Posts Tagged ‘1831’

The Last Leaf

July 1, 2011

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. image from the HubPages website

Background: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., wrote a poem entitled, “The Last Leaf,”  about the American patriot, Major Thomas Melvill(e). In turn, this poem, a parody of Holmes’ version, is about Holmes, himself:

The Last Leaf

We see the patriarch still
Briskly treading Beacon Hill
Full of joy.
For his heart is pure and glad
As the good Sir Galahad,
Or a boy.

By the tea cups when he sat —
The unrivaled Autocrat —
Did he know
He would some day cling, ah me! —
Last leaf on the lonely tree
Bent with snow!

Had he felt and had he known
He would wear the bays alone.
Still I hold
Never would have blanched that cheek.
Still his harp had blessed the weak,
Charmed the old.

His the gospel of good cheer,
Doctor’s art and poet’s ear
Joined to bless,
Heart with human kind atouch,
Like the Master healing such
In the press.

Writing no impassioned screeds
To uphold a party’s creeds
Or its wrongs.
Broader than his Brahmin caste,
He has won the world at last
With his songs.

Still he walks the Boston streets,
And he smiles at those he meets
As he roams;
Ah! we love that gray haired man,
Grasp his hand, dear, if you can;
That’s our Holmes!


The News (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 20, 1890

Image and poem from The Melville Family website, where you can read an interesting history of this poem:

“The Last Leaf”

By Oliver Wendell Holmes (1831)
A poem on Major Thomas Melvill(e), grandfather of Herman Melville, last of the Boston Tea Party Indians

I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o’er the ground
With his cane.

They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,
“They are gone!”

The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said–
Poor old lady, she is dead
Long ago–
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow;

But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer!

And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.

Enoch and Daniel Stanton: American Patriots and Brothers in Arms

June 3, 2010

From the Stonington Yankee.


The advantages which accrue to a people from development of patriotic courage, devotedness or individual prowess, are many and obvious to any intelligent mind; and the moral influence exercised by them on the rising generation, is worthy the consideration of every patriot and statesman. The little story which follows, speaks not of titled noblemen, or of renowned generals, skilled in the arts and tactics of war, whose maneuvres have turned the fate of some great battle. Yet it tells of those not the less worthy — those who possessed souls as brave and noble as ever breathed under ermine robes or glittering mail.

The honors paid to patriotism are considered beauties for future sacrifice; and the youth of our country, when incited by generous enthusiasms, to future defence of our field, or firesides, and our “star spangled banner,” will remember, that altho’ they cannot always act the general, the duke, or the prince, they can all imitate the American soldier.

On the 6th Sept. 1781, a day memorable in the annals of the revolution, and one whose consequences will long be felt by the inhabitants of the south east part of Connecticut, a youth, engaged in the field suddenly stopped — stood an instant in breathless anxiety, listening — and then threw down his implements of husbandry, and with an earnest and hurried step, moved to his father’s house.

He had been several minutes busy in preparing, before being noticed by his progenitor, who being deeply alive to the feelings which had called his offspring from the field, thus addressed him:

“Don’t stop to shave, my son — it will make you too late to render any assistance. Take your gun and hurry on, or the fort will be taken before you can arrive.” The young man threw down his razor, and seizing his musket, commenced putting it in order for the work of death.

The regular and continued peals of cannon as they bellowed from forts Trumbull and Griswold, loudly spoke the alarm of war. It was the signal for rallying the yeomanry of the surrounding country, to defend their rights and liberties; but more particularly at this time to repel the threatened attack on New London, by a body of British troops under the command of the infamous Benedict Arnold.

Alarm, at this period, had been so frequently sounded, and the people were so harrassed by the repeated and useless tramps that they were literally worn out, and consequently, but very few heeded the call at this time.

Our youth, however, hastily prepared himself, and with a firm and fearless step hurried towards Groton heights. It was the voice of his country that called, and he could not delay when she asked assistance. Young, ardent and full of enthusiasm, he soon travelled the twelve miles, and joined his brother in the fort, just before the gates were closed.

