Monday, August 11, 2014

Pocohantas: A Poem by Virginia Carter Castleman


A Poem
Virginia Carter Castleman

To Anita. DEDICATION. Virginia! Mother State--thy name beloved By every patriot for its music sweet-- I lay this lowly tribute at thy feet, One leaf, perchance, upon thy wreath of fame. V.C.C. POCAHONTAS. (A descriptive narrative poem in eight parts.) 1. The Little Princess. 2. The Wizard. 3. Smith and Newport. 4. Coronation of Powhatan. 5. Guardian Angel. 6. The Parting. 7. Pocahontas and John Rolfe. 8. London Town. I. THE LITTLE PRINCESS. Many dark-eyed children played among the rushes By the waters of the inland, plain-like marshes, Made them water babies of the tall brown cattails, Cradled in the baskets of the plaited willows. Of them all was none more gleeful, none more artless Than the little Matoax,[FN#1] dearest of the daughters Of the mighty Werowance,[FN#2] Powhatan the warrior Ruler of the tribes, from whom was named the river And the wigwam village and the dark-skinned natives. None in all the land, from mountain unto sea, None more brave, more stern, and none more feared than he. Dear to him the chase, the war, the trembling captives, And the rustling pines whose fragrance filled the air-- Ah! 'Twas in the Springtime, and the world was fair. [FN#1] Matoax, tribal name of Pocahontas. [FN#2] Werowance, ruler or chief. Evening came; the tired earth had dropped asleep, Born the Maytide night in silence calm and deep, Bright in azure vault of heaven the twinkling stars Vigils kept, as lover over his beloved. Only one sound the twilight stillness broke upon, Crooning of Indian mother to her babe. Fainter grew the mother-song, and died away; Then, as if inspired by oft-repeated strain, Suddenly a mocking-bird took up refrain-- New World nightingale whose joyous warbling thrills Hearts responsive to the clear, melodious trills. Did the music fall upon unheeding ears Of the Indian hunters as they slumbering lay? Rather in their dreams those forest natives heard Echoes of the warrior's triumphant song In that hunting-ground where sings the deathless bird. POCAHONTAS. (Prelude.) Softly flowed the current of an ancient river Where it circled wide three beauteous emerald isles, Ceaseless lapped the waves upon the pebbled shore, Fringed with willows silvery, drooping evermore. High upon the beach an Indian village stood, Twelve low wigwams built upon the seasoned wood. Dark-eyed squaws the noonday meal prepared For the lordly hunters who on bounty fared. Winter's chase was over, each hunter smoked in peace (Joy in heart that Spring at length had brought release). In the open doorway, whence his proud glance strayed From the tentyard where the quiet papoose played To the newly bladed corn, the sassafras, Dearer than his life the love of Matoax. Like the morning sunbeam was her smile, and frequent, Like the rippling water was her happy laughter, In her eyes the sparkle of the evening planet, And her lips were red as brightest coral. Day by day she grew in grace of form and beauty, Till to where the river meets the rolling sea, Spread her fame as loveliest of Indian maidens. Born a princess of the forest, born to rule-- Rule the hearts of men with chains of love--was she. Springtime into summer passed, with wild rose wreaths Maidens decked the princess' raven locks; But in Autumn played they with the yellow corn; And in Winter oft on snowshoes circled round. "Maidens, come, we'll to the chase away, away! Sing aloud with glee our blithesome roundelay, Blow our mimic bugles till the echoes ring, Over hill and dale the startled warriors bring, Gathering around the campfire we will make the night Gay with song, dancing within the mystic light." Thus cried Matoax-Pocahontas--princess proud. On her dark locks placed a squaw the stag horns curved, Bound them fast with chains of pearly tinted shells, Threw a deerskin mantle o'er the rounded limbs, Hung upon her back the quiver full of arrows. Score of dusky maidens formed the royal guard, With their painted bodies and their flowing hair Untamed creatures of the forest crouched they there, Will-o'-wisp-like, darting, hiding, re-appearing, Silently they waited signal for the chase. Word was given, the mimic bugle shrilly blew, Echoing through the glades, whose startled denizens Suddenly grew still, the squirrel on the bough, Quivering deer, the otter in his secret cave. Indian maids with look intent upon the goal, Savage yells restrained, upon the chase set forth, Swift, with noiseless feet the chieftain's teepee sought. II. THE WIZARD. Opekankano, the White Man's deadly foe, Treacherous brother of the Wahunsunakok,[FN#3] Long had lain in wait to wreak his horrid vengeance For the kidnapping of Indians by explorers, By those traders who had lust for slaves and gold. Years had passed since first the Red Man heard the story, Years in which the White Man's blood full forfeit paid, Paid in shipwreck, exile, famine, toil, and anguish All the debt of crime upon his kinsmen laid; Yet did Opekankano forget not ever, And he nursed his old-time hate in secret cunning Till the White Face in his ship should come again. [FN#3] Wahunsunakok, kingly title of Powhatan. Soon he came, the Brave, with few Pale Faces by him, With a friendly Indian for his only guide, At the White Oak Swamp, beside the Chickahominy, There did the Pamunkeys meet him, slew his comrades, Brought him captive bound to Opekankano. Him they slew not, for he was the White Man's Wizard, All the land his fame, his mighty prowess knew, And the Red Man sought to learn his wondrous magic, Ere they led him tortured to the cruel stake. 'Twas in Wintertime, the snow lay on the ground, Brightly shone the sun upon Virginia's forests. Evergreens--the holly and the running-pine-- Made of woods a Christmas bower to put in mind Captive of his boyhood home in Lincolnshire. Merrie England! far away thou seemed then Unto him whose heart beat true to thee. Friendless Stood the Brave amid that horde of savages; Yet undaunted was his mien, his brow serene. Cruel eyes leered at his wounds, and eager Were the hands that lured him on to horrid death. Lo! with simple wiles the Brave defied his fate, Held to curious gaze one weapon yet untried-- Ivory compass 'twas to him, the Wizard's wand To the untutored in the lore of pathless deep. Quivering needle pointed to lode star above, While he taught them by his gestures plain how move Planets in their heavenly appointed spheres. Red Man's wonder grew to awe, to shivering fear Of that Spirit World whence came mysterious stranger. Opekankano that hour revenge forgot, Signal gave his men the death dance to delay, Unto Werowocomoco haste away, Powhatan the final sentence to impose. Far behind them left Pamukeys hills and dales, Journeyed with their captives to the lowlands wide, Where the Charles[FN#4] curved outward to the noble Bay. [FN#4] Charles, later the York River. In his long wigwam sat Wahunsunakok, Royal robe of raccoon skins about him wrapped. Many squaws, fantastic dressed, behind him seated, While in front unbroken line of warriors stood. Painted bodies, eagle feathers, tomahawks, Showing Red Man's warfare, customs of the race. Silently they waited the coming of the Brave. This the message sent by Opekankano: "White Face Wizard is at last the Red Man's prey, Let the death feast be prepared for him, unless Powhatan desire to set the