that men, who had fled from
Popish idolatry into the wilderness, should be com-
pelled to fight under its symbols here. Perhaps he
concluded his address somewhat in the following
And now, fellow soldiers, you see this old ban-
ner of England. Some of you, I doubt not, may
think it treason for a man to lay violent hands upon
it. But whether or no it be treason to man, I have
good assurance in my conscience that it is no treason
to God. Wherefore I have resolved that we will
rather be God's soldiers, than soldiers of the Pope
of Rome; and in that mind I now cut the Papal
Cross out of this banner."
And so he did. And thus, in a province belong-
ing to the crown of England, a captain was found
bold enough to deface the King's banner with his
When Winthrop, and the other wise men of Mas-
sachusetts, heard of it, they were disquieted, being
afraid that Endicott's act would bring great trouble
upon himself and them. An account of the matter
was carried to King Charles; but he was then so
much engrossed by dissensions with his people, that
he had no leisure to punish the offender. In other
22 GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.
times, it might have cost Endicott his life, and Mas-
sachusetts her charter.
I should like to know, Grandfather," said Lau-
rence, when the story was ended, whether, when
Endicott cut the Red Cross out of the banner, he
meant to imply that Massachusetts was independent
of England ? "
"A sense of the independence of his adopted
country, must have been in that bold man's heart,"
answered Grandfather; "but I doubt whether he
had given the matter much consideration, except in
its religious bearing. However, it was a very re-
markable affair, and a very strong expression of
Grandfather proceeded to speak further of Roger
Williams, and of other persons who sat in the great
chair, as will be seen in the following chapter.
"ROGER WILLIAMS," said Grandfather, did not
keep possession of the chair a great while. His
opinions of civil and religious matters differed, in
many respects, from those of the rulers and clergy.
men of Massachusetts. Now the wise men of those
days believed, that the country could not be safe,
unless all the inhabitants thought and felt alike."
Does any body believe so in our days Grand-
father ? asked Laurence.
Possibly there are some who believe it," said
Grandfather ; but they have not so much power to
act upon their belief, as the magistrates and minis-
ters had, in the days of Roger Williams. They had
the power to deprive this good man of his home, and
to send him out from the midst of them, in search of
a new place of rest. He was banished in 1634, and
went first to Plymouth colony; but as the people
there held the same opinions as those of Massachu-
setts, he was not suffered to remain among them.
However, the wilderness was wide enough; so Ro-
ger Williams took his staff and travelled into the
forest, and made treaties with the Indians, and began
a plantation which he called Providence."
I have been to Providence on the railroad,"
said Charley. It is but a two hours' ride."
Yes, Charley," replied Grandfather; but when
Roger Williams travelled thither, over hills and val-
leys, and through the tangled woods, and across
swamps and streams, it was a journey of several
days. Well; his little plantation is now grown to
be a populous city; and the inhabitants have a
great veneration for Roger Williams. His name is
familiar in the mouths of all because they see it on
their bank bills. How it would have perplexed this
good clergyman, if he had been told that he should
give his name to the ROGER WILLIAMS BANK!"
When he was driven from Massachusetts," said
Laurence, "and began his journey into the woods,
he must have felt as if he were burying himself for-
ever from the sight and knowledge of men. Yet
the whole country has now heard of him, and will
remember him forever."
Yes," answered Grandfather, it often happens,
that the outcasts of one generation are those, who
are reverenced as the wisest and best of men by the
next. The securest fame is that which comes after
a man's death. But let us return to our story.
When Roger Williams was banished, he appears to
have given the chair to Mrs. Anne Hutchinson. At
all events it was in her possession in 1637. She
was a very sharp-witted and well-instructed lady,
and was so conscious of her own wisdom and abili-
ties, that she thought it a pity that the world should
not have the benefit of them. She therefore used
to hold lectures in Boston, once or twice a week, at
which most of the women attended. Mrs. Hutchin-
son presided at these meetings, sitting, with great
state and dignity, in Grandfather's chair."
Grandfather, was it positively this very chair ?"
demanded Clara, laying her hand upon its carved
Why not, my dear Clara ?" said Grandfather.
"Well; Mrs. Hutchinson's lectures soon caused a
great disturbance; for the ministers of Boston did
not think it safe and proper, that a woman should
publicly instruct the people in religious doctrines.
Moreover, she made the matter worse, by declaring
that the Rev. Mr. Cotton was the only sincerely pious
and holy clergyman in New England. Now the
clergy of those days had quite as much share in the
government of the country, though indirectly, as the
magistrates themselves ; so you may imagine what a
host of powerful enemies were raised up against Mrs.
Hutchinson. A synod was convened ; that is to say,
an assemblage of all the ministers in Massachusetts.
They declared that there were eighty-two erroneous
opinions on religious subjects, diffused among the
people, and that Mrs. Hutchinson's opinions were of
If they had eighty-two wrong opinions," observ-
ed Charley, I don't see how they could have any
Mrs. Hutchinson had many zealous friends and
converts," continued Grandfather. She was fa-
vored by young Henry Vane, who had come over
from England a year or two before, and had since
been chosen governor of the colony, at the age of
twenty-four. But Winthrop, and most of the other
leading men, as well as the ministers, felt an abhor-
rence of her doctrines. Thus two opposite parties
were formed; and so fierce were the dissensions,
that it was feared the consequence would be civil
war and bloodshed. But Winthrop and the minis-
ters being the most powerful, they disarmed and im-
prisoned Mrs. Hutchinson's adherents. She, like
Roger Williams, was banished."
Dear Grandfather, did they drive the poor wo-
man into the woods ? exclaimed little Alice, who
contrived to feel a human interest even in these dis-
cords of polemic divinity.
They did, my darling," replied Grandfather;
and the end of her life was so sad, you must not
hear it. At her departure, it appears from the best
authorities, that she gave the great chair to her
friend, Henry Vane. He was a young man of won-
derful talents and great learning, who had imbibed
the religious opinions of the Puritans, and left Eng-
land with the intention of spending his life in Massa-
chusetts. The people chose him governor; but the
controversy about Mrs. Hutchinson, and other trou-
bles, caused him to leave the country in 1637. You
may read the subsequent events of his life in the
History of England."
Yes, Grandfather," cried Laurence; and we
may read them better in Mr. Upham's biography of
Vane. And what a beautiful death he died, long
afterwards! beautiful, though it was on a scaffold."
Many of the most beautiful deaths have been
there," said Grandfather. The enemies of a great
and good man can in no other way make him so
glorious, as by giving him the crown of martyr-
In order that the children might fully understand
the all-important history of the chair, Grandfather
now thought fit to speak of the progress that was
made in settling several colonies. The settlement
of Plymouth, in 1620, has already been mentioned.
In 1635, Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone, two ministers,
went on foot from Massachusetts to Connecticut,
through the pathless woods, taking their whole con-
gregation along with them. They founded the town
of Hartford. In 1638, Mr. Davenport, a very cele-
brated minister, went, with other people, and began
a plantation at New Haven. In the same year,
some persons who had been persecuted in Massachu.
setts, went to the Isle of Rhodes, since called Rhode
Island, and settled there. About this time, also,
many settlers had gone to Maine, and were living
without any regular government. There were like-
wise settlers near Piscataqua River, in the region
which is now called New Hampshire.
Thus, at various points along the coast of New
England, there were communities of Englishmen.
Though these communities were independent of one
another, yet they had a common dependence upon
England; and, at so vast a distance from their na-
tive home, the inhabitants must all have felt like
brethren. They were fitted to become one united
people, at a future period. Perhaps their feelings
of brotherhood were the stronger, because different
nations had formed settlements to the north and to
the south. In Canada and Nova Scotia were colo-
nies of French. On the banks of the Hudson River
was a colony of Dutch, who had taken possession of
that region many years before, and called it New
Grandfather, for aught I know, might have gone
on to speak of Maryland and Virginia; for the good
old gentleman really seemed to suppose, that the
whole surface of the United States was not too broad
a foundation to place the four legs of his chair upon.
But, happening to glance at Charley, he perceived
that this naughty boy was growing impatient, and
meditating another ride upon a stick. So here, for
the present, Grandfather suspended the history of
TmE Children had now learned to look upon the
chair with an interest, which was almost the same as
if it were a conscious being, and could remember the
many famous people whom it had held within its
Even Charley, lawless as he was, seemed to feel
that this venerable chair must not be clambered upon
nor overturned, although he had no scruple in taking
such liberties with every other chair in the house.
Clara treated it with still greater reverence, often
taking occasion to smooth its cushion, and to brush
the dust from the carved flowers and grotesque
figures of its oaken back and arms. Laurence
would sometimes sit a whole hour, especially at twi-
light, gazing at the chair, and, by the spell of his
imaginations, summoning up its ancient occupants to
appear in it again.
