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neither food nor liquor had passed our lips ; thus the passions may at times have an influence on the human frame, as inebriating as wine, or any other liquor. The morning brought us plenty, in the form of rations of beef and bread. Hunger allayed, my only desire was, to proceed homeward. Money was wanting. How to obtain it in a place, where all my friends and acquaintances were alike poor and destitute, gave me great anxiety and pain. Walking up the street very melancholy, unknowing what to do, I observed a waggon, built in the Lancaster county fashion (which at that time, was peculiar in Jersey), unloading stores for the troops, come or coming. The owner was Stephen Lutz of Lancaster ; on seeing me, he grasped my hand with fervor, told me every one believed me to be dead. Telling him our story in a compendious manner, the good old man, without solicitation, presented me two silver dollars, to be repaid at Lancaster. They were gladly received. My heart became easy. The next day, in company with the late Colonel Febiger, and the present General Nichols, and some other gentlemen, we procured a light return-waggon, which gave us a cast as far as Princeton. Here we had the pleasure of conversing with Dr. Witherspoon, who was the first that informed us of a resolution of Congress to augment the army. It gave us pleasure, as we had devoted ourselves individually to the service of our country. The next day, we proceeded on foot, no carriage of any kind being procurable. Night brought us up at a farm-house, somewhere near Bristol. The owner was one of us, that is, a genuine whig. He requested us to tarry all night, which we declined. He presented us a supper, that was gratefully received. Hearing our story, he was much affected. We then tried to prevail on him, to take us to Philadelphia, in his light wagon. It was objected that it stood loaded with hay in the barn floor; his sons were asleep or abroad. We removed these objections, by unloading the hay, while this good citizen prepared the horses. Mounting, we arrived at the

Harp and Crown,” about two o'clock in the morning. To us, it was most agreeable, that we passed through the streets of Philadelphia in the night time, as our clothing was not only thread bare but shabby. Here we had friends and funds. A gentleman advanced me a sum sufficient to enable me to exchange my leggins and moccasins, for a pair of stockings and shoes, and to bear my expenses home. A day and a half, brought me to the arms of my beloved parents.

In the course of eight weeks, after my return from captivity, a slight cold, caught when skating on the ice of Susquehanna, or in pursuing the wildturkey, among the Kittatinny hills, renewed that abominable disorder, the scurvy and lameness, as you now observe it, was the consequence. Would to God ! my extreme sufferings, had then ended a life, which since has been a tissue of labor, pain, and misery.






JOHN LEDYARD was one of those intrepid men, who, “taking their lives in their hands," have, under the stimulus of a spirit of adventure, wandered into unknown and barbarous lands; by their discoveries extended the boundaries of geographical science, bringing to light new races of men, and revealing to human knowledge the physical and natural resources of other climes.

Whether we contemplate Ledyard in his youth, descending the Connecticut in a frail canoe, when swollen to an impetuous torrent by the melting of the winter snows, or voyaging around the world-among the savages of New Zealand, or the gay revels of Paris; in Bhering's Straits, or treading Siberian snows; on the shores of Bothnia, clambering Uralian crags, or in the presence of the Irkutsh Tartar; surrounded with the momentoes of Egypt's glory, or amid the sands of Africa ; he presents that prompt decision and manly self-reliance that will attract all to whom his story is made known.

This, the most eminent of American travelers, was born at Groton, Connecticut, near Fort Griswold, of revolutionary memory, in the year 1751. He was the son of William Ledyard, who was master of a vessel in the West India trade. His father dying while John was a lad, threw the management of a large family of little ones upon his mother. She was left penniless by the loss of the will; but being an energetic woman, she struggled successfully against misfortune. William, her second son, was the brave Colonel Ledyard, who was barbarously slain after the capitulation of Fort Griswold, which he had so gallantly defended. John, the subject of this sketch, was her eldest son. He was eventually sent to Hartford, where he first attended the grammar school, and then became a student in the law office of his uncle and guardian, Thomas Seymour, and an inmate in his family.

When Ledyard was in his twentieth year, Dr. Wheelock, the founder of Dartmouth College, prompted by an intimacy which had existed between Ledyard's grandfather and himself, prevailed upon him to enter that institution, with a view to his becoming a missionary among the Indians. The position of an Indian missionary, as the experience of Wheelock, Eliot, and


others, proved, was one of hardship; which to the adventurous disposition of Ledyard, was at first alluring, and he began his studies with zeal. He soon, however, became restless and discontented. Steady, persevering application to books, was irksome to his nature.

He had been at Dartmouth a few months, only, when he suddenly disappeared, and no one knew whither. It was his first expedition. He plunged into the wilderness, and traveled among the Six Nations on the borders of the Canadas, where he spent nearly three months in wandering among the Indian tribes, to gain a knowledge of their mode of life, in view of his anticipated duties as a missionary among them. He reappeared at Dartmouth as unexpectedly as he had left, effectually cured of all missionary inclinations.

On his return he was continually devising some plan for the gratification of his romantic fancy. His disposition was cheerful, and his conversation and manners so winning, that he was a great favorite among his fellow students. One winter's afternoon he persuaded a number of his companions to go with him and spend the night in the snow on the summit of a neighboring mountain, so that those who designed becoming missionaries among the Indians, might have a foretaste of the hardships in store for them. Over a pathless route, through forest and through swamp, he led his little band to the appointed spot. They had barely time to kindle their fire and make their beds on the snow when night closed in upon them. The hours passed wearily, and rarely has daylight been more heartily greeted than it was by all of that little party, save Ledyard, whose appetite only grew by indulgence.

Robinson Crusoe was evidently Ledyard's beau ideal of a hero. To the young mind which makes companions of its own dream, solitude is sweet, as it favors their growth, and throws a gorgeous mantle over their deformities. Our young traveler seems to have early conceived the design of achieving a reputation, and in the meanwhile, until he should have made the first step, and acquired the right to exact some degree of consideration among mankind, the dim forest, or the lonely river, was a more agreeable associate in his mind, than any of those two-legged animals with which a residence at college daily brought him into contact. He therefore at once resolved to put an end to so mawkish a mode of life. Selecting from the majestic forest, which clothed the margin of the Connecticut River, a tree large enough to form a canoe, he contrived, with the aid of some of his fellow-students, to fell and convey it to the stream which runs near the college. Here it was hollowed out, and fashioned in the requisite shape; and when completed, measured fifty feet in length by three in breadth. His young college companions enabled him to lay in the necessary store of provisions. He had a bear-skin for a covering; a Greek Testament and Ovid to amuse him on the way; and thus equipped, he pushed off into the current, bade adieu to his youthful friends, turned his back upon Dartmouth, and floated leisurely down the stream. Hartford, the place of his destination, was one hundred and forty miles distant. The country, during much of the way, was a wilderness; and the river, of the navigation of which he was totally ignorant, exhibited in many places dangerous falls and rapids. However, youth and ignorance are generally bold. He was, besides, too well pleased at escaping from the irksomeness of regular study; and, indeed, too much enamored of danger itself to have been terrified, ever had he fully understood the character of the river.

The canoe being carried along with sufficient rapidity by the force of the current, he had but little occasion for using his paddles, and filled up the intervals of reflection with reading. He was thus employed when the canoe approached Bellows’ Falls. The noise of the waters rushing with impetuous velocity through their narrow channel between the rocks, roused him to a sense of his danger, fortunately, in time to enable him by the strenuous use of his paddles to reach the shore. His canoe was dragged round the fall by the kindness of the good people of the neighborhood, who were amazed at the boldness and novelty of his enterprise, and again safely launched upon the waters below.

As the sun was rising on one of those clear, bracing spring mornings so common in New England, Mr. Seymour, with his family, was standing on a little mound near their house looking out upon the river, when they discovered in the distance, an unknown object floating down the stream. As it came nearer, they saw it was a canoe with a man wrapped closely in some garment, sitting in the stern. When nearly opposite them, it made for the shore, and stopped in front of their dwelling. The man then leaped on land, threw aside his bear-skin, and they recognized John Ledyard, whom they supposed was then at Dartmouth studying with a view to missionary life.

Whether or not any efforts were made on this occasion to induce Ledyard to resume his missionary studies is not known; but if there were, it was without success. His inclinations, as already observed, had now taken another direction. He was desirous of becoming a regular clergyman, and exerted himself, unfit as he was, to obtain a preacher's license. Inferior claims have sometimes been urged with effect; but Ledyard's were rejected ; and in that reckless state of mind produced by disappointment and disgust, which none but those who have been buffeted by adverse fortune can properly conceive, he threw himself into the first gap which he saw open, and determined to combat with the ills of life in the humble condition of a common sailor. In this capacity he sailed for Gibraltar, in the ship of a Captain Deshon, who had been a friend of his father. Though this gentleman, we are told, regarded him more in the light of a companion than as one of his crew, Ledyard seems to have conceived no very favorable idea of a seafaring life from his voyage across the Atlantic, and on his landing at Gibraltar, determined to avoid a repetition of the experiment by enlisting in the army. By the solicitations of Captain Deshon, however, who at the same time strongly remonstrated with him on the impropriety of his conduct, he was released, and returned with his liberator to New London. This voyage put to flight his romantic ideas respecting the life of a mariner; and he once more saw himself dependent on his friends, without profession or prospect.

From the conversation of some of the older members of his family, he had learned that in England he possessed many, wealthy relations; and the idea now occurred to him, that could he but make himself known to these, he should be received with open arms, and lifted up at once to a respectable position in society. With him to resolve and to act were the same thing.

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He immediately proceeded to New York, where, finding a vessel bound for England, he obtained'a berth, probably on condition of his working as a sailor. On landing at Plymouth, he found himself penniless, and without a friend, in a strange country ; but his courage, sustained by the golden hopes with which he amused his imagination, was proof against misfortune. His calamities, he flattered himself, were soon to have an end. He was now within a few days' journey of his wealthy relations; and provided he kept, as the vulgar say, body and soul together, what did it signify how he passed the brief interval which separated him from his island of Barataria ? Accordingly, relying upon that principle in our nature by which compassion is kindled, and the hand stretched forth to relieve, as often as real honest distress presents itself, he set out for London. On the way his good genius brought him acquainted with an Irishman, whose pockets were as guiltless of coin as his own; and as it is a comfort not to be "alone unhappy” in this "wide and universal theater," these two moneyless friends were a great consolation to each other. In fact, it is often among the poor and unfortunato that fellowship is most sweet. The sight of another's sufferings excites our magnanimity. We scorn to sink under what we see, by another man's experience, can be borne, perhaps, without repining. And thus two poor adventurers, without a penny, may be of use to each other, by reciprocally affording an example of fortitude and patience. Ledyard and his Hibernian companion begged' by turns, and in this way reached London, where they separated, each to cherish bis poverty in a different nook.

Hunger, which has a kind of predilection for great cities, seems to sharpen the sight as well as the wits of men; for, amid the vast throng of equipages which jostle and almost hide each other in the streets of London, Ledyard's eye caught the family name upon a carriage ; and he learned from the coachman the profession and address of the owner, who was a rich merchant. El Dorado was before him. He hastened to the house, and although the master himself was absent, he found the son, who, at all events, listened to his story. When he had heard him out, however, he very coolly informed our sanguine traveler, that he wholly disbelieved his representations, never having heard of any relations in America ; but that from the East Indies, he added, they expected a member of the family, whom Ledyard greatly resembled; and that if in reality he was the person, he would be received with open arms.

This reception, so different from that which he had anticipated, yet so extremely natural under the circumstances of the case, was more than Ledyard's philosophy, which had not yet been sufficiently disciplined by poverty, could digest; and he quitted the house of his cautious relative with avowed disgust. How he now continued to subsist is not known. It appears, however, that in spite of his distress he succeeded in making the acquaintance of several respectable individuals, to whom he related his story, and who, taking an interest in his fate, exerted themselves to effect a reconciliation between him and his wealthy friends, but without success; for distrust on the one part, and haughtiness on the other, intervened, and shipwrecked their good intentions.

Years after, when his name became famous, and all London was filled with the story of his adventures, his relatives made overtures to him, and

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