**'I -" r 13"1^ !1' ^ !a4;
9 ---a -f %.
"He cried out, in a fit of frenzy, 'Damn the United States I wish
I may never hear of the United States again!'"
WITHOUT A COUNTRY
EDWARD E. HALE
AUTHOR OF "IN HIS NAME," "TEN TIMES ONE IS TEN," ETC.
BY ROBERTS BROTHERS.
JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE.
4 ~ ii l'f^^
,P~ Jr--- -
ILLUSTRATED TITLEPAGE . . . . . .
FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIQN: He cried out in a fit of frenzy,
Damn the United States '" . . . Fronispiece
HEADPIECE: Portrait of Author . . . . .. .3
"Many a man has taken wine with him who never knew
that his name was Nolan' . . . .. 15
"Ross burned the public buildings at Washington . 16
"Burr marked him, talked to him, walked with him 8
viii List of Illustrations,.
FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATION: "The other boys in the garrison
sneered at him . . .. 19
"That evening he asked Nolan to take him out in his skiff" 21
"He had spent half his youth hunting horses in Texas" 24
"He called the court into his private room . .. . 26
TAILPIECE: "The court is adjourned . . .. 27
"Colonel Morgan explained them to Mr. Jefferson . 28
"Some thirty years after, I saw the original paper of instruc-
tions . . 30
"No mess liked to have him permanently" .... .. . 33
"A sentinel on the watch could see the door" .. .. 35
"You went on donkeys then . . . . .. 36
"Somebody must cut out any advertisement or stray para-
graph that alluded to America" . . . 37
"Phillips had borrowed a lot of English books" . . 39
FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATION: Nolan took the book and read
to the others . . 41
"Started up, swung the book into the sea" .... .. . 44
"Took poor Nolan and his traps on the boat back to try
his second cruise . .. 46
List of Illustrations.
TAILPIECE . .. . . . 47
FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATION: "The finest party that had ever
been known" . . .. 49
" 'Virginny Reel' if you please . . . .. 52
"Shall I have the honor of dancing ..... .... . 53
" She left poor Nolan alone . . . . 55
FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATION: "He finished loading the gun with
his own hands, aimed it, and bade the men fire" .57
I am showing them how we do this in the artillery, sir 60
FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATION: "Took off his own sword of
ceremony, and gave it to Nolan, and made him put
it on . . . . 61
"Nolan's scrap-books . . .. 66
"The men used to bring him birds and fish" . .. . 67
"If anybody died he was always ready to read prayers . 68
"Vaughan looked down from a hogshead on which he had
mounted . . . . 73
"Youngster, let that show you . . . . 77
"An adventure of his own when he was catching wild
horses . . . 8
x List of Illustrations.
'Anxious to serve, befriend, and teach the boys" . . 85
" He gave me his hand . . . . . 89
FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATION: He bade me take down his
beautiful map, and draw them in as I best could 91
I gave him a glass of water . . . . . 97
SNolan had breathed his life away" ... . ....... 99
TAILPIECE . . . .. 100
THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY.
I SUPPOSE that very few casual readers of
the "New York Herald" of August 13, 1863,
noticed, in an obscure corner, among the Deaths,"
NOLAN. Died, on board U. S. Corvette Levant, Lat. 2 11' S.,
Long. 131 W., on the ith of May, PHILIP NOLAN."
I happened to observe it, because I was stranded
at the old Mission-House in Mackinaw, waiting for
a Lake Superior steamer which did not choose to
come, and I was devouring to the very stubble all
the current literature I could get hold of, even
14 2 The Mian without a Country.
down to the deaths and marriages in the Herald."
My memory for names and people is good, and the
reader will see, as he goes on, that I had reason
enough to remember Philip Nolan. There are
hundreds of readers who would have paused at
that announcement, if the officer of the Levant"
who reported it had chosen to make it thus: -
"Died, May I I, THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY."
For it was as The Man without a Country" that
poor Philip Nolan had generally been known by
the officers who had him in charge during some
fifty years, as, indeed, by all the men who sailed un-
der them. I dare say there is many a man who
has taken wine with him once a fortnight, in a
three years' cruise, who never knew that his name
was Nolan," or whether the poor wretch had any
name at all.
There can now be no possible harm in telling
this poor creature's story. Reason enough there
has been till now, ever since Madison's administra-
tion went out in 1817, for very strict secrecy, the
secrecy of honor itself, among the gentlemen of the
navy who have had Nolan in successive charge.
The Man without a Country. 15
And certainly it speaks well for the esprit de corps
of the profession, and the personal honor of its
members, that to the press this man's story has
been wholly unknown, and, I think, to the coun-
try at large also. I have reason to think, from
some investigations I made in the Naval Archives
when I was attached to the Bureau of Construction,
that every official report relating to him was burned
when Ross burned the public buildings at Wash-
ington. One of the Tuckers, or possibly one of
the Watsons, had Nolan in charge at the end of the
16 9 The Mlan without a Country.
war; and when, on returning from his cruise, he
reported at Washington to one of the Crownin-
shields,- who was in
the Navy Department
when he came
honie, i he foin.] ,
that the Department ignored '
the whole business. Whether
they really knew nothing about -
it, or whether it was a Non
mi ricordo" determined on as a piece of policy, I
do not know. But this I do know, that since 1817,
The Man without a Counlry. 17
and possibly before, no naval officer has mentioned
Nolan in his report of a cruise.
But, as I say, there is no need for secrecy any
longer. And now the poor creature is dead, it
seems to me worth while to tell a little of his story,
by way of showing young Americans of to-day
what it is to be A MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY.
PHILIP NOLAN was as fine a young officer as
there was in the Legion of the West," as the
Western division of our army was then called.
When Aaron Burr made his first dashing expedi-
tion down to New Orleans in 1805, at Fort Massac,
or somewhere above on the river, he met, as the
Devil would have it, this gay, dashing, bright young
fellow, at some dinner-party, I think. Burr marked
him, talked to him, walked with him, took him a
day or two's voyage in his flat-boat, and, in short,
fascinated him. For the next year, barrack-life was
very tame to poor Nolan. He occasionally availed
himself of the permission the great man had given
him to write to him. Long, high-worded, stilted
letters the poor boy wrote and rewrote and copied.
18 6 The Man without a Country.
But never a line did he have in reply from the gay
deceiver. The other boys in the garrison sneered
at him, because he sacrificed in this unrequited af-
fection for a politician the time which they devoted
to Monongahela, hazard, and high-low-jack. Bour-
bon, euchre, and poker were still unknown. But
. r.YL h
- 74 7z1T~
"The other boys in the garrison sneered at him."
