« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
bellion. This, however, did not suit the times and Virginia, especially the Northern Neck. In the year 1775, he sent in a petition to the Assembly, asking leave to remain in Virginia on the terms above mentioned, which was rejected. Nor only this, but not less than five companies of men from Richmond, Caroline, and Westmoreland counties came to his house, determined on some signal punishment, if not the taking of his life, which he avoided by flying to England in a vessel about to sail from Hobbs's Hole. His father and brother, though respecting his motives for adhering to the Crown, joined themselves to the American party. I have had access to a diary kept by this Austin Brokenbrough from the time he set sail in 1775 to the time of his return at the close of the war, and also to letters of the family. Although the diary is much mutilated,
. enough remains to enable us to form a just estimate of his character and a correct view of himself and companions in England during the Some of them had been officers in the army with him, but most of them were gentlemen from Virginia who sympathized with him. From his diary it would seem that they had a merry time of it while in England, especially in London, their chief place of rendezvous. But, in order to relieve the tedium of such a state of idleness and suspense, the American loyalists determined to form themselves into a company and offer their services to the King in case of a threatened invasion from France. When the time for electing officers arrived, a Lord Pepperell and John Randolph of Virgivia, brother of Speaker Randolph, were the candidates for the captaincy. The former gained it by two votes. Major Grymes, who married Mr. Randolph's daughter, was made ensign of the company. The King most graciously accepted their offer. There was, however, no need of their services. Mr. Randolph, it is said, died of a broken heart, and made it his last request that his remains should be brought back to Williamsburg and deposited in the College chapel, which request was granted. Mr. Grymes also returued to Virginia. While in London the American loyalists seem to have had a merry time of it, dining and supping together at various inds, and having more private lodgings.. Those who approved their principles and conduct were not wanting in hospitality to them,--especially Lord Dunmore, who either lived in London or was often there. Among those who consorted together I find the names not only of Randolph, Grymes, and Brokenbrough, but of Corbin, Beverley, Maury, Brackenridge, Kirkpatrick, Wormley, Madison, Burnley, Marshall, Norton, Gilmore, Innis, Steuart, Walker, Williamson, Richardson, Fitch, Rhoan, Delany, Loyd, Stephenson. All of them appear to have been Americans,—most of them Virginians. Whether they were all disaffected to the American cause, or whether other considerations may not have carried them thither, I know not. Mr. Brokenbrough seems to mave been intimate with them all.
Time seems to have hung heavy on Mr. Brokenbrough's hands. He appears to have been more temperate than some of his companions, either
English or Ainerican, and inore chaste in his speech, for he expresses himself quite shocked at some things in his intercourse with them; yet he speaks of taking two dinners at different taverns with one of them in the same day, and again two suppers the same night, and being quite drunk, with all the rest of his company, on one occasion. The manners and morals of London must have been very bad at that time. Mr. Brokenbrough exhibits a very varied character in his diary. At one time we have a humorous parody on a passage in Shakspeare; then one of Addison's hymns is copied into it. Now he visits the King's Chapel in the morning, dines with a friend, and, “after bottle, goes to St. Thomas's.” Now he is in other churches, and speaks in praise of the sermons, and now at different theatres, and with a company of ladies at Vauxhall, all of whom, except the young ladies, drank too freely and were vociferous.
While in Glasgow he heard the celebrated Dr. Robertson, the historian, preach, and represents his delivery as the most inanimate and uninteresting, though his style was good and some sentences striking. Much of his time while in London was spent in hearing the debates in Parliament, especially those on American affairs. He was present when Lord Chatham delivered his last speech and fainted and was carried home. His account of it is quite good. After spending seven years in this manner, he becomes very desirous to return to Virginia. During his absence his father and youngest son died, and his property was wasting away through mismanagement and was in danger of confiscation. In the year 1782 he came over, and we find him in a vessel at Boyd's Hole, but is advised by his brother not to venture farther. After this he is in Charleston, S.C. At what time he actually resettled himself in Virginia does not appear. While at Boyd's Hole, on board the “Flag,” he addresses a long letter to Mrs. Tayloe, of Mount Airy, whose husband died during the war. The letter is in reply to inquiries concerning some friends and relatives in England. An extract from it will be interesting to some of my
readers. “Dear MADAM :—I received your favour by my brother, and should not have delayed returning my thanks for your kindness to my family and benevolent wishes to myself had it not been that I am under severe restrictions in a very small cabin. I lament the unhappy state of my native country and the causes which separated me from my family, and nothing is left for me but to be humbly content. It gives me pleasure that good people and those I respect sympathize with me. The prayers of such will, I hope, fly up to heaven. My prayers—God help me!--for seven long years have availed nothing; yet I shall still most cordially join them that Great Britain and America may be again cemented by mutual interests and that an honourable peace may soon take place. Should it be otherwise, I hope the din of war will never approach so near to Mount Airy as to produce the least disquietude or in any manner disturb your repose. May your son be a great comfort to you! I am told he very much
resembles your pa pa, and I most sincerely wish that he may emulate his good qualities and eminent virtues. To surpass them can scarcely be expected,—that so rarely falling to the lot of man. I cannot, dear madam, help being highly interested in the welfare of a youth whose father al. ways took pleasure in rendering my family bis best services,* and laid me under particular obligation, and gave the most lively instances of generosity and humanity, unsolicited, at a time when party prejudices ran high and sorely against me, and in the moment when I was reduced to the most lamentable and critical situation that man could be driven into.”
It seems that Colonel Tayloe, though on the American side, had gone as far as he could in behalf of Mr. Brokenbrough, and then warned him of his danger. The brothers of Mr. Brokenbrough were decidedly American, as is seen by their letters. The following extract from one of Mr. Newman Brokenbrough's shows that he took a religious view of the war:
“The direful scene of war now carried on by Britain upon this continent is truly melancholy. No man could have thought that Englishmen and Christians could have so far degenerated from humanity as to be guilty of such barbarity as is acted upon the people of this continent. The most savage race in any age of the world would blush at it. How. ever it may not be thought, on your side of the water, to be more severe than the nature of the offence deserves, yet I would beg leave to observe that people are never the sooner convinced of error by such measures, and that it rather incites them to revenge than deters them from war. Upon reflection we may plainly discover the cause of such calamity. The wickedness and impiety of the present profligate age requires an iron rod for chastisement. You are now in a country where iniquity abounds, and if you won't be wilfully blind you may discover the great degeneracy of the British nation from their ancient purity.”
Mr. Austin Brokenbrough in his diary mentions one instance of this which shocks him,-viz.: the fact that the English Government sought, through Governor Johnson, of New York, to bribe some of the members of the American Congress. There was a nobleness of soul in him which revolted at this.
To the above gleanings from the fragments which have been sent me, I must add something concerning one member of this family from personal knowledge. With Dr. John Brokenbrough, of Richmond, President of the Bank of Virginia, I was long and intimately acquainted. His house was my home during many years whenever I visited Richmond, and we freely corresponded at other times. A more amiable man is not easily found. He took an active part in the building of the Monumental Church, and was during Bishop Moore's life the vestryman to whom he referred most frequently for council. And yet he was for a long time beset with skeptical opinions, and often lamented to me the difficulty of eradicating them. They were the result of the early teachings of Mr. Ogilvie, who did so much injury to the youth of Virginia. Mr. Austin Brokenbrough speaks of this gentleman in his diary as one with whom he became acquainted in England. How he came to Virginia I am unable to say, but he became a teacher in Tappahannock, and Dr. Brokenbrough either was his pupil, or heard those infidel lectures which he delivered in various parts of Virginia and which ruined so many of her young men. I have reason to believe that these unhappy doubts ceased to disturb the mind of Dr. Brokenbrough, and trust that he died in the true faith of the Christian.
* Colonel William Brokenbrough was a ward of Colonel Tayloe.
THE FANTLEROY FAMILY, NOW SPELLED FAUNTLEROY. This is a very ancient and numerous family of Virginia. The name is often found in the old vestry-books. I have not been able to get any genealogical account of it, but Henning's “Statutes at Large” makes frequent mention of Major Moore Fantleroy at a very early period, and I have recently received a document of some interest, dated 1651, in which he is one of the chief parties, which I shall present to the reader. Major Fantleroy lived in the Northern Neck, and kept the Indians in that region in order by his military talents. In the year 1651 he purchased a large tract of land from one of the tribes, as the following contract shows :
At a machcomacoi held the 4th of April, 1651, at Rappahannock, -Accopatough, Wionance, Toskicough, Coharneittary, Pacauta, Mamogueitan, Opathittara, Cakarell James, Minniaconaugh, Kintassa-hacr.
To all people to whom these presents shall come, both English and Indians, know ye that I, Accopatough, the right-born and true king of the Indians of Rappahannock Town and Townes, and of all the land thereto belonging, do hereby, for and in consideration of ten fathom of peake and goods, amounting to thirty arms’-length of Rohonoke already in hand received, and for the love and affection which I the king, and all my men, do bear unto my loving friend and brother, Moor Fantleroy, who is likewise now immediately to go with me unto Pasbyhaies unto the governor, and safely to convey me and my men back again hither unto Rappahanpock, for which and in consideration thereof I do hereby bargain and sell, give, grant, and confirm, and by this present indenture have bargained, sold, given, granted, conveyed, and fully confirmed unto the said Fantleroy, his heirs and assigns forever, a certain p'cell of land situate, lying, and being in two necks on the north side of Rappahanpock Creek, beginning for breadth at the southernmost branch or creek of Macaughtions bay or run, and so up along by the side of the said river of Rappahannock, unto a great creek or river which run—Totosha or Tanks Rappahannock Town; for length extending easterly with its full breadth unto the bounds of the Potowmack River at the uttermost bounds of my land. To
have, hold, and enjoy all and singular the aforesaid lands and waters, with all and every part and parcel thereof, lying and being as aforesaid, unto the said Fantleroy, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns forever, so long as the sun and moon endureth, with all the appurtenances, rights, liberties, commodities, and profits whatsoever thereunto belonging, in as full and as ample manner as ever I, the said king, or any of my predecessors, ever had or could have had, by for me. My heirs and successors fully assuring the said Fantleroy, his heirs and assigns, forever peaceably and quietly to enjoy all and every part and parcel of the said land without any manner of lett, losses, molestations, or disturbance whatsoerer proceeding from me or any Indian or Indians whatsoever, now or hereafter, may or shall belong unto me or any of my heirs, assigns, or successors, hereby giving unto my said brother full power, leave, license, and authority to punish, correct, beat, or kill any Indian or Indians whatsoever, which shall contrary to the intent of this my act and deed presume to molest, harm, or offer any manner of harm, wrong, injury, or violence upon the said land, or any part of it, unto the said Fantleroy, his heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, or any whomsoever he or they shall seat, place, or put upon any part or parcel of the abovesaid land hereby given, and granted, and alienated as aforesaid. In witness whereof,
, . and to the true and full intent and meaning is hereof, with a full knowledge and understanding of this present act and deed, I, the said king, in the presence of my said great men and divers others of my Indians, have hereunto signed and sealed, the fourth day of April, one thousand six hun. dred and fifty-one. Signed, sealed, and possession given by tree and turf,
ACCOPATOUGH, (SEAL.) John EDGECOMBE,
NATHA BATSON, ALEXANDER CAMPLER, FRANC: MARSH.
This eleventh of May, one thousand six hundred and fifty-one, we, Touweren, the great King of Rappahannock and Moratoerin, do hereby fully ratify and confirm the above said act and deed unto our loving brother Fantleroy, his heirs and assigns. Witness our hand and seals the day above written. Witnesses :
TOUWEREN, MACHAMAP. WILLIAM FOOTE,
(SEAL) (SEAL) FRAN. MARSH, NATHA BATSON (A copy.)
(Teste.) WILSON ALLEN, C. G. C.
Colonel Fantleroy was probably a man of high and fearless temper. It is on record that on a certain occasion, when he was a member of the House of Burgesses, something occurred which greatly displeased him, and led to such strong denunciation of the Assembly that he was expelled for insulting its members. On the following morning, however, he was reinstated.