Page images
[merged small][ocr errors]

too heavy, immediately bore up, in doing which A heavy fog laying thick upon the water con-
she got a raking discharge, when the Constitution cealed the hulls of the strangers, but they proved
boarded her fore-tack and made sail, keeping up a to be the Acasta, 40; Leander, 50, and Newcastle,
terrible chasing fire from her two bow guns—the 50; the former weathered on all the American
two ships being so near each other that the ripping ships, gaining on the Levant and Cyane, but
of the enemy's planks was heard on board the falling astern of the Constitution, while the two
American frigate. The former finding his case larger vessels on the latter's lee quarter, held way
hopeless, at 10 P.M. came by the wind, fired a gun with her, and she was compelled to cut adrift
to leeward, and lowered his ensign. The third two of her boats the enemy pressing her too hard
lieutenant, W. B. Shubrick, was sent on board to to allow of their being hoisted in.
take possession, when it was found that the prize Captain Stewart finding that the Cyane was
was the Levant, 18 guns and 130 men, commanded gradually dropping astern and to leeward, made a
by the Honorable Captain Douglass.

signal for her to tack; this order was promptly Although it was more than three hours and a obeyed and it was expected that one of the half from the time the combat commenced before enemy's ships would follow her, but finding she the Levant struck her colors, the actual fighting was not pursued she stood on until lost in the did not occupy three-quarters of an hour. For a fog, when in anticipation that the enemy might

. night action, the execution on both sides was give chase to leeward, Mr. Hoffmann, the prizeunusual. The precise number of slain on board master again tacked, keeping to windward long the Cyane is unknown; the wounded numbered enough to allow the foe to get ahead should they 26. Captain Stewart's estimate of the loss on the pursue him, he finally squared away for America, Levant was 23 killed and 16 wounded. The Con- arriving at New York on the roth of April followstitution had 3 killed and 12 wounded ; among ing. this number not one officer was hurt; and though The enemy's ships continued their chase after the vessel suffered less in her crew than in the the Constitution and Levant, and by 3 P.M. the combat with the Java, she was hulled oftener in latter had fallen so far astern that she was in the this engagement than in both her previous battles. same predicament from which the Cyane had so

The manner in which Captain Stewart handled lately been extricated, and Captain Stewart made his ship on this occasion excited much admiration signal for her to tack also. Mr. Ballard who was among nautical people, it being considered re- in charge immediately complied, and a few minutes markable that a single vessel could engage two after, the three British ships tacked by signal and enemies and escape being raked.

chased the prize, leaving the Constitution standing Captain Douglass merited and received the on in a different direction at the rate of eleven highest encomiums from the Americans, by his knots. intrepid conduct in standing by his consort, as Finding the enemy bent on following, the there was a possibility of his escaping but he nobly Levant ran back into Port Praya and anchored scorned to take advantage of the opportunity.

within 150 yards of the shore under a strong Captain Stewart proceeded with his two prizes battery; as soon as it was seen that the prize to Port Praya, where he arrived on the roth of would gain her anchorage the three ships opened March, 1815, and landed more than a hundred fire upon her, as did the battery from the shore, of his prisoners. On the next day a little after after bearing this for some time the colors of the meridian it was discovered that three heavy British

Levant were struck. men-of-war were looking in shore and evidently

After landing his prisoners at Maranham, and stretching towards the roads. Well knowing that learning at Porto Rico that peace had been dethe English would disregard the neutrality of the clared, Captain Stewart turned the prow of his port, the Captain ordered the Constitution's cable gallant old ship towards the United States, and to be cut, and made signal for the prizes to follow arrived in New York about the middle of May. which they did with alacrity. As the Constitution With this cruise ended her fighting career. was passing out, the English prisoners on shore the course of two years and nine months she had took possession of a battery, and opened an in- been in three brilliant actions, had been twice

critically chased and had captured five vessels of


[ocr errors][ocr errors]


effectual fire upon her.

war, two of which were frigates, and a third frigate New York, from which port she sailed on the 23d built. Her good fortune in all her service, as day of June for the Mediterranean, as the flag-ship well before Tripoli as in the war of 1812, was of Commodore Jesse D. Elliot, touching at Mar. really astonishing ; never dismasted, never got seilles, for the purpose of carrying General Lewis ashore, or scarcely ever suffered any of the usual | Cass and family from the latter port to Constantiaccidents to which other vessels have invariably nople, and on her return trip bringing home the been subjected.

Hon. Edward Livingston (Minister to the French After a period of rest we find her in commission court) and family. at Boston in the year 1820; during 1821-23, It was upon this voyage that the Constitution cruising in the Mediterranean as the flag-ship of was perhaps in greater danger of being lost than the squadron; in 1825 again attached to Mediter- at any other period of her eventful existence, and ranean squadron, under Commodore John Rogers, the thrilling incident is related by a distinguished with the rendezvous at Gibraltar.

naval officer, now living, who was an eye-witness, Again, in 1835, we find her in commission at whose account we shall give in our July number.



