From Daniel T.V. Huntoon's
History of The Town of Canton, Massachusetts (1893)
DURING the latter half of the seventeenth century, a Scotchman by the name of John Dunbar, having met with misfortunes in business, resolved to leave the land of his ancestors and the place of his birth, and seek another country, where he hoped to re-establish his shattered fortunes, and better his worldly condition. He sailed for one of the West India Islands, but soon after his arrival, becoming disgusted by the impiety, and shocked by the immorality, of the natives, resolved to embark for New England. On arriving here, he found among the denizens of the town of Boston that reverence for God and respect for the ordinances of Christianity which he had sought in vain in sunnier climes. The customs and habits of the people reminded him of " bonnie Scotland," and he was charmed with the honest and upright life of the people with whom he came in contact; but there was another influence, far more potent, that held him to these shores. He became enamored of a young lady soon after his arrival, Miss Margaret Holmes by name, who resided in Dedham. The intimacy continued, and soon ripened into marriage. On the 2d of October, 1704, in the town of Boston, a child was born to them; he was christened by the good old Scripture name of Samuel. But the little boy was destined to grow up without the care and protection of his father, who, dying when the boy was four years of age, left to the mother the sole charge of the child. Thus, early in life, Samuel Dunbar became dependent solely upon the industry and exertions of his mother. He soon, however, attracted the attention of the Rev. Cotton Mather, one of the most learned and distinguished ministers, and the most voluminous author of his time. Mather was then pastor of the North Church in Boston; and fortunate indeed was young Dunbar to obtain the patronage of so scholarly a man.
True, he imbibed many of the austerities and popular fanaticisms of the day, along with the store of knowledge which was imparted to him by the eminent divine. To one familiar with the history of the witchcraft delusion and the prominent part which Mather played in it, it is unnecessary to say that, educated under a man holding to the strict doctrines of a severe faith, it is no wonder that the pupil, in after life, should have been somewhat distinguished for arbitrary and dogmatic inclinations. We must remember that the early ministers who were potential in ° influencing the minds of younger ones had the sternness and devotion, but not the gentleness and forbearance, of the Christian of to-day. Could gentleness, grace, forbearance, and forgiveness have been added to their undeviating regard for principle, they would have manifested the highest type of Christianity.
Mr. Dunbar entered the Boston Latin School at an early age, and afterward Harvard College, and graduated in 1723. Immediately afterward he accepted the position of usher in the Latin School, at the same time prosecuting the study of divinity. In due course of time he completed his studies, and received a call to settle over the church of Christ in Stoughton.
The following members of the church extended the call to Mr. Dunbar: —
Nathaniel Airs, Edward Bailey, Benjamin Blackman, William Crane, Samuel Chandler, John Dickcrman, Joseph Esty, Benjamin Esty, Nathaniel Ethcridge, Benjamin Gill. Samuel Hartwell, Joseph Hewins, Elhanan Lyon, Peter Lyon, Joseph Morse, Joshua Pomeroy, Robert Pelton, Isaac Stearns, Thomas Spurr-, Richard Smith, David Stone, Joseph Tucker, Joseph Topliff, Thomas Tolman, George Talbot, David Tilden, John Wentworth, John Withington, William Wheeler.
The decision of the church was ratified and concurred in by the town at a meeting held on the 3d of August, 1727; and the town voted to give Mr. Dunbar £ 100 in salary annually, and £200 in gratuity, if Mr. Dunbar would consent to become the minister. The town also chose as a committee to agree upon terms with Mr. Dunbar, Isaac Stearns, Samuel Bullard, Joseph Tucker, John Vose, Peter Lyon, Jr., and John Wentworth.
The following is the letter of acceptance written by Mr. Dunbar, recorded upon the town's books, the original of which is still extant. The letter bears date, Sept. 23, 1727 :
Gentlemen, — Whereas it has pleased the Holy God, in whose hands are the hearts of all men, so to incline your hearts and affections to me and my preaching as that, in a meeting called in order to choose a pastor to watch for your souls, there was a very great and delightful unanimity in electing myself, — the youngest, the meanest, and most unworthy of all, — I would, in the first place, give all the glory to God (Not unto me, oh Lord ! but to thy name be the glory) ; and then would render thanks, and all suitable gratitude to you, who have elected me. It being a case of such great weight and concern, I, unwilling to trust to my own judgment or inclination, have, after earnest prayer to God for directions, applied myself to several, both ministers and others, for their advice, as knowing that in a multitude of counsel there is safety. The advice that has been given me is to accept of your call, provided you will come unto these conditions : In general, that you will afford me a comfortable maintenance, that I may live as a minister of Christ ought to live. In particular, that besides the £ 200 which you give me as a settlement, you procure some parsonage lands fit for the production of hay and corn. That besides the £ 100 you have offered me as a yearly salary, you will promise to find me my firewood from year to year, and bring it to my house. That if God should increase me in a family, and this should prove too little and narrow, you will make such additions as shall support me comfortably, so that I may not be taken off from my studdys and my ministerial labors, through necessary distressing cares. That you will promise to afford me this maintenance if I should be carried off from my work by the Providence of God, either through sickness, or, if God should spare and prolong my life, through the infirmities of old age. If you will comply with these terms — which to me seem reasonable — and will oblige yourselves to fulfill them, I now declare to you, in the presence of the Great and Glorious God, who keepeth. covenant, and his Holy angels, who are doubly concerned spectators in such weighty transactions, that I here accept of your call, and am willing to settle among you as your minister; and promise, by the Divine help, to carry towards you as becomes a minister of Christ, and as my duty is pointed and explained to me in the Sacred Writings. I promise to take pains in my study ; to prepare my sermons, that you may have the beaten oil of sanctuary ; carefully and faithfully to watch for your souls ; to give the best advice to you I can ; to administer comfort to the disconsolate, and reproof to the prophane ; to administer the seals of the Covenant, the sacraments to you, and the censures of the Church even, if there should be occasion, which I pray God there may not be. Further, I promise to continue your minister till Death, unless some unforeseen Providence should fall out, which will make my duty to leave you.
At the town meeting held on Oct. 9, 1727, the above letter was read, and the town voted to " come in to " Mr. Dunbar's proposals. The expenses of the council of the five churches were also ordered to be defrayed by the town. On the 15th of November following, Mr. Dunbar was ordained. The services were attended by a large concourse of people. The order of exercises consisted of an introductory prayer by the Rev. Samuel Dexter, of Dedham ; the Rev. Peter Thacher, of Milton, gave the charge; and Rev. Joshua Gee, pastor of the Second Church in Boston, presented the right hand of fellowship.
