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A fearful massacre is said, by advices from New Orleans, to have taken place at the Ruatan Islands, one hundred and fifty of the inhabitants having been murdered by the Indians. Late accounts from California state that much time had been consumed in the Legislature on bills for the suppression of mobs and insurrections, which was manifestly aimed at the Vigilance Committee, and of which the fate had not yet been ascertained. The Legislature had sent a memorial to Congress asking that the mail contract be divided between the two competing lines of steamships.... The Supreme Court of California has rendered a singular decision in the Stovall fugitive slave case. The court says that though by the law the negro is unquestionably free when brought by his master upon California soil, yet, as Mr. Stovall is in bad health he must in this case have his slave. They take particular pains to say that this must not form a precedent, however! A negro named Bracy struck a citizen of Auburn named Nunphy, with his pick, on the 19th of February, so that the brain oozed from the wound, and he would certainly die. The citizens took the negro, held and overawed the sheriff and his posse, who attempted to take him in charge, and hung the murderer the same day to a tree.... A man named Jose Anastasia, who was to have been hung at Monterey recently, was reprieved by the governor, but the under-sheriff in charge did not choose to understand the order, and hung him up. Henry Bates, the alleged defaulting state treasurer, had been tried for the third time, and succeeded in obtaining a verdict of acquittal. From Central America we learn that General Lamar, our minister to Nicaragua, was formally received by the Martinez government, and addressed the president in a speech which gave very great satisfaction. The Yrisarri Treaty was under consideration in the Legislative Assembly, and the general feeling was that it would not be approved of, except with such modifications as would render a reopening of negotiations at Washington necessary. Carey Jones had taken official leave of the government, and departed for home. General Jerez was appointed Minister of War and Hacienda for Nicaragua.... Don Miguel de Castillo had been inaugurated as President of San Salvador. In this republic the people were agitated by reports of a contemplated fillibuster invasion from the United States and revolutionary conspiracies. The New Granadian Congress met at Bogota on the 2d of February. The President, in his message, stated that Mr. Buchanan had determined not to preserve the hostile attitude toward New Granada which had been assumed by Pierce's administration, and that the convention lately negotiated between the two republics would end all differences and disappoint an "interested" American press. The Foreign Secretary alluded to the convention in his report, and hopes that Congress would consider it fully with a view to approving the clauses which are beyond the jurisdiction of the executive. An official decree increases, by one and a half per cent., the taxes now paid by commercial establishments on the Isthmus of Panama.. The news from the South Pacific is interesting. General Vivanco's forces shelled the town of Arica, from the frigate Apurimac, on the 21st of March, and took possession of the place after a severe battle. General Vivanco had withdrawn his troops from Iquique. An attempt at revolution had been made at Lima, but was put down. In Bolivia the garrison of Cobija robbed the treasury at that place and deserted for Peru. They were overtaken, and twenty-one of the mutineers shot.
The most important news from England since
our last, is the defeat of Lord Palmerston in the House of Commons on the French Refugee question. The ministry had resigned in consequence. The resignations were at once accepted, though much sensation was caused by the announcement, and the Earl of Derby, at her majesty's solicitation, undertook the task of forming a new ministry, in which he succeeded. Lord Derby had delivered his inaugural address, giving an insight into his intended policy, which was generally regarded as a successful steering between the danger of offending the pride of the English people, and the fear of injuring the Anglo-French alliance. The conflicting interests have been reconciled at least for the time, and the Derby ministry may hold power longer than was at first supposed. The members of Parliament in the Derby ministry had all been re-elected without opposition. A London committee to organize the opposition to a conspiracy bill had been formed. The young Prince Albert is pursuing naval studies, with a view, it is said, of passing his examination forthwith and entering the service as a naval cadet. . . . Dr. Livingstone and his companions in the African Exploring Expedition have sailed in the steamer Pearl from Liverpool for Africa. ... The effect of the ministerial defeat in France was very decided, as there was evidently no expectation of so untoward a result, and for some time threatened to be the cause of a serious misunderstanding between the two countries. However, all angry feelings have been got over, at least for the present. The tone of the government papers is much lowered in the knowledge of the event. The trial of the conspirators against the life of Louis Napoleon, had terminated in the conviction of Orsini, Pierri, and Rudio, who have been sentenced to death, and of Gomez, who is condemned to penal servitude for life. All admitted their complicity except Gomez. Orsini and Pierri were executed on the 10th of March. Rudio was imprisoned for life. Persons alleged to be parties to a vast conspiracy in France had been arrested in the departments. The emperor had abolished the butchers' monopoly in Paris, which act was giving him much popularity among the people. Generals Changarnier and Bedeau had been officially notified by the Moniteur that they might return to France. . . . The official opposition to the payment of the Stade Dues tolls was being organized in Hamburg by the United States Consul and others.... Advices from Constantinople say that the city of Corinth had been destroyed by an earthquake; but only thirty persons were killed. A very disastrous fire had occurred in Constantinople and another at Adrianople. . . . The Prince of Prussia had offered to grant a political amnesty on the occasion of his son's marriage, but been refused permission by the Cabinet, who think that he has no power as Regent to perform an act of that character. The prince has appealed to the law officers of the crown. The Prussian Regency question has not been definitively settled. The Danish ministers had withdrawn their resignations.. The news from the East is of more than usual importance, especially from China. Canton was taken full possession of on the 30th of December, and the Cantonese evacuated the city on the same day. Commissioner Yeh, Governor of Canton, and the commander of the Tartar troops had been taken prisoners. Yeh has been sent to Calcutta as a prisoner.
From India we learn that Lucknow had not been taken. The cannonade was to have taken place on the 22d of February. Nena Sahib, with a few followers, was reported to be wandering about the country. The king of Oude had been tried, found guilty, and banished for life.
REVOLUTIONARY HEROES.-No V.
HERE are several lives of the hero of Bennington, but none of any great merit, either personal or literary. The first one, which was prefixed to a reprint of Major Rogers's Expeditions with the New England Rangers, originally brought out in London in 1765, was published at Concord, New Hampshire, in 1831. It is the chief authority for all that have since appeared, and is, without doubt, authentic and trustworthy. It seems to have been written by some of the Stark family. It is largely drawn upon by Edward Everett, in his sketch of the life of Stark, contributed to "Sparks's American Biography;" VOL. XII.-35
the which sketch, by the way, is the foundation of the present paper. I have used its language freely wherever it would suit my purpose.
John Stark was born at Londonderry, New Hampshire, on the 28th of August, 1728. His father, Archibald Stark, was a native of Glasgow, Scotland. In his youth he removed to Londonderry, in Ireland, but not finding that locality agreeable, he emigrated with a party of his countrymen to the New World, in 1721, or thereabouts, and eventually settled in Nutfield, or Londonderry, as the town was named after their Irish home. Here John was
born, the second of four sons, and here the family remained until 1736, when they moved to Derryfield, or Manchester, as it is now called. The childhood and youth of the future hero were passed in obscurity. We hear nothing of him until 1752, his twenty-fourth year, when he went on a hunting excursion to Baker's River, in the northwestern quarter of the state. The party consisted of four, John and his brother William, and two of their neighbors, David Stinson and Amos Eastman. Their hunting-ground was far beyond the English settlements, in an unbroken and dangerous wilderness. They were lucky for a time among the beavers on Baker's River, but were unfortunate enough to fall in with a band of St. Francis Indians. They came upon the trail of the red skins, and prepared to decamp quietly. William Stark and Stinson took to the canoe, and Eastman followed on the banks of the river. John remained behind to collect the traps. The Indians, numbering ten in all, came upon him suddenly, and made him a prisoner. They questioned him of the whereabouts of his companions, and he did what a brave man should do, under the circumstances, pointed in the wrong direction, and succeeded in leading the Indians two miles out of the way. His friends became alarmed at his prolonged absence, and fired off their guns to let him know where they This betrayed them to their enemies, who hurried down the river to intercept them. Eastman was captured, and John was ordered to hail the boat, and decoy his friends ashore. Instead of doing this he advised them to pull for the opposite bank. They took his advice, and were fired upon by four of the Indians. John knocked up two of the guns, and saved the fugitives for the moment. The rest of the Indians fired their pieces, two of which were again knocked up by the brave hunter. The last volley told, for Stinson was killed; William, however, succeeded in escaping. The savages were enraged with John, and but for the certainty of his being one day redeemed in good hard cash, they would have scalped him on the spot. As it was, they beat him soundly, and taking possession of the furs of the party, they retreated to Coos, near where Haverhill now is, bearing their two prisoners with them. The next day they sent three of their number with Eastman to St. Francis, retaining Stark, to help
them hunt. He shot one beaver, and trapped another, and was allowed to keep the skins. In about ten days the band returned to St. Francis, where the two pale faces were compelled to run the gauntlet. The young warriors of the tribe were ranged in two lines a few feet apart, and armed with rods. Down this lane of pitiless foes the captives of the Indians were made to run. When they reached the council-house, where the lines terminated, they were safe; but previous to reaching it they were at the mercy of their captors, who laid about them with a will. Eastman ran his gauntlet, and was severely whipped; but Stark, who had a ready wit, snatched a club at starting from the nearest Indian, and dashing it about right and left as he ran, reached the council-house with scarcely a blow, to the confusion of the young braves and his own delight. The old Indians enjoyed his prowess, laughing heartily at the discomfiture of their sons.
