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Steuben's Headquarters. Recollections of Mrs. Doty. Visit to the Camp-ground. “Washington's Rock." View from it.
bitterest hatred against the Tories while telling me of their deeds—a hatred, the keenness of which the lapse of seventy years has scarcely blunted. Early the following morning, in company with a gentleman of the village, I september 14, rode to the residence of the venerable Bergen Bragaw, a hale old man of eighty- 1848. seven. From him I learned the exact locality of the American encampment. His half. brother was one of the Pennsylvania line, and my informant often visited him in the camp. He said the slope where the huts were erected was heavily timbered at that time, but it was completely cleared in cutting down trees for the log houses, and has been a cultivated tract ever since. From Mr. Bragaw's we rode to the house formerly owned by Abraham Staats, and now in possession of his son. - noted, and the elegance Three sisters survive, one and richness of the ornaof whom (Mrs. Jane Doty), ments with which he was nearly eighty years of age, adorned. She spoke of a who resided there during brilliant medal that hung the Revolution, has a clear by a ribbon upon his breast." recollection of many events Mrs. Doty recollected two connected with Baron visits made to the baron by Steuben's occupancy of the Washington and his lady, house. Although she was one to dine and the other then a child eight or ten to take tea with him. On years old, she remembers the latter occasion several the dignity of his appear- ladies were present. She ance, the urbanity of his STE also remembers an enter- UBEN's HEAD-QUARTERs.” - manners, for which he was tainment given by the bar on to the American officers and their ladies, on which occasion the table was spread in a grove near by. This occurred a short time before the encampment broke up, which event took place early in June. Returning to the village, we proceeded to visit the camp-ground, which is upon the left of the main road over the mountains to Pluckemin; also “Washington's Rock.” The former exhibits nothing worthy of particular attention; but the latter, situated upon the highest point of the mountain in the rear of Middlebrook, is a locality, independent of the associations which hallow it, that must ever impress the visitor with pleasant recollections of the view obtained from that lofty observatory. We left our wagon at a point half way up the mountain, and made our way up the steep declivities along the remains of the old road. How loaded wagons were managed in ascending or descending this mountain road is quite inconceivable, for it is a difficult journey for a foot-passenger to make. In many places not even the advantage of a zigzag course along the hill sides was employed, but a line as straight as possible was made up the mountain. Along this difficult way the artillery troops that were stationed at Pluckemin crossed the mountain, and over that steep and rugged road heavy cannons were dragged. Having reached the summit, we made our way through a narrow and tangled path to the bold rock seen in the picture on the next page. It is at an elevation of nearly four hundred feet above the plain below, and commands a magnificent view of the surrounding country included in the segment of a circle of sixty miles, having its rundle southward. At our feet spread out the beautiful rolling plains like a map, through which course the wind
* Baron Steuben had received from the King of Prussia a splendid medal of gold and diamonds, designating the Order of Fidelity, which he always wore when in full military dress.
* This view is from the field in front of the house, looking north. The dwelling is at the end of a lane several rods from the main road leading to Middlebrook from New Brunswick. It is on the western side of the Raritan, and about a mile from the bridge near Middlebrook. Only the center building was in existence at the time in question, and that seems to have been enlarged. Each wing has since been added. The interior of the old part is kept in the same condition as it was when Steuben occupied it, being, like most of the better dwellings of that time, neatly wainscoted with pine, wrought into moldings and panels.
