Henry C. (Henry Clay) Watson.

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PATFVIOTIC

56RJ6S
FOR
BOYS
AND
6II\LS




J CHILDREN'S BOOK J

COLLECTION

1*1

LIBRARY OF THE 3f

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA *
LOS ANGELES



OLLVE.-PER.CIVAL




UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES

TChcOltocPcrttoal
Collection of

Children's Books



DARING DEEDS SERIES

6 volumes Illustrated



DARING DEEDS OF THE OLD HEROES
OF THE REVOLUTION

THE OLD BELL OF INDEPENDENCE

AND OTHER STORIES OF THE REVOLUTION

THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY

A YOUNG FOLKS' LIFE OF WASHINGTON

THE FRIEND OF WASHINGTON

A YOUNG FOLKS' LIFE OF LAFAYETTE

THE GREAT PEACEMAKER

A YOUNG FOLKS' LIFE OF PENN

POOR RICHARD'S STORY

A YOUNG FOLKS' LIFE OF FRANKLIN




WASHINGTON'S PRAYER FOR THE DYING SOLDIER



THE



OLD BELL OF INDEPENDENCE



HENRY C. WATSON



ILLUSTRATED



BOSTON
LEE AND SHEPARD PUBLISHERS

10 MILK STREET NEXT "Tilt: OLD SOUTH MEETING HOUSE "



PREFACE.



Tc awaken in the minds of all Americana
that veneration of the patriots and heroes
of the War of Independence, and that emula-
tion of their noble example which is so neces-
sary to the maintenance of our liberties, are the
objects of this little work. Every day's de-
velopments illustrate the importance of these
objects. In the enjoyment of the freedom and
prosperity of our country, we are apt to under-
rate the means by which that enjoyment was
secured to us, and to forget the men who
worked for that end. A knowledge of the
toils and sufferings of the noble-hearted fathers

(ix)



X PREFACE.

of the Revolution is the best preventative,
or curative, for this "falling off." War,
clothed as it is, with horrors, is to be con-
demned, and the spirit which leads to it should
be driven from the breasts of men. But gene-
rous devotion, strength of resolution, and far-
reaching skill, are things to be commended and
imitated w r herever displayed. In these pages,
will be found stories of the chief men of the
Revolution, so connected, by the manner in
which they are narrated, rs to give a general
h.terest to them "The Old Bell of Indepen-
d ;nce" being the rallying point of the veteran
swy -tellers.



CONTENTS.



IHTIlODUCTiON . ' ." Page !<j

BTORY OP GENERAL WASHINGTON .... 19

THE SPY'S FATE 24

STORY OF TEE SERMON 28

STORY OF THE PRAYER . . . . ' . . ,42

STORY OF LYDIA DARRAGH 40

THE DEAD MAN'S LAKE SO

THE HALF-BREED . . ... ... 57

DEATH OF COLONEL LOVELACE . . *. . .64
MURDER OF MISS McCREA. . . ... 68

DEFENCE OF OHELL'3 BLOCK- EOUSE .... 73

BATES'S REVENGE . . . . . . . 76

BTORY OF GENERAL T7AYNE 62

Ml



Xil CONTENTS.

THE OUTLAW OF THE PINES . ... 88

1HE TORY'S CONVERSION 106

THE TIMELY RESCUE . , . / . . 120
THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN .... 133

THE BATTLE OF THE KEGS . . . .143
ARNOLD'S TREASON , 152

CAPTURE OF GENERAL PRESCOTT . > ' . . . 166
JONATHAN RILEY AND FRANK LILLY . . * .170
MASSACRE OF WYOMING . . . ... 176

STOBY OP THE DAUPHIN'S BIBTHDAY . 181



INTRODUCTION.

IT was a season of unparalleled enthusiasm and re-
joicing, when General Lafayette, the friend and sup-
porter of American Independence, responded to the
wishes of the people of the United States, and came to
see their prosperity, and to hear their expressions of
gratitude. The national heart beat joyfully in anticipa-
tion ; and one long, loud, and free shout of welcome
was heard throughout the land.

Arriving at New York in August, 1824, General
Lafayette journeyed through the Eastern States, receiv-
ing such tokens of affection as the people had extended
to no other man except Washington, and then returned
southward. On the 28th of September, he entered
Philadelphia, the birth-place of the Declaration of In-
dependence, the greater part of the population coining
2 (13)



14 INTRODUCTION.

om to receive and welcome him. A large procession
vi as formed, and thirteen triumphal arches erected in the
principal streets through which the procession passed.

