Danvers (Mass.).

Centennial celebration at Danvers, Mass., June 16, 1852 online

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my return yesterday from Washington. It would give me the truest
pleasure, for many reasons, to be present at the proposed celebration,
and to share in its instructions, its memories, and its hopes, — and I
shall certainly be there, if the necessity of attending the Baltimore
Convention, and the impossibility of doing so by reason of peremptory
detention here, does not prevent me. I wish you all possible success
in the services of the day, and a future for Danvers worthy of her his.
tory, virtues, and energy. I am most truly,

Your friend and fellow-townsman,
Hon. R. S. Daniels. RUFUS CHOATE,

Among the toasts was the following : —

Our Representative in Congress — His eloquence has embalmed the memory
of those of our citizens who fell at the Concord fight, and we fully appreciate
the patriotic motives which induced him to tell in the Halls of Congress the
story of their devotion to the cause of Liberty.

In response to this, a long letter was read from Hon. Robert
Rantoul, Jr., of which the following is the most material part : —

" Danvers may well be proud of her history. She is one of a group
of towns which have done as much for the liberties of the nation and
the world as any other equal population on the continent. The self,
sacrificing devotion with which, when the Boston Port Bill took effect
ja JuHe, 1774, Salem sternly and inflexibly refused to profit by the
rreductiou to slavery of others, is worthy to be remembered and imi-
■tated forevei' by that patriotic city, and by the whole North. Elbridge
Gerry, of Marblehead, a signer of the old Articles of Confederation,
and of the Declaration of Independence, was the chairman of the
committee who reported the resolutions adopted April 30th, 1784,
determining that the power to regulate commerce ought to be vested in
,the United States, — which resolutions were the germ of the present
, Constitution of the United States. It is but a small addition to the
-glory of such a man, that he afterwards served as Vice President under
that system whose corner-stone he had laid. Nathan Dane, of Beverly,
■was chairman of the grand committee who, on the 21st of February,
1787, reported the resolve calling the convention at Philadelphia to
'** render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of govern",
•ment, and the preservation of the union." The same Nathan Dane
was the author of that immortal ordinance which rescued from the
■withering curse of slavery the broad Northwest, — doing for the territory
'between the Ohio and the lakes, what Thomas Jefferson had in vain
attempted to do for the vast region now constituting AlabaRi^it MissjS'
:«ij)pi, and the other southwestern states.


" These towns could boast riot only the gujding mind in the decisive
movements which I have mentioned, but their couiage to dare, and
fortitude to suffer, in the great cause, were equally conspicuous. Bev^
erly first flung to the ocean breezes the continental flag on board the
schooner Hannah, and inaugurated those stripes and stars, which are
the emblem of glory and victory — shall I say also of liberty — where-
ever blow the winds or roll the waves. Manly, of Marblehead, held
the first naval commission under the hand of George Washington, and
the seal of the Union ; and Mungford, of Marblehead, first poured out
his willing soul with the death shout, "Don't give up the ship!" Dan-
vers, Lynn, and Beverly, notwithstanding their great distance from the
line of action, had about one-fourth part of all the killed and wounded
in the hurry of the "Red-coats" from Concord to the shelter of their
ships. The sons of Beverly were the farthest from the scene, of all
who rushed to deliver in their testimony in the eventful trial of the
I9th of April, yet their full quota arrived and acted there ; and I have
seen the garment rolled in blood of one of my townsmen who laid
down his life in witness of his abhorrence of slavery. Danvers alone
lost more men killed, on that bloody baptismal day of American
Liberty, than any other town, after the first unprovoked, sudden and
unresisted massacre at Lexington, at sunrise."

Mr. Rantoul forwarded the subjoined sentiment: —

The Freemen of the. Towns of the JVbr<?i— May they, in their zeal for the
preservation of the Union and the Constitution, never foget that the Union, to
be preserved, should continue to be worth preserving, and the Constitu-
tion A BOND of Freedom.

