Lucy Crawford.

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

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arrived in safety at Mrs. Rosebrook's. The two
girls we had living with us, staid and slept in the
barn, and likewise the men, when they returned >
from work. I had laid in a good store of pro-
visions for my family's use, as we were not
always sure of a crop, and depended on buying.
We had a small store pretty well filled with salt
and salt fish. I had bought forty dollars worth
of wheat and forty of pork. I had made two-
thirds of a barrel of maple sugar, and when


done sugaring, had taken the large potash kcttlo
which I had used and brougiit across the
Amanoosuc river, I walking over on a log, the
kettle on my head, uncle William helping me to
put the kettle on my head ; after putting it in a
cart I brought it home. These and all other
kinds of provisions were destroyed. Some new
cheese, however, was saved : this was in the
furthermost part of the house, where the fire
came last. All my farming tools were destroyed,
excepting those that the men had working with,
such as ploughs, harrows, hoes, shovels, rakes,
pitch forks, scythes, &c. In the morning we
had enough and to spare ; in the evening, noth-
ing left but this new cheese, and the milk of the


The next dav was the Sabbath, and the horses
were sent for ; the girls came down and joined
us. One incident, by tbe way, I would just re-
late. The swallows, after losing their nests,
followed the family ; and the barns of Mr.
Rosebrook, seemed to be alive with them — they
were actually partakers of our trouble.

Monday^ my parents and Lucy's came to see
what was to be done ; and they agreed to move
a ^mall house, twenty-four feet square, which
belon£cd to me, one and a half miles from
where ours stood before it was burnt; and sent
an invitation to our neighbors, who immediately
collected, with provisions for themselves and
oxen, to draw the building.

My loss by the fire was estimated at $3,000,
and there was no insurance. I was young and
ambitious, but this shock of misfortune almost
overcame me ; and I was for some days quite
indifferent which way the world went. I at
length was constrained to arouse my feelings,
and once more put my shoulder to the wheel.

My house was placed upon the spot, and left,
with one outside door, and chimney up as high
as the chamber floor ; there were no windows
and there was nothing but a rough, loose floor
to walk upon. Yet we could not prevail upon
Lucy to stay any longer than two weeks where


she was. We therefore spread bed clothes for
a carpet, and hung some up for a petition, to
keep her from taking cold ; and, thus situated,
she was accidentally visited by several crentle-
men and ladies from Portland. They seemed to
sympathize with her; and afterwards sent her
several articles of furniture, for the table.
Lucy, howcA'er took cold, which caused her
. some pain and trouble ; and she was obliged to
go back to Mr. Rosebrook's, and remain there
three weeks long-er.

I hired two joiners, and went twelve miles for
lumber, to work with, and while we were thus
engaged. Colonel Binney, from Boston, with
two young men, came along, by the way of
Littleton, to my place. Finding us so destitute
of every thing, tliey stayed but a short time,
and then went down to father's. The young
men wanted to go on the mountain ; they con-
sulted him, and greed to take him for a guide,
with a man to cany provisions and other neces-
sary thingp. They rode to the top of the
Notch, then sent back their carriage, and pro-
ceeded to the woods. They had much difficulty
in managing to get through ; they hov/ever pro-
ceeded slowly — sometimes crawling under a
thicket of trees — sometimes over logs and wind-
falls, until they arrived to where they could
walk on the top of ti'ees. This may seem to
some strange, but it is nevertheless true. They
never reached the summit, but managed to get
along on some of the hills.

As the day was growing to a close, ihey re-


1 limed to the woods, in order to pass the iiiglif-,
and erected a slielter for their protection. A
dencc fog arose and during the night it rained.
In tlie niorninij;, owinii to the darkness, thev
could not tell the best way to proceed ; but look
the surest way, by fcdlowing the Amanoosuc
river, and came to my iiouse. These men wore
fine and costly garments into the woods; but
wh(?n they returned, their clothes were torn and
inuch injured, by the brush ; and their hats
looked as if they had been through a beggar's
press. They were much exposed all night,
without fire or food.

