Maine Historical Society.

Collections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) online

. (page 20 of 34)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and influential in civil and military affairs, and was a recognized leader among
the prominent men of Norfolk County. He was killed at Black Point, .June 29,
1677. N. E. and Gen. Reg.

-Lieut. James Richardson, of Chelmsford, Mass., married Bridget Henchman,
1662. They had eight children. He distinguished himself in the Indian wars aa
commander of Indian forces. Was killed at Black Point, June 29, 1677.

3 Lieut. Bartholomew Tippin. We only know he was at Black Point in com-
mand of garrison just prior to the fight. Not hearing of him subsequently we pre-
sume he was killed in the fight.

*John Parker, Henry Blanchard, James Parker, John Phelps enlisted from


SO have disappeared the remembrances, the remind-
ers, and almost the traditions of the bloody deeds of
that fearful strus-o-le.

Along the same old way leading from Moore's Brook
to Garrison Cove, many people pass and repass nowa-
days, who hear no sounds save peaceful voices, and
see nothing to remind them of the time when the gray
old woods resounded with "war's mingled sounds of
triumph and despair."

The bones of the English dead have crumbled in
the soil we daily tread upon ; no headstone marks a
single resting-place ; no monument gives credit to
their deeds of valor. We have left to oblivion the
memory of those brave men who stemmed the unequal
fight. Do we say their lives were thrown away, that
with all that they accomplished nothing ? Do we find
fault with the commander for his rashness ?

We are reminded that he had still in mind the
" Order of the Council." " If any quarter of the en-
emy lie near and your force be in any measure capa-
ble in a short time to visit and fall upon them, you
are accordingly, with all your force to make your
march thither and assault them."

Nigh unto two hundred years after the battle of
Black Point ^ one of the bravest and most brilliant
generals of the Union army in the Civil war, a general
whose very name was synonymous with dashing cour-
age and heroism, led the Seventh Cavalry Regiment
of the regular army into the valley of the Little Big
Horn in Montana, and there attacked an overwhelm-

1 Battle of Black Point, June 29, 1677. Battle ot Little Big Horn, June 25, 1876.


ing force of Indians, hundreds of whom were slain, be-
fore he and all his brave men were left dead upon the
plain. Thus died the heroic Custer and the Seventh

Custer's fight was the last great battle in Indian war-
fare. In a measure the battle that was fought at
Black Point, June 29, 1677, was a counterpart to the
greater battle when civilization controlled the conti-
nent. These men alike deserve the tribute of their
countrj'men, and we do well to honor such as ren-
dered at Black Point the full measure of their devotion.

'T was theirs to strive, although to strive were vain,
'T was theirs to show their Anglo Saxon worth ;

To live or die in throes of mighty pain,
That gave an infant nation to the earth.

The following document relative to Walter Gendall
referred to in the text of Mr. Horatio Hight's article,
has been furnished by Dr. Charles E. Banks. It is a
transcript of the original from the Suffolk County
Court MSS. XVI 499.

Black Point y^ 12 : 76

Articles of evidence in ye case of Walter Gendall Nicholas
Bedford Will Lucas etc : as will be atested by y® severall soldiers
belonging to y*^ s'' fort.

1 Upon our neare aproacli to Black point there was discou-
ered 2 men in a red blankett y*^ other in a white skulking from
rock to rock y^ better to seem like Indians.

In secretary Rawsons handwriting ^Xecfr artMe""""*

2 Being landed y'' first we mett was Nicholas Bedford of
whom it was demanded by oure leader w* number of Indians


was upon y^ rock, his ansir was y* he saw noe Indians since he
came there.

3 Coming up with Gendall & demanding w' Indians were
upon y^ rock.

This Gendall own* in open Court 13 mch 76 E. R. S.

4 It being demanded of s*^ Gendall why they shew not them-
selves to vs before & after landing, his ans. was y* y^ indians
whose prissoners they were would not suffer y^™ soe to doe.

This s* Gendall owned in open Court 13 Mch 76 E. R. S.

5 That y® s*^ Lucas hath since confessed that it was he &
j^ s^ Gendall y^ w*** blanketts attired soe like indians y' better
to impede our landing & y* y^ s*^ Gendall for his soe doeing &
for helping him to run aye (away ?) p'vissions was to give
y« s*^ Lucas one years board & meals for his family.

