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man from the then commander-in-chief of the ary question. Thus matters stood when a change United States forces and other prominent actors took place in the State Executive. in that memorable drama.
Governor Fairfield and his agent, M'Intire,
favored “coercion." It was in the month of THE AROOSTOOK WAR.
February, 1839, and the Legislature was in segIt was a wise policy that referred the settle- sion, when a messenger arrived, post haste, with ment of the boundary dispute to the arbitration the startling intelligence that the trespassers of the King of the Netherlands; for who could had returned in full force! Then, in secret decide more impartially in a matter where rivers session, war was declared against New Brunsand hills were in question than the sovereign wick and the whole Blue Nose race. An armed of a country in which no rivers ran, and whose posse of citizens was raised in Bangor, 300 loftiest hills were the dykes that resisted the en- strong, and marched immediately to the seat of croachments of the sea ? The referee did what war. Before this formidable force the trespassothers have done in like quandary—“split the ers retired, retreating down the St. John River. difference"--which decision, as in all similar Just here the tragedy commences. When the cases, of course pleased neither party. So the shades of night had overtaken the posse in their Blue Noses continued to cut timber, and the pursuit of the fugitives, and all was hushed in the Yankees to claim jurisdiction, over the disputed camp, certain of the officers went to pay a friendly territory. On some occasions our agents were visit to the house of one Fitz Herbert, who lived seized and imprisoned, which served to aggra- just on the line, a half mile distant. But alas! vate existing troubles, until in the fall of 1838 the folly of trusting those who live upon the line! the completion of the Aroostook road to the They are as uncertain as politicians “upon the river of that name, over which the British fence.” Now it may be that Fitz Herbert was claimed jurisdiction, brought matters to a crisis. not a traitor to those who trusted him. Per
Meanwhile the Government had constructed haps he was only a bit of a wag, or, perchance, the military road to Houlton, and established a being a neutral, he wished to keep the conflict small garrison there. In November, Hamlin, from his own territory. Howbeit it came to the land agent, acting under Governor Kent, pass that, while he entertained his guests with walked into a camp of about a dozen of the tres- good cheer, he sent into the Province secretly passers with writs and a deputy-sheriff. The and informed of the presence of the Yankees at rough backwoodsmen demanded to know “his his house; the result of which was that they business.” He was “authorized by the Gov- were captured by the enemy and hurried down ernor of Maine to arrest all trespassers by civil the river to Frederickton. Then went Fitz Herprocess.” The absurdity of this proposition was bert in breathless haste to the Federal camp. very apparent to the Blue Noses. They accord- “Up, men, away! run for your lives, or all ingly badgered the agent, laughed in his face, is lost! The British are coming! They have and, with common forest civility, told him to go captured your officers, and carried them off! to the most uncomfortable of places. Flamlin The woods are swarming with Blue Noses and " didn't see it in that light."
Indians!” “Well, what will you do about it, supposing Then indeed there was “mounting in hot we won't budge?”
haste," a hurried striking of tents, and a rapid "Then I shall be compelled to get a military retreat up the banks of the Aroostook. An acforce."
cidental discharge of a gun quickened their speed, But the Blue Noses stood their ground, and and the ringing report of ice cracking in the the agent caused writs to be served on them in sharp frosty air added wings to their flight, and due form. At this stage of affairs the matter they paused not in their career until a distance was finally compromised, and the lumber poach- of sixty miles was left between them and the ers retired. The sheriff left a guard at the imaginary enemy. place, threatening to arrest them if they re- Now the storm of war burst upon the good turned.
