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[p. 42]

A Medford incident.

On page 190 of his History of Medford, Mr. Usher gave a graphic account of the farewell given the Lawrence Light Guard on April 19, 1861, on the occasion of their departure for the South.

Miss Wild alluded to it in her paper relating to the company, and Mrs. Saxe in hers upon the Methodist Church, both published in the Register.

The Rev. Mr. Ames who offered the prayer, alluded to by these writers, had been stationed at Lynn for two years, and was by his bishop appointed to Medford on April 12, the day memorable for the Southern attack upon Fort Sumter.

Coming at once to his charge, he reached Medford the same day as did the news of the overt act of rebellion that was to cause the mighty uprising.

He was then a young man, and Medford was one of his earliest appointments. Nature had not been generous to him. He was slight in stature and frail in body, but strong in spirit; doubtless radical in utterance, possessing the courage of his convictions, yet loving and self-sacrificing to the last degree.

His work finished, he entered into rest, but his widow has survived him these twenty-five years. In a personal letter to the editor, acknowledging the receipt of the last number of the Register, and writing from Brooklyn, N. Y., Mrs. Ames tells of an incident we take the liberty of quoting:—

Did you ever hear of the Sabbath after that prayer in the Square? Mr. Ames went into the pulpit boiling, and I into that front pew, trembling. During his prayer they began to go out and slam the pew doors behind. Soon as he stood on his feet, he looked up at ‘Bro. Thomas’ [Newcomb] with “Bro. Newcomb please have the choir sing Star Spangled Banner, and if there are any more traitors in this camp, let them pass out during the singing.” Bro. Newcomb was a peace loving man and didn't like to antagonize ever. So Papie raising both hands said “in God's name I implore you if there's one drop of loyal blood, it's time to show its color.” Then he took a clean handkerchief which I always kept in his pocket for [p. 43] emergencies and waved it while he mopped his tears with the other. Soon there was sobbing all over the house and none others went out. Oh! those were troublous days.

Troublous days, indeed, they were. Only those that lived then can understand the tense feeling that existed, and the ways in which, sometimes, they found expression,

Mr. Ames served his church two years (the time limit then), but he served the community and his fellowmen also. His interest in the soldiers was unbounded, and he was known as the ‘war minister.’

The handkerchief episode shows the good wife's thoughtfulness for him in ‘emergencies.’ We sincerely trust the Register has proved as welcome to its clientage as that last number did to the aged lady who was the worthy helpmeet of the good man who was interested in Medford's boys in blue nearly a half century ago.

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