The two hunters remained among the Indians three or four months. We have no particular account of Eastman, whose bruises were doubtless healed at the proper time; but Stark seems to have caught the Indian spirit. They ordered him to hoe corn at first, but knowing that they regarded this sort of labor as only fit for women, he cut up the corn and spared the weeds, to show them that he was ignorant of such unmanly work. Failing to accomplish his object by these means, he at last threw his hoe into the river. "Hoeing corn," said he, "is the business of squaws, not warriors. I will hoe no more." They named him the young chief, and adopted him into the tribe. He was ransomed by a couple of gentlemen who were sent among the Indians by the General Court of Massachusetts, for the purpose of redeeming some of the citizens of that province. Not finding the men they were in search of, they exceeded the letter of their instructions, and ransomed Stark and Eastman instead. Stark cost them one hundred and three dollars, Eastman only sixty. They returned home by the way of Albany, their former masters accompanying them, selling the very furs which they had stolen from them!
This passage from the early life of Stark, eventful as it may seem to us now, was nothing at that time. Scarcely a town in New England but could show a
similar instance of captivity and adven- they pursued their journey, now on Lake
As his own state neglected or refused to pay his ransom money to Massachusetts, Stark started off in the following year to the head waters of the Androscoggin, on a hunting excursion, to raise the necessary funds for that purpose. We are not told of his success, but the report which he brought back determined the General Court of New Hampshire to explore the country. A company was formed, and Stark was engaged as their guide. The field of the intended exploration never having been brought within the acknowledged limits of the English settlements, was claimed by the Indians, and fearing the evils that might result to the colonies if New Hampshire should take forcible possession of it, the Governor of Massachusetts protested against the measure, and it was postponed. The next year (this was in 1753) it was rumored that the French were building a fort in this coveted region. The Governor of New Hampshire sent a party of thirty men with a flag of truce to remonstrate against this proceeding. Stark was the guide. He conducted them to the Upper Coos, leading them over the route which he had traveled when he was made a captive by the Indians, but finding no trace of the French they returned to New Hampshire.
In 1755 an expedition was planned against Crown Point. A corps of rangers was enlisted in New Hampshire, and Stark, whose reputation as a successful and daring scout was well known, received a lieutenant's commission. The regiment to which he belonged was stationed at Fort Edward, on the east side of the Hudson. A sharp battle took place here between the French and English forces, but as it does not appear that Stark was actively engaged in it I shall not describe it. The English were victorious.
In January, 1758, a party of the rangers was sent on an expedition to Lake Champlain. They were commanded by Major Robert Rogers, who afterward published in London an account of his American campaigns; Stark was his lieutenant. Altogether there were seventy-four men, including the officers. They marched from Fort Edward to Fort William Henry, where they prepared snow-shoes, and provisions for the expedition. This done
George, which was frozen over, and now on land, floundering through drifts of snow. They reached Lake Champlain in six days, striking it half way between Crown Point and Ticonderoga. Here they discovered a sled on the ice, passing between the posts of the enemy. Stark and twenty men were ordered to intercept it in front; Rogers and another party threw themselves in the rear to cut off its retreat, leaving a third re-enforcement to guard the center. Stark and his men marched to the post assigned them. While they were on their way, Rogers, whose position in the rear enabled him to see the whole surface of the lake, discovered ten other sleds passing in the direction of the one first seen. Before he could apprise Stark of the fact the latter was seen by the teamsters, and they turned and fled to Ticonderoga, closely pursued by Rogers and his men. He took three of the sleds, and seven prisoners; the rest escaped. From the prisoners he learned that a large body of French and Indians were assembled at Ticonderoga, ready for service, at a moment's warning. This being more than he had bargained for, he drew off his men, and retreated to the station he had occupied the night before.
They retreated Indian fashion in single file, Rogers in front, and Stark bringing up the rear, the post of honor in a retreat. It was a rainy day, and their guns were wet, so they pressed forward to their former camping ground, where they knew their fires were still burning. They had scarcely marched a mile when the head of the band gaining the summit of a hill, fell in with the enemy, at least two hundred strong, drawn up in the form of a crescent, and waiting to surround them. The front men of the English received the enemy's fire at the murderous distance of five yards. Several were slain and wounded; among the latter was Major Rogers himself, who was shot in the head. He ordered his men to fall back to the opposite hill, where Stark and another officer, who commanded the rear, had posted themselves to cover the retreat.
The retreat was made in good order, but the fire of the enemy was severe upon the English, several of whom were killed, while others were taken prisoners.
and his hardy rangers blazed away from the hill, and avenged their comrades in gallant style, enabling Rogers and his party to place themselves to advantage. The French endeavored to flank them, but were driven back with loss. They then assaulted the rangers in front, but the latter had the advantage of the ground, and repelled them. They attempted to surround them, but without success. The action commenced at two o'clock in the afternoon, and continued till sunset, when Major Rogers received a second wound through his wrist, which prevented him from holding his gun. He began to think he had had enough fighting for one day, and was about to order a retreat, but Stark declared that he would shoot the first man an who fled. "We have a good position," said he," and we will fight till dark, and then retreat. It is our only chance of safety."
At this moment the lock of his gun was broken by a shot from the enemy. He said nothing, but waited till he saw a French soldier fall, when he sprang forward, seized his gun, and resumed the action. The French used all their blandishments to induce the brave rangers to submit, assuring them that large re-enforcements were at hand, and would slaughter them without mercy, while if they surrendered they should be well treated. The rangers answered with their death-dealing rifles. At dark the fire of the French ceased, and the Americans withdrew. They retreated all night, and in the morning found themselves six miles south of the advanced guard of the enemy on Lake George. They had escaped safely, but they were still forty miles from Fort William Henry. As the wounded were unable to march any further on foot, Stark and two of his men volunteered to proceed to the fort, and return with sleighs. They had a difficult task before them, for the snow was four feet deep, on a level, and could only be traversed in snow-shoes; but the stalwart fellows performed it royally, reaching the fort by evening. The next morning saw them back with sleighs and a reinforcing party. The next night the whole band lodged in the fort. The English had fourteen killed, and twelve wounded and taken prisoners; one hundred and sixteen of the French were killed or mortally wounded. The difference was immensely in favor of the former; thanks to their
position, and the determined spirit of Stark. When the corps was reorganized he was promoted to the rank of a captain.
In July, 1758, an expedition was planned against Ticonderoga. The English force, numbering sixteen thousand men, started from Fort Edward on the morning of the 5th, and proceeded down Lake George in bateaux. They halted at dark at Sabbath Day Point, and Lord Howe, the commander of the English army, invited Captain Stark to sup with him in his tent. Stretched on a bear-skin the gallant young lord and the hardy New Hampshire ranger conversed about the coming battle. After a few hours' repose the march was resumed, Lord Howe leading the van in a large boat. At daybreak a reconnoitering party returned, and reported the French at the landing-place. The English army effected a landing at noon, and Stark and Rogers, with their rangers, were sent forward to clear the woods before the main body. They were directed to open the way from Lake George to the plains of Ticonderoga. This route was intersected by a creek, which was crossed by a bridge. The bridge was in possession of the enemy. The van of the rangers, commanded by Rogers, halted as they drew near the French and the Indians, but Stark declared it was no time for delay, and pushed forward to the bridge, driving the enemy before him. The road being now free the main body came up, Lord Howe commanding the center, and heading his col
He fell in with a part of the advanced guard of the French, and immediately attacked and dispersed it; but exposing himself too eagerly he was slain at the first fire. His loss put an end to the fighting for that day; the advanced parties of the Americans were called in, and the French kept themselves within their intrenchments.
The next morning the rangers were ordered to their former post, and Stark with a strong detachment was sent forward to reconnoiter the fort. They returned in the evening, and the whole army passed the night on their arms. The French force was vastly inferior to that of the English, consisting of only six thousand men, but they were encamped before their fort, and had intrenched themselves behind a breastwork of trees. This breastwork was almost impervious to an advancing