Saturday, September 26, 2009

History of the Class of 1853 - Marietta High School

The Marietta Register (semi-weekly), June 21,1887

By Mrs. Vesta Westgate Glines, read at the Alumni re-union.

March 28th, 1860, the Board of education authorized the Secretary to correspond with reference to a teacher for a female school of the highest order. In the annual report of the Board to the town Council, under date of March 22d, ’51, is this entry: “During the year the Board of Education have secured the services of Mr. M. D. Kingsley for Superintendent, who also teaches the Boys’ High School. The services of Miss Pickett who teaches the Girls’ High School.” It is probable the High School was established in the fall of 1850, though there is no formal record of the fact.

July 22d, 1853, the first class graduated. A class of seventeen. At the time of their graduation the teachers were Mr. E. D. Kingsley and Miss Lucy Temple. The members of the Board: I. W. Andrews, president; Beman Gates, secretary; Lucius Brigham, Robert Crawford and T. W. Ewart.

The Commencement exercises were held in the school-room. The Board, their wives and particular friends of the class, were invited. The music consisted of duets, choruses, songs sung by the class. All passing off nicely however; we were as well satisfied, as any class which has since graduated with sound of the cornet and flourish of trumpet.

While memory holds her sway, we can never forget “ye olden times” thirty-four years ago, when we and our “Alma Mater” as well, were young, but many have been the changes in the years which have passed; to some time has brought choice and rich blessings, to others, adversity and trials; some have been a blessing to the communities in which they have lived, and thankfully we can say, none have been a curse; many lives that bid fair to be the richest and fullest have passed away first. Among the number of these is Justus Morse, who died three years after graduation. Had he lived he certainly would have made a name and place for himself among the great men of his times; besides being class poet he was famous for his knowledge of chemistry; in that recitation he never failed. His sister, Maria Morse graduated in the class with him. After she left school she taught for a while in the country, also in the union schools. She was very energetic and enterprising, and she filled the eight years she lived after graduation with kind acts, and good deeds, showing she was one who could master circumstances and not be molded by them.

The next to be called home, was Maria Booth, one of the sweetest and loveliest girls of our class, with a gentle affectionate spirit, shrinking to quiet corners with congenial friends, yet a patient toiler for other’s good. Called away in the morning of life, before she had sorrowed or suffered much; who shall say, hers was not the better lot.

Immediately after leaving school John Morse obtained a situation with the engineering corps, engaged in surveying and locating the old M. & C. R. R. He followed this business successfully for several years, until obtaining a situation, as agent of the T. H. & St. L. R. R. at Alton, Ill. He remained with the Western R. R. Co. until failing health required him to give up active duties; overwork resulted in the complete breaking down of his physical strength and of the consequent fatal result of an over-worked brain he died Feb. 13th 1880 at the age of 44. We might say a great deal more of this kind, great-hearted class-mate, but everyone who knew him needs no reminding of this generous hearted man.

These, our classmates, died single. The first of those who married, to leave a loving husband and little children, was Virginia Nye Ford, who died in Iowa four short years after her marriage, leaving two motherless daughters, the youngest a few days old. How sad must have been that home when the change and shadow fell, when the wife and mother went out into that wider life. I do not think that they in the heavenly peace and freedom will go on so fast beyond us who stay here, as to go away, for we who stay and bear, are climbing, by rough, grand steps, to as beautiful heights.

Carrie Brigham married William Rankin Feb. 12th, 1863. Her married life was spent in Putnam, O. They were given an only son who, with the father, was called to mourn the loss of a devoted mother and true and faithful wife, when Carrie went home, twenty-one years after marriage. It seemed that her life’s work was not nearly done, and one so loved and loving could not be spared. The swift passing away of our classmates causes us to exclaim, with the poet –

“Life is but a beautiful shell,
Thrown up by eternity’s flow,
On Time’s bank of quicksand to dwell,
And a moment its loveliness show.

Gone back to the elements grand,
Is the billow that cast it ashore;
See another is washing the sand,
And the delicate shell is no more.”

Mary Slocomb graduated at the age of seventeen, married Dr. David Cotton Nov. 21st, 1861, going to Portsmouth to live. She has had four daughters, and one son who died in infancy. Grace, the oldest daughter, was the valedictorian of her class and spent some time in Boston at an art school. Mary, the second daughter, also took the first honor of her class and is in the Senior class in the Women’s College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Mary has been foremost in the good works of Portsmouth, her name intimately connected with the Children’s Home of that place. Her life has seemed to us who have looked on to have been a success in the very best sense of the word.

Jennie Butler was the first one of the class to marry. She was married at her home in the East to J. Russell Crawford, sixty-nine days after graduation. Her only child, Walter Wells Crawford, was born August 26th, 1854, and died at the age of sixteen. Mr. Crawford died in March, 1859. Four years afterward Mrs. Crawford married Dr. H. B. Shipman. Since Mr. Crawford’s death Jennie’s life has been spent in Marietta.

Her life’s cup has been filled to the brim, containing bitter and sweet, joy and sorrow. Her work has been in her home, and her church, and those who know her best love her most.

Sophia Browning was the second one of the class to marry. She lived at her home in Belpre until she married Mr. Clark, who practiced law in Marietta, until the late war. Mr. Clark was instrumental in raising the 36th O.V.I., who were encamped in the fair grounds. He became Colonel of this regiment, and was killed at the battle of Antietam, August 17th, 1863, and buried with military honors in the Mound Cemetery.

At Col. Clark’s death Sophia was left a widow at the age of twenty-six, with four children. I think it impossible to find one at that age with such heavy responsibilities, that showed more courage than she, in doing and bearing, with no word of complaint. Her step-son, Joseph, went out with the one hundred days men and was killed. Thus she gave husband and son to her country. In ’63 she returned to Belpre and devoted her life to the care of her blind mother and fatherless children, until she died September 6, 1878. In speaking of death she said: “I love to think of this life and the next as a school, and leaving this life and entering the Heavenly world as only being promoted from a lower to a higher grade.”

Her children have all lived to be an honor to their mother and to one who was a mother to them after they were left fatherless and motherless.