A toast complimentary to Mr. Webster was next given. The fol-
lowing letter was read in response : —

Washington, May 31, 1852.

Gentlempn : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of the 20th of this month, inviting me, in behalf of the town of
Danvers, to be present at a proposed centennial celebration of the sepa*
ration of Danvers from Salem, on the 16th of June next.

I am always gratified, gentlemen, with these public remembrances of
distinguished epochs of the past. Our New England history is full of
instruction, our fathers having left us a rich inheritance of evangelical
religion, sound morals, and political freedom. We honor ourselves,
whenever we honor them ; and their admirable example may well
stimulate us to put forth new etforts for the promotion of civil and re-
ligious liberty, the diffusion of knowledge, and the advancement of all
the blessings and all the charities of social life.

I regret, gentlemen, to be obliged to say, that my public duties will
not allow me to be with you and your friends, at the proposed celebra-
tion ; but I tender to you and to them my best regards and most sin-
cere good wishes. DANIEL WEBSTER.

R. S. Daniels, Esq., and others.

Hon. James Savage, the President of the Massachusetts Historical
Society, wrote :


" My interest in your community has from early days been active in
the search for causes of that greatest calamity that ever befell New
England, whereof the chief scene of distress was within your bounds,
though sixty years before the separation from Salem. Some repara-
tion by tardy justice has in a second, a third, or a fourth generation
been exhibited ; but, gentlemen, your neighbors have not, in my opin-
ion, found greater evidence in any other quarter of the earth of the
sacredness of the truth, how much better is it to suffer injustice than to
inflict it. Which of you had not rather be the martyr, George Bur-
roughs, than Chief Justice Stoughton, whose diabolical delusion con-
curred with that of the majority in giving sentence of death }

But beyond the sad reminiscences of your doleful era, in which no
other town of New England can compete with you in measure of mis-
ery, I exult in your almost adequate superiority in the exhibition of the
love of your country in the dark months and years prior to our national
independence. Here all is joyous in recollection ; and Danvers is well
deserving of the happiness she has enjoyed since our firmament has
been blessed with the constitution of 1789, for near three times the
length of that period preceding, when only tremendous tempest or
threatening and malignant meteors seemed to usurp all the sky.
I am, gentlemen, with highest regard.

Your very obedient,
Hon. R. S. Daniels and others. JAS. SAVAGE.

The following toast was given :

Edward Everett — A name always associated with profound learning, skilful
diplomacy, and graceful oratory.

Hon. Edward Everett, regretting his inability to be present, wrote :
" It would afford me much pleasure to be present on an occasion of so
much interest. The Municipal Organization of New England is one
of the great elements of our prosperity ; and the annals of most of our
towns are rich with traditions and collections which deserve to be
handed down to posterity."

The following toast was given by Edward Lander, Esq. :

Tlie Separation of Danvers and Salem — While the men are celebrating the
dissolution of the Union, and the women go for Union to a man, we leave to
fanatics the difficult solution of the problem.

Letters were also received from Jared Sparks, President of Harvard
University, Rev. Dr. Andrew Bigelow, of Boston, and other gentle-
men, regretting their inability to attend.

Mr. Fitch Poole then moved that the Committee of Arrangements
call together the Town for the purpose of expressing its gratitude to
Mr. Peabody for his generous gift, and it was so unanimously resolved,
with thunders of applause.

It was then voted to adjourn this meeting one hundred years. The
festivities of the day were closed by a brilliant display of fireworks.

The company at length adjourned, highly delighted with the entire
proceedings of the day, which was literally and truly a great day for
Danvers and all the country round.


There were several poetical effusions prepared for the occasion.
The songs were sung with fine effect by the Salem Glee Club, and
elicited great applause.

