Page images
PDF
EPUB

weeks' record hunt, in behalf of THE CENTURY, and most likely the American wife of Timothy Shelley, who apropos of the Shelley centennial.

Timothy Shelley, born April 19, 1700, third son of John Shelley, of Sussex, England, emigrated to America, and is said to have married here a widow named Johanna Plum, and to have had two children born here, and named respectively John and Bysshe. It is said that Bysshe Shelley was baptized August 1, 1731, at Christ Church, Newark. With this tradition comes the statement that the house at Guilford, Connecticut, in which the poet Fitz-Greene Halleck passed the closing years of his life, had once belonged to an ancestor of Shelley, the English poet. There are other statements such as that Timothy Shelley had followed the trade of apothecary in the colonies; that he had practised as a quack; that he had deserted his American wife, and that he had run away to England to avoid his creditors. It seemed natural to me to seek information where the American land-holding was, so I turned my attention first toward Guilford.

The New Haven Colony came from Massachusetts early in the seventeenth century, and in 1666 sent a branch colony to the Passaic, so that there is close historic connection between Guilford and Newark. In the library of the Historical Society at New Haven there is a carefully written manuscript of Guilford births, marriages, and burials, in which I found several pages of Shelleys. Among the 162 individuals therein mentioned there are many who bear Old Testament baptismal names, such as Shubael, Ebenezer, Benjamin, and Reuben, and two or three known by that of Timothy. There is no record of any Shelley taking a wife named Plum, maid or widow, and the name of Bysshe does not appear at all. Guilford still keeps its old colonial records, and there I found in the vault of the office of the town clerk vellum-bound volumes containing notes of the original apportionment of lands, minutes of boundary settlements, copies of wills, deeds, and bonds from the earliest date of the settlement. In these books are names of many Shelleys, from the first Robert, who came over in the Lion in 1632, and married Judith Garnet of Boston in 1636, to another Robert who owned the land upon which the old-fashioned frame-house once occupied by Halleck now stands. From this Robert this portion of the "home lot," to follow the description considered sufficient in the simple old days, came to Nathaniel Elliott, who gave it to his daughter Mary, the wife of Isaac Halleck and mother of Fitz-Greene Halleck, the poet. From this, doubtless, grew the story which gave the Halleck house to an ancestor of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The Shelleys of the seventeenth century were nearer to the common ancestor, and when Timothy came over early in the eighteenth it may be that he found his first welcome from kinsfolk in Guilford, and that the first American Timothy, who died at Branford in 1738, was named for him.

A close search amongst the archives of the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark revealed the existence of a Samuel Shelley who in 1776 was a soldier in the War of Independence. The family of Plum is here abundantly evidenced by both printed and manuscript

references.

Samuel Plum was one of the original party who came from New England. From his stock, which continued prosperously in Newark for many generations, came

became thus an ancestress of the English poet. The Newark records show that the family of Plum was large and widely connected, and might well have furnished a daughter or a widow to mate with the handsome young Englishman. There is indeed notice of a Johanna Plum who died March 9, 1760, at the age of fifty-two, but it is difficult to decide whether she was spinster, wife, or widow. It is curious and apt that in the story of these early days there is much mention of a certain Captain Giles Shelley of New York, master of the bark Nassau, who fell into trouble with the New Jersey authorities in 1699 by landing a cargo of contraband goods at Woodbridge, and who lived not free from suspicion of strange doings upon the far high seas, and association with Captain Kidd. The church records, which would tell us beyond question where and when the marriage of Timothy Shelley and the births of his two sons occurred, went to feed the bivouac fire of some Hessian contingent or British troop; for it is well established that when Newark was occupied by the King's forces in the Revolution, old Trinity was used as a stable for the horses of the troopers, and on their departure only the blackened stones of the old building remained to witness the work done both by the priest who came to the cure of souls at the beginning of the century, and by the soldiers who came at its end to dispose of the bodies of the colonists.

