Friday, November 29, 2019

Whale's Fountain in the Troy Daily Whig

Troy NY Daily Whig - November 13, 1851 via FultonHistory
This brief notice of Moby-Dick from the Troy Daily Whig is included in the Checklist of Additional Reviews but not transcribed in Herman Melville: The Contemporary Reviews, edited by Brian Higgins and Hershel Parker (Cambridge University Press, 1995; paperback 2009) page 416. Found in Tom Tryniski's great archive of old New York newspapers on
The author of "Typee" and "Omoo" is an indefatigable as well as popular writer. The reading public (and that in this country comprises almost every body) had hardly ceased its expressions of admiration for "White Jackett" and its predecessors, when it is presented by the same author with a thick octavo volume of some 650 pages characterized by all that clearness and depth of observation, quaintness, and originality, which have served to give his previous productions such wide popularity. From a hasty glance at its pages, we predict that "Moby Dick" will be universally regarded as "Melville's best."  [WM. H. YOUNG, 216 River-st.
According to the masthead, the Troy Daily Whig was then owned and edited by Charles David Brigham (1819-1894).

Two days later, the Troy Daily Whig reprinted all of chapter 85, The Fountain under the heading "The Whale's Fountain. / From Herman Melville's New Work -- 'Moby-Dick.' "
Troy NY Daily Whig - November 15, 1851 via via FultonHistory

The Whale's Fountain. 

From Herman Melville's New Work — "Moby Dick."
That for six thousand years—and no one knows how many millions of ages before—the great whales should have been spouting all over the sea, and sprinkling and mistifying the gardens of the deep, as with so many sprinkling or mistifying pots; and that for some centuries back, thousands of hunters should have been close by the fountain of the whale, watching these sprinklings and spoutings—that all this should be, and yet, that down to this blessed minute (fifteen and a quarter minutes past one o'clock P. M. of this sixteenth day of October, A. D. 1851,) it should still remain a problem, whether these spoutings are, after all, really water, or nothing but vapor—this is surely a noteworthy thing.
The first paragraph features an intriguing variant in the month that Melville's narrator Ishmael gives when supposedly identifying the precise time of his writing on "this sixteenth day of December, A. D. 1851" in the first American edition, "1850" in Bentley's London edition. Published on November 15, 1851, the Troy Daily Whig version reads "October" instead of "December." The choice of "October" avoids the potential objection that Melville's narrator could not be writing the sentence a month after publication of the Harper edition. But the neat fix in the Daily Whig conveys a jolt of super-immediacy to contemporary readers that Melville might not have intended--unless the fix was somehow authorial, rather than strictly editorial. Another solution of the same textual problem would be to follow the British edition here, keeping "December" but emending "1851" to "1850," as in the 1988 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Moby-Dick or The Whale.

The Buffalo, NY Western Literary Messenger version gives the same title, "The Whale's Fountain," and same credit line, "From Herman Melville's New Work—'Moby-Dick.'" Although published in February 1852, this text also reads "October" where the first British and American editions have "December."

Perhaps Western Literary Messenger editor Jesse Clement copied "The Whale's Fountain" from Charles D. Brigham's newspaper the Troy Daily Whig. Alternatively, both the Buffalo and Troy versions of chapter 85 in Moby-Dick with "October" instead of "December" could derive from a common exemplar.

Jamestown NY Journal - January 2, 1852 via NYS Historic Newspapers
Additional newspaper reprintings of "The Whale's Fountain" with the "October" variant:
  • Jamestown Journal (Jamestown, NY), January 2, 1852
  • Northern New York Journal (Watertown, NY), January 14, 1852 
Below, "The Whale's Fountain" as it appeared in the Troy Daily Whig for November 15, 1851; found on

"The Whale's Fountain."
Troy Daily Whig, Nov. 15, 1851, 1 of 2
"The Whale's Fountain." 2 of 2

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Steamboats Chancellor Livingston and Connecticut

Steamship Chancellor Livingston. 1822 by Richard Varick DeWitt (1800-1868).
Image Credit: Albany Institute of History and Art
The steamboat Chancellor Livingston was under the command of popular river captain Joab Center (1777-1857) when Herman Melville, age 4, rode it to Albany on August 20, 1823:
Allan Melvill's diary:   
Left New York with Mrs. Melvill, five children, Miss Adams & Nurse in the Steam Boat Chancellor Livingston at 4 P M -  
August 21     Arrived at Albany at 11 A M  --as quoted by Jay Leyda in The Melville Log, 2 vols. (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1951) volume 1, page 15.
Allan Melvill's actual diary is held with Correspondence and miscellaneous manuscripts in the Herman Melville Papers at Houghton Library, Harvard. Citation:
Melville, Allan, 1782-1832.Diary. A.Ms.s.(variously); [v.p.] 1800-1831., 1800-1831. Herman Melville papers, MS Am 188-188.6, MS Am 188, (118). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library. Accessed November 27, 2019
New York National Advocate - August 19, 1823 via GenealogyBank
 In August 1823 the five children of Allan and Maria Gansevoort, were
  • Gansevoort, age 7 (b. December 6, 1815)
  • Helen, 6 (b. August 4, 1817)
  • Augusta, almost 2 (b. August 24, 1821)
  • Herman, 4 (b. August 1, 1819)
  • Allan, 4 months (b. April 7, 1823)
(Catherine/Kate was born on May 21, 1825;  Frances Priscilla/Fanny on August 26, 1827; and Thomas/Tom on January 24, 1830.)

