« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Upon those hooks it has probably rested two hun. Prudence was Ebenezer's second child. She never dred and forty years. It is a cherished heir-loom married, and resided at the homestead from her in the family.
birth until her death, when she was eighty-nine Suspended from the same huge kitchen beam, years of age. Two sisters, next younger than the writer saw a sliding, ratchet-like iron support Prudence, inarried, one of them dying at the age for an ancient oil lamp that may yet give light to of eighty-eight years, and the other at eighty-two. the dwelling. Upon that support it may be raised The surviving sisters cherish the memory of or lowered at will.
The lamp is of cast-iron, in Prudence with a love that amounts almost to venform something like a plumber's ladle, only the eration. They keep the room in which she died
. spout is longer, and instead of a dipper handle, it in the condition in which she left it. It is thus was supported by ears on each side by an adjusta- described by the writer above referred to: " This ble handle, like an old-fashioned pot or “ spider,” is a corner room in the southwest end of the used in an open fire place with a swinging crane. house. It is one of the most cheersul seen in that The wick to be lighted projected from the spout, old building. The bed where Prudence slept;
, and the remainder was immersed in oil. It is of a her rocking-chair, and hassock or foot-cushion; style resembling the lamps of the ancients. It is her table, with books and pictures; her portrait pot in use now, but when the present occupants well painted, hanging upon the wall and showing were young girls it was always lighted below that her as a fine-looking motherly old lady; the same great beam. “By its light above,” said one of
carpet upon the room, but spread over with newsthe maiden sisters to the visitor, “I read all the papers to keep the sunlight from fading it—all, Waverly novels."
everything is nearly as she left it, kept clean by Another curious relic suggestive of the customs the daily dustings of her surviving and younger of colonial times, the visitor saw there. It was sister—that sister which long ago she nursed as a the wooden frame of an ox-saddle. He gives the baby, and who now repays the service and the following description of it: “It is built rounded early and life-long love by deeds of loving rememto fit the animal's back, in the shape of a horse-brance." shoe somewhat flattened out. Each end is raised The Fairbanks House has been a witness of by perpendicular boards, on one of which are the many stirring scenes. When its builder settled initials, ‘I. H.'-(John Humphrey). This ox- there, the Indians were quite numerous in the saddle had at one time been covered with leather, neighborhood. Fair-dealing in the purchase of or raw hide more probably, but the worms got the lands from them left the barbarians no excuse into it, and never ceased their possession until for molesting their English neighbors. Stately they had eaten it. No doubt some twenty gener- trees were yet standing on the meadow-lands, ations of worms were employed in this tough job; giving them the appearance of grassy parks. but they managed it at last, and time managed Northeast of the house is Wigwam Pond, and them, which makes that matter even.”
beyond it was a dense morass known as Wigwam The Fairbanks family who have occupied the Swamp, in which fierce wolves kenneled. So old house at Dedham, seem to have been, gener- plentiful were they that a bounty was offered for ally, a long lived one. The first owner of the the lives of those beasts that preyed upon cattle dwelling lived to an old age, and was succeeded and sheep. Near the Wigwam Pond was a campby his son Joseph, his only child, who married ing place for the Indians, who were always treated and settled at the homestead. Joseph had a large so kindly by the Fairbanks family that the latter family, and at his death, which occurred when he were favorites with the savages. was an old man, he left the homestead to his But time and circumstance wrought changes, oldest son, Ebenezer. The latter was the grand-Clouds obscured the firmament of peace which had father of the present occupants of the house, and long spread over the Massachusetts colony, after built the addition a century and a half ago. The the covenant made with the good Massasoit
, homestead came into the possession of his oldest sachem of the Wampanoags.
That covenant had son, Ebenezer, who married and had a family of been renewed by his son, Metacomet, better known eight children, of whom the present occupants of in history as “King Philip,” sachen and chiefthe house are the only survivors. Their sister | monarch and warrior, who kept it inviolate a
dozen years. But when he perceived that the and hanged. At about the same time a white spreading settlements of the English were reducing man was found in the woods near Dedham, shot his domains, acre by acre, mile by mile, breaking through the body. An Indian was arrested on up his hunting grounds, diminishing his fisheries, suspicion of being his murderer, and it is believed and threatening his nation with servitude or anni- he was executed, though there appears to be no hilation, his patriotism was aroused, and after a record of the event. These things excited the while he lent a willing ear to the hot-headed young fierce indignation of the savages. Philip was warriors of his tribe, who gathered arotad hiin at persuaded to lift the hatchet. He sent the women Mount Hope, near the present town of Bristol, and children of the Wampanoags to the NarraRhode Island, and counselled a war of extermi- gansets for protection, and kindled the flame of nation against the English.