Jn Se])tember, there came two gentlemen to
inv fatherV,and enii;am'd him to i;o with them to
thi; top of Mount Washington, where they
placed an inscription, in Latin, which was en-
graved on a brass plate, and naiUid it on a rock ;
ihey likewise; filled a bottle and put it in a rock.
The inscription was as follows, as I had it copied
jMid kept carefully at home. (I vouch not for
the latin or translation being correct; it is at all
events, a true copy, tus found on the plate ; and
was translated, with the exception of the word
'•' perspire," by a friend, who was afterwards in
the vicinity.)

" Althis ihunt, qui ad summa nitunteer^'' —
They will go higher who strive to entre heaven.
'' i\7/ reputans, si quid swperesset agenduii''' —
Think nothing done while any thing remains to
1)0 done. " Sic ititr ad astra.'^ — AV'e go thus to
the stars. " Stinere facto per inhostalcb .sylras
Ricstribiis pramj)tix fdicitcr superries. [Eheu


quantus adest vius sudor!) Johannes Brazer, Cart'
tabrigsensis^ Georgius Daicson, Philadelphiensis,
kicposuerant ivid Septembris MDCCCXVIIV
After passing inhospitable woods, and surmount-
ing abrupt ledges, (how it made us perspire,)
John Brazer of Cambridge, and George Dawson
of Philadelphia, placed this inscription here on
the fourth day of the Ides of September, 1818.

We succeeded in having a comfortable, small
house, for the winter 1819. We had now many
difficulties to encounter, owing to the limited
size of our small house ; it being at that time
the principal, if not the only market road then
travelled by the people, who depended upon
going to market in the winter with their produce
from the upper part of New Hampshii^, and
even west of Vermont ; and the snow did not
fall early to make a good sleigh paUi. When
it did, our house was filled, and Lucy would
many times have to make a large bed on the
floor, for them to lay down upon, with their
clothes on, and I would build a large fire in a
large rock or stone chimney, that would keep
them warm thi'ough the night. It was no un-
common thing to burn in that fire place a cord
of wood in twenty-four hours, and sometimes

At this time my father thought it best to sell,
as there was a chance, he thought : he being
holden with me on the notes, I suppose, would
like to have been liberated from them. He con-
sulted with grandmother, and gave her and Wil-
iiam a mortgage of his farm, at that time worth


two of* mine, so that there should be no incuni-
l)rance on my burn. But the man to wliom we
expected to sell, drew back, and we still remain-
ed, and struggled along as well as we could,
through the winter.

In the month of May four young gentlemen
came on horseback to visit the mountains. I
gave them the best information 1 could. They
set off together, and made the best they could
of their excursion through the forest, but suffer-
ed considerable inconvenience by the thickness
of the trees and brush, which would every now
and then take hold of their clothes, and stop
them ; they returned well satisfied, notwithstand-
ing the unfriendly brush.

As this was the Xhitd party which had visited
the mountains, since I came here to live, we
thought k best to cut a path through the woods ;
accordingly my father and I made a foot path
from the Notch out through the woods, and it
was advertised in the newspapers, and we soon
began to have a few visitors. As my accom-
modations were limited, small parties were under
the necessity of stopping at my father's, eight
miles from the Notch.

This summer I succeeded in removing a barn
from the place where our house had been
brought by our neighbors, after the fire, and 1
converted the barn into a stable for horses. We
considered it quite comfortable for the winter,
and as I had payments to make, I had to work
economically to be able.

i spent the winter of 1S20 in doing my ouii


M'ork and assisting tlie traveller up and down the
Notch, and over the mountains towards Lancas-
ter. As it is a common thing for the wind to
sweep away the snow through the Notch, open-
ing and leaving it bare, so the teamsters required
help to get along, and sometimes they have been
obliged to leave a part of their loads at the
Notch House, and I have gone down there and
taken it and conveyed it to the owners, and on
my return would bring home grain, and other
necessary things for our use, as 1 ever calculated
to manage so as to load both ways, and not lose
my time or the wear of my horses for nothing.