The summer before (August 7, 1822), Herman and family left New York for Providence on the steamboat Connecticut, then commanded by Captain Elihu S. Bunker (1772-1847).

Tue, Aug 6, 1822 – Page 4 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) ·
After a night at Sanford Horton's Globe Tavern aka Golden Ball Inn on the corner of Benefit and South Court Streets they proceeded on to Boston "in a private Carriage" for a long visit with Herman's grandfather Thomas Melvill and family (Melville Log Vol 1, page 11).

Golden Ball Inn, Providence RI via Library of Congress
What Allan Melvill called "Horton's Tavern" in his diary was formerly Chappotin's Tavern, refurbished and re-opened as the Globe Tavern in June 1822 by Sanford Horton.

Rhode Island American - June 28, 1822, page 2
via GenealogyBank
Rhode Island American - June 28, 1822, page 3
via GenealogyBank
On the 1823 trip to Albany, "Miss Adams" was the new family governess hired in late December 1822, as Hershel Parker recounts in Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 1, 1819-1851 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996) pages 26-27.

More facts about the steamboat Chancellor Livingston can be found with the drawing by Samuel Ward Stanton in American Steam Vessels (New York, 1895). Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:


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Monday, November 25, 2019

Swiftsure drawing by Samuel Ward Stanton

SWIFTSURE 1825, pencil drawing by Samuel Ward Stanton (1870-1912)
in American Steam Vessels series no. 5, Steamboats of the River Hudson
Number 5 in the American Steam Vessels series (Meriden Gravure Company, 1962-5) of drawings by marine artist and historian Samuel Ward Stanton (1870-1912) is titled Steamboats of the River Hudson. Published by Stanton's daughter Elizabeth Stanton Anderson, this pamphlet edition reproduces some early work not found in American Steam Vessels (New York, 1895), including the rare pencil drawing of the Swiftsure in 1825, towing the "safety barge" Lady Van Rensselaer.

Numbers 1-5 in the American Steam Vessels series of drawings by Samuel Ward Stanton are collected in one volume at the University of Michigan Library, now Google-digitized and accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library.

Pertinent history of the Swiftsure is given under Stanton's picture of the "SWIFTSURE 1825 pulling safety barge LADY VAN RENSSELAER":
Built at Brooklyn, N. Y., wood, 265 tons, by C. Bergh for A. Van Santvoord's Steam Navigation Co. for route between New York and Albany. SWIFTSURE and COMMERCE usually had in tow, for those afraid of steamboats, so-called safety barges connected to them by swivelled platforms over which passengers could walk. Practice discontinued after 1829 due to resulting slowness, and barges converted for freight. SWIFTSURE abandoned in 1856. -- Steamboats of the River Hudson, American Steam Vessels series no. 5 (Meriden Gravure Company, 1965). 
Tue, Sep 6, 1825 – Page 1 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) ·
Samuel Ward Stanton died at sea on April 12, 1912 in the Titanic disaster. Stanton's early Swiftsure drawing did not appear in American Steam Vessels. His model is not identified exactly, but in the 1895 Preface Stanton avowed that his illustrations were all "drawn from reliable sources" such as "early prints, lithographs, drawings and paintings, mostly in the possession of private parties or steamboat companies." Also acknowledging his use of old newspapers and hand-bills, Stanton further specified that he had drawn
the United States from a wood cut that appeared in the New York Evening Post, of June 23, 1821; the Constitution from a wood cut on a hand-bill of 1826, and the Albany, 1839, is likewise from a wood cut.
For representations of some early Hudson River steamboats including the CommerceDeWitt Clinton, and Highlander, Stanton credited "the pictures of Mr. James Bard, a gentleman who began this class of work before 1830."

Highlander (1835 steamboat)

Shown above via Wikimedia Commons, the image of the steamboat Highlander from American Steam Vessels by Samuel Ward Stanton is also accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library
and Google Books
Stanton describes the Highlander, built in 1835 for the Hudson River, as 
"one of the best boats on the river when she first came out, as well as one of the fastest. She ran on the Newburgh and New York line until the Thomas Powell appeared, 1846. She was then used as an excursion boat."  --American Steam Vessels
Wed, Oct 9, 1839 – Page 4 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) ·
In Redburn (1849) Herman Melville gave the name "Highlander" to the merchant vessel that takes the green hero Wellingborough Redburn across the Atlantic and back. The Highlander in Redburn is a fictionalized version of the real St. Lawrence which did in fact sail to Liverpool in June 1839 with Herman Melville on board. Melville shipped as an inexperienced "boy," although he would celebrate his 20th birthday in Liverpool, waiting to sail home. As William H. Gilman reported in Melville's Liverpool TripModern Language Notes Vol. 61, No. 8 (December 1946) pages 543-547, the crew list of the St. Lawrence had Herman Melville enrolled under the name "Norman Melville."

