THE SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF SAINT TAMMANY OF PHILADELPHIA. PART III.
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THE PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE OF HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY.
Vol. XXVI, No. 29,
THE SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF SAINT TAMMANY OF PHILADELPHIA.
BY FRANCIS VON A. CABEEN.
(Continued from page 347.)
We now encounter a curious function performed by the Saint Tammany Society. (Independent, April 22, 1786.)
"On Monday last the Sachems of St. Tammany gave an invitation to Cornplanter, commonly called Captain O'Beal, a sachem and five others of the Seneca Nation to visit the Wigwam on the Banks of Schuylkill where he was informed the Sons of St. Tammany meet every year to celebrate the memory of their old Chief St. Tammany. Captain O'Beal accepted the invitation as an honor done to him and said he was sure the Great God above (who directed all our actions) put it in our hearts.
"About three o clock in the afternoon the Sachems waited on the Chiefs at their lodgings at the Indian Queen, and from thence attended them separately to an appointed rendezvous near the Wigwam; they proceeded thence (a Sachem of St. Tammany leading each an Indian Chief) to the Wigwam. Three of the Indians had fallen in with a corps of the Militia from whom a deputation had just been sent to offer an escort to the Indian Chief and were by them conducted to the Wigwam. On the arrival of the Chief at the Wigwam a salute of cannon was given by the Sachems and the colours of the State and St. Tammany with the Dutch and French standards, and the Buck Flag, were immediately displayed. They were then conducted into the Wigwam and after proper salutations, Captain O'Beal said he must speak a few words to his brethren, the white folks, on the civilities he now received. This he did in a manner truly dignified, in the following words:
"Hearken to what I tell you. You know that the Great God, our greatest King, reigns in Heaven above us all. He sees all our doings, so that we ought to be wise and virtuous. This great gathering of our brothers is to commemorate the memory of our great-grand-father. It is a day of pleasure (pointing to St. Tammany colors). You know that your and our grandfathers loved one another and strongly recommended to their children to live in union and friendship with all their brethren and to bury the hatchet forever. I also wish (looking up to heaven) that we may all live as our great-grand-fathers lived, in peace and unity!
"The business I am come on is to have us all united as one man, and it will be my happiness to have it so. Let us keep fast the chain of friendship, and put the same around us. Then we shall have nothing to fear from the great kings on the other side of the waters. Brothers if we can effect this to become brothers united as one man there is no people that shall think evil of us, that a frown from us will not intimidate. I heard it said our great-grand-fathers are dead. They are not dead. They now look down upon us and know what we are doing. Much more; God looks upon us and sees what we are doing. I think God Almighty at this time is sorry for the poor Indians. He is grieved at the afflictions now come upon them. The cause of my sorrow is from the English on the other side of the water. They have brought it on us. You thirteen Sires, I am now to speak a word to you. I hope you have observed that I have always tears in my eyes. I am sorry that we have been led astray; I hope that you will do everything to put me right. Then God will look down upon you and us and help us; he will have pity on us both, if we do right.
"A discharge of thirteen cannon and three huzzas from the company, consisting of upwards of 2000 persons, testified their approval. The Chief was then led by the Sachems of St. Tammany to the council fire at the flag staff, where they and the officers of militia, with a number of citizens, formed a circle round the same, and smoked the great calumet of peace. The Indian Chief now said: that we have been refreshing ourselves with wine, it is fit that our old friend who has gone before us (pointing to the portrait of St. Tammany on the colors) shall have a glass, and if we pour it on the ground, the ground will suck it in and he will get it.' On this he walked with one of the St. Tammany sachems round the council fire pouring out a libation of wine. The Chief then with his companions, at the request of the company gave a war dance, and was afterwards joined with the sachems of St. Tammany, and the officers of the militia in a peace dance, and a dance of mirth. The Chief and his people and sachems of St. Tammany, having seated themselves on the council seat of the wigwam sent by the Kuskusy Nation, for some minutes after which, one of the sachems of the Wigwam (The old Sachem not being present), gave the following answer to Captain O'Beal.
"Brothers we are glad to see you. You say that the great God above sees us and that we ought to be wise and virtuous. He is our great Father. We are his children, and you and we are all one family. He loves us when we love one another and live as brethren. This is to be wise and virtuous. We may say this is a day of pleasure. The Great Spirit is pleased to see us meet as friends, and live as brothers. Our great-grand-fathers lived as brothers, and wished it to be so forever. We meet as brothers, and it is to us a day of pleasure. We remember our great-grand-fathers. We meet here every year to remember our great-grandfather Tammany, and three years ago we buried the hatchet in a great deep hole near that stump; we covered it with heavy stones because we wished it never to rise again. You will see great trees growing over it under which we wish that our children may sit. We kindled a fire here, it is a bright fire, for our young men to sit by, and there are twelve other fires. But there is a greater fire than all of them. We are glad you are going to that great fire. You will find the road plain and bright. They will bind the chain of friendship round their bodies, and it cannot be broken, but by cutting them in two. We have nothing to fear. Our great men will dry the tears from your eyes. Then we will help to keep the eyes clear. We are pleased that you came; to effect this God sent you. He loves peace and friendship. We love you because you are from the great-grand-father, and we shall never forget that you visited our wigwam.'
"A salute of the cannon was then given and three huzzasthe several colours were struck, and the Indian Chiefs with the Sachems of Saint Tammany, were escorted by the militia under arms to their lodgings at the Indian Queen.
"The whole was conducted with great harmony and good humor; and the conduct of the chief and his nation was grand and noble."
We are led to believe that the company of militia referred to in the account of this council fire with the Indians was a volunteer company called the Buck Tails, commanded by a Captain Sproat, and that the buck flag that was unfurled was the flag of this command. (Watson's Annals, Vol. III., p. 229.) We wish to call attention to what purports to be a letter from Cornplanter which appeared in the newspapers shortly after his visit to Philadelphia, but which was never written by him, and it was so understood at the time. From its construction and language it evidently emanated from some member of the Society of Friends, and was intended as a hit against the Saint Tammany Society. We give it in its entirety; though antagonistic, it unwittingly adds lustre to the Tammany celebrations; for while the writer did not approve of them, still they were held by the community in such high esteem that "gentlemen of the cloth" were willing to he seen at them.
"Translation of a letter from the Indian Chief, now in this city, to one of his relations, a Chief of the Seneca Nation.
"'NEW YORK, May 61786
"'After an agreeable journey, we arrived in this city a few days ago, where we have been kindly received and hospitably entertained by the Wisemen who compose the perpetual council fire of the new nations of our brothers of this island.
"'You know, Kinsman how much pains our white brothers have taken to cause us to renounce our independent and happy mode of life and to exchange it for what they call the pleasures of civilization and religion; but they now think differently, both of their own and of our manner of living from what they did when the great King over the water put dust in their eyes and kept them in darkness. They now begin to see in what the fine dignity and happiness of man consists and that labour, trade, and the mechanic arts, are only fit for women and children; and as for the old stories they used to tell us about religion, no body believes in them now but a few old women. As a proof of this preference of our manners and principles to their own, a large body of the citizens of Philadelphia, assembled on the first day of May on the banks of the Schuylkill every year, and then in the dress of Sachems celebrate the name, character and death of old King Tammany, in eating, drinking, smoking, dancing, and singing around a fire. This entertainment ends as all such entertainments do with us, in drunkenness and disorder, which are afterwards printed in their newspapers in the most agreeable colours, as constituting the utmost festivity and joy. But the principal end of this annual feast is to destroy the force of the Christian religion. For this religion you know forbids self murder and drunkenness. Now by honoring and celebrating the name of Tammany who killed himself by burning his cabin over his head in a drunken frolic, they take away all infamy from these crimes and even place them among the number of virtues. Two or three Priests generally attend at this feast with the ensigns of their professions, that is, with large white wigs and black coats: and as the people here are more disposed to follow the example than the precepts of their priests, the example of these holy Sachems, has had a great effect in undeceiving the people as to their notions about religion and in introducing among them our maxims respecting murder and drunkenness. Let us hold fast renowned Kinsman, the customs and traditions of our fathers and disdain to copy anything from a people who are every day advancing to our state of simple manners and national sobriety. Farewell.
