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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut • Page 67
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut • Page 67

Hartford Couranti
Hartford, Connecticut
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3 Ancient Elm Holds Memory of Witch Hangings THE HARTFORD DAILY COURANT: SUNDAY, MAY 11, 1930. man, was her third husband. So far as we can learn he was a rather weak, inoffensive creature, a victim of his cwn weakness and of circumstance the latter in thb form of the wilful, wicked wife who was to betray him, Other members of Rebecca's band included Elizabeth, the wife of Richard Seager, Andrew Sanford, and Mary, 'his wife, Goodwife William Ayres, Judith Varlett and James Walkley, Nocturnal Orpies. These people after the manner of their kind, loved to carouse and their octurnal orgies were many and boisterous. Near the Greensmith residence there was a vacant lot it Is still vacant, in a sense, for it is now Barnard Park, at youth Green.

It was here that the band would gather on clear nights to stage wild dances on the green and drink many bottles of sack. It became rumored that these affairs were more than mere parties that Rebecca Greensmith and her wicked crew were in league with the devil, and that Satan, himself, often took part in the merriment. But nothing was done about it until the Spring of 1662 when the 12-year-old daughter of one John Kelley was taken strangely sick. The child died, but just before dying, in a moment of delirium, she cried out In tortured tones that she had been bewitched by Goody Ayres. Immediately the neighborhood buzzed with stories of witchcraft.

What people had long believed now took on a sinister note of reality. Terror and excitement spread through the city, and reached such dimensions that it was considered advisable for the magistrates to examine the accused namely Rebecca Greensmith and her friends. Ill Feeling. Although nothing of importance was gained by this examination, its effects were far reaching, for It caused ill-feeling among members of Rebecca's little band. During the questioning, William Ayres made in ANCIENT trees of Hartford have been silent spectators of many strange scenes through the passage of years, but surely none ever witnessed a more horrible or pathetic affair than that which took place on the morning of January 23, 1663, under the chilled branches of the great elm pictured It was on that day and under this tree that Rebecca Greensmith and her luckless husband, Nathaniel, were Ranged for having practiced witchcraft.

This old elm still stands and is a familiar sight to thousands of Hartford people who have perhaps never suspected the sinister story it could tell were Its lips not mute. It stands on the north side of Albany Avenue, near the intersection of Garden Street, partly supported by a retaining wall, Its aged roots on the south side are exposed. Strange Happenings. The hanging of Rebecca and Nathaniel Greensmith was the climax of a spries of weird happenings that held Hartford in a grip of fear and excitement throughout the year 1662. Let us tell the story from the beginning, making first this one observation: It Is not well to get yourself disliked by your neighbors.

There was In Hartford, In the year 1662, a little group of people who had succeeded in becoming violently disliked by every respectable minded person with whom they came Into contact. They were feared almost as much as they were hated. Not that they minded. For they were distinctly not nice people. A dissolute, godless, devil-worshipping band.

The Leader. And of this choice crew. Rebecca Greensmith was leader. A shameless woman, Rebecca Greensmith. The dignity of advanced years ill became her, for the ugly marks of a long and wicked life were stamped upon her.

With her straggly white hair, her gaunt and reamed face she resembled tc no small extent our modern, story book conception of a witch. Nathaniel Greensmith, unfortunate discreet statements about Rebecca Greensmith and her husband, 'incensed, sued Ayres for slandering his' wife. Nothing developed from this suit for it was never brought to court. The Ayres woman, terrified at the charges made by the little Kelley girl, although protesting her innocence took refuge in flight. With her went her husband and the frightened James Walkley.

The three settled down somewhere in Rhode Island and were never heard from again. In the meantime Rebecca and her husband had been arrested charged with practicing witchcraft and were being held. Judith Varlett was also detained. Case of Ann Cole. The case against them would probably have come to nought had it not been for the strange sickness which at this time seized young Ann Cole, the daughter of John Cole, a neighbor of the Greensmiths.

