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Lucy Crawford.

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

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On a tine summer day,

■\V'(' arrived at far fam'd Ethans's place ;

"When the sun shone so briglit,

And all tilled with delight,

We welcomed w ith joy each known face.

Then we wanted to go,

To the mountains of snow

And look on that scene so sublime ;

But our friends said " nay,"

' T was a dangerous way,

And the rocks we should ne'er try to climb.

80 we waited to hoar

What our friend Paine would bear,

From the weather, the road and the sight,

But we waited in vain,

For alas ! he ne'er came.

And dreaiy and dull was the night.

Mav he come in his glory.

To tinish my story.

And tell of his victories won ;

Then with sun beaming bright,

And hearts bounding light.

We'll farewell to Mount WASHi>OT0if.



WHITE MOUNTAINS. I6',i

Tills poetic efTusion was written by tlie ac-
complished Mrs. C. A. Lord, oi' Keniiebunkport,
as sailh the Album.

It is necessary for all who ascend the moun-
tain, especially lor the first time, to b(; governed
by the guide, as the distance of more than a
mile is over rocks without any surface to make
any path or track, and unless the stranger takes
particular notice of the way in which he goes
up, he may like the Captain, get mistaken and
take a wrong courf^e : although several years
ago, when it was the custom to go out and
camp at the foot of the mountain^ then, early
in the morning, ascend the hill, a young V(;r-
monter with some others came and went there
and stayed, and early in the morning set out to
climb the hills, and there came on a thick mist of
rain after they had started, and he being perse-
vering determined to go on, and for fear ho
should lose his way when he should come back,
laid up piles of stones, as monuments or guides,
at proper distances from each other, so that
travellers should not get mistaken or lost, which
remain in honor to him at this day and havci
been of use to many, who were like himself,
determined to pursue after they had undertaken
it ; he, however, returned to the carrip after
reaching the summit, sent the guide home for
new supplies of provisions, and there they re-
mained until they had a clear day. Such was
the spirit of a Vermonter.

I do not recollect any thing more, particu-
larly interesting, that took place this summer,
worth mentioning, but suliice it to say, we had a



164 HISTORY OF THE

plenty of company until vquite late in the Tall,
and some after the snow had irot so deep that
they could not reach the top of the hill.

1834. Now as I was satisfied, for the pres-
ent, with buildinji, I had not much business on
hand excepting that of buying and bringing
home supplies for the season. I spent my time
principally with my fanuly. Home, with me,
was always delightful, after spending the day in
ditTercnt exercises and getting weary. To bo
able to sit down and have half a dozen little
ones come and rest themselves upon me, all of
them having good reason and proper shapes,
which was a great satisfaction to me, was con-
sidered a blessing. In April, one week after the
birth of our ninth child, Lucy took cold, and as
she had been accustomed to administer physic
to her family, when unwell, she now thought
she would prescribe for herself. She then
ordered a dose of hygean pills to be handed her,
took a large portion of them ; but as these had
not the desired eflcct, took another, which, as
her physician told her afterwards, was the means
of saving her life at that time ; but did not re-
store her to health. She remained sick and fee-
ble, with a slow fever ; I then sent eijjhteen
miles for a physician who came and gave her
such things as he thought proper, but did not
remove the cause. We sent and he came
again ; but no better did she get. Her case was
now a desperate one. The child, for want of
proper nourishment, such as is natural for child-
ren, grew very worried and fretful ; this served
to add another trouble to Lucv, as she had



WJIITK MOl.NTAINS. 165

always been lioalthy and could satisfy her iii-
iiifanls by nursing iheni, when, at tliis time, it
only seemed to injure it and not satisfy it ; and
as she liad the feelin2;s of a mother, she said she
did not know how to bear with its cries, A
friend, a gentleman from Portsmouth, caUing at
my house, at tliis lime, wlien going on business
to Jetierson, saw the situation of Lucy, and she
having a brother living tln-re, whose wife had
just lost an infant, they sent me word by the
gentleman upon his return from Jetferson, that if
I would bring tlie child to tirem, tlx-y would tak(i
care of it. This information 1 received late at
night and when communicating it t<^ Lucy, slic
seenaed rejoiced to think the child was provided
for ; for I brought up several objections to her
against parting with it ; told her that if they
nursed it, most likely their atlections would be
*io great for it, they would not be willing to give
it up ; all these things she could do away if she
icould but know it comfortably taken care of.
Her mind being fixed, suitable preparations were
made for its removal ; my courage began to fail.
I asked Lucy if we had not better wait and
bring her brother's wife over here ? She said,
no, as it would be a long lime before she would
be able to come, and she could not bear th<;
sufferings of the babe any longer. It was then
wrapped up, and after it had received the part-
ing kiss from its mother which was imprinted
with a tear, for which she received a smile in
return, for the child was then six weeks old, I
took it in my arms on horse back and carried it
sixteen miles without a murnuu* or a crv from



