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Lord Howe was much more sedate and dignified than his brother-really dignified-for he did not seem to affect any pomp or parade.
They were exceedingly chagrined and surprised at the capture of Burgoyne, and at first would not suffer it to be mentioned. We had received undoubted intelligence of the fact, in a letter from Charles Thompson; and upon communicating this circumstance to Henry Gurney, his interrogatories forced an acknowledgement from some of the superior officers that it was as he said, alas ! too true!'
While the British remained, they held frequent plays at the Old Theater—the performances by their officers. The scenes were painted by Maj. Andre and Capt. Delancy. They had also stated balls.- Letter from a Lady in Watson's Annals.
During the occupation of Philadelphia by the British, the American army was saved from a surprise by the noble conduct of a Quaker lady. The story, which has often been told, is as follows:
Gen. Howe's head-quarters were then in Second street, the fourth door below Spruce, in a house before occupied by Gen. Cadwallader. Directly opposite, resided William and Lydia Darrah, members of the Society of Friends. A superior officer of the British army, believed to be the adjutant-general, fixed upon one of their chambers, a back room, for private conference; and two of them frequently met there, with fire and candles, in close consultation. About the 2d of Decem. ber, the adjutant-general told Lydia that he would be in the room at seven o'clock, and remain late; and they wisħed the family to retire early to bed; adding, that when they were going away they would call her to let them out and extinguish their fire and candles. She accordingly sent all the family to bed; but, as the officer had been so particular, her curiosity was excited. She took off her shoes and put
her ear to the key-hole of the conclave, and overheard an order read for all the British troops to march out late in the evening of the fourth, and attack Gen. Washington's army, then encamped at White Marsh. On hearing this, she returned to her chamber, and lay down. Soon after, the officer knocked at the door, but she arose only at the third summons, having feigned herself asleep. Her mind was so much agitated, that, from this moment, she could neither eat nor sleep, supposing it to be in her power to save the lives of thousands of her countrymen, but not knowing how she was to convey the inforination to Gen. Washington, not daring to confide in her husband. She quickly determined to make her way as soon as possible to the American outposts. She informed her family, that, as she was in want of flour, she would go to Frankford for some; her husband insisted that she should take the servant maid with her, but, to his surprise, she positively refused. She got across to Gen. Howe, and solicited, what he readily granted, to pass through the British troops on the lines. Leaving her bag at the mill, she hastened toward the American lines, and encountered, on her way, an American lieutenant-colonel (Craig) of the light horse, who, with some of his men, was on the look-out for information. He knew her, and inquired where she was going. She answered, in quest of her son, an officer in the American army, praying the colonel to alight and walk with her. He did so, ordering his troops to keep in sight. To him she disclosed her secret, after having obtained from him a solemn promise never to betray her individually, as her life might be at stake with the British.
He conducted her to a house near at hand, directed something for her to eat, and hastened to head-quarters, when he made Gen. Washington acquainted with what he had heard. Washington made, of course, all preparation for baffling the meditated surprise. Lydia returned home with her flour; sat up alone to watch the movements of the British troops; heard their footsteps; but when they returned, in a few days after, did not dare to ask a question, though solicitous to learn the event. The next evening, the adjutant-general came in, and requested her to walk up to his room, as he wished to put some questions. She followed him in terror; and when he locked the door and begged her, with an air of mystery, to be seated, she was sure that she was either suspected or had been betrayed. He inquired earnestly whether any of her family were up the last night he and the other officer met. She told him that they all retired at eight o'clock. He observed, “I know you were asleep, for I knocked at your chamber door three
times before you heard me. I am at a loss to imagine who gave Gen. Washington information of our intended attack, unless the walls of the house could speak. When we arrived near White Marsh, we found all their cannon mounted, and the troops prepared to receive us, and we have marched back like a parcel of fools.”
The yellow fever which has been the scourge of most of our cities, particularly at the south, raged with great virulence in Philadelphia, in 1793. The following is from Dr. Rush's account of the fever. This distinguished phy. sician continued in the city during the whole of this calamitious period, and rendered himself conspicuous by his humanity, skill, and courage.