In the office of the clerk of Essex County at Newark there is a book of old colonial court records which contains the information that "at a Courte holden the 4th Tuesday of November, A. D. 1734," Timothy Shelley sued David Hayward for the sum of £15, and that the sheriff returned that he had attached the body of the defendant. It also contains the entry of an action for slander during the January term, 1738, wherein Timothy Shelley was plaintiff and John Nettle was defendant, and the sheriff's return of arrest of the latter. The original narration or statement of the cause of suit might give us much information, but though I made a thorough examination of the papers relating to early litigation which are preserved in the custody of the Essex county clerk, I found neither the narration in Shelley vs. Hayward, nor that in Shelley vs. Nettle. It appears from these papers that there was a Benjamin Shelley in Newark in 1732, and that on April 10, 1734, one "Cunney High, Shelley's godson," was indebted to Samuel Wheaton in the sum of one shilling and one penny.

The office of the Secretary of State at Newark contains the colonial probate and real-estate records of East New Jersey, and here I found the will of a Widow Shelley, but she was of New York; her name was Heelegand, she had been a Van Horne as a maiden, and she had died in 1716, all against the hope that she had been the widow of Timothy. I suspect she was the widow of the sea-rover Giles, for I find that after writing his owners in 1699 that he had brought back with him from "Macadagascar" to their account twelve thousand pieces of eight and three thousand "Lyon" dollars, he soon after loaned three hundred "Mexican pillar pieces of eight" on a mortgage of lands on the Raritan River and at Barnegat, which mortgage, as is indicated by a subsequent record, appears to have come to the executor of his will. Heelegand Shelley seems to have had some interest in East New Jersey lands

and this mortgage is the only record by which such an interest is traceable.

The last place of my search was the office of the Register of Deeds in New York city. Little thinking to find anything of importance there, I found the most definite and interesting of all the records. In Liber 32 of Conveyances, at page 368, is a copy of a document which is in form a post-obit, and is curious enough to be repeated here in words and letters as it stands upon the record-book:

RECORDED for Capt. William Bryant of the City of New York, Mariner, this 30th day of May Anno Dom.

1743.

KNOW ALL MEN by these presents that I Timo Shelley of Newark In America, Merchant, my heirs &c am held and firmly bound unto William Bryant of the City of New York in America, Marriner in the sum of Two hundred pounds of Sterling money of Great Brittain to be paid to the said William Bryant, his certain attorney, Executors, Administrators or assigns, to which payment well and truly to be made and Done I do bind my Self my heirs Executors and administrators and every of them firmly by these presents. Sealed with my seal dated the six day of December In the ninth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the grace of God King of Great Britain, France and Ireland Defender of the faith and so forth and in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and thirty five. THE CONDITION of this obligation is such that if the above bounden Timo Shelley his heirs Executors or administrators shall and do well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto the above named William Bryant his certain Attorney Executor administrators or assigns the full and just sum of One hundred pounds sterling money of Great Brittain aforesaid and that so soon as he the said Timo Shelley shall be possessed of an Estate of the value Two hundred pounds a year sterling which now belongs to his father John Shelley of Fenn place in the county of Sussex in Great Brittain Esq. and that without fraud or further Delay then this obligation to be void and of none effect otherwise to be and remaine in full force and virtue.

TIMO SHELLEY [Seal].

Sealed and delivered in the presence of JOHN SHURMUR and THO. NIBBLETT.

MEMORANDUM that on the Twenty-eighth day of May Anno Dom. 1743 personally appeared before me John Cruger Esqre Mayor of the City of New York Thomas Nibblett of the same city victualler and made oath upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God that he was present and saw the within named Timothy Shelley sign seal and deliver the within written Bond or obligation as his Voluntary Act and Deed and that he the Deponent together with John Shurmur Did at the same time subscribe their names as witnesses thereto.

JOHN CRUGER.

It will be observed that this bond was not recorded until more than seven years after its execution.

The father of Timothy had died in 1739, and, presumably, Timothy had returned to England, taking with him his children John and Bysshe, and had entered upon the enjoyment of the "Estate," at least as guardian of the interests of a lunatic elder brother. The prudent mariner, since he was careful to put it on record, probably as soon as he learned that Timothy had left the colonies, doubtless enforced his bond in England against the Newark merchant, "his heirs, executors, or administrators." It may have been the enforcing of this obligation which created the report that Timothy Shelley had absconded from his creditors on this side of the water, but, reasonably considered, that should not, and no other record does, reflect discredit on his honest dealing in America.