As Dr. Lossing has revived the memory of the such sprigs and parts of limbs as Mr. Stuart Washington Elm, in the December MONTHLY, I permits. think the memories of the Treaty Elm, the Flag, Watchman Butler says he stood at the head of and the Charter Oak, deserve at this time a similar the street at the time of the crash. The wind had revival. The following account of the Charter been blowing freshly from the northwest for an Ouk is worthy of preservation in a more enduring hour or more. He first heard loud crack, and form, and will be welcomed by your readers : saw the old oak swaying in the breeze; a cracking

The noble old tree stood upon the beautiful noise followed, and then the crash-all within the grounds of Hon. Isaac W. Stuart, late the Wyllys's space of a half a minute—and the famous monarch estate, in the southern part of the city. About of the forest, whose history is so intimately en

. three years ago some boys built a fire in the twined in that of Connecticut, was prostrate upon hollow of this tree, which burnt out the punk, and the earth! One thousand years ago, when it was though it was feared that this would kill it, such in the prime of life—when its years were half was not the fact.

Fresh sprouts sprung out the numbered, its far-reaching branches had sported next spring, and Mr. Stuart took great pains to in fiercer storms, and more swift-winged winds. preserve this valued relic of the original forests But now since full two thousand years have smiled of New England, but more especially interesting and waned upon its youth, its prime, and its as the tree in which the old British Charter of decline, it had become gray and decrepit, but was Connecticut was secreted and preserved. At this still tenacious of life ; it still clung to the lovely time the hollow in the trunk of the old Oak was spot which gave it birth, by its far-reaching roots so large that a fire company of twenty-seven full. running a long way up into the beautiful hillside, grown men stood up in it together.

and downward to the sharp cut below. Firmly, Mr. Stuart had a stout door made to shut up the aye, proudly, the Oak stood, seemingly conscious entrance, and he also placed tin caps upon the that nature had marked out for its own accomodastumps of broken limbs, and for the past three or tion one of the most enchanting retreats in the four years fresh sprouts have grown upon most State, and that destiny had accorded to it a notable of its limbs, though other limbs were decaying. and everlasting historic page in the story of ConAt the time of its fall, young and fresh acorris necticut-one of the patriotic and original thirteen were growing on every part of it. Thousands of States of the Union. people are visiting the tree, and bringing away Proudly it had stood, and when tottering with



natural decay.

age, and reduced to a mere shell of a few inches of the new king. They still held to their charter. by the steady inroads of time itself, it still clung In March, another special session was convened, with fondness to the loved spot on which it had but still the representatives of the people refused witnessed the decay and downfall of many of its to “surrender." In May they met again in reguassociates-the path and the bloody wars of the lar session, under the Charter, and reëlected red man, and the red man's decay—the birth and Treat as Governor. death of generations of the white man, whose axe On the 31st of October, 1687, Sir Edmund Anhad cut away its towering comrades of the olden dros, attended by members of his council, and a time. But whilst preserving a fair exterior, it body-guard of sixty soldiers, entered Hartford to was inwardly wasting away, and was obliged to take the charter by force. The General Assembly

, yield and fall in a storm far less severe than many was in session.

He was received with courtesy, thousands that had preceded it.

but coldness. He entered the Assembly room, Before Governor Wyllys came to America, he and publicly demanded the charter. Remonsent his steward forward to prepare a place for his strances were made, and the session was protracted residence. As he was cutting away the trees upon

till evening. The Governor and his associates the hillside of the beautiful “ Wyllys's place," a appeared to yield. The charter was brought in deputation of Indians came to him and requested and laid upon the table. Sir Edmund thought that he would spare this old hollow oak. They the last moment of the colony had come, when declared that it had been the “guide of their suddenly the lights were all put out, and total ancestors for centuries.” It was spared, to fall | darkness followed! There was no noise, no resisthis day, having finally yielded to the process of tance, but all was quiet. The candles were again

lighted, but the charter was gone! Sir Edmund The tree measured 33 feet in circumference at Andros was disconceried. He declared the govthe bottom; and it has broken off so as to leave 8 ernment of Connecticut to be in his own hands, feet of stump on one side and 6 feet on the other and that the colony was annexed to Massachusetts -the stump measuring 21 feet in circumference and other New England colonies, and proceeded

to appoint officers. Whilst he was doing this, The charter of King Charles II., for the colony Captain Jeremiah Wadsworth, patriot of those of Connecticut, arrived in Hartford in 1662, pro- times, was concealing the charter in the hollow bably in the month of September, though the of Wyllys's Oak, now known as The Charter Oak. precise time is not now known. On the oth of In 1689, King James abdicated, and on the 9th October it was publicly read to the assembled of May of that year Governor Treat and his assofreemen of Connecticut, and was declared to

ciate officers resumed the government of Connec" belong to them and their successors," and the ticut under the charter, which had been preserved people evinced their gratitude by appointing a

in the Old Hollow Oak. committee to take charge of it, under the solem

This tree has been for centuries one of the nities of an oath, and to preserve the palladium