Messengers were sent to other tribes to Signs of hostility among the Indians had dis- arouse them to coöperation ; and with all the turbed the repose of the New Englanders some power of Indian eloquence, Philip exhorted his time before Philip entered upon the war-path. followers to curse the white men, and swear eterAs early as September, 1673, the Select-men of nal hostility to the pale faces. ,
He said in subDedham received orders from the General Court stance : of Massachusetts to put the town in a state of “ Away! away! I will not hear defence against the savages. The village being
Of aught but death and vengeance now; .
By the eternal skies I swear compactly built, might be easily fortified. The
My knee shall never learn to bow ! citizens helped the soldiers build a stockade and form a garrison. The soldiers were trained fre
I will not hear a word of peace, quently; the great gun was mounted, and a barrel
Nor clasp in friendly grasp a hand
Link'd to that pale-browed stranger race of gunpowder and other ammunition were procured
That works the ruin of our land. by the town authorities. A watchman was placed in the belfry of the new meeting-house, from
And 'till your last white face shall kneel, which he could look all over the level plain
And in his coward pangs expire, stretching up and down the river. This vigilance,
Sleep-but to dream of brand and steel; and the peculiar situation of the place, doubtless
Wake-but to deal in blood and fire !" secured it from assault by Philip's warriors. It On the 4th of July, 1675, Philip and his folwas, it is supposed, reconnoitered by spies, and lowers struck the first blow, at Swansey, thirty-five had it been unprepared, it would doubtless have miles southwest from Plymouth. It was a day of shared the fate of Medfield, where, a few years fasting and humiliation, for the people saw their ago, stood a house in form not unlike that of the peril in many signs around them. They were just Fairbanks dwelling at Dedham, and probably returning from their places of public worship quite as old.
when the savages fell upon them in fury. Many The labors of Eliot the Apostle among the were slain and large numbers were made prisoners. Indian tribes had borne much fruit. At the time Others fled for shelter to surrounding settlements. we are considering there were four hundred | A thrill of horror ran through the colony. The “ praying Indians," as the converts were called, faniilies of Dedham and the neighboring villages in the Massachusetts Bay colony. These were fled into Boston, and out of that town and from firmly attached to the white people. One of them, other places near went troops and citizens, and John Sassamon, who had been educated at Can- pushed on toward Mount Hope to crush the saybridge, was a sort of secretary to Philip, and when age leader. Philip escaped with most of his the latter yielded to his young warriors and con
warriors and took refuge with the Nipmucs in the sented to strike a blow for the extermination of interior of Massachusetts, who espoused his cause. the English, Sassamon, who possessed a portion with these and his own warriors, fifteen hundred of the secret, revealed to the authorities of Ply- strong, he pushed on towards the white settlemouth knowledge of their peril. The savages ments in the far off valley of the Connecticut. heard of this, and slew Sassamon as a traitor to his He called other tribes to make war by treachery, face. On slender testimony, three Wampanoags ambush, surprise and desolation. The savages who were arrested, were convicted of his murder hung like the scythe of death on the borders of
the English settlements for inany months, and and stream, called Mother's Brook, are a little 'scourged the people with fear and slaughter over a more than three miles in length, and carry about wide extent of country. Almost in sight of Ded-one-third of the water of the Charles River into the ham might have been seen the blaze of burning Neponset River, with a descent, in that distance, of villages, but that town was spared; and the dis- about sixty feet. After leaving the Charles, the tressing war was ended in 1676-two hundred water follows the canal for about a mile, where it years ago—by the death of Philip, who was slain pursues a natural course about two miles further, by a faithless Indian. Captain Benjamin Church and entes the Neponset at Hyde Park. The canal cut off the head of the monarch with his sword, is nearly straight, and is fifteen to eighteen feet in and it was borne in triumph into Plymouth on a width. It affords no less than five mill'seats of pike. Philip's body was quartered ; and his little great value. The water has been flowing through son, who had been made a prisoner, was sold to that canal and performing good service for two be a bond slave in Bermuda. So perished the last hundred and thirty-seven years. of the Wampanoag princes, and so ended the The citizens of Dedham were ardent patriots
, power of the New England Indians.
and took an actice part in the political movements In this war the men of Dedham bore a con- during the few years that preceded the breaking spicuous pait. One of Philip's chief allies was out of the old war for independence. They took Pumham, a Rhode Island sachem, whose seat was a decided stand against the Stamp Act in 1765, at Warwick. He was a man of great energy and and when the obnoxious act was repealed in the much wisdom, and was almost as popular as Philip. early part of 1766, they evinced their gratitude He joined that prince when the war began, and he toward William Pitt, the great champion of the was the most dreaded of all the Indian warriors. Americans, by erecting, at what is now the northIle and his followers were attacked by some men west corner of the Court-house Square, a column of Dedham and Medford late in July (1676), and in his honor, which was surmounted by a bust of fifty of his men were made prisoners. Pomham | the great orator and statesman. The column and refused to yield and be taken alive, and, raging like the bust have disappeared; but the pedestal, a a wild beast, he was slain. That was only eighteen block of granite, yet stands there in its original days before Philip perished. The death of Pom- place, on which are inscriptions upon two sides. ham discouraged Philip, and this exploit of the On the north side is the following: men of Decham did much toward ending the war, “THE PILLAR OF LIBERTY, ERECTED BY THE SONS OF in the kindling of which the inhabitants of that LIBERTY IN THIS VICINITY.
“Laus Deo. REGII ET IMMUNITAT M AUTORIBUSG, Towns were participators. The people of Dedham (of whom, no doubt,
MAXIME PATRONUS PITT QUI REMPUB VUNSUM EVULSIT
FAUCIBUS ORCI." John Fairbanks was an active one), dug the first
On the west side : canal in this country. It was made within ten
“ THE PILLAR OF LIBERTY TO THE HONOR OF WILLIAM years after Boston was settled, and was done in ac
Pitt EsQ, AND OTHER Patriots WHO SAVED AMERICA cordance with the following proceedings of the FROM IMPENDING SLAVERY, AND CONFIRMED OC'R MOT authorities, recorded under the date of March LOYAL AFFECTION TO KING GEORGE THE III, BY PROCURING auth (old style), 1639 : « Ordered that a ditch A REPEAL OF THE STAMP ACT, 18th MARCH, 1766 mall be dug at common charge, through upper
“ ERECTED HERE JULY 22, 1766, By Dr. NATHANIEL
AMES, 24, COLONEL EBENEZER BATTLE, MAJOR ABIJAH Charles Measlow into East Brook, that it may both
Draper, AND OTHER PATRIOTS FRIENDLY TO THE RIGHTS la partition fence in the same, and also may OF THE COLONIES AT THAT DAY. oun a suitable course into a water. mill, that it shall “ REPLACED BY THE CITIZENS, JULY 4, 1828.” hoc toane filling to set a mill upon in the opinion It seems, from the wording of the last two
workman to be employed for that purpose." paragraphs, that they were added in 1828 to the Achan Shaw had been encouraged to build a original inscription contained in the first paraWe will in the first year of the settlement of graph, thereby perpetuating the names of leading thithan, e o committee was appointed to desig- citizens of Dedham who were instrumental in 11th the parti Shaw died soon afterward, and the setting up this memorial. That pedestal yet
stands video ngentot the formation of the new where it was replaced in 1828.
the above order followed. The canal The men of Dedham were always public-spirited
and patriotic. In the wars with the French and one hundred men. That town has also furnished Indians, that town contributed its full share of distinguished men for the councils of the State men and money. A considerable number of them and Nation; among these the name of Fisher Ames engaged in the expedition of the English against appears conspicuous. He was born there in April, Havana, in 1762, none of whom returned, for 1758, and died there on the 4th of July, 1808. disease slew more than the weapons of war, in He was a son of Dr. Nathaniel Ames, mentioned that mad siege in summer. In the disputes with in the inscription above recorded, and who, inthe Britislı ministry and parliament, the people of heriting from his father a taste for astronomy and Dedham were almost unanimously on the side of the higher mathematics, employed his genius in the republicans. In town-meeting assembled the the preparation of almanacs which he published citizens voted "that they heard, with infinite from 1725 until his death in 1766. pleasure the determination of other colonies to A living giant that was doubtless born years prevent Tea from being used to enlarge the British before Dedham was settled or the Fairbanks House revenue in the colonies; and as so many political was built, yet rears its lofty head in vigor and evils are brought about by the unreasonable liking throws out its brawny arms, not far from that to tea, and it is also so baneful to the human con- venerable and venerated mansion, with which it stitution, that if any shall continue to use it, has held companionship for almost two centuries while the act creating a duty thereon is in force, and a half. It is an immense Oak Tree, standing we shall consider it as a flagrant proof of their on East street, in Dedham, whose trunk is more hostility to the liberties of the country, and of than sixteen feet in circumference near the ground. their own stupidity."
It must have been a huge tree at the close of the The men of Dedham have their share in the last century, for, it is said, the sum of seventy struggle for Independence that followed. Its sons dollars was offered for its timber to be used in the were found in the field at the beginning.
