"SIXTY YEARS SINCE" IN AMERICA.
AUTHOR OF "HOPE LESLIE," "REDWOOD," &c.
The Eternal Power
Lodged in the will of man the hallowed names
Of freedom and of country.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835, by
HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Clerk s Office of the Southern District of New York.
These volumes are inscribed by their author, as an
expression of that friendship which was begun in
youth, and has increased with every added year of
THE title* of these volumes will render their
readers liable to a disappointment, from which a few
prefatory words may save them. It was chosen sim
ply to mark the period of the story, and that period
was selected as one to which an American always
gratefully recurs, and as affording a picturesque
light for domestic features. The writer has aimed
to exhibit the feeling of the times, and to give her
younger readers a true, if a slight, impression of the
condition of their country at the most the only
* It has been suggested, that the title might be deemed ambi
tious ; that it might indicate an expectation, that " this sixty years
since in America" would take place with the " sixty years since" of
the great Master. I have not yet forgotten the literature of my
childhood the fate of the ambitious frog. To those who know
me, I need not plead " not guilty" to a charge of such insane vanity,
and those who do not will believe me when I say, that the 7nly
moment when I could wish the benefactor of the universal read
ing public to be forgotten, is when my humble productions are
01 ier perusai.
suffering period of its existence, and by means of
this impression to deepen their gratitude to their
patriot-fathers; a sentiment that will tend to in
crease their fidelity to the free institutions trans
mitted to them. Historic events and war details
have been avoided ; the writer happily being aware
that no effort at
A swashing and a martial outside"
would conceal the weak and unskilled woman.
A very few of our " immortal names" have been
introduced, with what propriety the reader must
determine. It may be permitted to say, in exten
uation of what may seem presumption, that when
ever the writer has mentioned Washington, she
has felt a sentiment resembling the awe of the
pious Israelite when he approached the ark of the
For the rest, the author of these volumes is
most happy in trusting to the indulgent disposi
tion which our American public constantly mani
fest towards native literature.
THE L I N W O O D S.
" Un notable exemple de la forcenee curiosite de notre naiu; e,
s amusant se preoccuper des choses futures, comme si elle n avoit
pas assez a faire a desirer les presentes." MONTAIGNE.
SOME two or three years before our revolutionary
war, just at the close of day, two girls were seen
entering Broadway through a wicket garden-gate,
in the rear of a stately mansion which fronted or.
Broad-street, that being then the court-end of the
city the residence of unquestioned aristocracy
(sic transit gloria mundi !) whence royal favour
and European fashions were diffused through the
province of New-York.
The eldest of the two girls had entered on her
teens. She was robust and tall for her years, with the
complexion of a Hebe, very dark hair, an eye (al
beit belonging to one of the weaker sex) that
looked as if she were born to empire it might be
over hearts and eyes and the step of a young
Juno. The younger could be likened neither to
goddess, queen, nor any thing that assumed or loved
command. She was of earth s gentlest and finest
14 THE LINWOODS.
mould framed for all tender humanities, with the
destiny of woman written on her meek brow. " Thou
art born to love, to suffer, to obey, to minister, and
not to be ministered to." Well did she fulfil her
mission ! The girls were followed by a black ser
vant in livery. The elder pressed forward as if
impelled by some powerful motive, while her com
panion lagged behind, sometimes chasing a young
bird, then smelling the roses that peeped through
the garden-paling ; now stopping to pat a good-
natured mastiff, or caress a chubby child : many a
one attracted her with its broad shining face and
linsey-woolsey short-gown and petticoat, seated with
the family group on the freshly-scoured stoops of
the Dutch habitations that occurred at intervals on
their way. " Come, do come along, Bessie, you
are stopping for every thing," said her companion,
impatiently. Poor Bessie, with the keenest sen
sibility, had, what rarely accompanies it, a general
susceptibility to external impressions, one might
have fancied she had an extra set of nerves. When
the girls had nearly reached St. Paul s church, their
attendant remonstrated, " Miss Isabella, you are
getting quite out to the fields missis said you
were only going a turn up the Broadway."
" So I am, Jupe."
" A pretty long turn," muttered Jupiter ; and
after proceeding a few paces further, he added, in
a raised voice, " the sun is going down, Miss Isa
THE LINWOODS. 15
" That was news at 12 o clock, Jupiter."
" But it really is nearly set now, Isabella," inter
posed her companion Bessie.