Wed, Jun 5, 1839 – Page 3 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) ·
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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Captain Hart L. Murray

Here's more about Hart Leverett Murray (1798-1887), captain of the Swiftsure when that Hudson River steamboat brought Allan Melvill and his son Herman (age 11) up to Albany from NYC in October 1830. Towing the Melvill family's furniture on the freight barge Ontario, as demonstrated in the previous post on the Swiftsure Line in 1830.

From William B. Murray, The Descendants of Jonathan Murray (Peoria, Illinois, 1950) pages 89-90:
Son of Jesse b 9 Nov. 1798 in Essex, Conn. d 7 May 1887 in Deep River, Middlesex Co. Conn. m 25 Sept. 1823 to Temperance H. Brockway b 19 Oct. 1798 d 26 May 1898. Lived in Essex, Conn. & Albany, N.Y. 
i Leverett Wendell b 1 June 1829 d 6 Apt 1889
ii Angenora Manuella b 24 Jan,1834 d 29 Oct. 1927 m John L. Brownell
Starting in 1824 as Capt of the Hudson River steamboat 'Swiftsure' he continued to be a popular captain of the Hudson River boats for 27 yrs, contemporaneous with Alfred Vantvoord, Isaac Newton and Dean Richmond. He was appointed Harbor Master of the Port of New York by Gov Morgan in 1860 and retired from active life in 1867. He was a resident of Albany for 28 yrs, and earnest anti-slavery man and a member of the Baptist church for more than 60 years; a devoted husband and valued citizen. 
In Albany, Murray lived at 60 Westerlo Street. That's according to Joel Munsell's Albany Annual Register for 1849-50 where his name "Murray H L" appears in the alphabetized list of fifteen Albany "Skippers." Same address for "skipper" Murray in the 1853-4 Albany City Directory. In Brooklyn Hart L. Murray resided at 12 Cheever Place.

Tue, May 17, 1887 – Page 1 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) ·

Captain Hart L. Murray.

Captain Hart L. Murray, who died recently at the old homestead at Deep River, Conn., in the 89th year of his age, was born in the town of old Saybrook, Conn., in 1798. Early in life he worked at his trade of spar making and boat and ship building in Essex, Conn., and commenced steam navigation on the Hudson River in 1824, as captain of the Swiftsure, and for twenty-seven years was a popular commander of Hudson River steamers--contemporaneous with Alford Van Santvoord, Isaac Newton and Daniel Drew. He was appointed Harbor Master of the Port of New York in 1860 by Governor E. D. Morgan, having charge of the Atlantic Dock district. He resided for twenty-eight years in Albany and subsequently was a resident of South Brooklyn fifteen years. He retired from active life in 1865 and has since lived in Deep River on the banks of the Connecticut, near his birthplace. He was married in 1823 to Temperance Brockway, with whom he lived over sixty-three years. They celebrated their golden wedding nearly fourteen years ago, at which time the bridesmaid of fifty years previous came from her Wisconsin home to grace the occasion. Captain Murray was a man of strong convictions, an earnest anti slavery man when it cost something to openly advocate the cause. A real Christian in life and work and a member of the First Baptist Church of Albany, N. Y., for more than sixty years. He was a devoted husband, a loving father, and a valued citizen. He leaves two children--Leverett W. Murray, of Chicago, and Mrs. John L. Brownell, of Nyack on the Hudson. --Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 17, 1887. 
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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Swiftsure Line in 1830

As shown below, the Melvill family's furniture was on the freight barge Ontario, then part of the Swiftsure Line, and therefore must have gone to Albany on the same trip in October 1830 that Allan Melvill and his son Herman made together aboard the SWIFTSURE. The furniture went last with Herman and his father, NOT with Herman's brother Gansevoort and their mother, as biographers have mistakenly thought.
New York Commercial Advertiser - Saturday, October 9, 1830
via GenealogyBank
This Swiftsure was the Albany boat that Allan Melvill and his son Herman, age 11, took in October 1830 when the family had to leave New York City for good, after the failure of Allan's importing business. Household furniture went on the freight barge Ontario, as Herman's father recorded in his diary. For a transcription, see Jay Leyda, The Melville Log Vol. 1 (Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1951) page 45. From Leyda's Log, here are two relevant entries in the year 1830:
NEW YORK October 9 Allan Melville's diary:
Left New York with Herman in the Swiftsure (our Furniture being on board the Ontario Tow Boat, Mrs. Melvill & Gansevoort having gone up the preceding eve[nin]g) -- detained all night at Cortlandt St Dock by a severe Storm
October 10     at 7 A M left the Dock
Allan Melvill's actual diary is held with Correspondence and miscellaneous manuscripts in the Herman Melville Papers at Houghton Library, Harvard. Citation:
Melville, Allan, 1782-1832.Diary. A.Ms.s.(variously); [v.p.] 1800-1831., 1800-1831. Herman Melville papers, MS Am 188-188.6, MS Am 188, (118). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library. Accessed November 27, 2019
According to Allan Melvill, Herman's mother and brother Gansevoort had left for Albany the night before. As shown below, when Allan made note of "our Furniture being on board the Ontario" he meant now, with him and Herman, rather than the previous evening with his wife and oldest son. The Swiftsure was supposed to leave at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 9th but a "severe storm" delayed its scheduled departure. So Herman and his father did not actually leave Cortlandt street until the next morning, as Hershel Parker relates in the great opening chapter of Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 1, 1819-1851 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

From the New York Commercial Advertiser for Saturday, October 9, 1830:
   The steamboat SWIFTSURE, Captain Murray, will leave the foot of Courtlandt street, THIS AFTERNOON, at 5 o'clock.
   For passage, apply on board, or to
W. C. REDFIELD, 82 Courtlandt st.
TOW-BOATS FOR ALBANY -- (Swiftsure Line.)
   The freight barge Ontario, will leave the foot of Courtlandt-street, and the Atlantic, the foot of Broad-street This Afternoon at 5 o'clock.
   For freight, apply on board, or to
A. VAN SANTVOORD, 82 Courtlandt st.
In Chapter 1 of Melville's Early Life and Redburn (New York University Press, 1951), William H. Gilman acknowledges the "violent storm" and "comfortless night at the Courtlandt Street dock" but still has Allan and son Herman moving "quickly up the Hudson" on October 9, the scheduled date of departure, instead of October 10, the actual date. Parker in his expansive treatment gives the correct departure date, October 10, 1830. Regular days of departure from New York City to Albany were then Wednesdays and Saturdays. From Albany, the Swiftsure regularly left for New York City on Tuesdays and Fridays.

As the ad below from the Commerical Advertiser of Friday, October 8, 1830 shows, the steamboat Swiftsure and barge Ontario both were scheduled to leave "Tomorrow Afternoon" (Saturday, October 9th) from "the foot of Courtlandt street." Together, necessarily.

New York Commercial Advertiser - Friday, October 8, 1830
The Swiftsure could not have left New York City on the 8th because it was still in Albany. Below, the ad in the Albany Argus on Friday, October 8th, showing the scheduled departure of the steamboat Swiftsure at 9 a.m., "from the foot of State st."

Albany Argus - Friday, October 8, 1830 via FultonHistory
THE steambt SWIFTSURE, capt. H. L. Murray, will leave the Pier, from the foot of State-st. THIS MORNING, at 9 o'clock, with freight barges.
For freight or passage apply on board, or at the office of the subscriber. 
Allan Melvill wrote in his diary that his wife and son Gansevoort had "gone up the preceding eve[nin]g" to Albany, which both Gilman and Parker take to mean by boat, with the furniture. But the particular barge that Melville's father referenced only left on Saturday. There was no departure of the Ontario or Swiftsure for Albany the preceding evening. (And Swiftsure Line freight barges that left New York for Albany on Wednesday, October 6th were named the Albany and Superior.) Possibly Allan was confused after the long delay. If so, then Maria Gansevoort Melvill and her son Gansevoort could have departed for Albany on the Swiftsure Line three evenings previous, on Wednesday, October 6, 1830. If Allan got their departure date right, however, then his wife and Gansevoort had "gone up" to Albany the night before on a different passenger line (not affiliated with the Ontario). For example, the Hudson River Line offered passenger trips from the Cortlandt Street dock to Albany every day at 5 p.m., and Sundays at 10 a.m.

Robert J. Vandewater, The Tourist, Or Pocket Manual for Travellers (New York, 1830)
Maybe Herman's mother Maria and older brother Gansevoort took the "low pressure steamboat CONSTITUTION," which did leave for Albany at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 8, 1830.

Fri, Oct 8, 1830 – Page 3 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) ·

In any case, the Melvill family's furniture was on the freight boat Ontario, then part of the Swiftsure Line, and therefore must have gone to Albany on the same trip that Allan Melvill and his son Herman made together, aboard the Swiftsure.

Albany Evening Journal - November 11, 1830 via FultonHistory

THE SWIFTSURE LINE of TOW-BOATS will continue to receive property at Albany and New-York to forward on the river in other direction by the freight boats Atlantic, Superior, New-York, Albany, Ontario, Niagara, Detroit and Inspector; two of which, towed by a powerful Steam-boat, will leave New-York at 5 o'clock P. M. on Wednesday and Saturday, and two will leave Albany at 9 o' clock A. M. on Tuesday and Friday of each week, leaving at each place boats for the reception of property.

Merchandize, produce, carriages, horses, cattle, and almost every description of live stock, will be forwarded with safety and expedition.

