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To enable those not familiar with the localities of Sabino, to understand the allusions made to them, a map and a brief description are given. w The Sagadahoc river, so famous in the early history of the country, is formed by the junction of two large rivers, the Androscoggin and the Kennebec, at Merrymeeting Bay,” twenty-five miles from the sea, from which junction the Sagadahoc is a deep estuary of very irregular width, often contracted into narrow limits, but carrying a large volume of water to the OC623.I). At its mouth, between Stage Island on the eastern shore, and the lower end of the Peninsula of Sabino on the west, it is about a mile and a half in width. One mile above this, is its narrowest point, where the north-east point of the Sabino Peninsula projects far out into the channel, nearly opposite which point, only a few rods higher up the river, the lower end of a sharp rocky isle, called Long Island, narrows the main channel to less than a third of a mile. There is no navigable passage on the eastern side of this island. This outermost north-eastern point of the Sabino Peninsula is the site of Fort Popham. It was occupied by a small fort in the war of 1812. Above this point opens out Adkins Bay, extending south-west for a mile or more, where formerly it evidently connected with the ocean. In De Barre's chart, made for the British government between 1764 and 1774, it is laid down as flats, subject to the overflow of the tide, between this Bay and the ocean. At the present time, there is enough of earth formed by action of the sea, to afford a good road-bed, free from overflow, connecting Sabino with the mainland. From Merrymeeting Bay south to the ocean, there is a constant succession of narrows, formed by high, sharp, projecting points of rock, alternating into broad reaches or bays. A reach of some miles in front of the city of Bath, varying from one half to a mile in width, having abundant depth of water, forms one of the noblest landlocked harbors in the world, when the river turns, first east, at right angles, then again south, between high, rocky shores, with great depths of water. Nothing can be more beautiful or picturesque than the sail between Merrymeeting Bay and the sea. As you descend towards the mouth of the river, the Island of Seguin, a high, rounded, rocky ridge, rising one hundred and forty feet above the sealevel, stands directly in front, apparently closing the mouth of the river, though three miles distant from it, clothed with a native growth of evergreen to its summit. Above this, rises a first-class lighthouse, holding in its spacious iron lantern a Fresnel lens of the largest size, seen for more than twenty miles at sea, and for a very great distance from the high lands of the interior. The Peninsula of Sabino is the outer point of the mainland, on the right or west bank of the river, three miles from Seguin. It is very nearly an irregular triangle in shape, its shortest line fronting the Sagadahoc–the other two side-lines formed, one by Adkins Bay, and the other by the ocean. It rises into two rocky ridges, lying nearly east and west of each other, with a deep depression running north and south the bulk of the land, lying west of it, where it rises from two to three hundred feet into two considerable peaks in a ridge running north and south. In the valley, or narrow depression running north and south, the land is free from stones, and the soil is made up chiefly of sand. Toward its southern end there is a beautifully clear lake or pond of fresh water sufficient for the wants of the Peninsula. The level of this lake is only about thirty or forty feet above the sea, and is said at times to be reached by the flashing spray which is dashed with prodigious force at times upon this rocky shore. so Near the shore of Adkins Bay is a spring of water half a mile from the site of Fort Popham, near which, are remains of ancient habitations; and those who have explored the localities profess their belief that the principal fort was in the “vicinity of this spring.” There is an old gentleman still living, more than ninety years of age, who was present at the celebration, who testifies to the ploughing across a covered way between the ruins of an old fort and this spring of water, in his early days. The whole Peninsula was originally covered with a forest growth, and materials would have been abundant for the building of houses and a stockade fort. As to the probable site of their fort, that must depend upon the purpose of its construction. If an European foe, Spaniard or French, was dreaded, the site of the present fort would naturally be chosen. If, on the other hand, the enemy they feared was the Indian, they would naturally select a spot convenient to fresh water, where they could best guard the approach of the foe, coming across the neck, that alone connected the peninsula with the main. The site pointed out as that of their fort, would, in that view of the case, be at once determined on the southern shore of Adkins Bay, near to the neck, in the vicinity of this spring. No one can fail to perceive the wonderful foresight of the men who selected this spot for their plantation. Easily approached at all times by water, capable of being defended at all points, those in possession of this peninsula, hold complete control of the country and the rivers above, one of the finest agricultural districts in New-England. It was also the finest river for fish on the coast. When the Pilgrims of Plymouth were considering the question of abandoning their home, from the poverty of the soil and the want of means of subsistence, Sir Ferdinando Gorges gave them a valuable fract of land on the Kennebec in 1629, at the time he established their boundaries at Plymouth, which they farmed out to advantage, deriving thence, and from the fisheries their chief means of support. The facts stated by Father Dreuilletts, at the time of his visit in 1650 and 1651, are of great historic interest. At the time of the celebration, the level floor or parade of the fort was occupied by the large assemblage of people. A platform facing east, overlooked the fort and the Sagadahoc river; resting for its background against the end of the, large shed occupied for dressing stone. This platform was occupied by the distinguished guests from abroad, the members of the Historical Society, the Masonic fraternity, and those taking part in the celebration. The various steamers and barges in attendance, the United States revenue cutter, and a large fleet of smaller craft, all gaily dressed in flags, lay at anchor in Adkins Bay. A strong tidal current swept past the sort, aided by a stiff north-west wind. The speaker's stand commanded a complete view of all the localities alluded to.
* Marimitin. See Father Dreuilletts’ Journal of an Embassy from Canada to New-England, in 1650, published from a translation of John G. Shea, with valuable notes, in the Collections of the New-York. Historical Society, 1857, vol. iii. Second Series, part i. page 303. The country was then occupied from Cushnoc (Augusta) to Merrymeeting Bay.
Half a mile from the fort, a few rods north of the pond or lake before spoken of, on a ridge rising fifty feet above the ocean-level, the large canvas Pavilion was spread, stretching east and west, looking like one vast cathedral in the distance, all its masts crowded with flags. At the conclusion of the services at the fort, the company marched in procession to the Pavilion, where, with refreshments and speeches, the remainder of the day was occupied.
NoTE B. -
At the Pavilion, after a few introductory words, connecting the sentiment proposed with the name of the Chaplain of the Colony, Bishop Burgess read the following paper :
MR. PRESIDENT: Who was Richard Seymour? And why should he be remembered with honor 3 The house of Seymour, the second among the English nobility, first rose to eminence through the elevation of Queen Jāne, the daughter of Sir John Seymour, the favorite wife of Henry the Eighth, and the mother of Edward the Sixth. Her brother, Sir Edward Seymour, became Earl of Hertford, and in the minority of his nephew, King Edward, was created Duke of Somerset, and governed the realm as Lord Protector. He was twice married, and his second wife, Anne Stanhope, being a lady of high descent, it was made a part of his patent of nobility, that his titles should first be inherited in the line of her children, and only in the event of the failure of that line, should pass to his children by his first wife, Catherine Fillol, and their descendants. Accordingly, the honors forfeited when “the Good Duke,” as the Protector was called, perished on the scaffold, being afterwards restored, passed down in the younger line, till it expired in Algernon, Duke of Somerset, in 1750, when they reverted to the elder line, in which they continue till this day. In the mean time, this elder branch had been seated, all along, at Berry Pomeroy, in Devonshire, a few miles from Totness, from Dartmouth, and from the sea. The eldest son of the Protector, Sir Edward, a Christian name which continued in the eldest sons for eight generations, died in 1593. This son, Sir Edward, the grandson of the Protector, was married in 1576, and died in 1613, having had, according to one account, five sons; according to another, three, bgsides four daughters. The youngest son, according to both accounts, bore the name of Richard, and this great-grandson of the Protector Somerset, was, I suppose, the Richard Seymour who was the Chaplain of the Popham Colony. The case is sustained as follows: There is no other person of the name known in genealogical history. Amongst sixty-nine male descendants of the Protector, he is the only Richard. His age corresponds with the chronology of the occasion. His father having married in 1576, the youngest of three or even of five sons might well have been born within ten years after, so as to have been, in 1607, a young clergyman, just from the University. What more probable than that such a young man should be attracted by this noble adventure, as it happened to be in the hands of his immediate friends 2 His residence corresponds with the locality of the enterprise. It was within fifteen or twenty miles of Plymouth, and amongst those gentlemen of Devonshire, who chiefly formed the company with whom this undertaking originated. Of the Plymouth company of 1620, his brother, Sir Edward Seymour, was one of the incorporated members.
