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Upon those hooks it has probably rested two hundred and forty years. It is a cherished heir-loom in the family.
Suspended from the same huge kitchen beam, the writer saw a sliding, ratchet-like iron support for an ancient oil lamp that may yet give light to the dwelling. Upon that support it may be raised or lowered at will. The lamp is of cast-iron, in form something like a plumber's ladle, only the spout is longer, and instead of a dipper handle, it was supported by ears on each side by an adjustable handle, like an old-fashioned pot or "spider," used in an open fire-place with a swinging crane. The wick to be lighted projected from the spout, and the remainder was immersed in oil. It is of a style resembling the lamps of the ancients. It is not in use now, but when the present occupants were young girls it was always lighted below that great beam. "By its light above," said one of the maiden sisters to the visitor, "I read all the Waverly novels."
Another curious relic suggestive of the customs of colonial times, the visitor saw there. It was the wooden frame of an ox-saddle. He gives the following description of it: "It is built rounded to fit the animal's back, in the shape of a horseshoe somewhat flattened out. Each end is raised by perpendicular boards, on one of which are the initials, 'I. H.'-(John Humphrey). This oxsaddle had at one time been covered with leather, or raw hide more probably, but the worms got into it, and never ceased their possession until they had eaten it. No doubt some twenty generations of worms were employed in this tough job; but they managed it at last, and time managed them, which makes that matter even."
The Fairbanks family who have occupied the old house at Dedham, seem to have been, generally, a long lived one. The first owner of the dwelling lived to an old age, and was succeeded by his son Joseph, his only child, who married and settled at the homestead. Joseph had a large family, and at his death, which occurred when he was an old man, he left the homestead to his oldest son, Ebenezer. The latter was the grandfather of the present occupants of the house, and built the addition a century and a half ago. The homestead came into the possession of his oldest son, Ebenezer, who married and had a family of eight children, of whom the present occupants of the house are the only survivors. Their sister
Prudence was Ebenezer's second child. She new married, and resided at the homestead from ter birth until her death, when she was eighty-ne years of age. Two sisters, next younger than Prudence, married, one of them dying at the t of eighty-eight years, and the other at eighty-ra The surviving sisters cherish the memory t Prudence with a love that amounts almost to veneration. They keep the room in which shedd in the condition in which she left it. It is ta described by the writer above referred to: "T... is a corner room in the southwest end of the house. It is one of the most cheerful seen in thi old building. The bed where Prudence slept. her rocking-chair, and hassock or foot-cushion ; her table, with books and pictures; her portrit well painted, hanging upon the wall and shown; her as a fine-looking motherly old lady; the are carpet upon the room, but spread over with news papers to keep the sunlight from fading it-, everything is nearly as she left it, kept can be the daily dustings of her surviving and younger sister-that sister which long ago she nursed 2. baby, and who now repays the service and te early and life-long love by deeds of loving remerbrance."
The Fairbanks House has been a witres of many stirring scenes. When its builder w there, the Indians were quite numerous ne neighborhood. Fair-dealing in the purchase the lands from them left the barbarians no exeme for molesting their English neighbors. Star trees were yet standing on the meadowland, giving them the appearance of grassy parks. Northeast of the house is Wigwam Pond, and beyond it was a dense morass known as Wig. Swamp, in which fierce wolves kenneled. 59 plentiful were they that a bounty was offered for the lives of those beasts that preyed upon care and sheep. Near the Wigwam Pond was a c ing place for the Indians, who were always treated so kindly by the Fairbanks family that the ae were favorites with the savages.
But time and circumstance wrought chir, » Clouds obscured the firmament of peace whichhud long spread over the Massachusetts colony, a the covenant made with the good Massac, sachem of the Wampanoags. That covenant al been renewed by his son, Metacomet, better know in history as "King Philip," sachem and chet monarch and warrior, who kept it inviolate a
dozen years. But when he perceived that the spreading settlements of the English were reducing his domains, acre by acre, mile by mile, breaking up his hunting grounds, diminishing his fisheries, and threatening his nation with servitude or annihilation, his patriotism was aroused, and after a while he lent a willing ear to the hot-headed young warriors of his tribe, who gathered around him at Mount Hope, near the present town of Bristol, Rhode Island, and counselled a war of extermination against the English.
