W. P. WOOD
Mrs. Pattie P. [unknown] Oct. 1915.
NORTH CAROLINIANA COLLECTION B.W.C. ROBERTS
BEVERLY HALL, EDENTON, NORTH CAROLINA
BETTIE FRESHWATER POOL
AUTHOR OF “THE EYRIE.”
and “UNDER BRAZILIAN SKIES.”
Published by The Baltimore City Printing and Binding Co.,
Baltimore, Md. Price, $2.00
On Sale by the Author, Miss Bettie Freshwater Pool, Elizabeth City, N. C.
Copyright, 1915, BY BETTIE FRESHWATER POOL.
All Rights Reserved.
To the people of the Old North State, whose help and encouragement have been such an inspiration to me in my literary endeavors, this book is most affectionately dedicated by
The primary purpose of this book has been to save from oblivion and preserve in attractive form the unpublished literature of the Albemarle section.
In the case of those authors who have published books only brief extracts from their works, presenting their best styles, have been given.
Some Albemarle writers have necessarily been omitted, because of my inability to obtain data for biographical sketches, or literary material from which to make selections, or because the character of their work has not come within the scope of such a book.
In the case of those writers whose works have never before been published, or, if published at all, not in book form, lengthy selections have been given when the work has justified it; as my desire has been to preserve as much valuable literature as possible for the State.
In making this compilation I have followed no established method, but have been led by my own fancy.
For a number of years I have been collecting, as opportunity offered, now a poem, now a lecture, now an oration, and I am proud to feel that this book, which is to be my legacy to coming generations, contains some of the finest literature to be found in North Carolina.
The Albemarle section has produced many gifted men; men of brains, of literary talent, and of genius—great men—some who once shone, some who still shine, like brilliant stars in the firmament of the Old North State.
If this book contains but one great and inspiring thought or one rare poetic gem, which but for its publication herein would be lost to the world, I shall feel that my work has not been in vain; I shall be content.
Bettie Freshwater Pool.
|Harp of the South (poem) ..... Bettie Freshwater Pool||8|
|Dr. Richard Dillard (biographical sketch) Bettie Freshwater Pool||9|
|WORK OF DR. RICHARD DILLARD:|
|At Autumn Time (poem)||11|
|Song of the South Wind (poem)||12|
|The Historic Tea-Party of Edenton||13|
|The Indian Tribes of Eastern North Carolina||26|
|The Coming of the Fall (poem)||36|
|Catherine Albertson (biographical sketch) Bettie Freshwater Pool||39|
|WORK OF CATHERINE ALBERTSON:|
|The Perquimans River (poem)||40|
|From the Pasquotank (poem)||42|
|The Telephone Pole (poem)||43|
|There Shall be No More Sea (poem)||44|
|Frank Vaughan (biographical sketch) Bettie Freshwater Pool||46|
|WORK OF FRANK VAUGHAN:|
|The North Carolina Banker||46|
|Dr. Stephen B. Weeks (biographical sketch) Bettie Freshwater Pool||54|
|WORK OF DR. STEPHEN B. WEEKS:|
|The Lost Colony of Roanoke||56|
|North Carolina Histories||60|
|The Weeks Collection of Caroliniana||66|
|Col. R. B. Creecy (biographical sketch) Bettie Freshwater Pool||71|
|WORK OF COL. R. B. CREECY:|
|The Legend of Batz's Grave||72|
|Death of James P. Whedbee||76|
|William Oscar Temple (biographical sketch) Bettie Freshwater Pool||78|
|WORK OF WILLIAM OSCAR TEMPLE:|
|Pool and Whedbee—A Parallel (oration)||78|
|Walter Freshwater Pool (biographical sketch) Bettie Freshwater Pool||82|
|WORK OF WALTER FRESHWATER POOL.|
|Love's Invocation (poem)||90|
|Sleep, Sweetheart (poem)||91|
|To Miss Hattie (written in her Album) (poem)||92|
|The Maid Who Loves but Me (poem)||94|
|Mermaid and Mortal (poem)||95|
|To Annie (written in her Album) (poem)||97|
|Christmas Carrier—1878 (poem)||97|
|Tournament and Coronation Ball||98|
|Extract from Speech||103|
|Extract from Address to Odd Fellows||104|
|Province of Arcadia||105|
|Judge Charles Carroll Pool (biographical sketch) Bettie Freshwater Pool||107|
|WORK OF JUDGE CHARLES CARROLL POOL:|
|Fourth of July Oration||109|
|Antiquity of the Earth and of Its Inhabitants||122|
|The Revolution in Brazil||132|
|Extracts from Day Book||139|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool (biographical sketch). W. M. Hinton||141|
|WORK OF BETTIE FRESHWATER POOL:|
|Carolina (State Song)||144|
|The Banks of the Old Pasquotank (song)||145|
|My Love is All Around Thee (song)||146|
|My Dear Sunny Southland (song)||147|
|Flora MacDonald (poem)||148|
|A Memory (poem)||152|
|A Spirit's Message (poem)||153|
|I Know Not Why (poem)||154|
|Love is the Cable that Binds (poem)||155|
|Angel of My Gethsemane (poem)||156|
|De Flea (poem)||157|
|Try To Help Somebody Out (poem)||158|
|North Carolina's “Sweet Alban”||159|
|The Nag's Head Picture of Theodosia Burr||166|
|Ralph Pool (biographical sketch) . . . Bettie Freshwater Pool||252|
|WORK OF RALPH POOL:|
|The Song of Arlis (poem)||253|
|Lost Souls (poem)||258|
|The Message (poem)||258|
|Lilla Pool Price (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||260|
|WORK OF LILLA POOL PRICE:|
|A Memory (poem)||263|
|A Thought (poem)||265|
|Cecil Percy Pool (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||266|
|WORK OF CECIL PERCY POOL:|
|Two Prodigals (poem)||268|
|When Love and I Went Maying (poem)||269|
|Her Prayer and Mine (poem)||270|
|A Mystery (poem)||272|
|The Village Choir (poem)||273|
|Too Late (poem)||274|
|Dollie Freeman Beeler (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||277|
|WORK OF DOLLIE FREEMAN BEELER:|
|“Remember Me” (poem)||278|
|A Christmas Welcome (poem)||279|
|Hon. C L. Cobb (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||280|
|WORK OF HON. C. L. COBB:|
|Eulogy on General Nathanael Greene||281|
|John M. Matthews (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||289|
|WORK OF JOHN M. MATTHEWS.|
|Woman's Love (poem)||290|
|I'll Meet Them Coming Back (poem)||294|
|Rev. Solomon Pool, D. D. (memoir) ..... Rev. J. J. Renn||174|
|WORK OF REV. SOLOMON POOL, D. D.:|
|The Personnel of the Twelve (sermon)||178|
|The Only Foundation (sermon)||183|
|Theodore A. Pool (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||194|
|WORK OF THEODORE A. POOL:|
|Beacon Lights (poem)||196|
|She Stood Amid the Roses (poem)||198|
|The Humming Bird (poem)||201|
|Eagle and Osprey (poem)||201|
|The Right Way (poem)||203|
|Senator John Pool (oration) ..... Senator Joseph S. Fowler||204|
|WORK OF SENATOR JOHN POOL:|
|Higher Education (oration)||212|
|Death of the Leaves (poem)||230|
|The Soul's Refuge—The Sandy Shore (poem)||230|
|The Heart Asks Something More Than This (poem)||232|
|To My Little Bessie Baby (poem)||234|
|The Burial of Prof. Mitchell on Black Mountain (poem)||235|
|The Grief of the Sea (poem)||236|
|Lela Pool Sessford (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||237|
|WORK OF LELA POOL SESSFORD:|
|Dr. William G. Pool (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||247|
|WORK OF DR. WILLIAM G. POOL:|
|Scepter Bearer (poem)||249|
|To Victoria K. Pool (poem)||250|
|To Jennie (poem)||251|
|To Minnie in Heaven (poem)||251|
|Extract from Day Book||251|
|William E. Dunstan (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||297|
|WORK OF WILLIAM E. DUNSTAN:|
|My Violet (poem)||298|
|My Girl's New Hat (poem)||299|
|The Racket Store (poem)||299|
|William M. Hinton (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||301|
|WORK OF WILLIAM M. HINTON:|
|Judge Francis D. Winston (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||307|
|WORK OF JUDGE FRANCIS D. WINSTON:|
|Judge William A. Moore (biographical sketch)|
|Bettie Freshwater Pool||314|
|WORK OF JUDGE WILLIAM A. MOORE:|
|The Leading Events of the Eighteenth Century||315|
|Dr. Richard Dillard||9|
|Dr. Stephen B. Weeks||54|
|James P. Whedbee||78|
|Hon. Walter F. Pool||82|
|Walter F. Pool, at age of twenty-three||86|
|Judge Charles Carroll Pool||107|
|The old Pool home in Elizabeth City, N. C.||141|
|Rev. Solomon Pool, D. D.||174|
|Senator John Pool||204|
|Dr. William G. Pool||247|
|Dollie Freeman Beeler||277|
|Judge Francis D. Winston||307|
|Judge William A. Moore||314|
HARP OF THE SOUTH.
- Harp of the South, too long hast thou been mute.
- Thrill with new life! Awake!
- Let thy rich tones, as sweet as Rizzio's flute,
- Fill every heart with fire,
- Rouse valor, honor, truth, divine desire
- For higher things. Harp of the South, awake!
- Harp of the South, too long this land of ours—
- Home of the free, the brave—
- So rich in story, bright with honor's flow'rs,
- Beholds thy strings unstrung.
- Her noblest deeds no golden chord hath rung.
- Sound glorious praise! Harp of the South, awake!
DR. RICHARD DILLARD.
DR. RICHARD DILLARD.
Dr. Richard Dillard, son of Dr. Richard Dillard and Mary Louisa Beverly Cross, is a descendant of the old Cavalier stock which, early in our history, settled in Eastern Virginia and North Carolina. He was born at his ancestral home, “Farmers’ Delight,” Nansemond County, Virginia, December 5, 1857. His literary education was received at the University of North Carolina. He studied medicine at the University of Virginia, and graduated from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1879. Since that time he has been practicing his profession in Edenton.
The honorary degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him in 1899, and he was later appointed a member of the North Carolina Historical Commission, by Governor Aycock. He is a member of the North Carolina Society, Sons of the Revolution, through his Revolutionary ancestor, John Campbell, and is a gentleman of the old school, courteous, refined, polished and affable in manner.
While Dr. Dillard is eminently successful in his chosen profession of medicine, the field of literature has always been his chief delight, and he is known to-day as one of the most gifted writers of the Old North State. With a mind highly cultured, stored with vast funds of information on varied subjects, he possesses the ability to express in the choicest and most beautiful language the ideas and thoughts which grow so richly in the garden of his brain.
His home, “Beverly Hall,” Edenton, reveals his artistic nature. It is idyllic retreat wherein to rest, to think and dream. His exquisite descriptions of nature voice the soul of a poet. Observe the following extracts from his essay on “Sunshine.”
“The sun floods the whole universe with its essence, yet a single drop of dew poised upon a blade of grass can contain its whole image; it shineth upon the just and the unjust. Like a good husbandman, it scatters its life-giving rays everywhere; it is the father, and at the same time the mother and nourisher of all life. It descends upon us like an avatar of deity, and its touch is like Midas’, turning all things into gold. Its absence makes the iceberg, the glacier, and the misery and blackness of the Polar night. . . . . . . .
“The sunflower is impatient to receive its touch, and the golden-rod droops with its amalgam; the trees lift up their heads to receive its morning benediction, and the humblest flower covets its envied kiss. It shines at night in the twinkle of the far-off stars, and in the moon's ethereal light. It writes poems of golden fields of grain, of laughing brooks, and herds grazing upon the mountain slopes. . . .
“It ripens the luscious peach in the garden, it gives the apple its rosy cheek, and makes the purple grape to drip with honey. It keeps the silvery river liquid to flow in majesty to the sea; it warms the chill bosom of the earth's nursery, and sends the shower to refresh the woods and fields. It makes a diamond of the dewdrop trembling in the blue chalice of the morning-glory, and its golden key unlocks the delicate combination of the water lily, and steeps its heart in light. It distills delicate perfume in the deep crucibles of gorgeous magnolia blossoms, and pours the attar of a thousand roses over the altar of morning. It tortures from the jessamine its exquisite aura of perfume. All the flowers gladly yield their incense in worship of the sun. . . . . . . . .
“It mixes upon its palette all the varied colors of the spectrum—for the harebell, blue; for the crocus, yellow; purple for the heliotrope and violet, white and yellow for the fields of daisies—the heart of the daisy represents the sun, the petal its rays. The rose blushes red to its amorous kiss; daffodil and crocus and yellow jessamine absorb the winter sunshine and coin it into golden flowers.”AT AUTUMN TIME.
- These are the signs that fall has come:
- The meadows all look brown and dun,
- The flight of swallows has begun,
- And gold and glinting is the sun—
- When Fall has come.
- A hazy gauze spreads o'er the sky,
- And dreary flies the crow on high,
- And from the heart there comes a sigh,
- As dead leaves in our pathway lie—
- When Fall is nigh.
- The yellow ears hang down the line,
- Deep purple is the muscadine,
- And pippins are as red as wine,
- The luscious yield of Summer's prime—
- At Autumn time.
- The warbler still his flight delays
- And flutes his farewell roundelays,
- And waning Summer gladly pays
- For tenancy her golden maize—
- In harvest days.
SONG OF THE SOUTH WIND.
- The woodman's axe rings loud and clear,
- The ev'ning air stirs cool and drear,
- The wealth of Nature doth appear,
- Rich bounty for another year—
- When Fall is here.
- I come from the shores of a bright summer isle,
- Where shadows are soft and the sunbeams smile,
- Where the palm-trees wave ‘neath the tropical sky,
- And the perfumes of olive and jessamine vie,
- And the forests of em'rald are deepest in dye.
- My breath is sweet with the incense of morn,
- My spirit is steep'd in the dewdrops at dawn;
- In the land where I dream no winter is found,
- For the almond and orange and date-tree abound,
- And flowers are scatter'd in beauty around.
- I spread the white sheet of the glist'ning sail,
- As it follows the wavy wake of my trail;
- I waft the steel prow to the far distant strand;
- I bear the rich commerce to bless ev'ry land,
- And I chase the bright waves on the glittering sand.
- I cool the hot brow of fever and care,
- My breath is like incense to hearts in despair;
- I sway the bright vane on the lofty church tower;
- I tinkle the bells of the jessamine's bower,
- And steal the sweet perfume away from its flower.
- On bright summer nights I rustle the leaves,
- Flirt with the flowers, and kiss the tall trees;
- I wander and gamble the green fields over,
- I dangle the bee as he hangs on the clover,
- And ramble the meadows and streams like a rover.
THE HISTORIC TEA-PARTY OF EDENTON.
- When cornfields are russet and meadows are brown
- With the northwind's kiss and winter's dark frown,
- To the land of the summer I hasten my flight—
- There blue waves are braided with sweet morning
- Far away, far away, in my isle of delight.
(October 25th, 1774.)Proem.
The religious votaries of the Maldivean Isles at certain times commit to the mercy of the wind and waves little boats laden with rich-hued flowers, delicate perfumes, and sweet-scented woods of their native isles, hoping to receive in return rich rewards for the sacrifice: though I have no flowers of rhetoric to offer, no measured lines, no burning incense from the Muses’ shrine, ’tis thus I consign this bit of native history rudderless to the tide, trusting some friendly wave may bear it safely on—hoping also like Ruth, in the fields of the wealthy Boaz, to glean and bind together a few handfuls which other and abler reapers have carelessly, or on purpose, let fall.
There is in Afghanistan, according to Eastern tradition, a miraculous history plant which records upon its broad, luxurious leaves whatever happens each day in its immediate vicinity. There are no inaccuracies and misstatements of the press, no partiality or partisan writers, no incongruity of conflicting records, but, like the polished waters around which it flourishes, it faithfully mirrors the environing objects. Unfortunately in this country there is no such gift by Nature, no historic Genii, but there is, I
believe, a movement on foot to condense, preserve, and separate true and legitimate history from the ordinary records of the press. The ancients were especially particular that their records should be exact; even the works of the historian, Livy, barely escaped annihilation at the hands of the infamous Caligula, for their alleged historical inaccuracies.
Tacitus, appreciating the value of history to mankind, wrote nearly twenty centuries ago that its chief object was “to rescue virtuous actions from the oblivion to which the want of records would consign them.”
Even in this practical, speculative age there seems to be a tendency all over our country to exhume from oblivion the events and traditions of our past. This growing reverence for American history is an evidence of increasing national intelligence, pride and dignity. Unfortunately for North Carolina, many of her most beautiful traditions have been allowed to pass unnoticed, and her glorious deeds regarded as mere ephemera to perish with the actors.
It is the object of this paper to bring into light an exceptionally interesting and patriotic incident in North Carolina, hitherto only casually noticed by State historians. The stranger coming to Edenton twenty-five years ago was shown an old-fashioned, long, wooden house fronting directly on the beautiful courthouse green; this historic house has since yielded to the ruthless hand of modern vandalism. It was the residence of Mrs. Elizabeth King, and under its roof fifty-one patriotic ladies* (and not fifty-four,[note]
as stated erroneously by Wheeler) met October 25th, 1774, and passed resolutions commending the action of the provincial Congress. They also declared that they would not conform “to that Pernicious Custom of Drinking Tea, or that the aforesaid Ladys would not promote ye wear of any manufacture from England” until the tax was repealed. Wheeler, in alluding to this incident and to the stormy days closely preceding the Revolution, in his second volume says: “The patriotism of the men was ever exceeded by that of the women. By some strange freak of circumstance, many years ago, there was found at Gibraltar a beautiful picture done in skillful style, enameled on glass, of a ‘meeting of the ladies of Edenton destroying the tea (their favorite beverage) when it was taxed by the English parliament.’ This picture was procured by some of the officers of our navy, and was sent to Edenton, where I saw it in 1830.”
This is not only erroneous, but Mr. Wheeler has also misquoted the reference to the meeting in the American Archives, and there has been considerable other misinformation afloat regarding it, all of which I shall endeavor to set right. The following is a correct notice copied direct from the American Archives and occupies just twelve lines; “Association Signed by Ladies of Edenton, North Carolina, October 25, 1774. ‘As we cannot be indifferent on any occasion that appears to affect the peace and happiness of our country; and it has been thought necessary for the public good to enter into several particular resolves, by meeting of Members of Deputies from the whole province, it is a duty that we owe not only to our near and dear relations and connections, but to ourselves, who are essentially interested in their welfare, to do
everything as far as lies in our power to testify our sincere adherence to the same, and we do therefore accordingly subscribe this paper, as a witness of our fixed intention, and solemn determination to do so.’ Signed by fifty-one ladies.”*
Women have always been potent factors in all great moral and political reformations. The drafting of such resolutions, so directly antagonistic to royal authority, required a calmer, far more enviable courage than that developed by the fanatic heroism of the crusades, or the feverish bravery of martial music. The tax upon tea was a direct insult to their household gods; it poisoned every cup of their tea, it affected every hearthstone in the province. In looking back upon our past it should be a matter of pride to know, that such women helped to form the preface of our history, characters which should be held up to our children as worthy of emulation.
- “These are deeds which should not pass away,
- And names that must not wither, though the earth
- Forgets her empires with a just decay.”
The account of this tea-party found its way into the London papers of that day, and the effect it had there may be noted in the following old letter, strongly tinctured with sarcasm. It was written by Arthur Iredell, of London, to his brother, James Iredell, a distinguished patriot of this place, who married Miss Hannah Johnson, a sister of one of the signers of the noted document.
London, Queen Square, January 31, 1775.
“I see by the newspaper, the Edenton ladies have signalized themselves by their protest against tea drinking. The name of[note]
Johnston I see among others; are any of my sister's relations patriotic heroines? Is there a female congress at Edenton too? I hope not, for we Englishmen are afraid of the male congress, but if the ladies, who have ever since the Amazonian era been esteemed the most formidable enemies; if they, I say, should attack us, the most fatal consequence is to be dreaded. So dextrous in the handling of a dart, each wound they give is mortal; whilst we, so unhappily formed by nature, the more we strive to conquer them, the more we are conquered. The Edenton ladies, conscious, I suppose, of this superiority on their side, by a former experience, are willing, I imagine, to crush us into atoms by their omnipotency; the only security on our side to prevent the impending ruin, that I can perceive, is the probability that there are but few places in America which possess so much female artillery as Edenton.
“Pray let me know all the particulars when you favor me with a letter.
“Your most affectionate friend and brother,
The society of Edenton at this period was charming in its refinement and culture. At one time this town was the colonial capital and social rival of Williamsburg, Virginia. It then had five hundred inhabitants. Its galaxy of distinguished patriots, both men and women, would shine resplendent in any country or in any age. The tea-party then, as now, was one of the most fashionable modes of entertaining. The English were essentially a tea-drinking nation, and consequently tea became the most universal drink of the colonies. Dr. Johnson declared that with tea he “amused the evening, with tea solaced the midnight, and with tea welcomed the morning.” Dickens himself frequently refers to these tea-drinkings. At a meeting of the Brick Lane Branch of the United Grand Ebenezer Temperance Association, the ladies[note]
drank tea to such an alarming extent, that the Pickwickian Mr. Weller could not help remarking aloud, in spite of Sam's protests, and nudgings—“There's a young ’ooman on the next floor but one, as has drunk nine breakfast cups and a half; and she's a swelling wisibly before my wery eyes.” Coffee was not introduced into Europe until much later, the first cup having been drunk by Louis XIV of France at a cost of twenty-nine dollars per pound. The principal variety of tea used by the colonies was the Bohea, or black tea, and came from India. It was of the purest quality, the art of sophistication and adulteration being unknown at that day. The feeling of ease and comfort inspired by an elegant cup of tea, as well as the exhilaration of the mental faculties which it produces, made it a necessary assistant to break the stiffness of those old-fashioned parties. It contains an active principal, thein, which, taken in considerable quantity, produces a species of intoxication. Foreigners who visit China, where tea is served upon almost every occasion, become frequently tea-drunk. The method of preparing tea by our ancestors was essentially that of the wealthy class in China. The tea was brought upon the table in decorated china tea-caddies, some of which are still in existence, along with an urn of boiling water. The tea leaves were then placed in the cup of every guest, the cup filled with hot water, and the saucer inverted over it for a few minutes to retain the aroma. The teapot was only used then by the rather bourgeois. Social life was never more enjoyed than then; there was an abandon and freedom of manner, united with an open-hearted hospitality, of which we know nothing at this day, when social restrictions restrict also social pleasures.
Col. Edward Buncombe but crystallized and formulated the most universal feeling of this section, when he inscribed, in unmistakable lines upon his front gate, the euphonious distich:
- “Welcome all
- To Buncombe Hall.”*
There were quiltings and cotillion parties and tea-parties without number; the gentlemen would often go great distances on horseback, with their sweethearts riding behind them, and attend these gatherings. If the night was cold, blazing fires of lightwood crackled to receive them, and hugh bowls of spicy apple-toddy mellowed to enliven and cheer; later in the evening tea would invariably be served, which no one could be so unfashionable as to refuse. An old lady informed me that her grandmother had a medical friend who would always drink fourteen cups of tea. Under its influence conversation enlivened and wit sparkled. After tea the ladies would gossip and spin and reel, while the gentlemen would retire to discuss the political issues of the day, the policy of Lord North in regard to the American colonies, or the unjust tax which was about to be placed upon tea, or perhaps one would read aloud a recent speech by Mr. Pitt, from an English newspaper, which he had been so fortunate as to obtain from some incoming ship. All along this would be punctuated by puffs of tobacco smoke from their long-stemmed pipes. They were as notional about their tobacco as they were about their tea; the method of preparing and using the weed was to cure it in the sun, cut it upon a maple[note]
log, keep it in a lily pot, which was a jar of white earth, and light the pipe with a splinter of juniper, or with a coal of fire, in a pair of silver tongs made for that purpose.
The incidents connected with this particular tea-party are especially interesting, as they come to us through the blue mist of a century. We can easily imagine how they sat around in their low-necked, short-waisted gowns, and after they had gossiped sufficiently, “it was resolved that those who could spin, ought to be employed in that way, and those who could not should reel. When the time arrived for drinking tea, Bohea, and Hyperion were provided, and every one of the ladies judiciously rejected the poisonous Bohea, and unanimously, and to their very great honor, preferred the balsamic Hyperion”, which was nothing more than the dried leaves of the raspberry vine, a drink, in the writer's opinion, more vile even than the much vaunted Yupon.
The picture of this patriotic party, incorrectly alluded to by Wheeler, has a strange and unique history, and I give it as I have received it from the lady into whose possession the picture has fallen. Lieutenant William T. Muse, a United States naval officer, who became conspicuous during the Civil War, and whose mother was a Miss Blount, of Edenton, while on a cruise in the Mediterranean stopped at Port Mahon on the island of Minorca, and accidently saw hanging in a barber's shop there a picture, representing the Edenton tea-party of 1774. It was purchased, and brought by him to Edenton in 1830. I have this date from an old Bible bearing the date of his return from the cruise. It was first placed on exhibition in the courthouse, and the representation of the characters was so distinct that many of the ladies were easily recognized. It then found a resting-place in
the old tailor shop of Joseph Manning, ancestor of Chief Justice Manning, of Louisiana, and finally, in a cracked condition, was intrusted to the care of a lady. During the confusion of refugeeing incident to the Civil War, it was by some misadventure broken in three places.
It is a painting upon glass, twelve by fourteen inches. Upon one of the pieces is the declaration set forth by the ladies, that they would drink no tea, nor wear any stuffs of British manufacture. Upon another is the picture of the lady who presided upon that occasion. She is seated at a table with a pen in her hand, her maid, Amelia, standing behind her chair. This maid lived for many years after this incident, and is still remembered by some of the oldest citizens. By a singular coincidence her granddaughter is still living upon the very same lot where the tea-party was held. Upon the third fragment of this picture in plain letters is written, “The Town of Edenton.” It is not known how the picture of this party was obtained, or how it found its way to Port Mahon, or even into the barber shop. The printer's name in the corner of the picture is said to have been the same one who printed the celebrated letters of Junius in the reign of George III.
Pictures have immortalized many events in history, and it is very probable that but for this one the pleasing little incident would have been lost or forgotten. The defense of Champigny, by the “Garde Mobile,” could never have been so immortalized in prose or rhyme, as by the brush of Edouard Detaille. The Confederate etchings by Dr. A. J. Volck spoke volumes, and were so severe, that he was confined in Fort McHenry prison; and the political cartoons by John Tanniei of the London Punch produced a profound
sensation. “Porte Crayon” (General Strother) in his interesting article on Edenton and the surroundings, written for Harper's Magazine in 1857, says, “It is to be regretted that Porte Crayon did not get a sight of this painting, that the world might have heard more of it, and that the patriotism of the ladies of Edenton might have been blazoned beside that of the men of Boston, who have figured in so many bad woodcuts.” None of the names of the fifty-one ladies present at this party have been preserved in history, but I have succeeded in rescuing five of them from the local traditions. Mrs. Penelope Barker was the president of the party. She was no advocate of celibacy, having been married first to a Mr. Hodgson, then to a Mr. Craven, and lastly to Mr. Barker, whom she survived.
At a casual glance one might easily mistake her portrait for that of Lady Washington. She was one of those lofty, intrepid, highborn women peculiarly fitted by nature to lead; fear formed no part of her composition. Her face bears the expression of sternness without harshness, which a cheap novelist would describe as hauteur. She was a brilliant conversationalist, and a society leader of her day.
Mr. Thomas Barker,* her husband, was a gifted lawyer, and had for his pupil at one time the distinguished Governor Samuel Johnston. The attachment of Gov. Johnston for Mr. Barker was so great that in after years he had him and his more illustrious wife interred in his private graveyard on his beautiful estate, Hayes, where a mossy slab marks their last resting-place. Mr. Barker was detained for some[note]
time in London during the Revolution, and while there his wife was called upon to show some of that pluck and courage which she had evinced at the tea-party. Being informed by a servant that some British soldiers were taking her carriage horses from her stables, she snatched her husband's sword from the wall, went out, and with a single blow severed the reins in the officer's hands, and drove her horses back into the stables. The British officer declared, that for such an exhibition of bravery she should be allowed to keep her horses, and she was never afterwards molested. Mrs. Barker's residence stood upon the sight now occupied by the Woodard Hotel.
Mrs. Sarah Valentine was also one of the signers; her portrait is still in the possession of her descendants, and her house is still standing on the lower end of Main St. Mrs. Elizabeth King was another signer, and it was at her house, as before mentioned, that the party was held. She was the wife of Thomas King, a prominent merchant of the town. The Miss Johnston referred to in the Iredell letter was undoubtedly Miss Isabella, a sister of Governor Johnston. She was engaged to Joseph Hewes, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, from North Carolina, and died just before her marriage was consummated. Hewes, who was a man of great wealth and refinement, soon followed her, broken-hearted, to the grave.
Mrs. Winifred Wiggins Hoskins was another signer, and lived in the country near Edenton; she was the wife of Richard Hoskins, a fearless and zealous patriot: joining the American army at the first sound to arms, he served with signal bravery and courage until its close. During his absence, his wife managed the entire farming interest with prudence and profit. When they were married, they came down the Roanoke river in an open boat, crossed the Albemarle Sound,
and landed at Edenton. He then took his bride behind him on a pillion to his farm called Paradise*, by a bridle path, there being no public roads in that direction then. Her wedding dress was spun and woven from flax grown upon her father's farm in Halifax County. So delicate and smooth was the warp, that when she was preparing it for the loom, she passed the entire skein through her gold ring. The art of household production probably reached its greatest perfection about this time. All connection with the mother country was severed, and the colonists thrown upon their own resources. It was indispensable to every lady's education that she should know how to spin, sew and weave. The spider-like fineness of their yarns, the exquisite beauty of their needlework, and the lacy filminess of the woven fabrics which their nimble fingers wrought, are the envy and admiration of the present age. From the Napoleonic standpoint Mrs. Hoskins was the greatest of them all, having given eight sons and eight daughters to her country. I extract the following from the first volume (1877) of the Magazine of American History.
“Revolutionary Caricature. I send a description of a caricature that may interest collectors. It is a mezzotint, fourteen by ten inches, entitled A Society of Patriotic Ladies, at Edenton, in North Carolina. London. Printed for R. Sayer and J. Bennett, No. 53 Fleet Street, as the Act directs, March 25, 1775. Plate V. A group of fifteen figures are around or near a table in a room. A female at the table with a gavel is evidently a man, probably meant for Lord North. A lady, with pen in hand, is being kissed by a gentleman. Another lady, standing, is writing on a large circular, which can be read, ‘We, the Ladies of Edenton, do hereby solemnly engage not to conform to that[note]
Pernicious Custom of Drinking Tea, or that we, the aforesaid Ladies, will not promote ye wear of any manufacture from England, until such time that all Acts which tend to enslave this our Native Country shall be repealed.’ The other figures are not close around the table, and are emptying tea-caddies or looking on. A child and dog are under the table. Compare Bancroft's United States History, Vol. VII, page 282.
J. C. B.”
It will be remembered that Lord North, referred to in the description, was a prime minister of England at that time, and the Stamp Act, which included a great many articles, had been relieved upon everything except tea; this made him especially odious to the ladies of the Colonies. The dissolute and impecunious king was cartooned at this time as a hopeless pauper, thrusting both hands down to the bottom of his empty pockets in search of his last guinea. The taxation of the Colonies became a necessity, which grew out of his extravagances. A writer in alluding to the activity and zeal of the women of the Revolution says, “In the lives of those high-mettled dames of the olden time, the daughters, wives and mothers of men, the earnest inquirer might find much to elucidate that befogged question of the present day, what are the rights of women?”
And now my task is ended, let history distill in her great alembic whatever is valuable from these pages for posterity.
Since the publication of this article Mr. R. T. Haines Halsey, a broker and litterateur of Wall Street, while pursuing his historical investigations abroad, found in the British Museum the old newspaper containing the list of the signers of the “Edenton Tea-Party Resolutions,” and the reader is respectfully referred to his interesting book published by the Grolier Club, entitled “The Boston Port Bill as Pictured by a Contemporary Boston Cartoonist.”
INDIAN TRIBES OF EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
The first Indian tableau upon which the curtain of our history rises is the royal reception of Amidas and Barlow by Granganameo, “in the delicate garden abounding in all kinds of odoriferous flowers”, on the Island of Wocokon. The last is when, chagrined by the defeat and failure of the Tuscarora War, they are driven forever from the shores of the Albemarle. The scenes between are interspersed with acts of kindness and of cruelty, bloody massacres and the torch, with long interludes, in which the curtain is so closely hauled down that not a ray of light reaches us, so that the pathfinders of history can scarcely discern a single blazed tree to guide them through that untrodden solitude.
The mural frescoes by Alexander in the Congressional Library most beautifully tell the story of the evolution of learning in five allegorical paintings; the first is a picture of a cairn built by a prehistoric man to commemorate some important event; the second is oral tradition, an ancient story-teller surrounded by a group of attentive listeners; the third is represented by hieroglyphics carved upon an Egyptian obelisk; the fourth is the primitive American Indian painting upon his buffalo skin the crude story of the chase, the conflict or the war dance; while the last is the beautiful consummation of them all—the printing press. Our own alphabet, through a long series of elaboration covering many centuries, originally came from picture writing. All knowledge began with units, and the compounding of those units in different ways, like the grouping of atoms to form various chemical substances, produced classified knowledge, or science in all its labyrinthine detail.
The language of the Indian is metaphorical and essentially picture writing, not only picture-words representing material objects, but sound-pictures; that is, the formation of words in imitation of the sounds they are intended to represent. He speaks mostly with his eyes, using gestures, grimaces and grunts where his language is inadequate and emphasis is required. The Iroquois, who were composed partly of Eastern North Carolina Indians after the Tuscarora War, are especially metaphorical, and of course in studying their language we study the language of the different tribes that compose them. When the weather is very cold they say “It is a nosecutting morning.” They use the hemlock boughs to protect them from the snow, and when one says, “I have hemlock boughs”, he means that he has warm and comfortable quarters. . . . . .
Thoreau says in his Walden that the Puri Indians had but one word for the present, the past and the future, expressing its variations of meaning by pointing backward for yesterday, forward for tomorrow, and overhead for today. . . . . .
Resting upon the very bosom of nature, amid the most picturesque and beautiful surroundings, they possessed neither music nor poetry. Grave, imperturbable and mute, their souls did not burn with the glowing tints of the autumn forest, or thrill at the echo from the hills, or at the grandeur and mystery of the great solitudes, fresh with the virginity of nature, or the long light upon the rivers. They hearkened not the song of the summer bird whose flight of ecstasy drew bars of golden music across the sky, nor the soft reed-notes of Dio Pan's flute, nor the arpeggios swept from Apollo's lyre; the star embroidered peace of the midnight heavens they heeded
not; but without any of the embellishments of civilization they had a picturesqueness and beauty of costume entirely in harmony with the wild state of nature. . . . .
It is difficult to believe that they did not love and enjoy the wild flowers which grew so profusely about them. Did they not pause in the chase to exult in the fragrance of the pine and the myrtle, or linger to inhale the delicate perfume of the wild grape in blossom, or to be lifted up by the redolence of the jessamine? Was there no “impulse from the vernal woods,” no swelling of the heart in the springtime—
- “When daisies pied and violets blue,
- And lady-smocks all silver-white,
- And cuckoo-buds of yellow heu
- Do paint the meadows with delight?”
The North Carolina grape, called “Scuppernong”, was originally found on Scuppernong River, a tributary of Albemarle Sound, by an exploring party sent out by Amidas and Barlow. One small vine, with roots, was transplanted to Roanoke Island in 1584, where it is still growing and bearing grapes every year. In 1855 it covered nearly one and one-half acres. Some contend that the proper spelling should be Noscuppernong, but the late Rev. Wm. S. Pettigrew, who was deeply versed in Indian legend and lore, always held that it should be Escappernong. Messrs. Garrett & Co. have named one of their excellent wines made from these grapes, “Escappernong.” An old writer of North Carolina history says, “There are no less than five varieties of grapes found about the Albemarle Sound, all of which are called Scuppernongs, to wit, black, green, purple, red and white.” The darker varities are generally conceded to be seedlings, as the original grape can at present be reproduced only by
layering or by grafting upon the wild grape. The cause of the change in color of this grape is beautifully woven by Mrs. Cotten into the Legend of the White Doe or the Fate of Virginia Dare. The transposition into prose has been so graphically made that I give it verbatim. “Okisko, a brave warrior of the tribe that had given shelter to the unfortunate Lost Colony of Sir Walter Raleigh, fell in love with the governor's granddaughter, Virginia Dare, the first white child born on American soil. The jealous rage of Chico, the great magician, changed her into a white doe which baffled all the hunters’ attempts to capture it, for it had a charmed life, and nothing but a silver arrow or an arrow dipped in the magic fountain of Roanoke could slay the beautiful creature. Now Wanchese, the great hunter of Pomouik, had crossed the waters, and there had received as a present a silver arrow. Armed with this he lay in wait for the white doe. Near him also was Virginia Dare's faithful lover, Okisko, armed with an arrow that had been dipped in the magic fountain. The magician Wenaudon, rival of Chico, had explained to Okisko that only by piercing to the heart the white doe with this magic arrow could the fair Virginia be liberated and restored to him; thus, unknown to each other, the two warriors awaited the coming of the white doe, one armed with the silver arrow that meant death, the other armed with the magic arrow that meant restored life to Okisko's love. Suddenly out in the clearing jumped the startled doe; twang! wnet the bowstrings; both arrows fled straight to the mark. To the wonder of Wanchese he saw a beautiful white girl lying there where he had seen the doe fall. To the horror of Okisko he saw the arrow piercing his loved one's heart. As if shocked by the awful tragedy
the magic spring died away. In its place Okisko saw growing a tiny grapevine; it seemed a message from his lost love; he watched it grow and blossom and bear fruit. Lo! the grapes were red; he crushed one, and lo! the juice was red—red as his dear Virginia's blood. Lovingly he watched and tended the vine; and, as he drank the pure red juice of the grape, he knew that at last he was united to his love—that her spirit was entering into his—that he was daily growing more like her, the being he loved and worshipped—that the joy he had lost he now had found again in the magic seedling.” It is a fact that a species of white deer is still seen in the country around Pungo and Scuppernong Lakes, but the penetrating ball of the Winchester possesses a counter charm to the magical spell of the Indian magician, Chico, and the white doe often falls a victim before its unerring aim.
The mother Scuppernong vine implanted upon the Island of Roanoke, as ancient as our civilization, has sent its branches like the English-speaking race over our broad land, the excellence of its amber clusters dropping the honeydew of delight; spreading like a banyan, its broad arbor is a sacred aegis of Minerva, which will shield and hide for aye the mysterious secret of the Lost Colony.
Who gave us Indian Corn, the Agatowr, that beautiful tasseled staff of life, whose waving fields are a symbol of our country's bounty and wealth—this maker of brawn and muscle and of the gray stroma of the brain? I answer each red ear blushed with the color of the red man's skin. It was cultivated and eaten here before the granaries of the Pharaohs were overflowing from the wheat fields of Egypt, or the Libyan threshing-floors were groaning under the fatness of the harvest. The Indian method of preparing
it for food was by hollowing out the end of a large stump and pounding the grain by means of a log suspended from an overhanging bough.
Who gave us Uppowock, the divine tobacco? That companion of solitude and life of company! The fabled Assidos of the middle ages, which drives away all evil spirits! The nerve stimulant destined to supplant hashish, opium, betel, kava-kava and all others! Emissaries from China and Japan are buying American tobacco with the purpose of substituting it for the injurious opium habit of those countries. This is the herb which that rare old cynic Philosopher so beautifully praises and censures by antithesis in his wonderful Anatomy of Melancholy, the book doctor Johnson missed his tea to read, as “divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all the panaceas, potable gold and philosophers’ stones—a sovereign remedy for all diseases, a virtuous herb if it be well qualified, opportunely taken and medicinally used, but as it is commonly abused by most men ’tis a plague, a mischief, a violent purger of goods, lands and health—devilish and damned tobacco, the ruin and overthrow of body and soul.”
The Indians held Uppowock, their tobacco, in high esteem—attributed to it magical powers. It was the gift of the gods; they often burnt it upon their sacred fires, and cast it upon the waters to allay the storm; they scattered it among their weirs to increase the catch of fish, and after an escape from great danger they would throw it high into the air as if to requite the gods themselves.
Eastern North Carolina is rich in literature based upon the history, the legends and the traditions of its Indians. The White Doe or Fate of Virginia Dare is as musical as Hiawatha, and tells the story of the
change of Virginia Dare into the shape of a white doe, to which I have alluded elsewhere.
* * * * * * * * *
The Indian Gallows, a poem by William H. Rhodes, published in 1846, deserves the highest place among the Indian classic literature of North Carolina.
The Indian Gallows was located in the Indian woods of Bertie County, a tract of land formerly owned and occupied by the Tuscaroras. It was a remarkable freak of nature in that the branch of one oak grew so entirely and completely into another oak some twenty feet asunder that it was impossible to discern from which tree the cross-branch grew. The cross-branch also had large limbs growing upward from it. This natural curiosity stood until 1880, when a severe storm uprooted one of the oaks; the other soon commenced to decay and was cut down in 1892 and made into relics.
The story of it runneth thus:
A band of pilgrims, exiled by religious persecution from England, were hurled, tempest-tossed, upon the shores of North Carolina; they made their way under all sorts of difficulties and contentions with adverse fates up the Albemarle Sound to the settlement now called Edenton. The parents of the heroine, Elnora, invited by the friendly chief of the Tuscaroras, decided to make their home in the wilds across the sound. Roanoke, the son of the old Tuscarora king, soon fell in love with Elnora, and, at the planning of the Indian Massacre in 1711, set out on foot to warn his white friends of their danger, but arrived just in time to see their cabin in flames and a band of Tuscaroras cut down Elnora's aged parents. Elnora herself, by a superhuman effort, eluded the grasp of the murderous chief, Cashie, and hid in the Indian
Woods, where she was afterwards found by the faithful Roanoke. Enduring all sorts of hardships they eventually found a boat, and steering safely down the Moriatock River, reached the Sound. On and on they paddled through the darkness of the night under the midnight sky, not knowing whither they were going; each angry wave greedy to swallow up their little canoe. Elnora exhausted, and with hands blistered, often despaired, and would have thrown herself into the dark waters had she not been sustained and comforted by Roanoke. Just at the crucial moment of their despair, Aurora, with her dewdrop touch, threw open the rosy chambers of the East, and the streaks of dawn went plowing golden furrows in the wake of the morning star. Dawn is the hour of resignation and peace; they were comforted and cheered as they sighted the headland at the entrance of Edenton Bay; they soon reached the shore, where they told the story of their misfortunes to a crowd of eager listeners, among whom was Henry, Elnora's lover, just arrived on a ship from England. The Tuscaroras, when they found that Roanoke had fled to Edenton with Elnora, infuriated by his action and the escape of the white maiden, set out at once with a flotilla of canoes to take the fort at Edenton and massacre the inhabitants, but they were driven hopelessly back by the well prepared settlers, Henry and Roanoke fighting gallantly side by side. After the rout of the Indians Roanoke lingered sadly at Edenton. Elnora showed him every kindness and consideration, but her heart belonged unreservedly to Henry.
- “As time fled on Roanoke forgot to smile,
- And lonely walks his saddened weeks beguile:
- A secret grief sits gnawing at his soul.
- Deep are the sorrows that his mind engage;
- Kindness can soothe not, friends cannot assuage.”
Desperate and dejected at his disappointment in love, he returned to his tribe in Bertie and met with resignation his fate. At the council of the chiefs he was condemned to be burned at the stake the next morning at dawn; when the sentence was pronounced the tragic Cashie exclaimed—
- “No—not the stake!
- He loves the paleface; let him die
- The white man's death! come, let us bend a tree
- And swing the traitor, as the Red men see
- The palefaced villain hang. Give not the stake
- To him who would the Red man's freedom take,
- Who from our fathers and our God would roam,
- And strive to rob us of our lands and home.
- * * * * * * *
- They seize him now and drag him to the spot
- Where death awaits, and pangs are all forgot.”
There is a striking analogy between the motif of the Indian Gallows and Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming. Roanoke and Outalisse, the Mohawk chief, were very similar characters. . . . . .
There is a body of distinct people, mostly white, now living in Robeson County, North Carolina, who are recognized by the State as the Croatans and given separate schools, and who by their own traditions trace their genealogy directly from the Croatans associated with the lost Raleigh Colony. Prof. Alexander Brown, of the Royal Historical Society of England, has discovered some old maps dating back to 1608-1610, clearly confirming, it is stated, the traditions of these people in regard to their lineage, and the reader is respectfully referred to the able pamphlets upon that subject by Mr. Hamilton McMillan and Dr. Stephen B. Weeks.
After the Tuscarora War the Chowanokes, who had remained all the while the faithful friends of the
whites, and were residing at their ancient town on the Chowan, called Mavaton, were allotted about four thousand acres of land between Sarum and Bennet's Creek, mostly poquosin, and ordered to move there. Of this once populous tribe only about fifteen warriors then remained. They had originally two good towns, Muscamunge and Chowanock—Muscamunge was not very far from the present town of Edenton; they had also at one time more than seven hundred warriors in the field. King Hoyter was the last of the Chowanoke kings in this section. But restless and dissatisfied they finally requested permission to cast their lot with the Saponas, who migrated North to the Tuscaroras and helped to form the complement of the Sixth Nation. In their intermarriage with various tribes, their divisions, their numerous migrations and amalgamations, they have become scattered all over the North and West, and it is impossible to trace them.
So passed the pure blood of the Chowanokes; it has been lost and blended with the various tribes of our frontier—that fantastic caravan which is marching sadly to its own funeral pyre across the golden West—but when the dreamy Indian summer spreads its blue, hazy gauze over the landscape like a veiled prophet, and the autumn leaves are painted upon the easel of the first frost, and the grand amphitheater of the forest is carpeted with the richest patterns of Axminster, and the whole world is a wonderland spread upon a gigantic canvas of earth and sky and water—when the glittering belt of Mazzaroth spans the heavens, and the jewels sparkle brightest in the dagger of Orion, it is then that the grim phantom of the red man returns to his old hunting ground, as erst he did; all feathered and with
leather buskins, and bow put crosswise on his breast; in his periagua he crosses the Great Divide of the Spirit Land, and from under the black zone of the shore-shadows he glides into the moonlight—out upon the dimpled, polished mirror of the river—Hark! you can hear each stroke of his paddle, if the wind down the river is fair.THE COMING OF THE FALL.
(A prose poem of the season for all who love the country and whose eyes are open to the beauty around them.)
Though it is only mid-August, Nature has given unmistakable prophecies of the approach of fall. The purple martins have hatched off their broods, and are now training them every afternoon for the long, migratory flight. Yesterday I watched thousands of them descending in a spiral whirl, like a waterspout, into the top of a mulberry tree on a vacant lot. The sparrows, too, are becoming gregarious, and are in flocks about the lawn, eating the crabgrass seed.
Straggling specimens of golden-rod fringe the quiet lanes and highways; the tall late weeds in the meadows are beginning to blossom; and when you halt for a moment under the shade of some dense tree at sunset, there is a sense of delicious coolness about the temples. Late in August the sun begins to glint among the trees, the shadows grow longer and longer across the evening lawn; the strident, rasping note of the katydid is heard at night, the warning blast of his trumpet a sort of nocturne he composes to the dying summer.
The leaves have sometime ago reached their maturity, and have become tough and leathery, their stems undergoing structural changes, preparatory to their period of beauty and decay; the vintage of the wild grape is purpling with profusion.
The cloud-belt has moved northward, and thunder-storms are rare; I can no longer sit alone in the dark and watch the dance of the lightning under the north star. The sky in the morning has become a clear, cool, speedwell blue, while at sunset there is a golden mist in the atmosphere, and the sun seems suspended above the horizon's ring like some highly colored Japanese balloon. The beautiful cumulus clouds which relieve themselves against the summer sky, like giant snowbanks, have given place to little curdlike clouds, that float in a high medium, and take on brilliant colors at sunset.
The floodtide of summer is at its ebb; the midsummer dream is over. Elder bushes have ripened their berries for the hungry birds; the Traveler's Joy, with its tangled skeins, is everywhere upon the old rail fences; along quiet, peaceful lanes the St. John's Wort is in blossom, and in the deep gloom of the swamps the Cardinal flower has lit its vivid flames; Peace broods upon the bounteous fields; the deep woods are quiet, cool and mysterious, save for the “quank-quank”, “honk-hank”, of the nuthatch. The warblers that in spring and summer dominated the woods have relinquished their kingdom for other climes.
The cricket's note is everywhere; the grasshopper chafes in the tall meadow grasses, or shuffles before the pedestrian along the dusty highways. Rain is no longer so necessary to vegetable life and Aquarius has corked up his watering pot, but the dews are very heavy, and later on, when the earth grows cooler at night, the fog hangs like a curtain over the landscape, to be drawn aside by the rising sun.
There are certain barnyard prophecies of fall, too: a peculiar call of the turkey hen, a livelier quack of
the mongrel ducks, a clearer note of the chanticleer. The sunset call of the farmer for his hogs, the bell of the cow as she browses to the milking, and the woodman's axe all reverberate more and more distinctly.
The wind blows from the north or northeast for a few hours, then shifts back to the south again. A battle is raging between the North and the South, a conflict between the flowers and the frosts. All along the line the fighting is fierce and unyielding. The South wind musters out her cohorts, the roses and all the endless flowers of the woods and fields; then Gen. Green charges the dragoons of Winter with his phalanxes of corn waving and threatening with their long green sabres, and the cruel, barbarian hordes of the North are for a time driven back. Finally there comes a day of overwhelming power, when resistance is useless, and the North wind rejoices over the desolation; Summer is driven from the plains, and her life blood poured out in the rich hues of the autumnal leaves.
Some starlit night, when you are sitting quietly under your arbor smoking your pipe of peace, you will be startled by the “honk-honk” of wild geese passing on to the Southland, and, when their notes drop from out the sky, methinks the flowers shiver and the dewdrop trembles in the heart of the rose with dread of the Frost King's breath. It is the surest pronouncement of cool weather, and reminds us of our woodpile.
The Albertsons, who are of Dutch extraction, came to America in 1648 and settled in Pennsylvania. One branch of the family came South in 1690, and the name frequently occurs in the Colonial Records of North Carolina.
Elias Albertson, the great grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was of Quaker stock, and in 1790 was appointed Collector of Customs at Newbegun Creek, by George Washington. Her father, Judge J. W. Albertson, was one of the leading lawyers of North Carolina, deeply learned in the laws of the nation as well as those of his native State, and of a wide acquaintance with the great books of literature, science and theology.
On her mother's side Miss Albertson is descended from Peter Francisco, of Revolutionary fame. He was a man of gigantic stature, great physical strength and bravery, and noted for deeds of prowess on many a hard-fought field, among them, Stony Point, Camden and Guilford Courthouse.
Catherine Albertson is a woman of broad, general culture, and a close student of history, which she has taught for several years in the High School of Elizabeth City, N. C., of which she is Principal. Miss Albertson is Regent of the Sir Walter Raleigh Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution, which has done good work in locating and marking spots of historical interest in and around Pasquotank County. The work in connection with the D. R. has led to much research among Colonial Records, and it was in this way that the suggestion came to Miss Albertson of a series of articles on local history, which appeared in the State papers and were afterwards published in
book form under the title, “In Ancient Albemarle.”
This little volume has been very favorably received, and has been commended by high authorities for its historical accuracy, as well as for the interest of its subject matter, which preserves the quaint and picturesque traditions of “Ye Olden Times” without confusing them with history proper.THE PERQUIMANS RIVER.