Mr. Dunbar preached his own ordination sermon, as had been the custom since the days of John Cotton. His text was taken from the First of Timothy, third chapter, first verse: "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." Mr. Dunbar's first year was passed with much satisfaction to himself and to his people; and at the end of the year he says: "I would bless God, who has carried me through one year so comfortably, and has given me such success in my labors and ministry. During the year fourteen persons owned the covenant, sixty-nine were baptized, eleven were married, and nineteen funerals were attended ; and it was not necessary to excommunicate any member of the church, nor did any fall under its censure.
The second year one person owned the covenant, thirty were added to the church, and thirty-four were baptized.
In 1731 the till of the church suffered from some undiscovered cause. At one time, thirty shillings were taken from the deacon who had charge of the money, and at another time, forty-five shilhngs. The church therefore called a meeting to raise money to replenish the exchequer, in order to purchase the elements for the holy sacrament. The church voted " to acquit" the deacon of the forty-five shillings, but would not "acquit" him of the thirty. The church further agreed to " acquit" him from the duty of keeping the church money any longer. It was further considered inexpedient to allow the deacons any " pension " for going to Boston to procure the elements, and it was thought wise that none of the congregation should be present at any private church meeting.
A curious custom seems to have prevailed at this time. It was voted that the bottles which were used to bring up the wine, and w^hich were the property of the church, might with propriety be loaned to those having in charge the funeral of a church-member or any of his family, the borrower to be responsible for their safety, and to return them sound and clean.
On the 4th of August, 1734, the church voted to send delegates to a council to be held at Salem. A collection was taken to defray the expenses. It amounted to £==s. and Mr. Dunbar remarks that the church " was not spirited to do as so large and numerous a church might do," and he resolves to try it again, but with no better success ; and the entry this time is " a poor, niggardly collection." The result of this council at Salem, which we may say, in passing, created quite an excitement at the time, was accepted by the church in Stoughton ; and they pronounced sentence of " non-communion with that obstinate and impertinent church, even the First Church in Salem."
On Dec. 28, 1735, Mr. Dunbar read a proclamation, on the matter of an unusual and malignant distemper in many towns of the province, which was likely to spread through the land.
This year it was voted " that this church be a professed Congregational church."
On Sept. 10, 1738, the town voted that a committee of five men be chosen to treat with Mr. Dunbar, and obtain from him a statement of what he thought would be a sufficient maintenance for him yearly, in time to come, without further demands. The committee waited upon Mr. Dunbar, who in reply wrote them the following letter, the original of which is in my possession : —
Stoughton, Sept. 25, 1738.
Gentlemen and Neighbors, — If you would be at ye pains to look back to my original contract with this town, when I accepted ye call you had given me to ye Pastoral office among you, you will find such an engagement as this to me, viz. : " That if God should increase me in a family, and this, the hundred pounds you had granted me for my yearly salary, — I say if this should prove too little and narrow, you will make such additions as shall support me comfortably."
What you allow nie from year to year is not sufficient for this end by reason of the low currency and little value of our money. It has for several years fallen short, as I have signified to many of you months, and I suppose I may with truth say, years ago. Therefore I signify this incompetency of what you vote and allow me yearly, for my family maintenance, to you all, now legally met together, that when you vote me my salary, you may do what is just, and according to our original covenant. Moreover, I would inform you that the meadow you allow me from year to year in lieu of hay and corn, or land fit for the production of them, is not sufficient to answer for them, according to the allowance you long since granted me.
Your loving and faithful pastor, Samuel Dunbar.
The town, at the meeting on March 5, 1738-39, voted that the town shall make as good to the Rev. Samuel Dunbar his £ 100 as it was twelve years ago; namely, that it shall purchase as much of the necessaries of life as it would then; and that this shall not only be so in the future, but shall
be retroactive for the two years last past, and a committee was chosen to decide what was a just and equitable reimbursement. The report of the committee is as follows : —
We, ye Subscribers, being a Committee chosen by ye Town to inquire into ye Differance between ye prices of ye necessaries of Life Twelve years agoe & ye three Last years, Report as followeth. We finde that ye necessaries of Life have Risen so much betwixt ye years 1727 & 1738, that that which one hundered pounds would purches in 1727 would take in ye year 1738 one hundred eighty-nine pounds, fourteen shillings, & eleven pence ; and that in ye year 1 739 it would take one hundred eighty-four pounds & thirteen shillings, and so Likewise in ye year 1740. Dated at Stoughton, May ye 17th, 1740.
All which is humbly submitted by William Crane, William Billings, Richard Hixson, Committee.
The deacons, as well as the pastor, were sometimes subject to annoyance. Deacon Stearns in 1739 was not pleased with an observation which fell from the lips of John Upham. The latter told the former that he was " an old, one-eyed hypocrite and a lying old sinner." But being brought before the church, he asked the forgiveness of the deacon and the church. Deacon Stearns's house was situated in what is now Stoughton, on the west side of a cross-road that leads from French and Ward's factory toward Dry Pond. On the top of a hill, commanding a fine prospect, is still to be seen the cellar-hole of a house which he erected as early as 1716, - one of the earliest in modern Stoughton. He died April 5, 1741.
On April 1 1, 1739, at a church meeting, the following query was propounded, "Whether married persons, who cannot live together peaceably, but are always in broils and contentions, may not, by consent, live separately, and be no whit concerned with one another? " It passed unanimously that it was not agreeable to the laws of Christ in the gospel, Matt. xix. 9.
Mr. Dunbar sums up the year 1744 in these words: —
" Through the patience and goodness of God, I have finished the seventeenth year of my ministry. It has been a year of very uncommon trial to me, but I desire with all thankfulness and humility to set up my Ebenezer, for hitherto the Lord has helped me."
In 1746 "there was a terrible fever and mortality among us." Mr. Dunbar received three letters inviting him to accept the office of chaplain in the army at Louisburg. One was from the Committee of War, one from " the Honorable Secretary," and the third from Brother Taylor, of Milton, representing the Ministerial Association, of which Mr. Dunbar was a most distinguished member. Mr. Dunbar was willing and anxious to go, and laid the letters before the church, and asked that the church would grant him leave of absence for a while, to go into the service of his country; but only one hand was raised in the affirmative, and the pastor expressed the hope that if it was their desire that he should remain, the Lord would reward them by graciously giving success to his ministry among them.