Mary Gilbert went to her home in Belpre after graduation. Soon after she had a large music class in Pomeroy, afterward was governess near Charleston. Wishing to perfect herself in music she went to Boston, where she became acquainted with her husband, Mr. Wm. B. Porter. For years she has been a great sufferer with spinal trouble. She has had three children; the oldest daughter is with her Savior. Mary is a good, Christian worker, and notwithstanding her sickness, has done good missionary work in her Iowa home. We hope her life may be spared these many years to loving husband, children and many friends, who feel, if she were taken away, her place could never be filled.

Elizabeth Soyez remained at her home in Marietta until the spring of ’58, when she was married to Lewis Stockman and went with him to Lawrenceburg, Ind., to live. Her husband entered the army in ’61 and died in Andersonville prison in ’64, after a confinement there of eleven months. At his death Elizabeth was left a widow with four small children, the oldest only a little over five years old. Who that has never passed through similar trials can write the history of a life such as hers must have been, can tell of her sorrows, cares and responsibilities, of her many sad hours and heart aches, or of the good end and the gladness, the joy and thanksgiving in these later years as her children, all spared to her, have grown to be a real blessing and comfort. When we speak of sacrifices made for a loved country, we should not forget those mothers who gave their husbands and their children’s father.

Rhoda Shipman was married to Rev. Temple Cutler, Aug. 15th, 1860. She has two daughters of whom she has every reason to be proud. In the fall of ’61, Rev. Mr. Cutler entered the army as Chaplain of the 9thMaine. At the close of the war they were among the freedmen, employed by the A. M. A. five years. At present Mr. Cutler is settled over a church in Essex, Massachusetts. As a missionary, and minister’s wife, Rhoda has had rare opportunities for doing good, and faithfully has she improved them. We all preach our sermon, but not all with the same earnestness.

One of the class, Julia Holden, has held to her maiden name. Her life has been a busy, happy life full of thought for others, full of kind acts and self-sacrifice.  Julia is a true, christian woman, ever ready with the sympathetic word, the hand and heart to help; her life has been one of love, and prayer, and faith, and doing; would there were more like her. Until the last year she has lived in Marietta. Now she is with her brother in Petroleum, West Virginia.

The third one of the class to marry was Vesta Westgate. After leaving school she taught two years in the Union Schools on Greene St. Nov. 1, 1855, married C. E. Glines. Her home has always been in Marietta, her life a quiet, sheltered, happy one. Many blessings [have] been bestowed upon her. Among the greatest, the four children given them. One God took back; three he has trusted them with. The passing years have left their traces upon them both; but what life that is worth the living, does not make its record. Few have had warmer and truer friends than they, and none have loved and appreciated their friends more.

Hattie Shipman taught in the Washington St. School, the 4th St. Grammar School and for one year was assistant in the High School. She was valedictorian of the class of 1853; married Martin Follet, who was valedictorian of his class; their son Dewey taking the first honor in his class; and the Grand daughter, Harriet, bids fair to keep the ball rolling. Hattie buried her only daughter, and her son Charlie, went out from home a healthy, happy lad, and in three short hours was brought back a corpse, drowned, with three playmates, while skating on the Muskingum.

Hattie’s life was a pure and happy one. She lived above the level of jealousy and petty selfishness, rejoicing in the success and happiness of every one. Her death adds one more to the list of loved ones the class of ’53 have in that better land.

Mary Tolford left Marietta soon after graduation to teach in Monmouth, Ill. There she married Mr. A. B. Page, who owned a stock farm near that place. Mary and her husband have been for many years members of the Baptist church. Mr. Page was a prominent man in that part of the state, a widower with several children. Mary has been the mother of nine children, four of whom have died; her eldest son has taken a preemption claim at the far west; the oldest daughter is a missionary at Salt Lake City, under auspices of the W. B. H. M. Mr. Page died in ’81, and Mary has resided on the farm until this spring when she went to Monmouth to educate her younger children. In speaking of her life, Mary says: “My life has been one of constant self-sacrifice, of toiling and striving for others, and yet it has brought its joys and reward; if I have had much care and toil, I also have had my share of love and happiness.” Mrs. Page has never returned to Marietta since she first left, and her letter tells very little of her life’s work, but enough, so we can know she has earned the “well done” which will be said to those who faithfully use their opportunities.

William B. Loomis was born at New London, Conn.; removed to Marietta in 1840; he is of Puritan stock, his ancestors having come from London, Eng., to Boston in the ships Susan and Ellen in 1638. He entered the High School at about twelve years of age and graduated at the age of sixteen, after which he studied jurisprudence and read law sufficient to enable him to be admitted to the Bar in ’57 by the District Court then held at Marietta. Since then he has practiced law continuously with the exception of five years from July ’68 to July ’73, spent upon the Bench as Common Pleas and District Judge. He still has his office at Marietta, is engaged in a general practice of the law in the courts. He was married Oct. 1st, 1860 to Harriet Frances Wheeler, who died in 1879. The children of this marriage are three boys and one daughter, who died in infancy. Judge Loomis was again married June 15, 1880, to Mrs. N. C. Hodkinson. One son is the only child of this marriage.  The class of ’53 wish to impress it upon the mind of Judge Loomis, that they look to him for all political honors.

There are now living, nine members of the class, twenty-eight children, and eight grand children.

The class of 1853 has given to the world dutiful daughters, first-class school teachers, devoted, self-sacrificing mothers, and faithful wives.

One energetic business man, whose life was shortened by his endeavors to earn a place for himself among the foremost men of his times, and one Judge who has great future possibilities.

The Marietta High School may well be proud of her Alumni, but while the class of ’53 dip their Pennant in salute and welcome to the class of ’87 they lower it to none.

Reminiscences of Slavery

The Marietta Register, January 4, 1894

About thirty years ago, Harvey Martena went to the polls in West Marietta to vote.  A gentleman living there at that time, a worshiper at the shrine of Gambrinus, objected to his voting, on the ground that Mr. Martena was a "nigger."  Mr. Martena was sworn and he testified that he was begotten and reared on the sacred soil of Virginia, the mother of states and statesmen, by a white man, a Dutchman named Martena, who had been a Democratic law-maker in the Old Dominion.  He also stated that in his mother's veins flowed a little white blood.  It is needless to say that his vote went into the ballot box with a whoop.  The late Silas Malcomb of Tunnel, informed the writer years ago that he voted for Harvey Martena's father for the legislature in Virginia.