" Well, what if it is, Bessie ? it is just the right
time Effie is always surest between sundown and
" Mercy, Isabella ! you are not going to Effie s.
It is horrid to go there after sundown please Isa
bella, don t." Isabella only replied by a " pshaw,
child !" and a laugh.
Bessie mustered her moral courage (it required
it all to oppose Isabella), and stopping short, said,
" I am not sure it is right to go there at all."
. " There is no right nor wrong in the matter,
Bessie, you are always splitting hairs." Not
withstanding her bold profession, Isabella paused,
and with a tremulousness of voice that indicated
she was not indifferent to the cardinal points in her
path of morality, she added, " why do you think
it is not right, Bessie ?" ^
" Because the Bible says, that sorcery, and div- j s
ination, and every thing of that kind, is wicked."
" Nonsense, child ! that was in old times, you
Isabella s evasion might have quieted a rational
ist of the present day, but not Bessie, who had
been bred in the strict school of New-England ortho
doxy ; and she replied, " What was right and wrong
in old times, is right and wrong now, Isabella."
"Don t preach, Bessie I will venture all the
16 THE LINWOODS
harm of going to Effie s ; and you may lay the sin
at my door ;" and with her usual independent, fear-
naught air, she turned into a shady lane that led by a
cross-cut to " Aunt Katy s garden", a favourite re
sort of the citizens for rural recreations. The Chat
ham-street theatre has since occupied the same spot
that theatre is now a church. Isabella quicken
ed her pace. Bessie followed most unwillingly.
" Miss Belle," cried out Jupiter, " I must detest,
in your rra s name, against your succeeding farther."
" The tiresome old fool !" With this exclama
tion on her lips, Isabella turned round, and draw
ing her person up to the height of womanhood, she
added, " I shall go just as far as I please, Jupe fol
low me ; if anybody is scolded it shall be me, not
you, I wish mamma," she continued, pursuing
her way, " would not send Jupe after us, just as
if we were two babies in leading-strings."
" I would not go a step farther for the world, if
he were not with us," said Bessie.
" And pray, what good would he do us if there
were danger such a desperate coward as he is ?"
" He is a man, Isabella."
" He has the form of one Jupe," she called out
(the spirit of mischief playing about her arch
mouth), pointing to a slight elevation, called Gal
lows hill, where a gibbet was standing, " Jupe, is
not that the place where they hung the poor crea
tures who were concerned in the negro-plot ?"
" Yes, miss, sure it is the awful place :" and he
THE LINWOODS. 17
mended his pace, to be as near as might be to the
" Did not some of your relations suffer there,
" Yes, miss, two of my poster ty my grand
mother and aunt Venus."
Isabella repressed a smile, and said, with un
affected seriousness, " it was a shocking business,
Bessie a hundred and fifty poor wretches sacri
ficed, I have heard papa say. Is it true, Jupe, that
their ghosts walk about here, and have been seen
many a time when it was so dark you could not
see your hand before your face ?"
" I dare say, Miss Belle. Them that s hung on-
justly always travels."
" But how could they be seen in such darkness ?"
" Case, miss, you know ghosts have a light in
their anterior, just like lanterns."
" Ah, have they ? I never understood it before
what a horrid cracking that gibbet makes ! Bless
us ! and there is very little wind."
" That makes no distinctions, miss ; it begins as
the sun goes down, and keeps it up all night. Miss
Belle, stop one minute don t go across the hill
that is right in the ghost-track !"
" Oh don t, for pity s sake, Isabella," said Bessie,
" Hush, Bessie, it is the shortest way, and" (in
a whisper) " I want to scare Jupe. Jupe, it seems
to me there is an odd hot feel in the ground here."
18 THE LINWOODS.
" There sarten is, miss, a very onhealthy feel
" And, my goodness ! Jupiter, don t you feel a
very, very slight kind of a trembling a shake or
a roll, as if something were walking in the earth,
under our feet ?"
" I do, and it gets worser and worser, every step."
" It feels like children playing under the bed,
and hitting the sacking with their heads."
" Oh, Lord, miss yes it goes bump, bump,
against my feet."
By this time they had passed to the further side
of the hill, so as to place the gibbet between them
and the western sky, lighted up with one of those
brilliant and transient radiations that sometimes
immediately succeed the sun s setting, diffusing a
crimson glow, and outlining the objects relieved
against the sky with light red. Our young hero
ine, like all geniuses, knew how to seize a circum
stance. " Oh, Jupe," she exclaimed, " look, what
a line of blood is drawn round the gibbet !"
