Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812, Chapter XXXVIII - The War on the New England Coast in 1814.






A trying Time for New England. – The Blockade of New London. – Commodore Lewis in Long Island Sound. – Lewis attacks the Blockaders. – Amphibious Warfare on the New England Coast. – New Bedford and Fair Haven. – Sea-port Towns of New England blockaded. – Appearance of Hardy’s Squadron. – The British capture Eastport. – The British Squadron off Portsmouth. – Vigilance of General Montgomery. – Attack on Boston expected. – Alarm in Boston. – Preparations for the Defense of the City. – Citizens at Work on Fortifications. – The British Squadron off Stonington. – Surrender of the Town demanded and refused. – It is bombarded. – Bombardment of Stonington. – Captain Holmes and his Gun. – His Flag nailed to its Staff. – Captain Holmes reopens fire on the British. – A Deputation sent to Hardy. – The Result. – Parting Shots. – Effects of the Bombardment at Stonington. – The Numbers engaged in the Affair. – The Impotency of the Attack. – A British land and naval Expedition leaves Halifax. – It appears off Castine, at the Mouth of the Penobscot. – Flight of Americans from Castine. – The John Adams up the Penobscot River. – The British go up that Stream. – The John Adams at Hampden. – Preparations there to oppose the British. – Gathering of the Militia. – The British arrive at Hampden. – Panic and Flight of the Militia. – The British march on Bangor. – Plundering at Bangor. – Destruction of Vessels. – Outrages at Hampden. – Commodore Morris. – Loss of Property at Hampden. – General Blake censured, but acquitted. – Castine in the Revolution. – New military Works at Castine. – An Oath of Allegiance exacted. – Popularity of General Gosselin. – Departure of the British from Penobscot Bay. – Visit to historic Places on the New England Coast. – Navy Yard at Charlestown. – The Figure-head of the Constitution. – The Place of her Construction. – Forts Pickering and Lee. – Salem Harbor and its Surroundings. – Situation of Marblehead. – Fort Sewall and its Keeper. – A Family of Soldiers. – Marblehead during the Revolution. – A Survivor of the Dartmoor Prison. – Return to Boston from Salem. – Journey to Boston and Voyage to Castine. – Mementos of the War at Castine. – Fort George and View from it. – Remains of Fort Castine. – Remains of Fortifications near Castine. – Voyage up the Penobscot. – Historical Localities. – The Bacon Tree. – A Visit to Hampden. – Journey to Bangor. – Bangor. – Henry Van Meter and his History. – From Bangor to New Bedford. – The Fort at Fair Haven. – Captain Lemuel Akin. – Providence. – New London. – Stonington. – The Hero of Stonington and his Wife. – The Elm Grove Cemetery. – The Denison Family. – Baron de Steuben’s Gold Box. – The faithful Daughter. – Return Home.


"Then, warriors on shore, be brave,

Your wives and homes defend;
Those precious boons be true to save,
And hearts and sinews bend.
Oh, think upon your fathers’ fame,
For glory marked the way;
And this foe aimed the blow,
But victory crowned the day.
Then emulate the deeds of yore,
Let victory crown the day." – OLD SONG.


New England experienced very little actual war within its borders, yet it felt its pressure heavily in the paralysis of its peculiar industries, the continual drain upon its wealth of men and money, and the wasting excitement caused by constantly impending menaces and a sense of insecurity. From the spring of 1813 until the close of the contest, British squadrons were hovering along its coasts, and, in connection with the Embargo Acts, were double-barring its sea-ports against commerce, and threatening the destruction of its maritime cities and villages.

The year 1814 was a specially trying one for New England. The British government, as we have observed, had determined and prepared, at the beginning of that year, to make the campaign a vigorous, sharp, and decisive one on land and sea. Hitherto the more northerly coasts of the United States had been very little molested by the enemy excepting by threatenings, for Commodore Hardy’s blockade of New London and its vicinity had been so mild that it was practically little more than a jailor’s custody of two prisoners – Decatur’s vessels – above that town. Now a system of petty invasions commenced, and were followed by more serious operations.

The blockade of New London was kept up in 1814, and as early as April a party of British seamen and marines, in several small vessels (each armed with a 9 or 12 pounder), under the command of Lieutenant Coote, of the Royal Navy, went up the Connecticut River in the evening, and at four o’clock the next morning [April 8, 1814.] landed on Pautopaug Point, seven miles from the Sound, spiked the heavy guns found there, and destroyed twenty-two vessels, valued at one hundred and sixty thousand dollars. At ten o’clock they went down the river two or three miles to Brockway’s Ferry, where they indulged in similar incendiary sport. In the mean time a body of militia, with some marines and sailors from Decatur’s vessels in the Thames, under Captain Jones and Lieutenant Biddle, gathered on the shore and endeavored to cut off their retreat, but, under cover of darkness that night, and with the silence of muffled oars, they escaped.

At about this time Commodore Lewis made his appearance in the Sound with thirteen American gun-boats for the protection of the coast-trade against the Liverpool Packet privateer, which was cruising very mischievously all along the Connecticut shore. She fled eastward at Lewis’s approach, and when he reached Saybrook he found more than fifty vessels there, afraid to weigh anchor for fear of this corsair. Lewis told them to follow his flotilla, and he would endeavor to convoy them safely to New London. The entire fleet sailed on the 25th [April.], and during the afternoon Lewis had a sharp engagement with a British frigate, sloop, and tender. The merchant fleet entered the Thames in safety, and Lewis, inspirited by his success, determined to attack the blockading squadron with his gun-boats. He began by hurling hot shot, which set the British vessels on fire. He soon disabled the sloop, which, with the frigate, had attacked him while convoying the coasting vessels. He so maimed the frigate that she was on the point of surrendering, when night set in and the fire of the gun-boats ceased. It was excessively dark, and at dawn Lewis saw the enemy in the far distance towing away the wounded vessel. He was about to pursue, when several other frigates made their appearance, and he prudently abandoned the design.

Early in June the enemy commenced depredations on the coasts of Massachusetts. On the 13th a detachment of two hundred men, in six barges, were sent from the Superb and Nimrod, then lying in Buzzard’s Bay, to destroy the shipping at Wareham, a village at the head of the bay. The elevated rocky neck at the mouth of the Narrows concealed the approach of the barges, and the inhabitants were taken by surprise. The enemy fired a ship, brig, and several schooners and sloops. The ship was partially saved, and so also was a cotton factory, which was set on fire by a Congreve rocket. The estimated value of the loss was $40,000. Quite a number of the leading inhabitants were seized and carried away as hostages, so as to prevent the militia from firing on the vessels. These were released when the ships arrived at their anchorage. Similar destruction was inflicted at Scituate and smaller places. Sometimes the militia would meet the marauders and drive them away, but in most cases the blow would be struck before a foil could be raised to avert it.

On the 16th of June the Bulwark, 74, Captain Milne, carrying about ninety guns, anchored off the mouth of Saco River, in Maine, and her commander sent one hundred and fifty armed men, in five large boats, to destroy property on the Neck belonging to Captain Thomas Cutts. That gentleman met them with a white flag, and proposed a money commutation. The matter was referred to Captain Milne, who soon afterward came ashore in his gig. He assured Cutts that he had positive orders to destroy, and could not spare. The torch was then applied, and two vessels (one finished, the other on the stocks), valued at $15,000, were destroyed, and another one taken away, which the owner afterward ransomed for $6000. They also plundered Mr. Cutts’s store of goods to the amount of $2000. 1

At about the same time the Nimrod and La Hogue were blockading New Bedford and Fair Haven, little villages on each bank of the Acushnet River, an inlet from Buzzard’s Bay. They lay in Tarpaulin Cove, watching vigilantly the privateer Yankee, belonging to De Wolfe, of Bristol, Rhode Island, the great slave-merchant. This vessel, and all others of her class, were unwelcome to the New Bedford people, who were Federalists, but right welcome to those of Fair Haven, who were Democrats – a difference of opinion which led to the separation of the two towns. The Fair Haven people cherished all privateers and other enemies of the British, and had, moreover, a fort on their Point, built in the time of the threatened war with France in 1798 on the site of a battery of the Revolution. It now had about a dozen iron cannon on its ramparts, and was guarded by a small garrison under Lieutenant Selleck Osborne, the poet. 2 Of course, the British blockaders did not like the Fair Haven folk, and one dark night they planned an attack on the fort and the destruction of the village. Every thing was ready long before daylight, and the Nimrod was to be the executor of the plan. Just then the tin horn of a solitary mail-carrier was heard, and the clatter of his horse’s feet as he galloped across the Acushnet bridge and causeway sounded loudly upon the night air. The horn was mistaken for the braying of a trumpet sounding an advance, and the rattle of hoofs was interpreted as the forerunner of the approach of a large American force. The Nimrod hastened to withdraw to a safe distance from the fort, and New Bedford and Fair Haven were spared the notoriety of a battle. The fort and its iron cannon yet (1867) remain, monuments of the wisdom of ample preparation for evil.

Other places were menaced, and some were attacked. Formidable squadrons were kept before New York, New London, and Boston. Eastport and Castine fell into the hands of the British, and Stonington became the theatre of a most distressing bombardment. All along the eastern coast, from the Connecticut to the St. Croix, the enemy carried on this kind of warfare, in most cases marauding on private property in a manner which degraded the actors in the eyes of all honorable men to the level of mere freebooters. The more respectable portion of British writers condemned the policy, for it was damaging to the British interest. Hitherto lukewarm New England now became intensely heated with indignation against the common enemy, and burned with a war-fever which made the peace party in that region exceedingly circumspect.

A more serious invasion of the New England coast now occurred. Early in July, Sir Thomas M. Hardy sailed secretly from Halifax [July 5, 1814.] with a considerable force for land and sea service. His squadron consisted of the Ramillies, 74, his flag-ship; the sloop Martin, brig Borer, the Bream, the bomb-ship Terror, and several transports with troops, under Colonel Thomas Pilkington. The squadron entered Passamaquoddy Bay on the 11th, and anchored off Fort Sullivan at Eastport, 3 which was then in command of Major Perley Putnam, of Salem, 4 with a garrison of fifty men and six pieces of artillery. The baronet demanded an instant surrender of the post, giving the commander only five minutes for consideration. Putnam promptly refused compliance, but, on account of the vehement importunities of the alarmed inhabitants, who were indisposed to resist, he yielded his own judgment, and gave up the post on condition that while the British should take possession of all public property, private property should be respected. When this agreement was signed, a thousand armed men, with women and children, a battalion of artillery, and fifty or sixty pieces of cannon, were landed on the main, and formal possession was taken of the fort, the town of Eastport, and all the islands and villages in and around Passamaquoddy Bay. Declaration was made that these were in permanent possession of the British, 5 and the inhabitants were called upon to take an oath of allegiance within seven days, or leave the territory. 6 Two thirds of them complied. The customhouse was opened under British officials; 7 trade was resumed; the fortifications around Eastport were completed, and sixty pieces of cannon were mounted; and an arsenal was established. Several vessels, and goods valued at three hundred thousand dollars, accumulated there to be smuggled into the United States, were made prizes of by the British. The enemy held quiet possession of that region until the close of the war.