There lived in Barlow for many years before the late war, during the war and for many years after the war, a quiet, unoffending citizen, rather dusky, but had been considered white and was allowed to vote undisturbed for many years.  What I am about to relate occurred about the time of the war or just before.  This dusky man was about to vote at the polls, in Barlow, when some one in a joke, whispered in the ear of a son of Erin, who despised negroes, to challenge this man's vote.  The dusky man and the son of Erin were not acquainted.  The latter yelled in a stentorian voice, "I object to that man's voten."  Said one of the judges of the election, calling the son of Erin by his name, "Why do you object to the man's voting."  The reply was, "Because he is dom nagur."  The dusky man was allowed to vote.

Somewhere in the fifties a young slave woman escaped from slavery and reached the home of W. S. Heald.  Shortly after she arrived at Mr. Heald's, her owner put in an appearance in the neighborhood in search of his slave girl.  As the boys would say, the circumstances of the affair made it "a ground hog case."  Something had to be done and that immediately.  Miss Martha J. Heald, daughter of W. S. Heald, the old Abolitionist, seemed at once to take in fully the situation and at once dressed the slave girl in her clothes and gave her a veil to hide her face with and they mounted horses and were soon on their way to a locality north of Plymouth, where they arrived in safety, and ere long the slave girl planted her feet on the free soil of Canada.  Miss Heald is the wife of our much esteemed friend, Lawyer Jim Ross.  A cousin of Miss Heald's, a boy of about 15 years, went with Miss Heald and the slave girl, on horseback, a short distance in the rear to protect the girls against the assaults of the slave hunter.  This boy is now a prosperous citizen in Vincent, Ohio.

On a hot, sultry day in August, 1860, a colored boy about sixteen years of age, entered a store in Vincent, without hat or shoes.  The merchant approached him and inquired if he was a run-away slave.  His answer was in the affirmative.  Inquiry was then made by the merchant if he wanted to go to Canada and be free.  He answered that he did.  He was then concealed till night.  In the meantime he was furnished with a hat, food, &c.  Two anti-slavery men then arranged to take him to friends that actually were Friends at Plymouth.  Horses had to be procured for the trip, which were difficult to obtain, on account of the owners being timid about such business.  One more horse was needed, and the question was where can it be procured; finally it dawned upon the mind of one of the Abolitionists that a lady lived in the vicinity, whose husband had horses, who had a brother that was a Wesleyan Methodist preacher.  All Wesleyan Methodist preachers were Abolitionists, and the application would be made to her husband for the needed horse, to which he demurred, but his wife on learning what the horse was wanted for prevailed on her husband to let the horse go.  The following night the slave boy reached Plymouth safe and sound, and next night he was taken further on toward the land of freedom.

The following is from Prof. Ames' notes.  Henry Parker was a slave belonging to Benj. Cooper, who lived near Parkersburg.  In his own auto-biography he says:  "I left my master on the fourth Saturday in October, 1859, and with great difficulty made my way to the Under Ground Railway, fording the Hocking and carrying my mother and sister across."  Mr. Smith piloted him to Jonathan Lee's, who told him (Parker) that he was the one hundred and tenth escaped slave who had been assisted by him and none had ever returned.  Mr. Lee had been so active and so successful in his operations on the Under Ground Railroad that a reward of $1000 had been offered for him.  Henry Parker went to Canada, remained a year, went to Michigan, went blind and there preached seven years ago (1886).  He returned to see his benefactor, Lee, and came to Parkersburg.  His master hearing of his presence in the city sent for him.  The master was now blind and when these two, master and slave, now sightless, met, a feeling of mutual joy took possession of both.

The kidnapping of Peter M. Garner, Creighton Loraine, and Mordecai Thomas, on the Ohio river near the mouth of Little Hocking, created intense excitement, not only in this locality, but throughout the nation.  They were incarcerated in jail at Parkersburg about six months.  Samuel F. Vinton defended them.  The writer never saw Peter M. Garner but once.  He came to our house at Middle Creek, shortly after he was released from his incarceration and stayed over night.  I was but twelve years old at the time and I remember distinctly how he looked or appeared.  The reason why I remember his appearance so vividly is because I listened attentively to the thrilling story of his capture and incarceration as he related it to my father.

The following is taken from Prof. Ames' notes:  "Six slaves, the property of Harwood, Washington's Bottom, had been sold.  Their anxiety to escape to a land of freedom was influenced by the knowledge of the sale to new and unknown masters.  A Baptist minister, Joseph Romine, is supposed to have been the instrument in making arrangements to have a party of Ohio abolitionists meet the negroes at nightfall a short distance above the mouth of Little Hocking river.  The rescuing party was composed of Peter M. Garner, Creighton Loraine, Mordecai Thomas, Titus Shotwell, Burdon Stanton and James Smith.  The latter was prevented from joining his companions by a heavy rain.  A man by the name of Sims, who lived in a house nestled against the cliffs that frown down upon the river at the landing place, led on by hope of reward, had learned of the plot and secretly notified the Virginians of the place of escape and rescue.  Accordingly several armed men from the Virginia side anticipated all parties and secreted themselves in the willows.  As the Ohio men were carrying the baggage from the canoe, the Virginians rushed upon them and captured five of the negroes and three of the whites, Peter M. Garner, Creighton Loraine, and Mordecai Thomas.  One negro rushed through the crowd and secreted himself in a tree-top, densely overgrown with vines and weeds.  He lay there till nearly morning when he climbed the bank and took refuge with Henry Thompson, who lived near Red Bush.  He fell into the hands of Mr. Smith, thence into Conductor Coursey's train."  Titus Shotwell still lives and is as lively as a cricket.   A granddaughter of Burton Stanton's is the wife of one of the most respected and prosperous merchants of Marietta.

The following incident is from Prof. Ames' notes:

"In 1850 a company of six or seven negroes were piloted from Francis Stone's by Mr. Smith, one night, to Doctor Vickers', who lived just beyond the twin bridges at the forks of Hocking.  At that time Mr. Smith was building the abutment for the bridge at the mouth of Davis creek.  Mr. I. W. Putnam, the next morning at breakfast discovering Mr. Smith's late return, jokingly remarked that he must have been running negroes away.  Mr. Putnam's remark was nearer the truth than he knew."