The Man without a Country.
one day Nolan had his revenge. This time Burr
came down the river, not as an attorney seeking a.
place for his office, but as a disguised conqueror.
He had defeated I know not how
many district-attorneys; ,
he had dined at I know a t
not how many pub--,
lic dinners; he had eni h
been heralded in h sa
I know not how t s i e
many Weekly Ar- '
uses, and it
that he had-.
an army be-
hind him and an
empire before him. -
It was a great day
his arrival- to poor Nolan.
Burr had not been at the fort an hour before he
sent for him. That evening he asked Nolan to
take him out in his skiff, to show him a cane-
brake or a cotton-wood tree, as he said,--really to
22 The Man without a Country.
seduce him; and by the time the sail was over,
SNolan was enlisted body and soul. From that
time, though he did not yet know it, he lived as
A MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY.
What Burr meant to do I know no more than
you, dear reader. It is none of our business just
now. Only, when the grand catastrophe came, and
Jefferson and the House of Virginia of that day
undertook to break on the wheel all the possible
Clarences of the then House of York, by the great
treason-trial at Richmond, some of the lesser fry in
that distant Mississippi Valley, which was farther
from us than Puget's Sound is to-day, introduced
the like novelty on their provincial stage, and to
while away the monotony of the summer at Fort
Adams, got up, for spectacles, a string of court-
martials on the officers there. One and another
of the colonels and majors were tried, and to fill
out the list, little Nolan, against whom, Heaven
knows, there was evidence enough, -that he was
sick of the service, had been willing to be false to
it, and would have obeyed any order to march any-
whither with any one who would follow him had
The Man without a Country. 23
the order been signed, By command of His Exc.
A. Burr." The courts dragged on. The big flies
escaped, rightly for all I know. Nolan was
proved guilty enough, as I say; yet you and I
would never have heard of him, reader, but that,
when the president of the court asked him at the
close whether he wished to say anything to show
that he had always been faithful to the United
States, he cried out in a fit of frenzy,-
"Damn the United States! I wish I may never
hear of the United States again!"
I suppose he did not know how the words
shocked old Colonel Morgan, who was holding
the court. Half the officers who sat in it had
served through the Revolution; and their lives, niot
to say their necks, had been risked for the very idea
which he so cavalierly cursed in his madness. He,
on his part, had -grown up in the West of those
days in the midst of Spanish plot," Orleans plot,"
and all the rest. He had been educated on a plan-
tation where the finest company was a Spanish
officer or a French merchant from Orleans. His
education, such as it was, had been perfected in
The Man without a Country.
commercial expeditions to Vera Cruz; and I think
he told me his father once hired an Englishman
to be a private tutor for a winter on the plan-
station. He had spent half his youth with an older
brother, hunting horses in Texas; and, in a word,
to him United States" was scarcely a reality.
Yet he had been fed by "United States" for all
the years since he had been in the army. He
The Man without a Country.
had sworn on his faith as a Christian to be true
to United States." It was United States "
which gave him the uniform he wore and the
sword by his side. Nay, my poor Nolan, it was
only because United States" had picked you out
first as one of her own confidential men of honor
that "A. Burr" cared for you a straw more than
for the flat-boat men who sailed his ark for him.
I do not excuse Nolan; I only explain to the
reader why he damned his country, and wished
he might never hear her name again.
He never did hear her name but once again.
From that moment, Sept. 23, 1807, till the day
he died, May ii, 1863, he never heard her name
again. For that half-century and more he was a
man without a country.
Old Morgan, as I said, was terribly shocked.
If Nolan had compared George Washington to
Benedict Arnold, or had cried, God save King
George!" Morgan would not have felt worse. He
called the court into his private room, and re-
turned in fifteen minutes, with a face like a sheet,
to say, -
26 The Man without a Country.
"Prisoner, hear the sentence of the court! The
court decides, subject to the approval of the Presi-
dent, that you never hear the name of the United
Nolan laughed. But nobody else laughed. Old
Morgan was too solemn, and the whole room was
hushed dead as night for a minute. Even Nolan
lost his swagger in a moment. Then Morgan
Mr. Marshal, take the prisoner to Orleans in
an armed boat, and deliver him to the naval com-
The Marshal gave his orders, and the prisoner
was taken out of court.
The Man without a Counirv. 27
"Mr. Marshal," continued old Morgan, "see that
no one mentions the United States to the pris-
oner. Mr. Marshal, make my respects to Lieuten-
ant Mitchell at Orleans, and request him to order
that no one shall mention the United States to the
prisoner while he is on board ship. You will
receive your written orders from the officer on
duty here this evening. The court is adjourned
The Man wilhoul a Country.
I HAVE always supposed that Colonel Morgan
himself took the proceedings of the court to Wash-
ington City, and explained them to Mr. Jefferson.
Certain it is that the President approved them,-
certain, that is, if I may believe the men who
say they have seen his signature. Before the
I I I
-~ Iii II 1
~ ~-,, II hi~
4 ,~ii' I I
The MIan without a Country.
" Nautilus" got round from New Orleans to the
Northern Atlantic coast with the prisoner on
board, the sentence had been approved, and he
was a man without a country.
The 'plan then adopted was substantially the
same which was necessarily followed ever after.
Perhaps it was suggested by the necessity of
sending him by water from Fort Adams and
Orleans. The Secretary of the Navy-it must
have been the first Crowninshield, though he is
a man I do not remember was requested to
put Nolan on board a government vessel bound
on a long cruise, and to direct that he should
be only so far confined there as to make it cer-
tain that he never saw or heard of the country.
We had few long cruises then, and the navy was
very much out of favor; and as almost all of this
story is traditional, as I have explained, I do not
know certainly what his first cruise was. But
the commander to whom he was intrusted,-per-
haps it was Tingey or Shaw, though I think it
was one of the younger men, we are all old
enough now, -regulated the etiquette and the
The iAIan without a Counlry.
precautions of the affair, and according to his
scheme they were carried out, I suppose, till
When I was second officer of the Intrepid,"
some thirty years after, I saw the original paper
of instructions. I have been sorry ever since
that I did not copy the whole of it. It ran,
however, much in this way: -
WASHINGTON [with a date which must
have been late in 1807].
SIR,-You will receive from Lieutenant Neale
the person of Philip Nolan, late a lieutenant in
the United States Army.
7T/e Man without a Counlry. 31
This person on his trial by court-martial ex-
pressed with an oath the wish that he might
' never hear of the United States again."
The court sentenced him to have his wish
For the present, the execution of the order is
intrusted by the President to this department.
You will take the prisoner on board your ship,
and keep him there with such precautions as
shall prevent his escape.
You will provide him with such quarters, rations,
and clothing as would be proper for an officer
of his late rank, if he were a passenger on your
vessel on the business of his Government.