Nov. 14, 1747, twenty years had rolled away since Mr. Dunbar began his ministry in the Stoughton First Precinct; and he tells us that during all these years he was never unable to perform his duties on account of ill health or any other cause. He exclaims, "I desire, with Samuel of old, to set up my Ebenezer, saying. Hitherto the Lord has helped me.
On Feb. 5, 1749, Mr. Dunbar preached a sermon on "The Melancholy Occasion of the Premature Deaths of Several Young Persons." From it we learn that a child of Mr. James Andrews and one of Mr. Samuel May were suddenly choked to death within the year; that four persons, Elisha Tailor, Abigail Liscom, Mary Haughton, and Mary Clapp were removed by a terrible fever within a month.
We find the following record this year. The initial letters of the name are only given. A knowledge of the dead languages was then confined to a select minority ; and the confession is in such a tongue that it was undoubtedly unintelligible to any in the church except the pastor: " L. P. Coram ecclesia, propter vini excessum, sponte sui confessionem habuit pjenitentialem."
On the 28th of May, 1760, Mr. Dunbar preached the an nual election sermon, " The presence of God with his people, their only safety and happiness."
On Feb. 18, 1762, Theodore May, a little lad, offered himself as a communicant to the church.
The same year Isaiah Tolman left Mr. Dunbar's church and joined the Episcopal Church in the town, called Trinity Church.
In 1769 Elijah Dunbar and Lieut. Benjamin Gill were chosen deacons of the church. Rev. Mr. Dunbar preached the Convention sermon this year at Boston.
It is related of Mr. Dunbar that on Feb. 11, 1769, he was called to attend the funeral of one who had not been an attendant at church, but who was called in those days " a scoffer." Mr. Dunbar stood at the head of the coffin, and with characteristic frankness remarked to the surviving relatives of the deceased " that his body was before them, but his soul was in hell." We may well credit this story when we read the following selection from Mr. Dunbar's sermon on "the Premature Deaths of Several Young Persons:" —
"And will you, can you, dare you, delay any longer in settling about the one Thing needful, — the Care and Salvation of your Souls? Tho' you are in your youthful Days, yet are you not old in Sin? May it not be said truly of many of you. The Sin of the Young Men and Women is very great before the Lord? Are you not ripe for the Scythe of divine Justice to cut you down? And may not the Day of God's Patience, for aught you know, be just at an End with you? And because you have been often called upon, both by the Voice of
God's Word and the Voice of his Providence, and have been often reproved, and all to no good Purpose, may not a holy God be provoked to destroy you suddenly and without Remedy? Oh, it is to be fear'd that your Judgment now of a long Time slumbereth not ! Wherefore, Oh, ye young People, who are now in a Christless Estate, and condemned already, because you believe not, and liable every Day, every Hour, every Moment, to be cut off by the Stroke of Death, and be sent down to the tremendous, intolerable, and endless Miseries and Torments of the Damned, mke haste, escape for your Lives, Linger not ! Should you neglect to improve the present Time to prepare for Death, you may never be favoured with another Opportunity; you may be taken away with a sudden Stroke. And the same Blow that sends your Bodies to the Grave, may send your Souls to Hell. Oh, therefore, my dear young People, be wise for yourselves, be wise for Eternity ! Beg of God to bestow this Wisdom upon you"
Mr. Dunbar was a temperate man, and wonderfully so, considering the customs of the time in which he lived. Although he took a little wine for the stomach's sake, he was fond of preaching against " that cursed rum bottle." It was a favorite expression of his, and well known to all his parishioners.
One day a neighbor of his was going to Boston, and Mr. Dunbar intrusted him with an empty jug, with instructions as to the " particular vanity " with which it was to be filled. The neighbor did not return until it was dark, and the parson appeared at the front door with the candle in his hand, in order to expedite the unloading of the jug. No progress being made, the parson became impatient, and exclaimed, " What are you looking for?" There was silence for an instant; then the reply rang out sharp and clear on the night air, "That cussed rum bottle!"
The church, during the latter years of Mr. Dunbar's ministry, received several gifts. Mr. Ebenezer Maudsley (Mosely), who died in 1739, gave by his will £ 20 to the church. The aged Widow Tolman gave £-- in old tenor bills to purchase vessels for the table. Deacon Benjamin Blackman, a little before his death, presented to the church two handsome pewter tankards; and on May 30, 1765, John Wentworth gave £---, old tenor, equal to £ ---, lawful money, for the use of the church. John Boylston, a young blacksmith who died Sept. 8, 1775, by his will gave a legacy to the church. The year following, a committee, appointed for the purpose, reported that the Widow Anna (Payson) Boylston, whom he had married Jan. 6, 1774, "ought to receive £8 12s., and that Brother Nathaniel Fisher, executor of the will of her deceased husband, remit the same to her; and that this church expects that the executor will execute the will of John Boylston faithfully according to the tenor of it, and hereby enjoin upon him so to do, as he will be answerable to this church." It was voted that the land given by Boylston be let out, and Deacons Dunbar and Gill ordered to take care of the rent for the benefit of the church. This land was called the church land; it consisted of six and one half acres on Chapman Street.
In the Canton Cemetery stands a portion of a stone with these letters : "d Sep * * * * the 32nd year of his age." From the footstone marked "I. B.," its nearness to the grave of the infant son of John Boylston, who died about a month after his father, and from the fact that gravestones were provided and paid for by the executor, we judge it to be the gravestone of John Boylston.
During the latter years of Mr. Dunbar's ministry his record is mostly taken up with an account of the various ecclesiastical councils in which he participated ; and the events of the home parish are not recorded as fully as in his earlier years. But the genealogist who desires to find the birth, baptism, arriage, or death of any person connected with the church while he was its pastor will have reason to bless him, for he was a model recorder ; and were all pastors as faithful in this respect as he, the history of our towns and families, and so of our State and country, would be more easily ascertained and perpetuated.
Thus we come to the close of Mr. Dunbar's long ministry. From his sermons, his records, and from the traditions that have been handed down to us from his time, we are able to form an estimate of his life and character. Possessing the same bold, enterprising spirit which was the distinguishing characteristic of the men under whose care he had been educated, and accustomed from his youth to contend with difficulties and hardships, he was well fitted for the trying epoch in which he was called to act. The people over whom he was invited to settle were not remarkable at this time for courtesy or urbanity. Estrangements existed among families, disagreements among neighbors; and the church itself had lately been distracted by intestine feuds. This state of affairs had culminated in the ejectment of the former pastor, who, being a man of mild disposition, had neither the will to command nor the strength to maintain his pastoral authority.
