1-24 The First Twenty-Four
25-48 The Second Twenty-Four
49-72 The Third Twenty-Four
73-96 The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120 The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-on The Sixth Set
121 TV Shows That Never Were - 3
122 Genealogy Kicks - 2
123 TV Shows That Never Were - 4
124 From Land to Lindbergh
FROM LAND TO LINDBERGH
In Ponogram #122, Genealogy Kicks – 2, the connection between two of my sons and Charles Lindbergh was detailed. The relationship goes back to the common ancestors Robert Land and his wife Phoebe Scott, my sons’ seventh great-grandparents and Lindy’s third greats. The following short story published in 1932 by George Allen Kingston covers the life of Robert Land and others during the Revolutionary War and then follows Land’s descendents to the heroism and tragedy of the Lindberghs.
It is not easy to categorize people during the period covered in this story. They may have been Loyalists or Colonials, indicating support for the British or the Revolution, but unless they were clearly in the military, it was hard to be sure of a person’s leanings. The primary goal was always, then as now, survival!
In the story, Simcoe is mentioned as awarding land grants. John Graves Simcoe was a British Army general and the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1791 until 1796, in modern-day southern Ontario and the watersheds of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior. Wikipedia
The Lindbergh part of this story includes Lindy’s solo flight across the Atlantic and the kidnapping and murder of his infant son. Details of Lindy’s life are readily available.
A Tale of
with a 1932
by GEORGE ALLEN KINGSTON
In the following stanzas the author has endeav-
oured to set forth in form which it is hoped
will make easy reading the tragic story of Ralph
Morden and the thrilling companion epic of Robert
Land of Revolutionary Days, culminating in the
well-known triumphs and recent tragedy in the
life of Col. Charles A. Lindbergh.
Most people consider we are these days passing through difficult times, and compared with con- ditions a few years ago no doubt this is true, but when we read some of these old pioneer stories and think of the hardships which many of our ancestors had to suffer our difficulties today
surely are insignificant in comparison.
The facts related in this story are well estab-
ished by various bits of authentic record procured from numerous sources. The Lands were amongst the first settlers in the district which afterwards came to be the City of Hamilton, and Robert
Land's cabin, near the road which later became Barton St., was probably the first building erected within the borders of the present City. The original Morden homestead was in the heart of the present Town of Dundas.
Descendants of these two pioneer families have naturally scattered to various parts of the Province, and the author expresses the hope that to these especially this story will make interested reading.
Joseph Morden, a brother of the martyred Ralph Morden, settled in Prince Edward County shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War, and thus became the progenitor of that numerous branch of the family hailing from or now residing in the Bay
of Quinte District.
Toronto, May, 1932.
FROM LAND TO LINDBERGH
GEORGE ALLEN KINGSTON
Early in the seventeen forties
With the aid of friendly neighbors
Builds he soon a good log cabin,
And proceeds then, single handed,
To develop his broad acres.
But, forsooth there's something lacking;
What is home without a woman?
What is man without a helpmate?
There Ralph meets another problem.
Shortly after coming thither
Met a sweet-faced Irish maiden
With the simple name, Ann Durham,
From a titled Irish family.
'Twined himself in her affections;
Love soon struck a chord responsive
In the heart of each to other,
And in due time Ralph's log cabin
Sees a happy married couple
Settle down to life's beginnings.
Here they dwelt in love abounding,
Here the family grew and prospered;
Three fine boys and two young maidens
Blessed the home so simply started,
But what tragedy awaits them!
War clouds hover o'er the country,
Ominous news disturbs the people,
Dogs of war are barking fiercely;
Now they break the leash that held them,
And grim terror grips the settlers.
Morden, an unyielding Quaker,
Known as such amongst his neighbors—
(Ever against war, their motto)—
Claims his rights as non-combatant;
Full four years the strife continued,
With him simply an observer.
With this bitter struggle round him
Meeting oft small soldier parties—
Sometimes one side, then the other—
Doing little acts of kindness
Where the chance occasion offered.
Thus by both sides unmolested
Lived this peaceful Quaker farmer.
But on one such chance occasion,
Having done some act of kindness
To a British soldier column,
He was given a friendly letter
By the officer commanding,
To be used by way of passport
Should he later be molested
By another British party.
This he carried on his person.
Ralph's friends were not all so peaceful.
Robert Land, the name of one was,
Other two, the Faulkner brothers.
These three men were strongly British.
Land had been in active service
Since the outbreak of the struggle;
John, his eldest son, was interned
To make sure 'gainst his enlisting.
There are only on the homestead
Mrs. Land and her young children,
Eking out a bare existence.
As the struggle fierce developed
So increased the bitter feeling
Against all British sympathizers.
Soon came days of harsh reprisals;
Mrs. Land and her five children
Were one night all marked for slaughter;
But a friendly Indian warning
Gave them chance to flee for safety,
Scarce with clothes enough for cover.
Safe concealed within the forest,
Saw their home destroyed by fire;
In the glare thus thrown around it
Recognized in the marauders
Neighbor men disguised as Indians.
“War is Hell?” said Andrew Sherman:
On such scenes as these he pondered. (Andrew is hand-overwritten General)
After suffering untold hardships
Mrs. Land and all the family
Reached New York without detection—
It still held by British forces—
Where, of course, they found assistance
Here she heard not long thereafter
That her husband had been fired on
As he fled from his pursuers,
And was killed—such were the tidings.
In due time they joined a party
Of United Empire Loyalists
Who were going to New Brunswick:
Here they spent some years of struggle.
Come we back to Land and Faulkners.
Land, we said, had been for three years Serving with the British forces.
Due to knowledge of the country
Had been given special duty.
But his zeal in this performing
Marked him out for special vengeance
By the embittered Continentals.
Faulkner’s exploits also served to
Put a premium on their capture.
Shortly after the destruction
Of his home, some special duty
Brought Land back near Cocheton Village.
So he thought he’d risk a visit
To his loved ones he had left there.
Shocked, he finds the farm deserted,
All the buildings and the crops burned.
Fearing to disclose his presence
To the people in the district,
Makes his way to his friend Morden,
Still residing on his homestead,
Feeling sure of his protection.
Here he learns with deep emotion
Of what fate befell his loved ones;
Though indeed there was but little
Known of what had them befallen—
Either they had all been murdered
Or had perished in the forest.
All he learned was they had vanished,
And the forest held the secret.
Ralph, as friend, advises Robert
Of the vengeance sworn against him;
Tells him he must flee the country.
Well they knew that all the passes
Would now be securely guarded,
But to help his friend in trouble
Ralph here offers his assistance.
Morden, hunting with the Indians,
Had learned well the mountain by-ways;
Learned to scale the forest hillsides
By a clever Indian tree-way,
Stepped up somewhat like a ladder;
Thus he planned to guide Land over,
Past the guards who held the passes.
'Twas agreed 'twixt Land and Morden
To invite the Faulkner brothers
To join with them in their purpose
Of escaping o'er the mountains;
So the word was sent unto them,
Giving hour and place of meeting,
If they wished to take advantage
Of this chance to flee for safety.
But, alas!—another Judas!
When they got this word the Faulkners
Saw at once what they considered
Might ensure for them safe pardon—
Simply play the part of traitors.
Why not sell this information
At the price of their own safety,
And betray both Land and Morden
To the Continental soldiers?
So it comes when these two neighbors,
On the day and hour of meeting,
Reached the spot to which they journeyed,
Near the foot of Ralph's tree-ladder,
'Stead of finding there the Faulkners,
Found a waiting band of guardsmen.
See they now their base betrayal!
Land, advised to flee for safety,
Soon outfoots his keen pursuers,
Though he does receive a bullet
From the musket of a guardsman.
Ralph, unconscious of wrong doing,
Gives himself up to them freely,
Feeling there is naught against him
Save this aid to friend in danger.
But as soon as he's arrested
Search is made of his belongings.
There is found upon his person
That incriminating letter,
So he's charged at once with treason.
Strongly he protests against this,
Yet, in spite of explanations,
He is kept in close confinement
'Gainst the coming day of trial.
When at last comes on the trial
Stand against him take the Faulkners—
This to save their necks from halter,
Price they pay for ill-bought freedom;
But, on top of this, the letter
Given him for an act of kindness
To these men so bent to "get him"
For his part in helping Land out,
Deemed enough to hang his guilt on.
Guilty! Death! Oh, God! forgive them!
But with this we'll draw a curtain
O'er the tragedy which follows,
Save this note to place on record
Of the date and place of trial;
'Twas the thirtieth of October
In the year of Seventeen-eighty,
In the little town of Easton,
In the State of Pennsylvania;
Trial Judge, McKean, Chief Justice,
And the date of execution,
Twenty-fifth November following.
Mrs. Morden, noble woman,
Sore at heart and crushed in spirit,
Bore it like a Spartan mother;
Bravely she must face the future
For the sake of her young children.
Come we back again to Land's part
In this story so romantic.
On eluding his pursuers,
When Ralph Morden was arrested,
He found refuge in the forest;
Where with herbs he dressed his flesh wound. When he felt all danger over
Ventured out into the clearing.
Seeking there to get his bearings.
Morden had well outlined to him
Where to reach the Indian's "ladder."
This he found and scaled the mountain.
After weeks of untold hardships
He in safety reached the border
And crossed over at Niagara,
Where the Loyalists gave him welcome.
He was granted a location
For an area near the Great Falls,
But the roaring of the waters
On a mind distraught with anguish
Drove him nigh unto distraction,
So he traded his location
For a section farther westward.
Thus it comes that at the Lake-head,
Where now stands a noble City,
Robert Land received his Crown grant;
Built his cabin in the clearing;
Lived alone there nigh a decade,
Tilled his land but mourned in secret
The hard fate which had pursued him;
For he quite believed the story
That his family had been murdered
Or had perished in the forest,
But a happier day awaits him!
