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THE PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE OF HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY.
Vol. XXV, 1901, No. 4
VOL. XXVI, No. 2,
THE SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF SAINT TAMMANY OF PHILADELPHIA.
BY FRANCIS VON A. CABEEN.
The best introduction that we can give to our subject is in the words of the Rev. John Heckewelder. "All we know therefore of Tamanend is that he was an ancient Delaware Chief, who never had his equal. He was in the highest degree endowed with wisdom, virtue, prudence, charity, affability, meekness, hospitality, in short with every good and noble qualification that a human being possesses. He was supposed to have had an intercourse with the Great Spirit, for he was a stranger to every thing that is bad."
The first authentic account we have of our hero is in a deed dated June 23, 1683, (Penna. Archives, Vol. I, p. 64) to William Penn for the land lying along and between the Neshaminy and Pennypack Creeks " for ye consideration of so much wampum, so many guns, shoes, stockings, looking glasses, blankets and other goods as ye sd William Penn shall please to give unto us." And on 2d 6 mo., 1684, "Received moreover all matchcoats, stockings, shirts, and blankets, besides several guilders in silver, and I acknowledge I have sold all my land as above.
Tammanens X Mark
Sealed and delivered in ye presence of
The mark of X Tamanen"
Tamanend's mark is made in imitation of a snake not tightly coiled. On June 15, 1692, he gave satisfaction for all lands belonging to him and others. (Penna. Archives, Vol. I, p. 116.) The records now show that at a meeting of the Council at Philadelphia, July 6, 1694, he addressed them as follows: "We and the Christians of this river have always had a free road to one another, and though sometimes a tree has fallen across it, we have still removed it again and kept the path clear, and we design to continue the old friendship that has been between us and you, and do give a belt of wampum."
Continuing our search, we find the following and last authentic account of this great Indian in a deed made July 5, 1697, as follows: (Ibid., p. 124.) "We Taminy Sachimack and Weheeland, my brother, and Wehequeekhon alias Andrew, who is to be king after my death. Yaquekhon alias Nicholas, and Quenamequid alias Charles my Sons for us our heirs and successors grant . . . laud between Pemmepack and Neahaminy extending to the length of the River Delaware so far as a horse can travel in two Summer days, and to carry its breadth according as the several courses of the said two creeks will admit, and when the said creeks do branch, that the main branches granted shall stretch forth upon a direct course on each side and to carry on the full breadth to the extent of the length thereof." Acknowledged in open court at Philadelphia July 6, 1697; recorded in the Rolls Office 7th of 12th month, 1698, in Book E 8, Vol. V. p. 57, etc.
In this deed he was designated as the Great Sachem Taminent. "The name of Tamanend," states Hockewelder, "is held in the highest veneration among the Indians. Of all the chiefs and great men which the Lenape nation ever had, he stands foremost on the list. But although many fabulous stories are circulated about him among the whites, but little of his real history is known."
The same authority gives the signification of his name, Tamanend, as affable. The legendary accounts of our Saint will appear later on, as they occur in the accounts of the Society that was named in his honor. It is certain, however, that he would not have been selected for canonization in the minds and hearts of his white neighbors if he had not had attributes that raised him in a marked degree above all his nation. One account says that William Penn found him a man advanced in years, of noble mien, of great sagacity, and quick to see the superiority of the whites over his people, and therefore he was anxious to cultivate their friendship rather than wage what his wisdom told him would be an unequal struggle.
The value of real estate in this vicinity in those days may be of interest to the reader, so we give below a list of articles received by the Tamanend family for the land they parted with to Penn, the extent of which, roughly estimated, amounted to three hundred square miles.
"5 p. stockings 100 needles 10 Glasses 20 Barrs Lead 5 Hatts 5 Capps 10 Tobacco Boxes 25 lbs. powder 15 Combs 6 Coates 2 Guns 1 Peck Pipes 5 Hoes 8 Shirts 2 Kettles 28 yds. Duffills 9 Gimbletts 12 Awles 16 Knives 20 Fishhooks 10 Tobacco Tongs 10 pr. Sissors 7 half Gills 6 Axes 2 Blankets 4 Handfull Bells 4 yds. Stroud Water 20 Handfulls of Wampum" *
* Penna. Archives, Vol. I., p. 64.
The Rev. Mr. Heckewelder, who is probably the best authority we have upon the Indians of this section of the country, states that Tamanend's memory was held in the highest esteem by his own people, but that he never heard them say much concerning him, as it was not their custom to talk of their dead except in a very general way, and that no white man that had any regard for their feelings ever broached the subject of their dead to them. The various traditions, both verbal and written, concerning Tamanend emanated from the whites and not from the Indians. We see that between the first record that we have of him in 1683 and the last in 1697 he must have impressed himself strongly upon not only the community but also upon the officials of the provincial government, for in the last account he is described in the deed, which of course was writ ten by the English, as the Great Sachem Tamaniens, and no other Indian is so described; so to have acquired the right to such a title he must have had at least a large part of the attributes ascribed to him. In further corroboration of the way in which his memory was held, we cite the old cannon presented by the Colony on Schuylkill to the Association Battery about 1747, on which appear the words "Kawania che Keekeru" (This is my right, I will defend it). By many writers this motto is ascribed to Tamanend, and justly so, we think, rather than to the Delaware Nation alone, for we would expect just such a sentiment to be chosen by a man endowed with such lofty ideas as these words express. (This was the motto of the Saint Tammany Society. See Independent, May 3, 1783.) Further, the records of this Society show that their principal dayMay 1, or opening dayhas been always spoken of by them as Tammany's day. Their tradition is that Tamanend himself made a treaty with the fathers of this Society giving them the right to fish in the waters of the Schuylkill and hunt game upon its banks.
We also find this motto at the top of the title-page of a pamphlet which is in verse: "Kawanio Che Keeteru, a true relation of a bloody battle fought between George and Lewis in the year 1755. Printed in the year MDCCLVI." Turning over the page, we find "The words I have chosen at the head of my Title Page I am told by a gentleman skilled in the Indian languages is very expressive of a Hero relying on God to bless his endeavors in protecting what he has put under his care." "To form some idea of its signification," he says, "you may imagine a man with his wife and children about him and with an air of resolution calling out to his enemy, All these God has given me and I will defend them." (In Hist. Soc. of Penna. Said to have been written by Nicholas Scull.)
This translation remained unchallenged until 1888, when Dr. Brinton, Professor of American Archæology and Linguistics in the University of Pennsylvania, pronounced the words Iroquois and not Delaware, and at his suggestion they were submitted to Mr. Horatio Hale, who translates them thus: "I am master wherever I am," and in a very able article gives his reasons for their being in this language rather than in the Delaware tongue. (American Antiquarian, January, 1886.)
