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PART II, CHAPTER 5.
|"JOSHUA BABB,||ELIJAH DUGLAS,|
|NATHANIEL PINKHAM,||PATIENCE ESTES,|
|ROGER TOOTHAKER,||LEMUEL JONES,|
|GIDEON TOOTHAKER,||JOHN BARKER,|
|THANKFUL JONES,||JOHN BARKER, JR.,|
|SARAH PINKHAM,||ELIZABETH DUGLAS,|
|ELEANOR HATS,||WAIT JONES,|
|MARY HAIS,||SARAH ESTES,|
|BETY WEBER,||ELENOR ESTES,|
|ABAGAIL RODEX,||MARCY JONES,|
|CATHRINE PINKHAM,||RACHEL JONES,|
The other wedding to which reference was made is remarkable only for the coincidence of the relationship. On September 28, 1825, in the Friends' Meeting-House, in Durham, Elijah and Reuben Cole, of China, twin brothers, were married to Elizabeth and Mary Jones, daughters of Edward Jones, of Brunswick, and twin sisters.
In the last century all, both men and women, except the few more wealthy ones, wore home-made garments. The men wore cloth of a light blue color, not fulled. Some few of the older men wore knee-breeches. Shoe-buckles were generally worn, and many of the men and even boys wore their hair long and done up in a queue behind. Mr. Dean Swift, when a boy of ten, had a queue six or eight inches long. James Curtis writes in his journal that in 1780 "not one man in ten had a pair of boots. Parson Miller attended meeting at the east meeting-house with a good pair of blue buskins hauled up over his breeches knees."
The dress of the ladies was as changeable, if not as complicated, as at the present day. The skirt of a lady's dress was composed of but two breadths, one in front, and one behind, with a small gore on each
Mr. Curtis also wrote in the journal referred to that "in those days, women would collect in groups for the purpose of braiding wool, it being a hard, laborious work. When at length a carding-mill or machine was heard of, it was hailed with an enthusiastic welcome, and must have been as great a relief to the women as when, at an earlier date, water-power was applied to grain-mills, before which time it would take two women to grind or turn a corn-mill. Cotton was about three shillings per pound, and such was the labor of carding, spinning, weaving, etc., that cotton and linen cloth was worth fifty cents a yard, and a man must work half a month in the best of the season on a pair of shirts made of this coarse cloth." About 1780 "the nearest fulling-mill was in North Yarmouth, and the cloth was ordinary, as no one knew or thought that the quality of wool could be improved.
"Houses were built for convenience and not for show, and ceilings were just high enough to clear a tall man's hat. Chimneys were generally topped out above the ridge-pole. Fireplaces were from seven to nine feet between the jambs, and more than a proportionable depth, which would receive a log which it took two men to handle. Every family was provided, however, with a good strong hand-sled, on which to remove the logs to the fireside, which was done with convenience,
as the sills of houses were laid close to the surface of the earth. In 1780 not one house in ten in Brunswick had a crane in the chimney, being supplied with long trammels and what was called a lug-pole, a stick across the chimney about four feet up, and there were more than six wooden mantel-trees to an iron one.
"In 1780 there were not more than two or three painted houses in Brunswick.
"Bears were frequently seen. The hideous cry of the wolf was commonly heard from our forests, and their ravages were not infrequent. Every family kept a large dog, some two, but commonly a large and a small one, which did not fail to annoy every traveller that passed with their yelping. This practice of keeping dogs was proba-bly the result of the great utility of that animal in the French and Indian war.
"Every sorry old woman was deputed a witch, and spirits were frequently seen, and much feared, children having been brought up to hear such stories as an evening amusement, terrifying as they were, which had a lasting and pernicious effect." A great many superstitious beliefs were rife at this time, among which was one that toothache could be cured by cutting off one's finger and toe nails, and a lock of one's hair, and placing them in a hole bored in a tree with an auger. About the year 1850 a tree was cut on Oak Hill in Topsham, and was sawed at one of the mills. Near the centre of the log was found a lock of hair, and as Artemus Ward would have said, "a large and well-selected assortment" of the corneous extremities of the fingers and toes, doubtless placed there many years previously by a believer in this remedy for the toothache.
It is also stated in Curtis's Journal that "farming was done in a style very different from the present. A tolerable crop of corn was obtained by a shovelful of manure in the hill, but it must be hilled or banked up to a great height. The following crop was generally rye, flax, or barley. The land was then, not stocked down, but left to produce hay, and to be seeded by Providence or chance.
"Calves were snatched from the cows at eight or ten weeks old, without any previous care to introduce a substitute for milk, and turned out to hay or grass, to rend the air with their cries till starvation should teach them the use of such coarse food, and which they would not fail to learn before flesh and strength were quite exhausted. Probably, however, not more than three out of four got up 'May Hill,' as it was then called.
"Potatoes were raised at a great expense. The ground being
"Hogs were generally kept over two winters, and at two and a half years old would commonly weigh over two hundred, but would seldom go as high as three hundred.
"Scarce a bushel of wheat was raised and bolting-mills were not known."1
Oil lamps and even tallow candles were for many years unknown. It is related that when Reverend Jonathan Ellis came to Topsham (as late as 1788), he spent his first night at Esquire Merrill's. Upon retiring for the night, Mrs. Merrill lighted a pitch-pine knot for him, and showed him to his room up stairs. Finding no other place to put his light, Mr. Ellis stood it up in the fireplace and in a few minutes the chimney was all ablaze.
The manner of cooking at that time was not very different from that of to-day, though it differed in some respects. One of the principal dishes was rather peculiar. It consisted of a piece of fresh beef boiled, with hulled corn and beans added. Every family had baked beans and brown bread on Sunday morning and noon. The rye and Indian corn bread was generally made in great troughs and then baked in iron kettles in a brick oven. From a half-dozen to a dozen loaves were usually made at one time. Doughnuts, instead of being made with molasses, were sweetened with maple sugar, which was very abundant in those days.
All kinds of liquors were freely drank, though West India rum was the most generally used. Various kinds of fancy drinks were also made, prominent among which was a winter beverage called flip. It was made of spruce beer, rum, sugar, and water. At all taverns it was customary to keep two iron rods, called pokers, heated in the coals. When flip was called for, the beer would be drawn, into which would be plunged a red-hot poker. The rum,
In the earliest period of the settlement of these towns, but little real amusement was known to the citizens. Near the close of the last century, however, balls and parties, huskings and apple-bees, came in vogue, and served to enliven the otherwise monotonous life of the people. From the number of dancing-schools which have been kept in Brunswick and Topsham, it is reasonable to suppose that the citizens of these towns were fond of this method of relaxation from care, and that their dancing parties were well attended. The earliest
The amusements of the college students at a somewhat later date were generally confined to themselves, and were apt to give occasion to other feelings than those of merriment on the part of the citizens. Students' pranks have been altogether too numerous to admit even of their enumeration in this connection; nevertheless, the following is introduced, not only as being one of the earliest occurrences of the kind, but as affording a fair sample of all. Such tricks, if they did not afford amusement to those of the inhabitants immediately affected by them, yet served as good topics for general conversation for quite a while. The following anecdote is given in the words of another, himself a student and very likely an eye-witness, we dare not say a participant.
"A countryman bound to Portland with a two horse team, laden with butter in firkins, beans in bags, and three dead hogs (for it was cold weather, being the first of the spring term), drove up to the tavern that stood near the college, and put up for the night. In the morning when he got up, his cart and load were gone. Search was made in all directions. They followed the wheel-tracks to the college, and there lost them. About the middle of the forenoon some one espied the vehicle on the roof of North College, the wheels astride the ridge-pole, laden ready to hitch on to. Who put it there and how they effected it was a mystery; but it was a deal of work for a good many hands to get it down by taking the cart to pieces."1
Of public amusements, such as caravans and circuses, theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, etc., the number is so great as to admit of but limited notice.
Mr. Dean Swift says that the first public exhibition in Brunswick or vicinity was given in the year 1798. One McGinness, an Englishman, gave a Punch and Judy show in the northeast chamber of the dwelling-house on Maine Street, now owned and occupied by Mrs. Rodney Forsaith. The exhibition was well attended, everybody was satisfied, and Mr. Swift says it was really quite a good show.