This brings us to the most decisive circumstances, which are not a little interesting in.the light which they cast upon the history of the colony. At Dartington, close by Berry Pomeroy, was then, and still is, the seat of the old family of Champernoun, which “came in with William the Conqueror.” Francis Champernoun, who came to Maine as one of the Councillors under the patent of Gorges, and settled at Kittery, was the nephew of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Therefore, either Gorges himself, or his sister, or his sisterin-law, must have married a Champernoun. Gorges was Governor of Plymouth, and was the soul of these expeditions long after. The mother of Sir Walter Raleigh was also a Champernoun; and as she was of course the mother also of his half-brother, the gallant Sir Humphrey Gilbert, it follows that his son, Raleigh Gilbert, the admiral of this expedition, was the grandson of a Champernoun, and had an affinity with Gorges through that family. Sir John Popham had several children, amongst whom was a daughter Elizabeth, who was married to Sir Richard Champernoun; and thus there was affinity between the families of Gorges, Gilbert, and Popham through the household at Dartington. Sir Edward Seymour, the father of Richard Seymour, was married, as has been said, in 1576, and his wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Arthur Champernoun; and thus the chain of relationship is complete between the families of Gorges, Raleigh, Gilbert, Popham and Seymour. Richard Seymour, therefore, the son of Edward Seymour, was related to Gorges, the projector of the colony, to Popham, its patron, to Popham, its President, and to Gilbert, its admiral, all through the common link of the family of his mother. When they sought a Chaplain, they found one in Richard Seymour; and no other Richard Seymour is known except this relative of theirs. May we not regard the identity as, I will not say demonstrated, but fairly established, to the extent of a reasonable conviction ? The connection between the families of Seymour and Popham ceased not with that generation. Sir John Popham, though Wellington, in Somersetshire, was his birth-place and burial-place, purchased from the family of Darell, to which the grandmother of the Protector belonged, the seat of Littlecote, in Wiltshire, on the borders of Berkshire, and here resided his descendants. Sir Edward Seymour, grand-nephew of Richard Seymour, married Letitia Popham, daughter of Francis Popham, Esq., of Littlecote, and had a son named Popham Seymour; and the next Sir Edward, his eldest son, married another Letitia, daughter of Sir Francis Popham, also of Littlecote. This hereditary friendship accords with the association on this spot. . But Richard Seymour has his honor, this day, not from his memorable descent, but from the place assigned him by the Providence which presided over the destinies of this now Christian land. He was not the first English clergyman who ever preached the Gospel or celebrated the Holy Communion in North-America; that honor fell to Wolfall, in 1578, on the shores of Newfoundland or Labrador. He was not the first English clergyman in the United States; for Hunt had already begun his pastoral office on the banks of the James. He was, not even the first Christian teacher within the limits of Maine; for L'Escarbot, a Huguenot, had instructed his French associates in 1604, on an island in the St. Croix. But Seymour was the first preacher of the Gospel in the English tongue, within the borders of New-England, and of the free, loyal and unrevolted portion of these United States. Had he inherited all the honors of his almost royal great-grandsire, they would have given him a far less noble place than this, in the history of mankind.
THE SETTLEMENT OF MAINE BY GOVERNOR GEORGE POPHAM, AlJGUST, 1607. .
BEFor E the Mayflower's lonely sail
And left on Plymouth's ice-bound rock
Ere scarce Virginia's forest proud
Or gray Powhatan’s wondering eyes
The noble Popham's fearless prow
He cast upon New-England's coast
And bade the holy dews of prayer
And here, on green Sabino's marge,
And gave this savage-peopled world
So, where beneath the drifted snows
A faithful sentinel of stone
A lofty fort, to men unborn,
HARTFoRD, CT., Sept. 3, 1862.
TIE SIEUR DE CHAMIPTAIN.
ONWARD o'er waters which no keel had trod,
HARTFORD, CT., Oct. 1, 1862, L. HunTLEY SIGOURNEY.