captive free, Since from Spirit World he comes mysteriously." Deathfeast was prepared, scarce had the captive come Than at sumptuous banquet was he rudely placed. Limbs unbound, once more the hope of freedom swelled In his breast; clear was his mind and keen his eye; Quickly he surveyed the scene, beheld the squaws, Saw the warriors guarding Wahunsunakok, Closely watched by wily Opekankano, Last the death feast--well he knew the woeful sign-- Sickened then his stomach at the sight of food, Yet hard pressed, he urged him to the hateful task, Made pretence of eating slow the while his brain Rapidly was planning to escape his doom. Weapons none had he, e'en gone the ivory compass And the pistol that erstwhile had terrified Superstitious foes, the bullets long since hid In the breast of more than one bloodthirsty savage. While he mused, the awful stillness of the place Sudden changed--Hark to the note of bugle shrill! List to the gleeful song and to the rythmic tread Of the woodnymphs circling round the phalanx grim, Even to the feet of Wahunsunakok. Eagle eye of Powhatan grew brighter yet, And his stern old visage softened as he gazed On the laughing princess and her retinue-- Happy maidens breathless from the daring chase. Stately head he bent, but spoke no word of greeting, Powerful hand he raised, with single gesture bade Solemn silence of the curious, motley throng. Quickly mirth of Pocahontas died away, And her lightning glance at once did stray Meeting gaze direct and true, yet fond withal, Of those eyes whose strange, mysterious power cast Spell upon her heart, that thrilled to swift response. Dark eyes softened, flashed again with sudden fire, Pocahontas stood entranced, as in a dream, Watched the heavy stones laid on the hardened earth, Saw the Brave led forth, the tomahawk upraised-- Awful moment's hush was pierced by anguished cry, As around the captive's neck her arms were flung, Precious life to save, the maiden's one desire. Sign from chieftain stayed descent of bloody axe, Guiding hand of princess led the captive forward-- "Sire, he's mine," she cried, "Adopt him for thy son, If thou Matoax lovest best of all thine own." Powhatan thus answered to the lovely maid, "'Tis thy wish, Matoax; the Wizard's life be spared; From henceforth we name him 'son'; his people ours; Let the Brave be called for aye a Powhatan!" Mighty shout ascended from the watching throng, As the Saxon and the Indian princess stood Hand in hand before the Wahunsunakok. Presently a guide was sent to take the Wizard Back to Jamestown, where long weeks they'd mourned him dead. III. SMITH AND NEWPORT. News of Smith's escape from cruel death ere long Reached the eager ears of England's Scottish king (He who wrote the scathing Counterblast to smoke), And he straightway sent a brilliant scarlet robe Present for the Indian "Emperor Powhatan," Ordering that the royal native should be crowned. "On fool's errand dost thou come, Captain Newport," Quoth John Smith with rising ire as he read Quaintly worded mandate from across the sea. "What is this that we must vainly search for next? 'Gold mines, South Sea Islands, and lost colonists!' Daily have we much ado to keep ourselves, What with starving, mutiny, and Indian raids, Questions vexed that keep our minds from roving far From these palisades our toiling hands have reared, Come, Newport, we'll set our wits to work at once To unravel from this web of words the sense That our monarch would impart. Come, sit you down, Let us gaily fill our pipes with fragrant weed Such as natives grow--perchance its soothing power Anger will assuage; vexations disappear In these wreaths of smoke King James will never see! "Of one thing be thou assured," said Newport, smiling-- "That King James will at your hands (through me) require Full account of crowning of the Werowance, Cost of every gift bestowed upon the chief, Or upon that charming Princess Pocahontas, Rumor couples with your name, Sir President!" "Nay, Newport, a child in years, the bright-eyed maid, Yet with heart of gold and mother wit Working e'er to save our colony from ruin. He who dares vile slander make or evil think Is unworthy woman's love or England's trust." "No offense was meant," the Captain quick replied, "'Tis romantic tale, and still a nine days' wonder, You, the noble victim of a murderous plot, Maiden's fancy but the arbiter of fate." "Idle Gossip hath her day," Smith slowly said-- "Let us plan to carry out the crowning farce, May it serve to charm the haughty Powhatan, As it pleases England's monarch for the time. Yes, the scarlet robe will dazzle Indian chief, An' it is your wish to make of him a clown. 'Tis a trifling matter that; more serious far Charges given you by the London Company, Who from distant lands know naught, in truth, Of the frontier hardships, of the settler's needs. Can you not inform them in the plainest terms Of the falseness of the accusations made? Stay! myself will write them and boldly refute All their calumnies; set forth details in order, Calling 'spade a spade'--'twill be my 'Answer Rude.'"[FN#5] [FN#5] Smith's "Rude Answer," sent as a refutation of charges made by the London Company at the instigation of his enemies. "It were wiser, Mr. President, for you Moderation still to use, although in part Truth be veiled; the Company it pleaseth not Always to be told of factions in our midst. Even though you, the foremost man, the brave explorer, Much have suffered, many ills have yet to bear, Still be patient, for the darkest clouds will lift, Future sunlight blaze your name on history's pages, As the Saviour of the English colony-- Fair Virginia! Raleigh's life-long hope and passion, Vast and proud possession of the Virgin Queen. You alone, Sir President, command the power Simple natives of this beauteous land to sway, Tribes to hold in check; these struggling homes to foster, Realizing dream of years, desire of nations. You alone hold key to knowledge of this country, For the which bold science will reward you well." "Key to knowledge?--It is here," Smith made reply, Holding up to view his lately finished maps, Work of months at cost of body and of brain. "Here," he added, lifting closely written sheets, "Look! first draft of this, my "Generall Historie."[FN#6] [FN#6] Smith's "Generall Historie" pub. in England in 1624. "Patience yet must have her limit, trusty friend, Comes the time for action, e'en to men of peace, Maps and Historie and Answer Rude shall form Trio to convince the London Company." IV. CORONATION OF POWHATAN. It was near the time of Indian Summer in the land, Mellow haze pervaded earth and sky and sea, White sails drifting over waters calm were mirrored In the blue. The seagulls followed swiftly on. Up James River glided in their well-manned barge Captains twain in search of Wahunsunakok. Heaped on either bank they saw the golden corn, Store of Winter food, the bread the settlers craved, Bartering kettles, beads, and ribbons gay to squaws, And to warriors--hatchets, knives, and sometimes guns. Where the river softly curved around the isles, Boatmen spied the village of the Powhatans Partly hid by bending willows on the shore. "Virginia, earth's Paradise, methinks," quoth Smith, Following with his keen eyes past the river's bend To the distant slopes where dark pines touched the sky. "On the morrow we'll explore these upper channels Where the air breathes health, to mountains penetrate, Seek a site whereon to build some future day City that shall vie with Old World's leading marts In its beauty and its splendor. Visions bright Picture New World's temples rise in glorious might. Let us name this city-in-the-wilds Nonesuch!"