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PART III, CHAPTER 1.
|Ah ! lovely Appearance of Death,|
|No Sight upon Earth is so fair;|
|Not all the gay Pageants that breathe,|
|Can with a dead Body compare.|
|With solemn Delight I survey|
|The Corpse when the Spirit is fled;|
|In Love with the beautiful Clay.|
|And longing to lie in its stead.|
The subject of this sketch, a son of Reverend Elisha Eaton, was born in Randolph in 1736. He was fitted for college at York, by Master Moody, and entered Harvard. One of his Latin exercises while there was dated "Cambridge Collegge, 10 of November 1762, Wednesday eleven o'clock at night." He was graduated in 1763, and for the next year he taught school in Scarboro', boarding during the time at Mr. King's, the father of Honorahle Rufus King.1 Rufus attended his school.
While at Cambridge, Samuel Eaton not only attended the theological course of study, but also attended medical lectures, and obtained a knowledge of the healing art that his excellent judgment afterwards enabled him to put in practice for the benefit of his people.
He was ordained in 1764, and preached his first sermon at Mr. Elwyn's meeting-house in Scarboro'. He afterwards preached at Harpswell and New Gloucester, and had a call to settle at both places. He accepted that from Harpswell, and was ordained October 24, 1764, with a salary of £66 13s. 4d. besides a settlement.
Reverend Samuel Eaton was, prior to 1820, the only resident of
Harpswell who had ever received a collegiate education. He was never married, but in his later years he lived with a nephew whom he had brought up and educated at Fryeburg Academy. He was a man of remarkable energy, and when eighty-six years of age he not only attended to his ministerial duties, but also attended to the care of a barn containing eleven head of cattle, which he always fed before sunrise in the morning.
Samuel Eaton was a ripe scholar and a man of thought. His knowledge of religious doctrines was both thorough and discriminating. He possessed great eloquence, and people flocked from all quarters to meeting to hear him, notwithstanding his sermons were written with all the old scholastic divisions and repetitions. "He never separated religion from morality in his catechisings, which all the children attended in the different school-houses. He impressed upon them not merely the doctrines of religion, but the practical duties of it. He was of most commanding presence, and possessed a natural dignity which was not diminished by the old dress and wigs that he never laid aside. For this reason and on account of a rare executive talent that he possessed, he was generally chosen to preside in all deliberative assemblies where he was present. His own people were justly proud of his abilities and fame. He was possessed of a keen wit and was never at a loss for a reply." He was also peculiarly fearless in the expression of his opinions. What he thought he never was afraid to abide by. In the war of the Revolution he was an ardent patriot, and exerted all his abilities in the cause of his country. In that struggle he had the sentiment of the people with him, but in the war of 1812, he was in the minority, and opposed the war and its abettors with all his might.
During the Revolutionary war a recruiting officer came to Harpswell, but failed to obtain any men. On Sunday morning he called at the parsonage and said, "Mr. Eaton, cannot you do something for me and the cause?" Mr. Eaton replied, "It is my communion Sabbath, sir. I can have nothing to do with secular subjects, but if you will remain till night I will call the people together on the Common, and I will speak to them from the horse-block."
In 1812, when he was being looked upon with some suspicion as regarded his patriotism, he referred to this meeting on the Common, in conversation with Reverend Elijah Kellogg, of Portland, and said, "When the services of the day were over I went to my house, opened the Bible, and my eye fell upon the words, 'Cursed be he that holdeth back his sword from blood.' I spake an hour from those words,
and there were thirty men ready to march the next morning, and yet now they call me a Tory." Though like the rest of his party patriotic at heart, he was a Federalist in his political belief, and bitterly opposed the embargo and the war of 1812. Preaching about that time at Freeport, he began his prayer thus, "Lord, thou hast commanded us to pray for our enemies, and we will commence with Tom Jefferson, if he is not beyond the reach of mercy." He proceeded in like manner to pray for each member of the Cabinet. According to the traditionary account of this service, the Secretary of State was present, being accidentally detained there over the Sabbath, while on a journey.
In old times it was customary for judges of court to ride together over the circuit. Upon one occasion they reached Brunswick on Saturday evening, and concluded to remain until Sunday afternoon, and then proceed to Wiscasset, where the court was to be held. The First Parish in Brunswick was at that time without a pastor, and Parson Eaton was therefore sent for to preach in the forenoon. He did so, preaching a powerful sermon, and at the close of his remarks, knowing the intention of the judges was to proceed on their way in the afternoon, he alluded to their presence in his prayer, and thanked the Lord "that the magistrates of the Commonwealth cherished such respect for the laws and the Sahbath, that they would not violate either by travelling on the Lord's day."
The judges were so much interested by the sermon they had heard, and were so amused by the palpable hit given them by the pastor in his prayer, that they resolved to remain and attend service in the afternoon. During the intermission they sought an introduction to Mr. Eaton, and were much pleased with his conversation. On their way to Wiscasset they made a contrihution, and sent to Boston and purchased the wig, a very fine one, of Judge Lothrop, who had recently died, and sent it to Mr. Eaton, as a testimonial of their esteem. The parson was buried with this wig on his head.
As has been said, Mr. Eaton was a man of very commanding presence, especially with this wig upon his head. He was once taken for an English judge, by an Irishman in the employ of President McKeen. This man, seeing him approaching with his cane, wig, and cocked hat, and fearing an arrest, dropped an axe which he held, and ran, and was never again seen in Brunswick.
The following anecdote will serve to display his ready wit. Upon one occasion he was chosen moderator of a puhlic meeting. He declined, and nominated "Father" Scott, who was a man of small
stature, feeble voice, and very retiring manner, in his place. Mr. Scott declined, saying, "Mr. Eaton, there is more dignity in your wig than in my whole body." "Take the wig then," replied Mr. Eaton, catching it off his own head and placing it upon Father Scott's.1
The subject of this sketch was born in Franklin, Connecticut, April 11, 1762. His father was Reverend John Ellis, a graduate of Harvard, class of 1750, and a chaplain in the Revolutionary army.
Jonathan fitted for college at New London, and graduated at Yale in 1786. In his Senior year he received a prize for excellence in writing. He came to Topsham on probation in July, 1788; was ordained over the church and society of the First Parish, September 16, 1789, and was the first settled minister in Topsham. He remained over this society ten years, being obliged a portion of the time to teach school in addition to his parochial duties, in consequence of the inadequacy of his salary. He was informally dismissed in September, 1799. He remained in town, however, teaching school and occasionally preaching, until August, 1811, when he left his home and went to New York State, and afterwards to Delaware to teach.
During his residence in Topsham, Mr. Ellis took a warm interest in educational matters and in town matters generally. He fitted quite a number of young men for college, among them John McKeen, Lithgow Hunter, Dean Swift, John Patten, of Bowdoinham, Joseph Sprague, Benjamin Randall, and others. He was a member of the original Board of Overseers of Bowdoin College, the first secretary of this board, and a member of the examining committee until he resigned these offices in 1811.
Very little is known of him as a preacher, but he must have been, on the whole, pleasing to the majority of his people, or he could hardly have maintained his position for the length of time he did, over a society made up of somewhat discordant elements. In his theological views he was an Orthodox Congregationalist. Some of his leading parishioners were Presbyterians, and it was doubtless chiefly due to this fact that his connection with the parish as its pastor was severed.
His reputation as a writer and a scholar was excellent. He was a superior Latin scholar. He was also considerably interested in historical researches, and wrote an historical sketch of Topsham which
was printed in the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. In February, 1800, he delivered an elogy on Washington at the old First Parish Church in Topsham. The manuscript of that elogy is now in the possession of his son, Doctor Asher Ellis, of Brunswick, and it shows that its author had a poetical talent of more than ordinary merit. He was a member of the Massachusetts General Court in 1806, and that year he delivered an oration on the Fourth of July, at the Court House in Topsham, "before the Federal Republicans of Brunswick and Topsham." The audience passed a vote of thanks, and the oration was afterwards published at the office of the Portland Gazette.
The following extract from his diary is inserted as an evidence both of the ability of the man as a writer and of his Christian character:-
"December 31, 1800. This day we close the year 1800 and the eigtheenth century. Great and important scenes have been disclosed on the theatre of human action in the past century, more especially in the latter part of it. The new empire formed by the Union and Independence of the American Colonies in this western world excited the attention of the European nations, which had scarcely subsided when the scene began to disclose in France which has greatly injured all and destroyed some of the nations of Europe and astonished mankind. Where or when this scene of revolution and devastation will end God only knows. To the wise and good this reflection that He governs the world, restraining the wrath of man and causing it to praise him, affords support and consolation. May I be ever under his fear, constantly devoted to his service, and be enabled to say with full consent of mind, Thy will, 0 God, be done. Amen."
Doctor Ehenezer Emerson came to Maine from Reading, Massachusetts. The date and place of his birth are both unknown. He moved to Topsham, and occupied the house now occupied by Swanzey Wilson. He married Sally Stinson, a sister of Captain John Stinson, of Woolwich, and afterward married Beckey, daughter of Reverend John Miller, of Brunswick. His intention of marriage to her was recorded December 20, 1792. His second wife survived him and married again.
Doctor Emerson was a tall, raw-boned man. He was liberally educated, but was an odd character. He kept a span of mules with which he drove about to visit his patients. He died prior to 1798.
Colonel Thomas S. Estabrook was born in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, August 24, 1777. He served his time as a baker at New Ipswich, New Hampshire, where he married Judith Nichols. He removed to Hopkinton, New Hampshire, where he lived two years. In 1801 he came to Brunswick, where he ever after lived, with the exception of one year, 1817, when he lived at Norfolk, Virginia. At first he kept a bakery, but afterwards engaged in trade. He was one of the first mail-carriers between Brunswick and Augusta, and ran the first passenger coach between these towns. He was a Freemason. He started the first light infantry company and was its commander. In 1812 he was a major of militia. He was also a prominent fireman. For thirty years he was college marshal. He was an honorable, upright, and genial man, fond of joke and story, and an excellent citizen.
Mr. Everett was the son of the Reverend Moses Everett, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and was born in that place in 1788. He was of the sixth generation from Richard Everett, the first American ancestor, who was one of the founders of Dedham in 1636. His father, and the Reverend Oliver Everett, father of those distinguished men, Alexander H. and Edward Everett, were brothers, and sons of Ebenezer Everett. His mother was Hannah Clap Gardner, the third wife of his father.
Entering Harvard College in 1802, he became the companion and room-mate of his cousin, Alexander H. Everett, and pursued his studies with diligence and success, graduating with honor in 1806. After his admission to the bar he established himself in Beverly, where he remained until 1817, and where he formed an acquaintance with the excellent lady, Miss Prince, who in 1819 became his wife. In 1817 he removed to Brunswick, where the remainder of his life was spent. He had several children, three of whom survived their childhood, Moses Everett, a young man of much promise, who died in 1840, Sarah Ellen Everett, a most estimable young lady, who died in 1847; and Charles Carroll Everett, now a professor in Harvard University. Of Mr. Everett's abilities as a lawyer, the late Honorable William Willis said: "As an advocate, Mr. Everett made no pretension, but as a wise counsellor and an upright and conscientious lawyer he had few superiors. He was often employed as a master in chancery and a referee, and by
In 1828 he was elected one of the trustees of Bowdoin College, and held the office thirty-six years, until compelled by the infirmities of age to resign.
In 1838 he was appointed a commissioner, with Chief Justice Mellen and Judge Samuel E. Smith, to review and codify the public statutes of the State. This important work constituted the first published volume of the Revised Statutes, a valuable acquisition to the profession and the people.
In 1840 he was chosen to represent Brunswick in the legislature, but politics and public life had no charms for him; he preferred the quiet pursuits of private life to the noisy and unsatisfactory contests of the political arena. In politics he was an unwavering disciple of the Federal school and of its successors, and was uniformly loyal to the true Republican principles on which our government was founded. During the civil war he gave substantial aid toward sustaining the cause of freedom and equal rights. In his religious views he was a Unitarian, conservative without dogmatism, liberal without radicalism. He was a public-spirited citizen, taking a lively interest in whatever affected the welfare of the town. He died at his home in Brunswick, February 6, 1869.
Mrs. Fields was the widow of Robert Fields, Esquire, barrister, in England, a lawyer of ability, who came to America and lived for many years in Boston, where he died in 1812. In 1831, Mrs. Fields came to Topsham, and opened a school for young ladies in the house now owned and occupied by Mrs. Susan T. Purinton. Of her early life, before coming to this country, nothing is known. Although a woman
of marked ability and refinement, and fitted to adorn any station in life, her reputation in this vicinity was mainly due to her pre-eminent qualities as an instructress. Although she was apparently lax, in discipline, yet she allowed no shirking of duty or abuse of privileges. She always managed to know what was going on around her, and it was a common saying of her pupils, "Mrs. Fields can hear us think." She possessed a wonderful power of drawing out whatever latent power her pupils possessed. She was also very mindful of their physical needs. She followed the English customs in many respects, especially in requiring her household to tarry at their meals. Though herself adhering to the social etiquette of the English, she did not require it of her pupils, acknowledging its absurdity here. Although French was made a specialty in the school, she insisted upon the necessity of a thorough preliminary knowledge of English, and even went so far as to insist upon a knowledge of American history before commencing that of England. She was extremely intolerant of shams. She was a good story-teller, and was wont to take pleasure in rehearsing tales of the exiled French nobility, many of whom she personally knew. Though not opposed to what she deemed real improvement, she was by nature conservative, and had a profound veneration for the great minds and thinkers of the past. She not only told anecdotes of exiled noblemen, but would occasionally tell tales of her own youth, especially of her presentation at Court, and give her recollections of Mrs. Siddons and of the plots of foreign plays. She was stately in figure, and possessed a pleasant but dignified demeanor that was a comfort to her friends, but a terror to the evil disposed. She was very charitable in her disposition, and always had two or three pupils at a time to whom she gave board, tuition, or both.
William Frost was born December 11, 1781. He was a trader in Topsham for many years, and was also engaged in the lumbering and shipping business. He was the second president of the First Union Bank of Brunswick.
He was chosen major of the militia, and was also a representative to the legislature in 1823, 1824, 1828, and 1830. He was esteemed as a charitable, liberal, hospitable, and honest citizen. His religious views were Unitarian. He died January 17, 1857.
Mr. Furbish was born in Wells, Maine, May 2, 1807. He learned the trade of a tin-plate and sheet-iron worker, and worked a year or
two in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. In 1831 he went to Exeter, New Hampshire, and in 1834 married Mary B. Lane of Exeter. He moved to Brunswick in 1836 and continued in trade in Brunswick until January, 1866.
His health was broken down early in life, but a strong constitution enabled him to battle with disease through many years. He was one of the earliest and most earnest supporters of the graded school system in Brunswick, and a member of the first board of agents, in which position he served for a number of years. He was also one of the building committee for the erection of both the grammar schools and Union Street primary school-houses. He was a Freemason. He was a representative in 1854 and in 1861. selectman in 1851, and also town treasurer, and in the discharge of his public duties secured the full approbation of his fellow-citizens.
"Mr. Furbish was a man who exhibited marked characteristics, a person of strong individuality, great frankness of expression, but tolerant of the faith and opinions of others. He was reserved, uncommunicative at times, but still, beneath all this reserve, there flowed a vein of humor which rendered him a most desirable companion in social life, and which was the charm of home. He was keen in his criticisms, but no ill nature marked them. A man with a clear judgment, enlarged and liberal views of men and things, reading much, he proved an excellent citizen, ready to promote any good object, with labor or purse; and his fellow-citizens marked their appreciation of the merits of the man by repeatedly electing him to fill offices of honor and trust in this his home for many years. Of incorruptible integrity, dishonesty and low dealing he held in scorn, and all his transactions were marked by honesty, and a desire to do justice as between man and man. A memher of the Congregational Church for many years, he maintained a Christian character, to the sincerity of which others have borne testimony." He died in Brunswick, February 27, 1873.
Miss Dorothy Giddings was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, January, 1785. She came to Brunswick in 1812, and was welcomed to the hospitality of Captain Richard Toppan, a relative by marriage. She was soon persuaded to undertake a private school for children, kept a part of the time in a back chamber of Captain Toppan's house, and then in a room in the house of Robert D. Dunning, Esquire. Her influence as a teacher was greatly valued. She joined Reverend Mr. Rowland's church in Exeter, and her life for more than sixty years testified to the sincerity of the consecration she then made.
She remained in Brunswick about three years, and for a time she was a respected and beloved inmate of the family of President Appleton. In 1815 she left Brunswick, spending two or three years with a sister in Newburyport, where she was highly esteemed as a teacher.
In 1818, Miss Giddings, with a heart ready for any good work, was induced to undertake a mission in the neighborhood of Foxcroft and Brownfield. Her object was to open a school for children and youth to fit them to become teachers, to open a Sabbath school, and to institute other means of moral and religious instruction as she could.
She lived and kept her school for some time in a log-dwelling, without a door to the rude abode, and she was charged with extravagance for having a cheap carpet on the floor.
On the Sabbath she had her Sabbath school, which the parents of the children often attended, and if no minister or brother to conduct the service was present, she would, after the school exercises, read a tract or sermon, adding such words of instruction as she could. Besides her school work, Miss Giddings was a nurse for the sick, where she exerted her skill in the knowledge of disease. At one time she became so much oppressed with the poverty of the people, that she formed a scheme to travel on horseback from her wilderness home to Exeter and Newburyport, to beg assistance from friends.
She finally made that journey of about two hundred and fifty miles on horseback, with saddle-bags. She returned to her people laden with gifts, disposed in the saddle-bags and on or about the horse.
In 1824, Miss Giddings left her mission to minister to a dying sister in Newburyport, and then came to Brunswick, her abode for forty-six years. She opened a store, a well-known resort, in a building which stood where the house occupied by Doctor Mitchell and Captain J. D. Pennell now stands. After some years she removed to a building which stood on the corner of Maine and O'Brien Streets, on the site of the present residence of Mr. Benjamin Greene.
Here the poor knew where to find help, the pastor or Christian brother or sister some aid in their Master's work, the inquirer a word in season. She was a woman of no common mould. Energy, decision, determination, a deep fountain of benevolence, strong individuality of character, were unmistakably revealing themselves in her daily life under the power of a thorough, overmastering faith.
Doctor Goss came to Brunswick soon after the Revolution. He married a sister-in-law of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford. He lived at Maquoit until 1804, when he moved up to the village, and soon after moved to Paris, Maine, where he died. He is said to have had an extensive practice, but was a very eccentric man. He sometimes indulged too frequently in alcoholic potations, and it is narrated concerning him that on one occasion when he was inebriated some young rogue got him and his horse into a cow-yard, and put up the bars. The doctor started for his home at Maquoit, riding, of course, around the yard several times, and exclaiming with oaths that some one had fenced the road.
Johnson Graves was born February, between 8 and 19, 1732. He married, first, in Falmouth, Sarah, a sister of Stephen and Samuel Staples. He married, second, June 23, 1803, Mrs. Susanna (Hobbs) Staples, formerly of Falmouth. He was grantee in a deed of March 4, 1763, from Samuel Staples, John Patten, and John Fulton, of lot No. 3, of fifty acres in the Cathance mill right. He was in the disastrous expedition to Bagaduce (Castine) in the summer of 1779. He was a private in the company under the command of Captain Actor Patten. After the defeat of the expedition, he travelled through the wilderness from the Penobscot, until he struck the Sebasticook, where he was met by his brothers Samuel and John, who, on hearing that the remnants of the ill-fated troops were endeavoring to wend their way homewards, had started on to meet and relieve their suffering brother and his fellow-patriots. He was found by his brothers much fatigued and in want, but sorrowing most of all for the ill success of the expedition. He was among the troops who first engaged in battle in the attempt to land at Bagaduce. Of his private character nothing is known.
Nathaniel Green came to Topsham with his brother, Peter H. Green, in 1804. They were engaged in lumbering and trade for a number of years, but after a time dissolved partnership.
Nathaniel Green was a member of the convention that formed the Constitution of this State in 1820, was a member of the Senate from Lincoln County five years, and a member of the House of Representatives from the town of Topsham five or six years. He was sheriff of Lincoln County one year, register of deeds several years, and at the time of his death a member of the Board of Commissioners of Lincoln County. As a politician, he was upright and honorable: as a citizen, respected and loved by all classes for his moral worth and public and private virtues; and as a man and a Christian, the friend and counsellor of the poor and unfortunate. He died in Topsham at the age of sixty-six years.
Richard Greenleaf was born in 1787. He was a man of acute mental powers, and was often consulted and employed in matters relating to the settlement of estates. He was a selectman for twelve successive years (1842-64) ((probably 42-54)) and also in 1859, and held other public trusts. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. He died in Brunswick, April 29, 1862.
Mr. Griffin was born in 1798, and came to Brunswick in 1819, and set up a printing-office. His first work was the publication of the Baccalaureate address by President Appleton. He subsequently printed the works of Professors Upham, Newman, Smyth, and Longfellow, the publications of the college for a long series of years, and much other matter. He was a printer of judgment, taste, industry, and fidelity, and enjoyed the reputation of being the best printer in. the State. In restricted quarters, and with few of the modern appliances and conveniences, Mr. Griffin accomplished an immense amount of work.