(From “In Ancient Albemarle.”)
- From the Great Swamp's mysterious depths,
- Where wild beasts lurk and strange winds sough;
- From ancient forests, dense and dark,
- Where grey moss wreathes the cypress bough;
- Mid marshes green with flowers starr'd,
- Through fens where reeds and rushes sway,
- Past fertile fields of waving grain,
- Down to the sea I wend my way.
- The wild swan floats upon my breast;
- The sea gulls to my waters sink;
- And, stealing to my low green shores,
- The timid deer oft stoops to drink.
- The yellow jasmine's golden bells
- Ring on my bank their fairy chime;
- And tall flag lilies bow and bend—
- To the low music keeping time.
- Between my narrow, winding banks
- For many a mile I glide along
- Mid silence deep, unbroken save
- By rustling reed or wild bird's song
- Or murm'ring of my shadow'd waves
- Beneath the feath'ry cypress trees,
- Or pines, responsive to the breath
- Of winds that breathe sea memories.
- So far removed seem shore and stream
- From sound or sight of mart or mill,
- That Kilcokonen's painted braves
- Might roam my woods and marshes still.
- And still, as in the days of yore,
- Ere yet the white man's sail I knew,
- Upon my amber waves might skim
- The Indian maiden's light canoe.
- Thus, half asleep, I dream along,
- Till low at first, and far away,
- Then louder, more insistent, calls
- A voice my heart would fain obey;
- And, by a force resistless drawn,
- The narrow banks that fetter me
- I thrust apart and onward sweep
- In quiet strength down to the sea.
- I leave my marshes and my fens;
- I dream no more upon my way,
- But forward press, a river grown,
- In the great world my part to play.
- Upon my wide and ample breast
- The white-wing'd boats go hurrying by;
- And on my banks the whirling wheels
- Of busy mills hum ceaselessly.
- And sharing man's incessant toil
- I journey ever onward down,
- With many a lovely sister stream,
- With all the waters of the Sound,
- To join the sea, whose billows break,
- In silver spray, in wild uproar,
- Upon the golden bars that guard
- The lonely Carolina shore.
FROM THE PASQUOTANK.
- Dear, the south wind's hast'ning northward
- And it's bearing gifts to thee:
- Here's a gay song from the mock-bird
- In the budding apple tree;
- And a low chime from the jasmine,
- As its bells swing to and fro;
- And a perfume rich from roses
- In the gardens, all aglow.
- Lest it be you are forgetting,
- It would waft a memory!
- Lo! a river eastward winding
- On its way to join the sea,
- With its amber waves a-glitter
- In the sunshine, warm and bright;
- Here, a sea gull hov'ring o'er it;
- There, a lone sail, gleaming white.
- And that path beside the river,
- Where the tall, dark pine trees grow;
- And the feath'ry cypress branches
- O'er the waves cool shadows throw;
- Where the bluebell sheds its petals,
- And the wild rose, sweet and fair;
- And the frail mimosa blossoms
- With their fragrance fill the air.
- Don't you hear the message murmur'd,
- As the breeze goes wand'ring by?
- List! ’tis in the mock-bird's carol,
- In the roses’ fragrant sigh,
- In the whisp'ring of the river,
- And the jasmine bells chime low:
- “Dearest, leave your cold, bleak Northland
- Where the Spring's still loth to go.
THE TELEPHONE POLE.
- “Come, where April sweet is bringing
- Balmy days of blue and gold;
- Where the happy birds are singing
- And the flow'rs their buds unfold;
- Come, where fondest greetings wait you
- From your loyal friends and true,
- In whose hearts a loving welcome
- Evermore abides for you.”
- When the wayward wind shall find you
- And its message you shall hear,
- When its low voice calls you southward,
- Will you heed the summons, Dear?
- Let your answer swift returning
- To the loving hearts down home,
- Bring the words for which they're longing—
- Just the whisper'd words, “I come.”
- The telephone pole stands gaunt and bare
- Through winter's cold and through summer's glare,
- No hint of grace on its bleak, white face,
- No vestige of beauty ling'ring there.
- But patient it stands, all night, all day,
- Supporting the wires that hum alway
- With myriad voices, sweet or shrill,
- That speed the tidings of good or ill.
- Do dreams e'er come, mid the city's glare,
- Of cool, green aisles in the forest, where,
- In days long gone, ere ’twas stripp'd and shorn,
- Each hour as it pass'd brought pleasures rare?
- Brought the song of bird, the sigh of breeze,
- The chatter of brooks, the hum of bees,
- And myriad voices, sweet or shrill,
- Bearing Love's message or Hate's keen thrill.
THERE SHALL BE NO MORE SEA.
- Mid its shelt'ring boughs the wood dove fair
- Her soft nest fashion'd with tender care;
- And down at its feet the squirrel fleet
- His treasure hid without fear of snare.
- Oh, life was sweet in the forest there,
- In the sunfleck'd shade and the spicy air,
- With music of brook and bird and breeze,
- And happy voices amid the trees!
- And the pine tree grew so straight, so strong,
- Nor dream'd of danger, nor reck'd of wrong;
- Till woodmen came to the forest shade
- And at the tree's root an axe was laid.
- The blows rain'd fast, with no stop, no stay,
- Till prone on the ground the tall pine lay;
- And the woodman's blade, so keen, so slim,
- From the trunk had sever'd each branch and limb.
- And the pine tree lay all gaunt and bare,
- No hint of beauty, of grace no share;
- No more its crest bore the wood dove's nest,
- Nor on its boughs could the squirrel rest.
- And out from the woodland, dim and sweet,
- ’Twas roughly haul'd to the city street,
- Where patient it stands, all night, all day,
- Supporting the wires that hum alway
- With myriad voices, sweet or shrill,
- That speed the tidings of good or ill.
- I have found the cause of the sea's unrest,
- And I know what its waves sob o'er and o'er:
- This the grief that dwells in its throbbing breast—
- God hath said that the sea shall be no more.
- Sweet flowers bloom in the Heavenly Land,
- And the River of Life laves its shining shore;
- There the rainbow rests, which the wild waves
- But the sea, the sea—it shall be no more!
- In the jewel'd walls of that City Fair,
- The topaz gleams, and each radiant door
- Is a glistening pearl of heaven, rare—
- But the sea with its pearls shall be no more.
- And music far sweeter than ear hath known,
- O'er Heaven's green pastures will float and soar;
- But the sea's sad voice and its plaintive moan
- Shall be hush'd forever—be heard no more!
- Yes, this is the grief that dwells alway
- In its murmur soft or its wild uproar,
- As ever the sorrowful waters say,
- God hath said it—the sea shall be no more.
Frank Vaughan was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in 1828, and died in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1912. He was the son of Thomas Vaughan and Claudia Hamilton Elligood, of Virginia, and brother of Rev. Maurice Vaughan, of Maryland.
He married Annie C. Scott, sister of George M. Scott and Mrs. Julian Wood, of Elizabeth City. Eight children were the fruit of this union.
Frank Vaughan was reared and educated in Elizabeth City. During his young life he was engaged in educational work. He afterwards studied law under Senator John Pool, and practiced his profession for many years in Elizabeth City, and later in Norfolk, Virginia.
He is the author of the book entitled, “Kate Weathers or Scattered by the Tempest,” which deals with the life of the old time bankers on the North Carolina coast. Mr. Vaughan excels in his descriptions of nature and his delineations of character.
Frank E. Vaughan, the oldest son of the author, who recently died in Albany, New York, was a brilliant and versatile newspaper man, whose prolific writings covered a multitude of subjects. He wrote for The New York Star, The New York Globe, The New York Herald, The Buffalo Times and other periodicals.
Before locating in New York, Frank E. Vaughan was editor of “The Falcon”, a paper published in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.THE NORTH CAROLINA BANKER.
(From “Kate Weathers.”)
So completely is the North Banker's hut wrapped and covered by the foliage of the thicket, that it cannot
be seen at all except by ascending to the tops of the neighboring hills, and looking down into the valley upon it, or by following the narrow paths that wind along through the jungle to its very door.
There are good reasons, too, for its being where it is; for if it were placed upon the naked sands of the plain, the occupant not only would be continually annoyed, and incommoded by the drifts, but, in a few years at most, his dwelling would be buried beneath them. Again, by being in the thicket, it is protected, to a considerable extent, from the fierce winds that so frequently sweep over the coast.
And yet, be it where it may, it cannot remain long; for it will not be very long before the valley in which it rests will have disappeared. Every breeze from the ocean sweeps the light drifts soundward, and ere long the green woods will be known no more—the great yellow ridge that will have rolled upon it will only mark its grave.
The North Banker is neither farmer nor florist. Not only his calling, but his taste as well, is in another direction. He could not be a farmer if he would, for his territory is desert. He would not be if he could, for the invitations to engage in a life of continual excitement are so many and so pressing that it would be out of his power to resist them, even if it were his desire to do so. Life and activity are about him on every hand. Everything near him is motion. The ocean, forever rolling, forever moaning as its waves come and fall on the shore. The myriad dwellers in the deep, forever changing place. The winds are seldom at rest; fleets of white-winged canoes are ever seen gliding here and there over the sounds; ships rise up to view in the far offing—they creep
slowly and slowly along by, then sink beneath the horizon; other ships arise, pass on, and sink. All that he sees is moving, and he cannot plod.
The plough, the spade, and the hoe would be but awkwardly handled by him. To him the ox and the horse would be next to useless, for few of the pursuits of other men are his. But how skillfully he manages his own boat! With what ease his strong arm lifts the mast, and how nimbly his horny fingers perform the work they have to do! In his boat he is captain, mate, cook, crew. He ships the rudder, sprits the mainsail, raises the jib, sets the topsail, draws the anchor, shoves down the centreboard, slips the tiller in place—and all in a twinkling; then he shifts the ballast, trims the sails, cleats the sheets—and away! How rapidly and precisely it is all done; and yet how smoothly, how well it is done!
The North Banker is an autocrat, a despot, a ruler of boundless power in his little empire—himself subject to no man. His throne is the aft seat in his boat; upon it he sits and reigns. His dominion is over the broad waters; and no one arises to question his right. He is a lord upon the barren reef as well as on the water; all around him is his by right, and he moves his residence from place to place in the valleys at will; nor does he deign to consult another before doing so, for he is lord paramount. Like the wind, he is free, and he goeth whithersoever he listeth. He goes and he returns as his own lordly mind may will. When he sets out upon a voyage, it matters not to him whether the weather be bright and pleasant, or foul and wintry; nor does it matter whether the winds be adverse or favorable—whether wavelets dance and sing before the gentle breeze, or billows, tempest-driven, heave and groan. He never turns back;
either he glides gently on, or buffets and labors to the end of his journey. In either case he looks over the bow, and is sure to reach the point for which he set out before resting; then, after reaching that point, when he wills, he returns. His sharp eye is quick to glimpse the coming wreck. Though far away she may be, and though the storm be dashing high the spray, yet he sees her; and he can say for a certainty how she is rigged, what spars she has lost, or whether she is loaded, logged, or light—not only so, but where she will beach. Without a barometer, he will tell you of coming foul or fair weather, and when and to what point of the compass the wind will next veer. From him you may learn whether the morrow will be bright or drear; and, when the tempest comes on, it is not often that he will fail to number for you the hours of its staying.
His family is his tribe; he is not only their patriarch, but their acknowledged superior. From his storehouse, the great deep, he draws his supplies at will: that storehouse is plentifully filled; but his needs being few and his wants modest, they are easily and speedily supplied.
In a word, the North Banker is a freeman—a free man indeed; one that is untrammelled; one that is in no manner bound down by precedent, nor hampered by conventional rule. Himself a despot, and subject to no earthly being, he scorns the theory that all men are created free and equal.
But the low grovelling heart of humanity beats and throbs in the banker's bosom as it does in the bosom of another man. His disposition to reign, and to accumulate around him that which he regards as wealth, leads him at times, as other men are led, to violate the golden rule of brotherhood.
But how far the banker of to-day is advanced beyond the point occupied by his ancestors of a century ago! Those predecessors, though, were beset by temptations that he knows not of. The seacoast in their old day was almost outside the pale of civilization; therefore the same restraints were not around them that operate upon their descendants of the present day. The law had no terrors for them, for the law was not for them. Who was there away out on that isolated land to testify of misdeeds? Who, at a place so remote, so seldom visited by strangers, and where churches and school-houses were absolutely unknown, that really knew what was right, or what was wrong? Ah, it would be neither right nor just to judge the old time banker hastily or harshly, however dark his ways.
The banker of old was a king, far more absolute in his sway than his descendant of to-day. He regarded the tempest as his friendly fairy; and all “flotsam, jetsam, and ligan” that happened to come within the range of his vision, he considered to be his by right. Corpses, it is true, might strew the beach, but these were accidents in which he had no interest; and he gave himself no more concern about them than if they had been bubbles blown up from the frothing brine.
His disposition to rule and tyrannize was sinking him continually into deeper and deeper darkness. In his ignorance he was fierce and inhospitable—more fierce and inhospitable it may be than other men. Being an absolute sovereign upon his own territory, and long accustomed to reign undisturbed, he regarded the coming of a stranger with suspicion, and was sure to treat him as an intruder whose aim
and design might be to usurp some of his prerogatives.
But old things have passed away, Christianity and science have blended their powers and besieged the strongholds of ignorance, and the result is that the banker of to-day may stand upon his native hills and see extending away up and down the coast the wires of the telegraph, ready to flash from the outside world intelligence of the coming storm—ready to call in assistance from the outside world that may save the precious lives of those who are in the battered and dismantled ship that rolls and plunges in the offing, struggling to keep away until light from the star of hope may be seen gleaming through the gloom. He may see here and there among the bald reefs life-saving stations, each with its brave crew and its applicances for assisting and saving the distressed and unfortunate, and its scarlet signals floating on high to warn away the ship before the coming on of the tempest. And he may see great lighthouses steepling high above the plain, that nightly throw their gleaming ray far out in the ocean to guide the mariner aright, and keep him in the true line of his course, though starless be the skies and drear the waters.
Now, over that region, that seemed once to have the curse of the Creator expressed in its darkness—that region of desolate barrenness, whose sands are closely written over with the record of horrible tragedies that have been enacted upon them— even over a region so drear and gloomy, Christianity and science have spread forth their wings of light. With their united powers they have attacked and driven back one after another the demons of darkness, whose grim shadows kept ever concealed from the banker of old the paradise of peace.
The scenes that present themselves to the eye of him who, at the sunsetting of a clear, calm summer's day, stands upon the summit of Jockey's Ridge, are passing beautiful and glorious. Away north and away south, as far as eye can reach, extends the yellow thread of the coast—that wonderful embankment thrown up by the hand of nature, separating sound from sea: on one side are ever heard the monotonous groanings of swells bursting upon the hard, smooth beach; and on the other, the murmuring music of rippling waves: on one side are seen the far wastes of billowy green, with sky horizon for their boundary; and on the other, Albemarle's quiet, blue waters, tinged and tinted with the hues of cloud and sky, reaching away to the thread-like arc of the western shore, and Roanoke Island, like a green oasis in the midst; its picturesque shores dwindling away southward in the dim distance.
Midway between the northern and southern points of the island, and almost directly opposite that part of the coast where Nagshead Inlet once was, Shallowbag Bay is seen scooping with graceful curve, between Ballast and Sandy Point, a mile back into the heart of the green island.
Nor are these scenes wanting in historic interest. It was through the old Nagshead Inlet that Arthur Barlow and Philip Amidas, Sir Walter Raleigh's captains, passed in their quaint little ships in July, A.D. 1584; it was near Ballast Point that these explorers of the old time first dropped anchor, after a tedious voyage of many months across the deep. It was on the shores of Shallowbag Bay that the rude savages who inhabited the island gathered in crowds to gaze upon the great white-winged creatures that rode at anchor in the channel, and to wonder in astonishment
at the strange beings that moved about upon them; it was at that very place that the ships of Captain Ralph Lane, one year afterwards (namely in July, A. D. 1585) landed one hundred and eight English emigrants, who had, at home in their distant land, listened to the wonderful stories that were told to them of the New World; of its wild but peaceful people; of its crystal rivers, that purled along over beds of glittering gold, and of its grand forests and wastes of gorgeous flowers; it was near the head of that bay that, in the same year, the first American of English parentage, Virginia Dare, was born: it was near the North End, three miles north of the bay, where those one hundred and eight afterwards erected a fort as a protection for themselves and their little property from the savages whom they had, in some manner, offended; and it was opposite that little fort, the remains of which are still to be seen, that Drake, in 1587, anchored his ships, and took on board those that remained of the sadly disappointed emigrants, and their little American addition, and sailed back with them to their native land.
And would that history had nothing more sorrowful to relate of occurrences at Roanoke Island! There, in February, 1862, the booming of artillery and the rattle of musketry were heard: then came death and ruin swooping by, and the dark shadows of their outspread wings fell drearily enough upon the fair island. Then poured plentifully out upon the sands the warm hearts’ blood of contending brothers; there fell brave Selden, gallant Wise, and a host of others — there were closed in death the eyes of a brave host. Peace to the fallen heroes!
DR. STEPHEN B. WEEKS.
Stephen Beauregard Weeks, son of James Elliott Weeks and Mary Louise Mullen, was born in lower Pasquotank County, N. C., Feb. 2, 1865.
The Weeks family came from Devonshire, England, early in 1727, and settled in North Carolina. Through his maternal grandmother, who was a McDonald, Dr. Weeks claims descent from Bryan McDonald, slain at Glencoe.
After the death of his mother, which occurred when he was a child of three, he was cared for by his aunt, Mrs. Robertson Jackson, of Pasquotank County. When he grew older, he helped with the work on the farm, and was trained in habits of industry, economy and sobriety. He attended the county schools of his neighborhood until he reached the age of fifteen, when he entered the Horner School at Henderson, N. C. From Henderson he went to the State University, where he took his degree of A.B. in 1886. After two years of post-graduate work in English, German, and Latin Literature, he took the degree of A.M. in 1887 and Ph. D. in 1888. He says, “These two years were among the most valuable of my life in giving me ideals, and ability to write, and acquaintance with the masters.” The next three years were spent at Johns Hopkins University, in the study of history, English language, political science, and political economy. From these studies he turned to history, which held an “invincible attraction” for him. At Johns Hopkins University he received again the degree of Ph. D., in 1891.
Dr. Weeks was married June 12, 1888, to Mary Leigh Martin, daughter of Rev. Joseph Bonaparte Martin,
DR. STEPHEN B. WEEKS.
who was a grandson of Gen. Joseph Martin, pioneer Indian fighter of Tennessee. Mrs. Weeks died in 1891, leaving two children, one of whom, Robertson Jackson Weeks, still survives her.
In 1893 Dr. Weeks married Sallie Mangum Leach, daughter of Col. Martin W. Leach, of Randolph County, N. C., and granddaughter of Hon. Willie P. Mangum, a very prominent man, who from 1842 to 1845 was Speaker of the United States Senate.
In 1891 Dr. Weeks entered upon his career as professor of history and political science at Trinity College. Here he organized a Department of History, established the Trinity College Historical Society, and laid the foundation for the library, which has since grown into such splendid proportions under the intelligent administration and liberal donations of the Dukes of Durham.
In June, 1893, Dr. Weeks resigned his position, and spent the summer lecturing in Philadelphia, and in historical investigations in Wisconsin. He soon became an untiring collector of everything pertaining to North Carolina history. He now has more than 8,300 books, pamphlets, and magazines dealing in whole or in part with this State. This is probably the most complete collection of books on North Carolina which the State contains.
In July 1894, Dr. Weeks accepted a position with the U. S. Bureau of Education, as confidential clerk of the commissioner. This position has given him splendid opportunity for indulging his taste for historical investigations.
He has contributed a great deal to the historical literature of the State. Among his most important contributions are: “Libraries and Literature in North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century,” “Southern
Quakers and Slavery”, “Anti-slavery Sentiment in the South”, “A Bibliography of the Historical Literature of North Carolina,” and “On the Promotion of Historical Studies in the South”.
Dr. Weeks has been a frequent contributor to some of the most important periodicals of the country, among them, the Magazine of American History, and the American Historical Review. His service to the State along historical lines has been invaluable.
From 1907 to 1909 Dr. Weeks acted in the capacity of editor for Charles L. Van Noppen, of Greensboro, publisher of the Biographical History of North Carolina, and of Ashe's Narrative History of North Carolina. He is at present official translator in the Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C.THE LOST COLONY OF ROANOKE.
(Extract from article published in Senate Doc. 677.)
We see, then, that the historical arguments which tend to identify the Croatans of to-day as the descendants of the colonists of 1587 possess an historical continuity from 1591 to the present time. There is also a threefold internal argument based (1) on the traditions of the Croatan Indians of to-day; (2) from their character and disposition; (3) from their forms of language and family names.
I. Traditions.—The Croatan Indians believe themselves to be the descendants of the colonists of 1587, and boast of their mixed English and Indian blood. They always refer to Eastern North Carolina as Virginia, and say their former home was in Roanoke, in Virginia, which means the present Counties of Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Craven, Carteret, and Jones, and of this residence their traditions are sufficiently clear.
They say that they held communication with the East long after their removal toward the West, and one of these parties may have met Lawson about 1709. They know that one of their leaders was made Lord of Roanoke and went to England, but his name has been lost, the nearest approach to it being in the forms Maino and Mainor. They have a word “mayno,” which means a very quiet, law-abiding people; and this, by a kind of metonomy, may be a survival of Manteo. When an old chronicler was told the story of Virginia Dare he recognized it, but her name is preserved only as Darr, Durr, Dorr. They say that, according to their traditions, Mattamuskeet Lake, in Hyde County, is a burnt lake, and so it is, but they have no traditions in regard to Roanoke River. They say, also, that some of the earlier settlers intermarried with them, and this may explain the presence of such names among them as Chavis (Cheves), Goins (D'Guin), Leary (O'Leary).
II. Character and Disposition.—These Indians are hospitable to strangers and are ever ready to do a favor for the white people. They show a fondness for gay colors, march in Indian file, live retired from highways, never forget a kindness, an injury, or a debt. They are the best of friends and the most dangerous of enemies. They are reticent until their confidence is gained, and when aroused are perfect devils, exhibiting all the hatred, malice, cunning, and endurance of their Indian ancestors. At the same time, they are remarkably clean in their habits, a characteristic not found in the pure-blooded Indian. Physicians who practice among them say they never hesitate to sleep or eat in the house of a Croatan. They are always great road builders, something unknown to the savage. They have some of the best roads in the State, and by this means connect their
more distant settlements with those on Lumber River. One of these, the Lowrie road, has been open for more than a hundred years, and is still in use. It extends southwest from Fayetteville, through Cumberland and Robeson Counties, to a settlement on the Pee Dee. It was over this road that a special courier bore to General Jackson in 1815 the news of the treaty of Ghent.
III. Language and Family Names.—The speech of the Croatans is very pure English; no classical terms are used. It differs from that of the whites and from that of the blacks among whom they live. They have preserved many forms in good use three hundred years ago, but which are now obsolete in the written language and are found only in colloquial and dialectical English. They drawl the penult or final syllable in every sentence. They begin their salutations with “mon-n-n,” which means man. This seems to be frequently used much in the sense of the German mann sagt, or the French on dit, their traditions usually beginning: “Mon, my fayther told me that his fayther told him,” etc. They retain the parasitic (glide) y, which was an extremely common development in Anglo-Saxon, in certain words through the palatal influence of the previous consonant, pronouncing cow as cy-ow, cart as cy-art, card as cy-ard, girl as gy-irl, kind as ky-ind. The voiceless form whing is retained instead of the voiced wing. They have but two sounds for a, the short a being changed into o before nasals and representing Anglo-Saxon open o in mon. They use the Northern lovand in place of the later hybrid loving. The Irish fayther is found for father. The dialectical Jeams is found in place of James. They regularly use mon for man; mension for measurement; āsk for ask; hit
for it; hosen for hose; housen for houses; crone is to push down; knowledge is wit.
The strongest evidence of all is furnished us by the family names of the Croatan Indians of to-day. John White, in his account of the settlement of 1587, has left us “the names of all the men, women, and children which safely arrived in Virginia and remained to inhabit there.” These settlers were one hundred and seventeen in number, and had ninety-five different surnames; out of these surnames forty-one, or more than forty-three per cent, including such names as Dare, Cooper, Stevens, Sampson, Harvie, Howe, Cage, Willes, Gramme, Viccars, Berry, Chapman, Lasie, and Chevin, which are now rarely met with in North Carolina, are reproduced by a tribe living hundreds of miles from Roanoke Island, and after a lapse of three hundred years. The chroniclers of the tribe say that the Dares, the Coopers, the Harvies, and others retained their purity of blood and were generally the pioneers in emigration. And still more remarkable evidence is furnished us by the fact that the traditions of every family bearing the name of the lost colonists point to Roanoke Island as the home of their ancestors.
To summarize: Smith and Strachey heard that the colonists of 1587 were still alive about 1607. They were then living on the peninsula of Dasamonguepuek, whence they traveled toward the region of the Chowan and Roanoke Rivers. From this point they traveled toward the southwest and settled on the upper waters of the Neuse. John Lederer heard of them in this direction in 1670, and remarked on their beards, which were never worn by full-blooded Indians. Rev. John Blair heard of them in 1704. John Lawson met some of the Croatan Indians about
1709 and was told that their ancestors were white men. White settlers came into the middle section of North Carolina as early as 1715 and found the ancestors of the present tribe of Croatan Indians tilling the soil, holding slaves, and speaking English. The Croatans of to-day claim descent from the lost colony. Their habits, disposition, and mental characteristics show traces both of Indian and European ancestry. Their language is the English of three hundred years ago, and their names are in many cases the same as those borne by the original colonists. No other theory of their origin has been advanced, and it is confidently believed that the one here proposed is logically and historically the best, supported as it is both by external and internal evidence. If this theory is rejected, then the critic must explain in some other way the origin of a people which, after the lapse of three hundred years, show the characteristics, speak the language, and possess the family names of the second English colony planted in the western world.NORTH CAROLINA HISTORIES.
(Extract from article published by the State Literary and Historical Association, 1914.)
To Captain Ashe, author of the latest and most extensive work on the History of North Carolina, the lines fell in more pleasant places. He wrote after the publication of the records; he had already spent a long life in the service of the State; he knew her history through such study as few men have been able or disposed to give, and for the last fifty years he has been an active participant in that history; he
has had training in statecraft and has acquired skill in writing as editor of a leading newspaper; he was familiar with the documentary materials of our history from long study, from inheritance and personal participation, and to it all he brought an unrivaled love for the State and enthusiasm for investigation. The result so far is an extended and most valuable study of the life of the colony and State down to the close of the Revolution. With more abundant materials and under more favorable auspices Captain Ashe has outclassed and therefore outdistanced his earlier competitors at nearly all points, and has given us a story not only accurate but one well written and full of enthusiasm for his subject. It is treated with dignity, is without undue self-laudation, is devoid of that tone of cringing apology so often seen in our local literature, and has been even bold enough to reject without regard to consequence traditions long cherished by the State but found, unfortunately, not to be supported by documentary evidence.
In the main Captain Ashe has emphasized and followed the line of political and constitutional development, and it must be admitted that no other field so engrossed the talent of the colony and State in its earlier days. This was in accord with the genius of our people, and is closely bound up with our political philosophy. Only in our own time, when we are all becoming loose constructionists, is the social and economic life of the State coming into its own. It is the purpose of Captain Ashe to begin his second volume with chapters reviewing the social, religious, intellectual and economic life of the 18th century, and with these chapters completed his work will present a carefully planned, well arranged, well written organic whole, easily without a rival among earlier writers. It is already coming into its own;
it is likely to be long the authority for the story of the past, and for the last fifty years, because of its author's participation in the events described, it must always be a highly esteemed original source.GENERAL REVIEW.
Having thus briefly reviewed the books which have undertaken to present a more or less detailed history of the State, we are prepared to consider certain characteristics which are for the most part common to them all.
No one of these general writers was trained in the methods of modern historical criticism; all of them came to their subject with such professional preparation only as it was possible for them to acquire in the school of experience and from a more or less limited contact with books and sources.
Indeed it has always been a weakness of history that since the entrance is easy, many persons immature in knowledge, without training or experience and lacking in materials, have nevertheless rushed into the field and undertaken historical studies for which they are not prepared. To write or teach history is supposed to be within the reach of every man. This is perhaps the chief reason for so much inferior historical work. They write in simple ignorance of the subject, but in this North Carolina can claim no monopoly. History has no technical language of its own, like that of the chemist, the psychologist or the educationist, under which to veil its thoughts. The historian has never sought to live apart from his fellows. The most successful have preferred rather to mingle among them and draw lessons from their daily lives. This experience gives the historian the power of philosophical interpretation, but it does
not in itself prepare him to write history, which is concerned first of all with the search for materials, and after such have been discovered, with a consideration of the claims to credibility of contradictory documents, the elimination of the maximum of error, the attainment of the maximum of probability. In this work he dare follow no master but truth. In this search for truth the historians of North Carolina have been often handicapped by lack of training and experience, more often by the lack of documentary materials, and sometimes by preconceived opinions. It is only by continued research, by repeated investigation and the reweighing of old beliefs in the light of fuller evidence that we can hope to arrive at ultimate truth. Historical truth is a progressive evolution, the product of successive generations of painstaking scholars, who must be prepared to suffer such charges as pedantry and hypercriticism and to meet controversies between knowledge and ignorance where it will be insisted that each side has a right to their own opinion.
North Carolina historians have been weak on the literary side because, despite their production of a limited number of books, they are still to be reckoned rather as men of action than of thought. In general we find that those who were best trained in the arts of speaking and writing, like Hawks and Ashe, have beyond all question produced the best books from both the historical and literary sides.
Again, history flourishes best in a democracy, because there the historian is at liberty to tell the whole truth, if attainable, and to reject all shadow of error. Court historians and those devoted to the advancement of certain theories cannot represent the true ideals of history. It has not always been that North Carolina writers have been free from this charge.
In their own day it was charged, and perhaps not without justice, that one (Hawks) favored the high church and Tory parties at the expense of low churchmen and dissenters; that another (Moore) gave undue emphasis to the Baptists, and that a third (Wheeler) made his book primarily a gallery of democratic worthies. Historical books have been written in North Carolina to substantiate this theory and that, to advance the fortunes of individual men, and to prove preconceived theories rather than to arrive at exact truth. It is impossible for this writer to think that the North Carolina militia did not run away from the battle of Guilford when he devotes himself to the documents instead of the special pleadings of Schenck; nor can he, however much he might desire, accept the genuineness of other Revolutionary proceedings in the absence of original documents. Nor will he yield willing and ready assent to the estimate of certain characters who have in the past loomed large in the State's history. The times or the section in which they lived, some institution in which they were interested or family pride or other extraneous causes, have conspired to give such men more than their due. It is the privilege, even the duty of the historian, to reweigh the findings of contemporaries with their special pleadings, and to assign to each subject that niche in the temple of fame which his merits may command. Conversely, other men, overwhelmed by the hostility or misunderstanding of their own generation, or neglected by the next because they were still ahead of their time, must be again considered and reassigned. Such men as Edward Moseley, Archibald D. Murphy and Calvin H. Wiley, protagonists and prophets, voices crying in the wilderness, are now for the first time coming into their own.
But history cannot flourish even in a democracy without support. No North Carolina historical writer is at all sure of an audience, and for that reason our historical literature sometimes has lacked vitality. It is not even within the range of probability that any writer on North Carolina history has made money out of his venture. They have usually done their work because of enthusiasm for the subject, and at heavy cost of personal sacrifice. They have received little corporate or State assistance. In this respect North Carolina has been sadly amiss. She has been liberal in providing for the publication of source materials. Beyond this she has as yet declined to go, but go she must if she wishes to know the history of her past. Two generations ago, while suffering from an acute attack of unwonted and inexplicable generosity, she opened her heart and her purse, and purchased fifty copies of Colonel Wheeler's Sketches, but when the assistance of the assembly was asked in 1858-59 for Dr. Hawks the matter ended in talk, and most of us remember the fate of Captain Ashe when he asked official recognition for his work in 1909 because he ran counter to certain interests. But Captain Ashe has attained a much greater reward for his work; he has already become the authority in North Carolina. He has won this recognition fairly, by his excellence, his accuracy and his devotion to his State. The next generation will accept his conclusions with a smile at the smallness of vision of our own.
It is generally conceded that men and nations are not remembered by what they have done but by what they have written. In the eyes of the future that State will be greatest which has produced, not the greatest generals and statesmen, but the greatest artists, poets and historians. It is theirs to award
honor, and pronounce judgment. They are the final arbiters in fixing the opinions of mankind. No legislative action can change the force of their award. They even pluck from oblivion, as Junius says, and reward with an eternity of infamy or of honor. It has always been so. The ancients were quick to recognize this truth. Happy was Hector, says Cicero, because he had Homer for his herald. The court of history is the final judgment seat of mankind and the historian is its chief minister.THE WEEKS COLLECTION OF CAROLINIANA.
In undertaking to comply with the courteous request of the North Carolina Historical Commission for some account of my collection of books relating to the history of our State it is proper for me to crave pardon of the reader for what might seem at first sight unwarranted egotism and personality. But personal it must be if I am to treat the subject at all. I have been engaged in this delightful pastime for more than twenty years. To it I have given moments of leisure; to it I have given days of toil; it has been with me from day to day, from year in to year out, and an account of it cannot be other than personal. It is almost more than personal; it is to me as near a living, vital organism as it is possible for an inanimate thing to be. It is instinct with life, for its books represent the best thought that North Carolina has produced. It is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, and there is no wonder that it appeals to me with all the subtlety of affection that a sentient being might possess.
It is unnecessary to point out to an educated person the value of such a Collection as my own, even in private hands, to the State as a whole. We have long complained that our history has been either mis-written or not written at all. The fault is our own, for students have been and are still hampered in finding material which they know to exist.
History cannot be written apart from great libraries, and the first step towards such libraries is the personal enthusiasm, the exuberant, overflowing abandon that characterized the great collectors of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries when they went in their search for the lost treasures of the ancients from one monastery to another, and brought to light from many a hidden corner the literary wealth of the Greeks and Romans. These wandering scholars were also called simpletons, enthusiasts, fanatics; but they gave to posterity priceless manuscripts of which an earlier generation had never dreamed; and from their work came the Renaissance—the mother in turn of the Reformation, the Revolution, and modern life.
My purpose in making this Collection has been manifold. I wish to make first of all a working Collection of Caroliniana for my own use in my North Carolina studies in general, and for use in compiling my Bibliography of North Carolina in particular. In this I have met with success—such success that an exhaustive study of many phases of the State's history can not be made without consulting this Collection. Then the Collection has increased my knowledge amazingly, and has afforded me infinite pleasure. But do not think that it has come for the asking. I have had to pay a price: much study, continued alertness, and great reading. During the last three years, 1903, 1904, and 1905, I have read by actual
count 71,289 pages of book catalogues, mostly of old or second-hand books, or an average of 23,763 pages per year; and this is not above the average for the last fifteen years. I have many hundreds of cards alphabetically arranged, with manuscript notes or mounted clippings, which relate to books that are known or believed to contain materials on North Carolina, but which I have never seen. The cards are eliminated as soon as the title in question comes to hand; but still, the unknown quantities grow, for as my knowledge of the subject increases, I but increase the surrounding circle of darkness.
My aim is to secure every book, pamphlet, or magazine article that in whole or to any considerable extent concerns North Carolina, North Carolinians or their work. Thirty-two years of labor have accumulated some 8,300 items; but this is perhaps not over half that can with propriety be included in a bibliography of the State. In my Bibliography of the Historical Literature of North Carolina, published in 1895, I gave 1,491 titles, mostly digested history; of these I had at that time 863 titles; in 1900 I had about 1,200 of them; since then I have secured of those titles perhaps only twenty or thirty more, for they have risen in price, become much scarcer, and are lost in the greater mass of material now appearing as a result of the historical and intellectual awakening of the last ten years.
Nor have many of these items come to me except through personal solicitation. I have written much and printed long lists of wants. It is probable that my set of the North Carolina University Magazine alone cost me a thousand personal letters. I have searched many garrets, cellars, and outhouses. One of my most important finds was made just in time to save the stuff from destruction. The house was being
repaired. The stuff had been gathered into a single room and condemned. Some of it had been actually carried off and put to base uses. The subsequent fortune of the remainder may be easily guessed when I say that I found among this material North Carolina session laws dating to 1782, the Abstract of Army Accounts, and my own great, great, great grandfather's autograph.
The value of such a Collection is further enhanced when it is remembered that a very large number of the items are mere pamphlets of twenty to sixty pages; that they are printed, not published; that they are rarely sold, never get into the book markets, and seldom into public libraries; that they are printed in very limited editions, distributed unbound to friends, and from the indifference and contempt to which “pamphlets” (one of the most valuable sources of contemporary history) are usually subjected, soon perish. To the generation that produces them such publications are trash; to the next they are priceless. The Counties, the State, the Nation, the bookselling world have been searched for these ephemera.
We need to have reproduced in North Carolina to-day, mutatis mutandis, the enthusiasm of those wandering scholars. Public libraries, some aided by Carnegie funds, some by city and private funds; school libraries, aided by State, County, and private funds, are arising slowly in various parts of the State. Let the librarian of each collect all possible items that concern North Carolina or her citizens; let him strive to get some of the general histories, like Williamson, Martin, Wheeler, Hawks, and Moore. While these are all poor, they are better than nothing; they may inspire a love for the past and so lead to better things. Let him try by all means to buy such books, new or
old, as relate to his city, county, section; let him talk about these books, show them to the patrons of his library and get them read. When we get to be a reading people we shall not be satisfied with what has been done; we shall then demand better things, and when the demand comes men will arise to build better than has been
San Carlos Indian Reservation,
San Carlos, Arizona.
COL. R. B. CREECY.
Richard Benbury Creecy was born December 18, 1813, at “Greenfield”, a large plantation in Chowan County, North Carolina. Here he spent his boyhood, and received his early educational training.
After completing his course of study at Edenton Academy, he entered the State University, where he was graduated in 1835, at the age of twenty-two. He then took up the study of law, and a few years later located at Edenton, N. C., where he began the practice of his chosen profession.
In 1843 Col. Creecy moved to Elizabeth City, N. C., and the following year he married Mary Perkins, daughter of Edmund H. Perkins, one of the wealthiest planters in Pasquotank County. He and his bride at once took up their abode on the Perkins estate. His legal work was now abandoned, and he spent his time in the cultivation of his flowers, the education of his children and in the richer development of his mind. During these years he contributed occasionally to the different State papers and soon became well known as a newspaper correspondent.
In the midst of the reconstruction period, he yielded to the solicitations of his friends and admirers, and assumed the editorship of “The Economist”, which in time came to be one of the leading Democratic publications in Eastern North Carolina. He was editor of this paper for nearly fifty years, and was well known throughout the entire State.
In 1902 he published a book of sketches and reminiscenses, entitled “Grandfather's Tales”. This book was well received, the State Legislature having made an appropriation of $200. to aid in its publication.
Col. Creecy was well equipped for his literary career, having had every advantage of training, education and leisure for his work.
He was highly educated, polished and courteous in manner. As a writer he is too well known throughout the State to require comment. He was always at his best when writing an obituary of some man he admired. The one on our brilliant young lawyer, Jas. P. Whedbee, he himself considered his best work.
Col. Creecy continued his newspaper work up to within a short time of his death, which occurred at his home in Elizabeth City, October 22, 1908.LEGEND OF BATZ'S GRAVE.
(From “Grandfather's Tales.”)
Near Drummond's Point, on the upper waters of Albemarle Sound, lies a solitary island, now uninhabited, once the home where the goat browsed, and the gull built its nest and defied the storm with its discordant scream. Its name is “Batz's Grave”. Within living memory no man has dwelt thereon, but, within living memory, it was the roost of myriads of migratory gulls, that held undisturbed possession of their island home.
There is a legend about this desert island that furnishes food for the contemplative, a legend of love and sadness, a legend of Jesse Batz and Kickowanna, a beautiful maiden of the Chowanoke tribe of Indians.
Batz was a hunter and a trapper on the upper waters of the Albemarle Sound, and was one of the earliest settlers who made a home in that paradise of the Indian hunter, where the wild game alone disputed his supremacy.
Jesse Batz made his temporary home on the island that the Indians sometimes visited and called Kaloha, from the innumerable flock of sea gulls that disturbed its solitude. Batz was friendly, and sometimes joined the Indians in their hunting parties. He was young, comely and athletic. He became familiar with the Indians in their wigwams and chase.
There was one who was the light of the wigwam of the Chowanokes—who sometimes looked at Jesse Batz with the love-light in her eye—the pretty, nut-brown Kickowanna. Her eye was as a sloe, and her long and glossy hair was as a raven's wing. Her step was agile and graceful as the “down that rides upon the breeze”. While Batz, the hunter, let fly the bowstring that brought down the antlered stag of the forest, a better archer aimed at Jesse's heart the fatal arrow, and he, too, fell, a victim of Cupid's unerring aim. The insidious poison rankled in his veins. He was a changed man in every look and tissue of his being. The chase had lost its charm. His eye would droop when Kickowanna came. She was the daughter of the old king of the Chowanokes, Kilkanoo, the jewel of his eye. Kickowanna was a peri of beauty. Famed she was throughout the land. The great Pamunky chief of the Chasamonpeak tribes to the north had sought her hand, and had offered alliance to Kilkanoo, chief of the Chowanokes, but his suit was rejected, and he sought to obtain by violence what he could not by courtly supplication. War raged for a while between Pamunky and Kilkanoo. Batz fought with the Chowanokes. His valor, his strategy and his success were conspicuous. He led the Indian braves. In a hand-to-hand personal encounter with Pamunky he clove him with his Indian club, but the prostrate Pamunky sued for mercy. Batz's ire softened, he gave him his
life. For Batz's deeds of bravery Kilkanoo adopted him as a member of the Chowanoke tribe, under the adopted name of Secotan. which, interpreted, is—“The Great White Eagle.”
Batz grew in favor and influence with the Chowanokes. He was always present at their councils, at their harvest dances, and their war dances; and when they smoked the calumet he was given the biggest pipe of peace. Batz became an adopted Indian of the Chowanoke tribe. He adopted the Indian dress and customs. The pretty Indian maiden, Kickowanna, whom he loved, and by whom he was loved, with winning words of love distilled into his willing ears the siren voice of ambition, and whispered low that when her father, Kilkanoo, should be beckoned up to the “happy hunting grounds”, he would be his chosen successor, king of the warlike Chowanokes. Batz and Kickowanna lived and loved together. She penciled his eyebrows with the vermilion of the cochukee root. She put golden rings in his nose and ears. She wound long strings of priceless pearls around his neck. She put the moccasin shoes and leggins around his feet and limbs. She folded his auburn locks in fantastic folds around the top of his head, and decked it with the eagle's feather, emblematic of his rank and station. And then she gave him the calumet of peace and love. And while he smoked the calumet of peace and happiness, eye met eye responsive in language known alone to love. He then looked the big Indian indeed, and the dream of love encompassed them.
While this dreamy delirium prevailed, the stream of love ran on its varying smooth and turbulent current. Batz, now a recognized power with the Chowanokes, made frequent visits to his old island home,
sometimes prolonged. While there in his solitude, the waves and sea gulls sang a lullaby to his weird fancies. The beauteous Indian maiden sometimes came to the upper broad waters, and her visits were love's own paradise. She came from the opposite shore of the mainland, paddling her little canoe. No season knew her coming. Sometimes in the silent watches of the night, sometimes in the glare of mid-day. Always alone. Always aglow with love. And when she came it was love's high pastime. The scream of the wild gull was the chant of love. The monotone of the waves was the lullaby of love. The sighing of the winds as they swept through the pendent mosses was a sigh of love, the very solitude and silence of the forest was love's chosen temple, and every nook and recess was a shrine.
One night—alas, it was a night of destiny! the Indian maiden came, as was her wont. The angry clouds looked down, the storm raged, every scream of every sea-bird betokened danger nigh. The wind blew as ’twas its last, the lightning flashed, thunder pealed and the welkin rang with the echoes of the blast. But love defies danger, and the pretty Indian maiden pushed through the storm to the lone island, with the roar of the thunder for her watery funeral requiem.
Batz never left the island more. He remained there till he died, a broken-hearted man, shattered in mind and body, and he rests there in his final rest till the resurrection note calls him to meet his beloved Kickowanna.
DEATH OF JAMES P. WHEDBEE.
- “Can this be death?
- Then what is life, or death?
- Speak! but he spoke not.
- Wake! but still he slept.
- But yesterday, and on his lips men hung with raptured ear,
- And now, nought left him but the sable bier.”
There was startled sadness on all faces in Elizabeth City on Thursday when the sad news was whispered that James Whedbee was dead; and eyes unused to tears were wet when the fact was fully realized, that our “strong staff” was broken, that our “beautiful rod” was withered, that our brilliant light had gone out in gloom, that our boy leader was dead. Human life is sometimes compared to a great wave, of which each individual life is a drop, which, when removed, creates no vacuum, so soon is it supplied. Would it could be so in the case of our departed friend and this community. His whole character was such a cluster of rare gifts that we look in vain for his parallel. Intellectually he had no peer. Logic, the cogent eloquence that swept the chords of human passion, powers of analysis seldom equalled, oratory ever changing, sometimes the limpid stream of lucid narrative, sometimes the torrent of invective and denunciation, wit, pathos, repartee, all were his in largest measure. These placed him early in the front rank of the profession that he adorned. As a counsellor he was learned, safe, reliable; as an advocate he was powerful, adroit, convincing. He loved the law; he loved its learning, its subtleties, its practice, its intellectual conflicts. He gave to it the devotion of his heart's best affection, and sounded all its depths and shoals. Before a court and jury, in the
argument of some abstruse legal question, such was his calm, cold, passionless, judicial style, such his rigid analysis, such his familiarity with legal authorities and his exactness in their citation, that any one who heard him would have thought his whole life of study had been given to the law and the law alone. But when he laid aside the toga of the forum, though wholly changed, he was still the great master. Upon the political platform he was as much at home as in the court room. His judicial mind and manner were all cast off. His greatness was transformed. With clarion voice and flashing eye he fired his followers with the enthusiasm of his own brave spirit, and rallied them to the charge. He was full of magnetism. Every glance of his keen but soft eye, every graceful movement of his hand, every tone of his voice were magnetic. Men followed him as they do instinctively a born leader.
He died at the early age of thirty-two. Death, the great reaper in the harvest field of life, cut down the young reaper in his harvest field of fame, with his sickle in his hand and his work half done.
WILLIAM OSCAR TEMPLE.
William Oscar Temple, son of William Spence and Margaret (Etheredge) Temple, was born in Princess Anne Co., Va., in 1857, and died in Denver, Colorado, in 1915.
After completing his education, he taught school for a number of years. When he was quite a young man, his family moved to Newland, Pasquotank Co., N. C. He took up the study of law under James P. Whedbee, and after being admitted to the Bar in 1881, he practised his profession in Elizabeth City until he located in Denver, Col., where he was very successful as a mining lawyer.
He married Blanche Griffin, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Russell) Griffin. Four children were the fruit of this union, Elizabeth, Margaret, Griffin and Oscar.
Mr. Temple was a man of very superior mentality. He was a fine lawyer and a most attractive speaker; possessing oratorical powers of a high order, and a very pleasing personality.POOL AND WHEDBEE—A PARALLEL.Oration.
Two years ago today, a meeting of the bar was held in this town to pay just tribute to the genius of the lamented Whedbee, whose light had suddenly gone out in our midst, like a falling star. Today we are called upon to pay the same sad duty to the memory of Whedbee's great rival. The names of James P. Whedbee and Walter F. Pool are so inseparably
JAMES P. WHEDBEE.
associated in the minds of the people that I do not know how to speak of one without saying something of the other. Again and again, we hear the question, “Which was the greater lawyer?” I shall not attempt to answer it. It is unjust to compare the two men; they are more easily contrasted.
They were as different in intellectual and moral qualities as in physical appearance. Whedbee's forehead—the region of the intellectual faculties—was more massive than Pool's, while Pool's head was more complete and symmetrical, indicating a more refined and rounded intellect. Whedbee's magnificent brow always inpressed me with the idea of rugged intellectual strength. Pool's intellect was keener and more finely tempered. Whedbee was rugged, bold, aggressive; Pool was subtile, ingenious, versatile. It was the battle-axe of Richard against the scimitar of Saladin.
Both were endowed by nature to an uncommon degree, with language and memory. Whedbee was a more diligent student of the law, and consequently more familiar with authority and precedent, which he cited with astonishing facility and accuracy. He was especially familiar with the North Carolina Reports, and could readily cite from memory decision after decision upon almost any point desired, giving accurately the name of the case, the number and name of the Report, often the identical language, and not infrequently the page. Mr. Pool studied little or none, but relied upon the natural resources of his vigorous and powerful intellect. He seldom quoted authority or cited precedent, and had not much respect for them as such. He founded his propositions of law upon pure reason. His analyses were so rigid, his arguments so logical and convincing that authority seemed superflous.
Whedbee was more of an orator, in the popular sense. His diction was copious, ornate and sonorous. He was full of fire and physical energy. He had the gift of personal magnetism. Every tone of his voice, every glance of his eye, every gesture of his hand, his very presence, all were magnetic. But his greatest charm lay in his voice, which was irresistible. It could range high up like the scream of an eagle, or as low as a lion's voice, and its middle notes were full, rich and musical.
Mr. Pool's style of oratory was entirely different. His powers as a public speaker were so versatile that it is impossible to give any general description of them. Suffice it to say, he was a most graceful and fascinating speaker. His handsome and intellectual countenance, pleasant voice and winning smile, prepossessed an audience at once in his favor. His manner was superb.
But Mr. Pool's supremacy was purely intellectual. I have said he was not a diligent student. Nature had made it unnecessary. He seemed to know by intuition all the great principles of equity and polity that underlie the superstructure of the law, and to have arranged them into a perfect system. His mind was intensely logical, and he was the readiest man I ever knew. There are profound thinkers who have to elaborate their thoughts in the retirement of the closet. Mr. Pool had the extemporaneous power, standing before an audience, to go through with the most intricate and elaborate processes of thought with the ease of familiar conversation. This faculty was greatly strengthened by his fine gift of language. Mr. Pool spoke the English language in its purest, most elegant and forcible forms.
Judge Gilliam said in his speech today that Walter Pool was the most gifted man who has practiced at
this bar in fifty years. I will say that he approached nearer to genius than any man I ever knew. In logic, analysis, ingenuity and repartee, I have seen no one to compare with him. In the course of a speech, he would throw off mass after mass of thought and language without the slightest effort, and for hours he would go on arguing, defining and illustrating with unwearied rapidity, his mind never flagging nor pausing an instant for an idea or a word.
Admitted to the bar at an early age, with a single bound he leaped at once into the foremost rank of the lawyers of this district, when it could boast of a Martin, now gone to his long rest, and a Gilliam, who still lives, honored by the State as one of its great legal lights.
I shall always remember the first time I ever heard Mr. Pool. It was during a political canvass, at a joint discussion between him and a rival candidate. Mr. Pool's opponent, an accomplished orator, made a powerful speech. Mr. Pool's reply was like the swoop of an eagle upon its prey. He was a very young man then. I was a mere boy, but even at that age it was my favorite pastime to read of the great orators of the world. To my youthful imagination Mr. Pool seemed that day the living impersonation of the genius of oratory.
I have spoken only of Mr. Pool's intellectual gifts. I endorse every word that has been spoken here of the qualities of his heart—his unselfishness, his unvarying courtesy and generous friendship. Mr. Chairman, that friendship is lost to us now forever, but its memory will always abide with me as one of the most pleasant remembrances of my life.
Elizabeth City, August 30, 1883.
WALTER FRESHWATER POOL.