Having established British rule at Eastport, and left eight hundred troops to hold the conquered region, Hardy sailed westward with his squadron, spreading alarm along the coast. Preparations for his reception were made every where. Vigilant eyes were watching, and strong arms were waiting for the appearance of the foe at Portsmouth, where little Fort Sumner was manned.

The energetic General Montgomery, 8 of New Hampshire, ordered every tenth man of his brigade to repair to Portsmouth for its defense, and there he commanded in person. Little Fort Lilly, at Gloucester, was armed.


Fort Pickering, near Salem, and Fort Sewall, at Marblehead, were strengthened and garrisoned. Fort Warren, on Governor’s Island, and Fort Independence, on Castle Island, in Boston Harbor, were put in readiness for action, and well garrisoned by Massachusetts militia.

An attack upon the important city of Boston was confidently expected after intelligence was received of the bombardment of Stonington [August 9, 1814.], which we shall presently consider. It was the capital of New England, and the moral effect of its capture or destruction would be great. It was a place for the construction of American war-vessels, which the enemy feared more than armies. On this account its destruction was desirable. It was also a wealthy town, and offered a rich harvest for plunderers. It was well known, too, that it was almost defenseless, for it was not until the descent of the enemy upon Eastport, and his hostile operations elsewhere, had aroused the authorities of Massachusetts from their dreams of peace that any important preparations were made to repel an attack. 10 The people had seen the blockading squadrons from the tops of their houses, and trembled for the safety of the town, but it was not until the close of August that any energetic measures were taken by the leading men of the city toward providing for its defense. Then [August 30, 1814.] a public meeting was called to consider the matter; and a committee, consisting of Harrison Gray Otis, James Lloyd, Thomas H. Perkins, and others, were appointed to wait on the governor, and present to him an address on the defenseless state of the city. They assured him that the people were ready to co-operate in any way for the security of the capital and the state.

Governor Strong, whose opposition to the war was intense, listened to this appeal, and at once instituted measures for the defense of the whole line of the coast of Massachusetts and of the District of Maine, its dependent. The high ground on Noddle’s Island (now East Boston), known as Camp Hill, 11 was chosen for the site of a new and heavy fort, and it was resolved to place its erection under the supervision of Laommi Baldwin, a graduate of Harvard College, as engineer. He issued his first official notice on the 10th of September, when he asked for tools and volunteers to work on the fortification. The response was patriotic. Large numbers of the inhabitants might be seen, day after day, toiling like common laborers with pickaxe, spade, shovel, and barrow. Every class of citizens was represented. "I remember," says an eye-witness, "the venerable Rev. Dr. Lathrop, with the deacons and elders of his church, each shouldering his shovel and doing yeoman’s service in digging, shoveling, and carrying sods in wheelbarrows." 12 The volunteers were soon numbered by hundreds. A regular system of employment was adopted, confusion was avoided, and the work went on rapidly. 13 The fort was completed at the close of October. On the 26th of that month it was formally named, in honor of Governor Strong, Fort Strong, Lieutenant Governor Phillips officiating as the chief actor in the ceremonies. The flag was hoisted amid the roar of artillery from Noddle’s Island, North Battery, and India Wharf; and on the 29th the Selectmen of Boston announced that "the important post of Fort Strong was completed," to the great joy of the people. 14 Happily, it was never needed. 15 A battery of heavy guns was placed on Dorchester Heights (South Boston), and other defenses were prepared on prominent points at Roxbury and Cambridge.

When Commodore Hardy left Eastport he rejoined the blockading squadron off New London. He was not long inactive. He was charged with a part of the duty enjoined in the terrible order of Admiral Cochrane, to destroy the coast towns and ravage the country, and on the 9th of August [1814.] he appeared off the borough of Stonington, in Connecticut, for that purpose, with the Ramillies, 74, Pactolus, 44, bomb-ship Terror, the brig Dispatch, 22, and barges and launches. He anchored his little squadron within two miles of the town at four o’clock in the afternoon, a mile and a half being the nearest point to the village which the depth of water would allow the flag-ship to approach. He then sent a flag of truce ashore, bearing to the selectmen of the town the following message, dated half past five o’clock P. M.: "Not wishing to destroy the unoffending inhabitants residing in the town of Stonington, one hour is granted them from the receipt of this to remove out of the town." 16 "Will a flag be received from us in return?" inquired the magistrates of the bearer of Hardy’s letter. "No arrangements can be made," was the reply; and in answer to a question whether it was the commodore’s intention to destroy the town, they were assured that it was, and that it would be done effectually. Satisfied that no accommodation could be effected, the magistrates returned the following answer: "We shall defend the place to the last extremity; should it be destroyed, we will perish in its ruins!"

The inhabitants were now in a state of great consternation. The sick and infirm, the women and children – all who were incapable of bearing arms, left the village, and the most valuable articles were immediately removed or concealed. A few militia under Lieutenant Hough were stationed on the point of the narrow peninsula on which Stonington stands, to watch the enemy and give notice of his nearer approach; a precaution adopted none too soon, for toward sunset they reported the Terror moving nearer the town by warping, accompanied by barges and launches each carrying a carronade. At eight o’clock the bomb-ship commenced throwing shell from a 13 and a 15 inch mortar, and the launches hurled rockets. This assault, grand in appearance but terrible in fact, was kept up until midnight, when it ceased, and it was ascertained that no life had been lost, and no serious damage inflicted on the shore.

In the mean time an express had been sent to General Cushing, the United States commander of the district, who regarded the movement as a feint to cover a real attack on Fort Griswold, at Groton, and an attempt to seize Decatur’s frigates in the Thames above New London. He made corresponding arrangements with General Williams, the commander of the militia of the district. A regiment was ordered to Stonington; another to the head of the Mystic, to oppose the landing of the enemy there; a company of artillery and one of infantry were sent to a point on the Thames above the frigates; and another company of artillery and a regiment of infantry were ordered to re-enforce the garrison of Fort Trumbull, for the protection of New London. These prompt dispositions of troops disconcerted the enemy’s movements toward the Thames, if he ever had a design of making any.

During the bombardment on the evening of the 9th, some bold spirits at Stonington took measures for opposing the landing of the enemy. The only ordnance in the place consisted of two 18, one 6, and one 4 pound cannon. They dragged the 6 and one 18 pounder down to the extreme point of the peninsula, cast up some breastworks, and placed them in battery there. The other 18-pounder was left in a slight battery on the southwest point, near where the present breakwater leaves the shore. By the streaming light of the rockets they watched the approach of the enemy, reserving their fire until the barges and a launch came in a line near the southeast point of the peninsula, when they opened upon them with serious effect. The guns, loaded with solid balls, were double shotted, and these so shattered the enemy’s vessels that the little flotilla retreated in confusion toward the larger warriors. From midnight until dawn quiet prevailed, and during that time considerable numbers of militia and volunteers assembled in the neighborhood.

At daylight on the morning of the 10th the frigate Pactolus and brig Dispatch were seen making their way up nearer the town, and at the same time the barges and a launch had approached the eastern side of the peninsula, out of reach of the battery and commenced throwing rockets. A number of volunteers, with muskets and the 4-pounder, immediately crossed the peninsula to oppose an expected landing of the enemy, but they could effect little. The Dispatch came beating up, the Terror hurled her shells, and the rocketeers of the barges were industrious. The Pactolus grounded too far distant to hurt or to be hurt, and she was not engaged in the fight that ensued. So severe was the bombardment of the Terror that the militia and volunteers who had assembled dared not enter the town. Most of the missiles went over the borough, but some of them went crashing through the village.


One of them, called a carcass, 17 unexploded, may still (1867) be seen on a granite post on the corner of Main and Harmony Streets, in Stonington. It weighs two hundred and fifteen pounds. 18

At about six o’clock in the morning some bold volunteers came over from Mystic, among whom was the now (1867) venerable Captain Jeremiah Holmes, who had been a prisoner in a British war-ship some years before, and had learned the art of gunnery well. He and his companions made their way to the battery on the point, when Holmes took charge of the old 18-pounder. At that moment the Dispatch was making her last tack preparatory to anchoring. Holmes sighted the gun, which was double-shotted with solid round balls, and at a favorable moment gave the word to fire. Both shots struck the hull of the brig. She at once cast anchor, with springs on her cable, and opened fire with 24-pound shot. The Terror sent shells in quick succession, while Holmes and his companions kept the old iron cannon busy. The fight was now fairly opened, and it continued briskly for about an hour, when Holmes’s ammunition gave out, and the borough was searched in vain for more. At eight o’clock he ceased firing; and to prevent the great gun, which they could not drag away, being turned upon the town by the enemy, he had it spiked.


Stonington was now wholly defenseless, for the militia were at a respectful distance from danger. It was at the mercy of the invaders, and a timid citizen, who was at the battery, proposed a formal surrender by lowering the color that was floating over their heads. "No!" shouted Captain Holmes, indignantly, "that flag shall never come down while I am alive!" And it did not, in submission to the foe. When the wind died away, and it hung drooping by the side of the staff; the brave captain held out the flag on the point of a bayonet that the British might see it, and while in that position several shots passed through it. To prevent its being struck by some coward, Holmes held a companion (J. Dean Gallup) upon his shoulders while the latter nailed it to the staff. It was completely riddled by the British balls fired at the battery. I saw it in Stonington in the autumn of 1860, and the above engraving is a correct sketch of its appearance.

The old cannon was not long silent. Six kegs of powder, taken from the privateer Halka, and belonging to Thomas Swan, had been concealed by sea-weed behind a rock. Their hiding-place was revealed by a lad, and at about nine o’clock the powder was placed in care of Captain Holmes. The cannon was dragged by oxen to the blacksmith-shop of Mr. Cobb, the spiking taken out, and then it was drawn back again to the little redoubt and placed in position. To the astonishment of the British, it reopened fire vigorously. The gun was always double-shotted, and so telling were its missiles that by noon the Dispatch was so much injured that she slipped her cables and hauled off to a place of safety. The Terror kept throwing shells until night, but she was out of reach of the little battery.

During the day quite a number of militia assembled at Stonington, and General Isham took chief command. Order was soon restored, and many of the inhabitants, somewhat reassured, came back to their homes. During the afternoon, a deputation, consisting of Colonel Williams and William Lord, went with a flag to the Ramillies as bearers of a note from the authorities of the borough (signed Amos Denison, burgess, and William Lord, magistrate), in which Hardy was informed that all unoffending inhabitants had left the village, and asked what was to be the fate of the place. They gave him assurances that no torpedoes had been fitted out from that port, and that none should be in the future; and he agreed to cease hostilities and spare the town on condition that they should send on board the flag-ship, by eight o’clock the next morning, Mrs. Stewart, a resident of New London, and wife of James Stewart, the late British consul at that place, who was then in the squadron. The deputation returned, and the Ramillies and Pactolus took station within cannon-shot of the village to await an answer, Hardy having threatened, in the event of noncompliance with his demand, to lay the village in ruins.