people of Maine in all its fury. Such hostile Thus far there was nothing very alarming in demonstrations on the part of the enemy, and the cloud that threatened. The Governor and the total rout of the Posse, demanded the inhis agent were pursuing a conciliatory policy stant calling out of the militia of the State. which promised a suspension of all hostilities From the head-quarters at Augusta four regiuntil such time as a perfect understanding could ments were forthwith ordered; and on the 20th be had between the two Governments. The of February, in just four days after the order subject was also before Congress, and the Maine was issued, the troops assembled at the appointrepresentatives had put matters right there. ed rendezvous in Bangor, fully armed and Moreover it had been stipulated by the agents equipped. The alacrity with which they reof Her Majesty and of the United States, that sponded to the call, and the celerity with which if the New Brunswickers took timber from the so large a force was raised within an area of disputed territory, and it was discovered, it was one hundred miles, a large portion of it forest to be sold at auction by order of the Govern- and without facilities of travel, was most cred. ment and the money laid aside; or, at least, an itable to all parties. All was excitement in account of it taken, so that it might be paid Bangor, business was suspended, and weeping over to us at the final settlement of the bound friends gathered around those who had so suddenly been summoned to brave the dangers of The next day found them at the village of battle. From the stone steps of the Bangor Grand Falls. Without bestowing more than a House Major-General Hodgdon exhorted the passing notice upon the cluster of small dingy assembled militia to deeds of valor in the com- buildings that comprise the county-seat of Vicing contest. Then came the order to march. toria County, New Brunswick, and its motley One regiment went to Calais to cut off imagin- population of French, English, Scotch, Irish, Inary reinforcements for the British, others to oth- dians, and half-breeds, they sought out the inn, er points, and one, by forced marches through where they were waited upon by old Wilmot, the deep snow-drifts of the Aroostook, to Houlton the town-clerk-a clever sort of a character, but and Fort Fairfield.
saturated with “Medford” and English prejuHistory is painfully silent respecting the oper- dices—who extended to them the freedom of the ations of the three months' campaign, and of the town, and volunteered as their cicerone during achievements of the army. The discipline of the their sojourn. His assiduous attentions, howcamp is spoken of as excellent, though the use ever, discovered little of interest to the stranof a practice target representing the crowned gers, saving the fact that there seemed to be but head of Her Majesty has been justly reprehend- two private buildings in the place, viz., the ed, since it was not only disrespectful to the sex, court-house and a church. The first was a huge but served to exasperate the Blue Noses to an wooden structure, isolated, gamboged, and imunnecessary degree. There are desultory ac- posing, upon a bare hill in the centre of the counts of a certain midnight alarm, a long march town; the other a neat white edifice nestling through a blinding snow-storm, and a desperate among dark evergreens, but carefully set aside battle that was not fought only because the en- upon an almost inaccessible ledge beyond the emy did not appear. This was the only serious corporate limits, with a wild ravinc two hundred engagement of the war. How General Scott feet deep intervening. But the marvelous beauwas sent to mediate between the combatants, ty of the surrounding scenery more than comhow the army was withdrawn from the field to pensated for the ophthalmic twinge occasioned partake of a cold collation at Bangor on the 10th by the brown weather-beaten houses of the dinof May, how the difficulty was finally settled be- gy town. tween the two countries, and how Uncle Sam Let us now turn toward the little white church was obliged to foot an expense account of with its environment of trees, and the long line $250,000, have long been historical facts con- of hills behind that surge upward in dark billows nected with the “ Aroostook War."
