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man alluded to in the letter, has confirmed the statements of Mr. Alden, in a recent conversation with the compiler.
MEADVILLE, Penn., June 21, 1816. DEAR SIR,
I now do myself the pleasure to give you an account of a very singular case. Possibly you may have met with something analogous to it in your researches, but so far as my inquiries have extended, it is without a parallel.
Mr. Wm. Reynolds, his wife, and children-a respectable family, originally citizens of Birmingham, in Great Britain-settled in the vicinity of Oil creek, twenty-seven miles from this vil. lage, in the year 1797. Miss Mary Reynolds, one of his daughters—a worthy young lady, and an inmate in the family of her brother, John Reynolds, Esq., one of my nearest neighbors is the subject of this communication, upon which I shall be happy to see your animadversions. For five years, she has exhibited the phenomenon of a person vested with a twofold consciousness, or, more definitely, with two distinct consciousnesses.
I became acquainted with Miss Reynolds soon after my removal to this place, in May, 1815, when she was in the exercise of her original consciousness, the last evening of which she spent at my house. The following evening I was at her brother's, where there was considerable company, of which she was one. To my surprise, when I spoke to her, she had no knowledge of me. I was therefore introduced to her anew. My curiosity was excited; and it was gratified by a history of her singular case-of which you will please to accept the subsequent concise narrative.
After arriving at adult age, she was occasionally afflicted with fits, but of what particular technical name I have not been able satisfactorily to ascertain. In the spring of 1811, she had a very severe visitation of this kind. Her frame was greatly convulsed, and she was extremely ill for several days, when her sight and hearing left her, insomuch that she became totally blind and deaf. During twelve weeks, from the time of the fit mentioned, she continued in a very feeble state ; but at the end of five weeks, the use of her visual and auditory faculties was per. fectly restored.
A more remarkable dispensation of Providence, however, awaited her. A little before the ex. piration of the twelve weeks, one morning, when she awoke, she appeared to have lost all recol. lection of every thing, in a manner, she ever knew. Her understanding, with an imperfect know. ledge of speech, remained ; but her father, mother, brothers, sisters, and neighbors, were altogether strangers to her. She had forgotten the use of written language, and did not know a singlc letter of the alphabet, nor how to discharge the duties of any domestic employment, more than a new-born babe. She, however, presently began to regain various kinds of knowledge. She continued five weeks in this way, when suddenly she passed from this second state-as, for distinction, it may be called—into her first. All consciousness of the five weeks just elapsed, was totally gone, and her original consciousness was fully restored.
Now the cloud which had overspread her mental hemisphere was dissipated. Her kindred and friends were at once recognised. Every kind of knowledge which she had ever acquired, was as much at her command as at any former period of her life; but of the time, and of all events, which had transpired during her second state, she had not the most distant idea. For three weeks, to the comfort of herself and of the family, she continued in her first state ; but, in her sleep, the transition was renewed, and she awoke in her second state. As before, so now, all knowledge acquired in her first state was forgotten, and of the circumstances of her three weeks' lucid interval she had no conception; but of the small fund of knowledge she had gained in the former second state, she was able to avail herself, and she continued, from day to day, to add to this little treasure.
From the spring of 1811, the subject of this address has been in this wonderful condition, frequently changing from her first to her second, and from her second to her first state. More than three quarters of her time, she has been in her second state. There is no periodical regu. larity as to the transition. Sometimes she continues several months, and sometimes a few weeks, a few days, or only a few hours, in her second state ; but, in the lapse of five years, she has been in no one instance more than twenty days in her first state.
Whatever knowledge she has acquired, at any time, in her second state, is familiar to her whenever in that state; and now she has made such proficiency, she is as well acquainted with things, and is in general as intelligent, in her second as in her first state. It is about three years since an attempt was first made to re-teach her chirography. Her brother gave her her name, which he had written, to copy. She readily took a pen, agreeably to his request, and it is a fact that she actually began to write it, though in a very awkward manner, from the right hand to the left, in the Hebrew mode. It was not long before she obtained a tolerable skill in penmanship, and, in her second state, often amuses herself in writing poetry; yet, in her first state this is an exercise which she seldom, if ever, attempts. It may be remarked that she acquires all kinds of knowledge, in her second state, with much greater facility than would a person never before instructed.
In her second state, she has now been introduced to many persons, whom she always recognises when in that state, and no one appears to enjoy the society of friends better than this young lady; but if ever so well known to her in her first state, she has no knowledge of them in her second till an acquaintance, de novo, is formed and, in like manner, all acquaintances formed in her second state, must be formed in her first also in order to be known in that.
This astonishing transition, scores of times repeated, always takes place in her slecp. In passing from her second to her first state, nothing is particularly noticeable in her sleep; but in passing from her first to her second state, her sleep is so profound that no one can awake her, and it not unfrequently continues eighteen or twenty hours. She has generally some presentiment of the change, and frequently for several days before the event. Her sufferings, formerly, in the near prospect of the transition from either the one or the other state, were extreme. When in one state, she had no consciousness of ever having been in the other ; but of the wonderful fact she was persuaded on the representation of her friends. Hence, when about to undergo the transition, fearing she should never revert so as to know again in this world those who were dear í to her, her feelings, in this respect, were not unlike the feelings of one entering the valley of thea shadow of death ; but she has now so often passed from one state to the other, that she does ncit anticipate the change with that horror, or distressing apprehension, with which, for a considerable time, she used to do.
