The Cassique of Kiawah

The Cassique of Kiawah

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596290334
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 01/28/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 602
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author


William Gilmore Simms was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1806. An accomplished poet, novelist, and historian, Simms was one of the most popular and prolific authors of his day. In addition to The Cassique of Kiawah, his most important books include The Yemassee, The Partisan, Woodcraft, The Wigwam and the Cabin, and The Life of Francis Marion. He suffered greatly during the Civil War, having his home burned by Federal troops. Simms died in Charleston in 1870.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter I

Scene of Action

"Away! away!

Once more his eyes shall hail the welcome day;

Once more the happy shores without a law."

-Byron

Suppose the day to be a fine one-calm, placid, and without a cloud-even such a day as frequently comes to cheer us in the benign and bud-compelling month of April;-suppose the seas to be smooth; at rest, and slumbering without emotion; with fair bosom gently heaving, and sending up only happy murmurs, like an infant's after a late passion of tears; suppose the hour o be a little after the turn of noon, when, in April, the sun, only gently soliciting, forbears all ardency; sweetly smiles and softly embraces; and, though loving enough for comfort, is not so oppressive in his attachments as to prompt the prayer for an iceberg on which to couch ourselves for his future communion; supposing all these supposes, dear reader, then the voyager, running close in for the land-whose fortune it is to traverse that portion the Atlantic which breaks along the shores of Georgia and the Carolinas-beholds a scene of beauty in repose, such as will be apt to make him forgetful of all the dangers he has passed!

We shall say nothing of the same region, defaced by strifes of storm and billow, and blackened by the deluging vans of the equinox.

Wherefore tax the past,

For memories of sorrow wherefore ask,

Of the dark Future, what she grimly keeps

Of terrors in reserve?

Enough for us that the Present holds for us delicious compensation; that the moment is our own, exclusively for beauty;-that the charm of the prospect before us is beyond question; at once prompting the desire to describe, yet baffling all powers of description.

Yet whydescribe?-since, as Byron deplores-

Every fool describes in these bright days.

And yet, the scene is so peculiar, so individual, so utterly unlike that kind of scenery from which the traveller usually extorts his inspiration, that something need be said to make us understand the sources of beauty in a region which so completely lacks in saliency, in elevated outlines, in grand mountainous masses, rugged defiles, and headlong cataracts. Here are none of these. All that you behold-sea, and forest-waste, and shore-all lies level before you. As you see, the very waters do not heave themselves into giant forms, wear no angry crests, leap up with no threatening voices, howl forth nothing of their secret rages! We reject, at this moment, all the usual adjuncts which make ocean awful and sublime; those only excepted which harbor in its magnitude, its solemn sterility of waste, its deep mysterious murmurs, that speak to us ever of eternity, even when they speak in the lowest and most musical of their tones.

In what, then, consists the beauty of the scene? Let us plain, and catalogue, at least, where we may not be able to scribe. You are aware, dear readers, that you may set forth a periagua, or, if you like it better, a sloop, a schooner, or a trim little steamer; and, leaving the shores of Virginia, make way along those of the Carolinas and Georgia, to Florida, all entirely landlocked the whole voyage; all along these shores billows of the sea, meeting with the descending rivers, have thrown up barrier islands and islets, that fence in the main from its own invasions. Here are guardian terraces of green covered with dense forests that rise like marsh legions along the very margins of the deep. Here are naked sand dunes, closing avenues between, upon which you may easily fancy that the fairies gambol in the moonlight. Some are sprinkled with our southern palm-tree, the palmetto; others completely covered with this modest growth; others again with oak, and pine, and cypress; and there are still others, whose deep, dense, capacious forests harbor the red deer in abundance; and, skirting many of these islets, are others in process of formation; long stripes of marsh, whose perpetual green, contrasting, yet assimilating beautifully with the glare of sunlight on the sea, so relieves the eye with a sense of sweetness, beauty, freshness, and repose, that you never ask yourself the idle question, of what profit this marsh its green that bears neither fruits nor flowers - its plumage that brings no grateful odor-its growth Without market value? Enough, you say or feel, that, in the regions where you find it, it is a beauty and delight.

