The Hamptons Union, February 24, 1910

Vol. II, No. 8

Hampton News

Mrs. E. W. Singleton of Claremont was at the beach last week.

Mrs. Jennie Tufts of Boston was at her cottage last week.

Mr. and Mrs. Littlefield have been visiting his sister at Rowley this week.

A sleighing party from Exeter drove to Hotel Whittier on Monday evening, where they took supper and spent an enjoyable evening.

Miss Mildred Batchelder passed the holiday at her home in town.

Washington's birthday was observed by a big snow storm. It was all over town.

A very pleasant meeting of the W. C. T. U. was held at Mrs. Alvin True's last week Wednesday afternoon. About twenty five were present besides children. It was a Frances Willard Memorial meeting. A pleasant feature of the meeting was the singing of Mrs. Phillips.

Mrs. Fred S. Marston has returned from Portland, Me., where she was called four weeks ago by the serious illness of her father, who died at his home in that city last week Monday.

Carl L. Akeley has composed a piece of music which was played by the Xenian orchestra at the Academy Assembly club at Exeter Tuesday evening.

Last Sabbath was a beautiful day for Sunday worship. Many remembered it and kept in holy. Good audiences greeted the pastors at the Hampton churches. At the Free Baptist church the numbers and interest is increasing. The Sunday morning services, Sunday school and social services are well sustained. The pastor preached last Sunday the second sermon from the theme, "The Christian's Completed Life." The subject of the evening service was, "Human Life as an Evergreen." There was special music.

The Q & Q whist party met with Mrs. Merritt last Thursday. Prizes were won by Mrs. Warren Drew, Thomas Sanborn and M. W. Littlefield. Lunch was served by the hostess. Next meeting will be at Mrs. John Cutler's next Saturday evening.

A ten pound baby boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Thompson on Wednesday morning. Dr. W. B. Mack was in attendance.

Mail Carriers George E. Garland and Clinton Durant attended a convention of letter carriers at Manchester last Tuesday.

The young people of the Free Baptist church observed Washington's birthday by giving a social at the vestry Monday evening. The program was a pleasing one, well planned and well carried out. There was music by the Phillips family orchestra, violin solo by Ada Tarlton with Miss Gladys, as accompanist. Song by Mrs. Minney Fennell. The Washington Tea Party, Washington and his Mother. The tableaux and the exercises by the young people were well represented and carried out. Several pictures of the Great General were hanged upon the walls and decorated. Cake, cocoa, coffee and home made candy were offered for sale and a snug little sum was realized. A large number were present and all went away with smiling faces.

The warrant for town meeting, to be held March 8, will be found on another page.

Observe the excessive glare of sun light on the snow, and the forward march of longer days.

Fred Morehouse and Stewart Gates have been the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Fred H. Thompson this week.

The drama, "Brother Josiah," which was to be given in town hall, Hampton, Tuesday evening, was postponed owing to the storm, and will be given Friday, February 25. Don't fail to see 'Joe Cram as Josiah.'

Llewellyn F. Hobbs, formerly of this town, left last Thursday for Halifax N. S., where he will visit his son and wife, the former having been confined to a hospital there with an attack of scarlet fever.

One of the most delightful social events of he season was the reception given by the Monday club in Odd Fellow's Hall Monday evening February 21, 1910. It is the custom of the club to observe Gentlemen's Night" in February and this one included a large number of friends also. The guests, which numbered sixty four, were presented by Mrs. Freda Coffin and Mrs. Marlena Church to the president, Mrs. Anna S. Ross, and the vice president, Mrs. Sarah M. Lane, she received them most cordially. At eight o'clock, on behalf of the club, extended a hearty welcome and the program, which had been prepared for the entertainment, was begun. It consisted of a piano duet by Mrs. Lane and Mrs. Coffin and a solo by Mrs. Coffin. Then followed a drama, entitled, "The Church Fair," the casts being taken by twelve members of the club, who entered into the spirits of the drama with great zest and while it is almost impossible to single out any one as taking her part better than another, yet special mention must be made of the "Curious Woman," which was portrayed by Mrs. Howard G. Lane, in a most realistic manner, and which repeatedly brought forth emphatic applause. One simply could not restrain a hearty laugh between the acts. Miss Clara J. Powers delighted the audience with some very exquisite music. At the close of the drama, the reception took the part of a social and the merriment was contagious, every one having a good time. Several gentlemen declared that the club should give two receptions instead of one each year. Refreshments were served of sandwiches, neapolitan ice cream, cake, fancy crackers and coffee. The guests departed at eleven o'clock, repeatedly thanking the club members for a most enjoyable evening.

There was a very good delegation from Hampton who attended the Congregational club at Durham on the 22nd. Arriving an hour before the morning service began the company were taken over the college buildings and had the pleasure of visiting the green houses, creamery, and barns where their fine breed of stock is kept. Prof. Sanderson was the speaker of the morning, whose subject was "The Relation of the Church and Its Problems to Agriculture." Rev. Mr. Van Der Pyl delivered a fine address in the afternoon, his theme being "The New American."

The supervisors of the checklist give notice of their meetings in another column.

A number from Hampton attended the presentation of "Mr Bob" at North Hampton Wednesday evening.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Q. Bennett were in town on Washington's birthday. Mrs. Bennett and her sister, Miss Harriet Holland, Miss Bennett and Master Mark Bennett will sail for Europe on April 12.

Miss Augusta Blake went to Boston on Friday, remaining until Tuesday.

Mr. and Mrs. William Philbrick of Lawrence, Mass., were in town this week. On Tuesday they were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Church, who gave a dinner in honor of Mr. Church's birthday.

The storm of sleet last Thursday entirely put the Exeter, Hampton and Amesbury Street Railway cars out of running, and owing to the snow plow being off the track, it was not till late in the afternoon that the first car from Hampton reached Exeter. Cars over the Exeter and Portsmouth line began running about noon, and then only to the waiting station.

There was no special observance of Washington's birthday in Hampton this year, and the drama which was to have been given in the town hall in the evening for the benefit of the Men's league was postponed on account of the storm.

The collector's sale of property for unpaid taxes will be held next Saturday, and it will be of special interest this year, owing to the sewer assessment on Beach property which is involved.

The annual church meeting of the Congregational church will be held on Thursday, March third, instead of this week as announced from the pulpit. Every church member is urged to be present at the meeting in the afternoon and there will be a supper served so all can remain to the evening prayer meeting. It is hoped all the members will make a special effort to attend.

At the Free Baptist church next Sunday at 10:30, the pastor, the Rev. W. Lincoln Phillips, will preach from the theme "The Gospel of Christ and the Adaptation." The chorus choir will sing for an opening selection, "Arise, Arise, Lift up your eyes.". They will also sing the hymns and response. The ladies choir will sing for a special selection, "Send the Light," by Charles H. Gabriel. Come and hear the music; it will do you good. The Sunday school will meet at the close of the morning service at 11:45. Be sure and be present; as the pastor has something important to say at the close of the session. At 6:30 there will be a special service. The subject of the meeting will be, "That Elder Brother." The church orchestra will be present with an appropriate selection, which will be followed by a raise service, in which all the singers can take part. Let this service be thoroughly spiritual and helpful. Let there be liberty. This is your meeting. You are most cordially invited to be present. You are needed. There is a blessing for you. Come that your spiritual strength may be renewed.

"Come ye that know and fear the Lord,.
And raise your thoughts above;
Let every heart and voice accord,
To sing that, "God is love."

"Legendary Incidents"

The following is the paper on "Legendary Incidents," which was written by Mrs. J. P. Blake, and read at the Monday club, of recent date. It is very difficult to find recorded these incidents which have been told by one generation to another, and will make it exceedingly interesting to read in print:

Old Hampton is indeed a strange place, at least it was so once, when the oldest inhabitants, who were among the first settlers, were in their younger days. It was strange because superstitious, and it is not uncommon to meet persons today who are superstitious, yet who would not believe it has been handed down from one generation to another, since the days of witchcraft, to which most of the wonderful occurrences of the seventeenth century were attributed.

It is said there were, within the borders of the town, no less than a dozen persons who were called witches, and who were regarded with hatred and fear. Conspicuous among them was Goody Cole, whose name has been made famous by the poet Whittier in "The Wreck of Rivermouth." It is the privilege of the poet, however, to weave a thread of fact with a web of subtle fancies; while it would be unpardonable in the historian to connect the loss of the vessel, with its human freight, which occurred in 1657, with Goody Cole thrown into prison in 1656. That to her sorceries was laid the drowning of two young men, who had incurred her wrath, there can be no doubt. A horrible tradition exists that when she died, her body was thrown into a ditch, and a stake driven through it.

One of the most absurd stories ever told, but which years ago was considered as true as the Bible, is related of a man who was unfortunately murdered in the woods on the Portsmouth road. Every one feared to go through these woods at night, as the trunk of the murdered traveler without any head, would appear about the trees, crying halo! halo!. How a man could cry without the use of his head, was the absurd part of it.

Another story, of somewhat later date, concerning the appearance of his majesty, "Jimmy Squaretoe," is more likely, as well as more fashionable. Near the old cemetery on the road leading from Young's corner [Corner of Park and Winnacunnet] to the old "Academy Green," was a small ten foot building, in which lived a man with two daughters and his niece. To them, it is said, an unknown cat, which afterwards changed into a little man, dressed in leather, appeared at different times and under strange circumstances. For what purpose these visits were intended was never quite understood. But "the little man in leather," who was represented to be the size of a cat, was never known to visit anyone but this man's children or those whose care had been confided to his superintendence. Jimmy, as he was called, was a brisk little fellow and followed the niece and daughter all about. They couldn't get rid of his presence. He was everywhere, as the unknown cat had been before him. His favorite place, where he was ever constant, when a thing was doing inside, was at the window of the young ladies' bed chamber.

Whether Jimmy ever pushed the door open or shoved up the window, which he might have done, while the girls were asleep, the story does not tell, or how long he continued to wait upon the children in his leather dress, appears equally uncertain, but that this apparition was the devil himself, no one ever doubted, because many persons of the highest respectability have seen his worship in the leather dress walking about in the graveyard. As his majesty was connected with another story which is in part more plausible, it will be well to relate it here, although without doubt it is known to you all.

General Moulton, whose career was subject to much criticism during his life and of distorted tradition ever since, has come down to us in verse, and the poem of "The New Wife and the Old" reveals the weird fancies that have been woven about his memory, fancies which ever ascribe an "early grave" for the wife, who, at her death, had been married twenty-six years and was the mother of eleven children; and which call the middle aged second wife, a "blooming girl." The exploit of this hero, most ardently treasured by legend mongers, is this stratagem to cheat the devil. The story goes, that the General made a bargain with his satanic majesty, to sell his soul for a boot full of gold, to be poured down the chimney of his house. The devil endeavored to fulfil his part of the contract, but to his surprise, the gold constantly settled and the boot could not be filled. Investigation showed that the crafty General had cut off the toe and so had become immensely rich, without losing his soul.

When Satan had discovered how he had been imposed upon, he was exceedingly wroth at his unprincipled confederate and in revenge burned his house when all the General's gains were consumed. But they became fast friends again and were seen walking together. You will probably ask here, who were walking together? As the story goes, it was "Jimmy Squaretoe," the little man in leather, who was seen in the company of the General after they had become reconciled. It was not long after this circumstance that the old General died, and was buried -- yes, the coffin was buried, but the body was not, to all accounts. The deceased, as usual, was prepared for burial, but on the succeeding day when all was arranged for the dreaded solemnities if a great funeral, on lifting the lid to take farewell a look -- lo! the coffin was empty. The "little man in leather," to the utter fulfillment of his bargain, had taken possession of his prize, and with it perhaps flown to the infernal regions, though it was said he frequently appeared in various parts of the town after that. In reading the stories of General Moulton, I found several different ones about his death. Besides the one of which I have spoken, this one was currently reported. Instead of the coffin being empty at the funeral, the bearers declared it heavy enough to be filled with stones, and the place of his burial "no one knoweth unto this day." One of the proverbial land deals brings forth another version of his death and burial. A French chemist bought of him the so called David Towle place and being, as he thought, cheated, vowed revenge. He and Moulton were the best of friends. They dined and wined together frequently at one house or the other. The chemist boasted that he could make a poison so subtle that it could not be discovered by taste, smell or color. One day after the two had dined together at the Frenchman's house, the General was taken violently ill and died in a few hours. It was generally believed that he was poisoned by the chemist. He was buried on his own grounds by his wife's side, who, by the way, had previously died of smallpox, and had to be buried on private ground. This spot was near the railroad and only a few years ago the gravestones were removed and the ground cultivated by the owner.

The land on which the house of General Moulton stood was fenced off in such a way that it resembled the singular form of a common flat iron and contained about twenty acres. Such was the prejudice created in the minds of the farmers against the old General from his dishonest acts they cried out against him for being a cruel, hard hearted man, and the land seems to have been cursed to this day, for nothing fruitful will grow on it.

After these imaginary incidents, a few real ones will perhaps be more interesting. During King Philip's war, when men went armed to their daily work, the tragedy of Captain Locke is told. Having stood his gun against a rock while he was reaping grain, several Indians crept stealthily up behind and shot him with his own weapon. Supposing him dead they rushed upon him for his scalp, but when he revived he struck out with his sickle and cut off the nose of one of the Indians. Years afterward a son of his met with a 'noseless' Indian in Portsmouth. The recognition was mutual, but whether vengeance followed is not known.

Lieutenant James Philbrick, who was engaged in trading between Martha's Vineyard and Hampton was once taken on the high seas by a French privateer and his vessel, captured as a prize. A storm arising, he magnanimously guided by his captors to safe harborage, who, in gratitude gave him back his vessel. During the storm he begged them to spare an old Bible they were about to throw overboard. That Bible is now owned by Joseph Philbrick, and was printed in 1583.

A little story is told of the only store keeper of which Hampton could boast in the latter days of the seventeenth century. Two rooms in his house were used for store purposes, one for groceries, the other for dry goods. In the latter a bed was utilized for a counter. "Uncle 'Lisha," as he was familiarly called, was proverbially honest and generous, and treated others as being the same. No lock or even latch ever encumbered the door, the only fastening being an oaken bar laid across it. He transported his goods from Boston, first in whale boats, afterwards in larger vessels which he owned. It is related that on one occasion the captain of one of his schooners purchased a cargo of goods from a firm in Boston, with which he had not previously traded. It being in the days before mercantile agencies were established, the firm became uneasy about its new customer in New Hampshire, and sent one of its number by stage, to Hampton, to look after what they feared was a bad sale. The time that had elapsed was but three weeks and goods in those days were sold on six months time; hence Mr. Johnson was not a little surprised when waited upon by the representative of the Boston firm, but he quickly sized up the situation, and asking the caller into the other room, pulled from under the bed a china receptacle filled with gold eagles, and counting out the amount of the bill, handed it to the astonished merchant, who was profuse in his apologies and solicited another order; but "Uncle 'Lisha" good naturedly told him he would not cause him further anxiety, and he never afterward patronized that firm. He amassed a large fortune and business was continued at that stand for more than one hundred years.

I found a great deal more that was very interesting, but am afraid I have already taken up too much time.