From a sonnet which he addressed to take order thereon." This resolution his friends in Yale College on leaving was carried into effect in 1786, and the them to join the army," I extract the sword presented by General Knox, Secfollowing:

retary of War, accompanied by a highly “Adieu, then, Yale! where youthful poets dwell;

complimentary letter. No more I linger by thy classic stream.

The engraving which we present on Inglorious ease and sportive songs, farewell! the following page represents Colonel Thou startling clarion ! break the sleeper's Humphreys delivering the standards surdream!"

rendered under the capitulation of YorkMr. Humphreys entered the army as town, at Congress Hall, in Philadelphia, captain in 1778; he held the additional November 3, 1781. It is from a painting appointment of aid to Major General Put in the Trumbull Gallery at New Haven, nam. His patriotic sentiments as well as which was executed under Colonel Humhis literary talents commended him to the phreys' direction, in Spain by a Spanish early notice of many of the most efficient artist. and discerning officers of the Rev In November, 1782, Humphreys was, olution.

by resolution of Congress, commissioned At the time of the capture of Fort as lieutenant-colonel, with order that his Montgomery he was “major of brig- commission should bear date from June ade to the Connecticut brigade,” which 23, 1780, when he received his appointwas at this time commanded by Brigadier ment as aid-de-camp to the commanderGeneral Parsons.

in-chief. Humphreys received his appointment Soon after the preliminaries of peace of aid and military secretary to Gen were agreed upon the operations of the eral Washington in 1780. In the early army were suspended. The commanderpart of this year he joined the family of in-chief, however, continued with the the commander-in-chief, with whom he northern division until December, 1783, constantly resided up to the close of the when he resigned his commission. On war, “ enjoying his full confidence and that interesting occasion he was attended friendship, and sharing in the toils of his at Annapolis by Colonel Humphreys, who arduous duties."

afterward returned with him to Mount At Yorktown Colonel Humphreys par Vernon. ticularly distinguished himself when Lord In May, 1784, Colonel Humphreys was Cornwallis with his army surrendered to elected by Congress to the commission the combined forces of America and for negotiating treaties of commerce with France. “As a mark of the approbation foreign powers. The commissioners were of General Washington, Colonel Hum- John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and phreys was dispatched to Congress with Thomas Jefferson, who received his apcopies of the returns of prisoners, artil- pointment as commissioner three days lery, arms, ordnance, etc., which had previous to the election of Colonel Humbeen surrendered, and twenty-five stands phreys as secretary. of colors.” General Washington, in his Soon after this he accompanied Mr. letter to the President of Congress, says Jefferson to Europe. General Koscithat " these returns and colors have been usko was a companion of this voyage. At committed to the care of Colonel Hum- the expiration of two years Colonel Humphreys, one of my aids-de-camp, whom, phreys returned to this country, and imme. for his attention, fidelity, and good ser- diately visited Mount Vernon. vices, I beg leave to recommend to Con During that period known as the time of gress and to your excellency."

“Shay's Rebellion,” Colonel Humphreys In November, 1781, Congress “Re. was appointed by the Legislature of Consolved, That an elegant sword be presented, necticut to the command of a regiment. in the name of the United States in Con. He fixed his head quarters at Hartford, gress assembled, to Colonel Humphreys, where he resumed his intimacy with some aid-de-camp of General Washington, to of his early literary associates. In conwhose care the standards taken under the nection with Trumbull, and Barlow, and capitulation of Yorktown were consigned, Dr. Samuel Hopkins, he occupied himself as a testimony of their opinion of his fidel- in writing the “ Anarchiad," a brilliant ity and ability, and that the board of war | series of witty poetical essays.

