History of Hadley
Early History of Hatfield, South Hadley
Amherst and Granby
By SYLVESTER JUDD
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
By LUCIUS M. BOLTWOOD
Published by H. R. HUNTTING & COMPANY
Springfield, Mass. 1905
INTRODUCTION TO THE
CONTAINING A CAREFUL STUDY OF THE LIVES OF THE REGICIDES
AND AN INQUIRY INTO THE HISTORICAL BASIS OF
THE "ANGEL OF HADLEY" LEGEND.
By GEORGE SHELDON.
THERE are events in the history of Hadley of which her citizens are, and of right ought to be, very proud. They may tell of heroes living and dying there, whose dust sanctifies their soil--heroes of war, and heroes of peace. The actions of the former are usually on a stage where they can be seen and known of all men. For the most part these live and act conscious of a watching world, and assured that lasting memorials will perpetuate their names and deeds. We point to Hadley's farmer-soldier General Hooker on Beacon Hill.
To the heroes of peace all this incentive to action is notably wanting. Their noblest deeds are often done in emergencies, on a sudden impulse, with no applauding crowd; more often without a witness, and with no thought of present reward or future fame. The greatest hero of Hadley, however, was of a still nobler and finer mold. Actuated by pure motives of humanity, sympathy and duty, and the loftiest pitch of patriotism, he patiently wrought in darkness and in silence. Through the anxious days and lingering nights of more than ten years, he bravely stood within a hand's breadth of the gates of ignominious death. He never faltered for a single hour, nor ever sought to shift upon another the burden and responsibility. Month after month, summer and winter, year after year, zealously watching and guarding his trust, JOHN RUSSELL was virtually a prisoner within his own hamlet. Under his very rooftree he was secreting Edward Whalley and William Goffe, two of the patriot judges who condemned to the scaffold that misguided and perfidious representative of the "divine right of kings," Charles I., of England. These two men were now proscribed; a price was set upon their heads, and a swift retribution awaited any who might relieve or conceal them. Any neglect of precaution, any unforeseen mishap to the premises, any single case of misplaced confidence, and both he and his guests were surely doomed to nameless torture and death. Of necessity there must have been those about him in the secret, but none failed him, although each knew that a single whispered word would bring a rich reward. All honor to these faithful souls.
Whalley and Goffe were known to be in Boston in 1660, and also in New Haven in 1661; and zealous minions of Charles II. were for twenty years ransacking every corner of the Colonies with the ardor and persistence of bloodhounds; their very house of refuge was searched. Over these two men, themselves of heroic proportion, lovers of liberty, patriots of the highest type, Mr. Russell was in truth the real "Guardian Angel of Hadley."
In 1672 Mr. Russell was appointed to a place of trust and honor, which would have taken him to Boston free of expense twice each year. This very desirable service he declined by letter, saying guardedly, that he must do so on account of "the special worke where with I stand charged." Seldom or never in all the years in which he was guarding that trust, could the steadfast pastor get a release from the stated Sunday and Fast Day service by an exchange of pulpits; not once the refreshment and inspiration which the country minister was wont to get in the "Annual Convention" at Boston.
In 1674 Goffe writes to his wife that her father, General Whalley, was fast nearing his end; but no one knows when the day of rest came. All knowledge of the time or place of Goffe's departure has also passed with him behind the veil. In 1685, however, we find the faithful watchman breathing the free air of Boston. Probably his "special worke" came to an end finally with a second burial in his cellar. Mr. Russell died in 1692. Hadley has indeed reason to be proud of such sublime heroism as his, and it is passing strange that her citizens have so long delayed placing an indestructible memorial to mark the spot where, even in the shadow of the grave, loom up the truly grand proportions of John Russell. Here shone forth his intense love of liberty. Here he stood ready to sacrifice his life, in showing honor for the daring deeds of these two apostles of civil freedom, whom he was shielding from a horrible death. Here he emphasized his belief, that
"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." Evidence is not wanting, that the time is now ripe for Hadley to honor itself by doing honor to her most noble nobleman, brave John Russell; and we may hope and expect with confidence, that this longdelayed duty will soon be an actual achievement. His descendants may be scattered far and wide; but let Hadley see to it that his fame with her shall ever abide.
The story of the town has been told with rare interest in Judd's History of Hadley. This book has been long out of print. More than thirty years ago, I bought the only copy I could find on sale in Boston. As it is indispensible to any well-equipped library of Americana, public or private, and has become so scarce that its price has reached a prohibitory figure to most students, there can be no question about the necessity of a new edition. Judd's History has been known as a standard work ever since it was issued. It not only covers Hadley, but the territory for a score of miles up and down the valley of the Connecticut. In it the searcher after knowledge of the manners and customs of the early days will find a full field from which to garner colonial, ecclesiastical, scholastic, civic, industrial, mercantile, legal and legendary lore. The very opening chapter contains a clue to the obscure, but interminable church quarrels so common and persistent among our Puritan and Pilgrim fathers and mothers. The causes, when we can unlock their confusing mysteries, seem to us trivial, but examination shows that by these earnest, honest men and women, they were considered vital and controlling, as being matters of eternal consequence. It was one of these disturbing events in Connecticut that determined when and by whom Hadley should be settled.
Judd was an enthusiastic student; generally seeking the material for his history at first hand--in old parchment-covered record books, files of musty time-stained papers, tattered letters, and long-forgotten diaries. Those who have seen the mass of his accumulated papers are surprised at the extent and diversity of his research. Although fate decreed that Mr. Judd should not have the final arrangement of his great store of genealogical data, this work was successfully accomplished by Hon. Lucius M. Boltwood, and is, and always will be, a rich mine for the delver after family history in the valley of the Connecticut.
As before said, Mr. Judd must always be looked up to as a sound historical authority of the highest rank. If once in a great while he be found tripping, we can but say, that it is the common lot of all who depend upon original manuscript. New material of this kind may and often does come to light, for the use and edification of the later writer. There was one topic upon which the painstaking Judd was led astray; that was in giving undue credit to President Ezra Stiles, in his History of the Three Judges. Through his faith in the standing of the man, Judd accepted as history, without his usual investigation, the Leverett Tradition, that on Sept. 1, 1675, Hadley was attacked by Indians while the inhabitants were assembled in the meetinghouse holding a Fast Day service, and that the town was only saved from destruction by the sudden appearance of General Goffe, at a critical moment. If this story is otherwise read by me, and my version be accepted as true, I am here embarrassed by an apparent claim to be the better student. I am not, and far be it from me to make such a claim. It may not be improper to say, that in common with all the later historians of New England, I had accepted the account of President Stiles as an established fact, and no more thought of calling in question the authenticity of the Goffe story, than of any accepted fact of history. I had seen, however, so many traditions discredited in my general reading, that I had made it my rule to take nothing second hand which could be personally investigated, and so when possible, I went to the same original sources of information as my author. This I soon found necessary to the spirit of independent thought and expression, for not seldom, I found myself differing from the author in hand, in my interpretation of the same facts.
It was in accordance with the above rule, that I began mining for the foundation of the "Angel of Hadley" story. To my surprise, I soon discovered that the corner stone, instead of being laid on bed rock or solid masonry, rested on nothing better than elusive quicksand. Had Mr. Judd entertained the faintest suspicion about the main fact of the story, I make no doubt he would have investigated the matter, and would have reached the same conclusion which was fairly forced upon me. With all his general faith in Stiles, Judd was compelled to question some of his positions on this subject, occasionally disputing him point blank; and he shows that some of the traditions upon which Stiles built, were "certainly false." Many other items are treated with small respect, "Some of which must be rejected," he says. Mr. Judd would doubtless be the last man to regret that the romantic, but baseless episode of the Angel of Rescue, so cherished by the sentimental, should be eliminated from the annals of the town, when its most potent factor is proved to be but the child of an indiscriminating credulity.
It is expected by the publishers of the new edition of Judd's History that the Introduction shall contain a concise review of the evidence upon which rests the story of the Angel of Hadley, as given by Stiles and accepted in the main feature by Judd. Necessarily the field to be explored is obscure, the facts to be dealt with, fragmentary, widely scattered and individually of small account; but all these facts focused upon the objective point, will, it is hoped, give a final quietus to the angel fabrication being accepted as history. As material for romantic fiction, the myth will live for ages.
General Edward Whalley and General William Goffe were members of the "High Court of Justice," which was the forlorn hope of civil and religious liberty for the English race, and which with one desperate blow so shattered the battlements of Prerogative, that its walls never have been and never can be fully built up again. With the restoration of Charles II., these two men fled to New England. When they left London, the King had not been proclaimed, but the news reached them while yet in the English Channel. The good ship of Captain Pierce, which brought them over, "came to anchor between Boston and Charlestown," July 27, 1660. Whalley had assumed the name of Richardson, and Goffe the name of Shepardson. They at once took up their residence at Cambridge. The quotations which follow are from the diary of General Goffe.
"July 29th, Lord's Day, heard Mr. Mitchell preach." They were well received here by men who knew their real character. Mitchell was the minister of Cambridge. "Aug. 9th, Went to Boston Lecture, heard Norton, Scotch ship brought threatned recognition by one who came in it. At night Maj. [Daniel] Gookin showed us a printed paper yt was brought by the Scotch. Ship wherin the Lds doe order 66 members of the High Court of Justice to be secured with yr Estate."
While at Cambridge they also attended an Indian Lecture, probably by the apostle Eliot, and Goffe makes note of the discussion which followed and the searching questions put by the natives. After Aug. 9th, the Judges made no pretence of concealment.
"Aug. 16th, Sup'd with Mr. Chauncey [President of Harvard College] he was persuaded ye Ld had brought us to this country for good both to them and ourselves."
"Aug. 23d, visited Elder Frost," and on the 26th they were visited by Mr. Mitchell. By the above may be seen their status in Boston. So the Judges waited coming events. Would Charles be sustained? They had not long to wait. November 30th, a ship brought news that the King was firmly established on the throne, and furthermore, that complaints were abroad about the way the Judges had been received in the Colony. Action here became necessary, and on December 19th an "Address to the King" was sent over by the General Court. A gracious reply was returned by Charles. Before this had been received, however, orders had arrived for the apprehension of Whalley and Goffe. February 22d the Court of Assistants met to consider the matter. The members did not agree upon any action, and nothing followed; but all saw that a crisis was near, and means were found to send the Judges away from the Bay. They were guided by an Indian as far as Springfield, and thence by Simon Lobdel through Hartford, reaching New Haven March 7, 1661. A few days after they left Cambridge, a "Hue-and-Cry" was received from England, and March 8th, a warrant for their arrest was sent to Springfield, on their trail. But the birds had flown, as was doubtless expected.
The pretended efforts of Governor Endicott did not blind observers in England. One Mr. Lang writes Rev. John Davenport at New Haven, Oct. 28, 1661, "The Bay stirring soe much for the Apprehending of W: & G: signifie at present heere but little, because they were so long with them & then did nothing." Governor Endicott did not succeed altogether in saving his credit, but the Judges had fled beyond his jurisdiction and he was saved further embarrassment. They were well received as befitting their rank, by the leading men of Hartford and New Haven. They were probably sheltered under the roof of Rev. Mr. Davenport at New Haven, but not for long.
Forced by royal mandate, on the 7th of May, 1661, Governor Endicott sent Thomas Kellond, captain of an English ship, and Thomas Kirk, a young Boston merchant, two zealous royalists, to search for the Judges, as far south as New York. On their return May 29th, they made a detailed Report to Governor Endicott. From this Report we learn that they reached Guilford, Conn., May 11th, 1661, and had a conference with William Lette, acting governor. On the 12th or 13th, they arrived at New Haven. There some time was spent in ineffectual efforts to induce the magistrates to give them authority to search for the Judges. The agents were put off chiefly by pretended difficulties in matters of authority. They say, "And soe findeing them obstinate and pertenaceous in their contempt of his Majestie, we came away the next day in prosecution after them, according to instructions, to the Governour of Manadas," by whom they received civil treatment and fair promises; after which "Wee made our returne by sea to give your honor an accompt."
To this relation they made oath. News of the coming of Kellond and Kirk was received at New Haven by Mr. Davenport in advance of their arrival, and the Judges were spirited away to a safe retreat. Later a search of New Haven was made by the authorities, which ended as intended. The Judges remained in hiding in and about New Haven and Guilford until 1664, when, learning that Commissioners from England had arrived in Boston with special orders to search for Whalley and Goffe, it was thought they were no longer safe in Connecticut; and on the 13th day of October, 1664, they began their long night journey through the woods to the house of Rev. John Russell, in Hadley. That little plantation was only five years old, but its sturdy stock, the pick of three towns, had already taken firm root in the virgin soil. The minister, who had led his flock out of a theological snarl in Connecticut, was leader still. Peter Tilton, the magistrate, stood next in position. All were men of strong parts and sterling principles; men to be relied upon should the worst befall. In this little town, deep in the wilderness, the worn and hunted men found a sure refuge. One of them for a certainty here finished his checkered career, and here I believe his ashes still rest in an undiscovered grave. As to the younger, General Goffe, doubts may properly be raised. From Hadley the exiles corresponded by letter with their friends in England and in New England, under assumed names.
The question of the Indian attack on Hadley Sept. 1, 1675, and the appearance of the "Good Angel" Goffe to the rescue, will be considered in a general review of the evidence in the case. The wide dissemination of this story is chiefly due to Ezra Stiles, President of Yale College, in his History of the Three Judges published in 1794. For this work, Doctor Stiles attempted to make an exhaustive search in all directions for material, and he shows a commendable zeal and industry in hunting for recorded facts and traditions. Unfortunately, however, there appears to be in him a lack of the judicial quality. He delights to eat and drink of traditions, but he fails in their digestion. He plainly exhibits a certain twist in his make-up, which inclines him to give more weight to a faint family tradition, than to verified contemporaneous facts. In justification of this criticism, I will cite a single example. I have spoken of the mission of Kellond and Kirk to New Haven, and their sworn return to Governor Endicott.
This Report is printed in full by Doctor Stiles. The salient facts are, that the emissaries spent three days in fruitless efforts to obtain a warrant to enable them to search for the Judges. Failing in this, on the fourth day, they left Connecticut for New York, without making any search; and from New York they say "Wee made our returne by sea, to give your honor an accompt." After giving this Report, Stiles comments upon it thus: "They arrived at New Haven the 13th day; and it should seem that they left the town the next day, and this without any search at all; and particularly, no mention is made of their interview with Mr. Davenport. But the constant tradition in New Haven is, that they diligently searched the town, and particularly the house of Mr. Davenport, whom they treated with asperity, and reprehension.... It would seem that they [the Judges] were not in town while the pursuivants were here."
Now, in the face of this Report and his own comments, Stiles in the same chapter gives page after page of obscure and conflicting traditions, which he tries to soften and reconcile, to prove that Kellond and Kirk did search several houses, and that the Judges had several narrow escapes in the process. Further, that the pursuers returned home from New York not by sea, but through New Haven, where they continued the search; for so say some family traditions. Such treatment of evidence warrants a very careful scrutiny of other conclusions arrived at by Doctor Stiles. The knowledge that Whalley and Goffe were concealed at Hadley was "first made known to the world" in 1764, by Governor Thomas Hutchinson in his "History of Massachusetts." In collecting material for this history, Hutchinson visited Hadley, and sought to find and garner every scrap of tradition concerning the Judges that might have floated down on the years of a century which he knew had passed since their lot had been cast in that town. His errand appears to have been nearly barren of results. Apparently no one there had any knowledge or tradition connecting Hadley with the Judges. The result of his research so far as it appears, is this: "The tradition at Hadley is that two persons unknown were buried in the minister's cellar." That and no more.