At the conclusion of Mr. Upham's speech, Fitch Poole, Esq., rose
and said he had, within a few weeks, discovered a manuscript, which
he had taken the pains to copy, and which he thought might be inter-
esting to the company. Mr. Poole declined to read it himself, and del-
egated Rev. F. P. Appleton, of Danvers, to promulgate it for him,
which was done in a very acceptable manner.



Giles Corey lay in Salem Gaol, —

A Stubborn Wizzard he :
Dame Corey slumbered by his side,—

A guilty Witch was she.

And as ihey lay, one Sunday morn,

All in their place of Shame,
Giles Corey had a troubled Dream,

And told it to his Dame.

" My Goodwife dear, I've dreamed a Dream

All through ye livelong Night,
And coming Things were shewn to me

lu Vision clear and bright.

I dreamed a Hundred Years were past.

And Sixty more were gone,
And then I stood a living Man —

Alas ! I stood alone !

I was among strange Phantoms there.

No living Soul 1 knew,
And you will hardly wonder. Dame,

'Twas Eighteen Fifty Two."

Quoth She, " Dear Giles, what did you see

In that far distant Daye ?
Your Dreaming Thoughts I long to heare,

Come tell itie now 1 pray."

" My Dear Goodwyfe, I'll tell my Dream,

If you will patient heare.
How Specters strange did stare at me.

And loudly laugh and jeerc.

At length a Ghost of pleasant mien

Did listen to my Story ;
I sayde, I'm called a Wizzard Man,

My Name is Goodman Corey.

I told him I was doomed to Dye
^ By Hanging or by Pressing ;
The mode — it all depended on
My Silence or Confessing."

" In Salem Village once," he sayde,

" Such Deeds ihey did allowe ;
That dark Delusion's had its Daye,

And Men are wiser now.

" You stand," sayde he, "upon ye Spot

So sadly known to Fame j
No longer is it Salem called,

But Dant£RS is its Name."

"Aha !" sayde I, ('twas in my Dream,)

" I'll see this altered Place,
I long at once to look upon

This boasted wiser Race.

I travelled North to Blind Hole Swamp,*
The Fields vere bright and gay;

From Skelton's Neck* to Brooksby's Vale,*
I then pursued my Way.

As on I roamed in eager Haste,
With ardent Hope and wishfull.

Too soon I foundc my wandering Feet
Quite in ye Devil's Dishfulle.*

Here Goblins came, and I must own
At first in Terrour bounde me ;

I spake them fair and bade them come
And gather quick arounde me.

Full soon I saw that I had come

Amongst a Race of Witches;
For every Man I looked upon

Was destitute of Breeches !

" Fyc, O Fye," sayde Goody Corey,
(And sharply spake yo Dame,)

" That you should look upon them thus —
I blush for very Shame."

" Pray heare me out, impatient Wyfe,
For know — these Wizzard Coons —

Although they had no Breeches on,
Were clothed with Pantaloons.

And ah, how queer ye Women looked,
'Twould waken your Compassion

To see what awkward Cloathes they wore,
So strangely out of Fashion.

I looked upon ye Antient Men —

No toothless gums had they—
Their aged Heads were never bald —

Their Hair was seldom gray."

Now Martha Corey spake aloud,
With most indignant Frowne —

" I don't believe a Word you saye
About this Danvers Towue."

Her Goodman sayde, with quiet Tone,

(A pleasant Speech had he,)
" Remember, Dame, I dreamed of this,

It thus appeared to me.

Well known localities in Danvers.


1 saw a I\Ian pull all his Teeth,

It look him bul a Minute :
He oped his Moulh and put Ihem back —

I thought } c deuce was in it '.

A limping Man had lost a Leg,

A wooden one liad he ;
To tell which Leg ye man had lost

Was quite too much for me.

I saw a man cut off a Limb,

The Surgeon's Knife all gory.
But yet ye Patient felt no Paine" —
" 'Tis False !" — sayde Goody Corey.

" 'Twas in mj' Dream I saw it, Dame,

I saw him take j'e Stitches,
And then I knew I'd fell among

A Race of Real Witches.