After few years in New Brunswick,
Mrs. Land with her four children
Plan to migrate far to westward,
Hearing tales of brightest promise
For the settlers at Niagara.
This, then, is their destination.
Trekking west proved long and tedious,—
Travel all on foot or horseback—
Made their living on the journey;
Called and stayed a while at Cocheton,
Where her eldest son had settled
And rebuilt the family homestead;
Here he’d been since war was ended,
And decides to there continue.
When the others reached Niagara
They secured a frontier cabin;
Here the boys maintained the family,
Fishing, hunting, and such farm work
As they got from other settlers.
Full two years they had resided
In that place, when comes a pedlar,
Who by chance said he had met with
One of same name at the Lake-head.
Only forty miles to westward.
Then they all began to wonder—
Father killed! Was he for certain?
After all, ‘twas only rumour;
Possibly he had succeeded
In escaping through the forest.
With such thoughts their hopes they strengthen
As they plan a trip to Lake-head.
So it comes that, some days later,
Robert Land, his day’s work ended,
Sitting outside his small cabin,
Resting from him toilsome labor,
Thinking of his lone existence,
Sees some stirring in the bushes
Lined on either side the pathway
Leading to his humble cottage.
Then emerging from the forest
Sees a party coming towards him,
Woman, daughter, with three young men—
What can such a party want here?
Then a look of recognition—
“God in Heaven, do eyes deceive me?
Lord be praised, it’s true, it is true.”
Oh, the joy of Resurrection!
To commemorate this reunion,
Robert plants a weeping willow
In the yard in front his cabin.
Memory’s shrine for tears of gladness
Shed by all upon this meeting.
Grants of land the boys are given
In the block beside the father’s.
And ere long a prosperous family
Sees dame Fortune on them smiling,
As a city sub-division
Takes in all their great broad acres.
Cabin soon gives place to mansion
Which was known to all as “Landholm,”
Stately city home it then was,
Here the Lands and their descendants
Made their home for years thereafter.
Now it’s “Home” for homeless children
In a great and growing city—
Verily, a city landmark;—
But still stands the weeping willow.
Shortly after this reunion
Robert thinks of Mrs. Morden,
Struggling with her growing family
In their home in Pennsylvania,
Quite unhappy in surroundings
Which were none too sympathetic;
So he writes to her, suggesting
That she join a Loyalist party
Soon to make the trek to northward.
So it comes that in the next year
She arrives with all her household,
And is given a warm reception
By her former war-time neighbour.
In due time the family settled
On a Loyalist location
Where is now the town of Dundas.
Here, a year or two thereafter
They were visited by Simcoe
Who gave large increase of land grant
Compensation for their suffering.
John lived on in his location,
Where his home was always Mother’s.
Until sometime in the twenties,
He moved west to London Township,
Where, at age of eighty-nine years,
This heroic, noble woman,
Honoured high by all the country,
Paid the last great debt of Nature
And was gathered to her fathers.
All the sons and daughters married,
And so families new were started.
Generations since succeeding
Spread abroad throughout the country.
Till these days, seven-score years later,
Numberless far-flung descendants
Of the martyred Quaker farmer
Rise up all to call him blessed.
On the Land side of the story,
Ephraim, second son of Robert
Had a son they christened John Scott;
He in turn had son named Charlie;
Trained he was to be a doctor.
As a young man he decided
He might venture on returning
To that country o’er the river,
Whence his grandpere had been exiled.
In Detroit he chose to settle.
Doctor Charlie had a daughter,
Evangeline who married Lindbergh.
Their one son is Charles Augustus,
Known so well the wide world over,
Flier daring and intrepid,
For whose flight across the ocean
In the “Spirit of St. Louis”
He is known as “the Lone Eagle”.
Next is Charles Augustus Junior,
Kidnapped babe of Hopewell Villa.
At the moment of the writing
Of the last lines of this story,
All the world, aghast and helpless,
Stands by waiting each new broadcast,
Hoping that the glad announcement
Will be made, “The Child’s Recovered!”
Peace-time sure doth have its horrors,
No less dread than those of war time.
“Found, but dead and foully murdered!”
Round the world these tragic tidings
Flash—Mankind is dumb with horror!
Language fails to give expression
To those sympathetic feelings
Stirred in every human bosom
At the thought of crime so ruthless.
Out of this great tribulation,
Lindbergh, like your great ancestor,
You’ll emerge into the open!
As you bridged the perilous waters,
With a courage so undaunted,
So, across this vale of shadow,
Your brave wife with you as pilot,
You’ll achieve still greater triumph!
George Allen Kingston seems to have been a real author, alive in 1932 and resident in Canada. He wrote hymns and described the linkage from Robert to Lindy correctly, so I don’t have any reason to doubt his story.
I have read the story 24 or more times and actually researched the names and places, so I think I understand most of the nuances. Between my intro and the Foreword, I hope you can follow the story. If you have any questions or discussions, I will be delighted to hear from you.