In 1793, President Stiles, while hunting material for his history of the Judges also spent some time in Hadley. He aroused the interest and secured the help of Rev. Samuel Hopkins, who had been the minister there since 1754. They made diligent search among the older people for any and every possible scrap of tradition or legend--"Even fabulous ones," says Doctor Stiles--in any way concerning the astounding revelation of Hutchinson in 1764. Nothing direct or substantial was discovered. They found a few faint and shadowy traditions, varying and contradicting one another, although all pointed toward the fact of strangers, in the long past, being concealed in the houses of Mr. Russell and Mr. Tilton; and that "one of them died in the town, those who remember which, say Whalley." The results from this search are embodied in a letter from Mr. Hopkins to President Stiles.
There is good reason to believe that the names of Russell, Tilton, and Whalley were later additions to the traditions. In this volume Judd printed all that was obtained by Stiles and Hopkins. Here will be found faint echoes of the real state of affairs at Hadley which leaked out in hints dropped by some of those in the deadly secret, long after all danger had passed. One of these traditions which appears the most trivial, is in reality the only one bearing internal evidence of being authentic. It shows conclusively that as late as 1725-30, while there were vague rumors in the air easily referable to the Judges, nothing was publicly known about the facts in the case. There were only unrelated stories. This one tradition follows. Doctor Stiles states, that in May, 1792, he visited at Wethersfield, Conn., Mrs. Porter, "a daughter of Mr. Ebenezer Marsh, and born at Hadley, 1715, next door to Mr. Tilton's." In reply to his questionings, she told him that before she left Hadley, "there were many flying stories, but so uncertain that nothing could be depended on." She said that "When she was a girl, it was the constant belief among the neighbors that an old man, for some reason or other, had been buried in the fence between Deacon Eastman's and her father's" so that each could "be able to say that he was not buried in his lot; but why he should be buried in the lot at all, and not in the public burying place, she had never heard any reason or tradition. She said the women and girls ... used to meet at the dividing fence, and while chatting and talking together for amusement, one and another at times would say, with a sort of skittish fear and laughing, 'Who knows but what we are now standing on the old man's grave.'" The significance of this extract from Stiles, of which Hopkins could learn nothing, will appear when we come to consider his declaration that the story of Goffe, the angel, was known to everybody about 1690.
I will now take up the main object of this presentation, and give consideration to the letter from Hopkins to which I have alluded. It was written to Doctor Stiles March 26, 1793. I shall comment only upon this significant passage which covers the gist of the Angel Story. "Most of whom I have enquired for tradition say, that while they [the Judges] were here, the Indians made an assault upon the town; that on this occasion a person unknown appeared, animating and leading on the inhabitants against the enemy and exciting them by his activity and ardours; that when the Indians were repulsed, the stranger disappeared--was gone--none ever knew where, or who he was. The above is the general tradition among us. I shall now notice some things which were in the tradition, as given by some differing from the above, or adding somewhat to it." Then follow the stories which have been characterized as misty, and inconclusive. In none of these, it must be noted, is there the slightest reference to the attack on Hadley September 1st, which Hopkins says in his letter, "is the general tradition among us." Whence comes this "general tradition"? Not from the stories which he gathered from the old families, and quotes. The source is not far to seek. Hutchinson, as we have seen, could not find at Hadley the slightest tradition or trace of Whalley or Goffe by name. The total result of his search was the story that "Two persons unknown, were buried in the minister's cellar." That, in 1763, was the sum and substance of Hadley tradition. Col. Israel Williams, an intimate personal and political friend of Hutchinson, was born and lived all his days within cannon shot of the house of Mr. Russell, and had known hundreds of people whose fathers or grandfathers were contemporary with the events at Hadley in 1675, but he could add nothing to this meager information. If no trace of the Angel Story was to be found in 1763, how comes it to be so "general" in 1793?
In 1764 Hutchinson published his history. For the first time, the generation then on the stage knew that the two Judges had ever been given shelter in Hadley. Here then is the base of this general tradition of 1793. After this strange revelation by the historian, it became the common topic of conversation. The matter was, of course, talked over and over by old and young, until at length it was incorporated in the town talk, and the people gradually assumed that the facts had always been known in the community. In truth they had always existed, to those born after 1763. In view of what is now known, this seems a simple and justifiable solution of the "general tradition" of which Hopkins writes in 1793.
We shall study Hutchinson's History only so far as it relates to Whalley and Goffe. When he wrote he had in his possession that part of the diary of General Goffe from May 4, 1660, the time he left England, until 1667. Up to that date Hutchinson's knowledge is absolute and cannot be questioned. After that date his narrative is more general although he held other original papers. The latter are now accessible and have been freely used in preparing this introduction.
In his book, Hutchinson gives a general account of the arrival and reception of Whalley and Goffe at Boston and Cambridge, and of their sojourn at New Haven and Hadley. He says, "The story of these persons has never yet been published to the world. It has never been known in New-England. Their papers, after their death, were collected and have remained near an hundred years in a library in Boston." In a footnote of several pages Hutchinson enlarges; tells more particulars of their hiding and adventures at New Haven, until October 13th, 1664, when "they removed to Hadley near an hundred miles distant, travelling only by night, where Mr. Russell the minister of the place had previously agreed to receive them. Here they remained concealed fifteen or sixteen years, very few persons in this Colony being privy to it." This footnote closes thus; and here is the nut to be cracked: "I am loth to omit an anecdote handed down through Governor Leveret's family. I find Goffe takes notice in his journal of Leveret being at Hadley. The town of Hadley was alarmed by the Indians in 1675, in the time of public service, and the people were in the utmost confusion. Suddenly, a grave, elderly person appeared in the midst of them. In his mein and dress he differed from the rest of the people. He not only encouraged them to defend themselves, but put himself at their head, rallied, instructed and led them on to encounter the enemy, who by this means were repulsed. As suddenly the deliverer of Hadley disappeared. The people were left in consternation utterly unable to account for the strange phenomenon. It is not probable that they were ever able to explain it."
We note this is not given as history by Hutchinson, but only as an "anecdote" and merely in a footnote. The mysterious stranger is not mentioned at all in the body of the book where he gives the history of Philip's War. Not only this, but he gives good reasons why the story could not be true. His notice of the affair described in the "anecdote" is this--"September the 1st, Hadley was attacked upon a fast day, while the people were at church, which broke up the service, and obliged them to spend the day in a very different exercise." This much of the "anecdote" was accepted by the historian, as there is no other authority for it. Upon this Stiles enlarges, thus: "Though told with some variation in different parts of New-England, the true story of the Angel is this: During their abode in Hadley, the famous ... Philip's War took place ... and Hadley ... was then an exposed frontier. That pious congregation were observing a Fast at Hadley on the occasion of this war: and being at public worship in the meeting-house there on a Fast day, September 1, 1675, were suddenly surrounded and surprised by a body of Indians... The people immediately took to their arms, but were thrown into great consternation and confusion. Had Hadley been taken the discovery of the Judges had been inevitable. Suddenly, and in the midst of the people there appeared a man of a very venerable aspect, and different from the inhabitants in his apparel, who took the command, arranged and ordered them in the best military manner, and under his direction they repelled and routed the Indians, and the town was saved. He immediately vanished, and the inhabitants could not account for the phenomenon, but by considering that person as an Angel sent of God on that special occasion for their deliverance; and for some time after said and believed that they had been delivered and saved by an Angel--nor did they know or conceive otherwise till fifteen or twenty years after, when it at length became known at Hadley that the two Judges had been secreted there; which probably they did not know until after Mr. Russell's death in 1692. This story, however, of the Angel at Hadley, was before this universally diffused thro' New-England by means of the memorable Indian War of 1675. The mystery was unriddled after the revolution, when it became not so very dangerous to have it known that the Judges had received an asylum here and that Goffe was actually in Hadley at that time. The Angel was certainly General Goffe, for Whalley was superannuated in 1675."
Here we have the story of the attack September 1st, and the full-fledged Angel enlarged from the "anecdote." Stiles has now woven it into history. This has been accepted by all historians, great and small, and spread broadcast over the civilized world. It is confessedly founded upon the anecdote--no other source of information is even hinted at. Doctor Stiles gives credit to Hutchinson for a new fact in Philip's War, which had been overlooked by all the contemporaneous historians. Hutchinson did indeed swallow so much of the myth as covered the attack; but he states distinctly, that Goffe could not have appeared in the fray, without its leading to his discovery and destruction. This was a self-evident conclusion. Stiles cannot be justified in discarding this statement and foisting the Angel story wrongfully upon Hutchinson.
Now a word about the origin of the "Anecdote." It was either one stroke of some imaginative genius, or as is more probable, the gradual growth of generations in the fireside lore of the Leverett family. Its roots were no doubt planted in Mather's story of the "Alarm" at Hadley September 1st, published in 1676. Its branches may easily have been scions grafted on the knowledge of the facts in the case, handed down in the Leverett family, that the Judges were in Hadley on that same day. This is Mather's account of what really did happen at Hadley Sept. 1, 1675, as given in his history of Philip's War. "One of the Churches in Boston was seeking the face of God by fasting and prayer before him. Also that very day, the Church in Hadley was before the Lord in the same way, but were driven from the holy service they were attending by a most sudden and violent alarm, which routed them the whole day after."
There can be no doubt that Mather's story of the "alarm" at Hadley was true. The same could have been said of Hatfield and Northampton, when the astounding news reached them of the attack that day upon Deerfield. No doubt they too "were in the utmost confusion," while making preparation for their defence. The usual method of Indians in warfare is, to watch chances for a surprise; then a swift stroke, and speedy retreat. But at Deerfield the first shock was unsuccessful; the Indians lingered, and in a measure besieged the garrisons, expecting to lay the whole town in ashes; part being busy in plundering and burning, out of musket range from the stockades. In the meantime this condition had been discovered and reported by scouts from below. It was the first attack upon any town in the valley, and what would be their fate after Deerfield had been destroyed, was the main thought. Of course, the people of Hadley were "in consternation by a most sudden and violent alarm, which routed them the whole day after," and doubtless a sleepless night followed. We must always note that Mather does not give the story of the alarm as part of the history of the war. He was dwelling strictly upon the dealings of God with the people, and the effect of prayer in turning aside His wrath.
The matter-of-fact Stoddard makes no note of this alarm. When sending Mather material for his "History of the War," he wrote only of the "Remarkable Passages." This alarm was such a trifle among the terrible tragedies of the two weeks covered by his letter, as not to be worthy of any note, and it is heard of only in the theological disquisition by Mather--save when it serves as a sub-base for the narrative of Stiles.
Hutchinson says squarely that the knowledge of the Judges' concealment at Hadley "had never been known to the world" before 1764, just one hundred years after the event. Stiles calmly ignores this declaration, and says unreservedly that the story of the mysterious stranger of September 1st was known throughout the country in 1675-6, and that the stranger was believed to be an Angel until after 1688. Hutchinson was a Tory, his house had been sacked by a mob, and he had been driven from his native land. He died in comparative obscurity in 1780. Stiles was an earnest Whig, an ardent lover of civil freedom, a stout opposer of the Prerogative. Could he have supposed that the history of Hutchinson would also fall into disrepute, and be replaced by his own? He knew full well how marvelous stories were adapted to the popular taste.
We will now take up that part of the "anecdote" accepted by Hutchinson, and baldly say that the "Angel Story" could not be true for the reason that there was absolutely no attack on Hadley by Indians Sept. 1, 1675. The evidence to support this declaration is chiefly negative, but it seems to me that it is positive in effect. In a history of Philip's War published in December, 1676, Rev. Increase Mather, after giving an account of the fight at Sugar Loaf Aug. 25, 1675, continues:
"Sept. 1, The Indians set upon Deerfield (alias Pacumtuck) and killed one man and laid most of the houses in that new hopeful Plantation in ruinous heaps. That which added solemnity and awfulness to that desolation, is that it happened on the very day when one of the churches in Boston [Mather's own] was seeking the face of God by Fasting and Prayer. Also that very day the church in Hadley was before the Lord in the same way, but were driven from the Holy service they were attending by a most sudden and violent alarm, which routed them the whole day after, so that we may humbly complain, as sometime the Church did, 'How long hast thou smoaked against the Prayers of thy People.' Not long after this Capt. Beers with a considerable part of his men fell before the enemy. Concerning the state of these parts at this time until Sept. 15, I received information from a good hand whilst things were fresh in memory, which I shall here insert as containing a brief History of the transactions which happened within the time mentioned [Sept. 1-15], these parts being the seat of the war. The letter I intend is that which followeth." The letter referred to is in this volume. It is from Rev. Solomon Stoddard, then minister at Northampton, dated Sept. 15, 1675. It is a long letter, reciting minutely the movements of the contending forces in the valley. Stoddard tells of the disarming of the near-by Indians, August 24th, the affair at Sugar Loaf, August 25th, and says, "We heard no more of the Indians till the first of September, when they shot down a garrison soldier at Pocumtuck, that was looking after his horse, and ran violently up into the town, many people having scarcely time enough to get into the garrison: that day they burnt most of their houses and barns, the garrisons not being strong enough to sally out upon them, but killed two of their men from their forts." He gives a full account of the tragic events which accompanied the distruction of Northfield, September 2-6; the second attack on Deerfield September 12th; the relief expedition, September 13th, and the arrival of Captain Moseley at Hadley, September 14th. Hadley is not named at all September 1st, and who knew the events of that day better than Parson Stoddard?
Samuel Mather, nephew of Increase Mather, then minister at Deerfield, wrote his uncle the fullest account of the assault which has been found. With all this information before him, Mather gives not the slightest hint of any trouble at Hadley but the "Alarm," which was obviously on hearing the news from Deerfield. That was enough; for Deerfield, as I have said, was the first town in the valley which was attacked by Indians. Mather writes the next year a History of New England. Hubbard published his notable History of Philip's War in 1677. Several contemporary pamphlets and letters are extant, but not one of these affords a scintilla of light on the alleged attack on Hadley. We also look in vain in the History of the War by Cotton Mather, a few years later. In fact, not a single word can be found on the matter before 1764. If the attack September 1st were a verity, why this silence?
