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and white, would have closed the day of the great centennial year with the proud feeling of peace and prosperity, “Liberty and Union forever.”
But no sooner had the Lincoln cabinet got well seated in power, and the people, without distinction of party, shown their ability and their determination to put down the Rebellion, than the wily politicians of the party set to work to gain permanent political power; and in less than six months began to show their power in preferences and favors, not only in army appointments, but in all contracts. The Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, became so notoriously connected with large contracts for army supplies, etc., at most extravagant prices, in which he had become silent partner,.etc., that even Mr. Lincoln was compelled to notice it. But instead of dismissing him, and thus showing the people that honesty and fidelity should mark the course of his administration, he yielded to the influence of party, and not only superseded, instead of dismissing him, but to please the party, sent him as ambassador to Russia ! From that day the door was open for corruption and fraud in all army contracts,—the influence of the government was to be used' and was used for party advancement, and all who would not sanction, hat in hand, every mad and unconstitutional movement of the party that openly in the Senate declared that "Congress was the Constitution,” were denounced as “rebels"_“favoring secession,” etc., etc., "guilty of treason," "deserved the halter” and all that! The war was prolonged; hundreds of millions were pocketed by party contractors, at the expense of thousands of lives, and the war was not terminated until nearly three thousand millions of debt had been created !
It is needless to add, that when I witnessed such a want of truth and fidelity, such a want of patriotism in the party, at a moment of distressing war of life and death for the Union, I withdrew from the party (but joined no other) and have never given a vote, since the one for honest men, Bell and Everett.
SAYBROOK IN THE EARLY DAYS
By Rev. SAMUEL HART, D.D., D.C.L.
[Read January 27, 1902.]
“SAYBROOK," said the eccentric but observant Dr. Peters when he wrote the History of Connecticut six score years ago, “is greatly fallen from its ancient grandeur; but is, notwithstanding, resorted to with great veneration, as the parent town of the whole colony.”
There are settlements to the north and to the west of the mouth of the Great River, which might contest the right of the place for which I venture to speak to-night to be called “the parent town”; but in Saybrook we still claim great veneration as our due and have not lost all memory of our ancient grandeur. We do not concede that there was any permanent settlement, in the river towns before the first permanent fort was built at the river's mouth for the defense of the stream and plans were made for the residences of “men of quality” and the dwellings and farms of people of the humbler sort; and we recall the fact that the settlers at Saybrook were ready to assert rights of sovereignty by levying duties on goods which were destined for the colonists further up the stream. And we remember that with the men who crossed the ocean to make their home at the “fair haven” to the west were some who came to augment the company already at the fort, including one who had made an earlier visit there three years before, now bringing with him his wife, the heroine of Saybrook's early annals.
But we have a legendary history which reaches further back. Save for the records of early combats with the natives and for the traces which we find, for the more part beneath the sod, of what they did in war and in peace, we know next to nothing of those who occupied the plain, the meadows, and the hills before the eyes of enterprising Europeans saw the mouth of the quiet river. One Obed has left his name to a rough stone which is called his altar; but he was a "survival” in the days of the Platform, and his life was affected by civilization. Perhaps Adrian Block, in his venturesome voyage in 1614 from New Amsterdam through Hell Gate to Cape Cod, was the first European to spy out the sites on the north coast of the Sound which seemed best fitted for settlement, and Saybrook Point or Lynde's Point must have been one of the places where the Dutch traders in following years landed that they might carry on their trade with the Indians. They claimed that in 1632 they bought a neck of land at the mouth of the river, a place which the Indians called Pashbeshauke and which they themselves named Kieveets Hoek from the birds (called by the English peeweets) which they saw flying about the place; and that in the following year they purchased in like manner the Dutch Point, where they built their House of Good Hope, on the south side of the little stream which flows into the great river hard by the spot where the English soon founded their New Town. This, it would seem, they fortified without attempting to establish a garrison at the river's mouth; for we read that when in 1633 a company from Plymouth sailed up the river to effect a settlement at what is now Windsor—they proposed to make it New Plymouth—they encountered opposition only as they passed by the point six miles below the place where they intended to land. The Dutch there used strong words, and at least threatened to fire off guns, which probably could have done no more harm than the words did; and the Englishmen sailed by. There is a story as to the posting of some sort of a proclamation or claim of sovereignty at Kieveets Hoek with the arms of the Dutch States General, and that it was, with at least the appearance of boldness, taken down by some asserted prior rights for or under the English Crown; but this does not appear to have recognition from sober historians. Doubtless the Dutch made claims of discovery and occupancy and pushed their trade wherever they could; and against them the English asserted rights based on patents and grants of title, which they presently defended either by attempting to dislodge the Dutch or by warning them to depart and then leaving them alone, thus giving the first example of that policy of Connecticut which has been successfully followed in all periods of its history. At any rate, it is a satisfaction to know, on the authority of Dr. Benjamin Trumbull, that the Dutch "were always mere intruders” and “had no right to any part of the country.” Certainly they neglected to prepare for a fortification at Saybrook till after the English had taken actual possession, had removed all that might be held to prove Dutch jurisdiction (if any such thing there was), and had—most important of all-mounted two guns, having a caliber of about three inches.
They who thus "providentially” made settlement in November, 1635, had come from Boston, where they had landed in the preceding month, and had taken possession in the name of the Viscount Say and Seale, the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brooke, and the rest of the company to whom the Earl of Warwick had executed a sort of deed or grant which they were minded to call a patent. Soon came John Winthrop the younger, and with him the engineer, Lion Gardiner, who was to build extensive fortifications, lay out a large town or city, and provide a mill. It is he who, writing to the governor in
document now extant, the name “Saybrook,” which is thus shown to be the oldest town-name in the State.
It was a hard winter, the first which the English spent in the fort on the bluff. The river had been frozen over in .November before the settlers reached its mouth; seventy persons, in danger of starvation, came from the settlements above to look for provisions, and finally sailed for Boston in December. And their vessel, the Rebecca, has the honor to be the first of which it is recorded that she ran aground upon the bar, heading a rather inglorious list of craft of every size and name
the next year,
which have had a like experience. We are not told that the Dutch vessels had ever run aground; probably their navigators were in no hurry, and would not have noted it if it occurred; nor is it recorded that Mr. Pynchon's ships were thus detained as they were carrying his goods from Boston to Agawam, perhaps because they expected to pay their toll in accordance with Mr. Fenwick’s protective tariff. Thus the settlement had a sad beginning, and there was further disappointment when but few more settlers came in the spring; and we do not wonder that Lion Gardiner despaired of seeing the walls of his great fort and the houses of his great town built and occupied, and retired to the quiet position of lord of the manor on his Isle of Wight. But before he left, Mr. Fenwick had arrived—the only one of the patentees who ever visited these shores—and the Pequot war, against which Gardiner had strongly advised, had been waged to a cruel end, the troops tarrying at the fort for several days, and Mr. Stone, their chaplain, giving a night to prayer. Soon came other colonists, among them Robert Chapman and John Clarke well-known names among us to-dayand the warrior Captain John Mason.
Thus the first contribution of Saybrook to the history of what is now the State of Connecticut was the story of fortifications and battle array. But with it is joined, as indeed is most meet, the story of a fair lady. 'Lady Fenwick, as we call her, came in July, 1639, with her husband on his second visit to Saybrook, as has been already noted. Her courtesy-title of lady came, as you know, from her former husband, Sir John Boteler, and she should be rightly called Lady Alice Apsley Boteler, wife of George Fenwick, Esquire. She and her husband had sailed across the ocean with Henry Whitfield, the founder of Guilford, bringing with them the infant child of John Davenport, the founder of New Haven. They sailed directly for Quinnipiack, and gave to the beautiful harbor at its mouth the name of the Fair Haven; then those who were to come to Saybrook fort or to make the new settlement midway, proceeded to their destinations, as I suppose, by land. They brought across the ocean, of course, their household goods;