Images de page

and the letters 'Loui.' They are in the peculiar band-writing of a child.

He appears to have been regarded by the Indians as of French birth. His own recollections of his boyhood commenced with scenes around Lake George, though the Williams family only made that a place of sojourn, residing at Caghnewaga, near Montreal. Doctor Wilson's informant stated to him, that one day, while out with his little Indian companions, Eleazar, who had been previously idiotic, jumped or fell from a high rock into the water, and, on recovering from the shock, had the full use of his faculties.

Subsequently, two French gentlemen visited the family. He was soon afterward sent, with a son of Thomas Williams, to the school for Indian youth at Long Meadow, in Massachusetts. It was there remarked that he was a French and not an Indian youth, totally unlike bis foster-brother. We have the assurance of the late J. Stanley Smith, of the Albany Express, and afterward of the Auburn American, that 'certain gentlemen for many years received regularly a sum of money from France, to be applied to the clothing and education of this same Williams;' and instancing John R. Bleecker as the receiver. In 1803, the persons sending the money are said to have died, and the receipts stopped. His education was completed through the aid of contributions by charitable individuals.

In 1806 young Williams visited Bishop Chevreux, at Boston, who made many inquiries of him about a boy that had been brought from France, and left among the Indians. During the last war with Great Britain, he rendered efficient service to the American cause; and some years after peace was concluded, became a missionary to the Oneidas. He afterward went to Green Bay, where his wife owned some property, which was lost by an unfortunate negotiation with Mr. Amos Lawrence, of Boston. For some time he was chaplain to General Taylor.

After having exhumed the remains of the first Napoleon, the Prince de Joinville, second son to Louis Philippe, paid a visit to America in 1841. Instead of making an ordinary tour of observation, to the great surprise of the officers in his company, he went out of his way to meet an old man among the Indians, who had very much of a Bourbon aspect, and was spoken of as the son of Louis XVI. One of them expressed this sentiment to Mr. George Sumner, brother of the Senator. Mr. George Raymond, then an officer in the Brazilian service, was with the party of the Prince when it left New-York, conversed with him, and heard him express a most particular anxiety to find out this Mr. Williams, and have an interview with him.' At Albany, De Joinville left his company, and proceeded to Lake George, and on the route stopped at Saratoga, and visited Mr. Charles E. Dudley, of Albany, the son of Mrs. Blandina Dudley, who was then at the Springs, and obtained from him Mr. Williams's address. He then set out for the West. At Cleveland, Mr. James 0. Brayman, an editor of the Buffalo Courier, came on board the steam-boat, and heard him repeatedly inquiring

about that individual, and stating that he should see him. At Mackinaw Mr. Williams came on board the same vessel in which the Prince took passage.

Captain John Shook, of Huron, Ohio, then introduced them. De Joinville started with surprise, turned pale, and his lip quivered, exciting the notice of the spectators. At Green Bay, the two had a private interview, the particulars of which, as stated by each party, are familiar to the public. In this conversation, Mr. Williams declares that the Prince informed him that he was a descendant of the Bourbons, and asked him to sign a document abdicating all claim to the French throne, to which was annexed a stipulation that he should receive a princely establishment from Louis Philippe, and what of the personal property of the family of Louis XVI. could be recovered. These proposals were rejected. It appears, that while at Hogansburgh, Franklin county, transacting business for the St. Regis Indians, (Catholic proselytes of the Iroquois Nation,) Mr. Williams learned that De Joinville was contemplating a visit to Green Bay, and quitted that place for the West on that account. At parting, the Prince invited Mr. Williams to visit the Tuileries, and afterward sent him a gold snuff-box and other valuable presents.

In 1843, at the request of an Iroquois chief, a Roman Catholic, Mr. Williams sent a petition to Louis Philippe through the Prince, in which he uses the phrase, “the enterprising spirits of our forefathers. The petition was granted, and a letter in the hand of the King of the French written in reply.

In 1818, on the occasion of a social party at the house of Dr. Hosack, in New-York, at which were present M. Genet, formerly an ambassador from France, Count Jean D'Angley, Counsellor Sampson, Dr. John W. Francis, and others, this subject was introduced. At length M. Genet distinctly said: 'Gentlemen, the Dauphin of France is not dead, but was brought to America. He also expressed his belief that he was in Western New-York, and that Le Roy de Chaumont was knowing to the fact. The family of Genet declare that he long entertained hopes of discovering the Dauphin, and had himself been on the point, when coming to this country as ambassador, of bringing the royal children with him. At that very time, Count D'Angley was in correspondence with Le Roy de Chaumont. A writer in the New York Times, last spring, stated that M. Genet believed Mr. Williams to be identical with the lost monarch.

Mrs. Margaret Brown, of New Orleans, wife of Joseph Deboit, of the household of the Count d'Artois, afterward Charles X., testified that in 1806 she was told by the Duchess of Angoulême, that she knew her brother to be alive and safe in America. She was also told by her husband or the Duchess, that he was carried off by a man named Bellanger, In 1817, Mrs. Brown resided at Philadelphia, and in a conversation with Mrs. Chamberlan, wife of the Secretary of the Count de Coigni, who had lived with the Count de Provence at Edinburgh, that woman assured her that

she had heard at the Tuileries, that the Dauphin was alive; that Bellanger had carried him to Philadelphia, and that he bore the name of Williams. A

person had come from America to France on this business, and received money, after which he returned. Before Mrs. Brown severed her connection with the royal family, the Duke of Angoulême examined her papers, and removed all that related to the private affairs of the Bourbons. She was employed also to put a young woman into a convent who had been connected with the royal family, but could not be induced to state particulars, saying that it was better for history to be silent.