In March, as I had a famous dog for catching
deer, I told Lucy, one pleasant morning, I was
going out to the Notch whh my dog and I hoped
to bring a deer home, alive, and we would tame
him. She smiled, and said to me she thought I
had better give up such an idea as that, for who
could catch and halter-break a wild animal like
a deer. Never mind, said I, there is nothing
like trying. So I took my rope, dog and snow-
shoes, and commenced my journey. After trav-
eling about four miles in the roads, I turned out
and went into the wood'j, say half a mile, when
Watch, my dog, gave an alarm, which told me
he had found a deer. I went as fast as I could
and told Watch to be careful and not hurt the
deer. He had found a young buck and stopped
him ; I went up and Watch took him by the ear,
and held him, while I tied on my rope, in form
of a haltt3r, and then began to descend the liill,
and come into the road. He was rather turbu-


lent, at first, but soon became quite tapie and
peaceable, and woud smell of my hands, as I
perspired some, as if for salt. I brought him
home, and made a place in the stable and put
him in, and Lucy's little brother fed him with
cabbage and small pieces of cut potatoes. We
kept him until June, when by accident, the litttle
boy happened to leave one whole potatoe, which
got so far into his throat, that I could not remove
it, and consequently the poor thing died.

In May, there came a gentleman and lady, and
put up with us, for the night ; it began to snow,
and in the morning, the snow was good twelve
inches deep ; and they, being in a hurry, were
desirous to proceed on their journey, but did not
know how they could get through the snow with
their wagon. I then brought up my horse sled,
took off the wheels from their wagon, and placed
them and the wagon on the sled, and prepared a
seat for each of us to ride comfortably, attached
my horse to the sled, and carried them to Beth-
leham, twelve miles. As we had now got out
of the snowy region, and they could travel by
themselves, I assisted in putting their carriage
together again, for which he gave me a dollar,
and we took our leave of each other, and they
pursued their way and I returned home. I went
one and a half miles down the Amanoosuc river,
or Ompompanusuck, according to the ancient
Indian name, and took the frame of an old grist
mill, which stood there, useless, and which be-
longed to me, and brought it home, having taken
it apart, and made a temporary cheese house.


and \vc had a diary, and made twelve Imndred
weight of cheese, which I carried to market in
the fall, and sold for a good price. This ena-
bled me to make out another payment of $200.

This summer there came a considerable largo
party of distinguished characters, such as the
author of the New Hampshire map, &c. &c., to
my house, about noon, to ascend the mountains
and give names to such hills as were unnamed,
and after a dinwer of trout, they set out, taking
me for a guide and baggage-carrier: we rode to
the Notch, and there I was loaded equal to a
pack-horse, with cloaks and necessary articles
for two nii^hts, with a plenty of what some call
^' Black Betts," or " O be joyful," as it was the
fashion in those days, to make use of this kind
of stuff, and especially upon such occasions.
We travelled on until we reached the camp, about
three miles from the road, then I struck up a
tire, cut wood, and prepared our usual supper,
spread our blankets, brought for that purpose,
and after some interesting stories told by the
party, I believe we all fell asleep. In the morn-
ing, after breakfast, we started on our intended
expedition, taking only provisions enough for the
day, and a sufficient quantity of " O be joyful,"
and set forward and went over several hills, and
came to a beautiful pond of clear water, distant
one mile from the apex of the hill. Here we
made a stop for some time, enjoying the water,
which was delicious, and then went to the sum-
mit of Mount Washington. There they gave
names to several peaks, and then drank healths


to them in honor to the great men whose names
they bore, and gave toasts to them ; and after
they had all got through, they put it upon me to
do the same ; but as this was a new thing to me,
and not being prepared, I could only express my
feelings by saying I hoped all of us might have
good success and return to our respective fami-
lies in safety, and find them in health ; which
was answered by a cheer from all, as they had
cheered at other times before, when any one had
drank a toast. The day was fine, and our feel-
ings seemed to correspond with the beauties of
the day , and after some hours had swiftly passed
away in this manner, we concluded to leave this
grand and magnificent place and return to a
lower situation on earth. We then left the hill,
and came down to the before mentioned pond.
Here we staid a long time partaking of its wa-
ters, until some of us became quite blue, and
from this circumstance we agreed to give it the
name of Blue Pond, and at rather a late hour we
left it and proceeded towards the camp, but did
not all arrive there until nine o'clock in the eve-
ning. This water so much troubled one of our
party, or the elevated situation on which we trav-
eled, fatigue, or some other cause, had such an
effect upon him that he could not get along with-
out my assistance ; and he being a man of two
hundred weight, caused me to make use of all
my strength, at times. I however, managed to
get down at last, and when I did I was so tired,
I prostrated myself upon the gound and told them
I could do no more that nigh'; — 'hey must look


■Alt for themselves, for I was tired to the very
bone. They cut some! wood and did the best
they could that night, and in the morning, sleep
had again restored us, so that after taking some
refreshment, we started for home, where we all
arrived in safety, and in good spirits. Here we
with pleasure recalled the proceedings of the
previous day, and partaking of another dinner,
most of them returned to their places of resi-
dence the same day.

In September, at one time, there came a
number of gentlemen up through the Notch and
sent to me to prepare and furnish them with
provisions and other necessaries for the expedi-
tion. I was accordingly fitted out, and when
ready, my pack weighed eighty pounds. I car-
ried it to the Notch, on horseback, and when I
arrived there the sun was setting, and the party
had taken the path and gone along and left their
cloaks by the way for me. I piled them on top
of my load and budged on as fast as possible,
and when I arrived at the camp it was dusk ;
there was no fire — wood was to be chopped, and
supper to prepare, and wdien all this was done,
I was tired enough to sleep without being rocked
in a cradle.

In November I went on the hill in front of my
house, south, and there set up a short line of
sable traps, twenty three in number, and caught
twenty-five sable of fine quality, and one black
cat, or fisher.

This winter (1821) I spent doing my own
work and buying salt, and transporting it from


Portland to Lancester, and exchanging it with
the merchants for grain, and other things, for
my family's use. And as I had been somewhat
milucky with my pet deer, last summer I thought
to try again for another, and in a manner like
the former one, I prepared and went near the
same place. I found several — one of which I
took alive. This was a beautiful young doe
and she was with young. I now felt quite rich,
in taking this prize. I suppose my feelings were
similar to those spoken of by Robinson Crusoe,
when he succeeded in taking the Lamas on the
Island. I did not know but that they might in-
crease, we could built a park and keep them, c.s
these animals are easily tamed, and then I
should have them to show our visitors in tlio
summer, when they come ; perhaps I could, now
and then, spare one for the table, if requested
by them, — but alas! this was only imaginary,
like the fable of the maid and her milk-pail. I
put on my rope in the same manner as I did tlie
former one and began to try to lead her, but I
could do nothing with her ; she would not walk
with me, so I shouldered her and brought \v v
into the road : this made quite a load for me to
travel with, as I was then four miles from home,
but said I to myself, without some pain there
will be no gain ; so I made the best I could of it,
and when in the road would often set lier down
and try to lead her, but I coidd not. This was
not exactly like the one I had taken the preced-
ing year — it was of a dark brown color. And
after I had got her home, (T had either hurt lier


in bringing her home, or she was so delicate she
would not partake of food, and to put. her out of
misery,) I concluded we had better di*ess her.
This was as fine a piece of venison as I had
ever seen. Now as I had not saved this one's
life, I said I would go again ; and I went and
my dog started a good sized buck, and followed
him towards home, and near the road he had
stopped him, and then waited for me to come up
and take him, and while here they were ob-
served by some travellers passing along at this
time, and before I had time to come up with
him, although I made long strides on my snow
shoes, as I feared something would happen to
him still ; when I came up, I found the traveller
had been to the house and. obtained a gun and
sho thim, and to my great mortification, I found
him dead, with the man exulting in triumph over
this great feat which he had performed. I then
told him the great disappointment which he had
unconsciously given me, but as he was dead it
was of no use to make many words about it, so
he helped me to bring him home, and here he
was served like the former one, and sent to

In March, I hired Esquire Stuart to come with
his compass and go into the woods, and see if
there could not be a better and more practica-
ble way found to ascend the Mountains. We
set out with provisions, blankets, fire-works, and
snow-shoes for the woods. We set our compass
— spotted trees, which made a line to be fol-
lowed at another time. When night came on