As an evidence of her ignorance in her second state, at an early period, she was once walk; ing at a little distance from her father's house, and discovered a rattlesnake. She was delighted at the beautiful appearance of this, to her unknown, dangerous reptile, and sprang forward to catch it Fortunately, the serpent lay near a hole under a log, and, as she seized it by its rattle, thrust its head in, and she was not able to draw it out. At another time she was riding in a narrow path, alone, in the woods, and met a bear, which did not seem disposed to give her the path. She boldly rode up to the huge animal, and in a very imperious style ordered him out of her way; and she was upon the point of dismounting to belabor him with her whip, when he peaceably « cleared off.”
This young lady is naturally of a cheerful disposition, but thoughtful. In her second state, her imagination glows--her wit is keen--her remarks are often shrewd and satirical—and her prejudices, conceived without cause, against her best friends, are sometimes very strong. I remain, dear sir, your respectful, humble servarat,
TIMOTHY ALDEN. The young lady is still living in 1843, is of sane mind and in good health, and is teacher in a school. She has had no return of her peculiar insanity for many years.
MEADVILLE, the county seat, occupies a beautiful flat on the left bank of French creek, nearly opposite the mouth of Cassaw/aga creek, and in the midst of most picturesque scenery. It is 37 miles from Erie, 90 from Pittsburg, and 25 from Franklin. The town is ll out in streets at right angles; the county buildings, and several of the churches, are arranged around a spacious public square, or diamonds of which a view is presented on the following page.
The Gothic edifice in the foreground is the Episcopal church ; the Doric temple, about the centre of the view, is the Unitarian church; the courthouse is seen on the left, and behind it the crópola of the Presbyterian church. Both the public and private edifice s display the cultivated taste of the citizens, and in many instances exhibit pleasing specimens of rural architecture. The neat front yards, with shrubbery and shade trees, and the
the white houses, remind one of a New York or New England village. The character of the citizens for intelligence and urbanity, is in conformity with the external aspect of the place ; and they may justly boast, that, in proportion to its population, there is no village in Pennsylvania that excels Meadville in the number of reading, reflecting, well-cultivated men. Hon. Henry Baldwin, of the supreme court of the U.S., has just completed an elegant rural mansion on an eminence overlooking the village, where he intends passing the evening of his useful life.
H. J. Huidekoper, Esq., extensively known as the agent of the Hol
Public Square in Meadville. land Land Company, keeps the office of the company here. Mr. Huidekoper is a native of Holland, but was one of the earlier settlers in Meadville, and is now one of her more influential citizens. The great case of the Holland Land Co., decided by the supreme court of the U. S., involved not only the rights of that company, but, on account of the great principles at issize, the interests and title of a great portion of the settlers northwest of the Allegheny river. A succinct sketch of the origin of the company, and of the decision upon that case, will be found on page 260.
Meadville contained, by the census of 1840, 1,319 inhabitants. The churches are a Presbyterian, Cumberland Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, and\Unitarian. There is also an academy, several papermills, an oil-mill, an edge-tool manufactory, and quite a number of other mills, driven by threc ample water-power in the vicinity.
On the northernjavorder of the town, Col. Magaw, the inventor of straw paper, had formerly a commodious mill for its manufacture. He had previously conducted a rag-paper establishment. On examining some straw which had been placed at the bottom of a barrel of leached ashes, he observed that it looked soft, and thought it might make paper. Perceiving its toughness and adhesive quality, he chewed some of it, rubbed it on a board, and placed it in the sun to dry. He succeeded in making paper on a small scale, obtained a patent-right, and erected his straw paper mill. It is said an edition of the New Testament was printed upon it, costing only five cents per copy.
The Crawford Messenger, one of the oldest and best papers in the western part of the state, was formerly printed at Meadvisle. _In one of the numbers published in Sept. 1828, the editor, T. Atkinson, Esq., says:
In two months more, twenty-five years will have elapsed since we arrived in this village with our printing establishment, being the first, and for several subsequent years, the only one northwest of the Allegheny river. How short the period, yet how fruitful of interesting events! Our village at that time consisted of a few scattered tenements, or what might properly be termed huts. It is now surpassed by few, if any, in West Pennsylvania, for its numerous, commodious, and in many instances, beautiful dwelling-houses, churches, academy, courthouse, with a splendid edifice for a college; all affording pleasing evidence of the enterprise, the taste, and the liberality
of its inhabitants. Then we were without roads, nothing but Indian paths by which to wind our way from one point to another. Now turnpikes and capacious roads converge to it from every quarter. Then the mail passed between Pittsburg and Erie once in two weeks—now eighteen stages arrive and depart weekly. Then we had not unfrequently to pack our paper on horseback upwards of 200 miles; on 130 of this distance there were but three or four houses—now, how. ever, thanks to an enterprising citizen of the village, it can be had as conveniently as could be desired. Our country is marching onward.
The following facts are derived from Mr. Alden's Magazine. The first improvement in Meadville was commenced by Mr. David Mead, in 1788 and '89. The original plan of the town was conceived in 1790, but was matured and much enlarged by the exertions and influence of Major Alden and Doctor Kennedy in 1795. A blockhouse built during the Indian wars, remained until a short time since. It stood near Mr. Bennet's hotel. The state arsenal is a conspicuous ornament to the place. It was erected in 1816, under the direction of the Hon. Wm. Clark, a little without the town plot, on land presented by the late Gen. Mead. The Northwestern Bank of Pennsylvania was formerly located here.
In 1816, the only churches were the Presbyterian and German Lutheran. As pastor of the former, Rev. Joseph Stockton settled in 1801. In 1808 he removed to Pittsburg, and Rev. Robert Johnson succeeded him until 1817, when the latter also removed to the Yough'ogheny. The Rev. Timothy Alden then officiated as a preacher, but declined the pastoral charge. He was at that time president of Allegheny college. Bentley
Allegheny College. Hall, the principal edifice of this institution, is situated north of the town, on very elevated ground, overlooking a landscape rarely exceeded in beauty. The beautiful village, with its spires and Doric temples the glistening waters of French cr., meandering away through the wide meadows—the canals and roads winding round the headlands, and the hills half cleared and half clothed with the primitive forest-form a fine group for the artist. Allegheny college originated in the public spirit of a number of intelligent citizens of Meadville, at a meeting held 20th June, 1815. Rev. Timothy Alden was appointed President, and Prof. of Languages and Ecclesiastical History, and Rev. Robert Johnson, Vicepresident, and Prof. of Moral Science. The institution was opened 4th
of July, 1816. The act of incorporation was passed 24th March, 1817. $2,000 were granted by this act, and subsequently a further sum of $5,000. On the 28th July of the same year the Rev. Mr. Alden was inaugurated amid an astonishing display of the dead languages. The very valuable library which the institution possesses, was obtained mainly by the untiring zeal of Mr. Alden, who performed one or more tours through the eastern states to solicit aid from learned and benevolent individuals for his infant seminary. The most liberal contributor was the Rev. Dr. Bentley, a Unitarian clergyman, of Salem, Mass., who had spent his life in amassing one of the most rare collections of theological works in the country. Harvard University had set her eyes upon this collection, and having bestowed the preliminary plum, in the shape of an LL. D. diploma, patiently awaited the doctor's demise. She occupied, however, the situation of Esau before Isaac, for Mr. Alden had previously prepared the savory dish, and received the boon; and the name of Bentley Hall now records the gratitude of Allegheny College. Hon. Judge Winthrop, also of Mass., made a bequest to the institution of nearly the whole of his private library, consisting of rare works, valued at $6,500. Isaiah Thomas, Esq., of Worcester, Mass., was another distinguished donor. Notwithstanding these liberal endowments, the institution languished. The country was new, and the inhabitants had but little time or money to devote to literary pursuits. More than this, the institutions at Carlisle, Canonsburg, and Washington, were its more successful rivals for Presbyterian support.
In 1829 an attempt was made to introduce the military system of Capt. Alden Patridge, and, a pupil of his was called to the charge of the institution—but this effoft was also unsuccessful.
In 1833 the institution was transferred to the patronage of the Pittsburg conference of the Methodist Episcopal church. A Roberts professorship, in honor of the venerable bishop, was endowed, and the college re-opened in Nov. of that year, under the charge of Rev. Martin Ruter, D. D., President, and Prof. of Moral Science; Rev. HomerJ. Clark, Vicepresident, and Prof. of Mathematics; and A. W. Ruter, A. B., Prof. of Languages. The institution has since been vigorously and judiciously managed. The Rev. Homer J. Clark has succeeded to the presidency, and is now aided by a Vice-president, and Prof. of Nat. Phil. and Chemistry, a Prof. of Latin and Greek and Class. Lit., a Prof. of Math. and Civil Engineering, a principal in the preparatory department, a teacher of Mathematics, and a teacher of French. The number of students, including those in the preparatory department, was, in 1842, 150.
A canal-boat was launched at Meadville on 28th Nov., 1828, built of materials that were growing on the banks of French cr. the day before! The boat left for Pittsburg on the 30th, having on board 20 passengers, and, 300 reams of paper manufactured from straw.-Crawford Messenger.
Two respectable farmers met in one of the stores of this village last week. The one accosted the other in a familiar way, with “How do you do, George ?” at the same time extending his hand. George eyed the party saluting him with inquisitive interest for some time, but not being able to recognise him, at length exclaimed, “Sir, you have the advantage of me, although I think I have seen you before.” Having perplexed George with numerous remarks, calculated more and more to excite his curiosity, Isaac Mason at length revealed himself to his brother George. The singular fact was then disclosed, that although these brothers reside within the distance of six miles, the one north and the other south, of this village, and each of them almost