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Storm upon Lake George. Arrivals from Ticonderoga. Departure from Caldwell.
were buried in the driving mists. We seemed to be completely shut up within mighty prison walls, and early in the evening vivid lightning and heavy thunder-peals contributed to produce a scene of singular grandeur and awe. In the midst of the elemental strife the steam-boat arrived with passengers from Ticonderoga, and those pleasure seekers who came in her, bedraggled and weary, were capital studies for an artistic Jeremiah in search of lamentations personified. , But an excellent supper, in dry quarters, soon brought the sunshine of gladness to every face, and before ten o'clock more than half the new-comers were among the liveliest in quadrille, cotillion, waltz, or gallopade. I arose the next morning at four. The scene from my chamber window was one of quiet beauty. The sky was cloudless, and the lake, without a ripple, was spread out before me,
“A glorious mirror of the Almighty's form.”
The east was all glowing with the soft radiance of approaching sunlight, giving a deeper gray to the lofty hills that intervened, and every tree was musical with the morning song of the birds.
“The south wind was like a gentle friend,
From the piazza of the Lake House, fronting the water, a comprehensive view of the historic grounds in the vicinage may be seen, as delineated in the picture. In the extreme distance on the left is the range of the French Mountain, and on the right is Rattlesnake Hill (one thousand five hundred feet high), with other lofty elevations, heavily wooded to their very summits. By the trees on the shore, in the center of the picture, is the site of Fort William Henry; and further on the left, and directly over the flag-staff, is the site of Fort George. We left this fine summer resort in the steam-boat William Caldwell, -- at eight in the morning. The air was clear and cool, the company agreeable, and the voyage down the lake delightful. The mountain shores, the deep bays, and the numerous islands (said to be three hundred and sixty-five, the number of days in the year) present a constant variety, and all that the eye takes in on every side is one vision of beauty. I procured a seat in the pilot's room aloft, whence I had a broad view of the whole ever-changing panorama of the lake in the course of the voyage. The first island which we passed, of any considerable size, was Diamond Island, lying
* This name was given it on account of the number and beauty of the quartz crystals which are found upon it. In shape and brilliancy they resemble pure diamonds.
Diamond Island. Successful Expedition under Colonel Brown. Long Point, Dome Island, and the Narrows.
directly in front of Dunham's Bay. Here was a depôt of military stores for Burgoyne's army in 1777, and the scene of a sharp conflict between the small garrison that defended it and a detachment of Americans under Colonel Brown. Between the actions of the 19th of September and 7th of October at Bemis's Heights, General Lincoln, with a body of New England militia, got in the rear of Burgoyne near Lake Champlain. He sent Colonel Brown with a strong division to attempt the recapture of Ticonderoga and the posts in the vicinity, and thus to cut off the retreat of the British as well as their supplies. It was a service septembers; exactly suited to Brown's active and energetic character, and, by a rapid and 1777. stealthy movement on a stormy night, he surprised and captured all the British outposts between the landing-place at the north end of Lake George and the main fortress at Ticonderoga. Mount Hope, Mount Defiance, the French lines, and a block-house, with an armed sloop, two hundred bateaux, and several gun-boats, fell into his hands. He also captured two hundred and ninety-three prisoners, and released one hundred Americans; and, among other things, he retook the old Continental standard which St. Clair left at Ticonderoga when he evacuated that post. He then attacked the fortress, but its walls were impregnable, and he withdrew. Flushed with success, Colonel Brown determined to sweep Lake George, and in the vessels they had captured the Americans proceeded to Diamond Island. The little garrison there made a vigorous resistance, and the republicans were repulsed with some loss. They then pushed for the shore on the south side of Dunham's Bay, where they burned all the vessels they had captured, and returned to Lincoln's camp. A little north of Diamond Island is Long Island, which lies directly in front of Long
LoNG PoinT AND Wicinity.1
Point, a narrow, fertile strip of land that projects far into the lake from the eastern shore. The estuary between the north side of the point and the mountains is Harris's Bay, the place where Montcalm moored his bateaux and landed on the 16th of March, 1757. About twelve miles from Caldwell, in the center of the lake, is Dome Island, which, at the distance of two or three miles, has the appearance of the upper portion of a large dome, with an arch as regular as if made by art. This island was the shelter for Putnam's men whom he left in the two boats while he informed General Webb of the presence of the French and Indians upon the two islands near the entrance of Northwest Bay, and nearly in front of the landing-place at Bolton, on the western shore. Shelving Rock, a lofty cliff on the eastern shore, and Tongue Mountain, a bold, rocky promontory on the west, flank the entrance to the Narrows, where the islands are so numerous, varying in size from a few rods to an acre, that there is only a very narrow channel for a steam-boat to pass through. A little north of Shelving Rock is the Black Mountain, its summit twenty-two hundred feet high, thickly covered with the dark spruce, and its sides robed with the cedar, fir, pine, and tamarac. There the wild deer, the bear, and the catamount have free range, for the hunter seldom toils up its weary ascent.