[FN#7] [FN#7] Nonesuch, site chosen by Smith for the city later built a few miles away and named Richmond. Newport, better versed in ways of England's Court, Less enthused with spirit of adventure, said, "It were wiser name yon city-in-the-wilds For some Earl or Duke in royal favor high, Who might coffers pinch and weighty influence lend To the furtherance of those dreams that grip the brain Of the Company's substitute, Sir President." 'Neath the shadowy willows did they moor the barge, Stopped ashore, the captains and their followers. In his wigwam Powhatan received in state August visitors, inquiring errand there. When they told him England's monarch wished him crowned "Emperor Powhatan," had presents sent forsooth, Indian chieftain stood erect in proud disdain, "I am king" his look, his manner plainly said, "King of people who are natives in this land White Man covets--mine the power to give or keep." "'Tis but token of our love for you," said Smith, While unfolding, spreading wide the scarlet robe. "Look! this mantle sent to please your Royal Highness, This, the golden crown to place upon your head When it suits your pleasure, mighty Werowance, Wilt not take the gift of love from me, your 'son,' Whom from death you saved--you and Princess brave? Pocahontas, too, we have remembered well-- See this coral necklace with her name engraved." Nearer drew the forest monarch, visage brightening As upon the gorgeous robe he fixed his gaze, And with eager fingers felt the texture soft. Glittering crown he lifted (it was burnished brass!), Eyed with keen approval, nodding his assent. Newport tried to make the Werowance kneel--in vain! Indian will not bow, he lowering frowns instead, Until Pocahontas, gliding forth, did place Hand upon her sire's arm, and whisper low Words none other heard but Wahunsunakok-- Smiled the haughty warrior then and slowly knelt, While they put on him the royal robe and crown, Princess deftly slipped from place the Indian mantle, Raccoon skin, with tails for fringe, exchange of gifts Which it pleased him to bestow on Brother King As a token of his favor and esteem. Smith with outstretched hands and words of gratitude, Called to him the maiden, she but shyly came, Spoke in broken English words she knew--"My Father!" While he named her tenderly, "My dearest child," Gently clasped around her neck the coral chain, Leading her to Newport, and in louder tones: "Captain, this the maid who risked her life for mine." Gallantly the Captain bowed and kissed the hand Of the Princess, murmuring praises Pocahontas Understood not fully. Then they bade adieu, Planning to set forth straightway; but Powhatan Urged them to remain until the morn and feast, Smoke the pipe of peace before they sailed away. V. GUARDIAN ANGEL. "Corn we need, and plenty, too," spoke Captain Smith, Frowning as he laid his hand upon his sword. "Promise we have kept, to send you builders four, But you've failed us, Powhatan, would let us starve For the want of food while you have plenteous store. Trade in copper or in household goods we offer, But the swords and guns you ask for in exchange None may part with; for these weapons are to us What your bows and arrows are to you, forsooth--- Means to gain our living--or to slay our foes! Heed you not our words, we'll find some other way Grain to garner; but with you our friendship ends." Masterful the tone, backed by the weapon raised-- Wily Powhatan was moved to shift his ground, Waiting squaws he bade to fill with yellow corn Dozen baskets that were speedy set in row 'Twixt the Werowance and the doughty President. Parleying ensued, a second plea for guns, Guns and swords; but Smith stood firm, with darkening eye Waiting the arrival of his gallant men, Score of whom were left to break the river's ice, For 'twas Winter and the fear of "Starving Time" Was assuaged by courage and by tactics bold Such as President alone could well employ. Powhatan with baffled look and stealthy stride Sudden vanished from the room, leaving squaws. Side by side the English stood with pointed weapons, Eyes fixed on the open door whence swiftly came Savage warriors rushing madly on their prey. Fell the foremost dead; a second leaped and fell; Halted all at smell of powder, sight of smoke, Turned and fled with superstitions dread o'er-come. Speedily arrived the sailors and the soldiers Smith had summoned. At his word a guard detailed Watched the Indians while they carried to the barge Baskets piled with corn, provisions dearly bought. "Here will we rest till morning dawns," the Captain said, "In this outpost rude well wait the rising of the tide, Russell, comrade brave, and West, and Percy, too, Stay with me, a guard at door; the rest away! Corn to watch, the stranded barge, the pinnace there." Round the open fire they sat them down awhile-- On such gruesome night they had no thought for sleep. Powhatan now sent a present to the Captain, Bracelet to appease the fiery White Man's wrath; Soon some Indians came to bring them venison, Feast they much enjoyed despite their secret doubts. Scarce had natives left when through the cabin door Pocahontas stepped with wild-eyed countenance, Wrung her hands and cried, "Beware the Powhatans! Seek your ships; my people plot your lives to take-- Would you live, begone from here, no more delay!" Her tears brave Pocahontas could no longer stay. Uprose Smith, advanced in haste to greet the maid-- "Guardian Angel! fear not for the White Men's lives; We will heed your warning; it is not in vain; With these guns and swords we're safe until the dawn, And with high tide will our men and ships depart. Stay not thou, I pray, since peril lurks for thee, Friend of White Man! to thy teepee hie thee back, Wait and watch and pray, as we shall surely do, Till the night shall pass and come the break of day." "Fare-thee-well, Great Spirit guard thee, Friends!" she cried-- Back to the Indian village Pocahontas fled. Despite her warning and their dread, the Red Men came not; For they feared the wakeful foe, the magic guns,-- Kept in hiding for the time. At faintest dawn English sought the pinnace, homeward made their way. VI. THE PARTING. In the meadow by the brooklet was the wigwam Of the old squaw, Winganameo, who to Matoax From her childhood oft had taught the folklore, Tales of olden days beside the roaring ocean Where the White Man's ships were wrecked beside the beach, Where through pine woods roamed at will the stalwart Red Men-- Accomacks and Chesapeacks and Potomekes, Tappahannocks, Wangoags, Payankatankas, And the giants of the North, Sasquesahannocks, And the Roanoaks from the magnolia Southlands. How they fought and how they were united, How the Powhatan his mighty rule extended-- All these things the old squaw told the maiden. Under the mimosa sat Matoax often, While she listened to the old squaw's wondrous tales, learned from her to trace the beadwork patterns deftly On the moccasins or on the women's mantles; But of all the stories Winganameo told her, None the maiden loved to hear so oft repeated As the legend of the lost ones of Croatan,[FN#8] And the island