« ПредишнаНапред »
head, came into the City of New York, and going up to Mr. Rivington's house, part of them dismounted, went into his printing-office, and took away all his types, with other articles, out of the shop, and then, to the disgrace of the city, were suffered unmolested to leave the town.”* This affair took place on the 25th of November, at noonday. It was the sequel of a daring and unscrupulous raid from New Haven through Westchester County, in the course of which Seabury, the Episcopal minister at Westchester, subsequently first Bishop of his church in the United States, was seized, with the justice of the county and another obnoxious “Tory,” and carried into Connecticut. Seabury's offense was the use of his pen and his personal influence on the Royal side. The motive of the attack on Rivington was the freedom with which the questions of the day were presented in his paper, the particular aggravation being a provoking estimate of the strength of the British army at the close of the late SevenYears War, which was set down at exactly 499,000. A letter which reached him from the army at Cambridge a few days after the robbery, addressed “Measter Revington,” and signed “Jedidiah Yankee,” contained the warning: “Will you never have don printing Tory? I swear now your 499,000 paper men are strong marks of your Tory perinciples, and if you don't leave off, some of us will very soon pay you a visit, which, perhaps, will not be friendly.” The New York Gazetteer had, indeed, been for some time a thorn in the side of the patriots. Rivington's house had been visited before, at night, by a mob threatening personal violence, from which he had escaped by hiding himself in a neighbor's chimney, till he could seek refuge in a King's ship in the harbor. On submission to the Provincial Congress he had been permitted to return to his vocation in the city.f This second assault sent him back a penniless refugee to London. An outwage like this, inflicted by the people of one colony on another, was not suffered, however Rivington's Tory articles may have been disliked, to pass without complaint from the city authorities. The General Committee complained to the Provincial Congress, and the matter was presented for proper regulation to the Continental Congress. In the breast of John Jay it awoke a national feeling of resentment. “For my part,” he writes to Colonel Woodhull, President of the Provincial Congress, “I don't approve of the feat, and think it neither argues much wisdom nor much bravery; at any rate, if it was to have been done, I wish our own people, and not strangers, had taken the liberty of doing it. I confess I am not a little jealous of the honor of the Province, and am persuaded that its reputation cannot be maintained without some little spirit being mingled with its prudence.” The main effort in this business of the Provincial Congress was an expostulatory letter, addressed to Governor Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut. The soothing tone and adroit manner in which “Brother Jonathan" met this remonstrance was worthy of his proverbial oily diplomacy. “As to the public insult, you candidly extenuate, by saying that it was noonday, not in darkness of night, which would be accompanied with terror, though we by no means approve or justify the people of this colony taking any part therein; but the same candor you have expressed in your letter, I presume will induce you to view the matter, so far as it respects
* Governor Tryon to Earl of Darmouth, 6th December, 1775. Col. Doc. WIII., 645-6.
t" Case of Mr. James Rivington,” Gentleman's Magazine, Noweuber, 1776,
this colony or any of our people being concerned therein, in a still more favorable light, when you reflect that the head or leader in the whole transaction was a respectable member of your city and Congress, who we consider as the proper person to whom the whole transaction is imputable, and who belongs and is amenable to your jurisdiction alone, and, therefore, the affair cannot be considered as an intrusion of our people into your Province, but as a violence or disorder happening among yourselves, and not an intrusion from another colony; and you have the power to compel the gentleman we point out to return and restore that property which was taken away, by such methods as you think most proper.””
THE AWENGERS OF BLOOD.
ABs.ALoM TURNER was a young lad of a loyalist family in South Carolina, and had taken no part in the struggle of the times; his only offense was being the brother of Ned and Dick Turner, two of the bloodiest bravadoes of the notorious band called “The Bloody Scout,” commanded by Cunningham. The house of Mrs. Turner, the boy's mother, was a rendezvous for the Tories. It stood in the bend of Saluda River. Absalom fell a victim to the crimes of his relations; he was killed by a party of savage Whigs, and not content with the slaughter of one who had never injured them, they resolved on a wanton piece of cruelty, in revenge for outrages committed on their friends. They immediately proceeded to the house of Mrs. Turner, forced an entrance, and turning down the sheets of her bed, wiped upon them their gory swords. “This blood "the murderers shouted in her ears, “is the blood of your son " And with fierce exultation at the mother's grief and horror, they left her to her search for the lad's mangled body. The news of this sacrifice quickly reached the two brothers who served with Cunningham, and they vowed a fearful vow of bloody vengeance. With one associate, they set out, as on one of their midnight excursions for plunder, and marched from the Saluda River to Indian Creek. There, surprising the little settlement in the midst of peaceful slumber, they burst into the unprotected homes, dragged four Whig lads from their beds and from the presence of their mothers, heedless of shrieks and entreaties for mercy, and rushing with these prisoners into the forest, put them to death by hewing them in pieces with their swords, amid their piercing cries and supplications. This brutal retaliation was in its turn revenged; one of the murderers being afterward killed by kinsmen of the victims. The thirst of blood was not yet slaked in the brothers Turner, after this horrible deed. In one house they found Stokely Towles—a man whom they knew for an active patriot—prostrated with the smallpox. Not even the fear of contact with this loathsome disease could turn them from their fell purpose. They dragged him from the hole into which he had crept for concealment, and inhumanly butchered him. Could the imagination of a writer of romance picture scenes more terrible or revolting? We give the simple outline of truth, without a tint of coloring; the reader will not be at a loss to fill out the sketch. The fate of the violent and bloody man is foretold.
