Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

1

Where the forest mid the gloom,

Spreads its leafy bowers, Brightest fancy wilt thou roam,

Sporting mid the flowers ;
When the sun-set spirit flings,

O'er the dew its roses,
And the red breast's music rings,

Where rich shade reposes.
When green spring sends forth her breath,

To sport o'er walking nature, Spreads around each flowery wreath

To glad each living creature ;
Where the the streamlet sparkles bright,

O'er earth's verdant bosom,
And the west wind breathes so light,

Scarce it stirs the blossom.
When the leas in youthful green,

On the grassy meadow,
Throws the dark and chequered screen,

Of its cooling shadow;
When the blue-bird pours its song,

From the branch o'erspreading,
And the forest's green among,

Flowers their breath are shedding. When bright summer lights the sky,

With its softened azure, And the hours as on they fly,

Nothing breathe but pleasure ;
When from grass and flow ret's bell,

Tiny notes are ringing,
And the fountain from its cell,

Silver gleams is flinging.
When morn hangs her robe of gold,

On the freshen'd flowers,
And when sun-shine lights the wold,

Music wakes the bowers ;
When the lonely mountain smiles

In the rainbow glory,
And the stream as on it flows,

Laves the willows hoary.
When mild autumn steals along,

Crimson, gold and yellow ;
When leaves choke the fountain's song,

And the fruit is mellow;
When the leas no longer green,

Whispers notes of sadness, And the drooping russet scene,

Speaks no more of gladness. When soft music's saddest tone,

Wakes to grief the weeper, And on high the silver moon,

Cheers the homeward reaper ; When the stars are shining bright,

On the flowers beneath them, Which to ruin's withering blight,

Soon must storms bequeath them.,
When blcak winter chains the stream,

With his shackles dreary,
And no sun-shine's glorious beam,

Lights the day hours weary ;
Wilt thou then, Oh, Fancy, cheer

With song the blazing dwelling? As along the wild winds tear,

And the storm is swelling.

(Concluded.) The New World began now to engage seriously the attention of Eusope. James the 1st of England, had immediately before his death, in 1625, cast a longing eye upon the New-Netherlands, and the desire to ob. tain foothold still prevailed in the breast of Charles his son. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, had as early as 1624, authorized William Usselinx, a Hollander, resid. ing however at Stockholm, to organize a Swedish Trading Company, for the purpose of sounding a colony on the South or Delaware River, but the plan was interrupted by the death of Gustavus on the glorious battle field of Lutzen. It was again revived under the reign of Christina his daughter, sanctioned by Oxenstiern, her chancellor, and finally in 1638 the Swedes gained foot. hold in the valley of Swans, settled previously by the Dutch under De Vreiz.

In 1637 the Patroon Van Rensselaer, after having sent his complement of souls to the colony, embarked from Holland and arrived at the settlement. The village was now known by the nam

name of Beaverwyck, and had enlarged considerably in size, lying under the guns of the fort, and protected also by its own palisades. The Patroon erected his Trading House on the borders of the moat surrounding the fort, and upon the same island that Christianse selected for his redoubt, laid out his grounds, and built and fortified his mansion.

The advantages of obtaining possession of the Fur trade, soon presented themselves to his mind. This valuable traffic had now increased to a considerable extent, the snowy ermine and glossy beaver being sought after in the Courts and Capitols of Europe. To have this trade in his own hands was a very important object to the Patroon, and accordingly he set up a claim to staple-right in his broad estate of Rennselaerwyck, which extended from Barren Island on the south to Monemin's Castle at the mouth of the Mohawk on the north. This staple-right, was a privilege, to compel all vessels trading within his jurisdiction, to sell their cargo at some point specified, or pay certain duties. Finding this right resisted, the Patroon fortified Barren Island, and pro

claimed the right, with the mute eloquence of cannon pointing across the channel of the river. This pro

ceedure was looked upon with a jealous eye, not only by Director General Kieft, at New-Amsterdam, but by the company at home.