" The Lord have marcy on us, miss !"
" And, dear me ! I think I see a faint shadow of
a man with a rope round his neck, and his head on
one side do you see, Jupe ?"
Poor Jupe did not reply. He could bear it no
longer. His fear of his young mistress his fear
of a scolding at home, all were merged in the ter
ror Isabella had conjured up by the aid of the tradi
tionary superstitions with which his mind was pre-
THE LINWOODS. 19
viously filled ; and without attempting an answer,
he fairly ran off the ground, leaving Isabella laugh
ing, and Bessie expostulating, and confessing that
she did not in the least wonder that poor Jupe was
scared. Once more she ventured to entreat Isa
bella to give up the expedition to Effie s, for this
time at least, when she was interrupted and reas
sured by the appearance of two friends, in the per
sons of Isabella s brother and Jasper Meredith,
returning, with their dogs and guns, from a day s
" What wild-goose chase are you on, Belle, at this
time of day ?" asked her brother. " I am sure
Bessie Lee has not come to Gallows hill with her
own good will."
" I have made game of my goose, at any rate,
and given Bessie Lee a good lesson, on what our
old schoolmaster would call the potentiality of man
kind but come," she added, for though rather
ashamed to confess her purpose when she knew rid
icule must be braved, courage was easier to Isabella
than subterfuge, " Come along with us to Effie s,
and I will tell you the joke I played off on Jupe."
Isabella s joke seemed to her auditors a capital one,
for they were at that happy age when laughter does
not ask a reason to break forth from the full foun
tain of youthful spirits. Isabella spun out her story
till they reached Effie s door, which admitted them,
not to any dark laboratory of magic, but to a snug
little Dutch parlour, with a nicely-sanded floor a
20 THE LINWOODS.
fireplace gay with the flowers of the season, pio-
nies and Guelder-roses, and ornamented with storied
tiles, that, if not as classic, were, as we can vouch,
far more entertaining than the sculptured marble of
our own luxurious days.
The pythoness Effie turned her art to good ac
count, producing substantial comforts by her mys
terious science ; and playing her cards well for this
world, whatever bad dealings she might have with
another. Even Bessie felt her horror of witch
craft diminished before this plump personage, with
a round, good-humoured face, looking far more
like the good vrow of a Dutch picture than like the
gaunt skinny hag who has personated the professors
of the bad art from the Witch of Endor downwards.
Effie s physiognomy, save an ominous contraction
of her eyelids, and the keen and somewhat sinister
glances that shot between them, betrayed nothing
of her calling.
There were, as on all similar occasions, some
initiatory ceremonies to be observed before the for
tunes were told. Herbert, boylike, was penniless ;
and he offered a fine brace of snipe to propitiate
the oracle. They were accepted with a smile that
augured well for the official response he should re
ceive. Jasper s purse, too, was empty : and after
ransacking his pockets in vain, he slipped out a
gold sleeve-button, and told Effie he would redeem
it the next time he came her way. Meanwhile
there was a little by-talk between Isabella and Bes
THE LINWOODS. 21
sie ; Isabella insisting on paying the fee for her
friend, and Bessie insisting that " she would have no
fortune told, that she did not believe Effie could
tell it, and if she could, she would not for all the
w r orld let her." In vain Isabella ridiculed and
reasoned by turns. Bessie, blushing and trembling,
persisted. Effie at the same moment was shuffling
a pack of cards, as black as if they had been sent
up from Pluto s realms ; and while she was mut
tering over some incomprehensible phrases, and
apparently absorbed in the manipulations of her
art, she heard and saw all that passed, and deter
mined that if poor little Bessie would not acknowl
edge, she should feel her power.
Herbert, the most incredulous, and therefore the
boldest, first came forward to confront his destiny.
", A great deal of rising in the world, and but little
sinking for you, Master Herbert Linwood you
are to go over the salt water, and ride foremost in
" Good ! good ! go on, Effie."
" Oh what beauties of horses a pack of hounds
High ! how the steeds go how they leap the
buck is at bay there are you !"
" Capital, Effie ! I strike him down ?"