Poor Ann's illness was largely mental, but was attended by occasional physical attacks "involving violent bodily movements." Ann was a very religious girl and in her moment of stress turned to her God for aid, but in the church which was filled with Hartford people, she suffered an attack so awful to witness and hear" that several women fainted. In her hysterical ravings, Ann suddenly accused Goodwife Seager, a member of the Greensmith group, of having bewitched her. They brought Ann home. And on her sick bed, the girl tossing in agony suddenly began to speak in Dutch. Now though there was a Dutch family living next door to the Cole's, Ann could have picked up only a few scattered words from occasional association with them, but the Dutch she was speaking in her delerium was excellent, both as to vocabulary and grammar.

From time to time, she spoke another language, but an unfamiliar one that nobody could understand or even recognize. And then interludes of English during which she moaned again and again that the Seager woman had wrought harm upon her. Indictment of Goody Seager, Gocdy Seager was indicted three times before she was found guilty, and then she was imprisoned for a year, after, which she was released. She, too, fled to Rhode Island. Strange as it may seem, Ann Cole's condition improved almost immediately.

Eventually she regained her health and married happily. To return to the Greensmiths and their other friends. For some reason, not quite clear, the Greensmiths were not taken seriously at first. True, they had been arrested on suspicion of practicing witchcraft but no definite steps had been taken to carry the matter, further. On June 6, however, Andrew Sanford was indicted, but the jury disagreed and he was released.

A week later, his wife, Mary, was indicted and found guilty. And condemned to die. The action against Mary Sanford involved the Greensmiths and a Farmington woman who now enters our story for the first, time, Good-wife Mary Barnes. Just what part she played in the affair we do not know. A Sensational Trial.

The trial of Rebecca Greensmith was sensational, for the old woman suddenly loosened her tongue and began to talk. She confessed that she was a witch, that she was in league with the devil. Imagine what that confession meant to the people of Hartford in 1662. Rebecca declared that she had frequently met and talked with the devil. He had come to her first in the form of a deer, skipping about her, and she was not afraid.

He contrived to talk with her and they became friends, she said. Asked if she had made a covenant with Satan, she answered in the negative, but admitted that she had promised to go with him whenever he called, and he had taken advantage of this several times. The agreement between this strange old woman and the devil was that at Christmas time they were to meet and make merry together. On that occasion a covenant would be drawn up and signed. That was her story.

And then she did a wicked thing. Despite the fact that her husband had pleaded with her not to. Implicate him, for truly he had done no wrong, his hateful mistress turned against him. Rebecca Betrays Her Husband. Nathaniel, too, was in league with the devil, she told the court.

She related that on several occasions when they had been out in the evening, she had seen a red creature following at his heels. When she asked him what it was he answered vaguely that it must be a fox. There were other suspicious actions that she called to the attention of the court. When she had damned hira beyond recall, this old woman said slyly: "I speak all of this out' of love to my husband's soul and it is much against my will that I am now necessitated to speak against my husband. I desire that the Lord would open his heart to own and speak the truth." On December 30, 1662, Nathaniel an Rebecca Greensmith were both found guilty of witchcraft and condemned to die.

On January 6, 1663, Mary Barnes was likewise found guilty and condemned. Last Chapter. The last chapter of their unwholesome story was written a few weeks later, on January 23, 1663, when the three, victims of ignorance and superstition, were driven in a wagon through the streets of Hartford out to the spot now marked by the old elm tree pictured here, and there they were hanged on the grim scaffold that had been erected some time previously. There are few details available concerning the execution, but we can easily picture the awful affair. That it was attended by thousands of curiosity seekers, we know, such public affairs always are.

Hissed at, verbally abused, taunted, wicked old Rebecca Greensmith went undaunted to her death amid much excitement and hysteria. And with her into whatever Albany Avenue Elm Marks Scene of Last Witch Hangings. Yes, that aged elm on Albany Avenue could tell many a strange tale. But its lips are silent. in Jasper Park Lodge I That marked the last hanging of witches in Connecticut, and it was 30 years before the excitement at Salem.

