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“Among those who fought us at Ichmul and Tabi were strange white men, ‘Dzulob.' They fought like very brave men and caused us many deaths. We had guns and powder from Belize but we had few balls and so we often had to use small stones; also we made balls of red earth, well mixed with honey and hard dried in the sun. These balls made bad wounds and hard to heal. The stranger white men fought close together and for that reason it was easy to kill them. But they were brave men and laughed at death and before they died they killed many of our men.”
Statement of Leandro Poot, giving Cresencio Poot's account of the battle with the stranger white men:
"I was then young and not in the councils of those who commanded in those days, but I well remember the tales told me of the strange white men. When the strange white men came up against our people we were perplexed and did not know what to do. Our quarrel was not with them and they spoke the language of Belize, and Belize was not against us, so we waited to see what was meant. Then some of our people who came over to us from the white man's side, told us that these big stranger white men were friends of the white man of T'HO (Merida) and had come to help him kill us. Then we fought them, but we had rather they had not come, for we only wanted to kill those that had lied to us and had done us great harm, to us and to our families, and even these we had rather send away across the water to where their fathers came from, and where they would cause us no more harm. It is finished. We fought them and we fought the white men from T'Ho and from Sacci (Valladolid) too, and we killed both the stranger white men and the white men from T'Ho and those from Sacci. It was easy to kill the stranger white men, for they were big and fought in line, as if they were marching, while the white men from T’Ho and Sacci fought as we do, lying down and from behind the trees and rocks.
“But these white men were very brave. Their captain was very brave. My brother said he was the bravest man he ever saw. So brave was he that my brother said he very foolishly spared his life once when he could easily
have shot him. My brother admired a brave man, but he said that he was foolish that he did not shoot the captain when he had the chance, for it is a man's duty to kill his enemy. But all the people said that the stranger white men were the bravest men they ever saw. They laughed at death and went toward it with joy, as a young man runs to a handsome woman. When first we met the stranger, white men, they had built up, right in our path, a strong fence of thick tree trunks and behind that were the stranger white men and in the woods on each side were the white men from T'Ho and Sacci. Some of the stranger white men were clothed in uniform, the kind they always wore, while others were naked to the waist, with a red cloth tied around their heads and their swords buckled about their waists. Their big bodies were pink and red in the sunlight and from their throats came their strange war cry, Hu-Ha! Hu-Ha! (evidently a Hurrah). They were brave men and shot keenly. Some of them were such good shooters that no man could hope to escape when once they pointed at him; no, whether he ran or walked or crawled, it made no difference unless he could hide behind a tree before the shot was fired, and even then some of those who reached the tree were dead as they fell behind it, for the balls had found them, even as they ran behind it.
“So for a time we greatly feared these strange white men and only sought to keep out of their reach. Had they stayed behind their defences and only used their guns as they could use them, no one knows what might have happened, for our people were so scared of the big, pink-skinned men with their terrible cries and their death shots, that they could not be made to stand up against them. But the stranger white men were too brave, for they threw their lives away, and when they found that we did not come up to them, they jumped over the wall that they had made and came to seek us. We hid behind the trees and rocks, wherever we could, that they might not see us, and so, one by one, we killed them. They killed many of us but we were many times their numbers and so they died. Brave men, very brave. Some died laughing and some with strange words in their own tongue, but none died cowardly. I do not think any escaped. I think they lay where they died, for in those days we had no time to eat or to sleep or to bury the dead."
This can but serve as a simple brief made record of an interesting event gone by. The true record, replete in date and detail, must come later when time and circumstance permit the labor and fulfilment of the perfected work.
BY JOHN GREEN.
In the early autumn of 1848, a serious young man, mature beyond his years, was inducted as assistant teacher in the classical department of the Worcester Classical and English High School, of which Nelson Wheeler was master and William E. Starr was assistant master. His engagement in Worcester was the outcome of a close friendship formed at Yale College with his classmate, Dwight Foster, afterwards Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts and a Councillor of this Society. For a sketch of his earlier life, and for the principal facts and dates in his subsequent career, the writer is indebted to the authors of the excellent Memorial printed in the proceedings of the meeting of lawyers at St. Louis, Missouri, held March 22, 1902.*
“Henry Hitchcock was a great grandson of Ethan Allen, of Revolutionary fame. His paternal grandfather, Samuel Hitchcock, born in Massachusetts, was a member of the Vermont Convention which ratified the Federal Constitution, was Attorney-General of that State and later a United States District Judge and Circuit Judge. His father, Henry Hitchcock, born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1791, removed to Alabama, where, between 1819 and 1839, he was successively Attorney-General, United States District Attorney, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. Judge Hitchcock married Anne Erwin, of Bedford County, Tennessee. Of that marriage Henry Hitchcock, the subject of this memorial, was born at Spring Hill,
*Through the courtesy of George Collier Hitchcock, Esq., a copy of the proceedings of this meeting, containing an excellent reproduction of a late photograph of Mr. Hitchcock, is presented for preservation in the Library of the Society.
near Mobile, Alabama. His father died in 1839, at Mobile. His mother went with her son to live at Nashville, Tenn. At the age of seventeen, he was graduated from the University of Nashville, and entered Yale College. He was graduated from Yale at nineteen, with honors. His Alma Mater [in 1874] conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws."
For a year he helped to mould the character and develop the rudimentary scholarship of the pupils assigned to his classes in the Worcester High School-made up mainly of those taking courses preparatory for college, including several now officers and members of the American Antiquarian Society. His thoroughness as a teacher, his conscientiousness in the performance of duty, his high ideals, inculcated by word, impressed by example, are remembered by his old pupils. Exceptionally accurate as a student, he felt keenly the discovery of any lapse or shortcoming in the line of his work; but his ingrained honesty excluded conceit, and his acceptance of a new fact or a new conception was unreserved. Not many years ago, in a conversation with the writer, he recalled his first interview with a distinguished member of the Worcester School Committee, the Rev. Seth Sweetser, to whom had been entrusted the congenial task of testing his attainments in mathematics. Dr. Sweetser put the question :—“What do you understand by a minus quantity ?" The examiner's definition of a minus quantity as "something to be substracted"* commended itself to the quick intelligence of the candidate, and was never forgotten. A too implicit trust in the universality of a rule in prosody once betrayed him into the commission of the scholastic sin of a false quantity, in
*The writer is reminded by a Councillor of this Society that in algebra the signs of addition and subtraction stand for something done, rather than for something to be done. In the text books in general use sixty years ago, the formulation of rules to be committed to memory counted for much more than the enunciation of principles. The writer is indebted to another honored Councillor for the story of the illuminating discovery made, in after years, by an old-time alumnus of the Boston Latin School, that the Latin language was not founded on a code of rules such as he had
painfully memorized from the pages of the Latin Grammar of Andrews and Stoddard.