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The Owosso times. (Owosso, Mich.) 1897-1926, May 18, 1917, Image 7

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A Goidrv
1 0 Edvuard Everett Hole
I Continued tromUst week..
have , been near eighty when he died.
He locked sixty when he was forty.
But he never seemed to me to change
a hair afterward. As I Imagine his
life, from what I have seen and heard
of it, he must have been In every sea,
and yet almost never on land. lie
must have known In. a formal way,
more officers In bur service than any
man' living knows. He told me once,
with a grave smile, that no man In the
world lived so methodical a life as he.
Ton know the boys say I am the
Iron ' Mask,' and you know how busy
he wbr." He said it did not do for
anyone to try to read all the time, more
than to do anything else all the time ;
but that he read just five hours a day.
"Then," he said, I keep up my note-
such hours from what I have been
reading; and I. Include In them my
scrapbooks." These were very curious
.Indeed. : He had six or eight, of differ
ent subjects. There was one of his
tory, one of natural science, one which
he called "Odds and Ends." But they
were not merely books of extracts
from newspapers. They had bits of
plants and ribbons, shells tied on, and
carved scraps of bone and wood, which
There Appeared Nolan in His Shirt
he had taueht the men to cut for him.
and they were beautifully Illustrated.
He drew admirably. He had some of
iu iuuuiest uiuwuiys mere, aim tome
of the most pathetic, that I have ever
seen In my life. I wonder who will
have Nolan's scrapbooks.
Well.he said his reading and his
notes were his profession, and that
they , took five hours and two hours
respectively of each day. "Then,"
said he, "every man should have a di
version as well as a profession. My
natural history Is my diversion." That
took two hours a day more. The men
used to bring him birds and fish, but
on a long cruise he had to satisfy him
self with centipedes and cockroaches
and such small game. He was the only
naturalist I ever met who knew any
thing about the habits of the house fly
and the mosquito. All those people
can tell you whether they are Lepl
doptera or Steptopotera ; but as for
telling how you can get rid of them,
or how they get away from you when
ypu strike them, why, Linnaeus knew
as little of that as John Foy, the idiot,
did. These nine hours made Nolan's
regular daily "occupation." The rest
of the time he talked or walked. Till
he'grew very old, he went aloft a great
deal, ne always kept up his exercise
and I never heard that he was 111. If
any other man was ill, he was the kind
est nurse. in the world; and he knew
more than half the surgeons do. Then
If anybody was sick or died, or if the
captain wanted him to on any other
occasion,' he was always ready to read
prayers. I have remarked that he
read beautifully.
My own acquaintance with Philip
Nolan began six or eight years after
the war, on my first voyage after I
was appointed a midshipman. It was
In the first days after our slave trade
treaty, while the reigning house,
which was still the house of Virginia,
had still a sort of sentlmentallsm
about the suppression of the horrors
of the middle passage, and something
was sometimes dofle that way. We
were in the South Atlantic on that
business. From the time I Joined, I
believe I thought Nolan was a sort of
lay chaplain a chaplain with a blue
coat I never asked about him. Ev
erythlng in the ship was strange to
me. I knew it was green to ask ques
tions, and I suppose I thought there
was a "Plaln-Bottons" on every ship.
We had him to dine in our mess once
a week, and the caution was given that
on that day nothing was to be said
about home. But If they had told us
tot to say anything about the planet
Mars or the book of Deuteronomy, I
iiould not have asked why ; there were
great many things wWch seemed to
me to have as little reason, i nrsr
came to understand anything about
"the man without a country" one day
when we overhauled a dirty littlo
schooner which had slaves on board.
An officer was sent to take charge of
her, and after a few minutes he sent
back his boat to ask that someone
might be sent him who could speak
Portuguese. We were all looking over
the rail when the message came, and
we all wished we could interpret, when
the captain asked who spoke Por
tuguese. But none of the officers did ;
and Just as the captain was sending
forward to ask if any of the people
could, Nolan stepped out and said he
should be glad to interpret, if the cap
tain wished, as he understood the lan
guage. The captain thanked him, fit
ted out another boat with him, and in
this boat it was my luck to go. ,
When we got there, it was such a
scene as you seldom see, and never
want to. N'astlness beyond account,
and chaos run loose In the midst of the
nustlness. There were not a great
many of the negroes; but by way
of making what there were understand
that they were free, Vaughan had had
their handcuffs and anklecuffs knocked
oft, and, for convenience sake, was
putting them upon the rascals of the
schooner's crew. The negroes were,
most of them, out of the hold, and
swarming all round the dirty deck,
with a central throng surrounding
Vaughan and addressing him In every
dialect and patois of a dialect, from
the Zulu click up to the Parisian of
As we came on deck; Vaughan
looked down from a hogshead, on
which he hadiounted In desperation,
and said:
"For God's love, is there anybody
who can make these wretches under
stand something? The men gave them
rum, .and that did not quiet them. I
knocked that big fellow down twice,
and that did not soothe him. And then
I talked Choctaw to all of them to
gether ; and I'll be hanged if they un
derstood that as well as they under
stood the English."
Nolan said ' he could speak Por
tuguese, "and one or two fine-looking
Kroomen were dragged out, who, as it
had been found already, had worked
for the Portuguese on the coast at
Fernando Po.
"Tell them they are free," said
Vaughan; "and tell them that these
rascals are to be hanged as soon as
we can get rope enough."
Nolan explained It in such Portu
guese as the Kroomen could under
stand, and they in turn to such of the
negroes as could understand them.
Then there was such a yell of delight,
clinching of fists, leaping and dancing,
kissing of Nolan's feet, and a general
rush made to the hogshead by way of
spontaneous worship of Vaughan as
the deus ex machlna of the occasion.
"Tell them," said Vaughan, well
pleased, "that I will take them all to
Cape Talmas."
This did not answer so well. Cape
Palmas was practically as far from
the homes of most of them as New Or
leans or Rio Janeiro was ; that is, they
would be eternally separated from
home there. And their Interpreters, as
we could understand, instantly said,
"Ah, non Palmas," and began to pro
pose Infinite other expedients In most
voluble language. Vaughan was rath
er disappointed at this result of his
liberality, and asked Nolan eagerly
what they said. The drops stood on
poor Nolan's white forehead as he
hushed the men down, and said:
"He says, 'Not Talmas.' He says,
Take us home, take us to our coun
try, take us to our own house, take
us to our own pickaninnies and our
own women. lie says he has an old
father and mother, who will die, If
they do not see him. And this one
says he left his people all sick, and
paddled down to come and help. them,
and that these devils caught him In
the bay just In sight of home, and
that he has never seen anybody from
home since then. And this one says,"
choked out Nolan, "that he has not
heard a word from his home in six
months, while he has been locked up
In an Infernal barracoon."
Vaughan always said he grew gray
himself while Nolan struggled through
this interpretation. I, who did not un
derstand anything of the passion In
volved in it, saw that the very ele
ments were melting with fervent heat,
and that something was to pay some
where. Even the negroes themselves
storped howling as they eaw Nolan's
agony, and Vaughan's almost equal
agony of sympathy. As quick as he
could get words, he said :
"Tell them yes, yes; tell them they
shall go to the Mountains of the Moon,
if they will. If I sail the schooner
through the Great White Desert, they
shall go homel"
And after some fashion Nolan said
so. And then they all fell to kissing
him again and wanted to rub his nose
with theirs.
But he could not stand It long; and
getting Vaughan to say he might go
back, he beckoned me down into our
boat. As we lay back in the stern
sheets and the men gave way, he said
o we: "Youngster, let that show you
what It is to De witnoui u larauy, vrnu
out a. home, and without a country.
And if you are ever tempted to say a
word or to do a thing that shall put
a bar between you and your family,
your home, and your country, pray
God in his mercy to take you that in
stant home to his own heaven. Stick
by your family, boy; forget you have
a self, while you do everything for
them. Think of your home, boy ; write
and send,? and talk about It Let it
be nearer and nearer to your thought,
the farther you have to travel from it ;
and rush to it, when you are free, as
that poor black slave Is doing now.
And for your country, boy," and the
words ttled in his throat, "and for
that flag," and he pointed to the ship,
"never dream a dream but of serving
her as she bids you, though the serv
ice carrf you through a thousand hells.
No matter what happens to you, no
matter who flatters you or who abuses
you, never look at another flag, never
let a night pass but you pray God to
bless that flag. Remember, boy, that
behind all these mep you have to do
with, behind officers; and government,
and people even, there is the country
herself, your country, and that you
belong to her as you belong to your
own mother. Stand by her, boy, as
you would stand by your mother, if
those devils there had got hold of her
today l"
I was frightened to death by all
calm, hard passion; but I blundered
out thnt I would, by all that wa3 holy,
and that I had never thought of doing
anything else. He hardly seemed to
hear me; but he did, almost , In a
whisper, say: "Oh, If anybody had
said so to me when I was of your age 1"
I think it was this half-confidence of
his, which I never abusvd, for Its ever
told this story till now, which after
ward made us great friends. He was
very kind to me. Often he sat up, or
even got up, at night to walk the deck
with me when it was my watch. He
explained to me a great deal of my
mathematics. He lent me books, and
helped me about my reading. Vile nev
er alluded so directly to his story
again; bnt from one and another offi
cer I have learned, In thirty years,
what I am telling. When we parted
from him in St. Thomas harbor, at the
end of our cruise, I was more sorry
than I can tell. I was very glad to
meet him again in 1830; and later In
life, when I thought I had some In
fluence In Washington, I moved heav
en and earth to have him discharged.
But It was like getting a ghost out of
prison. They pretended there was no
such man, and never was such a man.
They will say so at the department
now I Perhaps they do not know. It
will not be the first thing in the serv
ice of which the department appears
to know nothing!
There is a story that. Nolan met
Burr once on one of our vessels, when
a party of Americans came on board
In the Mediterranean. But this I be
lieve to be a lie ; or rather, it is a
myth, ben trovato, involving a I tre
mendous blowing-up with which he
sank Burr, asking him how he liked
to be "without a country." But' It Is
clear, from Burr's life, that nothing
of the sort could have happened; and
I mention this only as an illustration
of the 6torles which get a-going where
there is the least mystery at bottom.
So Philip Nolan had his wish ful
filled. Poor fellow, he repented of his
folly, and then, like a man, submitted
to the fate he had asked for. He nev
er intentionally added to the difficulty
or delicacy, of the charge of those who
had him In hold. Accidents would
happen ; but they never happened from
his fault. Lieutenant Truxton told me
that when Texas was annexed, there
was a careful discussion among the !
officers, whether they should get hold
of Nolan's handsome set of maps, and
cut Texas out of It, from the map
of the world and the map of Mexico.
The United States had been cut out
when the atlas was bought for him.
But It was voted rightly enough, that
to do this would be virtually to reveal
to him what had happened, or, as
narry Cole said, to make him think
Old Burr had succeeded. So It was
from no fault of Nolan's that a' great
botch happened at my own table, when,
for a short time, I was In command of
the George Washington corVptte, on
the South American station. We were (
lying In the La Plata, and some of the
officers, who had been on shore, and
had Just Joined again, were entertain
ing us with accounts of their mlsad- .
ventures In riding the half-wild horses
of Buenos Aires. Nolan was at table, j
and was In an unusually bright and
Hushed the Men Down.
talkative mood. Some story of a tum
ble reminded mm oi an auveuiurw u&
his own, when he was catching wild
horses in Texas with his brother Steph
en, at a time when he must have been
quite a boy. He told the story with
a good deal of spirit so much so, that
the silence which often follows a good
story hung over the table for an' in
stant to be broken by Nolan himself.
For be asked, perfectly unconsciously,
"Pray what has become of Texas?
After the Mexicans got their Independ
ence, I thought that province of Texas
would come forward very fast It is
really one of the finest regions on
earth ; It is the Italy of this continent.
But I have not seen or heard a word
of Texas for near twenty years."
There were two Texan officers at the
table. The reason he had never heard
of Texas was that Texas and her af
fairs had been painfully out of his
newspapers since Austin began his
settlements ; so that, while he read of
Honduras and Tamaullpas, and, till
quite lately, of California, this virgin
province, in which his brother had
traveled so far and, I believe, had died,
had ceased , to be with him. Walters
and Williams, the two Texas men,
looked grimly at each other, and tried
not to laugh,; Edward Morris had his
attention attracted by the third link
in the chain of the captain's chan
delier. Watrous was seized with a con
vulsion of sneezing. Nolan himself
saw that something was to pay, he did
not know what . And I, as master of
the feast, had to say:
"Texas is out of the map, Mr. No
lan. Have you seen Captain Back's
curious account of Sir Thomas Roe's
After that cruise I never saw No
lan again. I . wrote to him at least
twice a year, for In that voyage we
became even confidentially intimate f
but he never wrote to me. The other
men tell me that In those fifteen years
he aged very fast, as well he might
Indeed, but that he was still the same
gentle, uncomplaining, silent sufferer
that he ever was, bearing as best he
could his self-appointed punishment,
rather less social, perhaps, with new
men whom he did not know, but more
anxious, apparently, than ever to serve
and befriend and teach the boys, some
of whom fairly seemed to worship him.
And now it seems the dear old fellow
Is dead. He has found a home at
last and a country.
Since writing this, and while con
sidering whether or no I would print
It, as a warning to the young of today
of what it is to throw away a country,
I have received from Danforth, who Is
on board the Levant, a letter which
gives an account of Nolan's last hours.
It removes all my doubts about telling
this story.
To understand the first words of the
letter, the nonprofessional reader
should remember that after 1817 the
position of every officer who had No
lan in charge was one of the greatest
delicacy. The government had failed
to renew the order of 1807 regarding
him. What was a man to do? Should
he let him go? What, then, If he
were called to account by the depart
ment for violating the. order of 1807?
Should he keep him? What, then. If
Nolan should be liberated some day,
and should bring an action for false
Imprisonment or kidnaping against ev
ery man who had had him In charge?
I urged and pressed this upon South
ard, and I have reason to think that
other officers did the same thing. But
the secretary always said, as they so
often do at Washington, that there
were no special orders to give, and
that we must act on our own judg
ment. That means, "If you succeed,
you will be sustained; if you fall, you
will be disavowed." Well, as Danforth
says, all that is over now, though I
do not know but I expose myself to a
criminal prosecution on the evidence
of the very revelation I am making.
Here is the letter:
"Levant, 2 2" S. 131 W.
"Dear Fred I try to find heart and
life to tell you that it is all over with
dear old Nolan. I have been with him
on this voyage more than I ever was,
and I can understand wholly now the
way in which you used to speak of the
dear old fellow. I could see that he
was not strong, but I bad no idea that
the end was so near. The doctor hnd
been watching him very carefully, and
yesterday morning came to me and
told me that Nolan was not so well
and had not left his stateroom a
thing I never remember before. He
had let the doctor come and see him as
he lay there, the first time the doctor
had been In the stateroom, and he said
he should like to see me. Oh, dear!
do you remember the mysteries we
boys used to invent about his room, in
the old Intrepid days? Well, I went
In, and there, to be sure, the poor fel
low lay in his berth, smiling pleasant
ly as he gave me his hand, but look
ing very frail. I could not help a
glance round, which showed me what
a little shrine he had made of the box
he was lying in. The stars and stripes
were triced up above and around a
picture of Washington, and he had
painted . a majestic eagle, with light
nings blazing .from his beak and his
foot Just clasping the whole globe,
which his wings overshadowed. The
dear old boy saw my glance,' and said,
with a sad smile, 'nere, you see, I have
a country !' And then he pointed to
the foot of his bed, where I had not
seen before a great map of the United
States, as he had drawn It from mem
ory, and which he had there to look
upon as he lay. Quaint, queer old
names were on It In large letters :
Indiana Territory,' 'Mississippi Ter
ritory,' and 'Louisiana,' as I supposed
our fathers learned such things; but
the old fellow had patched in Texas,
too ; he had carried his western boun
dary all the way to the Pacific, but on
that shore he had defined nothing, i
'Oh, Danforth,' he said, 'I know I
am dying. I cannot get horoe. Sure-
ly you will tea jne sotneiuiug uuw i
Stop! stop! Do not speak till I say
what I am sure you know, that there
Is not in this ship, that there Is not
in America God bless her! a more
loyal man than I. There cannot be a
man who loves the old flag as I do, or
prays for It as I do, or hopes for it as
I do. There are thirty-four stars in
it now, Danforth.. I thank God for
that, though I do not know what their
names are. There has never been one
taken away; I thank God for that I
know by that, that there has never
been any successful Burr. Oh, Dan
forth, Danforth,'' he" sighed out, 'how
like a wretched night's dream a boy's
Idea of personal fame or of separate
sovereignty seems, when one looks
back on It after such a life as mine!
rBut tell me tell me something tell
me everything, Danforth, before I die P
"Ingham, I swear to you that I felt
like a monster that I had not told him
everything before. Danger or no dan
ger, delicacy or ne delicacy, who was I
that I should have been acting the
tyrant all this time over this dear,
sainted old man, who had years ago
expiated, In his whole manhood's life,
the. madness of a boy's treason? 'Mr.
Nolan,' said I 'I will tell you everything
you ask about Only, where shal I
"Oh, the blessed smile that crept
over his white face I and he pressed my
hand and said, 'God bless you! Tell
me their names,' he said, and he point
ed to the stars on the flag. 'The last
I know is Ohio. .My father lived in
Kentucky. But I have guessed Mich
igan and Indiana and Mississippi that
was where Fort Adams Is they make
twenty. But where are your other
fourteen? You have not cut up any
of the old ones, I hope?'
"Well, that was not a bad text, and
I told him the names. In as good or
der as I could, and he bade me take
down his beautiful map and draw them
In as I best could with my pencil. He
was wild with delight about Texas,
told me how his brother died there;
he had marked a gold cross where he
supposed his brother's grave was ; and
he had guessed atx Texas. Then he
was delighted as he saw California
and Oregon that, he said, he hud sus
pected partly, because he had never
been permitted to land on that shore,
though the ships were there so much.
'And the men,' said ho, laughing,
'brought oft a good ileal besides furs.'
Then he went back heavens, how
far to ask about the Chesapeake, and
what was done to Barron for surren
dering her to the Leopard, and wheth
er Burr ever tried again, and he ground
his teeth with the only passion he
showed. But In a moment that was
over, and he said, 'God forgive me,
for I am sure I forgive him.' Then
he asked about the old war told
I me the true story of his serving the
'Tell Me Their Names," He Said.
gun the day we took the Java asked
about dear old David Porter, as he
called him. Then he settled down
more quietly, and very happily, to hear
me tell in an hour the history of fifty
years. ,
"How I wished It had been some
body who knew something! But I
did as well as I could. I told him of
the English war. I told him about Ful
ton and the steamboat beginning. I
told him about old Scott and Jackson;
told him all I could think about the
Mississippi, and New Orleans, and
Texas, and his own old Kentucky.
And do you know he asked who was
in command of the 'Legion of the
West?' I told him It was a very gal
lant officer named Grant, and that by
our last news, he was about to estab
lish his heudquarters at Vlcksburg.
Then, Where was Vlcksburg?' I
worked that out on the map; it was
about a hundred miles, more or less,
above his old Fort Adams; and I
thought Fort Adams must be a ruin
now. 'It must be at old Vick's plan
tation,' said he; 'well, that is a
change 1'
"I tell you, Ingham, it was a hard
thing to condense the history of half
a century into that talk with a sick
roan. And I do not know what I told
him of emigration, and the means of
itof steamboats and railroads and
telegraphs of inventions and books
and llterature-of the colleges and
West 4 Point ' and the Naval school
but with the queerest interruptions
.that ever you heard. Ton see it was
Robinson Crusoe asking all the accu
mulated questions of . fifty-six years.
' "I remember he asked, all of a sud
den, who was president now; and
when I told hlaa, he asked If Old Abe
was Gen. Benjamin Lincoln's son. He
Raid "he met old General Lincoln, when
he was quite a boy himself, at some
Indian treaty. I said no, that Old Abe
was a'Kentucklan like himself, but I
could not tell him of what family; he
had worked up Irom tne rau. w
for him!' cried Nolan; 'I am glad
that As I have brooded and
dered, I have thought our danger
in keeping up those regular rocrw
Elons In the first families.' Then I
got talking about my visit to Was
ington. I told him of meeting the Ore
gon congressman, Harding; I told Mm
about Smithsonian and the exploring
expedition ; I told him about the eajsV
tol and the statues for the pediment
and , Crawford's 'Liberty aad
Greenough's Washington : Inghaaa, I
told him everything I could think mt
that would show the grandeur of Msr
country and Its prosperity.
"And he drank it In, and enjoyed ft
as I cannot tell you. He grew saf
and more silent yet I never tfaontfist
he was tired or faint I gave him m,
glass of "water, but be just wet Ida Ea,
and told me not to go away. Tbea hm
asked me to bring the Pi-esbjterltn
Book of Public Prayer, which fay
there, and said, with a smile, that tt
would open at the right place cad mm
It did. There was his double wtA
mark down the page; I knelt 6amm
and read, and he repeated mKU wtc.
Tot ourselves and our country. O gra
cious God, we thank thee, that. m$r
withstandlng our manifold tmuQnea
slons of thy holy laws, thou tnut earn
tinned to us thy marvelous kindamf
and so to the end of that thanfasJiv
Ing. Then he turned to the end
the same book, and I read 'the wot&s
more familiar to me: 'Most TorartSftr.
we beseech thee with thy fawyr to km
hold and bless thy servant th presi
dent of the United States, and ad
others in authority and the red. T
the Episcopal collect Dxntnrti)?
said he, I have repeated those prajwrst'
night and morning, It Is now fifty-dree
years.' And then he said he twnrfld
go to sleep. He bent me dowa emar
him and kissed me; and he aa&
Look in my Bible, Danforth, when I
am gone.' And I went away.
"But I had no thought it was tlm
end. I thought he was tired aodl
would sleep. I knew he was fcapsji
and I wanted him to be alone.
"But in an hour, when the rtnr
went in gently, he found Nolan bad!
breathed his life away with a snfite.
He had something pressed tSom to
his Hps. It was his father's tea4&e mt!
the Order of Cincinnati.
"We looked In his Bible, and fhr
was a slip of paper, at tfce cCua
where he had marked the text
" They desire a country,
heavenly: wherefore God is awft
ashamed to be called their Go&t far
he hath prepared for them a tly,"
"On this slip of paper he Jaasfl we&Sr
ten: " 'Bury me In the sea; It feat twezr
my home, and I love it But wO! met
someone set up a stone for mj mem
ory at Fort Adams or at Orieawn tStxt
my disgrace may not be more tlaa
ought to bear? Say on it:
In Memory of
In the, Army of
the United State.
M Tie loved his country as na ctfoer
man has loved her; but no aeuc de
served less at her hands.
Story Everyone Should Ez2
Dr. Edward Everett Hale is feestt
known to the present generatioa a
writer of fiction that has taken a fagflr
and deserved place in Americas G?sisa
ture. His immortal short stevy, "TO
Man Without a Country," was ovta
llshed anonymously in , the At&mOia
Monthly In 1863 and collected 02
other stories In a volume Issued CVe
years afterward.
Great as were Doctor Ha1ea cenftsfc.
buttons to the literature of m enrat-
try, there is nothing in all Ite 1
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