As to the last resting-place of Tamanend, this is a subject upon which a great deal has been written. The tradition that he is buried by a spring in New Britain Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, about three and one-half miles north of Doylestown, near the banks of the Neshaminy, on the farm owned by Enos Detwiler, is generally believed. We would add, in further confirmation of the tradition, that Tamanend ended his life by setting fire to his wigwam. (Magazine of American History, Vol. XXIX. p. 255; also Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania, by Sherman Day; Davis's History of Bucks County; Watson's Annals MSS., p. 498.)
In the following lines, which appear in a song published in the Pennsylvania Evening Post, April 30, 1776, reference is made to his end and also to his great age:
"As old ago came on, he grew blind, deaf and dumb,
Tho' his sport twere hard to keep from it,
Quite tired of life, bid adieu to his wife,
And blaz'd like the tail of a comit, my brave boys."
The fact that an old Indian was buried at the place named in 1740 is not contradicted by any of the historians; the only question being as to whether it was Tamanend or some other Indian. The chief argument used by those who thought it was some other than our saint was that he must have been a very old man, and that they should have expected some mention of him by his contemporaries between 1697 and 1740.
We do not think that the absence of mention makes this point good, for any one familiar with the newspapers and few local writings of the period well know that items concerning events or persons of their locality are very few and far between.
The tradition of the "State in Schuylkill," referred to, is another corroborating the fact that he lived long; for if he gave the right to fish to them when they started their Society, he must have been alive in 1782, which is the date of their birth as an organization.
The high esteem in which the subject of our theme was held is best shown by the transactions of the Society named in his honor.
SONS OF SAINT TAMMANY.
Every organization of men has a reason for its existence, and therefore we are led to investigate the condition of affairs that preceded the birth of the Sons of Saint Tammany, to see, if possible, what were the causes that called them into existence.
The passage of the Stamp Act aroused a storm of protests from the Colonies; and in 1765, soon after its passage, was organized the association of the Sons of Liberty, with headquarters in New York City and branches in every Colony, including a resident member in London, Nicholas Ray.
The name was first made use of in Parliament in a speech made by Colonel Barré, and was at once adopted by this body of patriotic Americans, whose untiring efforts in arousing their fellow-citizens to maintain their rights at last forced the British ministry to repeal the obnoxious measure. Their action was practically the first union of the Colonies in their opposition to the mother country, and they may well be considered as the "germ of the Revolution."
Colonel William Bradford, in a letter dated Philadelphia, February 15, 1766, to the Sons of Liberty of New York, says, "Our body in this city is not declared numerous, as unfortunate dissentions in Provincial politics keep us rather a divided people. But when the Grand cause calls on us, you may be assured we shall universally stand forth and appear what we really areSons of Liberty in Philadelphia."
We believe that all the persons mentioned in the following letter were members of this order in Philadelphia.
A letter from one Hughes, who was commissioned to distribute the stamps in Pennsylvania to Penn, the Lieutenant-Governor, has curious passages.
He says he "was waited upon by Messrs. James Tilghman, lawyer, Robert Morris, Charles Thomson, Andrew Call (Archd. McCall ?), John Cox, and William Richards, merchants, and William Bradford, printer," etc.
On March 3 one Benjamin Welsh, of Maryland, having had his house and buildings burnt, supposedly by parties who objected to his outspoken opposition to the Stamp Act, wrote to the Sons of Liberty in Philadelphia for assistance. The subscription list of those who gave is in existence; but, while some of those on it were unquestionably members of the society, others, we are led to infer, were rather unwilling givers.
The Stamp Act was repealed on the 18th of March, 1766, and on receipt of the news upon this side of the water the Sons of Liberty, believing that their work had been accomplished, disbanded.
In a letter from their London member, Mr. Nicholas Ray, he says, "Permit me therefore to recommend ten or twenty of the principal of you to form yourselves into a club to meet once a month under the name of Liberty Club and forever on the 18th. of March or 1st. of May give notice to the whole body to commemorate your deliverance, spending the day in festivity and joy."
In the reply from the Sons of Liberty in America, they write, "Your proposal with regard to a number of us forming ourselves into a club we have already had under consideration; but as it is imagined that some inconveniences would arise should such a club be established just at this time, we must postpone the same till it may appear more eligible."
The Sons of Liberty soon found the necessity for renewed action, for it was not long after they had planted their liberty pole on the common in New York in commemoration of the repeal of the Stamp Act before they were called to defend it against the attacks of the British soldiers, instigated by their officers, who showed great resentment against that which they considered was a victory of the liberty-loving colonists over the British government.
In the first of the "Farmer's Letters," which appeared in 1768, John Dickinson writes, "Benevolence towards mankind excites wishes for their welfare and such wishes endear the means of fulfilling them. These can be found in liberty only and therefore her sacred cause ought to be espoused by every man on every occasion to the utmost of his power." In the two lines of his song
"Then join Hand in Hand brave Americans all,
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall"
Is the pith of all his letters; it was the motto of the times; it was the slogan which was eventually to lead the patriots to victory.
The non-importing resolutions were made stronger, and their being adhered to by weak-kneed and avaricious brethren and looked after by the patriotic Sons of Liberty forged another link in the chain that was forming to bind the Colonies together. Men now began to talk and write of America. There was much less heard of the Colony, more of the Colonies. There had long been a Saint Andrew's Society, founded in 1749 to look after Scotchmen, a Saint David's for the Welsh, and in 1771 a Saint George's Society had been established for Englishmen, promptly followed by the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick for the Irish.
It is true that the bells in Philadelphia had been rung on May 1 for some years in honor of King Tammany, (PENNA. MAG., Vol. V. p. 29.) but the American spirit had been born as the natural results of the labor through which the country was passing, and it found expression in the Saint Tammany Society, for Tammany was certainly a full-blooded American.
It is evident that while the friends of liberty and America had accomplished much in the furtherance of their cause, it bad been performed generally under cover of secrecy, and it was now felt that the time had come for the organization of a society that could, openly have meetings which would unite those whose minds secretly held the thought expressed in later years of America for Americans.
Before giving an account of the first meeting of the Society of the Sons of King or Saint Tammany, held in this city, we must call attention to the fact that the fame of our patron saint had already traveled beyond the land of his birth.
In "Eddis's Letters from America," dated Annapolis, Maryland, December 24, 1771, he writes, "The Americans on this part of the continent have likewise a Saint, whose history like those of the above venerable characters [St. George, St. Patrick, St. Andrew, and St. David] is lost in fable and uncertainty. The first of May is however, set apart to the memory of Saint Tamina on which occasion the natives wear a piece of buck's tail in their hats or in some conspicuous situation. During the course of the evening and generally in the midst of the dance, the company are interrupted by the sudden intrusion of a number of persons habited like Indians, who rush violently into the room, singing the war song, giving the whoop and dancing in the style of those people; after which ceremony a collection is made and they retire well satisfied with their reception and entertainment."
