Gambar halaman
PDF
[blocks in formation]

the house terminate at the floor of the attic, and the rafters lie upon them. The angle of the roof is 60°, making the base and sides equal. At the end of the wing, by the chimney, is a recess, which must have been intended as a place of concealment. The interior wall has the appearance of touching the chimney, like the wall at the northwest end. But the removal of a board discovers two closets which project beyond the lower part of the building. I learn from Mr. Smith that at least three other stone houses were built at the first settlement of Guilford. WOL. II. 6

Whitefield was a man of good property; but it may be doubted whether his house is a specimen of the best that were erected at an early period. When Gorton and his company were conducted to Boston, in 1643, “the Governor [Winthrop] caused the prisoners to be brought before him in his hall, where was a great assembly.” (Winthrop, II. 142.) Gov. Coddington's house in Newport, believed to have been built about the year 1650, was standing till 1835. From a sketch made of it in that year, a photographic representation was taken, of which

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

men's convenient dwellings deficient in a corresponding luxury. To the marriage settlement of John Winthrop the elder, when he wedded a third time, there is attached an inventory of the property of his bride, which indicates a somewhat sumptuous domestic establishment. At Governor Eaton's death, when money was worth three times as much as now, his wearing-apparel was inventoried at fifty pounds sterling, and his plate at a hundred and fifty pounds; and “Turkey carpet,” “tapestry coverings,” and “cushions of Turkey work,” were among the articles of show which helped him to maintain “a port in some measure answerable to his place.”

the following is a copy. The projection of the second story over the lower will remind those who have visited England of old houses which they have seen there. Buildings of this descrip

But houses of such pretension as these belonged only to the richer sort. The dwellings of the generality of the people were not of materials sufficiently durable to admit of their being known at this day through actual specimens. At the very earliest period, it was necessary for the great body of the emigrants to be content with any sort of shelter from the weather. After a while, when saw-mills furnished timber and boards, and shipments of salable articles brought plenty of iron from abroad, the villages began to consist of frame-houses. In the interval between these two periods, the settlers, it is

Coddington's House at Newport.

tion still remain in Holborn and other parts of London. The form of construction was adopted the more readily in New England, on account of its convenience for fortification against the natives.

probable, made themselves comfortable in log-houses, of a construction similar to those which are still seen in new settlements, wherever made in the United States. Josselyn says (Account of Two Voyages, &c., 20) that there were “not above twenty or thirty houses” at Boston, at the time of his visit in 1638. He was not an accurate witness, but he could not possibly have intended to say that Boston had only thirty dwellings at that time. By “houses” he must have meant such as had timber frames, or walls of stone or brick. Johnson (Wonder-Working Providence, 174), in or about 1650, speaks of the Lord's having “been pleased to turn all the wigwams, huts, and hovels the English dwelt in, at their first coming, into orderly, fair, and well-built houses.” In 1621, a storm at Plymouth “caused much daubing of the houses to fall down” (Mourt's Journal, 30), by which I suppose is to be understood the earth used to close the chinks between the logs, which, laid one upon another, made the

[graphic]
[graphic]

House of an Early Settler.

walls. Tall grass, gathered along the beaches, was largely used for the thatching of roofs. (Mass. Rec., III. 181.) For chimneys, bricks were made at Salem so early as the year before the arrival of Winthrop's company. (Higginson, New-England Plantation.)

The following copy, from a drawing in Indian ink by Washington Allston, will convey a substantially correct idea of what was probably the home of a

stuff.” gave to his wife two suits of
hangings, one of Caesar, the other of
Diana, “a green embroidered bed,”
&c.; to his daughter Elizabeth, “the

majority of the New-England colonists
for a considerable period, beginning
soon after their arrival.
* Mass. Rec., II. 233. Bacon, Hist.
Disc., 355. – Fenwick, disposing in his
will of his “furniture and household

suit of landscape hangings;” and to
his daughter Dorothy, “that of Su-

[graphic]

The dress of the generality of the people must needs have been plain." They could have had no superfluity of offerings to lay on the altar of the pride of life. But such laws as have been referred to, aimed in almost the earliest times against “the ordinary wearing of silver, gold, and silk laces,” and against the wearing at all of “embroidered and needle-work caps,” “gold and silver girdles,” “immoderate great sleeves,”

and “slashed apparel,” point unequivocally to one form of the indulgence of the taste and ambition of that period." In the early days of New England, wheaten bread was not so uncommon as it afterwards became ; but its place was largely supplied by preparations of Indian corn. A mixture of two parts of the meal of this grain with one part of rye has continued, until far into the present century, to furnish the bread of the great body of the people. In the beginning, there was but a sparing consumption of butcher's meat. The multiplication of flocks, for their wool, and of herds for draught and for milk, was an important care, and they generally bore a high money value. Game and fish to a considerable extent supplied the want of animal food.

Dress.

sanna.” (Conn. Rec., I. 574, 575.)
— Such household luxury, however,
must have been far enough from be-
ing common, or from being known to
many who were esteemed decent liv-
ers, – at least, near to the beginning
of things. Most articles of table fur-
niture were made of pewter. Gov-
ernor Bradford left, of that material,
fourteen dishes, thirteen platters, three
large and two small plates, a candle-
stick, and a bottle. He had “four
large silver spoons,” and nine of
smaller size. Peter Palfrey, one of
the three “honest and prudent men”
who were with Conant at Salem in
1627, and afterwards a Deputy in the
General Court and otherwise em-
ployed by the public, was a man of
comfortable substance, though not of
the quality of the time. In his testa-
mentary distribution of his property,
in 1662, he gave to his daughter Mary,
besides a bequest in money, “two
pewter platters and likewise an iron
pot,” — a little fact which may indi-
cate the value then set upon service-
able domestic utensils; unless it were
that to these homely articles—the for-
mer of which were inscribed with the
letters “M. P.” — was attached in the
testator's mind some adventitious value,
due to some special association of inter-
esting domestic experience.
In the early inventories of furniture
no forks appear. They were hardly
known in England before 1650. As a

fact correlative to this, there was a great
affluence of napkins. E. Howes wrote
to Winthrop, in 1633, that he had sent
him a case, containing “an Irish skeyne
or knife,” two or three delicate tools,
“and a fork.” (Mass. Hist. Coll., XXIX.
255.) Silver forks scarcely appeared
in Boston till after the war of 1812,
except on the tables of two or three
gentlemen who had been in the diplo-
matic service of the country.
As to the personal effects of the
Plymouth people, we have plenty of
information in palpable shape, could
we only be sure of its authenticity.
But the articles of household gear
purporting to have come over in the
Mayflower alone are so numerous, that
one doubts whether they would not
have filled the moderate capacity of
that highly-fated vessel, - cabin, hold,
steerage, forecastle, and deck, - with-
out leaving the sparest accommoda-
tion for any of those venerable forms
that have made her winter voyage so
famous.
* “1; Linnen fustian dimittees we
are making already. 2; sheep are
coming on for woollen cloth. 3; in
mean time, we may be supplied by
way of trade to other parts. 4; cor-
devant, deer, seal, and moose skins
- - - - - are there to be had plentifully,
which will help this way, especially for
servants' clothing.” (New-England's
First Fruits, 24.)
* See Vol. I. 552. — Ward, the au-
thor of the Body of Liberties, attacks
the female foppery which met his eye,
in his characteristic manner: “It is
known more then enough, that I am
neither nigard, nor cinick, to the due
bravery of the true Gentry: . . . . .
I honour the woman that can honour
herselfe with her attire : a good Text
alwayes deserves a fair margent: I am
not much offended if I see a trimme,
far trimmer than she that wears it: in
a word, whatever Christianity or Civil-
ity will allow, I can afford with London
measure: but when I heare a nugiper-
ous Gentledame inquire what dresse
the Queen is in this week: what the
nudiustertian fashion of the court; I
meane the very newest: with egge to
be in it in all haste, whatever it be ;
I look at her as the very gizzard of a
trifle, the product of a quarter of a
cipher, the epitome of nothing, fitter
to be kickt, if shee were of a kickable
substance, than either honour'd or hu-
mour'd. To speak moderately, I truly
confesse, it is beyond the ken of my
understanding to conceive how those
women should have any true grace, or
valuable vertue, that have so little wit
as to disfigure themselves with such

exotick garbes, as not only dismantles
their native lovely lustre, but trans-
clouts them into gant bar-geese, ill-
shapen-shotten-shell-fish, Egyptian Hy-
eroglyphicks, or at the best into French
flurts of the pastery, which a proper
English woman should scorne with her
heels : it is no marvell they weare
drailes on the hinder part of their
heads, having nothing as it seems in
the fore part, but a few Squirrils
brains to help them frisk from one ill-
favored fashion to another.” (Simple
Cobler of Aggawam, 26, 27.) There
is much more to the same purpose.
* Even the streets of humble Ply-
mouth, in 1638, witnessed the splendor
of a pedestrian in “red silk stockings.”
(Plym. Rec., I. 93.) This bravery,
however, attracted notice as something
extraordinary, and led to an investiga-
tion, in the sequel of which it appeared
that the gorgeous habiliments were
stolen in Boston.
It is interesting to get a hint respect-
ing Elder Brewster's costume. It seems
he did not affect the clerical garb. In
his inventory we read of “one blue
cloth coat,” “one violet-color cloth
coat,” and “one green waistcoat.”

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »