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WHIG AGAINST TORY:
MILITARY ADVENTURES OF A SHOEMAKER.
A TALE OF THE REVOLUTION.
CHAP. I. Gen P. tells about the early life of Enoch Crosby.
CHAP. II. Gen. P. tells about the war, and how Crosby enlisted as a
soldier for one campaign.
CHAP. III. Gen. P. tells how Crosby again enlisted as a soldier, and
of his singular adventures.
CHAP. IV. Gen. P. tells how Crosby enlisted in the service of the
Committee of Safety, and how he was taken prisoner.
CHAP. V. Gen. P. tells about how Crosby's visit to a mountain cave--
how he was again taken prisoner--and the manner in which he escaped.
CHAP. VII. Gen. P. tells about the farther adventures of Crosby--how
he was obliged to show his secret pass--how he resided at a
Dutchman's--how afterwards he was cruelly beaten and wounded.--
"Will you tell me a story this evening, father?" asked William P., a
fine lad of twelve years of age, the son of General P., who had been a
gallant officer in the revolutionary war.
"And what story shall I tell you, my son?" said the general.
"Something about the war, father."
"You are always for hearing about the war, William," said General P.
"I have told you almost all the stories I recollect. And besides,
William, if you love to hear about war so well, when you are young,
you will wish to be a soldier, when you become a man."
"And would you not wish to have me a soldier, father, if war should
come?--you was once a soldier, and I have heard people say, that you
was very brave, and fought like a hero!"
"Well, well, William," said the general, "I must tell you one story
more. Where are Henry and John? You may call them--they will like to
hear the story too."
(_Enter William, Henry and John_.)
_Henry_. "Father! William says you are going to tell us a story about
the war! what----"
_John_. "Shall you tell us about some battle, where you fought?"
_Gen. P_. "Sit down, my children, sit down. Did I ever tell you about
_William_. "_Enoch Crosby_? why, I never heard of such a man."
_Henry_. "Nor did I."
_Gen. P_. "I suppose not; but he was a brave man, and did that for his
country, which is worthy to be told."
_John_. "Was he a general, father?"
_Gen. P_. "No; he was a _spy_."
_William_. "A spy! a spy! father, I thought a spy was an odious
_Gen. P_. "Well, a real spy is generally so considered. I think it
would be more appropriate to say, that he was an _informer_. During
the war, many Americans were employed to obtain information about the
enemy. They were often soldiers, and received pay, as did the
soldiers, and sometimes obtained information, which was very
important, especially about the _tories_, or such Americans as
favoured the British cause."
_Henry_. "Is that the meaning of the word tory?"
_Gen. P_. "Yes; tories were Americans, who wished that the British
aims might succeed, and the king of England might still be king of the
colonies. Those who wished differently, and who fought against the
British, were called _whigs_."
_John_. "Was Crosby a whig?"
_Gen. P_. "Yes; no man could be more devoted to the liberty of his
_William_. "Whence were the names whig and tory derived?"
_Gen. P_. "Do you wish to know the _original meaning_ of the words, my
_William_. "Yes, sir."
_Gen. P_. "The word _tory_, the learned Webster says, was derived from
the Irish, in which language it signifies a _robber. Tor_, in that
language, means a _bush_; and hence _tory_, a robber, or bushman;
because robbers often secrete themselves in the bushes. The meaning of
the word _whig_, I am unable to tell you. Its origin is uncertain. It
was applied, as I told you, to those who fought for the liberty of
_William_. "If the word tory means a robber, it was very properly
applied to those, who wished to _rob_ the people of America of their
rights--don't you think so, father?"
_Gen. P_. "Exactly so, William--a very just remark."
_John_. "Father! I thought you was going to tell about Enoch Crosby?--"
_Gen. P_. "True, master John, we will begin."
GEN. P. TELLS ABOUT THE EARLY LIFE OF ENOCH CROSBY.
_Gen. P_. "Enoch Crosby was born in Massachusetts, in 1750. When he
was only three years old, his father took him, and the rest of his
family, into the state of New-York to live. He was a farmer, and had
bought a farm in Southeast, a town which borders on the state of
"Southeast is a wild, rough, and romantic place. Its hills are high
and steep. Several cataracts tumble over precipices, and fall upon the
ear with deafening noise. Two rivers, called the Croton and the Mill
river, wind through the place. Several large ponds enrich the scenery.
"In this rude, but yet delightful country, Enoch Crosby lived, till he
was sixteen years old. He was a strong and active boy. He could climb
the highest hills without fatigue, and walk on the brink of frightful
precipices without fear. His playmates admired him for his courage. He
always took the lead because they wished it--they loved him, because
he was generous and noble.
"When Enoch was, sixteen years of age, misfortune came upon his
father. The family had lived comfortably. They were prosperous
farmers--but _now_, a blast came--I know not the cause--but it came,
and they were poor.
"Enoch's father decided that his son must learn a trade. It was no
hardship for him to work--this he had been accustomed to. In those
times, people laboured harder than now-a-days. Industry was a virtue--
idleness a shame. And it was hard labour, and solid fare, that made
the men of those times so much stronger, than those of the present
"Enoch loved labour, and was willing to learn a trade. But it was hard
parting with friends, when the day arrived, that he was to go from
home. It was settled that he should be a _shoemaker_, and should learn
the trade of a man in a neighbouring town.
"The morning, at length, came, when he was to go. His bundle of
clothes was nicely put up by his mother; and his father added a few
shillings to his pocket--and then came the blessing of his worthy
parents, with their good advice, that he should behave well, and
attend to the duties of his place.
"And, said his tender mother--a tear starting from her eye, which she
wiped away with the corner of her lindsey-woolsey, while she spake--
'your _Bible_, Enoch, you will find in your bundle--don't forget
_that_--and you must pray for us--my son--'
"She could say no more--and Enoch could hear no more. Without even
bidding them 'farewell'--for his heart was too full for that--he
shouldered his little pack, and took his way down the lane, which led
to the road he was to take.
"At a few rods distance, he stopped to take one more look of the old
place, so dear to him. His mother was standing at the window. She had
felt the full tenderness of a mother for him before--but his love of
home--his pause--his gaze--his tears--now almost overwhelmed her.
"Enoch caught a glimpse of his mother, and saw her agony. He could
trust himself no longer--and summoning his energies, hurried over the
hills, which soon hid the scenes of his youth from his view.
"In after years--many years after--even when he became an old man, he
would speak of this scene, with deep feeling. He could never forget
it. He said he felt for a time alone in the world--cut off from all he
held dear. I do not wonder," said Gen. P. "that he felt much, for well
do _I_ remember the pain I felt, _the first time leaving home_."
GEN. P. TELLS ABOUT THE WAR, AND HOW ENOCH CROSBY ENLISTED AS A
SOLDIER FOR ONE CAMPAIGN.
_Gen. P_. "Before night, Enoch reached his new home. His countenance
had somewhat brightened; yet his heart felt sad, for some days.
"On the following morning, his master introduced him into the shop. He
had a seat assigned him provided with awls, thread, wax, and the more
solid, but equally needful companion, a _lapstone_.
"Enoch proved a good apprentice. At first, the confinement was
irksome. He had been used to the open air--to the active exercise of
the field--to the free, healthful breeze of the mountain. It was
tiresome to sit all day, in a confined shop. But he made himself
contented, and, in a little time, found his employment quite
_John_. "Didn't he want to see his mother?"
_Gen. P_. "Doubtless he did. He would not be likely to forget her; and
I hope he did not neglect her good advice. And, when permission was
given him, he went home to visit his friends, and always with delight.
"In 1771, the apprenticeship of Enoch ended. He was now twenty-one
years old--a man grown--industrious--honest--and ready to begin
business for himself.
"Old Mr. Crosby was a strong whig--a man of reading and information--
one who took a deep interest in the welfare of his country.
"About the time that Enoch first left home to learn his trade, the
troubles of America began with England. The king and his ministers
became jealous of the Americans. They thought them growing too fast--
'They will soon,' said they, 'become proud, and wish to be free and
independent--we must tax them--we must take away their money. This
will keep them poor and humble.'
"Those things used often to be talked over, at old Mr. Crosby's. The
neighbours would sometimes happen in there of a winter's evening to
spend an hour, or two--the minister--the schoolmaster--and others--and
although Southeast was a retired place, the conduct of the 'mother
country,' as England was called, was pretty well understood there, and
"Old Mr. Crosby, especially, condemned the conduct of England. He
said, for one, he did not wish to be trampled on. 'They have no right
to tax us,' said he,--'it is unjust--it is cruel--and, for myself, I
am ready to say, I will not submit to it. And, mark my word, the time
will come, when the people will defend themselves, and when that time
comes, I hope,' said he--looking round upon his sons, especially upon
Enoch--'I hope my boys will not shame their father--no, not they.'
"Enoch thought much of his father. He was a grave man--one who sat
steady in his chair when he talked--and talked so slowly, and so
emphatic, as always to be heard. Enoch, though a boy, listened--he was
_then_ interested--and as he grew older and was at home occasionally,
on a visit, and these subjects were discussed--he took a still deeper
interest, and would sometimes even mingle in the animated talk, round
the fire side of his father.
"And, then, there were times, too, when he was seated on his bench,
thinking over what he had heard; or sat listening to some customer of
his master, who happened in, on a rainy day--and who had seen the last
paper which gave an account of some new attempt to oppress the
colonies--at such times, he would almost wish himself a soldier, and
in the field fighting for his country. And then the hammer, it was
observed, would come down upon his lapstone with double force, as if
he were splitting the head of one of the enemy open, or his awl would
go through the leather, as if he were plunging a bayonet into the belt
of a soldier."
"Such were the workings of Enoch Crosby's mind--the work of
preparation was going on there--the steam was gradually rising--and
though he realized it not--he was fitting to become a zealous and
active soldier, in his country's service.
"On the 5th of March, 1770, nearly a year before Enoch's time was out,
the 'Boston Massacre' happened."
_Henry_. "The 'Boston Massacre!' father--pray, what was that?"
_Gen. P_. "William! you know the story, I trust--can you tell it to
_William_. "I have read about it; but I don't know well how to tell
it. Will you tell it, father?"
_Gen. P_. "Tell it as well as you are able, my son. It is by practice
that we learn to do things well."
_William_. "One evening some British soldiers were near a ropewalk in
Boston. A man, who worked in the ropewalk, said something to them
which they did not like, and they beat him.
"Three days after, on the 5th of March, while the soldiers were under
arms, some of them were insulted by the citizens, and one, it is said,
was struck. This soldier was so angry, that he fired. Then, six others
fired. Three citizens were killed, and five were wounded.
"All Boston was soon roused. The bells were rung. Many thousand people
assembled, and they said that they would tear the soldiers to pieces,
and I don't know but that they would have done so, if Gov. Hutchinson
had not come out, and told the people, that he would inquire into the
matter, and have the guilty punished. This pacified them."
_Gen. P_. "Well done--quite well done, master William. You now know,
Henry, what is meant by the 'Boston Massacre.'"
_Henry_. "It was a bloody affair, I think."
_Gen. P_. "Bloody indeed!--inhuman and highly provoking. The news of
it spread--spread rapidly, in every direction. The country was filled
with alarm. War was seen to be almost certain; such an insult--such a
crime could not be forgotten. Even at Phillipstown, where Crosby was
at his trade, the story was told. It roused _his_ spirit. He thought
of what his father had said. And he was even now desirous to enlist as
a soldier, to avenge the slaughtered Americans.
"The next year--in January, I think it was--Enoch's time being out, he
left his master, and went to live at Danbury, Connecticut, where he
worked at his trade, as a journeyman, and here he continued for
"During this time, the difficulties between England and America
increased. The king and his ministers grew more haughty and
oppressive. The Americans waxed more firm and confident. Several
events tended to make the breach wider and wider. The British
parliament taxed the Americans--next the people of Boston threw into
the sea a large quantity of tea, belonging to people in England,
because a tax was laid upon it. Then, by way of revenge for this, the
parliament ordered that no vessel should enter Boston harbour, or
leave it. And, finally, the king sent a large body of English soldiers
to America, to watch the people here, and force them to submission.
"Things now became quite unsettled. The Americans felt injured--they
were provoked--nothing was before them but war or slavery. This latter
they could not bear. They scorned to be slaves. Besides, they saw no
reason why they should be slaves. They knew war was a great evil. But
it was better than slavery. And now they began to talk about it; and
to act in view of it. In almost every town--especially in New
England--the young men were enrolled; that is, were formed into
companies, and were daily exercised, in order to make them good
soldiers. These were called '_minute men_'."
_Henry_. "Why were they called '_minute men_,' father?"
_Gen. P_. "Because they stood ready to march at a _minutes_ warning,
should occasion require."
_John_. "Was Enoch Crosby a minute man?"
_Gen. P_. "No; he was not; but he stood ready to enlist, at any time
when his services were needed.
"We will now pass on to the year 1775. In April of that year occurred
the famous battle of Lexington. A party of British troops had been
sent from Boston, to destroy some military stores, belonging to the
Americans, at Concord, north of Boston. On their way thither, they
came to Lexington; and here they fired upon a small company of
Americans, and killed several.
"It was a cruel act--worthy only of savages. But it roused the
Americans in that part of the country; and they immediately sent
expresses--that is, men on horseback--to carry the tidings abroad.
"One of these expresses was directed to take his course for Danbury,
and to speed his flight. On his arrival, he told the story.
"It produced alarm--and well it might; but it also produced
resolution. The bells were rung--cannon were fired--drums beat to
arms. Within a few hours, many people had assembled--the young and the
old--all eager to do something for their country. One hundred and
fifty young men came forward, and entered their names as soldiers--
chose a captain Benedict to lead them--and begged that they might go
forth to the war. Enoch Crosby was _the first man_ that entered his
name on this occasion.
"Not long after, the regiment to which Crosby belonged marched to the
city of New-York. Here they were joined by other companies, and sailed
up Hudson's river to assist in taking Canada from the British.
"A short time before this, Ticonderoga, a fortress on lake Champlain,
had been surprised by Col. Ethan Allen and his troops, and to them it
had surrendered. This was an important post. Great rejoicings took
place among the Americans, when it was known that this fort had fallen
into their hands.
"The troop to which Crosby was attached, passed this fort, and
proceeded to St. Johns, a British fort 115 miles north of Ticonderoga.
"This fort it was determined to attack. The troops were therefore
landed, and preparations were made. Their number was one thousand--all
"Being formed in order of battle, the intrepid officers led them to
the attack. As they advanced, the guns of the fort poured in upon them
a tremendous fire. This they met manfully, and, though some fell, the
others seemed the more determined. But, just as they were beginning
the attack in good earnest, a concealed body of Indians rose upon
them, and the appalling war whoop broke upon their ears."
"This savage yell they had never before heard--such a sight they had
never before witnessed. For a moment, alarm spread through the ranks.
But courage--action was now necessary. Death or victory was before
them. The officers called them to rally--to stand their ground--and
they did so. They opened a well directed fire upon their savage foes,
and only a short time passed before the latter were glad to retreat.
"The savages having retired, the men were ordered to throw up a breast
work, near the place, to shelter themselves from the guns of the fort.
This was done expeditiously. Trees were felled, and drawn to the spot
by some; while others were employed in throwing up earth.
"During these labours of the Americans, the enemy continued to annoy
them, by throwing shells from the fort."
_William_. "Pray, father, what are shells? I have read of them; but I
do not know more than that they are a kind of shot."
_Gen. P_. "Shells are often called _bombs_, a word which signifies
_great noise_; because, when they burst, they make a great noise. They
consist of a large shell of cast iron, which is round and hollow. A
hole is made through the shell to receive a _fusee_, as it is called;
this is a small pipe, or hollow piece of wood, which is filled with
some combustible matter. When a bomb is about to be fired, it is
filled with powder, after which the fusee is driven into the vent, or
hole of the shell."
_William_. "How are bombs fired, father?"
_Gen. P_. "They are thrown from a kind of cannon called a _mortar_. It
has its name from its resemblance to a common mortar. The lower part
of the mortar is called the _chamber_, which contains the powder. When
fired, the powder in the chamber not only sends the bomb, but at the
same time, sets fire to the fusee, which continues to burn slowly, as
it passes through the air, and the calculation always is, to have the
fire from the fusee reach the powder in the shell, _at the moment the
latter reaches the ground_. It then bursts, and the scattering
fragments of iron often do horrible execution."
_William_. "Did you say, father, that mortars Were _short_ guns?"
_Gen. P_. "Land mortars are quite short; sea mortars, or such as are
used on board vessels, are longer and heavier, because they are
usually fired at greater distances. A land mortar, which will throw a
shell thirteen inches in diameter, weighs thirteen hundred weight; the
weight of the shell is about one hundred and seventy-five pounds; it
contains between nine and ten pounds of powder; and is fired by means
of about the same quantity of powder."
_William_. "Pray, father, who invented bombs?"
_Gen. P_. "The inventor is not known; they have been in use since the
"Some years after the above affair, Crosby himself related the manner
in which the soldiers contrived to escape unhurt. When a shell rose in
the air, every one would stop working, and watch its course, to
ascertain whether it would fall near him. If it appeared to approach
so near, as to endanger any one, he would dodge behind something, till
it had burst, or passed by."
_John_. "Father, could a soldier dodge a cannon ball?"
_Henry_. "Why, John! I should think you knew enough, not to ask so
foolish a question."
_Gen. P_. "Not so bad a question neither, master Henry; under some
circumstances, a cannon ball might he avoided."
_William_. "Not when it is first fired, father."
_Gen. P_. "True; but when it has nearly spent its force, a person
might easily get out of its way. But even when a ball only rolls along
the ground, apparently slow, it would be dangerous to attempt to stop
it: especially if large. I recollect to have read of a soldier, who
saw a ball rolling towards him, which he thought to stop with his
foot; but, poor fellow! it broke his leg in an instant.
"Some of the American soldiers at St. Johns, were too intent upon
their labour, to pay much attention to the shells. Crosby was one. All
on a sudden, a fellow-soldier near by called out in a tone of thunder,
'Crosby! look out! take care! take care!' Crosby looked up, and
directly over him, a shell was descending."
"He had but a minute to think--he dropped flat upon the ground, and
the shell just passed over him. 'A miss,' thought he, 'is as good as a
mile;' but he said, after _such a warning_, he kept one eye upon the
"The rude fortification was soon completed, and served as a shelter
till night, when the American troops silently departed. Taking to
their boats, the next day they reached the _Isle Aux Noix_?"
_William_. "Is not that a French name?"
_Gen. P_. "Yes; my son--a name given to the Island, while the French
had possession of it. Do you know where it lies?"
_William_. "It is a small island, near the northern extremity of Lake
_Gen. P_. "Right. It is pronounced _Eel-o-nwar_; and signifies the
_island of nuts_."
_John_, "Did the people find walnuts there, father?"
_Gen. P_. "Some kind of nuts doubtless, my son; but whether walnuts,
or hazel nuts, or some other kind, I am unable to say."
_Henry_. "Pray, John, don't ask so many foolish questions, I want to
hear the story."
_Gen. P_. "But you would wish your brother to know the _reason_ of
things, would you not, master Henry? It was quite a proper question,
and one it seems none of us can answer. We must examine the point some
time, and let master John know.
"The American troops had not been long a this island, before many of
them were taken sick and sent to the hospital. Crosby was of the
number. But he had no idea of confinement. In a few days, he
resolved to join the army again. To this the surgeon remonstrated. It
might be his death he said; but the valiant soldier could not be
persuaded, and again appeared at camp.
"'What!' exclaimed Capt. Benedict, when he saw him, 'have you got
back, Crosby? I never expected to see you again. You look too ill to
be here. You would make a better _scare-crow_ than soldier, I fancy,
"'Well, captain! said Crosby, 'if I'm a scare-crow, I can _frighten_
the enemy, if I cannot _fight_ them--so I shall be of some service.'"
_John_. "Well, father, did they hang up Crosby for a scare-crow?"
_Henry_. "Why, you simpleton, John, don't you know better?"
_Gen. P_. "Crosby was quite ill, but his resolution made him forget
how feeble he was. He was a scare-crow to the enemy in a different way
from that which Capt. Benedict meant. A battle soon came on, and
before night Enoch Crosby was marching into the enemy's fort to the
tune of Yankee Doodle, to assist in taking care of the prisoners."
_John_. "But, I thought he was too ill to fight."
_Gen. P_. "A soldier, at such a time, and such a soldier as Crosby,
would be likely to forget his weakness. He went bravely through the
day; and from that time rapidly regained his health.
"Success now followed the American troops, and in November, Montreal
"The time, for which Crosby had enlisted, had now expired, and he
concluded to return home. Accordingly, he embarked with several
others, in a small schooner, for Crown Point, twelve miles north of
Ticonderoga. Thence they came by land to this latter place; from which
they proceeded home ward for some distance by water, and then by land.
Their rout lay through a wilderness. It was now winter, and the cold
was intense. Provisions were scarce. Comfortable lodgings were not to
be found. Their prospects were often gloomy, and their distress
"At length, however, they reached their respective homes. After a
short stay with his friends, Crosby once more returned to Danbury, and
again betook himself to the peaceful occupation of shoemaking."
GEN. P. TELLS HOW CROSBY AGAIN ENLISTED AS A SOLDIER, AND OF HIS
_Gen. P._ "Crosby was well contented, for a time, to pursue his
occupation. He had seen hard service, in the northern campaign, and
"During the following summer, however, his patriotic feelings began
again to stir within him. The war was going on, with redoubled fury.
The British had, in several instances, gained the advantage. The
Americans needed more soldiers, and it was thought that unless the
friends of liberty came forward--promptly came, the British arms might
"It was not in such a man as Enoch Crosby, to seek ease, or shun
danger, in the hour of his country's trial. He saw others making
sacrifices--women as well as men--youth as well age--and he scorned to
have it said, that he could not make sacrifices, as well as others.
His musket was therefore taken down; and fitting on his knapsack, he
took up his march towards the head quarters of the American army on
"In a few days, he reached the _neutral ground_ and"----
_William_. "Pray, father, may I interrupt you, to inquire what was
meant by the 'neutral ground?"
_Gen. P_. "I will explain it to you. At this time (Sept. 1776,) the
head quarters of the British army were in the city of New York. The
American army lay up the Hudson, fifty or sixty miles, either at, or
near, West Point.
"Between the two armies, therefore, was the county of West Chester,
the centre of which being occupied by neither, was called the 'neutral
ground.' But, in reality, it was far from being a neutral spot."
_William_. "Why not, father, if neither the British, nor the
Americans, occupied it?"
_Gen. P_. "Because, my son, it was here that a great number of tories
resided--the worst enemies which the Americans had to contend with."
_Henry_. "Worse than the British, father?"
_Gen. P_. "In several respects worse. The tories, in general, were
quite as unfriendly to American liberty, as the British themselves.
And, besides, living in the country, and being acquainted with it,
they could do even more injury than strangers.
"Many of this description of persons lived on the 'neutral ground;'
and, what was worse, they often pretended to be Whigs--and passed for
such--but in _secret_, did all in their power to injure their country.
"Crosby, as I told you, had reached a part of this ground, on his way
to the American camp. It was just at evening, that he fell in with a
stranger, who appeared to be passing in the same direction with
"'Good evening,' said the stranger--'which way are you travelling?--
_William_. "Which way was that?"
_Gen. P_. "Towards New-York. The British were sometimes called the
'_lower party_'--the Americans the '_upper party_' because the latter
lay north of the former. The stranger meant to ascertain which party
Crosby was going to join."
_Henry_. "And did Crosby tell him?"
_Gen. P_. "No: he replied, that he was too much fatigued to go much
farther that evening, either above or below; but he believed he should
join himself to a bed, could he find one.
"'Well,' said the stranger, 'listen to me; it will soon be dark--go
with me--I live but a short distance from this--you shall be welcome.'
"Crosby thanked him, and said he would gladly accept his kind
"'Allow me to ask,' said the soldier, 'your advice, as to the part
which a true friend of his country should take, in these times?'
"'Do I understand you?' inquired the stranger--his keen eye settling
on the steady countenance of Crosby--'do you wish to know, which party
a real patriot should join?'
"'I do,' said Crosby.
"'Well! you look like one to be trusted----'
"'I hope I am honest,' replied Crosby.
"'Why,' observed the stranger, 'one mus'n't say much about _oneself_,
in these days; but----but----some of my _neighbours_ would advise you
to join the _lower_ party.'
"'Why so?' asked Crosby.
"'Why, friend, they read, that we must submit to the powers that be;
and, besides, they think king George is a good friend to America,
notwithstanding all that is said against him.'
"'Could you introduce me to some of your neighbours of this way of
thinking?' asked Crosby.
"'With all my heart,' replied the stranger, 'I understand they are
about forming a company to go below, and I presume they would be glad
to have you join them.'
"'I do not doubt it,' observed Crosby.
"'Well, friend,' said the stranger, 'say nothing--rest yourself to
night; and, in the morning, I will put you in the way to join our--
"By this time, they had reached the stranger's dwelling. It was a farm
house, situated a short distance from the main road--retired, but
quite neat and comfortable in its appearance. Here the soldier was
made welcome by the host and his family. After a refreshing supper,
Crosby excused himself--was soon asleep--and 'slept well.'"
_John_. "Was that man a tory, father?"
_Henry_. "Why, John, you know he was. It is as clear as day."
_Gen. P_. "Yes, my son, he _was_ a tory--in heart a firm tory--but he
intended to be cautious. He intended to ascertain, if possible, which
side Crosby favoured, before he expressed his own views. But, when
Crosby asked to be introduced to some of his neighbours, he concluded
that if _urged_, he would go below--and after this was more
_William_. "Did Crosby tell him that he would go below?"
_Gen. P_. "No, no, he only asked to be introduced to some of the
_Henry_. "But did he not do wrong to conceal his opinions?"
_Gen. P_. "Certainly not. A person is not under obligation to tell all
about his opinions, to every one. When a man speaks, he should indeed
tell that which is true; but he is not bound, unless under certain
circumstances, to tell the _whole_ truth.
"Crosby, I said, slept well. In the morning, a better breakfast than
usual graced the farmer's table, and the keen appetite of the soldier,
after a good night's rest, did it honour.
"When breakfast was over, Crosby reminded his host of his last night's
promise to introduce him to some of his neighbours thereabouts--
particularly to those, who were about forming a company.
"'True,' said the farmer, 'I will accompany you. They will welcome
such a soldier-like looking lad as yourself. They like men of bone and
"In a walk of a few miles, they saw quite a number of the friends of
the royal cause. Crosby was introduced as one who was desirous of
serving his country, and as willing to hear what could be said, in
favour of joining their standard.
"They had much to say--many arguments to support their way of
thinking, and strongly did they urge Crosby to go with them. As he was
introduced by the farmer, who was known to be a true tory, they talked
without disguise--told their plans--spoke of the company which was
forming--and particularly of a meeting, which they were to hold a few
nights from that time; and now, said they, 'come and join us.'
"Crosby told them that he should think of their proposition, and
rather thought that he should contrive to pay them a visit at the
"Little did they think, what sort of a visit the soldier was planning.
"In the course of a couple of days, Crosby had gained all the
information he wished, and now determined to depart. He told the
farmer, therefore, on the morning of the third day, that it was not
worth while for him to wait longer--he had a strong wish to join the
army, and believed that he should go along.
"The farmer said some things, by way of persuading Crosby to wait a
day or two, when the company would meet, and then he could enlist and
go with them.
"To this Crosby replied, that unexpected delays might occur, and he
thought it would be better for him to proceed.--'But,' said he, as he
shook hands with the unsuspicious farmer, and bade him farewell, 'I
shall doubtless have the pleasure of seeing the company;' and added,
'It is my intention to _join_ them at----.'
"'Very well, very well!' interrupted the farmer,--his eye brightening
at his success, in having, as he thought, made Crosby a convert to the
"'I hope it will be well'--whispered Crosby to himself, as he walked
down the lane, which led to the road--'I will try to join them; but
may be in a manner not so agreeable to them.'
"On reaching the road, to avoid the mischief which might come upon
him, if he went directly north--he took the road leading to New-York.
But from this, soldier like, he soon filed off; and crossing a
thicket, shaped his course northerly towards the American camp.
"He was soon beyond harm, and now travelled at his ease. He had heard
of a Mr. Young, who lived at a distance, in a direction somewhat
different from that which he was taking; and as he was said to be a
true whig--he concluded to repair to him, and to concert measures to
take the company of tories, at the time of their meeting.
"With this resolution he again altered his course, so as to strike the
road leading to Mr. Young's. Unexpected difficulties, however, impeded
his course--hills, woods, streams, and before he reached the house, it
was near midnight.
"It so happened, fortunately, that Mr. Young was still up, although
his family had all retired. A light was still burning, and Crosby made
for the door, which led into the room where Mr. Young sat.
"He gave a gentle rap at the door, which was soon cautiously opened--
_cautiously_, because it was now late--and, in those times, no one
knew when he was safe. The light fell on Crosby's face, and the
searching eye of Mr. Young followed.
"'Sir,' said Crosby, in haste to make his excuse, 'I understand you
are a true friend to your country, and I have important--'
"'Come in, come in,' said Mr. Young--the expression of Crosby's face
carrying more conviction of honesty, than words could do--'come in--
you travel late--'
"'I have reason for it,' replied the now animated soldier--' I am told
you are a friend to the upper party--I have something to tell you
which may be important."
"'What is it,' asked Mr. Young.
"'Sir,' said Crosby--'do you know the character of the people who live
"'I think I do,' said Mr. Young.
"'They are traitors,' said Crosby.
"'Many are--too many,' said Mr. Young--'but they pass for friends, and
it is difficult to discriminate--difficult to bring them to justice.'
"'Well!' said Crosby, 'I have the means of pointing them out. I have
been among them--I know them--I know their plans--and--'
"'Can you give me their names?' eagerly inquired Mr. Young--at the
same time rising from his seat.
"'I can do more,' rejoined Crosby--and then he went on to relate the
interviews which he had had--and about the contemplated meeting of the
company, two nights following--'and,' said the soldier, 'if you will
assist me, we will _join_ them, as I promised, and make them march to
the tune of good old 'yankee doodle,' instead of 'God save the king.'
"'With all my heart,' exclaimed Mr. Young--taking down his hat--'no
time is to be lost--the committee of safety are at White Plains--they
must know it to-night.'"
_William_. "'The committee of safety!' father, who were they?"
_Gen. P_. "Your inquiry is well suggested. The committee of safety
consisted of men of distinction friendly to the liberties of their
country. They were appointed in almost every district throughout the
land. It was their business to watch over the interest of the country
in their vicinity, to obtain information, and, when necessary, to
seize upon suspected persons."
_William_. "Who were the committee at White Plains?"
_Gen. P_. "The principal man was John Jay, who afterwards went
ambassador to England.
"Mr. Young and Crosby were soon on their way to White Plains, which
lay but a few miles distant. Crosby was not a little fatigued; but his
zeal was now all alive, and made him quite forget his weariness.
"It was near two o'clock, before they reached the quarters of Mr. Jay.
He was soon summoned, and listened with deep interest to the tale of
Crosby. It was important intelligence--precisely the information
desired, he said; and he promised, at early dawn, to call the
committee together, and consult what should be done.
"Mr. Young and Crosby now retired to a neighbouring inn. But the door
was fastened, and the landlord was fast locked in sleep. They rapped
at the door, and called, and, as you say, Master Henry, when you speak
"'And loud indeed were they obliged to bawl,
Ere they could rouse the torpid lump of clay.'
"The door, however, was at length opened, and after receiving a growl
from the landlord, and a snarl from the landlady, that their rest
should be thus broken--they were shown to a bed room, where both in
the same bed soon forgot the toils of the night, in a refreshing
"The committee were together at an early hour, as had been promised.
Again Crosby told over his story--and when he had finished,--'Are you
willing,' asked the committee, 'to accompany a body of horse to the
spot, and attempt to take the traitors?'
"'Sure I am,' said Crosby. 'I gave them encouragement that I would
'_join_' them, and well should I like to fulfil such an engagement.'
"'You shall have an opportunity,' said the committee. 'Hold yourself
in readiness, and may success crown the enterprise.'
"'At the appointed time, a company of troop well mounted, left White
Plains; and, under the pilotage of Crosby, directed their course
towards the spot. In the mean time, the company had assembled, and
now, amid the darkness of the night, were arranging their plans----"
* * * * *
"'What noise is that!' asked one--rising from his seat, and turning
his ear towards the quarter whence the sound came.
"'Nothing, I guess,' said a witty sort of fellow, in one corner of the
room, 'but my old horse, taking lessons at the post, before----'
"'Something more serious, perhaps,' said the farmer, with whom Enoch
Crosby had quartered, 'that yankee!'
"'Where is he?' asked a dark eyed, keen sighted tory, rising from his
seat--'I didn't much like his looks, the other day.'
"'Something serious abroad!'--exclaimed several at the same time
"'Go to the door,' thundered the Captain of the gang--'and
"'You are prisoners!' exclaimed a voice which struck a panic through
the clan, as the door was opened--'surrender, or you are dead men!'
"'By whose authority is this?' asked the captain of the tories,
rushing to the door, with his sword drawn, followed by his clan, with
their guns uncharged.
"'We demand it in the name of the Continental Congress'--exclaimed he
of the whigs.
"'We surrender to nothing, but to superior strength,' said the tory
captain. 'Soldiers! come on.'
"'My brave comrades! advance,' exclaimed the leader of the patriots--
'death or victory--make ready!'--
"'It's of no use to contend,' said the farmer--'not a gun loaded,
captain!--we're betrayed!--a blight on that yankee!--'
"'Take aim!'--uttered the patriot leader.
"'Hold! hold!' exclaimed the captain of the tories--'it's needless to
shed blood--what are your terms?'"
"'Immediate surrender!' replied the commander of the whigs.
"'Done'--rejoined the leader of the traitors--and now they were
marched out, and were tied together in pairs, and were conducted to
prison, some miles distant to the tune, of 'Rogue's march.'"
_William_. "Was Crosby seen by them?"
_Gen. P_. "Probably not. The darkness of the night would conceal him;
and it was needless to expose himself, as their betrayer. He was
suspected by some--especially by the farmer--who recollected a
significant look which Crosby gave him, when he left him."
_Henry_. "He was justly rewarded, was'n't he, father?"
_Gen. P_. "Justly, indeed!--and all the rest, who were designing to
sacrifice their country's liberty and honour."
GEN. P. TELLS HOW CROSBY ENLISTED IN THE SERVICE OF THE COMMITTEE OF
SAFETY, AND HOW HE WAS TAKEN PRISONER.
_Gen. P_. "Crosby felt quite satisfied with his success; but not more
so, than the committee of safety. They sent for him--told him he had
done his country real service, and wished to know what his plans were.
"'You are going to enlist into the army, are you?' asked Mr. Jay.
"'I am,' replied Crosby. 'My country needs my services, and she shall
"'Your resolution is honourable,' said Mr. Jay--'but may you not be of
greater service, in another way? We have enemies among us--_secret
foes_--who are plotting our ruin. We need information respecting them.
We wish for some one, who has prudence and skill--one, who will go
round the country--who will find out where these men live--where they
meet and form their plans. It is a dangerous service,--but, then, the
"'I care not for danger,' said Crosby--'my country is dear to me. My
life is at her service. Sir, I will go--but--but _one thing_ I ask--
_only_ one--if I fall, do justice to my memory. Let the world know,
that Enoch Crosby was in _your_ service--in the service of his
_country_--and that he fell a martyr to the cause of _liberty_.'
"'It shall be done,' said Mr. Jay--'we pledge it, by our sacred
"'But,' continued he to Crosby, 'let no man know your secret--no, not
even should you be taken. If you are ever taken by the Americans, as
belonging to the British, we will help you to escape--but, if you
cannot let us know, here is a paper, which in the last extremity, you
may show, and it will save you.'"
_William._ "What did that paper contain?"
_Gen. P_. "It was what is called a _pass_--it was signed by the
committee of safety; and ordered, that the person who had it should be
suffered to pass without injury.
"In a few days, Crosby was ready. He had provided himself with a
_peddlar's pack_, in which he had put a set of shoemaker's tools. His
design was to go round the country, and work at his trade; and, at the
same time, to get such information as might be useful to his
"Not long after he set out upon his adventures, he arrived just at
evening at a small house, at which he knocked, hoping to procure a
"It was some time before he was heard. At length a girl came, and
inquired his errand.
"'I wish for a lodging to-night,' said Crosby--'if it may be'--
"'I don't know, sir,' replied the girl--'I'll go and ask mother.'
"The girl soon reappeared, and bade him walk in. On reaching the
kitchen, he made known his wishes, to the mistress of the family.
"'Lodgings! sir--did you ask for lodgings? we don't keep lodgings
"'I suppose not, madam,' said Crosby, in a kind manner--'but I am
quite fatigued, and thought, perhaps, you would let me stay till
"'I don't know but what you may. The man is gone from home. There's
such work now-a-days, that a body don't know nothing what to say or
do--pray, what do you carry in that huge pack?'
"'In this pack, madam? only some shoemaker's tools. I am a shoemaker,
madam--perhaps, you have some work for me to do? I'll take it off with
"'Well, do as you please. Our John wants a pair of shoes; and perhaps
the man of the house will give you the job when he comes home.'
"'I shall be glad to do it,' said Crosby. 'Madam, have you heard the
"'Why, that Washington is on the retreat, and that the British army is
pursuing him, and likely to overtake him.'
"'Ah! that's good news,' exclaimed the old lady, 'you may stay here
to-night. Sally! Sally! here get this man some supper--he brings good
news--I hope the rebels every one will be shot. Sally!--make up the
best bed. Here's a chair--sit down, sir; and make yourself at home.
"Crosby accordingly took a seat. Supper was soon ready, and he eat
"When he had done, he drew his chair to the fire, about which time,
the man of the house came in. He was told the _good_ news by his wife,
and Crosby was made welcome.
"The evening was spent in talking about the war, and the prospects of
the country. The host proved himself a firm tory, and wondered that
Crosby and every one else should not think and feel precisely as he
"'Have you many of your way of thinking in these parts?' inquired
"'That we have,' replied the host--'more than we shall have a few days
"'I hope so,' whispered Crosby to himself. 'But, sir, how so?'
inquired he, with some surprise.
"'Why,' replied the host, 'you must know that we've a company nearly
ready to march. I guess they'll go the sooner, now that the British
are after Washington. They'll wish to get there in time to see some of
"'Could you introduce me to some of the company?' asked Crosby.
"'That I can. You'd better join them. I'll tell you what--you'll have
good pay and short work.'
"The following morning, after breakfast, the host took Crosby abroad,
and introduced him to the captain of the tory company, as one who,
perhaps, might be persuaded to enlist.
"'Would you like to enlist?' asked the captain--at the same time
running his eye over the stout frame of Crosby.
"'I would like to see your muster-roll, first,' replied Crosby."
_Henry_. "Pray, father, what is a muster-roll?"
_Gen. P_. "A paper, my son, on which the names of the soldiers are
_Henry_. "Why did Crosby wish to see that?"
_Gen. P_. "I was going to tell you. He wished to ascertain who had
joined the company."
_William_. "Did the captain show him the roll?"
_Gen. P_. "Yes; and carefully did Crosby run over the names.
"'Will you join us?' asked the captain, when Crosby had finished
looking at the roll.
"'They are all strangers to me,' said Crosby, 'and besides, I fear
that the roll may fall into the hands of the Americans--then, what
will become of us?'
"'No fear of that,' said the captain. 'Come with me, and see how we
"Crosby was now led into a large meadow, at no great distance, in
which stood a large stack of hay.
"'Look at this stack, sir--what do you think of this?'
"'It is monstrous,' said Crosby. 'Why so much hay in one stack?'
"'Not so much neither, replied the captain, 'it isn't every one that
knows how to manage--here, take a look inside,' at the same time
drawing aside some long hay, which concealed an apartment within.
"Crosby started. The stack was hollow--capable of holding at least
"'Ha! ha! ha!' roared out the captain, 'you are afraid the muster roll
will fall into bad hands--are you? Well, what think you now? Is that
likely, when we know how to manage? Many a rebel has passed by this
stack, but he hadn't brains enough to think what was inside. Come, my
good fellow, shall I enter your name?'
"'I'll think of it,' said Crosby, 'and let you know soon.'
"While Crosby was apparently making up his mind, the day passed by. He
was still at the captain's, who invited him to spend the night. This
invitation was accepted, and at an early hour, he retired to rest.
"But he could not sleep. What should he do? He thought--pondered--
hesitated--but at length, resolved. Midnight came. He rose, and having
put on his clothes, softly passed from his chamber down stairs. At
every step he listened--all was still--without disturbing even the
wary captain, he left the premises, and was soon on his way towards
"An hour or two brought him to the residence of Mr. Jay, whom he
called from his bed, and to whom he related what he knew. A plan was
soon concerted, by which to take the whole company. This being
settled, Crosby hastened back; and, before any one was up at the
captain's, was safely, and without having excited suspicion, in his
"In the course of the day, he was strongly urged to enlist--but he
wished to see the company together, he said. 'You shall see them
together,' said the captain, 'it would be well to meet--we must
arrange matters before we go.'
"A hasty summons, was therefore, sent round, and before nine o'clock
that night, the whole company had assembled;--it was a season of great
joy among them--the rebels, they said, were so depressed, that they
would have but little to do, but to march down and see them ground
"'Well, Mr. Crosby,' bawled out the captain, 'what say you? will you
go with us, and'--
"'Hark! hark! hark!' exclaimed a soldier, who sat near the door--'I
hear horses approaching.'
"'Out with the lights!--out with the lights!' said the captain--
'silence every man--keep your places.'
"At this moment, a loud rap was heard at the door--soon after which it
was thrown open, and the word 'surrender,' uttered by an officer, came
in like a peal of thunder.
"'Who are you?' demanded the tory captain, rising with some effort--
his knees trembling under him.
"'Who am I!' uttered the same voice, 'you will soon know who I am,
unless you surrender--you are surrounded--you are prisoners.'
"Dismay now filled the company. They rose, and in the darkness which
pervaded the room, attempted to escape. In the haste and confusion,
chairs were broken--benches overturned--pitchers and tumblers dashed
in pieces--some plunged from the windows, and were taken--others felt
their way up chamber, and hid in the garret, while several, in
attempting to reach the cellar, were plunged headlong upon the bottom.
"In a little time, however, matters were more quiet. The horsemen had
surrounded the house, and none could escape. From their hiding places
they were, at length, dragged--poor Crosby with the rest--and tied
together in pairs, were marched to the village of White Plains."
GEN. P. TELLS HOW CROSBY CONTRIVED TO EFFECT AN ESCAPE.
_Gen. P_. "Crosby was now a prisoner and"--
_Henry_. "Pray, father, may I interrupt you to inquire why Crosby did
not tell who he was, and in that way escape?"
_Gen. P_. "The committee of safety had given him orders at no time to
tell his secret, unless he was likely to suffer death. Had it been
known, that persons of this character were abroad in the country, no
traveller would have been safe.
"On the arrival of the party, at White Plains, the prisoners were
examined privately, one by one, and ordered to be marched to Fishkill,
a small village, near the Hudson, about seventy miles from New York.
Crosby underwent an examination also--but when he came before the
committee, they highly commended him--told him that he must go as if a
prisoner to Fishkill; but, in a little time, they would provide for
"On the following morning, the whole party were early on their way up
the river. On reaching Fort Montgomery, near Peekskill, a short halt
was made, and here Crosby met with one of the most trying incidents of
"On entering the fort, whom should he see before him, but his former
schoolmaster--a worthy man, who had often been at his father's, while
teaching the village school in Southeast. And well did that
schoolmaster know the attachment of old Mr. Crosby to American
liberty--yet, here was his son, among a set of tories and a prisoner.
"The schoolmaster started back, with a kind of horror, and even Crosby
was for a moment nearly overcome.
"'Is this possible?' exclaimed the schoolmaster, 'do my eyes serve me?
Enoch Crosby! Why do I see you thus?'
"Crosby advanced, and taking his old friend by the hand, replied, 'you
see me just as I am--among tories, and a prisoner--but--I have no
explanations to offer."
"'No explanations!' uttered the other--'are you, then, indeed, an
enemy to your country? Oh! your poor old father, Enoch--it will bring
down his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave when he hears of this.'
"For a moment, Crosby felt a faintness come over him--his father! he
loved him--revered him--but he could not explain--it would not do--he,
therefore, only replied, that God was his judge, and the time might
come, when things would appear otherwise than they did.
"In the midst of this conversation--painful and unsatisfactory to
both, the drum sounded 'the roll,' and Crosby had time only to press
the hand of his old friend, which he did with affection. He was soon
on his way--sadly depressed for a time, lest his father should hear
his story, without the appropriate explanation; but he comforted
himself that he was doing his duty to his country--and, perhaps,
thought he, a few months may give us the victory, and then my father
and friends will know all, and will love me the better for the part I
"The party at length reached Fishkill, and were conducted to an old
Dutch church, where they were confined and strictly watched.
"Within a few days, the committee of safety arrived in the village, to
examine the prisoners more strictly. Crosby, in his turn, was summoned
to appear. But in respect to him, the committee only consulted how he
might escape. There were difficulties in every plan they could think
of--there was danger--great danger; yet they could not appear to
favour him--and their advice to him was, to run the hazard of an
attempt by night, in the best way he could contrive. And should he be
so fortunate as to escape, he might find a safe retreat with a Mr. ----,
who lived at some distance.
"Crosby, at length, thought of a plan. Near the north-west corner of
the church was a window, from which he contrived to draw the
fastenings, so that he could open it. Near this window, stood a large
willow tree, whose deep shade would conceal him till he could have
opportunity to escape unobserved.
"The night, at length, approached, in which he determined to put his
plan into execution. But what if he should fail?--it might be the last
of his earthly existence.
"About dark, the sentinels were stationed, as usual, round the house.
They were four in number.
"Before midnight, all was still. Officers and soldiers were asleep.
Crosby rose, and holding his chains, so that they should not clink,
crept softly to the window, which he raised. Fast did his heart beat,
while doing this--but faster still as he slid to the ground, beneath
the willow tree.
"A sentinel was at no great distance. For a moment, he stopped--
arrested by the noise--he even turned--listened--looked--but all was
now silent there--and thinking himself mistaken, he sung aloud '_All's
well_,' and onward he marched, still farther from the place of
"Now, thought he, is the moment--the only moment, perhaps, which I
shall have; creeping on his hands and feet, he reached the grave yard,
a stone's throw from the church, and here behind a tombstone,
succeeded in loosing his chains.
"When this was done, he watched the moment to make his escape. A thick
swamp, he knew, was at no great distance; but the darkness of the
night made haste dangerous. Yet in rapidity lay his only hope.
"He prepared, therefore, to run the hazard. And seizing the moment,
when the sentinel had turned in an opposite direction, he bounded
forth and fled--a ball passed him before he had reached many rods,--
and now another--and still another--yet a merciful providence
protected him; and, before the garrison could be roused, he was
wallowing deep in the mud of a swamp;--but he was safe--quite safe
GEN. P. TELLS ABOUT CROSBY'S VISIT TO A MOUNTAIN CAVE--HOW HE WAS
AGAIN TAKEN PRISONER--AND THE MANNER IN WHICH HE ESCAPED.
_Gen. P_. "The escape of Crosby was a hair-breadth one, and well did
he know it. He felt himself indeed safe from his pursuers, but his
situation was no comfortable one--up to his knees in mud, and without
a shelter for the night.
"He determined, therefore, to grope his way through the swamp; and, if
possible, to reach the dwelling of Mr. ---- before morning. This he
found a difficult task. Bushes and briers and quagmires impeded his
course; and several times he was on the point of giving up the effort,
and waiting till day light. By slow degrees, however, he went
forward--sometimes, indeed, sinking unexpectedly deep into the mud; or,
when he thought himself firm on a bog--sliding away, and coming down
upon all fours. At length it was his good fortune, to emerge from the
thicket, in an hour or so from which, he knocked at the door of the
gentleman to whom he had been referred by the committee of safety.
"Mr. ---- had been informed, that he might be expected that night, and
was accordingly still up. A good supper was in readiness for him, and
heartily did the gentleman congratulate him on his escape.
"When he had finished his meal--'Well,' said the gentleman, 'I have an
important message to deliver to you.'
"'What is it?' inquired Crosby.
"'The committee of safety wish you to cross the Hudson immediately,
where you are to take measures to seize an English officer, and a
company of tories whom he has enlisted on that side.'
"'Cross to-night?' asked Crosby.
"'Immediately,' replied Mr. ---- 'no time is to be lost. You are
fatigued--but once on the other side, you will be more safe, and can
"'I will go,' said Crosby.
"'And I will set you across myself,' said the gentleman, 'it is only a
"Accordingly they proceeded to the river, where a boat was in
readiness, in which they soon reached the opposite shore.
"Having received the necessary directions, Crosby now proceeded on his
course; and, by the hour of breakfast, had reached the ground where he
was to begin his operations.
"At a farm house, near where he found himself he obtained a
comfortable breakfast; after finishing which, he made himself known as
a shoemaker, and begged employment.
"'Why,' said the farmer, 'just at present, we are pretty well shod.'
"'Well,' observed Crosby, 'perhaps you have other work, about which
you can employ me. I can turn my hand to almost any kind of farming
"'No doubt--no doubt,' said the farmer, 'you are no fool--from Yankee
land, I guess--no matter--well, I don't care if you stay a couple of
days, or so, and help me and my wife kill hogs, and a few such
"Terms were soon settled, and Crosby proved quite knowing and helpful."
* * * * *
"What noise is that?' asked Crosby, while he and the farmer were at
work--'can it be thunder?'
"'More like cannon,' said the farmer--'loud talk below, I rather
"'Hard times for Washington just now,' observed Crosby, 'and _some_
think pretty justly.'
"'Why,' said the farmer, 'why--it won't do to speak all one thinks--
but--well--why don't _you_ turn soldier--you look as though you could
fight, upon a _pinch_?'
"'Well, I think, I might,' said Crosby. 'Have you any place of
enlistment hereabouts, that a body could join, if one were so minded?'
"'Why,' replied the farmer, 'I don't know but I could put you in a
way, if you are one of the right sort of men.'
"'What sort do you wish?' inquired Crosby.
"'Oh, lower party men--they are more fashionable hereabouts.'
"'Well, I like to be in the fashion, wherever I am,' observed Crosby.
"'Good!' said the farmer, 'do you see yonder mountain, west?'
"'I do,' replied Crosby.
"'Well, if you wish to see as fine a fellow as ever carried sword,
there is your man, and right glad would he be of your bone and
muscle--good pay--light work, I tell you.'
"'Can I be introduced to him?' asked Crosby.
"'That you can--to-night--I've shown many a lad like yourself the way
to make a fortune.'
"In the evening the farmer was as good as his word. Giving Crosby a
wink, they went forth, shaping their course towards the mountain,
about half way up which, they came to a huge rock, which jutted over
with threatening aspect; but was prevented from falling, by several
forest trees, against which it rested."
"Here the farmer, taking his cane, struck several smart blows upon the
rock. Instantly, a kind of trap door was opened, and an English
captain appeared, with a lantern.
"'Captain!' whispered the farmer, 'here's as brave a lad as you have
seen this many a day--good bye.'
"'Well, my lad,' said the captain, 'do you understand burrowing?'
"'Not much of the wood chuck about me,' replied Crosby, 'more of the
fox--I can enter burrows already made.'
"'Well! see whether your skill can contrive to enter here,' pointing
to a small hole, leading into a cavern.
"'Tight work, I believe,' said Crosby, forcing his huge frame through
the opening, followed by the captain, who, from the smallness of his
size, slipped down with more ease.
"'Quite a comfortable apartment, captain,' observed Crosby, casting
his eye round upon the interior, 'and not likely to starve very soon,
one would judge, from the good things on your table.'
"'Help yourself to what you like,' said the captain, 'his majesty's
friends provide well--good fare--no charges.'
"Crosby had but just supped--but tempted by the fare, somewhat
superior to that which he had seen at the farmer's, he seated himself
at the table, while the liberal hand of the captain was not backward
in replenishing his plate, as often as it was emptied.
"'Do you leave here soon?' inquired Crosby.
"'To-morrow, I hope,' said the captain. 'I have burrowed here long
enough. Much longer--and I shall have _claws_ in good earnest.'
"'Your company is full, then?'
"'Room for one or two more. What say you, shall I enter your name?'
"'When and where does the company meet, before marching?' inquired
"'On Tuesday evening, at the barn of Mr. S----; what say you, will you
"'I will,' replied Crosby.
"'Done!' said the captain--'now turn in; and in the morning, go back
to farmer B----'s, and be ready to meet us, at the time and place
"On the following morning, which was Saturday, Crosby returned to his
employer, with whom he concluded to stay, till the appointed time of
"Much now depended on good management. News of the above arrangement
must he sent to the committee of safety, and as early as possible. At
some distance from farmer B----'s, Crosby had ascertained there lived
an honest old whig, whom he determined to employ to carry a letter to
Mr. Jay, then at Fishkill.
"Accordingly, having prepared a letter, he hastened, on the setting in
of evening, to fulfil his purpose. In this he succeeded to his wishes;
and, before the usual hour of rest, had returned, without exciting the
suspicion of any one.
"The important Tuesday evening, at length, arrived, and brought
together, at the appointed place, the captain and about thirty tories.
"Crosby was early on the spot, and before eleven, he was the only
individual of the whole class, who was not quietly asleep.
"At length, some one without was heard by him to cough. This being the
signal agreed upon, Crosby coughed in return; and the next minute, the
barn was filled with a body of captain Townsend's celebrated
rangers;--'surrender!' exclaimed Townsend, in a tone, which brought every
tory upon his feet--'surrender! or, by the life of Washington, you'll not
see day light again.'
"It was in vain to resist, and the English officer delivered up his
"'Call your muster-roll,' ordered Capt. Townsend.
"The Englishman did as directed; and, at length, came to the name of
"No one answered. Crosby had concealed him self, with the hope of
escaping--but, finding this impossible, he presented himself before
Captain Townsend, and Col. Duer, one of the committee of safety, who
"'Ah! is it you, Crosby?' asked Townsend. 'You had light heels at
Fishkill; but, my word for it, you will find them heavy enough after
"'Who is he?' inquired Col. Duer, as if he knew him not, though he
knew him well, yet not daring to recognize him.
"'Who is he!' exclaimed Townsend, 'Enoch Crosby, sir--like an eel,
slipping out of one's finger's as water runs down hill--but he'll not
find it so easy a matter to escape again.'
"The party were soon on their way to Fishkill, where they arrived in
the course of an hour or two, and lodged their prisoners in the old
"Crosby was not thus fortunate. Townsend's quarters were at some
distance, and to these Crosby was quite civilly invited to go, as the
captain declared, that he wished to have him under his own eye.
"On his arrival, Crosby was placed in a room by himself--was heavily
ironed, and a trusty guard detached to see that he came to 'no
_harm_,' as the captain said.
"During the expedition, which had occupied some twelve or fourteen
hours, the company had fasted. Supper was therefore prepared with some
haste, after the return of the officer, who, on sitting down, fairly
gorged himself with food and wine.
"About midnight Crosby was unexpectedly awakened, by a gentle shake.
On opening his eyes, whom should he see before him but a female, who
assisted in doing the work of the family. 'Here, Enoch Crosby.' said
she, 'rise and follow me--say nothing--hold fast your chains."
"Crosby was not at first satisfied, whether it were a dream or a
reality; but quite willing to make his escape, he rose as he was bid,
and followed her.
"As they passed from the room, _there_ lay the sentinel, extended at
full length, dreaming of battles, it might be, but certainly, very
quiet as to the safety of his prisoner.
"'Some virtue in _Miller's opiates_,' whispered the girl.
"'That's the secret, is it?' asked Crosby, in rather a louder tone
than was pleasant to his attendant.
"'Hush! hush!' said she, 'or the Philistines will be upon you.'"
_Henry_. "Pray, father, what did she mean by Miller's opiates?"
_Gen. P_. "Miller was a physician in those parts, and kept an
apothecary's store. By some means, the girl had obtained from him
anodyne or sleeping potions, which she had put into the food, or
drink, of both the captain and his sentinels.
"'They sleep well,' said Crosby, on descending from the chamber to the
first floor, where he could hear the loud breathing of the captain.
"'I hope they'll sleep till morning,' rejoined the girl. 'Stay! a
moment, till I put the key of your door into the captain's pocket.'
"'What?' asked Crosby, 'does he keep the key himself?'
"'Yes, indeed,' replied the girl. 'He was determined that you should
play no more yankee tricks, as he said, while under _his_ care.'
"'He must have thought me a man of some contrivance, to take such
"'Oh!' said the girl, 'I've often heard him call you _the_--a bad
name--at least, he said he believed that you and the old boy
understood one another pretty well.'
"'I wonder what he'll think _now_?' said Crosby.
"The key being once more safely in the pocket of the Captain, the girl
conducted Crosby out of the door, and pointing towards a mountain
lying to the west, now but just discernible.
"'Hasten thither,' said she, 'and lie concealed till the coming search
"'But tell me,' said Crosby, 'before I go, how will you escape
"'Oh!' said the girl, laughing, 'never fear for me. I shall be out of
harm's way before morning.'
"'One more question,' said Crosby--'who put it into your heart to
"'Jay is your friend,' said she,--waving her head--'farewell.'
"To Crosby, the whole was now plain. With a light heart, he directed
his course towards the mountain pointed out; and before morning, he
was safely hid in some of its secret recesses.
"Capt. Townsend awoke at his usual hour, having slept away the anodyne
potion which had been administered to him. The key to Crosby's door
was still in his pocket--and not a suspicion had ever entered his
mind, that Crosby himself was not safely in his room.
"The hour at length coming, when Crosby's meal was to be given,
Townsend himself opened the door--he started back, on looking in, and
seeing no one--'what!' exclaimed he, 'empty!--impossible!--here!'
vociferated he, in a tone of thunder, 'Sentinel, what is the meaning
of all this?' But no one could tell--no noise had been heard--the
shutters of the room were safely closed--the door was locked--the key
was in his pocket.
"Due search was now made. Every nook and corner were examined; but not
a trace of the vagrant was discovered.
"'Well!' said the captain, 'I thought Crosby and the ---- were in
_league_--now I know it.'"
GEN. P. TELLS OF THE FARTHER ADVENTURES OF CROSBY--HOW HE WAS OBLIGED
TO SHOW HIS SECRET PASS--OF HIS RESIDENCE AT A DUTCHMAN'S--OF HIS
BEING CRUELLY BEATEN AND WOUNDED.--CONCLUSION.
_Gen. P_. "Crosby, as I said, was in a safe retreat, on the mountain,
_William_. "Were any measures adopted to retake him?"
_Gen. P_. "No very active measures, probably--but Townsend declared,
that if Crosby should ever fall in his way again, he would give him a
"During the following night, our hero descended the mountain, in a
southerly direction; and at a late breakfast hour, the next morning,
came to a farm house, the kind mistress of which gave him a
"For several days from this time, Crosby wandered round the country,
without any certain object. He greatly wished for an interview with
the Committee of Safety; but the attempt he found would be hazardous,
until the troops in the immediate neighbourhood of Fishkill should be
sent on some expedition, at a distance.
"This was a gloomy period for Crosby. Although conscious of toiling in
a good cause, and of promoting the interests of his country--somehow,
he felt alone--not a friend had he to whom he could unbosom his cares--and
often was he houseless, and in want. Besides, he began to be
known--to be suspected; and the double and treble caution, which he
found it necessary to exercise, made his employment almost a burden.
"While maturing some plan, by which he could effect an interview with
the Committee of Safety, he called, just at evening, at a farm house,
and requested a night's lodging. This was readily granted him, and he
laid aside his pack, thankful to find a resting place, after the toils
of the day.
"It was not long, before two very large men, armed with muskets,
entered the house. One of them started on seeing Crosby, and whispered
something to his companion, to which the latter apparently assented.
"Then, turning to Crosby--'I have seen you before, I think, sir?' said
"'Probably,' replied Crosby, 'though I cannot say that I recollect
"'Perhaps not--but I am sure you were not long since at Fishkill? ha?'"
"'The very fellow!' exclaimed the other--'you recollect how he
"In a moment, the strong hand of the first was laid upon him, and his
grasp was the grasp of an Anakim--and though Crosby might have been a
match for him alone,--prudence forbade resistance--they were two--he
was but one;--they were armed with muskets--he had no weapon about
"'To-morrow,' said the principal, 'you shall go to head quarters,
where, my word for it, you'll swing without much ceremony. The
committee will never take the trouble to try you again, and Townsend
declares that he wishes only to come once more within gun shot of
"'Is it so?' asked Crosby.
