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of the University, several of the Revd. Clergy of this and the neighboring towns, the Hon. Judge Paine, Hon. Messrs. Cabot, Ames, Dwight and Brigham.1 Stephen Higginson, Esquire, was President of the day, Joseph Russell, Peleg Coffin and Martin Brimmer, Esquires, were Vice Presidents. The Hall was appropriately ornamented with the portraits of Winthrop, Endicott, Leverett, Higginson, BradStreet, and Wilson; together with an historical painting, "The Landing of the Fathers,"2 from the pencil of Mr. Sargent, and many curiosi
1 Probably Thomas Dwight (H. C. 1778), and Elijah Brigham (Dartmouth College 1778).
* This is the earliest allusion I have found to Henry Sargent's painting, now called The Landing of the Pilgrims. A very long advertisement appeared in the Columbian Centinel of March 4, 1815 (p. 3/1), which begins as follows:
Landing of the Fathers.
THIS celebrated Painting by H. Sargent, Esq. is now exhibiting near the corner of Walnut and Beacon Streets, back of the unfurnished buildings belonging to Mr. Cotting. The doors will be open every day for a few weeks, Sundays excepted, from the hour of 9 in the morning, until 4 in the afternoon.— Admittance 25 Cents. Free Tickets of Admission, ($1 each,) will admit the bearer at all times when exhibiting; to be had at the room. . . .
In the same paper of June 21, 1815 (p. 2/3) was advertised —
Col. Sargent's New Painting.
Our FATHERS intend speedily, we are informed, to visit the Southern States. — They hold their levee however, at the accustomed dwelling for a few days. ...
In the same paper of July 8, 1815 (p. 2/1) is an advertisement headed "Close of the Exhibition of the Fathers." But in September following the picture was here again. In his Discourse on December 22 of that year, the Rev. James Flint suggested that the picture should be bought and placed in Plymouth, adding, "It would gratify many sons of the pilgrims, to see measures taking to carry this suggestion into effect" (p. 22). Presumably Sargent was unable to sell his picture, for in 1834 he himself presented it to the Pilgrim Society (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1850, iv. 193). For notices of the picture, taken from Boston newspapers of 1815, see 2 Massachusetts Historical Collections, iii. 225-232. Mr. Lord calls my attention to a letter written March 9, 1830, by G. C. Verplanck to Washington Allston: "But does our anterevolutionary history present no subject? The 'Landing of the Pilgrims,' a threadbare subject in some respects, has never been viewed with a poet's and painter's eye." On March 29th Allston replied: "To the first subject you propose, 'The Landing of the Pilgrims' (not unpicturesque), I have a personal objection. It has already been painted by an old friend of mine, Colonel Sargent, a high-minded, honorable man, to whom I would on no account give pain; which I could not avoid doing were I to encroach on what, at the expense of ties connected with the manners and persons of the time. At proper intervals several Odes and Songs, written for this occasion, were sung with the spirit which inspired them, and the festival was concluded with a propriety and gladness of heart becoming the "Sons of the Pilgrims" (p. 2/4).
Among the toasts were:
4. Brewster, Cotton, Norton, Higginson, Eliot,1 and the venerable Elders of New-England: . . .
5. New-England: — Here may Republicanism ever be at home — Democracy ever be an alien. [" Yankee Doodle."]
14. Our Sister Virginia: —When she changes the three-fifths2 of her Ethiopian Skin, we will respect her as the head of our white family. [" Go to the Devil and shake yourself."]
The memory of Dr. Belknap, the founder of this Celebration: May he be revered with the monuments of our Ancestors, and live in the virtues of their Sons.
Volunteer by Judge Paine.3
Great-Britain: May that Nation, which stood the Friend of Liberty when Liberty had no other Friend among the Nations, be refined and confirmed, and remain the Jachin, while the United States of America stands the Boaz, of True Political and Social Liberty, until Sun and Moon shall be no more (p. 2/4).
This account was the cause of great hilarity among the Democrats. One critic remarked:
The Toasts given at Vila's are worthy a serious notice, but as there are so many degenerate Sons of our worthy Forefathers, we could not expect a more decent collection. — The only one which we now
several years' labor, he has a fair right to consider as his ground. I do not like rivalry in any shape, and my picture on the same subject would seem like it" (J. B. Flagg's Life and Letters of W. Allston, pp. 235, 236).
1 Elder William Brewster of Plymouth; Rev. John Cotton, Rev. John Norton of Boston; Rev. Francis Higginson of Salem; Rev. John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians.
* The framers of the Constitution avoided the use of the word slaves. Hence Article i, section 2, reads: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the Number of Free Persona, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."
* Robert Treat Paine, the Signer: cf. p. 326 note 2, above.
particularly notice, is Judge Paine's; what the old man means is somewhat difficult to explain; his Boaz and Jachin is a new species of Federal nonsense. At the next meeting, we expect he will give Gog and Magog.1
He concluded by asking "whether it is decent" for a man holding an office worth from ten to fifteen thousand dollars a year to associate with those who throw odium on the President. Another writer said:
It is asked whether Judge Paine is a Jew or a Christian? One would suppose neither; unless it can be proved that Jews and Christians may drink profane Toasts at Bachanalian revels. — To introduce Scripture allusions at a carousal, is a new thing under the sun. But we will not say what the intellectual condition of the learned judge was, after he had voluntarily borne his part of eighty bumpers in honour of our pious & venerable Forefathers!2
"Plymouth Rock" declared that —
THE Federal troops seem to be totally disbanded; and the "grand King," with all his subalterns, are crying out to the champions of their cause, to appear on the parade of the newspapers. The scribblers in these several papers, are charged with tardiness; they are called on to rally, and bring into the field all their ammunition. Even Stephen, the Shell-President, the man whom they describe as the most powerful antagonist, seems to betake himself to the back-ground, and, coward like, entices an Old Man to expose his folly, in the uncouth dialect of Jewish phraseology. Stephen'h&s long been an old "Rat," he smells the trap as well as the cheese, and generally adopts some cunning artifice, when he intends to spring it; but who would think that he should persuade an old fox to his purpose, or should be so artful as to make an old man lug into Vila's two such heavy pillars as Jachin and Boazl . . . Stephen, ... if the old Judge was really under the pressure of Jachin and Boaz, or the whole Porch of the Temple, . . . would not have put forth his little finger to relieve him; but would let him "Go to the Devil and shake himself! " 3
"MUST private character," asked "Spintext," "be constantly lacerated by the forked tongue of the envenomed slanderer?" Then, remarking upon the persons present, he continued:
1 Independent Chronicle, December 27, 1802, p. 3/1.
The officers of Cambridge University. These are the men to teach the "young ideas how to shoot " — to fan into life, the expiring spark of ambition —and to blow the coal of genius into a flame. . . . Was it to inculcate such illiberal principles, that our enlightened Ancestors planted the tree of life in Cambridge? — Would they have nurtured and fostered the tree, if they had been apprehensive of such fruit? — What will be the sensations and reflections of those southern Gentlemen, who have placed their children under the instructions of such men? — Will they feel obliged, when they read, that their enlightened Instructors were regaled at this mock feast of the Pilgrims? — and, with federal devotion and savage glee, drank a full glass to the damnation of more than eight hundred thousand souls! — " Father, 'forgive them, for they know not what they do."1
"Cotton Mather" made the following —
Observations on a late Toast at the Feast of Shells.
IT would be matter of curiosity, if we could have the names of the Sons of the Pilgrims who celebrated at Vila's the emancipation of our Forefathers from the British house of bondage; we could then form some idea of Judge Paine's Jachin and Boaz. ... If the Judge did not mean to confine his idea solely to the Pilgrims present, but intended to embrace Great-Britain as the great Ally of America, in support of the Liberty of the world; yet even this sentiment must be foreign from the intentions of Solomon; . . .
The whole proceeding of the late Feast seems a jumble of inconsistencies; the Toasts are made up of a farrago of nonsense and impropriety. The Constitution of the United States, or the respective States, are not even mentioned; we can't say these persons are in favor of either by what they declare; they seem only intent to the elevation of particular men, and these are so strangely connected and designated as to shew the folly of the Baccanalian Pilgrims: — ... The whole proceeding discovers a paltry attempt to deceive the public in the political views of the Lacoites by leading honest Pilgrims from the right road.2 . . .
But the most ludicrous part of the whole business commences at the moment when they give "The State of Virginia:" — This ancient-State,
1 National J5gis, quoted in the Independent Chronicle of January 27, 1803, p. 2/1.
* An allusion to the Writings of Laco, attacking John Hancock, attributed to Stephen Higginson. They appeared in the Massachusetts Centinel in February and March, 1789, and were reprinted in a pamphlet in the same year.
the birth-place of Washington, is stigmatized with every degrading epithet, and to top the climax, it is accompanied by the tune of "Go to the Devil and shake yourself!" This is a pretty ditty for the Sons of our pious Forefathers: — what an appearance must Gen. Lincoln & Judge Paine, in company with Stephen Higginson, Fisher Ames, Timothy Pickering, Dr. Parker,1 the Reverend Mr. John Gardner,2 &c. &c. make, while attentively listening to the music of Go to the Devil and shake yourself? . . . What a figure must these pious Pilgrims make, while listening to a tune, the appellation of which strikes every man of morality with disgust and horror? . . .3
In 1803 Stephen Higginson again presided, while Peleg Coffin, Martin Brimmer, and William Tudor were vice-presidents. Among the toasts were the memories of Brewster, Cotton, Norton, Higginson, and Eliot, "the five burning and shining lights in 'golden candlesticks' in the early churches of New-England;" and "Louisiana — a country without patriots — May our Patriots without a country occupy what they have bought, and leave us to enjoy what we have inherited."4 A satirical poem was printed in the Independent Chronicle, of which a few lines follow:
The modem Clam-Eaters.
THE Pilgrim's Sons who dwell on earth,
1 Rev. Samuel Parker, rector of Trinity Church, later Bishop. s Rev. John Sylvester John Gardiner, then assistant of Dr. Parker at Trinity Church.
■ Independent Chronicle, December 30, 1802, pp. 1-2. * New England Palladium, December 27, 1803, p. 1/5. 5 January 9, 1804, p. 4/1. In the same paper of December 26, 1S03, a writer remarked (p. 2/4):