View from Washington's Rock. Another similar Rock at Plainfield. Celebration at Pluckemin in 1773.
ing Raritan and the Delaware and Hudson Canal. Little villages and meat farm-houses dotted the picture in every direction. Southward, the spires of New Brunswick shot up above the intervening for- --- and rises from a slope of the hill, ests, and on ------ of roo about twenty-five feet from the left, as ... - - " . . . . .” -- base to summit. From this seen in the pic- latter lofty position, it is ture, was spread the said, Washington watched expanse of Raritan and the movements of the eneAmboy Bays, with many my in the summer of 1777, white sails upon their bo- recorded on page 331.
soms. Beyond were seen While upon the mount. the swelling hills of Staten ains, a haze that dimmed the Island, and the more abrupt sky in the morning, gathering heights of Neversink or Navesink into thick clouds, assumed the Mountains, at Sandy Hook. Upon nimbus form, and menaced us this lofty rock Washington often with rain. This fact, and the stood, with his telescope, and reconnoi- expectation of the speedy artered the vicinity. He overlooked his rival of the train for Somercamp at his feet, and could have de- ville, where I was to take stage scried the marchings of the enemy at a for Easton, great distance upon the plain, or the evo- on the Dellutions of a fleet in the waters beyond. aware, hurIn the rear of Plainfield, at an equal ele- -zo - ried us back vation, and upon the same range of hills, to the village. There I met an old is another rock bearing a similar appella- gentleman (whose name I have forgottion, and from the same cause. It is near ten), who, though a small boy at the the brow of the mountain, but, unlike the time, remembered the grand display at
one under consideration, it stands quite alone, Pluckemin during the encampment, on February 6, the anniversary of the alliance of America with France.’ He remembered an 1778. incident which I have not seen mentioned in the published accounts of that
* The following account of this celebration, published at the time, will doubtless interest the reader. It must be remembered that on the 6th of February, 1778, Dr. Franklin and other American commissioners, and commissioners appointed by the French government, signed a treaty of friendship and alliance between the two countries. The event alluded to occurred on the first anniversary (1779) of the alliance, or a few days afterward. It was postponed until the 18th, on account of Washington's absence from camp. The general-in-chief, and all the principal officers of the army there, Mrs. Washington, Mrs. Knox, Mrs. Greene, and the ladies and gentlemen for a large circuit around the camp, were of the company; and there was a vast concourse of spectators from every part of New Jersey.
The artillery were posted upon a piece of rising ground, and the entertainment was given by General Knox and the officers of the artillery corps. The entertainment and ball were held at the academy of the Park. The celebration was commenced at about four o'clock in the afternoon, by a discharge of thirteen cannons. The company invited then sat down to dinner in the academy. In the evening a display of fireworks was made, under the direction of Colonel Stevens, “from the point of a temple one hundred feet in length, and proportionately high.” The temple showed thirteen arches, each displaying an illuminated painting. The center arch was ornamented with a pediment larger than any of the others; and the whole edifice was supported by a colonnade of the Corinthian order. The illuminated paintings were disposed in the following order: The 1st arch on the right represented the commencement of hostilities at Lexington, with this inscription: “The scene opened.” 2d. British clemency, represented in the burning of Charlestown, Falmouth, Norfolk, and Kingston. 3d. The separation of America from Britain. A magnificentarch broken in the center, with this motto: “By your tyranny to the people of America, you have separated the wide arch of an extended empire.” 4th. Britain represented as a decaying empire, by a barren country, broken arches, fallen spires, ships deserting its shores, birds of prey hovering over its moldering cities, and a gloomy setting sun. Motto,
“The Babylonian spires are sunk,
Incident at Pluckemin. Departure from Middlebrook. Somerville. Incidents by the Way. Arrival at Easton.
