Lucy Crawford.

The history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket online

. (page 10 of 13)
Online LibraryLucy CrawfordThe history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket → online text (page 10 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

just back, or at the end of the barn. This I had
there for the benefit of the echo, for when loaded
and touched off, it would make a great noise, as
it stood up in the air above the level of the sur-
face, thirty or forty feet high, and when the air
was still and clear, would echo from one hill to
another, and then the sound would float along
down the stream until it all died avv'ay on the
ear. This was really grand and delightful, and
all who heard it were well pleased, and some
used to call it Crawford's home-made thunder,
as it resembled the sound of thunder more than
any thing else. It was said that this echo was
similar to that on Lake George, when a gun
was fired there. This cannon was made fre-
quent use of, and for no other purpose, but to
amuse our friends and visitors. When once it
was loaded, and filled so full, and jambed in so
hard, that it burst in touching it off, and that put
an end to this kind of sport, then, but we con-
stantly had company in the season of it, and

148 nisTORy o¥ the

many were in the habit of making us presents,
and among them we were presented with another
gun, much superior to tlie former, sent to us
from Boston, by Mr. Gale and Mr. Gibson, to
Portland, and brought from there, by a man who
had been to market, with cheese. This gun
would hold half a pint of powder at a time, and
the tirst time when we loaded it, we fired it pfF
in the road, not far from the house, and it spoke
so loud, that it made the house jar, and cracked
some glass in the windows. We then removed
it to the before-mentioned place, where the other
stood, and there it remained a few years, till at
length we had some men there who were help-
ing us get in our hay ; and one night it was de-
sired to have it fired off, and one of them loaded
it with more than a proper charge, and then put
in gravel and drove it in so hard, as he thought
he would give us such an explosion as we never
heard before ; then with his match he touched
it off and it burst, and flew all in pieces. I
then sent to Portland and bought another to make
up this loss, and that 1 left with some other
interesting things, at the White Hills. Some
seasons we have burnt three kegs of powder in
that gun. Company coming from all quarters,
we now suffered for the want of house-room, and
many times our visitors were so numerous, that
for the want of beds and lodging rooms, Lucy
would have to take the feather beds from the
bedsteads, and make them up on the floor ; and
then the straw beds would answer for the bed-
steads ; and in this way we could accommodate
two, and sometimes four; and frequently shi


would give up* her own bed and lie down her-
self upon the floor ; as she was alwa^'-s willing to
suffer herself, if she could only make her friends
comfortable : but this, besides being unpleasant
all round, was wearing upon the constitution too
much, after toiling hard all day, to be deprived
of a bed at night to sleep upon. But such are
the feelings which many are subject to, if they
possess obliging dispositions, and, more espe-
cially, when they are used to misfortunes, as we
had been, that nothing seems too much for our
friends ; and as it seemed that it was not in-
tended for us to have enough to buy such things,
in abundance, as most of our visitors were
doubtless accustomed to at home, therefore it be-
came needful to do every act of kindness in our
power. I was again advised by my friends to
build an addition, w'hich I knew was necessary,
but which my circumstances, I well knew,
would not admit of: still, after considering and
reconsidering, I had been in debt ever since I
came here to live ; bat I had never suffered
much inconvenience by it ; and I had never
been called upon in such e. manner as to make
me any cost, with two exceptions ; and I found I
could have fifteen hundred dollars, from the
Savings Bank, in Concord, by paying the inter-
est annually, for a number of years, if I gave
them good sureties, and having concluded to
build, I mortgaged my farm and obtained th©
sureties required.