According to the same authority, the first caravan was exhibited here about the year 1818 on the lot now owned by the town, back of the Post-Office. This was followed, in the year 1825, by one which exhibited on the same lot. In 1839 a caravan, owned by Macomber & Co., exhibited near the Tontine Hotel. In 1836 there was a combined
In 1824 a Mr. Taylor gave an exhibition of ventriloquism at Stoddard's Hall. The first theatrical performance was that given in 1828, for one week, at Nichols Hall, by a company of comedians from the Tremont Theatre, Boston. The entertainment the first evening consisted of Tobias's comedy of "The Honeymoon" and the farce of "The Young Widow." The price of admission was fifty cents. Children under twelve years of age were admitted for half price.
The first public concert of vocal music of which we find any record was given at Richards Hotel, July 28, 1836, by Mr. and Mrs. G. Andrews and Miss A. Woodward of Boston. It is quite probable, however, that concerts were given at an earlier date by the Hayden Society, a musical organization in existence as early as 1825. Of late years concerts have been of too frequent occurrence to call for further notice.
The first instrumental concert was probably that given by the Brunswick Brass Band, March 1, 1844.
The first regatta ever given on the Androscoggin River took place October 12, 1870. There were four races for the championship of Maine and for silver goblets. The first race was for six-oared boats, three miles; the second, for wherries pulled by the students, one mile ; the third for single shell wherries, two miles; the fourth for double shell boats, two miles.
The burlesque May trainings of the students of Bowdoin College may properly be classed under the head of amusements. The first occurred in 1836, the company appearing dressed in the most grotesque costumes, and with arms and equipments of not the most approved patterns. The following year the company again made its appearance. The cannon of the Brunswick Artillery Company, to which about forty of them belonged, having been concealed, the company marched over to Topsham and took the pieces belonging to the Topsham Artillery Company. Similar annual trainings by the students were kept up for many years, the last one occurring in 1855 or 1856. In these fantastic processions, the students generally personified public men or characters of fiction. Sometimes, though not often, they adopted costumes in ridicule of some worthy citizen of the town. More frequently they illustrated in a laughable manner some event of
In Topsham, public entertainments have not been of frequent occurrence. The reason for this is obvious: Brunswick, being the larger town and in such close proximity to Topsham, offers the better field for securing a full attendance upon such occasions. Of fairs, levees, school exhibitions, private dramatic entertainments, concerts by local singers, etc., Topsham has doubtless had her full share. Few travelling shows have, however. exhibited there.
About 1832 a caravan exhibited on the high land above the present Free-Will Baptist Meeting-House. Much curiosity was excited as to the elephants passing over the bridges from Brunswick, fears being entertained that they would break through or else refuse to walk over them.
About the year 1850 a company of Indians from the State of New York gave an exhibition at the Court House, illustrative of the Indian mode of life, and of warfare. It was the first exhibition of the kind in the vicinity, and it attracted a large audience.
Harpswell has always been obliged to content herself with amuse-ments of a purely local character. The location of the town, and the scattered situation of its inhabitants, offer little inducement to proprietors of travelling exhibitions to exhibit there. But what the citizens lose in this way is probably made up by a greater degree of sociability and by more varied home amusements.
Public lectures, either gratuitous or otherwise, have been of quite frequent occurrence in these towns, and especially in Brunswick. Mention of orations and lectures delivered upon public occasions will be made under the head of Public Celebrations.
The earliest known course of lectures was given by a Miss Prescott, in 1825. The subject was "English Grammar," and the tickets were three dollars for a course of forty lectures. In 1826 John Cleaves Symmes, a believer in an interior world, access to which was open to voyagers in the southern hemisphere, gave a course of three lectures, which was well attended, and commanded respect and interest, as Mr. Symmes was, not considered a charlatan, however erroneous might be his theory.
In the summer of 1832, or about that time, through the influence of the distinguished Doctor Reuben Dimond Mussey, a professor in the Medical School, Doctor Sylvester Graham, noted for his theory of
About this time also. Professor Espy, of Philadelphia, an admirable lecturer, and eminent in his specialty, gave a very interesting course upon the theory of "Storms and Meteorology." He was called the "Storm King." Professor Smyth gave a course on "Electricity." Professor De la Mater, of the Medical School, gave his regular course on "Hygiene," as a lyceum course, at which the medical class attended. Doctor Benjamin Lincoln, of the class of 1823, and then professor in the Vermont Medical School, gave a course on "Vegetable Life." Single lectures were also given by Professor Packard, Ebenezer Everett, Esquire, Reverend Mr. Adams, and Professor Cleaveland. The most of these were free lectures, delivered under the auspices of the Brunswick and Topsham Athenaeum. They were given in the Tontine Hall.
In March, 1833, a Mr. Wilbur, of Newburyport, Massachusetts, delivered a course of lectures on "Astronomy"; and in the following August, Reverend Mr. Farley gave a lecture before the Brunswick and Topsham Athenaeum, at Reverend Mr. Titcomb's meeting-house, on the subject of "True Enterprise " In 1834 Mr. John McKeen gave a course of lectures before the above-mentioned society, upon the History of Brunswick and Topsham, and soon afterwards Mr. C. Hamlin gave a lecture at Pike's Hall, on "Steam Enginery." In the winter and spring of 1836 Professor Packard delivered a lecture on the subject of "Primary Schools," and Doctor Adams gave a course of lectures on "Physiology." The above lectures were given before the Athenaeum.
In 1843 a lyceum was organized, and lectures were given by the following gentlemen: Reverend D. C. Haines, on "Education"; Professor Packard, on "Nationality"; R. H. Dunlap, Poem, "A Defence of Poetry."
The course was continued in 1844, by Professor Goodwin, on "Machiavelli" ; Professor Smyth, on "Explosions of Steam Boilers"; Reverend Mr. Bailey, on "Reading"; Wm. G. Barrows, Esquire, on "The Saracens"; John W. Davis, on "American History"; Reverend Asahel Moore, on "Popular Education"; Colonel T. L. McKenny, on "Origin, History, and Character of the Indians."
In 1857 a lyceum was organized by members of the Unitarian Society, and lectures were delivered by Reverend Doctors Sheldon, of Waterville, and Peabody, of Boston, Mass., and by Professor C. C. Everett, of Brunswick, Reverend Mr. Stebbins, of Portland, Thomas H. Talbot, Esquire, of Portland, and by Reverend A. D. Wheeler, D. D.
In 1859 a course of lectures was given at the Congregational Vestry, by Professor Paul A. Chadbourne, on "Natural History as related to Intellect"; by Augustus C. Robbins, on "Rags and Paper"; by Reverend Cyril Pearl, of Baldwin, on the "Past, Present, and Future of Maine"; and by Professor Egbert C. Smyth, on "Walking."
In 1860 a course of six lectures was given by Professor Chadbourne on "Iceland and the Icelanders"; "Natural History as related to the Fine Arts, on General Principles of Classification, etc."; "General Description of Invertebrates "; "The Relations of Natural History and Religion."
In 1862 there was a course of free lectures. A record of two only has been preserved: the first by Reverend Doctor Ballard, on "Common-Sense"; and the second by Professor Packard, on the "Acadians, or French Neutrals."
Topsham, not being the seat of a literary institution, does not show so large a list of lectures, though its citizens have usually constituted a fair proportion of Brunswick audiences. A lyceum was inaugurated in Topsham in 1842, but no record of any lectures has been kept, except of one in December by Reverend Paul S. Adams, and one in January, 1843, by John W. Davis, Esquire. In 1850 Reverend Amos D. Wheeler gave a lecture at the Court House on the different methods of reckoning time.
In 1859 lectures were delivered before the Topsham Farmers and Mechanics' Club by Warren Johnson, A. M., Topsham; Reverend Wm. A. Drew, Augusta; Reverend H. C. Leonard, Waterville; and by Reverend S. F. Dike, of Bath; Doctor N. S. True, Bethel; Professor Paul A. Chadbourne, of Bowdoin College; A. G. Tenney, Esquire, Brunswick; Reverend H Q. Butterfield, Hallowell.
spectator now known to be living was at that time but eight years of age. A procession of citizens was formed in front of what was afterwards the residence of the late Doctor Lincoln; they were escorted by boys under the leadership of Mr. David Dunlap, and proceeded to the old west meeting-house, where a eulogy was delivered by Doctor Page. The eulogy has not been preserved, but the closing words are said to have been, "If Washington is dead, we can thank our God that we have an Adams in the chair."
