Reuben Alexander Slaven Wade was, as one would assume, a descendant of John and Elizabeth (Stuart) Slaven, through their son Stewart and his wife Isabella (Johnson) Slaven. Reuben's parents were William M.C. and Nancy Wade; William was a son of John and Matilda (Slaven) Wade, Matilda being a daughter of Stewart and Isabella. According to census records, Reuben was born in Highland County, Virginia, in 1847. His family moved to Cooper County, Missouri, by 1860 and to Pettis County, Missouri by 1870, where he helped his father farm. Ten years later he was still in Pettis County, working as a telegraph operator, and by 1900 he'd married, moved to Orange County, Califormia, and was a real estate agent-- and part-time poet.

The following poem appears in his privately published collection of poems, California Songs. The book is now in the public domain and can be read or downloaded in .pdf format at the Internet Archive.


Old John of Tyrone, dear old John of Tyrone,
Come out of the silence, come unto your own,
    And tell us the tales in our keeping;
The stories they told you when you were a chap
And all cuddled down in your fair mother's lap,
    Told often in sighing and weeping.

Oh, where were your grandfathers, John of Tyrone,
When William of Orange came unto his own
    Amid much confusion and bustle?
Stood they with our William when over he came
To win him a crown and establish his name,
    And give bonnie Jamie the hustle?

When England's false friends were debasing the coin,
When England's true monarch was winning the Boyne,
    Where were they? Out houghing the cattle?
Were they with our William when Boyne was at flood
And William for England shed Protestant bloody
    Or with Bonnie Jamie in battle?

And when the Stuart star in adversity set
When exile and penury were to be met,
    Was that the sad day of their weeping?
Or rode they in triumph as William passed by
With England's proud banner unfurled to the sky,
    Where William's grave cohorts were sweeping;

And when those brave soldiers for country and God,
Shut up within walls of old Erin's green sod,
    Fought nobly in old Londonderry,
Did they stand for William, your worthy old sires,
Did they warn their comrades with bright beacon fires
    That blazed from old Ulster to Kerry?

Were they with the heroes that won in the fight,
Or were they cut down ere the end was in sight
    By slaughter, disease, or starvation?
Perhaps they returned to their families to tell
The tale of the siege and their comrades that fell,
    A story of war's desolation.

When gallant Prince Rupert rode into the fray,
When Cavalier troopers were gaining the day,
    Was that your old ancestors' inning?
Rode they with the Prince as he fought for the crown?
Rode they with the Prince when his foemen went down?
    And triumphed they when he was winning?

And where were your ancestors, speak out and say,
When Cromwell's grim troopers dismounted to pray,
    And went from their knees to their fighting?
Did they for the king and the monarchy fight?
Or did they with Oliver cleave with their might,
    The foes of their Commonwealth smiting?

And when the Armada was swept on your shores,
And broken and pillaged and robbed of its stores,
    As wildly the tempests were brewing,
Did they smite the jewel-decked grandees of Spain,
And harry and torture and murder for gain?
    Was that the red work of their doing?

Or were they at home by their fanes and their fires,
Instructing their families, your good Celtic sires,
    In doctrines of faith and election,
While baser men down by the tempest-wracked main
Were hiring and looting the galleys of Spain
    That fled to the Celt for protection?

And tell us. old man, when the heretic creed
Swept in by the breeze that blew over the Tweed
    And paralyzed Erin with terror.
Came they with the fagot, the sword, and the spear
To slice away heretic finger or ear
    And save Papal Erin from error?

Or were they consumed by a Calvinist zeal
And were they impelled to use Protestant steel
    To forward the work of the Spirit?
Perhaps they believed that all things were foreknown;
The Word was ordained for the chosen alone,
    And no non-elect need to hear it.

Come out of the silence, old John of Tyrone,
Come out where your children arc waiting alone
    To hear you tell over your story;
The story you heard in the vanishing years
Of torture and death, and of sorrow and tears,
    Of deeds that were tragic and gory.

from California Songs by Reuben Alexander Slaven Wade
Broadway Publishing Company, New York and Baltimore, c. 1910.