After General Lafayette himself, the most remarkable
objects in the procession were four large open cars,
resembling tents, each containing forty veterans of the
struggle for independence. No one could, without
emotion, behold these winter-locked patriots, whose
eyes, dimmed by age, poured forth tears of joy at their
unexpected happiness in once more meeting an old
commander, and joining in the expressions of gratitude
to him.

After passing through the principal streets, General
Lafayette was conducted into the hall of the State-
House, where the old Continental Congress had assem-
bled, and where the immortal Declaration of Inde-
pendence was signed. Here the nation's guest was
received formally on behalf of the citizens by the mayor,
and then the people were admitted to take him by the
hand. At night there was a splendid illumination ; and
crowds of people traversed the streets, singing and cele-
brating the exploits of the champion of liberty and the
friend of America.

On one of the days succeeding Lafayette's grand
entry into the city, he received, in the Hall of Indepen-
dence, the veteran soldiers of the Revolution who had
come to the city, a td those who were residents. One
by one these feeble old men came up and took the
General by the hand, and to each he had some reminis
cence to recall, or some congratulation to otier. Heroes



INTRODUCTION. 15

of Bnmdywine, Gcrmantown, Trenton, Princeton, Mon-
montli ar.d other fields, were there ; some with scars to
show, and all much suffering to relate. The old patriotic
fire was kindled in their breasts, and beamed from their
furrowed countenances, as memory flew back to the time
that proved their truth and love of liberty. One had
been uncbr the command of the fiery Wayne, and shared
his dangers with a spirit as dauntless ; another had
served with the cool and skilful Greene, and loved to
recall some exploit in which the Quaker general had
displayed his genius ; another had followed the lead of
Lafayette himself, when a mere youth, at Brandywine :
everything conspired to render this interview of the
General and the veteran soldiers as touching and as in-
teresting as any recorded by history, or invented by
fiction.

After the reception of the veterans, one of them pro-
posed to go up into the belfry, and see the old bell
which proclaimed liberty " to all the land, and to all the
nations thereof." Lafayette and a few others accom-
panied the proposal by expressing a wish to see that
interesting relic. With great difficulty, some of the old
men were conducted up to the belfry, and there they
beheld the bell still swinging. Lafayette was much
gratified at the sight, as it awakened his old enthusiasm
to think of the period when John Adams and his bold
brother patriots dared to assert the principles of civil
liberty, and to proclaim the independence of their coun
try. Old John Hurmar, one of the veteran soldiers who
had been in Philadelphia when the Declaration waa



16 I N T R D U C T I N .

proclaimed, ar.d who again shook hands with Ms DM
brothers in arms, gave vent to his thoughts and feelings
as he stood looking at the bell.

" Ah ! that 's the trumpet that told the Britishers a
tale of vengeance ! My memory J s not so bad but I can
recollect the day that old bell was rung for independence!
This city presented a very different appearance in those
dr.ys. It was a small town. Every body was expectin*
that the king's troops would be comin' here soon, and
would sack and burn the place : but the largest number
of us were patriots, and knew the king was a tyrant ;
and so we did n't care much whether they came or not.
How 7 the people did crowd around this State-House on
the day the Declaration was proclaimed ! Bells were
ringing all over town, and guns were fired ; but above
'em all could be heard the heavy, deep sound of this old
boll, that rang as if it meant something! Ah! them
was great tildes."

As old Harmar concluded these remarks, the old men
standing near the bell nodded approvingly, and some
echoed, " Them was great times !" in a tone which in-
dicated that memory was endeavoring to conjure back
the time of which they spoke. They then slowly turned
to descend. Lafayette had preceded them with his few
friends. " Stop !" said old Harmar; " Wilson, Morton,
Smith, and you, Higgins, my son wants you to come
home with me, and take dinner at his house. Come ; I
want to have some chat with you over old doings. I
may never see you again after you leave Philadelphia."

The invitation, cordially given, was cordially accepted>
and the party of old Fends descended the stairs, and,



INTRODUCTION. 17

arriving at the door, were assisted by the cheering crowd
to get into their carriage, which then drove towards the
residence of old Harmar's son. At that place we shall
consider them as having arrived, and, after much wel-
coming, introducing, and other preparatory ceremonies,
es seated at a long, well-supplied table, set in a large
and pleasant dining-hall. Young Harmar, his wife, and
the four children, were also accommodated at the same
table, and a scene of conviviality and pleasure was pre-
sented -:ch as is not often witnessed. The old men
were very communicative and good-humored ; and
young Hamar and his family were free of questions
concerning the great scenes through which they hud
passed. But we wii! let the company speak for them-
selves,



STORY OF GENERAL WASHINGTON.