In Topsham, a procession was formed at the house of Captain Alexander Rogers, and moved to the old east meeting-house in the following order:-
The exercises at the meeting-house consisted of music, a prayer, music, an elegy, and the singing of an anthem. "The whole attended to with decency, order, and decorum." The elegy was delivered by the Reverend Jonathan Ellis. The following introductory lines are given as a Ye who have often heard his praises sung:-
|"In strains sublime by many an abler tongue,|
|Now hear my grief-taught muse her grief impart,|
|A grief deep felt by every patriot heart,-|
|Our Washington's no more."|
The first observance in this vicinity of the anniversary of the Declaration of National Independence took place in Topsham, in 1805. Samuel Willard, then a tutor in Bowdoin College, delivered an oration "at the request of the Federal Republicans of Brunswick and Topsham."
The following year, 1806, the Reverend Jonathan Ellis delivered an oration at the Court House, before the members of the same political organization.
No account has been found of any other celebration of this day prior to 1825, although it is known with tolerable certainty that such
March 4, 1829, the inauguration at Washington of General Jackson as President of the United States, was duly celebrated in Brunswick. "Father" Stetson writes in his diary, on this day, "Great parading in our wide street, guns fired, bells rung, boys mustered."
July 4, 1830, was celebrated by a procession of young men, escorted by the Light Infantry Company. An oration was delivered at the meeting-house on the hill, by Mr. Webster Kelly, of Topsham. It was followed by a dinner at the Tontine Hotel, furnished by Mr. Elijah P. Pike. The festivities of the day were marred by a fatal accident. The boys in their patriotic zeal had obtained a swivel about eight inches in length. This they had filled with paper wadding, but without any bullet. The force of its discharge was sufficient, however, to cause the death of Mr. Theophilus Miller, who was accidentally hit by the wadding.
On July 4, 1836, the members of the Young Men's Temperance Society, of Brunswick, together with other friends of temperance, assembled at Stone's Hall, and formed a procession under the escort of the Mechanic Volunteers. The procession embraced a large number of the temperance people from different parts of the town, including a portion of the Temperance Society of Bowdoin College. A company of youth, named the "Juvenile Guards," formed the rear rank. At half past ten A. M., the procession moved up Maine Street to the Congregational Church, where the following exercises were held:-
"National Hymn, by the choir. Prayer, by Reverend Asahel Moore.1 117th Psalm; tune, Old Hundred. A Declaration of Independence, written for the occasion by Mr. Alonzo Garcelon,2 member of the Senior Class of Bowdoin College. Address, by Mr. Andrew Dunning. Temperance hymn. Benediction. 'The services were interesting and the audience was large and attentive.'"
The Fourth of July, 1842, was celebrated in Brunswick with unusual eclat. At ten o'clock, A. M., a procession formed near Washington Hall, under the direction of Colonel Estabrook, marshal of the
A voluntary on the organ; singing by the choir; reading of Scripture by Reverend Doctor Adams; reading of the 136th Psalm, with responses by the audience; prayer; reading of the Declaration of Independence, by George C. Swallow singing by choir and congregation; oration by Washington Gilbert; benediction. After the benediction, the audience separated, and, the procession being reformed, they proceeded to the grove near the town-house, where a collation had been provided under the superintendence of Mr. William R. Field, Senior. The band enlivened the scene with appropriate music, and all seemed to enjoy the festival.
In the course of the afternoon, the young ladies of Brunswick received their friends in the Tontine Hall. The younger misses assembled at the house of Ebenezer Everett, Esquire, and passed the afternoon in a pleasant manner. In the evening there was a display of fire-works.
In 1843 the Young Men's Temperance Society of Brunswick celebrated the return of the anniversary of National Independence by a procession. of which Captain John A. Cleaveland was the chief marshal. Public exercises were had at the church on the hill. There was music by the band, a prayer, an original ode sung by the choir, and an oration delivered by Reverend George Knox, of Topsham, which was followed by more music, a poem by Mr. Albert W. Knight, and an original ode was sung by the choir.
In 1845 the day was celebrated in Topsham by the Temperance Society. The procession marched to the Unitarian Meeting-house, where an address was delivered by M. B. Goodwin, of the Senior Class of Bowdoin College. After the exercises, there was a dinner at the Washingtonian House.
Probably the celebration of the Fourth of July which was attended with the most eclat of any that ever occurred in either of these towns was that in 1854.
At ten A. M. a procession was formed in the following order:-
Fire Companies of Brunswick,
} as escort
Fire Company of Topsham,
The procession, after passing through the principal streets, entered the church upon the hill. Here Professor R. D. Hitchcock offered a prayer, and the Declaration of Independence was read by Professor H. H. Boody, after which Ex-Governor Robert P. Dunlap, the presi-dent of the day, introduced to the audience Mr. William P. Drew, the orator of the day. The oration was followed by a poem by Rev-erend Elijah Kellogg. In the afternoon a trial of fire-engines for the prize, a silver trumpet, took place at the upper mills. The prize was awarded to Androscoggin No. 2, of Topsham, which played a stream of one hundred and seventy-four feet and some inches. Atlantic Company No. 2, of Portland, was so unfortunate as to burst their hose at each trial. An exhibition of fire-works, which would have been a fine one, was marred by a shower which hurried it to a close. The festivities of the day closed with a ball at the Tontine Hall, under the direction of Protector Engine Company No. 4, of Brunswick.
In 1860 the day was observed in a similar way. William P. Tucker, tutor of Bowdoin College, read the Declaration of Independence; and Augustus C. Robbins, Esquire, of Brunswick, delivered an oration.
Doubtless the day has been occasionally observed in Harpswell,
On Monday, August 16, 1858, a public meeting was held at the depot in Brunswick, to celebrate the successful laying of the Atlantic cable. General Abner B. Thompson called the meeting to order. Albert G. Tenney, Esquire, was elected chairman, and Daniel Elliot, secretary. The messages between the Directors of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and between the Queen of England and the President of the United States, were then read. A volunteer choir sang an ode, speeches were made by A. G. Tenney, Reverend John S. C. Abbot, Reverend Amos D. Wheeler, D.D., of Topsham, Honorable Charles J. Gilman, Reverend Aaron C. Adams, of Manchester, New Hampshire, Honorable Ebenezer Everett, Reverend Doctor Ballard, and Reverend George E. Adams, D. D., and the exercises were concluded by another ode from the choir. The depot and telegraph office were illuminated, as were also the houses of many of the citizens of Brunswick and Topsham.
February 22, 1862, the anniversary of Washington's birthday was celebrated in the Congregational Church in Brunswick. Reverend Doctor Wheeler, of Topsham, read the hymn, "My country, 'tis of thee"; Professor Whittlesey read selections from the Scriptures; Reverend Doctor Ballard read the prayers for the occasion, from the Episcopal Collection. Washington's Farewell Address was then read by Reverend Doctor Adams, a hymn to the tune of "St. Martin's" was then sung by the choir, and the benediction pronounced.
On Saturday, April 15, 1865, upon the reception of the news of the assassination of President Lincoln, a public meeting was held at the church of the First Parish in Brunswick. Honorable Marshall Cram presided. Reverend Doctor Wheeler, of Topsham, made a prayer, which was followed by addresses from Reverend Doctor Ballard, Honorable Charles J. Gilman, Reverend T. J. B. House, Reverend Doctor Adams, A. G. Tenney, President Leonard Woods, Reverend Mr. Baldwin, Professor C. F. Brackett, and Warren Johnson. A resolution was passed expressive of great grief at the calamity which had fallen upon the nation, and of faith in the stability of the government. The pulpit and choir gallery were appropriately draped in mourning, as were also many stores and private residences. All the flags were at half mast.
On Wednesday, April 19, 1865, a union meeting of the different religious societies of Brunswick was held in the Mason Street Church, at 12 M., in commemoration of the death of the late
A portion of Scripture was read by Reverend A. D. Wheeler, D. D., a hymn by Reverend J. T. B. House, a prayer by Reverend Doctor Adams; a second hymn was then read by Reverend Doctor Wheeler, who delivered an appropriate discourse. Prayer was then offered by Reverend Mr. House, a national hymn sung by the choir, and the benediction pronounced by Doctor Adams. The church was appropriately draped with mourning.
April 19, 1875, the anniversary of the battles of Concord and Lexington was celebrated in Brunswick, by the display of flags, ringing of bells, and a national salute fired by a detachment of the Artillery Company, of Bowdoin College.
Memorial Day has also been observed annually in Brunswick and Topsham by the decoration of the graves of the fallen heroes of the Rebellion, and frequently by a public address.
A meeting of the surviving soldiers of the Revolution was held October 5, 1825. Philip Owen was chosen chairman, and John Given secretary. A vote of thanks was passed to Honorable Peleg Sprague of Hallowell, Honorable John Anderson of Portland, and Honorable Edward Everett of Massachusetts, "for their generous and able pleas before the Congress of the United States, in behalf of themselves and companions in the perilous services of the Revolution."
On April 23, 1827, a citizens' meeting was held, "for the relief of the Greeks." Speeches were made by Honorable Robert P. Dunlap and Professor Thomas C. Upham. The amount of one hundred and sixteen dollars was contributed.
In 1833 a meeting of the citizens of Brunswick was held on the third of July, for the purposes of taking measures to extend an invitation to President Jackson to visit the town while on his proposed tour through New England.
The antislavery agitation commenced in this vicinity by the appoint-ment at a public meeting in January, 1838, of Professor William Smyth and David Dunlap, Esquire, of Brunswick, and Reverend Thomas N. Lord and Reverend Edwin R. Warren, of Topsham, as delegates to the Maine Antislavery Society, to be held in Augusta. At the meeting of this society Professor Smyth was chosen its secretary.
In November, 1838, Mr. Codding, the general agent of the above-named society, delivered several lectures in Brunswick upon the
A meeting was held October 27, 1838, "to take into consideration the measures at present pursued by the Abolitionists," at which both the friends and foes of the measures were present.
An attempt was made to introduce some resolutions which had been prepared prior to the meeting by opponents of the cause. This action was warmly opposed by Professor William Smyth, who said they "had not come together to pass resolutions prepared to our hand without deliberation on our part," and that the call for the meeting implied that they were to "deliberate, examine, discuss." Hisses and "Down with him !" were heard in different parts of the house. but he concluded his remarks without any regard to them. He was followed and warmly sustained by General John C. Humphreys, and the meeting adjourned without transacting any business, to meet again on the following Tuesday evening.
At the adjourned meeting General A. B. Thompson offered resolutions to the following effect:-
"Against any interference with slavery by the people of non-slave-holding States. Admitting the right of free discussion, but against the exercise of it and against any unlawful opposition to it. That the opinions expressed in these resolutions were in accordance with the sentiments of the vast majority of the citizens of that community. Mr. Adams spoke in opposition to the resolutions, though his remarks met with frequent interruption. The resolutions were adopted by a vote of one hundred and sixty-three to one hundred and seventeen.
On Wednesday, October 31, the citizens of Brunswick and Topsham met at the Congregational Church in Topsham to consider the action of the meeting held the previous evening in Brunswick.
The meeting was opened by a strain of pithy, pungent remarks from Doctor James McKeen, in reference to the late meeting in Brunswick. Addresses were also made by John M. O'Brien, Esquire, Mr. Codding, and others. The meeting was highly interesting in its character, and cheering to the friends of free discussion and of equal and impartial liberty. It was agreed to call another meeting of the citizens of the two villages, to assemble in Brunswick on the Friday evening following, and a committee was raised for that purpose.
In accordance with this arrangement, a call was issued on Friday morning, inviting "the friends of free discussion and the right of the people freely to assemble for the purpose of discussing any subject in morals, politics, or religion, in which they feel an interest," to meet
at the Second Baptist Meeting-House, in Brunswick, on that evening, to give such expression of their sentiments in relation to this right as in existing circumstances might appear suitable and necessary. The house was well filled. Professor William Smyth addressed the meeting at some length, reviewing the action of the former meeting, and taking strong ground in favor of free speech. Professor William Smyth, Doctor James McKeen, and Major Nahum Perkins were appointed a committee to prepare business for the meeting. They reported the following resolution:-
"Resolved, That freedom of thought and of speech is the natural right of every human being; and that our Federal Constitution sacredly guarantees its protection to every citizen of this Republic."
Brief remarks were made by John M. O'Brien, Esquire, in favor of the resolution. He was followed by Mr. Codding, who addressed the meeting at some length. A vote was then taken upon the resolution, which was almost unanimous in its favor. Resolutions were then passed, that while the meeting would express no opinion either for or against the principles and measures of the Abolitionists, that they have a perfect right to hold and utter and defend their sentiments, and "that as good citizens they should patiently bear with each others' supposed mistakes and errors, not doubting but, in the end, from the collision of mind with mind in open, fair, and manly discussion, the truth on every important subject will shine forth clear as the noonday, commanding the united assent of all."
A public meeting was held October 20, 1853, at the Congregational Vestry, to consider the importance of ornamenting the village with shade trees. Doctor Isaac Lincoln, Charles J. Gilman, John L. Swift, Hugh McClellan, George W. Carlton, Joseph McKeen, Jr., Valentine G. Colby, Francis Owen, William M. Hall, and Augustus C. Robbins were chosen a committee to obtain the necessary funds and to superintend the transplanting of trees throughout the village. One hundred and thirty-two dollars and sixty-one cents was raised and paid out for transplanting trees, etc. Thirty cents was the average price paid for the trees.
On Saturday, June 14, 1856, a public meeting of the citizens of Brunswick and Topsham was held, to give expression to the feelings of these communities in regard to the wanton attack on Senator Sumner by Representative Preston C. Brooks in the Senate Chamber in Congress. The meeting was called to order by Doctor Isaac Lincoln. Reverend Leonard Woods, D. D., was chosen to preside. Speeches were made by President Leonard Woods,
The question of petitioning for a city charter began to be agitated by the citizens of Brunswick in the latter part of the year 1857. On January 7, 1858, a meeting of citizens was held at McLellan's Hall to consider the matter. The meeting voted that the citizens of the village ought to apply for a charter, and Daniel Elliott, A. G. Tenney, and A. C. Robbins were elected a Committee of Correspondence in regard to the matter. Ebenezer Everett, Joseph McKeen, Richard Greenleaf, Benjamin Furbish, and Charles J. Noyes were chosen a committee to draft a charter to be presented to the legislature.
A second meeting was held January 26. A. G. Tenney, Daniel Elliott, Benjamin Furbish, A. B. Thompson, and Thomas Skolfield were elected a committee to obtain signers to a petition. The meeting agreed to accept the whole town in the petition for a charter instead of the village, if it was generally desired.
A third meeting was held February 13th, at which it was voted to embrace the whole town in a petition for a charter if the town would so vote.
A charter was granted by the legislature, to take effect if accepted by the whole town at its first meeting. It was not accepted by the town.
From 1861 to 1865 inclusive, nearly all the public meetings held hereabouts had reference to the civil war then going on. The first one of which any record has been preserved was held at White's Hall, in Topsham, on April 23, 1861. It was to encourage the raising of a company of volunteers. Francis Adams, Esquire, was chosen chairman, and Sandford A. Perkins, clerk. Speeches were made by Reverend Amos D. Wheeler, D. D., Reverend George Knox, and others. Captain Edward W. Thompson marched over with his company of Brunswick Volunteers, and addressed the meeting. William Whitten, George A. Rogers, and Francis T. Littlefield were chosen a committee to solicit subscriptions, and two hundred dollars was subscribed on the spot. Some patriotic resolutions were also adopted.
On May 2, a meeting was held in Brunswick, at which a beautiful silk flag was presented to the Brunswick Volunteers by Mrs. Arabella Greenleaf, in behalf of the ladies of the town. Captain Thompson responded for the company.
A meeting was held in the depot, in Brunswick, on the afternoon of
October 17, and another on the evening of the same day, at which speeches were made by Colonel L. D. M. Sweat. and C. C. Woodman, Esquire, of Portland, Honorable Charles J. Gilman, of Brunswick, and J. T. Gilman, of Bath.
On the nineteenth of July, 1862, a meeting was held at the depot in Brunswick, which was opened with a prayer by Reverend George E. Adams. Speeches were made by Professors Whittlesey and Chamberlain, of Bowdoin College, and by General Oliver O. Howard, U. S. A.
July 25 a meeting was held at McLellan's Hall, and speeches were made by Honorable Charles J. Gilman, Professors Chamberlain and Whittlesey, Reverend Doctor Ballard, John M. O'Brien, Esquire, and J. T. Magrath, of Bowdoin College.
On the 29th a meeting was also held, at which speeches were made by Reverend Doctor Ballard, J. M. O'Brien, Esquire, Reverend Doctor Tenney, of Ellsworth, Reverend Doctor Adams, A. G. Tenney, and by a Mr. Temple, of Bowdoin College.
Another meeting of the same kind was held August 30, at which speeches were made by John M. O'Brien, Esquire, and A. G. Tenney.
September 1, a meeting was held in the meeting-house at Growstown, where speeches were made by Honorable Charles J. Gilman and A. G. Tenney.
