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northern army. On his arrival there, Fort Stanwix on the Mohawk was besieged by a portion of Burgoyne's army, then in the full career of success. A division of the American army under General Arnold was ordered to the relief of the fort, and Brooks' command formed a part of the detachment. The route lay through a wilderness, for almost the whole distance of a hundred miles. The march was performed with great rapidity; the object was accomplished, the siege raised, and the savage auxiliaries of the British army dispersed.
This service having been performed, the detachment returned to the main army on the Hudson. Immediately afterwards, General Gates advanced and stationed himself on Bemis' heights. General Burgoyne crossed the Hudson, and took up a position within two miles of that of the American army, where he established and fortified his camp. On the ground between the two armies, on the 19th of September and 7th of October, two of the severest battles of the revolutionary war were fought. On the 19th, Lieutenant-Colonel BROOKS occupied the extreme left of the American line, and was engaged with the German troops. His regiment was the last to quit the field, where it remained till near eleven o'clock at night. In the still more important and severely contested action of the 7th of October, the regiment commanded by BROOKS was particularly conspicuous. He turned the right of the enemy's encampment, and stormed the redoubt occupied by the Germans. Their commander, Colonel Breyman, was killed, and the works were gallantly carried. Orders were given by Burgoyne to endeavor to retake them, but the attempt was not made; and Colonel Brooks and his regiment remained masters of the ground. In this important action, the influence of which on subsequent events was so decisive, it is believed that Colonel BROOKS bore a part as distinguished as that of any officer of his rank engaged. He occupies a prominent position in Colonel Trumbull's picture of the surrender of Burgoyne.
Immediately after this glorious event Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks was ordered with his regiment to Pennsylvania, to join the army under Washington. Soon after his arrival, the army took up its winter quarters at Valley Forge. Here Baron Steuben joined the army as inspector general, and introduced his new system of military maneuvres. Colonel Brooks was designated by Washington to assist the baron in bringing it into general use.
When the British army retreated from Philadelphia, in the spring of 1778, Washington left his encampment at Valley Forge and marched on its rear. At Monmouth the two armies came in conflict; and Colonel Brooks, as adjutant-general to General Lee, performed a very conspicuous part in the events of that important day.
After the troops had again taken post on the banks of the Hudson, Colonel BROOKS was employed under Baron Steuben as inspector of discipline, and rendered the most valuable services by introducing uniformity and order, under the new system, into the ranks of the army. In these various duties he acquired the confidence of Washington, and established an enviable reputation, alike for military science and the personal qualities of the brave officer. But the services which he rendered as a patriot citizen, at the time the army was disbanded, were in no degree inferior to those which he had performed in the bloodiest fields of the war.
On the appearance of the Newburgh letters, Washington summoned the officers of the army together, and affectionately exhorted them to withhold their countenance from the suggestions contained in those publications. After this address of the general, the officers raised a committee to express their views of the subject, in the form of resolutions. Of this committee Colonel BROOKS was an active member. The tone and purport of the resolutions reported by the committee, are well known to all who are acquainted with the history of the American war. It would not be easy to overstate their importance, in preventing the army from being excited at this crisis to rash and unpatriotic measures. We should do injustice to this part of the sub ject did we not relate an anecdote, preserved by the late Chief Justice Parker of Massachusetts, in an interesting biographical sketch of Governor BROOKS; nor can we do it so well, as in the words of the chief justice:-“On this occasion the commander-in-chief, to whom this was the most anxious moment in his life, rode up to BROOKS, with intent to ascertain how the officers stood affected. Finding him, as he expected, to be sound, he requested him to keep his officers in their quarters, to prevent them from attending the insurgent meeting. BROOKS replied, 'Sir, I have anticipated your wishes, and my orders are given. Washington, with tears in his eyes, took him by the hand and said, Colonel Brooks, this is just what I expected from you.
Colonel BROOKS, like most of his brethren in arms, retired in poverty from the service of his country. He immediately resumed the practice of his laborious profession, in Medford and the neighboring towns. The kindness of his heart and the gentleness of his manners procured him the love and confidence of all around him ; and increased, if possible, the extraordinary reliance which was placed in his professional skill.
