Excerpt from The Autobiography of Col. Jonathan Burnham of Salisbury, Massachusetts
He does not seem to have been a leading figure in town affairs, save in military matters, in which he was always very active and continued to sustain the reputation he had gained as a good soldier in two wars - a man of courage and ability. The historian of Hampton Falls records the circumstances of the last public appearance of Colonel Burnham. It was at a Fourth of July celebration held on Powwow hill. Dressed in full Continental uniform, his long white hair streaming be hind him as he approached on horseback, the colonel is said to have presented a splendid and impressive figure. On reaching the top of the hill he was greeted with an ovation befitting his rank and long and distinguished military service. A toast in his honor was proposed. The reply was characteristic of the man. Our Country must live and fill her destiny. Our distinguished soldier and friend George Washington said so, and I, Colonel Burnham, with the blue heaven above me and the broad ocean before me, call upon all true sons of America, upon this broadsword, which did service at Bunker Hill, to swear it shall be so. This rousing sentiment, uttered by the Colonel as he sat upright upon his horse, swaying his sword about him as if he would repel the enemy, was greeted with loud applause, and a national salute was fired, and while the punch was stirred, the hearts of the assembled patriots were stirred as well.
The doughty Colonel's narrative, which follows, is repro duced in facsimile from a Copy which formerly was the prop erty of Eugene Noyes of Amesbury, and now is in the pos session oi his son, Edward Noyes, through whose courtesy it is here presented. The only other known example is pre served in the Force collection at the Congressional Library in Washington. This somewhat vain-glorious account of per sonal achievement preserves some record of two events of much interest in Salem and vicinity - the rescue of seventy shipwrecked men and women from the Isle of Sable, by Cap tain Selman, who sailed for King Hooper of Marblehead, some contemporaneous account of which may be found in the January 26 and February 9, 1761 issues of the Boston Ga zette, and secondly, a short account of the Ipswich Fright.
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