The time was the 19th of May, 1780. The place was Hartford, Connecticut.
The day has gone down in New England history as a terrible foretaste of
Judgement Day. For at noon the skies turned from blue to grey and by
mid-afternoon had blackened over so densely that, in that religious age,
men fell on their knees and begged a final blessing before the end came.
The Connecticut House of Representatives was in session. And, as some of
the men fell down and others clamored for an immediate adjournment, the
Speaker of the House, one Col. Davenport, came to his feet. He silenced
them and said these words: "The day of judgment is either approaching or
it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I
choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be
-- Alistair Cooke