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gallery to gallery, and used as a store-house. It was more fortunate than its companion church on Nassau street, for, after the Revolution, it was devoted solely to public worship until its demolition. The old Middle Dutch Church, on the other hand, has only just ceased to echo with the bustle of a great post-office, and it now stands alone and forÎorn amid a crowded population, awaiting the assaults of the crowbar and the spade.
The Huguenot and Lutheran churches were also used as places of confinement for military prisoners, and when these became insufficient, Van Cortlandt's and Rhinelander's sugar-houses, and one on Liberty street, near the Middle Dutch Church, were mustered into the service. The second of these prison pens is yet standing at the corner of William and Duane streets in a fair state of preservation. In all these places the sufferings of the prisoners were intense, and the manner of their treatment has left an indelible stain on the memory of Lord Howe. "I have gone into a church," writes Colonel Ethan Allen, who was a prisoner in New York in 1777, "and seen sundry of the prisoners in the agonies of death in consequence of very hunger, and others, speechless and near death, biting pieces of chip; others pleading for God's sake for something to eat, and at the same time shivering with cold. Hollow groans saluted my ears, and despair seemed to be imprinted on every
one of their countenances. The filth of these churches was almost beyond description. I have seen in one of them seven dead at the same time." This was the price with which our independence was bought.
State prisoners were usually confined in the "New Jail" on the Commons, afterward made historical as the "Old Provost Prison." This was a plain building of brown-stone, erected in 1758, having a high, sloping tiled roof, with dormer windows. It was three stories in height. Here many distinguished Americans were confined during the war. One of the large chambers on the second floor was styled "Congress Hall" from the character of its inmates. Besides Colonel Ethan Allen, Major Travis of the Virginia Horse, Judge Fell of Bergen, Major Wynant Van Zandt, and others of high rank, were here subjected to the brutalities of the infamous Captain Cunningham, who made it his boast that he had starved two thousand rebels by selling their rations.
A characteristic anecdote is told of Allen's imprisonment. When Judge Fell was re
leased, after being confined for several months, he determined to celebrate his good fortune by sending a present to his late companions in bonds. He sent to the prison a case of cheese and two cases of porter. A dispute arose at once as to the manner of disposing of the treasure. Some advocated an economy of the supplies, others were disposed to be more extravagant. Allen spoke in favor of one great feast, and his eloquence carried the day. The table was spread, toasts were drank, speeches made, and for one happy evening the prisoners were able to forget their sorrows.
In 1831 the jail was converted into the present Hall of Records. Its walls were stuccoed, a new roof was substituted for the old, and six marble columns, which were subsequently covered with stucco, entirely changed the appearance of the old building. The stout stone walls, however, are the same that witnessed the woes of the patriot captives. The crowds that hurry across the City Hall Park pay little attention to the legendary history of the Hall of Records, but Centennial enthusiasm may revive its memory. The place deserves all honor at the hands of the citizens of New York.
There was little space for Christmas festivities while the hand of the foreign soldier was at the throat of the city. Families were divided; homes were in ruins; death was reaping a wide harvest. Wealthy men found themselves suddenly impoverished by the contest, and many whom the war had spared lost all in the great fire. It was no time for domestic rejoicings. But it was meet that the poor should be remembered. And when did New York ever fail in her charities? The "Gazette and Weekly Mercury" of December 22d, 1777, made the following announcement: "On Wednesday next, being Christmas Eve, forty poor widows, housekeepers, having families in this city, will receive 40 lbs. of fresh beef and a half a peck loaf each, on a certificate of their necessity signed by two neighbors of repute, which is to be determined at the Reverend Dr. Inglis's house in the Broadway, between 10 and 12 o'clock that day, who will give a ticket for the above donation." This generous gift was the Christmas offering of John Coghill Knapp, attorney at law, who lived at the corner of Flattenbarrack Hill, near the old City Hall in Broad street. It has kept his memory green for a century.
New York at this time was less fair to look upon than at the outbreak of hostilities. Acres that had been burned out in the heart
of Washington's victorious guns at Trenton and Princeton, and sometimes they gathered on their house-tops and looked across the quiet waters to the pleasant shores of Nassau Island or New Jersey, wondering when their own deliverance would come. Their heritage was too fair to be surrendered without a struggle. So they vowed to toil and pray until their independence was won.
of the city were converted into rude settlements by using walls that the fire had spared and supplementing them with spars and canvas. In these hovels, half hut, half tent, dwelt a race of vagabonds who made their living by crime. Churches and sugar-houses were crowded with starving prisoners. Redcoated soldiers swaggered through the streets, and made life unendurable for the families of patriots, while their officers held high revel in the homes of fugitive colonists. Fortifications had grown up at every eligible point on the outskirts of the island and in the bay. The pleasant heights of Brook-recognize it, the characteristics of the inhabitants are the same as of old. Patriotism, persistence, and pluck still mark the people of the great metropolis. This is the inheritance that has descended to them from the New York of 1775.
One hundred years have passed since those days, and while the natural face of the city is so changed that the men who wore the buff and blue would not be able to
land had been deluged with blood, and the graves of Colonel Knowlton and Major Leitch marked the scene of a fierce struggle in McGowan's Pass. Timid patriots had taken courage when they heard the thunder
CUPID AND MARS.
A STORY OF The siege of BOSTON.
It was Christmas eve-or, to use words more agreeable to Tabitha Cudworth and Abigail Nixon-Sabbath night, the 24th of December, 1775, as those two dames sat over the fire in a little house in Salem street, Boston.
"I feel heathenish-like, Mrs. Nixon," said Tabitha, putting another stick on the fire, "when I think that this wood, mayhap, was a part of the very seat I sat in at the Old North. To think of the sermons I've heard there, and then to be warming myself by the fire of it."
"You may get what comfort you can out of it," answered her neighbor. "You'll never hear any more sermons there nor anywhere else, I mistrust."
She spoke with a quaver in her voice and a shake of the head.
"You didn't hear Parson Eliot's last Thursday lecture? It was the last Thursday lecture that will ever be given in this town; he told the people that not one week had gone by for upward of a hundred and thirty years a hundred and thirty years, Mrs. | Cudworth-but there had been a Thursday | lecture. It looks as if the day of judgment was coming; and if they do these things in the green branch, what'll they do in the
dry? These Gageites," and she sank her voice to a whisper, "had rather go to the play than to a Thursday lecture."
"Well, well, Abigail, I'd quite as lieve they'd go to the play as ask me to go to their Sabbath day play-house. I wanted to box that young lieutenant's ears to-day, when he asked me if I wouldn't like to go and hear Dr. Caner at the King's Chapel. 'Hear him?' says I. 'There's much hearing, indeed! If you'd asked me to see that man perform in his stage clothes you'd have come nearer the truth. He wants to be one of your bishops, that's what he wants.' I gave him a piece of my mind, Mrs. Nixon."
"Oh!" groaned Mrs. Nixon. "How are the Lord's high places thrown down. And what did he say then, Tabitha ?”
"Oh, he laughed; he laughs easily. But I'm thinking these British officers will laugh on the other side of their mouths soon."
"It's not much our mouths have to do with laughing, or with eating either," piped the other crone; "but He shall laugh them to scorn. Not a mouthful of fresh meat have I tasted these six weeks; and when salt pork is fifteen pence sterling a pound I can see nothing but starvation clean before me."
"You'll have to trust the Lord and Dr.
Eliot a bit longer, neighbor," said Mrs. Cudworth briskly. "Mark my words. The new year won't be very old before we see those ships in Boston harbor sailing out. Then we'll see about fresh meat."
"It's easy for you to talk so, Tabitha," said Mrs. Nixon querulously. "You've got a young officer quartered on you, and he'll be bound to have a good platter full; but here be I, my house torn down over my head and forced to live in a hole, as you may say, and if I didn't have an honest neighbor like you to go to now and then, to warm myself, I'd be frozen stiff, and the Lord have mercy on my soul."
"It's well it's an open winter, Abigail, or our poor boys out there in the camp would have a hard time of it. I'd give much to hear how my Thomas thrives. He's new to soldiering, but he's got a strong arm. He got that in the smithy."
"He served his time with Edward Foster, eh? That's a busy place now. They're a making horseshoes all day long with three prongs stuck up like that"-and she held up three bony fingers-" and I asked young Edward what they were for. For toastingforks, granny,' says he; but I know better. They're to fire at our poor boys; they'll hurt a deal more than the smooth round balls."
"I can tell ye a word about them," said Mrs. Cudworth. "I heard our young lieutenant explaining them to Miss Hope the other day. They call them crows' feet, and they're just sowing the Neck with them, so that when our boys come galloping down their horses will step on these wicked points; ah! but it's a cruel thing to do."
"The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor; let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined," said Mrs. Nixon solemnly. "'Tis an awful place we're living in. I fear the Lord has deserted Bostonthat He's clean gone forever."
"He'll come back again with General Washington, Abigail; depend upon it," and Mrs. Cudworth walked firmly across the floor, and wound the eight-day clock, as she always did, in preparation for another week's work. "I'm that firm in my conviction, that every time I wind the clock I thinks to myself, may be you won't wind that clock again while you're a slave. That's what we are, Abigail; we're slaves. I honor my King, and I'm willing to pray for him. It's the Parliament that wants to ride over us; it's the ministers that wants to indulge themselves and screw it all out of us; and they
send their hirelings over here to trample us under feet. Not a drop of tea did they ever make me drink, and the Lord knows I can drink tea when I want to."
"Do you want any tea, Tabitha ?" asked a voice mischievously behind her.
"Land o' mercy, Miss Hope, how you scart me. You came down-stairs so softly like. Tea! not I. I'd give
"Well, well; softly, Tabby. I thought our rebels must be coming by the noise I heard, and I came down to beg you not to let mother know it too quickly. How do you do, Abby?" and she went near the fire and took old Mrs. Nixon's hand.