John Malone.

"Southern Womanhood as Affected by the War."

My circumstances, before and since the war, have enabled me to judge clearly and impartially, I think, of the ability and fairness of the views and conclusions of Dr. Tillett in his important paper in the November CENTURY entitled "Southern Womanhood as Affected by the War." A Southern boy, educated in Pennsylvania, and when a man married to a New York woman, and subsequently the president of one of the most important of the Southern female colleges, I can confirm almost everything on the subject that has been said by the author of the article and the correspondents whom he so freely quotes.

But there is one thing I know, which Dr. Tillett could not know, because he is so much younger a man, and has had his observations almost entirely confined to the South. For instance, he cites the fact that before the war self-support was never thought of by young women of good social standing in the South, and that their male relatives would never have allowed it. Was not that just as true of the North? Since reading the article I have reviewed my recollection of the state of affairs in social life, and I cannot recall a single girl of all my college acquaintances of whom that was not just as true as of the girls I had known in my boyhood in the South. Fifty-three years ago I came to New York, and the same was true of all the young ladies with whom I became acquainted here. Not one pursued studies that had any reference to self-support. I can recall the names of a number of leading families in the city, which then terminated on the north at 14th street. There was not a father in any household I entered who ever expected his daughter to become self-supporting; not a young man who, if the idea had been suggested to him, would not have regarded his sister as forfeiting social position if she had sought to "make her own living." Thirty years ago I first saw England, and the same was to a large extent true of social life there. I am sure that at that time no titled lady would have dreamed of opening a large millinery establishment in Regent street, London.

But now that is all changed. The last quarter of a century has altered woman's relative social condition in all lands, and Southern women have shared the general progress; and it is more remarkable in the South because young women in high social life there occupied a position very nearly that of the daughters of the English aristocracy, though their circumstances were suddenly and startlingly changed by the results of the war.

I can confirm the opinion of the distinguished educator whom Dr. Tillett quotes and whom I think I know. While I was president of the college in North Carolina "I had no pupils preparing for their own support." In 1853 M. W. Dodd, then a publisher whose store was in "Brick Church Chapel," which stood where the “Times " building now stands, published a little book of mine entitled "What Now?" It was an address to my graduating class of that year, a class composed of young ladies, the daughters of wealthy or well-to-do planters and professional men. After the war the American Tract Society desired to republish it, and, in preparing it for the general public of young women just beginning life, the changes I was compelled to make to fit the book for its new mission show

very strikingly the changed condition of young woman- capacity to steer altogether; and as it leaves the perhood even then.

Now, as one of Dr. Tillett's correspondents shows, and as I have learned from other sources, the standard of scholarship has been greatly advanced in Southern colleges for women. Now "twenty-five per cent. of the girls look to supporting themselves when they leave college." Of course "they are most earnest and diligent in the prosecution of their studies." It is to be pointed out that two things are resulting from this: (1) that large numbers are pursuing less the ornamental and more the useful studies; (2) that the effect of their better scholarship in both departments is to stimulate powerfully the other students. So while the present generation of Southern girls can never become lovelier than their charming grandmothers, the new order is producing a larger class of better-educated women.

Charles F. Deems.

The Steering of Yachts.

1. A SUGGESTION.

UNDER the heading, the "Evolution of the Modern Yacht," appeared in the "North American Review" for October, 1891, an article over the signature of Lewis Herreshoff, praising the model of the Gloriana. Of the form of that craft I have nothing to say either in praise or censure, because I have never seen her. If she can outsail yachts of a different shape, that fact conclusively proves that hers is the better. Only one of the author's points do I wish to criticize. In praising the steering qualities of the Gloriana he says:

In vessels of the usual form, when driven by fresh winds the water is piled up against the lee bow, and, owing to the bluff part of the bilge being wholly or partially immersed, the water it displaces forces the bow of the boat strongly to the windward, giving the vessel a tendency to luff, or turn toward the wind. This "luff ing" influence of the lee bow must be counteracted by the rudder, resulting in labor for the helmsman and loss of speed for a double reason, the obstruction caused by the piling up of the water of displacement under the lee bow, and the drag on the boat by the rudder, seeing that it must be carried at an abnormal angle to produce the

required effect.