* This little sketch was taken from the steam-boat, near the south end of Long Island, which appears in the foreground. Long Point is seen in the center, and on the right are Dunham's Bay and the northern extremity of the French Mountain. The highest peak on the left is Deer Pasture, or Buck Mountain.
Sabbath Day Point. Skirmish in 1756. Halt of Abercrombie's Army. Splendid Appearance of the Armament.
A few miles beyond the entrance to the Narrows, on the western shore, is another fertile strip of land projecting into the lake, called Sabbath Day Point. It is between three and four miles from the little village of Hague, in the midst of the most picturesque scenery imaginable. Here, in 1756, a small provincial force, pressed by a party of French and Indians, and som Das Post. unable to escape across the lake, made a desperate resistance, and defeated the enemy with considerable slaughter. Here, in the summer of 1758, General Abercrombie, with his fine army, already noticed as having embarked in bateaux and whaleboats at the head of the lake, landed for refreshments. It was just at dark, on a sultry Saturday July 5, evening, when the troops * debarked and spread over the beautiful cape for a few hours' repose. The young Lord Howe, the well-beloved of both officers and soldiers, was there, and called around him, in serious consultation, some of the bravest of the youthful partisans who accompanied the expedition. Captain Stark (the Revolutionary general) was invited to sup with him; and long and anxious were the inquiries the young nobleman made respecting the fortress of Ticonderoga and its outposts, which they were about to assail, as if a presentiment of personal disaster possessed his mind. It was after midnight when the whole armament moved slowly down the lake, and it was late on the Sabbath morning before they reached the landingplace at the foot of it.” The scene exhibited by this strong and well-armed force of sixteen thousand men was very imposing. “The order of march,” says Major Rogers, “exhibited a splendid military show.” Howe, in a large boat, led the van of the flotilla. He was accompanied by a guard of Rangers and boatmen. The regular troops occupied the center and the provincials the wings. The sky was clear and starry, and not a breeze ruffled the dark waters as they slept quietly in the shadows of the mountains. Their oars were muf
* Explanation of the references: 1. Fort Ticonderoga. 2. Fort Howe. 3. Mount Defiance. 4. Mount Independence. 5. Village of Alexandria. 7. Black Point. 8. Juniper Island. 9. Anthony's Nose. 10. M'Donald's Bay. 11. Rogers's retreat on the ice to Fort William Henry. 12. Cook's Islands. 13. Scotch Bonnet. 14. Odell Island. 15. Buck Mountain and Rattlesnake Dens. 16. Shelving Rock. 17. Phelps's Point. 18. Long Point. 19. Long Island. 20. Dome Island. 21. Diamond Island. 22. Dunham's Bay. 23. Harris's Bay. 24. The route of Dieskau from Skenesborough to Fort William Henry.
* It being early on Sunday morning when the army left the point, General Abercrombie named the place Sabbath Day Point. The little sketch here given was taken from the steam-boat, half a mile above, looking northeast.
Skirmish at Sabbath Day Point, 1776. Rogers's Slide. Narrow Escape of Major Rogers. Prisoners' Island.
fled; and so silently did they move on in the darkness, that not a scout upon the hills observed them. Day dawned just as they were abreast of the Blue Mountain, four miles from the landing-place; and the first intimation which the outposts of the enemy, stationed there, had of the approach of the English was the full blaze of red uniforms which burst upon their sight as the British army swept around a point and prepared to land. At Sabbath Day Point a party of American militia of Saratoga county had a severe battle with Tories and Indians in 1776. Both were scouting parties, and came upon each other unexpectedly. The Americans repulsed the enemy, and killed and wounded about forty. . There are now a few buildings upon the point, and the more peaceful heroism of the culturist, in conflict with the unkindness of nature, is beautifying and enriching it. On the western shore of the lake, three miles northward of the little village of Hague, is Rogers's Rock, or Rogers's Slide. The lake is here quite narrow, and huge masses of rocks, some a hundred feet high, are piled in wild confusion on every side. The whole height of Rogers's Rock is about four hundred feet, and the “slide,” almost a smooth surface, with a descent on an angle of about twenty-five degrees from meridian, is two hundred feet. This hill derives its name from the fact, that from its summit Major Rogers, commander of a corps of Rangers, escaped from Indian pursuers. With a small party who were reconnoitering at the outlet of the lake, in the winter of 1758, he was surprised and put to flight by a band of Indians. He was equipped with snow-shoes, and eluded pursuit until he came to the summit of the mountain. Aware that they would follow his track, he descended to the top of the smooth rock, and, casting his knapsack and his haversack of provisions down upon the ice, slipped off his snow-shoes, and, without moving them, turned himself about and put them on his feet again. He then retreated along the southern brow of the rock several rods, and down a ravine he made his way safely to the lake below, snatched up his pack, and fled on the ice to Fort George. The Indians, in the mean while, coming to the spot, saw the two tracks, both apparently approaching the precipice, and concluded that two persons had cast themselves down the rock rather than fall into their hands. Just then they saw the bold leader of the Rangers making his way across the ice, and believing that he had slid down the steep face of the rock, considered him (as did the Indians Major Putnam at Fort Miller) under the special protection of the Great Spirit, and made no attempt at pursuit.” In consequence of a detention at Bolton, we did not reach the landing-place at the outlet of the lake until noon. Within a mile of the landing is a small island covered with shrubbery, called Prisoners' Island, where the French, in the Seven Years' War, kept their English captives who were taken in that vicinity. The first party confined there easily es
* This sketch is from the lake, a little south of Cook's Point, seen just over the boat on the left. Immediately beyond is seen the smooth rock. Nearly opposite the “slide” is Anthony's Nose, a high, rocky promontory, having the appearance of a human nose in shape when viewed from a particular point.
* Major Rogers was the son of an Irishman, who was an early settler of Dumbarton, in New Hampshire. He was appointed to the command of a party of Rangers in 1755, and with them did signal service to the British cause. In 1759 he was sent by General Amherst from Crown Point to destroy the Indian village of St. Francis. He afterward served in the Cherokee war. In 1766 he was appointed governor of Michillimackinac. He was accused of constructive treason, and was sent in irons to Montreal for trial. In 1769 he went to England, was presented to the king, but soon afterward was imprisoned for debt. He returned to America, and in the Revolution took up arms for the king. In 1777 he returned to England, where he died. His name was on the proscription list of Tories included in the act of New Hampshire against them, in 1778. His journal of the French War, first published at London in 1765, was republished at Concord in 1831
Debarkation of British Troops. A pleasant traveling Companion. Trip from Lake George to Ticonderoga.
caped, in consequence of the carelessness of the victors in not ascertaining the depth of the water, which on one side is fordable. A small guard was left in charge of them, and, as soon as the main body of the French had retreated, the English prisoners waded from the island and escaped. o Directly west of this island is Howe's Landing, the place where Lord Howe with the van-guard of Abercrombie's army first landed, the outlet, a mile below, being in possession of the enemy. The whole British force debarked here on the morning after leaving Sabbath Day Point, and before noon the Rangers under Rogers and Stark were pushing myo forward toward Ticonderoga, as a flank or advance-guard to clear the woods, while 1758. the main army pressed onward. The distance from the steam-boat landing to Fort Ticonderoga is four miles. We found vehicles in abundance awaiting our arrival, and prepared to carry passengers with all their baggage, from a clean dickey only to a four-feet trunk, for twenty-five cents each. I succeeded in securing my favorite seat on a pleasant day, the coachman's perch. At the Lake House we became acquainted with a young lady from the vicinity of the lofty Catskills, whose love of travel and appreciation of nature made her an enthusiast, and one of the most agreeable companions imaginable. She fairly reveled in the beauties of Lake George, not exhibited in the simpering lip-sentimentality, borrowed from the novelist, which so often annoys the sensible man when in the midst of mere fashionable tourists, but in hearty, intelligent, and soul-stirring emotions of pleasure, which lie far deeper in the heart than mortal influence can fathom, and which gleam out in every lineament of the face. While others were afraid of spoiling their complexions in the sun, or of crumpling their smooth dresses or fine bonnets, she bade defiance to dust and crowds, for her brown linen “sack,” with its capacious pockets for a guide-book and other accessories, and her plain sun-bonnet gave her no uneasiness; and her merry laughter, which awoke ringing echoes along the hills as she, too, mounted the coachman's seat to enjoy the fresh air and pleasant landscape, was the very soul of pleasure. We rambled with herself and brother that afternoon over the ruins of Ticonderoga, and at evening parted company. We hope her voyage of life may be as pleasant and joyous as those few hours which she spent that day, where,
“In the deepest core
The road from the foot of Lake George to Fort “Ty” is hilly, but the varied scenery makes the ride a pleasant one. We crossed the outlet of the lake twice; first at the Upper Falls, where stands the dilapidated village of Alexandria, its industrial energies weighed down, I was told, by the narrow policy of a “lord of the manor” residing in London, who owns the fee of all the land and of the water privileges, and will not sell, or give long leases. The good people of the place pray for his life to be a short and a happy one—a very generous supplication. From the high ground near the village a fine prospect opened on the eastward; and suddenly, as if a curtain had been removed, the cultivated farms and pleasant villages of Vermont along the lake shore, and the blue line of the Green Mountains in the far distance, were spread out before us.
The second or Lower Falls is half way between the two lakes, and here the thriving village of Ticonderoga is situated. A bridge and a saw-mill were there many years before the Revolution; and this is the spot where Lord Howe, at the head of his column, crossed the stream and pushed forward through the woods toward the French lines, a mile and a quarter beyond. We arrived at the Pavilion near the fort at one o'clock, dined, and with a small party set off immediately to view the interesting ruins of one of the most noted fortresses in America. Before noticing its present condition and appearance, let us glance at its past historv.
Ticonderoga is a corruption of Cheonderoga, an Iroquois word, signifying Sounding wa