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[p. 65]

Doubtless, Mrs. Welch missed her little visitor, for ‘after an earnest entreaty’ the Welches left their Boston home to reside with the Stones at Watertown for over a year.

Mrs. Stone had a relative, Major Jackson, who was commandant at Fort Independence, and during the summer the ‘castle barge,’ gaily decorated and with musicians, came up the river and took gay parties to the major's residence at Watertown bridge. Sometimes they would spend a day at the fort, returning by moonlight. Quoting from the lady's writing:—

‘At other times, when the sweet new-mown hay filled the breeze with perfumes, and the marshes draped with the richest green velvet, they would cross the river to join their friends assembled in a cool, green grove sloping down to the water. Here they would hold their happy festivals. The pop of the rifle would be heard all the morning, furnishing birds for the busy cooks to make into peep pies for their dinner. The long tables were spread with covers white as snow, and I could see from the house the white dresses of the ladies gleaming out from the graceful green foliage, as they glided around among the trees, till all was ready for the sylvan repast. In winter they had sleigh-rides, whist parties and suppers.’

It was during this year (December, 1799) that General Washington died, and in very many places the national grief found expression in public funeral services. One was held in Dr. Elliot's church, then the only one in Watertown. The women wore black ribbons, and the men black crape upon their arms. Mr. Welch sent his servant boy, who wore a livery of bright scarlet, and his mourning band presented a somewhat ludicrous appearance to the mind of this little girl. She does not mention that he was himself colored, but Mr. Swan has made a pencil note, thus—‘black boy’—upon her manuscript.

The Welches next resided in Waltham for a few years and visits were interchanged by both families, and the little girl had ample chance of observation.

In 1806 Mr. Welch bought of Benjamin Hall and Charles Sumner the Royall estate in Medford (comprising about six acres) for $12,500.

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