The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776

The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Old Bell Of Independence; Or, Philadelphia In 1776, by Henry C. WatsonThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Old Bell Of Independence; Or, Philadelphia In 1776Author: Henry C. WatsonRelease Date: March 7, 2004 [EBook #11506]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OLD BELL OF INDEPENDENCE ***Produced by Internet Archive; University of Florida, jayam and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.[Illustration: The Old State House Bell]THE YOUNG AMERICAN'S LIBRARY.THE OLD BELL OF INDEPENDENCE;OR,PHILADELPHIA IN 1776.BY HENRY C. WATSON,AUTHOR OF "THE CAMP-FIRES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION," "THE YANKEE TEA-PARTY, OR BOSTON IN 1773," ETC. ETC.With Illustrations.Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by LINDSAY ANDBLAKISTON, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the UnitedStates for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.PREFACE.To awaken in the minds of all Americans that veneration of the patriots and heroes of the War of Independence, and thatemulation of their noble example which is so necessary to the maintenance of our liberties, are the objects of this littlework. Every day's developments illustrate the importance of these objects. In the enjoyment of the ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Old Bell OfIndependence; Or, Philadelphia In 1776, by HenryC. WatsonThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Old Bell Of Independence; Or,Philadelphia In 1776Author: Henry C. WatsonRelease Date: March 7, 2004 [EBook #11506]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK OLD BELL OF INDEPENDENCE ***Produced by Internet Archive; University of Florida,jayam and the Online Distributed ProofreadingTeam.
[Illustration: The Old State House Bell]THE YOUNG AMERICAN'S LIBRARY.THE OLD BELL OF INDEPENDENCE;OR,PHILADELPHIA IN 1776.BY HENRY C. WATSON,AUTHOR OF "THE CAMP-FIRES OF THEAMERICAN REVOLUTION," "THE YANKEE TEA-PARTY, OR BOSTON IN 1773," ETC. ETC.With Illustrations.Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year1851, by LINDSAY ANDBLAKISTON, in the Clerk's Office of the DistrictCourt of the UnitedStates for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
PREFACE.To awaken in the minds of all Americans thatveneration of the patriots and heroes of the War ofIndependence, and that emulation of their nobleexample which is so necessary to the maintenanceof our liberties, are the objects of this little work.Every day's developments illustrate the importanceof these objects. In the enjoyment of the freedomand prosperity of our country, we are apt to under-rate the means by which that enjoyment wassecured to us, and to forget the men who workedfor that end. A knowledge of the toils andsufferings of the noble-hearted fathers of theRevolution is the best preventative, or curative, forthis "falling off." War, clothed as it is, with horrors,is to be condemned, and the spirit which leads to itshould be driven from the breasts of men. Butgenerous devotion, strength of resolution, and far-reaching skill, are things to be commended andimitated wherever displayed. In these pages, willbe found stories of the chief men of the Revolution,so connected, by the manner in which they arenarrated, as to give a general interest to them—The Old Bell of Independence" being the rallying"point of the veteran story-tellers.CONTENTS.INTRODUCTION
STORY OF GENERAL WASHINGTONTHE SPY'S FATESTORY OF THE SERMONSTORY OF THE PRAYERSTORY OF LYDIA DARRAGHTHE DEAD MAN'S LAKETHE HALF-BREEDDEATH OF COLONEL LOVELACEMURDER OF MISS McCREADEFENCE OF SHELL'S BLOCK-HOUSEBATES'S REVENGESTORY OF GENERAL WAYNETHE OUTLAW OF THE PINESTHE TORY'S CONVERSION
THE TIMELY RESCUETHE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWNTHE BATTLE OF THE KEGSARNOLD'S TREASONCAPTURE OF GENERAL PRESCOTTJONATHAN RILEY AND FRANK LILLYMASSACRE OF WYOMINGSTORY OF THE DAUPHIN'S BIRTHDAY
THE OLD BELL OFINDEPENDENCE.INTRODUCTION.It was a season of unparalleled enthusiasm andrejoicing, when General Lafayette, the friend andsupporter of American Independence, respondedto the wishes of the people of the United States,and came to see their prosperity, and to hear theirexpressions of gratitude. The national heart beatjoyfully in anticipation; and one long, loud, and freeshout of welcome was heard throughout the land.Arriving at New York in August, 1824, GeneralLafayette journeyed through the Eastern States,receiving such tokens of affection as the peoplehad extended to no other man except Washington,and then returned southward. On the 28th ofSeptember, he entered Philadelphia, the birth-place of the Declaration of Independence, thegreater part of the population coming out to receiveand welcome him. A large procession was formed,and thirteen triumphal arches erected in theprincipal streets through which the processionpassed.After General Lafayette himself, the mostremarkable objects in the procession were fourlarge open cars, resembling tents, each containingforty veterans of the struggle for independence. No
