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No. September, 1871 - Vol.
POINT, LONG ISLAND
Point - the eastern extremity of Long Island - is a region comparatively
unknown, except to a few sportsmen, attracted thither by its very wildness,
and to such tourists as find especial charms in its seclusion, and in the
bold and picturesque scenery of its defiant promontory, upon which the
wild Atlantic incessantly beats, and sometimes with tremendous violence.
We had been informed that these tourists had a "hard road to travel," leading,
after all, only to a -"wild, desolate country, infested by mosquitoes and
THE MONTAUK LIGHT
Nevertheless I was glad to escape from the monotony of every-day routine.
and, with two congenial friends, venture forth upon this tour, which, whatever
might be the difficulties attending it, was certainly unhackneyed. No sedulous
Murray or Fetridge had preceded us. Even Harpers Magazine - that
universal cyclopedia of' travel, discovery, and adventure, which had explored
the most secret recesses of Africa, the arctic mysteries, the isles of
the Pacific, and the wilderness beyond the "high Rockies"--had, by a sort
of telescopic instinct, overlooked this brave little headland right under
its nose. Neither pen nor pencil had taken oft' the edge of the novelty
and romance of our terra incognita.
chose a beautiful October afternoon of last autumn for the commencement
of our excursion. We took the boat for Sag Harbor. The last bell expressed
our glad adieus to the dusty metropolis, the gang-plank was taken aboard,
and our pretty little steamer - the Eastern City was soon out in
the stream, heading eastward. Rounding Corlaer's Hook, we passed the Brooklyn
Navy-yard on our right, with its ship--houses and spacious workshops; the
quaint hull of the old line-of-battle ship Vermont, standing out
in marked contrast with the more graceful models of our modern ships of
war and Ericsson's "cheese-box" monitors. What manifestations of life and
incessant activity throng the river, which is swarming with caft of every
description--stately three-masted schooners, sloops, fishing--smacks, and
ferryboats, and, darting hither anti thither, the lively little tugs, always
in haste, and seemingly out of breath! Here we are passing the old Novelty
Works on our left, now almost silent and lifeless, where, years ago, the
machinery of the pioneer ocean steamers--the Washington, and the
ships--was manufactured. In those days both shores of this East River were
lined with ship-yards in full operation. We pass Blackwell's and Randall's
islands--devoted to the noble charities of New York city--and through Hell
Gate, soon, we hope, to be deprived of its ancient terrors, as the government
engineers are silently boring their way into and under the solid rock,
expecting by one blast to destroy this perilous reef. With Ravenswood and
Astoria on our right, we thread our way by and around the lovely wooded
points out into Flushing Bay. Then past Riker's Island and beautiful Whitestone,
with its charming bay--the place of rendezvous of the New York Yacht Fleet--and
directly we are abreast of Fort Schuyler, frowning with heavy guns from
its battlements. Past the fort, out into Long Island Sound. On the left,
and westward, lies City Island, famed for its oysters.
THE RIVER SWARMING WITH CRAFT
THE GOLDEN SEA
All this time we have been passing through a fleet of eastward-bound vessels,
that, sped by a fair tide and favorable wind, reaches to the dim horizon.
Looking backward to the setting sun, what a flood of beauty fills our view,
vividly bringing to our mind those radiant verses of Samuel Longfellow:
golden sea its mirror spreads
Beneath the golden skies,
but a narrow strip between
Of land and shadow lies.
cloud-like rocks, the rock-like clouds'.
Dissolved in glory float,
midway of the radiant flood,
Hangs silently the boat.
sea is but another sky,
The sky a sea as well,
which Is earth, and which the heavens,
The eye can sesrceiy tell.
when for us life's evening hour
Soft-fading shall descend,
glory, born of earth and heaven,
The earth and heavens blend.
with peace the spirit float,
With silent. rapture glow,
where earth ends and heaven begins
The soul shall scarcely know."
The sun has gone, and as the twilight deepens, the full, silver-faced moon
rises above the picturesquely wooded "Sands Point ;" and the Star in the
light-house grows in brilliancy as the darkness increases. We are loath
to leave the deck, but supper is ready, and our appetites sharpened by
the fresh air, persuade us to go below.
One hour later the pageant of the evening had dissolved, and now
the moon looks down, throwing her silvery light in gentle ripples to our
feet. The air is full of mystic softness. Our artist friend
talks of the Mediterranean, of ' ter than we had anticipated, winding
through Capri--its rocks and grottoes--of Venice, of Turner, the great
interpreter, of life in Rome; and art, with all its inspiring memories,
crowds upon us. The bachelor of our party chants in a Minor key,
cigars are ashes. "Good-night! Good-night!"
me no more: the moon may draw the sea;
The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the
With fold to fold, of mountain and of cape;
oh, too fond, when have I answered thee?
Ask me no more."
The next morning, on waking, we found the boat fast at her dock in Sag
Harbor, and the stage waiting. We concluded to go on at once and breakfast
at East Hampton, and were soon rolling out of the old town, which years
ago below enjoyed a prosperous business, owning and sending to sea forty
vessels engaged in whaling, and one hundred and thirty in the cod-fishing
and coasting trade. Our road left the town in a southeastward direction,
and proved much better than we had anticipated, winding through a young
growth of dwarf oak and pine, and with only one house for five miles of
the way, As we approached East Hampton the woods gave place to clearings
and cultivated fields. Presently, at a turn in the road, we caught a glimpse
of the old church spire above the roofs and foliage; and passing through
a beautiful lane, that reminded us of some of Birket Foster's bits of English
landscape, we entered the main street, which is twiee the width of Broadway,
carpeted with emerald-green turf, with wagon ruts running through the centre.
Weather-beaten houses stood close to the foot-paths, embowered in foliage;
and here and there we saw large flocks of geese stretching in undulating
lines across the road. Passing the first church, shingle-covered, rotten
and crumbling with the wear of one hundred and fifty-three years, its bent
and rusty vane creaking in the wind, just across the street stands "Clinton
Academy," once holding high rank among the educational institutions of
the State and here, in close proximity, is the birth-place of J. Howard
Payne, anthor of "Home, Sweet Home." In the distance we catch a view of
the great arms of a windmill moving slowly, "Its delicate white vans against
the sky, So soft and soundless, simply beautiful."
Our driver put us down in front of the hospitable house of Mr. --, one
and a half hours from Sag Harbor; and here, while breakfast is being prepared,
let us take a backward glance at East Hampton, and ascertain what manner
of men settled this quaint, drowsy old village, gray and moss-covered with
age, and telling of pre-Revolntionarv times.
learn that at the time the great struggle between king and Commons was
beginning in England--during the time of John Hampden and Milton--a
hand of Puritan neighbors, mostly farnmers. Ieft their comfortable homes
in Maidstone, Kent, on the river Medway, thirty miles from London. They
first landed at Salem, Massachusetts, and a short time afterward found
their way to the easterly end of Long Island, and founded the town of East
Hampton in the year 1649, purchasing the lands from the Indians as far
east as Montauk for the sum of £30 4s. 8d. sterling. It was then
an unbroken wilderness, and the Indians were numerous on every side. On
the east, at "Montaukett," the royal Wyandanck swayed the sceptre; on the
north, at Shelter Island, his brother, Poggotacut, ruled the tribe of "Manhassetts
;" and a third brother ruled over the "Shinecocks." And here, in the dark
and gloomy forest, in silence unbroken save by the Indian war-whoop, the
cry of the wild beasts, or the solemn roar of the ocean, they made their
earthly home, and laid the foundations of a government insuring to all
the people the largest civil and religious liberty.
THROUGH A BEAUTIFUL LANE
J. HOWARD PAYNE
WIMDMILL ON THE ROAD TO AMAGANSETT
hundred and twenty-five years later the sons of this good old stock voted,
Jttne 17, 1774, to "co-operate with our brethren in this colony to defend
our liberties." During the Revolutionary war the town suffered many heavy
blows; but through the long seven years of hardship and struggle it is
not known that any Tory ever made his home on its sacred soil. "The intelligence
and morals of her people and the genius of her sons have been among the
brightest ornaments of the Empire State."
the storm they sang;
And the stars heard and the sea:
the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free.
ocean eagle soared
From his nest by the white wave's foam,
the rocking pines of the forest roared:
This was their welcome home."
and painted it in oils,
with a border all around it, and bunches of roses and other flowers over
the centre. She sent to New York for her colors, and ground and mixed them
herself. The carpet was nailed down on the garret floor, and she used to
go up there and paint. She took some common wooden chairs and painted them,
and cut out figures of gilt paper, and glued them on and varnished them,
They were really quite Pretty."
OLD CHURCH AT EAST HAMPTON
The "old church" represented in the vignette was built in 1717. The bell
and clock are over a century and a quarter old. Its first pastor received
for his support "forty-five pounds annually, lands rate free, grain to
be first ground at the mill every Monday, and one-fourth of the whales
stranded on the beach." On the death of Dr. Buel, the third pastor, in
the year 1799, Rev. Lyman Beecher was settled over the church. Referring
to Dr. Beecher's autobiography, we do not find that he makes any positive
statement as to the addition made to his income through the misfortunes.
of "stranded whales;" but we do learn, however, that ''as late as about
1700 it is said that a woman named Abigail Baker, in riding from East Hampton
to Bridgeharnpton, saw thirteen whales along the shore between the
two places." Dr. Beecber married immediately after his settlement, and
the following narrative, communicated to his children, allows the difficulties
which he and his wife encountered in setting up housekeeping. "There was
not a store in town, and all our purchases were made in New York by a small
schooner that ran once a week. We had no carpets; there was not a carpet
from end to end of the town. All had sanded floors, some of them worn through.
Your mother introduced the first carpet. Uncle Lot gave me some money,
and I had an itch to spend it. Went to a vendue, and bought a bale of cotton.
She spun it, and had it woven; then she laid it down, sized it,
H. B. Stowe. "That carpet is one of the first things I remember, with its
CHARLES. "It lasted till my day, and covered the east room in our Litchfield
H. B. STOWE. ''Well, father, what did East Hampton folks say to that ?"
"Oh. they thought it fine. Old Deacon Tallmadge came to see me. He stopped
at the parlor door, and seemed afraid to come in. "Walk in, deacon, walk
in,' said I. Why, I can't,' said he, "thout steppin' on't.' Then, after
surveying it a while in admiration, 'D'ye think you can have all that,
and heaven too?"
MAP OF THE LONG ISLAND COAST FROM
SAG HARBOR TO MONTAUK POINT