At eight o’clock on the morning of the 11th, the authorities, under the direction of General Isham, sent a message to Commodore Hardy, 19 saying (what he already knew) that the borough of Stonington had no power to comply with the requisition. "I will wait till twelve o’clock to-day," said Hardy, "and if the lady shall not be on board my ship at that hour I shall renew the assault on the town."

At three o’clock the Terror resumed the bombardment, and threw shells until evening. A sufficient military force had now arrived to prevent the landing of the enemy, but they could do his shipping no harm.

The night of the 11th was an anxious one for the inhabitants of Stonington. There was an ominous quietude on the water. It was broken at sunrise [August 12, 1814.], when the Terror opened her mortars again. The Ramillies and Pactolus warped up near the town, and at eight o’clock opened fire. At this time an order was given by General Isham for the cannon on the Point to be removed to the north end of the town, where it was supposed the enemy would attempt to land. About twenty of the Norwich artillery, under Lieutenant Lathrop, volunteered to perform that perilous service. They did so without the slightest accident.

In the mean time the Ramillies and Pactolus had given three tremendous broadsides with spiteful vigor, which proved to be a parting salute, and quite harmless. They then withdrew, but the Terror kept up a bombardment until past noon. At four o’clock the assailants all withdrew, and the little squadron anchored far away toward Fisher’s Island. 20

During this whole series of assaults not a single life was lost. One person was mortally wounded, 21 and five or six slightly. Among the latter was Lieutenant Hough. About forty buildings were more or less injured, and two or three were nearly ruined. The rockets and shells set several of them on fire, but the flames were extinguished.


Among the four houses then on the Point, only one remained unaltered when I visited the spot in 1860. This was known as the "Cobb House." It was ancient in form, covered on the sides with shingles instead of clap-boards, and presenting many a scar of wounds received during the bombardment. It stood on Water Street, not far from the site of the battery, and was owned in 1814 by Elkanah Cobb. Of my visit at Stonington and in its vicinity in the autumn of 1860 I shall write presently.

The repulse of the British at Stonington was one of the most gallant affairs of the war, and the spirit there shown by the few who conducted the defense caused Hardy and his commanders to avoid all farther attempts to capture or destroy Connecticut sea-port towns. The assailing squadron had about fifteen hundred men, while the number actually engaged in driving them away did not exceed twenty. 22 It was computed that the British hurled no less than fifty tons of metal on to the little peninsula during the three days. 23 The loss to the British was twenty lives, over fifty wounded, and the expenditure of ten thousand pounds sterling. The affair spread a feeling of joy throughout the whole country, and the result was a deep mortification of British pride. The impotence of the attack was the point of many a squib and epigram. 24

Hardy’s easy conquest at Eastport and its vicinity encouraged the British to attempt the seizure of the whole country lying between Passamaquoddy Bay and the Penobscot River. For this purpose a British fleet, consisting of the Bulwark, Dragon, and Spencer, 74 guns each; the frigates Bacchante (late from the Mediterranean) and Tenedos; sloops-of-war Sylph and Peruvian; and schooner Picton, with ten transports, sailed from Halifax on the 26th of August, 1814. 25

The latter bore almost four thousand troops, under the command of Lieutenant General Sir John Cope Sherbrooke, governor of Nova Scotia, assisted by Major General Gerard Gosselin and Colonel Douglass. The fleet was in command of Rear Admiral Edward Griffith.

It was the intention of Sherbrooke and Griffith when they sailed to stop and take possession of Machias; but on the 30th [August, 1814.] they learned from the commander of the brig Rifleman, with whom they fell in, that the United States corvette John Adams, 24, Captain Morris, had gone up the Penobscot, so they hastened to the mouth of that river to blockade her. Passing up the Green Island channel, they arrived in the fine harbor of Castine, off Cape Bigaduce, 26 on which the pleasant village of Castine now lies, on the morning of the 1st of September.


Lieutenant Lewis, of the United States Army, with about forty men, was occupying a half-moon redoubt which the Americans had erected in 1808. That redoubt, whose embankments were very conspicuous on the edge of the water southward of the village when the writer was there in 1860, was armed with four 24-pounders and two field-pieces. Lieutenant Colonel Nichols, of the Royal Engineers, who had been sent in a small schooner to reconnoitre, sent a summons to Lewis, at sunrise, to surrender. Lewis saw that resistance would be vain, so he resolved to flee. He gave Nichols a volley from his 24-pounders, then spiked them, blew up the redoubt, and, with the field-pieces, he and the garrison fled over the high peninsula to its neck, and escaped up the Penobscot. Colonel Douglass immediately landed from the fleet at the back of the peninsula with a detachment of Royal Artillery and two companies of riflemen, and took quiet possession of Castine, and with it the control of Penobscot Bay. The number of troops landed was about six hundred. Governor Sherbrooke made the house of Judge Nelson his head-quarters, and the court-house and other suitable buildings were occupied as barracks for the soldiers. A number of women also were landed. 28

The John Adams had just arrived from a successful cruise, and on entering Penobscot Bay in thick weather had struck a rock and received so much injury that it was found necessary to lay her down for repairs. She was taken as far out of harm’s way as possible. It was with great difficulty that she was kept afloat until she reached Hampden, a few miles below Bangor, when she was moored at Crosby’s Wharf, with several feet of water in her hold. Some of her crew were disabled by scurvy, and she was almost helpless. This condition and position of the Adams was made known to Sherbrooke on landing at Castine, and he and Griffith immediately detached a land and naval force to seize or destroy that vessel, and treat the inhabitants of the towns on the Penobscot as circumstances might seem to require.

The expedition consisted of the Sylph and Peruvian, a small schooner as a tender, the transport brig Harmony, and nine launches, commanded by Captain Robert Barrie, of the Royal Navy (commander of the Dragon, 74), who acted as commodore. The land forces, seven hundred strong, were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry John, assisted by Major Riddle. The expedition sailed in the afternoon of the day of the arrival at Castine [September 1, 1814.], and, passing Buckston at twilight, anchored for the night in Marsh Bay. In the mean time Sherbrooke and Griffith had issued a joint proclamation, assuring the inhabitants of their intention to take possession of the country between the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy, and offering them protection on condition of acquiescence. All persons taken in arms were to be punished, and those who should supply the British with provisions should be paid and protected.

There was no disposition among the inhabitants along the Penobscot to submit quietly unless absolutely compelled to. On the day when the expedition sailed up the river, information of the fact was conveyed by express to Captain Morris, at Castine, and he at once sent word to Brigadier General John Blake, at his home in Brewer, opposite Bangor, asking him to call out the militia immediately.


Blake mounted his horse, and late in the afternoon was at Bangor, issuing orders for the assembling of the brigade of the tenth Massachusetts division, of which he was commander, and the same evening he rode down to Hampden. There he found Captain Morris engaged in preparations for defense. He had dismantled the John Adams, dragged her heavy guns to the summit of the high right bank of the Soadabscook, fifty rods from the wharf, and placed them in battery there, so as to command the river approaches from below. On the following morning Blake held a consultation with Morris, and citizens of Bangor and Hampden, on the best methods of defense, but opinions were so various that no specific determination was arrived at. Morris had not much confidence in the militia, and declined any immediate co-operation with them. He approved of a proposition to meet the foe at his landing-place, wherever that might be, and expressed {original text has "expessed".} his resolution to destroy the Adams should the militia retreat.

On the morning of the 2d, Belfast, on the western side of Penobscot Bay, was taken possession of by General Gosselin, at the head of six hundred troops, without resistance; and, at the same time, the expedition under Barrie and John, after landing a detachment from the Sixtieth and Ninety-eighth Regiments at Frankfort, at the head of Marsh Bay, proceeded up the river. The detachment marched up the western side of the Penobscot unmolested, and the little squadron arrived at Bald Hill Cove, near Hampden {original text has "Hampton".}, at five o’clock in the evening. The troops and about eighty marines were landed, and bivouacked there during the night in the midst of a drenching rainstorm.

During the 2d, about six hundred raw militia, who had never seen any thing more like war than their own annual parade, assembled at Hampden, and General Blake posted them in an admirable position on the brow of the hill, where the residence of Mr. James A. Swett was standing when I visited Hampden in 1860. He had been joined by Lieutenant Lewis and forty regulars who fled from Castine. The artillery company of Blake’s brigade, commanded by Captain Hammond, was there with two brass 3-pounders; and an iron 18-pound carronade from Morris’s vessel was placed in battery in the highway near the meeting-house, in charge of Mr. Bent, of the artillery. Many of the militia were without weapons and ammunition, and these were supplied, as far as possible, by Captain Morris. Such was Blake’s position on the dark and gloomy morning of the 3d.


Morris in the mean time had mounted nine short 18-pounders from the Adams upon his redoubt on the high bank over Crosby’s Wharf, and placed the battery in charge of Lieutenant Wadsworth, the first of the Adams, assisted by Lieutenants Madison and Purser. With the remainder of his guns he took position in person on the wharf, with about two hundred seamen and marines and twenty invalids, prepared to defend his crippled ship to the last extremity.

The whole region of the Penobscot was enveloped in a dense fog on the morning of the 3d. The British at Bald Hill Cove had been joined by the detachment who landed at Frankfort, and at five o’clock all were in motion toward Hampden. They moved cautiously in the mist, with a vanguard of riflemen. On the flanks were detachments of marines and sailors, with a 6-pound cannon, a 6k-inch howitzer, and a rocket apparatus. The British vessels moved slowly up the river at the same time, within supporting distance.

Blake had dispatched two flank companies to watch and annoy the approaching enemy. Between seven and eight o’clock they reported them crossing the little stream that divides Hampden Corners from Hampden, and ascending the hill to attack the Americans. The fog was so thick that no enemy could be seen, but Blake pointed his 18-pounder in the direction of the foe, and with his field-pieces blazed away with considerable effect, as was afterward ascertained. He had resolved to reserve his musket-firing until the enemy should be near enough to be seriously hurt, but the ordeal of waiting, without breastworks in front, was too severe for the untried militia. The enemy suddenly advanced at a "double-quick," firing volleys in rapid succession. The militia, panic-stricken, broke and fled in every direction, leaving Blake and his officers alone. Lieutenant Wadsworth, at Morris’s upper battery, perceived the disaster in its full extent, and communicated the fact to his chief on the wharf. Morris knew the impending danger. His rear and flank were exposed, and he saw no other way for salvation than flight. He ordered Wadsworth to spike his guns, and with his men retreat across the bridge over the Soadabscook while it was yet open, for that stream was fordable only at low water, and the tide was rising. Wadsworth did so, his rear gallantly covered by Lieutenant Watson with some marines. The John Adams was fired at the same time, the guns on the wharf were spiked, and the men under the immediate command of Morris retreated across the Soadabscook bridge. Their commander was the last man to leave the wharf. Before he could reach the bridge the enemy were on the bank above him. He dashed across the stream, arm-pit deep, under a galling musket-firing from the British, unhurt, and, joining his friends on the other side, retreated, with Blake, his officers, and a bare remnant of his command, to Bangor. From there Morris 30 soon made his way to Portland overland.

The British took possession of Hampden without farther resistance, and a part of their force, about five hundred strong, with their vessels, pushed on toward Bangor. They met a flag of truce a mile from the town, with a message from the magistrates asking terms of capitulation. No other was promised excepting respect for private property. They entered the village at about ten o’clock [September 3.], when Commodore Barrie gave notice that, if required, supplies should be cheerfully sent in, the inhabitants should be unharmed in persons and property. This assurance was scarcely uttered before Barrie gave tacit license to his sailors to plunder as much as they pleased; and almost every store on the western side of the Kenduskeag Creek, which there enters the Penobscot, was robbed of all valuable property. Colonel John, on the contrary, did all in his power to protect the inhabitants.

The British remained at Bangor thirty-one hours, during which time they were quartered on the inhabitants, and compelled them not only to bring in and surrender all their arms, military stores, and public property of every kind – even a few dollars in the post-office – but to report themselves prisoners of war for parole, with the agreement that they would not take up arms against the British. They compelled General Blake to come to Bangor, surrender himself as a prisoner, and sign the same parole. One hundred and ninety citizens were thus bound to keep themselves from hostilities. When this work was accomplished, the selectmen were required to give a bond, in the penal sum of $30,000, as a guaranty for the delivery of vessels on the stocks at Bangor to the commander at Castine by the end of October. The speedy appearance of peace canceled this bond.

Having finished their work, and despoiled the inhabitants of property valued at $23,000, and destroyed several vessels, 31 the marauders left Bangor, and spent the 5th in similar employment at Hampden. There the soldiers and sailors, unrebuked by Barrie, performed scenes which had been enacted at Havre de Grace under the eye of Cockburn. They committed the most wanton acts of destruction. The village meeting-house (now the town-house – see engraving, next page) was desolated. They tore up the Bible and Psalm-books, and demolished the pulpit and pews. They destroyed cattle and hogs as at Havre de Grace. They carried away much private property, and compelled the selectmen to sign a bond for $12,000 as a guaranty for the delivery of vessels at Hampden to the commander at Castine. 32 This bond shared the fate of the one given at Bangor. The total loss of property at Hampden, exclusive of a valuable cargo of brandy, wine, oil, and silk which they found on board the schooner Commodore Decatur, was estimated at $44,000. 33


The indignant sufferers charged a greater portion of their misfortunes to the feeble resistance made by General Blake at Hampden. His tardiness; his non-compliance with the wishes of Morris and others to attack the enemy at their landing-place; his neglect to throw up breastworks on the ridge at Hampden, and other evidence of inefficiency, were regarded as crimes; and he was charged with cowardice, and even treason. The clamor against him was vehement for some time. He was hung, shot, and burned in effigy; 35 and for a while his personal safety was not considered secure in some districts. The public indignation finally cooled, and sober judgment, on considering the crude materials of his little force, acquitted him of every other fault but a lack of competent military ability and experience for the extraordinary occasion. A court of inquiry investigated his conduct, and acquitted him of censure or suspicion. 36

On the 12th of September Sherbrooke and Griffith, with most of the troops and a greater part of the fleet, left Penobscot Bay, and, after capturing Machias, 37 returned to Halifax. General Gerard Gosselin, a gentleman in manners and a brave soldier, was left in command at Castine, and immediately prepared to maintain his position by thoroughly repairing the fortifications there.


Old Fort George, in the centre of the peninsula, which was built by the British in 1779, 38 was repaired, fraised, and armed. The half-moon redoubt was rebuilt. In various parts of the peninsula new works were thrown up; 39 and through the Neck, from Hatch’s Cove to Perkins’s Back Cove, a canal was cut. General Gosselin issued a proclamation [October 31, 1814.], by which he directed all the male inhabitants between the Penobscot and the boundary-line of New Brunswick, above sixteen years of age, to take an oath of allegiance to his majesty, 40 and also of neutrality. By the latter they agreed that they would peaceably and quietly demean and conduct themselves while in that territory; that they would not carry arms, harbor British deserters, nor give intelligence to the king’s enemies during the current war. 41 The selectmen of different towns were authorized to administer these oaths of allegiance and neutrality; and the permanent occupation of the country by the British was quietly accepted by the inhabitants as an inevitable necessity.

General Gosselin made himself very popular at Castine. The officers were quartered in private houses, and paid fairly for all they received from the inhabitants. 42 The soldiers were housed in the court-house and public school building. The barn of Mr. Hook, the collector of the port, 43 was converted into a theatre, and play-actors from Halifax afforded much amusement. Had these new-comers been friends instead of enemies, the inhabitants of Castine would have enjoyed their visit, notwithstanding the citizens suffered many inconveniences. It was not very long. Peace was proclaimed early in 1815, and on the 25th of April [1815.] the British sailed out of Penobscot Bay. 44 The event was celebrated by the people with festivities and rejoicings. Within a few days afterward not an armed enemy remained westward of the St. Croix River and Passamaquoddy Bay. Peace, joy, tranquillity, and prosperity came with the birds and blossoms in the spring of 1815; and from that day until now no foreign enemy has ever appeared on our coast with hostile intentions, and probably never will.


I visited most of the places mentioned in this chapter in the month of November, 1860. Leaving New York in the afternoon of the 16th, I arrived in Boston at midnight, and spent three days there visiting men and places associated with the War of 1812, in company with a friend, 46 to whom I had been indebted for kind attentions and information while seeking materials for my Pictorial Field-book of the Revolution twelve years before.

In East Boston 47 we visited Mr. Samuel Dillaway, who was a soldier and a privateersman in the war. He was captured on board the privateer Sine qua non, put into a prison-ship at Gibraltar, sent to England, and finally exchanged. He informed us that the authorities in charge of the exchange of prisoners, and sending them in cartel ships to America, generally subjected their victims to as much annoyance as possible. They were in the habit of sending prisoners whose homes were in the Northern States to some Southern port, and those from Southern States to Northern ports. This produced exasperation, and in many instances the prisoners rose and took possession of the ship. That was the case when Mr. Dillaway came in the brig Shakespeare. The captain was ordered to a Southern port. The prisoners took possession of the ship and sailed her into Boston.

We went to the site of Fort Strong, in East Boston, 48 saw some of its remaining mounds, and then started to visit Fort Warren, on Governor’s Island, which became famous as a prison for political offenders during the late Civil War. The sea was too rough for a skiff, and we contented ourselves with gazing at the venerable fortress from the highest part of East Boston. We turned, and in a two-wheeled chaise rode over to Charlestown, dined with Mr. Frothingham, the accomplished author of The Siege of Boston, 49 who then lived in the shadow of Bunker’s Hill Monument, on Monument Square, and with him visited Mr. Byron, one of the last survivors of the crew of the frigate Constitution. He was a Baltimorean and a musician. He entered the land service, but, preferring the sea, became a fifer on board the Constitution, and was made a "minute-man;" that is to say, one ready to fight at a moment’s warning. As such he fought gallantly in the actions of that vessel, and was highly commended by his superiors. Mr. Byron was lively and fluent in conversation, and entertained us for an hour with grave and humorous narratives of his experience in the service. He has passed away since my visit.


At Charlestown we visited the national dock-yard, and at the head of the dry-dock saw upon a post, over a lamp, the billet-head which the Constitution had borne during her battles in the War of 1812. 50 It was the one which Commodore Elliott removed in 1834 while she was lying at that station, and put in its place a bust of General Jackson, then President of the United States. The substitution of that image for the old billet-head which had braved the storms of battle and the seas during the War of 1812 was considered an unpatriotic act, and was vehemently denounced by the Opposition as a partisan outrage. Elliott was assailed in newspapers, handbills, 51 and speeches, and was threatened with violence in anonymous letters if he did not remove the obnoxious effigy. He disregarded all complaints; so, one night, early in July [1834.], during a fearful storm of wind, lightning, and rain, a daring young man from New York went out to the ship in a skiff, sawed off the head of the image, and carried it to Boston. Great efforts were made to discover the mutilator of a government vessel, but in vain. The excitement died away, and at near the close of Jackson’s administration the iconoclast went to Washington City, called on the President, frankly acknowledged his exploit, and assured him that it was only a "young man’s dare-devil adventure." He amused more than angered the President, who told him he should not be harmed. 52

In the museum of the Navy Yard at Charlestown we saw a beautiful alabaster model of the monument erected to the memory of Lieutenant Allen, at Hudson, New York. Under it, in a glass-case, were a lock of Allen’s hair, and the bullet which caused his death. We found little else of interest connected with the history of the War of 1812, and, after a brief visit to Bunker’s Hill Monument, returned to Boston.

On the following day the writer went out to Salem by railway, sixteen miles from Boston, and visited Fort Pickering, Marblehead, and other points of interest, in company with a citizen of Salem. It was a cold November morning, and with difficulty the pencil was used in sketching the exterior of Fort Pickering, seen on page 891, and the view of the interior (see next page), drawn while standing on the southern ramparts of the fortification, looking northward toward Beverly. This fort was built in 1798, and named in honor of the eminent Timothy Pickering, who was born in that town, and whose remains lie buried in its soil. It was an irregular work, occupied about an acre of ground, and commanded the harbor and the entrance to the North and South Rivers, as the estuaries are called which embrace the peninsula.


Its embankments, composed of earth and stone, excepting the brick wall in the rear (see picture on page 891), were about eight feet in height, and well preserved. The officers’ quarters (seen on the right), built of brick, and shaded by balm of Gilead trees, were well preserved. There the keeper, Sergeant Reuben Cahoon, resided. He was seventy-one years of age when I was there. He was a soldier on the Northern frontier in 1812, and yet carried a ball in his leg which he received at the battle of Plattsburg. His wife was his only companion.


Not far from Fort Pickering we passed the remains of Fort Lee, near the house of Mr. Welch, at the western end of the causeway leading to Winter Island. It was an irregular work, built at the beginning of the War of 1812, and occupied a very commanding position, especially as the guardian of Beverly Harbor. It also commanded Salem Harbor, in a degree. From its mounds, now eight or ten feet in height, we obtained fine views of Salem, Beverly, and the whole outer harbor. The water which it was chiefly designed to watch over and protect was the estuary called Bass River. It extends up to Danvers, or Old Salem Village, 53 and was the one spanned by the famous "Leslie Bridge" 54 of the Revolution.

Returning to Salem, we rode out to Marblehead. After passing a fine avenue skirted with lofty elms, we crossed the Forest River, near the Forest City Mills, and, ascending the gentle slope of Marblehead promontory, soon came to the village lying at the head of a bay in which there is a good harbor. The village is situated among rocks, and the street lines are so irregular in some places that it appears as if the houses might have dropped from the clouds, and the ways among them had been laid out afterward. It was quite natural for the celebrated Whitefield, on entering the town, and seeing no verdure as indicative of soil, to inquire, "Pray, where do they bury their dead?" 55 It was inhabited chiefly because of its advantages and convenience as a fishing port, a character which it has always borne. 56 Its trade was almost wholly destroyed during the Revolution, 57 but it revived soon afterward.


