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[13] is remembered by one of his contemporaries as a ‘smart man, bright at most everything,’ and as an excellent penman. Moreover, he possessed a keen sense of the ludicrous, which often displayed itself—with the freedom of the time—in his versifying.1 His son, William Lloyd, who had no personal recollection of him, thus summed up the traditions in regard to Abijah Garrison:
‘I was probably not more than three years old when he2 took his final leave of my mother. I remember vaguely to have been told that he had a fine physical development, a sanguine temperament, a bald head, and a reddish beard, with a very noticeable scar on his face, a birth-mark; that he was very genial and social in his manners, kind and affectionate in his disposition, and ever ready to assist the suffering and needy; that he had a good theoretical and practical knowledge of navigation, and as a master of a vessel made many voyages coastwise and to the West Indies; and that he had a strong taste for reading, and evinced some literary talent. There is no doubt that his love for my mother was almost romantic; and it is questionable, when he deserted her, if he meant the separation to be final.’

Romantic love had a romantic beginning. By some chance of coast navigation Abijah found himself on Deer Island, N. B., in Passamaquoddy Bay (waters called Quoddy, for short). Here, at a religious evening meeting, his eye fell upon a strikingly beautiful young woman, dressed in a blue habit; or, more than likely, the previous sight of her was the cause of that evening's piety. At the close of the services he followed her to the door, and boldly asked leave to accompany her home, accosting her, for want of her real name, as ‘Miss Blue Jacket.’ Her reply was a rebuff. Nevertheless, Abijah lost no time in sending her a letter, which, it is safe to say, surpassed in literary graces any she had ever received,

1 Mary Howitt, in her ‘Memoir of William Lloyd Garrison,’ in the people's Journal of Sept. 12, 1846, says the father was a ‘fine poet.’ which is certainly going beyond the record, as there are no remains whatever of his muse. See hereafter (p.24) the last letter before his disappearance, in which the ‘sentimental piece’ he promises to write is doubtless to be interpreted as verse.

2 Ms.

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