Consequently, discipline had been neglected, church rules disobeyed, and a spirit of insubordination and defiance prevailed. To restore peace, to bring into harmony discordant natures, to heal the wounds of the past, and to curb the spirit of the unruly and rebellious, was the earnest endeavor which the second minister of this parish had continually to bear in mind. But it was a difficult task. It required a man of no ordinary prudence, fortitude, and perseverance. For the work Mr. Dunbar was eminently qualified. " The fear of man which bringeth a snare," was no part of hi-s character. The existing disorders he resolved to correct; and in spite of slander and falsehood he persevered with undeviating firmness in the rigid system he had adopted, nor could calumny or opposition divert him from the path of duty. Mr. Dunbar was not only a true representative of the early New England divine; he was more, — he was a leader; and upon his office the strongly marked individuality of his character was stamped.
He was a fine scholar, possessing a critical knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. A ready composer and rapid thinker, he invented a stenography of his own, which lessened the manual labor of the pen. His sermons were in the fashion of the day, — polemical, bristling with texts from the Scriptures, and ornamented with quotations from the original text, which were none the less effective because his simple parishioners could not comprehend them. He was a man of robust health ; and he boasts that for more than half a century he was not absent from his pulpit on account of sickness. He took a deep interest in municipal and provincial, as well as ecclesiastical matters, and had large influence by reason of his education, intelligence, and force of character. Nor could the narrow limits of his own town contain his reputation. His usefulness and influence were acknowledged far beyond the bounds of his own parish. His bold and persuasive eloquence obtained for him a high rank among his contemporaries; and his printed sermons on, special occasions, still extant, are replete with vigor and sound learning.
One of his sermons bears the number 8,059. The Rev. George F. Piper, in a discourse preached at the meeting-house in Canton in 1867, upon the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the church, thus speaks of this sermon: —
" It is numbered 8,059, and as it was written in the forty-ninth year of his ministry, he must have composed, on an average, no less than one hundred and sixty-four sermons a year, or a httle more than three a week. He must have gone into the pulpit twice every Sunday, every Lecture Day, on every Thanksgiving, on every Fast, and not infrequently on funeral occasions, during all these years, with a freshly written sermon.
" If there is no mistake in the number, the second minister of this parish may be said, almost without hesitation, to have written more sermons than any other man that ever lived. Five thousand sermons, or one hundred a year for half a century, has sometimes been mentioned as a prodigious number ; but in the case before us we have eight thousand and fifty-nine, and are to remember that their author continued to preach, and probably to write, for seven years more. There is reason to question whether the transcriber did not mistake the number."
For my own part, I do not believe there was any error in the count. We must remember that Priest Dunbar was a pupil of Cotton Mather, and that Cotton Mather considered his father, Increase Mather, " a princely preacher." Of him it is related that in addition to preaching twice on Sunday, and holding his ordinary lecture every Thursday, he preached thrice a week beside, — on Wednesday and Thursday, early in the morning, and on Saturday afternoon. He also held a daily lecture in his house; and occasions frequently occurred when he would spend six hours " in the word and in prayer." On his voyage to this country, in company with three other clergymen, they generally had three sermons a day. In Cotton Mather's diary it is recorded that in one year he preached seventy-two sermons, kept sixty fasts and twenty vigils, and wrote fourteen books; his publications in all amounted to three hundred and eighty-two, some of them of huge dimensions. Samuel Hidden, of Tamworth, N. H., preached two hundred and sixty sermons each year for forty-five years, and one thousand funeral sermons, making twelve thousand seven hundred in all.
But the writing of sermons was not the only duty of the minister of those days. There were parochial duties dependent on him: families must be visited; the sick must be called upon ; confession must be made, and a time set apart for special intercession, meditation, and prayer. Again, if any difficulty arose in aneighboring parish, Mr. Dunbar's counsel was immediately sought; and it is affirmed that he was usually successful in promoting reconciliations. He sat as a member of fifty-three ecclesiastical councils, in most of which he took an active and distinguished part. A prodigious amount of labor, truly, the early divines of this country performed.
During Mr, Dunbar's long ministry he baptized 1,703, married 690 couples, and attended 6S2 funerals ; and as it was the custom of our ministers for more than a century after the first settlement to have discourses preached at marriages as well as funerals, we can well see on what occasions the 8,059 sermons were delivered.
Aside from the arduous duties which ecclesiastical matters imposed upon him, Mr. Dunbar, like most of the clergymen of his time, was a patriot. In provincial times he was a Loyalist, stanch and firm. He considered obedience to his king as a portion of his religion; and he expounded the duties of patriotism with zeal and fervor. Nor was his the cheap patriotism of words. In 1745 he asked for leave of absence from his pulpit to become chaplain in a regiment about to be sent with his Majesty's army .to Louisburg. For some reason his request was denied ; and he was obliged to content himself with remaining at home. But during this time his firm and steady attachment to his king, and his resolute and indefatigable endeavors for the prosperity and honor of his country, attracted the notice of the government; and in 1755 he went to the field as chaplain in one of his Majesty's regiments, commanded by Colonel Brown, of Sudbury, then going on an expedition against the French at Crown Point. And on November 18 of the same year we find him encamped on the shore of Lake Champlain, at the time " the great earthquake " visited that place.
At a later period, when the oppressive acts of the British Parliament^had forfeited all claims to loyaltw we read that Parson Dunbar, by his zeal and firmness in the cause of freedom, and his unwavering confidence in the Divine assistance and blessing, even in the darkest hours and under the most forbidding aspects of the war, contributed much to support he hopes and sustain the sinking spirits of those who were contending in so unequal a contest.
He lived to see the war close triumphantly, and the return of peace. At the celebration held in Stoughton in honor of that event, on the 2d of June, 1783, he was present and offered a public prayer. This was his last public service. How fitting that his long and useful life should have such a glorious conclusion; that in that sanctuary where he had ministered for over half a century, he should for the last time lift his voice in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for the return of peace and the establishment of national freedom !