(“The Silver-tongued Orator of Albemarle.”)
“Elm Grove”, the old Pool homestead in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, was a beautiful colonial residence, commodious and imposing, set in the midst of extensive and picturesque grounds, and approached by an avenue of elms a quarter of a mile long. In antebellum days it was the center of the social life of the community—its hospitable doors always open, its guest chambers always ready, its sumptuous board always inviting, and its affable host always cordial, courteous and entertaining. The owner, George D. Pool, was a prosperous planter and large slaveholder. He was a man of great prominence in Pasquotank County, broad-minded, cultured, public-spirited, generous; possessing sound practicality and excellent judgment. His advice was sought far and near on all matters of importance in his community, and his well balanced mind, strength of character and popularity gave him great influence. He possessed, in an eminent degree, those qualities which command the respect, esteem and confidence of men.
The Pools were of the old Cavalier stock, who were among the pioneer settlers of Eastern Carolina. They came from Chester County, England, early in 1700. Patrick Pool came from an old and distinguished family, one of his ancestors having been knighted in 1677. In 1760 he received from John, Earl of Granville, a large tract of land in North Carolina. This land was left as a legacy to his family, which in time became one of the largest and most prominent in the State. His grandson, Solomon Pool, married Martha
HON. WALTER F. POOL.
Gaskins. She was the mother of George D. Pool, Senator John Pool, Dr. William G. Pool and Solomon Pool, D.D. Martha Gaskins was a woman of refined and poetic nature, and was a writer of both prose and verse. A poetic strain ran through the Gaskins family, which has shown itself in many of the Pool descendants.
Solomon Pool, Sr., son of Patrick Pool and Winifred Hosea, died in 1802, leaving his oldest son, George, then a boy of fifteen, in charge of his family and estate. Young George proved himself in every way equal to the trust. He managed the estate with wonderful ability for one so young, and, even at this early age, won the confidence and esteem of his neighbors. A few years later, his mother died, leaving him sole guardian for his three brothers, the youngest of whom was only six years of age. In 1839, at the age of twenty-two, George D. Pool connected himself with the wealthy and distinguished Freshwater family by his marriage with Elizabeth Fletcher, daughter of Aaron Fletcher and Bettie Freshwater. Soon after his marriage, he carried his bride, then a girl of seventeen, to his estate, Elm Grove, where she took the place of mother and sister to his three young brothers. Her sound, practical sense, industry, affectionate disposition and beautiful Christian character, won the love of these boys, whose lasting devotion to her was hardly surpassed by that of her own children.
Elm Grove was an idyllic country home, with its beautiful lawn shaded by magnificent old trees, its fruit-laden orchard, its old-fashioned flower garden, its pasture, where the tinkling cow bells made sweetest music, and its beautiful home life, where love and order reigned supreme; and plenty poured its bounteous store of all things good.
In this delightful old home ten children were born, the fifth being Walter Freshwater Pool, the subject of this sketch, who opened his eyes on the light of this world October 10, 1850. At an early age his brilliant intellect attracted attention, and great things were prophesied of him. He received his rudimentary education at Pool School House, as did all the children in the family, except the two youngest. This school house was built by George D. Pool, and thrown open to the public. He employed and boarded the teacher (always a college graduate) and thus, not only his own children, but all the children in the neighborhood, were given educational advantages. Both Mr. Frank Vaughan, the author, and his brother, the Rev. Maurice Vaughan, when they were young men, taught the Pool children at Pool School House, and were on terms of intimate friendship with the family.
Walter Pool and his brother, Webster (a boy almost as talented as himself) when mere children spoke at the debating clubs with the grown young men of the neighborhood, easily holding their own with the best of them. Webster died at the age of fourteen, of brain fever. He was quiet, grave and studious. Walter was active, athletic, dauntless, and the very spirit of mischief; with laughing blue eyes, and buoyant, sunny disposition. Even when a child, there was a great deal of the Spartan about him. He would never admit that he was hurt. When a boy of eight he fell from a tree and broke his wrist. His little sister, Pattie, went running to his aid. He sprang to his feet, put the broken wrist behind him, and laughingly declared he was not hurt. Even when the wrist was being set, although his face was white from pain, he did not flinch or shed a tear. In all the
years that followed, a great deal of that old Spartan spirit remained. There was often a smile in his eyes and a jest on his lips when the wolf of sorrow was gnawing at his heart.
At the age of seventeen he entered the sophomore class at the State University, where he was a student for two years. He never found it necessary to do any real study, as he could master with little effort the most difficult branches of knowledge.
In 1870 the Pool family left the old plantation and moved to Elizabeth City, where the two younger children, Bettie Freshwater and Gaston, received their education.
In 1872 Walter Pool took up the study of law at his own home, and completed the entire course in one year. He was admitted to the bar in 1873. He loved the law, and leaped at one bound to the foremost ranks of the great lawyers of the State. When under twenty-five, he made a speech before the Supreme Court of North Carolina. It was a masterful effort, original, logical, conclusive, which stamped him as the peer of any of his legal contemporaries. Some of those old Supreme Court judges wept over the young man's eloquence, and he went from that court room acknowledged as the silver-tongued orator of the Old North State, and one of its great legal lights.
In the William Powers murder trial in Norfolk, Va., he proved himself a jurist of the first rank. His speech on this occasion has been spoken of as a “Titanic burst of power,” which thrilled every heart in that court room, cleared William Powers, with the evidence overwhelmingly against him, and stamped Walter Pool as a veritable genius of oratory. It was like the rush of the mighty torrent, the sweep of the great avalanche, bearing everything before it. His
appeal to the reason was crystallized logic. When he addressed himself to the emotions, the finer sentiments of the human heart, the music of his oratory was as entrancing as the notes of Rizzio's flute.
Says Frank E. Vaughan: “His abilities were of the most splendid order; they shone alike resplendently in the forum, on the hustings, in private conversation. He was a brilliant advocate, a powerful debater and a profound thinker. Almost more than any man we know, was he blessed with that priceless gift which makes man more than a mere unit of animal creation, brutal instincts and selfish desires—a great, grand, magnificent intellect. Walter Pool was a born leader of men. No man was ever more popular or more deservedly so than he.”
Says Col. R. B. Creecy: “In the county of Perquimans, Walter Pool was employed to assist in the prosecution by the State in a case of arson; the principal management of the case devolved upon him. It was a case in which he was called upon to use every variety of power. The defendant was a man of much influence and standing with his race. It attracted great interest, and the testimony was entirely circumstantial. It was a masterly presentation of all the facts. Argument, ingenuity in cumulating facts; wit, repartee, rhetoric, eloquence, gems of poetry, all aptly introduced, were brought into requisition. The defence was ably managed by Albertson and Pruden. The result was the conviction of the defendent.
“The brain capacity of Walter Pool was wonderful. He illuminated every subject that he touched with the magic power of his genius. He grasped a subject with the glance of intuition. Whether it was some abstruse question of the law, some practical question of everyday life, or some question of general literature,
WALTER F. POOL.
(At age of twenty-three.)
he was equally at home in all. His intellect, under all circumstances, was singularly cool, calm and collected. He was never off guard, but always had his intellectual armory completely at command. This was perhaps his most conspicuous gift, the readiness with which at all times he could command his powers.”
He could summon at will the profoundest thoughts clothed in the most beautiful language, and illuminated with oriental gorgeousness of imagery, splendid and rich beyond description.
He never wrote his speeches, nor used notes, but always relied entirely upon his ability to coin his thoughts with the greatest rapidity when under the inspiration of an expectant audience, with eager, upturned faces. Golden ingots of thought had he, which, at a moment's notice, he could shape and polish into dazzling beauty. He had all his knowledge at the tip of his tongue, “and seemed to be in one person the Goliath and the David of oratory, strong to wield a spear that was as a weaver's beam, or nimble to whirl a pebble from a sling”. When his wit was aimed at a target he struck it in the white.
He was a striking figure, of splendid physique—tall, athletic, graceful; with a superb head, lofty, magnificent brow, clear, blue eyes, perfect teeth, golden brown hair, and complexion as fair as a girl's. His physical beauty, captivating grace of manner and brilliant conversational gifts, as well as his amiable and lovable disposition, made him a great favorite in social circles. He was always the center of a group of admirers, who hung on his words, quoted his witty sayings and lionized him. His originality, his fund of information and apt quotations, his versatility and wit, always dashed with a spice of playful
good humor, made him a charming companion. Cool, calm, deliberate, with an air of easy nonchalance and grace, he could never be thrown from his magnificent equipoise. Whenever the attempt was made, with careless smile and nimble wit, the tables were always turned, and he invariably came off with flying colors. He was the very embodiment of good nature—never, under any circumstances, known to lose his temper, yet possessed of dauntless courage and independence of spirit. A friend of his once remarked: “Every woman in Elizabeth City from sixteen to sixty loves Walter Pool. And the same may be said of the men. I have never seen anything to equal his popularity. He is the pet of the town.”
In his own home nothing could exceed the sweetness and beauty of his disposition. He was unselfish, helpful, sympathetic, and as gentle and tender as a woman. All children adored him; with them he was only a big-hearted boy. Babies would leave their mother's arms when his were held out to them. His face, when bending over little children and putting his arms around them, was full of ineffable beauty.
He had a refined and poetic nature, his pocketbook was always full of scraps of poetry cut from newspapers and magazines; it never contained much money. This he never could keep, always thinking that someone else needed it more than himself. He was eminently successful in his profession, rarely ever losing a case, and some of his cases were very remunerative. He placed no value on money, except as a means of independence, and of relieving human suffering.
He was a great literary critic, and his mind was a storehouse of all the most beautiful poems in our
literature. These he was fond of reciting in the home circle—repeating page after page of Shakespeare and other great masters, to the delight of his young brother and sister, who were thus made familiar in their earliest youth with all the great masterpieces of poetic literature. His own poems were usually thrown off carelessly in an idle moment, at the request of some friend, or for his own amusement. They were never intended for publication, and he attached little value to them. He had no literary aspirations. The pen was not his medium of expression. The tongue was mightier. Yet his verses contain lines of exquisite beauty, and voice the soul of a poet. “Love's Invocation” has been pronounced “a rare poetic gem.” Wonderfully gifted on every side, he could do anything well.
In 1882, unexpectedly to himself, for he was not an aspirant for office, he was nominated for Congress by the Republicans of the First Congressional District of North Carolina. The political arena was never to his taste, but the acceptance of the nomination was pressed upon him by his family and friends, who were far more ambitious for him than he was for himself. He reluctantly accepted, and, although in declining health, he made a powerful and brilliant canvass, and was triumphantly elected, largely by Democratic vote, over Major Lewis C. Latham, the Democratic nominee.
No other Republican would have stood the shadow of a chance for election, as the District was overwhelmingly Democratic. His success was entirely due to his immense popularity with both parties. Soon after his election, his health began rapidly to decline, and he died very suddenly on August 25, 1883, before having taken his seat, at the early age of thirty-two. He lies buried in the old Pool cemetery,
five miles from Elizabeth City, where a monument erected by an appropriation from Congress marks his last resting place. In that quiet spot far from the noise and strife of the busy world, “after life's fitful fever, he sleeps well.”
His great heart was full of love for all men, and the broad mantle of his charity covered with its protecting folds the whole human race. And this was the golden key that unlocked the hearts of others. “Greater love hath no man” than the love that was given to Walter Pool.LOVE'S INVOCATION.
- O Sun! whose glorious, golden rays
- With untold splendor gild the days,
- Shine gently on my Love.
- And with thy lances, keen and bright,
- Drive shapes of darkness from her sight,
- Her faithful guardian prove.
- O Moon and Stars! Heaven's silver lights,
- Shedding soft beauty o'er the nights,
- Shine sweetly on my Love.
- And when the world is fast asleep,
- Above her couch thy vigils keep,
- Let nothing harm my Dove.
- O Winds! that lute-strings scarcely wake,
- Anon that solid mountains shake,
- Breathe softly on my Love.
- From distant climes waft to her feet
- Rich argosies of all things sweet,
- Most precious treasure-trove.
- O Sea! mysterious and grand,
- From middle depths to wave-wash'd strand,
- Bear tenderly my Love.
- And as her ship of life o'ersails
- Thy stormy waters, hold the gales,
- Nor thy strong arms remove.
- O Earth! sweet mother, old and young,
- From whom life's myriad forms are sprung,
- Watch lovingly my Love.
- And on thy bosom as she lies,
- Guard her with thy great, faithful eyes,
- Oh, let her never rove.
- O God! whose bare, unutter'd thought
- Evolv'd a universe from naught,
- I pray Thee, keep my Love.
- By sea and land, by day and night,
- Illume her path with heav'nly light,
- Shining from heights above.
- Sleep, sweetheart, sweetly sleep!
- May purest joy thy dreams employ,
- And may no bitter thoughts arise
- To make my darling weep.
- Sleep, sweetheart! Like a star,
- Which shineth bright the livelong night,
- My love shall guard thy resting place
- Lest grief thy slumbers mar.
- Sleep, sweetheart! while I pray
- That nevermore, by sea or shore,
- Shall any cloud thy sky obscure,
- Or dim thy perfect day.
TO MISS HATTIE.
Written in her album.
- “A Pleasant Journey and a Safe Return.”
- The stars shine in the day, ’tis true,
- But what is that to me and you
- Since we cannot see them?
- They shine on others, and we sigh
- For the blest hour when day shall die,
- And the night reveal them.
- Our friends smile when away, I know,
- But what is that to us, I trow,
- Since we are not near them?
- They smile on others, not on us,
- Until our hearts grow tremulous
- With fear that we may lose them.
- Give us the nighttime and our stars!
- Give back the friends whose absence mars
- Our joy and comfort in them!
- May time rush by on rapid wing,
- And haste the pleasant day to bring
- When once more we shall greet them.
May 9th, 1881.FATE.
- I saw her first by chance—
- Not knowing that a seraph was so near.
- My glance went out all careless, and it fell
- Straight on her eyes, uplifted, soft and clear.
- Into those matchless orbs, translucent, amber-hued,
- With golden lashes fring'd, like stars in midst,
- I gazed as one who dreams when lull'd to sleep
- In fairy groves, by wind-harp'd zephyrs kiss'd.
- At Fate's appointed hour
- We met again. I came to know her well.
- Oh, she was beautiful! In her soft hair
- The shimm'ring moonbeams linger'd as they fell.
- Upon her rounded cheeks the rosy blush of dawn
- Dwelt lovingly. Her brow was white and fair,
- Like the bright plumage of an angel's wing
- When bathed in dazzling lights of upper air.
- I lov'd her not for these,
- But for her pure and richly cultur'd mind,
- Which, like a shining thread of purest gold,
- Through all her words and acts was intertwined,
- Giving her wondrous beauty, charms almost divine.
- We prize the summer sea not half so high
- For its resplendent surface, sunlit, fair,
- As for its gems, deep-hidden from the eye.
- But, frowning, there uprose,
- Between my love and me, a mighty wall,
- Which mortal strength could not o'erleap nor move.
- And as the flow'r, when frosts begin to fall,
- Droops to the earth and dies, so died my stricken heart.
- And life to me has been a sterile plain,
- Sun-scorch'd and lonely, bleak and desolate,
- Ungreen'd by grass, unwater'd by the rain.
THE MAID WHO LOVES BUT ME.
- When morn, on sparkling wings upborne,
- Dispels the gloom of night,
- And scatters o'er the darken'd world
- Her show'rs of golden light;
- When flow'rs awake, and all the air
- Is redolent of balm,
- And Nature's whole bright retinue
- Stirs from its restful calm;
- Oh, then, ’tis sweet
- The morn to greet
- And all her lovely handmaids meet!
- Impearl'd with dewdrops of the morn
- The blushing rose is fair;
- The lily, too, is beautiful,
- Pure floweret of prayer.
- The bright young moon and vesper star
- Are form'd in beauty's mold;
- And loveliness gleams in the wave,
- Flowing with sunset gold.
- But near a placid river's brink,
- Not many miles away,
- There lives a maiden whom I know,
- More beautiful than they.
- A richer red glows on her cheek
- Than blushes in the rose;
- The whiteness of her snowy brow
- The lily never shows.
MERMAID AND MORTAL.
- There beams a gentler, softer light,
- From her sweet eyes of blue,
- Than crescent moon or ev'ning star
- Upon the world e'er threw.
- And ne'er did sunlit wave at eve
- Flow half so fair and free
- As flow the od'rous tresses brown
- Of her who loves but me.
- Come, go with me
- To the deep blue sea,
- The mermaids fair are waiting for thee;—
- Where the briny billows are white with foam,
- And Neptune's hosts delight to roam;—
- Where many a gem lies glittering round,
- Such gems as mortal ne'er hath found;—
- Come, go with me!
- Nay, mermaid, nay!
- I fain would stay
- On earth where brooks and fountains play;
- Where golden grain waves in the fields
- And every good boon nature yields.
- Nay! Rather come thou from thy sphere
- And dwell in sweet contentment here.
- Come, sea nymph, come!
- No, mortal, never
- Will I sever
- My fate from those who live forever:
- Too well I know that all mankind
- Must die, and, dying, leave behind
- Fame, love and wealth, pride, beauty, all—
- This thought gives earth its bitterest gall.
- I cannot come.
- I know we must
- Return to dust
- And yield us up our mortal trust;
- But think, though mermaid never dies,
- Yet neither mounts she to the skies;
- While mortals can, by grace and prayer,
- Perennial joys with angels share.
- Come, join us, come!
- I know full well
- All thou dost tell:
- Thou hast shown me heav'n, but hidden hell.
- Here is a realm of endless bliss,
- But there a yawning, black abyss.
- I fear that, while I seek the one,
- My feet may to the other run.
- I cannot come.
- No more I sue!
- If good and true,
- Thy choice thou wilt forever rue!
- Then since, O daughter of the sea,
- Thou wilt not come, farewell to thee.
- My offer spurn'd, for fear of hell,
- No hope of heaven is thine—’tis well.
- Now let us part.
Chapel Hill, 1870.
Written in her album.
- Always be guarded in your Thoughts—
- They are the ore hid in the mine:
- Men know not whether gold or lead;
- But God knows—He requires no sign.
- Always be guarded in your Acts—
- Though rich and pure your treasure be,
- Men know it not if unreveal'd:
- Show it—they judge by what they see.
- Always be guarded in your Words—
- They are the coins you circulate:
- Watch well the metal, weight and form,
- That yours may with the purest rate.
- These maxims follow'd, you will need
- From me nor others wishes vain;
- Nor Love can make nor Hatred mar
- One link of your life's golden chain.
- The Printer's Devil I, who greet in rhyme
- (Though all unused the Muses to invoke)
- My patrons at this happy Christmas time,
- And bid them smile, and throw from them the yoke
- Of Atra Cura for at least a day,
- And, taking comfort of old Santa Claus,
- Enjoy themselves, be cheerful, bright and gay,
- Rememb'ring heartsease and forgetting haws.
TOURNAMENT AND CORONATION BALL.
- Why should we think at such a time as this
- Of blighted hope or disconcerted plan?
- Or pine, because from hill and dale we miss
- The flow'rs that died when winter's reign began?
- For weary months, the year's long circuit through,
- Have care and toil engross'd us, heart and soul;
- Then let us now—for Christmas days are few—
- Drink one sweet draught from “pleasure's sparkling bowl”.
- And as the snow comes drifting softly down
- And covers deep Earth's barren, storm-scarr'd breast,
- O'erspreading the drear season's darkest frown
- With a sweet smile of purity and rest;
- So may there come upon your lives today
- Ten thousand flakes of joy to bury woe,
- Which, though they melt and vanish soon away,
- Will make a merry Christmas ere they go.
(A newspaper article published by request.)
Let not my readers imagine from the heading of this article that I am about to describe a scene of extraordinary splendor and magnificence, such as characterized the tournaments of the Middle Ages. Our people, with hands thrust deep into empty pockets, were prepared to hold with Milton that pearls and gold are barbaric, and so, for the most part, wisely eschewed them. But in the matter of diamonds, I can well affirm that on no Eastern field of chivalry was there ever a more brilliant display than adorned our Fair Grounds on Thursday. These diamonds, it is true, were not taken from the mines of
Golconda or formed of carbon, but they glowed with a softer radiance, and sparkled with more varying hues, than Golconda's carbon gems could ever boast.
I was fortunate enough to secure a stand in full view of the rings for which the Knights were to ride, and, having some beautiful and vivacious young ladies for company, found my situation extremely pleasant. The riding commenced at 11 o'clock A. M., six champions entering the lists. It soon became apparent who was to be the successful Knight, and, when the announcement was made from the judges’ stand, there was such a storm of applause that the victor must have felt it to be the proudest day of his life.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Mr. W. F. Pool delivered an address to the Knights. He then distributed the prizes as follows: 1st prize—the privilege of selecting the Queen of Love and Beauty—to Gideon Lamb, “Knight of No Hope”, of Camden County; 2nd prize—a pair of spurs—to Thomas McNeider, “Knight of Ceres”, of Perquimans County; 3rd prize—a pair of boots—to John Gordon, “Knight of the Blue Sea”, of Camden County; 4th prize—a pair of mantel lamps—to Thos. E. Upton, “Knight of the Blended Rose”, of Camden County; 5th prize—a pair of vases—to Wm. J. Simmons, “Knight of Flora”, of Pasquotank County; 6th prize—a cake—to Monroe Jackson, “Knight of the Black Vail”, of Pasquotank County.
All the Knights rode gracefully and well. It is due to Mr. Jackson to say that his failure to secure one of the best prizes was owing to the fact that his horse was young and wild, and at times became unmanageable.
The scene at the coronation on Thursday night was, of course, far more brilliant than at the tournament.
The ball room was gaily decorated with wreaths of evergreen and garlands of roses, and glittered with chandeliers and Chinese lanterns. The coronation ceremonies began at ten o'clock. After an eloquent address by James P. Whedbee, the victorious Knight led the Queen of Love and Beauty to the throne prepared for her, and proceeded, amid the plaudits of the spectators, to place the crown on her brow. This distinguished honor was conferred on Miss Mollie Palmer, one of Camden's fairest daughters. The Queen's attendants were then chosen, Miss Laura White being selected as first maid of honor, Miss Florence Bell as second maid of honor, and Miss Geneva Shannon as third maid of honor. Immediately after the coronation a quadrille was formed by the Royal Party, and the dancing commenced. The Queen having temporarily abdicated her throne, the Goddess Terpsichore assumed the reins of government, and Beauty and Chivalry “danced away the hours on flying feet”. Meeting at every turn the bewildering glances of a hundred beaming eyes; some softly brown, some blue as a summer sky, and others black as sloes; listening to the dulcet strains of the music, and watching the sylphlike movements of forms more beautiful than were ever shown on canvas or dwelt in sculptured marble, your correspondent, whom age has not yet quite withered into insensibility to female charms, was fairly dazzled. Gazing on such a scene, one might well imagine that he saw before him a midnight revel of ideal beauties in the gossamer palace of the Fairy Queen. As the night wore on, the gayety rather increased than diminished. Louder and sweeter rang the music, lighter and faster went the whirl of flying feet. Now the dancers floated like summer wavelets over the blue Caspian in a delicious waltz, and anon with elastic steps executed
the figures of a lively quadrille. Altogether it was a glorious sight. Such a galaxy of beauty, with such felicity of environment, has seldom, if ever, been seen in our town.
If you will promise, Mr. Editor, not to divulge my name, I will give your readers the initials of some of the ladies who seemed to be most admired. I shall not take the liberty, however, of mentioning any but those with whom I am well acquainted.
Miss M. L., of Perquimans County, attracted universal admiration. She wore a white satin dress and pearl ornaments; a costume admirably suited to her classical and elegant figure, her dark blue eyes and snowy skin. She pleased no less by her gentle and winning manners, and polished and intellectual conversation, than by her beauty of form and face. As I stood watching her, flushed with excitement and exercise, I thought of Tennyson's lines:
- “With gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,
- Queen lily and rose in one.”
Miss K. S., of Edenton, wore a perfectly fitting dress of gaslight silk trimmed in flowers, and gold jewelry. She was much admired for her easy and graceful movements, the amiability expressed in her unusually pretty face, and the brilliancy of her cultivated mind.
Miss C. M. wore white tarlatan, beautifully decorated with scarlet ribbons and geraniums, and pearl jewelry. Graceful as a fawn, beautiful as a dream, and bright as a sunbeam, she moved about the room like Hebe fresh from the fields of morning, the impersonation of loveliness and purity, and the cynosure of a hundred admiring eyes.
Miss B. M. wore rose-colored silk and diamonds.
With eyes as black as Night and brighter than satin stone, cheeks of a richer and deeper crimson than ever glowed on the sun-kissed faces of Iran's daughters, and a superb and faultless figure, she might have been taken for some being of another sphere, whom the gods had given us to look once upon and die.
Miss L. G. wore pink silk and gold jewelry. Light, airy, graceful, and sparkling with fun, she was the life of the party; and I doubt not that many a masculine heart was entrapped in the golden meshes of her bright little head, “sunning over with curls”.
The Misses C. and their friend from Edenton (whom I do not know well enough to take the liberty of naming) all wore white tarlatan and gold jewelry. They were among the belles of the evening, receiving much attention from the gentlemen, and pleasing all by their tasteful costumes and fascinating manners.
Miss D. A. J. wore white tarlatan and gold jewelry. Modest and unassuming, yet highly intelligent, and very fair, she reminded one of a water lily whose home was in some placid and cooling stream.
Miss P. H. wore blue tarlatan and gold jewelry. She and Miss S. J. were considered the most graceful ladies in the room. To see them waltz is to witness the true “poetry of motion”.
Miss A. D. wore yellow tarlatan and gold jewelry. Her beauty, good sense and good manners have made her one of our most estimable and popular young ladies.
I regret very much that the space assigned me precludes the mention of many other ladies whose faces and costumes were much admired. Should I go on, however, my article might fill your entire paper.
I cannot close without awarding the highest praise
to Mrs. Albertson for the elegant supper she furnished us, and to Mr. John Matthews for the very efficient and satisfactory manner in which he managed both the tournament and the ball. If after occasions of this kind are to be like this one, I can say most heartily, “Esto Perpetua”.EXTRACT FROM SPEECH.
A war has passed over our beloved country, unparalleled in the annals of history—a horrible, a fratricidal war—a war in which the blood of the best and bravest of her children was shed like water, incarnadining the ground—a war in which the bones of our brave and gallant soldiers were scattered, ghastly and bleaching, over many a battlefield, the common theatre of their glory and their graves—a war in which the entrancing melody of the lute gave way to the fierce clashing of hostile swords and the harsh thunder of artillery; in which the star-crowned, white-robed angel of hope, no longer grandly soaring like an eagle to the sun, fell, cowering and drooping, to the ground; in which the peaceful gleaming of the scythe in the harvest field was superseded by the savage glitter of the bayonet in the hands of armed soldiery—a war in which the funereal cypress spread its umbrageous gloom over a land once covered by the delightful shade of the olive; and the heartrending cries of widowhood and orphanage ascended to Heaven in place of the happy songs of peace—a war in which the Goddess of Union and Liberty herself received a wound, terrible and wide, in her very bosom—a war of depleted treasure! a war of tears! a war of wounds! a war of agony and death!
EXTRACT FROM ADDRESS DELIVERED TO ODD FELLOWS OF ELIZABETH CITY, N. C.
We celebrate then today the anniversary of an Institution, which, as I have already shown, though but yet in the springtime of its existence, has encompassed the entire continent of America with its benevolent arms, and planted its banner in many countries beyond the sea. Neither the hoarse murmur of the Atlantic on the East nor the gentle music of the Pacific on the West shuts out from our ears the songs dedicated to Friendship, Love and Truth, which ascend from our Lodge Rooms in the Orient and the Occident, like sweet incense to Heaven. High up in the frozen regions of the North, beneath the glitter of that matchless star which guides the mariner across the stormy waters, and down amid the tropics, redolent of balmy odors, and gorgeous with the Iris of the skies, alike appear the glorious ensigns of our Order. Three golden links of Love, extending athwart the Heavens from Capricorn to the Aurora borealis, unite us in a common brotherhood, mystic, far-reaching and sublime. Five hundred thousand hearts are beating to the music of our onward march. The grateful blessings of the sick and desolate, whom our charity has relieved, follow us with as sweet a cadence as mortal ears may hear, and ten thousand orphans’ tears, dried into radiant pearls, encircle our necks, the pledges of duty faithfully performed. Well may we exclaim in the language of Daniel Webster, “The Past at least is secure”. Let us look then to the Present and to the Future.
Let us take care that no star of our glory is dimmed or blotted from the firmament, but let us rather strive to add to their number and their brilliancy; pressing forward with hearts of love in our open
palms, the signet of truth on our foreheads, linked together by friendship's sacred chain, and leaving behind us a halo of noble and charitable deeds as a heritage to our children, and our children's children forever.
(The following Petition, written at Nag's Head by Walter Pool to two belles of the season, is thoroughly characteristic. The other young men signed it at his request.)PROVINCE OF ARCADIA.
By the Sounding Sea.
To Misses Sallie and Mary Skinner:
The petition of the undersigned respectfully represents:
That we have learned with unfeigned regret of your intention to depart from our beautiful Province, where your presence has been, for the brief period we have been together, our chiefest joy. The music of the great waters which lash our shores has been sweetened and enhanced by the melody of your voices, and our ancient hills, formed of the precious material which the gods design to be used in the construction of a heavenly palace of crystal when the world has made its last revolution, have been hallowed by the imprint of your footsteps. Your visitation has been to us like that of Aphrodite and Hebe, who, according to tradition, once alighted on our hills, accompanied by a train of living stars. Nor did the one, as she rose full-formed and beautiful from the snow-white foam, with the roseate hue of dawn mantling her cheeks, nor the other, flower-laden and
breathing fragrance, as with elastic steps she trod our sands of gold, bring to us more of those sweet and engaging qualities (which, until you came, we supposed were the attributes of Divinity alone) than we have seen exhibited by you. You may well conceive therefore that the news of your intended departure has filled us with an agony of grief, and we are constrained to appeal to you in this solemn, formal and respectful manner, relying on your tenderness of heart, and alacrity to avert human misery and, it may be, death itself, and not at all upon any claim or merit of our own, to abandon your design and keep the places you have won, as the brightest jewels in the coronet of Arcadia.
W. F. Pool
T. G. Skinner
W. B. Fearing
J. P. Whedbee
JUDGE CHARLES C. POOL.
JUDGE CHARLES CARROLL POOL.
Charles Carroll Pool, eldest son of George D. and Elizabeth (Fletcher) Pool, was born at the old Pool homestead in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, March 30, 1840. He showed marked ability at a very early age. At sixteen he entered the State University, and four years later, in 1860, he was graduated with highest honors from that institution. His younger brother, George D. Pool, Jr., left college in 1861, before graduating, to join the Confederate army under Col. Shaw at Roanoke Island.
Immediately after his graduation, Charles C. Pool took up the study of law under his uncle, the Hon. John Pool. He soon distinguished himself in his profession, and in 1867 was appointed Register of Bankruptcy by Chief Justice Chase. In 1868 he was a member of the Constitutional Convention which met at Raleigh in January of that year. The following August he was elected Judge of the First Judicial District of North Carolina. Judge Pool, after serving two terms, resigned his judgeship, and entered the field of politics. Colonel R. B. Creecy says of him: “From earliest manhood Judge Pool has been a conspicuous citizen of this community. He had just stepped upon the threshold of manhood when he was appointed to the Circuit Superior Court of this District, and is believed to have been the youngest man who ever wore the judicial robes of its higher courts in North Carolina. Young as he was, he administered justice with an impartial hand, and won the commendation of the bar and of the people.”
Judge Pool was married in 1869 to Elizabeth Constance Green, a very intellectual and cultured woman.
Of this marriage there were two children, Charles Woodbury and Carroll Green Pool.
Judge Pool was for many years one of the leaders of the Republican party in North Carolina. He was nominated for Congress in 1883 to fill the unexpired term of his brother, Walter F. Pool, but was defeated by Hon. T. G. Skinner. He was later sent to South America with Col. Oliver H. Dockery as assistant United States Consul to Brazil. His health beginning to fail, he resigned his position and returned home. He died in August, 1897, and was buried in the Pool cemetery near the old homestead where he was born.
Says Dr. P. John: “Judge Pool was the soul of honor, and in disposition one of the most genial of men. Bright and clear in intellect, cool and calm in judgment, possessing a legal mind of a high order, and always posted in the trend of public affairs, in which he took a deep interest, he was a safe adviser and wise counsellor. His opinions were often sought, and they rarely proved at fault. Though a Republican, prominent in the State, and one of the leaders of the party in his District, the Democratic press pays high tribute to his ability, his personal worth and his character. His last public position was that of Mayor of Elizabeth City, which office he filled until his death with entire satisfaction to all. He was still quick and clear in apprehension, even and cool in temper, impartial and merciful in judgment. He was in his office, patient, considerate and thoughtful of others, when Death was at his side, deriding his efforts. He died in harness, in the discharge of acceptable public duty.”
Unlike his brother, Walter F. Pool, Judge Pool was not an orator in the popular sense, nor did he possess the extemporaneous power, the personal magnetism or the fine physique of his gifted brother. His
supremacy was purely intellectual. He was a fluent, eloquent and impressive speaker, and never addressed the public without having his subject well in hand and thoroughly mastered. He was a great student and a profound thinker, with an intensely logical mind. He was brilliant, keen and well balanced, and possessed great acumen and diplomatic ability. He had a great deal of dry humor, and was noted for his caustic, pithy and witty sayings.
His unfailing courtesy, quiet dignity and gentle manners, his helpful, unselfish, kind and affectionate disposition, made him universally popular.FOURTH OF JULY ORATION.
(Delivered at Edenton, N. C., July 4, 1892.)
Ladies and Gentlemen:—
On this glad day, in this beautiful city, I invite your attention for a brief hour to the historical aspects of the Declaration of Independence, to the events which led up to it, and to the part which it has played in forming the institutions of our own country, and in shaping the destinies of nations.
One hundred and sixteen years ago, a new declaration of theories and the principles of government was announced to mankind. This declaration stands as a landmark in history, and forms one of the most important epochs in the development of civilization. It is remarkable not only on account of the novel and stupendous ideas which were enunciated, and the distinguished and lofty character of the signers, but because of the moral and material effects which it has produced in molding the minds of men and in utilizing the forces of nature. It is proper on this occasion for us to glance at the conditions which
made this declaration possible, and to recount with patriotic pride some of its splendid achievements.
The thirteen colonies were settled by people of different nations and of widely divergent religious views. Those who came over in the Mayflower hated the Church of England little less than the Church of Rome. They had been persecuted by both, and fled to a new country in order that they might enjoy religious freedom. The Dutch Protestants came to New York, the Swedish Dissenters to New Jersey, the Scotch Presbyterians to North Carolina, the French Huguenots to South Carolina, the English Episcopaleans to Virginia, the Roman Catholics to Maryland, and the Quakers to Pennsylvania, for the same reason.
The religious wars which followed the Great Reformation had divided Europe into two hostile camps. The Protestants took charge of Northern Europe and attempted to extirpate the Roman Catholics. In Southern Europe the terrible machinery of the Inquisition had been invoked to strangle Protestantism. The monarchs of the various nations had embraced the one cause or the other, as policy or conscience dictated, and the dogma of the divine right of kings had marshalled its squadrons on the one side or the other, for the purpose of destroying the religious convictions of the people. “Confusion worse confounded” ran riot; brother was arrayed against brother, father against son, and the sanctity of homes had been ruthlessly invaded.
To escape this condition, bold and resolute men took their families, their goods, and their household altars, and emigrated to North America. They settled along the shores of the Atlantic and organized themselves into communities. The adventurous and
aggressive character of the English settlers soon asserted itself, and they became dominant in all the colonies, especially after the decisive victory of Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham. Thus, this composite race, in whose veins mingled the blood of many nations, became English-speaking people, and acknowledged allegiance to the British crown. This allegiance, however, did not involve a spirit of abject submission to the laws and customs of the old country, nor of personal and affectionate regard for the person of the king. They were all opposed both to political tyranny and to religious bigotry. They loved liberty, and they demanded liberty, not only in their forms of government, but also in the exercise of their religious opinions. Almost constant battles with savage Indians, and even sterner battles with poverty and with nature, had fostered their natural bravery, and had strengthened their self-reliance. The public mind had been educated, and the public heart had been molded in channels of independent thought and of independent action. And so, it came to pass, that when a cause of complaint arose with the parent country, the people of America, without hesitation and without foreboding, sprang to the encounter. A little more than two centuries had evolved from elements the most discordant a homogeneous compound which found expression in the Declaration of Independence. It is a mistake to suppose that some divine impulse suddenly gave birth to the principles therein set forth. They were planted in our virgin soil. They had grown with our growth, and they strengthened with our strength; and, when the fullness of time had come, they yielded the ripened fruit. The American Nation did not spring, like Minerva, full-panoplied upon the arena, but it
had grown as the oak grows, and had become a giant before men knew that it had even put forth its tender leaves. The slowness of the growth had contributed to the toughness of the fibre, and was a preparation for the coming storm.
The War of the Revolution was a necessary sequel to the Declaration of Independence. For seven long and weary years the conflict raged, with alternate defeat and victory, until complete triumph crowned the efforts of the colonies, and they were acknowledged as free and independent States. The magnificent equipoise of Washington, the Fabian genius of Greene, the dash of “Mad Anthony” Wayne and Sumter, the superb chivalry of Lafayette, have been chronicled by the historian and sung by the poet for a hundred years. Their achievements, familiar to our schoolboys, are known and read of all men, and anything more than a brief reference to them would be both tiresome and superfluous. It is enough to say that the American people had established a reputation for patriotic devotion and martial courage equal to the Macedonian phalanx of Alexander the Great and the scarred veterans of Julius Caesar.
But the critical period in American history had not been passed—indeed it had just begun. During the war a system of government had been established and maintained which was confederate in form and in theory, with a quasi-constitution, known as the “Articles of Confederation”. A common interest and a common danger had united the people of the colonies so long as the outward pressure of hostile armies threatened their very existence; but no sooner had this pressure been removed than the influences of conflicting interests and diverse pursuits began to manifest themselves, and threatened to snap asunder
the frail thread of authority which held them together. Laws passed by the Continental Congress were unceremoniously and often rudely nullified by the local legislatures, and the total disruption of the Union and the creation of thirteen independent States became the theme of the politicians and the fearful apprehension of the statesmen. Municipal and sectional discord were about to destroy utterly the fruits of victory which had been so gallantly and so dearly won from the most powerful monarchy upon earth. Under these conditions the Convention was called which adopted the Constitution of the United States of America. The members of this Convention were the wisest men and the greatest statesmen of that or of any other age. They formed a fundamental law which was marvellous for the scope of its authority, for the wise limitations of its power, for its checks and balances, for its elasticity of construction, for the provisions made for its own perpetuity, for the amplitude of its provisions for good government, for the jealous care of the liberties of the people coupled with the power of lawful restraint. These sages constructed an organic law for the government of this country, which has no parallel in human history, and which is without a peer in the annals of legislation. Our Constitution has been universally pronounced by the greatest thinkers in the world as a model, and as the very best form of government which was ever devised for a free people.
But unquestionably great as were the framers of the Constitution, and unquestionably wise as were its provisions, it was not a perfect instrument. Conceived and executed in a spirit of compromise, it had its defects, and it seems a singular circumstance that the almost prophetic genius of these statesmen overlooked
the two chief causes of all our social and political troubles, or attached but little importance to them. I refer, of course, to the rights of the States and the institution of slavery. As these two subjects assumed momentous, startling and fearful importance in the future history of our country, we may pause for a moment to inquire why they made so little impression upon our forefathers. But the reasons are perfectly obvious. The representatives of the people of the various States fully recognized the fact that in forming a new government and in pledging their allegiance they surrendered the sovereignty of their respective commonwealths and created a new and more powerful sovereign in the national government. They were nervously apprehensive of encroachments upon the rights of the States by the national government, but they never dreamed that any State would dare to usurp the prerogatives of the whole United States. Yet, for a period of seventy-three years, which elapsed from the adoption of our Constitution to the beginning of the Civil War, no one has ever alleged that any right of any State had been either attacked or infringed by the general government. On the other hand, there were no less than four well defined and well organized rebellions (if you will pardon the word) against the government of the laws of Congress. Two of these rebellions were in the North and two in the South. The Whisky riots in Pennsylvania, and the Personal Liberty Bills which were passed by the legislatures of most of the Northern States, were distinct and flagrant acts of rebellion against the national authorities. In the South we had the Nullification of South Carolina and the Great Rebellion, which assumed the proportions of a civil war, and which will be
known as the War between the Free States of the North and the Slaveholding States of the South. When the cause of this great struggle, which developed, on both sides, such genius for war, such heroic devotion, such patriotic sacrifices as commanded the applause and won the admiration of civilized man the world over, shall be subjected to the searching analysis of the philosophic historian, it will be reduced to this simple propostion: A war for better paid labor on the one side, and on the other side for the preservation of property which was worth millions of dollars in hard cash. Mr. Seward crystallized in a single sentence the exact situation. It was, said he “An irrepressible conflict” between free and slave labor. I have heard many intelligent and fair-minded Northern men express surprise, that the Southern people, knowing full well the immense odds against them, should have plunged the country into the horrors of civil war for the purpose of preserving the institution of slavery which had been condemned as a relic of barbarism by all the civilized world. My reply has always been this: that no people ever surrendered four billions of dollars worth of property without a fight. A simple suggestion, like this, when opportunely made, breaks the ordinary thread of thought, and has a wonderful tendency to soften asperities and to disarm hostile criticism.
In regard to the views of our forefathers upon the institution of slavery but little need be said. Everybody then believed that it would die a natural death in less than twenty years. General Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both large slaveholders and both Virginians, were in perfect accord with John Adams of Massachusetts in this opinion. Hence the word was carefully excluded from the Constitution, and the
institution was only incidentally referred to in the expression—“Three-fifths of all other persons”.
The extirpation of slavery by the Civil War, and the political status of the ex-slaves, as fixed by subsequent legislation, are matters of such recent date as to require only a passing notice in the historical line which I am pursuing. Suffice it to say, that at the expiration of one hundred years, after much angry controversy and bitter strife, and the flow of precious blood, the whole American people, in the maturity of their wisdom and the plentitude of their power, reaffirm the sublime doctrines of the Declaration of Independence: “That all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights—and that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
The Declaration of Independence was a prelude to the Constitution, and these two instruments form the basis of all the laws which have ever been enacted in this country. We who live in the closing decade of the Nineteenth Century are enjoying their fruits, which may be portrayed in a few words. A mere fringe of thirteen sparsely settled States has enlarged its borders, until now the United States of America embraces a territory almost as large as civilized Europe. It begins on the frozen chain of Northern lakes and extends southwardly to the tropical gulf, and in its breadth, commencing on the stormy Atlantic, it “stretches westward to the Pacific Ocean and to the setting sun”. This vast extent of fertile territory and great diversity of climate give us a larger quantity and a greater variety of products than any other country can yield. The most valuable ores, and in the greatest abundance, are found in our mountains;
our coal fields are the richest upon earth, and unlimited quantities of petroleum are obtained by merely boring. We are feeding the world and lighting the world. These institutions have made us a people distinguished for individuality, for love of freedom, for veneration of law, for personal bravery, for moral courage, for inventive genius—even for poetic talent and for philosophic research. These are the names of some of our human jewels, many of them brighter than those of the Roman Matron. Among our soldiers are Washington and Greene, Scott and Taylor, Grant and Sherman, Lee and Stonewall Jackson. As statesmen we produced Hamilton, Adams and Jefferson, Webster and Everett, Clay and Calhoun, Douglas and Breckenridge, Lincoln and Chase, and Seward, Davis and Toombs, and Stephens and Benjamin. As poets we have Bryant and Longfellow, Payne and Poe. As jurists I name Marshall and Story, whose opinions are authority wherever the English language is spoken. Franklin and Emerson were renowned philosophers. But a greater impression has been produced upon mankind by American inventors than by any other class. Indeed, in our case, free institutions seem to have developed inventive genius of the highest order. American sewing machines and American agricultural inplements have no rivals in the markets of the world. Fulton's steamboat revolutionized commerce, and Morse's telegraph vies with the printing press, and has become its twin sister in the diffusion of general information. The utilization of electricity, chaining the lightnings, is due almost wholly to Americans. Franklin and Morse, and Edison, the living “Wizard of Menloe Park”, form a triumvirate of inventive genius which no other nation can approach. No tongue can express and no imagination
can conceive the stupendous results which are to come to us through this mysterious agency.
No one can tell what electricity is. It manifests itself in the flash of the lightnings and in the roll of the eternal thunders. It is not deity, but it furnishes the strongest proof of a power which is omnipotent and omniscient. It vomits fire from the volcano; it rocks the seas and the lands in the earthquake; it shakes the heavens in the thunderstorm; it permeates all nature. It greens the grass; it reddens the rose; it leafs the forest; it makes granaries of the fields; it works the fins of the fishes; it flaps the wings of the birds; it moves the feet of the beasts of the field and of the sons and daughters of men. It gives food and raiment, and ministers to our aesthetic tastes. It bolls our cotton; it ears our corn; it carpets our meadows with violet blue; it crowns our mountains with eternal white; it sheens the surface of the deep sea; it colors the landscape of the boundless prairie; it blushes in the dawn; it is resplendent in the setting sun; it glows in the splendor of the noonday; it mellows the radiance of the harvest moon; it shines in the cold light of the far-off stars. It is the great locomotive and the great transmissive power of the world. In a little while it will transport all freight and all passengers across the continent and through the oceans. Even now, it bears our messages of business and of love under the seas and over the lands.
It is an essential ingredient of our very being; it is in every drop of our blood, in every fibre of our flesh, in the very marrow of our bones. It regulates the beating of our hearts and the throbbing of our pulses. It is the joy and strength and the consolation of all our lives. It laughs in the eye of happy infancy; it ruddies the cheek of exultant youth; it paints the
lips of voluptuous beauty. It nerves the arm of stalwart manhood; it silvers the hair of venerable age. It bears the spirit of the departed saint to the bosom of his God. It stimulates our minds to action and suggests our thoughts. It made the Constitution of the United States. It inspired the Declaration of Independence. It guided the pen of Lincoln when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. It glowed upon the brow of Lee at the final victorious charge at Chancellorsville. It soothed the soul of Stonewall Jackson, when, in his dying hours, he exclaimed: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees”.
It predicts a future life and illustrates it, when, striking the monarch of the forest, it shivers the giant oak, and at the same blow plants the acorn which grows into a tree more magnificent than its father, and thus furnishes a type of the resurrection.
It has existed through all time. It tuned the song of the morning stars when they sang together at the dawn of creation. It heralded the Ten Commandments on Sinai. It illumined the person of our Blessed Lord upon the Mount of Transfiguration. At this very hour it is lighting the Northern skies in the fitful flicker of the Aurora borealis.
But this marvelous power is not confined to this little earth of ours. It goes out into the heavens and lays its hand upon the Milky Way, and fashions new worlds out of the chaotic mass. It flashes through space, and leaves in its shining track the circling planets of the universe.
It is a significant fact, that the learning of Egypt, the philosophy of Greece and Rome, the versatile originality of France, the utilitarian intellect of England, never even dreamed of the power of electricity.
It was reserved for American genius to snatch the lightnings from the clouds, and it is the mission of American genius to apply this suitable agency to the relief of the people, and to their salvation from the tryanny of monopoly—a monster which, in its Protean shapes, most nearly resembles the devilfish, whose tentacles suck the lifeblood of all who come within their reach. It is a serious question for the statesmen, whether it has not become the duty of our government,—a government of the people and by the people—to seize this God-given agency and to use it for the people in throttling monopoly—even if, in order to do so, it should become necessary to take charge of the railroads and the telegraphs of the country.
We not only have the most magnificent expanse of territory, the freest institutions, the most beautiful women, the most chivalrous men and the most enlightened civilization that has ever been known from the creation of man to this day, but it has been the special mission of the United States of America, which I have always loved to regard as the much loved Benjamin of the family of nations, to dignify labor, to liberate and sanctify womanhood and to make agriculture the uncrowned king of our economic system. By acknowledging the two great fundamental doctrines of the New Testament, the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man, we have built up a nationality which gives us peace, prosperity and happiness at home, and which commands the respect and excites the fear of all other governments; for there is not a king, nor a lord, nor a despot in all the earth who does not quail at the flash of the American Eagle's
eye, and there is not a throne in all Christendom which does not tremble at the thunder of his wings.
The principles of the Declaration of Independence have been wafted over the ocean; they have found a home in the hearts of the people; they have loosened the chains of tyrrany and they have modified autocratic governments. So that, now, the House of Commons rules the British Empire. United Italy has adopted a free constitution. Hoary-headed, despotic Spain has become a limited monarchy. The public mind of Germany is reaching out for liberty, and even in poor, crushed, starving Russia, there is an undercurrent of public opinion which blanches the cheeks of the Czar and smites his heart with terror; whilst France, beautiful France, our ally in the Revolution, has shaken off the fetters of Bourbon, of Orleanist and of the house of Bonaparte, and, stretching her Republican hand across the sea, grasps ours in friendly union.
Having accomplished these mighty results, we can justly boast that the proudest title upon earth is that of an American citizen.
Nothing can cloud the glory of our past; nothing can retard the development of our future, save sectional discord and civic strife. Happily for us, in this year of grace, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, peace and good will reign supreme throughout all our borders.
Within the last thirty days Dixie, the Confederate war song, has been greeted with tumultuous applause in a Republican convention, and resolutions of sympathy with the great Republican statesmen have been passed by a Democratic convention. The Union is indeed restored, when, in the touching and pleasing
custom of decorating the graves of the heroes who fell in the Civil strife, the survivors of both armies swell the chorus:
- “Under the sod and the dew,
- Waiting the judgment day,—
- Love and tears for the blue,
- Tears and love for the gray.”
In the spirit of fraternity I invite you all to join me in invocation to the Supreme Ruler of nations, that this country of ours may go on prospering and advancing until every plain and every valley shall be laden with the richest products, and every mountain be covered by its thousand herbs, and every river and bay and harbor and inlet be white with the sails or black with the smoke of commerce. And over all may the spirit of liberty breathe.
God grant that this splendid republic of ours, so illustriously founded and so signally preserved, may last through all the changes and mutations of government and survive the wreck of empires; and, when the last sun shall set, may his departing beams rest upon this land, great, glorious and free.ANTIQUITY OF THE EARTH AND OF ITS INHABITANTS.
In these days of speculative thought this subject is interesting. Indeed, an antiquarian taste is almost universal. Everybody wants to know the age of the earth and how long it has been inhabited by man.
Up to the middle of the last century it was almost universally believed that the earth was created in
six days, and that Adam and Eve, the progenitors of the whole human family, were made upon the last day of creation. The generations of the human family given in Genesis were supposed to establish the fact, that this earth had existed about four thousand years prior to the birth of Christ. The Chinese have always claimed to have a semihistoric record dating back many thousands of years before the creation of Adam. The Egyptians, too, profess to have a history very much older than the Bible. An Egyptian priest told Plato, the celebrated Greek philosopher, that nine thousand years before his day Greece was a much more powerful and prosperous nation than it had ever been since. The priesthood of Egypt, as was subsequently the case with the priesthood of Europe during the Middle Ages, were the only well educated class of the population. They not only had all the learning, but they deemed it unwise and unsafe to impart much information to the masses. The temples were the repositories of their day. Books of history and tradition, written upon papyrus, were rolled up and stored away in places which were inaccessible to everybody except the clergy. These ancient records were all collected by Ptolemy Philadelphus, who was one of the four generals that divided the empire of the world among themselves upon the death of Alexander the Great. These records were placed in the Alexandrian Library. The burning of this celebrated library by Omar lost to the world a vast treasury of information, and perhaps no event in history ever transpired which has been so much regretted by the scholars of subsequent times. Omar was a successor of Mohammed and was propagating the new faith by fire and sword, as the false prophet had directed. When he threatened
to burn the famous library, all the lovers of learning in the city made indignant protest against such an act of vandalism and of barbarous ignorance, but the General answered that the Koran, which was the sacred book of Islam, was not to be found in the collection, and as no book was of any value in comparison with the Koran, he would destroy them all. Thus perished, in one disastrous conflagration, the only history except the Bible, which dated back of events recorded by the Greek historian, Herodotus, who has been styled, the “Father of History.”
A little more than one hundred years ago geology began to be developed as a science. Revelations made by the students of geology attracted wide attention, and many of the new scientists stated positively, and without any hesitation, that the vegetable and animal remains found in the earth, the positions of the rocks, and many other facts, proved conclusively, not only that the earth is hundreds of thousands of years old, but that it has been inhabited by men for a period of time vastly greater than the books of Moses have led the people to believe. The French atheists found much comfort in these geological discoveries, and they openly and defiantly boasted that the new science had utterly destroyed the historic value of the Sacred Volume. The Christian world became alarmed, and the faith of many of the best and most pious, even of the clergy, was shaken, if not destroyed. At this juncture Hugh Miller sprang into the arena as the champion of the Church. He was born in Scotland in 1802, and died in 1845. He was one of the most learned, pious and wonderful men who ever shed the light of his genius upon modern civilization. He was an orthodox Presbyterian, and a very famous geologist. He became interested in the theological
disputes of the day, and published a book entitled, “The Testimony of the Rocks”, in which he attempted to reconcile the apparent discrepancies between the revelations of the Pentateuch and the revelations of geology. Every educated man ought to read this book—especially the fourth chapter, “The Mosiac Vision of Creation”. It is one of the most ingenious, eloquent and convincing compositions to be found in the English language. He argues that the earth was not made in six days, but in six periods of indefinite duration. He says that geology clearly reveals creation as divided into six periods. The six days referred to by Moses were the revelations of creation which God made to him for six successive days—showing one period each day.
Admitting that the earth and its inhabitants have a history of hundreds of thousands of years, he says that the Bible, when properly understood, is in perfect accord with the teachings of science. This book was published about forty years ago, and so marked an effect did it produce on human thought that now very few people doubt the existence of a populous earth for a period of uncounted centuries. There is one other explanation which has occurred to me. Moses was writing for the Jewish people, he was their lawgiver and chosen leader. His purpose was to give them a history of their own race, and not that of the whole human family. I will give one or two reasons in support of this theory. When Cain had killed his brother, he was banished to a far country. He went out from among his father's people. He dwelt in the land of Nod, and married a wife there. Where did she come from, and who were her parents? So far as we know Adam and Eve had no daughters up to that time. Even if they had, these girls had not
been guilty of murder, and had not been banished from their father's home. The wife of Cain must have belonged to another and older race. Everybody remembers the singular expression subsequently used by Moses: “The sons of God married the daughters of men”. He means by the expression, “sons of God”, the ancestors of the Jewish people; for they were the chosen race. By “the daughters of men”, he means the maidens of other nations. Were we to express this idea of Moses, we would say that the Jewish people intermarried with the surrounding idolatrous nations. Is not this interpretation reasonable? Again, the flood was not universal, but was confined to a region of country around Palestine, where the Jews dwelt. Yet Moses speaks of it as having destroyed the whole human race, except Noah and his family. When we remember that the Hebrew prophet was the representative of the only people who believed in one Supreme God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the bad, and when we consider the important part which was played by the Jewish priesthood in their theocratic government, we can well understand why Moses should speak of the Jews in general terms, as the only race, and why he should regard all other history as nothing compared with their own. With this idea in mind, we can readily reconcile all apparent contradictions between science and revealed religion.
I would not on any account attempt to shake any one's faith in the Holy Bible. It is not only the oldest but the most revered of all books. Its teachings form the basis of all the best civilizations known among enlightened nations. The Ten Commandments contain the essence of the wisest human laws,
and they are the grand foundation upon which all modern jurisprudence has been reared. Without the Bible our knowledge of the past would be more meager and uncertain, and our hopes of the future would rest upon the baseless fabric of the imagination.
When we speak of the Bible in reference to the antiquity of the nations, the mind naturally turns to Egypt, perhaps the oldest nation of the earth, and certainly a country which attained a high degree of civilization long before any other recorded in history. It has been said that the history of Egypt has no beginning. The very earliest legends and traditions refer to organized society, which was equal, if not superior to, anything now in existence. Many learned historians have endeavored to fix the date of the reign of Menes 1. No one places it earlier than 2000 B.C. and some date it back 5500 B.C. Most of them, accepting the age of the earth at less than 6000 years, compute time from this standpoint, and endeavor to confine Egyptian history within the narrow limits prescribed by Moses for the duration of the earth. It is almost certain that Egypt was a civilized country thousands of years before Noah built the ark. Civilization is always the growth of centuries. More properly speaking, it is a development, not a growth. It is a survival of the best, and is not the result of education. Men never leap at a bound from savage to enlightened life.
Monetho, a learned Greek, at the request of King Ptolemy, compiled a history of Egypt, which was destroyed at the burning of the Alexandrian library. Extracts from this book, preserved by other writers, have come down to us. He dates back the beginning of Egyptian history thirteen thousand and three hundred
years before Moses, which would make it about twenty thousand years ago. The fear of contradicting the Mosaic record has closed the minds of investigators to the truths of antiquity. Before the pyramids were built (at least twenty-seven hundred years before Christ) the Egyptians wrote on papyrus. They painted; they had historians, poets and artists. They dug canals. Mr. Seward expresses the opinion that these canals were navigated by steamers. They knew how to blow glass. They hewed great stones and raised them to elevations which no modern machinery can reach. Living upon the banks of the Nile, and surrounded by an arid desert, they had reduced agriculture to a science long before Cain presented the first fruits of his garden as an offering to the Lord.
The text found in the Bible and so often quoted: “Cast your bread upon the waters and it will return after many days”, was suggested by the throwing of rice upon the banks of the Nile. While the country was overflowed, the farmers took their baskets of rice and, wading into the waters, scattered the seed. When the river receded, leaving a rich alluvial deposit, the rice grew and matured, and became the chief article of diet for the people. The bread had returned after many days.
Untold ages before the dawn of authentic history, the Egyptians worshipped Thoth, the God of letters. This was thousands of years before Cadmus, the Phoenician, carried letters into Greece.
The pyramids, the catacombs, the labyrinth, Lake Moeris—all attest the grandeur of Egyptian civilization. One of the greatest triumphs of modern engineering is the Suez Canal, built by DeLesseps and opened to the merchant marine of the world in
1869. An Egyptian king, Necho the First, conceived the plan of this canal twenty-five hundred years ago, and would have carried it into execution but for the forbidding voice of an oracle.
The mummies of this country are still well preserved. The art of embalming the bodies of the dead has been lost; yet in Egypt it was perfectly well understood at so remote a period that we can scarcely conceive it. Recent excavations in the neighborhood of Memphis have brought to light the mummies of Rhamses the Third and many of the old royal families; but a race inhabited Egypt and embalmed its dead long before these great kings sat upon the throne. It is a singular fact that the most ancient mummies are the remains of a people whose regular features and whose straight, coarse, black hair, render them almost indistinguishable from the corpses of American Indians. The skin was copper-colered, which makes the resemblance much more striking. Were they the same race?
The pyramid of Cheops, which is the largest and most celebrated of all the Egyptian pyramids, has two interior chambers, which were not discovered until about the year one thousand A.D. There are passages leading to these chambers, which open about fifty feet from the ground. Dr. Seiss, of Philadelphia, has recently delivered several lectures which have been embodied in a book entitled, “A Miracle in Stone”. It is ingenious and well worth perusal. It is a singular coincidence, that the largest pyramid found in Mexico has at least one interior chamber which is entered by a passageway so much like that found in the land of the Nile that one might think both were designed by the same architect. Oh, that we could unroll the pages of lost history and read their strange
secrets! What a new light they would throw upon the age of our race and upon the various stages in the development of civilization.
Let us now pass from Egypt to the great Eastern monarchies, Babylon, Chaldea, Assyria, Media and Persia, which flourished before the Christian Era. They preceded the Greek and Roman empires. Babylonia, the most ancient of all, was at the height of its glory, so far as history records, about three thousand years before Christ. Its inhabitants then were of the Semitic family, but recent discoveries show that a race of much culture preceded the Babylonians of history. This was a branch of the Turanian race, and was known as Accadian (do not confound these people with Acadians). These very ancient folks had a system of weights and measures. They used gold and silver coin. Their weeks were of seven days. They knew the signs of the zodiac and other astronomical facts of value. They also had public libraries. The cuneiform inscriptions upon their tablets of brick go far to show that the civilization of these forgotten Accadians dated back of the historic Babylonians many centuries—how many nobody can tell—perhaps as far back as Monetho dated the existence of Egyptian civilization—two hundred centuries.
Many thousands of years ago a race of people, called Aryans, lived in Persia. They settled India, central Asia and nearly the whole of Europe. They had a written language, and among them were to be found philosophers, poets, scientists, astronomers, physicians and statesmen. They appear to be the oldest Asiatic race of which any historic record has been preserved. They spoke and wrote the Sanscrit language. Now this was a dead language, and the Aryans were a scattered nation, before the walls of
Babylon were laid—yes, even before the bricks were molded which formed the foundation of the tower of Babel. The human mind becomes mystified and bewildered in the contemplation of an antiquity which was hoary with age a hundred thousand years, it may be, before any record was made which was able to resist the destroying footsteps of time. “A thousand years are as one day”. A day in Genesis represents a period of time of indefinite duration. Our information would be more correct, and our views of the transcendent grandeur of creation would be enlarged, if theologians would interpret the Bible from a scientific standpoint, and not endeavor to distort scientific discoveries in order to make them conform to a literal translation of the Holy Book. What the people in this world want to know, and what they have a right to know, is the truth. The man who adopts the theory first and then tries to make the facts fit his theory, builds his house upon the sand. By and by the winds and the flood will beat upon that house and it will fall. He is a wise man who, having first ascertained the facts, constructs his theories upon them, without regard to preconceived opinions; he will build his house upon a rock and it will stand.
I believe that this earth was created hundreds of thousands of years ago, and that the generations of men have dwelt upon it ever since it came fresh from the hands of the great Creator. Nor do I believe that the Bible, when properly read, contradicts this view. On the other hand, every discovery of the geologists and the archeologists, which throws any light upon prehistoric times, serves to corroborate the Sacred Volume. Strike the word day from the first chapter of Genesis, and insert period or age, and the seeming conflict will be transformed into perfect
harmony; then History and Science, illumined by Revelation, will stud with gems of rare beauty the cycles of the ages and will adorn the barren wastes of conjecture with flowers of fragrance and beauty.THE REVOLUTION IN BRAZIL.
(Extract from lecture on Brazil delivered in Elizabeth City, N. C., 1891.)
In order to fully grasp the scope of the Revolution in Brazil, it will be necessary to glance back through the centuries which preceded it.
From the fall of the Roman Empire to near the close of the eighteenth century the dogma of the divine right of kings had been taught the aristocracy of Europe, and this doctrine had been indorsed by the people. Our American Revolution was a new departure in history. The framers of our Constitution repudiated the accepted political views of modern civilization, and proclaimed to an astonished world a strange, new doctrine—the divine right of the people to govern themselves. The young nation had existed about forty years, when the attention of all South America was called to the unexampled progress we had made, and to the rapid development of our resources. As a result of this, Mexico, Central America and all the Spanish South American states revolted from Spain, achieved their independence, established republics, and adopted constitutions similar to ours. Brazil, then only settled by the Portuguese, revolted about the same time or shortly afterwards, and achieved her independence; but owing to the extraordinary force of character of Dom Pedro, who was a near relative to the king of
Portugal, a monarchical form of government was established, and Dom Pedro I became emperor. In a little while, the spirit of unrest manifested itself. A convention was called, which adopted a constitution so liberal in its terms that the new emperor refused to accept it, in a pet abdicated in favor of his infant son, and sailed for Europe. Dom Pedro II was born in 1825. For nearly fifteen years there was a regency. In 1840 he was proclaimed emperor. At the age of eighteen he married an Italian princess. The issue of this marriage was two daughters. The younger married a German nobleman, had two sons who are still living, and died. The elder daughter, who was princess imperial, married Count D'Eu, a grandson of Louis Philippe, of France—one of the Orleans princes. Being a foreigner he was always unpopular. Although a man of great bravery, of considerable military ability, and of strong common sense, he never succeeded in winning the affections of the Brazilians. His wife had great force of will, but was very much under the control of the priests. It is related of her that she was required to do penance on one occasion by dressing in the garb of a peasant and washing the floors of a cathedral in bare feet. She performed the penance greatly to the disgust of the people, who thought she had degraded herself. For this and other reasons she was almost as unpopular as her husband.
Dom Pedro II was always popular. Above reproach in his private life, liberal almost to a fault, desiring to introduce modern improvements, seeking to develop the resources of his empire, he became the idol of the people. But he was not a great ruler. He loved literary and scientific pursuits, and the cares of state were irksome to him. He left the management
of state affairs largely to his cabinet, which was often corrupt. On more than one occasion he was compelled to change his ministry in obedience to popular clamor. To show the bent of his mind, when he visited our continent and was introduced to President Grant, Senator Hawley and other distinguished men, he quietly asked if Longfellow or Whittier could be seen. He especially admired Longfellow, and translated several of his poems.
The people of Brazil have been republicans for twenty years or more, but they loved the emperor and resolved to permit him to reign during his natural life. Soon after the elections of September, 1889, it became noised abroad that Dom Pedro had determined to abdicate in favor of his daughter, on the 22nd of December. The army was unfriendly to this project; so Count D'Eu determined to scatter the army. A battalion was ordered to one of the distant states. It refused to obey the order. The remainder of the army was directed to enforce obedience. It refused to do so. Then the Prince proposed to organize a National Guard, which would be friendly to the aspirations of his wife. The army saw this, and precipitated the Revolution. On the night of November 14th, 1889, a gentleman in our room said that the Senate would convene the next day, and that the emperor would open the chamber. As General Dockery and I had not seen him, we decided to embrace this opportunity. At about seven o'clock on the morning of November 15th troops began to gather in the square in front of our hotel. They formed on three sides of a marble fountain in the square. After breakfast we went out and stood in front of this fountain, intending to bring up the rear when they began their march toward the Senate Chamber. We noticed some
excitement among the officers and heard orders given in Portuguese, which neither of us understood. In a few minutes, the military cadets came in sight from fifty to a hundred yards distance. They swung their caps and shouted “Viva e Republica”. The whole army caught up the acclaim. Not a gun was fired—not a drop of blood was shed—in this brief hour a monarchy had died—a republic had been born. This was the most remarkable revolution of ancient or modern times. Of course, there were men of brains back of this movement, who had planned it secretly, carefully and ably. Executive ability of the highest order was required to consummate so grand an undertaking in so sublime a manner. In such hands the ultimate success of the republic is assured.
There are practically no monarchists in Brazil. The empire is a thing of the past. It will never be restored. There will be trouble. There has been trouble already. Incipient insurrections have occurred in Puerto, Allegre and Rio Grande de Sul. The spirit of state sovereignty is abroad in the land. All the twenty states are jealous of Rio. They say that most of the revenues of the government have been used to enrich the capital and that the taxes have been lavishly employed to build up, strengthen and beautify the imperial city. This sentiment has been growing for fifty years. It terminated in a rebellion in Pernambuco in 1845. This rebellion was surpressed, not without bloodshed. In truth, at this very moment there is a spirit of distrust and resentment throughout the republic. In one aspect these uprisings of the people which are taking place now are fortunate. They exhibit a public sentiment in favor of the equality of the states, which will make itself felt when the convention meets. It is to be hoped that
the constitution to be adopted, which will be modeled after our own, will do two things: First, jealously guard the rights of the states. Second, clearly define the line of demarcation between state sovereignty and national sovereignty. If these two things can be done, a long period of prosperity will bless the new republic. Had this been done by our forefathers, we would have had no Civil War. The Southern people were patriotic. They could not have been induced to draw a blade in defense of an institution even as valuable as slavery, if they had not believed they had a right to secede. It is to be hoped that our Southern sister in the far off tropics will avoid the rock which came near wrecking forever our ship of state.
Let us not indulge in any gloomy forebodings. Threatening clouds hang over Brazil at present, but the future is full of hope and promise. A large and bright new star has been added to the constellation of republics. May it shine undimmed through the coming centuries.HOMEWARD BOUND.
(Extract from lecture on Brazil.)
I was in the office of the Consul General at Rio for seven months. I resigned my position on April 1st, started home on the 3rd and arrived on the 27th. I came on the steamer Finance, of the United States and Brazilian mail line, E. C. Baker, Master. The distance is 5,360 miles from New York.
On the way we stopped at Bahia, the first capital of Brazil. This city is situated on a bay of the same name. The lower part is not more than six or eight feet above the water. The upper part of the city is
two or three hundred feet higher, built upon a table-land which rises perpendicularly. The ascent is made by a cable railroad, which runs up an angle of sixty-five degrees—the cars being drawn by wire ropes, just as they are in Pittsburg.
Our next stopping place was Pernambuco. This city has large, fine houses and well-paved streets. It is the Chicago of South America. There is a remarkable coral formation stretching along the coast for a distance of three hundred miles or more. In front of Pernambuco, first named the “City of the Reef”, two or three hundred yards from the mainland, this coral reef rises several feet above water. It is fifteen feet thick and protects a fine harbor.
Coming up twelve hundred miles further, we arrived at Para, which is within less than half a mile of the equator. This is the emporium of the immense trade of the Amazon. It is destined, I think, to become the largest city of South America. When civilization shall have peopled the immense valley of this mighty river, the rich products will find a market and a port of delivery at this city, making it the New York of Brazil.
Eight hundred miles further on, we struck Barbadoes, an English island about twenty miles square—the finest winter resort on this continent.
At Martinique we only stopped to deliver and receive the mail. This island belongs to France. Josephine, the wronged wife of the great Napoleon, is buried there, and a handsome monument to her memory attests the affection of the people for the injured woman.
Four or five hundred miles further on we reached St. Thomas, which is a Danish island. The city stands upon a picturesque bay. It is a mere coaling
station. Nine-tenths of the population (about fifteen thousand) are negroes. Their chief source of income is the meagre pay received for loading ships with coal. They carry it in bushel baskets on their heads, and walk rapidly. Nearly all this work is done by females, who wear one coarse garment, which reaches just below the knees. The men come up in rowboats to the steamers, and sell seashells and bay rum to the passengers. They are expert swimmers, and afford amusement by diving for small coins which are thrown into the water. They never miss one, but bring it up between their teeth.
Before reaching the equator I stood on deck one bright evening, fanned by the zephyrs of the trade winds. The sea was almost as smooth as glass. I looked down into the water, and saw a fleet of nautali, beautiful shellfish, with their sails all set, displaying all the colors of the rainbow, in the soft light of the moon.
Then I looked above and saw the Milky Way, where new worlds are being fashioned. I saw, too, the constellation of the Southern Cross—the Orion of the South, so famous in song and story. Then there were countless thousands of stars, pursuing their unerring pathway in their assigned orbits. Then in a sort of reverie, the idea suggested by Mr. Eubank occurred to me—that these stars were all sailing, as we were, frighted probably with valuable cargoes and still more valuable human lives. And thus, gazing into space, I saw the Great Admiral of the Universe marshalling His navies, and the Great Architect of Nature building His merchant marine.
After a voyage of twenty-four days, generally smooth, but sometimes tempestuous, we reached New
York. How glad I was to place my foot upon my native land once more.
Place me upon the banks of the Amazon, beneath the sombre shadows of its forest giants; let me sit in the shade of the orange groves regaled by the delicious odor of flowers, and view the golden fruit; let me recline in a coffee grove, laden with berries that furnish the most delightful beverage vouchsafed to mankind; take me into the magnificent bay of Rio, and show me the gorgeous flags of all the nations; let me bask in the gentle glances of the dark-eyed beauties of that far-off South Land—there is a novelty and a charm about it all which cannot be described. But, after all, there is no country so fine as this country of ours. There is no flag so beautiful as our flag. There are no women so lovely as our women. There are no men so energetic, so patriotic and so brave as our men. There is no home so dear as our home. “Home, sweet home”.EXTRACTS FROM DAY BOOK.
I believe that there is in every human heart a diamond of divine virtue. Riven it sometimes is by the storms of earth; shattered it occasionally is by the rude tempests of adversity; discolored it always is by the stains of sin; but it is a diamond still, which, in the hands of the great Creator, can be fashioned into a gem of beauty fit to adorn His crown.
The river of life is flowing onward toward its destiny—rippling, rolling, foaming, boiling, surging. In a little while it will strike the rock of Death and leap over the precipice. It is a thought full of consolation
that when it strikes the rock it will break into ten thousand drops, which, gilded by the light of God's countenance, will form a hundred rainbows to span the tomb—rainbows of hope and promise.
The beneficent Father, Who, in His minute care of all His creatures, notes the sparrow's fall and numbers the hairs of our heads; and Who, in His magnificent grandeur, walks the realms of space and flings from His shining footsteps the circling worlds of the universe, has wisely hidden futurity from our gaze by a veil so thick that no mortal eye can pierce its folds. The eye of faith alone can see; and even that looks through a glass so darkly that it cannot tell what appears beyond to be the truth or but the dim outline of the shadow of the truth. The dark sea of Death has borne upon its forbidding bosom, through all the ages, no returning sail. Nobody has come back to tell us of the soil or the climate or the civilization of the land that lies beyond. And yet, wherever man has been found, whether in the frozen regions of the Eskimo, or the arid sands of Africa, or the jungles of India, or in the primeval forests of the West—everywhere, “from Greenland's icy mountains to India's coral strand”, there has been found a belief in a higher power, and a consciousness of the immortality of the soul. The universal sentiment of the human race is entitled to our respect and to our reverence. There must be a life beyond the grave, “Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, this longing after immortality”. Divinity speaks, and conscience hears and is convinced.
OLD POOL HOME IN ELIZABETH CITY, N. C.
BETTIE FRESHWATER POOL.
By W. M. Hinton.
“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
In Pasquotank County, not many miles from Elizabeth City, there stood an old colonial home of spacious dimensions. It was surrounded by extensive grounds shaded by a variety of magnificent trees. Flowering plants and luxuriant vines added to the picturesqueness of the scene. A low, sweet, dreamy lullaby from the not far distant waters of Davis’ Bay reached the place and gave it a peculiar charm.
This idyllic spot was known as “Elm Grove” and here it was that Bettie Freshwater Pool, the ninth child of George D. Pool and Elizabeth (Fletcher) Pool first saw the light of day.
The elves and naiads that inhabited this sylvan region soon won the heart of this imaginative child and lured her into Fairyland, where she dreamed golden dreams and saw beautiful visions. Long before she learned to read, she deftly wove these dreams and visions into rhythmic verse and pleasing story, astonishing and delighting parents and friends. Her youthful companions spoke of her as “The Little Story Teller”, and hung with tireless interest upon her recitals.
When a “wee bit of a thing” she received a severe accident to her spine, from which she has never fully recovered. She was unable to attend school; but a bright, active mind must grow, and so the process of self-education began, and has continued ever since.
She learned rapidly, and soon knew how to read and write. The verses and stories that hitherto dwelt
only in her memory were now committed to writing. She reveled joyously in the childhood lore of the day, and later paid assiduous court to the masters of standard literature. To a mind naturally bright, active and incisive, she has added the breadth, culture and polish that inevitably follow an intimate acquaintance with the acknowledged masters of letters.
It is not surprising, however, that Miss Pool is a woman of brilliant parts. Her ancestors were for many years among the most prominent citizens of this section, and have given many brilliant and useful sons and daughters to North Carolina. Early in the eighteenth century they came from England and settled in Pasquotank County. In the year 1760 Patrick Pool took up a large grant from his kinsman, John, Earl of Granville. This grant was situated in both Virginia and North Carolina. Patrick Pool was the great great grandfather of the subject of this sketch.
Bettie Freshwater Pool is a woman of striking personality, and possesses a sweet and lovable disposition. She is a genuine optimist. To her the blackest cloud has a silver lining.
She has a will power that must be reckoned with. It has often confounded the doctors, brushed aside the hand of death, and doggedly insisted that if “man is immortal till his work is done” so should woman be.
She is no quitter. When she enters upon a certain course she is apt to pursue it to the end, or know the reason why. Her energy is remarkable. Her self-trust is admirable. She meets obstacles and enters struggles with a serenity born of innate ability and intuitive knowledge of coming success. The things she has done can be accounted for in no other way.
Her loyalty to her friends is beautiful. It is as constant as the needle to the pole. It knows “no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. She has literally adopted Shakespeare's advice:
- “The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
- Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel.”
She has written and published: “The Eyrie and Other Southern Stories”, “Under Brazilian Skies” and several songs. Among the songs, “My Love is All Around Thee”, “The Banks of the Old Pasquotank” and “Carolina” are especially noteworthy. These have been set to music by the gifted composer, Mrs. Lilla Pool Price. All these publications have been well received, touching a responsive chord in the public heart.
“Carolina” is a gem of purest ray. All who read it readily admit its beauty, and some pronounce it superior to the other two State songs, “The Old North State” and “Ho! for Carolina”.
During the session of the General Assembly of 1909 a bill was introduced in the Senate to make “Carolina” a State song. The reading of the poem evoked hearty applause, and the poem was recorded in the Journal of the Senate. This was an unusual occurrence and a signal honor to the author. This patriotic song should be in every home and school of the Old North State.
Miss Pool, “the irrepressible”, continues to teach (she has a few select pupils) to dream, to read, to think, and to work, which she will do until her frail body is pulseless, and her noble spirit has taken its flight to the “beautiful Beyond”. Therefore, we expect North Carolina to be still further enriched by the products of her fertile brain, and charmed by the witchery of her facile pen.
- I love thee, Carolina!
- Broad thy rivers, bright and clear;
- Majestic are thy mountains;
- Dense thy forests, dark and drear;
- Grows the pine tree, tall and stately;
- Weeps the willow, drooping low;
- Bloom the eglantine and jasmine;
- Nods the daisy, white as snow.
- Let me live in Carolina
- Till life's toil and strife are past!
- Let me sleep in Carolina
- When my sun shall set at last!
- Where the mocking bird is singing—
- Where my heart is fondly clinging.
- I would sleep when life is o'er
- Sweetly on the old home shore.
- I love thee, Carolina!
- Peace and plenty there abide.
- How bountiful thy harvest,
- Gather'd in at autumn tide.
- Fair thy fields, where grows the cotton—
- Light and fleecy, soft and white—
- And the golden wheat it ripples
- Like a sea of amber light.
THE BANKS OF THE OLD PASQUOTANK.
- I love thee, Carolina!
- Land of story and of song;
- Of patriot and hero—
- How their deeds to mem'ry throng!
- Great in peace and great in battle;
- Heart of fire, to love or hate;
- Brightest star of all the Union
- Is the glorious Old North State.
- Fair the banks of the old Pasquotank,
- As it flows on its way to the sea;
- Sweet the story those waters repeat,
- Dear the mem'ries they waken in me.
- Days of youth I can never forget—
- What in life half so sweet as love's dream?
- Happy visions would crowd on my sight,
- Could I stand once again by that stream.
- Then carry me back to the old Pasquotank—
- To dear Carolina—once more.
- Once more let me stand on its green, sloping bank
- And watch the bright waves kiss the shore.
- To the banks of the old Pasquotank
- I return in my dreams, o'er and o'er;
- And I watch the love light in sweet eyes,
- Tender eyes I may never see more.
- In my dreams the sad song of a bird
- Ever floats from the green, mossy dell;
- And my heart echoes back its refrain:
- “Sweetest love, I must leave thee, farewell!”
MY LOVE IS ALL AROUND THEE.
- From the banks of the old Pasquotank
- I have wander'd for many a day;
- But my heart ever longs to return,
- Where I gather'd life's roses of May.
- I am tired of the rush and the roar,
- Of the city's wild tumult and strife;
- And I long for the fields and the flow'rs—
- For the cool, shelter'd byways of life.
- My love is all around thee,
- A mystic, magic spell,
- A flood of shielding sunshine,
- All darkness to repel.
- Life's storms may gather round thee—
- Heed not the tempest's roar:
- My love shall be a beacon
- To guide thee safe ashore.
- My love is all around thee:
- No evil can come nigh;
- Not all the pow'rs of darkness
- Shall cause thee tear or sigh.
- Temptation's siren voices
- May call both day and night:
- My love shall be an anchor
- To moor thee to the right.
- My love is all around thee:
- When shades of death draw near,
- Thy heart shall feel no sadness,
- Thy soul shall know no fear.
- Across the darksome river
- Will gleam love's beauteous star,
- And point thee to the haven
- That lies beyond the bar.
MY DEAR SUNNY SOUTHLAND.
- My heart ever clings to the dear, sunny Southland,
- Its forests, its song-birds, its bright humming bees:
- There clear streams are flowing, and gay flowers are blowing,
- And murmuring pine trees perfume the soft breeze.
- How sweet are the springtime and fair, early summer,
- When violets blue in the meadows abound.
- Rare fragrance discloses the lovely wild roses.
- And daisies and buttercups carpet the ground.
- My dear, sunny Southland,
- My fair, dreamy Southland,
- My musical Southland,
- What joys here abound.
- How gorgeous the woods in their rich robes of autumn!
- How balmy the air with the breath of late flowers!
- The sun sets in splendor, with afterglows tender—
- Each season hath charms in this fair land of ours.
- Fit home for the poet, his soul to enkindle—
- Our hills and our valleys in beauty abound.
- What legend and story, what honor and glory,
- What love and what chivalry elsewhere are found!
- My dear, sunny Southland,
- My fair, dreamy Southland,
- My musical Southland,
- What joys here abound.
- The sun is sinking in the west,
- The little birds are in their nest,
- The lambs are in their meadow beds,
- The weary flowers droop their heads—
- Sleep, baby, sleep!
- The long, long summer day is done,
- The stars are peeping one by one;
- Your tired feet now need to rest,
- So lay your head on mother's breast—
- Sleep, baby, sleep!
- The winds will croon your cradle song,
- The brook will chant it all night long,
- The mocking bird, from yonder hill,
- Will all the air with music fill—
- Sleep, baby, sleep!
- The leaves are whisp'ring soft and low;
- The firefly's lamp begins to glow;
- The “wings of night” cool shadows cast;
- So close your eyelids tight and fast—
- Sleep, baby, sleep!
- Young Flora MacDonald,
- Of the house of Clanranald,
- Was a maiden, lovely and brave;
- Her home far away
- In the Hebrides lay,
- Whose bleak shores the blue waters lave.
- On the far isle of Skye,
- Where the billows roll high,
- Her young life, all happy, was spent.
- No fear for the morrow,
- No presage of sorrow,
- No shadow with sunshine was blent.
- But war clouds were brewing
- That prov'd the undoing
- Of “bonny Prince Charlie,” so bold:
- Culloden's disaster
- Brought troubles the faster,
- And brave hearts of Scotland lay cold.
- ’Twas Flora MacDonald,
- Of the house of Clanranald,
- The luckless Pretender would save;
- He was hiding in fens,
- In the wild, rocky glens
- Of Carrodale, hard by the wave.
- In the dead of the night,
- When all desp'rate his plight,
- She sought him, surrounded by foes;
- Ev'ry danger she braved
- That his life might be saved—
- Her heart had been touch'd by his woes.
- In the guise of a maid
- He was now not afraid—
- A strong “Irish spinner” he stood:
- He was tall “Betty Burke,”
- Ev'ry danger must shirk,
- Or stain the dark ground with his blood.
- Daring capture and gale,
- The good ship it set sail,
- And “bonny Prince Charlie” was free.
- She had risk'd her young life,
- Braving tempest and strife—
- They parted for aye at Portree.
- Ever loyal and true
- To the best that she knew,
- With the soul of a patriot pure;
- When she sail'd o'er the sea
- To the “land of the free,”
- Her heart had been steel'd to endure.
- When the war cry was heard,
- Then, as swift as a bird,
- She rallied the Scots, far and near;
- On her charger milk-white
- Did she urge on the fight—
- Her brave heart had never known fear.
- At the Bridge of Moore's Creek,
- On a day, cold and bleak,
- The Patriots won the bold fight;
- And Scottish hearts bled
- O'er the graves of their dead,
- Who died for the cause they deem'd right.
- Now across the blue sea
- To her dear “ain countrie,”
- Went Flora MacDonald once more;
- The light shone again
- Like the sun after rain,
- And beautiful smiled the home shore.
- In that land far away
- She is sleeping to-day—
- Isle of Skye, where the wild billows roar—
- In her white winding sheet,
- With a stone at her feet—
- And her mem'ry will live evermore!
- Rejoice, all nations of the earth,
- At the new republic's birth!
- Now there floats, o'er land and sea,
- Brazil's fair flag of liberty.
- Oh, how that matchless, glorious word,
- Liberty, men's souls hath stirr'd!
- How that name hath glory shed
- On heroes who for it have bled!
- Ne'er hath an empire fall'n before
- But the land was stain'd with gore.
- Kings their crowns have never lost,
- But countless numbers felt the cost.
- But thou, Brazil, thy fetters broke
- By one grand and master stroke!
- Without flow of blood or tears,
- Its head the new republic rears.
- Unnumber'd suns will rise and set
- Ere the nations can forget
- Thy example, and the skill
- With which thy people wrought their will.
- One night an empire thou didst stand,
- Seeming held by iron hand;
- Ere another morning's dawn
- A grand republic had been born.
- All hail to thee, fair tropic clime!
- Let thy bells with rapture chime!
- Let thy people, with one voice,
- Give thanks to God, and all rejoice!
- ’Twas long, long years ago
- That I learn'd to love you so:
- One day, beside the sea,
- You stole my heart from me.
- Your face was passing fair,
- Like the sunshine was your hair.
- Your deep and tender eyes
- Were blue as summer skies.
- Their beauty, like the sea,
- Held the sweetest mystery.
- You waked, with rapture deep,
- The love that cannot sleep.
- Bright tresses rippled low
- O'er a brow as white as snow—
- A brow the angels fair
- Have deck'd with jewels rare.
- I look back through the years,
- Through a mist of falling tears.
- There shines a starlit sea,
- Your sweet eyes smile on me.
A SPIRIT'S MESSAGE.
- The hills gleam silv'ry fair;
- Falls the moonlight on your hair.
- The waves that kiss the shore
- Sing requiems evermore.
- Think not of me as dead—
- I have but enter'd into larger life.
- The paths my feet now tread
- Lead ever upward, far from storm and strife.
- Shed no sad tears for me,
- Though heavy lies the sod upon my breast.
- Know rather I am free:
- ’Twas but my cast-off garment laid at rest.
- My soul now wings its flight
- Through regions bright beyond all mortal ken;
- The darkness of earth's night
- Fades, as a dream fades from the thoughts of men.
- I do not you forget:
- A clearer vision shows your heart to me.
- I only feel regret
- That all its depths of love I could not see.
- No thought now gives me pain
- Save that I slighted oft life's greatest boon.
- But, when we meet again,
- My love shall change your midnight into noon.
- For here all things are known:
- Your perfect love my love divine hath won.
- The bud a flow'r hath grown,
- The spark hath gain'd the brightness of the sun.
I KNOW NOT WHY.
- Say not farewell, my Own!
- Keep fresh and sweet your memories of me.
- The years will soon be flown —
- I wait for you beside the Crystal Sea.
- I know not why the thought of thee
- Should dwell with such persistency
- Within my heart, by night and day,
- Crowding all other thoughts away.
- I know not why we two e'er met;
- Why in my heart there lingers yet
- The mem'ry of a summer's day,
- That sped, alas! too swift away.
- I know not why each grief of thine
- Doth stab my heart, why I repine
- When shadows fall across thy way
- And clouds obscure thy life's fair day.
- I know not why I pray for thee,
- Nor why our ships, on life's wide sea,
- Should touch, then drift so far apart.
- But some day they'll sail back, sweetheart!
- I know not why my heart is thine;
- I know not if thy heart be mine;
- But since each river finds its sea,
- I know my own will come to me.
LOVE IS THE CABLE THAT BINDS.
- Dost think thou art absent from me,
- Since I may not see thy face?
- Dost believe that leagues of distance—
- That infinitude of space—
- Could evermore part thee and me?
- Nay, there is nothing can part us!
- Nor distance, nor time, nor death;
- Not e'en that vast forever,
- Where God calls the fleeting breath—
- For love is the cable that binds.
- Love, it is God! since God is love—
- With depth more deep than the sea;
- Aye, and with pow'r that's omniscient
- When love is like mine for thee—
- Think not I ever can lose thee.
- Dost know thou art e'er beside me
- When amid the crowd I stand?
- At morn, at noon and at ev'ning
- Thou dost ever hold my hand—
- Spirit comrade, invisible.
- Think not I ever can lose thee!
- In the star-gemm'd realms of space
- Is some bright sphere where I'll greet thee,
- Soul to soul, and face to face!
- For love is the cable that binds.
ANGEL OF MY GETHSEMANE.
(From “The Eyrie.”)
- Angel of my Gethsemane,
- O, hear my pleading cry to thee!
- My life falls dead, my faith grows dim,
- E'en God forsakes—why turn to Him?
- The shadows gather, darkness deep
- Is closing round me; keep, oh, keep
- My hand in thine and comfort me,
- Angel of my Gethsemane.
- Angel of my Gethsemane,
- O, let me show my heart to thee!
- My heart that bleeds, and breaks, and dies—
- Turn not away thy pitying eyes!
- Their light so tender, warm and true,
- Falls on my soul like morning dew.
- Heal with thy touch of sympathy,
- Angel of my Gethsemane.
- Angel of my Gethsemane,
- I feel ’twas God who sent me thee;
- Thy message sweet doth comfort bring,
- There's balm of healing on thy wing;
- My star of hope will rise again;
- Thy ministry is not in vain.
- ’Tis Christ's own voice that speaks thro’ thee,
- Angel of my Gethsemane.
- Angel of my Gethsemane,
- O, let me kneel and break for thee
- My box of alabaster sweet,
- And pour its perfume at thy feet;
- And let the incense swiftly rise
- To highest heights of yonder skies,
- Whose morning light now breaks for me,
- Angel of my Gethsemane.
(From “The Eyrie.”)
- Good Massa, ’sturb me not, I pray,
- Dus early at de break ob day.
- Ize had er bery awful fight—
- I has not slep’ one wink dis night.
- De fleas made up dare min’, ’tis plain,
- Ter tackle me wid might an’ main.
- I tell you, sah, dare name is legion.
- Dey come frum all eroun’ dis region
- An’ sot on me, untwell I think
- Dey ’tended all my blood ter drink.
- I sho'ly made er mighty fight
- Ter let ’em know what wuz my spite.
- But how dey hopp'd an’ how dey bit!
- An’ how I jump'd an’ how I hit!
- I slapp'd one hur, I slapp'd one dare,
- Untwell I ’gun ter clean despair—
- ’Kase time I think I got ’im snug,
- He's gone—dat black, consarned bug!
- An’ lit somewhar an’ bit ergin
- An’ made me jump, jes’ lack er pin
- Had stuck its p'int clean th'oo my hide
- An’ come out on de tother side.
- I git ez mad ez I kin be
- An’ holler at dat blessed flea,
- An’ tell ’im I gwine ketch ’im shore
- An’ mash ’im ’twell I make ’im roar.
- But ’pears lack he aint got no year—
- Leastways, he ’tends dat he can't hear
- An’ keeps on bitin’ jes’ de same
- Untwell he sets me all erflame.
- I nebber wuz so flounder flat—
- I feels jes’ lack er drownded rat.
TRY TO HELP SOMEBODY OUT.
- When you feel sad and blue,
- When ’tis winter with you,
- When nature seems wearing a pout—
- Though pleasures are fled,
- Yet forge right ahead,
- And try to help somebody out.
- There is always a way,
- When at work or at play;
- For troubles are ever about—
- Then just lend a hand,
- O, take a bold stand,
- And try to help somebody out.
- There are many who sigh,
- There are others who cry—
- Their hearts full of anguish and doubt.
- Then speak the kind word,
- And make yourself heard—
- Just try to help somebody out.
- In the battle of life
- Some go down in the strife—
- Be always upon the lookout.
- Some are poor, some sad,
- Some are wicked and bad—
- Do try to help somebody out.
- There will soon come a day—
- Live as long as you may—
- When the light of your life will go out;
- When laid with the dead,
- O, let it be said,
- You tried to help somebody out.
NORTH CAROLINA'S “SWEET ALBAN”.
If you are world-weary, tired of the rush and the roar and the wild unrest of the great cities, if you long for some quiet, beautiful spot where you can rest and dream, go to Edenton, that delightful “Sweet Alban” of the Old North State. The picturesque beauty of this old town, so full of historic interest, the dignity, the repose, the refinement of its inhabitants, will make you feel that you have stepped back into old colonial days. The people guard with jealous care and pride every old house, every old relic, every old tradition of the place, and many still resent the encroachment of modern commercialism and modern rush and bustle.
Edenton is one of the oldest towns in the United States, having grown to a place of considerable importance as early as 1710. Its original name was “The Town on Queen Ann's Creek”. It was afterwards named in honor of Charles Eden, Governor of the Province in 1820. At this time it was the capital of the colony of North Carolina, and had been the home of several Royal Governors.
Edenton is a town of magnificent distances, broad streets, spacious lawns, stately old trees, and all the most beautiful flowers indigenous to the South. In the months of May and June it is a veritable garden of flowers, “with its roses the brightest that earth ever gave,” and the whole air is odorous with their delicate perfume. If you are a poet, artist or dreamer, go stand on the shore of Edenton Bay, that sheet of blue, limpid water which rivals in beauty the Bay of Naples, and listen to the mocking birds sing. If you are a student of history and interested in old relics of a bygone day, visit the old Cupola House, built in 1758
by Sir Francis Corbin, and framed in England. It is a wooden structure of antique design, in a fair state of preservation. It has paneled walls, large windows with small, old-fashioned panes (eighteen to each window) heavy doors with huge brass locks, and keys as large as a good-sized revolver. Inside you will find nothing modern; old-fashioned solid mahogany furniture brought from England nearly two hundred years ago; old sideboard with claw feet, grandfather's clock, spinning wheel, candle shades, old tapestry, old china and old portraits.
Now visit the old court house built in 1760, and observe over the judge's stand a stone tablet bearing the names of nine Edenton judges. If you are so fortunate as to find the obliging Register of Deeds disengaged, he will conduct you up a flight of steps to Masonic Hall, where you may have the honor of sitting in “Washington's chair,” a relic of the Revolution, made of solid mahogany and embellished with all the implements of Masonry. He will inform you that this chair was presented by Lord Baltimore to the Masonic Lodge of Alexandria, Va., and was occupied by George Washington while Master of that Lodge; that during the Revolutionary War it was removed from Alexandria for safety, and entrusted to the care of one Capt. G. B. Russell, who brought it to Edenton and presented it to the Alexandria Lodge of that place on July 6th, 1778. For one hundred and sixteen years it has occupied its present position.
The court house is to the east of the bay. On the green in front is an imposing white marble monument erected to the memory of the Confederate dead, bearing the following inscription:
“OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD.”
- “Gashed with honorable scars,
- Low in glory's lap they lie;
- Though they fell, they fell like stars,
- Streaming splendor through the sky.”
To the right of this monument as you face the bay, stands an iron pedestal surmounted by a large bronze teapot with these words carved upon it:
“On this spot stood the residence of Mrs. Elizabeth King, in which the ladies of Edenton met Oct. 25th, 1774, to protest against the tax on tea.”
It will be remembered that at New Bern, N. C., on the August previous to this date, a convention of delegates elected by the people of North Carolina had met to defy the Royal Governor, and to declare his tax on tea “highly illegal and oppressive.” They passed resolutions that they would no longer suffer the use of East India tea in their families, nor purchase British goods until this tax was repealed. In order to manifest their approval of these resolutions, and their willingness to adhere to them, fifty-one ladies of Edenton met at the residence of Mrs. Elizabeth King and drew up resolutions of their own to the same effect.
This memorable “Edenton Tea Party” was presided over by Mrs. Penelope Barker. Her portrait is in the old Cupola House. Because of her high social rank, her superior intellect and her remarkable bravery during the Revolutionary War, she was a notable figure in her day. The old tea-party house was pulled down in 1876.
The beautiful old ivy-clad church of St. Paul, the architecture of which bears every mark of antiquity, has been called by a well-known writer, “The West-minster
Abbey of North Carolina.” It was forty years in building, and its present furnishing was not until 1850. The old-fashioned box pews, and the columns which support the gallery, the wainscoting, altar and litany desk are made of oak brought from England. Back of the altar are marble tablets embedded in the wall, one bearing upon it the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord's Prayer, and the other the Ten Commandments. When the church was refurnished in 1850, the old “wineglass pulpit,” with its sounding board suspended above it by a chain, was removed. In the midst of a grove of beautiful old trees, and surrounded by a spacious cemetery, whose monuments mark the graves of three North Carolina Governors, Eden, Walker and Polluck, this old church may hold one enthralled for hours. Enter it in the hush of the twilight, open the windows that the twitter of the birds nestled in its ivy mantle may reach you, look out upon the “Silent City” around you, and you will feel strangely in touch with the Divine Presence.
There are many curious epitaphs on the tombstones in this old cemetery. That on the slab which marks the grave of Gov. Eden is as follows:
“Here lyes ye body of Charles Eden, Esq., who governed this province eight years to ye greatest satisfaction of ye Lords Proprietors, and ye ease and happyness of ye people. He brought ye country into a flourishing condition and died much lamented, March ye 26, 1722, aetatis 49. And near this place lyes also ye body of Penelope Eden his virtuous consort who died Janry. ye 4, 1716, aetatis 39.
Vivit Post funera Ille Quem virtus non Marmore in aeternum Sacra.”
Edenton contains some of the most beautiful and artistic private residences of the South. Perhaps the most attractive of these is the old Page place, situated in a grove of magnificent trees, on a hill overlooking Edenton Bay. Fronting this is the elegant home of the Shepherds, a handsome brick building painted a dark rich green, with iron balconies. Adjoining the Shepherd place is “Beverly Hall”, the home of Dr. Richard Dillard, one of the most gifted writers of the Old North State, and former Vice-President of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. “Beverly Hall” is an old ivy-clad brick building, artistic and imposing. On its extensive grounds flourish flowers and trees from almost every clime. A beautiful white marble fountain, a summer house which is a perfect bower of roses and clinging vines, an old-fashioned sun dial, and winding rose-bordered walks add their charm to this attractive old place. About a hundred yards from the dwelling is the Doctor's library. This beautiful little temple of learning, with its books galore, its rare old pictures and curios, and its exquisite stained glass windows, representing famous characters and scenes from history and fiction, is an ideal sanctum for an author, and seems to breathe the individuality of the owner.
The handsome home of the Moores stands on Main Street. Five judges, all members of this distinguished family, have practised law in the office which is built in the yard. The latter building has been dubbed by lawyers, “The Judge Factory.”
“Hayes”, the beautiful colonial residence of Gov. Samuel Johnston, was built in 1801. After the Governor's death it was occupied by his son, James C. Johnston, who bequeathed it to Edward Wood, father of the present owner. “Hayes” is situated on Edenton Bay about a mile outside the town limits. A
beautiful avenue of cedars leads up to this stately and picturesque mansion. Its extensive grounds are ornamented by artistic shrubbery, bowers of roses, stately elms, sycamores and oaks, and the beautiful and fragrant magnolia.
The architecture of “Hayes” is unique. The large central building, with its beautiful Corinthian columns, portico and cupola, is connected by a colonnade with capacious wings extending to the north and south. The large dining room on the left of the broad central hall is finished in black walnut cut from the woods skirting Roanoke River by the Johnston slaves many years previous to the Civil War. The walls of this room are literally lined with handsome portraits of the noted Americans of Johnston's day: Webster, Clay, Gaston, Marshall, Governors Morehead and Graham, and Judges Badger and Nash. The library which occupies the north wing of the mansion is octagonal in design. It contains about five thousand volumes; rare old books in costly bindings, in a perfect state of preservation, and manuscripts of historic interest, including letters and papers of John Paul Jones, once a guest at “Hayes,” Johnston's Revolutionary correspondence, letters from Jefferson, Adams, Anthony Wayne, John Sevier, Robert Morris and other men of note. A most interesting relic in this collection is a copy of “The New Bern Gazette,” published in 1775, just after the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. On the walls of the library hang the portraits of Gov. Samuel Johnston, James C. Johnston, Judge Iredell, John Stanley, Gavin Hogg, Judge Ruffin and Thomas Baker, the latter done by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Around the cornice are the busts of Washington, Webster, Clay, Hamilton, Marshall, Zachary Taylor, John Jay, DeWitt Clinton, Chancellor Kent and James Pettigrew.
James C. Johnston died a bachelor. He was a gentleman of the old school, literary, cultured, and noted for his immense wealth, his lavish generosity and his many eccentricities. He was a warm friend and ardent admirer of Henry Clay. When this great statesman became heavily involved James C. Johnston voluntarily and without the knowledge of his friend paid off Clay's indebtedness, amounting to about forty thousand dollars. He had a great appreciation of real worth wherever found, even in the humblest walks of life. Upon one occasion his overseer so pleased him by industry and diligence that he presented the astonished man with a check for one thousand dollars in addition to his regular pay. Upon the death of Malachi Haughton, his trusted attorney, Mr. Johnston had a handsome shaft erected to his memory in St. Paul's churchyard, bearing these lines:
- A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod,
- An honest man's the noblest work of God.
James C. Johnston died May 9th, 1865. Many years previous to his death he had designed his own sarcophagus—two immense blocks of solid white marble of equal size, fitting one upon the other, the exact shape of a coffin being carved out of the center. The metallic coffin with its silent occupant has rested in this safe repository for fifty years, and will doubtless remain intact for centuries to come.
During his later life Mr. Johnston became alienated from his family, and by a holographic will bequeathed his vast estate to three chosen friends. His family contested the will on the ground of mental alienation. It is doubtful whether any case ever tried in the courts of North Carolina has presented a greater array of
legal talent than did this famous “Johnston Will Case.” Both the prosecution and the defense were represented by some of the ablest jurists of the State, conspicuous among whom were Zebulon B. Vance, John Pool, William A. Graham, Baxton Bragg, Henry Gilliam and William Moore.
It was from the old Johnston burying-ground at “Hayes” that the remains of Justice Wilson were removed to Philadelphia. And here Gov. Samuel Johnston, James C. Johnston and the Iredells, father and son, lie buried.THE NAG'S HEAD PICTURE OF THEODOSIA BURR.
(From “The Eyrie.”)
The sand dunes of North Carolina have long been famous as the scene of marine tragedies. The bleaching ribs of some of the stateliest craft that ever plowed the deep bear testimony to the ravages of old ocean. The English merchantman, the Portuguese galleon, the Dutch brigantine, the Spanish treasure ship, the French corvette, the Norwegian barque, representatives of every maritime nation on the globe, are scattered over the beach, from Hatteras to Cape Fear, their grisly skeletons protruding from the sands, like antediluvian monsters in some geological bed.
This narrow strip of sand, winding like a yellow ribbon between the inland sounds and the sea, presents a curious study to the geologist. For years it has been gradually sinking, and at the same time becoming narrower, until now its average width is not more than a mile, and the libertine waters of the great sea not seldom rush across the frail barrier to embrace those of the Albemarle.
THE NAG'S HEAD PICTURE OF THEODOSIA BURR.
The slender divide has not always been able to withstand the matchless flood, which has, in times of unusual commotion, literally cut a pathway through the yielding sands. These form inlets, of which Oregon, Hatteras and New Bern are the most important. Through the first Burnside's fleet of warships defiled on its way to the bombardment of Roanoke Island. The channels are constantly changing, and skillful pilots are required to guide vessels safely over the bar.
The ornithologist may here find much to interest him, and the conchologist revel in a paradise of shells. But the nautilus, pale and pearly, and the delicate blush of the sea conch, have small influence on the rude nature of the native “banker”. Isolated from the world on this barren waste of shifting sand, the “banker” of a hundred years ago was almost a barbarian. His savage instincts not only made him consider all flotsam and jetsam his lawful property, but induced him to use every means to lure vessels ashore for purposes of plunder. And when a wreck occurred, the wreckers held high carnival. The sparse population turned out en masse, and, with demoniac yells, murdered, without remorse, the hapless victims who escaped the raging surf.
Nag's Head, a favorite summer resort along the coast, was named from a habit the “bankers” had of hobbling a horse, suspending a lantern from its neck, and walking it up and down the beach on stormy nights, impressing the mariner with the belief that a vessel was riding safely at anchor. Through this device many a good ship has gone down, and much valuable booty secured to the land pirates.
The “bankers” of today are different beings from their ancestors of a century ago. Fellowship with
enlightened people has had a humanizing influence, and now they are good and useful citizens.
The coast of North Carolina is provided with three first-class lighthouses: Hatteras, Whale's head, and Body's Island. Body's Island is no longer an island, Nag's Head Inlet, which formed its northern boundary, having been completely closed up by the encroaching sands.
The Dunes, for the most part barren of vegetation, have in some places a stunted growth of forest trees, and in others large marshes covered with a rank growth of coarse grass, on which herds of wild cattle and “bank ponies” graze.
In the winter of 1812 there drifted ashore at Kitty Hawk, a few miles below Nag's Head, a small pilot boat with all sails set, and the rudder lashed. There was no sign of violence or bloodshed; the boat was in perfect condition, but entirely deserted. The small table in the cabin had been set for some repast, which remained undisturbed. There were several handsome silk dresses, a vase of wax flowers with a glass covering, a nautilus shell beautifully carved, and hanging on the wall of the cabin was the portrait of a young and beautiful woman. This picture was an oil painting on polished mahogany, twelve inches in length, and enclosed in a frame richly gilded. The face was patrician and refined: the expression of the dark eyes proud and haughty; the hair dark auburn, curling and abundant. A white bodice, cut low in the neck and richly adorned with lace, revealed a glimpse of the drooping shoulders, and the snowy bust, unconfined by corset.
Those who boarded the boat possessed themselves of everything of value on board. The picture, wax flowers, nautilus shell and silk dresses fell into the
possession of an illiterate banker woman, who attached no especial value to them.
This picture, which has since attracted so much attention, hung on the wall of a rude cabin among the North Carolina hills for fifty-seven years. In the year 1869 it fell into the possession of the late Dr. William G. Pool, a prominent North Carolina physician. Dr. Pool was a man of marked individuality. He had the tastes of an antiquarian, was literary, cultured, and noted for his remarkable conversational gifts. While summering at Nag's Head, he was called upon to visit professionally the old banker woman referred to above. He was successful in his treatment of the case, and, knowing the circumstances of his patient, would accept no payment for his services. In her gratitude for his kindness, the old woman insisted upon his accepting, as a gift, the portrait hanging on the wall of her cabin. When questioned concerning its history, she related the facts above mentioned. This she did with apparent reluctance, possibly suppressing many interesting details that might have thrown more light on the subject. Her husband had been one of the wreckers who boarded the pilot boat, and the picture and other articles referred to had been his share of the spoil. Her story was, that the wreckers supposed the boat to have been boarded by pirates, and that passengers and crew had been made to “walk the plank”.
The picture and its strange history became a subject of much interest and conjecture to Dr. Pool. Artists pronounced it a masterpiece and the unmistakable portrait of some woman of patrician birth.
Chancing one day to pick up an old magazine in which appeared a picture of Aaron Burr, Dr. Pool was forcibly struck by the strong resemblance between
it and the portrait in question. Like a flash it occurred to him that this might be a likeness of Theodosia, the ill-fated daughter of Aaron Burr. Eagerly he compared dates and facts until he became thoroughly convinced that he had found a clue to that mysterious disappearance, which is one of the most awful tragedies of history. A brief account of this discovery was published in the New York Sun, and immediately letters innumerable were received by him asking for more particulars.
Photographs of the portrait were sent to the numerous members of the Burr and Edwards families, and, almost without exception, the likeness was pronounced to be that of Theodosia Burr. Charles Burr Todd, the author, and Mrs. Stella Drake Knappin, descendants respectively of the Burr and Edwards families, visited Dr. Pool's residence on Pasquotank River for the purpose of examining the portrait. They were both convinced that it was a likeness of Theodosia Burr. The wife of Colonel Wheeler, of Washington, D. C., who is a daughter of Sully, the famous portrait painter, and is herself an artist, compared a photograph of the Nag's Head picture with a likeness of Theodosia Burr in her possession. She at once perceived that both features and expression were identical.
There was probably no woman in America at the time of Theodosia Burr's death more universally known and admired than she. Her high social rank, her beauty, her genius, her accomplishments, as well as her heroic devotion to her father in the dark days of his disgrace and banishment, had made her a prominent figure and won for her the admiration of thousands.
When Aaron Burr, upon his return from exile, sent for his daughter to visit him in New York, she
decided to make the voyage by sea. Her health had been almost completely wrecked by grief over her father's disgrace, and the recent death of her only child, Aaron Burr Alston. It was thought that a sea voyage might prove beneficial. She accordingly set sail from Georgetown, S. C., in the Patriot, a small pilot boat, December 30, 1812. Days and weeks passed, but Aaron Burr waited in vain for the arrival of his daughter. Months and years rolled away, and still no tidings came. The Patriot and all aboard had completely vanished from the face of the earth, and the mystery of its disappearance remained unsolved for more than half a century.
Governor Alston did not long survive the loss of his beloved wife, and Aaron Burr, in speaking years afterwards of his daughter's mysterious fate, said that this event had separated him from the human race.
Let us now compare dates and facts: A pilot boat drifts ashore during the winter of 1812 at Kitty Hawk, a few miles below Nag's Head. There are silk dresses in the cabin, and other indications that some lady of wealth and refinement has been aboard. There is a portrait on the wall of the cabin that has been pronounced by artists and members of her family to be a likeness of Theodosia Burr.
The Patriot was lost during the winter of 1812. On the voyage from Georgetown, S. C., to New York it would pass the North Carolina coast. The sea at that time was infested with pirates. A band of these bold buccaneers may have boarded the little vessel and compelled passengers and crew to “walk the plank”. Becoming alarmed at the appearance of some government cruiser, they may, from motives of prudence, have abandoned their prize.
This theory is not mere conjecture. Years ago two
criminals, executed in Norfolk, Va., are reported as having testified that they had belonged to a piratical crew who boarded the Patriot and compelled every soul on board to “walk the plank”. The same confession was made years subsequently by a mendicant dying in a Michigan almshouse. The man said that he would never forget the beautiful face of Theodosia Burr as it sank beneath the waves, nor how eloquently she pleaded for her life, promising the pirates pardon and a liberal reward if they would spare her. But they were relentless, and she went to her doom with so dauntless and calm a spirit that even the most hardened pirates were touched.
I cannot vouch for the truth of these confessions which have appeared from time to time in print. I only introduce them as collateral evidence in support of the banker woman's story. The Patriot was supposed to have been wrecked off the coast of Hatteras during a terrible storm which occurred soon after it set sail. This, however, was mere conjecture, which has never been substantiated by the slightest proof.
It is not improbable that the Patriot during a storm was lured ashore by the decoy lights at Nag's Head, and that passengers and crew fell into the hands of the land pirates in waiting, who possessed themselves of the boat and everything of value it contained. This also, of course, is mere conjecture; but the all-important fact remains that a pilot boat went ashore at Kitty Hawk during the winter of 1812, and that in the cabin of this boat was a portrait of Theodosia Burr.
This old portrait, found at Nag's Head, conjures up the days of thrilling interest and pathos, when Aaron Burr was one of the most prominent figures in America. The story of the traitor, whose daring and
splendid scheme to place himself on the throne of the Montezumas, had made the whole country hold its breath with amazement and consternation; his sensational trial in Richmond for treason; his long years of exile in Europe, where he was often the guest of princes and kings; the sad home-coming, the loss of his daughter, his heart's idol; his old age spent in poverty and disgrace;—is there a more thrilling, tragic, pathetic chapter in American history than the story of Aaron Burr and his daughter?
REV. SOLOMON POOL, D.D.
(From Memoir by Rev. J. J. Renn.)
Solomon Pool was born near Elizabeth City, N. C., April 21, 1832, and died in Greensboro, April 9, 1901. He was of a family prominent in social and public life, noted for culture and ability. His father, Solomon Pool, Sr., was of English descent, and was a large planter near Elizabeth City. His mother was Martha Gaskins, of French Huguenot descent. She seems to have been an excellent woman, and of unusual literary attainments for those times, being an author of both poetry and prose; and from her the subject of memoir inherited a refined, poetic temperment. Although she died when Solomon was in his fifth year, he remembered and often spoke of her kindness, the beauty of her character and of the songs she sang to him. His father died at an earlier period of his infancy, and he remained on the farm, in care of George D. Pool, an elder brother. The late Hon. John Pool, a United States Senator from North Carolina, and the late Dr. William G. Pool, a physician, were his brothers. The late Hon. Walter F. Pool, a member of Congress from North Carolina, and the late Judge C. C. Pool, were his nephews.
He was prepared for college in Elizabeth City, and in 1849, at the age of seventeen, he entered the State University, where he graduated with highest honors in 1853. His graduating speech on “The Sublimity of the Psalms” is attuned to the rhythm and sweep, the beauty and grandeur of those matchless lyrics of the human heart; and in all his subsequent life his pulse beat time to their stately music and his face never lost the radiance of their blessed light. His
REV. SOLOMON POOL., D.D.
life was a transcript of the twenty-third Psalm. In the December following his graduation he was elected tutor of mathematics in the University, and in 1860 he was raised to the adjunct professorship of mathematics, which position he held for six years. In 1869 he was elected President of the State University. This office he held until 1875, when he left Chapel Hill and became principal of a school in Cary, N. C., of which he remained in charge for three years.
On the ninth of June, 1856, he was married to Miss Cornelia Kirkland, of Chapel Hill, who has proven herself to be a most excellent wife and mother. To them were born six sons and two daughters, all of whom, with their mother, still survive him.
Near the close of the year 1856 he was licensed to preach. From that time he preached regularly once a month in the Chapel of the University, while there was an ever increasing demand for his services in other pulpits. He was ordained deacon at Raleigh by Bishop Early December 8, 1862, and elder by Bishop George F. Pierce at Fayetteville, N. C., November 11, 1866.
After his connection with the University ceased, he was often employed to fill vacancies, as they occurred, in the most important pastoral charges in the North Carolina Conference. Among the churches which he served in this connection were: Edenton Street church, Raleigh; Centenary church, Winston, and West Market Street church, in Greensboro.
It had not been his plan to enter the traveling connection; but the calls for him as supply were so frequent, his ministrations so popular, and his labors so fruitful, that he yielded to the solicitation of a host of friends and, at the age of fifty-three years, he was received into the North Carolina Conference, in November, 1885.
Solomon Pool was a sincere patriot; he passionately loved his native State and country. He deplored, as only a pure man can, the evils and scandals of the reconstruction of North Carolina after the Civil War. He never belonged to any political party, because, as he said, he had no time to study politics. But he studied men, and felt a strong interest in public affairs, and invariably voted for the candidates regardless of their party affiliations, who, in his judgment, were best qualified by character and ability to serve the public.
His Christian character was not only above reproach, but was absolutely above suspicion, his enemies themselves being judges. His piety was unaffected, simple and sincere. His face was always sunny with the inspiration of good-will towards all men. His feelings and thoughts were highly refined and chaste, and his words seasoned with grace. Yet, gentle as the gentlest, and adverse to sanguinary strife, occasion showed that he possessed the moral courage of the ancient martyrs. He was not cast in the mould of the steel-clad knight who, with the battle-axe, hewed his way through the opposing cohorts, but, when the day of trial came, he stood forth in the mail of his own integrity, a hero of a higher order, with an eye that saw beyond the circumscribed vision of his contemporaries, and with a breast bared to the storm for their sake.
He was a devoted husband. He loved his children devotedly, he treated them tenderly, he instructed them carefully and diligently, he enjoyed their society and joined them in their innocent games with all the zest of boyhood; he made them his companions, and was seldom seen on the streets, or traveling abroad, but that one or more of his boys accompanied him. To them home was a veritable paradise.
In youth he laid the foundation for broad and thorough scholarship, and was a diligent student in many departments of useful knowledge through all his active life, but especially in Biblical and theological lore.
As an educator he was eminently successful, possessing extraordinary adaptability for that high profession.
Through all his life he was zealously engaged in the great temperance reform in all its phases, and his tongue was never more eloquent than when advocating its principles, or when depicting the effects of intemperance.
As a pastor he was systematic in looking after all the interests of his charge. He was no recluse, but visited from house to house, and knew all his flock and their needs. He won the love of the children, the admiration of the young and the highest esteem of all. In the homes of sickness, sorrow and poverty, his presence was a benediction. He possessed revival power, and many were born of the Spirit through his public and private ministrations.
In the pulpit he was prepared, self-poised, graceful and instructive, a complete master of rhetoric and oratory, a sound theologian and a most eloquent expounder of gospel truths. Every sermon was a polished gem, sparkling with profound thought and beauty of expression. His preaching everywhere attracted and held large congregations. He was a master of assemblies.
In the darkest days of Dr. Pool's life this writer was his pastor. I was permitted to look through his soul then, and again when he was at the zenith of his popularity and power, and I profoundly believe that, take him all in all, he was the purest and best man I ever knew.
EXTRACT FROM LETTER.
Theodore A. Pool, youngest son of Rev. Solomon Pool, of Baltimore, Md., writes thus of him: “My father reduced very little to writing; in his case the tongue was mightier than the pen. He was greater as an orator than as a writer. He could by utterance give grandeur to even commonplace language. After he was paralyzed and had the use of only one-half of his tongue, his articulation in reciting poetry was absolutely charming. In the pulpit he never availed himself of manuscript, using only brief notes as a guide to his discourse, and but seldom referring to them. His ability as an offhand speaker was marvelous, and was due no doubt to his profound learning. It was not necessary for him to memorize. The flow of his thought was at its best when he was speaking and had before him the stimulus of upturned faces. Unless his language was reported verbatim a great deal of its beauty was lost.
The only sermons that I am able to furnish you for your book are, in my judgment, not typical of my father's best work. But tradition will accord to him the high praise which he deserves. The story of his life and his work will be affectionately handed down by word of mouth to coming generations.”THE PERSONNEL OF THE TWELVE.
(“He sat down with the Twelve”—Matt. XXVI, 20.)
The text places us in the midst of Christ and his Apostles as they were assembled at the last supper. The artist has transferred the interesting scene to canvas; the pictures of hang in our parlors and
dressing rooms and chambers. In that guest chamber are gathered a company of men, in many respects the most illustrious in the world's history. Matthew, in the tenth chapter and second verse, groups them by twos; Luke, sixth chapter and thirteenth verse, does the same. Let us contemplate them to-day.
1. Their Posture: The text says Christ “sat down with the twelve.” In the original, the word here translated, “sat”, means reclined. It is probable the posture was a recumbent one; hence of John it is said, he “leaned” on Jesus’ breast at the supper. The Mosaic law required this supper to be eaten in haste, probably standing, typical of the hasty exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt, but the rabbinical authorities before Christ's day had introduced the reclining posture as typifying rest. Today we offer you the bread, and will, in the language of our rubric, say, “Take this holy sacrament to your comfort, meekly kneeling upon your knees.” We attach no essential importance to the posture, but deem this, when convenient, most expressive of humility and devotion. We do not hesitate to administer the sacrament to the lame or infirm either sitting or reclining. Let the heart be right and you will be equally blest, whether sitting, kneeling, walking, or reclining as did Christ with the twelve. There are two sacraments only known to Protestantism, and these are both too holy and spiritual to be hampered or vitiated by the bondage of mere forms.
2. Their Number.—“Twelve.” Among the Jews this number was sacred and symbolic. It was probably so because of the twelve tribes, or the twelve months of the year, or, as some think, because of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. In the New Jerusalem, St. John beheld twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels.
The city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. In the midst of it the tree of life bore twelve manner of fruits, and with the Lamb on Mt. Zion stood twelve times twelve thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads; all typed at the supper, when “He sat down with the twelve.”
3. Their Individuality. Look at the twelve. There is Simon Peter, quick, fiery, vacillating, impetuous, zealous even to rashness; and coupled with him is Andrew, his brother, manly, firm; sharing that austerity which characterized John the Baptist, who pointed him to the Saviour. In the second group is James, the greater; bold, earnest, vehement, a Boagernes; and coupled with him is John, his brother, mild, modest, gentle as a child and affectionate as a woman, the youngest of the twelve, and yet subsequently made the guardian of our Lord's mother. In the third group is Philip, the first whom Christ called to the discipleship, cultured, polished, skilled in the law and the prophets, indefatigable, powerful, successful; and coupled with him is Nathanael, his son in the gospel, cautious, discreet, pure—“an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile.” In the fourth group is Thomas, earnest, determined, sublimely courageous, but so matter of fact and of such a skeptical turn of mind as to win for himself the soubriquet of “doubting Thomas;” and coupled with him is Matthew, the rich Roman official who forsook office and wealth for the sake of the despised Nazarene—an instance of grand self-denial. In the fifth group is James, the less, subsequently bishop at Jerusalem, pious, devout, pure as a snow flake—surnamed the Just; and coupled with him is his own brother, Thaddeus, inquisitive, incisive, unsparing
in his denunciation of evil, but true as steel to his holy calling and apostleship. In the sixth group is Simon, the zealot, ardent, active, sectarian, once a bigot, now a brand plucked from the burning; and coupled with him is Judas, the traitor; covetous, sordid, base, corrupt, a devil incarnate, doomed to perdition. Here clustered around the Savior was every shade of human character, and “He sat down with the twelve”.
From the personnel of the twelve we learn two lessons—first, that the presence of bad persons at the Lord's table is no valid excuse for our refusing to partake of this holy sacrament. Had Peter and Andrew suspected each other of unworthiness or hypocrisy, and refused to partake of the last supper; had James been jealous of John, and John uncharitable towards James; had Philip despised Nathanael's lowliness, and Nathanael felt snubbed by the educated, polished Philip; had Thomas doubted the integrity of Matthew, and Matthew scorned the skepticism of Thomas; had James, the less, been offended at the harshness of Thaddeus, and Thaddeus envied James, who was to be bishop; had Simon, once a bigoted sectarian, said, “I will not have fellowship with Iscariot, nor be coupled with the traitor;” had all the eleven thus, in a pet, refused to eat the bread and drink the tonic, Christ would have been left alone at the table with the “devil”. “Charity covereth a multitude of sins”. Christ taught you and me a beautiful lesson when “He sat down with the twelve”.
Let our second lesson be this, that the simple fact of partaking of this sacrament will not save. It is a means of grace and a blessed privilege, but salvation comes from no outward observances—it is the fruit of faith in Jesus Christ. Peter went from the Lord's
last holy supper, and, in an early hour of temptation, bitterly denied his master with an oath; and Judas went out to betray Jesus with a kiss, and thence hastened on to the suicide's fate. Oh, if you have denied or betrayed your Lord, come with humble penitence and loving hearts, saying, “For me, He died for me.”
4. Their Sequel. Judas Iscariot died the death of a suicide. The remainder, excepting John, after years of faithful service, have been supposed by some to have sealed the truth with their blood. It has been said that Simon, the zealot, died upon the cross in Great Britain, that Thaddeus was cruelly put to death in Persia, and James, the less, dispatched with a fuller's club, and that Matthew was slain with a halbert, and that Thomas was run through with a lance, and that Nathanael was cruelly martyred in Great Armenia, and that Philip was crucified in Phrygia, and James, the greater, was beheaded by order of the infamous Herod, and Andrew and Peter were crucified, the latter with his head downward. John, alone, delivered from the cauldron of burning oil, stood on the sea-girt isle of Patmos, and beheld a great multitude whom no man could number, standing before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palms in their hands. “These are they that have come up out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
“Seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Some years ago I visited old Independence Hall in the city of Philadelphia. In a room of the building
I found myself in the presence of life-size forms of the immortal signers of the Declaration of American Independence. There was the president, John Hancock, in his chair, bold, decisive, courageous as a lion; and all around me were the Adamses, and Robert Treat Paine, and Elbridge Gerry, and Stephen Hopkins, and Roger Sherman, and Morris and Floyd, and Benjamin Rush and Benjamin Franklin, and Richard Henry Lee and Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia; and Hooper and Hews and Penn, of North Carolina; and Rutledge and Hayward and Lynch and Middleton, of South Carolina; and Charles Carroll of Carrollton; and their noble compeers. And so I loved to linger there and read each face. But upward and forward, brethren, we look for a grander assemblage than that. There, with Jesus at the head, shall sit the saints of all ages in holy communion, drinking the wine with Him in our Father's kingdom. May we all meet there, and, in anticipation of this, let us surround the table of the Lord now.THE ONLY FOUNDATION.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.—I Cor. iii: 11.
Many persons are satisfied with a very carelessly constructed system of theology. They bestow less thought upon eternal than upon temporal concerns. They are careful to inform themselves well in secular matters, but in respect to religion they hastily assume some principle and then hurry away. And yet there are probably very few who do not form some actual and positive opinion upon religious matters, however carelessly obtained. Upon this
are based their expectations of a better future. Upon this, as a foundation, whether false or true, fanciful or real, hope rears her superstructure. All have hope, and to something all trust—the pagan to his idol-gods, the Mohammedan to his Koran, the Hindoo to his Shastra, the Infidel to his skepticism, the Pharisee to his self-righteousness, the Christian to his Saviour.
The text is an expression which pertains to architecture, and sets forth the only true foundation on which hope can build. All other foundations are vain and unreal, for “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Without effort at anything new or original, I propose in this discussion, first to consider a few of the false foundations which underlie the hopes of certain classes to be met in an average American congregation; and secondly, to notice the only true foundation.1. False Foundations.
Of course I shall not notice the vain hope of those who trust to idols, for we have no pagans in our midst. Nor shall I refer to the Mohammedan faith, for there are no followers of the false prophet among us. I also pass unnoticed the bold and daring atheist who denies the existence of his Creator, and brainlessly affirms that all things come by chance As far back as the days of David none but the “fool” dared say such a thing, and he only in his heart. A specimen of the living atheist cannot be found in an average American congregation. He must be dug out as a fossil imbedded in the moral strata of a distant epoch, or be sought among the rubbish and debris of buried centuries. Nor shall I notice
that rank form of infidelity which denies the authenticity of divine revelation, blasphemously enthrones Reason as the god of the universe, and bases its hopes of a better state upon human systems alone. Passing by all these, I propose to consider the false foundations upon which three several classes in our own midst base their hopes of eternal happiness.
The first of these base their hopes of salvation on the general mercy of God, without reference to the atonement of Christ. They faintly hope that perhaps all this talk about future, eternal punishment is a mistake; that perhaps all these appeals from the pulpit are only part of the preacher's business; that he presents his cause just as do other professional men, and after all that perhaps the whole exercise is merely perfunctory and does not actually demand their serious attention; that the infinite goodness of God will certainly rescue them, and that they cannot really be sent to such a place of torment as the Bible speaks of. It is upon some such vague conception as this that many base their hopes and seem satisfied. With such an uncertainty before them in temporal matters they would not for a moment think of embarking in an enterprise of trade, and yet they risk upon it their eternal interest. The frail skiff in which they would not venture out upon the serene bosom of an inland bay in time, they carelessly board and launch forth upon the great ocean of eternity.
The error of this class is manifest first from the fact that their view is not in unison with revealed truth. This mercy to which they trust is not that which has been offered to man. It is true that God has promised His mercy, but only on specified conditions; those conditions must be complied with, or
we cannot justly claim the promise. Suppose you are suffering with some dreadful malady; a benevolent man offers to relieve you; he certainly may reserve the right of doing it in his own way. It matters not whether it be by a potion which you are to imbibe, or by a touch of his hand, or by the use of his lancet, or by bidding you employ the service of a third person to whose care you are to entrust yourself. You might perhaps have preferred a different method, but you will certainly admit that he has the right of befriending you in his own way, and especially if that be the only efficient way. You might have liked it better perhaps if he had simply by a magic touch, or by a motion of his hand, bidden the awful disease begone, but say, have you therefore any just ground of complaint? In his benevolence and his wisdom he has prescribed the best, and perhaps the only means for your restoration. If you refuse that, you die. And so it is with reference to spiritual things. Man is diseased. A moral malady threatens him with eternal death. The poison of sin is in his veins. God has revealed the plan whereby he may be saved. He bids him look to the Saviour and live. He offers salvation and eternal life, but it is only through His Son. He declares that the believer in Jesus shall be saved—that the unbeliever shall be damned; that there is no other way given among men whereby we can be saved, but by simple faith in Christ; that as the leprous Syrian captain could only hope to be healed by seven ablutions in the waters of Jordan, so the leprosy of sin can only be washed away by atoning blood. It might have accorded better with your feelings if God had allowed you to dictate the terms of your pardon. It might have been less humiliating to your pride to go directly to Him for mercy,
rather than to the Babe of Bethlehem, the Man of Sorrows; but the revealed plan is different, and in rejecting that you scorn His bounty and insult His Son.
Then, too, this presumptous confidence in God's mercy does violence to His character. It makes Him merciful, but destroys His justice. It belies the written word, and dismantles Deity of part of His glory. Look at some of the declarations of Holy Writ. Referring to the enemies of Christ, it is written, “Their end is destruction” (Philip. iii: 19); “When they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thess. v: 2, 3); “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (II Thess. i: 7-9); Fiery indignation shall devour the adversaries;” * * “Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord” (Heb. x: 27-30); “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. xii: 29). These and untold similar declarations of sacred truth are made false by him who claims salvation through the mercy of God, outside of Christ.
Do you complain that a single sin cannot justly deserve eternal punishment? How can you decide a question of whose merits you may be utterly ignorant? And there is no one who can say he has committed but one sin. The most moral and upright will not, nor will they deny the corruption of their natural appetites and affections. And then, after having sinned every day, can they justly dictate the terms on which they will agree to be pardoned? And then, in order to accommodate themselves, they
propose to substitute for the gospel plan of salvation, one of their own invention, which belies the written word, eliminates some of the sublimest of the divine attributes, and annuls the whole work of redemption. But this is not all. This vain confidence in the divine goodness must be destructive of all morality and uprightness. The good and bad are placed upon the same footing. There is no incentive to holiness and no restraint upon vice. If the divine mercy will rescue all, then the flood-gates of sin are thrown wide open, and the world is deluged with uncleanness. He who builds upon such a foundation builds upon sand. Hope may rear upon it her beautiful superstructure, but, however attractive and charming, the whirlwind of God's wrath will sweep it away.
There is a second class who make a moral life the foundation of their hopes. The principle they assume is, that general propriety of deportment merits the salvation of the soul. They claim salvation on the ground of good works, instead of faith in Christ. There was a man of business whose honesty was proverbial in the community where he lived, but he made no profession of faith in Christ. He was approached by a friend who kindly inquired concerning his hopes for eternity. “They are entirely satisfactory to me, sir,” he replied. “Do you believe in God, and do you accept the Bible as his revealed will?” “Certainly I do sir,” he said. “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, and look for salvation through the atonement he has made?” “By no means,” he replied. “Have you repented of your sins?” “Not at all, sir,” he said. “Do you believe that all men will be saved?” “I do not, sir.” “Do you believe that some will be lost?” “I certainly do.” “Then, sir,” said the friend, “will you be good enough to tell me on what your hopes of heaven are based?” “Upon this,” he replied; “I have all my
life made it a point to be perfectly fair and honest in all my dealings with my fellow-men; I have never wronged, nor cheated, nor defrauded a human being; no one living or dead can say I have ever done him an intentional wrong; I have been generous and liberal to the full extent of my ability, and am satisfied that in all respects my life has been more moral and exemplary than that of many of my professed Christian neighbors. I do not believe, sir, that God will cast me into hell.” Now here was a most illustrious example of what may be termed commercial integrity, and it existed without piety. The religious element was entirely lacking, and yet the man was self-complacent and tranquil upon the subject of his soul's salvation. He had no love for God in his heart and was, therefore, unfit for heaven. He refused salvation through Christ, was trusting to his own fancied merit, and expecting to steal into heaven as a thief or a robber.
There may be morality without piety; from such I withhold not the proper admiration, but it cannot qualify you for heaven. All good works which do not spring from faith in Christ and love for God are no more than so many splendid sins. But while there may be morality without piety, yet there can be no genuine piety without morality. The infidel, Hume, never uttered a more palpable fallacy than when he affirmed that natural honesty of temper is a better security for a correct course of conduct than religious principle. The man whose sinful nature has not been renewed is like him who carries gunpowder in his pocket; it is liable at any moment to ignite and blow him into ruin. Sin is gunpowder, temptation the spark. Piety is the only sure safeguard of virtue. The superstructure which hope rears upon a moral life may be pleasing to the eye and win the admiration of the world, but the foundation
is insecure, and it cannot stand the test of the final day; for “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
The third class whom I notice base their religious hopes on sensibility. The former class based theirs upon conduct, these upon emotion; those upon what they do, these upon what they feel. They love to meet with the people of God in public worship; their hearts glow, and their spirits are stirred within them, as they engage in the outward formal services of the sanctuary, or listen to the pointed appeals of the preacher; and yet, all the while, they may have no evangelistic faith or engrossing affection for the Saviour. As respects vital godliness they may be as soundly asleep as if hushed into the insensibility of death. These feelings, it is true, may be, and often are, concomitants of piety, and so is morality. They may be part of the superstructure, but not its foundation. The grand fabric of Christian character rests upon a firmer foundation than mere sensibility.
You may take the atheist, the infidel, the Mohammedan or the pagan who has never heard of God or Christ or heaven or hell, and his spirit will be aroused under strains of melody, or in view of scenes of beauty and sublimity. Let him stroll in the golden blush of a serene May morning amid the meadows and the lawns besprinkled with blue and pink and crimson and saffron; let him ascend the mountain side and behold the vast lineaments of creation, the distant glimpse of cottage and field, of waving forest and winding stream, of rushing mountain torrent and overhanging glacier; would it be an evidence of piety if his feelings were enkindled at such a perspective as that? Then let his eyes be raised to behold the shining canopy with its millions of blazing suns and silver moons and gleaming stars; let him fully realize that these are not dreary, unpeopled
solitudes, but that they all are magnificently garnished homes of sentient, intelligent beings like himself, and he would need no piety to elevate his spirit in the midst of such a sublime contemplation. And so, a man may be stirred by the recital of some deed of injustice or of benevolence; he may be aroused by force of a logical argument; he may be moved to tears by a remembrance of his own ungrateful acts, and yet conscience may slumber on, repentance may not be exercised, and faith may as yet have found no lodgment in his soul. So the feelings may be stirred by the sacred services of the sanctuary, when heaven with its glories is painted in words that breathe and thoughts that burn, and yet the love of God may never have taken possession of the heart. All religious emotion, outside of Christ, is sheer sentimentalism, and no sure basis of religious hope.
Then build upon the Rock of Ages.
Thus saith the Lord: “Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.” This stone, rejected and set at naught of builders, has “become the headstone of the corner.” It is the foundation of “Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.” It is so strong and firm and broad that all men may build securely upon it. The storms cannot shake it, the floods cannot unsettle it, the tooth of time cannot crumble it. This, and this alone, is the only true foundation of religious hope—simple faith in Jesus Christ, a renunciation of every other refuge and a confident reliance upon Him alone for salvation.
It is related that when Johnson, the prince of English writers, was about to die, he became deeply concerned for his future. At a distance there lived
a pious old man in whom he had great confidence. A messenger was dispatched to the old Christian with the request that he would come quickly and instruct the dying man in the plan of salvation. The message was delivered, but the old Christian simply took pencil and paper and wrote, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” He enclosed and sealed it, and sent it to the dying man. The accomplished scholar seized the paper, broke the seal and read; but, disappointed and impatient, threw it aside, and bade the messenger hasten back and again entreat the old Christian to come to his bedside and teach him the way of life. Again the message was delivered, and again the old Christian replied “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” The dying man read it once more. The truth, like sunlight, flashed upon him. He looked, he saw, he trusted, and was saved.
I would tell you then
- “That same old story,
- Of unseen things above,
- Of Jesus and his glory,
- Of Jesus and his love.
- I love to tell the story,
- More wonderful it seems
- Than all the golden fancies
- Of all our jewelled dreams.
- I love to tell the story,
- ’Twill be my theme in glory,—
- To tell the old, old story
- Of Jesus and his love.”
A mother once took her idle boy, who would not learn, and shut him in a room alone. In his hand she placed the open book and bade him study. An hour, and she returned. The boy had thrown his book aside, and was playing with the toys that lay
scattered upon the floor, or gazing at the paintings which hung upon the walls of the room. She removed from the room every toy, and every object which she thought would attract his attention. An hour, and she returned again. He was amusing himself with the pictures of birds and flowers upon the pages of his book. So she tore out the single leaf which contained his lesson, and, placing simply that in his hand, bade him keep his eye upon it. So taking from your view every interesting object, every earthly attraction, every worldly toy and picture, and every fond, vain hope, I would point you simply to “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.”
I see two men go forth to build. One is wise, the other foolish. Each rears a noble structure and adorns it with all the charms and embellishments of taste and art. In the outward form and appearance of the two edifices I detect scarcely a shade of difference. Each man, with self-complacency and satisfaction, enters and for a time resides. But by and by the heavens grow black with threatening storm-clouds. The rain descends, the tempest beats, the weird winds whistle, the floods rush on, and all is hidden from my eye in the gathered gloom. At length the morning sunlight breaks upon the scene, and I look again. One building lies a heap of ruins; it was built upon the sand. The other still lifts its towering height in bold defiance of the storm. It has baffled the tempest and the flood, for it was founded upon a rock. Hark! from the dismantled relics of the one, and from the abiding glory of the other, there rings out the lesson of the text: “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
THEODORE A. POOL.
Theodore August Pool is the youngest of six sons born to Solomon Pool and his wife, Cornelia Kirkland. From childhood he has manifested a great love for books, and in some degree inherits the literary gifts of his talented father. His life since the dawn of manhood has been too strenuous to permit the cultivation of those gifts. Soon after completing his public school education he took up the study of shorthand, “thinking,” as he expresses it, “how fine it would be to take down the eloquent speeches of great orators and read them at leisure.” He soon became an expert in his chosen line of work, and has held several responsible positions in North Carolina, Virginia and Baltimore.
In 1892 he entered the law office of Judge David Schenck, of Greensboro, N. C., as secretary. Judge Schenck was then Division Counsel for the Richmond and Danville Railroad Company for the State of North Carolina. After that company went into the hands of receivers, they appointed Judge Schenck as their Consulting Counsel, and Hon. Charles Price, of Salisbury, N. C., was made Division Counsel for them. Theodore Pool served Mr. Price as private secretary for five years, from 1893 to 1898, when he resigned to accept a position in the Ordnance Department of the Norfolk Navy Yard. After the death of his father he located in Baltimore, where he opened an office of his own as a public stenographer in the “down town” section of Baltimore. While engaged as a public stenographer in Baltimore, Theodore Pool was employed to report the addresses on the occasion of a Jubilee Celebration at Grace Episcopal Church, December 13-14, 1902. One
of the speeches reported was that of Bishop Henry C. Potter, of New York. This address was published as transcribed (without revision by Bishop Potter) in the “Grace Church Record,” and a copy of the paper was afterwards sent to Bishop Potter. He wrote to Dr. A. C. Powell, the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, saying that the person who reported his address deserved a place in the front rank of American stenographers.
On May 1st, 1903, Theodore Pool became private secretary to Hon. Henry D. Harlan, Chief Judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. This position he held until January 1st, 1909, when he was appointed by the Supreme Bench as official court reporter for the Criminal Court of Baltimore, which position he still retains.
While secretary to Judge Harlan, he took the law course at the University of Maryland, where he graduated June 4, 1906, with the degree of LL. B. Shortly afterwards he passed the State bar examination and was admitted to the Maryland bar.
On November 30, 1905, he married Roschelle F. Bosman, of Norfolk, Va. He owns a beautiful home in the suburbs of Baltimore (“The Terraces,” Mt. Washington, Md.) where he and his wife and four splendid children—one daughter and three sons—revel in the delights of country sights and sounds, away from the noise of the city.
Theodore Pool is a man of fine intellectual endowment, broad culture and indefatigable energy and determination. He has decided talent as a literary critic both of prose and verse. His many fine qualities of heart and brain, his courage in facing and overcoming difficulties, his unselfish devotion to duty, his high sense of honor, and his noble and lofty character come to him as a priceless heritage.
- On dreary nights and dark, th’ Atlantic coast,
- From th’ farthest point in Maine to Lookout Cape
- On Carolina's shore, is mark'd with lights,
- Like those a city street along. But when
- We view those beacons, do we pause to think
- What hardships and what dangers were endured
- By those who built them there the ships to warn?
- Behold a bold, black knot of rock just off
- The southeast chop of Massachusetts Bay:
- At high tide by the flood ’twas hid entire—
- Its place known only, when the waves were calm,
- By a treach'rous eddy, oily-smooth, and when
- The teasing winds were stirring, by a few
- Snake-like and restless breakers rolling there.
- In one-third of a century two-score
- And three vessels had been to pieces dash'd
- Upon that fatal rock, and three times sev'n,
- With all their crews, had totally been lost.
- One on that rock, ill-fated, agreed t’ build
- A tow'r of stone, in height one hundred feet
- And more. On his first visit to the reef,
- So slipp'ry with sea moss ’twas found, and waves
- Dash'd with such fierceness o'er it, no footing
- Could he there maintain. Part of the steep ridge
- Was always water-cover'd, while the rest,
- E'en at low tide, was ne'er at any time
- For more than a few brief hours, bare. Therefore
- His first task was to scrape the rock, the weeds
- To clear away, in order level steps
- To cut, a footing firm to get. Though death
- Each instant stared him in the face, and though
- All drench'd he was with foam continually,
- And rack'd with pain by th’ smart of salt sea-waves,
- One season long elaps'd ere he could cut
- A few small footholds in the slipp'ry rock.
- The next rolled round. An iron platform stood
- Above low water mark a score of feet:
- Between the piles on which it rested ropes
- Were stretch'd, to which, when th’ sea was high,
- He clung, to save from being wave-destroyed.
- The winter came. A big bark, coastward driv'n
- By a tempest, swept th’ platform far adrift,
- And crush'd the visage of the rock. The work
- Of two long years in a single night lay ruin'd!
- Another year roll'd by, and once again
- Four huge foundation stones were laid. And then,
- The fifth year saw the peerless light complete.
- And now upon a shaft of stone it shines—
- A rocky column which lifts high its head
- Above the place where once in darkness lay
- A dang'rous reef. And mariners may see
- Its crest of fire on black and stormy nights,
- And guide their vessels safely from the bar.
- Life is the ocean, error is the coast,
- And truth the light that warns us of the rocks
- On which immortal souls have been storm-wreck'd
- And lost forevermore. And as we steer
- Our barks clear of the dang'rous reefs, known by
- The beacon lights which send their warning flash
- Far out across the sweep of ranging floods,
- How often do we think of what heart-pain
- And trials sore and perils were endured
- To build those tow'rs of strength, to light and guide
- Away from error's hidden rocks and shoals
- The wand'ring souls on life's tempestuous sea?
- Those men of character, sublime and true,
- Who rise above their fellows like a tow'r
- Of light—truth's bold apostles, who have dared
- To face the clash of error and of wrong,
SHE STOOD AMID THE ROSES.
- And send a warning light far out at sea—
- They are the beacon lights along life's shore.
- The toiler who has spent long, weary years
- Of patient labor, sometimes finds his work
- In one short hour undone by circumstance.
- Tho’ shatter'd be his hopes, it is only
- For a season. As on the treach'rous coast
- The bark, storm-driv'n, sometimes destroys
- In its incipiency the lighthouse tow'r,
- Smashes the rock and goes to ruin down,
- Thus manifesting in its fate the need
- Of beacon lights to guide the flound'ring crafts,
- So when the victims of gross error would
- Assail pure truth when it doth first appear,
- And seem to crush it with their bitter strength,
- The face of error at the selfsame time
- Is smash'd; and truth's apostle will pursue
- His glorious avocation, till the base
- Of a strong tow'r is laid, to ev'ry
- Storm of hate defiance bidding, and at last
- Upon that tow'r, where once grim error lay,
- The beacon light of truth will brightly shine,
- And guide the wand'rer on his homeward way.
- She stood amid the roses, lovely as a poet's dream.
- Shone the moon in all its splendor, twinkling stars began to gleam.
- The soul of fragrance stood she, sweeter than the fairest flow'r;
- And, as crowning the enchantment, lo! from out a quaint old bow'r
- A witching stream of music from a tuneful fountain flowed—
- Rapture overrun with list'ning to the mock-bird's ev'ning ode.
- She stood amid the roses: At the will of love he came,
- Kneeling gently at her feet—and tenderly he breathed her name.
- Night's shadow gave him boldness, nerv'd his heart to speak its pain:
- Dross of doubt embitters love when fancy fears ’tis all in vain.
- Hope waved her banner, courage! timid Love turn'd brave and bold—
- Bade his tongue reveal the passion, which it trembled to unfold.
- “I kneel amid these roses, and have lost my wonted fears:
- In my life thou cam'st a rainbow—arch'd the anguish of my tears.
- Thou art a blessed promise, that the flood of grief, no more,
- Shall oppress my wretched spirit, with its blackness, as of yore.
- Thine image haunts my vision—chain'd by tender bands of hope—
- Gladd'ning, with its bright appearance, all my being's anxious scope.
- “I kneel amid these roses! Kindness sits enthroned, I know,
- In those black orbs beauteous, that melt and kindle at my woe.
- Thy noble heart, a lily, holds the honey, innocence:
- Fame reports it pure as snow, but hard with cold indifference.
- Rare beauty like the rosebud's, virtue, honor—all are thine!
- Arrogance has snared my passion, thus to make such grace its shrine.
- “I kneel amid these roses, and my love is like the star,
- Burning bright and true and steady, in some spacious realm afar.
- My love would flood thy being, as those streams of diamond light,
- Gushing through the blushing east, pervade the gloomy cells of night.
- I love thee more than ocean loves you distant, silv'ry sphere:
- Earth no more reveres the sun than doth my true soul thee revere.
- “I kneel amid these roses, all my fortune to impart—
- All I have: A body pure; an earnest mind; a faithful heart;
- A soul that's strong and kindly: These I offer at thy feet—
- And if thou the gift disdainest, then will death seem passing sweet.
- To me would pain be pleasure, if endured to give thee joy:
- I will be so deeply true, thy life shall know not grief's alloy.
- “I kneel amid these roses! Be not like the flint or steel:
- Show thy heart a tender lily, pure as snowflakes, quick to feel.
- My life is thine to model, make its architecture grand:
- Though the object be unworthy, there is skill in thy white hand.
- Thy will shall be my pleasure, and thy comfort all my care!
- Be companion of my fate—life's deepest rapture with me share.”
THE HUMMING BIRD.
- They stood amid the roses, and in his she placed her hand:
- Her eyes met his with a friendly glance he could not understand.
- The flush upon her features vied the soft vermilion tint
- Which the dying sun at ev'ning pours from out his golden mint.
- “I do not now adore thee—I confess I'm fancy-free—
- Yet in truth I fain would love thee; so my loving teacher be.”
EAGLE AND OSPREY.
- With ruby throat aglittering
- Amid the magic green of spring,
- He seems a pansy rare, a-wing.
- His food is nectar in a bloom,
- Sipp'd while a-pois'd ’mid sweet perfume,
- To the soft sound of humming plume.
- If we lov'd music, sweets and flow'rs,
- And liv'd always in sunny bow'rs,
- Like this wee sprite, what joy were ours?
- King of the feather'd tribes of air,
- Why should he shun the day god's stare?
- He looks full in the face the sun,
- And, soaring over storm-clouds dun,
- He holds the lightning in disdain,
- And at the thunder screams amain.
- He builds his eyrie on the crown
- Of monarch mountains. Leagues adown,
- The tides of Neptune yield the food
- On which he feeds his kingly brood.
- The scaly tribute thus supplied
- Is filched by ospreys from the tide.
- The eagle watches from his height,
- And downward swoops in rapid flight,
- Cleaves like a thunderbolt the air,
- Gliding a fearful space, to where
- The osprey, struggling with the prize,
- Beholds him with astonish'd eyes.
- The osprey turns; fear aids his wing:
- He labors to elude his king.
- At first the eagle is outflown,
- But soon his mighty strength is shown:
- He gains on the ascending foe,
- And at his bold head aims a blow.
- The osprey then, to save himself,
- Unsheathes his talons from the pelf.
- The shining booty, like a beam,
- Glides swiftly towards the ocean-stream.
- What speed can conquer its descent,
- And wrench it from its element?
- The eagle poises a brief space—
- And then begins a wondrous race!
- The finny tenant of the deep
- Falling from heaven, sheer and steep,
- Its swift descent by gravic might
- Is match'd against the lord of flight.
THE RIGHT WAY.
- The scaly prize, already low,
- Starts with momentum, far from slow.
- The eagle, like a bolted flame,
- Down hurtles with unerring aim,
- And, ere the bright mark sinks from sight,
- He grasps it in his talons tight.
- He grasps it with his talons keen,
- Bearing it skyward to his queen,
- Who waits him in a golden cloud.
- She screams her welcome, long and loud.
- Then, canopied by th’ heav'nly dome,
- They hie them to their far-off home.
- There their lov'd eaglets restless cry—
- A princely brood, anear the sky,
- Yearning to leave their rocky home,
- Th’ circumambient air to roam.
- The food brought to them from the deep,
- Allays their hunger and they sleep.
- The baffled osprey preens his plumes,
- And then his poaching bold resumes.
- A gleam in the transparent tide
- Is by him instantly espied.
- He plunges in, seizes the prey,
- And bears it, dripping pearls, away.
- When a marred portrait is to be restored,
- Amendment with the worst stain should begin:
- With that removed, improvement soon sets in.
- Thus Christ in his salvation first outpoured
- His healing on a leper. Him adored
- The weak and fallen. So, if ye would win
- God's praise, start with the worst results of sin
- In man: Lift from despair the deepest lower'd,
- And, to the race entire, most good afford.
SENATOR JOHN POOL.
(From Senator Joseph S. Fowler's oration.)
This distinguished man was born in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, June 16th, 1826, and died in Washington, D. C., August 16th, 1884. He was born on a plantation near Elizabeth City, and reared there until he entered the University of North Carolina, where he graduated second in the distinguished class of 1847. The same year he was admitted to the bar, and commenced the practice of law in Elizabeth City. He soon went to the front at a bar renowned for its learning and eloquence. Such men as Ruffin, Badger, Pearson and Stanley, eminent in the State and nation, had to be encountered. It is no small honor that he won his reputation at such a period. But the forum was not the field on which he was destined to achieve his greatest success. He entered early the domain of politics and statesmanship. His high mental endowments forbade his occupying a secondary place. It was impossible for him to breathe the air of mediocrity; he was by nature destined to tread the ice-clad ranges of jurisprudence. The practice of his profession was distasteful. The subjects involved in political life were more congenial, and he naturally drifted into that channel. He entered the field at the most intense period in the contest over slavery, and after his own State had passed entirely over to the ranks of the slave interest.
In his boyhood Mr. Pool had followed the banner of Henry Clay, borne by the dauntless Kenneth Rayner, to whom he ever remained devoted. In the course of time the pupil became the leader, and was supported by his former mentor with heroic enthusiasm.
SENATOR JOHN POOL.
In the years 1856 and 1858 he was returned to the State Senate from his district. He distinguished himself in that body. So marked was the impression that in the year 1860 the Whigs chose him as their candidate for Governor. He made a brilliant and impressive canvass, and was after this ranked among the ablest statesmen and political advocates in the State. He was defeated, but he had greatly reduced the majority of the opposition. He plead for the union of the States, for the exercise of reason and forbearance. It was against the tide of opinion and the wild shout for Southern rights. His effort to save his people from the threatening calamity was so earnest and rational that the better sentiment of the State was convinced, and ranked him among their ablest men. The hour of trial had come, and no power could avert the catastrophe. He had done all he could, and nothing was left for him but to retire to his home and await the issue. He remained at home during the eventful years of the war, until 1864 brought a gleam of peace. He was elected to the State Senate as a “peace man” and introduced his celebrated “Peace Resolutions”, but these well meant endeavors proved abortive. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1865 and served with distinction. He and the Hon. W. A. Graham were elected to the United States Senate. Congress did not deem it safe to admit the States as reorganized by President Johnson, and remanded them to military rule; consequently the members returned from the insurrectionary States were not admitted to their seats. When the State was reconstructed under the Act of Congress, Mr. Pool was again elected to the United States Senate, and took his seat in 1868, which he held until 1873, when the State passed into the hands
of the opposition. After that period, he practiced his profession in the city of Washington.
During his service in the Senate he was regarded as one of the ablest men in that body. He served on some of the leading committees with usefulness to the country and honor to himself.
John Pool was at no time the friend of war. He believed it adverse to all generous and noble sentiments, brutal and irrational in its methods, destructive of the public good, and useless as an agent in the adjustment of national disputes. He was an earnest friend and an active member of the “National Arbitration League.” He longed to see the peace of the world assured, not by devouring armies trained for the butchery of their race, but by the devout reverence of rational methods and the profound worship of humanity. His love of humanity was not bounded by the limits of his country; it extended wherever the race was struggling for a higher good. It is the duty of the more advanced to lift the degraded to a higher plain, not to despoil and destroy them. He regarded war as the crime of all crimes—the scourge of all nations—the organized foe of the race. Its machinery was a cruel and never-ending curse, the instrument of tyranny and the consumer of the people's labor. He thought it the sacred duty of all good men to unite their efforts to put an end to an unreasonable and cruel crime against all the virtues.
No State in the Union has contributed to its history more conspicuous individual and personal worth than North Carolina. From the first page in her history up to this good hour, she has furnished her full share of distinguished merit, and her story is replete with illustrious memories. In all the grand achievements of the nation her sons have filled, and
more, the measure of expectation. High among these illustrious names, the Muse of History will write that of John Pool. He was the representative child of his native State. In an eminent degree he possessed her virtues and none of her vices. His portraiture would be more truly the representative North Carolinian than any other I have ever known. His education was the best the University could furnish, and her efforts were not wasted. The seed fell in fertile soil, and yielded an abundant harvest. Highly esteemed by the faculty, he was the favorite of his fellow-students. His rich capacity and freedom from ambition relieved him from antagonism in this, the dawn of his promising intelligence. His mind was one of order, and all his information was carefully classified and arranged. He was a scientific lawyer, and had all the principles of the law classified, so that he could at once refer any subject to its proper place. The same was true in regard to his information on every subject. As a legal and political advocate he addressed himself to the understanding and reason. He made thorough preparation, “scorning to utter an unconsidered word” to a court or the people. He indulged in no appeals to passion. He believed this unworthy the advocate. Nor did he often, if ever, appeal to the more tender sentiments of our nature. He was, however, by no means destitute of these feelings. On the contrary, he was readily moved by an appeal to tender sensibilities. His emotional nature was not only active but easily aroused by injustice, oppression or tyranny. The strong side of his nature was the aesthetic. He loved the beautiful in form, color and sound, and was more readily moved by moral than by natural beauty. As an advocate his voice was clear and benevolent in tone, soft and gentle; his articulation so distinct that
he was readily heard without any effort in the open air or in large rooms. His manner, gesture, voice—the whole man—was always under the dominion of reason. His powers of analysis were of the highest order. In some respects he resembled President Johnson in this peculiar faculty. He was a more highly endowed man, had greater powers of invention and a richer imagination. They differed on many points, and especially in their ambition. This was the supreme motor in Mr. Johnson. Mr. Pool was entirely free from it. He believed that the people should select their agents unsolicited, whilst Mr. Johnson pressed his claims.
No man was ever more thoroughly self-poised. He carried this into every relation of life. In the domestic circle, in the drawing-room, at the bar, in the Senate, in the tumultuous assemblies where the populace was torn by passion, he was always the same unruffled, calm, gentle, unpretending gentleman. I have never known a man more thoroughly master of himself. He was above passion and incapable of blind resentment. His simple, elegant taste characterized all his actions. His mind was one of great comprehension, and his judgment exact. His knowledge of mechanical forces and his capacity to use them would have made him one of the first inventors of the age had he directed his attention exclusively to that subject.
To the firmness of the martyr he joined the meekness and gentleness of the child. He was the true friend of humanity; his heart bled freely for all that felt the heavy hand of affliction. He never cast off a faithful friend stricken by misfortune. Conscious of his worth, and proud of his noble qualities, he could, with the Cid, have shared his bed with the leper, and with Sidney have passed the cup of water to
the humble soldier whose wants were greater than his own. There was no human sufferer so humble that he would not reach forth his arm to rescue him from distress. I have seen him under all the various conditions that could elevate or distress the human heart, yet I never heard from him an angry word, an intemperate expression, or one unchaste or profane, no matter who were his auditors.
He rose above all dogmas and vulgar superstitions, and bowed with respectful reverence before the worship of all sincere persons. Faithful to his convictions, he held no claim to superior sanctity and put on no vulgar assumption of importance. He intended to merit the good will of his kind, and gave but little attention to public opinion: he knew that it was unreliable—today it was blessing, tomorrow cursing; but in the end he trusted in public justice if it was deserved.
He was by no means indifferent to the culture of his religious sentiments. If “religion is the emotion of reverence which the presence of the Universal Mind excites in the individual”, then was John Pool the most religious of men. All nature was to him instinct with the Divine, from the lowest forms of insensate matter up through all the forms of vegetable and animal life. His heart was responsive to its presence in every form of life. His comprehensive intelligence, his warm affection, embraced all, protected all, revered all. His was the religion of cheerfulness and duty. No gloomy fears shrouded humanity in the habiliments of woe. Every aspect around, from the ephemera sporting in the sunlight, to the distant stars that shine in glory through all the countless ages, were ministering angels inspiring love and reverence. The suppression of passion, the exercise of reason, and the cultivation of a living
love for all men, all life, he considered the supreme duties of men.
The strongest element of his nature was the love of liberty of soul and body. Subordination of the spirit to the will of another was the worst form of slavery. He detested every form of dominion over the minds and bodies of men. As he loved liberty for its own sake, he rejoiced to see other men enjoy it. Out of this element grew his political principles and conduct.
The life of John Pool was an eventful one. Born under a declining civilization, he grew up during the discussion of its merits, and participated in its extinction in every part of the Republic. He saw the old passing away, and on his vision broke the dawn of a grander day. From Nebo's loftiest peaks he looked into the promised land, and passed over and dwelt beneath the shadow of the tree of liberty, and saw a new heaven and a new earth that had arisen out of the old. He did not live long enough to realize in full the glorious promise of his labors, but long enough to felicitate himself upon the sacrifices he had made for the consummation of the coming age. He largely participated in working out for his native State and the nation one of the grandest moral revolutions in all time. The benefactors of mankind hope not to receive a grateful return for their services; they seldom escape the scourge, the cross of calumny. They have always been consecrated to the public good through sighs and groans and tears. For their sufferings the tears of sorrow must forever flow. The champions of a new era cannot escape the malignant arrows of an expiring one; but the hour has passed, “nor steel nor poison, malice—nothing can touch him further”.
This tender, strong man, so dignified in life, without
a struggle or a sigh, retired to his endless rest. No kinder friend, no more devoted husband, father or brother, has crossed the “sunless river's flow”. In all the relations of life he modestly and faithfully performed his duty.EXTRACT FROM LETTER WRITTEN BY THEODORE A. POOL TO BETTIE FRESHWATER POOL.
Baltimore, Md., October 3, 1915.
“I came at last to the proof-sheets containing the address of Uncle John (Senator John Pool) delivered in 1860 to the two literary societies at the University of North Carolina. While reading over all the splendid literary material you have gathered, I had all along been looking forward to this address, which I never before had the pleasure of reading. As I read this address I can truthfully say that I felt “like some watcher of the skies, when a new planet swims into his ken.” It was to me a revelation of greatness exceeding any that I had dreamed even this great man possessed. As I read it seemed to me that I could hear the melodious organ tones of the great ocean of truth as it lapped the shores of time. Truth seemed to breathe incarnate in this splendid oration. Surely each word, as was said of Goethe's Faust, was meant to endure for all eternity. What Dante makes Thomas Aquinas so finely say of Solomon may be said with equal truth of our illustrious kinsman:
- “Within, there is the lofty light, endow'd
- With sapience so profound, if truth be truth,
- That with a ken of such wide amplitude
- No second hath arisen!”
(Address delivered at the University of North Carolina, June 6, 1860.)
Gentlemen of the Philanthropic and Dialectic Societies:
It is a matter for congratulation to see the increasing interest manifested in the cause of education. The institutions under which we live impose a general diffusion of correct and useful knowledge. It may be, therefore, that a sense of patriotic duty, as well as of moral and religious obligation, prompts the zeal shown in all parts of the country in establishing and maintaining seminaries of learning.
This assembly, here today, participating in the annual festival of our University, comes to approve the faithfulness of teachers and to encourage students to diligence. Public attention thus directed to the proficiency of merit and to the shortcomings of indolence, by presenting an immediate motive for exertion, becomes an incentive to honorable emulation. Such encouragement is of no small importance to those who come fresh from the gentle influences and indulgent care of parental hands, to find the thoughtless ease and irresponsibility of childhood interrupted by a sterner discipline. Those best skilled in the training of youth testify to its utility. The constitution of the human mind requires some attainable object in view—some tangible reward of profit or praise—before it can overcome its natural inclination to ease, and bend to the reality of irksome toil. The anticipation of future returns for the sacrifices of the present must be strengthened by some occasional realization, in order to bring out the best energies of any human character. The knight, fighting among the hills of Palestine, though fired with
religious zeal and striking in the name of God and his honor, must needs seek some nearer recompense in the approving smiles of his lady. So the eyes of approving friends, and the visits of a generous public to greet success with honorable applause, gives to the mind of a student new vigor and to his fainting heart fresh courage for the task before him.
The college course so far from being a pathway of flowers should be one of rigid training. The education here obtained is preparatory to the great battle of life, and meant to fit you to become faithful and efficient soldiers. To advance with profit and honor requires no small amount of labor, perseverance and self-denial. The mere acquisition of knowledge should not be the primary object. Useful and varied information is certainly a very desirable incident of your literary and scientific studies. But the leading purpose should be to train and discipline the mind—to call it from vagueness and uncertainty to precision and system—that its wandering powers may be collected at will and concentrated upon a single point, thus bringing into practical use its entire activity and strength. Facts and rules committed to the uncertain keeping of the memory are comparatively useless acquirements. The mind must be made to grasp the principles, and to work out as much as possible by its own exertions, the logical deductions which lead to the truths that it would store away for future use. By no other means can it be qualified to enter successfully upon practical investigation or to rely with any degree of confidence upon the result of its own labors. This work is not in the power of teachers. Their judicious guidance and encouragement may facilitate, but can never insure the leading benefits of a proper education. A careful selection of studies and a well planned routine of intellectual exercises afford
much assistance; but after all it rests with the student himself. It is a struggle for mastery over his truant thoughts, to make them the subservient instruments of his will—and the victory cannot be gained without a fixed determination to pursue it with unfaltering purpose. The talisman to success is labor—determined, unflinching labor, until it becomes a habit—a second nature—a positive pleasure. Without it there can be no high degree of mental training. Only by repeated labor are the muscles and eye of the artist trained to works of skill and beauty. By such, the gladiator prepared himself for the deadly lists, and the aspirant for the olive crown became a victor at the Olympic games. The aspirant for intellectual excellence cannot too clearly learn that his more exalted aim can be reached by no less arduous means. He will find no road to it over which the rich may roll in chariots of ease while the poor walk in weary toil. Nor can he receive it as a birthright. It will not descend with the manor and the castle and the liveried servants. Neither can the work be done by hired laborers. But day by day and step by step, with patience and labor, he must work out for himself the rewards of success. If he attempt to recline upon a bed of roses, or listen to the siren of ease when she sounds her deluding notes, he will never feel the palm of victory press his brow.
Nor can there be any safe reliance upon the native powers of the intellect, however great. It is too often true that the most highly gifted are the most apt to neglect the proper cultivation of their endowments. Natural gifts of the most brilliant order may be neglected and misapplied until they become rather a curse than a blessing to their possessor—serving only to make him appreciate more keenly the high estate from which he has fallen—sharpening the pangs of
remorse and adding to the bitterness of regret the shame of self-condemnation. All are alike subject to the overruling necessity of depending on self-denying labor for the attainment of excellence in any department of life. In the private engagements, in the learned professions, in literature, science and the arts, it operates with the same binding and unavoidable certainty. Circumstances may give advantages, or chance may elevate for a time, but it serves only to make defects more conspicuous, and to increase the mortification of failure. Nothing but individual effort can secure individual excellence. And this is especially applicable to the student who would bring into usefulness, by wholesome discipline, those exalted gifts with which Providence has endowed man so eminently above the rest of creation. But it is an object worthy of his best exertions and within the reach of every one who brings requisite diligence to the undertaking.
It is difficult to overestimate the power of systematic effort—the magic of concentrated thought. To a mind well trained, obstacles become playthings, and seeming impossibilities vanish on its approach. Instead of begging a pitiful tribute it commands the trophies of triumph. It is this training that imparts to the correctly educated man such facility in the management of the ordinary concerns of life, and such a readiness in the discharge of duties the most arduous. Without it, by an uncommon activity and natural quickness of mind, some manage to get along with tolerable success. With some ingenuity and a few flashes of fancy, they may turn attention from the shameful confusion into which they are betrayed by the want of consecutive thought. They may throw upon a matter in hand a kind of flickering light, with now and then a ray of borrowed radiance
to penetrate the mist in which they are involved. With some applause, they may play around a subject without ever giving it a manly grasp. But these are mere scintillations of intellect. They catch the empty praise of the ignorant, but can never command the solid approbation of those whose esteem is so gratifying to a man of parts, nor can they secure that which is so much sweeter than all to the cultivated man—the consciousness of intellectual strength and the pride of mental superiority.
Every young man feels that the main object of life is to discharge all its duties with faithfulness and honor. With his mind well-trained, he is prepared to enter upon those duties in any sphere. If he choose any of the learned professions, he brings to the mastery of its principles the undivided powers of his intellect. Its honors and emoluments are within his reach, and wait upon his bidding. He will steadily outstrip the many who press into the race before they have trained themselves to run it. If his country call him to her councils, he is able to stand among her benefactors with pride and dignity. If he engage in the unostentatious, but not less honorable, pursuits of humble life, he is saved from the manifold perplexities that befall his less fortunate neighbors. Method and precision mark his arrangements, securing in their operation satisfaction and success. Properly trained and cultivated men are the pride of a nation. To them must be entrusted the intricate affairs of government, requiring acuteness of mind and a well balanced judgment. Judicial duties, especially, require that close, discriminating and consecutive thought which can result only from a patient and thorough discipline of the mind. Without men so qualified, any government fails in many of its most important ends; and instead of securing right and upholding truth,
justice becomes but a hazard in its tribunals, and ultimately it must be overwhelmed with confusion and disgrace. Happy is the nation and fortunate the age that prepares for its youths the means of fitting themselves to discharge the duties of its exalted stations, and by generous encouragement inspires them to train themselves for a career of usefulness and honor. The high-souled, aspiring young men of our land! They are the jewels of the Republic, the repository of its hopes, the defenders of its destiny! It is for them to be the benefactors of the age. May they prove faithful to their trust, and firm in a noble resolve to discharge it to the honor and glory of their country.
But, in addition to public usefulness, educated men may exert a most beneficial private influence. They may elevate the social standard of morals and manners, give tone and character to the circles in which they move, restrain inclination to vice, and, by the valued encouragement of their approbation, promote whatever is virtuous and good. And this private influence upon the masses of the people is no less important than powerful. The human mind is inclined to be subservient, and to bow before the manifestation of superior intelligence and virtue. The great mass of mind requires some master spirit to think for it, and furnish it a model of conduct. Most men look up, for guidance, to some one whose acquirements and virtues have attracted their attention. Those who improve the advantages of a liberal education thus become lights for others to follow, leading them on to whatever is for social improvement and the public good.
Our peculiar political system requires elevating and virtuous influences upon the masses. With us every man is repeatedly called upon to become an active and equal participant in the rights and duties
of the body politic. The people impress their character upon the government that emanates from them. If controlled by vicious influences, they may easily overturn the foundations of society; and, unfortunately, such influences are seldom wanting. To combat them in the private as well as the public walks of life is a duty required at the hands of educated men. All that is desirable in life depends upon the proper management of the feelings and obligations by which society is bound together. None are able to appreciate the extreme calamity which attends the disruption of social order, until they have experienced its misfortunes. The claims of affection—the advantages of private property—the protection of life—and, indeed, every blessing which renders civilized existence more desirable than that of a savage—is sacrificed before the demon of social discord. The responsibility for the preservation of social order and of the blessings of political and religious liberty, rests upon those who have enjoyed superior educational advantages. Let the appreciation of this stimulate you in your efforts to advance in preparatory attainment. Duty, patriotism and interest unite in urging you to diligence. With manly purpose and cheerful hearts may you push on to the realization of the brilliant hopes that are centered in you. “A youth of labor” will surely be crowned by an age of honor. May no regret for opportunities neglected and the prime of life wasted, hang over your heads to cloud declining years and haunt the walks of after life with phantoms of remorse and shame. A duty well performed is no less a blessing to ourselves than a profit to others. Though it involve the sacrifice of present ease and require submission to the inconvenience of uncongenial toil, steady perseverance will bring a recompense more than commensurate with all the privations
endured, in the unrivaled pleasure of self-approbation, and the consciousness of a well acted part and a life well spent.
These considerations of duty and usefulness have, doubtless, had their due weight upon your conduct while here preparing yourselves to enter actively upon the theatre of life. But there is another view perhaps more closely connected with your individual happiness, which should prompt you in your literary labors. You must expect to meet, in your course through the world, with disappointments and misfortunes. They are unfailing incidents of earthly existence. No heart can be successfully nerved against their depressing influence. Amid them all there is no retreat, apart from religion, to be relied upon with so much certainty as that which every man may prepare and possess within himself—a clear conscience and the resources of intellectual enjoyment. They are possessions of which no man can deprive him; they are above the contingencies of chance and change—a part of his being—essentially his, by virtue of no human statute, but in obedience to the immutable laws of Nature and of Nature's God. And though he may not, as suggested by Cicero, carry them with him as a personal possession into the realms of the future world, yet surely the cultivation of the intellect partakes of divinity, ennobling, elevating and refining that wonderful principle within us, which we are taught must live forever.
A taste once formed for literary pursuits is of priceless value. A rich field is spread before the votary, and he is invited to partake of the refined pleasures that are found in its walks. He has a world of his own into which he may retire, when pressed too hardly by the stern realities of that around him. It is peopled with the brightest creations of human
fancy and decked with the legacies of the greatest and purest minds on earth. The present may be set aside for the feelings of other men and other times. There is food for all the higher emotions and impulses of the heart, to entertain and please while it enriches with the accumulated stores of the wisdom of ages.
It is to be regretted that such taste has not been more generally diffused in this country. Its beneficial effects would soon manifest themselves upon the character of our people, purifying the tone of conversation, improving social intercourse and elevating the standard of morals and of manners.
In your course, thus far, you have already met these pleasures. Your toils have been enlivened in searching out half-hidden gems of thought, and your weary minds refreshed in grasping exalted sentiments and elucidating beautiful truths. You have learned that even upon the dreaded cliff and among the rough rocks, many a modest little rose hides its blushing head, many a limpid fountain gushes out to delight the traveler with its gentle murmur, and many a sylvan grotto invites him to short repose beneath its scented shades. In learning it is not distance but approach that
- “Lends enchantment to the view,
- And robes the mountain in its azure hue.”
Is it not intellectual feasting to read with understanding the classic writers in their native tongues, and, without an interpreter, to hold communion with the illustrious dead?—to hear the very accents of the matchless eloquence of Athens and Rome—to reverence the deep philosophy of Socrates, or listen to the sweet love-notes of Pindar?—to appreciate the withering sarcasm of Juvenal, partake of the heroic
enthusiasm of Virgil, and revel in the manly beauties of Horace? There is indeed sublimity in thus holding converse with the philosophers and orators and poets of ancient times—in pondering over their wisdom, imbibing their spirit, loving their beauties, and becoming familiar with their emotions—until we feel that between us and them there has scarcely been
- “A single earnest throb
- Of time's old iron heart.”
I cannot urge upon you too earnestly the practical usefulness of cultivating such taste. It is commenced here, and should be pursued through after life, in whatever sphere you move, as the most delightful and satisfactory of that circle of innocent pleasures which Addison so wisely recommends us to enlarge. It improves the mind and refines the feelings, while it affords the most satisfactory recreation amid the cares and toils of life. Vicious habits have few charms for the man who delights to spend his leisure hours in pursuits like these, while all the nobler and higher impulses and aims find ready access to his heart. It gives additional sweetness to the joys of youth, strengthens the worthy purposes of maturer manhood, and consoles declining age in its sober walk “upon the shores of that great ocean it must sail so soon.”
And, because more particular reference has been made to manly duties, it is not meant to be intimated that the same training and taste is not equally important to the cultivated lady. Her thorough education should not be neglected. Though she hope not to amass wealth by enterprise and well-planned speculation, nor by her eloquence to command the “applause of listening Senates”, still she may have
her reward in the sweet pleasures of literary pursuits and in the praise of a well-ordered household.
But in addressing an assembly of educated young men, it must not be overlooked that probably many among them are ambitious to have their names enrolled among the great of the earth. Looking above the humbler positions in life, they gaze upon the dazzling promisies of fame, rising in the dim future, and inflaming the energies of the soul in pursuit of the exalted ends which the day-dreams of imagination present as attainable realities. If prompted by worthy motives this ambition merits sympathy and encouragement. The young are too often taught to regard such impulses as pointing only to empty visions, deluding their followers with vain hopes, ever receding on approach, and making the heart sick with repeated disappointments. Such may be the experience of the faint-hearted, who grow weary by the way and loiter and turn back. But there are numberless examples teaching a different lesson. All depends upon the man himself. Steady perseverance will surmount the most formidable obstacles, and difficulties will vanish at the touch of diligent application. Success, though withheld for a time, must sooner or later follow in the train of faithful exertion.
All that has been said in reference to mental training applies with still greater force to him who would press after the rewards of successful ambition. His mind must furnish the armor and the weapons for the conflict. His steel must be tempered in the furnace of self-denial, and burnished by the dreary toil of many a midnight watching. The temptations of pleasure and ease are the lurking foes that hang upon his way and seek to surprise him at every turn. His visor must never be raised at their approach, and the outposts of thought must be guarded with never-flagging
vigilance. There must be resistance and labor—a constant bivouac of the reason and will—until he has mastered himself. His mind must, indeed, be to him a kingdom—a kingdom in which an iron law is administered by a stern, unflinching judge—and he must be the absolute despot, whose word is that law and whose will is that judge. But when he is once seated upon his intellectual throne he is a king indeed—
- “A king of thought, a potentate,
- Of glorious spiritual state.
- A king of thought, a king of mind—
- Realms unmapped and undefined—
- Crowned by God's imperial hand,
- Before Him as a king to stand.”
To a mind thus trained, failure can scarcely be predicted in any undertaking within the compass of human means. It proceeds with such far-seeing precision and force, that its way seems paved in advance, and circumstances combine to favor its schemes. What seems darkness to others becomes light on its approach—confusion becomes system, and hazard certainty. Destiny is sometimes credited with its achievements; and, indeed, fortune does seem, at times, conscious of a master's presence, changing her frowns into unexpected and almost servile smiles.
It matters little in what road the talents of a man thus trained are turned. Usefulness and honor are before him in every direction. The false teachings of pretenders, the errors of ignorance and the designed innovations and abuses of selfish schemers are everywhere to be met and reformed. Theology, science and general literature and the learned professions equally invite his labors and hold out their bright promises of reward. I offer no advice in the choice of pursuits; but it is to be regretted that in
this country, political aspirations have so much engrossed the talent of youth and turned it from other fields of labor. Under our peculiar political system, the honors and emoluments of office being open to every grade and class, early ambition has been blinded to the more certain and durable fame attainable in other pursuits. Political eminence and fame are subject to the detractions of calumny and the misrepresentations of partisan prejudice. The magic powers of the orator are limited in their operation, and his renown seldom survives the changing sentiments of a few generations; while eminent writers in theology, law and general literature, hand down their names as household words to posterity, and the achievements of science continue for ages to enlighten and improve mankind. If the inclination of the best talent of our country to seek the political arena, as the theatre of its exertions, could be restrained, it would soon remove the principal defect in our national character. Our literary progress has not been commensurate with our advancement in material greatness and political weight. It represents a national want, and those who supply it will secure to themselves undying fame. Our country has been the pioneer in those great principles of civil right which now characterize the spirit of the age, and we must trust to the present generation of aspiring young men to attain for it the same preeminence in other things which contribute to a nation's glory.
The fields of romance and poetry offer an inviting harvest. Whoever takes to himself the first position of American genius, in this branch of literature, will acquire a name as bright as any in the annals of the world. And why may not America have a place as elevated, in this department, as any other land? She has as much to inspire the imagination and kindle the
flame of the Muses. Her mountains are unsurpassed in grandeur and beauty; and lovely streams flow from their bosoms with a murmuring cadence as sweet as ever lulled the Arcadian shepherd to repose or mingled with the soft notes of his pastoral reed. There are scenes of as glorious deeds as heralds ever sounded in the triumphal procession of returning conquerors. There are rural loves as warm and pure. The angels who visited, near Eden, the daughters of men, found no lovelier spots or cooler shades or fairer forms or warmer hearts. They are all here, inviting a minstrel to sing their praise. And, above all, liberty has made them her home, and having erected here the blessed temple of her retreat, awaits some bright genius to arise and herald the enchantment of her new abode.
The different branches of science have their peculiar attractions. In chemistry, mathematics and sound philosophy, modern advancement has far exceeded the wisdom of ancient times. England and other countries have run up a record of immortal names. Let us rival their greatness and yield to them no longer the highest places in the temple of fame. Ambition cannot covet a renown more lasting than his who gains eminence in unlocking the mysterious truths of nature. In this we can already boast many practical achievements which have conferred real benefits on mankind, opening to the world new themes of investigation and making their impress upon the age. But much remains still to be done. Geology is in its infancy and scarce emerging from the unfounded prejudices with which its early revelations were received. Many are laboring to add to the store of its facts, or are drawing valuable deductions from its established truths. There are many “favored localities” in this country, inviting an explorer
to bring them to the attention of the world. Intimately connected with natural history and comparative anatomy and the leading principles of chemistry, it requires much acuteness of perception, close observation of hidden relations, and, withal, the most laborious and patient research. But its ultimate development promises such an insight into the wonderful history of the earth, with all its myriad forms of life, marking the beginning and end of measureless periods, and recording the work of the great creative hand in the rise and fall of species and dynasties in the vegetable and animal kingdom, long before the human intellect shone upon the scene, that it may well challenge the best exertions of talent, and hold out to the successful explorer the prospect of renown commensurate with civilization, and as immortal as that of the hero wearing the laurels of a hundred battles.
But I am not advising the choice of pursuits. Every man must consult his inclination and the leading points of his own character. If crowned by piety and other requisite virtues, great attainment can nowhere be more worthily employed than in the sublime labors of the pulpit and its incidental duties. The mysteries of revelation are food for the closest thought. While the human heart is inclined to evil, there will be necessity for the best efforts of thoroughly trained ability to enforce those great truths upon which depends the welfare of nations, no less than of individuals. Infidelity assuming milder names, will continue to lurk in high places, undermining the foundations of morality and sowing the seeds of vice. It is not so much among the ignorant classes; for there the natural impulses of the heart are not checked by that skepticism which too often attends a little learning half mastered and falsely understood.
It is chiefly among those who, having some pretension to acquirements, have yet not had the leisure or inclination to push it to that elevated point from which the surrounding view would humble them at the utter insignificance of human knowledge; and where, amid the floating mists and the infinity of incomprehensible truths, they would feel the necessity for a higher hand to direct and guide; where, bowing before visible mysteries beyond the farthest grasp of their nature, they would humbly appreciate the wisdom which has revealed so much, and be struck with wonder and admiration at the sublime simplicity by which it is brought within the compass of human thought. To be learned only to that point where conceit begets doubt of all things beyond its reach, is equally unfortunate to the man himself and to those under the influence of his fancied elevation. It casts upon nature a pall of darkness, hushing its struggling suggestions and leading to despondency and moral ruin. The skepticism of the partially learned is the stronghold to be attacked, and, once carried, infidelity loses its respectability, having no abode but in the heart of revolting depravity, or in the baseless visions of the monomaniac's dreams. The man of well trained powers, commanding from the partially learned attention and respect, is often able to impress them with sound doctrine when enforced by clear reasoning and dressed in the drapery of genius. He may expand their narrow views by superior learning, and by logical precision lead them up to a purer height, where the appeals of eloquence and the force of his character may open a way for the holy rays of truth and reason. True greatness can have no nobler purpose, nor one requiring a more careful cultivation of its endowments. What can exceed the glory of him, who, having trained himself
with much labor, and having warred with vice and ignorance and laid broad and deep the foundations of purity and truth, rests from his toil, to exchange the crown of moral and intellectual splendor which he has won in this world, for the brighter crown promised in the world to come?
But those that seek eminence in this country look principally to political elevation. The gates of honor being open to capability and virtue in every grade of life, there will continue to be many aspirants. Perhaps it should not be discouraged. There can be no loftier aim than a place among the honored rulers of a nation of freemen, to merit their honest preference and assist in directing their progress to national greatness and prosperity. This age and country present not only an opportunity, but an actual need for the exercise of the highest moral and intellectual excellence to which human nature can attain. Prepare then to deserve the confidence of your country, and let no consideration ever tempt you to betray it. Be ready to sacrifice personal ambition to public duty. Be slow to give ear to temporary excitements, and never swerve from right to appease the threatening clamors of faction. We have a country great and free; none has ever presented a career so glorious, or conferred in the same length of time so many blessings upon mankind. The influence of its institutions has spread into every land where civilization finds a home, and the fruits of its industry have clothed and fed suffering millions. The oppressed of every land stretch their arms to us and prefer for our welfare their earnest petitions to heaven. Every heart that throbs in a human bosom, has an interest staked. Our past is bright and glorious—in the present are threatening clouds—the future is darkness. Where are the high-souled youths in whose hearts is
cherished the manly purpose to train themselves in wisdom and virtue, to take charge of that future and gild it with the light of the past? Their names shall be among the brightest on the scrolls of fame, and all the tongues and kindreds of the earth shall call them blessed. And when those who now tread the scene shall have passed away and left to your keeping the precious destiny of the States united and free, let no link drop from that golden chain; cling to your inheritance in every particle of the soil hallowed by the blood of your fathers; divide not their renown, for it is yours; and acknowledge no banner but that which reflects from its stars the remembrance of their glory.
But whatever your aim, the matter of first importance is the formation of a right character. The only sure foundation is uncompromising integrity. Whatever is built upon any other, will be undermined by the currents of tempation, or overthrown by the storms of passion. The seductions of temporary interest and the blandishments of vice keep their sleepless vigils to entice and betray. In the walks of private life cultivate the social virtues, and they will light your households with incalculable blessings. If you tread the road of ambition, bear before you the shield of integrity and truth, and it will repel the assaults of your enemies. If misfortunes befall you, the proudest consolation is a clean heart and an honor untarnished. Bear ever in mind, that to be truly great or useful or happy, we must be truly good. Of all training, the best is the training of the heart. Intellectual splendor dies with the things of earth, but intellectual purity is an inheritance for eternity.
DEATH OF THE LEAVES.
THE SOUL'S REFUGE—THE SANDY SHORE.
- Who can be glad when the roses are dying?
- O, who can be glad when the voice of the breeze
- Is tuned to the sobs the spirits are sighing
- While blighting the flowers and stripping the trees?
- So hectic and weird, and all flushing to die,
- The leaves are suggesting sad thoughts to the mind.
- How bleakly the hills in their lonesomeness lie,
- And crouch to the withering breath of the wind!
- We thought not when spring, with its promises fair,
- Gave birth to the flowers and songs to the grove,
- That the freshness and beauty gatheréd there
- Could ever be lost to the garlands of love.
- The budding of hearts in the springtime of youth,
- Full blown into bliss under summer's warm breath,
- Must yield to the sternness of autumn's cold truth,
- And come to the garner of winter and death.
- The spirit, when leaving the precincts of day,
- And mounting the air to its home in the sky,
- Would long to be borne on the breezes of May,
- To live with the roses that bud not to die.
- Who would depart when the roses are dying?
- ’Twere sad to be borne on the wings of the breeze,
- That beat to the sobs the spirits are sighing,
- While blighting the flowers and stripping the trees.
- The sandy shore, the sandy shore,
- That holds in check the mighty sea
- Nor trembles at the billows’ roar—
- So smooth and still it seems to be,
- Yet, holds in check the mighty sea.
- A child is playing on the strand—
- He does not fear the surging wave,
- But treads in faith the snow-white sand;
- And, trusting to its pow'r to save,
- He does not fear the surging wave.
- Is there a shore the soul may tread,
- That bounds the sea of death and sin?
- God whispers to the heart in dread—
- It is the still small voice within
- That bounds the sea of death and sin.
- Above the din of discords wild
- A pure, true note will clearly rise;
- Still trembling upward, sweet and mild,
- To join its kindred melodies,
- The pure, true note will clearly rise.
- Such was the voice on Horeb's hill,
- That quench'd the flame and hush'd the wind.
- What, though it came so small and still
- It fix'd in faith the prophet's mind,
- And quench'd the flame and hush'd the wind.
- Thus ev'ry heart that's pure and true
- Will find, within, the sandy shore,
- And what that voice directs to do
- Will hear, above the billows’ roar,
- And tread in faith the sandy shore.
- If by stormy passions driven,
- Let conscience check the surging sea;
- Then the pure, true note from Heaven,
- Though still and small it seem to be,
- Will hold in check the mighty sea.
THE HEART ASKS SOMETHING MORE THAN THIS.
- When on the shore of death we stand,
- If that true note be heard within,
- We'll tread in faith the snow-white sand—
- Nor fear the pow'r of death and sin,
- If that true note be heard within.
- A kindly word betimes to speak,
- To wipe away the bitter tear
- That glistens on the mourner's cheek
- And wreathe a smile of gladness there,
- May be a joy the soul to steep
- In ecstasies like angels feel—
- A mine of pleasures, pure and deep,
- Which may rich hordes of wealth reveal.
- Yet in this world—so scant of bliss—
- The heart asks something more than this.
- To fill the mind with wisdom's lore,
- To read great Nature's scope and plan,
- And, through their maziest depths, explore
- The mystic destinies of man—
- To sip at learning's sweetest springs,
- O'er golden fields of thought to roam,
- To soar on gilded fancy's wings
- And make in her bright realms a home—
- May fill the soul with transports wild,
- Ten thousand springs of joy reveal,
- Wing fleeting hours, bliss-beguiled,
- And make the sage in rapture feel
- That his proud mind a kingdom is—
- The heart asks something more than this.
- When darkest troubles thickest crowd
- Upon the soul to break its peace,
- To see behind the frowning cloud
- A tender Father's smiling face;
- To rest in humble confidence
- And take the light that God has giv'n;
- To rend the veil of time and sense
- And catch a doubtful glimpse of heav'n;
- And by the pow'r of faith to feel
- A title in the Father's throne;
- That on the heart is stamp'd the seal
- The King has set to mark His own—
- Though this may be a joy sublime,
- A world of comforts, pure and free,
- Outnumb'ring far the sands of time
- And boundless as eternity;
- Though here the soul may seek its bliss,
- The heart asks something more than this.
- There is a dark and gloomy cell
- Where Melancholy rears her brood;
- Where Discontent and Sadness dwell,
- With horrid Shapes and Phantoms rude;
- Where holds the swelling toad her reign,
- Where mandrake grows and adders rest,
- And nightshade creeps and libbard's bane,
- And th’ screech owl builds her damp, cold nest;
- ’Tis in the caverns of the heart,
- Wherein no kindred feeling glows,
- That hides from sympathy its smart
- And feeds upon its secret woes.
- Nor grateful smiles, though e'er so sweet,
- Can ease the sadness of its gloom;
- Nor learning in its proudest feat
- Make roses in this desert bloom;
- E'en is religion's holy might
- In vain to meet its wants employ'd—
- ’Tis love alone can fully light
- And fill with peace this aching void.
- In love-born confidence to rest,
- And find a balm for all life's woes,
- Upon some true, congenial breast,
- Where mild affection gently glows;
- To live in truth and virtue free,
- The sorrows of the poor to share,
- To ease the pangs of misery
- And scatter blessings ev'rywhere;
- To feel that I, with her I love,
- Whene'er this checker'd dream shall cease,
- Shall live in some bright orb above
- A life of endless love and peace,
- And with that distant world of light,
- That decks the vault of yonder sky,
- To rise and set—a star of night!
- And thus to live and thus to die!
- Of all that earth can give of bliss,
- Be thou, my heart, content with this.
April, 1850.TO MY LITTLE BESSIE BABY.
- When little pigeons go to roost,
- And little pigs are in their bed,
- When little children's clothes are loosed,
- And downy pillows hold each head—
- Have the prayers of every one been said?
- What can the prayer of a pigeon be?
- And how, think you, a pig can pray?
- The Lord made them as well as me,
- His work to do, His will obey.
- ’Tis thus the pigs and pigeons pray.
- I, too, must work and must obey;
- But yet to me His grace hath giv'n
- A higher part—that when I pray
- It is to be by Him forgiv'n
- And fitted for a place in heav'n.
1884.THE BURIAL OF PROFESSOR MITCHELL ON BLACK MOUNTAIN.
- He lay in the fountain, all still and cold,
- While the rock-leaping waters his requiem sang;
- The howl of the wolf his death story told,
- And screams of the eagle down the precipice rang.
- Slowly we rais'd from his pearl-bubbling bed
- This hero of science whom death had claim'd there;
- On the moss-cover'd rock we pillowed his head
- And whisper'd above him a short, simple pray'r.
- We tearfully sought the cloud-piercing peak,
- And often we shifted the burden we bore.
- To climb the rough cliff we oft had to seek
- Footholds where no man had trodden before.
- We made him a grave in a place so strange,
- Where the snow-moss clings and the red laurel blows.
- And we buried him high on the Balsam Range,
- Away up above where the lynn tree grows.
THE GRIEF OF THE SEA.
- Unadorn'd was the spot save by festoons of boughs;
- And we carv'd but his name where the rock's face was brent;
- Then we left him asleep mid the clouds and the snows,
- With the mountain's tall crest as his grand monument.
- Sad are the sounds that come from the deep,
- With melody, low and strong,
- Like thoughts that arise from hearts that weep
- And sign through the all night long.
- Though the restless sea may surge and rave,
- Its rage is hush'd in a day:
- So hearts may bear their grief to the grave
- And slumber its pangs away.
- ’Tis thine to know how sweet a thing
- It is to hear the robins sing,
- To trip the blooming fields along
- And listen to the cuckoo's song—
- To sit beside the purling brook,
- And in its pearly bottom look—
- ’Tis mine to view a lovelier sight
- And revel in the vision bright:
- To see thy golden tresses fall
- And dream that I possess them all;
- To watch thy snowy bosom heave,
- And, in my trusting faith, believe
- That in the bending of thine eyes
- I see my way to Paradise.
LELA POOL SESSFORD.
The subject of this sketch was the oldest child of Senator John Pool and Narcissa Sawyer. She inherited her father's brilliant and vigorous intellect and was strikingly like him in personal appearance. She was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, March 28th, 1852, and died in Washington, D. C., March 20th, 1909. She was twice married. Her first husband was Edward L. Mills, of Illinois. By this marriage she had three children, Mrs. Irving Pool, of Elizabeth City, Florence Mills, of Washington, D. C. and Hon. Edward Pool Mills, a prominent young lawyer of Shreveport, La. Her second husband was Dr. Joseph S. F. Sessford, of Washington, D. C.
At an early age Lela Pool showed remarkable precocity. At sixteen she was graduated with the highest honors from Patapsco Institute, Md., and afterwards from the “Convent of the Visitation”, Georgetown, D. C. She had a brilliant and richly cultured mind, and contributed to some of our leading periodicals. Her conversational powers were of the highest order. She was for many years a member of a puzzle club, known as “The Mystic Sisterhood”, and served at different times as Secretary and President of that society. Her poetic gift was much admired. As a writer of charades and clever puzzle poems she was at her best, and won the soubriquet of “the Queen of Hearts.” Her husband, Dr. Joseph Sessford, an intellectual and talented man, won a gold medal as the champion puzzle solver of the United States. In the contest of 1894 he solved all but one-half a puzzle out of a list of three hundred and sixty-five.
Mrs. Sessford wrote under the nom de plume of “G. Race.”
- “So sadder than yourselves am I
- Who have no child to die”.
James Whitcomb Riley—Century Magazine.
- Ah, think you it is sadder far
- To have no child to die,
- No tiny hands that folded are,
- And in the dark grave lie?
- Art sadder, think you, when you yearn
- For one “wee golden head,”
- Than we, who keenest anguish learn,
- In mourning for our dead?
- Yet, would we give the precious boon—
- The baby life so sweet—
- The little soul—called, ah, so soon
- To rest at Jesus’ feet?
- The joy, the hopes, the trusting love,
- That made all earth seem fair—
- The shining angel, safe above
- In Mary's tender care?
- No, friend—though tears may blind our eyes,
- Though hearts are aching sore,
- Midst bitter weeping, sweet hopes rise:
- Our babes have “gone before”.
- Oh, God is good, we mothers know
- Full well, each lonely day.
- Ere long we to our babes may go
- And live with them alway.
- So sadder than you know, poor friend,
- Are you, who have not this
- Sweet, joyful faith, that at life's end
- You'll find a baby's kiss.
- Creep softly in and with us weep;
- Death's shadows darkly lie;
- Come, sacred vigil with us keep:
- You have no child to die.
- Perchance this little sleeping one,
- From “home beyond the tide”,
- May greet you, too, when life is done—
- This little child who died.
- Two little feet, no more to tread
- The stony path of life's rough way;
- Two little curls from golden head,
- Tenderly clipp'd—kiss'd day by day.
- Two little white lids, drooping low
- Over two brown eyes, so soft and sweet;
- Two little lips—I lov'd them so—
- Eager ever my kisses to meet.
- Two little dimples, no more to play
- At hide-and-seek in baby's chin.
- Two little ears, so dainty were they!
- They ne'er heard aught of wrong or sin.
- Two little arms, oft reach'd to catch
- Half-way my coming, fond embrace.
- Two little hands, so ready to fetch;
- Two little cheeks—bright, beautiful face!
- One little heart, now cold and still;
- One little life, so pure and fair;
- One little girl, now safe from ill;
- One little soul in angels’ care.
- One cherub more to sing the praise
- That e'er resounds near Jesus’ throne;
- One little darling—mine always—
- Forever and ever my own.
“Good Intentions”—we hear so much about them. I believe in good intentions. They pave a very disreputable road? They may; I am not quite sure; but at any rate that same pavement may make our descent a little less uncomfortable, should we have the misfortune to journey thitherward. I don't believe there is much real deliberate bad intent in the world. There are mistaken impulses, of course, and overwhelming temptations, alas! but of cool, villianous, “EVIL INTENT”, I am glad to believe there is very little. It is hard to put one's self in another's place; but if by a great effort of brain and will we can do so, what a transformation is revealed. It is as if a heavy veil had been lifted, everything is so different; and we turn away, having learned a lesson, and with a firm resolve to seek deeper for true motives.
“Motives”—they do get so dreadfully mixed up. We often wonder WHY we have done such and such a deed. We shake ourselves and box our own ears and say, “Why did I do that?” You can easily find an answer. Friends and neighbors tell you exactly why. It is true they may each have a different idea of your motive, but it is equally true that each one will claim to be right. It is amazing how quickly outsiders can divine our inmost feelings and comprehend them so much more thoroughly than we do ourselves. We do what we think is right—unfortunately it turns out to be wrong. We comfort ourselves with the old
platitude, “Everybody makes a mistake sometimes”, and we try to find some consolation in remembering that we meant well; but when we hear the other SIDES of the question we begin to get dazed; we really had not known before how culpable we were, and we are tempted to cry with the old woman, “Can this be I”? or with the clown, “Lord, what a fool I am”. Such is life.
“Life”—what a little word to be fraught with such tremendous significance:—Life! We take hold of it tremblingly with weak, baby hands. We seize it firmly with the muscular force of youth. We grasp it anxiously in middle years, and we clutch at it frantically in the pitiful decrepitude of old age. It comes and goes, notwithstanding. Goes where? Ah! somewhere—God knows now, we shall know sometime. So we cling to the precious possession while it is yet ours, and we know full well that, in spite of all ills, it is, to us, beautiful.
“Beauty is everywhere”, sings one poet. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”, sings another, and our hearts echo the truth and the sweetness of the refrain. To me the most beautiful creation is a beautiful human face. Thackeray says, “Nothing more should be required of a woman who can be beautiful.” I always feel indignant when I hear that old phrase: “Beauty is only skin-deep”. It applies undoubtedly to mere prettiness, but true beauty, like true ugliness, is “to the bone”. A baby's face may seem just pretty as you first glance at it, but when those innocent eyes look up trustingly into its mother's face, and the sweet little lips smile lovingly, showing a glimpse of a few wee teeth—aye, and when the teardrops stand on the round, soft cheek, is not the baby beautiful? Study a young girl's face; she may be pretty or not; often beauty and prettiness go hand in hand; just as
often they are widely separate. Watch the “far-away look” that sometimes comes into the girl's eyes, as if it were mute questioning of the wondrous future. Then, maybe the mouth will settle into a little melancholy droop, and we almost hear the heart ask, “What and when and where”. Is not such a study beautiful? Years later there will be lines on that fair, young brow, and wrinkles, too. Grim old TIME never fails to bring them. We look and we say to our own heart: “There is a line for the wifehood cares, and there is one for the motherhood duties, and there are some wrinkles for the sleep that was lost, and there is a sorrowful curve in the gentle, womanly mouth, which grief left when her baby died.” The few gray hairs on the delicate temples, Oh! they are beautiful too. We look at the aged face, pale, perhaps, with a quivering of the lips, no longer rosy, and mayhap some uncertainty about the tired old hands that do not lie as quietly as they might in the black-robed lap. Lines have grown deeper, the clear eyes have grown dim, but there is a tender light in them still, and we think that old lady must be very beautiful when she smiles lovingly at her grandchildren.
PRETTINESS is evanescent. BEAUTY has a soul. It is pleasant, aye, and charming, too, to be pretty, but it is BLESSED to be beautiful.
“Trifles Light As Air.” I wonder if there are any trifles in this world; trifles, in the accepted meaning of the term. It seems to me that the so-called trifles are the really important “Things Mundane.” Grand and ponderous schemes and projects go lumbering along, carrying facts, truths, duties, obligations, etc., with them; but these trifles, mere trivialities, vapid
nothings, chance accidents, etc., have a funny little fashion of their own, of diving between the wheels of the dignified chariots of “Established Importance” and upsetting them, in a most undignified manner. As the years go by, I think we all realize the amazing power of trifles. Literally, life is governed by trifles and their coadjutors, circumstances.
Circumstances surround and capture the whole situation, nine times out of ten. If you doubt it, just look back a little, and keep watch from day to day. Circumstances may be, at times, very favorable, but they are so treacherous and have such a way of bobbing up, with a malicious grin, just when you least desire their interference, that one gets actually afraid of them. They know their power and flaunt it in your face at the very time when you are least willing to acknowledge it. If you pretend not to notice them they will make such a din about your ears, that you will almost wish you were afflicted with deafness.
Deafness is generally considered a deplorable misfortune, but, like other woes and ills, it has its “bit of good.” The deaf lose, of course, many sweet sounds, many fine words, wrought into beautiful sentences, but they escape, also, much that is offensive and objectionable. Evil talk is not usually shouted aloud, and the deafest of us can manage, somehow, to hear the soft, sweet sayings meant “just for us.” I know a charming old gentleman, of whose friendship I am very proud, who is exceedingly deaf. He once said to me, “I can read and write, and no noise disturbs me. I can indulge in a long, retrospective reverie, and hear no sound of outside discord. Yet, when my friends sit beside me and look in my eyes and speak their kind thoughts, ever so softly, I hear every word; so I say to myself each day. ‘I am not without compensation.’ ”
I think sometimes that I almost envy him his life of quiet, undisturbed by the clamoring bable of discordant voices.
Voices are full of significance. I don't mean the words they give sound to, but the voices themselves. I am very sensitive to their tones and inflections. Indeed, I can nearly always form an estimate of character, without seeing the individual, if I may only hear the voice in an ordinary conversation. It may give utterance to words that are false or meaningless, or it may speak the noblest, grandest truths, but it will always be itself. Modulated, or raised to the highest pitch, there is ever a quality of its own that rings clear to the experienced listener and never fails to declare itself. One can almost tell a person's age by the intonation of the voice. The air is full of voices! I think if we might travel a little way from the earth and just listen to its sounds, the great medley would seem to us a deep and perhaps not unmusical singing.
Singing is everywhere; we might almost say everything sings; certainly, some do it in their own way, a very queer way sometimes? Yes, but “singing is singing” and the heart can carry its tune, even when the throat is mute. I have thought quite often, that it might be pleasanter if some people would let their hearts do all their singing and not tax their poor, incompetent throats with something they can't possibly accomplish. But, I dare say, you know as well as I do, that these are the very people who insist upon singing the loudest and oftenest. Isn't it dreadful? I shall never forget a Sunday several summers ago. I was in a country village and went with my friends to attend the services at a pretty, little rural church. The assembled congregation viewed with complacent approval the arrival of each member of the choir. The organist was a veritable hero; indeed all of them
felt the distinguished honor conferred upon them. I was wickedly inclined to see the ludicrous in their manner of entrance, and the ostentation with which they took their places; but I rebuked myself severely and marveled at my own depravity. About the time I had corrected myself into a proper frame of mind, the organ began, or, rather, the organist began, for the poor, wheezy, tremulous organ was almost out of breath from first to last. Later, I heartily wished the failing breath might be that of the singers—any one; there was no choice. The soprano selected her own key and soared away regardless of all else; the basso, determined not to be outdone, took “time by the forelock” and roared with thunderous power; the tenor (poor fellow, I was sorry for him) he chirped, and quavered, and stopped, and begun again, a little higher, then chimed in with the contralto, who seemed too much overcome to do anything but gasp a questionable note now and then. As for the chorus, the poor dear creatures sang anything they chose, it didn't matter at all, and they seemed to fully realize the fact. They just followed whichever lead they preferred, and sang to suit themselves. The congregation gazed and listened with beaming countenances. I was ashamed of myself. I feared I would have to leave the church for fear that I might disgrace my friends. I frowned at myself, and pinched my own arms, and I said to myself, “Oh! you sinful irreverent mortal,” but oh! it was so funny! There are no discords in nature's music. The singing goes on and on, ever rhythmical, melodious, and ofttimes full of sweetest pathos. The brook sings, the “ocean chants a mighty anthem,” the leaves murmur their music in the summer breeze, the corn sings, too, in its “talking way,” and the wheat whispers its soft little love ditty, as it nods its pretty head. Singing, singing
always, everywhere. Birds, bees, flowers, all, everything making God's own music for the listening ear and the loving heart, through all the broad daylight, aye! even into the dusky twilight and the darkening shadows.
“Shadows belong to earth.” Well—yes, but they come when the sunshine is brightest, and really they are comfortable in their way. At any rate, we would feel rather odd if we didn't have a shadow, wouldn't we? In the morning of life, we face the sunlight, with clear, strong eyes, looking ever onward, and our modest shadow falls behind us and follows so quickly, that we really forget it is there; at the noontime we have gained such strength and impetus in our “forward going,” that the poor shadow crouches under our feet, so timid and contracted that we could hardly find it if we looked. But in the evening, when the sun is sinking and the work is done—when with bowed head, and with weary steps, we plod slowly, toward our resting place, this faithful old shadow stretches itself out before us, long and gaunt, but true to us still, and seems to say, “I have followed you all through the day, and here I am at eventide, so you may know I am still with you.” I wonder if we shall have shadows in the next life, or will the light shine so bright and glorious, directly upon us, that we shall have no chance to see old old-time tireless friend?
There are “spiritual shadows,” and “ghostly shadows,” and “shadows black as night.” There is the shadow of sorrow, the shadow of pain, the shadow of death; we must each take our share of them all. Then there is the shadow of mirth, the shadow of joy, and oh! the pity of it, the shadow of Love.
- “Some there be, that shadows kiss,
- Some have but a shadow's bliss.”
DR. WILLIAM G. POOL.
DR. WILLIAM G. POOL.
William Gaskins Pool, third son of Solomon Pool and Martha Gaskins, was born at his ancestral home on Davis Bay, Pasquotank County, North Carolina, March 19, 1829, and died March 25, 1887.
He lost both his parents when quite a young child, and was reared and educated by George D. Pool, his elder brother.
The devotion existing between George D. Pool and his three younger brothers, John, William and Solomon, was very unusual. Each felt for the others the deepest affection, greatest admiration and profoundest respect. Through life they consulted one another on all matters of importance, and any service rendered, whether medical or legal, was always gratis, proffered and accepted as a matter of course.
George D. Pool, the head and mentor of the family, was a man of unusual ability and strength of character, upon whose sound judgment and practicality the entire family relied. He received only an academic education, but was always a great student, and was largely self-educated. His brothers were all given collegiate educations, being graduates of the State University of North Carolina. Subsequently William G. Pool attended the best medical colleges of the country, and was a graduate of New York, Philadelphia and Cincinnati Medical Colleges. In 1853 the honorary degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him by the State University.
Fully equipped for his profession, he commenced the practice of medicine in Elizabeth City in 1853, and rapidly rose to the front rank of the physicians of the Old North State, having no superior and few equals. He was particularly successful in diagnosis.
He had a remarkable insight into human nature, and the ability to detect in his patients symptoms of disease, whether of mind or body, almost at a glance.
Dr. Pool was a man of magnificent intellectual endowment: broad-minded, cultured, polished and refined; of distinguished bearing and magnetic personality. His very presence was so impressive and imposing, the glance of his eagle eye so penetrating, his conversational powers so captivating, that mediocrity shrivelled into insignificance at his approach. With an indomitable will and masterful personality, he was always the dictator and the autocrat.
He was a man of broad sympathies and of generous and kindly nature. He distributed his bounty broadcast, and no person in need, whether medical or financial, ever appealed to him in vain. He once remarked that were he a rich man there would not be a poor man in Pasquotank County. Doubtless this was true. Not only medicine but other necessities were distributed among his patients and neighbors who needed assistance. His big, warm heart was easily touched by suffering humanity, and he literally gave himself and what he possessed for the relief of his fellowmen.