Little Alice evidently employed herself in a simi-
lar way; for once, when Grandfather had gone
abroad, the child was heard talking with the gentle
Lady Arbella, as if she were still sitting in the
chair. So sweet a child as little Alice may fitly
talk with angels, such as the Lady Arbella had long
Grandfather was soon importuned for more stories
about the chair. He had no difficulty in relating
them; for it really seemed as if every person, noted
in our early history, had, on some occasion or other,
found repose within its comfortable arms. If Grand-
father took pride in any thing, it was in being the
possessor of such an honorable and historic elbow
I know not precisely who next got possession of
the chair, after Governor Vane went back to Eng-
land," said Grandfather. But there is reason to
believe that President Dunster sat in it, when he
held the first commencement at Harvard College.
You have often heard, children, how careful our
forefathers were, to give their young people a good
education. They had scarcely cut down trees
enough to make room for their own dwellings, before
they began to think of establishing a college. Their
principal object was, to rear up pious and learned
ministers; and hence old writers call Harvard Col-
lege a school of the prophets."
Is the college a school of the prophets now ?"
It is a long while since I took my degree, Char-
ley. You must ask some of the recent graduates,"
answered Grandfather. As I was telling you,
President Dunster sat in Grandfather's chair in
1642, when he conferred the degree of bachelor of
arts on nine young men. They were the first in
America, who had received that honor. And now,
my dear auditors, I must confess that there are con-
tradictory statements and some uncertainty about
the adventures of the chair, for a period of almost
ten years. Some say that it was occupied by your
own ancestor, William Hawthorne, first Speaker of
the House of Representatives. I have nearly satis-
fied myself, however, that, during most of this ques-
tionable period, it was literally the Chair of State.
It gives me much pleasure to imagine, that several
successive governors of Massachusetts sat in it at
the council board."
"But, Grandfather," interposed Charley, who
was a matter-of-fact little person, "what reason
have you to imagine so ? "
Pray do imagine it, Grandfather," said Lau-
With Charley's permission, I will," replied
Grandfather, smiling. Let us consider it settled,
therefore, that Winthrop, Bellingham, Dudley, and
Endicott, each of them, when chosen governor, took
his seat in our great chair on election day. In this
chair, likewise, did those excellent governors pre-
side, while holding consultations with the chief coun-
sellors of the province, who were styled Assistants.
The governor sat in this chair, too, whenever mes-
sages were brought to him from the chamber of Rep-
And here Grandfather took occasion to talk,
rather tediously, about the nature and forms of
government that established themselves, almost spon-
taneously, in Massachusetts and the other New Eng-
land colonies. Democracies were the natural growth
of the new world. As to Massachusetts, it was at
first intended that the colony should be governed by
a council in London. But, in a little while, the
people had the whole power in their own hands, and
chose annually the governor, the counsellors, and
the representatives. The people of old England
had never enjoyed any thing like the liberties and
privileges, which the settlers of New England now
possessed. And they did not adopt these modes of
government after long study, but in simplicity, as if
there were no other way for people to be ruled.
But, Laurence," continued Grandfather, when
you want instruction on these points, you must seek
it in Mr. Bancroft's History. I am merely telling
the history of a chair. To proceed. The period
during which the governors sat in our chair, was not
very full of striking incidents. The province was
now established on a secure foundation; but it did
not increase so rapidly as at first, because the Puri-
tans were no longer driven from England by perse-
cution. However, there was still a quiet and natural
growth. The legislature incorporated towns, and
made new purchases of lands from the Indians. A
very memorable event took place in 1643. The
colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut,
and New Haven, formed a union, for the purpose of
assisting each other in difficulties, and for mutual
defence against their enemies. They called them-
selves the United Colonies of New England."
Were they under a government like that of
the United States ?" inquired Laurence.
No," replied Grandfather, the different colo-
nies did not compose one nation together; it was
merely a confederacy among the governments. It
somewhat resembled the league of the Amphictyons,
which you remember in Grecian history. But to
return to our chair. In 1644 it was highly honored;
for Governor Endicott sat in it, when he gave audi-
ence to an ambassador from the French governor of
Acadie, or Nova Scotia. A treaty of peace, be-
tween Massachusetts and the French colony, was
Did England allow Massachusetts to make war
and peace with foreign countries ? asked Laurence.
Massachusetts, and the whole of New England,
was then almost independent of the mother coun-
try," said Grandfather. "There was now a civil
war in England; and the king, as you may well
suppose, had his hands full at home, and could pay
but little attention to these remote colonies. When
the Parliament got the power into their hands, they
likewise had enough to do in keeping down the
Cavaliers. Thus New England, like a young and
hardy lad, whose father and mother neglect it, was
left to take care of itself. In 1649, King Charles
was beheaded. Oliver Cromwell then became Pro-
tector of England; and as he was a Puritan himself,
and had risen by the valor of the English Puritans,
34 GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.
he showed himself a loving and indulgent father to
the Puritan colonies in America."
Grandfather might have continued to talk in this
dull manner, nobody knows how long ; but, suspect-
ing that Charley would find the subject rather dry,
he looked sideways at that vivacious little fellow,
and saw him give an involuntary yawn. Where-
upon, Grandfather proceeded with the history of
the chair, and related a very entertaining incident,
which will be found in the next chapter.
"ACCORDING to the most authentic records, my
dear children," said Grandfather, "the chair, about
this time, had the misfortune to break its leg. It
was probably on account of this accident, that it
ceased to be the seat of the governors of Massachu-
setts; for, assuredly, it would have been ominous of
evil to the commonwealth, if the Chair of State had
tottered upon three legs. Being therefore sold at
auction, alas! what a vicissitude for a chair that
had figured in such high company, our venerable
friend was knocked down to a certain Captain John
Hull. This old gentleman, on carefully examining
the maimed chair, discovered that its broken leg
might be clamped with iron and made as serviceable
Here is the very leg that was broken!" ex-
claimed Charley, throwing himself down on the floor
to look at it. And here are the iron clamps.
How well it was mended! "
When they had all sufficiently examined the bro-
ken leg, Grandfather told them a story about Captain
John Hull and
THE PINE-TREE SHILLINGS.
The Captain John Hull, aforesaid, was the mint-
master of Massachusetts, and coined all the money
that was made there. This was a new line of busi-
ness; for, in the earlier days of the colony, the cur-
rent coinage consisted of gold and silver money of
England, Portugal, and Spain. These coins being
scarce, the people were often forced to barter their
commodities, instead of selling them.
For instance, if a man wanted to buy a coat, he
perhaps exchanged a bear-skin for it. If he wished
for a barrel of molasses, he might purchase it with a
pile of pine boards. Musket-bullets were used in-
stead of farthings. The Indians had a sort of
money, called wampum, which was made of clam-
shells; and this strange sort of specie was likewise
taken in payment of debts, by the English settlers.
Bank-bills had never been heard of. There was
not money enough of any kind, in many parts of
the country, to pay the salaries of the ministers; so
that they sometimes had to take quintals of fish,
bushels of corn, or cords of wood, instead of silver
As the people grew more numerous, and their
trade one with another increased, the want of cur-
rent money was still more sensibly felt. To supply
the demand, the general court passed a law for
establishing a coinage of shillings, sixpences, and
threepences. Captain John Hull was appointed to
manufacture this money, and was to have about one
shilling out of every twenty to pay him for the
trouble of making them.
Hereupon, all the old silver in the colony was
handed over to Captain John Hull. The battered
silver cans and tankards, I suppose, and silver
buckles, and broken spoons, and silver buttons of
worn-out coats, and silver hilts of swords that had
figured at court, all such curious old articles were
doubtless thrown into the melting-pot together. But
by far the greater part of the silver consisted of
bullion from the mines of South America, which the
English buccaniers (who were little better than
pirates) had taken from the Spaniards, and
brought to Massachusetts.
All this old and new silver being melted down
and coined, the result was an immense amount of
splendid shillings, sixpences, and threepences.
Each had the date, 1652, on the one side, and the
figure of a pine-tree on the other. Hence they
were called pine-tree shillings. And for every
twenty shillings that he coined, you will remember,
Captain John Hull was entitled to put one shilling
into his own pocket.
The magistrates soon began to suspect that the
mint-master would have the best of the bargain.
They offered him a large sum of money, if he would
but give up that twentieth shilling, which he was
continually dropping into his own pocket. But
Captain Hull declared himself perfectly satisfied
with the shilling. And well he might be; for so
diligently did he labor, that, in a few years, his
pockets, his money bags, and his strong box, were
overflowing with pine-tree shillings. This was pro-
bably the case when he came into possession of
Grandfather's chair; and, as he had worked so hard
at the mint, it was certainly proper that he should
have a comfortable chair to rest himself in.
When the mint-master had grown very rich, a
young man, Samuel Sewell by name, came a court-
ing to his only daughter. His daughter, -whose
name I do not know, but we will call her Betsey, -
was a fine hearty damsel, by no means so slender as
some young ladies of our own days. On the con-
trary, having always fed heartily on pumpkin pies,
doughnuts, Indian puddings, and other Puritan
dainties, she was as round and plump as a pudding
herself. With this round, rosy Miss Betsey, did
Samuel Sewell fall in love. As he was a young
man of good character, industrious in his business,
and a member of the church, the mint-master very
readily gave his consent.