On the next day two meetings were held, -one in the afternoon, in the Baptist Meeting-House at New Meadows, at which speeches were made by Charlton C. Lewis, of New York, and by Honorable Charles J. Gilman; the other was held in the evening at McLellan's Hall, and was addressed by Honorable Josiah H. Drummond, and J. T. Gilman, Esquire, of Portland, and by Reverend Mr. Rugg, of Bath.
On September 8, 1863, there was a public meeting at the Brunswick depot, which was addressed by Honorable F. O. J. Smith, of Portland, on the unconstitutionality of the Conscription Act. This could with more propriety be termed an anti-war meeting.
In January, 1864, a meeting of citizens was held at the Congregational Vestry in Brunswick, in favor of giving aid to the freedmen. Several speeches were made, and a committee was appointed to solicit aid. They issued circulars in regard to this object, and reported subsequently that they had received and forwarded to the Freedman's Bureau eleven boxes of clothing, the estimated value of which was $1,000.
Several meetings were held in the summer of 1865, in Topsham, for the purpose of taking action in relation to offering inducements to the trustees of the State Agricultural College to locate that institution
In 1866, some time in July, a meeting of the citizens of Brunswick was held to take measures for furnishing aid to the sufferers by the Portland fire. A relief committee was chosen, and supplies and money were sent by it to the city authorities.
Doubtless many other meetings of the citizens of these towns have been held besides those which are here mentioned. Some others are mentioned in other connections, and there are some, doubtless, of which no record has been found.
That our citizens have always been eminent for their cultivation of the moral and social virtues, no less than for their zeal for improve-ment in knowledge, is evident from the attention they gave to the formation of
AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL ASSOCIATIONS. -The earliest association of this kind was the MECHANICS' ASSOCIATION, of Bruns-wick, which was formed August 8, 1842. The first officers were, James Derby, president; Benjamin Furbish, vice-president; Theodore S. McLellan, secretary; Ezra Drew, treasurer. The object of the society was "the promotion of business and the improvement of intellect."
On April 14, 1854, the SAGADAHOC AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY was incorporated. Though not a town society, it is mentioned here because all its buildings and grounds are situated in Topsham, and most of its meetings have been held there. The first meeting of this society was held in Bath, at the City Hall, July 1, 1854. At this meeting a code of by-laws was adopted and perma-nent officers elected, and the meeting then adjourned to the tenth of August following. At this latter meeting it was voted to hold a fair that autumn, at such time and place as the executive officers of the society might determine. Some of the principal officers, however, declined serving, and no fair was held that season. The society held its meeting annually at Bath for several years, but had, at first, a hard struggle for existence. In 1855 Mr. Francis T. Purinton, of Topsham, was elected its president. Though not nominally, yet in reality, he was the first person to serve in that capacity. In the
September 19, 1774, a grange of THE PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY was organized at Topsham, and about the same time one was organized in Brunswick. Both are in a flourishing condition. CHARITABLE ASSOCIATIONS.
The oldest association for charitable and social purposes is UNITED LODGE, No. 8, OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS. The charter for this lodge was granted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, December 14, 1801. The charter members were Jacob Brown, Wil-liam Fairfield, James Rogers, Daniel Holden, Ziba Eaton, Samuel Snow, Jonathan Snow, David Patterson, James McLellan, and Joshua Emery. The first master was Jacob Brown.
The lodge was established in Topsham, holding its first meeting under the charter, February 20, 1802, at the house of Mr. Gideon Walker. The record furnishes no clew as to the exact place of meet-ing after that above mentioned, it simply reading "Mason's Hall" ; and although a committee was raised at the first meeting "for the purpose of hiring a hall and furnishing furniture, clothing, etc.," no record of the report of that committee is found. In 1804 a committee was chosen to "draw a draft " (for a new hall), and on February 12, 1805, it was "voted that there be a committee chosen for the purpose of making all the necessary arrangements for building a Masonic Hall and to carry the same into effect."
On May 27, 1806, a committee was chosen to complete a Masonic Hall, and September 23, 1806, it was " voted that the secretary- be empowered to subscribe five shares for United Lodge for the purpose of building a hall" ; and the new hall was dedicated January 1, 180 7 . The lodge was evidently not at that time full owner of the hall, as a vote passed March 17, 1807, provides " that the lodge take all indi-vidual shares and pay for them, when the lodge is in capacity to do the same." This hall was in the building now known as the Franklin Family School. Several public displays are recorded while the lodge
On June 24, 1808, the Festival of St. John the Baptist was celebrated by United Lodge and Solar Lodge of Bath. Jacob Herrick delivered an address at the new meeting-house in Brunswick.
In 1810 the question of moving the lodge to Brunswick was considered, and in 1814 it was voted to petition the Grand Lodge for permission to remove it. The answer to this petition was as follows;-
GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS,
JUNE 10, A. L. 5816.
"On the petition of the officers and members of the United Lodge, situated at Topsham, voted that United Lodge have leave to remove from the town of Topsham to the town of Brunswick, of which the officers and members will take due notice and govern themselves accordingly.
"John FOLEY, Grand Secretary."
"BOSTON, June 29, A. L. 5816."
The above is a correct copy of the indorsement on the charter.
On June 24, 1816, a procession being formed, the lodge was joined by the officers and members of Freeport and Solar Lodges, and by the District Deputy Grand Master Oliver Bray, Esquire. The pro-cession, preceded by a band of music, marched to the meeting-house in Brunswick, where an oration was delivered by Robert Pinckney Dunlap. The procession was again formed, moved to Washington Hall, and partook of a bountiful dinner provided by Robert Eastman. The lodge did not return to Topsham, but met in Washington Hall, from this date until January 16, 1817, when a new hall, on Mason Street, was dedicated. Only Masonic visitors were present at this ceremony. Robert P. Dunlap delivered an oration, and the fraternity afterwards " partook of a sumptuous dinner" at the house of the master, Doctor Jonathan Page. In January, 1822, this lodge was incorporated into a body politic, "with all the privileges usually granted to other societies, instituted for purposes of charity and beneficence." In the year 1844 the Masonic Hall was enlarged and refurnished at considerable expense. This hall was over the Mason Street School-house, and the whole building (and land) was in 1872 sold to the town for an engine-house. The lodge moved from the
The following anecdote comes in naturally in this connection. Early in the century a man came to Brunswick, who claimed that he was a Free Mason when he was not one. The deception was at once detected, but a few of the members of that fraternity determined to have some sport with the man, and at the same time give him a. lesson that would be likely in future to deter him from attempting to gain a clandestine admission into other lodges. He was told that it was the custom of the Masons there to initiate all strangers before admitting them to the lodge, and that no exception could be made in his case. He consented to submit to the ordeal, and a room over Schwartkins's shop was at once prepared for the ceremony. The details of the initiation have not been preserved, but it is known that he was anointed with water in such quantity that it ran down through the floor on to the table at which Schwartkins and his family were at dinner. After the ceremony was finished the candidate was asked whether it was similar to what he had previously experienced when lie was admitted to the fraternity. He replied, "It resembles it some, but you use a great deal more water here."
THE BRUNSWICK HUMANE SOCIETY was organized May 2, 1820. This was, as its name would indicate, a benevolent society, its object being to make gratuitous provision for the sick and destitute, of bedding and clothing, as far as it was able; and to assist such destitute children as manifested a desire to attend the Sabbath school, with suitable clothing. The meetings of the society were held at the residences of members. During the first year there were weekly meetings at which the time was occupied in making or repairing such garments as they were able to procure for the above purposes. After the first year the meetings were less frequent.
In March, 1822, the society contributed clothing, bedding, etc., "to students who had suffered in consequence of the fire on March 4," and it was at this time voted "that the sum of thirty dollars be delivered to Reverend William Allen to be expended in such articles as he shall judge proper for indigent students."
The last meeting recorded was held October 30, 1834.
During its existence this society did a good work in relieving the wants of the poor and adding to the comfort of the sick.
The first officers were, John S. Cushing, N. G.; Wm. H. Morse, V. G.; Jos. Lunt, 2d, T. ; L. P. Merrill, Sec.
A hall was leased for five years of John S. Cushing, over his store on the corner of Maine and Pleasant Streets. It was neatly and elegantly furnished. The carpets, drapery, curtains, etc., were of the best material, and the regalia compared favorably with any in the State. There were forty-two members the first year, and in 1849 the number had increased to eighty-six. In December of that year the hall, which the lodge had occupied for five years and six mouths, was destroyed by fire together with its contents, including nearly all of the books and papers belonging to the lodge.
After the fire, the lodge held its meetings in a room over the store on the corner of Maine and Lincoln Streets, now A. T. Campbell's store.