For freight or passage apply to the Agents,

CHARLES COATES, at Albany, and
A. VAN SANTVOORD, 82 Cortland-st New York.  -- Albany Evening Journal, November 11, 1830
The manner of towing is helpfully explained by George Matteson in Tugboats of New York: An Illustrated History (New York University Press, 2005) pages 31-32:
In its earliest form, towing was done by lashing the barges to both sides of the steamer and proceeding as a unit. ... the earliest Hudson River tows were made up of only two barges specifically designed to accommodate the size, horse power, and turning ability of a specific steamboat--the Swiftsure and its stable of custom-built barges, for example...."
Under command of Captain Stocking, the new steamboat Swiftsure debuted on the Hudson in July 1826 as towing boat for the Lady Van Rensselaer, one of two new "safety barges." The Swiftsure operated under Captain Hart Leverett Murray at least until 1840 when a new boiler exploded. Four deaths were reported in the steamboat accident on October 5th, 1840, near Castleton.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Clarel's name

No one has been able to conjecture a source or meaning for this unusual name.
-- William H. Shurr, The Mystery of Iniquity; Melville as Poet, 1857-1891 (The University Press of Kentucky, 1972) page 265 footnote 12.
The eponymous quester of Herman Melville's great 1876 poem Clarel is an American divinity student in the Holy Land. His traveling companions there include fellow-Americans named Rolfe and Vine, and later on, Ungar. Clarel belongs to the New World by birth, but his name, like that of the Anglican priest Derwent, aligns him with the Old. (For more about Derwent and his name, "inescapably associated with Wordsworth," see Karen Lentz Madison and R. D. Madison, "Derwent: Revisiting Melville’s Clarel" in Leviathan, vol. 19 no. 3, 2017, pages 50-58. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/lvn.2017.0034.)

The name Derwent is decidedly English. Clarel's name is suggestively Anglo-Norman. His Norman heritage evokes medieval tales of romance and knightly adventure that resonate with the role of pilgrim-wanderer. In view of Clarel's theological "vocation fled" (Clarel 1. 9) and the major theme in Clarel of faith in ruins, it also seems ironically fitting that the young hero's English namesakes were medieval clerics whose family hall in Yorkshire had been reduced by the early nineteenth century to "a heap of stones."

John Clarel founded an Augustinian friary in the time of Edward I, around 1256 according to David Hey in A History of the South Yorkshire Countryside (Pen & Sword Books, 2015) page 27. Thomas Clarel, as related in R. V. Taylor's Biographia Leodiensis (London, 1865), was "Vicar of Leeds from 1430-1469" and "descended from the ancient and knightly family of the Clarels, of Clarel Hall, near Tickhill."
"Thomas Clarell remained Vicar of Leeds forty years."  --  D. H. Atkinson, Old Leeds: its Byegones and Celebrities (Leeds, 1868).
"Clarell-Hall, the seat of that ancient and respectable family, the Clarells, is now only to be found in a heap of stones, at no great distance from the Church."  -- Thomas Langdale, Topographical History of Yorkshire (Northallerton, 1822). <>
The Northern Star or Yorkshire Magazine for November 1817, page 324

Not far from the church resided that ancient, respectable, and powerful family of the Clarrels, who were the founders of the House of Austin Friers, in the vale below. Of this mansion nothing remains of its former grandure; a heap of stones only mark the spot, and as all terrestrial things perish and decay, I have given a sketch of what has survived the destroying hand of time. The premises now belong to E. Laughton, Esq. of Tickhill, a descendant of the Eastfields. -- The Northern star or Yorkshire Magazine for November 1817, page 324.
As reported on the Tickhill and District Local History Society website, "the Northern Star published a further paragraph on Clarel Hall" in December 1817:
The ancient and knightly family of Clarel possessed this mansion for several generations, a younger son of which was Thomas Clarel, presbyter, who held the living of Leeds from 1430 to 1469. The Clarels were also of Aldwark, and resided there. Thomas Clarel, Esq. had an only daughter and heiress of his estates, who married Sir Richard Fitzwilliam, Knt., of Wadworth, in the 15th century; their son, Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam of Aldwark, married Lady Lucy Neville, co-heir of the Marquis of Montague. [The tomb-chest with effigies of Sir Thomas and Lady Lucy was moved to St Mary's Church after the dissolution of the Friary.] A daughter of Sir Richard Fitzwilliam by that marriage, married a Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, whose heir had an only daughter Margaret, married to Thomas Wentworth of Wentworth, Esq. who in right of this marriage was seised inter alia of lands in Tickhill. His grandson was the great Earl of Strafford. As the Aldwark estate had passed to the Foljambes, most probably these lands were the Clarel Hall estate, perhaps alienated with others by that unfortunate nobleman; became afterwards the property of the Farmerys and Laughtons of Eastfield, and lately have been sold to Mr Withers of Newark.
Northern Star Or Yorkshire Magazine for December 1817, page 487
William Grainge, The Castles and Abbeys of Yorkshire (York, 1855) page 9:
The environs of Tickhill are pleasant, and in most parts fertile. The vale, which extends north and south from the town, and the lower parts of the slopes on each side, produce abundant crops of corn. About a quarter of a mile west of the town, shaded by a grove of walnut trees, are the remains of Clarel Hall, anciently occupied by the family of Clarel, who held part of the manor under the lords of the fee. In a retired valley, about 200 yards distant from the remains of this house, stood a priory of Augustine Friars, founded by the ancestors of the Clarel family, who, as well as their descendants the Fitzwilliams, used the priory chapel as a place of sepulture ; but all monuments of them are gone, except a few shields of arms in the desecrated walls, and the splendid altar tomb now in the parish church. This house was surrendered in 1537, and there were at that time a prior and eight brethren. About the house were ninety fothers of lead, six bells, and sixteen ounces of plate. Part of the ruins are worked up in the outbuildings of the adjacent house; but the stable door, in the wall of what was the chapel, is very perfect, with a pointed arch, and double row of quatrefoils.