of verdure. A new world in nature is before
Against the back-ground of foliage a dense After a run across the line to Woodstock, column of mist is ever rising, sparkling in the seven miles distant, Penman and Cliquot re- sunlight, and spanned by a rainbow arch that turned to Houlton, and then took the stage for rests on abutments of fleecy clouds. A calm Presque Isle, a charming village on the Aroos- pervades the landscape, and through the still air took River, where they read the Pioneer, the can be heard a hollow roar deep in the bowels northernmost paper printed in the United States, of the earth; and if one will suspend his breath dined upon a luscious salmon taken with a fly he can feel a tremor under his feet, as if caldrons from the river, contemplated a big Micmac In- were fiercely bubbling. At night, in their little dian, examined the model farms in the vicinity, room, the travelers heard the same dull roar, and watched the gleamings of a brilliant aurora and were lulled to sleep by the droning monoborealis ; thence to Fort Fairfield, with its de tone. Now the cause of the invisible phenomcaying block-houses and ruined barracks; and enon was about to be manifested to them in a thence, under arching trees, where luxuriant scene of wild commotion. They passed on, by raspberry bushes by the wayside reached out a winding path, through a grove of cedars and their tempting fruit to the hand of the passing spruce, the sound increasing momentarily, when traveler, on to the beautiful Falls of the Aroos- their steps were suddenly arrested by a trementook, at which they were fain to cast a fly for dous chasm which gaped beneath their feet, and, the luscious salmon that throng the dark pool looking over the dizzy verge, the great cataract below. The road for some distance skirted the of the Grand Falls of the St. John burst upon verge of a precipice, and far down in the ravine their view in all its grandeur of thunder, foam, could be heard the roar of the rushing stream, and ever-rising spray. Down a precipice of which was concealed from view by the dense seventy feet it leaped, shivering itself into mist; foliage that intervened. But presently the then raged and whirled, piling itself into huge fringe of trees terminated abruptly, and dis- drifts of foam; then dove into the unfathomable closed a huge basin yawning at their very feet, depths of an inky pool; and, struggling a while, at the bottom of which, perhaps two hundred finally burst through the surface, and foamed feet below, the Aroostook precipitated itself in away, over a succession of falls and rapids, a tumult of foam over a broken ledge of rocks. through a contracted channel, whose perpendicBoth falls and stream looked insignificant by ular walls are two hundred feet high! Niagara contrast with the vast amphitheatre that engulf is grand and sublime, overpowering the sense by ed them. A heavy growth of evergreens en- its immensity of volume; but the Grand Falls circled the edge of the Titanic bowl, defining are fearfully romantic; for the precipitous cliffs more perfectly its remarkable proportions. that confine the cataract are fringed with forest
trees, which overhang the very brink, and add a sea, and fleets from the Puritan shores of New wildness and beauty to the picture which Niag- England ? Of deceit, cruelty, rapine, and the ara does not possess. But the stand-point from slaughter of an unoffending people, whose pawhich to obtain the most impressive view is at triarchal simplicity, kindness, and virtues won the bottom of the abyss below. The descent is the love of savages—who never wronged by difficult and even perilous. Man is a small word or blow, and who even refused to take up atom down there, looking up at the blue sky arms in their own defense, preferring rather to above him through that great rift. The black, die by their faith than shed the blood of other impending rocks threaten to crush him; tall, men? Of the fall of Louisburg and the tragedy scraggy pines stretch out their long arms threat of Grand Prè, embalmed in the touching poem eningly toward him; the reverberating thunder of Evangeline? Let the wrongs of a hundred deafens him; his breathing becomes difficult; and fifty years be blotted from memory. and the seething torrent rashing by seems about Of the exiles some fifty families found their to sweep the rocky bed from beneath his feet. way to Fredericton, New Brunswick; but they The whole earth trembles. Not a bird or living did not long remain there unmolested, for in creature is to be seen. Even the fleecy clouds 1783 they were again driven out and fled up the above seem anxious to avoid the place, and scud river to their present settlement of Madawaska. quickly across the gulf. In the spring, when Here at least they were secure from the inroads freshets above swell the impetuous volume of of British fleets, for no vessel could pass the water, the fury of the torrent is even more ter- Falls. Here, in the unexplored wilderness, they rific. Pent up within the narrow gorge, and hoped to be no longer in any body's way. The unable to discharge itself through the natural days of persecution have long since passed. In passage, it is forced upward in immense surging their peaceful homes on the banks of the picbillows, subsiding and heaving with each suc- turesque St. John these simple people now purcessive flood that plunges over the Falls. sue their daily avocations as happily as before
