The Blind Men and the Elephant

Just a fun little sketch from 2011 by Wendy Harty called The Elephant. I found a poem called The Blind Men and the Elephant about the six blind men that went to see the Elephant by John Godfrey Saxe. The first approached the elephant from the side and said “What a wall!” The second the tusk and said, “Round and smooth and sharp – a spear!” The third approached and felt the squirming trunk and said, “Its like a snake!” The fourth found the elephant’s knee and said, “Its very like a tree!” The fifth chanced to touch the ear and said, “it’s very like a fan!” The sixth seized the swinging tail and said, “A rope!”. The moral of the story though disputed long and loud, each in his own opinion was very strong, though each was partly right, and all were in the wrong! I love the lesson here.

Philipsburg was NE of Lake Champlain on the banks of Missiisquoi Bay. It was one of the first settlements in the Eastern Township of Quebec. It was home of the 1837 Lower Canadian Rebellion , where the battle of Moore’s Corner happened. The result was the Province of Canada made up of Lower and Upper Canada. During the American Revolution travelers used Champlain waterway to establish these settlements. In the 1860’s slave refugees found haven there with the Underground Railroad.

If you are following along with the previous blog called That’s a Bad Thing, Right? Abraham Gibbs married Annie Saxe on November 25, 1833. Annie was the daughter of George Sax and Rachel LeRoy. George’s father was John Christian Saxe 1732-1808 born in Germany; son of Godfrey Sax. John Christian was born in 1732 at Langensaltza, in the Kingdom of Hanover. It is enclosed in walls, defended by a castle. John was the youngest of a large family of children. His father was a man of influence and the owner of eight acres of land. John remembered his father as a stern man of great strength and courage. John was ten years of age when his father died. He left school at the age of 13 and when he was 18 went to Amsterdam to seek his fortune. A friend suggested going to the colonies. He set sail in 1750 with passage on credit and landed in Philadelphia. He immediately took his allegiance to the King and found work as a miller’s assistant. It took three years to pay his debt and in he learned the trade, learned to read and write English and at the age of 21 was a miller at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania 19 miles from Philidelphia. He moved to the Rhinebeck area of New York where he met his wife, Catherine Weaver described as a beautiful woman, fair complexion, black eyes and dark curling hair. Here they lived for nineteen years and had eight sons. Over the next decade John became dismayed that many of his neighbors were no longer loyal to the King. John Saxe is credited with the retort I have taken an oath to the King and the King has done me no wrong. However, loyalty to the King brought an arrest, and time in jail at Esopus, New York. He escaped from jail with the destination of Missiisquoi Bay in 1783. His youngest and only daughter, Hannah, was born here.

John Saxe started over again at Highgate, Vermont building a new house, a mill, and a general store at Rock Port which was known as Saxe Mills. The first settlers were Dutch, principally refugees who supposed they had settled in Canada, until after the establishment of the boundry line. He learned French and was a highly respected person for his wisdom and knowledge. He cleared a large farm and made this home until his death. When Hannah was only four Catherine died January 10, 1781. He never remarried. The following years were times of testing with the harsh unfriendly influences of pioneer life, harrassed by Indians and wild beasts. John was a member of the Lutheran Church and a careful reader of scriptures. He had a German Bible, from which his youngest children were accustomed to read to him in his old age. He gave his children the best education circumstances permitted and endeavored to imbue them with a noble ambition. John died at Highgate at the age of seventy-six years. He and his wife are buried in the town cemetery of Philipsburg, Canada.

John, the oldest son, died 1793 at age 21. George was a hunter and drover. William was a surveyor. Matthew was a wheelwright, later a merchant and Town Clerk. Godfrey died at age 28. Peter remained on the homestead, a farmer, merchant and man of business. He represented the town in the Legislature. Jacob was a merchant, Conrad a farmer.

John Godfrey Saxe, Poet of Vermont, was the son of Judge Peter Saxe and Grandson of my John Saxe 5th great grandfather, George Saxe and Rachel LeRoy, 4th great grandparents were the parents of my Annie Saxe who married Abraham Gibbs my 3rd great grandparents.

Wendy (John Waddell, Olive Gibbs, George Arthur Gibbs, Hiram Garner Gibbs, George and Annie Sax, John and Catherine Saxe).

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