Judd attempts an explanation: it was because the Judges were concealed there. He says, "It was necessary at the time and long after, to throw a veil over the transactions of that day, which has been, and can be, only partially removed." Let us examine this explanation--does it explain! How could this silence be enforced! The facts must have been known to every person in Hadley, inhabitants and soldiers; to all in Hatfield and Northampton. The story must have been repeated to the hundreds of soldiers who came to Hadley that week, for there was the headquarters of the army and the gathering place of the forces from the East and from Connecticut. Silence might perhaps have been imposed upon the magistrates and ministers, but what of the miscellaneous multitude? All must see the utter impossibility of keeping their mouths shut, when, in the very nature of the case, no reason could be given, without betraying the fatal secret. On the contrary, if the people of Hadley believed they had been saved from destruction by an angel sent of God, why should not this amazing thing be proclaimed from every pulpit with joy and thanksgiving, be discussed at every fireside in the land, and preached in every camp that they were the chosen people of the Lord! This was by far and far the most important event in the history of New England; and how soon would the news have spread to the uttermost parts of the earth; and how would the literature of the times have teemed with the marvelous story. How the superstitious savage would have quailed in terror at this act of the white man's God! The bloody events of the current week show no such effect. If true, why do we not find traditions or recorded facts in the families of Barnard, Baldwin, Boltwood, Coleman, Dickinson, Hawks, Moody, Porter, Russell, Smith, Warner, or Wells, who were on the spot; or in those of Allis, Arms, Belden, Cowles, Field, Frary, Gillet, Graves, Hubbard, Hinsdale, Kellogg, Lyman, Munn, Montague, Marsh, Morton, Parsons, Pomeroy, Sheldon, Stebbins and scores of others in the surrounding towns, descendants of all of which families are now living among us? Look at the contrast! The knowledge of this wonderful deliverance of beset Hadley, by the act of the heroic Goffe, or the direct act of God, lay dormant and unknown for ninety years, to creep out at length through a traditionary anecdote handed down in a single family in far-off Boston, and then only preserved in a marginal footnote to a printed page. But Hutchinson, even, who published the tradition, did not believe the mysterious appearance part of the story, and the part which he did accept quietly slumbered for thirty years longer, until it was revived and printed by President Stiles, and so scattered broadcast as veritable history.
It is certainly strange that subsequent writers should have followed Stiles in the main feature of the story. Most of them added to or varied it, as their fancy dictated, or their judgment impelled. Hoyt can find no warrant for September 1st, and changes the date to June 9, 1676. Judd and Huntington find the attack was not on the meetinghouse. Holland adds many new features, following Hoyt in the date, and brings Major Talcott over from Northampton to be at the finish. Palfrey and Robbins add eloquent and picturesque descriptions. Farmer makes quite a different thing of it and quotes conversation with Goffe. Drake accepted the story with great effort, and can only fix the date "Some time during the war."
There is one trifling but amusing feature which runs through all the accounts. We are expected to be impressed by the dramatic exhibit, the venerable aspect of the stranger, his silver locks, his ancient garb, his flashing sword. Assuming that his wardrobe had not been replenished during his eleven years' stay, would it appear noticeably "ancient" in a land where garments were habitually handed down from father to son? The man who wears my clothes is not pointed out on the street, although there has been no change in the fashion of his "garb" for well-nigh forty years. I do not believe the men of Hadley in 1675 were a bit more observant. The flowing locks of the old Round Head, and the ancient garb have been greatly overworked. I bid them a long adieu.
The supposed grave of Wballey. No one has ever been able to fix the exact date of Whalley's death, or the place of his burial. He was alive Aug. 5, 1674, but in a fast failing condition. It is generally agreed that he died within a few months. Of course, he was buried at Hadley. As to the exact place of burial, the traditions or stories gathered by Hopkins and Stiles in 1793 at Hadley are worthless. There was not one direct tradition to be found. "It seems to have been a matter of conjecture among the inhabitants," half a dozen sites are guessed at. Taking an average, Stiles guesses that one of the Judges was buried at Mr. Russell's and one at Mr. Tilton's; that both were eventually removed to New Haven and laid near the grave of Dixwell, the third of the "Three Judges in America." No one is found supporting Stiles in this last supposition. Judd says, "It seems to be fabulous... It is certainly false in regard to Whalley, and is believed to be equally unfounded as to Goffe. The necessity of secrecy would have prevented the removal as it must be done by oxen and cart." Judd thinks Whalley's grave has been found at Mr. Russell's. His views are stated in this volume. I will give a brief abstract, and my reason for a non-agreement.
Mr. Russell's house stood on the east side of Main Street, fronting south. It was built in 1660 with no cellar. Its flank was on Main Street, and in 1662 a kitchen with a cellar was added to the rear. In this cellar, if anywhere at Mr. Russell's, Whalley was buried. In 1749 the house had passed to Samuel Gaylord. His son Chester Gaylord, born in 1782, informed Mr. Judd in 1859, that before he was born his father took down and rebuilt the kitchen end, and "the old cellar remained." The main building was not changed in any way. Chester said, that when a boy, he had often taken up a loose board and gone down to the hiding place of the Judges behind the chimney. In 1795, he said the front part of the house was replaced by a larger, the extension being to the south. The kitchen was left standing. Some of the changes involved I do not understand, but I quote from Judd all that is essential. "In taking down the middle part of the front wall next the Main Street, the workmen discovered about four feet below the top of the ground, a place where the earth was loose, and a little search disclosed flat stones, a man's bones, and bits of wood. Almost all the bones were in pieces, but one thigh bone was whole, and there were two sound teeth. A doctor examined the thigh bone and said it was the thigh bone of a man of large size. This and other bones were laid on a shelf and in a short time they all crumbled into small pieces."
From the condition of these bones, I am convinced that they were not the remains of one of the Judges. They were too far gone in decay. It is more likely that this was the grave of an Indian buried long before Whalley came to Hadley. The grave may have been disturbed when the cellar wall of Mr. Russell's kitchen was built in 1662; most of the bones may have been scattered at that time. Reasons for my doubt are found in my own observation, reinforced by established facts. I have dug up many skeletons in my own home lot, owned in the family since 1701, and owned by other white men from 1667. Some of the graves contained bones in the last stages of decay. In those of more recent burial, the entire skeletons were in perfect condition. One of these skulls is now on exhibition at Amherst College, another at Worcester, several at Washington, all solid and in lasting condition. One was used by Hon. James S. Grinnell for an inkstand. Generally full sets of teeth remained, some much worn. In one case I found several decayed teeth. There could have been no burial here for over 200 years. Whalley had been dead only 120 years.
John Dixwell, another of the Judges, died at New Haven March 18, 1689. His remains were exposed Nov. 22, 1849, one hundred and sixty years after death. The Dixwell family of Boston were placing a monument over the grave in honor of their ancestor. The bones of Dixwell were in perfect condition, the skull so entirely sound that exact measurements were made for the purpose of scientific comparison. He had been buried forty years longer than Whalley.
I was informed by Miss Fanny Chesebrough, who had exact knowledge, that when the grave of Lady Alice Fenwick at Saybrook, Conn., was invaded at the behest of the heartless railroad, the skeleton was intact. On reburial it was found that nothing but a single finger bone was lacking. Lady Fenwick had been buried 250 years, more than twice as long as General Whalley.
Within a few years quite a number of complete Indian skeletons were discovered at Hadley. It may not be out of place to notice here the growth of a story, which has just come under my eye. Speaking of this very grave, the writer says, "The remains of Whalley were found in a stone vault, outside the wall of Mr. Russell's cellar; it was covered by a single slab of hewn stone." Such is apt to be modern history as told in current literature.
Another reason for discrediting this location of Whalley's grave is that the burial must have been made by digging on the main street, at the imminent risk of discovery, or by taking down part of the cellar wall from the inside, and making an excavation some three feet from the surface. In doing this, there would be great danger of caving in by wall and earth and consequent discovery. Then the wall must be relaid, and no old cellar wall can be so treated without leaving marks of the process. Again, a body laid so near a rough stone wall must in decomposition soon betray the secret. If the burial was in the cellar, as it doubtless was, the simple and natural thing to do was to dig the grave in the bottom of the cellar with no risk of discovery, and where the marks of disturbance could easily be concealed. As to the necessity of concealing the grave of the Judges, Doctor Stiles says, "Such was the vigilance, activity and malice of Randolph ... that both their persons and ashes would not escape his malicious vengeance if discovered." It was known that the graves of their dead compeers in England had been violated in the most horrible manner. Stiles says further that so late as 1760 "some British officers passing through New Haven, and hearing of Dixwell's grave visited it, and declared with rancorous and malicious vengeance, that if the British Ministers knew it, they would even then cause his body to be dug up and vilified. . . . . Crown officers so late as 1775" treated Dixwell's grave "with marks of indignity too indecent to be mentioned."
The Removal of Goffe to Hartford. As I have said, the time of Goffe's death and place of burial are unknown. The general tenor of tradition at Hadley before treated upon, points to Hadley as the place. Whatever value these traditions may have, Judd believed the close of his career was in that town. Some of the stories there indicate his removal to New Haven, to Virginia, to the Narraganset Country, to the West Indies, to Hartford. This last tradition I think will be found true.
Philip's War broke out in the summer of 1675. Hadley was made headquarters for the forces sent to the Connecticut Valley, and the troops must have been billeted largely upon the inhabitants. It has always seemed a marvel that Goffe could lie concealed in that little village during this confused and congested condition; and it is easy to believe that he might have been spirited away to Hartford. Scattered evidence that this was done will be briefly considered.
While the Judges were in hiding at Hadley, they were in constant correspondence with friends and relatives in England and elsewhere, under assumed names. Rev. Increase Mather acted as clearing house in Boston. Many letters are extant which were sent through his hands. Goffe passed as Walter Goldsmith, Mrs. Goffe as his mother, "Frances Goldsmith." She was the daughter of Whalley, who was "Mr. Richardson." Rev. William Hooke was "D. G.," his wife, "Aunt Jane," was a sister to Whalley. It was in the Hooke family in London where the wife and children of Goffe found shelter. Circumstances brought about a change of residence. In the difficulty about Goffe's making a connection with the new address, evidence appears that Goffe was not in Hadley.
As we all know the war brought desolation to the towns in the Connecticut Valley in the fall of 1675. In the spring of 1676 Mr. John Russell writes to the Bay a letter foreboding ill from the Indians, "We must look to feel their utmost rage. My desire is we may be willing to do or suffer, to live or die, remain in or be driven out as the Lord our God would have us." All signs pointed to trouble in the Valley, and for its protection Major Savage was sent with forces from Boston, with Samuel Nowell as chaplain; and Major Treat from Hartford, with John Whiting as chaplain. It is assumed that the hands of both chaplains will soon appear in the removal of Goffe, and notices of them will have a bearing on the evidence to be presented. Mr. Whiting was a leading man in Connecticut, and a minister of Hartford. His wife was Sybil, daughter of Edward Collins, an agent and correspondent of Goffe. His second wife was Phebe, daughter of Thomas Gregson, prominent at New Haven, a close friend of Governor Eaton, and of John Davenport, while they were giving shelter to the Judges about New Haven. Mr. Whiting's daughter Abigail married Jonathan Russell, son of John of Hadley, and after the death of Mr. Whiting, the widow Phebe became the wife of John Russell.
With no such close family relations, Chaplain Nowell was of old Puritan stock, and was in full sympathy with Goffe and Russell. He never settled in the ministry, but held high office in the civil life of the colony, was intimate with clergymen including Increase Mather; was agent for the colony in England and often there. He was a man of action, was chaplain at the Great Swamp Fight Dec. 19, 1675, "where his bravery was much applauded," using, it is intimated, "other than spiritual weapons." When on the march from Boston to Hadley under Savage, March, 1676, he criticises the officers for being outwitted by Indian strategy and not making an effective onslaught on the enemy about Wenimesset. Again, on the return march to Boston, Major Savage had conditional orders about striking the enemy in the swamps near the route. Arriving at Brookfield, a council of war was held to consider that question. The captains were opposed, while the intrepid Chaplain Nowell voted for the attack. With the opening of spring, 1676, the Indians made attacks on many of the outlying towns at the Bay. The authorities at Boston became much alarmed. The alarm soon grew to almost a panic. As Hubbard says, "It was now full Sea with Philip his Affairs." Orders were sent Major Savage to forthwith leave the valley to its fate, and march to the protection of the Bay. Only a forlorn hope was left with Captain William Turner. Hadley was no longer a safe retreat for Goffe. Who so likely as the impetuous Chaplain Nowell to take the risk of a night removal to Hartford, where Chaplain Whiting had prepared a place for his retreat.
From letters at hand, extracts will be given which bear upon the question of Goffe's removal from Hadley. Inference may also be drawn as to the bodily and mental condition of Goffe. Sept. 8, 1676, Goffe writes to Increase Mather: "Rever'd and Dear Sr I have received the letters from England that you enclosed to Mr Whiting and give you hearty thanks for your continued care in that matter. It is a great comfort to me to hear so frequently [from my] so far distant and dear relations, and I esteem it a great mercy, that (through your care) all our letters have hitherto passed without any one miscarrying. My dear Mor [wife] writes that the last she received came safe tho' it wanted the outer covering they vsed to have. But she desired me to do so no more.... I suppose their desire is that mine may be covered by yourselfe, as judging it most safe." This certainly indicates some change in location and mode of transmitting letters. In a second part of the same letter, Goffe writes, "I was greatly behoulding to Mr Noell for his assistance in my remove to this Town. I pray if he be yet in Boston, remember my affectionate respects to him." This could not refer to the removal to Hadley twelve years before. It must refer to Hartford as we shall see.
Sept. 25, 1676, Samuel Nowell, our Chaplain, writes: "For his worthy friend Mr Jonathan Bull of Hartford." The letter was evidently written for the eye of Goffe. Its spirit agrees with our estimate of the writer. "Hond Sr,--The day before the arrivall of this bearer, Mr Bull, I had written a letter to my worthy friend Mr Whyting & it was for your sake, in regard I did not know how to direct a few lines to you, & we have but little of news materiall stirring amongst us; there being no ship arrived lately from Engld. As for ourselves in New Engld, we are fearing a Generall Governour. How God will deale with us in our present buisinesse is uncertaine. I suppose you will judge it convenient to remove, if any such thing should happen, as that a Governour should be sent; although if this man live who is Governour at Boston [Governor Leverett], I believe the country will oppose, but if his head be once laid I do question whether he that shall come next will have spirit enough, or interest enough, to withstand the Authority of Old Engld. I shall endeavour to give you as timely notice as I can from thence of whatsoever shall happen. I resolve to see your relations & so at present leave you under that Shaddow where you have been safe hithertoo. So desiring your prayers I rest,
Yr very humble servt, Samuel Nowell."
It seems Nowell was going to England to watch the turn of affairs, and he would risk a visit to the family of Goffe. June 12, 1677, Goffe writes Mather, "I have rec'd yours of 17th May, with those from England, as also the 12th left with you by M N."--doubtless Mr. Nowell. There is no signature to this letter. While at Hadley, Goffe's address was "Walter Goldsmith." Aug. 30, 1678, he signs another letter to Mr. Mather "T. D." He writes: "I have received the letter you sent me very lately from my dear Mo: for which with all your long continued kindnesse, I heartily thank you; and am really ashamed to think how I am forced to be still so troublesome vnto you." In his letter from his wife he learns that Mr. Hooke, with whom she was living, had died, and that she had removed to another place; but she forgot to name the new address, although she gave it to Mather.
