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YANKEE YARNS

Capt. Jones, of Stonington, CT., is responsible for the following:  

On his passage from New York one summer afternoon, he observed, a heavy cloud arise from the land and to his great surprise, approach the vessel.  Suddenly it broke near him and covered the dock with millions of mosquitoes, while part of the flock went through the mainsail, leaving nothing but bolt ropes hanging idly to the spars.

Corroborative evidence to this astonishing tale was found in the person of a "down-east skipper," who heard the story, and who, on comparing dates with the narrator declared that two days afterwards he was boarded by the same flock of mosquitoes, and they all wore canvas breeches.


From the N.E. Farmer's almanac --1858



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Devil's Hop Yard, at Chapman Falls, one mile outside of Millington, CT., where on stormy nights the `old hags' congregated and cast spells while mumbling incantations as they stirred potions in circular pot-holes in the rock. It was believed that `The Devil' would  sometime attend these gatherings, his presence lighting up the scene with a eerie glow.  His customary seat was at the very edge of the precipice, where with tail laid over his shoulder as a scepter, he would direct the exercises.

Such beliefs were part of  local folklore in regard to witchcraft, which endured, as it predated the witchcraft delusion in New England.



`The legends of Machimoodus'





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"Yankees"

The most popular version of how the derisive sobriquet `Yankee' was attached to all the Connecticut colonial gentry was placed firmly on the Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam.  The Dutch called the
Connecticut colonial settlers "Johnnies" or "Jankins".  The English letter `J' was hard for Germanic tongues, so consequently, "Jankin" evolved into "Yankee".

The Dutch did not distinguish between Englishmen of distinction turned farmers, scholars turned bartenders, men of the cloth, ruffians or diplomats, they were fixed for all time with the title of  "Yankee".  

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Oh Them Yankees!

Dried Apple Trees

In 1860, Simon was working in the orchard when an apple tree salesman came by and asked him if he wanted to buy some young apple trees.  Simon replied, "nope, I have enough trees."  The salesman remarked that there were three or four dead trees. "How about replacing them?"  Simon replied," nope, they're not dead."  The salesman said, "they must be dead ! They look like it."  Simon replied in a flat tone of voice,  "they're not dead.  They're what I grow my dried apples on."

New England Joke Lore by Arthur G. Crandall, copyright 1922.



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