" You are too fast, young master I can tell no
more than I see the sport is past the place is
changed there is a battle-field, drums, trumpets,
and flags flying Ah, there is a sign of danger a
pit yawns at your feet."
22 THE LINWOODS.
" Shocking !" cried Bessie ; " pray, don t listen
any more, Herbert."
" Pshaw, Bessie ! I shall clear the pit. Effie
loves snipe too well to leave me the wrong side of
that v ."
Effie was either offended at Herbert s intimation
that her favours might be bought, or perhaps she
saw his lack of faith in his laughing eye, and, de
termined to punish him, she declared that all was
dark and misty beyond the pit ; there might be a
leap over it, arid a smooth road beyond she could
not tell she could only tell what she saw.
You are a croaking raven, Effie!" exclaimed
Herbert ; " I ll shuffle my own fortune ;" and seizing
the cards, he handled them as knowingly as the
sibyl herself, and ran over a jargon quite as unin
telligible ; and then holding them fast, quite out
of Effie s reach, he ran on " Ah, ha I see the
mist going off like the whiff from a Dutchman s
pipe ; and here s a grand castle, and parks, and pleas
ure-grounds ; and here am I, with a fair blue-eyed
lady, within it." Then dashing down the cards, he
turned and kissed Bessie s reddening cheek, say
ing, " Let others wait on fortune, Effie, I ll carve
Isabella was nettled at Herbert s open contempt
of Effie s seership. She would not confess nor
examine the amount of her faith, nor did she choose
to be made to feel on how tottering a base it rested.
She was exactly at that point of credulity where
THE LINWOODS. 23
much depends on the sympathy of others. It is
said to be essential to the success of animal mag
netism, that not only the operator and the subject,
but the spectators, should believe. Isabella felt
she was on disenchanted ground, while Herbert,
with his quizzical smile, stood charged, and aiming
at her a volley of ridicule ; and she proposed that
those who had yet their fortunes to hear should,
one after another, retire with Erne to a little inner
room. But Herbert cried out, " Fair play, fair
play ! Dame Effie has read the riddle of my des
tiny to you all, and now it is but fair I should heai
Bessie saw Isabella s reluctance, and she again
interposed, reminding her of "mamma the coming
night," &c. ; and poor Isabella was fain to give up
the contest for the secret conference, and hush
Bessie, by telling Effie to proceed.
" Shall I tell yamfortin and that young gentle
man s together ?" asked Effie, pointing to Jasper.
Her manner was careless ; but she cast a keen
glance at Isabella, to ascertain how far she might
blend their destinies.
" Oh, no, no no partnership for me," cried
Isabella, while the fire which flashed from her eye
evinced that the thought of a partnership with Jas
per, if disagreeable, was not indifferent to her.
" Nor for me, either, mother Effie," said Jasper ;
u or if there be a partnership, let it be with the
pretty blue-eyed mistress of Herbert s mansion."
24 THE LINWOODS.
" Nay, master, that pretty miss does not choose
her fortune told and she s right poor thing !"
she added, with an ominous shake of the head.
Bessie s heart quailed, for she both believed and
" Now, shame on you, Effie," cried Herbert ;
" she cannot know any thing about you, Bessie ;
she lias not even looked at your fortune yet."
" Did I say I knew, Master Herbert ? Time must
show whether I know or not."
Bessie still looked apprehensively. " Nonsense,"
said Herbert ; " what can she know ? she never
saw you before."
" True, I never saw her ; but I tell you, young
lad, there is such a thing as seeing the shadow of
things far distant and past, and never seeing the
vealities, though they it be that cast the shadows."
Bessie shuddered Effie shuffled the cards. " Now
just for a trial," said she ; " I will tell you some
thing about her not of the future ; for I d be loath
io overcast her sky before the time comes but of
" Pray, do not," interposed Bessie ; " I don t wish
you to say any thing about me, past, present, or to
" Oh, Bessie," whispered Isabella, "let hei try
there can be no harm if you do not ask her
the past is past, you know now we have a chance
to know if she really is wiser than others." Bessie
again resolutely shook her head.
THE LINWOODS. 25
" Let her go on," whispered Herbert, " and see
what a fool she will make of herself."
" Let her go on, dear Bessie," said Jasper, " or
she will think she has made a fool of you."
Bessie feared that her timidity was folly in Jas
per s eyes ; and she said, " she may go on if you all
wish, but I will not hear her;" and she covered
her ears with her hands.