In less than two weeks, those who rejoiced with him in the priceless gift of liberty had their joy turned to sorrow to learn that he who had ministered to them in spiritual things for fifty-six years was no more. His strong faith in God, his patient resignation to the divine will under the pains of an excruciating disorder, proved that faith in the religion of Christ, which all his life he had recommended to others, was to him a sheet-anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, a solace in the hour of death, surpassing the treasures and pleasures of this fleeting world.
At the close of a Sabbath day in the month of June, Mr. Dunbar's relatives and friends assembled around his deathbed. As the shades of evening approached, his pulse became slower and his breath shorter ; he was in the utmost distress, panting for breath, tossing from one side of the bed to the other. In answer to an inquiry by an affectionate friend, his reply was, in the words of Polycarp, " I have served a good Master, and he has not forsaken me." Thus passed from earth the second minister of this town. He was buried on the 18th day of June. Certain of his contemporaries and friends assembled at the old parsonage and from its portals bore, with reverent sorrow, his body to the grave. His friends, Adams of Stoughton, Curtis of Sharon, Robbins of Milton, Taft of Randolph, Wild of Braintree, Chickering, Thacher, and Haven of Dedham, acted as pall-bearers. The day succeeding his death, the precinct voted that they would bear all the expense and make the necessary provision for his funeral. For this he had himself provided, " except the Parish will for my long and constant and, I hope, faithful ministry and labors among them be so generous as to do it." The Rev. Jason Haven, pastor of the First Church in Dedham, delivered an appropriate and just funeral sermon. From a copy before me I select the following estimate of Mr. Dunbar's character as given by his friend and contemporary. The reverend gentleman took his text from Num. xxiii. lO, — " Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his."
" Though I am not fond of funeral eulogia, yet silence on the removal of one eminently pious and useful in the church of Christ might be censurable. I wish I was better able to do justice to his character and memory.
" The great Author of Nature was pleased to endow him with very good mental powers. These being brightened and improved by a learned education, united to a firm and happy constitution of body, and sanctified by God's grace, fitted him to discharge with dignity and usefulness the duties of the Christian and ministerial character. He shone with distinguished lustre in the orb in which He who holdeth the stars in His right hand was pleased to fix him. Not only this society and this town, but the neighboring ones, have seen and felt the radiance and influence of this ' burning and shining light.' He was a zealous defender of what he took to be ' the fiiith once delivered to the saints.' He treated much on what have been called the peculiar doctrines of grace ; these he considered as doctrines according to godliness. And he constantly maintained it as a faithful saying that they who believe in Jesus should be careful to perform good works. He knew the great design of preaching too well, and pursued it with too much fidelity, to give in to the practice of which some are so fond, — the practice of entertaining people with the subtleties of metaphysics, which tend rather to amuse or perplex than to impress the conscience, mend the heart, and reform the life. As he meant always to be understood, he used great plainness of speech. A more courageous and faithful reprover of vice, both in public and private, perhaps hath never been known among us. He complied with the direction given to the prophet, ' Cry aloud ; spare not ; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, to show my people their transgressions and their sins.' He was, on proper occasions, a Son of Thunder, endeavoring, by the terrors of the law, to awaken secure and hardened sinners, to point out to them the dreadful danger of a course of sin and impenitency. But he knew how happily to change his voice, and to become a Son of Consolation, and by the soft and winning charms of the gospel to lead weary souls to Christ for rest, and to comfort those that are cast down.
" He was diligent, laborious, and fervent in his work, and did not in his public services offer to the Lord that which cost him nothing ; but giving himself to reading, meditation, and prayer, brought into the sanctuary what he used to speak of by the term of beaten oil ; well-studied and well-connected discourses, adapted to the several ages, characters, and circumstances of his people, and to the present aspects of divine Providence. You of this society, I trust, are witnesses to the fidelity and tenderness with which he performed the more private parts of ministerial duty, — visiting the sick ; counselling, instructing, and comforting them ; praying with and for them ; endeavoring to speak a word in season to them, and to help them to a proper improvement of the dispensations of Providence. How he exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you as a father does his children !
" And did not his life and conversation happily correspond to his doctrine and instruction ? Are ye not witnesses, and God also, ' how holy and justly and unblamably he behaved himself among you'? He was a lover and promoter of peace, diligent and skilful in his endeavors to quench the coals of beginning strife before they kindled into a flame."
" How steady a friend, how warm an advocate, was he for civil and religious liberty, and the rights of mankind ! How firm a patriot in the struggle for freedom ! And it is remarkable that the last public service he performed in character of a minister, was to lead in your devout acknowledgments to God, for espousing the cause of America, establishing our independence, and restoring to us the blessing of peace. He was a friend to the order, discipline, and government of the New England churches called Congregational. He was kind and helpful to them and to his brethren in the ministry, and often invited to counsel and advise in matters of difficulty. Though he had much warmth and fire in his temper and constitution, yet it was not an ignisfatuus. He could not be justly called an enthusiast in religion, as he happily tempered his zeal with meekness and prudence.
"He was honored with long life and usefulness, and was perhaps an unparalleled instance of carrying on ministerial labors without being interrupted by any bodily infirmity, for the space of fifty-three years from the time of his settlement. But the best constitutions must fail at length. The prophets do not live forever. He, after serving God in the gospel of his Son for more than fifty-five years, now rests from his labor. He died, we doubt not, the death of the righteous, - a death attended with hope, peace, and safety. His last sickness, which was very painful, he bore with much patience and submission to the divine will. He viewed the approaches of his change with Christian calmness and fortitude ; he appeared willing to depart and be with Christ. This account of the state of his mind I have from those who were with him in his last days and hours. He has gone, we trust, to receive the reward of a faithful servant ; and ' having turned many to righteousness,' of which we hope he hath been instrumental, ' to shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as a star forever and ever.'
"And Samuel died, and all the Israelites lamented him and buried him in his house at Ramah."
His grave lies on the left-hand side of Central Avenue as you enter the cemetery by the western gateway ; and the headstone bears this inscription :
Conditum hie est corpus Rev di Sainiielis Dunbar Ecdesice Stoughtonensis prinice Per L V amiorum spacium Pastoris vigilantissvni Viri plane integerrwii Concionatoris eximii Pietaie Paritus ac Libertali Eruditione Or72atissimi Qui ohiit in Domino June XV MDCCLXXXIII Et etatis snce LXXIX"
The old parsonage, in which three generations of Dunbars lived, was torn down in April, 1884. It stood on the northerly side of what is now Chapman Street, formerly Dunbar's
Lane. Its situation was pleasant, just far enough from the road to be secluded, yet near enough for the occupants to recognize distinctly the passers-by. Built in the fashion of the last century, it had two stories in front, and sloped gradually almost to the ground in the rear. The front door within my remembrance was ornamented over the top with fanci-fully carved woodwork, shaped like the Greek Delta; two enormous chimneys protruded from its roof, the bricks of which were made from clay found in the Pecunit meadows.
