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take dismission from college, and at the age of nineteen received the command of a troop of cavalry. le remained in the army until the surrender of Burgoyne, and fought in the battle which secured his overthrow. He was detailed by Gen. Gates to escort with his troop the captive general to Boston. He performed this service with so much fidelity and gallantry, strictly guarding him from every insult of the excited populace by the way, and only taking leave of him on board the ship which was to convey him to England, that he gained the warm respect of Burgoyne. At parting, the latter expressed his thanks, and begged bim to accept the trappings of his horse as a token of remembrance.
After performing this duty, Major Seymour returned to private life. He became a lawyer, and ultimately AttorneyGeneral of the State. He was a man of acute sensibilities. Being once compelled, in the discharge of his official duties, to procure the condemnation of a murderer, he did it with a sorrowing heart. On the day of execution he was so overcome with his emotions, that he retired to his bed and lay there in intense mental agony till all was over.
An historical painting by Col. Trumbuļl adorns the rotunda of the capitol at Washington. It is the surrender of Burgoyne. In the foreground is the figure of a young man on horseback, whose face, half turned, is full of interest in the
It is the likeness of Major Seymour. On the testi. mony of Noah Webster
a testimony which has been repeatedly confirmed by others — he was a man of incorruptible integrity, a quality of far higher value than mere military heroism.
Thomas, a brother of Mrs. Woodbridge, four years older than herself, and who in early years had been more than any other member of the family her companion and counsellor, entered the American army in 1812. He held the office of lieutenant. He served through the war, and was in several severe engagements. He was accustomed to see men falling thick around him, and once his sword was shivered in
HER MOTHER'S NOBLE CHARACTER.
his hand. Brave and generous, he was loved by his soldiers. On one occasion he was taken prisoner; but his men, with the shout,“ Save the young lieutenant !” rushed into the midst of the enemy and bore him triumphantly back. Though naturally amiable, such was his taste for military life that after the close of the war he went to South America, and joined the patriots under the distinguished Bolivar. While there his health began to decline. He took passage for home, and arrived at New York, where he died.
Major Thomas Y. Seymour first married his cousin, Mary Ann Ledyard, daughter of Col. Ledyard. She died six months afterwards in her nineteenth year. He then married Miss Susan Bull, who long survived him, living to extreme
An incident of her early life is related indicative of her self-forgetful and heroic nature. When she was about sixteen, the small-pox broke out in the place of her residence. The people were greatly alarmed, and few were willing to take care of the sick. The infant child of Miss B.'s family physician was seized with the dreaded malady, and was carried to the pest-house with no nurse to attend it. She was inoculated with the virus of the loathsome disease, went to the infected house, took the infected child in her arms, and nursed it tenderly till it died. She was then herself stricken by the destroyer. For eight days ber face was so swollen that her eyes were closed. served the generous girl. Not only was her life spared, but her beautiful countenance left without a scar, save a single pit above one eye. Her lofty brow was as fair, and her clear blue eyes shone as brightly as before.
Mrs. Woodbridge was their second child and eldest daughter; born June 16, 1789, and named for her father's first wife. She inherited the vigorous intellect and magnanimous spirit of her family, infused and softened with the affectionate graces and more than ordinary elegance of the female mind. The love that guided and guarded her infancy on the part of the mother was watchful and stimulating ; on
But God pre
the part of the father tender and confiding, sometimes too indulgent. Her early years were passed in the atmosphere of social refinement, of noble sentiments, and generous deeds. Her father, an earnest revolutionary patriot, and a participant in revolutionary scenes, often narrated stirring incidents of those stirring times, which sunk deep into her young heart. She frequently played with her companions beneath the Charter Oak, looked up reverently into its ancient branches, and peered with childish awe into its hollow trunk, which had once done such proud service “ in freedom's holy cause.” She was early accustomed to the best society, associated with such families as those of “Judge Trumbull, the fine scholar and witty author of MacFingal ;' Mr. Daniel Wadsworth, the founder of the IIartford Atheneum, distinguished alike for the cultivation of his mind and the benevolence of his heart ; that eminent physician, Dr. Cogswell, the father of Alice, whose misfortunes under Providence proved the beginning of blessings to the deaf-mutes in this country; the Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet, whom it is necessary but to name, as every deaf-anddumb asylum in our land speaks his praise ; Mr. Thomas Day, a distinguished lawyer and man of letters; and the Rev. Dr. Nathan Strong, a great man, a great divine, a pillar in the church of God.” She thus caught that grace and ease of manner, together with that high tone of thought and elegance of conversation, which are alone acquired by refined and intellectual associations in early years, and which eminently characterized her intercourse through life. Accomplished and attractive in person, she was at one time in peril of being swept away by the tide of admiration and fashion. She was a graceful dancer, and fond of the seductive amusement. But God had designed her for a nobler sphere of action, and disciplined her for it. No magnanimous or heroic character is matured by sunshine alone ; clouds must water it as well ; smiles must be chastened by tears; and all the more effective if the sorrow is such that
HER EARLY TRIALS AND SACRIFICES.