the advent of the English ships at Gaspereau's
mouth. Now pass we to a more tranquil scene. It is Could the breath of life be breathed into eventide. The declining sun has spread his those who suffered and died, and they in the 'crimson sheen over one half the placid bosom flesh be transported hither, their faces would of the broad St. John, while the other flows un- kindle with surprise that time had wrought so der the shadow of the high impinging bluff. A few changes during their long absence—so perlight pirogue glides swiftly by, leaving a gentle fectly have their descendants retained the pecuripple astern, and a swallow is skimming the liarities of former days — their style of dress, surface, dropping crystals from his wing-tips as mode of cooking, the forms of their houses, the he flies. Just here the river sweeps with a ma- antique-looking wind-mills for threshing grain, jestic bend on its way to the cataract; and the clumsy wains, and rude cabriolets. The standing upon the grassy bank at the curve, we settlement extends along the river for sixty gaze far up its glistening channel into an open- miles, on both sides, though the larger portion ing vista of gently sloping hills and meadows, of its 6000 inhabitants are on the New Brunsthat dip smooth and velvety to the river's rim- wick side. The road runs parallel with the of cultivated farms, with their neat white cot- river, perhaps half a mile distant, but the houses tages, their orchards, and fields of ripening are for the most part riparian, with projecting grain. Over all a Sabbath serenity is diffused, roofs, and porticoes overlooking the smooth lawns and grassy knoll and leafy wood are embathed that slope to the margin, and outdoor seats, in a soft and subdued lustre. We seem to have where now, as in the olden time, gossiping been suddenly transported by some wand of en- looms are heard “mingling the noise of their chantment into another country, the smoothness shuttles with the whir of the wheels." Here of the fields, the absence of woods, the evidences the family sit at evening and receive the calls of long-tilled lands, contrast so strangely with of their neighbors who come in boats; for the the tangled forests and new clearings only a few river is the thoroughfare most used by the Acamiles back. But pause! This fertile and en-dians in their daily intercourse with each other. chanting valley was settled almost a century ago! The interval between it and the road is a conHere was heard the sound of the loom, the ring tinuous line of pastures and cultivated fields. of the axe, and the busy hum of labor, when all There are farms, too, on the other side of the around was a wilderness—when thousands of road, and an occasional farm-house; but only a square miles of primitive forest intervened be- mile or two back is the dark belt of timber that tween its people and civilization, and the only bounds the Aroostook wilderness, and beyond highway to the outer world was the smoothly are the homes of the moose, the bear, and the flowing river before their doors. We are now cariboo. about to tread the almost classic ground of Aca- "Ah! here comes a cabrowit! To the dia--land of a hundred romances. Before us left, Cliquot, you remember. What a clumsyare the golden portals of the Madawaska! looking two-wheeled craft it is, like the old
Shall we repeat the oft-told story of the suf- chaise our great-grandmothers knew! Now ferings of the early Acadians? Of the invasion tip your felt as gracefully as you can. Salute! of their peaceful homes by fleets from over the l it is the custom here. Jove! did you see those faces ? those dark lustrous eyes ? that olive tint out. Then presently came a little voice, low and carmine blush, like the velvet cheek of the and musical : ripest peach? Those are Acadian Evangelines, “Messieurs, your supper is ready.” true to tradition. We shall see others soon. Penman and Cliquot drew their chairs to the Here come two cavaliers, in full panoply of table, and with eager eyes and sharp appetite homespun blue and straw-hats as large as a surveyed the board. Penman plunged his spoon Mexican sombrero. Did ever Gaucho sit more into a dish of unctuous compound, and presently lightly in the saddle? Is it possible that we filled his mouth. He gasped, choked, and simare in Maine? in Puritan New England ? ply said, Those are not Yankee faces. Here they are at “A glass of water, if you please, my dear." hand."
Then he tried a dish of what seemed to be “Bon soir, messieurs. Quelle distance a chez minced eggs afloat in pork fat. A taste exde Jean Paraut? Je souhait y rester à." plained the odor of garlic that prevailed. Next
“Goodness, Penman! do you call that he spread a slice of buckwheat bread — sour, French? You wouldn't murder the tongue black, and gangrened, and of the consistency before their eyes !"
of lead. Then he transferred a couple of grid“Pshaw! That's better French than half dled cakes to his plate, which having tasted of them speak. It's only a patois they parley-cautiously, he dosed with maple molasses, and voo; though they can speak their native tongue washed down with a decoction of barley, nickwith Parisian elegance, as you will see by-and-named coffee, and said, by. But yonder is Jean's, just rising the knoll. " Another glass of water, if you please." Get on, pony!"
