Old NewburyLetter to Samuel J. Spalding, D. D., on the occasion of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the settlement of Newbury.
My Dear Friend,—I am sorry that I cannot hope to be with you on the 250th anniversary of the settlement of old Newbury. Although I can hardly call myself a son of the ancient town, my grandmother, Sarah Greenleaf, of blessed memory, was its daughter, and I may therefore claim to be its grandson. Its genial and learned historian, Joshua Coffin, was my first school-teacher, and all my life I have lived in sight of its green hills and in hearing of its Sabbath bells. Its wealth of natural beauty has not been left unsung by its own poets, Hannah Gould, Mrs. Hopkins, George Lunt, and Edward A. Washburn, while Harriet Prescott Spofford's Plum Island Sound is as sweet and musical as Tennyson's Brook. Its history and legends are familiar to me. I seem to have known all its old worthies, whose descendants have helped to people a continent, and who have carried the name and memories of their birthplace to the Mexican gulf and across the Rocky Mountains to the shores of the Pacific. They were the best and selectest of Puritanism, brave, honest, God-fearing men and women; and if their creed in the lapse of time has lost something of its vigor, the influence