Page images
PDF
EPUB

oldest families in the colony, being of the and rigid, puritanic population, whose faith fourth generation from Eltweed Pomeroy, knew no relaxation from the most literal the grand progenitor of all the Pomeroys injunctions of the Mosaic law, was the birthin the United States, who, emigrating to place and home of Col. Seth Pomeroy. this country from Devonshire in the year | From the time of his birth, on the 20th of 1633, first settled in Dorchester, near Bos-May, A. D. 1706, until his death, on the ton, and afterwards removed to the banks | 19th of February in 1777, his family was of Connecticut river. This Eltweed is known and respected throughout the colrepresented to have been a man of good ony; and, during a full half of that family, tracing his pedigree back to Sir eighteenth century, no man stood higher Ralph de Pomeroy, a favorite knight of in the love, and honor, and esteem of the William of Normandy, whom he accompa- | hardy population of western Massachunied into England, acting a conspicuous setts than he did. part in the battle of Hastings, and after- His boyhood and youth, with the interwards building a castle called Berry Pome- vals of a few weeks of schooling, in the roy, still in preservation, upon the grants phrase of the day, every winter, without which he received from the crown. Dis- which the laws of the Puritans allowed no gusted with the tyranny of the Stuarts boy to grow to manhood, were spent in and Archbishop Laud, and being a man of learning the trade of his fathers. He liberal and independent mind, Eltweed | afterwards became so thorough a workPomeroy, accompanied by a large number man in the making of guns, that the Inof emigrants, mostly men of good circum- dians of the Five Nations and of the Canstances and in respectable standing, deter-adas sent deputations with their furs, anmined to remove to America. Like most nually, for many years to Northampton to of the Dissenters of that age, he was a exchange them for his rifles. Indeed, he mechanic, having for many years carried himself was unexcelled as a certain shot, and on the business of making guns to a large in his younger days was known to return extent, and with much reputation. Upon from his farm, near the foot of Mount sailing for America, he closed his business, Tom, some five or six miles from Northand selling the greater portion of his stock ampton, with a deer, a bear, and a wolf, in trade, brought with him only his tools. | as the result of a single day's sporting. He After a residence of several years in Wind continued the manufacture of guns, notsor, Ct., the province of Massachusetts withstanding his frequent and long abBay offered him a grant of one thousand sences from home in the service of th acres of land on the Connecticut, on the province, for many years, employing many condition of his establishing his business as hands, and meeting most of the home dea gunsmith within the bounds of the prov- | mand for muskets from his own works. ince. He did so; and it is a curious fact, Col. Pomeroy was married to Mary that, among the seven generations which Hunt of Northampton, on the 14th Dehave succeeded him, there has been lacking cember, 1732. From this time, or soon at no time, in the direct male branch of after this, he was largely employed in the descent, a follower of the original trade. public service. At that early day, while The only article of the tools of the old pro the western section of Massachusetts was genitor of the family, which he brought infested by tribes of roving Indians, and from England, known to be still in exist the axe of the pioneer had not yet been ence, is the original anvil, now in the pos- heard in the upper valley of the Housatosession of Lemuel Pomeroy, Esq., of Pitts- | nic, no small portion of the public money, field, himself, for more than thirty years, a and of the forces at its command, were large contractor with the United States employed in opening roads through the for government arms.

western frontier to Albany, and in erecting Upon the banks of the beautiful Con- forts on the north-western line of the provnecticut, in the midst of those broad inter- | ince. Probably no man in New England vales which, sweeping from the base of was better fitted to superintend duties like Mount Holyoke, spread themselves towards these, and no man of that day certainly had the north and the south in green espla- more to do with them. To his sagacity, nades, surrounded by a pure, unmixed, I prudence and foresight, accompanied with

great activity and unconquerable resolu- / pioneers of Fort Massachusetts, and the tion, Berkshire county is indebted for the quiet husbandmen from the banks of the first great thoroughfares through her Connecticut. On the last day of April, mountains, and the early access of emigra- | 1745, the little fleet, containing only its tion to her valley. Under a general com-one-and-twenty cannon, landed its promismission from General Pownall, Col. Pome cuous soldiery to bombard a city, whose roy labored assiduously in this great duty | walls of thirty feet in height, and surroundfor many years of the early part of his ed by a ditch of eighty feet in width, were life, and the success which his untiring in fortified by two hundred and thirteen candustry gave eventually to all his projects for non, and manned by sixteen hundred men. the public weal, accomplished much for On the evening of that day the young his future reputation.

Major thus writes in his journal :In 1745, Pomeroy accepted a commission as Major in the expedition which was Tuesday, April 30, 1745.—This was a fair, raised against Louisburg, on the island of pleasant morning. We came in sight, sun one Cape Breton. Perhaps no one event in the

hour high, of Louisburg. There appeared a

great number of French marching up the sea. early history of the New England colonies

side toward Cabarough Bay, to prevent our peomore clearly exhibits the temper and ple's landing ; but as quick as possible, though spirit of the people, than this does. All the sea ran so high as to make it difficult, our Europe seemed convulsed with war. boats were on shore, and the men, springing France and England, without adequate from the foremost, ran to meet the French, and cause, became mingled in the melée, and

came in shot of them. There was a short but like two mastiffs, scarce rested from recent

sharp engagement. Two of the French were

killed on the spot, one was taken prisoner, and strife, sprang from their kennels and rushed

several were wounded, while we had none to the fray. Before the news of an infrac

killed, and two cnly slightly wounded. The tion of peace had reached New England, French ran off as fast as they could, our men a body of French from Cape Breton had following them, hut the woods being very thick surprised the little English garrison of Cau they soon got out of sight. The blood of our seau, and destroying the fort, plundering

boys being up, numbers followed for the woods the fisheries, and burning the buildings,

as fast as they landed, and finally got round

199 | them, so that by the next morning they had had carried to Louisburg eighty men as

killed two more, taken three more prisoners, and prisoners of war. The people of New | chased the rest into the town. We all landed England were in great alarm, for they safe, though in great danger, and encamped could expect no aid from the mother coun- that night on Cape Breton." try, and were of themselves ill able to sustain the burden of a war. The temper

After investing the city of Louisburg for of the people, however, was aroused, and

more than a month, with no apparent signs Massachusetts, obtaining, by a single vote

of a surrender, it might be supposed that in majority, the acquiescence of the Legis.

the hearts of the besiegers would be dislature to an expedition against Louisburg,

comfited. That such was not the case, prepared for the conflict. Solicited to en

| the following letter shows very plainly :gage in the enterprise, Pennsylvania fur

From the Grand Battré, 1., miles north from nished a small supply of provisions, New

the City of Louisburg, May the 8th, 1745. York of ammunition. New England furnished the men. From New Hampshire,

“My Dear WIFE :-Notwithstanding the

!many dangers and hazards I have been in since Connecticut and Massachusetts, à few

I left you, yet I have been, through the good. more than four thousand troops were en

ness of God, preserved. Though much wor listed for the expedition. The fishermen ried with the great business I have upon my of Marblehead, chased from the fishing hands, I cheerfully go on with it. I have much banks by French privateers, gladly led to write with but little time, and shall therefore forth in the enterprise, while to support | only give some hints. them, with no knowledge of the science of

“The Grand Battré is ours. Before we en

| tered it, the people had fled out of it, and gone war, but with hardy frames and fearless

over to the town, but had stopped up the touchhearts instead, gathered the ploughmen of holes of the cannon. General Pepperill gave the Merrimac, the lumbermen of the Ken- | me the oversight of some twenty smiths in bornebec, the hunters of the Penobscot, the / ing them out, and though cannon balls and bombs

hundreds of them were fired from the city and now write not knowing what will befall you; the island fort, striking some the Battré, some may infinite Power give you to tread upon the the parade, and some in our very midst, yet none high places of the enemy, preserve you from of us were hurt, and as soon as we could get death, be your shield, strength, support, counthe cannon clear, we gave them fire for fire. sellor, deliverer from harm, keeper from evil Louisburg is an exceeding strong, handsome and all fire, your guide and instructor in all and well situated place, with a fine harbor. It your dangerous engagements and laborious unseems impregnable, but we have been so suc dertakings. Your labors are great, concerns cessful hitherto, that I do not doubt but Provi many, and an exposedness to sudden death dence will deliver it into our hands. It looks awaits you. My heart is with you; my soul as though our campaign would last long, but I distressed and much pained for you. May God am willing to stay till God's time comes to de- | be my support, in whose hand is the breath of liver the city into our hands, which I do not all life and the soul of all living. May God doubt will in good time be done. We have enable me to trust his goodness, faithfulness, shut them up on every side, and still are making and rely on his mercy, till the evil be past and our works stronger against them. Their divine gales blow a heavenly calm. My dear houses are compact, for which reason our bombs husband, suffer no anxious thought to rest in must do much hurt, and distress them in a great your mind about me, your tender offspring, or degree.

business at home. We are all in a Christian land, * My dear wife, I expect to be gone longer daily experiencing divine favors. Our neighfrom home than I did when I left it, but I desire bors and friends are ready upon all occasions not to think of returning till Louisburg is taken to afford their assistance when needed or reI hope God will enable you to submit quietly quired. I am in health, and also the family at to his will, whatever it may be, and enable you present. No evil at any time hath occurred with courage and good conduct to go through since your departure. Mr. Pease hath been the great business that is now upon your hands, faithful in your shop business, and behaves with and not think your time ill-spent in teaching good content, and by these presents his due reand governing your family according to the | gards. Seth, your other little self and second word of God.

name, I have sent down to New Haven about a * The affairs at home I can order nothing month ago. Our dear and tender parents, about, but must wholly leave them, hoping they brethren and sisters are in health-kinsfolk and will be well cared for. My kind love to Mrs. all others in this town, not one person sick that Sweetland, my duty to Mother Hunt, and love I know of. Divine Providence smiles as though to brothers and sisters all.

our enemy this summer would be restrained, “My dear wife, if it be the will of God, I hope and our peace not disturbed. The whole town to see your pleasant face again; but if God in is much moved with concern for the expedition, his holy and sovereign providence hath ordered how Providence will order the affair, for which it otherwise, I hope to have a glorious meeting religious meetings every week in town are with you in the kingdom of Heaven, where maintained. My dear husband, I leave you in there are no wars, nor fatiguing matches, nor the hands of God, desiring to submit to his will, roaring cannon, nor cracking bombshells, nor whatever it may be. long campaigns, but an eternity to spend in “ Please to write every opportunity. Mr. perfect harmony and undisturbed peace. This Sweetland sends his kind love to you. My is the hearty desire and prayer of him that is love to you in the bonds of peace, and may your loving husband. SETH POMEROY." God grant you to see much of Divine goodness ;

all which is the true desire of your dutiful and From the cottage in the bosom of New

loving wife,

Mary POMEROY.

“ To Major Seth Pomeroy, in the expedition England, where “there is much concern against Cape Breton, these." about the expedition,” leaving her children, whom she“ orders after the word of Think of that! With hard work all day God,” to the care of “Mother Hunt,” the long, “ erecting fascine batteries,” viewing wife, care stealing upon her "pleasant face” salient angles, “ boring out the touch-holes but making no inroads upon her brave of spiked guns,” dragging cannon “over heart, answereth thus :

boggy morasses, for which Joe Meserve

of New Hampshire had invented sledges “ Northampton, June 27, 1745. I that they might not stick again in the mud," “My HONORED AND DEAR HUSBAND :- The

and “ giving the enemy fire for fire,” our 25th instant yours reached me, rejoicing to hear

young Major, “after prayer at night, reads that you were alive and in health, glory to the great Preserver of man. O thou, my longed

his wife's letter aloud ”to his company. for, good and tender husband, you are in an Fight, my brave boys, for the whole town is enemy's land, but God rules their hearts. I moved with concern how Providence will

order the expedition, and our fathers, and the expedition prospered and Louisburg mothers, and wives are holding meetings was taken. On the 8th of August, after every week. Fight! for the Lord is on nearly five months' absence, Major Pome. our side. Who shall be against us?” roy returned home. The traveller of this

So, too, the old sire, a relic of the day, leisurely making his morning toilet, 17th century, born now one hundred and takes his seat after breakfast in the raileighty years ago, then past seventy, thus road cars, and makes an early dinner with writes :

his family in Northampton. As matter of “ Northampton June the 11th, 1745.

contrast, we subjoin the last entries made “Sip:-1, your mother, relations, and friends

| in the Louisburg journal :are generally well, blessed be God. We want to hear from you and the fleet and army; and Tuesday, August 6th, 1745.--Having fina particular account of the bigness and strength

ished my business in Boston, I set out for of the city Louisburgh, the height of the walls,

Northampton. &c., your power and interest against scaling

Wednesday, 7th.Lodged at Mr. Wareham the walls, for I suppose that if you get inside Williams, and kindly entertained. Early in of the city the place is not taken, for I conclude the morning set out, and arrived at night at that every house is so strong that they are after Capt. Conniver's, Brookfield. Lodged there a sort a castle. But these things I must leave / upon free cost. to those who are on the spot, who are the best

« Thursday, 8th.-Went this morning over judges. But still we want to hear of all the to Brigadier Dwight's, eat breakfast with Madam men of war that came from France being taken. | Dwight. Came to Cold Spring and dined. But we desire patiently to wait God's time. In Arrived home at Northampton about 5 o'clock. the mean time, for your encouragement, I Amen.” would inform you and your soldiers, that God, in his providence, hath remarkably stirred up in

During the ten years which followed the this town a spirit of prayer for victory in this Louisburg expedition, Major Pomeroy held grand expedition, and I hear also throughout several offices of trust in the service of his the land, for in this town the parents and some country. In two instances he raised a other relations of those gone in the expedition, body of men and marched into what is have constantly set apart some time every week now the State of Vermont, to repel an exto pray to God for success in this grand affair.

pected invasion from Canada. He also had And we have reason to conclude that it hath not been in vain; for God hath in a very re

command of Fort Massachusetts on the markable manner smiled upon the fleet and

extreme north-western border of the State, army, and we really hope and earnestly pray reconstructing its fortifications and enthat the Lord of Hosts and God of Armies larging its outposts. It was not until the would still be on our side, and then there is no year 1755, however, that he was again danger but your enterprise will be crowned with

called into the field. Though there had glory and triumph. Be much in prayer; abstain froin all appearance of evil; watch par

been no open rupture between France and ticularly against those sins a soldier's life ex

England since the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle poseth one unto; and above all things, keep

in 1748, the French settlements in this always the fear of God before your eyes, and country had been gradually making enthat will be a security to you living or dying. croachments upon our frontiers. To repel

“ With respect to your business at home, all these, General Braddock had been sent to goes on well. Your wife manages the affairs

Virginia, to act in conjunction with the colowith conduct and courage, and indeed those

nial force, in that direction ; Governor she was unacquainted with before you went away. Pease doth well in a wonderful man

Shirley, Commander-in-chief of his Majner, with a little additional encouragement I esty's armies in America, led an expedition promised him.

against Niagara, and Sir William Johnson “ My service to the General. My due re- commanded an expedition against Crown gards to Com. Warren. The Lord prepare and

Point. Of the forces which were furnished prosper you, and return you all again to your

by Massachusetts, Pomeroy first commandrespective homes, is the desire and prayer of your loving and affectionate father,

ed as Lieutenant Colonel, and upon the death “ EBENEZER POMEROY.

of Williams, the founder of Williams College “ To Maj. Seth Pomeroy at Cape Breton."

in Massachusetts, as Colonel. Nearly five

thousand troops were furnished by New Like Cromwell's soldiers, “fighting for England and New York for the enterprise. truth and no lie,” it is not wonderful that | Advancing from Albany in July, 1755,

they marched to the southern extremity | General Johnson came to Albany. I supped of Lake George, and learning that the with him at Landlord Luttridge's, and remainenemy had erected additional works at

ed in conversation with him until past eleven of Ticonderoga, Johnson concluded to push

the clock. He is a man of large size, with a

pleasant face, piercing eye, ready communicaforward, intending to make an attack

tion, and pleasing manners, though sometimes upon that point before the defences should very abrupt. be completed. Before reaching the point l « Wednesday, 9th.-The army, which was of destination, intelligence was received of encamped two miles below Albany, the Genethe advance of a large body of troops un ral went down to review, they being mustered der Baron Dieskau, an able French Gen

in regimental order. eral, to attack them. The army was im

Thursday, 11th.--Gov. Shirley came to

town with several officers and two companies mediately brought to a stand, and selecting

of soldiers for his army. At his arrival the at once as favorable ground as the place cannon in the fort were discharged, and the would admit, it was resolved to erect forti- field officers waited upon the Governor, and fications and stand upon the defensive. drank a glass of wine with him. On the 8th of September, news being re

Tuesday, 29th. This day General Lyman ceived in the camp that a party of the

gave orders for all our army, now at Stilwater,

to remove up to Saratoga. Our stores were enemy were approaching, Johnson ordered

put into the bateaux and we all marched off beWilliams to take command of one thousand

tween eleven and twelve o'clock. men and two hundred Indians, and ad Thursday, 31st.-A fair day. Three hunvance to meet them. Coming unexpectedly dred men were sent up towards the carrying upon the whole body of the enemy, the de place to mend the roads, and fifty down towards tachment was entirely routed; many were

Stillwater to mend the bridges. I sent several killed, among whom was Williams, and the

men to the fort at Saratoga to search for cannon

balls. They dug up about 1100 shot, and rest were driven back to the intrenchments.

brought them to our camp, which was about a Advancing in pursuit of the fugitives to

mile above the old fort. Saratoga is a rich, the camp, which he seemed to have a fair fertile soil, full of feed, and though well stocked prospect of carrying, Dieskau gallantly with cattle and horses, yet loaded with grass attacked the intrenchments and for sev

more than the cattle can eat. eral hours maintained the contest with

Wednesday, August 6th.-A fair day. The great vigor. The final result was, how

scouts sent out yesterday returned to-day, bring

ing no news of the enemy. A soldier, one ever, that the assailants were completely re

Bickerstaff, was whipt for profane swearing pulsed with the loss of more than one thou with one hundred lashes, and drummed out of the sand men, Dieskau wounded and taken pris army with a rope about his neck, and ordered oner, and the retreating forces being sud to be sent to a convenient place, there to be kept denly assailed by a small detachment from 1 till the Crown Point expedition was over.” the carrying place, abandoned their baggage and took to flight.

SETH POMEROY TO HIS WIFE. The journal of Colonel Pomeroy, kept |

Albany, July 15, 1755.

“My Dear:-I have slipped several opportuwith great care through the whole time nities, hoping to be able to inform you more parof the expedition, furnishes, according to ticularly how things appear, than I can even the estimate of the late William L. Stone- now. who was perhaps better acquainted with “I can only say now, that the army in genethe history of the French War in this ral are well and in high spirits. I know of country than any man living, and who was

nothing now to hinder our marching but want

of stores, which we are expecting up the river preparing a life of Sir William Johnson at

every day. Governor Shirley is here. Gen. the time of his death—"a complete, suc- |

Johnson is here also. So far as I am accinct and clear account of the Crown Point | quainted with Gen. Johnson, he appears to be expedition, of great interest in its narrative, a gentleman of great modesty, yet free and and of invaluable worth to the historian." | pleasant. We have frequent news from the Our limits will permit us to insert but few | Ohio by Indians whom Gen. Johnson hath sent entries from the journal, and one or two

some time ago to Gen. Braddock. The last letters, throwing light upon the character

came here yesterday, twenty-five days from

thence. His army were then not above two of the writer and upon the expedition. days' march from the enemy. The Indians are

said to be daily leaving the French, who were Monday, July 7th, 1775—Showery at night. / trembling for fear. General Braddock marched

« PreviousContinue »