Yes you may take her," said he, in his rough
way ; and you 'll find her a heavy burden enough! "
On the wedding day, we may suppose that honest
John Hull dressed himself in a plum-colored coat,
all the buttons of which were made of pine-tree
shillings. The buttons of his waistcoat were six-
pences; and the knees of his smallclothes were
buttoned with silver threepences. Thus attired, he
sat with great dignity in Grandfather's chair; and,
being a portly old gentleman, he completely filled it
from elbow to elbow. On the opposite side of the
room, between her bride-maids, sat Miss Betsey.
She was blushing with all her might, and looked like
a full blown paeony, or a great red apple.
There, too, was the bridegroom, dressed in a fine
purple coat, and gold lace waistcoat, with as much
other finery as the Puritan laws and customs would
allow him to put on. His hair was cropped close to
his head, because Governor Endicott had forbidden
any man to wear it below the ears. But he was a
very personable young man; and so thought the
bride-maids and Miss Betsey herself.
The mint-master also was pleased with his new
son-in-law; especially as he had courted Miss Betsey
out of pure love, and had said nothing at all about
her portion. So when the marriage ceremony was
over, Captain Hull whispered a word to two of his
men-servants, who immediately went out, and soon
returned, lugging in a large pair of scales. They
were such a pair as wholesale merchants use, for
weighing bulky commodities; and quite a bulky
commodity was now to be weighed in them.
( Daughter Betsey," said the mint-master, get
into one side of these scales."
Miss Betsey, or Mrs. Sewell, as we must now
call her, did as she was bid, like a dutiful child;
without any question of the why and wherefore.
But what her father could mean, unless to make her
husband pay for her by the pound, (in which case
she would have been a dear bargain,) she had not
the least idea.
And now," said honest John Hull to the ser-
vants, bring that box hither."
The box, to which the mint-master pointed, was a
huge, square, iron bound, oaken chest; it was big
enough, my children, for all four of you to play at
hide-and-seek in. The servants tugged with might
and main, but could not lift this enormous recep-
tacle, and were finally obliged to drag it across the
floor. Captain Hull then took a key from his girdle,
unlocked the chest, and lifted its ponderous lid.
Behold! it was full to the brim of bright pine-tree
shillings, fresh from the mint; and Samuel Sewell
began to think that his father-in-law had got posses-
sion of all the money in the Massachusetts treasury.
But it was only the mint-master's honest share of
Then the servants, at Captain Hull's command,
heaped double handfulls of shillings into one side of
the scales, while Betsey remained in the other.
Jingle, jingle, went the shillings, as handful after
handful was thrown in, till, plump and ponderous as
she was, they fairly weighed the young lady from
There, son Sewell !" cried the honest mint-
master, resuming his seat in Grandfather's chair.
"Take these shillings for my daughter's portion.
Use her kindly, and thank Heaven for her. It is
not every wife that 's worth her weight in silver "
The children laughed heartily at this legend, and
would hardly be convinced but that Grandfather had
made it out of his own head. He assured them
faithfully, however, that he had found it in the
GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR. 41
pages of a grave historian, and had merely tried
to tell it in a somewhat funnier style. As for
Samuel Sewell, he afterwards became Chief Justice
Well, Grandfather," remarked Clara, "if wed-
ding portions now-a-days were paid as Miss Betsey's
was, young ladies would not pride themselves upon
an airy figure as many of them do."
WHEN his little audience next assembled round
the chair, Grandfather gave them a doleful history
of the Quaker persecution, which began in 1656,
and raged for about three years in Massachusetts.
He told them how, in the first place, twelve of
the converts of George Fox, the first Quaker in the
world, had come over from England. They seemed
to be impelled by an earnest love for the souls of
men, and a pure desire to make known what they
considered a revelation from Heaven. But the
rulers looked upon them as plotting the downfall of
all government and religion. They were banished
from the colony. In a little while, however, not
only the first twelve had returned, but a multitude
of other Quakers had come to rebuke the rulers,
and to preach against the priests and steeple-houses.
Grandfather described the hatred and scorn with
which these enthusiasts were received. They were
thrown into dungeons; they were beaten with many
stripes, women as well as men; they were driven
forth into the wilderness, and left to the tender mer-
cies of wild beasts and Indians. The children were
amazed to hear, that, the more the Quakers were
scourged, and imprisoned, and banished, the more
did the sect increase, both by the influx of strangers,
and by converts from among the Puritans. But
Grandfather told them, that God had put something
into the soul of man, which always turned the cruel-
ties of the persecutor to nought.
He went on to relate, that, in 1659, two Quakers,
named William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephen-
son, were hanged at Boston. A woman had been
sentenced to die with them, but was reprieved, on
condition of her leaving the colony. Her name was
Mary Dyer. In the year 1660 she returned to
Boston, although she knew death awaited her there;
and, if Grandfather had been correctly informed, an
incident had then taken place, which connects her
with our story. This Mary Dyer had entered the
mint-master's dwelling, clothed in sackcloth and
ashes, and seated herself in our great chair, with a
sort of dignity and state. Then she proceeded to
deliver what she called a message from Heaven;
but in the midst of it, they dragged her to prison.
"And was she executed ? asked Laurence.
She was," said Grandfather.
Grandfather," cried Charley, clenching his fist,
I would have fought for that poor Quaker woman!"
Ah! but if a sword had been drawn for her,"
said Laurence, "it'would have taken away all the
beauty of her death."
It seemed as if hardly any of the preceding sto-
ries had thrown such an interest around Grandfa-
ther's chair, as did the fact, that the poor, perse-
cuted, wandering Quaker woman had rested in it for
a moment. The children were so much excited,
that Grandfather found it necessary to bring his
account of the persecution to a close.
In 1660, the same year in which Mary Dyer
was executed," said he, Charles the Second was
restored to the throne of his fathers. This king had
many vices; but he would not permit blood to be
shed, under pretence of religion, in any part of his
dominions. The Quakers in England told him what
had been done to their brethren in Massachusetts;
and he sent orders to Governor Endicott to forbear
all such proceedings in future. And so ended the
Quaker persecution, one of the most mournful
passages in the history of our forefathers."
Grandfather then told his auditors, that, shortly
after the above incident, the great chair had been
given by the mint-master to the Rev. Mr. John Eliot.
He was the first minister of Roxbury. But besides
attending to his pastoral duties there, he learned the
language of the red men, and often went into the
woods to preach to them. So earnestly did he labor
for their conversion, that he has always been called
the apostle to the Indians. The mention of this
holy man suggested to Grandfather the propriety of
giving a brief sketch of the history of the Indians,
so far as they were connected with the English colo-
A short period before the arrival of the first Pil-
grims at Plymouth, there had been a very grievous
plague among the red men; and the sages and min-
sisters of that day were inclined to the opinion, that
Providence had sent this mortality, in order to make
room for the settlement of the English. But I know
not why we should suppose that an Indian's life is
less precious, in the eye of Heaven, than that of a
white man. Be that as it may, death had certainly
been very busy with the savage tribes.
In many places the English found the wigwams
deserted, and the corn-fields growing to waste, with
none to harvest the grain. There were heaps of
earth also, which, being dug open, proved to be
Indian graves, containing bows and flint-headed
spears and arrows; for the Indians buried the dead
warrior's weapons along with him. In some spots,
there were skulls dnd other human bones, lying un-
buried. In 1633, and the year afterwards, the
smallpox broke out among the Massachusetts Indians,
multitudes of whom died by this terrible disease of
the old world. These misfortunes made them far
less powerful than they had formerly been.
For nearly half a century after the arrival of the
English, the red men showed themselves generally
inclined to peace and amity. They often made
submission, when they might have made successful
war. The Plymouth settlers, led by the famous
Captain Miles Standish, slew some of them in 1623,
without any very evident necessity for so doing. In
1636, and the following year, there was the most
dreadful war that had yet occurred between the In-
dians and the English. The Connecticut settlers,
assisted by a celebrated Indian chief, named Uncas,
bore the brunt of this war, with but little aid from
Massachusetts. Many hundreds of the hostile In-
dians were slain, or burnt in their wigwams. Sassa-
cus, their sachem, fled to another tribe, after his
own people were defeated; but he was murdered
by them, and his head was sent to his English ene-
From that period, down to the time of King
Philip's war, which will be mentioned hereafter,
there was not much trouble with the Indians. But
the colonists were always on their guard, and kept
their weapons ready for the conflict.
"I have sometimes doubted," said Grandfather,
when he had told these things to'the children, I
have sometimes doubted whether there was more
than a single man, among our forefathers, who real-
ized that an Indian possesses a mind and a heart,
and an immortal soul. That single man was John
Eliot. All the rest of the early settlers seemed to
think that the Indians were an inferior race of be-
ings, whom the Creator had merely allowed to keep
possession of this beautiful country, till the white
men should be in want of it.
"Did the pious men of those days never try to
make Christians of them ? asked Laurence.
Sometimes, it is true," answered Grandfather,
"the magistrates and ministers would talk about
civilizing and converting the red people. But, at
the bottom of their hearts, they would have had
almost as much expectation of civilizing a wild bear
of the woods, and making him fit for paradise.
They felt no faith in the success of any such attempts,
because they had no love for the poor indians. Now
Eliot was full of love for them, and therefore so full
of faith and hope, that he spent the labor of a life-
time in their behalf."
"I would have conquered them first, and then
converted them," said Charley.
Ah, Charley, there spoke the very spirit of our
forefathers!" replied Grandfather. "But Mr.
Eliot had a better spirit. He looked upon them as
his brethren. He persuaded as many of them as
he could, to leave off their idle and wandering habits,
and to build houses, and cultivate the earth, as the
English did. He established schools among them,
and taught many of the Indians how to read. He
taught them, likewise, how to pray. Hence they
were called 'praying Indians.' Finally, having
spent the best years of his life for their good, Mr.
Eliot resolved to spend the remainder in doing them
a yet greater benefit."
"I know what that was cried Laurence.
"He sat down in his study," continued Grand-
father, "' and began a translation of the Bible into
the Indian tongue. It was while he was engaged
in this pious work, that the mint-master gave him
our great chair. His toil needed it, and deserved
O, Grandfather, tell us all about that Indian
48 GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.
Bible exclaimed Laurence. I have seen it in
the library of the Athenaeum; and the tears came
into my eyes, to think that there were no Indians
left to read it.'L
As Grandfather was a great admirer of the Apostle
Eliot, he was glad to comply with the earnest re-
quest which Laurence had made, at the close of the
last chapter. So he proceeded to describe how good
Mr. Eliot labored, while he was at work upon
THE INDIAN BIBLE.
My dear children, what a task would you think it,
even with a long lifetime before you, were you bid-
den to copy every chapter and verse, and word, in
yonder great family Bible! Would not this be a
heavy toil ? But if the task were, not .to write off
the English Bible, but to learn a language, utterly
unlike all other tongues, a language which hith-
erto had never been learned, except by the Indians
themselves, from their mothers' lips, a language
never written, and the strange words of which
seemed inexpressible by letters ; if the task'were,
first, to learn this new variety of speech, and then
to translate the Bible into it, and to do it so care-
fully, that not one idea throughout the holy book
should be changed, what would induce you to
undertake this toil ? Yet this was what the Apostle
It was a mighty work for a man, now growing old,
to take upon himself. And what earthly reward
could he expect from it? None; no reward on
earth. But he believed that the red men 'were the
descendants of those lost tribes of Israel of whom
history has been able to tell us nothing, for thou-
sands of years. He hoped that God had sent the
English across the ocean, Gentiles as they were, to
enlighten this benighted portion of his once chosen
race. And when he should be summoned hence, he
trusted to meet blessed spirits in another world,
whose bliss would have been earned by his patient
toil, in translating the Word of God. This hope
and trust were far dearer to him, than any thing
that earth could offer.
Sometimes, while thus at work, he was visited by
learned men, who desired to know what literary un-
dertaking Mr. Elliot had in hand. They, like him-
self, had been bred in the studious cloisters of a uni-
versity, and were supposed to possess all the erudi-
tion which mankind has hoarded up from age to age.
Greek and Latin were as familiar to them as the
babble of their childhood. Hebrew was like their
mother tongue. They had grown gray in study;
their eyes were bleared with poring over print and
manuscript by the light of the midnight lamp.
And yet, how much had they left unlearned!
Mr. Eliot would put into their hands some of the
pages, which he had been writing; and behold! the
gray-headed men stammered over the long, strange
words, like a little child in his first attempts to read.
Then would the apostle call to him an Indian boy,
one of his scholars, and show him the manuscript,
which had so puzzled the learned Englishmen.
Read this, my child," said he, "these are some
brethren of mine, who would fain hear the sound of
thy native tongue."
Then would the Indian boy cast his eyes over the
mysterious page, and read it so skilfully, that it
sounded like wild music. It seemed as if the forest
leaves were singing in the ears of his auditors, and
as if the roar of distant streams were poured through
the young Indian's voice. Such were the sounds
amid which the language of the red man had been
formed; and they were still heard to echo in it.
The lesson being over, Mr. Eliot would give the
Indian boy an apple or a cake, and bid him leap forth
into the open air, which his free nature loved. The
apostle was kind to children, and even shared in
their sports, sometimes. And when his visitors had
bidden him farewell, the good man turned patiently
to his toil again.
No other Englishman had ever understood the
Indian character so well, nor possessed so great an
influence over the New England tribes, as the apos-
tle did. His advice and assistance must often have
been valuable to his countrymen, in their transactions
with the Indians. Occasionally, perhaps, the gov-
ernor and some of the counsellors came to visit Mr.
Eliot. Perchance they were seeking some method
to circumvent the forest people. They inquired, it
may be, how they could obtain possession of such and
such a tract of their rich land. Or they talked of
making the Indians their servants, as if God had
destined them for perpetual bondage to the more
powerful white man.
Perhaps, too, some warlike captain, dressed in his
buff-coat, with a corslet beneath it, accompanied the
governor and counsellors. Laying his hand upon
his sword hilt, he would declare, that the only
method of dealing with the red men was to meet
them with the sword drawn, and the musket pre-
But the apostle resisted both the craft of the po-
litician, and the fierceness of the warrior.
Treat these sons of the forest as men and breth-
ren," he would say, and let us endeavor to make
them Christians. Their forefathers were of that
chosen race, whom God delivered from Egyptian
bondage. Perchance he has destined us to deliver
the children from the more cruel bondage of igno-
rance and idolatry. Chiefly for this end, it may be,
we were directed across the ocean."
When these other visitors were gone, Mr. Eliot
bent himself again over the half written page. He
dared hardly relax a moment from his toil. He felt
that, in the book which he was translating, there
was a deep human, as well as heavenly wisdom,
which would of itself suffice to civilize and refine the
savage tribes. Let the Bible be diffused among
them, and all earthly good would follow. But how
slight a consideration was this, when he reflected
that the eternal welfare of a whole race of men de-
pended upon his accomplishment of the task which
he had set himself! What if his hands should be
palsied ? What if his mind should lose its vigor ?
What if death should come upon him, ere the work
were done ? Then must the red man wander in the
dark wilderness of heathenism for ever.
Impelled by such thoughts as these, he sat writing
in the great chair, when the pleasant summer breeze
came in through his open casement; and also when
the fire of forest logs sent up its blaze and smoke,
through the broad stone chimney, into the wintry
air. Before the earliest bird sang, in the morning,
the apostle's lamp was kindled; and, at midnight,
his weary head was not yet upon its pillow. And at
length, leaning back in the great chair, he could say
to himself, with a holy triumph, -" The work is
It was finished. Here was a Bible for the Indians.
Those long lost descendants of the ten tribes of
Israel would now learn the history of their forefa-
thers. That grace, which the ancient Israelites had
forfeited, was offered anew to their children.
There is no impiety in believing that, when his
long life was over, the apostle of the Indians was
welcomed to the celestial abodes by the prophets of
ancient days, and by those earliest apostles and evan-
gelists, who had drawn their inspiration from the
immediate presence of the Saviour. They first had
preached truth and salvation to the world. And
Eliot, separated from them by many centuries, yet
full of the same spirit, had borne the like message
to the new world of the West. Since the first days
of Christianity, there has been no man more worthy
to be numbered in the brotherhood of the apostles,
My heart is not satisfied to think," observed
Laurence, that Mr. Eliot's labors have done no
good, except to a few Indians of his own time.
Doubtless, he would not have regretted his toil, if it
were the means of saving but a single soul. But it
is a grievous thing to me, that he should have toiled
so hard to translate the Bible, and now the language
and the people are gone The Indian Bible itself is
almost the only relic of both."
Laurence," said his Grandfather, "if ever you
should doubt that man is capable of disinterested
zeal for his brother's good, then remember how the
apostle Eliot toiled. And if you should feel your
own self-interest pressing upon your heart too closely,
then think of Eliot's Indian Bible. It is good for
the world that such a man has lived, and left this
emblem of his life."
The tears gushed into the eyes of Laurence, and
he acknowledged that Eliot had not toiled in vain.
Little Alice put up her arms to Grandfather, and
GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR. 55
drew down his white head beside her own golden
Grandfather," whispered she, I want to kiss
good Mr. Eliot! "
And, doubtless, good Mr. Eliot would gladly
receive the kiss of so sweet a child as little Alice,
and would think it a portion of his reward in heaven.
