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THE



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VULCAN'S PEAK.



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BY J. FENIMORE COOPEK.






"Thus arise

Races of living things, glorious in strength.
And perish, as the quickening breath of God
Fills them, or is withdrawn." Bryant.



COMPLETE IJf ONE VOLUME.



NEW EDITION.



NEW YORK;
STRINGER AND TOWNSEND

1856.



THE CRATER



Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by
J. FENIMORE COOPER,

in the clerk's office of the District Court for the Northern District
of New York.



College
jLibraxy



1400



PREFACE.



THE reader of this book will very naturally be dis
posed to ask the question, why the geographies, histo
ries, and other works of a similar character, have
never made any mention of the regions and events
that compose its subject The answer is obvious
enough, and ought to satisfy every mind, however
" inquiring." The fact is, that the authors of the dif
ferent works to which there is any allusion, most pro
bably never heard there were any such places as the
Reef, Rancocus Island, Vulcan's Peak, the Crater, and
the other islands of which so much is said in our pages.
In other words, they knew nothing about them.

We shall very freely admit that, under ordinary
circumstances, it would be prima facie evidence
against the existence of any spot on the face of this
earth, that the geographies took no notice of it It will

(iii)

. ~ >



j v PREFACE.

be remembered, however, that the time was, and that
only three centuries and a half since, when the geo
graphies did not contain a syllable about the whole of
the American continent; that it is not a century since
they began to describe New Zealand, New Holland,
Tahiti, Oahu, and a vast number of other places, that
are now constantly alluded to, even in the daily jour-
nals. Very little is said in the largest geographies, of
Japan, for instance ; and it may be questioned if they
might not just as well be altogether silent on the sub
ject, as for any accurate information they do convey.
In a word, much as is now known of the globe, a
great deal still remains to be told, and we do not see
why the "inquiring mind" should not seek for infor
mation in our pages, as well as in some that are
ushered in to public notice by a flourish of literary
trumpets, that are blown by presidents, vice-presidents
and secretaries of various learned bodies.

One thing we shall ever maintain, and that in the

face of all who maybe disposed to underrate the value

of our labours, which is this: there is not a word in

these volumes which we now lay before the reader,

as grave matter of fact, that is not entitled to the most

implicit credit. We scorn deception. Lest, however,

some cavillers may be found, we will present a few

of those reasons which occur to our mind, on the spur

of the moment, as tending to show that everything

related here might be just as true as Cook's voyages



PHEPACB. T

themselves. In the first place, this earth is large, and
has sufficient surface to contain, not only all the islands
mentioned in our pages, but a great many more.
Something is established when the possibility of any
hypothetical point is placed beyond dispute. Then,
not one half as much was known of the islands of the
Pacific, at the close of the last, and at the commence
ment of the present century, as is known to-day. In
such a dearth of precise information, it may very well
have happened that many things occurred touching
which we have not said even one word. Again, it
should never be forgotten that generations were born,
lived their time, died, and have been forgotten, among
those remote groups, about which no civilized man
ever has, or ever will hear anything. If such be ad
mitted to be the facts, why may not all that is here
related have happened, and equally escape the know
ledge of the rest of the civilized world 1 During the
wars of the French revolution, trifling events attracted
but little of the general attention, and we are not to
think of interests of this nature, in that day, as one
would think of them now.

Whatever may be thought of the authenticity of its
incidents, we hope this book will be found not to be to
tally without a moral. Truth is not absolutely necessary
to the illustration of a principle, the imaginary some
times doing that office quite as effectually as the actual.

The reader may next wish to know why the won-

I*



VI PBBPACH.

derful events related in these volumes have so long
been hidden from the world. In answer to this we
would ask if any one can tell how many thousands of
years the waters have tumbled down the cliffs at Nia
gara, or why it was that civilized men heard of the
existence of this wonderful cataract so lately as only
three centuries since. The fact is, there must be a
beginning to everything ; and now there is a beginning
to the world's knowing the history of Vulcan's Peak,
and the Crater. Lest the reader, however, should feel
disposed to reproach the past age with having been
negligent in its collection of historical and geological
incidents, we would again remind him of the magnitude
of the events that so naturally occupied its attention.
It is scarcely possible, for instance, for one who did
not live forty years ago to have any notion how com
pletely the world was engaged in wondering at Napo
leon and his marvellous career, which last contained
even more extraordinary features than anything related
here ; though certainly of a very different character.
All wondering, for near a quarter of a century, was
monopolized by the French Revolution and its conse
quences.

