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النشر الإلكتروني

IN THE SIXTIES

BY

SARAH B. RICKER

THE

Abbey Press

PUBLISHERS

114
FIFTH AVENUE

NEW YORK

London

Montreal

TIE NEW YORK

PUBLIC LIBRARY

10805B

A, LINOX AND
T. WW SOUNDATIONS

1889 L

Copyright, 1903,

by

THE

Abbey Press.

FOREWORD.

The colonial days of our sires have been given to us in book and story, and of their everyday life have we heard in wildest romance; while the tale of the pioneer, who first invaded our primeval forests, has been handed down in all its weird adventure and heroism.

Wealth has been represented in its glittering array; poverty in its ragged attire, even the slums of our great cities have been pictured to us in truth and fable; but the former operative of our New England mills, and the usages of those early days, have been largely lost to the public, and suffered to remain enveloped in the shadows of the past. In the earlier days of our history, the sites of our extensive cities were but sparsely settled towns, peopled by a farming community, who gained from the grudging soil a subsistence, but found few dollars for the less positive wants of a numerous family. Then, as a day star to woman, came the cotton mill, and gave to her fettered ambition the first chance to show the world her latent power for good. To the grasping of this first opportunity may we not trace (in part), the individuality and self-supporting independence which characterizes the woman and girl of to-day. With Yankee energy these mills were pushed forward, till in the sixties, they were to be found on many of our rivers and streams.

In sending forth a work touching the gone-by period, we are not thoughtless of the many discouragements to be met, writers of name and experience, and books whose number is legion. The

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whispered voice of approval may be silenced by the seething words of criticism and censure, and its future, at best, be uncertain as the frail bark on the wind-swept wave.

The incidents here recorded may not be in accord with present happenings, yet a few may look back, and forgetting the intervening decades, live for a brief moment in the realtities of earlier days.

But the sixties were long, long ago, and we are living, not only in a time when the locomotive supplants the mule express, but in a new century, and in those changed conditions which time invariably brings around.

In the sixties, when war swept our broad domain, and blood was written on every doorpost, the occurrences here recorded were collected, varying but little from transpiring events in real life. Founded on facts, with no character overdrawn, it has been kept as a memorial of the past, until later circumstances have called it from its hiding, and we send it forth, hoping the adventurous tale may not be wholly ignored, but accepted as a true reminiscence and souvenir of the sixties.

IN THE SIXTIES.

CHAPTER I.

Oh, did we but see, how in smallest things

Are beginnings of that which is great,
Life's soil would be watered by countless springs,

That now 'neath the surface wait,
We should feel when earthward kindly sent,
For heroes and heroines all were meant.

-CHARLOTTE YONGE.

In a country town near the interior of rockbound Maine, stood a small brown house, that in its more youthful days would have impressed the passing traveller with only a small idea of comfort and plenty; and now that it had braved the storms and winds of many seasons, its blackened and mossy surface spoke but too plainly of indigence within; yet nothing portrayed an idle shiftlessness, which is often plainly pictured on old and timeworn habitations. The small lawn in front, thcugh limited in extent, was kept free from rubbish, and the grass still remained fresh and green, while the few flowers and climbing vines on each side of the low door, seemed inviting the soft rays of the western sun to hide 'mid the fluttering branches, and help relieve the lone house of its desolate look.

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