Near the mansion in early days stood the roomy chaise-house; and here was stored, until the powder-house was built in 1809, the town's stock of ammunition. On the left of the house, as you faced it, was the well, over which swung the old sweep. From this well generation after generation have drunk; and the generations that will occupy the new unfinished house will continue to quaff its waters. In front of the house, and on the line of the modern highway, stands an ancient mulberry-tree, one of the largest of its kind, but now so dismantled and forlorn that its career is nearly run. The house faced nearly to the south; and the westerly side was shadowed by a willow of magnificent circumference, which grew from a rod stuck into the ground by William Downes in 1835. Entering, the visitor was struck by the quaint appearance of the rooms; the old beams, sheathed with wood, protruded through the ceiling, and one could easily reach them by raising the arm. The panels of the doors were immense. At the back of one of the closets, on the lower floor, was a sliding-door ; by pushing up the slide a secret recess is revealed.
The land on which the old house stood was purchased from the Ponkapoag Indians by John Withington, who erected a house upon it, which was standing as early as 1728. This same year he sold the property to Rev. Samuel Dunbar, who a few years after erected the building now removed. It was said to be the handsomest house between Boston and Providence.
Parson Dunbar was a young man in those day's, fresh from Harvard College, firm, courageous, unflinching. Look at him ! He has the appearance of one accustomed to command and to be obeyed. He is dressed as befits his profession, in the clerical manner of his day. His long black gown, his snow-white bands, his flowing gray wig, his black short-clothes, his knee and shoe buckles, bring up before us the clergymen who ministered to our ancestors in spiritual things when the Georges were on the throne.
From this house he walked to his meeting-house, and looked, as we look to-day, upon the Blue Hills, and on the Pecunit valley at his feet. Stern gentleman, patriot, priest, and soldier that he was, he passed often through trial and tribulation, but he never faltered. His heart never failed him. He walked in the rugged path of duty for fifty-five years, cheered and encouraged his flock, and helped them to carry the burdens of daily life. If the Lord crowned the year with his goodness, or if Governor Bernard sailed away; if they wept when " four persons were removed by a terrible fever within a month," — the pastor and the people rejoiced or wept together, and he always preached a sermon suitable to the occasion.
Bancroft speaks of his prayer at the Doty tavern, in Canton, where the first Suffolk County Congress was held, in 1774. When the British fleet under Lord Howe was reported off the coast, meditating a descent on Boston, he prayed that God would " put a bit in their mouths, and jerk them about, send a strong northeast gale, and dash them to pieces on Cohasset Rock." Again, in a season of great anxiety, he prayed that God would let the Redcoats return to the land whence they came, " for Thou knowest, O God, that their room is better than their company."
He died June 15, 1783. He gave to his son Elijah the old homestead, " to requite him for all his dutiful tenderness and care of me in my old age." Elijah was born on the 2d of September, 1740. He graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1760; two years later he placed an addition on the westerly side of the old house, and brought thither Sarah Hunt, his young bride. He was a different man from his father, more a man of the world; his appearance was commanding and majestic, a trifle too portly. Some still living can remember him. He wore a drab coat, with long and ample skirts, designed by John McKendry, who was familiar with the latest Boston style; under this a long waist-coat. His legs were clothed with breeches fastened at the knees with buckles ; below, stockings of home-manufacture, which, on his visits to Boston or on grand occasions, were exchanged for silk hose. I found an old shoe-buckle in the garret of the old house ; it may have been one that assisted to complete his wardrobe; it may have belonged to his father. In early life Elijah wore his hair uncut ; but on the i6th of February, 1773, he records in his diary that he cut it off and purchased a " bobb wig." In the latter part of his life his head was ornamented with a gray wig with puffs, still preserved as an heirloom; surmounting this was a broad brimmed hat.
In his youthful days he skated on Ponkapoag Pond, he hunted bees, he caught trout, he shot squirrels, he went to huskings, and he went to " sings." The last were his delight; he taught the first singing-school in the town, and I believe that he started the first musical society in the country. He was for many years President of the Stoughton Musical Society. He established the first library in Canton. As he grew older he wrote the wills, the indentures, the deeds, and appraised estates and surveyed land for his neighbors.
He was appointed on Feb. 4, 1768, by Governor Bernard, a justice of the peace ; and he never forgot, whether he led the singing in his father's meeting-house, presided over the town meetings, or sat in the halls of legislation, that he was an officer in the service of his Majesty the King; he ever preserved, even in the days that tried men's souls, the self-poise and dignity which so distinguished the provincial gentleman. The blood of the Stoughtons and the Danforths was in his veins, and from them he received a large tract of land in the Nipmuck country; for ready money, he had only to write a deed of a farm in Charlton. During his day the old mansion was the abode of hearty hospitality, as it had been in the day of his father; but no longer did the ancient divines come to discuss the " essentials and non-essentials."
Now came the veterans of the French War. Here jovial Thomas Doty told of his adventures at the dark and dreary period of the French and Indian War, when he crossed Lake Ontario at the head of his regiment, and threw himself upon the bulwarks of Fort Frontenac, to be rewarded Vv'ith victory.
Here came Edmund Ouincy, son of Judge Edmund and Dorothy Quincy, whose daughter was to marry John Hancock. Here also came Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence, who made annual visitations to the home of his boyhood ; and here came to unite in the dear old songs the sweetest of all singers, William Billings. Here " Master " Lem Babcock and James Beaumont sang. Here Capt. William Patrick, one of Dunbar's neighbors, sat by the open fireplace and chatted over pipe and cider-mug. Little did he dream that the savages under Brant would one day murder him with a cruelty too atrocious to describe. Another neighbor. Col. Benjamin Gill, who had commanded a regiment at the surrender of Burgoyne, came one day dressed in his blue coat, light under-clothes, and cocked hat to invite Dunbar to be present at a dinner he was to give his officers on the anniversary of the famous surrender.