There are a few explanations, however, which are
of a very humble nature compared with the principal
events of our history, but which may as well be given
here. The Woolston family still exists in Pennsylva
nia, and that, by the way, is something towards cor-



PREFACE. Vl

roborating the truth of our narrative. Its most distin
guished member is recently dead, and his journal has
been the authorky for most of the truths here related.
He died at a good old age, having seen his three-score
years and ten, leaving behind him, in addition to a very
ample estate, not only a good character, which means
neither more nor less than what "the neighbours,"
amid their ignorance, envy, love of detraction, jealousy
and other similar qualities, might think proper to say
of him, but the odour of a well-spent life, in which he
struggled hard to live more in favour with God, than
in favour with man. It was remarked in him, for the
last forty years of his life, or after his return to Bucks,
that he regarded all popular demonstrations with dis
taste, and, as some of his enemies pretended, with
contempt. Nevertheless, he strictly acquitted himself
of all his public duties, and never neglected to vote.
It is believed that his hopes for the future, meaning in
a social and earthly sense, were not very vivid, and
he was often heard to repeat that warning text of
Scripture which tells us, " Let him that thinketh he
standeth, take heed lest he fall."

The faithful, and once lovely partner of this princi
pal personage of our history is also dead. It would
seem that it was not intended they should be long
asunder. But their time was come, and they might
almost be said to have departed in company. The
same is true of Friends Robert and Martha, who have



PREFACE.

also filled their time, and gone hence, it is to be hoped
to a better world. Some few of the younger persons
of our drama still exist, but it has been remarked of
them, that they avoid conversing of the events of their
younger days. Youth is the season of hope, and hope
disappointed has little to induce us to dwell on its de
ceplive pictures.

If those who now live in this republic, can see any
grounds for a timely warning in the events here
recorded, it may happen that the mercy of a divine
Creator may still preserve that which he has hitherto
cherished and protected.

It remains only to say that we have endeavoured to
imitate the simplicity of Captain Woolston's journal,
in writing this book, and should any homeliness of
style be discovered, we trust it will be imputed to that
circumstance.



THE CRATEft.



CHAPTER I.

* T was a commodity lay fretting by you ;
5 T will bring you gain, or perish on the seas."

Taming of the Shrew.

THERE is nothing in which American Liberty, not always
as much restrained as it might be, has manifested a more
decided tendency to run riot, than in the use of names
As for Christian names, the Heathen Mythology, the Bible,
Ancient History, and all the classics, have long since been
exhausted, and the organ of invention has been at work
with an exuberance of imagination that is really wonderful
for such a matter-of-fact people. Whence all the strange
sounds have been derived which have thus been pressed
into the service of this human nomenclature, it would
puzzle the most ingenious philologist to say. The days
of the Kates, and Dollys, and Pattys, and Bettys, have
passed away, and in their stead we hear of Lowinys,
and Orchistrys, Philenys, Alminys, Cytherys, Sarahlettys,
Amindys, Marindys, &,c. &c. &c. All these last appellations
terminate properly with an a, but this unfortunate vowel,
when a final letter, being popularly pronounced like y, we
have adapted our spelling to the sound, which produces a
complete bathos to all these flights in taste.

The hero of this narrative was born fully sixty years
since, and happily before the rage for modern appella
tions, though he just escaped being named after another
system which we cannot say we altogether admire; that
of using a family, for a Christian name. This business of
names is a sort of science in itself and we do believe that



10 THE CRATER; *

it is less understood and less attended to in this country
than in almost all others. When a Spaniard writes hia
Dame as Juan de Castro y* Munos, we know that his father
belonged to the family of Castro and his mother to that of
Munos. The French, and Italian, and Russian woman,
&.C., writes on her card Madame this or that, born so and
so; all which tells the whole history of her individuality.
Many French women, in signing their names, prefix those
of their own family to those of their husbands, a sensible
and simple usage that we are glad to see is beginning to
obtain among ourselves. The records on tomb-stones, too,
might be made much more clear and useful than they now
are, by stating distinctly who the party was, on both sides
of the house, or by father and mother ; and each married
woman ought to be commemorated in some such fashion
as this : " Here lies Jane Smith, wife of John Jones," &.G.,
or, " Jane, daughter of Thomas Smith and wife of John
Jones." We believe that, in some countries, a woman's
name is not properly considered to be changed by mar
riage, but she becomes a Mrs. only in connection with the
name of her husband. Thus Jane Smith becomes Mrs.
John Jones, but not Mrs. Jane Jones. It is on this idea
we suppose that our ancestors the English every English-
roan, as a matter of course, being every American's ances
tor thus it is, we suppose, therefore, that our ancestors,
who pay so much more attention to such matters than we
do ourselves, in their table of courtesy, call the wife of
Lord John Russell, Lady John, and not Lady whatever
her Christian name may happen to be. We suppose, more
over, it is on this principle that Mrs. General This, Mrs.
Dr. That, and Mrs. Senator T'other, are as inaccurate as
they are notoriously vulgar.

Mark Woolston came from a part of this great republic
where the names are still as simple, unpretending, and as
good Saxon English, as in the county of Kent itself. He
was born in the little town of Bristol, Bucks county, Penn
sylvania. This is a portion of the country that, Heaven

Some few of our readers mar require to be told that, in Spa
nish, y, pronounced as e, is the simple conjunction "and;" thus
this naraa U de Castro and Munos.



OK, VULCAN'S PEAK. 11

be praised', still retains some of the good old-fashioned
directness and simplicity. Bucks is full of Jacks, and
Bens, and Dicks, and we question if there is such a crea
ture, of native growth, in all that region, as an Ithusy, or
a Seneky, or a Dianthy, or an Antonizetty, or a Deidamy.*
The Woolstons, in particular, were a plain family, and
very unpretending in their external appearance, but of
solid and highly respectable habits around the domestic
hearth. Knowing perfectly how to spell, they never
dreamed any one would suspect them of ignorance. They
called themselves as their forefathers were called, that is
to say, Wooster, or just as Worcester is pronounced ; though
a Yankee schoolmaster tried for a whole summer to per
suade our hero, when a child, that he ought to be styled
Wool-ston. This had no effect on Mark, who went on
talking of his uncles and aunts, " Josy Wooster," and
" Tommy Wooster," and " Peggy Wooster," precisely as
if a New England academy did not exist on earth ; or as
if Webster had not actually put Johnson under his feet !

The father of Mark Woolston (or Wooster) was a phy
sician, and, for the country and age, was a well-educated
and skilful man. Mark was born in 1777, just seventy
years since, and only ten days before the surrender of
Burgoyne. A good deal of attention was paid to his in
struction, and fortunately for himself, his servitude under
the eastern pedagogue was of very short duration, and
Mark continued to speak the English language as his fa
thers had spoken it before him. The difference on the
score of language, between Pennsylvania and New Jersey
and Maryland, always keeping in the counties that were
not settled by Germans or Irish, and the New England
states, and through them, New York, is really so obvious
as to deserve a passing word. In the states first named,
taverns, for instance, are still called the Dun Cow, the In-
d_ian Queen, or the Anchor; whereas such a thing would
be hr.rd to find, at this day, among the six millions of

Absurd and forced as these strange appellations may appear,
they are all genuine. The writer has collected a long list of such
names from real life, which he may one day publish Orchistra,
Plulena, and Almina are among them. To all the names ending
ia a, it must be rtmambarod that the sound f a final y i* giv.