"GRANDFATHER," said Thomas Jefferson Harmar,
"won't you tell us something about General Wash-
ington s

" I could tell you many a thing about that man, my
child," replied old Harmar, " but I suppose people know
everything concerning him by this time. You see, these
history writers go about hunting up every incident relat-
ing to the war, now, and after a while they '11 know
more about it or say they do than the men who
were actors in it."

" That 's not improbable," said young Harmar.
" These historians may not know as much of the real
spirit of the people at that period, but that they should
be better acquainted with the mass of facts relating to
battles and to political affairs is perfectly natural." THe
old man demurred, however, and mumbled over, that
nobody could know the real state of things who was not
living among them at the time.

"But the little boy wants to hear a story about
Washington," said Wilson. " Can 't you tell him
iomething about the man ? I think I could. Any on*
who v:ants to appreciate the character of Washing! DA.

(19)



20 STORY OF

and the extent of his services during the Revolut on,
she 'ild know the history of the campaign of 1776, when
every body was desponding, and thinking of giving up
the 'good cause. I tell you, if Washington had not been
superior to all other men, that cause must have sunk
into darkness."

" You say well," said Smith. " We, who were at
Valley Forge, know something of his character."

" I remember an incident," said Wilson, " that ivill
give you some idea, Mrs. Harmar, of the heart George
Washington had in his bosom. I suppose Mr. Harmar
has told you something of the sufferings of our men
during the winter we lay at ValJey Forge. It was a
terrible season. It 's hard to give a faint idea of it in
words ; but you may imagine a party of men, with
ragged clothes and no shoes, huddled around a fire in a
log hut the snow about two feet deep on the ground,
and the wind driving fierce and bitter through the chinks
of the rude hovel. Many of the men had their fee.
frost-bitten, and there were no remedies to be had, like
there is now-a-days. The sentinels suffered terribly, and
looked more like ghosts than men, as tbey paced up and
down before the lines of huts."

" I wonder the men did n't all denert," remarkec
Mrs. Harmar. " They must have b en uncommon
men.* 1

" They were uncommon men, or, at least, they suf-
fi'rcd in an uncommon cause," replied Wilson. " But
about General Washington. He saw how v he men \\ere
situated, and, I re illy believe, his heart bl?d for them.



GENERAL WASHINGTON. 21

ile would write to Congress of the state of affairs, and
entreat that body to procure supplies ; but, you see,
Congress had n't the power to comply. All it could do
was to call on the States, and await the action of their
Assemblies.

" Washington's head-quarters was near the camp, ana
ne often came over to see the poor fellows, and to try to
soothe and comfort them ; and, I tell you, the men loved
that man as if he had been their father, and would rather
hare died with him than have lived in luxury with the
red- coat general.

" I recollect a scene I beheld in the next hut to the
one in which I messed. An old friend, named Josiah
Jones, was dying. He was lying on a scant straw bed,
with nothing but rags to cover him. He had been sick
for several days, but would n't go under the doctor's
hands, as he always said it was like going into battle,
certain of being killed. One day, when we had no no-
tion of anything of the kind, Josiah called out to us, as
we sat talking near his bed, that he was dying, and
wanted us to pray for him. We were all anxious to do
anything for the man, for we loved him as a brother ;
but as for praying, we did n't exactly know how to go
about it. To get clear of the service, I ran to obtain the
poor fellow a drink of water to moisten his parched
lips.

" While the rest were standing about, not knowing
what to do, some one heard the voice of General Wash-
ington in the next hut, where he was comforting some
poor wretches who had their feet almost frozen off'. Di-
rectly, he came to our door, and one of the men went



22 STORYOF

and told him the state of things. Now, you see, a
commandar-in-chief might have been justified in beiny
angry that the regulations for the sick had been diso-
beyed, and have turned away ; but he was a nobler sort
of man than could do that. He entered the hut, and
went up to poor Josiah, and asked him how he was.
Josiah told him that he felt as if he was dying, and
wanted some one to pray for him. Washington saw that
a doctor could do the man no good, and he knelt on the
ground by him and prayed. We all knelt down too ;
we could n't help it. An old comrade was dying, away
from his home and friends, and there was our general
kneeling by him, with his face turned towards heaven,
looking, I thought, like an angel's. Well, he prayed
for Heaven to have mercy on the dying man's soul ; to
pardon his sins; and to take him to Himself: and then
he prayed for us all. Before the prayer was concluded,
Josiah's spirit had fled, and his body was cold and stiff.
Washington felt the brow of the poor fellow, and, seeing
that his life was out, gave the men directions how to
dispose of the corpse, and then left us to visit the other
parts of the camp."