In 1644 an incident occurred, which threw the little village of Beaverwyck into a state of great conmotion. The yacht “ Good Hope” whilst peaceably upon her voyage down the river, arriving opposite Barren Island, was required by Capt. Kooren, who commanded there, to lower her flag in deference to the Patroon's staple-right, and refusing, was fired into by the valiant Captain. The tidings of this new quickly. We can imagine the state of affairs at Beaverwyck. The sergeant from the fort, the trader from his little store at the corner—the burgher

from his steep rovfed domicle opposite—the rude scout the dip of oars, and rattling of cordage upon the river. -the batteau steersman, and the hand from the sloop, There were the palisades, stained by exposure, and all meet at the gable-tavern, in the midst of the village, slanting back, there were the steep roofs—and the as usual, to “talk the matter over.” The sergeant of straggling street with its groups of pale faces—there were course, thinks the firing from Rensselaerstein all wrong, the fields of grain and grassy meadows, and, upon the the trader in the employment of the Patroon, thinks it river, the sunset gleam was reflected back from the huge all right, the burgher hesitates in his opinion, not know-batteau, with its poles slanting along its sides, and the ing yet which way his interests incline, the scout, and wide main sail of the sloop, just gliding to the dock, the batteau-man, are indifferent as to who is wrong, so from its return voyage to New-Amsterdam. The conlong as there's prospect of a fight, whilst the sloop-hand trast of the poor solitary Indian, whose ancestors had is boisterous in complaint as to the outrage committed been lords of the region for centuries, with his moccaon Schipper Lookermans of the “Good Hope.” sins tattered from his many days travel, in order to bear

The same excitement prevailed also at New-Amster- his burthen to those, who, in less than forty years had dam. Kooren was arrested, and the fortifications at Bar- become his task masters, is traught with much specula. ren Island protested against. A new cause of contention tive meaning, as to the designs of Providence, in bringalso arose between the Patroon and the Company, in ing the two races together. consequence of the latter claiming all the land that In 1657, the quiet current of affairs in Beaverwyck, could be swept by the guns of the fort, thus carving a was rippled by an incident which, however trivial and large space of the very heart of Rensselaerwyck. This common in older communities, was a cause of great was of course resisted, and the Patroon dying about this pleasure to the inhabitants of the settlement. This, time, the matter was carried on by Brandt Van Sleckten- was the writing of a letter by the West India Comhoorst, in behalf of the orphan heir, with great energy. pany, the bearer being the Reverend Gideon Schaats, Things arrived at such a height at last, that Governor (who sailed from Amsterdam to officiate as the clerStuyvesant, who succeeded Kieft, actually declared war, gyman of the colony,) that they would send a bell by sending a military force, consisting of a dozen men, and a pulpit for the little church newly constructed in who took fourteen days to find their way up, and enter the village. Sweet were the tones of this caller to cd Beaverwyck in all the pomp of battle array. And prayer, echoing amidst the gables of the hamlet, and not only that, but they invaded the fortifieel dwelling of melting over the surface of the river. The rough boatthe late Patroon at Rennselaerwyck, upon the island be. man, as he urged his batteau along the shores, heard the fore named. If the affair of the Good Hope caused a soft chime stealing upon his ear, and knew by the sign sensation, this invasion must have created an excite that the Sabbath had again dawned over the forests; the ment of the wildest character. But happily the page deer drinking at the falls of the Norman's kill, started of History is not stained by the recital of any decds of at the tinkling voice, and shrank into his covert - the slaughter, resulting from the formidable campaign. On Indian, aiming his rifle, looked around with astonishthe contrary, it all ended, probably considering their ment, as the silver echo floated upon the air around habits, in smoke, and certair.ly in paper bullets, cast him, until led to the village by the sounds, he saw in the most unsparingly in the enemy's ranks by Commander humble temple, the pale faces bending in worship to Van Slecktenhoorst. The quarrel was continued, until the Great Spirit of their race. Eloquent was the the worthy commander was thrown into prison at New- preaching of that bell — the wilderness knew it and Amsterdam, and a new Director of affairs at Rensselaer- was glad. wyck appointed. The little settlement continued to in- But while everything was flowing in so peaceful a

The ship from Holland was anxiously looked channel in Beaverwyck, events in Europe were shaping, for, making it quite an event when the news came, which, a few years afterwards, produced an event that brought by some wandering trader, that the losty square broke upon the heads of the settlers like a thunderbolt. hull, and weather stained sails had been seen by him at The New World, as has been already stated, had for the little wharf of New Amsterdam, and when the stores some time attracted the attention of the powers of Eubrought by her, arrived at Beaverwyck, the huge kitchen rope, and particularly France and England. The forhearths cast their gleams upon happy faces, the counte- mer had planted already her standard at Quebec and nance of the industrious vrow seen in contrast to the eb. Montreal, but the latter had acquired no footing in the ony skin of the humble drudge, while the elm-shaded region known as New-Netherlands, although she had instoops of every gable-end-dwelling were crowded by the terposed her claim to the possession of it by discovery. joyful burghers, who made the still evening air vocal In 1664, however, Charles II, in a very summary with their laughter, jests and congratulations.

manner, granted, by charter, to his brother, the Duke The village must have been a beautiful point in the of York and Albany, the whole region from the western vast forests surrounding it. The Oneida Indian con- bank of the Connecticut river, to the eastern shore of cluding his long and weary trial from Couxsachraga or the Delaware, embracing of course, the province of the dismal wilderness, (which name he had given to the New-Netherlands. Not only did he grant the land but triangle of land, formed by the lakes Champlain, On- he sent the same year an expedition consisting of three tario, and the river St. Lawrence) bearing his furs up. ships, one hundred and thirt; guns and six hundred on his back, checked his footsteps upon the o’erhanging men, under the command of Col. Nichols, to enforce ridze, as the peaceful smokes of Beaverwyck met his the claim. Landing at New-Amsterdam, Nichols eye, curling up in the sunset air—whilst his ear was sa- made known his errand, with his guns pointing their luted by voice, whistle and song within the village, and convincing arguments at the palisaded fort and settle

crease.

ment, and the brave old Stuyvesant, the last of the the palisades attended by the shouting and frolicking Dutch Governors, whose line, commenced by Peter negroes: and of merry throngs of both sexes upon the Minuet in 1625, ended now with him, this gray headed wide and shady stoops. Thus passed the foot of Time soldier was forced under the circumstances to lower muffled in down through primitive Albany, until the his flag and surrender the province.

Leisler Insurrection in 1689. Beaverwyck, of course, was included, and the name of In 1686 the village was incorporated as a city, under New-Amsterdam was changed to that of New-York, in Gov. Dongan's administration, and sixteen square miles honor of the one title of the Duke, and Beaverwyck to taken from the now Manor of Rensselaerwyck, for its Albany, after the other.

territory. On the 24th of September, in this same year, the Enterprise and Industry began to hew their way with first convention was held in Albany between the Eng- the axe, through the boundless forest, to some stream, lish and the Iroquois. The latter had now arrived at valley or lake, to raise their cabins. The rude batteau their highest summit of power and greatness. Their more frequently crept up the waters of the Mohawk, war paths extended into every part of this Union; their and the flats of the Genesee bore tokens of the surveytomahawks and scalping-knives enforced obedience upon or’s track, in the huge letters carved upon the trees, every savage nation. Not the red man alone, but the and the piled stones denoting his monuments. whites bowed to their supremacy. The English, as a The same discontent against James II at home, was matter of course, did not overlook the advantages of showed by the inhabitants of the Province. When, thereobtaining and cultivating the friendship which the faith- fore, the news came that William and Mary had succeedful warriors had freely bestowed upon the Dutch. They ed to the throne, through the abdication of James, the succeeded in their endeavors. The confederacy remain- colonies looked to the local authorities for recognition ing true to their interests, till the broken and feeble of their new sovereigns. The Governor and Council remnant of the tribes, under Brant, left the blue lakes refrained from proclaiming the now only legitimate goand green vallies of their former home, and sought a vernment. In this state of things, Jacob Leisler headed precarious existence on the banks of the Grand river in a body of the people - seized the fort at New-York, Canada.

and asserted the authority of the protestant King and This Convention was the beginning of the series held Queen of England. Dislilting and distrusting Leisler, at Albany until the opening of the Revolution, when many of the inhabitants of New-York retired to Albany, the last brand of the Iroquois council fire, which had where, however, gaining possession of the fort, they proburned steadily for more than a century, sank into ashes. nounced also in favor of William and Mary, and orga

Several years after this Convention, the Iroquois dis- nized a convention or a kind of civil and military goplayed their friendship in protecting the interests of the vernment. Leister despatched his son-in-law, MilEnglish against the efforts of the French to obtain pos- bourn, with a force against Albany, to bring it to subsession of the Fur Trade. The stern and warlike Fron-jection. The inhabitants prepared to defend it. Major tenac, Governor of Canada, made desperate exertions Schuyler, so well known under the name of Quider, to divert the channel of this lucrative trade from Albany, threw himself, with a portion of the inhabitants, into but to no purpose. The hatchets of the wild Senecas the fort, whilst the rest flocked to the City Hall, where protected it on the southwestern borders of Lake Erie, Milbourn endeavored vainly to make them adherents and the Cayugas, Oneidas and Onondagas prevented it to his cause. He then attacked the fort, was unsucfrom flowing into the military posts of Quebec and cessful, and left the place. Subsequently, however, Montreal. This kindled a flame in the breast of Fron- taking advantage of the inhabitants resisting an Indian tenac, never extinguished.

inroad, he succeeded in possessing himself of the city, In the year 1673, a war broke out between England and breaking up the Convention. and Holland. A small Dutch squadron commanded by In the month of February, 1689–90, upon a Sabbath Binkes and Evertson appeared before New-York, re- morning, the city was thrown into the greatest exciteduced it, and changed its name to New-Orange. Albany ment and alarm by the tidings that the frontier settle.. also fell again into the possession of Holland, and the ment of Schenectady, numbering about sixty houses, appellation of Williamstadt was substituted.

had been surprised the night before, in a great tempest It was, however, not long that the original owners of wind and snow, by a party of French and Indians, enjoyed possession, the next year beholding a treaty of who had killed sixty of the inhabitants and carried peace solemnized between the nations, and the two twenty-five into captivity. The energetic and couraplaces reduced once more to the British rule, and their geous Schuyler despatched a force, composed of Innames restored.

dians and colonists, which coming up with the retreating Events flowed again in their old channel. There foe, revenged the massacre with their rifles, and reswere occasional repairs of the fort and palisades; some cued many of the prisoners. new building was erected; the settlers wrangled about Convention after Convention was now held between the boundaries of wood-lots; outpost block-houses were the English and Iroquois in the city. The worthy built in the neighboring forests ; a vigilant eye was burghers beheld within their precincts the lofty step and kept upon the Indians of Saratoga and Esopus; the Ciceronean look of Decanesora, the eloquent orator of rising dawn called life and activity into the two grassy the Onondagas—wo expeditions were directed by Fronstreets, forming a green triangle between the sharp tenac against the Iroquois, in the forner of which, roofs; the sunset crimsoned the peaceful scene, of Schuyler pursued the enemy through the sleets and cattle wending homewards from the pastures, outside blasts of a winter tempest and the deep snows of a winter forest, until a floating cake of ice in the upper day. They all see a city bustling with activity, humbranch of the Hudson, alone rescued them from his ming with business, a population of 40,000 giving life grasp. The knife and tomahawk gleamed around the to the scene, its churches showing religious sentiment, palisades of Albany, until the truce of Ryswick, which its seminaries of learning a healthy intellectual state, ended a year's war in Europe, costing 800,000 lives and its streets lined with elegant dwellings and wealthy 480,000,000 sterling of treasure.

stores, its basin paved with the roofs of canal boats, The 17th century then closed with peace reigning and its long pier crowded with river craft, the beautiful throughout the world. A glorious epoch.

steamer, the picturesque schooner, and the long-masted Here ends our brief outline of the early history of sloop. They all see a city of solid wealth and respecAlbany, embracing a period of eighty-six years. To tability going forward in a pathway of sure and certain detail it faithfully and minutely, even in so brief a pe- prosperity. riod, would require a volume. Probably the most in- There is nothing in the whole range of history sa teresting part commences with 1700. It was for a long useful as these surveys over the career of the place in time the theatre of events for a wide extent of country. which we happen to have our habitation. They awaken From causes here, results radiated through every part a juster sense of appreciation-they bring home to us a of the whole province of New-York.

stronger and fuller idea of the toils and privations, those It remains to present two short sketches.

that went before us suffered. The outlines that flit There was shown to the eye of the traveller, in 1750, through the pages of general narrative, are here filled a small city, extending along the river, with high hills up, and stand before us in shape and color. upon the West, clothed with the pine tree. The streets To the inhabitants of Albany the marked traits of the were broad, some paved and lined with trees, the long Dutch character are shown in the greatest relief; their ones parallel to the river, the others intersecting them perseverance—their fortitude-their moral and physical at right angles. One avenue leading up the hill was courage. Bravely did they strike for freedom on the five times broader than the others, and served as a mar- plains of Holland-Dobly in this forest land, did they ket-place. A Dutch Church, with a pointed roof, stood wrestle with the tempest and dare the tomahawk. in the area formed by the angle of State, Market and With the rifle at their side they wielded the axe and Court-streets. It was of stone and had a bell. Upon guided the plough-grasping their weapons, they kneelthe hill overlooking the town on the west side, stood a ed in humble adoration before the God of Heaven. great stone fort, with high walls around it, and directly Not only upon the Hudson, but on the banks of the under it were the English Church and one of the two Connecticut also, was this spirit manifested. Son of markets to which the country people were in the habit New-England as well as of Holland ! let your heart of resorting twice a week. There was a fine Town glow with pride and grateful joy at the contemplation of Hall, south of the Dutch Church, and close to the water your ancestors and the deeds that have made them imside,

mortal. In their forests were strong hearts daily nerv. The houses were neatly built of stone and shingles of ed in trial — strong arms daily listed in conflict. Not white pine, some slated with tiles from Holland, with less bright was the flame of liberty burning in their their gables upon the street. Enormous gutters pro- hearts-not less severe the test to which they were ex. jected over the wide-walks, and wide stoops with seats posed. Whilst the Hollander was defending inch by and swinging doors, were at the front of each dwelling. inch; foot by foot, his native dykes from the legions of Upon these stoops at sunset the population were in the the Spanish Despot, the stern and pure hearted Covehabit of congregating, exchanging salutes and kind nanter was reading his bible by the flash of musketry words with the neighbors, while the air was enlivened amidst the glens and mountains of persecuted Scotland. with the tinkling of the bells as the cows wended home. Clinging to the faith of freedom and the dignity of man, wards or stopped to graze upon the grassy margins of whilst the one stood erect with a breast that had borne the street, and the shrill whistling of the young negro the shock of a thirty year's war, the other spread the domestics lounging behind with their whips and goads. sail over a wildly dashing occan, and found a home and Surely the woods around must have murmured out their an asylum in the Western Wilderness. Here the two joy in pleasant rustlings at such a sweet sylvan scene, races met, and here they followed their destiny. The and the river must have echoed the song with its cool glittering tomahawk shone about their path-the fierce and hollow dashings.

war-whoop rang in their ears - the flames of their A century has scarce elapsed and not a few scattered dwellings, glared around their pillows. But valiantly they tourists on their route to Canada only, but myriad travelers trampled upon danger-gloriously they triumphed over bound in all directions, see the fair city of Albany. despair-in life they never quailed-in death they neThey have arrived either with the up boat (the Knick- ver trembled. When the roar of the British lion sounderbocker probably) or are seated in the long snake-like ed hoarse through the wilderness, and Freedom, like train that has rattled from Boston since the rising of the Pallas from the head of Jove, sprung armed and ready sun, over the Eastern Railroad. In either case the city with the shield upon her breast and the spear within bursts upon their view in a bright amphitheatre, with her grasp, torrent-like did they dash up to the fag she the evening radiance warm upon her summits. Or per- had planted for the contest; American-like did they haps the western merchant, with the stern voice of Nia- struggle, and bleed, and die around their banner, in gara yet roaring in his ears, perceives upon the pine defence of human rights. plains at the outskirts of the city, spire after spire and Let us remember then that we are the sons of those dome after dome, catching the splendor of declining / sires who so nobly acted and suffered. Let us remember

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

I.
How lovely is that glorious sky,

That bends above this summer scene,
How soft the west wind's balmy sigh,

That stirs those bowers of fragrant green,
How sweet the voice of that glad stream,
Which rolls in many a diamond gleam,
These sloping banks between.

II.
One single cloud within the blue,

Of the bright heaven in sleeping fair,
So pure, so snow white, in its hue,

It seems some spirit of the air,
Bending from its majestic height,
To view the earth in summer light,
And in its joys to share.

III.
The wood in twinkling foliage drest,

Chequered with light and deepest shade,
Rejoices in the presence blest,

Of summer in her charms arrayed,
The leaves are whispering on the bough,
To the bright fountain's silver flow,
That sparkles in the glade.

IV.
The maple spreads its canopy

Of leaves, that quiver in the breath of gentle winds, whose balmy sigh

Seems born to kiss each verdant wreath,
And sunbeams light the silver bark
Of the tall beech, whose shadow dark
Lies on the grass beneath.

V.
The birch sends forth its fragrance sweet,

As incense to the soft bright hours,
And cmerald branches closely meet,

O'er verdure gemm’d with countless Aowers,
Or droop a green and graceful arch,
As if to hail the Summer's march,
Within the shadowy bowers.

VI.
The thrush now pipes his flute-like lay,

Where green leaves spread a cooling bower, The blackbird warbles from the spray,

The wild bee hums around the flower,
The butterfly on pinion bright,
Is revelling in the golden light,
The creature of the hour.

VII.
As soft, as bright, as fancy's dream,

That far off landscape melts in light,
In tenderest tints those mountains seem,

To blend themselves with ether bright;
That grassy vale, that sloping hill,
This spreading field, all sweetly fill
With beauty the rapt sight.

VIII.
Here where I sit beneath the shade,

On grass as soft, as bright in hue,
As ever cloth'd a summer glade,

Or ever woo'd the summer dew,
The sunlight falls in chequer'd gold,
While branches like a pall are rollid,
Above my bended head.

IX.
Beneath me from the meadow green,

The songs of rustic labor come.
The scythe is glittering in the sheen

of the bright sun, and in the gloom
of shadows from the fruit trees, lie
The herd, while others wandering by,
Crop the red clover bloom.

X
Within that poplar's trembling breast,

The wind awakes its sportive voice;
Now seems to roam o'er nature's rest,

To find some object of its choice ;
Now enters in that leafy wood,
And all the tangled solitude,
Seems quivering to rejoice.

XI.
And on my brow it whispers sweet,

As is to tell of all the things,
That sporting o'er the green earth, meet

The richest light that summer flings ;
And now and then a wandering bee,
Darts by me in his joyous glee,
With music in his wings.

XII.
And from the vale the streamlet's voice,

Mingles with that of many a bird,
The grass in murmuring songs rejoice,

And near the squirrel's bark is hlard,
From the green wood that spreads its breast,
Like a glad spirit from its rest,
At summer's glowing word.

XII.
The grasshopper, amid the gloom

or shaded moss now chirps his song,
And tiny harps mid nature's bloom,

Waked by each insect, floats along;
How beautiful is Summer, when
Her form is seen by hill and glen,

To sport her charms among. Woman.-Nature has given woman an influence over man, more powerful, more perpetual, than his over her; from birth to death, he takes help and healing from her hand, under all the most touching circumstances of life; her bosom succours him in infancy, soothes him in manhood, supports him in sickness and in age. Such influence as this, beginning at the spring of life, and acting in all its most trying moments, must deteriorate or improve man's character, must diminish or increase his happiness, according to the moral and intellectual gradation of woman. Thus, upon her improvement in particular, depends human improvement in general.

Equality of Condition in Life.-A man born to worldly advantages is esteemed an object of envy by the multitude. Examine such destinies, and in most cases you will find them invalidated by some drawback or incompetency qualifying the magnitude of the blessing. Human life would otherwise be chequered by too cruel an equality of condition ; and the fate of the poor who do lack and suffer hunger, convey too bitter an accusation against the justice of Providence. The evil influences which surround the cradle of the rich often coun. terbalance the blessings of prosperity.

« ForrigeFortsæt »