" Hartford Institutions." No tree in the country of the rights of the people

. It contained many has such legendary associations. Our citizens liberal provisions, as may be seen on examining thronged in crowds to the spot. Chief Justices it in the Secretary of State's office, where the ori- and Reverend Doctors intermixed with sturdy laginal copy is still preserved with care. It was the borers to view the fallen monarch. A dirge was organic law of Connecticut till the present con- played at noon, by Colt's Armory Band over the stitution took its place in 1818.

fallen tree ; it was a touching thing for these me. In 1686, the General Government of New chanics, some of them sons of Connecticut, and England was dissolved by James II., and a new some of them born the other side of the Atlangovernment was instituted, with Joseph Dudley tic, thus to volunteer their sympathy; and many as President of the Commissioners. Connecticut a manly eye was moistened as the Dead March refused to surrender, and when the third writ of in Saul was played, followed by “Home, Sweet quo warranto was sent to her, Governor Treat, in Home," and rounded off with “Hail Columbia." January

, 1687, called a special session of the The bells all over the city were tolled at sunAssembly, which refused to accede to the demands down, as a token of the universal feeling that

at its top.

one of the most sacred links that bind these REMARKS.—Mr. Saffell, in his letter accompany. modern days to the irrevocable past had been ing the above paper, asks “the Editor" to write suddenly parted. Rev. Dr. Hawes suggested that a history of the “ Treaty Eim;" but we defer

“ a monument be erected on the spot, commemora- compliance with the request in the hope that we tive at once of the bold Wadsworth who saved the may induce our friend William Duane, or some charter and of the tree in which it was saved. equally well-informed writer, to favor us with such

The Charter Oak fell on August 21st, 1856. a history.-EDITOR.


[ocr errors]

“HEAD QUARTERS, VALLEY Forge April 6th Yesterday we received information

APRIL 1" (1778) that 70 sail of transports which were seen to sail Hond FATHER

down the Delaware three or four weeks ago have I had the satisfaction to receive yrs and mother's returned to Philadelphia (it is said) loaded with letters dated the 7th March by the hands of D' troops from Rhode 10 and New York, so that it is Hutchinson who took them up at Headquarters. expected they will soon attack us before we receive

I would have gone to camp immediately after our reinforcements, in consequence of which his the reception of them, to inquire for Cap' Bleecker, Excellency is now fortifying the Heights about but unfortunately I had just been preparing to set the Lines; We must fight, there is no thought of out for Lancaster with D' Crosby. My reasons for retreating, indeed it is impossible to retreat con: going there were the following, viz. as I was scant sidering the bad condition we are in with regard of money and D' M*Knight absent and as De to horses as I mentioned before. Cochran was about settling the account of the But I must conclude with compliments to Chris. Hospital, my friends advised me to receive what topher and all the officers in the Regi of my acpay and rations were due to me which I did at a quaintance, venture; both together amounted to near two

I remain dear & hond father hundred dollars :

your most affo & very dutiful son What the Doctor will say when he arrives I | LIEUT COL. WILLETT.

M. WILLETT." know not, but at the worst he can charge the three months pay to my account.

“ PRINCETON JULY 145 1778 Lancaster is really a very pretty place but every My Dear Coll' thing in it is excessively dear. I saw M' Woolsey It is with the deepest Regret and Contrition of there who desired his compliments to you when I Heart, that I conform to the necessity of transwrote.

mitting you the most melancholy Piece of IntelliI have very little news here but that we are in gence that ever touched the Soul of so loving, indaily expectation of troops from New Jersey and dulgent and affectionate a Parent-A Day or two the Southern States when we shall have to inocu- after your Departure from Corryell's Ferry, Marilate six or eight thousand more men. We got nus was taken very unwell, he took some Medicine great credit for those that were last inoculated, for which relieved him so much that he went to the out of near 4000 that had the small pox not above River, fishing, where he improperly, when warm, ten died of it. Our army is very healthy. I am with the other