The roads were again good, and I expected if
they remained so, there would be more company
every year ; and as the situation of my housa


was such that it had a commanding; view of all
the mountain scenery around, and this was actu-
ally, as I thought, the only proper place for all
those who desired to visit this romantic spot,
although another establishment had been erected
three quarters of a mile below my house, for the
same purpose, which for its size and construc-
tion, was well enough, yet there was but a lim-
ited prospect of the mountains there, for Mount
Deception stands between that and Mount Wash-
ington, therefore all who desired to see it had
to come to my house, and view it from there :
and all who acted upon principles of honor and
justice, preferred this place to any other, those
who lived here having beaten the bush and suf-
fered every hardship and privation, Avhich such
a lonely place is subject to, when new ; and I
had done every thing to open and facilitate a
way to the Mountains^ and make it as good and
convenient as I possibly could, therefore, in con-
sideration of all these circumstances, I expected
public patronage ; and I always had a goodly
share, particularly of distinguished men ; and
always will be likely to, I thought, at my house,
if kept in good style, without having all the
affluence of a City Hotel, as that will not be ex-
pected, so far in the woods, remote from market ;
but always having such things as are suitable for
such a place, served up in a proper manner, neat
and clean, so as never to fail to satisfy persons
of judgment.

In the fall of 1S31, as it is said to be a Yan-
kee custom, that when a man is thought to be
doing well, there is always some one who


wishes to dip into the same business, as other
men think they can do better, especially, if they
suppose they can indulge themselves, by living
easily, and by fair promises never to be iulfiUed,
make others work without pay for their labor;
so with a man from JefTerson, in our opinion,
and we have a right to our opinion, and to
publish it, with proper motives, for the public
good. He came and bargained for a place
three quarters of a mile below mine ; I had been
acquainted with him years previously, and
thought him friendly, as most other people are,
and, also, that he was, as we were, friendly to
the inhabitants around, when, one day, happen-
ing to be down where this man was, for he had
come to look over the premises, (which he has
since left, and which, perhaps, " shall know
him " now " no more, forever,") and make a bar-
gain for the same, I said to him. "William,
what are you here for, and where are you going {
which, b}'- some, might possibly be thought im-
pertinent ; but it was a friendly way we had of
calling one another by the given name. He an-
swered, he was going to Bethlehem to see some
men there. I soon left, and this man went no
farther than to Mr. Rosebrooks, six miles, to
the man w^ho owned the place, and bought it of
him : and, in January, was to take possession.
This clandestine management was mystery to
me, for we were pleased to have a neighbor
near, and no disadvantage had arisen by the set-
tlement, nor ever w^ould have come, had this
man only taken the right course. We might
have been a great help to each other, as had been


the case with others who lived there before him ;
but, instead of this, he took a different way to
manage. He, in summer, made use of my
mountain road, where I had spent considerable
money, and which I had labored hard to make
for visitors, and my own benefit, and thought as
mu'^h my property, as any olher part of my own
farm, as it was made entirely at my own ex-
pense, throuirli my own land ; and to prevent
encroachment on his part, I was compelled to
make a fence and to put up a quit against him;
and finding he could not have this privilecfe by
stealth, he sends a hired man to have Richard
Eastman, Esq. come down to his house, for he
Avas there at our house, wishing him to inter-
cede for him, and see if I would not then com-
pronise with him, and let him have the privi-
lege of my road. The Esquire told him, it was
then too lat^e for this ; he should have come to
me himself, before he had -attempted *to intrude
upon my rights, and then there would have been
no trouble in procuring this or any other favor,
and we could have lived like men, and we could
have been an advantage to »ach other ; but, in-
stead of this, he tried to live on me and the
effects of my hard labor. After this he made a
path on the back of Mount Deception and then
came into my road, advertising he had made a
new road, shortening the distance to the Moun-
tain ; this I did not contradict in print, and thus
the public was imposed upon and I was robbed
of what was actually m}^ own property in this
insinuating way. When I first came to live
here, there was a mail once a week from Maine,


up through the Notch to Lancaster, Vermont,
and it continued so for some time after ; and as
the inhabitants increased, there was another mail
route established from Littleton to my house, in-
tersecting the one running through the Notch,
and it was necessary for the Postmaster to open
it and divide it, and send packages to the directed
places. I was properly appointed to transact this
business, and then it run twice each week and
now three times, each way, once in each work-
ing day, throughout the week, all the year ; my
neiijhbor havinsf a desire to take this situation of
Postmaster, got a petition draughted and had a
false afhdavit sworm to, for tlie sake of wresting
the office from me : this petition he carried
about, himself, to the industrious inhabitants,
who had not time to read it, as they said, and
were not aware of what they were then doing,
when they signed it, supposing that they were
to have an office in their own town, and not dis-
turbing mine ; and he succeeded in obtaining
names of eighteen citizens and three selectmen,
as stated from Washington, and this was another
misrepresentation, as this was a new place and
the town had not been organized ; therefore they
had no select men or any other officers, excepting
some men authorized to receive public money for
schools, and that was all they had the power to
do. This is a copy of the letter from head

Post Office Department,

Office of Appts. and Inst.