Grandfather now observed, that Dr. Francis had
written a very beautiful Life of Eliot, which he
advised Laurence to peruse. He then spoke of
King Philip's war, which began in 1675, and termi-
nated with the death of King Philip, in the follow-
ing year. Philip was a proud, fierce Indian, whom
Mr. Eliot had vainly endeavored to convert to the
It must have been a great anguish to the apos-
tle," continued Grandfather, "to hear of mutual
slaughter and outrage between his own countrymen,
and those for whom he felt the affection of a father.
A few of the praying Indians joined the followers of
King Philip. A greater number fought on the side
of the English. In the course of the war, the little
community of red people whom Mr. Eliot had begun
to civilize, was scattered, and probably never was
restored to a flourishing condition. But his zeal did
not grow cold; and only about five years before his
death he took great pains in preparing a new edition
of the Indian Bible."
I do wish Grandfather," cried Charley, you
would tell us all about the battles in King Philip's
56 GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.
O, no! exclaimed Clara. Who wants to
hear about tomahawks and scalping knives "
No, Charley," replied Grandfather, I have no
time to spare in talking about battles. You must
be content with knowing that it was the bloodiest war
that the Indians had ever waged against the white
men; and that, at its close, the English set King
Philip's head upon a pole."
Who was the captain of the English?" asked
Their most noted captain was Benjamin Church,
- a very famous warrior," said Grandfather. But
I assure you, Charley, that neither Captain Church,
nor any of the officers and soldiers who fought in
King Philip's war, did any thing a thousandth part
so glorious, as Mr. Eliot did, when he translated the
Bible for the Indians."
Let Laurence be the apostle," said Charley to
himself, and I will be the captain."
THE children were now accustomed to assemble
round Grandfather's chair, at all their unoccupied mo-
ments; and often it was a striking picture to behold
the white-headed old sire, with this flowery wreath
of young people around him. When he talked to
them, it was the past speaking to the present, or
rather to the future, for the children were of a gen-
eration which had not become actual. Their part in
life, thus far, was only to be happy, and to draw
knowledge from a thousand sources. As yet, it was
not their time to do.
Sometimes, as Grandfather gazed at their fair,
unworldly countenances, a mist of tears bedimmed
his spectacles. He almost regretted that it was
necessary for them to know any thing of the past,
or to provide aught for the future. He could have
wished that they might be always the happy, youth-
ful creatures, who had hitherto sported around his
chair, without inquiring whether it had a history.
It grieved him to think that his little Alice, who
was a flower-bud fresh from paradise, must open her
leaves to the rough breezes of the world, or ever
open them in any clime. So sweet a child she was,
that it seemed fit her infancy should be immortal!
But such repinings were merely flitting shadows
across the old man's heart. He had faith enough to
believe, and wisdom enough to know, that the bloom
of the flower would be even holier and happier than
its bud. Even within himself,--though Grand-
father was now at that period of life, when the veil
of mortality is apt to hang heavily over the soul, -
still, in his inmost being, he was conscious of some-
thing that he would not have exchanged for the best
happiness of childhood. It was a bliss to which
every sort of earthly experience, all that he had
enjoyed or suffered, or seen, or heard, or acted, with
the broodings of his soul upon the whole, -had
contributed somewhat. In the same manner must a
bliss, of which now they could have no conception,
grow up within these children, and form a part of
their sustenance for immortality.
So Grandfather, with renewed cheerfulness, con-
tinued his history of the chair, trusting that a pro-
founder wisdom than his own would extract, from
these flowers and weeds of Time, a fragrance that
might last beyond all time.
At this period of the story, Grandfather threw a
glance backward, as far as the year 1660. He
spoke of the ill-concealed reluctance with which the
Puritans in America had acknowledged the sway of
Charles the Second, on his restoration to his father's
throne. When death had stricken Oliver Cromwell,
that mighty protector had no sincere mourners than
in New England. The new king had been more
than a year upon the throne before his accession
was proclaimed in Boston; although the neglect to
perform the ceremony might have subjected the
rulers to the charge of treason.
During the reign of Charles the Second, however,
the American colonies had but little reason to com-
plain of harsh or tyrannical treatment. But when
Charles died, in 1685, and was succeeded by his
brother James, the patriarchs of New England
began to tremble. King James was a bigoted
Roman Catholic, and was known to be of an arbi-
trary temper. It was feared by all Protestants,
and chiefly by the Puritians, that he would assume
despotic power, and attempt to establish Popery
throughout his dominions. Our forefathers felt that
they had no security either for their religion or their
The result proved that they'had reason for their
apprehensions. King James caused the charters of
all the American colonies to be taken away. The
old charter of Massachusetts, which the people
regarded as a holy thing, and as the foundation of
all their liberties, was declared void. The colonists
were now no longer freemen; they were entirely
dependent on the king's pleasure. At first, in
1685, King James appointed Joseph Dudley, a
native of Massachusetts, to be president of New
England. But soon afterwards, Sir Edmund An-
dros, an officer of the English army, arrived, with a
commission to be governor-general of New England
and New York.
The king had given such powers to Sir Edmund
Andros, that there was now no liberty, nor scarcely
any law, in the colonies over which he ruled. The
inhabitants were not allowed to choose represent-
atives, and consequently had no voice whatever in
the government, nor control over the measures that
were adopted. The counsellors, with whom the go-
vernor consulted on matters of state, were appoint-
ed by himself. This sort of government was no bet-
ter than an absolute despotism.
"The people suffered much wrong, while Sir Ed-
mund Andros ruled over them," continued Grand-
father, and they were apprehensive of much more.
He had brought some soldiers with him from Eng-
land, who took possession of the old fortress on Cas-
tle Island, and of the fortification on Fort Hill.
Sometimes it was rumored that a general massacre
of the inhabitants was to be perpetrated by these
soldiers. There were reports, too, that all the min-
isters were to be slain or imprisoned."
"For what? inquired Charley.
"Because they were the leaders of the people,
Charley," said Grandfather. "A minister was a
more formidable man than a general, in those days.
Well; while these things were going on in America,
King James had so misgoverned the people of Eng-
land, that they sent over to Holland for the Prince
of Orange. He had married the king's daughter,
and was therefore considered to have a claim to the
crown. On his arrival in England, the Prince of
Orange was proclaimed king, by the name of Wil-
liam the Third. Poor old King James made his
escape to France."
Grandfather told how, at the first intelligence of
the landing of the Prince of Orange in England,
the people of Massachusetts rose in their strength,
and overthrew the government of Sir Edniund
Andros. He, with Joseph Dudley, Edmund Ran-
dolph, and his other principal adherents, were thrown
into prison. Old Simon Bradstreet, who had been
governor, when King James took away the charter,
was called by the people to govern them again.
Governor Bradstreet was a venerable old man,
nearly ninety years of age," said Grandfather.
He came over with the first settlers, and had been
the intimate companion of all those excellent and
famous men who laid the foundation of our country.
They were all gone before him to the grave; and
Bradstreet was the last of the Puritans."
Grandfather paused a moment, and smiled, as if
he had something very interesting to tell his audit-
ors. He then proceeded:
"And now, Laurence, now, Clara, now,
Charley, now, my dear little Alice, what chair
do you think had been placed in the council cham-
ber, for old Governor Bradstreet to take his seat
in? Would you believe that it was this very chair
in which grandfather now sits, and of which he is
telling you the history ? "
I am glad to hear it, with all my heart !" cried
Charley, after a shout of delight. "I thought
Grandfather had quite forgotten the chair."
It was a solemn and affecting sight," said
Grandfather, when this venerable patriarch, with
his white beard flowing down upon his breast, took
his seat in his Chair of State. Within his remem-
brance, and even since his mature age, the site
where now stood the populous town, had been a wild
and forest-covered peninsula. The province, now
so fertile, and spotted with thriving villages, had
been a desert wilderness. He was surrounded by
a shouting multitude, most of whom had been born
in the country which he had helped to found. They
were of one generation, and he of another. As the
old man looked upon them, and beheld new faces
everywhere, he must have felt that it was now time
for him to go, whither his brethren had gone before
Were the former governors all dead and gone ?"
"All of them," replied Grandfather. "Win-
throp had been dead forty years. Endicott died, a
very old man, in 1665. Sir Henry Vane was be-
headed in London, at the beginning of the reign of
Charles the Second. And Haynes, Dudley, Bel-
lingham and Leverett, who had all been governors of
Massachusetts, were now likewise in their graves.
Old Simon Bradstreet was the sole representative of
that departed brotherhood. There was no other
public man remaining to connect the ancient system
GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR. 63
of government and manners with the new system,
which was about to take its place. The era of the
Puritans was now completed."
I am sorry for it," observed Laurence; "for,
though they were so stern, yet it seems to me that
there was something warm and real about them. I
think, Grandfather, that each of these old governors
should have his statue set up in our State House,
sculptured out of the hardest of New England
It would not be amiss, Laurence," said Grand-
father ; but perhaps clay, or some other perishable
material, might suffice for some of their successors.
But let us go back to our chair. It was occupied by
Governor Bradstreet from April, 1689, until May,
1692. Sir William Phips then arrived in Boston,
with a new charter from King William, and a com-
mission to be governor."