Then he rested knife and fork, and gazed afThe neatly white-washed house to whose door fectionately after the retreating figure of his they drove promised substantial comforts for lithe-limbed attendant, and thus apostrophized : tired and hungry travelers; and confident of a “Can it be possible that barley, buckwheat hearty welcome, they mounted the steps and bread, and garlic enter into the organism of knocked. Presently the door was opened by an that sylph-like creature-into the jet of her lusimpassive little Frenchman with a melancholy trous eyes, the peach-blow of her cheeks, and face and dark-blue homespun trowsers, who re- the Æolian of her musical voice? Or is she an ceived them with a quiet recognition, and, with exception to the law that assimilates body and a step as cat-like as an undertaker's at a funer- mind with that which sustains them? Is it on al, ushered them into the presence of a pensive- such diet that all the Acadian beauties of past looking Madame in plaited hair and blae woolen generations have fed ?” petticoat, and a group of reserved and thoughtful But Penman and Cliquot made a tolerable children in blue. Then they seated themselves supper of the fresh milk and eggs, and were upon a low wooden settle, and Cliquot com- grateful—for a meal ever so humble, with an menced a conversazione with the host and host-open heart, is better relished than a feast given ess, who presently brightened into something grudgingly, and mine host's hospitality was as like the vivacity which is said to be a national unqualified as his surprise at the injustice done trait of the Frenchman; but Penman, who un- the bounteous repast. Kind-hearted Jean Paderstood French imperfectly, contented himself raut! He pressed his guests to tarry another with a cursory examination of the spacious apart- day, promising them a thumping fandango in ment in which he found himself, while the chil the evening if they remained; but haste comdren prepared the supper. The house itself was pelled them to go on, and so the door closed built of squared logs, a single story high, and softly behind them. Simple-minded Jean Padivided into two apartments, perhaps twenty raut! May his large barns be ever filled, and feet square. From his wooden-bottomed seat, no visions of English invaders disturb his slumthen, Penman thoughtfully contemplated the bers! Get on, pony !” huge Canadian stove, six feet high, that stood Now we come to Keagan's house. That is in the partition wall, so as to warm both rooms not a French name. It has more the ring of alike, and calculated the number of cords of the “ rich brogue.' wood that would be required to feed the monster “How do you do, Mr. Keagan ?” during a six months' winter, and its cost at New “Hut! Long life to your honors ! an' how York market prices. Then he looked at the do yees do this morning? When did ye come loom and the spinning-wheel, and thought of down ?” Longfellow's Evangeline; at the antique chairs, “Yesterday. We lodged at Paraut's last and the bedsteads set into the walls like berths; night. How is Mrs. Keagan ?" at the little rudely-carved crucifixes, and the "She's well. Come in a bit till ye see the pictures of the Virgin and saints that ornament- misthress. Don't say 'No' now-come. We'll ed the room. He watched the ghost-like move- take a sup." ments of the softly-tripping enfants as they pre- “Thank you; but we must go on. When pared the supper; and anon stole glances at we return, perhaps. Do you know if Father the plump little hostess in kirtle and snow-white M‘Keaguey is at the lower chapel ?” cap. While he waited and watched a strong “I believe he is, then ; I'm not sure, but I savor of garlic pervaded the room, and there think he is.” was a hissing and sputtering of melted fat with- “Mr. Keagan, what do you call yourself—an
Irishman, a Frenchman, or a Yankee? for you event. Terpsichore is queen in Madawaska, live in the States, you know."
and governs almost every action in everyday “Bother me but 'twould be hard to tell. life. Miserable indeed would these happy AcaFaith, then, I'm an American - Irish - French- dians be without the everlasting fandango and
accompanying fiddle. Every birth, every mar" Or an Irish-French-Yankee ?”
riage, the raising of a building, with its each “No, Sir! The Yankee first-I puts the subsequent stage of progress, the ingathering of Yankee first. Shure, doesn't I vote? An' ye the crops, and every maple-sugar bee, are sevwon't come in? Well, then, good luck to yees ! erally and duly celebrated by a fandango, at Good-by!"