165 HISTOEY OF THE

the child, by stopping twice on the way and feed-
ing it out of a bottle, which I carried in my
pocket, which had been previously prepared for
it. The child was welcomed by its new mother,
and after receiving a plenty of nourishment, it
became satisfied. I returned home and related
my tour and good success in the conveyance of
the babe, and the satisfaction it appeared to take
now in a new mother's bosom. This, Lucy said,
was an act of Providence, for which she hoped
to be thankful ; and as Lucy got no better, I
was advised to send thirty miles for another phy-
sician, who succeeded no better than the former
one in removing the cause of her complaint. I
likewise had the advice of several old and expe-
rienced ones, but all to no purpose. She re-
mained sick, weak and in great pain most of the
time. She was told by her friends that it was
not likely she would ever recover, or arise from
that bed of sickness ; this did not seem to affect
her in the least. She kept up good courage, as
she was desirous of getting well ; knowing that
she had a large family of her own, besides
uncle William to take care of, and much there is
depending on a mother, bringing up her children.
These things she took into consideration, with a
firm belief that God would, in his wise provi-
dence, see fit to send some means to help her ;
and after lying in this helpless situation from
April until July, her desires were answered.
Doctor Warren, with his family from Boston,
came to spend a few days with us ; and his good
lady, having been here before and learning that
Lucy was sick, came immediately into the room,



WHITE MOUNTAINS. 167

and seeing how she was, said slie would go for
the Doctor. He came in and examined her, but
did not prescribe any thing for her at that time.
He came the third time to see her and then wrote
a prescription for her, which as soon as it was
obtained, helped her, and in a few weeks she
was able to be about with her family. All this
did the Doctor, without receiving a single farth-
ing; ; for he would not accept of a compensa-
tion for his trouble or advice, which we are still
indebted to him for.

Likewise we are under many obligations to a
number of people of Boston, for their kindness,
their attention and presents during the summer.

My affairs at that time began to look gloomy ;
sickness had ever been a stranger at our house ;
now it became an associate there. Our next
vouneest child was dancfcrouslv ill of the bowel
complaint, and company began to shun my
house, which was on account of the influence of
stajre drivers, as our neighbor bavin"; made some
addition to his establishment, offered to keep
their horses on hay free from any expense to
them, if they would influence the company and
bring the passengers to his house. Of this, I
was verbally informed by them, but as I was
then keeping them at a very low rate, I did not
know how to keep them for nothing, and, of
course, they removed their quarters. I had done
much for them in making the place fashionable,
which caused them to have passengers, who
paid them handsomely for riding in their stages.
This I thought would be enough to ensure their
patronage, without an explanation to them. The



KiS HISTORY OF THF.

ownor of llie line had Ijcm'II promoted to some
public stations, which sliould Iuivj' insured better
princii)les witliin Ins mind than to have let him
practice upon such a low narrow contracted one,
just ft)r tlie sake of saving a trifle and try to in-
jure me in this way, and at a time wlien I was
in trouble ; but how much this added to their
interest, or to the credit of the stage and its
owner, I am not able to say ; but one thing 1
know, it was an injury to me, as I depended
upon my cujslomers for money to pay for extra
expenses, which I had incurred by building and
making things good and comfortable for their
conv«'niencc. Some peoph^ are so avaricious
that they )iiusi have their own way even if it
hurts tile honest and industrious ones ever so
much, as was the case, 1 think, with the one
just mentioned. 1, however, made the best I
could of it, hind money to j)a\' some debts, and
other creditors I ])acified with promising them
they should have tlieir pay as soon as possible.
In the fall as I was returninir from Lancaster, on
horseback, in the forenoon, 1 called at a six
mile neighbor's, and there borrowed a fan, for
the purpos(,' of clearing up some grain, and
when coming down what is called Cherry Moun-
tain, the horse made a miss-step, which brought
liim on his knees ; being encumbered with the
fan, 1 had not the means of saving myself and I
was brought suddenly across the pommel of the
saddle ; this struck an aflected part of my body
and hurt me very much. The horse recovered
himself and I regained my seat upon the saddle.
I went home that afternoon, and assisted in fan-