A later writer adds, "This custom of celebrating the day was continued down within the recollection of many of the present inhabitants of this city [Annapolis, 1841] ." We have noted this celebration here to show that the fame of Tamanend had traveled from the neighboring Province of Pennsylvania, where he had long been celebrated on account of his services to and friendship for the early settlers, and also to call attention to the custom of those taking part in the affair to decorate themselves with buck tails or buck skins, for the reason that a little later the followers of Tamanend and those subscribing to their ideas were designated in the public prints as "Buck Skins." The first meeting of the Society is recorded in an issue of the Pennsylvania Chronicle, dated May 4, 1772. "On Friday, the first instant, a number of Americans, Sons of King Tammany, met at the house of Mr. James Byrn, (Located on the west side of Tenth Street between Mulberry (Arch) and Sassafras (Race), Deed Book I, p. 36.) to celebrate the memory of that truly noble Chieftain whose friendship was most affectionately manifested to the worthy founder, and first settlers of this Province. After dinner the circulating glass was crowned with wishes loyal and patriotic and the day concluded with much cheerfulness and harmony. It is hoped from this small beginning a society may be formed of great utility to the distressed, as this meeting was more for the purpose of promoting charity and benevolence than mirth and festivity."
The following toasts were drunk on this occasion:
1. The King and Royal Family (George III. of England). 2. The Proprietors of Pennsylvania (Thomas Penn and John Penn, son of Richard). 3. The Governor of Pennsylvania (Richard Penn, Lieutenant-Governor son of Richard Penn). 4. Prosperity of Pennsylvania. 5. The Navy and Army of Great Britain. 6. The pious and immortal memory of King Tammany. 7. Speedy relief to the injured Queen of Denmark (Caroline Matilda, sister of George III. of England, and wife of Christian VII. of Denmark). 8. Unanimity between Great Britain and her Colonies. 9. Speedy repeal of all oppressive and unconstitutional acts. 10. May the Americans surely understand and faithfully defend their constitutional rights. 11. More spirit to the Councils of Great Britain. 12. The great philosopher, Dr. Franklin. 13. His Excellency, Governor Franklin, and prosperity to the Province of New Jersey. 14. His Excellency, Governor Tryon, and prosperity to the Province of New York. 15. The Honorable James Hamilton, Esq., late Governor of Pennsylvania. 16. The Chief-Justice of Pennsylvania (Honorable William Allen, vice Kinsey, deceased, 1750 to 1774). 17. The Speaker of the Honorable House of Assembly of Pennsylvania (Joseph Galloway). 18. The Recorder of the City of Philadelphia (William Parr, vice Chew, resigned). 19. The pious and immortal memory of General Wolfe. 20. The Pennsylvania farmer (John Dickinson). 21. May the Sons of King Tammany, St. George, St. Andrew, St. Patrick, and St. David love each other as brethren of one common ancestor, and unite in their hearty endeavors to preserve the native Constitutional American Liberties.
The company started off with the regulation toasts of the day, and it was only when they reached the eighth toast that their real feelings show themselves; the ninth was stronger in its sentiment, the tenth rings out; quite vigorously for America's rights, but the toast-master evidently thought that it was now time to tone down the enthusiasm, so the eleventh toast sounds well but is perfectly harmless. Then follows a series of toasts to provincial dignitaries until we reach the twentieth, when the real sentiment of those participating crops out in the toast to the Pennsylvania farmer whose letters were then challenging the attention of the world.
In the last toast is the call to unite all parties in a common cause to defend the rights of America against oppression.
After the seventeenth toast we find an asterisk, and the note below says, "The kind genius that presides over American Freedom forbade it and the Sons of King Tammany appeared as averse to drink it as they would have been to swallow the 5 mile stone."
The person occupying the office of Speaker at this time was Joseph Galloway, and it must be remembered that the newspaper (Pennsylvania Chronicle) in which this account appears was owned by Goddard, so we quote a short biographical sketch of Galloway as follows:
"He was first a Whig then a Loyalist; in 1776 abandoned the Whigs and became one of the most virulent and proscriptive Loyalists of the time.
"In 1766 he connected himself with Goddard and Wharton in publishing a newspaper called the Pennsylvania Chronicle . . . the three partners quarreled, separated on the worst possible terms, and Goddard and Galloway filled the public prints with the vilest mutual abuse.
"They dissolved partnership in 1770."
From another source we quote the following:
"Fright our poor Philadelphia Galloway
Your Congress, when the loyal ribald
Belied berated and bescribbled?
What ropes and halters did you send
Terrific emblems of his end.
Till least he'd hang in more than effigy
Fled in a fog the trembling refugee.
"Galloway began by being a flaming patriot, but being disgusted at his own want of influence and the greater popularity of others, he turned Tory, wrote against the measures of Congress and absconded. Just before his escape a trunk was put on board a vessel in the Delaware to be delivered to Joseph Galloway Esquire. On opening it he found it contained only, as Shakespeare says, A halter gratis and leave to hang himself."
The Pennsylvania Chronicle was the only newspaper that gave any notice of this meeting, and we have given the notice in full.
The names of those participating, the hour of the dinner, and the bill of fare are all wanting; but, judging from the entries in the diary of a man about town of those times (Hiltzheimer), we should say that the beverage drunk in the toasts was rum punch.
The next record we find is from the pen of a lady, Miss Sarah Eve, and noted in her journal, under date of May 1, 1773, is the following: "A May morning indeed. . . . This morning was ushered in by the ringing of bells in memory of King Tammany, as he was used to be called, but now I think they have got him canonized, for he is now celebrated as Saint Tammany." (PENNA. MAG., Vol. V. p. 29.)
If this May day that our fair diarist notes had been the first one on which the bells were rung in honor of King Tammany, she would most certainly have noted it; so it is fair to presume that it was a custom of long standing or she would have put a query upon her page as to why they were ringing.
In Westcott's "History of Philadelphia" we find the following circular, dated April 28, 1778.
"SIR.As all nations have for seven centuries past adopted some great personage remarkable for his virtues and loved for civil and religious liberty as their tutelar saint, and annually assembled at a fixed day to commemorate him, the natives of this nourishing Province, determined to follow so laudable example, for some years past have adopted a great warrior sachem and chief named Tammany, a fast friend to our fore fathers, to be the tutelar Saint of this Province, and have hitherto on the 1st. of May done the accustomed honors to the memory of so great and celebrated a personage. And for this purpose you are requested to meet the children and associate Sons of Saint Tammany at the house of Mr. James Byrnes to dine together and form such useful charitable plans for the relief of all in distress as shall then be agreed upon."
The names of one hundred and twenty-one gentlemen who intended to participate were also given, and they comprised the most eminent and influential persons in the city, among them Chief-Justice Chew, Rev. Jacob Duché, Rev. Thomas Coombe, Rev. William White, John Dickinson, James Allen and Andrew Allen, Governor William Franklin (of New Jersey), Tench Francis, Joseph Galloway, Governor James Hamilton and his brothers Andrew and William, Dr. Adam Kuhn, John Lawrence, Thomas Lawrence, William and James Logan, Samuel Mifflin and Thomas Muffin (afterwards major-general and Governor of the State), John Cadwalader (afterwards colonel in the Revolutionary army) with his brother Lambert (afterwards colonel), Lieutenant-Governor Richard Penn, Richard Peters, Jr. (afterwards United States District Judge), John Ross, Joseph Reed (afterwards President of the State), David Rittenhouse (the astronomer), Dr. Benjamin Rush, Edward Shippen, James Tilghman, Thomas Willing, Thomas Wharton, Jr. (afterwards President of the State), and others. It may be interesting here to follow the political course of the gentlemen mentioned above, for it shows that at the beginning of our differences with the mother country it was not only popular but also considered fashionable to espouse the American side of the controversy, at least until the actual conflict took place.