The harbor of Marblehead is quite spacious, with many rocky islands at its entrance. On the high promontory near the village was Fort Sewall, built in the year 1800, and rebuilt early in the War of 1812.


When I visited it Mrs. Maria T. Perkins was the United States Agent in charge of the property there, having been a resident of Fort Sewall since 1835. She was an energetic woman, and with the greatest courtesy she received and entertained us. On the floor of one of her rooms was a carpet of which she was justly proud. It was made entirely of the clothes of her father (Sergeant Stephen Twist, of the Continental Army) and her two brothers, worn by them during the War of 1812. They were ever afterward in the military service of the United States up to 1857. 60 She was engaged in piecing it during twenty years. The carpet was woven by Mrs. Perkins and her daughter, in Fort Sewall, a few months before my visit, and took a premium at a Fair in Boston.

On returning to Salem I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Benjamin F. Browne, a native of that place, who entered the naval service as surgeon’s mate in the privateer Alfred, in September, 1812, when he was only nineteen years of age. While in the schooner Frolic, in the West Indies, he was captured, taken to Barbadoes, sent to England, and confined six months in the notorious Dartmoor prison, of which I shall write hereafter. The cartel ship Anne, in which he was sent home, was ordered to Norfolk. Most of the prisoners were from New England and New York. They seized the ship, and sailed into New York in June, 1815. Dr. Browne was in the Dartmoor prison at the time of the massacre there, and published an interesting sketch of it in the Democratic Review, 1845. 61 The prisoners were chiefly privateersmen, and a very large proportion of them were from New England. He furnished me with a list of the names of more than one hundred survivors known to be living in the vicinity of Salem at the time of my visit.

In the evening I had an interview with Mr. William Leavitt, a teacher of navigation at Salem, who was living there during the war, and saw the Constitution chased into Marblehead by the British frigates Junon and Tenedos, early in April, 1814. Mr. Leavitt was a careful investigator and chronicler; and he furnished me with a most interesting list of all the privateers fitted out at Salem during the war, and of the names, armament, tonnage, commanders, etc., of all the prizes taken by them during that period.

I passed the night at Salem, returned to Boston the next day, and toward evening departed on a visit to the theatre of the stirring historic scenes on the Penobscot Bay and River, in Maine, in the year 1814. I traveled on the Eastern Railway to Portland, one hundred and seven miles, where I embarked for Belfast, at ten o’clock in the evening, in the steamer Daniel Webster. It was a rough and stormy night on the Atlantic, but we made the voyage of one hundred and thirty miles in good time. When we entered Penobscot Bay at dawn, the storm-clouds had passed away, and the sun shone out brilliantly when we landed at Belfast between seven and eight o’clock in the morning [November 19, 1860.]. Soon after breakfast I sailed in the little packet Spy (formerly a Boston pilot-boat), with raking masts and schooner-rigged, for Castine, on the eastern side of Penobscot Bay. A stiff breeze had sprung up from the northwest, and before it we ran across the bay, thirteen miles, in little more than an hour. It was an exhilarating voyage. We entered the picturesque harbor of Castine at eleven o’clock, and, after a pleasant and profitable interview with Dr. Joseph L. Stevens and Samuel T. Noyes, Esq. (the former a physician and the latter a ship-builder of Castine), I rambled over the interesting peninsula with an intelligent lad who was familiar with the historical localities. A portion of the peninsula is high, rocky, and covered with evergreens, while its southwestern slope is wet and spongy, bare, and abounding in juniper bushes. The village of Castine is beautifully situated on a slope overlooking several picturesque islands. It is said to be the wealthiest town in Maine in proportion to its size, and is the seat of customs of the Penobscot district. 62

We first visited Fort George, 63 the principal military work on the peninsula, which lies northwestward of the town. A sketch of a portion of the ruins from the south bastion is given on page 903, in which one of the casemates is seen. In that bastion was the bomb-proof magazine. That, and all of the casemates, excepting the one delineated, built of brick and stone, had been carried away for building purposes. The fort was a quadrangle, with bastions at each angle. The ditch was dug down to the flat rock, about six feet deep. The banks were about eighteen feet in height from the bottom of the ditch when I visited it, and were covered with a hard sward.

Near the fort lay a 24-pound iron cannon – a relic of the War of 1812 – on a decayed carriage, which the citizens on some occasion had dragged up from the old half-moon redoubt (Fort Porter) on the shore, where two of the same kind yet lay.


The view from the banks of Fort George is very interesting at every point. The little picture gives an outline of the scenery around the head of Penobscot Bay, looking northwestward from the fort. On the extreme right is the entrance to the canal across Castine Neck, cut by the British. This canal was about twelve feet in width and eighty rods in length, and made Castine, or Bigaduce peninsula, an island. It is now crossed by a bridge. Between the promontory seen beyond Brigadier Island (then the property of David Sears, of Boston), near the centre of the picture, is seen the mouth of the Penobscot River. On the extreme left, over the cedar-covered point of land called Banks’s Head, is seen Belfast, thirteen miles distant.


From Fort George we went down the northwestern slope toward the Neck to the remains of Fort Griffith, one of the larger redoubts built by the British, and named in honor of the English admiral. It was intended to guard the Neck. There was another, called Fort Gosselin in honor of the general, just above the present bridge over the canal. After sketching the remains of Fort Griffith, we visited those of two or three others, and then hastened back to Castine, and embarked in the Spy for Belfast. It was toward evening, and the light wind was directly ahead. The voyage was long and tedious, and it was almost eight o’clock before I was admitted to the comforts of a warm supper at our destined haven, where I had the pleasure of meeting Judge Joseph Williamson, son of the historian of Maine, and to whom I am indebted for valuable information.

On the morning of the 21st I left Belfast for Hampden on the steamer Sanford, Captain C. B. Sanford, which plied between Boston and Bangor. The voyage up the Penobscot – the winding, picturesque Penobscot – was a delightful one, and was made particularly instructive to me by Captain Sanford, who kindly pointed out every place and object of interest on the way. Fourteen miles from Belfast we passed Fort Point, a bluff with a lighthouse upon it. 65


Opposite Bucksport, on the rugged hills, the solid masonry of a stupendous fortification, called Fort Knox, in process of erection, was seen, with the small village of Prospect nestled near. A little above we passed Indian Point, made famous as the site of a conflict between the savages and Captain Church, the decapitator of the slain King Philip. Farther on we entered Marsh Bay, in which the British invading squadron lay one night on their way toward Hampden. 66 It is an expansion of the Penobscot, and at its head lies the pretty little village of Frankfort. Westward rises the Musquito Mountain, a huge mass of granite, where, it seems, quarrying might be carried on for a thousand years. In Frankfort, M‘Glathry’s store-house was pointed out as the recipient of a British cannon-ball when the invaders landed there in September, 1814; 67 and about a mile above the landing my attention was called to a thick Norway pine, the only one in that region, which bears the name of "The Bacon Tree."


It is a round, compact tree, its short trunk composed apparently of a group of smaller ones, and the limbs so near the ground that it is difficult to get under it. I had a good view of it through a telescope, by which I was enabled to make the annexed sketch. It derived its name from the circumstance that when the British landed, a citizen of Frankfort, having a large quantity of bacon, carried it to this tree, and hung the pieces in the branches to conceal them from the foe. The measure was successful. The British passed along the road a short distance from the tree without observing its savory fruit, and the man saved his bacon. In a cove off Oak Point, two or three miles above Frankfort, we saw the ribs of the Warren, one of the Massachusetts vessels destroyed by the British when they took Castine in 1779. 68

We landed at Hampden at an early hour, and I went immediately in search of the historical localities of that pleasant town. I called on the venerable Mrs. Stetson with a letter of introduction from a friend in Boston. She was then eighty-seven years of age, and lived in a fine old mansion in the Upper Town, not far from the Soadabscook. Her husband was one of the citizens who was confined as a prisoner on board the Decatur. 69 She gave me a most vivid description of events in Hampden at the time of the invasion; and she furnished me with such directions that, with the aid of a young man whom I had engaged to take me to Bangor in a light wagon, I experienced no difficulty in finding all I had come to see. I went down the winding road to the mouth of the Soadabscook, and sketched Crosby’s Wharf, 70 climbed to the place of Morris’s hill battery, and visited the meeting (now town) house and the site of Blake’s brief encounter with the invaders near the Lower Town. When these pleasant tasks were accomplished, we dined at the hotel, near which I saw a small building, with a little weather-beaten sign-board over the door, that was innocent of all paint excepting the black letters which composed the name of HANNIBAL HAMLIN. It was the law office 71 of that distinguished United States Senator, who a few weeks before had been elected Vice-President of the Republic.

At three o’clock in the afternoon I left Hampden for Bangor, following the road which the British traveled in their march to that place. 72 I spent the remainder of the afternoon in rambling about that fine inland city of the picturesque State of Maine, and was surprised by the great number of schooners that lay in the Penobscot and in the mouth of the Kenduskeag.


There were no less than two hundred and thirty. It was the time for these vessels, engaged in the lumber-trade, to lay up for the winter, and they were rapidly filling the stream below the bridge.

I remained in Bangor two days, and spent a greater part of the time in the company and under the hospitable roof of Dr. John Mason. With him I visited places of interest about Bangor; rode over to Brewer, and sketched the residence of General Blake, 73 and spent some time in the humble dwelling of Henry Van Meter, a remarkable black man, then ninety-five years of age.

He was a slave to Governor Nelson, of Virginia, during the Revolution, became a seaman in long after years, and was one of the crew of the privateer Lawrence which sailed from Baltimore in 1814. 74 He was captured, sent to Plymouth, and confined in the Dartmoor Prison, where he saw the massacre in the spring of 1815. Van Meter’s history, as he related it to me, was an eventful one. 75 His mind seemed clear, and his body not very feeble; and when I had finished the annexed sketch of him he wrote his name, with my pencil, under it, as well as he could without glasses.

I left Bangor on the morning of the 23d [November, 1860.], and, traveling by railway, reached Boston the same evening. A few days afterward, just at twilight, I arrived at New Bedford, 76 spent the evening with Dr. Charles L. Swasey, and made arrangements for a ride the next morning to the old fort near Fair Haven, across the Acushnet, spoken of on page 889 as having been saved from an attack by the British on a dark night in 1814 by the blast of a postman’s tin-horn and the clatter of his horse’s hoofs, which frightened them away. A heavy storm of wind and rain arose during the night; nevertheless we made the journey, and at ten o’clock rode into the parade of the ruined fortress as far as the rocks would allow. The remains of the fort were upon a very rough cape opposite New Bedford, and a mile below the Acushnet Bridge and causeway. It was called Fort Phœnix, and was little more than an 8 or 10 gun battery, whose walls were of hewn stone and earth. Several of the iron cannon (24-pounders) with which it was armed were lying within it, never having been removed since they were placed there in 1812.


The storm was beating so furiously as it came driving in from the sea that our horse became very restive; so the kind Doctor stood out in the blinding tempest, and held him in quietude while, under the cover of the little carriage, I made the annexed sketch of the interior of the fort with all possible dispatch. 77 Then we returned to Fair Haven village, and rode out to the residence of Captain Lemuel Akin, an exceedingly intelligent and well-read gentleman, whose home had been on the sea during a large portion of his long life. 78 For the good cheer with which he welcomed us, and for much valuable information which he gave me then, and afterward in letters, I feel grateful. While at his house the storm abated somewhat. We rode back to New Bedford, and in the afternoon I traveled by railway to Providence, Rhode Island, where I passed Thanksgiving Day most profitably with Dr. Usher Parsons, the surgeon of the Lawrence, Perry’s flag-ship at the time of the battle of Lake Erie, whose name and record of services are familiar to the readers of this volume. From this last survivor of Perry’s commissioned officers I received much valuable and minute information concerning the army and navy on the Niagara frontier and on Lake Erie. 79 Dr. Parsons is still (1867) living, in the enjoyment of excellent health of body and mind.

Early on the morning of the 29th [November, 1860.] I left Providence for New London, on the Thames, fifty miles westward, where I spent the day, as already recorded in the latter part of Chapter XXX. of this work. At sunset I left for Stonington, a few miles eastward, and became the guest of Dr. George E. Palmer, whose house bears evidence of the cannonade in 1814.


On the following morning, accompanied by Dr. Palmer, I visited places of interest about Stonington, among others the old arsenal at the upper end of Main Street, in which were two or three cannon. It was a brick building, somewhat altered since the war, when the door was in the centre where the arch is seen. Toward noon we rode over to Mystic, to visit the venerable hero, Captain Holmes, who performed so conspicuous a part in the defense of Stonington, as already related in this chapter.

We found him and his aged wife in the enjoyment of good health of mind and body, and such is still their condition [December, 1867.].

Mrs. Holmes is a small woman, and retains many marks of the beauty of her earlier years. She was as energetic and patriotic as her husband, and did all a woman could do at the trying time when Stonington was attacked. When, several months afterward, the joyful news of peace came, and the men of Stonington and Mystic were celebrating the event at a public dinner, Mrs. Holmes, justly considering her sex entitled to recognition in the public demonstrations of delight, procured some powder, and, with the aid of other young women, loaded and fired, with her own hands, a heavy cannon, in joyful commemoration of the great event. She bears the distinction of having fired the first salute in that region as a voice of welcome to Peace.


While at Mystic we visited the beautiful Elm Grove Cemetery, in which, as we have observed in note on page 896, the State of Connecticut erected a monument to the memory of Frederick Denison, who lost his life in defense of Stonington. Near that monument was one (delineated in the annexed engraving) in commemoration of the first of his family who resided in that vicinity; 80 and near it (seen to the left of the monument in the picture) was the first tombstone erected in the town of Stonington. 81 It is of dark slate, with the cherub on the arched upper part, which was a fashionable ornament a hundred and fifty years ago.

We returned to Stonington toward sunset, and called on the Rev. Mr. Weston, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, where we saw the beautiful gold box in which the freedom of the city of New York was publicly presented to the Baron de Steuben by the hands of his old friend and aid-de-camp, General North. Around its edge was the following inscription: "Presented by the Corporation of the City of Hew York, with the Freedom of the City." On the lid are the arms of the city, engraved by Maverick. We also saw, in the course of the evening, the famous Stonington flag, delineated on page 894, bearing sixteen stars, the then number of States in the Union. It is bunting, about six yards in length and three yards and a half in width. It was in the possession of Captain Francis Amy, of Stonington.

During that evening I heard many relations of stirring incidents connected with the attack on Stonington. I will repeat only one, a touching narrative of a dying mother and her faithful daughter. The mother (Mrs. Hall) was a poor woman, living in the old barracks near the "Cobb House" (page 896), in the last stages of consumption, and exposed to the British balls when they were hurled upon the town. The people had fled in terror, and none but Huldah, the daughter of the dying woman, remained. She was faithful. Sometimes, when the balls came crashing through the building, she would fly to the cellar, and sometimes to the garret, and then immediately return to the bedside of her mother. At length two or three soldiers rushed into the building, and bore the poor woman away on her bed to the burying-ground near the present Watawanuc 82 Institute, by the railway, where they thought she would be safe. Just as they had laid her on the greensward, a bomb-shell struck near and exploded, by which a deep trench was scooped from the earth. The shock was too much for the poor woman, and she expired. In the grave dug by the shell she was hastily buried, and then the faithful Huldah hurried away to a place of greater safety.

At a late hour in the evening I bade adieu to Dr. Palmer and his excellent family, rode over to New London, and then embarked in a stanch steamer for New York, where we arrived the next morning at the beginning of the first snow-storm of the season. I had seen snow but once before since my departure from the city, and that was on the summits of the lofty Katahdin mountains of Maine, while viewing them from the hills around Bangor at a distance of almost a hundred miles in the far northeast.

So ended a delightful and instructive visit to the eastern coast district of New England, where I gleaned much valuable materials for History, and enjoyed open-handed hospitality that can never be forgotten by the recipient.



1 History of Saco and Biddeford, by George Folsom, page 309.

2 Selleck Osborne was a native of Connecticut, and a printer by trade. He printed a paper in Litchfield about the year 1806. He was afterward an editor in Wilmington, Delaware. He was commissioned first lieutenant of light dragoons in July, 1808, and made captain in 1811. His company was disbanded in May, 1814, and he was acting as lieutenant in garrison at Fair Haven. He went to Lake Champlain, and was engaged in the battle of Plattsburg. In 1823 he published a volume of poems. He died in Philadelphia on the 1st of October, 1826.

3 Eastport is on Moose Island, in Passamaquoddy Bay, which the British claimed as belonging to New Brunswick under the treaty of 1783.

4 After the declaration of war in June, 1812, the United States kept a garrison at Fort Sullivan. At first there were two militia companies, from General Blake’s brigade on the Penobscot, under the command of Major Ulmer. The United States afterward took possession, and substituted regular troops for militia. In the autumn of 1813 Major Putnam was appointed to the command there.

5 It was declared that "the object of the British government was to obtain possession of the islands of Passamaquoddy Bay, in consequence of their being considered within their boundary-line." – Letter from Lieutenant Colonel J. Fitzherbert to General Brewer, of the Washington County Militia, July 12, 1814.

6 A "royal proclamation" to this effect was made by Commodore Hardy on the 14th, in which notice was given that "all persons at present on the island are to appear before us on Saturday next, at ten o’clock in the forenoon, on the ground near the school-house [at Eastport], to declare their intentions," etc.

7 They took all the public property from the custom-house, and vainly endeavored to compel the collector to sign unfinished treasury notes of the value of $9000. He refused, saying "hanging will be no compulsion."

8 John Montgomery was born in Massachusetts in 1769, and was a relative of General Montgomery who was killed at Quebec. He became a spirited and successful merchant, and when the War of 1812 broke out he had just sent a heavy consignment of goods abroad, which were totally lost to him. At that time he was a brigadier general of New Hampshire militia. He was a Federalist in politics, but when his country was in danger he gave the government his support. When Portsmouth was threatened by the British squadron, he took command in person at that place, and there he remained until the danger disappeared.

General Montgomery married a daughter of General Henry Knox, of the Revolution, by whom he had six children, all daughters. He died at Haverhill, New Hampshire, on the 29th of February, 1825 [sic], at the age of fifty-six years. I am indebted to his daughter, Mrs. Samuel Bachelder, of Cambridge, for the above portrait.

9 This view is from the slope back of the fort, looking seaward. On the extreme left, in the distance, is seen Beverly. A little to the right, Misery Island. Still farther toward the right, Baker’s Island light-house. On the extreme right is Marblehead Point.

10 The demonstrations near Saybrook and in Buzzard’s Bay had caused some alarm in Boston early in the summer; and on the 16th of June the governor and council appointed the Honorable David Cobb, John Brooks, and Timothy Pickering commissioners for the defense of the sea-coast.

11 On the crown of present Webster Street, East Boston, near Belmont Square. The fort was between the square and brow of the hill, near the dwelling of Mr. Lamson in 1860.

12 Funeral sermon at the burial of Dr. Lathrop, by his successor, Reverend Dr. Parkman.

13 A superintendent was appointed, who entered in a register the names of the inhabitants who offered their services. The laborers were classified, and particular days assigned for particular classes. The newspapers of that period were filled with accounts of the patriotic ardor of the people of all classes. Notices like the following appeared: "Twenty-five mechanics from each ward in this town will labor on the fortifications on Noddle’s Island. This day (September 14) to embark from the ferry ways at half past six o’clock." – Sentinel, September 14. "Dealers in dry goods and in hardware to meet the next Thursday (20th) to do a day’s work on Fort Strong," the name which it had already been determined to give the new fortification. Other industrial pursuits, trades, and professions, as well as military and civil organizations, were continually represented on the work. Citizens also came from the interior. The Boston Gazette of October 8 has the following paragraph: "Fort Strong progresses rapidly. On Saturday the citizens of Concord and Lincoln, to the number of two hundred, performed labor on it; the punctuality of the patriotic husbandmen deserved the highest praise of their fellow-citizens of the metropolis. The volunteers from wards 1, 3, and 4, together with others, amounted yesterday to five hundred."

14 Sumner’s History of East Boston, page 415.

15 Governor Strong had called an extraordinary session of the Legislature on the 5th of October, and in his short message to that body, after giving the General Government a blow, he said: "But, though we may be convinced that the war in its commencement was unnecessary and unjust," etc., "and though, in a war thus commenced, we may have declined to afford our voluntary aid to offensive measures, yet I presume there will be no doubts of our rights to defend our dwellings and possessions against any hostile attack by which their destruction is menaced."

16 This was received by two magistrates, and Lieutenant Hough of the militia.

17 These carcasses were generally made of iron hoops, canvas, and cord, of oblong shape, and filled with combustibles for burning towns and ships. This one is of cast-iron, and was one of the missiles filled with fetid substances, and called "stink-pots."

18 Their weight varied from sixteen to two hundred and sixteen pounds. One of the carcasses was set on fire, and burned with a flame ten feet in height and emitting a horrible stench. Some of the rockets were sharp-pointed, others not, and all were made of thick sheet-iron, with a fuse. The rocket (which is still in use in modified form) contains in its cylindrical case a composition of nitre, charcoal, and sulphur, proportioned so as to burn slower than gunpowder. The head is either a solid shot, shell, or spherical case-shot. It has a guide-stick attached, like the common rocket in pyrotechnic displays.

19 It was signed Isaac Williams, William Lord, Alexander G. Smith, magistrates; John Smith, warden; George Hubbard, Amos Denison, burgesses.

20 Perkins’s History, etc., of the last War; Reverend Frederick Denison’s paper on the Bombardment of Stonington, in The Mystic Pioneer; Oral statements to me by Captain Jeremiah Holmes; Report of General Cushing.

21 This was Frederick Denison, from Mystic Bridge, a highly-respected young man, nineteen years of age, who was in the battery with Captain Holmes. While outside of the battery relighting the match-rope with which to fire the old cannon, he was struck by a ball from the Dispatch, which shattered his knee. He lingered in pain many weeks, and then died. Over his grave was placed a stone with the following inscription: "If thy country’s freedom is dear in thee, contemplate here congenial virtue. His life was short, but its sacrifice deserves a grateful recollection. His body moulders beneath this stone, but his spirit has fled to the seat of immortality.

"There the brave youth, with love of virtue fired,
Who gallantly in his country’s cause expired,
Shall know he conquered."


In 1856 the State of Connecticut caused a handsome marble monument, eighteen feet in height, to be erected over his grave in the cemetery at Mystic, on which are the following inscriptions:

Eastern Side: "Frederick Denison, died Nov. 1, 1814, aged 19. He was mortally wounded by a shot from the enemy’s brig-of-war Dispatch while acting as a volunteer in the defense of Stonington against the attack of the British squadron, August 10, 1814." Northern Side: "Erected by the State of Connecticut, 1856, that the deed of patriotic devotion may be handed down to other generations, inspiring them with fidelity to our liberties, and prompting them to such sacrifices as shall win their country’s meed." Southern Side: "His life was his legacy, and his country his heir." The tablet with the earlier inscription was lying near this monument.

Young Denison was born in Stonington township on the 27th of December, 1795. He heard the roar and saw the smoke of battle from Mystic on the morning of the 10th, and, borrowing a gun, he crossed the river in a canoe, stopped a moment to speak with his sick father at the homestead, and hastened to the post of danger, where he received his death-blow.

22 The following are the names which have been preserved of the most prominent of the defenders of Stonington: Jeremiah Holmes, George Fellows, Simeon Haley, Amos Denison, J. Deane Gallup, Isaac Miner, Isaac Denison, Horatio Williams, Jeremiah Haley, Asa Lee, William Lord, Nathaniel Clift, Ebenezer Denison, Frederick Denison, ----- Potter, John Miner.

23 About fifteen tons were picked up by the inhabitants of Stonington, and sold to the United States government. The following advertisement appeared in a New York paper on the 19th of November following:

"Just received, and offered for sale, about THREE TONS of ROUND SHOT, consisting of 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, and 32 pounds, very handsome, being a small proportion which were fired from his Britannic majesty’s ships on the unoffending inhabitants of Stonington in the recent brilliant attack on that place. Likewise a few carcasses, in good order, weighing about 200 pounds each. Apply to S. TRUMBULL, 41 Peck Slip."

24 The occasion was the theme of one of the most popular ballads of the time, written by Philip Freneau, the bard of the Revolution, in which the impotence of the attack was set forth in the following verses:

"The bombardiers, with bomb and ball,
Soon made a farmer’s barrack fall,
And did a cow-house sadly maul

That stood a mile from Stonington.

"They killed a goose, they killed a hen,
Three hogs they wounded in a pen –
They dashed away – and, pray, what then?
That was not taking Stonington.

"The shells were thrown, the rockets flew,
But not a shell of all they threw,
Though every house was full in view,
Could burn a house in Stonington."

25 The troops consisted of the 1st company of Royal Artillery; two rifle companies of the 7th battalion of the Sixtieth Regiment; detachments from the Twenty-ninth, Sixty-second, and Ninety-eighth Regiments – the whole divided into two brigades.

26 This is a corruption and diminutive of Majabiguaduce, the Indian name of the peninsula, which the Baron Castine, of whom I shall presently write, wrote Marché-biguitus, the u in the last syllable being pronounced long. It is on the east side of Penobscot Bay, in full view of the ocean.

27 The engraving is a view of the remains of the Half-moon Redoubt as it appeared when I visited the spot in the autumn of 1860, looking southward. On the extreme left, in the distance, are Noddle’s Island, Cape Rozier, and Hook’s Island. Directly over the redoubt is seen the ocean; on the right, the main, with a portion of the Camden Mountains. A little to the right of the redoubt is seen a small beacon at the entrance to the Marché-bigaduce, or Castine Creek. This redoubt was to command that entrance.

28 On the 1st and 5th of September Sherbrooke and Griffith issued joint proclamations assuring the inhabitants ample protection and quietude if they should conduct themselves peaceably.

29 This is a view of Crosby’s Wharf from the month of the Soadabscook Creek, north side, looking south. The place where the Adams lay is indicated by the vessel at the end of the wharf. Hampden is seen in the distance over the wharf. Toward the right is Crosby’s old store-house, and the cleared spot to the right and above it is the place where Morris’s battery was planted. It is the property of the Honorable Hannibal Hamlin, late [1864] Vice-President of the United States. Another store-house, like the one seen in the picture, stood on the end of the wharf, and was burnt when the John Adams was destroyed.

30 Charles Morris was born in Woodstock, Connecticut, on the 26th of July, 1784. He was one of the most useful men in the American Navy. He entered the service as midshipman in July, 1799, and from that day until his death, a period of fifty-seven years, his furloughs and absences from active duty amounted only to two years. He was distinguished in the Mediterranean during the wars with the Barbary powers; and as a volunteer with Decatur in the destruction of the Philadelphia, he was the first on her deck. He was a lieutenant when the War of 1812 broke out, and was the executive officer of the Constitution at the time of her escape from a British squadron (see page 439), and her capture of the Guerriere. In that action he was shot through the body by a musket-ball. He was promoted to post captain in September, 1813, for special services, and took command of the John Adams sloop-of-war. The following year, as we have seen in the text, he was compelled to destroy his vessel. The war closed soon afterward, and he was employed in important services. He was captain of the Brandywine when she conveyed La Fayette back to France in 1825, and he afterward commanded squadrons on the Brazil and Mediterranean stations. His last cruise was in the Delaware in 1844, after which he was almost continually at the head of one of the bureaus in the Navy Department at Washington. At the time of his death, which occurred at Washington on the 27th of January, 1856, he was chief of the Bureau of Hydrography and Repairs. No man in the navy ever stood higher in the estimation of his countrymen for wisdom and integrity.


He was buried, with appropriate honors, upon a beautiful wooded slope in Oak Hill Cemetery, near Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, and over his grave is a beautiful white marble monument, delineated in the engraving, with this simple inscription on its western side, under an anchor enwreathed: "COM. CHARLES MORRIS. BORN JULY 26, 1784. DIED JANUARY 27, 1856."

31 The number of vessels burned was fourteen, and six were carried away. The entire property destroyed or carried away from Bangor was valued at $46,000. – Williamson’s History of Maine, ii., 648, note *.

32 History of Acadie, Penobscot Bay and River, etc., by Joseph Whipple, 1816; MS. History of the British Operations on the Penobscot, by the late William B. Williamson, author of a History of the State of Maine.

33 In the midst of the rapine a committee waited on Barrie, and told him that the people expected at his hands the common safeguards of humanity, if nothing more, when the brutal officer replied, "I have none for you. My business is to burn, sink, and destroy. Your town is taken by storm, and by the rules of war we ought both to lay your village in ashes and put its inhabitants to the sword. But I will spare your lives, though I don’t mean to spare your houses." – Williamson’s History of Maine, ii., 646.

34 This is a view of the old meeting-house, now used as a town-house, as it appeared in the autumn of 1860. On the left is seen the old hearse-house, and in the distance is seen the dwelling of Mr. Swett, mentioned on page 899 as the position of General Blake when attacked by the British on the morning of the 3d of September.


35 A small building was yet standing in Hampden when I was there in 1860, in which the effigy of General Blake was made. It was a cabinet-maker’s shop, the property of George C. Reed, standing about ninety rods from the townhouse. In one corner of it I saw a post into which a cannon-ball entered during the action, and was still lodged. In the shop was a rude candelabra, used on the occasion of exhibiting the effigy. That shop is one of the scarred relics of the fight, and is represented in the annexed engraving.

36 Williamson’s History of Maine, ii., 649.

37 Machias is on the west branch of the Machias River, and capital of Washington County, Maine. At the time we are considering, the fort at that place was garrisoned by fifty United States troops and ten militia, under the command of Captain Leonard. When the British appeared, and it was evident that the fort could not be held, it was blown up, and the garrison retreated to the block-house near. They were forced to fly from that, and escaped.

38 In 1779, the British, under General Francis M‘Lean, took possession of the peninsula of Bigaduce [see note 2, page 897], and commenced the erection of a fort on the high central part of the land. The people of Massachusetts resolved to expel them, for they were on their territory, Maine being then a dependent of the Old Bay State. They sent a fleet of nineteen armed vessels and twenty-tour transports, with almost four thousand men. Commodore Saltonstall was the naval commander, and General Lovell led the troops. M‘Lean was informed of this expedition four days before its arrival in Penobscot Bay, and prepared to receive the Americans. They arrived on the 25th of July, and landed on the 28th. They at once commenced a siege of the fort, and continued it until the 13th of August, when Lovell was informed of the arrival of Sir George Collier with a heavy naval force. He immediately re-embarked his troops on the transports, and had the flotilla drawn up in crescent form across the Penobscot, to dispute the passage until the troops in the boats could flee up the river. Collier sailed boldly in, chased the Americans up the river, destroyed all their vessels, and compelled them to find their way home through the wilderness. The British then completed the fort, which they named George, in honor of the king.

The Twenty-ninth British Regiment, that was at the taking of Castine, was the same that was stationed at Boston at the time of the "massacre" there in 1770. The celebrated Sir John Moore, whose burial was the subject of Wolfe’s immortal poem, commencing

"Not a gun was heard, nor a funeral note," etc.,

was an ensign in this regiment, and, in a letter to a friend, said that the first time he ever heard an enemy’s gun was at Castine on the occasion in question. He then commanded a picket.

39 The following defensive works garnished the peninsula at the close of the year: Fort George; batteries Sherbrooke, Gosselin, Penobscot, Griffith, Furieuse, Castine, and United States; a redoubt called Fort Anne; little batteries on North and West Points, and a block-house. Battery Castine was old Fort Castine, now in the village, and Battery United States was the half-moon redoubt blown up by Lewis. It was originally called Fort Porter, it having been constructed by an officer of that name in 1808.

40 The following was the form of the oath of allegiance, copied from an original, in manuscript, before me:

"I, A. B., do swear that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to his majesty King George the Third. So help me God."

41 The seal and signature of General Gosselin above given I copied from his proclamation in manuscript.

42 See note 1, page 904.

43 Mr. Hook had the good fortune to escape from Castine with the public papers before the British landed.

44 History of Acadie, Penobscot Bay and River, by Joseph Whipple, 1816; History of the State of Maine, by William D. Williams, in two volumes, 1832; MS. Narrative of the War in Maine, placed in the author’s hands by the Hon. Joseph Williamson, of Belfast; Oral and written statements to the author by Dr. John Mason and the widow of the Rev. William Mason, of Bangor; Major Crosby and Mrs. Stetson, of Hampden; Dr. Joseph L. Stevens and Samuel T. Noyes, of Castine, and Judge Williams, of Belfast.

45 A curious memento of the British at Castine was yet in existence when I visited that place in 1860. It was an outline of the British flag above that of the American flag, and the words "Yankee Doodle upset," cut by Lieutenant Elliot, of the British Army, with a diamond on a window-pane in the house of Mrs. Whitney, where some of the officers were quartered. That pane of glass was the only one in the sash at the time of my visit that was not badly cracked. The above engraving is a fac-simile of the diamond-etching, slightly reduced.

46 Frederick Kidder, Esq.

47 Noddle’s Island. It contained 25,000 inhabitants in 1860.

48 Page 892.

49 History of the Siege of Boston, etc., by Richard Frothingham, Jun.

50 The original figure-head of the Constitution was a bust of Hercules. It was shot away in the Tripolitan war [see Chapter VI], and its place supplied with the billet-head delineated in the engraving.

51 One, of these, posted about the streets of Boston, was headed, "FREEMEN, AWAKE! OR THE CONSTITUTION WILL SINK!!" It then went on to say that the President had issued orders "for a colossal figure of his royal self, in Roman costume, to be placed as a figure-head on OLD IRONSIDES." It appealed to the most excitable people and passions to "save the ship" by the cry of "all hands on deck." It asked the citizens to assemble at Faneuil Hall to take action against the outrage. "North Enders!" it exclaimed, "shall this Boston-built ship be thus disgraced without remonstrance? Let this wooden god – this old Roman, builded at the expense of three hundred dollars of the people’s money, be presented to the office-holders, who glory in such worship, but, for God’s sake, SAVE THE SHIP from this foul disgrace." It was signed "A NORTH ENDER."

The Constitution was built where Constitution Wharf now is, at what was called, even before the Revolution, The North End – that is, of Boston. It was the place for ship-building, and from the Revolution until the War of 1812 it was the focus of great political power. Samuel Adams was born in that section of the town, and always had great influence with the people there. The caulkers were a numerous class, and with these Adams held many secret meetings when the revolutionary movements were going on from 1764 to 1774. These were known as the "Caulkers’ meetings," where revolutionary measures were proposed and perfected. From this fact has come the word caucus in our political nomenclature – the private gathering of politicians to arrange for a political campaign. It is said that these caulkers of Adams’s time were mostly descendants of the Huguenots.

52 Oral statement to the author by the adventurer. He is yet (1867) living – a small, fearless, shrewd, energetic business man, with a character above reproach in private life. Upon his address card he yet has the device of a hand-saw, and the words of Cæsar – "I came, I saw, I conquered," in allusion to the exploit of his earlier days.

53 At Danvers Governor Endicott and his associates made the first settlement in 1628. There was the scene of "Salem Witchcraft," and there the famous General Israel Putnam was born. A pear-tree planted by Governor Endicott yet (1867) bears fruit. It was planted at about the time the Stuyvesant pear-tree in the city of New York, that died in 1866, was brought from Holland.

54 See Lossing’s Field-book of the Revolution, ii., 374, note 2. [TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I can find no reference to "Leslie Bridge" in the Field-Book of the Revolution. – WDC, 11/09/2001.]

55 Barber’s Historical Collections of Massachusetts, page 201, note.

56 A hundred years ago there were between thirty and forty ships, scows, and topsail schooners owned in Marblehead, and engaged in foreign trade; and in 1770 it contained a greater number of inhabitants than any town in Massachusetts excepting Boston.

57 The inhabitants were very patriotic. In 1774, when the port of Boston was closed by order of Parliament, the inhabitants offered the use of their harbor to the Boston merchants. They also furnished an entire regiment, fully officered, for the Continental Army. Elbridge Gerry, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born at Marblehead.

58 This sketch was made from the gravelly beach. On the left is seen Fort Sewall, and on the extreme right, in the distance, Marblehead Point. Toward the left, and extending behind Fort Sewall, is seen Lowell Island.

59 In this view, from the entrance to the fort, with back to the harbor, is seen the row of bomb-proof casemates, with arched windows and doors. Above them is seen the officers’ quarters, built of brick, in which Mrs. Perkins resided.

60 The aggregate time of military service by her father and two brothers was about one hundred years.

61 Dr. Browne was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1831, and of the State Senate in 1843. He was in the enjoyment of remarkable health, having never been sick in his life.

62 Castine is a pleasant town of about fifteen hundred inhabitants, whose principal business is fishing and ship-building. It derives its name from the Baron de Castin, a French nobleman, who established a residence there in 1667, married the daughter of Modockawando, a Penobscot Indian chief, built a fort, and opened a profitable trade with the natives, among whom he introduced Christianity in the form of the Roman Catholic Church, and gained the greatest influence over them. The baron lived there thirty years, and then returned to France, leaving his domain in possession of his half-blood son, Castin the Younger, who was a man of some education. When the country fell into the control of the English, after the fall of Louisburg in 1745, the Castine family abandoned it, and it became permanently settled by the English in 1760.

Castin was a foe to the New Englanders. He taught the Indians around him the use of fire-arms, and he frequently co-operated with them in their attacks on the frontier New England settlements. The penalty for these sins of the father was unrighteously visited upon the son, who was really a friend to the English. In 1721 he was secured and carried to Boston, and there kept a prisoner for several months.


The ruins of Castin’s fort, now (1867) in the suburbs of the village of Castine, on the property of Mr. George Webb, are nearly obliterated. Indeed, the mounds now seen are the remains of the embankments cast up in 1812 on those of the ancient fort. In the above view are seen the remains of the fort, Castine River, and the islands in front of the village, with the high head of a peninsula. The highest points are called the Caterpillar and Hackett’s Hills. The little island with the evergreens, between the two vessels on the right, is Noddle’s.

63 On the land of the heirs of Captain Joseph Perkins, near the residence of Charles Abbott, Esq.

64 On the left is seen Banks’s Head, on which were batteries. One was named Furieuse, as it was armed with cannon taken from a French vessel of that name, by the English. On the right is Brigadier Island and mouth of the Penobscot.

65 For the protection of the Penobscot River, Governor Pownall caused a fort to be built on this point in 1759 {original text has "1795".}. He made an expedition from Boston for the purpose with three hundred and thirty-three men. It was completed in July at a cost of nearly £5000. It was named Fort Pownall. Some remains of it may yet be seen. It was garrisoned until the Revolution, when it was betrayed into the hands of the British by a Tory commander.

66 Page 898.

67 Page 899.

68 Note 6, page 902.

69 Page 902.

70 Crosby’s Wharf (see picture on page 899) was erected by General John Crosby, one of the early settlers, who came from Woolwich in 1775. He entered into commercial business there, and carried on an extensive trade with Europe and the West Indies. He was a friend and correspondent of Washington during the Revolution. General Crosby died at Hampden in May, 1843, at the age of eighty-six years. For a more minute account of Hampden and its people, see Coolidge and Mansfield’s History and Description of New England – Maine.

71 Mr. Hamlin settled in Hampden as a lawyer in the year 1832.

72 Bangor is a fine city of about seventeen thousand inhabitants. It is a port of entry and a great lumber dépôt. It is about thirty miles from the mouth of the Penobscot, and was originally called Kenduskeag, from the Indian name of the stream that there enters the river.

73 About a mile and a half above Bangor, on the same side of the Penobscot, was the residence of General Joseph Treat. See note 2, page 807.

74 See page 1006.

75 Henry remembered seeing Washington many times. When Governor Nelson’s estate was sold after the war to pay his debts, Henry became the property of a planter beyond the Blue Ridge, on the extreme frontier. He was discontented, and wished to leave, notwithstanding his master was kind. He wished Henry to marry one of his slave girls, and raise children for him, offering, if he would do so, to order in his will that he should be made a free man at his death. "I didn’t like the gals," said Henry, "and didn’t want to ‘wait for dead men’s shoes.’ So master sold me to a man near Lexington, in Kentucky, and there was only one log house in that town when I went there." He was soon sold to one of those vile men engaged in the slave-trading business, who treated him shamefully. Henry mounted one of his master’s horses one night, and fled to the Kentucky River, where he turned him loose, and told him to go home if he had a mind to, as he didn’t wish to steal him. Some benevolent white people helped him on to the Ohio, and at Cincinnati, then a collection of houses around Fort Washington, he took the name of Van Meter, borne by some of the family of his kind master of the Shenandoah Valley.

Henry became a servant of an officer in St. Clair’s army, and served in the company, in the Northwest, with that commander and General Wayne. After the peace in 1795, he was living in Chillicothe, and came East with some Englishmen with horses, by way of Wheeling, to Philadelphia. In the latter city some Quakers sent him to school, and he learned to read and write. When the war broke out he shipped as a common sailor in the privateer Lawrence, having previously been to Europe several times in the same capacity, and when cast into Dartmoor he held a prize ticket which was worth, when he got home, one thousand dollars. He let a captain have it as security for sixteen dollars. The man died of yellow fever in the South, and Henry never recovered his ticket.

76 The half-shire town of Bristol County, Massachusetts, on the west side of the Acushnet River, an arm of Buzzard’s Bay. It is beautifully situated upon rising ground, and is the child of the whale-fishery, that, and other branches connected with it, having been from the beginning the chief business of the inhabitants. During the Revolution it was a great resort for privateers. A force of four thousand men, under General Grey, fell upon it, and destroyed buildings, wharves, vessels, and merchandise to the amount of more than $320,000.

77 Between the walls of the fort and the wooden building more in the foreground is seen Ceres Island, with the city of New Bedford beyond. Since my visit the fort has been revived. "For five months," Dr. Swasey wrote to me in September, 1861 (six months after the great Civil War had begun), "the old fort has been thoroughly repaired, and garrisoned by the Home Guard of New Bedford and Fair Haven. How little did you or I dream of the events and necessities which have brought about this change, as we stood on that old place that day when you sketched the fort! How mild and gentle was even that storm that beat on our unsheltered heads compared with the tempest of war that has since burst over our beloved land!"

78 Mr. Akin was engaged in the merchant service. He was captured off the Carolina coast by the British frigate Severn, taken to Amelia Island, and sent from there to Bermuda, where he was exchanged. Captain Akin died in 1867, at the age of seventy-five years.

79 See Chapter XXV.

80 Upon it is the following inscription: "GEORGE DENISON, a first settler in Stonington, and founder of the Denison family. Died Oct. 23d, 1694, aged 74 years. This stone is erected by his descendants in 1855. Ann B., his wife, died Sept. 26, 1712, aged 97 years."

81 It bears the following inscription: "Here lyes ye body of Ann Denison, who died Sept. ye 26th, 1712, aged 97 years." This stone is about twenty inches in height. The modern monument is of granite, fifteen feet in height.

82 Watawanuc was the Indian name for the site of Stonington.



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