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immune to the prosperity of the times. Silk hangings and cushions were a great advance over the simpler arrangement in the earlier days. The old custom, however, for the men and women to sit in separate sides of the church still prevailed; and the sexton was continually busy keeping the children from running in and out and making noises. One of his difficult tasks was to seo that the white boys and girls were kept from the gallery and the steps. During that decade the pastor was the Reverend James Caldwell, a wellbeloved Virginian, and a relative of a later famous statesman; John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina.
Joseph II was married twice; his first wife was Hannah or Rachel Bond, a descendant of Robert Bond, of the original English company, and at one time a member of the Governor's Council, and prominent in the Elizabethtowne community of this union were born four children, two of whom were ultimately to marry into the Marsh and Winans families of the neighborhood: - a grand-daughter, Mary Winans, was to marry a cousin of the Winans surname, to become the mother of Ross Winans of Baltimore, Maryland, the founder of a distinguished family of that state. The second wife of Joseph II, whom he married a few years after he became a widower, was Anna Wood, herself a widow and formerly Anna Winans, a member of the family of that name, and a descendant of Cornelis Melyn an early Proprietor of Staten Island whose name is a familiar one to all students of Dutch-American history.
Isaac, born August 5, 1758, was the youngest child of Joseph II and his second wife Anna.
"For forms of government lot fools contest;
Isaac Morse, the fifth generation in America, was still in his teens, when as a student of medicine he lived at the stone dwelling and offices of his preceptor, Dr. William Barnet in Elizabethtowne, not far from his Majesty's Military Barracks on Cherry Street. Passing through the kitchen one day, lugging a bag of medicinal paraphenalia, he conceived the brilliant idea -- when the cook's attention was diverted elsewhere -- of dropping some mercury into a pot of dumplings cooking on the fire. By the time he had discreetly retired into the house, a terrific sound of excitement and consternation came running from the kitchen. The cook declared that some demon had gotten into the pot and was throwing the dumplings about as if they were bewitched, and such popping and spitting she had never seen or heard before in all her born days, and "God forgive me if I have ever done harm to deserve." WHERE IS THAT QUAKER DEVIL, ISAAC? THIS IS SOME OF HIS WORK." -- thundered his preceptor, well knowing, apparently without the need of closer inquiry, that only that led who hailed from the area toward the Quaker settlement below the town, could instigate such deviltry.
A small episode, perhaps, but true, and one which foretold the mirthfulness and fun which Isaac was to emanata throughout his entire life. He was well named; for Isaac, in the old scriptures, means "laughter. He had inherited much from his Dutch mother, not the least of which was the blood and disposition of the intrepid old Patroon of New Netherlands. From his early youth, too precocious for the steady, more or less isolated life on the plantation, it had been determined to train this boy, whose very life seemed to depend on mingling with people and places, to be a physician. This meant in later parlance a country doctor. It was to prove a good choice. He was well schooled in the essentials of learning of the day, and his early education had been obtained in the self same school in Elizabethtowne where Alexander Hamilton, the lad from the West Indies, was prepared for college and for his great destiny in years to come.
hoice. He was on education had beender Hamilton, the
The usual method of obtaining a medical education in North America, was for the applicant to apply to some older, successful, practicioner, to teach the "art of Physick and Surgery through a several years' apprenticeship, in exchange generally, for whatever assistance was to be agreed upon. Of the three or four thousand