The first burst of fraternal affection, on the recognition of fraternal kindred, in such an hour, being past, after a hearty shake by the hand — side by side they commenced their dreadful strife — united in their exertions for their country, as they were in feeling and sentiment for her cause.

I shall not here attempt to account the gallant though unfortunate affair” “are not these things written in the chronicles of time,” as long as our country shall stand? As long as heroic deeds or valor are appreciated, it will be known as the spot where husband, father, and son, fearlessly braved the storm of war. The deeds of Ledyard and his associates cannot be easily forgotten. The name of Groton Heights shall be the watch word for every patriotic American, although their fathers yielded to the strong power of the foe. It was the altar of freedom which smokes with her dearest sacrifice.

It was a dreadful assault — and our youth soon perceiving that the odds were fearfully against the garrison, and seeing his brother (endeavoring to save the life of Capt. Amos Stanton, as brave a man as ever lived) fall beneath the sword of a ruthless enemy, fought with the strength of a Hercules.

Having spent his last shot effectually, he was seen with the butt of his gun resolutely beating down three bayonets, with which the assailants menaced his breast. While thus engaged, the butt broke — not disheartened, however, he continued bravely to defend himself with the barrel, which he still held in his hand, until another of the enemy, coming up on one side, ran him through the body.

The barrel of his broken gun fell useless at his feet — and the beautiful, the generous and noble youth breathed out his last, while pinned to the wall of fort Griswold by a British bayonet. Weep, O weep! sons and daughters of America! for this day made many an orphan and widow. The bravest and noblest champions here bled! and it saw the end of many of God’s noblest workmanship.

There is a moral sublimity in the unbending firmness with which the virtuous man struggles with the storm that lays his hope in the dust. It is easy to be resigned to suffering before the thunder has burst upon our heads; but to wrestle with the destroyer — to see link after link broken from the chain of our earthly stay — to stand on the dark shores of life with resignation and calmness, amid a providence so awful and heart-rending as now greeted the father, is to practice that lesson, “Thy will be done.”

Two days had passed since the dreadful conflict, when an intimate acquaintance called to see the patriarch, and offer him consolation. — He calmly took the hand of his friend and leading him to another apartment, with a tearless eye, pointed to a table, on which lay two coffins — they bore the name and age of his two sons. To look on death thus, in these we love, is more than mortal — his lip quivered when he broke the silence, and his voice trembled a little as he said, “They have left us; — there are only their mangled bodies; but I bow to an arm stronger than Britain’s. They have gone, but they died like American soldiers; — and although not in the lap of victory, their death is not the less glorious.”

The patriot stood in calm and dignified composure, by the side of that “narrow house” which was forever to hide his dear children from his sight, “like a r??ted tree in Lebanon;” unsubdued by the blow, he seemed nerved for the solemn duty. The clods of the valley rattled on their coffins. It was an hour of trial, and although he stood up firm and dignified, as if he spurned affliction’s blast, yet his faultering voice, as he once spoke, proclaimed that his soul was stricken, and that his unbending spirit was wrestling with the strong feelings of nature.

Years have passed since the last ??d duties were paid to their unconscious relics; and the two brothers, who in their youth so devoutedly offered up their lives on the altar of their beloved country; side by side, as they fought, in one grave have mouldered to their kindred earth. Their dust, like their blood on the platform of fort Griswold, has commingled together — and one common stone, which marks the place of their deposit in Stonington, is inscribed with the names of Enoch and Daniel Stanton.


The Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jan 18, 1831


The following pages (as well as the grave inscription above)  are from The Battle of Groton Heights, which I have linked below:


Evidently, Enoch’s wife applied for a pension or some sort of compensation, but it was denied.  I believe she was left with seven children to raise. There are two more pages regarding Enoch Stanton in the book that follow these above.

Title: The battle of Groton Heights
Author: William Wallace Harris
Editor: Charles Allyn
Edition: revised (Google Book LINK)
Publisher: C. Allyn, 1882


Not only were Lieut. Enoch and Sgt. Daniel Stanton patriots, they came from a family of patriots.

The following information was  found linked to several family trees on

Their father: Phineas Stanton

Phineas was an officer in the French War, 1745-1755, and in the Revolutionary War. In 1745 he was a lieutenant on a list of general and staff officers of French and Indian War rolls. He served as captain in the Cape Breton Campaign in the war with the French. In 1755 he was a captain in the 4th Connecticut Regiment at Crown Point and appointed Commissary March 1756. In 1758 he was Commissary of the 8th Connecticut Regiment. He was deputy to the General Assembly at New Haven in 1768 and was a member of the General Assembly 1778-1780.

Their grandfather: Daniel Stanton, Sr.:

Daniel was … an officer in the French War.

Their great-great grandfather:: Thomas Stanton has a rather amazing  life story:

From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register it is learned (vol. II, p. 113) that on January 2, 1635, Thomas Stanton took passage for Virginia in the merchantman “Bonaventure,” and that he recorded himself as being twenty years old. There was a John Stanton in Virginia prior to 1635, and from 1652 to 1658 there are records of a Robert Stanton, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and of a Robert Stanton, of Newport, Rhode Island, a Quaker, who died 1672, aged seventy-three years. His descendants are numerous in the United States, and many of them still adhere to the Society of Friends. Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln’s great war secretary, was a direct descendant of this Robert of Newport. There is no evidence that Thomas and Robert Stanton were related or even acquainted, or in fact that Thomas was related to any Stanton then in America. The records in New London that might have told who he was and from whence he came were destroyed in 1781 by Benedict Arnold when he sacked and burned that town. Thomas did not long remain in Virginia. In 1636 he is on record in Boston, Massachusetts, as a magistrate. He next appears in connection with the Pequot war. Miss Caulkins says: “The services of Mr. Stanton as interpreter during the Pequot war were invaluable.” In De Forest’s “History of the Connecticut Indians,” [i.e., John William De Forest’s History of the Indians of Connecticut from the earliest known period to 1850] [he says “Some time in April (1637) a small vessel arrived at the fort (Saybrook, then commanded by General Lion Gardner), having on board Thomas Stanton, a man well acquainted with the Indian language, and long useful to the colonial authorities as interpreter.” He was one of the magistrates in the trial of John Wheelwright at Boston, October 3, 1637. He [was] now married, and in February, 1639, is numbered among the one hundred and twenty-seven property holders of Hartford, Connecticut, with his father-in-law, Dr. Thomas Lord, who held the first medical license granted in the New England colonies. He came to America with Dorothy, his wife, April 29, 1635, in the ship “Elizabeth and Ann.” From this time Thomas is of frequent mention in the records as Stanton, Staunton and Steynton. The name is compounded of two Anglo-Saxon words — Stan, meaning stone, and Ton, meaning town: Stonetown, or Stanton. His name appears on all Indian deeds and transactions of that period between 1636 and 1670. He was required to be present wherever a court conference or treaty was to be held. In 1649 he had permission to erect a trading house on Pawtatuck, with six acres of ground and a monopoly of trade on the river for three years. He probably went to Pequot in 1651 and took up his permanent residence in Stonington in 1658. In March, 1652, he was granted three hundred acres laid out in a square upon the river, next his former grant of six acres. In 1659 Chief Cassawashitt deeded to him the whole of Pawtatuck Neck, and the small islands that lay near it, known as “The Hommocks.” This grant was confirmed by the court 1671. He removed his residence in 1658 to Wequetequock Cove, two and one-half miles from Stonington. He was the third settler there. This territory then belonged to the Massachusetts plantation, and was called Southington, Suffolk county, Massachusetts. In 1662 Charles II gave Connecticut a new charter that included Southington. In 1665 the name was changed to Mystic, and in 1667 the final change was made to Stonington. Perhaps the prominence and numbers of the Stantons had something to do with selecting a name so much like their own in etymology and meaning. In 1665 he was commissioner with authority to hold a semi-annual court at New London, the county seat. In September, 1666, the first court ever held in the county was assembled. The commissioners or judges were Major Mason, Thomas Stanton and Lieutenant Pratt. He was now continually in public office; the last honor to come to him was in 1666, when he was elected a member of the general assembly of Connecticut, to which he was re-elected each year until his death in 1677. He continued useful in Indian affairs, although largely superseded as interpreter by his sons, who all spoke the Indian dialect and were much in demand. He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Stonington, which he helped to organize. His son-in-law, Rev. James Noyes, was first pastor of that church. His long, active, useful and honorable life ended December 2, 1677. He is buried in the old family burying ground on the east side of Wequetequock Cove, about halfway between Stonington, Connecticut, and Westerly, Rhode Island. In 1637 he married Ann, daughter of Dr. Thomas and Dorothy Lord, of Hartford, Connecticut. She died 1688, surviving her husband eleven years.

YesterYear for Christmas

December 22, 2009

Thomas Nast illustration, Harper's Weekly

Image from Cannonba!! at York Blog (local history section)



We are waiting, brother, patiently awaiting
To feel thy fond, fond kiss upon our cheek;
And breathe the welcome words we fain would speak
To thee — the hero, who the tide of battle
Strong, hast breasted since the last time greeting.
We are waiting, patiently awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, hopefully awaiting,
Within our dear old home the childhood light
Is burning cheerily for thee to-night.
Seasons are weary since our New Year parting,
And changes many since our last fond meeting.
We are waiting, hopefully awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, anxiously awaiting,
Ever through the long, long night we’re pining.
Thou comest not while stars are sweetly shining,
Nor yet at morning in the glory light.
And when the sunshine and the day is waning
We are waiting, anxiously awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, tearfully awaiting,
White as snow, thy mother’s cheek is failing
While listening to the chill wind wailing.
The Christmas hearth-lights burn but dimly — faintly!
Cold dew-damps gather fast, and hope is dying.
We are waiting, tearfully awaiting.

Hark! hear the watch dog bark! we are not waiting!
We hear a manly voice so soft and tender —
We raise our own to meet thy dark eyes splendor —
That heart beat — then Christmas chime is sweeter,
Lights are brighter and the hearth stone, glowing.
Thank God! we are not waiting, vainly waiting.

Yes, we are waiting, hopelessly awaiting.
A messenger came with that cruel letter:
Be patient, mother dear. I am not coming;
No leave of absence yet — no home returning.”
For me no Christmas chimes, no hearth light burning.
Only waiting, hopelessly awaiting.

Dear brother, through this agony of waiting,
“While the old year lies a dying” — waiting!
Other forms we love may come without thee!
Thy vacant place, ah! none can fill it!
Thy voice is silent — again to hear it!
God grant we may not thus be ever waiting!

SALLIE J. HANCOCK, of Kentucky.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 9, 1864

From the Wilkesbarre Democrat.


Turkies! who on Christmas bled,
Turkies! who on corn have fed,
Welcome to us now you’re dead,
And in the frost have hung.

“Now’s the day and now’s the hour,”
Through the market how we scour,
Seeking Turkies to devour,
Turkies old and young.

Who would be a Turkey hen;
Fed and fatten’d in a pen —
Kill’d and ate by hungry men; —
Can you tell, I pray?

Lay the proud old Turkies low,
Let the young ones run and grow,
To market they’re not fit to go,
Till next Christmas day.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Dec 27, 1831


Let this day see all wrongs forgiven,
Let peace sit crowned in every heart;
Let bitter words be left unsaid,
Let each one take his brother’s part;
Let sad eyes learn again to smile, —
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest!

Let rich and poor together meet,
While words of kindness fill the air;
Let love spread roses in the way,
Though winter reigneth everywhere;
Let us know naught of craft or guile,
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest!

Let us help, each with loving care,
Our brothers on the way to Heaven;
Let’s lay aside all selfishness;
Let pride from every heart be driven,
Let Christmas-day bring many a smile, —
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest.

Indiana Weekly Messenger (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Dec 22, 1880

The Christmas Jubilee.

We can almost hear the chiming
Of the joyous Christmas bells;
Almost feel the mirth and gladness
That the Christmas tide foretells.
We can almost hear the echo
From Judea’s distant plain;
Almost hear the bursts of music
That will float in sweet refrain.

Everywhere in expectation
Hearts are beating with delight,
And in childhood’s happy kingdom
Every eye is beaming bright.
Soon the dawn will be upon us
As from out the night it wells,
And the earth will hear the music
Of the merry Christmas bells.

Soon the wondrous star of glory
Will illume the Eastern sky,
And the angel bands of heaven
Will sing paeans from on high.
Soon the story of the manger
Will be heard throughout the earth,
And each heart will leap with gladness
O’er a loving Savior’s birth.

Soon the chiming bells of Christmas
Will be ringing sweet and clear,
Pealing forth the joyful message
To all nations, far and near.
Soon the lofty dome of heaven
Will resound with music sweet,
As the bells of earth exultingly
The old-time song repeat.

Hail we then the joyful Christmas —
Happiest time of all the year —
With its sweet and ringing music,
With its mirth and boundless cheer.
Every lip is singing praises;
Every fireside rings with glee;
Every heart is shouting “welcome!”
To the Christmas jubilee.

— G.C. RHODERICK, JR., in Middletown Register.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 21, 1891

Yule-Tide in Many Lands

by Mary P. Pringle and Clara A. Urann 1916

Chapter IXYule-Tide in America

John Hill: Served Under George I

September 11, 2009



DIED. on the 23d ult., at the residence of his son near St. Thomas, in this county, Mr. JOHN HILL, aged somewhere about 123 or 127, the former being his own calculation & the latter that of some of his neighbors who had seen his discharge from the army, &c. &c. —

He was born in Herefordshire, England, in the reign of Queen Ann — served an apprenticeship in a dairy — enlisted under George I. for 7 years — when that time expired he again enlisted and served 21 years in England, Ireland, Spain, and in America on the Illinois river. —

When on sea, off Gibraltar, he was wounded in the head, and when at Illinois in the leg. At one time the surgeon came prepared for amputation, which he would not permit. The latter wounds was a running sore at the time of his death.

On return of the troops to Philadelphia for embarkation to England, the choice of a passage home or remaining, was given him — he chose the latter. He then settled in Lancaster county, where he married when about sixty — his wife being about half his age. He has left two children, 15 grand-children, and 2 great-grand children.

At the commencement of our revolution he was considered too old for service. He was a very laborious man, and could do a day’s work when turned of a hundred.

His appearance for years past was that of a living skeleton. His bodily powers experienced a considerable change about 2 years since; his heart failed, coming and returning at short intervals — the sight of one eye entirely failed, and that of the other was greatly impaired, and some of his limbs lost all sensation.

Notwithstanding his feeble state, he would frequently during the summer and fall, walk to St. Thomas, (2 miles) resting an hour or two and taking a little refreshment. His last visit was performed in November.
Franklin Repository.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Apr 12, 1831

More “Print Poetry”

March 28, 2009
"Rounce" image from

"Rounce" image from

From the Providence Patriot.


Pull up, my boys, turn quick the rounce,
And let the work begin,
The world is pressing on without,
And we must press within —
And we who guide the public mind,
Have influence far and wide,
And all our deeds are good, although
The devil’s at our side.

Let fly the frisket now, my boys!
Who are more proud than we?
While wait the anxious crowd without,
The force of power to see;
So pull away — none are so great,
As they who run the car;
And who have dignity like those
That practice at the bar.

And you who twirl the roller there,
Be quick, you inky man;
Old Time is rolling on himself.
So beat him if you can;
Be careful of the light and shade,
Nor let the sheet grow pale;
Be careful of the monky looks
Of every head and tale.

Though high in office is our stand,
And pi-ous is our case,
We would not cast a slur on those,
Who fill our lower place;
The gaping world is fed by us,
Who retail knowledge here;
By feeding that we feed ourselves,
Nor deem our fare too dear.

Pull up, my boys, turn quick the rounce,
And thus the chase we’ll join;
We have deposits in the bank,
Our drawers are full of coin;
And who should more genteelly cut
A figure or a dash!
Yet sometimes we who press so much,
Ourselves are pressed for cash.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jul 4, 1831

More print poetry can be found in my post, “The Poetic Printers.”

Click on the tag, “Printing Press” for more printing related posts.