11 December 2013

Tragic End - A Ghost Story

I found the ghost story in the pretty quaint hamlet of Stratford, Connecticut, last summer, when visiting a kinswoman of my own, whose home is in a dignified colonial house built about one hundred and fifty years ago to replace an older family mansion close by. It was built by the first president of Columbia college— then known as King's college.

The heroine of my story was the beautiful Sally Johnson, the acknowledged belle and beauty of the period in that part of the country, and her position and loveliness attracted the admiration of a young British officer.  [Note:  Was Sally the daughter of William Samuel Johnson?]

Her father was a stanch patriot, and was deeply grieved at the discovery of a sincere attachment between the young people. The English family were equally indignant at a possible union with a " rebel family"... .

Filial obedience was as stringent in those days as military laws, and the unfortunate lover saw no alternative before him but death, and ended his life with a bullet at the feet of his betrothed.

The...disconsolate maiden was only allowed to remain under her father's roof upon one condition, that her sorrow should never again be referred to. Gradually she fell into a decline, and soon followed the spirit of her departed lover. These sighs and the rustle of her trailing gown are still heard in. the present generation.

From "The magazine of American history with notes and queries"

If Sally was the daughter of Wm. S. Johnson, perhaps the identity of the British officer could be found among his (her father's) papers.

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