The lodge did not flourish after the fire as it had done previously, and the number of its members grew less each year, and finally, in 1858, the charter was surrendered. From that year until 1875, there was no lodge of Odd Fellows in Brunswick.
In the fall of 1875 the old lodge was revived, and on the evening of October 6 there was a public installation of officers. Grand Master Stone was the installing officer, and the following were installed officers of the lodge, Frank Johnson, Noble Grand; Ed. Beaumont, Vice-Grand; R. B. Melcher, R. S.; W. F. Tyler, P. S.; E. T. Gatchell, Treasurer.
The LADIES' SOLDIERS AID SOCIETY was organized September 16, 1862. It lasted during the civil war. In 1863 a series of public tableaux was given by it for the purpose of raising funds.
Of the numerous associations of a literary and scientific character, which have existed in either of the three towns, the NUCLEUS CLUB, of Brunswick and Topsham, deservedly takes the highest rank. It was instituted April 7, 1820, and existed under the name of the NUCLEUS CLUB until about 1832, when its name was changed to that of the Brunswick and Topsham Athenaeum, and
In the year 1830 the constitution, by-laws, and rules of the club were printed, together with a list of its members at that time.
The exercises at the regular meetings of the club were a discussion of a subject which had been proposed, and accepted by the club, at a previous meeting, a lecture, dissertation, or such other performance as may have been provided for by the superintending committee or by the by-laws.
On the evening of each anniversary an address was delivered by the president, and a poem or dissertation by some member, previously appointed by the club for the purpose.
The by-laws provided for "a superintending committee," whose duty it was to select subjects and assign them to different members for discussion; to procure lecturers; purchase apparatus; and to have the general superintendence of all matters not otherwise provided for.
Standing committees were also chosen annually, for the consideration of the subjects mentioned in the list given below. The club possessed quite a large library, which was procured by purchase and by donations. When the club disbanded the books were distributed by lot among the members.
The following is a list of the officers and committees in 1830:-
John C. Humphreys, President; James Cary, Vice-President; Francis D. Cushing, Secretary; ------------, Librarian.
Library Committee.-- A. B. Thompson, John Coburn.
Superintending Committee.-- Ebenezer Everett, John Coburn, Wm. Smyth, Charles Weld, John McKeen, Samuel P. Newman, Alpheus S. Packard, Elijah P. Pike, and Abner B. Thompson.
On Chemistry.-- Parker Cleaveland, Geo. E. Adams, Geo. W.Holden, A. S. Packard, and Joseph McKeen.
Political Economy and Civil Polity.-- Robert P. Dunlap, S. P.Newman, C. Packard, R. T. Dunlap, M. E. Woodman, S. Veazie, C. Thompson, and P. O. Alden.
Literature and Belles-Lettres.-- S. P. Newman, E. Everett, and R. P. Dunlap.
Banking and a Circulating Medium.-- E. Everett, Thos. G. Sand-ford, N. Hinkley, N. Perkins, and A. B. Thompson.
Electricity and Magnetism.-- Wm. Smyth, I. Lincoln, James McKeen, and L. T. Jackson.
Navigation and Commerce.-- A. B. Thompson, S. Veazie, W. Frost, John Dunlap, and N. Hinkley.
Astronomy.-- C. Weld and James McKeen.
Agriculture.-- David Dunlap, John McKeen, Nath. Dunning, and G. W. Holden.
Subjects connected with the Business and future Prospects of the Villages of Brunswick and Topsham.--John Coburn, J. C. Humphreys, F. D. Cushing, Dennis Gillett, J. S. Cushing, R. Forsaith, C. Waterhouse, John Owen, and Jos. Dunning,
Mathematics and Surveying.--E. P. Pike, . Wm. Smyth, and R. D. Dunning.
Hydrostatics and Mechanics.--P. Cleaveland, J. Cary, Joseph Griffin, N. Houghton, L. T. Jackson, J. W. Moore, L. T. Cushing, J. R. Larrabee. H. M. Prescott, J. Stinchfield, and E. P. Pike.
Public Schools.--John McKeen, Geo. E. Adams, N. Perkins, Asa Dodge, and J. B. Cleaveland.
Roads and Canals.--Charles Packard, John Coburn, Joseph McKeen, M. E. Woodman, and C. Thompson.
History.-A. S. Packard and C. Weld.
Tun PYTHONIAN SOCIETY was organized in January, 1825. Its object was debating, composition, and friendly and social intercourse. Only persons desirous of cultivating literary tastes by reading and discussions were invited to join. Dissertations were required from each member in turn.
Its anniversary was observed every year in January, at which time officers were chosen, and an address delivered by the president; sometimes there was also a poem, and always a supper.
The society had a small but select library, which was distributed among its members when it was disbanded, which was about 1853, having had an existence for upwards of twenty-five years.
The average membership was small, perhaps fifteen or sixteen. We are unable to give a list of its members, but it is worthy of remark that John S. Cushing was a member for upwards of twenty-five years, he having joined it the first year of its existence and continued an active member until he removed from town in 1852. The constitution, by-laws, and a list of members of this organization were once printed, but no copy has been obtained and it is doubtful whether one now exists.
In the winter of 1829-30 the BRUNSWICK LYCEUM was formed. It originated in the following manner. The Washington Fire Club had been accustomed to hold its annual meeting and to have an address delivered, in the winter season. This year the address was by Professor A. S. Packard, on the organization and importance of lyceums.
The BRUNSWICK AND TOPSHAM ATHNAEUM was the Nucleus Club under a different name. It received this name about 1832. This society was in existence in 1836, but no later reference to it has been found. At a meeting of this society in May, 1833, a committee was chosen to inquire into the practicability of building a railway from Brunswick to the tide waters in Casco Bay.
In November, 1842, the BRUNSWICK AND TOPSHAM LYCEUM SOCIETY was formed. It was in existence in 1845, perhaps later. The society not only provided lectures, but public discussions were held by it in the Maine Street Baptist Church in Brunswick.
The CASTALIAN SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK was in existence in 1845. Nothing more is known concerning it. The name would indicate that its object was to encourage a taste for poetry.
The BRUNSWICK LINNAEAN SOCIETY, organized in May, 1845, was formed at the suggestion of Professor Cleaveland, the object being to "acquire a systematic knowledge of natural history." Meetings were held once a week at the residences of its members. At each meeting a dissertation was read by some member, and various subjects were analyzed. During the summer, botany was the subject of study. At o the r times, ornithology, conchology, entomology, ichthyology, mete-orology, mammalogy, physiology, and geology.
In the summer, excursions were made. July 1, 1846, the society went to Harpswell Island to visit a grove of the mountain laurel. The next summer an excursion was made to Merrymeeting Bay, in the steamer "Rough and Ready." Other excursions were made at different times to localities of interest in the vicinity.
Each anniversary was observed in a fitting manner. The first by an excursion and picnic to Harpswell Island. The second by a social meeting, with invited friends, at Common's Hall, at which an oration was delivered by W. G. Barrows, a poem by G. F. Dunning., and an original ode by A. W. Knight. Upon the third anniversary a social gathering was held at the Brunswick Seminary, an oration was delivered by H. K. Craig, and a poem by A. W. Knight.
In 1848 a number of lectures were delivered before the society (not
The society flourished until the spring of 1849 (a period of four years), when it was "voted not to assign any regular parts during the summer, but to come together in a social way once a fortnight and occasionally for a walk." Meetings were thus held for a short time, when they ceased altogether.
The average membership of the society was from twenty-five to thirty.
A TOWN HISTORY AND NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY was organized in Brunswick, March 30, 1870, by the choice of A. G. Tenney, chairman, and John Furbish, secretary.. Apart from creating an interest in its members for the objects for which it was formed, this society resulted in a failure.
Debating societies and lyceums of minor importance have also existed in various parts of each of these towns, but they do not call for particular mention here.
The first musical society in this vicinity was the HAYDEN SOCIETY, formed about 1825.
This was followed in 1829 by the MOZART SOCIETY. This society was formed for the cultivation of musical tastes and for social inter-course. Its meetings were held at the Tontine Hotel, Maine Hotel, and at Robert Orr's office. It embraced members from Topsham as well as from Brunswick. Robert Orr, General Abner B. Thompson, James McKeen, M. D., John H. Thompson, and Benjamin Dennison are known to have been members.
About 1844 the BRUNSWICK BRASS BAND was formed. It was probably the earliest band formed in this vicinity. It consisted of fifteen members and was in existence five or six years. William R. Field, Jr., was the leader during the last year of its existence.