And so, you navigate your bark through avenues of sea between these islets and the main; through winding channels where the seas lie subdued, their crests under curb, and resting in beds of green and solitude, only tenanted by simple herds of deer, or by wandering pilgrims of the crane, the curlew, the pelican and duck.

Beyond, the great ocean plain stretches wide and far; and even when it rolls, in storm, and its billows break in fury along the islet shores, not half a mile away-all here is safe! On either hand, the sheltering nook invites your prow; quiet harbors open for your reception, and offer security. Here, the creek that creeps like a shining serpent through banks of green; here, the bay that has been scooped out in a half circle, as if purposely, persuade you to harborage are both present, affording ref e; the great oaks grow close down by the ocean's side, and hang over with such massive shadows, that you see the bath and boudoir together. You have but to plunge in, and no Naiad takes offence; and, lifting yourself to the shores by the help of great branch that stretches above the water, there you may resume your fig-leaves with impunity, assured that no prudish eyes have been shocked by your eccentric exhibition of a nude Apollo!

There is a wondrous charm in this exquisite blending of land and waterscape. It appeals very sweetly to the sympathies, and does not the less excite the imagination because lacking in irregular forms and stupendous elevations. Nay, we are inclined to think that it touches more sweetly the simply human sensibilities. It does not overawe. It solicits, it soothes, beguiles; wins upon us the more we see; fascinates the more we entertain; and more fully compensates than the study of the bald, the wild, the abrupt and stern, which constitute so largely the elements in that scenery upon which we expend most of our superlatives. Glide through these mysterious avenues of islet, and marsh, and ocean, at early morning, or at evening, when the summer sun is about to subdue himself in the western waters; or at midnight, when the moon wins her slow way, with wan, sweet smile, hallowing the hour and the charm is complete. It is then that the elements all seem to harmonize for beauty. The plain of ocean is spread out, far as the eye can range, circumscribed only by the blue walls of Heaven, and watched by starry eyes, its little billows breaking with loving murmur upon the islet shores-these, silvery light, as swept for fairy footsteps, or, glowing in green, as if roofed for loving hearts; trees, flowers, fragrance, smiling waters, and delicious breezes, that have hurried from the rugged shores of the Cuban, or the gradual slopes of Texas; or farther yet, from still more beautiful gardens of the South, where Death himself never comes but wrapped in fragrance and loveliness:-look where you will, or as you will, and they unite for your conquest; and you grow meek, yet hopeful; excited, yet satisfied; forgetful of common cares; lifted above ordinary emotions; and, if your heart be still a young one, easily persuaded to believe that the world is as full of bliss as of beauty, and that Love may readily find a covert, in thousands of sweet places of refuge, which God's blessing shall convert into happiest homes. Go through these sweet, silent, mysterious avenues of sea and islet, green plain, and sheltering thicket, under the prescribed conditions, at early morning or toward the sunset, or the midnight hour, and the holy sweetness of the scene will sink into your very soul, and soften it to love and blessing, even as the dews of heaven steal, in the night-time, to the bosom of the thirsting plant, and animate it to new develop meats of fruitfulness and beauty.

And the scenery of the main partakes of the same character, with but the difference of foliage. It spreads upward into the interior, for near a hundred miles, a vast plain, with few inequalities of surface, but wondrously wooded. If, on the one hand, the islets, marshes, and savannahs, make an empire of sweetness and beauty; not less winning are the evergreen varieties that checker the face of the country on the other. Here are tracts of the noble live oak, of the gigantic pine, of the ghostly cypress; groves of each that occupy their several provinces, indicating as many varieties of soil. Amid these are the crowned laurel, stately as a forest monarch, the bay, the beech, the poplar, and the mulberry, not to speak of thousands besides, distinguished either from their use or beauty; and in the shade of these the dogwood flaunts in virgin white; and the lascivious jessamine wantons over their tops in sensuous twines, filling the air with fragrance; and the grape hangs aloft her purple clusters, which she trains over branches not her own, making the oak and the hickory sustain those fruits which they never bear!