The environs of Tickhill are beautiful and interesting, and the town is well worth a visit from the passing tourist.
Today that "splendid" Fitzwilliam Tomb is still at St. Mary's Church Tickhill, recently restored:
"St. Mary’s church has housed the Fitzwilliam Tomb for more than 450 years. According to tradition, the tomb came into St. Mary’s from Tickhill Friary in 1538, during the Dissolution. The figures on the tomb chest are Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam and his wife Lady Lucy Neville. It is possibly the earliest Italianate alabaster tomb in the country, and would originally ha[ve] been highly painted.
According to the inscription on the tomb, it commemorates Sir Richard Fitzwilliam, his wife Lady Elizabeth Clarell, their son, Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam, and his wife, Lady Lucy Neville. Lucy was the daughter of the Marquis of Montacute and cousin to Edward IV, Richard III and his Queen, Anne Neville. She was also a niece of Warwick the Kingmaker." --
John Tomlinson, Stories and Sketches Relating to Yorkshire (London, 1868), page 11:
The tower is further adorned with several human figures, principally female, in niches, but whom they are intended to represent I never could discover, the interior of the building contains many curiosities in the shape of altar-tombs, and monuments, several of which date from the commencement of the fifteenth century, while one, at least, is said to have been removed from some more ancient religious edifice. The principal of these are an altar-tomb and inscription to William Eastfield, steward to Queen Philippa, and a magnificent alabaster tomb, richly sculptured and painted. Upon this latter are re- cumbent figures of a knight and his lady, while around the upper edge of the tomb runs a crowded inscription, now almost illegible, but which, many years ago was copied, and reads thus : —
"Pray for the soul of Sir Richd. Fitzwilliam, Knt., and Elizh. his wife, daughter and heiress to Thomas Clarel, the which Sir Richard departed the 22nd day of Sept., a.d. 1478, and dame Elizh., the 12th day of May, a.d. 1496: and also Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam, and the Ladv Lucy Nevell, daughter and one of the heirs to the Lord John Nevell, Marquis Montague, his wife ; the which Sir Thomas deceased "
But there was an earlier church at Tickhill — a Saxon or early Norman church. We have evidence that it was called All-Hallows, and situate a little distance from the present town ; but there our knowledge ends : not a relic of the building has occupied this site for many centuries.  
We can gather only a few scanty materials concerning the religious houses of Tickhill. Leland mentions, "A house of freres a lytyl by west without Tikhil, where lay buried divers of the Fitzwilliams, as the grandfather and father to my Lord Privy Seal, the which be now translated to the Paroch Church of Tikhil. So ys Pure-foy alias Clearfoy. There were also buried divers of Clarells in Tikhil Priory. " The monuments translated to the Parish Church might include that tomb, the inscription of which we have just read, it being probably removed here a short time before the dissolution of religious houses. The Clarells are said to have founded this Priory towards the close of Henry the Third's reign, and it is sometimes designated Clarell Priory.
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
Without having to know any Yorkshire history, Melville might have borrowed the family name of Alexis de Tocqueville, aka Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville, as William H. Shurr conjectured in The Mystery of Iniquity: Melville as Poet, 1857-1891 (University Press of Kentucky, 1972) page 266. Translator Henry Reeve puts Tocqueville's Clarels in the company of "gallant Norman adventurers who overran Britain" with William the Conqueror:
The family of Clerel, or, as it was anciently spelt, Clarel, has been established for many centuries in the peninsula of the Cotentin, on the Norman coast, and the village and lands of Tocqueville give them their territorial designation. The Clerels figure in the roll of Battle Abbey, among the companions of the Conqueror; for an extraordinary number of the gallant Norman adventurers who overran Britain, and filled the world with their exploits, drew their first breath in some manor-house of this district. --Introductory Notice, Democracy in America Vol. 1 (London, 1862), trans. Henry Reeve.
Herman Melville had some interest in Reeve's authority, the roll of Battle Abbey, where the name of his own illustrious ancestor Guillaume Maleville or Malleville or Maleuile also appears in the list of William's Norman knights. In a letter to Evert A. Duyckinck dated February 2, 1850, Herman Melville specifically mentions "Battle Abbey Directories" with other examples of "old fashioned London imprints" that he found "delicious, & full flavoured with suggestiveness."
In the magazine story of Edith Clarel, serialized in The Money Bag (London, 1858) the heroine's mercenary suitor is happy to discover the name Clarel in The Roll of Battle Abbey.