I met a man who'd lost an Eye

And chnse to have another —
He bought one at ye nearest Shop,

Just like its living brother.

I had a raging Tooth to draw,

(To you 'twill seem a Fable,)
I went to sleep — and then awoke

And found it on ye Table."

•' I don't believe a word you saye,"
Sayde faithless Goody Corey —

"Just show this Molar Tooth to me,
And I'll believe your story."

Quoth Giles unto his Wyfc a

" 'Tis thus to me it seems ;
How often have I told you, Dame,

'Twas in ye Land of Dreams.

I looked upon this Wizzard Race

With still increasing Wonder,
They drew yc Lightning from ye Skies

And bottled up ye Thunder.

They carried News by Lightning Teams,

Made Portraits with ye Sun,
Used Cotton for their Gunpowder,

To Charge ye sporting Gunn.

A magic Substance they have founde,

And some ingenious Lubber
Makes everything (save Consciences)

Of Patent India Rubber.

To light their Homes with flaming Air

The Elements they torture ;
And hope to get — by taking Paines —

Their Candle Light — from Water.

I told them that to see the World

I had a strong Desire —
They took me off in Vapory Cloud

And Chariolt of Fire !

Full Forty Miles an Hour they gd,
By power of nought but Steam ;

And Ships with Wheels go swifl"— " 'Tis
Sayde Goody with a Scream.

Quoth Giles, "Remember, my Goodwyfe,

'Tis a Prophetic gleam —
I do not speak my waking Thoughts,

I only tell my Dream.

I pondered on these Sorceries,

And thought them Witchcraft Sinns,

But marvelled why, like Witchcraft nc w,
They did not prick with Pmns.

I saw these Wizzards gather round,

To listen to a Tapping,
In wide-mouthed Wonder swallow al!

The Witchery- of Rapping.

It was, (I own with humble Shame,)

A Mystery to me.
That Souls in Bliss should come to Earth

To say their A, B, C.

Oh, what a Miracle Sublime !

It shews the World's advance,
When Spirits leave their bright abodes

To make a Table dance !

To have this awful Mystery solved

Perhaps they may be able —
The Faith that will a Mountain move

Can doubtless move a Table.

Amazed I saw how calm they ^'ere

With all this Spirit rising;
They only called these Magic Arts

A kind of Magnetizing.

So none for Witchcraft met ye Fate

Of Pharaoh's luckless Baker,
Nor did they seek to drive or scourge

A Baptist or a Quaker.

I gat me quick to Gallows Hill,

That fearful place to see.
Where Witches are condemned to hang

High on ye Gallows Tree.

1 onl}' saw two Shadowy Forms,

Or Spectral Goblins rather;
One seeined like Him of Cloven Fool,

The other — Cotton Mather.

I thought to see ye Gibbelt there.

The Ladder mounted high.
The Rope suspended from ye Beam,

For those condemned to Dye.

I marvelled much that there 1 founde
The Sod was smooth and bare,

No Mounds of freshly-shovelled Earth,
No Grove of Locusts there.

Amazed I stood and looked around,
The Grass was living greene.

Afar I saw 3'e deep blue Sea ;
A City lay between.

I went into a Dwelling House, —

I ransacked every Room,
I could not find a Spinning Wheel,

Nor yet a Weaver's Loom.


They had no SiiutTers on ye Shelf;

The Dressers, too, had flowne ;
No Pewter Plates, well scrubbed and neat,

In Order brightly shone.

No Settle by ye Kitchen Fire,

No Sand upon ye Floor,
And when I asked (or Tinder Box

In Laughter they did roar.

I went into another House —

The Fireplace was a Box;
I looked within, and there I ibunde

The Fuel— only Rocks !

And when I asked for Mug of Flip,

No Logijcrhcads were seen,
But in ye Place of Worship neare

Were Loggerheads — I ween.

I walked into this Meeting House

Just as the Psalm was read ;
The Parson had no Surplice on,

No Wig upon his Head.

