Kellscraft Studio Logo Nekrassoff Pitcher
Kellscraft Studio
Home Page
Wallpaper Images
for your Computer
Web Text-ures©
Free Books on-line

Eighth Edition

By Charles M. Skinner

Vol. I

Philadelphia & London
J. B. Lippincott Company

Copyright, 1896,

J. B. Lippincott Company.

Printed by J. B. Lippincott Company,
Philadelphia, U.S.A.



It is unthinkingly said and often, that America is not old enough to have developed a legendary era, for such an era grows backward as a nation grows forward. No little of the charm of European travel is ascribed to the glamour that history and fable have flung around old churches, castles, and the favored haunts of tourists, and the Rhine and Hudson are frequently compared, to the prejudice of the latter, not because its scenery lacks in loveliness or grandeur, but that its beauty has not been humanized by love of chivalry or faerie, as that of the older stream has been. Yet the record of our country's progress is of deep import, and as time goes on the figures seen against the morning twilight of our history will rise to more commanding stature, and the mists of legend will invest them with a softness or glory that shall make reverence for them spontaneous and deep. Washington hurling the stone across the Potomac may live as the Siegfried of some Western saga, and Franklin invoking the lightnings may be the Loki of our mythology. The bibliography of American legends is slight, and these tales have been gathered from sources the most diverse: records, histories, newspapers, magazines, oral narrative—in every case reconstructed. The pursuit of them has been so long that a claim may be set forth for some measure of completeness.

But, whatever the episodes of our four historic centuries may furnish to the poet, painter, dramatist, or legend-building idealist of the future, it is certain that we are not devoid of myth and folk-lore. Some characters, prosaic enough, perhaps, in daily life, have impinged so lightly on society before and after perpetrating their one or two great deeds, that they have already become shadowy and their achievements have acquired a color of the supernatural. It is where myth and history combine that legend is most interesting and appeals to our fancy or our sympathy most strongly; and it is not too early for us to begin the collation of those quaint happenings and those spoken reports that gain in picturesqueness with each transmission. An attempt has been made in this instance to assemble only legends, for, doubtful as some historians profess to find them, certain occurrences, like the story of Captain Smith and Pocahontas, and the ride of General Putnam down Breakneck Stairs, are taught as history; while as to folk-lore, that of the Indian tribes and of the Southern negro is too copious to be recounted in this work. It will be noted that traditions do not thrive in brick and brownstone, and that the stories once rife in the colonial cities have almost as effectually disappeared as the architectural landmarks of last century. The field entered by the writer is not untrodden. Hawthorne and Irving have made paths across it, and it is hoped that others may deem its farther exploration worthy of their efforts.

Sleepy Hollow Bridge

Contents of Volume I

Rip Van Winkle
Catskill Gnomes
The Catskill Witch
The Revenge of Shandaken
Condemned to the Noose
Big Indian
The Baker's Dozen
The Devil's Dance-Chamber
The Culprit Fay
Anthony's Nose
Moodua Creek
A Trapper's Ghastly Vengeance
The Vanderdecken of Tappan Zee
The Galloping Hessian
Storm Ship of the Hudson
Why Spuyten Duyvil is so Named
The Ramapo Salamander
Chief Croton
The Retreat from Mahopac
The Deformed of Zoar
Kayuta and Waneta
The Drop Star
The Prophet Of Palmyra
A Villain's Cremation
The Monster Mosquito
The Green Picture
The Nuns of Carthage
The Skull in the Wall
The Haunted Mill
Old Indian Face
The Division of the Saranacs
An Event in Indian Park
The Indian Plume
Birth of the Water-Lily
Rogers's Slide
The Falls at Cohoes
Francis Woolcott's Night-Riders
Polly's Lover
Crosby, the Patriot Spy
The Lost Grave of Paine
The Rising of Gouverneur Morris

Dolph Heyliger
The Knell at the Wedding
Roistering Dirck Van Dara
The Party from Gibbet Island
Miss Britton's Poker
The Devil's Stepping-Stones
The Spring of Blood and Water
The Crumbling Silver
The Cortelyou Elopement
Van Wempel's Goose
The Weary Watcher
The Rival Fiddlers
Mark of the Spirit Hand
The First Liberal Church

The Phantom Dragoon
Delaware Water Gap
The Phantom Drummer
The Missing Soldier of Valley Forge
The Last Shot at Germantown
A Blow In the Dark
The Tory's Conversion
Lord Percy's Dream
Saved by the Bible
Parricide of the Wissahickon
The Blacksmith at Brandywine
Father and Son
The Envy of Manitou
The Last Revel in Printz Hall
The Two Rings
Flame Scalps of the Chartiers
The Consecration of Washington

The Snoring of Swunksus
The Lewiston Hermit
The Dead Ship of Harpswell
The Schoolmaster had not reached Orrington
Jack Welch's Death Light
Mogg Megone
The Lady Ursula
Father Moody's Black Veil
The Home of Thunder
The Partridge Witch
The Marriage of Mount Katahdin
The Moose of Mount Kineo
The Owl Tree
A Chestnut Log
The Watcher on White Island
Passaconaway's Ride to Heaven
The Ball Game by the Saco
The White Mountains
The Vision on Mount Adams
The Great Carbuncle
Skinner's Cave
Yet they call it Lover's Leap
Salem and other Witchcraft
The Gloucester Leaguers
Satan and His Burial-Place
Peter Rugg, the Missing Man
The Loss of Weetamoo
The Fatal Forget-me-not
The Old Mill at Somerville
Edward Randolph's Portrait
Lady Eleanore's Mantle
Howe's Masquerade
Old Esther Dudley
The Loss of Jacob Hurd
The Hobomak
Berkshire Tories
The Revenge of Josiah Breeze
The May-Pole of Merrymount
The Devil and Tom Walker
The Gray Champion
The Forest Smithy
Wahconah Falls
Knocking at the Tomb
The White Deer of Onota
Wizard's Glen
Balanced Rock
The Salem Alchemist
Eliza Wharton
Sale of the Southwicks
The Courtship of Myles Standish
Mother Crewe
Aunt Rachel's Curse
Nix's Mate
The Wild Man of Cape Cod
Newbury's Old Elm
Samuel Sewall's Prophecy
The Shrieking Woman
Agnes Surriage
Skipper Ireson's Ride
Heartbreak Hill


Volume I

Sleepy Hollow Bridge
Chew House, Germantown
Surf, Massachusetts Bay
Near Site of Fountain Inn, Marblehead, Massachusetts