The musical organizations of a later date have been too numerous to admit of mention here.
In 1826 the PEACE SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK was organized. It continued in existence for seven years, perhaps longer. Nothing has been ascertained in regard to its membership or its meetings.
March 20, 1838, the TOPSHAM ANTISLAVERY SOCIETY was
About 1845 the LIBERTY ASSOCIATION OF BRUNSWICK was formed. Nothing has been ascertained in regard to this society, but judging from its name, it was probably a political society.
The earliest society of this kind, not including insurance companies, etc., which appear in another connection, was the BRUNSWICK WATCH Association. This was an organization of citizens voluntarily associated together to secure the village against fire during the winter season, when it was difficult to obtain water. At that time, there being no suction hose, the engines had to be filled by buckets.
The association was formed January 14, 1826, a meeting of citizens being called for this purpose. At this meeting Joseph McKeen, Parker Cleaveland, Caleb Cushing, Richard T. Dunlap, Abner B. Thompson, and Benj. Weld were chosen a committee to prepare a system of rules for regulating the watch. They reported, and the association adopted, the following
1. "The watch for each night shall consist of four citizens, two of whom shall remain at the place of rendezvous, while the other two are out upon duty.
2. "The watch shall so divide themselves every night, that each half shall perform duty in that part of the village in which they reside, so far as this may be practicable.
3. "The watch shall make five rounds of the village during the night, the rounds commencing at ten o'clock, half past eleven, one o'clock, half past two, and four o'clock.
4. "Each round shall be divided into two parts, viz., one part, commencing at the place of rendezvous, shall proceed up Main Street to the Academy, thence returning by the meeting-house to the store of Joseph McKeen, Esquire, pass through Cross Street to Federal Street, thence down the same to School Street, through that to Pleas-ant Street, proceeding up that street to the house of Captain John A. Dunning, and thence return to the place of rendezvous.
"The other part, commencing at the same place of rendezvous, shall
proceed down Main Street to the bridge, thence through Bow Street to Mill Street, and up that street to the house of Mr. B. Wells, thence back through Mill Street to Main Street, thence through Mason Street to Federal Street, up that street to the house of Mr. C. Waterhouse, thence back through Centre Street to Main Street, and thence to the place of rendezvous.
5. "The watch will proceed on their rounds without causing any unnecessary noise or disturbance to the inhabitants. In case of fire they will give the most prompt and effectual alarm.
6. "One member of the committee, in the afore-mentioned order of their names, will superintend the watch, as expressed in the sub-joined list of the watch.
7. "Every member of the association who may be necessarily prevented from watching in his turn, shall furnish a suitable substitute, who, if not a member of the association, shall be approved by the committee for the week, or instead thereof. he shall pay the sum of one dollar; and the name of the substitute shall be presented, or the money paid to the committee for the week, as early as twelve o'clock of the day preceding his turn to watch.
8. "Each watchman, when out on duty, shall carry a watch-pole; and the poles during the day shall be deposited at the place of rendez-vous, together with lanterns, to be used when necessary.
9. "The names of those who may be delinquent, or fail to comply with the by-laws established, shall be communicated by the committee to the association at the close of the season."
The by-laws were printed in sheet form, together with the "Order of the Watch," which gave the names of the members and the dates upon which they were expected to watch. The place of rendezvous was, at first, the counting-room of Farrin & Dunning. In 1827 it was at Barker and Rogers's Inn.
The Executive Committee in 1826 were:- Joseph McKeen, Parker Cleaveland, Caleb Cushing, Richard T. Dunlap, Abner B. Thompson, Benjamin Weld. The association contained at that time one hundred and thirty-one members, some of whom were professors in college, and nearly all of whom were amongst the most esteemed citizens of the town.
The expense of the watch was paid by voluntary subscription the first year, but afterwards it was assessed by the committee upon the citizens, according to the amount of property they had exposed to fire. Hot coffee, bread, butter, cheese, and cold meats were furnished the watch at midnight. The watch-poles which were carried by the
A "Watch Book" was kept at the rendezvous, in which the watch each morning recorded any interesting event which occurred during the night. A book containing the records from January 1st to March 31st, 1827, is the only one we have been able to find. It contains no record of historical value, but has much of a humorous character, as the following extracts will show:-
"January 6th. Nothing material happened during the night. Found one light in a dangerous position (viz. at the head of a bed in a chair) ; two fires badly taken care of, and some courting on hand, people up late."
"January 30th. On the fifth watch saw a young man returning home from particular business. Detained him awhile, demanded his business for being out so late; he gave us good satisfaction; we let him go by paying one bottle of wine."
"February 15th. First round, half past twelve o'clock, met Hannah S. and Geo. W., all was well."
"March 4th. One thing is deserving of particular notice, viz., not a hundred rods distant a fine lady was observed to be sitting in the lap of a fine gentleman, and as our respected major and squire would say, "all as fine as silk."'
The watch was continued for several winters and then given up.
In 1849 a similar watch was established upon a modified plan. John M. Hall was appointed superintendent of the watch. The watch for each night consisted of six citizens, who were divided into three parties of two each, and it was so arranged that four persons were on the watch at all times through the night until daylight.
The watch was discontinued at the end of the season and was not afterwards revived.
In 1852 and 1853 a watch, consisting of six citizens appointed each night by the justices of the peace and selectmen, was kept in Brunswick. The chamber of the engine-house on Pleasant Street was used as the watch-room, where the watch met at nine o'clock each evening and organized themselves for the night.
The first movement toward the suppression of intemperance in this vicinity, and possibly as early a movement as any of the kind in the State (then District) of Maine, was in the year 1813.
The following extracts from the constitution, as published in 1814, will show the character of the organization and the nature of its work:-
"Article 2. The object of this society is the suppression of vice and immorality, and the encouragement of reformation and virtue. The accomplishment of this design is to be sought by admonition and persuasion, and by promoting a faithful execution of the laws."
Article 7 provided for a "Board of Council." Among the duties of this board were the following: "To make communications to other similar societies; to receive communications from them; to collect, combine, and digest facts and general information relating to the general purposes of the society; to devise ways and means for the furtherance of these purposes, and at each annual meeting to report to the society their doings; a digest of the facts and general information Which they may have collected, and such measures as they may judge suitable for the society to adopt and pursue."
The eighth article provided that each member of the society should make it an object to discountenance and prevent as far as may be, by his own example and influence, every kind of vice and immorality.
April 27, 1814, Professor Cleaveland delivered an address before the society. A copy of the constitution and a copy of Prof. Cleaveland's address may be found in the library of the Maine Historical Society.
That there was need enough of a movement in favor of temperance at this period is evident from a statement made by a competent person, of the amount of spirits of various kinds that were sold in Brunswick between November 1, 1826, and November 5, 1830. From this statement it appears that in 1826 more than 12,000 gallons of liquor were sold. In 1830, owing to the temperance reform, the amount had been lessened one half.
The second temperance movement commenced in Brunswick about the year 1826. The subject was brought before the people by a lecture on temperance by some gentleman from Massachusetts. Some of the citizens of the place became interested in the subject, foremost amongst whom was Professor Packard, then a young man. The first
"Resolved, That hereafter the retailers of spirits in this village charge four cents per glass and six cents per gill for all New England rum drank in their places of business, instead of three cents per glass and five cents per gill, as heretofore; and be it further resolved, that we add one cent per glass and one cent per gill to the price of all other liquors sold at our places of business."
This resolution was probably not adopted, as it is said that the patrons of this trader found much fault with him, complaining that he had always made more profit by his sales than the other traders, because when he drew his liquors for them "he placed his large thumb in the measure so that they did not get more than three fourths as much for a glassful as they did at other stores." A good way, surely, of compelling men to drink moderately.
The lecture and meeting referred to did good by attracting attention to the subject, though no real measures were taken to prevent the spread of intemperance. In 1828 the surveyors of highways were instructed by the town of Brunswick to use no ardent spirits at the expense of the town. It is extremely doubtful, though, whether this vote was due so much to the growth of a temperance sentiment in town as it was to a desire for retrenchment of expenses.
The second organization for the purpose of promoting a temperance reform was known as THE TEMPERANCE SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK. It was organized on the twenty-third of November, 1830. The fundamental article of its constitution, or "the pledge," was as follows:-
"We agree that we will not drink ardent spirits, nor furnish them for others to drink, except when they are prescribed by a temperate physician as an indispensable medicine."