6 Oure leader demanding of Gendall truly to inform him
w* strength y*^ indians were his ans: was 500

This he ownes he s* & believes soe still 13 Mch 76 E. R. S.

7 It being demanded whether y^ indians would come this
way his ans : was y* he expected Mogg & diuers others every day.

Owned alsoe by him. E. R. S.

8 That upon y** near approach of some captiues whom
(though?) Mr Allason viewing with prospect glass affirmed to be
English yet y" s*^ Gendall would still perswade vs y* they were
indian scouts for says he I am sure tliey will be heare.

Owned in Court 13 Mch 76 E. R. S.

9 Y' y^ s'^ Gendall was found in contradictions & fallsitys in
most y* he s'' & will wee beleeave apeare to be a very notorious
(person?) & s'l Bedford & Lucas be once damned by authority
as allsoe Nathan Bedford.

10 As to goods & p'vissions of diuers mens felloneously taken
ofFy« rock by y'^ s^' Gendall he first sayd y« severall owners should
only pay him fraight and have y™ but when oure officer asked him
seriously to tell him w* he intended to do w"' y™ he answered he
intended to make money of y°^ to redeeme y^ poore captaives :
whereas we now understand y' he pretended to y** (Maj. Gen')
M"" Moody & others as appeares by letters from them to our
comander y* he had only saved a little for his poore neighbours


at y great Island but yen w' would become of y*^ poore captives
redeeming any we leave to y'*' worships to Judge.

11 That whereas y'' s'^ Gendall pretends to y"" Maior Gen' Mr
Mood}^ & others to have saved thf)se things from y® hoggs we
humbly conceive y' y^ hoggs would not open doores & fetch
wheate out of chambers espeoialy such as was barrelled up
neither doe we think y^ hoggs could eate beefe in barrells woole
(brokes?) iron beames iron half hundreds neather will it be
thought y' hoggs would eate hides greene or dry since tliey had
corn at pleasure neather would they eate live hoggs since there
were store of dead carcases : he need not therefore as he hath
done killed other mens hoggs as he hath done.

14 Whereas y*^ s'^ Gendall pretends to have saved those
things for his 2:)oore neigbours at y^ Great Island : it evidently
apeares y*^ theare weare severall goods belonging to his s*^ neigh-
bours y<^ w°^ howeuer (medled?) withall to save as he pretends
no not soe much as his intimate friend Nathan Bedford who had
as much as any else tfe lay as handy as any who was owner of
y*^ boate s"^ Gendall had : & at y' time a captiue & consequently
needed as much to be redeemed as any.

Edw Hamsell deposes 13 Mch 70 E. R. S.

14 That y*^ s^^ Lucas hath since confessed y* y^ s'^ Gendall
was heare upon y* rock 2 days before he & Nicholas Bedford
Brought y*^ boate in w*^'** interim came one Sarah Mills a quaker
who was left heare & her son in law Jos. Winnock sometimes a
captiue but rann awayagaine: while being here they saw Gen-
dall coming on horse backe w'*^ a white cloth upon a stick : ime-
diately he charged y"" to be gonn : telling y™ y« Indians were
coming : soe away rann they leaving him alone upon black point

John Start, Edward Hamsell & Sarah

Mills sworne by y men 13 Mch 76 E. R. S.

15 The s"^ Lucas hath since confessed y' y'^ s<^ Gendall brought
on shore y<^ remaines of M' fFryars goods & intended (had we
not come in y«^ interim) to have hid in y^ sands & soe to have
pretended y^ Indians had robed him of all & to have gon to Mr
ffryar for more goods.

Ye goods so used by Edw. Hamsell &
John Start deposed to 13 Mch 7t> E. R. S.


16 That y® s*^ Gendall did own y* he was y^ cause why
y® Indians marched further westward & y* he was with them,
when they came to (fare?) & sumons ther garrison

17 It is verily beleeved by us all y* y^ s*^ Gendall was of
counsell to y*^ Indians for y^ taking of this garrison : he know-
ing y^ weaknesse of those to desert.

18 Whereas y^ s^ Gendall pi-etends y* we y* soUdiers tooke
away a barrell of wine per force it is utterly false for he gave it
to y*^ company y« better as we suppose to prevaill with us to lett
him goe off with his stolen goods.

19 Whereas y® s"' Gendall y* great part of this was his own :
this is utterly false for our comander proffered him many times
y* if he could make it any way provable y* any was his he would
not stay one tittle of it beside had he as he says brought y* lish
& wheat from Sackery Hock & lichmonds Island how y^" came
soe many of black point hides (as owned by himself to be soe)
to be under y^ fish & wheat but we suppose when all y*^ truth
apeare his bussiness will looke with a foule face

Edw Hamsell Jno Start Edw Lowell sworn
to by all 3 13 Moh 76 E. R. R.

May it please y"" Hon'"^ I am not certain whether it were to
y" Major Gen & M'" Moody y^ Gendall did declare his pretended
reason for taking away y*^ s'^ provisions or not as y^ 11 article
or not but this it was y* by misinformation kept me for seasing
of it : y® mot it is heare so will be attested upon oath.




Read before the Maine Historical Society, May 10, 1895.

I CAME to Portland in January, 1827, on completing
my sixteenth year. Everything was surprisingly new
to me and inspired me to a new sort of life. I had


seen one or two villages of twenty-live to fifty houses.
Portland had twelve to fifteen thousand inhabitants,,
and to me it was a great city, a hundred-fold greater
than it is now.

The young men whom I saw were Wm. D. Little,
Neal Dow, Eben Steele, Erastus Hayes, William Cut-
ter, David Cutter, Oliver Dorrance, John D. Kinsman,
William Woodbury, Philip Greely, Albert Titcomb,
and others, who I was told were the young men of
Portland. I had no acquaintance with them. I looked
up to them with a boy's admiration. All have passed
away but three. Wm. W. Thomas, Neal Dow and
Albert Titcomb still live, among the nineties, and will
probably complete the nineteenth century and hail the
advent of the twentieth. Their fathers, the Cutters,
Danas, Greelys, Storers, Mitchells, and many com-
peers, were men of great worth and dignity of char-
acter. John Neal also flashed across our sky, meteor-
like, and was a man of renown.

The streets of Portland were generally mud or dust ;
the sidewalks occasionally of brick, but oftener of
plank. Of this I am sure on account of the vain
effort to pick up some things on the first of April that
were securely nailed down. This made me for a time
suspicious of everything new in Portland. The streets,
if lighted at all, were badly lighted, for in a dark night
I carried a lantern. Matches were sulphur dipped at
the point, and then with tinder, steel and flint a flame
could be obtained by one skilled in the process. In
the shop we had a chemical match. A small bottle
wadded with asbestos was soaked in sulphuric acid,


and the match plunged into this was immediatel}^ in-
flamed. For the house or shop this was excellent, as
the matches and bottle were always kept in some well-
known place, and the whale-oil lamp or the tallow dip
was thus lighted. This for a room or shop was almost
equal in convenience to anything we have now, but it
could not be attached to the person with ease or safety.
Smokers sometimes carried a small bottle in the vest
pocket, but the acid often made itself known to the
injury of the vest.

Portland had then a very energetic trade with the
West Indies. The importation of molasses for the
manufacture of rum was enormous. The long lines
of hogsheads on the wharves, and vessels waiting to
unload, puzzled my boyish judgment. It seemed to
me the people of Maine must live largely upon mo-
lasses. It would have been nearer the truth to say
they were dying of molasses, for all that unending
supply was being rapidly transmuted into New Eng-
land rum, which everybody drank. There were then,
as you have often been told by Neal Dow, five or six
distilleries in Portland alone, and their lurid fires
never ceased day or night, weekday or Sunday. I
had been taught from childhood by an anxious mother
that rum was the great destroyer, but Portland made
so much of it I supposed its terrible poison must be
all somehow very nearl}' right.

But I remember well how Portland was stirred to
its depths by Dr. Justin Edwards, who most vividly
portrayed the evils of intoxicating drinks, and called
all Christians and patriots to total abstinence. Some


ridiculed, some cursed, but a great many were per-
suaded, and the rum interest felt that a vigorous blow
had been dealt to the craft. Indeed, it never recov-
ered from that blow, and Neal Dow finally gave it the
coup de grace, and every distillery fire went out.

