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The Duston Family

Nathaniel Hawthorne (From The American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge. August, 1836, p. 508).

Edward Drinker

This person was born in 1680, on the spot where Philadelphia now stands: and died in 1782. Few men have seen greater changes in their travels far and wide, than Edward Drinker, during the century which he spent on his native soil. 'He saw the same spot of earth,' observes one who knew him, 'covered with woods and bushes, the haunt of wild beasts and birds of prey, afterwards become the seat of a great city, not only the first in wealth and arts in America, but equalled by few in Europe. He saw great and regular streets, where he had often pursued hares and wild rabbits. He saw fine churches rise upon morasses, where he used to hear nothing but the croaking of frogs; great wharves and warehouses, where he had so often seen the Indian savages draw fish from the river; and that river afterwards full of great ships from all parts of the world, which, in his youth, had nothing bigger than an Indian canoe. And on the spot where he had gathered berries, he saw the City Hall erected, and that hall filled with legislators, astonishing the world with their wisdom and virtue!' When the hoary patriarch had seen all this, he must have felt as if he had more than one century on his shoulders; or perhaps these changes appeared dreamy and unsubstantial, like the scenery of a theatre, which shifts many times in an hour or two. 77

The American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge. May 1836, pp. 395-97.

77. Here seems to be a Source and a forestudy for the idea underlying the sketch
"Main Street" ( 1849) .

Edward Drinker (1680-1782) went from Philadelphia, his birthplace, to Boston to live at the age of twelve and in 1745 returned to Philadelphia to remain the rest of his life. .'He was four times married, and had 18 children, all by his first wife, and before his death he had a grandchild born to one of his grandchildren, being the fifth in succession from himself. He retained all his facuities to the last. ...His memory continued so perfect that he could relate the minutest events in his Youth, and never repeated them twice to the same company. He had the unusual happiness of seeing a place of desolation, the lurking Spot of wild beasts and birds of prey, converted to a handsome, populous, and flourishing city, and after living under seven sovereigns, and beholding the great Penn establish his treaty with the Indians, and the congress sign their alliance with France, he hailed the day which made America a free independent republic" (I. L. Blake, A General Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1839, second ed., p. 290).




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