Jasper Park Lodge, one of Canada's best known mountain resorts, was built in 1923 and today has accommodation for 600 guests. Advance booking of the Canadian National Railways in the eastern Unified States and Canada indicate that during the coming summer a record number of guests will visit the Lodge. During 1929 over 10,000 (80 per cent of them Americans) stopped off at Jasper Park Lodge for a day or more. The Lodge is of rustic architecture being built of logs cut from the surrounding forest. High vaulted ceilings, towering stone fireplaces make it seem an Integral part of its mountain environment.

It is, however, fitted up with the most modern of present day travel requirements. Each cottage is a self-contained unit, the rooms being fitted with running water, baths and telephones. In the main Lodge are the dining room and the lounge rooms. In the evenings an orchestra plays in the ball room. The golf course at Jasper Park is rated among the finest In the world.

Both in playing and in scenic qualities it is highly spectacularly laid out, as it is, in the wide, hilly Athabaska valley. Last August the Canadian Amateur Championships under the auspices of the Royal; Canadian Golf Association were played there. As well as leading Canadian golfers there were many from the United States entered hi the tournament. The Foundation is about to start making a photographic record of eminent professors and personalities conn2Cted with the University. This is in line with theic work on the Harvard Film, a general descriptive film of the University which they com I never go into a shop But what at something bright I stop, And on it turn a wistful eye Regretful that I cannot buy.

Always in brilliant array Are splendid" trinkets on display. Uncounted bits of loveliness It would be pleasing to possess. One day perhaps I may be free To purchase everything 1 see. But was the mortal ever kno-n Whp gathered all he wished to own? (Copyright, 1930, UlL3fOa 1 1 1 1 Lake, Jasper National Pai'k, Table at Which Noah Porter Sat With Gov. Treadwell at Farmington other world awaited went her unfortunate husband, and the weeping Mary Barnes.

IT is very quiet and peaceful there in the evening. There is the subsiding chatter of a squirrel high up in one of the giant fir trees and the soft tread of waters of Lac Beauvert a few feet below the veranda. Farther away, over past the beaver house and the long pine ridge that has marched out into the lake, a dull hum, like the murmur of crowds of people, comes to the ear. That is the Athabaska river flowing on its journey to the Arctic ocean, two thousand miles away. Held up against the sky in the far south of the v'alley a deep glow burns through the dimness of the coming night the snow and ice on the summit of Mount Edith Cavell, 11,033 feet high, holds still, in a colorful afterglow, some of the light of the sun that has dropped below the western horizon.

All around the bulks of great mountains press close at hand, Pyramid, Kerkeslin, Tekarra, Hardisty, Whistler and the rest rise like gaunt heavy shadows. Over behind Tekarra there is already a silver light burning where the moon is quickly mounting into the sky. Somewhere, far off, an owl hoots gravely and closer at hand a stir in the timber shows where a deer has jumped by across the golf course. Out on the lake a beaver siaps his tail resoundingly on the water. Night has fallen on Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper Park, Alberta.

Harvard Now Has Studio For Talkies CAMBRIDGE now has its studio. It is that of the University Film Foundation, which has become a grown-up in a few short months, by the aid of a gift last fall by Ml'. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Although the Foundation is a non-profit organization, it is now as "real" in equipment as the mammoth movie company.

The Foundation is able to make completely both silent and talking films in their plant at Harvard. They have installed a sound-proof studio, and in connection with it a complete sound-on-film recording equipment, loaned to them by the R. C. A. Photophone.

The studio could serve as a center for radio broadcasting, since the acoustic treatment it has received fits it for this purpose. Ia addition, the Foundation is installing a disc-recording machine which will be employed for transferring the sound-on-film to discs, so that the films will be available with both methods. This machine can be used for making phonograph records and record for broadcasting. A well-equipped laboratory has been butt for developing and printing the films, both standard-width and 16-millameter size. Mr.

Rockefeller's gift has also enabled the provision of more adequate working quarters, editorial rooms, and offices for the staff. During the past six months the Foundation has nearly doubled its staff, which now numbers more than 20. In addition to a personnel with college background, specially trained for production and editorial work, the Foundation has specialists, such as a sound-engineer, projectionists and a laboratory man. With this staff and equipment the Foundation stands in a position where it can apply modern inventions and technical processes to educational methods. Already, with its previous limited facilities, the Foundation has made a large number of educational films in a number of felds.