Here came young Aaron Bancroft, to sit in the chair of the old Calvinistic minister, and to overset in the mind of the son the doctrinal teachings of a lifetime. After the Revolution a frequent guest was Col. Jonathan Eddy. He used to walk down from Sharon, breakfast, and then ride into Boston with Dunbar to attend tie sitting of the General Court. In 1755 he had raised a company for the reduction of Canada, which had been attached to the regiment of Col. Thomas Doty. In 1759-60 he was stationed at Fort Cumberland; in 1776 he was at General Washington's headquarters at Cambridge; in 1777 he was in command of the forces at Machias when that place was beset by the enemy.
Richard Gridley, well known to William Pitt, friend of Amherst, companion of Earl St. Vincent and Cook the navigator, and later, friend of Washington, Warren, and Hancock, the man who planned the fortifications on Bunker Hill, the veteran of three wars, lived in Canton, and many a night he was a visitor at the old parsonage. The two sieges of Louisburg, the scaling of the Heights of Abraham, the battle of Bunker Hill, formed a story which, if these old walls could speak, would be as thrilling as any in the annals of our country. Here came in the flush of youth Benjamin Bussey, full of his adventures as quartermaster in the Revolutionary War.
He was to live a life of gilded misery, give to Harvard College what must now amount to a million dollars, because he could not carry it with him, and to the Hollis Street Church a set of the ten commandments, because he could not keep them. Strangest of all, here came young men in search of the philosopher's stone, swearing at the midnight hour to conceal from the vulgar " such alchemical secrets as they should receive in pursuit of the Grand Elixir."
When the Revolution broke out, the old parson and his son were some time divided in political sentiments. The old man, as I have shown, was at the first meeting in the county held to oppose British tyranny. He continued active in the patriot cause, and during the entire duration of the war voluntarily relinquished one half his pay. The young man was in doubt; his career was beginning; he must w-eigh well the probabilities of the result. His uncle, Samuel Danforth, the short-time mandamus councillor of the king, assured him that if he acted with the rebels, he would certainly lose his office of justice of the peace, and he might lose what was far dearer to him, — his head. This was the time Daniel Leonard chose to appear on the scene. He came most inopportunely to the door of the old manse as never a man came before or since. If wc may believe the description John Adams gives us, he drove up with a chariot and pair ; upon his head he wore a three-cornered hat, around which was a broad band of gold lace; his cloak glittered with laces still broader, and flunkies in livery were perched on box and rumble, who alighted at his slightest word, — this was the outward show. Within that gilded luxury there sat a man of wonderful attractiveness, a man of the most brilliant intellect, but a notorious conspirator, a scholar, a lawyer, an orator, the author, long kept secret, of those famous letters signed " Massachusitensis." To all these qualities of mind were added a most winning address and a manner which charmed and controlled a listener. Over and above all, a long and tender friendship, dating back to their college life, existed between these two men. Their tastes were similar; Leonard and Dunbar had lodged together at the Doty tavern as early as 1767; and Leonard never drove from Taunton to Boston without stopping at Canton. Once he passed a Sunday with Dunbar, and sat in the minister's pew in the old meeting-house.
But the fascinations of wealth, intellect, and even friendship failed to convince Dunbar ; and this short-timed mandamus councillor, this future Chief-Justice of Bermuda, who was to wander over the world banished and in exile, to die in a foreign city by the accidental discharge of a pistol in his own hand, was obliged to leave Dunbar without having won him to the cause of the king.
Possibly the arguments of Leonard and Danforth rendered Dunbar less enthusiastic in the patriot cause than he would otherwise have been. As the agitation increased, and the sentiment of province and town crystallized into a firm and decided purpose to resist, at all hazards, the unjust demands of the mother country, Elijah Dunbar cast his lot with his neighbors, and assisted his townspeople ; but the hesitation and delay had injured him, and rendered him an object of suspicion. That his conduct was remembered, I learn from the opening lines of a doggerel that did not appear until the war was over: —
" A stands for Adams and Administration ; B stands for Baker, who gave the oration ; C stands for Capen, for Crane, and Cockade; D stands for Dunbar, that old Tory blade ; E stands for Eagle, the sign of the inn ; F stands for Federal, who went to drink gin."
This line was unfair; for his procrastination he had nobly atoned. During the ordeal of the Revolution, the occupant of the old parsonage was a zealous patriot: he was town treasurer; he procured soldiers; he built near his house a building for the manufacture of saltpetre; he was one of the committee to carry on the salt-works at Squantum, also appointed to " take cognizance of those who had been unfriendly to the common cause." In 1782 he was one of the Committee of Safety and Correspondence, and a member of the General Court. In 1789 he was elected senator. One who knew him said of him, " He was a faithful sentinel, ever watchful of the rights and liberties of his constituents, and ready to give the alarm should any infringement of the same be attempted."
He was possessed of great mathematical talents, which he undoubtedly inherited from the Rev. John Danforth, and observed the transit of Venus on June 3, 1769. He astonished the loafers about Blackman's shop on the morning of June 24, 1778, by telling them the exact moment when the eclipse of the sun would begin ; it was, said he, " as I had projected it." On the i6th of June, 1806, he writes, "Fair and serene view of y*" total eclipse of y^ sun, — a grand and sublime spectacle." He lies buried in the family lot in the old burying-ground, and the following is the inscription on
his gravestone : —
Here rests in the hope of the resurrection of the just the earthly remains of the Hon. 'Elijah Dunbar Esq. who deceased, Oct. 25th, 1814, aetatis 75. — Long known in the walks of public life, by the suffrages of his fellow citizens often elevated to offices of honor and trust, and for many years sustaining the office of Deacon in the church of Christ in this place. —
While weeping friends bend o'er his silent tomb.
Recount his virtues and their loss deplore.
Faith's piercing eye, darts through the dreary gloom.
And hails him blest, where tears shall flow no more.
Beati Domino Morientes,
One morning in May, 1777, the occupants of the old house received from the post-rider a large square, folded letter, which read as follows : —
" I condole with you on occasion of the perplexity and unhappiness of the present times; and when they will be better, God only knows.
The present aspect of things, if reports may be depended on, seem to presage times near at hand more difficult and distressing. Under an appreciation that the Town of Boston may be invaded by the enemy, soldiers are ordered to be raised for its defense, and some of the inhabitants are sending some of their most valuable effects into the country ; and I have thought it advisable to do the like with respect to some part of my goods, lest in case the town should be invaded, bombarded, and set on fire, I should lose the whole ; and whereas I do not think of a more safe and secure place whereat to lodge them than at your house, I would request of you the favor to receive two or three trunks into your house, if it may be done without incommoding of you. I will send them by the first safe conveyance ; and if you will yield to my request, I pray that you will signify it in a hne to me ; and if you should know of any one of your neighbors coming to Boston with a cart, in whom we may confide for a safe conveyance, that you would be so good as to desire him to call at my lodgings in Hanover Street, near the head of Wing's Lane, at the house directly opposite Mr. Benjamin Hollway's great brick house."
This letter was addressed, " The Rev. Mr. Samuel Dunbar," and was signed by the Tory, Samuel Danforth, who had been a member of his Majesty's council for more than thirty-five years, and was appointed by the king in 1774 one of the mandamus councilors. On the 1st of September of the same year, an excited mob from the adjacent towns poured into Cambridge, and Mr. Danforth was compelled to announce from the Court- House steps that he had resigned, or would resign, his seat at the council-board. Whether the parsonage became a receptacle for goods that might otherwise have been confiscated, I have no information.
The first child born to Elijah Dunbar was Mary, who married John Spurr ; they removed to Charlton, where he became one of its most influential men. On the 24th of November, 1765, Samuel was born; he married Sarah Davenport and also went to Charlton. On June 14, 1768, John Danforth was born. He graduated at Harvard in 1789, became a lawyer, and settled at Plymouth, where he died Feb. 21, 1811. His son returned to Canton, and his grandson is still living among us. On Dec. 14, 1769, Sally was born; and on the 25th of June, 1773, the father wrote in his diary: "27th, Poor Sally laid in ye grave ; a solemn day ; may I never forget it ! "
On the 7th of July, 1773, a boy was born, who was baptized on the 1 8th by his grandfather; he bore the scriptural name of his father, Elijah. When the boy had grown to early manhood, it was decided that he should walk in the steps of his grandfather, the builder of the house. His studies were finished at Harvard in 1794, where his father and grandfather had been before him.' With high aspirations he set out on the morning of his life. He was ordained in the ministry at Peterborough, N. H., Oct. 23, 1799, declaring frankly to the council his dissent from the Trinitarian creed; here he grew " old and not rich," having expended in addition to his salary a handsome patrimonial estate among his people. He often returned to the old home. One of the entries in his diary says, " Find all in health save one, — Deo opt. viax. laus" He died Sept. 3, 1850.
On July 25, 1775, Thomas was born. He married Chloe Bent, May 21, 1804, and took his father's place as deacon of the church, and his children and grandchildren remain in town at the present day. On Feb. 13, 1778, came Dorothy, who married Joseph Hewins; and Aug. 15, 1780, William the lawyer, who was to live in the old house, and " shut the door" of the family. On Aug. 11, 1784. Hannah was born and she married in due time Richard Wheatly. Lastly came James, Feb. 2, 1787, who married Sarah, dauglitcr of Adam and Sarah (Leonard) Kinsley, and resided in this town until his death, April 19, 1867, — a man of great influence, for many years filling offices of public trust, President of the Neponset Bank ; a man sound and careful in judgment, of exemplary character, and during his long life universally respected. Members of the family of Dunbar lived in the house nearly to the middle of this century.
I once found in the garret some ancient papers, — those of Jeremiah Gridley, " the Webster of his day," as Judge Gardner calls him, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge ; and of General Richard Gridley, his brother. They contained no items of great historical value. An ancient Boston "News Letter," bearing the date 1755, having an interesting report of the operations under Sir William Johnson, signed by him, was exhumed by the Canton Historical Society on Fast Day, 1884, when they met in the old house to say good-by to it.
The old house, filled with so many sad and pleasant memories, has gone. What scenes of joy and sorrow its old-fashioned rooms have witnessed ! Troops of children have played on the lawn in front of the mansion, or looked out with childish pleasure from its old-fashioned windows, into which the sun shone on pleasant days. Old farmers have driven up to the door and delivered their share of the stipulated winter's firewood. Here old-fashioned quilting-bees, donation and husking parties, have been held. Only think of the eight thousand sermons that were produced under this roof!
What quantities of good old rum and " Old October " have been drunk on the premises ! Think of the bashful boys and blushing girls that have been united for life by the old parson ! Think of the backsliders that have been admonished, the ungodly that have been threatened, by the old pastor in that room in the southeast corner of the second story which was his study ! Think of the ponderous old volumes of musty theology that once stood on the bookcases, now condescending to hold "Massachusetts Reports" in place of "The Doctrine of the Saints" and " Perseverance Explained and Confirmed"! Here was the first folio published in America, — Willard's " Body of Divinity ; " here also were Fox's " Martyrs " and Baxter's " Saint's Everlasting Rest; " and — mention it not to bibliophiles — this old house once contained a copy of Mather's " Magnalia." I have one of the gems of this now scattered collection. It is a quaint old bound volume of sermons which Rev. Samuel Dunbar bought at the auction of Rev. Nathaniel Clapp, of Newport, in 1746. I bought it at an auction in 1882. It has autographs of both its former owners.
Within these walls was once deposited probably the best selected and most valuable collection of music-books in the country at that time. We quote a few of the titles :
" Holyoke Repository," " Massachusetts Compiler," " Royal Harmony," " Musical Magazine," " Holden's Union Harmony,"
" Harmony of Maine," " Harmony of Harmony," " Harmon-
ica Americana," " Royal Melody," " Evangelical Harmony,"
" Anthems," "William Billing's Singers' Amusement," " Sacred
Minstrels," " Robertson's Anthems," " Norfolk Harmony,"
" Oriental Harmony," " Dirges," " West Boston and Brattle street Music," " Select Music in MS."
The old clock, made by the best maker of his time, bears on its face the name of Simon Willard, also that it was made for Elijah Dunbar, Esq. ; over the moons appear periodically a sinking ship, bearing the red flag with the conjoined crosses of Saint George and Saint Andrew. Utterly oblivious to the changes in dynasties or flags, it still keeps honest time.
Let us not forget the sainted dead that have been carried out from under the old-fashioned doorway, which yesterday was, and to-day is not, borne to the graveyard on the hill, where the earliest settlers lie, and placed with their kith and kin. The gravestones tell us they lie there in the hope of a glorious resurrection in the house not made with hands.
"We may build more splendid habitations, fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures, but we cannot. Buy with gold the old associations."
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