Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 16, 2013

Weekly Story: Goffe At Hadley

Weekly Story

 
 
During King Philip’s War, an old English Civil War commander makes an appearance.


The people instantly betook themselves to their arms, which, according to the custom of the times, they had carried with them to the church, and, rushing out of the house, attacked their invaders.

Goffe at Hadley.

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IN this town [Hadley] resided for fifteen or sixteen years the celebrated regicides, Goffe and Whalley. They came hither in the year 1654, and lived in the house of the Rev. Mr. Russell, the minister. Whalley died in his house. Some years since, the house was pulled down by Mr. Gaylord, the proprietor, and the bones of Whalley were found buried, just without the cellar wall, in a kind of tomb formed of mason work, and covered with flags of hewn stone. After his decease Goffe quitted Hadley; went into Connecticut, and afterwards, according to tradition, to the neighbourhood of New-York. Here he is said to have lived some time, and, the better to disguise himself, to have carried vegetables at times to market. It is said, that, having been discovered here, he retired secretly to the colony of Rhode-Island, and there lived with a son of Whalley during the remainder of his life.

The following story has been traditionally conveyed down among the inhabitants of Hadley.

In the course of Philip’s war, which involved almost all the Indian tribes in New-England, and among others those in the neighbourhood of this town, the inhabitants thought it proper to observe the 1st of September, 1675, as a day of fasting and prayer. While they were in the church, and employed in their worship, they were surprised by a band of savages. The people instantly betook themselves to their arms, which, according to the custom of the times, they had carried with them to the church, and, rushing out of the house, attacked their invaders. The panic, under which they began the conflict, was however so great, and their number was so disproportioned to that of their enemies, that they fought doubtfully at first, and in a short time began evidently to give way. At this moment an ancient man with hoary locks, of a most venerable and dignified aspect, and in a dress widely differing from that of the inhabitants, appeared suddenly at their head, and with a firm voice and an example of undaunted resolution, reanimated their spirits, led them again to the conflict, and totally routed the savages. When the battle was ended, the stranger disappeared; and no person knew whence he had come or whither he had gone. The relief was so timely, so sudden, so unexpected, and so providential; the appearance, and the retreat of him who furnished it were so unaccountable; his person was so dignified and commanding, his resolution so superior, and his interference so decisive; that the inhabitants, without any uncommon exercise of credulity, readily believed him to be an angel, sent by Heaven for their preservation. Nor was this opinion seriously controverted, until it was discovered several years afterward, that Goffe and Whalley had been lodged in the house of Mr. Russell. Then it was known that their deliverer was Goffe; Whalley having become superannuated some time before the event took place.

—Timothy Dwight, Travels in New-England and New-York (1823).

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Responses

  1. Hello my Democratic Thinker friend!

    The Moral Liberal is back up! and I’ve posted this and linked back in to your site. Great work!

    I always have problems with the initial picture, which for some reason unknown to this non-techy person, doesn’t pull up into my front page, and so I have to hunt for another one, and hence, I undo your formatting (My apologies).

    http://www.themoralliberal.com/2013/09/17/weekly-story-goffe-at-hadley-by-democratic-thinker/

    Best to you, and I hope all is well! I hope to back in what I’ve missed the last number of months, if things slow down enough. I had health struggles so had to shut her down for a season. But here we go again!

    Steve Farrell


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