" That was, indeed, noble conduct," said young I far-
mar. " Did he ever speak to you afterwards abou'
violating the regulations of the army ?"

"No," replied Wilson. " He knew that strict disci-
pline could not be, and should not have been maintained
in that camp. He was satisfied if we were true to the
pause amid all our sufferings."

" Praying at the death-bed of a private," mused Smith
J.ou/1. " Well, I might have conjectured what he would



GENERAL WASHINGTON. 23

Ho in such a case, from what I saw of him. I wonder
if history ever spoke of a greater and better man ?"

Young Mr. Harmar here felt inclined to launch cut
into an elaborate panegyric on the character of Wash-
ington, but reflected that it might be out of place, and
therefore contented himself with remarking, " We shall
ne'er look upon his like again."

" He was a dear, good man," remarked Mrs. Harmai.

u Yes," said old Harmar, "General Washington was
the main pillar of the Revolution. As a general, he was
vigilant and skilful ; but if he had not been anything
more, we might have been defeated and crushed by the
enemy. He had the love and confidence of the men,
on account of his character as a man, and that enabled
him to remain firm and full of hope when his countrymen
saw nothing but a gloomy prospect."



SPY'S FATE.



"Now I '11 tell you a story that I have just called tc
Mu?d," said old Harmar. " It 's of a very different
character, though, from the story of Washington. It '&
r.bout a spy's fate."

" Where was the scene of it ?" inquired Mrs. Harmar.

" Out here on the Schuylkill's banks, just after the
British took possession of this city," replied old Harmar.
" There was a man named James Sykes, who had a
lime-kiln on the east bank of the river, and was manu-
facturing lime pretty extensively when the enemy came
to this city. While Congress was sitting here, Sykes
always professed to be a warm friend to the colonial
cause ; but there was always something suspicious about
his movements, and his friends and neighbours did not
put much faith in his professions. He would occasion-
ally be out very late at night, and sometimes be gone
fioin hone for a week, and give very vague accounts of
the business which had occupied him during his absence.
Some of his neighbours suspected that he was acting as
one of Sir William Howe's spies, but they could nerrj
get any positive proof of their suspicions.

(24)



THE SPY'S FUE. 25

" At length the enemy took possession of this city,
and then Sykes began to show that he was not such a
very warm friend of the rigl\t side. He went to the
head-quarters of the British general frequently, and
seemed to be on the best terms with the enemy. Web,
it happened that one of his old neighbors, named Jones,
was the captait. of one. of the companies of our line ;
and he, somehow or other, obtained proof that Sykes
was acting as a spy for the enemy. He informed Gen-
eial \Vayne of the fact, and immediately proposed that
he should be allowed to attempt his capture. Wayne
consented, and Captain Jones set about preparing ic:r
the enterprise. Sykes was usually out at his lime-kiln,
with some of his men, during the morning, and, as the
guilty are ever suspicious, he increased the number of
his assistants, to ensure himself against attack. Captain
Jones took only twenty men from his company, and left
our camp just before dark. The business was full of
danger. The place where Jones expected to capture
the spy was within a mile of a British out-post ; and the
greatest secrecy and rapidity of movement was necessary
to prevent surprise by the enemy's scouting parties.

"About daylight, Jones and his party reached the
woo'l near Sykes' lime-kiln, and halted to reconnoitre.
Sykes and four of his men were at work at that early
hour. The lime was burning, and some 01 the men
were e;. gaged in loading and unloading two carts which
stood near the kiln. Captain Jones' plan was quickly
formed. He sent one half his party around to cut off
the escape of Sykes towards the city, and when he
thought they had reached a favvrnblc position sallied
8



26 THESPY'SFATE.

out towards the kiln. When he \vas about half-way to
it, Sykes discovered the party, and, shouting to his men
to folio Wj ran along the bank of the river to escape ; but
the other party cut off retreat, and Jones coming up
rapidly, Sykes and his men were taken. Jones did not
intend to detain the workmen any longer than till he got
out of the reach of the British, when he would not have
cared for their giving the alarm. Sykes seemed to be
very anxious to know why he was arrested in that man-
ner ; but Jones simply told him he would know when
they got him to the American camp ; and that, if Sykea
had not thought of a reason for his arrest, he would not
have attempted to run away. Well, the Americans
hurried the prisoners towards the wood, but Jones soon
descried a large party of British coming over a neigh-
boring hill, and knew that his chance was a desperate
one. Sykes also discovered the party of red-coats, and
struggled hard to make his escape from the Americans.
Tones w r anted to bring him alive to the American camp,
or he w T ould have shot him down at once. Suddenly,
Sykes broke away from his captors, and ran towards the
lime-kiln. Several muskets were discharged, but ail
missed him. Then one of the privates, named Janvers,
a daring fellow, rushed after the prisoner, and caught
him just as he reached the kiln. There a fierce struggle
ensued ; but Sykes was cut in the shoulder, and, in at-
tempting to throw his antagonist into the hot lime and
fire, was hurled into it himself. Then Janvers hurried
to the woods after his brave comrades. The British
party was near enough to see the struggle at the lime-
kiln, and came on rapidly in pursuit of our men. A



