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Memoirs of an American Lady With Sketches of Manners and Scenery in America, as They Existed Previous to the Revolution

Memoirs of an American Lady
With Sketches of Manners and Scenery in America, as They
Existed Previous to the Revolution
Author: Anonymous
Title: Memoirs of an American Lady With Sketches of Manners and Scenery in America, as They Existed Previous to the Revolution
Release Date: 2019-03-03
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.






Among the scenes of peculiar interest the Americantraveller is, as it were, under a patriotic obligation tovisit while abroad, may be mentioned the birth-place ofColumbus near Genoa, Cave Castle, the mansion of theWashington family in the Wolds of Yorkshire, and theabode at Edinburgh of the venerable authoress of“Letters from the Mountains.” In acknowledgmentof what we all owe to her, and as a heartfelt tribute ofadmiration, and affection for her talents, and virtues, thepresent work being out of print, the opportunity of republishingwhat so much identifies Mrs. Grant of Laghanwith our country, is gladly seized upon by one whosince one of those pilgrimages has long enjoyed the benigninfluence of her society and correspondence. Thesimple circumstances she relates of herself, and the gentlespirit of the whole work render it unnecessary todeprecate criticism; and the praise of Southey whopronounced the “description of the breaking up of theice in the Hudson,” as “quite Homeric,” must bespeakfor it a favourable perusal. As a picture, taken at thedawning of the Revolution, of the clouds which thenpassed along to have vanished otherwise forever, and asone in a series of works shedding light upon that momentousperiod of which the “Pioneers” is its naturalsuccessor, its reappearance must be a welcome event inthe marshalling of American literature now in progress.




It is very probable that the friends, by whose solicitationsI was induced to arrange in the following pages myearly recollections, studied more the amusement I shouldderive from executing this task, than any pleasure theycould expect from its completion.

The principal object of this work is to record the fewincidents, and the many virtues which diversified anddistinguished the life of a most valued friend. Thoughno manners could be more simple, no notions more primitivethan those which prevailed among her associates,the stamp of originality with which they were marked,and the peculiar circumstances in which they stood, bothwith regard to my friend, and the infant society to whichthey belonged, will, I flatter myself, give an interest withreflecting minds, even to this desultory narrative; andthe miscellany of description, observation, and detailwhich it involves.

If truth, both of feeling and narration, which are itsonly merits, prove a sufficient counterbalance to carelessness,laxity, and incoherence of style, its prominentfaults, I may venture to invite you, when you unbendfrom the useful and honourable labours to which yourvaluable time is devoted, to trace this feeble delineationof an excellent, though unembellished character; andof the rapid pace with which an infant society has urgedon its progress from virtuous simplicity, to the dangerous“knowledge of good and evil:” from tremulous imbecilityto self-sufficient independence.

To be faithful, a delineation must necessarily beminute. Yet if this sketch, with all its imperfections,be honoured by your indulgent perusal, such condescensionof time and talent must certainly be admired,and may, perhaps, be imitated by others.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

Your faithful, humble servant,


London, Oct. 1808.


  CHAP. Page
  Introduction 2
I. Province of New-York—Origin of the settlement at Albany—Singular possession held by the patron—Account of his tenants 19
II. Account of the Five Nations, or Mohawk Indians—Building of the Fort at Albany—John and Philip Schuyler 22
III. Colonel Schuyler persuades four sachems to accompany him to England—Their reception and return 27
IV. Return of Colonel Schuyler and the Sachems to the interior—Literary acquisitions—Distinguishes and instructs his favourite niece—Manners of the settlers 30
V. State of religion among the settlers—Instruction of children devolved on females—to whom the charge of gardening, &c. was also committed—Sketch of the state of the society at New-York 34
VI. Description of Albany—Manner of living there—Hermitage, &c. 37
VII. Gentle treatment of slaves among the Albanians—Consequent attachment of domestics—Reflections on servitude 41
VIII. Education and early habits of the Albanians described 46
IX. Description of the manner in which the Indian traders set out on their first adventure 52
X. Marriages, amusements, rural excursions, &c. among the Albanians 62
XI. Winter amusements of the Albanians, &c. 68
XII. Lay-brothers—Catalina—Detached Indians 73
XIII. Progress of knowledge—Indian manners 79
XIV. Marriage of Miss Schuyler—Description of the Flats 87
XV. Character of Philip Schuyler—His management of the Indians 92
XVI. Account of the three brothers 96
XVII. The house and rural economy of the Flats—Birds and insects 98
XVIII. Description of Colonel Schuyler’s barn, the common, and its various uses 104
XIX. Military preparations—Disinterested conduct, the surest road to popularity—Fidelity of the Mohawks 108
XX. Account of a refractory warrior, and of the spirit which still pervaded the New-England provinces 112
XXI. Distinguishing characteristics of the New-York colonists, to what owing—Huguenots and Palatines, their character 115
XXII. A child still-born—Adoption of children common in the province—Madame’s visit to New-York 118
XXIII. Colonel Schuyler’s partiality to the military children successively adopted—Indian character falsely charged with idleness 122
XXIV. Progress of civilization in Europe—Northern nations instructed in the arts of life by those they had subdued 126
XXV. Means by which the independence of the Indians was first diminished 133
XXVI. Peculiar attractions of the Indian mode of life—Account of a settler who resided some time among them 137
XXVII. Indians only to be attached by being converted—The abortive expedition of Mons. Barre—Ironical sketch of an Indian 142
XXVIII. Management of the Mohawks by the influence of the christian Indians 147
XXIX. Madame’s adopted children—Anecdote of sister Susan 152
XXX. Death of young Philip Schuyler—Account of his family, and of the society at the Flats 159
XXXI. Family details 167
XXXII. Resources of Madame—Provincial customs 172
XXXIII. Followers of the army—Inconveniences resulting from such 177
XXXIV. Arrival of a new regiment—Domine Freylinghausen 182
XXXV. Plays acted—Displeasure of the Domine 187
XXXVI. Return of Madame—The Domine leaves his people—Fulfilment of his predictions 192
XXXVII. Death of Colonel Schuyler 197
XXXVIII. Mrs. Schuyler’s arrangements and conduct after the colonel’s death 201
XXXIX. Mohawk Indians—The superintendent 205
XL. General Abercrombie—Lord Howe 210
XLI. Total defeat at Ticonderoga—General Lee—Humanity of madame 216
XLII. The family of madame’s sister—The death of
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