Signs of hostility among the Indians had disturbed the repose of the New Englanders some time before Philip entered upon the war-path. As early as September, 1673, the Select-men of Dedham received orders from the General Court of Massachusetts to put the town in a state of defence against the savages. The village being compactly built, might be easily fortified. citizens helped the soldiers build a stockade and form a garrison. The soldiers were trained frequently; the great gun was mounted, and a barrel of gunpowder and other ammunition were procured by the town authorities. A watchman was placed in the belfry of the new meeting-house, from which he could look all over the level plain stretching up and down the river. This vigilance, and the peculiar situation of the place, doubtless secured it from assault by Philip's warriors. It was, it is supposed, reconnoitered by spies, and had it been unprepared, it would doubtless have shared the fate of Medfield, where, a few years ago, stood a house in form not unlike that of the Fairbanks dwelling at Dedham, and probably quite as old.
and hanged. At about the same time a white man was found in the woods near Dedham, shot through the body. An Indian was arrested on suspicion of being his murderer, and it is believed he was executed, though there appears to be no record of the event. These things excited the fierce indignation of the savages. Philip was persuaded to lift the hatchet. He sent the women and children of the Wampanoags to the Narragansets for protection, and kindled the flame of war. Messengers were sent to other tribes to arouse them to coöperation; and with all the power of Indian eloquence, Philip exhorted his | followers to curse the white men, and swear eternal hostility to the pale faces. He said in substance:
The labors of Eliot the Apostle among the Indian tribes had borne much fruit. At the time we are considering there were four hundred | "praying Indians," as the converts were called, in the Massachusetts Bay colony. These were firmly attached to the white people. One of them, John Sassamon, who had been educated at Cambridge, was a sort of secretary to Philip, and when the latter yielded to his young warriors and consented to strike a blow for the extermination of the English, Sassamon, who possessed a portion of the secret, revealed to the authorities of Plymouth knowledge of their peril. The savages heard of this, and slew Sassamon as a traitor to his On slender testimony, three Wampanoags who were arrested, were convicted of his murder
"Away! away! I will not hear
Of aught but death and vengeance now; By the eternal skies I swear
My knee shall never learn to bow!
I will not hear a word of peace,
And 'till your last white face shall kneel,
Wake-but to deal in blood and fire!"
On the 4th of July, 1675, Philip and his followers struck the first blow, at Swansey, thirty-five miles southwest from Plymouth. It was a day of fasting and humiliation, for the people saw their peril in many signs around them. They were just returning from their places of public worship when the savages fell upon them in fury. Many were slain and large numbers were made prisoners. Others fled for shelter to surrounding settlements. A thrill of horror ran through the colony. The families of Dedham and the neighboring villages fled into Boston, and out of that town and from other places near went troops and citizens, and pushed on toward Mount Hope to crush the savage leader. Philip escaped with most of his warriors and took refuge with the Nipmucs in the interior of Massachusetts, who espoused his cause. With these and his own warriors, fifteen hundred strong, he pushed on towards the white settlements in the far off valley of the Connecticut. He called other tribes to make war by treachery, ambush, surprise and desolation. The savages hung like the scythe of death on the borders of
the English settlements for many months, and scourged the people with fear and slaughter over a wide extent of country. Almost in sight of Dedham might have been seen the blaze of burning villages, but that town was spared; and the distressing war was ended in 1676-two hundred years ago—by the death of Philip, who was slain by a faithless Indian. Captain Benjamin Church cut off the head of the monarch with his sword, and it was borne in triumph into Plymouth on a pike. Philip's body was quartered; and his little son, who had been made a prisoner, was sold to be a bond slave in Bermuda. So perished the last of the Wampanoag princes, and so ended the power of the New England Indians.
In this war the men of Dedham bore a conspicuous part. One of Philip's chief allies was Pomham, a Rhode Island sachem, whose seat was at Warwick. He was a man of great energy and much wisdom, and was almost as popular as Philip. He joined that prince when the war began, and he was the most dreaded of all the Indian warriors. He and his followers were attacked by some men of Dedham and Medford late in July (1676), and fifty of his men were made prisoners. Pomham refused to yield and be taken alive, and, raging like a wild beast, he was slain. That was only eighteen days before Philip perished. The death of Pomham discouraged Philip, and this exploit of the men of Dedham did much toward ending the war, in the kindling of which the inhabitants of that town were participators.
The people of Dedham (of whom, no doubt, John Fairbanks was an active one), dug the first canal in this country. It was made within ten years after Boston was settled, and was done in accordance with the following proceedings of the authorities, recorded under the date of March 29th (old style), 1639: "Ordered that a ditch shall be dug at common charge, through upper Charles Meadow into East Brook, that it may both be a partition fence in the same, and also may form a suitable course into a water-mill, that it shall be found fitting to set a mill upon in the opinion of a workman to be employed for that purpose." Abraham Shaw had been encouraged to build a water-mill in the first year of the settlement of Dedham, and a committee was appointed to designate the place. Shaw died soon afterward, and the committee suggested the formation of the new stream. The above order followed. The canal
and stream, called Mother's Brook, are a more than three miles in length, and carry den one-third of the water of the Charles River IODE Neponset River, with a descent, in that distance about sixty feet. After leaving the Charles, water follows the canal for about a mile, where i pursues a natural course about two miles "art and ente the Neponset at Hyde Park. The.. is nearly straight, and is fifteen to eighter fe" width. It affords no less than five mills! great value. The water has been flowing tthat canal and performing good service he to hundred and thirty-seven years.
The citizens of Dedham were ardent par and took an actice part in the political movements during the few years that preceded the break. E out of the old war for independence. They ta a decided stand against the Stamp Act in 17. and when the obnoxious act was repealed in te early part of 1766, they evinced their grati toward William Pitt, the great champion of the Americans, by erecting, at what is now the ro west corner of the Court-house Square, a co 21 in his honor, which was surmounted by a bust of the great orator and statesman. The colun L.: the bust have disappeared; but the pedestal, a block of granite, yet stands there in its or place, on which are inscriptions upon two s On the north side is the following:
"THE PILLAR OF LIBERTY, ERECTED BY THE SON OF LIBERTY IN THIS VICINITY.
"LAUS DEO. REGII ET IMMUNITAT M AUTOBLY MAXIME PATRONUS PITT QUI REMPUB VUNSUM IL· FAUCIBUS ORCI."
On the west side:
"THE PILLAR OF LIBERTY TO THE HONOR OF WILL AS PITT ESQ, AND OTHER PATRIOTS WHO SAVED AMT A FROM IMPENDING SLAVERY, AND CONFIRMED OUR M LOYAL AFFECTION TO KING GEORGE THE 111, FY PRINT & A REPEAL OF THE STAMP ACT, 18th MARCH, 1760
"ERECTED HERE JULY 22, 1766, BY DR NATHANG AMES, 24, COLONEL EBENEZER BATTLE, MAJOR AGE DRAPER, AND OTHER PATRIOTS FRIENDLY TO THE REST OF THE COLONIES AT THAT DAY.
"REPLACED BY THE CITIZENS, JULY 4, 1828.”
It seems, from the wording of the last t paragraphs, that they were added in 1828 to 1 original inscription contained in the first par graph, thereby perpetuating the names of lear citizens of Dedham who were instrumental 3 setting up this memorial. That pedestal yet sto where it was replaced in 1828.
The men of Dedham were always public strol
and patriotic. In the wars with the French and Indians, that town contributed its full share of men and money. A considerable number of them engaged in the expedition of the English against Havana, in 1762, none of whom returned, for disease slew more than the weapons of war, in that mad siege in summer. In the disputes with the British ministry and parliament, the people of Dedham were almost unanimously on the side of the republicans. In town-meeting assembled the citizens voted "that they heard, with infinite pleasure the determination of other colonies to prevent Tea from being used to enlarge the British revenue in the colonies; and as so many political evils are brought about by the unreasonable liking to tea, and it is also so baneful to the human constitution, that if any shall continue to use it, while the act creating a duty thereon is in force, we shall consider it as a flagrant proof of their hostility to the liberties of the country, and of their own stupidity."
The men of Dedham have their share in the struggle for Independence that followed. Its sons were found in the field at the beginning. On the memorable 19th of April, 1775, Elias Haven, of Dedham, gave his life to his country, while beating back from Lexington and Concord its armed oppressors; and in the fight his townsman, Isaac Everett, was wounded. The town gave to the State-service of the regular Continental Army full
one hundred men. That town has also furnished distinguished men for the councils of the State and Nation; among these the name of Fisher Ames appears conspicuous. He was born there in April, 1758, and died there on the 4th of July, 1808. He was a son of Dr. Nathaniel Ames, mentioned in the inscription above recorded, and who, inheriting from his father a taste for astronomy and the higher mathematics, employed his genius in the preparation of almanacs which he published from 1725 until his death in 1766.
A living giant that was doubtless born years before Dedham was settled or the Fairbanks House was built, yet rears its lofty head in vigor and throws out its brawny arms, not far from that venerable and venerated mansion, with which it has held companionship for almost two centuries and a half. It is an immense Oak Tree, standing on East street, in Dedham, whose trunk is more than sixteen feet in circumference near the ground. It must have been a huge tree at the close of the last century, for, it is said, the sum of seventy dollars was offered for its timber to be used in the construction of the frigate Constitution, launched in 1797 and still afloat. It is cherished as an Anak of the primitive forest, and as the only living cotemporary of the town in its infancy and of the Fairbanks House, the oldest dwelling there, when it first raised its stately roof above the humble thatched cabins of the first village.
THE COMMONWEALTH NOT A REPUBLIC.
BY J. HARNED MORRIS.
HAVING a strong predilection for looking be- | characteristics, impulses, purposes and achieveneath the surface of written history, seeking to determine the undeclared motives of actors and the secret causes of their acts, I was induced, some years since, to commence the preparation of a treatise on "Republics and Republicans of the Past," in which I sought to analyze the declared and undeclared motives and impulses of the individuals and confederacies of individuals who have from time to time placed themselves in antagonism to monarchic or imperial governments. Of course, Cromwell and his associate Commonwealth-builders demanded the most careful study, and I spent months in my efforts to comprehend fully the character,
ments of the great "Lord Protector," and of each of the individuals who appeared to give color, shade or tint to the marvellous Commonwealth— marvellous for its negative even more than for its positive qualities. I had conceived of the Commonwealth as a very near approach to, if not intrinsically and essentially, a Republic. "The Monarchy had ceased to exist: England was now a Republic." Thus had written a learned and habitually exact English antiquary and historian, and like expressions I found in works I had, in common with the literary world, received as authorities. Hence, at the commencement of my researches, my first
conception strengthened into a conviction, and it was not until I got down, well down beneath the surface in studying the individual constructors of the Commonwealth, that this conviction was shaken and eventually cast aside. Step by step, I went, cautiously and thoughtfully, in my explorations, making discoveries in direct conflict with my preconception and conviction. I was extremely reluctant to yield that conception and conviction, for in so yielding I was losing a strong chapter in my treatise. However, the ultimate result of my analytical researches was an irrefragable conclusion that the Commonwealth was not a RepublicCromwell was not a Republican, and the others who cooperated fully with him were simply his helpers in carrying out his plans and purposes, with no thought of organizing a Republic. Algernon Sidney and a few others there were who might be called Republicans, but these did not impress the slightest tinge of their ideal Republicanism upon the government built by Cromwell. Perhaps Sidney and the other possible Republicans failed to impress their ideas upon the new government because they were
doings, and I know of not one whom it is difficult to gauge and analyze and justly delineate. And just in the proportion in which we fal to understand and correctly to measure him, in precisely the same proportion we fail to understa: and correctly to measure the Commonwealth. He was more than merely the head and master of the Commonwealth. Cromwell was the Commo
wealth-the Commonwealth was Cromwell. Wert other proof wanting, this fac is at least indicated by the speedy death of the Com monwealth following so ra mediately the death of the "Lord Protector" as to be fairly called coincident-the death of Oliver Cromwel was the death of the Com monwealth. A one-man go vernment, let it be called b whatever name it may, cannot be Republican-it is. under any name, simply and purely a despotism-wt a king of the royal line, it has the glamor of the oid jare divino theories and falla es to conceal, otherwise it has no cloak to shield, from the public eye, the deformities and enormities of despotis The Commonwealth was a one-man government, without a king-it was a despot
but vague ideas, dreams of students of anti- | ism, without a cloak or with so thin a chak quity, rather than the positive views of men of action. Cromwell was a cunning, crafty man of will and action, a born master of men, and no dreaming idealist, though mentally and by culture a giant, could successfully combat, or even modify, the self-seeking plans of such a chief.
There have been but few thinkers or writers who have understood or accurately estimated Oliver Cromwell. Able men have thought and written of him as a pure patriot, with all the noble traits and impulses that grand title implies; equally able men have thought and written of him as diametrically the opposite. The truth lies in a measure between these extreme, antagonistic judgments. There has never lived a man more enigmatical, even paradoxical, in his innate character and purposes and
that it did not hide the one-man rule-the one man was a military genius, and the Commonwealth was thus a military despotism. I do rot ask or wish my readers to accept my assertions without evidence I have thus far been more dogmatic than my wont, because I desired to secure the attention of my readers and irre their interested study of the evidences ready available to establish the true character of the Commonwealth.
The people of England have (so long that we may say) ever been distinguished by a certain manly independence which refuses to submit to arbitrary one-man government, and this has often brought them into an attitude of conflict with their kings. The renowned "Magna Charta,"