"AND what became of the chair," inquired
The outward aspect of our chair," replied Grand-
father, was now somewhat the worse for its long
and arduous services. It was considered hardly
magnificent enough to be allowed to keep its place
in the council chamber of Massachusetts. In fact,
it was banished as an article of useless lumber.
But Sir William Phips happened to see it and being
much pleased with its construction, resolved to take
the good old chair into his private mansion. Ac-
cordingly, with his own gubernatorial hands, he
repaired one of its arms, which had been slightly
"Why, Grandfather, here is the very arm!"
interrupted Charley, in great wonderment. And
did Sir William Phips put in these screws with his
own hands ? I am sure, he did it beautifully But
how came a governor to know how to mend a chair ? "
I will tell you a story about the early life of Sir
William Phips," said Grandfather. You will then
perceive, that he well knew how to use his hands."
So Grandfather related the wonderful and true
THE SUNKEN TREASURE.
Picture to yourselves, my dear children, a hand-
some, old-fashioned room, with a large, open cup-
board at one end, in which is displayed a magnificent
gold cup, with some other splendid articles of gold
and silver plate. In another part of the room, op-
posite to a tall looking-glass, stands our beloved
chair, newly polished, and adorned with a gorgeous
cushion of crimson velvet tufted with gold.
In the chair sits a man of strong and sturdy
frame, whose face has been roughened by northern
tempests, and blackened by the burning sun of the
West Indies. He wears an immense periwig, flow-
ing down over his shoulders. His coat has a wide
embroidery of golden foliage; and his waistcoat,
likewise, is all flowered over and bedizened with
gold. His red, rough hands, which have done many
a good day's work with the hammer and adze, are
half covered by the delicate lace ruffles at his wrists.
On a table lies his silver-hilted sword, and in a
corner of the room stands his gold-headed cane,
made of a beautifully polished West Indian wood.
Somewhat such an aspect as this, did Sir William
Phips present, when he sat in Grandfather's chair,
after the king had appointed him governor of Mas-
sachusetts. Truly, there was need that the old
chair should be varnished, and decorated with a
crimson cushion, in order to make it suitable for such
a magnificent looking personage.
But Sir William Phips had not always worn a
gold embroidered coat, nor always sat so much at
his ease as he did in Grandfather's chair. He was
a poor man's son, and was born in the province of
Maine, where he used to tend sheep upon the hills,
in his boyhood and youth. Until he had grown to
be a man, he did not even know how to read and
write. Tired of tending sheep, he next apprenticed
himself to a ship-carpenter, and spent about four
years in hewing the crooked limbs of oak trees into
knees for vessels.
In 1673, when he was twenty-two years old, he
came to Boston, and soon afterwards was married to
a widow lady, who had property enough to set him
up in business. It was not long, however, before he
lost all the money that he had acquired by his mar-
riage, and became a poor man again. Still, he was
not discouraged. He often told his wife that, some
time or other, he should be very rich, and ,would
build a fair brick house in the Green Lane of
Do not suppose, children, that he had been to a
fortune-teller to inquire his destiny. It was his own
energy and spirit of enterprise, and his resolution to
lead an industrious life, that made him look forward
with so much confidence to better days.
Several years passed away; and William Phips
had not yet gained the riches which he promised to
himself. During this time he had begun to follow
the sea for a living. In the year 1684, he happened
to hear of a Spanish ship, which had been cast away
near the Bahama Islands, and which was supposed
to contain a great deal of gold and silver. Phips
went to the place in a small vessel, hoping that he
should be able to recover some of the treasure from
the wreck. He did not succeed, however, in fishing
up gold and silver enough to pay the expenses of his
But, before he returned, he was told of another
Spanish ship or galleon, which had been cast away
near Porto de la Plata. She had now lain as much
as fifty years beneath the waves. This old ship had
been laden with immense wealth; and, hitherto,
nobody had thought of the possibility of recovering
any part of it from the deep sea, which was rolling
and tossing it about. But though it was now an old
story, and the most aged people had almost forgot-
ten that such a vessel had been wrecked. William
Phips resolved that the sunken treasure should again
be brought to light.
He went to London, and obtained admittance to
King James, who had not yet been driven from his
throne. He told the king of the vast wealth that
was lying at the bottom of the sea. King James
listened with attention, and thought this a fine op-
portunity to fill his treasury with Spanish gold. He
appointed William Phips to be captain of a vessel,
called the Rose Algier, carrying eighteen guns and
ninety-five men. So now he was Captain Phips of
the English navy.
Captain Phips sailed from England in the Rose
Algier, and cruised for nearly two years in the
West Indies, endeavoring to find the wreck of the
Spanish ship. But the sea is so wide and deep, that
it is no easy matter to discover the exact spot where
a sunken vessel lies. The prospect of success
seemed very small; and most people would have
thought that Captain Phips was as far from having
money enough to build a fair brick house," as he
was while he tended sheep.
The seamen of the Rose Algier became discour-
aged, and gave up all hope of making their fortunes
by discovering the Spanish wreck. They wanted to
compel Captain Phips to turn pirate. There was a
much better prospect, they thought, of growing rich
by plundering vessels, which still sailed the sea, than
by seeking for a ship that had lain beneath the waves
full half a century. They broke out in open mu-
tiny, but were finally mastered by Phips, and com-
pelled to obey his orders. It would have been dan-
gerous, however, to continue much longer at sea
with such a crew of mutinous sailors; and, besides,
the Rose Algier was leaky and unseaworthy. So
Captain Phips judged it best to return to England.
Before leaving the West Indies, he met with a
Spaniard, an old man, who remembered the wreck
of the Spanish ship, and gave him directions how to
find the very spot. It was on a reef of rocks a few
leagues from Porto de la Plata.
On his arrival in England, therefore, Captain Phips
solicited the king to let him have another vessel, and
send him back again to the West Indies. But King
James, who had probably expected that the Rose
Algier would return laden with gold, refused to have
any thing more to do with the affair. Phips might
never have been able to renew the search, if the
Duke of Albemarle, and some other noblemen had
not lent their assistance. They fitted out a ship
and gave the command to Captain Phips. He
sailed from England, and arrived safely at Porto de
la Plata, where he took an adze and assisted his
men to build a large boat.
The boat was intended for the purpose of going
closer to the reef of rocks than a large vessel could
safely venture. When it was finished, the Captain
sent several men in it, to examine the spot where
the Spanish ship was said to have been wrecked.
They were accompanied by some Indians, who were
skilful divers, and could go down a great way into
the depths of the sea.
The boat's crew proceeded to the reef of rocks,
and rowed round and round it, a great many times.
They gazed down into the water, which was so trans-
parent that it seemed as if they could have seen the
gold and silver at the bottom, had there been any of
those precious metals there. Nothing, however,
could they see; nothing more valuable than a curi-
ous sea shrub, which was growing beneath the water,
in a crevice of the reef of rocks. It flaunted to
and fro with the swell and reflux of the waves, and
looked as bright and beautiful as if its leaves were
We won't go back empty-handed," cried an
English sailor; and then he spoke to one of the
Indian divers. "Dive down and bring me that
pretty sea shrub there. That's the only treasure
we shall find!"
Down plunged the diver, and soon rose dripping
from the water, holding the sea shrub in his hand.
But he had learnt some news at the bottom of the
There are some ship's guns," said he, the mo-
ment he had drawn breath, "some great cannon
among the rocks, near where the shrub was grow-
No sooner had he spoken, than the English sail-
ors knew that they had found the very spot where
the Spanish galleon had been wrecked so many
years before. The other Indian divers immediately
plunged over the boat's side, and swam headlong
down, groping among the rocks and sunken cannon.
In a few moments one of them rose above the water,
with a heavy lump of silver in his arms. That sin-
gle lump was worth more than a thousand dollars.
The sailors took it into the boat, and then rowed
back as speedily as they could, being in haste to
inform Captain Phips of their good luck.
But, confidently as the Captain had hoped to find
the Spanish wreck, yet now that it was really found,
the news seemed too good to be true. He could
not believe it till the sailors showed him the lump of
Thanks be to God! then cries Captain Phips.
"We shall every man of us make our fortunes !"
Hereupon the Captain and all the crew set to
work, with iron rakes and great hooks and lines, fish-
ing for gold and silver at the bottom of the sea.
Up came the treasure in abundance. Now they
beheld a table of solid silver, once the property of
an old Spanish Grandee. Now they found a sacra-
mental vessel, which had been destined as a gift to
some Catholic church. Now they drew up a golden
cup, fit for the king of Spain to drink his wine out of.
Perhaps the bony hand of its former owner had been
grasping the precious cup, and was drawn up along
with it. Now their rakes or fishing lines were loaded
with masses of silver bullion. There were also pre-
cious stones among the treasure, glittering and spark-
ling, so that it is a wonder how their radiance could
have been concealed.
