Read the words of Newburyport men and women who lived during the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s.
Caleb Haskell (1754-1829) was the author of Caleb Haskell’s Diary. May 5, 1775 - May 30, 1776. A Revolutionary Soldier’s Record Before Boston and With Arnold’s Quebec Expedition. Editor Lothrop Withington writes of Mr. Haskell’s achievement:
"THE MEN who make history rarely keep diaries. When such men do leave behind jottings of personal experiences, these are generally but meager records of the achievements of the actors in the scenes referred to but not described. It is left to the men of study to perpetuate the deeds of the men of action. When, however, we do get at first hand historic notes, we should read them not as the carefully considered and finely embellished product of the professional historian, but as the skeleton plot of a noble drama which our imagination must people with its life and bustle. . . . The soldier who struggled through the forests of the upper Kennebec, who lived upon the scanty remnants of a canine carcass, who lay at death’s door within a pest house, who stood in the besieging trenches amid the snows of a Canadian winter, and did the bidding of such a driving master as Benedict Arnold, hurrying from place to place, had little time for graphic story-telling on the line of march and field of combat. If his scanty notes, put down at hurried intervals, for his own use and not to instruct the world, read in their bare outline like entries in an almanac, it is because they are not filled in with the reader’s light of history and tradition. The following is a plain man’s mention of events which he partook in and where the partakers have been raised to the rank of heroes."
Here are a few diary excerpts of Newbury native Caleb Haskell (1754-1829):
"May 5th, 1775 - At Newburyport, enlisted in the American army under the command of Capt. Erza Lunt."
"May 9th, 1775, Tuesday, - We are getting in readiness to march to Cambridge."
Mr. Haskell and his fellow soldiers arrived in Boston several days later. After the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Siege of Boston was the opening phase of the American Revolution. Though the result of the Bunker’s Hill and Breed’s Hill conflict was a victory for the British, they suffered heavy losses. The colonial forces retreated and regrouped and demonstrated that the inexperienced colonists could stand up to the "regular army" in a battle.
"June 17th, 1775, Saturday. - This day begins with the noise of cannon from the ships firing on our men entrenching on Bunker’s Hill. The firing continues all the fore part of the day; but one man killed. We were alarmed at Cambridge; heard that the enemy were landing in Charlestown. The army set out. We found the town in flames, and the Regulars ascending the hill; the balls flying almost as thick as hailstones from the ships and floating batteries, and Corps’ Hill and Beacon Hill in Boston, and the ground covered with the wounded and dead. Our people stood the fire some time, until the enemy had almost surrounded us and cut off our retreat. We were obliged to quit the ground and retreat as fast as possible. In this engagement we lost the ground and the heroic General Warren; we had 138 killed and 292 wounded. The loss on the enemy’s side were 92 commissioners, 102 sergeants, 100 corporals, and 700 privates, total 994."
After the Battle of Bunker Hill, Caleb Haskell, then a young man of twenty, began a journey with his fellow soldiers to Quebec. The Battle of Quebec was an attempt, in December of 1775, by American colonial forces to capture the city of Quebec, drive the British military from the Province of Quebec, and enlist French Canadian support for the American Revolutionary War. Led by General Richard Montgomery and Colonel Benedict Arnold, the Continental Army suffered its first defeat after a five-month attempt at Quebec City.
Traveling over 500 miles to Canada through the wilderness of Maine by foot and boat through forests, ponds, rivers, and swamps, in rain and snow with a lack of food and shelter, the soldiers reached Canada by early November. Caleb Haskell and a few of his fellow soldiers contracted smallpox and spent time in a “hospital” three miles in the country away from their camp. Here is Caleb Haskell’s account of the first attack on Quebec City:
"December 31st, 1775, Sunday, - Heard from the camp that General Montgomery intended to storm the city soon. A bad snow storm. One of our company died of small-pox about twelve o’clock tonight.