One of the actors in this tragedy—Dick Turner—was captured by stratagem, not far from his mother's residence. He was brought before the commanding officer of the party. “Tell me,” said the officer, “where are your comrades 2" The prisoner made no reply. “Tell me !” shouted the other, “tell—or—” and he presented a loaded pistol at Turner's breast—“I will shoot you !” “Shoot, and be hanged "was the answer of the fearless ruffian. The officer pulled the trigger, and the robber and murderer fell expiring at his feet. His brother, Ned, remained in Cunningham's corps through the War, and, after its close, was placed, with his associates, under the ban of the State. They were proclaimed outlaws by the Governor, and a reward was offered for every man of them, dead or alive. The remaining members of this notorious band fled for refuge to the vast swamps, and the thickets on the banks of Saluda, Bush, and Little Rivers. In these wild fastmesses, impenetrable save to those who knew how to trace the labyrinths, they remained concealed; were called “outliers,” and were the terror of the honest and industrious families of the settlements. Search for them, however, was not given up by those who had suffered from this ferocious gang, and the hunted outlaws were driven from place to place and found no rest. o Turner left his familiar haunts in the woods and swamps, and took his departure for Florida. His mother lived to a great age, and was respected in the neighborhood, for the guilt of her sons was not imputed to her. After her death, in 1810, Ned ventured back—a worn and aged man—to pay a visit to his kindred in South Carolina, and receive some share of his mother's estate. The sons of Stokely Towles were soon informed that their father's cruel murderer was walking free and unharmed among the scenes of his former violence and crime. “Blood for blood,” was the cry of nature within them. They raised a party, resolute as themselves for vengeance; and marching at night, surrounded the house of Turner's niece, in which he was then staying as a guest.
Colonel Towles, pistol in hand, took his position at the
door. The old man within was soon made aware, by some means, that his enemies had surrounded him, and were determined to visit upon him a fearful retribution. His ancient fire and cunning revived with the pressure of danger. Seizing his clothes, he dressed himself hastily, and stood in readiness; and the instant the door was thrown open, he sprang through it like lightning. Colonel Towles, however, was quick and bold, and prepared for accidents. He fired as the old ruffian dashed past him ; Ned Turner staggered forward a few steps, and fell in the yard, apparently lifeless. The ball had entered his neck. John Towles looked at the body; the man seemed to have breathed his last, but he was not certain, and he called out to his brother to “shoot the old rascal again.” But the colonel refused, and forbade any of the others to do it; it was a shame, he said, to shoot a dead foe. The party quitted the place immediately. Presently, the mistress of the house walked slowly into the yard, to search for the body of her slaughtered uncle. She was weeping loudly, and invoking vengeance on those who had slain him. Her cries and lamentations were interrupted by a faint
sound from the corner of the fence. The victim had crawled there to hide himself. As the startled woman ran to the spot, she was greeted by the words, uttered in a distinct and strong voice: “Don’t be a fool. Bring me my horse. Old Ned ain't dead yet !” The horse was speedily brought. The old man, meanwhile, had arisen, and walked into the house. The bullet had inflicted only a flesh wound, and that an inconsiderable one. He lost no time in preparing to mount his horse, and commence his homeward journey; for he had good reason to fear pursuit from his enemies, should they learn that he was not killed. He reached his home in safety, and there died, having attained a great age. The adventures of Ned Turner would afford material for a novel; and the close of his career inculcates a moral as striking as that illustrated by any fiction.
BY THE SEA.
IN shady nook That peeps down on the sun-kissed sea, A lassie sits with far-off look In loving eyes that seem to me Mirrors of truth and purity.
And all in vain Do little hands caressing stray, And seek to bring her thoughts again To centre on their childish play : For once they've wandered far away.
O daughter mine, I ought to bring you sympathy, And yet I cannot but repine! The love-light in your eyes I see, And know that you are lost to me.