There is something sad and terrible in the idea of
snatching all this wealth from the devouring ocean,
which had possessed it for such a length of years.
It seems as if men had no right to make themselves
rich with it. It ought to have been left with the
skeletons of the ancient Spaniards, who had been
drowned when the ship was wrecked, and whose
bones were now scattered among the gold and
But Captain Phips and his crew were troubled
with no such thoughts as these. After a day or
two they lighted on another part of the wreck, where
they found a great many bags of silver dollars.
But nobody could have guessed that these were
money-bags. By remaining so long in the salt-water,
they had become covered over with a crust which
had the appearance of stone, so that it was necessary
to break them in pieces with hammers and axes.
When this was done, a stream of silver dollars
gushed out upon the deck of the vessel.
The whole value of the recovered treasure, plate,
bullion, precious stones, and all, was estimated at
more than two millions of dollars. It was danger-
ous even to look at such a vast amount of wealth.
A sea captain, who had assisted Phips in the enter-
prise, utterly lost his reason at the sight of it. He
died two years afterwards, still raving about the
treasures that lie at the bottom of the sea. It would
have been better for this man, if he had left the
skeletons of the shipwrecked Spaniards in quiet
possession of their wealth.
Captain Phips and his men continued to fish up
plate, bullion, and dollars, as plentifully as ever, till
their provisions grew short. Then, as they could
not feed upon gold and silver any more than old
King Midas could, they found it necessary to go
in search of better sustenance. Phips resolved
GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR. 73
to return to England. He arrived there in 1687,
and was received with great joy by the Duke
of Albermarle and the other English lords, who had
fitted out the vessel. Well they might rejoice ; for
they took by far the greater part of the treasure to
The Captain's share, however, was enough to
make him comfortable for the rest of his days. It
also enabled him to fulfil his promise to his wife, by
building a "fair brick house," in the Green Lane of
Boston. The Duke of Albemarle sent Mrs. Phips a
magnificent gold cup, worth at least five thousand
dollars. Before Captain Phips left London, King
James made him a knight; so that, instead of the
obscure ship-carpenter who had formerly dwelt
among them, the inhabitants of Boston welcomed
him on his return, as the rich and famous Sir William
SIR WILLIAM PHIPS," continued Grandfather,
" was too active and adventurous a man to sit still
in the quiet enjoyment of his good fortune. In the
year 1690, he went on a military expedition against
the French colonies in America, conquered the
whole province of Acadie, and returned to Boston
with a great deal of plunder."
"Why, grandfather, he was the greatest man
that ever sat in the chair! cried Charley.
"Ask Laurence what he thinks," replied Grand-
father with a smile. "Well; in the same year, Sir
William took command of an expedition against
Quebec, but did not succeed in capturing the city.
In 1692, being then in London, King William the
Third appointed him governor of Massachusetts.
And now, my dear children, having followed Sir
William Phips through all his adventures and hard-
ships, till we find him comfortably seated in Grand-
father's chair, we will here bid him farewell. May
he be as happy in ruling a people, as he was while
he tended sheep !"
Charley, whose fancy had been greatly taken by
the adventurous disposition of Sir William Phips,
was eager to know how he had acted, and what hap-
opened to him while he held the office of governor.
But Grandfather had made up his mind to tell no
more stories for the present.
Possibly, one of these days, I may go on with
the adventures of the chair," said he. But its
history becomes very obscure just at this point; and
I must search into some old books and manuscripts,
before proceeding further. Besides, it is now a
good time to pause in our narrative; because the
new charter, which Sir William Phips brought over
from England, formed a very important epoch in the
history of the province."
Really, Grandfather," observed Laurence, this
seems to be the most remarkable chair in the world.
Its history cannot be told without intertwining it
with the lives of distinguished men, and the great
events that have befallen the country."
True, Laurence," replied Grandfather, smiling,
"We must write a book, with some such title as
this,-MEMOIRS OF MY OWN TIMES, BY GRANDFA-
That would be beautiful! exclaimed Laurence,
clapping his hands.
But, after all," continued Grandfather, any
other old chair, if it possessed memory, and a hand
to write its recollections, could record stranger sto-
ries than any that I have told you. From genera-
tion to generation, a chair sits familiarly in the midst
of human interests, and is witness to the most secret
and confidential intercourse, that mortal man can
hold with his fellow. The human heart may best
be read in the fireside chair. And as to external
events, Grief and Joy keep a continual vicissitude
around it and within it. Now we see the glad face
and glowing form of Joy, sitting merrily in the old
chair, and throwing a warm fire-light radiance over
all the household. Now, while we thought not of it,
the dark clad mourner, Grief, has stolen into the
place of Joy, but not to retain it long. The imagi-
nation can hardly grasp so wide a subject, as is em-
braced in the experience of a family chair."
It makes my breath flutter, my heart thrill,
to think of it," said Laurence. Yes; a family
chair must have a deeper history than a Chair of
0, yes!" cried Clara, expressing a woman's
feeling on the point in question, The history of a
country is not nearly so interesting as that of a sin-
gle family would be."
But the history of a country is more easily told,"
said Grandfather. So, if we proceed with our
narrative of the chair, I shall still confine myself to
its connection with public events."
Good old Grandfather now rose and quitted the
room, while the children remained gazing at the
chair. Laurence, so vivid was his conception of
past times, would hardly have deemed it strange, if
its former occupants, one after another, had resumed
the seat which they had each left vacant, such a
dim length of years ago.
First, the gentle and lovely lady Arbella would
have been seen in the old chair, almost sinking out
of its arms, for very weakness; then Roger Williams,
in his cloak and band, earnest, energetic, and benev-
olent; then the figure of Anne Hutchinson, with the
like gesture as when she presided at the assemblages
of women; then the dark, intellectual face of Vane,
"' young in years, but in sage counsel old." Next
would have appeared the successive governors, Win-
throp, Dudley, Bellingham, and Endicott, who sat in
the chair, while it was a Chair of State. Then its
ample seat would have been pressed by the comfort-
able, rotund corporation of the honest mint-master.
Then the half-frenzied shape of Mary Dyer, the per-
secuted Quaker woman, clad in sackcloth and ashes,
would have rested in it for a moment. Then the
holy apostolic form of Eliot would have sanctified it.
Then would have arisen, like the shade of departed
Puritanism, the venerable dignity of the white-
bearded Governor Bradstreet. Lastly, on the gor-
geous crimson cushion of Grandfather's chair, would
have shone the purple and golden magnificence of
Sir William Phips.
But, all these, with the other historic personages,
in the midst of whom the chair had so often stood,
had passed, both in substance and shadow, from the
scene of ages. Yet here stood the chair, with the
old Lincoln coat of arms, and the oaken flowers and
foliage, and the fierce lion's head at the summit, the
whole, apparently, in as perfect preservation as when
it had first been placed in the Earl of Lincoln's Hall.
And what vast changes of society and of nations had
been wrought by sudden convulsions or by slow
degrees, since that era!
This chair has stood firm when the thrones of
kings were overturned !" thought Laurence. "Its
oaken frame has proved stronger than many frames
More the thoughtful and imaginative boy might
have mused; but now a large yellow cat, a great
favorite with all the children, leaped in at the open
window. Perceiving that Grandfather's chair was
empty, and having often before experienced its com-
forts, puss laid herself quietly down upon the cush-
ion. Laurence, Clara, Charley, and little Alice, all
laughed at the idea of such a successor to the wor-
thies of old times.
Pussy," said little Alice, putting out her hand,
into which the cat laid a velvet paw, you look very
wise. Do tell us a story about GRANDFATHER'S
0 GRANDFATHER," dear Grandfather, cried little
Alice, "pray tell us some more stories about your
How long a time had fled, since the children had
felt any curiosity to hear the sequel of this venera-
ble chair's adventures Summer was now past and
gone, and the better part of Autumn likewise.
Dreary, chill November was howling, out of doors,
and vexing the atmosphere with sudden showers of
wintry rain, or sometimes with gusts of snow, that
rattled like small pebbles against the windows.
When the weather began to grow cool, Grandfa-
ther's chair had been removed from the summer
parlor into a smaller and snugger room. It now
stood by the side of a bright blazing wood-fire.
Grandfather loved a wood-fire, far better than a
grate of glowing anthracite, or than the dull heat of
an invisible furnace, which seems to think that it
has done its duty in merely warming the house.
But the wood-fire is a kindly, cheerful, sociable
spirit, sympathizing with mankind, and knowing
that to create warmth is but one of the good offices
which are expected from it. Therefore it dances
on the hearth, and laughs broadly through the room,
and plays a thousand antics, and throws a joyous
glow over all the faces that encircle it.