"January 1st, 1776, Monday. - About four o’clock this morning we perceived a hot engagement at the city by the blaze of the cannon and small arms, but could hear no report by reason of wind and storm, it being a violent snow storm. We supposed that General Montgomery had stormed the city. Just after day light all was still. We are fearful and anxious to hear the transactions of last night. This morning I took my clothes and pack on my back, being very weak and feeble after the small-pox. Returned to camp. Found all my officers and three of my messmates and almost all the company taken or killed, and the rest in great confusion. Could get no particular account of the siege till the afternoon, when we received the following:
"This morning about four o’clock, the time appointed to storm the city, our army divided into different parks to attack. General Montgomery was to storm the upper town and scale the walls, while Colonel Arnold was to cut the pickets leading from the walls to Charles river and enter the lower town as soon as the signal was given. They proceeded; it being dark no discovery was made. They got near the walls, when a heavy fire of cannon and small arms began from the enemy, they being prepared and expecting us at night. Here a number of our men were killed and wounded. The rest not being disheartened rushed on; came to the walls, cannon roaring like thunder and musket balls flying like hail. Our men had nothing for cover, Our General and his Aide-camp and Captain Cheeseman were killed by a charge of grape-shot from the walls, which put this party in great confusion.
"There appeared no officer to take command. Colonel Camrael came up and ordered them to retreat. Colonel Arnold was wounded and brought off and a number of his men killed or wounded. The rest advanced and cut the pickets, so that with great difficulties they entered the town and took possession of the battery and secured themselves to wait till daylight. Hearing a great shout and the firing cease, and not knowing the occasion, concluded that the General had got in and the city surrendered. After it was light, to their great disappointment, they found it otherwise. They found themselves surrounded and no retreat, and that they must fall into the hands of their enemies. Thus we were defeated, with the loss of our General and upwards of 400 of our officers and men killed or taken. Every Captain in Colonel Arnold’s party was killed or taken, and but four of his men escaped and they invalids."
In early May, Caleb Haskell and other soldiers began their long journey home traveling through New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. He arrived in Newburyport on May 30, 1776. The diary was reprinted in the Newburyport Herald.
Minnie Atkinson (1868-1958), author of Newburyport in the World War, published in 1938, discusses the importance of community gardens tended by school children:
"The local Public Safety committee turned its attention promptly to stimulating food production. What with the many young men sure to be withdrawn from the food producing industries for military service, with the increasing demands of the Allies upon the United States for food and with the need of our soldiers and sailors, when any army should be raised and the navy enlarged, special efforts were necessary to prevent an actual shortage of food.
School children tending a community garden. Newburyport in the World War. Minnie Atkinson.
"For the gardens of the school children, in which vegetables and fruits had been raised successfully for several years under the supervision of Miss Elizabeth A. Walsh of the Moultonville School and other teachers, additional land was secured, plowed, harrowed, fertilized and seeds provided. Many of the beautiful lawns of the city were plowed and planted with vegetables and in almost every back yard of the city some vegetables raised.
"When the demand for increased food supplies was made, early in the spring of 1917, the school children of Newburyport already had earned an enviable reputation for skillful and industrious gardening. . . . Such gardens had become a popular part of their education. They learned the names, and how to spell them, of many vegetables and flowers and something of their structures, needs and relations to other plants. Gardening was done on Saturdays and after school hours and in no way interfered with the school curriculum. . . . In Newburyport alone, there were over a thousand gardens. . . . In 1917, there were in the city about two thousand children between the ages of five and fifteen years. About one thousand of these cultivated gardens."
In Cushing and Allied Families, 1931, Mr. John N. Cushing’'s daughter Margaret Cushing (1855 1955) wrote about the alluring goods that Newburyport ships brought home from around the world:
"Speaking of presents makes me think of the beautiful stuffs the ships brought home; seersucker, in gray and white, and buff and white a material made of silk and linen, for dresses; Dacca muslins, too, from India, of exquisite texture, these came in white, with dark blue or red star-like figures embroidered on them; Tussah silk from India, heavy with embroidery in white or tussah colored silk, Indian shawls and mantles . . . crape shawls, heavy with embroidery, sometimes of white on white, sometimes of crimson on crimson, were brought from China; sables from Russia, and silks and velvets from England . . . guava jelly and preserved guavas, both of which looked as if the brightest sunshine had been imprisoned in the bottles along with the fruit; chutney, and curry powders of all kinds, these my father gave away with lavish hand; also wines from Cadiz, and all kinds of sweetmeats from India, too numerous to mention. Nuts, and sometimes limes, were brought, and, I assure you, the news of the homecoming of one of our ships was received with great delight by all of us children."