It commenced early in August, and continued until the 9th of November, during which time 4,000 persons died, out of a population of 60,000. Its greatest hight was about the middle of October, when 119 persons died in one day.
The disease appeared in many parts of the town, remote from the spot where it originated; although in every instance it was easily traced to it. This set the city in motion. The streets and roads leading from the city were crowded with families flying in every direction for safety, to the country. Business began to languish Water street, between Market and Race streets, became a desert. The poor were the first victims of the fever. From the sudden interruption of business, they suffered for a while from poverty as well as disease. A large and airy house at Bush Hill, about a mile from the city, was opened for their reception. This house, after it became the charge of a committee appointed by the citizens on the 14th of September, was regulated and governed with the order and cleanliness of an old and established hospital. An American and French physician had the exclusive medical care of it after the 22d of September.
The contagion, after the second week in September, spared no rank of citizens. Whole families were confined by it. There was a deficiency of nurses for the sick, and many of those who were employed were unqualified for their business. There was likewise a great deficiency of physicians, from the desertion of some, and the sickness and death of others. At one time there were only three physicians able to do business out of their houses, and at this time there were probably not less than 6,000 persons ill with the fever.
During the first three or four weeks of the prevalence of the disorder, I seldom went into a house the first time, without meeting the parents or children of the sick in tears. Many wept aloud in my entry or parlor, who came to ask advice for their relations. Grief, after a while, descended below weeping, and I was much struck in observing that many persons submitted the loss of relations and friends, without shedding a tear, or manifesting any other of the common signs of grief.
A cheerful countenance was scarcely to be seen in the city for six weeks. I recollect once, in entering the house of a poor man, to have met a child of two years old that smiled in my face. I was strangely affected with this sight (so discordant to my feelings and the state of the city), before I recollected the age and ignorance of the child. I was confined the next day by an attack of the fever, and was sorry to hear, upon my recovery, that the father and mother of this little creature died a few days after my last visit to them.
The streets everywhere discovered marks of the distress that pervaded the city. More than one half the houses were shut up, although not more than one third of the inhabitants had fled into the country. In walking, for many hundred yards, few persons were met, except such as were in quest of a physician, a nurse, a bleeder, or the men who buried the dead. The hearse alone kept up the remembrance of the noise of carriages or carts in the streets. Funeral processions were laid aside. A black man, leading or driving a horse, with a corpse on a pair of chair wheels, with now and then half a dozen relations or friends following at a distance from it, met the eye in most of the streets of the city, at every hour of the day; while the noise of the same wheels passing slowly over the pavements, kept alive anguish and fear in the sick and well, every hour of the night
BENJAMIN FRANKLÍN, the printer, statesman, and philosopher, was for a long period one of the prominent citizens of Philadelphia ; his unostentatious grave is in the N. W. corner of the cemetery of Christ's Church, at the corner of Fifth and Arch streets. It is constructed in accordance with his will, which directs as follows: “I wish to be buried by the side of my wife. if it may be, and that a marble stone be made by Chambers, 6 feet long, 4 wide, plain, with only a small molding round the upper edge, and this inscription :
DEBORA Be placed over us both.” The actual date on the stone is 1790. A similar stone by the side of it, is that of his daughter Sarah, and her husband Richard Bache. The following is his own account of his first arrival in Philadelphia. It is well known that he had been an apprentice in his brother's printing-office in Boston, and having disagreed with him, he had left home, without the knowledge of his parents, in a sloop for New York; thence he had come on foot across New Jersey to Burlington, 20 miles above Philadelphia, where he embarked in one of the passage boats that plied between there and the city. The doctor says:
“We arrived on Sunday about eight or nine o'clock in the morning, and landed on Market-street wharf. 'I have entered into the particulars of my voyage, and shall, in like manner, describe my first entrance into this city, that you may compare beginnings so little auspicious, with the figure I have since made.
On my arrival in Philadelphia I was in my working dress, my best clothes being to come by sea. I was covered with dirt: my pockets were filled with shirts and stockings; I was unacquainted with a single soul in the place, and knew not where to look for a lodging. Fatigued with walking, rowing, and having passed the night without sleep, I was extremely hungry, and all my money consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling's worth of coppers, which I gave to the boatmen for my passage. As I had assisted them in rowing, they refused it at first; but I insisted on their taking it. A man is sometimes more generous when he has little, than when he has much money; probably because, in the first case, he is desirous of concealing his poverty.
I walked toward the top of the street, looking eagerly on both sides, till I came to Market-street, where I met with a child with a loaf of bread. Often had I made my dinner on dry bread. I inquired where he had bought it, and went straight to the baker's shop which he pointed out to me. I asked for some biscuits, ex. pecting to find such as we had at Boston; but they made, it seems, none of that sort at Philadelphia. I then asked for a three-penny loaf. They made no loaves of that price. Finding myself ignorant of the prices, as well as of the different kinds of bread, I desired him to let me have three-pennyworth of bread of some kind or other. He gave me three large rolls. I was surprised at receiving so much. I took them, however, and having no room in my pockets, I walked on with a roll under each arm, eating the third. In this manner I went through Market-street to Fourth-street, and passed the house of Mr. Reed, the father of my future wife. She was standing at the door, observed me, and thought, with reason, that I made a very singular and grotesque appearance.
I then turned the corner, and went through Chesnut-street, eating my roll all the way; and having made this round, I found myself again on Market-street wharf, near the boat in which I arrived. I stepped into it to take a draught of the river water; and, finding myself satisfied with the first roll, I gave the other two to a woman and her child, who had come down the river with us in the boat, and was waiting to continue her journey. Thus refreshed, I regained the street, which was now full of well dressed people, all going the same way. I joined them, and was thus led to a large Quaker meeting-house near the market-place. I sat down with the rest, and, after looking around me for some time, hearing nothing said,
and being drowsy from my last night's labor and want of rest, I fell into a sound sleep. In this state I continued till the assembly dispersed, when one of the congregation had the goodness to wake me. This was consequently the first house I entered, or in which I slept in Philadelphia.
I began again to walk along the street by the river side; and, looking attentively in the
face of every one I met with, I at length perceived a young Quaker whose countenance pleased me. I accosted him, and begged him to inform me where a stranger might find a lodging. We were then near the sign of the Three Mariners. They receive travelers here,' said he, but it is not a house that bears a good character; if you will go with me, I will show you a better one.' He conducted me to the Crooked Billet, in Water-street. There I ordered something for dinner, and, during my meal, a number of curious questions were put to me; my youth and appearance exciting the suspicion of my being a runaway. After dinner my drowsiness returned, and I threw myself upon a bed without taking off my clothes, and slept till six o'clock in the evening, when I was called to supper. I afterward went to bed at a very early hour, and did not awake till the next morning.
Outline view of Girard College. The following account of STEPHEN GIRARD, the great millionare of Philadelphia, so celebrated for his wealth, is from Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania : "
"Stephen Girard was born of very humble parents, near Bordeaux, in France, on the 24th of May, 1750. Such education as he ever had, he must have picked up in the world at large. He commenced his career at the age of ten or twelveleaving France for the first and last time, as a cabin boy, bound to the West Indies. Thence he went to New York, and sailed for some years between there and the West Indies and New Orleans, as cabin boy, sailor, mate, and eventually master and owner. Having made some money, he started a small shop in Waterstreet, Philadelphia, in 1769, and in 1770 married a pretty girl, the daughter of a caulker. He lived with her some twenty years: but not very happily, on account of his own asperity of temper. She became insane in 1790, and died in the Philadelphia Hospital in 1815. An only child died in infancy. After his marriage he continued business in Water-street, occasionally going as master of his own vessels— in one of which he was captured on a voyage to St. Domingo. He came home poor, and started a little cider and wine bottling shop in Water-street, aided by his wife, the year before the revolutionary war. He was a friend to the revolution, and removed to Mount Holly while the British occupied Philadelphia. About the year 1782, he took on lease a number of stores on Water-street, which proved a profitable operation--and afterward went into business with his brother, Capt. John Girard, who came out from France. They drove a profitable trade with St. Domingo; and at their dissolution (for they could not agree) John was worth $60,000, and Stephen $30,000. After this he went largely into the St. Domingo trade; and, while a brig and schooner of his were lying at Cape Francoise, the great revolt of the negroes occurred. • Many planters, in the panic, removed their valuables on board his vessels, and again returning to the shore, were cut off by the negroes. Whole families thus perished together; and Mr. Girard, by the
most extensive advertising, could never ascertain the heirs of the wealth (said to be about $50,000) that thus fell into his hands. His next commercial enterprises were in the East India trade, in which he had several ships, and acquired a large fortune. At the expiration of the charter of the old United States Bank in 1810–11, he purchased, through the Barings, in London, about $500,000 of that stock; and not long afterward-purchasing the banking house of the institution in Third-street, and making an arrangement with the former cashier, Mr. George Simpson--he started his own private bank in May, 1812, with a capital of $1,200,000. This was a bold step at the opening of the war with Great Britain-yet the specie was never refused for a banknote of Stephen Girard's. When the new United States Bank was started, in 1816, he waited till the last moment before the subscription books closed, and then, inquiring if all that wished had subscribed, he coolly took the balance of the stock, amounting to $3,100,000; some of which he afterward parted with. By the subsequent rise of this stock his fortune was \ immensely augmented. His own bank was continued till his death, when it had accumulated a capital of $4,000,000. The bank was afterward chartered by the legislature as the Girard Bank, with individual stockholders; and has since failed. Mr. Girard died of influenza, on the 26th of December, 1831, at his residence in Water, above Market-street.
Stephen Girard was exceedingly plain in his dress and personal appearance. He was always blind of one eye; and in middle life might be mistaken for a stout sailor, and maturer years for a plain old farmer. His dwelling house was under the same roof with his counting house, in Water-street-a neighborhood occupied entirely by stores; and his furniture was of the plainest kind. His equipage was an old chaise and a plain farm horse. He indulged in no pleasures, or scenes of social life; had no one with who he sympathized as a friend; and when his sympathies were exercised at all, they seemed to be for masses of men, and not for individuals-for future generations, and not for the present. He had a sort of in. stinctive fondness for giving medical advice; and when the yellow fever desolated the city, in 1793, regardless of danger, he spent his whole time in personal attendance upon the sick, in all parts of the city. His temper was irritable, and when excited he would break out upon his dependents, in his broken English, with great volubility."
Germantown, formerly a borough of Philadelphia county, but now included within the limits of the city of Philadelphia, is situated on the Germantown Branch Railroad, 6 miles N. W. of the state house. It consists of one broad street, extending 4 miles in a northerly direction, and several others recently built, crossing it at right angles. Many of the houses are of stone, and have a substantial though somewhat ancient appearance. Many merchants of Philadelphia have their country seats here, some of which are most elegant structures, adorned with spacious grounds, statuary, etc. It contains 14 places of worship, and about 10,000 inhabitants.
Chew's house, in this place, about a mile from the railroad depot, is an interesting relic of the revolutionary period. At the time of the battle of Germantown, it was the mansion house of Chief Justice Chew; it is a spacious structure of stone, and bears many evidences of the refined taste of its distinguished owner. It stands back several rods from the road, and the yard in front is thickly studded with trees. Several pieces of marble statuary are placed in front of the house, one of which is a headless statue of Venus—the head having been struck off by a cannon-shot during the action. Upward of twenty Americans, it is stated, were killed on or near the steps of the dwelling. The following account of the battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777, is from Botta's American War:
After the battle of Brandywine, which took place on the 11th of September, 1777, Gen. Howe, stationed a detachment of his troops on the Jersey side, below Philadelphia, to protect the movements of the British fleet; a part were quartered