The society was at first quite small, there being in January, 1831, only twenty-seven members. The number soon after increased to eighty, and in the year 1835 there was a total membership of four hundred and sixty. Many of the members were so liberal in their interpretation of the pledge as to suppose they might drink wine or strong beer without violating it, and as a natural consequence, after
We have been unable to find any records of the society, and cannot, therefore, give a list of its officers or any of its transactions. A copy of the pledge, containing one hundred and thirty-five names, is in our possession. Among the signers are the names of professors, clergymen, lawyers, physicians, and other prominent men as well as those of humbler citizens. The names contained in this list were obtained as early as 1833, possibly earlier.
In 1834 the BRUNSWICK TOTAL ABSTINENCE AND CHARITABLE SOCIETY was in existence and was probably organized that year.
In 1835 the YOUNG MEN'S TEMPERANCE SOCIETY, of Brunswick, and the TEMPERANCE SOCIETY OF BOWDOIN COLLEGE, were formed. There was also one other in addition to those already mentioned as formed in 1830 and 1834, making five temperance societies in existence in Brunswick at this time. From the "Annual Report of the Directors of the Cumberland County Temperance Society" we obtain the names of all the officers of.these five societies, but no clew is given as to which society a given set of officers belongs.
Of one society Doctor S. P. Cushman was the president, and Professor A. S. Packard the secretary. Of another, Reverend George Lamb was president, and James Elliot, secretary. Elder John Bailey was the president, and Jonathan Snow the secretary, of a third. Of another, Ezekiel Thompson was the president. Of the last, John S. Grows was the president, and Samuel Holbrook the secretary. The total membership of the five societies numbered nine hundred and thirty-four.
About this time, as early at least as 1836, the TOPSHAM TEMPERANCE SOCIETY was formed. This was the first society of the kind amongst the people of that town, with the exception of the one formed in 1813, which included citizens of several towns.
THE WASHINGTON TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY OF TOPSHAM was
THE WASHINGTON TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK was formed on Wednesday, June 16, 1841, fourteen persons affixing their names to the pledge. From this small beginning the society grad-ually increased in numbers, and in May, 1842, there were five hundred and eighty members. The officers chosen at the time of the organization of the society were General John C. Humphreys, president; Moses Towns, vice-president; George W. Carleton, secretary; Colonel A. J. Stone, treasurer.
Weekly meetings were held, at first, in the "Red School-House" on School Street, afterwards in Humphreys Hall, and still later (in 1842) in Washington Hall, in the old tavern which stood on the site of the present post-office and engine-house.
During tile first year the society held occasional public meetings, at which addresses upon temperance were made and the pledge offered for signatures. One of these meetings was held in the Congregational Church, and was addressed by William H. Hawkins, of Baltimore. After the address one hundred and one persons came forward and .signed the pledge of total abstinence. Meetings were also held at New Meadows and Growstown, and in Harpswell. Freeport, and other towns in the vicinity, under the direction of delegations from the Brunswick society.
The society decided by a unanimous vote that moral suasion and not coercion should be the method by which its members should seek to reform the intemperate and to prevent the sale of ardent spirits.
On the twenty-second of February, 1842, Washington's birthday was celebrated by a public meeting which was addrsssed by Reverend George E. Adams and Reverend Mr. Hillman, after which the society partook of a supper at Washington Hall. Dean Swift furnished an appropriate banner.
On the fourth of March, 1842, Reverend Mr. Thompson delivered an address before the society at the Congregational Church, the members marching in procession to the church, escorted by Captain Newman's company of militia.
In 1841 the selectmen of Brunswick voted not to license any innholders, "unless they pledge themselves in writing, in the most solemn and positive manner, that they will not keep liquors in or about their premises to sell or to give away." They were also, at the annual meeting of the town, directed to prosecute all persons selling liquors without a license. They were led to the adoption of these measures in consequence of the growth of the sentiment in favor of temperance reform which was promoted by the temperance organizations.
THE MARTHA WASHINGTON SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK was organized on the seventeenth of March, 1842. A number of ladies, feeling the importance of aiding the cause of temperance, met at that time and formed a society. Meetings were held once a fortnight. In July following the society numbered two hundred and seventy-five members. The society not only labored for the reformation of the intemperate, but rendered substantial relief to worthy destitute families.
THE YOUNG MEN'S WASHINGTONIAN SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK was, as its name would imply, an association of young men for the promo-tion of the cause of temperance. It was formed in April, 1843. The officers at that time were M. B. Bartlett, president; C. P. Stetson, vice-president; A. W. Knight, secretary; and E. A. Dunlap, treasurer.
In 1845 the TRUE WASHINGTONIAN TEMPERANCE SOCIETY OF TOPSHAM was formed. Nothing more than this fact has been ascertained in regard to it. It was probably formed by those who, though temperate, could not conscientiously join a strictly total-abstinence society.
In 1846 the popular feeling in regard to temperance had become sufficiently powerful to enable the town of Brunswick at its annual meeting to pass the following resolve:-
"Resolved, That the traffic in intoxicating liquors as a beverage is injurious and unnecessary, and that, therefore, said traffic ought to cease; that the selectmen be directed to take all legal measures for its suppression in this town, and that in so doing the town will sustain them."
On the seventeenth of February of this year a public temperance meeting was held in Brunswick, at which a committee, consisting of sixty-three prominent citizens of the town, with John F. Hall as chairman, was chosen to devise means for suppressing the sale of intoxicating liquors. This committee issued a circular letter to each retail dealer in liquor in the town, requesting him to relinquish the traffic
In the fall of 1849 the SAWACOOK DIVISION OF THE SONS OF TEMPERANCE was instituted in Topsham. It lasted for several years, and accomplished much good.
The BRUNSWICK DIVISION, No. 142, OF SONS OF TEMPERANCE was instituted on the fifth day Of February, 1850, by the Sawacook Division of Topsham. The charter was surrendered on the twenty-third of November, 1852.
BRUNSWICK DIVISION, NO. 20 (Sons of Temperance), was instituted March 22, 1858, by the Grand Worthy Patriarch.
In August, 1859, it was voted to admit "lady visitors." On the thirtieth of September, 1860, there were seventy-eight members, and one hundred and nineteen lady visitors. During the three months previous, sixteen members had been expelled, eight had withdrawn, five had violated the pledge, four had been admitted, three suspended, and three resigned. The division broke up in the fall of 1862.
TEMPERANCE WATCHMEN. -A temperance society with the above appellation was organized in the year 1850 or 1851. Its members were required to watch for, and report to the society, all violations of the law of the State, prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors. The ceremonies of the society were simpler than those of most other orders, and the expenses were less.
PEJEPSCOT DIVISION, NO. 13, OF JUVENILE TEMPERANCE WATCHMEN, of Brunswick, was organized in the fall of 1851, and in the course of two or three months there was a membership of about fifty. Weekly meetings were held, at which were debates, declamations, and other exercises of a like character. In the autumn of 1852 a fine banner was presented to the society by lady friends. It is now in the possession of Mr. Fessenden I. Day, of Lewiston, who was the treasurer of the club. The founder and first president of the club was Mr. George W. M. Hall. The club gave a public exhibition on the fifth of January, 1854.
A TEMPERANCE SOCIETY was Organized in Topsham, on the nineteenth of January, 1857. It had no other title than "The Temperance Society." Sixty-two persons signed the pledge. David Scribner was chosen president; Joshua Haskell, vice-president; William Whitten, secretary; Sandford A. Perkins, treasurer; Humphrey P. Mallett, William Barron, Eben Colby, committee.
THE CADETS OF TEMPERANCE, a society of young men under eighteen years of age, was formed in the spring of 1859 or 1860.
THE BOWDOIN TEMPLE OF HONOR AND TEMPERANCE, No. 5, a subordinate society of the Good Templars, was instituted in Brunswick, August 29, 1866. The society was located in Brunswick, but contained some members from Topsham.
The JOSHUA NYE LODGE, NO. 126, OF GOOD TEMPLARS was organized on the eleventh of April, 1870, and is still in existence.
The REFORM CLUB was organized in 1871. It has held a number of public meetings which have been addressed by prominent temperance men from abroad, and which were productive of much good. The organization is still in existence and in a flourishing condition.
No account has been obtained of any associations in Harpswell except temperance societies, though without doubt there have been some others. Besides the Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell Temperance Society already mentioned, there was in 1842 a Washingtonian Society, with a membership of over two hundred, upon Sebascodegan Island, and there is now a reform club of about forty members on that island.
Other associations not given in this chapter, such as religious societies, military companies, etc., will be mentioned in their appropriate places in other connections.
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