This year's (1786) celebration is mentioned in one paper in not a very complimentary manner, but as the account shows that" faction"i.e., party influencesfor the first time is beginning to assert its power over the Society, we give it at length.
"Monday last, being the anniversary of St. Tammany, the day was generally observed, and happily spent and commemorated at different places, by several companies of citizens. (Independent, May 6, 1786.)"We should do much injustice to Mr. Pole, if we now neglected our respects to him on this occasion. He indeed deserves great credit for those tickets of invitation which he took the liberty of presenting and without whose particular services, he might have escaped every kind of notice or distinction. The principal characters of the party of his leaders assembled at the Council Fire on Schuylkill and with pleasure, it has been observed, many good and worthy inhabitants of this place, among whom, some of the Sachems claim, our most sincere respects joined them. Although every mind might not have been altogether pleased and reconciled with the arrangement of matters, yet from the universal regard to St. Tammany, there is little if any reason for serious complaint among generous Americans.
"When the anniversary again returns, it is to be hoped that the natives and citizens of the country will not be treated with the distance and reserve that has been too often observed. The Poles and Fishing Tackle must be better regulated. Indeed there are many striking circumstances to justify the idea, that under the specious purposes of celebrating St. Tammany's day the foxified objects of faction and policylike snakes in the grass, have crept into measures other wise set apart for undisguised sociability. Nothing is more odious and intolerable, than the sly impositions, the craft and artifices of faction. And to an ingenious mind nothing is more abominable than that man who devotes and lays himself out for the scandalous speculations, and the political cutlery of degenerated party. . . . This sort of creature is the tool for knaves to work with . . . and make use of to serve their interests, while he intends only to pursue, though in that line he is sure to shackle his own. He values himself on the promising banquet, without regard to consequences. He is an inflexible friend to everything that resembles a mystery; thinks Common Sense too common and political nonsense to be always a proof of propriety and inspiration. Right and wrong (unerring standards) he measures not by the interests of mankind but by trifling and unmeaning rules invented by his patrons and conductors and calculated chiefly for their own benefit. He is a friend to no man . . . envious, sullen, and morose . . . all his thoughts exceed our notions of social pursuits and manly joy. . . . A sour face and a bitter implacable heart are his qualifications.
"It is wonderful, observes a correspondent, how this stupid animal could ever be in repute, how the most insignificant and worst being in the universe could be any ways acceptable to the best."
It is very evident from the above that Mr. Pole's back had to receive the blows of the opposing party as administered by the editor of the paper, and he also had to bear the punishment intended for more exalted members of the Society, that possibly it was deemed wise or expedient not to mention by name, though most likely they were well known at the time. Here, we may say, was the conception of what in after-years became the Democratic Party, though before it was born its sentiments materially changed from what they were at this time.
The anniversary of the year 1786 is very minutely described in the following account: (Penna. Evening Herald, May 6, 1786.)
"Monday last, the 1st of May, being the anniversary of the tutelar Saint of America, the Sachems and brothers of the Society of St. Tammany assembled at their wigwam on the banks of the Schuylkill. Early in the morning, the day was saluted by a discharge of the Society's artillery; at 8 o'clock three guns were fired and the standard of St. Tammany was displayed, supported on the right by the flag of France, and on the left by that of the United States of Holland. At the same time the Buck flag was displayed at the council chamberat 10 o'clock the brethren generally assembled, and at 12 at beat of drum, the whole of the brothers assembled round the flag staff: soon after which, the sachems of the preceding year advanced from the council chamber into the circle, where at a signal, they all laid down their insignia of office.
"The secretary then came forward and informed the brethren, that the time for which the sachems had been chosen was now expired; and that they were consequently destitute of any officers, grand sachem and others. He asked, whether they would proceed to the choice of 13 sachems for the ensuing year? This they agreed to do and the following brothers were duly elected: Charles Biddle, Esq., Jonathan Bayard Smith, Alex. Boyd, Thomas Nevill, Fred. Phile, Daniel Hiester, Wm. Coates, Joseph Dean, Wm. Tharpe, Emanuel Eyres, Zachariah Endress, Thomas Proctor, and Elias Boys. Upon the close of the election of the sachems three guns were discharged, when the sachems retired to the council chamber and then from among themselves, elected as chief or grand sachem the Hon. Charles Biddle, Esq., Vice-president of the State of Penna.
"The whole of the sachems were now dressed and invested with their gorgets and other insignia of office; on the chief's breast was his gorget with the following inscription surrounded with 13 stars; St. Tammany the grand sachem, or the chief to whom all our nation looks up.
"On the gorgets of each of the other sachems were inscribed the names of the following warriors, Iontonque, Tataboucksey, Hoowaniente, Pechemolind, Towarrah, Deunquatt, Shuctongo, Simougan, Tediescung, Shaubonkin, Kayashuta, and Hyngapushes.
"Upon the appearance of the sachems the brethren again formed a circle round the flagThe sachems entered the circle when the secretary came forward, and proclaimed their choice of the grand sachem, who was ushered forward to the brethren by two of his brother sachems. He was received by the company who testified their approbation by three loud and cheerful huzzas supported by the discharge of 13 gunsupon which brother (William) Pritchard came forward and delivered the following piece, which he had prepared for the day:
"'When superstition dark and hauty plan
Fettered the genius and debased the man,
Each trifling legend was as truth received;
The priest invented, and the crowd believed;
Nations adored the whim in stone or paint,
And gloried in the fabricated saint.
Some holy guardian, hence, each nation claims
Gay France her Dennis, and grave Spain her James,
Britons at once two mighty saints obey
Andrew and George maintain united sway,
O'er humbler lands the same odd whim prevails;
Ireland her Patrick, boasts her David, Wales.
We Pennsylvanians, these old tales reject,
And our own saint think proper to erect
Immortal Tammany of Indian Race,
Great in the fields, and foremost in the chase,
No puny saint was he, with fasting pale,
He climbed the mountains, and swept the vale;
Rushed through the torrent with unequaled might;
Your ancient saints would tremble at the sight
Caught the swift boar, and swifter deer with ease,
And worked a thousand miracles like these.
To public views, he added private ends,
And loved his country most, and next his friends.
With courage long he strove to ward the blow,
(Courage we all respect, e'en in a foe)
And when each effort he in vain had tried,
Kindled the flame in which he bravely died!
To Tammany let the full horn go round;
His fame let every honest tongue resound;
With him let every generous patriot vie
To live in freedom, or with honor die!
Nor shall I think my labor too severe,
Since ye, wise sachems, kindly deign to hear.'
"The secretary then declared the laws which had been enacted in the council for the government of the day, which was that every brother should do just as he pleased; and if he did not the whole of the brothers were by compulsion to enforce him to do so; and if he did not then do as he pleased, he was to be laughed at by the whole companyAnd also, that if any dispute arose between any two brothers, which should tend in any measure to interrupt the harmony of the day, in order to discountenance them, they were both to be laughed at by the whole company.
"The laws being proclaimed, the grand sachem seated himself, surrounded by his brother sachems, upon the council seat presented to the society from the Hughkughkeagh nation, around the council fire when the calumet of peace was lighted and smoked by the grand sachem and his brethren and was afterwards handed around to the whole of the brothers, who all in rotation took a whiff. Several presents having been made to the society since the last anniversary they were all brought forward, and shown to the brethren assembled, who returned thanks thro' their sachems and gave them severally three huzzas.
"Among the presents was an elegant portrait of the Indian Chief (who was lately in this city) Iontonkque or the Corn Plant commonly known by the name of Captain O'Bail [O'Beal] taken from the life by Miss Eliza Phile and done in a very masterly manner, 2 feet and a half by one foot and a half.
"During this interval, a cold collation was spread upon the tables, at the head of which was the council chamber, with feasts prepared for the sachems, under a canopyThe signal being given, every brother repaired with his scalping knife, to the repast, which they executed in a masterly manner; the provisions being tolerably well scalped the warriors having played their parts well.