His last elaborate work, "The Press of Maine," testifies to his untiring activity and his interest in all that pertains to the craft. It is due to his earnest labors that so much that relates to printing in this State is presented in so enduring a form. The last publication which came from his hands was a catalogue for the Maine Historical Society. He opened the first bookstore in Brunswick about 1822, and continued the business until his death. He was interested in all matters pertaining to beautifying the town, and took an active part in the work upon the Mall. Mr. Griffin was earnest and devoted in the cause of religion. which to him, in his later years, was rather the
outgrowth of Christian love than of dogmatic belief. He was a man of strict integrity, and thoroughly straightforward in all his dealings. He died November 18, 1874.
The subject of this sketch, one of the early settlers of Topsham, was undoubtedly a relative and is presumed to be a brother of Thomas Gyles, who died at Pemaquid. According to his own account, which has been preserved, he left the Downs, England, September 5, 1668, probably with his family, and arrived at Boston November 9. On November 30 they went to Braintree, Massachusetts, where they "hired a house until spring," during which time he took a voyage eastward to look out for a place to settle. On May 10, 1669, they left Boston, and May 17 he says, "We arrived at Merrimathing in Kennebec River, and not liking that house, the fourteenth of October we removed from thence to Whidby,2 a house on the same river, and having lived there two years I bought a tract of land of the Indians, and having bought a house upon the same, October 31, 1671, we removed from Whidby to go into our own house ; but Muddy River being frozen over, we were fain to go into James Thomas's house. April 16, 1672, we removed from thence into our own house at Muddy River, and having lived there three years and four months," on account of the Indian outbreak they left their house and went to Samuel York's as a garrison, where they stayed a month, but the Indians molesting their cattle and plundering their houses, and having killed several in Casco Bay, some of their men became timid and left, so that they had but nine men in garrison. They accordingly left about the middle of September, and went to Arrowsic. They remained there until the last of November, when on account of the number of people in the house, they, with five other families, went to Sylvanus Davis's house, "on the west side of the river" (probably in what is now the town of Phipsburg), where they stayed all winter. After the peace of April, 1676, he went to a Mr. Weaswell's house (which was empty), and planted some corn, intending to go up to Muddy River again; but on account of the attack on Arrowsic, August 9, 1676, they were forced to flee for their lives in a canoe, and went to Damariscove, where they stayed a week, and then, August 16, sailed for Boston, where they arrived August 18. October 11, 1676, they sailed from Boston, and on the twenty-sixth arrived at Southold, N. Y.
They stayed there at the house of Richard Brown for one year, during which time he bought some land about fourteen miles west from there, and October 26, 1677, they removed to Mattelock, a house about two miles from his lot, where they stayed about a year. The land being poor, and he dissatisfied, April 7, 1680, they sailed for [New] York [City], where they arrived on the seventeenth. May 22, they went to Governor Andros's house on Staten Island, where they remained four months. On September 7 they went to Mr. Witt's house, "to look after his land, until Sir Edmund could get a lot of land laid out for me," but he being recalled to England, Gyles did not get as good a lot as he expected, and accordingly he sold it and bought a lot in New Jersey.
October 14, 1681, he continues, "We removed from Staten Island to Benj. Hull's house in Piscataway, where we stayed all the winter, until our own house was ready. April 6, 1682, we removed into our own house at the Bound Brook, upon Rariton River, in Piscataway, in the East Province of New Jersey."
The reasons for supposing him to be a brother of Thomas are:-
1. They both came from England, -James from Kent, and it is not certainly known what part Thomas came from, but probably from the same county.
2. James left Boston for Merrymeeting, May 10, 1669. Thomas Watkins's deed to Thomas Gyles was dated only two days before, viz., May 8.
3. They lived near each other while in Maine.
4. They both went to Long Island, N. Y., in 1676.
5. They both had interest with Governor Andros.
6. Thomas Gyles named his first son for himself, his third son for his brother John (probably), and his second son was named James.
The negative testimony is that Thomas and John have left nothing in regard to him, and that there are no affidavits of the settlers as in the case of Thomas.
The subject of this sketch, a son of Thomas who was killed at Pemaquid, was taken prisoner by the Indians at the time of his father's death, August 2, 1689, and was carried to the St. John's River. He was with the Indians six years, and was then sold to a French gentleman in New Brunswick. He remained with the latter
until June 13, 1698, when he was given his freedom and sailed for Boston, where he arrived on the nineteenth of June. He was in captivity eight years ten months and eleven days. After reaching Boston he was employed the greater part of the time, by private parties and by the government, as an interpreter with the Indians, from June 28, 1698, to April, 1706. This latter year he received a commission as captain, having previously served as lieutenant. In 1707 he went to Port Royal under Colonel Salstonstall. In 1708, and again in 1709, he was sent to Port Royal with a flag of truce to exchange prisoners. Between 1709 and 1715 he resided in Salisbury, Massachusetts, and was an innholder there.
In August, 1715, he received orders from Governor Dudley to build a fort at Pejepscot. It was finished November 25, 1715. His pay was thirty shillings per week, and the proprietors gave him £5, which he was not altogether satisfied with. He was dismissed from Fort George, December 12, 1725, and the next day was commissioned for the garrison at St. George's River. November 28, 1728, he was commissioned a justice of the peace. In 1737 he retired from the military service and removed to Roxbury, where he died.
"He was a man of stern, unbending virtue, a true patriot, and a sincere Christian, upright in the discharge of duty, both to God and man. He served his country faithfully on a dangerous frontier, and was just and kind, yet ever vigilant, in his transactions with the aborigines. He was a man of energy and activity, and became possessed of considerable property, as appears from his will and from many deeds on record." Many of his letters to the governor and his musterrolls are in the Massachusetts State archives. We append a facsimile of his autograph.
Thomas Gyles resided in Topsham until late in the autumn of 1674, when, on account of the death of his father, and not because he was driven away by the Indians, he went to England with his family. Having obtained possession of his father's property, he returned to New England, probably in the autumn of 1675 or spring of 1676.
He intended returning to Pleasant Point, Topsham, but was prevented by the Indian war then going on. In the summer of 1677 he returned there, but finding the place deserted, he went to Pemaquid.
"He was a man of wealth. . . He was also a gentleman of great personal worth, of high religious character, a strict, unbending Puritan, a careful observer of the Sabbath, faithful and fearless in the discharge of all his duties. As a magistrate1 and ruler, who must be a terror to evil-doers, as well as a rewarder of those who do well, he met with much difficulty in enforcing the laws among a people who had long been accustomed to live without restraint."
Thomas Gyles, the son of the subject of the preceding sketch, was, without doubt, born in Topsham, as Lydia Felt, aged sixty-one, deposed July 22, 1718, that she lived in his father's family and was there when Thomas was born. He was, so far as can now be determined, the first white child born in Topsham. He escaped from the Indians at the time of his father's death at Pemaquid, and went to Boston, where he probably lived the remainder of his days. At any rate he was a ferry-man there in 1727, and kept a retail store in 1730.
On August 15, 1727, Thomas Gyles, ferry-man, John Gyles, gent., Mary Brewer, widow, and Jonas Webber, lawyer (or sawyer), and Margaret his wife, all of Boston ("Thomas and John are sons, and Mary and Margaret the daughters of Thomas Gyles, late of Pemequid, deceased"), in consideration of sixty acres where their father's house stood in Topsham, and five hundred and fifteen acres on Cathance Point, relinquished to the Pejepscot proprietors their father's right in the neck of land on Muddy River Point, and all other lands of their father in Topsham.
Pelatiah Haley was born in Kittery, Maine, October 8, 1740. He married Elizabeth Lewis, who was born April 9, 1743, and died February 19, 1836. He was called Captain in consequence of having, for a time, commanded a company of militia. His sister Susannah married John Merrill, Esquire, of Topsham. Captain Haley moved to Topsham in May, 1769, coming by water.
Captain Haley was in the Indian campaign of 1759 or 1760; in the French war, at Lake Champlain and Montreal, under
Captain John Wentworth, of Kittery. The next year after the capture of Quebec (1760), he was engaged in battle at the taking of the Isle of Aux.1 He was one of the Committee of Safety during the Revolutionary war, for three years. He was also one of the party at the capture of Captain Mowatt, at Falmouth, in May, 1775. He was an orderly corporal in Captain Actor Patten's company in the Bagaduce Expedition in 1779, and was in the attack at the landing of the troops. After the defeat of the Americans he, guided by a compass, penetrated the wilderness and reached the Sebasticook, where he hired a canoe and thus reached home. He died in Topsham, October 29, 1819.
Paul Hall was the son of Hate-evil Hall, of Falmouth, now Portland, and came to Brunswick in the latter part of the last century. He first lived for a while on a farm at Rocky Hill, and in 1798 moved to a house in the village that stood where the Pejepscot Bank is now. He afterward lived on Mason Street. He was at one time largely engaged in the lumbering business, and lost heavily in the great freshet of 1808. The latter part of his life he was a surveyor of lumber. He was a Quaker, an upright, honest man, who expected others to be as honest as he was himself, a good husband, father, and Christian citizen.
He died in April, 1841.
Benjamin Hasey was a native of Lebanon, Maine. His father, Isaac Hasey, the first minister of that town, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduated at Harvard in the class of 1762. He was settled in Lebanon in 1765, where his son Benjamin was born, July 5, 1771, and was named from an uncle who took his degree from Cambridge in that year. His mother was a daughter of William Owen, of Boston. Mr. Hasey, like his father and uncle, was a graduate of Harvard, class of 1790. Mr. Hasey received his preliminary education at Dummer Academy, under the tuition of the celebrated Master Moody, and entered college in 1786.
Soon after leaving college, he entered the office of Judge Thacher, in Biddeford, as a student, and was admitted to practice in April, 1794. In June of the same, year he established himself at Topsham,
where he continued to reside until his death, March 24, 1851, a period of fifty-seven years, a single as well as a singular man.
Mr. Hasey represented his town in the legislature of Massachusetts, several years before the separation; but he had no taste for politics, and he withdrew from all public employment. He was, for fifteen years, one of the trustees of Bowdoin College.
Reserved and retired in his habits, he became more so as he left the common highway so much frequented by lawyers and politicians. It was not unnatural that a man of his sensitive nature should have shrunk from scenes which are often contaminated by low intrigues and selfseeking arts. Of the most rigid integrity, regular and quiet in all his modes of thought and action, nothing disturbed him more than the cant of demagogues. As may be supposed, he was strongly conservative; change was distasteful to him. This may be a reason why he never married. For more than thirty-eight years he boarded in the same family, and for many years occupied the same office, to which he daily resorted until within a few days of his death, in the same manner as when he was in practice. But with all his peculiarities, he was ever to be relied upon; his word was sacred, his act just, his deportment blameless. As a counsellor, his opinions were sound and much valued, and, for many years he had an extensive practice in the counties of Lincoln and Cumberland. He rarely appeared as an advocate, his natural diffidence and reserve disqualifying him for any display. Many years before his death he left the active duties of his profession; the innovations which were taking place in the manners and course of practice at the bar were ill suited to his delicate and conservative feelings. The want of ancient decorum and respect, the absence of forensic courtesy, fretted upon his nerves. The abolishing of special pleading annoyed him, and the revision and codification of the statutes thoroughly confused his habitual notions of practice, displaced his accustomed authorities, and cast him afloat, in his old age, on what seemed a new profession. He lived in the past and believed in it, and strove, as much as mortal could, to keep himself from the degeneracy of modern ideas. Mr. Hasey, at the time of his death, was the oldest surviving lawyer in the State; when he commenced practice the whole number was but seventeen, all of whom he survived except Judge Wilde, who had removed from the State.1
The Honorable Frederic Allen, his contemporary in Lincoln County, has furnished the following well-considered estimate of Mr. Hasey's
character and standing: "He was well versed in the principles of the common law. His reading was extensive, both legal and miscellaneous. His memory was tenacious, his habits studious. In his person, though very small in stature, he was of the most perfect formation, and always most neatly attired. He had much good sense, and was a strict adherent to the old Federal party, from whose leading opinions, so long as the party had a distinctive existence, he never wavered, and had little charity for those who did. He was not much employed as an advocate; he generally argued not over one case a year, and that was done very well. His address to the jury was brief, free from all repetition or copious illustration. He left the world in the same apparent quietude in which he had lived, leaving a name much honored and a character highly respected." In his religious views he was a Unitarian.
Deacon Haskell moved to Topsham, August 2, 1818. He had been previously engaged in the lumbering business on the Androscoggin River, and still continued at that occupation. When he first came to town, he resided in the house recently occupied by Sandford A.Perkins. In about six months afterwards he moved on to "the Island," and took up his abode in the Nathaniel Green house, recently occupied by Captain Henry W. Green. At the time of his entering this residence, Mr. Henry Bowman, from Litchfield, moved in and occupied one half of the house. Early in 1819, Messrs. Haskell and Bowman formed a partnership in business and commenced manufacturing lumber, buying logs at the head of the Androscoggin, which they drove down, in the spring of the year, into booms. They rafted and sawed boards, shingles, clapboards, and laths for many years with good success. They finally dissolved partnership, and Mr. Bowman moved to Gardiner, where he died. Deacon Haskell was also engaged in trade. The small residence now occupied by Mrs. Berry, opposite the blacksmith shop of Samuel Jameson, was for some years a store, bearing the sign of Bowman & Haskell.
In 1826 he built the house now occupied by Ebenezer Colby, and moved into it in November of the same year. He afterwards removed to the house on the corner of Main and Elm Streets, where his family still resides.
He was made deacon of the Free-Will Baptist Church at its first organization.
Be was a captain of the Artillery Company for some years, and
was afterwards chosen major. He served in the war of 1812, having enlisted at the age of eighteen.
Joshua Haskell was a man of enlarged views and a liberal disposition. He was kind-hearted, unselfish, and benevolent. He was a man of the highest integrity of character and was a sincere Christian. He possessed a rare humor and was always good-tempered. He invariably looked upon the bright side, and his cheerfulness was undiminished by loss of property or other dispensations of Providence.
Aaron Hinkley was one of the noted men of Brunswick in his day. Of his personal appearance and manner nothing is now known, but he is said to have had but one eye. The tradition which accounts for the loss of the other eye is; that a "tame" Indian in the employ of Aaron's father was one day holding him in his lap, and accidentally dropped a live coal from his pipe into the boy's eye, totally destroying the sight.
He was a man of good judgment, and was often engaged in the service of the town, either on committees or as a selectman. He served in the latter capacity five several years, 1745, 1750, 1755, 1759, 1760. In 1775 he was one of the judges of the Court of Sessions for Lincoln County. When Topsham was incorporated, in 1764, Judge Hinkley was directed to issue his warrant for calling the first town meeting.
In his religious views he was a Congregationalist, and was very severe in his opposition to Presbyterianism. He lived where Ephraim Larrabee resided in 1854.
Samuel Hinkley was born in Harwich, February 7, 1711. He moved to this State, and in 1729-30 is named as one of several persons associated together for the purpose of forming the First Church of Biddeford. On August 29, 1735, he purchased of James Kent, for one hundred and fifteen pounds, thirty-five acres of land in Biddeford. He was chosen a deacon of the church there. He soon after, however,. moved to Brunswick, and settled at New Meadows. His wife's name has not been ascertained. He was selectman in 1739, 1740, 1741, 1742, and 1743, and a representative in 1747.
John Campbell Humphreys, the son of Lawrence and Frances (Campbell) Humphreys, was born in Georgetown (now Phipsburg), February 22, 1798.
His father afterwards removed to Topsham, and at the age of fourteen John C. entered the store of Jotham Stone, of Brunswick. Active, intelligent, upright, and energetic, he soon won the confidence and esteem of his employer, and before he had attained his majority, Mr. Stone sold his stock to him and Ephraim Brown, and they, as Brown & Humphreys, continued the same business for several years. He afterwards formed a partnership with A. B. Thompson, and for many years the firm of Thompson & Humphreys were largely engaged in lumbering in the woods, and in manufacturing at their mill in the Cove in Brunswick. This connection continued until 1850.
In 1848, General Humphreys, as he was then universally called, bought the Dunning farm, at the Narrows, and transferred his business to that location, building a steam saw-mill and a ship-yard. Here, in connection with his sons John H. and Charles C., he carried on the manufacture of lumber, and from the ship-yard were launched, in successive years, the ships Ophir, J. C. Humphreys, Singapore, Marengo and the bark Annie Kimball.
In politics General Humphreys was a Democrat, and he held many offices of importance. He was a senator in the State legislature, high sheriff of Cumberland County for several years, and collector of the port of Bath under President Polk.
As a citizen he interested himself in all that related to public and town affairs. He took an active part in military matters, and rose to the rank of major general of militia. He was chief warden of the fire department of Brunswick for many years.
It was, however, as a Mason that he was probably most widely known throughout the State. He early took a deep interest in the subject of Freemasonry, and was honored with the highest positions of the order in the State. In all his relations as a citizen, politician, Mason, and man, to use the words of a contemporary, "he sustained a character above reproach."
He married Angeline Whitmore, daughter of John Whitmore, of Bath, December 31, 1823, by whom he had a large family of children, five of whom survived him.
His health, which had always been remarkably robust, failed him in 1864, and he died June 18, 1865, at the age of sixty-seven. He was buried with Masonic ceremonies, and his funeral was attended by a large representation of the Masonic order from different parts of the State. His wife survived him but a short time, and died October 14, 1866, at the age of sixty-four.
Adam Hunter, a grandson of Captain Adam, and son of James, was named for his grandfather. He enlisted in the army in the Revolutionary war, under Captain, afterwards Colonel, John Reed. He was but sixteen years of age at the time. He is said to have been under General John Sullivan when the latter laid waste the country of the Six Nations, about 1778 or 1779. The following traditional account of his capture at that time, and his subsequent escape, is given:-
"Having been sent out on a scouting party, he was taken captive by the Indians. By them he was stripped of all he had, and was left with barely a blanket, or some such slight clothing. In his captivity he was associated with a Dutchman who lived among the Indians and was acquainted with their language. The pappooses, or young Indians, were in the habit of applying pointed splinters of pitch-wood, pricking him and tormenting him, and then laughing to see him dodge their mock assaults. The Dutchman, having been flogged by one of the squaws, resolved to attempt his escape, and communicating his purpose to Hunter, they contrived to quit them, Hunter carrying his hat full of corn, which they had contrived to secrete for this purpose, and the Dutchman carrying a hatchet. With these slender means of sustenance and defence, after Hunter had been among then about three weeks, they made their escape. Their only food for eight days was the dry corn, about two quarts in quantity, which they took with them. At one time in their wanderings they lost their way, and heard the barking of the Indians' dogs. The Dutchman was for surrendering himself again to the Indians; but Hunter, contriving by some excuse to get possession of the hatchet, threatened to split his brains if he attempted to give himself up; and at length they succeeded in reaching the settlements at Harpersfield, New York, where Hunter was supplied with clothes, etc., and again joined the army. At the time of their escape it was in the month of October, and Hunter said there was occasionally to be found some snow in the low lands. Hunter served three years and then returned home."
After his return Adam went to school at Bath. While here, after much persuasion, he went on board a privateer. Some prizes were taken and carried into Salem or Boston, but at length he was captured and carried into Halifax. His father and uncle went to Halifax to obtain his exchange, but before his arrival Adam, with about five hundred other American prisoners, had been put on board a vessel
called the Cornwallis, to be conveyed to Boston. The vessel was lost, and Adam was never heard of afterwards. This was in the autumn of 1781.1
The subject of this sketch, a son of Captain Adam Hunter, was one of the selectmen of Topsham in 1767, 1768, 1773, and 1779. He was chosen to this office again in 1780, but declined service. He was on the committee raised in February, 1781, to see to the procuring of seven men for the Continental army. He is styled Major in the town records. His son John, called "Bald-headed John," stated, about 1833, that his father had been a major in the Revolutionary war, and that he was made a colonel about the close of the war, and that his commission was signed by Hancock. Bald-headed John also said that his father was under Colonel North (whom he called Judge North) of Augusta. He said that he had heard his father and the old soldiers speak of Judge North as colonel, in ridicule; that they used to have a good deal of fun about Colonel North, and that the latter was nicknamed "Jo Bunker."
When his son Adam (see preceding sketch) was carried to Halifax, James Hunter, with his brother Robert, procured two prisoners and went to Halifax to obtain an exchange. He was there detained and imprisoned about a fortnight, it being charged against him that he was a spy. He was liberated, however, and sent home in a schooner, one Captain Powell, master, who landed him at the mouth of the Kennebec River. He reached home about Christmas, 1781.
The father of James Hunter's wife was Thomas Williams, who came from England, February 18, 1717, "when gooseberries were in blow," and reached Boston, April 17, 1717, "when the snow was very deep." He was employed in teaching Latin in Boston, and subsequently removed to the part of Georgetown that is now Bath. It is said that he was a physician, and that he often expressed his regrets at having ever left England.
Colonel Hunter died about 1809, at the age of seventy-four, leaving a family whose posterity are still numerous in town.
Elder Henry Kendall was born in Sandford, July 3, 1774. He had ten brothers and sisters. When he was ten years old he went to Wells and lived with Captain S. Hatch. When he was about thirteen
years old his father deserted the family, and Henry went to Centre Harbor and was apprenticed to Mr. Marston to learn the tanner's and shoemaker's trade. He received only three months' schooling.
In October, 1801, he began to preach. In 1802 he visited Mt. Vernon, Palermo, Belfast, Hallowell, Litchfield, Bowdoinham, Augusta, Bowdoin, Sidney, Bloomfield, and Mercer, preaching in each place, and returned to Litchfield, where he settled. In 1812 he was representative to the legislature from that town. March 18, 1818, he moved to Topsham and bought a farm. He was settled over the Baptist Church in Topsham for about ten years, and ever after made it his home, though he preached as a missionary over almost the entire State. Of his style of preaching but little is known, except that he was noted for the power and compass of his voice. It was once said by Doctor Porter, in reference to Mr. Kendall and one of the other ministers, that he could "stay at home and hear Elder Kendall, or go to the Orthodox Church and hear them both." The Baptist vestry was then opposite the present cemetery, and Doctor Porter lived in the Purinton house near.
William King, the first governor of the State of Maine, was born in Scarboro', February 9, 1768, and died in Bath, June 17, 1852.
When nineteen years old a division of his father's property was made, and his share was a yoke of two-year-old steers. With these steers he started east in the spring of the year to seek his fortune. It was cold, but having neither shoes nor stockings, he went barefooted. He stopped at many houses on the way, offering to work for his board. He finally reached Topsham and found employment in a saw-mill. He was industrious and frugal, and in a year and a half had laid by enough to purchase one half a saw, and it was not long before he owned a whole saw, and finally a whole mill. After a while he formed a copartnership with his brother-in-law, Doctor Benjamin Jones Porter, under the name of Porter & King, and opened a store, Mr. King devoting his attention chiefly to his lumber interests, and Doctor Porter assuming control of the store. This copartnership existed for some years after Mr. King's removal to Bath, which took place in 1800.
Mr. King was one of the incorporators of the toll-bridge, and also one of the incorporators of the first cotton-mill in Brunswick. After his removal to Bath he opened a store there. He was also extensively engaged in ship-building for many years. He was at one time a
member of the Massachusetts legislature. In 1811 he was major-general of militia. In 1812 he was president of the Bath Bank.
While in the Massachusetts legislature he was distinguished by his efforts in behalf of religious freedom, and of securing to original settlers upon wild lands the benefit of their improvements. He was an early and ardent advocate of the separation of Maine from Massachusetts, and upon the consummation of that act presided over the Convention which met in 1819 to frame the Constitution of the new State. He was in 1820 elected the first governor of Maine, and after holding office a little more than a year, became one of the United States commissioners for the adjustment of Spanish claims. He also held other offices of importance under the general and State governments, including that of collector of the port of Bath." He was the first grand master of the Grand Lodge of Maine Freemasons.
Captain Benjamin Larrabee came from Portland, then Falmouth, to assume the command of the fort in Brunswick about 1727. In December of that year he petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts "for a recompense for services in going from Boston to Brunswick, the journey having consumed one month." He lived in the fort for some years, and his children were born there. He afterwards lived at New Meadows, where the house of Andrew Thomas now stands. He was the agent of the Pejepscot proprietors, and before the incorporation of the town he had the principal management of the concerns of the township. In 1735 he superintended the building of the old West Meeting-House, purchasing all the materials, attending to the transportation, etc. He died in 1748 and was buried in the graveyard attached to the fort. There are now no traces of this burying-ground.
Captain Larrabee was a worthy man, much beloved by those intimately acquainted with him. He was considered a good business man and was much respected for his integrity and faithfulness to his trust. His posterity are numerous and highly respectable. His son Nathaniel was town clerk for thirty-seven years, from 1766 to 1802; selectman from 1783 to 1800, and was otherwise prominent in town affairs.
Nehemiah Larrabee was born in Brunswick about 1800, and lived for many years on Federal Street. He began life as a sailor and soon obtained his title of captain. "Possessing a naturally strong constitution, an active mind, an iron will, indomitable energy, and a perseverance nothing could daunt, he won his way to a handsome competence. As a husband and father he was most indulgent; as a friend, true as steel, and with a heart open as a child to all proper claims upon his time or means for the relief of the sick or suffering." He died May 6, 1863.
Mr. Lemont was born in 1797, and moved from Bath to Brunswick about 1835. He was largely engaged in the lumber business and in trade as a member of the firm of Lemont, Forsaith & Hall. He was afterwards president of the Brunswick Maine Insurance Company and of the Union National Bank. He was a director of the latter at the time of his death. He was a selectman in 1842, 1843, and 1844, and representative in 1844 and 1845. He was also largely engaged in ship-building. An active, energetic, and well-educated business man, he managed his affairs with great shrewdness and accumulated a handsome property. He was a most agreeable man in social intercourse, well posted in public affairs, an esteemed and valuable citizen. He died February 24, 1874.
Doctor Isaac Lincoln was born in Cohasset, Massachusetts, in 1780. He fitted for college under the tuition of Reverend Josiah Crocker Shaw, of Cohasset, and of Reverend Kilburn Whitman, of Pembroke. He graduated at Harvard in 1800, and for two years afterward taught a grammar school. He. studied medicine with Doctor Thomas Thaxter.
In 1804 he settled as a physician in Topsham. In 1820 he married Maria S., daughter of Captain John Dunlap, and moved to Brunswick. In 1831 he received the degree of M. D. from Bowdoin College, it being bestowed as a compliment. He was a member of the Medical Faculty of the Maine Medical School from 1820 to 1867. He was a member of the Board of Overseers of Bowdoin College, and it is said that he never missed a meeting of that Board for over sixty years. He was at one time chosen a member of the governor's council, but declined the honor.
Doctor Lincoln was a very public-spirited man, and the result of his influence is still to be seen in Brunswick. The prominent traits of his character were his individuality and his positiveness. Though firm in his opinions, he never objected to hearing and discussing the views of those who differed with him. As a man he was generous-hearted, kind, genial, and fond of children. He was a member of the First Parish Church, and was a sincere Christian. In business matters he was upright, impulsive but honest, bold and independent. As a physician he was very popular and had an extensive practice. It is said he particularly excelled in the difficult art of diagnosis. Certain it is that few difficult cases of disease occurred in the practice of his professional neighbors without his opinion and advice-being invoked.
He died March 6, 1868.
"Doctor Lincoln, more generally spoken of as Doctor John in the lifetime of his father, the late Doctor Isaac Lincoln, was born and bred in the house in which he lived and died. He entered Bowdoin College in 1839, graduated in 1843, and graduated from the Maine Medical School in 1846, and at once went into practice with his father.
"The doctor won a large measure of success in the practice of his profession, working early and late, driving far and near, to meet the constant calls for his professional services. Even after his health had become seriously impaired, he was found making his daily calls upon patients, who comprised every class in the community, for the doctor was no respecter of persons.
"He ranked high in the estimation of his professional brethren, and for years has often been called by them in consultation over difficult cases. His intercourse with them at such times was marked by courtesy and a gentlemanly regard for the rights of the profession. He won success as a practitioner, and he won it as well by his loving, genial, mirthful ways in the sick-room. In this matter of kindly attention to the sick, Doctor Lincoln had few if any superiors.
"He was well read in literature outside of his profession, interested in the discussion of the political topics of the day; possessing a retentive memory and the keenest sense of humor, he was ever a most interesting companion in the social circle, enlivening it by his sallies of wit, and by the narration of anecdotes of the most vivacious description. The same characteristics that he manifested in public endeared him to his family in the privacy of home. He was greatly interested in the development and ornamentation of the village, and to his
well-directed efforts, preceded by those of his father, are the people largely indebted for the present excellent condition of the Mall. He was remarkable for the conservative, peace-preserving element of his character and for his great fondness for children. Doctor Lincoln was a member of the Superintending School Committee of Brunswick, a member of the Board of Overseers of the College, and a member of the Faculty of the Maine Medical School. At a meeting of the Medical Faculty, resolutions expressive of respect and sympathy were passed."
To this tribute to his memory it should be added that he was deeply interested in the preparation of this volume, and rendered much valuable assistance, which was continued even after he had taken his bed in his last sickness: He once said to the writer that he desired to live long enough to write his reminiscences of fifty years' practice in Brunswick. He died June 3, 1877.
Amos Lunt came to Brunswick soon after the Revolution, and built a grist-mill. At first he lived in the fort, but soon built a two-story house on the corner of Mill and Bow Streets, where he resided at the time of his death.
He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, enlisting soon after the battle of Bunker Hill. He served in the army eight years, and a part of the time was a sergeant. He was at Valley Forge in the memorable winter of 1777. He was also present at Cherry Valley, at the surrender of Burgoyne, and also at that of Cornwallis, and was with General Sullivan when he went into the Indian country. Mr. Lunt at first received no pension, but a few years before his death, the law regarding pensions having been changed, he received one hundred and fifty dollars a year.
Mr. Lunt was fond of company, especially that of the young, and took delight in rehearsing the stirring scenes of the Revolution, in which he had taken part. He was a good citizen, and always took a strong interest in public affairs. In politics he was a Whig, and never voted any other ticket. When too feeble to walk to the polls, he insisted upon being carried there as long as he was able to leave his room.
The subject of this sketch was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1774, and immediately opened a school in his native town, Londonderry, which lie kept for several years. Fond of mathematics and philosophy, he, in the summer of 1780, pursued a course of study at
Cambridge, under Professor Williams, who then filled the chair of Mathematics and Philosophy in Harvard University. he then comnced his theological studies under Reverend Mr. Williams, of Windham, New Hampshire, the instructor of his youth. Before completing his preparation for the ministry, he was, for a while an assistant instructor in the academy at Andover. While a candidate for settlement in the ministry, he preached with much acceptance to the society in Boston, collected by Reverend Mr. Moorhead, and which afterwards enjoyed the labors of the distinguished Doctor Belknap. In 1785 he was ordained pastor of the church in Beverly, Massachusetts. For seventeen years he discharged the duties of the ministerial office, ever enjoying the respect, confidence, and affection of his people, and sustaining the reputation of a sound divine and an impressive preacher.
In 1800 he preached the sermon on the anniversary of the gubernatorial election, a performance which added much to his reputation. About this time he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in whose transactions may be found papers communicated by him. In 1804 he was complimented by his Alma Mater with the degree of Doctor of Divinity. In 1801 he was elected president of Bowdoin College.
In the midst of his labors, President McKeen, whose strength of constitution had given unusual promise of a long life of usefulness, perceived the premonitions of a disease which at length, after a
protracted illness of nearly two years, proved fatal. Just after Commencement, in the autumn of 1806, he took a short excursion to Beverly, the scene of his former labors, in the hope of removing the complaint which was fast wasting his strength ; but while he was there it returned with aggravated symptoms. At first supposed to be a disease of the liver, it at last assumed the form of dropsy. The most affectionate solicitude of friends and the most enlightened professional skill could not arrest its progress. Having waited calmly and patiently his appointed time, he died suddenly, as he was sitting in his chair, at the age of forty-nine years. The event caused deep grief throughout the community.
In regard to the qualifications of President McKeen for the able and successful discharge of the duties pertaining to his exalted and responsible station, there was but one sentiment. His sound, discriminating judgment, his cool decision, his equable spirit, his manners, conciliating and at the same time dignified, his kind feelings, his moral excellence, his reputation as a minister of the gospel, and the full possession of public confidence, combined with .his love of science, fitted him in a high degree for the office he was called to fill.1
The genealogy of the McKeens may be found in the History of Londonderry, New Hampshire, pages 284-289.
McKEEN, JOSEPH, ESQUIRE.
Joseph McKeen, a son of Reverend Joseph McKeen, the first president of Bowdoin College. was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, 1787. He was a well-known business man in Brunswick, and was widely known throughout the State. He was a cashier of the first Union Bank from 1859 until it closed its affairs, and was a president of the second Union Bank for many years.
For thirty-six years he was treasurer of the college, and his administration of the office showed marked ability and thorough rectitude. He was also a director and trustee of the Kennebec and Portland Railroad Company. and for several years was its treasurer. He was a thorough business man, and exact and methodical in his accounts. He was well read in common topics and in some special departments of literature, including Biblical geography and history.
As a compliment to his attainments he bad bestowed upon him by Bowdoin College, in 1843, the honorary title of A. M. He was a man of strong affections, indulgent in his family, and kind and
benevolent to all. He was a member of the church of the First Parish, a teacher in its Sabbath school, and oftentimes conducted religious services on emergencies.
"He was a marked man, with a clear, unclouded intellect, of decided opinions, with an energy that no difficulties appalled, a determination that went straight to its work, and of unquestioned sincerity of purpose in whatever labor engaged.
"He possessed a heart ready to respond to the calls of benevolence and friendship, manifested in acts of great liberality and thoughtfulness. The demands of duty did not overbear the claims of a common manhood."
John McKeen, a brother of the subject of the preceding sketch, was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, December 21, 1789; came to Brunswick when about thirteen years old, and lived here for fifty-nine years. He fitted for college with Reverend J. Ellis of Topsham, and graduated from Bowdoin in 1811. He was for many years a secretary of the Board of Overseers of the college. He was engaged in general trade for many years, and was much interested in the history and welfare of the town. For twenty-three consecutive years he served as town clerk, and during this period collected many valuable papers. He was by nature and training an antiquarian.
The evidences of his research will be seen by the frequent allusions to his name in this volume.
"He ever manifested a warm interest in whatever related to the affairs of the town, and his action was guided by a liberal judgment and a truly catholic spirit. Though devoting himself with untiring energy, and a perseverance that no obstacles could arrest, to a study of whatever related to the past, he did not bury himself in the dead past, but lived in the present, holding, however, as his truest guides and safest counsellors, the memory and deeds of men who have long since mouldered to dust. At the same time that he proved himself the good citizen in the broader sphere of life, he was no less the charitable and kind-hearted gentleman in all that concerned social intercourse. Of a hearty, genial nature, his face, always benignant, occasionally beamed with a smile of peculiar benevolence, and his address was always kindly and courteous.
"He was one of the founders of the Maine Historical Society, and no man has done more to promote the interest and efficiency of the institution. For historical investigations he possessed an aptness, a quickness, a penetration, and an entireness of appreciation
quite remarkable. There was no brilliancy of intellect; perhaps, upon ordinary occasions, his mind moved slowly; but when investigating New England history there was no sluggishness, no inaction, and no failure to appreciate the subject in hand, however broadly extended, or how intricately related to matters which to the outside observer might appear as foreign altogether. The intellect went straight to its work, and the result reached never failed to secure respect for the man, if it did not always win the verdict of his opponents.
"No man was so well acquainted with the records and doings of the Pejepscot proprietors, and he was regarded as standard authority in all matters of controversy arising under these records and the deeds of these early proprietors of Brunswick.
"In politics he was a Whig of the strongest sect, a supporter of the Constitutional Union ticket of the last campaign, a supporter of measures of peace and conciliation until the sword was drawn; then a firm supporter of the government in a vigorous prosecution of the war, but always after constitutional forms and in strict accordance with law.
"A Scotch Presbyterian in matters of faith, he adhered with wonderful tenacity to the doctrines of his church, but as exemplified in his life they were divested of all their rigor and sharpness. His spirit was too catholic, his heart too true, his love of his fellow-men too earnest, and his charity too broad to bind him, or to lead him to act less nobly and earnestly than a Christian gentleman should act." He died December 2, 1861.
Doctor James McKeen, a third son of President McKeen, was graduated at Bowdoin College in 1817. He entered upon the study of medicine under Doctor Matthias Spaulding, of Amherst, New Hampshire; finished his course under Doctor John Ware, of Boston; graduated at the Harvard Medical School in 1820, and at once commenced the practice of his profession in Topsham. In 1825 he was elected Professor of Obstetrics in the Medical School of Maine, and served in that office until 1839. During the two last years of his office he also lectured on the Theory and Practice of Medicine. He kept up a warm interest in this school and in the college during his whole life, and was for many years one of the overseers. "During his college days," says an intimate friend of his Youth, "the civilized world was watching with deepest interest the movements of Napoleon Bonaparte, and no member of college, I am sure, knew so much of those stirring events
as young McKeen. who followed the march of the contending armies with the best maps he could command; as then, so ever after, distinguished for his extensive and minute geographical knowledge. He took to astronomy when it came in the collegiate course. Late one starlit night, President Appleton descried from his window a light on the steps of the old college chapel. Apprehending some mischief at work at that late hour, he left his house and repaired with cautious steps to the spot, and, unnoticed by the supposed culprit, placed his hand on the young man's shoulder. It was McKeen, all alone, with a celestial globe and a light, observing the constellations in the heavens, 'Ah, McKeen,' exclaimed the astonished president, 'I am glad to find you so well occupied.' This interest in the science continued through life, a comfort and amusement in many a long night drive. . . . He was fearless. Some thought him reckless when he crossed MerryMeeting Bay in early spring, just before the breaking up of the ice, sitting up on the back of the sleigh, watching for holes in the ice and thus directing his horse on his perilous way. . . .
"Doctor McKeen was of the strongest, deepest affections. How he loved his college classmates! We recall, with delightful remembrance, his gathering the surviving members of his class to his house, from far and near, a few years ago, on the fiftieth anniversary day of their graduation, and there spending two days, brightest in their calendar, together, and his inviting friends to sympathize in their gladness. With a most direct, downright, at times almost rough exterior of manner, few men were so easily moved to tears.
"Doctor McKeen was not a mere professional man. No one could be conversant with him and not be impressed with the proof of his tenacious memory of men and events. In modern political history, whether of our own or other lands, few surpassed him in general statement or minute detail. He never made public profession of his religious faith. An habitual attendant on public worship when his professional calls and his health would permit, uniformly contributing his influence and support to the claims of the sanctuary, he was reserved respecting his own personal religious experiences. He never, however, swerved from the faith of his fathers. He made the revealed word his companion, and of late years seemed to be girding himself for the coming of his Lord, often apprehending the day of His coming to be near at hand, and during his last days and his hours of consciousness supplicating in repeated petitions with agony of spirit for mercy through, and solely for, the merits of a crucified Redeemer."
Doctor McKeen, though gentle and kind in the sick-room, possessed
a wonderful physical energy, and had a rough bearing externally. He was of a very nervous temperament, which showed itself in his mode of driving his horses. He has always been called a reckless driver, and so he was, as far as danger to pedestrians was concerned, rightly judging that they would give him a wide berth. So far, however, as pertained to the management of his steeds, he had no superior.
He was a man of uncommon strength, and a lover of fair play. His bravery as well as his strength is shown in the following anecdote, which he himself told the writer: Once, soon after settling in Topsham, he was summoned one dark night to Bath. He went by way of Brunswick. When near New Meadows, his horse was suddenly seized by the bridle and stopped. At the same moment a man stepped up to his carriage, presented a pistol, and demanded his money. The doctor quietly reached out, took the man by the coat-collar, lifted him into the carriage, disarmed him, and then, whipping his horse, broke away from the man who was holding the bridle, and carried the man he had taken to Bath.
While he was a professor in college, Doctor McKeen made the tour of Europe, studying in the hospitals. While he was at Dublin, it is related of him that, being one day on the outskirts of the city, he observed a very large man fighting with a small one. Without stopping to learn the nature or merits of their quarrel, he at once "pitched into" the large man, and was busily engaged in the contest when he was arrested by an officer, and taken to Dublin. He escaped confinement by the assistance of the American consul.
As a physician, Doctor McKeen possessed keen powers of discrimination and good judgment, and was always fertile in expedients. The writer recollects, on one occasion, while a student in his office, going with him to visit quite a number of patients in the outskirts of Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, and Richmond. The doctor left home in haste, and forgot to take his medicine-bag with him. The patients were all of them far from any druggist, so that to leave a prescription would hardly have been satisfactory in any of the cases. The doctor was not, however, in the least disconcerted when he made the discovery that he had no medicines with him, but proceeded to give the necessary advice in regard to diet, etc., and then instructed them how to obtain and prepare the medicines most appropriate to each case. The suggestions thus obtained have never been forgotten, and have often proved of service to the writer.
Surgery was, however, the branch in which Doctor McKeen particularly excelled, and had he lived in a more thickly settled community,
where he would have had more frequent opportunities for practice, he would probably have become eminent in this direction. As an instructor of medical pupils, he had, in the earlier years of his professional life, an excellent reputation. Later, however, he left his students pretty much to themselves, merely advising them what to read, and in the latter part of their course occasionally taking them to see his patients. The instruction that he gave at the bedside was, however, very thorough.
Doctor McKeen was, to the close of his life, an earnest student. He not only kept up his interest in medical matters, but also in literary studies, and the last time the writer saw him he asked in regard to the correctness of some classical quotation that he was reading.
Doctor McKeen had a lively sense of both personal and professional honor. Quacks and quackery he thoroughly and utterly detested and despised. At the same time he himself, especially when he first commenced, did not hesitate to put in practice a little harmless deception, such as being called from church when not needed, and especially a habit he never gave up, of driving furiously when first starting out.
Among the citizens of Topsham, no one will be longer or more dearly remembered than he of whom it has been said that "upon his good name no stain ever rested."
He died in Topsham, November 28, 1873.
Captain Richard McManus enlisted as a soldier, at the age of eighteen, in Colonel McCobb's regiment, in the year 1813, and passed his time of service in the woods of Chateaugay (we suppose in New York, not far from Plattsburg) until December, 1814, when his term of service expired. Immediately after peace was declared, he shipped as a common sailor in Captain John Dunlap's employ, and sailed with a Captain Growse. As a seaman he made two voyages with Captain William Curtis. He then was promoted to the office of mate, and in 1822 was again promoted to the office of master, and took charge of the schooner Exchange. From that time forward he successively commanded different vessels, in the employ of various parties, in 1826 becoming interested as part owner with Messrs Washington & Jackson, of Philadelphia.
Captain McManus made his last voyage in 1847, in the ship Monterey from Mobile to Liverpool and back to New York. In 1854 he Was appointed as agent for Maine for the New York Board of Underwriters, - a position of marked responsibility, demanding skill,
judgment, independence, and honesty for a faithful discharge of duty; this office he held for ten years, and we may say, we believe without a fear of contradiction, that the duty was rendered to the entire satisfaction of the company, and to the great credit of the deceased.
During his long and busy life, --for the captain was never idle when work was to be done,-- he amassed a handsome property, which, however, the reverses of later years somewhat diminished.
A gentleman who knew him well in Liverpool in his younger days, declares that he was one of, if not the finest looking ship-master that ever sailed out of that port; he bore a close resemblance to E. K. Collins of New York, and the mistakes of identity were cause of merriment to both men. A remarkable thing for a sailor, Captain McManus never used tobacco in any form.
In his long service on the sea, and in his ten years' work for the Board of Underwriters, Captain McManus had become more widely known than any other ship-master in New England, possibly than any in the United States.
The deceased possessed a good knowledge of the common affairs of every-day life, of the current politics of the day, and was thoroughly up in his calling as a ship-master and as a superintendent of the construction of ships. Clear-headed, he was methodical in his business, prompt to meet his engagements, and honest in his dealings with others; prudence and forethought marking his management of his business affairs.
Captain McManus possessed a fund of animal spirits, proving himself a most companionable man. He was free in his manners, strong in his attachments, and strong in his dislikes; generous and hospitable in an eminent degree, his house and table were ever open to friends, and that hospitality was bestowed with an ease and cordiality that rendered it doubly acceptable to the recipient.
He died in Brunswick, September 3, 1875.1
Clement Martin was born in 1790. He was one of Brunswick's most successful ship-masters. Starting upon life with none of the advantages of modern days, he won his way to command and competent fortune through the exercise of an untiring energy, a cool judgment, and great business shrewdness and sagacity. Possessing a clear intellect, he observed closely, storing up many curious and interesting facts of men and things, incidents of his early life. He was a man of strong
impulses but of warm feelings, making close friends of those who knew him best. He died June 2, 1869.
Mr. John Merrill was a surveyor. Having been employed by Sir William Pepperell to survey some of his land, Pepperell was so well pleased with him that he advised him to move to the District of Maine, and it was doubtless through his recommendation that Merrill was employed by Governor Bowdoin, of Massachusetts, to survey his extensive tract of land.
In 1760, Mr. Merrill packed up his clothes and tools, and with his pack over his shoulder left Arundel, and started on foot for the Androscoggin River. At North Yarmouth he met a man who had just arrived from Brunswick. He asked the man if there would be any trouble in finding the way, "Oh, no," was the reply, "the way is pretty well spotted out." He then asked him the distance, and the answer was, "They call it eighteen miles, but I will swear for it you will think it twenty-eight miles before you get there."
After arriving at Topsham he began to look around for a farm, and finally made a selection of the old Merrill homestead, where he built a log-house in the rear of the site of the present house. He was afterwards rallied by an acquaintance upon what was deemed his lack of judgment in building so far off from the settlement.
While in the employ of Governor Bowdoin he was accustomed each fall, after his season's work was over, to travel on foot, pack on back and staff in hand, to Boston, to render an account of his doings to his employer and receive his pay.
Mr. Merrill was for many years the principal surveyor in Lincoln County. He was very careful and accurate, and showed a good degree of skill for those times. He was a public-spirited and patriotic man. He was one of the selectmen of Topsham in 1764, at the first organization of the town after it was incorporated, and he held that office for eighteen years, at various periods prior to 1800. He was one of the Committee of Correspondence and Safety in 1776, and was one of the principal actors in the affairs of the town during all the period above named. At the June term of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, held at Pownalboro' in 1777, he took his place on the bench as one of the justices, and he also officiated as such in 1782 and 1783. In 1772 he was licensed by the court as a retailer, and also in 1778. he was licensed as an innholder in 1774. At the town meeting December 2, 1776, he was chosen as an officer to take recognizance of debts.
Mr. Merrill was a man of judgment and moral worth. He was an ardent lover of books, and collected a large library at a time when books were both costly and difficult to obtain. It is said that he bought the first Cyclopaedia owned in the District of Maine. He was an indulgent father, and it is related that on one occasion, when his daughter Susannah was only seventeen years of age, he yielded to her solicitations and allowed her to make a visit to Boston. She accomplished the journey, riding the whole way on horseback, under the escort of the different mail-carriers on the route. The sight of a beautiful and graceful, as well as daring young damsel, galloping along with her red cloak fluttering behind her, created a sensation in all the settlements and towns through which she passed, and one ardent swain was so smitten by her attractions at that time that he did not rest until he made her acquaintance. He at once proposed, was accepted, and the next spring they were married.
Colonel Abel Merrill, son of John Merrill, was emphatically a public man in this community. Says one who knew him well:-
"Endowed with good judgment and a thorough knowledge of human nature, superadded to a good education (self-acquired) and a noble mien, he stood foremost among his townsmen. During the war of 1812, and until its close in 1814, he commanded a regiment and did good service in the division of General King, who regarded him as one of his most efficient and accomplished officers. At the close of the war he resigned, and was called into civil service, representing his town in the House and his county in the Senate, besides holding other offices until he declined them altogether. Married to an estimable lady, and having a family of eleven sons and three daughters, all grown up, he, with ample honor and fortune, withdrew from public life to enjoy, with the wife of his youth, a ripe old age in the society of their remaining children, near the church of which they had been active members for over forty years.
"As a Christian, a member of the Masonic fraternity, a politician, a husband and father, he had few equals, while hospitality has ever been an 'heirloom' at the Merrill homestead. He could say of his children, that some of them had visited every quarter of the earth, and that neither absence nor distance ever severed the ties which bound them together."
Captain Merrill was graduated at Bowdoin College in 1842. He studied law, and practised awhile in Brunswick. He finally went to sea, shipping "before the mast." He rapidly rose, however, in his new occupation, until he came into the command of a vessel. At the time of his death, which occurred in New Orleans, November 1, 1871, at the age of forty-nine years, he was master of the ship Amity, of Bath.
Captain Merrill was a good ship-master. He also possessed fine talents and a cultivated taste, and was a good musician. He was a man of thorough integrity of character, and of good judgment and discernment.
Captain Merrill belonged to the Fifth Regiment, United States Infantry. He was with General Taylor in Mexico, and participated in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and the capture of Monterey. He then joined Scott, and was at the taking of Vera Cruz, at Contreras, Cberubusco, and at Molino del Rev, where he fell. His remains were brought to Brunswick for interment.
"The conscientious, gallant, and noble Merrill was detached with the storming party. and fell early in the action, while waving his sword above his head, and urging on his men to the charge. He fell too soon for his country, but covered with glory acquired in many battle-fields."
Reverend John Miller, of Milton, Massachusetts, received a call to settle in Brunswick in December, 1761, and was installed over the church of the First Parish in September, 1762. He was settled over this parish for about twenty-four years. During the early part of his ministry he apparently gave good satisfaction, and the church appears to have flourished. Towards the close of his ministry, however, considerable dissatisfaction was felt, charges were made against him, and efforts were several times made to dismiss him. As careful an examination as can now be made into the merits of the case appears to show that the differences between him and a portion of the parish were originally owing to a variance of opinion in regard to matters of church polity. This was a subject upon which the residents of the east and west ends of the town did not harmonize; the latter favoring the Presbyterian, and the former the Congregational form of church
government. Mr. Miller could not, of course, satisfy both sides, and after a while mutual criminations and recriminations occurred which rendered a settlement by an ecclesiastical council necessary. Before, however, the matter was settled, Mr. Miller's death occurred. Several letters of Mr. Miller, and other papers relating to the matter, are preserved in the Pejepscot Collection: Concerning Mr. Miller's abilities as a preacher, and the influence which he exerted, but little can now be said. Judging from his own writings, he was a strict believer in all the doctrines taught in the Westminster Catechism, and endeavored conscientiously to act up to his religious views. At the same time it is believed that he was charitably disposed to those who differed with him in what he deemed minor matters of faith.
At what time Judge Minot first came to Brunswick is unknown. As early as 1715 the proprietors voted that "Mr. Watts' discourse with Mr. John Minot about his staying there (Brunswick) this winter, if it be needful, to oversee our affairs, to keep our cattle employed in halling Timber, &c., and to forward the building of our Houses." Whether he spent that winter here or not is not known ; but he did not; in all probability, take up his permanent residence in the town until after the incorporation, as his name does not appear on the petition for the same, and for some time previously he had been in command of Richmond Fort, and had the control of the truck-house there. He appears, however, to have previously owned a farm on Mair Point.
Judge Minot was town clerk of Brunswick in 1744, and that year recorded the names and ages of his children in the town records, the first entry of the kind that was made. He was a justice of the peace, and subsequently Chief Justice of the Court of Sessions. He also represented the town at the General Court for two or three years. He was chairman of the Board of Selectmen for two years, and was the man authorized by the General Court to call the first town meeting in Harpswell.
Tradition describes Judge Minot as being distinguished for the mildness of his manners, the benevolence of his disposition, and for his anxiety to promote the peace and happiness of all around him. He was a useful citizen, and was always active in his support of religious institutions. In his manner he was kind and courteous, and was highly esteemed and beloved by all, even by the Indians. It is related1 of
him that, as he was once passing Mair Brook, on his way home from Fort George, two Indians, concealed behind a tree, were just in the act of shooting him, when one of them recognized him, and exclaimed, Justice Minot! me no shoot him - he too good man!" The account goes on to state that not long after, this same Indian came to the judge, and wanted some rum for having saved his life on that occasion.
As regards Minot's judicial career but very little is known. He evidently kept his court records loosely, as some of them are still extant, entered in account books and diaries. From what has been said of him as a man, it is fair to presume that his decisions were generally equitable, whatever may have been his knowledge of law.
Samuel Phillips Newman was born in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1797, was graduated at Harvard College in 1816, and died at Andover, February 10, 1842.
In 1818 he became a tutor at Bowdoin College, and the next year was chosen Professor of Ancient Languages. In 1824 he was transferred to the professorship of Rhetoric and Oratory. He resigned his office in September, 1839, on account of ill health, and removed to Barre, Massachusetts, where he took charge of the Normal School.
For about three years Professor Newman discharged the duties of the president of the college, during the illness of Appleton, the then incumbent. As a professor, he added greatly to the reputation of the college, especially by the publication of his "Practical System of Rhetoric," which, in this country and England, passed through sixty-seven editions, and of his "Elements of Political Economy."
"The chapter on Taste, in his work on Rhetoric, is the result of much reflection, as well as extensive reading, and, though necessarily brief, is one of the most satisfactory treatises on this subject in the language. Mr. Newman devoted, during the last years of his office, much attention to the subject of elocution. He studied the principles developed by Sheridan, Rush, and other writers, with much care, and conducted this difficult and heretofore neglected branch with skill and success.
"As a critic, he was discriminating, of pure taste, well versed in the laws of English composition, and apt in the application of them. In all his relations to the college he was of a ready apprehension, a perspicacious, able teacher, a wise counsellor, and a valuable friend.
"Mr. Newman was never satisfied with superficial or indefinite views. He was not of that number who gather up scraps of knowledge.
Hence he was not discursive in reading. He sought for principles. He investigated patiently and thoroughly, and was not contented unless he had some important subject on hand for such investigation. He was endowed by nature in an unusual degree with the elements of a fine taste, a quick sensibility to beauty, great simplicity of heart and character, and a strong aversion to whatever is showy or affected. His writings were characterized by simplicity and naturalness.
"In the relations of private life Professor Newman gained the esteem and affection of all who can appreciate worth. His eye, ever ready to kindle and to melt with tenderness, was a sure index of the warm affections within. How he was regarded as a fellow-citizen and a man, may be known from the general interest ever expressed for his welfare after his removal from his home of many years, and especially during the progress of his long and distressing disease, by those of every condition who had long known him in the various relations of public and private life.
"In 1820, Mr. Newman received a license to preach from the Cumberland Association, and from time to time, as his official duties permitted, he preached with acceptance. As a Christian, he was ever advancing in the divine life. The close of his days afforded a striking exemplification of the power of Christian faith to sustain the soul, and to impart that peace which passeth all understanding."1
Mr. O'Brien was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, September 9, 1786. He graduated at Bowdoin in the first class that ever left that college, 1806, and at his death, in 1865, he was the last member. After graduation he is believed to have studied law in the office of Chief Justice Parsons, of Newburyport. He practised his profession awhile in Boston, but about 1845, perhaps earlier, he removed to Brunswick. After coming here he paid little attention to law, but devoted himself to literature, science, and the mechanic arts. He possessed a remarkable inventive faculty. He had a refined taste, was well read in general literature, was a finished writer, possessed good conversational powers, and was a remarkably good extemporaneous speaker.
In manner he was modest and rather retiring ; in disposition sensitive, warm-hearted, and generous ; among his friends companionable
and faithful. His wife Hannah was born about 1756, and died October 24, 1826.
Mr. O'Brien died in Brunswick, December 19, 1865.
Honorable Benjamin Orr, the son of John Orr, of Bedford, New Hampshire, was born in Bedford, December 1, 1772. He was for many years a resident of Topsham, and lived in the Ruth Thompson house. He was one of the most brilliant and successful advocates in the State.
The following sketch is abridged from one prepared by Honorable William Willis for another work.1
When Benjamin Orr arrived at years of discretion he expressed a desire for a liberal education; but his father, having eight sons to provide for, was not able to comply with his wishes, and apprenticed him to a housewright.
He labored in this capacity for two or three years, when be purchased a release from his indentures, and worked on his own account, keeping steadily in view the prominent idea of his life, -to qualify himself for a learned profession. With this intent his head and hands were constantly busy, working at his trade, pursuing a course of study, and keeping school. By keeping steadily in view his great plan of life, his mind was constantly educating itself amidst his daily mechanical toil, by close attention and constant discipline, superior far to the mere formula and routine study of schools. When in Portland and other towns in which courts were sitting, he embraced the opportunity to spend what time he could spare in listening to their proceedings, hearing the arguments of counsel and the rulings of the court, and thus increasing his stores for improving the operations of his own mind.
In his studies he received much aid from Paul Langdon, a graduate of Harvard, and some time preceptor of Fryeburg Academy, who gave direction to his preparatory studies. With such assistance, and his own unbending perseverance, he was enabled, in 1796, to enter the Junior class of Dartmouth college.
While in college he studied law under the direction of William Woodward, Esquire, of Grafton. On taking his degree in 1798, he entered the office of Samuel Dinsmore, late governor of New Hampshire, and continued there something over a year, when, thinking
Maine would be the best field for his future labors, he proceeded to Hallowell, and placed himself under the tuition of the late Judge Wilde. In the autumn of 1801 he was admitted to the bar in Lincoln County, and immediately opened an office in Topsham, where Mr. Hasey was then the solitary practitioner. In 1803 he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court, and from the position he at once took at the bar, his practice became very extensive in his own and the adjoining county of Cumberland. On one occasion he encountered the able and distinguished Jeremiah Mason, of New Hampshire, in a bill of equity before the Circuit Court of the United States. The case was of great importance, as may be supposed by the engagement of such an advocate as Mason. His success was complete and triumphant, and he was highly complimented by Mr. Mason for the manner and ability with which he conducted the cause.
In Chancery practice Mr. Orr became quite eminent, and is said to have been without a rival in the State. He pursued his large and successful practice without interruption by extraneous employments, except for two years from 1817, when he represented the Lincoln district in Congress. During the first session he did not much engage in debate. On the thirteenth of March he made an able speech in opposition to a resolution which declared that it was the duty and in the power of Congress to authorize the making of post, military, and other roads and canals within the several States. The resolution was, however, adopted, by a vote of ninety to seventy-five. At the next session Mr. Orr made a speech on the Massachusetts Claim, and he also spoke twice on a bill relating to the coasting trade. His remarks were characterized by sound sense, conciseness, and entire pertinency to the subjects under discussion. Mr. Orr was a useful member, by his clear perceptions, his promptness and fidelity to the duties of his station, and the ability with which he treated every subject to which he gave his attention.
This was the last public office which Mr. Orr held. The practice of law suited him far better, and was better adapted to his powers, his education, and his inclinations. He sought it in its highest forms: it gave full scope to his clear and comprehensive mind and his severe dialectic talent, and he pursued it with elevated aspirations and lofty endeavors which would have no fellowship with meanness in any shape. As an advocate Mr. Orr was concise, logical, and forcible. He seized upon the salient points of a case, and pressed them with a power that was invincible. He did not waste his strength in efforts to sustain the weak points of his cause, but poured a concentrated light upon its
strong features. The manner in which he viewed this style of managing a cause may be inferred from his reply to an anxious client, who, sitting by him as he was closing a splendid argument, in which, with conciseness and force peculiar to himself, he had presented his case to the jury, suggested to him some point which he had not touched upon. "I have argued your cause, sir, and cannot stop to pick up the chips." As a lawyer his mind was clear, discriminating, and exact. As he grew in experience and reputation, his business rapidly increased, and his services were called for in all parts of the State.
Immediately after his death, Chief Justice Mellen, in a charge to the grand jury, September, 1828, spoke of him as one "who had long stood, confessedly, at the head of the profession of our State; who had distinguished himself by the depth and solidity of his understanding, by his legal acumen and research, by the power of his intellect, the commanding energy of his reasoning, the uncompromising firmness of his principles, and the dignity and lofty sense of honor, truth, and justice which he uniformly displayed in his professional career and in the walks of private life."
Mr. Orr was appointed one of the overseers of Bowdoin College, and afterwards, in 1814, was chosen a Trustee, which office he held at the time of his death; and during this time, for one or two years, he held the office of treasurer.
His wife formerly resided in Newburyport, Massachusetts. She was a descendant from John Robinson, the Leyden pilgrim, and venerated pastor of the Plymouth Church before its migration. By her he had eleven children. The death of this excellent lady, to whom he was most tenderly attached, struck a severe blow upon Mr. Orr, from which he never recovered. His letters to her, when he was absent in Congress or upon the circuit, were filled with expressions of anxious solicitude for her health, of deep interest in her comfort, pleasure, and welfare; and when she was taken from him, he ceased to find consolation or support.
He died in 1828.
His sons, John and Henry, were educated at Bowdoin College. John graduated in 1834, and entered the ministry. Henry graduated in 1846, and entered upon the practice of law in Brunswick, where he is still settled.
Philip Owen was born in Brunswick, in February, 1756, and died May 28, 1849. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and a
member of the General Court in 1812 and 1813. The following extract from a letter written by him, under date of June 14, 1843, to J. T. Buckingham, president of the Bunker Hill Monument Association, in response to an invitation to attend the celebration of the anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill, will best show his services. He was then in his eighty-eighth year, and declined the invitation on account of his infirmities.
"In May, 1777, being then twenty-one years of age. I went with the army to Fort Ticonderoga, and was there when General Burgoyne came up the lake. Our army, three thousand in number, retreated from this post to Hubbardston, a distance of twenty-four miles, when General Frazer came up in pursuit. I was in the engagement for a quarter of an hour at close quarters; and when our army was obliged then to retreat, with a loss of two hundred and fifty men, Colonel Francis, of Beverly, was shot, close behind me, after a gallant defence. I was also present at the battle of Stillwater, when General Frazer attacked Colonel Morgan. The latter was reinforced by our soldiers, and the fight then became general, from two o'clock till dark. The surrender of Burgoyne took place three days after this, on the 17th of October. I also guarded the army's stores at Monmouth, New Jersey, in 1778; and when the British Colonel Monkton was killed, his body was left in my care.
"I was also a witness of the memorable execution of Major Andre on the 2d of October, 1780. Our army, under General Patterson, was then stationed at West Point. Having obtained leave of absence, I fell in with the guard who were appointed to attend Major André on that occasion, and thus had an excellent opportunity for witnessing the scene. The events of the day are still as fresh in my memory as those of yesterday. I saw him remove his stock, and prepare himself for his final scene, with as much composure as though attending to his usual employments."
Doctor Page was born in Conway, New Hampshire, in October, 17 7 7. He came to Brunswick in the year 1795, and commenced the practice of medicine in 1800. His practice soon became extensive, and continued increasingly so until the sickness which terminated in his death. Among the distinguished men in his profession, he held a highly respectable rank. He was well skilled in the principles and practice of his art, and was considered an eminently judicious and successful practitioner.
Doctor Page was favorably and conspicuously known in public life. He was for several years a member of the Senate of Massachusetts, before the separation of Maine from that State. When provision was made for the separation of Maine, and when, in connection with the assumption of rights of self-government, she was required to form a Constitution for herself, he was chosen a member of the. convention to whom that important duty was assigned. To such an assembly, whose business it was to establish the fundamental law which should define and secure the rights of succeeding generations, it was no small honor to belong. He was subsequently a member of the Senate of Maine.
Intelligent and active, and ever taking a deep interest in whatever came under his examination, he could not be for any length of time a member of any public body without leaving the impress of his character. He was one of the original members of the Maine Medical Society, and for many years a member of the Faculty of the Maine Medical School connected with Bowdoin College. He was also for more than twenty years a member of the Board of Overseers of the college.
In his private as well as his public and professional relations, he was highly esteemed and beloved, frank, sociable, and open-hearted in his intercourse with his family and friends, ready to say and to do what he thought was right. He died at Brunswick on Friday, November 18, 1842, in the sixty-sixth year of his age.
John Patten came to America, in company with his father, in 1727 ; landed in Boston, and thence came to Saco, Maine, where his father settled. He removed to Topsham about 1750, and settled on a tract of land, about two hundred acres, which was then a wilderness, but is now a fine farm, pleasantly situated in sight of Merrymeeting Bay. He had the character of an honest and industrious man, who was upright in all the walks and relations of life. lie was a farmer, and had also the trade of blacksmith, and had a shop on the farm, where he employed a portion of his time, and performed the blacksmith work of the vicinity. He was also engaged in the lumber business to a certain extent, and was a proprietor in the Cathance Mill right, and of one sixteenth of the saw-mill and stream. He was somewhat engaged, also, in ship-building and navigation, and he, with John Fulton, Adam Hunter, and William Patten, built the first vessel ever launched
above the " Chops," and the second built upon the Kennebec, above Bath.1
By industry and attention to business, he accumulated considerable property, and was one of the most influential and useful members of society in his day, especially in town and parish matters. He was a man of good appearance, tall and well proportioned, of commanding presence, active and quick in his movements, kind and affectionate to his family, and to all within the circle of his acquaintance. He was religious from his youth, having always enjoyed the example and instruction of a pious father, and at the time of his death was a deacon of the Congregational Church in Topsham. He was astrict observer of the Sabbath, and a constant attendant upon the services of the day, though residing some miles from the place of public worship. He died April 7, 1795, aged seventy-seven years.
Robert Patten was the eldest son of the subject of the preceding sketch, and came to Topsham with his father while a boy. When about twenty-five years of age he married and settled on a lot of land about a mile from his father's. His farm and residence at that time was in Topsham, but by a change of the boundary line his farm afterwards came within the limits of Bowdoinham.
Mr. Patten was an industrious, hard-working man, possessed of a great amount of perseverance in the accomplishment of whatever he undertook. His chief employment for some time was farming. Besides the management of his farm he built, during his lifetime, a number of vessels, and was always more or less engaged in navigation. In his business concerns, while he met with much success, he also met with many losses. He was interested in six vessels, which were lost in the course of his business life. Of one of these he was sole owner; of the others, part owner only. Twice he suffered the loss of his dwelling-house by fire. Yet notwithstanding these serious checks to his prosperity, he succeeded in maintaining himself through life in good circumstances as to property, and died possessed of a considerable estate. The advantages for an education were of course very limited at that period. A few weeks' schooling was all that was enjoyed by the subject of this sketch, when young; yet by his own application, with what aid he received from members of the family, he acquired a decent
education for that day. When about the age of thirty he was chosen captain of a militia company by his fellow-citizens. This country being then under England, his commission was from the king's "Council of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay," and was dated July 1, 1776, just three days before the declaration of our national independence. He was a person of remarkable health. IIe was never confined a day by sickness for nearly or quite ninety years, never took any medicine during that long period, and retained all his teeth, fair and sound, until within a short time of his death, in his ninety-eighth year.
Reverend Charles Packard, a son of Reverend Doctor Hezekiah Packard, a graduate and tutor of Harvard College, was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, April 12, 1801. The following year his father became pastor of the Congregational Church at Wiscasset, Maine, and there the boy spent his early days and fitted for Bowdoin College. He entered, at the age of twelve, the class which was graduated in 1817, and of which the late Doctor James McKeen was a member.
The next few years were spent in teaching. Later he was a private tutor in the family of Robert H. Gardiner, Esquire, of Gardiner. In the office of Frederick Allen, Esquire, in that town, Mr. Packard began the study of law, finishing his legal course with the Honorable Benjamin Orr, of Brunswick. Admitted to the bar, he opened an office in what is now known as Day's Block, Maine Street. His practice was a remunerative one, and a change of profession later on involved the forsaking of an opportunity for enjoying a very considerable income. The record of his years as a lawyer shows that the conscientiousness, clearness, and strength of subsequent professional acts and exercises were but the development of his early characteristics. As a pupil of the eminent lawyer, Mr. Orr, he gained broad ideas of the study and practice of the profession, and he did no discredit to his teacher.
In 1834 there was a special interest in religion in the town, and together with his intimate friend, Robert P. Dunlap, Mr. Packard turned his thought in a new channel and became a communicant of the church on the hill.
In the full career of a successful practice, and with a family gathered about him in a pleasant home, it was no small thing for him to decide to enter the ministry. But lie lelt that it was his duty; and so
feeling there was but one thing for him to do: he accordingly determined to begin forthwith a course in theology.
While a citizen of Brunswick Mr. Packard for a few months did editorial work on the Androscoggin Free Press and the Brunswick Journal. After his marriage his residence was in the house on Pleasant Street so long occupied by the late William Baker; and it was by no means his least title to the name of a good citizen of the town that he planted the magnificent elms on the north side of the street which now ornament the vicinity.
His studies in divinity began at Andover, where he remained one year; from that place he removed to Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio. His first pastoral charge was at Hamilton, Ohio, but the climate proved so uncongenial to his family that he was forced to resign and return to the East. For the next fifteen years his work was at Lancaster, Massachusetts. For many years one of the school committee of the town, he was devoted to the idea of making the most of the common-school system. In all matters of public reform and morality he was in the front rank. The three years from 1854 to 1857 were passed in Cambridge and North Middleboro', Massachusetts, where his record was, "An interesting and able preacher, a most genial Christian and gentleman." He entered upon his final pastoral engagement in 1857, with the Second Congregational Church, Biddeford, Maine. There were large accessions to his church. Here, again, he showed himself the good citizen. When he died, there was a great company to lament him. They came from all social and religious divisions of the inhabitants.
The burial was on Monday, February 21, 1864, in Brunswick, in the graveyard on the hill. At the church, Reverend Doctor Adams reviewed, in his own felicitous, frank, and feeling way, the life of his former parishioner and constant good friend. That address is authority for even more eulogism than the writer of this memorial has used. Mr. Packard was a pioneer in the antislavery uprising. He was not ashamed to be called an abolitionist. Good men doubted, temporizers clamored; but moved by his conscience he would not hold his peace. At a time when to be an abolitionist made a preacher a marked man, he counted professional success (so far as place and profit are concerned) a small thing. He had in him the stuff of which martyrs are made. In his preaching, the habits of the lawyer were manifest. He generally used a few notes, and talked as if to a jury. Plain common-sense, Bible phrases, familiar illustrations, simple arguments, were the staple of his discourses, but all was delivered as by authority. Of commanding presence, there was in his voice and whole carriage
that which testified to his substantial and uncompromising character. "Without fear and without reproach" is no exaggerated summary of a life which was obedient to duty, faithful to the demands of public and private morality and charity, and which was sustained by ''the comfort of a reasonable, religious, and holy hope."
Nahum Perkins was born in Sandford, Maine, April 25, 1787, and was one of a family of ten children. He belonged to a very athletic race.1 He was brought up to hard work and good habits. He had nothing with which to commence life but good health and his hands.
When a boy, he went to live with a farmer, who, having no children, wished to adopt him and make him his heir; but he preferred, with his pack on his back and a shilling in his pocket, to seek his own fortune. He came to Topsham in 1807. He at first drove a stage from Portland to Augusta, then engaged in monthly labor on the land and at the mills, till he accumulated sufficient means to engage in trade and lumbering. During the prostration of business occasioned by the war of 1812, he returned to the farm and, at considerable expense, repaired the buildings and put it in order; but upon the revival of business, he returned to his cherished pursuits in Topsham. Being of a retiring disposition, he rather avoided than sought public position. He commanded the battalion in this vicinity in the latter part of 1820, and was for some time member of a general court-martial, convened on the Penobscot. He was a member of the State legislature in 1825, and for three subsequent terms. While there, his store, stock of goods, and account books were all destroyed by fire, causing a large loss of property, and leaving him considerably in debt. So strict was his sense of obligation to his creditors that he turned over to them all his property, even to the family Bible. Such was the regard of the members of the legislature for him that they presented him with fifteen hundred dollars.
He at one time, with other parties, contracted to build a vessel. When the vessel was partly completed, she took fire on the stocks and was destroyed. The contract with the master builder, who was a poor man, was not made in writing, and the parties were not legally held to him. Major Perkins, however, and one other gentleman concerned, considered themselves morally responsible, and footed the bills.
Major Perkins was a very industrious man. From sixteen to seventy-nine he did a man's work, and died of work. He was a generous man. No legitimate charity appealed to him in vain. His generosity was carried to the point of self-denial. His life was filled up with neighborly acts of charity. His home was the centre of a large liberality and unstinted benevolence.
In 1840 he made a public profession of religion, uniting with the Congregational Society of Topsham, of which he continued an active and useful member until his death. which occurred in October, 1865.
Mr. Perry was born at Rehoboth, county of Bristol, Massachusetts, December 3, 1772. In 1798 he moved to Brunswick, where he remained until 1833, when he removed to Orono. He was married in 1802 to Jane, daughter of Colonel William Stanwood, of Brunswick, and had seven children. He was the agent of the cotton-mill established in Brunswick in 1812, and was engaged in general trade for many years. He was a justice of the peace, and was a selectman in 1807 and 1808. He was also, it is claimed, the founder of the first Sabbath school in Brunswick.
"As a husband and father he was most devoted, affectionate, and kind. Possessing a warm heart and a mind well stored by extensive reading and close and judicious observation, he was ever an agreeable and instructive companion, and his society always welcome. As a citizen he was active and enterprising, and his example and influence always on the right side. As a neighbor, always kind and obliging, and as cheerful to do good offices as to receive them. In the support and promotion of the moral and benevolent institutions of the day, he was consistent, firm, and liberal. Of the cause of missions, in particular, he was an ardent and devoted friend. He made a public profession of religion in 1811, and united with the Congregational Church in Brunswick. In 1820 he was elected to the office of deacon, and held it until his removal to Orono in 1833. He was chosen to fill the same office at Orono."1
He died March 18, 1846.
The subject of this sketch was a son of Deacon John Perry, of Brunswick. He attended the public schools until he was sixteen years
of age, when he went to work. When he became twenty-one years of age he engaged in the lumber business in Boston. While a resident of Massachusetts he became a director in the Mount Wollaston Bank, in Quincy. In 1870 he returned to Brunswick and bought the property of Professor Boody, on Maine Street. He was a member of the Board of Overseers of Bowdoin College, and a director of the Union National Bank, of Brunswick. He died in Brunswick, April 8, 1873, aged a little more than fifty-six years.
Mr. Perry, though not possessed of a collegiate education, was a good scholar, and was well versed in Latin, French, and mathematics. He was a great reader and fond of historical studies. He was genial and loving in his disposition, upright in business, and interested in the welfare of the town.
Doctor Porter, the son of Major Billy Porter, was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, September 20, 1763, and died in Camden, Maine, August 18, 1847. After completing his academical course at Byfield Academy he studied medicine with his uncle, Doctor Jones, a surgeon in the Continental army. He was commissioned as surgeon's mate in Tupper's (Eleventh) Regiment, April 10, 1780, and in H. Jackson's (Fourth) Regiment in 1783. He afterwards practised his profession successively in Scarboro', Westbrook, and Portland.
He settled in Topsham about 1793, and built the house, now destroyed, nearly opposite Alfred White's, and just east of that formerly occupied by John H. Thompson, Esquire. He went into the lumbering business with William King, afterwards governor of Maine. The firm went by the name of Porter & King. They were also engaged in trade, and their store stood about where Goud's store now is. He engaged but very little in practice after coming to Topsham. He afterwards built the house now owned and occupied by Mrs. Susan T. Purinton. He took a prominent part in politics; was a councillor and senator from Lincoln County, before the separation; was one of the commissioners to divide the State property of Maine and Massachusetts in 1820.
He accumulated considerable property, but sustained severe losses in consequence of the embargo, and also by the freshet on the Androscoggin River, in 1814. He had the honorary degree of A. M. conferred upon him by Bowdoin College in 1809, and was a fellow and treasurer of the college from 1806 to 1815. He removed to Camden in 1829, where he spent the remainder of his life. He is said to have
been a man of rare conversational powers and of great suavity of manners.
Thomas Purchase, the first settler in Brunswick, was probably born in England, not far from the year 1576. His widow, in her petition to the Probate Court1 in 1678, states that he was one hundred and one years old at his death.
Concerning his ancestry nothing whatever is known, and but very little as to his connections. There is no known relationship between him and Reverend Samuel Purchas, author of the "Pilgrimages."
There is, however, reason to suppose that there was a relationship of some kind between Thomas Purchase and Reverend Robert Jordan. In a letter from John Winter, whose daughter Jordan subsequently married, dated Richmond Island, the second of August, 1641, occurs the following paragraph : -
"Heare is on Mr. Robert Jorden a mynister wch bath bin wth vs this 3 moneths wth is a very honest religious man by anything as yett I can find in him, I have not yett agreed wth him for stayinge heare but did refer yt tyll I did heare som word from you we weare long w'thout a mynister & weere but in a bad way & so we shall be still iff we have not the word of God taught vnto us somtymes the plantation at pemequid would willingly have him or the[y] desire he might be their on halfe of the yeare & the other half to be heare wth vs I know not how we shall accord uppon yt as yett he bath bin heare in the country this 2 yeares & hath alwaies lived wth Mr. Purchase wch is a kinsman unto him."2
What this kinship was does not appear, but it was evidently a blood relationship. This fact is of interest, as it connects the Jordans of Brunswick and vicinity with the original owner of the Pejepscot tract.
Thomas Purchase was twice married. His first wife was the Mary Gove3 whom Sir Christopher Gardiner called his "cousin," and in regard to whose relations with Gardiner there had been some scandal. The marriage occurred about 1631. She died in Boston. January 7, 1656. It is not definitely known that there were any children by this marriage. His second marriage was to Elizabeth Williams. The date
of this marriage cannot be ascertained with certainty; but it was probably very shortly after the death of his first wife, as in 1678 his son, in his petition with his mother to the Probate Court, calls himself "a young man." If his parents were married one year after the death of the first wife, he could only have been, at the time this petition was presented,, twenty-one years of age.
By this second marriage there were five children.1 Of these children only the names of three have been preserved, viz., Thomas, Jane, and Elizabeth.
Traditionary accounts place the date of Purchase's immigration all the way between 1624 and 1635. The Warumbo deed makes it about 1624 or 1625. Mr. Frederick Kidder, in a letter to the late Reverend Edward Ballard, places the date at 1626, and refers to the "Narrative of the Plantation of Massachusetts Colony, 1694, published by an Old Planter," pages 17 and 18. In Savage's "Genealogical Dictionary" the date is given as 1628, and this date is also given in the deed of John Blaney and Elizabeth. The deed of Eleazer Way, however, gives the date as 1635. Folsom makes it about 1630. In the deposition of John Cozzen, it is stated that he came to Pejepscot in 1628, and that he came from Saco, where Folsom mentions his presence, in 1630.
He probably migrated to this country, very likely coming first to Saco, about the year 1626. There is little doubt but that he came to Pejepscot in 1628. There is conclusive evidence that he was at Pejepscot prior to the date of the grant of land that was made to him and Way. Probably the four or five years of his early stay in that region caused him to become well acquainted with the value of the tract which he afterwards acquired.
In the proceedings of the Plymouth Council in England, the following minute is entered:-
"16 June, 1632. 8 Cat. I. The said Councill graunt certaine, called the River Bishopscott, unto George Way and Thomas Purchase."
The action of this Council in relation to the assignment of the territory in question was also dated June 16, 1632, and is as follows:-
"A Graunt part to George Way and Thomas Purchase of certaine Lands in New England, called the River Bishopscotte, and all that Bounds and Limitts of the Maine Land, adjoining to the said River to extend two myles : from the said River Northwards four myles, and
from the house1 there to the Ocean sea with all other Profitts and Commodities whatsoever, paying to the King one fifth part of gold and silver oare, and another fifth part to the President and Councill, also paying twelve pense to the said President and Councill for every hundred Acres of Ground in use, to the rent-gatherer for the time being, as by the same Graunt may appeare."2
The location of Thomas Purchase's residence at Pejepscot is still a matter of doubt, notwithstanding that there are in the Pejepscot Papers over one hundred depositions in regard to it. The probabilities are greatly in favor of the supposition that he changed his abode several times.
Both the late John McKeen, Esquire, and Reverend Doctor Ballard were of the opinion that his earliest residence was at "Fish-House Hill" in the present village of Brunswick. Joshua Fillbrook, who moved to Bath in 1738, has, however, left on record a statement to the effect that Purchase lived near the head of Stevens, or New Meadows River.3
Williamson4 and Sewall5 make similar statements. No attempt has been made to decide the question by making a count of the various depositions preserved in the Pejepscot Papers, for the reason that a mere numerical preponderance of testimony would have no weight unless those who composed the majority of deponents could be shown to have more trustworthy sources of information than the others. Moreover, these depositions were probably not given to determine the exact abode of Purchase, but to put beyond cavil the fact that he had actually occupied the territory. They do, however, settle beyond a reasonable doubt the fact that he did, at different periods of his stay at Pejepscot, reside in two separate places.
It is not, perhaps, possible, at the present day, to determine with certainty whether his earliest residence was at Fish-House Hill or at New Meadows. We incline, however, to the opinion that McKeen and Ballard were right in supposing it to he at the former locality, for the reason that very early after his coming to the place, he engaged in the salmon fishery, which was of course carried on at the falls, and he undoubtedly had his residence near. The evidence that he at some time resided at the Ten-Mile or Lisbon Falls is entirely traditional, but is not altogether improbable.
Considerable confusion and uncertainty have existed in regard to the
date of Purchase's death, and some have even supposed that there were more than two of that name at Pejepscot.
W. Neale and several others depose that he died about 1654. Savage, referring to other authorities, gives the date as 1678. The will on record in Probate Court gives it at 1677. A Thomas Purchase is mentioned in Savage's "Genealogical Dictionary" as having sailed on a voyage in 1681, and never after being heard from. R. Collicutt deposed that he went to England about 1677.
The record of the will is evidently more authoritative than all else. It is only necessary to show that it is the will of Thomas Purchase of Pejepscot, and not that of his son or of some other Thomas. The following is a synopsis of the statements in the will, which is preserved at Lynn, and a copy of which is in the Probate Office at Salem. Thomas Purchase, Senior, died in Lynn, May 11, 1676-7, aged one hundred and one years. Left a wife, Elizabeth, and five children. His son Thomas was appointed executor of his will. The overseers of the will were Mr. Henry Josselin, Cozen, Mr. Oliver Purchase, of the firm of Haniersmith & Co., and Mr. Edward Allen, of Boston. The widow, who was administratrix, made oath to the foregoing in 1678. In November of that years he married John Blaney. The date of her death is not known. In an account of Samuel Pike against the estate he charged for board of Mr. Purchase for seven months, of two children for a year and a half, of one child for one year, and of one child for fifteen months.
This will was without doubt that of Thomas Purchase, of Pejepscot. There is, however, in the same probate office, to be found the following document:-
|Imp. to one fether bed and all the furniture belonging to it.||£7||18s.||6d.|
|To 3 pillow Cases, 12 napkins, 3 table Cloths, 6 towels||1||Od.|
|To 1 wasswl (wash bowl?) 10/ one c b cloth 5/ 1 pr. shelves
|In plate apprised at||6||10||0.|
|To 1 pr. andirons, fireshovel and tongs||0||13||0.|
|To 1 Iron pot, brass Skillet & Iron hake at||0||14||6.|
|To 3 pewter platters, 3 basins, 3 porenges & 2 Sases||0||13||6.|
|To earthen ware at||0||3||0.|
|To 1 pine table, 1 jug and stove & 6 charge at||0||15||0.|
|To 2 chests, 1 trunk, and 2 boxes at||1||0||0.|
|To 1 gun, 1 sword and belt at||2||0||0.|
|To one warming pan, small one, at .||0||7||0.|
|To 1 mare and mare colt, 3 sheep and a lamb at||3||0||0.|
|To money and goods of Mr. Wharton||18||8||0.|
|To 1000 acres of vacant land at eastward.
[The value of which is not assigned.]
|Debts due out of the Estate is||£2||13s.||6d.|
|Debts due to the estate||2||50||0d.|
The depositions of Neale and Collicutt --the first that he died about 1654, and the second that he went to England in 1677-- are easily disposed of. Neale's testimony was only hearsay, and the mistake may have occurred in consequence of the death of Mary, the first wife, which took place in 1656. Collicutt's testimony was to the effect that Thomas Purchase, Senior, told him, in 1677, that he was going to England to obtain a copy of his patent, and that he took him "from the eastward to Boston," for that purpose. He says, moreover, that Purchase "took passage quickly after." There is nothing in this statement inconsistent with the supposition that Thomas Purchase, the first, of Pejepscot, died in 1766, and that his son was the one to whom Collicutt referred, and who may have been lost at sea on his way back from England, in 1681, or who may have then been on his way thither.
The ground taken in this sketch is further corroborated by a deed from Thomas Purchase, the grandson, to Samuel Waldo, in which he states that he is the only son of the Thomas Purchase who was the eldest son of Thomas Purchase who occupied Pejepscot from the third year of King Charles the First until 1675. This deed1 is dated 1734, and must have been of part of the land set off by the Pejepscot proprietors.
Purchase, during his residence at Pejepscot, was probably engaged
in different pursuits at different times. He is mentioned as a hunter, and trader with the Indians, as being engaged in the salmon fishery, and as a planter. The causes that led to his emigration can never be known; but there is every reason for supposing that he came to Pejepscot in pursuit of furs and peltry, which he acquired partly by his own exertions in the chase and partly by traffic with the natives. He was also engaged for the whole period of his residence in obtaining salmon and sturgeon, and packing them for exportation to London,1 and probably collected a number of settlers near him.
He also cultivated the soil, and at the time of the attack upon his house by the Indians, in 1676, he was possessed of stock, and probably had what in those days would be considered a respectable farm.
His first house was destroyed by fire, and "by this disaster he lost in the flames the only copy of the patent by which he held his property. The original had been left with Mr. Francis Ashley, in England."2 It was very likely soon after this fire that he changed his place of abode. At all events, he soon after erected "a small cottage for a present shelter," and it was while here that he was visited by Mr. Edward Rishworth.3 This structure was afterwards superseded by "a fair stone house," in which he is supposed to have lived during the remainder of his residence at Pejepscot.
Thomas Purchase must have been a man well known in the colony. He not only held at different times offices of trust and responsibility, but also made, it would seem, a frequent appearance in court.
The first account of him after his immigration to this country is of his appearance at Saco in 1630.
On June 25 of that year he was present with Isaac Allerton, Captain Thomas Wiggen, and others, and saw Richard Vines take legal possession of the land granted him and John Oldham, on the southwest side of Saco River.4
In 1631 he was at Pejepscot, where he was visited in July by Sir Christopher Gardiner, who remained with him about a year.5
In 1636 he was present as one of the commissioners, on March 25, at the house of Captain R. Boynthon, in Saco. His associates were Captain Boynthon, Captain W. Gorges, Captain Cammock, Messrs. H. Jocelyn, E. Godfrey and T. Lewis.6
This was the first organized court within the limits of the present State of Maine.1
On August 22, 1639, he made legal conveyance to John Winthrop, governor of Massachusetts, of all his land, and put himself under the power and jurisdiction of that colony. He reserved, however, such a claim to the ownership of the land as practically annulled that part of the contract.
In 1640, Purchase again appears in court at Saco, but this time not on the bench but before the bar, and also as a juryman. There were five indictments against him at this court. On July 14 of this year he was summoned to appear at court on the eighth of September following, and an order was at the same time issued to Robert Sankey of Saco, the provost marshal, to bring him before the court on September 8, to answer to divers complaints not specified, and particularly that credible information had been given that he had conveyed the greater part of his goods and chattels out of the province, in consequence of his indebtedness to divers persons ; or to take sufficient security for his appearance at the session of the council established for the province. On his refusal his property was to be attached and brought to Saco. The first complaint was brought by Giles Elbridge, of Pemaquid, in an action of debt. Purchase made his appearance, but for some reason the case was not tried.
The second complaint against him was by Richard Vines in a similar action. This case also was not tried.
The third complaint was by Richard Tucker, of Casco, and was to the effect that nine years previously Sir Christopher Gardiner had borrowed a warming-pan of him in Purchase's name, which was worth twelve shillings and sixpence, and had kept it. Also that six months afterwards he had bought a fowling-piece for forty shillings, and would not pay for the same, though often requested. The damages were placed at five pounds. Purchase denied that Gardiner did these things in his name, and declared that if he did he was not authorized to do so. Purchase further declared that the above facts were unknown to him, and that he had no recollection of any demand being made as alleged. "But Mr. George Cleaves had asked him causelessly for these articles; but he being a partner with the defendant, had acquitted him from all causes of action whatever."
The issue was joined, the trial took place, and the jury decided that Purchase should pay two pounds twelve shillings and sixpence for
the articles claimed, and twelve shillings and sixpence as costs of court. Judgment was given and execution ordered by the whole court. Whatever became of the warming-pan is not known, but it will be noticed that there was one mentioned among the articles embraced in the inventory of 1685.
The fourth complaint was a declaration of Arthur Browne, merchant, accusing Purchase of falsely charging him with perjury and bribery. Purchase denied the whole thing, but the jury brought in a verdict against him and fined him five pounds sterling, and twelve shillings for costs.
The fifth complaint is not given, but it is stated that he was required, on the third day of August preceding, to enter into a recognizance with Reverend Robert Jordan, and that he appeared at court to answer to Captain Thomas Young, Messrs. Abraham Shurte, George Davis, Richard Tucker, and others. At this same court Purchase also served as a juryman in the case of Mary Purington of Agamenticus.
In 1645 he signed a letter addressed to Governor Winthrop, the deputy governor, and court of assistants of Massachusetts Bay, and was also the one chosen to present the same. This letter was in regard to trouble between the inhabitants of Rugby's Province of Lygonia, and Jocelyn and others, and was dated "Casco Bay, this 18th ffebr; 1645." William Ryall, Richard Tucker, and George Cleeve were the other signers.1
In 1653 he was sued by the colony government, "as appears by a record of the General Court of that year, and styled Of Pejepscot." What this suit was for we have not ascertained. At one time, date unknown, his children were required by the council to be brought forward for baptism, and on neglect of the same he was to be summoned before the General Court.
In 1654 he was chosen assistant to Prince, the commissioner at the first court ever held upon the Kennebec. There is no evidence, however, that he ever held an assistant's court.
In 1657 he was called to answer before the county court of Yorkshire, to an action brought against him by the Widow Elizabeth Way for the purpose of determining whether Pejepscot was under the jurisdiction of that court.
After the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England in 1660, probably in the year 1662, Purchase was commissioned as a magistrate under Gorges, or, at least, Mr. J. Archdale, agent of Gorges, offered him such a commission.2
In September, 1675, his house was attacked by the Indians, an account of which was given in Part I.
The foregoing enumeration of the various events in the life of Purchase embrace a nearly continuous connection from the time of his migration to his death. It embraces a period of forty-seven years. During this long time the only intervals of any length, in which we have no accounts of him, are between 1645 and 1654, and 1660 and 1675. It is possible that these gaps may even yet be shortened.
Whether Purchase was a man of much property can only be surmised. It would seem that his opportunities of acquiring wealth were unusually good. He possessed a good field for traffic with the Indians, and had the monopoly of the best salmon and sturgeon fishery in New England. Notwithstanding this, the frequent suits brought against him show not only "the litigious temper of the times," but also that he was deeply in debt, and that his creditors were uneasy.
Of his real character nothing is known more than may be gathered from what has already been stated. That he was a man of considerable enterprise is evident. That he failed to wholly conciliate the Indians is evident not only from the fact that his house was selected as the first one to be visited by them, but also that he was deemed unfair in his dealings with them, one of them remarking that he had paid a hundred pounds for water "from Purchase his well." This water was, however, presumably flavored with some alcoholic ingredient.
Notwithstanding these facts, the Indians could not have been entirely at enmity with him. or they would not have let him off with the mere robbery of his house when they had some of its inmates in their power.
Thomas Purchase must have been a man of considerable ability, or he would not have held the offices he did. Williamson says of him that "he was one of those flexible patriots who could accommodate his politics to the changes of the times."1 This, it appears to us, is rather a harsh judgment. To which administration did he owe allegiance? The question may be easy to answer now, but was it so easy for him to answer it? It must be remembered that it was not until the present century that the claim of the Plymouth Colony on the Kennebec to his tract of land was finally settled adversely.
That he did hold office under different and opposing governments is not to be denied; yet Robert Jordan, Henry Joscelyn, and
Edward Rishworth did so likewise, though the author referred to does not speak of them in any such doubtful terms.1 Considering the unquiet times in which he lived and the little that is known against him, it is fair to presume that he was a man whose character was fully equal to that of the great majority of his associates and neighbors.
"Humphrey Purinton," says the writer of an obituary notice, "was one of our most useful and substantial citizens. As a man of business his conduct was always marked by the most scrupulous uprightness and integrity. With himself a verbal promise was as binding as a written obligation, and to others his word was as good as his bond. Occupied chiefly with his own affairs, and seeking his greatest happiness where he was accustomed to find it, -at home,- he mingled but little in general society, and concerned himself but little with political and other exciting topics of the day.
"Yet he was by no means indifferent to the welfare of others. His loss will be very sensibly felt in the community, and severely felt in the immediate circle of his family connections, friends, and acquaintance. Correct in all his habits, unassuming in his deportment, benevolent and kind in his feelings, sincere and conscientious in the discharge of his duties, a constant attendant upon public worship, and a liberal supporter of religious institutions, his memory is one which they will all delight to cherish ; and his example in all these respects is one which may well be presented for general imitation."He died in Topsham, December 31, 1841, aged sixty-seven years.
The subject of this sketch was a native of Topsham, and, a son of Humphrey Purinton. Though interested in various business pursuits, he had a particular fondness for agriculture, and did all he could to promote it. He was chosen president of the Sagadahoc Agricultural and Horticultural Society in 1855, and the following notice of him appeared in the report of that society next succeeding the date of his death, which occurred May 21, 1857:-
"At the time he was chosen president of the society he was nearly forty-two years old, in the vigor and prime of his life. He had been well educated for the time, had in his youth attended the academy at Farmington, and afterwards the seminary at Gorham. He early
commenced an active business life, however, and acquired the larger part of his education in the discharge of its duties. He was first a trader; then with his brother, Woodbury B. Purinton, Esquire, succeeded his father in the lumber, ship-building, and general commercial business. He built the Topsham flour-mill, at the time one of the best in New England. In 1843 he purchased of Governor King the fine residence and estate of the late Doctor Porter, which became his home the remainder of his days. In 1853 he was president of the Lewiston and Topsham Railroad Company, which led to the building of the Androscoggin Road.
"After he was chosen president of the Sagadahoc Agricultural and Horticultural Society, he took a deep and lasting interest in agriculture,- in the cultivation and improvement of his own farm, as well as of all others within the limits of the society. He was a friend to the farmer everywhere, and to improved farming. At the time of his death he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Maine State Agricultural Society. His name, influence, and assistance were sought in various directions, and seldom or never did he withhold them from a good cause when he thought he could perform any real service. He was called away from this world in the prime of life, when he was only forty-four years of age. He left a beloved wife and a large family of children. He was beloved and esteemed by all who knew him, for his indomitable energy, his inflexible integrity, and his large-hearted benevolence. He was one of the most public-spirited men of his town. He was a man of religious character, full of good works, free from bigotry, from envy, and self-love. He was a good citizen, and in the true sense an honest. man. Frank and social in his intercourse with others, he was fond of society, strong in his attachments to his friends, a good neighbor, an affectionate husband and kind father, a true and sincere man."
Nathaniel Purinton was a son of Humphrey Purinton, of Georgetown, now Bath, and married Priscilla Woodbury, of Portland, about 1756, and about the same time moved to Harpswell Island. His occupation was farming and milling. He was a part owner in the saw-mills at Topsham. He is said to have built the first grist-mill and saw-mill in Harpswell, in the cove of his lot, which was the farm now owned by Stephen Purinton. He was a prominent man in town affairs, and was a selectman from 1766 to 1769. inclusive, in 1778, in 1780, and from 1783 to 1787, inclusive. He died suddenly at Topsham, February 9, 1788.
Stephen Purinton, a son of Nathaniel Purinton, was born in Harpswell, May 7, 1764. He succeeded to his father's business of farming and milling, and also erected a tannery. He was also engaged in the West India business. It is said that when twenty-one years of age, he went with the first team that ever entered the town of Bethel, hauling logs to the river to see if they would reach Brunswick. February 26, 1789, he married Mary, daughter of John Merrill, Esquire, of Topsham. In 1816 he professed religion, and assisted in forming the first FreeWill Baptist Church in Harpswell. He was chosen deacon and church clerk, and held both offices until 1840. He was a representative in 1810, 1813, 1814, 1816, 1820, 1824. He was a man very generally esteemed in the community in which he lived. His wife died May 25, 1836. He died November 10, 1843.
John Reed was born in Ireland in 1747, and was married to Rachel, daughter of William Thorne, in March, 1769. He came to this country with his father, and settled in Topsham. He went into the Revolutionary war as an ensign, in a company commanded by Captain Blaisdell, of Portland. He went to Ticonderoga, where Hammond, the lieutenant, died, and was succeeded by him. He afterwards received a captain's commission, and served with reputation till obliged to retire in consequence of a wound received in an action a little preceding the capture of General Burgoyne's army (in 1777).
He so far recovered his health and activity that he was elected to and sustained the office of lieutenant-colonel till his death. He was lieutenant-colonel of the First Regiment, First Brigade, Fourth Division of the Massachusetts militia which mustered in Bath in 1788. He died October 20, 1797, and was buried with military honors. The Bath artillery with their guns, two companies of infantry, and a troop of horse attended the funeral.
Mr. Robbins was born in Union, Maine, in 1815, and was a prominent business man of Brunswick. He was appointed cashier of the Brunswick Bank on November 1, 1841, and served in that capacity in the different banks in the town for eighteen years, with an interval of only thirty-four days between his resignation in the Union and his taking charge of the Maine Bank. During all this time he never lost
a day by sickness, and was absent only eighty days in the whole time.
Mr. Robbins was a prompt, faithful, systematic, and energetic bank officer, and was well liked by the community. He was a man of fine education (a graduate of Bowdoin in 1835), and possessed a remarkably clear and logical mind. He was for several years one of the Board of Overseers of the college, and was always interested in its welfare. Common-sense was his predominating mental characteristic. Mr. Robbins was deeply interested in all town affairs, and especially in the welfare of the public schools. His efforts for the establishment of the high school and the grading of the village schools entitle him to the remembrance of the community.
He had a fund of humor and ready wit, and was fond of children. He was a member of the Congregational Church for twenty-eight years, and was held in general esteem for his integrity, industry, and kindliness of character. He died December 31, 1868.
Mr. Rogers was born in Topsham, November 18, 1785. He was a son of Alexander, and the father of the late George A. Rogers. He was educated in the common schools of the town, but made good use of such advantages as he had. He was a man of quick perception and inquiring mind, and steadily advanced with the times in which he lived. He took a warm interest in the public matters of the town and State. He served on the Board of Selectmen of Topsham for fourteen years, between 1836 and 1857. In 1819 he was chosen to represent his town in the legislature, and in 1837 he was elected to the State Senate. In politics he was a Democrat, but he was oftentimes elected to office by the votes of those who affiliated with the opposite party. In his religious views he was a Baptist.
"Although a man of rigid principles and soundness of judgment, his kind and genial manners won for him the respect of all who knew him. In early life he was twice married, but each of his wives died at an early age. Of his family but one son survived him, the late George A. Rogers.
"At nearly fourscore years, after a long and serene evening to a life of usefulness, devoted to the happiness of others, he passed away quietly at the old homestead where he had always resided."
The subject of this sketch was a native of Topsham. His education was obtained in the common schools and at the
Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Readfleld, Maine. At the age of twenty he made a sea-voyage to New Orleans, and thence to Europe. Receiving so much benefit from these voyages, he was tempted to become a sailor, and accordingly made one voyage "before the mast." His father discouraged his inclination towards a sea-faring life, and induced him to remain at home and turn his attention to agricultural pursuits.
As a practical farmer, enlightened, and looking into the most essential matters of the business of farming, he did much to promote its interests, both at home and abroad. He was long identified with the interests of the town, serving for many years as a member of the Board of Selectmen. Perhaps no more fitting tribute can be paid to his memory than that found in the recent "Historical Review " of the Sagadahoc County Agricultural Society, - he having been one of its earliest friends, serving in almost every capacity in which he could render valuable assistance.
"He represented the society as a member of the Board of Agriculture for a period of seven years, and was one of the most useful members of that Board. For three years he was president of the Sagadahoc Society, afterwards he was recording secretary. To the close of his life on earth he was one of the most valuable members of the society. The society as well as the community needs more such men,- men who work from sincere regard for the interests of others. Possessed of a high moral, as well as a much religious character, Mr. Rogers was a true friend, a sincere and honest man. He served faithfully the community in which he lived ; its interests were his interests, its welfare ever had his watchful care. Well may the society long hold his name in remembrance and honor."
He died June 30, 1874.
William Ross lived, prior to 1749, at Sheepscot. He afterwards moved to Brunswick, where he built a house, bullet-proof, near the old meeting-house. Prior to his coming to Brunswick, he, with his two sons, John and Robert, was taken captive by the Indians and carried to Canada. He and Robert were soon liberated and returned home. John was such a favorite with the Indians that he was retained. Mr. Ross was subsequently captured again and carried to Quebec. While there he became interested in a young man whom he met at a public place, the resort of those who desired to be exchanged. He volunteered to intercede for his release, inquired his name, and found him to be his son. They effected their release and returned home.
John was afterwards killed, or died, in war. Mr. Ross was a lame man. His disability was caused in the following manner. On one occasion, while he was engaged in cutting wood west of Mair Brook, he discovered a wounded bear making towards him. He at once commenced to retreat backwards, defending himself with his axe, but was so unfortunate as to fall back over a log and hurt himself. The bear, unable to get over, reached under the log and bit him in the knee. Mr. Anthony Woodside, who had fired and wounded the hear, finally came up and killed it.
Was a native of Ireland, and a Presbyterian. He came over with Colonel Dunbar, the celebrated surveyor of the king's woods in 1729, and preached at Pemaquid for four or five years. When Dunbar went to Portsmouth in 1734, his house and farm were left in the care of Mr. Rutherford. In 1735 he was employed by the First Parish of Brunswick, and continued to preach there till 1742. After this he was engaged for a short time at Georgetown, and probably returned to Pemaquid. From thence, on the marriage of Dunbar's widow with Captain Henderson of St. Georges, he removed to that place. It does not appear that he had a distinct pastoral charge, or that any church was gathered there during his life. He was a man of respectable literary attainments, and bore the character of a pious Orthodox minister. He died in 1756, at the age of sixty-eight years, and was buried at the fort at Saint George's. His wife survived him twenty-three years, and was buried in the same place. They left a family of seven daughters, whose posterity are numerous in the vicinity.1
Thomas Skolfield was a son of Thomas Skolfield, of England, who was an officer in King William's army in 1690, when King James was driven from Ireland. The son, Thomas, received a liberal education at Dublin University, and shortly after graduating emigrated to America with the Orr family early in the last century.
Thomas remained in Boston with the Orr family and taught a Latin school until the Orrs removed to the District of Maine, about the year 1742, when he and Susan came with them.
Thomas married Mary Orr, and settled in Brunswick near where Peter Woodard now lives (1876). He and the Orrs bought about
three hundred and fifty acres of land, on which Thomas Skolfield settled. They paid for the land, £85 old tenor. Mr. Skolfield was a very prominent man in town affairs. He was chosen, May 22, 1777, as an officer empowered to receive recognizances. In 1779 he was on the committee to affix the price of commodities sold in the town. He was on many committees to draw up resolutions, etc., during the Revolutionary war. He was town clerk from 1752 to 1761, and again in 1763 and 1765. He was on the Board of Selectmen, and a great part of the time was chairman, for twenty-three years, - from 1744 to 1749, 1752 to 1754, 1756 to 1762, 1765 to 1767, 1772 to 1775, and again in 1782.
His wife died August 1, 1771, aged fifty-seven years. He died January 6, 1796.
"Master" George Skolfield was born July, 1780, in Harpswell, in an old house standing upon the site of the one now occupied by Mr. George R. Skolfield, his eldest son.
He began to build vessels when about twenty-one years old, and during his lifetime built nearly if not quite sixty vessels, all first-class, of the best quality of material and workmanship. At the time of his death he was one of the wealthiest men in Brunswick, and his wealth was* all earned through his own exertions and by his own business ability.
He was kind in his family and to his friends, and of a very hospitable nature.
"It was the delight of Master George to have the house full, and he was never in better spirits than when his friends fairly overran his rooms. A man of strong impulses, of prejudices, if you will, he never meant to be unjust. He was decided, firm in his convictions, and sternly resolute in the discharge of what he deemed his duty. That duty was done with a singleness of purpose worthy of all imitation. We make no claim to perfection for the deceased ; but we record as the crowning glory of his long and active life, diversified by an intercourse with all classes and manner of men, his passing away, with never a man to question his scrupulous honesty in all his dealings with his fellow men."
He died March 13, 1866.
Professor Smyth was born in Pittston, February 2, 1797, and in his childhood his parents removed to Wiscasset, which was his home until about the time of his entering college. At the age of eighteen he
was bereft of both father and mother, and was left with a young sister and brother, and nothing but kind friends and himself to depend upon. He was for a time clerk for a Wiscasset merchant, but his ambition at that time was to qualify himself to teach school, and all his spare time was spent in hard study. He taught school for a few years, at the same time fitting himself for Bowdoin College, the Junior class of which he entered in 1820. Such an example of student-life as was then exhibited is rare and worthy of record. He occupied, with a townsman and classmate, Boynton, a room in the building, afterwards burned down, which stood on the site of Mr. Henry C. Martin's residence, opposite the college halls.
As the result of his former hard study, while in college he was compelled to wear a green shade and to study by another's eyes. His room-mate read his lessons to him, he occasionally raising his blinder to glance for a moment at a mathematical formula or a diagram or a phrase. After getting settled in college life his independent, self-denying spirit led him to bring to his side his young brother, and sustain both as he might. This self-sacrificing college student often deprived himself of a dinner for the sake of that brother; lived day after day on bread and water; not unfrequently did not know one day where the next day's meals were to come from; and thus, studying with the eyes of another, often at his wits' end for support, with that care of the brother upon him part of the time, he soon took the lead of an able class and held it to the end, graduating with the English valedictory in 1822.
After graduating, Mr. Smyth taught a school for a short time in what used to be called President Allen's Academy, and then spent a year in the Andover Seminary.
In 1823 he received an appointment from his Alma Mater as proctor and instructor in Greek ; then became tutor in mathematics and natural philosophy; and in 1828 he was made professor in full of mathematics and natural philosophy.
The first edition of his algebra, from the press of Mr. Griffin, of this town, appeared in 1830, received warm commendation from Doctor Bowditch, and was adopted as a text-book at Harvard and other institutions. It passed through several editions, and then gave place to two separate works, the elementary and the larger algebra. Then followed an enlarged edition of the trigonometry and its applications to surveying and navigation, and treatises on analytic geometry, and on the calculus, the last being so clearly and satisfactorily developed, and with so much originality, as to receive emphatic approval in high
quarters, particularly from the late Professor Bache, and constituting, as has been said, quite an era in the means of instruction in this profound branch.
When the project of graded schools for the large Central District of Brunswick was proposed, it engaged his earnest co-operation. He was chosen on the Board of Agents successively for seventeen years; most of the time was chairman, and exercised vigilant supervision of the schools. The amount of labor he performed in securing and perfecting the system, in building the large brick school-house for which he furnished the working plan, and in general superintendence, few can conceive; and all with no other remuneration than the consciousness of rendering an important public service. He was for many years one of the trustees of the First Parish fund, and for forty years or more an active member of the Congregational Church and Society in Brunswick and a teacher in the Sabbath school. When the present church edifice was erected he was the working member of the building committee, giving important counsel in its plan, even to the framing of the building, and constantly supervising the work. He also furnished the working plans for a spire which, for grace and beauty, was not surpassed.
The last public work of his life was the measures for erecting a Memorial Hall for the college.
One even most conversant with him, and who had most free access to his thoughts, purposes, and plans, can scarcely enumerate the extent of his correspondence on the subject; his journeyings to and fro from Bangor to New York for subscriptions, his long walks in Brunswick and its neighborhood to obtain contributions, to consult mechanics and contractors, or to engage hands for the work; his visits to other towns to examine public buildings or to inspect quarries of building stone; or his careful study of architectural designs, sketches, and plans in the college library; or his personal labor in meditating and drawing plans himself, that architects might readily conceive the idea and object of the proposed structure. For the last two years of his life his mind and thoughts were intent on what he often said was to be his last labor.
Every dollar of the thirty thousand on his subscription book he solicited, and he collected nearly twenty thousand of the amount in person.
Professor Smyth was among the first members of the temperance society formed in Brunswick when Reverend Doctor Justin Edwards promulgated and advocated with so much effect the doctrine of total abstinence from intoxicating drinks.
A debate in the Brunswick Lyceum made of him an anti-slavery man, or rather turned his thoughts to that subject, and inspired a sentiment and opinions which he maintained his life through. He never swerved, -no, not for an hour,- from his allegiance to the cause of human freedom and the rights of man.
Though exposed to, reproach and annoyances, to hard speeches and harder looks, he was not a man to be deterred from his purpose or to quail in whatever he regarded a matter of right, truth, and duty.
His ability as a teacher was never called in question. In explanation he was precise, simple, and clear. He had great power of inspiring interest; his own enthusiasm, which often kindled, especially in certain branches of his department, at the black-board, being communicated to his class.
His mind was quick to kindle, and his powers to arouse themselves to seize on some engrossing subject, and while the occasion demanded, he was totes in illis. He was a whole-souled, large-hearted man. Personal interests occupied with him an inferior place. Any real object of philanthropy, of national or of town interest, anything that touched the life of the college, was sure to find one mind and heart ready to respond to its demands.
Of the qualities of his mind no one conversant with him could doubt that his Creator endowed him with a power of intense application, of wide compass and great clearness of thought, of strong grasp of principles, and of exhibiting truth, often massive truth, with great precision and force. He had a peculiar faculty of seizing on the salient points and the fundamental elements of any subject he approached.
One could not but give him the credit of childlike simplicity. He was simple in his tastes, in his manners, and in his desires. There was no pretence or affectation in his nature. No charge of insincerity or false-heartedness was ever laid upon him.
The facts of Professor Smyth's life reveal most clearly a singularly self-sacrificing spirit. What reward or remuneration, what personal advantage could he have expected from his labors for schools or for the church or for the Memorial Hall? What self-interest could have prompted him to furnish working plans for school-house or church spire, -or to rise from his bed and go down to the school-house in a drenching storm to see that the rain did not undermine the wall or flood the cellar,- or at midnight, in a driving southeaster, to go over to the church, then in building, to make more fast an ill-secured transept
window, -or to serve as a tender to the mason who was putting up a chimney in the tower?
His nature was profoundly sympathetic, and he was blessed with a genial, buoyant spirit. He never betrayed a moody or sullen temper. There was in him a vein of fine humor. He enjoyed it in others, and no one could turn a witticism or convey a compliment with more delicacy or grace. It remains to bear testimony to Professor Smyth as a Christian man. In this character he left the record of nearly fifty years in his daily life, in the free intercourse of friends, in the social meetings of the church, in college halls, in his relations to public philanthropic movements of his time, and in the pulpit of the sanctuary.
Early in life he took his stand as a Christian young man, and became connected with the Congregational Church in Gorham. He seized with the strong grasp of his intellect and heart on what are termed the doctrines of grace. In 1825 he received license from the Cumberland Association, and for several years preached with acceptance in Brunswick and neighboring towns. His discourses were marked by weighty thought, clear exhibition of truth, simplicity and vigor of style, and earnest and eloquent enforcement of the motives of the gospel and the issues of life and death. He died April 4, 1868.
The foregoing sketch of this truly remarkable man is condensed from Professor Packard's discourse commemorative of Professor Smyth.
David Stanwood, son of Ebenezer, was in the expedition to Louisburg. While the army was there, some twenty or thirty men were desirous of taking boats and crossing to the opposite shore, where they expected to plunder some of the French settlers. They landed without molestation, went to one house not far distant, entered it, and brought the plunder to their boats. Not sufficiently satisfied with what they had obtained, they returned, without their guns, and while stripping the house still further they were surrounded and taken prisoners by the Indians, who had been on the watch for them. They were at once stripped, and severely tortured with spears. Mr. Stanwood attempted to escape, but a well-directed spear hit him on the shoulder, and so disabled him that he surrendered, and was again submitted to torture. He fled again and was pursued, fired at, and a ball hit him in the arm and broke it. He succeeded, however, in his escape, hid himself until search was over, and when all was quiet, went to the shore opposite the army, and hoisted a handkerchief as a signal. It was seen, and, though fearful of a decoy, some of the men were at
length allowed to go over for him, and he was rescued. Another account1 states that after he escaped the second time he came to a river and was shot while swimming across. His arm was afterwards amputated.
William Stanwood was the son of David Stanwood, of Brunswick, and was born in 1752. In his early days he learned the trade of a blacksmith. He entered the Revolutionary army and was in the battles of Monmouth and White Plains. After the war he was made a colonel of the militia. After leaving the army he went to work at his trade, and afterwards engaged in the lumbering business and in shipbuilding in connection with Captain John Dunlap. He accumulated wealth, and owned three large farms, besides other real estate, but afterwards met with heavy losses in his shipping business. He built and lived in the house now owned by the heirs of the late A. C. Robbins, Esquire, on Maine Street. He was a prominent man in Brunswick, and was selectman for a number of years, and a representative in 1794 and 1795. He was also a member of the Board of Overseers of Bowdoin College. He had three wives; the first was Mary Orr, the second Hannah Thompson, and the third Ruth Thompson. He had eleven children. He died June, 1829.
"Father " Stetson, as he was called, lived until he was seventeen years of age in his native town of Kingston, Massachusetts. He then spent one summer in Bristol, Maine, one in Boston, and two in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He spent his winters during this time at home. He gives the following account of his life in a letter to the Gospel Banner in 1864:-
"Seventy years ago  I first came to Bristol with my master ship-joiner. When free I came again. I wounded my ankle-joint, which laid me up many months, and gave me time to read and pray. Reverend Mr. Riddle invited me to study for the ministry. I kept school in Alna, New Castle, and Bristol, and studied with Reverend Jonathan Ward, of New Milford. I was approbated to preach in the town of Winthrop, at Reverend Mr. Bolden's, by the Lincoln Association of Congregational ministers.
"I preached two years in Norridgewock and other towns. In 1804
I had a call, and was ordained in South Plymouth, Massachusetts, ten miles from my native place. There I preached Hopkinsianism sixteen years. Then for four years I was a Worsterian. Then I became a Universalist, and preached in Charlestown and Salem three years, and in Boston a few months. Then in Brunswick, Bath, and Bowdoinham two years, and ever since all round the State, and in other States. The last year I have not tried to preach.
"I grow deaf, and forgetful of names. My health is good. My wife is eighty-four years old. We have had twelve children. The three youngest only are living in this world."
Mr. Stetson was born in 1776, and died in 1867. He was at his death, therefore, ninety-one years of age, lacking five days. He was at that time the oldest Universalist minister in Maine. From a diary that he left, it appears that he came to Brunswick in a packet to Maquoit (Captain Simpson's) in 1828. He brought with him his wife and five children and household goods, paying for passage and freight, sixteen dollars to Maquoit, and four dollars from the latter place to his house.
Mr. Stetson was well known throughout this entire community, and was much beloved by his parishioners, and esteemed by all for the purity of his life and character.
The subject of this sketch was a son of James Stone, and was a native of Topsham. He settled in Brunswick, and lived and died in the dwelling on Mill Street which stands nearly on the site of the old Stone mansion which was erected by Benjamin Stone, the ancestor of the family in Brunswick. It is worthy of mention that the property on and near the corner of Maine and Mill Streets, known as Stone's Corner, has been retained in the family for four generations. Colonel Stone was largely engaged in the lumbering business, owning a mill on the upper dam, and for many years did an extensive business. He was a colonel in the militia, and held various public offices, among them that of postmaster. He was a representative to the legislature in 1836. He was an influential and public-spirited citizen.
Marlborough Sylvester, of Harpswell, was a son of William Sylvester, and was born in Hanover, Massachusetts, in 1753. IIe was a man prominent in the affairs of the town, and held town offices for many years. He was town clerk from 1794 to 1799, inclusive, and in 1813,
selectman from 1797 to 1808, inclusive, and in 1815, and representative in 1809.
Mr. Thompson was born in Middleboro', Massachusetts, September 22, 1797, whence in his youth he moved to Boston, and from that city, in 1817, to Brunswick, where he spent the rest of his life, engaged for a long series of years in the active pursuits of mercantile life, manifesting an energy and a directness of application that constituted him a marked man among his fellow-men. General Thompson from his youth manifested a fondness for military life. As early as 1821 he received an officer's commission and held various positions in the militia, from lieutenant to that of major-general. In February, 1847, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the Ninth Regiment, United States Infantry.
From 1834 until 1841, General Thompson held the office of adjutant and quartermaster-general of the State, and was in command of the troops called into service on the eastern frontier. For three years he was State agent for the prosecution of the military claim of Maine against the Federal government for expenses incurred in protecting her northeastern frontier, and in prosecution of the business he passed a considerable portion of his time in Washington. He was in 1831 and 1832 State treasurer, and in 1856 a senator in the legislature.
As a politician, a Democrat of the old school, he was firm in the maintenance of the principles of the party in which he believed, swerving neither to the right nor the left, as party fancies might dictate, but always courteous and considerate to the views of an opponent. His wonderful clearness of intellect, his ready power of explanation, his thorough knowledge of business details, gave him command over the minds of others which few men untrained to the professional arena possess. He had a wealth of determination, or power of will, which led him straight on in the path which he had marked out for himself. As a citizen, he held large and liberal views of public affairs, and his aid was always sought and granted in the carrying out of projects to promote the growth and prosperity of the town.
He was a Freemason of high rank. He died August 4, 1871, and was buried with Masonic honors.
Mr. Thompson was a native of Topsham. When nine years of age he removed with his parents to the neighboring town of Lisbon.
At the age of twenty-one he returned to Topsham and engaged himself as a clerk in a store. Economical and industrious, he soon acquired a sufficient sum of money to enable him to make an investment in navigation, and, succeeding in his venture, he continued ever after to invest his funds in the same line of business, and generally with a corresponding degree of success. When the Androscoggin Bank was organized, in 1834, Mr. Thompson, being one of the principal stockholders, was elected president, and was continued in that position until the charter, by its own limitation, expired.
Mr. Thompson was an ardent patriot, and served in the war of 1812. From 1812 to 1820 he filled the office of adjutant of the Third Regiment, First Brigade, Eleventh Division of State Militia. He was considered so worthy of trust that, in 1814, the Circuit Court of Common Pleas, by an order issued at the August term, placed the entire control of the Court House in his hands, with authority to grant its use for other purposes whenever he might deem it advisable. In 1831 he was elected as a representative to the legislature, and could have held the position longer had he so desired.
Mr. Thompson was a man of strict integrity. He was a kind man in his family, and a lover of -hospitality. He was also a good neighbor and a wise counsellor. He was faithful to his engagements ; and masters of vessels, and others in his employ, if proving themselves worthy, were long retained. Though he never made any religious professions, he was a decided friend to the cause of religion and a liberal supporter of its institutions. He was warmly interested in educational matters, and was one of the chief supporters of the Topsham Academy. He also sent two of his sons to Bowdoin College.
He had a clear and comprehensive intellect, was well informed in all ordinary matters, possessed sagacity and perseverance, was shrewd and calculating, had a large business experience, and vas thoroughly posted in commercial matters. He was, at the time of his death, undoubtedly the wealthiest man in Topsham. He died October 4, 1866.
"He was a man of quick perceptions and a clear insight in regard to men and things, and one who often uttered his convictions in strong and decided language. He adhered to them, also, with pertinacity, even though they were sometimes formed upon insufficient data."
Samuel Thompson was born March 22, 1735. He resided in Brunswick until after the close of the Revolutionary war. He served on the Board of Selectmen of Brunswick in the years 1768, 1770, and
1771. He was a member of the Provincial Congress, and about the year 1774 he was appointed or chosen lieutenant-colonel of militia. He was afterwards colonel, and on February 8, 1776, he was chosen by the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a brigadier-general of the Cumberland County troops. He was about this time at the head of the Committee of Safety for the district. He was elected, also, the same year, as representative to the General Court. About the year 1783, possibly in 1784, General Thompson moved to Topsham, where he afterwards resided. He was chosen as a representative from Topsham to the General Court for twelve terms, -each year from 1784 to 1788, from 1790 to 1794, and in 1797 and 1798. In 1797 he was also chosen senator to the General Court.
Brigadier Thompson died in 1797, and was buried in an old burying-ground at Ferry Point, in Topsham. His remains were afterwards removed and placed in the same grave with those of Humphrey Thompson, his son, in the village burying-ground.
Samuel Thompson was a man of some wealth, for the times. He was worth, according to the inventory of his property, some over $35,000. A little less than half of this amount was in real estate, of which he owned the most in Topsham, though he possessed considerable in Bowdoin, some in Bath, and an inconsiderable amount in Brunswick.
In regard to his character, it is hardly possible to render Brigadier Thompson exact justice. Nothing has been learned as to his private and social life. It is known, however, that his wife was, at times, insane, and it is said that on one occasion she killed an adopted son, of some five or six years of age, with a pair of steelyards. One of his children was also an imbecile. Under such circumstances, it is hardly probable that his home life could have been a happy one.
In regard to his public life, it is not so difficult to form an opinion, though even here, owing to his outspoken and vehement manner, he made so many enemies that it is difficult to know the truth of some statements made in regard to him. One thing is sure, that he was one of the leading men of his day, running over with zeal and patriotism. The late Judge Freeman says of him, "He was a portly man, not of very tall stature, but somewhat corpulent, and apparently of a robust constitution, but not supposed to be possessed of much real courage. Nature had furnished him with strong mental powers and a capacity which, if it had been rightly directed and employed, might have rendered him a useful member of society, but
his mind needed cultivation." He was strictly a "self-made" man, and was particularly remarkable for his firmness of opinion -often amounting to obstinacy- and for his ready wit, which, when he was in the House of Representatives, often excited the mirth of his brother members.
In his religious views Samuel Thompson was a Universalist, or rather a Winchesterian. He believed in the Trinity, in a day of general judgment for all mankind, and in the punishment of the wicked in a literal hell-fire, but he also believed in the final salvation of all. Tradition says that the brigadier died in great agony of mind, expecting to suffer for his sins in fire and brimstone for 50,000 years. He also evidently believed in the doctrine of foreordination, as he was accustomed whenever anything went wrong to console himself with the reflection that "it is all right in the great plan." It is said that on one occasion, as he was going from Topsham to the General Court, he stopped at Nichols's in Brunswick for a pair of new boots. Not being so well suited with them as he desired, he complained to Nichols, who replied, "It is all right in the great plan.", "N-n-nichols," said the brigadier, stuttering, " the great plan has nothing to do with these boots."
Samuel Thompson was a zealous Whig or Anti-Federalist. He was a delegate from Topsham to the convention that "convened at Boston, January 9, 1788, and continued until February 7, following, for the purpose of assenting to and ratifying the Constitution recommended by the Grand Federal Convention." On the question of ratification he voted nay. A letter to Madison, quoted in a letter to Washington, February 3, 1788, contains the following : "The leaders of this party [Anti-Federalists] are Mr. Widgery, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Nassow, from the province of Maine." As throwing some light upon the probable reasons for Mr. Thompson's negative vote, we quote the following extract from a letter of General Knox, bearing date New York, January 14 [1788?]:-
"The second party in the State are in the province of Maine. This party are chiefly looking towards the erection of a new State, and the majority of them will adopt or reject the new Constitution, as it may facilitate or retard their designs, without regarding the merits of the great question."
On this question of the adoption of the Constitution, Mr. Thompson made several speeches. His longest one was against the paragraph providing for a standing army. His remarks, especially those beginning, "0 my country !" called out replies from the opposite side.
While discussing the fourth section in regard to elections, General Thompson said:-
"Mr. President, I have frequently heard of the abilities and fame of the learned and reverend gentleman [Reverend Mr. West] last speaking, and now I am witness to them. But, sir, one thing surprises me: it is to hear the worthy gentleman insinuate that our federal rulers will undoubtedly be good men, and that therefore we have little to fear from their being intrusted with all power. This, sir, is quite contrary to the common language of the clergy, who are continually representing mankind as reprobate and deceitful, and that we really grow worse and worse day after day. I really believe we do, sir, and I make no doubt to prove it before I sit down, from the Old Testament."
On the question of considering the Constitution as a whole instead of by paragraphs, he remarked that, in his opinion, "the Constitution, and the reasons which induced gentlemen to frame it, ought to have been sent to the several towns, to be considered by them. My town considered it seven hours, and after this there was not one in favor of it. It is strange," he continued, "that a system which its planners say is so plain that he that runs may read it, should want so much explanation."
While the question of slavery was discussed, General Thompson exclaimed, "Mr. President, shall it be said, that after we have established our own independence and freedom, we make slaves of others? O Washington, what a name has he had! How he has immortalized himself! but he holds those in slavery who have as good right to be free as he has. He is still for self, and in my opinion his character has sunk fifty per cent."
When the paragraph in regard to the writ of habeas corpus was read, General Thompson asked the president to please to proceed. "We have," said he, "read the book often enough. It is a consistent piece of inconsistency."
These extracts from his speeches show that though the brigadier was a bitter opposer of the Constitution, he possessed no mean power of debate, and could express himself tersely and vigorously.
As a public speaker, we cannot with fairness judge Mr. Thompson by his harangues to the populace. In these he was impetuous, noisy, and sometimes even furious. The late Doctor James McKeen described his speech on one occasion in the following words:-
"The brigadier was of too fiery a temperament to be either appeased or softened, but went on continually hurling his gall-bladder invectives against all who failed to come up to his measure of vehement
demonstrations." It is to be presumed that his manner in the House of Representatives was calmer and his speech more considerate.
General Thompson, though perhaps not haughty or overbearing in his manner, had a good deal of pride in his position as a public man and an officer. It is related that once, when a member of the General Court, he was crossing a toll-bridge leading into Boston, when the tollman demanded toll. Toll not being required from members of the legislature at that time, the brigadier replied, with great dignity, "I belong to the House, sir." "Belong to the House! I should think you belonged to the barn," was the reply of the tollman, evidently induced by his rustic appearance.
As regards his military qualifications, Williamson describes the brigadier as bold and courageous, but as not possessing sufficient coolness, consistency, foresight, or intelligence to qualify him for a leader. In regard to his bravery there seem to be conflicting opinions. His exploit in regard to the capture of Mowatt has already been mentioned, and some other facts connected with his military career would seem to show that he was not deficient in courage. The following anecdote, however, if true, would seem to indicate both cowardice and stinginess.
It is related that on one occasion Captain John Ross, of Sebascodigan, the master of a coasting vessel, was in Boston and ready to sail for home with only two hands (Robert Gorden and William Coombs) with him. Just before the time for sailing the brigadier came on board and bespoke a passage. He brought with him a pillow-case full of gingerbread and some molasses for his rations. They set sail and started on their homeward voyage. The bay was full of cruisers. When abreast of the Isle of Shoals they discovered a small vessel, apparently a fisherman, inside. She soon, however, hoisted her canvas in pursuit. Captain Ross ordered the two swivels to be fixed on the windlass bits, loaded with powder and ball. Coombs was stationed at one, and Gorden at the other. The hostile vessel approached rapidly, passed by the bows of the coaster, saw the swivels and the two men swinging their lighted ropes to keep them alive, and passed on her way and left them. All this time the brigadier, "expecting death would be his portion, stood in the companion-way, out of sight, trembling with fear and suffering the horrors of despair." When the privateer had passed by, the brigadier made his appearance in good spirits, and exulted that he had saved his gingerbread.
Notwithstanding the anecdotes tending to throw ridicule upon him, and the animadversions of his enemies, it is evident that
General Thompson must have been in some respects a remarkable man, or he could not for so long a period have possessed the confidence of a majority of his fellow-citizens and have filled the responsible stations which he did. At all events, the strength of his patriotism ought to overshadow many minor defects of character.
Benjamin Titcomb, fourth son of Deacon Benjamin and Anne Titcomb, was born, in Portland, July 26, 1761. He was educated at Dummer Academy, Newbury, Massachusetts, and afterward at Newburyport ; served an apprenticeship in the art of printing, establishing himself in the printing business at Portland. On the first day of January, 1785, he "struck off " with his own hands the first sheet ever printed in Maine.
About 1798 he left printing, and with no other preparation than that which the grace of God gives, began to preach to the small Baptist society then recently gathered in Portland, the first meetings of which were at Mr. Titcomb's house. In 1804 he removed to Brunswick, and became pastor of the Baptist Church which had been gathered here by Elders Case and Williams. The meetings of this society for several years were held at Maquoit, in the meeting-house which was built by the society in the latter part of the last century.
In 1829 the meeting-house on Federal Street, which is now occupied by the Catholics, was built ; and in this Elder Titcomb finished his public labors, retiring from the pulpit at the age of eighty-three, after a forty years' ministry in Brunswick.
In 1820, Elder Titcomb was elected a delegate to the convention that formed the Constitution of Maine; and at the request of General King, opened the convention with prayer. Not fond of political preferment, he afterward declined office, which was several times offered him. He was one of the original trustees of Waterville College, now Colby University, and took great interest in that institution. He was a man of decision, "strong in faith," a ready speaker, preaching without notes. He retained his mental faculties in a good degree to the last, dying at his residence on Federal Street, September 30, 1848.1
Professor Upham was born in Deerfield, N. H., January 20, 1799. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1818. He then went through
three years of theological study at Andover, in which he gained, such distinction by his indefatigable study, his scholarship and attainments, that, after completing the course, he was selected by Professor Stuart to assist him in the Greek and Hebrew instruction of the seminary.
He subsequently became pastor over the church of his Rochester home, where he labored a year with characteristic zeal and energy, and to the great contentment of his people, until 1824, when he was chosen to the professorship of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics in Bowdoin College.
In 1852, Professor Upham spent a year in European and Eastern travel, visiting England and Scotland, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, Egypt and the Holy Land, his companion of travel being Reverend Mr. Thompson, then of the Broadway Tabernacle, New York. One result of his tour was a volume, in which we have the impressions made on an observing, contemplative, highly cultured, and poetic mind of the people and scenes he visited. This volume, of which a third edition has been printed, ranks high among the most thoughtful and instructive works of that class. He was a voluminous writer. A collection of his works would make at least twenty volumes. Among the better known of his writings are his treatises on mental philosophy and on the will. He also published a volume of minor poems, under the title, "American Cottage Life," which went through six editions.
The variety and extent of the literary labors of Doctor Upham afford proof of the varied character of his erudition. He was indeed a devourer of books. He explored all the libraries of the college and visited those of other institutions. He read all works in his own department and biographies and books of travel, from which to draw manifold illustrations. "He was deeply read in European history. Probably the State could not have produced a man more conversant with the politics of Europe. Occasionally during the first two or three years of his professorship, he occupied the pulpit of the Brunswick church to the great gratification of his hearers. He supplied the pulpit in Harpswell for a season or two, and his active interes, and personal effort in encouraging that people and the people of Topsham in maintaining the ordinances of God's house are held in grateful remembrance. In person he solicited contributions among the people of Harpswell toward their new church, and with success surprising to themselves.
All questions of public moment, whether regarding religion or
morals and manners, found him a vigilant observer and active participant in all good measures.
"Professor Upham's whole life was that of a true philanthropist. The famous line of Terence, Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto, was illustrated in him as fully as in any human being. There was a fountain of kindness and goodwill within him, ever full and overflowing. His domestic affections were deep and abiding Nothing could show more strikingly the love that was in him, seeking for objects on which to fasten, than the fact that, not being blessed with children of his own, he adopted children and loved and did for them as if they were his own.
"The oppressed and down-trodden found in him a sympathizing, active friend. He was an early and liberal patron of colonization, constituting himself a life member of the society by a contribution of $1,000. His name stands on the first roll of signers to the temperance pledge in Brunswick, drawn up immediately after the visit of the eminent Doctor Edwards. He watched with eager eye every movement for the ends of civil and religious liberty in Europe or on this continent. He labored earnestly in the cause of peace, and yet when the cloud of civil war hung over our land, his heart was stirred within him for the salvation and integrity of his bleeding country. To crown all, he was instant in season and out of season, in college, in the street, and from house to house, in the cause of his Master. No one was more sensitive to anything which promised good or threatened evil to the interests of moral or of vital godliness.
"There was not the shade of self-exaltation in anything he said or did. He was far as one could be from the appearance of being puffed up by his attainments or his wide reputation. His manner and bearing were not even what might have been excused in one who could not but be aware that he could sustain elegant and learned discourse with any of the philosophers or statesmen or men of letters of the world. On the contrary, he could take the level of the most humble and illiterate, with no appearance of condescension, readily adapting himself to their apprehension, their prejudices, or their humors, thus in the best sense becoming all things to all men if he might. thereby win them to the right and the true."
He died in 1872.
General Veazie was born in Portland, Maine, April 22, 1787, and came to Topsham when about twenty-one years of age, without
capital, and established himself in a small business. He afterwards engaged in the lumber business on the Androscoggin, and in ship-building. He built a dozen or more vessels, equipped them, freighted them with his own lumber, and carried on a direct trade with the West Indies.
In the war of 1812 he took an active part. In 1812 he was chosen ensign, and in 1819 captain of a Topsham company in the militia. He was afterwards promoted rapidly, until he filled the office of general. He is said to have been, though a strict disciplinarian, an efficient and beloved commander.
Identified with all the social, religious, and political interests of Topsham, General Veazie became one of its leading citizens. His liberality towards the church where he worshipped, the trees which he planted, and the good taste and improvements displayed, will not be forgotten in coming generations.
"In 1826 the inducements of a larger field for operations, on the Penobscot, called his attention there, when he made valuable purchases in Oldtown, which became so important that he closed his business at Topsham, and moved to Bangor, in 1832.
"The loss of such a citizen to Topsham was soon apparent in his operations at Oldtown and Bangor.
"His comprehensive mind made him master of the situation, and while he continued to build ships and give employment to his old mechanical friends who followed him, his manifold lumbering interests, at Oldtown and Stillwater, proved the wisdom of his investments. Superadded to these he became noted as a banker, founding the Bank of Bangor, which was merged into the Veazie Bank, both institutions ever having the confidence of the public, based upon his capital and management.
"The Bangor, Oldtown, and Milford Railroad becoming unprofitable to its proprietors, was sold to him, when, as if by magic, it recuperated, and became one of the leading arteries of Bangor. In 1855, having lost his wife, he moved to the then village of North Bangor, where he afterwards married. The citizens of that village petitioned the legislature to be incorporated as a town under the name of Veazie, which was granted, and here, some three miles from Bangor, he ever after resided.
"General Veazie was a Jeffersonian Democrat, a man of great executive ability and financial capacity, had an iron will, accompanied by a resolute energy and inflexible integrity. He was a good husband, devoted parent, and an excellent. neighbor.. His word, like
the bills that bore his name, was never 'below par,' and he was always the young man's friend. Wielding a large influence, and although often solicited, he would never accept office, nor ever held one, as the writer believes, except that of councillor to the governor of the State. His life was one of incessant activity and usefulness to the day of his death, March 12, 1868, when, in the full possession of. his faculties, surrounded by his family, he bequeathed to them a good name, and probably the largest fortune in the State."
Nathaniel Walker was born in Arundel, now Kennebunk, September 25, 1781, and while a boy came with his father to Topsham, in which town he passed the greater part of his life.
He was a warm-hearted patriot, and served in the war of 1812. He was captain of the Topsham artillery company in 1814, when it was called out and ordered to Bath for the defence of that town, and was subsequently promoted to the office of major. He filled various public positions. He was town clerk for a series of years and postmaster for some length of time. Major Walker was also a justice of the peace and an efficient member of the Citizens' Fire Company, in which he always kept up an interest. His chief occupation was that of surveyor of lumber, and he was also interested in the lumber business. He was an energetic and able business man. He had a strong constitution and was very healthy, never having been sick up to the time of his death. He built, in 1809, the Walker homestead, where he lived until his death, which took place August 17, 1851.
The subject of this sketch was born in Woodstock, Vermont, December 13, 1803, and was the son of Amos Wheeler, Jr., and Lydia [Randall] Wheeler. His father dying when he was three years old, he was adopted by James Udall, Esquire, of Hartland, Vermont, with whom he lived until seventeen years of age, receiving instruction in the common schools.and at Thetford Academy. In 1820 he went to Leicester, Massachusetts, where his relatives resided, and attended Leicester Academy for a while, subsequently teaching school until he entered Williams College, from which he graduated in 1827. He then taught the academy at Marlboro' for two years, at the expiration of which time he was elected principal of the Latin Grammar School in Salem. He remained in that position for three years, studying theology, meantime, withh the Reverend Charles Upham, D. D., who was then pastor
of the First Church in Salem. Resigning his school in 1832, he spent a year at Harvard Divinity School, graduating therefrom in 1833. From Cambridge he went to Meadville, Pennsylvania, to supply the pulpit of the Unitarian Society, and remained there seven or eight months. While at Meadville he received a call to settle over that parish, but declined on account of the distance from his relatives and friends. In 1834 he was invited to and was settled over the Unitarian Society in Standish, Maine. He continued in that place until 1839, when he received a call to settle in Topsham, where he ever after lived. For fourteen years he preached in the Unitarian Meeting-House in Topsham. At the end of that time the Unitarian Society of Topsham and the Universalist Society of Brunswick were united under the name of "The Mason Street Religious Society," of Brunswick, and Mr. Wheeler was invited to become pastor of the new organization. He preached to this society until 1865, when he resigned and was soon after appointed missionary for the American Unitarian Association to the State of Maine, and at about the same time he was elected secretary of the Maine Conference of Unitarian churches. He died June 28, 1876.
The following obituary notices by life-long friends undoubtedly give a correct estimate of his character and abilities.
"Soon after Doctor Wheeler made Topsham his home he became .known to the college. Three of his sons were graduated from it. He was for years uniformly on its committee of examination. I doubt whether the late Professor Smyth thought he could have an examination in the higher mathematics without him. But he was at home in any department of the course. The doors of the college were always wide open to him, and she bestowed on him her highest honors.1
"Interested in education, he was for years on the superintending school committee of his town, and I think there was not a child in the town who was not glad to see him enter the school-room on his official visits He was interested in young men; fitted several for the college, received undergraduates as pupils, and they respected and loved him as a father.
"He was for many years on the standing committee of the Maine Historical Society, and much esteemed and respected for counsel and encouragement."
"Doctor Wheeler was a man of unquestioned ability, of cultivated and literary tastes, an easy, graceful writer, ready in extempore
address, of singular purity of life and conversation, possessing a heart as tender and true as that of a child. Scorning all equivocations, pursuing the right with unflinching purpose, leading the life of the humble and devoted Christian, he won the love of the people of his own denomination, and the esteem of all others who knew and appreciated his worth."
"Doctor Wheeler was a man of strong convictions, of decided opinions, of a gentle, genial spirit, generous impulses and sympathies for every good object, of high-toned character. He was not a man to kindle unkind emotions in any breast. I do not believe he left an hostile or unfriendly feeling in any one, and we cannot help exclaiming with the Psalmist, 'Help, Lord, for the faithful fail from among the children of men!'"
Says a writer in the Christian Register, "He was a man of larger natural endowment and more varied attainments than was generally known. Few of his contemporaries excelled him in mathematical scholarship. He kept well up with the college curriculum in all its departments. For many years he was a regular contributor of able articles to a journal of mathematical science. He had a poetic taste and faculty beyond the average of cultivated men. Few surpassed him in critical and thorough knowledge of the Bible, and in ready ability to maintain his position by exact verbal quotations therefrom. Of clear mental vision and acute argumentative powers, he was strong as he was also fair and good-natured in general debate.
"Calm habitually, even to sedateness, self-governed and judicious, the man of all around you to whom you would intrust any matter requiring sober and unbiassed deliberation, he could yet make merry with the gayest within the bounds of right and reason, was as tender in his feelings as a child, and his religious emotions were easily excited."
His children will be pardoned if, from a filial regard to his memory, they have allowed a disproportionate space to this sketch.
Thomas Wilson came from Ireland when he was about fifteen years of age, arrived in Boston, afterwards came to Topsham, and when the Indian war commenced returned to Boston again. On the return of peace he moved back to Topsham, and remained during the last French and Indian war, and until his decease. He was buried in the graveyard near the old meeting-house. He was the only one of his family who came to this country. He was a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian.
He was a noted hunter, and was one of the early explorers of what is now the town of Farmington. His house, a block-house, stood a little west of where Mr. James Wilson's house now stands. His third son, Thomas, was in the English navy in the Revolution, and died in consequence of wounds received in action. He may have been impressed into the British service, but the belief has always prevailed in the family that he entered it voluntarily.
Reverend James Woodside was a clergyman of the Church of England. According to a statement in the Pejepscot Papers, he, with his son William, arrived in this country prior to the year 1714. He remained at Falmouth with his family, and his son came to this town and took charge of the block-house at Maquoit in 1714. If the foregoing statement is correct, he must have returned to Ireland again, as lie certainly left the latter country in 1718, as is shown by the following copy1 of a petition of James Woodside to the king, 25th June, 1723.:
"TO THE KINGS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY IN COUNCEL:-
"THE HUMBLE MEMORIAL & PETITION OF JAMES WOODSIDE, LATE MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL AT BRUNSWICK IN NEW ENGLAND
"SHEWETH,"That he with 40 Familys, consisting of above 160 persons did in the year 1718 emharque on a ship at Derry Lough, in Ireland, in order to Erect a Colony at Casco Bay, in your Maj'tys Province of Main in New England.
"That being arrived they made a settlement at a place called by the Indians Pejipscot, but by them Brunswick, within 4 miles from Fort George, where (after he had laid out a considerable sum upon a Garrison House, fortifyed with Palisadoes & two large Bastions, had also made great improvements & laid out considerably for the benefit of that Infant Colony) the Inhabitants were surprized by the Indians who in the month of July 1722 came down in great numbers to murder your Majesty's good subjects there.
"That upon this surprise the Inhabitants naked & destitute of provisions run for shelter into your Pet'rs House (which is still defended by his sons) where they were kindly received, provided for & protected from the Rebel Indians.
"That the sd. Indians being happily prevented from murdering your Majesty's good subjects (in revenge to your Pet'r) presently kill'd all his Cattel, destroying all the moveables & provisions they could come at, & as your Pet'r had a very considerable stock of Cattel he & his family were great sufferers thereby, as may appear by a Certificate of the Governour of that Province, a copy whereof is hereunto annexed. Your Pet'r therefore most humbly begs that, in regard to his great undertaking, his great losses & sufferings, the service done to the publick in saving the lives of many of Your Maj'tys subjects, the unshaken loyalty & undaunted courage of his sons, who still defend the sd. Garrison, Your Majesty in Councel will be pleased to provide for him, his Wife & Daughter, here, or grant him the post of Mr. Cummins, a searcher of ships in the Harbour of Boston, N. England, lately deceas'd, so that his family reduc'd to very low circumstances may be resettled & his losses repair'd where they were sustain'd.
"& Your Pet'r shall ever pray &c.
"I do hereby certifie that the Rev'd Mr. Woodside went over from Ireland to New England with a considerable number of people, that he & they sate down to plant in a place called Brunswick in the Eastern Parts of New England, where he built a Garrison House, which was the means of saving the lives of many of his people in the late Insurrection of the Indians in July last. That his generosity is taken notice of by both Doctors Mathers & that the Indians cutt off all his Cattle, whereby he & his family are great sufferers.
"LONDON, June 25, 1723."
In 1719 the proprietors united with the inhabitants, and in a joint letter invited him to preach six months on probation. The proprietors also provided that the house of Mr Baxter should be made habitable for Mr. Woodside. This house was on lot number six, on the southeast corner of Maine and Green Streets. During his period of probation Mr. Woodside did not give perfect satisfaction, although he had some strong friends. At the expiration of the six months, however, the town voted "to continue him the same length of time again, provided those who were dissatisfied with his conversation can, by treating him as becomes Christians, receive such satisfaction from him as that they will hear him preach." The majority of the settlers were opposed to him, however, and he only preached three months longer,
not being, it is said, puritanical enough. He returned to England soon after leaving this town, and it is thought that his son James followed him. Soon after his return he sent his portrait over to his son William. It bears date "1726, by Gibson." Mr. Woodside corresponded with his son William for some years afterwards, though the latest date is now unknown, as is also (to the writer) the date of his death.
Captain Woodside obtained command of the Block House at Maquoit in 1714, according to one account, but not until 1726 according to another statement.1 He was commissioned as lieutenant, but afterwards was made a captain. He bought a lot on what is called Wharon's Point, from its original owner, Thomas Wharton. He afterwards purchased the first of the regular lots laid out by the proprietors, towards the falls.
He was a large, well-built, though somewhat corpulent, stout, active, and energetic man. The Indians, it is said, stood in fear of him. He was a trader with the Indians, and, it is alleged, usually got the best of a bargain with them.
Esquire Woodside, as he was usually called, was with the expedition to Louisburg in 1750. He received a commission as chaplain from Lord Loudoun. There are many anecdotes concerning him, which are current to this day. He had a number of encounters with the Indians, but always managed to escape, and sometimes inflicted a severe punishment upon those who attempted to molest him. He wore, as was the fashion at that time, a large three-cornered hat.
"Early one Sunday morning he went, against the remonstrance of a number in the garrison, to a turnip-yard which he had a short distance north from his house, on the road. The people in the garrison were suspicious that there were Indians about, because the dogs had been barking all night. When he got to the turnip-yard he put his hand on the fence and jumped over, and there were a number of Indians concealed under the fence upon the lookout for him. he got back over the fence as quick as he could. The Indians pursued him, but he outran them, and when they found they could not catch him they fired at him, but his life was preserved while he received two or three balls through his hat.
"Another time, when the Indians appeared friendly, he went into the wood to cut timber. Darkness overtook him before his return. When
he arrived near home he came upon some Indians by surprise. They professed to be very glad to see him, and tried to detain him so earnestly that he was suspicious that there was some mischief going on. He went to the garrison and found all well. He then went to his barn and there found an Indian setting fire to his hay-mow. He caught him, gave him many severe blows on the side of the head with his fist, and left him, as he supposed, dead. In the morning he went out, and found that by some means he had been taken away."1
Captain Woodside died in 1764. His will was written by Master George Harwood, and his son-in-law, Deacon Samuel Stanwood, was the executor.
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