Chief-Justice Benjamin Chew.His course was doubtful in the early part of the controversy, and he was claimed by both parties. In 1774, when Washington dined with him, he was Chief-Justice of Pennsylvania. On account of his having held a high office under the crown, and all such having fallen under suspicion, in 1777 he was arrested, but paroled in 1778, and later returned to Philadelphia, but took no active part in affairs.
Rev. Jacob Duché.He acted with the Whigs until 1777, and then wrote an extraordinary letter to Washington, after which he quitted America for England. In April, 1788, he solicited Washington's influence to effect a repeal of the act that kept him in banishment.
Rev. Thomas Coombe.Assistant to Duché, supported the Colonies until the Declaration of Independence, but felt that his ordination oath did not permit him to follow the same course after that event. In 1778 he obtained permission to go to New York, from whence he sailed to England.
William White.Afterwards Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. He remained most loyal to the American cause to the end.
John Dickinson.Author of the "Farmer's Letters," whose devotion to the American cause is well known.
James Allen.A son of Chief-Justice Allen, and the only one of them who did not join the royal army. He remained at home, wholly inactive, though his sympathies were supposed to be loyal. He was in declining health in 1776, and died before the close of the following year.
Andrew Allen, a brother of James, was first a Whig, and was one of the founders of the First City Troop. In April, 1776, he resigned from it, and, while a member of Congress, did not attend its meetings after June, 1776. After the Declaration of Independence he attached himself to the British army, and was with it when it entered Philadelphia.
Governor William Franklin, of New Jersey.The disgust in which the royal governor was held "arose in part probably from the illegitimacy of his birth, but principally from his time-serving conduct and courtier-like propensities. He was originally a Whig, but became ex virtute officii a Tory."
Tench Francis.He was true to the American side of the controversy, and is said to have contributed five thousand pounds for the support of the Revolutionary army.
Joseph Galloway.As we have given an account of this gentleman, we will omit any further mention here.
Governor James Hamilton.As President of the Council, was chief magistrate a fourth term from July 19, 1773, to August 30, 1773. A few years later he was obliged to witness the destruction of regal and proprietary authority in America, and, forbidden by his years and his loyalty to embark in the Revolution and share the popularity of its leaders, saw in its success the vanishing of his family's claim to office and influence. In August, 1777, he was made prisoner on parole.
William Hamilton.He graduated at the College of Philadelphia in 1762, and took some part in the resistance to Great Britain at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, becoming chairman of the Committee of Inspection and Observation for the City and Liberties; but after the Declaration of Independence and overthrow of the proprietary government he was one of the "disaffected."
Dr. Adam Kuhn.Was professor in the College of Philadelphia, and remained true to the American cause throughout the conflict.
John Lawrence.On September 14, 1767, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court. He remained on that bench until the Revolution. On the approach of the British towards Philadelphia he was put under arrest and gave his parole. He was subsequently allowed to go anywhere within Pennsylvania, and was discharged on June 30, 1778.
Thomas Lawrence.Sometime mayor of the city; died in 1775.
William Logan.Took no active part in the times, and died October 28, 1776.
James Logan.Trustee of Loganian Library. Born 1728, died 1803. Took no active part in the struggle, on account of his years.
Thomas Mifflin.At the appointment of the first delegates to Congress, Muffin was one of those chosen, and was the most determined Whig of them all. He was re-elected to the Assembly in 1774, and was sent also to the Congress which met on May 10, 1775. On hearing of the battle of Lexington he urged the people of Philadelphia at a town meeting to persevere in the cause. "Let us not," said he, "be bold in declarations and afterward cold in action."
Samuel Mifflin.Was loyal to the Americans to the end of the conflict.
John and Lambert Cadwalader, both colonels in the Revolutionary army, fought with great bravery for the cause of independence.
Lieutenant-Governor Richard Penn.Having no official motives (his brother John being in office at the beginning of hostilities) for reserve, he was even upon terms of familiarity with some of the most thorough-going Whigs. An evidence of this was the pleasantry ascribed to him on the occasion of a member of Congress one day observing to his compatriots that at all events "they must all hang together." "If you do not, gentlemen," said Mr. Penn, "I can tell you that you will be very apt to hang separately."
Richard Peters, Jr.His military career was short. Congress placed him in the Board of War, where his services were acknowledged by a vote of thanks by that body.
John Ross.Loved ease and Madeira much better than liberty and strife; declared for neutrality, saying that, "let who would be king, he well knew that should be subject."
Joseph Reed (afterwards President of the State).He was one of the Committee of Correspondence in 1774. He accompanied Washington to Cambridge in July, 1775, and as his aide and secretary remained with him during most of the campaign. He remained in the army until 1777, then became a member of Congress and afterwards President of the Council.
David Rittenhouse.The distinguished astronomer and member of Congress.
Dr. Benjamin Rush.He was united in sentiments and affections with nearly all the distinguished patriots of the Revolution, and mixed in the most important councils of the nation.
Edward Shippen.The breaking out of the Revolution was to Judge Shippen a matter of most serious moment. He was deprived of all his offices under the crown. He was in 1784 appointed judge, and gave entire satisfaction to the people.
James Tilghman.At the commencement of the Revolutionary struggle his views were liberal, like those of nearly every public man. He desired a repeal of the acts of Parliament generally complained of; he thought the Boston Port Bill an outrage, but condemned the "Boston Tea Party." As the struggle proceeded he shared the loyalist views of his colleagues in office.
Thomas Willing.Though voting against the Declaration of Independence because he thought America unequal at the time for the struggle, after it was passed supported it loyally to the end.
Thomas Wharton (afterwards President of the State) was a supporter of the American cause until his death, May 23, 1778.
There also appeared in the Pennsylvania Chronicle of May 8, 1773, the following: "Permit a few unfortunate natives of England, who are here confined for debt, to return thro' the channel of your paper, their grateful acknowledgment to the benevolent Society of the Sons of St. George, established in this city, for their late charitable and generous donation to us, and which was judiciously expended by one of their faithful stewards. At the same time, a considerable number of the most indigent of the confined debtors, deeply impressed with the warmest sense of gratitude, beg leave in this manner, to return their sincere and hearty thanks to the very respectable society of the Sons of St. Tammany, who were assembled the first instant at Mr. Bryn's Tavern to celebrate the day, for the plentiful gift of victuals and beer, which they were pleased to send, and which was faithfully distributed among them."
