April 19

April 19

April 19, 1881.--A terrible sense of oppression. My flesh and my heart fail me.

"Que vivre est difficile, ô mon coeur fatigué!"

April 19, 1863

Sunday. We buried Furguson to-day. The grave was full of water and we had to punch the box down with sticks until the earth held it. Hear nothing from the regiment.

The weather is getting uncomfortably warm; no need of fire any more on picket. A skirmish occurred last night about fifteen miles out on the pike. One or two of the enemy were killed and as many wounded. One of our men was wounded in the foot. A detachment of our cavalry came in this morning with some prisoners.

April Nineteenth

Hark to an exiled son's appeal,
My mother State! to thee I kneel,
For life and death, for woe and weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike thrust,—
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!
James Ryder Randall


Citizens of Baltimore, objecting to coercion of the seceded States, oppose the passing of the Sixth Massachusetts, their action resulting in the first bloodshed of the War, 1861



171. John Adams

Philadelphia, 19 April, 1777.

We have now an ample representation from New York. It consists of six delegates, and they are to all appearance as high, as decisive, and as determined as any men ever were or can be. There is a new hand, a Mr. Duer, who is a very fine fellow, a man of sense, spirit, and activity, and is exceeded by no man in zeal. Mr. Duane and Mr. Philip Livingston are apparently as determined as any men in Congress. You will see, by the inclosed newspapers, that Duane and Jay have arrived at the honor of being ranked with the two Adamses. I hope they will be duly sensible of the illustrious distinction, and be sure to behave in a manner becoming it.

This is the anniversary of the ever memorable 19th April, 1775. Two complete years we have maintained open war with Great Britain and her allies, and, after all our difficulties and misfortunes, are much abler to cope with them now than we were at the beginning.

April 19, 1864

Tuesday. Just before daylight the "Long Roll" sounded and such getting up nothing else could have brought about. Batteries limbered up and took position. The horses were taken back and left with harness on. Men took their stations at the guns. Ambulances were placed in convenient places, and every preparation made for a fight, but no one appeared to fight with. The excitement, which was great at first, grew less until it was all gone and the same lazy feeling that had been with us for days came back. I have been doctoring a wounded horse for the last week, and the beggar has got to depending on me for his rations instead of hunting for it himself. He eats hard-tack much better than I can, and appears to like them better than grass. I have to go across the river for grass, and mow it with my knife. He eats it without as much as a thank you, and as he is about cured I am going to take him across the river and leave him soon. To-night we had a grand gymnastic performance and are going to bed.


Monday, 19.

One values his chosen place of residence, whether he be a native or not, less for its natural history and advantages than for its civil and social privileges.

"The hills were reared, the rivers scooped in vain,

If learning's altars vanish from the plain."

And all the more, if, while retaining the ancient manners, it cherish the family sentiment against the straggling habits which separate members so widely in our times that intercourse is had seldomer than of old; names of kindred hardly surviving save in the fresh recollections of childhood by the dwellers apart; far more of life than we know being planted fast in ancestral homes, the best of it associated with these, as if there were a geography of the affections that nothing could uproot.

A people can hardly have attained to nationality till it knows its ancestor and is not ashamed of its antecedents. If such studies were once deemed beneath the dignity of an American, they are no longer. We are not the less national for honoring our forefathers. Blood is a history. Blood is a destiny. How persistent it is, let the institutions of England, Old and New, bear testimony, since on this prerogative—call it race, rank, family, nature, culture, nationality, what you will—both peoples stand and pride themselves, lion and eagle, an impregnable Saxondom, a common speech, blazoning their descent.

"Ours is the tongue the bards sang in of old,

And Druids their dark knowledge did unfold;

Merlin in this his prophesies did vent,

Which through the world of fame bear such extent.

Thus spake the son of Mars, and Britain bold,

Who first 'mongst Christian worthies is enrolled;

And many thousand more, whom but to name

Were but to syllable great Shakespeare's fame."

A strong race, the blood flows boldly in its veins, truculent, if need be, aggressive, and holding its own, as pronounced in the women as in the men, here in New England as in Old, the dragon couchant and ready to spring in defence of privileges and titles; magnanimous none the less, and merciful, as in the times of St. George and Bonduca. One needs but read Tacitus on the Manners of the Ancient Germans, to find the parentage of traits which still constitute the Englishmen, Old and New, showing how persistent, under every variety of geographical and political conditions, is the genius of races.

'Tis due to every name that some one or more inheriting it should search out its traits and titles, as these descend along the stream of generations and reappear in individuals. And we best study the fortunes of families, of races and peoples, here at their sources. Even heraldries have their significance. And it is accounted the rule that names are entitled to the better qualities of their emblazonries, each having something admirable and to be honored in its origin.2

Thus the Cock is alike the herald of the dawn and sentinel of the night; the emblem of watchfulness and of wisdom; of vigilance and of perseverance, and Semper Vigilans, the appropriate motto of family arms bearing the name with its variations.

So the poet


"Father of Lights! what sunny seed,

What glance of day, hast thou confined

Unto this bird? To all the breed

This busy ray thou hast assigned;

Their magnetism works all night

And dreams of paradise and light,

It seems their candle howe'er done

Was tin'd and lighted at the sun."

2. Verstegan, in his Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, in Antiquities concerning the most Noble and Renowned English Nation, 1634, treating of the origin of names, says:—

"For a general rule, the reader may please to note, that our surnames of families, be they of one or more syllables, that have either a k or a w , are all of them of the ancient English race, so that neither the k  or w  are used in Latin, nor in any of the three languages thereon depending, which sometimes causes confusion in the writing our names (originally coming from the Teutonic) in Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish languages. Neither the k  nor w  being in the Latin nor in the French, they could not be with the Normans in use, whose language was French, as also their surnames. As for the surnames in our Norman catalogue which have in them the letters k  and w , which the French do not use, these are not to be thought to have been Norman, but of those gentlemen of Flanders which Baldwin, the Earl of that country and father-in-law unto the Conquerer, did send to aid him. Besides these, sundry other surnames do appear to have been in the Netherlands and not in Normandy; albeit they are without doubt set in the list of the Normans. And whereas in searching for such as may remain in England of the race of the Danes, they are not such as, according to the vulgar opinion, have their surnames ending in son . In the Netherlands, it is often found that very many surnames end in son , as Johnson, Williamson, Phillipson, and the like; i. e. sons of that name of John, etc.

"Then some have their surnames according to the color of hair or complexion, as white, black, brown, gray, and reddish; and those in whom these names from such causes begin, do thereby lose their former denomination. Some again for their surnames have the names of beasts; and it should seem for one thing or another wherein they represented some property of theirs; as lion, wolf, fox, bull, buck, hare, hart, lamb, and the like. Others of birds; as cock, peacock, swan, crane, heron, partridge, dove, sparrow, and the like. Others of fish; as salmon, herring, rock, pilchard, and the like. And albeit the ancestors of the bearers of these had in other times other surnames, yet because almost all these and other like names do belong to our English tongue, I do think him to be of the ancient English, and if not all, yet the most part. And here by occasion of these names, I must note, and that as it were for a general rule, that what family soever has their first and chief coat of arms correspondent unto their surname, it is evident sign that it had that surname before it had those arms."