August, 24, 1832.
Ethan A. Crawford, Esq.

Sir : It is represented to this Department, in au affi-


davit, thnt you have, at divers times, detained letters and
papers which were direct''d to Plriineas Rosebrook. The
Post Master General requires your answer to this charge.
It is also represented by eighteen citizens and three Se-
lect men ?f Carroll, that the present location of your Post
Ollice is very inconvenient, and that the people who de-
pend on it would be much better accommodated by its
removal to the hou«<e of William Denison. The Post
Master General wishes to know if you have any objec-
tions to the proposed change of site.

1 am, iSir, respectfully.

Your Obedient Servant,


This made me some trouble, as I was under
the necessity of viudicaiing my own character,
in the charge laid against me. I went to Mr.
Ros(?brook, myself, and he could not say as it
had been stated, but only to gratify the man,
who was an ofHce seeker, had he spoken as he
did, and most of those who signed the petition,
said they were willing to sign one against it, if
I wished them, but that I could do without as-
sistance from thein by ray answering the letter
referred to. However, he did not obtain his ob-
ject ; the Post Office was not moved.

After getting through with my summer and
fall company, in the winter of 1S32, as Ihad
made up my mind to build, we had a great de.'il
to do. As we had our glass and nails, our
paints and oils, and other necessary things, to
buy and bring home, we did not get ready to
draw lumber until March. We then went at it
with two teams, myselt with one and my little
boy with another ; and this kept us in employ-
ment nearly two months. As it required a great
quantity of lumber, such qs boards, shingles,


clapboards, 3:c. from this same before-mentioned
distance of thirteen miles; and, in the spring, I
hired men and went into the woods and pre-
pared timber for a house, and in May, we
raised it. It was sixty feet lonpf and forty feet
wide, two stories, with the addition of a piazza
on one side, sixty feet loni^, two stories, and this
fronts Mount Washington, East; North end,
Mount Deception ; South end, the beautiful
green Hill, in the summer where Deer live,
since named Liberty Mountain, and whence they
have come down frequently into the intervale and
there played and gamboled about in full view,
and many times have gratified our visitors by
staying some time in this way, and then gallop-
ing off into the woods. Again I kept salt in an
old log at the end of the meadow, which in-
duced them to come down there. I desired my
men never to frighten them, or injure them,
choosing rather that they should come this way,
than to kill them ; and in the fall, this hill, like
the surrounting mountains, is richly ornamented
with various colors, which, if imitated bv a
Painter, would make, as it would at any time,
a handsome picture. Aud there is a one story
piazza, fifty feet long, to accommodate the trav-
eller, as he could drive up by the side of it, and
then step into it right out of the carriage. I
hired six joiners, who went industriously to
work, and before ihe last of July, they had their
work done, and the painting outside was fin-
ished, so that it was ready for company, except-
ing plastering, which we postponed for another
year. This new addition gave us a great deal


of room, which then required considerable furni-
ture to make it comfortable, without extrava-
g^anre ; and 1 was under the necessity of buyinf^
all this, and it only involved me more and more
in debt ; but still, I hoped to see better times,
althounfh I did not know when, for I was con-
tinually going from one expense to another.
Still I had paid away ray money as fast as I
had received it, and, I thought, to good advan-
tage. There was, 1 may say, another great ex-
pense which still hung upon my shoulders,
which I did not know how to extricate myself
from. As I was obliged to keep a number of
horses, for no other purpose than to accommo-
date my friends, a few months in the summer,
for them to ride upon the mountain, these I had
to keep most of the year, on hay and grain
when used, and they were of little use besides
this, the rest of the year. Then I had the most
of my help to hire, which took away my cop-
pers, as I always made it a practice to pay my
hired help, if I did not pay other debts, as I
always considered the laborer worthy of his
hire, and all those who depend upon their own
daily labor for a living, ought not to be cheated,
neither ought their work to be trifled with,
while they who trade and get their living by
speculation, deserve also to be punctually paid
their due, although they do not always have so
great immediate necessity ; but were there gene-
rally greater punctuality, there would be less
failures. I have often heard it said that

lie who by the farm would thrive,
Must either hold the plough or drive.