Yet, little one, When it befalls you pass away To be another's light and sun, Though life will lose its glow for aye, I'll try to smile and bless the day.
JEREMIAH THOMSON'S OATH.
JEREMIAH Thomson, the crustiest, most obstinate, altogether unreasonable old bachelor to be found that cold Winter day within the limits of Manhattan Island, sat alone in his handsome, well-filled library, making his will--or, at least, trying to do so—an act in itself ordinary enough and common to most men at some period of their existence, but in this instance only a proof of the would-be testator's infirmity of temper, his sole reason for making this future disposition of his goods and chattels being to prevent their falling into the hands of the nephew who would otherwise legally fall heir to them.
Twenty-five years before, Jeremiah had quarreled finally with the only near relative he possessed—his sister. When the young girl—in defiance of the wishes of her friends and the angry remonstrances of her elder brother —married a man whom all knew to be unworthy in every respect, Jeremiah, with a terrible oath, disowned her for ever, swearing that neither she nor her children should ever receive from him any assistance during his lifetime, nor inherit a penny of his wealth at his death. In the years that followed, his sister had grown to be so entirely apart from his life that the news he accidentally heard of her death one morning ten years before the date of our story had very little power to move him, beyond serving
as a reminder of the oath he had sworn, especially as he, where Jeremiah was known, and there only ? To-day he was told that his sister had left a son.
seemed to find difficulty in the task he had set himself, Testy old Jeremiah was naturally no favorite among for not a soul in the world was sufficiently dear to him to his acquaintances—friends he had none in his own rank figure to his satisfaction in the important document he of life—and what he did with his large income was a was trying to draw up. Should he found a hospital ?
puzzle to his neighbors, who saw the outside of his quiet, | Endow churches or alms - houses ? Build a retreat for simple life in his comfortable but lonely home, with only disabled cats and dogs, or an orphan home? servants for his companions. And how were these “Only for the whole thing to be mismanaged by a lot lookers-on to know that an answer to this question might of idiots !” he muttered, angrily, as these various projects be found among the poor and suffering of New York, I passed through his brain. “Bah! Perhaps a breath of
fresh air will brighten my wits. Just now, the only idea that suggests itself with any sort of clearness is that Cecil Flemyng's son shall never become my heir " Jeremiah Thomson seemed, if possible, more unapproachable that evening than usual, his fellow-members at the club thought, as he gruffly grunted forth the briefest reply to the greetings of some of the more goodnatured among them offered, and unsocially ensconcing himself in the most unfrequented corner, he took up a newspaper, and was soon deep in the rise and fall of stocks. When, finally, he left the club, it was to find a decided change in the weather. A glance at the thermometer at the door showed the mercury to have descended several degrees, and the general condition of mud and stickiness left by the rain which had fallen in the morning had been replaced by a treacherous thin ice, covering Vol. XVIII., No. 1–4.
the puddles, coating the pavements, the houses, the streets—everything—while the driving sleet, blowing directly in Jeremiah's face with blinding, stinging effect, caused him to curse his carelessness in forgetting his umbrella, as he buttoned his overcoat a little closer, and started on his slippery way. But a sort of weakness in the knees and a general feeling of hesitancy and irresolution, told Jeremiah that things with him had changed strangely—something seemed gone that forty years ago would have made this battle with the elements a positive pleasure. Could it be old age creeping upon him 2 On he blundered slowly, with bent head and hat drawn far over his eyes, slipping a little here and there, but, on the whole, making a reasonable amount of progress until an unlucky backsliding of his left foot caused the right heel to come wildly and incauticusly down upon a glaring bit of ice treacherously making even a depression worn in the pavement, which would certainly have brought our old friend's bald head in violent contact with the stones if, just at this opportune moment, a helping hand had not been thrust through his arm, while a cheery, hearty young voice exclaimed: “Two are better than one on such a night as this, sir! I see you have forgotten your umbrella, so I hope you have no objections to sharing mine, with my company thrown in l’’ Jeremiah looked up in surprise, and was about, from mere force of habit, to mutter a gruff refusal of the proffered favor; but the relief afforded by the strong young arm and the shielding umbrella, and perhaps some remnant of shame, changed the uncivil reply into a half-grudging sort of thanks, and the two plodded on, Jeremiah finding that his troubles were comparatively over. The walk was rather long; but, strange to say, Jeremiah did not find it altogether an unpleasant one. On the contrary, the free and easy, unreserved, yet thoroughly courteous remarks of his companion, not wanting in the deference due from a young man to his senior, had an effect upon him which caused Jeremiah to find himself, to his own secret surprise, when the two men reached his own door, inviting his new acquaintance to dine with him at his club the next day. The company of any one who would