In 1857 Dr. Pool married his cousin, Mary Lavinia Pool, daughter of Joseph H. Pool and Anne Proctor. To them were born eight children, four sons and four daughters.
Though eminently successful in his profession, and owning one of the most elegant homes in Elizabeth City, Dr. Pool moved out to his country estate, the “Eyrie,” in 1871 and the remainder of his life was spent close to nature's heart. Here he educated his children according to his own ideas, largely by oral instruction. He had such a fund of information and such a splendid command of language that under his
handling the most commonplace subjects became interesting, and to live with him was to possess a liberal education. He was one of the most cultured and erudite scholars in North Carolina. His conversational powers were wonderful. A friend of his once remarked: “If Dr. Pool would go to Paris he could make his fortune as a Court entertainer and be known as one of the world's great conversers.” He was an accomplished literary critic, and his mind was stored with all the great masterpieces of literary art. An omnivorous reader, and possessing a prodigious memory, he read everything and forgot nothing. He was passionately fond of poetry, and always kept a volumn of poems on a table by his bedside, and every night after retiring he read from one of “the grand old masters.” Yet for himself he had no literary ambition. The following verses were written when he was a mere schoolboy. They were found in an old scrap-book:SCEPTER BEARER.
- This scepter, twined with roses,
- Just gather'd fresh and fair,
- By lovely hands was wreathéd
- For lovelier hand to bear.
- Take thou the scepter, Dearest.
- Thy subjects all obey
- The slightest word that fallest
- From their chosen Queen of May.
- Be all thy reign as bright as
- A glorious star at even,
- And on thy earthly journey
- Shine all the lights of heaven.
- And may thy life in closing
- Its changeless, happy day,
- Beneath heav'n’s smile reposing
- Shine all its storms away.
TO VICTORIA K. POOL.
- I love thee, Oh, I love thee! nor can my lips impart
- The depth of the affection that dwells within my heart.
- As lovely as the rainbow that spans the ev'ning sky
- Is the intellectual beauty of thy animated eye.
- Thy mind of generous impulse, so noble and so true,
- Is constant as the magnet, and as attractive, too.
- Thy sweet and modest manner, thy queenly, sylphid form,
- Act on my captive senses with the magic of a charm.
- To live on earth without thee—’twould craze my aching brain!
- Away such thoughts forever! do not return again!
- I love thee, Oh, I love thee! nor can my lips impart
- The depth of the affection that dwells within my heart.
- What heart so cold, so void of Cupid's flame,
- As not to feel the magic of thy name!
- Thou little fairy, with a step as light
- As tread of stilly breeze o'er flow'rs at night,
- Thy silver voice and laughter-loving eye
- Thrill through my soul with joy and melody.
- At sight of thee all aching cares depart—
- Thou sweet magician of the weary heart.
- Where'er I go no other one so fair
- Doth greet my sight as my Victoria.
TO MINNIE IN HEAVEN.
- The lark singeth blithely
- When the sun sets at even:
- Be thy voice as happy
- At the bright gates of heaven.
(Of all the good, the best I ever knew.)
- Forgive, my child, the oft returning tear
- That mourns thy exit from a world like this.
- Forgive the wish that would have kept thee here
- And stay'd thy progress to the realms of bliss.
- Confined no more to scenes of darksome night,
- No more a tenant pent in mortal clay,
- How should I rather hail thy glorious flight
- That leads me to thee in the realms of day.
Dec. 30, 1886.EXTRACT FROM DAY BOOK.
Almighty and Omniscient God:—without Thee I could not have been—and am now as nothing except as Thy will directs. Inform my understanding to know Thy will—and according to my feeble power it shall be done. Upon Thy mercy alone can I rely—and I feel that the only return I can offer for Thy goodness is the good that I may do to Thy creatures, my fellow men.
April 1, 1877.
(The boy poet of Pasquotank.)
Ralph Pool, only son of Solomon Irving Pool and Mary Elizabeth Mills, was born in 1896 at “The Eyrie,” the home of his grandfather, Dr. William G. Pool.
Since his graduation in 1913 from the Elizabeth City Graded School he has been engaged in educational work. He is a boy of brilliant intellect and rare promise, possessing a decided poetic gift. Ever since he has known the use of a pen he has been putting his thoughts into verse. He is still under twenty, and a brilliant future in the world of letters is prophesied for him. He comes from a long line of literary ancestors, his paternal grandfather being Dr. William G. Pool, and his maternal great grandfather, Senator John Pool.CAROLINA.
- Carolina, land of glory,
- Where our fathers fought and fell;
- Foremost State in Freedom's story—
- Queen of queens, we love thee well!
- When our mother country's ruler,
- George the Third, the German Bear,
- Caus'd oppression that a wiser
- Man than he would never dare,
- Carolinians first protested:
- Carolinians, brave and free.
- Then our kinsmen never rested
- Till the fall of eighty-three.
THE SONG OF ARLIS.
- In four weary years of battle
- Carolina bore her share—
- When the deadly musket's rattle
- Daily rent the Southern air.
- When the Spanish war cry sounded
- From the gem-deck'd, tropic sea,
- Then from every hill resounded
- Bagley's fame, and victory.
- Honor be to Carolina!
- Tho’ her meed of praise come late,
- She will live in song and story
- As “The glorious Old North State”.
- I am the warrior Arlis,
- A Viking, audacious and bold.
- My home is away in the Northland,
- The home-land of ice and of cold;
- My people, the bravest of brave men,
- The faint-hearted Briton annoy;
- They fear neither mortal nor phantom,
- And kingdoms for pleasure destroy.
- But I am no longer a young man,
- My temples in white are bedeck'd:
- ’Tis the hoarfrost on lofty Kiolen
- Or snow-wreathed ’round cliffs of Ontrecht.
- And soon to the promis'd Valhalla,
- Valhalla, repose of the brave,
- Valhalla, the hope of all good men,
- In corpse-ship I'll speed o'er the wave.
- And now to the tale I would tell you—
- The like was not ever before—
- Come, list to a song of adventure,
- A song of a far distant shore.
- O Baldur, with light of Truth, guide me!
- And Thor with thy hammer, defend!
- Fierce Fenris slinks ever beside me,
- The wolf-god, his fangs bared to rend.
- I, Arlis, have seen forty winters—
- Such winters the North alone knows—
- The springtimes that follow'd them, fleeing;
- The summers, with daisy and rose;
- Since Gelda, the star of the Northland,
- (The fairest of earth-born was she)
- In Nordenskold's Valley of Flowers
- Her heart and her hand gave to me.
- We fled the fierce wrath of her father,
- King Valjer, the Lord of the Sea;
- For I was a portionless Viking,
- And limitless treasures had he.
- In staunch-built ship we fled away,
- Our keen prows bathed in salt sea-spray.
- Away, away and ever west,
- Nor day nor night was time for rest
- While Valjer's ships were near;
- And three long days the glowing sun
- Its shadows cast, ere they were gone.
- We tarried not, nor rested then,
- Nor hoped to see the North again.
- A hundred days we sail'd the sea.
- And hope was well-nigh gone from me.
- With water low and food near gone
- The break of each succeeding dawn
- Presaged but black despair.
- As far before as eye could sweep
- Still stretch'd the boundless, foam-fleck'd deep;
- And neither sky nor waters bore
- The faintest portent of a shore.
- That eve the moon's pale, silver light
- Had golden hue; the stars, more bright,
- Their gleaming lustre shed above;
- The heaving ocean ceas'd to move,
- And all the world was still.
- New hope came from the glowing moon,
- A hope, we fear'd, that came too soon;
- But morn, with breezes cool and bland,
- Reveal'd to us the wish'd-for land.
- I shouted. Pale, sweet Gelda sigh'd
- And fainted. What one thing beside
- Long-hoped relief can e'er impart
- Such ecstasy to weary heart,
- So fire the waning blood?
- I moor'd the ship; we sought the land;
- ’Twas but a narrow stretch of sand;
- But calmer waters lay beside,
- And wooded islets we descried.
- We sought a channel through the bar;
- We mark'd our course by polar star.
- At last we found the passage wide
- Where ocean sweeps the blue lake's tide,
- And brines the inland sea.
- Then north we sail'd, ten leagues or more,
- And landed on a verdant shore.
- A dark tann'd native with us spoke,
- Who call'd the region, “Roanoke.”
- There, while the summer sun was high,
- We built a dwelling. Many a sigh
- I breathed, while ever thinking then,
- Never to see the North again.
- But naught it held for me,
- For I had Gelda—fairest maid
- That ever danc'd in moonlit glade
- Or sang sweet love songs, soft and low,
- Beneath the tropic heavens’ glow.
- Ah woe! Unto the mortal breast
- Thou comest when thy victim least
- Expects thy soul-benumbing blow,
- Nor best can guard, but stricken low,
- Bewails his hapless fate.
- Thou, black-wing'd Hela, holdst thy sway;
- Hast held for ages, will for aye,
- And all our hopes dost mock, deride—
- Thy arrow sped, and Gelda died!
- I wander'd through the shaded bow'rs,
- Saw happy birds and smiling flow'rs;
- The grace of nature's every art
- But freshly stabb'd my bleeding heart,
- And crush'd my aching soul.
- The winter carried thoughts to me
- Of Norway's cold and icy sea;
- The joyous spring at last arrived
- And sorrow's deepest shadow shrived.
- Again the North before my eyes
- Return'd, a hallow'd paradise!
- The steep-crown'd cliffs and mountains all
- In eager tones began to call
- My weary spirit home.
- I left the unknown island's shore,
- And friendly winds my good ship bore
- Beyond the reef and shallows there,
- The ocean's might, alone, to dare.
- I sail'd and sail'd, I know not how,
- Unless great Odin led my prow;
- And fourscore suns, with summer's heat
- Upon my troubled brow had beat
- Ere I saw aught of land.
- The Norman coast before me lay,
- And Britain's cliffs, as white as spray:
- And on I sail'd, till Norway's shore
- Had welcom'd me with thund'rous roar.
- No more I sail'd the raging sea;
- No longer had it charm for me:
- Its heaving billows toss'd in vain
- To call me to its breast again:
- No more I dared its wrath.
- Now, when I hear the troubled roar
- Of angry seas on rock-bound shore,
- And when the winds sweep o'er the lea,
- My Gelda sings her songs to me.
- The daisies are springing, the buttercups flinging
- The beautiful mantel of Spring;
- All nature is waking, and Earth is forsaking
- The bleakness the winter gales bring.
- Soft breezes are sighing, the tempest defying:
- The nightingale sings anear—
- Come, trip to the measure of Springtime and Pleasure,
- The festival of the year.
- No sorrows, nor sadness, but frolicsome gladness
- Be with us assembled tonight:
- “Boreas is banish'd, his cohorts are vanish'd!”
- We'll sing in the moon's paling light.
- The airy, fleeting things that roam the darkness—
- Unseen, mysterious phantoms of the night;
- The disembodied wraiths, the spectral shadows,
- Their presence known but in the ghostly thrill
- Of him who feels the vast and all-pervading,
- The limitless empire of the Invisible.
- We hear, when winter's furious gale comes, leaping
- From far beyond the broad Canadian wild,
- A wail, a long, despairing shriek of anguish—
- The chorus of a host of homeless souls.
- O, Stars of Night! O, glorious galaxy
- Of worlds remote from this lone sphere of mine,
- Wand'ring enthrall'd in measureless domains
- Of Time and Space—a vast eternity;
- Yet guided by that just and austere Power
- To all its creatures inconceivable—
- Unseen, but not unfelt, nor yet unknown.
- Long silent worlds! I bid ye speak and tell
- Wherein all true contentment lies conceal'd—
- This boon I ask, nor other do I crave.
- I linger'd at the shrine, the worlds moved on;
- The wheels of Time revolv'd at wonted rate,
- While men fast paled, then crumbled into dust,
- And babes in arms grew into patriarchs.
- At last, a whisper wafted from afar
- Came to my list'ning ears—a single word:
- “Hope!” And content, I lay me down to rest,
- And slept the sleep that thoughtless ones call death.
LILLA POOL PRICE.
About the year 1840 there came to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, from Manchester, England, Prof. Joseph Bamford and his daughter, Laura, then a girl of twelve. Joseph Bamford was an intellectual and talented man, who had been a professor of music in England prior to coming to this country.
Laura Bamford inherited her fathers intellect and talent. She was an accomplished musician, highly educated and refined, and was organist for about thirty years at Christ Church, Elizabeth City. She married James Pool, son of John and Betsy Pool, whose ancestors also came from England. Unlike his brother, Joseph H. Pool—a man of affairs, a gifted financier, who owned a large amount of real estate in and contiguous to Elizabeth City—James Pool had the proverbial improvidence of genius. He died poor, leaving as his legacy those talents which his four children, Lilla, William, Herbert and Cecil, have all inherited. The subject of this sketch was his oldest child. She was born in Washington, N. C., April 20, 1848. Three years later her parents moved to Elizabeth City, where almost her entire life was spent. She married Charles C. Price, of Pennsylvania, who died young, leaving her with one child, Lilla May Price, now Mrs. Frank Savino, of Portsmouth, Va.
Lilla Pool Price was one of the most gifted women of North Carolina. She was a brilliant performer and composer of music, and had a decided poetic gift. She wrote the music for “Carolina” and “The Banks of the Old Pasquotank”. Under her skilled fingers one could hear the rippling waters of our dear old Pasquotank and see in fancy “the bright waves kiss the shore”. Two of her most beautiful unpublished
songs are, “Did You Love Me in Those Happy, Golden Days?” and “Lay Me to Rest in Dixie”. Had she possessed as much ambition as talent she might have been world-famous; but she cared nothing for the applause of the world. She was for a number of years a recluse, and possessed many of the eccentricities of genius.
The people of Elizabeth City will long remember the old house on Main Street, shaded by old trees—the house where the Banshee walked and the piano talked. Here dwelt the recluse, the musical genius of North Carolina. How often in the silence of the night that old piano under those skilled fingers would “make the welkin ring”, and all along the street people would stop spellbound, listening to the witching music. Nobody could play “The Mocking-Bird” or “Dixie” as she could, and when performing in public she was always requested to play these old songs.
She died in Portsmouth, Va., Sept. 2, 1914, and is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery in Elizabeth City, N. C.INVOCATION.
- Shade of the buried Past,
- With yearning heart I greet thee;
- Where'er my lot be cast,
- Where'er I roam, I meet thee!
- Wraith of the bygone years,
- Come as the twilight closes,
- Wafting through mist of tears,
- Perfume of long dead roses.
- Like th’ fabled bird of fire,
- Offspring of death, thou risest
- E'en from thy ashen pyre—
- A riddle for the wisest.
- A phoenix of the past,
- Comest thou now to cheer me.
- Would I might bind thee fast,
- Hold thee forever near me.
- Soul of the vanish'd Past,
- Mem'ry the name thou bearest—
- Boundless thy realm so vast,
- Endless the chain thou wearest;
- Binds it with unseen link—
- Stronger than forge can fetter;
- Whether to soar or sink,
- Whether for worse or better.
- Scenes that have long gone by,
- Hopes that were fondly cherish'd,
- Hours that were fraught with joy,
- Love that has long since perish'd—
- All these return with thee,
- Ghosts of a day departed—
- Mem'ry hath charms for me,
- Tho’ I be broken-hearted.
- Sweep with a gentle hand
- Strings of the flute now broken;
- Sound with thy magic wand
- Echoes of words once spoken—
- Tenderly touch one chord
- Tuned to melodious measure;
- Breathe the responsive word,
- Voicing the long past pleasure.
- Speak to my waiting soul!
- Waft me a solemn token!
- Trace on the psychic scroll—
- E'en though no word be spoken—
- Promise of bondage sweet,
- Link'd to thy side forever,
- Union and bond complete,
- Ties only death can sever.
- Sweet spirit of the Past,
- Welcome thy thrall, enslaving!
- Fain would I hold thee fast,
- No cold nepenthe craving.
- Abide with me for aye,
- Heart of my heart, nor leave me!
- Cheer with thy heav'n-bright ray
- Till Lethe's waves receive me.
- A night in June, a starry sky,
- The breath of roses on the ev'ning air:
- We stroll'd along, my love and I,
- And wander'd idly thro’ the gardens fair,
- Nor dream'd the future held a pain or care,
- A tear or sigh.
- Beneath an oak we sat to rest
- And revel in the perfume-laden breeze.
- A bird chirp'd softly in its nest,
- A silv'ry moonbeam slanted through the trees,
- And lightly touch'd the golden-ey'd heartsease
- On my love's breast.
- A lily on its graceful stem
- Broke ’neath the breeze, and droop'd its dying head;
- The frail, sweet life of this pure gem,
- Beneath the first rude touch of trouble, fled,
- And the breeze murmur'd o'er the early dead,
- Its requiem.
- Ah, me! how frail is life at best!
- The fondest hopes are broken like the flow'r:
- My love lies in her dreamless rest
- Beneath the shadow of the old oak bow'r,
- With velvet-lipp'd heartsease, her fav'rite flow'r,
- On her still breast.
- In oarless boat, alone and sad,
- Adown an ocean, dark and deep,
- I float adrift the waters vast
- And dream of home and rest and sleep.
- The sun hangs low and flings a maze
- Of red-gold bars athwart the sky,
- And gilds the purpling clouds, that seem
- To frame the gates of By and By.
- And as, entranc'd, I drift and dream,
- Bright days agone my thoughts engage;
- And Mem'ry holds before my view
- A picture from her fairest page.
- I see the waters, blue and calm,
- My life boat oar'd by Faith and Love:
- A fond face smiling from the helm,
- A bright and cloudless sky above.
- E'en as I gaze, the scene dissolves—
- The sky with clouds is overcast;
- The gloom-brow'd Present rudely routs
- The sun-bright vision of the Past.
- The shades are falling, falling low;
- Soon twilight's pall will shroud the night;
- And still anent the dark'ning waves
- I drift, and wait the coming light.
- I'm drifting toward a future vague—
- Life's tide is ebbing, ebbing fast—
- And never can my barque return
- Across the ocean of the Past.
- Thro’ the leaden hours of long, lone nights,
- As I muse o'er the sad, sweet past;
- And my spirit yearns for a hope of peace
- And rest, that may come at last;
- There comes this thought to my weary heart,
- ’Neath its weight of woe bow'd down,
- That for ev'ry nail in the heavy Cross
- There's a gleaming gem in the Crown.
- When the light grows dim and the way seems dark,
- And Misfortune's hands clasp mine,
- When the storm-cloud breaks and the deluge falls,
- This ray thro’ the gloom will shine—
- Though Love may fail and friends be false,
- And Fate wear a scathing frown,
- Yet, for ev'ry nail in the cruel Cross
- There is one gem more in the Crown.
- Not a gear of gold deck'd with earthly gauds,
- But a circlet of priceless worth,
- Wrought of Endless Years, and each gem it bears
- Is a hope that was lost on earth.
- When a sadden'd life shall be closed for aye
- And the heavy Cross laid down,
- Then the hopes and joys that were shatter'd here
- Will be found in the gem-wrought Crown.
CECIL PERCY POOL.
Cecil Percy Pool, youngest child of James Madison and Laura Matilda Pool (nee Bamford), was born in Elizabeth City, N. C., October 16, 1863. His common school education was received from his mother, who was a highly cultured woman and conducted a private school in Elizabeth City for many years.
Cecil Pool was also educated by his mother for the career of a Church musician, and he has pursued that line of endeavor as an avocation ever since 1879, when he played his first Church service on Easter Sunday, in Christ Church, of which his mother had been organist and choirmistress for many years. He was gifted, however, with a strong talent for mathematics and engineering, and in his early manhood gave himself a thorough education in electrical and mechanical engineering, for which he paid by working as a telegraph operator at night while pursuing his studies during the day.
He and his two brothers, Willard and Herbert, learned telegraphy at home with amateur instruments when Herbert and Cecil were mere lads, and in 1882 the latter took a position as telegraph operator in Norfolk, Va. After completing his technical education, he was appointed manager of the Southern Telegraph Company's office at Lynchburg, Va., and shortly thereafter was offered and accepted the position of quadruplex and repeater expert for the Western Union Company. Within a year after taking this position, he became manager and chief engineer of the electric lighting company in Lynchburg, which position he retained nearly ten years.
While living in Lynchburg he wrote numerous articles for the engineering periodicals, and one of
the results of this activity was the offer of the position of associate editor of “The Electrical World,” in New York, in 1895. This offer was accepted, and after holding the position two years he accepted the editorship of the “Exporters’ and Importers’ Journal,” New York. The work here, however, was not of a sufficiently technical character to be interesting, and he resigned the position to take the electrical editorship of “Power”.
In 1900 he was made editor of “The American Electrician,” where he made a national reputation for clearness of expository writing and direct, logical treatment of technical subjects. Five years later he went back to “Power,” this time as editor in chief.
In 1912 he moved to Atlanta, Ga., and took up consulting engineering, but in a few months he was offered and accepted the position of City Mechanical Engineer, which he now holds.
Just before moving from Norfolk to Lynchburg, Va., he married Florence Bockover, a talented young singer whom he met in the course of his activity in Church musical circles. During all the changes of engineering and journalistic activity enumerated, he kept up his work as a Church musician. In Norfolk he was organist at McKendree Methodist Church, and later at old St. Paul's Episcopal Church; in Lynchburg he was choirmaster and organist of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Within a month or two after moving to New York he became choirmaster and organist of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Hoboken, N J., and after four years there he accepted the position of assistant organist and choirmaster of the Church of the Ascension, New York. He is now choirmaster and organist of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Atlanta, and has a choir which has been characterized by many competent musicians as being the finest one in
the entire South and having very few superiors in the North. His gifted wife has been an enthusiastic coworker in all of his choir activities, and her ability, both as a singer and an organizer, has been of inestimable value in making a success of his efforts.
During his youth he manifested a talent for poetic expression, but his mature life has been too strenuous to permit the development of this phase of his mental equipment. Some of the more attractive of his verses are reprinted herein.
Cecil Pool is a man of distinguished appearance, fine physique and good bearing. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, a Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automobile Engineers, Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education and the American Society for Testing Materials, all of which memberships are the highest ranks in the organizations mentioned; he is also a Member of the American Guild of Organists and is Secretary of the Georgia Chapter of the Guild.
Early in the present year (1915) he was appointed one of the judges of machinery at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and served in that capacity during the entire month of May. He was the only engineer appointed from the South.TWO PRODIGALS.
- When the roses of summer were budding and blooming
- And the yellow wheat bent, ’neath its burden of gold,
- The Prodigal Son came, world-weary and tatter'd,
- To the home where his footsteps had echoed of old.
WHEN LOVE AND I WENT MAYING.
- They clung to his garments, with tears and caresses,
- Till the cup of his welcome ran over with joy;
- And the flowers of love and forgiveness were woven
- In a blossoming crown for the prodigal boy.
- When the icicles hung from the bare, frozen branches,
- And winter winds moan'd round the dwellings of men,
- Forsaken and homeless the Prodigal Daughter
- Crept back to the home of her girlhood again.
- But they turn'd her away in the storm and the darkness,
- To the icy, cold winds, with their keen, piercing breath;
- And the pitiless curses that follow'd her footsteps
- Were fierce as the tempest, more cruel than death.
- Oh! the earth was bright,
- And our hearts were light,
- When Love and I went Maying;
- The birds were singing a morning mass,
- The dew was still on the low, green grass,
- As over the buttercups we did pass,
- When Love and I went Maying.
- The Earth was fair,
- We were free from care,
- When Love and I went Maying;
- There was never a face so pretty, quite,
- Nor ever a heart so full of delight;
- The earth was clothed in her green and white,
- When Love and I went Maying.
HER PRAYER—AND MINE.
- In white and green—
- ’Twas a beautiful scene,
- When Love and I went Maying;
- The scent of sweet roses was in the air,
- The apple blossoms were everywhere,
- And the birds were building with happy care,
- When Love and I went Maying.
- ’Twas hand in hand
- Thro’ the meadow land,
- When Love and I went Maying;
- Ah, me! it was sweet in the warm, spring noon.
- The evening shadows fell all too soon,
- Though we saunter'd home by the young May moon,
- When Love and I went Maying.
- “Our Father”—Hers. She said it o'er and o'er
- Just at the close when that still look she wore,
- Laying her two wan hands together for a sign—
- “Our Father”—aye, her father, and so, mine.
- “Which art in Heaven”—her place. The dreariest hell
- To clasp her would spring white with asphodel.
- She touch'd it close as blessing touches prayer—
- “In Heaven”—God's heaven—my heaven, for she is there.
- “Hallowed be Thy Name”—gently she said. Her breath
- Kiss'd it, as worshipping softly, near to death.
- She deem'd it holy—she; so would I call
- The Name that never tired her lips at all.
- “Thy Kingdom come”—to me—to me, dear Lord,
- Who am so weary of the fire and sword;
- Whose eyes are blinded and whose lips are dumb
- To all save her—To me Thy Kingdom come.
- “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”.
- For her the winds were and the stars at even.
- Are the winds Thine and shall her sadden'd place
- Dim Thy bright realm with longing for my face?
- “Give us this day our daily bread”—Oh, sweet;
- I only crave to kiss your hair, your hands, your feet.
- She was my soul's wine all the blessed while;
- Give me, for my heart-hunger, but her smile.
- “Forgive us our trespasses”—Oh, I know
- I was not always tender. Be it so;
- A word I left unsaid—a slighted kiss
- She aye forgave; so Lord, forgive me this.
- “As we forgive”—she hoarded up no wrong—
- “Them that trespass against us”—Her soul's song
- Was tuned to kindness. Never did she pine
- Nor brood unduly over fault of mine.
- “And lead us not into temptation”—such
- As comes to them sometimes who suffer much.
- This worn husk wearies me—death wears no frown;
- Tempt me not with the thought to lay life down.
- “But deliver us from evil”—Lord, I show
- No bane, no sickness, save in suff'ring so.
- I bear Thee no weak ills, no specious tear
- Would shed; my evil that she is not here.
- “For Thine is the power and the glory”—What are we,
- Angels and men, and bleeding worms like me?
- The power Thou hast—the power that takes away.
- The glory? That was mine but yesterday.
- “Forever and ever”—Can her blessed face
- Not ever turn from Thy far, holy place?
- Oh, Lord, in Thy forever, once again
- Give her to me! Give her to me! “Amen”.
- “If you were me, and trouble haunted you”,
- He whisper'd low,
- “Weigh'd down your soul in doubt, what would you do?”
- “I'd tell some one my trouble, were I you,”
- With accent slow
- She said. And yet again: “If you were me,”
- He said, “and lov'd a sweet lass tenderly,
- What would you do?”
- Flush'd grew her cheek and droop'd her head:
- “I think I'd go and tell her so,” she said,
- “If I were you”.
- “Ah, sweet! ’tis you I mean, my little love—
- I love you Flo.”
- Yet lower droop'd her sun-kiss'd head above
- The roses on her breast; a frighten'd dove
- Ne'er flutter'd so.
- “I love you dear”, he said again; and she —
- Her answer e'er will be a mystery,
- ’Twas said so low.
- If your sweet face to me had ever been
- Unknown—your quiet life with mine had never cross'd—
- Think you that either of us e'er had felt
- That from life's chain the link of Love was lost?
THE VILLAGE CHOIR.
- Would I a strangely yearning wish have known
- My busy ways to change—to occupy the throne
- Of some pure heart: your heart? Would there for you
- Have been a vague unrest life's journey through?
- Had I, perchance, form'd of your life no part,
- But through eternity to you unknown had pass'd;
- Would there have been unto the very last
- A vacant, lonely place in yours, as in my heart?
(With apologies to Mr. Tennyson)
- Half a bar, half a bar,
- Half a bar onward!
- Into an awful ditch
- Choir and precentor hitch,
- Up to a fearful pitch
- Led they the Old Hundred.
- Trebles to right of them,
- Tenors to left of them,
- Basses in front of them,
- Bellow'd and thunder'd.
- Oh! that precentor's look
- When the sopranos took
- Their own time and hook
- On the Old Hundred.
- Screech'd all the trebles here,
- Boggled the tenors there,
- Raising the parson's hair
- While his mind wander'd.
- Theirs not to reason why
- This psalm was pitch'd too high;
- Theirs but to gasp and cry
- Out the Old Hundred.
- Trebles to right of them,
- Tenors to left of them,
- Basses in front of them,
- Bellow'd and thunder'd.
- Storm'd they with shout and yell,
- Not wisely sang, nor well,
- Drowning the sexton's bell,
- While all the church wonder'd!
- Dire the precentor's glare,
- Flash'd his baton in air;
- Gave he fresh pitch, to bear
- Out the Old Hundred.
- Swiftly he turn'd his back,
- Snatch'd he his hat from rack,
- Then from the screaming pack
- Himself he sunder'd.
- Tenors to right of him,
- Trebles to left of him,
- Basses behind him,
- Bellow'd and thunder'd.
- Oh! the wild howls they wrought,
- Right to the end they fought;
- Some tune they sang, but not,
- Not the Old Hundred.
- A dainty maiden whose pure, winsome face
- Might wake redeeming chords in souls near lost:
- Her lips, ’mid close-caressing dimples twain,
- Seem like unto the blind god's idly toss'd,
- Neglected bow, thrown by the weary boy
- Into a bed of flow'rs. Tenderly curl'd
- About the spotless brow, as though to shield
- Its innocence from tarnish of the world,
- Cling golden tresses, while soft lashes droop
- Upon her cheek as though they fain would keep
- Some secret sweet. A laughing sunbeam leaps
- Straight thro’ the vines that o'er the casement creep,
- And leaping, kisses softly lips and brow
- And cheek and dimples, pausing ’ere it flies
- To steal close up in effort vain to catch
- Their secret from the heavy-lidded eyes.
- Beside her kneels—in all the anguish dire
- Of late repentance, aye, and keen—a youth
- In whose distress'd and agitated mien
- There glows the light of deepest love—in truth
- Her lover. “Sweet”, he begs, “one word, just one”—
- But she no answer nor a single glance
- Bestows. And realizing now, alas,
- The fate of tardy, contrite hearts, the lance
- Of grim remorse pierces his soul. “Oh, love,
- “Say you forgive—you must—you cannot doom
- Me thus”—his utterances break,
- And with them seems to break his heart. A gloom
- Supplants the dancing sunbeam lately there.
- The maid no heed to tears that fall like rain,
- Or heartbreaks, seems to give—or ever will,
- For ’twixt them lies a coffin's crystal pane.
- The sunset burns, the tall church spire
- Gleams grandly, sheathed in ev'ning fire;
- The rivulet is red;
- Sweet flow'rs are bathed in floating haze,
- The churchyard brightens, and old days
- Seem smiling on the dead.
- From pendent boughs, like drops of gold,
- Ripe peaches hang; a mansion old
- From out its nest of green
- Looks joyful through its golden eyes
- Back on the ruddy, burnish'd skies,
- And smiles on all the scene.
- A running child, whose streaming hair
- Takes from the sun's bright level glare
- An iridescent tinge,
- Rolls on the grass. The ev'ning star
- Above yon stretch of cloudy bar
- Hangs on day's purple fringe.
- Where ling'ring sunshine slanting falls
- Beyond the ivied orchard walls,
- The tall tree-shadows lean
- In waving lines of shade that nod;
- Like dusky streams they cross the road,
- With bands of light between.
- Gone is the haze; the tow'ring vane
- Stands gilded, and the cottage pane
- Seems melting in the sun;
- The last lark wavers down the sky,
- A husky crow glides slowly by—
- The golden day is done.
DOLLIE FREEMAN BEELER.
DOLLIE FREEMAN BEELER.
The Gaskins Family came to this country from England early in 1700. They brought with them a large number of indented slaves, and settled in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. They were descendants of the wealthy and powerful family of Gascoign who originally came from Gascony, France. After their emigration to England, the name Gascoign was corrupted to Gaskell, which later became Gaskins. George Gascoign was a gifted English poet.
After locating in North Carolina, the Gaskins family produced many brilliant and talented men. Thomas, George and William Gaskins were for a number of years among the most intellectual and prominent men in Pasquotank County. Their sister, Martha Gaskins, who married Solomon Pool, Sr., was a woman of unusual mental endowment.
Thomas Gaskins married Elizabeth Freshwater, daughter of Thaddeus Freshwater. Jessie Gaskins, their eldest daughter, married Rudolph Freeman, and was the mother of the subject of this sketch.
Dollie Freeman was born in Elizabeth City, N. C., Dec. 6, 1880. She was a frail but remarkably precocious child, and inherited the Gaskins intellect and poetic gift. For a few years she attended a private school in Elizabeth City, where she learned rapidly. But her chief education was self-acquired. Her mind was enriched by browsing in every library she could find, and absorbing the best thoughts of the world's great masters of literature. She was brilliant and versatile, and had a buoyant, optimistic and lovable disposition. Petite and graceful in form, with eyes as blue as violets, and a wealth of sunny hair, she was a girl of remarkable beauty and irresistible charm.
This talented girl was twice married, and died at the early age of twenty-seven, Oct. 28, 1909.
- “Death lay on her like an untimely frost
- Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.”
Her exquisite poem, “Remember Me,” is one of the most beautiful in the literature of the State.“REMEMBER ME”.
- Long ago, ere I of striving or of shatter'd idols knew,
- Came to me an autumn ev'ning, near too perfect to be true:
- There were stars and lone shore reaches, and the twilight and the sea,
- And my heart stood still to listen, as you sang, “Remember Me.”
- Clear your voice rang out to seaward; stirr'd the night wind in your hair;
- And it seem'd your soul was singing in the old pathetic air.
- Did some strange, sad thought come o'er you, which to me you would not own,
- That your young voice thrill'd so strangely with a pain you had not known?
- “When other hearts shall wear a mask”—the whole world wears them, dear—
- I have liv'd, and living suffer'd; and by pain is much made clear.
- “Will break your heart”—mine broke, my love, for all the years to be,
- When I knew that you were lying in a grave beside the sea.
- But to-day, when midst the babble, just one bar I hear again,
A CHRISTMAS WELCOME.
- Through the hushes of my being thrills the unforgotten strain,
- Come the stars, the lone shore reaches, and the twilight and the sea,
- And my dead heart wakes to listen, as you sing, “Remember Me”.
- Over the manger of Bethlehem
- There stood a shining star,
- Pointing the way to the three of them,
- Coming from countries far—
- Coming with gifts that were good and great
- To see a most wondrous thing,
- Coming together to celebrate
- The birthday of the King.
- But in the manger at Bethlehem
- Was only a little child,
- He oped his eyes on the three of them,
- Softly and sweetly smiled.
- And they knelt together and worship'd him,
- On the lowly stable floor,
- And the glory of heaven shone bright within,
- As the angels open'd the door.
- Many the years that have come and past,
- Since that morn broke cold and chill,
- But down through the centuries first and last,
- The Star is shining still.
- And now on this day of the Christ-child's birth,
- We come together again,
- To sing of the peace that shall be on earth,
- And the love of God for men.
HON. C. L. COBB.
Clinton Levering Cobb, son of Thomas and Emily (Harrington) Cobb, was born in Elizabeth City, N. C., Aug. 5, 1842. He was perhaps the most remarkably precocious boy ever born in Pasquotank County. He finished his academic education at the age of thirteen, and his higher education was entirely self-acquired. At the early age of sixteen he was taken into co-partnership with his father in the mercantile business, and proved himself wonderfully efficient. His public speeches at this early age attracted much attention, and laid the foundation for his public career. Although a lawyer by profession, the field of politics was more inviting, and at the age of twenty-five he had gained such political prominence that he was nominated for Congress by the Republications of the First Congressional District of North Carolina. He made a brilliant canvass, and was triumphantly elected. He served three consecutive terms, being a Representative in the forty-first, forty-second and forty-third Congress. By his tireless and efficient efforts, he was largely instrumental in establishing the Life-Saving Service on the North Carolina coast; for which inestimable service the State owes him a lasting debt of gratitude.
His nature was generous and kind; and during his term of office he was very popular and influential with the Administration, and of great service to his constituents and the State at large.
He was a fluent and attractive speaker; easy and graceful in manner, and noted for his brilliant conversational gifts, his bonmots and repartee.
He was prominent in Washington society circles. Upon one occasion, at a reception given by Hon.
James G. Blaine, Speaker of the House, “Gail Hamilton” was present. Sparkling with wit and humor, she found in Mr. Cobb “a foeman worthy of her steel” and their wit combats made them the center of attraction. It was “diamond cut diamond”.
After his last term in Congress, Mr. Cobb's health began to fail, and the last year of his life was spent at his home in Elizabeth City. He died at the early age of thirty-seven, and lies buried in the Episcopal Cemetery.
Clinton L. Cobb married Pattie Gaskins Pool, daughter of George D. Pool, and sister of Judge Charles C. and Hon. Walter F. Pool.
Clinton L. Cobb, Jr., their only surviving child, has a rich intellectual heritage from both parents. His vivid imagination and plot-building ability have gained him recognition as a photo-playwright, and give promise of success in this field of work.EULOGY ON GEN. NATHANAEL GREENE.
(Delivered in the House of Representatives, Washington, D. C., Jan. 31, 1870, on the presentation of the Greene statue by the State of Rhode Island.)
Mr. COBB, of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I shall not be able to say anything that has not already been better said by the gentlemen who have preceded me: nor do I rise for the purpose of attempting to add one word to the eloquent and comprehensive eulogies which have been pronounced upon the distinguished dead; but I am induced to submit the few remarks which I now offer because the State of North Carolina, which I have the honor to represent in part upon this floor, always sensitive to her obligations, is unwilling to allow the present occasion, so propitious,
to pass without an acknowledgment of the debt of gratitude which she owes to the gallant State of Rhode Island; and she joins her voice to that of Rhode Island and South Carolina in tribute of affection and veneration to the memory of Nathanael Greene.
She cannot forget to-day, nor would she forget when Rhode Island's distinguished son (Mr. JENCKES) so justly claims for his State the glory and the heroic services of the departed chieftain, that upon her soil among the most brilliant and enduring of his eminent services were performed. She cannot forget that in the hour of her great calamity, in those dark days “which tried the souls of men,” when reverses and ill fortunes had thrown a pall black as midnight about her horizon; when her soil was soon to be invaded by a victorious army of her oppressors; when ruin, utter and irretrievable ruin and subjugation hung out in dismal prospective before her; when men's courage began to fail and their hearts to sink within them; when hope itself had burnt to its socket and failed to animate or to cheer; when everything seemed lost and gone forever; when the spirit of resolution shrank back appalled at the overpowering force of the invader; when the patriots of North Carolina had begun to fear that the immortal Declaration which they had flung defiantly into the teeth of their British tyrants that they “were and would be a free and independent people” was about to prove an idle boast; then it was, in the hour of her emergency, that Nathanael Greene, the hero of so many Northern victories, the patriot general who declared that he “was as ready to serve in the Carolinas as in New England,” came to her rescue, and with him brought assurance and hope and safety.
Sir, she cannot forget that on December 2, 1780, he arrived at Charlotte and restored confidence to an
army dispirited and discouraged by the disastrous defeat at Camden; and that by his skill, genius, and strategy, troops undisciplined, harassed by defeats, and unprepared for war were organized and mustered and made “foemen worthy of British steel.” She cannot forget that the first signal check given to the triumphal march of the victorious Cornwallis was at Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781. She does not forget that he was with her people and among them until the last enemy had left her borders. Fresh as yesterday's events are these occurrences. Deep, very deep, is his memory written upon our hearts. By the side of her own patriotic dead North Carolina places the name of Nathanael Greene. Already she has embalmed it upon her records by bestowing it upon one of the rich and fertile counties of the East, and the beautiful city of the very region where his gallantry and patriotism were so signally displayed.
But it needed not these to keep him in remembrance, for throughout the Old North State, from mountains to sea, his name is a “household word” familiar and dear to every ear; and wherever you find a true son of North Carolina, at home or abroad, proud as he may be, and justly is, of his own State and her patriots and heroes, you can touch a tender chord within his breast, and his soul will thrill with enthusiasm at the mention of the name of Nathanael Greene, the saviour of North Carolina.
And his life and history are familiar to the sons of Carolina. Old men and venerable, who had served under Gates at Camden, and who met Greene at Charlotte, and who followed him in his unequaled march through North and South Carolina; who were with him at Guilford and Eutaw Springs; who saw day after day his indomitable energy, his strength of
will, his self-sacrificing devotion, his great endurance, his determination to conquer or to die, and, above all, his power on the battlefield—have told it to their prattling babes, as seated upon the paternal knee they have heard the thrilling story of our country's first great struggle; and they in turn have transmitted to us the charge of our fathers, to keep fresh the fame of the general who, sent by Washington, had come South and met the gallant Cornwallis, flushed with success and sure of easy victory, and put him to rout and drove the last enemy from North Carolina.
And, sir, when North Carolina shall forget the worth of patriotism; when she shall forget the honor due to heroism and virtue; when she shall forget the immortal men who inaugurated the great movement for independence at Mecklenburg Court-House, May 20, 1775, and first proclaimed the eternal truth that “all men are free and equal;” when she shall forget Guilford Court-House and Charlotte; when she shall forget the stirring events of 1780 and 1781; when she shall forget her own origin and the foundation of her present happiness, then, and not until then, will she fail to hold in hallowed recollection the name of Nathanael Greene.
Mr. Speaker, the magnificent campaign of General Greene against Cornwallis in the Carolinas has already been justly and eloquently described. It would be useless repetition for me to go over it. Deservedly high will it stand, if not unequaled, in the history of military genius and strategy. With everything to discourage and nothing to give hope—a country dispirited and disheartened, an army disorganized and unfit for service; half-fed, half-clad, and half-paid, as well as half-armed—all these united to discourage a man with less resolution than he had, but he was equal to the emergency. He nobly justified
the confidence which Washington had exhibited in sending him to the command of the army of the South after the defeat of General Gates. By marches and countermarches, feints and surprises, skill and strategy, he outgeneraled his British antagonist at every point, and electrified a country hanging in doubt and suspense by the brilliancy of his movements, driving Cornwallis from the country discomfited and his army demoralized. But the tongue of eloquence has already proclaimed these achievements.
Permit me to say a word concerning his character. His life, so full of stirring incident and extraordinary emergencies, without a single inconsistency of action, presents a striking, beautiful, and harmonious whole, symmetrical as the noble statue in yonder Hall, and pure and spotless as the marble of which it is made. Rare, indeed, are the instances in which a combination of so many excellent qualities of head and heart can be found in a single individual. He had all the virtues, and if malignity ever detected it has never exposed a vice. He had greatness without vanity. He had military distinction and fame without being haughty or arrogant. He had nobleness of mind without bitterness of soul. He had powerful strength of will and determination of purpose without being dictatorial or exacting. He had learning without pedantry. He had patriotism without selfishness. He had, in fine, all the moral, social, and intellectual virtues which we admire most in a soldier, which we revere most in a statesman, and which we love most in a man. Brave and daring without being reckless, a master of military skill and science, he was a noble general. Devoted to the cause of liberty, sacrificing home, quiet, and even etiquette, in the service of his country, he was a model patriot. Honest, sincere,
and truthful, knowing and loving the truth—he was a model man.
In each character he was preeminent, and a parallel to his life is oftener found upon the printed pages of the novelist than in the realities of every day. Extraordinary, indeed, must he have been of whom the impartial judge of men and things, Alexander Hamilton, could say, “that high as this great man stood in the estimation of his country the whole extent of his worth was never known.” No doubt, sir, if he had been spared longer to his country his services in her councils would have equaled the renown which he gained in her battles; but he was snatched away by relentless death in the full vigor of manhood and strength; and while we do not know the “whole extent of his worth,” we know enough of him to perpetuate his memory; we know enough of him to teach our children to emulate his virtues and patriotism; we know enough of him to claim him as one of the household gods of the nation.
After the close of the great struggle which resulted in our liberties he settled in the sunny South, which he had redeemed, and dying, was buried there to hallow the soil which he had saved. And, sir, we have been told by the gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. WITTEMORE,) and reproachfully be it said, that the spot where he is buried is unknown. No imposing shaft stands out in bold relief to catch the patriot pilgrim's eye and invite him to pause awhile and drop a tear over the ashes of a nation's hero; no splendid tablet, rich in design and elaborate in finish, spreads itself out to commemorate the heroism and fame of departed greatness. Too true is it that not even a rude headboard marks the spot where General Greene rests.
But, sir, I cannot and will not believe that the dust
of his body has ever been desecrated. I cannot believe that the foot of the plowman has pressed heavily upon his grave, or that the busy hand of the architect and mechanic have reared above it some magnificent structure dedicated to commerce or luxury. Nature itself would not permit the outrage. Mother earth would resent the insult to one of her noblest sons, and palsied would be the hand and paralyzed the foot that would disturb his ashes.
The locality of his burying-place may be unknown, but methinks that in some lovely quiet spot by the bank of a rippling rivulet, where the wild flowers of the South exhale their sweetest perfume, and shaded by some tall and graceful elm tree symbolic of the great man's life and character, he sleeps; and the merry little warblers of nature, catching inspiration from the scenery, perch themselves upon the boughs of the trees and mournfully chirrup his dirge, or anon breaking forth into full-throated melody, richer than cathedral ever dispensed, swell the chorus of his praises and fill the air with the music of his renown. And the Georgia yeoman, as he “homeward plods his weary way,” approaching the spot, turns aside to spare the little lily that raises its modest head as a foot-board to the grave—
- “How sleep the brave who sink to rest
- By all their country's wishes blest!
- When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
- Returns to deck their hallowed mold,
- She there shall dress a sweeter sod
- Than Fancy's feet have every trod.
- By fairy hands their knell is rung;
- By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
- There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
- To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
- And Freedom shall awhile repair
- And dwell a weeping hermit there.”
“Dust to dust,” “ashes to ashes,” Mr. Speaker, is the sequel to common humanity; but some men “when they die, die all;” their “moldering clay is but an emblem of their memories.” Not so Nathanael Greene. He can never die. He will never be forgotten. He has “left a mark behind,” and shall pluck the
- “Shining age from vulgar time,
- And give it whole to late posterity.”
And, sir, a hundred years hence, when I shall be forgotten, Mr. Speaker, and you only remembered by the distinguished services which you have rendered your country; when this room shall have become too small to accommodate the thousand Representatives of one hundred and fifty million people, who shall inhabit a Republic bounded by the poles and watered by four great oceans, and our Hall shall be converted into the “marble room” of the Capitol, filled with the statues of heroes and scholars, and statesmen, not the least admired of them all, not the least noticed and studied and loved, among the many great will be the beautiful statue of General Greene which we to-day receive from the State of Rhode Island.
JOHN M. MATTHEWS.
John McMorine Matthews was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, February 10th, 1825, and died December 10th, 1882. With the exception of ten years, his entire life was spent in Elizabeth City. He lived in Oxford, N. C., from 1861 to 1871.
John Matthews was the youngest son of Dr. Samuel Matthews, and grandson of Gen. Thomas Matthews, who was a member of the Virginia Society of the Cincinnati, and for whom Matthews Co., Va., was named.
In 1852 he married Catherine Cook, of Elizabeth City, N. C.
John M. Matthews was gifted both as a poet and musician. He was intellectual, brilliant, versatile, and like most men of artistic temperament, lacking in practicality and business ability. Several of his grandchildren have inherited his musical talent. Blucher Ehringhaus, a talented young lawyer, Mrs. W. P. Duff and Mrs. Joe Greenleaf, children of Mrs. Carrie (Matthews) Ehringhaus, have been for many years leaders of the Episcopal choir of Elizabeth City, as have also, Selby, John and Hattie Harney, children of Mrs. Hattie (Matthews) Harney. Young Selby Harney also possesses decided talent as an artist and photo-playwright.
The poems on “Woman's Love” were written when John Matthews and John Pool were very young men. These poems came out as weekly installments in “The Old North State,” a paper published several years before the Civil War. These poems created quite a ripple of excitement among the fair sex of Elizabeth City, who vainly tried to discover the authors. The
young men wrote under nom de plumes, and it was not until long afterwards that their identity became known.WOMAN'S LOVE.
By “Julips” (John Matthews)
- “Oh, say not woman's love is bought
- With vain and idle treasure”,
- But rather that her love is caught
- By cash, when it's good measure;
- For bless the pretty little dears,
- There is not one, I think,
- Who would not put on wedlock's cares
- If gilded with the chink.
- I do not blame them—bear in mind—
- But only think it strange,
- That when to marry they're inclined,
- They're sure to think of CHANGE.
- And you may ever rest assured,
- When young lads are seen pining
- Away with love that WON'T be cured,
- They want the pocket lining.
Reply to “Julips” by “J” (John Pool)
- You say that “Woman's love is caught
- By cash, when ’tis good measure”,
- Your heart, my friend, has ne'er been taught,
- To know earth's brightest treasure.
- For then that heart, I'm very sure,
- Could ne'er so treach'rous prove
- As to revile a thing so pure
- As woman's priceless love.
- If you have thought it valueless,
- Because you've fail'd to gain,
- Or rued some rival's proud success,
- Where you have toil'd in vain.
- If you have urg'd a fruitless prayer,
- Yet for a moment pause,
- Be not so hasty to despair,
- You have mistook the cause.
- Search well your heart, your temper scan,
- Correct the faults you find,
- Become a noble, gen'rous man,
- Of feelings pure and kind.
- Then proudly seek a woman's love—
- Be open, frank, sincere—
- You will a gushing fountain move,
- To make you blessed here.
- “Oh, say not woman's love is bought”,
- ’Tis not so mean a thing!—
- A holy gift, in mercy brought,
- Upon a pitying angel's wing,
- The weary life of man to cheer,
- To soothe his troubled breast,
- And on his toilsome journey here,
- Shed one sweet ray of rest.
Reply to “J” by “Julips”.
- My Christian friend, immortal “J”,
- I pity your sad case!
- For into Cupid's tragic play
- I see you've run your face;
- And like all other tender youths
- You give the god applause—
- Think his assertions wholesome truths,
- And do not see his claws.
- Cast off his chains, and be a man!
- Aye! shun his blinding snare,
- Then turn to women's love, and scan
- It's glories as they are.
- See her deceit, her cunning smile—
- Her calculating eye—
- See how she wields her every wile,
- Her tears and e'en her sigh.
- Then after this, if you still say,
- That, as a general thing,
- Her love's a “holy gift”—“a ray,
- Brought on an angel's wing”;
- I'll beg you'll leave the “holy” out:
- Your angel and your ray
- You'll find come not the heav'nly route
- But just the other way.
- I've met a few, I must confess,
- Whose hearts were truly pure,
- Whose love could never fail to bless—
- These came from heaven sure;
- And they, tho’ all the sex seem true,
- Are glorious, but they are e'en
- Like angel's visits—very few
- And very far between.
- Old Mother Eve first push'd the ball,
- And all the rest will follow—
- And some of them, since Adam's fall,
- Beat Madam Eve all hollow.
- It seems that then the fates decreed
- That man must ever grapple
- With her deceit, and all his seed
- Must eat the same old apple.
Reply to “Julips” by “J”.
- When in a vain and foolish few
- Its absence you detect,
- Has honor's shrine no charm for you,
- Nor wisdom your respect?
- This flower's sweetness scents the gale,
- Does it pollute the spot,
- Because you find within the vale
- A flower that has it not?
- You choose a woman of “deceit”
- Your thesis strange to prove,
- With cunning wiles and smiles replete,
- Such do not, cannot, love.
- It is not woman's praise I sound,
- Her wiles that I approve,
- But woman in her virtues crown'd,
- Her priceless, holy love.
- Whate'er the jaundic'd eye doth meet
- Seems of its tinge to be;
- No music to the deaf is sweet,
- The blind no beauty see.