I built a camp, and struck up a fire. We ate
our supper and retired with our dog quietly to
rest. We spent three days in making this search
and returned well satisfied we had found the
best way ; for the road which we had heretofore
travelled is an uneven one, going up a hill and
then down again, and this in so many succes-
sions, that it made it tiresome to those who were
not accumstomed to this kind of journeying ;
and the way which we had now found is over a
comparative level surface for nearly seven miles,
following the source of the Amanoosuc, or Om-
pompanassook, until we arrived at the foot of
Mount Washington, and then taking a ridge or
spur of the hill. We could now ascend without
much difficulty, and found there might be a road
made, with some expense, sufficiently good, so
that we might ride this seven miles, which we
thought would facilitate the visitor veiy much in
his progress : and, to add to my encouragement
some gentlemen from Boston made a subscrip-
tion in 1823 to this purport : that, providing I
should make a good carriage road and have it
passable in three years, they would be holden to
pay the sums which were set against their re-
spective names ; and we had nearly $200 sub-
scribed for this purpose ; but as I was already
under so much embarrassment I did not feel
able to build an addition to my house, and I well
knew that if I made this road and did not have
suitable accommodations for those who would be
likely to come, it would only be imposing upon
the public to have a road to the Mountain and


not have house room enough to make those
comfortable who came to stay with us. I, there-
fore, was obliged to give up this generous offer
of theirs, and at my own expense do what I could
from one year to another, — but still intending to
do every thing in my power to make all happy
as possible in my humble situation.

In the summer, just before haying, I hired
men and went with them to cut this path, and
while in the woods, at the distance of three miles
from home, as I was standing on an old log
chopping, with my axe raised, the log broke and
I came down v/ith such force that it struck my
right ancle and glanced, nearly cutting my heel
cord off: I bled freely, and so much so that I
was unable to stand or go. The men that were
with me — one, a brother of mine, and another
stout man — took the cloths we had our dinner
wrapped in, and tied up my wound as well as
they could, and then began to contrive means to
get me out of the woods. They cut a round
pole, and with their frocks which they wore tied
me in underneath it, and thought they could
carry me in like manner as we bring dead bears
through the ^voods ; but in this way I could not
ride. They then let me down, and took turns
in carrying me on their backs, until we got out
of the woods ; and then one of then came home
and got a horse, on whose back I was assisted to
get ; and I thus rode home with both feet on
one side in ladies' fashion, and when I arrived
there I was assisted in alighting. There hap-
pened to be at my house then, a Mrs. Stabbard,


who is known in our country, and bore the name
of Granny Stalbard, whose head was whitened
with more than eighty years, — who ought to be
remembered for the good she had done, and the
many sutferings and hardships she endured to
assist others in distress, and one who seemed to
be raised for the same end for which she hved
in those days. She was an old Doc tress woman;
one of the first female settlers in Jefferson, and
she had learned from the Indians the virtues of
roots and herbs, and the various ways in which
they could be made useful. Now the old lady
said it was best to examine this wound and have
it properly dressed up ; but as it had stopped
bleeding I told her I thought it better to let it
remain as it then was ; but she thinking she was
the elder, and knew better, unwrapped it, and it
soon set bleeding afresh, and it was with diffi-
culty she now stopped it. She, however, went
into the field, plucked some young clover leaves,
pounded them in a mortar, placed them on my
wound ; this stopped the blood so suddenly that
it caused me to faint, — this was a new thing to
me — a large stout man to faint ! — which made
me feel rather queerly, but there was no help
for it. This wound laid me up pretty much the
rest of the summer, but still we persevered, and
these men, with some others, finished cutting the
path through the woods. So it is that men suf-
fer various ways in advancing civilization, and
through God, mankind are indebted to the labors
of men in many different spheres of life.


This fall came Captain Partridge with a num-
ber of Cadets to ascend the Mountain, and as I
Was not able to walk, we were under the neces-
sity of sending for our nearest neighbor, Mr.
Rosebrook, to guide them ; and likewise at other
times we were obliged to send for him to guide
gentlemen up the Hills.

At this time there was to be a general muster
at Lancester, and as I was lame and not able to
walk, Lucy was anxious to visit her parents in

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Online LibraryLucy CrawfordThe history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket → online text (page 3 of 13)