Oct. 23, 1678, Goffe writes Mather as "T. D." "I lately gave you the trouble of a letter with one enclosed to my dear Mother, which should have been sent to a Friend that was to have returned to this Town, by whom I hoped to have rec'd a few words from yow. But he falling ill, went not. So I was forced to give an honord friend, the trouble thereof, who saide he would deliver it with his own hand.... I was forced to send that to my Mo: with a naked superscription and this also because I am ignorant of both the place & person appynted (since Mr. Hooke, his death) to direct them to.... I should take it as a great kindnesse to receive a word or two from you, if you please to enclose it to Mr Whiteing, only with this short direction (Thes for Mr T. D.).... It would be a great satisfaction to heare that you have recd my letters, and that you know the best way of sending them to England: & to be instructed by you, how to direct them for the future. Dear Sir, I desire to bear upon my Heart continually the many great concerns of this poor Countrey; especially of your Jurisdiction in reference to the many awfull providences wherewith the Lord hath been awakening you." This refers to the political turmoil at Boston, and also to the prevailing small-pox.
April 2, 1679, Goffe writes Mather again concerning "The various dispensations of Providence"; hopes he and his wife will receive "all the sanctified fruite of all his dealings with you.... And for your whole Jurisdiction. Oh that the Lord would help all his people there, to humble themselves vnder the mighty hand of God.... Then would he hear from heaven & forgive their sins & heale the land." No one in the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, would have written the above letters. Goffe was then in the jurisdiction of Connecticut. The next direct evidence that the lone exile was in Hartford is found in a long letter to him from Peter Tilton, his old time Hadley friend. Extracts are given below. It is directed, probably under cover, to Mr. Whiting, "These for Mr T. D. present."
"July:30:1679: Worthye and much honord Sr,--Yours which I cannot but mention, dated Mch. 18: '78: I receaved, crying howe wellcome and refreshing to my poore unworthye selfe, (which as an honey combe, to use your owne similitude full of pretious sweetenes). I would you did but knowe, being a semblance or representation of what sometime though unworthye, I had a Fuller Fruition of;" referring to their former intercourse at Hadley. Tilton speaks of sending several books and papers, one of which he wants sent back--"it being borrowed, only, of a neighbour, I being desirous you might have a sight thereof. I have here sent you by S. P. [Samuel Porter of Hadley?] tenn pounds haveing not before a safe hand to convey it, it being a token of the love and remembrance of severall friends who have you uppon their hearts." He speaks of the great news from England, "which I presume Mr Russell hath given you a full account of, as understanding he hath written to Hartford, that I neede not tautologize in that matter." If Goffe were in Hadley, he might himself have borrowed the book, and Mr. Russell could have told him "the news from England" face to face. Tilton, however, goes on--"I know what is writt from England by good hands, which I have by me, viz. that the most sober and wisest there feare that Black Cloude hanging over the nation will breake uppon the Protestant Interest." After a page of saddening and gloomy items Tilton tries to give Goffe a gleam of encouragement in spite of the desponding information. "Deare Sir, I hope God is makeing way for your enlargement. In the meanetime my poore prayers for you are, the Lord would make your heart glad with the light of His Countenance, and that the Lord of Peace would give you peace allwayes and by all meanes; Remember before the Lord, your vnworthye Friend, willing to serve you. Vale, Vale. P. T." This tender benediction and farewell of good Mr. Tilton is literally the last word known to have been written to the miserable prisoner of fate.
The act, with which the evidence of Goffe's residence at Hartford will close, has not to my knowledge been seriously considered by any historian. It has, rather, been spoken of as a farce--a bit of foolery by a worthless scalawag. On the contrary, I am sure the event is real history, although hardly sober history, for certainly the farcical element largely prevails, and the fashion of the drama is seen where a terrible tragedy is followed by a comedy. The action of the story exactly fits the character of the prominent actors. None of these are amateurs. All have been before in the public eye. Governor Andros, the feared and hated; Governor Leete, the daring successful diplomat; Major Talcott, guest of John Russell; Secretary Allyn, the all-seeing; Captain Bull, the fearless and defiant; John London, the notorious and condemned liar. The stage is Hartford, the denouement June 10, 1680. The prophecy of Chaplain Nowell had come true--a "Generall Governour" of New England had been appointed, and the time had now arrived when Goffe did "find it convenient to remove."
April 20, 1680, John London of Hartford or Windsor, made an affidavit at New York "that Capt. Joseph Bull, Sen: had for several years past kept privately at his own house in Hartford, Col. Goffe, who went by the name of Mr. Cooke; that the deponent and one Dr. Robert Howard of Windsor, saw said Goffe at Capt. Bull's house in May 1679; that the deponent took measures to seize him and carry him to New York, but that one Thomas Powell, his neighbour disclosed his plans to Major Talcott and Capt. Allyn,--who caused the deponent to be arrested, charged him with conspiring against the Colony and forbade him to leave the county without license." He says that "James Richards who was the oldest member of the Council and the richest man in the Colony, was Agent of Goffe and that if he, London, discovered the matter it would tend to his own ruin." At the date of this affidavit, Richards was probably on his deathbed,--he died June 10th. If so, London may now have considered himself safe in denouncing Goffe and claiming the reward. His movement the year before had terminated in a manner quite unexpected, and he considered Richards as the active agent. London was a worthless fellow, who had been imprisoned for deserting, malicious lying against the Colony, etc., and it was easy to squelch him in his attempt to secure Goffe. The validity of his story now rests on the attending circumstances. Doctor Howard and Thomas Powell named in the affidavit were alive; they could dispute his story, and as well, Major Talcott, Captain Allyn and others. Furthermore, the actions of Governor Leete, Talcott, and Allyn confirm the truth of the tale. On the strength of London's affidavit, Governor Andros wrote to Governor Leete and the Assistants:
Being informed by Deposicons here taken upon oath, that Coll. Goth hath been and is still kept and consealed by Capt. Joseph Bull and his sons in the Towne of Hartford undr the name of Mr. Cooke the sd Goth and Coll. Whaley (who is since dead in yor parts) haveing been persued as Traitors, that I may not be wanting in my duty, doe hereby give you the above intimacon, noe ways doubting of yor loyalty in every respect, and remaine
Honble Srs, Your affectionate neighbour and
May 18, 1680.
How fared this dispatch? Hartford was one hundred miles away. A post riding express should have delivered it not later than noon on the 20th. The Colony records show that it was delivered to Leete June 10th, twenty-one days later. In whose pocket had it reposed for three weeks? We can only be sure that the owner of it was high in office and a good friend of Goffe.
An affair of this kind was no new experience to Governor Leete. When acting governor of New Haven Colony, in 1661, he had dealt successfully, as we have seen, with the loyal messengers, Kellond and Kirk. Time was evidently taken to make provision for Goffe. When the coast was clear, it so happened that on June 10th, Governor Leete, Secretary Allyn, and Major Talcott, were together, when the letter from Andros was received, no doubt to their great surprise. However, they seem to have been so well prepared for it, that "before we parted" they were able to send forth a long patriotic and carefully constructed warrant, without one earmark of haste upon it, based as they say, upon "letter to us just now received" from Governor Andros. The constable and marshal were ordered in high-sounding verbiage to visit the Bull's and "search in the houses, barns, outhouses & all places therein, for the sayd Col. Goffe," or any other place where there is "the least susspition. Hereof you may not fayle, as you will answer the contrary at your perill."
The next day a long letter was sent to Andros from Hartford thanking him for his notice, and telling him of their prompt action, "being together when we received your letter." He is informed that after the diligent search, the officers "being upon oath, returned," that they "could find no such person as was mentioned, nor any stranger that in the least could be suspected to be any such person." They then say, "After the search or people were amased that any such thing could be suspected at Hartford, but the father of lyes is or enemie & doth instigate his instruments to maligne this poore Colony, but we hope the Father of lights will vindicate vs in his due time." Andros is cautioned against believing all the flying stories against Connecticut, and told that if their men believed all the stories against New York, it would breed bad blood between the Colonies. In every paper upon the subject the Governor and Assistants are careful to say that their action was instant upon receiving the letter, but we find no note of inquiry as to the tardy pace of the messenger; as though four and one-half miles a day was nothing uncommon for an express. There seems no need of further evidence, that for several years General Goffe was at Hartford.