it must be borne in solitude ; thus knitting the soul to a firmer texture, and fitting it for a braver life.
She was betrothed to a son of Judge Trumbull, a young gentleman of education, of refined feelings, of generous impulses, and cultivated manners. His morality was unimpeachable and, high-toned. His friends were anticipating for him a shining career. But God's thoughts were not as their thoughts. He was smitten with disease under which he slowly sank into the grave cre he reached his twentieth year; and Miss Seymour was left in the early spring-time of womanhood to mourn with hidden tears. Not long after, her father was visited by one of the severest of human afflictions, insanity. It came upon him gradually. Ile mismanaged his property. It took wings and flew away. Не continued many years in that mental condition, incapable of providing for his family. Thus at the inexperienced age of seventeen she found herself without a father's helping and directing hand, and nearly penniless. But her benevo. lent and energetic nature rose to ber circumstances. She not only gave sympathy and cheer to the family, but determined to engage at once in teaching, to contribute to their support. She first opened a school for painting and embroidery at Windham, Conn., where she continued a year. She then removed to Sharon, in the western part of the State, and opened a boarding-school for young ladies. She had but just reached her nineteenth year, but she found stanch friends. Rev. Mr. Perry, the pastor of the church ; Dr. Rockwell, the physician of the place; and Hon. John Cotton Smith, afterwards Governor of Connecticut, and for some years president of the A. B. C. F. M., were her firm supporters. Here she wrought successfully for six years; returning at the close of each term to Hartford, and carrying her pecuniary gains to gladden the afflicted family deprived of the intelligent guidance of its head. But while thus kind and self-sacrificing, she was a stranger to the renewing grace of the Iloly Ghost.
Miss Seymour was trained an Episcopalian. At the age of fifteen she was confirmed, but declined to partake of the sacramental supper under the conviction that her engrossing attention to worldly pleasure was inconsistent with the selfconsecrating act. Perhaps, too, in the depth of her heart there was a lurking feeling that the low type of religion, which then characterized the Episcopal church of Ilartford, was not just what she needed. We imagine that such a feeling revealed itself in a pleasant remark, which she then made to Mr. Gallaudet, with whom she was on terms of much familiarity, and which she never forgot. On her way to church, one Sabbath morning, she met him going in the opposite direction to Dr. Strong's church, of which he was a member. She cheerily said to him, “Why don't you go to our church, Mr. Gallaudet? It's a great deal the easiest way to go to heaven.” “0, I know it,” he answered, quickly, "but I prefer the hardest way." That unstudied reply may have been an arrow guided by the great Archer. It may have started trains of thought, which, in connection with other truths, led her ultimately to "prefer" herself “the hardest way."
IIowever this may be, after she had been some time at Sharon, she became deeply impressed with the importance of personal religion. She read the Bible and other religious books, devoted much time to reflection, attended meetings, tried to pray, and diligently strove, as she thought, to enter the kingdom of heaven, but found no peace. One Sabbath a plain man, a stranger, preached on the Sovereignty of Divine Grace. She saw the inefficacy of her own works, the worthlessness of her own righteousness. The divine plan of free justification rose to her view as never before. She cast herself upon it and experienced a new joy. She became at once an active and cheerful Christian. Her influence was felt in her school, and several of her pupils were led to rejoice with her in a new-found Saviour.
One or two events occurred about this time which deeply impressed her with the reality of a special providence.