"The whole then retired forming a circle round the flag staff went through their dances and then seated themselves around the council fire, when the heart-cheering glass being introduced, the grand sachem gave the following toasts which were drank by the whole of the brethren during a discharge of artillery and sky rockets.
1. St. Tammany and the day. 2. The Great Council Fire of the United StatesMay the 13 fires glow in one blended blaze and illumine the Eagle in his flight to the Stars. 3. Penna., and the illustrious President of the State
May wisdom ever preside in our councils.
4. Louis the Sixteenth. 5. Our great grand sachem George Washington, Esq. 6. Our Allies and FriendsMay the Lillies of France forever bloomthe Lion of the Netherlands rejoice in his strength and the Irish harp ever be in union with the Thirteen Stars. 7. Our Brother Iontonkque or the Corn PlantMay we ever remember that he visited our wigwam and spoke a good talk from our great grand fathers. 8. The Friendly Indian Nationsour warriors and young men who fought, bled and gave good council for our nation. 9. Our Mothers, Wives, Sisters and Daughters. 10. The Merchants, Farmers and Mechanics of Penna.
May the manufactures of our own country ever have the preference of foreign ones.
11. The University of Penna., and all Seminaries of learning. 12. May the Whigs of America ever be united as a band of brothers. 13. May the enemies of America never eat the bread of it, drink the drink of it or kiss the pretty girls of it.
"At this time a great number of the spectators rudely broke in upon the company which obliged the grand sachem to draw off the brethren to the city, which was done in Indian file with music.
"They then proceeded to the wigwam (Situated on the south side of Market Street, between Third and Fourth Streets, old number 116.) of his excellency brother Benjamin Franklin who appearing was saluted with 13 huzzas from all the warriors, which he cordially received and thanked them for the honour paid him, when the brothers all retired to their own wigwams to see their squaws and papousees [papooses].
"FOOT-NOTE.The Sachems in behalf of themselves and their brothers offer their cordial thanks to Miss Phile for the above present in the following talk.
"These glowing colours our applause command,
The happy work of fair Eliza's hand!
Here as her genius and her taste we trace,
Each savage feature softens into grace,
What various merit must adorn the youth,
How must he shine in valour, wit and truth,
Who wins the heart of this accomplished Fair,
And finds his happy image pictured there."
The changes in the personnel of the Sachems this year were as follows: Charles Biddle, who was made chief, was elected in October of 1785 to the position of Vice-President of the State of Pennsylvania. He early in life had entered upon a seafaring career, and most of his services to his country during the War of Independence were performed upon the ocean, though he was a member of, and saw service with, Captain Cowperthwaite's company of Quaker light infantry. The above incident Mr. Biddle has seen fit to omit in his autobiography, and we are at a loss to account for the omission in view of the fact that occurrences of much less moment are given with minuteness.
Elias Boys, merchant, resided at 80 Penn Street, between South and Almond Streets. He was a member of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick. He married Martha Scull, at Christ Church, September 5, 1767, and died in October, 1792. In 1788 he was made a member of the Board of Port Wardens of Philadelphia.
Zachariah Endriss, brewer, lived in Brewer's Alley, between Second and Third Streets. He was elected a member of the German Society of the city in 1774.
Thomas Nevill, house-carpenter, was located on Front Street, between Market and Arch Streets.
William Tharpe was one of the earliest of what were known as "Fair Play" settlers on Indian lands in Lycoming County, in 1773, and returned to his land after the Revolution and secured his title to it. He with the rest of these settlers had been squatters, but in those days it was overlooked, and their titles were confirmed, owing to their services and losses in serving their country during the war.
William Pritchard, the author of the poem, was a bookseller and keeper of a circulating library, and carried on his business in Market Street, between Second and Front Streets.
The Hughkughkeagh nation mentioned is a little pleasantry, for the word represents the sound made by Indians when they cheer.
As to histories of the Indian chiefs whose names are assumed upon this occasion by the Sachems of the Saint Tammany Society, three can be identified. First, Tammany, and of him we have given all the information obtainable. Of Iontonque, or Cornplanter, or Captain O'Beal we have just given an account. Of Tediescung, or Teedyuscung, Heckewelder writes that he was "the last Delaware Chief in those parts east of the Allegheny mountains. His name makes a conspicuous figure in the history of Pennsylvania previous to the revolution, and particularly towards the commencement of the war of 1756. Before he was raised to the station of a chief, he had signalized himself as an able counsellor in his nation. In the year 1749, he joined the Moravian Indian congregation, and the following year, was baptized by the name of Gideon.' He had been known before that under that of Honest John,' and while at the head of his nation, he was frequently distinguished by the title of King of the Delawares,' many people called him the 'War Trumpet.' He was ambitions, thought much of his rank and abilities; liked to be considered as the King of his country, and was fond of having a retinue with him when he went to Philadelphia on business with the government. His greatest weakness was a fondness for strong drink, the temptation of which he could not easily resist. This unfortunate propensity was the cause of his cruel and untimely death; he was burnt in his cabin in 1763."
We assume that, as Timothy Matlack's name is not mentioned this year as being secretary, Mr. Edward Pole held the position of master of ceremonies, and that in some way he must have slighted the editor of the paper that attacked him with such vigor.
The interchangeableness of the names Pole and Beveridge is shown by the diarist Hiltzheimer in his accounts of the dinners of the Saint Tammany Society.
That other States were worshipping at the same shrine as the sons of Pennsylvania is shown by the following account:
"RICHMOND, VA., May 4th, 1786.
"Monday last, the 1st instant, the Sons of St. Tammany in memory of the anniversary of their American Saint, gave a very sumptuous entertainment at the Capitol in this city, to which were invited a number of gentlemen of different nations, who participated with them on the occasion, when the following toasts were drank and the the day spent in the utmost good humor.
1. The Sons of St. TammanyMay the gallant spirit of their sire animate their bosoms and fire them with love of liberty and independence. 2. Congress.May their wisdom and integrity forever cement the union and secure the blessings of freedom. 3. Our late illustrious Commander-in-Chief.May he be as happy as he is beloved. 4. The Legislative, Executive, and judiciary, of Virginia.May the execution of this important trust reflect splendor on their public characters, and the love of their countrymen attend them in retirement. 5. Our Ambassadors abroad.May Republican zeal direct their political talents and their hearts remain true amidst the machinations of Courts. 6. The Sons of St. Patrick.May the torch of friendship lighted between them and the Sons of St. Tammany continue blazing to eternity. 7. Agriculture and Commerce.May they go hand in hand to bless our country and meet that encouragement they merit. 8. The Seminaries of Learning.While they advance Science may they diffuse the spirit of virtue. 9. The worthy sons of all Saints. 10. May the hatchet of American politics never be turned against herself. 11. May the Sons of St. Tammany always be disposed to exchange the bow and tomahawk for the peaceful calumet. 12. [None given] 13. May the great spirit encircle the whole world in the belt of friendship."
A letter to the Packet from Savannah, Georgia, dated May 4,1786, is as follows: (Pennsylvania Packet, June 5, 1786.)
"On Monday the 1st instant a number of gentlemen from the northern states met at the hotel in this town to celebrate the anniversary of St. Tammany, their tutelar saint, where an elegant dinner was provided, and the day spent in the true spirit of brotherly conviviality. At the table the following toasts, in the ancient and expressive style of their patron, were drank, viz:
1. St. Tammany and liberty of conscience. 2. Uncle Hancock and the great council. 3. Our great brother, the King of France and all his children. 4. All our brothers beyond the great water. 5. Our Messengers to all the nations. 6. Brother Washington our head warrior. 7. Our old Good brother Franklin. 8. The ladies that love us and the children they bear us. 9. Fat Bucks and full ears of corn in their season forever. 10. A clean calumet and sweet tobacco to all that smoke with us. 11. A fair trade for good things with all nations. 12. Wise laws in full force throughout America. 13. The true faith to our tawny brothers, and sound morals and moderation to all christians.
"Should the people of Georgia, according to the custom of the nations of Europe, and the example of their northern brethren feel the propriety of a patronage of this kind, they will no doubt canonise this good, jolly old saint and pay respect to this day."