"'Even so'--replied the stranger--'your time is short.'
"Crosby was seldom alarmed--but _now_ he could perceive real danger.
Could he be fairly tried he might escape--but to be delivered into
Townsend's hands, and perhaps the Committee of Safety at a distance--
he might, indeed, come to harm.
"He had _one_ resort--he could show his _pass_, and it might save him.
Accordingly, drawing it forth, he presented it to his captors; 'Read
that,' said he, 'and then say, whether I am worthy of death.'
"Astonishment sat on the countenances of both while they read the
pass. When it was finished, the principal observed, 'I am satisfied--
we have been deceived--others are deceived also;--you are at liberty
to go where you please. This is the hand-writing of Mr. Jay--I know it
"Crosby might, perhaps, have staid where he was through the night--but
his feelings were such, that he preferred to seek other lodgings.
Accordingly, shouldering his pack, he set forth in quest of a resting
place; which at the distance of a couple of miles, he was so fortunate
as to obtain.
"But he was destined to other troubles. Scarcely had he laid aside his
pack, and taken a seat near a comfortable fire, before a man entered,
whom he was sure that he had seen before.
"At the same time, the stranger cast upon him an eye of deep scrutiny,
and increasing severity.
"'A cool evening abroad'--observed Crosby.
"The stranger made no reply--but springing upon his feet, darted upon
him, like a fiend.
"'Now, I know you'--exclaimed he--'I thought it was you. You are the
villain who betrayed us to the Committee of Safety. Clear out from the
house quickly, or I'll call one of my neighbours, who says that if he
ever sees you again, he'll suck your very heart's blood.'
"'Ah!' said Crosby, quite calm and collected--'perhaps'--
"'Leave this house instantly'--vociferated the man, now nearly choked
with rage--'but before you go, take one pounding.'
"'A pounding!' exclaimed Crosby, in contempt--'Come then,'--rising
like a lion from his lair--'Come,'--said he, at the same time rolling
up his sleeves, and showing a pair of fists, which resembled a
trip-hammer for hardness.
"'Come on, and I'll try you a pull'--the muscles of his arm
contracting, and lying out like cart-ropes the whole length--from
shoulder to wrist--and his countenance, at the same time, looking as
terrific as a madman's--'Come on,' said he."
"'Why! we-we-ll--upon the whole'--said the man--'I--I--think I'll let
you off, if you'll never set foot here again.'
"'I'll promise no such thing,' said Crosby. 'I'm willing to go--
indeed, I would, not stay in such a habitation as this; but I'll not
"Crosby well knew that prudence required his departure; and with some
deliberation, he shouldered his pack once more, and with a short 'good
by'--left the house. At the distance of a mile, he found lodgings
where he slept unmolested.
"On the following morning, he ascertained that the Committee of Safety
were alone at Fishkill--the troops having gone abroad on some
expedition. Seizing the opportunity of their absence, he crossed the
river, and was soon at the residence of Mr. Duer.
"That Crosby was in more than ordinary danger in traversing the
country, was apparent both to himself and Mr. Duer. He was advised,
therefore, to repair to an honest old Dutchman's, who lived in a
retired place, some miles distant, and there wait until farther
"Accordingly, being furnished with a complete set of tools, he
proceeded to the appointed place, and was so fortunate as to find
ample employ for some time, under the very roof of his host.
"A few days only, however, had elapsed, when an express arrived,
bringing him a letter from Mr. Duer.
"The worthy old Dutchman was quite curious to know from whom the
letter came, and what was its purport.
"'Val,' said he, knocking the ashes from his pipe--'you know tee
shentlemen of tee armee? Vat for tey rite you?--eh?'
"Crosby waived an answer as well as he was able, informing his host
that he must be absent a short time, when he would return, and finish
"'Val,' said the Dutchman, 'how you go?--on shank's mare? You no
trudge so--you nebber get tere. Here, you Hauns! Puckle tee pest
shaddle on mine horse, and pring him to tee horse plock tirectly--you
"The horse was brought out accordingly, and Crosby was soon on his way
to Fishkill. On his arrival, circumstances existed, which rendered it
imprudent for him to tarry, and he was directed to go to Dr. Miller's,
who kept an apothecary's shop at some distance, and there wait the
arrival of one of the Committee of Safety.
"On reaching the place, he inquired for Dr. Miller, who he was told
was absent. This information was given him by a girl, whom he was sure
he had seen before, but where he could not recollect.
"'If you wish to trade,' said the girl, 'I can wait upon you. Perhaps
you would like some of Dr. Miller's opiates. You recollect they are
"Crosby was on the point of exclaiming. But the girl whispered him to
be silent. 'These men,' said she, 'who are around us, are _whigs_, but
you must not let your name be known.'
"While thus conversing, and listening to the conversation of several
men, at the fire, a stranger entered the shop, and inquired for a vial
of medicine. Crosby recognized that it was Mr. Jay--so slipping out of
the door, he pretended to be admiring the stranger's fine horse, when
Mr. Jay came out; and, as he mounted, whispered to Crosby to return to
the Dutchman's, and wait for farther orders.
"Accordingly, he soon after left Miller's, and before night was again
at his quarters.
"'Sho, ten, you cot pack'--said the Dutchman as Crosby rode into the
yard--the smoke at the same time running in a fine curl from his
"'Safe home again,' replied Crosby.
"'Yaw, tee horse pe true--true--he vill ride any potty rite to mine
ouse. Hauns! here--take off his shaddle--rup him toun mit a whisp of
shtraw--tont let him trink till he coutch'd cuoold.'
"A few days from this time, Crosby received definite instructions from
the Committee of Safety, to repair to Vermont, on a secret expedition;
and as no time was to be lost, he was obliged to bid his host adieu,
"'Can you direct me the road to S----,' asked Crosby.
"'To S----? Yaw--you see dat road pon de hel?'
"'O, yes,' said Crosby, 'I see it.'"
"'Val, you musht not take dat roat. But, I tell you vat, you musht go
right straight by the parn, and vere you see yon roat dat crooks just
so--see here'--bending his elbow--'you must go right strait--ten you
vill turn de potato patch round, de pridge over, and de river up
stream, and de hel up; and tirectly you see mine prother Haunse's parn
shingled mit straw; dat's his house, vare mine prother Schnven lives.
He'll tell you so petter as I can. And you go little farther, you see
two roats--you musht not take bote of 'em--understand?'
"'Quite plain! quite plain!' said Crosby--adding in a low tone to
himself, 'that you are a Dutchman. Well, friend, good morning.'"
* * * * *
"We shall not attempt to follow Crosby on his northern tour; nor to
relate the many adventures with which he met during his absence. He
proved of great service to the cause of his country; but often
suffered much by being taken with tories, whose capture he was
instrumental in effecting.
"At length he returned to the theatre of his former operations, but he
was now suspected by the tories of being a secret friend to the whigs,
and opposed to the royal cause. He was, therefore, narrowly watched,
and even found it necessary to hide himself at a brother-in-law's in
the Highlands. Nor was he even here secure, for on the second night
after reaching his brother-in-law's residence, a musket was discharged
through the window at him, the ball of which grazed his neck, and tore
the collar of his coat.
"It was apparent from this circumstance that his retreat was known; but
it was rendered quite certain a few nights after, by the appearance of
an armed gang at the door, who having burst in, dragged Crosby's
brother-in-law from the bed, and demanded where Crosby slept.
"This information, for a time, was refused; but at length, death was
threatened, in case of refusal, and his bed chamber was pointed out.
"Crosby heard the coming of the assailants, and sprung to his gun;
but, before he could reach it, a ruffian had snapped a pistol at his
head. Fortunately, it missed fire--but _now_ a most desperate
engagement followed, in which Crosby showed the most astonishing
strength and agility--but numbers, at length, overpowered him, and he
was left for dead.
"Life, however, was not extinct. And after the ruffians had retired,
Crosby in a measure came to himself; but months passed away before he
was able to resume the business, in which he had been engaged. Indeed,
after this period, less was required. The long and bloody contest was
in a measure drawing to a close. Liberty, for which so many had fought
and bled, was destined to take up her delightful abode on the American
"But had the same necessity existed, it was apparent that Crosby must
be released. It was becoming dangerous for him to be seen abroad. He
was known to many, to whose capture he had been directly instrumental.
Such were of course bitter against him, and needed only an opportunity
to wreak their vengeance upon him. Yet he continued with the army some
time longer. At length his time of service expired, upon which he
returned to South-East, where he still lives."
_William_. "What! alive yet, father?"
_Gen. P_. "Yes, still living, and enjoying the pleasant reflection
that millions are freemen, whom he helped to make free--but who,
without his labours, and those of kindred spirits, might this day be
doing homage to British power."