Fifty years ago a company of slaves, consisting of men, women and children, I do not remember the number, made their escape from Virginia, not far from Marietta, and reached the farm of Massa Hovey, on Duck creek, about fifteen miles from Marietta.  Their pursuers were so close on their track that it became absolutely necessary that they should be concealed in a deep hollow or ravine on the farm of Massa Hovey.  A very huge tree had fallen down and they were concealed by the side of this fallen tree.  There they were kept for three weeks, the Abolitionists not daring to move them, as the woods in that locality were being searched for them by their owners and the "lick spittle" they had hired to assist them in their search.  During all this time the Abolitionists clandestinely furnished food and water for them.  Finally a way opened up by which they were moved on.  Randall L. Wells, a courageous and adventurous man of Middle creek, Monroe county, Ohio, was their Moses who piloted them out of the wilderness to the promised land.  Only two Israelites ever reached the happy land of Canaan, but the whole band of Randall L. Wells' reached the happy land of Canada.  While the search for these slaves was going on two of the "lick spittle" who were given money to buy whisky and tobacco by the slave hunters to do their dirty and nefarious business . . . two birds with one stone," hunt the runaway slaves and also kill squirrels.  One of the men shot a squirrel in the top of a very tall tree, and it fell in the midst of these slaves where they were concealed behind the fallen tree, and he started to get the squirrel when the other hunter said, "Damn it, come on, we are not hunting squirrels, we are hunting niggers."  If he had gone and got his squirrel he would have found the negroes.

In the year 1856, G. E. Smith, jeweler of Parkersburg, was taking an anti-slavery paper, published by Fred. Hasanreck at Cincinnati.  It was a German paper.  Thomas Smith was postmaster at Parkersburg at the time of this incident.  He learned that Mr. G. E. Smith's paper was anti-slavery.  The postmaster said to him you are taking an abolition paper, and you cannot get it through this office any longer.  After that for a while he received his paper in Belpre, then again he received it at Parkersburg through some kind of manipulating that the postmaster did not catch on to.

This will be my last article on the Reminiscences of Slavery.  I have endeavored to write nothing but facts.  No doubt there may be some errors.  No person realizes how difficult it is to get historical facts until he tries it.  I will here make a few corrections.  Whistler's two lines to which he refers to Rev. Whitfield favoring the African Slave trade, I wrote as follows:

"He bade the slave ships speed from coast to coast.
Framed by the wings of the Holy Ghost."

The printer has it, "He leads the slave ship's speed, &c."

In the mob at West Marietta it was Eb Cory who struck Tom Hutchinson, instead of Eb. Corry, as I had and the printer had it Carry.  W. W. McCoy informs me that the mob occurred in 1835 or 1836 instead of 1830.  I presume he is correct.  My informant thought it occurred in 1830, but he was not positive, but he was positive that it was during Old Hickory's Administration and that A. D. V. Joline got the post office under him.  Reuben C. Knowles, of Armenia was my informant.  He was present when the mobbing took place.  In giving the names of the surviving abolitionists of my acquaintance I made two mistakes.  It should be Titus Shotwell instead of Thomas Shotwell.  I have given Jonathan Lee as one of the survivors; this is a mistake for he is long since dead.  The stars in his heavenly crown are numerous, provided he has one for every poor slave he has helped on his way to freedom.  If you cannot get stars in your crown by assisting suffering humanity, how can you obtain them?  I wrote it Wm. Steel was a full cousin of W. E. Gladstone, &c., instead of as printed, E. Gladstone.  Thus far, I believe, I have corrected all the mistakes.

I have been asked why I call slavery, as it existed in this country, the crime of crimes.  My answer is that it was the "sum of all villainies."  It embodied murder, theft, robbery, adultery, forced concubinage, falsehood and piracy.  It was the vilest system of oppression under the sun and finally culminated in the blackest crime recorded in world's history.  I refer to the hideous treatment of the gallant and heroic men who went forth to battle for the glorious stars and stripes, the emblem of personal and religious liberty, who, while in rebel prisons, froze and starved to death, many of whom were eaten up alive with hateful vermin.  It cannot be denied that for many, many long years the American church and clergy were the bulwarks of this crime of crimes.  The old-time abolitionists were the pioneers in the grand cause of universal freedom and they kept agitating the question of slavery at the risk of their lives, many of whom did lose their lives, and many more were persecuted, boycotted, tarred and feathered, ridden on rails and hated by most people.  But they finally put in motion the liberty ball that eventually wiped from this country the curse and blot of the crime of crimes.  Think of the scoffs and jeers, the insulting remarks they have endured, and they never flinched.  How often I have heard it said that they, as a class, were a set of fanatical ignoramuses and withal unprincipled.  Let me say right here, the three hundred thousand slave-holders of this country did not have money enough to buy one of them to betray a runaway slave.  A more noble band of men has never lived in this country.  What would be thought of a man who would favor re-instating slavery as it was in '61.  We, as a nation of liberty loving people, acquiesce in the principles advocated and carried out by that noble band of men.  What would this country be had it not been for them.

Jno. W. Tuttle

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reminiscences of Slavery

The Marietta Register, December 28, 1893

Notes on the Under Ground Railway as given by Wm. Smith, of Cutler, Ohio.  Taken by Prof. E. P. Ames in Company with I. W. Putnam, Nov. 19, 1893.

Mr. Smith was born in 1825.  At the age of 14 he commenced the work of liberating the slaves along the border and did not cease his efforts till Lee surrendered at Appomattox.  One morning Mr. Smith and his father were busily engaged about the tar kiln when two strangers, well mounted, approached them and asked if any escaped slaves had been seen in that neighborhood, saying there was a company of eighteen, composed of four men, four women and nine children; Mr. Smith did not remember the description of the other.  A reward of $1,100 was offered for their capture.  These men wore homespun garments, cut in a fashion peculiar to Virginians.  A cape, bordered with a fringe, was attached to the shoulder of the coat, the sleeves of which were also fringed.  Upon receiving the reply that no negroes had been seen, the hunters went on their way toward Plymouth.  About three hours after the above conversation, Hamilton Cottle appeared, much excited, yet apparently anxious to conceal it.  After a few commonplace remarks he began to inquire if there was any short cut through the woods to the home of a certain Newman Tate.  After giving the desired information, Mr. Smith inquired if he had seen the "nigger" hunters.  Cottle evaded a direct answer and asked of Smith what he would do should he see the runaway negroes.  "I would secrete them in a cave and feed them," said he.  Cottle now knew Smith to be a friend and said:  "I will let you into a secret; I am endeavoring to find a secret way of escape for eighteen negroes who are now concealed in a cave on the farm of Joseph Plumley."  Mr. Smith and Cottle started for the hiding place while young Smith was placed on guard and instructed to keep a sharp lookout for the slave hunters.  That night the slaves were piloted through the dark and secret woodland path to Plymouth, where other friends took charge of them and sent them on to land of the free.

The following about "Stumpy Jess," who escaped from slavery in 1842, is taken from Prof. Ames' notes:  "Stumpy Jess belonged to the Neal family, who owned the farm on Washington's Bottom now owned by Capt. Cooper.  Jess received the name "Stumpy" from the fact that he had his feet amputated from having them frozen while as a boy he lay in a hay stack in Decatur township, hiding from his master.  Jess afterward made his escape to Canada, but returned penitent and sad.  Ere long his family, consisting of his wife, 30 years of age, a young woman of 22, a boy of 12 and a small child, escaped to Canada.  The above description of the family was given by the slave hunters, who were elegantly armed, well mounted, and gentlemanly in their bearing.  Jess followed about two weeks after his family.  Alex. Johnson, Creighton Loraine and Neamiah Spencer piloted him to Station Smith; thence he was taken to Daniel Coursey's, from there to Lee's, and thence to Samuel Smith's, beyond Plymouth."

Judge D. S. Gibbs of Hutchinson, Kansas, formerly of Noble county, writes:  "My Under Ground railroad knowledge is very limited.  My older brothers were conductors on that road.  J. D. Gibbs' house was a depot and eating house, and many a poor slave was sheltered and fed and helped on his way to Canada, doing most of the work at night.  My father was one of the old abolitionists and also was one of volunteer workers on said road.  From 1840 to 1856 it was very unpopular to be the friend of the slave.  About 1846, H. L. Preston, residing in Columbiana county, Ohio, came into our neighborhood (Port Soakum, near Dudley station on the C. & M. railroad) and was employed to teach our school.  Soon afterward, it became known he was a prominent anti-slavery man and he had the manhood to declare his sentiments in public.  An effort was made to have him discharged, but it failed.  My father and Gilman Dudley were directors and both anti-slavery men.  Mr. Preston was announced to lecture on the subject of slavery at our school house one evening.  A mob came, led by a Methodist class leader, all full of whisky, and with them their best and only arguments, rotten eggs, scandalous and blasphemous language.  The mob took possession by force and besmeared the school room, books and many ladies with rotten eggs, Mr. Preston receiving more than his share.  This outrageous conduct made the cause of freedom many friends.  During the same winter I made an appointment, through Isaac Lund, for Mr. Preston to lecture at Macksburg; there he was again assaulted by a mob throwing rotten eggs at him while he was speaking.  One of the eggs hit him on the shirt bosom.  He went on with his speech, remarking that the arguments used against him were not very pleasant, but as they (the mob) had no better ones to offer he would pardon them."

The writer remembers well Mr. H. L. Preston, the abolition lecturer mentioned by Judge Gibbs.  About that time (1846) he came to our village, Middle Creek, then in "Dark Monroe," and lectured in my father's tobacco packing house.  I was about twelve years old at that time.  I remember distinctly there was some opposition to his lecturing, but there was no mob violence indulged in.  The next day he lectured at Harrietsville, and we all felt sure that he would be mobbed there, as that town and vicinity were in those days considered rough.  The only person who disturbed the speaker was an old man, named Maiden, a noted fox hunter.  Mr. Preston was an elegant speaker.  Some years after that, the Hon. W. P. Cutler had a joint discussion with H. L. Preston on the subject of slavery.  At that time Mr. Cutler was a Whig and the Whigs and Abolitionists did not quite agree in those days, but in about ten years thereafter (1856) they stood upon the same platform.

I remember one of Mr. Cutler's jokes and will relate it.  In ante-bellum days in Ohio, a person could not vote unless he had a preponderance of white blood in his veins.  Mr. Cutler was one of the judges of the election in Warren township, when a gentleman of color presented himself at the polls to vote.  Mr. Cutler looked him intently in the face for a minute and then remarked to the man of color:  "You are a little too dark to vote; I am the standard in Warren."


Reminiscences of Slavery

The Marietta Register, December 14, 1893

Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, who was a member of congress for many years, was an abolitionist, and whenever an opportunity offered itself to help a poor down-trodden fugitive slave he did it.  A young slave woman, apparently as white as his own daughter, was brought to his house, en route to Canada.  Mr. Giddings prevailed on her to be content at his house a few days and he would see her safely landed in Canada.  During her sojourn Mr. Giddings gave orders to have his own daughter and the slave woman dressed alike.  It was during a political campaign, when Mr. Giddings was a candidate for re-election to Congress.  He had an appointment some distance from home to make a speech.  He took his daughter and the fugitive slave with him in his carriage to the political meeting.  In those days the question at issue between the two leading parties was slavery.  At this meeting Mr. Giddings' remarks were principally on that question.  He portrayed eloquently the infamy of slavery and, said he, "there is in this audience the daughter of your representative in Congress, and there is also in this audience a fugitive slave, a young lady who has just escaped from the jaws of death and gates of hell of slavery, and there is not a person in this vast audience can tell which is the slave or which is the daughter of your member of Congress."  They were unable to tell.  He then made an application of the picture he had drawn, which was grand and to the point.  About as handsome a young woman as the writer ever saw was a fugitive slave at Middle Creek, in the year 1844, she, with others, was en route to Canada.  She in appearance was white, still, no doubt, there coursed in her veins a little African blood.

Mr. "German" Hall lived near Lowell, Ohio, when the incident I am about to relate took place.  He was very avaricious and intensely pro-slavery, and he was invariably on the alert for an opportunity to make money.  About the year 1845, five men, slaves, ran away from their owners and crossed the river to Ohio near Marietta.  Their owners offered a liberal reward, I think it was $500, for the capture and return of their slaves.  Mr. Hall was eager to get the reward; which was known by his neighbor's sons, five in number, same number as the fugitives.  They resolved they would play a trick on Mr. Hall; therefore, they blacked themselves and called at his house and inquired how far it was to Massa Gould's, a noted abolitionist, who lived about ten miles from there.  Mr. Hall, thinking they were the fugitive slaves for which the reward was offered, invited them to tarry until night and he would then take them in his wagon to Massa Gould's, to which they agreed.  He then concealed them in his barn and gave orders to his wife to make a corn "pone," as they would need something to eat before starting for Massa Gould's.  He supplied them also with fire-water, and the boys under its influence carried high sail while in the barn, waiting for night to come.  Mr. Hall engaged one of his neighbors, like himself, to assist him, with whom he agreed to divide the reward.  Night came and all got into the wagon and started, as he pretended, for Massa Gould's, but he was headed for Marietta.  They had not gone far, when they began to inquire whether or not they were going in the direction of Massa Gould's.  Mr. Hall's answer was invariably that they were on the right road to Massa Gould's.  When the boys had gone as far as they cared to go they commenced jumping out of the wagon.  All had gotten out but one little fellow, who was seized by Mr. Hall's partner, when Mr. Hall yelled (he stuttered):  "Ho-h-o-ld on to h-i-m; he-'ll pay 'spenses."  But at last he got away.  The boys made up a song to fit the case and would sing it to him, and he would cry like a child.

About the year 1830, an abolitionist, named Hall, attempted to make an abolition speech in the old brick building in West Marietta, used as a church and a school-house.  Hall arose to speak, when A. V. D. Joline, post-master of the town under President Jackson, grabbed Hall and told him that he would make a speech, when Eb. Carry put in an appearance and struck at Hall, who was trying to get out of the house, but missed his mark and struck "Billy Patterson," or rather Tom Hutchinson.  Hall got out and struck for the old ferry-boat, but he was in too much of a hurry to wait for the boat and he plunged into the river and swam or waded across to Marietta.  Whitney and Fearing, residents of West Marietta, were not abolitionists, still they believed in free speech and expressed themselves accordingly.  That fine old gentleman, Rev. John McCoy, long since numbered with the silent majority, was with Hall in the house and did all he could to protect Hall and himself against the attacks of the mob, but finally he was compelled to get out and save himself as best he could.

The severity of the winter of 1855-6 is vivid in my recollection, and well do I remember nature's infraction of the Fugitive Slave Law.  It was Sunday, Jan. 27, 1856, that Margaret Garner, a slave, with her three children, escaped from her master in Boone county, Ky., and crossed the river on the ice between Covington and Cinncinnati.  Their pursuers soon followed on horse-back, and Margaret Garner and her three children were traced to the house of a negro, named Kite.  Monday morning, a U. S. marshal and assistants went to Kite's house and asked the fugitives to surrender, but they refused, when the house was broken into and a horrible sight met their eyes.  The slave mother, Margaret Garner, rather than to go back to slavery and have her children taken back, decided she would kill them and then kill herself.  She had killed her oldest child, a girl - almost white - before the officers entered the house, and she was making an effort to kill the two others, when she was captured.  Efforts were made by the State authorities to hold her for trial on the charge of murder.  Her owner pledged himself to hold her, subject to a requisition from the Governor of Ohio to answer the charge of crime.  When she was captured she said she would go dancing to the gallows, rather than go back to slavery.  Her owner violated his promise to hold her, subject to a requisition, and sent her down the river, where all trace of her was lost.  This single rendition cost the Federal government $20,000.

"Ran away, a negro girl called Mary - has a small scar over her eyes, a good many teeth missing, the letter 'A' is branded on her cheek and forehead.  J. P. Ashford, Adams Co., Miss."

I have been credibly informed that there is an elderly woman, an ex-slave, living in Belpre, who while a slave, was branded on her neck with perhaps the initials of her infamous master's name.  She still carries the brand and will carry it until her body is decomposed in her grave.  It does not seem possible that that great statesman, that intellectual giant and brilliant orator, Daniel Webster, a man still revered on account of his great oratory and statesmanship, spoke the following language when he had decided to vote for the infamous Fugitive Slave bill of 1850:  "I desire to call the attention of all sober-minded men at the North, of all conscientious men, of all men who are not carried away by some fanatical idea of false impression, to their constitutional obligations.  I put it to all the sober and sound minds at the North as a question of morals and a question of conscience, etc."  It is a clear case that he was on the side of the blood hounds, instead of the poor, panting fugitive slave.  Every "conservative" clergyman and politician in this broad land took precisely the same position on this question as Webster - that is, we should do "with alacrity" whatever we could toward securing the return of fugitive slaves to their masters.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Delightful Homes Stand As Sentinels of the Architecture Beauty of the Yesteryears

Sunday Morning Observer, November 25, 1917

The winds of progress striking Marietta full force within the past decade did not and cannot erase the sunshiny and comfortable characteristics of the city, now best exemplified by its historic homes.

Even though almost all of the old mansions, homes and buildings of all sorts have gone to make way for the unhampered, unswerving march of prosperity - which means tall buildings, smoke and factories - there are still standing in the city proper and along its outskirts homes around which romance and tender history have been written and entered in the city's memoirs; homes and buildings that breathe, even in the hurry and scurry now, the old hush of immemorial placidity that guards like an unseen shroud.

Not even the zealous and arduous work of the city's certainly zealous real estate men has as yet taken away all the structures and they remain monuments of early times when men who came into the forests of the great West, built even better than they knew and they stand as models of real home architecture that pleases the eye and brings a feeling of comfort to those who look upon them.

The first dwelling houses were built in Marietta at "The Point" immediately after the landing of the Pioneers, April 7, 1788.  Roads were then cut through the forests and Campus Martius, the Block House and the Ohio Company's Office built in the few years following.  From that time on the forward march of construction of homes and business houses continued and many of the structures stand today and mark the beginning, sentinels of the yesteryears of architecture and the handiwork of those who have gone before.

The office of the Ohio Company was built prior to 1790 and still stands in its original site on Washington street, between Front and Second streets.  It is believed to be the oldest building standing where built in the state of Ohio, in fact, west of the Alleghany mountains.  It was used by Gov. Arthur St. Clair and, in fact, the first capitol building of the Ohio Territory, now the state of Ohio.  It is now occupied by the Washington County Historical Society as a relic room.

The old Block House at the southeast corner of Campus Martius was built at the time of the Indian War prior to 1791 by General Rufus Putnam and used by him as a residence till his death and after which it was occupied by Arius Nye till 1865.  It is now the property of Miss Minerva T. Nye and is used by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The old Dr. S. P. Hildreth residence on Putnam street was erected in 1809.  That was the physician's home till his death and then occupied by Dr. George Hildreth till his death and now owned by Jerry Buckley and occupied as an office building and known as the Hildreth Building.

The Governor Meigs property on Front street for many years the home of Judge Martin D. Follett and now owned and occupied by his son, Judge E. B. Follett.

The Battelle property on Fourth street now owned and occupied by Dr. Reuben Cisler.  The Col. D. P. Bosworth house on Third street now owned and occupied by Mrs. Kate Biszantz.  The old school building on Fourth street just above Putnam, remodeled and now occupied by David Thomas.  The two Rodick homes on upper Front street, one owned and occupied by Prosecuting Attorney R. M. Noll, and the other by the Watson family.  The George T. Elston home occupied by Dr. J. D. Cotton and now by his daughter, Miss Willia Cotton.  The J. W. Baldwin home at the corner of Wooster and Fifth, later owned by Harlow Chappin, and now occupied by the daughters of the late Dr. John Boyd.  The J. B. Hovey property at the corner of Wooster and Fifth later occupied by the Kingsberry's and now by Henry Ebinger.  The Beman Gates property at the corner of Putnam and Fourth, later the Congregational parsonage and now the home of the Girl's Monday Club, the gift of Mrs. Betty Gates mills.

The Henry Armstrong property at Fifth and Whites Road, now the home of Dr. Ross.  The Thomas Ewart residence at the corner of Putnam and Fifth, later the T. D. Dale home and now the home of Edward Flanders.  The W. H. Buell home, opposite the Mound Cemetery and still occupied by his descendants.  The Putnam home on Second street, later the Frank's home and now the property of the Board of education.

The E. W. Clark property at the corner of Fifth and Wooster, later the Gurley home and but recently purchased by F. R. Hall.  The R. P. Ijams property on Fourth street, later owned by J. H. Grafton and now by J. A. Lovell.  The Col. Melvin Clarke property, later John Newton, then Ed. W. Nye and now Mrs. T. F. Davis.  The Noah L. Wilson home at the corner of Fifth and Putnam now the fine residence of Col. John Mills.  The McCarty property on Fifth street, now the home of E. A. Meyers.  The R. Merydith property on upper Front street.  The David C. Skinner property on Front street now the home of Mrs. Charles R. Rhodes.  The James Holden and Prof. Biscoe properties on Front street.  The Dr. B. Frank Hart property on Front street.

The Nathan Fawcett property on Putnam street, now the home of Mrs. Sallie Purple Hart, relic of the late Dr. Samuel Hart.  The I. W. Waters property at the corner of Fourth and Wooster now the site of the St. Mary Catholic church.  The Nahum Ward property at the corner of Second and Putnam, later the George Rice home and now built up in business blocks.  T
he Guitteau property, at the corner of Front and Putnam streets, once used for the post office, later Brigham's grocery, Curtis' Drug Store and the Dysle Drug Co.

The A. T. Nye homestead, now occupied by Miss Mary Nye.  The Styer property at the corner of Sixth and Putnam.  The John Eels home on Putnam near Sixth, once occupied by the president of Marietta College.  The Gen. R. R. Dawes home on Fourth.  The Chas. S. Dickey home on Fourth, later owned and occupied by Hon. D. B. Torpy and now by Mrs. George Brown.  The Woodbridge property at the corner of Putnam and Third, now moved to face Third and the front built up in residences owned by Mrs. J. D. Cadwallader.  The Woodbridge property on Third street below Putnam.  The R. E. Hart property on Third street, now owned by Elmer Thorniley.  The Gen. A. J. Warner property now occupied by his son-in-law, David Okey.  The old Dunlevy home on Front street, later the home of Col. R. L. Nye and now occupied by Meisenhelder & Leonhart.

The M. P. Wells home on Second street, now being remodeled into a business block.  The George Mathews property on upper Front street, now occupied by Chas. Bailey. 

The Ed. and Ichabod Nye homes between Front and Second streets on Washington and now built up in residences.  The Ben P. Putnam and Luther Edgerton homes on Fifth street.  The late Holden home at the upper end of the City Park, later occupied by S. B. Kirby.  The A. B. Waters home at the corner of Front and Scammel, now the home of Attorney A. T. Williamson.  The old Smith home , now the home of Lawrence Mills.  The Sailor [Sala?]Bosworth home now the residence of Mrs. Anna Gracey.  The John Kendrick home, later the Joe Dyar home and now the home of Earle Spies.  The Ed. Buell property on Fourth street across from the College and now occupied by his widow.  The Dudley Nye property at the corner of Sixth and Wooster and now occupied by his daughter, Miss Virginia Nye.  The Davis Green property on Second street, later the home of Dr. Z. D. Walters and now Mrs. Dr. Helen N. Curtis.  The J. H. Best home on lower Second street near Greene.  The old Reckard property at the corner of Third and Greene.

There are many others, these were picked at random but they go to turn back sweet memory into channels that lead to the yesteryears and we see again the foundation on which Marietta was built.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Rambles of a Day – The Thoughts of a Lifetime

The Marietta Register (semi-weekly), August 5, 1887

‘Tis the morning of the 30th of July and with diligence I am to seek the ground on Bear Run, Lawrence Township, chosen for to-day’s gathering. The circumstances made it natural that I should, as I drove along, think of the past dwellers by the road side.

As I enter my buggy I look across the way. Four brothers once were mine. The grave has them all. The playmates of my youth, our neighbors’ children, one by one have dropped by the wayside, and gone out of my sight.

I turn a corner. There lived my early school teacher, Wm. Slocomb, and just beyond, on the other side of the way, my Latin instructor and spiritual teacher, the Rev. L. G. Bingham. Across the square lived Royal Prentiss, the editor of the American Friend and Marietta Gazette of long years ago. Further on and yet within the corporation, were Michael Deterly and Robt. Williamson, both sturdy, trusted men. Outside the city limits and yet near my starting point, were the homes of Dr. Jonas Moore, Samuel Gates, Ebenezer Gates and such like men – all gone. Beyond the creek, the first house was the home of Isaac Maxon, for many years the editor of the Whig paper of early days. Then Stephen Hildreth’s and his son Calvin’s. Then the old homes of O. L. Recard and Zebulon Jennings. Each one of all these, receiving from me now but a passing remark, deserves at the hand of the historian each a chapter. Next we come to Rose’s Mill, on Little Muskingum. Who that ever knew them has forgotten Elisha Rose and his wife Rebecca? This mill, the second from the mouth of the creek, was one of the six that ground the grain and cut the logs of the early comers here.

Soon we find ourselves in Lawrence Township, the history of the erection of which is as follows: At the June session, in the year 1815, of the County Commissioners (the board consisted of the following members: Nathaniel Hamilton, Daniel Goodno and Henry Jolly, Esq.), on the petition of Nathaniel Mitchell, John Mitchell, Elisha Rose, John Sharp, and sundry other inhabitants of the Township of Newport, praying that a new town may be laid out and set off from the Township of Newport, it was:

Resolved by the board, that the tract of country contained within the following limits, viz: the whole of the original surveyed township number three in the 7th range, together with sections numbered 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 35, and 36 in the second township of the 7th range, be and the same is hereby established into an incorporated town, to be called and denominated Lawrence, and the inhabitants residing within said district are declared to be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of incorporated towns within this State. The electors within said town will meet at the house of John Mitchell on the second Saturday of July next, at 10 o’clock A.M., to elect township officers according to law.”

At the March (1816) session of the Commissioners, a petition to throw back all the above named territory except section 3, into Newport Township, signed by William Hill, Mathew Miner, Jasher Taylor, John Hill and others, was presented. A remonstrance, signed by Samuel Dye, James Mitchell, Ezekiel Dye and sundry other inhabitants of the town of Lawrence, was also considered and by vote of the Commissioners the lines of the town remained unchanged.

At a subsequent date, the territory south of the east and west line of section 3 was restored to Newport Township. The road which passes by Peter Becker’s (whose house is in Newport Township) soon crosses the west, north and south line of Lawrence Township and you find yourself among the citizens of that good old township, named after Commodore Lawrence, of deserved fame, acquired during the war with Great Britain in 1812. When the war of the Rebellion was upon us this grandly named old township was not forgetful of duty, but furnished two hundred men for the Union army. Of these, many went to return no more. The bodies of a few of the dead were sent home , but many were buried in far off fields. May ministering angels watch over their sleeping dust.

Lawrence Township, as now organized, embraces 36 sections of 640 acres each and consequently has within its limits twenty-three thousand and forty acres of land. I can distinctly remember when not one-third of this area was in the hands of the inhabitants, but was owned by the Government. I believe that now every forty acres has its owner and they chiefly residents of the township.

The wealth of the coal and oil in the bowels of the earth within the limits of the township no one can estimate. Millions of dollars have followed the search for oil alone, and new wells are constantly rewarding those who search.

Soon we pass the home of Joseph Caywood – one of nature’s noblemen. Thence to the place of Esq. Samuel Dye, the father of James H. and Jonathan Dye, of Marietta. I could write pages about his goodness and kindness as a neighbor. Everybody loved him. For years, without opposition, he was elected a Justice of the Peace. His kind heart often controlled his actions. I remember once when, as a magistrate, he held a claim against a neighbor for collection, he came to town and sold his last cow to raise money to pay it rather than, as he said, to take from his neighbor’s children the milk that nourished them. I care not what theologians say, but it seems to me “that such are of the kingdom of heaven.”

I could linger just here and beginning with this old man call around me the spirits of a large number of those who in early days lived in the cabins of Lawrence – but I must away. I reach the mouth of Bear Run, cross the bridge and find myself among improvements without number, where but a few years ago the wilderness was.

Derricks, many in number, tell the story of oil search. At no distant day I propose, with the excellent aid of my friend, Archie Dye, to write up the “Oil Excitement” of 1861 – ’62 – ’63 – ’64. And if he gives me in perfection all he knows of this, as his good wife and daughter did in the preparation of one of the best dinners I ever sat down to, the world will be amazed as well as amused. I must not dwell on this dinner, but I may be allowed to say who with me sat at the table. Forty or more years ago, Marietta had a Mechanic’s Lyceum – the membership made up chiefly of mechanics, but allowing a few who had not the good fortune to have a trade to enjoy its privileges. One of the active, useful members of that club was Thomas Clogston. I remember him well. Outside of the Lyceum and the trade bench, he was a power; his example, his life, pure and noble, aided in building up good morals and intelligence. In the midst of his great influence for good he was cut down, and in the Mound Cemetery at Marietta you read: “J. Thomas Clogston, died June 28, 1846, aged 35 years, 1 month and 21 days.”

I often met and took council with him, but death separated us and I soon, in the hurry of life, lost sight of his family. At this dinner table, after the lapse of 40 years, I once more saw his good wife, and two ladies whom I here met proved to be the little girls that I oft-times saw seated upon their father’s knee.

Pic-nics, harvest homes, of this day, take the place of log rollings and corn husking of other days. They are all much alike, made up chiefly of the young who mean to have a good time. The gathering this day was like all others of the kind. Everybody enjoyed it.

The drive from Archie’s Dye’s to Marietta up the hill along the ridge and down to Eight Mile, brings you in sight of the knobs of East Lawrence and West Independence and of the homes chiefly on high airy places of the dwellers in this the most beautifully picturesque part of Washington county.

I can’t dwell to tell you of the clever fellows I met and what they are all about. Gracy, McGee, Gilbert, Noland, and a host of others living hereabouts are not living in vain. I left them all feeling to cry out: “Let fate do her worst, there are relics of joy, Bright dreams of the past which she cannot destroy.

G. M. W. [George Morgan Woodbridge]