"All Christian countries," says the Savannah Republican, "have their tutelar Saint. England has her Saint George, Scotland her Saint Andrew; Ireland her Saint Patrick, France her Saint Crispan and Spain her Santa Jago. In this country, we have Saint Tammany. Through the Revolutionary War the national day of this saint was observed with great respect by the army, as well as by the people. It was not till Mr. Jefferson's administration, when General Dearborn was Secretary of War that the observance of it by the army was dispensed with and the change was made then only with the view of carrying out the system of retrenchment which the President sought to introduce in the administration of the government. The first fort built at St. Mary's Camden County and perhaps the first in the state was called Fort Saint Tammany. A gentleman now residing in this city was present while a boy at a celebration by the officers and soldiers stationed at the fort on Saint Tammany's Day. The May pole used on the occasion was a tree with its branches and bark removed; and around that the soldiers danced and celebrated the day."
Our Mr. Pole once more had to stand the lash from the newspapers. To better understand the article which follows, we would state that Pole's advertisement was one of the most constant and conspicuous,a wood-cut of a fish heads it, then follows the offering of poles and fishing-tackle and sporting goods, etc. Who SddS's was or what the transaction referred to, at this late date is impossible to state.
"As you have hitherto by frequent encomiums bestowed on me in your newspaper, contributed much towards the establishment of my reputation as a citizen and by frequent advertisements (for which you have generously made no charge,) rendered my trade not only flourishing but rapid, I take the liberty of requesting that you will out of your neighborly kindness by inserting the advertisement annexed, endeavor to draw the attention of the public to that very important article of Buck's Tails. (Independent Gazetteer, April 21, 1787.)
" BUCK'S TAILS.
"For St. Tammany's Day may be provided at the Tuft and Tackle Warehouse in Market Street.
"Ye lovers of frolic, who blithsome and gay,
Resolve to be merry on Tammany's Day;
I Neddy the Sachem, by some surnamed Pe,
For a moment would like your attention to call.
In barbarous days, ere America rose
The pride of her Friends, and the scourge of her foes,
Old Tammany bounding o'er valley and hill,
Every deer that he met would constantly kill:
So each of his sons in remembrance of that,
On his birthday displays a Buck's Tail in his hat.
Now those who this tuft emblematic must buy,
To me let them come, and their wants I ll supply.
Since Sdd----S's deer skins I plundered of late,
I their tails can retail at a moderate rate:
Tis the joy of my heart all my neighbors to fleece;
Come buy my fine Buck Tails at six-pence apiece.
"NEDDY THE SACHEM."
That the usual ceremonies prevailed on May 1, 1787, we can most certainly infer, though an account of the meeting is wanting in the public prints and in its place appears the ode which follows.
"ODE FOR SAINT TAMMANY, THIS DAY MAY 1787.
"TAMMANY. (Balance a straw.)
"Once more on Fair Schuylkill we cheerfully meet,
Our Sachems, our warriors, our brethren to greet;
The Great King above, has allow'd us again
To bury the hatchet, and brighten the chain.
Then your hands all my sonswho for freedom have stood,
Who rescued my land at th' expense of your blood:
Such honors in hist'ry's bright annals shall shine,
And I glory to think such bold heroes are mine.
"FIRST SACHEM. Over the hills, &c.
"Our hearts and hands are always free,
To brave the storm for Tammany;
When he commands, his sons obey,
Over the hills and far away.
"Over the hills, like wind we fly,
To crush the foe, or bravely die;
Our Saint's commands none disobey,
Over the hills and far away.
"De capothe chorus, the whole.
"SECOND SACHEM. Peas upon a trencher.
"To Columbia's glory,
Recorded well in story,
We'll fill the glass,
And let it pass
Confusion to each Tory. '
"THIRD SACHEM. Once the God of the Greeks, &c.
"Push about the brisk glass, twill enliven the soul,
Tie the wine that absorbs all dull thinking;
E'er Cupid himself must give way to the bowl,
For his wounds are all caus'd by good-drinking.
"For tis wine, generous wine, that all sorrow destroys,
And route our vexations and care:
The bottle was always a fountain of joy,
That wash'd off the dregs of dispair.
"FOURTH SACHEM. The black rogue.
"Sing (The Mickmack dialect.) guahee honigeehonigee, makoonos,
Siskee anarichee, saturana waa;
Oroonyagh makoonos, satira nekoonos,
Sangua taverana kenan anungara.
"Drink round, drink round, each sachem and brother,
Drink round, drink round, and heed what I say!
A day like this, you'll ne'er find another,
So let us be cheerful, brisk, merry and gay.
"TAMMANY. Vaudville-balance a straw.
"Farewell ye fair banks, and ye fresh blooming trees,
Soft scenes of rich plenty and sweet smiling ease;
Again I return to the regions above,
Add leave you my blessing, my wisdom, my love.
"Guard your rights while you live, with your swords and your guns,
And may they descend, unalloy'd to your sons!
While Sol on this day shall propitiously shine
Be Peace, Independence, and Libertythine.
"Four last lines repeated.
" J. P."
It is very well to know that the first line of the ode makes the statement that:
"Once more on Fair Schuylkill we cheerfully meet."
It is certainly very tantalizing that no mention of those who took part on this occasion is given; the only one we can be sure of is Mr. Edward Pole. It is worthy of note, however, that diarist Hiltzheimer, in his diary of May 1 of this year, states that he dined at C. Breton's place on the banks of the Schuylkill by appointment with the following gentlemen: N. Boys, A. Geyer [Guyer], William Richards (Captain in the Pennsylvania navy.), S. McLane, P. Ozeas, Philip Pancake, John Purdon, and Mr. Forbach.
This house is marked on the map as being on the west bank of the Schuylkill at the end of the Upper Ferry, just across the public road from Pole's place. Whether this was where the Tammany Society held its meeting or not, we cannot say; but as Hiltzheimer was pretty certain, as we learn from his diary, to celebrate the 1st of May, we are inclined to think that the party mentioned as dining together were celebrating the day with our Sons.
The histories of those of the party that we locate point to their being very patriotic in their ideas and actions. Geyer held commissions in the Revolutionary army from 1777 to 1781. Philip Pancake was a captain under Colonel Jonathan Bayard Smith, both having been associated in the army with members of the Society that we have mentioned before. One of the Boys family was prominent at a previous meeting. Ozeas took a prominent part in the year following in a civic procession celebrating the adoption of the Federal Constitution. The above with Hiltzheimer seem to us to be a party that would seek to keep up the customs of Saint Tammany's Day. About this time the advertisement of Pole disappears from the papers, and from what Heckewelder says, in his account of Tammany, we are led to think that business misfortunes had overtaken him, and we are confirmed in this by an advertisement of his that appears in the following year, of which we will speak later. It is likely that, on account of the above, the nearest place, which was Breton's, was selected at which to hold the festival this year.
We now notice for the first time mention of the Tammany Society of New York which appears both in the Philadelphia and New York papers of this year. Strange to say, in all the histories of the New York Society that we have seen, it is mentioned as starting two years later. Here follows the account of its first meeting.
"New York, May 4th. (Penna. Packet, May 11, 1787.)
"Tuesday last being St. Tammany's Day (the Tutelar St. of America) the St. Tammany Society of this city held their anniversary meeting at the Wigwam at Hall's.
"At eight o clock P.M., the Society sat down to an elegant supper provided by Mr. Hall, after which the following toasts were drank, viz:
1. The Day; all who honor it. 2. The land of Liberty. 3. Congress and their Allies. 4. The State of New York, and all who wish its prosperity. 5. His Excellency the truly great and virtuous George Washington, Esquire. 6. Louis XVI, King of France; his amiable Queen and Royal Family. 7. Perpetual unanimity and prosperity to the Sons of St. Tammany throughout the world. 8. The noble Patriots who fell in the cause of American Liberty. 9. May the war hatchet be buried, and the pipe of peace be smoked till time shall be no more. 10. May the industry of the beaver, the frugality of the ant, the constancy of the dove, be the perpetual characteristics of the Sons of St. Tammany. 11. The daughters of St. Tammany and their papooses. 12. May the American chain never be tarnished by the rust of discord. 13. May honor, virtue, and true sense of liberty and a detestation of Slavery, be characteristics of Americans and all their adopted brethren.