dare to laugh and jest so easily with his morose old self was a new sensation to Jeremiah, but this was surely his own fault. The next day did nothing to change this favorable impression, rather added somewhat to it, as a bond of sympathy was found in the mutual taste of the two men for the game of chess. Five o'clock, the hour of an imperative engagement elsewhere for the younger man, found them deep in a protracted game, the completion of which had to be postponed until the following evening. As Jeremiah puffed volumes of smoke from his cherished meerschaum that evening alone in his library, he was forced to acknowledge that another new sensation was creeping into his heart, warming it strangely, it seemed to him—he actually heartily liked, and took unfeigned pleasure in, the society of one of his fellow-men. “Upon my word,” he reflected, “I positively don't know the young man's name yet ! I must ask him tomorrow, and, perhaps, something about himself and his prospects. By-the-way, I haven't written that abominable will yet ! If circumstances had only given me such a son as my new acquaintance, the remembrance of my wealth would be some pleasure, instead of the anxiety it now is. But, certainly, Cecil Flemyng's son shall never inherit it. If I only had a boy of my own " And now Jeremiah's thoughts seemed to grow misty and vague. As they gradually separated themselves from the hard, cold realities of to-day, the old man's hair seemed to grow brown and soft again, the blood in his veins warmer and swifter, and the wrinkles in his face
~ smooth, while the wreaths of smoke he was watching,
slowly and faintly at first, finally resolved themselves into a woman's face—that of a blue-eyed girl, now smiling at him from the cloud of smoke, then disappearing for an instant in the vapor, only to peep at him again from behind the tantalizing vail. Then some malicious influence seemed to come between them, and Jeremiah's face grew set and stern, as he seemed to see in the smoke the dark, handsome features of the trusted friend of his youth, George Morrison, whose treachery had robbed him of what was dearer than his life, and made him the gloomy, morose old man whom all his neighbors so carefully “let alone.”
The pipe was almost burned out now, but the last puff of smoke showed him another girl's face, a laughing, saucy little creature, nodding mischievously at him, scarcely more than a child, his sister Claire, whom he had not seen for twenty-five years, dead now ten years ago. The pipe went out, and Jeremiah, with a start, came back to the present, the lonely library, the hard, empty world and his own gray hairs; but the softening influence of that vision of bygone days remained for a little while. Yes, he had been hard on his little sister, who had, only in an important affäir, insisted upon following the inclinations which all her life previously had been law to all about her. Of course he could never have consented to such a marriage, but he wished now that he had seen his sister just once before she died. Then there was her son. It might be that he had been wronged in making that oath. Of course he must live up to it, but perhaps it was a mistake. Poor little Claire . Jeremiah's neighbors would scarcely have recognized the crusty, cross-grained old bachelor that evening in the peaceful, gentle face of the man lying dreaming on the sofa, his empty pipe in his hand. The protracted game of chess finally settled in Jeremiah's favor; a long conversation between the combatants ensued, which drew many a curious glance to that corner of the room. “What has brought old Thomson out of his shell ?” queried one puzzled club member; to which his friend answered, with a shrug of his shoulders: “Diogenes seems to have lit upon an homest man at last !” A few kindly put questions from Jeremiah, showing a friendly interest and goodwill impossible to be misconstrued, drew from his companion a perfectly frank account of his position and prospects, as well as of his hopes and ambitions. He was a lawyer, on the first steps of that road where it is so hard to get on, harder to get honor, and hardest to get honest. Clients as yet he had none, his only possessions, in fact, seeming to be an unlimited stock of hope and energy, and a very fair amount of brains; but in all he said there was an honest manliness, a steady, straightforward firmness of purpose, a courageous, happy confidence in himself and the world about him, with a fund of hope and faith in the future, which pleased and touched his world-weary, embittered auditor strangely. “By-the-way, my young friend,” remarked Jeremiah, breaking into a pause in the long conversation, “among all these questions which I have been rude enough to put to you, I have omitted one which should have been asked the first of all. I don't even know your name.” “'Pon my word, I am a stupid—never to have introduced myself properly l’’ laughed the young man. “My name, sir, is Lloyd Flemyng.” “Flemyng "cried Jeremiah, with an amount of energy which rather astonished his companion. “Can it be that you are in any way connected with Cecil Flemyng 2" “Cecil Flemyng was my father; he died five years ago,” answered the young man, quietly and steadily enough, though his cheek reddened slightly. “The deuce he was "exclaimed Jeremiah, explosively. “I beg your pardon. I knew your mother once before her marriage. Did you never hear her speak of Jeremiah Thomson 2" “I never heard anything of mother's early friends, except that she cut herself entirely adrift from them when she married. Are you going, Mr. Thomson 2 May I offer you half of my umbrella again 2 I see it is snowing.” The only answer Youchsafed to this well-meant offer