Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 662

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shores; and is described as “ an extremely hard
variety of scienitic granite, of a dark gray color.
The mica is in very small quantity, in fine black
particles; and the rock, by its rounded edges,
bears evidence of its solid character, as well as of
the attempts to break specimens from it; which,
fortunately, its extreme hardness renders seldom

De Tocqueville, in his work on America, makes
the following beautiful comment upon Plymouth
Rock: “This rock,'' he says, “has become an
object of veneration in the United States. I
have seen bits of it carefully preserved in several
towns of the Union. Does not this sufficiently
show that all human power and greatness is in
the soul of man ? Here is a stone, which the
feet of a few outcasts pressed for an instant; and
the stone becomes famous; it is treasured by
a great nation ; its very dust is shared as a relic.
And what has become of the gateways of a
thousand palaces ? Who cares for them
t ''

Should the stranger inquire how it is known
with certainty that this is the very rock which
first received the feet of the Pilgrims, it may be
well to state, that, besides the general and undis-
puted tradition to that effect, among a people
from the first intelligent and well informed, and
in addition to the natural probability of the fact,
from the size and situation of this solitary bowl-
der lying at the water's edge, the following cir-
cumstances, in themselves full of interest, have
placed this matter beyond a doubt. Elder
Thomas Faunce, the last ruling elder in the first
church of Plymouth, who was born at Plymouth
in 1646, was of course well acquainted with a
considerable number of those who arrived in the
Mayflower, some of whom were still alive un-
til he was of the age of 20 or 25 years. He
lived to the year 1745, and died in his 99th year.
In the year 1741, Elder Faunce, learning that
preparations were making for the erection of a
wharf near or over the rock, and feeling an
anxiety in regard to its exposure, in the march
of improvement, to be injured or displaced,
though at the advanced age of 95 years, and in
declining health, left his residence, about 3 miles
distant, and, in the presence of many citizens,
pointed out the rock as that on which the Pil-
grims landed, and then himself took a final leave
of this cherished memorial of the fathers. These
circumstances have been related by several aged
persons, who were present on the occasion, to
those of the present generation ; particularly by
the late honorable Ephraim Spooner, deacon of
the first church of Plymouth 41 years, and 52
years town clerk, who died in 1818, and who, as
was happily said by President Holley, in his ad-
dress at the commemoration of the landing in
1817, “knew and conversed with Elder Faunce,
who personally knew the first settlers; — so Poly-
carp conversed with St. John, the beloved disci-
ple of our Savior.''

Allusion has been made to the fact that a por-
tion of Forefathers' Rock has been removed and
placed in front of Pilgrim Hall. This came
about in the following manner: In the year
1774, when the spirit of national independence
was coming to its crisis in the controversy with
the parent country, some zealous whigs, seeking
to avail themselves in this great cause of the pa-
triotic associations connected with Plymouth
Rock, undertook to procure its removal to the
town square, where a liberty pole was to be
erected over it, and it was to be made the talis-
man of resistance to civil oppression. In the
attempt to raise it from its bed, however, the
rock was split asunder; which by some was in-
terpreted as a favorable omen, indicating a final
separation between the colonies and the mother
country. After some hesitation, the conclusion
was, to leave the lower part of the rock in its
place, and to remove the other, which was accord-
ingly carried to the town square, and honored as
before mentioned. Here it remained until 1834;
when, on the anniversary of American Independ-
ence, it was again removed to the area in front
of Pilgrim Hall, and enclosed in an elliptical
iron railing prepared for its reception; into the
festoons of which are cast the 41 immortal names
who subscribed the first civil compact, on board
the Mayflower, November 11, 1620.

Pleasing and appropriate, however, as is this
honored enshrinement of the fragment of the rock
which has been removed, it is matter of much
greater felicitation to the sons of the Pilgrims,
that the great body of it remains, to mark the
spot where they first descended upon the shores
of the new world, and took possession of its wide
domain, as an asylum for liberty and truth. To
one standing upon this sacred spot, how full of
force and beauty is the graphic language of
Daniel Webster, in his centennial address of 1820!

“Beneath us is the rock on which New Eng-
land received the feet of the Pilgrims. We seem
even to behold them, as they struggle with the
elements, and with toilsome efforts gain the
shore. We listen to the chiefs in council; we
see the unexampled exhibition of female fortitude
and resignation; we hear the whisperings of
youthful impatience; and we see, what a painter
of our own has also represented by his pencil,
chilled and shivering childhood, houseless but for
a mother's arms, couchless but for a mother's
breast, till our own biood almost freezes. The
mild dignity of
Carver and of Bradford ;
the decisive and soldier-like air of
Standish ;
the devout
Brewster; the enterprising Al-
; the general firmness and thoughtful-
ness of the whole band ; their conscious joy for
dangers escaped; their deep solicitude about
dangers to come; their trust in Heaven; their
high religious faith, full of confidence and antici-
pation, — all these seem to belong to this place,
and to be present upon this occasion, to fill us
with reverence and admiration.''

From the Rock the visitor will naturally turn to
Pilgrim Hall. This handsome edifice, erected
by the Pilgrim Society, which was formed in
1820, to commemorate the landing, and to honor
the memory, of the Pilgrims, is situated on the
E. side of Court Street, a short distance N. of
Court Square. The corner stone of this monu-
mental edifice was laid, ■with religious solemnities,
September 1, 1824. It is constructed of granite,
in a plain and substantial style of architecture, 70
feet in length by 40 feet in width, having a pedi-
ment in front, supported by six Doric columns.
In the body of the building is a spacious hall,
appropriated to the reception of interesting relics
and memorials of the Pilgrims, and to the meet-
ings of the Pilgrim Society. In the basement is
a dining-room, intended for their accommodation
whenever a great commemoration of the landing
is held at Plymouth.

The objects of interest in Pilgrim Hall are too
many to be here particularly described. The

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