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speedily cut down. This must have deterred him or any others from giving information about a second attempt, which was successful, so far as regards one man, who was John Paulding, one of the captors of André. He got out of the tunnel, but Azariah Clark, the next man, was seen as he was rising from the opening in Liberty street, and brought back. He was beaten unmercifully by his captors, and then whipped when he reached the prison, barely escaping with his life. He was in the dungeon seventeen days, with nothing to sit on or to sleep on, except a little straw, filled with vermin. He was afterwards exchanged.
Of the lesser prisons we have very brief narratives. The treatment of the North Dutch Church we mentioned in an account of Dr. John H. Livingston in September last. It could contain eight hundred prisoners. This church remained until it was torn down in 1875. The door we show in our engraving was that by which the prisoners entered, and out of the window they have often gazed. The sick were taken to the Quaker Meeting House in Queen street, now Pearl, and to the Brick Meeting House. This was also the principal use of the Presbyterian Church in Wall street, the Scotch Church in Cedar street, in one corner of which was a groggery, and Columbia College. The latter was used for a short time only. The French Church in Pine street was a storehouse for ordnance stores. The new Bridewell was a prison. The Rhinelander Sugar House, still standing, is averred by all of our older citizens to have been a prison, and there is no doubt about it, but we have seen no contemporary evidence of the fact,
Perhaps as much complaint was made about the food as anything. This was in most of the prisons chiefly pork and ship biscuit. This latter was always damaged, and it was a constant practice, when there was anything to cook with, to break them up in a camp kettle, pour on the water, heat it, skim off the worms, and then put in the pork and boil that. When there was no fuel, the pork was eaten raw and the bread dry. In other prisons ca
nary and flax seed chaff was the material used for bread. The water was always bad.
Sometimes prisoners escaped, but this was rare. t was much more common for them to be sent over to the prison ships in the Wallabout. It was nearly always the case when they did escape that their feet were in a very bad condition, and we have several accounts where tender hearted
women took these escaped
prisoners and bound soft rags upon their feet. Several ladies and gentlemen in New York distinguished themselves by their kindness to those in prison, their names being still preserved. They are Mrs. Deborah Franklin, Mrs. Ann Mott, Mrs. Whitten, Miss Margaret Lent, and Mrs. Penelope Hull, and Messrs. John Fillis and Jacob Watson. Some of these were driven away by the
military authorities. Frequent attempts were made to induce the prisoners to enlist in British regiments, but to their honor be it said they refused to enter, although their condition of misery would at once end, and they would be in the open air.
Systematic efforts were made by Congress to diminish this suffering, but they were unfortunately not able to do much. The theory of British prisons then was that nothing was provided that could possibly be got along without. There is a faithful picture of life in these receptacles of vice and filth in Fielding's various novels, and such was practically the condition everywhere the English language was spoken. Prisoners who desired comforts must have them supplied by their friends. Washington was the friend of the imprisoned colonists, and he therefore should have supplied clothing, food, medicine, and everything else that was needed. Such was the argument of Gaine and Rivington, and they wrote many articles in which they spoke of the sufferings of the prisoners, and asked why Washington and Congress did not relieve them. Lewis Pintard, a merchant of this city, was the agent for the prisoners. He labored very diligently on their behalf, but the funds furnished him by Congress were small, and he eked them out with his own means. He did this so largely that he at length became embarrassed, and was forced to resign. His son John Pintard, afterwards very noteworthy in this city, who had been his clerk, succeeded him. To him we owe a more exact knowledge of the condition of affairs at the close of the war than can be obtained from any
other source. The British commissary in charge of prisoners was David Sproat. He was a Scotchman, and had once been a merchant in Philadelphia. He was made commissary in October, 1779. He died twenty years after in his native land, aged sixty-four. Robert Lenox, the father of the late James Lenox, the philanthropist, was his clerk. Lewis Pintard died about 1817, at Princeton, and was buried in Amity street, as was John Pintard.
The war at length came to a close. General Carleton evacuated New York at a considerably later date than he had originally proposed, but military prisoners had been set free a long time before. The evacuation was a foregone conclusion, and every prisoner kept added so much to the expenses of His Majesty's treasury. Cunningham, however, was tyrannical to the last. He attempted to pull down an American flag which had been raised early on the morning of Evacuation Day, but was glad to make a retreat. An irate woman with a kettle of hot water was too much for him. The main guard at the City Hall and the Provost guard were the last to go. There were prisoners in custody, although, not because they were rebels. As Cunningham was about to depart, one of these men, it is related, said to him : “Sergeant, what is to become of us?” "You may all go to the devil together," was his prompt reply. " Thank you, sergeant, we have had too much of your company in this world to be anxious to follow you in the next,” was the telling rejoinder. When peace arrived, no Presbyterian Church was fit to preach in, and Dr. Rodgers delivered his Thanksgiving
sermon in St. Paul's. The Garden Street Church, which had been interfered with very little, was the only one of the Dutch churches that was available.
We had until within the last thirty-five years a number of survivors of those who had suffered in these prisons. The last were William Clark, of Westfield, Essex County, New Jersey, who was ninety-five in 1852; Solomon Moulton, Floyd, Oneida County, New York, ninety-four; Levi Hanford, Walton, Delaware County, New York, ninety-three; and Jonathan Gillett, North Canaan, Connecticut, ninety. Some patriotic merchant had canes made of the timbers of the old Sugar House, and sent one to each of these survivors of the Revolution, who had attained old age, honors, and the grateful praises of their country.
THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE.
Under this title Dodd, Mead & Co. have lately published two volumes of extracts from the diary of Philip Hone, one of the leaders of fashion in New York for half a century, a warm friend of Daniel Webster, a patron of the fine arts, and Mayor of New York in 1825. He entertained as many strangers as Dr. Francis ; he gave as many parties as Dr. Hosack, and his purse and abilities were always at the disposal of any meritorious enterprise. While Mayor he began writing a brief journal, which expanded into a full diary as soon as he was relieved from the cares of office. He kept on writing until a few days before his death, the diary filling twenty-eight large volumes, which have been very skillfully digested by Mr. Bayard Tuckerman, and the more noticeaable portions printed. They comprise about a quarter of this vast mass of material.
Philip Hone was born in Dutch street, New York, of German parentage, on the 25th of October, 1780, and died on the 4th of May, 1851, being then nearly seventy-one years of age. He was trained to mercantile pursuits, beginning life as clerk for his elder brother John. In 1799, when nineteen years of age, he was made a partner. The business was that of auctioneers, and the title of the firm was for a long time Hones & Town, the third partner being Charles Town; after he retired it was J. & P.