Major General Adolphus W. Greely
From Reminiscences of Adventure and Service, published in 1927, Major General Adolphus W. Greely (1844-1935), a native of Newburyport, reminiscences about his mother, Frances D. Cobb:
"My mother, Frances D. Cobb was my father’s second wife. She was a woman of forceful character, strong individuality, unimpeachable integrity and uncompromising principles. Her devotion to her own family, to my father’s and to me, never faltered during her long and arduous life. When my father’s means were exhausted through his fatal illness of tuberculosis, with his inability to labor, she entered a cotton mill as a weaver, where her skill and industry gained such wages as insured a comfortable living until my father died during the Civil War, and until my own earnings became such as made it possible for me to relieve her from manual labor.
"Reviewing her life, its accomplishments impress me as bordering on the impossible. Without a servant, she rose before sunrise and cooked food for the family, carried her lunch to the mill to save time, and after her mill work ended at dark prepared our supper - this after working ten hours at her looms. While supporting her own family by her daily labor she received in her home a stepson with a fatal and lingering illness, a widowed mother, a sister and a young niece and nephew whom she educated. Whenever sickness or distress came to any of her family she at once offered her home to them, not awaiting their appeal. Her charity seemed boundless."
Moses Townes, an African American, worked at the Wolfe Tavern on the corner of Harris and State Streets. Thomas, the son of Moses and Eliza, was living in New York and wrote to his parents in a letter dated October 22, 1917. The Townes letters are located at the Peabody Essex Museum, Phillips Library, Salem, Massachusetts.
Just a few lines from me to let you know I am well and enjoying the best of health. Father, I have really woke up and found myself.
I do wish you could manage it so I could take one year in shorthand, type writing and English. The schools are open and the fields are good now colored boys who can qualify for stenographers. I have too much education to sit in a hall all my life. And how can you and Mother ever take life easy if I am not in a position to help you.
Everybody that I meet want me to ask to put in a school for one year as soon as possible. I am willing to cast aside all pleasures and buckle down to some hard work for one year. And then take the civil examinations so you and Mother can be proud of me.
I will work here until Feb. 1. So can get plenty of clothes and things so you won’t have to worry about them only my eats and sleep.
Would like to know by return mail if possible. I mean this Father from my heart.
Miss Clarke, Miss Williams, Miss Adams, Aunt Robertha, in fact all are just crazy for me to go for one year. So ask Mother I know she will do her part and will be glad to see me go back. Not to High School unless you want me to. But I could do more in a business school in one year than I could in a High School three years.
But whatever you suggest but let me know at once. As I am trying to prove to the world that I am more than Tommy Townes -
Jobs open here for Colored boys paying from $75.00 to $125.00 a month. And I am working for nothing. I am serious.
All are well at present and hope to see you this winter. Love to Mother and all.
Wrote to Grandmother last week. Lewis, go to camp Wednesday. Royal is well and send love to you. He say he will help you put me through also.
Best love to all - from your ambition son
Write real soon"
Sarah Smith Emery
Sarah Smith Emery (1787-1879) in Reminiscences of a nonagenarian, 1879, writes about the yellow fever outbreak in late 1798 and early 1799:
"After supper, Capt. Moses Brown, whose premises adjoined my uncle’s, came in to invite the family to visit the ship of war Merrimac, a vessel the town had built and presented to the general government. It had been constructed in an incredibly short period of time, and was the great focus of attraction to the people of that vicinity. Capt. Brown was to command the ship, which, then lay, nearly ready for sea, just back of what is now the City railroad depot.
"A short time after this visit the yellow fever, brought from the West Indies, broke out in Newburyport. From the first few cases it rapidly grew to an appalling epidemic; over forty persons died from the disease, amongst them, Doctor Swett, one of the first physicians. Fear and consternation seized the population. Few from abroad ventured into the place, which as the fever increased, became completely panic stricken. Many hurried away; others shut themselves in their houses. Business and pleasure were alike suspended. A pall seemed stretched over the summer sky, and death appeared borne upon its soft breezes. Ropes were drawn across Water and other streets, barring off the infected district. It was difficult to obtain attendants for the sick; and the dead, without funeral rites, in tarred sheets and pine coffins, were, at midnight, carried to the grave in a rude vehicle constructed for the purpose of rough boards. Thus, unshrined, unknelled, in all haste, the corpse was covered from sight, and a new mound, that for a time everyone would shun, rose on the old burying ground."
Reverend Ashbel G. Vermilys
Reverend Randolph Campbell (1809-1886) was born in New Jersey. He received an invitation to preach at the Prospect Street Church and shortly afterwards was invited to become the Society’s pastor after the sudden death of Mr. Milton in 1837. Here Mr. Randolph, a well-respected man, led the Prospect Street Church for forty years and was active in community events. After his passing, a long-time friend and minster of the First Presbyterian, Old South Church, Reverend Ashbel G. Vermilys, shared his thoughts with the Newburyport Daily News, commenting that Reverend Campbell was a serious man and would often walk twelve miles at a time:
Portrait of Reverend Ashbel G. Vermilys. Collection of First Presbyterian, Old South Church.
"As he walked rapidly, so Mr. Campbell did things rapidly, with a rush. But he made few mistakes in life; and although he lived so long in Newburyport, with the windows of his soul wide open, I doubt if any man could say aught against him. Such was the minister, so sturdy, straight-forward, devoted and every way excellent, whom his church has so lately buried amid deserved regrets and tears. He very properly lies on Oak Hill for his character was sound oak; and his memory should last and be green in the place where he lived for as many years as the oak."
Georgiana Bassett (1850-1939), author of A Child's Recollections of Newburyport 1850-1865, written in April 1930, remembers when she was twelve years old, the Civil War began:
"In April, after my twelfth birthday the war broke out. I was glad I think that I lived in those days, for I always, all my life, remembered a great many things about the war. I thought the end of the world was coming.
"At school, we had one afternoon a week we scraped lint and made comfort bags for the soldiers, while the teacher read us a new poem or some story. It was most interesting then and for many years after to have a new poem read by Longfellow or Whittier. I enjoyed their poems very much which is more that I can say of the modern poetry now.
"We had our favorite among the generals, McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, were in favor and out of favor until the mighty General Grant appeared. My father and mother were patriotic Republicans, as most of the Newburyporters were, although there were some ‘Copperheads’, as we called them, in town, who we despised heartily.
"How depressed we children as well as our elders were, when we heard of a defeat in the Union side of the battle! And that dreadful day when my uncle came in and said that England was going to join the Confederates, and the awful day when we heard the news of Lincoln’s assassination.
"The Reconstruction days were horrible. The country of course, was in a great upheaval after the war. . . . Four years after that, General Grant, the hero of the Rebellion was elected president. He was an honest man and tried to do his best, but had no experience. He placed himself too freely in the hands of his friends.
"Political passions now ran high. The Southern white people were ruined financially by the war. People saw that the Southerners had lost a good friend when Lincoln was murdered. But now the younger and newer South is emerging from its dark days, and both North and South see that a united country is best for all.
Josephine P. Driver
Josephine P. Driver (1893-1983), one-time curator of the Historical Society of Old Newbury, reminiscences about her childhood memories of her uncle, Elisha P. Dodge, a well-known Newburyport mayor and businessmen, published in Captains, Clams, and Cobblestones, 1977. Her father, Henry B. Little, was a long-time president of the Institution for Savings bank. Mrs. Driver was one of the many citizens and driving forces who advocated for the historic restoration of Newburyport’s downtown during the 1960s.
Portrait of Elisha P. Dodge. History of Newburyport, Massachusetts. John J. Currier.
". . . The last of the old-time businessmen that I remember is my uncle, Mr. Elisha P. Dodge (1847-1902), with whom my father was in partnership in a shoe-manufacturing factory. Uncle Elisha was of medium height, with gray hair tossed back from a high forehead, and a gray Van Dyke beard, a fashionable and quite sophisticated adornment of that era. He was always meticulously dressed. In fact, although he was a country boy and had grown up on a farm, Uncle Elisha had a considerable air of sophistication – assisted in some measure by the beard – and I can imagine him quite as suitably in place on a Paris boulevard as on State Street, Newburyport. My sister Mrs. Charles Baker, who remembers him better that I, says that he was extremely musical and was also a fine amateur actor. He was delightful with children and I well remember his taking my brother and me into his office behind my father’s in the factory and showing us souvenirs he had brought back from his travels in Europe and Mexico. We regarded him with all the proper awe due to grown-ups at that time, but we still felt wholly at ease with him."
In Minnie Atkinson’s History of the First Religious Society, published in 1933, Ms. Atkinson (1868-1958) cites the Oration of Amos Noyes, at the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Parish (1725). Mr. Noyes speaks of community life, the Reverend John Lowell (1704-1767), the first minister, and Reverend Thomas Cary (1745-1808), the second minister of the Third Parish Church, located in the area of today’s Market Square.
Portrait of Reverend John Lowell. Collection of the First Religious Society, Unitarian Church.