But when I came to Portland in 1827, the greatest,
the most unique object of interest was Dr. Payson.
Although his work was nearly done, and he had been
assured by his physicians that he could have little
hope of recovery, yet he preached occasionally with
a fervor and power that left an abiding impression
upon the minds of his hearers. I saw Payson then
only during the last nine and one-half months of his
heroic conflict with disease. But no person ever made
that impression upon me that he did. This may have
been in part owing to his reputation. His own peo-
ple all but worshiped him. Other cities offered him
many strong inducements to leave Portland, but he
never heeded them. His saintly character, his failing
health, under the advance of a most painful disease,
the general expectation of his death, his great patience
and persistence in duty, had softened the asperities
that had existed. The tongue of slander was silent.
The efforts to injure his character had rebounded upon
the accusers, and men of various beliefs crowded to
hear Pay son's last words. As an arm on one side and
a leg on the other were paralyzed, a source of constant
and severe pain, there could not be the slightest effort
at any of the graces of oratory. Anything of that
kind would have been utterly out of place. When it
was known that Payson would preach, the church was


full at an early hour. He went down the broad aisle
supported by one of his deacons, swinging mechanic-
ally the paralyzed limb into place, so as to support
him in part. He ascended awkwardly, pathetically, if
you please, the pulpit stairs, for it drew many tears
from those who loved and honored him, and who knew
that he was determined to preach so long as power of
voice or motion was left to him, in defiance of weak-
ness and suffering.

It was literally going down the broad aisle, for the
floor of the church had been elevated in the rear some
three or four feet so as to form an inclined plane
toward the pulpit. This had been done at his request.
It made it easier for him to reach every ear with his
voice and every countenance with his eye. He
wanted to get into personal relation with every person
in his audience.

I saw Dr. Payson only as an invalid under medical
condemnation to death. There was nothing in his
personal appearance to attract a crowd. He was only
a man of ordinary proportions, perhaps slightly above
the average in height. He was of dark complexion,
had a piercing black eye, with a kindly expression of
countenance shaded by constant, unintermitted suffer-
ing. The indifferent observer saw only a crippled
man, awkwardly performing a public duty. It might
be said to the assembled crowd, " But what went ye
out for to see ? A reed shaken by the wind ? " A
broken reed at that.

I recall very distinctly the impression of Payson's
voice. It was grave, earnest and clear, so that not a


sjdlable was lost to the listener. You heard every
sentence without any effort of attention. A peculiar-
ity of his preaching at that time was his wealth of
illustration. He was a man of wide reading, and he
had a memory that kept pace with his rapid reading.
There was no department of history, science, philoso-
phy or theology that he did not aim to keep up with.
He laid all his reading and all his life's experience and
observation under tribute for the illustration and en-
forcement of the truth in hand. His illustrations
were natural, unstudied ; they came of themselves,
but were often so pat as to have the force of logic.
There was no such thing as inattention while he was
speaking. The truth may have been unpopular, but
it was so illustrated and brought within the sphere of
the listener's own experience that he was eagerly lis-
tened to. It was a surprise to me that I understood,
or thought I understood, everything that Payson said.
I thought a preacher so distinguished would be f;ir
above my comprehension. His thoughts were clear
and definite, and so clearly expressed that the young
as well as the old could take them in. He intended
just that, and they did understand him. I listened
for the first time to a sermon that I followed from be-
ginning to end, and felt that in some mysterious way
what he said was meant for me, although I knew it
was not. His felicity of illustration gave an attrac-
tive charm to everything he was trying to inforce,
and the earnestness and honesty of his manner and
character were above all oratory and rhetoric.

It was, however, in the Bible class that I recall his


manner with the greatest distinctness. He held on to
that after he had forever left the pulpit. His formal
farewell to the pulpit was inexpressibly tender and
affecting, and melted the whole audience to tears.
One reason given was that he might husband his little
remaining strength for the Bible class, which was not
designed for the church members, but exclusively for
those who had not made a profession of faith. I had
attended this exercise from the first Sunday of my
being in Portland. There was a strange fascination in
it. It was in a long, narrow conference room, and the
desk was in the middle of the right-hand side as you
entered. I was always in my place about halfway from
the door to the desk. The room was always full when
Payson entered, and immediately afterward the stand-
ing places were all occupied. I sat where I could see
every lineament of his countenance. It was unlike
any countenance I had ever seen and it made an in-
delible impress on me. His eye was bright and clear,
but there was no muscular (or muscle) life in his face.
It was as immobile as though carved from some dark
wood. It was a very sad countenance, and the con-
stant heroic determination to repress every outward
indication of pain had given that firm, fixed, sculp-
tured look to the lineaments of his face.