one could, without emotion, behold these winter-locked patriots, whose eyes, dimmed by age,poured forth tears of joy at their unexpectedhappiness in once more meeting an oldcommander, and joining in the expressions ofgratitude to him.After passing through the principal streets, GeneralLafayette was conducted into the hall of the State-House, where the old Continental Congress hadassembled, and where the immortal Declaration ofIndependence was signed. Here the nation's guestwas received formally on behalf of the citizens bythe mayor, and then the people were admitted totake him by the hand. At night there was a splendidillumination; and crowds of people traversed thestreets, singing and celebrating the exploits of thechampion of liberty and the friend of America.On one of the days succeeding Lafayette's grandentry into the city, he received, in the Hall ofIndependence, the veteran soldiers of theRevolution who had come to the city, and thosewho were residents. One by one these feeble oldmen came up and took the General by the hand,and to each he had some reminiscence to recall, orsome congratulation to offer. Heroes of Brandywine, Germantown, Trenton, Princeton,Monmouth, and other fields, were there; some withscars to show, and all much suffering to relate. Theold patriotic fire was kindled in their breasts, andbeamed from their furrowed countenances, asmemory flew back to the time that proved theirtruth and love of liberty. One had been under the
command of the fiery Wayne, and shared hisdangers with a spirit as dauntless; another hadserved with the cool and skilful Greene, and lovedto recall some exploit in which the Quaker generalhad displayed his genius; another had followed thelead of Lafayette himself, when a mere youth, atBrandywine: everything conspired to render thisinterview of the General and the veteran soldiersas touching and as interesting as any recorded byhistory, or invented by fiction.After the reception of the veterans, one of themproposed to go up into the belfry, and see the oldbell which proclaimed liberty "to all the land, and toall the nations thereof." Lafayette and a few othersaccompanied the proposal by expressing a wish tosee that interesting relic. With great difficulty, someof the old men were conducted up to the belfry,and there they beheld the bell still swinging.Lafayette was much gratified at the sight, as itawakened his old enthusiasm to think of the periodwhen John Adams and his bold brother patriotsdared to assert the principles of civil liberty, and toproclaim the independence of their country. OldJohn Harmar, one of the veteran soldiers who hadbeen in Philadelphia when the Declaration wasproclaimed, and who again shook hands with hisold brothers in arms, gave vent to his thoughts andfeelings as he stood looking at the bell."Ah! that's the trumpet that told the Britishers a taleof vengeance! My memory's not so bad but I canrecollect the day that old bell was rung forindependence! This city presented a very different
appearance in those days. It was a small town.Every body was expectin' that the king's troopswould be comin' here soon, and would sack andburn the place: but the largest number of us werepatriots, and knew the king was a tyrant; and sowe didn't care much whether they came or not.How the people did crowd around this State-Houseon the day the Declaration was proclaimed! Bellswere ringing all over town, and guns were fired; butabove 'em all could be heard the heavy, deepsound of this old bell, that rang as if it meantsomething! Ah! them was great times."As old Harmar concluded these remarks, the oldmen standing near the bell nodded approvingly,and some echoed, "Them was great times!" in atone which indicated that memory was endeavoringto conjure back the time of which they spoke. Theythen slowly turned to descend. Lafayette hadpreceded them with his few friends. "Stop!" said oldHarmar; "Wilson, Morton, Smith, and you, Higgins,my son wants you to come home with me, andtake dinner at his house. Come; I want to havesome chat with you over old doings. I may neversee you again after you leave Philadelphia."The invitation, cordially given, was cordiallyaccepted, and the party of old friends descendedthe stairs, and, arriving at the door, were assistedby the cheering crowd to get into their carriage,which then drove towards the residence of oldHarmar's son. At that place we shall consider themas having arrived, and, after much welcoming,introducing, and other preparatory ceremonies, as
seated at a long, well-supplied table, set in a largeand pleasant dining-hall. Young Harmar, his wife,and the four children, were also accommodated atthe same table, and a scene of conviviality andpleasure was presented such as is not oftenwitnessed. The old men were very communicativeand good-humored; and young Harmar and hisfamily were free of questions concerning the greatscenes through which they had passed. But we willlet the company speak for themselves.STORY OF GENERAL WASHINGTON."GRANDFATHER," said Thomas JeffersonHarmar, "won't you tell us something aboutGeneral Washington?""I could tell you many a thing about that man, mychild," replied old Harmar, "but I suppose peopleknow everything concerning him by this time. Yousee, these history writers go about hunting upevery incident relating to the war, now, and after awhile they'll know more about it—or say they do—than the men who were actors in it.""That's not improbable," said young Harmar."These historians may not know as much of thereal spirit of the people at that period, but that theyshould be better acquainted with the mass of factsrelating to battles and to political affairs is perfectlynatural." The old man demurred, however, andmumbled over, that nobody could know the real