If a boat or vessel at any time, whether running free or close to the wind, carries a weather helm, no matter how slight, the tendency in this direction will be increased as the breeze freshens, causing her to careen more and more. It is not difficult to find the reason for this. The farther the vessel lies over on her side, the less becomes the steering-power of her rudder. If we could suppose her to move on after she lay upon her beam-ends, and still have a tendency to turn her bow to the wind, the helm might be placed hard up, but it would be powerless to counteract the luffing influence, because, when in a horizontal position, the rudder has lost all its steering-force, although it is still a drag on the boat.

The rule is the same whether the boat is sailing in rough or smooth water, and whether she has a bluff bow or a sharp one. The scow and the yacht are governed by the same principle; namely, when the rudder is in the nearest to a perpendicular position that it ever gets, if the stern-post is raking, it will be always somewhat inclined,-it exerts the greatest steeringforce; when it reaches a horizontal position, it loses its

pendicular and approaches the horizontal, it steers with diminished power; and, consequently, “must be carried at an abnormal angle" to do its work.

It will be observed that I have been stating the effect of the increased careening of the boat, and the consequent change of the position of the rudder on its steering-power alone. I have not been accounting for the tendency of the boat to luff under certain circumstances, but only for her apparently increased disposition to turn her head to the wind as she lies over on her side more, when the wind freshens, owing to the diminished steering-power of her rudder as it approaches a horizontal position. The main cause of this tendency to luff is the action of the wind on her sails When the boom of a sloop is swung out to leeward, the influence of the breeze on her mainsail is the same as the finger of the spinner on the spoke of the spinning-wheel, it turns her around toward the windgives her a tendency to luff. If, while the sail remains at this angle with the keel, the increase of the breeze causes the boat to careen more, then the rudder loses some of its steering-power, and "must be carried at an abnormal angle to produce the required effect."

A result reached in a "rather obscure but interesting manner" is not quite so profitable as one the causes of which are clearly seen, and hence the above suggestion.

Isaac Delano.

II. COMMENTS BY MR. HERREshoff.

MR. DELANO has made an excellent beginning in the science of steering by his study of the action of the rudder, but if it be his desire fully to perfect himself in that art, closer observation will be required. The proper office of the rudder, as a factor in steering a sailing-vessel, is to create an equilibrium amongst several opposing forces, so that the desired control may be maintained over the movement of the vessel.

The careful designer seeks so to adjust the various factors that go to make up the proper balance of a yacht that the action of the rudder will be sufficient to counteract any excess that one force may exert over another. The chief thing to be done is to place the center of effort of the sail-area in proper relation to the center of lateral resistance of the hull. This is about all the designer can do; he trusts to the good sense of the master of the vessel to trim his sails properly, and to keep them in as good condition as to fit and setting as possible, all of which has marked influence on steering qualities.

The general proportions of the hull have a direct bearing on facility of steering, and the form also exerts more or less influence in the circle of forces that enter into the problem. Now if these various forces would remain always in the same relation to each other, steering would be easily performed; but with every change in the force of the wind and in the angle of inclination of the hull, new combinations are formed, and even new forces may be set up, so that the problem of steering, which might seem simple when considered as the rudder's work alone, really becomes often difficult and complex. Yachts of the "English type" nearly always carry a lee helm, when sailing close-hauled or slightly free, in fresh breezes; yachts of the old Ameri

can type, like Mucillage, require almost a horse's power to steer them under the same conditions, carrying the while an abnormal weather helm.

When Gloriana and Mineola were approaching the Spit in the New York Yacht Club regatta last June, the latter yacht became in a measure unmanageable, pushing herself under the lee bow of the former yacht in a troublesome and unusual manner, the Gloriana all the while being under absolute control although she carried a heavier press of sail than her opponent.