The community, however, was not willing to release its claim on his public services. He was, immediately after the close of the war, appointed major-general of the third division of the Massachusetts militia. He was frequently chosen a representative to the general court of the commonwealth. He was a delegate to the convention of 1788, by which the constitution of the United States was adopted. To this happy frame of government he gave his hearty and intelligent support. He took part, on several occasions, in the debates of the convention. His remarks are characterized by good sense and discrimination; and in pointing out the difference between "a consolidation of the states” and “consolidation of the union," he evinced a forethought and sagacity indicative of the sound practical statesman. He was for several years a senator for the county of Middlesex, and a member of the executive council. On the visit of Washington to that part of the country, in 1789, General BROOKS had the satisfaction of passing his division of the Massachusetts militia in review before the beloved and revered commander-inchief. Their state of discipline attracted Washington's especial notice; and he said to General BROOKS, “if we had had such men as these when I was here before, we should have made short work of it.” When the army of 1798 was organized, Washington designated General BROOKS for the command of a brigade; but not thinking the dangers of the country to be such as required from him a second sacrifice of the comforts of domestic life, he declined the appointment.
During the administration of Governor Strong, he was appointed adjutant-general of the commonwealth of Massachusetts; and on his retirement from the chief magistracy, was called to the chair of state. This event took place shortly after the close of the war of 1812. Governor Brooks was happily calculated to coöperate in the work which then took place, of allaying party dissension. Before the close of his administration, which was renewed for six successive terms, from 1816 to 1822, the state was brought to a good degree of internal harmony; and mainly under the healing influence of his character.
He labored assiduously to discharge the duties of his office. His addresses to the legislature evince large and liberal views of the policy of the state, united with a spirit of moderation and impartiality. It was impossible to bring less of the partisan to the performance of official duty. But we cannot so effectually do justice to this part of his character, as by again borrowing the words of Chief Justice Parker :-"He maintained the dignity of the office, and thereby honored the people who bestowed it; receiving all distinguished strangers with becoming attention and courtesy. Though the style of his living was conformable to his limited means, yet the order and regularity of his household, the real comfort of his entertainments, the polite deportment of the host, struck strangers, even those accustomed to magnificence, as a happy specimen of republican simplicity, and of generous but economical hospitality. Bred in the best school of manners. a military association of highminded, accomplished officers—his deportment, though grave and dignified like Washington's, was nevertheless warm and affectionate. On all ceremonious occasions, ceremony seemed to become him better than any one else. In the chair of state, when receiving the gratulations of a happy people on the birth-day of their independence;-on the spacious common, paying honors to the president of the United States ;-on the military field, reviewing our national guard, the militia ;—at his own humble but honored mansion, taking to his breast his early friend, 'the nation's guest,' what young man of taste and feeling could be unmoved at his soldierly air, his graceful demeanor, covering, but not impairing the generous feelings of a warm and affectionate heart! If the writer does not mistake, he was one of the last and best samples of that old school of manners, which, though it has given way to the ease and convenience of modern times, will be regretted by some, as having carried away with it many of the finest and most delicate traits of social intercourse.”
After his voluntary retirement from the chair of state, Governor Brooks still continued to serve the community in various important capacities, and to manifest his sympathy in the public spirited objects which were presented for his approbation. He continued to his death president of the Massachusetts medical society; of the Cincinnati ; of the Washington monument society; and of the Bunker Hill monument association. He received from the university at Cambridge, at different periods, the honorary degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Laws, conferring on that ancient and venerable society, in thus becoming her adopted son, an honor not inferior to that which he himself derived from these academic distinctions.
Returned to the shades of private life, he devoted himself to the cultivation of his farm;-to a wide course of scientific, political,
and various reading; and to a free and unceremónious intercourse with the circle of friends and neighbors of which he was the ornament and boast. He reaped and enjoyed the harvest of a life of virtue, honor, and usefulness. He had retired from the public service with his faculties unimpaired, and his name untarnished by the breath of reproach. Respected, honored, and beloved, his life at every stage was passed with, perhaps, an unusual share of good fortune, yet not without trial.
He became in early life a widower, and remained so till his death. An only and beloved daughter died in a foreign land. A gallant son,- beautiful and accomplished, — the heir of the manly graces and heroic patriotism of his father, was slain in the ever memorable battle of lake Erie.
Governor BROOKS was a Christian in the best sense of the word;in heart, in principle, in action, penetrated with the influence of the gospel. He paid, throughout life, undeviating respect to the sacred offices of religion, and died consoled with its hopes, in the possession of his reason to the last.
On the 11th of February, 1825, he went abroad, perhaps for the last time, to attend the funeral of his revolutionary associate and successor in the chief magistracy of Massachusetts, the late Governor Eustis ; and died himself on the second of the next month, at the age of seventy-three ; leaving an only surviving child, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Scammel Brooks, of the army of the United States.