"The evening being spent with that cordiality, good humor and love that always prevails when Sons of St. Tammany meet, after drinking the above toasts, and singing some excellent songs in honor of their Tutelar Saint, and smoking the pipe of peace, every man departed to his own Wigwam, and hunting ground
"In hopes the ensuing year to spend,
In peace and love with every friend.
"A correspondent observes that the establishing the St. Tammany's Society does honor to the promoters, and makes not the least doubt but it will be the most respectable society in the city in the course of a little time."
(To be continued.)
THE SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF SAINT TAMMANY OF PHILADELPHIA.
VOL. XXVII, No. 3.
by Francis Von A. Cabeen.
On May 3, 1788, appears in the daily papers the advertisement of Edward Pole, as a real estate broker, and the chief property that he offers for sale is a tavern called "The Wigwam," situated on the east bank of the Schuylkill at Race Street.
"Notary Public, Conveyancer, Merchantile Broker,
"At his office in Market street, near the Court House, Philadelphia,
"He has also opened
"An Office for the Registering, Purchase, and Sale of Real Estates.
"To Be Sold,
"That elegant situation the noted tavern called the Wigwam, Upon the banks of the Schuylkill, 2 miles front the Court House.
"There are on the premises, a Brick House, 21 by 22, with a stone one adjoining 18 by 30 feet; the brick building consists of a very handsome, well finished Parlour 20 by 21 feet, with two well finished Chambers, and two Garrets, lathed and plastered, with two Piazzas round the same, and a Balcony with turned Ballustrades, from which may be seen the city of Philadelphia; a good Cellar and a Pump of Water at the door. The stone building consists of a Parlour and Kitchen adjoining, with a Room over the whole, and an oven.
"There is also on the premises, a new Frame Building, built of the very best cedar and white oak, and finished in the modern style, 40 by 20 feet; the lower floor consists of a Dining Room 34 feet long, with a Bar Room adjoining, also two Plunging and two Shower Baths, each in separate genteel rooms; in the second story is a Room well finished 20 feet by 30, calculated for a Dancing Room, or the Entertainment of a large Company with a convenient Drawing Room adjoining; the third floor has three Lodging Rooms, the whole being well finished, lathed and plastered, under which is a complete Cellar or Kitchen with a Fire-Place and every Conveniency.
On the premises is a good Stable, also an excellent Garden of half an acre well laid out, and stocked with an assortment of the best grafted Fruit Trees, such as Peaches, Plumbs, Cherries, Pears, &c. together with a collection of valuable Flower Roots, in the ground; there is also an Orchard adjoining well stocked with an assortment of grafted Apple Trees, which is enclosed by a Board Fence 7 feet high, and the Garden is under a Palisade Fence 7 feet high; in the orchard are eight well finished Summer Houses, one of which is elegantly finished after the Chinese taste.
"The whole commands a beautiful and extensive prospect up and down the river Schuylkill, with a view of the bridges over the middle and upper ferries, being situated in the middle between the two; a plenty of fishing and fowling in the different seasons of the year, and the whole being a pleasant retreat for a gentleman retiring from business in the heat of summer.
"This place being so well known renders it unnecessary to say much relative to it. By paying part of the purchase money down, some time will be given for the payment of the remainder."
The advertisement shows plainly that our Secretary of the Saint Tammany Society had met with misfortune and had to seek his living in this way, consequently there is no more mention of his place as being the head-quarters of our Society. The exact meeting-places this year are not given, and we judge that the great controversy over the adoption of the Federal Constitution was being felt by our brethren; for when the Federal Commission came before the people of Pennsylvania, a very thorough and careful writer says, "An issue was raised, something was at stake; and the Whig Party was quickly rent in twain, slanders were set upThe name of Whig fell for a time into disuse, and under the appellation of Federalists and Antifederalists, the two sections of a once harmonious part drew farther and farther apart, and began a contest on a national scale." (History of the People of the United States, McMaster, Vol. II., p. 454.) There are no toasts or names given; all we have in the way of a record of them is the following:
"Thursday being the first of May, a variety of social circles composed of citizens of this place and New Jersey, assembled on the banks of the Delaware and Schuylkill, to commemorate the anniversary of King Tammany, the Tutelar Saint of America. A gentleman of New Jersey and one of the party at Lilliput, wrote the following Song in honour of the day, which was spent with great conviviality." (Independent Gazetteer, May 3, 1788.)
"'TuneA Dauphin's born, &c.
How happy thus once more
To hail returning spring I
Friends, welcome to our shore,
And cheerful be the day:
Join every voice with loud acclaim,
Our Guardian's praise to sing;
Echo round his grateful name,
Let hills and valleys ring.
For Tammany demands our song,
Then swell the votive strain,
His name shall float along
The breeze that sweeps the plain.
"Whilst vanquished monster, grace
The saints of distant lands,
No fabled tales we trace;
For still recorded stands
How Tammany, in ages past,
Subdued our fathers' foes,
Till he, worn down with age at last,
A sainted hero rose:
Such was the chief who claims our song,
Then swell, &c.
"'No wild ambitious strife
His equal mind could charm;
No sullen scorn of life,
Impell'd his vengeful arm,
Nor caprice or revenge could lead
His steadfast heart astray;
If justice doomed his foes to bleed,
Reluctant he'd obey:
Such was the prince who claims our song,
Then swell, &c.
"'When first our wandering sires,
Transplanted freedom here,
Bright burn'd his council fires,
Their sinking hopes to cheer;
No ambush'd murder stain'd the wild,
Or midnight guile betrayed;
Whene'er the mighty chieftain smil'd,
Ordained his pow'rful aid:
Such was the prince who claims our song,
Then swell, &c.
"His native force of mind
Pierc'd the incumbent gloom,
And thus in stile refind,
Portray'd our future doom:
Our tawny race, though fierce and bold,
Your sons shall overwhelm
And long shall they in freedom hold
This rich, extensive realm:
Such was the Saint who claims our song,
Then swell, &c.
"'As through a misty cloud,
(And here he drop'd a tear)
I see a hostile crowd
Their bloody banners rear;
Like you indeed the warriors seem,
But oft they're wrapt in fire:
How dreadful do their lightnings gleam,
And ah! your sons retire:
Such was the chief who claims our song,
Then swell, &c.
"With aspect fierce he gaz'd
Then wild with rapture cry'd,
Your foes recoil amaz'd,
To shelter on the tide;
And who is he serenely great
Who leads your columns on?
But here was clos'd the book of fate~
On h'd read Washington:
Such was the Saint who claims our song,
Then swell, &e.
"'Still in returning May
His rights shall be our care,
And hallow'd be the day,
In each succeeding year:
Our sons shall sing his sainted name,
Till time shall be no more,
Now hov'ring on the wings of fame,
He marks and guards this shore.
Thus Tammany demands our song,
Then swell, &c.
"'LILLIPUT WIGWAM, May 1st. 1783.
Virginia kept the day, however, and their toasts show how they stood upon the prominent question of the day, and North Carolina is in line with Virginia; their concluding toast, it will be noticed, is to the Federal Club.
"Petersburg, May 8.
"Thursday last being the anniversary of the American Tutelar Saint, the same was celebrated by the militia of this town who paraded and marched to an adjacent spring where an entertainment was provided; at which the following toasts were drank attended with a discharge of cannon &c.
1. St. Tammany. 2. The virtuous sons and daughters of St. Tammany wherever dispersed. 3. The United States. 4. General Washington. 5. To the memory of those heroes who fell in defense of American Liberty. 6. The Surviving heroes who were engaged in the same noble cause. 7. The King of France and other allies of the United States. 8. The Marquis de La Fayette. 9. May a firm and impartial Federal Government be established. 10. True patriotism. 11. Universal benevolence. 12. May the agriculture, commerce and manufactures of America flourish forever. 13. The Militia of the United States."
"Wilmington (N. C.).
"Thursday last the first of May, being St. Tammany's day, the Tutelar Saint of America, the Federal Club met at Mr. Patrick Brannan's agreeable to rule, where an elegant and sumptuous dinner was provided for the occasion.
"They enjoyed the day in the greatest good humor and cheerfulness, and amity crowned the festive evening.
"The following toasts were given by their worthy and respectable President, A. Maclaine, Esq., which were drank with sincere energy by the sons of St. Tammany.
1. United States. 2. St. Tammany and the Friends of America. 3. General Washington. 4. Doctor Franklin. 5. Unanimity and steadiness to the councils of the United States. 6. The friends of liberty. 7. North Carolina. 8. Governor Johnson. 9. May industry and integrity characterize the inhabitants of North Carolina. 10. Wilmington and the trade of Cape Fear. 11. Our great men good, and good men great. 12. Injuries in dust, Friendship in marble. 13. The Federal Club.
"An itinerant gentleman, who participated of the above agreeable entertainment, observes, that it was with the most pleasing satisfaction he saw so numerous a company, composed of men from all nations (the majority of whom were adopted sons of our tutelar Saint) unite to celebrate the first of May in this land of liberty; and after truly enjoying the day, separated with spirits highly exhilorated, and in the greatest unanimity and good humor; not the least symptom of discord appearing through the whole."
"Harrisburg, (Virginia) May 1.
"Yesterday evening, being St. Tammany's eve, Col. Noll, at the head of a few of the militia and principal inhabitants of the town hoisted a liberty pole, with a flag, thirteen stars and the New Constitution in large letters on it; the militia, with some of the principal farmers at their head, with farming utensils on their shoulders, drums and other music playing, fired thirteen rounds; after which they went to the house of Mr. Brewer Reves, and spent the evening in the greatest mirth and good humour imaginable." (Penna. Mercury and Penna. Packet, May 24, 1788.)
From the above notices it is evident that Virginia boasted of at least two Saint Tammany Societies within her borders.
An event took place on July 4 of this yearthe Federal Processionin which two gentlemen of our Society, Peter Baynton and Colonel Isaac Melcher, appeared in Indian dress in the procession. Following our usual custom to give everything in which our Patron Saint's name appears, we copy the poem that appeared in the press of the day:
"An address intended to have been spoken by Mr. Hallam at
the Theatre in Philadelphia on 4th of July 1788.
"Far as the sun extends its genial ray,
Each nation boasts her consecrated day;
Some visionary saint, some monarch's birth,
Gilds the blest morn, and wakes to annual mirth:
The stately Spaniard yields his pride of names,
Once in each year, to smile upon St. James.
Saint Dennis gives the word! behold all France
Lost in the ecstasy of song and dance.
Flush'd with the grape, Saint Patrick's sons appear,
And with his birthday lasted all the year;
Oh he's a jewel of a saintno rigid numper
But dead himself gives life to ev'ry bumper!'
'Hoot, hoot, man quoth the Scot 'a' these are bairns o' dross,
Nae worth a bawbie, compar'd wi' Andrew on his cross,'
Nor is the festal day to realms confin'd
By science honor'd and by arts refin'd;
The Savage tribes their jubilee proclaim,
And crown Saint Tammany with lasting fame.
E'en the poor Negro will awhile resign
His furrows, to adorn Saint Quaco's shrine;
For one bright hour of joy forego complaint,
And praise his tyrant, while he nails his saint.
But while the dupes of legendary strains
Amuse their fancy, or forget their pains,
While mimic Saints a transient joy impart,
That strikes the sense but reaches not the heart,
Arise, Columbia!nobler themes await
Th' auspicious day, that sealed thy glorious fate:
A nation rescu'd from oppression's soil,
And freedom planted in a purer soil;
By worth enobled, and by valor grac'd
(The ball of empire rolling to the west),
Lo! a new order in the world arise
And thy fair fame spread boundless as the sky;
Yet as the tale of triumph we renew,
To patriot virtue yield the tribute due;
With fond remembrance, each revolving year,
To martyr'd heroes shed the grateful tear;
And with the fragrant wreath of laureate bloom
Adorn the warrior's ever honor'd tomb!
Midst these sad rights the moral let us trace,
That points the soldier's fire, the statesman's grace;
From Warren and Montgomery catch the flame,
And follow Lawrence in the track of fame.
Is there a child who urg'd the arduous strife
For liberty (thou dearer boon than life!)
Is there a heart to troth and virtue form'd,
By pity soften'd and by passion warm'd,
That seeks not here a monument to raise,
To speak at once, their country's grief and praise?
Recording history their deeds shall tell;
On the rich theme the muse enraptur'd dwell
To future worlds examples shall supply,
And with the glist'ning tear fill beauty's eye.
Thus when revolving time shall sanctify the name,
And Washington great favorite of fame!
By some enraptur'd bard recall'd to view,
In sons unborn your feelings shall renew;
See! as the story of his life is told,
His courage charm the young his worth the old;
His martial feats the Veteran admires;
The patriot bosom glows as he retires;
While all mankind in admiration lost,
Strive who can follow or applaud him most!
Go, Sons of liberty! assert your fame!
And emulate the Greek and Roman name;
The prize of arms by virtue be maintain'd
And wisdom cultivate what toil has gain'd;
Thus shall the sacred Fane of Union stand,
And this day's Independence bless the land!"
In the year 1789 we have to content ourselves with an ode that appeared on May 1 and a school announcement of an entertainment given by it, one of the numbers being an ode to Tammany, and this is the sum total of the notice in the newspapers of what was done in Pennsylvania on behalf of Tammany. They do give, however, a very fair account of the New York Society's meeting, and it is from this meeting that the New York Tammany Society dates its existence, although, as we have shown, it had a meeting two years earlier at Hall's, in New York. Norfolk, Virginia, has a Tammany attraction this year which is recorded in our papers. Tammany's memory was honored on the banks of the Schuylkill, however, by forty gentlemen who dined at the Fish House of the State in Schuylkill on May 1, which is what is called their opening day, said our friend Hiltzheimer was there and notes some of those who were present,viz., George Ross, Benjamin Chew (the elder), Richard Peters, William Lewis, Jonathan Penrose, Josiah Hewes, J. Wheeler, and Tench Francis. Some of the above we know to have been present at previous celebrations of the Saint Tammany Society.
An interesting history of the New York Society can be found in Harper's Magazine. While we differ entirely with the author concerning the history of the old chief Tammany and the history of the Society in this city, the part that refers to the New York organization we will refer to later; the whole is too long for insertion here and beyond the scope of this article.
There are a good many misstatements in that part of the article that refers to the early history of the Tammany Society outside of New York. One particularly glaring we give: "The Pennsylvania troops of Washington's command were the first to inscribe St. Tamanend,' afterward corrupted for the sake of euphony to St. Tammany, upon their banners."
William Mooney was the first head of the New York Tammany Society, and we quote from the article referred to as follows:
"Mooney was an Irishman by descent, an American by birth, and a 'Whig' in politics, having been a leader among the 'Sons of Liberty' or 'Liberty Boys,' as the members of the well known organization of rebel sympathizers during the Revolution were called. After the war he went into business as an upholsterer, first on Nassau Street, afterwards on Maiden Lane, and still later on Chatham Street. He remained an active partisan all his life, and was rewarded for his devotion to politics by being finally brought by it to the almshouse. Seeing that the Indian name was popular and was likely to stick in spite of them, Mooney and his associates prudently threw Columbia over, accepted the red chief as their divinity, remodeled their constitution, and christened their organization, by way of compromise, the 'Tammany Society or Columbian Order.' By that name they secured first in 1805, sixteen years after its establishment, an act of incorporation."
"A Song for St. Tammany's Day.
"On Schuylkill's banks how sweet to rove!
Fidelia by my side;
The nymphs and swains in every grove
Walk like bridegroom and bride.
"Behold yon cott in gayest mood!
Doth cleave the silver wave;
Whilst boys behind each corps of wood,
Their limbs do freely lave.
"The variegated hills and dales!