In carefully scanning the records of the foregoing gentlemen, we find that they were very evenly divided on the issues of the times, which became much more emphasized as the date arrived for the next dinner. May 1, 1774, fell on Sunday, which it is well to note, for that might account for their not having a dinner on that day.
(To be continued.)
THE SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF SAINT TAMMANY OF PHILADELPHIA.
BY FRANCIS VON A. CABEEN.
VOL. XXVI, No. 2,
The newspapers of the time had long accounts of "The Bull Baiting in Parliament," as the attack of Wedderburn upon Franklin before the Privy Council was called.
On Tuesday, May 8, a very exciting event took place in Philadelphia in consequence of the publication of the above facts, and as it shows the feelings of the populace, we give a very full account taken from a newspaper of the day following:
"Yesterday about four o'clock in the afternoon the effigies of Alexander Wedderburn, Esq., convicted of traducing the American Colonies and insulting their Agent before his Majesty's Privy Council for doing his duty, and of Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., Governor of Massachusetts Bay convicted of an attempt to incense Great Britain against her Colonies, were put into a cart and conducted through the streets of the City. On the breast of Wedderburn the following label was fixed:
"'THE INFAMOUS WEDDERBURNE.
A pert prime Prater of a scabby Race
Guilt in his Heart and Famine in his Face! (CHURCHILL altered)
Similis Proteo mutetet fallacior Catalina
Hunc vos Bratanni cavete!'
"He availed himself of the license of the bar to insult the venerable Dr. Franklin, whose knowledge in philosophy, universal benevolence, just sentiments of liberty and indefatigable labors to promote harmony between Britain and her Colonies entitle him to the esteem of the learned of every nation, the love of all good men and sincere affection of every honest Briton and American.
"But the base born sollicitor who attempted to turn his learning, benevolence and patriotism into ridicule is (like Hutchinson) a parricide of the first rank, who would sacrifice his country, his liberty and his God and delight in the carnage of the most faithful British subjects in America to gain promotion at court. Such horrid monsters are a disgrace to human nature and justly merit our utmost detestation and the gallows to which they are assigned and then burnt with electric Fire. With several others and the following lines from Hudibras.
"'So a wild Tartar, when he spies
A man that's handsome, valiant, wise
If he can kill him thinks t'inherit
His wit, his beauty, and his spirit,
As if just so much he enjoy'd
As in an other is destroy'd.'
"On Governor Hutchinson's heart was fixed the following label. Governor Hutchinson, whom we now consign to the gallows and flames as the only proper reward for double dealing and treachery to his native country.'
"After being exposed for several hours they were hung and burnt in the evening amidst a vast concourse of people who testified their resentment against the originals with the loudest acclamations." (Penna. Gazette, May 4, 1774.)
As our Society was yet but an infant in comparison with some of the others that met at regular stated intervals during the year, and as the aims of its members were, as we believe, very pro-American, as against the mother country, the exciting times upon which they were just entering may, along with desertions from their ranks, have prevented their holding a meeting as usual. Or it may be that, owing to their previous chronicler, Goddard, having left the city early in the year, no one took the trouble to send an account of their proceedings to the papers. Certain it is that we have searched in vain in the prints of this year for any notice of them. ("ANXIOUS INQUIRIES OF THE SUNDAY DISPATCH, p. 34.Subscriber wishes to know the origin of Tammany Society? "It was originally instituted as a benevolent, society on the commencement of our Government in order to protect our red brethren and induce them to enter into treaties of peace with us and give up a savage border warfare. They were originally called Sons of Liberty and Friends to the Constitution and Union of the States.")
Graydon, in his Memoirs, speaking of the winter of 177475, says, "But a period was now approaching which tended equally to interrupt the pursuits of pleasure and of business. . . . The ministry seemed resolved upon enforcing their assumed right of taxing the colonies, and there was an equal determination on the part of America to resist the pretension. . . . But waving analogies, that may be fitter for illustrations than arguments, the merits of the question were, I think, on the side of the colonies; and the inference that the authority contended for by Britain would ultimately reduce them to vassalage was by no means chimerical.
"This being generally perceived and assented to, a great proportion and perhaps a great majority of the most wealthy and respectable in each of the provinces was arrayed in opposition to the Ministerial claim. I speak of the early stages of the contest. In Pennsylvania this was certainly the case, though as to the extent to which the opposition should be carried, there was doubtless a great diversity of opinion; Many sincere Whigs considering a separation from the Mother country as the greatest evil that could befall us. The Merchants were on the Whig side with few exceptions; and the lawyers who, from the bent of their studies, as well as their habit of speaking in public were best qualified to take a lead in the various assemblies that became necessary, were little less unanimous in the same cause."
That the Tammany Society was in existence in 1775 we can infer from the following poem that was addressed to it, and we must frankly add that this is the only record we can find of it in this year.
"The Address of Liberty, to the Buckskins of Pennsylvania, on hearing of the intended Provincial Congress.
Fair Liberty, dear Goddess Bright
Wishing to set the Pennites right
Thus from her Throne, in candid Strains,
Addressed her Pennsylvan Swain.
Can public Virtue by me stand,
See Faction stalking through the Land ?
Faction that Fiend, begat in Hell
In Boston nurs' dhere brought to dwell
By Congress, who, in airy Freak,
Conven'd to plan a Republic?
Will Helmsmen let the Ship of State,
Meet with so dire, shipwreck'd a Fate?
Can Judges, fam'd for Probity
Sit tame Spectators by, and see
The Laws oppugn'd by Committee
Who Laugh at Courts, and Loyalty?
Can peaceful Quakers, honest Church,
See Congress leave them in the Lurch,
And o'er their Heads such Vermin perch!
Stop Independents! Stop, I say !
You mean to fightto run away;
The British Thunder you defy,
And right of Parliament deny;.
Revile the kind Peace making Gage,*
"Who with great Prudence would assuage
The fires lit up by Hk's Rage,**
Which unto civil Wars must tend,
Unless the Olive Branch we send
To gen'rous Britain your best Friend.
Stop, Independents, stop, I say!
Attend to my instructive Lay!
Fysham must swing on yonder Tree***
Dear Friends, an Englishman you'll see,
Traytor to his King and Country!
With Rope adorn'd on gallows high,
He'll kick in Air, in Company
With the Pennsylvan Farmer John,****
And Charley T, a Rebel Son,*****
For Crime by Statute called Treason,
Which they committed without Reason
Well read in Law John seem'dOh, Shame!
Not so was it with poor Fysham!
For ignorant, alas, was he,
Ignorant as e'er Man could be!
(Ignorance, know ye, in Law's no Plea)
But Farmer John inveigled him,
And Charles united in the Scheme;
But Peace the Wight enjoyed_dying_
Both were by his side a crying,
When Rope about his Neck was fix't,--
He clearly saw they would be next
Tuck't up aloft on self-same Tree,
That he, alas, must hanged be!
View, Friends, this sad Catastrophe,
Three Rebels hanging on one Tree
Dead as Door Nailshung for Treason,
Which they committed out of Season,
Lives lostEstates confiscated
Their Fam' lies left discomfited,
A horrid Scene, a dismal ditty
Good lack-a-day--what a Pity!
Poor Fysham formly, we' re told,
Sold goods to France for Sake of gold,
Tis true be did, in Time of War,
Yet he escaped from Rope or Tar;
But he's o'ertak' n, Hemp has reach' d him
For old sin his, weight has stretch'd him.
View, my Readers, this sad Picture!
Hang they will your Gen'ral Stricture.
Unnat' ral Deaths some Folks must dye,
Sic transit gloria mundi.
Ah, me! Deluded, hoodwink'd Cits,
Rouse from your Sleep, resume your Wits!
Honor the King, obey my Laws!
Don't forfeit Life and Lands for Straws!
Had those mad Bandits been discreet,
They ne'er had stretch'd in hempen Sheet.
("From the Temple of Liberty "January 7th, 1775.")
*General Gage, commander of the British forces in America.
***Captain William Heysham, member of Fort Saint David Society (State in Schuylkill, page 402); also Hiltzheimer, page 26; also Directory, signed Non-Importation Resolutions, member of the City Committee of Correspondence.
****John Dickinson, author of the "Farmer's Letters."
*****Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress.
It may not be out of place here to give a short account of the temper of the times at this period. (May, 1775.) The news of the battles of Lexington and Concord had been given to the public in an extra edition of the newspapers on April 27. (Postscript Penna. Gazette.) The feelings of the people of the city were so much inflamed by the news of the conflicts in Massachusetts that a self-exiled Tory from this Colony, arriving in the city on May 4, found great difficulty in securing lodgings when he made himself known to the people from whom he sought shelter. His friend, on receiving him, remarked, "We will protect you, though a Tory." (Ward's Diary, p. 26.)
We find in a newspaper dated Tuesday, May 2, 1775, (Penna. Evening Post.) that on the Saturday previous the Military Associators met and determined that each ward of the city should form one or more companies of soldiers. Then follows a list of those already formed, and the article closes as follows: "In short Mars has established his empire in this populous city, and it is not doubted but we shall have in a few weeks from this date 4000 men well equipped for our defense or for the assistance of our neighbors. Several gentlemen who measured the ground on which the people stood at the meeting on Saturday are of the opinion that their number amounted to eight thousand."
On the next page is the following advertisement: "All persons who have Fire Arms by them are desired to give public notice thereof and dispose of them at a moderate price to those who want them. It is supposed that there are considerable numbers in this city which were used on board vessels during the War."
We can see that it was hardly a time for dinners and jollifications, but rather for action; so, for the time being at least, our members were the followers of King Tammany as against King George. The warlike conditions of the times urged them to remember that when their liberties were attacked they must, like their patron, be prepared to defend them.
The next record we find is the following poem, which seems to us to prove that at the time of its publication our Society was still in existence or the newspapers would hardly have thought it worth while to print it, for in those days they were not much given to taking up space with matter of local interest. It is also interesting to note the fact that in the introduction its members are referred to as Sons of Liberty. This may have been merely a generic term for all lovers of the American cause, but we rather think not, and that the editor knew what was most likely known to the majority of the people of the time, that the moving spirits in the Tammany Society were those who were either members of the Sons of Liberty or at least held their pronounced views. That the followers of Tammany were the ones for whom the poem was published is shown first, by the sentence "and thinking it will suit extremely well for the first of May," which day was the one always celebrated by this Society. Secondly, in the last line the poet says, "And hail ev'ry first of Sweet May, my brave boys."
"The following humorous song was solely intended for the American Tragi-comedy entitled The Fall of British Tyranny, or American Liberty Triumphant, of five acts which is now in the press, and will be published speedily. Having been favored with a sight of the manuscript and thinking it will suit extremely well for the first of May, the printer has prevailed upon the author to let him insert it in the Evening Post on the eve of that day for the entertainment of his jovial readers, and Sons of Liberty.(Penna. Evening Post, Tuesday, April 30, 1776.)
"The First of May, A new Song in Praise of St. Tammany, the American Saint
"Tune, The hounds are all out &c.
"Of St. George or St. Bute, let the poet laureat sing,
Of Pharaoh or Pluto of old,
While he rimes forth their praise, in false flattering lays,
I'll sing of St. Tamm'ny the bold, my brave boys.
Let Hibernia's sons boast, make Patrick their toast,
And Scots Andrew's fame spread abroad,
Potatoes and oates and Welch Leeks, for Welch goats,
Was never St. Tammany's food, my brave boys.
In freedom's bright cause, Tammany pled with applause,
And reason'd most justly from nature;
For this, this was his song, all, all the day long,
Liberty's the right of each creature, brave boys.
Whilst under an oak his great parliament sat,
His throne was the crotch of the tree,
With Solomon's look, without statutes or book,
He wisely sent forth his decree, my brave boys.
His subjects stood round, not the least noise or sound,
Whilst freedom blaz'd full in each face;
So plain were the laws, and each pleaded his cause,
That might Bute, North and Mansfield disgrace, my brave boys.
No duties nor stamps, their blest liberty cramps,
A King, tho' no tyrant was he;
He did oft' times declare, nay sometimes would swear,
The least of his subjects were free, my brave boys.
He, as King of the woods, of the rivers and floods,
Had a right all beasts to control;
Yet content with a few, to give nature her due,
So gen'rous was Tammany's soul! my brave boys.
In the morn he arose, and a hunting he goes,
Bold Nimrod his second, was he;
For his breakfast he'd take a large venison stake,
And dispis'd your flip-flops and tea, my brave boys.
While all in a row, with squaw, dog and b__,
Vermilion adorning his face;
With feathery head he rang' d the woods wide,
Sure St. George had never such grace, my brave boys:
His jetty black hair, such as Buckskin saints wear,
Perfumed with bear's grease well smear'd,
Which illum'd the saint's face, and ran down apace,
Like the oil from off Aaron's beard, my brave boys.
The strong nervous deer, with amazing career,
In swiftness he'd fairly run down,
And, like Sampson, wou'd tear wolf, lion or bear;
Ne'er was such a saint as our own, my brave boys.
When he'd run down a stag, he behind him wou'd lag,
For so noble a soul had he!
H'd stop, tho' he lost it, tradition reports it,
To give him fresh chance to get free, my brave boys.
From his quiver he drew forth an arrow so keen,
And seiz'd fast his imperial bow;
It flew straight to the heart, like an Israelite dart;
Could St. Andrew ever do so, my brave boys?
With a mighty strong aim, and a masculine bow,
His arrow he drew to the head,
And as sure as he shot, it was ever his lot,
His prey it fell instantly dead, my brave boys.
His table he spread, where the venison bled;
Be thankful, he used to say;
He'd laugh and he'd sing, tho' a saint and a king,
And sumptuously dine on his prey, my brave boys.