affair. He said that several boys had possession of a small swivel, and, in firing it, one of them, while loading, had his hand blown off by a premature discharge of the piece. The boy was the son of a widow, and Washington, hearing of the circumstance, sent his mother two guineas. I left Middlebrook at noon, and within half an hour was at dinner in Somerville, five or six miles distant, whence, at one o'clock, I departed in a stage-coach for Easton. Within the coach were seven grown persons, three children about ten years old, and two babies of a respectable size and sound lungs; while on the outside were four passengers and the driver, and an indefinite quantity of baggage. The roads were excessively dusty. The rain that commenced falling gently soon after leaving Somerville relieved us of that annoyance, but produced a greater—the necessity of having the windows of the coach closed, to keep out the drippings of the increasing storm. A wheezing old gentleman in green goggles insisted upon keeping the window open near him, to save him from suffocation; while a shadowy, middle-aged lady, upon the next seat, wrapped in a cloak, as earnestly declared that it should be closed to save her from an ague that had threatened her for a week. The matter appeared to be very properly a casus belli, as prime ministers say ; but, unlike the action of prime ministers in general, the controversy was compromised by mutual concessions, the crooked roads over the rough hills presenting a basis for an amicable treaty of peace. It was agreed that, when the course of the road brought the lady to the windward, the window was to be closed, and at other times the gentleman was to be accommodated with fresh air. The country through which we passed is beautifully diversified with lofty hills and deep ravines, forming numerous water courses, whose irrigating streams fertilize the broad valleys which are found occasionally imbosomed among the less fertile, but cultivated mountains. Of these, the Musconetcong,' through which flows a small river of the same euphonious name, dividing the 'counties of Hunterdon and Warren, is said to be one of the most charming. We crossed the Musconetcong at the pretty little village of Bloomsbury, at twilight, but the gloaming and the rain deprived us of the pleasure of a view of the valley and its thriving town. We were now within six miles of the Delaware, and as the darkness deepened the storm increased; and when, at seven o'clock, we crossed the river, and reined up at the hotel in Easton, we seemed to alight in the very court of Jupiter Pluvius. Easton is upon the right bank of the Delaware, at its confluence with the Lehigh River, thirty-seven miles northwest from Somerville. Arriving there after dark, and departing the next morning before daylight, I had no opportunity to view it. It is said to be a place of much business, and inhabited by a well-educated, social, and highly moral population, and is in the midst of natural scenery singularly picturesque. It has but little Revolutionary history, and that relates chiefly to contests with the Indians. Here the division of the army
5th. America represented as a rising empire. Prospect of a fertile country, harbors and rivers covered with ships, new canals opening, cities arising amid woods, splendid sun emerging from a bright horizon. Motto,
“New worlds are still emerging from the deep,
6th. A grand illuminated representation of Louis The Sixteenth, the encourager of letters, the sup-
Sullivan's Expedition. * Indian Council. Whitefield and Brainerd
of Sullivan, under his immediate command, rendezvoused previous to its flying and desolating campaign against the Six Nations in central New York in 1779, and hither came the poor fugitives from the blackened Valley of Wyoming, after the terrible massacre and burning there in 1778. It has history antecedent to this, but in a measure irrelevant to our subject. Here, in 1758, the chiefs of the Indian tribes, the Delawares, Shawnees, Miamis, Nanticokes, Mohicans, Conoys, Monseys, and all of the Six Nations, assembled in grand council with the Governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Sir William Johnson, and other distinguished men; and the eloquence and good sense of the great Indian diplomatist, Teedyuscung, were here displayed on several occasions. Here, too, before the cabin of the white man was built upon the Delaware above Trenton, the surrounding hills echoed the voices of the eminent Whitefield and Brainerd," as they proclaimed the Gospel of Peace to the heathen; and here the good Moravians sang their hymns and held their love-feasts in the wigwams of the Indians.
* George WHITEFIELD was born in Gloucester, England, December 16th, 1714. After making some progress in learning, he was obliged to assist his mother, who kept an inn. At the age of eighteen he entered Oxford, where he became acquainted with the Wesleys (John and Charles), the founders of the Methodists. He joined these eminent Christians, took orders, and was ordained by the bishop in June, 1736. Mr. John Wesley was then in Georgia, and by his persuasion Whitefield embarked for America. He ar. rived at Savannah in May, 1738, and returned to England in September following. Bishop Benson ordained him priest in January, 1739. He made several voyages to America, and traveled through nearly all the colonies. He went to the Bermudas in 1748. In 1769 he made his seventh and last voyage to America. After preaching in different parts of the country, he died suddenly at Newburyport, Massachusetts, September 30th, 1770, aged fifty-five. His powers of eloquence were wonderful, and his ministry was exceedingly fruitful. His voice was powerful. Dr. Franklin estimated that thirty thousand people might hear him distinctly when preaching in the open air. Of him Cowper wrote,
“He loved the world that hated him; the tear
David BRAINERD was born at Haddam, Connecticut, April 20th, 1718. He entered Yale College in 1739; but, being expelled in 1742, on account of some indiscreet remarks respecting one of the tutors, he never obtained his degree. He immediately commenced the study of divinity. Toward the close of the year he was licensed to preach, and immediately afterward was appointed a missionary to the Indians. His first efforts were made among the Stockbridge Indians, about fifteen miles from Kinderhook, New York. There he lodged upon straw, and his food was the simple fare of the savages. After the Stockbridge Indians agreed to remove to Stockbridge, and place themselves under the instruction of Mr. Sergeant, Brainerd went to the Indians upon the Delaware. There he labored for a while, and then visited the Indians at Crossweeksung, or Crosswicks, in New Jersey, where he was very successful. He worked an entire reform in the lives of the savages at that place. In the summer of 1746, Mr. Brainerd visited the Indians upon the Susquehanna. The next spring, finding his health giving way, he traveled in New England. In July he halted at Northampton, and there, in the family of Jonathan Edwards, he passed the remaining weeks of his life. He died October 9th, 1747, aged twenty-nine years. His exertions in the Christian cause were of short continuance, but they were intense, incessant, and effectual.
Departure for Wyoming. Nazareth. Its Origin. A chilling Mist. Nap in the Coach.
“On Susquehanna's side, fair Wyoming !
“Thou com'st in beauty on my gaze at last,
LEFT Easton for the Valley of Wyoming, sixty miles distant, at three o'clock in the morning. The storm was over, and the broken clouds, flitting upon a cool wind from the northwest, permitted a few gleams of moonlight to stray down to earth. Although there were but three passengers in the coach (two ladies and an infant), I took a seat with the driver, for there were promises of a bright morning and magnificent scenery. The coachman was a good-natured Pennsylvania Dutchman, rather taciturn, and such an adept in his profession that his practiced ear detected the absence of a shoe from the foot of one of the “leaders” when three miles from Easton. A blacksmith by the road side was aroused, the shoe was replaced, and within an hour we had ascended the fertile slopes of the Delaware and Lehigh, to Nazareth, a Moravian village about half way between Easton and the Wind-gap in the Blue Mountains. The day had not yet dawned, yet the snatches of moonlight enabled me to observe the uniform and meat appearance of the houses in the village." We were now high among the hills, whence the mists from the rivers and valleys had rolled up when the storm ceased at midnight, and I was glad to take shelter from the chilling vapor within the coach. The seats were spacious, and, having one in exclusive possession, I made a couch of it, using the carpet bag of one of the ladies for a pillow, and slept soundly for an hour. When I awoke, the morning light was
‘Nazareth is seven miles northwest of Easton. It contains a church, a sisters' house, a large and flourishing seminary for boys, and the usual dead-house and cemetery peculiar to the sect. The place was named, and, it may be said, founded, by the Rev. George Whitefield, the eloquent cosmopolite preacher. He had labored in conjunction with the Moravians in Georgia. When, about 1740, they refused to take up arms for the governor of the province, and left Georgia for the more peaceful domain of William Penn, Whitefield accompanied them. He began to erect a large building “in the Forks of the Delaware” as a school for negro children, while the Moravians, under Bishop Nischman, purchased the site and founded the town of Bethlehem, about ten miles distant. Whitefield named his domain, or manor, Nazareth. He did not complete his building, but sold “the manor of Nazareth” to the Moravians, who finished the edifice. It is still standing, in the eastern border of the village. The Moravian Sisters of Bethlehem wrought an elegant banner, and presented it to Count Pulaski. A drawing of the banner, and the beautiful Consecration Hymn, written by Longfellow, will be found in another part of this work.