WrtlTE MOUNTAIN!. 169

ning lip tv, onty bushels of W'tcat ; standing in
tlie air, so tluil the air might carry away tlie dust
which flrusc from it, and perspiring, I look cold,
which settled where 1 waj^ most liable, and that
night my bowels began to swell and continued to
for three da\'s, and a man in greater distress than
I was, I would think never need be. I neither
ate more than throe crackers nor slept tlie whole
time. I had a liigh fever which caused me to
be thirsty, I drank freely of cold water, which
only increased my pain. I took physic, one por-
tion after another, without any eflect. I grew
UK)rse and worse, until at length, I told Lucy I
must die ; I had no desire to live in so much
pain. She remonstrated with me, saying I had
been the means of bringing a large family into
the world, and it was depending upon me for sup-
port, and I ought not to indulge such thoughts,
but should keep good courage, and perhaj)s there
would bo a relief. I asked her when ? Oh !
she said she cou'd not tell when ; neither did I
kno.v how much I could bear until T liad the trial
put upon mo. She told me to be patient and
perhaps God, wlio had let me suifer, would in
Some way, cause relief. Well, I said I uoull
fiy one more thing. I v/onld take half a tea-cup
full, or more, of Epson Salts, dissolved in water ;
this was prepared and I swallowed it. Now,
said I, if this does not answer the purpose, I
must bid you and the children farewell. I
began to pace the room ; things looked strangely,
and I had such feelings as 1 cannot describe, if
I attempt it. This did not last long before I felt
the sahs begin to operate, and I soon found relief
15



170 BISTORT OP THS

from them. As soon as I was able to ride, 1
wont to Littleton to a Physician ; told him my
case ; he said 1 was a touch one and wondered
I had lived through it, as morlihcation was near
at liand at that time ; he then gave mc some
medicine and advised me to be operated upon as
soon as I could get a Surgeon, or it might in time
cost mc my liic. Other Pliysicians, al.so, told
me the same story. This I thought 1 could not
live through : I siill held the idea that I misiht as
well die with it as lo die while undergoing such
an operation, for 1 thought it would certainly
kill me.

In the winter of 1835, as I had expressed
some desire of selling my place and settling my
affairs with the world, in consequence of ill
health, for I was not able to do much or go from
home but little, one night in April, there came
a map from Bartlett to make propositions to buy
my place. He was then going to Boston, and
knew of a certain stage company who would
buy it, as he thought, and, in so doing, would
confer a favor on me. I thanked him for his
good intentions, then went to work and bonded
it to him for six months, for ten thousand dollars;
this he wished to have kept a secret, for a short
time. My father coming in, before the close of
the business, wanted to know what the man was
there for ; but as I had promised not to speak
about it, I did not tell him. The old gentleman
said afterwards, if I had told him or if he had
known it, he would have advised me belter. In
a short time the great cry of speculation in
land, was heard on all sides, and I could have



irniTB MOUNTALTS. HI

sold it for Uvo thousand dollars more than I had
bonded it lor ; but as I had never been in tiie
habit of makin<z children's baro;ains, there should
be no grunting on my part.

Now to make up the place of the little one
we had parted with th.c year before, (as what I
had predicted proved true, those who had taken
the child, unnamed, and nursed it so long,
claimed it as their own, having no other, and wo
seemed rather compelled to give it up to them,)
in May, we had another child born, which gavo
us ten in number, five sons and five daughters;
nine of them are still living. Vv'hile in this
solitarv place, so far from hnman assistance,
Lucy did not put her trust in an arm of flesh to
save her, but she trusted to a higher power, and
was carried through every trial, for which she
has great reason to be thankful.

The man coming home from Boston, sent mo
word that I might depend upon the money be-
fore the time of the bond running out, and I
made little other exertions to get money to pay
my debts with, supposing this would be the case.
As the bargain was so good, I thought there
would be no failure upon his part, and depended
upon it. He went again, and found a good com-
pany of speculators, who had money deposited
in a bank in Boston, and every arrangement be-
ing made, the papers drawn, in the eveninir, for
eleven thousand dollars, of which ten thousand
v.'as to be paid him, and he was to have a share
with them of one thousand himself; the next
morning, when they met again to close the bar-
gain, no papers of the evening could be found.



175 UliTORY or THE

This disallccted the ciJiiipaii} , and tliev would
do nutliing more about it, as they suppojfcd the
mail thoucfht it was ii^oing so (|uickly, that he
might have more ; therefore, took no care of the
papers. Bat the man says that they were lost
bv the clerk wlio kept the oflice where they did
tlieir business. Which of these two was the
cause of this mistake, I am unable to siiy, but it
was a sad one to me, as 1 liad depended so
much upon it, anil might liavc done so much
better, had it not been for my reliance upon this;
but it seems to sh<nv the uncertainty of man and
how little depcndance can be j)laced even on
those we think our friends. 1 always thought
this man my friend, having been acquainted with
him for years ; but so it happened, and there
was no help for it on my part. All the particu-
lars of this transaction, I was informed of by
one of the company which thought of buying.
I asked the man to give me the bond, which he
said I might have, but I could not get it. H(;
then told mc he would try again to sell it, and
still thought that he could dispose of it advan-
tageously both to himself and to mc ; but this
was all a humbug. He still kept the bond, until
it died in his hands. He, however, lost nothing
more than his time and trouble, with the excep-
tion of what he intended to make, as he had not
paid me any thing for it.

During the summer we had a goodly share of
company, notwithstanding the stage driver^' in-
fluence, and that of some tavern-keepers, who
•were interested in this concerted plan of leading
company to the wrong place ; and many whom



wniTZ MouNTAir^i. 17S

thev did decoy came to my house, and said they
were misled and siiotdd not be caught again in
tliat way ; but as I wa? then suflering with the
complaint before mentioned, I felt little ambition
about the proceeding of things, at times ; but let
them do pretty much as they did ; and at other
times I felt the abuse, and then tried to vindi-
cate my own rights, but this I could not carry
into effect, owing to the state of my mind, as
this complaint centered in its effects, mostly to
my head.

After this, I strived to sell, but the fever of
speculation had then begun to abate, and I could
not cet more olfered for it than enough to pay
what I was then owing, wliich was not as much
as the buildings had cost; this I could not in
conscience take, as the place was actually worth
so much more. So we continued to slay longer
and do the best we could.

My complaint increased, at times troubling
me very much, and this winter, 1836, I was
advised to send to Concord and obtain some of
Dr. jMorriPs patent medicine, which was cele-
brated for effecting great cures ; I was told that
perhaps it might reach my case. I wrote to
him, and in return, received the medicine, with
directions — these 1 followed as nearly as pos-
sible, but it only made me worse, instead of
better, bavins; a tendency to heat and stimulate,
which was contrary to the manner that my com-
plaint should have been treated ; yet 1 did not
not think any one was to blame in the matter.
My friends being anxious that 1 should get well,
«iid I must keep tr\-ing, and if one thing would
15*



174 HISTORY OF rnE

not do, try aiiotluir ; this I did, but all to no pur.
pose.

This Nviiitcr, as deer had become plenty in the
Woods, nKiiiy parties went in j)ursuit of them ;
and my eldest son (Ilarvy) possessing the same
disposition as others, drsired to go with them,
but as his constitution Mas not etiual to that of
others, I did not consent to have him go with
lliem.

In Marcli, a gentleman came to my house,
who had been traveling some y<;ars, and his
liorse being wi-ary, he concluded to stay a few
diiys and rest hinj. He being a spcjrLsman, soon
contracted for a little fun with Harvey ; and as 1
iuid ever been against his going into the woods
with others, I then concluded to let him go.

They were prepare*!, accordingly, and in the
anernoon set out. TIk'V steered nearly south
• tl' my house, and went up the green hill where
«leer were plenty, and having arrived there in
season, built them a eamj), and spent the night
iinely, as ihey expresstid it. Early in ihe morn-
ing before they iiad breakfasted, not being ex-
j)erienced hunters, as they were anxious to find
what they were in pursuit of, they left their lodg-
ings and victuals all together, and went out upon
a tour of observation or discovery, intending to
return and breakfast shortly. After leaving the
ramp, tlic dog went into a yard of deer, and
followed them, and they found there was no time
to be lost and were obliged to pursue, fast as
possible, on snow-shoes, or they would lose both
'log and deer. They soon came up wiih the
dug, who had a deer; they cut his throat and



\\ linn M()iM'\iN8. lTr>

took out liis inwards mn\ h-fl him iIiltc;. Thf.
ilog puisLiod others in a. similar iiiaiin('r,ar.(i lliov
caught liir<;c of thciu. By this tiiiK; hunger be-
i^an to call loudly upon them, and ns they had
been in a liurry, unuiindful of tlie course thev
liad taken, tliev were so bewildered among the
liills, tlK-y were not sure what coui*se to take to
make for home. They, however, struck upon a
small stream and followed it down to the Am-
anoosuc river, nearly thren miles below mv
liouse, leaving tlvjir game behind, tired and hun-
gry enough-

Thc next morning I obser\'ed to them it was
not customary for hunters to leave their game in
iIkj woods to spoil, and thought they had better
go and bring theirs in, or else we should have to
lake their word for what they had done. The
gentleman said lie was satisfied to h't his part
remain where it then was, rather than go the
route over again. He had a pleasant time and
a lucky one, in hunting, founrl himself at home,
lie was then on good footing, and thought he
Mould keep so. But as Flarvey had for so long
time, been wanting to hunt, I told liim he must
go and bring hom(3 his game ; and after getting
rested he took a hiicd man and went after u.
He not being yet satisfied, thought he would
wander about, and, perhaps might find a de^T —
one that he could catcli and lead home alive, as
I had done. The south wind bcgiriing to blow
strong, and tlic clouds coming on, it was dark
before they were aware of it, and they could not
find the camp, where they intended to spend the
night, which camp had beyn built but two days



176 HISTORY or THE

before, and in consequence of the darkness, they
were lost, and could find no other shelter than a
a large hemlock Irro. They had barely the
means of obtaining fire and that was all. Their
axe, provisions, and veiy thing conducive to
their comtbrl were at the camp, while they were
compelled to stay and draw out a long night, in
that season of the year. The wind bl(.>\ving
violently made the trees wriih and bend on all
sides of them. The rain descended in great
profussion upon them, and tliey liad nothing to
shelter them from the impending storm. But
they were fortunate in getting fire in a dry tree,
which was some satisfaction, but not much com-
fort to them, as all the good this did was to bum
one side while the other was shivering with the
wet and cold. The snow being deep they had
nothing to stand upon besides their snow-shoes,
and in this perilous condition they spent a long
nictht. They said it was the longest one they
ever knew. They suflered greatly from fear of
being killed by falling trees, as they fell occa-
sionally near them, — but the same Preser\'er
who takes care of them in sunshine, cared for
them then, and they were permitted to behold
the lii;ht of another morning with gladness, and
in a few minutes they found the camp, but a
little way from where they had spent such a
miserable nijiht. They then provided them-
selves with a comfortable breakfast, and after
resting awhile, stated for home. They had the
preceding day gathered some of the venison
and tried to bring it home, but the snow was so
deep and »ofl, their snow-shoes would sink deep.



wnna molt^taim. 177

and it was with elifliculty they could mise them,
and lliey were obliged to leave it thewi and make
.their best u"ay lionie, where they were wclcom-
tid : and, I think, parents were never more re-
joiced than we were when w:e saw Harvey com-
mit across the field, as our anxiety had been so
great tlirough the night that neither of us had
slept AfR*r that I was not troubled any more
from beinjT tens^'d by him for want of hunting.
i le was now satisfied.

Hut to return again 'to myself. Sometimes
I would seen^ to be qnile well, and then I did
not niijid my sickness so mucli as at other times;
iheJi ihcFO would a pain catch me in tlie s{)ine of
my bac"k, and run over me like a Hash of light-
ning, even to the top of my head, an<l every
hair would seem to move. Many times I have
put my hand to the top of my head and fell the
hair to know if it did not stand straight <»n end,
as I could fetl it rii-e, and sometinw.>: would thiuk
it would throw off my hat. The pain from my
back centered to my head, which caused mc lo
be forgetful. They who had ever been my
nearest and best friends, had become my ene-
mies, as it appeared to nic, and from no other
cause than my being sick, and in trouble, when


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Online LibraryLucy CrawfordThe history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket → online text (page 11 of 13)