Then over the hills, o'er the mountains and rills,
He'd caper, such was his delight;
And ne'er in his days, Indian history says,
Did lack a good Supper at night, my brave boys.
On an old stump he sat, without cap or hat,
When Supper was ready to eat;
Snap his dog, he stood by, and cast a sheep's eye,
For venison's the king of all meat, my brave boys.
Like Isaac of old, and both cast in one mould,
Tho' a wigwam was Tamm'ny's cottage,
He lov'd sav'ry meat, such that patriarch eat;
Of ven'son and squirrel made pottage, my brave boys.
* * * *
As old age came on, he grew blind, deaf and dumb,
Tho' his sport twere hard to keep from it,
Quite tired of life, bid adieu to his wife,
And blaz' d like the tail of a comit, my brave boys.
What country on earth, then did ever give birth,
To such a magnanimous saint?
His acts far excel all that history tell,
And language too feeble to paint, my brave boys.
Now to finish my song, a full flowing bowl;
I'll quaff' and sing the long day,
And with punch and wine paint my cheeks for my saint,
And hail ev'ry first of Sweet May, my brave boys."
Further, in looking at the play ("The Fall of British Tyranny, or American Liberty Triumphant.") itself, which was published later in this year, we find that the prologue was spoken by a character called Mr. Peter Buckstail (Ibid., p. 7.) (another name for a Son of Saint Tammany). The remarks spoken just before the song by a player called Roger are as follows: "RogerWith all my heart! Most delightful harmony! This is the First of May! Our shepherds and Nymphs are celebrating our glorious St. Tammany's day: we'll hear the song out and then join in the frolick, and chorus it o'er and o'er again. This day shall be devoted to joy and festivity."(Ibid., p. 35.) The above facts, taken together, we think make good our claim that our Society existed at this time. The times were becoming more exciting, for on May 1 a very hotly contested election was held in Philadelphia, (Marshall's Remembrances, p. 77.) and the Committee of Safety passed a stringent resolution concerning paroled prisoners; at the same meeting they passed the following: "The Sisterhood of Bethlehem having presented this Board with a quantity of linen rags for the benefit of such as may be wounded in the service of this country. Resolved: That this instance of their humanity be thankfully acknowledged." (Penna. Evening Poet, May 4, 1776.)
While, as we have said, we have no doubt of the existence of the Sons of Saint Tammany at this period, it may have seemed to them that the times would hardly justify their meeting in a festive manner, and the papers, on their part, hardly thought it necessary, after publishing the above poem, to take up further room when their space was needed for more stirring items of news.
It may be well to see what other societies were doing in the years 1775 and 1776, and by referring to their records we find that "The Sons of St. George did not meet after April 23rd. 1776 for seven years and they began to feel the effects of the times in 1774, few joining the Society." (Historical Sketch of the Society of the Sons of Saint George, p. 11.)
Saint Andrew's Society had only seven present at their meeting in 1776.
The Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick continued to hold their meetings until December, 1775, though their records show that they held a meeting in 1776 and expelled Thomas Bats for taking an active part against the liberties of America.
These societies were organized for benevolent purposes, held monthly meetings, and were not instituted, as the Tammany Society was, for patriotic and social ends with charity as a side issue; hence we can understand that if the troublesome times interfered with the above societies, they were more than likely to prevent the social feature of Tammany being recognized, while the patriotic organization still existed even if its numbers had been reduced by desertions from its ranks caused by the approach of hostilities.
Under date of April 14, 1777, we read in the newspapers of that date a resolution of Congress concerning the threatened invasion of Pennsylvania. On April 22 an order from the Committee for the removal of stores from the Delaware for fear of their falling into the hands of the British. On April 26 people bringing provisions into Philadelphia are allowed to take them out again if the place they take them to is one of safety. Instead of an account of a meeting of the Saint Tammany Society on May 1 of this year, we find in the papers of the day following an order from the Pennsylvania War Office for an assessment of blankets upon the people.
"PENNA. WAR OFFICEMay 2nd., 1777.
"To THE PUBLIC.
"The Hon. Maj. Gen'l. Schuyler having informed this board that a considerable body of Continental Troops by the want of blankets, are retarded from joining His Excellency, Gen'l. Washington, and requested our aid in collecting a quantity from the inhabitants immediately. We cannot doubt but every loyal subject of the United States that are well attached to the cause of America will spare all blankets (receiving the value of the same) for the use of the Troops which they conveniently can. And as the making an assessment of blankets has been recommended by Congress as a measure that would be more just and equal to the inhabitants in general than to oppress the generous and benevolent only, by voluntary contributions. This Board have, therefore, by virtue of the authority given them by Congress and the emergency of the case ordered such assessment to be made, and they earnestly request the aid of all friends to their country in carrying the said assessment into execution, as the health of the Army, a consideration deserving the utmost attention, depends upon it."
As the above measure affected every one and brought home to all a very keen sense of the war times they were living in, we thought it well to insert it here, so as to make it clear why our Sons of Saint Tammany did not meet. Many citizens had left the city for other places considered less likely to be attacked, such as Lancaster, and more were preparing to follow. We know that some of those who dined with the Society at Byrn's Tavern in 1773 were now with Washington at Morristown, New Jersey, waiting and watching for the next move of the British, fearing that at any moment they would be called to defend not only the sentiments they toasted at their last dinner, but their very firesides.
To show that this fear of invasion was pretty generally felt, we give the following card that appeared in the papers in the early part of May of this year:
"To THE PEOPLE OP PENNA.
"As you seem to be apprehensive that the enemy will come into the State, if you wish to prevent such an evil prepare with the utmost spirit and vigor to fight them and you will preserve your peace and safety.
"Be assured that the infamous Torries are spies upon all your conduct and give information thereof to the enemy who will determine to come or not to come as you are prepared or not prepared to fight them.
"Your path of duty is plain and easyact as becometh men with spirit and vigor, and your City and Country will remain in safety.
"A SOLDIER." (Penna. Evening Post, May 8, 1777.)
In the winter and spring of the year 1778 our members who had espoused the cause of their country were compelled to follow the example of their patron and live in huts at Valley Forge, with hardly any more protection from the weather than he and his warriors had and certainly with less food, while their late brethren who had cast their lot with the invaders were assisting them in preparing, not for the feast of Saint Tammany, but for that remarkable performance the Meschianza. It is true that on May 1 news had reached head-quarters at camp of the treaty between France and the United States, and of course the news was whispered around among the most prominent of the army. So on this feast day of their saint his followers had to be satisfied with a repast that filled their hearts with hope, while their stomachs had to be satisfied with flour and water baked over their camp-fires. On June 18 of this year the British army evacuated Philadelphia, never to return, and soon the refugees returned to their more or less damaged homes, resuming as best they could the interrupted thread of their lives.
On May 1, 1779, we find by the public prints that Saint Tammany had once more resumed his sway, and that his broad spirit had animated his votaries to invite the followers of foreign saints who were loyal to the American cause to dine with his sons at his feast; and while we have no detailed account of the dinner, there is no doubt that his saintly influence inspired them all to put forth more active exertions in behalf of his beloved country, America.
The following is the notice of the dinner: (Penna. Packet, May 1, 1779.)
"The sons of St. Tammany and their adopted brethren of St. Patrick, St. Andrew and St. George, are desired to meet this day being the first of May at the Theatre in Southwark (Situated at South and Apollo Streets.) at two o'clock. Dinner on the table at three o'clock. N. B. The dining at the late Proprietors (Evidently Springettsbury is meant, and must have been used as a house of entertainment after it had been confiscated.) being inconvenient the Theatre is preferred to any other place."
How tantalizingly short the notice is! no account of the toasts, songs, or speeches, or even the names of those present, all of which information would have given us a slight glimpse of the real feeling of the times as held by the true lovers of their country.
One thing, however, it shows,namely, that the organization had survived desertion from its ranks as well as temporary expulsion from its home.
Like the followers of the saints of old, treason in their midst might divide them, war might scatter them, but at the first favorable opportunity they would gather together to worship at the shrine of their patron, who stood for freedom, liberty, and independence.
The selection of the Southwark Theatre as the place for holding this dinner seems to us to have been dictated by a wish on the part of the members of the Society to enter a protest against the extravagances of the times, for they abandoned a place having at one time some reputation, (Westcott's Historic Mansions, pp. 415, 423. Situated on the north aide of Buttonwood Street, between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets.) and selected one for their dinner that had little or none. This seems to have been their first step in democracy, while in later years their distinguishing characteristic was democratic freedom or simplicity.
Search as we may in this year (1780), the only mention we can find of the name Tammany or Buckskin is the noting of the arrival at Philadelphia of the schooner "Buckskin," from Havana, after a long and tedious passage owing to severe gales of wind. (Penna. Packet, February 22, 1780. Ibid., 1780.) Adverse weather was certainly pursuing the cherished desires of our Whigs, whether members of the Saint Tammany Society or not. The Continental currency had depreciated to such an extent that General Washington, writing from his head-quarters at Morristown, New Jersey, to a friend, says that "he doubted if a wagon load of Continental money would now buy a wagon load of food." The situation of the country was considered so serious by the authorities of Pennsylvania that they thought an appeal to heaven a necessity to assist the country in its troubles, so they appointed April 25 as a fast day. In view of the above state of affairs, it may not have seemed to the followers of Saint Tammany that it would be proper to have a public celebration and jollification when they all felt that their hopes and expectations were in such jeopardy. Three years later our Society was spoken of as the Constitutional Sons of Saint Tammany, and its members then assembled at the country-seat of Mr. Pole. In view of this, it is well to note that there appeared in the newspapers (Ibid., 1780.) of this year an account of the meetings of "The Constitutional Society." The notice of its second meeting this year, under date of February 8, is as follows: "The Constitutional Society meet on Saturday evening next, the 5th. inst. at six o'clock precisely at the Dutch Lutheran School House in Cherry Alley. Edward Pole, Secretary. N. B. The room will be accommodated with a good fire in the stove." The members of the society continued to meet every ten days or two weeks at the same hour and place until March 18, when the place was changed to "Mr. Kidd's School House in Vidells Alley near the Golden Fleece in Second St. a few doors below Chestnut St." Then, on April 1, they met at the Court House at the same hour "on particular business," and on April 22 at the State-House, "when a question of considerable importance will be debated." On May 20, the last notice of them, (In the United States Magazine of 1779, p. 99, is a notice of this society "Resolved by the Constitutional Society of Philadelphia that two persons be appointed to prepare and deliver on the 4th of June next, the anniversary of our glorious Independence, the one an oration on the advantages of that Independence; the other an Eulogium in memory of those brave men who have fallen in defense of our rights and privileges.") they met as above. From the foregoing we are led to think that this society was either our Sons of Saint Tammany under another name, or that it was the nucleus around which the Saint Tammany Society gathered on great occasions. Most likely the members of the Constitutional Society were the real active political workers of the larger Tammany organization. Certainly it is a curious coincidence that their secretary's country-seat should be taken within three years as the meeting-place of the followers of our saint, and we hardly think that this meeting-place would have been chosen without it being very well understood by all that the two societies were to all intents and purposes one and the same. The lines between Whigs and Tories were very strictly drawn at this time, as is shown by the following:, "Dec. 12th. A HintIt is expected that no man who has not taken a decisive part in favour of American Independence will in future intrude on the dancing assembly of the city, such characters are either too detestable or too insignificant for Whig Society. The company of those who were so insensible of the rights of mankind and of personal honour, as to join the enemies of their country on the most gloomy moment of the revolution cannot be admitted. The subscription paper thro' accident has been handed to some characters of this description."(Penna. Packet, December 12, 1780.) The spirits of our Whig friends had evidently been cheered by the hopeful news from the Southern army, and they were therefore more ready to yield to a little recreation at this time than during the darker days of the past spring.
While the British captured the city of Philadelphia in 1777 and held it until June of the year following, our French allies certainly had possession of the hearts and minds of the citizens of this city during the year 1781. The principal social events were either given by or to the French officers, and "the most Christian Monarch Louis XVI." held as high a place in the estimation of all lovers of American independence as did the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental army. Notices of the Constitutional Society now disappear from the newspapers and contemporaneous prints, and there is no mention of the followers of Saint Tammany. All the social functions noticed, with the exception of a dinner given by citizens on February 8 to the officers of the army and navy,2 were in honor of the French alliance. Where, we would expect to find an account of (Ibid., February 3, 1781.) dinner given in honor of our saint, there appears instead the following account: "Friday last, May 4th., the Chevalier De La Touche, Captain of the Herminious frigate, gave on board his vessel an elegant entertainment to his excellency the President, and the honourabe members of Congress to his excellency the President, and the honourable Vice President and council of the State: in presence of his excellency the Chevalier De La Luzerne, Monsiur De Marbois M. Holker and a great number of military and civil officers and gentlemen of both nations. On his arrival and departure, the President of congress was saluted by thirteen guns. The frigate was elegantly decorated, and all her colours flying afforded a pleasing sight to several thousand people standing on the shore. After dinner the following toasts were drunk: (Penna. Packet, May 8, 1781.)
I. The United States of America Guns fired 21 II. The King of France 21 III. The King of Spain 21 IV. The Queen of France 21 V. The United Provinces of Holland 13 VI. The State of Pennsylvania 13 VII. Gen. Washington & the Army 13 VIII. Gen. Rochambeau & French Army 9 IX. Gen's Green, Lafayette, Steuben & their Troops 9 X. Admiral Destouches & the French Fleet 9 XI. The American Ministers in Europe 9 XII. Success of the Campaign 9 XIII. Eternity of the Alliance 9
"The elegancy of the entertainment was universally admired, and the novelty of a ball on ship board was commented on." (Freeman's Journal, May 16, 1781.)
Proctor Table of Contents.