which both old and young are present in full Father M‘Keaguey was a priest of fine edu- participation. Ah! these boatmen of the St. cation and refinement. He received his visitors John are inveterate skippers ! most cordially, pipe in mouth, and invited them We will attend the fandango this evening, to his pretty Norman cottage, where he offered since an invitation is a courtesy always extendthem pipes and wine of choicest vintage. Then ed to strangers. they sat by the windows that overlooked the There is a fog to-night, but it will not affect beautiful St. John, and conversed long and free- the festivities. Had Penman and his friend ly upon matters temporal and spiritual. It was been unattended sense of hearing would alone a rare treat for him to meet with gentlemen of have guided them to the place selected; for intelligence and education.
long before they reached the spot the twang of “Father," said Penman, as he surveyed the the fiddle and the regular beat of shufling feet, charming landscape, "you have a delightful as if a score of looms were set to music, came place to live in here."
borne to their ears upon the still night air. “A delightful place to die in!” he responded, Gradually the sounds increased, and soon two with a tone of dejection.
nebulous shafts of light streamed out into the Though self-exiled to missionary labor among mist, athwart which dusky shadows seemed peran ignorant and perhaps uncongenial people, he petually flitting. Presently the sense of smell seemed to yearn for the more refined society of aided to guide their steps to the portal-rank his own country. And he did die there. The fumes of mingled exhalations wafted from withnext summer he passed to his eternal rest, la- in. These meteorological phenomena and a mented by his little flock.
hasty survey of the interior suggested a retreat; “ By-the-way, we are to have a wedding here but their little chaperon led them on, and by to-day," he said. “Will you attend? I per- dint of persuasion, elbows, and appeals, an enceive the people are already assembıling." try was effected, and the already compact mass
The visitors assented, and passing out upon of human bodies compressed to the extent rethe lawn before the chapel they discovered little quired to admit the cubic inches of the newgroups of peasants in blue homespun gathered comers. Presently the catgut ceased to scrape, near, all moving about in their quiet way, or the dancing stopped, and the stalwart maître de sitting upon the grass conversing in undertones ; danse immediately plowed his way to the disand their faces, though cheerful, were very much tinguished guests, and, with native politeness, like the thoughtful, serious faces at Jean Pa- proceeded to oust the occupants of seats to make raut's. Presently the chapel-bell rang, and they room for them. entered quietly. The building was of wood, "Be seated, gentlemen. I beg you don't with a spire surmounted by a curiously ornate stand." iron cross, and not unlike some old-fashioned The momentary confusion over, the dance is New England meeting-house. The interior resumed. Through the blue cloud of tobacco lacked expensive decoration, coarse engravings smoke are discerned dusky figures in variegated in huge black frames supplying the place of cus- shirts and trowsers and parti-colored petticoats, tomary oil-paintings; and the altar was very sitting, closely packed, upon long benches and plain. The most unusual feature was an im- upon the floor, and standing along the walls ; mense iron stove, perched in mid-air over the while through the crevices in the loft above, and middle aisle, upon pillars seven feet high, this through the ladder-hole, curious eyes are peerposition being necessary to secure even moder- ing. Upon an elevated seat in one corner a ate warmth during the bitter cold of the winter lady, with comely features and coronet of glossy season.
braided hair, is drawing music from a clearNow enter Claude and Marie, hand in hand, toned violin, and betimes accompanying it with clad in the universal blue-Marie in kirtle and a warbling voice hardly distinguishable from its petticoat, guileless of hoops—and take their po- counterpart. Not a smile or a word does she sition before the altar, kneeling for prayer and deign to bestow upon the serious-looking circle throughout the service, and receiving meekly around, but addresses herself diligently to the the final admonition of the priest. At the con- duty she is selected to perform. With difficlusion the wedded pair were saluted by the fa- culty the crowd is pressed back to permit space ther and all who were assembled. It was a sim- for the dancers—a space not more than six feet ple ceremony. The twain were made one, and in diameter. Now comes a tall man leading a then retired with their friends to prepare for the little rosy-cheeked maiden (the newly-wedded celebration that always follows so important an (pair) and takes his place on the floor; next