After the singing of a hymn and the utterance of a
brief, earnest prayer, the work of the hour began —
and it was always the work of a master. He exhib-
ited in his instructions a rare knowledge of human
nature, or rather of the human heart in all its rela-
tions to the great questions of the future life. He


knew what was in man. He seemed to have a subtle
intuition of all the phases and turns of thought and
feeling which were possible in human souls awakened
to spiritual thought. His object was to help all
thoughtful persons over the difficulties they found in
their way in commencing a religious life. He would
suppose cases so aptly that every one would find his
own case fairly stated and treated.

He knew there were others who came to the meet-
ing with no fixed moral purpose. They were consid-
ered in various lights and shades, but always in a way
to attract rather than repel. He knew also that some
might be present with feelings of positive hostility to
the great truths of redemption. He treated such
cases with great wisdom and tenderness ; never in a
way to give any reasonable person any occasion of
offense. There was no monotony in the service from
week to week. The audience room was always
packed. There was something very peculiar in Dr.
Payson's prayers or praying. The room became so
still that it seemed as though every one had stopped
breathing. He seemed to enter into the very pres-
ence of God and to bring the divine presence into the
room. I used to hear persons speak of Payson's pray-
ers as the most wonderful part of the service. Other
men might preach like him but nobody could pray
like him.

I have forgotten to say that when he began to speak
his countenance gradually changed ; it lighted up.
His face became mobile and expressive of emotion.
His Gethsemane countenance left him and he was on


the Mount of Transfiguration. I have no question
but the relief from pain was real and absolute for the
time. There was a physical change wrought through
the mysterious connection of the mind with the body.
He had a high conception of the possibilities of every
soul for good or ill. Of the three hundred young
persons before him he noted every one. He had that
capacity of seeing his audience not en masse but as
individuals, in every one of whom he felt a deep inter-
est and for whose eternal future he must give account
to God. He had, in overpowering measure, the feel-
ings of Paul toward the Galatians who travailed in
pain for them until Christ should be formed in them.
No new face could appear in his audience, no old face
could disappear, without attracting his attention.

As this paper is a mere personal reminiscence, I may
be allowed perhaps to introduce my experience on this
point of his individual interest in his hearers. When
he requested from the pulpit that his church members
would not attend the Bible class, as he had been in-
formed that many persons were excluded for want of
room, and the exercise was intended expressly for
those who were not members of the church, I absented
myself as a matter of course, as I thought it not fair
that I should go every Sunday and thus exclude some
other one. Monday morning a church member came
to me in the shop, and taking me aside, said that Dr.
Payson had noticed my absence and wished to know if
his remark from the pulpit had caused it. I confessed
it had. I was sorry to leave, but it did not seem right
for me to crowd in and crowd another out. He re-


plied that Dr. Payson's remark was designed to pro-
vide room for such as me, and that Dr. Payson wished
me to return. It surprised me profoundly that he
should have noticed me or thought of me at all, and
still more that he should have sent one to look me up.
I thought of the good shepherd leaving the ninety
and nine.

I was in my place the next Sunday before the house
was full. It soon became compactly filled except the
aisle left open for the doctor. At length he came in,
leaning heavily on Dea. Coe, and was helped into his
chair in the desk. With his unparalyzed hand he
wiped the perspiration from his face, and then turning
to his right he swept his earnest look round to the
left, and saw every face that was turned toward him.
I am not sure b}^ any means that he looked at me, but
he seemed to, and when I looked up he still seemed
to be looking at me with a look of welcome, but of
concern. It seemed to say, " You poor little country
boy, what is to be your future in the temptations of
your new life?" Before he gave out the hymn he
wanted to correct a misapprehension. His remark
from the pulpit to his church members had been mis-
understood by some. Two interesting young stran-
gers had stayed away the last time from that misap-
prehension. He was glad to see them in their seats
again, and hoped if any others had remained away
from a like cause they would return. I cannot doubt
but one of the two referred to myself. That watch-
ful care, that earnest solicitude, that love that was
stronger than death, were more potent appeals than

Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 34)