The gentlemen on board will make any ar-
rangements agreeable to themselves regarding his
society. He is to be exposed to no indignity of
any kind, nor is he ever unnecessarily to be re-
minded that he is a prisoner.
But under no circumstances is he ever to hear
of his country, or to see any information regarding
it; and you will specially caution all the officers
under your command to take care that in the
32 The Man without a Country.
various indulgences which may be granted this
rule, in which his punishment is involved, shall
not be broken.
It is the intention of the Government that he
shall never again see the country which he has
disowned. Before the end of your cruise you
will receive orders which will give effect to this
W. SOUTHARD, for the
Secretary of the Navy.
If I had only preserved the whole of this paper,
there would be no break in the beginning of my
sketch of this story, for Captain Shaw, if it
were he, handed it to his successor in the charge,
and he to his; and I suppose the commander of
the "Levant" has it to-day as his authority for
keeping this man in this mild custody.
The rule adopted on board the ships on which
I have met "the man without a country" was, I
think, transmitted from the beginning. No mess
liked to have him permanently, because his pres-
The Man wilhoul a Country.
ence cut off all talk of home or of the prospect
of return, of politics or letters, of peace or of
war,-cut off more than half the talk men liked
to have at sea. But it was always thought too
hard that he should never meet the rest of us,
except to touch hats, and we finally sank into
one system. He was not permitted to talk with
the men unless an officer was by. With officers
he had unrestrained intercourse, as far as they
and he chose. But he grew shy, though he had
favorites; I was one. Then the captain always
34 The Man without a Country.
asked him to dinner on Monday. Every mess
in succession took up the invitation in its turn.
According to the size of the ship, you had him
at your mess more or less often at dinner. His
breakfast he ate in his? own state-room, he
always had a state-room, which was where a
sentinel or somebody on the watch could see the
door. And whatever else he ate or drank, he ate
or drank alone. Sometimes, when the marines or
sailors had any special jollification, they were per-
mitted to invite Plain-Buttons," as they called
him. Then Nolan was sent with some officer,
and the men were forbidden to speak of home
while he was there. I believe the theory was
that the sight of his punishment did them good.
They called him Plain-Buttons" because, while
he always chose to wear a regulation army-
uniform, he was not permitted to wear the
army-button, for the reason that it bore either
the initials or the insignia of the country he had
I remember soon after I joined the navy I
was on shore with some of the older officers
The Man without a Country. 35
from our ship and from the Brandywine," which
we had met at Alexandria. We had leave to
make a party and go up to Cairo and the
36 The Manz without a Country.
pyramids. As we jogged along (you went on
donkeys then), some of the gentlemen (we boys
called them Dons," but the phrase was long
since changed) fell to talking about Nolan, and
some one told the system which was adopted
from the first about his books and other read-
ing. As he was almost never permitted to go
on shore, even though the vessel lay in port for
months, his time at the best hung heavy; and
everybody was permitted to lend him books, if
The M3an wilzhoul a Cozizlry. 37
they were not published in America, and made
no allusion to it. These were common enough
in the old days, when people in the other hemi-
sphere talked of the United States as little as
we do of Paraguay. He had almost all the for-
eign papers that came into the ship, sooner or
later; only somebody must go over them first,
and cut out any advertisement or stray para-
graph that alluded to America. This was a
little cruel sometimes, when the back of what
The Man without a Country.
was cut out might be as innocent as Hesiod.
Right in the midst of one of Napoleon's battles,
or one of Canning's speeches, poor Nolan would
find a great hole, because on the back of the
page of that paper there had been an advertise-
ment of a packet for New York, or a scrap
from the President's message. I say this was the
first time I ever heard of this plan, which after-
ward I had enough and more than enough to
do with. I remember it because poor Phillips,
who was of the party, as soon as the allusion
to reading was made told a story of something
which happened at the Cape of Good Hope on
Nolan's first voyage; and it is the only thing I
ever knew of that voyage. They had touched at
the cape, and had done the civil thing with the
English admiral and the fleet; and then, leaving
for a long cruise up the Indian Ocean, Phillips
had borrowed a lot of English books from an
officer, which in those days, as indeed in these,
was quite a windfall. Among them, as the Devil
would order, was the "Lay of the Last Minstrel,"
which they had all of them heard of, but which
The Man without a Country. 39
most of them had never seen. I think it could
not have been published long. Well, nobody
thought there could be any risk of anything
national in that, though Phillips swore old Shaw
had cut out the "Tempest" from Shakespeare be-
fore he let Nolan have it, because he said "the
The Man wilhoul a Counltry.
Bermudas ought to be ours, and, by Jove, should
be one day." So Nolan was permitted to join the
circle one afternoon when a lot of them sat on
deck smoking and reading aloud. People do not
do such things so often now; but when I was
young we got rid of a great deal of time so.
Well, so it happened that in his turn Nolan
took the book and read to the others; and he
read very well, as I know. Nobody in the circle
knew a line of the poem, only it was all magic
and Border chivalry, and was ten thousand years
ago. Poor Nolan read steadily through the fifth
canto, stopped a minute and drank something,
and then began, without a thought of what was
"Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said "
It seems impossible to us that anybody ever
heard this for the first time; but all these fel-
lows did then, and poor Nolan himself went on,
still unconsciously or mechanically, -
"This is my own, my native land !"
ir .!' '. ,y ',
- \ l -" "**.' *'
"Nolan took the book and read to the others."
The Man without a Country. 43
Then they all saw something was to pay; but
he expected to get through, I suppose, turned a
little pale, but plunged on,-
"Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well "
By this time the men were all beside themselves,
wishing there was any way to make him turn
over two pages; but he had not quite presence
of mind for that. He gagged a little, colored
crimson, and staggered on,-
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,
Despite these titles, power, and pelf.,
The wretch, concentred all in self--"
and here the poor fellow choked, could not go
on, but started up, swung the book into the sea,
vanished into his state-room, "And by Jove," said
Phillips, "we did not see him for two months
again; and I had to make up some beggarly
The Man without a Country.
story to that English surgeon why I did not
return his Walter Scott to him."
That story shows about the time when Nolan's
braggadocio must have broken down. At first,
they said, he took a very high tone, considered
his imprisonment a mere farce, affected to enjoy
the voyage, and all that; but Phillips said that
after he came out of his state-room he never
The Man willioul a Country. 45
was the same man again. He never read aloud
again, unless it was the Bible or Shakespeare, or
something else he was sure of. But it was not
that merely. He never entered in with the other
young men exactly as a companion again. He
was always shy afterward, when I knew him,-
very seldom spoke, unless he was spoken to, ex-
cept to a very few friends. He lighted up occa-
sionally, I remember late in his life hearing
him fairly eloquent on something which had been
suggested to him by one of Fl6chier's sermons,-
but generally he had the nervous, tired look of a
When Captain Shaw was coming home,-if,
as I say, it was Shaw,- rather to the surprise
of everybody they made one of the Windward
Islands, and lay off and on for nearly a week.