Vol. XI.-37

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Soon after the suppression of the insur- | sions) returned to Europe in 1795, accompanied rection he repaired by invitation to Mount by Joseph Donaldson, consul for Tunis and Vernon, where he occupied himself in Tripoli, who was to be employed to negotiate

the treaty, while Colonel Humphreys himself preparing his Life of Putnam. “A smooth

went to France to obtain the aid of the French and complimentary piece of biography," government." says a recent critic, “which certainly an

Joel Barlow, then residing in France, ticipates no modern doubts of the bravery was appointed to act in the negotiation, of · Old Put.'" In 1789 he was appointed by Congress Mr. Donaldson, treaties were subsequently

Through the agency of Mr. Barlow and as one of a board of commissioners to formed with Algiers and Tripoli, and aptreat with the Southern Indians, and in 1790 he was appointed minister to the proved and concluded by Colonel Humcourt of Portugal, where he resided as of Colonel Humphreys have been highly

phreys. The diplomatic communications diplomatic representative of this country praised, and they have been acknowledged until 1797. He was at this time trans

as creditable to him “both as a national ferred to the court of Madrid, where he jurist and a correct and lucid negotiacontinued until 1802, when he returned to the United States. One of his biogra- Trumbull, the author of “ M'F'ingal,” has

Of his diplomatic affairs John phers says:

some pleasant railery in a letter to Oliver "During his residence in Portugal he was Wolcott, dated Hartford, Deccinber 9, authorized with special powers to open negoti- | 1789: ations with several of the Barbary States, with a view as well to obtain the liberation of many "Pray congratulate Colonel Humphreys, in American citizens held in captivity, as to secure my name, on his late promotion in the diploour commerce by treaties from further spolia-matic line. If I understand the matter rightly, tions, the act authorizing him to appoint he holds the same post which Crispe promised agents. In furtherance of his duties, Colonel | George in the Vicar of Wakefield. You reHumphreys (who had made a short visit to the member Crispe told him there was an embassy United States in the early part of the year talked of from the Synod of Pennsylvania to 1795, in order to render full personal repre the Chicasaw Indians, and he would use his sentations on the subject of Barbary aggres- | interest to get him appointed secretary. Tell



him not to be discouraged too much at his wrestlers were called in one after the want of success. The president has tried him

other, until Westbury was again “ thrown on M'Gillivray first, and he did not suit the skill of the savage, but we cannot argue

out,” the Waterbury champion having from that circumstance that he could not fit grounded the last of the rival party. At as easy as a full-bottomed wig upon the fat this period, when he signs of exultation headed, sot - headed, and crazy-headed sov on one side and chagrin on the other were ereigns of Europe

. Tell him this story also becoming manifest, a stranger was dragged for his comfort, and to encourage his hopes in from the onter circle of the ring to conof speedy employment. A king being angry with an embassador, asked him whether his tend for the Westbury boys. The parties master had no wise men at court, and was, placed themselves in position, and began therefore, obliged to send him a fool. Sire,

by “playing round" to find each other's said the other, my master has many wise men about his court; but he conceived me the most qualities. After a little time the stranger, proper embassador to your majesty. Upon watching his opportunity, caught his anthis principle I am in daily expectation of tagonist's foot, and threw him upon the hearing that he is appointed minister plenipo i fire. Shouts filled the air, and the victor to George, Louis, or the Stadtholder."

disappeared. Great was the exploit, and This specimen of the humor of the au great the mystery of the affair ; but the thor of M'Fingal reminds me of a story secret finally leaked out.

The story that is related of his father, the Rev. John reached the ears of the Rev. Mr. LeavenTrumbull, which should have appeared in worth, (of Waterbury,) and the next time a former article. It was said of this gen- he met his brother Trumbull he rebuked tleman, that if one of his people turned him for his levity, and censured him, parEpiscopalian, he would buy his farm. ticularly, for throwing his rival upon the

Mr. Trumbull was not tall, but a stout, fire, by which his clothes and flesh were athletic man. He was sound, shrewd, scorched. Trumbull agreed that he had and humorous. Horses he was fond of, been guilty of levity ; but for the scorchand bought and sold them frequently with ing, he thought it his duty to give his (Mr.

Leavenworth's) parishioners a foretaste On this account he was sometimes ir- of what they might expect after sitting reverently called “jockey Trumbull.” | under his preaching !* He loved innocent sports, and had once But to return, after this long digression, been a great wrestler. A story is told to Colonel Humphreys.

During his resiof him, which, though it may not be wholly dence in Europe he wrote several of his true, is probably not a pure invention. best compositions in verse; he correspondAt any rate, it illustrates the manners of ed at this time with his friend Dwight, in the times. The Waterbury and West- poetical epistles. He addressed a sonbury people were in the habit of meeting net“ To the Prince of Brazil," on his deat some half-way place, in the long au- parture from Lisbon, which was translated tumnal evenings, to contend as wrestlers. into Portuguese verse. His correspondThey met around a fire, and the sport was ence with General Washington was of the commenced by two second-rate athletes. most friendly and confiding character, and When one was thrown, the vanquished Washington expressed a strong desire called in another from his own side, the that he would, after his return from Euobject being to vanquish the victor. rope, make Mount Vernon his permanent Thus the experts were called out in suc residence as the companion of his declincession, and he who remained last on his ing years. legs was the bully of the night.

In sev

In his poem “On the industry of the eral contests, at the time of which I am United States," which was composed, he speaking, Waterbury had proved too much tells us, “ on the delightful banks of the for Westbury. Mr. Trumbull heard of Tagus, where his days were pleasantly the defeat of his boys, and partook of their passed in the enjoyment of health, happimortification. On occasion of the next ness, and content,” he says : contest he disguised himself, and went down unknown, except to two or three, to give “material aid,” if necessary. The

For the foregoing story the writer is indebted to " The History of Waterbury,” by Henry Bronson, M, D., about to be issued by

Messrs. Bronson Brothers, Waterbury, a work ington and John Adams.

of sterling merit.

• Gibhs's Menioirs of the Administrations of Wasb


Portuguese soldiers. On the 10th of April, 1802, they were embarked in the Tagus, on board the ship Perseverance, of two hundred and fifty

In about fifty days they were landed at Derby, in Connecti cut; they having been shifted at New York on board a sloop destined to that river.”

Soon after this General Humphreys commenced the es. tablishment of manufactories, to which I have before alluded, at Humphreysville The cloths that were produced here were highly valued. Some of the first satinet manufactured at this place was sold as high as $4 per yard. When Mr. Madison took his oath of office as president, he was dressed in a full suit of American woolens, of which Colonel Humphreys's manufactory furnished the

coat, and Chancel“O may my guidance from the downs of Spain | lor Livingston's the waistcoat and smallLead a white flock across the western main;

clothes. Famed like the bark that bore the argonaut, Should be the vessel with the burden fraught!

General Humphreys had, at one time, Clad in the raiment my Merinos yield;

several hundred sheep. Many were sent Like Cincinnatus, fed from my own field; to the West through his agents ; he never Far from ambition, grandeur, care, and strife,

transacted any business of this kind himIn sweet fruition of domestic life; There would I pass, with friends, beneath my

self. The bucks were occasionally sold trees,

as high as two thousand dollars, and afterWhat rests from public life, in letter'd ease.” ward resold, in parts, at considerably adThis wish was subsequently gratified.

vanced prices. When the sheep comOn his departure from Spain he purchased manded the highest price, old Doctor a flock of one hundred of the best selected Danae, of New Haven, asked him, " Why Merino breed of sheep. In his “ Disserta

don't you sell your sheep, general ?" tion on the Breed of Sheep called Merino,”

“ Doctor Danae," he replied, “ you know he says:

a greal deal more about divinity than you

do about Merino sheep." “ Convinced that this race of sheep, of which, About the time of the Merino sheep I believe, not one had been brought to the mania, or a little before, the otter breed of United States until the importation by myself, might be introduced with great beneit to our sheep attracted considerable attention here. country, I contracted with a person of the most They were supposed to have been a cross respectable character, to deliver to me, at Lis between the otter and the native sheep. bon, one hundred, from one to two years old. This species could not be successfully They were conducted, with proper passports, across the country of Portugal, by three Spanish propagated. General Humphreys sent out shepherds, and escorted by a small guard of

a skeleton of this breed to Sir Joseph



Banks, who gave it to Mr. Pritchard, the dustry of the United States,” “On the celebrated comparative anatomist, who Love of Country," " On the Death of Genpronounced it to be a scrofulous breed. eral Washington.” In prose, the “ Life These sheep were highly valued, on ac of General Putnam,”

" “ Dissertation on the count of their short legs and quiet habits. Merino Sheep,” etc., etc.

For these last-mentioned facts I am General Humphreys received, while in indebted to Doctor Eli Ives, of New active life, the degree of Doctor of Laws Haven. I must beg my lady readers will from three American colleges, and was aspardon me for introducing the following sociated as member or fellow with numerfrom the same source. My informant did ous literary associations both in Europe not vouch for its authenticity, but said and America. He died of an organic atthat, in the height of the Merino sheep fection of the heart, at New Haven, 21st speculation, it was currently reported that February, 1818, aged 65 years, and was there was one woman in Humphreysville interred in the old cemetery of that city. who knocked an infant child in the head, The monument seen in the 'illustration is in order to bring up a Merino lamb in its composed of granite, and is about twelve place.

feet in height. The Latin inscription upon From 1802 until 1812 Colonel Humph- it was written by his early and faithful reys devoted himself almost exclusively to friend John Trumbull. It is upon two agricultural and manufacturing pursuits. tablets of copper, inserted into the sides His introduction of the Merino sheep was of the pedestal. The following is a transan important and valuable accession to the lation of it: agricultural and manufacturing interests

" David Humphreys, Doctor of Laws, Member of the country. So important was this

of the Academy of Sciences of Philadelphia, event deemned at the time, that the “ Mas- Massachusetts, and Connecticut; of the Bath sachusetts Society for the Promotion of Agricultural] Society, and of the Royal Society Agriculture” recorded it upon a gold medal

of London. Fired with the love of country and which they presented to him, with appro- the service of the Republic, which he defended

of liberty, he consecrated his youth wholly to priate devices, and a complimentary in- by his arms, aided by his counsels, adorned by scription.

his learning, and preserved in harmony with In 1812 Colonel Humphreys took com

foreign nations. In the field he was the command of a corps of state troops, composed panion and aid of the great Washington, a

colonel in the army of his country, and comof “ volunteers exempt by law from mili- mander of the Veteran Volunteers of Connectitary duty.” He was then commissioned He went Embassador to the courts of as the special commander, with the rank Portugal and Spain, and returning enriched his of brigadier-general. His public services native land with the true golden fleece. He was

a distinguished historian and poet; a model terminated with the limitation of this ap- and patron of science, and of the ornamental pointment.

and useful arts. After a full discharge of every The portrait of General Humphreys duty, and a life well spent, he died on the 21st accompanying this article is from an en

day of February, 1818, aged 65 years.” graving in “ Herring's Portrait Gallery," from the original by Gilbert Stuart in the Mind Little Things.-Mr. Emerson, Trumbull Gallery at New Haven. To in his lectures on New England, relates the very interesting biographical account the following anecdote : An opulent merof General Humphreys published in that chant in Boston was called on by a friend work, the writer is indebted for many facts in behalf of a charity. At that time he contained in this notice

was admonishing his clerk for using whole The occasional literary pevumi.ons of wafers instead of halves; his , friend General Humphreys were first collected thought the circumstances unpropitious, in 1804, and published in an octavo but to his surprise, on listening to the apvolume, dedicated “To the Duke de peal, the merchant subscribed five hundred Rochefoucault." His

poem addressed dollars. The applicant expressed his as" To the Armies of the United States of tonishment that any person who was so America" was translated into French by particular about half a wafer should prethe Marquis de Chastellux. In the vol- sent five hundred dollars to a charity ; but ume to which I refer are poems “ On the the merchant said, “ It is by saving half Happiness of America,” “ On the Future wafers, and attending to such little things, Glory of the United States,"

," " On the In- | that I have now something to give."


« VorigeDoorgaan »