12 THE CRATER;

people who dwell in the latter. We question if there be
such a thing as a coffee-house in all Philadelphia, though
we admit it with grief, the respectable town of Brotherly
Love has, in some respects, become infected with the spirit
of innovation. Thus it is that good old " State House
Yard" has been changed into " Independence Square."
This certainly is not as bad as the tour de force of the
aldermen of Manhattan when they altered " Bear Market"
into " Washington Market !" for it is not a prostitution of
the name of a great man, in the first place, and there is a
direct historical allusion in the new name that everybody
can understand. Still, it is to be regretted ; and we hope
this will be the last thing of the sort that will ever occur,
though we confess our confidence in Philadelphian stability
and consistency is a good deal lessened, since we have
learned, by means of a late law-suit, that there are fifty or
sixty aldermen in the place ; a number of those worthies
that is quite sufficient to upset the proprieties, in Athens
itself!

Dr. Woolston had a competitor in another physician,
who lived within a mile of him, and whose name was Yard-
ley. Dr. Yardley was a very respectable person, had about
the same degree of talents and knowledge as his neighbour
and rival, but was much the richest man of the two. Dr.
Yardley, however, had but one child, a daughter, whereas
Dr. Woolston, with much less of means, had sons and
daughters. Mark was the oldest of the family, and it was
probably owing to this circumstance that he was so well
educated, since the expense was not yet to be shared with
that of keeping his brothers and sisters at schools of the
same character.

In 1777 an American college was little better than a
high school. It could not be called, in strictness, a gram
mar school, inasmuch as all the sciences were glanced at,
if not studied ; but, as respects the classics, more than
a grammar school it was not, nor that of a very high
order. It was a consequence of the light nature of the
studies, that mere boys graduated in those institutions.
Such was the case with Mark Woolston, who would have
taken his degree as a Bachelor of Arts, at Nassau Hall,
Princeton, had not an event occurred, in his sixteenth



OR, VULCAN'S PB A K. 13

year, which produced an entire change, in his plan of life,
and nipped his academical honours in the bud.

Although it is unusual for square-rigged vessels of any
size to ascend the Delaware higher than Philadelphia, the
river is, in truth, navigable for such craft almost to Trenton
Bridge. In the year 1793, when Mark Woolston was just
sixteen, a full-rigged ship actually came up, and lay at the
end of the wharf in Burlington, the little town nearly op
posite to Bristol, where she attracted a great deal of the
attention of all the youths of the vicinity. Mark was at
home, in a vacation, and he passed half his time in and
about that ship, crossing the river in a skiff of which he
was the owner, in order to do so. From that hour young
Mark affected the sea, and all the tears of his mother and
eldest sister, the latter a pretty girl only two years his ju
nior, and the more sober advice of his father, could not
induce him to change his mind. A six weeks' vacation
was passed in the discussion of this subject, when the Doctor
yielded to his son's importunities, probably foreseeing he
should have his hands full to educate his other children,
and not unwilling to put this child, as early as possible, in
the way of supporting himself.

The commerce of America, in 1793, was already flou
rishing, and Philadelphia was then much the most import
ant place in the country. Its East India trade, in parti
cular, was very large and growing, and Dr. Woolston knew
that fortunes were rapidly made by many engaged in it.
After turning the thing well over in his mind, he deter
mined to consult Mark's inclinations, and to make a sailor
of him. He had a cousin married to the sister of an East
India, or rather of a Canton ship-master, and to this person
the father applied for advice and assistance. Captain
Crutchely very willingly consented to receive Mark in his
own vessel, the Rancocus, and promised " to make a man
and an officer of him."

The very day Mark first saw the ocean he was sixteen
years old. He had got his height, five feet eleven, and
was strong for his years, and active. In fact, it would not
have been easy to find a lad every way so well adapted
to his new calling, as young Mark Woolston. The

three years of his college life, if they had not made him

, n



14 THE CRATER;

a Newton, or a Bacon, had done him no harm, filling h
mind with the germs of ideas that were destined after
wards to become extremely useful to him. The young
man was already, indeed, a sort of factotum, being clever
and handy at so many things and in so many different
ways, as early to attract the attention of the officers. Long
before the vessel reached the capes, he was at home in
her, from her truck to her keelson, and Captain Crutchely
remarked to his chief mate, the day they got to sea, that
" young Mark Woolston was likely to turn up a trump."

As for Mark himself, he did not lose sight of the land,
for the first time in his life, altogether without regrets.
He had a good deal of feeling in connection with his pa
rents, and his brothers and sisters; but, as it is our aim to
conceal nothing which ought to be revealed, we must add
there was still another who filled his thoughts more than
all the rest united. This person was Bridget Yardley,
the only child of his father's most formidable professional
competitor.

The two physicians were obliged to keep up a sickly
intercourse, not intending a pun. They were too often
called in to consult together, to maintain an open war.
While the heads of their respective families occasionally
met, therefore, at the bed-side of their patients, the families
themselves had no direct communications. It is true, that
Mrs. Woolston and Mrs. Yardley were occasionally to be
seen seated at the same tea-table, taking their hyson in
company, for the recent trade with China had expelled the
bohea from most of the better parlours of the country ;
nevertheless, these good ladies could not get to be cordial
with each other. They themselves had a difference on
religious points, that was almost as bitter as the differences
of opinions between their husbands on the subject of alter
atives. In that distant day, homoeopathy, and allopathy,
and hydropathy, and all the opathies, were nearly unknown;
but men could wrangle and abuse each other on medical
points, just as well and as bitterly then, as they do now.
Religion, too, quite as often failed to bear its proper fruits,
in 1793, as it proves barren in these, our own times. On
this subject of religion," we have one word to say, and that
is, simply, that it never was a meet matter for self-gratu-



OR, VULCAN S PEAK. 15

lation and boasting. Here we have the Americo-Anglican
church, just as it has finished a blast of trumpets, through
the medium of numberless periodicals and a thousand let
ters from its confiding if not confident clergy, in honour
of its qiliet, and harmony, and superior polity, suspended
on the very brink of the precipice of separation, if not of
schism, and all because it has pleased certain ultra-subli
mated divines in the other hemisphere, to write a parcel
ot tracts that nobody understands, themselves included.
How many even of the ministers of the altar fall, at the
very moment they are beginning to fancy themselves saints,
and are ready to thank God they are " not like the pub
licans!"

Both Mrs. Woolston and Mrs. Yardley were what is
called ' pious ;' that is, each said her prayers, each went
to her particular church, and very particular churches
they were; each fancied she had a sufficiency of saving
faith, but neither was charitable enough to think, in a very
friendly temper, of the other. This difference of religious
opinion, added to the rival reputations of their husbands,
made these ladies anything but good neighbours, and, as
has been intimated, years had passed since either had en
tered the door of the other.

Very different was the feeling of the children. Anne
Woolston, the oldest sister of Mark, and Bridget Yardley,
were nearly of an age, and they were not only school-mates,
but fast friends. To give their mothers their due, they
did not lessen this intimacy by hints, or intimations of any
sort, but let the girls obey their own tastes, as if satisfied
it was quite sufficient for " professors of religion" to hate
in their own persons, without entailing the feeling on pos
terity. Anne and Bridget consequently became warm
friends, the two sweet, pretty young things both believing,
in the simplicity of their hearts, that the very circumstance
which in truth caused the alienation, not to say the hostility
of the elder members of their respective families, viz. pro
fessional identity, was an additional reason why they should
love each other so much the more. The girls were about
two and three years the juniors of Mark, but well grown
for their time of life, and frank and affectionate as inno
cence and warm hearts could make them. Each was more



16 THE CRATER;

than pretty, though it was in styles so very different, as
scarcely to produce any of that other sort of rivalry, which
is so apt to occur even in the gentler sex. Anne had
bloom, and featuies, and fine teeth, and, a charm that is
so very common in America, a good mouth; but Bridget
had all these added to expression. Nothing could be more
soft, gentle and feminine, than Bridget Yardley's counte



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