By last September, after one year of existence, the Foundation had released twenty reels of films in the fields of geography, biolozv. anthropology, and the fiae arts, Adventuring Sikorsky Model at Aviation Show Is Work of Hartford Enthusiast Old Penny Owned by Fred F. Clarke Wins Him Recognition on Broadway Swimming, canoeing and tennis and ether diversions handy to the guest at the Lodge. Walks through the forest, along the lake shores or by the river, or over to the picturesque village of Jasper three miles away, are encouraged by the paths that lead from the steps. Picturesque Guides.

Trail riding with picturesque "chap" attired guides is increasingly popular. Maligne Lake, the largest glacier-fed lake in the Rockies, is only a day away by combined automobile, motor boat and horse travel and the return over Shovel pass leads through some of the finest mountain country in the northern mountains. The Tonquin valley, the Columbia ice fields which drain to the three oceans, the Brazeau, the Snake Indian and Mount Robson, 12,972 feet high, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, are all accessible by trail from the Lodge and are known to hundreds of Americans who have made the trip to them. There are many motor trips. That to Edith Cavell Glacier, where the road clambers to a height of 6000 feet, about 4000 feet above Jasper Park Lodgej is especially well patronized.

Pocahontas, Maligne Canyon, Yellowhead pass, and others each day receive their quota of visitors to whom the cool mountain air of( Jasper is a tonic and to whose eyes the green forests and rushing rivers a never failing delight. pleted last year. That film was, however, silent, and the new films will be talking films. They plan not only to record the professors' speaking, but also to show them illustrating their experiments and making their demonstrations of scientific materials Which only goes to prove that even the all-knowing Mr. Winchell can err.

For this penny, according to Walter S. G. Harris, assistant secretary of The Courant, who owns one of the finest coin collections in Hartford, was not made by the United States mint. There was' no U. S.

Mint in 1787. During and after the Revoluiiooai War Harris points out, various coins were struck by private individuals and by orders of Congress, such as Chalmers tokens, 1783, Nova Constellatio, Fugio, Washington and U. S. bar cents. Mr.

Clarke's penny, several duplicates of which are included in Mr. Harris's collection, waa made when this order of things prevailed. It is interesting, In this connection, to note that the first copper coins, actually made in America are credited to John Higly of Granby, Connecticut, in 1737. They were about the size of our old cent, and had on them a deer and three hammers, with the legends, "I am good copper, valua em as you please." Life spreads its joys upon display And ome we purchase when we may. But wisest he who comes to know That there are charms he must forego.

This life has pleasures great and small. But none of us can reap them all. With every man whose voice is stilled Dies many a day dream unfulfilled. Edgar A. Cued) Sikorsky The pontoons were carved and shaped and smoothed down by Mr.

Poirier to a remarkable semblance to the real article, the struts, the rudder, the shock absorbers in the rear, the wheels, and other details which make up the big plane are here reprouced in exact miniature. The motors, which are among the most striking features of the model plane, presented a difficult problem not only in construction but ia the mounting to the struts. When the job was finished, and the propellers attached, Mr. Poirier felt himself well repaid for all the labor expended. By a miniature electrical system installed hi the plane, the lights can be turned on by the operating of one switch and the motors to work by the operating of another.

The cab as well as the main wing has small electric bulbs which are turned on at the same time. i Maligne Doris Kenyon Gives Her Beauty Recipe UH'VERY woman cannot be beau- tiful. A beautiful woman is born' with handsome features; she has little to do with that. But every woman cari'be charming through her own development." This the belief of Doris Kenyon. "Charm is often more beautiful than perfection of features, because charm makes other people happy, whereas mere physical beauty many times has no influence other than a moment of pleasure," she said.

"Sometimes I think charm is merely being good-natured. I don't mean in a stupid, vapid way; but in being wholesomely good to our neighbors, our friends and our relatives. "I think the ability to curb our tempers when we are tired or disgusted is a very fine Indication of charm, even if it is glossed over by self-control. "A woman who is willing to listen to the other fellow's news; who will sit back and permit another to cap ture the spotlight, or, when it comes her turn, can bask in the brilliance of popularity, and do so graciously, has the attributes of charm. When you know a woman like that, you invariably say, 'She is the most beautiful women I "Charm can be cultivated it takes sincerity of purpose to cultivate it.

It takes training and concentration; but the result is worth the effort. By being cheerful, good-natured and willing we can do much toward cultivating that elusive quality so desired by every one. "To be charming does not mean to be freakishly sweet and gushy. Don't make that mistake, or the sugar coating on the pill will be worse than the ailment. It goes deeper than that.

"It is encouraging to observe how much more beautiful the woman of 40 is in her appearance today than she was ten year sago. I think the time is close at hand when it will be considered rude and unkindly to one's fellow women to be ugly or Alberta missioners for Foreign Missions, appointed at Bradford, Massachusetts, June 29, 1810, held their first meeting September 5, 1810, in the parlor of Rev. Noah Porter, pastor at Farming-ton, Connecticut. They were Governor Treadwell, Rev. Joseph Lyman, Rev.

Samuel Spring, Rev. Samuel Worcester, and Ttev. Calvin Chapin. Presented to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions at its annual meeting in 1885 by four children of Dr. Porter, President Noah Porter of Yale College and his sisters.

Sarah Porter, Elizabeth Green Porter, and Maria Morgan Porter." The Board, now representing the Congregational and Christian church of the United States, teaches, preaches, and heals under 13 flags. It has established native Christian churches, founded and conducted schools from kindergarten to college grade, established hospitals, dispen-and industrial institutions in fifteen foreign countries and the Philippine Lilancii. ia Nil POSSESSION of the unusual coin reproduced 'above (twice its actual size) won for Fred Clarke, Courant dealer at Torrington, mention in Walter Winchell's widely read column "On Broadway." The coin, a Fugio penny of the vintage 1787, came into Mr. Clarke's possession in the same manner as have many other interesting and valuable coins, namely, across the counter in payment of a newspaper. Without any effort on his part he has acquired quite a nice little collection.

On visiting New York recently, Mr. Clarke, who is acquainted with Mr. Winchell, showed the columnist the penny? With the result that this item appeared shortly thereafter among the Winchell "Things I Never Knew Till Now" chat: 'That the first penny made in the U. S. Mint (1787) was the size of a half dollar and on one side it said: We Are One' and on the other 'Mind Your Own And that Fred Clarke of Torringtoa owns it now." "(Ii' 5s six Model of the REPRESENTING exacting and painstaking labor over a period of three months, the above model of the Sikorsky S-38, was on exhibition in the Sikorsky exhibit at the New York Aviation Show last week.

The work of Noel H. Poirter, of this city, it is an exact replica in miniature of the big plane, even to the materials used. The main wing, which is six feet in length, required a great deal of time, but on' completion was perfect in every detail, with non-warping features and lights at five different points, as in the 'original. The cabin of the model was copied as well as was possible within the limits at Mr. Polrier's command, and is equipped with miniature furniture, stairway, bathroom, and in the pilot's cabin a complete outfit.

WHILE the Bay State celebrates its tercentenary and the American Board of Comissioners for Foreign Missions, incorporated in 1812 under the laws of Massachusetts, rejoices with it as the oldest foreign missionary society in the United States, Connecticut maintains a vital and important part in the history of this organization. The first annua! meeting of the Board was held in Farmington, Conn, in 1810, and in this same year, John Treadwell, Governor of Connecticut, was made president. Today another Connecticut man. Rev. Dr.

Rockwell Harmon Potter, of Hartford, holds the same office. It was around the above-pictured small mahogany table in the home of Dr. Noah Porter of farmington, Conn, that the real organizers of the American Board gathered. This table is now a cherished possession of the Board at its headquarters in Boston. A silver plate Is Inscribed.

"Sitting around this table the first five commissioners ol the American Board of Com.

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