THESPY'SFATE. 27

few of the red-coats were ordered to examine the lime-
kiln, to see if Sykes was alive and concealed ; and they
{ jund his body burned almost to a crisp."

" Horrible !" exclaimed Mrs. Harmar.

" Well," continued Old Harmar, " there was a long
and doubtful race between the two parties ; but Jones
succeeded in getting within the lines of the Americans
without losing a man, and with his four prisoners in safe
custody. These fellows were examined, but no evidence
of their being spies and confidants of Sykes could be
produced, and they were discharged with the promise
of a terrible punishment if they were detected tampering
with the enemy."

" Captain Jones was a daring fellow to venture so near
the British lines, and with such a small party," observed
Morton.

" In such an attempt, a small party was preferable.
Its success depended upon secrecy and quickness of
movements," said Wilson.

" It was a horrible death," remarked young Harmar.
" Sykes, however, courted it by treachery to his coun-
trymen."



STORY OF THE SERMON.



" I BELIEVE this is the first time I 've seen you since
the disbanding cf the army, Morton," said Wilson.
" Time has been rather severe on us both since that
time."

" Oh, we can 't complain," replied Morton. " We
car. 't complain. I never grumble at my age."

" Some men would have considered themselves fortu-
nate to have seen what you have seen," said young
Harmar. " I think I could bear your years, to have
your experience."

" So do I," added Mrs. Harmar. She always agreed
\dth her husband in whatever he asserted.

" Let me see," said old Harmar ; " where did I first
meet you, Higgins ? Oh ! was n't it just before the
battle of Brandywine you joined the Pennsylvania line ?"

" No," answered Smith for Higgins, who, just then,
was endeavoring to make up for his want of teeth by
the vigorous exertions of his jaws. " He joined at the
sa; <e time I did, before the battle of Germantown."

" Yes, just before the battle of Germantown," added
Higginc. " I was not at Brandywine."

(28)



ETORYOFTHESEKMON. 29

u You was n't ? Then you missed seeing us retreai,"
f>aid old Harmar. "But we did considerable nghtiu',
nowsomever. Mad Anthony was there, and he used to
fight, you know at least the enemy thought so. I
shall never forget the night before that battle."

" Why ?" asked Higgins. " Was you on the watch ?"

" No, not on that account ; something very different.
There was a sermon preached on the evenin' before that
battle, such as can only be heard once."

"A sermon?" enquired Wilson.

a Yes ; a sermon preached for our cide by the Rev.
Joab Frout. I told my son there about it, and he wrote
it into a beautiful sketch for one of the papers. He 's
got a knack of words, and can tell about it ouch better
tian I can. Tell them about it, Jackson, juct TJS you
wrote it," said old Harmar.

" Certd-ily," replied young Harmar. " If I can
recall it."

" Do," cr.id Mrs. Harraer ; and " Oh ! do," added the
children ; and Mr. Jackcon Harmar did as follows :

"All day long, on the tenth of September, 1777,
both armies were in the vicinity of each other, and fre-
quent and desperate skirmishes took place between ad-
vance- 1 parties, without bringing on a general action.
At length, ' s the day closed, both armies encamped
withir sight of each other, anxiously awaiting the mor-
row, to decide the fate of the devoted city.

" The Americans lay behind Chadd's Ford, with the
shallow waters of the Brandywine between them and
their opponents ; the line extending two miles along that
stream.

3*



30 STORY OF THE SERMON.

" The sun was just sinking behind the dark hills oi
trie west, gilding the fading heavens with an autumnal
brightness, and shedding a lurid glare upon the already
drooping and discolored foliage of the surrounding
forests. It was an hour of solemn calm. The cool
evening breezes stole softly through the air, as if un-
willing to disturb the repose of all around. The crystal
waters of the creek murmured gently in their narrow
bed, and the national standard flapped lazily from the


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Online LibraryHenry C. (Henry Clay) WatsonThe old bell of independence → online text (page 1 of 11)