These and many more circumstances convince me that other influences than merely the action of the rudder enter into the problem of steering, and I must still adhere to my statement made in the "North American Review," in October, 1891, that the perfect steering qualities of Gloriana in a great measure are acquired by the peculiar form of her entrance and by her manner of disposing of the water of displacement under her lee bow.

66

Lewis Herreshoff.

The Battle of the Wyoming in Japan. It was with much pleasure I read in the April number of THE CENTURY MAGAZINE the account of the United States Steamship Wyoming in the Straits of Shimonoseki, but I regret that the article should be marred even by a single omission or inaccuracy.

If my memory serves me rightly, "Master William Barton " was at that time Lieutenant William H. Barton. Acting Master John C. Mills should read John C. Wells, of Greenport, Long Island. I regret that the name of our ward-room messmate, an able officer, stanch friend, and popular with all the ship's

officers and crew, has been omitted entirely from the article: namely, Acting Master William Tallman, Jr., of New Bedford. He it was, I believe, who was in command of the "after 11-inch pivot-gun" (not Wells', and therefore, if I am right, to him should be given the credit. Mr. Wells was the navigating officer, and the undersigned at that time was assistant navigating officer and officer in charge of the powder and shell division. It was a hot fight, and every one on board entered into the engagement with a determination to conquer or die. From the nature of our surroundings there could be no skulking, no straggling, no retreat. To be defeated by the overwhelming numbers meant naught but death eventually by the hand of our enemies, a fate much more horrible to contemplate than to meet death amid the heat and smoke of battle.

Mr. Griffis compliments our late commander McDougal and Lieutenant-Commander and Executive Officer Young none too highly, for they truly were men of steel, modest and fearless; heroes in all the word implies. Walter Pearce,

Late Acting Ensign, U. S. S. "Wyoming."

COMMENT.

I THANK Mr. Pearce for calling attention to my unintentional omission of the name of Acting Master William Tallman, Jr., though I was informed by the other officers of the Wyoming that Acting Master John C. Wells (which a mistake of the copyist made Mills) was in charge of the after pivot-gun. Master William Barton was not, as he has written me, made lieutenant until some time after the action.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Wade in the cool and sparklin' crick,
While cute spring bossies romp and play
With Ponto, in the tall slough hay,
Yeh picket out the gentle Roany,

Kemble.

Yer knowin', faithful, herdin' pony,
And tumblin' down upon yer back
Wher' gay, sweet-smellin' beauties bide
In posey beds, three counties wide,
You take a swig of prairy air,

With which old speerits kent compare,
And think, and plan, and twist, and rack
Yer brains, to work some scheme aroun'
To git a week to spend in town.

III. PRIDEWEED AND THISTLES.

Prideweed 'n' thistles grew so thick
The critters would n' pull the plow,-
The steer was willin', but the plaguy cow
Objected to the jagger's prick,-
So I bedeviled in the crap.1

Nen swagg'rin' mustard come so quick,
A-struttin' smart to make a show,
The crap wa'n't give no lay to grow,
And when a drouth come down ker-slap
I see it wa'n't no ust to hoe;

By harvest-time I come to know
The toilin' farmer hed no chance,-
The laws not givin' him a show,-
So I put on my other pants,

And quit the farm 'n' squar'-off went
To jest reform the gover'ment.

IV. THE COMMITTEE.

When school was out along in June,
About the time the corn laid by,
We picnicked Friday afternoon.
And it so come thet Lit 'n' I
Were all committee.

We sot the tables where the light

[graphic]

Leaked through the laughin' leaves and cast

A silver barley sieve down right

Where all the posey-pots were spread,

And chicken pie, and seeded bread,

And crusted cake, and fust and last

'Bout ever'thing there is to eat

Of hearty stuff, and sour and sweet.
And there was Lity.

She come from town to teach our school;

I tuck to her right from the fust,

But must say I were treated wust

I ever were. Along with me

On thet committee I could see

She 's mad enough to hev a fit.
But what made me the maddest yit
Were when thet there confounded mule
Of beau of her'n-pleg-takéd fool-
Come from ther city.

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic]

And Susie Harris

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »