A Yankee Saint: John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community

A Yankee Saint: John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community

A Yankee Saint: John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community

A Yankee Saint: John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community

Excerpt

From dust I rise,
And out of nothing now awake;
These brighter regions which salute mine eyes,
A gift from God I take.
The earth, the seas, the light, the lofty skies,
The sun and stars are mine, if these I prize .

A stranger here
Strange things doth meet, strange glory see;
Strange treasures lodged in this fair world appear,
Strange all and new to me;
But that they mine should be, who nothing was,
That strangest is of all, yet brought to pass .

--TRAHERNE.

CAPTAIN BLAKESLEY of New Haven bought the meadowland west of Brattleboro. His four sons sent a letter south, urging their friend Rutherford Hayes to come up for a visit. One bitter day in February, 1778, this lanky, raw-boned youth of twenty- one arrived at the little frontier settlement.

The Blakesleys and their neighbors hailed the coming of this muscular young man, who had some training in blacksmithing; Brattleboro was in sore need of a smith. The Blakesley boys described to the newcomer the delights and excitement of life in the Green Mountains--hunting, fishing, trapping, sledding. He was not going to spend the rest of his life in the backwoods, Rutherford retorted. But the men of Brattleboro paid little attention to his protest. Before young Hayes fully realized what was happening, they had organized a "bee." All the men of the little community gathered with their pikepoles. They cleared away the deep snow, and soon the young giant from New Haven was taking an active part in the "raising" of a smithy. Skillfully they framed and fitted the hewn parts together. Then, with a great shout, they lifted the ponderous bents into the air. Tenons slipped into their places in the mortises. Sturdy young men shinned up the newly hoisted bents. Deep draughts from stone jugs seemed to double their agility and daring, as they handled the newly-cut rafters and drove pins into the braces. If, toward the conclusion of the "bee," tongues grew a bit thick, no one doubted the necessity of good liquor and joviality for the successful and rapid accomplishment of a "raising." At last, the whole structure stood solidly and steadily upright.

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