" Shall I ?" asked Effie, looking at Isabella ,
Isa-bella nodded assent, and she proceeded. " She
has come from a great distance her people are
well to do in the world, but not such quality as
yours, Miss Isabella Linwood she has found
some things here pleasanter than she expected
some not so pleasant the house she was born in
stands on the sunny side of a hill." At each pause
that Effie made, Isabella gave a nod of acquies
cence to what she said ; and this, or some stray
words, which might easily have found their way
through Bessie s little hands, excited her curiosity,
and by degrees they slid down so as to oppose a
very slight obstruction to Effie s voice. " Before
the house," she continued, " and not so far distant
but she may hear its roaring, when a storm uplifts
it, is the wide sea that sea has cost the poor child
dear." Bessie s heart throbbed audibly. " Since
she came here she has both won love and lost it."
" There, there you are out," cried Herbert, glad
of an opportunity to stop the current that was be
coming too strong for poor Bessie
VOL. i. B 3
26 THE LINWOODS.
" She can best tell herself whether I am right/
said Effie, coolly.
" She is right right in all," said Bessie, retreat
ing to conceal the tears that were starting from her
Isabella neither saw nor heard this she was
only struck with what Effie delivered as a proof of
her preternatural skill ; and more than ever eager
to inquire into her own destiny, she took the place
Bessie had vacated.
Effie saw her faith, and was determined to re
ward it. "Miss Isabella^ Linwood, you are born
to walk in no common track," she might have
read this prediction, written with an unerring hand
on the girl s lofty brow, and in her eloquent
eye. " You will be both served and honoured
those that have stood in kings palaces will bow
down to you but the sun does not always shine
on the luckiest you will have a dark day trouble
when you least expect it joy when you are not
looking for it." This last was one of Effie s staple
prophecies, and was sure to be verified in the va
ried web of every individual s experience. " You
have had some trouble lately, but it will soon pass
away, and for ever." A safe prediction in regard
to any girl of twelve years. " You ll have plenty
of friends, and lots of suiters the right one will
" Oh, never mind don t say who, Effie," cried
THE LINWOODS. 27
" I was only going to say the right one will be
tall and elegant, with beautiful large eyes I can t
say whether blue or black but black, I think ; for
his hair is both dark and curling."
" Bravo, bravissimo, brother Jasper !" exclaimed
Herbert ; " it is your curly pate Effie sees in those
black cards, beyond a doubt."
" I bow to destiny," replied Jasper, with an arch
smile, that caught Isabella s eye.
" I do not," she retorted " look again, Effie it
must not be curling hair I despise it."
" I see but once, miss, and then clearly ; but
there s curling hair on more heads than one."
" I never never should like any one with curling
hair," persisted Isabella.
" It would be no difficult task for you to pull it
straight, Miss Isabella," said the provoking Jasper.
Isabella only replied by her heightened colour ;
and bending over the table, she begged Effie to
" There s not much more shown me, miss you
will have some tangled ways besetments, wonder
ments, and disappointments."
" Effie s version of the course of true love never
does run smooth, " interposed Jasper.
" But all will end well," she concluded ; " your
husband will be the man of your heart he will be
beautiful, and rich, and great ; and take you home
to spend your days in merry England."
" Thank youthank you, Effie," said Isabella,
28 THE LINWOODS.
languidly. The "beauty, riches, and days spent in
England" were well enough, for beauty and riches
are elements in a maiden s beau-ideal ; and Eng
land was then the earthly paradise of the patrician
colonists. But she was not just now in a humour
to acquiesce in the local habitation and the name
which the " dark curling hair" had given to the
ideal personage. Jasper Meredith had not even a
shadow of faith in Effie ; but next to being for
tune s favourite, he liked to appear so ; and con
triving, unperceived by his companions, to slip his
remaining sleeve-button into Effie s hand, he said,
" Keep them both ;" and added aloud, " Now for
my luck, Dame Effie, and be it weal or be it wo,
deliver it truly."
Effie was propitiated, and would gladly have
imparted the golden tinge of Jasper s bribe to his
future destiny ; but the opportunity was too tempt
ing to be resisted, to prove to him that she was
mastered by a higher power : and looking very
solemn, and shaking her head, she said, " There
are too many dark spots here. Ah, Mr. Jasper
Meredith disappointment ! disappointment ! the
arrow just misses the mark the cup is filled to