And so, in brief transition, you pass from mighty colonnades of open woods to dense thickets, which the black bear may scarcely penetrate. At the time of which we propose to write, he is one of the denizens of these regions; here, too, the panther still lurks, watching the sheepfold or the deer! Here the beaver builds his formidable dams in the solitude of the swamp, and the wolf and the fox find their habitations safe. The streams are full of fish, the forests of prey, the whole region a wild empire in which the redman still winds his way, hardly conscious of his white superior, though he already begins to feel the cruel moral presence, in the instinctive apprehensions of his progress. And birds, in vast varieties, and reptiles of the ground, "startlingly beautiful," are tenants still of these virgin solitudes. The great sea-eagle, the falcon, the vulture; these brood in the mighty tree-tops, and soar as masters of the air; the wild goose and duck lead their young along the sedgy basins; the cormorant and the gull scream across the waters from the marshy islets; and are answered, with cooing murmurs, from myriads of doves that brood at noon in the deep covert of bristly pines. The mock-bird, with his various melodies, a feathered satirist, who can, however, forget his sarcasm in his passion; the red-bird and the nonpareil, with softer and simpler notes, which may be merry as well as tender, but are never scornful; the humming-bird, that rare sucker of sweets-himself a flower of the air,-pioneer of the fairies-that finds out the best flowers ere they come, and, rifles them in advance; and-but enough. Very beautiful, dear friends, to the eye that can see, the susceptible heart, and the thoughtful, meditative mind, is the beautiful but peculiar province to which we now invite your footsteps.

But, as we can not behold all this various world at once, let us persuade you to one fair locality, which you will find to contain, in little, all that we have shown you in sweeping generalities.

You will suppose yourselves upon a well-wooded headland, crowned with live oaks, which looks out upon a quiet bay, at nearly equal distances between the waters of the Edisto and the Ashley, in the province of South Carolina. The islets spread between you and the sea, even as we have described them. There are winding ways through which you may stretch your sail, without impediment, into the great Atlantic. There are lovely isles upon which you may pitch your tents, and take your prey, while the great billows roll in at your very feet, and the great green tree shelters you, all the while, from the sharp arrows of the sun. You look directly down upon what, at the first glance, would seem a lake: the lands appear to enclose it on every hand; but there is a difference, you see, in the shade of yonder trees, from those on the islet just before us, which is due to the fact that an arm of the sea is thrust between; and here, on the other hand, there are similar differences which denote a similar cause. But our lake, or bay, is none the less sheltered or secure, because it maintains such close connection with the mighty deeps. Faintly afar, you may note, on the south and west, that there are still other islets, keeping up a linked line with that which spreads in front, and helping to form that unbroken chain, which, as I have told you, spreads along the coast from the capes of Virginia to those of the Floridian. The territory of the Floridian is under its old Spanish master still; an ugly neighbor of our amiable English, who tenant in feeble colonies, these sylvan realms upon the verge of which we stand. The period, I may mention here, is the year of Grace (Grace be with us!) one thousand, six hundred and eighty - four. Our English colonies of Carolina are less than thirty years old, and their growth has been a slow one. The country is still, in great degree, a solitude!

The day-an April day-is one of those which good old Herbert so happily describes, by its moral aspect, as

A bridal of the earth and sky.

In truth, it is very sweet and beautiful, repose its prevailing feature-repose upon land and sea; a smiling Peace, sitting in sun shine in the heavens; a healthy, life-giving breeze gushing up from the ocean, in the southwest, and making all the trees along the shore nod welcome and satisfaction to the river; and new blossoms everywhere upon the land; all significant of that virgin birth which the maternal summer is about to receive from a prolific spring, which God has hallowed for the uses of Humanity.

We muse as we look, and say, with the poet-

Here all but the spirit of man is divine.

And, as yet, we may venture to say that the spirit of man is hardly so corrupt here-hardly so incongenial with earth's vegetable offspring-as greatly to shock by the contrast. Man-the white man at all events-is hardly here in sufficient numbers, massed and in perpetual conflict, to be wholly insensible to the modest moral which is taught by nature. No doubt we shall have enough of him in time. No doubt we shall be forced to behold him in all his most dark and damning colors, such as shadow the fairest aspects of his superior civilization. But he is not yet here in sufficient force or security to become insolent in his vice or passion.