On the construction of the frigate Constitution, launched memorable 19th of April, 1775, Elias Haven, of in 1797 and still afloat. It is cherished as an Dedham, gave his life to his country, while beat- Anak of the primitive forest, and as the only living ing back from Lexington and Concord its armed cotemporary of the town in its infancy and of the oppressors ; and in the fight his townsman, Isaac Fairbanks House, the oldest dwelling there, when Everett, was wounded. The town gave to the it first raised its stately roof above the humble State-service of the regular Continental Army full 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 de- ments of the great “ Lord Protector," and of termine the undeclared motives of actors and the each of the individuals who appeared to give color, secret causes of their acts, I was induced, some years shade or tint to the marvellous Commonwealthsince, to commence the preparation of a treatise marvellous for its negative even more than for its poon “Republics and Republicans of the Past," in sitive qualities. I had conceived of the Commonwhich I sought to analyze the declared and unde- wealth as a very near approach to, if not intrinsicclared motives and impulses of the individuals and ally and essentially, a Republic. “The Monarchy confederacies of individuals who have from time had ceased to exist : England was now a Repubto time placed themselves in antagonism to mon- lic.” Thus had written a learned and habitually archic or imperial governments. Of course, Crom- exact English antiquary and historian, and like exwell and his associate Commonwealth-builders de pressions I found in works I had, in common with manded the most careful study, and I spent months the literary world, received as authorities. Hence, in my efforts to comprehend fully the character, at the commencement of my researches, my first conception strengthened into a conviction, and it doings, and I know of not one whom it is so was not until I got down, well down beneath the sur difficult to gauge and analyze and justly delineate. face in studying the individual constructors of the And just in the proportion in which we fail to Commonwealth, that this conviction was shaken understand and correctly to measure him, in pre: and eventually cast aside. Step by step, I went, cisely the same proportion we fail to understand cautiously and thoughtfully, in my explorations, and correctly to measure the Commonwealth. He making discoveries in direct conflict with my pre-was more than merely the head and master of the conception and conviction. I was extremely re- Commonwealth. Cromwell was the Commonluctant to yield that conception and conviction, wealth-the Commonwealth was Cromwell. Were for in so yielding I was losing
other proof wanting, this fact a strong chapter in my trea
is at least indicated by the tise. However, the ultimate
speedy death of the Comresult of my analytical re
monwealth following so imsearches was an irrefragable
mediately the death of the conclusion that the Common
" Lord Protector” as be wealth was not a Republic
fairly called coincident-the Cromwell was not a Republi
death of Oliver Cromwell can, and the others who co
was the death of the Comoperated fully with him were
monwealth. A one-man gosimply his helpers in carrying
vernment, let it be called by out his plans and purposes,
whatever name it may, canwith no thought of organizing
not be Republican—it is, a Republic. Algernon Sidney
under any name, simply and and a few others there were
purely a despotism—with a who might be called Republi
king of the royal line, it has cans, but these did not impress
the glamor of the old jure the slightest tinge of their
divino theories and fallacies ideal Republicanism upon
to conceal, otherwise it has the government built by
no cloak to shield, from the Cromwell. Perhaps Sidney
public eye, the deformities and the other possible Re
and enormities of despotism. publicans failed to impress
The Commonwealth was a their ideas upon the new gov
one-man government, withcrnment because they were
out a king—it was a despotbut vague ideas, dreams of students of anti- | ism, without a cloak or with so thin a cloak quity, rather than the positive views of men of that it did not hide the one-man rule—the one action. Cromwell was a cunning, crafty man man was a military genius, and the Commonof will and action, a born master of men, and no wealth was thus a military despotism.
I do not dreaming idealist, though mentally and by culture ask or wish my readers to accept my assertions a giant, could successfully combat, or even modify, without evidence-I have thus far been more the self-seeking plans of such a chief.
dogmatic than my wont, because I desired to There have been but few thinkers or writers who secure the attention of my readers and insure have understood or accurately estimated Oliver their interested study of the evidences readily Cromwell. Able men have thought and written available to establish the true character of the of him as a pure patriot, with all the noble traits and Commonwealth. impulses that grand title implies; equally able men
The people of England have (so long that we have thought and written of him as diametrically may say) ever been distinguished by a certain the opposite. The truth lies in a measure between manly independence which refuses to submit to these extreme, antagonistic judgments. There has arbitrary one-man government, and this has often never lived a man more enigmatical, even para- brought them into an attitude of conflict with doxical, in his innate character and purposes and their kings. The renowned “Magna Charta,"