"In such a community luxury, or even comfort in the modern sense were entirely unknown. Probably during Mr. Lowell’s ministry there was not a carpet or stuffed chair in the whole Riverside Village, or a mirror larger than a pane of glass. Wood and peat were the only fuel, coal being unused until after Mr. Cary died. There were no stoves except foot stoves either in houses or in churches. The communion wine was drunk out of pewter mugs, and what was left was given to the pastor. There was no fire in the meeting house, even in the coldest weather. The minister took a large part of his pay in spareribs and vegetables and other things useful for housekeeping.
"There were for a long time no pews, except for the minister, but a few stylish young ladies obtained them after awhile, and so probably by the beginning of Mr. Cary’s ministry the benches without backs upon which nearly all had sat had been supplanted by more commodious seats. There was so much crowding after seats that it was found necessary to appoint a committee to ‘seat the meeting house’, a work of great solicitude and extremely dangerous to the peace of mind and popularity of those who had it to do.
Portrait of Reverend Thomas Cary. Collection of the First Religious Society, Unitarian Church.
"There was strict surveillance over manners. Tithingmen were appointed, one for every ten families. Their special duties were to see that the Lord’s day was observed. They had a long pole with which to rap boys who were unruly in service."
Charles Hebert(1757-1808) kept a journal for over two years entitled A Relic of the Revolution, Containing a Full and Particular Account of the Sufferings and Privations of all the American Prisoners Captured on the High Seas, and Carried into Plymouth, England, During the Revolution of 1776. The journal was published by Charles H. Peirce in Boston in 1847.
Editor Richard Livesey writes about Charles Herbert, a Newburyport native:
". . . From the Journal the reader will learn that Mr. Herbert entered on board the Dolton, Nov. 15, 1776, being less than nineteen years of age, and returned to Newburyport Aug. 23, 1780, having been absent nearly four years, two of which he spent as a prisoner, in a foreign land. The sufferings of this period were of the most distressing kind - hunger, cold, sickness, and privation. After his release, by an exchange of prisoners, brought about by the efforts of Dr. (Benjamin) Franklin, then Minister to France, Mr. Herbert joined the Alliance frigate, commanded by Captain Landais, forming part of the squadron of Commodore J. Paul Jones."
Editor Livesey continues: "Mr. Herbert possessed a remarkably active mind, prompt and ready on all occasions; he met every emergency with the utmost self-possession. This is seen in his conduct when the brig was taken, and after he became a prisoner. He could be carpenter, carver, shoemaker, merchant, could make boxes, sell tobacco, or labor in any way to make a shift, to prevent starvation. Nor did he neglect his mind; he bought several books at extravagant prices, which he read, and loaned to his fellow prisoners. Among other studies perused in prison he became a master of navigation. His journal, which is a standing monument of his genius and industry, was concealed, while writing, in his boots, and as each page became full, it was conveyed to a chest with a double bottom, and there secreted until he left prison. It is probable the existence of the journal was known to very few, if any, in prison, as the most serious consequences must have followed its discovery. How often in the silent hours of midnight, by the light made from the marrow of a bone, did he trace the record of each eventful day? It has never been known that any journal of any length of time was kept by any other person: it is believed none exists; and to the friends of those who were taken by the enemy and died in prison, or escaped but have not been heard from, or who went on board English men-of-war, ‘to serve, and continue to serve in his Majesty’s service,’ the journal of Mr. Herbert must be of great interest and satisfaction."
A Relic of the Revolution, by Charles Herbert.
Charles Herbert describes the capture of the Dolton:
"The brig Dolton sailed from Newburyport November 15th, 1776, and from Portsmouth, (New Hampshire) on the 26th of the same month, and on the 24th of December following, about nine o’clock in the evening, we were taken by the Reasonable, man-of-war, of sixty-four guns. As her cruise was over, she was bound to Plymouth, England. The first lieutenant of the ship was the first man that boarded us, and he ordered us all on board the ship as fast as the boats could carry us, and would give us no time to collect our clothes, promising us, however, upon his word and honor that we should have them all sent on board the next day. Some of our company trusted to this assurance, but I thought it not best to do the like. I was stationed upon the main-top when we were taken, and had not so good an opportunity to save my clothes, as those below; yet I saved more than any of the foremast hands; for as soon as I found that we were taken, I made all speed from the top down to my chest. I broke it open and shifted myself from head to foot – putting on two shirts, a pair of drawers and breeches, and trowsers over them; two or three jackets, and a pair of new shoes, and then filled my bosom and pockets as full as I could well carry. Afterwards, I found it was well for me that I did so; for when the clothes were brought on board, we found that all the best of them had been culled out, and nothing but a few rags and a dozen old blankets were sent to us."
During the next two years, Mr. Herbert describes the daily life of imprisonment - inadequate clothing and food, attempted escapes, illness and death, reading and studying, news of ships coming in and out of harbor, solitary confinement - the Black-hole, letters received, and the hope of one day leaving Mill prison. The days of good news finally arrived, and Charles Herbert writes about hearing of his potential release from Mill prison:
"January 22, 1779 -. . . this afternoon, all hands were called, and the agent called over the names of the hundred that were to go in the first draft, and desired that we should hold ourselves in readiness to be exchanged. Out of one hundred and twenty which arrived in England, belonging to the Dolton, only eighty-six are left in prison to be exchanged.
"March 14, 1779. Sunday. We are so impatient to be gone, that every moment of this day seems an hour long.
"March 15. 1779. It is two years and four months to-day, since I left Newbury. This forenoon, about eleven o’clock, ninety-seven of us in number, were guarded down, and embarked on board the cartel - two of our number having died since we received the King’s pardon, and one being dangerously ill."
Charles Hebert joined Commodore John Paul Jones’s fleet under the service for the United States and sailed to the Orient for a year. He arrived home in Newbury on August 23, 1780, almost four years after his departure.
Mr. Hebert entered into the trade of a block-maker until his passing in 1808. He married Molly Butler in 1783 and had several children. At the time of the journal’s printing in 1847, Mrs. Hebert, eighty-four years old, had not obtained either a pension allowed by law to widows of Revolutionary soldiers and sailors, or the prize money due to her husband from the government. It was hoped that sales of the journal might offer financial assistance to Mrs. Hebert.
Charles I. Pettingell
Charles I. Pettingill writes about his neighbor, Candy Brown (1832-1908) during the 1860s and 1870s. Mr. Pettingill’s paper was included in Captains, Clams and Cobblestones, published by the Historical Society of Old Newbury in 1977.
"Candy Brown lived directly across from our house on Bromfield Street, and in part of his dwelling he manufactured candy, the likes of which cannot be found today. ‘Candy Brown’ he was called, a hard-working, close-figuring, obstinate individual, who undoubtedly was considered an odd stick chiefly because he had ideas of his own and was consistently loyal to them.
". . . The driveway had another source of interest for me, a personal interest, and heavily reminiscent of a near tragedy. It was a Fourth of July evening when I was very small and my older brothers were managing a display of fireworks in our driveway. In some manner the rocket trough slipped or fell, and a stray rocket, instead of ascending in a sputtering rush, started straight across the street and into the Brown driveway. All the evening, Mr. Brown had been patrolling back and forth between the barn and the street, followed faithfully by his old white dog. At this particular moment he was turning to go in the back door, and the dog was standing behind him waiting to follow him. The rocket, just skimming the ground, passed directly under the dog’s body and then struck the barn door a wrecking blow.
"To my great surprise, there was no outburst, no accusation, no threats. The next day a carpenter went to work on the door, which had been considerable injured, and a few days later the old gentleman (he seemed old to me but probably he was 45) came across the street and without a word handed my mother a bill for $17, which my older brothers promptly but ruefully paid.
"Fourth of July was a great day for Mr. Brown but not so pleasant for the women of the neighborhood. Although he was English-born, he was sturdy American in principle. Every Independence Day was observed with a national salute fired first at six o’clock in the morning, repeated at noon, and again at six in the evening. It was his custom to fire one gun for each state in the Union, 36 at that time, I believe, and to execute this honor he used a small cannon, an old musket, and a shotgun. First the cannon would be produced, a small iron one about a foot long solidly mounted on a large block of wood. This would be placed in the middle of the street, a slow match applied, and while every mother in the neighborhood held her breath, the whole contraption would leap into the air with a great ‘boom’ and a burst of smoke and flame. One of the Brown boys would pick up the block and cannon and run into the driveway out of our sight. In a minute Mr. Brown would appear with the musket and another ‘bang’ would follow. Another minute, and the shot gun sounded its tribute. Another, and again the cannon. It took nearly an hour to complete the total, - and how silent everything seemed when it was over!"