The boys said the officers were sick of salt-junk,
and meant to have turtle-soup before they came
home. But after several days the "Warren" came
to the same rendezvous. They exchanged sig-
nals; she sent to Phillips and these homeward-
bound men letters and papers, and told them she
46 The Man without a Country.
was outward-bound, perhaps to the Mediterranean,
and took poor Nolan and his traps on the boat
back to try his second cruise. He looked very
blank when he was told to get ready to join her.
He had known enough of the signs of the sky to
know that till that moment he was going "home,"
The Man without a Country. 47
but this was a distinct evidence of something he
had not thought of, perhaps, that there was
no going home for him, even to a prison. And
this was the first of some twenty such transfers,
which brought him sooner or later into half our
best vessels, but which kept him all his life at
least some hundred miles from the country he
had hoped he might never hear of again.
48 The MYan wilhoutl a Counlry.
IT may have been on that second cruise it
was once when he was up the Mediterranean -
that Mrs. Graft, the celebrated Southern beauty
of those days, danced with him. They had been
lying a long time in the Bay of Naples, and the
officers were very intimate in the English fleet,
and there had been great festivities, and our men
thought they must give a great ball on board
the ship. How they ever did it on board the
Warren" I am sure I do not know. Perhaps it
was not the Warren," or perhaps ladies did not
take up so much room as they do now. They
wanted to use Nolan's state-room for something,
and they hated to do it without asking him to
the ball; so the captain said they might ask him
if they would be responsible that he did not talk
with the wrong people, "who would give him
intelligence." So the dance went on, the finest
party that had ever been known, I dare say; for
I never heard of a man-of-war ball that was not.
" The finest party that had ever been known."
:. ., \ ..-._---:- '.: -- --
_j. l I : . .-.- Y- ^-
The Man wil/houl a Counlry. 51
For ladies they had the family of the American
consul, one or two travellers who had adventured
so far, and a nice bevy of English girls and ma-
trons, perhaps Lady Hamilton herself.
Well, different officers relieved each other in
standing and talking with Nolan in a friendly
way, so as to be sure that nobody else spoke
to him. The. dancing went on with spirit; and.
after a while even the fellows who took this
honorary guard "of Nolan ceased to fear any
contretemps. Only .'when some English lady-
Lady Hamilton, as I said, perhaps called for
a set of "American dances," an odd thing hap-
pened. Everybody then danced contra-dances.
The black bafid, nothing loath, conferred as to
what American dances ". were; and started off
with "Virginia Reel," which they followed with
"Money-Musk," which, "in its turn, in those days
should have been followed by "The Old Thir-
teen." But'just as Dick, the leader, tapped for
his fiddles to begin, and bent forward, about to
say in true negro state, "'The Old Thiirteen,'
gentlemen and ladies!" as he had said, "'Vir-
The Man wit/houl a. Country.
ginny Reel,' if you please!" and "'Money-Musk
if you please!" the captain's boy tapped him on
the shoulder, whispered to him, and he did not
announce the name of the dance; he merely
'1 '" .' Ki : ....
I .; *,i -I
i -" _. / ''
bowed, began on the air, and they all fell to, -
the officers teaching the English girls the figure,
but not telling them why it had no name.
But that is not the story I started to tell.
As the dancing went on, Nolan and our fellows
The Man without a Counlry.
all got at ease, as I said,-so much so that it
seemed quite natural for him to bow to that
splendid Mrs. Graff, and say,--
"I hope you have not forgotten me, Miss
Rutledge. Shall I have the honor of dancing?"
He did it so quickly that Fellows, who was
by him, could not hinder him. She laughed, and
"I am not Miss Rutledge any longer, Mr.
The Man without a Country.
Nolan; but I will dance all the same," just
nodded to Fellows, as if to say he must leave
Mr. Nolan to her, and led him off to the place
where the dance was forming.
Nolan thought he had found his chance. iHe
had known her at Philadelphia, and at other
places had met her; and this was a godsend.
You could not talk in contra-dances, as you do
in cotillons, or even in the pauses of waltzing;
but there were chances for tongues and sounds,
as well as for eyes and blushes. He began with
her travels and Europe and Vesuvius and the
French; and then, when they had worked down,
and had that long talking-time at the bottom of
the set, he said boldly,-a little pale, she said,
as she told me the story, years after, -
"And what do you hear from home, Mrs.
And that splendid creature looked through
him. Jove! how she must have looked through
"Home! Mr. Nolan! I thought you were the
man who never wanted to hear of home again!"
The Man without a Country. 55
And she walked directly up the deck to her hus-
band, and left poor Nolan alone, as he always was.
He did not dance again.
I cannot give any history of him in order;
56 The Man wilhoul a Counlry.
nobody can now, and indeed I am not trying
to. These are the traditions, which I sort out,
as I believe them, from the myths which have
been told about this man for forty years. The
lies that have been told about him are legion.
The fellows used to say he was the Iron
Mask;" and poor George Pons went to his
grave in the belief that this was the author of
"Junius," who was being punished for his cele-
brated libel on Thomas Jefferson. Pons was not
very strong in the historical line. A happier
story than either of these I have told is of the
war. That came along soon after. I have heard
this affair told in three or four ways,-and in-
deed it may have happened more than once.
But which ship it was on I cannot tell. How-
ever, in one, at least, of the great frigate-duels
with the English in which the navy was really
baptized, it happened that a round-shot from the
enemy entered one of our ports square, and took
right down the officer of the gun himself, and
almost every man of the gun's crew. Now you
may say what you choose about courage, but that
: -_ .
^ ** ** .
... ,. '-
"He finished loading the gun with his own hands, aimed it, and bade
the men fire."
The Man without a Coznftry. 59
is not a nice thing to see. But as the men who
were not killed picked themselves up, and as
they and the surgeon's people were carrying off
the bodies, there appeared Nolan, in his shirt-
sleeves, with the rammer in his hand, and just
as if he had been the officer, told them off with
authority, who should go to the cockpit with
the wounded men, who should stay with him,-
perfectly cheery, and with that way which makes
men feel sure all is right, and is going to be
right. And he finished loading the gun with his
own hands, aimed it, and bade the men fire.
And there he stayed, captain of that gun, keep-
ing those fellows in spirits till the enemy struck,
-sitting on the carriage while the gun was cool-
ing, though he was exposed all the time, showing
them easier ways to handle heavy shot, mak-
ing the raw hands laugh at their own blun-
ders, and when the gun cooled again, getting
it loaded and fired twice as often as any other
gun on the ship. The captain walked forward
by way of encouraging the men, and Nolan
touched his hat, and said,-
60 The Man without a Country.
"I am showing them how we do this in the
And this is the part of the story where all
the legends agree; and the commodore said, -
I see you do, and I thank you, sir; and I shall
never forget this day, sir, and you never shall, sir."
And after the whole thing was over, and he
had the Englishman's sword, in the midst of the
state and ceremony of the quarter-deck, he said:
"Took off his own sword ot ceremony and gave it to Nolan, and made
him put it oni."
;:w" I. .
The Man without a Counry. 63
"Where is Mr. Nolan? Ask Mr. Nolan to
And when Nolan came, the captain said, -
"Mr. Nolan, we are all very grateful to you
to-day. You are one of us to-day; you will be
named in the despatches."
And then the old man took off his own sword
of ceremony, and gave it to Nolan, and made
him put it on. The man told me this who saw
it. Nolan cried like a baby, and well he might.
He had not worn a sword since that infernal
day at Fort Adams. But always afterward on
occasions of ceremony, he wore that quaint old
French sword of the commodore's.
The captain did mention him in the despatches.
It was always said he asked that he might be
pardoned. He wrote a special letter to the Secre-
tary of War; but nothing ever came of it. As
I said, that was about the time when they began
to ignore the whole transaction at Washington,
and when Nolan's imprisonment began to carry
itself on because there was nobody to stop it
without any new orders from home.
The ilanz wi/ioul a Cozuntiry.
I HAVE heard it said that he was with Porter
when he took possession of the Nukahiva Islands.
Not this Porter, you know, but old Porter, his
father, Essex Porter; that is, the old Essex
Porter, not this Essex. As an artillery officer
who had seen service in the West, Nolan knew
more about fortifications, embrasures, ravelins,
stockades, and all that, than any of them did;
and he worked with a right good-will in fixing
that battery all right. I have always thought it
was a pity Porter did not leave him in command
there with Gamble. That would have settled all
the question about his punishment. We should
have kept the islands, and at this moment we
should have one station in the Pacific Ocean.
Our French friends, too, when they wanted this
little watering-place, would have found it was pre-
occupied. But Madison and the Virginians, of
course, flung all that away.
All that was near fifty years ago. If Nolan was
thirty then, he must have been near eighty when
The MIan wilhou t a Counlry. 65
he died. He looked sixty when he was forty;
but he never seemed to me to change a hair
afterward. As I imagine his life from what I
have seen and heard of it, he must have been in
every sea, and yet almost never on land. He
must have known in a formal way more officers
in our service than any man living knows. He
told me once with a grave smile that no man
in the world lived so methodical a life as he.
"You know the boys say I am the Iron Mask,
and you know how busy he was." He said it
did not do for any one to try to read all the
time, more than to do anything else all the time;
but that he read just five hours a day. "Then,"
he said, I keep up my note-books, writing in
them at such and such hours from what I have
been reading; and I include in these my scrap-
books." These were very curious indeed. He had
six or eight, of different subjects. There was one
of History, one of Natural Science, one which
he called "Odds and Ends." But they were not
merely books of extracts from newspapers. They
had bits of plants and ribbons, shells tied on,
66 The Man without a Country.
and carved scraps of bone and wood, which he had
taught the men to cut for him; and they were
beautifully illustrated. He drew admirably. He
had some of the funniest drawings there, and some
of the most pathetic, that I have ever seen in my
life. I wonder who will have Nolan's scrap-books.
The Man without a Country. 67
Well, he said his reading and his notes were
his profession, and that they took five hours and
two hours respectively of each day. "Then," said
he, "every man should have a diversion as well as
a profession. My 'Natural History is my diver-
68 The Man without a Country.
sion." That took two hours a day more. The
men used to bring him birds and fish, but on a
long cruise he had to satisfy himself with centi-
pedes and cockroaches and such small game.
He was the only naturalist I ever met who knew
anything about the habits of the house-fly and
the mosquito. All those people can tell you
whether they are Lepidoptera or Step/opotera; but
as for telling how you can get rid of them, or
The Man without a Country.
how they get away from you when you strike
them, why Linneus knew as little of that as
John Foy the idiot did. These nine hours made
Nolan's regular daily "occupation." The rest of
the time he talked or walked. Till he grew very
old, he went aloft a great deal. He always kept
up his exercise ; and I never heard that he was
ill. If any other man was ill, he was the kindest
nurse in the world; and he knew more than half
the surgeons do. Then if anybody was sick or
died, or if the captain" wanted him to on any
other occasion, he was always ready to read
prayers. I have said that he read beautifully.
70 The Man wilhout a Country.
My own acquaintance with Philip Nolan began
six or eight years after the war, on my first
voyage after I was appointed a midshipman. It
was in the first days after our Slave-Trade Treaty,
while the reigning House, which was still the
House of Virginia, had still a sort of sentimen-
talism about the suppression of the horrors of the
Middle Passage, and something was sometimes
done that way. We were in the South Atlantic
on that business. From the time I joined, I believe
I thought Nolan was a sort of lay chaplain, a
chaplain with a blue coat. I never asked about
him. Everything in the ship was strange to me.
I knew it was green to ask questions, and I sup-
pose I thought there was a Plain-buttons" on
every ship. We had him to dine in our mess
once a week, and the caution was given that on
that day nothing was to be said about home. But
if they had told us not to say anything about
the planet Mars or the Book of Deuteronomy, I
The Man without a Country.
should not have asked why; there were a great
many things which seemed to me to have as
little reason. I first came to understand anything
about "the man without a country" one day
when we overhauled a dirty little schooner which
had slaves on board. An officer was sent to take
charge of her, and after a few minutes he sent
back his boat to ask that some one might be
sent him who could speak Portuguese. We were
all looking over the rail when the message came,
and we all wished we could interpret when the
captain asked who spoke Portuguese. But none
of the officers did; and just as the captain was
sending forward to ask if any of the people could,
Nolan stepped out and said he should be glad to
interpret if the captain wished, as he understood
the language. The captain thanked him, fitted
out another boat with him, and in this boat it
was my luck to go.
When we got there, it was such a scene as
you seldom see, and never want to. Nastiness
beyond account, and chaos run loose in the midst
of the nastiness. There were not a great many
72 The Man with/zozut a Country.
of the negroes; but by way of making what there
were understand that they were free, Vaughan
had had their hand-cuffs and ankle-cuffs knocked
off, and, for convenience' sake, was putting them
upon the rascals of the schooner's crew. The
negroes were most of them out of the hold, and
swarming all round the dirty deck, with a central
throng surrounding Vaughan, and addressing him
in every dialect and patois of a dialect, from the
Zulu click up to the Parisian of Beledeljereed.
