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historic associations of the place interesting. In Scotland the progress of commerce and the prospective advantages of trade are the usual considerations that determine the creation of royal boroughs. But it appears from authentic history that it was rather the generous sacrifices of the inhabitants of the district — and the fact that the kings and royal families of Scotland made Peebles a summer resort that the place in 1341 secured this eminence. The name of the Peebles family became distinguished. With the blood of the old Romans and the warlike Scots in their veins — peoples whose history illustrates the extremes of barabarism and civilization - they, naturally enough, exhibited some strong characteristics; and John Peebles, a Scottish earl, is described by Sir Walter Scott, as a person whose daring nature and irresistible impulses found expression in rash purposes and impetuous action.

When Alexander Smith slept in the old borough, he

heard something more in the stream as it ran Than the water breaking on stones.”

His muse came to him before he was up in the morning, and made him sing thus of “The Tweed at Peebles”:

“I lay in my bedroom at Peebles,

With the window-curtains drawn,
While there stole over hills of pasture and pine

The unresplendent dawn.

“And in the deep silence I listened,

With a pleased, half-waking heed,
To the sound that ran through the ancient town,-

The shallow, brawling Tweed.

“Was it absolute truth, or a dreaming

Which the wakeful day disowns,
That I heard something more in the stream as it ran

Than water breaking on stones?”

Something more than two hundred years ago a branch of the Peebles family from Scotland settled in the north of Ireland. They were stanch Protestants of the Scotch type, having very pronounced religious convictions. It was a period in which most intense and bitter religious controversies were waged, and as this little colony were surrounded by papists, they endured much persecution. In 1718 they crossed the ocean and settled in Massachusetts. Here also religious controversies ran high. Indeed, they became so bitter that their differing neighbors gathered in a mob one night and burned their meeting house.

After this, under the charge of Rev. Abercrombie, they began a settlement in the town of Pelham. Bringing from Londonderry "the necessary material for the manufacture of linen,” they were, as the historian avers, “ industrious, frugal, and peaceful.”

One of these adventurous Peebles penetrated into Vermont, and “ drove down his stakes” in Whitingham, Windham County, near the Green Mountains. His name was James Peebles, the father of the hero whose career these pages are designed to sketch. He was a marked character, public spirited, zealous, patriotic, benevolent, popular with the ycomanry, being captain of the militia.

The maternal side was English, belonging to the ubiquitous race of Browns. Miss Nancy Brown was a daughter of “Deacon Brown,” a prominent citizen of Whitingham, Vermont. Nancy was tall, good-looking, refined, and intellectual. Though a "Deacon's " daughter, she was a prominent figure at the village dances. She broke her father's colts, and was a general favorite in her own and adjacent villages. Being endowed with vivacity, wit, and good common sense, Miss Brown was deferred to as a social leader in her own village, of which she was the schoolmistress.

Under the shadows of an ancient elm the vows plighted. A homestead on the hillside was established. At the foot of this hill a crystal stream babbled, fed from perennial


springs which came out from little nooks and ravines away to the south. Altars of unhewn stone rose from this quiet hillside, and often during the mornings and evenings the mists settled with a soft halo over the rugged rock-giants. Nature here was a good mother, tenderly caring for her own. Here was a pure, sweet New England life, with its atmosphere of health and quiet joy. Here the birds nested and became familiar, forgetting for the time being that man was their enemy and destroyer.

The paternal side was Presbyterian and conservative of the social and religious traditions. The good which was handed down through a long ancestral line was carefully guarded against the encroachments of “new-fangled ” notions. But on the maternal side there was a tendency to break through conservative restraints. The soul of that prospective mother was free-born. As the trees lift their noble trunks, defying all forces that tend toward the earth, so the thoughts of that mother were lifted toward their native heaven worshiping the Divine Natural. But this natural spontaneity was chilled in the atmosphere of creeds and traditions, and so the thoughts were turned within, there to make their record and put their seal upon one which was to come. The “Money-Kingdom had not extended its borders to that quiet hamlet. There was no superabundance of this world's goods. The garments worn, were spun, woven, and made in the household. Painstaking industry was required to evoke sufficient subsistence from the soil.

The silent heart struggling in the life of that mother gave the pure running stream of love to the soul of her son. Waves of unrest crossed the threshold of her inner life. Tears were shed in solitude. But at last these pent-up fountains poured their precious treasures into a wailing receptacle, and found their fitting expression in the eventful life of her son, James. Here Conservatism and Freedom became in a sense, reconciled, and inwrought into a personality which has made its mark on the present age and generation. From the paternal side was

derived prudence, steady poise, sensitiveness to public opinion, unfaltering purpose, endurance, kindheartedness, and unwearied industry. From the maternal side was given an inspirational temperament, versatility of talent, imagination, hope, vivacity, bravery, a passionate love of flowers, and a perennial sparkle to the literary style. These were the antecedents. This was the immediate environment. Here the playhouse of the first-born was builded.

James Martin Peebles was born March 23, 1822, at the old homestead in Whitingham, Vermont. He was the oldest surviving child of a family of seven children — five sons and two daughters - of whom two brothers and one sister still remain. These children were so diverse in character that it might be said different manners of people had collected under one roof-tree. James, however, was the only child in this family group that seemed to possess the genius for a public and literary career.

There are extant but a few meager scraps touching the childhood and youth of this boy. These may be briefly summarized. The physical build was slender, but the constitution was elastic and enduring. From early childhood this boy was magnetic, genial, benevolent, and witty, but stubborn and capricious withal.

"Jimmie " had many devices for amusement, into some of which his father did not readily enter. A number of objects about the house which the boy regarded as essential to his happiness were forbidden things. Among these was a trough which had served both as Jimmie's cradle and a bread trough. As his father had denied him a sled such as other boys had, he bethought him he would make the old trough cradle serve for one. So one afternoon the lad stealthily got it out to take a slide. The deep snow was crusted and glary. The start was made from the top of quite a long and steep hill. Jimmie was too young and inexperienced yet to form much of an estimate of the probable speed and momentum he would acquire before reaching the bottom. The start was made in great confidence,

however, and in grand style. The speed augmented. Rocks jutted here and there above the crusted snow, and against one of these the career of the bread-trough was finished! Jimmie continued his journey a few rods further unhurt. A moment of sad gazing enabled him to take in the situation. He had been "tasting forbidden fruit," and fearfully realized that when his mother would go out to get the bread-trough to knead the next batch of bread, it would not be there. So with eyes full of tears and with an aching heart, the lad rushed into the house to make a confession. What a grand opportunity was there presented for a wise parent to teach an impressive lesson to the awakened moral apprehension of the repentant boy! But New England theology said: "Spare the rod, spoil the child." The rod was therefore produced and the child given a lesson in stern justice.

One more little episode may here be mentioned. When James had grown a little older, with the assistance of other boys in the neighborhood, he succeeded in constructing a rude sled, which often did service after the snows had departed. At the end of maple-sugar making, his father made a barrel. of sap-beer, and he found James' sled very convenient to place the barrel on during the stage of fermentation. James regarded this as a serious encroachment upon his right. So one day, while his father was absent, James bethought him to rescue the sled, and with the aid of a long stick of wood which he used for a lever, he succeeded in rolling the barrel off. The bung had been left open on account of fermentation. and as fate decreed, the barrel rolled with this downward, allowing all the beer to escape! James was unhappy. He remembered the episode connected with the bread-trough, and logically concluded that he would have to come to judgment later in the day. It was impossible now to take any comfort with the sled. The hours seemed impressively long, and the day wore away gloomily. The sled was laid aside and James walked about in moody silence, for all gladness and elasticity of spirits had departed. At last the father returned. This

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