And sometimes I thought I did both ; but it
seemed I did not c^et ahead very fast, though I
made the best I could of it, laborinir myself all
the time. I seldom lost a meal of victuals or a
day, in consequence of sickness, and I had no
other infirmities, exceptini^" at times, the rheuma-
tism, which I think was caused by working* in
the water when living in the State of New
York, and a tumor which 1 then thought was the
piles and treated in a manner for the piles ; but
this was a painful thing to me. Many times I
suffered greatly from the complaint, without say-
ing any thing about it, and I kept it to miyself for
a long time. This, I suppose, was caused by
going through so many heats and colds in some
of the many and severe hardships which I had
encountered while in trying to do all I could for
the public, and I sometimes went beyond my
strength, and had 1 not more than a common
constitution, I could not have stood it so long as
I did. This summer we again had many
visitors, and among them came a gentleman
from Georgia, for his health. He had fallen in
company with a party which, after making their
visit, took their leave of him and us, and re-
turned, while he stayed some weeks ; as his
health was poor, he did not care much about the
society of strangers, choosing rather to spend his
time in the circle of our family, while he amused
us, giving us descriptions of his country, and the
manners there, which interested very much ; and
sometimes he would play some tunes upon a
violin, which belonged to the house, and after
leaving, before he arrived at home, he wrote to


US, informing us his health was improved by
our mountain air.

This winter, 1833, I bought a sufficient quan-
tity of lime and brouglii it from Portland and
Littleton, to |)lasler my house, also paper to
paper it with ; likewise in the sprinir, the ma-
son came and plastered it, and then we papered
it. \\ e had some other troubles with our neigh-
bor, by \\\n encroaching on our property, be-
side what I have mentioned, which 1 will not
relate. Some may say 1 did not like to have a
man settle down near me ; tins, if so consid-
ered, was not so. 1 might have had the place
where he lived, twice. The first man that
bought the land as he thought, put up buildings,
but it happened that he did not buy the lot which
he had built upon ; this circumstance 1 was
aware of, and I might have gone to the right
owner and bouglit myself; hut 1 had no dispo-
sition for an act like this ; he afterwards went
and bought, which I was perfectly willing he
should do •, and, after a while, he finding that
he should not be able to finish his buildings
and pay for the land, came like a man and
otVered it to me, first, and wished me to buy it.
This, also, I was advised to do, by my father,
and he olTered to assist me if I bought it, but I
told him that I did not want it ; furthermore, I
was willing to have another establishment, so that
the public would not be compelled to put up with
a Crawford, because there could be no other
place ; and if I could not do so well as to merit
public patronage, I ought not to have it ; and one
other reason induced me to have the place set-


tied ; the more inhabitants, and the better the
accommodations, at the mountains, the more peo-
j)le would bo likely to resort here, as thoy would
be sure of being made more comfortable, and
would not be crowded, and moreover they could
have a choice. Sometimes we were full, also,
and desired some to go to our neighbor's, and
they answered if we had but a spare peg in the
house, why they could hang on that, one night,
and refused thus to be turned away, and we
would do the best we could for them, and make
them comfortable, if possible. This summer
we had more company than usual, which kept
us busy all the time from June until the last of
September; and not one night were we without
guests. In July, the 31st, we had seventy -five
to lodge, besides our own family ; early the next
morning a goodly number of the gentlemen
mounted horses and set otT for the mountains, in
good spirits, while the remainder, many of them,
stayed and spent the day at the house with us ;
they all anticipated, the ensuing evening, a social
and merry time, as they intended to have an in-
nocent dance after the music of a violin, which
Avas to be used by a celebrated player, as they
liad done the evening before ; but alas ! how
soon may the exp.ectation of pleasure, in this
world, be cut off ! They all reached the sum-
mit in good season and partaking of the fare
carried for them bv the sjuide, and makin"; such
remarks as they thought proper, they, at one
o'clock, began to descend. One of the party
being a sea Captain, said he would be the first
down to see the ladies, and instantly set forward.


The guide called out to him, and told him he
was ^oini; w ron^ ; but cither he did not hear him,
or else he thought he might steer his way hero
on this mountain as well as on the water, went
on, and they soon lost sigiit of him. The rest
of llie party kept together until they reached the
horses, but saw nothing of the Captain ; but here
thev found his h(irse an<l tlie rest of the horses,
and knew, from this circumstance, that he had
got out of the way. They then came home as
fast as possible, and related this to his brother,
sisters and friends, who were waiting his return ;
they were alarmed and fell anxious for his safety.
I was call<'d upon and consulted to know how wc;
were to manage to fmd him. We then agreed
that a fire should be made on or near the stream
which crosses the path coming down the moun-
tain, in case he should strike upon this stream in
his wanderings, and follow it down till he came
to this tire ; and then there should be some one
theiX3 to assist him home, while I should go on
the mountain and search for him ; we accord-
ingly set out ; his brother was to take care and
manage the fire and then leave some one to blow
the horn and be on the look out for the Captain ;
while I ascending the mountain, went up Jacob"'s
Ladder, and out through the woods, that night,
and called out to him a number of times, but no
answer could 1 receive ; and thus I wandered
about, calling to him, until it crew so dark I
could see no longer. I then made my way
down to a temporary camp, which we had to
accommodate us, when at work on the road, and
here I stayed the remainder of the night. Early


the next morning, while it was yet dark, I arose
and pursued after him again with renewed
vigor. I went again on the mountain and again
called out to him, in different places, but all in
vain ; no answer could I get, and I found one
might as well look for a needle in a hay mow,
as to find a man here on the mountain, unless
he had accidentally slipped and put out a joint,
or broken a bone, so that he could not walk. I
feared that this was the case with him, and
when worn out with fatigue and hunger, began
to call loudly, and I came home without finding
a single trace of him. This was sorrowful news
to his friends and relatives, but still a hope was
anticipated that he might find himself safe on
the other side of the hills, which was actually
the case ; and here we will make use of his
own languao-e, as he wrote it in the Album after
liis return.

August 1, 1833.
The inclination I felt to reach a warm climate induced
me to leave the party with whom I had ascended Mount
Washington yesterday. After half an hour's rapid walk,
I found myself alone — and a little lime convinced me, that
attempting to find them was fruitless. I then found my
way to the bed of a stream — a bran?h of the Saco, and
followed its winding for twelve miles through briers and
over rocks, from 1 till 7 o'clock P. M., and when the
approaching darkness warned me of the necessity of a
bed, I discovered an object more pleasing that all the
wonderful scenery that had served (though in a slight
■degree) to while away my six hours incessant labor.
'Twas a log bridge crossing the stream in which I was
wading. Following the road with renewed vigor, I arriv-
ed in an hour at Mr. Hanson's, when a bowl of milk and
a good bed left me nothing to regret, but the probability
of uneasiness in the minds of my friends here.



Tl)is morning, I left Mr. Hanson's nt five o'clock —
%viilkecl seven miles to Mr. ^Ventvvortl^'s, in Jackson ;
rode three miles bare-back to Mr. Cliisley's, who took
me in his wagon seven or eiglit miles to Ciould's, in Bart-
lett — whence I made the best of my way to this comfort-
able, temporary hou)e, having been absent over thirty
hours. JNO. g. PAINE.

P. S. So the n)ountains brought forth a mouse.

[J. S. P.
*' Go it you Cripples."

Kennebunk-port Party obliged to leave here this day in
anxious uncertainty for tlie fate of our cousin and friend,
Lieut J. S. Paine. [C. A. L. and Party.

"With hearts light and gay,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13

Online LibraryLucy CrawfordThe history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket → online text (page 10 of 13)