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from the habitation of man ; silence reigns There exists a tradition, that in former here, broken only by the murmur of the times the Indian Well was unfathomable, stream falling from the precipice above. and that it was once sounded to the depth It is a “still small voice” which lulls the of some one hundred and fifty feet without visitor into quiet and thoughtful repose.
finding bottom. The far-famed fountain of Egeria is not The illustration which I present, of the a lovelier spot; but tradition has clothed confluence of the Naugatuck with the that classic ruin with especial interest as Housatonic, was sketched from near the the scene where Numa met his shadowy bridge over the Naugatuck, at Derby. counselor ; a legend that has been ac- The Naugatuck appears on the left, the knowledged one of the most genuine flow- Housatonic on the right. The picturesque ers of poetry that ever started from the edifice which is the most prominent in this hard rock of the Roman mind. But the cut, was built about the close of the war Indian Well, like many other enchanting of the Revolution, by Leman Stone, Esq., spots in our new country, has yet to be and was occupied as a store-house. The clothed with legendary interest, although name of this gentleman is conspicuous a greater number of ages are doubtless al. | among those interested in the commerce ready its dower.
| of Derby in her palmy days.
In the year 1806, a company was in- 1753. There can be no question that corporated here, under the name of the General Hull exhibited bravery, and was “Derby Fishing Company," with a capital a useful officer of the Revolutionary war. of one hundred thousand dollars. As ear. He graduated with credit at Yale College, ly as 1809 a bank was established at after which, in accordance with the wishes Derby.
of his parents, he devoted himself to the The village of Birmingham was com- study of divinity, “rather from motives of menced in 1834, by Sheldon Smith, Esq., filial affection (says his biographer) than and was originally called Smithville. Sub from a conviction of religious duty." He sequently, Mr. Smith disposed of a con studied for a year with Doctor Wales, subsiderable portion of his interest here to sequently professor of theology in Yale Anson G. Phelps, Esq. ; the name was College ; after this, he determined to then changed to Birmingham.
change his profession, and attached himGeneral William Hull, governor of self to the celebrated Law School at LitchMichigan, was born at Derby, 24th June, field, and was admitted to the bar in 1775.
At this period the war with Great | terminated fatally. He left a handsome Britain absorbed the public attention. One property to his family, but William is said evening, after a meeting of the citizens to have declined any portion of it. “I of Derby, his father returned home, and want only my sword and uniform," said said to his son, “ Who do you suppose he; and thus he left the paternal abode to has been elected captain of the company enter into the service of his country. raised in this town?” The young man Many interesting facts are related of named several. His father replied, “It General Hull's services during the war of is yourself.” Mr. Hull at once accepted the Revolution. the appointment, so unexpectedly offered In 1805 he was appointed Governor of by his townsmen, and soon placed himself Michigan Territory, in which office he was in readiness to join the regiment of Colonel succeeded by Lewis Cass in 1814. At Webb, at that time being raised in the the beginning of the late war with Great state. His father was immediately after Britain, he was requested to command this seized with a severe illness, which the Northwestern army; he surrendered
Detroit with two thousand men to the by citizens of both political parties." He British General Brock, August 15, 1812. also received letters from various quarters, He was tried by a court martial on sev- particularly from his old companions of eral charges, and was sentenced to be the Revolutionary army, expressing their shot, but recommended to mercy on ac- gratification at his having vindicated so count of his distinguished revolutionary completely his conduct and character. services and his age. The president ap General Hull did not live long after proved the sentence, and remitted the exe- these events. He had, however, the pleascution.
ure of meeting General Lafayette in 1825, In 1824 General Hull published a series who paid him a visit while in Boston durof letters in defense of his conduct during ing that year. He was present at the the campaign of 1812. These letters first celebration of the battle of Bunker Hill, appeared in the "American Slatesman,” and afterward visited his mother in his a Boston newspaper, and were copied into native town of Derby, the citizens of numerous journals of both political parties, which gave him a public dinner. Returnand are said to have exercised a great in- ing home, he was attacked by disease, fluence on the public mind.
and died at his residence in Newton, near “ The North American Review,” in a Boston, November 29, 1825, in the sevennotice of these letters, understood to have ty-third year of his age. On his death-bed been written by Jared Sparks, says, “ that he declared in the most solemn manner, from the public documents collected and that he had done right in surrendering published in them, the conclusion must Detroit,” and expressed his happiness that unequivocally be drawn, that General Hull he had saved the lives of the peaceful was required by the government to do citizens of Michigan from being needlessly what it was morally and physically im- sacrificed. possible that he should do."
The village of Humphreysville (SeyAfter their publication, a public din- mour) is situated about five miles above the ner was given in Boston to General Hull junction of the Naugatuck with the Hou
satonic. It is a part of the orignal town | Indian chief who lived here, of whom I of Derby. The sketch which I present have given some account in the November was taken at the distance of about one NationAL. It afterward received the mile and a half south of the village. It name of Humphreysville, in honor of Genexhibits but a small portion of the build- eral David Humphreys, who, at an early ings ; the point of view was selected for period, established extensive manufactories the reason that it developed to the best here, and whose name is intimately asso, advantage the singularly romantic and ciated with the history and growth of the picturesque scenery by which the village place. It continued under the name of is surrounded. On the left appears Castle Humphreysville as a society of Derby, up Rock, and in the back ground “the High- to 1850, when it was incorporated under lands” of the Naugatuck are seen at a the name of Seymour. There are, at the distance, with the bold outline of Rock present time, several extensive manufacRimmon. A small settlement was made turing establishments here. Nature seems here at an early period. The village has to have designed Seymour as a manufacreceived, at different times, various names. turing place. A ridge of rocks, some “The place,” says Barber," was originally twenty feet in height, here crosses the called Nau-ko-tunk, which signifies, in the river, forming a perfect dam two thirds of Indian language, one large tree, so named the distance. The remaining third is from a large tree which formerly stood closed by an artificial dam. near Rock Rimmon, about three fourths of General Humphreys established at this a mile north of the village.”
place the earliest and the most extensive For a considerable period after its settle- wool, cotton, and paper manufactories in ment, it was known as Chusetown, from an this country. President Dwight, of Yale
College, in his “ Travels in New England tions. This law required the proprietors to and New-York,” who visited Humphreys- control, in a manner specified, the morals of all ville in 1811, gives an account of the place, other children in plain families throughout the
the workmen, and to educate the children, as which is not without a certain degree of
state were educated. ... The manufactures of interest at this time, as a picture of an Humphreysville are esteemed excellent. The important manufacturing village in the in- best broad cloth made here is considered infancy of American manufactures. It also ferior to none which is imported. ... None but
Americans are employed in this institution. shows the prejudice which the first pi- Americans make all the machinery..... The oneers in manufactures were obliged to people of this country are, at least in my opincontend with. From this work I make ion, indebted not a little to General Humphthe following extracts :
reys, both for erecting this manufacturing es
tablishment, and for introducing into the A strong current of water, in a channel cut United States the invaluable breed of Spanish through the rock on the eastern side, sets in sheep, known by the name of Merinos. ... motion all the machinery employed in these "In this manufactory he bas, I think, fairly establishments. By this current are moved the established three points of great importance. grist-mill; two newly-invented shearing ma One is, that these manufactures can be carried chines; a breaker and finisher for carding on with success; another, that the workmen sheep's wool ; a machine for making ravelings; can be preserved in as good health as that entwo jennies for spinning sheep's wool, under the joyed by any other class of men in the country; roof of the grist-mill; the works in the paper and the third, that the deterioration of morals mill; a picker : two more carding machines for in such institutions, which is often complained sheep's wool; and a billy with forty spindles of, is not necesary, but incidental; not inin a third building; a fulling.mill, and a saw herent in the institution itself, but the fault of mill; two more fulling-mills on improved prin- the proprietor." ciples, immediately connected with the clothier's
David Humphreys was born at Derby shop; and the various machinery in a cotton manufactory, a building about one hundred feet in the year 1753. He was the son of the long, thirty-six wide, and of four stories, capa- Rev. Daniel Humphreys, a Congregable of containing two thousand spindles, with tional clergyman at this place. He enall their necessary apparatus. The houses can
tered Yale College in 1767, and graduaccommodate with a comfortable residence about one hundred and fifty persons.
Ten ated in 1771. This was during the brief others in the neighborhood will furnish com period of Dr. Daggett's presidency, an fortable residences for upward of one hundred epoch which is acknowledged to present and fifty more. Gardens, on a beautiful plat the most brilliant display of eminent in the rear of the manufactories, furnish all the vegetables necessary for the establishment. names furnished by the catalogue of Yale
" The principal part of the labor in attending College. the machinery in the cotton and woolen manu Trumbull, Dwight, and Humphreys factories is done by women and children: the former hired at from fifty cents to one dollar
were cotemporaries as academicians, and, per week ; the latter, apprentices, who are regu
soon after, Barlow. A recent writer says : larly instructed in reading, writing, and arith “While these young men maintained honor. metic.
able rank as scholars, they brought the charms “The wages of the men are from five to
of poetry from their studies to grace the progtwenty-one dollars per month.
ress of freedom and strew flowers in the path"In Europe great complaints have been
way of liberty. Excitements that influence made of manufacturing establishments, as have teachers, who considered even clerical immuing been very commonly seats of vice and dis
nities and obligations as forming no just er. General Humphreys began this with a emption from active personal service in oppodetermination either to prevent these evils, or, sition to tyranny and oppression, operated with if this could not be done, to give up the design. wonderful effect on the minds of pupils. A With regard to the health of his people, it is love of letters became united with a love of sufficient to observe that, from the year 1804 country; scholarship and patriotism formed an to the year 1810, not an individual belonging alliance, and literature in all its branches lent to the institution died. . . . With respect to vice, its aid to the cause of freedom." it may be remarked, that every person who is “ The young bards of the college raised their discovered to be openly immoral, is discharged. animating strains, and with the caustic satire
“At the commencement of the institution, of Trumbull, the noble songs of Dwight, and discreet parents were reluctant to place their the elaborate efforts of Barlow, were mingled children in it, from unfavorable apprehensions the patriotic effusions of Humphreys.” concerning the tendency of such establishments. Since that time they have been offered in more
After his collegiate course was comthan sufficient numbers.
pleted Humphreys resided for a time in " In 1813 the Legislature, at the instance of the family of Colonel Phillips, WestGeneral Humphreys, passed a law, constituting chester County, New York. He seems the select-men and magistracy of the several towns in which manufactories had been and
to have returned to his alma mater before should be established, visitors of these institu- entering into the service of his country.