"But the red man," say you. "He is here." Ay, there are his scattered tribes they are everywhere; but feeble in all their numbers. He is a savage, true; but savage, let me tell you-and the distinction is an important one, arguing ignorance, not will-savage rather in his simplicity than in his corruptions. His brutality is rather that of barbarism than vice. He wanders through these woods at seasons; here fishing to-day- to-morrow, gone, leaving no trace; gone in pursuit- of herds which he has probably routed from old pasturages along these very waters. For a hundred miles above, there rove the tribes of the Stone and the Isundiga the Edisto and the Seewee, the Kiawah and the Ashepoo, all tributaries of the great nation of the Yemassee. You will wander for weeks, yet meet not a man of them; yet, in the twinkling of an eye, when you least fancy them, when you dream yourself in possession of an unbroken solitude, they will spring up beside the path, and challenge your attention by a guttural, which may seem to you a welcome; or by a cri de guerre, which shall certainly appear to you the whoop of death!

But, at this moment, the solitude seems intact. There are no red men here. The very silence-so deep is the solitude-seems to have a sound; and, brooding long on these headlands without a companion, you will surely hear some voice speaking to all your senses-perhaps many voices; especially if you do not use your own. Your ears, that hunger naturally for human sounds, will finally make them for themselves. Nay, you will shout aloud, in your desperation, if only in search of echoes.

And, as if the better to satisfy us of the wondrous means of shelter and security in this world of thicket and seclusion-adding to the natural picturesque that of the moral-even as we fancy this realm of solitude to be unbroken, there is a sound! There are strokes of the paddle; there are human voices. A canoe shoots out from the thickets to the east. It emerges from a creek, which opens so modestly upon the bay that the entrance to it remains unseen. The vessel is of cypress, one of those little "dug-outs," which the red men scooped for themselves with shells, after having first charred with fire those portions of the timber which they designed to remove. It skims over the waters like an eggshell, carrying three persons as lightly as if it had no freight. Two of them, one a man, the other a boy, work at the paddles-no oars; the instrument is a short one, working close at the side of the boat, even as the sea-fowl uses her feet. The third, a man also, gray with years, sits at the stern, his head hanging forward, his eyes brooding on the bottom of the canoe. They are all red men. He at the stern is evidently a chief. He wears a sort of coronal of feathers, and a gay crimson coat, hunting-shirt fashion, with yellow fringes, evidently the manufacture of the white man. There is a belt across his shoulders, from which hangs the tomahawk; another about his waist, which secures his knife; his right hand grasps bow and arrows, though the former remains unbent, and the latter lie bundled together innocuous in their rattlesnake quiver. The man who paddles is a common Indian, one of the vileins, of poor costume and mean aspect. The boy is habited somewhat like the chief; with crimson hunting-shirt, and belt about the waist, but he carries neither knife nor tomahawk. A bow and arrows suited to his youth lie behind him at the bottom of the boat. He may use them at yonder turn of the bay, where you see a little flock of English ducks plying their beaks along the sedgy shallows.

The canoe passes out of sight, winding through the sinuous passages of yonder marsh; and for a moment the silence resumes its sway along the shores.

But, almost as soon as they disappear, another party comes upon the scene. And he is a white man. He glides down to the headlands, looking out upon the bay, from the deep shelter of the thicket on our left. From this covert he has watched the progress of the canoe; and there were moments when it swept so closely to his place of watch, that it would have been easy, in the case of one so lithe and vigorous of frame, to have leaped into it at a single bound.

The stranger might be thirty-five or forty; a hale, fresh-looking Saxon, with a frank, manly face, bronzed rather darkly by our southern sun, but distinguished only by traits of health. His face is somewhat spoiled for beauty by an ugly scar upon one cheek. He is armed with knife and pistols, which he carries in his girdle. His dress is that of the sailor, loose duck trowsers, a round-jacket, a hat of coarse straw with broad blue ribbons round it, in which sticks an earthen pipe of some bulk, with a stem of Carolina cane. In his hand he carries a ship's spyglass, which seems to have done service.

Following the "dug-out" of the red men with keen eyes as they sped, he continued to trace their progress with the glass until they were wholly covered from sight by the dense marshes of the creek. Then, thrusting his glass beneath his arm, he turned away, making a sort of moody march along the shore.