- Your well-strung ear, oh, spoil it not!
- Your heart no longer steel,
- Or you may soon (oh, hapless lot!)
- Lose all your power to feel.
- No longer woman's love revile
- And sneer without a cause;
- Go safely back beneath her smile,
- For cupid has no claws!
- In some sweet home, where living flowers
- Your nobler feelings move,
- I wish you countless, cloudless hours,
- With woman's unbought love.
I'LL MEET THEM COMING BACK.
- Tho’ years have pass'd, in mem'ry still
- A record I can trace
- Of joys that crown life's pointed hill
- Where I once had a place.
- The view was glorious to behold,
- Anticipation bright,
- And all seem'd rich as burnish'd gold
- As hope lit up the sight.
- I little thought how insecure,
- How treach'rous was the ground;
- Nor dreamed that happiness so pure
- In mis'ry could be drown'd:
- For sweet content reign'd over all,
- And every fear was still;
- I had no thought that I could fall,
- Or e'er go down the hill.
- While I was happy in repose,
- With joys on ev'ry side,
- A storm of circumstances rose,
- And on its troubled tide
- I found that I was swept along
- And forced against my will
- To join the sad and gloomy throng
- Going surely down the hill.
- And as, with most unwilling tread,
- I've kept the downward way,
- I've hoped, as each pass'd o'er my head,
- To see a better day;
- Not yet! says Fate and downward still
- My pathway seems to lie;
- And yet, I will go up the hill
- Once more, before I die.
- Full many bitter pangs I've had
- While on this darksome road;
- But little, this poor heart to glad,
- Or lighten life's great load;
- But still, a bright and lovely spot
- Occasionally will
- Shed hope around my gloomy lot,
- While going down the hill.
- Some few have pass'd me, going down;
- They rush'd as with a will,
- With song and shout, that voice to drown
- Which never can be still.
- I tried in vain their course to stop;
- They pass'd me with a frown,
- And mock'd the tear they saw me drop,
- And went on—madly down.
- But many met me on the way—
- Methinks I see them still,
- With happy smiles, which seem'd to say,
- We're going up the hill.
- Not one gave out the helping hand
- To stay my downward track,
- But pass'd me by—the selfish band!
- I'll meet them coming back!
- I'm nearly at the bottom now,
- The turning-point at hand,
- And soon I hope to raise my brow
- Up to that happy band
- Who crown the hill; and if I join
- The pleasant, upward track
- I must confess, ’twould give me pain
- To meet them coming back.
- But if I meet them—God forbid
- That I should malice bear
- Against them, for the ill they did
- When, once, they met me there.
- No! I will hold out both my hands,
- And all that I possess,
- To soothe, assist and break the bands
- Of brethren in distress.
- And if by helping them I fail
- To gain the band around
- The hilltop, I will not bewail,
- But take a middle ground,
- And rest content; and bless the pow'r
- That placed within my breast
- The will, and gave the means and pow'r
- To succor the distress'd.
WILLIAM E. DUNSTAN.
William Edward Dunstan was born at Fraziers Cross Roads, Hertford County, N. C.
His father was Edmund Fleetwood Dunstan, from Bertie Co., N. C., and his mother was Mary Louise Vaughan, of Northampton Co., Va.
There were six children in the Dunstan family, of whom William was the youngest. When he was only a year old his parents moved to Murfreesboro for the purpose of educating their children. Three years later Edmund Dunstan died, and William was educated at home by his mother. He says of himself that he never recited a lesson in a schoolhouse, and that what knowledge he possesses is due to his mother's instruction. At the age of sixteen he was put in a store at Windsor, N. C., and for seventeen years made himself invaluable to his employer, as an adept salesman and bookkeeper. Later his services were sought both in Norfolk and Suffolk, Va., at which places he handled several business enterprises successfully.
In 1892 he was engaged as Manager of the Ice and Coal Co., of Elizabeth City, which position he held for twenty years. For the past few years he has been engaged in the real estate business, and is one of the most successful business men of Elizabeth City.
In 1895 he married Emma Sawyer, daughter of John L. Sawyer, of Elizabeth City.
William Dunstan's maternal ancestors were literary people, and he has inherited a fondness for books. His life has been too strenuous, however, for him to cultivate his literary tastes, and the work he has done along this line has been only for his own amusement and pastime. He is fond of writing verses for the local papers.
William Dunstan is a man of great energy, determination and business ability. He says of himself, “I attribute whatever of good that has come to me in life to my strict observance of the Fifth Commandment, and the taking as my guide the First Psalm, which I learned at my mother's knee.”MY VIOLET.
- Your little namesakes all are gone,
- Not one sweet flow'r is left to wear,
- To smile my lonely heart upon,
- And charm away each cloud of care.
- There must be something in a name—
- Violet sets my heart aflame.
- In this South Land in early May—
- The month of all we hold most dear—
- Are buds and blossoms, rich and gay,
- And song-bird's notes to charm the ear;
- The fields are deck'd in gorgeous hue,
- But all will pale at sight of you.
- For bygone days I'm pining still—
- For picnic days on Kilby's Lake,
- For drives beyond the old grist mill,
- For plates of cream, with angel cake.
- Those happy days are gone for aye—
- Their mem'ry sweet as flow'rs of May.
- The sky is full of stars tonight.
- Must I choose one—as did Melnotte—
- Where love will be immortal, bright,
- To be our home—sweet blissful spot?
- I'll find a star, and name it yet,
- For my heart's queen, my Violet.
MY GIRL'S NEW HAT.
THE RACKET STORE.
- She donn'd it today,
- And she pass'd my way,
- Looking more charming than ever.
- My glances would stray,
- I nothing could say,
- Tho’ earnest I made the endeavor.
- In her recent head-dress,
- Her charms were no less,
- Near home where I happily met her;
- With much bashfulness,
- Her hand I did press,
- And told her she never look'd better.
- Again I did stare,
- When I saw her head bare,
- With her tresses arranged a la mode.
- ’Twas right then and there
- I decided to dare
- The love in my heart to unload.
- Sure ev'ry one knows
- How the old saying goes,
- That beauty wears ev'rything well.
- So it is not the bows,
- The feathers or rose—
- ’Tis the girl, not the hat, that is swell.
- I love to shop at the Racket Store,
- I even love to pass the door—
- The sight is just immense—
- While buying goods so nice and cheap
- I get a chance to take a peep
- At Miriam and Miss Spence.
- I've been to many fine bazaars,
- And on the stage I've seen the “stars”,
- And beauties in their gypsy tents;
- I've met the rich and rare creoles,
- But the finest casts in nature's molds,
- Are Miriam and Miss Spence.
- If you admire a sweet brunette,
- If on a blond your heart is set—
- The sight is just immense!—
- Please drop in at the Racket Store,
- And on first sight you will adore
- Sweet Miriam or Miss Spence.
WILLIAM M. HINTON.
William Mott Hinton, son of John Mott Hinton and Catherine Mildred Riddick, was born at the old Hinton homestead in the Newland section of Pasquotank County, North Carolina.
Soon after completing his academic course he began his educational work in Eastern North Carolina. He taught in the schools of South Mills, Elizabeth City, Littleton and Belhaven. He was Superintendent of Public Instruction of Camden County for two years, and Superintendent of the Public School of Elizabeth City for nine years. Under his management the school developed from a three-room to a ten-room plant, and employed a corps of teachers that did splendid work for the city.
It was through his efforts, while in charge of the Graded School of Belhaven, that the old wooden school building was replaced by a handsome brick structure of ample proportions and fine equipment.
While teaching in Littleton Mr. Hinton was editor of “The Littleton Herald”.
He represented Pasquotank County in the General Assembly of 1903, and did the State much efficient service.
He was State Lecturer for the Anti-Saloon League of North Carolina, and has always been a great temperance worker.
In 1875 he married Frances L. Williams, of Newland, a most estimable woman, who died four years ago, leaving five children.
William Hinton is a scholarly, refined, courteous and elegant gentleman of the old school. He is a forceful, eloquent and attractive speaker, always charming his hearers by his elevated thought and beautiful flow of language. His integrity and noble Christian character,
and the splendid educational and temperance work he has done for the State, have won for him a warm place in the hearts of the people. Both as a lecturer and writer he is well known, and has few equals in the Old North State. He is at present Superintendent of Public Instruction for Pasquotank County, N. C., which office he has held for four terms.THOUGHT.
(Extract from Lecture—“Powers that Move The World.”)
Thought is also one of the great motive powers of the world. It is a creature of the mind. In that wonderful laboratory it is hammered into existence and fashioned into shapeliness and beauty. It is instinct with life and energy and power. Its missions are performed with unexampled ease and rapidity.
Drawn by its fiery steeds we rush along the track of ages gone, raising the dust of the sacred past and calling forth the sheeted dead from their marble tenements by the hum of its burning chariot-wheels; or, mounted upon its mighty pinions, with broad and ample sweep, we cleave the illimitable and trackless realms of air, and, with the blazing orbs of heaven, sing, “The hand that made us is divine”.
Thought spurns all distances, sunders all bands, defies all efforts to circumscribe its range or impose restrictions upon its freedom. In colossal grandeur it marches onward! Its steppings are kingly! Its splendor is dazzling! It is the reflection of that “Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will”. It is an almost perfect embodiment of power.
Behold the gnarled and grizzly giant of the forest, that has donned its vernal garb and its seared and
yellow autumn vesture a hundred times, spreading its tough and fibrous branches wide, and swaying defiance to the fiercest blasts of the tempest, and we whisper, power. But Thought has sent that proud old giant thundering to the earth and converted its mammoth trunk into the stately edifice or the floating palace.
Visit the mountains, with their rugged peaks piercing heaven's blue dome, glinting and gleaming in the glad sunlight of God, and witness Nature in wild sublimity enthroned, and reverently we bow, murmuring, power. But Thought has torn their rocky ribs asunder, thrust the mighty shaft into their very bowels and brought to light the precious ore.
Stand by ocean's sounding beach and catch its grand symphony of praise to the eternal Godhead, as the furious Storm-king looses his spirits and sends them raging and howling and shrieking amid the direful gloom, to lash the fathomless Deep into madness. Hark! listen to the bubbling, dying groan of billow high on billow piled! See how the mighty waters, big with wrath, lift up their noble heads in fearful majesty, and cast their white-plumed caps amid the skies! Here is grandeur awe-inspiring! And with glowing enthusiasm we with the poet sing,
- “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll!
- Time writes no wrinkle on thy azure brow—
- Such as creation's dawn beheld, Thou rollest now.
- Dark-heaving, boundless, endless and sublime—
- The image of eternity—the throne of the Invisible—
- Thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.”
Yet Thought makes this stupendous work of creation pay tribute rich and abundant. Its broad bosom bears the white-winged birds of commerce. Through its waters they glide in graceful movement and in matchless beauty. Its delicately tinted pearls,
its useful sponges, its finny tribes in great variety and plenty, are made to subserve man's interest and contribute to his happiness.
Hush! What awful sound is that which crashes upon the ear and freezes the heart with horror? It is the lightning's deadly stroke as he, from his fiery throne descending, cleaves the towering monarch of the woods, splintering and shivering it to atoms! With dilated eye and bated breath we survey the frightful wreck and unconsciously we say, power. But Thought puts forth its daring hand, snatches the lightning from the murky bosom of the cloud, sends it to speak to the remotest parts of this broad continent of ours, and, ever and anon, drives it beneath the billowy main to greet the children of another clime.
Thought has almost wrought miracles. It has thrown light and warmth and beauty upon the canvas and clothed the dull, cold marble with the divine lineaments of man. It has given such remarkable vocality to the organ, the piano and other musical instruments that they are susceptible of uttering the soft, sweet, delicate tone of exquisite tenderness or the full, round, swelling note of conquest and glory.
The destructive enginery of war; the wonderful propelling force of steam; the vast telescope with which we sweep the heavens and examine the celestial machinery; the constant buzz of numberless factories converting the raw material of earth into food and raiment; the invention of letters; the art of writing; the printing-press; the telephone; the phonograph; the kinetoscope—all testify to the power in thought.
Who can estimate the influence of Grecian and Roman literature, clad, as they are, in elegant and forceful language and drunk in by the youth of one generation after another?
Who has not been moved by the deep pathos, the cogent reasoning, the keen sarcasm, the biting irony, the glowing descriptions, the imposing grandeur, of our own English classics?
Whose imagination has not been fired, whose reflective powers have not been cultivated, whose reason has not been strengthened by the reading of these productions? Yet they are only a few expressions of thought. Great as they are, there is a volume which I have not specifically mentioned that far surpasses them—a volume in which thought breathes and burns, in all its native beauty and in the acme of its power and glory. That volume is the Bible.
The Stars are said to be the thoughts of God. The glittering worlds that gem the midnight heavens and sweep in dazzling beauty through the immensity of space are doubtless scintillations of Divine thought, grand and glorious, but they do not compare with the great thoughts that breathe and burn and throb with immortal vigor beneath the lids of the “Old family Bible”.
If you desire to have a glowing imagination, a quick perception, a robust and stalwart reason, a chaste and elegant diction—to be masters of thought—read the Bible. For even if we deny its authority as the revealed will of God, still it is the most marvellous literary production in the whole field of letters.
It has the dash of Homer and the steady blaze of Dryden, the terseness of Pope and the long-drawn sweetness of Wordsworth, the delicate pencilings of Longfellow and the stirring pathos of Hemans, the artistic beauty of Tennyson and the sombre paintings of Pollock, the gorgeous imagery of Scott and the enchanting melody of Byron, the master strokes of a Shakespeare and the sublimity and grandeur of a Milton.
Oh! the wonderful power of Thought! It is the wizard of the ages; it is the wonder-working Magician of the centuries!
Galileo thinks, and the telescope is given to the world. Stephenson thinks, and the locomotive springs into existence. Fulton thinks, and the steamboat graces our waves. Franklin and Morse think, and the lightning leaps from the storm-cloud and hitches his fiery steeds to the messages of man. Mozart, Handel and Beethoven think, and grand Oratorios roll out to thrill the world. Angelo, Raphael and their contemporaries think, and the divine harmonies of light and shade are flung upon the canvas and angels flutter from the cold, rugged marble. Milton thinks, and “Paradise Lost” is the legacy of mankind. Shakespeare thinks, and his Immortal Plays, rich in wisdom, baptize literature with a halo of imperishable glory. Roentgen thinks, and the wonderful X-Ray reveals the secrets of the human body. Edison thinks, and the telephone catches the human voice and bears it to remote distances. He thinks again, and the phonograph imprisons and preserves the voice with such exactness that the tender accents of a loving mother, who has been lying in her grave for years, fall with the old-time sweetness and melting pathos on the ears of her wayward boy. Again he thinks, and the darkness that wrapped our cities in the sable garments of night is scattered by the brilliancy of the electric light. Wright thinks, and ships navigate the “upper deep”. Marconi thinks, and viewless couriers, magic-like, spring obedient to man's behests and the whole world becomes a whispering gallery. But I will enumerate no more. The task is endless. Thought is being projected on the world in marvelous richness. It is laying under contribution all the great forces of nature. It is propelling this old globe along the gleaming lines of the future to work out a grand and glorious destiny.
JUDGE FRANCIS D. WINSTON.
JUDGE FRANCIS D. WINSTON.
Francis Donell Winston was born in Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina, Oct. 2, 1857. He was graduated from the State University in 1879 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and since 1887 he has acted as trustee for that institution.
Judge Winston has been for many years very prominent both in the law and the politics of the State, having been President of the North Carolina Bar Association, and for twenty-five years a member of the Democratic State Executive Committee. He has also acted as President of the State Organization of Democratic Clubs.
He was District Elector in 1896, and Judge of the Superior Court in 1901-1902.
From 1905 to 1909 he was Lieutenant-Governor of North Carolina. He was President of the State Democratic Convention in 1912 and Elector at Large during that year.
At present he holds the office of United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, under appointment of President Wilson.
Judge Winston has been very prominent in the Masonic work of the State. It was largely through his influence that the Masonic Temple at Raleigh was built, and in 1906 he was made Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.
He has always been an active worker for the Oxford Orphanage, and was present and helped to receive the first orphan ever admitted to that institution. Since then he has manifested every care and attention for the children taken under its protecting wings.
Public-spirited, patriotic, intellectual and talented, Judge Winston has done and continues to do great
service for the Old North State, and his influence is far-reaching and efficient. He is an able and attractive speaker, and wields the pen of a gifted writer.MASONRY.
- Masonic Love! O sacred Spirit,
- That kindly weighs a brother's merit!
- Celestial fire by angels given
- To illume th’ world with light from Heaven—
- Mankind to lead in paths of peace,
- To bid all social discord cease,
- Uplift the weak, repress the strong,
- Give ear to truth, hush error's song,
- And in the bonds of doing good
- Bind all men in one Brotherhood!
- As we count days none know thy birth,
- Nor any point the place on earth
- Where first in Lodge the Brethren met;
- That sacred spot is mystic yet.
- It may have been ’neath polar skies,
- For there we know our altars rise,
- And Greenland's icy mountain heights
- May first have seen the three great lights;
- Or else beside the banks of Nile,
- Where Craftsmen raised th’ historic pile,
- And where beneath that pyramid
- Egyptians sacrificed the kid;
- Or on Arabia's vast extent
- Where Sheik Ilderim pitch'd his tent;
- Or, mayhap, Afric's burning sands,
- Or Eldorado's golden lands,
- Or far-off Mexic's ancient plain
- Where primal footsteps still remain;
- Or, it may be, some other spot,
- Whose name the ages have forgot,
- Was first where, under arching sky,
- Our altars rose to God on high.
- Tradition, earliest voice of time,
- Historian's muse and poet's rhyme
- And sculptor's art attempt to say
- Where Masonry had its natal day.
- One says that on Moriah's Mount
- The workmen, more than we can count,
- Who th’ Temple built by Hiram's plan,
- For Solomon, the wisest man,
- That they might travel land and sea,
- Accepted first and then made free,
- Were moulded by the Master's hand
- Into our own fraternal band.
- Another claims the mysteries dire
- Of those who worship'd sun and fire,
- Upon whose altars man was laid
- And human sacrifices made,
- Whose rude and Bacchanalian feast
- Degraded manhood into beast,
- Gave to the world our true and good
- Ideal of its Brotherhood.
- Still others yet to mythic days
- Our origin essay to trace,
- Back to the time when Orpheus played
- His lute beneath the cooling shade,
- Or Mithras, genius of the Sun,
- ’Twixt earth and heaven his course did run;
- Or Isis’ husband, god of good,
- Osiris, moved the Nile to flood;
- Or Bacchus, heathen god of wine,
- Held orgies that turn'd men to swine;
- Or Druid old, ’neath gnarled oak,
- The secret word to Druid spoke.
- Were Masonry a thing to give
- And not a Spirit one must live,
- Were it some curious work of art
- And not the offspring of the heart,
- All would have learn'd in days gone by
- The secret and its mystery.
- Not from such sources has it come,
- Nor in their teachings finds its home.
- Its open page the world may scan,
- And thereon read the sacred plan
- Of joining all the pure and good
- Into one happy Brotherhood.
- I read a legend years ago—
- If it be true no man may know—
- But in that holy tale we see
- The heav'n-born plan of Masonry.
- A Persian fane stood open wide,
- A passing Jew its altar spied,
- Whereon the sacrificial flame
- The Parsee's worship did proclaim,
- And, seeing one in priest's attire,
- Exclaim'd, “My friend, you worship fire!”
- “Not so,” said he, “yon sacred ray
- Is emblem of the god of day.”
- “You worship then the sun,” said he.
- “Nay, nay,” replied the sad Parsee,
- “But you must know untutor'd minds
- Are taught by symbols and by signs
- Concept to form of the Most High;
- So midst the signals of the sky
- As emblem of the Eternal One
- We choose the glorious, shining sun.”
- The Jewish Rabbi slowly spoke
- While watching the ascending smoke:
- “You thus the outward eye amuse,
- The inward eyes no Master choose;
- In showing man this image bright
- You hide from him the heav'nly light;
- Know not the great I—Am hath said
- ‘No graven image shall be made!’
- ‘No other God there is save me!’
- ‘Before no idol bend the knee!’ ”
- A moment paus'd the Parsee priest
- And meekly made he this request:
- “How, Rabbi, do you designate
- The One supremely good and great?”
- To this the Israelite replied,
- With eager voice and conscious pride,
- “That Being, great, beyond the sky,
- We call Jehovah, Adonai,
- The Lord who was, who is, will be,
- Whose kingdom is eternity.”
- A stranger stood apart, yet heard
- The Jewish and the Pagan word,
- The promptings of the Spirit felt,
- For in his heart God's image dwelt;
- In answer to their questioning
- Of how he called the Almighty King,
- True follower of his sacred vow,
- Drew nigh and said with accents low,
- “We call Him, Father,” and amazed
- Upon the Jew the Pagan gazed,
- And both with radiant joy did cry,
- “That's image and reality!
- More light to us his words impart,
- He speaks the language of the heart.”
- With one accord all raised their eyes
- To Heaven beyond the starlit skies;
- With reverence and with love they said
- “Our Father,” and to Him they prayed.
- Each leaned him gently on the other,
- Each breathed to each the name of “Brother.”
- In some such hour of Fatherhood,
- Was born Masonic Brotherhood.
- “You meet in secret,” one may say,
- And thus impugn the ancient way
- Of those who met on hill, in vale,
- And listen'd to a Brother's hail
- When shelter'd by the vaulted sky,
- But ever ’neath the all-seeing eye.
- There are some things man may not see;
- His life is one great mystery.
- In secret God new worlds creates,
- In secret he our souls elates;
- In secret, leaf and flower grow
- And noiselessly the moments flow;
- List as man may, he never hears
- The movements of revolving spheres;
- Great as man is, he hath not pow'r
- To check the speed of passing hour;
- Beyond some lengths man may not go;
- Are we not bound by cable-tow?
- We fear God in the storm and noise,
- We know Him in the still, small voice;
- The untaught hear Him in the wind,
- Light-seekers see Him with the mind.
- The noisy day is made for strife,
- In sweat to earn the bread of life;
- The silent night for pray'r is giv'n
- To guide our wayward steps to heav'n.
- If we be Masons good and true
- Some things in secret we must do:
- In secret may our alms be done,
- The mastery of self be won,
- The cheering word to Brothers speak
- When they our friendly counsels seek;
- In secret we the hungry feed;
- In secret wailing orphans heed;
- In secret dry the widow's tear;
- In silence bear the stranger's bier.
- These are some lessons we would teach,
- By thought and act, yet not by speech.
- God speed you in the path you tread,
- Who love the living, mourn the dead!
- Your actions measure by the square;
- In all things be both true and fair;
- To you no evil e'er will come
- Whose life is tested by the plumb.
- With all your heart, your soul, your mind,
- Be guided by the Book Divine!
- And when at last his gavel falls,
- This earthly Lodge from labor calls,
- May Boaz, pillar at the gates,
- Which angels tile, where Jachin waits,
- Unloose the bandage from your eyes
- And give you password to the skies.
- There, in the Lodge Celestial, bright,
- May you behold the Perfect Light!
JUDGE WILLIAM A. MOORE.
William Armistead Moore, eldest son of Judge Augustus Moore and Susan Jordan Armistead, was born in Edenton, N. C., July 20, 1831. He came of a very distinguished and intellectual family, that furnished five judges to the Old North State.
William Moore attended Edenton Academy, and in 1848 he entered the University of North Carolina, where he made a fine record and was awarded the degree of Excellent—the second student since the foundation of the institution to attain that honor. On account of the sudden death of his father in 1851 he returned home to take charge of the affairs of the estate. He now took up the study of law, but his sight began to fail and he gained his legal education orally, standing first in the class before Judge Pearson in 1852. When asked the name of his instructor he proudly answered: “Your honor, my mother has been my only preceptress.”
He practiced his profession until the beginning of the Civil War, when he entered the service of the Confederacy. He was a delegate in 1865 to the Charlestown Convention, which was held in the hope of preventing a split in the Democratic Party, but without success.
Judge Moore was Colonel of the Militia of Chowan County, which went to Roanoke Island. After its fall he was in active service until the army disbanded. He served on the staff of Gen. D. H. Hill in the Seven Days' fight around Richmond, and assisted Dr. Edward Warren Bey in removing and caring for the wounded in those battles. Stricken with rheumatism on the field he was retired from active service.
JUDGE WILLIAM A. MOORE.
After the close of the war he returned to the practice of law.
In 1871 he was elected judge of the Second Judicial District of North Carolina, serving eight years.
In 1878 Judge Moore was appointed Honorary Commissioner to Paris, and was invited to deliver an address in that city before the American Delegation. This address won the gold medal awarded on that occasion.
He died unmarried, at his ancestral home in Edenton, N. C., December 20, 1884, and lies buried in Old St. Paul Churchyard.THE LEADING EVENTS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
(Delivered at the Paris Exposition in 1878.)
Ladies and Gentlemen:—
Carlyle, in his history of Frederick the Great, the latest of those rich and unique productions which his prolific and brilliant intellect has sent forth to charm and instruct the readers of two hemispheres, pronounces on the Eighteenth Century a most severe, humiliating sentence. “It is a century,” says he, “which has no history and can have little or none. To resuscitate it or call into men's view, beyond what is necessary, the poor and sordid personages and transactions of such an epoch, can be no purpose of mine. To me,” he continues, “that Century had nothing grand in it, except that grand universal suicide, the French Revolution, by which it terminated its otherwise most worthless existence”.
Is this sentence just—is it true? The admirers of that distinguished writer might perhaps insist on this
harsh and sweeping judgment being final were there not a right of appeal to other authorities presenting at least as high claims to historic truth.
Viewed, however, in the light which has been thrown around it by numerous other historical minds of the highest order, no century was illustrated by more important events—by more brilliant exploits of military genius—by profounder speculations in philosophy—by higher triumphs of intellect in the practical sciences—by more splendid displays of the power of eloquence or more astonishing improvements in the science of government!
The great Civil Revolution of England, which had so signally vindicated the rights of the people and defined and limited the powers of the Crown, had given eclat to the closing years of the Seventeenth Century.
The representative of the Stuart Dynasty had been driven from the throne of his ancestors, and the firm, austere, but dauntless William of Orange guided the destinies of England! But neither he nor his adherents regarded his hold on the sceptre as secure. There sat at that time on the throne of France one of the most extraordinary men celebrated in history.
With the highest personal accomplishments—with a mind well trained, and richly stored with all the varied learning of the age—with ambition unbounded—with executive capacity unsurpassed—with resources inexhaustible—fired by the spirit of chivalry and sustained by an indomitable will, that had been nursed and strengthened by his aristocratic pride—Louis the Fourteenth of France aspired to universal Empire! The brilliant career of Charlemagne was ever before his eyes. His ruling maxim was, “I am the State”, and he claimed to be and was, in truth, the representative of monarchial power—the great leader
of European absolutism in Church and State, in opposition to and against the progress of that religious and civil feedom, which the Reformation and the Revolution of 1688 had vindicated and proclaimed!
What he could not accomplish by force he did not scruple to call in aid the chicanery and fraud of diplomacy to achieve. The celebrated treaty for the partition of Spain was signed at the Hague on the 13th of March, 1700, between France, England and Holland—without even the knowledge of the Emperor of Spain his entire dominions were to be divided between the great contracting parties. To England and Holland were allotted and to be secured in equal portions the entire Spanish Colonies of the New World. Louis himself grasped at the Empire of Europe. “A more infamous proceeding”, exclaims a great historian, “is not recorded in the annals of man, and it reveals the melancholy truth, that the human heart is ever the same, under whatever banner it may be exhibited”.
It would indeed be a subject of rich and curious inquiry and speculation, what would have been the result had this arbitrary and rapacious contract been executed in good faith; what change would have been wrought in the destinies of the Spanish Colonies in the Western Hemisphere had they thus passed at that early period from under the ignorance and bigotry of the mother country into a more liberal and enlightened system of policy and law—but the sequel illustrates most strikingly how the wicked machinations even of empires are defeated by an overruling Providence and turned in the end to the good of the human race. Louis contracted but to play a treacherous game should it be demanded by the purposes and ends of his own personal aggrandizement. He secretly informed the Emperor of
Spain of the provisions of the treaty, and by duplicity and intimidation secured the magnificent succession of the Spanish Monarchy to the House of Bourbon in the person of his own grandson—The Duke of Anjou. Europe saw the danger that was impending and flew to arms.
Thus was the Eighteenth Century ushered in by the dawning of the brilliant careers of Marlborough and Eugene against the bold and unscrupulous efforts of Louis at universal domination. Nor was there ever a conflict between nations that called for a higher display of genius and power. France and England had met, in deadly conflict, in the olden time, on the plains of Cressy, Poitiers and Agincourt, where the daring chivalry of the Frank went down before the stubborn courage of the Saxon, but never, before the great war of the Succession, had there been such a series of conflicts between those powers, in which victory was rendered the more brilliant by the consummate skill and daring intrepidity displayed by the vanquished!
But the soldier of Louis the Fourteenth was far superior in skill and discipline to the soldier of Francis and John of the Fourteenth Century. He was schooled by masters of the military art, Turenne, Conde, Boufflers and Villars. Second only to the great captains who headed the allied armies were the generals of Louis the Fourteenth, and the genius of Vanban reared those immense fortifications that spread like a snaky cordon of fire along the frontiers of France. The whole military history of Europe would be searched in vain for achievements more brilliant than the victories of Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. By them the power of the Grand Monarch was shattered, and, although the crown of Spain was saved to the House of Bourbon
by the skill and bravery of Berwick, whom Bolingbroke pronounced “the best great man known to history”, yet its splendid schemes of universal dominion were foiled, and the destinies of Europe changed!
It was during this period, also, that the bloody conflict in the North of Europe between Charles XII of Sweden and Peter the Great of Russia was in progress, which was terminated by the signal victory of the latter at Pultowa, in 1709, by which Russia came into life and activity as one of the great powers of Europe—a power which has been advancing ever since with the stride of a mighty giant, absorbing the half of two continents and boldly penetrating a third with its possessions!
From the close of the war of the Succession to the death of Charles VI of Germany in 1740, Europe enjoyed comparative repose. The splendid triumphs during that period of the Christian arms, under the daring Eugene, over the hordes of Mussulmen that threatened Europe, proved that the spirit which proclaimed the emancipation of nations from arbitrary power was still fresh and vigorous when directed against the sweeping rapacity of the followers of the Crescent!
Charles of Germany, having no male descendant and wishing to secure the succession of his dominions to his own blood, proclaimed in 1724 the celebrated decree entitled, “the Pragmatic Sanction”, by which his hereditary possessions were bequeathed to his eldest daughter, Maria Theresa. It was recognized and approved by all the great powers of Europe, and they pledged themselves by solemn treaty to its support. On the faithful observance of those treaties, the full redemption of that plighted national faith, depended the peace of Europe, perhaps of the world.
There had, however, a short time previous to the death of Charles, ascended the thone of Prussia a man whose genius was destined to burst with electric power on the world and throw a blaze of glory around his country, that shut out from the sight of those, who gazed in amazement, the ruin he scattered around his fiery career! The ambitious Frederick the Great had fixed his eye on Silesia, one of the richest provinces belonging to the hereditary patrimony of Maria Theresa. No considerations of plighted faith, no demands of chivalric gallantry, no appeals to his justice or magnanimity, could appease the grasping cupidity or curb the reckless ambition of Frederick. His father had bequeathed him the best-drilled army in Europe. His ambitious resolve had hardly been formed before that army was in motion and Silesia overwhelmed—conquered before the Queen of Austria and the other powers of Europe could recover from the maze of astonishment into which they were thrown by what they regarded as a daring act of usurpation and robbery!
With nations, as with individuals, evil examples blunt the moral perceptions, and one act of wrong left unpunished is sure to engender others. France and Bavaria, too, coveted a part of the spoils of dominion and turned their arms against the Queen of Austria. She remained undaunted, and, with that proud spirit which had ever characterized the House of Hapsburg, rejected, with disdain, every proposition to dismember the dominions of her forefathers and cast them as so much plunder into the scales of her enemies. At this period of her fortunes was exhibited one of the most sublime instances of moral courage and unconquerable devotion ever recorded. The history of the world may be challenged for a parallel.
Maria Theresa saw the dangers with which she was surrounded. The great portion of her own dominions was leagued with her enemies. She had no hope left but in the generous devotion and dauntless bravery of Hungary. The Diet was assembled. She appeared before it with her infant son—the heir apparent—in her arms. Care sat heavily on her features, but those charms, that made her the beloved of all in her joyous days of prosperity, were still seen in every movement. Standing before the peers of her realm, in all the pride of conscious right, she exclaimed, “Abandoned by my friends, attacked by my nearest relatives, I have no resource left but in your fidelity and valor. On you alone I depend for relief, and in your hands I commit, with confidence, the son of your sovereign and my just cause.” The enthusiasm elicited by this appeal was irresistible, and the cry went up and rang through the nation, “We will die for our Sovereign, Maria Theresa!” Hungary sprang to arms with the velocity of lightning, and Vienna was saved!
Under the interposition of England Frederick retired from this conflict, soon to be precipitated into another far more critical and daring. His ambition had aroused and nursed the wrath of all the old dynasties of Europe. He had never been recognized by them as legitimately entitled to a place amongst kings. His court was the nursery of doctrines inimical to aristocratic supremacy—the hotbed of what was regarded by royalty as “the philosophy of sedition”. To annihilate his power and partition his dominions was their only hope of safety. The fiery struggle began at the gates of Prague. Never before was there such a concentration of all the power, energy and resources of high, pure genius and indomitable iron will, as Frederick displayed. Never
before had a ruler been enabled to infuse more of the intense fire of enthusiasm into the hearts and energies of his people. With but four millions of subjects he contended for seven years against the greatest powers of Europe, numbering upwards of an hundred millions and sending to the field more than half a million of well disciplined soldiers! The victories of Rosback and Leuthen, “those masterpieces of military strategy”, as they were subsequently termed by Napoleon, astonished Europe. The allies retired one by one in despair from the conflict, like foiled hunters from the power of the lion. The treaty of peace, signed at Hubertsburg, Saxony, the 15th of February in 1763 terminated the struggle of the Seven Years’ War, during which a whole continent in arms had been unable to tear from the iron grasp of Frederick a single acre of his dominions. The lesson that Europe learned from it was of immense importance. It taught legitimacy that its power was not invincible. It taught the people “the might that slumbers in a peasant's arm”!
The great crisis of Europe was now rapidly approaching. The remnants of those feudal institutions and customs that had so long hung as a cloud over the intellects of her people were fast hastening to decay. The awe in which they were once held was rapidly passing away and giving place to a bold, defiant feeling and of individual personal independence. Men, the people, the masses had begun to read, to think, to examine, to reason for themselves. They were firmly resolving that this high, invaluable privilege should no longer be confined to a favored few, in Church or State. They had thought and reasoned by deputy long enough. They determined to assert the control of that which alone attested their affinity to the divine nature! The printing
press was consequently the colossal power of the age. The advocates of arbitrary power saw it, but what could they do? It was not like one or even a hundred powerful rebels against the doctrine of the divine right of kings, who could be imprisoned in the tower or thrown into the dark dungeons of the Bastile. If the machinery was destroyed and “those little dumb propagators of sedition”, as the types were termed, scattered to the winds, the knowledge of the invention still survived. The secret of Faust and Coster had been given as a legacy to the world—not to any particular class—not to kings, princes and prelates only, not to the ruler exclusive of the ruled! If one press was destroyed or silenced, a dozen others sprang up in its place—and no wonder it was, under the efforts made in the 15th century by political and religious despotism to muzzle or annihilate it, likened to the Hydra of Hercules. It was this power which, more than any other, contributed during that century to elevate the laboring classes to that position of respectability and influence from which they had been so long excluded, and it was by their elevation that new energy and life were infused into the whole body of the social and civil organization. Individual ambition, aspirations to high honors, by those of the humblest origin, gave new strength and increased vigor to society. England found herself sinking into sloth, inaction and national imbecility, until the bold and energetic spirit of the laboring classes, from which emerged so many of those intellectual prodigies that had been inured to poverty and hard experience, sprang to her aid! This was attested by the history of every department of her government—of every branch of industry—of every vocation in society—of her legislative hall—of her judiciary, her army, her navy, her pulpit—of the legal and medical
professions, of agriculture, manufactures and commerce. Her great Commoner, who raised her to the zenith of national power, sprang from the middle classes. To the son of an humble tradesman she was indebted for that discovery which led to the marvelous triumphs of steam. To the son of a wheelwright she owed that invention which has snatched millions of her population from the grasp of poverty and suffering, and made her the mistress of the commercial world! It was the son of a poor saddler who astonished Europe, during the Eighteenth Century, by a display of that profundity of thought, severity of reasoning and metaphysical astuteness of mind, which acquired for him the title of “the Modern Aristotle”!
One of the leading maxims of Napoleon was, “Let the career of distinction be always open to talent and merit regardless of birth.” And this, no doubt, was one of the great secrets of his success. It was the armory from which he drew those “thunderbolts of war” that made his army the pride of France and the terror of Europe.
On this subject that philosophic historian, Alison, remarks, “Universally the chief spring of a nation's prosperity is to be found in the humbler classes. It is the ascending spirit and increasing energy of the poor which both lays the foundation of national wealth and secures the progress of national glory. Ask,” says he, “the professional man what occasions the difficulty so generally experienced in struggling through the world, or even in maintaining his ground against his numerous competitors, and he will immediately answer, that it is the pressure from below that occasions all this difficulty. His equals he can withstand, his superiors overcome; it is the efforts of his inferiors which are chiefly formidable. Those in
general who rise to eminence in every profession are the sons of the middling and humbler classes—men whom poverty has inured to hardship or necessity compelled to exertion, and who have acquired in the early school of difficulty habits more valuable than all the gifts that fortune and royalty can bestow.”
A distinguished British author has, on the contrary, given utterance to the sentiment, “that no man ever rose from an humble station to exalted power amongst men, in whom great and commanding qualities were not combined with meanness; that would be inconceivable in ordinary life.” This sentiment is not only harsh and unjust, but it is falsified by hosts of witnesses. He who uttered it was known to be as much a slave to the behests of prerogative and hereditary distinction and power as he was a despot in the literary and social circles of his day. There were dozens of men around him with whom he was in constant intercourse whose origin, history and position were a full and complete refutation of the slander. Sir Matthew Hale, Cudworth, Barrow, Burke, Franklin, all rose from humble, private stations to exalted positions and power amongst men, yet what act of meanness can be pointed out in the career of either? It was a slander on the living as well as on the dead, on the very spirit and reality of the age in which its author and propagator lived.
What was true of England was equally applicable to most of the continental nations during the Eighteenth Century. It was the effort to keep down this pressure from below, the new and vigorous growth from the rich strata of poverty and toil, that precipitated the crisis of Europe!
Other causes, however, were operating on the maps of the continent. There is no truer maxim in political ethics—however trite it may be regarded—none certainly
more conclusively established by experience, than that to govern a people too much is as fatal as to govern them too little. If the latter tends to licentiousness, the former either ends in servitude or impels to rebellion. There had been too much governing throughout Europe, in Church, in State, in petty corporations, in exclusive associations, in the iron customs and rules of the social circle. Great minds had sprung with boldness into the discussion of abuses and corruptions, ecclesiastical and political. Pascal and Fenelon had written, and their writings had been read by Europe. The reasonings and maxims of Locke had been spread far and wide. The press of England was teeming with productions, speaking directly to the point, the right of man to self-government, the right of private judgment, the right to think, to reason, to aspire—to elevate himself in the scale of human intelligence and virtue! The light of the example of the American Revolution had shone across the Atlantic. “Lafayette”, says Lamartine, “wrote a French name on the baptismal font of a transatlantic nation, and that name came back to France like the echo of liberty and glory!” Patriotic and conservative men looked forward with confidence to the time when the people would enjoy a participation in the government. They, however, did not expect or desire that even that great privilege should be sought with violence and acquired through bloodshed! Had there been in France as much virtue and true religion as there was in England in 1688, these extremes would have been avoided. There was, in the opinion of many, a sufficiency of intelligence to have enabled the people to move forward to the successful establishment of Republican Government under discreet and patriotic leaders. But infidelity and atheism had taken too deep a root—not
amongst the peasantry, but amongst those who would necessarily become leaders in a movement for popular institutions. Many of those who took the lead in the Revolution of 1789 were educated—perhaps learned. But they were destitute of true virtue. They craved liberty, but were unwilling to make Christianity its handmaid and guide. They trampled on the Bible, lauded the corrupting productions of Voltaire—that daring leader of the infidel choir of Europe! They pulled down religion and put up perverted, blind, frenzied reason in its place. “They lighted up,” said a great man, “the temple of freedom with the unhallowed fire of infidelity!” Beginning as the devotees of liberty and the professed friends of order, they became the instigators of discord and the instruments of despotism. They proved themselves in the end, in the language of Burke, “the most skilful architects of men the world had ever seen!” Then followed “that universal earthquake, the very dust of which darkened the air and made the day a disastrous midnight! From its ruins emerged the Titan energies and power of Napoleon, under the throes and shadow of which the Eighteenth Century expired!”
But it was not for great military achievements alone—the conflict of the harsher elements of the soul—that the Eighteenth Century was distinguished. No period was more remarkable for the conflict of mind in the investigation of those great questions that intimately concern the happiness of the human race!
It was the epoch that gave to the judicature of England a Hardwicke, a Camden, a Mansfield and a Thurlow—to that of France the profound legal learning of a Pothier and a D'Agnessea—and that elicited the bright rays of light from the philosophic mind of Montesquieu, who has been justly termed “the great
legislator of man”, a name that should alone redeem the age in which he lived from the harsh invective and spiteful satire of Carlyle!
Nor in the physical sciences—in philosophy—in literature—in history—in eloquence—does that epoch present representatives less illustrious than any which preceded it. Leibnitz, D'Alambert, Lemo and our own Franklin were amongst the brightest ornaments of which philosophy can boast. The genius of Herschel was opening to the view of men new and untold wonders in the heavens! It gave birth to Sir Humphrey Davy, whose valuable discoveries in chemical science secured him imperishable fame, and it was justly entitled to twenty-seven years of the life and labors of one whose name no man can mention and whose transcendent genius none “who joy to see the honor of their kind” can contemplate without emotions of pride—the great Newton!
“The wondrous man! how mild, how calm, how gently humble, how divinely good:—how firm established on eternal truth!”
“Ye mouldering stones, that build the towering pyramid, the proud triumphal arch, the monument effaced by ruthless ruin, and whate'er supports the worshipp'd name of hoar antiquity—down to the dust! What grandeur can ye boast, while Newton lifts his column to the skies, beyond the waste of time!”
In the field of Literature, too, what epoch can present any array of brighter names? It was then that the gigantic intellect of Johnson reached the fullness of its fame. It was the age of Fielding, Steele and Smollett, of the first of whom it was said by a great critic, that “his exquisite pictures of human manners would outlive the place of the Escurial and the imperial eagles of Austria!” The charming writings of
Addison were then infusing their moral influence into the social circle of every reader of English literature. Goldsmith, too, was delighting the civilized world with his exquisite productions. The magic of their humor and the attractive graces of their moral beauty had thrown enchantment around all his writings. Pope, Thompson, Burns, Young, Beattie, were gathering the richest flowers from the garden of the Muses, and Schiller, Goethe, Le Sage, Rousseau and Voltaire were wielding a power over the minds of the continent that no authors had before surpassed. Adam Smith, Hume and Robertson were peers amongst the greatest—and the immortal work of Gibbon had built up the vast pyramid of his world-wide fame!
And here let Carlyle answer unto himself. In his favorite work entitled, “Heroes and Hero Worship”, he has taken all his literary heroes from the 18th Century—Goethe, Burns, Johnson and Rousseau. Of the first he says, “he is our chosen specimen of the hero as a literary man”. Of Johnson, “I have always considered him by nature one of our great English souls. I find in his words the indisputable traces of a great heart and a great intellect.” Of Rousseau, “I cannot say much of him as a hero, but I name him as such because he has a hero's chiefest characteristic—earnestness.” “Burns” he says, “was a giant original man, one of those men that reach down to the perennial deeps—the most gifted British soul of that Century!”
Yet that Century had “none but poor and sordid personages, had in it nothing grand, and boasted but a worthless existence!” What beautiful consistency! But to proceed. It was the age of Linnaeus, “the sweet naturalist of Sweden,” the beauty of whose moral and social character was equalled only by the beauty of his discoveries in botanical science; and of
Buffon, “the astute scholar of France”, whose unrivalled work on natural history has been translated into nearly every language of the continent.
Nor shall the indefatigable Hamel be forgotten—a man who did more for the prosperity and happiness of France, in arousing and cultivating amongst her people a taste for agriculture, than all the babbling politicians that swarmed around the hive of her Revolution!
It was the epoch, too, of Watt and Arkwright, who did so much to advance the material power of their country and expand the commerce of the world.
The triumph of the genius of the one may be seen in that which has contributed more than anything else to make England the workshop of the world, and of the other in those immense improvements that are linking nations together with the iron bands of intercourse and commerce and making neighbors of the most widely separated sections of the greatest empires. Nor is that powerful original thinker, the propounder and advocate of the doctrine, “the greatest happiness of the greatest number”, Jeremy Bentham, less entitled to the admiration of posterity. Macaulay says of him “In some of the highest departments in which the human intellect can exert itself he has not left his equal behind him. Posterity will place him in the same rank with Galileo, and with Locke, the man who found jurisprudence a gibberish and left it a science. He had weaknesses, but they were mingled with eminent virtues.”
The brightest page, however, in the history of the Eighteenth Century in connection with the Old World is that which records the astonishing achievements of eloquence—in the pulpit—in the forum—in the Senate. Whitefield and Massillon, in their divine calling, were swaying at will the minds of multitudes of men.
Never before had the bar of Ireland and England been electrified by such rich displays of forensic oratory as those that marked the careers of Wedderburn, Curran and Erskine. Mirabeau stood unrivalled—without a peer—in the stormy assemblies of France, as did Grattan in the Parliament of Ireland; but to the Senate of England we must look for that galaxy of great names whose eloquence wielded with resistless power the moral, intellectual and physical resources of Christendom! The bold, stormy, overwhelming thought and action of Chatham—the rich philosophy and profound wisdom of Burke—the terse, direct, earnest, resistless logic of Fox—the gorgeous imagery, fascinating elegance of satire and sparkling wit of Sheridan—the sweeping intellectual grandeur of the younger Pitt—the chaste diction and profound reasoning of Mansfield—all contributed to make the Parliament of England the great intellectual amphitheatre of the world!
Whilst the memorable events to which I have briefly referred were succeeding each other in the Old World, and the actors on that theatre were performing their parts with so much eclat, this continent presented a scene that had never before been witnessed, the influence of which must be felt through all succeeding ages!
France had possession of the Canadas. The English Colonies extended along nearly the whole Atlantic Coast. Each of those great powers had its eye intently fixed on the vast and fertile valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi. France was rapidly extending her military possessions and posts through the Northwest. The rash and unfortunate Braddock had been defeated. In 1756 war between England and France was proclaimed. It ended in the triumph of the English arms. The gallant Howe had fallen in the
desperate conflict around Ticonderoga, and his great compatriot, Wolfe, had expired in the arms of victory on the heights of Abraham! Did those brave men, who thus gave up their lives, realize, in truth, the momentous character of the struggle in which they were contending? Was it allowed them to penetrate the future and see the vast consequences to the human race of the work in which they were then engaged? It was, my friends, the struggle for a Continent!—for the future seat of Empire!—for the coming glories of a great Republic—for the mastery over that arena on which the momentous drama of the American Revolution was shortly to be enacted! It was a struggle for the ascendancy of race over race, of those who held in their hands, for the enjoyment of succeeding generations, the invaluable principles of civil and religious freedom against the Ecclesiastical bigotry and political absolutism of Europe!
The great wish of Chatham's heart, the expulsion of France from the Canadas and the Northwest and the opening of those vast regions to English customs, laws and institutions, had at last been accomplished. It was regarded by sagacious men as the forerunner—the guaranty—the warrant to the final independence of the British possessions in America. John Adams proclaimed the acquisition of Canada as the prelude to the approaching independence of his country. The astute and crafty Choiseul warned England, that the breaking down of the power of France on this Continent would insure the separate existence of her Colonies, and the wise, sagacious Virgennes declared that England would ere long repent of having removed the only check which had kept them in awe. But, thank God, the great soul of Chatham remained unseduced, unmoved, inflexible! It triumphed over the demands of temporary, vacillating, short-sighted policy! It
had penetrated the depths of the future. It saw, in advance of all other minds, the approaching glories of America. It gazed with the eye of prophecy on the triumphs of the literature—the science—the laws—the free institutions of his own country. He saw in that bright view the happiness of distant generations, the joy of millions on this Continent who were to speak the language of Shakespeare and Milton, who were to venerate the memory of Newton and of Locke, who were to look back on the martyrdom of Sidney and Russell as a guaranty of their own political freedom, and that of Ridley and Latimer and the great defenders of religious toleration as sentinels in all times to come over their own freedom of conscience! The immortal victory of Wolfe and the peace of Paris that struck Canada from the diadem of France broke the fetters that bound the spirit of the British Colonies in America!
Thus the cloud of absolutism in Church and State, which had so long hung over their Northern frontiers. charged with all the elements of a feudal age and which no ray of free, untrammelled thought had been able to penetrate, was dissipated, dispelled, and the clear light of heaven shone full upon their path to freedom and greatness!
It was between the years 1763 and 1775, when argument ceased forever and the appeal to arms was made, that the great debate on the right of England to tax America waxed warmest:—a debate that enlisted more of the power of reason—more of the inspiration of genius—more of the fire of eloquence—more of the enthusiasm of the soul—more of the heated intensity and force of unconquerable will—than any to which the world had ever before listened in rapt admiration and awe! It was not a question of a day—of an epoch—of a Century—or of one country—one
hemisphere—but it was a question in which were involved the rights and happiness of ages to come, and the destinies of the civilized world! Neither Greece nor Rome—nor any of the great states of Modern Europe—in all their momentous trials—in all the glory of their high achievements—had ever encountered such an issue! “Taxation without representation is tyranny”, exclaimed Otis, Adams and Henry. “The great fundamental, essential maxim of our liberties is, that no subject of England should be taxed but by his own consent!” responded Chatham. “Leave America to tax herself—you have no right to do it. You cannot argue men into slavery,” re-echoed Burke.
Imagine, if you can, the emotions of the Athenians when, under the thunders of Demosthenes, they realized for the first time that Philip, with his victorious army, was at their gates—of Rome when her matrons were sent out to appease the wrath and avert the vengeance of Coriolanus—of the same city when Brennus was weighing, piece by piece, the gold that was demanded for her ransom—realize, if you can, the throbbings of the mighty heart of Europe whilst the dreadful battle of Tours was raging, on which field the immortal Martel saved Christendom from the yoke of Mohammedanism—of the people of Holland when the courageous, the lion-hearted William of Orange leveled their dikes and let in the raging ocean upon their country to expel or overwhelm the savage soldiery of Spain—realize the force, the intense power of all this, and you will still have but a faint conception of the anxiety, the suspense, the enthusiasm, the intrepid resolution, that alternately swayed the minds of men, the hearts of nations, as that great debate progressed and friend and foe to the principles involved met in intellectual strife! That debate,
thank Heaven! ended in the American Revolution, the cynosure of the Eighteenth Century, the never-fading Day-star to all centuries to come!
But I shall not pursue this theme. It is too fruitful for the limits assigned me by the occasion. The progress and result of that memorable contest have been committed to history and should be known by all.
Casting the mind back then over the period, the events of which we have been so briefly considering—how empty—how futile—how illiberal—how unjust—must appear the bitter denunciation and snarling sarcasm of Carlyle!
But has the proof been exhausted? Are there no other witnesses? Was there no other character that added lustre to that era?
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