As we came on deck, Vaughan looked down
from a hogshead, on which he had mounted in
desperation, and said,-
For God's love, is there anybody who can
make these wretches understand something? The
men gave them rum, and that did not quiet them.
I knocked that big fellow down twice, and that
did not soothe him. And then I talked Choctaw
to all of them together; and I '11 be hanged if
they understood that as well as they understood
Nolan said he could speak Portuguese; and one
or two fine-looking Kroomen were dragged out,
The Man without a Country.
who, as it had been found already, had worked
for the Portuguese on the coast at Fernando Po.
"Tell them they are free," said Vaughan; "and
tell them that these rascals are to be hanged as
soon as we can get rope enough."
Nolan put that into Spanish that is, he
74 The Man wilhoul a Country.
explained it in such Portuguese as the Kroomen
could understand, and they in turn to such of
the negroes as could understand them. Then
there was such a yell of delight, clinching of
fists, leaping and dancing, kissing of Nolan's
feet, and a general rush made to the hogshead
by way of spontaneous worship of Vaughan, as
the deis ex machzina of the occasion.
"Tell them," said Vaughan, well pleased, "that
I will take them all to Cape Palmas."
This did not answer so well. Cape Palmas
was practically as far from the homes of most of
them as New Orleans or Rio Janeiro was; that
is, they would be eternally separated from home
there. And their interpreters, as we could un-
derstand, instantly said, Ah, non Palmas," and
began to propose infinite other expedients in most
voluble language. Vaughan was rather disap-
pointed at this result of his liberality, and asked
Nolan eagerly what they said. The drops stood
on poor Nolan's white forehead, as he hushed the
men down, and said,---
"He says, 'Not Palmas.' He says, 'Take us
The Man without a Country. 75
home; take us to our own country; take us to
our own house; take us to our own pickaninnies
and our own women.' He says he has an old
father and mother who will die if they do not
see him. And this one says he left his people
all sick, and paddled down to Fernando to beg
the white doctor to come and help them, and
that these devils caught him in the bay just in
sight of home, and that he has never seen any-
body from home since then. And this one says,"
choked out Nolan, that he has not heard a
word from his home in six months, while he has
been locked up in an infernal barracoon."
Vaughan always said he grew gray himself
while Nolan struggled through this interpretation.
I, who did not understand anything of the pas-
sion involved in it, saw that the very elements
were melting with fervent heat, and that some-
thing was to pay somewhere. Even the negroes
themselves stopped howling, as they saw Nolan's
agony, and Vaughan's almost equal agony of
sympathy. As quick as he could get words, he
76 The Man without a Country.
"Tell them yes, yes, yes; tell them they shall
go to the Mountains of the Moon, if they will.
If I sail the schooner through the Great White
Desert, they shall go home!"
And after some fashion Nolan said so. And
then they all fell to kissing him again, and wanted
to rub his nose with theirs.
But he could not stand it long; and getting
Vaughan to say he might go back, he beckoned
me down into our boat. As we lay back in the
stern-sheets, and 9the men gave way, he said to
me: ( Youngster, let that show you what it is
to be without a family, without a home, and with-
out a country; and if you are ever tempted to
say a word or to do a thing that shall put a bar
between you and your family, your home, and
your country, pray God in his mercy to take you
that instant home to his own heaven. Stick by
your family, boy; forget you have a self, while
you do everything for them. Think of your
home, boy; write and send, and talk about it.
Let it be nearer and nearer to your thought the
farther you have to travel from it; and rush
The Alan without a Country.
back to it when you are free, as that poor black
slave is doing now. And for your country, boy,"
and the words rattled in his throat, "and for that
flag," and he pointed to the ship, never dream
a dream but of serving her as she bids you, though
the service carry you through a thousand hells)
No matter what happens to you, no matter who
flatters you or who abuses you, never look at an-
The Man without a Country.
other flag, never let a night pass but you pray
God to bless that flag. Remember, boy, that be-
hind all these men you have to do with, behind
officers and Government and people even, there
is the Country Herself, your Country, and that
you belong to Her as you belong to your own
mother. Stand by Her, boy, as you would stand
by your mother, if those devils there had got
hold of her to-day!"
I was frightened to death by his calm, hard
passion; but I blundered out that I would, by
all that was holy, and that I had never thought
of doing anything else. He hardly seemed to
hear me; but he did almost in a whisper say:
"Oh, if anybody had said so to me when I was of
I think it was this half-confidence of his, which
I never abused,-for I never told this story till
now, -which afterward made us great friends. He
was very kind to me. Often he sat up, or even
got up, at night, to walk the deck with me, when
it was my watch. He explained to me a great
deal of my mathematics, and I owe to him my
The Man without a Country.
taste for mathematics. He lent me books, and
helped me about my reading. He never alluded
so directly to his story again; but from one
and another officer I have learned, in thirty years,
what I am telling. When we parted from him
in St. Thomas Harbor, at the end of our cruise,
I was more sorry than I can tell. I was very
glad to meet him again in 1830; and later in
life, when I thought I had some influence in
Washington, I moved heaven and earth to have
him discharged. But it was like getting a ghost
out 'of prison. They pretended there was no such
man, and never was such a man. They will say
so at the Department now! Perhaps they do not
know. It will not be the first thing in the ser-
vice of which the Department appears to know
8o The Man without a Country.
THERE is a story that Nolan met Burr once on
one of our vessels, when a party of Americans
came on board in the Mediterranean. But this I
believe to be a lie; or rather it is a myth, ben
trovato, involving a tremendous blowing-up with
which he sunk Burr, asking him how he liked
to be "without a country." But it is clear from
Burr's life that nothing of the sort could have
happened; and I mention this only as an illus-
tration of the stories which get a-going where
there is the least mystery at bottom.
So poor Philip Nolan had his wish fulfilled.
I know but one fate more dreadful; it is the fate
reserved for those men who shall have one day
to exile themselves from their country because
they have attempted her ruin, and shall have at
the same time to see the prosperity and honor to
which she rises when she has rid herself of them
and their iniquities. The wish of poor Nolan, as
The Aflan without a Country. 81
we all learned to call him, not because his pun-
ishment was too great, but because his repent-
ance was so clear, was precisely the wish of
every Bragg and Beauregard who broke a sol-
dier's oath two years ago, and of every Maury and
Barron who broke a sailor's. I do not know
how often they have repented. I do know that
they have done all that in them lay that they
might have no country,-that all the honors, asso-
ciations, memories, and hopes which belong to
"country" might be broken up into little shreds
and distributed to the winds. I know, too, that
their punishment, as they vegetate through what
is left of life to them in wretched Boulognes and
Leicester Squares, where they are destined to
upbraid each other till they die, will have all the
agony of Nolan's, with the added pang that every
one who sees them will see them to despise and to
execrate them. They will have their wish, like him.