"Blast the red rascals," quoth he musingly, "I can make nothing of them. That creek leads out to the sea. But there are islands they can stop at, and I suppose mean to do so. There is Kiawah, and a dozen more, that they may work up to in such a light-going craft. Well, we may look for a plenty of 'em soon, now that fish begin to bite. But I want to be off before - they come. I've no belief in the redskins anyhow, and want to keep my own skin sound. Don't want to be stuck full of arrows; don't want to be fried alive in pitch-pine. A Spanish dance rather, with a score of pikes at the rear, to keep one in motion where there's no music!"

And the sturdy Englishman, for he was a genuine John Bull and of a good order, took the pipe from his hat-band, replenished the mill from his pocket, kindled his tinder, and throwing himself down in a thicket, proceeded to smoke, taking out his pipe occasionally to soliloquize. We gather up some of his random talks, as they may help us in our own progress in this veracious history.

"No, I've no faith in these redskins. They're at peace, they say. Oh yes! and will smoke any quantity of tobacco in their calumets, making their treaties and putting away their presents. But it's a sort of peace that don't pay for the parchment. Just so long as the colony's strong enough to lick 'em, and no longer, will they keep the promise. It's only when they see that they can't outnumber you-when they can count a bagnet for every bow-that they've any Christian bowels for peace. I wonder what chance I'd have here, in this lonesome spot, if these three redskins now had come upon me napping. Wouldn't they have been working in my wool, without saying `By your leave, brother'? The red devils! call them human? I'd as soon trust a monkey, or a sucking tiger, in the matter of human bowels and affection!"

And the soliloquist lapsed away, after this speech, into that dreamy sort of condition, which tobacco is so well calculated to inspire, in which the mind is rather disposed to play than work, or, at all events, in which it rather broods than cogitates. His pipe exhausted, he rose, emptied the bowl of its ashes, stuck the stem into his hat-band, braced his leather girdle closer to his waist by a notch, and, after a long gaze out, upon the sea, sauntered away slowly into thicker woods.

As we follow him, we see that he makes his way through a sort of labyrinth. Such thickets afford at all times- a temporary cover; but he so wound about in the present instance, took up so many clues, and made such circuits, that, did we not follow him so closely, we should never, of ourselves, be able to track his progress to his fastness.

This lies in a mill deeper thicket which stretches down to a creek. Here he has a den which a bear might select, fenced in by a close shrubbery, overshadowed by great trees, vines interlacing them, and, as it were, wrapping them up into a mass which never allowed a sunbeam to penetrate. Art has done something to make the place snug enough for shelter from the weather. There is a rude hut of poles, covered with bark; within it, there is a box, an iron pot a gridiron, and a jug. An old tarpaulin hat and coat hang from the same branches. There is a light shot gun in a cypress hollow; and, from all you see, you conclude that our solitary has arranged for an abode that seems destined for continuance awhile, and has been in use perhaps a month or two already.

From this cabin he detaches hooks, line, and tackle, for fishing, and takes his way down to the creek. There, snug in close harbor, lies a skiff, of European build, light enough for a damsel to manage. He embarks, glides down the stream, finds his way into the bay already described, and, crossing toward a recess made by the projection of two anus of the marsh, proceeds to anchor and to cast his line. The position he has chosen is one to render him safe from any shaft or shot from the shore; and we must not for get to mention that his light gun lies convenient across the thwarts of the boat. Satisfied that he has taken all due precautions, he yields himself eagerly to the sport before him.

He may have been thus engaged for more than an hour, when he started up suddenly, and his whole countenance assumed an expression of intense interest. A dull, heavy sound was heard reverberating along the waters.

"A shot!" he cries, "and from a brazen muzzle."

His line is instantly drawn in-his anchor. He no longer heeds the fish. He has had some sport. There are twenty shining sides that glisten at the bottom of the boat. There are sundry innocent victims that seem very much out of their proper depths of water and security. But, now, he gives them neither eye nor thought. His lines are in, his paddles out; his lusty sinews are braced to eager exertion. He speeds once more across the bay, passes up his creek of harborage, fastens his skiff to the shore under close cover, leaps out, leaves his fish behind him, and, catching up glass and gun, hastens once more to the headland where we first encountered him.

"'T is she!" be exclaims, after sweeping the southwest passage with his glass. "'T is the `Happy-go-Lucky' at last. Thank God! I'm sick enough of this waiting."

Following his glance, we see the object which occasions his delight. A. small vessel glides through the distant channels. Now we catch a glimpse of her whole figure; a low long brigantine, that seems to carry admirable heels. The next moment, her white sails and slender masts only gleam above the sand dunes and the marsh. Now she disappears behind a forest; and anon emerges, running by a sand dune.

Our solitary runs up a tree that juts out appropriately on the headland. He seems to have used it before for such a purpose. He climbs like a cat; is evidently a sailor; is up, aloft; and, in a moment, a white streamer is seen waving from the tree!

The scene grows animated with a new life. There is no longer solitude. That one brave vessel, "walking the waters," is "a thing of life." How beautifully she comes on!-seems rather to fly than to swim; darts through the narrow channels, as if certain of her route; and breaks into the bay, with all her canvass bellying out under the embraces of the western breeze, as if Cleopatra herself were on deck. And one, not unlike, and not less beautiful than Cleopatra, was on her deck at that moment. But of her hereafter.

Our solitary shouts joyous from his tree. Well may be shout. It is with love that he shouts. She is his pet, his favourite; he loves the gallant vessel, as if she were a bride.

And she is a beautiful creature. Even in the sight of us simple landsmen, who know nothing of her peculiar virtues, how she sails; how she can eat into the very eye of the wind; bow clean are her heels; how easy her motion; what storms she has borne and baffled; what seas she has traversed; over what foes triumphed; what wondrous ventures made;-even to us she comes on as a beautiful creature, all ethereal-a thing of light, and life, and flight, and perpetual motion! Her hull, long and narrow; her tall, rakish masts; the vast spread of canvass which she curries, and the elaborate grace of her spars and motion-these strike even the inexperienced eye, as in proof of her speed and beauty. She has a grace of her own; but you see, too, that there are soul and skill in her management. You feel that there are courage and conduct; that there is a master-spirit on board, who wills, and she walks; who shouts, and she flies; who will carry her forward when the seas are wildest, and train her on to the fearful- lest encounter with superior bulk, even as the swordfish darts to the encounter with the whale! Even we simple landsmen can see and conceive all these things as we gaze on the beautiful creature, while she flings the feathery spray from her bows.

But the eyes of the seaman glitter as he beholds, and there is a tear from those of the rough old salt, while ours do but smile. His heart is in it. She is the creature of his affections. How he envies the happy chieftain who sways the movements of his painted beauty. His glance follows every plunge which she makes through the pliant waters; and as she comes round upon the breeze, without a word or voice, and darts forward, as an arrow from the bow, straight for her harborage, he shouts-he can not help but shout. He can no longer keep silent: he shouts as he glides down the tree, and rather drops from it than descends.

"Hurrah! God bless the Happy-go-Lucky! hurrah! Hurrah!"

The vessel makes her port. Our solitary is on the edge of the cove to which her prow is bent. He is there to catch the rope ere it touches earth, and hurry with it to the tree where he makes her fast. The bolts rattle, the sails descend, and, with scarce a ripple, she glides into the mouth of a little creek which has gratefully felt her form before. Her masts mingle with the tall pines that brood over on either side, so that it shall take very keen and curious eyes to detect her presence. A voice, clear, sharp, and musical, is heard from her decks: -

"Well, Jack Belcher, you see we have not forgotten you."

The tones were affectionate.

"God bless your honor, and your honor's honor! May you live for ever, and die at last in the `Happy-go-Lucky'! All's well, your honor."

[1] Chapter One Notes

Fort McClary and Fort Constitution were part of the Maine-New Hampshire defense system along the Piscataqua River. A salute was given by firing powder alone, and one gun would suffice. It is interesting to note that, though it was common practice, naval regulations forbid firing guns in salute from any ship to fort or vice versa.

[2] At the time of the Civil War, a yeoman was a staff petty officer responsible for virtually everything that came aboard as ship's stores, particularly in the boatswain's, carpenter's and sailmaker's departments. Any gunnery stores kept under his auspices were also his responsibility.

The rank has changed to an enlisted designation and today a yeoman is basically a ship's clerk, but during the war a yeoman served similarly to a present-day warrant officer.

[3] Chapter I

Major Barrett was a grandson of Colonel James Barrett, a Provincial officer in the French and Indian War, who had charge of the militia at Concord at the time we are considering. It was on his premises that the store and ammunition were concealed which General Gage sent out troops to seize, and thus produced the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord.

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