. Gentlemen, stripped to swim, imin hopes we shall cut a shining figure this campaign mediately on coming out of the Water he was and be able to drive M' Howe out of Philadelphia taken very ill, tho’ the Symptoms not being im. without much trouble; it is exceedingly fine mediately alarming, he would not consent that I weather, the roads have become very good, and I should be sent for, as the Gentlemen with him cant conceive the reason why the Enemy dont took the greatest Care of him, 'till Saturday the make their appearance in the field unless they are 11th Instant at seven in the Eve he desired to see in the same predicament that we are (that is) a me, and an Express came off to me at Princeton. very great scarcity of horses and wagons, or their 1 set out immediately with him, but a Parents

' consciousness of our superiority in numbers. Feelings only could equal the Distress of my Soul

at finding my Dear Marinus a corpse! I lament against the Indians. After the war, he was Sheriff your situation, and that of his disconsolate Mother, of Kings County, 1784 to 1792, and in 1807 was my own is nothing inferior, in the Loss of him Mayor of New York City. He died in New York, who had by his amiable Disposition, his agreeable August 22d, 1830. The son, we learn from the

, | Deportment and Manners endeared himself to me second letter, was a young man of peculiarly by the strongest Bonds of Affection.—He had amiable and winning character; and we infer that died at 10 O'Clock, in three Hours after the Ex- he was attached to the army. press came away. I was truly miserable least Jus- Of the persons mentioned in the first letter, we tice had not been done him in the administring have space only for a few notes: “Dr. Hutchinof Medicine, but was much relieved on particular son" was doubtless Dr. James Hutchinson, the Enquiry to find Nothing more could have been eminent Philadelphian who received a gold medal done than was done — I attended at the last in 1774 from “Philadelphia College," for his friendly Office which could be bestowed on your proficiency in Chemistry. At the outbreak of the much loved Son, and had him interred in a private war, he was in London, where he had finished his Presbyterian burying Ground, about three Miles medical education under Dr. Fothergill, and, from Corryell's Ferry in Pennsylvania.

I warmly espousing his country's cause, hastened have desired that his Clothes &c be sent to my home by way of France, bearing important depresent Quarters 'till I can hear from you, and spatches from Dr. Franklin to the Congress. He now my Dear Colle' Your most Unhappy Friend served in the army as a surgeon throughout the and

Very Hble Servt war, was for years a trustee of the University, the COLL" M WILLETT

CHAS M KNIGHT" Physician of the Port," and one of the “ PhysiAddressed—" Collo Marinus Willett

cians of the Philadelphia College.” He died in Grand Army

1793. “Dr. Crosby" was "Surgeon in his ExDanbury-Connec'!" cellency's Guards," during the war, and subEndorsed—“Received this letter at Danbury sequently a professor in the medical department on Fryday, August gtta 1778—by the Post from of Columbia College. “Dr. McKnight" was the

7th FishKill."

distinguished patriot and surgeon, Dr. Charles

McKnight; we shall give a sketch of him in conThe MONTHLY is indebted to Mr. Charles S. nection with the portrait before alluded to. "Dr. McKnight, of Poughkeepsie, New York, for the Cochran” was Dr. John Cochran, born in Chester foregoing, which are the first two of a series County, Pennsylvania, September ist, 1730, and of valuable letters of the Revolutionary period, educated at the famous school of Dr. Francis Allikindly tendered by Mr. McKnight and gladly son. At the breaking out of the French war in accepted by the Editor. We have two admirable 1755, having completed his medical education, he letters in hand, to appear shortly, with portraits entered the British army as surgeon's mate, and at of Dr. Charles McKnight, t'e writer of the second its close quitted it with the reputation of an able of the above letters, and of the Doctor's wife, the physician, and settled in Albany, marrying Gerwriter of the two letters referred to.

trude, sister of Philip Schuyler, the noble patriot. The writer of the first letter was a son of Lieu- April 10th, 1777, Washington induced the Congress tenant-Colonel (later Colonel) Marinus Willett, a to appoint him“ Physician and Surgeon-General in distinguished soldier of the Revolution ; born at the Middle Department," and in October, 1781, Jamaica, Long Island, July 31, 1740, he gradu- the Congress made him “Director-General of the ated from Columbia College in 1766, and became Hospitals of the United States.”' a lieutenant in DeLancey's regiment, serving with he removed to New York, and President Washingdistinction in the attack on Ticonderoga, and in ton appointed him “Commissioner of Loans for Bradstreet's expedition against Fort Frontenac. New York.” He died at Palatine, Montgomery Early in 1776, he was commissioned lieutenant- County, New York, April 6th, 1807. “Mr. Wool. colonel of the third New York regiment. In sey" may have been General Melancthon Lloyd 1778

, he served under Washington, and distin- Woolsey, who, Drake tells us, was “a Revoluguished himself at Monmouth, and in 1779 he tionary officer, who died at Trenton, New York, accompanied Sullivan in his successful expedition June 29, 1819."

After the war,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »