RHODA FARRAND

A POEM FROM THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
by Miss Eleanor A. Hunter

      "We are here for the winter in Morristown,
      And a sorry sight are our men to-day,
      In tatters and rags with no signs of pay.
      As we marched to camp, if a man looked back,
      By the dropping of blood he could trace our track;
      For scarcely a man has a decent shoe,
      And there's not a stocking the army through;
      So send us stockings as quick as you can,
      My company needs them, every man.
      And every man is a neighbor's lad;
      Tell this to their mothers: They need them bad.
      Then, if never before, beat Rhoda's heart,
      'Twas time to be doing a woman part,
      She turned to her daughters, Hannah and Bet,
      Girls, each on your needles a stocking set.
      Get my cloak and hood; as for you, son Dan,
      Yoke up the steers just as quick as you can;
      Put a chair in the wagon, as you're alive,
      I will sit and knit while you go and drive.
      They started at once on Whippany Road,
      She knitting away while he held the goad.
      At Whippany Village she stopped to call
      On the sisters Prudence and Mary Ball.
      She would not go in, she sat in her chair,
      And read to the girls her letter from there.
      That was enough, for their brothers three
      Were in Lieutenant Farrand's company.
      Then on Rhoda went, stopping here and there,
      To rouse the neighbors from her old chair."

From "Historic Morristown, New Jersey":

The result of the heroic efforts of this patriotic woman, assisted by her not less patriotic daughters and son, was, that the stockings poured into the New Jersey camp down the Jockey Hollow road "in a perfect shower." From S.A. Farrand, one of the headmasters of the Newark (NJ) Academy, who, the writer is proud to say, is a grandson of the Rhoda Farrand of the poem quoted from, the writer learns that the poem is in the main historically correct. The poem was written by Miss Eleanor A. Hunter, a great-granddaughter of Rhoda Farrand. In reply to the query of the present writer as to how she happened to write this patriotic poem, she says: "It was a story told me by my mother. She related it to me many times, and I never wearied of listening to it. She had heard it as a child from Grandmother Rhoda herself. One evening, after a visit to Morristown, my mother and I were talking about Revolutionary days and she told me the story once more. Suddenly the thought came to me: "What a good poem that would make." I retired to my room and put the story in rhyme then and there and brought it out and gave it to my mother." The poem, as already mentioned, was subsequently published.

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