"The Lord bless your young eyes," said Abigail, looking with pride at the tall, fair girl with gray eyes that stood before her. "I'm just creeping along. I thought I'd come in a minute to warm myself before Mrs. Cudworth's fire. The patrol will be along soon, and I have no mind to be shut up in the guard-house. Eh? but these soldiers are a dreadful set of people. They have no respect for gray hairs. Tabitha here thinks they will be gone soon, and I pray they may, for it's hard living in the midst of such an ungodly generation."
At this moment a knock was heard, and Tabby, taking a light, went cautiously to the entrance, holding the door open as little as might be necessary.
"In the King's name, Mrs. Cudworth," said a frank, hearty voice without.
"Is it you, Lieutenant?" said Tabby, opening the door widely. "I thought it might be one of those graceless scamps you brought over with you from the other side."
The young man threw open his cloak as he entered the kitchen, and smiled as he saw the girl still standing quietly by the open fire. She moved to give him place upon the hearth.
"A merry Christmas eve," said he, as he drew near. 66 Mayn't I wish you a merry Christmas, Mrs. Nixon," turning to the dame, who sat rigidly in her chair.
"I'll take none o' your popish wishes, young sir," said she grimly. "We came a good way across the waters to get rid of all your mummery. Ye have piped unto us
and we have not danced. It will be an evil day when the saints come to live with
"Well," he laughed, "choose your own company if you won't have the saints. But, I must say, this is not much like Christmas eve at home. I dare say, now, Miss Deland, you never have been visited by waits in
Boston, and had carols sung under your windows?"
"My father has told me of those Christmas sports in England, but we did not bring many of them to this country."
She hesitated a moment, and then added, with heightening color:
"The days now do not vary much," said she. "I hardly dare hope to do more than
"I think we brought with us the faith that leave each one behind with a feeling of keeps the worship of Christ pure." relief that that day, at any rate, is not to be
The lieutenant looked into the fire, but in lived over again. But even I cannot help a moment said: taking courage at the turn of the year."
"Was it for this faith that your friends turned against the King? I think I have heard that your General Washington was a good Church of England man."
"Ah, you hope to see us all go before spring, I suppose," said he, with a boyish pout on his handsome face. She turned away from him.
I left mother asleep, Tabby," she said to Mrs. Cudworth as she came back into the kitchen; "but we must not leave her alone long. Good-night, Lieutenant Page. I should like to hear some of our rebel waits sing carols across the Charles River to-night,” and she looked back on him with a mischievous smile.
"You may be sure my Thomas would make the bullets whistle," said Mrs. Cudworth heartily, as she proceeded to bar and bolt her premises, while the lieutenant, well used to the ways of the house, found a candle and made ready to light himself to his room.
"I do not know that you and I can settle this matter, Lieutenant Page," said the girl, smiling; "yet I think I see clearly how it has come about. It was for this faith that my father and many before him came to this new country, and they built this town and formed the colony by the light their religion gave them. It has come about that England is not willing we should have what our fathers earned for us, and so we are holding it in the spirit of the same faith that established it, and if the other colonies help us, it is because they know we are right, and not because we have a different way of worshiping God from what you have."
"Nay," said the young man hastily, "there is not so much difference between us as you may think;" then, checking himself: "well, so far as Christmas goes, I fancy General Washington will eat a more cheerful dinner than we shall enjoy in this town. You may count me out to-morrow, Tabby. The General is to give a dinner at the Province House, to which I am invited; but I do not look for very sumptuous fare, nor for better cooking than you give us."
"Is this a time to make merry?" asked Mrs. Nixon, rising, to take leave. "I think it will go hard with your feasters and revelers when this town shall rise up against you; but I do not mean you in special, young sir," she added, in a mollifying tone. "I have found you a peaceful gentleman, and Mrs. Cudworth speaks naught but well of you; but it is bad company ye keep."
"I must even sit with the scornful, I suppose," he retorted gayly; "but I'm obliged to you for your kind exception in my favor."
Mrs. Cudworth saw her friend well out of the house, and the lieutenant turned to Miss Deland.
I had hoped to take my Christmas here. Perhaps I might have persuaded you into a half acknowledgment of the charm about the day that separates it from the others; who knows?"
"Miss Hope," he said, "I made but a reluctant assent to the General's invitation.
"Your Thomas doesn't seem to be of the doubting kind," said he; "but don't you think it would go rather hard with him to touch off a gun that was pointed toward the barracks on Salem street ?"
"May their guns batter down every house that General Howe hasn't pulled down before your cowardly troops run away from this town," said the dame, with flashing eyes. "I'm hot sometimes, Lieutenant," she added, with a sudden change of tone; "you mustn't mind me; I'm only an old woman. Just take some of our boys on Charlestown hill."
The lieutenant marched upstairs with this parting shot bouncing after him, and Mrs. Cudworth soon followed. She entered the room where Mrs. Deland lay and the young girl sat with eyes dewy with tears. The spirit and resolution which the two women could show before the lieutenant, who was quartered upon them, was rarely able to do more than carry them just beyond the scenes in which he figured. In the refuge of the chamber, where Miss Deland's mother lay stricken with paralysis, there were frequent reliefs of tears,-tears which left no stain behind, yet gave to the young girl's eyes a clearness and sweetness which turned her