I saw no trace of Sounding Board,
No Hour Glass had they there

To prove ye Sermon two Hours long,
And measure off ye Prayer.

No Chorister with Tuning Fork,

No Tythingman so grim,
Nobotly in ye Deacon Seat

To Deacon off ye Hymn.

But see — within that Sacred House,
That Place for humble Prayer,

Averted lookes, and bitter Scorn,
And jarring Sounds are there !

Ah me ! to see ye stubborn Will,

The cold and formal Dealing,
The stern Repulse, ye Needless Pang,

The lack of Christian Feeling!

I asked a Shade — Why is it thus,
That Men, in Wilful Blindnesse,

Are pledged to Total Abstinence'
From Milk of Human Kindnesse 1

1 turned away with saddened Thoughts,

And pensive Feelings ledd.
And sought ye Place where living Dust

Soon mingles with ye Dead.

I looked upon ye Hillocks greene —
The Winds were sweeping o'er,

And Ghostly Shadows flitted bye,
Of Forms beheld before.

Remembered names were sculptured there

On many an Antient Stone ;
And One 1 saw, well grown with Moss ;

I looked — It was IMy Own !

A sudden thrill came o'er me then,

Soc fearful did it seeme, —
1 shuddered once, and then awoke.

And now you have my Dream."


Wrillen for tlie Danvers Centennial Celebration, by Rev. J. W. Hanson, Author
of the History of Danvers.

' What a shame that Christian preachers
Should be no better teachers
Than to be so much deluded,

Or so fond of human gore.
As to follow vicious children
Into conduct so bewildering.
As to hang and scourge each other,

As they did in that dark hour.'

Then I thought of poor Tiluba,
(Parson Parris' slave from Cuba,)
Sarah Osborne, Mary Warren,

Whose sad troubles we deplore ;
Sarah Good, and uncle Proctor,
Parson Burroughs — learned doctor, —
Oh, how fiendisli thus to murder —

Thank God ! the folly's o'er.

How much more 1 should have spoken,
I don't know, — my thoughts were broken.
As I heard a heavy footstep

Coming toward my study door.
And the strangest apparition
Flashed at once upon my vision.
Saying — 'I am Parson Parris,

Whose follies you deplore !

One cold night of chill December's,
.As I sat betbro the embers, —
Chance had laid a book before me

Full of slight historic lore ;—
Well, it need not be a mystery,
It was only a small history —
Author's name I need not mention.

Only this and nothing more.

I was turning o'er the pictures,
And 1 could not help my strictures
On the blindness, and the folly

Of those darksome days of yore, —
And I came tn that old mansion
(It has had a late expansion)
Where began the Salem Witchcraft,

Which so sadly we deplore.

' What a singular delusion !
What a slate of wild confusion
Must have filled our ancient Salem, —

I am thankful it is o'er;
Parson Parris was a terror,
The church was wrapped in error,
And the people were all ignorant —

May we have such curse no morel

24 X


'1 have heard your lamentations,
I confess, with lilile patience,'
Quoth ilic stern incligiianl spirit,

' Of our good old days of yore;
We were not without our failing^s,
Every ccnl'ry has its ailinj^s; —
That our own was worse than this one,

Is a statement I ignore.'

' Worse than litis one V was my answer,
' Let me know then, if you can sir,
What tills learned generation

Ever does that you deplore !
Is not knowledge ever brightning ?
We've made slaves of steam and lightning
Taught the Sun to paint our portraits,

And a thousand wonders more !'

' All the more to blame then, are you,
\Vise and skilful thus ; how dare you
Looking back two centuries, utter

Such a reckless slander more ? —
rJf with all your great advances,
'.You have misimproved your chances,
And still cherish greater follies,

Here's the thing you should deplore !'

' Never mind j'our generalities,'
' Quoth I, ' let us hear the qualities
That our woudrons age possesses.