Are drest in lively green;
The orchards and embroider'd vales,
With richest flowers are seen.
"The little lasses dance and sing!
And in the alcoves play;
All nature now is on the wing!
In all the pride of May."
"New York, May 14.
"Last Tuesday, being the 12th inst. (or the 1st of May old style), was the Anniversary of St. Tammany, the Tutelar Saint of America. On this occasion marques, &c. were erected on the banks of the Hudson, about two miles from the city, for the reception of the Brethren of that Society, and an elegant entertainment provided, which was served up precisely at 3 o'clock.
"After dinner patriotic Toasts were drank, under thirteen discharges, to each toast, from a Maron Battery.
"The number which attended this festival was very respectable, and afford, to the first institutors of that Society, a happy presage of its growing importance and respectability.
"The afternoon was spent in the utmost harmony, and the genuine spirit of conviviality and fraternal affection presided to the last.
"After singing a number of songs, adapted to the occasion, and smoking the Calumet of Peace, each member retired to his own Wigwam and Hunting Ground, in hopes of meeting, on the next Anniversary, in the same brotherly and affectionate manner, to commemorate the glorious deeds and achievements of their renowned Patron."
"Norfolk, May 6.
"Friday last, being the Anniversary of St. Tammany, was noticed here by the gentlemen Volunteers, who paraded and went through their exercise with the usual military paraphernalia, which always carries a pleasing effect. In their evening march through the town, three gentlemen of character in this borough preceded the company in the dress and resemblance of Indian Chiefs; and after spending the day, with the utmost festivity and good humour, they proceeded in form to the Theatre, and saw the comedy of the Miser, with the Agreeable Surprise."
No record of the Sons of Saint Tammany appears in the Philadelphia papers in 1790. Instead of it, on May 15, we find the following:
"New York, May 13.
"Yesterday the Sons of St. Tammany met at Bardin's Tavern in their Indian-dress, and the insignias of the Society; from thence they marched in Indian file through several of the principal streets of the city, and then proceeded to the new Presbyterian Church, where an elegant oration was delivered by Dr. Smith, to the approbation of the crowded and numerous audience. A collection at the same time was made for the benefit of the prisoners in gaol. After which, the company marched out of the city, to Campbell's Tavern; where they sat down to a dinner provided for their entertainment. After dinner a number of toasts were drankMusic and Song, harmony and conviviality, with an Indian dance, concluded the day, to the great satisfaction and amusement of the numerous spectators."
On May 25 appears a notice of the business meeting of the New York Tammany Society, as follows:
"New York, May 21.
"On the evening of the first Monday of April, annually, agreeably to the Constitution, the election of the officers of the Society of St. Tammany and Columbian Order is held, and the ballots estimated on the Monday evening subsequent to their annual festival. In conformity to this establishment the ballots were estimated on Monday evening last, when it appeared that the following persons were duly elected, viz.
"William W. Gilbert,
"William Pitt Smith,
" John Campbell,
"John Stag, Jr.,
" Ephraim Brasher,
" Malachi Treat,
"Thomas Ash, Treasurer,
"John Snowden, Jr., Sec.
"The Grand Sachem will be elected, by the body of Sachems, from among themselves, on Monday evening next."
To show that the New York Society was copied pretty closely in many ways from the first, Saint Tammany Society of Philadelphia, which, it will be remembered, entertained the Indian Chief Cornplanter and his braves, we quote the following:
"But what at the outset assisted Tammany more than anything else was a purely accidental occurrence; it became the means of saving the country from a bloody war. The Creek Indians on the Southwestern frontier had grown troublesome and the government then just entering on its work with a heavy debt and an impoverished people was particularly anxious for peace. In 1790 a delegation of the Creeks was induced to visit New York, then the seat of the Federal Government, that a talk might be had with the President. The result of the conference it was supposed would greatly depend on the first impression produced on the minds of the savages and their entertainment afterward. Luckily the Tammany Society had an abundant supply of paint and feathers, and Washington hit upon the happy expedient of engaging it to do the agreeable to the brawny visitors. Accordingly when the Indian embassy reached the city it was conducted to the Tammany Wigwam, where all the members of the Society were waiting to receive it with painted faces and full aboriginal outfit. The Creeks were delighted with their reception; and as during their stay the Tammany members retained their Indian dress and devoted themselves exclusively to their entertainment, the result was a very satisfactory treaty and the preservation of peace.
"The affair was of great service to Tammany, particularly as in consequence of it the Society was supposed to enjoy the countenance of Washington. Even many influential Federalists joined it and continued to retain at least a nominal membership for quite a period afterward.
"Washington, as usual, made use of the tools that were at hand to accomplish his ends, and he was certain that what he wanted would be secured by the means used, for he was a close observer of events of the day and, as we have previously written, was in Philadelphia not long after the visit of Cornplanter to the Philadelphia Tammany Society and had learned how much those Indians had been impressed by the courtesies shown them, so he was hardly trying an experiment when he delegated to the New York braves the entertainment of the Creeks.
Our patriotic and social Society was now decadent, although efforts to keep alive the memory of Tammany are evinced by the following in 1791:
"The Battalion of Artillery are to parade, conformably to the Laws of this Commonwealth, on Monday the 2nd of May next: and as several citizens, who belong to the corps, wish to celebrate the Anniversary of St. Tammany on that day, the Battalion will therefore be formed on the Artillery Ground at eight, and the roll called precisely at nine o'clock in the morning of the said day.
"JEREMIAH FISHER, Captain,
"Commandant of Artillery.
"April 15, 1791."
The establishment of the Yew York Tammany Society or Columbian Order as a political body took place in 1789, and a branch of this organization was instituted here in 1795.
It is not in the province of this article to treat of either of these organizations, but in an address appearing in the Philadelphia branch is the following:
"War in the Wigwam.
(Freeman's Journal, April 10, 1805.)
"Last Thursday evening, the arbitrary and despotic proceedings of Leib, Duane, his son, and their minions, in the Tammany Society exceeded all possible description, and stands unexampled in the most despotic government of the world.
"It is the intention of your correspondent to give a brief statement of the proceedings of this Society from its commencement to Thursday night last, and that the public may form a proper estimation of the conduct and principles of the parties mentioned, and hereafter referred to. It must be remembered that most of them were members of a democratic society, held in Philadelphia in the year 1795; that they brought forward a resolution in that society, and supported it against the will of the majority, relative to the western insurrection, which destroyed the harmony of its members, introduced anarchy and confusion, and finally broke it up; and let it be understood, that Leib and Duane were the principals in accomplishing the total and final destruction of that numerous society; and it may be asserted on good information, that those men have introduced confusion and created disturbance in every society in Philadelphia which they have belonged to since. The Tammany Society was next formed by an active citizen of Philadelphia, in pursuance of a dispensation from the Tammany Society of New York, now in his possessionA number of respectable citizens were initiated. M. Leib was anxious also become a member, but the active part he took in the dissolution of the democratic society was yet fresh in recollection; his application was postponed from time to time, advocates for him at length increased, and he obtained admission.
"Tempora mutantur et nos mutamar cum illis.
"We before stated, that many of the Revolutionary heroes after the struggle with Great Britain entertained views of self-aggrandizement that the Society of Cincinnati, a privileged order, was erected (or that purposethat the Society of St. Tammany was instituted in New York, to antagonize the aristocratical effect of the Society of Cincinnatithat upon the suppression of popular societies in Pennsylvania, the New York Society of St. Tammany enlarged themselves by an affiliation in this statethat as long as there was an external foe, the good effect of this affiliation was evident, notwithstanding the necessity of conclave and mystery.
"As soon as the necessity of conclave and mystery ceased, upon the establishment of equal political rights, the Tammany Society became a pest to the community, serving only as the engine of individual aggrandizement; this will appear in the sequel.
"In 94, the members of the Democratic Society were forced to dissolve that body, from a certainty that their every movement was watched, and that the most trivial step savoring of opposition to the administration, whether such as granted by the great charter of the constitution, or as usurped by them, would be made as a handle for persecution and destruction. Such was the temper of the times, that an open expression of private sentiment was frequently considered as bordering upon treasonthese times have passedmay they never again recur.
"The election of 99, the memorable victory which placed our patriot M'Kean in the first station in this commonwealth, fixed the friends of equal political rights on vantage ground. After that important era, alas now forgotten by men who owe their present prosperity to the victory, no danger was to be apprehended as to personal safety from British intrigue, for the grand promoters of it were irrevocably defeated in this state. The Society of Cincinnati now no longer excited emotions of fear in the republican breast; for though not arrived at the age of puberty, she was already paralised by second childhood.
"The Society of Tamminy was now only to be feared. From the necessity of self preservation, the members had resorted to secrecy; and in the progress of the association, the Society had embraced at least 500 membersall bound together by the same tiesall engaged to support the same causethe avowed cause of republicanism. What a dereliction from their professions, what a contrast have their late proceedings evinced? The republicans have become victorious, no dangers remain to their cause but in the misapplied energies of that very association which had added certainty to their united efforts. The Tammany Society alone, having no external enemy to overturn, and aided by its secret forms, was destined to become a scourge of the people.
"An avowed political society, nurtured in secrecy, must in times of prosperity be in constant danger of the secret management of cunning and factious members. The Tammany Society is led by these men; and the natural consequences of such associations, led by such men and in similar times, have marked the fate of the Columbian Order.
"It has been observed, that the exigencies of the times forced the association. Democratic citizens were collected from every quarter of the state to assist in its views. The energies of the original Sons of Tammany were not exerted without effectthe external foe was overcome. The defeat was so decisive that even the wavering were inspired with confidence. Had the unnatural forms of the institution been laid asideforms which were caused by a depraved state of societyhad they been dismissed when their baleful causes were exterminated, all had yet been well. But they were still retainedthe spirit which gave the zest to the meetings no longer was called forth. The Society remained without a definite object. At this time, had the sons of Tammany adjourned [sine die?], much credit would have been saved to them and much anxiety to the peoplefor the votaries of mummery and empty fame would not have had the opportunity of casting a ridiculous shade upon the institution, nor could they, as they have since done, made it an engine for the oppression of their fellow citizens.
"Nothing now remained but a stupid mummery, disgusting to men of r__ion, and directed by a political mountebank, whose poisonous drugs have only been transferred from the bodies to the minds of his fellow citizens. The men of sense and discernment gradually dropped off and but a select few remained to offer the homage of their high consideration to their new Deity at the going down of the sun.' Indeed, to the reflecting mind, the sun of the society appeared to be set, for every semblance of consistency had been banished by the factious few who were working their own aggrandizement upon the former credit, and by means of the magnitude of the affiliation. It was now not necessary to be an American to become a son of Tammany, for the magic yell of the wiskinky, so savage was it, could convert the sons of Erin into Aborigines of the American wilds, though the sun of America had not yet warmed them to their hearts. Patriots who had avowedly fled their native soil to find safety in this, and who proposed to return to their homes when it should no longer be a hanging matter, were, by the virtue of the tomahawk, dubbed savages of the first order.Men who could not, under our laws, be citizens for years, readily found seats in this honourable body, where the influence over the elective franchise has been greater than in any other known association in this country. Instances of rejected applicants may have occurred; but when they did, the rejected candidate merited his fate. In these cases, indeed, the blackballs were not idle, though the greatest man in the society may have been the brother and advocate of the candidate. Thus far, a la Duane, we give the devil his due.
"We now find the order assuming quite new features and the descendants of Kilbuck conversing in a transatlantic tongue. A learned stranger would not have been esteemed ridiculous, if, upon initiation in this body, he had pronounced, that the ancient language of Ireland was that of the aborigines of America.
"We have no intention to reflect upon the Irish as a nationwe sympathize with them as an oppressed and esteem them as a brave people; but we take the liberty of feeling as national as themselves; and though on proper occasions we would not hesitate to join the hands of St. Patrick and St. Tammany, yet we feel a conscious rectitude, when we aver, that no one man can, at the same time, be of both families. There can he no solid objection against an association of citizens of different nations, if their views are ought besides political; but considering politics to be the main spring of the St. Tammany Society,it was highly improper to admit aliens. No circumstance can place this position on higher grounds than a retrospect of some recent transactions of this formidable body.
"We have already stated, that many of the founders of this association had discontinued to meet their brethren. These were men of tried republicanism, prominent in the democratic cause, and who having attained the re-establishment of civil liberty, became disgusted with the puerile forms of the institution. This desertion was not unheeded by our malevolent and active demagogues. The new Grand Sachem who had been trimming and twisting in the Democratic Society in 94, and who had joined the Columbian Order but in a tardy way, now thought the time propitious for his talent of intrigue. At a meeting composed of his minions, whose introduction into the society had been his constant care, behold him appointed Grand Sachem. One step to aggrandizement was thus obtained, if the suffrage, of the friends of such a man can possibly be matter of exultation. The political influence of this situation was great, and particularly with the democrats who were not fully apprised of the moral character of the Grand Sachemand though the modesty of this exalted officer may never have permitted him openly to apply this influence to his own private advantage, this policy was not so strictly followed by his own friends. Prominent in moral, prominent in social virtues, the intrigues of the debased society made him still more prominent, by raising him to the scaffold near the place, on the day, and at the hour, usual for the punishment of capital offenders. That the 12th of May should have occurred on Saturday was truly unfortunate; but that at one o'clock the scaffold and the centre square should have been pitched upon by the officious friends of the Grand Sachem is really lamentable,Elevations of that day of the week, time and place, have frequently been the rewards of equal merit.
"But how did he become orator of the day, who was so meritoriously despised by his fellow citizens? By intrigue! Dr. Porter was openly appointed. But this would not tally with the intentions of the Grand Sachem.Dr. Porter was duped or overawed, and yielded to the hero of the scaffold. The advocate of those scaffolds with which the Aurora now threatens the community."
The other side of the story, that of the Philadelphia Tammany Society or Columbian Order, is as follows:
"Extract from History of the Society. (Aurora, May 14, 1808.)
"The virtue, of the generous Indian chief pointed him out as a fit patron to a body of sturdy Whigs, who, during the Revolution, associated to commune over the affairs, of their country and to enjoy a cheery hour amidst the horrors of British desolation, and from this fountain sprung forth many waters;' after the Revolution, the association was preserved to commemorate what it had been originally instituted to cherish and sustain and had nearly vanished with the spirits of those who went to join the great spirit; but successive vicissitudesthe occupation of the western poststhe British depredations, and the treaty intrigues of 1793-4the reign of terror in 1797and the disorders stirred up in this state by men between whom there were but slight shades of difference,' at the period of the Louisiana purchasefrom time to time, by awakening apprehension, have successively contributed to keep this society constantly organized, a body of vigilant, steadfast, and faithful public watchmen. This society has, in fact, been the principal rallying point of republicanism through the political storms of past yearsand on Thursday, perhaps, exhibited, for number and character, as respectable and independent a body of men as can be found in any part of the union," etc.
It is true that some of the members of the Sons of Saint Tammany entered this political organization, as can be seen from the following notice. It is also well to note that our Edward Pole had risen to high estate in it. We can see in this notice, as well as in previous facts that we have given, that the society of which we have written met its death from that serpent, Politics, which kills all patriotic or social organizations into which it is allowed to crawl.
"Philadelphia (Aurora, April 29, 1802.)
"Tammany Society Orders.
"Information having been received by the Fathers of the Council of the Tammany Society or Colombian Order of the death of our late father William Coates, you brothers Leinan, Thos. F. Peters, John Meer, Benj. Nones, and Thos. P. Jones are hereby appointed a committee of arrangements &c.
"EDWARD POLE, father of the Council.
As Philadelphia is known through the length and breadth of this broad land as the Birthplace of Liberty, it has been our desire to show that here also was born the first patriotic and social organization in the country, the Sons of Saint Tammany, about which so little was known either of the Society or its Patron Saint. We believe we have established our claim in the foregoing, and we trust that this article will be the means of bringing forth from hidden nooks more data to enrich the history of good old Saint Tammany and his merry and patriotic sons.
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