網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

This work of President Stiles set at rest the idea of some that Solicitor Cooke was one of the Judges of Charles I., and that he became a refugee to our shores. For it refers to the histories of that time to show, in connection with the testimony of Mrs. Watkins, that Lord Cooke, as Solicitor at the King's “trial and adjudication," was condemned to death and executed in England. Dr. Stiles had also been told of this remarkable woman, that she even "gloried in being a descendant of an ancestor who had suffered for liberty.” The Stillwell family history contains biographical sketches of this eminent man, and of his brother, both of whom were condemned to a barbarous death. Letters written by them in prison, shortly before the execution, exhibit such a spirit of heroic trust in the unerring judgment of God, and of joyous faith in Christ, as to leave no room to question the entire inculpability, in foro conscientiæ.

From sources of information already quoted, and possibly needing some correction, we now subjoin genealogically as follows: One of Mrs. Maunsell's sisters, the oldest daughter of Richard Stillwell, married Lord Alick, and lived and died in a castle built by William the Conqueror. They had no children. The second daughter married Mr. John Watkins, of the Island of St. Nevis, who came to New York long before the Revolution, and became a large landholder in old Harlem, on the North River side, where he lived with his family many years. Portions of his estate there were sold to Dr. Samuel Bradhurst, General Alexander Hamilton and others. The fourth daughter married Col. Clark, B. A.; their daughter married Lord Holland. Our memorandum also states that of the children of John and Lydia Watkins, their second daughter, Lydia, married James Beekman, of New York, whose fine family mansion on the East River side, several miles out of the ancient city limits, stood there for more than a century before its demolition.* On the wall of a lower room in the New York Historical Society building is attached a beautiful relic of this once noted old New York residence, over which is inscribed : “ Drawing Room Mantel and Dutch tiles, from Beekman House, Turtle Bay, built 1763, taken down in 1867. Presented by James W. Beekman.” To the memory of the thoughtful donor, we would fain pay, in passing, the tribute of respect justly due to a man of rare historical and literary culture, and a most worthy representative, both of his honorable ancestry in this country, and of its ancient Dutch Reformed Church, of which he was a member. At the residence of his son, James Beekman, Esq., East 34th St., several old family portraits, life-size, adorn the walls, which for generations graced the Turtle Bay house. Another daughter married a Philadelphian, whose name is not given. One of these, Elizabeth, remem. bered in Mrs. Maunsell's will probated in 1815,-as also “the daughters of Charles Watkins,"—is there designated as the widow of Robert H. Dunkin, Esq., of New York. Their daughter married John S. Van Rensselaer, a lawyer of Albany. Mary died single. John, their oldest son, married Judith, youngest daughter of Governor Livingston of New Jersey. Charles, a merchant, married a Miss Marshall of this city, one of whose ancestors was a Ten Eyck of the original New Amsterdam stock. He was the father of the late Mrs. Williamson, previously mentioned, and of Mrs. John Lewis, a surviving sister, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to whose kind pen we have been indebted for material on the subject of this article. Their widowed mother, at her husband's decease, removed to Elizabeth, and for several years occupied the stately old mansion, which subsequently was long the famous residence of Major-General Winfield Scott. Another son, Dr. Samuel Watkins, lived in Jefferson, now Watkins, Schuyler Co., New York, at the head of Seneca Lake. He was an early proprietor of that picturesque region, and married there, late in life.

* This famous old mansion was occupied for a while, soon after the Revolutionary War, by Chief Justice Richard Morris, it having been granted by the State to him in lieu of his own in Morrisania, seized and burnt by special orders of Governor Tryon, in 1775. Mr. Morris was Judge of the Vice-Admiralty under the crown at the commencement of the war of Independence, but promptly espoused the American cause. Governor Tryon urged him to continue in office until more quiet and profitable times. His noble answer was, that he never would sacrifice his principles to his interest, and that his office was at the Governor's disposal. Thenceforward he was a marked man, and the devastation of his fine estate followed, with the destruction of his dwelling-house on the banks of the Harlem, situated near where the elegant mansion of his grandson Lewis G. Morris, Esq., now stands

The first mention of General Maunsell in the New York public prints, as yet noticed by us, occurs in Holt's Journal and General Advertiser" of October 28, 1773, under the head of "Inward Entries,” thus: “Ship Grace, from Bristol, England, Capt. Chambers ; Col. Maunsell and Mr. Charles Dunn came passengers with Capt. Chambers.” In the same paper, of May 11, 1775, we next find him noticed as follows : “Thursday last, the Harriet Packet sailed with the mail for Falmouth; went out passengers, the Hon. John Watts, and Roger Morris, members of his Majesty's Council for this Province, Isaac Wilkins, member for the Borough of Westchester, Col. Maunsell and others.” This unusual leaving for England, by prominent loyalists, at the outset of the Revolution, is mentioned in the “Ellison Documents,”—under about the same date,-printed in this Magazine (VIII. 284], which thus refers to it: “Several of our principal men are going to England immediately," etc., specifying the same names. New York was then a caldron of patriotic furor, so alarming in its ebullitions that pronounced friends of British rule began to tremble even for their personal safety. Thus the eminent Dr. Chandler, rector of St. John's Church, Elizabeth Town, New Jersey, who had come to New York to embark for England at the same time,-early in May, 1775—states in his MS. and still unpublished diary, that he was advised not to spend a night in the city, but to go at once on board his ship, which he did. He also mentions Col. Maunsell as his fellow-voyager to Europe, although not a fellow-passenger, and further on in his journal, viz., “August 22, 1775," speaks of him as being then in England. Relative to the disturbed condition of affairs in this country at the crisis before referred to, Ellison again records, July 20th, 1775 (VIII. 286]: “This day has been observed as a solemn fast, and sermons were preached in all the churches suitably to the times. There never was a time when fasting and

Vol. XII.–No. 6.-36

prayer, were more necessary, for we are living upon a volcano which, at any time, may burst forth.But it is more to our purpose here to quote from official documents contained in the “Colden Papers,"—in the possession of the New York Historical Society,—Vol. X. pp. 404-5, which not only tell the same dismal story of affairs in the colonies at that epoch, but also vouch for the high character of the subject of this sketch, particularly with respect to the special object of his visit to the mother country, in 1775. These are two letters from the Honorable Cadwallader Colden, President of the King's Council, addressed respectively to Lord Dartmouth and Lord North, dated each, “ New York, 4th May, 1775," and which run as follows, the first being to Lord Dartmouth : “My Lord,—The state of anarchy and confusion into which this Province has run since the actual commencement of Hostilities between the King's troops and the People of Massachusetts Bay, induced several Gentlemen to go over to England with hopes of being able to do something to stop the Effusion of Blood, and the Harms and Calamities of a Civil War, which has already had such terrifying Effects. Among these is Lt. Col. Maunsell, a halfpay officer in his Majesty's service, who with great zeal offered to carry my Dispatches to your Lordship. I have not had more than a superficial acquaintance with Col. Maunsell, but on this Occasion, I have been told by Gentlemen who Know him, that he is a man of Honor and Probity, a warm Friend to the Government, and by a Residence of eleven years in this place, is well acquainted with the General State of the Province. He will be able to give your Lordship a minute Detail of Circumstances, which you may wish to Know. I do not, however, my Lord, deliver up public Dispatches to him, as it is possible he may be detained by sickness or some accident.-If he should arrive in London before the Mail, your Lordship may confide in his account of our present State, which is a total prostration of Government and an Association with the other Colonies to resist the Acts of Parliament and oppose Force to Force. I am &c." The second of these two official letters, addressed to Lord North, reads :

“ New York, 4th May, 1775. My Lord,

Lieut. Col. Maunsell was the person who, on the sudden change that has happened in this Province, took the Resolution of going to England, and engaged a Letter of Introduction to your Lordship. He is an officer on half-pay, served in the last war in America, and has acquired a knowledge of the state of this Colony by a residence of eleven years. He has been an Eye-Witness of the late extraor. dinary events in this place. So many Gentlemen have taken the Resolutions to go over in this Pacquet, that your Lordship may have the best information from a variety of hands."

This letter closes with the mention of the same distinguished persons spoken of in the preceding General Maunsell returned to New York the next year. As to his family residences in this city, Gaine's New York Gazette of Jan. 26, 1776, thus advertises one of them :

“TO BE LET, (and entered oth of April next) The pleasant, healthy and convenient house and five lots of ground, containing 26 acres of land in six enclosures, at Greenwich, where Lieut. Colonel John Maunsell's family now lives.

Oliver De Lancey."

The New York Directory of 1794, gives his residence at that time as 11 Broadway, which was also his widow's home for several subsequent years. She is said to have lived to the advanced age of ninety-seven, and was buried in Harlem, on the family estate. Her will before mentioned contains the following clause : “Whereas I have built a vault on the East River, on a part of my farm in Harlem, where the remains of my late husband, General Maunsell, now are deposited, and wherein, I now direct my remains to be placed by his side, agreeably to his will, said vault to be forever reserved a sacred deposit for the remains of my husband and my own," &c. She speaks of this “farm,” as where her“ present dwelling-house is situate" —which our memorandum says was a frame structure, “standing nearly opposite the old Roger Morris place," adding, that the “Watkins mansion, was of stone, and near the roth mile-stone." The religious clause of Mrs. Maunsell's will is sublimely concise: “I commit my soul into the hands of my Almighty Jehovah Saviour, trusting to his righteousness alone for eternal life.” He was “ a very handsome man, and a true gentleman.” The portrait given is from the photograph of a miniature in the possession of H. M. Schieffelin, Esq., of this city, to whose courtesy we are indebted for its use. We learn from the same gentleman, that Mr. Henry Maunsell Bradhurst, who is living in Europe, has an old portrait of the General, about half-length and life-size. The Rev. Dr. Van Rensselaer, has also a miniature likeness of the general, as well as his uniform coat, and his Prayer-book, with other relics ; and we are informed that Mr. Wm. Chamberlain has a handsome original miniature of our subject in a bracelet. We learn that the late Mr. Maunsell Bradhurst Field was named for John Maunsell Bradhurst, a friend of his father's, and partner in business, and, also, that his cousin, Hickson W. Field, Jr., whose name represents that of another noble old New York merchant, married Mr. Bradhurst's daughter. It has been a peculiar privilege for the writer to offer to the Magazine this record of a distinguished British officer, whose associations with old New York were of so pleasing a character, and whose name has been so long and honorably preserved in family life among us.

WM. Hall.

POLITICAL AMERICANISMS *

It is impossible to look over the columns of a daily journal, especially during the progress of a vigorous political campaign, without encountering numerous expressions and phrases, the meaning of which cannot be learned from any dictionary, but which, to one who is familiar with the current argot of the period, are often quite as vigorously expressive as the most picturesque slang of the streets. The vocabulary of the American politician has indeed become copious beyond what is generally believed, and the glossary presented herewith lays no claim to completeness. It includes, however, a number of phrases which can be found in no other compilation. Some of these have passed out of current use, others are defined according to the best authorities available—often that of gray-haired veterans who may have cast their first vote for Jackson or Clay, and who were in the prime of life during the “Hard Cider" campaign.

It has not always been easy to decide upon the exact meaning of a particular phrase, indeed meanings frequently vary with localities. Doubtless, careful readers will note sundry infelicities of definitions, which in point of fact may be due mainly to local variations.

Wherever these definitions touch upon present issues, they must almost of necessity prove unsatisfactory in one way or another. Supporters of Mr. Blaine, for instance, may naturally think that a definition of the Mulligan letters is out of place in such a glossary, while his opponents will hold that a mere definition is ridiculously inadequate. This instance recalls the fact that while the writer was questioning a highly intelligent elderly gentleman of this city on the subject of certain phrases current half a century ago, the “Mulligan letters” chanced to be mentioned.

“What are those letters," said the old gentleman, “and who was Mulligan ?" The writer opened his note-book and read the brief explanation.

“Well," was the comment, “ of course I have seen no end of stuff about it all, but I never took the trouble to read it.”

He really seemed glad to learn, without spending too much time, just who Mulligan was.

If this be true of a phrase so much bewritten as this, how much less likely are people to know the meaning of such terms as “ Morganize," “ hunker," “ locofoco," and a hundred others, all possessing certain points of interest that may often be traced back to curious derivations?

* Copyright by Chas. Ledyard Norton, 1884.

.

« 上一頁繼續 »