A later annotated edition of The Battle Abbey Roll (London, 1889) has more on the Clarel or Clarell family.
Clarell. We find the Clarels seated in South Yorkshire during the thirteenth century. John Clarel founded Tickhill Priory in the time of Edward I.; Sir William Clarel, at about the same date, acquired Aldwark through his wife Agnes, daughter and heir of Sir William Walleis. "This William was contemporary with John Clarel the Warden, and the posterity of William entering into the patronage of the house of Augustine friars which John founded near the town of Tickhill, there can be no doubt that there was a very near alliance between them. The patronage of their little foundation was a beautiful flower in the state and condition of the Clarels. The chapel of that house was their cemetery. Besides Aldwark, they possessed other land, and especially the manor of Peniston.

"The arms which the Clarels used betray their clientelage to the Lords of Ecclesal. They were six silver martlets on a red field, arranged in perpendicular parallel rows, and adopted by the Ecclesals from their superior lords the Furnivalls, who bore their martlets on a bend; and had, in their turn, derived them from the Luterels, of whom they held certain manors, and who bore the martlets and bend in gold on an azure field."Hunter's South Yorkshire. Sir William Clarel, who married the Lady of Aldwark, was Lord of Peniston, and the father of Thomas, who became the husband of another heiress, Isabel, daughter of Sir John Philibert. He held the manor of Adwick of the honour of Tickhill," and paid every two years towards keeping the Castle 7s 4d., and every third year 8s. and 10s. ad custodiam osterer (to keep a hawk). It remained in the family for two centuries and a half; the heir of Clarel married Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam, whose son and heir, Thomas, was slain at Flodden in 1513."—Ibid. The last heir-male, Thomas, was the son of another Thomas who had been drowned in the Don in 1442. He had three daughters; Elizabeth Fitzwilliam; Alice, Prioress of Hampole, and Maud, married to the son and heir of Robert Ughtred; but all the lands of the Clarels in Yorkshire devolved on the eldest, Elizabeth, whose husband was in her right Lord of Aldwark. Her missal, containing twelve entries relating to births and deaths in the Clarel family, is preserved in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge. There was, however another Thomas Clarel, who was evidently one of this family. "He was living in the parish of St. Giles', Cripplesgate, in 1493, when he made his will, in which he described himself of London, citizen and grocer. He bequeathed some paintings to the church of Rotherham, and was also a benefactor to Rawmarsh, and other churches around." —Ibid. Leland mentions one of their houses: "There ys yet a Place by Tikhill caullid Clarelle's Haulle." This was still standing in 1831.
Although this 1889 volume was published more than a decade after Melville's Clarel, the primary source for most of the information about the Yorkshire Clarels is Joseph Hunter, South Yorkshire (London, 1828-1831).

Below, Clarel Street in Penistone, South Yorkshire via Google Maps:

Penistone Grammar School was founded in 1392 by Thomas Clarel. In 1992 Penistone Church installed a new window to commemorate the school's 600-year anniversary:
"Proudly on display is the Clarel coat of arms with its six footless 'martlet' birds."
-- Penistone Pictorial - Penistone Church
Penistone Church - PGS 600th anniversary window with Clarel coat of arms
In the 21st century, the old school motto Disce aut discede has yielded to a new one that beautifully complements the traditional bird imagery on the Clarel arms:
"Never Stop Flying."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

De Bow quotes The Swamp Angel and A Meditation from Melville's Battle-Pieces

J. D. B. De Bow via Library of Congress
Fourteen lines from Herman Melville's Civil War poem The Swamp Angel were quoted in the January 1867 issue of Debow's Review. Attributed to an unnamed but supposedly representative Northern writer ("one of their favorite poets"), Melville's verses on the shelling of Charleston appeared in the first installment of a series titled "Memories of the War." The 1867 Index to Original Articles in Debow's Review specifically credits the first three parts of "Memories of the War" (January-March 1867) to the editor, "Mr. De Bow." Full name: James Dunwoody Brownson De Bow (1820-1867).
CHARLESTON — there she stood, piteously rained upon for nearly two years by shot and shell, a charred and crumbling ruin, yet proudly erect and defiant. No suppliant voice was heard. She had braved the lion and was not appalled by his roar. Mother of the revolution, she never disgraced her progeny. As battery after battery fell that had guarded her approaches, new and stronger ones were reared within. Grimly looking over the bay and over the ruined city sat Sumter, a new Gibraltar, guarded by devoted men under Rhett or Elliot, who, like the Spartans, literally fought under the shadow of the missiles of death which shrouded the sun. The world marveled that amid those ruins a foothold could still be had; but such was found, and the fortress which was wrested from the enemy by blows, refused to return until blows became of no avail. The city's doom had been settled in battle-fields far away. 
We visited Charleston in those stirring days. An accidental fire had swept the abodes of her grand old historic personages, and the shot and shell of the foe had crushed and battered down her splendid business quarters, her warehouses and her quays. Frowning cannon looked out from behind embrasures in her beautiful East Bay battery; the paving stones of her streets had been removed for breastworks, and in the vast domain which stretched from what is called Calhoun street to the battery, no inhabitant was to be seen; houses were closed and deserted, or rather broken through and wrecked; nothing visible but an occasional soldier or negro, whilst the angry bolts fell thick and fast. What rejoicing throughout all the land of the foe as the unheralded ministers of death crashed in upon the devoted city, whilst yet its people reposed in confident security. The idea was expressed by one of their favorite poets:
“It comes like the thief in the gloaming,
   It comes and none may foretell
The place of the coming—the glaring;
    They live in a sleepless spell
That wizens, and withers, and whitens;
    It ages the young, and the bloom
Of the maiden in ashes of roses—
    The swamp angel broods in his gloom.

“Who weeps for the woeful city,
Let him weep for our guilty kind.”
.          .          .          .          .

“Vainly she calls upon Michael,
    (The white man's seraph was he;)
For Michael has fled from his tower,
   To the angel over the sea."   
In the darkest hour it was written by one of her sons: “Let the vandal work proceed. The bells of St. Michael shall yet ring out merry peals for independence, and the stately mansions of those who claim the blood of the Rutledges, Middletons, and Pinkneys, shall hang out blazing lights from base to attic in honor of the great event.” . . . “The viper bites against a file. He batters Sumter into solidity and strength. He shells a city, the people of which have cheerfully conceded it as a sacrifice for freedom. He confirms them in their faith. He renders them doubly devoted to the cause.” “Ruin my house,” said a prominent citizen to the General, “but I expect you to defend the lot.” No other message came from any quarter.
-- Memories of the War [by editor J. D. B. De Bow] in DeBow's Review for January 1867, pages 1-12 at page 9.
De Bow's selection from "The Swamp Angel" avoids any direct reference to the blackness of the Parrott cannon that Melville pictures as "a coal-black Angel / With a thick Afric lip." De Bow represents Melville's verse as characteristic of enemy glee, and ignorance as to the depths of Southern resolve. To make "The Swamp Angel" illustrate Yankee rejoicing, however, the Charleston-born editor also had to displace Melville's final stanza and leave out the last two lines:
Who joys at her wild despairing—
Christ, the Forgiver, convert his mind.
As originally published in Battle-Pieces, "The Swamp Angel" ended with a Bible-based appeal for transcendence. Jonathan A. Cook explains:
In the final quatrain, the poet insists that whoever weeps for "the woeful City"--like those who wept for the fallen Babylon (Rev. 18:9-19)--should weep for humanity in general, while whoever feels joy at the city's despair should learn compassion from "Christ, the Forgiver" (79), whose Lord's Prayer specifically enjoined the need for mutual forgiveness.
-- "Melville and the Lord of Hosts: Holy War and Divine Warrior Rhetoric in Battle-Pieces" in "This Mighty Convulsion": Whitman and Melville Write the Civil War, ed. Christopher Sten and Tyler Hoffman (University of Iowa Press, 2019), pages 135-152 at page 146. <>
In Melville's terms, De Bow would acknowledge the alleged joying but deny the "wild despairing."

A portion of De Bow's article on "Memories of the War" with selected lines from Melville's poem "The Swamp Angel" was reprinted in North Carolina newspapers and perhaps elsewhere.
  • Wilmington Daily Journal (Wilmington, NC), January 24, 1867
  • The Southerner (Tarboro, NC), January 31, 1867
In De Bow's Review and newspaper versions, Melville's words "Swamp Angel" and "Angel" are printed with lower case initials, as "swamp angel" and "angel."

Thu, Jan 24, 1867 – Page 1 · The Daily Journal (Wilmington, North Carolina) ·
In the same first number of "Memories of the War," before the longer selection from Melville's "A Swamp Angel," De Bow also quoted four lines from A Meditation:
The war had indeed in reality opened, and its fratricidal strife was destined to reign for over four years, converting the land into a very pandemonium.
“What thoughts conflicting then were shared
.          .          .
And something of a strange remorse,
Rebelled against the sanctioned sin of blood,
And Christian wars of natural brotherhood.”
-- Debow's Review, January 1867, page 4; Google-digitized volume at the University of Iowa is accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library. <>
The University of Texas copy of this volume (digitized in September 2019) is accessible via Google Books. <>
The quoted lines from "A Meditation" do not appear in the abbreviated newspaper reprintings cited above.

Later episodes in the "Memories of the War" series were posthumously published in Debow's Review after the editor's unexpected death on February 27, 1867.

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