The attempt was made to obtain affidavits to discredit this whole story. Mrs. Williams, the reputed mother of Eleazar, was induced by the Catholic priest at St. Regis, to sign and depose to a paper in English, stating that he was her son. She, however, made, at her own instance, a counter-affidavit, that he was her adopted son. His name does not appear in the baptismal register at Caghnewaga, where the rest of that family are recorded.

His portrait, taken when a child, greatly resembles the one taken by Bellanger of Louis XVII. His eyes are of the same color, and his other features are clearly similar. M. Fagnani, a French painter, meeting him for the first time, scrutinized him carefully, and then pronounced him a Bourbon. The upper part of the face, he said, was decidedly of a Bourbon cast, while the mouth and lower part resemble the House of Hapsburgh. His very gestures resemble those of the Bourbon race.

A European gentleman happening to see him in the pulpit, declared him a Bourbon, adding that he had heard in Legitimist circles that Louis XVII. was alive, and his belief that Mr. Williams was the man. Indeed, he has often been recognized by his Bourbon physiognomy.

It would be saying too much, to pronounce Mr. Williams absolutely the missing Bourbon, but the theory is certainly plausible. The testimony, when sifted carefully, shows that Louis XVII. was actually removed from France by Bellanger and a lady of the Court. Soon afterward, a similar lady of the family of Marie Antoinette appeared at Albany with an idiotic French boy, named Louis, who was removed to the neighborhood of Lake Champlain, and supported for many years by money sent from France. The family of Charles X. acknowledged that the young Bourbon was in America. In 1838, the Prince de Joinville came to this country, and made a secret expedition into the interior. An inquiry was started in France, after his return thither, about two servants of Marie Antionette, who emigrated to America during the French Revolution. At his next visit, he inquired much about Mr. Williams, and, at their interviews, always treated him with deference. Frenchmen, before that time, had repeatedly come to see him, evincing singular emotion when in his presence.

A blow inflicted by Simon on the young King, was indicated by a scar on Mr. Williams's fine head. The crescent-formed marks

of inoculation existed alike on his arm and that of the Prince. He even recognized a picture of Simon, as a face that had haunted him all his life.

Taking for granted that Louis XVII. and Eleazar Williams are the same individual, we have an impressive token of the fate that awaits kings. Their crowns must fall at the feet of the democracy; they must descend to the condition of plebeians, accept their lot, share their fortune, and pursue similar avocations. Such was Mr. Williams's career. The throne of the Bourbons has passed, not merely from the son of Louis XVI., but from actual existence on earth, leaving his story valuable only as a matter of historical verity ; but honors less transitory, we trust, are reserved for the devoted missionary - a throne of celestial glory in the eternal spheres.

[ocr errors]

The grass is waving once again,

The flowers have sprung from out their graves,
Again the brook in rolling curves

Enwraps the bank its water laves.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


S U M P U N K.

A STOUT cavalier
Of twenty-five or thirty.' -- Byrox.

THEOPHILUS SUMPUNK stood upon the steps of the StationHouse of the Great Central Rural Rail-road. In one hand was his valise; in the other his umbrella. His fashionably-cut coat, a la Espagnola - last remnant of by-gone and oft-sighed-over respectability --- was carefully and studiously fastened around his Belviderean shoulders. In front, and lending a peculiar charm to his well-developed chest, hung two massive tassels. Their native hue of silky blackness had long since succumbed to the ruthless ravages of time and weather, and all that now remained of black was brown.

Upon the hyperion-like locks of Mr. Theophilus Sumpunk was jauntily stuck a little black glazed cap; the which, combined with his superlatively got-up whiskers and mustache, not to speak of the cloak aforesaid, gave to his entire personelle a decidedly imposing and military appearance. This was gratifying to the feelings of Mr. Theophilus Sumpunk, and realized the most cherished idea of his life. It was his be-all and his end-all, to look military; to be thought military; to be taken for military.

Despite the conscious possession of charms so coveted, a cloud of care and uneasiness was upon the brow of Mr. Theophilus Sumpunk, as he stood there, gazing through the murky night into the little town of Creekville, which lay, as it were, gathered before him at his feet. Theophilus was brooding. He was a stranger in a strange land. Friends he had none. With the last expiring dollar, they had taken to themselves the wings of the morning; deserted him. What a tale could Mr. Sumpunk tell of the ingratitude - unfeeling ingratitude of his fellow-men! No matter; with them he had done. He had turned his back, he fondly hoped forever, upon the modern Babylon, its sights and sounds, to seek retirement, and with it, contentment, in some rural spot; and hence, fifteen minutes agone saw him deposited, his goods and effects hereinbefore specified, upon the scene of his future operations; though what the exact nature of these operations should be, was to himself a matter of mysterious uncertomty.

As he stood there, upon the steps, he thought of all these things. Past, present, and future, were alike food for melancholy Friendless and alone! And as he ruminated, he sighed; and as he sighed, he mentally sat down in the dust, and covered himself with imaginary sackcloth and ashes. And as he did so, alternating the interesting code of penance, by prying hesitatingly forward to where lay the town of his adoption, time passed on — unheedingly,

« PrécédentContinuer »