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bosoms were filled with strong emotions, in view of both the past and the future. It is presumable that, in imagination they never pictured to themselves the mighty changes which were to take place in the future aspect of this country. It is true,' continued Mrs. Johnson, that they believed the gospel would be planted here, and its ever-attendant blessings realized by their descendants ; this was what cheered them and upbore their spirits amid great and innumerable hardships.'
. But think you, mother,' rejoined Salina, that they ever dreamed of the rapid march of improvement ? of the annihilation of space by steamboats, railroads, and magnetic telegraphs ? of the increase of population, commerce, wealth, and of the educational, benevolent, and religious institutions which were to be here enjoyed ? or, that our country would ever attain to the conspicuous place among the nations which it now holds ?'
"I think not,' answered the mother; their minds were not able to grasp the astonishing results which were to follow their seemingly feeble efforts ; they conjectured not the advantages which their descendants were to enjoy as the purchase of their toils.'
• It is always gratifying to me,' said the daughter, 'to listen to any account of the Puritans, and particularly so, to what concerns our own family ; I wish to be able to trace, readily, the connecting links between the families that have existed, one after another; and also, to remember something definite of the character of each generation, during these two hundred years and more which have glided away since our venerated progenitor landed on Plymouth rock.
Her mother was much pleased with the interest which Salina felt in the subject, and proceeded to give some particulars connected with the history of their family, during the period to which she had alluded.
You have often heard me speak,' said Mrs. Johnson, of my venerable and much esteemed great-grandfather Weldron. From his lips I learned that the father of his paternal grandsire was one of the self-denying band who first planted the standard of the gospel in this hitherto barbarous country.
History has furnished you with an account of the struggles and hardships endured hy the dauntless, noble-spirited, and energetic few, who came to this savage wilderness to enjoy, untrammeled, that great and inestimable blessing, liberty of conscience.
• John Weldron, the Pilgrim head of our family, was distinguished only for his piety and gentlemanly deportment. I must not omit to state that two others of the name, younger than John, and believed to be his brothers, came from the other continent not long after his arrival, one of whom, in 1646 or '47, fell a victim to the fatal infatuation, occasioned by the supposed existence of witchcraft, which made its first appearance in New England one or two years previous.
"The other, who had imbibed the sentiments of the Quakers, at a late period in life, was banished, with all others of similar views, from the Massachusetts colony, by legislative enactments, on pain of death. He returned to his native country, and it is not known what afterwards became of him.
• Jesse Weldron, son of John, is noticed in history as a
military commander, successful in repelling the frequent attacks of the Indians, and was otherwise a valuable member of society.
'His son, Josiah Weldron, early settled in Deerfield, and was a long time an influential resident of that place. Some of his descendants reside there still. Those of his generation were not only sorely tried by the merciless savages by whom they were surrounded, but by the superstitions of the age, which again revived the delusion in regard to witchcraft.
Joseph Weldron, son of Josiah, and first of the fourth generation, was a zealous promoter of learning, and an eminent ambassador of the truth. One of his sons, whose name was Samuel, was my pious and revered grandfather.'
'I suppose,' said Salina, 'you are well acquainted with the history of your grand-parents.'
"I am,' replied Mrs. Johnson ; 'they were among the most wealthy and influential inhabitants of Brookfield. They belonged to that class who appear constantly to increase their wealth with little apparent effort, while their less prosperous neighbors look on, and wonder how they do so. Still, it could not be said, as of too many, that their wealth was used to pamper selfish desires, for they cheerfully imparted much of their substance to gladden the hearts of the destitute. In this, and all other respects, their dispositions were congenial.
"They had seven children, whom they endeavored to bring up in the way they should go, striving, as early in life as possible, to impress upon their minds the value of intellectual culture, combined with moral worth. They
educated their sons, and daughters also, as far as the facilities for acquiring knowledge at that period enabled them to do so.
You need not imagine that the girls were thoroughly acquainted with the higher branches of study, for at that time, it was thought unnecessary for the minds of females, even among the higher classes in society, to be taxed with pursuing the more abstruse sciences. A young lady was considered well taught, if she understood the common branches, to which, in most cases, was added a practical knowledge of domestic economy.
"In those days there were few parents, in comparison with the same class at the present time, whose daughters esteemed it a hardship to perform nearly or quite all the needle-work of the family, of which they were important members. A girl then, of eight years, who could not knit, was indeed a prodigy.'
It is proper to remark, that, although we are wont to consider our forefathers as worthy models for imitation, yet it is true, that even among them no perfection was found ; they had failings, and in giving an impartial account of the individual character of some of their descendants, we must delineate the foibles, as well as dwell upon the virtues, of those of whom we speak.
But, while it would be wrong to hold up the character of those whom we bring before the reader as faultless, we hope it will not be thought that our estimate of human nature is too low. We place not highly-wrought fiction before the mind, and that is our only apology for these pages.
Anna - Bereavement.
MR. AARON WELDRON, the father of Mrs. Johnson, was a much-beloved son and brother. After what has been said concerning the character of his parents, it hardly need be stated that the sisters of Mr. Weldron
in their youthful days, instructed in the great truth that to be useful is to be happy. Surrounded by all that wealth could command, they felt it a duty to exert themselves for the benefit of those within the sphere of their influ
Their brothers were favored ones among that number ; for these sisters did much, very much, to attach them to their own sweet homes; and, as Mr. Weldron often remarked, their kindness and sisterly attentions were efficient safeguards to them from temptations to wander in the pathway of vice and folly.
To Mr. Weldron, there was no place so delightful as home, as long as his sisters remained under the parental roof; but, as they were all his seniors in years, they married while he was young, and settled in different places, some of them several miles distant from Brookfield. This circumstance led him to choose a companion