In the twilight of the evening, the fire grew
brighter and more cheerful. And thus, perhaps,
there was something in Grandfather's heart, that
cheered him most with its warmth and comfort in
the gathering twilight of old age. He had been
gazing at the red embers, as intently as if his past
life were all pictured there, or as if it were a pros-
pect of the future world, when little Alice's voice
"Dear Grandfather," repeated the little girl,
more earnestly, "do talk to us again about your
Laurence, and Clara, and Charley, and little
Alice, had been attracted to other objects, for two
or three months past. They had sported in the
gladsome sunshine of the present, and so had for-
gotten the shadowy region of the past, in the midst
of which stood Grandfather's chair. But now, in
the autumnal twilight, illuminated by the flickering
blaze of the wood-fire, they looked at the old chair,
and thought that it had never before worn such an
interesting aspect. There it stood, in the venerable
majesty of more than two hundred years. The light.
from the hearth quivered upon the flowers and foli-
age, that were wrought into its oaken back; and
the lion's head at the summit seemed almost to
move its jaws and shake its mane.
Does little Alice speak for all of you? asked
Grandfather. Do you wish me to go on with the
adventures of the chair ? "
Oh, yes, yes, Grandfather!" cried Clara.
"The dear old chair! How strange that we should
have forgotten it so long! "
Oh, pray begin, Grandfather," said Laurence;
"for I think, when we talk about old times, it should
be in the early evening before the candles are lighted.
The shapes of the famous persons, who once sat in
the chair, will be more apt to come back, and be
seen among us, in this glimmer and pleasant gloom,
than they would in the vulgar daylight. And,
besides, we can make pictures of all that you tell us,
among the glowing embers and white ashes."
Our friend Charley, too, thought the evening the
best time to hear Grandfather's stories, because he
could not then be playing out of doors. So, finding
his young auditors unanimous in their petition, the
good old gentleman took up the narrative of the his-
toric chair, at the point where he had dropt it.
"You recollect, my dear children," said Grand-
father, "that we took leave of the chair in 1692,
while it was occupied by Sir William Phips. This
fortunate treasure-seeker, you will remember, had
come over from England, with King William's com-
mission to be Governor of Massachusetts. Within
the limits of this province were now included the
old colony of Plymouth, and the territories of Maine
and Nova Scotia. Sir William Phips had likewise
brought a new charter from the king, which served
instead of a constitution, and set forth the method in
which the province was to be governed."
Did the new charter allow the people all their
former liberties ?" inquired Laurence.
No," replied Grandfather. Under the first
charter, the people had been the source of all power.
Winthrop, Endicott, Bradstreet, and the rest of
them, had been governors by the choice of the peo-
ple, without any interference of the king. But hence-
forth the governor was to hold his station solely by
the king's appointment, and during his pleasure ; and
the same was the case with the lieutenant-governor,
and some other high officers. The people, however,
were still allowed to choose representatives; and the
governor's council was chosen by the general court."
Would the inhabitants have elected Sir William
Phips," asked Laurence, if the choice of governor
had been left to them ?"
He might probably have been a successful can-
didate," answered Grandfather; for his adventures
and military enterprises had gained him a sort of
renown, which always goes a great way with the
people. And he had many popular characteristics,
being a kind, warm-hearted man, not ashamed of
his low origin, nor haughty in his present elevation.
Soon after his arrival, he proved that he did not
blush to recognize his former associates."
"How was that ? inquired Charley.
He made a grand festival at his new brick
house," said Grandfather, and invited all the
ship-carpenters of Boston to be his guests. At the
head of the table, in our great chair, sat Sir Wil-
liam Phips himself, treating these hard handed men
as his brethren, cracking jokes with them, and talk-
ing familiarly about old times. I know not whether
he wore his embroidered dress, but I rather choose
to imagine that he had on a suit of rough clothes,
such as he used to labor in, while he was Phkps the
"An aristocrat need not be ashamed of the
trade," observed Laurence; for the czar Peter
the Great once served an apprenticeship to it."
Did Sir William Phips make as good a gov-
ernor as he was a ship-carpenter?" asked Char-
"History says but little about his merits as a
ship-carpenter," answered Grandfather; "but, as
a governor, a great deal of fault was found with
him. Almost as soon as he assumed the govern-
ment, he became engaged in a very frightful busi-
ness, which might have perplexed a wiser and bet-
ter cultivated head than his. This was the witch-
And here Grandfather gave his auditors such
details of this melancholy affair, as he thought it fit
for them to know. They shuddered to hear that a
frenzy, which led to the death of many innocent per-
sons, had originated in the wicked arts of a few
children. They belonged to the Rev. Mr. Parris,
minister of Salem. These children complained of
being pinched, and pricked with pins, and other-
wise tormented by the shapes of men and women,
who were supposed to have power to haunt them
invisibly, both in darkness and daylight. Often,
in the midst of their family and friends, the child-
ren would pretend to be seized with strange con-
vulsions, and would cry out that the witches were
These stories spread abroad, and caused great
tumult and alarm. From the foundation of New
England, it had been the custom of the inhabitants,
in all matters of doubt and difficulty, to look to their
ministers for council. So they did now; but, un-
fortunately, the ministers and wise men were more
deluded than the illiterate people. Cotton Mather,
a very learned and eminent clergyman, believed
that the whole country was full of witches and wiz-
ards, who had given up their hopes of heaven, and
signed a covenant with the Evil One.
Nobody could be certain that his nearest neigh-
bor, or most intimate friend, was not guilty of this
imaginary crime. The number of those who pre-
tended to be afflicted by witchcraft, grew daily
more numerous; and they bore testimony against
many of the best and worthiest people. A minis-
ter, named George Burroughs, was among the
accused. In the months of August and Septem-
ber, 1692, he, and nineteen other innocent men
and women, were put to death. The place of exe-
cution was a high hill, on the outskirts of Salem;
so that many of the sufferers, as they stood beneath
the gallows, could discern their own habitations in
The martyrdom of these guiltless persons seemed
only to increase the madness. The afflicted now
grew bolder in their accusations. Many people of
rank and wealth were either thrown into prison, or
compelled to flee for their lives. Among these
were two sons of old Simon Bradstreet, the last of
the Puritan governors. Mr. Willard, a pious min-
ister of Boston, was cried out upon as a wizard, in
open court. Mrs. Hale, the wife of the minister of
Beverly, was likewise accused. Philip English, a
rich merchant of Salem, found it necessary to take
flight, leaving his property and business in confusion.
But a short time afterwards, the Salem people were
glad to invite him back.
The boldest thing that the accusers did," con-
tinued Grandfather, was to cry out against the
governor's own beloved wife. Yes; the lady of
Sir William Phips was accused of being a witch,
and of flying through the air to attend witch meet-
ings. When the governor heard this, he probably
trembled, so that our great chair shook beneath
Dear Grandfather," cried little Alice, clinging
closer to his knee, is it true that witches ever
come in the night-time to frighten little children ? "
No, no, dear little Alice," replied Grandfather.
Even if there were any witches, they would flee
away from the presence of a pure-hearted child.
But there are none; and our forefathers soon
became convinced, that they had been led into a
terrible delusion. All the prisoners on account of
witchcraft were set free. But the innocent dead
could not be restored to life; and the hill where
they were executed, will always remind people of
the saddest and most humiliating passage in our
Grandfather then said, that the next remarkable
event, while Sir William Phips remained in the
chair, was the arrival at Boston of an English fleet,
in 1693. It brought an army, which was intended
for the conquest of Canada. But a malignant dis-
ease, more fatal than the small-pox, broke out
among the soldiers and sailors, and destroyed, the
greater part of them. The infection spread into
the town of Boston, and made much havoc there.
This dreadful sickness caused the governor, and
Sir Francis Wheeler, who was commander of the
British forces, to give up all thoughts of attacking
Soon after this," said Grandfather," Sir Wil-
liam Phips quarrelled with the captain of an Eng-
lish frigate, and also with the Collector of Boston.
Being a man of violent temper, he gave each of
them a sound beating with his cane."
He was a bold fellow," observed Charley, who
was himself somewhat addicted to a similar mode of
More bold than wise," replied Grandfather;
for complaints were carried to the king, and Sir
William Phips was summoned to England, to make
the best answer he could. Accordingly he went
to London, where, in 1695, he was seized with a
malignant fever, of which he died. Had he lived
longer, he would probably have gone again in
search of sunken treasure. He had heard of a
Spanish ship, which was cast away in 1502, during
the lifetime of Columbus. Bovadilla, Roldan, and
many other Spaniards, were lost in her, together
with the immense wealth of which they had robbed
the South American kings."
Why, Grandfather," exclaimed Laurence,
"what magnificent ideas the governor had! Only
88 GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR.
think of recovering all that old treasure, which had
lain almost two centuries under the sea! Methinks
Sir William Phips ought to have been buried in the
ocean, when he died; so that he might have gone
down among the sunken ships, and cargoes of treas-
ure, which he was always dreaming about in his
He was buried in one of the crowded cemete-
ries of London," said Grandfather. As he left
no children, his estate was inherited by his nephew,
from whom is descended the present Marquis of
Normanby. The noble Marquis is not aware, per-
haps, that the prosperity of his family originated in
the successful enterprise of a New England ship.