Worse than that dark age of yore ; —
What have we that looks so sadly.
That disgraces us so badly
As the Wiichcrall did old Salem,

And will do, evermore V

Here the parson fixed his wig on,
— I assure you 'twas a big one —
And his bands he smoothed with unction.

And surveyed me o'er and o'er j
And looking more complacently.
Nay — he smiled at me quite pleasantly.
More so than I ever heard of

Any Spirit doing before.

Said he, — ' We lived in Salem village
By our pasturage and tillage,
A quiet, humble people
As our country ever bore;

'l"o great wisdom no pretentions
Did we make, — all your inventions,
All your progress, light, and knowledge,-
We had heard of no such lore.

'Then came that awful mystery,
(You have it in your history,)
Such an one as never met us

In our lives or thoughts before j
We supposed it was the Devil,
The Arch-auihor of all evil.
And we did the best \\c knew of

With the evil you deplore.

' But your ' wondrous Age,' you style it—
Has great evils which defile it.
Which, allowing for j'our progress,

Should disgrace you evermore;
And of all thuigs that are shocking,
I declare, that Spirit Knocking
Which of late began at Rochester,

Is worse than all before.

'Chiefest humbug — greatest folly-
Nonsense vain — most melancholy —
Surely we shall not be laughed at,

No, nor pitied any more, —
For the future, men shall call the
Spirit-rappings, the 'Great Folly,'
Greatest, until comes another,

Worse than all that went before.'

Here the Parson clapped his hat on,
Thrust aside the chair he sat on.
And with all his old importance

Passed right through my study door,
And I heard his cane go tapping,
And his heavy footsteps rapping.
As he took his quick departure.

And I saw of him no more.

But I deeply meditated

On the truths the Parson slated.

And I formed this resolution —

(I'll depart from it no more ;)
Not to blame our Salem grandmas,
Till ourselves have worthier manners,—
Till we banish our ou:n witches.

Worse than any were of yore.



Tune — Yankee Doodle.

A hundred years ago or more.
When we were part of, Salem,

Our people grinv uneasy quite,
And what d'ye think did ail 'em?

They fretted 'cause they taxed 'em so.
And said 'twas downright pillage

For merchant-folks and sailor-men
"To persecute the Willage.

And so they sent to Gineral Court
A large and grave Committee,

And Gineral Court did bow to them
And look with grace and pity.

He passed for them the Severance Act,
And gave the name of Danvers,

In honor of some titled man

Whose sires were born in Anvers.

So Danvers stood a lusty youth.
And tough to stand the weather,

He made the Danvers China Ware,
And tanned his upper leather.

He also planted onion beds,

To magnify his riches,
And raised the best of grafted fruit,

And handsome, bright-eyed witches.


His household, too, has multiplied
A tbdusaiul for each huiulred,

And he has pained prosperity,
At which liie world has wondered.

But where is mother Salem now ?

— 'Tis painful to consider —
She caiinol have a Select-Man,

And so she's left a Widder !

Then wedded were the parishes,
That now have spent lo<^elher

One hundred years of fair and foul,
Calm, windy, stormy weather.

There's sometimes been between ihem strife,
'Bout which should wear the breeches.

Which should be Husband, which the Wife,
And how to share their riches.

Yet in all patriotic acts,

And noble undertakings,
Shoulder to shoulder tliey have moved,

Dismissing all heart acliings.

We've now in gay, good humor come

To celebrate our union,
And talk of all we've said and done

And suffered in communion.



Tune—" Dearest Mae:'

A Hundred Years ! A Hundred Years !

All through its dusky track
How dim the shadowy past appears,

When peers the vision back.
A Hundred Years ! Up to that hour,

Old Salem's child were we,
In leading strings were cramp'd our pow'rs,
Pinn'd to our Mother's knee.

Old Mother Salem ! no time our love

impairs —
A child most dutiful we've been and
honor your grey hours.

A Cenl'ry past we came of age —

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