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Reminiscences of Governor Brooks.

written by Caleb Swan (about 1856).
In writing to the earliest of Sir Isaac Newton's biographers, Pope expressed a desire to have some ‘memoirs and characters of him as a man.’ This desire is very general, to know something of the character, disposition and habits of public men. I regret the author [Dr. John Dixwell] has not given us some anecdotes of Governor Brooks, to show the love, regard and esteem that was felt for him by his townsmen and neighbors, as well as their great respect for his patriotism and talent.

Governor Brooks was an elegant and excellent horseman, and next to Washington no one looked better on horseback at a military parade. Mr. Brimmer, of Boston, said it was a pleasure to see him on Boston Common. He always rode on horseback to visit his patients when the weather would permit. When the boys of the town met him riding and took off their hats to him he always lifted his hat in return very pleasantly and gracefully.

When the Declaration of Independence was voted by Congress it was not received by General Washington at the head of the army in New York until the morning of the 9th of July. He immediately issued the order that [p. 55] it should be read at the head of every regiment that day at 6 o'clock. The Massachusetts regiment of Major Brooks was camped on Chatham square. He told Benj. L. Swan in New York (about 1815) that he was appointed to read the Declaration to his regiment. A table was obtained which he stood upon and read the document to the regiment drawn up in hollow square. This shows he had a good voice and was a good reader.

The brigade to which General Washington attached himself was drawn up on the south part of what is now the Park, and the Declaration was read by Col. Hamilton.

His fame survives as a rich legacy to his country. His monument is in the burial ground of the town. His memory will be cherished and embalmed in the affections of the people of his state, who chose him for their Governor, and in the regard, love and esteem of his townsmen.

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