where the blue-eyed children lived. Thus it was that Pocahontas heard of English Long before she looked upon the strange Pale Faces, Dreamed of them as little lower than the angels, With the wisdom of the ages blessed. [FN#8] Refers to the "Lost Colony of Roanoke, 1587," (see Hawk's History of North Carolina). To the wigwam by the brooklet came the Princess Oft at evening; told to Winganameo softly How the English called her "Guardian Angel," loved her, Gave her presents, daily asked her to their homes. Winganameo nodded sagely as she listened, But she spoke a word of warning to the Princess: "Let not Pale Face bring unto you sorrow, Matoax; As a mother I have watched you coming, going, Princess born, 'tis many a warrior would wed you, Better could you find a male among your own; For the Pale Face is not of us, is a stranger; Though he love you, he will leave you for his people, And his home beyond the sea. I have seen it, Often have I seen it, watched him sail away Nevermore returning. Heed my words, O, Daughter!" Pocahontas listened, but her lips replied not, All her heart was mirrored in her dreaming eyes, As she sat with folded hands beneath the shadow Of mimosa branches with their pink-hued blossoms Making fairy canopy above her head. While they sat together in the twilight hour Came to them a messenger direct from Jamestown, Indian hunter, many a mile he'd walked to tell To his people that the Wizard brave lay wounded Unto death within his cabin, nursed by soldiers Who would take him soon across the sea to England. Pocahontas heard the tidings, listening quiet, But with bated breath--spoke to Winganameo, Saying, "We must go, mayhap the Captain needs us." And the old squaw whispered back to her in following, "Unto Jamestown we will go together, Daughter." So they journeyed onward through the field and forest, While the silver moonbeams fitful shadows made On their pathway, till they reached the settlers' country, Saw the palisades and houses of the English. "Father," cried the Princess, kneeling by the bedside Of the sometime President, who suffering lay-- "Art thou wounded sore, and is it true they say That to England thou must go, or life's in danger? Winganameo comes to nurse thee at my bidding, She the old squaw of my people hath much knowledge, Many wounded, sick to death has helped to cure-- Must thou go across the distant waters, Father?" Scarcely had the wounded Captain strength to answer, But he feebly placed his hand upon her head, "Child, 'tis true indeed, that I am past your aid, And must seek for London surgery, since the wound From explosion of the powder festers sore; Hence I leave our well-loved colony for England-- If I live I'll come again unto Virginia. Pocahontas! first as little maid I saw thee, Into noble womanhood I've watched thee growing, Few and fleeting are the years we've known each other, Thou hast ever been the White Man's loyal friend. Keep the trust I give thee with my parting blessing. Still defend these homes, make peace among thy people, God reward thee, Princess, in the days to come." Fainter grew his breath from pain, the watching soldiers Motioned her away, she turned from them in silence, Followed by the old squaw, glided from the cabin. Tears came not that day, despair was in her heart, Dark the future to the lonely Indian maid. VII. POCAHONTAS AND JOHN ROLFE. Swiftly passed two years; the colony was saved From dire ruin by Lord Delaware's arrival With supplies and words of cheer, with thankful prayers Unto heaven for rescue from the "Starving Time." But the Indians had resentful grown meanwhile, Pocahontas long had vanished from their ken, Said the settlers questioned of the Princess' fate. Once again the colonists took courage, throve 'Neath the strong rule of "High Marshall" Thomas Dale. Argall bold began to open trade once more With the tribes; the Potomekes he cruised among, Learned from them that Pocahontas was their guest, Bribed a squaw to bring her to the waiting ship, Carried her away to Jamestown as a hostage-- Not unwilling hostage to the English race, Which she loved, though weaned from her childhood's ardor. Day by day she came and went among the settlers With a noiseless step, with gentle courtesy That soon won for her the friendship of her captors. Children loved her, played with her among the flowers Growing wild in woodland and in meadows; And she wove them flower baskets of the rushes By the shallow pools within the wide brown marshes. Oftener she sat beside the open doorway With her beadwork, and her skilful fingers plying Deftly back and forth upon the wooden frame, Fashioned wondrous patterns of the brightest colors For the moccasins and dresses of the women. It was thus that Rolfe, the English planter saw her, And the picture of the maiden at her beadwork Haunted long his memory as he sat alone In the home bereft of woman's love and care. Long he mused and sadly on his mournful fortunes Since the fateful shipwreck on Bermuda's shore That had left him lonely, left a gloomy shadow On his New World home. Then he broke the silence: "Others who have loved and lost to grief consent not. Rouse them from their sorrow unto nobler purpose. Well I know that melancholy claims the captive, Marks the trembling hostage for its own-- Alas! Often have I seen her steal away at twilight To the cabin rude where once he lived, her hero, Where of yore his voice had welcomed her in greeting; Or again, when none is by to watch her mourning For the old days when she roamed a princess free, I myself have overheard her quiet weeping. She is lonely, needs a strong arm to protect her-- Dare I then, a Saxon, wed an Indian maiden? Lo! I see the future brightening, love and peace In these walls abiding; and for aye united Conquering and conquered races of our land. Yes, in years to come Virginia shall bless me, Children proud their lineage trace to Pocahontas Princess royal of the native Powhatans. Wake, John Rolfe, from idle dreaming! Simple wooing Better suits the brave man's case than castle-building. Friends will mock, no doubt, the sober planter's fancy, And the maid herself refuse to hear my pleading; Yet I dare to risk the White Man's scorning even, In such cause--with me decision's half the battle." Pocahontas at the doorway saw him coming, Saw his shadow fall upon the broidered beading, And her nimble lingers paused, she upward glanced, Radiant smile came swiftly as she met his gaze, For he oft had spoke her kindly since her advent As a maid forlorn to dwell at once-loved Jamestown. Rolfe sat down beside her, questioning Pocahontas Of her kindred, of the tribes that lived about them, Of her playmates in the pretty upland village, Of the warriors who had fought (and died in fighting) For the Red Man's country, for the Powhatans. Of the old squaw, Winganameo, who had taught her, Of the young bucks who had danced around the campfires. Thus at length spoke Rolfe in softened tones and serious: "Pocahontas, I am lonely. Many times Moons have waxed and waned since first I landed homeless On this shore; still my fireside is lacking Woman's presence. And my heart was desolate Till your face I saw beside this cottage door, And your voice did stir the depths of my affections. Simple is my wooing, but my love sincere� Pocahontas, hear me! you are lonely, too." Surged the rich red over dusky cheek and brow, Then as sudden vanished as she answered softly, "Thou an Englishman, to wed an Indian maiden? Ah, Mr. Rolfe, once did I know not difference 'Twist the Red Man's squaw, the White Man's honored wife, Indian princess was one truly, not a plaything Whom the world might scorn at will-- But now! I have learned my lesson all too well, I fear. Yes, I'm lonely here; and yet among my kindred I am lonelier still, for I have learned to love Ways of Pale Face--one did teach me that in childhood. Oft, methinks, there's no one careth for me now; But forgive me if I do thee wrong, kind friend, Thou hast ever patient been, the while my heart was sore." "Listen, Pocahontas," once again he pleaded, "Dry those tears, forget past ills, think of the years, Happy years before us; and the home we'll make In these wilds, where Indian and English both Shall a welcome find with Lord and Lady Rolfe." Pocahontas listened, gave a shy consent, Yielding heart and hand into his life-long keeping; Henceforth was John Rolfe to be her true protector, With his people she would cast her lot for aye. Fitting preparation for an English home, Bible truths they taught her--which she knew in part-- In the little church, at the baptismal font She was named "Rebekah"--Parson Whitaker, "Apostle of Virginia," was the English priest. Dawned the day that saw the union of the races-- English and the Indian--on Virginia's soil. In the Jamestown Church the rites were solemnized, Compact sealed that helped to make our history. Fragrant blooms gave the native jessamine For the bridal altar; while with brilliant sprays Coral honeysuckle wreathed the Princess' brow, Matching necklace, gift of Smith, sole ornament Save betrothal ring upon the shapely hand. Assembled in the church a goodly company, Englishmen in force, with them the Powhatans, Witnessing the marriage of their Princess. Thus alliance was renewed and peace proclaimed. VIII. LONDON TOWN. Other two years passed; upon the ship that sailed Unto England's shore with Thomas Dale, there went Mr. Rolfe and wife, "Lady Rebekah" famed. London well received them, feted oft the Princess, By the Lady Delaware at Court presented Where her sweet simplicity, her winning grace Won for season brief the flattery of all. In the social world, her name "La Belle Sauvage!" Artists sought her beauty to immortalize. With a noble mien she moved among the throng, Yet with melancholy touched the Indian face, Eyes observant, oft with wistful sadness filled. Smith heard of her fame and yet delayed his visit Starting forth at length upon his errand, mused: "Dare I see her once again, as Lady Rolfe, Whom I knew as maiden-of-the-wilderness? Shall I find her changed by fashion's tyranny? Princess fancy free, so bright, go gay, so loyal-- Thus I knew her first; but later bowed with grief O'er my wounds, my misery, the parting sad. Ah, Tragabigzanda![FN#9] then, my early love, Time can ne'er efface thy memory from, my heart! Even thou hast had one rival in this maiden-- List! she comes--I must recall me to my senses." [FN#9] Tragabigzanda, the lady with whom Smith fell in love during his captivity in Turkey in early life. Rustle of her silken train he heard. She came With a stately step to greet her visitor. Once she saw his face, a startled cry she gave, "They did tell me that you long were dead, 'my Father'!" "Lady Rebekah," murmured Smith, in bending low Ringed hand to kiss with grateful gallantry, "Nigh unto death was I; but God has spared my life For mysterious purpose. Think not I'd forgot thee, Long my silence, yet my thoughts still backward turned To the distant colony, to Pocahontas! And thou, Princess? I have heard of Rolfe's good fortune, And am come to wish you both long happiness." "Call me child again," she cried, "as in the days Of that past when thou wast still my 'Father,' friend! Here is not my home, I stifle 'mid the crowd; For I love not flattery nor palace halls; But green woodlands, air, and space--not gloomy walls." "For thy forest home thou pinest, 'Child,'" he said, "Soon thy husband will remove thee hence, I trow, Goodly Englishman is Rolfe, and worthy thee." Smiling through her tears, she proudly answered to him: "More than worthy is my husband, and he bears In Virginia's colony a noble part." Came a messenger unto the Lady Rolfe, Summoning the Princess to the Royal Court. Hearing which, Smith said: "With your permission, Lady, I will be your escort to King James's Palace, Since it long has been my wish and my intention To resign the student's life, give up seclusion, Once again become a sailor on the seas, Distant lands explore, new maps and history make Whereon future worlds may build. This my hope, This the one ambition that fires the wanderer's brain." "Come," said Lady Rolfe, with gentle dignity, "We will go together to the Royal Palace, Take our rightful place among the brilliant throng, With the rest do grateful homage to our King." Gay the scene, the waiting courtiers stood aside While they made their way--the Captain and the Princess-- To the throne, bowed low before the monarch proud, Who gave royal welcome, saying unto Smith, "How, my Captain bold! Too long your needed presence We have missed from London town and from our Palace. Royal mandate we've prepared to call you hence For some ventures new--secure at once the ship For its cruise, new wealth to seek for 'Merrie England.'" Unto Lady Rolfe, the King in flattering tones: "Then, our Princess, England's glory wilt proclaim, Through Virginia's wide domain our influence spread. Royal favor them hast won, our blessing take, Thou and Rolfe, who comes e'en now to claim his bride. Loyal subjects live ye both in Jamestown far, Peace be to thy race, in thee our ally made." Quoth in gracious tones Her Majesty Queen Anne:-- "Welcome, Child, Thou 'Guardian Angel' of the English, Saviour of our Captain and our colony." Pocahontas fain would kneel with humble grace-- "Rise, I salute thee, Princess," said the Queen, and smiling, Stooped to kiss on either cheek the Indian maid. Others sought the throne, she stepped aside with Rolfe, Following them came Captain Smith to bid adieu. "Weighty matters call me hence," he said in parting, "But we'll meet again upon Virginia's shore. Fare-thee-well, Lady Rebekah; and thou, Rolfe, Long live both and peace be to thy distant home." Thus they parted, each upon a separate pathway, Whose life's orbit once had touched, whose hearts were knitted By the common bond of dauntless love and courage; But the patriot and the poet sing their story, And their names are linked for aye in history. Nevermore she saw again her native land, Nevermore the forest pathways felt her footstep, Nor the brooklet nor the wigwam heard her singing. Nevermore she sat beneath the pink mimosa Listening to the words of old squaw, Winganameo, Nevermore within her English home at Jamestown Was the gentle Princess Pocahontas seen. Far from kindred was her grave[FN#10] beside the seashore, Where the waves for her a tender requiem sang. On Virginian soil her people mourned her death, Lamentations long and loud the Indians made. But the English settlers spoke her name in whispers; For at eventide they seemed to see her often As a radiant vision, white-winged, hovering near. [FN#10] Pocahontas was buried at Gravesend, Eng., 1617.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Philip Frederick Castleman pioneer of the Northwest

Philip Frederick Castleman is the great grandson of Johannes David Castleman (1734-1826)

PHILIP F. CASTLEMAN.--Those who now make the trip in the palatial car across the continent from the populous cities and thickly settled districts of the union, and view the Pacific Northwest in its present development, can but faintly realize the dangers and privations the sturdy pioneers experienced in reaching here, nor yet understand the troubles they had with the red man who then roamed its confines at will, and knew no law save what pleased the savage heart the best. They often meet among its residents not a few upon whom the snows of many winters have fallen--and fallen while braving the inconveniences of pioneer life. They see in them the man or woman whose years are well-nigh ended, with no evidences that the passing one has a history and a record which ofttimes is not only that of a pioneer, but one who undertook many a dangerous task in order to reclaim and build up this the fairest section of America.

Among those who might pass unnoticed, except that he is a man of years, with kindly look and gentlemanly bearing, is the gentleman whose name heads this article, and who well might occupy a place with heroes. He was born on May 17, 1827, near Hodginsville, Kentucky, his ancestors being of Revolutionary fame. He received what education could be secured at the common schools of that time, which were not of the best, the term being usually three months in the year, and the distance to the old log schoolhouse being sometimes as much as four miles. The instructors were not always well educated; but, with application and a determination to know something, he was enabled to surmount the difficulties and instill into his mind a good understanding of his text books. He then attended a nine-months' term in the village of Hodginsville, where he forged ahead with great rapidity. On the closing of the term, he received a tine recommendation from his tutor, W. H. Fenton, now a leading lawyer of New York City, which, together with his general bearing, enabled him to secure a school at a hamlet called Bacon Creek, located some ten miles from his home. Here as a pedagogue he gave such general satisfaction that his refusal to teach a second term, although having been offered increased inducements, was greatly regretted by all. He had caught the California gold fever, and to the new El Dorado must go.

He left home on May 3, 1849, and went to Aetna Furnace. Hart county, and there joined a company of eighteen others under the leadership of C. W. Churchill. Their trip across the continent was attended not only with sickness but death, the whole party being afflicted more or less with cholera. Seven of the nineteen succumbed to its ravages before reaching the Rocky Mountains. Theirs was not the only company which suffered in a like manner; for in many camps could be seen the dead, dying and almost helpless suffering emigrants; and all along the route there was a graveyard at nearly every camping place. Our subject was not an exception; for be had several attacks of the disease. At times, when able, he took his turn with the rest as doctor, nurse, cook, teamster and herdsman. After a long, weary and distressful journey, the welcome Rockies were at last reached, when in the change of climate better health was experienced until nearing the Sierra Nevadas, when several of the party, including our subject, the latter very severely, were taken down with mountain fever. Proceeding onward under these many disadvantages, they at last reached Sacramento in November of the year of starting, having been nearly six months on the road.

His first experience as a miner was at Bidwell's Bar, on Feather river. His experience here convinced him that the miner's life was not at all times what the gold-fever-stricken Easterner pictures before leaving home for the diggings, and, thinking he could do better in Sacramento City, left for that place. About two or three weeks after his arrival there, he entered the employ of a baker at a monthly salary of $250. This position he retained through the winter and until spring, when he again concluded to try mining, and left for Redding Diggings, in the Upper Sacramento valley. After his arrival he was induced to retrace his steps as far as Stony Creek (now Monroeville), where he erected a house for other parties, which was the first built at that point, and which he conducted as a hotel for some time. He again went to the mines, only to leave them in a short time on account of a severe illness, returning to the valley and buying an interest in what was then called Mundy's ranch. In 1851 he disposed of those interests and left for Oregon, settling at a point near where Eugene now stands. There he erected a sawmill, and later on built a mill on Bear creek, the fruits of whose saws were the first lumber sawed in Southern Oregon, thus making him the pioneer in that enterprise in that section of the state.

In 1853 he sold out and went to Rogue river, and in partnership with Milton Lindley built and ran a sawmill at Phoenix. In the fall of that year, while still retaining his interest in the milling enterprise, he left for the East via the Nicaragua route, hoping to avoid the many hours of sickness he had known on the plains in reaching here. But in this he reckoned wrongly: for through seasickness he hardly knew a well day while on the ocean blue. After visiting his old home and friends, he went to New York and studied daguerreotyping until he had become conversant with the mysteries of the art, when he purchased a photographic outfit and materials and took passage once more by sea for "Webfoot" via Panama. After his arrival here he began taking pictures; and such were the first ones taken in Southern Oregon and Northern California making him the pioneer photographer in that section.

During the early part of October, 1855, while he was in Eugene, the news came of the outbreak of the Indians on Rogue river. Believing the protection of the settlers' homes and families paramount to all other duties, he at once began the organization of a company of volunteers. Before the brave men enlisted could perfect arrangements to depart for the scenes of hostilities, General McCarver, who was on his way to the field of action, arrived at Eugene and wanted a messenger who would go to Scottsburgh to procure ammunition, as his stock was rather low. In pioneer days that place was of considerable importance, having five or six well-stocked trading houses. Castleman was recommended to him as one who could make the perilous trip if anyone could. Upon his being approached in the matter, he volunteered to undertake the mission, and on receipt of his instructions departed for his destination, reaching there in twenty-one hours. The distance being ninety-one miles and over mountains, and the roads being nothing but trails, this was wonderfully quick time. On arriving at Scottsburgh, he delivered his dispatches to the merchants of that place, who agreed to comply with the request therein,├╣such being for a mule load of ammunition. Taking upon his horse a portion of the same, and packing the balance upon the mule and placing it in charge of another, he left by the river trail for Roseburg, where he was to meet McCarver, covering the distance of over a hundred miles in twenty-four hours, the ammunition coining in two days after.

The next step in the conduct of the war was to get the ammunition into the hostile country, and into the hands of its sturdy pioneer defenders; and again Castleman was selected to accomplish another dangerous task. The route which he had to take led through the Umpqua canon, which by the way is one of the most magnificent stretches of scenery the world affords, and which the lover of nature never tires of gazing upon; but it was at this time hardly calculated to touch the poetic chord in one when its recesses and mountain crests contained the camp-fires of the howling savage, who thirsted for the white man's blood and was eager for his scalp. He, however, after an all-night's ride in darkness, succeeded in reaching Hardy Eleff's without accident or molestation, at sunrise the next morning, where he found some of the heroes of the Battle of Hungry Hill, which had been fought the day previous. Here he turned over to the volunteers the ammunition consigned to his care. On his return to Roseburg he was appointed assistant quartermaster-general for meritorious conduct, with his station at that place.

Late in October the Indians congregated at the Meadows, on Rogue river, and prepared their camp for defense. To this point the troops made their way and laid siege to the rudely constructed fortifications. Tiring of this, and wishing to break the siege, the red devils selected a force of forty picked warriors and sent them out to terrorize the country. Making their way through the wilderness to the South Umpqua, they inaugurated their fiendish work by the burning of the settlers' houses, and laying waste all they could. On the first day of November, the news reached Roseburg; and the most exaggerated reports were pouring in, causing the wildest excitement. Pat Day, then sheriff of Douglas county, and Castleman agreed to go on a scout by themselves and learn what they could. They first went to Honorable John Kelly's, who lived one mile south of Roseburg, who took them across the South Umpqua in a canoe, their horses swimming after them. They then started for Rice's farm where the Indians were reported to be hard at work. They came to Looking Glass creek, which was a long way out of its banks, and was difficult to ford in the daytime, much more so in the dark, it being night by the time they reached there. They finally got across and were soon at Gage's stockade, where they refreshed themselves. Gage told them that he had heard firing at Rice's all day, and that it had finally stopped about sundown. At Gage's two men joined Castleman and Pat Day; and from there they went to a Mr. Kent's, where they next stopped, and where about a dozen more men gladly joined the party.

Castleman, holding the rank of assistant quartermaster in the volunteer service, was made leader of the company. Following the trail of the savages up Ten Mile creek, which was marked by devastation on every hand, they crossed a divide to the waters of Olilla creek, and, coming up with the savages, actually saw them firing the house of a settler. They hid and waited for developments. They sent two scouts after the Indians, who tracked them to a bend in the Olilla. They waited until the Indians turned in and were asleep, and then crept into their camp. Getting all the information they desired, they returned to their own camp and reported. The savages being more than two to one it was deemed best not to attack them until they got some help. They went to McCully's stockade and got a reinforcement of twenty-five men, they being a portion of Captain Baily's company, and under Orderly-Sergeant Tom Holland. Castleman, being a higher officer, was tacitly acknowledged captain.
It was very dark when they set out for the Indian encampment, following a local guide, who knew the country, creeping continuously along until they were only half a mile distant from the Indian stronghold; and there they halted and held a council of war. The Indians, who had tantalized the volunteers during the previous day at the went crushing through his abdomen, sending him howling to the rear. While Castleman was making the most of the life that was left in him, loading and firing and shouting to his men what to do, a "pet Indian," known as "Cow Creek Tom," who could speak English fairly well, yelled back: "Yes, G -- d -- you, and while you are doing that we will kill you and cut you up in a thousand pieces, and lay you out on that log." That was no idle threat to keep in mind. He knew that if the Indians captured him they would do some such horrible thing. The battle was an awfully fierce one while it lasted. But the combined attack was too much for the Siwash element, and giving a parting war-whoop, they fell back in great disorder completely routed, and unable to carry away their dead. After the battle was over the Whites proceeded to take an inventory of what they had captured. They recovered much of the property which had been stolen by the Indians, and recaptured many horses that had been taken the day before.

Castleman's wound was not only dangerous, hut was considered necessarily fatal. He was carried away on a rude litter to McCully's stockade, where he suffered the most excruciating pain for some weeks, when he was taken to a hospital near Roseburg, where he remained several months. When able to leave it. he was but a mere shadow of his former self; and from that day to this he has carried painful reminders of that terrible night on the South Umpqua, receiving no compensation nor even recognition that his services had been worth anything to his country. After leaving the hospital, he was commissioned assistant commissary of subsistence, with the rank of captain. This took him to Eugene, where he remained until peace was restored.

After the close of the Indian war he bought a drove of hogs and several ox-teams, loading the teams with produce, and drove them through to Southern Oregon, where he disposed of them, also selling his interest in the mill business. In the following winter he, in company with Lewis Ward, bought a pack-train of B. F. Dowell, and packed produce from the Willamette valley to the Southern Oregon mines.

In the winter of 1857 Castleman sold his pack-train and bought a livery stable at Eugene, which he and Ward owned until the summer of 1858. At that time T. Chase bought Ward's interest in the business, after which Castleman and Chase carried on the business until 1862, when they both went to Walla Walla and carried on the same business until 1865. They then sold out their business; and Chase returned to Eugene. In 1862 Castleman leaving the business in charge of his partner, went to the Salmon river mines, but returned in the fall and moved his family to Walla Walla and engaged in photography. After the mines were discovered at Boise, he and Mr. John Doval took a stock of goods from Walla Walla to Placerville in the winter of 1863. Often during the trip they traveled through seven feet of snow, and came near losing their lives. In 1865 he sold out in Boise and returned to Walla Walla, where he again carried on photography until 1867, when he moved with his family to Eugene. Soon after this he returned East on a visit to his mother and family, his father having died in the meantime. While in the East he bought a large tract of land, and built a sawmill on it. But, circumstances not being as favorable as he had anticipated, he disposed of it and returned to Oregon, satisfied to remain, living one year at Eugene, one year at Tillamook, and about eight years on a farm in Yamhill county, which he sold, removing to Portland in 1878, where he has since resided.

Mr. Castleman has been quite an extensive speculator, and has always been willing to engage in any honorable enterprise. He is a public-spirited and generous man, and has done much to develop the country. He has been an extensive stock-dealer, and is now interested in a fine hop ranch near Eugene. He has lived a busy and eventful life, and enjoys the confidence, honor and respect of all who know him.

Mr. Castleman has long been identified with the Indian War Veteran Association of the Pacific Northwest, and at present is the vice-grand commander of of the grand encampment. During its sessions, or in the councils of the subordinate camp to which he belongs, he has been an ardent advocate of the publication of such a work as is now in the hands of the reader; and the interest manifested by him resulted in the formation of the company which has carried forward these volumes to completion, and in which he has been a member and one very active in the collection of data and historic matter.
He was married in 1856 to Mrs. I. J. Evans. Their union was blessed with five children, Euretta F., now the wife of J. A. Campbell, of Berkeley, California; Stephen F., deceased; Mary E., who died in infancy; Anna B., now Mrs. W. H. Gaines, of Portland, Oregon; and William R., who is at present at home with his parents.

Mrs. I. J. Castleman was born December 28, 1834, in Stark county, Ohio. Her parents, B. F. and C. S. Davis, moved to Marshall county, Indiana, where they lived several years. In 1847 they emigrated to Oregon and settled near Eugene. In 1850 Miss Davis was married to G. W. Evans, who died in 1853. They were blessed with two children, Frances E., now the wife of T. Patterson, and George W., who is now a resident of Yamhill county. Mrs. Evans was married to Philip F. Castleman March 18, 1856.

[source: History of the Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Washington. Portland, Oregon. North Pacific History Company, 1889.]

Captain Christopher Greenup Castleman and the burning of the BEN SHERROD on MAY 8, 1837.

The Ben Sherrod was racing the Prarie when a fire broke out. Eventually a keg of whiskey exploded, then her boilers exploded and a bit later 40 barrels of gun powder blew up.

Here are two different accounts of the Burning of the Ben Sherrod.


2. Free Ebook which features an account of the loss of the Ben Sherrod by a passenger.  

The Journal of Surgeon Alfred Lewis Castleman

Quotes from the Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman

Here is a full copy of the Journal

The Army of the Potomac. 
Behind the scenes. A diary of unwritten history; from the organization of the army to the close of the campaign in Virginia, about the first day of January, 1863. 
by Alfred L. Castleman.

Here is a link to a page that has a nice Civil War era photograph of Alfred.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Last will and testament of David Castleman Sr. of Frederick County, Virginia

The Last will and testament of David Castleman Sr. of Frederick County, Virginia, made the nineteenth day of December in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty two. I give and devise to eight of my children, William, John, Mary Odel, James, Benjamin, David, Thomas and Elizabeth Shively and also a half share to my grandson James Castleman all my estate real, person, miscel, whatever and wherever to them their heirs, executors, administrators and a assignee after paying all my just debts and legacys hereafter named.

In the first place it is my will and desire that Elizabeth Shively shall have the tract of land which I purchased of Machem Repass where on her and my son in law Jacob Shively now lives at twenty dollars per acre to be paid for in three equal annual payments; the first payment to be made twelve months after my death and so in each and every year until the whole is paid to my executors hereinafter named. But should she not except of the land aforesaid at the price & terms aforesaid within one month after my executors qualifies to this my last will, then it is my desire that my executors do sell the aforesaid tract of land together with all the other of my estate real, personal & mixed whatever and wherever at their discretion for the best price and upon such terms as may appear to them most beneficial to my children named as aforesaid & it is my will and desire that all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and twelve hundred dollars to Elizabeth Shively for and in consideration of her attention & services to me provided she not except of the land aforesaid. Then she is to have this sum together with an equal share with my children as aforesaid.

I do further give and devise to Elizabeth Shively all my household & kitchen furniture of every kind. It is my will and desire that the money which my two sons John and Thomas owes me shall be collected of them in three equal annual payments with interest thereon in one, two and three years after my death and lastly, I do nominate and appoint my sons William Castleman & David Castleman & my friend Charles McCormick sole executors of my last will.

Witness my hand & seal this 19th day of December, 1822.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Alfred Castleman's receipt from Berryville Turnpike Road 1857

Alfred Castleman requests a pardon August 28, 1865

To His Excellency Andrew Johnson, President of the United States

I Alfred Castleman aged 69 years, a farmer by occupation and a resident of Clarke County Virginia, most respectfully represent that I desire to obtain a pardon and frankly state all the facts in relation to my position. I have held no office under the Confederate or state government since the commencement of the rebellion and have never been in the Army. I had two sons in the United States Army one of whom was killed, and two in the Confederate Army. After the battle near Snicker's Ferry or Castleman's Ferry as it is sometimes called, in July last, there was a Hospital for U. S. wounded soldiers, established in my neighborhood and I waited upon them and furnished proper love for them. It is due to truth and cander, to state that I was a Southern man, and my emphathies were with my native state, and alltho I took no part in the war, I desired that the Confederates should succeed, and I who for the Ordinance of Secession. I have remained quietly at my farm attending to my own affairs, and have not taken a prominent part in the unhappy strife. I have taken the Amnesty with, which accompanies this ?????? and I intend in good faith to observe it, and hope to lead a quiet law abiding life for the remainder of my days. My taxable property is estimated at more than 
twenty thousand dollar, but I am with considerably less than at the commencement of the rebellion. I do not know that I have done or said any thing which should justly subject me to punishment of my property to confiscation, but friends in whose opinion I have confidence have ?????? me that it is best for me to ask for a pardon, and as I wish not to be disturbed in my old age. I most earnestly and respectfully ask that you will grant me a pardon. ??? ???? Your ?? servant Alfred Castleman August 26, 1865 Clarke County to int J M Pulliam a Justice of the Law in and for this country aforesaid in the state of Virginia, do ?????? certify that Alfred Castleman whose name is signed to the ?????? Letter for a pardon, made with ???? me in my county aforesaid, that the facts stated in said ?????? are true to the best of his knowledge and belief.

Given under my hand this 28 day of August 18 1865 M Pulliam JP 

We the undersigned residents of Clarke County Virginia, do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Alfred Castleman who has signed the ????? ????? for a pardon, that he is a gentleman of veracity, whose statements may be relied upon and we believe that the facts stated in the ????? are true. Given under our hands this 28th day of August 1865 ?.P. Pendlet??? Wm McGuire ????? Shepherd Gallahan, Jefferson Co. M Pulliam ?????

If my pardon shall be granted, please endorse it to me at Winchester Virginia to the care of P. Williams, as there is no post office at Berryville in Clarke County near to which I reside.

A. Castleman
( I tried my best to transcribe the handwriting. This letter is found on 3 separate images that were gathered from )