The influences affecting Goffe's condition during the period are revealed in what follows. In the earlier years of exile, the Judges were sustained by the expectation of being speedily made free by the downfall of Charles II. They had constant news of the political movements in Europe, and as the years dragged on with Charles in the ascendency, hope gradually died out, as may be seen by their letters. One by one the members of the "High Court of Justice" were taken and executed with the barbarity of Cannibal Islanders, some of them after a surrender on fair but false promises. Others were betrayed by fickle friends to curry favor with the Crown. Some were murdered in foreign lands. One cheering report came to their ears, that they themselves had been killed in Switzerland. Mrs. Goffe, with her children, had been safe with her Aunt Jane Hooke, at London. She had kept the absent husband in touch with all household events; the death of one child in her years of promise, the marriage of another, the birth and death of a grandchild; had shared with him her joys and sorrows.
But a change was to come. Mr. Hooke fell sick and Aug. 5, 1674, Goffe wrote him a farewell letter. It was long and tender as befitting the occasion; but as "that Heavy word is not yet spoken," he still has "Hope the Lord may lengthen out your life & mine & so order things in His Providence, that I may yet see your face once again, even in this world, which hath indeed, nothing in it more Desirable than such faces." He deplores the necessity of his wife's removal, but hopes "the Lord who tells all her wanderings and puts her tears into his bottle ... will provide some place where she may comfortably abide ... and bless her & her poor afflicted family." It was soon after this that trouble began about their correspondence. Goffe was never able to find out the place of her abode. Goffe writes to Mather June 12, 1677, "I have recd yours of the 17th of May, with those from England, as also the 12th left with you by M. N., for all which & for all former kindnesses, I return you my hearty thanks, which is all I am able to do.... Dear Sr, You know my tryalls are considerable, & did you know my weakness, you would surely pitty & pray earnestly for me." He hopes the Lord's purpose is to teach him a "Lesson by bringing & keeping me into this Desolate state." He finds in the Scriptures, "Good & comfortable words from the Lord, or any of his people are very refreshing. But alas, I am worthy of neither." Alas, indeed, that these longed-for words are so few. He misses Whalley, and at Hartford his horizon is more and more obscure. In another letter to Mather he writes, "Dear Sir, I Beg the continuance of your Love & fervent prayers, that for the good will of him that Dwelt in the Bush, the Blessing may yet come upon the head, the top of the head of the poor worm that hath been so long seperated from his brethern and allmost from all Humain Society."
After Mrs. Goffe's removal from the Hooke house, a new channel for correspondence became necessary. Goffe as "T. D." writes in a letter to Mather, Aug. 30, 1678, that as regards Mr. Hooke, "that Heavy word has been spoken." He says "My Mo: writes that he being dead shee hath written to her Friend (by whom I suppose she means yourself) to send her letters to another place; but did so far forget herself, as not to inform me either of name or place." He encloses a letter to his wife, "which I humbly entreat you to cover and send away, .. and also that you would be pleased to give yourself the trouble of writeing a few words to let me know what place & person it is, that my Dear Mo: directs to, that I may know for the future how to superscribe my letter to her."
To this reasonable appeal no reply was ever received, and no better heed was given later ones. "T. D." writes again Oct. 23, 1678, "I lately gave you the trouble of a letter, with one enclosed to my Dear Mother ... and hoped to have recd a few words from yw .... I was forced to send that to my Mo: with a naked superscription and this also; because I am ignorant both of the place & person appoynted (since Mr. H. his death) to direct them to. I beseech you sir, to vse your prudenc in the safe convayance of them, for tho' my letters be of little worth, yet my Dear Mo: is pleased to esteem them a comfort to her in this day of her great and long continued affliction.... I should take it as a great kindnesse to receive a word or two from you, if you please to inclose it to Mr Whiteing... It would be a great satisfaction to heare that you have recd my letters, and that you know the way of sending them to England, & to be instructed by you, how to direct them for the future...... I Beg your fervent prayers, as having more need of them than ever. I have been long in the furnace."
April 2, 1679, the anxious and tortured T. D. makes another and last appeal to Mather--"I am also greatly longing to heare from my poor, Desolat Relations; and whether my last summer's letters got safe to them. It was a trouble to me that I was forced to send them to yourself so badly directed, and hoped to have received a few lines from you concerning it, and how you would have me direct them for the future. I Beseech you Sr to pardon my giving you this great & long trouble, and let me receive a word or two by this Bearer. If I have missed it in anything, vpon the least intimation, I shall indeavour to rectify it, or reform for the future. Dear Sir, I earnestly Beg the continuance of your fervant prayers to the Lord for me & mine, as such as stand in great need thereof. I may truly say, I make mention of yourself in particular, at least twise or thise in a day before the Lord to whose Grace I recomend you & all yours, and remain, Dear Sir, your much oblidged and very thankfull friend, T. D.
I sent you three letters last summer & hope you received them."
How could the sorrowing husband and father account for the seemingly coldhearted refusal of Mather to heed his earnest supplications? How can we explain it? The keen hunt for Goffe was still on. It may be that Mather had heard or suspected that the Bull family at Hartford were more defiant than circumspect in regard to "Mr. Cooke," and he feared to trust his signature or the secret with them. The last words known to have been written by the sad exile are those which close the above letter, hoping that his letters to Mather had been received. With no assurance that this hope was well founded, without knowing that his desolate wife had received a single word from him after her removal; repulsed in all attempts to learn even the place of her abode; with his narrowing circle of faithful friends in England and New England; unable to account for the cutting coldness and neglect of the one who was the sole connecting link with his native land; helpless to offer comfort to his far-off wife in her loneliness; feeling that he should never more see the faces of wife and children, although he felt and had said, "This world hath indeed nothing in it more Desirable than such faces"; with a growing realization or fear of being a heavy, and perhaps unwelcome burden; the proud spirit of the old soldier humbled and humiliated in a vain attempt to win even the pity of Mather; with a price set upon his head and an ever-haunting fear of discovery, bringing ruin to his protectors. Was it not indeed time to die! and we seem to see the once lion heart of the hunted exile slowly breaking.
General Goffe had played his high part before the eyes of watching nations. He had been a star of the first magnitude in the Lord Protector Cromwell's Councils, and acquitted himself bravely and well, as one having the courage of his convictions. Words fail to tell of the sadness and pathos of such a close to such a life.
Did Goffe return to die in Hadley? Shall we attempt to follow the fugitive from Hartford in 1680? No blazed path is found, but we do find a faint trail leading back to Hadley. What little evidence there is points that way. Nothing is found opposing, but the case is not proven. So far as we know there had been no leak in the secret of Mr. Russell. Goffe had been driven away in the stress of war. It would still be a safe retreat and to all appearances a natural one. The diary of Goffe and his papers, including the letters written to him at Hartford by Tilton and Nowell given above, are found among the effects left by Mr. John Russell. How did they get there? Would they not have been destroyed as a matter of precaution, had Goffe died elsewhere? Again, we have the untainted tradition found by Hutchinson at Hadley in 1763, "Two persons unknown were buried in the minister's cellar." It was the sum of all knowledge of the Judges, which Hutchinson could obtain in Hadley, or the vicinity; let that stand for what it is worth. Then there is the general probability, that after getting the consent of Mr. Russell he was transported back to Hadley; there was time enough for this between the opening act and the closing of the Hartford drama.
It is pleasant, and is it not best, to follow these leadings and our wishes so far as to think that the worn wanderer came back to breathe out his life on the bosom of faithful John Russell; and that he rested at last beside his companion in exile, under the sheltering elms of Old Hadley.