For him, poor fellow, he repented of his folly,
and then, like a man, submitted to the fate he
had asked for. He never intentionally added to
the difficulty or delicacy of the charge of those
The Man without a Country.
who had him in hold. Accidents would happen;
but they never happened from his fault. Lieu-
tenant Truxton told me that when Texas was
annexed there was a careful discussion among
the officers, whether they should get hold of
Nolan's handsome set of maps, and cut Texas
out of it,- from the map of the world and the
map of Mexico. The United States had been
cut out when the atlas was bought for him. But
it was voted, rightly enough, that to do this
would be virtually to reveal to him what had
happened, or, as Harry Cole said, to make him
think Old Burr had succeeded. So it was from
no fault of Nolan's that a great botch happened at
my own table, when, for a short time, I was in
command of the George Washington corvette,
on the South American station. We were lying
in the La Plata, and some of the officers who had
been on shore, and had just joined again, were
entertaining us with accounts of their misadven-
tures in riding the half wild horses of Buenos
Ayres. Nolan was at table, and was in an unusu-
ally bright and talkative mood. Some story of a
The Man wi/zout a Country. 83
tumble reminded him of an adventure of his own,
when he was catching wild horses in Texas with
his adventurous cousin, at a time when he must
have been quite a boy. He told the story with
,* *- -_: \- :-c"
"-.- -~ j- 'o s I. ,,
a good deal of spirit, -so much so, that the si-
lence which often follows a good story hung over
the table for an instant, to be broken by Nolan
himself. For he asked perfectly unconsciously:
"Pray, what has become of Texas? After the
Mexicans got their independence, I thought that
province of Texas would come forward very fast.
It is really one of the finest regions on earth ; it is
the Italy of this continent. But I have not seen
or heard a word of Texas for near twenty years."
84 The Manz wi/thoul a Country.
There were two Texan officers at the table.
The reason he had never heard of Texas was
that Texas and her affairs had been painfully cut
out of his newspapers since Austin began his
settlements; so that while he read of Honduras
and Tamaulipas, and till quite lately of California,
this virgin province, in which his cousin had
travelled so far, and, I believe, had died, had
ceased to be to him. Waters and Williams, the
two Texas men, looked grimly at each other, and
tried not to laugh. Edward Morris had his atten-
tion attracted by the third link in the chain of
the captain's chandelier. Watrous was seized with
a convulsion of sneezing. Nolan himself saw that
something was to pay, he did not know what.
And I, as master of the feast, had to say,-
"Texas is out of the map, Mr. Nolan. Have
you seen Captain Back's curious account of Sir
Thomas Roe's 'Welcome?'"
After that cruise I never saw Nolan again. I
wrote to him at least twice a year, for in that
voyage we became even confidentially intimate;
but he never wrote to me. The other men tell
The Man wil/iouil a Country.
me that in those fifteen years he aged very fast,
as well he might indeed, but that he was still
the same gentle, uncomplaining, silent sufferer
that he ever was, bearing as best he could his
self-appointed punishment, rather less social, per-
~-m 1, _____________
haps, with new men whom he did not know, but
more anxious apparently than ever to serve and
The Man wilhoul a Counlry.
befriend and teach the boys, some of whom fairly
seemed to worship him. And now it seems the
dear old fellow is dead. He has found a home
at last, and a country.
Since writing this, and while considering whether
or no I would print it as a warning to the young
Nolans and Vallandighams and Tatnalls of to-day
of what it is to throw away a country, I have
received from Danforth, who is on board the Le-
vant," a letter which gives an account of Nolan's
last hours. It removes all my doubts about tell-
ing this story.
To understand the first words of the letter, the
non-professional reader should remember that after
1817 the position of every officer who had Nolan
in charge was one of the greatest delicacy. The
Government had failed to renew the order of 1807
regarding him. What was a man to do? Should
he let him go? What, then, if he were called
to account by the Department for violating the
The Man without a Country. 87
order of 1807? Should he keep him? What, then,
if Nolan should be liberated some day, and should
bring an action for false imprisonment or kid-
napping against every man who had had him in
charge? I urged and pressed this upon Southard,
and I have reason to think that other officers did
the same thing. But the Secretary always said,
as they so often do at Washington, that there
were no special orders to give, and that we must
act on our own judgment. That means, If you
succeed, you will be sustained; if you fail, you
will be disavowed." Well, as Danforth says, all
that is over now, though I do not know but I
expose myself to a criminal prosecution on the
evidence of the very revelation I am making.
Here is the letter: -
"Levant," 2 2' S. Ca@ 131 W.
DEAR FRED, I try to find heart and life to
tell you that it is all over with dear old Nolan.
I have been with him on this voyage more than
I ever was; and I can understand wholly now the
way in which you used to speak of the dear old
fellow. I could see that he was not strong, but
88 The Man without a Country.
I had no idea the end was so near. The doctor
has been watching him very carefully, and yester-
day morning came to me and told me that Nolan
was not so well, and had not left his state-room,
-a thing I never remember before. He had let
the doctor come and see him as he lay there, -
the first time the doctor had been in the state-
room, and he said he should like to see me.
Oh, dear! do you remember the mysteries we boys
used to invent about his room in the old In-
trepid" days? Well, I went in, and there, to be
sure, the poor fellow lay in his berth, smiling pleas-
antly as he gave me his hand, but looking very frail.
I could not help a glance round, which showed
me what a little shrine he had made of the box he
was lying in. The stars and stripes were triced
up above and around a picture of Washington,
and he had painted a majestic eagle, with light-
nings blazing from his beak, and his foot just
clasping the whole globe, which his wings over-
shadowed. The dear old boy saw my glance,
and said with a sad smile, Here, you see, I
have a country!" And then he pointed to the
The Man wilhozut a Counlry.
foot of his bed, where I had not seen before a
great map of the United States, as he had drawn
it from memory, and which he had there to look
upon as he lay. Quaint, queer old names were
on it in large letters: "Indiana Territory," "Mis-
sissippi Territory," and Louisiana Territory," as I
suppose our fathers learned such things; but the
The Man without a Country.
old fellow had patched in Texas, too; he had
carried his Western boundary all the way to the
Pacific, but on that shore he had defined nothing.
"Oh, Danforth," he said, "I know I am dying.
I cannot get home. Surely you will tell me
something now? Stop! stop! Do not speak till
I say what I am sure you know, that there is
not in this ship, that there is not in America -
God bless her!-a more loyal man than I. There
cannot be a man who loves the old flag as I do,
or prays for it as I do, or hopes for it as I do.
There are thirty-four stars in it now, Danforth.
I thank God for that, though I do not know what
their names are. There has never been one taken
away; I thank God for that. I know by that
that there has never been any successful Burr.
Oh, Danforth, Danforth," he sighed out, "how like
a wretched night's dream a boy's idea of personal
fame or of separate sovereignty seems, when one
looks back on it after such a life as mine! But
tell me, tell me something, tell me every-
thing, Danforth, before I die!"
Ingham, I swear to you that I felt like a
"He bade me take down his beautiful map, and draw them in as
I best could."
The Man without a Country.
monster that I had not told him everything be-
fore. Danger or no danger, delicacy or no deli-
cacy, who was I, that I should have been acting
the tyrant all this time over this dear, sainted old
man, who had years ago expiated, in his whole
manhood's life, the madness of a boy's treason?
"Mr. Nolan," said I, I will tell you everything
you ask about. Only, where shall I begin?"
Oh, the blessed smile that crept over his white
face! and he pressed my hand, and said, "God
bless you! Tell me their names," he said, and
he pointed to the stars on the flag. The last I
know is Ohio. My father lived in Kentucky.
But I have guessed Michigan and Indiana and
Mississippi, that was where Fort Adams is;
they make twenty. But where are your other
fourteen? You have not cut up any of the old
ones, I hope."
Well, that was not a bad text; and I told
him the names in as good order as I could, and
he bade me take down his beautiful map, and
draw them in as I best could with my pencil.
He was wild with delight about Texas, told me
The Man wil/hout a Country.
how his cousin died there; he had marked a gold
cross near where he supposed his grave was, and
he had guessed at Texas. Then he was delighted
as he saw California and Oregon; that he said
he had suspected partly, because he had never
been permitted to land on that shore, though the
ships were there so much. "And the men," said
he, laughing, "brought off a good deal besides
furs." Then he went back-heavens, how far!-
to ask about the "Chesapeake," and what was done
to Barron for surrendering her to the '"Leopard,"
and whether Burr ever tried again,-and he ground
his teeth with the only passion he showed. But
in a moment that was over, and he said, "God
forgive me, for I am sure I forgive him." Then
he asked about the old war, told me the true
story of his serving the gun the day we took the
"Java," asked about dear old David Porter, as he
called him. Then he settled down more quietly
and very happily, to hear me tell in an hour the
history of fifty years.
How I wished it had been somebody who
knew something! But I did as well as I could.
The Man without a Country. 95
I told him of the English war. I told him about
Fulton and the steamboat beginning. I told him
about old Scott and Jackson; told him all I
could think of about the Mississippi and New Or-
leans and Texas and his own old Kentucky. And
do you think, he asked who was in command of
the "Legion of the West." I told him it was a
very gallant officer named Grant, and that by
our last news he was about to establish his head-
quarters at Vicksburg. Then, "Where was Vicks-
burg?" I worked that out on the map; it was
about a hundred miles, more or less, above his
old Fort Adams; and I thought Fort Adams
must be a ruin now. "It must be at old Vick's
plantation, at Walnut Hills," said he; well, that
is a change!"
I tell you, Ingham, it was a hard thing to con-
dense the history of half a century into that talk
with a sick man. And I do not now know what
I told him,-of emigration, and the means of it;
of steamboats and railroads and telegraphs; of
inventions and books and literature; of the col-
leges and West Point and the Naval School,
96 The Man without a Country.
- but with the queerest interruptions that ever
you heard. You see it was Robinson Crusoe
asking all the accumulated questions of fifty-six
I remember he -asked, all of a sudden, who
was President now; and when I told him, he
asked if Old Abe was General Benjamin Lincoln's
son. He said he met old General Lincoln when
he was quite a boy himself, at some Indian treaty.
I said No, that Old Abe was a Kentuckian like
himself, but I could not tell him of what family; he
had worked up from the ranks. "Good for him!"
cried Nolan; "I am glad of that. As I have
brooded and wondered, I have thought our dan-
ger was in keeping up those regular successions in
the first families." Then I got talking about
my visit to Washington. I told him of meeting
the Oregon Congressman, Harding; I told him
about the Smithsonian and the Exploring Expe-
dition; I told him about the Capitol and the
statues for the pediment and Crawford's Liberty
and Greenough's Washington. Ingham, I told him
everything I could think of that would show the
The MAlan without a Countiry.
grandeur of his country and its prosperity; but I
could not make up my mouth to tell him a word
about this infernal Rebellion!
And he drank it in, and enjoyed it as I can-
not tell you. He grew more and more silent, yet
:.. ,- -: 7
I never thought he was tired or faint. I gave
him a glass of water, but he just wet his lips,
and told me not to go away. Then he asked me
to bring the Presbyterian Book of Public Prayer,"
which lay there, and said with a smile that it
98 The Man without a Cozuntry.
would open at the right place, and so it did.
There was his double red mark down the page;
and I knelt down and read, and he repeated with
me: For ourselves and our country, 0 gracious
God, we thank Thee that notwithstanding our
manifold transgressions of Thy holy laws, Thou
hast continued to us Thy marvellous kindness," -
and so to the end of that Thanksgiving. Then
he turned to the end of the same book, and I
read the words more familiar to me: "Most heart-
ily we beseech Thee with Thy favor to behold
and bless Thy servant, the President of the United
States, and all others in authority,"-and the rest
of the Episcopal Collect. Danforth," said he, I
have repeated those prayers night and morning,
it is now fifty-five years." And then he said
he would go to sleep. He bent me down over
him, and kissed me; and he said, "Look in my
Bible, Danforth, when I am gone." And I went
But I had no thought it was the end. I
thought he was tired and would sleep. I knew
he was happy, and I wanted him to be alone.
The Man without a Country. 99
BIut in an hour, when the doctor went in
gently, he found Nolan had breathed his life
away with a smile. He had something pressed
close to his lips. It was his father's badge of
the Order of the Cincinnati.
We looked in his Bible, and there was a slip
of paper at the place where he had marked the
"They desire a country, even a heavenly:
wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their
God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
100oo The Man without a Country.
On this slip of paper he had written,-
"Bury me in the sea; it has been my home,
and I love it. But will not some one set up a
stone for my memory at Fort Adams or at Or-
leans, that my disgrace may not be more than I
ought to bear? Say on it,-
In Memory of
Lieutenant in the Army of the United States.
He loved his country as no other man has loved her; but no
man deserved less at her hands."